SWEET JESUS GOD!!!
As American Dad! was made by the same mastermind behind Family Guy, it shouldn't be surprising that this show can sometimes go into nightmarish territory.
- Roger in general. He's a dangerously sociopathic and depraved Alien Manchild with countless disguises and personas that allow him to be anywhere and he has no qualms over killing and mutilating others to obtain even the smallest of advantages, sexual or otherwise. God help you if you piss him off, because no matter where you go, he will find you, as the Smith family once found out. It's telling that he was the one who laid The Golden Turd, only someone (or something) as awful as Roger could produce something so life-destroying.
- Hayley, period. Dump her? She would burn an entire mountain resort to the ground, destroy a mall and a classroom, as well as kill an innocent (PREGNANT) hamster. And you doooon't want to know what she was like during puberty, or the time that Stan activated her Sleeper Agent mode...
- How about Santa Claus? You think he's a jolly fat man who loves giving toys? No. Not at all. He's a man who can hold a grudge for a really long time as seen when Steve accidentally kills him and then comes back to life to kill the Smith family with an army of elves, reindeer and snowman monsters! "Minstrel Krampus" also shows how evil he is when it's revealed that Krampus punished kids because he cared for them, while Santa spoils them rotten no matter who was naughty or nice because he makes money off of it.
- The Golden Turd. An Artifact of Doom that makes anyone who comes in contact with it more than willing to commit atrocities including murder and letting the ones they love the most die just to get their hands on it. By the end of The Golden Turd Saga, various people have suffered horrible fates, including the Smith family themselves.
- The Lady Bugs from "Not Particularly Desperate Housewives". They were this close to killing Francine by ramming shopping carts into her, had Linda Memari not stepped in.
- The episode itself became darker as Francine discovered that the woman who was found murdered in the parking lot in broad daylight was Anne Flemming, a former member. Just as Francine thought she was safe at home, to her horror she recognized burns on Stan's shirts and her seasonings disorganized. A phone call right after confirmed that The Lady Bugs were able to get to her friends, family, and her seasonings and even rigged her vacuum cleaner to explode upon turning on, which sends Roger flying.
- The revelation that every woman in Langley Falls is a member of the Lady Bugs is horrific: Francine runs to the police station where an officer tries to get Francine to calm down. Francine does so, but jumps at the fact that the woman had called Francine by her name.
- Barry's criminal mind when he doesn't take his medication. Special mention goes to the scene where a bug crawls into Barry's mouth while he's threatening Steve, and he just eats it.
- In "Tears of a Clooney", Stan handcuffs Francine to a radiator so she won't go out and kill George Clooney. Francine escapes by cutting her own hand off.
- Stan's eating disorder in "The American Dad After School Special". When we finally see how skinny he really is... it isn't pretty.
Hayley: Dad, we've done some research and we think you're anorexic.
Francis: You keep thinking you're fat, no matter how skinny you get!
Stan: That's ridiculous! (takes off his upper shirt) Look at me!
Francis: (gasp) It's worse than we thought!
Stan: (is actually as thin as a skeleton) I know! I'm a huge tub of lard!
- What's worse is that this is how anorexics see themselves in real life. No matter how horrifically skinny they get, their minds will always see themselves as fat and they'll work on being skinny, even if it kills them (which it will). The episode actually won a Prism Award for showing anorexia nervosa in a realistic light (and showing that eating disorders aren't just something insecure girls and women get; insecure men and boys can get them too).
- And people with eating disorders will sometimes have a Jerkass imaginary "friend" who represents their ED thoughts, and he/she does tell them they are useless, fat, need to stop eating, etc.
- In "The Vacation Goo", the family go on vacation and meet a girl named Becky. Through a series of misadventures, they end up on an island being hunted for sport, and wind up completely sealed into a cave. Scary, right? Not the worst part. Becky is killed by the cave-in and the family, starving, resorts to eating her corpse.
- The fact that the "hunt" was a literal game intended to welcome guests to the island, and that she died and was effectively eaten for nothing.
- Why did this happen? Because Francine thought she was in Stan's Lotus-Eater Machine again.
- And let's not forget the titular 'vacation goo' either: a machine the CIA uses on people which puts them into a totally realistic virtual simulation, which Stan uses on his family without their knowledge so they think they're having a dream vacation together, while Stan is just watching football without them.
- It gets even worse when we see both Hayley and Steve succumb to the temptation and put their family into the goo themselves, so that THEY can have some quiet time away from them, proving they're just as terrible as Stan in the end
- One last part worth mentioning is when Hayley asks if Steve undressed her to put her into the goo, only for him to reply that his friend Toshi did it instead. Toshi's response? 'I was not gentle.'
- Oh, and did we mention simply touching the goo the unavoidable side-effect of making you STERILE?!
- A Brainwashed and Crazy Hayley in "Haylias".
- Her Nightmare Sequence from the beginning, where a school-aged Hayley gets in trouble for not coloring an American flag in the lines, symbolizing how everyone wants her to conform. The worst part? It wasn't a dream.
- It then becomes Nightmare Fuel for Stan when he learns that the sleeper agent program was a failure because eventually, the brainwashed subjects will turn on their handlers. Too bad Stan happens to be Hayley's handler.
- Stan's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Roger at the end of "Frannie 911". While it is Roger, that doesn't make the realistic sound effects and cries of pain any less disturbing. As an added bonus, it's happening offscreen and it's cut off by the end credits, so the viewer can only wonder just how far the beating is being taken.
- In "Tearjerker", the title villain (played by Roger) creates a film so sad, that it literally makes people die crying. Roger then shows Stan and Sexpun (Francine) the results of the critics' screening, with their dead, pale, teary-eyed bodies.
- The agent being drowned in Tearjerker's statue in the beginning.
- Francine accidentally slitting Steve's throat at the end of "Office Spaceman".
- Stan's presentation on why above-ground sprinklers are bad in "Roy Rogers McFreely" consists of showing a crude cartoon that depicts a little girl falling on and being impaled by a sprinkler, which shoots blood into her friend's face.
- While the actual reason why Stan doesn't want to enter a bike race with Steve is a lot better, the story he tells about his friend getting hit by a train and having pieces of the bike lodged into his organs seems a little... unnecessary.
- Steve's "war flashback" from "In Country... Club", which is depicted in an Art Shift to a more realistic style, where a soldier is graphically split in half by a helicopter blade.
- "Moon Over Isla Island": the dictator Juanito tripping over the upwards escalator after choking a corn dog, which in addition to killing him, leaves his body disfigured.
- When Stan visits Roger's mind in "Brains, Brains and Automobiles", a bird lays an egg on the boat that hatches into a Klaus fish with Steve's glasses and Hayley's hair. It then makes a horrible screeching sound.
- Stan, Francine and Jesus getting buried alive by the Antichrist in "Rapture's Delight". They're only trapped for a few seconds, but the fact that Francine's scream gets drowned out to silence as they're buried is rather chilling. And it happens so quickly as well.
- The whole world during Armageddon. Demons straight out of Doom are everywhere, the surviving humans have been reduced to thugs, prostitutes and mercenaries, the whole landscape is just a wasteland under a red sky and the moon has been broken in two.
- Overall, that whole episode is pretty disturbing, which is why it's probably a good thing it's not canon. Gems such as Klaus being stuffed and mounted with a horrified expression on his face, the entire world being in ruins, Stan accidentally killing an innocent child because it looked like a stereotypical Creepy Child and he thought it was the Anti-Christ, the list goes on...
- In "Cops And Roger", a crooked cop Chaz is about to kill Stan when Roger is about to come to his rescue. Roger kills Chaz by smashing his head with his elbow and his head implodes
- In "Fartbreak Hotel", Francine's Imagine Spot when she stabs Roger, decapitates Stan with a butcher knife, and chases down Steve and snaps his neck.
- Stan getting both his legs bitten off by a polar bear in "You Debt Your Life".
- Francine getting disfigured with acid in "Flirting with Disaster."
- Not only that but her scream of pain when she had it thrown in her face. The whole concept of the latter half of the episode really. What she looks like after the attack isn't revealed until the very end before undergoing surgery.
- In the episode "Hot Water," when the evil hot tub voiced by Cee-Lo Green reveals its psychotic nature. Not only did it manage to estrange the Smith family, but it swallowed Principal Lewis whole, drowned Francine and blasted Stan out the window with its jets, effectively killing him. It then cuts to Cee Lo Green simply saying "Stan's Dead. The End." The disturbing part is that the episode would have been the very last episode had Fox not renewed it.
- In the episode Hurricane!, the family gets caught inside their house, now upside down, during a flood. The scary part is when a shark swims into their house and gores Hayley. Throughout the rest of the episode, they are menaced by the beast and can never tell when it will surface and attack. Not to mention Stan making things worse at every turn, including letting a bear into the house, which ends up teaming up with the shark, and electrifying the water.
- "A Ward Show"'s B-story (Stan and Francine going to the biggest water park in the world, and getting bored of it two hours in, but can't get a refund) ends with Stan and Francine trying to have sex on the biggest water slide in the park. As Francine waits at the end of the slide to "receive" Stan, and he goes in the slide belly-first, he soon realizes he's going way faster than intended, and as a result, he and Francine end up destroying their pelvises. Granted, we don't see the explicit impact, but we do get a gratuitous puddle of blood filling the screen as it happens. They reappear in the final scene in Steve's hospital room, completely bandaged from the waist down. Roger immediately figures out what happened based on their injuries.
- Freddy, the boy Roger picks to be Steve's friend while Roger is his legal guardian while Stan and Francine are gone. He's mostly a nice kid, but he has a very disturbing defense mechanism: whenever he feels threatened, he emits an ear-piercing shriek that makes your eyeball pop out if it goes on long enough. He does it once to Roger, and then again to Roger, Stan, Francine, and Steve in the last scene.
Roger: *pushing his eye back in* Don't. Do. That!
- Roger's body being completely dissected in "The Scarlett Getter".
- Scarlett's death, where she is shot by Francine, rolls into the fireplace and instantly burns up into ash.
- The gruesome remains of the rat from "Season's Beatings"note , and is the result of Roger trying to make his ideal spiked eggnog. He gives a sip of it to the brown rat, which takes effect after a beat. It squeaks like a banshee while clawing at its head for a few seconds, then rips the black rat's head off and makes out with it, before putting it on its head like a hat and running a couple of laps around the cage in a frenzy, before finally pausing to vomit up a fountain of blood and keel over dead. Then its chest explodes.
Roger (already drunk as it is): Perfect!
- "I'll see you again, Stan Smith. When the Rapture comes!"
- As seen above, Kisses undergoes a Frankenstein-like operation in "Stan's Best Friend" when Stan refuses to let him rest in peace after a horrific accident... He went from being the cutest dog ever to everyone's nightmare for the next few weeks as soon as you see him....
Roger: (laughs loudly) Is that Kisses? Oh, my God! (laughs some more) Oh, no! No, now this dog I like. He can stay.
- The unlicensed vet replaced his testicles with his eyeballs. If a Mercy Kill has ever been demanded by Man and God in the history of the world, this was it (Steve literally begs the dog to die)! Stan finally kills Kisses with dynamite... for some reason, putting an end to his suffering.
- The last scene of "The Kidney Stays in the Picture" is supposed to be a humorous Brick Joke close-out. Trouble is the "brick" was a rather gruesome explanation of kidney farming Roger gave to Steve earlier in the episode in order to paralyze him with terror and steal his sandwiches. The joke stays mostly intact until the ending, where he actually does it so Stan will have a kidney for Hayley in case the blood test does say that Hayley's biological father is the man Francine had sex with the night before her wedding (which the viewer never finds out).
- A scene from "Toy Whorey" where Stan and Steve meet a guy who uses hand puppets as the prostitutes for his whorehouse (think Mitch Connor). One of the puppets has human teeth and tongues (and is later seen vomiting).
Steve: The hell is going on down here?!
- The first prostitute they meet, who's overweight, missing both her legs, and is using a stove at the time.
Steve': Was she cooking?!
Stan: I...I don't know what the plan was for that tortilla.
- Stan assumes that the third brothel will be the good one. It's not, we don't even get to see what's going on inside, just Stan and Steve running outside while vomiting violently.
- In "Roger Passes the Bar", he attempts to meditate at one point to get it off of his bucket list - only to be met with a sudden Jump Scare of screeching skeletons surrounded by flames for the span of a second, instantly taking him out of it as he writes off to try again some other time.
- Gwen Ling, when you first heard about her, she was the hot dumb sister to adopted Francine. As of Now and Gwen, she is hot, but she is actually intelligent and a criminal. She ran an illegal sweatshop in the Smiths' garage while getting away with it because she took the fall for Francine burning down their old school. Worse, there was no evidence that the sweatshop was gone and Gwen was going to burn down the old school again, but frame Francine for arson, the sweatshop and the deaths of the people who worked there. While Francine took the blame for the school burning down, she got off while Gwen was sent to prison for a long time, but not before she swore revenge on the Smiths.
- In "Holy Shit Jeff's Back!", Hayley tries to rescue Jeff from a group of aliens called the Collectors, then when she gets on their ship, she sees Jeff's body parts floating in liquid, and then we learn those aliens used to be the Dissectors.
- To expand upon this, the Collectors put specimens and objects from every planet they come across on display, hence their name. To acquire an ideal specimen, such as humans, they first abduct one to disguise themselves as and blend into society so they can send them through a machine called the Blorfer, which slowly and painfully grinds up the specimen to transfer to the mothership. They got their original names because they dissect the first specimen they abduct, which is done by strapping them to a chair and cut them open with a buzzsaw while they are still conscious. It nearly happened to Hayley and Roger, had Stan not taught them about empathy, self-sacrifice, and frozen yogurt.
- The matter transporter the Collectors use is essentially a high-tech paper shredder, which is why they prefer to only use it for non-living things. If a living being is put through it, they experience the pain of being shredded alive. There's no actual damage, and the pain immediately stops once you're through, but the experience itself is ungodly painful.
- "Anchorfran" featured a subplot about Roger becoming obsessed with a character from a board game, and searches for the male model used for the character's picture. Unfortunately, Roger discovers the model is nothing like the character. When Roger is seen driving home with Klaus, Hayley, and Steve, they ask him why the phone from the board game is covered in blood, and what is inside a jar Roger brought back with him. Roger calmly responds "Dylan was bad. And now we have the jar."
- "Criss Cross Applesauce: The Ballad of Billy Jesusworth": No, not Roger's storyline, but Steve's. It involves Steve getting stuck in a locker after getting away from Mertz. Then Principal Lewis falls on one of the girls. It actually gets dark when we find out that Principal Lewis actually banged Snot's mom. Then twelve adults with their guns out. Luckily, Steve, Snot, and Mertz escaped just when the adults were laughing.
- The scene during the basketball tournament when the hairline fracture in Roger's leg breaks completely when he tries to do his criss-cross counter, the bone tears through his skin and impales another player in the leg is no picnic either. What's worse is that Stan was counting on that to happen to slow down the other player so he could make the winning shot.
- Roger's method of getting Jeff a human body by being pregnant (which isn't scary); he gets pregnant via eating the top of Jeff's skull and sucking out his brain like a noodle.
- Dudley Dingleberry (Roger's ventriloquist dummy persona), who is Roger's most psychotic persona to date. The makeup used on him drives Roger so into the deep end that he literally can't remember what happened afterwards (he was horrified that he shot Steve).
- Stan's finished attempt to perform reconstructive surgery on Hayley's face in her sleep in "The Mural of the Story". We also see the process of him doing the surgery (which one online review for the episode describes as "something I'd expect from Family Guy on an off night"), starting with him popping her eyes out of their sockets with a chisel before cutting her face off.
- Even worse is that the scene of the actual surgery itself was first shown at SDCC 2017 about eight months before the episode aired. And according to reports from people who went, it was shown in a room full of KIDS who were unaware that it was even gonna happen in which their reactions mostly consisted of horrified screams!
- The shot of Hayley's butchered face is the episode's Hulu thumbnail. If one day, you're skimming through the episodes you haven't watched and you're unaware of that scene when you go to the season 13 tab, boy, are you in for a surprise!
- Roger going blind in "Stan & Francine & Connie & Ted".
- Nighthawks Hideaway from "Rabbit Ears" is a mysterious (there's no record of its existence) TV show seemingly set in the 1960s. It only airs on old televisions late at night, and only when there is a single viewer in the room. The same episode (involving a cocktail party) is shown over and over again, but with subtle differences each time. Viewers become obsessed with the show, and eventually enter it via Television Portal. They become trapped there, and relive the party episode over and over again as their memories fade (when Stan writes the names of his loved ones down on his hand, the writing changes as soon as he stops looking at it) and they become just another Living Prop. Anyone who breaks character or becomes disruptive gets Eaten Alive during the commercial breaks. When Stan and Tuttle try to escape, they discover that the world outside of the party is fake, and when they do seemingly make it back to the real world, they're brought back to the party as soon as they step through the front door of Stan's house. Alistair Covax, the entity that controls Nighthawks Hideaway, is notably completely devoid of comedic elements outside of a bit where he refers to one of the party guests as the city's best "non-black, non-union" jazz pianist.
- The ending of the episode shows Stan and Francine moving the television to the lawn for the garbage man, and watching his neighbor Greg take it, with Stan remarking "Poor Bastard". All is well that ends well... until Francine and the family start talking about the Hi-Fi speakers that help with listening to jazz. As the camera zooms out, the narrator reveals in a humorous bit that American Dad is now a television show within a television show, however, the horrific implications are that Stan never escaped the television. His family and his life are doomed to be lived out on television, and given his family was talking about jazz in a robotic tone, it's likely Alastair Covax still has control over his existence. You can also see Stan fall to his knees at the revelation, and Alastair ends the episode.
- Roger biting Steve's arm off in "Shark?!".
- "The Hall Monitor and the Lunch Lady" features a man getting sucked through an escalator and then his body graphically coming out the other end; having witnessed this, is it any wonder that Stan and Roger spent the rest of the episode in shock?