Follow TV Tropes


Overly Long Gag / Family Guy

Go To

Family Guy is infamous for how frequently it uses this trope.

  • In the commentary track of Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story DVD, Seth MacFarlane said that he rather enjoys making gags run just a little bit longer than they should. The first and most famous use is Peter spraining his knee after winning the silver beer scroll in "Wasted Talent", then clutching it and gasping in pain for a good 25 seconds or so. Lois does a variation of this herself in "FOX-y Lady", only she lands on her breast instead of spraining her knee. Repeated in Family Guy Presents: Laugh It Up, Fuzzball with the AT-AT Walker, who starts groaning in pain after tripping over the cable, though he only does it three times before being blown up by the snowspeeders.
  • Lampshaded in "I Dream of Jesus", when Peter starts singing "Surfin' Bird" over and over, and Stewie comments, "Again! Again! I love repetition!" However, days later, Stewie slowly pulls out a revolver and puts its barrel in his mouth as Peter continues singing the song ad nauseum.
  • Subverted in "Saving Private Brian" when the Vaudeville Guys, who were just beginning to wear out their welcome, are shot to death by Stewie just as they are beginning their performance. They did return later, Vern as a ghost and Johnny playing his piano in Hell.
  • Many of Family Guy's overly long gags employ dialogue with lots of empty, although realistic, filler words, averting the Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic trope (and at the same time demonstrating why the trope exists in the first place). For example, in Season 5's "Whistle While Your Wife Works", Brian's airhead girlfriend Jillian calls his cell phone, and the next 30 seconds are just Brian giving her basic instructions on how to use a DVD player:
    Brian: [picks up phone] Hey. Yeah. Uh-huh... uh-huh... uh, y— you got to hit, uh, "DVD" and then "Menu" and then "Select." Yeah. Yeah, the— the DVD needs to be face up when you put it in. Uh-huh... you should be able to see the words Mr. 3000. Yeah. Still nothing? Is it plugged in? Okay, so plug it in. Okay. Y— you got it? Is— okay, alright. No— no problem, alright. A— love you, too, Jillybean. Okay.
  • In "Brian the Bachelor", Stewie speculates at length about Brian's novel, his voice continually growing higher. Later in the episode he does it again, for even longer. He tries it again in "Brian Goes Back to College", but barely begins before Brian punches him silent, thus rendering it a case of Overly Long Rule of Three. Then in "Ocean's Three and a Half", Stewie is composing a song to impress Susie Swanson, and Brian turns the tables.
  • Bruce, the polite effeminate guy, is essentially a person made out of this trope. Every time he shows up he just rambles on, quietly and politely, about whatever happens to be on his mind at the time, usually only tangentially related to whatever the subject is that he's currently discussing with the rest of the characters that are with him at the time during the show.
  • Played with in "A Picture's Worth a Thousand Bucks". Peter sings a song, and at the end, it seems that he's going to hold the last note for a long time. Then it cuts to commercial. When it gets back to the show, it's revealed that he's been holding the note for the entire commercial break, and proceeds to hold it even longer afterwards.
  • In "Peter's Got Woods" and "Back to the Woods", Peter and Brian capture James Wood by luring him to a trap with a trail of candy corn. In both cases, the actor picks the candy pieces one by one while saying "Ooh, a piece of candy!" over and over again.
  • The parody of the Maude theme song from "No Meals on Wheels" involves a sequence of ten stanzas detailing the lives of famous women, with the lyrics getting progressively lazier as the song goes on. Peter is actually annoyed by this overly long gag.
  • A gag in "The Juice is Loose" consists of the episode being interrupted by a video clip of Conway Twitty performing "I See The Want To In Your Eyes" in its entirety, which lasts for roughly three minutes.
  • When homeschooling Meg and Chris in "Foreign Affairs", Peter mentions "The gayest music video ever", after which the show proceeds to play the entirety of Mick Jagger and David Bowie's "Dancing in the Street".
  • In "Jungle Love", after watching Bewitched, Stewie leaves the theater, enters a cab, stands in line at the airport, flies on a plane, arrives at LAX, enters a limo, buys a ladder, arrives at Will Ferrell's house, and punches him in the face, yelling "That's NOT funny!"
  • In "Stewie Loves Lois", Stewie starts calling Lois by her name and variations of the word "mother". The scene goes on for roughly half a minute, after which she finally gives in and pays attention to him.
    Lois: (angrily) WHAT?!!
    Stewie: (smiling sheepishly) Hi.
  • The scene where the house that Brian and Stewie have been working on throughout "Peter's Daughter" explodes. It's just 30 seconds of the house exploding from different angles. And a few times from the same angle.
  • In "Family Gay", Lois asks Peter if he is gay, and he replies by shouting "Guilty!" in a high-pitched voice, extending the sound of the "y" for about 10 seconds.
  • The cutaway gag with the British gentlemen's club when three gentlemen do nothing but read newspapers and clear their throats in different tones for like a minute.
  • In "Something, Something, Something Dark Side":
    • Peter cuts open the don-don and says "I thought they smelt bad", then exhales seven or eight times before completing the sentence with "On the outside!"
    • Peter shoots the floor of the cave about eight times before realizing they're in a giant space slug.
  • In "Stew-Roids" Stewie repeatedly steps in front of Brian as he tries to go down the stairs, making an "oop" noise. He does this 12 times before stopping.
  • In the season 2 episode "If I'm Dyin', I'm Lyin'" during the interrogation scene in "Gumbel 2 Gumbel" when Bryant Gumbel continuously mumble "Mmm Hmm" at the arrested criminal for about 20 seconds. It ends when the criminal asks Greg, "What the hell is wrong with him?"
  • The scene from "Quagmire's Dad" where Brian pukes for at least a solid 30 seconds.
  • The "Ipecac contest" in "8 Simple Rules for Buying My Teenage Daughter" with Peter, Chris, Stewie and Brian repeatedly puking for about a minute.
  • When Peter participates on The Price Is Right, he spins the wheel of prices with too much force, prompting the show's host, Drew Carey (who guest voiced as himself), to ask him if he would like to say hi to someone while they wait for it to stop. Peter replies "Oh, yeah, Drew. I wanna say hi to Lois, Brian, Chris, Stewie, Meg, Joe, Bonnie, Quagmire, Cleveland, Mort, Seamus, Adam West, Dr. Hartman, Bruce, Carter, Babs, Tom Tucker, Angela, Opie, Carl, Herbert, Jillian, Consuela, Giant Chicken, Greased-Up Deaf Guy!"
  • In "It's a Trap!", Luke nods to Lando, who nods to R2, who nods to Leia, who nods to C-3P0, who nods to Jabba, who nods back to 3P0, who nods to Leia, who nods to R2, who nods to Lando, who nods to Luke, who nods to a baseball player, who nods to Luke, who nods to Lando, who nods to R2, who nods to Leia, who nods to 3P0, who nods to the Sarlacc, who nods to Lando, who nods to Han, who nods to Leia, who nods to Luke, who nods to the guy playing a tuba that has punctuates each nod with a dramatic note, who nods to Luke, who nods to Lando, who nods to a clip of Ted Knight in Caddyshack asking "Well? We're waiting!". This joke is repeated a minute or two later (although this time mercifully lasting no longer than fifteen seconds, as opposed to the one minute-long original).
  • Carter destroying a bus bench with a bulldozer. The scene eats up almost 2 whole minutes of episode time.
  • "Friends of Peter G." has Peter growing increasingly frustrated for waiting for the movie to start as the film shows several companies involved in making the movie, going on for at least 40 seconds. And in the same episode, while trying to fool Joe into believing they are in a proper Alcoholics Anonymous class when they really get drunk the whole time, they sing almost the entire Mr. Booze song from Robin and the 7 Hoods. Slightly lampshaded at the end with Brian droning out the lyrics.
  • A gag in "Ready, Willing and Disabled" has Joe Swanson crying in the bar because he failed to capture a criminal that tried to steal donation money. He cries for 2-4 minutes as Peter, Quagmire, and Cleveland slowly and awkwardly leave the bar (with Peter then slowly coming back in through a window to get his beer). Seth MacFarlane lampshades the gag in the DVD commentary by mentioning that the animators overseas hated drawing scenes that dragged out in a slow speed.
  • "Ratings Guy" has a cutaway gag when Peter was doing public radio spending nearly 30 seconds eating biscuits from the word of his sponsor.
  • "Peter Problems" has Peter trying to get a beached whale back into the ocean with a forklift, only for him to impale it and try to get the dead whale off. By the time he's finished, the whale is a horrific bloody mess with its innards exposed.
  • In "Long John Peter", Peter spends about 60 seconds getting rid of a dead bullfrog.
  • In "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" there is a skit involving the Ghost of Christmas Past visiting Scrooge, only for Scrooge saying he has to use the bathroom first. We hear him urinating in it for about a whole minute, to the point that the Ghost of Christmas Present shows up and is surprised that the Past Ghost hasn't even started yet.
  • Taken to an extreme in "Roasted Guy" where there's a cutaway gag about a full minute and a half in length, in which a wolf joins a pack and one of the members tells him to cluck instead of howl at the full moon and he embarrasses himself in the process, leading to the wolf's life spiraling down into transvestism and prostitution and him ultimately shooting the pack to death. The end reveals that the skit was a film Peter was directing and the wolf was Quagmire after Peter drugged him. Bonus points for when the episode resumes and Peter momentarily forgets what happened before because "that cut away was really long".
  • The first part of the Star Wars parody has Brian and Peter trying to bring a couch into the Millenium Falcon before they escape the Death Star, to lampshade Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy.
  • In "Con Heiress", Brian and Stewie try to scam an elderly woman with an extremely long name. Margaret Woolworth Carrington von Schumacher Chanel Astor Livingston Compte de Saint-Exupery Mountbatten Windsor Armani Roosevelt Von Trap wykenhamp Hearst Montgomery Rothschild Johnson & Johnson Twillsworth Dolce Gabana Von Zweiger II Montgomery de LaRoche Geico Vanderbilt Lannister van Burean Butterworth How I Met Your Mother Wrigley Louise-Dreyfus Ludwig Morgan Stanley Dumont Lamborghini Forbes higbee Winthrop Chanel Remy Martin Fitzwilliam Kennedy Motel Six Fairchild Brook Pritzker Davenport von Stolen Monty Python Ellisworth Aston Martin Haverbrook Ziff Launder Hilton DuPont Kinkaid Winslow Coors Oviatt Marlborough Pembroke Huffington Bush Mellon Sinclair Mellencamp Starbucks van Dyke III Montgomery Marriott Barrington Chadsworth Big League Chew Chesterfield Kensington Boothbishop Longbottom Nottingham Meisterberg Burgermeister Tudor Hapsburg Rockefeller Onassis. This name is repeated three times through the episode.
  • An overly long Take That! towards Bradley Cooper occurs in the episode "Brian Writes a Bestseller". Brian has a conversation with Renée Zellweger in which he describes what he's looking for in a lead actor for a film he's interested in:
    Brian: How's Bradley?
    Renée: Really great. He's really found his niche, you know? He's really got the cheap, forgettable lead thing down, which is great.
    Brian: That's fantastic, 'cause I might bankroll this comedy, and we need somebody who's not that funny and not that good looking, and that you forget about the second you leave the theater.
    Renée: I think Bradley would be perfect for that!
    Brian: Are you sure? Because we really need somebody who constantly seems like they're about to be big, but keeps not actually being big.
    Renée: Well, he'd really want to see the script, but I mean, that's what Bradley does.
    Brian: I don't know; we really need somebody who has not been the best thing in anything he's ever been in, ever. I mean, the kind of guy who can get overshadowed by Zach Galifianakis or Ed Helms.
    Renée: Well, of course, I can't speak for Bradley, but I really think he'd want to be considered for this.
    Brian: Yeah, the thing is, for this role, we need a guy who has all the characteristics that you would describe as handsome, but who is not actually handsome himself.
    Renée: Well, again, only Brad can speak for Brad, but this seems right for him.
    Brian: Yeah, I think he'd be right, too. The problem is, we'd like to find an actor who has been given a lot of chances to shine, but who has never actually shined. Not one single time.
    Renée: Well, I think he'd be— I got to get back to my dinner here— but I think he'd be perfect! And I really hope you keep Bradley Cooper in mind.
  • The Cold Open to the first episode of Season 4, after the series had been cancelled and then Un-Canceled, uses a Long List of the shows that had been piloted and cancelled in the intervening three years:
    Peter: Everybody, I got bad news. We've been canceled.
    Lois: Oh, no! Peter, how could they do that?
    Peter: Well, unfortunately, Lois, there's just no more room on the schedule. We've just got to accept the fact that Fox has to make room for terrific shows, like Dark Angel, Titus, Undeclared, Action, That '80s Show, Wonderfalls, Fastlane, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Skin, Girls Club, Cracking Up, The Pitts, Firefly, Get Real, FreakyLinks, Wanda at Large, Costello, The Lone Gunmen, A Minute with Stan Hooper, Normal, Ohio, Pasadena, Harsh Realm, Keen Eddie, The $treet, American Embassy, Cedric the Entertainer, The Tick, Luis and Greg the Bunny.
    Lois: Is there no hope?
    Peter: Well, I suppose if all those shows go down the tubes, we might have a shot.
  • When Quagmire is showing off his Sully Sullenberger replica pilot's cap in "And Then There's Fraud", Peter mistakes the Hudson river for the Hudson Brothers. He then shows us the full opening to The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show, which goes on nearly 3 minutes, and by the time it cuts back, Peter and Quagmire have grown old. The gag then repeats itself again by the end of act 3, but it thankfully cuts to commercial after 15 seconds.
  • In "Yacht Rocky," after the cruise ship gets flipped upside-down, the head of Meg's boyfriend falls down to the ceiling floor of the grand hall while she is up in a hallway floor. Chris attempts to toss the head back to her, but it takes him a long while to toss it back up that it ends up becoming very disfigured for the constant failed attempts.
  • "Boys & Squirrels" has a cutaway where Peter attempts to open a roll of saran wrap for a plate of food, which goes on for nearly 2 minutes.
  • "The Unkindest Cut" has 2 minutes of Peter struggling to back a boat into the water at a harbor. He eventually gives up and drives both the boat and his car into the water.
  • In "Quagmire's Mom", Lois asks if Peter was the person who threw up in the kitchen sink. Peter responds by turning on a karaoke machine and selecting The Who's "Baba O' Riley". After the song's intro solo (which is over one minute long), Peter finally answers "Yes", and the scene ends.
  • In "Nanny Goats", Peter turns on a Roomba, which repeatedly hits a wall while he explains that it's still learning. The scene goes on for roughly 30 seconds, until the machine shuts down.
  • In "12 and a Half Angry Men", Peter explains that he is about to struggle to open blinds, then proceeds to do so for about thirty seconds, before giving up and tearing it off the wall.