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Trivia / American Dad!

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  • Accidentally Correct Writing: George Washington Carver didn't actually invent peanut butter, though the real origins of the food aren't nearly as interesting as the conspiracy Steve unearthed.
  • Adored by the Network:
    • Fox initially treated this show very well early in it's run, as they frequently promoted the show alongside sister-series Family Guy and The Simpsons, to the point that they screwed over King of the Hill just to promote this show. Fox later did the opposite halfway through its run on the network...
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    • TBS frequently promotes the new episodes of the show once it moved to the network, constently renews the series for additional seasons, and reruns are as common as when it aired on sister-network [adult swim]. It's justified, given that it's the network's most watched original series.
  • Banned Episode: For a while, it appeared as though Adult Swim refused to rerun "The Mural of the Story" due to the excessively gory face surgery scene (though TBS reran it no problem and it is available on streaming and OnDemand services and despite the fact that Adult Swim had aired series that are much more violent that this). As of 2019, the episode has been reinstated.
  • Banned in China: In France, some episodes were never aired on TV, notably "Pulling Double Booty", "For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls" and "School Lies", possibly because the country inexplicably wants to air the show on Sunday morning and the subject matter (which includes incest, drug abuse, and bloody violence) isn't what you would call "appropriate" for that timeslot.
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  • Channel Hop: Because of low ratings and Fox's plans to revamp their Sunday night line-up with live-action shows (which eventually failed and later went back to more animated family sitcoms, as seen with its inclusion of Bless the Harts and Duncanville), American Dad moved to TBS in late 2014. Initially, it was going to end its run there by airing a handful of episodes that Fox never did, but was eventually renewed for several additional seasons.
  • Creative Differences: It's believed that this is the reason why Mike Barker left the show shortly after production started on the first TBS season.
  • The Danza: Hayley's on-and-off boyfriend (now husband), Jeff Fischer, voiced by Jeff Fischer. His voice actor even looks like a real-life version of Jeff, making him an Ink-Suit Actor.
  • Descended Creator: Nicole Shabtai (the voice for Mrs. Lonsteinnote  since "Santa, Schmanta" as well as Danuta in "Shark?!") wrote "Mean Francine"note  and "I Am the Jeans: The Gina Lavetti Story"note .
  • Distanced from Current Events: In 2020, Adult Swim pulled "Threat Levels" from their rerun rotation, whose beginning is about Stan accidentally bringing home a deadly virus causing the CIA to put the entire family on quarantine (then letting them go when it's discovered the virus wasn't deadly), in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, the episode is still shown on TBS and available on DVD, OnDemand (on TBS), and streaming services. By the end of the year, "Threat Levels" returned to the Adult Swim rerun rotation (even though the pandemic is still going on, with a third wave happening in the United States as of late 2020).
    • Surprisingly averted with the episode "Apocalypse to Remember" on Hulu. Since June 2020, most TV shows (notably 30 Rock, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and Community) that have episodes featuring characters in black- or brownface have been banned due to the George Floyd riots bringing about heightened concerns over racism against black people in America. This episode (which had a scene where the Smiths go to an NAACP dinner in blackface due to Stan misreading the invitation) was not banned.
    • Adult Swim rarely reruns "Hurricane!" (the third part of the Seth MacFarlane animated trio crossover where the Brown-Tubbses from The Cleveland Show, the Griffins from Family Guy, and the Smiths from this show all try to weather a hurricane) during the active months of the Atlantic hurricane season, as the episode takes place inside of the storm.
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  • Inspiration for the Work: Seth MacFarlane came up with the series when he and fellow Family Guy writer Mike Barker were frustrated following the results of the 2004 election and, rather than complain on end, vented their feelings into something funny. Ironically, the show actually moved away from political humor as time went on.
  • Marathon Running: To celebrate the series' 15th anniversary, TBS did a marathon in April 2020, featuring fifteen creator favorite episodes.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Reginald Koala's voice for his first two appearances in "Family Affair" and "Wife Insurance" was done by Donald Fullilove of Back to the Future fame. Starting with "The Return of the Bling" and ending at "Gorillas in the Mist"note , Erik Durbin (who writes for the show) voices him.
    • Lisa Silver, a minor character who mostly appears as a background character, was initially voice by Carmen Electra in the pilot episode before being replaced by Elizabeth Banks, who voice her from 1600 Candles onwards.
    • Duper was voiced by Phil Lewis in most of his appearances. Dee Bradley Baker voices him in "The Kidney Stays in the Picture."
    • Akiko (Toshi's sister) was voiced by Grey Delisle until "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls", where she was replaced by Grace Park.
    • Coach Keegan was voiced by Dee Bradley Baker in "The Wrestler" and "Naked to the Limit, One More Time". But in "Introducing the Naughty Stewardesses", he's voiced by Kyle Chandler.
    • Nicholas Dawson (Francine's birth father) was voiced by Jeff Perry in "Big Trouble in Little Langley". In "Family Plan", he's voiced by an unknown voice actor.
    • For his first three appearances, Turlington the detective was voiced by Forest Whitaker. When he reappeared in Season 14's "My Purity Ball and Chain" (which was more than 9 years since his last speaking appearance in Season 4's "Live and Let Fry"), he was voiced by Corey Robinson.
    • In "Faking Bad", Hayley's friend Danuta was voiced by Anne Gregory. When she reappeared in "Shark?!", she was voiced by show writer Nicole Shabtai.
  • Out of Holiday Episode:
    • Parodied in the episode "Gift Me Liberty", aired on June 13, 2016. It begins much like a Christmas Episode but the rest of the episode takes place after Christmas and ends during Christmas again. Lampshaded by Roger when he breaks the fourth wall at the end:
      Roger: Merry Christmas from our family to yours! Wait a minute, is this our Christmas episode? What month is this?
    • The Season 14 premiere, "Father's Daze", is treated as a Father's Day episode but the episode aired on November 7, 2016. Within the episode, Stan keeps erasing his family's memories every day until they give him the perfect Father's Day and he's been doing this for six months.
      Stan: You know what, guys, this is easily one of my favorite Father's Days. And Christmases. Did you guys know it was Christmas?
    • [adult swim] and TBS almost never skip the holiday episodes in their rerun rotations meaning you can see them even when the holiday is nowhere close to the airing.
  • Playing Against Type
    • The entire joke of Avery Bullock's character is hearing some of the most bizarre, juvenile things coming out of Patrick Stewart's voice.note 
    • Inversely, while Principal Lewis is prone to saying plenty of outlandish things, he's an otherwise level-headed Reasonable Authority Figure, a far cry from Kevin Michael Richardson's typical hammy or villainous roles. If anything, he's closer to the Deadpan Snarker characters like Rosie Roosevelt or Maurice that he'd later be known for.
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  • Real-Life Relative: Hayley is voiced by Seth MacFarlane's sister Rachel.
  • Recycled Script: The overall plot for Season 14's "My Purity Ball and Chain" is the exact same one from Season 1's "A Smith in the Hand" (Stan being afraid to give Steve "the talk", despite already giving it to him in the aforementioned), but also rips off "Cleveland Jr. Cherry Bomb" from The Cleveland Show.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: The first two episodes of the series, "Pilot", and "Threat Levels", were rated TV-PG when they first premiered. "Threat Levels" has since been re-rated TV-14, while "Pilot" is still TV-PG, but with more sub-labels.note 
  • Schedule Slip:
    • "The Magnificent Steven" was originally scheduled for April 22, 2007. However, six days prior, the shootings at Virginia Tech happened, and the episode was delayed until May 13.
    • "The Vacation Goo" was scheduled for April 29, 2007, but was replaced with "When a Stan Loves a Woman". This was due to a scene where the family walks into the living room (after being tricked into taking a virtual reality trip in the vacation goo) to find Stan watching a Georgetown game on TV and wearing Georgetown gear. According to the DVD commentary, Stan was originally going to wear Virginia Tech gear and be a Virginia Tech fan, but then the aforementioned Virginia Tech shootings happened, so they had to change it to a less controversial school at the time. The former ultimately premiered on September 30.
    • "Hurricane!" was originally supposed to air on May 1st, 2011. However, it along with the other two episodes in the "Night of the Hurricane!" event were pulled in light of the 2011 super outbreak of tornadoes that occurred in the southern US between April 25th and the 28th. The episode (along with the other two episodes in the "Night of the Hurricane!" event from The Cleveland Show and Family Guy) ultimately premiered five months and a day later on October 2nd.
    • The Christmas episode "Minstrel Krampus" that was scheduled to air on December 16th, 2012 was pulled following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. It would be almost a year later before it finally premiered on December 15th, 2013.
    • The final two episodes of Season 15, "Downtown" and "Cheek to Cheek: A Stripper's Story", were originally scheduled for September 2nd and 9th, 2019 respectively. However, those episodes were moved to season 16 (though on Wikipedia, they're listed as the last two episodes of season 15, not season 16 episodes).
    • "Roger Needs Dick" was supposed to air on June 1, 2020, but was replaced with "One Fish, Two Fish"note . However, "Roger Needs Dick" was released on OnDemand on June 2nd, and ended up airing two months later on August 3rd.
  • Screwed by the Network: When Bob's Burgers became a hit, Fox started to focus more on that show (and, of course, their long-running mainstays The Simpsons and Family Guy) and less on American Dad, which eventually led to it being canceled on FOX and revived on TBS.
  • Talking to Himself: Seth MacFarlane voices both Stan and Roger, who have many scenes together. In fact, there are several entire episodes that are mainly just the two of them. Compared with Family Guy, however, Seth doesn't voice a lot of characters on the show. His sister, Rachael, however, does, voicing Hayley and many incidental and one-shot female characters.
  • Troubled Production: The writers had trouble coming up with an ending for Season 3's "Dope & Faith" and only came up with the ending where Stan's new atheist friend becomes a Satanist out of desperation for better ideas.
  • Un-Canceled: The show ended its run on Fox due to low ratings, inconsistent scheduling, and plans to revamp the Sunday night line-up. TBS picked up the show and started airing new episodes in fall of 2014, making this the second Seth MacFarlane show to get canceled and revived (after Family Guy), and the second animated series after Futurama to get canceled by Fox and revived on another network (Family Guy does air in reruns on cable, first on Adult Swim and TBS, and now on FXX and Freeform, but it's still on Fox).
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Episodes from the first two seasons before the show shifted from politics to outlandish plots are very clearly a product of both the mid-to-late 2000s and the Bush administration, with the constant bashing on Bush, his administration's policies and events that occurred during the time like the War on Terror. Beside that, the earlier episodes also had contemporary references like jokes about the NBC sitcom Scrubs not being funny (as seen on "Helping Handis") and references to Kobe Bryant's rape trial that he was later acquitted for due to a lack of good evidence.
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  • What Could Have Been:
    • Originally, Laura Prepon (Donna from That '70s Show) was supposed to voice Hayley Smith, but was replaced by Seth MacFarlane's sister, Rachel. Had Prepon stayed, the show would have gotten a lot more unfavorable comparisons to Family Guy as the latter show also has someone from That '70s Show as a cast member (Mila Kunis replaced an uncredited Lacey Chabert on Family Guy and played Jackie on That '70s Show).
    • According to the commentaries, the original plan for Roger would've been that season 1 would've had him be stuck in the house all the time, but get fed up with it in season 2 and try the disguises. They would've worked until season 3, where Roger gets revealed in public and it becomes a giant media scandal. But by season 4, everyone would've gotten used to aliens and stopped caring, making Roger try to become the hot new story with schemes.
    • Klaus was originally supposed to be a Frenchman, but Dee Bradley Baker didn't know French well, so they retooled the character to make him German, since Baker can do a German accent and spent enough time in Germany to know some words.
    • Billy West initially auditioned for Klaus.
    • Steve also had a different design (read: he was really skinny and awkward-looking), and was going to be voiced by Family Guy writer Ricky Blitt. This design can be seen on an early trailer for the show on the Family Guy: Freakin' Sweet Collection DVD and the unaired test pilot that was leaked online.
    • Season 1:
      • The Golden Turd storyline was originally to be ongoing within the first season instead of being spread out over multiple seasons (and often years). The second installment was originally to happen in "Stannie Get Your Gun" and made it as far as being fully animated before being cut for time (but can still be seen however in the deleted scenes of the Volume 2 DVD set), while the third installment would've happened in "Rough Trade". The actual second installment in the following season's "Failure is Not a Factory-Installed Option" essentially combines both of the stories of the original planned installments into one.
    • Season 2:
      • The idea of Toshi marrying Svetlana at the end of "Of Ice and Men" was initially to be followed up on in a later episode as a subplot with Steve, Snot, and Barry giving him a bachelor party.
      • Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, and Martin Scorsese were all offered the opportunity to voice themselves in "The Best Christmas Story Never Told" but all three declined.
      • A rejected idea for "A.T. The Abusive Terrestrial" was for Roger to go back to the family he was with prior to the Smiths, who would've been played by Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore (Elliott and Gertie respectively from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial).
      • The original draft for "Four Little Words"note  involved several CIA agents being mysteriously killed and Stan believing that Bullock is the one behind it.
      • The season finale "Joint Custody" (the episode where Stan and Roger try to bust Jeff on growing and selling marijuana in Florida) was originally conceived as a way of continuing the Golden Turd storyline with the death of Mrs. Marylin Thacker from the previous installment either in a condo pool in Boca Raton by an alligator or being killed by a liquor store delivery man to steal the turd to give to a Cuban crime boss to save his sister. The idea was ultimately cut for time and it would be another eight years before another installment was featured in the Season 10 episode "Blagnarst: A Love Story" (which focused on Marylin's district attorney son finding the Golden Turd and calling an oil company magnate for financial support on his campaign to become Senator).
    • Season 3:
      • Several endings were proposed for "Dope & Faith" due to the crew having a hard time coming up with one. One such ending would've had Stan meeting Brett's brother at his funeral and befriending him when Stan learns that Brett's brother does believe in God.
      • Michelle (the Ghost of Christmas Past) from Season 2's "The Best Christmas Story Never Told" was to return for "The Most Adequate Christmas Ever". Her role in the episode was ultimately given to a new character with the same name due to negotiation issues with Lisa Kudrow (the voice of the original Michelle).
    • Season 4:
      • A subplot was originally conceived for "Escape from Pearl Bailey" where Francine buys Roger his very own star. It was completely removed when the writers ended up making the main plot the only story of the episode. The rejected storyline was used in a later episode when Hayley buys a star that turns out to be Roger's home planet.
      • One of the families that Roger would have been adopted into on the episode "Family Affair" was The Griffins from Family Guy.
      • Seth Rogen was originally set to play Etan Cohen in "Bar Mitzvah Hustle". However, he was considered too mature-sounding, so he was ultimately replaced by Seth Green.
      • The first choice for the role of the Delorean door salesman in "Delorean Story-an" was Christopher Lloyd. However, he declined, resulting in Joe Flahertynote  getting the part.
    • The initial idea for what would be done with Hayley after she and Jeff conned Stan out of his $50,000 in "100 A.D." is that we would briefly check in on how they were spending the money in the episodes until her return in "There Will Be Bad Blood". Ultimately, this was scrapped to have them spending it all over the course of a single episode in "Son of Stan" in order to get away from Roger.
    • The Season 7 episode, "Hot Water":
      • The "Chuck Berry me over Germany" line from "Hot Tub of Love" had several different variations including "Throat Choke me over Germany". Additionally, the song was originally to be sung by Seth MacFarlane instead of CeeLo Green.
      • The episode was originally conceived as the series finale, simply because they had no idea if the show had been renewed or not and figured "What better way to end the show than by killing the main character?". Ultimately, the show was renewed and this episode was written off as being non-canon.
  • The Wiki Rule: Has a wiki here.
  • Working Title:
    • "Shipley’s Believe It or Not"note  became "Dope & Faith". Press releases have also given the title as "Hogwarts".
    • "Dementor"note became "The Full Cognitive Redaction of Avery Bullock by the Coward Stan Smith"
    • "The Legend of Zelda Rubinstein"note  became "Poltergasm"
    • "Piece of Cake" became "Independent Movie"note 
    • "Personas Gone Matta"note  became "Persona Assistant"
    • "Twindecent Proposal"note became "Twininagans"

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