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  • Actor-Inspired Element: Seth Green modeled Chris’ voice after Buffalo Bill, the serial killer Ted Levine plays in The Silence of the Lambs, having watched the movie the night before his audition and joking with his friends about what it would be like if that character worked at a fast food restaurant. He wound up being the only auditionee for Chris who didn't use a "Surfer Dude voice", and Seth MacFarlane thought it was perfect.
  • Adored by the Network: After being screwed over and canceled twice before, it's more like "Apologized to by the Network That Screwed the Show Twice".
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    • [adult swim] loves Family Guy giving it constant promotion even calling the episodes that are new to the block (but already aired on Fox) as new episodes. It's not hard to see why as it constantly brings in high ratings for the block often competing with and sometimes surpassing Cartoon Network's own shows. That was until Rick and Morty came along, which regularly beats out Family Guy in ratings but the latter is still one of the block's highest rated shows.
    • FXX airs the show nine hours a week. As of October 2020, FXX only has the rights to 60 episodes (they have the rights to Seasons 16 through 18, and when Season 19 airs, WarnerMedia will continue to have the rights to everything before Season 16 until 2021).
  • Author Existence Failure:
    • Famously averted with Seth MacFarlane missing the flight that crashed into the north World Trade Center tower on September 11th, 2001 (thanks to a hangover and a very lucky mistake on part of his travel agent).
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    • Carrie Fisher, who has played the recurring role of Angela (Peter's boss), died in December 2016. Her last two appearances aired posthumously before the character died with her.
    • Adam West, who has played the recurring role of Mayor Adam West, died in June 2017.
  • Banned Episode:
    • "Fore Father" rarely airs in syndication due to Seth MacFarlane's personal dislike for the episode calling it Family Guy's least funny episode despite most people (including critics) seeing the episode as at least decent. Plus, people consider it better than some episodes he has little-to-no problem with like the poorly-received "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven". But for people who like the episode or want to see it out of curiosity (mainly to see if the episode is as unfunny as MacFarlane claims), it is currently available on Hulu, as of 2018, and DVD.
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    • "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" was originally a DVD-only release, and was shown on TV for the first time (three years after it was produced) on Cartoon Network's [adult swim]. The episode was pulled by FOX due to fears that the episode would be offensive to Jewsnote  and Catholics for the scene with nuns going after Peter for going to a synagogue. In the end, only a single line had to be altered for the episode to air on Adult Swim (Peter's line near the end of "I Need A Jew" was changed from "Even though they [the Jews] killed my Lord," to "I don't think they killed my Lord"). After it was announced that Family Guy was going to be brought back with new episodes, FOX themselves showed the once-banned episode (with the same line edited as in the Cartoon Network version; the original line can be found on the season three DVD set). There was also another cut: Quagmire "looking for his keys" in front of Lois was drastically shortened so it wouldn't look like he was masturbating.
    • Fox banned the eighth season episode "Partial Terms of Endearment" because it dealt with Lois becoming a surrogate mother to her best friend and her husband who can't have children and, following said best friend's sudden death, choosing whether to abort the baby. The episode was later released as a DVD-exclusive episode and has aired on most international channels like the UK's BBC Three (though, outside BBC Three, the international versions are the edited versions that have scenes cut for content and/or time reasons, even though most international channels aren't commercial-happy like America is when it comes to television). Unlike "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein," this episode has not aired on Fox or Adult Swim/TBS (and, due to the subject matter, which is actually shown in a rather serious light amid all the — pardon the pun — Dead Baby Comedy, will never see the light of day on American TV or even on streaming services like Hulu). On Family Guy's 200th episode special, the episode was a discussion point and some clips were aired.
    • "Turban Cowboy": While it wasn't well-liked due to the Muslim stereotypes (though it did make a good point about not all Muslims being terrorists), that's not why it was banned after it first aired. Less than three weeks after its premiere, the Boston Marathon was hit by a terrorist attack. Not making things any better is the fact that the episode had a scene that predicted that a lot of people would die or be severely injured during the Boston Marathon (only it was because of Peter driving his car through the marathon path), and that a video showed up on the Internet that edited the scenes to make it look like Peter bombed the marathon. While FOX and Hulu stopped airing it in light of the attack, the episode did appear a few months later on Adult Swim, TBS, and Netflix streaming (U.S. feed).
    • Because of Robin Williams' suicide, the episode "Family Guy Viewer Mail #2" was banned from airing on Adult Swim for a few years and replaced with the first "Viewer Mail" episode, because of the "Fatman and Robin" story, in which Peter is cursed with the power to turn anything he touches into Robin Williams, which leads Peter to cut off his hands to break the spell (This episode actually had the misfortune of being scheduled to air a day after Robin's suicide). The episode has been reinstated within the last year or so.
    • The Season 16 episode "Nanny Goats" was briefly skipped over for a while on Freeform due to an infamous moment where Mickey Mouse kills Fievel Mousekewitz in an anti-semitic hate crime. Freeform's sister channel FXX aired the episode in its entirety not long after. When the show got a midnight slot beginning in June 2019, Freeform aired the episode proper, likely because it is a graveyard slot for cable networks and thus wouldn't generate much notice. As of 2020, the episode now airs in a primetime slot.
  • Banned In China: The show's mature content matter got it banned from being screened in Indonesia, Egypt, Vietnam, Iran, South Korea, Cuba, and Malaysia.
    • Taiwan later aired it on Fox Taiwan, albeit with a Gag Dub beginning in 2014.
    • Contrary to popular belief, the show was never technically banned in South Africa, although it didn't air on DS TV until 2014, when it premiered there on Fox Africa.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Despite it being a common internet joke, Peter only said "Holy crap, Lois" once in season 12's "Finders Keepers". Before that, Stewie said it (when mimicking Peter) in "From Method to Madness" back in season 3. Peter has said "holy crap" many times throughout the show, but not with Lois' name.
  • Breakthrough Hit:
    • For Fox, after reruns on Adult Swim and DVD sales proved that the show had the potential to be a cash cow.
    • BBC3 in the UK initially undermined the show to the point where new seasons could be first shown/seen in the UK on DVD. Then they showed Season 5 in 2007 and the show gradually gained a cult following/status to the point where, since 2008, Family Guy is BBC3's biggest breakthrough hit, even though it's not an original.
  • The Cast Showoff: Happens often. Mostly when a character voiced by MacFarlane sings — he has extensive vocal training and ability.
  • Channel Hop: Averted, as the show has always remained on Fox. That being said, the aforementioned "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" episode ended up airing on [adult swim] first.
    • For syndication, Adult Swim had held cable rights to the series since April 2003, and has shared them with sister network TBS since that year. For season 16 onward, Disney-owned channels FXX and Freeform took over syndication duties. Adult Swim and TBS are set to lose rights to previous seasons in 2021, along with Bob's Burgers.
  • The Character Died with Him:
    • Over a year after the death of her voice actress Phyllis Diller, Peter's mother Thelma died of a stroke offscreen during the Season 12 episode "Mom's the Word".
    • Nearly two years after Carrie Fisher's death, Angelia died offscreen after swimming too soon after eating at the beginning of Season 17's "Pawtucket Pete".
    • Adam West in season 17 as well. Brian petitions to rename James Woods High to Adam West High to memorialize the deceased mayor.
  • Colbert Bump: "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen has had an enormous surge in popularity after the song was featured in Season 7's "I Dream of Jesus".
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer:
    • In "North by North Quahog", Stewie reads about Nermal in Garfield at Large: His First Book. Nermal actually doesn't appear until the third book: Garfield Bigger Than Life.
    • In "Baby Not on Board", a radio station identifies Roxette's "The Look" as "You've Got the Look".note 
    • The Dish Network summary for the episode "Lois Kills Stewie" assumes that a Cutaway Gag about Stewie auditioning for American Idol is the focus of the episode.
      • Their summary for "Road to Rhode Island" seems to think that Brian is picking Stewie up from Carter and Babs' house because they kicked him out, and not because it was simply time for him to go. In fact, the worst thing Stewie did while at Babs and Carter's house was stealing Babs' necklace and planting it on the maid to get her arrested as "after-dinner entertainment", but that wasn't relevant to the plot.
      • Zig-zagged in the summary for "Stu and Stewie's Excellent Adventure", which gives an accurate and on-point summary for "Stewie B. Goode" instead of itself.
    • The Comcast summary for the episode "Jerome is the New Black" claims that Quagmire hates Jerome, when really it's Peter who hates Jerome because he was one of the many men Lois slept with back when she was a rich party girl and Quagmire hates Brian, not just for his clumsy attempts at trying to be his friend (which reveal that Quagmire has a sister who's being abused and that his break-up with Cheryl Tiegs is the reason why Quagmire is a sex addict), but because of his personality, which has gotten on the nerves of several fans.
    • The Verizon Fios summary of "New Kidney In Town" indicates that Peter's years of alcoholism would be the cause of his kidney failure and subsequent need for a new kidney, when in fact it was Peter recently becoming addicted to Red Bull, binge drinking it to no end, and then trying to come up with a replacement mix with assorted items and kerosene, not his years of alcoholism.
      • Verizon also incorrectly state in the summary of "Road to Europe" that Brian and Stewie journey across Europe to return home in Connecticut, when in reality, the duo live in Rhode Island.
  • Creator Breakdown: The opening crawl to “It's a Trap!” complains about Fox obligating the staff to complete the original Star Wars triolgy. The DVD commentary confirms that they were indeed sick of doing them at that point.
  • Creator's Pest:
    • Joe Swanson's son Kevin simply disappeared from the series. This was due to the show's staff finding him boring. In "Stew-Roids", Joe offhandedly mentions that he died in Iraq, though a later episode retconned this, saying that he instead faked his death.
    • In "Saving Private Brian", Stewie guns down the vaudeville guys and tells the audience that they're dead and that we won't be seeing them again. The staff confirmed in the DVD Commentary that "People just got sick of them." They've showed up exactly twice since then - once in "Back to the Woods", as ghosts, and once in "A Lot Going On Upstairs" during a nightmare of Stewie's, where he screws up his part in the show intro, and is "benched" alongside several other one-note characters that have long since been forgotten and abandoned.
    • It should come as a surprise to no-one that the reason for Meg's Butt-Monkey status is that the writers admitted that they don't know how to write for a teenage girl.
    • Loretta was disliked by the show staff, finding her to be bland and nasty. With the addition of Alex Borstein hating the strain of voicing her and her unpopularity with the fanbase, she was eventually divorced from Cleveland and later killed in an episode of The Cleveland Show, with it ending with a eulogy montage for her that only really showed off more of her unlikable traits (namely her constant nagging and her cheating on Cleveland).
  • Crossdressing Voices: Consuela voiced by Mike Henry.
  • The Danza: Mayor Adam West is voiced by... surprise, surprise, Adam West himself.
  • Doing It for the Art: The Disney segment of "Road to the Multiverse," which was animated in-house as opposed to outsourced, and completely redesigned the characters to match Disney's Signature Style.
  • Edited for Syndication:
    • In "I Never Met the Dead Man", the scene of Tom and Diane reveling in saying politically incorrect things (until the cameraman tells them they're still on the air in Boston), Tom's line, "I'm the Lord Jesus Christ. Think I'll get drunk and beat up some midgets" was cut down to "Think I'll get drunk and beat up some midgets" when the show airs in free TV syndication (not Adult Swim syndication). Diane's confession that she doesn't like black people was also cut in free TV syndication.
    • At least on the version of "April In Quahog" on Netflix, the ending of the episode with Peter playing Modern Warfare 2 is cut for some reason. This can make the 'With thanks to Infinity Ward' in the end credits baffling for people if this is their first time watching the episode.
    • The Netflix release also erases the infamous gag in "Movin' Out (Brian's Song)" where Quagmire rapes Marge Simpson and kills her family. That scene was also cut when FOX aired it and when it airs on free-TV syndication. Cartoon Network and the DVD set featuring season six episodes have this uncut.
    • TBS, unsurprisingly, slightly speeds up the intro on reruns. However, it is not as bad as some of the shows that do get sped up.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Seth MacFarlane has stated in recent years that he wants Family Guy to end, but Fox has absolutely refused to do that. Even longtime fans tend to argue that FG should come to an end thanks to what they perceive to be its gradual decline in quality. Considering that Fox received so much money from the show's reruns and DVD sales, this is eventful.
    • From 2007 to early 2008, MacFarlane decided to join the WGA in the Writers' Guild of America strike and not finish any episodes in production at the time (though he did record voicework for his characters). In what MacFarlane now refers to as a "colossal dick move," Fox aired three episodes that were only 90% done ("Padre de Familla"note , "Peter's Daughter"note , and "McStroke"note ) without MacFarlane's expressed permission.
    • Happens literally in "PTV", what the FCC representatives do to disrupt the personal day-to-day lives of the Griffins.
    • For "The Courtship of Stewie's Father", the subplot of Chris doing chores for Herbert had to be completely watered down as Fox was scared of the pedophile jokes that would spring from the storyline. The DVD commentary goes into detail about what would have been in the subplot had Fox not interfered. On the plus side, it did show that Herbert actually cared about Chris enough not to take advantage of him, but the "Chris lives with Herbert the Pedophile" subplot on the season eleven episode "Chris Cross" got away with more than what this episode did.
    • Fox demanded that Family Guy finish the Star Wars spoofs, leading to the scathing Take That! seen in the opening crawl to It's a Trap!.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Season 13 is The Peter Griffin Show due to the increased number of episodes focused on him, to the point that some of the other Griffins (notably Meg and Chris) often go several episodes without speaking or even appearing.
    • Season 12's infamous "Fresh Heir" is accurately known as "Incest: The Episode" in many corners of the fandom.
    • On a similar note, Season 13's "Roasted Guy" is known as "Misogyny: The Episode" or "The Great Space Rip-Off"
  • Franchise Zombie: Based on this interview, creator Seth MacFarlane himself believes the series has become this, to say nothing of the haters.
    Seth: Part of me thinks that 'Family Guy' should have already ended. I think seven seasons is about the right lifespan for a TV series. I talk to the fans and in a way I'm kind of secretly hoping for them to say, "We're done with it". And there are plenty of people who say the show is kind of over the hill.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • The uncut version of "Chitty Chitty Death Bang" where Stewie hears Hitler's voice in his head amid sounds of war and destruction when he imagines what he wants for his birthday (before deciding on a roller disco party) hasn't been seen since the first time it aired. Even the DVD version has it edited. Ironically, the German dub doesn't edit this.
    • Also the uncut version of "A Hero Sits Next Door", which had a scene where a kid's JFK Pez dispenser gets shot by a stray police sniper bullet hasn't been seen since Fox first aired the episode, not even on DVD. Adult Swim and foreign networks has aired the uncut version, the scene is available on the German DVD version, and Netflix has it uncut when they had the series.
    • The original cut of the episode "Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater" had a DeBeers diamond ring commercial parody that showed the woman sliding down her man to give him a blowjob. The edited cut shows her sliding down for about a second or two before it cuts to a card that reads, "Diamonds: She'll Pretty Much Have To."
    • Supposedly, in the original airing of the episode "Brian in Love" had Peter asking Brian "Where do you think you are? Kmart?", to which was changed to Payless in later airings and on the Volume One DVD release. This has been debunked as a recording of the original airing has been uploaded, and it doesn't feature the "Kmart" line that's been rumored for so long (There's even a picture in the folder that shows the captions saying "Payless").
  • I Knew It!: People figured out that Brian wouldn't stay dead minutes after the event in question happened. A number of fans were savvy enough to figure out that Brian would be saved through the summary of the Christmas episode for that year. Some particularly clever fans figured out exactly how it would happen - it was theorized that Stewie would encounter his past self (seen in a cutaway gag) and use time travel to save Brian's life, since he couldn't build another time machine.
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  • In Memoriam: "And Then There Were Fewer" was dedicated to Seth Macfarlane's mother.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Meg's perceived ugliness is one of her defining attributes; her voice actress Mila Kunis is considered one of the sexiest women alive.
  • Marathon Running: On 2/6/12 TBS ran all three Star Wars parodies back-to-back to help promote the theatrical release of the 3D version of The Phantom Menace.
    • TBS did another marathon in April 2019 to celebrate the series' 20th anniversary, they aired twenty creator favorite episodes.
  • Mid-Development Genre Shift: It flip-flopped with this throughout its development. Its prototype short Life With Larry was something of a faux-sitcom and had already invented the cutaway setup and heavy pop culture humor (which is pretty much what Family Guy is now). The second prototype, a What-A-Cartoon short Larry & Steve played out more like a wacky, Saturday morning cartoon with the satirical humor being more subtle. In its initial run, Family Guy played something of a mix of both, utilizing the original cutaway and pop culture humor, but maintaining heavy use of light-hearted slapstick and keeping most of the Black Comedy to a minimum. During its third season and definitely following its revival after three years of being canceled, the show slowly evolved into a shock value Sadist Show.
  • Money, Dear Boy / Cash Cow Franchise: Arguably THE reason for FG's final uncancellation. FOX uncancelled the series when news hit that the money made from DVD sales and the big ratings from Adult Swim reruns were enough to bring the show back.
  • Name's the Same: Averted with Mayor Adam West. Originally, the mayor was just going to be some nutcase who happened to have the same name as the actor. Then the real Adam West called...
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Meg was originally voiced by an uncredited Lacey Chabert until sometime in season two, when Mila Kunis replaced her. Since then Four jokes were made about this:
      • "Business Guy": Peter threatens to replace Lois, simply bringing up the name "Lacey Chabert" as a threat which immediately causes Lois to back off.
      • "Back to the Pilot": Stewie states that Meg [as voiced by Chabert in the pilot episode "Death Has a Shadow"] sounds like "...someone who's about to give up a huge opportunity".
      • "Yug Ylimaf": Stewie screams "You're Lacey Chabert!" after Meg spoke, as the reverse flow of time landed him on the day he was born. Unlike with the "Back to the Pilot" example where archival recordings from "Death Has a Shadow" was used, Chabert herself actually recorded this one line.
      • "Griffin Winter Games": Meg claims that she's been training for the winter Olympics ever since "I was Lacey Chabert", following three flashbacks to past episodes with Meg inserted in them to announce she's training for the Olympics, the last of which being the pilot when she was voiced by Chabert. However, unlike with the "Yug Ylimaf" example where Chabert herself appeared, here Meg was voiced by Mae Whitman (who also voices Lacey Chabert later in the episode when Meg encounters her during her Olympics trial).
    • Kevin was originally voiced by Jon Cryer in his debut episode. After Cryer left to work on Two and a Half Men, he was voiced by Seth MacFarlane before being voiced by Scott Grimes starting with "Thanksgiving".
    • Mr. Weed was first voiced by Butch Hartman (yes, the same one who created The Fairly OddParents, T.U.F.F. Puppy, and Danny Phantom and was a writer and executive producer for Johnny Bravo's early episodesnote ), only to be replaced by Carlos Alazraqui (who worked with Hartman on the aforementioned Fairly OddParents).
    • Bob Costas appeared as himself in "Patriot Games", "Petergeist" and "Turban Cowboy". However, an impersonator voices him in "Griffin Winter Games".
    • On June 26, 2020, it was announced that Mike Henry, who is white, will be stepping down from voicing Cleveland, who is black, saying "Persons of Color should play Characters of Color." On September 26, YouTuber Arif Zahir was revealed to be Mike Henry's replacement.
  • The Other Marty:
    • The "Time for Timer" cutaway gag in the episode "Petarded" was originally supposed to have Timer's original voice actor Lennie Weinrib reprise his role. However, Weinrib was very ill at the time and didn't remember doing the recording when the dialogue was played back to him, so Seth McFarlane did Timer's dialogue in the end.
    • "It's a Trap" was to have Paul Reubens himself voice Pee-wee Herman in a cameo. According to Seth MacFarlane, the results weren't what the staff wanted so MacFarlane dubbed over the lines with his voice.
  • Out of Holiday Episode: Because [adult swim] and TBS air the episodes they own in complete order, this means that the holiday episodes are usually aired after the holiday ended or before the holiday started.
  • The Pete Best: Not too many fans are familiar with Lacey Chabert, who was the original voice of Meg until replaced by Mila Kunis stating with the second production cycle. Doesn't help that Chabert was uncredited.
  • Quote Source:
  • Recast as a Regular: Drew Barrymore voiced one-off character Mrs. Lockhart in the Season 4 episode "Fast Times at Buddy Cianci Jr. High", and returned in the following season as Jillian, who was initially meant to be another one-off character, but proved so popular with the writing staff that she became a recurring character instead.
  • Recycled Script: The Life of Larry pilot (first one) had many gags that would later be used in Family Guy - some of which appeared on the first episode (the one where Peter gets fired from his job at the toy factory, puts the family on welfare, and ends up rich because his first welfare check is for $150,000 instead of $150 due to a clerical error).
  • Role Reprise: Jeff Bennett reprised his role as Sylvester the Cat for the Rapid Dave Cutaway Gag in "Padre De Familia".
  • Same Content Different Ratings:
    • The early episodes were rated TV-PG, but are now rated TV-14 when aired on syndication, Adult Swim, and Hulu.
    • When Netflix had the rights to the series, the series was rated TV-14 before they bumped it to a TV-MA rating, as Netfilx realized they used the uncut DVD version instead of the TV-masters like Hulu. Hulu also rates several season 4 episodes a TV-MA rating as they're the only episodes on the service that are uncensored.
    • In Mexico, Canal 5 frequently change the content ratings for the first 4 seasons. First it was rated B (a equivalent of a TV-PG rating), then rated B15 (a equivalent of a TV-14 rating and the show's official rating on cable and earlier seasons on DVD), and then rated C (a equivelent of a TV-MA rating and the show's rating for the uncensored version of the later seasons on DVD).
  • Schedule Slip:
    • "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" was originally supposed to air on December 16th, 2012, but was held off until a week later due to news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and a live memorial that broadcast from 7:00pm to 8:30pm eastern time. While there wasn't anything that would make people upset, a lot of people still would have complained about the warped take on the Nativity story (besides, having it air on December 23rd would put it at the right time before Christmas).
    • The Family Guy/American Dad/Cleveland show episodes, all run under "Night of the Hurricane", were delayed from their original broadcast slots on Fox due to a severe weather outbreak that was going on at the time.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • In it's original run, Family Guy originally got decent ratings and good treatment by Fox during it's 7-episode first season (it even made its series premiere right after the Super Bowl, with it's premier being watched by a estimated 22 million viewers, which remains the most watched episode of the entire series). But when the show returned for the 1999-2000 season, they put it at a Thursday night timeslot where it was pitted against Frasier. As you would've expected, the ratings declined sharply, and the series went on a hiatus. Fox later put it on Tuesday nights, pitting against Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, which repeatedly defeated Family Guy in the ratings. They canceled it soon after but brought it back for the 2001-2002 season at a Thursday night timeslot again. But this time, it was pitted against Friends and Survivor. After unsurprisingly low ratings, it was canceled again. But Cartoon Network bought the show's rights for their [adult swim] lineup, which the network got it for free according to the then-president of 20th Century Fox Television, and it became the highest rated show on their lineup. They even aired a Banned Episode that Fox wouldn't air (Fox would eventually air a censored version in 2004). So they order more episodes and Family Guy's season 4 premiere brought the show's highest ratings since the Season 1 finale. Now it rivals The Simpsons and American Idol (until the latter moved to rival network ABC) as Fox's most adored show (let alone cartoon).
    • When Family Guy began airing reruns on Freeform (Seasons 16 and 17 to be exact; TBS and [adult swim] hold the rights to Seasons 1-15 until 2021), it was given a weekly hour long block of 7-8pm... on a Wednesday. After a while, the show was unceremoniously moved to Fridays at midnight, with little to no warning, and select episodes were skipped over (though the one episode that was skipped over during the Wednesday run aired during this run). Fortunately, this seems to have been alleviated, as the show now airs on Fridays, with a modest amount of advertising but inconsistent time slots (the show can air as late as 8-11pm or as early as 2-5pm).
    • The Televisa-owned Canal 5 screwed the show many times when the series aired from 2002 to 2009, largely because of complaints from Moral Guardians, with the network not even airing anything past season 4. When the series returned in 2016, the series stopped airing during the beginning of season 4, and didn't return until the summer of 2017 at midnight before dropping it altogether in August, where the network still didn't bother finish airing season 4. The series is treated better on FX Latin America, but only late at night due to the network only aring series in the morning and late-night hours.
  • Short Run in Peru: The season 19 episode, "Cutawayland" first aired in Canada on October 18, 2020. While originally, this wouldn't be that major, since the episode was scheduled to air the same day on Fox, it was later delayed to November 1st, due to Fox's coverage of Game 7 of the 2020 NLCS.
  • Talking to Himself: Played straight to the point of mild exaggeration, as Seth MacFarlane voices more than nine characters: Peter, Brian, Stewie, Quagmire, Carter, Tom Tucker, Jake Tucker, Seamus, Dr. Hartman, and others. Lampshaded in one episode where Dr. Hartman and Carter are put in a conversation together, and notice that they have almost the exact same voice.
    Dr. Hartman: Seems lazy, doesn't it?
    Carter: Well, there's only so many voices in the world. Some of them are bound to be similar.
  • "Take That!" Tit-for-Tat: The infamous gag of Quagmire assaulting Marge Simpson, then going home and murdering the entire Simpsons family was Seth MacFarlane's "little jab back" at The Simpsons for... accusing them of plagiarism. Needless to say, Matt Groening found it too far of a comeback that he threatened to kill off his friendship with MacFarlane until MacFarlane agreed with Groening that it was a not a fair comeback.
  • Tom Hanks Syndrome: Parodied in "Death Has a Shadow". In a Cutaway Gag flashback, Peter watches the movie Philadelphia. Once he realizes that Tom Hanks is in the film, he immediately thinks Philadelphia is a comedy.
    Peter: I got it, that's the guy from Big. Tom Hanks, that's it! Ah, funny guy, Tom Hanks. Everything he says is a stitch!
    Tom Hanks: I have AIDS.
    Peter: (busts out laughing)
  • Trope Namer:
  • Un-Canceled: Twice; first from its brief cancellation in 2000, and then again from its more noticeable cancellation from 2002 to 2005, when news hit that the money made from DVD sales and the big ratings from Adult Swim reruns were enough to bring the show back.
  • Uncredited Role: Lacey Chabert went uncredited when she voiced Meg during the first production season, before she was replaced by Mila Kunis. She finally received credit for reused voice samples in "Back to the Pilot".
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Family Guy was going to be a recurring animated sketch for MADtv (as a competitor to Saturday Night Live's TV Funhouse cartoons), then again on The Weird Al Show (as a Spiritual Successor to The Tracy Ulman Show's Simpsons cartoons) but Seth MacFarlane decided that the show would fare better as an animated sitcom.
    • Chris was supposed to be as fat as Peter, but the animators thought that would have been too depressing.
    • Chris was also going to be a rather generic stoner-ish surfer-type kid. But then Seth Green turned up as the only applicant who didn't try and voice Chris with a surfer-guy accent, and his personality shifted into a simple-minded, impulsive teenager with a learning disorder instead.
    • The pilot episode originally showed Lois as a blonde (which, if kept in, would have explained why Chris is a blond, instead of a redhead like Lois or a brunette like Peter and Meg).
    • For the Timer cutaway in "Petarded", the staff wanted Lennie Weinrib, the original voice of Timer to reprise his role. However, his agent said he was too old to do it and and Timer ended up being voiced by Seth MacFarlane (whose vocal impression is on-point, but still, how cool would have been to have Lennie Weinrib come back as Timer for Family Guy, a show that caters to breaking down nostalgic figures from the 1970s and 1980s for fun?).
    • Originally, one of the "Text Message" options for the end of "Prick Up Your Ears" was "If you want to see Peter and Lois throw Brian out the window," instead of giving Cleveland Brown his first (and only) line of the episode. The original scene can be found on the season five DVD extra section where it features full episode animatics.
    • Cree Summer was initially considered to voice Meg but was dropped because MacFarlane felt uncomfortable about an African-American woman playing a white character, despite Summer having done it many times in her career (Penny from Inspector Gadget and Elmyra Duff from Tiny Toon Adventures). Even more baffling, nearly all of the show's regular black characters were eventually played by Caucasian actors.
    • Herbert, originally, was going to be the school bus driver.
    • William H. Macy was the original choice for Brian.
    • The season 8 episode "April in Quahog" was going to feature an American Dad! cold opening followed by a King of the Hill credit sequence, but were dropped due to time restraints. They were eventually used during season 11's "Bigfat".
    • Some episodes had press releases that mentioned subplots that would ultimately never be in the actual episode, usually for time reasons:
      • "Brian Writes a Bestseller": Peter & Lois end up sleeping in separate beds. Said subplot though would ultimately be used the following season as the one for "Mr. and Mrs. Stewie".
      • "Candy Quahog Marshmallow": Stewie begins to worry if he's becoming a redhead.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Family Guy Wiki.
  • Word of Gay: According to the DVD commentary track to Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, the movie was going to be called Queer as Stewie and was going to center on Stewie coming to terms with being homosexual. The writers decided against it, as they were getting more mileage out of Stewie being ambiguously bisexual in the regular episodes.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • Peter Griffin was based on a loud mouthed security guard Seth MacFarlane knew from Rhode Island School of Design. Said security guard later appeared in a live-action comedy skit he filmed while there.
    • Tom Tucker was partially modeled on real life anchorman John Beard of Fox Los Angeles O&O KTTV. Ironically, however, in real life, Beard is actually a very competent, very professional anchorman, and in fact, it was this professionalism which actually cost him his job there, when KTTV management fired him in 2007 over disputes on what he would report on during the station's main newscasts, with Beard wanting to do more hard news and the management wanting him to do more celebrity fluff. Beard ended up going to work at NBC affiliate WGRZ in Buffalo, NY, as their morning and midday anchor, in effect, working in a media market with a job that amounted to a career downgrade. Far from being egotistical, however, Beard was more than willing to accept the position if it meant not having to compromise his journalistic integrity. Tom Tucker is also the name of the anchor at CBS Local 2 in Palm Springs.
  • You Sound Familiar:
    • Drew Barrymore, who plays Jillian, had previously voiced Mrs. Lockhart in "Fast Times at Buddy Cianci Jr. High".
    • Allison Janney, who played the titular mother in "Quagmire's Mom", previously appeared as a magazine editor in "Dial Meg For Murder".

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