Hey everyone, Jack Drees here, I know what you’re thinking, “What the heck is happening? This is TV, not movies! Is the apocalypse coming? I’m scared! Ahhhh!” Don’t worry, my movie reviews aren’t going away anytime soon, I just need time to watch movies. Although today I wanted to discuss my top 10 “Family Guy” episodes. “Family Guy” is one of my favorite shows of all time and it’s easy to see why, Seth MacFarlane brings a lot of innovation towards the definition of humor and how people view it today. Call it whatever you want, offensive, not your type of humor, or a ripoff of “The Simpsons,” but in the end, I don’t care, I still love this show and it’s one my favorites still on the air today. Also, just a warning, I’m not saying you should like these episodes, these are the episodes I personally like the most, if you disagree with me, might as well make your own list, different strokes for different folks ya know. So without further ado, let’s get counting down with my top 10 “Family Guy” episodes.
10: Something, Something, Something, Dark Side
One thing that “Family Guy” is well known for is its parodies on “Star Wars.” The show has done the entire original trilogy as a matter of fact, however they announced they aren’t going to do a spoof on “The Force Awakens,” which also likely means they won’t do one on any other “Star Wars” films they haven’t covered yet, but still, I’ll be fine with the way things are. Anyway, my bottom spot on the list goes to “Something, Something, Something, Dark Side.” “Something, Something, Something, Dark Side” makes fun of the “Star Wars” film “The Empire Strikes Back.” To me, some of the episode’s highlights include when Darth Vader (portrayed by Stewie) slams a mailbox with a bat labeled “NIMOY” (like “Star Trek’s” Leonard Nimoy), the moment when an AT-AT falls and acts like it has a stubbed toe (also a reference to an earlier “Family Guy” episode) and when Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker (portrayed by Chris) make fun of the twist that shocked everyone back in 1980. I’m just scratching the surface, but watching this episode is nearly as fun as watching the movie.
9: Stewie Kills Lois/Lois Kills Stewie
I’m giving this spot to two episodes because they feel like one episode split into two parts. While I will say that I do feel that “Lois Kills Stewie” is technically a better episode than “Stewie Kills Lois,” I should give “Stewie Kills Lois” credit where it’s due. “Family Guy” has built up since its first season that Stewie was an evil genius that always wanted to kill his mother and now in this episode, you can clearly see him trying. Also, in that episode, the clip when Lois and Peter are on the cruise ship and Peter repeatedly shouts “Bye!” on the ship is pure comedy gold. I think “Lois Kills Stewie” is a better episode storywise, it’s just about as funny as the previous one as well. Not to mention, that final duel between Lois and Stewie is epic to the tenth degree!
8: Wasted Talent
Up next is one of the first “Family Guy” episodes I saw, and that is “Wasted Talent.” This episode essentially is partially a spoof on “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and partially Lois trying to get a good student to play the piano in order to win a competition. The second part to me is the one I don’t really care as much about, but the “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” spoof is superb. When it comes to spoofing Willy Wonka, “Family Guy” did it’s own version of the Golden Tickets, only they had their version come out of beer, and with that in mind, the winners got to attend a tour of a brewery instead of a chocolate factory, and they even did musical numbers mocking the Oompa-Loompa song and “Pure Imagination.” By the way, remember the stubbed toe thing from “Something, Something, Something, Dark Side?” That came out of this episode.
7: The Fat Guy Strangler
Up next is “The Fat Guy Strangler.” I love this episode for so many reasons, but let’s start with the plot. First off, Lois’s brother, Patrick (played by Robert Downey Jr.), came out of an insane asylum and starts living with the Griffins, that’s pretty interesting so far, so what else can top it? Peter starts a club for fat guys. In terms of execution with that plot, it was very well done! Also, when you blend the two plots together, you get one really cool package. Plus, this episode has one of my favorite moments in “Family Guy” history, specifically, the moment when Peter goes to a checkup and FINDS OUT he’s fat. He states “OK, this is news to me.” The exchanges in dialogue before this whole thing happens is just gutbusting to say the least. Here’s some of the dialogue I’m talking about:
LOIS: So, Doctor, is Peter healthy?
DR. HARTMAN: My goodness, you’ll be dead within a month.
*Peter and Lois gasp*
DR. HARTMAN: Oh Haggard the Horrible, if you keep up that life of pillaging and dead turkey legs you’ll be dead within a month. Alright, onto you.
PETER: So whaddya think, pretty healthy huh?
DR. HARTMAN: Well let’s take a look at your physical results.
Dr. Hartman opens folder, then screams
Peter and Lois get scared for a moment
DR. HARTMAN: There’s a spider in here! Alright, here we go. Mr. Griffin you’re gonna expire in a month.
*Peter and Lois gasp*
DR. HARTMAN: (Holds up Peter’s driver’s license) This is your driver’s license, isn’t it? Now I’m afraid you’re going to die.
*Peter and Lois gasp*
DR. HARTMAN: When you watch these Dean Martin celebrity roasts!
If you think this isn’t funny, I need to sit down with you and talk.
#6 is Petarded, this is all about Peter discovering that he is mentally retarded. In case you have never seen an episode of “Family Guy,” there’s something about Peter that makes him an idiot, although based on how he’s portrayed throughout the show, he’s pretty much a lovable idiot, and I think this episode shows that. How does Peter discover he’s retarded? Well, after playing Trivial Pursuit with his family, and NEARLY screwing up on a children’s version question, he’s dared to take a test that smart people are meant to take and ace, and the results came in saying he’s retarded. This leads on to a very interesting and FUNNY episode. The story leads to Peter having to abandon his wife and kids, and go to court. There, we meet “The Ghost who Never Lies.” (If you see the episode you know what I’m talking about). If you have never seen this episode, give it a watch!
#5 is PTV. Say what you want about censorship, say what you want about swearing, say what you want about nudity, say what you want about blocking out certain content because children are watching, but if there’s one thing you can all agree on, it’s that this episode is awesome. The plot of this episode is that there is a wardrobe malfunction during the Emmys. This got lots of attention in the news and suddenly the town of Quahog, RI starts censoring everything in sight that may appear to be naughty on screen. For example, for “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” the title slide for it says “The **** Van **** Show.” That’s cleverness at its finest! In response to this, Peter starts his own channel called PTV which was made with the intention to expose people to shows while showing them all the nudity, guns, violence, etc. Lois starts getting upset about this and calls the FCC, which actually unleashes one of the best songs ever done on the show. While Peter’s channel happens to get taken away, he says that the FCC can’t stop people from being who they are. Well, they can. Turns out they start CENSORING REAL LIFE! When Peter comes out of the shower, his balls are covered with a bar, whenever someone starts swearing one of the FCC guys blows an airhorn to censor it, when Lois and Peter try to have sex, they have to follow a guideline saying that they can’t touch, moan, or even move! When it comes to comedy and knowing the topic its focusing on, this episode is phenomenal!
4: Blue Harvest
That’s right, I think “Blue Harvest” is better than “Something, Something, Something, Dark Side!” “Blue Harvest” makes fun of the original “Star Wars” film, and out of all the “Star Wars” spoofs “Family Guy” has done, I’d say this is the best one. Much like the other spoofs, this is essentially an abridged shot for shot redo of the movie it’s based on, and it’s funny as hell! There’s so many moments to go over from this episode: Peter as Han Solo, Stewie as Darth Vader, Herbert as Obi-Wan, Peter mocking the music as it happens (which is probably much funnier if you seen “Star Wars”), and the couch gag. Holy crap… the couch gag. One of the funniest THINGS I’ve ever seen. It basically just runs on through the second half of the episode, and it starts off by making fun of moving couches or furniture through a door! It doesn’t degrade from there! This is one of the funniest spoofs I’ve ever seen and this is about as good as the original “Star Wars” film.
3: The Simpsons Guy
Coming in at #3 we have “The Simpsons Guy.” This episode is essentially a crossover between “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons.” What happens throughout is that Peter starts off the episode by publishing a comic strip in a newspaper. The locals started raving, but the raving soon turned into hate. Peter eventually made an addition to the series that was considered by a good number of people to be sexist. As a result, everyone starts to try destroying the Griffins’ home. Then they leave to somewhere, anywhere, then they suddenly end up in Springfield. They eventually run into Homer Simpson, who brings them to his home and introduces them to the Simpson family. From here on out, the episode does a really good job on showing relationships between the characters which increasingly get more hilarious the more I think about them (specifically between Bart and Stewie). The connection between Bart and Stewie I’ve witnessed throughout the episode was one of the funniest things I’ve witnessed during the entire series. You know something? That’s not even the best part, the two shows use their signature lines they’ve built during the series to their advantage. EXAMPLE: “Eat my shorts,” “What the deuce?” Also, I love the metaphor the episode provides to put the icing on the cake on how similar these two shows really are. Peter introduces the Pawtucket Patriot Ale to Homer, and he drinks it, he says “This beer tastes exactly like Duff, it’s just a lousy ripoff!” Peter responds by saying “Hey whoa whoa whoa! It’s not a ripoff of Duff! It may have been INSPIRED by Duff, but I… I like to think it goes in a different direction.” Turns out that Moe reveals that Pawtucket Pat was knocking off Duff, Moe ripped the sticker that had the Pawtucket Pat logo and it revealed the Duff logo. The two are in court, and the case for this is being judged by Fred Flintstone, who is in favor of Duff. By the way, we haven’t even gotten to my favorite part of the episode, the two are talking to each other and Homer feels bad for keeping Peter out of his job (he worked for Pawtucket Pat) and he tries to apologize. Peter replies by saying “You know, when I first met you, I thought to myself, hey! I love this guy! This is the funniest guy I’ve ever met, I’m gonna quote this guy to all my friends, I love his town, I love his family. But now, I think I speak for all of us when I say, I am over the Simpsons.” What happens from here? They fight. And I mean FIGHT. If you have ever seen one of the episodes where Peter fights a giant chicken, this fight is the Simpsons crossover equivalent to that. This fight is everything it needs to be and more. It mocks the two characters and shows, it DESTROYS the town of Springfield, it places the characters in various scenarios and settings, and it even goes nuclear. The two characters fall into nuclear waste and gain radioactive powers to fight against each other, it’s AWESOME and if you are a fan of either of these shows, seeing these two clash will bring joy to you for ten minutes. If you thought the fight between Batman and Superman from “Batman v. Superman” was cool, which I didn’t, this fight, is a million times as cool.
2: I Dream of Jesus
Coming in at #2 we have the last half-hour episode I’ll put on this list, “I Dream of Jesus.” Some of you may also refer to this as the “Surfin Bird” episode. This episode starts off in a 50’s style diner, and “Surfin Bird” by The Trashmen starts playing on the jukebox. Peter says it his “favorite song of all time.” Then, Peter starts dancing to the song, which is just funny and charming. Although it turns out that since this song was not from the 50’s, a guy who does business around the diner says that he wants to get rid of the record for the song, but Peter says he wants it. So he takes it home with him, he starts getting attached to the song and it annoys his wife when she’s trying to sleep. Then, we go to a scene where Peter is with Brian and Stewie. In what could possibly be one of the show’s top funniest moments and even the funniest moment of the episode, Peter begins to build up playing Surfin Bird and dancing to it, now Brian and Stewie are annoyed. Unlike Lois, Brian and Stewie plan to do something about this, so they plan to take the record while Peter’s asleep. Peter never finds out what happened, but he decides to go find another copy. In one of the record stores, he meets Jesus Christ. This show has done LOTS of stuff involving Jesus, but I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this. Peter doesn’t get the record, but he asks Jesus if he wants to come to his place for dinner, Jesus says he’s willing to do that and what happens from here is making fun of the Bible (referring to it as a storybook), and Jesus performing miracles. Later on, Jesus gets revealed to the public, he gets an interview on Jay Leno, becomes famous, goes on the MTV Movie Awards with the Pussycat Dolls, and more. This episode alone, would just be funny with the “Surfin Bird” side of the story, but adding the Jesus plot in there also adds to the humor. The real question here is, what could top this great episode?
1: And Then There Were Fewer
Ladies and gentlemen, my #1 “Family Guy” episode is “And Then There Were Fewer!” There are so many reasons why I love this episode, so where should I start? Let’s begin with the plot. Just about every memorable character on the show is invited to a large house called “Rocky Point Manor,” and when they arrive, they have no idea what they are in for. Who’s hosting this? James Woods. If you have seen other “Family Guy” episodes with James Woods, he starts off by becoming close friends with Peter, then in another he steals Peter’s identity to get revenge from being trapped in a crate by Peter to get Woods out of his sight, and in another he ruins Brian’s TV pilot. This episode is still funny if you haven’t seen any of those episodes, but the humor adds up slightly more if you have been exposed to those previous episodes. In this particular episode, Woods reveals that he married a girl named Priscilla (voiced by Ashley Tisdale), and that he recently became a born-again Christian because of her. Since he was a man of God at this point, he decided it would be right if he invited every single person he wronged to make amends. What happens here? You know what? I’m not even gonna specify, because spoiling this particular episode, while hard, isn’t worth it. So I’m just gonna talk about the things I love about this episode without spoiling a thing. First off, the tone. I know “Family Guy” is famous for it’s humor and it’s a part that just about every fan is looking to view in each and every episode, and this episode, while being very funny, tries to be serious, and it ABSOLUTELY works. This is a murder mystery, a freaking murder mystery, and instead of trying to be funny, it comes off like an intense Hollywood film. Second, and I think this is somewhat overlooked, but the music in this entire episode shouldn’t be tampered with. If “Family Guy” had an entire album dedicated to every piece of music from this episode, I’d buy it when it first comes out. Also, you know how some 3D movies are distracting and some are immersive? Well, this is the first “Family Guy” episode to air in HD, and it tries to show that off, and how is it? Well, it’s immersive! Wait, there’s more! When it comes to comedy, some of my favorite moments from the show come from this episode, such as the “Hollywood” sign gag. I also won’t go without mentioning the introduction, which is just BEAUTIFUL. The music and animation in that 2 minute intro go together like a burger and fries. The sad part though is that the episode cuts out the intro if you’re watching it on TV, you can only see it on streaming services and on DVD. To hit the point where it needs to be hit, I can’t think of one scenario when I cared more for any of the show’s characters than I did in this one episode, and that’s AMAZING. I could go on forever about this episode, but I’d be wasting precious time.
“Family Guy” is in my opinion, one of the best shows ever made, Seth MacFarlane is a comedic genius and he deserves every bit of attention he gets. What is your favorite “Family Guy” episode? Do you agree with my list? Do you have a list of your own? Leave a comment! In terms of upcoming movie reviews, I’m hoping to see “The LEGO Batman Movie” and “John Wick 2.” I don’t think I’m gonna be seeing anything this upcoming weekend but I might go see “La La Land” for a second time. Stay tuned for upcoming reviews and more posts! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!