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Top 10 Darkest Moments On Family Guy

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Yes, they actually went there. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten darkest moments on “Family Guy.” For this list, we’ll be looking at the darkest character moments and jokes throughout the history of “Family Guy” so far. These moments can be surprisingly dark and deep moments of character work or extremely dark jokes that made us all gasp in shock and disbelief.
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Yes, they actually went there. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten darkest moments on “Family Guy.”

For this list, we’ll be looking at the darkest character moments and jokes throughout the history of “Family Guy” so far. These moments can be surprisingly dark and deep moments of character work or extremely dark jokes that made us all gasp in shock and disbelief.

#10: Everything with John Herbert


Not many shows regularly feature an openly pedophilic character... Herbert, the pedophile in question, is the Griffin's neighbor, and he's got a thing for young boys – including Chris. The lisping creepo made his debut in “To Love and Die in Dixie” by inviting Chris to reach into his pants... he hasn't gotten any more pleasant from there. Herbert loves to watch Chris eat hot dogs, spies on him through the window, attempts to catch children in a butterfly net. At one point, he even asks Brian for an ice cream truck. Super creepy.

#9: “Prom Night Dumpster Baby” “Airport ‘07”


“Family Guy” is known for their musical numbers, but “Prom Night Dumpster Baby” is a standout. We see a young woman throw something away at prom, and quickly we learn it's a baby – a baby joined by other dumpster babies - for an admittedly catchy musical number, complete with a 40-piece orchestra. Not many shows could do much with this subject matter – let alone a full song and dance – but then again, “Family Guy” isn’t like most TV shows. But there’s no denying that “Prom Night Dumpster Baby” is a shocking and disturbing scene, particularly due to its real-world ramifications.

#8: Terminal News “The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire”


Shocking “Family Guy” musical numbers are nothing new – they have been going strong since Season 4. In the fourth season episode, The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire, Peter is seen with a barbershop quartet giving a man his AIDS diagnosis through song and dance. The crew admitted that the joke was meant to be tasteless in the DVD commentary, and their intentions were realized, as several AIDS organizations protested the song and its content. “Family Guy” goes to dark places, and cheerfully singing about a deadly pandemic and jokingly calling it “full-blown AIDS” is undoubtedly one of its darkest moments.

#7: Stewie Gets Revenge on Olivia & Victor “Chick Cancer”


We know Stewie is psychotic, but we didn’t think he would ever go this far. In the episode “Chick Cancer”, Stewie reunites with his old musical pal Olivia Fuller when she returns to Quahog. However, Stewie later finds Olivia playing with her friend Victor, and feeling betrayed, he sets the playhouse on fire with Olivia and Victor inside. This obviously isn’t meant to be taken seriously, but watching two toddlers be set on fire makes for some incredibly difficult viewing. While Olivia would return in Season 15, viewers went 10 years with no reason to think Stewie wasn't a murderer.

#6: Brian’s Fate “Life of Brian”



Unlike its animated peers, “Family Guy” isn’t known for packing dramatic punches, but Brian’s death certainly got the tears flowing. In “Life of Brian”, Brian is run over by a car. His injuries are horrific and sad enough, but then the Griffins learn that they’ll have to put him down. Brian says a touching farewell before passing away. While Stewie would eventually save his pal with the power of time travel, his initial death was both terribly sad and painfully dark, especially for those who have gone through similar situations with their beloved pets.

#5: Brenda’s Boyfriend “Jerome is the New Black” & “Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q”


“Family Guy” often covers touchy and dramatic subjects, but it usually does it with surrealism and/or tongue-in-cheek humor. Not so with Brenda’s abusive boyfriend, Jeff. In the episode “Jerome Is the New Black”, Quagmire is sheltering his sister from the abuse when Jeff shows up with a baseball bat. Their story is given significant attention in the episode “Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q”, as the Griffins and Quagmire attempt to save the submissive and defensive Brenda from her relationship. It’s all taken unusually seriously, and their story can be a little too realistic and upsetting for some to handle.

#4: Stewie & Brian’s Christmas Home Invasion “Road to the North Pole”


Well, so much for holiday cheer. In the Christmas special “Road to the North Pole”, Stewie and Brian take on the role of Santa, when the real Santa is too sick and exhausted. But their first stop proves to be disastrous. Stewie attacks the father with a baseball bat, he and Brian physically attack the mother after she discovers his body and they tie up their young daughter with duct tape. It’ s unclear if the two survived, but judging by the spilled blood, we’re going to say “no”. It’s a horribly gruesome scene that perfectly highlights the show's penchant for shock value and excessive violence.

#3: Brian’s Revelation “Brian & Stewie”



The episode “Brian & Stewie” is a bit of an enigma. Not only is it light on the jokes, but it also features just those characters while tackling some extremely heavy subject matter, like Brian's possible suicide. Given that Brian is a staunch supporter of gun control, Stewie naturally asks him why he has a gun in his safety deposit box. Brian then reluctantly reveals that he is unhappy and finds comfort in the fact that he has a way out. While Peter has also broached the topic, Brian’s scene is taken much more seriously and is arguably the show’s most upsetting and dramatic sequence.

#2: Peter Griffin JR. “The Juice Is Loose”



The episode “The Juice Is Loose" contains what is arguably the darkest cutaway in the show’s history, and that is saying something. After Lois reminds Peter of what he did the last time he was alone with the children, the episode cuts to Peter Jr.’s grave. Peter explains he thought shaking Peter Jr. would stop him from crying, and then, in true “Family Guy” fashion, adds that he was kind of right. Only “Family Guy” can make a joke out of something like that and have it work, but even then, it's hard not to say they went too far.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions.

Peter Has a Stroke
“McStroke”

The “Cosby Show” Knowing What We Know Now
“Peter’s Sister”

The Terri Schiavo Musical
“Peter-assment”

#1: Quagmire’s Behavior Towards the Simpsons “Movin’ Out (Brian’s Song)”


They might be rivals, but this is just way too much. In the episode “Movin’ Out (Brian’s Song)”, a fake promotion for “The Simpsons” appears on screen, and things turn horrific when Quagmire appears and he forces himself on Marge offscreen, only for her to like it and take him home. When Homer walks in, Quagmire shoots the entire family. Unsurprisingly, Fox said “no way” and pulled the joke from the air. They later told the producers of both shows that they could no longer attack each other. The gag was eventually reinstated for the DVD release for all to watch in disbelief and disgust.
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