Top 20 Best Family Guy Episodes

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Top 20 Best Family Guy Episodes

VOICE OVER: Callum Janes WRITTEN BY: Callum Janes
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 20 Family Guy Episodes. For this list, we'll be looking at the greatest, funniest, and most impactful episodes of Seth Macfarlane's animated sitcom. Our countdown includes "The Thin White Line," "The Simpsons Guy," "PTV," "I Dream of Jesus," and more!
Transcript

#20: “E. Peterbus Unum”


Just like the title, out of the many, this episode stands as a prime example of the golden age of “Family Guy.” After Peter tries and fails to get a pool put in his backyard, he discovers that his house sits on land that isn’t a part of the United States. So, Peter declares his house a new country called “Petoria.” The episode revels in Peter’s overzealous new ruling of his country, and the government’s overreaction to such a small and insignificant power. Plus, we get a fun little parody of President Clinton, ordering around his subordinates while naked. You can’t touch this episode.

#19: “Family Guy Viewer Mail” Episodes


When a show runs out of ideas, sometimes you have to ask the audience. Well, the Griffin family didn’t even have to ask. With mountains of mail arriving, Brian and Stewie share a few letters in these special episodes. This paves the way for several short stories with concepts that might not have been considered before. They include seeing things from Stewie’s point of view, Peter having his strange wishes granted, and even the Griffin family getting superpowers. All of these suggested situations lead to interesting and side-splitting scenarios, and we’re ever grateful that the Griffins answered.

#18: “The Thin White Line”


While “Family Guy” focuses on making viewers laugh, sometimes the writers show they can also tackle a serious subject or two. Brian’s in a bit of a rut, so when he gets offered to be a sniffer dog for the police department, he jumps at the offer. This new enforcer of the law excels, bringing down many comedically themed crime outfits, including a fake Sunday school classroom. But on top of the crazy buddy cop scenarios that Joe and Brian end up in, the episode takes a real look at misusing power and addiction. The dog gets sent to rehab and parts ways with the family, setting the stage for another amazing Brian episode in Hollywood!

#17: “PeTerminator”


As the show got on in years, it became more adventurous with its parodies. And by far, one of the most kickass episodes was the homage to James Cameron’s “Terminator” franchise. Stewie gets upset when Lois serves broccoli for dinner, so he designs a Peter-looking robot for revenge! But then, that same robot travels back in time to kill Stewie! The time-travel antics are a little complicated towards the end, but there’s plenty of action and laughs to be had along the way! Plus, we get a “Bad to the Bone” rendition of “Surfin’ Bird”. And a quick jab at “Rick and Morty” as the icing on the cake.

#16: “Yug Ylimaf”


Stewie’s technological shenanigans always lead to some of the series’ most interesting episodes. When Brian uses Stewie’s time machine to pick up women, his meddling causes it to malfunction, leading time to reverse at an accelerating rate. Infamous moments from across “Family Guy” history play out in front of our eyes in updated, albeit backwards, animation - from Peter falling down the stairs, to the infamous puking scene, to an epic chicken fight! Yes, there are some really gross-out moments here, but it lets us relive some classic jokes while also adding a new layer of comedy.

#15: “McStroke”


When you hear, “‘Family Guy’ gave Peter a stroke,” you can't help but double-take. They did what?! After Peter grows a moustache and gets mistaken for a fireman, he loses the stache but is rewarded with infinite burgers. This results in him having a stroke, leaving his left side paralyzed. He then goes around trying to live his normal life to mixed results. There are some great but also farcical jokes in this episode, including Peter slamming his arm in a car door. “Family Guy” is not afraid to tackle sensitive topics and they hit a home run with this one.

#14: “I Dream of Jesus”


Don’t you know, about this episode? Surely everybody’s heard! After Peter’s favorite song gets broken, he visits a record store and finds Jesus Christ. Literally! This episode is full of amazing gags, from outrageous miracles, to an incredibly accurate Jay Leno impression, to the unforgettable shot for shot remake of the printer scene from “Office Space.” This episode never misses a beat, and it shocked a lot of people with its corrupted celebrity portrayal of the son of God. “I Dream of Jesus” plays out like a dream indeed - a surreal fever dream!

#13: “Patriot Games”


BING BONG! Hello! Did you think we’d forget this episode? After Peter shows off his barging abilities at a high-school reunion, Tom Brady recruits him for the New England Patriots! But his flair for the dramatic starts to get in the way of the game, annoying his teammates. Fortunately, their annoyance is our gain as we get one of the weirdest show tunes in the show's history! And while all of this is plenty funny, what’s even more notable is the subplot. When Brian loses a bet with Stewie, he suffers a number of brutal beatdowns after he fails to pay up. If there’s one thing to rewatch this episode for, it’s that.

#12: “Blue Harvest”


“Star Wars” has been parodied by several animated shows, but “Family Guy” was in a world of its own! When the power goes out, Peter tells the family the story of the sci-fi classic. Following the plot of “A New Hope,” we see the cast enter the roles of the famous sci-fi characters. And “Blue Harvest” delivers punchline after punchline, leaving you laughing even if you’re not a “Star Wars” fan. This satirical episode was so popular, Fox got the showrunners to parody the sequels as well. It’s an amazing homage from a galaxy far, far away that will be with us. Always.

#11: “Death Is a Bitch”


Death is as iconic a minor character as the rest of the Quahog. So whenever he appears, you know it’s gonna be a good episode. Death comes knocking on Peter’s door but sprains his ankle while chasing him. Since Death can’t do his job, no one can die, which Peter is sure to blab to the whole world. The Griffin patriarch is then forced to take over Death’s job. The late Norm MacDonald’s performance as Death is brilliant, and we still can’t help but wonder if that giant squid still plagues the household.

#10: “The Simpsons Guy”


Given that both of these shows are owned by Fox, they’ve poked fun at each other numerous times. However, when the Griffins actually met the Simpsons, everyone was flabbergasted. Seeing the people of Quahog interact with the residents of Springfield was a dream come true. The fact they addressed the accusations that one was a copy of the other created some amazing meta-humor, and the crossover also led to scenes that no one will forget. Both of these sitcoms have entertained the masses for decades, so it’s no wonder that “The Simpsons Guy” is one of the most memorable “Family Guy” episodes.

#9: “Stewie Kills Lois” / “Lois Kills Stewie”


Stewie’s wish to kill his mother has been a fan favorite conflict since the start of the show. In this iconic storyline, Stewie is finally able to pull the trigger and get rid of his mother. But we learn that Lois survived and takes on her son after he becomes a tyrannical president. For all the close calls and what-ifs that were thrown around over the years, it was satisfying seeing this battle finally play out. Stewie was brilliant and Lois was a badass action hero. While it did all turn out to be a computer simulation, we’re glad we got to see it happen.

#8: “Da Boom”


This episode was certainly explosive among fans. As we enter the 2000s, the Griffins are among the only ones prepared for the Y2K crisis. As the family attempts to survive this post-apocalyptic world, Peter tries to rebuild society. You can guess how well that worked out. The story is filled with plenty of memorable gags, including the first appearance of Ernie the Giant Chicken. Of course, the world can’t stay like this, so we get a perfect homage when we learn the whole episode was a dream had by Victoria Principal from “Dallas.” It’s a fantastic episode all around!

#7: “Meet the Quagmires”


You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Peter gets jealous of Quagmire’s single lifestyle, so Death sends him and Brian back in time so Peter can get a taste for it. In doing so, he drastically changes the present. He’s married to Molly Ringwald, Al Gore is president of the United States, and Lois is married to Quagmire. We see that everyone seems a lot happier in this universe, all except Peter with the knowledge of what he’s lost. Although the world might’ve been better if they weren’t married, seeing Peter fight for Lois does amount to a touching resolution in “Back to the Future” fashion.

#6: “Petarded”


“Family Guy” likes to shock audiences from time to time, and “Petarded” might not be made today. When Peter wins at Trivial Pursuit (thanks to some meddling from Lois), he starts flaunting his “superior” intelligence. This annoys Brian and results in Peter taking an IQ test, which reveals some shocking news. However, he then takes advantage of this so he can get away with whatever he wants. There are a lot of good jokes in this episode, even if it’s far from sensitive to its subject matter. Yet, it’s remained a highly rated episode since its airing thanks to its dark, twisted humor.

#5: “Brian & Stewie”


Bottle episodes, where the characters are trapped with each other for a certain length of time, can lead to some serious vulnerability and discovery. And this episode did not disappoint. When Brian takes Stewie to his safe deposit box, the two accidentally get locked in for the weekend. As they count down the hours, the writers really delve deep into their relationship with no cutaways to be seen. There are a few laughs for sure, but it’s the emotional turmoil and development that hits home. It’s episodes like these where we get to empathize with our characters that can prove to be the most memorable.

#4: “PTV”


“Family Guy” has come under a lot of scrutiny for its jokes and subject matter. So Seth MacFarlane decided to send a message with “PTV.” In this episode, Peter gets sick and tired of his favorite shows being meddled with, so he creates his own TV station. But the result is a visit from the FCC. The episode roasts the sometimes unworkable standards of the Federal Communications Commission. And while there are plenty of jokes in here that could’ve gotten the show in trouble, they aren’t even subtle when they start singing a jaunty tune. While it may not be at the top of this list, it will certainly remain unforgettable for the FCC.

#3: “And Then There Were Fewer”


This love letter to movies like “And Then There Were None” and “Clue” was incredibly memorable for shaking up the formula. Instead of just following the Griffin family through their shenanigans, this episode allows the extended cast of “Family Guy” shine as we discover a murder mystery. You can’t help but get hooked when prominent side characters are getting axed off left and right! And while the plot is full of amazing twists and turns, the show doesn’t forget to be funny. We love the fact that all these years down the line, Stewie still hasn’t lost his edge.

#2: “Back to the Pilot”


In Season 10, Brian and Stewie went back in time to the very first episode of the iconic sitcom - highlighting the drastic differences between when the show began to where it is now. And the writers take full advantage! But when Brian succeeds in preventing 9/11, there are unforeseen consequences - including Civil War and an apocalyptic future. Their meddling soon reaches the point where countless versions of Stewie and Brian keep going back in time to avert new disasters. It was an incredibly funny and even thought-provoking take on the risks of time travel.

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

“Life of Brian”

A Death in the Family Tore Out Our Hearts

“Death Has a Shadow”

The Pilot Episode Showcases the Best of What’s to Come

“Emmy-Winning Episode”

The Griffin Family Go All Out in an Attempt to Win Gold

“Three Kings”

Three Stephen King Stories, Three Hilarious Parodies

“12 and a Half Angry Men”

This Episode Lets the Minor Characters Shine

#1: “Road to the Multiverse”


Whenever “Road to” is in the title, you know Brian and Stewie are in for quite the adventure, whether that be trying to get home or attempting to kill Santa Claus. But perhaps the greatest and most adventurous episode of “Family Guy” is “Road to the Multiverse.” In this episode, the duo explores the endless possible realities after Stewie wins an animal contest with a mutated pig. The vast universes get funnier and funnier with every new one introduced, including a dog universe, a “Robot Chicken” universe, and the most expensive-looking: the Disney universe! While comedy is always subjective, no one will ever forget “It’s a Wonderful Day for Pie'' and you know it!
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