At its best funnier than The Simpsons, Family Guy has been a regular evening fixture in my house now for years. While American Dad arguably has Seth McFarlane’s finest cartoon creations in Stan Smith and Roger, Family Guy easily has the best ensemble cast of characters, and its own ace in the hole in Brian.
Here are seven episodes that any Griffin family fan should familiarise themselves with:
1) Brian Does Hollywood (Season Three)Family Guy is known for pushing the envelope and having porn right at the core of this story cements that reputation further. Brian goes to make it big in Hollywood and ends up a porno director in this second-part of season three’s two-part opener.Best scene: Any involving Brian’s camp cousin Jasper.
2) The Father, The Holy Son, and The Fonz (Season Four)
One of the rare episode’s featuring Peter’s father, this is essentially a thinly veiled attack on organised religion. Peter sets up his own church – of The Fonz – following an argument with his dad.
Best scene: The stained glass windows in Peter’s church depicting Happy Days scenes, complete with images of Potsie, Ralph Malph and Al.
3) Da Boom (Season Two)First aired in Christmas 1999, this episode played on the fears surrounding the millennium bug as Quahog, and the rest of the world, paid the consequences of failing technology. As Peter has built his family a bunker, the Griffins survive and their search for a Twinkie factory to sustain them is partially successful. They do indeed survive, but Stewie comes in contact with nuclear waste and grows tentacles. The episode ends with Bobby Ewing (in a cut to a live action sequence starring Patrick Duffy himself) revealing it was all a dream.
Best scene: Peter fights a big Chicken for a long, long time. Genius. Closely followed by the fused together Quagland/Clevemire.
4) Road to Europe (Season Three)The second episode centering on a Stewie and Brian road trip (the first being season three’s Road to Rhode Island), this is actually most memorable for the side story featuring Lois and Peter at KISSstock. Seth McFarlane must have a thing for KISS, as they also appear in A Very Special Family Guy Freakin’ Christmas when Peter watches KISS Save Christmas on TV.
Best scene: Peter’s joy at finding out Lois has slept with Gene Simmons.
5) Patriot Games (Season Four)
Another episode in which the secondary storyline brings the best laughs. Peter ends up playing football for the New England Patriots while Stewie becomes a sports bookie. When Brian owes him money, he receives the beating of his life – several times – to Stewie’s cries of ‘Where’s my money?’. As the episode carries on, Stewie worries about when Brian is going to get his own back.
Best scene: The payoff at the end when Brian pushes Stewie into an oncoming coach.
6) Airport 07 (Season Five)Taking its influence from the funniest film ever made, this is a great tribute to the brilliance of Airplane! Quagmire loses his pilot’s licence thanks to Peter who, with help from Cleveland and Joe, tries to help him get his job back. Several scenes throughout directly mirror Airplane! including one with the episode’s guest star Hugh Hefner.
Best scene: While staying with the Griffins after having lost his job, a call comes through on the telephone for a Mr Longrod VonHugendong. Clearly, it’s for Quagmire.
7) Emission Impossible (Season Three)Peter and Lois decide they want another baby and Stewie doesn’t like that one bit. Only one thing to do then, shrink himself down to microscopic size and enter Peter to destroy all his sperm. The first episode to feature Stewie’s nemesis Bertram, it’s not the last as he is also featured in season four’s Sibling Rivalry.
Best scene: The Star Wars pastiches throughout Stewie’s sperm killing attempts.
Agree? Disagree? Head to the comments!