Oh, Family Guy, what have they done to you? At one time or another, I’m sure many of you were proud to call this one-time compelling, and very much underdog, grown-up television show one of your favorites. And sure, even back in its prime, Family Guy wasn’t the smartest or even the most well-written show, but boy was it entertaining. Family Guy was the type of show that would even get your crossed-armed, very stubborn parents to chuckle once in a while. Because who wouldn’t, at the very least, chuckle at seeing Peter fight a giant chicken or at seeing their random and often gut-busting cutaways?
*Sigh* Those were the good times, weren’t they? Well, time hasn’t been too sweet to Family Guy, if we're being honest. Suffice to say that Family Guy has not only jumped the horse, but has practically set the record for the number of eye rolls the audience has no doubt sustained throughout the later seasons.
It’s hard to pinpoint just exactly when Family Guy started to plummet downhill in terms of quality, as we’d be lying if we said we didn’t enjoy some of the jokes in later episodes. But maybe we’ll get a better understanding of that timeline as we look at some of the worst moments across the lifetime of Family Guy, including the worst storylines, cutaways, and characters they introduced into the series. And no episode is safe, as even some of the earlier episodes are guilty of some ridiculous storylines that we’re sure all fans want to forget. Well, we hope we don’t step on too many toes with this one, but Family Guy’s had this one coming for a while.
25 That Time Meg Finally Struck Back, Only To Accept Her Fate... (Season 10, Episode 2)
So this episode gets a lot of flak, but for the most part, it’s a crazy enjoyable episode. The Griffins are feuding like never before, Brian goes on a rather interesting journey that leaves him taking one of his ears off, and Meg FINALLY snaps back.
Meg finally turns on the family for always making fun of her, highlighting that they’re all just projecting their own insecurities.
It’s awesome, but then it all goes south once Meg realizes she has to accept her psychological warfare from her family to keep them all stable.
24 That Time They Got Rid Of Brian (Season 12, Episode 6)
At this point, Family Guy had already jumped the shark; multiple times, if we’re being honest. But getting rid of Brian felt like the final blow, not only to the integrity of the show but also to the fans who had been keeping up with Family Guy late into its life.
It was a cheap shock stunt and one that got everyone interested in Family Guy for a few moments until they inevitably brought Brian back. Vinny, the dog that replaced Brian, was even pretty funny. Yet it was all wasted in this cash grab of a storyline.
23 The Time They Perhaps Crossed Too Many Lines (Season 10, Episode 3)
In 2018 there aren’t many lines to be crossed; South Park, The Simpsons, and most certainly Family Guy have all but crossed all the lines in terms of content. Even being someone who loves me some offensive humor, there are just some lines that, if crossed, you gotta cross them with some form of intelligence behind it.
Well, Family Guy crossed one line in season 10, episode 3, but the main problem really is just how childishly they did it. Quagmire’s sister is experiencing problems and it’s shown off so many times as if that’s the joke. Good one, Seth!
22 When Stewie Tried To Have Brian’s Child (Season 13, Episode 12)
I’m sure you’re sensing a bit of a pattern here, or even if you aren’t, you’re probably well aware that most of Family Guy’s weaker moments come from the later episodes and seasons. Shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, but season 13, episode 12 once again proves this philosophy to be true.
In the episode, Stewie becomes pregnant with Brian’s DNA in an effort to save their friendship… yup, you’re reading that right. This episode is absolute garbage, and rewatching it made me want to shut down the part of my brain that remembers this abomination.
21 When Brian Sent Out A Bad Tweet (Season 16, Episode 6)
At some point or another, you’d feel that they’d all but run out of ideas for Family Guy. Well, it looked like social media added a little fuel to this dumpster fire we all remember loving at one point or another.
This episode features Brian and showcases him as the pretentious jerk that we’ve all come to love him as... oh, sorry, did I say love? I meant abhor. Brian sends out a dumb irrelevant tweet, everyone hates him, and the episode literally ends with him hiding from the world in what is probably the strangest ending to an episode.
20 That Time Peter Had Too Much Red Bull (Season 9, Episode 8)
Some of the storylines for Family Guy just got too ridiculous as time went on, and this episode is perhaps the biggest example of that. Peter ends up addicted to Red Bull, which presents itself as rather harmless until Peter gives up the drink for a kerosene-based one resulting in kidney failure.
The episode is pushed as far as the whole family having to say goodbye to Brian as he attempts to donate his kidneys to Peter. This episode highlights a few things: Peter is way, way, too dumb now, and the sloppy writing might be his only competition.
19 James Woods Stealing Peter's Identity (Season 6, Episode 11)
James Woods is perhaps one of the best side characters in Family Guy (although he’s definitely got some strong competition). And while Season 6, Episode 11 gives us some more James Wood brilliance, the writing pales in comparison.
James Woods steals Peters identity simply because he now dresses like him... oh, and has his wallet. It might be a little nitpicky, but it’s impossible to not find this episode a little ridiculous at times. Thankfully the ending gives a little saving grace, even if we have seen it before.
18 Peter And Lois' Strange Encounter With "Scientists" (Season 10, Episode 12)
Family Guy gets really preachy at times, but sometimes the message is either bogged down by the all the random craziness, or in this episode’s case, just something that really no one can relate to.
Peter and Lois are tasked with rescuing a child from "scientists" who have chosen to rely on prayer over modern medicine. One: This is extremely wrong and that kid would’ve long been removed from that family upon discovery. Two: Leave the religious topics to someone who can do it proper justice, like South Park.
17 That Time Brian Found His Kid (Season 6, Episode 11)
Family Guy’s characters really all stink at this point, but they each met their downfalls at different times in the series. Brian's downfall kind of started here...
Brian finds out he has a kid, and one with a woman who is pretty unpleasant. But as lame is it is, Brian showcases most of the ugliness. He outright rejects his kid, Dylan, but that isn’t the part that we’re fixating on as Dylan’s sudden change of heart is what we hate. The whole episode Dylan’s a jerk, but in one flash he’s suddenly a heartfelt guy in what feels crazily rushed.
16 When Chris Inherited His Grandpa's Fortune (Season 12, Episode 14)
Hopefully, you don’t remember this one, only because you gave up on anything of quality coming out of Family Guy. If that’s the case, we’ll give you a quick breakdown of this mess of an episode.
Chris starts bonding with his grandpa, and in typical Family Guy fashion everything is stupidly rushed and Chris is in line to inherit his grandfather’s money. Well, Peter shows that he’s basically a scumbag and decides to marry his son for the money (my goodness, does this one make me want to punch a wall).
15 That Time The Griffins Didn't Accept Brian's New Girlfriend (Season 8, Episode 4)
This episode's called “Brian’s got a Brand new Bag,” and no, it’s not a bag like you think, but instead the tile is referring to Brian’s new older girlfriend. The title sets the tone for the rest of the episode as the Griffin family “bags” on Brian for dating an older woman.
It’s just another example that the Griffins STINK, especially since Brian’s girlfriend is a pretty good-looking gal. It’s not even that funny to start off, but as the episode progresses it just gets plain cruel.
14 When Chris Became A Huge Art Sensation (Season 2, Episode 11)
Ah, the earlier episodes of Family Guy; good times, good times. This episode is no exception; it’s got the laughs and the cutaways (that Andy Warhol party especially gets me every time.)
The problem is the main storyline; it’s the typical dad exploiting his son only for everyone to learn a lesson by the end one. Sure, I’ll take this episode over almost everything that the new ones have to offer, but it’s a storyline that was perhaps too dumbed down, even for Family Guy.
13 That Time Brian Knowingly Gave People A Disease (Season 12, Episode 16)
What we're talking about here is serious; yup, we’re talking about a certain disease, and Brian was knowingly giving it to people, which should solidify him as one of the worst characters on the show. But we’re talking about the Griffins here.
Brian brushes off giving people this disease as “Not that big a deal…” Let that one sink in for a moment. Not only did Brian give it to Stewie, but he also gave it to Chris on top of that... you know what, this actually might make Brian the worst character.
12 And Peter Losing His Booth In The Same Episode (Season 12, Episode 16)
That’s right, not only is episode 16 of season 12 one of the worst for Brian’s actions, but it gets worse with Peter’s story. Peter and the gang lose their booth to a bunch of jerks who are prepared to fight them for it, and to top it off they’re apparently not allowing anyone to sit there anymore.
Then the episode wraps up by revealing these scumbags were soldiers the whole time to which everyone now loves them. Yeah… we’re not really sure what the message is here, but it’s definitely not a good one.
11 Meg Knocks Her Brother Down A Peg (Season 7, Episode 13)
Meg’s a teenage girl, which means that high school popularity is a bit of a hot commodity. But who would’ve known she would do anything to make it to the top?
When her brother becomes a popular jerk, she knocks him down a peg by revealing a rather hilariously embarrassing video. But it’s so sad to see Meg, a rather smart girl, so blindsided by popularity. By the end, she even asks her brother “What was it like being one of them?”
10 The Entirety Of "Brian Griffin's House Of Pain" (Season 8, Episode 15)
We’re going to cut Brian a little slack here, as even though this episode focuses on him, it’s the subplot that gets a bit dicey. We're referring to Stewie accidentally getting pushed down the stairs, only for Meg and Chris to cover it all up.
Man oh man, are there some hilarious moments in this one, especially by the end when you find out Lois would’ve done the same thing. But this is one of those prime moments that showcase just how terrible the Griffins have become later into the series.
9 That Time Meg Became A Little Too Preachy... (Season 7, Episode 11)
Meg is a pretty impressionable girl, especially in the earlier seasons, but it only took her a few episodes of Kirk Cameron before she became an extremely passionate worshipper. She became so enthralled with the religion that she tried converting Brian, a devout nonbeliever.
This episode gets pretty dicey, with Brian and Meg both trying to push their strong beliefs onto each other. Brian falsely converts to get drinks, and Meg ends up at a book-burning, making them both pretty despicable by the end. Hey, at least that ending was hilarious.
8 Peter Ignoring His Son For Cleveland Jr. (Season 2, Episode 21)
Now, a lot of people hate this episode for Cleveland Jr. (Who looks drastically different from his appearance in The Cleveland Show, but we guess we’ll save that for another time), but our distaste comes from Peter’s terrible treatment of his son, again.
This time Peter picks Cleveland Jr. as his partner for father-son-golf, only because he’s a way better player. Man, was that some messed up stuff to do to Chris, especially when you’re ignoring him for a hyperactive kid that’s half his age.
7 Maybe They Went A Little Too Far With That Episode... (Season 7, Episode 9)
Growing up as a kid who never viewed the live events of the O.J. trial, I thought the Family Guy episode was absolutely hilarious. Even that ending in the episode where O.J. gets a woman in plain daylight made me chuckle while my parents curled.
Well, I definitely better understand their reservations now, and maybe Family Guy… went a little too far. Personally, the episode still gives me some laughs, but it makes sense why many see this as one where Family Guy should’ve maybe left this topic alone.
6 Brian And Quagmire's Hatred For Each Other
Scrap an individual episode, because these two’s distaste for one another is enough to get us furious. These two started off as my favorite characters in the series, Brian as a level-headed voice of reason, and Quagmire, well, I’m sure I don’t have to explain him to you.
But then Quagmire started hating Brian (for reasons that we hated Brian, mind you) but it seemed way out of the blue for characters who rarely interact with each other. They’ll probably never see eye-to-eye, but this is one rivalry we’ll never accept.
5 That Time Meg Fought Back With Her Grossness... (Season 12, Episode 4)
Meg was pretty much just as bad as everyone else at this point, but this episode just put it over the edge. It’s a shame that they couldn’t make a bully episode as good as American Dad’s Stelios Kontos, but I digress.
Meg’s gotta find a way to deal with her bully, and she does it in a rather interesting way... Her wit? Nope. Maybe her unpopular friends tag along to help her? Nada. She uses the grossest things about her, including pimple squirts and make-outs. I hate using this word, but the whole thing is just cringy.
4 Peter's Little Buddy Chip (Season 12, Episode 2)
It seems like every show that does the little version dynamic is always destined to fail (well, we guess we’ll give Rick and Morty a bit of a pass). This is a love or hate episode, but boy, do I hate it.
Peter’s little buddy, Chip, has his moments, but overall he’s just a tiny guy who gets annoying really quick. I feel like Seth Macfarlane would’ve been against ever doing an episode like this when he first started Family Guy, but I guess here we are.
3 That Time Brian Betrayed Stewie (Season 9, Episode 6)
Brian and Stewie’s relationship was perhaps one of the best, and long-lasting parts of Family Guy. But all good things must come to an end, and while season 9’s episode 6 isn’t that end, it very well could’ve been the beginning of it.
Brian writes a bestselling book and goes onto do what most characters do with money and fame: betray the people that got him there. Every friendship has bumps in the road, but Brian this episode proves Brian really doesn’t deserve fame.
2 When The Griffins Sent Brian To Obedience School (Season 13, Episode 15)
Speaking of Brian letting power get to his head; in this episode, Brian bites Peter after forcibly getting his medicine through his rump. Brian realizes he has power now over Peter and goes onto once again use it.
So the Griffins are forced to send Brian to obedience school in order to bring him back down to Earth. This leads to Peter now using his power over Brian in what feels like a rather head-spinning episode.
1 Those Conway Twitty Cutaways…
It may not be a true storyline, but it’s something that has perhaps grown into a completely singular monstrosity of its own: those dreaded Conway Twitty cutaways. What started off as a playful gag got tiresome pretty quickly, and it was at that point that Macfarlane shoved these cutaways down our throats.
Don’t lie to me and tell me you’ve never skipped one of these things, or at the very least, checked your watch because you wanted the episode to get on with it. If you’re not going to end Family Guy, at the very least, NO MORE TWITTY!