A long table filled with Family Guy characters
(Fox)

Victory Is Mine! Ranking Our 10 Favorite ‘Family Guy’ Episodes of All Time

It’s difficult to find a television show that’s as provocative, culturally relevant, and irreverent as Family Guy, so let’s take a look a the best of the best episodes the series has to offer.

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Created by Seth MacFarlane, the long-running series premiered on Fox on January 31, 1999, immediately following Super Bowl XXXIII. The action centers around the Griffin family of the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island, and the writing routinely lampoons real world news, pop culture, and entertainment.

With over twenty-three seasons spanning 25 years, it’s hard to pick a favorite episode, so we’ve done it for you! Below you’ll find the top ten Family Guy episodes to date. Read on to find out which episode is number 1.

10. “The Simpsons Guy” (season 13, episode 1)

The Simpsons characters run towards the sofa but find the Family Guy characters there already
(Fox)

Family Guy’s thirteenth season kicked off with a bang (and a beer!) in a much-lauded crossover episode that was a long time coming: “The Simpsons Guy.” Both The Simpsons and Family Guy are animated series for adults that air on Fox, so it’s understandable that they’re often compared to one another. This episode, which aired on September 28, 2014, was the first time both worlds merged.

In this episode, the Griffins’ car gets stolen outside of Springfield, so they stay with the Simpsons’ at Evergreen Terrace. Later, Peter must go to court to represent his employer, Pawtucket Patriot brewery, when they’re accused of copying the recipe for Duff Beer. Five of the main Simpsons voice actors appeared in this crossover—everyone by Harry Shearer.

9. “Back to the Pilot” (season 10, episode 5)

Family Guy and Cleveland in Back to the Pilot episode
(Fox)

“Back to the Pilot” from the show’s tenth season has major Rick and Morty vibes, and audiences ate it up! It originally aired on November 13, 2011, and the plot involves Stewie and Brian (both voiced by show creator Seth MacFarlane) traveling back in time using a time machine. Together, they journey way back to the very first episode, “Death Has a Shadow,” where Brian accidentally tells his past self about the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Thanks the butterfly effect, the future is then dramatically changed and they must find a way to stop a civil war that would end America as we know it. There are more cultural references than we can count in this episode, and the writers tread an ultra-thin line between being respectful about 9/11 and … not.

8. “Yug Ylimaf” (season 11, episode 4)

Quagmyre puts out a sign in front of his house that says "Netchix"
(Fox)

This fan-favorite was the 200th episode, and it aired on November 11, 2012. A hint to the plot lies in the title: Yug Ylimaf is “Family Guy” spelled backwards. Brian starts messing around with Stewie’s time machine in order to impress his dates, and he accidentally makes time run backwards. Stewie and Brian run around Quahog seeing the effects of his error, and soon they realize that if they don’t fix the glitch, Stewie will be “unborn.”

7. “PTV” (season 4, episode 14)

FCC suits hold up a censor block in front of a naked Peter Griffin
(Fox)

Remember when Janet Jackson was vilified by the media after Justin Timberlake exposed her chest during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show? The FCC imposed strict rules after the incident, and this episode of Family Guy is a direct response to the new laws. In “PTV,” Peter gets fed up with TV starts his own network called PTV. Stewie and Brian create shows for the network, and it’s a big hit until Lois gets worried about kids watching their content and calls the FCC. Next thing you know, the FCC is monitoring everything in Quahog, and not just on the air waves. What can we say? It’s a slippery slope.

6. “And the Wiener Is” (season 3, episode 5)

Family Guy's Brian and Stewie eat while eying each other suspiciously
(Fox)

In “And the Wiener Is,” from August 8, 2001, showrunners address many taboos in one go. First, Peter is insecure that his manhood does not measure up to his son Chris’s. They go hunting and get attacked by a bear, which Chris fends off, leading Peter to realize that being manly has very little to do with the size of your junk. Elsewhere, Lois’s evil side comes out when she encourages Meg to pull a nasty prank on a cheerleader who made fun of her. Everything goes wrong, but the ladies get the last laugh with a little help from their pervy friend Quagmire.

5. “Stewie Kills Lois” (season 6, episode 4)

Stewie brandishes a gun in Family Guy
(Fox)

This is the first episode in a two-part series. “Stewie Kills Lois” aired on November 4, 2007, and the followup “Lois Kills Stewie” aired one week later on November 11. The story begins when Brian buys Lois tickets for a cruise as a birthday gift. She takes Peter with her, upsetting Stewie, who decides to kill his mother on the cruise. After a year, he realizes his murder plot was unsuccessful, and Lois must prove that Stewie attempted to kill her in order to take over the world. The episode ends in a cliffhanger, so you’ll have to watch both episodes for the full story.

4. “Meet the Quagmires” (season 5, episode 18)

Quagmire dips Lois as their children look on in Family Guy
(Fox)

Here’s another Family Guy episode with cultural references galore, particularly in respect the the Back to the Future trilogy. It originally aired on May 20, 2007, and it features Stewie’s time machine once again. Peter goes back in time just so he can remember how it felt to be single, but doing so causes an alternate reality to emerge: Lois is now married to Quagmire, and they have three kids together. The Quagmires are much happier than the Griffins, which of course doesn’t sit well with Peter, so he has to do what he can to reverse the mistake.

3. “Road to Rhode Island” (season 2, episode 13)

Brian and Stewie on the lookout
(Fox)

This episode from May 30, 2000 was the first of the “Road to …” series within Family Guy. These episodes feature Stewie and Brian taking a road trip to somewhere outside of Quahog, whether it’s a real or fictional realm. There are currently eight “Road to …” episodes in total. In this episode, Brian tries to bring Stewie home from his grandparents’ house in Palm Springs but accidentally gets drunk at the airport and misses the flight. Then they start a cross-country road trip that’s filled with trials and tribulations. Back at home, Peter becomes addicted to a marriage counseling YouTube channel hosted by an adult film actress.

2. “And Then There Were Fewer” (season 9, episode 1)

A long table filled with Family Guy characters
(Fox)

Fans of Agatha Christie novels and the 1985 film based on the Clue board game, “And Then There Were Fewer” is for you! The title is a take on Christie’s 1939 mystery And Then There Were None, and it follows a similar storyline. Actor James Woods plays himself as a rich guy who invites all of Quahog’s citizens to a dinner party at his remote island compound. Once there, people start dropping dead, and the others must solve the mystery before they wind up next on the chopping block.

This hour-long episode was the ninth season opener, and it aired on September 26, 2010.

1. “Road to the Multiverse” (season 8, episode 1)

Stewie and Brian in alternate reality with a mustachioed-Tinkerbell
(Fox)

This addition to the “Road to …” series aired on September 27, 2009 and was viewed by about 10.17 million people in the United States. It was the first episode of Season 8, but it was more significant because it was the first newly-produced episode in more than a year due to writers’ strikes in 2007/2008. It also served as a lead-in to the premier of another Fox animated show, The Cleveland Show.

In “Road to the Multiverse,” Stewie and Brian use a magical remote control to check out parallel universes. They wind up getting stuck in one universe where humans are like dogs and dogs rule over them. Brian loves it there, naturally, and doesn’t want to return to his own reality, forcing Stewie to find his own way home. This episode won an Individual Achievement in Animation Emmy award for animator Greg Colton.

If you’re looking to catch up on all of the Family Guy action, you can watch the first 22 seasons of the series on Hulu. Current episodes recently moved from Sunday to Wednesday nights, on Fox.


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Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins (she/her) is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She writes about pop culture, entertainment, and web memes, and has published a book or a funny day-to-day desk calendar about web humor every year for a decade. When not writing, she's listening to audiobooks or watching streaming movies under a pile of her very loved (spoiled) pets.