Top 10 'Family Guy' Jokes that Crossed the Line
There are a lot of 'Family Guy' jokes that crossed the line; how did they air on national television?
But where are those good old-fashioned values? Well, you won’t find them here. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Family Guy Jokes That Crossed the Line."
For this list, we’ll be highlighting the Family Guy gags that went too far, whether they made light of very sensitive topics, or were just incredibly disgusting. Expect both mature content and spoilers ahead.
When Peter learns that Jesus Christ has returned to Earth and is keeping a low profile in Quahog, the Griffin patriarch invites him over for dinner. There Jesus tells the story of his crucifixion… which doesn’t exactly make for a wholesome dinner conversation. Peter convinces Jesus to reveal himself to the world, and the Son of God quickly becomes a nationwide celebrity, soaking up the limelight. While it’s not an intentionally harmful episode, critics agreed there’s something off-putting about Jesus being portrayed as a reckless rock star wannabe. At least there was ONE silver lining about this episode, or have you not heard…?
Family Guy takes pride in its funny/unique musical numbers, but this… this is just something else. Herbert, the creepy old man obsessed with Chris, takes the teen out for dinner. We then cut to a fantasy musical number of Herbert singing “Somewhere That’s Green” from Little Shop of Horrors, with him as Audrey and Chris as Seymour. Apparently, we’re supposed to sympathize with Herbert because he’s old and looking for love… but that doesn’t excuse his constant stalking. All the scene does is take his obsession to a creepy new level—and dressing him like Donna Reed does nothing to help his case.
The scene starts out as a cutaway of a girl at prom dropping something in the dumpster… and then it gets disturbing. An abandoned baby with a Sinatra-like voice sings the blues about being abandoned, and is soon joined by other discarded infants—all of them strutting their stuff while using their umbilical cords like canes. While the song has a certain charm to it and the visuals are definitely creative… it still carries a note of shock value by featuring discarded infants left in the cold. This is undoubtedly one of the show’s strangest musical numbers, and yet it still managed to sneak its way past the censors.
During a road trip, Peter and the gang pass by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. While there, they notice a Vietnamese man harassing two U.S. veterans—boasting loudly about how he killed several of their friends, and referring to the memorial as a scoreboard like an obnoxious gamer. Who was this supposed to be funny for, exactly? Not only does it paint Vietnamese people in an irritating, negative light; it’s also insulting the memories of those who served in the war. Family Guy cutaways are usually pointless but entertaining, but this one seems like it was made just to mock both parties.
After getting locked in a bank vault, Stewie poops his diaper… and enlists Brian to help clean up the mess. The two go back and forth as Stewie tries to convince Brian to lick his diaper clean… until the latter reluctantly agrees. What follows is an agonizingly long sequence of Brian eating Stewie’s waste and Stewie’s vomit. While we don’t see any of the feces, fortunately, this revolting scene is dragged on further than it should be—and with no music or cutaway gags, we have to endure every second of gross-out humor gone wrong.
While recollecting what happened to one of his shirts, Peter makes a statement about a censored cutaway gag. The cutaway was supposed to show Michael J. Fox spilling wine on Peter’s shirt because of his Parkinson’s Disease, but Peter explains in detail why they weren’t going to show it... and then they show it anyway. This wasn’t the first time they’ve made a crack about Parkinson’s either—having previously jabbed at Muhammad Ali. But this time they had the gall to say they “wanted” to take the high road… only to completely backpedal for a cheap laugh at Michael’s expense.
Quagmire’s navy man father is in town, but the others are puzzled by his effeminate mannerisms. They write it off as him being gay, but it turns out it’s deeper than that; he’s actually a transgender woman in town for a sex change, and is changing his name to Ida. Quagmire’s bitter attitude is more realistic; he’s uncomfortable and confused by this sudden change with someone he deeply admired. Everyone else’s attitude, however, is downright appalling, as they make crude remarks and treat Ida like some sort of monster. Brian’s reaction is worst of all, making what happens to him in the end all the more cathartic.
Recklessly enjoying his new tab at Goldman’s Pharmacy, Peter goes off the deep end and buys eight cases of ipecac. He then challenges Brian, Stewie, and Chris to a drinking contest to see who vomits first. In a matter of seconds, everything goes south—everyone starts regurgitating all over the room, and each other—crying in agony throughout the whole ordeal. This goes on for a whole minute, while we’re left watching in disgust as the idiots clutch their stomachs in pain. The one saving grace is the punch line at the end; however, there’s something worse than watching this gruesome display—watching it in reverse.
When Peter boasts about being an ace at delivering bad news, it leads to a cutaway gag of him and a barbershop quartet performing for a patient in the hospital, informing the poor guy that he’s developed “full-blown” AIDS. While the tune itself is a catchy earworm, that fact didn’t make people any less upset, especially protesters from several AIDS service organizations. As it turns out, making light of a deadly disease with an upbeat song doesn’t make a joke any less offensive. The DVD commentary revealed that the song was made intentionally tasteless so the joke would work, and it looks like they reaped what they sowed.
Before we unveil the number one low blow, here are a few dishonorable mentions.
- Peter Griffin Jr. “The Juice is Loose”
- Peter in the Boston Marathon “Turban Cowboy”
- Peter Contemplates Suicide “Brian’s a Bad Father”
With the Griffins facing financial destitution, Peter wishes that he knew someone Jewish to handle his money troubles… obviously playing into old stereotypes. Desperate, Peter starts singing about his need for a Jew—a musical number that features Hebrew imagery… and one over-the-line lyric. In fact, the episode was deemed too anti-Semitic for Fox—instead, Adult Swim first aired it after the show’s cancellation. The rest of the episode is actually fairly tame and silly—by Family Guy standards—but that one jab opened the door for even more digs at religion in the future.