A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Good deeds happen erratically at best. But the Griffins stick together through good and bad, highlighting the importance of family.
Positive Role Models
Most characters are pretty clueless and ineffective, even when they mean well. Brian (a dog) and baby Stewie are the smartest characters -- but Stewie is almost always plotting something evil. Plenty of stereotyping and mockery, but the jokes are mostly on the main characters.
The series is populated with characters of different racial and cultural backgrounds, as well as disabled and LGBTQ+ characters, most of whom are treated with respect and are rarely the punchline. Joe Swanson is a cop who uses a wheelchair. One episode features a character with Down syndrome who's voiced by an actor with Down syndrome. Recurring Black characters are respected members of the society. But ultimately the series features mainly White characters.
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Violence & Scariness
Plenty of slapstick violence played for humor, including shootings and beatings, but no main characters face lasting life-threatening injury. Meg is pushed around by high schoolers. One character has his penis bit off by a shark. Blood is displayed on several occasions. Peter owns a gun and occasionally takes it out, mostly shooting himself by accident. A minor character dies via suicide.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of sexual innuendo and references --sometimes subtle, sometimes overt.
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Pretty frequent use of words like "damn," "hell," "bitch," "whore," "skank," and "ass," plus lewd references to body parts and transphobic slurs.
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Products & Purchases
Tons of pop culture references, including a mention of the film Ted, which was made by series creator Seth MacFarlane. Stewie got his own straight-to-DVD spin-off.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink beer and wine frequently. Characters use marijuana, and other drugs are referenced.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Family Guy is very funny; the quirky scenarios and characters can induce giggles or even guffaws in grown-ups. But Seth MacFarlane's show isn't meant to be watched by kids. Unpredictable is the name of the game in the town of Quahog, Rhode Island, where the Griffin family spends most of its time watching television and getting into trouble. The dog, Brian (voiced by MacFarlane), and the baby, Stewie (also MacFarlane), are the smartest members of the family -- which might set off a few alarm bells in terms of iffy role modeling. Expect frequent sexual innuendo and salty language ("bitch," "damn," "whore," and transphobic slurs), as well as drinking, drug use, and violence (some of it gory) played for humor. While the main family is White, the series features characters of several racial and cultural backgrounds, as well as LGBTQ+ and disabled characters, most of whom are treated with respect and are rarely the punchline.
Is It Any Good?
This show's wacky brand of fast-paced humor isn't for everyone. But those willing to laugh along with its zany jokes, will find Family Guy hilarious. As a plot device, Peter's visions can serve as a distraction, ultimately disrupting what might be a storyline. On the other hand, the constant references to musicals, literature, plays, video games, and other TV shows might amuse some viewers.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.