Family Guy



Contrary to its title, this isn't a family show.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Erratic good deeds at best, character assassination at worst -- there's nothing remotely PC about this show.

Positive role models

As a rule, the characters are pretty clueless and and ineffective, even when they mean well. Dog Brian and baby Stewie are the smartest characters -- but Stewie is almost always plotting something evil. Plenty of stereotyping and mockery.


Plenty of slapstick/violence played for humor, but no main characters face life-threatening injury. Dad Peter owns a gun and produces it now and then.


Lots of sexual innuendo and references. Sometimes subtle, sometimes overt.


Pretty frequent use of words like "damn," "hell," "bitch," and "ass," plus lewd references to body parts.


Tons of pop culture references.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink beer and wine frequently.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Family Guy is very funny; the quirky scenarios can induce giggles or even guffaws in grown-ups. But Seth MacFarlane's show isn't meant to be watched by kids or young teens. 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, and the infant, Stewie, are the most intelligent members of the family -- which might set off a few alarm bells in terms of inappropriate role modeling. Expect frequent sexual innuendo and salty language (of the "bitch" and "damn" variety), as well as some drinking and violence played for humor.

What's the story?

A blend of slapstick and fantasy, Seth MacFarlane's FAMILY GUY -- resurrected for network broadcast after being cancelled and then becoming a huge hit on DVD -- is a TV show within a TV show. Characters include patriarch Peter Griffin (voiced by MacFarlane), who has visions that look like animated channel surfing; Stewie the infant (MacFarlane again), who spews vitriolic one-liners as he throws his bottle across the room; and Brian the dog (yup, MacFarlane does his voice, too), a sensitive, well-read fellow who enjoys his wine.

Is it any good?


This wacky brand of fast-paced humor isn't for everyone. As a plot device, Peter's visions can serve as a distraction, which ultimately disrupts what might be a storyline. On the other hand, the constant cross-references to musicals, literature, plays, and other TV shows might amuse some viewers. Don't expect consistent content from this show.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about when politically correct attitudes are helpful and when they can be harmful. Do you find this show's humor funny or offensive? Why do different people have different reactions to over-the-top humor?

  • What do you make of Peter's excessive love of television? Is this the way anyone should look at the world?

  • If tweens insist on watching this show, be sure to take the time to watch it with them to get a sense of what's going on.

TV details

Cast:Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Seth MacFarlane
Networks:Fox, Syndicated
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Family Guy was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of an infant and 7 year old Written bySteffauri516 September 3, 2010

A Hit and Miss program

Family Guy is a good show, mainly for teens and young adults. It's raunchy potty humor and random hilarity keep young teens interested but there are some very mature subtle subjects that get dropped into the program. While some of the episodes end with a good message or moral-lesson, for the most part they are all the same in their crude humor and lesson-less programming. This show is on for kids age 13 and older.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byThreeDaysGracesGirl October 17, 2010

You can't shield your kids from the world. Get over it, or don't be a parent.

Parent of a 14 year old Written bykate33 April 30, 2011


What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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