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Family Guy

TV review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Family Guy TV Poster Image
Contrary to its title, this isn't a family show.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 248 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 774 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

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

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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 v... Continue reading
Adult Written byMr. Carthic May 3, 2010


this show could be is rated TV-PG, TV-14 (edited), and TV-MA (uncut). no one under 18 may watch this and should be on HBO or a pay channel.
Kid, 12 years old July 17, 2009

horrible show should not be on air

bad show that nobodyshould really watch. it's a bad show. lots of alcohol & drugs. Strong language. Strong sexual content that even adults shouldn... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byGHlegend777 July 21, 2009

LOL Show, but not for young kids.

Despite the concerns I have given above, this show is iffy for ages 12 and 13, but fine for 14. My concerns are conversed following this sentence. LAGUAGE: As... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love over-the-top humor

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