There are plenty of adult cartoon shows to go around. Some, like The Simpsons, take a more subtle approach to making us laugh, making good use of refined humor. Others, like South Park, are just outright offensive and shocking most of the time. And then we have American Dad!, another of comedy genius Seth MacFarlane's brainchildren.
In the style of his other show, Family Guy, American Dad! is raunchy, fun, and quite entertaining. However, it always becomes a little too easy to cross the line towards offensive as opposed to hilarious. The show has given us some excellent content, but it's also no stranger to more controversial comedy. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at 10 American Dad! jokes that have already aged poorly.
10 Loving, Killing
We kick off this list with the first episode of season eight, which sees Roger hiring Hayley as a singer for his new lounge bar. Eventually, Roger falls in love with her, but Hayley ends up ejecting him. You know, like any person has the right to reject romantic advancements from someone without fear of retaliation.
Roger doesn't take this very well and shoots Hayley, in an attempt to kill her. In a world where violence against women for rejecting sexual and romantic advancements from men is a prominent issue, this episode doesn't handle the topic well.
9 Married For Looks
The main character of the show, Stan Smith, is probably one of the worst characters on television. It's clear that Stan is meant to be a caricature of the typical conservative American man, but the show tends to take its satire way too far at times. Like, for instance, when he admitted to Francine he only married her for her looks and doesn't know the first thing about her.
When Francine decides to let herself go by gaining weight and losing her good looks, Stan goes as far as blinding himself to keep the marriage going. The worst part is that she's okay with it. The whole message behind this episode is unclear and just horrible.
8 Stan's Double
Where to even begin with season four's sixth episode? Stan has a body double due to his dangerous work with the CIA, and Hayley, his daughter, begins a relationship with him. Read that again: a daughter is intensely attracted to a man who looks and talks exactly like her father.
All the scenes that follow when Francine catches them both and believes Hayley is with Stan are so disgusting. Some even more disturbing scenes follow when Stan is pretending to be his double so his daughter will dump him. The entire thing is extremely cringeworthy and not funny in the slightest. Incest innuendos tend to be that way.
7 Horse Stimulation
"Don’t Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth" gave the team behind American Dad! a fair share of headaches. With over 100,000 complaints from audiences and a hefty fine from the FFC, the show probably had to reconsider how far it was willing to go from that point on. And all because of a horse!
Well, kind of. After Stan and Roger buy a horse to get into racing, Stan has a disagreement with the family alien. In order to get revenge, Roger convinces the family patriarch that the horse needs "full release" (ejaculation) to perform better. Queue some disturbingly suggestive scenes, and you get a lot of mad people.
6 Mama's Boy
It's no secret to anyone that Stan hasn't had the best family life on American Dad! His father left when he was a kid, and his mother became a kind of saint in his eyes. A precious being that had to be protected at all costs. But when you're Stan, the literal sense of things is usually the preferred road.
In “Oedipal Panties,” we find out that the reason his mother's boyfriends kept disappearing through the years is that Stan was kidnapping them and leaving them on an isolated island. Because he wants his mother to always need him. He wants to be the only man in her life. We could go on, but you probably get how messed up the whole relationship is by now.
5 Racial Profiling
Right off the bat, American Dad! made it pretty clear that it wasn't going to stay away from topics that could be interpreted as offensive. The sixth episode of the first season immediately showed us Stan's true nature and probably made a lot of viewers uncomfortable with the blatant racism.
When new neighbors Bob and Linda Mamari arrive, Stan is convinced they are terrorists, based on nothing but the color of their skin. Queue a series of ridiculously offensive scenes and dialogue where Stan tries to prove his point. In the end, we realize the Mamaris are also racist themselves, which is why they moved from their previous black neighborhood. Just question marks all around, and a bunch of disapproving looks.
4 The Surrogate
American Dad! isn't just racist. That's obviously not enough when you set out to offend as many groups as you possibly can! The show can also be notoriously homophobic, mostly through the use of gay couple Greg and Terry, who are just a bundle of stereotypes piled together without much thought.
In season three's seventh episode, they decide to have a baby, and Francine offers to be their surrogate. From then on, everything from Stan's outrage, to his statement that he "let them" be gay, and then kidnap the baby and taking it to a state where gay parents don't have legal rights is sad and enraging at the same time.
3 The Molester
In "42-year-old Virgin", the audience learns that during his time with the CIA, Stan as never actually killed a single person. This takes a toll on his marriage and his self-confidence, and a search for his first kill ensues. But that's far from being the worst part of the episode. Stan's oblivion to the pedophile that just moved into the neighborhood begins as concerning.
Things escalate when said molester kidnaps Steve and his friends and takes them to his lair, where it's clear he's about to assault them. When Stan arrives to save the day, he ends up being inspired by the molester's lack of remorse and absolute acceptance of his devious sexual preferences. What? Inspired?! That's just messed up beyond belief.
2 Arabia Episodes
Trust American Dad! to offend an entire nation in just under 50 minutes of air time. Episodes 12 and 13 of the first season saw the Smith family relocate to Saudi Arabia. Queue the horrible stereotypes and blatant racism.
Between Hayley's terrorist boyfriend, Stan's second wife, and Francine's song about how terrible Saudi Arabia is, there is not a single moment throughout these two episodes where the cringe isn't real.
1 Refugee Camp
Why not make fun of people who escape the most dangerous and life-threatening situations? That's exactly what American Dad! thought when they came up with the premise for this episode that sees Steve shipped off to a Summer camp that ends up being a refugee camp.
We're not even sure what is more offensive, Stan's complete dismissal of the refugee's problems, or Hayley's final descent into hypocrisy. Either way, it was poorly scripted, poorly executed, and left a sour taste in the viewer's mouths.