With an amazing 17 seasons on the air and more to come, Family Guy has become one of the most popular animated shows in television history. Its success is even more remarkable considering it was canceled for four years following its third season. Though it has clearly had success after being revived, some think the show's best years are behind long gone.
Family Guy still has plenty of fans, but it's hard to deny that some aspects of the show have not aged well. Its penchant for pushing the envelope with the dark and controversial subject matter, its irreverent humor has made some parts of the show hard to watch. Here are some Family Guy storylines that have aged poorly.
10 Conway Twitty
Family Guy loves to throw in some random cutaways that have nothing to do with the story at hand. One of the longest-recurring gags involves Peter or other characters from the show introducing country singer Conway Twitty before cutting to an extended performance clip of the singer.
While the randomness of gag might have been funny at first, the frequent use of the joke only makes it less funny as time goes on. That's ignoring the fact that most of Family Guy's audience will have no idea who Conway Twitty actually is.
9 Stewie's Talking
Stewie Griffin is certainly one of the most interesting characters on the show. He was introduced as an unusually intelligent baby with an obsession of world domination. Since then, his passion for evil deeds has subsided and he remains a pretty normal talking baby.
However, whether or not Stewie can actually talk is a matter of some debate. There is some suggestion that only Brian understands Stewie but there is a lot of inconsistency with when he is understood by others and when he is not. The show jokes about the lack of answers but that only makes it more frustrating.
8 Chicken Fights
Another of the show's long-running gags is Peter's bizarre rivalry with a giant chicken. The two have butted heads on numerous occasions which always leads to an over-the-top and brutal fight which causes mass destruction.
The first couple of times it happened, it was funny for the sheer insanity of it all. Like the Conway Twitty gag, it seemed to think the longer it went on, the funnier it got. However, this is one of those jokes the show has run into the ground. Whenever it is used now, it stops being funny and feels more like the show is just running out of new ideas.
7 Old Man Herbert
There are countless side characters who populate the world of Family Guy and some are more memorable than others. Certainly, one of the more controversial additions is Herbert, the old, creepy neighbor. As Herbert was introduced, he appeared briefly as a man with an unsettling obsession with Chris.
As the show went on, Herbert became a more prominent character with the show even portraying him as a good guy in some cases. However, the show also continues to make jokes about the fact that Herbert is a pedophile which makes his continued inclusion in the show increasingly uncomfortable.
6 Peter's Background
There is certainly no shortage of entertaining characters in Family Guy, but Peter Griffin is clearly the star of the show. It's no surprise the show is eager to come up with all sorts of crazy adventures for him to go on.
However, the show's continued exploration of Peter's background has grown confused and tiresome over time. Throughout the series, we've discovered that Peter has a different father than he thought, that he is of African heritage and that he was born in Mexico among other revelations. All these gimmicky reveals have rendered anything about Peter's past meaningless.
5 Cleveland's Absence
As Family Guy continued to be a success and Seth MacFarlane's other animated comedy, American Dad, also proved successful, the inevitable spin-off was created. While there were plenty of avenues the show could have taken, it surprisingly decided to focus on Peter's friend Cleveland for The Cleveland Show.
As the star of his new show, Cleveland leaves Quahog and his friends behind. However, after the cancellation of The Cleveland Show, he has to make his awkward return. The show just flat-out addressed the cancellation of the spinoff but it makes that time Cleveland is gone very noticeable.
4 It's A Trap
It's pretty clear that the minds behind Family Guy are massive Star Wars fans. There are references throughout the series to the Star Wars franchise and they eventually got to fully embrace that love with three Star Wars-centric episodes.
The series recreated the original trilogy with these homage/parody episodes. After tackling A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, the series took on Return of the Jedi. But in the opening crawl, they claim this last episode was forced on them and they didn't want to do it. The lackluster attempt shows and it is an unsatisfying end to Family Guy's Star Wars saga.
3 Mort Goldman
Family Guy has never been shy about being offensive. Fans will argue that the show takes the time to offend anyone and everyone without picking on one group of people more than others. Though there's some truth to that, the character of Mort Goldman is a pretty cringe-worthy part of the show.
The Jewish friend of the Griffins, Mort started as the neurotic and awkward character before simply becoming a punchline for Jewish jokes. The show doesn't even seem to be clever with its humor towards Mort, instead it pokes fun at tired and offensive stereotypes. Every time Mort appears, the show sinks a little lower.
2 Mistreatment Of Meg
Most shows have those characters that everyone else picks on. In Family Guy, the clear target is Meg. Perceived as unattractive and unpopular, Meg is the butt of many jokes and has even helped coin the catchphrase "Shut up, Meg."
While it can be fun to have a single character be hated in such an over-the-top manner, over time, the family's mistreatment of Meg has grown uncomfortable. The meanspirited and cruel way her parents treat her along with actual abuse gets less funny and starts to get sad.
1 Quagmire's Dating Life
Quagmire is one of the most prominent characters on the show as Peter's good friend. He is also known for his particularly wild sex life. As the show went on, that sex life became darker and darker with the show continuing to push the envelope.
Before long, the character of Quagmire had no boundaries with the show depicting some truly shocking moments. In this era in which sexual harassment and sexual assault are discussed so openly and victims are having their voice heard, Quagmire's exploits have gone from darkly comedic to deeply disturbing.