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Over the last few years, the animated sitcom genre has become some of the best bits of television with shows like Bojack Horseman and Rick & Morty. However, long before those, we had Seth MacFarlane"s dark comedy, Family Guy.
The racy and sometimes obnoxious series was once considered one of the most loved and edgiest animated sitcoms. Therefore, to remind everyone why Family Guy was once such a success, here is a ranking of a few of the best episodes according to IMDb. A quick note, in order to accurately rank this list, episodes with the same ratings have been ranked by their guest rankings.
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Updated on March 5th, 2021 by Scoot Allan: While the series has been canceled twice since it began airing in 1999, Family Guy has been renewed for its 20 and 21st seasons. This only proves that the long-running adult animated series still has a dedicated fanbase that tunes in every week to catch new episodes. And with the recent addition of Family Guy to Disney"s Star content update (in international markets), there are more ways to jump back to previous seasons to enjoy some of the best episodes from the series. We"re going to take a further look at a few more of IMDb"s highest-rated episodes to give fans a good starting point to celebrate Seth MacFarlane"s hit series, Family Guy.
Family Guy had a little fun with the popular Star Wars franchise when the sixth season opened with a two-part hilarious recreation of Episode IV: A New Hope. The episode was titled "Blue Harvest" in honor of the working title of the original movie.
While the success of "Blue Harvest" ultimately led to subsequent retellings of the original trilogy that became known as the Laugh It Up, Fuzzball trilogy, though the first episode is the highest-rated for a reason and sits high above the rest of the reimagined Star Wars trilogy.
14 Road To The North Pole - (8.3)
The ninth season of Family Guy featured another adventure for Brian and Stewie in their fan-favorite series of road trip/musical episodes as the pair headed on a quest to kill Santa Claus in "Road To The North Pole."
The episode not only showcased a dark take on Santa"s workshop that fans won"t soon forget, but also a number of funny but disturbing moments and Brian and Stewie took over Christmas and attempted to deliver presents around the world, with little success.
This fourth season episode may not be the most sensitive, though that aspect of the show has extended far beyond just this one instance and been far less well-received in many other circumstances. The episode sees Peter take an IQ test that reveals he can be classified as intellectually disabled, a fact that he realizes he can use to his advantage to get away with things he wasn"t able to before. However, his life is soon thrown into chaos after Lois is horribly burnt and the children are taken away by Child Protective Services.
Despite the problems presented by the plot, the episode remains very highly-rated overall by both critics and fans.
12 Road To Rhode Island - (8.3)
The first episode that featured Brian and Stewie"s solo adventures was called "Road To Rhode Island" and aired in the second season. Brian volunteers to pick Stewie up from Lois"s parents after his therapist suggests taking some time away to deal with abandonment issues from his mother.
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Of course, things quickly fall apart and Brian and Stewie are forced to find their own way back to Quahog while also dealing with Brian"s leftover issues surrounding his mother. Peter and Lois"s marriage counseling video side story is also a comedic addition to the episode that further elevates it above the rest.
Peter will do anything to get out of paying a bill, and in this season two episode, he goes as far as claiming that he is dead to get out of a hospital bill. But, like all things in life, there are consequences and Death shows up at Peter"s door in order to reap him.
As Death chases Peter, he trips and hurts his ankle. Peter realizes that this means that everyone is immortal and chaos erupts in the Quahog. In order to set things right, Peter has to take over Death"s job and kill the cast of Dawson"s Creek. The episode highlights what the show was always able to do best, which is to show the ridiculousness of human nature when given the right motivations.
10 Da Boom - (8.3)
Just a few days before the start of the new millennium, Family Guy released their own Y2K doomsday episode. After a nuclear Armageddon occurs, and in search of food, the Griffins establish New Quahog around a Twinkie factory.
However, their little mutant paradise is soon ruined by Peter, who just like all self-proclaimed great leaders, soon becomes power-hungry and starts to make guns at the cost of everything else. Genuinely funny and very relevant even today, the episode skyrocketed the show"s popularity.
The eleventh season of Family Guy featured a twisted time travel adventure episode "Yug Ylimaf" that reveals Brian has been using Stewie"s time machine to impress women he brings home from the bar.
When trying to cover his tracks and rewind a gauge that would alert Stewie to his use of the time machine, he inadvertently caused the timeline to reverse itself. This led to a number of comedic moments in the episode as they struggled to fix the timeline, which included an unforgettable reverse fight between Peter and his long-time rival, Ernie the Giant Chicken.
8 Meet The Quagmires - (8.4)
In another episode with Death, Peter travels back in time to experience his bachelor lifestyle. As with almost all time travel stories, everything very quickly goes wrong and Peter finds himself in a future where Lois is married to Quagmire while Peter is married to Molly Ringwald.
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Soon, Peter realizes that this isn"t the life he wants and goes back to his past, albeit a couple of times, to set things right. Overall, the episode is fun, full of "80s references, and made Quagmire weirdly likable for a change.
Family Guy always does really well with its season openers. Few were as memorable as that of season six. "Lois Kills Stewie" is the second part of the season opener and set after Stewie kills Lois and frames Peter. In this episode, Lois returns and Stewie becomes the tyrannical President of the World. Lois realizes she is the only one who can kill Stewie and an epic gunfight in the oval office ensues. However, Lois can"t kill her son and he is instead shot by Peter.
At the end of the episode, Stewie reveals that it was only a computer simulation, much to the chagrin of Brian who argues that any hypothetical viewers may have been angered by this episode. Importantly, Lois really shines in this episode as she is removed from her normal nagging housewife role and becomes an epic action star.
6 Stewie Kills Lois - (8.4)
A running gag throughout the show is Stewie"s obsession with killing Lois. In the first episode of season six, he finally gets it right and shoots Lois on a crew ship. A year after her death, everyone is seemingly doing just fine.
However, after it is revealed that Lois had a hefty life insurance policy, everyone begins to suspect Peter. Stewie then accidentally incriminates Peter and goes on trial. However, just before he is sentenced to life, Lois shows up in the courtroom ready to take revenge on Stewie.
For a very long time, The Simpsons and Family Guy were the two most popular animated shows on TV and there was often a little bit of a rivalry between the two. Therefore, it was a great surprise to fans that the two shows had a crossover episode for the opening of Family Guy"s thirteenth season. In the episode, after having their car stolen, the Griffins stay with the Simpsons.
After it is revealed that Pawtucket Beer is an imitation of Duff Beer, drama ensues and the two companies go to court which is judged by the original father of the animated comedy, Fred Flintsone. In the end, Peter and Homer get into a fight which eventually forces the two to amicably split. Highly self-aware about the two shows" unique differences and each of their strengths, the episode was an overall success and easily one of the show"s most memorable.
4 PTV - (8.6)
Family Guy"s greatest success is its ability to be very aware of itself and the ridiculousness of the industry that it is in. No episode better exemplifies this as season four"s "PTV." After the FCC takes drastic measures against TV shows following a wardrobe malfunction at the Emmy"s, Peter decides to make his own uncensored TV network.
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However, things quickly go too far and Lois forces the FCC to shut down the network. The FCC starts to censor everyone in Quahog. Easily one of the funniest episodes of the show, "PTV" was also a slight jab at Family Guy"s often difficult relationship with the FCC.
Back when James Woods was not as much of a social pariah that he is today, the residents of Quahog were invited to a dinner party at his mansion in the season nine premiere episode.
However, soon the episode turns into a compelling mystery as more and more of the dinner guests get murdered. Clearly derived from the Agatha Christie novel, And Then There Were None, the episode was a fun take on the "whodunit" genre.
2 Back To The Pilot - (8.8)
Family Guy has changed dramatically since its first season and in season ten, Brian and Stewie travel back in time to the pilot episode in 1999. However, after Brian warns the past Brian about 9/11, the future changes dramatically.
Stewie and Brian are then forced to consistently go back in order to fix the future, which unsurprisingly takes a couple of attempts. Overall, it was a really good meta episode that is easily also one of the best time travel TV episodes of all time.
One of the best parts of Family Guy has been Stewie and Brian"s "Road to" adventures. In the first episode of season eight, Stewie and Brian travel to a variety of alternate universes, where at least one thing has been changed in their society. They even go to a hilarious and yet controversial Disney version of themselves.
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Eventually, they end up in a universe where humans obey dogs and Brian becomes infatuated with the new universe and breaks their universe traveling device. Luckily they are saved by the other Brian and Stewie. The episode was clever, funny, and strangely insightful for Family Guy and it is easy to see why it is the show"s best.