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Top 10 Amazing Small Details in Family Guy

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Joey Turner
You know what really grinds our gears? The little things you miss when you blink. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Amazing Small Details in Family Guy. For this list, we’re taking the time to admire some of the little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it easter eggs and fun trivia that’s often overlooked in this long-running animated comedy. Expect spoilers ahead.
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You know what really grinds our gears? The little things you miss when you blink. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Amazing Small Details in Family Guy.

For this list, we’re taking the time to admire some of the little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it easter eggs and fun trivia that’s often overlooked in this long-running animated comedy. Expect spoilers ahead.

#10: Buffalo Chris

“Stew-Roids”


To get revenge on Chris, Meg embarrasses him in front of the school by showing a video of him parodying Buffalo Bill’s “Goodbye Horses” dance from “The Silence of the Lambs”. While the scene is definitely humiliating, it has a deeper connection to Chris than anyone realizes. When auditioning for Chris, his voice actor, Seth Green, was dared by a friend to try out his best Buffalo Bill impression for the character. He could’ve gone with a stereotypical surfer dude voice for Chris, but Green was bold enough to try a hilarious impression of a serial killer … and it worked; so this parody doubles as a testament to the character’s vocal inspiration.

#9: “All in the Family” Tribute

Multiple Episodes


“Family Guy” has paid multiple tributes to TV producer Norman Lear’s sitcoms, and the most enduring one is the very first thing you see when a “Family Guy” episode begins. The opening theme song with Peter and Lois playing the piano, recalling the good old days, is actually a homage to the opening for “All in the Family” where we see Archie and Edith Bunker doing the same. “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane admits to being an admirer of Lear’s comedies –right down to how they handle controversial topics, so it’s flattering to see him pay tribute to his inspiration before almost every show.

#8: Redrum

“Love Thy Trophy”


At the start of the episode, Stewie is “innocently” playing with blocks –but if you look closely, the blocks spell out a not-so-innocent message – “REDRUM”. This is an obvious reference to Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”, where the son, the young psychic character, Danny, would mutter the phrase “redrum” …which is actually “murder” spelled backwards. What makes this sight gag so perfect is that it’s Stewie –a sociopathic, conniving infant out for blood- who sets up the joke, and it’s too fitting for his character. It doesn’t help that Stewie starts plotting someone’s murder during the scene –making the gag even more hysterical.

#7: Middle Finger to the Fans?

“Road to Rupert”


The Griffins are having a family yard sale, hoping to get rid of the excess junk they’ve collected over the years. If you look closely at Brian’s table, you’ll see a familiar-looking DVD cover –the cover for “Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story”. At first it seems like subtle product placement, but the extended DVD version of this scene says otherwise. Lois berates the “film” for trying to pass itself off as a movie when it’s really a trio of episodes edited together. Is this a shameless plug, or a hilarious jab at themselves for their “middle finger” to the fans? If the latter, we’re not sure if FOX would approve.

#6: Luke Perry TV Guide

“The Story on Page One”


Peter is looking for a story to give to Meg for the school newspaper, when inspiration comes in the form of a TV guide – Luke Perry. If you’re quick enough to catch it –or at least have a pause button, you might be able to catch the little message under Perry’s picture that says, “If you can read this, Family Guy is on the air”. When it comes to self-aware humor, it can either be more upfront, or in this case, it can be so subtle that you almost miss it –and it’s not wrong considering how often “Family Guy” can be found on TV.

#5: W.W.I.D?

“North by North Quahog”

While in Mel Gibson’s personal suite, Peter stumbles upon the trailer for a planned sequel for “The Passion of the Christ”. The trailer itself is a pretty goofy parody of high-energy action films featuring Jesus teaming up with Chris Tucker, but it goes by so fast, that viewers might miss one hidden visual gag. When we see Jesus driving his car, if you look closely at the license plate, it reads “W.W.I.D.” which translates to “what would I do”. While it’s an obvious spin on the morality phrase “what would Jesus do”, it’s still worth a giggle considering whose car it’s on –and with how immoral the whole situation is.

#4: Funny Headline… or Letdown?

“Model Misbehavior”


The Griffins are excited to see their picture in the newspaper, but if you don’t look fast enough, you might miss the gag UNDER the photo. Near the bottom of the page, there’s a headline that reads “DVDs Paused For Headline Joke – Millions Disappointed.” On the one hand, it COULD be a cheeky jab at those who pause their DVDs to catch any blink-and-you’ll-miss-it visual gags. On the other hand, it could also be a little nod to sister series “American Dad” who thrived on newspaper headline jokes for the first few seasons. Either way, fans may not ACTUALLY be disappointed by this clever little Easter egg.

#3: Holden Caulfield

“The Kiss Seen Around the World”


Peter is just goofing around, pretending to play the keyboard, when a random man berates him and pesters him for being a “big fat phony” throughout the rest of the episode. While the character doesn’t have an official name, fans and some staff behind the show have dubbed him “Holden Caulfield” –named after the famous protagonist of the J. D. Salinger novel, “The Catcher in the Rye”. In the book, Holden is a misguided, cynical teenager who usually called everyone he hates a “phony”. With how often in the show “Holden” keeps calling Peter out for being one, it’d be hard not to make the connection for an inside joke.

#2: Surprise Cantina Patrons

“Blue Harvest”


In the original “Star Wars” film, the Mos Eisley Cantina was a shady drinking spot for creatures of all sorts –not all of them friendly. In the “Blue Harvest” parody, the tavern is STILL packed with miscellaneous creatures… plus a few surprise customers. Among the patrons is the formerly Evil Monkey from Chris’ closet, Roger from “American Dad”, Bender from “Futurama”, and Coach John McGuirk from “Home Movies”. We all know “Family Guy” loves to toy around with references, but what really sells these cameos is how they seem to blend in perfectly – none of them have the best reputation, and they’re bizarre-looking enough to call this bar a second home.

#1: “What the Hell?”

Multiple Episodes


Taking the number one spot is the show’s most versatile and commonplace catchphrase. Believe it or not, in almost every episode, there is at least one instance of a character saying “what the hell?” It could be to express frustration, fear, rage, confusion, to make light of something, or even as a setup for another running gag; no matter the context or the character, it is bound to show up in some form. If it’s not DIRECTLY mentioned in an episode, it could still appear in an alternate rendition. It’s amazing what you can hide in plain sight through repetition.
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