Heading into its 16th season, Family Guy remains the most outrageous program on television. And while the rest of society has caught up with the program over the years, Family Guy still manages to provoke and offend its viewers with its relentless adherence to politically incorrect humor. The FOX Network that airs the animated series continues to bill the show as an “equal opportunity offender,” and creator Seth MacFarlane continues to find ways to push the envelope of what is considered off-limits and insulting. And no person or group in society escapes the program’s raunchy humour. Everyone who watches the show, at some point, has been offended by something they see on the show. Seth MacFarlane and his team of writers continue to claim that they use jokes to critique modern society. And so, as Family Guy heads into a new season this fall, we look at the six most politically incorrect moments in the show to date.
WARNING: If you are the kind of person to be offended by the humour of Family Guy, don’t bother reading any further.
6. No Legs, No Service
When Peter Griffin opens a restaurant, it becomes a hangout for his crippled neighbor Joe and his handicapped pals. Deciding that handicapped people are bad for business, Peter bans Joe and all other handicapped or wheelchair-bound people from the restaurant. With the motto “No legs, no service,” Peter refuses to serve anyone with a disability. The jokes get pretty offensive right up until Joe and his wheelchair friends band together and form a “Cripple-tron” to fight back against Peter and his intolerance. This episode is politically incorrect right across the board. At one point, Peter says that Joe being crippled is “amoral” and a “lifestyle choice you’re forcing on America.” Peter also accuses handicapped people of “drinking and gambling on their reservations… which we gave you!” Peter even goes so far as to push Joe out of his wheelchair. Ouch.
5. The Freakin’ FCC
In its early years, Family Guy was regularly attacked and fined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, D.C., which took great offense to the show’s sense of humor and its politically incorrect narrative. Naturally, the FCC’s attacks on the show only made Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane more determined to offend and push the envelope of good taste. And nothing fought back against the FCC like the song “The Freakin’ FCC,” which Peter sings on the TV network he starts called “PTV,” which features television shows such as The Side Boob Hour. Featuring nudity, toilets, and farts being lit on fire, as well as lines such as “they will make you take a tinkle when you want to take a p–s,” the song is aimed at both offending and taking on censorship in all of its forms. Nasty and rude, it is just the type of thing that was sure to get Family Guy fined by the FCC.
4. Dumpster Baby
Seth MacFarlane is known for setting offensive themes to music, and he appears to love a great musical number. And at no time in Family Guy’s history have these two things combined more memorably than in the “Musical Dumpster Baby” number. After a high school girl is seen putting a paper bag in a dumpster during her prom, a young baby emerges and breaks into song with the first line “I’m just a prom night dumpster baby…” Twirling his still attached umbilical cord and singing in a tone reminiscent of Frank Sinatra, the baby proceeds to lament being abandoned by his mother in garbage. “My fanny needs a blanket and somebody to spank it,” sings the dumpster baby accompanied by a chorus of back-up baby singers. “I miss my mom, but she’s at the prom” rings pretty sharply in the ears.
3. I Need A Jew
After being scammed, Peter Griffin decides that he needs to hire a Jew to help him manage his money. The FOX Network actually delayed airing this episode for fear it would be viewed as anti-Semitic—a rare occurrence in the show’s history. But the executives at FOX were especially concerned with the song featured in the episode that has Peter singing “Lois makes me take the wrap ‘cause our check book looks like crap. And since I can’t give her a slap, I need a Jew.” He also sings “Where to find a Steen or Stein to teach me how to whine and do my taxes on time.” All the Jewish stereotypes are represented in the song and episode. But after Seth MacFarlane went to the mat with the executives at FOX, the episode aired as intended with no censorship and plenty of political incorrectness to go around.
2. The AIDS Song
Arguably the most famous song ever featured in Family Guy, the upbeat and totally inappropriate AIDS Song is sung by Peter Griffin and a barber shop quartet as they inform a patient in a hospital that he has AIDS. Not HIV, but full blown AIDS. A rousing and up-tempo number, the AIDS Song features lines like “You’ve got the AIDS. You may have got it when you stuck that filthy needle in here, or maybe all that unprotected sex put you here, it isn’t clear. But you have AIDS.” And with the hilarious and repeated chorus of “Not HIV, but full blown AIDS,” the song hits all the right notes to offend viewers. That the news and song are delivered by a barber shop quartet only adds to the ridiculousness and political incorrectness. A hit on social media and widely parodied since it originally aired, the AIDS Song is a classic that helped cement Family Guy’s reputation as willing to go anywhere and push all boundaries.
1. Mother Theresa Overdoses
Even when it comes to Family Guy, you assume some things are off-limits. Especially when it comes to a hallowed figure like Mother Theresa. What with her work helping orphans and lepers, Mother Theresa seems to be above reproach. That she is widely viewed to be a leading candidate for sainthood in the Catholic Church would also seem to absolve her from being lampooned on Family Guy. But no. The show aired a segment where Stewie Griffin recalls how Mother Theresa once overdosed in the backseat of his car. Covered in vomit and looking worse for wear, Mother Theresa is driven to a hospital and dumped on the ground in front of the Emergency Department as Stewie and two gang members drive off. With the line “Push the b—h out,” this Family Guy moment was truly politically incorrect. Is nothing sacred? Apparently not when it comes to Family Guy.