It’s amazing to think that Family Guy started way back in the 1990s… admittedly, the final year of the ’90s, given the first season debuted in 1999, but it still counts. Those early years of the show were somewhat shaky, given the show was canceled twice – once after the end of its second season, a decision that was reversed resulting in a third season, but then the second cancelation occurred at season 3’s end.

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The animated sitcom about the dysfunctional Griffin family was brought back for a season 4 in 2005, by popular demand, and it’s remained on the air ever since. With that kind of longevity (it’s been renewed for seasons 22 and 23) comes inconsistency, and it’s been a show with its fair share of less-than-great episodes. The following are some of the furthest from great, at least according to IMDb rating, being ranked below from bad to worst.

10 “Trump Guy”

Season 17, Episode 11 (2019)

Family Guy - Trump Guy - 2019
Image via Fox

IMDb Rating: 5.9/10

Making an episode about a divisive politician is almost always going to make for a divisive episode. This can be said about season 17’s “Trump Guy,” which (as the title suggests) takes aim at the then-sitting President of the United States, Donald Trump, in an episode that sees the Griffins living in the White House after Peter becomes the new Press Secretary.

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Regardless of how you feel about the figure being targeted, the humor just isn’t as funny or biting as Family Guy could be in its heyday. It’s never been a highbrow show, sure, but much of this episode feels like everyone behind the scenes is winging it, with little said here that hadn’t already been said about Trump and his presidency by 2019.

9 “Bri-Da”

Season 18, Episode 2 (2019)

Bri-Da - Family Guy - 2019
Image via Fox

IMDb Rating: 5.9/10

“Bri-Da” is a late-series Family Guy episode that might not be as offensively bad or shocking as other low-rated episodes. That being said, it’s nonetheless up there (or down there?) with the lowest rated on IMDb.

There are two main storylines here: one involving Peter and his friends using police body-cams to record their drunken antics, as they believe they have great business ideas while intoxicated. The other storyline revolves around Brian having a relationship with Quagmire’s transgender father, Ida, which Quagmire objects to.

8 “Con Heiress”

Season 17, Episode 8 (2018)

Family Guy - Con Heiress - 2018
Image via Fox

IMDb Rating: 5.8/10

Referring to a classic 1990s action movie (Con Air) in its title is probably about as clever as “Con Heiress” gets, which is yet another average episode by late-series Family Guy standards, but below average for the show as a whole. To its credit, at least its dual plots sort of mirror each other.

Some of the episode revolves around Brian and Quagmire competing for the affections of a wealthy, elderly heiress to a fortune, while the other parts of the episode see Peter and Chris competing for the affections of another elderly person: the infamous Herbert the Pervert. Herbert appearances have always been divisive, as have – to a lesser extent – episodes focusing on the Brian + Quagmire rivalry, perhaps making “Con Heiress” inevitably contested.

7 “Stewie Is Enceinte”

Season 13, Episode 12 (2015)

Family Guy - 2015 - Stewie Is Enceinte
Image via Fox

IMDb Rating: 5.8/10

Shock humor might not have been as prevalent in early Family Guy seasons, but it has always been part of its DNA. It’s one of those post-Simpsons animated shows that has to stand out from that show in some way, and you could argue South Park pushes into controversial territory more often for a similar reason (albeit perhaps more successfully).

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When a long-running show has to find new ways to be shocking or provocative, episodes like “Stewie Is Enceinte” are born… pun intended, because this gross and body horror-heavy episode sees Stewie (a toddler) impregnating himself with the DNA of Brian (the family dog). It’s edgy for the sake of being edgy, and disgusting without being funny, ultimately making it fall flat as an episode.

6 “Herpe, the Love Sore”

Season 12, Episode 16 (2014)

Family Guy - Herpe, the Love Sore - 2014
Image via Fox

IMDb Rating: 5.8/10

Speaking of Family Guy being edgy, “Herpe, the Love Sore” is an episode about Stewie getting herpes from Brian, after the two decide to be blood brothers. The inspiration comes from them watching the Clint Eastwood film The Outlaw Josey Wales, where two characters cut their hands and then shake.

Elsewhere, the episode also follows Peter’s exploits after he obtains a whip, and then finds the regular spot in the bar he and his friends frequent has been taken by another group. It’s a fairly limp episode, at the end of the day, with it seemingly only wanting to shock with its premise without delivering sufficient laughs.

5 “Vestigial Peter”

Season 12, Episode 2 (2013)

Family Guy - Vestigial Peter - 2013
Image via Fox

IMDb Rating: 5.8/10

There’s a certain novelty to the premise of “Vestigial Peter” which makes it sound like it could’ve worked, given it revolves around a growth on Peter that ends up being a vestigial twin. It’s separated from Peter’s body and becomes its own thing, fitting into the family due to it having a very different personality to the larger, original Peter.

Regrettably, it feels more like a gimmick than a novel idea that’s actually properly explored, making “Vestigial Peter” an underwhelming episode, despite the potential such a plot could’ve had. Maybe if it had been done in an earlier season, it would’ve turned out better, and not risked coming dangerously close to a “jump the shark” sort of episode.

4 “Old West”

Season 21, Episode 12 (2023)

Family Guy - Old West - 2023
Image via Fox

IMDb Rating: 5.8/10

“Old West” is the most recent episode of Family Guy to rank among its very lowest rated. It revolves around the side character of Mayor Wild West, who became Quahog’s mayor after the real-life passing of Adam West (best known for playing Batman in the 1960s TV series) led to his character, Mayor Adam West, being written off the show.

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Mayor Wild West’s father also has a pun name: Old West, with the episode centering on the former West trying to reconnect with the latter West. It represents the show at its most tired and least inspired, with the reviews provided by IMDb users largely echoing the sentiment that Family Guy has now gone on longer than it should have.

3 “Fresh Heir”

Season 12, Episode 14 (2014)

Family Guy - Fresh Heir - 2014
Image via Fox

IMDb Rating: 5.4/10

Airing shortly before the episode where Stewie gets herpes, “Fresh Heir” is a similarly uneasy episode that sees Peter Griffin get married to his son, Chris. This comes about because Peter wants the copious money belonging to Lois’s father, Carter Pewterschmidt, who’s recently made Chris the sole inheritor of his fortune.

It doesn’t go so far as to make the uncomfortable marriage a reality, but it comes close, and does try to use such a premise as a vehicle for various cringe-inducing jokes. Maybe with better execution, it could’ve found itself being the right kind of uncomfortably humorous, but it overall simply doesn’t work.

2 “Life of Brian”

Season 12, Episode 6 (2013)

Family Guy, Griffins Crying over Brian body

IMDb Rating: 4.7/10

Not to be mixed up with the classic 1970s movie of the same name by Monty Python, “Life of Brian,” the Family Guy episode, is perhaps the show’s most controversial. It’s the episode where Brian was abruptly killed off, with the death hyped up as permanent and overall not played for comedy, with the show attempting to convince viewers it would stick.

The Griffin family even got themselves another dog, Vinny, who stuck around for a couple of episodes before time travel was used to bring Brian back into the fold. It was all a gimmick, in the end, for attention, but it worked, because “Life of Brian” caused something of an uproar and got Family Guy the most attention and online discourse it’d had in years… just perhaps not for the right reasons.

1 “You Can’t Handle the Booth”

Season 17, Episode 16 (2019)

Family Guy - You Can't Handle the Booth - 2019
Image via Fox

IMDb Rating: 4.2/10

Arguably representing Family Guy at its worst, “You Can’t Handle the Booth” is another exceedingly unpopular season 17 episode. There might be a little credit given to the novel premise for this episode – even if the execution is lacking – given it takes a very meta approach to the idea of DVD commentaries, with the characters of Family Guy doing such a commentary for an episode of Family Guy.

It’s a bit of a swing and a miss, to say the least, with the approach to doing something different here falling flat comedically and polarizing viewers. Some might think that a more tasteless or controversial episode deserves the lowest IMDb rating, but with Family Guy, that title seems to have been reserved for one of the show’s most unusual half-hours.

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