Difference Between American Dad and Family Guy

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: October 07, 2023


Difference Between American Dad and Family Guy

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American Dad and Family Guy have many things in common. Both were created by Seth Macfarlane, have the same animation style, and are humorous (though the extent of humor is debatable). Even the premise is similar, and the characters from both animated series bear a close resemblance on the surface. So, most people assumed that American Dad would be a rip-off of Family Guy, and boy, were they wrong.

American Dad’s plots were relatable to an extent, as they were inspired by music or real-world issues. Moreover, the show was born out of the frustration the Bush administration caused. That is why American Dad became a political satire in addition to being a social satire. The pilot episode foreshadowed how epic Stan Smith’s character will be (who does not love the scene where he warns Francine that they are on orange alert?).

Family Guy is a unique animated series. It was canceled twice and came back bigger and better each time it was renewed. MacFarlane considered the Family Guy’s failure a good thing, as it allowed the team to enjoy a break and return with a fresh mind. Otherwise, the show’s quality might have been affected by the team’s fatigue. Nowadays, people cannot fathom a universe where Family Guy does not exist, as it has become a constant fixture in their lives.

American Dad Vs. Family Guy

American Dad is arguably funnier than Family Guy (the fact will not change even if people scream until they are blue in their faces after seeing this). Stan Smith is an iconic character that stole the hearts of millions of people with his not-so-winning personality and redeeming qualities. The episode in which he forgets his wedding anniversary (again) and goes fishing alone shows how hilarious he is without meaning to be.

Difference Between American Dad And Family Guy In Tabular Form

Parameters of ComparisonAmerican DadFamily Guy
Comedy StyleAmerican Dad features more intelligent jokes.Family Guy humor is somewhat predictable (nevertheless funny) and more crude.
The PetsThe goldfish and the alien in American Dad are similar to humans in many ways. They are less helpful when the family members need a voice of reason.The talking dog (Brian) in Family Guy is the embodiment of rational thinking and logical reasoning. However, the family members do not always heed what he says.
Family DynamicThis show is fun to watch because of the family dynamic (especially the relationship between Steve and Hayley).The family dynamic is a bit off here, as the family members are sometimes snide and downright malicious towards each other.
Supporting CharactersAnyone who watched even a ten-second clip of Deputy Director Bullock will know how spectacular the supporting characters in American Dad are.The supporting characters in Family Guy are good (though frustrating at times) but are not on the same level as those in American Guy.
UniquenessThis show has several episodes that sparkle with originality.Family Guy has been churning out episode after episode that has started to blur together, as they do not vary that much.

What Is American Dad?

First of all, people who do not know about American Dad are not worth getting to know; that is what the show’s fan base thinks. Secondly, a person who does not become the show’s fan after watching a few episodes does not have a sense of humor. Harsh, but relatable as American Dad has relatable, intelligent, and unforgettable humor. Anyway, one does not have to be a die-hard fan to acknowledge that American Dad is an animated series worth watching (no, not merely because it has been running for so long). The show uses humor to make people think, and the plots (though not thrilling or gripping) are interesting enough to make people come back to watch it.

The predicaments the main characters find themselves in are often absurd and exaggerated. Seriously, who erects a block wall to divide the house due to a minor difference in remodeling preferences? Only Stan and Francine. And need one mention the way Francine reacted when Stan forgot their wedding anniversary? The poor man remembered the beating but forgot the anniversary again the next time. However, the beating served as a reminder, so at least Stan Smith is not a lost cause. Remember how Stan reacted when the toaster went off in the pilot episode? Fortunately, these exaggerations only made the show funnier.

Stan Smith is the reason most American Dad lovers get into a heated debate with Family Guy fans. To them, Stan is a character with many layers. He might be a Conservative Republican, but he has shown on many occasions that he has a sensitive, endearing side. The scene where Stan threatens to kill Hayley if she ever tells others about this side is iconic. He says he will reach into her chest, rip out her heart, and eat it. Who even threatens people like that?

The man loves gun cleaning, but figure skating is one of his hobbies. He loves reading bizarre books like How to Do a Spit Take and Anticipating Doorbells and even indulges himself by writing right-wing children’s literature. Stan Smith is truly a complex character, and people love him for it.

Another character that makes American Dad worth watching is Roger the Alien. He was unbearable but interesting when confined to the Smith’s house. However, the character began playing a pivotal role in the show’s plots and subplots in the later seasons. The various personas Roger seamlessly assumes make people excited to know what other alter ego the writers will create for the character. Besides, Roger says and does what he thinks and does not care about the consequences (he nearly married a woman merely to get his hands on a new blender. Who does that?).

However, people were able to sympathize with this character more when an episode explained that the alien species he belongs to needed to be unpleasant so as to not die. (That explains a lot!) Furthermore, Roger can return to his planet but continues to choose to stay on Earth. It looks like his love-hate relationship with the Stan family is much too important to cut short (aww, look at that, the sociopathic alien became attached to a human family).

In short, it is undeniable that American Dad has better ratings (getting a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes is no small feat) and a strong cult following. The show's nuanced storytelling, absurd yet relatable plots, and tactful humor ensure it will always remain a fond memory to those who viewed it even if it ends someday (hope that never happens even though realistically all shows must come to an end).

What Is Family Guy?

Many people shun Family Guy, as they feel it uses offensive humor, exudes stoic masculinity, and has repetitive running gags (how many times can one watch Peter Griffin fight an overgrown chicken?). However, the cutaway gags, funny jokes, and bizarre plots made the show an instant hit and made people crave more.

Indeed, some of the jokes in this show are crude and make viewers cringe, but some jokes are hilarious. Moreover, the crude ones reflect how some people in the society act and make people realize why they should not put up with them in real life. The creator never intended to propagate toxic masculinity. It is not his fault that a generation of men became racists or thought it was cool to insult women (though the show’s haters say otherwise).

After all, it is merely a satirical show meant to provoke thought; it was not meant to make people adopt the negative personality traits portrayed in it. People can criticize Family Guy all they want, but it remains a popular show that is recognized by far more people compared to American Dad. Family Guy gave rise to a plethora of memes that continue to be used to this day thanks to several pop-culture references and catchy one-liners. The catchphrases of each character in the show have become iconic (especially Quagmire’s ‘Giggity giggity goo’).

One cannot discuss Family Guy without talking about Stewie. That toddler (though he acts like anything but that) wormed his way into several million hearts with his ideas for world domination and constant attempts at matricide. Hey, who does not feel like taking a knife to a rude person in their life at times? Unfortunately, poor Lois is his target; therefore, it is understandable why some people are upset about this.

However, the kid is a prodigy. He created a working transporter device from the TV series Star Trek. Stewie built a time machine (and anyone who watched Avengers Endgame knows how difficult it is to build one) to avoid teething pain of all things! Who would not love this childish toddler with an intelligence level that rivals many other intelligent TV characters of all time? Honestly, many people were motivated to continue watching Family Guy just for the ‘Road To’ episodes (Stewie and Brian make a great pair).

The controversial episode Back to the Pilot made people feel sour. However, the episode has its moments. Remember how Brian ended up being the author of the Harry Potter series? All because he wanted to find a tennis ball he buried ten years ago (sheesh!). Time travel never ends well, does it? But the time machine did help undo the killing of Brian. So, at least some good came out of it. Moreover, without the time machine Chris, Stewie, and Brian would never have been able to board The Titanic to try and improve Chris’ history grades.

Little things like these are the reason Family Guy is an unforgettable show. Sometimes, people do not need a show with complex storylines; they merely need something that can make them forget the worries of their lives for a few minutes. Family Guy managed to give them those few precious worry-free moments, and thus, is unstoppable in its success.

Family Guy has been nominated for 27 Emmy Awards in various categories, out of which it won eight. The song You Got a Lot to See won the award for outstanding music and lyrics (who said an animated series does not feature good music?). The show was named the twelfth greatest show of all time in 2008. In short, Family Guy is a funny show that became even more iconic (something people never thought possible before it happened) each time it was revived.

Main Difference Between American Dad And Family Guy (In Points)

  • Most people consider American Dad the best show Macfarlane created, whereas opinion on Family Guy is divided. Some people will debate until the end of time that Family Guy is better than American Dad, while others turn up their noses at the crude, hurtful, and inconsiderate jokes in it.
  • Family Guy is well-known for its metafictional cutaway gags, pop culture references, and its way of portraying adolescent trouble. On the other hand, American Dad is best known for being a political satire (Stan’s right-wing political views and Hayley’s liberalistic stance pave the way for many hilarious scenes).
  • All In The Family inspired American Dad, which went on to establish its individuality. On the other hand, The Simpsons inspired the creation of Family Guy.
  • Family Guy is a resilient show, as it managed to survive being canceled twice. Fortunately, American Dad never had to go through the trial by fire and prove its resilience (some argue that this makes American Dad a more successful show, but others argue that it will not survive being canceled).
  • The creative direction of American Guy was left in the hands of Barker and Weitzman, whereas Seth MacFarlane was the creative director of Family Guy.


No matter which American animated series people root for, it is indisputable that American Dad and Family Guy are incredible shows. Of course, these shows have some flaws, but which show does not? American Dad and Family Guy have made a lasting impact on the viewers’ minds; they continue to be popular despite being around for more than a decade. However, people are increasingly leaning towards American Dad, as Family Guy is getting a bit repetitive and offers nothing new or experimental.


  • https://screenrant.com/american-dad-family-guy-biggest-differences/
  • https://www.cbr.com/american-dad-better-family-guy/#family-guy-is-the-worst-of-seth-macfarlane-while-american-dad-is-the-best
  • https://www.cinemablend.com/television/2490410/american-dad-vs-family-guy-which-seth-macfarlane-show-is-better#
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dad!
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Guy
  • https://www.cbr.com/american-dad-better-family-guy/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Smith_(American_Dad!)
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_(American_Dad!)
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stewie_Griffin
  • https://screenrant.com/family-guy-stewie-brian-time-travel/


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"Difference Between American Dad and Family Guy." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sun. 03 Mar. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-american-dad-and-family-guy>.

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