Family Guy is turning 20 and TBS is celebrating with a marathon. On April 15, the network will play Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane’s 20 most favorite episodes. The marathon is set to start at 10:30 a.m. and will run until 10:00 p.m.
The Family Guy marathon starts with the Season 2 episode Road to Rhode Island and will finish with Season 10’s Back to the Pilot. After the marathon, TBS will air a new episode of American Dad, also from MacFarlane.
TBS celebrates Family Guy 20th anniversary
In the past 20 years, Family Guy has had many fan-favorite episodes. Many of these episodes are included in the marathon including Road to Multiverse as well as And Then There Were Fewer. MacFarlane has also given some commentary on the episodes that are being played. Regarding And Then There Were Fewer, he said, “I think this is my favorite episode of the series. A classic format, great-looking direction, and, I hope, a genuinely surprising ending.” He also shared that that was the first episode to air in HD. “It was really cool to finally see Lois’s pores.”
The TBS marathon also features several episodes that feature iconic jokes. Marathon watchers will see Patriot Games, the episode that brought us Shipoopi, and I Dream of Jesus, which has the classic ‘bird is the word’ scene. We’ll also see Brian Wallows and Peter Griffin’s Swallows, which won Family Guy an Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics in 2002.
Below are MacFarlane’s favorite Family Guy episodes and what he has to say about them. Tune in to 10 hours of gear grinding on April 15.
Road to Rhode Island
Brian goes to California to escort Stewie home from his visit with his grandparents.
“This was the first Stewie/Brian roadshow we ever did, and it’s the first episode that firmly established their unique relationship. It was our fresh take on that classic old trope of a dog and a baby hitting the road together.” Airs at 10:30 a.m.
Brian Wallows and Peter’s Swallows
Brian is sentenced to care for a crabby old woman; Peter’s beard becomes a home for birds.
“This episode won us an Emmy for its musical number. Before that, none of us had never seen an Emmy before.” Airs at 11:00 a.m.
North by North Quahog
During their second honeymoon, Peter and Lois stumble upon a horror too great to bear: Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ 2.
“Our first episode back from cancellation. It was a comedic riff on a Hitchcock classic, complete with a Bernard Herrmann score. This is the type of whip-smart, nuanced writing I was capable of 10,000 drinks ago.” Airs at 11:30 a.m.
After winning at Trivial Pursuit, Peter claims to be a genius, so Brian asks him to take an IQ test to prove it.
“This is a brilliant episode and just so Twitter knows, I was out with the flu the day they came up with the title.” Airs at 12:00 p.m.
Peter broadcasts a television station out of the Griffin home.
“This episode was the culmination of our completely wholesome, non-sexual relationship with the FCC.” Airs at 12:30 p.m.
Brian Sings and Swings
A near-death experience lands Brian in the hospital but infuses him with a new passion for life.
“This episode featured our dear friend, the wonderful Frank Sinatra Jr. It’s also when I realized that if you have songs in an episode, you have to write way less.” Airs at 1:00 p.m.
At his high school reunion, Peter pretends to be a millionaire, but the truth comes out when he meets Tom Brady and loses all self-control.
“One word: Shipoopi.” Airs at 1:30 p.m.
The Griffin Family History
The Griffins get robbed; Peter narrates a chain of events in world history that explains the Griffin name.
“A fun premise and a great-looking episode. This was our first real foray into a non-traditional format.” Airs at 2:00 p.m.
Road to Rupert
Brian accidentally sells Stewie’s beloved teddy bear, Rupert; Meg must drive Peter around after he loses his license.
“Stewie dances with Gene Kelly. Enough said.” Airs at 2:30 p.m.
Blue Harvest Pt. 1 & Blue Harvest Pt. 2
With the Griffins stuck at home during a blackout, Peter begins to tell a story, which leads to a Star Wars flashback. Acting out scenes from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Peter plays Han Solo, Lois is Princess Leia, Stewie becomes Darth Vader, Brian plays Chewbacca, and Chris is Luke Skywalker. Cleveland and Quagmire will play the parts of R2-D2 and C-3PO, while Herbert is the wise Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“This episode is what finally put Star Wars on the map.” Airs at 3:00 p.m.
I Dream of Jesus
Peter rediscovers his love for the painfully annoying song, “Surfin’ Bird” which drives people around him crazy; and when Peter finds Jesus in a record store, he’s determined to be his new best friend.
“The bird is still the word.” Airs at 4:00 p.m.
Road to Germany
Mort Goldman accidentally steps into a time machine and winds up in 1939 Poland in the middle of the Nazi invasion. Brian and Stewie follow him to Nazi Germany in an attempt to save him and bring him back to the present safely.
“This was our homage to Herman Wouk’s ‘The Winds Of War.’ And sadly, if you’re an American male under age 35, studies show this episode is all you know about World War II.” Airs at 4:30 p.m.
Road to Multiverse
Stewie and Brian visit alternate universes and become stuck in one ruled by dogs.
“Back before Walt Disney’s Family Guy was a real thing, it was a fake thing.” Airs at 5:00 p.m.
Extra Large Medium
Peter believes he possesses psychic powers; Chris falls for a classmate with Down Syndrome.
“Psychics are frauds. You’re welcome.” Airs at 5:30 p.m.
Brian Griffin’s House of Payne
Brian’s television pilot script gets picked up by a network, but he’s horrified when changes are made to his concept; Chris and Meg accidentally knock Stewie unconscious.
“An amazing opening sequence with great visual effects scored by a 75-piece orchestra. Fun trivia: Family Guy employs more full-time tuba players than the rest of Hollywood combined.” Airs at 6:00 p.m.
Brian and Stewie
Brian and Stewie are locked up inside a bank vault for an entire episode.
“We wanted to see if our characters were interesting enough to sustain a full episode in one room, without gags or cutaways. In Hollywood, this is called a “bottle episode,” because it only utilizes one set, and also because the writers were drunk.” Airs at 6:30 p.m.
And Then There Were Fewer Pt. 1 & And Then There Were Fewer Pt. 2
People throughout Quahog are summoned to a mysterious mansion, where actor James Woods hosts a dinner party to atone for his misdeeds and guests begin dying, one by one. After more of James Woods’ dinner party guests meet grisly fates, the identity of the mysterious killer is revealed.
“I think this is my favorite episode of the series. A classic format, great-looking direction, and, I hope, a genuinely surprising ending. It was also the first episode to air in HD. It was really cool to finally see Lois’s pores.” Airs at 7:00 p.m.
Road to the North Pole Pt. 1 & Road to the North Pole Pt. 2
Brian and Stewie take their adventures to the North Pole to seek out Santa Claus.
“My dad’s in this one.” Airs at 8:00 p.m.
The Big Bang Theory
Using the time machine, Stewie and Brian accidentally travel outside the space-time continuum, where Stewie causes an explosion that creates the universe; Bertram travels back in time to kill one of Stewie’s ancestors: Leonardo da Vinci.
“This was based on a story I wrote in college. The A.V. Club gave this episode a B, which is their highest rating I think.” Airs at 9:00 p.m.
Back to the Pilot
Brian and Stewie travel back in time to January 31, 1999, and witness the events that took place in the very first episode of Family Guy, “Death Has a Shadow”.
“It was fun to re-visit an era before I hired people who could draw better than me.” Airs at 9:30 p.m.