Family Guy vs. American Dad!

Which is better?

  • Total voters


Edgy McEdgeEdge
Dec 7, 2013
Castle Graveskull
Okay let's settle this once and for all. Which is your preferred Seth MacFarlane show and why? I would have included "The Cleveland Show" but I knew no one would pick it.

I'm going with the show that has the least MacFarlane involvement, so I'm going with "American Dad!". This show has always seemed superior for me, with it's colourful cast of characters and sharp wit. Unlike "Family Guy", the show doesn't rely on cheap gags and is more focussed on character and situation humour. Gross out and shock jokes are still present but the manner in which they are used doesn't feel nearly as cheap. The characters are actually likeable in this show and if they do something a bit too cruel, they usually get their comeuppance for it. Even the animation which suffers from some of the same problems that "Family Guy" has, still comes off as more appealing to look at, due to the more creative shots and character poses. At least there's rarely any scenes where the only thing moving is the characters' mouths. And while the show may have dipped in quality in recent years, it still manages to make me laugh. I do miss the political satire but for what the show is, it's great entertainment that I still look forward to when it's on.

I'm not going to go into why I dislike modern Family Guy so much, because everything's already been said. I'll just say that the writing is so bad at times that I feel the need to switch it off. It's like the writing team consists of 13 year old boys who have no idea of how the real world works and just want to see what they can get away with on television. Or maybe it's just Seth MacFarlane thinking everything that comes out of his head is comedy gold. Yeah, that's probably it.


Apr 5, 2013
The Netherlands
I really liked FG's first 3 seasons, and after the cancellation I watched till season 8 or so till I gave up. American Dad has been consistenly good, but has a much slower start than FG, but atleast they improved as the show went on. While FG has some of the better seasons, American Dad as a whole beats it, I guess its mostly the blame for FG's modern era which i just cannot get into. But American Dad as of late seem to be declining aswell since TBS took over.

Character wise I'd also give it to American Dad, they're just more interesting to me. Though Stewie and Brian (were atleast) the better characters of the 2 shows. Sometimes I think FG should just focus on Stewie and Brian entirely, its what people seem to like the most in the first place.


انطلقوا أيها الغزاة!
Aug 12, 2009
Dickshooter, Idaho
Family Guy. I never got American Dad, nearly every episode I've seen was awful(I liked the one where they went on a road trip searching for a Delorean door).

This isn't saying that Family Guy is a great show either, because it's not. As it stands, I haven't watched either show in like two years.

Mr. Teenie

Intergalactic Mod
Aug 22, 2014
American Dad is a lot more interesting, mainly because they don't focus too much on pointless cutaways and pop culture references.


May 16, 2012
How dare you not include Dads and Cleveland Show. MacFarlane's finest.

In seriousness, I honestly think it's hard. Family Guy in its first three seasons was a fine bit of animated entertainment that was a biting satire on family sitcoms and pop culture. Maybe not genius, but it was pretty funny and now that era is outdated. After cancellation, it came back to some acclaim and was thought to still be as funny as it used to be. It wasn't. By season 5, it was proven that wasn't the case. Since season 5, each season is more evident Family Guy is a violent, rape-joke filled fest of shit that doesn't hold a candle to what Family Guy used to be.

American Dad on the other hand had an awkward first season and was the underdog comedy for a good few years. By season 4 or so, the show had gained slightly more notoriety as it began to stand out from being a "wannabe" of Family Guy. American Dad became more open to breaking its format to episodes that caused such mixed reaction, such as Blood Crieth which was I believe around season 7. You can't miss the holiday episodes either, known for being extraordinary compared to most run-of-the-mill, good-feeling holiday spectaculars. By season 9 though, the show hasn't been as funny and select episodes stand out only slightly compared to the rest.

So to be honest, it's hard here. American Dad's been slightly innovative, where as Family Guy was good for its time. Both shows have gone downhill, with Family Guy facing a really hard decline. Can I still forgive the show for its former glory? Can I really thank American Dad for breaking the formula every so often?

I gotta give the award to neither, even though that's not a poll option. If I compare Old Family Guy to American Dad, it's no competition with the clear winner being the former. Comparing new Family Guy with American Dad as a whole, the latter wins. But the entirety of both shows and their history cannot make an even comparison.

TL;DR No winner. Sorry guys.
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Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Oct 2, 2010
family guy's first three seasons just beat out AD. AD has many more competent and 'good' seasons, but they just aren't as consistently funny as FG before it got canned


The biggest assclown!
Jan 2, 2015
Always have to be American Dad!

Family Guy is still pretty funny, but honestly, as far as character, story, and joke wise, American Dad! undoubtedly wins.

The Spruce Moose

oh dear, I say!
Nov 16, 2011
Partying in the burbs
Seasons 1-3 of Family Guy are the only ones worth watching across either show, so even though bad Family Guy stinks the place out so so much worse than bad American Dad! i'll have to give it to them.

Bart's treehouse

withered gas station rose
Feb 16, 2010
The first three seasons of family guy are as equal as the later stuff. Couple good episodes a season the rest are unwatchable. American dad by far


Not Forgotten
May 27, 2014
Bay Area
Definitely American Dad. I think it's better probably because of less Seth MacFarlane influence. I agree with others saying only Seasons 1-3 of Family Guy are decent, but even then I just don't like the cutaway long-joke Meg-bashing style and I find myself generally uninterested in that show. American Dad is just a lot funnier to me, even if it is often more outrageous. The newer seasons aren't as great, but that's expected. Family Guy's recent seasons have produced some of the worst crap on television; it far outdoes the mediocrity of some of the recent AD episodes.


Resident Relic of Problematic Periods
Global Moderator
Jul 24, 2007
Northern Ireland
"Family Guy" may be good for a simple laugh. A turn your brain off kind of show on it's most mediocre of days and once in a while engaging when it wants to be (I'm talking Brian and Stewie Sci-Fi concept eps like "Road to the Multiverse" or hour-long specials like "And then there were fewer") but "American Dad!" is, and always has been, on another level. Sure, it's early years are a bit rough and of course, odd to look at in retrospect, but it blossomed into something way more crazy and fun as time went on and the focus shifted from "Let's make fun of people that support George W. Bush" to "Let's do some cool Sci-Fi stories based around secret CIA technology". It's a show that can stand on it's own two feet and tell a story quite competently without relying on cutaways or meta-gags to pad things out or brush off any natural follow-up to something a character does.

Also, with the exception of Roger (He's been kinda bugging me in recent episodes) I haven't really grown tired of the Smith family. The Griffins became largely unlikable gag robots a long time ago.

I would have included "The Cleveland Show" but I knew no one would pick it.



Uh oh, Bobby's in trouble!
Mar 2, 2014
Yeah, I'm going to have to agree with everyone that said American Dad. As much as I love the first 8 seasons of Family Guy, I just think American Dad as a whole is funnier. Granted there's still quite a few episodes I haven't seen like the TBS ones which I haven't seen a single one of, but I've seen a very good amount of episodes of this show and the majority of them is great comedy. I also really like some of the stories and outrageous ideas this show has like that one episode where Stan dies and goes to heaven and they do really odd stuff with it like Stan threatening someone with a "heaven gun". Or this one episode where 20 years Francine's mind is erased which makes her stuck in the 80's. This show just has all these crazy ideas, yet they execute them so damn well which is a part of what makes the show work.

Another reason I'm going to pick American Dad is because even if I do get around to watching the TBS episodes and think they suck, I don't think it will affect the show that much because I just really love this show. The decline on Family Guy however is a whole different story.


Jan 20, 2012
I watched every episode of American Dad, and ive watched the first 20 episodes of family guy. The first 5 were like so funny, now they are all not good.
Also what's with the hate for the cleveland show? I watched season 1-3 of it, its A+ stuff
American Dad > Seinfeld > Futurama > Cleveland Show > Simpsons > Family Guy

Mike Anderson

Junior Camper
Sep 1, 2014
American Dad has been more engaging, more consistently entertaining and more intelligent than Family Guy has been over the past few seasons.

But Family Guy will always be my preferred show.

As much as I love a good AD episode ("Hot Water" and "Virtual In-Stanity" are two of my favorite episodes of any television show, ever), I have never grown to have a deep love for Stan or Francine or Roger that I have with Peter and Stewie and Brian and the rest. I have been a fan of FG for the past eight years, and I have seen the show go in different creative directions. But I stick with it because I have so much interest in what the characters do, even during the low points. So what if the show has changed? The same thing happened to The Simpsons, SpongeBob, Rugrats, Fairly OddParents, The Boondocks, South Park to a certain extent. It happens to every long-running show with a rotating crew. As long as Family Guy still provides me entertainment today, none of that matters. And it still does. I can't explain it, but I have developed a deep love and respect for the show. Especially since it still goes out every week in spite of the incredibly harsh reception it's been getting for the past decade and just does whatever it wants. No one needs to like it, but we can learn to respect it. Somewhere in there, there's still pure emotion, intelligence, and appeal in a show that has been in need of new blood for a while. In spite of the show's shortcomings in 2015, it has given me so much to laugh, smirk, and talk about over the last eight years that the thought of American Dad ever doing it just does not register with me.

Who knows? Maybe one day, I will develop that deep love for American Dad. But even then, my love for Family Guy will not change.