Anyone who tunes in to a Seth MacFarlane creation should expect some extremely dark comedy - a fact that's been true since his first hit, Family Guy. The show has been on the air since 1999, and during that time there have been plenty of times Family Guy went super dark. Seth MacFarlane and his writers have welcomed all kinds of controversy with shocking jokes about death, abortion, incest, drunk driving, Michael J. Fox, and many other taboo topics.
Keep reading to see how Family Guy has crossed the line with some of the darkest jokes of any TV show, ever.
When Family Guy wants to go really dark with a joke, the show commonly decides to do it via song. This was definitely the case when the Griffin family went to one of Stewie’s school plays to watch his class perform “Terri Schiavo: The Musical.” Young kids take on the roles of the family members involved in the controversial right-to-die legal case that began in 1990. Some of the darkest lyrics include “Terri Schiavo is kind of alive-o,” “this [machine] dispenses gravy for her mashed potato brains,” and “[she’s] the most expensive plant you’ll ever see.”
Michael J. Fox has struggled with Parkinson’s disease since 1991, and first announced the diagnosis to the public in 1998. Since then, he has been the subject of several Family Guy jokes. One episode shows Peter explaining to the family why he only has two white shirts. He claims that he used to have three but the third one “got ruined at that wine tasting at Michael J. Fox’s house.” Rather than immediately recreate the scene, the show instead has Peter just telling the audience what happened because seeing the footage “would just make us all sad.”
After trading places with Meg and Chris for the sake of a bet, Peter seems unsure of how to go about this role reversal. He first appears in the kitchen dressed as a teenage girl before Lois explains that he's still supposed to be a boy. He then returns as a troubled teenage boy eager to "make all those popular kids pay" for ignoring him. He is seen holding a large gun and cocks it before Lois tells him he is supposed to be just a normal teenager. He tries to call off the attack, but the damage is already done.
In the episode, “A Hero Sits Next Door,” Family Guy pokes fun at not one, but two high profile assassinations. A young boy is seen leaving a store before telling a friend to check out his John F. Kennedy Pez dispenser. A mishap with a police standoff only a few feet away ultimately results in the Pez dispenser’s head being blown off by a stray bullet. While that was enough to make the average viewer feel slightly uncomfortable, Family Guy doesn’t stop there. After losing his new JFK Pez dispenser the excited child states that he is still excited to have the second thing he purchased - a Bobby Kennedy Pez dispenser.