22 Hidden References You Never Noticed in Family Guy

Seth MacFarlane is best known for his sense of humor, as well as the way he incorporates pop culture references into everything he writes. However, perhaps his greatest achievement has been the longevity of Family Guy, which has remained a fixture in pop culture ever since it premiered in 1999. There's also plenty of other shows like Family Guy.

Much like his other projects, Family Guy has a ton of hidden references and Easter eggs scattered throughout each episode. While some of the references are super obvious, there are a handful that proved just how clever MacFarlane could be with his pop culture jokes.We've put together a list of MacFarlane's greatest hidden Easter Eggs in Family Guy - see if you can remember all of them! 

Whether it be a reference to one of the show's most memorable creative voices, a hidden callback to a previous joke from seasons ago, hidden characters from other MacFarlane projects, or timely jokes and plot lines, here are some of the most well-hidden references and Easter eggs featured throughout every episode of Family Guy up until this point!

  • The Cantina Scene Shows a Few Familiar Faces

    The Cantina Scene Shows a Few Familiar Faces
    Photo: Family Guy
    The Star Wars-themed "Blue Harvest" episode of the series was an amalgamation of everything that made Family Guy so good to begin with. However, during the scene at the cantina, Roger from American Dad and Bender from Futurama make cameo appearances. 
  • All Work and No Play Makes Stewie a Dull Boy

    All Work and No Play Makes Stewie a Dull Boy
    Photo: Family Guy

    In the episode "Love Thy Trophy," viewers catch a glimpse of Stewie playing with his building blocks. If you look fast, you can see that he has spelled out the word "REDRUM" using his blocks - which is a fairly blatant reference to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. In The Shining, Danny Torrance and his imaginary friend, Tony, begin spelling out the word "redrum" all over the Overlook Hotel where his family is staying.

    His mother finally realizes that "redrum" is "murder" spelled backwards. Knowing Stewie's character, this makes perfect sense.

  • 99 Red Balloons

    99 Red Balloons
    Photo: Family Guy
    In the "Road to Germany" episode of the series, Mort Goldman accidentally travels back in time and runs straight into a Nazi scientist. He shows Goldman their 100 luftballoons, but sadly, one of them pops. This is a reference to the hit '80s pop song, "99 Red Balloons," by Nena. 
  • Gumbel 2 Gumbel

    Gumbel 2 Gumbel
    Photo: Family Guy
    This reference is a behind-the-scenes in-joke about Seth MacFarlane's previous career experience. In "If I'm Dying, I'm Lying", Peter is given the opportunity to bring back any show of his choosing, and selects Gumbel 2 Gumbel. This show just so happens to be the name of the first project that MacFarlane pitched to Fox. 
  • Pause for a Headline Joke, Leave Disappointed

    Pause for a Headline Joke, Leave Disappointed
    Photo: Family Guy
    When the Griffins win a boat race, their story is plastered all over newspapers everwhere in the episode titled "Model Misbehavior". Keeping in line with the show's nods to its viewers, another headline below reads "DVDS PAUSED FOR HEADLINE JOKE - MILLIONS DISAPPOINTED." Family Guy knows how dedicated its fans are to finding these Easter eggs - so this one was a totally hilarious let down. 
  • WWID

    Photo: Family Guy
    During the Passion of the Christ 2: Crucify This in "North by North Quahog", viewers might miss a fairly post-modern joke featured briefly. As Jesus is driving in some kind of midlife crisis convertible, his license plate reads WWID (What would I do?), which is a playful spin on the phrase "What would Jesus do?"