Family Guy is an American animated television series about a dysfunctional family in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island. It was created by Seth MacFarlane for FOX Broadcasting Company in 1999. The show uses frequent "cutaway gags", jokes in the form of tangential vignettes that do not advance the story. The show is criticized for using story premises and humor similar to those used in episodes of The Simpsons, another animated series on the FOX network. Numerous writers associated with The Simpsons, such as Matt Groening, Al Jean, David X. Cohen, Matt Selman, Tim Long, and Joel H. Cohen have made fun of Family Guy during public appearances, in interviews and on DVD commentaries.
- “You know, it's funny. Matt Groening and I actually have a great relationship. We've talked several times in the past few weeks and joked about this. One day out of nowhere this rumour pops up in papers and magazines. Actually, it was probably one comment that was taken out of context in Blender. Matt's just a cool guy, and fortunately neither of us was ruffled by any of that stuff. We just laughed it off.”
- ―Seth MacFarlane
- “The rivalry is very affectionate. Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, is a good guy and he does great work, and I certainly have no problem with the perceived competition. If anything, we have the same kind of competition that Pugsley Addams and Eddie Munster had in the old days. They duked it out a few times, and so did Seth and I, but that's probably before your time. I think Family Guy and American Dad have definitely staked out their own style and territory, and now the accusations are coming that The Simpsons is taking jokes from Family Guy. And I can tell you, that ain't the case.”
- ―Matt Groening
According to the DVD commentary in the Family Guy episode Movin' Out (Brian's Song) FOX cut the scene which makes an extended reference to The Simpsons. FOX refused to air it on the basis that they wanted "the feud" between him and Matt Groening, the scene can only be seen on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. Seth goes on to say that there is no feud, and claims its only when Family Guy does a joke about The Simpsons, not when the Simpsons make a joke about Family Guy, it gets cut and that FOX are afraid of James L. Brooks. According to him, both Al Jean and James L. Brooks were angry about the scene, but Matt Groening apparently liked it, and FOX cut it from the final version, ruining the end of the first act of that episode. The full version of the scene was shown on Adult Swim, TBS, and on DVDs.
In The Simpsons Game when you're Bart in Matt Groening's level, you hear him say "I wish I invented Family Guy" and Homer mistakes Matt Groening for Seth MacFarlane as TV's most beloved animated visionary.
The Simpsons are set to meet the Griffin family in the crossover episode The Simpsons "Guy" in 2014.
Family Guy references in The Simpsons
|At the end of "Missionary: Impossible", Betty White entreats viewers to help keep "this crude, low-brow programming" on the air, while the television next to her says "Family Guy."|
|In "Treehouse of Horror XIII", Homer creates clones of himself that mostly look and act exactly like him (except for being dumber). When the clones create an army of themselves, variations begin to appear, and one of the "variant" clones is Peter Griffin (reflecting the common criticism that Peter is too similar to Homer Simpson - in other words, a clone of him).|
|In the ending credits for "Treehouse of Horror XVI", Al Jean was credited as Al "Family Guy" Jean.|
|In "The Wandering Juvie", when fighting with Bart, Gina calls Bart a "family guy".|
|In "The Italian Bob", swipes are taken at both Family Guy and Seth MacFarlane other creation, American Dad!. In trying to identify Sideshow Bob, the Italian police look through a book of criminals, in which there are pictures of Peter Griffin (accused of Plagiarismo, Plagiarism implying that Family Guy is a ripoff of The Simpsons) and Stan Smith (accused of Plagiarismo de plagiarismo, Plagiarism of Plagiarism implying that American Dad! is a ripoff of Family Guy, which, in turn, is a ripoff of The Simpsons).|
|In the credits of "Homerland", families from other fox shows can be seen, including Family Guy, American Dad, Bob's Burgers and The Cleveland Show.|
|"The Simpsons Guy" was an hour-long crossover between Family Guy and The Simpsons, where The Griffin family travels to Springfield and lives with The Simpsons for a while.|
The Simpsons references in Family Guy
|In the episode "8 Simple Rules of Buying My Teenage Daughter", Stewie criticizes the babysitter's boyfriend for downloading episode of The Simpsons, Mr. Plow, saying that everyone else has watched it and he's not special for watching it too. This would be the first of many references to The Simpsons on the show.|
|In a special Police Squad!-style opening in "PTV", Stewie runs Homer Simpson over with his toy bike in the garage. His attempt to run away is analogous to running away from the car. Here, he does not crash through the door, and is knocked unconscious. Peter then asks Stewie "Who the Hell is that?".|
|In "Movin' Out (Brian's Song)" Brian mentions Stewie selling out, cueing a cutaway of Stewie being in one of the infamous Simpsons Butterfinger commercials. Stewie quotes "Nobody better lay a finger on my butterfinger" and then adds "D'oh!"|
|Marge Simpson and Glenn Quagmire are seen together in a fake promotion for the show in "Movin' Out (Brian's Song)". After enjoying their time together, Marge brings Quagmire to Springfield to have more fun. After a long night of sex with Marge, Homer catches them in the act. The Simpsons family is then killed in one-by-one a chain reaction shooting by Quagmire. This scene was omitted from all FOX broadcasts at the insistence of Simpsons producers, who did not allow the voice actors to reprise their roles for the scene. It is only available on the Adult Swim TBS and DVD editions.|
|In "Lois Kills Stewie", one of the society offenders from the DVD exclusive song, "I've Got a Little List" is "the guy who watched the Simpsons back in 1994 and won't admit the damn thing isn't funny anymore". The Simpsons fan in question can be pointed out by his Bart Simpson t-shirt.|
|Homer appears in "The Juice Is Loose" at O. J. Simpson's "Welcome to Quahog" party, as the Simpson Mayor Adam West was referring to. He uttered his catchphrase "D'oh!".|
Peter pitches a cartoon to a TV network and promises that the show will be the nest Simpsons in "FOX-y Lady".
|Originally in the episode "Something, Something, Dark Side", Luke Skywalker (played by Chris Griffin) was going to decapitate a Darth Vader head, resembling that of Homer Simpson's. Due to copyright issues however, the head was changed to a regular Darth Vader head in the final cut.|
|In "Big man on Hippocampus", Peter gets amnesia and forgets everything about him. When Lois introduces Meg as his daughter, he says "D'oh!" and Lois has to tell him that that's not his catchphrase.|
|At the end of the episode "Dial Meg for Murder", the ending credits were in the same font as the ones used in The Simpsons.|
|A reference on Butterfinger has been featured as a candy called not a finger which was mentioned by Stewie Griffin in "Halloween on Spooner Street".|
|In "New Kidney in Town", Peter's skin becomes flushed and turns completely yellow. He claims that he's perfectly healthy and could go on for another 20 years. This is a joke on The Simpsons having yellow-skinned characters and how the series could continue on for an extremely long time.|
|Many of the characters appear in "Cool Hand Peter" as the jury for the trial of Peter Griffin, Glenn Quagmire, Joe Swanson and Cleveland Brown. At first, Peter is relieved to learn that it's a jury of their peers, but Joe points out that they don't see it that way.|
|In "Family Guy Viewer Mail #2", Stewie says that Family Guy is based off of an American sitcom called The Simpsons.|
|In "Ratings Guy", Peter Griffin goes to report how he messed up TV. Homer Simpson then shows up to report how he messed up TV. Peter then points out that this is a story they beat them to.|
|Bart Simpson is among the characters Stewie Griffin morphs in to when Peter Griffin fools with the remote in the episode, "Boopa-Dee Bappa-Dee".|
|Peter gets drunk and reminisces about all of his best memories. These memories, however, are not his. They are the memories of Homer Simpson. His memories are Maggie's first tooth, Mr. Plow, and Bart jumping the canyon. From the episode "Save the Clam.|
|Peter and the rest of the Griffins travels to Springfield to meet The Simpsons in the one hour long crossover episode The Simpsons Guy.|
|A drunken Peter admits that although the don't act like it, they stole a lot of their material from The Simpsons in "Guy, Robot".|
|Chris applies for a job working for Quagmire. When Quagmire asks him what his references are, Chris' references are literally references to movies and TV shows. One of which was Bart Simpson's catchphrase, "Cowabunga". From the episode "The Boys in the Band".|
|There was a picture of Brain Griffin, waving to a bunch of excited fans, driving by. The camera then panned out, revealing that the fans were actually cheering about a giant promotional painting of The Simpsons in the episode "Inside Family Guy.|
|In the episode "Cop and a Half-Wit", Peter and Joe started unzipping people's costumes, and revealing them for who they truly were. One of the things Peter did, was unzip the screen, revealing The Simpsons, sitting on the couch.|