Family Guy has been produced by Fox for a number of years, but it’s a well-known fact that the creators of the show aren’t the biggest fans of their parent network.
Back in the late 90s and the early 2000s, it looked like Fox had finally found the perfect animation to run alongside its darling child, The Simpsons. But after an attempted cancellation shook the foundations of the relationship early on, Fox and Family Guy‘s partnership has been rather unsteady ever since, and the cartoon’s creators are not very good at hiding how they feel about the network.
Five awkward moments between Family Guy and Fox
It’s hard to tell what goes on behind the scenes in the world of TV, but one would have to imagine that any grievances between the network and the show’s producers would probably get ironed out behind the camera, rather than in front of it. But Seth Macfarlane does not run his cartoon like a normal show and has chosen to poke fun at Fox on a number of occasions. Here are some of our favorite examples:
1. Season 7, Episode 10 – FOX-y Lady
Season 7 episode FOX-y Lady showed Lois trying her hand at being a reporter for Fox News. Of course, with the help of Brian, the episode was a 30-minute slaughtering of the conservative news station, showcasing exactly what MacFarlane, an outspoken liberal, thinks of the way his employers view the world.
Season 4, Episode 1: North by North Quahog
Given how successful and culturally relevant the show remains in 2023, it feels crazy to look back on 2002, when Fox decided that Family Guy was to be canceled after just three seasons. Thanks to some positive fan feedback in the form of ratings and merchandise sails, the show was revived and returned to screens in 2004.
And when it did return, MacFarlane and the gang failed to make it past episode 1 of the 4th season without taking a shot at Fox. Watch the least blatant sarcasm of all time, as Peter lists all the “terrific” shows that Fox was making at the time, that hadn’t faced the cancellation rigmarole that they had at that point.
Seth MacFarlane lets the world know what he thinks of FOX
In 2021, MacFarlane, who had grown sick of the likes of pundits such as Tucker Carlson receiving prime airtime and lucrative contracts by Fox, opted not to go down the animation route and instead went straight to Twitter with his opinions. ‘
While Fox likely saw all the jokes made at its expense in the show and allowed them to air regardless, no one in the TV networks boardroom could have predicted a rant quite as brutal and as honest as this:
Season 19, Episode 08 – Pawtucket Pat
During a later episode of the show, in which two groups from the town are clashing over the defense of a local statue (an obvious nod to the statue attacking and defending that was happening in the US and the UK at the time), Family Guy made sure to squeeze in a quick dig at Fox – because why not?
“Look, here comes Fox News!” Peter announces to the rest of the statue defenders, as a car with a Confederate flag on the roof skids across the grass towards them. If you couldn’t already tell, Family Guy doesn’t employ the most subtle brand of humor.
Season 7, Episode 7: Ocean’s Three And A Half
This particular season 7 cutaway gag was believed to be a mockery of Sean Hannity, a Fox News anchor who was at the height of his fame around 2009 when the episode was aired. Fourteen years on, however, the aggressive shouting over one another, combined with the bold, sweeping generalizations have helped this clip to age pretty realistically, and could really be a depiction of most modern news network hosts.