Family Guy has grown more and more bonkers over the years, introducing a multiverse and time travel. With an interesting cast of characters, great political satire, and hilarious Peter Griffin quotes, what’s not to love? With 2017 marking its 16th season, there is a whole lot of canon to the Family Guy Universe (FGU). And what do you get when you have a whole lot of canon in a universe? Fan theories.
Yes, Family Guy fan theories range from the truly preposterous to epiphanic. But who is Susie Swanson? Who is she really? One thing’s for sure: Family Guy poses a lot more questions than it does answers, and that can’t just be apathy towards its own continuity, right? Well, fans refused to believe it, so take a gander at some of these fan theories about Family Guy and vote up the most credible ones. Be warned: this list contains spoilers.
Family Guy Is Stewie’s Interpretation Of The World
Reddit user iFornication makes an interesting argument for why some people can understand Stewie and why some can’t: because the entire show is a manifestation of Stewie’s perception of the world, i.e., “How an infant sees the world and tries to understand it from his limited knowledge.” The Redditor argues that the shenanigans of the show are extremely exaggerated because it’s all from a baby’s perspective. His most compelling point is that Brian has the ability to talk, due to the fact that Stewie just understands the dog as a member of the family, all of whom can speak.
There Was Another Griffin Child Who Died
Although this deleted Reddit user denigrates his own argument that Peter and Lois had a son who died, it’s actually somewhat convincing and the comments help it along. The user points out that Peter explicitly states they had a son who died, and even though it’s in a gag, it doesn’t change the fact that he said it. 789yugemos points out in the comments that there is even a throwaway gag depicting another child.
Brian’s Substance Abuse Issues Are Reflected In The (D)Evolution Of His Character
Uber-confident Reddit user GrandmasterSexay makes a rather compelling argument that over time, Brian’s alcoholism has morphed his character, just as the disease does to its victims in real life. He argues that Brian becomes “dumber” over time because he has his “wires crossed,” referring to the degenerative effects that alcoholism has on the brain. That said, GrandmasterSexay’s categorization of it as “progressive d**chiness” may be a tad harsh.
Brian Is Intelligent Because He’s A Human In A Dog Body
Although Family Guy has been on air roughly since the Carter administration, there are still aspects of the Griffin families life that remain mysterious. For example: Exactly why is Brian Griffin intelligent?
A writer at WhatCulture theorizes that Brian is smarter than your average dog because he was once a human who had his brain inserted into a canine body by the CIA. Remember, Family Guy is set in the same universe as American Dad!
In American Dad!, the talking goldfish Klaus is actually a German athlete who had his brain swapped with a fish by the CIA. It’s entirely possible, then, that all the intelligent animal characters in Seth McFarlane’s shared animated universe are the product of illegal experimentation by the CIA, including Brian Griffin.
Pre-Cancellation And Post-Cancellation Are Different Universes
Reddit user hohoswackyquest has a flawless explanation for why the first three seasons of Family Guyare bad and weird, and why the characters are all different from the rest of the series after it came back from being canceled: they’re two different universes. Most of hohoswackyquest’s argument lies in how different the characters are, especially how Meg is actually loved by her parents pre-cancellation. And the Redditor explains the time travel episode, “Back to the Pilot,” where Stewie and Brian go back to the pilot by claiming they didn’t time travel, but actually went to a parallel universe.
Damn. Maybe hohoswackyquest’s right. OR! Maybe the writers had to change everything about the show because it wasn’t good, hence the cancellation. Whatever the answer may be, the best part of the theory is the first comment beneath it by a very offensively named user.
Susie Swanson Is Avery Bullock
It is well established that American Dad! and Family Guy exist in the same universe. It is also established that little Susie Swanson’s inner monologue is voiced by Patrick Stewart, who also voices Avery Bullock. That’s just a funny subversion of expectations, right? Wrong! In American Dad!, the CIA has a device that allows a person to remotely control an avatar of any shape or size. In “Virtual In-Stanity,” Bullock does indeed have an avatar: a baby. He utilizes this avatar for, er, nutritional purposes. Redditor TCromps takes this a step further and theorizes Joe and Bonnie’s daughter, Susie, is one of Bullock’s avatars. Set your phasers to mind blown.
Family Guy Is A TV Show Within A TV Show
There are actually competing theories on this: some argue that Family Guy is a TV show within American Dad!, and others argue the reverse, while others still contend they’re TV shows within each other. (Whooooa. Can you taste the rainbow yet?)
Redditor GrandmasterSexay kind of argues the last, but with a twist: Family Guy has always been a TV show within a TV show, but American Dad! became such over time. His best evidence is an American Dad! episode where Stan lists his favorite fictional dogs, one of whom is Brian. Not to mention Season 15, Episode 4, “Inside Family Guy,” in which the audience gets a behind-the-scenes look at the what the actors who play the Griffins go through to film the show on a weekly basis. There’s also a scene in American Dad! where they “cut filming” to celebrate their 1,000th vagina joke, revealing a set and production crew. So there’s that.
Family Guy Has Grown Progressively Darker For A Reason
The aptly named darkrabbit713 pontificates on the increasingly dark tone of Family Guy. This user breaks down each character and their “haunting” experiences, and argues that this community of tragic souls fleshes out over time until fans are left with a dark reality.
Here’s the TL;DR: “Family Guy explores the traumatic events that mold a seemingly-normal neighborhood into a dark, destructive, and dysfunctional cast of characters.”
Meta Brian Is The Writer Of Family Guy
In what might even be fifth-wall breaking, Reddit user raaaaaaaalphie argues that Brian is writing all of the events of Family Guy, which explains why he is often painted as the voice of reason. It also explains why episodes that don’t include the entire cast always include him (i.e., the Brian and Stewie adventures). raaaaaaaalphie even proffers a series finale in which Brian goes to Fox to pitch his show idea.
Peter Finances His Antics With Stewie’s Earnings As A Model
Hahahaha! This one’s just fantastic. Locrian_DM explains how Peter manages to purchase customized vehicles of all sorts like the Petercopter or the Peterang. Ever since Season 2, Stewie has been making bank as a Calvin Klein model. Locrian_DM maintains that the family isn’t rich precisely because of Peter’s irresponsibility with money (which is a total understatement). Instead, they could be making the big bucks ever since Stewie started modeling in “A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Bucks” and probably hasn’t quit as he’s an “egomaniac.” Look for Seth Macfarlane’s affirmation any day now.
Lois Is Gearing Up To Leave Peter
A lot of people have noted a change in the tone of Family Guy over the last few seasons. Some have started to call it a sitcom, and yipyep42 goes so far as to call it a “comedic drama.” With that in mind, this Reddit user is making a pretty significant inference: that Lois will leave Peter. He notes the character development over time and points to increasing instances of Lois showing marital displeasure. This, coupled with the more serialized, consequential nature of the show (e.g., Brian dying and being out for a while), supports yipyep42’s theory that Lois may very well divorce Peter. Only time will tell.
It’s All In Peter’s Head
Yeah, bblank0308’s theory is straight up bonkers, but he does make a rather good, thought-out argument that all of the events of Family Guy are a grieving Peter Griffin’s imagination. Why is he grieving, you ask? Because Chris and Meg died in a car accident and a pregnant Lois committed suicide. As a result, Peter is pushed into insanity, where he imagines the world of the FGU. Wow.
Seth Macfarlane Is In Love With Alex Borstein
Oh, this one’s just the bee’s knees! TheZerocrat theorizes that Seth Macfarlane has a crush on Alex Borstein, based on the relationships of the characters that they voice respectively. Consider: Macfarlane voices Brian, Peter, Quagmire, and Stewie. All of these characters are in love with Lois, voiced by Borstein. To rebut your immediate reaction that Stewie clearly isn’t in love with Lois because he wants to kill her, TheZerocrat argues Stewie actually has an Oedipal complex and doesn’t understand his feelings for his mother. Ultimately, TheZerocrat thinks that these dynamics in the show are the manifestation of Macfarlane’s feelings for Borstein. Do you hear wedding bells? No?
Meg’s Future-Self, Ron, Will Eventually Replace Her On The Show
When Stewie travels with his future-self, Stu, into the future in “Stu & Stewie’s Excellent Adventure,” he meets the new Meg, who has undergone sex reassignment surgery and is now Ron. CortneyElin hypothesizes that Ron will actually become a character on the show during its run. The only issue with the theory is that she says Meg will be “killed off and replaced by Ron.” Uhhh… That’s not how it works, but the point is good enough. Fox probably wouldn’t mind cutting Mila Kunis’s exorbitant salary.
Joe Swanson Was The Tick
Yeah, this one’s adorable. Reddit user MrDeez444 posits that Joe was the superhero known as the Tick before he became the Griffin’s neighbor. Now, his argument is a little boggled because he kind of argues that he’s also still the Tick and that the suit cures his paralysis while he wears it. Then, of course, there’s the fact that Patrick Warburton played the Tick in the 2001 live action show, which was (not at all) coincidentally on Fox. It’s a fun idea, if nothing else.
Meg Is Stewie’s Biological Mother
Reddit user nathanjackson1996 lays out a rather convincing argument that Meg could be Stewie’s mother, and Lois and Brian conspired to hide the teen pregnancy. Peter and Chris are far too stupid to figure it out, so it’s plausible.
Or at least, it was plausible until Season 11, Episode 4. In “Yug Ylimaf,” Stewie’s time machine is broken and time begins to flow in reverse. Stewie is unborn, getting sucked back into Lois’s tummy, or wherever babies come from. Another user does point out that Family Guy‘s continuity is all kinds of messed up, so it’s still a possibility. Just not a likelihood. Sorry, nathanjackson1996.