American Dad! was always going to be all sorts of controversial. No question about it. For starters, the show was created by Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman, guys already known for the bold, often offensive humour in Family Guy. Secondly, the show was originally meant to be about an ultra-Republican Dad clashing with his ultra-liberal daughter, so naturally, with this set up, a lot of American Dad!’s jokes were bound to centre around values… or a lack of them.
With its 14th season (yup, there’s been that many – we can’t believe it either) starting on Thursday 24th November at 10pm on Fox – and available to watch in Catch Up afterwards - we take a look at American Dad!’s most outlandish moments so far.
Shallow Vows (Season 6)
This episode shows Francine realising that her husband doesn’t know her at all - in fact, he’s stopped listening to her years ago. Ouch. To make matters worse, Stan also admits that he only likes her because of her appearance. In retaliation, Francine “lets herself go” only for Stan to then decide that he’d rather be blind than see his wife that way… and gets his retinas detached. Double ouch.
Love, AD Style (Season 9)
Here, Roger-the-alien develops a crush on Hayley. And in typical Roger style, he takes everything to an extreme. In an attempt to stop his feelings, he shoots the object of his affection, but, surprise, surprise, that doesn’t work. So instead, he kidnaps Hayley, and then steals the skin off Jeff, her husband, in order to pretend to be him. When he realises that this won’t work either, he ditches his new outer layer and finally gives up. Totally. Not. Creepy. At. All. We always do wonder why the family keeps Roger around, by the way.
Four Little Words (Season 3)
Who likes to hear someone say “I told you so”? Not Stan. Like, really not. When his boss accidentally kills Francine’s friend Melinda (it’s a long story), Stan is worried that his wife will dish out the dreaded sentence. To avoid the disaster, he decides that it’s easier to make Francine believe that she killed Melinda instead, and he doesn’t bat an eyelid when she sets off to India to find redemption. Yup, that sounds totally healthy.
Pulling Double Booty (Season 5)
This plot will really have anyone’s stomach churning. Stan, as part of his job at the CIA, has a body double, named Bill. Hayley and Bill hit it off and become an item (effectively meaning that Hayley is dating someone who looks exactly like her Dad. Ughh). And strangely, only Francine thinks this is twisted. Things get a lot weirder though, when the relationship peters out. To save his daughter grief, Stan decides to pretend to be her boyfriend for a while. Yup, if you felt super uneasy after watching this episode, you’re not alone.
Camp Refoogee (Season 3)
All things humanitarian take a hit in this episode, where Stan accidentally sends Steve to a refugee camp in an unspecified location in Africa, mistaking it for a summer camp called “Camp Refoogee”. When they discover the mistake, Stan and Hayley head there to pick up Steve, but instead of going home, Stan decides to turn the place into an actual summer camp, and Hayley spends her time eating with the other UN workers, while the people in the camp are starving. Presumably, she doesn’t experience the bad taste that the rest of us do.
The Vacation Goo (Season 4)
A Smith family vacation ends with them stranded on an unknown island along with Steve’s crush Becky. And to make the situation worse, a group of men are chasing them with guns. In panic, they all hide in a cave, and the structure collapses, trapping them inside and killing Becky. The Smiths resort to cannibalism to survive (but only really agreeing after they see that Becky was an organ donor - ugh ugh ugh). So it’s rather awful when they realise that the guys chasing them were actually playing paintball, and that the island is actually perfectly safe.
Stan’s Best Friend (Season 8)
This episode is hard to watch for any dog lover. The Smiths adopt an adorable puppy called Kisses, who promptly – and sadly – gets crushed by a hot air balloon filled with pirate cats (we’ve stopped asking why what how at this point). However, not satisfied with letting the dog rest, Stan takes him to the vet, who puts him back together, Frankenstein style. When the family convince him that this is no way for the dog to live, Stan finishes him with dynamite. Poor, poor Kisses. We’re still traumatised.
American Dad! returns on Thursday 24th November at 10pm on Fox and is available to watch in Catch Up after broadcast.
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