Most Memorable Musical Numbers On Family Guy

By Robert Scucci | Published

family guy

Family Guy is one of those shows that you either love or you hate. But even if you’re part of the latter camp, you can’t deny the strength of some of the musical compositions (and running gags) that the show has had over the course of its 21-season run.

Just like the break-away jokes and parodies that can be found throughout the series, the musical numbers are more often than not very offensive, and full of the low-brow humor that Family Guy does a such great job delivering to its audience.

It’s also worth mentioning that Seth MacFarlane is a man of many talents. Not only does his singing voice deliver a sultry baritone timbre that’s reminiscent of Frank Sinatra, but he’s also been nominated for five Grammy Awards throughout his career. Two of those Grammy nominations were for his work on Family Guy.

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the music of Family Guy than presenting you with a list of some of our favorite musical numbers that we’ve had the pleasure of hearing throughout the series.

“Road to Rhode Island”

One of the more satisfying storytelling mechanisms used in Family Guy comes in the form of Brian and Stewie getting stuck together under unfavorable circumstances.

Despite the apprehension that they have toward each other throughout the series, they always look out for each other when they’re in trouble. Well, they look out for each other, but their personalities still clash enough so there’s room for plenty of jabs at each other’s expense.

In season 2’s “Road to Rhode Island,” they find themselves without cash or transportation after a series of mishaps (like crashing a stolen plane immediately after it takes off), and eventually hitch a ride home on a freight train.

It’s during this train ride that Brian and Stewie break out into song and dance that parodies the tune of “(We’re Off on the) Road to Morocco.”

Though Stewie and Brian (both voiced by MacFarlane) expertly harmonize with each other, it’s the lyrical content of this musical number that really makes it worth listening to.

Brian makes fun of Stewie for being an infant intellectual who still craps his pants, and Stewie dishes back the insults by calling Brian out for peeing all over the household plants.

“Surfin’ Bird”

Peter Griffin’s love for “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen is one of the more annoying running musical gags that can be heard on Family Guy. But it’s the commitment to the joke that truly gives it staying power.

This gag appears in several episodes, and is set up similarly each time. Peter hears the song, and then repeatedly sings the chorus, much to everybody’s displeasure.

The gag first appeared in a season 7 episode called “I Dream of Jesus” in which Peter heard the song on a jukebox in a 1950s-themed restaurant (even though the song came out in the 60s).

It’s revealed in this episode that Peter was in a car accident that killed his grandfather when he was a child, and the song was playing on the radio at the time. Upon rediscovering the song, Peter becomes obsessed and sings the song for an entire week, which drives his family insane.

Throughout the run of Family Guy, this joke comes back in many forms, and they’re all equally annoying. In season 21, Meg even references the “I Dream of Jesus” episode that started it all, saying, “And how could we forget when he sang ‘Bird is the Word’ all week.”

“You Have AIDS”

In season 4’s “The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire,” we witness a controversial scene in which Peter barges into a hospital room with a barbershop quartet to deliver an AIDS diagnosis to a patient.

In the typical Family Guy fashion, this is a cutaway joke that is set up by something completely unrelated. Having found out that Cleveland’s wife, Loretta, is having an affair with Quagmire, Peter decides that he’ll break the news to Cleveland.

He mentions that he has a knack for this kind of thing, and we’re met with a flashback scene in which Dr. Hartman doesn’t want to deliver some bad news to his patient.

Dr. Hartman says, “I don’t know how to tell you this, so I’ll let these guys do it!” To the patient’s horror, “You Have AIDS” is surprisingly well choreographed, and complete with rich, four-part harmonies that really drive the point home that he doesn’t “have HIV, but full-blown AIDS.”


When Peter is drafted to play for the New England Patriots in season 4’s “Patriot Games,” Tom Brady quickly becomes frustrated by his excessive showboating.

Peter is confronted and told to tone it down a bit, but he is already too far-gone at this point. After scoring a touchdown, Peter celebrates his accomplishment by performing a full rendition of “Shipoopi” from 1957’s The Music Man.

This faithful recreation of the song gets the entire stadium involved, and there’s quite a bit of fanfare. Brady and the rest of the team have had enough of Peter’s antics, and fire him from the team after this egregious act of showboating and celebration.

“Gotta Give Up The Toad”

When Peter finds out that the students at James Woods High are getting high by licking hallucinogenic toads, he decides to go undercover as “Lando Griffin.”

Lando quickly wins over his classmates with his stance against licking toads (or “doing Kermit”) after performing a parody of “You’re the One that I Want” from Grease.

Even though this was an earlier Family Guy episode and the series wasn’t fully developed yet, we should have seen the reference coming from a mile away based on the greaser persona that Peter used for his Lando disguise.

The students are apprehensive at first, but when Lando convinces the high school boys that their private parts will fall off, and that they’ll lose control of their bladders and sphincters, they take his side, and everybody dances along upon the realization that they gotta give up the toad.

“Bag of Weed”

Given Seth MacFarlane’s penchant for old show tunes, it’s only fitting that “Bag of Weed” is a stellar parody of “Me Ol’ Bamboo” from the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

What sets a Family Guy parody apart from any other song parody we’ve ever heard is MacFarlane’s ability to throw in as many pop culture and historical references as possible.

While extolling the virtues of smoking weed, Brian and Stewie make fun of Michael Jackson, hate crimes in Texas, Helen Keller, and even get in an H.L. Mencken reference for good measure. And the musical number worked. Not only is marijuana legalized, but everybody in Quahog is better off for it.

“I Need a Jew”

At one point in time, “I Need a Jew” was the most controversial musical number performed on Family Guy. In fact, after the “When You Wish Upon a Weinstein” episode was produced in the year 2000, Fox refused to put it on the air. We didn’t see this episode on television until Adult Swim started syndicating the series in 2003 after its first cancellation.

After losing his money to a volcano insurance scam, Peter decides that he needs financial guidance. In a misguided moment of desperation, Peter sings “I Need a Jew,” which is a parody of “When You Wish Upon a Star.”

It quickly becomes clear why Fox didn’t want to air this episode of Family Guy when it was first produced, because of how egregiously it celebrated certain stereotypes.

Upon the song’s conclusion, a man named Max Weinstein has car troubles in front of Peter’s house, and asks if he could use Peter’s phone.

Peter thinks that his song worked and that his encounter with Weinstein was a form of divine intervention; an answer to his prayers.

“The Freakin’ FCC”

Peter finds himself at odds with the FCC in a season 4 episode called “PTV.” After Peter starts his own television network, shows like Cheeky Bastard, Dogs Humping, and The Peter Griffin Sideboob Hour are called into question by his wife, Lois. In an effort to get Peter’s programming censored, Lois gets the FCC involved to lead the charge.

But Peter sticks to his guns and busts out in a blistering song and dance routine with Brian and Stewie. The moral of “The Freakin’ FCC” is that censorship is a direct violation of everybody’s right to free speech.

Using a number of different examples (like referring to the act of fellatio as a trouser-friendly kiss), Peter, Brian, and Stewie illustrate how overbearing interest groups like the FCC truly are.