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The Best Family Guy Episodes To Watch After Two Glasses Of Wine

The cold, hard fact of the matter is that "Family Guy" premiered in 1999. That's almost a quarter of a century ago. When the pilot episode aired, Jack Nicholson was the most recent big screen Joker, and you could still smoke indoors in most of the US. Payphones stood proudly in every public building, and there was no such thing as Millie Bobby Brown.

The point is, even if you started watching the show when you were already deep into your adult years, you'd be forgiven for having moved on. Times change, and tastes evolve, and stagnation is the enemy of inner peace. Maybe most nights, you fall asleep with the nightly news playing in the background, or forego TV altogether in favor of a good book. Most nights, sure. But not tonight. Tonight, you have a box of merlot and the whole place to yourself. You're feeling warm and goofy and you want to revisit the old days, back when "giggity" still counted as a punchline and that "Surfin' Bird" running joke never got stale. 

Tonight, you're watching old episodes of "Family Guy," after two glasses of wine, consequences be damned. The only question is, where to begin?

Season 9, Episode 8, New Kidney In Town

Any trepidation at revisiting "Family Guy" swiftly dissipates as you unexpectedly let out a cackle in the opening moments of "New Kidney In Town." More specifically, the depiction of two dogs barking at each other in the night? Translated into English? So stupid. So stupid, but it works. You look at your dog, sitting on the other end of the couch. Good stuff.

Maybe it's the wine talking, but Meg's speech about the meaning of hope is starting to make you feel something, enough so that a Red Bull-fueled Peter punching his way through the front door and turning into a hijinks Terminator really catches you off guard and tickles you. "That tickles me," you say to your dog.

But oh boy, when this show throws an emotional sucker punch, it doesn't mess around. Why is the idea of Brian giving up his kidneys to save his owner making you feel things? Like three minutes ago you were laughing at an overweight cartoon man drinking kerosene, now you're hugging your dog because you know that he'd do the same thing for you. Now your dog is crawling away from you. You're not even mad, that's how touched you are by this scene. Any other day, the idea of a dog arguing with a baby over whether or not it's worth sacrificing his kidneys to save the kid's dad? That'd be ridiculous. But not today. Today, you've had two glasses of wine. Wow, they've got every season of this show streaming? What else is good?

Season 5, Episode 1, Stewie Loves Lois

So you're nestled in, browsing through 20-plus seasons of "Family Guy," trying to figure out where to start. You decide to skip the first couple of years to avoid the early-days, growing-pains, weird-looking-Simpsons era that all animated shows go through during their initial seasons. This lands you on the fifth season premiere, "Stewie Loves Lois." You pour yourself another glass of wine.

The episode starts with an absolute banger of a puke joke that works pretty serviceably as a breathalyzer test based on how hard it makes you laugh. If that doesn't do it, know that you're legally not allowed to operate a forklift if you laugh at Peter's response to getting a prostate exam around the three-minute mark. Come to think of it, as that situation unfolds over the next few scenes, it's probably best that you're not, like, super-duper lucid.

Then comes the side swipe – the emotional T-bone for which you, in your vulnerable state, were perhaps unprepared. After four seasons of generally one-sided Tom and Jerry violence between Stewie and Lois, network television's favorite Rex Harrison soundalike realizes that his mother isn't the enemy that he made her out to be. She rescues his beloved stuffed bear from a strange dog at the playground and makes him his favorite dinner. Even as Lois starts to run out of energy, Stewie whispers in her ear "You're awesome."

"'Awesome.' Moms are awesome," you think to yourself. "I should call my mom." Then you reassess, and think, "Nah, I'll watch one more episode of 'Family Guy,' instead."

Season 2, Episode 10, Running Mates

"Wait a minute," you think to yourself. "This wasn't the first time that Stewie started liking Lois. Didn't he sing that 'My Fair Lady' song about his mom that one time? That was a nice moment." You continue drunkenly analyzing this train of thought. "If I just take the box of Franzia out of the fridge and put it on the end table, I won't have to keep getting up. I'm so smart. I should be the one with a TV show, not Seth MacFarlane. Pfft, Seth MacFarlane."

You go to Google which episode you're thinking of and get distracted by a banner ad for harem pants. You start genuinely asking yourself if you could pull off that look. Where were you? Oh, right.

You pull up Season 2, episode 10: "Running Mates," and you're struck by how poorly the animation style has aged. What is this, fifteen frames per second? Then again, you think, you haven't exactly pirouetted into your later years, either. "You and me, 'Family Guy,'" you mutter to yourself. "Couple of road dogs." Hey, is that Lacey Chabert doing the voice of Meg? You could've sworn she left the show after Season 1, but that's her. The star of the "Christian Mingle" movie. It's true, they really made that. Look it up. Corbin Bernsen directed it. Eight seasons of "Psych" syndication money and that's what he does with his free time. Celebrities, man. 

When you wake up, you have 16 new voicemail messages, and you were supposed to be at work an hour and a half ago. On the upside, Hulu just autoplayed "Family Guy" for 10 consecutive hours, which, thanks to the mysteries of streaming-age ratings systems, should pretty much cement the show's chances for getting picked up through Season 35.