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Family Guy Fans Think Lois And Chris' Characters Have Gone Downhill

Fox's self-described Animation Domination created some of adult animation's most memorable series. "Family Guy" remains a popular addition to the lineup, having had a place there since 1999. The series may have hit some unexpected roadblocks along the way but its legacy is cemented thanks to streaming and cable.

In a universe full of satire and twisted sitcom homages, "Family Guy" made their characters a pop culture staple. With over 20 years on air, there's a familiarity that comes with Peter's self-centered incompetence or Brian's faux intellectual musings. Still, fans have noticed a change in how some of the Griffins have been portrayed over time — namely Lois and Chris; both have seen distinctive changes in personality as well as narratives surrounding them, with one Reddit user even calling their personalities bitter sociopaths. For others, the alternatives have left what was once a thriving family without the unique details which helped them stand apart from similar cartoon creations like the Simpson, Hill, and Belcher families.

Fans are finding bitterness in their favorite characters

Looking at the changes in Chris and Lois's characters often highlights a certain trait that, according to fans, weaves its way through recent episodes. Bitterness is a recurring word in discussions surrounding the main characters; u/JamesonFlanders245 felt like the problem started around Season 8, with the situation growing worse with each episode after. For the user, it feels like something that speaks more towards the writer's attitude towards the series. "Feels like something happened to the writers personally to make them so jaded so fast and get worse and worse per episode," they wrote.

Maybe those alterations come from a lack of focus as to where Chris Griffin is going in his life. The Season 1 episode "The Son Also Draws" as well as the Season 2 episode "A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Bucks" explores Chris' potential as an artist; the latter sees him gain notoriety among the New York art community. While the initial post referenced his stint as an artist, some users pointed out his connection to a host of business opportunities. u/TjTheProphet agreed with those citing a changing character narrative for the Griffin's eldest son; they pointed out that this wasn't the only job in Chris' resume, listing Chris' Chlorine, online catamaran sales, answering service, realtor, and Quinceanera dresses among his various attempts at business success.

Some find Lois' personality is devolving

Lois' character changes have their own detractors; a major sticking point comes from her infrequent mentions of giving piano lessons, something that is all but a memory for early viewers. Several users felt like Lois has been reduced to nothing but groceries and sexual situations for her personality. u/beerusisdad summarized their feelings writing, "Lois was a loving understanding mother but became a harsh b**** that loves groceries."

Nevertheless, others were quick to point out there have been brief mentions along the way. Users wrote about one episode which referenced a lack of business for her piano lessons while another specified the Season 20 episode which focused on a piano student with nefarious thoughts — that's not to mention that Lois plays the piano at the beginning of every "Family Guy" episode.

Another Reddit poster also saw the best connection between Lois and her husband in a central episode. "Quagmire's Dad" might be their most complete episode," wrote u/Healthy_Cat3555. "I love that you get to see why Peter and Lois get along and why they click ("This is the best day of my life" scene)."

One character may actually be eclipsing others where it counts

One of Season 21's episodes, "A Wife-Changing Experience," sees where Lois' character is in contrast to Joe. He catches Lois changing her swimsuit and Lois begins to think seducing her neighbor will help his marriage. Ultimately, Lois reveals it's actually her own marriage she's worried about, and that she's specifically concerned with Peter's lack of interest; the results pivot towards Lois and Peter finding satisfaction outside of the neighborly seduction.

The more endearing nature of Joe at this point is something many fans have hit on with current episodes — it's something that stands in stark contrast to their problems with both Chris and Lois' trajectories. "Joe's not cool, but that's what makes him endearing," posted u/Toowiggly. "He cracks dad jokes and is unironicaly amused, even with others aren't. An example of this recently is him singing about the wonders of technology."

Where the characters are now, at least in the eyes of viewers, may not always remain that way. After all, two decades of a changing media landscape and social norms could mean anything and everything remains possible. Fans will just have to keep watching to see how Chris, Lois, and the entire Griffin family continue growing (or devolving).