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The One Time Family Guy Absolutely Roasted Rick And Morty

"Family Guy" is a show known for pushing the bar, to say the least. The Seth MacFarlane-created animated sitcom follows the exploits of the Griffin family and their satirical lives in the city of Quahog, Rhode Island. Coming on the scene in 1999, the show has remained one of Fox's longest-running animated programs in large part due to its use of cutaway gags, Broadway-inspired musical numbers, and endless controversies that have become synonymous with the show. Whether you love or hate the edgy cartoon, there's no denying that "Family Guy" has become a cornerstone of adult animation.

As a satire, the show lampoons not only everyday American culture but also pokes fun at plenty of recognizable names in the world of pop culture. From inserting Stewie in a sequence from the 1945 musical "Anchors Aweigh" (standing in place of Jerry from "Tom and Jerry") to creating three specials parodying the original "Star Wars" trilogy, "Family Guy" is not afraid to lovingly reference or make fun of all realms of entertainment. One playful jab from the show pokes fun at another popular adult animated series that's just as, if not more, absurd than the gang from Quahog.

Family Guy borrowed from Rick and Morty

The Season 19 episode, "PeTerminator," sees Stewie build a "Terminator" version of Peter to go after Lois after she attempts to get Stewie to eat broccoli. Unfortunately, his plans take a turn when the robot comes from the future and goes after him instead.

Following the robot's initial attack, Stewie and the family's dog, Brian, figure that the robot came from the year 2060. They choose to go to that time to find out what's going on. As Stewie takes out his machine that helps them time travel, Brian asks where he got this new time pad. Stewie answers with his typical snarkiness, "I borrowed it from 'Rick and Morty.' They borrowed plenty from us."

The joke, aimed at the hit Adult Swim show "Rick and Morty," is meant to be a jab at one of the sci-fi comedy's signature tools: the portal gun. The gadget, created by the alcoholic, ultra-genius Rick Sanchez, is used by the show's characters to help them leap through various dimensions in the show's own established multiverse. It shoots out a swirling green portal that its characters can step through to get wherever they need to go. While the "Family Guy" nod makes for a fun Easter egg for fans of both shows, it nevertheless raises the question — did "Rick and Morty" steal from "Family Guy," or not? 

Fans don't think that's the case

Well, most of them at least. A Reddit post by u/powerfulvinny shows screenshots from the scene mentioned above, which attracted fans to weigh in on the legitimacy of the joke. Redditor u/squintsnyc wrote, "Family guy did a whole multiverse episode where Stewie and Brian travel to different universes." The episode in question is the Season 8 premiere, "Road to the Multiverse," which sees Brian and Stewie traversing different realities. The episode premiered in 2009, nearly five years before the 2013 premiere of "Rick and Morty." While it's easy to see "Rick and Morty" as no more than a ripoff of some "Family Guy" concepts, other fans think otherwise.

Reddit user u/moscowrules believes that there are more evident influences in "Rick and Morty." They wrote, "I think 'Family Guy' was trying to draw a comparison between Rick & Morty's relationship and Stewie & Brian... I wouldn't personally say they borrowed any more from 'Family Guy' than 'Family Guy' borrowed from 'Back to the Future.'" "Back to the Future" is noted to be a major influence on "Rick and Morty," with even an early concept being a parody of the film (via IMDb).

Finally, Redditor u/thecheapseatz summed it up, saying, "TV shows are always borrowing tropes... A lot of the jokes 'Rick and Morty' make are only allowed due to the backlash 'Family Guy' received... 'Family Guy' was only allowed to push the envelope back then because 'The Simpsons' laid the ground work." Let's celebrate the differences these series present and how each's influence opens the doors for all that would follow.