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The Funniest Family Guy Cutaways

From its fairly humble beginnings, "Family Guy" has grown to become one of the most successful animated series on the planet. Seth MacFarlane's cast of eccentric and wacky characters has now been entertaining viewers for more than 20 years and there doesn't seem to be any sign of that stopping any time in the near future. That means fans will get to see a lot more of Peter, Lois, Stewie, Brian, Meg, and Chris as the show continues into its 21st season and beyond.

There are a number of elements that help "Family Guy" stand out. The series has its signature animation style, its crass dark humor, and of course, its use of cutaway gags. Almost every episode features at least one cutaway, where the action will suddenly switch to an unrelated event to make a seemingly random joke. This is a technique that has sometimes been criticized but has also produced some of the best moments in the show.

The funniest cutaways have often appeared in some of the most memorable episodes, adding an extra layer of humor to what was already a great experience. Others, though, have been able to rescue a poor broadcast, ensuring viewers still find something to laugh about. Whatever their context, here are the cutaways that are certain to make any fan laugh over and over again.

Popeye in You May Now Kiss the...Uh...Guy Who Receives

"You May Now Kiss the... Uh... Guy Who Receives" is a Season 4 episode of "Family Guy" that first aired in 2006. The story sees Brian's cousin Jasper, a homosexual dog, try to get married to his boyfriend while Brian campaigns against Mayor West's attempts to ban gay marriage. Written by "Family Guy" executive producer David A. Goodman, the episode comes to a close when Lois has a change of heart about same-sex marriage and saves the day so that Jasper and Ricardo can legally marry.

The cutaway comes when Lois admonishes Peter after he shows his lack of knowledge about gay marriage. She tells him that he is as clueless as Popeye before the sequence cuts to the famous cartoon character in Dr. Hartman's office. The doctor then explains that Popeye's muscular arms and strange speech are the result of medical conditions.

Namely, tumors are causing the giant growths on his arms while a stroke that he suffered several years earlier seemingly caused brain, damage resulting in his speech issues and twitching eye. It's a slightly distressing cutaway, but one that pokes fun at the obvious disproportionate appearance of Popeye from the original cartoons.

National Geographic firetruck in Petarded

Another episode that comes from the fourth season of the animated series, "Petarded" was broadcast in 2005 and written by Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. The pair have worked together extensively and have collaborated with Seth MacFarlane on "Ted" and "A Million Ways to Die in the West." In the episode, Peter takes a test to prove how smart he is, only for the results to declare him to have an intellectual disability. This is the result of a game of "Trivial Pursuit" when Peter answers a question about fire trucks and is grateful he recently watched a National Geographic special about the vehicles.

Immediately afterward, this special is shown and appears in the style of a typical nature documentary. The fire truck is shown to stalk antelope in the same way a lion would, before pouncing on one of the animals to devour it. It's one of those absurd "Family Guy" moments that you simply can't help but laugh at. A final joke comes at the end of the cutaway when a group of smaller ambulances arrive but are scared off by the larger truck.

Cookie Monster in rehab in Model Misbehavior

Season 4 was a good source of funny cutaways, as evidenced by the fact that yet another example has made its way onto this list. The episode "Model Misbehavior" from July 2005 sees Lois finally getting the courage to try and achieve her dream of becoming a model. However, the lifestyle soon begins to affect her personally, with disastrous consequences. Meanwhile, Stewie starts his own pyramid scheme and hires Brian, who is trying to earn money to pay for his worm treatment.

When discussing Lois' use of diet pills, a cutaway shows the Cookie Monster in a rehab facility surrounded by staff. They search his bed and find a plate of cookies, suggesting that the "Sesame Street" character is actually addicted to the chocolate chip cookies he so enjoys. The subsequent struggle portrays the character in a whole new light and is a very adult take on such an iconic kids' figure. The Cookie Monster makes another brief appearance in a bathroom stall trying to freebase cookie dough.

Robert Loggia in Peter's Two Dads

"Peter's Two Dads" arrived on television screens in 2007 as part of the show's fifth season. Written by Danny Smith and directed by Cyndi Tang, the story involves Peter trying to find out more about his biological father, an alcoholic Irish man who bears a striking resemblance to the Griffin family patriarch. Mickey shows little interest in Peter until the two engage in a drinking contest. Peter manages to win despite Mickey's legendary drinking ability and the two bond.

Right at the start of the episode, Chris points out to Lois and Peter that it's almost Meg's birthday and that they should throw her party. Peter states his disgust for children's parties, suggesting they are nearly as bad as the time he was stuck behind actor Robert Loggia in line at the airport. In the cutaway, Loggia spells out his name incredibly slowly, using variations of phrases that reference himself for every single letter. The humor comes from the fact everyone is aware of how frustrating airport check-in can be without being forced to wait for somebody acting like this, as well as the idea of seeing Loggia, a much-lauded actor, in such a banal context.

Something, something, something, dark side in Barely Legal

Season 5 brought viewers the 2006 episode "Barely Legal" by Kirker Butler. Here, Meg develops a crush on Brian after he accompanies her as a date to her prom. The teenager quickly becomes obsessed with the family dog and goes to extreme lengths to continue their "relationship."

At one point in the episode, Stewie mentions how the situation he finds himself in is as fortunate as when the Emperor from "Star Wars" discovered the best way to create compelling dialogue in the movies. With the scene then switching to the Emperor and Darth Vader on board the Death Star, the Emperor says: "Something, something, something, dark side. Something, something, something, complete."

It's an effective lampooning of the way that the villain speaks to the other characters in the sci-fi franchise and something of a dig at Lucas' writing. The cutaway would inspire the "Star Wars" parody episode "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side" that aired in 2010, which was named after the gag from this episode.

Alan Rickman's answering machine in Peter's Progress

"Peter's Progress" is the final installment of Season 7 of "Family Guy". Written by regular contributor Wellesley Wild, the story sees Peter find out from a psychic that in a past life he was the famous founder of Quahog known as Griffin Peterson. Much of the episode focuses on the life of this 17th-century man as he is exiled from England and forced to go to the New World. He eventually wins the hand of Lady Redbush after defeating King Stewart in a talent contest, acquiring Quahog in the process.

At the start of the episode, Peter, Quagmire, and Joe are drinking in the bar when the trio discusses how lonely Cleveland's drink looks because he isn't there to enjoy it. Peter compares it to Alan Rickman's answering machine and a cutaway shows a phone playing the actor's voicemail message. The only message on the recorder is from Rickman himself, reminding his future self to remove pork chops from the freezer. As a bonus joke, Rickman even threatens him by saying "do not disappoint me."

Peter's scary cereal message in The Son Also Draws

This cutaway comes in one of the earliest episodes of "Family Guy." The sixth episode of Season 1, "The Son Also Draws" follows Peter as he goes about trying to get Chris back into the Scouts when he is kicked out after hitting the troop leader with his car during the group's soap box derby. He takes the entire family on the trip, but they are distracted when Lois becomes addicted to gambling while they stop at a Native American casino. In the story, which was written by Ricky Blitt, Peter eventually comes to accept that Chris does not want to be in the Scouts.

Compared to many other cutaways, the one featured in this episode is quite tame. But it is also one of the better straight-up jokes that you'll see in "Family Guy." While eating his breakfast with Brian at the kitchen table, Peter is shocked to see that his alphabet cereal appears to be sending him a scary message. The character believes that they are saying "ooooooo" but Brian quickly replies in a very deadpan manner that Peter is actually eating the Cheerios, a cereal known for being ring-shaped.

Brian and his reflection in Halloween on Spooner Street

One of the later episodes to feature a great cutaway gag, "Halloween on Spooner Street" was first broadcast in 2010 as part of the ninth season. The episode, written by Andrew Goldberg, largely follows Brian as he goes trick-or-treating with Stewie in the neighborhood and has to deal with a group of bullies who steal their candy.

The cutaway joke comes when Stewie is frightened by the kids dressed up as various monsters, unaware that they are actually just costumes. When he is stopped by Brian, Stewie quickly chastises his friend, reminding him of the time when he thought his reflection in the mirror was actually another dog.

Dogs are not able to recognize their own reflections, according to Smithsonian Magazine. This means that they don't understand that the dog in the mirror is actually them. So despite Brian's seeming intelligence, it does make sense that he would bark at his reflection as many dogs would feel threatened by the sudden appearance of another dog in the room with them.

Conway Twitty in Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey

Part of Season 5, "Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey" is a 2007 episode of "Family Guy" that was written by Steve Callaghan and directed by Dominic Polcino. In the story, Peter befriends Bill Clinton, who shows him that getting old is nothing to be sad about. The two bond but find themselves in trouble while getting high smoking marijuana. At the same time, Stewie and Brian both attempt to go through toilet training with varying degrees of success.

During the early seasons of "Family Guy," country singer Conway Twitty became a regular fixture on the show. Whenever a joke that was particularly dark was told or when a character needed a quick distraction, they would introduce old footage of the musician performing a song with the words "ladies and gentleman, Mr. Conway Twitty." This became a running gag. It was first used in "Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey" before becoming one of the most memorable aspects of the series in its first few seasons.

Stubborn as a mule in Boys Do Cry

Another episode from Season 5 of "Family Guy," this episode of the animated series was written by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, who also acts as an executive producer. "Boys Do Cry" sees the Griffin family becoming regular churchgoers when Lois becomes the local congregation's organist. When Stewie drinks the communion wine and vomits, the rest of the church believes he is possessed and the family is forced to flee to avoid any violence.

They arrive in Texas and are promptly warned by Brian to be careful because Texans are renowned for being as stubborn as mules. This prompts a cutaway showing a mule arguing with a person about whether Kevin Bacon was in "Footloose." Refusing to accept the truth, the animal continues to ignore everything the man says and even begins braying to end the conversation. It's a funny, absurd gag, that reminds viewers of what it can be like to argue with someone who cannot listen to reason.

Stewie relaxing in the club in Screwed the Pooch

The 13th episode of the third season "Screwed the Pooch" features a story where Brian and Seabreeze, Carter Pewterschmidt's prize-winning greyhound, start a relationship when she gets pregnant. This starts a chain of events where the two dogs elope and Brian ends up going to court to get access to what he believes are his puppies. At the conclusion of the episode, it's revealed that the young puppies are actually Ted Turner's children rather than Brian's.

When the family discusses a way for Brian to relax, Stewie chimes in to suggest his own way of relaxing. The action then switches to a nightclub filled with men dancing, where Stewie and the rest of the customers don't wear any shirts as he tries to talk over the thumping music. There's always been a sort of in-joke in "Family Guy" about whether Stewie is gay or not, especially in the earlier seasons, and this cutaway would suggest that is the case, considering how he is in what appears to be a gay club with other shirtless men.

Chester Cheetah's addiction in Chick Cancer

Season 5 of "Family Guy" also brought audiences the 2006 episode "Chick Cancer" by Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. A rather romantic experience, the two stories featured in the episode show Stewie falling in love with child actress Olivia and Peter making his own chick flick after he enjoyed a movie he watched with Lois. Both tales end poorly, with Olivia seemingly cheating on Stewie and Peter's film receiving criticism from his friends and family when he shows it to them.

In his attempts to get Olivia to like him, Stewie tries to act edgier and cooler. This leads to a comparison with Chester Cheetah, the mascot of Cheetos. This prompts a cutaway showing Chester living in an apartment in apparent squalor. The reason for his messiness is then shown when he snorts Cheetos from his living room table before uttering the line "it ain't easy being cheesy."

Will Smith rapping in McStroke

Wellesley Wild wrote "McStroke," the ninth episode of Family Guy's" sixth season. The episode starts with Peter deciding to grow a mustache after reading a magazine about facial hair. However, he soon loses his own mustache when he runs into McBurgertown to save the owner when the building is on fire. The grateful owner later visits Peter and offers him a lifetime supply of burgers as a reward for his actions, although the gift proves deadly to Peter as he later suffers a stroke from eating too many.

While Peter is seeking revenge against McBurgertown, Stewie puts in place a plan to become friends with the cool kids at school. When he accomplishes this, he compares his popularity with Will Smith's raps from the 1990s. The show then transitions to the actor performing a parody of his style of raps, which didn't include any swearing and generally had a positive message. Of course, "Family Guy" goes one step further by suggesting his songs were a little too clean.

Escaping Canadian Alcatraz in The Secret Life of Brian

"The Former Life of Brian" is a 2008 episode of "Family Guy" that aired in the sixth season of the show. The story revolves around Brian's relationship with Tracey, a woman he once found attractive. He learns that he is the father of her son Dylan and the two of them try to form a bond, although Dylan proves to be a difficult child. After much work, Dylan begins to turn his life around and decides that it would be best if he left Quahog and found his mother so he can help her.

During the early part of the episode when Brian is unsure if he wants to raise a kid, he works with Quagmire to come up with a plan to have Tracy take Dylan back. When Brian questions Quagmire's method, the character simply states that tricking her "should be easier than escaping Canadian Alcatraz." In the proceeding cutaway, a Canadian prisoner walks up to a guard and simply asks to leave the prison, which the officer allows if he promises to be back before bedtime. The joke plays on the supposed super politeness of Canada and its citizens, making a maximum security prison redundant.