The Simpsons vs. Family Guy: Which is better?


Fact Box

  • The Simpsons began in 1987 as a series of animated shorts on the Tracey Ullman Show and has become the “longest-running animated television series and longest-running scripted prime-time TV show in US history (1989– ).”
  • The origins of Family Guy can be traced to a student film called The Life of Larry, that creator Seth MacFarlane made while at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995. The film won MacFarlane a job at Hanna-Barbera studios, which then commissioned him to create a short sequel called Larry and Steve. Eventually, Fox asked MacFarlane to helm a series based on the characters, and Family Guy debuted in 1999 directly after Superbowl XXXIII.
  • The Simpsons has won 35 Emmys while Family Guy has won 8
  • Over 4 million viewers watched The Simpsons in 2020. 
  • During the 2020/21 season, a 30-second TV advertisement spot during a Family Guy broadcast cost approximately $114,000.

Maha (Family Guy)

Both The Simpsons and Family Guy revolve around families led by a blue-collar dad, a housewife dealing with more than she can swallow, and three quirky children they love and hate. Both shows also take place in weird towns inhabited by strange characters. But that's where the similarities end, and when the latter truly shines. 

When it comes to the characters, Family Guy uses each of them to the fullest. For instance, unlike The Simpsons' baby Maggie, Family Guy's Stewie is one of the best characters on the show. 

Even the family pet isn't just for show. Brian's character has evolved from being the voice of reason in the family into an 'unlikeable elitist liberal jerk' during his 'hipster' phase. 

Complementing these dynamic characters is the physical and raw comedy added to make audiences laugh the loudest. Especially adult audiences as the show is a darker alternative to The Simpsons and strives to offend

Family Guy has landed in many controversies; however, even controversial cutaways such as 'Prom Night Dumpster Baby' have been called 'iconic.' This is because there's self-awareness and, at times, less maliciousness behind some characters' actions. 

Finally, Family Guy is a better choice because it's not as outdated as The Simpsons. The latter is so dependent on old pop culture references which younger generations need to Google to understand. A good example of this is 'The Winter of Our Monetized Content' (season 31, episode 1) which referenced Murphy Brown, Granta, and the Vietnam War. 

With just these strengths attracting audiences, it's no wonder Family Guy is currently in a better position than The Simpsons and closer to being crowned the best on TV. 

Chad (The Simpsons)

While Family Guy and The Simpsons are both funny shows, The Simpsons showcases a more intelligent and higher form of comedy. 

Describing what precisely The Simpsons is can be difficult. Not because the show is complex, but because it has so many intricate layers of humor, satire, political commentary, and reflections on our society. It is a show created to entertain and to give pause for thought. To highlight the dysfunctional nature of society and the nuclear family--without demeaning them. 

Despite having bright yellow skin, the characters are relatable and well-developed. And since the show's debut in 1987, it has captivated audiences over its 32 seasons and more than 700 episodes. Remarkably, it has attracted all types of viewers--young and old alike--and still maintains an uncanny ability to speak truth to power and establishment without alienating any political party. 

The show is timeless, with episodes from the early years just as funny and memorable today as they were more than three decades ago. And The Simpsons quotes and catchphrases have even seeped into pop culture--from Ned Flanders' 'Hidely-Ho' greeting to Homer's 'D'oh!' reaction to Nelson the bully's 'Haw-haw!' taunt. We know and cherish them all. 

The Simpsons have well-developed and intelligent storylines that address current issues and themes in our society. Meanwhile, Family Guy relies more upon shock value and irreverent humor to get laughs from its audience. 

Some even say The Simpsons has an uncanny ability to foretell future events by projecting past and current absurdities. Plus, it is fun for the whole family, whereas Family Guy is inappropriate for children. 

Long-lived, dynamic, thought-provoking, and clever, The Simpsons is simply a better show.

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