When it comes to Family Guy, no two characters share as much chemistry as Stewie and Brian. The flamboyant and partly-diabolical talking baby clashes and compliments the everyman—or “every-dog”—Brian, making for some of the funniest episodes in the show’s history.
Airing for more than two decades at this point, many believe that, much like The Simpsons, Seth McFarlane’s series has run its course. Yet, many of the episodes which heavily feature Brian and Stewie are every bit as funny today as they were years ago, proving that Family Guy still has a well of humor from which to tap.
Updated on March 11th, 2022 by Tanner Fox: Given its penchant for topical humor, Family Guy has, in recent years, primarily focused on parodying current events and seldom included episodes centered on characters. In fact, such was the series’ disregard for fan-favorite characters that Brian was temporarily killed off and replaced in a 2013 episode.
Still, there are plenty of hilarious outings primarily showcasing just Brian and Stewie. From adventuring across the country to fighting in World War 2 and beating each other up over a sports bet, these are some of the best moments of their chaotic relationship.
15 Brian And Stewie (Season 8, Episode 17)
Those who aren’t too keen on the abundance of random gags which Family Guy is known for should probably give this unique episode a look, as the vast majority takes place in a single location. Fittingly entitled “Brian & Stewie,” this season 8 laugher is about as minimalistic as it gets, yet it still manages to be endearing. While it’s probably not the most in-your-face episode comedy-wise, the charming dynamic between these two characters is at an all-time high here.
Essentially, Brian and Stewie are stuck together inside a bank vault, setting the stage for tons of amusing back-and-forth banter as they try to get out. Aside from an odd inclusion of some gross-out humor, this is a surprisingly enjoyable little episode.
14 Back To The Pilot (Season 10, Episode 5)
In this Season 10 episode, Stewie and Brian travel back to 1999 to speak with their former selves. However, this has catastrophic side effects, as the 1999 version of Brian uses knowledge from the future to prevent the September 11th attacks, inadvertently plunging the country into a civil war. The two attempt to rectify that mistake, but only plunge themselves further into temporal chaos.
Episodes like “Back to the Pilot” proved that, even ten seasons on, Family Guy still had more than a few fresh ideas. There’s also more Stewie and Brian in this episode than any fan could possibly handle.
13 Big Trouble In Litte Quahog (Season 17, Episode 4)
While they can get a bit ridiculous at times, some of the more fun episodes of Family Guy involve the most implausible sci-fi-tinged themes and plots. Such is the case with this season 17 episode in which Stewie shrinks Brian as a “payback” for the dog calling him short.
A series of mishaps, including a rat carrying Brian off, lead to the baby genius shrinking them both to microscopic size. Naturally, some crazy hijinks ensue from there. This includes a run-in with talking dust mites and an arduous climb up the side of the Griffins’ house. This is an episode that feels more Rick and Morty-esque, but that may be part of what makes it so compelling.
12 Patriot Games (Season 4, Episode 20)
When then-New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady discovers Peter Griffin’s surprising athletic prowess, he is recruited to play in the National Football League. In the meantime, Stewie becomes a sports bookie who is none too pleased with Brian’s nonchalant attitudes as a debtor.
While “Patriot Games” is a brutal and somewhat mean-spirited episode, it’s nonetheless iconic. Much of the episode sees Stewie pummeling Brian while shouting “where’s my money,” repeatedly, and, grizzly as it was, these events stuck out in the minds of many Family Guy fans.
11 Stuck Together, Torn Apart (Season 3, Episode 19)
This is what one might call an “old classic,” as it originally aired two decades ago. It’s also significant in that it’s one of the first to feature Brian and Stewie as the main stars of the show. As the title itself hints, these two characters are quite literally stuck together after accidentally gluing themselves together with a pretty potent adhesive.
This goofy scenario offers the potential for quite a few funny gags as they try to make due while waiting for their solvent to arrive. They even use this unique circumstance to their advantage at the end by saving a little girl from a well leading to yet another couple of silly gags to close out the episode.
10 Saving Private Brian (Season 5, Episode 4)
Although the title of this episode might lead fans to believe this is a spoof of the World War 2 film starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon, it’s actually more of a nod to the army-themed comedy Stripes. There’s even a melody similar to the reoccurring bit of music played during that film while Brian takes on a rather hilarious obstacle course as part of his training.
This episode makes for a clever homage that fans of the Bill Murray and Harold Ramis laugher should get a kick out of. Yet, even younger viewers who missed out on this charming ’81 comedy should still appreciate the plethora of funny gags and situations in “Saving Private Brian.”
9 The Big Bang Theory (Season 9, Episode 16)
When Stewie’s nemesis Bertrum discovers that the Griffin family member has invented a time machine, he uses it to send himself into the past so he can kill one of Stewie’s ancestors, erasing him from existence in the process. Brian and Stewie follow him into the fifteenth century and work to prevent the assassination of Leonardo da Vinci, who is revealed to be a relative of Stewie’s.
Much like the acclaimed “Back to the Multiverse” episode, “The Big Bang Theory” proves the series capable of some seriously high-concept plotlines. Yet, it has little to do with the CBS series spoofed in the title.
8 Roads To Vegas (Season 11, Episode 21)
In this episode, Stewie crafts a teleportation machine in an attempt to instantly get to Las Vegas in order to avoid the hassle of air travel. This almost works, but it ends up duplicating the pair. While one of these duos makes it to Vegas and basks in a snowballing stream of great luck and fortunes, the other pair is left behind and must travel by plane—and things spiral down from there.
The vastly different outcomes lead to a myriad of wacky shenanigans, which only escalate when their worlds collide. “Roads to Vegas” proves a fun adventure with plenty of Vegas-themed spoofs and other outrageous situations.
7 Brian Goes Back To College (Season 4, Episode 15)
This lighthearted romp takes on the feeling of a goofy live-action sitcom more than a colorful cartoon, but that’s part of what makes it work so well.
The premise is that Brian decides to go back to college and finish what he had started years ago, but Stewie decides to room with the dog, and hilarity ensues from there. The abundance of cheeky university humor in addition to Stewie going full-on college “bro” makes for a truly funny watch. Even the B plot, which involves Peter and his pals becoming an A-Team knockoff, is chuckle-worthy and memorable.
6 Road To Germany (Season 7, Episode 3)
This season 7 episode sees Mort accidentally use Stewie’s time machine to send himself to World War 2-era Poland on the day the German invasion of the country began. Stewie and Brian then follow their hapless houseguest into the past and work to save him from certain doom.
One of the most celebrated “Road To” episodes, Family Guy‘s “Road To Germany” may be extremely irreverent in places, but it hits many of the crass notes fans have come to expect from the show and ultimately makes for a wildly entertaining watch.
5 Road To Rhode Island (Season 2, Episode 13)
There are a number of Family Guy episodes that hone in on the adventures of Stewie & Brian, which almost feel like a show within a show, often featuring the title “Road to X.” This episode, which dates all the way back to the mid-2000s, is significant, as it’s the first to really run with this angle. While these two have ventured seemingly everywhere from Europe to the Multiverse since then, this humble trip to Rhode Island is still one of the more endearing.
This episode doesn’t just have the usual funny gags and Brian-Stewie riffing; it also gives us more insight into the Griffin family dog as he seeks to find his long-lost mother. It closes out with a charming little musical number based on the title song from Road to Morocco.
4 Brian Sings And Swings (Season 4, Episode 19)
Speaking of jaunty musical tunes, there’s plenty of them in this feel-good episode featuring Frank Sinatra Jr. as himself. As this contains just the right amount of subtle humor and wacky scenarios along with enjoyable musical numbers and Brian-Stewie banter, “Brian Sings and Swings” is really Family Guy at its best.
Show creator Seth MacFarlane has made it no secret that he’s a fan of musicals and jazzy scat-singing ensembles, and it certainly comes through here.
3 Road to The North Pole (Season 9, Episode 7)
In typical Family Guy fashion, the Christmas spirit is warped into a dark tragedy when Stewie and Brian quest to find the real Santa Clause in the North Pole only to discover that he’s been run ragged and deranged by the world’s rampant gift requests. Stewie and Brian take up his duties but can’t get beyond their first stop without making a mess of things.
“Road to the North Pole” is a terribly cynical episode, but that’s perhaps what fans love about it. A subversion of standard holiday episode fair, it’s among the best outings in the show’s history.
2 Brian Writes A Best Seller (Season 9, Episode 6)
There is much to love about this romp which follows an increasingly pretentious Brian as the fame of becoming a best-selling author gets to his head. The funniest part about this, though, is that Brian’s book began as naught but a challenge posed to Stewie in which he’d seek to write the most basic, derivative self-help book imaginable. After his more nuanced book, “Faster than the Speed of Love” has failed to garner any attention, he’s out to prove people only care about vapid, surface-level content.
Lo and behold, it works, and Brian’s rise to fame leads to Stewie being his publicist, culminating with a hilarious live-action appearance on Real-Time With Bill Maher.
1 Road To The Multiverse (Season 8, Episode 1)
In terms of Family Guy episodes involving wacky Stewie and Brian adventures, it doesn’t get much more epic and twisted than this journey across alternate realities. Stewie is such a genius that he’s able to create a remote device that can transport people through other universes, and, as one would imagine, the shenanigan levels are off the charts.
Brian and Stewie travel to a live-action universe, Robot Chicken and Flintstones worlds, an ice age, and an impressively authentically animated “Disney world.” It’s all absurdly over-the-top, but, ultimately, Family Guy is about fun and humor, and this episode has both in spades.
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