Family Guy

Season 1 Episode 1

Death Has a Shadow

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 31, 1999 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
1,065 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After Peter heavily drinks at a bachelor party, even though he told Lois he would not, he gets fired from his job at the Happy-go-Lucky toy factory for being hung over. Peter soon applies for welfare, but after a mix-up, gets sent a check for $150,000. Eventually, Lois finds out, and Peter decides to return the money by dumping it from a blimp at the Super Bowl. He is arrested as a result, and his family ends up coming to his rescue.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Peter, venessa

    peter was drunk really drunk and had surgery and made himself a girl and he's dating joe and quagmire but joe and quagmire don't know that there dating same girl which is peter. Louis trys to tell joe but joe just gets venessa which is peter and have sex. Louis trys to tell quagmire but quagmire makes out with venessa which is peter. But then vennessa which is peter notices that's Quagmire andd Joe. Stewie comes with his ray gun and shoots and says die die die peter Quagmire and Joe say Peter at the same time and brian comes out and says me and stewie were looking out the window in the hospital when peter was having surgery we didn't tell you because we knew you would freak out. So meg comes out and peter farts on meg and stewie says hahahaha its more funnier when a girl does it. So peter had surgery again and now he's back to normal but quagmire and joe get a guy and have sex with him to get him back.

    The End

    by Billy Kritsotakis Jr

  • very funny start to a hilarious show

    this episode is very funny and is a classic family guy episode
  • The start of a legacy.

    Sure, the animation may be bad, the voices may seem undeveloped, and the characters are not quite what they are today, but in my opinion, that's what makes it better. In the first episode of one of the greatest shows in television history, Peter Griffin loses his job due to drinking and goes on welfare. Lois get angry at him and everyone else is glad. A really good episode and a really good start for a series. So that is why I give it a good rating of 8/10moreless
  • A good pilot episode that offers a few decent laughs but more importantly gives us a glimpse of what Family Guy is to become

    Most pilot episodes have yet to appeal to me for some strange reason. I expected the same from Family Guy and that's kinda what I got. The characters didn't really interest me too much in this episode with the exception of Stewie.

    This episode follows Peter Griffen who gets fired from his job after drinking and must somehow find a way to raise his family. The plot was the same as the Simpsons pilot except Homer didn't get fired, the laughs were very limited, the characters were done decently, with the expection of Stewie who was hysterical and overall, an episode that can easily be missed. Brian, the dog, however, was funny!moreless
  • Thanks JusticeLeaguer8

    JusticeLeaguer8 speaks the truth!
Seth Green (I)

Seth Green (I)

Chris (and various)

Alex Borstein

Alex Borstein

Lois (and various)

Lacey Chabert

Lacey Chabert

Meg (season 1) [uncredited]

Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlane

Peter / Stewie / Brian / Quagmire / Tom Tucker (and various)

Billy West

Billy West


Guest Star

Fred Tatasciore

Fred Tatasciore


Recurring Role

Joey Slotnick

Joey Slotnick

Dick Clark

Recurring Role

Wally Wingert

Wally Wingert


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

  • QUOTES (35)

    • Peter: How the hell am I going to break this to Lois? If she finds out I got fired for drinking, she's going to blame me!

    • (on TV: The Brady Bunch)
      Jan: Mom, Dad, I found cigarettes in Greg's jacket.
      Mike: Greg were you smoking cigarettes?
      Greg: No Dad.
      Mike: Well he's lying. There's no doubt about that. Greg I'm afraid your punishment will be 4 hours in the snake pit. Maybe that'll give you some time to think about what you've done.
      Greg: Aw man.
      Jan: That'll teach him.
      Mike: And Jan I'm afraid you've earned a day in the Chamber of Fire for tattling on your brother.

    • Stewie: You know mother, life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. Your life, however, is more like a box of active grenades!

    • Mr. Weed: Peter, I like you. But I need you to be more than just eye candy around here.

    • Peter: (To the kids) Not a word to your mother about my getting canned.
      Lois: What?
      Peter: Nothing. Ooh, the lost-my-job smells great!
      Lois: Excuse me?
      Peter: Uh...Meg, honey, could you please pass the fired-my-ass-for-negligence?
      Lois: Peter, are you feeling okay?
      Peter: What are you talking about, Lois? I feel great. I haven't got a job in the world!

    • Quagmire: Hey Peter, you want to play "drink the beer"?
      Peter: Sure. (takes drink of beer)
      Quagmire: You win!
      Peter: What do I win?
      Quagmire: Another beer!
      Peter: Oh man, I'm going for the high score!
      Quagmire: Actually, Charlie has the high score.
      Charlie: (peeing in grandfather clock) Hey man, your clock won't flush.

    • (Everyone is at the Dinner table)
      Lois: All right then, let's eat. Now I know you all hate eggplant, but... (A fire blast shoots right past her head) AHHHHH! What on earth was that?
      (They all look at the table, where Stewie is holding a sandwich. There is a smoking gun barrel that is sticking out of the sandwich)
      Stewie: What the deuce are you staring at? This is tuna fish... (presses side of sandwich, which causes the gun barrel to go inside the sandwich) ...and nothing else.

    • Brian: Amazing, you can barely drive a car, and yet you are allowed to fly a blimp?
      Petter: Yeah, America's great, except for the south.

    • Lois: Peter, what's the big surprise?
      Peter: You know how I always said you should be treated like a queen? I got you your own jester.
      Seinfeld: Good to be here in New England. And what's the deal with "New" England anyway? It's over 200 years old! Last time I checked, that's not that new.

    • Meg: Mom, can I turn the heat up?
      Lois: Don't touch the thermostat, Meg. Your father gets upset.
      Meg: Come on. This thing goes up to 90.
      Meg adjusts it a little, and Peter suddenly comes into the room
      Peter: Who touched the thermostat?
      Meg: God, how does he always know?
      Peter: Brain implant, Meg. Every father's got one. Tells you when the kids mess with the dial.
      Guy: My thing went off! Your thermostat okay?

    • Stewie: Return the device, woman!
      Lois: No toys, Stewie.
      Stewie: Very well, then. Mark my words, when you least expect it, your uppance will come!

    • Lois: When you were born the doctor said you were the happiest looking baby he'd ever seen.
      Stewie: But, of course. That was my victory day. The fruition of my deeply-laid plans to escape from that cursed ovarian bastille!

    • Stewie: Well, well mother, we meet again.
      Lois: Stewie, I thought I tucked you in an hour ago.
      Stewie: Not tightly enough it would seem, and now you contemptible harpy, I shall end your oppressive reign of matriarchal tyranny!

    • Peter: Guys, our money problems are over; we are officially on welfare! Come on kids, help me scatter car parts on the front lawn.

    • Brian: So how did she take it?
      Peter: I told her she was fat.
      Brian: (hits Peter with rolled up paper) NO, NO!

    • Peter: Come on you guys. I am gonna buy us the most expensive meal we have ever had.
      Peter: Yeah, I would like 6,000 chicken fajitas (pronounces it fa-jy-tas) please.
      Drive-through Speaker: I beg your pardon?
      Peter: 6,000 chicken fajitas.
      Brian: And a so-sahge McBiscuit please.

    • Mr.Weed: Peter! Are you sleeping on the job?
      Peter: Uh!! There's uh...a...bug in my eye and I'm trying to suffocate him.

    • Judge: I'm sentencing you to 24 months in prison.
      Lois: Oh no!
      Brian: Oh no!
      Chris: Oh no!
      Meg: Oh no!
      Kool-Aid Guy: OOOOOOH YA!

    • (puts tape in VCR)
      Voiceover on TV: The Statue Of Liberty was a gift from France...
      Guy: The Statue Of Liberty!?
      Peter: Oh my kid must of taped over this for history class. Boys, boys! We're going to drink till she's hot.
      Quagmire: Hey, thats just crazy enough to work.

    • (Peter drinks communion wine at church)
      Peter: Whoa! Is that really the blood of Christ?
      Priest: Yes.
      Peter: Man, that guy must have been wasted 24 hours a day, huh?

    • Stewie: (to Lois) Damn you, vile woman! You've impeded my work since the day I escaped from your wretched womb.

    • Peter: Now kids, daddy only drank so the Statue of Liberty would take her clothes off.

    • Lois: Stewie, why don't you play in the other room?
      Stewie: Why don't you burn in hell!

    • Lois: A hangover is nature's way of telling you I was right.

    • John: The air is electric here at Superbowl XXXIII tonight! Pat, I think it's safe to say that all these fans came out here to watch a game of football!
      Pat: Uh, John, we're in commercial.
      John: Yeah I know, I'm just making conversation... come on... FOOTBALL!

    • Judge: Mr. Griffin, don't you think you should have alerted the government to such a gross over-payment?
      Peter: Well uh, I was gonna call 'em but uh, my favorite episode of Diff'rent Strokes was on.

    • Peter: I know what I did was wrong but I only did it for you and the kids. Except for that jukebox in the bathroom, that was a gift for Peter.

    • Peter: It's okay to lie to women. They're not people like us!

    • Meg: Who cares about food? Now we'll never be able to afford my lip injections!

    • (Peter and Brian are in jail)
      Brian: Uh, how was your shower?
      Peter: Oh, I tell ya Brian, all the rumors about dropping the soap are true.
      Brian: Really?
      Peter: Oh yeah, you can't hold onto that thing to save your life. Oh, it was slipping all over the place. Guys were laughing.

    • Peter: Boy, she's pretty pissed, huh?
      Brian: Yeah. Who'd have thought welfare fraud would be one of her buttons?
      Peter: What's the point of having a jukebox in the bathroom if you're wife's mad at you?
      Brian: Peter you may need to return all that money to the tax payers.
      Peter: I know, but I gotta make sure Lois knows I'm doing it. We need a big event; something that everyone watches. (Thinks for a moment, then turns to Brian) We might have to leave Rhode Island for this one.

    • Peter: When she worries she says things like "I told you so" and "stop doing that, I'm asleep."

    • Mr Weed: You're fired!
      Peter: Oh jeez, for how long?

    • Peter: I told Lois I wouldn't drink.
      Quagmire: Don't feel so bad Peter.
      Peter: Hey, I never thought of it that way.

    • Lois: Peter, what did you promise me last night?
      Peter: I wouldn't drink at the stag party.
      Lois: And what did you do?
      Peter: Drank at the stag pa-woah, I almost walked right into that one.

  • NOTES (6)

    • The fifteen minute version of this episode that Seth pitched to the network is available on the Family Guy: Volume 2 DVD. Seth animated it entirely by himself at home, being paid only $50,000 from the network, where a pilot pitch normally runs around $1,000,000.

    • The transitional music heard in this episode is not heard again throughout the series.

    • Death Has a Shadow and the next 3 episodes are from a time when Seth MacFarlane wanted to do all the episodes like old Radio shows. Most of the old radio mysteries were stuff like Death Has a Shadow, Death Knocks Twice, Driver Death, and so on. However this proved unmanageable as the writers and producers found it hard to talk about the episodes unless they alluded to actions, not the titles such as The One Where Peter is Under House Arrest.

    • Based on Seth's student film The Life of Larry.

    • This episode originally aired following Superbowl XXXIII.

    • The scene where Peter is drunk on Communal wine was cut from the first showing of the episode. It did air on reruns, and is included on the DVD. Subsequently, the scene was added to the episode Fifteen Minutes of Shame, so it appears twice in the series.


    • Tienanmen Square

      When Peter says "I didn't really hold up that tank in Tienanmen square." it is a reference to the incident in Beijing China on June 4th 1989, where a single protest referred to as the unknown rebel stood in front of an oncoming tank to halt is progress.

    • G.I. Joe

      The G.I. Jew is a parody of the popular American hero.

    • Forrest Gump

      Stewie: You know, Mother, life is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're going to get. Your life, however, is more like a box of active grenades!

      The first part of the quote comes from the movie Forrest Gump.

    • Cocoa Puffs

      Peter does a commercial for CooCoo Puffs, which sounds amazingly like the popular American cereal.

    • Black Knight

      The Black Knight - often seen as a powerful and scary figure from the middle ages - is kept at bay by the Griffins' new moat.

    • John Madden

      John Madden: I don't care what he's doing it for, that guy's ruining a perfectly good game of FOOTBALL!

      This man is supposed to be John Madden, a Hall of Fame NFL coach and current football broadcaster.

    • Aunt Jemima: You guys want some pancakes?

      This is Aunt Jemima, the figurehead for a very popular brand of pancake syrup.

    • Kool-Aid Man: OHHHH YEAHHHH!

      The giant jug of juice that bursts into the courtroom is the Kool-Aid Man, the icon for the '80s drink with the same name (Kool-Aid). The older commercials featured him busting into houses when kids were thirsty.

    • Peter: Did I bring the porno?

      Peter has a copy of Assablanca, an obvious "adult" version of the real movie. The scene shown is a direct rip-off of Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.