“Trading Places” — season 9, episode 15
Chris and Meg wreck Peter’s new dirt bike. After a fight, they switch places with Peter and Lois, and everyone realizes that life sucks for everyone.
The episode features a hilarious cutaway gag lampooning Canadian high school and one of Mayor Adam West’s most classic lines: “Well, I guess I’ll just disappear into that field of corn. Help, I’m lost in corn!”
“The Big Bang Theory” — season 9, episode 18
Stewie and Brian accidentally create the universe by making the Big Bang and then duel with Stewie’s evil half brother, Bertram, in Renaissance Italy. While the show’s trademark cutaway gags are mostly absent, there’s a bevy of great quotes like when Stewie discovers his Italian heritage and says “Of course! My love for SpaghettiOs and smoking on the toilet! It all makes sense!”
“It’s a Trap!” — season 9, episode 20
The Griffins recreate the final original Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi, in this double episode. Peter is Han Solo, Stewie is Darth Vader and Rush Limbaugh is the Rancor — what more could you ask for? Oh, and the live studio ostrich makes an appearance.
“Lottery Fever” — season 10, episode 1
“Lottery Fever” is hands down one of the best episodes of the show. There are classic jokes and lines constantly as the Griffins win the lottery, then, naturally, blow all their money (twice).
Peter delivers a long, priceless line as he quits his job: “Angela, I just want to thank you for several extremely pleasurable years working for this corporation. Certain unexpected developments have created a situation where I am no longer in need of employment. I would be remiss, however, if I did not extend my gratitude to you for your unwavering fairness and belief in me, and there is a giant poo on your desk.”
“Back to the Pilot” — season 10, episode 5
Family Guy’s writers make fun of everyone — even themselves, as they lampoon the pilot episode of the show. Brian prevents 9/11 but accidentally creates a second American Civil War. Eventually, things spiral out of control as countless Stewies and Brians travel into the past to stop themselves from destroying the world.
“Leggo My Meg-O” — season 10, episode 20
In this parody of Taken, Brian and Stewie travel to Paris to save a kidnapped Meg. Stewie blackmails Brian with a recording of him canceling a subscription to a pornographic website, while Peter is far less intimidating than Liam Neeson.
“Into Fat Air” — season 11, episode 1
The Griffins decide to climb Mount Everest to one-up Lois’ ex-boyfriend and his family. Through thick and thin, they manage to do it — even though Peter left the weed wacker on.
“Yug Ylimaf” — season 11, episode 4
Brian accidentally reverses time by using Stewie’s time machine to hook up with women. As time moves backwards, classic Family Guy bits — Peter falling down the stairs, Cleveland falling out of his bathtub into the yard, the ipecac puke scene — are reversed to comical effect.
“Roads to Vegas” — season 11, episode 21
In one of the best “Road to” episodes, Brian and Stewie head to Las Vegas to see a Cher concert. However, their teleportation accidentally clones them, and eventually one Stewie and one Brian die. One of the show’s more ambitious plotlines reveals a lot about its two principal characters’ moral codes — and about Peter’s poker face.
“Stewie, Chris & Brian’s Excellent Adventure” — season 13, episode 8
This episode takes a classic Brian and Stewie time travel adventure but adds Chris, who’s studying for a history test. They travel to see The Titanic, Ernest Hemingway and the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 — or, as Chris calls it “the future.”
“Quagmire’s Mom” — season 13, episode 11
Quagmire is arrested for statutory rape after Peter becomes “Justin” and starts living a “Justin lifestyle,” which involves wearing cargo shorts, long boarding and throwing parties. Quagmire’s mom, from whom he apparently inherited his hypersexuality, manages to get him freed.