Ranking Family Guy’s ’Road To’ Episodes

Family Guy has been on the air for a long time, and one of the most consistently funny parts of that lengthy run are the "Road To" episodes. Parodies of the Hope, Lamour & Crosby films from the 1940s, these road trip episodes are distinct from the rest of the show in many ways, being equipped with their own special opening, taking a rare trip away from Quahog, and featuring hilarious musical numbers. While other characters appear in subplots, Stewie and Brian are the undeniable stars of these episodes. I'll now be ranking these episodes, worst to best, ending with what I believe to be the greatest chapter in this series of episodes.

8- Road to India (Season 14)
Road to India is by far Family Guy's weakest "Road To" episode. While the rest all range from solid to fantastic, this one just isn't. It's a lazily-written, mostly unfunny mess. It had a few solid moments, but all-in-all it was just tired. The Peter subplot was honestly just annoying, and I got sick of it very quickly. It wasn't funny. The main plot, featuring Brian finding his eight-millionth "true love", was clichéd and didn't even have the classic feel of a "Road To" episode. I didn't hate this episode, but I wouldn't watch it again. That's the only episode in this series that I can say that about.

7- Roads to Vegas (Season 11)
While Roads to Vegas wasn't one of Family Guy's best, it was still really funny. It's a lot different from the other episodes in that the "real" Brian and the "real" Stewie aren't really together, but they have the same amazing chemistry with their clones as they do with each other. The real characters coming to terms with the deaths of their best friends, then realizing they're actually alive, is absolutely hilarious. Still, the "Road To" format begins to show some wear at this point, similar to the show itself. The "Road To" series clearly isn't immune to the quality decline that the still funny (but certainly not at its peak) Family Guy has experienced as of late.

6- Road to Europe (Season 3)
This is just the second episode in this series, and it's hard to follow up what is a mostly-perfect episode (Road to Rhode Island). Still, Road to Europe does an admirable job at attempting this, even though it doesn't fully live up to Rhode Island. Written by Gilmore Girls scribe Dan Palladino, the episode features two strong plots, which, strangely enough, is part of the reason it's ranked so low here. The Peter and Lois subplot is actually the storyline I prefer here, and that took away some of the enjoyment of the Road To format. Brian and Stewie's storyline, featuring a trip to England to meet the cast of Stewie's favorite show, was funny, but Peter and Lois dressed as members of KISS was just funnier and more memorable. A great episode for sure, but not necessarily because of the Road To format.

5- Road to Germany (Season 7)
Germany adds another member to the Brian and Stewie team, Quahog's favorite pharmacist, Mort. While I love the Brian/Stewie pairing and was unsure about them messing with it, this actually worked out pretty well for them, helping to freshen the series up a bit and keep it from going stale. Being a time travel episode, it doesn't really feature a traditional road trip aspect, but it still has many of the aspects I expect from a "Road To" episode. It doesn't reach the magic of most of the early episodes, but still, a very solid entry that proves that sometime, a little shake-up can be necessary.

4- Road to Rupert (Season 5)
Here's where we get into the all-time great episodes. From this point on, I have a pretty difficult time even ranking these episodes, because I really love all of them. Of these four episodes that I consider to be classics, I'd have to rank Rupert as the weakest. While it had a great Brian and Stewie plot and a pretty solid subplot, I think it was the least creative of the four episodes. It was a pretty hilarious episode, but the plot (finding Rupert after he's sold at a garage sale) felt like something we've seen before, so it's a middle-of-the-road "Road To" chapter.

3- Road to the Multiverse (Season 8)
One of Family Guy's most visually stunning episodes ever, Multiverse is also one the show's best. It features trips to various universes, showing our beloved Griffins in various forms, such as Disney-fied, Robot Chicken-ized, and in low-resolution. This all works very effectively and provides many laughs, even though there are some noticably weaker elements (some parts of the "dogs are in charge"   world just didn't work).

2- Road to the North Pole (Season 9)
Even though it ran for an hour, making it the longest-running Road To episode, this episode still felt too short. It was an incredibly fun ride from start to finish, with a great musical number kicking it off and tons of great jokes packing inside. The plot itself borrows from classic Christmas specials, but it adds a perfectly-Family Guy twist that makes it so special. You don't expect to see an animated Christmas special where the main character wants to kill Santa Claus and yet, here it is, existing. It's a Christmas special made for Family Guy diehards and fans of cringe comedy alike, which makes it a yearly tradition in my house. Plus, David "Aurora" Boreanaz is in it! How can't it be great?

1- Road to Rhode Island (Season 2)
The episode that started the entire "Road To" series also happens to be the best there is out there. It established the expected tone for a Road To episode, and features a classic plot in which Brian seeks out to find his mother, Biscuit (whose name absolutely delights Stewie) on the way home from California, where Stewie was staying with Carter and Babs. It's a very simple plot, and that works in its favor, allowing it to flesh out a comedic and somehow emotional journey. A minor subplot involving Peter and Lois provides ample laughs, but it never distracts from the main plot. The episode is an absolute masterpiece, and remains one of my favorite of the entire series.

Thanks for reading this list, a tribute to one of my favorite television traditions. I hope you enjoyed it and I'd love to hear your own thoughts on the Road To episodes. Vote in the poll below, drop me a comment, and make sure to check out my other Family Guy-related articles this summer on the TV Ratings Guide.

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