The Simpsons vs. Family Guy: Pick Your Distraction

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Difference between The Simpsons and Family Guy

The Simpsons is undoubtedly one of the most loved animated series to have hit the airwaves, and its impact has been nothing less than phenomenal. For a certain generation, the show perfectly encapsulates what it is like to live in the 20th century, and it seemed that its reign was unshakeable. Over the years however, some pretty worthy contenders have come up, with the most notable one–Family Guy–drawing numerous comparisons with The Simpsons. Does Family Guy have what it takes to measure up against the formidable classic? Let's see!

The Simpsons
Family Guy

Main Characters

The Simpsons and Family Guy both have distinctive characters, beginning with the heads of both families, Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson. The two characters aren't always the focal points of the stories, although they are nonetheless close at hand to provide laughs when needed. The two shows also differ with regard to their sons. While Chris Griffin is a minor annoyance at best, Bart Simpson is arguably the star of the show. In fact, episodes that don’t deal with Homer are often about Bart. Family Guy does have the edge with its other characters. While The Simpsons has the non-speaking Maggie, Family Guy has the conniving and eloquent Stewie, who brings the laughs with his cynicism. The families in both shows also have family dogs: Brian in Family Guy and Santa's Little Helper in The Simpsons. Unlike in The Simpsons where the dog doesn't actually have much of a role, Brian is always front and center of anything that goes on in Family Guy. Dry, witty, and wisecracking, Brian definitely adds his own touch to Family Guy.

Recurring Shows In The Series

Both The Simpsons and Family Guy rely on in-show “shows”, such as "Gumbel To Gumbel" in the case of Family Guy. The show depicts the sportscaster and his reporter brother as a pair of beach cops reminiscent of the characters of Baywatch. As for the Simpsons, the in-show animated series "Itchy and Scratchy" is almost as popular as the show itself, and the ultra violent series is often shown at the beginning of every episode.

Market And Cultural Impact

For all its strengths, Family Guy has yet to measure up to the cultural impact of The Simpsons. The show simply benefited from the convergence of numerous events that led to its massive worldwide popularity, and its full impact is pretty hard to match. While there is no doubt that Family Guy has achieved some measure of notoriety around the world, it still has a long way to go before it can measure up to The Simpsons in terms of social impact.


The Simpsons

  • A cultural icon and a classic
  • Still one of the most popular animated series in the world
  • Known mainly for the antics of Bart and Homer
  • Was considered quite risqué when it first came out, but is now considered comparatively tame

Family Guy

  • Catching up to The Simpsons in terms of popularity and social impact
  • Offers an interesting set of quirky characters
  • Arguably better writing than The Simpsons

Which animated show is funnier?
  • The Simpsons
  • Family Guy

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