How To Write A "Family Guy" Episode In 10 Easy Steps

Don’t think you know how to write twenty-two minutes of smart, original, and well-crafted television? Don’t worry — neither do the writers of Family Guy!

1. Make as many broad references to pop culture as possible.

There’s no time for satire or parody. A simple, soon-to-be-dated reference is all you need!

2. Recreate scenes from movies shot-for-shot.

Be sure to include as little context as possible; that way, people unfamiliar with the source material will think you came up with it! Don’t forget to buy the rights to the soundtrack!

3. Determine how long a joke should last, than drag it out for at least thirty seconds longer.

Feel free to repeat said joke multiple times throughout the episode; remember, you have twenty-two minutes to fill!

4. Steal as much as you can from other writers and comedians.

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth / Via kempa.com

Be sure to steal from sources unfamiliar to your target audience. Don’t add your own spin, either (and if you get caught, just say it’s an “homage”). You can sometimes write your own material, but only if it’s juvenile and appeals to the lowest common denominator.

5. Insert a five-minute chicken fight.

That should eat up some time!

6. Explicitly state your textbook political opinions to the audience.

You can try creating a clever allegory, but breaking the fourth wall and stating your political opinions in a direct, smug manner is much easier.

7. Buy the rights to a song from an old musical and re-create it in its entirety, as if you wrote it yourself.

Writing original songs is too difficult! Just find an already-written song your target audience has never heard before and maybe they’ll think you wrote it. Bonus points if it has a funny name, like “Mr. Booze” or “Shipoopi.”

8. Steal as much as you can from other animators.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Via ign.com

A great way to pay tribute to legendary animators like Ken Muse and Ray Patterson is to copy and paste Stewie on top of their innovative work!

9. Insert as many random cut-away gags as possible.

These can be a great way to distract from the fact you only spent half a minute on plot and character development. “Random” means “funny,” right?

10. Fill any remaining time with a Conway Twitty song.

And you’re done! Go cash that paycheck — you’ve earned it.

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