Family Guy: Season 1, Episode 1

Death Has a Shadow (31 Jan. 1999)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Animation, Comedy
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,569 users  
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Peter loses his job, but ends up getting rich off welfare.


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Episode cast overview:
Lois Griffin (voice)
Diane Simmons / Nancy the Postal Lady (voice)
John Madden (voice)
Butch Hartman ...
Various (voice)
Various (voice)
Judge (voice)
Various (voice)
Dick Clark (voice)
Mr. Weed (voice)


In this pilot episode to the series, Peter goes out to a friend's bachelor party, but first promises Lois that he won't get drunk. He does, of course, and the resulting hangover causes him to lose his job the next day. After several unsuccessful attempts to get a new job, Peter applies for welfare, only to discover that a clerical error has now made the family rich. Things spin further out of Peter's control, while Lois is still unaware that her husband has been fired. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Animation | Comedy

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

31 January 1999 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the main title sequence, when Lois and Peter are singing at the piano, the picture frames of the kids on the wall behind them are almost blank In later shows, there are drawings of the children. See more »


Peter's shirt, throughout the entire series, is buttoned on the girl's side - right over left. See more »


Brian Griffin: And remember you had an Irish Coffee the day we went to see "Philadelphia"?
Peter Griffin: [the family is watching the movie in a theater, where everybody except Peter is crying] I got it, it's the guy from Big. Tom Hanks, that's it. Aw, funny guy, Tom Hanks. Everything he says is a stitch.
Tom Hanks: I have AIDS.
[Peter starts laughing uncontrollably]
See more »


References Joanie Loves Chachi (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

So Offensive.....It's Funny!
10 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Family Guy is perhaps the most offensive animated series on network television when this first aired. But the show is a hilarious satire on the classic American way of life and I love how brutal some pop culture media are depicted. This came out right after the Super Bowl in 1999 and apparently lots of people enjoyed it.

This first episode, "Death Has a Shadow" is a good kickoff. We meet the Griffin family led by the patriarch, Peter. We meet the typical housewife, Lois, daughter Meg, son Greg, talking dog Brian, and diabolical baby Stewie. Peter loses his job after sleeping at work, but he decides to go on welfare to support his family. But of course, the law will catch up.

This show came out when Seth McFarlane wasn't even famous yet, but of course this show gave him headlines. He is a very talented voice actor. I love how he doesn't allow mercy. He made some pretty funny but offensive references to Adolf Hitler, the film "Philadelphia", and "Casablanca." But, the jokes were pretty darn funny. All in all, this is a good first episode. I rate it 9/10.

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