American Dad/Tropes P-T

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Tropes used in American Dad include:


  • Papa Wolf: Terry and Greg, surprisingly enough.
    • Stan for all his Jerkass tendacies does play this trope straight a fair few times as well.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Roger seems to be recognizable as an alien only when he's stark naked. Putting on any kind of clothing seems to render him completely indistinguishable from humans, despite people occasionally mentioning he is not flesh coloured, doesn't have a nose, and is 'oddly proportioned'. Toshi seems to know but doesn't seem to care, as he refers to Steve's "Uncle Roger" as "alien in a wig". Of course, since no one understands Toshi (because he speaks Japanese), it didn't make any real difference.
  • Parental Incest: Subverted. Hayley falls for Stan's double in Season 4 Episode 6 "Pulling Double Booty", which Francine first mistakes for Stan. Later, Stan must impersonate the double for plot reasons.
    • Season 3 Episode 11 "Oedipal Panties" focused on Stan's relationship with his mother, which takes on some really Squicky overtones.
    • Also a quick one-off joke in Season 1 Episode 4 "Francine's Flashback":

Hayley: My mother stole my boyfriend!
Stan: Your boyfriend stole my wife! Let's get back at 'em by dating each other. (Beat) Wait a minute... Daddy didn't think that one through.

  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: Subverted, Roger needs to know a password one a split-personality of his set up and tries "password" but it fails. The actual password is "password1".
  • Patriotic Fervour: Stan veers between honourable and despicable, but prides himself on being a true patriot.
  • Periphery Demographic: In "Lincoln Lover", Stan writes a play about Abraham Lincoln's relationship with his bodyguard to try and encourage traditional Republican values, but unwittingly wrote it to look like there was homosexual subtext between the two men, giving it a strong following in the gay community.
  • Perky Goth: Steve's girlfriend Debbie has an obsession with death and the dark side but is otherwise friendly and cheerful.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: A number show up, for various reasons.
  • Please Wake Up: Season 3 Episode 10 "Tearjerker", a James Bond spoof, features Roger as the titular villain, in which he tries to take over the world using the ultimate Tear Jerker movie, Oscar Gold about a mentally retarded, alcoholic, Jewish boy and his cancer ridden puppy during the Holocaust. After being foiled by Stan, he reveals as he's escaping that he has a backup plan for an ever sadder movie; six hours of a baby chimp trying to revive its dead mother.
    • When the mother of the squirrels that lives in their yard dies, the "slow" one thinks she's sleeping/hiding.
  • The Power of Hate: Played with. Apparently Roger's "bitchiness" is an actual physical element of his species that will convert into a poisonous bile unless he expresses this trope in full throttle. Naturally The Power of Love is toxic to them.
  • The Power of Rock: Stan becomes more in touch with emotions beyond anger and outrage when he is exposed to the music of My Morning Jacket during "My Morning Straitjacket".
  • Pretty in Mink: Stan buys Francine a mink stole in one episode. Hayley's avatar in Dragonscuffle has a white fur collar. Greg Corbin has a white fur coat and hat he wears in one of the Christmas episodes.
  • Primal Scene: In "I Am the Walrus", Stan tricks Steve into catching him and Francine having sex so he can re-establish alpha male dominance of the household.
  • Product Placement: Mr Pibb (now known as Pibb Xtra) is given centre stage as the B-plot of "A.T. the Abusive Terrestrial" and is mentioned in several other episodes as well. Other references to real life products or shows are also in abundance.
    • Also parodied in "Black Mystery Month" when for no reason at all Stan and Steve discuss their plan in a Burger King and Steve asks why they had to go there. Stan procceeds to tell him that "The economics of television have changed" before giving a fake smile to the camera and saying in a pained voice "Have it... YOUR way".
    • Actually, this is an incredible throw-back to the pilot. The first commercial that aired after the theme song was for Burger King, who was the main sponsor of the show when it first aired.
    • The episode "Red October Sky" is filled with a number of product placements relations to capitalism.
    • They had an entire episode dedicated to nothing but Stan becoming obsessed with the band My Morning Jacket, with a bunch of their songs being played, and the lead singer making a guest appearance.
  • Properly Paranoid: Stan has been proven right at least half of the time, which is just enough times to continue being this way.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Stan Smith deals in these from time to time.
    • As does Steve in "Dope & Faith". LAVATE. LAS. MANOS!!!
    • Also played literally in "A Piñata Named Desire".
  • Punny Name: Season 3 Episode 10 "Tearjerker", a James Bond spoof, features Francine as a Bond girl spoof named Sexpun T'Come.



  • Rage Breaking Point: Stan at the end of "Bullocks to Stan".
  • Reality Warper: Explored in "Toy Whorey", when Steve disappears into his imagination and as does Stan later. Taken to the extreme with Roger in the same episode; when fetching wine, Roger goes into the attic and somehow goes through to a wine cellar, before exiting the cellar to his garage in the mountains, where he picks one of his vintage cars, where he drives over a precipice immediately outside, causing an explosion.
  • Really Gets Around: Almost every reference to Francine's past indicates that she was the loosest woman in Langley Falls, revealing to Stan that she actually has North America's largest sex garden, with one rosebush for each of her partners in "When a Stan Loves a Woman".
    • Hayley is also stated to be like this, but she has a monogamous relationship with Jeff for most of the series and is now married to him.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: When it is revealed that Stan has never actually killed anyone before, everyone is either disgusted or severely disappointed in him. Everyone except Hayley, that is... and the newfound respect she gains for Stan because of this is treated in-show as a bad thing.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Stan gives Roger a pretty brutal one:

Stan: You're nothing but a worthless sack of fatass!
Roger: (gasps in horror)
Stan: You're lazy, you're a chubbo, you lie, you cheat, you eat all our food, you're a drunk, you never wash your wigs, but you strut around like you're Mary Queen of Scots, Brangelina, and Jesus all rolled into one. Well, you're not! You're a big fat nothing!

  • Reference Overdosed: Just without the Cutaway Gags found on Family Guy.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Crops up all the time. Often used as an excuse for plot-related Fridge Logic.
  • Religion Is Magic: Christianity is parodied in this fashion; nowhere is this more obvious than in "Dope & Faith".
  • Revenge Myopia: In "Escape from Pearl Bailey", the popular kids swear revenge on Steve and his friends for Steve's revenge plot against Lisa Silver and her friends for Debbie's class presidential campaign getting sabotaged, and persist even after Steve realizes it was his friends who did it, and apologizes for it.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Steve goes on a non-lethal one after Lisa Silver and her friends humiliate Debbie with an embarrassing website and cost her the school election. It turns out that Lisa and her friends were innocent. It was Snot, Toshi, and Barry who set the website up because they were sick of Steve spending all his time with Debbie.
  • Robot Girl: Steve's somewhat unnerving gradual conversion of a vacuum cleaner into an artificial mate during "Stanny Slickers II: The Legend of Ollie's Gold" to the point where it can perform... well, it's Steve so you can probably figure out the rest.

"Last night I got a dusty pinky."


Francine: [muttering] Goddamn Rube Goldberg... family of flies... 600 bucks of dominoes...

  • Running Gag: The writers get their fill with the many vagina jokes that pop up (so much so that one episode broke from the plot to have a "1000th Vagina Joke" celebration). They try to go for the Once Per Episode approach.
    • One of the more subtle ones involves Francine's habit of using a lamp whenever she hits someone.
    • Another involves the humorously infantile nature of the C.I.A (Show and tell, nap time, etc)
    • A recent one is Roger and Steve taking cases as Wheels and The Leg-Man, complete with theme music and opening sequence.
    • Stan being in a scene reading a book with a title that describes what he is doing or whatever he will do next. "Reading With One Hand" and "Nude From the Waist Down" are recent examples.
    • Stan randomly pulling out his gun to scare people.
    • In the later seasons, Stan would start sending picture messages on his cell phone to two black employees working at an airport terminal, and them commenting on each one.


  • Sadist Show: While not quite as prominent an example as Seth's other shows, there's some frequent Dead Baby Comedy and the majority of the cast are less than morally sound to say the least.
  • Samurai: Toshi becomes one for Halloween and tries to kill Steve for not bringing his sister home in time. He then quickly kills five armed escaped serial killers proving Katanas Are Just Better.
  • Sanity Slippage: Stan suffers from this once his neighbors and family made fun of him in "I Can't Stan You".
  • Sapient Cetaceans: The show portrayed a program that both trained dolphins to help on missions and taught humans to speak dolphin, but it turns out all they want to do is talk about fish. Even after the titular CIA agent's son is rescued by them at the end of the episode he just ends up getting pissed off because the dolphins won't shut up about mackerel.
  • Say My Name: Exasperatedly shouting Roger's name whenever he screws something up (add "what the hell?!" when he's a Jerkass for no reason) seems to be the entire family's Catch Phrase.
  • Scenery Censor: In "G-String Circus", Stan covers up the strippers nudity just so that we won't see it.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Stelio! Stelio Kontos!
  • Screaming At Squick: Stan after he learns that Hayley was sleeping with Bullock.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Principal Lewis was depending on the 50 grand reward money for finding Haley when she ran away to get married to Jeff. When he finds out that the reward has been claimed, he leaves with this line.

WHAT!? I was depending on that reward money! I can't go back to work, I left a deuce on my desk! *rips off his suit and flips everyone off* FUUUUUUUCK! Y'ALL!

  • Sdrawkcab Name: In "Dungeons and Wagons", Steve's friends get tired of him lording his stronger MMORPG character over them, and learn that they can kill him instantly just by saying his name backwards.
    • Later that same episode, Hayley and Jeff go on a quest to find a way to bring Steve's character back. They arrive at Castle Roodpart. Hayley initially assumes it's just the developers making a crude joke and Jeff starts musing if it's explained in the World Building, only for Hayley to interrupt: "Crap, it's 'trapdoor' spelled backwards." No points for guessing what happens next.
  • Seamless Spontaneous Lie: Roger frequently manages to utilise one of these (given his multiple dress up personas, he is likely come to be accustomed to it).
  • Secret Test of Character: Francine attempts one in "Shallow Vows", and it backfires spectacularly. When Stan says that they married for looks, she stops doing her daily exercise and beauty regimens for the two weeks before their vow renewal ceremony, and show up overweight, hairy, and gap-toothed, causing Stan to flee. Stan tells Klaus that he does love Francine but can't get past her appearance, so he has the CIA detach his retinas so he can be with her again. Things are great for a while (he becomes much more attentive and considerate), but Francine admits that she can't get over the blindness and accepts that she's just as shallow as Stan, so they both go back to normal at the end of the episode.
    • Parodied in "Bullocks to Stan". Bullock dates Hayley and puts Stan through hell; when Stan finally snaps and nearly kills him, Bullock congratulates Stan and says that the whole ordeal was a test he was putting him through to see if Stan would stand up to him. However, it is clear from the context that the whole "test" explanation is a face- and life-saving lie.

Avery: My only regret is that I didn't get to jump through this pane of break-away glass! *Running leap! Smack! Avery pulls out his gun and shoots the glass a few times, then manages to jump through it.*

  • Self-Plagiarism: Frequently accused of being this to Family Guy, mostly thanks to the near-identical premise and animation style. This accusation is often related to Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch.
  • Self-Serving Memory: A flashback-less example. Roger once explains that the reason for his lack of commitment to the Smith family is due to being abandoned by his initial adoptive family. When we finally meet said family, it is revealed their abandonment was in fact due to Roger's already established obnoxious and abusive treatment of them. Just for good measure, he is also hinted at having a crush on their son now that he's teen aged.
  • Series Continuity Error: Happens a lot but can be dismissed with the Rule of Funny.
    • In "42-Year-Old Virgin", Stan claims to have never killed anyone. But in "Stan of Arabia", he breaks Jay Leno's neck; he kills Jackson's double at the beginning of "It's Good to Be Queen"; he accidentally disintegrates one of his co-workers in "I Can't Stan You"; in "An Apocalypse to Remember", Stan shoots down someone who was hang gliding; in "Con Heir" he shoots a painter. In the initial sequence for this joke, the funny background events show that he has never personally killed people (ie pulled the trigger on a gun) however he has been responsible for the deaths of others through accidents or what have you.
    • However, the episode "Haylias" ends with Stan having suffered evident selective memory loss, which could explain his assertion that he has never killed anyone.
    • Another possibility is that Stan has never killed anyone he was assigned to kill, only erroneous or accidental targets.
    • Also the first season develops Roger's experience with the outside world and learning to use disguise. Later episodes feature flashbacks that show Roger has utilized costumes to live a plausible social life since the fifties.
    • Also, Roger doesn't know what happened to Stan's skating partner in "Of Ice and Men", but he learned all of Stan's memories in "Roger 'n' Me".
      • Or he just doesn't care, which is par for his character.
    • In the pilot episode, Roger (after getting sneezed on) says he's supposed to bring pneumonia back to his planet, but in the second episode, Roger claims that his species is immune to all human ailments (except for an unexplained cold sore). On top of that, "Weiner of Our Discontent" reveals that Roger was the crash test dummy for a new model spaceship and possibly died upon impact, meaning that his planet doesn't want him back.
    • Roger was not being sarcastic at all, and therefore consistent with his character.
  • Series Fauxnale: The first episode of Season 7 was made when the producers were afraid the show wouldn't be renewed, and intended it to be the finale in that instance. Since the show was renewed, it was used as a non-canon season premiere.
  • Serious Business: In one episode, Stan is going for jury duty and asks Francine to manage his fantasy basketball team. After they have a minor quibble over his line-up, he says "You know what, just have Steve do it." When he gets back, Francine tells him that Steve only understood the "fantasy" part and tried to add three griffins and an ogre. Stan grumbles "Fucking nerd", and later Francine tells Steve that his actions have made the family weaker as a unit.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: Two teenage orphan girls were forced to wear them when Steve and Roger were using orphans as slave labor.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Roger wakes up wearing Stan's shirt in Roger 'n' Me. Also happens with Bullock and Hayley in Bullocks to Stan.
  • Shaggy Frog Story: From "White Rice":

Francine: Are you sure about all this?
Roger: Remember when Rudy from The Cosby Show got old and stopped being cute? I brought them Raven-Symone! Saw her on a Philadephia playground and knew she was a star, snatched her right up! Six months later, her parents saw her on TV and realized she was still alive... did some time for that. So, you ask, am I sure about this? I dunno.

  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Played for laughs in Season 4 Episode 1 "In Country...Club", where Steve develops PTSD after participating in a Vietnam War reenactment.
  • Shout-Out: Lots of references, but possibly the only show to do a meta-Shout-Out ("He's like America - the guy!").
    • In the first season, Stan talks to his gun.
    • Another from Season Four after Roger brutalizes Steve's pets then hits him with a steel chair: "Haha - just like in the movies, bitch!"
    • In another, we get to meet Stan's father. He is a sturdily built guy who worked for the CIA, and wears an eye patch over his left eye. When he sees Roger for the first time, he pins him to the ground and draws his pistol, to which Roger replies "Someone want to tell Snake Plissken to get off of me?"
    • "The One The Got Away" has this when Roger ruins a thief's life; in an attempt to sabotage his relationship, he meets with his girlfriend only to find she's a ditzy, thin blonde with a very high voice and she's dating a short dork with big glasses.
    • In the episode where Roger and Francine go wine tasting, Roger's disguise is very similar to Paul Giamatti in Sideways. The resort also bears several similarities.
    • Multiple shout outs to E.T., including one scene where Roger is hiding in a pile of stuffed animals in Steve's closet.
    • Roger's situation in "Stan of Arabia" appears to be a Shout-Out to Arabian Nights: Roger wants to avoid sleeping with the man who bought him, so he (Roger) keeps the man distracted by telling him stories.
    • "The Great Space Roaster" has references the Alien series during the space based conclusion; examples include a monster performing an EnemyRisingBehind and the protagonist wielding a flamethrower and wearing a vest with very revealing underwear.
  • Side Effects Include: The fake medical commercial for crack in "A Jones for a Smith".
  • Sitcom Arch Nemesis: Chuck White is this to Stan in "Deacon Stan, Jesus Man".
  • Skyward Scream: "Why, crow, WHY?!"
  • Snowball Lie: Stan runs on these, best showcased with the appropriately winter-themed episode "Of Ice And Men".
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Toshi's little sister, Akiko, was depicted as an 8-year-old in her first appearance ("American Dream Factory"). Two seasons later, she's shown as being around the same age as Steve and Toshi in her next appearance ("Weiner of Our Discontent").
  • Soapbox Sadie: Hayley.
    • And of course, Stan literally gets up on a soap box in "Camp Refoogee" and preaches about America's ignorance of Africa's strife.
  • SoCalization: At least two episodes feature characters buying Chocodiles at the store. Since the mid-90s, Chocodiles have only been available on the West Coast (the show is set in Virginia).
  • The Sociopath: In Series 6, Roger acknowledges that he is one.
  • Solid Gold Poop: Roger's solid-gold, diamond-encrusted turd.
  • Something Completely Different: The non-canon James Bond spoof "Tearjerker" and the possibly non-canon post-Apocalyptic fantasy "Rapture's Delight".
  • Sorry I Left the BGM On: When Francine gets mixed up with a secret society of housewives known as the Ladybugs, she's introduced to an asian member who has an oriental theme play whenever she enters the scene. When she becomes enticed by Francine's involvements that lead her to become a member of their society, she gives a long smile and just freezes for a minute while the music plays. Francine begins to check her watch, wondering when the music will finally end. Said music also plays when she farts.
  • Spiritual Successor: After people got over the "Family Guy knockoff" phase, it's generally been agreed upon by fans to be the spiritual successor to the older episodes of Family Guy in terms of writing quality, character development, and storyline depth (you know, before it started pandering to the Lowest Common Denominator).
  • Split Personality: Roger develops one in "The One That Got Away".
  • Squirrels in My Pants: In "Bully for Steve", Stan recalls that Stelio Kontos, a bully from when Stan was in high school, forced Stan to keep a live bat in his underpants, in which he later states that the bat gave him a nasty case of "ass rabies".
  • Status Quo Is God: Taken to such ridiculous extremes that the show is practically parodying this trope. To cite one example: In "Stannie Get Your Gun", Hayley unintentionally shoots Stan and paralyzes him; later in the episode, Stan is shot again, and the second bullet fixes his condition by dislodging the first bullet.
    • Stan appears most affected by this, as no matter how many lessons he learns in any given episode, he's back to his usual Jerkass self by the next episode.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Stan is often shown as having chauvinistic attitudes towards women, which is why he's so frequently at odds with Hayley.
    • This is why he loved being transferred to Saudi Arabia in "Stan of Arabia".
    • This is also why he loves Francine so much, as this is her fate, which often leads to a breakout episode/moment for her character, much to Stan's dismay.
    • Additionally, Stan tries to force this upon Hayley in "Haylias".
  • Stealth Pun: The secondary story of "Widowmaker" revolves around bees. Think about that one for a minute.
    • Also "Joint Custody". One of the plot points deals with drugs. You can guess what the other plot point deals with.
  • Stock Scream: The one Seth recorded for Stan is so hilariously over-the-top, it should turn up in films next to the Wilhelm scream.
  • Stoners Are Funny: The focus of Season 2 Episode 19 "Joint Custody", when Stan and Roger gets trapped in a barn full of marijuana that catches on fire, and they get extremely high.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: In the Halloween episode, Toshi's mother got him a Samurai costume to "respect his heritage". He refuses to wear it, shouting "I will not be a cliché!" He ends up donning the costume to hunt Steve down for breaking a promise to bring Toshi's sister home by sunset.
  • Stop Helping Me!: In "Hurricane!", despite Francine's pleas, Stan continues to try and save his family from the disaster... only it makes things worse, such as bringing in a bear to kill the shark that is attacking them, since they are "natural enemies", but the two predators work together instead.
  • Strawman Political: Anything vaguely political is usually guilty of this, but in a good way.
    • Some episode are worse than others. In one episode, Stan sees some example of a Democrat welfare program from Obama, which he says is bad because throwing money at everyone will make them lazy. Roger them substantiates this point, by mentioning he and his adopted babies are abusing welfare and being lazy. Obvious point, it's wasteful for people to take taxed money they don't need. Stan then decides this means helping people in any way is evil. The episode spends the next 30 minutes showing how stupid this is and it is highly frustrating seeing Stan continually lose all common sense and almost let his daughter die over an obviously wrong principle that Republicans don't actually believe. At no point are any successful government welfare programs mentioned after the initial bad example, so, though this clearly wasn't their intention, Obama loses this round
    • Still, the show is considerably more balanced and bipartisan with its humor than Family Guy.
  • Swapped Roles: The focus of Season 1 Episode 17 "Rough Trade". Stan is under house arrest for DUI (thanks to Roger) so Roger gets a job at a car dealership while Stan stays home and drinks while watching TV.


  • Take That: Took a shot at its own sister show in one episode, showing how unnatural the setups for Family Guy's cutaway gags would sound in context:

Roger: (responding to an odd statement made by Francine) Well, that was about as obvious as the setup for the sequel at the end of Batman Begins.
Stan: What are you talking about?
Roger: You know, when Inspector Gordon gives him that Joker playing card?
Stan: Well, what does that have to do with Francine?
Roger: What about her?
Stan: You sounded like you were going to say something important about Francine.
Roger: Ummm... no. Nope, don't think so.
Stan: Oh... okay.
(awkward silence)

    • A recent episode involves Roger dressing up as a girl and tricking Snot into thinking they're having sex. He does this by substituting a stress ball with a hole in it. After the ball has been violated multiple times throughout the episode, we learn that it's a promotional item for Sons of Tuscon, a sitcom that replaced American Dad! on the FOX schedule in 2010. The writers add insult to injury by having Roger remark that he doesn't remember Sons of Tuscon at all, a reference to the fact that the show was canceled after only a month. Don't mess with American Dad!'s time slot.
      • And as a final bit of rubbing in, there's a scene where Roger puts the "used" stress ball in the dishwasher, then walks away while humming the American Dad theme song.
    • When Roger and Stan go visit a Horse Whisperer, there are nothing but pictures of famous horses who he has spoken with in the past adorning his office walls, including an autographed picture of Hillary Swank.
    • One episode has Steve receive a bunch of fireworks from Francine's parents and lights one off in the house, prompting the following line from Francine's dad:

"This one is called The English Patient: It looks beautiful, but takes a long time for an unsatisfying payoff."

  • Taking You with Me: When Principal Lewis loses his job, his house, and all his friends thanks to Roger's meddling as a legal guardian, Lewis decides to take Steve to Arizona... to die together in suicide by driving off the Grand Canyon.
  • The Talk: "You see, Steve, when a man and a woman are in love (or very drunk), they..."
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Stan lampshades this. He coaches Roger to finally beat Barry so he doesn't lose his high school wrestling record. Barry had Roger pinned and the referee counted to two. Stan told him to start using his incredibly powerful legs and to escape before the referee politely waits for their conversation to be over before he counts to three.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The Flashback Cut portrayal of puberty for the Smith family children in "1600 Candles". Steve had done some questionable things before too - he completely loses it when he grows Gag Boobs in "Helping Handis" and pushes a bookcase onto his wheelchair-bound father in "Stannie Get Your Gun".
    • To be fair, he thought his dad had stolen him from his real family when he was a baby.
  • Tempting Fate: In "Finances With Wolves", when Greg and Terry are in their yard:

Greg: Well, another successful trip to Brad's Cactus Shack!
Terry: Can you believe they were giving away razor blades?
Greg: I'll just turn on our new lemon juice waterfall!
(Stan proceeds to hit the cacti, bounce off of the razor blade pile and then land in the lemon juice fountain)

  • That Didn't Happen: Stan and Roger have a one-sided version of this in "Roger 'n' Me"; Roger wants to tell about how he and Stan "became best buddies", but Stan doesn't.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Apparently, anger is the only emotion Stan is capable of expressing.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Not that he needed it, but Stelio Kantos beats up Stan while a nearby stereo plays the Ominous Latin Chanting of his name in the background. He hits the Stop button when Steve motions to him that his job was done.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: When Stan tries to set up Principal Lewis with a wife and get him to settle down, Lewis brings up his old prison bitch Tracy in a conversation. When setting up his wedding, Stan reintroduces Tracy, and Tracy reveals that he's already married to Lewis, according to prison rules. Stan tries to handle the situation by taking Tracy to Lewis' home one night, then shooting him in the back. He takes the body to a cliff and throws it off the edge, then drives down and runs it over back and forth repeatedly, then letting an alligator eat the corpse, then shooting the gator and making a gatorskin handbag out of it. Too bad for Stan, that Tracy survived the whole ordeal.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: Used by Roger a lot.
    • Also used once by Klaus: "Fabulous Thunderbirds, bitches!"
  • Time Travel: In '"May The Best Stan Win", a Cyborg version of Stan from a thousand years in the future travels back in time to woo Francine.
    • In "Fart-Break Hotel", Steve falls in love with a painting of a girl by Patrick Nagel and travels back to 1981 using the same method Christopher Reeve used in Somewhere in Time to find her. He soon discovers to his horror that Nagel drugged him and painted him nude and that he is the girl in the painting! Later in the episode, Francine takes a new identity and becomes a successful businesswoman ten years in the future but she is unhappy and misses her family. She travels to the past like Steve and warns her younger self not to leave them.
    • In the first Christmas episode, the Ghost of Christmas Past takes Stan back to the 1970s where he gets Martin Scorsese to give up drugs, leading to America being taken over by the Soviet Union. The only way to get things back to normal is for Stan to go back to the 80's and shoot Ronald Reagan.
  • Title Drop: "Deacon Stan, Jesus Man".
    • Also...

Stan: I... am Stan of Arabia!

  • Token Minority: Greg and Terry, the local gay couple. Their token-ness is blatantly poked fun of in various episodes.

Terry: Why are we always holding hands?
Greg: How else will everyone know we're a gay couple?

  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Daughter/mother example with Hayley and Francine.
  • Tonight Someone Dies: The 100th episode "100 A.D.". The episode starts off with a message that says 100 characters will die. The final body count: 1 dog, 98 one shot characters from previous episode (96 of them killed in the same bus crash) and the manager of a motel that appeared earlier in the episode.
    • Except Agent Duper, who was a recurring character earlier, suddenly killed and is brought back as a clone directly after "100 A.D." to set up the premise of the episode.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Stan frequently. Also a case of Status Quo Is God, since his mistakes are rarely brought up again. Also worth noting Stan is quite capable physically and (most of the time) mentally, but could be charitably called inept when it comes to his family.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the post-apocalyptic world of "Rapture's Delight", Stan becomes a one-armed, hook-handed bounty hunter. It's even more awesome than it sounds.
    • Toshi in "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls". He becomes a samurai for Halloween and tries to kill Steve because he didn't bring his sister Akiko home in time. Then he kills five escaped serial killers before they murder Stan, Francine and Roger.
    • Jeff in "For Whom The Sleighbell Tolls". During the assault on the Smiths, Santa offers Jeff the Golden Compass bear helmet he wanted for Christmas in exchange for joining him and betraying the Smiths. He walks over to him and appears to have accepted, but then proceeds to headbutt the spiked helmet into Santa's back. Jeff then drags an injured Stan to safety, and says to him that he did it for his wife Hayley. He then joins the family in battle with Santa's elf army, until Santa is forced to call off the attack because the sun came up, and he only had until sunrise to accomplish his goal.
  • Took a Level In Kindness: During the course of the show, Stan went from a Strawman Political Jerkass to a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Roger however, went from a somewhat obnoxious sloth to an apathetic psychopath (with a later In-universe explanation that Roger HAS to be a jerkass in order to biologically survive). Steve also seems to be leaning this way albeit Depending on the Writer.
  • Too Much Information: In one episode, Francine talks about how strippers will do anything for money, "And then sometimes when you're rolling around on the floor making out with another girl, some guys will throw out money, then pick it back up and throw out the same singles again! Like I'm blind! Like I don't have peripheral vision!" Cut to Roger and Klaus, wide-eyed and silent.
  • Tracking Device: Stan planted a tracking device in both Hayley and Steve when they were both born.
  • Transparent Closet: Roger switches between this, Camp Gay, and Depraved Homosexual. It all depends on the episode. However, we can probably say by this point that if there is still a closet, it is pretty damn imaginary.
  • Troll: Roger. How much varies from episode to episode.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Jesus tries this on Stan after he hits him in "Rapture's Delight", only to be hit again.

"Ow! My other cheek!"

  • Twin Switch: Stan's double Bill begins dating Hayley, but then poses as Stan in order to try to sleep with Francine. After removing Bill from the picture, Stan must then pose as Bill in order to keep Hayley's heart from being broken.
  • Twist Ending: Many of the better episodes use improbable plot resolutions that are much more amusing with repeated viewings.
    • "100 A.D." has one.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Stan and Roger in Season 2 Episode 20 "Roger 'n' Me".
  • Two-Timer Date: Stan attempts to pull off one of these in "One Little Word". While he and Francine are trying to enjoy a romantic weekend in one lakeside cabin, Stan must keep his boss's mistress supplied with cigarettes in the cabin across the lake.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Typically when this trope is used, the A story will focus on Stan and the B story will focus on either Steve or Roger.
    • Five Lines, No Waiting: The initial premise of "Finances With Wolves", where Francine, Steve, Hayley, Roger, and Klaus each have their own plots that intersect at various points. Stan is prominent, but doesn't have his own actual plot.

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