A Family Guy concordance.

Judging by our search page logs, a disquieting number of the folks who visit our site are looking for information on the Fox animated series, Family Guy. While Quahog.org was not created to be a Family Guy website, we see nothing wrong with giving the people what they want—as long as it has that ever-popular Rhode Island slant. Join us as we engage in serious geekage with our Family Guy concordance.

New!: Ready for a road trip? Blackstone Valley Tourism has put together a self-guided Family Guy tour based on this concordance. Can you find Spooner Street, Wes' Rib House, or the skyscraper Peter jumped off when he was immortal?

Action 5 Chopper

The Quahog 5 News Action 5 Chopper plays an important role in S3E8, "The Kiss Seen Around the World," catching the titular event before being shot down during a hostage standoff. Another 'copter, the Quahog 5 News Traffic Cam helicopter, makes an appearance in S8E11, "Dial Meg For Murder," when the pilot, Drunk Billy, crashes into an overpass.

Only one Rhode Island news station, WPRI Channel 12, owns a helicopter, and they never let you forget it, making it seem more a flashy marketing device than a serious news-gathering tool.

Air show

The Griffins attend the 15th Annual Airshow in S5E2, "Mother Tucker." Glen Quagmire is one of the performing pilots and he executes a series of hair-raising stunts, including almost hitting a Quonset hut and crashing through a series of billboards. In the real world the Rhode Island National Guard has hosted an Open House and Air Show at Quonset Point in North Kingstown every June since 1992.

Alabaster Clam

In S2E3, "Da Boom," Quahog's "fabled alabaster clam" descends like the ball in New York's Times Square at midnight on New Year's Eve. As far as we know, no town in Rhode Island has any such tradition.

Andre the Giant

In S4E5, "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire," Peter paints over the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with this well-known image from a street art movement started by Rhode Island School of Design student Shepard Fairey in 1989. Although more than twenty years have elapsed since the first sticker was stuck, you can still find the image affixed to street signs and light posts all over the world. In Providence, the East Side is your best bet for spotting Andre in the wild. Or if you feel like spending some cash, drop by RISDWorks, the Rhode Island School of Design's retail arm, located at 20 North Main Street in Providence. There you can buy a poster-sized version of one of Fairey's "Obey Giant" pieces, or a t-shirt designed by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.

Shortly after the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, a play on the "Obey Giant" trope appeared featuring fearsome designated hitter David Ortiz, and of course during the 2008 presidential campaign a version appeared depicting Barack Obama.

Asiantown

After Peter breaks Lois out of Quahog Women's State Penitentiary in S4E9, "Breaking Out Is Hard To Do," they hide out in Asiantown. (Is this where Asian reporter Trish Takanawa lives?) According to 2000 census figures, only 2.3% of Rhode Island's population is Asian, but that's up from 1.8% in 1990. While there are almost certainly neighborhoods that are predominantly Asian in the Ocean State, we are unaware of any area that compares with the Chinatowns of Boston or San Francisco, although we do have a number of decent Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Indian restaurants.

The Bachelorette

Brian ends up as a contestant on The Bachelorette in S4E7, "Brian The Bachelor."

In real life, Rhode Island seems to be one-stop shopping for reality TV producers. Its citizens have appeared on Survivor, The Contender, America's Most Wanted, Cops, Antiques Roadshow, Ghost Hunters, The Amazing Race, numerous Food Network and Learning Channel shows... and The Bachelor. Warwick resident Krisily Kennedy (Miss Rhode Island USA 2003) graced the 2005 season of the show, making it all the way to the final two before being rejected in favor of a nurse from Texas.

Barrington

A number of hotels on Family Guy include the word "Barrington" in their names:

  • S2E17, "He's Too Sexy For His Fat": the Griffins stay at a swanky hotel called The Barrington after Quahog Pest Control exterminates the hell out of their house.
  • S4E1, "North By North Quahog": The Park Barrington Hotel, New York City.
  • S4E10, "Model Misbehavior": The Newport Barrington
  • S4E29, "Bango Was His Name Oh": The Park Barrington Hotel, San Francisco.
  • S5E8, "Barely Legal": Meg holds Brian prisoner at The Barrington Hotel.
  • S5E13, "Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey": both Lois and Peter sleep with former president Bill Clinton at The Park Barrington Hotel.
  • S7E14, "We Love You Conrad": Brian sleeps with actress Lauren Conrad at The Park Barrington Hotel.
  • S8E13, "Go, Stewie, Go!": Stewie, disguised as Karina Smirnoff, fools Brian into meeting him at the Park Barrington Hotel.
  • S10E1, "Lottery Fever": Lois: "I never thought I'd be having high tea at the Park Barrington every single day." Stewie: "Yes, it's nice to eat in a sea of white faces, isn't it?"

No hotels in Rhode Island exist with these names, but the use of the term is obviously an homage to the tony East Bay town of Barrington.

Family Guy writers seem to equate Barrington with racism—in "North By North Quahog," "they don't allow Asians inside" at The Park Barrington Hotel in New York City. In S3E6, "Death Lives," Peter remarks that Cleveland is passing up the opportunity to be the first black man to play golf at The Barrington Country Club. (Passing golfer 1: Hey, a black guy! Passing golfer 2: Ooo, fun!). A sign in front of The Newport Barrington in "Model Misbehavior" directs white limousines to the left and "colored" limos to the right. Whether the town is racist or not, there is some basis for the perception of a lack of diversity. As of the 2000 census, the population of Barrington was 96.4% white, 1.8% Asian, 0.7% African America.

The Barrington Country Club shows up again in S7E9, "The Juice is Loose!," and this time Peter plays golf there with O.J. Simpson. Perhaps the writers had second thoughts about their earlier characterization of the club. At any rate, there really is a country club in Barrington. It's real name is the Rhode Island Country Club, but many refer to it as the Barrington Country Club. In this episode the clubhouse is even depicted fairly accurately.

Biltmore Hotel

While there is a Biltmore Hotel in downtown Providence, the one depicted in S2E8, "I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar," doesn't look like the real thing. The real Biltmore, opened in 1922, is over fourteen stories tall, is faced with brown brick, and has two perpendicular wins.

Bocce balls!

Lois lets rip with this exclamation when she opens her eyes and finds that Peter has purchased a tank in S5E3, "Hell Comes to Quahog."

Bocce is a lawn game in which players attempt to pitch grapefruit-sized balls as close as possible to a small target ball called a jack, pallino, or boccino. Closest pitch wins the round. It's a popular game in Rhode Island's Italian-American communities.

Bowling

Bowling shows up a couple of times in Family Guy, but inexplicably, never as duckpin bowling. Duckpin bowling is a form of bowling that uses small balls (about the size of a cantaloupe) and short pins. Although the sport developed in Baltimore, it is popular in a handful of east coast states, including Rhode Island.

Brine Theater

In S2E7, "The King Is Dead," Lois is named Artistic Director of the Quahog Players, based at the Brine Theater. When Brian briefly volunteers as a seeing-eye dog in S3E1, "The Thin White Line," he accompanies a blind man to a matinee at the Brine. In S3E17, "Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows," Lois and Peter attend a matinee at which the birds in Peter's beard disturb the audience. The theater is also where Lois and Peter revive their folksinging act in S4E23, "Deep Throats," and where the Redneck Comedy Tour makes a stop in S5E12, "Airport '07."

Trinity Repertory Company is probably the theater troupe with the highest profile in Rhode Island. The name "Brine Theater" could be an homage to Walter "Salty" Brine, a beloved local television and radio personality who passed away in 2004.

Brookfield Insane Asylum

This is where Lois finds her secret brother, Patrick, in S4E17, "The Fat Guy Strangler." There is no Brookfield in Rhode Island, but there is one in Massachusetts, although as far as we know, there is no asylum there.

If you're looking for a Rhode Island twin for Brookfield Insane Asylum, look no further than the long-closed Ladd School (1907-1994) in Exeter. It's the state's most infamous (historical) place for the shutting away of our differently-abled citizens.

Brown University

The Griffins visit Brown University so that Meg can apply for admission in S2E19, "The Story On Page 1." Brian claims that Brown is his Alma Mater (which means he must have spent more than half of his seven years matriculating there). As represented in this episode, exterior locations, including the Van Wickle gates and Pembroke Quad, are fairly true to life.

Brian: Ah, the old alma mater. I tell you there's something magical about Brown.

Chris: Brown's the color of poo! Ah ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Brian: Yes. Yes it is... And this is Pembroke Quad.

Stewie: Ah, very nice, very "Brideshead Revisited."

Brian returns to Brown in S4E15, "Brian Goes Back to College," after his dropout status costs him a job at New Yorker magazine. Again, the representation of the Van Wickle gates is pretty close, although there is no sign reading "Welcome to Brown University" in real life, there ought to be a few more trees, and the sidewalk is way too wide. University and Sayles Halls are also identifiable. Brian enrolls in the one class he needs for graduation, Advanced Physics, taught by a professor modeled on Stephen Hawking. While Brian struggles with the class, Stewie throws himself into campus life, partying and stealing test answers that he supplies to Brian. Brian is ashamed of cheating, though, and when it comes time to take the final, he tries to blow it off. But the A-Team (Peter, Cleveland, Joe, and Quagmire) won't let him throw away his chance at a diploma. Smashing their van through the Van Wickle gates, they manage to get Brian to the exam on time. Afterward, Brian announces that he failed. But, he says philosophically, "at least I failed on my own."

By the way, this episode includes a quick sight gag. At a basketball game, the scoreboard reads "Brown vs. Board of Education."

See also 867-5309.

Burrillville

Burrillville is a real town in the northwest corner of Rhode Island. Sadly, Santa's Village and Gift Shop, to which Brian and Stewie venture in S9E7, "Road to the North Pole," is fictional.

BUSHMAN

In S2E21, "Fore, Father," we see that this is on Quagmire's vanity plate. Rhode Island is actually one of the bluest of the blue states, and few residents would be caught dead voting for anyone named Bush. In the most recent election before this episode (2000), Rhode Island had the lowest state percentage of votes for Bush, 32%. Oh, yeah!

In other practical matters, the Division of Motor Vehicles only allows six characters on a vanity plate, so Quagmire would have to settle for BUSHMN or BSHMAN. ARIGHT or GIGITY would fit, though.

By the way, the idea that the "BUSH" in BUSHMAN might refer to anything other than the forty-first or forty-third Presidents of the United States never even crossed our minds. So please stop sending pictures of your lady business to stuffie@quahog.org. No, really, cut it out.

John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band

In a cutaway in S7E6, "Tales of a Third Grade Nothing," Emperor Palpatine requests "On the Dark Side" by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. The band reached the height of their popularity in 1983 with the release of the movie Eddie and the Cruisers, to which they contributed several Bruce Springsteen sound-alike tunes, including "On the Dark Side" and "Tender Years." They were still touring as of 2013. John Cafferty is the cousin of Family Guy executive producer and head writer Danny Smith.

Cape Cod

Peter and Lois head out to the Cape for a vacation in S4E1, "North By North Quahog." At one point they pass a sign that says "60 miles to Cape Cod," and Peter comments that they are "only two hours from the best B&B on the Cape." This may seem odd to those unfamiliar with the geography. Two hours to travel sixty miles? Well, no, sixty miles to the Cape, which begins at the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges. From there it can be anywhere from ninety minutes to three hours to Provincetown, at the opposite end of the Cape, depending on traffic.

Providence is approximately fifty-five miles from Bourne, Massachusetts, the first Cape Cod town that Peter and Lois would pass on the way to their B&B. If we accept that Quahog is slightly to the northwest of Providence, the distance is about right. But considering that later in the episode Peter and Lois end up in New York City and then in South Dakota (apparently during the same weekend), we'll leave further questions of elastic geography alone for now.

Carrot Top Manor

In S4E26, "Petergeist," the Griffins go to Carrot Top's house to retrieve the skull of a Native American that Peter had previously thrown out in the trash. While a number of celebrities have chosen to purchase homes in Rhode Island in recent years—Anthony Quinn, Christopher Walken, and Nicholas Cage, for instance—prop comedian Carrot Top is not one of them. Carrot Top actually has homes in Orlando, Florida, and Los Angeles, California.

CarZone

No need to get excited about spotting this reference to auto parts retailer AutoZone in S4E9, "Breaking Out Is Hard To Do." With locations in almost every state, they're far from local.

Cheesie Charlie's/Chuck E. Cheese

The popular kids' party spot shows up in both straight and parodied forms on the show. In S1E3, "Chitty Chitty Death Bang," Peter goes to Cheesie Charlie's to prepare a party for Stewie, gets in trouble with the manager, and cancels the reservation. Later he tries to convince Lois that the place is a torture castle presided over by Satan. In S5E13, "Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey," Bill Clinton takes Peter to the real Chuck E. Cheese (although the rodent mascot is noticeably missing from the facade), where they play Dance Dance Revolution.

There is one Chuck E. Cheese's location in Rhode Island. It can be found near the Rhode Island Mall at 650 Bald Hill in Warwick.

Cherrywood Manor

In S2E1, "Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater," we learn that Lois's family is from Newport when she inherits a mansion, Cherrywood Manor, from her Aunt Margarite Pewterschmidt in that city. The episode features the song "This House is Freakin' Sweet." Aunt Margarite's will is in the form of a video narrated by Robin Leach a la Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, in which Cherrywood Manor is mentioned in the same breath as the Breakers and Rosecliff. The visual representations of those last two properties are basically true to life.

The Chicken Coop

The Griffin family eats out at this restaurant in S3E17, "Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows." There really was a Chicken Coop in Providence, located at 49 Elmwood Avenue in the 1960s. They boasted they were "Famous for Southern Fried Chicken." The closest thing today is Wright's Farm Restaurant, a large banquet facility in Burrillville where roasted chicken is the main entree.

Chowda

Following an extended puke-fest involving Peter, Brian, Chris, and Stewie in S4E8, "8 Simple Rules for Buying My Teenage Daughter," Lois emerges from the kitchen and asks, "Who wants chowda?" The most widely known kind of chowder in Rhode Island is clam chowder, and of that there are three varieties. First, there's New England Clam Chowder (also known as "white" chowder), which is thicker than the others and made with milk or cream. Then there's Rhode Island Clear Chowder, which, as its name implies, contains no dairy products and is considered by many local chowder aficionados as the "real" Rhode Island chowder. Last is Red Chowder, which is distinguished from "Manhattan" chowder by the fact that the latter uses a tomato base, while the former is a clear clam chowder to which tomatoes have been added. I know, same diff, right? Red Chowder also has a claim to the title of "real" Rhode Island chowder, as food historians believe it was invented by Portuguese immigrants to the Ocean State in the early part of the twentieth century. None of these are likely to be something you would want to eat after being as savagely sick as Peter, et al, have been.

Chuckle Bucket Comedy Club

Peter find his inner comedian at the Chuckle Bucket, fueled, of course, by Pawtucket Patriot Beer in S2E8, "I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar." There are a couple of notable comedy venues in the Providence area that could have served as inspiration for the Bucket, none of which, unfortunately, have as colorful a name. One was Providence's Periwinkles, now long gone. Another is the Comedy Connection, still in business at 39 Warren Avenue, East Providence (as of 2013).

Buddy Cianci Junior High School

We are first introduced to Chris Griffin's school in S2E9, "If I'm Dyin' I'm Lyin'." Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci, Jr., was the flamboyant mayor of Providence at the time this episode was created. In 2002 he was convicted on one count of racketeering conspiracy and sentenced to five years and four months in a federal prison.

During S2E10, "Running Mates," Peter is elected school board president and renames the school Peter Griffin Junior High. We learn in S3E14, "Peter Griffin: Husband, Father... Brother?" that the Buddy Cianci JHS basketball team is called the Dust Mites. Why? Well, we suppose the name has the virtue of being unlikely to piss off any Native American or animal activist groups, for one thing. Otherwise, no Rhode Island connection that we can think of. In S3E21, "Family Guy Viewer Mail #1," Chris Griffin sets the school on fire.

Civic Center

Both the real-life Providence Civic Center and the fictional Quahog Civic Center figure in the Family Guy universe.

Providence Civic Center shows up first in S5E18, "Meet The Quagmires." In S7E6, "Tales of a Third Grade Nothing," Peter takes part in a spelling bee at the Quahog Civic Center. In S7E11, "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven," the Griffins attend a Star Trek convention at the Providence Civic Center, which, however, is depicted as looking like the adjacent Rhode Island Convention Center. Quahog Civic Center shows up again in S8E5, "Hannah Banana," S8E10, "Big Man On Hippocampus," and S8E11, "Dial Meg For Murder," hosting the Miley Cyrus Tour, Family Feud, and the Quahog Rodeo.

"Providence Civic Center" is actually the venue's original name. In 2001 Dunkin' Donuts bought the naming rights and it became the Dunkin' Donuts Center, or just The Dunk for short.

Clam cakes

In S1E4, "Mind Over Murder," Peter asks Lois, "Hey, honey, you know those little clam cakes you make whenever we have company? I need about a dozen. Actually, better make it like 600." Clam cakes do not have frosting, they're balls of deep-fried dough made with bits of clam. No self-respecting Rhode Island clam shack would fail to have them on its menu.

In S4E19, "Brian Sings and Swings," Frank Sinatra, Jr., is joined by Stewie and Brian to sing, à la the Rat Pack, "We go together there's no mistake, like a bowl of chowder and a big clam cake, and we love Rhode Island."

Crew

In S6E8, "McStroke," Peter foolishly decides to take a drive after having suffered a stroke. He loses control of the car and crashes into a tree by a river, where a crew team glides by with the coxswain shouting, "Stroke! Stroke! Stroke!" "Stop mocking me!" whines Peter.

Brown University has both men's and women's crew teams, and they regularly practice on the Seekonk River.

Dan in Real Life

The Griffins check out a going-out-of-business sale at Quahog Video in S8E4, "Brian's Got a Brand New Bag." Brian picks out Dan in Real Life, and Stewie makes fun of the sweet whimsy of the film's marketing image.

Dan in Real Life was filmed in various locations around Rhode Island in late 2006.

Del's Frozen Lemonade

An extended fight scene between Peter and the giant chicken in S5E16, "No Chris Left Behind," features a plane trailing a banner that reads "Enjoy Del's Frozen Lemonade." Del's is a real local product, beloved by Rhode Islanders since 1948.

Another Del's reference was reportedly axed at the table reading stage. According to Family Guy writer Danny Smith, speaking in a February 2006 Valley Breeze interview, the reference took place in a scene in which Lois and Stewie worked together to dispose of a dead body. "When they were through," said Smith, "Stewie turned to Lois and said, 'Well, I think I know two people who've earned themselves a Del's Frozen Lemonade!' When I heard Seth [MacFarlane] read it, I nearly busted a gut laughing. Unfortunately, I was the only one, and because it was the last line of the scene, the other writers felt that Stewie needed a stronger joke. So the line was rewritten, and it's a shame, because the people back home would have loved it."

Diner

The diner shown in S3E19, "Stuck Together, Torn Apart," looks vaguely similar to Pawtucket's Modern Diner, a 1941 Sterling Streamliner.

Dog Track

A generically named "dog track" is shown in S3E6, "Death Lives." Rhode Island had a greyhound track from 1977 to 2009 at the former Lincoln Park (now Twin River Casino) in Lincoln.

The Drunken Clam

The Drunken Clam, Peter's neighborhood hangout, is introduced in S2E4, "Brian In Love." The Drunken Clam in Trouble seems to be an ongoing theme. In S3E4, "One If By Clam, Two If By Sea," after Quahog is struck by Hurricane Norman, the remains of the bar are bought by a British company and renamed the Clam's Head Pub. The Pub then burns down, is rebuilt, and is reopened as the Drunken Clam by new management. In S4E3, "Blind Ambition," the Clam is again threatened by fire when God starts a blaze with an errant lightning bolt (Peter: "Hey, is somebody smokin' in here?"). Then in the very next episode, "Don't Make Me Over," we find the owner putting up a For Sale sign. To save their hangout, Peter and the gang put their heads together and decide to make it into a karaoke bar. An alternate universe version of the Clam is destroyed in S8E1, "Road to the Multiverse."

In S5E18, "Meet The Quagmires," we learn that the Drunken Clam wasn't always an unpretentious working man's bar—in 1984 it was called St. Elmo's Clam and catered to a hipper crowd.

Up until 2008, the Drunken Clam had no real-life Rhode Island analog. In late August of that year the Narragansett Town Council granted a liquor license to Thomas Paolantonio, allowing him to open an establishment called the Drunken Clam in a location at 1200 Ocean Road that formerly had been known as the Ugly Old Toad. By the end of the following year, however, the Drunken Clam was gone, a victim of a cursed location, a lousy economy, or customer indifference. It was soon replaced by another restaurant, the Narragansett Grill.

But that wasn't the end of the story. In October 2010 the business relocated to 8 Greenville Avenue in Johnston. While the decor wasn't notably Family Guy-esque, they did have Pawtucket Patriot Lager on tap (most likely 'Gansett in disguise), a drink called The Bloody Meg, and a version of the distinctive drinking clam neon sign in the window. The Drunken Clam closed again in early 2013, perhaps for good.

Dry County

From S2E20, "Wasted Talent":

Peter: Hey, where's the nearest liquor store?

Man: Oh, they're all closed on Sundays. This is a dry county.

There are no dry counties in Rhode Island. At the time this episode first aired there was a dry town, though. Barrington ended years of liquorlessness in November 2010 when voters approved a referendum to allow liquor stores within the town borders.

Ed's Motel

The slogan for Ed's Motel in S3E13, "Screwed the Pooch," is "As seen on America's Most Wanted." There's no such motel in Rhode Island, but that doesn't mean AMW has neglected Little Rhody's criminal connections, and the list of shameful acts committed by our state's less-upstanding residents—and spotlighted on the show—continues to grow.

Edaville Railroad

In S8E13, "Go, Stewie, Go!," Stewie argues with himself as Karina Smirnoff: "It is true, she hates you! She told me, it was the Christmas we all went to Edaville Railroad, and you cried because you were afraid because one of Santa's elves was a real midget, and father said, 'That's it, I can't take this anymore,' and he left that very night and all you cared about was ice cream on the way home and mother said you didn't appreciate anything!"

Edaville Railroad is an attraction in Carver, Massachusetts, known for its vintage trains and Christmas displays. If you grew up in Southeastern New England, you remember Edaville.

867-5309

In S2E13, "Road To Rhode Island," Stewie tries to call Lois, but not knowing the number, dials 867-5309. In Rhode Island, this is the number of Gem Plumbing and Heating Company. And yes, their radio jingles have used the well-known tune.

One of our readers informs us that "867 was (and still may be) the exchange for the Brown University residence halls at least circa 2001. [867-5309] was the phone number of a freshman double room and the girls who had it were frequently the victim of prank phone calls. I have a feeling Brown gave that particular number up to Gem Plumbing."

(We thought it was enough to merely allude to the song from which this phone number originates, but judging by the number of emails we've received informing us of our "omission," we should have made it more obvious. So for the record, "867-5309/Jenny" was a popular song by the band Tommy Tutone. It peaked at number four on the Billboard Charts in early 1982.)

Family Band

The Griffins become a family band, with Meg as the lead singer, in S4E4, "Don't Make Me Over." One of the numbers the family performs is called "Gonna Buy Me a Rainbow," with the Griffins dressed in matching jumpsuits in a clear homage to The Brady Bunch. The Brady Bunch were prompted to try their hand at familial harmony by the success of The Partridge Family, with less-successful, but ultra-kitchy, results. And of course the Partridge Family was based on the original family band, Newport's Cowsills. Now the circle is complete.

Fire Station

Stewie declares, in S10E1, "Lottery Fever," "You know, I'm still young enough you could drop me off at the fire station, no questions asked." While it is true that Rhode Island has a Safe Haven Law, Stewie is clearly older than the thirty day grace period for the legal surrender of an infant.

Fireworks

In S5E5, "Whistle While Your Wife Works," Quagmire shows up at the Griffins' front door with fireworks, saying he smuggled them up from Florida in his anus. He's chagrined when Peter tells him, "Quagmire, fireworks aren't illegal here." Actually, up until 2010 it was illegal to possess any kind of fireworks in Rhode Island.

In 2010 parts of the law were repealed and other parts rewritten, making it legal for regular folks to have and use certain kinds of "ground-based" or "hand-held" fireworks in the Ocean State (sparklers, poppers, jumping jacks), but nothing that launches into the air and goes bang or boom. The penalty for violating the law is still a fine of between $100 and $500 or imprisonment for up to a year for possession, and setting off fireworks without a permit is a felony, punishable with a fine of more than $1000 and up to five years in jail (Rhode Island statute 23-28.11-9).

Fishing

In S3E10, "A Fish Out of Water," Peter becomes a fisherman. There is a long tradition of fishing in Rhode Island—it is the Ocean State, after all. Rhode Island waters are a good place to catch bluefish, striped bass (or "stripuhs"), black sea bass, tautog, scup, weakfish, and flounder, as well as shellfish like mussels, oysters, and quahogs, and crustaceans like lobster and blue crab.

Foxy Lady

Lois gets a job reporting for FOX News in S7E10, "FOX-y Lady." While the title is an obvious reference to the television network, it just so happens that the most well-known strip club in Rhode Island is also called The Foxy Lady.

Fuzzy Clam

The Fuzzy Clam is mentioned in S2E21, "Fore, Father," S8E6, "Quagmire's Baby," and again in S8E9, "Business Guy." A couple of local establishments could be the possible basis for this reference. One is the Foxy Lady Gentleman's Club, located in Providence. The other is the Fuzzy Grape (now Mario's Showplace II), located just over the border in Webster, Massachusetts. (The original Mario's Showplace was located on Atwood Avenue in Johnston, Rhode Island, until uptight town fathers regulated them out of existence).

Of course it's more than probable that the writers had neither of these establishments in mind when they came up with the name, and instead took the direct route with a slang term for female genitalia.

Geronimo's Palace

We visit Geronimo's Palace, a huge gaming facility run by Native Americans, in S1E6, "The Son Also Draws." Lois's addiction to video poker is a disease shared by many Rhode Islanders, to whom Twin River, Newport Grand, and Connecticut's Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos are all easily accessible. As if those venues aren't enough, the Narragansett Indian Tribe has been trying for years to have a casino built in West Warwick.

G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe is made by Hasbro, a Pawtucket-based company. In the very first episode, "Death Has a Shadow," a Happy-Go-Lucky Toys worker named Johnson shows off his creation, G.I. Jew, to Mr. Weed. (G.I. Jew: "You call these bagels?" Johnson: "Whoa-ho, I'm glad he's on our side!"). In S4E1, "North By North Quahog," G.I. Joe appears in his 1980s cartoon form to deliver an antidrug PSA to Chris and his friends in the junior high school boys room.

Giant Chicken

A man-sized talking chicken named Ernie appears in a number of episodes engaging in extended fight sequences with Peter. Giant chickens are not unknown in Rhode Island, although none of them talk and they aren't known for their fighting prowess. One can be seen guarding the door of Antonelli's Poultry in De Pasquale Square in Providence. The other hangs out behind Wright's Farm Restaurant in Burrillville.

Gillette Stadium

Peter becomes a member of the New England Patriots in episode 70, "Patriot Games." Gillette Stadium, the team's home, is located in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The current stadium replaced an earlier venue, Schaefer Stadium, that was built in 1971 and named for the Schaefer Brewing Company. It was renamed Sullivan Stadium in 1983, and Foxboro Stadium in 1990. It was demolished in 2002 and the new, more modern facility that rose in its place was known briefly as CMGI Field before Gillette purchased the naming rights.

It says something about Rhode Island's relationship with the Pats that Ocean Staters, who won't cross the bay on a sunny day for any reason, will drive to Foxboro to watch football in the snow.

Spalding Gray

In episode 3, "Chitty Chitty Death Bang," Brian tells Peter, "You are the Spalding Gray of crap." Spalding Gray was a writer, monologist, and actor who grew up in Barrington. He was known especially for his long, self-analyzing monologues. He is believed to have committed suicide in 2004.

Brian Griffin

To the best of our knowledge, there are no talking dogs in Rhode Island, although we have heard of one that could do math.

Francis Griffin

Francis is Peter's very Irish-Catholic father. When we first meet him in episode 9, "Holy Crap," he's retiring from the mill where he's worked for sixty years. The retirement party takes place at the Quahog Mariners Banquet Hall, "Now free of that urine smell." Hoping to bond with his father, Peter gets Francis a job at Happy-Go-Lucky Toys, where his work ethic very quickly gets him promoted to shop foreman. Later they attend a Paw Sox game at McCoy Stadium. In the end Francis manages to piss off even the pope.

Of the immigrants who came to work Rhode Island's mills from the late eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries, Irish-Catholics made up a significant number. Francis still has his accent, so he probably came to America as a young man. The Pawtucket Red Sox, Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, are a real baseball team, and their home park, McCoy Stadium, is real, too.

It's revealed in episode 90, "Peter's Two Dads," after Peter falls on Francis and fatally squashes him, that Francis is not Peter's natural father.

Peter Griffin

"Peter is a mixture of several New England-type guys that I knew growing up—well-meaning, good-natured guys that have no clue what's coming out of their mouths!" —Seth MacFarlane in Rhode Island Monthly's Insider column, August 2004.

Happy-Go-Lucky Toys, Inc.

We're first introduced to Happy-Go-Lucky Toys in S1E1, "Death Has a Shadow." The company, where Peter works on an assembly line, checking for unsafe toys, is clearly a satire of the real-life Hasbro, located in Pawtucket.

Several toys are shown in various episodes that are parodies of real Hasbro products. G.I. Joe, a Hasbro mainstay since the mid-1960s, gets the Family Guy treatment in S1E1, when a worker named Johnson shows his creation, G.I. Jew, to the boss, Mr. Weed. One of the items we see being assembled at the factory in S2E2, "Holy Crap," is something that looks very much like a Furby, another Hasbro brand. Mr. Potato Head is also made by Hasbro, and in S2E7, "The King is Dead," Peter presents an idea for a new toy—a phallic, vibrating Mr. Zucchini Head.

Peter is fired for the first time in S1E1, when he allows several dangerous toys to get past him on the assembly line, including Silly Ball (which looks and acts suspiciously like a hatchet), Pound Poochies (which turn out to be some kind of pills), and Baby Heimlich (who spits fire). In S1E5, "A Hero Sits Next Door," the company baseball team at Happy-Go-Lucky is called the Quahog Toy Boys. Peter gets his father, Francis, a job in the factory as a foreman in S2E2, "Holy Crap." The Griffin family attends the company picnic in S3E1, "The Thin White Line." In S3E3, "Mr. Griffin Goes To Washington," Happy-Go-Lucky Toys is taken over by a conglomerate, the El Dorado Cigarette Company. One of the products pitched by the new owners is Baby Smokes a Lot. In S3E9, "Mr. Saturday Knight," Peter is briefly promoted, then loses his job altogether when Mr. Weed chokes to death on a roll. Weed's will dictates that Happy-Go-Lucky Toys be demolished and replaced by The Happy-Go-Lucky Terminal Disease Institute.

Hasbro is parodied by name in S6E12, "Long John Peter," in a commercial for Habro's Best Thing Ever, a gooey purple substance with seemingly limitless play potential.

Hatch Pond

Hatch Pond is mentioned a couple of times during the series. There are a lot of ponds in Rhode Island, but so far we haven't identified one with this name. But we wonder, could this be a reference to Rhode Island's first reality-show star, Richard Hatch? Hatch, then living in Middletown, was the million-dollar winner on the first season of Survivor in 2000. But no, it's much simpler than that. There is a Hatch Pond in South Kent, Connecticut, only a half mile from where Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane grew up.

Tom Tucker: It was a moving scene today at Hatch Pond as six members of the Pawtucket Fire Department struggled valiantly to save the life of a fish trapped under the frozen ice. Rescue workers managed to get the fish out of the ice. Unfortunately it died shortly after. (S2E7, "The King is Dead")

Meg Griffin: One time at Hatch Pond... (S3E2, "Brian Does Hollywood")

Hooters Shooters

This fine establishment shows up in episode 38, "A Fish Out Of Water." Everyone knows that Hooters is a national chain of pub-like restaurants famous for their amply-endowed (female) wait staff. Shooters was a nightclub located on India Point in Providence in the 1990s. At some point it was renamed Bootleggers, then closed for good around 2000. It's likely that, with the re-routing of Route 195, it will soon be demolished.

Hospital Trust Tower

Providence's Hospital Trust Tower is seen in every episode as one of the three skyscrapers in the background of the establishing shot of the Griffins' house. In night scenes it's often even lit up with a ring of lights around the top, just like the real building. The same three buildings can be seen on a calendar hanging in the Griffins' kitchen. In S2E6, "Death Is a Bitch," Peter jumps off this building after realizing he is immortal. A cartoon version of Providence City Hall is visible in the background as Quagmire and Cleveland look on.

Hurricanes

Quahog is destroyed by Hurricane Norman in episode 32, "One if by Clam, Two if by Sea," and a Perfect Storm-style wave generated by Hurricane Ru Paul destroys Peter's fishing boat in episode 62, "Perfect Castaways."

Severe hurricanes in Rhode Island's history include the Great Gale of 1815, the Hurricane of 1938, and Hurricane Carol (1954). Each caused a significant amount of property damage and loss of life. An entire beach community, located on Napatree Point in Watch Hill, was wiped off the face of the earth by the Hurricane of 1938. In the 1960s a hurricane barrier was built along Providence's waterfront to prevent downtown from flooding again.

Indian Burial Grounds

In episode 43, "Ready, Willing, and Disabled," Peter breaks ground for a park and digs up a skeleton in an Indian headdress. The writers bring the concept back for episode 76, "Petergeist," in which Peter unearths an Indian burial ground while building a multiplex in his back yard. This sort of thing does happen occasionally in Rhode Island; one or two times a year there's a news story about local native burial grounds being disturbed by a construction crew or erosion.

In "Petergeist" Peter keeps the Indian skull that he finds and subjects it to all sorts of indignities. In real life this is not only disrespectful but illegal, as well. In fact, just having such objects is problematic, and many institutions across the country are currently struggling to balance Native American demands for repatriation of artifacts and remains against the need to maintain the integrity of their collections.

Emeril Lagasse

Chef Emeril Lagasse, star of a number of Food Network shows, is featured in episodes 37, "Mr. Saturday Knight" and 53, "Blind Ambition." He grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts (just down Route 195 from Providence), where he learned his early cooking skills at a Portuguese bakery in his neighborhood. He then attended the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, from which he graduated in 1978.

Latitude 42, Longitude 71

In episode 38, "A Fish Out of Water," a bullying fisherman sends Peter to these coordinates, telling him it's the best place to catch fish. Peter, of course, ends up on dry land, because in real life those coordinates are located on Mile Brook Road in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, approximately forty miles from the ocean.

Leaf Peepers

In episode 35, "Lethal Weapons," Quahog is invaded by leaf peepers from New York City. While there is some truth to this sort of event, we haven't noticed it to be a problem here in Little Rhody. In fact, we feel certain that local tourism councils and chambers of commerce would be thrilled if more leaf peepers stopped here, rather than just passing through on their way to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. (There's fine foliage to be spotted in Vermont as well, but you'd have to be geographically challenged to go from New York City to Vermont via Rhode Island.)

License Plates

In episode 10, "Da Boom," Lois fries an egg on Rhode Island license plate "BO-142." The design of the plate is plain, and does not match either the general issue "wave" plate, or the special sailboat or Mr. Potato Head plates currently in use. In episode 28, "Fore, Father," Quagmire's plate is revealed to be "BUSHMAN," and in episode 51, "North by North Quahog," Brian's is shown to be "BRIDOG."

Rhode Islanders have an odd relationship with their license plates. Some have been known to pay large amounts of money or trade political favors for a low-numbered plate. Some plates are even passed down from generation to generation. Vanity plates are also inordinately popular. It's speculated that, in a state where everyone knows everyone else, a "special" license plate is the most prestigious of status symbols. It should be noted, though, that low-number "special" plates aren't nearly as good as low-numbered regular plates, which show that your folks had cars waaay before anyone else.

As an aside, the low-number status also holds true in Rhode Island's Adult Correctional Institute. We're not sure if those numbers can be passed down through generations, though.

Littleneck

Loretta calls Quagmire "Littleneck" in episode 55, "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire." Littlenecks are hard shell clams with a diameter of less than two inches. As their meat is sweeter and more tender than that of older clams they are often served raw on the half-shell. They're also good steamed and dipped in butter, but isn't everything?

Lobster Shanty

The Griffins endure an awkward dinner at the Lobster Shanty while being filmed for The Real Life Griffins in S2E12, "Fifteen Minutes Of Shame." The Shanty sports a giant lobster on the roof, similar to one that ornaments the roof of a real seafood restaurant at Oakland Beach in Warwick. At the time of the airing of this episode the restaurant was called Cherrystones. As of 2009 it's called Top of the Bay.

The Mafia

In episode 23, "There's Something About Paulie," the Griffins become involved with the mob. Providence was the acknowledged New England capital of organized crime from the 1960s to the 1980s, and although much diminished (or perhaps, less overt), mob influence has never entirely left the state.

Mobster Bar and Grill

Episode 23, "There's Something About Paulie," features a place with this name. While there is not (and to the best of our knowledge, never has been), a hangout with this name in Rhode Island, the satire apple doesn't fall far from the reality tree. There are any number of restaurants on Providence's Federal Hill that have been frequented by known mobsters. A few have even been the scenes of murders (for instance, Providence bookmaker Willie Marfeo was shotgunned to death in the telephone booth of a Federal Hill restaurant in 1966). Back in the early 1990s there was one place on Atwells Avenue, Cafe Verdi, that we were sure was a Mafia front, as there never seemed to be any customers inside. It finally closed up shop around 1997. And fairly recently (2004) there was a restaurant on Atwood Avenue in Cranston called Eat with the Fishes. Of course a place with so obvious a name wouldn't have ties to organized crime. Or would it?

Narragansett Beach

Feeling bad that their trip to Warwick Spa and Bath failed to cheer Meg up, Lois caves in and takes her to Narragansett Beach for spring break in episode 38, "A Fish Out Of Water." There, they stay in a big hotel with a pool, right on the beach, where MTV and VH1 are both doing live feeds. This is mostly fantasy. While Narragansett certainly has beaches—Narragansett Town Beach, Scarborough Beach, Captain Roger Wheeler State Beach, and Salty Brine State Beach—they are all used mostly by families and lack the sorts of facilities (e.g., beachfront hotels and bars) that draw the spring break crowd, let alone MTV and VH1. A more likely place to get your fill of loud music, tramp stamps, and belly rings would be Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly.

New Quahog

Following the end of the world in episode 10, "Da Boom," the Griffins travel to a "Twinkee" factory in Natick, Massachusetts, where Peter establishes the community of New Quahog, and sets himself up as Mayor-for-life. Up until 2004, when it was torn down, there really was a Twinkie factory in Natick.

North Providence

In episode 34, "Death Lives," Quahog 5 News anchor Diane Simmons reports, "A tragic accident today in the North Providence area. A family of four lost their lives when their minivan swerved off the road and into a ravine, exploding on impact." North Providence is a real town in Rhode Island, although it's a bit too developed to believe that anyone would drive into a ravine there.

Paw Sox

Peter brings his recently-retired father, Francis, to a Paw Sox game in S2E2, "Holy Crap." In an attempt to make a connection with his irascible dad, Peter purchases a loving message to be shown on the Jumbotron, but Francis stalks out of the park before he can see it.

The Pawtucket Red Sox are a real Triple-A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Their home park is McCoy Stadium, located at 1 Columbus Avenue in Pawtucket.

Pawtucket Pat

In episode 4, "Mind Over Murder," Pawtucket Pat (clearly modeled on the character who shills for Samuel Adams), appears to Peter and tells him to build a bar in his basement. In episode 27, "Wasted Talent," when Peter wins a tour of the Pawtucket Patriot brewery, it's led by a Pawtucket Pat who is drastically different from the one in episode 4. This one is based on Willy Wonka, as played by Gene Wilder in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Pawtucket Patriot Beer/Ale

The featured alcoholic beverage on Family Guy is Pawtucket Patriot Beer, which is pronounced incorrectly—with the accent on the first syllable—by every character. The closest Ocean State analogs are Narragansett Beer and Coastal Extreme Brewing, but the mascot (as seen in S1E4, "Mind Over Murder"), label design, and advertising materials are an obvious parody of Samuel Adams, based in Boston.

In S2E8, "I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar," a television commercial for the beer uses the slogan, "If you buy it, hot women will have sex in your backyard." In S2E20, "Wasted Talent," Quahog 5 News anchor Tom Tucker drinks a Pawtucket Patriot Beer on the air. In S3E1, "The Thin White Line," we see that Pawtucket Patriot Beer comes in eight-packs. Stewie uses a Pawtucket Patriot Beer to lure Peter out of bed so that he can replace him with a robot in S3E11, "Emission Impossible." Peter rubs a bottle of Pawtucket Patriot Beer in S2E21, "Family Guy Viewer Mail #1," and a genie appears. Meg drowns trying to retrieve a case of Pawtucket Patriot Ale from the flooded kitchen for Peter in S6E7, "Peter's Daughter."

In some episodes a large Pawtucket Patriot Beer sign can be seen on the wall of the Drunken Clam.

Pawtucket Patriot Brewery

In a takeoff on Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Peter wins a tour of the Pawtucket Patriot Brewery, personally led by the reclusive Pawtucket Pat, in episode 27, "Wasted Talent." Later, in episode 63, "Jungle Love," Peter gets a job at the brewery (which is no longer owned by Pawtucket Pat), but is immediately demoted for getting drunk.

Prison

The real name of Rhode Island's biggest prison is the Adult Correctional Institute, located in Cranston.

There are many large houses of correction in the Family Guy universe, which makes sense since its denizens break so many laws. The first mention of this fine community asset is in a parody of the old Toostie Pop commercial in S2E14, "Let's Go To The Hop":

Boy: "Mr. Toad, how many licks of you does it take to get to the center of a Rhode Island State Prison?"
Toad: "Just one."

In S3E4, "One If By Clam, Two If By Sea," Peter, Quagmire, Cleveland, and Joe spend a night in Quahog Prison after allegedly burning down the Drunken Clam. Later, in S3E12, "To Love And Die In Dixie," Chris Griffin goes to the Rhode Island State Penitentiary to indentify a suspect in a convenience store robbery. S4E9, "Breaking Out Is Hard To Do," has Lois incarcerated at the Quahog Women's State Penitentiary, and in S8E11, "Dial Meg For Murder," Meg becomes involved with Luke, a prisoner at the Quahog Adult Correctional Institute, and helps him escape.

Providence City Hall

Death is laid up with a bum ankle and can't do his job in S2E6, "Death Is A Bitch," leading Peter to realize that he can't die. To test his theory he jumps off what appears to be Providence's Hospital Trust Tower. A reasonable facsimile of Providence City Hall is visible in the background as Quagmire and Cleveland look on.

Providence College

Having twisted his ankle in S2E6, "Death Is A Bitch," Death lounges around the Griffin hose dressed in a Providence College hooded sweatshirt. It totally makes sense: The logo for all of the real Providence College sports teams is a man's head swathed in a black hood. It's no wonder that the resemblance between Dominican Friars and the Grim Reaper has resulted in many an awkward situation.

Providence Performing Arts Center

The Providence Performing Arts Center, or PPAC, is a real venue located on Weybosset Street in downtown Providence. Among the performers who have appeared there on Family Guy are NSYNC (episode 49), William Shatner as Tevia in Fiddler on the Roof (episode 50), and The New Rat Pack with Stewie (episode 69):

Brian: I don't care if the sun don't shine. I do my drinkin' in the evening time, when I'm in Rhode Island.

Stewie: Ha cha cha cha!

B: Get out of here!

Frank Sinatra, Jr.: You can sit in the sun and camp, but I get my color from a sunray lamp, when...

S: I'm in Rhode Island!

FS, Jr.: Whoa, easy kid. These people paid good money to get in here.

S: Oh yeah, how much are you charging them to get out?

FS, Jr.: We go together, there's no mistake...

S: Like a bowl of chowder and a big clam cake.

All: And we love Rhode Island!

Providence Skyline

Three buildings appear in the background of the establishing shot of the Griffin residence in pretty much every episode. These are real, recognizable buildings in the Providence skyline: the Hospital Trust Tower (in many nighttime scenes the top story is lit up just like the real-life building), Fleet Center, and the Industrial Trust Tower (sometimes called the Superman Building because of its resemblance to the Daily Planet Building in the Superman TV series of the 1950s). The DVD commentary for S1E6, "The Son Also Draws," notes the real-life origin of these three buildings. They also sometimes show up on the calendar that hangs in the Griffins' kitchen.

In S2E5, "Love Thy Trophy," Peter has a flashback in which he is stopped by a cop and tries to get out of a ticket by flashing his nipple. The highway curve where Peter pulls over reminds us of the curve on 95 North just north of the Statehouse, and the skyline in the background is familiar, as well, reminiscent of College Hill on Providence's East Side. But closer inspection shows the buildings are archetypes, not specific buildings.

At the end of S5E1, "Stewie Loves Lois," the credits roll over a parody of All in the Family's end sequence. Like in the original we travel down a street (in this case Spooner Street), looking out the window of a car, and end on an aerial shot of a cityscape. The city appears to be some weird alternative version of downtown Providence.

Quahog

Quahog is the fictional Rhode Island community where the Griffin family lives. If the number of institutions and services based there is any indication, Quahog is by far the largest city in the state, rivaling even the capital, Providence. And yet it still manages to retain a small-town feel.

So where is Quahog? Very good question. The writers of Family Guy have been coy about the location of this nonexistent town, but there are some clues. First of all, if you look carefully at the city skyline behind the Griffins' house, you'll spot three very distinct buildings from Providence's downtown: the Hospital Trust Tower (in nighttime scenes the top story is often lit up just like the real-life building), Fleet Center, and the Industrial Trust building (sometimes called the Superman Building because of its resemblance to the Daily Planet Building in the Superman TV series of the 1950s). The angle at which these buildings are seen would lead one to believe that Quahog is located just to the northwest of downtown Providence. There is no place in Rhode Island, other than Providence, that a house could be located in such close proximity to these three landmarks. However, Quahog can't be Providence, because that city is mentioned many times throughout the series as a city separate from Quahog. In fact, in the DVD commentary for episode 9, "Holy Crap," Seth McFarlane admits the Griffins' hometown was originally Providence, but then it was changed to Quahog, a fictional town "just outside Providence."

To complicate things, in episode 18, "A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Bucks," it's shown that Quahog's Annual Clam Day celebration takes place on the shore, the bluffs of which look suspiciously like those at Clay Head on Block Island. To open the festivities, Mayor Adam West tells the story of Miles Chowderbox Musket, who "sailed from Rhode Island," was thrown overboard, and washed up on a beach where he founded Quahog. How does this waterfront location square with everything else we know about the Griffins' hometown?

The writers tease us some more in episode 25, "E. Peterbus Unum." To illustrate their coverage of the "Crisis in Quahog," Quahog 5 News uses a graphic of Rhode Island with a dot marking the location of Petoria, the country founded by Peter on his property in Quahog. But in different shots the dot is shown in at least three different places!

There's even some question as to whether Quahog is a city or a town. Quahog's main municipal building is sometimes called City Hall and sometimes Town Hall. A sign seen on the road in episode 50, "When You Wish Upon A Weinstein," reads "Quahog City Limits."

Another thing that's interesting is that Quahog is apparently located in the West Bay, yet the name is pronounced "ko-hog." West Bay Rhode Islanders generally pronounce this word "kwa-hog." If you want to hear it pronounced "ko-hog" you'll need to visit Rhode Island's East Bay or southeastern Massachusetts.

At this point we find ourselves taking questions such as these far too seriously. We take a deep breath and remind ourselves that it's just a cartoon and the usual yardstick of reality does not apply.

Oh, by the way, a quahog is a kind of clam found along the Atlantic coast. Beads made from the shells (wampum) were once used as a decorative trading item by local Native Americans, then as money by European settlers. The shell of the northern quahog is the official shell of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

Quahog Airport

Quahog Airport shows up a number of times during the series. In "The Thin White Line" Brian gets a job at the airport as a drug-sniffing dog. Peter tries to earn money by pretending to be deaf and selling stickers to waiting passengers in "Mr. Saturday Knight."

The biggest airport in Rhode Island is T.F. Green, named for former governor Theodore Francis Green (1867–1966). While deplaning passengers are greeted by a sign stating, "Welcome to Providence" at T.F. Green, the airport is actually located in Warwick. There are a number of much smaller airports in the state, but they mainly cater to light aircraft.

An interior shot of Quahog Airport in "Road to Europe" shows that the airport has at least forty-nine gates. As of 2002, when this episode aired, T.F. Green had only twenty-two.

Quahog City/Town Hall

Not only is the location of Quahog difficult to pin down, but its style of government is also an issue. In Rhode Island towns are generally run by a board of selectmen, while cities are run by a mayor. (The Town of Johnston is an exception—it has a mayor.) But Quahog's type of government seems to change back and forth at will. For evidence one need look no further than the episode titled "E. Peterbus Unum," in which the seat of local government is shown to be labeled as both a "City" and "Town" hall in different scenes.

We could put that down to an error on the part of whoever is in charge of background art, because the building is most often depicted in subsequent episodes as a "Town" hall. Quahog has a mayor, though: Mayor Adam West. If it weren't for the example of Johnston, we might therefore assume Quahog was a city.

Here's a possible explanation: cities are often towns first, and only become cities when their populations grow to warrant a change in the way the government is organized. A wealthy town might have the wherewithal to build a stately town hall with its name carved into its granite facade; but if the town later became a city, the same building might continue to be used for municipal offices. Such might be the case in Quahog.

Still, that doesn't explain why the same building is shown throughout the series emblazoned with both names. Is it purposeful, or are the writers just sloppy?

Quahog Clam Day

S8E1, "Road to the Multiverse," begins at the Quahog Clam Day festival, where you can play Shoot the Clam, chow down on some stuffed clams, and view the Half Man Half Clam in the sideshow. The closest real-life analog is probably Warren's annual Quahog Festival, which takes place in July. Sadly, Warren's event boasts no clam-based games or hybrid clam freaks. On the other hand, there is never a shortage of clam chowder, stuffies, or clam cakes. Eat enough and you can be, for a short while, your own Half Man Half Clam.

Quahog County Trailer Park

Here's a surprise: we find out in episode 44, "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas," that not only is there a mythical city (or town) called Quahog, Rhode Island, but there's a mythical county with that name, as well. There are only five counties in the Rhode Island of the real world, three of which—Providence, Bristol, and Newport—share a name with a community within their borders.

Quahog 5 News

Family Guy's news show parody is anchored by Tom Tucker and Diane Simmons, and features "Asian reporter" Trisha Takanawa. Rhode Island's local channels are 6, 10, and 12, and while we have our share of recognizable on-air personalities, there are no obvious analogs to those on Family Guy. Or are there? Blogger Jawnny thinks he has an idea: "Though Wikipedia disagrees," he says, "I think that Tom Tucker and Diane Simmons are based on Gene Valicenti and Patrice Wood of Providence's WJAR. Pretty similar, right? Slap a moustache on Gene and he fits the bill. And trust me, as with Tom Tucker and Diane Simmons, there is an occasional hint of mutual contempt when Gene and Patrice are on the air together."

Of course another possible inspiration for Quahog's news source is WPRI Channel 12, the local Fox affiliate. They actually have a helicopter.

S3E8, "The Kiss Seen Around the World," features the Action 5 Chopper, as well as several exterior shots of the Quahog 5 building.

Quahog Hospital/Medical Center

Bodily injury is an ongoing theme in Family Guy. The first serious instance occurs in episode 2, "I Never Met The Dead Man," when Meg hits Peter and William Shatner with the family car, killing Shatner and putting Peter in a generically-named "Hospital" in a full body cast. In episode 24, "He's Too Sexy For His Fat," Peter ends up at the Quahog Medical Center after falling through the roof of the Quahog Lard Factory. When the doctor removes the bandages from around Peter's head, a Mr. Potato Head face is revealed. After rolling in toxic waste in an effort to gain super powers, Mayor Adam West received treatment for lymphoma at Quahog Hospital in episode 49, "Family Guy Viewer Mail #1." In episode 69, "Brian Sings and Swings," it's Peter's turn to hit Brian with a car, sending his best friend to the "Hospital." Francis Griffin dies in the hospital from injuries sustained when Peter fell on him in episode 90, "Peter's Two Dads," and Stewie goes there to have a mole biopsied after falling asleep in a tanning bed in episode 91, "The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou."

There are, of course, a number of fine hospitals in Rhode Island. Only two are "medical centers"—Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket and Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence.

The Quahog Informant

The local newspaper of choice on Family Guy is the Quahog Informant, usually seen in the hands of Brian or Stewie. Rhode Island's newspaper of record is The Providence Journal. The next biggest is probably The Providence Phoenix, which places a larger emphasis on the arts (and boasts a hefty "Adult" section). And there are any number of smaller, town and regional publications. Since we're not given any indication of the editorial bent of the Quahog Informant, it would be difficult to say which paper it most closely mirrors.

It should be noted that in the very first episode, "Death Has a Shadow," the paper is first shown as the Daily Informant, then, in a lapse of continuity, as the Daily Times. An additional lapse takes place in episode 41, "Screwed the Pooch," when Brian is seen reading the Quahog News.

Quahog Pest Control

The Quahog Pest Control building, seen in S2E17, "He's Too Sexy For His Fat," sports a big blue bug on its roof, just like Providence's real-life New England Pest Control.

Rain on Christmas

A Christmas Day establishing shot in episode 44, "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas," shows rain falling on the Griffin home. Every Rhode Islander seeing this nods his or her head in recognition. When it precipitates in winter in Rhode Island, more often than not, it comes down as rain or sleet. Even when it does manage to work up a good snow, the results often don't stay on the ground for long. But there are exceptions, and every few years or so, we get whacked with a nor'easter and everyone has flashbacks to the Blizzard of 1978.

Regardless of the amount of snow expected, though, Rhode Islanders rush to the store to buy eggs, bread, and milk. Can't have a blizzard without French toast, y'know.

Rhode Island Convention Center

The Griffins attend a Star Trek convention at a venue that's labeled as the Providence Civic Center in S7E11, "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven." But the building depicted is clearly the adjacent Rhode Island Convention Center, as seen from the west end of Exchange Terrace.

Salty

Salty is the name of a fisherman who was devoured by the evil fish Daggermouth in episode 38, "A Fish Out Of Water." It's also the name of Walter "Salty" Brine, a beloved local television and radio personality who died in 2004.

Salve Regina University

Lois attends her twentieth year reunion at Salve Regina College in S8E21, "Partial Terms of Endearment." The building where the reunion takes place is a reasonably accurate Ochre Court. The real Salve Regina, in Newport, stepped up from a college to a university in 1991, and Ochre Court has been the heart of the campus since the institution's founding in 1947.

Santos and Carlo/Pasqual

We meet these guys in episode 46, where they appear as a pair of Portuguese fishermen working on Peter's boat. In episode 55, "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire," they are waiters on Peter's yacht, and they interview with Lois to be Stewie's babysitters in episode 58, "8 Simple Rules for Buying My Teenage Daughter." Stewie dismisses them, saying, "We couldn't say 'No Portuguese' in the ad but... no Portuguese." They show up again in episode 62, "Perfect Castaways," when hurricane Ru Paul leaves them stranded on a desert island with Peter.

The Portuguese are one of the largest immigrant groups making up the fabric of Rhode Island's population. Fishing and sailing are both vocations with which the Portuguese are traditionally associated.

Skulls

In episode 28, "Fore, Father," Peter leaves eight skulls in his bed to make Lois think he's still asleep. In the late 1960s, nine skulls were found in a box in the basement of John Brown House. They turned out to be the skulls of nine soldiers who had been captured and massacred by Indians following Pierce's Fight on March 26, 1676. How they came to be in the basement no one knew, but they were soon returned to their original resting place within the Nine Men's Misery memorial in Cumberland.

See also Indian Burial Grounds.

Spooner Street

The Griffins live at 31 Spooner Street. Providence has a Spooner Street, located near the southwestern edge of Roger Williams Park. There is also a Spooner Avenue in Warwick, west of T.F. Green Airport. To the best of our knowledge there are no other roads called Spooner anywhere in Rhode Island. Mayor Adam West's plat map in S2E18, "E. Peterbus Unum," shows that Spooner Street intersects with Westwood Terrace and runs parallel to McFar Lane, and that the house numbers on Spooner Street run from 26 to 38. This is contradicted by a later episode, S2E9, "Road to Rupert," in which a guy named Stanford Cordray lives at #89.

A visitor named Frank dropped us a line to let us know there is a Spooner Hill Road in South Kent, Connecticut, not far from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane's hometown of Kent. The road "circles the north and west side of the South Kent [School] campus and joins with Bulls Bridge Road and South Kent Road to make a ~5 mile loop often used by students for running," Frank explained.

Another reader, Meg, a former RISD grad, hipped us to the fact that Providence's Spooner Street is "the location of the Recycling Center, a place that is very familiar to any RISD student. There is usually a weekly school-run shuttle that takes students there to buy cheap materials to make projects out of."

Stop N Shop

Stop N Shop is either mentioned or shown in a number of episodes. It's a real grocery store chain with locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. This is one of the very rare instances where producers chose to use a real-life business rather than a parody. Do we smell a product placement deal?

Although it's in the context of Massachusetts, Stop N Shop is also mentioned in the opening lines of The Modern Lovers' 1976 two-chord song "Roadrunner" (later covered by the Sex Pistols): "Roadrunner, roadrunner. Going faster miles an hour. Gonna drive past the Stop N Shop, with the radio on."

There's Something About Mary

A parody of the movie poster for There's Something About Mary shows up in episode 14 with Stewie standing in for Mary and Brian as the bandaged dog. Another reference shows up in the title of episode 23, "There's Something About Paulie."

Substantial portions of There's Something About Mary were filmed in Providence in late 1997.

United Skates of America

In S5E3, "Hell Comes to Quahog," Peter and the gang go to United Skates of America to pick up Meg, but end up performing an elaborate disco routine instead. The punny name may sound like a joke the Family Guy writers dreamed up, but it does, in fact, exist. It's actually a chain with a number of locations around the country, including one in East Providence.

Warwick Spa and Bath

In episode 38, "A Fish Out Of Water," Lois drives Meg to Warwick Spa and Bath in an attempt to take her mind off missing spring break. This is the first part of what appears to be at least a three-day trip. Now, most people may know that Rhode Island is the smallest of the states. Fact is, with the exception of Block Island, there are no two points in Rhode Island that are more than an hour away from one another by car. But there's also a running joke that real Rhode Islanders always pack a lunch if they have to drive more than thirty minutes from home, and a trip "across the bridge" requires an overnight stay. So we can interpret this apparent three-day trip, complete with hotel rooms, either as a mistake on the part of writers ignorant of Rhody geography, or else as a subtle tip of the hat to the cultural myth. You decide.

Weekapaug

Weekapaug is a village in Westerly, Rhode Island, but you may know it better as the home of Al Harrington's Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube-Man Warehouse and Emporium, as seen in "Bango was His Name Oh!" (the middle segment of the movie Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story). In "The Former Life of Brian" we learn that Al Harrington also sells Crudely-Painted Not-So-Funny Plywood Cutout Folkart! The fictional warehouse is located on Route 2, which in real life does pass close by Weekapaug.

Wes' Rib House

A bumper sticker is shown in S2E11, "A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Bucks," which reads, "I lost my self-respect at Wes' Rib House." Wes' is a real restaurant that has received many awards for its barbeque. It's located on Dike Street in Olneyville, a neighborhood in Providence.

(And yes, commercials have noticed the potential interpretation of the address. In the early '90s, Wes' radio ads included cheesy celebrity impersonators. One featured James Brown who, at hearing the address, shrieked "Dike Street? Ungh!")

Mayor Adam West

Adam West, voiced by the man himself, is Family Guy's mayor of Quahog. Oddly, he seems more crazy than corrupt—unusual for a Rhode Island politician. Here's a sampling of his wacky antics:

  • Episode 25: Enjoys his taffy.
  • Episode 45: Marries his hand.
  • Episode 49: Gets lymphoma from rolling in toxic waste.
  • Episode 75: Bans gay marriage.
  • Episode 86: Chases pizza guy with cat launcher.
  • Episode 97: Shoots two witnesses in front of other witnesses.

So far, the only example of him being corrupt comes in episode 97, "It Takes A Village Idiot, And I Married One," when he freely admits taking bribes to allow a company to pollute the local lake.

Weybosset Street

Weybosset Street, mentioned as the address of First Fidelity Insurance in episode 52, "Fast Times at Buddy Cianci High," is a real street in downtown Providence. While the insurance company may be real, there is no such company listed on Weybosset Street, let alone in Rhode Island.

Whitesnake

Is one of the show's writers psychic? We learn in S3E5, "And The Wiener Is...," (aired August 8, 2001), that Lois learned to handle explosives while dating the pyro guy from Whitesnake. Less than two years later, during a February 20, 2003, show at the Station Nightclub in West Warwick, pyrotechnics used by the band Great White ignited soundproofing foam on the walls. In the ensuing confusion, scores of people were killed or injured trying to escape the flames. The death toll eventually reached 100 , making it one of the deadliest fires in the United States.

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Plus, in a true Kevin Bacon moment, we received a November 2005 email from Rhode Island bassist Uriah Duffy, who informed us that he had just spent the summer playing with Whitesnake on their 2005 World Tour.

Roger Williams Park

In episode S4E15, "Brian Goes Back to College," Peter and the guys read in the Quahog Informant that Roger Williams Park is being torn down to build a strip mall. There are two parks named for Rhode Island's founder and one of them, Roger Williams Park in South Providence, is far too large to be reasonably turned into a strip mall. The more likely candidate is Roger Williams National Memorial, a stretch of property at the base of College Hill. The demolition of this park to make way for a commercial concern would be especially shocking to Rhode Islanders who know their history, as the park contains the spring around which Providence was founded.

Whichever park the writers had in mind, Peter, Cleveland, Quagmire, and Joe decide to emulate the A-Team and attack the construction crew. It doesn't really work out, and the fate of Roger Williams Park is left unresolved.

James Woods

James Woods is not a park-like area of vertical foliage as depicted in "The Fat Guy Strangler," but a real person, an actor who grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island. He has appeared in numerous films including The Onion Field, Salvador, and Ghosts of Mississippi. And he supplied the voice for a cartoon version of himself in Family Guy episodes "Peter's Got Woods" and "Back to the Woods." Quahog's high school is also named after him.

James Woods Regional High School

Meg Griffin's school, James Woods Regional High School, is named for James Woods, a real movie actor who grew up in Warwick. In S2E14, "Let's Go To The Hop," Peter goes undercover to investigate toad licking and becomes the coolest kid in school. His locker appears to be a multidimensional doorway to the Quahog Train Station. We learn in S2E19, "The Story on Page 1," that the school newspaper is called the James Woods Bugle. The school's namesake visits Quahog in S4E11, "Peter's Got Woods," to protest a proposal to rename the school after Martin Luther King, Jr. Chris Griffin is set to begin attending JWRHS in S4E13, "Jungle Love," but when he learns that he'll have to endure a hazing ritual he runs away to South America. Lois teaches sex ed at the high school in S5E6, "Prick Up Your Ears," and in S5E16, "No Chris Left Behind," Chris is expelled in order to bring up average test scores. To win a bet with Brian, Stewie infiltrates the school in S6E8, "McStroke," and succeeds for a time in becoming the most popular kid in class. In S6E11, "The Former Life of Brian," Brian's son, Dylan, attends.

According to a February 2006 Valley Breeze interview with Family Guy writer Danny Smith, James Woods told Smith that he "laughed so hard that he fell on the floor" when he first heard the name of Quahog's high school.

One of our readers, Justin from Portland, Oregon, believes that the school depicted is superficially similar in design to the high school that James Woods attended in Warwick—Pilgrim High School. Justin also attended PHS, so he's a credible witness as far as visual similarity goes. But whether the show's creators can be credited with working at that level of verisimilitude is another thing. Many high schools are architecturally similar, after all.

Ye Olde Renaissance Faire

In episode 37, "Mr. Saturday Knight," Peter gets a job as a knight at the local renaissance faire. While there are no such events in Rhode Island, King Richard's Faire, in Carver, Massachusetts, is the longest-running renaissance faire in New England.

ZIP Codes

Not only is the actual location of Quahog in doubt, but the writers can't seem to decide what the ZIP Code should be either. In S5E9, "Road to Rupert," we glimpse an envelope addressed to "89 Spooner Street, Quahog, RI 01106." This is the ZIP for Longmeadow, Massachusetts. It's no better in S7E10, "FOX-y Lady," where the number seen on Peter's new driver's license, 00093, isn't even a valid ZIP Code. At least they get the right state in S8E13, "Go, Stewie, Go!," even if the ZIP shown on Karina Smirnoff's fan letters, 02949, is not currently in use by the post office.

This article last edited April 17, 2014

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