Before diving straight into our best American Dad episodes, let’s talk a bit about it. American Dad is an animated sitcom that started airing in 2005. It was created by none other than Seth MacFarlane. The show has always been overshadowed by MacFarlane’s other show, Family Guy. However, American Dad has recently seen a bump in its popularity.
American Dad revolves around Stan Smith, a conservative C.I.A. agent juggling family life and keeping America secure in the most ludicrous way imaginable, embarking on a series of bizarre adventures. In contrast to Family Guy, American Dad relies on smart situational humor.
In addition to the funny storyline, American Dad also features a lot of unique and charming characters. These characters include Stan, his wife Francine, liberal daughter Hayley, nerdy son Steve, hidden alien Roger, and talking fish Klaus.
There are countless episodes of American Dad, packed with comedy, however, we have handpicked some episodes for you. So, today we are going to count down the top 20 best American Dad episodes.
Best American Dad Episodes
We have hand-picked some of the best American Dad episodes for you to enjoy. These episodes are good in different aspects.
So let’s jump right into our list of best American Dad episodes.
20. Season 13, Episode 8 (Death By Dinner Party)
The first entry on our list of best American Dad episodes is the 8th episode of season 13. This episode was titled Death By Dinner Party.
Death By Dinner Party is a very unique and hilarious episode. It is basically a parody of the murder mystery genre of storytelling. The episode incorporates many elements from stories by Agatha Christie, however, with a comedic touch to them.
The story of the episode is that Francine throws a murder mystery dinner party despite the fact that the town is being terrorized by a serial killer who targets such dinner parties. This plot sounds hilarious itself.
This episode’s execution is just brilliant and goes to show how much time and effort the writer can put into the content if they want to. Moreover, it actually feels like a murder mystery without compromising the comedy. Overall, it is a very unique and fresh episode.
19. Season 13, Episode 4 (Shell Game)
Another episode coming from the 13th season of American Dad is Shell Game. This episode revolves around Steve as he tries to stop Roger from joining a secretive order of bird egg thieves while birdwatching.
Meanwhile, Francine decides to give an Italian tomato sauce a try. The family, on the other hand, begins to resemble a stereotypical Italian family due to the sauce.
The entire episode features a series of unpredictable yet hysterical events. It is pure gold. Shell Game manages to pack a lot of content in its 22 minute runtime. This episode also features a lot of new and funny characters in the Bird Egg Thieves storyline.
On the other hand, the parallel storyline about Francine and the Italian sauce is pure bliss to watch. It is by far one of the most absurd stories this show has covered. It is quite bizarre to see the family act like a stereotypical Italian family but that’s also what makes this episode so funny.
18. Season 6, Episode 11 (A Piñata Named Desire)
Taking the 18th spot on our list of best American Dad episodes is “A Piñata Named Desire.” This episode is very whacky and over-the-top. However, it is definitely entertaining till the very end.
In this episode of American Dad, Roger encourages Stan to take an acting lesson, but things get heated when they both audition for the same character. This leads to a humorous battle between the two.
This is definitely one of the best American Dad episodes due to the satisfactory battle between Stan and Roger. Moreover, Roger as an acting coach is very hilarious to watch. A Piñata Named Desire is filled with jokes and is also quite a unique episode.
Overall, this episode is nonsensical, hilarious and a treat to watch. It features all the elements that make American Dad unique.
17. Season 5, Episode 12 (May the Best Stan Win)
May the Best Stan Win is the 12th episode of season 5 of American Dad. We see a cyborg Stan from the future traveling to meet present-day Stan. He warns him of the upcoming Robot Rebellion, however, it was all just a facade so he can win Francine over.
The best way to describe this episode is “Terminator meets Valentine’s Day. The whole part of this episode involving Stand and Cyborg Stan is very intriguing and had some very humorous moments.
However, the real star of this episode is the storyline involving Roger. Roger pretends as a director in an attempt to remake THE GOONIES with Steve and his three best pals as the main characters, however, everything goes wrong.
In this episode, the storyline involving Stan was actually just cute and sweet, however, most of the humor was injected by the storyline with Roger. It gave some of the funniest moments and quotes in this particular season of American Dad.
16. Season 11, Episode 17 (Criss-Cross Applesauce: The Ballad of Billy Jesusworth)
Most of the best American Dad episodes feature the rivalry between Roger and Stan and this entry is no different. Criss-Cross Applesauce is the 17th episode of season 11.
In this episode, Roger and Stan go head-to-head with each other in a basketball game. Meanwhile, Steve narrates his entire day in the style of “Trapped in the Closet” by R Kelly. Both of these plotlines serve some of the most hilarious moments.
In the first storyline, we see Stan and Roger having a feud over basketball. This rivalry reaches new heights, with Shaq and Yao Ming both becoming engaged in it. Seeing them involved in this storyline heightens the humor.
However, the second story is completely absurd, whacky, and plain hilarious. It is a musical parody of “Trapped in the Closet” which is a very unique choice. The situations keep getting crazier as the episode progresses in this part of the storyline. You’ll definitely be rolling on the ground with laughter.
15. Season 6, Episode 8 (For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls)
Christmas episodes in sitcoms are always a treat to watch. The 8th episode of American Dad’s season 6 is no different. For Whom Sleigh Bell Tolls is one of the best American Dad episodes that is based around a holiday.
In this episode, Santa Claus is inadvertently shot and killed by Stan and Stev. However, he is resurrected by his elves and is hell-bent on vengeance on the entire Smith family. This entire plot sounds hilarious and the execution was just spectacular.
There have been other Christmas episodes in American Dad, however, this one takes the cake. It has a unique storyline with a lot of Christmas-themed humor. Moreover, it features all the characters in their best form.
Overall, For Whom Sleigh Bell Tolls is just pure entertainment. There are no lessons or values to be learned here; just sit back and watch.
14. Season 6, Episode 1 (100 A.D.)
The 6th season seems to feature many episodes that can be considered the best American Dad episodes. The 6th season’s pilot was American Dad’s 100th episode. It was titled 100 A.D.
100 A.D. revolves around Stan who offers a bounty to anyone who can stop Hayley and Jeff from running away together. This episode is basically a payoff to the relationship between Hayley and Jeff that has been ongoing for many episodes.
It is actually a two-part episode but the first part (this episode) has all the good stuff. The screenplay appears to have been masterfully worked through and perfected in order for this crucial episode to be as successful as possible.
Furthermore, since it’s the 100th episode it offers a lot of fan service as well. They actually killed off a hundred characters. It celebrates the entire show to the fullest and showcases all the talent involved with it.
13. Season 9, Episode 3 (Buck, Wild)
Buck, Wild is the 3rd episode of season 10 of American Dad. In this episode, Steve is anxious to prove that he is manly enough, so he joins Stan, Bullock, and the rest of the CIA on their hunting trip. Meanwhile, Roger and Klaus, have embarked on a cross-country road adventure.
The heart of this episode is the chemistry between Steve and Stan. This episode proves the fact that Steve tries his best to make Stan proud of him. Moreover, it showcases how well the writers can handle this father-son duo apart from comedy.
Furthermore, this episode features some highly comedic moments such as Steve raising the deer’s children as if they were his own, resulting in some hilarious parent jokes.
Roger gets his own B storyline in this episode. His whole story is basically a humorous road trip. Overall, it ranks among one of the most fun and best American Dad episodes.
12. Season 7, Episode 1 (Hot Water)
This entry on our list of best American Dad episodes is titled Hot Water. It is the first episode of season 7 of American Dad. Hot Water features a seemingly innocent narrative about the Smiths purchasing a hot tub that quickly morphs into a horrible nightmare in which the hot tub seeks to murder everyone. Now, let that SINK in.
The entire episode just proves how crazy the show can get when the creative team behind it allows it to. It features CeeLo Green as a hot tub that talks and sings. The entire episode is presented as a musical
Hot Water is an overall great start to the 7th season of the show. It is probably the most different episode in the show. This episode also features a ton of pop-culture references and jokes. Moreover, the ending is the cherry on top and will make you laugh a lot.
11. Season 8, Episode 6 (Adventures in Hayleysitting)
The 6th episode of Season 8 is titled Adventures in Hayleysitting. The storyline follows Stan and Francine who decide to leave Steve with Hayley when his babysitter is unavailable. However, Steve goes away to a party to prove he isn’t a wimp.
Adventures in Hayleysitting is one of the best American Dad episodes that focus on Steve. It also packs a lot of humor. Moreover, this episode features a guest appearance by Charlie Day. His scenes will have you rolling with laughter.
The episode ends with a very bizarre twist and it comes out of nowhere. However, it fits so perfectly and is a satisfying conclusion to the madness-filled episode. Overall, it is a good and well-written episode.
10. Season 7, Episode 5 (Virtual In-Stanity)
The entry to kick off our top 10 picks of the best American Dad episodes is Virtual In-Stanity. Virtual InStanity’s premise is quite disturbing yet hilarious.
This episode features Stan who makes an attractive high school girl avatar so that he can be more involved in Steve’s life. We see Stan essentially dating and being intimate with his son. This is quite frankly one of the most absurd stories this show has to offer but it’s still funny.
Meanwhile, Roger and Klaus launch a limo service, and a group of hungover frat boys refuses to pay their $20 fee. As Roger murders the five guys, the show becomes hilarious and kind of violent.
Overall, Virtual In-Stanity is a brilliant episode. Furthermore, it features an appearance from Buffy herself (Sarah Michelle Gellar).
9. Season 5, Episode 18 (Great Space Roaster)
Bully For Steve features Roger’s birthday. He requests to be roasted, but after being devastated by the jokes, he promises to put his life back together. However, things move from bad to worse when Roger sets out to kill the family.
This entry on our list of best American Dad episodes is very over-the-top and disturbingly hilarious. The episode was especially entertaining since it had a story that was distinct from the majority of the season’s episodes. Moreover, it had numerous references to great films such as Alien and Apollo 13.
All the episodes involving the violent side of Roger can easily become the contenders for the best American Dad episodes and this one is no different. The entire episode is a continuous ride of giggles and laughter. You will definitely enjoy it.
8. Season 11, Episode 11 (The Unincludeds)
Another Roger-centric episode making its way on our list of best American Dad episodes is The Unincludeds. However, the main story of this episode isn’t about Roger. But his story is the main highlight of this episode.
The main storyline follows Steve and Snot confronting some time travelers to throw an uncool kids’ party. Meanwhile, when a server fails to complement Roger’s order, he becomes irritated. No episode showcases Roger’s narcissistic side better than this.
The Unincludeds works quite well. All the humorous elements blend together nicely to give us a comedy-packed episode. Moreover, the episode has very good pacing and will keep you invested.
7. Season 9, Episode 6 (Independent Movie)
American Dad’s episode titled Independent Movie is pure satirical gold. It is a parody of the whole independent film genre. Moreover, the episode not only copies the narrative style of independent movies but also their visual style.
The episode revolves around Steve imagining himself and the boys as the stars of an indie “coming of age” film as they accompany Snot on a cross-country trip to his father’s burial.
American Dad is quite distinct when it comes to parodying something. The creative team behind the show understands how important it is to actually embrace the vibe of whatever they’re parodying.
Independent Movie contains some meaningful moments, analogies that make you think, and corny ideas that make you dismissive of independent films. Overall, this episode is definitely one of the best American Dad episodes. It doesn’t feature an insane amount of comedy but it is unique.
6. Season 8, Episode 18 (Lost in Space)
This episode’s name is quite self-explanatory. In addition to being a sci-fi parody, the episode focuses on the relationship between Jeff and Hayley. This episode is basically a payoff to an earlier episode.
Earlier in the series, Jeff was pushed into an alien aircraft by Roger that took him to another Galaxy. Jeff’s story continues in this episode. It focuses on Jeff’s attempt to leave the planet and go back to Earth.
Even though it does not involve any other members of the Smith family, this episode is generally great. It has a whacky musical number. It features a guest appearance by none other than Sinbad who teams up with Jeff.
This episode establishes Jeff as a really good character. He is the star of this episode and it is no less than any other episode.
5. Season 12, Episode 10 (The Two Hundred)
Earlier on this list of best American Dad episodes, we discussed the 100th episode of this show. American Dad has reached another milestone with the 10th episode of season 12 simply titled The Two Hundred. The episode, as you can guess, marked the show’s 200th episode.
In this episode, we follow Stan in a post-apocalyptic world as he explores and meets other survivors.
As expected, this episode also contains a lot of fan service. The ending is incredible and quite satisfying. You can see how much work they’ve put into this episode to make it memorable and unique.
If you had stopped watching the show then this episode will make you fall in love with it all over again.
4. Season 8, Episode 10 (Blood Crieth Unto Heaven)
Now, this entry on our list is quite divisive. However, the episode works best as a Seth MacFarlane experimental animated short.
The episode is the show’s stage theatrical version deals with Stan’s suppressed childhood memories of his father abandoning the family. The entire episode is presented as a stage production which is quite unique and refreshing.
Blood Crieth Unto Heaven is probably an answer to everyone who said that American Dad doesn’t have intelligent writing. The entire play ends in tragedy and mocks the heaviness of other theatrical dramas, yet it does so while simultaneously telling a captivating story.
It is definitely not a typical and straightforward episode. However, the entire episode stands out from all the other episodes of the show. Despite its divisive feedback, it is one of the best American Dad episodes.
3. Season 5, Episode 14 (Cops and Rogers)
Kicking off the top 3 entries of our best American Dad episodes is the 14th episode of season 5. It is titled, Cops and Rogers. It revolves around Roger enrolling in the Police Academy in order to show his manhood to Stan. However, it won’t be long until he becomes a crooked officer.
This episode has a lot of visual gags and humor. The main focus of this episode is Roger and he doesn’t disappoint even for a moment. Roger rising the ranks from trainee to cop, to crooked cop is a treat to watch.
Cops and Rogers shows how letting Roger lose can always lead to entertaining results. It is a hilarious ride from start to finish.
2. Season 9, Episode 10 (Familyland)
The second-best American Dad episode is titled Familyland. It is the 10th episode of season 9 of American Dad. The reason why it is so high up the list is the way it changes the normal template.
In this story, the Smiths go on a family vacation to a medieval-style amusement park, where they are kidnapped when the park’s frozen owner is accidentally exposed.
The episode parodies and jokes on Disneyland while also parodying some escape movies like Escape From New York. It is very funny and touches on some serious topics as well. Overall, this episode is fun and full of entertainment.
1. Season 6, Episode 9 (Rapture’s Delight)
The undisputed best episode of American Dad is Rapture’s Delight. It is another Christmas episode. The episode features Stan and Francine who are left behind after the Rapture and end up playing pivotal roles in Jesus Christ’s battle against the Antichrist.
It is the greatest example of smart and thoughtful writing in American Dad. It turns the biblical manuscript into a Mad Max styled storyline.
Overall, this amazing episode is jam-packed with action, wonderful characters, and a compelling plot. Rapture’s Delight is the most unique and entertaining episode of American Dad. It ranks high in most cases.
Ranking the best episodes of American Dad purely depends upon the viewer’s taste. However, we have picked the most entertaining and unique episodes of American Dad.
So these are our picks for the best episodes of American Dad. We hope you like these episodes and give them a watch.