Stewie Finally Comes Out in ‘Family Guy’s’ Best Episode in Years

Kevin Fallon is a senior entertainment reporter at The Daily Beast. He covers film, TV, music, and all the other wonderful facets of pop culture. He has written for Newsweek, Glamour, The Week, and The Atlantic, among other publications, and attended New York University. He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Access Hollywood, Nightline, and several other TV shows, and is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association. Yes, he is related to Jimmy Fallon, assuming you are referring to the painting contractor from Long Island.

Stewie on Family Guy may be the gayest character on television, which is particularly interesting given the fact that he’s one year old.

For more than 300 episodes of the Fox animated series, the youngest Griffin has been not-so-subtly “coded gay,” a phrase used to describe characters who exhibit traits that hint at being homosexual, without explicitly acknowledging it.

“Explicitly acknowledging” is relative in the case of Stewie and Family Guy, however. This is a show that has had the smarmy toddler leering at men showering through a peephole, speaking at least once an episode in homoerotic innuendo, crushing on male celebrities, fangirling over musical theatre, and even self-referencing being “possibly homosexual.”  

Here’s a compilation video of just some of those moments, for reference:

But on Sunday night, in a landmark episode airing without a commercial break (and guest starring Sir Ian McKellen, to boot), Stewie’s sexuality is finally “explicitly acknowledged.” Does he come out? Well, sort of. The result of the episode, ambiguous as it may be, is nonetheless fascinating. It’s not only one of the best episodes of Family Guy in a very long time, but also one of the most nuanced and edgy coming out episodes of a TV show we’ve seen.

Again, all centering around a 1-year-old.

Of course, Stewie’s age is part of the whole joke, and why his sexuality has been one of the riskier—and in payoff, funnier—running gags of the show. Here’s this toddler from a New England family who speaks in a British accent, with a heightened intelligence and bon vivant’s understanding of the world and culture, but who is, you know, still a toddler: petulant, vulnerable, and emotionally unevolved. Read more via Daily Beast