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Chris Griffin

Chris Griffin

Christopher Cross "Chris"[1] Griffin is a fictional character from the animated series Family Guy. He is the son and middle child of Peter and Lois Griffin, brother of Stewie and Meg Griffin. Chris is voiced by Seth Green.

PersonalityEdit

Chris was born February 8th. Chris deals with the problems that most pubescent boys face: acne, girls, and school. Chris has been known to feel self-conscious about himself, especially his weight. In fact, on the Volume 1 DVD Boxset TV guides special Family Guy edition, it stated that Chris "wouldn't hurt a fly, unless it landed on his hot dog". Due to Chris' weight, he was referred to as an "Elephant Child" when he was born. Chris is also willing to do something as drastic as to convert to Judaism in order to do better in school, specifically math. He once believed his low grades in mathematics were caused when he tickled his brain by sticking an army man's rifle into his nose and (presumably) accidentally puncturing a lobe. Chris enjoys drawing and once almost became a famous artist in New York.

Chris also has an apparent physical attraction to his mother, Lois, which was noted in the commentary of Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, near the end of the movie Peter comments about "The incest episode". It is also seen in "E. Peterbus Unum" (where he hands Meg a note that reads "I think Mrs. Griffin is hot") and in "Model Misbehavior" (where he says that he will masturbate to pictures of her). In one episode, Chris punched Lois Griffin in the face. Chris, like his father, is obese, has a low IQ and no common sense. While Chris' low intelligence level is often viewed as a heredity commonality with his father, it is mentioned in the episode "Peter's Daughter", that it is due to Lois abusing alcohol and smoking while pregnant with Chris and "chickening out half-way through" a clandestine abortion. Also, various storylines give him autistic savant talents, such as artistic ability, and detailed knowledge of film and TV actors. Both he and Peter have also demonstrated profiency in the use of American Sign Language. Occasionally he exhibits unexpected, uncharacteristic insights, such as when he gives Peter and Lois a detailed and articulate lecture on the effects and disadvantages of marijuana. He has also demonstrated an ability to quickly adapt to new cultural surroundings. For example, when the family moved to London in "Patriot Games", Chris was the only member of the family who was able to quickly learn and speak cockney English.

Chris is usually depicted as naive to the point of blamelessness. However, when Peter and Lois were having a fist fight, Chris cheered for Peter, telling him to "kick her ass!"; earlier in the episode, after Chris breaks something and Lois tells Peter to punish Chris, Peter tells Chris to "punish himself" and subsequently spanks himself. Also, in Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, when Lois and Peter are trying to make out, the children mistake it for a fight and Chris says, "I don't know what they're fighting about, but I think Dad's winning. Go Dad!" In the episode "Trading Places", after Chris accidentally damages Peter's dirt bike, Peter "punishes" Chris by making him start smoking.

Seth Green described Chris as "completely socially awkward", "very easily satisfied and highly distractible [...] a simple, strong boy".[2]

Evil MonkeyEdit

In a running gag, starting in the episode "Dammit Janet!", Chris is regularly tormented by an evil monkey who lives in his closet, though whenever he complains about it to anyone, they don't believe him (a reference to the iconic tale of the Boy Who Cried Wolf) and often laugh him off instead, after which the monkey appears with a malevolent grimace and points at Chris in a threatening manner. However, in "Hannah Banana", Chris finally manages to prove the monkey's part in the show to the family, and even ends up becoming friends with him after the monkey (who appears not to be evil at all, but just a poor creature who was depressed after his wife cheated with another monkey) helps him write out a book report and pass. The simian explains his frightening mannerisms as a result of various conditions and unintended actions. They hang out with each other in fun places, and the monkey helps Chris in his studies in school, which Peter does not do. This, however, caused a rift between Chris and Peter when Chris realized that the monkey cares more for him than his father. Eventually the monkey helped the two patch things up, especially after Peter saved the monkey from Miley Cyrus (who is depicted as an android) who had kidnapped him à la King Kong. After that, the monkey happily moved out of Chris' closet to live in the closet of Tom Tucker's son Jake, where the cycle will start in a new beginning, as Jake himself experiences difficulty with his father.

In a 2003 interview, Seth MacFarlane stated that the writers thought it would be funny to give Chris a childhood fear that is actually real, since he has "a child-like mind".[3] The monkey's trademark grimace and pointing was the idea of writer Mike Barker.[3]

Identification with Seth GreenEdit

Another running gag, starting in the Star Wars remake episode "Blue Harvest", has Chris defending Robot Chicken, a show created by portrayer Seth Green which is broadcast on the Adult Swim block on the Cartoon Network cable network. When Peter (Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane) denigrates that show in "Blue Harvest", Chris loses his temper and storms off. Carried on in "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side", though Chris attempts to keep a cool head, he storms off again when Peter offers to tell the story of Without a Paddle, a critically panned film that features Seth Green. Both these scenes happen in the framing device of the episode and not in the interior Star Wars narrative, in which Green portrays Chris as Star Wars hero Luke Skywalker.

Outside of the Star Wars-themed episodes, "Road to the Multiverse" plays on the running gag, but with Stewie (MacFarlane once more) provoking the Robot Chicken Universe counterpart of Chris by asking "How does it feel to be on a major network for thirty seconds?" In the final Star Wars remake, "It's a Trap!", mocking Green's career provokes further anger in Chris; Chris tries to defend Green by citing Buffy the Vampire Slayer as an example of a success in Green's career, but Stewie suggests that BuffyTemplate:'s contemporary popularity had been largely over-stated by Entertainment Weekly and other commentators. These taunts give Chris — in character as Skywalker — the conviction to fight back against Stewie/Darth Vader and Carter/Darth Sidious (both played by MacFarlane). In the closing scenes of the episode's framing device, Chris gets to reverse the joke by poking fun at Seth MacFarlane's career, going so far as to suggest that Family Guy is a rip-off of The Simpsons; MacFarlane is, however, defended by the characters whom he voices (Peter, Brian and Stewie).

Character originsEdit

Chris' character resembles Milt, the son of the main character Larry Cummings in The Life of Larry, one of the animated short films created by Seth MacFarlane at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995 that led to the development of Family Guy.Template:Citation needed

Chris was originally given a "punk" image, according to creator Seth MacFarlane's DVD commentary tracks. He wore earrings, and his painful awkwardness was not as emphasized as it is later in the series.Template:Citation needed

Chris' voice was based on Ted Levine's performance as Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb in The Silence of the Lambs. Green admittedly did an impression of the character during his audition for the role of Chris.[4] His main inspiration for Chris' voice came from envisioning how "Buffalo Bill" would sound if he were speaking through a PA system at a McDonalds.[5] In the episode "Stew-Roids", Chris re-enacts a scene from the movie where Buffalo Bill dances in front of a mirror.

ReferencesEdit

  1. In Brian the Bachelor, Lois proved this when she yelled at Chris for lifting Brian's dates shirt up
  2. Template:Cite web
  3. 3.0 3.1 Template:Cite web
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  5. Template:Cite video

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