Peter Griffin is a fictional character and the protagonist of the animated television series Family Guy. Peter is the patriarch of the Griffin household and the central character in the show. He is married to Lois, and is the father of Meg, Chris, Stewie, and Bertram. His voice, which has a thick Boston accent, is performed by the show's creator and lead writer, Seth MacFarlane.
The character is Archie Bunker without the knowledge of what he's doing. He has the mind of a child, basically, and a source of big laughs is when he doesn't realize he's doing something inappropriate.|||Producer Seth MacFarlane|interview in The Advocate
Throughout the series, he regularly mentions that he has had many different odd jobs. He has also had a few periods of unemployment. He has also had a number of jobs that only lasted for one episode, such as becoming a jouster, or playing for the New England Patriots, before going back to his usual jobs. Also in a flashback he has said that he was a prison entertainer and started to dance nude and sing Milkshake.
In the episode "Da Boom", the feud starts over a trivial incident where the chicken gives Peter an expired coupon at the grocery store. The fight resumes in "Blind Ambition"; in "No Chris Left Behind", the chicken is identified as "Ernie", and he is given a wife named Nicole, also a giant chicken. Ernie makes a brief, non-fighting appearance in the time travel themed episode "Meet the Quagmires", in which Peter unwittingly assaults the giant chicken at an 80s dance, retroactively providing Ernie with a grudge against Peter. The chicken is planned to appear in the Star Wars parody episode "Something, Something, Something Dark Side," as the infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett, nemesis of Peter's Han Solo.
Ernie appears in the video game as the final boss.
An I.Q. test confirms that his low intellect places him in a category below mentally retarded, but above Creationists. His mental shortcomings have resulted in various accidents and deaths to other people; most notably to his surrogate father Francis Griffin, and on multiple occasions, his wife Lois Griffin. His attention span is also incredibly short; when he discovers his mental retardation in "Petarded", he closes his eyes while driving, wishing "it would all be over" (hitting Tom Tucker with his car instead).
Peter also has a habit for proving his masculinity, not wanting Lois to fall for another man. He is incredibly jealous of other attractions Lois has in her life, an attitude that tends to get out of hand in most cases; in "Stuck Together, Torn Apart", he goes so far as to punch his reflection in the mirror after Lois comments on his reflection being handsome. In "Brian Sings and Swings", he tells Lois, "Remember what I always tell you, if I come home in the middle of the day and catch you having sex with someone, I'll kill you both" (though when he catches her in bed with Bill Clinton in "Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey", he takes no hostile actions whatsoever). However, he seems not to mind the fact that she, of course, slept with other men before they met, just so long as she doesn't do so again; he is particularly proud of the fact that she once slept with Gene Simmons of Kiss when he discovers this in "Road to Europe", but forbids any sexual actions between the two now as seen in "Don't Make Me Over".
Peter seems to find it frustrating when he is "wrong" while Lois is "right" about issues all the time, and apparently takes these issues competitively, just waiting for the day she slips up. This day finally comes in the episode "PTV" after settling a conflict with Lois about censorship on television that she appeared sure to win. In an ironic twist that forces Lois to concede defeat, Peter celebrates by opening a secret compartment within the ceiling containing balloons, streamers, confetti, and a banner reading "PETER'S RIGHT!"; Peter then claims that he set up the stall 15 years ago, suggesting that this was a pretty major issue for him for quite some time (there was also a clown in the stall, but he had since died after being in there for so long). Curiously, in the non-canon episode "Da Boom", after Lois admits he was right about the end of the world and she was wrong, Peter makes no reference to the compartment, though he had been bragging about his "victory" for two weeks straight.
Among the members of his family, he tends to treat Meg with the least amount of respect; in "Peter's Daughter", for example, he reminisces to various pranks he played on her, including tripping her, flicking her nose with his finger, and even shooting her at one point. He is known to embarrass her at times and with things that mean the most to Meg; the entire family once huddled together to read her diary and continues after Meg catches them. However, later episodes of the series show Peter developing greater respect and unity between himself and his daughter (such as in "Hell Comes to Quahog", "Road to Rupert" and the aforementioned "Peter's Daughter"), though these moments tend not to last for very long.
Occasionally Peter soils himself, prominently featured in "Death Lives" and "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein". After he does these accidents, he never seems to notice that he did it due to his behavior.
Episodes like "Mr. Saturday Knight", "Model Misbehavior", "Deep Throats", and "Peter's Two Dads" show that Peter has used various drugs such as LSD, ecstasy, marijuana, steroids, cocaine, and crack cocaine, but has managed to avoid incarceration and long-term effects from the use of these drugs.
In the episode "McStroke", Peter suffered a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body after eating thirty hamburgers at once. For the next three months he walked with a limp as his arm and leg hung lifelessly from his body, and his eye and part of his mouth slid down his face, giving him a speech impediment. This damage was reversed completely after a five minute session at a stem cell research facility (to which he exclaims "Why are we not funding this!?").
In the episode "Peter Griffin: Husband, Father...Brother?," Peter discovers the Griffins had a pre-Civil War era African American ancestor named Nate Griffin, a slave owned by his wife's ancestors (this is the first of several episodes which have Peter related to Lois’ family in various ways). Nate Griffin is later shown again in the "Untitled Griffin Family History", where it was revealed that he had children with one of Lois' ancestors; this implies that Peter and Lois are distant relatives. In the same episode, Peter explains his relationship to the creator of the wheel, savior of the Israelites Moses Griffin, silent-movie star "Black-Eye" Griffin, Hitler's brother, Peter Hitler; in "Peter Griffin: Husband, Father...Brother?," Peter also claims a philosopher ancestor named Thomas Griffin, who used existential pondering as an excuse to his wife to remain unemployed. In "E Peterbus Unum," Peter claims he is descended from Union General Ulysses S. Griffin who beat Robert E. Lee in a drinking contest and ultimately ended the Civil War. Many of these historical characters have wives or girlfriends bearing an obvious resemblance to Lois, family resembling the Griffins, and associates resembling Peter's neighbors.
While not a major theme in the series, Peter self-identifies as black in subsequent episodes; in the episode "Peter's Two Dads", however, Peter later discovers he is the biological son of an Irishman named Mickey McFinnigan.
In the episode "Peter's Two Dads", Peter discovers that his real father is not the late Francis Griffin, the stern Roman Catholic Irish American patriarch of the first five seasons, but an Irishman named Mickey McFinnigan, a town drunk who resembles his son in every aspect, save red hair and an aged face.
Another episode, "Padre de Familia", Peter discovers that he was actually born in Mexico, due to his mother finding out that she was pregnant with him and had gone there to get an abortion, but was born and she decided to keep him. However, when returning back to the states she was afraid of being judged, she never filled out the paper work to make him a citizen, thus making him an illegal immigrant.
Peter's middle name "Löwenbräu" is actually the name of a brand of German beer, which directly translates to "Lion's Brew." This would seem appropriate, since the creature of his surname's namesake is part-lion and Peter's favorite beverage happens to be beer. However, the phonetics of such a name appear to be the writers' highbrow use of the term "Lowbrow", in association with Peter's comedy style.