American Dad: The 10 Best Seasons, According To IMDb (2023)

American Dad! just began its 17th season inJanuary of 2022, running full steam ahead despite the drop in ratings that occurred after TBS acquired the rights from FOX in 2014. There's nostalgic magic to the earlier seasons that has begun to fade in recent years, and although the new season is expected to be full of all the debauchery and black humor of a Seth MacFarlane production, hopes are low for a revamp of its original success.

Related: 10 Best Animated TV Series That Lasted For More Than A Decade, Ranked

However, American Dad! fans still have plenty of content to fillthe Roger-sized holes in their heart as they await all of season 17. IMDb users have faithfully broken down their top picks to help guide the re-watchers out there, with a major preference for theearly FOX era seasons, and all of these selectionsare available to stream on Hulu.

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Season 14 – 7.2 Episode Average

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The fan-favorite “Rabbit Ears” helps to makethis season memorable, as it remains the second most top-rated American Dad! episode on IMDb. Bythe end, Stan realizes he is still in a sitcom—the American Dad! sitcom—and the episode becomes verymeta and distinct in its own right.However, as a more recent release, season 14 arrived toward the tail of American Dad! critical acclaim and much of its storylines are an attempt to re-invigorate the series. There are unique pairings like Francine and Jeff in "Wild Woman Do," and this theme of experimentation continues throughout the season. The specific focus on humorouscircumstances over characterization is done to utilize the well-fleshed-out cast, given that the longevity of the series was so great by this point, and it makes for a few gems among a rather average collection of episodes.

Season 11 – 7.4 Episode Average

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Season 11 marks the end of the American Dad! FOX era. An emphasis onpermanence andidentity coincides with this network change, as Francine contemplates widowship in "Widows Pique," Stan questions his religious beliefs in "Daresong Heavy Industries," and the two both come to terms with their own mortality in "Stan-Dan Deliver" as they discuss retirement plans. It's especiallyinteresting that these topics came to the forefrontwhileAmerican Dad! shifted networks, as if the writers of season 11wanted toevokethe upcoming changes tothe series through these atypical character arcs.

Season 8 – 7.4 Episode Average

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A lot of season 8 experiments with character dynamics. In "American Stepdad," Roger marries Stan's mother and the power in their relationship suddenlyflips, and in "Can I Be Frank with You," Francine infiltrates Stan's boy's club as "Frank," givingthe audience a freshdimension to their relationship after many years of sole husband-and-wife content. "Naked to the Limit, One More Time" is another interesting shakeup, as Roger finally reveals himself to Jeff,and theirburgeoning relationship opens theothercharacters to new interactions because of how group dynamics can shift butterfly-effect style. Season 8 is afforded this opportunityfrom the character developmentof previous seasons, and it's a nice example of how formula-based shows like American Dad! can still mix it up a little.

Season 4 – 7.4 Episode Average

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Season 4 falls in the middle of the American Dad! golden era and it showcases the winning medley that would come to define the show, such as the awkward father-son-bonding seen in “Delorean Story-An” and the ever-reliable body double plot highlighted in “Pulling Double Booty.” And with the switch from traditional to flash animation, there's a feeling of change in the air, as though the show has become something established and resolute. No longer the new kid, American Dad! finds itself in full swing, and season 4 represents the long road of success awaiting the series.

Season 9 – 7.4 Episode Average

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The charm of season 9 comes from its wealth of physical comedy bits, such as the face swap between Roger and Steve in “Introducing the Naughty Stewardesses,” or the clones in “Steve and Snot’s Test-Tubular Adventure.” Much of the plot continues to revolve around Roger’s personas, such as “A Boy Named Michael,” when Roger takes the place of an adopted child, and “News Glances with Genevieve Vavance,” starring his feisty news anchor role, and it reflects the writer’s growing reliance on Roger for changes of pace and character dynamics.

Related: Roger's Funniest Quotes In American Dad, Ranked

Roger's potential as an infinite source of the "guest" role is realized in this season, andthere is an acceptance and representationof his increased gender fluidity that was,at the time, rare to seein an animated sitcom.

Season 7 – 7.5 Episode Average

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Season 7 is a classic with all the typical shenanigans. There’s the Roger overreacting episode of “Virtual In-Sanity,” when he enacts revenge on a cheap-skate fraternity, as well as the usual Stan instant karma after he’s hexed for disrespecting the elderly in “Old Stan in the Mountain.” The other largestandout from this season is “Hurricane!” Asthe first American Dad! collaboration with Family Guy and The Cleveland Show,the episodearrived as a pleasant surprise to afanbase who had been waiting years for anMCU-style crossover. With this formof content, season 7 broke out as a more dramatic rendition of American Dad!, the writers once again tinkering with the best way to keep the series evolving and in the spotlight.

Season 1 – 7.5 Episode Average

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As season 1 is the premiere of American Dad! and the first introduction of each Smith family member, the majority of character development has yet to begin, and many of their interactions feel stiff and strange compared to the dynamicsseen in later seasons. However, the retro animation style and original novelty keep season 1 relevant, and many staples of the series are introduced. These include Roger’s personas, shown in “Rodger Codger,” along with Stan’s conservative and controversial opinions, established in the memorable “Stan of Arabia” and “Homeland Insecurity,” among many others. Itcertainly has its flaws, but season 1 is still an important introduction to the series, and a lot of theclumsinessstems from thedifficultiesof breaking away from Family Guy to stand as a singular creation.

Season 2 – 7.6 Episode Average

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Season 2 expands upon the premises initiated in the first season, continuing to flesh out the characters and the narrative voice of the show. It firmly establishes Roger as an identity-shifter with episodes like “Camp Refoogee” and “An Apocalypse to Remember,” and it also contains the episode “Of Ice and Men,” where Francine learns that Stan is secretly a figure skater and the audience is given their first sense of Stan as a more dimensional character. Instead of just hard-headed and conservative, Stanis shown with a softer side, and it reflects the direction that the series takesto be more well-rounded. There's anemphasis on likability and humor that makes season 2relatable to a wider audience, and it's a welcome respite to the overwhelming machismo of season 1 Stan.

Season 5 – 7.7 Episode Average

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Season 5 is chock full of iconic episodes— “In Country…Club,” when Steve gets PTSD from a Vietnam War Reenactment, “Cops & Roger,” when Roger becomes a corrupt cop, and of course, “Great Space Roaster,” the peak of Roger-takes-things-too-far episodes. It’s American Dad! in full stride, a comedically realized series with all the wit, voice, and characters now expected in the show’s fifth year of running.

Related: 10 Best Shows Like American Dad!

Season 5soars onthe build-up it took to get there, and many of its episodes are given icon status because they standas the peak of American Dad! The series istheright amount of oldto have a solid character foundationbut stillyoung enoughto have originality, and it creates a perfect storm for some especially memorable episodes.

Season 3 – 7.7 Episode Average

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Season 3 takes the top spot with consistently high ratings across the board. Episodes include the beloved and satirized “Tearjerker,” a James Bond spoof, and to no one’s surprise, “The Vacation Goo,” another classic American Dad! With the meat of the series now established, season 3 takes the ball and runs with it. Unafraid, it tackles the issues of Stan’s religious compulsions with “Dope and Faith” and his homophobia in “Surro-gate,” hot button issues that were not widely acceptedback when theepisodes premiered. There was no pressure to support repressedgroups like atheists or LGTBQ+ community members like there is today, and it'swhythe season ultimately ends as one of the largest anchors of the American Dad! series. It's unapologetic, cutting, and innovative, and it deserves all of the praise that IMDb users have heaped upon it.

Next: 10 Animated TV Shows To Look Forward To in 2022

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