‘Family Guy’: Is Quahog, Rhode Island a Real Town?

The animated television series Family Guy is currently in its 19th season, airing on Fox for more than two decades. Loyal viewers can’t seem to get enough of the controversial content and vulgar parodies.

The long-running comedy series has earned its place in pop culture history. Admittedly, it’s not every day that a baby with a football-shaped head, who has the mind of a killer, partakes in daily conversation with his dog.

The setting of the show is in the beloved town of Quahog, Rhode Island. With plenty of restaurants, sporting venues, and city buildings, it seems it may be an actual location. There are so many references to local attractions that fans can’t help but wonder if it is a real town.

‘The Family Guy’ is a wacky look into the world of Peter Griffin

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Despite its often inappropriate adult content, the hit animated series has won eight Emmy Awards. Created by Seth MacFarlane, the first controversial episode aired in 1999 following Super Bowl XXXIII. The politically incorrect program caught the attention of viewers but could not secure a lucrative time slot to keep audiences engaged.

It wasn’t until 2003 that Family Guy attracted a cult-like following. Entertainment Weekly explained that Fox decided to release the first 28 episodes of the animated series on DVD. Nearly 400,000 copies sold within the first month.

Characters from 'Family Guy'
Characters from ‘Family Guy’ | FOX/Getty Images

The animated series revolves around the zany adventures of the dysfunctional Griffin family, led by parents Peter and Lois. Meg is the social outcast older child, and Chris is her awkward older brother.

Stewie is the maniacal youngest child that IMDb describes as a “genius baby bent on killing his mother and destroying the world.” Then, there is Brian, the talking dog that “keeps Stewie in check while sipping martinis and sorting through his own life issues.”

The Griffin family lives in Quahog, Rhode Island

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The Griffin family hails from Quahog, Rhode Island, a small town located near Providence.

The local high school, named after actor James Woods, was renamed in the season finale of Season 17. According to Yard Barker, it was an attempt to “stick it to James Woods!” It is now called Adam West Regional High School, in honor of the deceased Batman actor.

Regardless of the school’s name, the building does not exist. Quahog is a fictional town developed in the mind of the animated series creators. MacFarlane attended the Rhode Island School of Design and is very familiar with the smallest state in America.

Several of the locations in the popular sitcom are based on real places in and around Providence. There are so many references to unique attractions in the Ocean State that Boston.com reports The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council created a Family Guy tour.

The Providence skyline features One Financial Plaza, 50 Kennedy Plaza, and the 1927 Bank of America Tower. The buildings are visible from the backyard of the Griffin house on Spooner Street, an actual location. The big blue termite seen on the show is an iconic part of Rhode Island culture and is, in fact, very real. 

Lois comes from the wealthy Pewterschmidt family. Their fictional home, Cherrywood Manor, is fashioned after the real Breakers estate in Newport, built by the Vanderbilts in 1893. The fictional Nifty Fifties Diner, often frequented by the Griffin family, resembles the Modern Diner located in Pawtucket. McCoy Stadium mirrors the immaculately restored baseball venue, which is home to the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Is Quahog, Rhode Island a real place?

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The town of Quahog is as fictional as the characters in the long-running animated series. But, the references to the Rhode Island landmarks hold a place near and dear to the hearts of local residents.

Even fans from outside the small New England town have a passion for bringing Family Guy to life. There is a bar in Dallas, Texas, that has turned their establishment into the show’s favorite watering hole.

The Drunken Clam, where Peter likes to throw a few back, is alive and well at The Whippersnapper Bar. Taking reality to a whole new level, bar owners changed the building’s exterior to look exactly like The Drunken Clam. The bar, filled with Family Guy memorabilia, has a menu that includes Pawtucket Patriot Ale, which according to Slash Film, is “really a Miller High Life with a fake label on it.”