Stan Smith (American Dad!)
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|American Dad! character|
|Created by||Seth MacFarlane|
|Voiced by||Seth MacFarlane|
|Full name||Stan Smith|
|Spouse(s)||Francine, Thundercat (Divorced), Joanna (Divorced)|
|Children||Hayley and Steve|
|Relatives||Parents: Betty, Jack and Hercules (Step-Father)
Half brother: Rusty
Non-human housemate: Roger and Klaus
Stan is the father/husband of the Smith family. As the family's breadwinner, he works for the Central Intelligence Agency. Although he once held the position of a case officer at the CIA, he is now a weapons expert for the agency. Stan often makes the mistake of applying the same extreme measures suited and used for his job in his personal life and with his family.
Stan is portrayed as insanely drastic, endangering, rash, insensitive, inconsiderate, dog-eat-dog, and very masculine. Early on in the series, he was heavily emphasized as an insanely bigoted, conservative Republican; however, these particular characteristics dissipated after the first few seasons.
Stan is married to Francine Smith. He is the father of two children by Francine: Hayley and Steve. Also living under his roof are three housemates: Roger, an alien; Klaus, the family's man-in-a-fish-body pet; and Jeff Fischer, who's Hayley's boyfriend turned husband.
Troublesome sides & extreme-measure taking 
Insanely drastic and flagrant in his behaviors, Stan stands out for his conspicuously bad impulses and taking of extreme measures. Rash and impetuous in these moments, Stan's many drastic measures are often taken at a moment's notice with no regard for the potentially disastrous consequences. Stan is all too often inconsiderate and insensitive of others—especially so in these extreme-measure taking moments—showing no regard for the welfare, feelings, or needs of others. As examples:
- In the pilot episode, "Pilot," Stan at one point tackled Hayley down to the ground and with a suddenness upon her entering the Smith home. He then followed this up by frisking her with a full body scanner; in the episode "I Can't Stan You," Stan evicted his entire neighborhood and his own family as his response to overhearing his neighbors gossiping about him behind his back; in the episode "Francine's Flashback," after forgetting his wedding anniversary, Stan arranged to have the last 20 years of Francine's memory erased; in the episode "The Missing Kink," Stan's instant reflex upon Francine's legit accusation that he had misquoted the Bible was to knock her out cold with the Bible and leave her unconscious; in the episode "Bully for Steve," as a means to helping Steve learn how to defend himself in school, Stan became his bully and fully embraced the role by relentlessly tormenting, torturing, and brutalizing his son.
Much in the same manner as Stan takes to extremes, he also has a dog-eat-dog nature, willing to do anything to accomplish his goals—even if it means disaster or harm to others. As examples:
- In the episode "Dope & Faith" when Stan found out one of his former friends was an atheist, he tried getting him to pray by blowing up his home, spreading the bird flu at his restaurant, brainwashing his wife into thinking she was a lesbian, and taking his kids away; in the episode "Four Little Words," Stan framed his wife, Francine, as a murderer all so as not to hear her say the words "I told you so"; in the episode "A Piñata Named Desire," a play devolved into Stan and Roger—the show's devious and depraved alien—desperately trying to outdo each other. During a love scene, Roger was confident that Stan would not be able to kiss him, but Stan more than got past his disgust, and the two competed in increasingly raunchier sexual acts until they were both arrested for public indecency and sexual intercourse on stage; etc.
Stan is also shown to be exaggeratedly virile and masculine. He often bears out his chest, stands up rigidly straight, and possess a deep, thick voice quality. Moreover, he has expressed offensively macho beliefs. For example, he has expressed opposition to showing emotion, associating it with effeminateness. He once told Steve, "Son, feelings are what women have. They come from their ovaries."
Troublesome/redeeming qualities 
Though Stan typically tries to effect a masculine image and repress his feelings, his emotions, sensitivity, and endearing side still manifest themselves from time to time. For example, on several occasions, it has been revealed that even as an adult Stan has desperately desired the fatherly love and attention that he never got as a child, such as in the episode "American Stepdad" when Roger became his stepfather.
At the same time however, his incredibly drastic, dog-eat-dog, and inconsiderate qualities tend to show through in combination with his sensitive and redeeming qualities. For example, Hayley once told Stan, "Dad, I've never seen this side of you. It's so sweet." Stan playfully replied, "Well, if you tell anybody I'll kill you." The two laughed together for a moment before Stan suddenly took a serious, browbeating manner and added, "I'm serious, I will kill you. I will reach into your chest, pull out your beating heart and eat it. All of it, every last bit!" He concluded by affectionately stating, "Well, sweet dreams, angel." As another example, in the episode "Oedipal Panties," Stan went to extremes to keep his mother, Betty, from finding a romantic partner for fear he would lose her. In the episode, Stan was revealed to have captured and detained all of Betty's former lovers to an uncharted island.
Original persona 
In the beginning of the series, it was heavily emphasized that Stan was a highly conservative Republican, bordering on right-wing authoritarianism. He idolized then United States President George W. Bush. Combined with these traits, he was also portrayed as patriotic and Christian. Stan regularly caused havoc, disorder, and great catastrophe with his bigotry, conservatism, patriotism, chauvinism, xenophobia, and paranoia. MacFarlane has likened Stan's original character to Archie Bunker from All in the Family.
Under his initial persona, he also opposed homosexuality and gay marriage for a time. He changed his views on homosexuality, however, in the episode "Lincoln Lover," once becoming associated with the Log Cabin Republicans. Stan's stance on homosexuality further softened when Francine acted as a surrogate mother for gay couple Greg and Terry's baby, in the end realizing what a loving family Terry and Greg were.
After the first few seasons and as the series progressed, Stan was portrayed as growing out of these particular traits and they were dropped from his character. Branching out, he later began displaying his wrongheadedness and penchant for taking to extremes in numerous other ways beyond ultra right-wing politics.
Stan is an official officer of the CIA. Stan has shown expertise and knowledge in hand to hand combat, small arms, covert survillence methods, torture, the ability to fly aircraft and the handling of assault weapons. Even though he has been arrested several times on several felony charges, such as animal cruelty, child pornography (though this was a wrongful accusation), attempted murder, drug trafficking, possession and use of crack cocaine (he almost flees to South America), transporting infected cattle to be slaughtered for food, impersonating a U.S. Marshal, and identity theft, he retains his official position.
Though it is well known he works for the CIA, very little is actually known about what exactly he does. Sometimes he is seen as a field operative, sometimes an undercover agent, sometimes surveillance officer, even presidential bodyguard, but most often he is seen working in a small cork-walled cubicle with a few of his buddies: Jackson, Sanders, Dick Reynolds, and others. Smith's assumption of these different roles may indicate that he works as a sort of troubleshooter; taking on different responsibilities as required. However, since assuming the role of Deputy Deputy Director, his duties do not appear to have changed.
In the episode "Chimdale", it is revealed that Stan Smith has been bald since college and wears a wig (however, this episode contradicts several past episodes, including "Frannie 911," in which Roger scalped Stan while roleplaying as an American Indian and "Choosy Wives Choose Smith," in which Stan's hair grew after spending months on a deserted island). He drives a black Ford Explorer but has also been seen driving a black Chrysler 300C and owns a DeLorean despite not having seen or even knowing about the movie Back to the Future. Stan is also known to have an unexplained fear of seagulls, first mentioned by Francine in "American Dream Factory", although he got over it in "Choosy Wives Choose Smith".
Despite his traditional values, he has been married to two other women. In Saudi Arabia, Stan married an Arabic woman and named her "Thundercat" because he could not pronounce her name, though Stan married her mainly as a servant. At one point Francine divorced Stan so that he could have pointless sex, and he met and married a woman named Joanna, but went back to Francine, though Stan reports that he did consummate the marriage. It is interesting to note that both Stan and Francine admit that each married the other for what Stan describes as selfish reasons. That is, that Stan admits that he married Francine because she was attractive. Francine, for her part, says that she wants someone to take care of her financially and both go so far as to admit this during their vow renewal ceremony to a room full of people. In the episode "Stan's Food Restaurant" it is revealed that Stan is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Stan also enjoys a number of hobbies. Chief amongst these is collecting Franklin Mint Plates as well as a number of creative outlets such as designing and making themed stuffed bears, fly-tying, gun cleaning, wood burning, figure skating, and writing right-wing children's literature. He also enjoys reading books about the things he is doing at that very moment (for example he was reading a book called reading while waiting as he waited for someone). Other examples include how to do a spit take, how to furrow your brow, how to look chastened, and how to read with one hand and anticipating doorbells.
Cameo appearances 
- In the seventeenth season episode of The Simpsons called "The Italian Bob", Stan, along with Peter Griffin from Family Guy, can be glimpsed in a police book of criminal offenders. Peter Griffin is dubbed "Plagiarismo" (Plagiarism) and Stan is dubbed "Plagiarismo di Plagiarismo" (Plagiarism of Plagiarism).
- Stan appeared alongside Avery Bullock in the Family Guy episode "Lois Kills Stewie" and Stewie mistakes Stan for Joe due to their large chins.
- Stan made a brief cameo in Family Guy episode "Excellence in Broadcasting" commending Brian Griffin for becoming a conservative.
- A bobblehead of Stan can be seen in the Mad episode, "Garfield of Dreams".
- Written by David Zuckerman. Directed by Brent Woods. "Threat Levels". American Dad!. Season 1. Episode 2. FOX.
- McFarland, Kevin (2013-04-15). ""The Missing Kink" | American Dad | TV Club | TV". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
- Written by Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker, and Matt Weitzman. Directed by Ron Hughart.. "Pilot". American Dad!. Season 1. Episode 1. FOX.
- "Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 Through 2010 - Vincent Terrace - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
- Norton James."Seth MacFarlane's Third Act". Flak Magazine. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- Written by Rick Wiener, Kenny Schwartz, and Nahnatchka Khan. Directed by Brent Woods. ""Lincoln Lover"". American Dad!. Season 2. Episode 27. FOX.