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|Family Guy character|
|First appearance||"Death Has a Shadow"|
|Created by||Seth MacFarlane|
|Voiced by||Seth Green|
|Full name||Christopher Cross Griffin|
Christopher Cross "Chris" Griffin is a fictional character from the animated television series Family Guy. He is the middle child of Peter and Lois Griffin and brother of Stewie and Meg Griffin. He is voiced by Seth Green and first appeared on television, along with the rest of the Griffin family, in a 15-minute short on December 20, 1998. Chris was created and designed by MacFarlane himself, who was asked to pitch a pilot to the Fox Broadcasting Company, based on The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve, two shorts made by MacFarlane featuring a middle-aged man named Larry and an intellectual dog, Steve. After the pilot was given the greenlight, the Griffin family appeared in the episode "Death Has a Shadow".
Originally designed as a somewhat gregarious, yet still unintelligent teenager, Chris became more awkward and idiotic over the course of the show. Running gags in the series involving Chris include the existence of an 'Evil Monkey' in his closet (though it is later revealed that the monkey is not evil), him masturbating frequently, and his pedophile admirer Herbert.
Chris' character resembles that of Milt's, 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.
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Chris is an overweight, excitable, outgoing, and well-meaning adolescent boy. Aside from that, Chris deals with problems that any other pubescent male would face: acne, girls, distance from family members, and school. On the Volume 1 DVD Boxset TV guides special Family Guy edition, it is stated that Chris "wouldn't hurt a fly, unless it landed on his hot dog".
Chris is more often than not willing to take drastic measures to get what he wants or needs, particularly when it comes to keeping up with his grades in school. He once believed that he got a bad grade on a mathematics test when he tickled his brain by sticking an army man's rifle into his nose and accidentally puncturing a lobe. He is a faster learner and more well-endowed than his father Peter is, as he has a variety of talents, such as drawing, filmmaking, video editing, etc. He also has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture, films, television series, actors/actresses, tropes, making a film good or bad, etc. In "Patriot Games", when the family moved to London, Chris was the only member of the family who learned how to speak cockney English in a matter of seconds.
Chris can be rather easily fooled, often to the point of being oblivious to his surroundings. In "Lethal Weapons", when Peter and Lois were having a fist fight, Chris cheered for the former, telling him to "kick her ass!"; earlier in the episode, after Chris breaks a vase with his basketball and Lois tells Peter to punish him with a spanking, Peter tells him to "punish [himself]" and subsequently spanks himself. Also, in Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, when the children watch Lois and Peter trying to make out, Chris mistakes it for a fight and says, "I don't know what they're fighting about, Meg, but I think Dad's winning. Go Dad!" In the episode "Trading Places", after Chris accidentally damages Peter's dirt bike, Peter "punishes" him by making him start smoking.
Up until sometime during the sixth season, Chris was more socially active at school than his sister Meg, having various friends, including several girls, while attending Buddy Cianci Junior High School, and later for sometime at James Woods Regional High School. Strangely though, as the series progressed and Meg became more often seen with her group of friends, Chris' social status was stripped to the point of being unpopular and virtually friendless at James Woods Regional High School. While just as socially looked down upon as Meg (though to a lesser extent of being bullied), Chris is notably more confident and far less submissive than his sister tends to be in terms of the ups and downs of adolescence, such as running for Homecoming King, standing up to bullies, lashing against an abusive person, acting against Lois' bossiness, and having an open grudge against his parents' hurtful ways. In "Stew-Roids", Chris popularity increases when the school's queen bee, Connie D'Amico, dates him. At first she does this to be more popular because of "dating a loser", but she begins to see Chris as he really is after he says he likes her. Later in the episode, however, Chris' popularity turns him mean and shallow, and he dumps Connie after making out with two other girls at a house party. Connie and Meg then briefly team up to humiliate Chris by having Neil Goldman show the school a video of him re-enacting a scene from The Silence of the Lambs in which Buffalo Bill dances nude in front of a mirror, resulting in Connie regaining her popularity, while Chris is socially demoted back to an outcast. In "Once Bitten", Chris gains an official friend in Neil Goldman, the resident nerd and Meg's self-proclaimed love interest. Although their friendship is initially a ploy for Neil to get closer to Meg, Neil eventually feels bad for using Chris and returns to him to resume their friendship.
As a running gag, starting in the episode "Dammit Janet!", Chris is regularly tormented by the Evil Monkey, who lives in his closet, though whenever he complains about it to anyone, they often laugh along with him instead thinking it is a joke, after which the monkey appears with a malevolent grimace and points at Chris in a threatening manner. In "Hannah Banana", Chris proves the monkey's existence to the family, though 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 ex-wife cheated on him 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. Chris introduces him to his friends, 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, causes a rift between Chris and Peter when the former realizes that the monkey cares more for him than his father. Eventually the Evil Monkey helps the two patch things up, especially after Peter saves the monkey from Miley Cyrus (who is depicted as an android) who had kidnapped him à la King Kong. After that, the monkey happily moves 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 childlike mind". The monkey's trademark grimace and pointing was the idea of writer Mike Barker.
Identification with Seth Green
Another running gag, starting in the Star Wars remake episode "Blue Harvest", has Chris defending Robot Chicken, a show created by portrayer Seth Green that is broadcast on the Adult Swim block on the children's cable network Cartoon Network. When Peter (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. In the final Star Wars parody, "It's a Trap!", mocking Green's career provokes further anger in Chris, who tries to defend Green by citing Buffy the Vampire Slayer as an example of a success in Green's career, but Carter Pewterschmidt suggests that the popularity of Buffy had been largely over-stated by Entertainment Weekly. 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).
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?", which prompts Chris to say "Fuck you!"
Chris' birthday is February 8, the same day as his voice actor, Seth Green.
- "Brian the Bachelor". Family Guy. Season 4. Episode 7. June 26, 2005.
- "Run, Chris, Run". Family Guy. Season 14. Episode 19. 2016-05-15. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- "Secondhand Spoke". Family Guy. Season 12. Episode 15. 2014-03-30. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- "The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou". Family Guy. Season 5. Episode 11. 2007-02-18. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- "Extra Large Medium". Family Guy. Season 8. Episode 12. 2010-02-14. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- "Brian the Bachelor". Family Guy. Season 4. Episode 7. 2005-06-26. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- "Space Cadet (Family Guy)". Family Guy. Season 11. Episode 9. 2013-01-06. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- "Hannah Banana". Family Guy. Season 8. Episode 5. 2009-11-08. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- "Seth MacFarlane Interview". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 2003-04-21. Archived from the original on 2007-08-24. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- Chris Griffin at Fox.com