Roger the Alien on American Dad! is somehow the most horrible and disgusting and depraved character on television and also one of the funniest and most lovable. In the beginning of the series, he was just the lazy alcoholic who sat around and couldn’t go outside, but as soon as the element of disguises were introduced to his character and his sociopathy followed, he became the main reason to watch the show. He’s had some truly brilliant moments on the series – both hysterically funny and genuinely shocking. Here are the 10 finest Roger the Alien moments in American Dad! history.
10. When he coaxed Hayley into a whole new lifestyle just for some alimony
Who doesn’t love a good plot twist? The plot twist in this episode, where you find out that the married man who Roger is trying to get Hayley to sleep with under the guise of trying to help her be happier and improve her life is actually married to Roger, is a devilishly good one, because that’s when the whole thing begins to unravel. You realize that Roger has been lying and deceiving Hayley since square one. He recognized that she was feeling down and in a rut in her life and offered to help her and that seemed like he genuinely wanted to help her, but really, he was using her personal problems to manipulate her for his own gain. He tempted her to get a job and meet new guys and have sex with a married man, just because the man happened to be married to him and he couldn’t get to his riches unless he cheated on him (it was all very confusing). Literally, Roger will do anything it takes if it will benefit him. He developed a whole life coach persona and set Hayley up with an office job and coaxed her into a whole new way of life and drove her into his own husband’s arms and tempted her to do something she was dead against just to get to his fortune.
9. When he used a harmonica to set the pitch for “Noooo!”
Who among us hasn’t wanted to do this when presented with a household chore that we don’t want to do? The image of Roger, lounging around in his bed in the middle of the day, is all too familiar (maybe without the Oreos on his belly that he’s rolling down into his mouth). We all know really lazy people who can’t be bothered to do anything and arrogantly refuse to pull their weight. But very few of them have whipped out a harmonica in the midst of being asked to do something around the house, played on note on it, and used that note to set the tone for their melodic rejection: “Noooo!” This is one of the most beloved and memorable moments in the history of the show, and American Dad! fans online have analyzed this short clip over and over again, because it may not seem like it, but this quick little joke is layered with little extra bits of comedy. For example, Roger uses the harmonica to set the pitch for his “Noooo,” but when he actually sings the word, he hits the wrong note! With so much to enjoy, this moment offers us comedy at its finest.
8. When he wasn’t entirely truthful with Francine
The main plot of the American Dad! episode “Old Stan in the Mountain” is about Stan getting hexed by a gypsy woman, causing him to age rapidly and appreciate the struggles of the elderly. But the subplot is hilarious, too, with Roger and Francine going to a funeral and Roger having unexpected ulterior motives. The amount of times that Roger tells Francine, “I haven’t been entirely truthful with you,” made it memorable enough in the minds of the show’s fans for it to become a hysterical catchphrase. There aren’t many TV shows who can give us an endlessly endearing line in just one episode, but American Dad! has done this a bunch of different times. There’s the whole Stelio Kontos theme song, “I guess I just picked a whole bouquet of oopsie daisies” from the post-apocalyptic episode where Stan teams up with Jesus Christ, and of course, “Francine, I haven’t been entirely truthful with you.” Every time Roger utters this line, it signifies that the plot is about the thicken a little bit more. Every time he says it and explains a detail that he hid from Francine, the whole story gets deeper and darker and more messed up. It’s brilliant!
7. When he killed a bunch of frat guys over a few dollars
“Virtual In-Stanity” is one of the darkest and yet most hilarious episodes of American Dad! ever made. Roger’s storyline in this episode is hilarious. He takes on a job as a limo driver and picks up some frat guys, drives them around all night, and then charges them twenty dollars for it. The frat boys take off without paying, and that makes Roger mad. These guys are about to realize what a terrible mistake they’ve made, as Roger seeks revenge, hunting them down and killing them one by one. A reviewer for TV Equals explained how the plot strands in the episode were really grim and horrific, but were still hilarious: “Even though the reality of what was happening in both story lines was actually quite sick and twisted, I enjoyed this episode of American Dad!. Putting aside the fact that Stan was trying to seduce his son in exchange for quality father-son time and the fact that Roger was murdering guys for what amounted to $4 per person, I thought the premise was clever and there were a ton of great laughs throughout.” This episode is an example of how American Dad! has gotten a lot darker and more twisted (and by extension, better) in its later years.
6. When he stabbed Sidney Huffman in the back
The American Dad! episode “The One That Got Away” is one of its most truly amazing episodes. It has a compelling storyline with lots of twists and turns that keeps you guessing all the way and it’s rammed with hilarious jokes and lines. It’s the bigger picture that is the most interesting here – rather than being driven by jokes like most Seth MacFarlane cartoons (which there’s nothing wrong with), this one succeeds above most of the others by being driven by plot. Roger investigates a possible identity theft to figure out who’s been using his credit card in the clothes of Charles Bronson from Death Wish. He’s confused to find out that the guy who did it, Sidney Huffman, seems completely harmless. Sidney is the complete polar opposite of Roger in every way. He is kind, sweet, lovable, mild-mannered, caring, considerate, he takes other people’s feelings into account, he has a strict daily routine, he sells Bibles for a living – he’s just the perfect guy. He has a lovely voice in the vein of Dick Powell or James Stewart. What’s even more shocking is when Roger discovers that Sidney is actually one of his personas! It was a really interesting concept to have one of Roger’s personas ‘get away’ and branch out into having his own life, entirely separate from Roger’s. But the episode’s climax is when the most shocking moment arrives. Roger and Sidney meet and decide to become friends – however, as Sidney reaches out for a hug, Roger stabs him in the back.
5. When he got that hipster guitarist from the coffee shop sent to Hell
Sometimes Roger’s big mouth gets him into a lot of unprecedented trouble. For example, one time, he was in a coffee shop and he didn’t like the hipster guitarist who was playing there, so he made a bet with this guitarist that one week later, they would play against each other in a guitar-off. Whoever loses the bet has to leave the coffee shop and never come back. Roger likes the coffee shop and this guy relies on this gig, so the stakes are high. As Roger very quickly realizes, learning to play the guitar like a pro in a week isn’t as easy as he thought it would be. He can’t even figure out how you’re supposed to hold it, let alone all the different chords and notes and sliders and what have you. All hope seems lost until the Devil arrives and offers to exchange Roger’s soul for incredible guitar-playing skills. Roger accepts, misconstruing what Satan means by “soul,” and then he shows up at the coffee shop and plays an amazing guitar solo that has the entire audience mesmerized. The hipster guitarist concedes and asks Roger if there’s any way he can change the bet. Roger asks the guitarist to cover the cost of his lessons, they shake on it, and then the hipster guy disappears into the depths of Hell. And Roger, as usual, doesn’t seem at all fazed.
4. When he spiked six young children with ecstasy
We know that Roger the Alien is partial to a little bit of drugs. Just look at the time when he was Steve’s football coach and sat in his car (well, a car) and snorted some coke before practice. Then he got out of the car, carrying a six pack of beers along with him, and wondered to himself whose car he was just using to do drugs in. That’s funny, but nothing compares to this scene. This moment is easily the most shocking and hilarious of all of Roger’s drug-related scenes. The alien is thrown into a swimming pool by Hayley, where he lands in a sea of children. He climbs out of the pool and yells out, “Are you crazy, pushing me in the pool? I had forty hits of ecstasy in my pocket!” And then he turns back to face the kids in the pool and tells them, “Buckle up, kids,” as their parents watch on, shocked and appalled. It’s the perfect punchline for the gag. That might be the worst thing that Roger the Alien has ever done. He spiked six young children with a ton of ecstasy. There’s no coming back from that. But it is hysterically funny!
3. When he remembered his exploits as Ricky Spanish
We always knew that Roger the Alien was a terrible dude. He doesn’t seem to have any moral compass and he’ll do whatever he wants whenever he wants, as long as it will give him what he wants. He doesn’t care about other people, and if they can help him get his way, then he will exploit them and take advantage of them in any way he can, no matter what effect it has on him. We knew he was awful. But not until he started having flashbacks to his days in his alter ego of Ricky Spanish – the worst human being who ever lived – did we realize just how awful he is. Literally every horrible thing Ricky Spanish did in the slow motion cutaways in this episode with the voice whispering, “Ricky Spanish…” is absolutely disgusting and also freaking hilarious at the same time. It’s the kind of shocking gag that you can’t help laughing at, even though you know it’s terrible. He kicked an old lady in the crotch as a Boy Scout was helping her across the street, he took a picture up a nun’s skirt, he pooped inside someone’s body in the middle of a surgical procedure, he burned down a petting zoo with a flamethrower – we know how utterly horrible these things are, but that doesn’t stop them from making us laugh our asses off!
2. When he got high and killed a bunch of drug dealers
In an early example of a classic American Dad! episode, Roger tricked Steve – a huge Harry Potter fan – into thinking he was in a potions class at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Really, he just dropped him off at a drug den in the inner city where he would be cooking crystal meth and cutting cocaine for a gang of Mexican drug traffickers. It was fun for Roger, one of the smartest and most incredible pranksters in history, until the joke went too far and Steve brought a brick home and the dealers followed him. The whole thing gets knocked into another level of craziness when Roger’s face gets plowed into the coke and it gives him the fuel to kill everyone in the room and save his and Steve’s lives – and when the bathtub comes crashing down, Steve gets to hold onto the illusion that he’s been learning spells and he’s a great wizard. The whole thing plays out so perfectly. Roger getting high by accident and his pupils bulging as he goes on an angry, gun-toting rampage around the living room is definitely one of the most iconic moments featuring the character on the show. Years later, fans still remember it.
1. When he elbowed this guy in the head
This moment is damn gruesome. Holy cow. And it comes completely out of the left field. The writers of American Dad! love to play around with dark comedy. They like to take the usually cheesy moments from the structure of a sitcom episode and give you something totally unexpected. The example here is from the episode “Cops and Roger,” in which Roger joins the police academy, becomes a cop, and falls in with the corrupt crowd within hours of being on the force. Normally, at the end of a sitcom episode, the character who has made a mistake realizes their mistake and gets redemption with a grand gesture in a bittersweet moment. Well, in American Dad!, that bittersweet moment comes when Roger decides to jump down, elbow first, and land on the crooked cop he’s gotten involved with. The Parents Television Council named “Cops and Roger” the “Worst TV Show of the Week” when it first aired, purely based on this moment. They said that the fact that it was so graphic and slowed down and replayed a total of five times “crossed that line” between hilarious and gratuitous. But it’s definitely the most iconic Roger the Alien moment ever.