Peter Löwenbräu Griffin, Sr., born Justin Peter Griffin according to his birth records, is the protagonist of the show and title character. He's a man of Irish descent currently residing in Quahog, Rhode Island with his wife Lois Griffin. In "Padre de Familia", he was born in Mexico, where his mother had tried unsuccessfully to abort him. Peter agreed to abandon a revolt of his father-in-law Carter Pewterschmidt's servants in exchange for him using his connections to make Peter a United States citizen. According to "I Dream of Jesus", Peter attended Providence High School. Together, Peter and Lois have three children, Chris, Meg, and baby Stewie. After a mix up at a sperm bank, Peter also became the biological father of Bertram. In addition, he and Lois had a child named Peter Griffin Jr. who died when Peter shook him too much as revealed in "The Juice Is Loose". Out of pity he also adopted an intellectual talking dog named Brianwho formerly lived on the street as a stray, an accepted fact in Brian's two adoption stories. In The Real Live Griffins he was portrayed by Tom Arnold.
In "The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou", Lois says that he's 43. Lois does say that she is 42 at this time, which would match the age difference stated in "Let's Go to the Hop" and ignore their both being 18 in "Meet the Quagmires". Peter celebrates another birthday in "Baby, You Knock Me Out" and should turn 44 but no age is identified in the episode. In "Underage Peter", Mayor Adam West gives Peter's age as 42.
Before Peter was born, his mother Thelma went to Mexico City to have an abortion. However, she gave birth during the procedure, and smuggled him home to Providence, Rhode Island, where he spent his childhood. Peter was raised by Francis and Thelma Griffin in the Roman Catholic faith. However, in "Peter's Two Dads", he discovers that his biological father is an Irishman named Mickey McFinnigan. Peter visits Mickey, who initially rejects him. Mickey later accepts him as his son after beating him in the "game of drink" (the game of drink referring to matching shots until one passes out). Mickey is based on the friends of MacFarlane's father. MacFarlane said: "When I was growing up, my father had lots of friends: big, vocal, opinionated New England, Irish Catholics. They were all bursting at the seams with personality, and Family Guy came out of a lot of those archetypes that I spent years observing."
Peter has also referred to a large number of ancestors throughout the series, stating, "the Griffin family history is a rich tapestry". Famous ancestors of Peter include MosesGriffin, who led the Jews out of Egypt; Willie "Black-Eye" Griffin, Peter's great-grandfather, a 1920s silent film star, Osias Griffin, an owner of one of the first dozen telephones; and Peter Hitler, the flamboyant brother of Adolf Hitler. Peter's ancestor Nate Griffin, an African American slave from Virginia, was owned by Lois' ancestors. He fell in love with their daughter, and secretly raised a family with her. Nate's family was eventually discovered and they escaped.
The voice of Peter is provided by MacFarlane, who also provides the voice for Brian, Stewie and Quagmire, MacFarlane also provides the voices for various other recurring and one-time only characters, most prominently those of news anchor Tom Tucker, Carter Pewterschmidt (Lois' father), and Dr. Hartman. MacFarlane has been part of the main voice cast from the beginning of the series including the pilot, as well he has been voicing Peter from the start. MacFarlane chose to voice Peter and the rest of characters' voices himself, believing it would be easier to portray the voices he already envisioned than for someone else to attempt it.MacFarlane's speaking voice is not very close to Peter's; he uses his normal voice as the voice of Brian. MacFarlane drew inspiration for the voice of Peter from a security guard he overheard talking while he was attending the Rhode Island School of Design; according to him, "I knew a thousand Peter Griffins growing up in New England. Guys who would not think before they spoke, like [switching to Peter's voice] there was no self-editing mechanism. [Pointing to himself] Everything in here, [pointing to his front] it's coming out here". MacFarlane also voices many of Peter's ancestors who share the same type of voice. He noted in an interview that he voices Peter and the rest of the characters partly because they initially had a small budget, but also that he prefers to have the freedom to do it himself. In another interview, he mentioned that Peter's voice is one of the most difficult to do.
There have been several occasions where MacFarlane does not voice Peter. In the episode "No Meals on Wheels", (season 5, 2007) actor Patrick Stewart voiced Peter in a cutscene, but MacFarlane voices Peter for the rest of the episode. In the episode "Family Gay", (season 7, 2009) Seth Rogen provided a guest-voice as Peter under the effects of the "Seth Rogen gene". In "Road to the Multiverse", (season 8, 2009) he was voiced by Japanese actor Jameson Yang, who was required for a scene where everything in the world was Japanese.
- 4th Wall Awareness
- Boneless Body
- Gravity Aura
- Regenerative Replication
- I love playing the maracas. They're so fun. I wonder what's in them. Sand or rice probably.Maybe it's little shells.Oh, no, what if it's bones? No, no, bones are too big.But baby bones aren't.No, no, no, nobody would kill a bunch of babies for maracas.How would you kill all those babies anyway? I'd probably put them in a tub.You could kill, like, eight at a time that way.Plus, it softens them up, so you can get the bones right out.Joe just had a baby.And I got a baby at home.I got a tub.Peter, you seem off today. Are you thinking about killing infants again? No. Now you got to kill them, too.
- Mr.Griffin, did you or did you not distribute alcohol and marijuana to minors?
- In "E. Peterbus Unum", he proclaimed independent a micronation that involves the ownership of his home as soon as he knew that this does not formally belong to the United States and calls it as "Petoria". He became anti-american and proceeds to invite the leaders of several countries hostile to the United States (including Slobodan Milošević of Yugoslavia, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Osama Bin Laden of Al-Qaeda, Kim Jong-il of North Korea, Fidel Castro of Cuba, and Ali Khamenei of Iran) over for a pool party and barbecue using his stolen pool from Joe.
- Probably his most villainous act was in "Tales of a Third Grade Nothing"; his attempt to get a promotion at work by blowing up a billboard advertising a rival brewery. Unfortunately, he had placed the explosives in the wrong building, which just so happened to be a children's hospital. When Peter had his boss, Angela, look out the window to watch the billboard explode, he had caused the destruction of the hospital instead. Though Peter was initially shocked by what he had done, he quickly got over it when the resulting fire began to burn the billboard. By the end of the episode, when Peter had passed the third grade and was eligible for a promotion (so he can use the Executive Bathroom), Angela refused to give it to him. Her reason was that nobody had forgotten the burning of the children's hospital, which had resulted in fourteen deaths. The FBI had eventually learned that it was Peter, but he was only sentenced to seven days in prison.
- Peter constantly abuses his teenage daughter Meg, whether talking down to her, farting in her face, beating her up, telling her to shut up, carelessly nearly drowning her, and, in a cutaway gag from "Peter's Daughter", shoots her simply because she says, "Hi Dad."
- In "The Story on Page One", he even went to Meg's school to create a false story that Luke Perry was gay and burned Meg's story about Mayor Adam West. However this was in order to help Meg get more readers as he believed that the Adam West story would put people to sleep.
- There's even some occasion where Peter even forgets Meg. In "Screwed the Pooch", Peter and Brian bring up a man named Stan Thompson who they claim is Meg's real father.
- Occasionally seen in cutaway gags of trying to abandon Meg.
- Another person that Peter abuses is his wife Lois. He sometimes shows little to no respect towards her. He would sometimes ignore her, and would make her do several things against her will.
- One example is in "Baby, You Knock Me Out" when Peter and his friend are attending a woman's boxing match on his birthday. After watching the match, and the announcer asked if any woman wanted to fight the champ, Peter forced Lois to enter the ring and fight. After witnessing Lois beating the champ, he then forces her to enter into more boxing matches, so he can get rich.
- In "The Courtship of Stewie's Father", Peter was beginning to bond with Stewie; both he and Stewie were pulling deadly pranks on Lois (such as smashing a glass jar of pickles on Lois' head, spraying Lois with a gardening hose while she's going to the bathroom, which caused to to fall down the stairs, and pushing her unconscious body into a lake, nearly drowning her),
- In "Dammit Janet", he convinces Lois to keep a flight attendant job which she hates due to uptight passengers only because he gets free plane flights.
- Peter once wrote hate letters to his family, though on that occasion, he did not realize what he was doing was wrong.
- In "Death Lives", Peter was attended a golf game during their anniversary, but to prevent Lois from knowing, he set up a fake anniversary scavenger hunt so he can play a game a golf with his friends. This one moment nearly ruined their marriage, but with the help from Death, Peter managed to save their marriage.
- In "Family Goy", he attempts to shoot her while imitating Amon Goeth when he learns she is Jewish.
- He crosses the Moral Event Horizon in "Brian Griffin's House of Payne" when he threw an unconscious Stewie with heavily infected head wounds underneath Lois' car so she would run him over, after weeks of no medical treatment, just so she wouldn't ask how Stewie got hurt.
- Peter also abuses his teenage son Chris as well:
- In "If I'm Dyin', I'm Lyin", Peter pretended that Chris was dying so he could save a cancelled TV show, and after being confronted by the city, claimed he cured Chris, causing everyone to call him God, which arouses the anger of the real God who plagues the Griffin House. Peter would have crossed the Moral Event Horizon if he plead forgiveness.
- Peter also unintentionally made Chris lose his girlfriend by giving him bad advice on how to date a girl and how to act around her.
- In "And the Weiner Is...", Peter always thought that he's better that Chris in every way, but when he found out that Chris had a bigger "junk" that he did, Peter got jealous and tried to prove that he has the bigger "junk," and even unintentionally tells Lois that Chris' "junk" was the reason why he's trying to become the bigger man.
- In "He's Too Sexy for His Fat", Peter and Chris try to lose weight and find out about liposuction. Chris refused to take the procedure, but Peter takes liposuction to make himself skinnier. At first he was still interacting, and helping his son lose weight, but when he used the liposuction to add some muscle, he began to forget Chris several times, especially when Peter joined the Handsome Guys Clubs.
- In "Hannah Banana", Peter attempted to ruin Chris' life by disguising as Chris and saying that he's gay, all because the Evil Monkey was more of a father figure toward Chris than Peter is. Chris retaliates by luring Peter into a log trap using a hat as bait. Of course Peter falls for the trick, causing Chris to cut the rope restraining the logs which brutally smashes Peter's face.
- In that same episode, before they found out the Evil Monkey was real, both Peter andQuagmire placed Chris' fingers into a bowl of water, causing Chris to urinate in his pants.
- In "Petarded", Peter found out he was mentally retarded, and also found out that no charges would be held against him if he did anything wrong, he decided to take advantage of the situation. He went into the ladies' room and kick the doors while women were going onto the bathroom and destroyed some of Lois' plates after he finished dinner. When he went to a fast food restaurant, he grabbed a fryillator and burned Lois.
- And because there was no mentally sane adult, Meg, Chris, and Stewie had to live at Cleveland's house. So Peter put seven prostitutes into Cleveland's house so he can get his kids back, only to be put on trial for custody of his kids which he loses.
- In "Jerome Is the New Black", Peter is angry in finding out that Lois slept with Jerome, Cleveland's replacement; he flies into a jealous rage and spends the rest on the evening drinking. Stopping by Jerome's house, Peter throws his bottle through a window and hits a lamp, accidentally causing a fire which burns the house down.
- In "420", Quagmire gets a cat, Peter, Joe, Cleveland, and Brian sneak into his house while he is out and decide to shave his cat as a prank. But Peter kills the cat with a straight razor (this was an accident, but he is unconcerned about it) and he adds further insult by stealing Quagmire's beer afterwards. At the end of the episode, Quagmire asks where his cat is outside of the Griffin household, and before Peter slams the door on him, he says rather apathetic, "I killed your cat.", in the same episode Peter does a cutaway gag saying that he used to lure sailors to their deaths with his siren songs while dressing up as a mermaid.
- In "April in Quahog", Peter's comment seconds before the supposed "end of the world", expressing shame and disgust for his children ("I just hate being around the kids"), uttered deliberately in thinking that he will have no price to pay. How sadly mistaken he is once the "April Fools Day" hoax passes without incident ... and even Peter's heartfelt apology is fruitless — Meg, Chris and Stewie are still very mad at their father. In the end, he buys back their love with an Xbox 360.
- In "No Meals on Wheels", the Griffin family run a restaurant, but Peter refuses to allow Joe and his other cop friends in because they are "gross cripples", to which they respond by forming themselves into a giant robot which attacks/destroys the restaurant which falls on Peter, breaking his legs.
- In "Stew-Roids", he put Stewie on steroids after Stewie was beaten up by Susie Swanson.
- In "The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou", when he finds out that Chris is being bullied by a teenager named Kyle, he decides to go to Kyle's house to try to talk to him but he takes things too far and beats up Kyle after losing his temper. This is a serious crime because Kyle is only 13.
- In the same episode, upon realizing how good it feels to bully people, he then starts bullying his family and friends.
- When he realized that he's like his high school bully, Randy Fulcher, he went to see Fulcher to bully him. However, it turns out that when Fulcher was growing up, he was suffering with multiple sclerosis which lead him to be physically disabled. But instead of feeling sorry for Fulcher, Peter attempt to beat up a disabled Fulcher, only to be beaten up by Chris.
- In "A Fistful of Meg", he continuously torments Brian with his nude body. He only stops when Brian shaves his fur to reveal his hideous bald appearance, which he uses to scare Peter and convince him to put his clothes back on.
- In "The Juice Is Loose", Peter accidentally murdered the fourth Griffin child (who was a baby at the time) by shaking him to make him stop crying. This seems more of a misdeed since Peter didn't mean it.
- In "Peter Problems", he kills and eviscerates a beached whale with a forklift, trying to get it back in the ocean. To add insult to injury, he then carefully and gently picks up a seashell with the same forklift and says "You're whalecome" to a horrified crowd.
- It is shown in "Fresh Heir", Peter is holding a hairless twin hostage in his storm shed, feeding him garbage. The main plot of the episode involves Peter attempting to marry Chris, who is made the heir of Carter's will.
- At the beginning of "Herpe the Love Sore", he menaces numerous people (including Meg, Stewie, and even Cleveland) with a whip he received from the mail which was supposed to go to Quagmire.
- In "Meg Stinks!", it was revealed that he pays off his shenanigans by (frequently) robbing a bank. After Meg accidentally kills the bank manager, Peter tells her to kill everyone else.
- In "He's Bla-ack!", when Lois and Donna had an argument on parenting, the two banned Peter and Cleveland to see each other again. To try to get Lois and Donna to be friends, so Peter and Cleveland can continue their friendship, they performed various, and rather questionable, stunts to bring their wives together. One of them was show Lois and Donna multiple pictures of babies. However, Cleveland questioned why Peter had all these picture of babies in questionable positions, in which a lot of them were taken long before they made this plan. This indicated that Peter may have been a pedophile at one point. After realizing this, Peter burst into tears and admits that he has problems.
- In "The Simpsons Guy", he got into an extremely long and violent fight with Homer Simpson that destroyed much of Springfield and killed several residents (although this may be non-canon) However thankfully the two made up by the end of the episode.
- In "Brian the Closer", Peter desperately tries to get Brian's old toy rope, to the point when he ties the rope to his car and drives off in an attempt get it away from Brian. This greatly injures Brian, causing him to collide headfirst on a fire hydrant, making him lose all his teeth and break his nose. Peter uncaringly gives Brian the rope back, having grown bored of it.
- In "Turkey Guys", Peter, as usual, gets drunk and ends up eating the entire Thanksgiving turkey with Brian. The two head out to find a replacement turkey. Through Peter's stupidity, the two encounter bad luck and misfortune, some of which endangers Brian. When Brian can't take anymore of Peter's stupidity, he yells at him, to which Peter reveals Brian had nothing to do with eating the turkey and he just framed him so he didn't have to take all the blame. He furthered this insult by telling Brian that he's a dog and that he could throw him off a bridge, and unless it hits a person, he's fine.
- In "Finders Keepers" he presumably beats an innocent boy to death with a shovel because he thinks he's after the treasure.
- In "Lottery Fever" he torments Quagmire and Joe Swanson for his own amusement after becoming richer than them, he forces them to perform for him while he criticizes them and repeatedly shoots them with a BB gun with one pellet blowing out Joe's eye forcing him to get a glass eye, he tries to justify this behavior by saying that the money caused him to do it.
- In "A Shot in the Dark" he shoots Cleveland's son, Cleveland Brown Jr. in the arm and is arrested and charged with a hate crime. Though at the end, Peter confessed that he did something stupid and Cleaveland confessed that he shot his son in the arm.
- In the episode "The Peanut Butter Kid", he and Lois forced Stewie to do a commercial, which tired him, and they kept giving him drugs to keep him active and pressuring him to succeed, as well as using Stewie's earned money they planned for his college fund for themselves instead.
- He worked as a Summo Wrestler because he was fat.
- He worked the Suicide Hot Line.
- Peter's age comes into question again. It seems as if Peter should turn 44 but no age is identified. In The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Lois says that he's 43. Lois does say that she is 42, which would match the age difference stated in Let's Go to the Hop and ignore their both being 18 in "Meet the Quagmires".
- Peter, while drunk, does not get what anime is all about. He believes everyone in Japan is either a 10-year-old girl or a monster. This may be a reference to the Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, or Beyblade animes, all of which have children using some method of battling monsters. Ash Ketchum, of Pokemon, is a 10-year-old boy.
- In Mother Tucker The name Peter uses to fake call his mother on the phone was "Dr. T & the Women" which was a 2000 American romantic comedy film of the same name. This would later be parodied in "Dr. C & The Women".
- In Mother Tucker The song played when Peter, Tom and Thelma are having family time together is called “Give Me the Simple Life,” performed by June Christy.
- In Mother Tucker Tom prompted Peter to watch Chicken Little.
- In Mother Tucker Peter compares his mother’s sudden announcement to a Peanuts reunion, showing a cutscene where Charlie Brown is a drug addict and admits to having sold Snoopy heroin (it is suggested that Snoopy and Woodstock overdosed and died).