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Lois Griffin (née Pewterschmidt) is a cartoon character on the TV show Family Guy by Seth MacFarlane. She is the wife of Peter Griffin, and the mother of Meg, Chris, and Stewie. Lois is voiced by Alex Borstein. Like Peter, she has a New England accent.
Born into the wealthy Pewterschmidt family around 1960, Lois met Peter while he was a towel boy at the family country club. Lois fell in love with him because she found his lower-class, easy-going silliness more appealing than the stuffy, uptight suitors in her social circle. Lois was crowned Miss Teen Rhode Island and wanted to pursue a modeling career, but her father thought that was beneath the dignity of the family.
Before meeting Peter, Lois had relationships with other men: J. Geils Band, the "pyro guy" from the band Whitesnake and Chaim Witz (aka Gene Simmons of KISS), a fact of which Peter was very proud when he learned of it in the episode "Road to Europe". Lois was also known as "Loose Lois". She has also been romantically linked to singing duo Hall & Oates. She has an extensive collection of real life plaster molds of male genitalia from her liaisons. In the direct-to-DVD Family Guy movie she hints that she may be bisexual or once lesbian by saying "Women are such teases, that's why I went back to men." She also said in "Fifteen Minutes of Shame" that "During my slumber parties we would practice French kissing."
Lois was raised Protestant, for which Peter's staunch Roman Catholic stepfather, Francis, despises her; on their wedding day, Francis spray-painted, underneath the "Just Married" sign on the back of their car, "To a Protestant Whore". She and Peter raise their children in the Roman Catholic Church, but Francis still hates her. On the other hand, Peter's mother, Thelma, gets along very well with Lois.
As she gave up her inheritance for Peter, Lois, not surprisingly, has a testy relationship with her father, a man who can be best described as an intolerant bigot. It can be reasoned that her pre-marital promiscuity and marriage was her way of rebelling against or humiliating him. However, the fact she calls him "Daddy" and dotes on him whenever she visits him suggests that she still seeks his approval. Lois may also have married Peter to spite her own parents' marriage, which seems to be based more around money than love (in one episode, her father openly scoffed at the idea that he loved her mother). Indeed, her father seems disturbingly uncaring towards his daughter. In her youth she was kidnapped and held for ransom. When the kidnappers made her call her father to plead for ransom money, her father simply replied that the Pewterschmidt family policy meant they did not negotiate with kidnappers. He casually hung up the phone on her, simply saying "she'll be all right." The relationship between Lois and her mother, Barbara, is never explained in great detail; Barbara is the only grandparent who has not been the main character in any of the episodes. In the few scenes where they appear together, Barbara and Lois appear to harbor no mutual dislike; at one point, Lois asked her mother to sleep with Peter (which she eagerly accepted) in order to save her marriage with Peter when she had sex with Bill Clinton.
Lois teaches piano to supplement the family's income, though spends most of her time caring for her family. Chris was unusually heavy at birth (a newspaper clipping on the refrigerator has a picture of Lois in a hospital bed looking extremely haggard and holding Chris; the caption reads "Elephant Child Born to Local Woman"), while her youngest son Stewie is intent on matricide, though she is oblivious to this. In "Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington", she finally realizes that Stewie is a killer and regrets ignoring the warning signs. This was, however, only a dream, which culminated in Stewie opening up a hole in the floor through which Lois fell, after which she woke up and forgot all about it.
After Peter had been lost at sea for a few months and presumed dead, Lois and Brian wed in a sexless marriage of convenience. When Peter was finally rescued, Lois was torn between her affection for Peter and her commitment to Brian. Brian understood and divorced Lois, but what annoyed Brian was that right after they divorced, Lois said "and I was just about to push the beds together and take you around the freaking world."
Lois has a sister (Carol Pewterschmidt) who has had several husbands, all of whom have left her. She had a son by one of them. She also has a brother, Patrick, who was unknown to her until the fourth-season episode "The Fat Guy Strangler". He was placed in an asylum due to walking in on his mother and Jackie Gleason having oral sex which caused him to become a serial killer of fat men. He is forced to relive this traumatic event when Peter imitates Gleason's character in The Honeymooners, Ralph Kramden, repeating the line "Pow! Right in the kisser!" several times, the line that Jackie Gleason said to Patrick during the incident that makes him remember it.
Personality and healthEdit
There is a curious duality to Lois' personality. She can be vacuous at times, highly obsessed with perfection and morality; on the contrary, she also often exhibits a radical or activist temperament by protesting ideals she feels are sexist or misogynist, and seems to come across as what many modern Americans would (perhaps erroneously) term a "typical mother", or worse...a loud-mouthed "bitch". However, this is in strong contrast to her other role in the series as a firebrand, and a strong woman who is exceedingly capable. This duality is best expressed in the character's own words:
"I'm like one of those bald eagles you see on the Discovery Channel. Beautiful to look at, but mess with one of my chicks and I'll use my razor sharp talons to claw your fucking eyes out! Cookies are done!" (The actual swear word in that sentence was obscured by the oven timer buzzing to indicate the cookies were done). In "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas", she has a nervous breakdown when just about everything goes wrong (there are no paper towels left to clean up a mess caused by a fire), throws a destructive tantrum, and is subdued with a tranquilizer. Lois partially explains her role as a mother and housewife by saying that feminism is about choice, and that she chose to not have a job, and shouldn't be stereotyped as a typical housewife.
Lois has some unexpected talents. She can calculate the street value of confiscated drugs with ease ("The Thin White Line"), and is a skilled lounge singer.
Lois' morals can seem questionable at times. In addition to being a long-time counterfeiter (making ten-dollar bills), she also went through a brief period of kleptomania ("Breaking Out Is Hard to Do"). She also showed a gambling addiction when the family went to an Indian casino in the first season. Lois makes several references to drugs in various episodes (as do several members of the Griffin family), including supplying Brian with weed when he went on a date with Meg ("I put it in your coat pocket."). She also said "Peter, what can I say? Meth is a hell of a drug..." at one point when Peter questions her about a tattoo she had received unbeknownst to him (he found it during sex with her). Peter only responds with "What?!" but the conversation turns away immediately and the drug is not discussed further. Also, in Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington in a dream when she realizes that Stewie is a killer (which she completely forgets about when she wakes up) she revealed that she smoked marijuana when she was pregnant with Stewie, a claim backed-up by show creator Seth MacFarlane on a DVD commentary.
When Lois appeared on Diane Simmons' talk show, an onscreen title described her as "Probably more of a bitch than she lets on." (To which Lois responds, "Oh, go fuck yourself, Diane.")
Lois engages in the lengthiest actual conversations with her daughter Meg, giving advice and so forth. It may be deduced, however, that she does not care as much about Meg as she seems to. Support for this claim comes in the episode "Breaking Out Is Hard to Do", when a Griffin family friend, paraplegic police officer Joe Swanson, starts to slip and fall into the sewers. Lois grabs him but slowly loses grip. Joe yells at her to pretend that he is one of her children, but when he continues to slip, Joe screams, "Not MEG!", and Lois pulls Joe to safety.
Part of this seeming hatred may result from resentment over the inconvenience of Meg's birth; in the direct-to-DVD Family Guy movie, Lois reveals that her pregnancy with Meg prevented her from participating in the Olympics after which she comments "Now I'm pro-choice."
Besides her quirkiness and hidden talents, Lois has a strong sexual side as well, to the point where it could be assumed she has nymphomania. One instance finds her in a dominatrix outfit, while another episode has her reaching an emotional climax by yelling at Peter to slap her panty-clad backside. Later, she role-plays the bad school girl, asking Peter for a spanking. Lois can be cuddly, too, and aggressive as well. She is playful and willing to take the lead if she feels like it.
In Season 4, it was revealed that what Lois did not realize was that she had acquired a tumor in her brain while repressing the feelings and thoughts of what kind of man she married, especially one with mental retardation. She puts up with his childish stupidity and hides how she truly feels about him, but at a hidden price. Along with other jokes and subtle implications, this suggests that Lois is not happy with her marriage. It is in fact possible that her character is a parody of "spoiled rich girls" who give it all up to be with the men they love only to find that it is not all it's cracked up to be (specifically in regards to the film Dirty Dancing). Regardless of what regrets she may have concerning her marriage, the fact that she remains married to Peter implies that she gets something out of it.
When Peter went blind from nickel poisoning, Lois stops wearing makeup until Peter gets his sight back. Without makeup, her skin is an unhealthy-looking pale color.
After being doused with hot French fry oil, Lois spent at least several days in the hospital bandaged from head to toe (in the episode "Petarded"). When she was released, she exhibited no visible scarring, but said she would smell like French fries for 6 months.
In the episode, "Sibling Rivalry" Lois channels her sexual frustration into eating and after she becomes fat, Peter's interest is renewed and things heat back up in the bedroom until her unhealthy eating habits get the best of her. She suffers a heart attack, and during the surgery the doctor removes the fat which returns her to normal.
Lois is an off and on smoker. She seen smoking in numerous episode of Season 3 and Season 4, but has not stayed consistent since.
Lois has exhibited signs of being a bisexual. This was first evidenced in the Season 2 episode "Fifteen Minutes of Shame", where Lois intrudes on Meg's slumber party and says that she and her friends used to practice French kissing, at which point she asks everyone there to pair up. In Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story during one of Peter's "Grinds My Gears" segments he says "We all know that no woman anywhere wants to have sex with anyone." to which Lois responds with "Women are such teases. That's why I went back to men." After saying this, Meg acts repulsed, while Chris says "Go on...", but nothing else is said about it. In addition during the Season 5 episode "Brian Sings and Swings" Lois passionately kisses a young lesbian friend of Meg's, but does this only to show Meg what a "real" kiss would be (Since Meg's "kiss" was more like a peck). Additionally in a deleted scene on the DVD set for season 4b, Lois describes excitedly to her priest the joys of lesbian sex.
- In the original pilot pitch for FOX (included in the Family Guy: Volume Two DVD boxed set), Lois was blonde rather than redheaded.
- Lois makes a cameo appearance in the Drawn Together episode "The Lemon-AIDS Walk". She and Peter pass by a down-and-out Wooldoor Sockbat, who is holding a lemonade cup which Peter tosses change into. Lois admonishes Peter not to give him money, claiming "he's just going to use it to buy lemonade". Lois' voice was provided by Borstein (Peter did not speak).
- Maxim awarded her #2 placement on its TV's Best Nymphos list.
- S. Callaghan Family Guy: The Official Episode Guide : Seasons 1 - 3 New York: Harper Paperbacks, 2005
- A. Delarte, "Nitpicking Family Guy: Season 4" in Bob's Poetry Magazine, 3.January 2006: 13, 14, 17 - 24 http://bobspoetry.com/Bobs03Ja.pdf
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