Herpe the Love Sore (Family Guy)

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Herpe the Love Sore (Family Guy)
From the writer who brought you this lovely episode...
Series: Family Guy
Part of Season: 12
Episode Number: 16
Air Date: April 6, 2014
Writer: Andrew Goldberg
Director: Greg Colton
Previous episode: Secondhand Spoke
Next episode: The Most Interesting Man In The World

Herpe the Love Sore is the sixteenth episode of the twelfth season of Family Guy and the 226th episode altogether. It originally aired on Fox on April 6, 2014, and was written by Andrew Goldberg and directed by Greg Colton.


Stewie and Brian become blood brothers, which leads to Stewie contracting herpes from Brian, while Peter, Cleveland, Quagmire, and Joe try to get their favorite Drunken Clam booth back after a different group of men take it from them.

Why It Sucks

  1. Brian is at his absolute worst (alongside "Brian's a Bad Father") as he gives Stewie, an infant, herpes without any clear motivation whatsoever. Even worse, he attempts to pass it off as "no big deal".
    • Usually everyone has neutral herpes, but the type of herpes Stewie gets is a virus.
    • Brian attempts to downplay giving Stewie herpes by trying to give it a sillier name, such as "Boppo".
  2. Peter is also very unlikable at the beginning of the episode, as he attacks his own children and Cleveland with a whip for no apparent reason.
  3. Brian knew he had herpes, but he does not care that he gave it to Stewie (his best friend) and Chris (and, possibly, many women he dated).
  4. The subplot is extremely mean-spirited because it is just about Peter and his friends getting bullied by soldiers at the bar and everyone else calling them babies for not standing up to them.
  5. There is an incredibly disturbing close-up of Brian's herpes, and several other disgusting scenes involving close-ups of the sores on Stewie and Chris.
    • In fact, towards the end of the episode, an actual picture of herpes is shown on Brian’s profile picture, which is horrible!
  6. The whole townspeople of Quahog are hypocrites for ridiculing Peter, Joe, and Quagmire for refusing to fight the guys at the bar that took over their favorite booth, only for them to ridicule them again for trying to fight them because they are soldiers about to be deployed to Afghanistan.
    • During the fight with them, Peter opens a can of spinach as SLOWLY as possible while trying to imitate Popeye the Sailor, which lasts for 30 seconds.
  7. The reason why Brian never told Stewie he had herpes is very weak: "He was too embarrassed to admit he had herpes."
    • This sounds more like an excuse than a reason.
  8. At the end, Brian does not apologize to Stewie for giving him herpes; instead he just promises to never lie to him again.
  9. Bad Ending: Stewie learns that he have herpes for the rest of his life, also Peter and his friends lost a fight to the guys at the bar.
  10. The apparent moral in this episode is that it's alright to pass an STD on to someone if you be honest about it immediately and try not to deny where the new sores came from.
  11. Despite being a police officer who was assaulted, Joe does not arrest the soldiers like his character is expected to do.
  12. The way Stewie gets herpes in this episode is not only unrealistic but scientifically impossible as herpes cannot be spread through blood.
  13. The episode title sounds very tone deaf and insensitive as it basically calls Herpes a “love sore.”

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Brian did hesitate to become blood brothers with Stewie at first. This might be some evidence that Brian might have been concerned about giving Stewie herpes.
  2. Stewie does call out Brian for giving him herpes.
  3. Chris and Stewie give Brian a fair comeuppance by telling his date about Brian's herpes, making her leave.
  4. Peter technically gets his comeuppance for whipping his children in the beginning after he gets beat up by soldiers at the bar.
  5. The coked-up giraffe cut-away, despite being random, can be funny, depending on your view.
  6. The cutaway involving Stewie calling up Handy Manny is funny.
  7. Stewie, Chris, Meg, Cleveland, Lois, Peter (apart from the beginning with the whip) Quagmire, and Joe are likable in this episode. Lois, Peter and Quagmire aren’t flanderized like they usually are, and this is one of the few times that seasons 8-14 Meg has her original personality.


While "Herpe the Love Sore" is rated 5.5/10 on IMDB,[1] it has received mostly negative reviews.[2] It was second on PhantomStrider's 2015 worst Family Guy episode list.[3]



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