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|“||Lately, I've been thinking about all the people I've had to kill. God, the first five, ten times you take a life, it's eerie. You remember every detail: I can see all their faces; one had a beard. Each time I pulled the trigger, I tied a little knot in my memory that no amount of whiskey could loosen. Of course, eventually, I've stopped caring. Now, I can put a bullet through a man's head while figuring how much KFC to pick up on my way home — it's usually no more than a bucket. The sick part is, I've come to love it. Snuffing out lives, I crave it. I feel like an angel of death, the messenger of eternal darkness, a merciless demon with an unquenchable - oh, they've just put more orange chicken in the buffet, gotta run!||„|
|~ Stan Smith to Steve on the phone in "The Adventures of Twill Ongenbone And His Boy Jabari"|
Stanley "Stan" Smith is the main protagonist of the cartoon American Dad! He is considered an anti-hero and sometimes as anti-villain due to some of the villainous acts he commits, but most of the time, this is because of him being an extremist and his extreme political views.
Stan is usually depicted as a loving husband and father. However, his ego, patriotism and high standards can often bring him to antagonistic levels.
Stan is shown to be very manipulative and willing to do anything to accomplish his goals, which are sometimes place above his family's. Holding both right-wing political and social views, he is known to mistreat his family, particularly Hayley and Steve. These character flaws are routinely exposed in many episodes in which Stan either shows hypocrisy or is forced to accept people for their true selves (as in Steve as a geek, and Hayley as a teenager with distinct political views).
In addition to the above, Stan is also shown for the most part as being opposed to any show of emotion, regarding it as effeminate or un-manly. While Stan generally tries to repress his emotions, he may wound up exposing them in such a manner that leads to him doing highly impulsive things.
Stan has no qualms about kidnapping, drugging, or tasering anybody if he sees it as a means to an end.
Stan's antagonism is shown in (but not limited to) these following episodes.
- Pilot: Tries to help his son Steve win over a girl by rigging the school Body President elections, because "a girl loves a man with powers", and later has her family deported.
- Stan Knows Best: When his daughter Hayley dyes her hair green, Stan shaves her head while asleep. This leads her to leave home and get a job as a stripper.
- Homeland Insecurity: He believes new neighbors from Iran are terrorists, so he locks them in (along with other guests) at a backyard party which he turns into a detention camp.
- Stan of Arabia (Part 1): Killed Jay Leno, but apologized shortly.
- It's Good to be the Queen: Due to being humiliated at his high school prom, Stan vows to show up at Francine's high school reunion with his prom queen wife. However, upon discovering that Betty Sue was the real prom queen, he ditches Francine for her. He later hires a double to go out with Francine instead.
- With Friends Like Steve's: He and (evil) Barry startled two little girls during their tea party just for fun.
- The American Dad After School Special: Stan is disappointed that Steve's girlfriend happens to be fat. Discovering he himself is overweight, Stan becomes anorexic thanks to his obsession with physical appearances.
- Failure is not a Factory-Installed Option: Stan leaves his family and drives them to bankruptcy, bringing them to do all sorts of terrible things to get their money back. At the end of the episode, it turns out this was all a ruse by Stan in order to afford a new car.
- Four Little Words: After a plan to get Bullock on a date goes horribly wrong, Stan convinces Francine she murdered her friend and brings her into spiralling guilt (to the point where she leaves the country). All this was done just to avoid hearing "I told you so" from Francine. This is often looked at by many as his Moral Event Horizon.
- I Can't Stan You: After eavesdropping on his neighbours he discovers how they really feel about him. So he has them evicted in order to live free of criticism.
- Meter Made: Stan becomes a meter maid to be taken more seriously and have power, later turning his job into a scam by spending the money from the meters.
- Dope & Faith: After making friends with an atheist named Brett, Stan does everything in his power to make him believe in God (such as destroying his home, getting him fired, and causing a divorce in his family). Instead of his intentions, Brett attempts to commit suicide and ends up becoming a Satanist. This is often seen by many as his Moral Event Horizon.
- Surro-Gate: Stan kidnaps Greg and Terry's baby and the children of a lesbian couple and heads to the Nebraska boarder, where gay couples have no rights.
- Oedipal Panties: Francine discovers than Stan has been abducting all dates of his mother, believing that they would all break her heart like his father, and putting them on an uncharted island in order to be close to her and tries to abduct her actual boyfriend Hercules.
- 1600 Candles: He and Francine just stood around while bullies were giving his son Steve a swirly.
- Bully for Steve: He bullied Steve in an attempt to toughen him up, which subsequently caused Steve to hire Stan's bully, Stelio Kontos to brutalize him in turn.
- Hot Water: Stan buys a hot tub which encourages him to do bad things, such as choosing it over his family which drives them away. Many would say that this is where Stan crosses the Moral Event Horizon, even though this episode is considered non-canon.
- Steve and Snot's Test-Tubular Adventure: After Stan learned that Steve and Snot's prom dates Honey and Glitter were clones that they had illegally created using CIA technology, Stan proceeded to hunt down and try to kill both of them; and Stan not only did it just to avoid losing his job if the CIA found out, but he also treated it as though the clones didn't qualify as human beings despite the fact that his beloved pet dodo was also a clone.
- Buck, Wild!: When Steve comes along with him on a business hunting trip, he tells him he must kill animals to become a man. Guilt leads Steve to run away into the wilderness to nurture the deer fawn whose parents he accidentally killed. Eventually, Stan realizes his son has become a man by showing mercy (by not letting the animals kill him), but only in the woods where they will never go back.
- He shares similarities with Steve Haines:
- Both are special agents who abuse their power, are rather interested in guns, and cause chaos for what they usually see as right. They are also xenophobic and have a far right political position.