Details on main characters
Main article: List of American Dad! characters
American Dad! centers on the absurd circumstances, adventures and domestic life of its title character Stan Smith, his immediate family, and their three housemates. Adding to all the ridiculousness and absurdity are the various personality traits of all the show's eccentric main characters, listed as follows:
Stan Smith is the exaggeratedly masculine husband of Francine and father of Steve and Hayley. Though Hayley may or may not be Stan's biological daughter—Francine revealed to have cheated on Stan at a bachelorette party in the episode "The Kidney Stays in the Picture"—Stan still regards her as such and refused to learn the results of a DNA test to determine who her father was. As the Smith family's breadwinner, Stan is a CIA agent. Tending to take extreme measures with no regard for others nor potentially disastrous consequences, Stan is portrayed as insanely drastic; endangering; rash; dog-eat-dog; and both inconsiderate and insensitive of others. Early on in the series, Stan's mentality was that of a staunchly Conservative Republican and self-proclaimed American patriot. His Conservatism was expressed ludicrously with him often coming off as severely intolerant, self-abnegating, and wrongheaded. His traits in this regard are largely limited to the first few seasons and have since largely worn off, with Stan progressing as a person throughout the course of the series. All the same however, Stan has numerous alternate ways of taking drastic measures beyond politics. As examples—in the episode "Dope & Faith" when Stan found out one of his friends was an atheist, he tried getting him to pray by blowing up his home, spreading the bird flu at his restaurant, brainwashing his wife into thinking she was a lesbian, and taking his kids away; in the episode "I Can't Stan You", Stan evicted his entire neighborhood and his own family just for overhearing some of his neighbors gossiping about him behind his back; in the episode "Four Little Words", Stan framed his wife as a murderer all so as not to hear her say the words "I told you so"; etc.