Steve Smith

Steven A. "Steve" Smith is a major protagonist of the American animated TV series American Dad!. He is Stan and Francine Smith's only son and Hayley's younger brother as well as the youngest of the series' 6 main characters. Steve is voiced by Scott Grimes.

According to, Steve's original design was much geekier and gawky and he was voiced by Ricky Blitt. Halfway through production, Grimes replaced Blitt and Steve's design was made to be more attractive, so he would be less comparable to Neil Goldman from Family Guy.[1]

Appearance and personality

Steve is portrayed as a moderately stereotypical geek: he is a social outcast, wears glasses and is intelligent, with a strong interest in science, especially chemistry.[2][3] More typically geeky traits of Steve's include his interests in Dungeons and Dragons, Harry Potter and Star Trek.[4] Steve's father, Stan, is often frustrated with Steve, as he would prefer that Steve engage in activities that would improve his social standing, like sports, a conflict that was first explored in the first season episode "All About Steve".[5] Stan sometimes attempts to change Steve, usually unsuccessfully, as when he once gave Steve an experimental performance enhancer. The steroid caused Steve to grow female breasts but also ironically made him more popular at school.[6] Steve looks up to his dad as a role model but his naïvete often leads him to follow his dad's advice or convictions, seemingly blindly. This led him to once openly display homophobia.[7] Another time Steve received a failing grade on a presentation about fossils using information he got from Stan because he thought his dad was intelligent, despite Roger's attempts to convince him otherwise.[8]

Steve's mother, Francine, does not care that Steve is a geek,[5] and is more protective of him, seeing him as her "baby", a status she once attempted to prolong by using a special drug to keep him from reaching puberty.[9] Steve's brown hair comes from Francine, who actually dyes her hair blonde.[10]

Steve does not share many interests with his sister, Hayley, but has occasionally collaborated with her on schemes, such as when they tried to break up a young couple so Hayley could get the guy and Steve the girl, which ended up backfiring on both of them.[11] They have also tried to teach both of their parents individual lessons, like when they tried to teach Francine not to be racist, only to learn that she was actually prejudiced against left-handed people,[12] or when they exacted revenge against Stan for turning a homeless shelter into a bumfight business.[13]

Steve and Roger play video games together, get advice from each other and come up with schemes together.[14] For example, he once planned to make a Girls Gone Wild-type video and market it in order to generate money to buy a video game console.[13] In another scheme, Steve and Roger ran away to New York to make their fortunes, while the rest of the family thought killed when lighting set the family's treehouse on fire.[8] Steve's tendency to inflate his own ego, combined with Roger's easily irritated and vindictive nature, often leads the latter to physically abuse or play a prank on Steve because of a real or perceived slight or insult. Occasionally, Steve gets even, like when he once conned Roger out of $50,000.[15] Despite their love-hate relationship, Steve considers Roger his best friend, even once intervening to rescue the alien from an abusive relationship.[2]

A freshman at Pearl Bailey High School, Steve is a highly capable musician, having taken up the cello to once impress a girl.[16] In a later episode, however, Steve says that he has been playing the cello since he was nine.[17] Steve also plays guitar and sings, which he did as part of a band in the episode "American Dream Factory." In fact, both of the songs Steve's band rehearses ("Livin' on the Run" and "Sunset Blvd"), were originally recorded by Scott Grimes, who voices Steve.[18] Among Steve's other talents are being able to read Elvish, use Morse code, and communicate with dolphins.[4][19]

While academically skilled,[5] Steve is also quite naïve and not socially savvy. For example, he knows more about the New York Stock Exchange than about prostitution.[8] As a result, he can sometimes be tricked into believing outrageously implausible lies. Roger typically takes advantage of this, especially when he is upset with Steve or when he is simply bored. Once Roger made Steve believe he was not really Stan and Francine's biological child.[20] Another time Roger tricked Steve into believing he was an adolescent wizard, and took him to a drug dealer's house, telling him it was secretly a wizard's school, and the drug lab inside a Potions class.[21]

Although normally even-tempered and relatively tolerant, Steve cries when he is notably upset, but he has also had uncontrolled bursts of rage, during which he breaks nearby objects and screams very loudly.[22] If pressed hard enough, Steve will also hit or attack people, such as when he beat up Beauregard La Fontaine for insulting his father, even though he is generally not aggressive or an adept fighter, as he was unable to even make a fist in "Bully for Steve", for example.[8] He also uses childhood paraphernalia that teenagers have typically outgrown, such as the teddy bear he is implied to sleep with in "Live and Let Fry", and the Care Bear towel he is revealed to use in "Camp Refoogee".



Steve (left), shown without his glasses, after Barry (center) has taken them to complete his Jonah Hill costume, in the 2010 Halloween episode, "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls". At right is Snot, another of Steve's friends.

Steve has a small group of friends from school that he regularly spends time with. The boys frequently engage in activities which most teenage boys have outgrown, such as slumber parties.[23] The group includes:

  • Snot, a teenager with curly hair, some noticeable stubble and acne. His character appears to be based on Booger from Revenge of the Nerds; he is even voiced by Curtis Armstrong. Snot, who is Jewish, once had an affair with Steve's then-girlfriend, Gretchen.[24]
  • Barry, an overweight and apparently simple-minded boy. In the episode "With Friends Like Steve's" he is revealed to be a maniacal genius who is made to take special "vitamins" that inhibit his evil tendencies, and cause mental retardation. Without the pills, he speaks with a British accent.[19]
  • Toshi, a multilingual Japanese teenager. Although he seems to understand English, he has yet to speak it, with the exception of "Finances with Wolves", in which he yells "Werewolf!" in unison with Snot and Barry, and "Francine's Flashback", in which he yells "Godzilla!". When he speaks Japanese (generally with a very condescending tone), Steve believes he can understand him, though he really does not. Toshi has spoken Russian[25] and speaks Spanish when talking on the phone to Francine.[8] Though they are friends, Toshi's greatest wish is to one day kill Steve.[26] Toshi's mother, father and his older sister, Akiko, both speak perfect English, with Toshi having acted as his translator in episodes such as "Weiner of Our Discontent" and "The Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls".


Steve is obsessed with women and sex, yet he knows very little about women or sex. The one time Stan tried to teach his son about sex, he left Steve overwhelmed and babbling mindlessly. However, Stan does not seem to mind Steve having sex, provided he does so with attractive women and does not masturbate.[27] He seems to be particularly fond of female breasts."

Steve often chases attractive girls from school, usually cheerleaders, such as Lisa Silver from the very first episode, or other girls that Hayley has described as out of his league. He has been able to get with some girls like Chuck White's daughter, although he inadvertently got her pregnant when they kissed.[28] The only popular and attractive girl that Steve has chased who has not rejected him appears to be Lindsay Coolidge, with whom he has reached first and second base. Her attraction to him appears to be purely sexual, as she often does seductive things like licking her lips and whispering to him. Steve even once openly referred to her as a "cello slut", due to her liking for cellos.[16]

In "The American Dad After School Special", Steve met Debbie, an overweight goth girl with whom he was immediately smitten. Believing that his relationship with Debbie was responsible for his dad's anorexia, Steve broke up with her, but they got back together at the end.[29] Debbie appeared again in the episode "Iced, Iced Babies", though she reportedly and inexplicably broke up with him by the end of the episode. Steve and Debbie got back together in "Escape from Pearl Bailey", but she dumped him again in "Bar Mitzvah Hustle".

Some of Steve's other romantic encounters include:

  • "Con Heir": Steve meets an elderly lady named Gretchen with whom he bonds over the memory of Steve's "fake, dead grampa", Lou, and then shares a passionate kiss. Although it appears Steve is very much smitten, Gretchen cheats on him with his friend Snot, claiming that monogamy should be left to the 60-year-olds. Steve and Snot agree to never let a girl come between them again. Seconds later, however, they both chase after an old lady with an oxygen tank.[24]
  • "Failure Is not a Factory-Installed Option": Roger remarks upon seeing Steve and his friends having a "grope fest" with girls from school, "You won't truly appreciate the awkwardness of this moment until you're fondly reminiscing as a 35-year-old homosexual",.[30]
  • "Camp Refoogee": Steve falls in loves with a young refugee named Makeva. After she was kidnapped, he participated in the Camp Olympics to get her back. At the near end, she falls in love with the leader of the rebel band. Steve asked why she liked him and she replied saying that she was a crazy chick then she kisses the leader.
  • "The Vacation Goo": While on a cruise with the family, Steve becomes involved with a staff-member named Becky, which ultimately leads to her accidental death while being chased by "hunters" and shortly after being eaten by the Smith family, as they are trapped and have no food. They later learn that the hunt was all meant to be a fun game and that Becky's dying, and them consuming her was all for nothing, leaving Steve and the rest of his family traumatized with a dark secret.
  • "Spring Breakup": When Roger starts a Spring Break party at the Smith house, Steve realizes how easily girls will consent to have sex when drunk and attempts to lose his virginity to the drunken college girls. He nearly succeeds with a celebrity, "Carmen Selecta", who has her breast implants removed at his request. Ironically, that leads to her demise, as various members of the party comment that she might have survived if “only she'd had some sort of cushioning on her chest, something not real - fake if you will - to withstand the impact."
  • "A Jones for a Smith": Steve becomes involved with a new girl in his science class who is beautiful, wealthy, and describes herself as having a "thing for nerds". As such, she becomes attracted to Steve almost immediately, and after inviting him to her house, tells him that she wants to have sex with him, much to his delight. Furthermore, her father, who is aware of the situation, gives Steve permission to sleep with her, and even goes so far as to provide a condom. However, at the last minute, everything is ruined by Stan, whose addiction to crack (which he developed over the course of the episode), when it is revealed to the girl's father, prompts him to throw both Steve and Stan out of his house. Steve is furious with Stan for ruining his "sure thing", even kicking him in anger; at the end of the episode, when Stan comes out of rehab and all else has been resolved, Steve is still angry, and swears that he will hate his father forever (although nobody else seems to take this promise seriously).
  • Stannie Get Your Gun: In this episode, after Steve stole Roger's cookie, in revenge, Roger convinces Steve that he was adopted (and later, that he was kidnapped by his "fake" parents). Then, Steve tells Hayley, his big sister, that he is going to do "something they both wanted to do for years", and then, he French kisses Hayley passionately.
  • Stan's Food Restaurant: In this episode, Steve makes friends with a girl at his school, who says that she 'goes all the way' on the first date every time. Steve goes round to her house with Snot (as he had to bring a date for her friend), but her friend turns out to be a doll. Due to a misunderstanding, it is believed that Snot had 'taken advantage' of the doll. The doll creates a barrier between the girl and Steve and he eventually fakes the doll's suicide, before giving up and telling her how weird she is.


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