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Principal John Shepherd is a recurring antagonist in Family Guy. He is the principal of Adam West High School. He is villainous for supporting bullying, sexually harassing female students, and on rare instances, physically abusing people.
In earlier seasons, Principal Shepherd was a hero and a competent principal. However, later seasons saw him go through character development and become a lazy, negligent, disrespectful, moron, who mistreated, and bullied students, mostly Meg Griffin and to a lesser degree, Chris, and would even sexually harass other students like Connie DiMico.
Principal Shepherd is known to have several falling outs with his wife, Fiona Shepherd, who he has divorced and remarried several times. Their rocky, on-and-off, and quite possibly abusive marriage has been explored in the episodes "Once Bitten", "The Peter Principal", and "Crimes and Meg's Demeanor".
He is voiced by Gary Cole.
- In "Stew-Roids", Principal Shepherd supported the bullying that went on at James Woods Regional High School, publicly telling Chris that because Meg Griffin leaked revenge porn of him, he had now gone from being a cool kid to a loser again. He told all of the students that they could feel free to bully him again.
- In "A Fistful of Meg", Principal Shepherd heard about the impending fight between Meg and Michael Pulaski and instead of doing anything to stop it, he turned it into a public event, telling students that they can place wagers on the "Meg Griffin Slaughter" with him.
- In "Secondhand Spoke", Principal Shepherd looked around at his students and mumbled to himself in disappointment, dissatisfied with the fact that none of his female students were sexually attractive.
- In "An App a Day", Principal Shepherd referred to mentally disabled students as "Hurr Durr" kids.
- In "The Heartbreak Dog", Principal Shepherd made obvious sexual passes at his female students. He said that he would be choosing what community services the kids would be doing and made it clear that we wanted all of the hot blonde girls to come to his house and do chores for him like clean his living room and wash his car. It is unknown if Principal Shepherd took advantage of any of these girls or not.
- In "Connie's Celica", when Lois arranges a meeting with Principal Shepherd, the moronic principal misinterprets this and assumes she's meeting him to have an affair, even though Lois has been married to Peter for over 20 years, but this didn't hinder his attempt until she said why she was really there.
- In "Start Me Up", Principal Shepherd mass-produced a bunch of mugs with pictures of penises on them for Peter Griffin, even though he knew he didn't want that.
- In "Movin' In (Principal Shepherd's Song)", Principal Shepherd implied that he was going to court after inappropriately massaging one of his female students. To avoid getting in trouble, he massages Chris, so that he could lie to the court, saying that he does that to all of his students. Later, Principal Shepherd openly fat-shamed Chris, cracking numerous jokes about him being overweight, not realizing that his intercom was on at the time. The entire school started laughing at Chris and he started crying. When this was brought to the attention of Peter and Lois Griffin, the superintendent fired Principal Shepherd. Principal Shepherd somehow convinced Peter and Lois to let him stay with them until he could get back on his feet and they obliged, despite him having bullied their son. During his stay, Principal Shepherd became the principal of the house and did such things as shun Peter to the special needs classroom and smack Peter's hand with a ruler. When The Griffins decided it was time for him to go, Principal Shepherd was upset and so he tricked them into going into the basement, where he locked them in there. The Griffins eventually broke out but instead of getting revenge on Principal Shepherd, they successfully petitioned to have him go back to Adam West High School again and he went right back to being a corrupt principal, just like before.
- In "Meg's Wedding", Principal Shepard yells at Meg to silence her when she questions his mediocre and idiotic plans for an upcoming dance that are actually hazardous to the student body.
- In "Wild Wild West", when Lois gathers some of the townspeople to discuss who the new mayor of Quahog should be and what concerns people have about potential new policies Principal Shepard reveals that is a descendant of puritans and like his idiotic ancestors (who were also implied to be witch hunters) thinks it should be acceptable to throw women into the pond to see if they're witches. When Lois dismisses this as too extreme Shepherd accuses her of being a witch, demonstrating his political incompetence and stupidity.
- In "Meg Goes to College", at the request of Lois and Peter, Principal Shepard helps them fake a college application by making it look like Meg was a star athlete by digitally posting Meg's face on over other people's face in photographs so Meg would be accepted into Brown University.
- Principal Shepherd is Jewish, as revealed in "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein", when Peter said that he saw him at Temple.
- Principal Shepherd is the first character in Family Guy history to say Bruce's name out loud, after five long years of him being nameless. This was in "No Chris Left Behind" and Bruce was happy that someone finally mentioned his name.
- In "Adam West High", it was revealed that Principal Shepherd has an addiction for gambling and sports betting.