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.
Steve was born on October 7. He is portrayed as a stereotypical geek: he is a bit of a social outcast, wears glasses and harbors a strong academic interest in science, especially chemistry. More typically geeky traits of Steve's include his interests in Dungeons & Dragons, Harry Potter and Star Wars. Like most unpopular students, Steve is often physically and verbally picked on by the bullies of the more popular social circle. 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". 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. 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. 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.
Steve's mother, Francine, does not care that Steve is a geek, 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. Steve's red hair comes from Francine, who actually dyes her hair blonde.
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 making the couple killed. 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, or when they exacted revenge against Stan for turning a homeless shelter into a bumfight business.
Steve and Roger play video games together, get advice from each other and come up with schemes together. 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. 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. 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. Despite their love-hate relationship, Steve considers Roger his best friend, even once intervening to rescue the alien from an abusive relationship.
A freshman at Pearl BaileyHigh School, Steve is a highly capable musician, having taken up the cello to once impress a girl. In a later episode, however, Steve says that he has been playing the cello since he was nine. 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. Among Steve's other talents are being able to read Elvish, use Morse code, and communicate with dolphins.
While academically skilled, Steve is also quite naïve and not socially savvy. For example, he knows more about the New York Stock Exchange than about prostitution. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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 Bears towel he is revealed to use in "Camp Refoogee".
Steve has also been shown to occasionally struggle with both substance abuse and an addiction to power. In An Apocalypse to Remember, Steve claims to be hooked on "hallucinogenic berries", which ultimately turn out to be poisonous. In a later episode, Steve develops an addiction to the energy drink Cougar Boost. In the episode Virtual In-Stanity, Francine derides Stan for picking up a drug bunny as a last minute gift, in the process reminding Stan that they just barely got Steve off the heroin from Stan's previous last second gift. In both the pilot episode and You Debt Your Life, Steve demonstrates an addiction to power; in the former case by taking over the school after being turned down by a girl he was trying to impress, in the latter case due to his obsession with making the morning announcements and deciding what is worth broadcasting to the high school. Furthermore, as shown in the episode Jenny Fromdabloc, it is revealed that among his four friends Steve is considered to be the leader of the group going as far back as elementary school, prompting Roger to call Steve the "King of the Nerds". In most cases when his role as the leader of the group is threatened Steve's drive to maintain this position of power results in erratic behavior such as humiliating his friends with personal or compromising information or threats of physical violence against himself or others. In nearly every case outside of his immediate circle of friends, Steve's position of power or authority ends up stripped or removed from him, or in rare cases, remains with him in a curtailed capacity, as was the case in I am the Walrus.
In Hurricane!, it appeared that Steve might have a fetish for Asians and pregnant women, either separately or even both, when Francine found multiple magazines in Steve's bedroom. "Stanny Slickers II: The Legend of Ollie's Gold" and "Stan Time" also imply that Steve has a fetish for robotic women (in the former episode, he tried to build a date out of a vacuum cleaner and was shown to have a fully functioning female robot in Stan's vision of the future where Stan is famous after death, but everyone makes rude comments about his children being freaks. In the later episode, one of Steve's porno movie ideas depicts two women making out and turning into robots in a hot tub).
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. The group includes:
Snot, a teenager with curly hair, some noticeable stubble and acne, he is Steve's best friend. 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.
Barry, a morbidly obese and apparently simple-minded boy, he has an inarticulate, strident, and sloppy vocal quality. In the episode "With Friends Like Steve's" he is revealed to be a maniacal, demonic genius made to take special "vitamins" to inhibit these evil tendencies, and cause mental retardation. Without taking the pills, he also speaks in an English accent.
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. In the season 9 episode "Independent Movie" he says "Go on without me" in Japanese, then saying "please go" in perfect English. Toshi has spoken Russian and speaks Spanish when talking on the phone to Francine (though that could be Francine ignorantly thinking Toshi's Japanese is Spanish). Though they are friends, Toshi's greatest wish is to one day kill Steve. Toshi's parents speak perfect English, as does his younger sister, Akiko, who acts as Toshi's translator in episodes such as "Weiner of Our Discontent" and "The Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls". Toshi apparently knows of Roger Smith being an alien as he once called him "that alien in the wig".
Lisa Silver - a cheerleader who Steve asks out in the "Pilot" episode. He then runs for school president and when he wins, she starts dating him because of his power. When Steve tries to kiss her, she rejects him by calling him repulsive, leaving Steve heartbroken. Steve then has Stan deport Lisa and her family. Later, in "1600 Candles", Steve asks her out to the school dance. When Stan injects Steve with an aging formula, Steve shows up to meet Lisa as an old man and a little kid. She was about to dump him but gave him another chance. Steve then shows up at the dance normal and they dance. Then Roger arrives and pulls Steve's pants down, revealing his one pubic hair, causing some bullies including a member of the football team to give him a swirly.
Kim - In "Stan Knows Best", Steve has Roger dress up like Hayley and pretend to be a burn victim to get a date with Kim. But when Kim spends more time with Roger, Steve calls Roger ugly, causing Kim to leave.
Lindsay Coolidge - a girl that Steve asks out in "Francine's Flashback". She only agrees to go out with him if he can find a date for Lindsay's ugly friend, Jewel. Steve tricks Roger to go on a double date with him. When Jewel finds out that Roger is an alien, she tells Lindsay, causing Roger to knock them out. Then Stan has their memories of the date erased. Lindsay returns in "Big Trouble in Little Langley", where she becomes attracted to Steve after he blows things up with the fireworks his grandparents gave him. She said that if he blew up a person, she'd let him touch her boobs. Steve then tries to blow up Roger, but it fails and blasts his fingers off. Paramedics arrive and reattatch Steve's fingers, after which Lindsay lets Steve touch her breasts but because of the medication the paramedics gave him, Steve couldn't feel her breasts. Lindsay takes it as an insult and leaves. She next appears in "Choosy Wives Choose Smith", where Steve begins playing the cello to impress her. After his recital, Steve rejects Lindsay and chooses Simon, a stray cat that got ran over because of Steve.
Betsy White - the daughter of Chuck and Christie White, who Steve develops a crush on in "Deacon Stan, Jesus Man". Later, Betsy kisses Steve and because Steve was pregnant with Roger's baby at the time, the baby transferred into Betsy. It causes her parents to disown her and send her to her aunt's farm in Iowa. She became happy to be a teenage mother because it freed her from gymnastics.
Svetlana - a Russian mail-order bride that Steve and his friends accidentally receive in "Of Ice and Men". They later planned on skinny dipping with her until Hayley shows up and tells them that one of them must marry her. The boys hold a contest to see who will marry Svetlana and Snot wins. But later at the wedding, Toshi woos her over by learning Russian.
Gretchen Grossbard - an old woman that Steve meets after Steve's fake grandpa, Lou, dies. The two make out and start dating. Later, when Steve goes to visit her, he finds out she made out with Snot and they break up.
Makeva - an African girl that Steve falls in love with when he and Stan get sent to a refugee camp in "Camp Refoogee". Later, Makeva gets kidnapped by the men keeping them hostage. Steve defeats the leader in a race and wins back Makeva, only to find out she has developed Stockholm syndrome and fallen in love with her captor.
Hayley Smith - Steve's sister that he shows that he's in love with. In "Stannie Get Your Gun" Roger tricks Steve into thinking he's adopted so he French kisses Hayley. Then, in "Meter Made", Steve masturbates to a painting of Hayley nude but he was unaware it was her because her face wasn't shown on the painting. This shows that he finds his sister's body attractive.
Debbie Hyman - an overweight, goth girl that Steve meets in "The American Dad After-School Special". Steve later asks her out but when Stan meets Debbie, he develops anorexia. Steve thinks Debbie is the cause of his father's condition and breaks up with her. Later, Steve tells Stan that Debbie was the best thing that ever happened to him. Debbie was in the room and heard so the two got back together. She next appears in "Iced, Iced Babies" where she breaks up with Steve. They get back together in "Escape from Pearl Bailey". When Lisa Silver and her friends make fun of Debbie, Steve gets revenge on them. When Debbie finds out, she breaks up with Steve, but Steve claims he was defending her honor and they get back together. Later, in "Bar Mitzvah Hustle", she dumps Steve for Snot's bar mitzvah study partner, Etan for being more mature. When Steve exposes Etan's true immaturity, she dumps Etan and gets back together with Steve. Later, she finds out Steve was the one who stole Etan's presents and ends her relationship with him again.
Jenny Bowen - a girl that Steve flirts with in "Failure is Not a Factory-Installed Option". Jenny only dates guys with cars and when a salesman tricks Stan into buying 8 cars, he and his friends invite Jenny and her friends over. When Roger accidentally shows a movie on the neighbor's house, Steve tells her its a drive-in movie and they watch the movie together. Jenny is disappointed when Steve doesn't make a move. The next night, Steve invites her over but a repo man shows up and takes the cars away. Jenny and her friends later drive off with the repo man.
Becky Arangino - a cruise director that Steve meets in "The Vacation Goo", when the Smiths go on vacation. She likes young guys and taking their virginity causing Steve to like her. When Francine jumps overboard, Becky helps the family find her but a storm strands them on a deserted island. When they go in a cave, a cave-in occurs and kills Becky. The Smith are then forced to eat her corpse to survive.
Carmen Selectra - when Roger's alter ego Scotch Bingeington hosts a Spring Break party in "Spring Breakup", Carmen comes over to crown him as King of Spring Break. Steve then asks her to take his virginity. She agrees, but when Steve asks for her medical records, she leaves. She then gives Steve her medical records but when Steve finds out she has breast implants, Steve rejects her. When Carmen is about to crown Roger, she tells Steve that she had flown her doctor over to get rid of the implants and is ready to take his virginity. Then the stage collapses and kills her; tragically, if she had kept her implants, she would have survived.
Jewel - an ugly girl that Steve makes out with when he gets drunk in "Daddy Queerest".
Jeanine Winthrop - a girl that Steve meets in class in "A Jones for a Smith". The two become attracted to each other and when he goes over to her house. They were about to have sex when Jeanine's father steps in. He tells Steve that he's on board with Steve having sex with Jeanine and gives him a condom. Steve then has his family meet Jeanine's family. Stan was addicted to crack at the time and ruined the dinner, causing Jeanine's father to kick them out.
Amy - a girl in Steve's science class in "Merlot Down Dirty Shame". When Hayley and Klaus convince Steve is in a dream, he goes to school, kisses Amy then convinces her to jump out the window with him. She is then impaled on a fencepost but she survives.
Akiko Yoshida - Toshi's sister that Steve develops a crush on. When Akiko slaps Steve in "Weiner of Our Discontent", Steve gets an erection. Later, Steve goes trick-or-treating with Akiko and flirts with her in "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls" but she rejects him for a guy named Doug. In the episode "Spelling Bee My Baby", Steve and Akiko are shown openly flirting when an argument between Francine and Mrs. Yoshida turns them into rivals in the national spelling bee. Later, they meet and kiss, and Akiko convinces Steve to sneak out before the bee to meet, but she is kidnapped by Francine and imprisoned, and when Steve goes to meet with Akiko, he reads a note (left by Francine) that shoots him down. Heartbroken, Steve becomes more ruthless when he next sees Akiko at the Spelling Bee (having been released by Mrs. Yoshida) and the two face off. Akiko misspells a word and is eliminated from contention, but after finding out from Francine that she had kidnapped her, Steve intentionally misspells a word to keep Akiko in the competition after she is reprimanded for misspelling her word by her mother. The two continue to misspell words romantically the rest of the night back and forth, to the chagrin of the judges but to the satisfaction of their parents (until they resume their violent confrontation).
Ashley - a crazy girl that Steve meets in "Stan's Food Restaurant". Steve begins dating her so she will have sex with him. When he and Snot go on a double date with her, Ashley's friend turns out to be a doll named Julia. Steve is about to say something until Ashley kisses him. When Ashley accuses Snot of raping Julia, the date ends. Steve decides he can't take it anymore and hangs Julia and forges a suicide note. Ashley doesn't buy it and goes to find her murderer and puts off having sex with Steve. Steve leaves her and calls her weird.
Reshma - the nicest girl in school that Steve beats up in "License to Till" to become popular, but it backfires. Later, at Vince Chung's party, she kisses Steve and says that when her breasts mature, they're all his.
Phyllis - a virtual avatar that Stan creates to bond with Steve in "Virtual In-Stanity". Steve later goes on a date with her to a baseball game, she refuses to kiss him so Steve thinks she wants to be friends and decides to hook up with Chelsea. Stan is determined not to lose Steve so he has Phyllis offer Steve to have sex with her. When Francine finds out, she convinces Stan to accept his life with Steve as it is. Stan then has Phyllis break-up with Steve.
Chelsea - a girl that Steve meets in the above episode. When Steve's date with Phyllis is a bust, he finds out Chelsea speaks Orc and he becomes attracted to her and is about to ask her out, but then Phyllis offers Steve to have sex with her and he jumps at the chance. When Francine snaps him out of it, he decides to go out with Chelsea who rejects him for his superficiality.
Alicia Wilkner: A girl Steve met at a Spin-the-Bottle party, who turns out to be Roger in a disguise. Steve dated "Alicia" seven times, though it was actually nine, as Roger drugged Steve with Rohypnol for two of those dates and sarcastically claimed that "nothing happened."
^Written by Erik Durbin. Directed by Chris Bennett (May 22, 2011). "Gorillas in the Mist". American Dad!. Season 7. Episode 19. FOX.