In Memoriam: Family Guy's Brian Griffin

Brian Griffin Killed Off Family GuyDoggone it. We had no idea how much we really loved Family Guy boozehound Brian Griffin until last night when — sniff — the Fox cartoon killed him off. (And in a spectacularly brutal hit-’n’-run, no less.)

Now that we know we’ll miss him, what will we miss most about Peter’s BFF and Stewie’s constant coconspirator? For starters, there’s the fact that:

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• Brian was an underdog with the can-do attitude of a top dog. So, although the aspiring writer produced more misses (the novel Faster Than the Speed of Love) than hits (the self-help bestseller Wish It, Want It, Do It), his pursuit of a literary career remained admirably, um, dogged.

• Brian got more “tail” than John Mayer. A lasting relationship may have eluded the stud, but, when he was unleashed, he managed to score with everyone from iconic supermodel Cheryl Tiegs to Quagmire’s father, Ida. Heck, this past Valentine’s Day, he even wound up in bed with not one of his exes but all of them! Beat that, Charlie Sheen.

BLIND ITEM | Hit Series Poised to Kill Off Star

• Brian had the class of a purebred. Yeah, yeah, he was always tipsy. However, while the rest of Quahog was getting soused on beer, their four-legged drinking buddy was swilling martinis like he was on a lunch  break from Sterling Cooper. (Then again, he was also kind of a pothead — in fact, it was his affinity for weed that allowed him to bond with his illegitimate stoner son, Dylan. Call this one a draw, then?)

brian dead family guy• Brian never (completely) lost his doggy adorability. As human — and, therefore, as flawed — as he was, he retained many of the canine traits that send us into fits of puppy love. One minute, he could be eloquently extolling the virtues of environmentalism, and the next, he could be freaking out because Lois has turned on the vacuum cleaner. (Is this not the definition of “well-rounded”?)

In conclusion, we can’t believe the show did it. We’re sorry they did it. And good luck, Vinny. At least, being one-sixteenth cat, he should have (slightly) more than one life to lose.

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77 Comments
  1. l says:

    They aren’t really going to leave him dead are they? Seems like these shows tend to ignore events of previous episodes… I expect him back and alive again in the next episode.

  2. Amanda says:

    whoa spoiler alert on the home page people! i know it’s just a cartoon, but still…. change the header.

    • Dave says:

      it aired yesterday … ergo, not a spoiler.

      • Esaul says:

        It’s still a spoiler for those who haven’t seen it yet, despite the fact that it aired yesterday, ergo still a spoiler.

        • Caitlin says:

          Once the episode airs on both US coasts, not a spoiler. It’s your responsibility to avoid sites if you didn’t watch it yet. You can’t expect these guys to not do their jobs just because you had other things to do last night.

          • Esaul says:

            If someone hasn’t seen it yet, it is still a spoiler to them. And other sites have reported on this and respectively used [Spoiler] in its headings. I’m not complaining that they didn’t use it, I already watched the episode. But it’s still considered a spoiler if someone hasn’t seen the episode. And if you follow TVLine on Facebook, the header appears on the newsfeed without having to read the article itself. You can’t avoid it if it appears right there on Facebook.

          • JenInChicago says:

            Where are you finding this definition? Not everyone records a show and then watches it later the same evening. I would consider this a spoiler. As would TV Line as they are treating their own headlines regarding last night’s episode of Boardwalk Empire.

            Evidence over opinion.

          • CandyCurses says:

            What about the rest of the world? I’m not saying these guys shouldn’t do their job, I love this site. But even though you usually have to click to read the whole story, the picture is a give-away.

            And by the way, why wasn’t there a weekly recap of Downton Abbey when it started this September?

        • Dave says:

          if you haven’t watched something that aired a day or more earlier, it’s your responsibility to stay off the internet until you do … not the responsibility of the internet to not speak of what you may or may not have watched.

          • Esaul says:

            There is no such thing as “responsibility” when it comes to watching TV. It’s called respect and common decency. It wouldn’t hurt to take an extra step and add the [Spoiler] tag like all the other stories do. I’m not about to avoid Facebook where I communicate with my family because I haven’t seen an episode of a show. Sometimes it takes me a couple of weeks until I get around to watching an episode. I do watch a lot of shows in general, so realistically that’s not possible. If I were concerned about not being spoiled, I would avoid any articles that state [Spoiler]. Your argument is flawed and makes no sense.

      • Jackie says:

        not everybody can watch the episode the day it airs

      • ajintexas says:

        No, people need to stop whining about spoliers. The rest of the weorld can’t sit around waiting to discuss this stuff until Dave out in Palm Springs has time to catch up on his DVR.

        • Ewa says:

          +1
          Thank you!

        • Jellymoff says:

          Yeah, but its one thing to discuss it on the site and another to have it show up in your Facebook feed. Not that I’m super up in arms but it would have been nice to not be spoiled.

          • ajintexas says:

            I get that, and it’s why I removed my like from their Facebook page. I was tired of getting spoiled, so I solved the problem and their Facebook page has one less like. Not like I need them in my feed when I can visit the site when I am ready. I agree that if they want more Facebook likes then they have to make a change.

        • Esaul says:

          TVLine typically does a decent job adding [Spoiler] to the header. I always know what I get myself into when I check the articles. I already saw Family Guy so this wasn’t a problem for me. However, this is a true spoiler for anyone who didn’t know and wasn’t warned beforehand. That’s unfair to them. This is the only time I can think of where a [Spoiler] wasn’t used and it’s fair to complain about it.

        • Why do people need to stop if they continue to feel wronged? Are you going to stop complaining about complaining? I doubt it.

    • Danielle H says:

      GDI I know.. I had not seen this yet!!! Very pissed.. on the spoiler acct and the death of Brian acct… WTF..

  3. Elly says:

    Oh my lord, they’ll bring him back people. Stop acting like this is the end of the world.

    • Francine says:

      I don’t see anyone complaining much or acting like “it’s the end of the world” at the time you posted this (or even after). What a strange comment to post here. Maybe on other sites there is major complaining going on, I don’t know….

  4. F.R. says:

    Wait, is the fact that the ‘BLIND ITEM | Hit Series Poised to Kill Off Star’ is mentioned in this article, means that this was the star?

    • Esaul says:

      No. Brian is voiced by Seth MacFarlane who voices several other characters in the show.

      • F.R. says:

        Yeah, didn’t make sense. I wonder if it’s Sons of Anarchy or Boardwalk Empire, but Ausiello remains silent.

        • Brian G. says:

          Did you seriously not connect the dots and figure out that the major character getting killed off is Nick Brody from Homeland?

          • F.R. says:

            It could just as easily be the big deaths from last week’s Sons of Anarchy or this week’s Boardwalk Empire.

            Brody is confirmed to appear in all remaining episodes of Homeland, including the December 15 finale.

            The blind item was first posted on October 17, in which Ausiello said “He won’t have to keep his trap shut for much longer” (the actor), and that the character will “soon be killed off”, implying that the death will happen shortly, in a matter of weeks at most.

            If the blind item is Brody, that means that 2 full months will pass between the publishing of the blind item and the on-screen death. Maybe Ausiello has a different definition of ‘soon’ than the rest of us.

            This is the only reason I’m still not sure about the item, by the way. I initially automatically assumed Brody as well, but maybe the fact that it’s so obvious, means that’s what we are all meant to think but it’s someone else.

          • Francine says:

            Yes you are correct- it could be any of those choices. There just hasn’t been enough in the hints to say its one character for sure.

    • ajintexas says:

      No, that is a real person on an hour long drama.

  5. Chuck Finley says:

    If they were going to bring him back why are they giving interviews talking about killing him off. It was a dick move to kill off a fan favorite, but they had Stewie destroy his time machine and wrote in that he can’t get parts to build a new one. Seems like they are pretty serious that he is gone for good. Too bad, they should have killed Meg. No one would miss Meg. (Insert Peter Griffin Giggle here)

    • WayneInNYC says:

      I think Brian will remain dead for a few episodes, but around Christmas, Stewie will run into himself buying that Christmas present and the two Stewies will go back and save Brian. Otherwise, what was the point of the future Christmas scene?

      • ajintexas says:

        Yeah you are right. Plus looking at some other articles the people that like to spoil are out in full force today making sure everyone knows exactly when he is coming back. Sigh.

    • TV Gord says:

      Meg may be hated on the show, but the abuse of her is loved (and would be missed, at least by me.) “You’re a smart feller, dad. And you’re a fart smeller, Meg!” :-D

    • Elf says:

      Would you want to be the guy at the FG production offices responsible for ensuring that Mila Kunis never comes by any more? Meg is safe…

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  7. TV Gord says:

    It will be interesting to see how long they can keep him dead. I think the backlash will force them to do a Dallas spoof, and have it all be a dream that Lois had. Cue Peter in the shower.

  8. WayneInNYC says:

    I think Brian will remain dead for a few episodes, but around Christmas, Stewie will run into himself buying that Christmas present and the two Stewies will go back and save Brian. Otherwise, what was the point of the future Christmas scene?

  9. This isn’t like when The Simpsons kills off characters for good (Maude Flanders, Mona Simpson, Fat Tony, etc.). Upcoming Family Guy episode titles include “Brian’s a Bad Father” and “Brian the Closer.” From EP Steve Callaghan’s interviews, this whole plot-line came from a random idea in the writers room to mix things up for a few episodes. All will revert back to status quo soon.

  10. Jerry says:

    I don’t really have a problem with Brian being killed off, but I think they could have been a little more imaginative than putting in Paulie from The Sopranos. I think a female dog would have changed the dynamics a lot more. And hey if you want to stay stereotypical what’s the actress who played Adriana doing these days?

  11. Badpenny says:

    It’s funny, Seth said doing Brian was the only voice that didn’t hurt his throat; so that’s the character they kill… :)

  12. References are awesome. says:

    Everyone knows Brian dies by eating chocoloate out of the garbage. At least that is what he told VanGogh, Hemmingway and Cobain.

  13. Diz says:

    No reason to watch now.

  14. eduardohomem says:

    What os bad thing for Peter and stewie

  15. Butters says:

    I am surprised and disappointed that it took TVLine so long to report on this. I understand not wanting to spoil the episode but it aired last night. I guess since this did not happen on Glee or Grey Anatomy it was not important enough. When I watched the episode last night I went to TVLine to find out if what I was watching was true. TVLine was silent on this topic until 2:30 EST today. I am disappointed in reporting and the response time. Other outlets were already reporting on this last night.

  16. Wally says:

    Websites that put spoilers in the headline get dumped from my RSS feed.

  17. kevin says:

    it would be fine, if they didnt replace him by a annoying sounding vinnie. Is he supposed to be a joke?

  18. Braywen says:

    Anyone know when I can watch this ep in the uk. Will miss him if it is permanent killing on show. It appeared in my news feed please be careful of non US viewers when posting titles.

  19. Emgee says:

    Wonder if we’ll still see Brian in flashbacks.

  20. TheTVJunkee says:

    It’s a cartoon so they have the ability to bring back any character they want at any time provided the voice of the character hasn’t passed away. I remember Seth saying multiple times that Brian is the only voice he does that doesn’t makes his throat hurt after doing it. Obviously because it’s his real voice. I’m sure it’s just some ruse to get people to watch the next few eps and was done to give Seth more time to direct Ted 2. Plus I’ve seen multiple episode titles with Brian in them and they released a VO list that has Maya Rudolph having scenes with Brian. Knowing this show at the very end of the season, Stewie will wake up in his crib, go into the bathroom and find Brian in there taking a shower proving that it was all a dream.

  21. LL624 says:

    Spoilers sound like he’ll be back. I don’t like new dog Vinny, though. I hope he’s not around long. Seth said killing Brian was less traumatic than killing one of the kids. I think Stewie would disagree. It’s pretty traumatic for a kid to watch his dog get mangled by a car right in front of his eyes. He might even wish it was Meg. Or better yet Lois. He has tried to kill her on several occasions.
    .
    As long as they don’t ever kill off Stewie I think they’re safe.

  22. Joerwp says:

    I hate the fact that Brian is dead and I’m truly looking forward to seeing him in the future episodes!! My favourite episodes were always the Stewie and Brian ones!… Although I’m curious seeing what the intro will be like next week!

  23. Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell says:

    And so it was, Seth MacFarlane looked forward while piloting his beloved show directly over the top of a shark…

  24. sandi says:

    The episode was titled Life of Brian. His last words were “You’ve given me a WONDERFUL LIFE”. A bell will ring, Brian will get his wings, and he’ll come back as an angel in a spinoff called “The Afterlife of Brian”. Just a thought…

  25. J says:

    I’m not going to watch Family Guy anymore. Seth MacFarlane and the other writers have completely ruined the show for me, and I’m sure for many other people too. Replacing him is outrageous! How can you replace Brian?! It would be like killing off Roger Smith from American Dad…it just wouldn’t be the same!

  26. Wither_Lord08 says:

    I HATE VINNY!!!

  27. I will personally never watch another episode of family guy, ever. Whoever made this decision is the biggest jackass in entertainment. I do not see how anyone working in the production of this show can see this as an intelligent idea. Way to many good times between stewie and Brian for him to be killed off. Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed.

  28. Vijay says:

    Not sure what is worse. The death of Brian….… or Vinny. Both are horrible

  29. john walker says:

    if brin aint back i will boy cot the show

  30. Brookie says:

    Everybody go on change.org and sign a petition for Brian to be back on the show!

  31. Brookie says:

    Hey everybody want brian back go on change.org and sign a petition and enter we just need a lot more people to sign so he will get back on so enter in that website and start signing!

  32. Jeroen says:

    At first thank you for the spoilers when I read this I go immediately watch the espiode on YouTube and I guess it is in two days on the Dutch television. By the way I don’t think Brian is gonna be coming back cuz there must be a character change to keep it intresting.

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  34. Jones says:

    kill off brian but let that annoying alien on american dad live? ridiculous.