What happened to Brian on Family Guy?

FOX’s hit animated series Family Guy has been on the air since 1999.

Family Guy fans were heartbroken during the 2013 Thanksgiving episode “Life of Brian.”

What happened to Brian on Family Guy?

In a November 2013 episode of Family Guy, Brian was killed off.

Brian was hit by a car leaving viewers wondering if he was gone for good or if he could miraculously come back thanks to the flexibility in cartoon universes. 

The episode featured Brian getting ran over and killed right in front of his best friend Stewie. 

How did viewers respond to Brian’s death?

According to Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the hit-series, fans created online petitions to bring back the beloved canine.

MacFarlane told The Independent, “We were all very surprised” in response to all the tweets and online backlash. 

He was surprised “that people still cared enough about that character to be that angry.”

He continued, "We thought it would create a little bit of a stir, but the rage wasn't something we counted on." 

Following the death, a new family dog named Vinnie entered the picture.

Did Brian ever come back?

In response to all the backlash, Family Guy creators decided to bring Brian back to life during a 2013 Christmas episode.

While shopping at a mall, Stewie finds his past self.

He remembers that Brian had a time machine in his backpack at the time of the death and asks Vinne to distract past-Stewie long enough to grab the time machine.

Stewie is able to travel back to the time of Brian’s accident and stop it from happening.

"You're alive, my friend!" Stewie says.

"I couldn't live without you so I came back from the future to save your life." 

Brian responds, "Thank you for saving my life. A lot of other families would have just gotten a new dog and moved on."

Why was Brian killed off?

MacFarlane explained on Twitter that the plot twist was to remind viewers to “never take those you love for granted, for they can be gone in a flash.”

"Oh and hey," he continued. "Thanks for caring so much about the canine Griffin. He is overcome with gratitude."

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