Put away your tissues, Family Guy fans. You can breathe a deep sigh of relief as show creators have reversed their decision to kill off Stewie’s pet pooch Brian.
The Christmas special – which aired in America last night – saw the Griffin family’s youngster travel back in time to rescue his deceased pet who was killed after being hit by a car during an episode airing on 25 November. At the time, show creators swiftly replaced the canine with a new tough-talking family dog named Vinny, voiced by Sopranos actor Tony Sirico.
The move prompted outrage amongst fans with 150,000 signing an online petition to resurrect their beloved wise-cracking character. And during last night’s Christmas special their efforts paid off as a heartsick Stewie jumped back in time to the moment just before Brian’s sudden demise as the pair prepared for a game of street hockey.
As past Stewie goes inside to retrieve his knee pads, future Stewie arrives through a portal to tackle his pet out of harm’s way before a car comes hurtling down the street. After checking Brian is unharmed, Stewie exclaims, “You’re alive, my friend”. A bewildered Brian replies, “What the hell do you mean? Of course I’m alive.”
Stewie then explains, “Brian, that car killed you and when it did a little part of me died as well. I couldn’t live without you. So I came back from the future to save your life.”
Perhaps in reference to show writers’ attempts to introduce a new character, Brian then says, “You know, a lot of other families would have just gotten a new dog and moved on.”
“Oh, we could never do something like that, Brian,” Stewie replies.
Family Guy’s creator, Seth MacFarlane – who also voices Brian – took to Twitter after the episode had aired to thank fans for their efforts to revive the Griffin’s pet, teasing that they had never intended to kill him off altogether…
And thus endeth our warm, fuzzy holiday lesson: Never take those you love for granted, for they can be gone in a flash.