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The Worst Things Brian Griffin Has Ever Done On Family Guy

On January 31, 1999, Seth MacFarlane introduced “Family Guy,” a show about a family living in Rhode Island where chaos is an everyday occurrence. Over the years, the several characters that MacFarlane voices including the dim-witted protagonist Peter Griffin, the evil genius infant Stewie, and the family’s talking dog, Brian have become some of the most popular characters in the show’s history. In the early days, Brian was one of the only characters who strayed Peter off his shenanigans and brought the family together with sound advice.

However, as the series progresses, Brian starts becoming a horrible know-it-all with an annoyingly preachy and righteous attitude, whose actions are often the complete opposite. It’s fair to say Brian has fallen prey to the “Flanderization” trope that has occurred in other shows, where a character’s singular trait grows to overshadow the entirety of their personality. But in the case of this Prius-driving dog, it’s possible that his true self has slowly come out, but we will let you be the judge of that. Here are 12 of the worst things that Brian Griffin has ever done on “Family Guy,” and didn’t care to change afterward.

Swindles Glenn Quagmire
Brian and Glenn Quagmire aren’t buddies. Brian knows it, Quagmire knows it, and the viewers know it. So deep is the hatred that in Season 8, Episode 18 (“Quagmire’s Dad”), Quagmire vows to “blow [Brian’s] head off” if he sees Brian anywhere near his residence. However, Quagmire demonstrates a strange act of kindness in Season 13, Episode 4 (“Brian The Closer”), by paying for Brian’s dental operation after he’s horribly disfigured in an accident. After getting a new set of teeth, Brian is accepted as a real estate agent, which unearths an immensely obnoxious attitude.

To repay the commercial airline pilot for the kind gesture, Brian swindles Quagmire by tricking him into buying an absolute dumpster fire of a property. Furious at the deception, Quagmire hunts for Brian, who attempts to evade his neighbor for the next 72 hours to nullify Quagmire’s chance of getting out of this deal. Quagmire finally catches up to his best friend’s treacherous dog, but Brian goes on a remorseful rant about how he’s a “selfish and pretentious jerk” (finally, some honesty) but only as a ploy to waste the remaining minutes of the 72-hour window. However, Brian gets some comeuppance in the end as Quagmire whacks Brian in the face with a lamp, once more shattering his teeth. It seems, every pilot swindled by a dog has his day.

Cheats on Rita
How often have we seen Brian complain about how all his relationships have failed due to one reason or another, but never because of his own faults? He goes to tremendous lengths to impress young and naïve women, often relying on cheap pretension and lies. However, in Season 8, Episode 4 (“Brian’s Got a Brand New Bag”), he meets Rita, a 50-year-old woman whom he truly loves and defends when the Griffins make cruel jokes about her age. The commitment-phobic dog even proposes marriage to Rita and gets engaged to her. Is there hope for him after all?

Unfortunately, no. When Rita breaks her hip and Brian is stuck taking care of her, he quickly considers this a burden he’s not prepared for. So, he does the best thing he can in this situation, and no, it isn’t being honest with Rita. Instead, he cheats on her with another woman while on a medicine run for the bedridden Rita. Interestingly, he returns and admits that after cheating on her, he has realized that Rita isn’t “too old” for him. But Rita rejects Brian and tells him he’s not old enough for her, putting an end to their relationship. Who knows? If she wasn’t lying on the bed with a broken hip, she too might have whacked the dog with a lamp.

Destroys Stewie’s play
Brian’s primary identity, in his mind, is that of a writer with creations such as “Faster Than the Speed of Love,” and the self–help book, “Wish It, Want It, Do It,” with the latter even becoming a best-seller. Of course, his first book, which is a rip-off of the “Iron Eagle” series, sells 0 copies after unanimous criticism from literary critics, while his second earns Brian a humiliating appearance on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

However, in Season 11, Episode 11 (“Brian’s Play”), he finds fame in Quahog when his new play “A Passing Fancy” is loved by everyone in the town. Once again, the sudden popularity goes to his head, until he comes across Stewie’s play, “An American Marriage.” Stunned at how exponentially better of a playwright his infant friend is, and unable to bear the disappointment of being outshone by a play that far supersedes his own, he chooses to chide Stewie about the play and is visibly upset upon learning that the production is headed for Broadway.

The same night, Brian buries Stewie’s play in the backyard in an attempt to destroy it and foil Stewie’s success. However, Stewie confronts his friend, slamming “A Passing Fancy” as a “mediocre patchwork of hackneyed ideas and tired clichés,” before reminding Brian that he will never be able to climb out of the “eternal mediocrity” that Brian calls writing.

Takes advantage of a blind woman
Be it because of his impeccable capacity to come up with on-the-spot lies or his (fake) liberal political viewpoint, Brian has quite an extensive romantic history. In the long list of women he has dated, one of his more frowned-upon attempts comes in Season 10, Episode 11 (“The Blind Side”), where Brian meets a blind woman named Kate. Brian puts on an entire show to pretend to be something he’s not — genuine. Despite learning that she hates dogs, Brian continues dating her, relying on lies and charades. He sets up events like valiantly fighting off a band of muggers and taking her to the Eiffel Tower to impress her.

In the end, Brian’s shtick is revealed — in front of Kate’s parents as well. Hurt that she has been lied to and her emotions toyed with, Kate leaves Brian. However, guilt and Brian don’t go hand-in-hand because he takes up Stewie’s advice and meets Kate again, this time by changing his voice and calling himself Noah.

Hits on Lois
Brian has called himself Peter’s best friend several times over the years, but despite this, he has made multiple unwanted romantic advances toward Lois. In Season 17, Episode 14 (“Family Guy Lite”), Brian learns that Lois is writing a novel about her fantasies and begins acting like the main character so that Lois takes a shine to him. In the end, upon learning that Lois and a clerk named Horatio are going to a stable, Brian pleads with her not to engage romantically with the clerk. For his troubles, Brian receives a well-deserved kick to the face from one of the horses in the stable.

The first time that Brian acts on his feelings for Lois is as early as Season 6, Episode 10 (“Play It Again, Brian”) during a weekend retreat when Brian attempts to kiss her. This leads to a huge fight between him and Peter, and he promises afterward, “nothing like this will ever happen again.” Although Brian does regret his actions terribly at the time, he continues attempting to win Lois’ affection in later episodes.

Kisses Meg
Brian’s crush on Lois is explored a number of times in “Family Guy,” but one encounter even he didn’t expect to happen was with Meg. In Season 5, Episode 8 (“Barely Legal”), Brian pities the Griffin daughter and begrudgingly takes her to a school dance, but after having a few drinks and sharing a kind moment, he kisses her. Sure, he immediately regrets the actions the following morning, but Meg already has ideas, resulting in one of her best moments on “Family Guy.”

Meg begins pursuing a romantic relationship with Brian while he constantly tries to avoid her advances. He gets punched in the face a few times after confiding in Lois, but frankly, he almost gets away too lightly. Desperate in her attempts to make Brian fall in love with her, Meg kidnaps the family dog and keeps him tied up in a hotel until they’re finally ambushed by friends and family. For someone with a life as traumatic as Meg’s, it’s understandable why she would jump at this opportunity to finally have a boyfriend, but Brian should have known better.

He’s a horrible father
“Family Guy” fathers aren’t the best parents by a long shot, but Brian’s attempt to use his son for his own success is up there with some of the worst acts. In Season 12, Episode 11 (“Brian’s A Bad Father”), Brian isn’t very keen on meeting Dylan because responsibility is scarier to him than the vacuum cleaner. However, he quickly changes that attitude when he learns that Dylan has been cast in a Disney TV show called “Parent Boppers.” He becomes very attentive toward his son and gets the idea across that he’d like a role as a writer in Dylan’s show. At Dylan’s request, the producers hire Brian on the writing team, but his characteristic obnoxiousness gets him fired from the show soon after.

You’d think by now Brian would have some semblance of a conscience and realize the error of his ways. Instead, he chooses to go back to Dylan looking for another hand-out, who now understands his father’s agenda. Having had enough of his lousy father, Dylan ceases all contact with him. Brian does see the error of his ways but still decides to steal the entire cafeteria table on his way out.

Ignores Stewie’s treatment at daycare
Brian cares for Stewie, probably even more than he cares about his son — as long as it doesn’t hinder his dating life. Even while in a relationship with Jillian, he leaves Stewie alone inside a car for three hours while the two spend intimate moments together. However, the severely selfish dog pulls out all stops in Season 10, Episode 14 (“Be Careful What You Fish For”), in an attempt to score a date with Stewie’s neglectful daycare teacher, Miss Emily.

Upon visiting the preschool, Brian is shocked to see the way the infants are left to fend for themselves as the teacher sunbathes outside. Brian goes out to give the teacher an earful until he sees Miss Emily in a bathing suit. He quickly begins ignoring the pathetic condition the children are in and even starts supporting the abusive teacher’s actions.

When Stewie comes home crying the next day with his right arm dangling off his shoulder because Miss Emily pulled on it too hard, Brian stuffs paper in the baby’s mouth to keep him from ruining Brian’s date. This all changes when Brian learns that she has a boyfriend and in the very next scene, two cops escort the handcuffed teacher from her house into a car while Brian admonishes, “What you did to these kids, there is a special place in hell for people like you.” That’s rich coming from you, Bri.

Gives herpes to Chris and Stewie
No matter how bad Brian comes off, he is a dog after all so some of his actions — like cleaning off his own puke or accepting a pukesicle from Peter — although seemingly grotesque, are acceptable for him. What’s not OK, however, is giving his best buddy a disease. In Season 12, Episode 16 (“Herpe, The Love Sore”), when Stewie wants to become “blood brothers” with Brian, he accepts knowing that he is carrying herpes. Sure, he tries talking the baby out of it,  but soon after, the two are slicing their palms and shaking hands with the open wound.

Stewie wakes up the following morning with a sore on his upper lip. At first, Brian denies having any part in it, but once he’s found out, he argues that it’s “not that big a deal.” This leads to some very embarrassing situations for Stewie at daycare and he soon learns that he isn’t the only one Brian has spread the disease to. Stewie’s older brother Chris also shared a blood pact with Brian and he too has to bear the consequences.

The famed family liberal
Brian may have been forgiven for posting that “Ride Along 3” tweet in Season 16, Episode 6 (“The D in Apartment 23”), considering that he did apologize for the insensitive remark. But on several other occasions, a bad side of Brian has come to light despite his perceived liberal political stance. In Season 4, Episode 4 (“Don’t Make Me Over”), when the family starts a band, Brian hoarsely barks at their manager, Dr. Diddy, and immediately apologizes, saying that he “gets that from his father.”

In Season 19, Episode 10 (“Fecal Matters”), Brian takes a DNA test and Stewie reveals that the family dog is 1% cat, but jokes that he’s also part black. Interestingly, it’s the latter that outrages Brian the most. Meanwhile, in Season 18, Episode 14 (“The Movement”), Brian, while declaring himself “the famed family liberal,” applauds Peter’s activism and compares himself to Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, and Dr. Martin Luther King. He loves his own statement so much that he tweets it and he has to move out again.

He’s no hero
Commitment isn’t for everybody and taking responsibility isn’t Brian’s strong suit as we’ve seen so often. In Season 15, Episode 3 (“American Gigg-olo”), Brian is mad that he’s no longer covered by the insurance that he desperately needs because he has a hernia. He even explains to Chris that he suffered the tear while “performing an incredible act of heroism.”

While walking by a lake, Brian notices a sinking car while the woman inside begs for help. In an immensely selfless act, Brian holds onto the car and tells the woman to escape as quickly as she can. She asks for more time so she can unstrap her baby from the backseat, and the “heroism” disappears as fast as it had arrived. Brian immediately lets go of the car while nonchalantly announcing that the vehicle is slipping away. Brian intentionally gives up because he doesn’t want to waste efforts on a woman who has a small child and is hence unavailable for dating. Almost makes you miss Brian’s replacement dog, Vinny

A pretentious fraud
Nobody can sum up Brian Griffin like Quagmire does in Season 8, Episode 7 (“Jerome Is The New Black”). In this one-and-half-minute tirade, Quagmire exposes Brian for the pretentious fraud that he is. There are various traits in Brian’s personality and almost all of them are horrible. For starters, he’s immensely hypocritical in all his actions — be it his political viewpoint or how he views women. For most of his adult life, Brian has called himself a book lover, and yet when Peter comes back from a business trip in Season 12, Episode 17 (“The Most Interesting Man In The World”), he exposes Brian’s lies with a series of questions about books.

He’s a staunch atheist and vehemently denies the existence of God, even though the family has previously had dinner with Jesus Christ. In Season 20, Episode 10 (“Christmas Crime”), in his drunken stupor, Brian runs over the Nativity scene and then tries dumping the blame on Mort Goldman simply because he follows a different religion. Behind his self-righteous garb is a very selfish alcoholic who loves himself more than anyone else. In 20 years, we’ve seen the extremely steep trajectory of Brian’s downfall, who has gone from the single morally correct and reasonable character to one of the most disliked ones that we’ve ever seen, and that includes Peter who has proven many times himself that he’s not a family guy.

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