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Family Guy: 5 Of The Saddest And Darkest Episodes (That Made Grown Fans Cry)

Comedic shows are meant to be a break from reality for us. They take even the worst days and fill us with laughter and lighten our souls so we can push on to the next day. Of course, even the funniest of shows go a little deep now and again, giving us some pretty intense moments of sadness. "Family Guy" is one of the world's most popular sitcoms and Seth MacFarlane's masterpiece has pulled on our heartstrings and ripped us apart a few times.

From self-sacrifice to declarations of love to dealing with physical domestic abuse, the characters from Quahog, Rhode Island, have decided to tackle some of society's most gutwrenching and emotional situations and subjects to give us some surprisingly wrecking moments throughout the over two decades of episodes. While most of these moments are followed up with or lightened throughout with some light-hearted humor or tension-breaking lines, they definitely didn't stop us from blubbering like idiots while they played out.

Across the 21 seasons of "Family Guy," we have put together the five most emotionally disastrous episodes MacFarlane has ever brought us, and even if you don't cry while reading these and remembering the toll they took on you at the time, we're sure you were grabbing the box of tissues with us when they aired.

Quagmire has a daughter

Glenn Quagmire, one of the many characters voiced by Seth MacFarlane, is the sex-addicted neighbor of the Griffins. While he claims to have had sex with over 1,000 women at one point in the series, his creepy sex-crazed antics make him one of the more entertaining, if not problematic, residents of the town of Quahog. That is why it is so surprising that fans were given a moment to get emotional with him when he discovers he has a daughter.

In Season 8, Episode 6, "Quagmire's Baby," Peter Griffin (again, Seth MacFarlane) comes to Quagmire's home to return a radio he bought at a garage sale when they find a basket with a baby inside. Quagmire, who calls the child Anna Lee, tries to come to grips with being a father while still cavorting with as many women as possible. Of course, the crying infant ruins many of his plans and he makes the decision to put Anna Lee up for adoption.

What makes this episode tremendously sad is not that he is a father (he claims to have many illegitimate children all over Quahog) but that after putting Anna Lee up for adoption, he discovers it is a huge mistake. Just when you think he is going to go back and get for himself, he sees how happy she is with her new family and decides she is better off with them. While we, as viewers, would never believe that Quahog would make a good father, he does exactly what a good father does and puts his baby's interests in front of his own, even at the cost of great personal loss.

Brian kills Stewie's best friend

Brian and Stewie Griffin, both voiced by Seth MacFarlane (are we noticing a pattern yet?), have a friendship that is one of the more entertaining dynamics in the series. You see the two of them getting into and out of trouble together often, but never without razzing each other a little along the way. However, that friendship is strained at times throughout the series, never more so than when Brian commits the ultimate betrayal.

In Season 16, Episode 11, "Dog Bites Bear," Brian joins Stewie to watch "The Fast and the Furious," but is quickly annoyed by Stewie's back-and-forth interactions with his pet bear, Rupert. Brian leaves to go to the bar, and Stewie goes to sleep. When Stewies awakes the following morning, he discovers that Brian, in a drunken rage, ripped Rupert to shreds. The friendship is broken, and Stewie treks off to spread Rupert's ashes at the summit of Mount Mansfield. Always the loyal best friend, Brian accompanies him to keep an eye on him.

During the trip, Brian confesses that the ripping up of Rupert wasn't an accident, and the two have a physical confrontation. When the two share their feelings, it is revealed that Brian doesn't like that Rupert gets all of his friend's attention and Stewie reveals that while Brian is his best friend, he will die while Rupert will never leave him. It is a gut-wrenching moment that shines a light on our often short relationships with man's best friend. As an olive branch, Brian replaces Rupert for Stewie while he sleeps.

Brian has a gun

While their friendship has had its rough times, Brian and Stewie have also had many great moments of bonding that have given us the warm and fuzzies. However, one moment in the friendship was enough to make even the most hardened of people blubber like a Stewie-aged child.

In Season 8, Episode 17, "Brian and Stewie," the pair of buddies are in the bank so Brian can deposit money into his Christmas fund when they get stuck in the vault after the door closes. While Brian reads his first edition of "David Copperfield," Stewie asks Brian why he has a gun in his safety deposit box, especially since he is one of the last people he would expect to have one. His response is one that rattles the viewer, revealing that he has it in case he would ever want to end his life. When Stewie presses him on why he would ever consider it, he says he can't find purpose in his life.

Stewie responds with words that reassure his friend that his presence is needed; he not only likes having him around as a best friend, but he loves him in a way that people love one another to the point where they can't imagine not having that person around. It is a powerful moment that tells all of us that sometimes just being around is enough to help someone through dark times. It's also an important reminder to never miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them and they are important to you.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org

Brian offers his life to save Peter

Another heavy subject matter that "Family Guy" tackles is the idea of medical conditions taking those that we love. Of course, the episode, in question, is filled with the typical quirky lines and quips we have come to expect from the series, but that doesn't take away from the scene that ultimately becomes one of the most poignant and emotional acts of true selflessness in the show.

In Season 9, Episode 8, "A New Kidney in Town," Peter is kept awake by Brian for so long that he is driven to use Red Bull to stay awake. When he becomes addicted, the family is worried and gets rid of the drinks. In desperation, Peter attempts to make his own and poisons himself with gasoline, ruining his kidneys to the point of needing a transplant. Brian steps up to be tested, discovering he is a match, but also that the operation would take both of his kidneys since he is a dog. Without hesitation, he agrees to do it. We then get an emotional speech from him talking about how Peter is his best friend, and he has already saved his life, so it is time for Brian to return the favor.

What makes the episode even more heartbreaking is the attempt by Stewie to kidnap Brian to keep him from doing it. He begins sobbing, saying he doesn't want to lose Peter or Bridan, only for Brian to convince him that Stewie can live without a dog, but he can't live without a father.

Brian's death

The death of a family member is one of the most devastating things anyone can go through. Even if the family member is of the furry variety. The death of a family dog is a traumatic experience that is oftentimes a child's first brush with the concept of death and one that some people never fully get over.

"Family Guy" approaches this idea in Season 12, Episode 6, "Life of Brian." After a close call with Native Americans, Stewie decides that their close brushes with time travel are enough, and he smashes his time machine. This turns out to be some of the worst timing imaginable as directly following that moment, the pair set up a hockey net in the street to play a game, and we watch in horror as Brian is hit by a car. The episode then goes on to the veterinary clinic, where the family is informed that their beloved pet won't survive the injuries.

The most soul-destroying moment in the episode is the simple way that Brian says goodbye. He utters one phrase, "You've given me a good life and I love you all." That is all we are left with as he passes away. The other moments that happened before this one showed Brian to be the heart of the family and led us to possibly one of the saddest character deaths in TV history.