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The Real Reason Family Guy Killed Brian

It is an unfortunate fact that dogs, as a rule, die. Life spans vary depending on breed and circumstance, but by most standards, Brian Griffin had a decent run when the creators of "Family Guy" killed the living snot out of him in the 2013 episode, "Life of Brian." The show had existed since 1999, making him at least 14 in real-world years. In-universe, he was eight, or 56 in dog years, which isn't bad considering the lasting physical damage that must have been done when he didn't have Stewie's money.

Still, you can't reason with the grief process, and fans around the world mourned the booze-soaked white Lab when he was crushed by a speeding car. "Family Guy" has always been a gushing font of edgy narratives — not a lot of other shows would have jumped on "the baby is actively trying to murder his mother" with quite as much dead-eyed focus — but even by their standards, slaughtering the family dog seemed uncharacteristically bleak.

So why did they do it? According to Seth MacFarlane, Brian died to teach all of us brats at home a valuable lesson.

Thanks a lot, Family Guy

The veil of mystery surrounding Brian's death didn't get pulled back until after it was already undone. Two episodes after his demise, the Griffins' dog was brought back to life thanks to some creative timeline massaging, courtesy of Stewie, during the events of season 12's "Christmas Guy."

"And thus endeth our warm, fuzzy holiday lesson: Never take those you love for granted, for they can be gone in a flash," wrote series creator and star Seth MacFarlane in a since-deleted tweet. And just like that, we were all better people.

More than that, MacFarlane wanted to stir the pot after a long primetime tenure. According to Business Insider, he went into detail at a press event not long after he straight up murdered a cartoon dog. Brian's death "reminded people this is still a show where anything can happen despite the fact it's been on for a while," he explained. "We were all very surprised, in a good way, that people still cared enough about that character to be that angry."

Luckily for fans, "Family Guy" has already been renewed for two more seasons, with the smart money on further renewals down the road. Brian should have a good, long life ahead of him. There's no way they'd kill him again, right?