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The Family Guy Moment Fans Find Oddly Wholesome

When choosing the words to describe the hit Fox adult animated sitcom "Family Guy," wholesome is likely the very last one to come to mind. The series, which takes a satirical look at American life through the lens of an eccentric Rhode Island family, is unlike similar adult animated shows such as Matt Groening's "The Simpsons" and "Futurama," which often find ways to blend their biting satire with genuine heart. Rather, the Seth Macfarlane-created cartoon has continued to push its extreme content and shock value over the decades since its debut in 1999. From its gratuitous violence to the family's largely despicable treatment towards one another (especially poor Meg), there's practically no place the series won't go for the sake of raunchy comedy.

However, every now and then, the series does manage to remind us why the family from Quahog has endured for so long. Although most of the show's more grounded and sweeter moments take place during its first few seasons, the series' later episodes also saw touching bits and pieces be interspersed throughout the chaos. One subtle moment in Season 9 has had fans looking back with fresh eyes and open hearts.

The time Peter protected Brian

"Tiegs for Two" is Episode 14 of Season 9 and sees Brian in a sad place, as his love life continues to yield unpleasant results. When he discovers that his enemy, Glenn Quagmire, is hosting a class on how to pick up women, Brian decides to enroll. We learn more about Quagmire's long lost love, actress and model Cheryl Tiegs, who has been referenced a few times in earlier episodes. Cheryl and Quagmire were once in a serious relationship, and when that ended, Quagmire transformed into the sex-crazed neighbor he is known as today. In "Tiegs for Two," Brian dates Cheryl to get back at Quagmire for not successfully helping him find love.

When he first learns of Brian and Cheryl's relationship, Quagmire is understandably furious. So much so that he bursts into the Griffin's household, looking for Brian. When he finds him and Peter sitting on the couch, Quagmire tries to attack him. Peter intervenes and gets up to hold Quagmire back, while Brian just watches this all, unfazed. Peter then learns that Brian is dating Tiegs and congratulates him.

While it is a brief moment, seeing Peter stand up for and protect Brian is rather touching. In almost any other situation, the show would've likely resorted to its trademark senseless violence, so having the scene play out this way also adds for a nice subversion of our expectations. Peter's concerned expression ties it all together, showing that deep down, he really does care about his family.

Fans were surprised to see Peter take action

A number of "Family Guy" fans have been praised the small yet tender moment. Reddit user u/wholelottahate19 posted a screenshot of Quagmire trying to get to Brian, while mentioning how "oddly wholesome" it was to see Peter protect Brian. They were not alone in that mindset. Many users brought up the genuine look of worry in Peter's face. u/AndrewHNPX is one of these commenters, saying, "I love Peter's expression there, such a look of concern." Similarly, u/Growingcodist writes, "I think this is the only time I've seen Peter look genuinely worried about something."

Some fans have found that the show's over-reliance on shock humor and violence have contributed to its decline (via Vulture). Even some of the head writers believe that "Family Guy" has its fair share of problems (via Vulture). So, perhaps it's not surprising that some fans brought up how refreshing it is to see the character's more compassionate motivations take center stage, as well as how meaningful it can be to see this amidst the typical "Family Guy" chaos and absurdity. User u/Peachie_bongo comments, "Well, Peter likes both Quagmire and Brian so wouldn't want to see them fight. Nonetheless, wholesome!" Redditor u/LennyMcRogers notes how it's the little things that count: "There's tiny things the characters do sometimes that I oddly find cute." Although the moment of Peter protecting Brian only lasted a brief few seconds, those few seconds still brought back some of that good, ol' fashioned humanity that help make "Family Guy" a classic.