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|“||Whose leg do you have to hump to get a dry martini around here?||„|
|~ Brian Griffin's famous catchphrase.|
In "Life of Brian", he dies after being struck by a car. However, two episodes later, in "Christmas Guy", Stewie soon saw his past time traveling self and was able to steal his return pad and transport back to the point where Brian was killed. Before the car could hit Brian, Stewie pushed him out of the way and saved his life.
He is voiced by the Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane.
Initially, Brian is a comparatively more grounded and reasonable character, acting as a decent foil towards Peter. However, as with many characters, Brian has started to show more of an atrocious side as the series progresses into more of a dark humor series. He became very egotistical and severely egomaniacal (this may be because of his bad behavior, which he continuously blames on somebody else rather than himself, showing him to be a narcissist) and being very obsessed with his failed book Faster Than the Speed of Love and then his bestseller Wish It, Want It, Do It), inadvertently turning even more into Lois' father Carter in later seasons.
However, some of his old personality almost remains and still acting sometimes empathetic on the Griffin family, mainly Stewie for protection reasons. He and Stewie are the most intelligent of all of the members of the Griffin family.
Brian is a talking white dog. He was born in a puppy mill in Austin, Texas and has lived with the Griffin family since Peter picked him up as a stray. While he exhibits some typical dog behaviors such as eating garbage and licking himself, he also possesses various anthropomorphic qualities, such as the ability to speak quite intelligently and walk on two legs. He also has a particularly sharp wit. Peter is his best friend, despite Brian's vastly superior intelligence. Brian is often the voice of reason in the family, often reminding Peter how stupid his plans are.
Brian has a cultured background; he loves opera and jazz, has talented vocal ability, being able to sing all four parts to a barbershop quartet simultaneously. He is depicted speaking fluent French, Tagalog, and decent Spanish. He attended Brown University, is also a member of Mensa, and is an avid writer (in Brian Goes Back to College, he is invited to write for The New Yorker). Brian is apparently working on a novel, but the fact that he just can't seem to finish it has become a running gag.
While not seen holding a regular job in Quahog, Brian is depicted owning a 2004 Toyota Prius, paying bills, and maintaining a credit card. In an episode he has been a substitute teacher at Chris' school, a contributor for The New Yorker, a taxi driver and a drug-sniffing dog for the Quahog police department. He also worked selling cars while the Griffin family thought that Peter had died in the episode "Perfect Castaways." Brian held several jobs while living in Los Angeles including waiter, car wash attendant, screenwriter and pornographic film director.
In "Love Blactually", Brian is shown to be an atheist. He attempts to purchase a copy of The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, meeting love interest Carolyn, who reaches for the same copy. However, this is questionable after the episode "I Dream of Jesus," when he saw Jesus perform a miracle.
He shares a very close friendship with Stewie, and in the episode, "Brian and Stewie" (season 8), they admitted that they love each other - not as lovers, but as irreplaceable friends. In the twelfth season episode "Life of Brian," aired November 24, 2013, he is fatally wounded after being run over a mysterious Car Driver. He later dies on the operating table. His last words were "You've given me a wonderful life, I love you all." However, in the episode "Christmas Guy" (two episodes later), aired on December 15, 2013, Stewie goes back in time to before Brian was killed and saves him, making it so that he never died.
- Brian once dated a neglectful preschool teacher known as Miss Emily and looked past the neglect of the children (including his friend Stewie) to continue being with her. He only reports her after he learns she has another boyfriend. This is considered his Moral Event Horizon by some, as he turns her in to the authorities only because she has another boyfriend.
- In Back to the Woods, a flashback reveals that Brian taped the reaction of Stewie, who was forced to see an obscene video called Two Girls, One Cup, just for Brian's own sadistic amusement.
- In Killer Queen, Brian tormented his friend Stewie with a Queen album's disturbing imagery, almost driving Stewie to commit suicide over the trauma. He then discourages Stewie into showing it is just an album cover.
- in Back to the Pilot, Brian and Stewie travel back to the first episode of the series. Brian says he needs to use the bathroom, but instead, he intentionally tells his past self about September 11, 2001. Even though he saves 3,000 lives, it causes Former President George W. Bush to lose the 2004 election and reform the confederacy with the southern states seceding from the country, resulting in another civil war which kills 17 million people. When Stewie and Brian correct the mistake and return to the Present, Stewie discovers that Brian has taken false and undeserved credit for the Harry Potter Novels.
- He once took Principessa off of Lois so he could fondle her breasts but when she wakes up he hits her on the head with a lamp and drives away.
- Once, he shot an innocent man and said to him, "Later, Dink."
- In The Thin White Line, Brian became addicted to cocaine. This led to some uncomfortable turbulence as he became more aggressive with his family.
- Brian is in love with Lois Griffin, constantly flirts with her, and, in Play It Again, Brian, tries to show it by nearly raping her.
- In another instance, Brian dates a blind woman and tries to hide the fact that he is a dog. When exposed, she breaks up with him for the lie. However, he is shown at the end of the episode taking advantage of her blindness by pretending he's another guy with a different voice with the implication that he will trick her into having sex with him.
- Brian once dated Cheryl Tiegs just to spite Glenn Quagmire.
- In a cutaway gag, Brian accidentally runs over Dean Koontz and backs over him again once he found out he wasn't Stephen King.
- Brian steals the Golden Clam Trophy due to a fondness for shiny things, which causes great tension between the residents of Spooner Street (which led to accusations of theft), and sway them from learning the truth. He also presumably killed Rod Serling in a cutaway gag following this incident.
- When Brian got a gag self help book called "Wish it, Want it, Do it" published, he became extremely ungrateful, and arrogant when the book became a success. Even though Stewie had helped him get the book published in the first place and had offered to be his publicist, Brian abused him many times. Such examples of this abuse included forcing him to return to their hotel alone just because they had eaten dinner in the back room of a fancy restaurant, blaming him because Brian was standing under an air vent, and firing him for forgetting to tell him about a change in a talk show. At the end, Brian still blames him for his own mistakes on said show.
- Brian is also shown to have a nasty habit of being unreliable with paying up, such as with his bet with Stewie and setting up his date Ida to pay for drinks after promising he would cover it (although the former led to one of Stewie's more villainous moments when he tortured Brian multiple times over the bet).
- When Stewie offered Brian one free punch, Brian used this to terrify Stewie, to the point where he beats himself up. In the end, Brian kicks Stewie into a double-decker bus. However, considering Stewie viciously beat him up twice, shot him in both knees, and torched him with a flamethrower in the same episode, they would be considered even.
- During their attempt at doing Santa's job in Road to the North Pole, Brian and Stewie violently murder a little girl's father, knock her mother unconscious with a baseball bat when she tries to flee for help and then tie them both up to prevent them from calling the cops.
- Despite having good intentions in that he was trying to convince Mayor Adam West to revoke the gay marriage ban, Brian still held the mayor hostage at gunpoint.
- While hanging out with Frank Sinatra Jr., he decided to live life at the fullest. But as a result, he became an alcoholic, abandoned Stewie, where he was attacked by man-eating deer and lost an ear, and even bit Peter.
- In Stewie B. Goode, Brian gave Stewie alcohol and made him drunk, although it was originally to teach him a lesson.
- In the same episode, Brian brought Stewie to the Drunken Clam, which is illegal to bring minors to bars. Both Brian and Stewie drank so many martinis that they ended up crashing into the Drunken Clam, causing property damage, and, unintentionally, made Peter lose his job in You Know What Grinds My Gears?.
- In the video game Back to the Multiverse, Brian is shown freely engaging in attacking, killing, and other atrocious acts, including a disgusting sense of "humor" when he ignores Joe's calls for help after the boss fight against Crippletron. He even assassinates Mayor McCheese on behalf of "Evil Mayor West" in order to retain a favor in one dimension, and is really only concerned about Evil Mayor West backing out on his deal; although in fairness, Brian is trying to keep Evil Mayor West from providing weapons for Bertram's plot. He also has an odd Even Evil Has Standards moment when he considers Stewie "sick" for killing the Santa Claus of one dimension by dropping a TV set on him.
- Brian has shown to be a hypocrite from time to time:
- The first example is in Brian & Stewie, in which despite being liberal, he keeps a pistol because of protective reasons and pretends to be against using a gun itself over the "national tragedy at Combine", although it's later revealed that he has it in case he wants to commit suicide. Stewie even mentions his liberal views when he asks Brian why he has the gun.
- A second example of Brian being a hypocrite is when he deliberately runs over a squirrel, which, unbeknownst to him, traumatizes Stewie. He also hires a hitman to kill Quagmire's cat. Also during a date in Love, Blactually, he mauls a rabbit at a pet store. These actions make him a hypocrite because in several episodes he supported animal rights and was against violence towards animals.
- A Third example is his views on LGBT rights, which he violated in Family Gay when Lois is depressed that Peter is leaving her for another man. Brian then takes Stewie's idea for ending Lois' depression by kidnapping Peter and taking him to an ex-gay center to "turn him back to his old self". This was justified though.
- The fourth and final one is the episode Family Guy Lite. In the episode, he read Lois' manuscript for her creative writing group and interprets this to mean this is something she's looking for in a lover. An attempt to be that lover and have an Affair with her fails, but a trip to the grocery store to find wine for a second attempt reveals that not only is it the location of her manuscript, but a clerk named Horatio is the man described in it. When Lois announces that she's going to the grocery store and won't be home until late, Brian and Stewie follow Lois and find her taking Horatio for a ride to a stable. Confronting her and begging her not to have an affair, Brian reveals that not only did he read her manuscript but tried to use it to take advantage of her. Brian was basically telling Lois that her having an affair with anyone other than him is morally objectionable.
- In Brian's a Bad Father, Brian has neglected to visit his human son Dylan. But upon hearing he is a famous TV star, Brian sets to become a writer on his show and make adult-only changes to it. Dylan realizes Brian only took the job for his own advantage and pointed out what a bad father he really is. Brian also steals a table of food from the studio. Fortunately, they make up later on thanks to Stewie.
- In Herpe the Love Sore, he gives Stewie and Chris herpes by transmitting blood, knowing very well that he himself has the incurable disease and kept it a secret from them. The two exact revenge on Brian as a result.
- In Brian the Closer, Brian gets a job as a real estate agent after undergoing surgery. He cons Quagmire into buying a run-down apartment loft, despite the fact that Quagmire consoled and helped Brian with his teeth earlier in the episode (Quagmire calls him out on this later on). Later Brian apparently comes to the realization of his actions and admits what he did was pretentious - until revealing it was part of his devious plan to outlast the 72 hours on Quagmire’s warranty, which causes Quagmire to violently break his teeth with a lamp. It's unknown how Quagmire got his money back.
- In This Little Piggy, while Brian and Stewie are at the Folk Festival, they both meet a hippie girl who ends up overdosing on cocaine. Afterwards, Brian and Stewie both decide to dump her body in a pile of other dead hippies, Brian feels nothing over dumping her body or seeing the other corpses. Stewie regarded him as a monster for his sexual objectification of the hippie girl and knowing nothing about her.
- In the episode Stewie is Enceinte, Stewie decides to impregnate himself with Brian's seed, in the hopes of having his babies so that they can grow closer. Brian constantly tries to kill the unborn babies by pushing Stewie down the stairs or through other various evil acts. When the babies do finally come, he ends up getting closer to them, but once they clear up a misunderstanding, Brian suggests they get rid of them, by giving them to an animal shelter.
- In the episode "The Heartbreak Dog", Brian has an affair with his Next Door Neighbor Bonnie Swanson, causing her to temporarily leave Joe. Later on, Joe eventually finds Brian and Bonnie at a diner and apologizes to Bonnie for being too dependent on her due to him being a paraplegic and they reconcile. Brian smugly calls himself Cupid for bringing Joe and Bonnie back together, but Joe shoots him in the leg as punishment for his affair with her.
- In the episode American Gigg-olo, Brian tried to save an attractive young woman whose car had crashed into the ocean, but after finding out she had a baby, let them both drown. He then gets a job at a hardware store to reclaim his health insurance but acts pretentious and shows no interest in helping customers.
- In The D in apartment 23 after renewing his interest in twitter posts a racist tweet "About to see the new Kevin Hart movie. Just kidding. I’m white & went to college. #BaywatchMovie", which goes viral. Even after deleting it and all of his social media accounts, the Griffins are turned into pariahs by association. Brian tries to make an apology to the mob outside the house at Lois' suggestion, but it goes awry as he keeps getting interrupted by unseen "non-humans" in the mob. When they won't stop, instead of apologizing, He reprimands the town at the top of his lungs calling them no better than he is and screams about how he's watched tons of "black porn" in front of women and kids. Rather than welcome Brian back with open arms, the family kicks him out, forcing him into living in a rundown apartment.
- In Petey IV he gets a job at a suicide hotline and meets a hot new co-worker, but when he fails to attract her attention, he tries to use Facebook to get to know her better and ends up masturbating to images of her and her mother at her Grandfather's funeral. When she decides to give him a chance she catches him in the act when she returns. Afraid of her telling and causing him to lose his job as well as his landlord's threat to throw him out for lack of rent money, Brian decides to take his advice to frame her with drugs later at work, and she is arrested when she decides yet again to give him a chance. He also shows no interest in helping people.
- In The Woof of Wall Street, Brian joins Stewie in investing money. Initially it seems well, but when he decides to name in a shady-looking investment in a company that makes protein shakes, they find the key ingredient is dogs. Stewie wants out, but Brian insists on proceeding with the investment, making him a sellout and a traitor to his own kind. He soon finds himself on the menu as well but is saved at the last moment by Stewie and Rupert. In the end, Brian tries to pin the experience on the evils of Wall Street, but Stewie points out that it was his own fault. This shows that Brian still doesn't want to take responsibility for his actions.
- In Married ... With Cancer, he married a girl with terminal cancer, Jess Schlotz, and pretended to truly care for her, when in reality, he just wanted to make himself look good in the public eye. He assumed that she would die shortly after their wedding, so he made tons of promises that he wouldn't keep. Right after they were married, Dr. Gravitas came in and told Jess that she had beaten the cancer, forcing Brian to go through with everything he had promised. A few days into their marriage, Brian allowed Jess to choke on her food, and made a half-assed attempt to save her life, when in actuality, he was hoping she'd die. She never did and Brian's plan had failed, forcing him to stay married to her, for another episode.
- In Dead Dog Walking, Brian made another attempt at dishonestly escaping his marriage, by faking his own death in a stunt that would have resulted in burning down the apartment. This was before Peter came in and stopped him. Jess later pointed out that Brian did very little, if anything to save her from choking before, and Brian admitted to this technically being a conscious attempt at letting her die.
- In Pal Stewie, Brian revealed he threw away a birthday invitation from Stewie's new friend Hudson, as he was afraid of losing his own friendship with Stewie as Brian felt he was being pushed aside by Stewie in favor of Hudson. As a result, Brian indirectly caused for Stewie to revert back to his evil ways.
- This is the only character for which Seth MacFarlane uses his natural speaking voice, as opposed to the voice changes for other characters such as Peter Griffin, Glenn Quagmire, and Stewie Griffin.
- Seth MacFarlane has revealed that Brian is his favorite character. He say he feels comfortable while playing the part of Brian, he also has a picture of Brian to the side of his name on his office door, simply because he uses his normal voice.
- Brian is infatuated with Lois and on more than one occasion has tried to have sex with her. He finally succeeds in "Switch the Flip" when he switches bodies with Peter and doesn't tell Lois it isn't him, meaning Brian raped Lois.
- In "Brian: Portrait of a Dog", it is revealed that Brian became a Griffin during his adulthood, when Peter offered him a home with his family in Quahog, but in The Man with Two Brians, Brian shows the family videos of him as a puppy, already living in the Griffin's house.
- He drives a silver 2004 Toyota Prius, as it is seen in The Juice Is Loose pulling up on the Griffins' driveway while Stewie was stuck on the roof. The license plate reads "BRI-D0G" and it has a 'Kucinich 04' bumper sticker.
- Brian is the first Family Guy character to appear in an episode American Dad!. He appears in The People vs. Martin Sugar, where Stan names his top ten fictional dogs, and Brian is named number one. He is seen drinking a martini on the courthouse steps, and claims Stan does not exist. Stan berates him for the claim.
- The DVD commentary for Brian Griffin's House of Payne explains that the "H" in "H. Brian Griffin" does not stand for anything and was a way to express Brian as a pretentious douche.
- Following his death in Life of Brian, Brian is not even mentioned in In Harmony's Way, making it the only episode where he does not appear (until Dr. C and The Women, in which he is only referenced as a brief joke).