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Family Guy resurrected Brian the dog
Just a few weeks after sparking fan outrage by killing the fan-favorite character, Family Guy brought him back in time for Christmas

A few weeks ago, Family Guy killed off the Griffin family's beloved dog Brian, prompting a wave of poorly edited YouTube tributes and a "revive Brian" petition that garnered more than 150,000 signatures. Last night, in yet another staggering triumph for internet petitions, Family Guy revived Brian just in time for Christmas, in what totally wasn't a shameless publicity stunt designed to get people talking about Family Guy again.

Brian's revival came by way of a convoluted time travel storyline, which allowed Stewie Griffin to go back to the moment Brian was hit by the car and push him out of the way. "Brian, that car killed you. And when it did, a little part of me died as well. I couldn't live without you, so I came back from the future to save your life." It's a vaguely touching moment intercut with a joke about child molestation — so yeah, typical Family Guy.

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, who also voices both Stewie and Brian, took to Twitter to address the revival:

While many fans were fooled, the heartwarming Christmas "surprise" was undercut by the discovery that a number of upcoming Family Guy episodes have titles like "Brian's a Bad Father" and "Brian the Closer," which seemed like fairly compelling evidence that the dead dog would be back after all. Still, Family Guy fans can take pleasure in Brian's revival, and the confirmation that they should never, ever take anything that happens on Family Guy even remotely seriously.

Scott Meslow is the entertainment editor for TheWeek.com. He has written about film and television at publications including The AtlanticOutside Magazine, and Think Progress.

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