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Top 10 Saddest Moments on Family Guy

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Joey Turner
The saddest moments on Family Guy knew how to bring the waterworks. We’re looking at some of the saddest, most heart-wrenching scenes ever to come out of Seth MacFarlane’s hit animated sitcom. We’ve already covered some of the darkest, more unsettling moments, so our focus today is the ones that really knew how to tug at our heartstrings. WatchMojo ranks the saddest Family Guy moments. Which Family Guy scenes made you cry? Let us know in the comments!

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These scenes knew how to bring the waterworks. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Saddest Moments on Family Guy.

For this list, we’re looking at some of the saddest, most heart-wrenching scenes ever to come out of Seth MacFarlane’s hit animated sitcom. We’ve already covered some of the darkest, more unsettling moments, so our focus today is the ones that really knew how to tug at our heartstrings. Not only will you need a tissue, but there will be spoilers.

#10: Quagmire’s Daughter
“Quagmire’s Baby”

With how many women Quagmire’s slept with, it’s no surprise that a few of his “kids” are bound to pop up. One of them, a little baby girl he names Anna Lee, ends up on his doorstep. Unable to balance raising a child and his sex life, Quagmire gives her up for adoption… only to deeply regret it later. When he goes to take her back, he sees how happy young Anna is with her new family and decides against it –wanting what’s best for his only daughter. It’s rare for a sex-crazed womanizer like Quagmire to get us misty-eyed, but this adds a rather tearful level of depth to an essentially one-dimensional character.

#9: Joe Wants Bonnie Back
“Foreign Affairs”

After Bonnie’s seven-season pregnancy finally ends, Joe and Bonnie’s marriage starts to crumble. Bonnie feels bored and distant from Joe, so she tries to have an affair with a man she meets in France – willing to abandon her husband and their baby girl for a romantic fling. But Joe’s not willing to give up on her yet; he flies out to France to convince her to come home with him… and proves his love for her by standing and walking. OK, so he faked being able to walk. But he still went out of his way to show how much he loves her. Too bad she doesn’t feel the same when the tables are turned . . .

#8: Brian & Pearl
“Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows”

For his community service, Brian must take care of a bitter, elderly woman named Pearl who hasn’t left her house in years. While it seems like a nightmare at first, the two eventually form a strong bond, and Brian convinces her to finally venture outside… only for her to be hit by a truck. With such little time left, Pearl reassures a guilt-stricken Brian that this was the best day of her life, and the two share a virtual reality look at the life they could’ve had together before she peacefully passes on. While Brian only had good intentions, it cost him the closest he may ever have to true love.

#7: “Heaven Has Gained a Princess”
“Pawtucket Pete”

When tragedy strikes and Angela, Peter’s boss at the Pawtucket Brewery, dies off-screen, Peter prepares a eulogy for her funeral. At first, his speech starts off as typical “Family Guy” tongue-in-cheek humor, but the tone quickly shifts halfway. It becomes obvious that his eulogy isn’t just a tribute to Angela, but to her voice actress, the late Carrie Fisher - who passed away two years before the episode aired. What really drives this heartfelt tribute home is the ending, when Peter says: [“I may have lost a boss, but heaven has gained a princess”]. It’s his way of giving one last goodbye to a legendary actress and human being… before realizing he’s at the wrong funeral.

#6: Baby Brian
“Chris Cross”

When Stewie becomes obsessed with Canadian singer Anne Murray, Brian doesn’t show much interest. Until, that is, Stewie performs a cover of “You Needed Me”, and Brian finds himself tearing up as the melancholy lyrics bring back memories of his puppy days – simpler times when he could frolic with his siblings and cuddle with his mother. Brian hasn’t seen his family for years, and found his own mother, Biscuit, dead and taxidermied. So it’s extra heart-wrenching to watch him recall a time when he could be with them again.

#5: Rupert’s Funeral
“Dog Bites Bear”

Rupert was Stewie’s beloved teddy bear and most cherished confidant. But in season 16’s “Dog Bites Bear”, Brian rips him apart out of jealousy – which puts a massive strain on his own friendship with Stewie. To make amends, Brian takes Stewie to the top of a cliff to spread Rupert’s ashes, after delivering a heartfelt eulogy – complete with a duet of “It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”. Part of what made Rupert so important to Stewie was that he could’ve lasted forever, while Brian sadly won’t be around forever. . . . We’ll come back to that one later . . .

#4: Brenda Quagmire’s Story
“Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q.”

Quagmire’s sister Brenda has an abusive boyfriend named Jeff who bullies and hits her for the stupidest of reasons. During a failed intervention, Quagmire confronts his sister with a broken voice and tears in his eyes as he begs her to leave that monster. Again, you’d never expect to see QUAGMIRE this emotionally broken and genuinely compassionate for someone he didn’t want to sleep with, and you can’t help but sympathize with him. When she won’t budge, Quagmire is left to take matters into his own hands, and honestly, we were rooting for him!

#3: Brian’s Gun
“Brian & Stewie”

With Brian and Stewie are locked in a bank vault all weekend, Stewie decides to press Brian about something that’s been on his mind. Why does his canine friend have a gun in his safety deposit box? Brian reveals that he keeps the gun… in case he wishes to kill himself. Now suicide is usually played for laughs on “Family Guy” – such as when Peter contemplates offing himself for the pettiest of reasons. But it’s taken extremely seriously here, filling us with dread over the idea of Brian succumbing to his depression. Horrified, Stewie reminds him that Brian gives his life purpose – showing just how strong their friendship has become.

#2: Brian’s Self-Sacrifice
“New Kidney in Town”

After becoming addicted to Red Bull, Peter tries to make his own energy drink… which results in extreme kidney failure. Brian offers one of his own… but because he’s a dog, he’d have to give up BOTH of his kidneys - meaning he’d die. Even knowing this, Brian still volunteers, wanting to save the life of the man who took him in and gave him a home. Even when Stewie tries kidnapping Brian to save him, Brian won’t budge. Thankfully, another donor steps in –saving both Peter AND Brian’s lives; but this is unquestionably Brian at his most loyal – willing to sacrifice himself for one of his best friends.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few devastating honorable mentions.

Meg Can’t Date Eli
“Amish Guy”

Meg’s 18th Birthday
“Quagmire and Meg”

Cleveland Moves On
“Love, Blactually”

Lois Faces the Truth
“Seahorse Seashell Party”

Brian Feels Meaningless
“Dog Gone”

#1: Brian’s Death
“Life of Brian”

After one-too-many incidents, Stewie destroys his time machine… but the timing couldn’t be worse as Brian is suddenly run over by a car. His injuries are too severe and we’re forced to endure him telling the Griffins how much he loves them as he passes on. Not only were fans blubbering like babies over Brian’s death, but petitions were made demanding they bring him back. Some fans even quit the show all together over this horrific loss. While it turned out to be a ratings trap, and Brian’s miraculous revival two episodes later kind of cheapened the whole ordeal, we can’t deny how shocking and heartbreaking our favorite talking dog’s death was at the time.

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