Family Guy's much-loved dog Brian Griffin has been brought back from the dead in a Christmas special episode of the hit comedy.

Fans see Stewie travel back in time and save pooch Brian from being hit by a car, after they previously saw him die from the collision.

The one-year-old goes on a trip to the mall with the Griffin family’s new dog Vinny and tries to bring Brian back by asking Santa for his return, only then remembering his own time machine.

MORE: Brian Griffin isn't the first TV character to be brought back from the dead...

The show's creator Seth MacFarlane took to Twitter after the show to explain the decision to bring back Brian, telling fans they'd "have to be high" if they thought they were going to kill off the character for good.

He also said the storyline had a message for viewers: "Never take those you love for granted, for they can be gone in a flash."


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  • Family Guy - The Griffins

    Seth MacFarlane's animated creation may have your usual sitcom parents (Peter and Lois) and teenagers (Meg and Chris), but its brilliance arguably lies in the addition of a hilariously conniving baby (Stewie) - and in a dog (Brian) who's the smartest member of the family.

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    Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't deny Alf Garnett's clan their place in sitcom history. Johnny Speight's sitcom ran for seven series, from 1965 to 1975.

  • Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Spencers

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    The eponymous Malcolm may be a genius - but he's still the middle child who has to contend with the rest of his family. Fun fact: the writers of the show wanted to keep the family's surname a secret - and the fact that it's 'Wilkerson' has only been revealed twice in the show.

  • Steptoe And Son - The Steptoes

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  • Outnumbered - The Brockmans

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  • The Simpsons

    We'll also tip our hats to the Flanders, the Van Houtens and the Wiggums, of course. But no one beats Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie - the animated family who have made us laugh (and also in Homer's case: think) since 1989. Cowabunga!