While 'The Simpsons' made waves earlier this year in promising to kill off one of its ancillary characters, 'Family Guy' had promised even more this past summer in threatening to kill off one of its leads. The reaper finally came to pass in last night's time-traveling "Life of Brian," but who from the Griffin family ultimately got the axe?

While the episode's title shouldn't necessarily have given it away, it seems man's best friend was the life lost in last night's 'Family Guy,' though for how long remains to be seen. Brian Griffin said his goodbyes the family that had sheltered him, getting hit by a car after Stewie had purposefully destroyed the time machine they had often used together, making the tragedy unavoidable in the process.

Of course, the Griffins has Brian replaced in a matter of minutes with their new family dog "Vinny" (Tony Sirico of 'The Sopranos' fame), making the change a bit unusual to process. It isn't as if the series faces losing one of its actual stars either, considering series creator Seth MacFarlane had voiced the core trio of Peter, Stewie and Brian since the show's 1999 beginning, Brian often acting as a more liberal mouthpiece for MacFarlane himself.

As for the rationale behind the death, executive producer Steve Callaghan told E! that the idea caught fire in the writer's room, Brian ultimately seeming the most plausible character to kill off. "It seemed more in the realm of a reality that a dog would get hit by a car, then if one of the kids died," Callaghan said. "As much as we love Brian, and as much as everyone loves their pets, we felt it would be more traumatic to lose one of the kids, rather than the family pet.

We've included the tender goodbye video below, but in the meantime, what do you think? Is Brian really "dead" by 'Family Guy' standards? Which character would you have picked to kill off, and why?

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