Family Guy

Season 1 Episode 7

Brian: Portrait of a Dog

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 16, 1999 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (30)

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out of 10
613 votes
  • worst episode of the series

    wow I am surprised at the high rating. I consider this to be the worst Family Guy episode ever, loaded with inconsistencies and not sure which way it wants to go - heartwarming story of a man and his dog or goofy send up. It works as neither. Brian agrees to go through with the show and all its indignities but then refuses to do a stunt no more humiliating than those that preceded it, getting all worked up over nothing. The very early episodes often suffered from an identity crisis but "Portrait of a Dog" really stands alone.
  • If you ever tell anyone about that, I will kill you.

    Wow, I forgot that this episode even existed its been that long since I watched it! I remember saying in a previous review that no Family Guy episode had come close to its sentimentality since, but I was surely wrong because 'Brian- Portrait of a Dog' has got to be the most warm-hearted episode of the show I've seen to date and I have to say, I liked what I saw. The story starts off rather poorly but what it paves way for during the second and third acts is brilliant. I loved the entire back-story of Peter and Brian and I enjoyed watching the satirical segments involving Brian trying to fit in with human society. I mean even though it's really not to be taken as seriously as some politically fuelled black and white art house flick, this episode does have its themes and messages about acceptance, discrimination and injustice. However I did feel that the climax of the story was maybe just a little too overblown and did kind of ruin the mood of the episode, maybe just taking away from the subtlety that makes the preceding scenes so poignant.

    My problem with the episode however lies in the fact that a lot of humour is sacrificed in order to fit all this drama in. Yes the drama works brilliantly, but the show's gags are rather hit and miss. I chuckled a few times throughout, but there really wasn't much that I will remember. This brings up the question of just why do we watch the series in the first place? Would we continue to love and watch the show if it became satirically slanted and sentimental ala South Park? I know I probably would, but then again, I don't need another South Park or early Simpsons. Just as when The Simpsons tried to be Family Guy in 2000 and beyond, I didn't need another Family Guy but I needed The Simpsons. Alas, they did not heed the criticism and look at them now. So yes, I'm glad this episode is a rarity because Family Guy first and foremost for me will always be about the characters, the jokes, and then the story, and lastly the drama. Plus, it makes this outing all the more special.

    Continuing (and probably ending) my discussion of production value from previous reviews, it seems that with 'Brian- Portrait of a Dog' things have finally reached a point that we can all recognise as Family Guy. Granted there is still some difference here and there, but for the most part, I believe the show has finally found itself with this episode. And so this concludes my review of Family Guy's first season, a short one yes, but definitely one of the show's best. I'll be moving onto season 2 sometime in the near future I presume, but for now, thanks for reading.
  • Amazing!

    Did you know that dogs don't have much rights that Humans do? They can't go outside for a walk without a leech, and they also can't drink from a water fountain in a park. It's a sad life for a dog. But, for a talking dog who realizes this, it's sadder. Brian is tired of being a second class citizen and wants to be treated with respect, so he decides to break laws and eventually goes to court for this.

    I thought this was a great parody of whatever it was probably parodying, this episode being, "it". It was very well written. Brian standing up for his rights, and trying to get dogs like him better rights? Amazing. We get a lot of character development for Brian. In fact, this is probably the first episode all about him, and I thought that was just an amazing episode.

    I recommend it. Great addition to the first season of Family Guy!
  • A great episode.

    This was the first episode of Season 1 I watched of the show when I bought on dvd, then I went back and watch the others(I bought season 1)and I thought this one was pretty high over the ones before it, and even though it was episode 7 of 14 I thought it was pretty much like a 2nd or 3rd season episode(I had bought those dvds first)Maybe by this time the writers were really starting to get their own style, kinda just a slightly more dysfunctional/adult based version of the Simpsons. I love this episode so much, seeing Brian as a Bum was really hilarious for me. Propably in my top 20 FG episodes.
  • The worst Season 1 episode, still a good episode though.


    When a heat wave hits Quahog, Peter gets Brian to enter a dog show to win $500 so that the family can get a new air conditioner. When they argue over a trick gone bad, Brian walks out on the family and Peter replaces him with a cat. Brian struggles to assert his civil rights and soon ends up at the pound. Luckily, Peter is able to bail him out by bribing the judge.

    What I liked- Dianne simmons saying "freak", the Pillsbury Doughboy, Peter staring at the dog showing her boobs, and Peter bribing the judges

    An okay episode, but not my favorite Season 1 episode.


  • it was realy maen how peter traeted brian for real man it was like raelly rude i didnt like it that much

    oh my gosh it wasraelly rude how petter teartesd brien doo d i cant belive i have too write wrtite this a hundred words ohh well i usally to this s s s s s sss s s s s s s s s s s s s s s ss sss k re ycm tuif v ryb jj j j a a s d fkd jk; hgor got the money naw just playing i also think taht episod was very stupid that why o i ganve it o low report yesah imdone ckx for real big time dude rock
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the show family guy brian is put into a contest by peter and family to enter to win 500 dollars and he just has to come up with a trick thing is brian is not into that and so he walks out on the family and he is not used to being out there on the street so he windes up in the pound and is about to be put down and so peter bribes the judge and they get brian back this was a good ep i thought and it had some good moments and some funny parts.
  • Not the best episode but an episode actually worth your time watching

    A Freak heatwave hits Quahog that anyone can feel. The Griffins try and get Brian to enter the anual dog show. Later that night the dog and Peter are praticing some tricks but isn't easy since brian's not all about the dog show. When the day of the event happens, things turn bad when peter offers brian a doggy treat. The 2 are at an argument when brian asks to get out of the car. He's later founded by a police officer and takes him home. The next day, he and peter get in another argument and brian leaves the family. They miss brian except peter who likes Stewie's idea of getting a kitty which turns out to be a pain in the @$$. When peter finds brian, he's arrested, but appeals for trial. Peter saves him by promising the 5 people $20 each. Brian is back home licks peter and swears that if he tells anybody, he'd kill him.
  • the dog

    this was good i loved the dog in this epiosde he was cool well heres the review ok, ok

    the review:

    When a heat wave hits Quahog, Peter gets Brian to enter a dog show to win $500 so that the family can get a new air conditioner. When they argue over a trick gone bad, Brian walks out on the family and Peter replaces him with a cat. Brian struggles to assert his civil rights and soon ends up at the pound. Luckily, Peter is able to bail him out by bribing the judge. i really enjoyed this epiosde really did
  • Brian is sentenced to lethal injection.

    Remember when Family Guy used to be good? Well then watch this episode. From the cutaway scenes involving Peter hitting the deer, to Macgyver, to everything in between. Stewie was great back then and even though Brian-centric episodes are usually weak, this one was far from it. Real dog humor has been replaced in newer episodes with bizarre pop culture references and lizards randomly eating people, but this just shows how great it can be.

    This was a well-written and extremely funny episode of Family Guy when it was the #1 show on television. If only it were even close to that now.
  • I always forget what season this is in....

    I think that this is the only episode that I can actually stand to listen to Peter in, this time instead of Brian being there to support Peter\'s jokes, its Peter now setting them up for Brian, my favorite being the one about Brian dragging his butt across the carpet.

    I like the continuity of the show, I feel this episode has so much in it about character development I always think that it is in a later season, after we have seen the relationship of Peter and Brian grow alittle more, which I believe is a compliment to the artist, writers and directors of the show, because they make it feel like some of the episodes could go into any season, meaning every character has been true to themselves through out the whole series.

    I leave you with this... No, Chris... Meg is not hogging all the ugly, you do that just fine on your own.
  • it was ok........

    I kno people say its a "classic", but i didnt really find it histerical, not like other episodes. it was jus eh. to me it was a filler episode. i liked that humor wit mcgyver and dat humor wen dat guy started clappin but no body else did so he stopped.........
  • This is a sweet episode.

    This episode is kind of funny. Peter gets a new pet.

    It's really hot and Peter can't afford a new air conditioner. He gets Brian to go in a dog show to get $500. He does and gets embarrassed. Peter and Brain argue for a long time about the air conditioning. It reveals that Brian was a stray dog before Peter took him in. Peter gets a new pet. It's a cat. Everyone hates the cat. It scratches everything. Then Brian gets into a lot of trouble. Brian goes to court and Peter apoligizes to Brian. Peter convinces the judge to let him go. Everything is back to normal.

    I give this episode a 9.1 out of 10.
  • A good ep.

    Peter persuades Brian to enter a dog show to win some cash for an air conditioner. Brian decides he's had enough of being a second-class citizen. His struggle to assert his civil rights lands him on death row at the pound, where he discovers every dog has.

    I didnt like the frist part tho. with the 8 is enough because that was really messed up.
  • I thought the episode was good with some funny bits and some serious bits.

    The episode was very good, it showed us the ups and downs of Brian and Peter's friendship.
    It is worth watching again so go and get the season 1 DVD now!
    it was mostly reflecting about Brian and the family's relationships but there was some good Brian, Stewie and Peter moments
  • Doesn't every dog have his day?

    This episode was a very good Brian-based one and has some terrific lines from Stewie, Brian and Peter and great scenes such as the dog show and how Peter and Brian met.

    Some of the best Family Guy lines are from this season one finale including:
    Dog show host: Next up is Peter Griffin with his dog, Brain.
    Brian: Well, we're off to a good start.

    and Peter trying to get Brian to eat a dog biscuit off his nose.

    The court scene was very amusing with the judges realising "why are we listening to a dog?"

    Overall, the whole episode is a very good plot but there are a couple of scenes with few jokes.
  • Good episode!

    This episode was really cool. Peter enters Brian into a dog competition, and everything turns all right until Peter tells Brian to do a trick that could humiliated him in front of everyone so he yells at Peter because of it, and later they get into trouble, and some time later they begin to feel each other really distant even tough they have been friends for a long, long time, but when Brian gets in troubles, Peter manages to save him. Well this episode is really cool, really cooL!
  • very good i liked it

    a heat wave has stricks they fair town peter notices a dog show add with a prize he convinces brain to enter so he does then peter crosses the line by playing a trick on brain witch humilates him so he gets made and leaves but with his new ittalin colar he doesn t have his dog licence so peter gets fined $10 and he gets mad brain calls the ploice jackasses and peter says " their the law outside this house like i am the law inside and u better start obeying the both of us" which greatly annoys brian so he leaves and gets put in the pound and gose to court and gets his rights to be equal to people
  • It's hot in the city. ANd the Griffens don't have ac. So Peter convinces Brian to enter a dog show. And well Brain dosen't want to degreat himself but he dosen't wanna let his family down.

    One word classic. Whitch is what this episoe was, a classic. Stewie " let's get a kitty" bouncing on his butt. That was so cute and funny. Good times, Good times. Anyway and Brian then reolizing that family is the most important thing was a great message to all of us. No matter who you are.
  • This episode really shows who Brian is.

    Well, i have to say the episode was great. When a heat wave strikes Quahog, Peter puts Brian in a dog show in order to get a new air conditioner. After Brian loses his dignity from doing old dog tricks, he leaves home. This show is effective on Peter\'s and Brians relationship and their pasts and how they met. This was an excellent season finale.
  • Peter persuades Brian to enter a dog show to win some cash for an air conditioner. Brian decides he's had enough of being a second-class citizen. His struggle to assert his civil rights lands him on death row at the pound, where he discovers every dog has

    Although not the best Family Guy episode. It's still worth seeing with many of its gags and hilarious prison scenes. Although I never really liked Brian as much as the other characters, this is one of the episodes where he shines and rises to the occasion. That occasion happens to be his rights...
  • Brilliant

    Interesting and clever
  • One of the best episodes of Season 1

    I thought that this was an excellent Season 1 episode of "Family Guy". The plot was well written and it had very funny moments. The cutaway with Peter hitting the deer was hilarious. The cutaway with Peter also trying to take the candy from the baby was also hilarious. Stewie's part in this episode was very funny as well. The Griffin's air conditioner broke and the house is very hot so they want to enter Brian in the dog show so they can use the money to buy a new air conditioner and even though Brian doesn't like dog shows, he decides to enter the dog show. The dog show turns into a bust when Brian didn't want to do that trick with the doggy treat. Brian's part in this episode was very funny and it was political like he is in the later "Family Guy" episodes which are still good but I can do without Brian being political about everything in the later "Family Guy" episodes. Chris, Meg, and Lois' confession was very funny. It was also funny when Brian is allowed to drink from the water fountain. The ending was sweet and hilarious at the same time when Brian licked Peter (like a real dog) and tells Peter "If you tell anyone, I'll kill you". Overall, an excellent Season 1 episode of "Family Guy". 10/10
  • Awesome episode

    Being in the dog show so Peter can get a new air conditioner is degrading enough. But when Peter wants Brian to try to get the dog treat off his nose, that crosses the line. Brian decides to move out on the streets, and he becomes a pathetic homeless dog. He gets taken to the pound for biting people, and he is going to get put down, unless he can make a good case in court. Brian wins, and dosn't have to get put down.

    This was the best episode of season 1. There were many great flashbacks, like The old time cartoon, Peter crashing into the deer, and Brian singing.
    I also loved the cat

    Overall Grade: 100%/A+++
  • Great first seaosn finale

    Quahog is in the grip of an unusual heatwave and, not having air conditioning, the Griffins are suffering. Peter learns of an upcoming dog show offering a top prize of $500, which he sees as the perfect way to buy an air conditioner. He persuades a reluctant Brian to participate. Before the dog show, Brian acts like the director, Joe Gideon, in All That Jazz, using eye drops, taking a deep breath, and then saying "Showtime!" Brian performs his tricks at the dog show and almost wins first place for the family. Peter puts a bone biscuit on Brian's nose; Brian finds this demeaning and becomes angry because he refuses to "perpetuate the stereotype of the 'good dog.' " Brian subsequently exits in a huff. Peter and Brian performing at the dog show.On the way home, Peter and Brian argue until an angry Brian gets out of the car. The police give Brian a ticket for violating the local leash law, which Peter has to pay, only further widening their rift. When Peter and Brian get into another argument, Peter mentions that he found Brian on the road (as a stray dog). Angry that Peter brought that up, Brian leaves the house, whereupon he is treated badly and unfairly by the community, and ultimately forced to sleep at the bus station. Peter buys a new cat, which turns out to be mischievous, abusing the Griffins to no end; they get rid of it and search for Brian. By the time Peter decides to apologize to Brian, Brian has hit rock bottom, has been kicked out of a restaurant, out of a public store, and chased by the police when they find him drinking from a water fountain. Brian becomes a homeless person; having actually attacked a man on the street for treating Brian as a drunken hobo and not believing that Brian was a good dog. He is subsequently taken away by the police. Peter writes to MacGyver asking him to save his dog; he sends him a drinking straw, a rubber band and a paper clip, referencing the character's ability to concoct ingenious uses for mundane household items.

    At the pound, Brian is sentenced to be put down, while Peter works on Brian's appeal. Brian decides to study the laws as much as he can and goes to court to defend his own case, but when he finally gets the chance to plead his case, the court decides that it's stupid to listen to a dog. During Brian's parole hearing, he references the court case Plessy v. Ferguson, an infamous U.S. Supreme Court case that approved segregation in 1896. Just when he's about to be dismissed, Peter steps in and delivers a last-ditch emotional appeal on his behalf; his speech deeply moves his family to confess some of their own personal crimes (Chris stole $10 from Meg, who stole that money from Lois, who had actually counterfeit it). The people still aren't on Brian's side, but Peter promises to give them $20 which convinces them to free Brian. The charges against Brian are finally dropped and the town shows him new respect, allowing him to finally drink out of a water fountain, showing his equality amongst the other citizens of the community. The final scene, in which Brian drinks from the "people" water fountain, is a reference to the ending of the novel and TV movie, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, in which the title character, a black woman in the segregated South, does the same at a "white" water fountain. Back at home, when the two are alone, Brian licks Peter's face in a dog gesture, and tells Peter that if he tells anyone about that, he will kill him.My Fav refrence was the family watching Murder, She Wrote Peter exclaimes, "Ah ha! So she's the murderer!"
  • sweet

    This episode is about a heat wave hitting quahog and peter entering brian in a dog show to get money for a new air conditioner even though brian thinks its degrading. Peter tries to get brian to practice and gets mad at peter. Lois finds brian in the bathroom preparing for the dog show. Lois gives brian an italian collar which he immeadatley puts on and thanks lois for. Peter and brian fly through the obstacle course but when peter tries to get brian to do a trick he gets mad and goes to the car. On the way home brian demands peter let him out of the car. He gets out and later is brought back home by a polce officer after brian realises he forgot his licence. Later he gets mad again and runs away. he ends up on the side of the road and peter sees him he gets caught by animal control and is sentenced to be put down. Lois manages to get a court case for brian to plead his case. But he lives only because peter gives each judge 20 dollars and brians right are now more than before.
  • Ok episode nothing great... Worth your time to watch it though...

    Peter persuades Brian to swallow his pride and enter a dog show to win some extra cash. But when they argue over a trick gone bad, Brian decides he's had enough of being a second-class citizen. His struggle to assert his civil rights lands him on death row at the pound, where he discovers every dog has his day. Can Peter and the family get over their differences with Brian and save him from death row? Well of course if there are more episodes doy!!!! LOL This episode was ok nothing special; it had its moments when it was funny and then it had its moments when it was not so funny...
  • A true classic.

    From the opening sequence involving an Eight is Enough reunion, it is clear this episode has promise. Following that is a bit of Stewie’s occasional insanity regarding Rupert, his stuffed teddy bear. This episode also marks the first appearance of Quahog channel 5 anchorman Tom Tucker’s son, Jake who was born with an upside-down face and would become a recurring character. Soon we get to the meat of the episode, the Quahog dog show. Which Brian is at first against. After the family convinces him that his entering the contest is the only way to beat the summer heat, the training begins.

    Brian has reservations upon getting to the show, but eventually goes along with it. Peter, as is his custom, manages to completely embarrass Brian at the show, by trying to get him to beg for a treat and Brian simply walks away. They continue fighting on the way home until Brian just gets out of the car. He gets brought home by the cops. Brian leaves and continues to try and exist on his own, and finds defeat at every turn. The family meanwhile, tries replacing Brian with a cat, which ends poorly. Brian is finally arrested for what is best described as a temporary loss of insanity. He’s sentenced to death, but Peter intervenes at the trial and he’s acquitted, allowing Brian to drink freely. Overall, the episode is a great showcase for Brian and is one of the series’ best.
  • Every dog does have his day. Especially when his name is Brian Griffin.

    I really love this episode. I don’t think there’s any doubt in my mind that Brian is my favorite character, and in this episode we get to see a lot of him. It was hard to decide between “Character Development” and “Series Classic” since this episode is both.

    In this show, Peter convinces Brian to enter a dog show, since the Griffins need a little extra cash. Brain, basically since he’s the smartest dog ever, almost wins the competition with flying colors. That is until Peter requests that he eat a dog biscuit off his nose. Brain, angry and disgusted, throws the treat down and walks off, making both he and Peter look bad. All of this causing a rift between Peter and Brian - and everyone else is torn up about it too. Well, maybe not Stewie, who after Brian storms out after a fight with Peter, bring up getting a kitty.

    In one of the most humorous side stories, the cat is a nightmare. Constantly hissing and clawing everything. And the kitty ends up being a final push Peter needs to finally forgive Brian and try to find him.
    But by the time Peter finds Brain, it’s too late - he’s bitten a stranger and is now at the pound facing lethal injection. I love how Brian comes through as an intelligent (who doubted it?), organized fighter for justice. Even if it’s only for a dog.

    This is one of my all time favorites - defiantly worth watching.
  • A perfect episode

    When a heat wave hits Quahog, Peter gets Brian to enter a dog show to win $500 so that the family can get a new air conditioner. When they argue over a trick gone bad, Brian walks out on the family and Peter replaces him with a cat. Brian struggles to assert his civil rights and soon ends up at the pound. Luckily, Peter is able to bail him out by bribing the judge. This episode was perfect. Some humor include the beginning, Chris noticed that he saw Diane Simmons' nipple, Stewie's appearance (almost all of them he is in), most of the cutaway, and the ending. Overall, a perfect episode of Family Guy. 10/10