Normally witnessing a character on Family Guy suffer a mortal wound/illness/fight with a giant chicken is no big deal, but this week’s episode, “Life of Brian,” shocked fans when Brian Griffin was hit by a car and didn’t survive. The show’s producers had been promising that a member of the Griffin family would kick the bucket, but obviously we all thought it would be Meg. Brian was immediately replaced by a new dog, Vinny, voiced by The Sopranos’ Tony Sirico.

Brian’s death has many other cartoon characters nervous, especially with The Simpsons making a similar vow to do away with one of their Emmy-winners. “I don’t let Bart skateboard without a helmet these days,” said Marge Simpson, “just in case the producers are going for a public safety angle.” Last week, Lisa Simpson was spotted on the Springfield Elementary School playground wearing a bulletproof vest, and Grampa Simpson was seen getting the flu shot three days in a row.

Meanwhile, citizens of Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon are also taking precautions. Security has been heightened tenfold in Adventure Time’s Land of Ooo and Bikini Bottom was evacuated after the news of Brian Griffin’s death surfaced, or rather, submerged. When asked to comment on the fear surging through his city, Spongebob Squarepants responded bravely, “I love bubbles.”

Don’t we all. Such wise words in the face of tragedy.

The question remains: are our favorite cartoon characters safe? Will Family Guy fans finally get used to the new dog Vinny just in time for Brian to make a triumphant, though physically impossible, return? And of course … who is next?

Watch non-stop animated classics at Kartoon Klassics via FilmOn.

To see if Family Guy is available to watch free in your area via FilmOn check here.

You might also like:

The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special turns 40
When is the Peanuts Halloween Special On?
Gotta Watch — Calvin & Hobbes edition: Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon & Picnic Panic