Why Brian Can Talk (When Other Dogs Can’t)

While most of the dogs in Family Guy don’t talk, Brian Griffin is a martini-drinking Labrador who is able to walk, talk and act like a human – but why?

Unlike many other dogs in family guy, Brian Griffin can talk – but why is he when the other dogs on the show can’t? Griffin’s White Labrador speaks not only English, but also French, Tagalog and even some Spanish. These language skills are just one of the many “human” traits that Brian possesses. He also drives a car, walks upright, and is attracted to human women.

As the intellectual rival of his time-traveling boyfriend Stewie, Brian’s human abilities exceed not just dogs, but even most humans in the world. family guy universe. As revealed in Season 4, Episode 15, “Brian Goes Back to College”, his high intelligence allowed him to attend Brown University and temporarily land a job as a writer for the New Yorker. His talent as a writer and his admiration for the author Fyodor Dostoyevsky are matched only by his musical talents. Brian has been seen playing guitar and drums, loves to sing and is an opera fan. Yet for all his human skills and traits, Brian’s canine appearance, barking, and attraction to female dogs like Seabiscuit indicate that he is still a dog.

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As the various conversational skills shown by family guyStewie’s baby, Brian’s speech, and his other human traits are never fully explained on the show. But there are several comedic moments where attention is drawn to his verbal ability. In Season 2, Episode 4, “Brian in Love”, Peter randomly exclaims “Oh my God, you can talk.Similarly, in Season 19 Episode 16, “Who’s Brian Now?”, a man at the dog pound wants to film Brian to prove to his friends that some dogs can talk. It would seem that this trait is rare in dogs of the family guy universe and that there’s no real reason for him to be able to talk when other dogs can’t. Yet, in a world where various animals and inanimate objects are given speaking abilities for comedic effect, there’s also no reason he shouldn’t talk.



Brian breaks Stewie's time machine in Family Guy

While many shows dogs like Coco, Biscuit and Seabiscuit seem unable to speak, others family guy dogs like Vinny, Jasper and Ellie are just as talkative as Brian. Talking animals including dolphins, gulls and owls are often seen in sketches, and even inanimate objects are given voices for comic effect. In season 15, episode 16, “Saturated Fat Guy”, a human bouncer denies a talking quinoa access to Peter’s stomach, and in season 4, episode 7, “Brian the Batchelor”, a pimple named Doug encourages Chris to commit evil deeds. There are even Singing Trees in Season 1 Episode 6, “The Son Draws Too.”


In a show like family guy who laughs at his inconsistencies and doesn’t seem to have clear universal rules, Brian’s chatter comes as no surprise. Maybe Brian just speaks because there’s something inherently funny about a dog barking at vacuum cleaners while being a talented intellectual figure with several failed relationships. When the Griffins are among many cartoon characters who have only four fingers, undergo incredible storylines, and can endure endless physical damage, a talking dog isn’t the weirdest aspect of the show. It seems creator Seth McFarlane uses talking creatures whenever they have the potential to generate laughs, not caring too much about the logic behind eloquent Labradors or harmonious trees.


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