Family Guy
Stewie managed to rescue Brian in episode 8, "Christmas Guy." Screenshot/ Family Guy Fox

“Family Guy” had a Christmas miracle on Sunday. In a move predicted by most (thanks to a leaked plot and title synopsis by Fox), Brian Griffin returned from the grave … and according to “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, all fans should have seen it coming!

Following episode 8, “Christmas Guy,” MacFarlane took to Twitter to reveal why he killed Brian -- to teach viewers a lesson:

“And thus endeth our warm, fuzzy holiday lesson: Never take those you love for granted, for they can be gone in a flash,” the voice behind Brian explained. “I mean, you didn’t really think we’d kill off Brian, did you? Jesus, we’d have to be f***ing high.”

Some “Family Guy” fans felt cheated, while others were relieved to have the longtime character back. In the end, MacFarlane made sure his Twitter followers knew he was grateful for all of the messages that followed Brian’s accident.

“Oh and hey,” MacFarlane continued. “Thanks for caring so much about the canine Griffin. He is overcome with gratitude.”

“Family Guy” viewers will remember that the Griffin’s pet dog was killed on the Nov. 24 episode titled “Life of Brian.” After helping Stewie destroy his time machine, Brian went outside with the youngest Griffin to play some street hockey, when a rogue driver ran down the 8-year-old dog before he had a chance to get out of the way.

In terrible condition, Brian was raced to the Quahog veterinarian’s office, but it was too late. The doctor revealed that Brian’s injuries were too severe for him to be saved.

“You’ve given me a beautiful life,” Brian managed to tell his family before flatlining. “I love you all.”

After burying their beloved pet, the emptiness in their home and hearts led the Griffin’s to adopt a new dog, Vinny (voiced by “Sopranos” alum Tony Sirico). A “pussy hound” (1/16th cat) with a bit of attitude, Vinny immediately fit right in with Peter and eventually warmed up to Stewie.

And although “Family Guy” went so far as to replace Brian with Vinny in the opening credits of the show, the new dog wasn’t enough to allow Stewie to move on.

Episode 8 found the tot stealing a time machine from his past self (who was at the same toy store as him) to bring him back to the fateful day that Brian was hit by the car. Appearing before Brian on that Nov. 24 day, Stewie managed to push Brian out of the way of the oncoming car.

“Brian, that car killed you, and when it did, a little part of me died as well,” Stewie said to his confused friend. “I couldn’t live without you. So I came back from the future to save your life.”

“Wow Stewie, thank you for saving my life,” Brian responded. “You know, a lot of other families would have just gotten a new dog and moved on.”

“Oh, we could never do something like that Brian,” Stewie responded.

Are you happy that Brian is back from the dead? Let us know your thoughts on “Family Guy’s” holiday-themed episode, “Christmas Guy.” Send your tweets to @AmandaTVScoop.