If 289 episodes of Family Guy have taught us anything, it's that it really sucks to be Meg.
As the black sheep of the crazy Griffin family and probably the least popular girl in all of Quahog, every day of Meg Griffin's life is filled with fresh misery. The cool kids at school torment her on a daily basis, and the boys she likes tend to run the other way (or commit fratricide to get out of dating her).
At home, Meg's life isn't much better. She shares a house with a lazy, ignorant father; a neurotic, slightly unhinged mother; a brilliant and ruthless baby brother; a dim and slow-witted younger brother; and an acerbic talking dog. The only thing they all seem to have in common is a mutual distaste for Meg.
Sitcoms are known for their running jokes, and unfortunately for Meg, the abuse that's constantly hurled her way is one of Family Guy's best. Whether it's her family, friends and peers dishing out the mockery or the universe itself conspiring against her, it's never easy being Meg Griffin.
These are the 15 Worst Things That Have Ever Happened To Meg.
15 Wished Out of Existence
God loves everybody, right? No exceptions? Well, maybe one exception...
In the episode "3 Acts of God", Peter and his friends are disappointed with their beloved New England Patriots after a tough loss. When the winning team thanks God for their victory, the guys embark on a mission to find the big guy and ask him to stop interfering in football games.
In true cartoon fashion, they actually succeed in getting to heaven and tracking the deity down. Of course, in the Family Guy universe, God is as screwed up as everybody else, but that’s a story for another day.
God is nice enough to grant their wish, however, and leave the Patriots alone, but before he returns to Earth, Peter asks for just one more thing...
At the end of the episode, God grants Peter’s mysterious wish, and Meg slowly fades out of existence. Now that is cold.
14 Incest in the Closet
Halloween parties are great for meeting new people. For a wallflower like Meg, or an awkward mess like Chris, they’re a chance to put on a costume and become a whole new person for a night (and maybe get a little action while they’re at it).
With that in mind, Meg and Chris attend the same Halloween party in "Halloween On Spooner Street" unbeknownst to each other, and take part in a game of spin the bottle. Since the universe hates the Griffins, the bottle pairs the disguised brother and sister together for an elicit rendezvous in the closet.
In the dark, brother and sister enjoy themselves a little too much and lose track of time, prompting the rest of the kids to open the door and investigate. With their true identities revealed, it’s a horror show befitting the holiday.
13 Jettisoned into Deep Space
One of the benefits of being a cartoon family is that you can go on all kinds of crazy and impossible adventures. Family Guy’s characters have crossed the globe, traveled through time and even rocketed into outer space.
How does the Griffin family wind up in Earth’s orbit? It’s a long story, but in the episode "Space Cadet", they’re all aboard a space shuttle. Stewie and Brian team up to explore their high-tech transport and play around with some buttons, with predictably devastating results.
When they see Meg in the cargo hold on a security camera, they decide to have some fun and play a prank on her by venting her into outer space. It’s all good, though: as a cartoon character, she’ll be back in the next episode none the worse for wear.
12 Rejected By Brian
A dog’s love is limitless... unless you’re Meg.
Granted, Brian is no average dog. He can talk, lives a full (and unbearably pretentious) life and is basically human in everything but appearance and his deepest animal instincts. And he loves women.
When Meg can’t find a date for a school dance, Brian takes pity on her and begrudgingly offers to take her. Brian being Brian, he gets drunk at the dance and ends up making out with Meg, which would be bad enough.
To make matters worse, she instantly develops an obsession with him and gets really creepy, really fast.
Brian tries to let her down gently, but she won’t take the hint (even when it’s delivered by the incomparable Garrett Morris) and kidnaps him. It all turns out okay in the end (at least as okay as Meg ever gets) but man, she sure is a disaster at love.
11 Worst Surprise Party Ever
You know you're pretty lame when nobody (literally nobody) shows up to your surprise 18th birthday party.
In the episode "Quagmire and Meg", Meg reaches the big milestone and returns home with her family to a darkened house filled with party favors. It’s supposed to be her big surprise party, but apparently nobody got the memo.
As Meg looks around, Lois berates Chris: apparently he was in charge of the invitations, and Lois even gave him $300 to grease the wheels and get people to actually show up (no one would spend time with Meg for free, of course).
In fairness to Chris, though, he did get some value for the money. As he says to Lois, “why do you think Dad’s here?”
10 Abandoned By Her Stuffed Animals
Every child loves stuffed animals, at least for a little while. They’re imaginary friends with physical form, always there to comfort you when you’re sad or lonely.
Meg’s a teenager, but she still has a collection of stuffed animals she loves dearly. Unfortunately, the feeling isn’t mutual. Apparently these toys have endured one too many Meg Griffin mope-fests, because in the episode "Brian Sings and Swings" they all fly the coop.
Meg has grand plans for a big day with her toys, but as she turns her back they all make a break for it, even Sunshine Bear. He’s the last one out the window, and as he nears freedom, Meg calls out to him.
Weighing his options, he takes the easy (and gruesome) way out, jumping in front of a truck and bursting into a thousand fuzzy pieces. At least he doesn’t have to watch her ballet recital...
9 Fired from Handi-Quacks
One of the funny things about Meg is that she’s actually pretty normal compared to her remarkably strange family. She also has some pretty good ideas (which she never gets credit for).
In the episode "FOX-y Lady", Chris and Peter are brainstorming about a hit new cartoon they can create for Fox: Handi-Quacks. It’s about handicapped ducks, and of course, all of their "great: ideas are terrible, though they’re convinced they’re spinning gold.
Meg, on the other hand, contributes a number of good ideas, each of which is met with stony silence.
Each time Meg speaks up, Peter and Chris abruptly exit the room to stage “private” conversations about how Meg sucks and she’s ruining everything. It’s a great running gag that naturally culminates with Meg’s dismissal from the fledgling show.
8 Dodgeball Abuse
Every unpopular kid knows the existential horror of a gym class dodgeball game, and the constant fear that everyone is just going to gang up on you. Meg is an animated worst case scenario, so of course that’s exactly what happens to her in the episode "Leggo My Meg-o".
Meg’s nightmare comes true when popular girl Connie D’Amico is allowed to choose the teams for dodgeball in gym class. Naturally she picks everyone but Meg, who is promptly deluged in rubber balls by the entire class. It’s a literal dodge ball hurricane and she is all alone at the center.
You might expect a responsible gym teacher to step in and make sure things like this don’t happen, but come on: this is Quahog we’re talking about.
7 Sent to Jail
Meg has never had much of a love life, so when she does find a relationship she hangs on for dear life.
In the episode "Dial Meg For Murder", she falls in love with an escaped convict (because of course she does) and hides him from the police. That’s called aiding and abetting, and it earns Meg a jail sentence of her very own.
Hard time will change a person, and Meg returns from her stint in the big house with a whole new attitude.
She’s done taking crap and she immediately establishes herself as the head of the household by beating Peter into submission (complete with a curb stomp for good measure). She even takes a sack of pop cans to Connie and the other cool kids at school.
Come to think of it, going to jail may have been the best thing that ever happened to Meg.
6 Dating Quagmire
Quagmire is hilarious, and one of the best characters in the world of Family Guy. He’s also a sexual deviant who has spent Meg’s entire life counting down the days until her 18th birthday.
When the big day finally comes, Quahog’s biggest ladies man wastes no time making his move. Of course, this is Meg we’re talking about, so it’s not like he needs to use his best material.
Before long they’re sending cute texts back and forth and Meg is smitten as Quagmire prepares to introduce her to the world of adulthood in the most perverse possible way.
Peter and Lois intervene before Quagmire can completely destroy Meg’s innocence (yet remain friends with him, go figure). However, for Meg it’s another in a long line of disappointing relationships.
5 "Taken" In Europe
Family Guy has delivered some great spoofs, most notably its run of Star Wars adaptations. With this episode, "Leggo My Meg-o", it chooses an unlikely target for mockery.
Meg and a friend travel to Europe, only to be kidnapped by sex traffickers. If that sounds familiar, wait until you hear Meg’s panicked phone call with Peter as she is being abducted.
Yes, it’s a riff on the great Liam Neeson vehicle Taken, complete with Peter aping the actor's iconic monologue for a treatise on just how worthless he is as a father-- “I have a very particular lack of skills.”
Instead of a vengeful father, it’s Stewie and Brian who come to Meg’s rescue. They’re too late to stop her from being sold, though: she’s purchased by an Arab Emir who wants her to marry his charming, loving and handsome son who promises to treat her like a princess.
It seems that Meg has finally found her happily after ever... but then Stewie barges in to save the day and puts a bullet in the guy's head. Just another day in the life of Meg Griffin.
4 Bullied At School
School has never been a picnic for Meg. She’s constantly the butt of jokes and pranks at the hands of the popular kids. However, while she’s used to being a verbal punching bag, she becomes a literal one for a hulking bully in the episode "A Fistful Of Meg".
It’s a classic high school situation: a challenge, a fight after school, a ravenous crowd hungry for blood, and nowhere to run. Meg knows she’s doomed, so she enlists help from an unlikely source: Quagmire.
With his extensive knowledge of the human body (for his own perverse purposes, of course) he teaches Meg how to survive against her bully by bringing the pain (and the ugly).
In sage Yoda fashion, he entreats her to “use the gross,” and boy, does she ever. Suffice to say, when Meg lifts up her shirt, you’d best avert your eyes.
3 Home Invasion
When home invaders break in, the Griffins are forced to take shelter in their brand new panic room.
Peter passes the time by telling exaggerated tales of his family history, but eventually they decide someone should try to make a run for it and get some help: naturally Meg draws the short straw. She’s a bit too small to fit through the vents, though, so everyone helpfully spits on her to grease her up a bit.
The best is yet to come, though. Peter decides he’s hungry, so he gets on the speaker system and tells Meg to make him a sandwich. Naturally that alerts the burglars to her presence, and as they swoop in and take her hostage, Peter desperately screams, “Not that mustard, use the other mustard!”
Meg tries to make the most of her plight by putting the moves on her captors, but that just earns her an arrest for sexual harassment.
2 Humiliated on SNL
“Don’t Make Me Over” is a brutal episode for Meg. She wins a free makeover (after two people set themselves on fire at the sight of her), and with her sexy new look, she launches a career as a pop star.
She’s an overnight sensation (with the family riding her coattails) and she’s got the attitude to match as she slowly alienates everyone around her.
She also lands a celebrity boyfriend in Jimmy Fallon (long before his Tonight Show stint). Of course, he’s only with her to use their romantic rendezvous as a great opener for an episode of Saturday Night Live.
Fallon gets his, though: Peter gives him a beating for laughing and looking at the camera in all his skits... oh, and for embarrassing his daughter.
1 Ditched on the Phone
Nothing ends a family phone call faster than Meg jumping on the line.
In the episode "Jungle Love", Chris is so scared of freshman pranks at school that he hops on a plane and hides out in South America. He calls home to let his family know how he’s doing, and the entire Griffin family joins in on the call.
It’s a great little chat, until Meg grabs a phone and joins in. Her sudden appearance prompts a hilarious sequence of desperate escapes as everyone makes their excuses and hangs up on her, but Stewie isn’t fast enough and has to engage in awkward small talk.
Meg engages in cute baby talk that Stewie has no interest in, and he extricates himself from the call as quickly as he can.
Poor Meg. Her own family has no time for her.
Can you think of any other horrible things that have happened to Meg on Family Guy? Let us know in the comments.