|Family Guy character|
|First appearance||"Death Has a Shadow"|
|Created by||Seth MacFarlane|
|Occupation||High school student|
Meg Griffin is a character from the animated television series Family Guy. The eldest child of the Griffin family, Meg is the family's black sheep who receives the least of their attention and bears the brunt of their abuse. She was originally voiced by Lacey Chabert during the first season. As of season two, she is voiced by actress Mila Kunis.
Meg is a self-conscious teenage girl. Her insecurities cause her desperately to try to be part of the cool crowd, but this only results in her getting coldly rebuffed by Connie D'Amico, the popular, attractive, and egotistical head cheerleader of her school. However, another student named Neil Goldman is attracted to her. She is also usually at the bottom of the family's pecking order and the butt of Peter's jokes due to her perceived homeliness, tendency toward social awkwardness, and unpopularity. Everyone in her family makes fun of her: Peter and Chris resort to outrageous stunts and names; Stewie and Brian employ subtle but effective jokes; Lois constantly puts Meg down while boosting her own egotistical image. On one occasion, the whole family even goes as far as to read her diary and make fun of all her deepest secrets. However, on some occasions the family's true love for her has been proven. She has been so self-conscious and insecure about herself that she has engaged in dangerous sexual behavior just for attention. She is also prone to violent releases of her repressed rage, as shown in "Road to Rupert", when she assaults a man who insulted her after a fender-bender. Many of the show's story lines focusing on Meg involve her trying to struggle to fit in better with other more popular teenagers, trying to find a boyfriend, and reaching breaking points with her family, as well as other bullies.
On the season 1 DVD commentary for the Drawn Together episode "Hot Tub", Cree Summer claims she was offered the role to play Meg but was dismissed by the producers. Meg was voiced by an uncredited Lacey Chabert for the first season, and by Mila Kunis in subsequent seasons after Chabert became busy with school and appearing on Party of Five at the time, although some of her work became second season episodes due to production order. Mila Kunis won the role after auditions and a slight rewrite of the character, in part due to her performance on That '70s Show. MacFarlane called Kunis back after her first audition, instructing her to speak more slowly, and then told her to come back another time and enunciate more. Once she claimed that she had it under control, MacFarlane hired her. MacFarlane stated that Kunis "had a very natural quality to Meg" and she's "in a lot of ways [...] almost more right for the character". Kunis's voice is first heard as Meg in Episode 3 of season two "Da Boom", and the voices switch back and forth in the broadcast order until settling on Kunis. Tara Strong provides Meg's singing voice in "Don't Make Me Over".
Meg typically wears glasses and a pink beanie even underneath other headgear. She also commonly wears a pink and white T-shirt, blue jeans, and tan (later white) shoes. She occasionally is seen wearing dresses or formal wear usually without her trademark cap. She is slightly shorter than her younger brother Chris. Meg is also self-conscious about her appearance ("I'm so fat and gross.").
Meg is very unpopular in high school due to her plain appearance and personality and social distancing from the more wild and vibrant behavior done by others. Meg desperately tries to be part of the cool crowd, but is usually coldly rebuffed. She is also usually the butt of Peter's jokes due to her perceived homeliness and tendency towards social awkwardness. Because of her eagerness for acceptance, she has been recruited unknowingly into a suicidal religious cult, and later recruited again unwittingly into her school's Lesbian Alliance ("Brian Sings and Swings"). However, Meg does have a moderate number of friends, the best of which being with a group of girls who are often seen with her during occasions such her slumber parties and gossiping about boys. In later episodes, these girls, known by the names Beth, Patty, Collette, Esther, and Ruth, are characterized as being highly unpopular and dateless, much like Meg, even saying that she was the only one of them who ever had a boyfriend (actually a decaying corpse she was "dating").
Meg is so unpopular at school that one student fires a nail gun into his own stomach twice (in shop class) in order to avoid a date with her, and then in a later episode shoots his own brother as an excuse not to go to a dance with her the following night. On another occasion, Meg and Lois are looking for new clothes for Meg, but with no luck (a saleswoman ended up pouring gasoline on herself, lighting a match, catching fire, and then jumping out of a window after looking at Meg in a pair of jeans). However, she is sought by nerd Neil Goldman. In "8 Simple Rules for Buying My Teenage Daughter", Neil starts dating a girl named Cecilia, Meg becomes instantly jealous and pretends to date Jake Tucker to make him jealous. This leads to her signing a contract to become Neil's girlfriend and (not knowing at first) his slave, but she gets him to tear up the contract after Lois seduces him. Perverted neighbor Glenn Quagmire has shown a repeated interest in her, mostly due to his very low standard, asking if she has reached the age of consent. Glenn Quagmire comes close to succeeding when Lois tells Peter to back off after he was ruining Meg and Quagmire's 'dates'. Then, they rescue Meg after Glenn takes her to his cabin, Peter and Lois arriving in time before anything happens. In several episodes she is shown dating, including stories with characters Mayor Adam West and nudist Jeff Campbell. She also loses her virginity unknowingly on live television to Saturday Night Live host Jimmy Fallon after having a drastic makeover; but, before all that happens, she goes out with a rebel at her school named Craig Hoffman. In "Jerome is the New Black", Jerome, an old flame of Lois's and Peter's new friend, admits to having sex with Meg, to which Peter replies indifferently.
In the episode "Brian Sings and Swings", a lesbian student named Sarah invites Meg to join in her Lesbian Alliance Club, with Meg not knowing at first what kind of club it was. Desperate to fit in, she pretends to be a lesbian and also pretends to be attracted to Sarah and even goes so far as to kiss her to prove it. At the end of the episode, Meg goes over Sarah's house to admit she lied about being a lesbian (Sarah thought that Meg came over to have sex and even undresses herself when Meg is telling her that she lied), much to Glenn's (who was hiding in Sarah's closet) disappointment. She also used to have a crush on anchorman Tom Tucker, but it ended after she discovered his vanity and selfishness.
Earlier in season 2, she dated Joe Swanson's son Kevin Swanson, but in "Stew-Roids" it is mentioned that Kevin died in Iraq. In the episode, "Prick Up Your Ears", she dates a boy named Doug, but he breaks up with her when he sees her naked right before almost having sex. In the episode "Peter's Daughter", Meg falls in love with a med-student named Michael Milano after coming out of a short coma (caused by Peter when he asked her to "rescue" beer and make him a sandwich out of an already flooded kitchen) and they start to date. After he breaks up with Meg (because of Peter being overprotective of her after promising that if she came out of the coma, he would "treat her like a princess"), she announces that she is pregnant by Michael and the two get engaged. After finding out that she is not actually pregnant, Meg tells Michael the truth hoping that he will stay, however, Michael quickly leaves Meg at the altar. In the episode "Dial Meg for Murder", she is dating a convict, while in the episode "Go, Stewie, Go!" she dates an attractive young man named Anthony, who is absolutely normal (much to the surprise and chagrin of many of the other characters). They were so shocked that they had to do tests just to see if he was completely normal which annoyed Meg. It is presumed that she broke up with him after he and Lois had an affair.
Meg also shows extremely possessive behavior when she encounters someone she believes she has a romantic connection with such as kidnapping Brian and detaining Bonnie Swanson at the airport by planting a gun in her purse.
In the first three seasons of the show, Meg's family often inadvertently humiliated her due to their bumbling or stupidity, though they cared for her and meant well. In the post-cancellation seasons, this began to change as the show started to flesh out the characters to the point where it seems that most of the population of Quahog, including her own family, despise her for no reason other than her simply being "Meg". In an interview, Mila Kunis stated: "Meg gets picked on a lot. But it's funny. It's like the middle child. She is constantly in the state of being an awkward 14-year-old, when you're kind of going through puberty and what-not. She's just in perpetual mode of humiliation, and it's fun."
Meg is also the most misunderstood, at least by Peter, Chris, and others who are shown avoiding her company, disparaging her in person, gathering in her bedroom to read her diary for laughs, etc. Peter reminds Lois, "We agreed that if we could only save two, we'd leave Meg!" even randomly shooting her when she simply said "Hi Dad" ("Peter's Daughter") but despite this he also was going to say "I love you" in "Hell Comes to Quahog", and in "Road to Rupert" he stated they were 'secret best friends' before throwing lemonade in her face, saying he would have to continue to treat her badly in public in order to maintain his reputation due to "peer pressure", thus giving hope that they may be on good terms. Occasionally, when Meg asks a question to Peter or just speaks when he is in the room, Peter responds by saying "Shut up, Meg," which is immediately followed by a line from another character.
When the family tries an anger management technique of writing letters and not sending them, Meg finds Peter's letter to her, which says, "Dear Meg, for the first four years of your life, I thought you were a house cat."  And in Peter's short story of her birth, they had to go back to get her once they realized they grabbed the afterbirth. In the episode "Stewie Kills Lois", Peter tells guests on a cruise ship about how he and Lois had gone to get an abortion but decided against it when they arrived at the clinic and found out the abortionist had one hand. He then says "two and a half months later, our daughter Meg was born" – indicating that they had tried to abort her when Lois was already over six months pregnant. Another hint to this is when Meg is in the car with Lois and at an attempt to make civilized conversation, says, "Hey Meg, did you know that if you're on birth control and you take an antibiotic it makes it not work? 'Cause no one told me! I just thought you should know" and laughs awkwardly. On Meg's 17th birthday, her mother and father both try to hide from Meg that they do not remember her age. Peter openly states that Meg sucks in the episode "PTV", and Chris says the same thing about her in "Long John Peter". In "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven", Brian says to Meg's face that she lives in a home "where nobody respects or cares about [her], not even enough to get [her] a damn mumps shot!" Chris, however, seems to have more of a typical brother-sister relationship with Meg. Although they fight and argue from time to time, he tends to go to her for advice. Chris even once threatened to quit his job if his boss didn't re-hire Meg (at the insistence of Lois). Like Chris, Meg has an anthropomorphic monkey in her closet, and although she has proved it, her family coldly state that they were talking about Chris', not hers. Cleveland comments to Peter "Meg is my least favorite of your children."
Apparently, a double standard also exists against Meg, further underscoring the mistreatment she suffers from the people around her. In "Big Man on Hippocampus", an episode wherein Peter loses his memory, as he reacquaints himself with the pleasures of sex, Lois tells him that it is inappropriate to have sex with his own children; in response, Meg attempts an incest joke. Most of the family lambaste her for this and Chris kicks her out of the room. However, in the season finale "Partial Terms of Endearment", Lois tells a joke that implies that it was Meg that gave birth to Stewie, and apart from a shocked reaction from the latter, Lois receives no such violent reaction. Additionally, in "Model Misbehavior", when Lois starts a modeling career, Peter states that he will pleasure himself to Lois' pictures, followed by Chris and Meg both exclaiming "Me too!" to which Peter shouts "Oh God, Meg, that's sick! That's your mother!", ignoring the fact that Chris said the same thing. Meg responded by saying "I was only trying to fit in!"
Brian's attention softens the lack of respect from Peter and the neighbors; he admits that he cares for Meg when she goes out with Mayor Adam West. Lois has also often shown sympathy for Meg, for example, taking her to Spring Break at the beach. Lois very often comforts Meg when she is down; however, she gives up one attempt after 45 minutes and gives her a Sylvia Plath novel and a bottle of Ambien, and with a "Whatever happens, happens," leaves Meg to her misery.
The family's treatment of Meg finally reaches her limit in "Dial Meg for Murder" when Meg emerges from a short stint in a Young Offenders Institution as a hardened criminal, abusing her family and beating up anyone who makes fun of her. It is only after a conversation with Brian that she changes her ways. However, it comes to a head once again in "Seahorse Seashell Party", when Meg finally grows tired of her mistreatment and lashes out against Chris, Lois, and Peter, informing them of their own flaws. All of them become very offended, and everyone begins bickering with each other. Brian is proud that Meg stood up for herself, but she sadly tells him that even though she meant every word, seeing her family turn on each other like wild animals has made her think that it is ultimately her non-ideal role to serve as the Griffins' lightning rod and "absorb all the dysfunction". He commends her on her maturity, and even goes on to say that Meg is the "strongest person" in the family. She soon apologizes to the others and says that she is the one at fault; Chris calls her a bitch, to which she proudly responds "Yes, yes I am," and the family reconciles.
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