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|Family Guy character|
|First appearance||"Death Has a Shadow"|
|Created by||Seth MacFarlane|
|Occupation||High school student|
Megan "Meg" Griffin is a character from the American animated television series Family Guy. The eldest child of the Griffin family, Meg is the family's scapegoat who receives the least of their attention and bears the brunt of their abuse. She is often bullied, ridiculed, and ignored.
Meg made her first appearance on television when Family Guy debuted on Fox on January 31, 1999, with the episode "Death Has a Shadow". Originally voiced by Lacey Chabert during the first season, she has been voiced by Mila Kunis since season 2, although Chabert returned to voice Meg in Yug Ylimaf and Back to the Pilot.
Meg is a self-conscious and emotionally fragile teenage girl. She is treated unfairly by her parents and has multiple insecurities that cause her to try to be part of the "in-crowd", which only results in her getting rebuffed by Connie D'Amico, the popular and beautiful yet mean-spirited and superficial head cheerleader of the local high school, James Woods Regional High School. However, another student named Neil Goldman is attracted to her. She is also usually the butt of Peter's jokes due to her "homeliness" and unpopularity. Everyone in her family (except Chris) makes fun of her: Peter resorts to outrageous stunts and names; Stewie and Brian employ subtle but effective jokes, but typically choose not to verbalize them in front of Meg; Lois constantly puts Meg down while boosting her own egotistical image. However, in the episode "Seahorse Seashell Party", she strongly insults and defames her family for their actions against her, causing them to distance themselves in shame and sending Peter and Lois into a depression, though she later apologizes. On one occasion, the whole family even goes as far as to read her diary and mock her deepest secrets. However, on some occasions the family's true love for her has been proven, mostly by Chris. She has been so 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 "Meg" storylines involve her trying to improve her typical life, trying to find a boyfriend, and reaching breaking points with her family and other bullies who victimize her. In the episode "Chris Cross", it's strongly hinted that Meg is working with Dutch neo-Nazis when she orders Chris to retrieve mail she receives from the Netherlands at a private post office box, saying she's "part of a group that trashes Anne Frank's house every year."
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, like Peter, has short brown hair and wears eyeglasses due to myopia. She also wears a pink beanie even underneath other headgear. Her clothing consists of a pink T-shirt with a white collar and white cuffs, blue jeans, and 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 both her plain appearance and personality. She desperately tries to be part of the cool crowd, but is usually coldly rebuffed. 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 as 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 standards, asking if she has reached the age of consent. 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 to Sarah's house to admit she lied about being a lesbian (Sarah thought that Meg came over to have sex and even undresses 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 medical 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 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. Overall, Meg has shown romantic interest in and dated several men throughout the series. However, there have been several instances in which she has shown hints of being bisexual or a lesbian: examples of this include "Brian Sings and Swings", "Stew-Roids", and "Dial Meg for Murder".
In November 2016, when asked by Splitsider if the writers will further develop the characters of Chris and Meg in future episodes, showrunner Alec Sulkin confirmed that the series crew members are working on doing so and added that there are plans for an episode where Meg comes out as a lesbian, taking inspiration from previous instances in which she exhibited signs of lesbian characteristics, like when she joins a lesbian alliance group at school in "Brian Sings and Swings" and is identified as a transgender man named "Ron" in Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, the latter which takes place in the future. However, Sulkin also noted that the plotline has not yet been finalized and thus isn't officially set to be used in an episode.
In the first three seasons of the show, the family had inadvertently humiliated Meg 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 appears that most of the population of Quahog dislike 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 16-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 of the family, often shown by people 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 states that Meg sucks in the episode "PTV", and Chris says that people think 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, has more of a typical brother-sister relationship with Meg, with Chris telling those who condemn her that it is never her fault. Chris, at one point, threatened to quit his job at the local mini-mart 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. She then lambastes her for this and 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!" Peter immediately kicked her out of the house. Later, during an unrelated conversation, when she spoke, he said "Meg, who let you back in the house?"
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. One of the most cruel examples comes in the episode "You Can't Do That On Television, Peter". When Peter is mauled by a puma, Meg uses medical training to save his life. However, no one thanks her afterward and when she tries to point it out, Peter just tells her to get him water.
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 Lois and Peter, informing them of their own flaws. Lois condescendingly tells Meg that she is simply taking her own problems out on everyone else invoking Meg to bring up her mother's delinquent past. Meg tells her that she is far from the perfect parent, harshly berates her for constantly and ruthlessly pointing out Meg's shortcomings. Lois tries to justify that she's a better person because of her past and she is open that she isn't the perfect parent, but Meg tells her that she's the farthest thing from and states how she has neglected to protect her from harm and guide her through life. Meg also informs Lois that when she turns 18, she may never want to see her again.
This breaks Lois' heart and she finally admits that she's been a terrible mother to Meg. Finally, Meg turns on Peter who, unable to comprehend her insults, thinks that his daughter's argument is amusing, even when she points out Peter's destructive tendencies and that he would go to jail if someone could witness his negative treatment towards her. It dawns on Peter that he is being insulted when Meg calls him a "waste of a man." A disillusioned Peter asks Lois to tell Meg to "knock it off," but Lois refuses because he didn't stick up for her. Within moments, Peter turns his abusive criticisms and insults on Chris and Lois. Peter finally runs to his room crying, with Lois running after him, leaving behind Meg and Brian, who is now fully recovered from his trip, to discuss what just happened. Brian likes that Meg stood up for herself, but she sadly tells him that even though she meant every word, seeing Peter turn on everyone like wolves has made her think that it is ultimately her non-ideal role to serve as the Griffins' "lightning rod that absorbs 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 actually the one at fault. Since this episode, the abuse that Meg receives begins to fade away as a storyline. She also notices that Peter's pro wrestler sister Karen treats Peter exactly the way Peter treats her, and they bond over this with a plan to embarrass Karen at a wrestling show—which goes awry when Meg hits her with a metal folding chair instead of a breakaway one and injures Karen to the point where she ends up in a coma and (as it is implied) possibly will die from her injuries without a blood transfusion.
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I'm so fat and gross!
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