Since its inception in 1999, Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy has found success and prominence within the adult animation market. It has its fair share of quoted lines and memorable jokes as well as more than a few iconic episodes. However, this series does get a bad rap for being considered a rip off of The Simpsons. In more ways than one, this is not true.
As much as The Simpsons has changed over the years, it still has a solid core of recurring characters to create its own feeling of familiarity, making this show more than just a sitcom for some people but an actual, fondly remembered part of any family. The same can't be said for the revolving door of characters that is Family Guy. Not even its core characters are treated with any sense of familiarity or sacredness, as anyone and everyone is susceptible to heavy changes or outright right offs, such as in the way of Diane Simmons, Muriel Goldmen, and the old-timey, piano duo.
However, not every character gets the paradigm shift treatment or is even written off. Sometimes, Seth MacFarlane just forgets a character, leaving viewers kind of surprised when they show up in the background. This list will be running down the Family Guy characters who kind of just fell off from the screen.
10 Greased-up Deaf Guy
Remember Greased-up Deaf Guy? Introduced in the episode "The Thin White Line," he was, well, the greased-up, deaf guy who'd run around and speak in a high pitched voice. His entire gimmick would involve his erratic behavior, as he would just run around and spew lines.
Not exactly the best written character, he was still serviceable for gags, as the series would give him slight backstory every now and then, such as revealing that he used to be a lawyer before getting into cocaine or the fact that he started his gimmick after a grease truck explosion. The series never really gave him more than a couple of lines, and he hasn't even been mentioned since Season 15.
9 Olivia Fuller
Olivia was Stewie's rival/love interest. She's a stuck up baby well known for her cuteness and performance ability but detestable for her attitude. The two would meet at a performance art school and, in an effort to stay enrolled, would form a performing duo that would later see Olivia get a commercial gig and Stewie would be left behind.
She would later return in "Chick Cancer," as she and Stewie would form a toxic relationship that would see Stewie attempt to kill her in a playhouse fire. She would make her most recent appearance in the Season 15 episode "The Boys in the Band," but she doesn't really act herself there. She's not so much bratty, as she is just another character trying to seek revenge with no personality, as the series doesn't do her justice in her seemingly last appearance.
8 Brian's Son, Dylan Flannigan
Family Guy as a whole has a problem living up to its own name. There really isn't consistency or even a sense of compassion or familiarity when it comes to family issues or development. Case in point: Dylan Flannigan. Debuting in "The Former Life of Brian," Dylan is Brian's forgotten son who, after years of neglect within a broken home, is rebellious and crude. However, after bonding with Brian, he turns a new leaf and becomes a much more positive, constructive person, leaving the Griffins to take care of his mother.
He'd later return in "Brian's a Bad Father," where Brian uses Dylan's newfound acting success to raise his own career. Dylan now is simply just used as an aside joke after that fact, as he's never really seen but just referenced as part of Brian's parental neglect.
7 Peter's Mom, Thelma Griffin
Thelma Griffin is the chain-smoking, neglectful mother to Peter who had a couple of appearances in the series. She started dating Tom Tucker after she divorced Peter's dad and accidentally had Peter born in Mexico, making Peter an illegal alien. Other than that, she hasn't really done anything to be funny other than other characters reacting to how old and gross she is.
To Family Guy's credit, they did actually kill her off proper. However, she had already long disappeared in the series, with her last committed episode being six seasons before her death, and she doesn't even make an appearance in the episode that she dies in. Mother characters typically play a pivotal role in defining and building the core characters of a series, but that is obviously not the case here.
6 Lois' Brother, Patrick Pewterschmidt
Patrick Pewterschmidt had every opportunity to become the Sideshow Bob of the series. He's the forgotten older brother to Lois, who, after traumatically seeing his mother's affair with Jackie Gleason, becomes committed to a mental hospital. After the Griffins release, they soon realize that Patrick had a dangerous tendency to strangling fat guys, which is very concerning for this particular family. After committing him once again, he would later reappear in a Hannibal Lecter-esque detective role in Season 10's "Killer Queen" before never being seen again.
5 Kevin Swanson
Kevin Swanson, much like everyone in the Swanson family, is a mixed bag of continuity and personality. Originally introduced as a brooding teen love interest to Meg, Kevin would later be killed off as a war veteran, only to be resurrected in a convoluted conspiracy in "Thanksgiving," making his first appearance in five seasons.
Since then, Kevin has only been mentioned a couple of times, mostly just to make PTSD jokes, with his most prominent episode being in Season 17's "Stand by Meg," where he's dumped by Meg for being too messed up, consequently building up Meg's confidence.
4 Joyce Kinney
Joyce Kinney was meant to be Diane Simmon's news-anchor replacement after Diane went on a killing spree in "And Then There Were Fewer." Since then, Joyce has been doing, well, that. Other than her revenge plot against Lois in "And I'm Joyce Kinney," she's pretty much just been a background character, definitely not doing as much as Tom Tucker and a bit of a downgrade from Diane Simmons. At least Diane had a heated rapport with Tom Tucker and was featured in a couple of episodes. Joyce's role, in comparison, is just sitting and moving her mouth.
3 Jake Tucker
Jake Tucker is an easy one to explain: He's the kid with an upside down face. Why? No actual reason. What does he do? He has an upside down face. Tom Tucker his father has plenty of lines and screen time throughout the series, with several episodes dedicated to his strive for fame. The same can't be said however for the one hit wonder that is his son, who doesn't even get a big episode over Tom's neglect. Somehow, even an episode on Tom's family is dedicated to Peter and his.
During the long-forgotten period of Seth MacFarlane's The Cleveland Show, a certain diversity hole was left in Family Guy. To amend this, the series introduced viewers to Jerome. Despite being stated as the replacement to Cleveland, he never actually takes a prominent role in the series.
He does get control over the clam and has a couple another episode dedicated to him; but besides that, Jerome never becomes the main cast member that he was advertised to be, succumbing to being even more of a token black guy than Cleveland.
1 Brian's Cousin, Jasper
Not exactly the Spike to his Snoopy, the last unfortunate entry on this list is Brian's gay cousin Jasper. Jasper is just another example that Family Guy doesn't actually care about its family members. To MacFarlane's credit, Jasper was an interesting character while he lasted. Despite being as stereotypical as he was, Jasper did seem to be incredibly supportive of Brian with Brian showing deep concern and love for him in "You May Now Kiss the...Uh...Guy Who Receives."
Jasper had plenty of potential to act as the heart of Brian's character and backstory but was never given the time again to show that and hasn't even received a speaking line since that episode in 2006.