While there have been many television shows, especially adult cartoons, out there that introduced characters just to toss them aside out of convenience or lack of creativity, the masterminds behind Family Guy rarely let one of their creations slip through the cracks.
From the main cast of hooligans to even the minor roles, Family Guy characters tend to stick around for at least a few episodes. These individuals often fulfill a purpose during their stints with the Griffin family without necessarily being overexposed to viewers. In the end, they become welcome returning guests during future episodes.
Finding more than a couple of one-timers (not simply celebrity cameos) can be quite an arduous task. Out of the hundreds of Quahog residents Seth MacFarlane and Crew created over the years, very few have vanished after one episode.
For a select group, though, that was exactly what happened. Some of these characters delighted viewers, leaving fans longing for returns that never occurred. Others, however, were much more insidious. Their solo appearances might have been for the best, or else many of the main characters would have been tormented and humiliated for years to come.
10. Big Fat Paulie (Season 2, Episode 16)
In the episode "There's Something About Paulie," Peter Griffin truly jumped into the deep when he needed to find a new family car. After a failed first attempt, Lois' dumb skull husband was pressured to find a more suitable vehicle and fast. Despite the endless funds he seemed to have for his never-ending hijinks, he found himself in a financial bind and stuck with a worthless car.
There were numerous ways Peter could have overcome his plight, but he chose the least reasonable option of enlisting the help of some mafia members, to whom he ended up owing a favor.
To repay his debt, the head of the Griffin household had to spend a night with Big Fat Paulie, an annoying greaseball no one else was able to handle... aside from Peter. When Lois got sick of her hubby's new friend, she demanded they spent less time together. Paulie took her comments personally and placed a hit on her, which he could not dismiss before his untimely demise.
While Big Fat Paulie only made one appearance in Family Guy, the unredacted hit placed on Lois would have made for a terrific multi-seasonal running gag, but it, too, went away. The only other time the mafia man was mentioned was during Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story when his grave was believed to be discovered.