How can a cartoon character die? They never age, they eat food that regenerates, they’re so consistent that they wear the same clothes every day for years on end. Some can even be fatally injured in every episode and still return like nothing happened. So when “Family Guy” killed off (spoiler alert) the family’s beloved talking dog Brian on Sunday night, it caught many by surprise. Were they trying to beat “The Simpsons” to the punch after the show recently announced it would be axing a major character soon? Or was it just time to shake things up and, well, get a new dog? Either way, take a look at other cartoon deaths that caught us by surprise.

1. Brian on “Family Guy”
He always blurred the line between dog and man. In the end, he went out like so many other canines, hit by a car.

2. Maude Flanders on “The Simpsons”
Homer acts like a buffoon (what’s new?) and Flanders’ wife plummets to her death. You can’t say you saw that coming.

3. Fat Tony on “The Simpsons”
He was the lovable mobster whose name was an omen of his impending death. He died of a heart attack, only to be replaced by “Fit Tony.”

4. Chef on “South Park”
Voice actor Isaac Hayes died in 2008 (after leaving the show because he was upset about the creator’s portrayal of Scientology) but “South Park” sent off his signature character in true “South Park” fashion: grotesque and tasteless.

5. Mufasa in “The Lion King”
Watch this and then see how long you can go before calling your father. Cartoon death bonus points: “The Simpsons” later parodied Mufasa’s return in the clouds when jazzman Bleeding Gums Murphy died.

6. Optimus Prime in “The Transformers”
He’s a robot so he can’t feel pain, right?

7. Bambi’s mother in “Bambi”
This is where childhood ends.