Ernie the Giant Chicken is the secondary antagonist in Family Guy and the archenemy to Peter Griffin. Every time Peter sees Ernie he completely stops what he is doing and engages a long fight scene with Ernie ultimately taking them through the town of Quahog, often causing chaos and destruction throughout the segment. Peter always seems to have killed Ernie, but then he's revealed to have survived.
It was suggested that Ernie was created in a lab by Dr. Hartman who relayed the tale of him once trying to clone a chicken but ended up creating a "hostile man sized chicken" that ended up escaping. At some point, Ernie married another giant chicken named Nicole. It was mentioned by Stewie Griffin that the two have at least one child who attends his pre-school class.
In The Series
Their rivalry started when Ernie gave Peter an expired coupon. After the third battle, they actually stopped fighting and Ernie took Peter to dinner with his wife. They then started their feud again when Peter wouldn't let Ernie pay and insisted that he pay and also because Peter spoke badly to his wife.
One time when Peter traveled back in time to the 80's he accidently punched a young Ernie in the face at a dance angering him but another guy stopped Ernie saying "whoa calm down you're probably never going to see him again".
In "Big Man On Hippocampus", Ernie was gardening and hit Peter with an object giving his memory back but then hit him with another one blanking his memory again but Peter's memory was restored because Ernie had an odd number of objects to hit him with.
In the second Star Wars parody episode Ernie is Boba Fett while Peter is Han Solo. He returns in the third, and falls into the Sarlacc's mouth offscreen rather than having an epic battle with Han/Peter as they do in the series.
In the episode "New Kidney in Town", Dr. Hartman tells the Griffins about his failed cloning attempt, which resulted in a violent and destructive man-sized chicken that ended up escaping the lab. That prompts Peter to tell Dr. Hartman that they need to have a talk. In Trading Places, Chris taunts Meg for being a chicken for not wanting to go on Peter's dirtbike and even going so far as clucking like one. This makes Ernie perk up his ears and call the clucking fake.
In the episode "Internal Affairs", Peter has another run-in with Ernie leading to another epic fight, this time because Peter accidentally backs into Ernie's car. During their struggles they land on Stewie's time pad and fight their way across time itself, eventually ending up in a genetic research lab and in space. Crashing back to earth on an oil rig, they continue to fight. Their struggle destroys the oil rig and Ernie is hanged, pierced and then roasted by the rocket engines. But as Peter struggles to shore, Ernie shows he survives.
Ernie also appears in two Family Guy games, Back to the multiverse as a boss/minor antagonist, who appearing in a parallel universe and in Quest for Stuff as the main antagonist, his purpose is to cancel the series "Family Guy" takes to defeat Peter.
Ernie is a very hostile, bitter, resentful, vituperative, and obnoxious chicken who always attacks Peter since their first confrontation without worrying about the damage he and Peter are causing to Quahog, even going so far as to want to kill Peter. When he and Peter briefly ended their rivalry, Ernie showed an effervescent and sympathetic side, and even apologized at Peter for hurting him before inviting him to dine with him and his wife to be forgiven. Ernie also showed much love Nicole, his wife because he did not like Peter being disrespectful and ill-behaved to Nicole, as both were fighting to figure out who to pay before they start fighting again.
Powers and Abilities
Ernie is virtually immune to death, as he has been stabbed, hanged, chopped up to bits, drowned and even "roasted" to death, but he is always alive. All of his injuries are also healed, even if he has healed beyond natural healing limits, including limb regeneration. Despite his lack of training, the adrenaline rush he gets from even seeing Peter Griffin from miles away, just gives him an immunity to pain and highly developed combat skills, which rival Peter Griffin's combat skills.