Ernie is a giant chicken with whom Peter Griffin has had a long history of violence. He often shows up in the middle of a scene and interrupts Peter and the two engage in a long, drawn out fight won always by Peter, who then returns to the scene battered and bruised and picks up where he left off, not knowing that Ernie, seemingly dead, awakens and gets up after Peter leaves, foreshadowing another future fight. Each fight also leads to serious destruction of the environment around them and heavy casualties to bystanders. The whole feud begins with Ernie giving Peter an expired coupon, as revealed in "Da Boom". However, in "Meet the Quagmires", Griffin's meddling in his past allows him to accidentally punch Ernie while dancing at Enchantment Under The Sea.
In Da Boom
Peter no longer accepts coupons from any chickens after "the incident" with Ernie. During a flashback, the Chicken gave him a coupon, but the coupon was expired. Peter was therefore provoked to attack him. A prolonged fistfight ensued, taking the two combatants all over a downtown metropolis. It appeared that Peter had ultimately defeated the Chicken by slamming his head into a photocopier repeatedly, though the Chicken then did a sneak attack on Peter, putting him in a half-nelson/chokehold, thus resulting in the both of them falling off the office building with Peter landing on him. He was not actually dead, though, as he opens his eye.
He returned to assault Peter when he was defending Quagmire. The fight took place at a train station, a cruise ship, and finally an airport. But again, he was not actually dead, despite his head being chopped up by an airplane's propeller, spoofing the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark; his leg is shown moving into a fist. This fight also had the introduction of the chicken scream.
After they spy each other, their fight took place from the Griffin house, the sewers, a subway, a building site, an airplane and the Ferris wheel. After this, the two have forgotten what they are fighting about. Ernie takes Peter out for dinner to make up for the fights over a silly little expired coupon. And he brings his wife, another chicken named Nicole and Ernie's name is given by his wife over their dinner. Just as Peter and Ernie seemed to have resolved their differences, another fight ensues when both of them insist on footing the bill. Despite having his brains bashed in by a frying pot he was not actually dead, as he again opens his eye.
In It's A Trap!
Ernie reprised his role as Boba Fett. Like his character, he fell off the ship into the Sarlacc, played by Meg Griffin. Prior to that, Luke Skywalker, played by Chris Griffin got a lightsaber swipe on him, the closest any character in either special to be even close to fighting him. Solo was about to fight Fett, but Fett had already fallen off when Solo turned around.
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 struggles destroy the oil rig and Ernie is seemingly roasted by the rocket engines. But as Peter struggles to shore, Ernie shows he continues to live.
In Yug Ylimaf
We get to see a chicken fight played in reverse due to the effects of Stewie's broken time machine. Among other ramifications, Ernie fires a flamethrower at Peter caused in the aftermath of their creating a plane crash that destroys a military surplus store. They crash back into the plane which flies backwards from the crash. Their fight causes a bus on its way to the airport to careen through the streets. At the bus stop, they fight their way back to the surplus store and grenade is accidentally chucked into a coffee shop window interrupting Seamus as he is about to ask a barrista on a date. They continue their fight back through the surplus store window to where Peter hits Ernie on a bicycle by opening his car door in traffic, setting off another chicken fight.
- Ernie is the most commonly recurring antagonist in the series.
- In "Meet the Quagmires", Ernie made a cameo appearance when he got punched by Peter at the Country Club by accident while Peter was dancing; Peter convinces Death to send him back in time and eventually fixes his mistakes while in the past when Lois Pewterschmidt accepts to marry him instead of Quagmire, as an altered timeline plays out. Peter then dances with her and accidentally punches Ernie, angering him, but he is stopped by his friend, who tells him not to get so angry, because he'll probably never see him again.
- Ernie is part of the mob that chases O.J. Simpson in "The Juice Is Loose".
- In "Big Man on Hippocampus", the chicken appears in a cutaway gag, where he hits Peter, after he insults his lawn, with a shovel, a crowbar, a baseball bat, a frying pan, and a golf club, which restored his lost memory as well as made him lose it again repeatedly. Peter later stated that he appreciated 'there was an odd number of objects'.
- In "Go, Stewie, Go!", he makes a brief appearance in the crowd scene where many of the major and minor characters witness Meg making out with Anthony, her new boyfriend, in amazement that her boyfriend was actually normal.
- Ernie's British counterpart from the "Family Guy Viewer Mail No. 2" segment "Chap of the Manor" is an English Pheasant. While setting up for Queen Elizabeth II's visit, he gets into a brief slap fight with Neville, the British Peter.
- In "New Kidney in Town", Peter, even as his sworn enemy, gave him a shoutout while he was a contestant on The Price is Right. Dr. Hartman later comments that he once tried to clone a chicken, and the result was a man-sized, hostile chicken but this is glossed-over during Peter's concern about getting a kidney transplant.
- 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 "Yug Ylimaf", Stewie notes that Ernie has a kid in his preschool.
- Ernie appears in the special opening of "Valentine's Day in Quahog".
- Peter's conflict with Ernie was referenced by a headless chicken in "Life of Brian". In the vet, Stewie mentions that they had to share an ambulance with a chicken, and when Peter asks the headless chicken why he isn't running around, the chicken angrily says to Peter, "Don't talk to me; you have a bad reputation in the chicken community."
- According to the DVD commentary for "The Simpsons Guy", Seth MacFarlane intended to have the fight in "Internal Affairs" result in Ernie's death, but Peter Shin convinced him to keep the character for inclusion in the planned Family Guy movie.
- He appears dressed as Herbert in "A Lot Going On Upstairs" when Brian tries to fool Stewie by dressing the family and neighbors as each other.
- Despite being given the name of "Ernie" in "No Chris Left Behind" and confirmed in the DVD Fact-Ups for "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side" and used as his proper name in news releases including video provided by FOX, Ernie is only identified as "Giant Chicken" in "Follow the Money", something that has been a contentious issue with some fans.
- Ernie appears as a pimp in a 1973 "episode" of Family Guy in ""Family Guy" Through the Years".
- FG203 "Da Boom"
- FG403 "Blind Ambition"
- FG516 "No Chris Left Behind"
- FG518 "Meet the Quagmires"
- FG709 "The Juice Is Loose"
- FG810 "Big Man on Hippocampus"
- FG813 "Go, Stewie, Go!"
- FG820 "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side" (as Boba Fett)
- FG908 "New Kidney in Town" (mentioned)
- FG913 "Trading Places"
- FG918 It's A Trap! (as Boba Fett)
- FG1023 "Internal Affairs"
- FG1104 "Yug Ylimaf"
- FG1112 "Valentine's Day in Quahog"
- FG1415 "A Lot Going On Upstairs"
- FG1504 "Inside Family Guy"
- FG1604 "Follow the Money"
- FG1616 ""Family Guy" Through the Years"