Kevin Swanson is the son of Joe and Bonnie Swanson. He’s also the older brother of Susie Swanson. He was Meg's primary love interest for the first few seasons of the show. He was sent to the war of Iraq in "Full Metal Jackass" and was presumed deceased in "Stew-Roids", until he miraculously came back in "Thanksgiving With The Griffins", revealing that he faked his death to escape the war. Since then, Kevin has been characterized as a shell-shocked veteran with PTSD.
Kevin debuted when his family moved in, in "A Hero Sits Next Door", and quickly won the heart of Meg. Meg became his friend, but never had the guts to admit her feelings. Until then, Kevin would usually help her with homework and walk her to and from school. He'd only spend time with her, when he wasn't with other friends, which was rare, but what really made him stand out in her life, was that he was the only boy who truly respected her enough to ward of her bullies. Kevin was a protective and chivalrous guardian, who'd stand up for Meg, when she was being bullied by Connie D'amico and other contemptuous classmates. With a friend as true and loyal as that, boyfriend or not, Meg could safely say that she was graced to have crossed paths with Kevin during their lives, and could truly take something away from having him around.
Though the friendship wasn't as strong, Kevin was also friends with Chris and Cleveland Junior's, given that they were the three young boys of their neighborhood, at least prior to Neil moving in. They would casually hang out and watch TV, play sports and talk, but Chris would often annoy Kevin with his stupidity. Kevin, being a very neat and collected person, would have his cleanliness interrupted by Chris' foolish and reckless behavior, triggering his O.C.D. Despite all of this, Kevin saw Chris as a well-respected friend and strangley, even showed him a bit more acclaim than he did for Meg. This was unnoticed by the show's characters and the show's writing, itself, but there was a subtle and unexplained bit of extra care, Kevin gave Chris. This would never be explained by the writers, so it can be said this was just an odd thing that happened with the plot and it shouldn't be looked into too hard.
Around the show's fifth season, Kevin's prominence in the series was spotty, to the point where they rarely used him anymore. Show creators Seth MacFarlane and Scott Grimes claimed that he hardly had any purpose in the show anymore, so his usefulness sort of faded out and they stopped using him. They decided among themselves that his only purpose was to be Meg's only friend, (which would be replaced by Patty, Ruth, and Esther) and the child of the Swanson family, which lost meaning once Joe and Bonnie broke off into their own independent character routes. Upon the birth of the more important character, Susie, who they intended to use more and do more with, starting with the episode "Ocean's Three and a Half", Kevin's significance at that point was practically non-existent.
In "Stew-Roids", Kevin's absence had been in-universally explained, when Joe said he died in Iraq. This would also be the first we'd ever hear of him getting sent off to war.
In "Thanksgiving", Kevin astonishingly returned from the war, claiming to have faked his own death, so he could escape. More into his draft was delved into. It was sent off, shortly after turning 18, his reason for faking death was the unjustified cop-out that he was scared to go on, after watching his friends, innocent Iraqians, and a distant cousin of a little boy die, his time in Iraq totaled 8 years, with one year, being his time, playing possum, and after being shipped out of war, he spent a year, travelling the world and simply "living life". It wasn't until after he was done, having fun, that he returned to his family, who was mourning over the one-year anniversary of his so-called passing, which happened to be on November, 23rd.
- A Hero Sits Next Door
- Mind the Baby Gap
- Love Thy Trophy
- Wasted Talent
- A Picture's Worth $1000
- Holy Crap (Mentioned)
- Meg for Mercy
- Da Boom
- Neighbor Pains
- Fore Father
- Let's Go to the Hop (Cameo)
- And the Wiener Is ...
- Pubic Indecency
- Lethal Weapons
- Fifteen Minutes of Shame
- The Father, The Son, and The Holy Fonz
- Petarded (Cameo)
- Stuck Together, Torn Apart (Mentioned)
- The Perfect Castaway
- Ready, Willing, and Disabled
- Meg the Movie Star
- Full Metal Jackass (Shipped Off To Iraq)
- Stew-Roids (Mentioned; Deceased)
- Thanksgiving With The Griffins (Returns From War)
- 7th Kevin
- Internal Affairs
- Roads to Vegas
- Joe's Revenge
- Total Recall (Opening Credits)
- Fresh Heir (Cameo)
- Call Girl (Mentioned)
- Tom Tucker: The Man and His Dream (Mentioned)
- Turkey Guys
- He's Bla-ack!
- Brian's a Bad Father (Voice Only)
- The Book of Joe
- Roasted Guy (Non-Speaking Cameo)
- The Heartbreak Dog
- Pilling them Softly (Mentioned)
- Cop and a Half-Wit
- Don't Be a Dickens at Christmas (Cameo)
- Pawtucket Pete (In Joe's Imagination)
- Stand By Meg
- He is the only main character, to have gone through an inter-episodic death fakeout. (not counting the stuff with Brian getting hit by a car)
- Coincidentally, he and his father both had accidents on national holidays. Kevin's would be dying on Thanksgiving and his dad would be getting crippled on Christmas, (as Joe mentioned losing his legs in a fight with The Grinch in "A Hero Sits Next Door")