A list of characters from the comic strip ''PearlsBeforeSwine''.
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! Major Characters
!! Rat
The main character; a ''very'' cynical rat who is critical of the strip's work and often schemes to get a quick buck. He believes himself to be utterly superior to everyone around him and constantly antagonizes and trolls everyone around him.

* AntiHero: He's not the nicest rat you'll ever meet.
* BabysitterFromHell: The ComicStrip/BabyBlues-PearlsBeforeSwine crossover strip demonstrated that Rat is, bar none, the absolute ''worst'' babysitter that anyone can imagine, making even Vicky from ''TheFairlyOddParents'' seem like a saint in comparison.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: See WithFriendsLikeThese below
* CatchPhrase: When Pig does something stupid: "You dumb Pig!"
* ComicTrio: The schemer of the trio.
* TheCynic
* CynicismCatalyst: It's heavily implied that his break-up with Fiona caused him to be even more cynical and spiteful than before, when he wasn't even near being so.
* DeadpanSnarker
* {{Foil}}: To Pig. See below.
* GoOutWithASmile: In one strip, he literally went nuclear just by attempting to smile, resulting in one of his "[[DeathIsCheap deaths]]."
* HerCodenameWasMarySue: When he [[http://comics.com/pearls_before_swine/2009-10-30/ hijacked the strip once]], he wrote himself as a "Raterpillar" who eats every single character in the strip.
* HeroicComedicSociopath
* {{Jerkass}}: Unrepentantly and sometimes proudly so.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Rat is a Jerkass, no question, but his anger is occasionally directed at the rude behavior of others and his misanthropy is largely the result of being subjected to hundreds of little annoyances. When the mood strikes him, he's even capable of being nice to Pig, mainly by keeping him from harsh truths. It's also implied that his cynicism is partly due to Fiona breaking up with him, as he wasn't nearly as bad before that.
* JerkWithAHeartOfJerk: He sees himself as this, at one point refusing to look his love interest in the eye because he feels like she can see straight into his head and "it's not a nice place in there", though that shifts into JerkWithAHeartOfGold all the same, being aware that he is not a really good person and tends to be mean to everyone.
* LackOfEmpathy: Even to his roommate.
* LargeHam
--> ...and the fat man is yelling "DIE, CRACKERS, DIE!!"
* ManChild: But is bratty and arrogant in contrast to Pig's innocence.
* NietzscheWannabe:
--> '''Rat''': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D80YutnbwSE Problems *never* go away.]]
* ObnoxiousSnarker: Some of his snarking is downright cruel.
* OddFriendship: Being a [[TheCynic cynical]], mean pessimist, he's best friends with a friendly WideEyedIdealist. Huh?
* RageAgainstTheAuthor: Often criticizes or threatens Pastis when an IncrediblyLamePun or PainfulRhyme is let off as a punch line.
** He also just shows up at Stephan's house just to mess with him frequently.
* {{Schemer}}
* SirSwearsALot: Expressed with SymbolSwearing.
* SmallNameBigEgo
* [[StrawCharacter Strawman Political]]: A ''very'' right-leaning conservative.
* TheyKilledKenny: Once was run over by a car. Died again after exploding from the stress of smiling too much. Was killed once more of a heart attack when Pastis himself died in the strip. He came BackFromTheDead each time.
* {{Troll}}: He appreciates the internet because it allows him to be anonymously rude.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist
* VillainProtagonist: Sometimes.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Type 1 with Pig. He is the primary target of Rat's abuse, but Rat really does care for him and they remain best friends.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: He treats Pig badly, constantly trolls Goat, and has sided with the Crocs whenever it would benefit him.
* WhyDoYouKeepChangingJobs: He holds lots of jobs just to get some money. He regularly gets fired due to his {{Jerkass}} attitude to whoever he's supposed to serve.
** UltimateJobSecurity: ...though he often gets hired back thanks to diversity laws, as another talking rat would be hard to find.
* YouDirtyRat: Literally and figuratively.

!! Pig
The second most important character of the strip and Rat's roommate: a good-natured, yet naive and dimwitted anthropomorphic pig who lives with Rat.

* AllLovingHero: His good nature leads him to make friends with even inanimate objects.
* ButtMonkey: Was this in the early days of the strip, but recently the burden has been tossed to Goat.
* CloudCuckooLander: He can come up with and say really weird things sometimes.
* ComicTrio: He's often the blind follower to Rat's schemes.
* ExposedAnimalBellybutton
* [[ExpressiveHair Expressive Ears]]
* FatIdiot
* {{Foil}}: To Rat. Pig's idealistic view on life contrasts with Rat's very cynical view.
* TheHero
* IdiotHero
* KindheartedSimpleton: By far the nicest of the main cast despite being dumb.
* ManChild: His immaturity gets him ridicule from all of his friends.
* MessyPig
* NiceGuy
* NiceHat: Wears these on a regular basis.
* OddFriendship: With Rat. Being a friendly, optimistic WideEyedIdealist, he has no problems being friends with a pessimistic cynicist.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Pastis hints in a strip dedicated to his father-in-law that Pig was based on him, a big optimist.
* ThePollyanna: He keeps a positive attitude even when Rat abuses him.
** He's so optimistic that he fails at doing pessimistic things, like [[http://comics.com/pearls_before_swine/2010-03-10/ playing the blues]].
** He once tried to go Goth, but failed abyssmally, as he had HannahMontana playing on his iPod, who is probably tied with Music/TaylorSwift as the farthest thing from Goth.
* UnluckyEverydude
* VitriolicBestBuds: Type 1 with Rat. Even when Rat abuses him, he remains best friends with him.
* WideEyedIdealist: Even when Rat, Goat, and Zebra are all cynical, Pig remains optimistic.

!! Goat
A goat who lives near Pig and Rat. He is much more intelligent than both of them, but his intelligence is usually not acknowledged by either of them.

* {{Bookworm}}: He is often seen reading while at the diner that he and his friends go to.
* BritishStuffiness: Sometimes falls into this, as he has a British accent in the official animated shorts.
* CatchPhrase: CheckPlease
** After reading Rat's latest work: "You cannot put this in X!" (usually a children's novel) or "You really should stop writing X."
* CharacterFilibuster
* ComicTrio: He's the smart yet powerless one between Rat and Pig.
* DeadpanSnarker
* FacePalm: Or occasionally an EyeTake.
* IneffectualLoner: Prefers to kept to himself and his books for the most part. This may be because many of the other characters are irredeemably stupid in spite of Goat's efforts to correct their misconceptions. He seems to get along best with the level-headed Zebra.
* MommasBoy: Averted. Goat himself admits that he hasn't talked to his mother for a period of some years, though there is later a week-long arc when he does visit her.
* OnlySaneMan
** SurroundedByIdiots
* NoRespectGuy
* TheSmartGuy
* StageNames: [[spoiler: His real name is Paris, he claims Goat is a stage name]].

!! Zebra
A friend of Pig, Rat, and Goat. He's also quite intelligent and also very kind and gentle. At first, he was seen patching relations long-distance with his relatives back home and a pride of lions. Later, he primarily tries to avoid the schemes of the crocodile fraternity Zeeba Zeeba Eata.

* BreakoutCharacter: He was supposed to be a one-shot, but fan demand brought him to major character status.
* DeadpanSnarker: Towards the crocodiles, anyway.
* {{Hypocrite}}: While he doesn't want the crocs or lions to eat him, he has no problem with eating lobster.
* InTouchWithHisFeminineSide: Much to the chagrin of his lion friends.
* OnlySaneMan: Usually, but not as often as Goat.

!! Zeeba Zeeba Eata
A fraternity of crocodiles whose fraternity house is next door to Zebra. Their primary goal is to kill and eat Zebra, but due to their stupidity, they are unable to accomplish this.

* [[ArchEnemy Arch-Enemies]]: Of Zebra, but they aren't on good terms with the rest of the cast.
* CatchPhrase: "Hullo, zeeba neighba."
* CriticalResearchFailure: Invoked. If any of their plans involves a famous person, odds are they not only get the person's history completely wrong, but the person is most likely dead.
* [[DroppedABridgeOnHim Dropped a Bridge on Them]]: Their plans constantly get their own members killed.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: They will never eat Zebra.
* FunetikAksent: See their CatchPhrase above. They also occasionally lapse into YouNoTakeCandle.
* GoldfishPoopGang: Their plans mostly kill their own members rather than Zebra.
* HiddenDepths: They can swim. Yes, really. For all their idiocies, they can swim to save their lives.
* PaintingTheMedium: They speak in a unique, properly capitalized font in contrast to the BoldInflation used by the rest of the cast.
* PaperThinDisguise: A frequent part of their schemes, Zebra is never fooled.
* [[RedShirt Red Shirts]][=/=]{{Mook}}s: All of them, with the exception of Larry.
* TooDumbToLive: Literally, as noted above.

!! Larry
A member of Zeeba Zeeba Eata, Larry lives in the house behind Zebra and is even dumber than his fellow Crocs, though not by much. He also has a wife, Patty, and a son, Junior.

* TheAlcoholic: Often is seen drinking beer.
* BirthdayHater: He's revealed to really hate his birthday. He tries some strange tricks like hiding from his birthday cake, and covering his ears(?) and saying "Me can't hear you!" more than once when his name is called in the "Happy Birthday" song. He does these things because he thinks he won't grow a year older if he does them. He wants to think of himself as 26 years old, when he's apparently twice that age.
* BumblingDad
* ButtMonkey
* {{Education|Mama}} Papa: Inverted. He doesn't want Junior to go to school, and instead just wants him to stay home and play Wii, at one point even tackling Junior to keep him from going to school.
* {{Jerkass}}: When Patty got kidnapped once, his first instinct was too beg for food until he realized she was gone and if it wasn't for Junior begging him, he probably would have let Zebra keep her.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Despite his greedy nature, he loves his son.
* TheLoad
* ManChild: He believes that tofu comes from a "Tofu Cow" (which he sculpts the tofu into), and will follow any Simon Sez order without question for example.
* MauveShirt
* NeverMyFault
* SmallNameBigEgo
* TheyKilledKenny: Has died at least once.

!! Patty
Larry's wife and Juniors mother. Puts up with a lot from Larry and is constantly disappointed in him.

* DistressedDamsel: Zebra kidnapped her for a few weeks in an attempt to get Larry and his fellow crocs to stop trying to eat him. He eventually returned her when he realized Larry really didn't care and Zebra was only hurting Junior.
* FantasticRacism: Does not like her son dating a zebra and wants Larry to kill Zebra. Justified in that Larry's a predator. Later Subverted in that while she still wants Zebra dead, she's willing to put differences aside so Junior would come home for Christmas.
* [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane Woman]].

!! Junior

Larry and Patty's son. He tries not to be like the rest of his race and is not only friends with Zebra but a vegetarian. He has a zebra girlfriend named Joy, who happens to be Zebra's niece. Larry and Patty are not happy about any of this.

* CarnivoreConfusion: Does not eat meat, yet Crocodiles cannot digest plant matter in real life.
* InterspeciesRomance: With Zebra's niece Joy.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch
* OddFriendship: With Zebra.
** IntergenerationalFriendship
* WhiteSheep

!! Guard Duck
Pig's, well, Guard Duck that he bought when he and Rat couldn't afford a guard dog. He is highly paranoid and his first solution to most problems is to shoot like the dickens. He occasionally works as a soldier of fortune and is usually off on his own adventures separate from the group these days.

* AcrophobicBird: He never learned to fly.
* AxCrazy
* {{Badass}}: And how!
** BadassAdorable
* BerserkButton: Don't insult him or talk down to him It won't end well.
** And as the Crocs learned, don't mention Maura leaving him if you don't want to become a pair of boots.
* BreakoutCharacter: Was originally just another week of one-off strips but the fans liked him enough that Stephan brought him back.
* TheCaligula: During his brief reign as Mayor he used the city's funds to get revenge on his enemies list, build a giant statue of himself, and saw ''All the President's Men'' as an instruction book on how to run the city.
* ConspiracyTheorist: Eventually comes to the conclusion that cows are in control of the world and he tries to convince Pig and his friends about this.
* HeartbrokenBadass: During the times Maura has left him he's made one of the Crocs into a pair of boots, and killed one with a copy machine.
* HeroicBSOD: After Maura, his non-anthropomorphic duck girlfriend leaves him again he proceeded to stalk other couples in paris and tell them how long he thinks the relationship will last and burns down the greeting cards section of a store.
* HesBack: After his HeroicBSOD after Maura left him to be a AFLAC spokesduck, he takes out the last member of the Crocs "Fantastic Four" and destroys a puppet Rat had been using to torment Pig into obeying him.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Despite his violent tendencies, he did genuinely love Maura, is friends with Snuffles, and cares deeply about Pig.
* KillerRabbit
* MorallyAmbiguousDucktorate
* PermaStubble
* PsychoForHire: Worked as one of these before coming back to Pig and Rat.
* PutOnABus: Granted we still saw snapshots of his life with Maura, but he left the main cast for a while to live with her.
* SmokingIsCool
* TriggerHappy: Seriously so. His first response to almost anything is a rocket launcher.

!! Stephan Pastis
The creator of the strip. Frequently visits, or is visited by Rat to his never ending frustration.

* AuthorAvatar
* AuthorGuestSpot
* ButtMonkey: He's criticized and threatened by Rat all the time. He doesn't get much love from the other characters, either.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: He used to be HeWhoMustNotBeSeen, then an arrogant douchebag, and many other appearances until he settled on one modeled after himself.
** Interestingly enough, the cartoon design for his wife Staci (the rare times she's been drawn in the strip) has always been pretty consistent.
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: His motivation for creating "Licensable Bippy" (see down below).
* SmokingIsCool: Averted. Not only does the real Stephan not smoke, but Stephan is shown as an out of shape middle aged pudgy guy. Pastis' author commentary reveals that this is because he intended to make himself look like a loser.
* WritersSuck


! Recurring Characters

!! Farina
Pig's sister and the love of Rat's life.

* [[BubbleBoy Bubble Girl]]: By choice, as she's really germaphobic.
* InterspeciesRomance: All her romances have been this, except when she was briefly married to another pig.
* NeatFreak: Hence being germophobic.
* ReallyGetsAround: Has dated both Dilbert and Hagar the Horrible while apparently with Rat and then left him for Ziggy. She's also apparently dating someone else now.

!! Pigita
Pig's on-and-off girlfriend of many years. She is constantly frustrated with his immaturity.

* MoodSwinger: She didin't used to be called moody Pigita for nothing.
* WhatDoesSheSeeInHim: She only sees the bad in Pig and threatens to break up with him constantly but never does for long.

!! Snuffles
A cat that the Crocs bought to maim Zebra, but ended up as Zebra's pet. Does shady activities including terrorism, selling stolen watches and running a gambling ring. Also Guard Duck's best friend.

* BashBrothers: With Guard Duck
* CatsAreMean: Subverted, despite his shady activities, he loves Zebra, as he let himself get arrested when Zebra got blamed for one of his activities.
* TheDragon[=/=]TheLancer: To Guard Duck
* FriendVersusLover: Would not leave Guard Duck and Maura alone when they were in Paris to the point of chaining himself to the toilet and then threatening to blow himself up when asked to leave.
* TheIngenue
* TheUnintelligible: Only says Meow.

!! Maura
A non-anthropomorphic duck and the love of Guard Duck's life. Left him to go south for the winter and later came back for him, only to leave him again to be a spokesduck for Aflac.

* TheUnintelligible

!! Alphonse
A suicidal porcupine, though he mainly plans it for attention.

* AttentionWhore: Most of his plans for suicide are for sympathy.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Anti-Suicide groups were not amused.

!! Annie May
Pig's arch enemy who's also a sea anemone.

* BackFromTheDead: Became two Sea Anemones after Rat killed her the first time.
* HurricaneOfPuns / SublimeRhyme: Annie May, Pig's sea anemone enemy.
* SitComArchNemesis: To Pig

!! Leonard
A man who worked at an amusement park. Wore his costume all the time and moved in with Rat and Pig. Was eventually killed off.

* DeadpanSnarker
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Got his head stuck in a toilet and died. Justified in this case as Rat was put in charge of deciding how he died.
* KilledOffForReal
* SixthRanger
* UndignifiedDeath: He got his head stuck in a toilet and drowned.
* UnluckyEverydude

!! Wee Bear
A young bear and social activist

* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: He never really cut on.
* SoapBoxSadie
* ThePollyanna
* WideEyedIdealist

!! Chuckie the Non-Anthropomorphic Sheep
A sheep. That's about it.

* TheUnintelligible
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Subverted. Though he's non-anthropomorphic, he does stand on his back legs a lot. Otherwise, he can only say "Baa!" and it's not certain that he understands what's going on around him.

!! Miss Bootyworth
A syrup bottle that Pig feel in love with until Pigita and Rat killed her.

* BlandNameProduct
* KilledOffForReal
* ReallyGetsAround

!! Toby The Agoraphobic Turtle
A turtle who never leaves his shell. Drinks from a beer bong into it.

* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: He never really caught on.

!! Angry Bob
A fictional charicter made by Rat. Dies at the end of every story.

* BackFromTheDead: Or as Rat puts it "[[UnexplainedRecovery Angry Bob undied]]."
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: No matter what he does to try and find happiness, no matter how good his motives, he will always get killed for his troubles.
* TheyKilledKenny

!! Andy
A dog tied up to a chain in his owner's backyard, but that doesn't stop him from trying to follow his dreams. [[spoiler: [[http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2012/12/11 Not anymore, it would seem.]] ]]

* ParentalNeglect
* ThePollyanna
* YankTheDogsChain: Had a girlfriend who was also chained up in the backyard for a while. They couldn't reach far enough to touch each other. She escaped in the middle of the night and did not try and help him. Ouch.
** He finally escapes to visit his dying father. Turns out his father can't care less about him.
*** PetTheDog: [[spoiler: [[http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2012/12/25 Love you too, kid.]] ]]

!! The Killer Whale
A killer whale who tried to trick a family of seals by befriending them so he could eat them. Eventually died.

* BlatantLies: Most of his attempts to get into the seals' house.
* KilledOffForReal
* BackFromTheDead: Made a brief appearance at the conclusion of the "Killer Dolphins" arc.

!! Jeffy
From FamilyCircus

* BitchInSheepsClothing: "So I'm battling a few demons."

!! Controlling Connie
A girl rat dated. Very very controlling.

* ControlFreak: Taken to the point where she was timing Rat's sneezes and tried to give him a different ''mother''.
* DistractedByTheSexy: The only reason Rat put up with her is because he thought she was cute.

!! Christmas Tree Girl
A girl who sells Christmas trees and ocasinally dates rat.

* IncorruptiblePurePureness
* WhatDoesSheSeeInHim

!! Connie The Judgmental Cow
A cow that shouts insults from a distance.

* {{Jerkass}}

!! Hobart
A train conductor for toy trains. Got laid off, then had his wife leave him and things just kept getting worse from there.

* HumiliationConga: Lost his job, lost his wife, had her move the new guy into his house, got stepped on, was forced to move to the microwave, was almost cooked alive in said microwave, and then finally held on to Pig's balloon and got sent into a ceiling fan.
* ThePollyanna

!! Dickie the Cockroach
A comic strip character that rat made that came to life. Kindaps people who he dosen't like.
* DisproportionateRetribution

!! Danny Donkey
A children's book charicter created by Rat. Like to drink to forget his problems.

* TheAlcoholic
* EvilCounterpart: To Hobbes of CalvinAndHobbes
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop:[[invoked]] Morals to his stories have included "Never Share", "If you can't feel good about yourself, make everyone else feel worse." and "Only hit Billy while the Principal isn't looking."
* LivingToys

!! Ellie the Elephant
Another one of Rat's creations, Ellie is an elephant that has a terribly thoughtless boyfreind, Henry the Hippo.

* TheDogBitesBack:Her response to Henry's thoughtlessness is to stomp him on the head.

!! Max and Zach
A pair of Lions who live next door to Zebra. Despite being Zebra's predators, they are actually on quite good terms with him since their wives do all the hunting and even warn him when their wives sense weakness in Zebra.

* AntiVillain: Really, they have no reason to antagonize Zebra since their wives catch plenty of other animals for them, but they still eat other zebras and antelopes.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: They are usually friendly and harmless, but when the Crocs steal their meat, they proceed to viciously hunt them until the one responsible (or at least the one Larry framed) was caught.
* NightmareFace: Max demonstrates one after their first set of wives leave.
* SpannerInTheWorks: Help Zebra avoid being eaten.
* {{Polyamory}}: As it is in nature, the wives are really not assigned to either of them and are free to mate with whichever one they feel like at the moment and vice versa.
* TotallyRadical

!!Licensable Bippy
A character that Stephan created to grab a quick buck. He is described by his creator as bland, big-eyed, and smiling.

* ButtMonkey: Abused by Rat as soon as he was introduced.
* ContractualPurity:[[invoked]] Unfortunately lost his licensable status once Rat got him drunk.
* PerpetualSmiler: An integral part of his licensable status.
* TheVoiceless: He never speaks.