Characters / Pearls Before Swine
A list of characters from the comic strip Pearls Before Swine
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.
- Anti-Hero: He's not the nicest rat you'll ever meet.
- Babysitter from Hell: The Baby Blues-Pearls Before Swine crossover strip demonstrated that Rat is, bar none, the absolute worst babysitter that anyone can imagine, making even Vicky from The Fairly OddParents! seem like a saint in comparison.
- Berserk Button: Oodles. Some of which include: stupid people, people he sees to be stupid, anyone who does a stupid trend (i.e. man-buns, selfie-sticks), people who disagree with him, PUNS; DO NOT make stupid, lame, or cheesy puns or he'll beat the crap out of you, like with Stephan Pastis.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: See With Friends Like These... below
- Catch-Phrase: When Pig does something stupid: "You dumb Pig!"
- Comic Trio: The schemer of the trio.
- Cynicism Catalyst: It's heavily implied that his break-up with Farina caused him to be even more cynical and spiteful than before, when he wasn't even near being so.
- Foil: To Pig. See below.
- Expy: There are many traits of Rat that fit the late George Carlin, such as his cynicism and threats of violence.
- Go Out with a Smile: In one strip,he literally went nuclear just by attempting to smile, resulting in one of his "deaths."
- Hair-Trigger Temper: In a 2008 strip, he beat up Pig just for doing something completely harmless, yet stupid (drawing his body parts so that if he losers them he can identify them).
- Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": When he hijacked the strip once, he wrote himself as a "Raterpillar" who eats every single character in the strip.
- Sentimental Drunk: If this strip is any indication.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Expressed with Symbol Swearing.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Is this to Stephan and Goat, who he trolls constantly.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Very much so.
- Strawman Political: A very right-leaning conservative.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Once was run over by a car. Died again after exploding from the stress of smiling too much. Died from a heart attack when Pastis himself died in the strip. His head was cut off by Jim Davis for accidentally eating Garfield. He came Back from the Dead each time.
- Troll: He appreciates the internet because it allows him to be anonymously rude.
- He also enjoys annoying Stephan by mocking his failures (being unable to win a Ruben award), getting him into legal trouble (ripping out a drawing of a bike from "Baby Blues" because Stephan can't draw bikes, leading to a angry phone call with the strip's creator), or screwing with the strip (spilling beer on a strip Stephan was working on, blurring the last panel).
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
- Villain Protagonist: Sometimes.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: 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.
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: "Rat gets a new job" makes up a fair portion of the strips content. Of course, Status Quo Is God and he always goes back to being unemployed (which is what you'd expect given his general attitude).
- With Friends Like These...: He treats Pig badly, constantly trolls Goat and Pastis, and has sided with the Crocs whenever it would benefit him.
- You Dirty Rat!: Literally and figuratively.
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.
- All-Loving Hero: His good nature leads him to make friends with even inanimate objects.
- Butt-Monkey: Was this in the early days of the strip, but recently the burden has been tossed to Goat.
- Even at birth he cannot avoid this; he was kicked repeatedly in the head by his siblings while he was a fetus.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He can come up with and say really weird things sometimes.
- Comic Trio: He's often the blind follower to Rat's schemes.
- Foil: To Rat. Pig's idealistic view on life contrasts with Rat's very cynical view.
- Nice Hat: Wears these on a regular basis, like a Russian ushanka.
- Odd Friendship: With Rat. Being a friendly, optimistic Wide-Eyed Idealist, he has no problems being friends with a pessimistic cynic.
- The Pollyanna: He keeps a positive attitude even when Rat abuses him.
- He's so optimistic that he fails at doing pessimistic things, like playing the blues.
- He once tried to go Goth, but failed abysmally, as he had Hannah Montana playing on his iPod, who is probably tied with Taylor Swift as the farthest thing from Goth.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Pastis hints in a strip dedicated to his father-in-law that Pig was based on him, a big optimist.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Type 1 with Rat. Even when Rat abuses him, he remains best friends with him.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Even when Rat, Goat, and Zebra are all cynical, Pig remains optimistic.
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.
- British Stuffiness: Sometimes falls into this, as he has a British accent in the official animated shorts.
- Check, Please!
- After reading Rat's latest work: "You cannot put this in X!" (usually a children's novel) or "You really should stop writing X."
- "I give up", "Why do I even...?"
- Character Filibuster
- Comic Trio: He's the smart yet powerless one between Rat and Pig.
- Face Palm: Or occasionally an Eye Take.
- Fan Nickname: Many people in the GoComics comments refer to him as "Paris Goat", due to it being revealed as his real name in a strip where Goat visited his annoying mother.
- Ineffectual Loner: Prefers to keep 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.
- Momma's Boy: 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. She's very critical and overbearing.
- Only Sane Man: Along with Zebra.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Rat and Pig are both Manchilds, with thee former acting like a bratty, sociopath and the latter being so stupid and annoying, he has literally driven Goat to run away screaming.
- Stage Names: His real name is Paris, he claims Goat is a stage name.
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.
- Breakout Character: He was supposed to be a one-shot, but fan demand brought him to major character status.
- Deadpan Snarker: Towards the crocodiles, anyway.
- Hypocrite: While he doesn't want the Crocs or lions to eat him, he has no problem with eating lobster.
- To be fair, it's not the same thing as stalking and threatening a living creature (himself vs. the Crocs), as the lobster is already dead. However, he did kill Larry when he got stuck on a desert island with no food when Larry became a crab and when Larry got shrunken in the "Alice in Wonderland" story arc.
- In Touch with His Feminine Side: Much to the chagrin of his lion friends.
- Only Sane Man: Usually, but not as often as Goat.
- The Woobie: He tries his best to help his species and predators get along, but all his attempts have failed and many of his family members have died due to the predators refusing to change.
Zeeba Zeeba Eata/ The Crocs
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.
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.
- The Alcoholic: Often is seen drinking beer.
- Birthday Hater: 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.
- Education 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 to 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.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his greedy nature, he loves his son.
- 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.
Larry's wife and Juniors mother. Puts up with a lot from Larry and is constantly disappointed in him.
- Damsel in Distress: 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.
- Fantastic Racism: 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 will come home for Christmas.
- Only Sane Woman
- Your Cheating Heart: Implied to have had an affair with Stephan Pastis.
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.
- Carnivore Confusion: Does not eat meat, yet Crocodiles cannot digest plant matter in real life.
- Interspecies Romance: With Zebra's niece Joy.
- Morality Pet: Larry clearly cares for and loves him very much. The only real reason Larry tried to plan a rescue of Patty was because of Junior's unhappiness.
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.
- Berserk Button: 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.
- Breakout Character: Was originally just another week of one-off strips but the fans liked him enough that Stephan brought him back.
- The Caligula: 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.
- Characterization Marches On: Originally, he was just a very violent guard duck. Later, his personality shifted to paranoid and delusional soldier who sees Pig's neighborhood as a war zone.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Eventually comes to the conclusion that cows are in control of the world and he tries to convince Pig and his friends about this.
- Heartbroken Badass: 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.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: 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.
- He's Back: After his Heroic B.S.O.D. after Maura left him to be an 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.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his violent tendencies, he did genuinely love Maura, is friends with Snuffles, and cares deeply about Pig.
- Psycho for Hire: Worked as one of these before coming back to Pig and Rat.
- Put on a Bus: Granted we still saw snapshots of his life with Maura, but he left the main cast for a while to live with her.
- Trigger Happy: Seriously so. His first response to almost anything is a rocket launcher.
The creator of the strip. Frequently visits, or is visited by Rat to his never ending frustration.
- Author Avatar: Literally.
- Author Guest Spot
- Butt-Monkey: He's criticized and threatened by Rat all the time. He doesn't get much love from the other characters, either.
- Characterization Marches On: He used to be He Who Must Not Be Seen, 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.
- Only in It for the Money: His motivation for creating "Licensable Bippy" (see down below).
- Smoking Is Cool: 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.
- Writers Suck
Pig's sister and the love of Rat's life. More like the one that got away.
- Bubble Girl: By choice, as she's really germaphobic. So is her father
- Interspecies Romance: All her romances have been this, except when she was briefly married to another pig.
- Neat Freak: Hence being germophobic.
- Really Gets Around: 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.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: After Rat sent letters to her in an attempt to get back together with her, instead of telling him that she got married and has a kid, she throws away his letters, which leads to her husband trying to kill Rat. Then in another strip, she has the GALL to ask Rat to watch her child while she and her HUSBAND go on a honeymoon. Which leads to Rat attempting suicide. She then comes back to tell Rat that she divorced her husband, but when Rat asks to date her again she says that she doesn't want to because she just went through a divorce, but she is dating other comic book characters, like Dilbert and lies about to Rat, then when he finds out, she treats it like nothing. In two more further appearances, she tells Rat that she's leaving him (?) for Ziggy because he's a real man (?!) and then when she WANTS to get back together with Rat, she rejects him because he's working in a clown store. PLEASE Mr. Pastis, let someone tell her off.
Pig's on-and-off girlfriend of many years. She is constantly frustrated with his immaturity.
- Mood-Swinger: She didin't used to be called moody Pigita for nothing.
- What Does She See in Him?: She only sees the bad in Pig and threatens to break up with him constantly but never does for long.
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.
- Bash Brothers: With Guard Duck
- Cats Are Mean: Subverted, despite his shady activities, he loves Zebra, as he let himself get arrested when Zebra got blamed for one of his activities.
- The Dragon/The Lancer: To Guard Duck
- Friend Versus Lover: 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.
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.
A suicidal porcupine, though he mainly plans it for attention.
Pig's arch enemy who's also a sea anemone.
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.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Got his head stuck in a toilet and died. Justified in this case as Rat was put in charge of deciding how he died.
A young bear and social activist
Chuckie the Non-Anthropomorphic Sheep
A sheep. That's about it.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: 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.
A syrup bottle that Pig fell in love with until Pigita and Rat killed her.
Toby The Agoraphobic Turtle
A turtle who never leaves his shell. Drinks from a beer bong into it.
A fictional character made by Rat. Dies at the end of every story.
A dog tied up to a chain in his owner's backyard, but that doesn't stop him from trying to follow his dreams. Not anymore, it would seem.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: 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 couldn't care less about him.
The Killer Whale
A killer whale who tried to trick a family of seals by befriending them so he could eat them. Eventually died, but later "un-died".
- Back from the Dead: Made a brief appearance at a strip from October 28, 2008 (lampshaded by Rat in the strip afterwards) and again at the conclusion of the "Killer Dolphins" arc.
- Blatant Lies: Most of his attempts to get into the seals' house.
- Killed Off for Real: Seemingly was this at first, but then subverted in that Pastis decided to "un-die" him in a later strip.
From The Family Circus
A girl rat dated. Very very controlling.
- Control Freak: Taken to the point where she was timing Rat's sneezes and tried to give him a different mother.
- Distracted by the Sexy: 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 occasinally dates Rat.
Connie The Judgmental Cow
A cow that shouts insults from a distance.
A train conductor for toy trains. Got laid off, then had his wife leave him and things just kept getting worse from there.
- Humiliation Conga: 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.
Dickie the Cockroach
A comic strip character created by Rat that came to life. Kidnaps people who he dosen't like.
A children's book character created by Rat. Like to drink to forget his problems.
Ellie the Elephant
Another one of Rat's creations, Ellie is an elephant that has a terribly thoughtless boyfriend, Henry the Hippo.
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.
- Anti-Villain: 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.
- Beware the Nice Ones: 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.
- Nightmare Face: Max demonstrates one after their first set of wives leave.
- 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.
- Spanner in the Works: Help Zebra avoid being eaten.
A character that Stephan created to grab a quick buck. He is described by his creator as bland, big-eyed, and smiling.
A group of lemmings, always standing on top of each other in a group of four, who plan to leap off their cliff to their deaths. Often, however, they will do silly things prior to this, diminishing the impact of said deaths. Even away from the cliff, they will always stand on top of each other, even on a date.
A group of penguins — including Moe and Saul — living on a tiny ice shelf in the South Pole. Originally their strips involved a polar bear trying to eat them, then we saw them struggling to tell their wives apart. To escape from the polar bear, they got adopted by the Crocs, who thought they were Oreos due to their colour scheme.
- Bald of Awesome: Is usually drawn with a bald head, although this is because Pastis finds bald men easier to draw.
- The Generic Guy: Stephan Pastis only uses him when the strip calls for a human character to interact with the main cast.
- Planet of Steves: Pastis confirmed in one of the treasury books that there are many "Neighbor Bobs" in the comic strip, and are never meant to be the same individual, even if they are all drawn similar.