Western Animation / Pigs Is Pigs

Makes you think twice about extra helpings at your next meal, doesn't it?
Hungry, my little man?"
—The scientist.

Pigs Is Pigs is a 1937 Looney Tunes short, directed by Friz Freleng. It stars a cute little piglet named Piggy, who loves food so much that he steals it off the table and never gets full. However, the little fellow bites off more than he can chew when outside the safety of his mother's home, he is invited into the home of a mad scientist. Here, he gets more food than he could've ever dreamed...

Noted as one of the most (in)famous Looney Tunes shorts of all time, particularly for both its horror and marvelous originality with the feeding sequence, Pigs Is Pigs has often been parodied in pop culture, including a Shout-Out in the fourth "Treehouse of Horror" in The Simpsons (Matt Groening even said the feeding sequence was his favorite animated sequence in history).

No relation to the oneshot Disney short of the same name.

Contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: This short was meant to be the first of a series revolving around the Hamhock family piglets, with each of them representing one of the Seven Deadly Sins. However, the higher-ups disliked the idea, and this ended up being the last appearance of the family as a whole.
  • Adult Fear: Piggy is effectively lured into a predator's house and eventually killed as he tries to return to his mother.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Not even having a nightmare about exploding from too much food will stop Piggy from overeating.
  • All Just a Dream: The ending reveals that Piggy only dreamed he was fattened up and blew up from too much food. And of course, he forgets his dream and goes right back to eating like there's no tomorrow.
  • The Aloner: Piggy never interacts with his siblings, instead dreaming about food and stealing it from his family when he can.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The scientist has whipped up some truly astounding machines to force feed Piggy, but instead of having to operate them by hand for a full day, he really could've just locked Piggy in a room full of all the food he's prepared for him, and the job would've been done a lot easier. Then again, considering the implication that the dream was an attempt by Piggy's subconscious to scare him into ending his gluttony the hard way…
  • Balloon Belly: Piggy is massive once the scientist is done feeding him.
  • Big Bad: While it seems this is the scientist's role, it could be argued that Piggy is the true Big Bad, since it's his greed and gluttony that gets him into so much trouble in the first place.
  • Big Eater: Piggy, obviously. Even after his belly swells far beyond any natural size, he still wants to eat more. Not even being fed to the brink of death stops him from eating more. This kid never gets full.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Piggy may look like an adorable little piglet, but he's incredibly selfish and greedy for such a little guy.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Piggy's death, while graphic in that chunks of his body can be seen getting blown to pieces, features no guts or blood, thankfully.
  • Body Horror: Piggy is fattened up to be an orb with little tiny legs, and has immense difficulty trying to waddle away. Then his stomach explodes like a balloon being popped for taking one more bite from a turkey leg. There's no blood, but we see chunks of his body go flying as Piggy gapes in horror.
  • Brutal Honesty: The short's Aesop: Regardless of how you view gluttony thanks to your religion, overeating and gluttony to Piggy's degree will kill you.
  • Crosscast Role
  • Darker and Edgier: Much more so than At Your Service Madame. Lots of Nightmare Fuel and an incredibly despicable protagonist.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The scientist essentially kidnapping Piggy and fattening him up for apparently no reason but pure pleasure brings some uncomfortable vibes of rape and child molestation. Judging by Piggy's smile on his face when he's fattened up, he may have developed some form of Stockholm Syndrome as well.
    • The short also imposes some introspection on the viewer, probably making the viewer uncomfortable thinking about the last time they overate.
  • Fattening the Victim: Whether it's for some perverse pleasure or to later eat him, the scientist does this to Piggy once he's captured and strapped down. Subverted when it was All Just a Dream; it's implied that the whole nightmare was Piggy's subconscious trying to warn him about the consequences of eating so much. Not that he pays any heed to it, mind you.
  • Flanderization: An intentional one, actually. In the previous short, Piggy was more of a Mr. Vice Guy, who was a very unrepentant glutton, but still rose to the occasion to save his mother and family, and was actually pretty crafty. Here, his gluttony is his main character trait, besides his total disregard for his mother and family, and his wiliness goes completely out the window at the prospect of food. Had the Hamhock family continued to appear in shorts, each of the other six piglets of Mrs. Hamhock would've similarly had a character trait overblown, since the piglets were meant to represent the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • Foreshadowing: Piggy's mother, when ripping into her son for eating the family's dinner and making them go hungry, angrily asks if Piggy wants to burst.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A bottle of gastritis pills and ulcer tablets are seen on a table in the scientist's house, presumably to help Piggy eat all that food. Once Piggy explodes, there are three frames that show that Piggy finally realizes the error of his ways as he dies.
  • Gluttony Montage: Piggy only occasionally appears to be in distress during his fattening, making the sequence into one of these.
  • Grand Finale: Of the Hamhock family series, though Mrs. Hamhock would later appear one more time, albeit with Porky Pig cast as her only child.
  • Hope Spot: Despite being grotesquely overfed to massive proportions, Piggy quickly begins to struggle out of the scientist's house to escape back to his mother. He decides to take one more bite and explodes.
  • Ignored Epiphany: For a moment, Piggy looks terrified at the prospect of food after dreaming of being blown up like a balloon from too much food. Then he smiles and runs down to breakfast.
  • It Has Only Just Begun: When Piggy finally says he's full and having been transformed into a round ball of fat, the scientist only laughs and says Piggy is only half-full.
  • Jerkass: Piggy himself. Not only does he simply pray for ice cream, the kid is willing to eat his family's entire dinner while they say grace just to get more food. And shows no remorse over it. But is annoyed by his mother's scolding.
  • Karma Houdini: Piggy is never seen being explicitly punished by his mother, only told off, when he clearly isn't listening. By the short's end, he hasn't learned a thing about overeating and likely won't stop anytime soon.
  • Karmic Death: In his dream, Piggy dies by exploding once he finally eats just too much.
  • Kick the Dog: Piggy underhandedly eating the entire dinner meant to feed his family certainly counts.
  • Lack of Empathy: Piggy doesn't give a crap about making his family go hungry for the night, mockingly prays for ice cream when his family prays before dinner, refuses to mingle with his siblings, and nothing matters besides his stomach.
  • Leitmotif: The scientist gets a sinister, quiet theme when he first brings Piggy into his house, and as he watches in amusement as the fattened Piggy desperately tries to waddle away.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Despite being a round ball of pork by this point, Piggy excitedly grabs a turkey leg and happily devours it. Then his stomach explodes.
  • Mood Whiplash: We go from a peaceful, quiet scene with the piglets sleeping at night to the horrific nightmare for which the short is so well known.
  • No Indoor Voice: The scientist once he reveals his true colors.
  • Obviously Evil: Piggy was too excited by the prospect of food to tell that the mad scientist was this.
  • The Quiet One: Piggy, despite being the protagonist of the short. He only has three lines of dialogue;
    • "And please, can we have lots of ice cream tonight?"
    • "Amen!"
    • "Y-yes sir!"
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Piggy's mother rips him a new one after he callously, happily eats the family's dinner without remorse.
  • Running Gag: This short had the first appearance of the "Hold the onions!" gag.
  • The Sociopath: Piggy, in a dramatic contrast to his portrayal in At Your Service Madame. He displays zero empathy for his own family, only thinks about what he's going to eat next, and completely ignores his dream where his love of food gets him killed.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Piggy's graphic death and subsequent waking up from his nightmare is set to an upbeat, jazzy tune.
  • Status Quo Is God: By the end of the short and after a horrific nightmare of being killed by his greed for food, Piggy is still an unrepentant glutton who doesn't learn a thing.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Piggy is this for his entire family.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: In At Your Service, Madame, Piggy saw right through the swindler's façade and put a stop to it. Here, his gluttony renders him so senseless that he can't tell the scientist is Obviously Evil. Then again, it was a dream.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Piggy, compared to the previous short starring his family, At Your Service, Madame, is far less sympathetic a character here. In the previous short, it was clear he loved his mother and siblings and actively led an attempt to protect his family, even if he was still a glutton. Here, he couldn't care less about his family, is usually by himself thinking of food, blatantly disrespects their faith, and happily lets them go hungry after he eats all of their food.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Judging by the smile on Piggy's face once he's released by the scientist, he really enjoyed all the food he was just force-fed.
  • Villainous Glutton: Piggy, considering the below.
  • Villain Protagonist: Piggy, considering it's his gluttony that is always getting him into trouble and ultimately kills him, at least in his dreams.