A stock symbol of saving money for a rainy day (or just saving money in general) is the good ol' ceramic Piggy Bank. It seems every child has one to store the leftovers from their allowance in... and whenever there's something they really want to buy with their money, the child will always, always fetch a hammer and proceed to, well, 'break the bank'. In real life, nearly all such banks nowadays have a removable stopper that can be used to extract the contents in a much safer (and more sustainable and less violent) manner, making that part something of a Dead Horse Trope.
Piggy Banks often symbolize wealth and something a thief would go after in a cartoon.
The monetary storage item can also be in the shape of other animals; in Japan, the Maneki Neko is fairly common.
- In a commercial for Taco Bell's crunch wraps, a brown Piggy Bank named Clementine gets very worried she's going to be smashed because her owner may be tempted by the wraps' low price. Fortunately, it turns out she has a removable stopper in her belly.
- The "Feed the Pig" public-service ads play on this trope to encourage saving. Their mascot is a creepy-looking pig-person with a slot on his head like a traditional piggy bank.
- One of the incarnations of the board game Chutes and Ladders featured a Chute where the character breaks a window; at the bottom of the chute he is seen emptying out his piggy bank to pay for it.
- The Richie Rich comic books continually played with this trope by having Richie owning giant-sized piggy banks, including one which Richie and Gloria could sit inside the head of (behind the eye holes) while it walked itself to a vault to empty itself.
- Hamm is one in Toy Story.
- In Mickey's Christmas Carol, Marley has a piggy bank among his chains.
- In the Wallace & Gromit film The Wrong Trousers, Wallace empties out his piggy bank and finds only a few coins inside when he realizes how many bills there are to pay. The bank is inside a wall safe that is, in turn, hidden behind a painting of a piggy bank.
- Opening sequence of Up: Carl and Ellie save up for their trip to Patagonia by dropping coins in a glass jug labelled "Paradise Falls"; but events such as a flat tire, broken leg, or tree limb falling on the house forces them to raid their savings, they do so by Carl smashing the jug with a hammer.
- The Jolly Postman series of children's books has a story within a story about a piggy bank. The more money is put into him, the greedier he gets, eventually trying to run off with the little girl's money. She switches to a bank account instead, so the piggy bank gets better.
- Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files once used this trope to counter a Denarian's attempt to persuade him to use a cursed coin to increase his own power. He claimed it was in his Piggy Bank and he couldn't possibly break Piggy: it's too cute.
- The old Nickelodeon show Don't Just Sit There had a segment where a girl showed viewers how to break their piggy banks if they were too sentimental to do it the regular way. Methods included leaving it on a high shelf and waiting for a cat to knock it over, and simply gritting your teeth and breaking it yourself. Subverted at the end, when her co-host walks by emptying his piggy bank the proper way.
- In Monty Python's Flying Circus, an animated link had two characters hunting piggy banks.
- LazyTown: A character properly known as 'Stingy' has a piggy he carries around wherever he goes.
- Michelle from Full House had a piggy bank in one episode.
- In "Provider", Angel becomes obsessed about his Occult Detective agency making money to provide for his newborn son. The opening scene has Angel stuffing some coins he found down the back of the sofa into a piggy bank that's sitting on the table next to a hatchet and a machete. He then locks the piggy bank in a safe for his son's college fund.
- Debt gave eliminated contestants a piggy bank with a savings bond as consolation prizes.
- The piggy bank is the Zonk prize in the Any Number game on The Price Is Right. Its value is always in single dollars plus cents.
- In the early 80's, there was a magazine about the video game industry called Blip. The magazine had the occasional cartoon. One showed a pair of anthropomorphic pigs standing on a sidewalk. The one identified below as "Pig 2" is holding two buckets filled with coins.
Pig 1: Your treat? Where did you get all that money?
Pig 2: Broke open my people bank.
- Dennis the Menace (US) often uses this to show he needs money. Early cartoons showed him using a butter knife or similar blunt knife to extract coins through the coin slot rather than break the bank since presumably it was made without a hole to remove coins through.
- One Pearls Before Swine storylinelinks featured a pair of living piggybanks who were married. The husband stored all of their money inside himself to save up for their vacation on a cruise. Rat points out that the husband would need to be smashed to get the money. The wife piggybank then gets her hammer ready, confesses that she never really loved her husband, and makes plans to upgrade her cabin since she's only going to need one ticket. The final strip of the storyline has Pig steadfastly believing that the wife will choose her husband over money. The last panel shows her relaxing on a lounge-chair alone enjoying a Mai Tai.
- In The Rose Tattoo, Serafina fills a piggy bank with the small change she earns from her sewing. Rosa smashes it in the final scene and scoops out a bunch of coins before running off.
- In AdventureQuest Worlds, when Gravelyn sends you to collect on her father's Unlife Insurance policy following the Chaos incident at Swordhaven Castle, the King's greedy pig of a tax collector has you thrown into prison rather than cough up the cash. After fighting through the guards, you then have to fight the Piggy Drake, which is basically one of these in boss form, in order to get through to the vault.
- In the first Pikmin game, Olimar owns a massive (relatively speaking) that contains all his savings. It's the final of the possible of the ship parts that he can recover before his life support runs out, but it's not one of the required pieces that will get him off the planet. Of course, you need all 30 pieces if you want to get the best ending, so...
- Van (from Home) has one of these in Chrono Cross. Adding money to it will increase the attack power of his special attack 'Piggyboink', in which he sends it ramming into the enemy.
- In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Video Game, flying piggy banks sometimes pass through Sub-Space.
- In Elona, the game features kitty banks of various sizes which the player can use to store gold coins. This is useful as the money inside the bank is not counted towards the player's monthly taxes. In order to retrieve his stored money, the player must destroy the kitty bank by throwing it.
- In Terraria, piggy banks are a personal "container" item, allowing your character additional space for storing all sorts of items (not just coins).
- Weird Ed in Maniac Mansion has one. Total contents: 30 cents in dimes. You have to break it open to gain enough money to operate the telescope, but not while he's there.
- In Sid And Als Incredible Toons, the icon for loading a different puzzle is a piggy bank.
- In the iOS game Toy Blast, piggy banks can be cleared only with rockets or TNT detonators. A striped piggy bank, known as a "Sneaky Piggy", has to have its stripes removed before it can be cleared.
- Hotel Mario
Mario: "So THIS is where Wendy's hid the real coins!"
- The CERAMIC PORKHOLLOW from Homestuck.
- In the Touhou doujin Life of Maid, after losing her DS in the beach arc, Patchy breaks open her Patchy Bank (basically a piggy bank shaped like Patchy's head) to try to find enough money to get the new DSi. Unfortunately for Patchy, it isn't enough.
- Gabe has a piggy bank that he affectionately calls Tonkatsu (after the Cardboard Tube Samurai's random pig). It contains a great deal of cash money.
- In the SuperMarioLogan episode, "Bowser Junior's Piggy Bank!", when Junior sees a commercial for a Hot Wheels playset, he wants to buy it with the money from Bowser's piggy bank, since Bowser has saved over $100.00 in coins in it. Being too impatient to wait until his birthday next week or save his own money to buy the Hot Wheels playset (Bowser even gave him his own Thomas the Tank Engine piggy bank to do so), and despite the warning from Bowser not to break his piggy bank or he will cancel his birthday, Junior breaks Bowser's piggy bank and steals Bowser's money anyway, and buys the Hot Wheels playset with it. Cody later points out there was a plug at the bottom of the bank, so Junior could have just stolen the money without breaking the bank. When Junior worries about Bowser finding out he disobeyed him, Toad replaces Bowser's broken piggy bank with a real pig, which leads Bowser to believe his piggy bank came to life.
- The Great Piggy Bank Robbery starring Daffy Duck as "Duck Twacy". A group of gangsters steals many piggy banks (including Twacy's) and he hunts them down.
- The Simpsons: Bart Simpson has done this several times. Not always his own pig either.
Bart: How? You don't have any money in your piggy banks.
- The first time we see him doing it, the bank is clearly taped up.
- In one of those episodes where Homer loses his job, he stole Bart's piggy bank and broke it for beer money. Soon after he did it, Homer started showing remorse for having stolen his own son's money and even then not having enough for a beer. Then he stopped to check if it really was enough or not. Upon verifying it was not, he resumed moaning.
- In another episode, Homer broke a piggy bank and Marge told how he could get the money without doing it. Homer replied it was too late for the warning. The Brazilian dubbing changed it to have Homer stating the piggy wouldn't have liked it.
- Lisa appears to have been the victim of Bart's piggyback depredations. In one episode (the one where Bart sells his "soul" to Milhouse) Lisa buys something that Bart wanted badly but couldn't get, leading to this exchange:
Lisa: Not in any of the ones you know about.
- When Doug wanted to go see the Beets' farewell concert, he took a hammer to his Beets-themed ceramic bank (symbolism!) only to find a note inside saying "I owe myself five dollars." "Why don't these things ever have money in them?"
- One episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy had a Fictional Holiday where the kids would break their piggy banks and use the money to buy stuff.
- SpongeBob SquarePants breaks a bunch of them so he can buy a new spatula in one episode.
- The Donald Duck cartoon "Donald's Crime" has him stealing money from his own nephews' piggy bank for a date with Daisy.
- Honker has one in Darkwing Duck episode 'Easy Come, Easy Grows'. Part of the episode involves them trying to stop it from running away.
- The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat episode "Felix Breaks the Bank" had one episode where Felix tried to break his piggy bank to have money for Candy's birthday present. The piggy then took the hammer and knocked Felix into a Dream Sequence. When he woke up, Candy was there and assumed the piggy was her gift. She like it so much she hugged it to the point a coin came out of it.
- DuckTales (1987) had an episode where Scrooge went back to Scotland and took his nephews with him. He then showed them a piggy bank he made by himself of wood and nails.
- Phineas and Ferb had one that released coins from behind as Phineas inserted bills through its mouth.
- Dexter's Laboratory had one episode where Dee Dee won 200 million dollars and kept the check inside a piggy bank. Needing the money to pay a debt to N.A.S.A., Dexter tried to steal the money but was caught red-handed. Dee Dee loaned him the money anyway but took over almost all the laboratory as collateral, leaving Dex with barely enough space for himself.
- An episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy had Irwin arriving at the police station with a piggy bank in order to bail out Grim. Grim is relieved to see him, but the police man forcefully grabs the piggy bank and chucks it into the wall, screaming at Irwin that the amount of money in his piggy bank can't possibly be enough.
- An episode of Tiny Toon Adventures has Elmira break open her piggy bank. The bank sheds a single tear before meeting its end with a hammer.
- The Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Squeakerboxxxxxx" was about Bloo's friends winning a squeaky, rubber piggy bank from an arcade.
- Third act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Bogus Private Eye": After Bogus has set up a Rube Goldberg Contraption to trap a thief that stole Mr. Anybody's watch, the thief (who later turns out to be Ratty) manages to elude the trap by getting Bogus caught in it instead, which leads to the thief being free to smash open Tommy's piggy bank with a hammer so that he can get at the money inside.
- In the 1980s, the NatWest bank issued china piggy banks to encourage children to save — one when they opened an account, and four more when their balance reached £25, £50, £75 and £100. They're now quite collectible.