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Big and fat.
Pig's supposed to look like that.
Barnyard thug,
Sleeps on straw and he calls it a rug,
Yeah, that's a rug, okay...
He's walking down the street
And nobody's gonna argue with him —
He's a half a ton of pig meat!
— "Pigs, Sheep and Wolves", Paul Simon
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Pigs tend to be associated with a plethora of negative traits. This is why "pig" is commonly used to describe unpleasant individuals, much like "rat" or "snake".

As a result, it's not a surprise that many fictional pigs are portrayed as cruel and/or dangerous. It helps that many traits associated with pigs are also traits that evil characters often have. For instance, a Gluttonous Pig or Messy Pig could be portrayed as a Villainous Glutton, Fat Bastard, and/or have Jabba Table Manners; the trope Fed to Pigs might even come into play, which can become even more disturbing when the pigs are sapient. A Perverted Pig can easily be used in conjunction with just about any of the Tropes About Perverts, or in more extreme cases, even Sexual Harassment and Rape Tropes. Boars (especially wild boars) are often portrayed as dangerous and formidable fighters. Even the often-positive Brainy Pig trope can easily be used for a pig that's an Evil Genius or Insufferable Genius.

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Many works will use pigs to represent certain Acceptable Targets. Greedy businessmen and bankers are two examples, but so are police officers, especially aggressive, corrupt, incompetent, and/or gluttonous ones.note  Similarly, a pig may even be a Politically Incorrect Villain of some sort, perhaps as a Literal Metaphor to phrases like "racist/sexist pig".

Pigs are also commonly represented as ominous or scary, especially in the horror genre. The Uncanny Valley might be in effect here, due to pigs having several visual similarities to humans, such as their facial features and often pinkish coloration. Murderers who wear pig masks can be interpreted as a symbol of vengeance or revolution, due to this being a reversal of a pig's usual role of being killed for food. Hedonism/overindulgence, savagery, and violence are other motifs that pig-masked killers tend to be associated with.

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In real life, pigs have been known to kill and eat their own kind, and have occasionally devoured humans (dead or alive) when given the opportunity, as a result of them being quite omnivorous and aggressively territorial. However, pigs can be easily trained much like dogs if their territorial actions are caught and discouraged at a young age. Domestic pigs are generally docile towards humans unless they are provoked or starving — however, when provoked, fully grown pigs can seriously injure or even kill someone. That being said, animals do not have a concept of morality, so No Real Life Examples, Please!

This trope seems to be something of a Cyclic Trope, due to the interest of pigs as pets, as well as it becoming more well-known that pigs have a number of positive traits, meaning that people may be viewing pigs more positively. Like many other Animal Stereotypes, the region that the work comes from seems to play a factor in this trope as well; this trope is uncommon in Eastern media, as countries such as China tend to view pigs in a far more positive light and associate them with desirable traits such as good luck, prosperity, status, and wealth. As a result, most examples of this trope will be from Western media.

Most examples of this trope are male, since many of the negative characteristics of pigs (such as hedonism, aggression, and boorishness) are much more frequently associated with men, but female examples also exist.

Evil characters who are animals that closely resemble pigs (such as peccaries and babirusa) can also be examples of this trope. Babirusa in particular may be portrayed as scary due to the upper tusks that grow through the top of their skull, resembling Horns of Villainy.

To fit this trope, the character must be a pig, Pig Man, or otherwise have swine as a prominent Animal Motif. Since "pig" is a fairly common insult, as described above, do not list characters who are compared to pigs as a generic insult.

Compare Our Orcs Are Different, as orcs are often portrayed as pig-like, Always Chaotic Evil monsters. Also compare Full-Boar Action, a related trope about dangerous and aggressive boars. Contrast Housepet Pig. Has nothing to do with Evil Is Hammy (nor any of the other variations of Large Ham, for that matter).


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • Boss Hogg from the Energy Hogs commercials is the leader of the titular energy hogs, and is depicted as the main antagonist of the ads. He is a cruel and aggressive crime boss who intentionally wastes energy. An earlier ad for the same company depicted a non-anthropomorphic pig raiding a family's home and relentlessly taking their precious items (to emphasize how big energy companies are "piggish") in a Surprise Creepy sort of way.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Aggretsuko: Ton is a literal chauvinist pig as well as a Mean Boss towards Retsuko. This is later downplayed when he is shown to have a nicer side.
  • Princess Mononoke begins The Hero's Journey when a hideous creature attacks the Emishi farming village. Ashitaka is able to down the monster, which is revealed to be a giant boar forest god, filled with rage and hatred after getting shot with a steel musket ball. This hatred manifests as ugly worms that cover the boar like armor, and one worm infects Ashitaka's arm. He becomes an outcast from the village for being cursed by a god.

    Comics 

    Fan Works 
  • Monster of the Week in one vignette from Different Tales, Different Lessons is Kang Yuwang, a pig gang leader who appears to be a serious danger to the city of Shanghai, due to his numerous supporters, the wealth and influence he's gained from his numerous illegal activities, and the fact that he can pay off most of the city constabularies, so that both the travellers Crane, Jia, and Mei Ling meet along the way are seriously frightened of him. The "Sinister" part is ultimately subverted once the heroes actually confront Kang, however, when they find out he's ultimately a Harmless Villain whose Mooks are effortlessly overpowered, and the most dangerous thing about him is that he's a massive lecher. The author admits that they made Kang a slovenly, unpleasant villain both to offend Western sensibilities and Chinese ones, given that he behaves in contrast to the pig's respected and honoured status in the Chinese Zodiac.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Amityville Horror (1979): In the climax, Amy's 'imaginary friend' Jodi, heavily implied to be a demon with some degree of involvement in the supernatural happenings unfolding at the house, is briefly seen looking out a window at George, revealing herself in the process to be a massive red-eyed and purple-skinned demonic pig-like creature.
  • Berkshire County: The killers targeting Kylie in the house all wear pig masks. One of them looks like he fashioned his pig mask out of a burlap sack.
  • Hellboy (2019): Nimue's main Dragon for the majority of the film is Gruagach, a malicious fairy with the appearance of a boar man with a personal enmity with Hellboy for getting him banished and stripped of his powers long ago. Towards the climax of the film, he grows brawny and powerful enough to physically hold his own against both Hellboy and werejaguar Ben Daimio at the same time.
  • Mandy (2018): Invoked by "Fuck-Pig", a member of The Black Skulls who gruesomely murders people by raping them with a codpiece that has a knife on it that he uses as a dildo.
  • Razorback, a 1984 Australian horror film about a gigantic wild boar that terrorizes the outback, killing and devouring people.
  • Return of the Jedi: The Gamorrean guards at Jabba the Hut's palace are green-skinned porcine-like creatures with snouts, tusks, and make snorting noises.
  • The killers in the Saw series have pigs as a recurring motif.
    • The original idea for the motif among the Jigsaw killers came from John Kramer, who, as an Eastern Zodiac believer who began his career as the first of the killers in the Year of the Pig, used pigs to represent a rotting world. He made scary pig masks to wear as disguises (after the first, more mundane-looking pair of masks that he got at a festival), and several of the traps he planned use actual pig corpses or draw parallels to them (including a pig farm for testing field that was previously owned by his ex-wife's family). While later killers and accomplices still used the pig masks, none of them had pigs as a regular symbol like John, with Hoffman only using them (and following John's MO most of the time) in order to cover up his drastically different manners until he's publicly exposed in Saw 3D.
    • As well as reusing the pig mask from the Jigsaw killers, the Spiral Killer from Spiral has a creepy-looking pig puppet known as "Mr. Snuggles".
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Bebop is one half of a criminal duo of humans turned mutants along with his friend Rocksteady who escaped from jail to cause trouble. And he is portrayed as a disgusting, slobbish, obese mutant warthog who prefers to drink, spend his time eating large quantities of food (which includes slurping spaghetti out of an oil drum), and being an obstacle to the main four teenage mutant ninja turtles.
  • The main antagonist in Troma's War is a man with pig-like features who gets angry when people make jokes about it.

    Literature 
  • Animal Farm: Most of the pigs in the story are portrayed as greedy and hypocritical villains, especially after Napoleon takes the helm. The pigs usurp control over the titular farm because they were the only animals smart enough to do so, and begin to change the rules of the farm to their own benefit until eventually a Full-Circle Revolution ensues and the animals find that they can no longer tell the difference between the pigs and the humans. Snowball is generally considered to be the Token Good Teammate, but even he is a downplayed example of this trope, frequently being an Insufferable Genius; he even berates Boxer the horse for showing remorse after seemingly killing one of the humans.
  • Clever Duck: Downplayed for the eight pigs Mrs. Stout, Mrs. Portly, Mrs. O'Bese, Mrs. Tubby, Mrs. Chubby, Mrs. Swagbelly, Mrs. Roly-Poly, and General Lord Nicholas. They're not evil, but they're Insufferable Geniuses, boasting about their intelligence and referring to the other animals as "ignoramuses".
  • Harry Potter: Dudley Dursley is a cruel, selfish, and fat bully who is often compared in text to a pig, and even gets a curly pig tail (courtesy of Hagrid). Hagrid remarks that he actually meant to turn Dudley into a pig entirely, but "I suppose he was so much like a pig anyway there wasn't much left ter do."
  • The Swine in Darkest Dungeon were inspired by The House on the Borderland, a work of early cosmic horror by William Hope Hodgson; the House is intermittently transported to an alien world inhabited by ambiguously-sapient but very aggressive pig-men.
  • Mr. Men: Downplayed in "Mr. Dizzy". The Brainy Pig that Mr. Dizzy comes across isn't outright evil, but he does rub his intelligence in Mr. Dizzy's face and makes him feel inadequate for being dumber than him.
  • Pale: Avery encounters a hostile German-speaking bogeyman who wears a mask that's actually a pig's face stapled to his own, and has control over a sounder of pigs.
  • More of a motif than a character, but the Ambrose Bierce Civil War short story "The Coup de Grace" has the protagonist trying to steel himself to Mercy Kill a severely wounded comrade who has been partly eaten by feral hogs. (This, by the way, was Truth in Television; hogs would scavenge after battles and eat human bodies, even if they weren't quite dead.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ace Lightning: One of Lord Fear's minions is Pigface, a gluttonous, unhygienic pig monster.
  • Deliberately invoked In-Universe in the Black Mirror pilot episode "The National Anthem." The popular Princess Susannah (a No Celebrities Were Harmed amalgamation of Princesses Diana and Kate Middleton) is kidnapped, with the criminal demanding that Prime Minister Michael Callow have sex with a pig on live television to free her, or else she'll be killed. The choice of the pig is debated by the government, with some suggesting that it might be a clue that the culprits are a terrorist sect from a religion that thinks pigs are "unclean." The real kidnapper turns out to be a Mad Artist making a statement about how Bile Fascination turns humans into terrible people, implying that he deliberately chose a pig for its symbolic nature.
  • Doctor Who: Subverted with the humanoid pig slaves from "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks". While they first appear sinister when they kidnap Lazlo in the cold open, they turn out to be victims of the Daleks, irreversibly transformed from their human state against their will.
  • Grimm:
    • Downplayed, concerning the main pig Wesen the Bauerschwein, who are generally regarded as a diligent, hardworking and social race. Whilst a Bauerschwein was the antagonist on both episodes that tackle their feud with the Blutbadden, it's acknowledged they didn't start the feud and have to put up with Blutbadden murdering their kind with near immunity for centuries. The issue being their efforts to retaliate often making them come across as just as vicious and callous as their enemies. Chef Ostler was a particularly nasty example, due to him deliberately making it so that his food would agonisingly kill any Blutbadden who unknowingly ate it.
    • Downplayed also, concerning the Maline Fatal (wild boar Wesen), whilst known for being steadfast and protective they also have a reputation for being extremely ferocious and dangerous, to the point that Josef Stalin chose them to be his personal bodyguards.
    • Played Straight with Schinderdiv (Warthog like Wesen) who have a reputation for being ruthless, selfish, and dishonest. Of the two to appear, one was a callous abusive boss who forced his employee into dangerous and traumatising fights for cash and willing to murder anyone who got in his way. The second was a senior member of a terrorist organisation.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: Downplayed with the Tellarites, one of the four founding races (along with humans, Vulcans, and Andorians) of the United Federation of Planets. The species is loud, belligerent, and rude, to the point where it's common for a conversation with a Tellarite to begin with them complaining about various things or simply insulting the other party. They're also so combative in speech that the most popular sport on Tellar Prime is arguing. However, the Tellarites as a whole are loyal and helpful members of the Federation who show respect to those who earn it from them.

    Music 
  • The cover art of Anaal Nathrakh's album Endarkenment (which isn't present in most of its releases), depicts an ominous-looking pig head with penises for eyes. Pigs are also mentioned in two of the tracks (the title track, whose music video features Pig Men, and "Libidinous (A Pig with Cocks in Its Eyes)").
  • The Beatles: The White Album features the song "Piggies", which is a commentary about greed and consumerism, as "bigger piggies" consume the "little piggies".
  • Black Sabbath: Invoked through their song "War Pigs", an anti-war song about the horrors of war and the destruction caused by man. In the song, pigs are a metaphor for people who send the young and poor to fight and die in the Vietnam War.
    "Day of judgement, God is calling
    On their knees, the war pigs crawling
    Begging mercy for their sins
    Satan laughing, spreads his wings"
  • Fittingly for a Concept Album based on Animal Farm, the album Animals (1977) by Pink Floyd portrays the pigs (a metaphor for greedy, authoritative capitalists) as the primary antagonists. "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" is a "The Villain Sucks" Song about the pigs which also makes use of the scary/ominous definition of the trope, due to the creepy-sounding pig snorts and squeals that occasionally play throughout the song.
  • Pigs are one of the numerous animals mentioned in the lyrics of Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral, being used as an Animal Motif within the bleak storyline that the album follows. The songs with the most prominent references are "Piggy", "Heresy" (which uses "swine" as a word), and "March of the Pigs".
  • Paul Gray, a founding (now deceased) member of Slipknot, is known for his various grim-looking pig masks, though his masks for the later albums he was involved in only had a vague resemblance to pigs.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Alexander Romances feature an encounter with a Pig Man that Alexander and his troops attempt to trap by luring it out with a beautiful, scantily clad woman. However, the plan hits an unexpected snag when the pigman carries the woman off and devours her alive. Eventually Alexander and his men are able to chase it down and spear the creature to death.
  • The Gadarene Swine of The Bible. Already vilified by being an unclean animal in the eyes of the Jews, an extra dimension of disgust is added by their becoming a mechanism for the destruction of a host of unclean demons.
    • The downfall of the Prodigal Son is Lamp Shaded by the only work he can find being as a pig-herd, dealing with dirty and unclean animals no Jew should ever go near. An extra dimension to both stories is added when you wonder what the hell at least two herds of farmed pigs were doing in Jewish Palestine in the first place, a place where pork produce would not be a meat of choice. The answer — historically — is that this was the meat ration for the Roman occupiers. The Prodigal Son is therefore disgracing and demeaning himself on another level by working for the Romans. The pigs are Roman pigs — a little detail the audience of Jesus would have appreciated.
  • In Brazilian Folklore, the werewolf (lobisomem in Portuguese) can occasionally have the appearance of a large frightening pig, or the mix between a pig and a dog.

    Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • In Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, Oswald Mandus uses pigs as a dour metaphor for humanity in multiple senses — intelligent, adaptable, gluttonous, brutal, and filthy. They even have a similar taste... The pig-men roaming the interior of the Machine actually are formerly human, transformed into their current state by Mandus' own schemes, and the game presents them grotesquely with a mixture of revulsion and pity.
  • The antagonists of the Angry Birds series are the Bad Piggies, a group of gluttonous, green swine who continually try to steal and eat the birds' eggs. They're quite persistent- no matter how many times the birds break their structures and beat them up, they're always coming back for more.
  • Hangry from Dark Deception is an animatronic pig who works at a theme park and is obsessed with ribs. Human ribs.
  • Darkest Dungeon: The Swine are filthy, disgusting creatures that run rampant through the Warrens. They're the results of failed experiments that The Ancestor attempted involving the binding of extraplanar demon/Eldritch Abomination/things into pig carcasses for research. What the Ancestor got instead were three things; a race of semi-intelligent beings that are slowly raising an army to march on the hamlet with, a formless, ever-shifting pile of pig goop made from the bits he threw away, and a supersized pig-creature that the swine venerate as their god.
  • Dead Rising 2: Invoked through Randall "Randy" Tugman, an obese, porn-addicted virgin who's taking advantage of the Fortune City outbreak to abduct women, force them to marry him, and then rape them before killing them to repeat the process. Randy has a pig motif as shown by his obesity, S&M pig cowl mask, and a pig head crotch decoration which he calls "Mr. Oink".
  • Duke Nukem 3D has the hero fight through a number of nasty alien enemies, including the L.A.R.D., which are pigmen in police uniforms. These mooks aren't especially tough, but they have a nasty habit of crouching to fire, which shrinks their hitbox.
  • EarthBound (1994): Porky/Pokey has pigs as an Animal Motif with his chubbiness and rudeness, as well as his name in the Japanese version. He also ends up becoming an Omnicidal Maniac who even usurps Giygas.
  • Gex: Mooshoo Pork is a half-pig half-cow Mad Scientist who serves as The Dragon to Rez in Enter the Gecko, assisting in taking over the Media Dimension.
  • Manhunt: Invoked through Piggsy, the final boss of the game who is an obese naked man who wields a chainsaw and wears nothing but the severed head of a pig as he makes pig squeals and grunts. Prior to the events of the game, he was a snuff film actor who was driven insane by his over-indulgence in violence.
  • Mother 3 takes the pig motifs found in EarthBound even further with the introduction of the Pigmasks, a fascistic army that corrupts the once-peaceful village of Tazmily.
  • The Legend of Zelda's primary Big Bad, Ganon, is typically depicted as either a monstrous Pig Man, or a humanoid sorcerer who can assume such a form at will. Ganon's primary motivation is lust for power and conquest, and A Link to the Past implies his piglike appearance is a result of the Sacred Realm twisting his form to match his true character.
  • Persona 5: Junya Kaneshiro, a Fat Bastard mafia boss who represents gluttony in the Seven Deadly Sins, has both pigs and flies as his Animal Motif. In his boss fight, he summons a piggy bank-shaped Humongous Mecha called "Piggytron".
  • Pigsaw: The game is set in a giant meat processing plant in a world where humans are processed as meat for anthropomorphic pig people. All the enemies in the game are Pig Men with red eyes and a circular saw appendage who will attack the Player Character on sight.
  • Rocket Knight Adventures: The antagonistic faction of the first game is the Devotindos Empire, whose people are a race of Pig Folk who want to wield the power of the Pig Star to rule the planet. They return in Rocket Knight to help Sparkster's people to push back the Wolf Army, as a ploy to gain their trust so they could invade them once the Wolves were pushed back.
  • Sands of Destruction: Porcus Rex, one of the Beastlords, is a walking, talking pig stereotype and a gluttonous Pig Man who is introduced attempting to eat a kid for the crime of accidentally bumping into him. When Kyrie attempts to reason with him, Porcus Rex instead decides to eat him as well.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic 1, Ball Hog is a robotic pig who stands in one place, attacking Sonic by tossing bombs at him.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit), the Dohyo Master is a sumo-wrestler like Pig Robot who serves as the boss of Green Hills Zone. He attempts to beat Sonic at his own game by using roll attacks, and can only be damaged when he is standing still. Later in the game, Sonic encounters Butons, robotic pigs that resemble Ball Hog from the previous game. However, rather than toss bombs, Butons hop around, bouncing towards Sonic if they get close to him.
    • In Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, Skweel is a robotic pig who serves as the game's sixth opponent. He stands on two wheels, and in the Sega Genesis version of the game, he taunts the player with pork jokes.
  • Pigma Dengar from Star Fox was a member of Star Fox, until he betrayed the group to Andross by luring them into a trap, which resulted in James McCloud's "disappearance." He would become a member of Star Wolf until Wolf kicks him out of the group in Star Fox: Assault. Regardless of continuity, he is always depicted as greedy.
  • In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, the Three Little Pigheads serve as the bosses of Mario Zone. They emerge from their houses made of straw, sticks, and bricks, and attempt to attack Mario with Collision Damage.
  • The Tomba! series of games, where you play as the titular jungle boy battling hordes of hostile, andromorphic pigs, lead by one simply named The Evil Swine who wants to Take Over the World with magical artifacts.
  • Yo-Kai Watch: Sproink is a pig-like boss yokai that terrorizes bathhouses by making the water too hot for humans to be in.

    Webcomics 
  • Furry Experience: Dawn Doe is a business major, first seen working in a typical white-collar office on strip #32. She has just finished printing memos onto brown paper when a colleague informs her that the boss has changed his mind, and wants the memos printed on golden paper. Dawn grouses, "I wish I didn't have to work for that wasteful, arrogant, indecisive pig." That very pig responds, "Wish granted, Miss Doe. You're fired." Dawn's next job is working in a phone bank as a telemarketer for a porcine boss with few scruples. In fact, Dawn has to ask if one upsell tactic is legal, to which the reply is, "Barely."

    Western Animation 
  • Black Dynamite: Black Dynamite's The Wizard of Oz-inspired dream depicts cops, the corrupt and racist agents of The Man, as a group of anthropomorphic pigs.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Recurring eco-villain Hoggish Greedly is a Fat Bastard Corrupt Corporate Executive who represents overconsumption of natural resources. He has pink skin, pointed ears, sharp teeth, and a porcine laugh; he also eats like a pig. It's sometimes downplayed in that Greedly genuinely loves his son Junior and is willing to work with the Planeteers when his own evil schemes inadvertently endanger the boy's life.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog has Jean Bon, a Pig Man who owns a diner where costumers seem to disappear, and then serves dishes that look a lot like them. Ultimately subverted, as the ending reveals that he just sculpts food that looks like his costumers as a gimmick, and he's actually not harming anyone.
  • The Owl House: Tibbley Tibblet Grimhammer III, aka Tibbles, is a recurring con artist with a piglike appearance. Though he seems to be a Harmless Villain on the surface, he's actually deceptively clever and resourceful and has come close to killing the heroes on occasion.
  • Shaun the Sheep: The pigs are often portrayed as greedy and mischeivous thieves that don't mix well with the other animals.
  • ManBearPig from South Park is an evil monster from Hell who, just as his name implies, resembles a hybrid of a human, bear, and pig. ManBearPig frequently makes noises that alternate between a bear's roaring and a pig's squealing, whenever he shows up to attack people and tear them to pieces.
  • TaleSpin: The nation of Thembria is populated mostly by Funny Animal pig-people who trudge about the snow and slush of a Soviet Union parody. The main antagonist is Colonel Spigot, a small-tusked boar with a Napoleon complex and severe xenophobia. Not helping is Thembria's High Marshall, a humorless boar who expects excellence from his underlings, and imposes You Have Failed Me penalties on those that underperform.

Perfect pig, you bless us with your beauty,
Hallowed hog, how wonderous is your glow,
Napoleon, mighty leader
Mighty leader watching over us.

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