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Western Animation / Pigs Is Pigs (1937)

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Feed me!
"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). "Pigs Is Pigs" is also the last short to feature Piggy and the Hamhock family as a whole.


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

"Pigs Is Pigs" provides 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 tormented for the predator's pleasure before being killed.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Despite having been abducted and force fed until he's an unrecognizable blob of a piglet, Piggy completely forgets about his predicament when he sees more food ready for him to eat. Out of pure gluttony, he takes a hearty chomp out of a leg of turkey and dies. Not even having a nightmare about exploding from too much food will stop Piggy from overeating.
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  • 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.
  • Art Evolution: Thanks to technological advances in the year since "At Your Service, Madame", the animation and colors are far more vibrant and colorful, and the audio has improved as well. Several shots use Stock Footage from the previous short, but are considerably better looking.
  • Ascended Extra: Though he was still ultimately The Hero of "At Your Service, Madame", Piggy takes the definitive spotlight here.
  • 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. It's not just his belly, either, as his entire body is bloated up from all the food.
  • 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.
  • Big "NO!": After his dream ends in him dying a brutal, horrific death after being tortured by the thing he loves most, Piggy wakes up screaming.
  • 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: Overeating and gluttony to Piggy's degree will kill you.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Subverted. The scientist force-feeding Piggy was clearly intended to be this, as he forcibly feeds him for the better part of an entire day, and Piggy is very clearly in distress and failing to resist. However, after being fattened up, Piggy is in a state of euphoria, having enjoyed all the food despite his predicament. Nevertheless, he does look to be in some sort of pain as he can barely waddle to the door and seems to be having a lot of trouble breathing.
  • Crosscast Role: Piggy, a little boy piglet, is voiced by a woman.
  • Darker and Edgier: Much more so than "At Your Service, Madame". Lots of Nightmare Fuel and an unsympathetic protagonist dies a horrible death in his nightmare because of it.
  • Dark Reprise: Piggy steals his mother's pie, putting one on his index finger, and spinning it like a frisbee, and chomps it until there's only a small piece from the center left. His mother catches him and saves her remaining pie, and berates him. Later, during his feeding, Piggy is brought to a machine that also spins pies like frisbees, only this time, he's forced to eat them again and again and again to the point he's visibly fearing for his life.
  • Death by Gluttony: Piggy's gluttony ultimately kills him when his body is simply too full of food, and he explodes.
  • Death Glare: Played for Laughs when Mrs. Hamhock prevents Piggy from eating dinner without his siblings. After a good smack on his hands with a ruler, Mrs. Hamhock marches to the other side of the table, glaring him down.
  • Downer Ending: Piggy's dream ends when he dies after eating too much. Didn't scare him all that much, though: as soon as his mother calls him down for food he gleefully starts stuffing his face.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Piggy is introduced sadly longing for food, and when he's caught and reprimanded for stealing one of his mother's pies, he completely ignores her and keeps dreaming about food.
  • Fat Bastard: Judging by the girth of Mrs. Hamhock and the pictures of adult pigs in the house, Piggy will likely end up becoming this when he is grown since by the end he shows no signs of ending his gluttony. There's no indication he even felt any different about screwing over his family after his feeding in his dream.
  • 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 of his horrified expression.
  • Gluttony Montage: Piggy only occasionally appears to be in distress during his fattening, making the sequence into one of these.
  • Good Parents: Mrs. Hamhock is a sweet, kindly woman who dearly loves her children - and constantly reprimands Piggy for his misbehaving without ever missing a beat.
  • 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:
    • Piggy is absolutely elated when the scientist presents him with a buffet and begins licking his lips and rubbing his belly in happy anticipation. Then the scientist shoves away the food and straps him down.
    • 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 of food anyway 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.
  • Irony: Piggy getting tortured for an entire day by force-feeding is this considering how gluttonous he is, but in particular is the manner in which he's fed the spinning pies.
  • 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: Food is about the only thing that matters to Piggy. In his dream, Piggy is force fed until he's morbidly obese and can barely walk, and then 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. According to urban legend, a remake of this film featured Piggy becoming even fatter after the feeding, but as he tries to escape, the scientist cruelly kicks him in the belly, severely hurting the overfed piglet.
  • Lack of Empathy: Piggy's appetite puts him dangerously close to this territory: he scarfs down his family's dinner and goes right to wondering what's next on the menu.
  • Lean and Mean: The scientist is as thin as a rail and outright kills Piggy in his dream with what he loves most.
  • 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. Boom.
  • 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.
    • In-Universe with Piggy. When he's presented with a buffet, he's absolutely ecstatic and rubs his belly happily. Then the scientist captures him, and he's shocked and frightened for his life.
  • 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.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: Pig variant. After eating way too much and then some, Piggy suddenly and violently explodes, ending his nightmare.
  • 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 eats the family's dinner.
  • Running Gag: This short had the first appearance of the "Hold the onions!" gag.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the end of his feeding, Piggy is morbidly obese and can barely walk, and really enjoyed his feeding deep down; nevertheless, he desperately tries to escape and go home.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Piggy's graphic death and subsequent waking up from his nightmare, screaming for his life, 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.
  • Stock Footage: Several shots from the previous short, "At Your Service, Madame", are recycled and refurbished for this short.
    • The shot of the piglets snoozing, though here the scene takes place at night whereas the original scene was at daybreak.
    • Piggy racing downstairs to breakfast is reused at the very end, though here, the extra scene of him changing out of his pajamas and pretending to brush his teeth is excised. Additionally, instead of sitting down at the table happily with utensils ready to eat, Piggy begins glutting on his breakfast.
    • The animation of the piglets happily taking their seats at the table is reused, though at dinner time rather than breakfast. They are in the exact same poses before the scene cuts to Mrs. Hamhock.
    • The final leg of the feeding sequence loops the previous feeding scenes.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Piggy actually speaks here, as he was silent in "At Your Service, Madame".
  • Token Evil Teammate: It's a bit of a stretch to call Piggy 'evil', but his uncontrolled appetite definitely puts him in 'jerk' territory.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Even in his dream, Piggy should've realized just how dangerous it was for him to be so stuffed and obese, especially after facing a grueling challenge just walking the length of a banquet table. Alas, at the sight of food, he lights up like a Roman candle, excitedly licks his chops, and rips off a turkey leg and plops it in his mouth. After two seconds of chewing and one swallow, he dies.
  • 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, in his dream, his gluttony renders him so senseless that he can't tell the scientist is Obviously Evil.
  • 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, and with his gluttony was more of a Mr. Vice Guy. Here, he couldn't care less about his family, is usually by himself thinking of food, 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 despite the horror of his predicament.
  • 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.
  • Vocal Dissonance: In the beginning, Piggy's adorably high, squeaky little voice obviously makes sense considering he's a little boy, but as selfish and monstrous as he can be, the voice of the swindler from "At Your Service, Madame" would fit much better at least in terms of character. Later, after being fattened up, Piggy's voice sounds strange coming from the grotesquely overfed hog that Piggy has become.
  • Vocal Evolution: Mrs. Hamhock now has a German accent.


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