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In fantasy settings they may be a rare kind of were-animal, or just a pig-faced monster. Sometimes the work will call the Pig Man an "orc" — this probably stems from the fact that a few popular works have depicted their orcs as pug-nosed, tusked creatures. In more futuristic settings, they'll be the product of genetic manipulation; these are usually human with "pig" added to them, but it could be the other way around. Either way, they're used as grunts, they have little intelligence, and they can be slaughtered by the hundreds with no moral implications.
In science-fiction settings, it makes a certain amount of sense that the pig is the preferred species for this type of gene splicing: pigs and humans are anatomically similar enough on the inside that pigs may soon be grown as human organ donors. The similarities even extend to behavior, pigs being omnivores with furless skin and similar behavior in the wild, enjoying beer as much as the next guy.
Tragic is the story of the Pig Man who escapes his evil masters and tries to live a human life; they'll usually be outcasts who will never know what it's like to be loved.
As the trope name implies, a character of this type will almost always be a Pig Man, similar to how cats are usually female. There are a number of reasons for this, the most prominent being that both pigs and men are stereotypically boorish and disgusting, and of course pigs are not considered the most attractive animal; Beauty Is Never Tarnished after all! If there is a whole race of Pig People you might see some Pig Women in the background but don't expect them to play an especially big role.
In yet another (almost entirely gay) sense, anthropomorphic pigs and boars can be very potent Fetish Fuel in furry Bara. This is somewhat rare in the Western Furry Fandom (and any cultural context where pigs are culturally considered unappealing to look at), but is more abundant in the Japanese Kemono community, where it peaked during the Year of the Pig in 2007. Much of the appeal is in the highly masculine Unkempt Beauty of Pig Men portrayals (sometimes overlapping with Ugly Cute), having much in common with the aesthetic ideals of the The Bear community. Really, a lot of gay furries would find the top picture hot.
Compare Half-Human Hybrid, Petting Zoo People, Full Boar Action, Government Conspiracy and Corrupt Corporate Executive. Oh, also Beauty Equals Goodness, Mooks and Hollywood Evolution. See Full Boar Action for swine that aren't part human and are crazy anyway. See also Messy Pig.
Some of the Pigmen of our time:
- Those "Feed The Pig" PSAs that run on Nightmare Fuel.
- The Burger King advertisement for their limited time offer Ribs features a winged pigman as a spoof of the expression "when pigs fly". Of note is that he was actually driving a pickup truck, not flying; he explains that he's moving out of his mom's basement and needs the truck to carry his stuff.
Anime and Manga
- The Swine Apostle from Berserk.
- Porco Rosso. He used to be human, but he became half-pig through some unexplained event. He essentially wants to quit humanity.
- In Spirited Away Chihiro's parents were turned into pigs because they ate food left out for the spirits. Apparently Miyazaki likes pigs.
- Ai to Yuuki no Pig Girl Tonde Buurin. A Magical Girl who transforms into a pig. Yup.
- And let's not forget Tesla from Bleach (his release that is).
- Ranma ½ had Ryouga, who turns into a pig at comically appropriate times.
- Kaoru from Freak Island wears a pig mask and a female version is Ami Murata who also wears a pig mask.
- Words Worth. Pig-men rapists.
- The Orcs in Slayers are pig-men with red skin. In one episode of NEXT, they were even cooked and served in a restaurant! Not that they taste good, mind you...
- In Eyeshield 21, part of the Shinryuuji Naga's line consists of four look-alikes for the main characters of Journey to the West. Naturally, Hakkai resembles a giant pig.
- Oolong from the Dragon Ball series.
- He comes from a village populated solely by pig people... and they're all just as perverted as he is.
- Pig-men are part of the Black King's troops in Drifters, among other non-humans.
- Zampano the chimera from Fullmetal Alchemist, who looks human most of the time but can transform into a Pig Man at will.
- Pig is an Italian comic series about a man who has undergone some genetic experiment and as a consequence, turns into a pig-man with Super Strength whenever he is sexually excited. The only way for him to turn back into a human is to have sex with a different woman every time.
- Spider-Ham. He's a spider who was bitten by a radioactive pig.
- A borderline case at best, since the entire Spider-Ham universe is populated by Funny Animals — there aren't any "humans" to speak of.
- Pig-Iron, of Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew, used to be just a cute little anthromorphic pig until a magic meteorite knocked him into a vat of molten iron — now he's the hulking Pig of Steel.
- Jim Woodring's often-unsettling comic Frank has Manhog (described by his creator as a "lamentable father figure").
- Gilbert Shelton's Underground Comics included the satirical superhero Wonder Warthog.
- Sir Porga, an uplifted pig, is a member of the Knights of Wundagore in the Marvel Universe.
- Green Lantern has a heroic and villainous example in Kilowog and Larfleeze, respectively. Although neither of them explicitly look like a pig, the porcine appearance is there; Kilowog looking more like a domestic pig and Larfleeze looking more like a warthog. Though some artists make Larfleeze look more like a horse or a rat.
- Duckburg has quite a few pigmen, which seem to fall into two stereotypes: the sneaky villain and the gentle Big Eater. Both are usually rich. Carl Barks revealed that, for the most part, pigmen were used when he wanted a generic villain. That didn't stop him from making them memorable...Porkman De Lardo, anyone? Interestingly enough, if the Mayor of Duckburg makes an appearance, he'd usually be a pig.
- While not an actual pigman, Grant Morrison introduced Professor Pyg to Batman's Rogues Gallery, who wears an incredibly disturbing pig mask. Of course, given his creator, the mask is the least disturbing aspect of the character...
- Pigs occasionally turn up as characters in Usagi Yojimbo. Gunichi, the mentor who originally sponsored Usagi to Lord Mifume, who deserted them at the Battle of Aichi Plain and whom Usagi later tracked down and killed, was a Pig Man. There's also Zato-Ino, the Blind Swordspig.
- While not an actual Pig Man, Jigsaw from the Saw films does have a rather disturbing pig's head mask that he is sometimes shown wearing along with his sinister longcoat.
- Time Bandits: Evil turns Og into a half-pig half-man. Later he turns him entirely into a pig.
- The movie Penelope is about a girl who is cursed with a pig's nose until she can find one who will love her as she is.
- Gammorreans in Star Wars are green-skinned pigmen who serve as Mooks for Jabba the Hutt. In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, they're a violent, primitive people that gravitates towards being Mooks or guards (in other terms, Orcs in SPAAAACE!). The X Wing Series introduces the pilot Voort "Piggy" saBinring, whose brain chemistry was tampered with, making him a calm Genius Bruiser.
- In Legend, Pox was a (humanoid) goblin with a pig's head.
- The Island of Doctor Moreau had some pigmen.
- In a way, Animal Farm — but those were more like Manpigs (pigs who slowly became similar to men, walking on two paws, and wearing clothes).
- The hyperpigs in Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space universe (including Sparver in The Prefect, who's a cop).
- In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a baby is so ugly he turns into a piglet. For such an ugly baby, he did make a rather handsome pig.
- The French scifi novel Le Père de nos Pères by Bernard Werber (who also wrote the novel that "inspired" the movie Antz) postulates a human-pig (or rather some sort of simian-boar) hybrid as the origin of humanity, Also, genetically modified pigs used for human organ transplant.
- Journey to the West features Zhu Bajie/Cho Hakkai/Pigsy, who is notably the least virtuous of the heroes.
- The novel 'Pig Tales' by French author Marie Darrieussecq features a woman who turns into a pig-woman over the course of the book.
- Note that the title character of Paul Zindel's novel The Pigman is not an example, just an old man who collects porcelain pigs.
- Similarly, The Pig-Man in a short story This Troper studied at school defied the juvenile narrator's horrified expectations by turning out to be a man who raised pigs.
- William Hope Hodgson's novel The House on the Borderland features an underground-dwelling tribe of monstrous pigmen as one of the sources of horror.
- For those who haven't read the novel: we don't actually know that they're a tribe, and it's hinted (for that horror-filled touch) that they're the lesser/younger versions of an evil Pig Man god who turns up later in the novel, possibly as the primary antagonist. (It's a long story.)
- Harry Potter had a greedy, chubby cousin whom Hagrid attempted to curse into one of these. However, Hagrid was too incompetent for that and only managed a tail.
- The Hogfather, Discworld's Santa-figure, is mostly a jolly toymaker, but because he's mythologically descended from traditions of killing a wild boar to bring the summer back, there's still "a hint of hair and tusk".
- And, in Paul Kidby's illustrations, a ring through his nose.
- Quite literary in Oryx and Crake, where pigs are spliced with human DNA in order to create ultra-large pigs who grow multiple human organs that are used for transplants. Some of them even have some human brain tissue, which makes them viciously intelligent. Of course, It Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time.
- A pig-man adventurer converses with Pookie and Spider in one of the short stories from Myth-Told Tales. Presumably he's from a dimension where everyone is a pig-person, although his species and origin are never specified.
- In Paths Not Taken, one member of Herne the Hunter's bestial entourage is a boar-headed ogre called Hob In Chains. Not only is Hob an example of this trope, but he's attended by a mob of dimwitted lesser pig-men, who are implied to have once been human.
Live Action TV
- The Chronicle had a heroic hacker pigman. He was the consequence of government genetic manipulation.
- In Seinfeld, Kramer theorizes there's a Pig Man inhabiting a hospital, but it's just a man with pig-like features. Jerry specifically mentions the possible Fetish consequences.
- Three times for Doctor Who:
- "The Talons of Weng-Chiang"
- "Aliens of London" — This one was a subversion, since it turned out to be an ordinary pig that was messed with by the real aliens in order to make it walk on two legs.
- "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks" — The Daleks turn their captive humans into these and use them for manual labour. One of them is only partially converted and helps the good guys.
- Loquasto in Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire is a member of a race called Grobbles and has the nose, ears and tail of a pig. Not evil but terribly dimwitted.
- Tellarites in the Star Trek universe. Not evil (in fact, along with the humans, Andorians and Vulcans they founded the Federation), but incredibly arrogant and argumentative. Thanks to their Blue and Orange Morality, they consider insults and blustering arrogance good manners, and find excessively "polite" behaviour somewhat offensive. The Star Trek Novel Verse expands on this to demonstrate that pride is a virtue to them, not a vice. In the Starfleet Corps of Engineers novels, Fabian Stevens insists he finds racist jokes about the Tellarite-pig resemblance tasteless, yet he seems to have an awfully large collection of them stored away in his mind. He would never accuse Tellarite team-member Tev of "hogging the glory", oh no...
- The surgeons in the "Eye of the Beholder" episode of The Twilight Zone.
- One of the evil henchmen in Ace Lightning.
- One of the title characters in the Tonio K song Willy and the Pig Man: "Champion of the luckless, lunchless, faceless little folk. You and me, know what I mean?"
- Paul Gray of Slipknot used this image with his early mask. His nickname was "The Pig".
- The Rutles video for "Piggy In the Middle".
- Primus' video for "Mr. Krinkle" features frontman Les Claypool playing the cello in a pig mask.
- A sculpture by Patricia Piccinini. Snopes has a pic of the sculpture, which is pure Nightmare Fuel. http://www.snopes.com/photos/arts/family.asp
- Before Orcs were different, the old-school Dungeons and Dragons Orcs had piglike features and tusks.
- Wereboars have been part of D&D's monster roster for decades. Devil swine, from CD&D, are more obscure but have almost as long a history.
- The Farrow in the Iron Kingdoms setting are boar-men.
- GURPS Aliens leads off with the An Phar, who are a Pig Man race with significant quirks (such as the social habit of bathing, individually and in groups, several times a day).
- Beyond Good and Evil: Jade's "uncle" Pey'j (pictured above) is not only a heroic pigman, but a Large Ham.
- Blinx: The Tom-Tom Gang from this series.
- Cyberswine: The titular protagonist is a cop who is also a machine-pig-human hybrid. The game is based on a short-lived Australian comic book of the same name.
- Dragon Quest series: Akira Toriyama's Orc monster design looks like an anthopomorphic, spear-wielding boar. It also bucks the "lowly minion" convention by usually being first encountered in mid-to-late game Random Encounters, meaning just one could very easily mop the floor with starting or low-level characters.
- Duke Nukem: The LAPD is "mutated" into pigmen by the alien invaders, and renamed LARD. Subtle.
- Enslaved: Odyssey to the West: Pigsy is not only fat, but he has a scope with pig-ears and a Grappling Hook arm in the shape of a pig hoof.
- Ever Quest 2: The Boarfiends who were a race of pigmen created when the god Brell Serilis got just a little too drunk one night.
- Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics a 2: The Seeq.
- Ghouls n' Ghosts: The first level has pigmen armed with pitchforks among the various enemies. If you stand directly below them, they will vomit on you.
- Manhunt: The final boss is 'Piggsy', a psychopathic killer wearing a severed pig's head. And nothing else.
- Minecraft: The Zombie Pigmen who are residents of The Nether (and the result of an ordinary pig being struck by lightning). Unlike regular Zombies, Zombie Pigmen will not attack you without provocation. The game's creator plans to add regular Pigmen in a future update, and actually designed their character model quite a while ago.
- Mother 3: The Pigmasks. They even grunt and squeal just like pigs! Used to unnerving effect in the Chimera Lab.
- Porky/Pokey in general, though he's a pig boy and is clearly more boy than pig. It's obvious, though, that the developers tried to make him as piggish as possible without making him a full-on Pig Man.
- Rocket Knight Adventures: The main enemies from the first game are all pig-people.
- Rule of Rose: The Pig-Imps that appear in the later stages. It appears that they are normal Imps that have strapped extra padding over their bodies and wear living pig heads as masks.
- The Legend of Zelda: Both Ganon and the Moblins fit this trope; in Ocarina of Time, Ganon first takes on this form by deliberately overdosing on the Triforce of Power, but an anthropomorphic-boar form seems to suit him fairly well. And while we don't see much of the Moblins in the games or their associated literature, when we do see them, they're generally engaged in plundering defenseless villages.
- Vagrant Story: This game has Orcs that are absolutely pigmen, floppy ears and all. See here.
- Warcraft: The quillboars are a race of boar men. They also worship a gigantic boar.
- In El Goonish Shive, Ellen meets one in her alternate universe dream.
- Squigley, a stoner pig, is the only intelligent being so far shown in Sinfest who isn't human, isn't a spiritual being like God or Death, and (so far as we know) didn't become intelligent from being exposed to demonic power. His precise origins are uncertain, but it's worth noting that he becomes a true pig in the "reality zone."
- Future Pig: The protagonist is this.
- South Park: ManBearPig.
- In The Simpsons, Chief Wiggum is pig-like in appearance, and was shown as a pig in two episodes: A Treehouse of Horror and a World of Warcraft parody. He complains that Sideshow Bob actually called him 'Chief Piggum' at one point.
- Invader Zim: Pigfoot. And Bloaty the Pizza Hog.
- And let's not forget the Shadowhog. Seems Jhonen Vasquez really likes pigs.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Bebop, the half-warthog dimwitted henchman of the old cartoon.
- Also, in the first cartoon appearance of Usagi Yojimbo, he is seen fighting off some samurai pigs.
- Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Hoggish Greedly has a porcine nose and very sharp fangs, makes loads of pig-related puns, and he even snorts! This is just to make it more obvious that he's a corrupt industrialist, because he's really a normal human.
- Porky Pig of Looney Tunes. Notably, Porky is the only long-running Looney Tunes animal character who doesn't ever 'play' an animal — if he's in a barnyard setting, he owns the farm. He often interacts in a world of humans as a peer.
- Same with Hamton from Tiny Toon Adventures.
- Circe from DuckTales is an evil pig witch, whom, like her Classical Mythology counterpart, likes to turn her enemies into pigs. At the end of the episode she was in, she is tricked into becoming a pig herself.
- Archer — Krieger created a pig-man hybrid. We never saw it; just saw Krieger gunning him down.
- The Peter Hannan Productions Vanity Plate shows a pig man dressed as a cowboy.
- Sometimes appear on Rocko's Modern Life. A recurring character is a pig-woman named Tammy, with a Southern accent.
- Another episode featured Rocko complaining about how his house has gotten to Trash of the Titans levels, comparing his house to a pigsty. A blue pig angrily asks (in a New Jersey accent) "You got a problem with that?!" before being kicked out of the house by Rocko.
- In the grocery-shopping episode, a pig butcher named Marty is lamenting how lonely he is.
- There is a place called The Devil's Washbowl in Vermont, that, not only has bizarre weather (it's warm year round), but is also the supposed habitat of the Pig Man.
- Tolkein purportedly took the word from one meaning, roughly, "boar monster"