Pop culture is full of cute, smart, and talented pigs that we love. Sure, you adore bacon, but this list is going whole hog! One thing you won't find here is swine flu, because we don't love that.
10. Pink Floyd's Flying Pig
How about swine flew? First appearing on the cover of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals, the flying pig has become the most famous rock-and-roll prop ever. The inflatable pig has escaped from concert venues quite a few times, most recently at the 2008 Coachella Festival. The band was far from the first to contemplate a flying pig.
9. Arnold Ziffel
Arnold Ziffel was a pig belonging to farmer Fred Ziffel. Fred was a resident of Hooterville, the setting for the TV show Green Acres. Arnold was a member of the family. The Ziffel's treated him like a son, giving him money for mail-order merchandise and piano lessons.
Napoleon is the leader of the farm animals featured in the book Animal Farm by George Orwell (which you can read online in its entirety). Napoleon indoctrinated the other animals, defeated his rival Snowball, and then declared that "some animals are more equal than others". Those who were students during the Cold War all know that Napoleon is the porcine equivalent of Josef Stalin. Photograph by Flickr user byronv2.
7. The Three Little Pigs
Of course you remember the story of the Three Little Pigs who built their houses out of straw, sticks, and bricks. Only the brick house kept the big bad wolf out, but the two lazy pigs still came out OK thanks to the generosity of their hardworking brother. You can see the Disney version of the story on YouTube.
Babe, the star pig of the 1995 movie of the same name, aspired to be a shepherd. He figured herding sheep would make his adoptive father the border collie proud and keep himself from becoming Christmas dinner. The movie was based on the book The Sheep-Pig. Babe also starred in a 1998 sequel to the movie called Babe: Pig in the City.
5. Porky Pig
Making his cartoon debut in 1935, Porky Pig was an excuse for Mel Blanc to use a voice that was distinctive because of a stutter. Porky took a while to say what was on his mind, but when he did, you could understand him, even when he didn't use kid-friendly language.
Pumbaa the warthog starred in the movie The Lion King and its various sequels. Pumbaa is an outcast from his original group of warthogs because of a flatulence problem. He and his partner Timon the meerkat lived by the philosophy of Hakuna Matata, which means "no worries". Pumbaa and Timon were recently photographed in their natural habitat.
Piglet is a stuffed toy belonging to a young boy named Christopher Robin in the Winnie-the-pooh book series by A.A. Milne. Piglet is also Pooh's sidekick. He's very small and not too bright, just like a young child finding his way in the big world. But Piglet can be very brave when he needs to be. Piglet finally starred in his own movie from Disney in 2003. See more of the original Pooh and Piglet illustrations at BibliOdyssey.
Wilbur is the beloved central character of the book Charlotte's Web by E. B. White. In the story, sweet, naive Wilbur's life is saved by the hard work and intelligence of the spider named Charlotte. Charlotte's Web was made into an animated feature in 1973 and a live-action movie in 2006.
1. Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy is the diva of the Muppets. She began her career in 1976 in the chorus line of The Muppet Show but quickly became a crowd favorite and star of the show. She also starred in six Muppet movies. Her alter ego is master puppeteer and film director Frank Oz.
Honorable mentions: Gordy, Piggly Wiggly, Hamm, and the venerable piggy bank. Readers also love Freddy, Manbearpig, Spiderpig, Salomey, and Olivia. I simplified this list by intentionally not including groundhogs, whistle pigs, guinea pigs, or male chauvinist pigs.