Mostly capitalizing off of people but he has also been a lawyer, judge, cafe employee, and help desk person
Current: possibly Christmas Tree Lady
Very many, mainly neighbors
Rat (debut: December 30, 2001) is a narcissistic, misanthropic rat, and is an antihero. He frequently breaks the fourth wall, as well as being aware of his implementation as a fictional comic strip character. Because of this, Rat is often critical of the comic strip's style and artwork as well as the other characters in the strip and many other living things. Often self-employed, most of his businesses involve either punishing or defrauding people for their ignorance, much in the same vein as Dogbert, though with a darker humor. His political views are alarmingly right-wing, especially in foreign policy, and he has a particular hatred for the nation of France. Rat is often rude, and he can usually be found criticizing or insulting someone. Rat lives with Pig and Guard Duck in a house somewhere in Albany, California.
He also shows some knowledge in the legal profession. He has represented many characters as lawyers, and has been a judge twice, although this could just be because of a mistaken belief that the gavel is used "to pound people on the head." He also was the corporate consul for Joe's roastery.
Rat is heavily alcoholic, and is often seen drinking. He attributes this to his uncertain and meaningless life and uncertainty about what happens after death. . While drunk, Rat acts nicer to those around him, and it is implied Pig prefers him this way.
Rat is an insensitive character in the strip, whose interactions with others are typically sarcastic, condescending, self-centered, insulting and sometimes violent. It is stated during a storyline where Rat dies and subsequently returns, it is revealed that nobody really likes him other than Pig. When breaking the fourth wall he will berate his creator on various topics, including joke writing, artwork, or the general content of the strip itself. Rat has also beaten up and possibly try to kill his creator, but has also asked him to simply retire early. In one strip, Rat makes a puppet of Stephan and mocks him.
Rat is so self-absorbed that he instructed Pig and Goat to give him a Viking Funeral , which involves setting the boat carrying the body out to sea and lighting it on fire, but they had to be onboard it to, simply because he actually believed they would not wish to go on living without him. He has also stated that he wishes to be so great that the world ends upon his death.
He is also slightly childish in his ways. He was once seen portraying a Native American, fighting Davy Crockett, who was portrayed by Pig. In another strip, he and Pig expressed anger and resentment over the fact that "the sharpener on the crayon box never worked!"
Rat is often portrayed to be displeased with the way the government is run, often loudly complaining or writing sunday stories about the big donors. His frustration often leads to him trying to run for some political office, and on even one occasion, attempt to overthrow the government.
At times, Rat can have a sensitive side. At one point, a man delivered pizza to his house while wearing a model of the leaning tower of Pisa. When pressed to explain his headgear, the delivery man explained it was mandatory dress code, and that he hated it, but had to support his two children. In pity, Rat gave him several hundred dollars. Rat also attempted to fix the divided nature of America following the 2016 election by putting two people, one liberal, one conservative, in a box together so they would talk and begin to see each others viewpoint. This failed, however, as they threw grenades at each other.  Rat also cares for Pig, cheering loudly along with Goat upon learning he passed a travel adviser test called 'Away', loudly shouting "Pig passed Away!" (much to the alarm of the passers-by).  Rat also sees Pig as his family, as evidenced by the fact that the two went to family therapy. 
In his spare time (almost always on Sunday), Rat writes one of four stories:
- The Adventures of Angry Bob: A novel series about a 39-year old man who is always angry, attempts to find happiness, eventually does, then dies a horrible death immediately afterward.
- Danny Donkey: A children's book series about a donkey who tries to teach children morals by drinking, smoking, stealing, violence, hating people, and various other methods. At one point in the strip, he came to life after Rat made a stuffed animal of him, but Pastis eventually returned him to a character in Rat's stories after it did not catch on. Often times, Rat uses him as a method to express his hatred of people. Danny Donkey often turns people into beers or kills his neighbors, something Rat would do if he could.
- Elly Elephant: A series about a female elephant who is extremely friendly, thoughtful, and helpful toward other people, but does not receive the same consideration. These stories sometimes end with Elly stomping on (and in a couple instances, strangling) them. Often times they include her neglectful boyfriend Henry Hippo.
- Political Satire: More recently, Rat has begun using his Sundays to write short stories of a political nature, detailing the corruption and ineffectiveness of congress.
- ↑ http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2014/11/14
- ↑ November 6, 2006 in Attorney Career Success Stories (November 6, 2006). "Interview: Stephan Pastis: Attorney Turned Cartoonist". Jdblissblog.com. http://www.jdblissblog.com/2006/11/stephan_pastis_.html. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
- ↑ Pearls Before Swine for April 13th, 2017.
- ↑ Pearls Before Swine for May 7th, 2017.
- ↑ Pearls Before Swine for Sunday, September 18th 2016.
- ↑ Pearls Before Swine for September 15, 2008.
- ↑ "Artist Interview: "Stephan Pastis: Animal Attitude"". Crescent Blues. http://www.crescentblues.com/8_9issue/int_pastis.shtml. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
- ↑ "Strip deals wry Pearls of wisdom / LJWorld.com". .ljworld.com. December 24, 2006. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/dec/24/strip_deals_wry_pearls_wisdom/?living. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
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