The Top 10 Most Famous Fictional Pests
Pests in Media
From insects to arachnids to rodents, pests have made lots of appearances as fictional characters throughout history. In this list, we highlight ten of the most well-known pest characters from films, pop culture, and literature.
1. Micky & Minnie Mouse – Disney
This power couple are probably the most famous entries on this list. Released by Disney in 1928, this rodent couple has become an international phenomenon representing the Disney franchise as a whole. Arguably, their fame also led to a rise in the adoption of domesticated mice for pets as well as encouraging the use of more humane options regarding rodent control practices of the time.
2. Jiminy Cricket – Pinocchio
Secondary to the aforementioned duo above, this famous cricket also became a mascot for the Disney brand over time. Italian writer Carlo Collodi created the character when he wrote his children’s book The Adventures of Pinocchio in 1883 that was later adapted into the Disney animated film in 1940 leading to his eventual fame as a character.
3. Charlotte – Charlotte’s Web
Part of classic literature, Charlotte wove her way into most of our lives as children. While arachnids are typically highly despised creatures, the beautifully constructed relationships and deep emotional connections that E.B. White writes makes her character not only sympathetic, but lovable.
4. Jerry – Tom and Jerry
Ever the evading pest, Jerry is depicted in his cartoon as a true rodent pest living in a home, stealing food, and causing constant trouble with the family’s natural pest control: their cat Tom. While Jerry’s behavior makes him the epitome of a pest, in his show, he is typically depicted as the protagonist while Tom is left in a position similar to that of the Wile E. Coyote. But, as pest control experts, we stand behind Tom and applaud him for his efforts to rid his family’s home of a pest that can cause both damage to the house and health problems for his people.
5. Flik – A Bug’s Life
With a film title like that, it’s not surprising that practically every character in this film was a pest. Flik represents a worker ant in a large colony of ants living in (what is alluded to) a park. Unlike several entries on this list, this character acts very much like the pest he is based off of While there is certainly more than a handful of humanization aspects in the film, the depictions of his place in the world, the colony as a whole and a variety of other behaviors all reflect the lives of real ants.
6. Remy – Ratatouille
Rats being in the kitchen is often one of the last things we ever want to see. Wild rats are extremely filthy creatures that can destroy buildings and spread a variety of extremely dangerous diseases, yet… Pixar Animation Studios manages to make this fictional rat Remy so lovable and fun! Unfortunately, as far as we know, real rats cannot cook, but luckily we can experience the fun and friendliness of rats depicted in the film through interaction with domesticated (NOT wild) pet rats.
7. Buzz the Bee – Honey Nut Cheerios
He’s cute, he’s friendly, and he comes with a delicious treat – Buzz the Bee is the unmistakable mascot for the Honey Nut Cheerios brand. Similar to real honeybees, Buzz is depicted as not being aggressive. In nature, honeybees are far more concerned with making honey and tending to their hives than engaging in aggressive behaviors. Typically, they only attack when they feel threatened which is why careful, experienced beekeepers can even tend to their apiaries without protective suits and won’t be stung.
8. Stuart – Stuart Little
Same author of Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White, constructed this adorable children’s novel focusing on the friendship between a child and a mouse. Very unrealistic to the true nature of mice, Stuart is able to walk on two legs, talk, wear clothing, and basically act like a tiny human. When the novel was adapted into a film in 1999, pet stores saw an increase in mice being adopted as pets.
9. Chuck E. Cheese – Chuck E. Cheese
Another list member of food-centric fame, Chuck E. Cheese is an iconic character for children in at least 16 countries across the globe. Representing a merging of dining and fun for children, Chuck E. Cheese was born with the founding of the interactive restaurants in 1977. Traditionally, while children flocked to the restaurants to enjoy the arcade games, mini rides, and greasy pizza, it was fairly common to find that the rodent mascot gave them a significant scare. This is why, in recent years, Chuck E. got a makeover to appear more friendly and fun.
10. Absolem – Alice in Wonderland
Another classic character, Absolem the caterpillar is a key character in Lewis Carol’s famous avant-garde novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In this brilliant work of literature, Absolem drastically deviates from behaviors of real caterpillars and is actually depicted indulging in various human-based activities. While most caterpillars are not necessarily pests, of the 20,000 different species of caterpillar that exist, a fair portion of them can be highly destructive to both gardens and yards, qualifying Absolem for this list.
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