The Lion King


1,070pages on
this wiki
"If you tell me, I'll still act surprised!"
Watch out! This article may contain spoilers.

Piglet - Adult

It means no worries

Pumbaa Smith
The Lion King
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
The Lion King 1½
The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
The Lion King: Six New Adventures
Close Relations
Unnamed (brother)
Unnamed (sister)
Boaris (uncle)
Timon (friend)
Simba (friend)
Pumbaa Jr. (adopted son)
"They call me Mister Pig!"

Pumbaa is the secondary tritagonist of The Lion King, a supporting character in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, and the deuteragonist of The Lion King 1½. He is a warthog who is the best friend of Timon and Simba.


Pumbaa: " You really think I look fat?"
Timon: "Uhh, Pumbaa, Pumbaa, Pumbaa. You're a pig. It's a compliment!"
—Timon about Pumbaa's apperanxe

Like most warthogs, Pumbaa is a red with black hair running down his back and large tusks.


"But, Timon... it's not really Hakuna Matata without Simba."
—Pumbaa about Hakuna Matata

Due to his friendly, loyal, and protective personality, Pumbaa is generally regarded as a very likable character. However, he displays childlike naivety which is sometimes confused for stupidity. He does, in fact, come up with some intelligent plans and insightful ideas, which Timon rapidly claims as his own.

Pumbaa is also kind and caring, as shown when he, unlike Timon, takes pity on Simba and is quick to offer his assistance to the young cub. In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, he jumps into a rather shallow body of water to save a supposedly drowning Kiara and offers assistance to a badly injured Simba, carrying him all the way back to Pride Rock after an unexpected ambush with the Outsiders. In addition, Pumbaa generally appears to be polite. Notwithstanding, he expects respect from his enemies, which indicates when he attack Banzai after he is addressed on a "pig."


Pumbaa: "I eat like a pig."
Simba: "Pumbaa, you are a pig."
Pumbaa: "Oh, right."
Simba and Pumbaa

Pumbaa is a warthog that grew up very lonely, always being neglected because of his smell and gas problem. Later on in life, he found a meerkat named Timon, and they quickly became best friends. For a long time, the friends searched for a home, upon finding a beautiful haven in the jungle, to which they decided to settle down. Eventually they adopt young Simba after he runs away from home, and raise him as their own. Pumbaa is very caring and is the protector of Timon.

After the success of The Lion King, Timon and Pumbaa were given their own spin-off TV series, which ran for 85 episodes between September 1995 to September 1999, and occasionally had cameos of other Lion King characters.

The Lion King

"I always thought they were balls of gas burning billions and billions of miles away."
—Pumbaa about the stars

Pumbaa stands over Simba's fallen body

Pumbaa makes his first appearance moments after Mufasa's death as young Simba has made his way into the searing desert. After scaring off some buzzards, Pumbaa leaves Timon to brush himself off and examines the "corpse" of the lion cub, finding out he is in fact still alive. Timon investigates and flies into a fit of fear when he realizes it's a lion, and even though he is a potential predator, they should keep him and raise him on their side. Timon scoffs at this idea, but in the end Pumbaa gets his way and he gathers Simba from the sands via his tusks and the duo make their way back to the Oasis.


Timon reminds Pumbaa to be mindful of the "kids"

When Simba awakens and explains his predicament, Pumbaa is sympathetic and suggest the cub sweep his problems under the rug, or Hakuna Matata, and take one day at a time. Timon and Pumbaa lead Simba into their home, get him used to a diet of insects, and proceed to raise the lion to adulthood according to their philosophy. One night the trio lays out in a clearing and gazes up at the stars, giving their own views of their origin when Pumbaa asks what they are. They coax one out of Simba, but laugh at him, something that drives him away.

A Time later, Timon and Pumbaa stroll through the jungle sing The Lion Sleeps Tonight, the warthog slipping away as a bright blue bug—a dung beetle—catches his eye.


Pumbaa, Timon and Simba look at the stars

He stalks it in preparation to eat it, but ends up getting chased himself by a lioness hiding in the grasses. Pumbaa's rather speedy escape is halted when he gets stuck under the roots of a tree, but Simba leaps to his rescue. He loses the fight, but reveals the lioness as Nala, his childhood friend and introduces her to his two new friends.

Pumbaa, seeming to forget she was trying to eat him, is pleased to make her acquaintance, but Timon is not so forgiving. Simba tells him to relax, but Nala interjects before it can go any further.


Pumbaa and Timon spy on Simba and Nala

The two talk about Kings and successions, and in this conversation, Pumbaa learns Simba is the Pride Land King. He grovels at Simba paws, but Timon laughingly tells him to stop, remarking Simba is not the king, then asking Simba if he really is.

Simba denies this, much to Nala's disappointment, and the two lions request Timon and Pumbaa excuse them for a moment. They do but reluctantly, and presumably at Timon's suggestion, they continue to spy on the two lions from inside the Oasis' dense vegetation. Pumbaa and Timon mourn the loss of their friend to this lioness and after watching the two fight when their attempts to break the couple up are failed (as revealed in 1 1/2) Timon and Pumbaa settle down for a nap. Nala disturbs their slumber looking for Simba, Rafiki appearing and telling the three "The King has returned."


Timon and Pumbaa brace for conflict

Pumbaa's last appearances are just before, during, and after the battle at pride rock. Pumbaa and Timon vow to fight with Simba till the end, efficiently distracting and mowing down hyenas as Simba battles Scar. When Scar is defeated and Mufasa is avenged, Pumbaa, Timon, and the rest of the pride look on as Simba takes his rightful place as king. Pumbaa's very last appearance is on the peak of Pride Rock alongside Simba and Nala, during the presentation of their newborn cub.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

"Don't worry, Kiara! Uncle Pumbaa's comin'!"
—Pumbaa to Kiara

After Kiara is presented to the animals at Pride Rock, Pumbaa faints along Timon when Rafiki corrects them by telling them that Kiara is a girl, not a boy. Months pass and Kiara becomes a young, adventurous cub like her father. When Kiara runs off to play, Simba instructs him and Timon to look after her so she doesn't run off to the Outlands. They sneak up from behind Kiara while on a rock, and she and Pumbaa with Timon scream in panic until Kiara falls into a pond. Pumbaa dives in after her and Timon tells him that he is "babysitting" on her. Eventually, she runs off when he and Timon debate over the type of bugs they like. Pumbaa is seen again when Zira encounters Simba and they leave after the confrontation.


Zira roars at Timon and Pumbaa

When Kiara matures into a young adult, Simba again instructs him and Timon to make sure she doesn't get hurt. They stalk Kiara in a James Bond-esque style until she notices when antelopes run over them. She questions their presence, and Timon responds by telling her that he is shopping for various items for the den. Kiara realizes he's lying, and runs away again. The two go after her again, but they lose her.

The next morning, when Kovu is teaching Kiara how to hunt, Kovu accidentally runs into Timon. Timon, frightened, thinks he is going to eat him. But, when Kiara appears, Pumbaa asks Timon about getting Kovu to scare off the birds from their feeding grounds, but Timon comes up with the same idea moments later, and enlists them for their help. It soon turns into a chase until they run into a herd of rhinoceros.

When Simba is injured from the ambush by Zira and the Outsiders, Pumbaa along with Timon, Kiara, and Zazu find and assist him back to Pride Rock. Soon after that, Pumbaa and Timon engage in another argument when they lost Kiara again until Simba finds them. They tell a story to tell Simba that Kiara ran away again. Quickly, Zazu warns Simba that Zira and the Outsiders are approaching the Pride Lands to fight. Immediately, Pumbaa stands alongside Simba and the Pridelanders and mock Zira. During the battle, some Outsider lionesses surround Timon and Pumbaa, which causes Timon to comically use Pumbaa's tail as a shotgun that results in scaring them off. Finally, after the battle is over, he looks alongside Timon and Zazu at Kovu and Kiara's wedding on top of Pride Rock.

The Lion King 1½

Timon: "Forget it, Pumbaa. I've been dragging you down long enough. I'm goin' home... and I suggest you do the same."
Pumbaa: "Oh, I—I would if I could, but I can't."
Timon: "Oh, sure you can, buddy. I won't stop you."
Pumbaa: "No, I mean...I don't have a home."
Timon: "What's the matter? Are you lost?! No place good enough for ya? What, you're all alone in this big empty world?! (gets up) Oh...Truth is...I'm all alone too. (takes Pumbaa's foreleg) Pumbaa, you're the only friend I've ever had."


Timon and Pumbaa argue

The film begins with Timon and Pumbaa in a movie theater, silhouetted while watching the original Lion King film. Both of them appreciate the Majesty that is Circle of Life, but Timon isn't willing to let to movie run it's course. He fast-forwards the movie to when they first appear, Timon and Pumbaa argue for a moment -- Pumbaa not wanting thee audience to become confused, and Timon complaining they weren't in the second half -- until they both agree to tell the viewers about their backstory.

Pumbaa's first appearance is a few days after Timon has set out to go to the big pointy rock by the indirect suggestion of Rafiki. While the meerkat walks through some high grass, he hears something groaning and stalking him; Thinking it a predator he flees but it is merely Pumbaa who seeks companionship. Timon is briefly against taking another with him, but he gives Pumbaa a once over, taking in his sharp hooves and curved tusk, pleased by the fact most animals give him a pretty wide berth.


Timon "hires" Pumbaa

Pumbaa isn't talking about these "weapons" but his flatulence problem. Despite all this, Timon "hires" Pumbaa to take him to the big pointy rock. The warthog suggest them traveling means their friends, but Timon clarifies they are only acquaintances for now.

They head towards Pride rock with high hopes; hopes that are squashed when they see a crowd has gathered around it. Timon opts to "look beyond what he sees" and finds another spot, Pumbaa pointing out if he kept looking beyond he'd never know if he was there, but Timon ignores his advice as he spots another potential dream home. As the two try and cross through the crowd, Pumbaa, nervous from the various looks of the crowd, accidentally farts, causing the animals around him to pass out from the smell. The other animals ahead believe they are bowing, leading to everyone bowing at Simba's birth.


The two companions live in the near the small water spring and cave from the time Simba is an infant til the time he is a mischievous and boisterous cub. It's Simba's antics that drive them away -- the stack of animals organized during I Just Can't Wait to be King is aggravated and unbalanced by Timon. The animals fall over, Pumbaa pulling Timon from his doom where they would've fell on him, and the two continue to search for their dream home.

The Elephant Graveyard is one of their choices - Timon remarks it has 'good bones' but Pumbaa is apprehensive about it's atmosphere. Eventually the sight of various (Mufasa rushes through to save his son and Nala/Scar singing 'be prepared with the hyenas) carnivores drives the two to continue onward.

The last place they look is the Gorge, Pumbaa again not thinking it an appropriate home, but Timon persisting what it lacked in water and shade it made up for with? searing heat and blinding sunshine.


"Shall we run for our lives?"

Mid-conversation, the ground begins to rumble, a herd of stampeding wildebeest appearing from around one of the corners. The two animals watch the oncoming herd before trying to outrun it, only to get caught up in it and vaulted into a stream leading to a gigantic waterfall. Timon inquires Pumbaa if it's possible to fall of the edge of the earth, the warthog answering no. It is at this moment the current carries them over the edge and plummeting towards the bottom.

Finally broken, Timon opts to go home and suggest Pumbaa do the same. But Pumbaa reveals he has no home to go back to and is all alone in this world. It is at this moment that Pumbaa notices the oasis. The two friends indulge in their new home, enjoying the fun and the food until they stumble across Simba's body whilst playing "bowling for buzzards."


Both friends now become surrogate parents to Simba, Pumbaa doing a much more effective job at raising the exiled prince. They teach and raise him by the philosophy as three bachelors, until Nala arrives and wins over Simba's heart despite Timon and Pumbaa's efforts to stop her. After all their plans end in pain (more so on Timon's behalf) they give up - Simba and Nala would argue and break up anyway. Timon is elated by this, but Pumbaa doesn't see them separating as a good thing.


Timon and Pumbaa reunite to help Simba and Nala

When awakened by Nala the next morning, she tells the two that Simba needs their help in order to defeat Scar. Thinking Simba ran out on him, Timon decides to stay behind which causes him to break his friendship with Pumbaa who wants to help. Pumbaa goes alone leaving Timon behind until Timon finds him in a desert and he restores his friendship with Pumbaa. After the two beat off the hungry hyenas that they sang to, Pumbaa meets Ma and Uncle Max and devise a plan to keep the hyenas away from Simba. After mocking the hyenas, they try several tactics to keep the hyenas busy so Ma and Uncle Max can finish their tunnel.


Pumbaa with Ma, Timon and Uncle Max after the battle

Eventually, they defeat the hyenas thus helping Simba reclaim his rightful place as king. After the movie ends, Pumbaa wants to see the movie again, but Timon refuses until several Disney characters come along to see the movie. Timon later surrenders, but Pumbaa warns Timon that he still doesn't do so well in crowds.

Other Media

Pumbaa, Timon, and Simba are the main characters in the Hakuna Matata book series. He is the main character in the book Pumbaa's New Friends and Mummy Pumbaa. He is also the main character in Timon and Pumbaa's Wild About Safety, in which he teaches Timon the Safety Smart Guidelines with his Safety Smart® checklist. He appears to be the brains of the outfit in this program rather than Timon.



  • In the Timon & Pumbaa episode "Home is Where the Hog Is," it is revealed that Pumbaa's last name is Smith.
  • During the song "Out There," in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, two men are seen carrying a dead warthog that resembles Pumbaa.

Young Pumbaa concept art

  • Pumbaa is the first Disney character to experience flatulence.
  • Pumbaa's original name was Harold.
  • In the earlier versions of The Lion King, Pumbaa and Timon grew up with Simba, Nala, Bhati, Tesma, and Iggy instead of rescuing the cub.


Timon: "(Watches Simba walk past) He looks blue."
Pumbaa: "I'd say brownish gold."
Timon: "No no, I mean he's depressed."
Pumbaa: "Oh!"
—Timon and Pumbaa on Simba

Pumbaa: "Oooh, don't worry, Kiara-- Uncle Pumbaa's comin'!"
Timon: "Oh, no... ohh... uh... uh... let's see, uh... (he goes in-character as though talking to Simba) Gee, Simba. The good news is, we found your daughter. The bad news is, we dropped a warthog on her. Is there a problem with that?"
Pumbaa: "Kiara? Kiara?"
Timon: "Pumbaa! Let me define "babysitting!" (Gets up and finds Kiara beneath) "Sorry."
—Pumbaa "babysitting" Kiara

Timon: " When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. That's our motto!"
Pumbaa: "I thought our motto was Hakuna Matata!"
Timon: "Oh Pumbaa, stop living in the past!"
—Timon and Pumbaa during the battle with Outsiders



Timon meets Pumbaa-0 03:22

Timon meets Pumbaa-0

Timon meets Pumbaa



  1. [1]
  2. [2]

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki