When Simba fled the Pride Lands, he nearly died from exposure in the desert. However, Pumbaa and his best friend, Timon, rescued the cub and revived him in their jungle home. They proceeded to teach Simba the "Hakuna Matata" lifestyle, and he adopted it readily. Over the seasons, the three became close friends. One day, when Simba was full-grown, his childhood friend Nala found him in the jungle and implored him to return to the Pride Lands and reclaim his birthright. Timon and Pumbaa joined Simba in his quest to take back the throne and participated in the battle of Pride Rock, from which Simba and his allies emerged victorious.
In the seasons following Simba's ascent to kingship, Timon and Pumbaa became frequent babysitters of his rambunctious daughter, Kiara. Additionally, they became adoptive uncles of a young honey badger named Bunga.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life
- 1.2 Meeting Timon
- 1.3 Simba's presentation
- 1.4 Searching for Timon's dream home
- 1.5 Hakuna Matata
- 1.6 Meeting Simba
- 1.7 Raising Simba
- 1.8 Simba and Nala's romance
- 1.9 Journey to the Pride Lands
- 1.10 Battle of Pride Rock
- 1.11 Simba's coronation
- 1.12 Moving Timon's colony to the jungle
- 1.13 Kiara's presentation
- 1.14 Adopting Bunga
- 1.15 Babysitting Kiara
- 1.16 Dawn of the Lion Guard
- 1.17 Bunga's stink problem
- 1.18 Bunga the Wise
- 1.19 Kupatana
- 1.20 Bunga's immunity
- 1.21 Utamu season
- 1.22 Sinkhole
- 1.23 Scaring off the galagos
- 1.24 Tale of the Zimwi
- 1.25 Bunga's pep talk
- 1.26 Disturbed by Chama, Furaha, and Mzaha
- 1.27 Ukumbusho
- 1.28 Christmas
- 1.29 Kumbuka
- 1.30 Scar's attack
- 1.31 Lion Guard's trip to the Tree of Life
- 1.32 Kiara's first hunt
- 1.33 Day with Kovu and Kiara
- 1.34 Kovu's exile
- 1.35 Reunification of the Outsiders and Pride Landers
- 1.36 Battle of the Lion Guards
- 1.37 Kion's coronation
- 2 Physical appearance
- 3 Personality and traits
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Trivia
- 6 References
When Pumbaa was young, he had a major flatulence problem. Many animals gave him a wide berth due to his stench, which they claimed would "wreck their appetite." Even Pumbaa's friends refused to stand downwind of him. After being abandoned by his friends, Pumbaa suffered immense shame and considered changing his name. He took to living alone, as no one wanted to be around him.
While in search of his dream home, Timon wandered into a patch of tall grass. He overheard Pumbaa making snuffling noises in the underbrush and fled in fear. However, Pumbaa chased him, and the two ended up running into each other, which caused them both to scream in fear. Timon begged Pumbaa to eat him quickly, but the warthog assured Timon that he had no intentions of eating him. Indignant, Timon demanded to know why Pumbaa had been "stalking" him, and the warthog admitted that he had seen Timon wandering alone and worried about such a small animal being on his own.
Timon questioned Pumbaa as to why he was alone, and Pumbaa confessed that many animals gave him a wide berth, even predators. This intrigued Timon, who claimed that Pumbaa must have a "special power." After examining Pumbaa's hooves and tusks, Timon decided that Pumbaa would provide ample protection for him, and so he recruited the warthog to help him reach Pride Rock. Happy to have companionship, Pumbaa accepted and asked if they were friends. Timon hastily denied this and explained that they were more like "acquaintances." Though somewhat deflated, Pumbaa asserted that it was a good start.
Together, Timon and Pumbaa journeyed to Pride Rock, only to find a crowd of animals standing around its base for the presentation of Simba. Frustrated, Timon reflected on Rafiki's advice to him: "Look beyond what you see." Pumbaa suggested that Timon look beyond Pride Rock, and Timon repeated Pumbaa's idea as if it were his own. He then spotted a grove of trees beyond Pride Rock and determined that that must be his dream home.
With Timon in the lead, the duo headed toward the grove. Timon started to cut through the throng of animals, but Pumbaa did not follow him, claiming that he did not do well in crowds. However, Timon grabbed Pumbaa by the tusk and began to tow him through the gathered animals. As the two bulled their way through the crowd, Pumbaa started to sweat nervously, and his stomach gurgled dangerously. Despite Pumbaa's protests, Timon insisted that they keep cutting a path through the animals. Eventually, Pumbaa became so nauseous that he turned back to leave the crowd, but Timon grabbed him by the tail and pulled, which caused Pumbaa to release a massive surge of gas. In the resulting stench, many animals fainted, and some at the front of the crowd, mistaking the faints to be bows, bowed before Simba.
Searching for Timon's dream home
|“||Pumbaa: You know, Timon, I once came across a place that might be just what you're looking for. Spectacular waterfalls, set in a lush tropical oasis. A scrumptious array of—
Timon: Hey, hey, hey. Forget it, Pumbaa. I'm a realist, and I'm not gonna go chasing after some fantasy. I'm goin' beyond what I see.
Timon and Pumbaa arrived at the grove, where Timon set up a hammock. The meerkat gushed about how his new home belonged only to him and that he had no commitments, which made Pumbaa sad. Reluctantly, the warthog turned to go, but Timon told him that he did not have to leave. Pumbaa's mood instantly perked, and he cheerfully informed Timon that he had made them two beds in a nearby cave. The two entered the cave, and Timon fell asleep in the larger of the two nests that Pumbaa had built. Instead of disturbing Timon, Pumbaa simply curled up in the small nest and fell asleep.
One morning, the two woke up to many animals singing and dancing above them. An infuriated Timon complained about the noisy neighbors and went outside to confront them. Upon seeing a massive tower of animals, he took a stick and whacked at the tower, which caused it to teeter. Just before it collapsed, Pumbaa pulled Timon to safety.
Following the confrontation, Timon and Pumbaa set off in search of a new home. Along the way, Pumbaa tried to tell Timon about a jungle paradise he had once visited, but Timon insisted that he could not "go chasing after some fantasy." Pumbaa questioned how Timon would know when he had found his dream home, and the meerkat insisted that he was already there. He then gestured at the area around them: the Elephant Graveyard. The two explored the area until Mufasa charged past and started attacking a trio of hyenas. Timon and Pumbaa hid in a nearby elephant skull and watched the scene unfold in horror.
The duo continued their search until they reached an area of geysers. Pumbaa once more tried to bring up the topic of the jungle, but Timon asserted that the geysers were his "home, sweet home." However, in the midst of Timon's ravings, an army of hyenas marched past, and Timon and Pumbaa inconspicuously danced away from the danger.
Eventually, the two reached a gorge. Though Timon believed the area was his dream home, a stampede of wildebeests soon appeared, and the duo ran for their lives. In the midst of the chase, they got caught in a wildebeest's horns and thrown into a nearby river. At first, Timon was relieved to have escaped the danger, but then he spotted an oncoming waterfall and asked Pumbaa if it was possible for someone to fall off the edge of the Earth. Pumbaa replied that it was not, for the Earth was round like a sphere. The two then fell off the waterfall and into a pool of water below.
That night, after Timon and Pumbaa made it onto a beach, Timon gave up his search for a dream home and told Pumbaa that he could go home. The warthog confessed that he had no home, and Timon worked out that Pumbaa was "all alone in this big empty world." Taking Pumbaa's hoof, Timon admitted that he too was alone and that Pumbaa was the only friend he had ever had. Overjoyed, Pumbaa asked if they were truly friends, and Timon declared that they were and that friends stuck together to the end.
The next morning, Timon and Pumbaa found themselves in a jungle paradise. Pumbaa reminded Timon that this was the place he had been mentioning, but Timon, misunderstanding Pumbaa, declared that the jungle was better than whatever place Pumbaa had been envisioning as their dream home. The two quickly settled into their new home, and Pumbaa whipped up several meals for Timon so as to celebrate the occasion. While Pumbaa cooked, Timon tried to remember the catchphrase Rafiki had used to describe his dream home. Though Pumbaa suggested several two-word phrases, none rang a bell until he said, "Hakuna matata. It means 'no worries.'" The duo then looked at one another in incredulous realization. Together, Timon and Pumbaa enjoyed life in the jungle according to their new "Hakuna Matata" lifestyle.
One day, Timon and Pumbaa went bowling for porcupines, which resulted in Timon getting severely injured. While Pumbaa plucked quills from Timon's back, he commented that it had not been their best idea. Just then, Pumbaa noticed several vultures gathering in the desert and begged Timon to go "bowling for buzzards" with him. At first, Timon refused, but after a moment, he gave in, and the two charged at the vultures.
After scaring the vultures off, Pumbaa discovered that they had been circling an unconscious body. He informed Timon that the vultures' prey was still alive, and Timon investigated, only to fly into a fit of fear when he realized that the animal was a lion. He told Pumbaa to run, but the warthog was moved by the cub's cuteness and expressed a desire to keep the young lion around. Eventually, after Pumbaa suggested that the cub might grow up to be on their side, Timon claimed the idea as his own and allowed Pumbaa to lift the cub in his tusks.
Pumbaa carried the cub to a pool of water, where he and Timon revived him. The cub, Simba, thanked the two for saving his life, then wandered off into the desert. Concerned for his wellbeing, Timon and Pumbaa followed him, and Pumbaa asked what was wrong. Though Timon tried to crack a joke, Simba was too sad to react. In response to Timon's prodding, Simba declared that he could never go back to his home, and Timon excitedly revealed that he and Pumbaa were outcasts as well. Pumbaa asked what Simba had done, but the cub said that he did not want to talk about it. Pumbaa questioned if they could help him in any way, and Simba commented that the only way they could help him was if they could change the past.
At Simba's comment, Pumbaa tried to quote Timon but instead said, "You gotta put your behind in your past." Timon quickly corrected Pumbaa by telling Simba that he had to put his past behind him and embrace the "Hakuna Matata" lifestyle. Confused, Simba asked what "Hakuna Matata" meant, and Timon and Pumbaa explained that it was their problem-free philosophy. They then told Simba the story of Pumbaa, specifically how his flatulence had scared off all his friends. Eventually, Simba embraced "Hakuna Matata" himself.
Together, the three walked deeper into the jungle, and Timon and Pumbaa showed Simba a spectacular view of the jungle. Simba was awed by the beauty, and Pumbaa commented cheerfully that "home is where your rump rests." The three then moved on in search of food. Though Simba wanted to eat meat, Timon and Pumbaa encouraged him to eat grubs instead. While initially apprehensive, Simba soon agreed that grubs were "slimy yet satisfying."
Simba quickly befriended Timon and Pumbaa, and began to live with them. Oftentimes, the cub got into trouble, only for Pumbaa to save his life. One night, Simba had a nightmare, and Timon and Pumbaa invited him to sleep with them. The cub excitedly accepted their invitation and fell asleep on Pumbaa's chest, with Timon tucked into his paw.
Seasons later, an adolescent Simba bragged to Timon that he had "perfected" the "Hakuna Matata" lifestyle. In an attempt to put Simba in his place, Timon asked Pumbaa who had won various grub-eating contests, only for Pumbaa to reveal that Simba had won them all. Finally, Timon found one competition, snail-slurping, that had yet to be undertaken. Despite Pumbaa's warnings, Timon challenged Simba to the contest, and the young lion won with ease. As Simba sauntered away, smug over his victory, Timon and Pumbaa lamented how quickly he had grown up.
When Simba was an adult, the three continued to enjoy life in the jungle together. One day, the three were spending time in a bubbling hot spring. However, when Pumbaa climbed out and the bubbles disappeared, Simba and Timon fled in disgust. That night, the three fell asleep, with both Timon and Pumbaa in Simba's giant paws.
One night, the three lay down in a field to stargaze. Pumbaa commented that he was stuffed and had eaten like a pig, to which Simba reminded him that he was in fact a pig. After the three sighed in contentment, Pumbaa asked Timon what the stars were, and Timon replied that they were fireflies that had gotten stuck in the sky. Pumbaa speculated that they were "balls of gas burning billions of miles away," and Timon quipped that Pumbaa was always concerned with gas.
Pumbaa asked Simba what his opinion was, and, after some prompting, Simba commented that someone had once told him that the stars were the Great Kings of the Past. This caused both Timon and Pumbaa to laugh and mock Simba for the notion. Though Simba laughed along with them, he soon got up and walked away to grieve.
Simba and Nala's romance
One day, Timon and Pumbaa were singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" whilst strolling through the jungle. In the midst of the song, Pumbaa got distracted by a beetle and stalked it into an open field. There, he got set upon by a young lioness. Pumbaa fled into the jungle, with the predator hot on his heels, and got stuck under a tree root. Timon tried to shove Pumbaa out from under the tree root, to no avail. In the nick of time, Simba arrived and engaged the lioness in a fight. However, midway through the fight, Simba recognized her as his childhood friend, Nala, and the two had a delighted reunion.
With Nala no longer a threat, Simba called over Timon and Pumbaa. Though Pumbaa was quick to make friends with Nala, Timon was confused by the chain of events and wondered why they were acting friendly with one another if Nala wanted to eat Pumbaa. Simba encouraged Timon to relax. Nala then revealed that Simba was the rightful king of the Pride Lands, and Pumbaa bowed before Simba in reverance, to the young lion's dismay. Eventually, Nala asked Timon and Pumbaa to leave, and Simba echoed her sentiment. Reluctantly, Timon and Pumbaa left the two alone.
From the underbrush, Timon and Pumbaa watched Simba and Nala nuzzle. Pumbaa was touched by their romance, but Timon warned him that Nala would upset their "Hakuna Matata" lifestyle, which made Pumbaa agree that they had to interfere. The two tried various tactics to disrupt Simba and Nala's romantic evening, but every attempt failed. Finally, the two accepted defeat and sobbed over the loss of their friend.
Journey to the Pride Lands
As Timon and Pumbaa left Simba and Nala behind, Timon raved about how they had failed to hold on to their friend. Pumbaa then pointed out how Simba and Nala were arguing nearby. This delighted Timon, who insisted that everything would go back to normal.
That night, Timon and Pumbaa went to sleep. Nala arrived and tried to awaken them, but they believed that they were under attack and began screaming for their lives. Hastily, Nala calmed them, then asked where Simba had gone. Just then, Rafiki arrived with news that Simba had returned to the Pride Lands. A confused Timon and Pumbaa asked for clarification, and Nala had to explain the situation several times. Finally, she asserted that Simba needed them, then charged off into the jungle.
After Nala left, Timon remarked spitefully that Simba did not deserve their help, as he had abandoned them. Pumbaa pointed out that it was not "Hakuna Matata" without Simba, but Timon insisted that they would be fine without him. Pumbaa declared that their friend needed them, to which Timon accused Pumbaa of wanting to abandon him just as Simba had. He then asked what had happened to "friends stick together to the end." Pumbaa shot back that he had been planning to ask Timon the same thing. Finally, when Timon refused to leave, Pumbaa set off on his own to help Simba.
As Pumbaa ran across the desert, Timon caught up to him and said, "Friends stick together to the end." The two then hugged one another and sobbed joyfully.
Battle of Pride Rock
Eventually, Timon and Pumbaa caught up to Simba and Nala in the Pride Lands. As Simba looked on in shocked delight, Pumbaa bowed to him and pledged his services. Together, the four crept into the Pride Lands and paused behind a large rock to observe several hyenas who were slumbering in-between them and Pride Rock. Timon wondered how they would sneak past the predators, and Simba informed him that they would have to use live bait. Acquiescing to Simba's request, Timon and Pumbaa lured the hyenas away by offering Pumbaa up as a snack. They then ran into a cave and chased the hyenas out with Pumbaa's flatulence.
Just then, Ma and Uncle Max dug up out of the dirt, and Timon introduced his family to Pumbaa. No sooner had he done this when Pumbaa spotted Scar backing Simba toward the edge of Pride Rock. Though Timon believed it was good that the two were talking things out, he changed his mind when Simba nearly fell off the promontory and lightning ignited a fire at the base of Pride Rock. Timon quickly hatched a plan: while Ma and Uncle Max dug a tunnel, Timon and Pumbaa would lure the hyenas into the trap.
As a battle broke out between the hyenas and the lionesses, Timon and Pumbaa charged through the crowd, knocking hyenas to and fro. Banzai started chasing Timon, and the meerkat took refuge with Zazu in a bone cage. Pumbaa soon arrived, and Banzai questioned who the "pig" was. At this, Timon warned Banzai and Shenzi that they were in trouble, and Pumbaa furiously retorted that he was called "Mister Pig," after which he charged at and chased off the hyenas.
As the hyenas started chasing Simba up Pride Rock, Timon and Pumbaa appeared on a ledge above them. They told an offensive joke about the hyenas, which caused the clan to turn their attention from Simba to Timon and Pumbaa. The hyenas chased the duo and cornered them in a cave. However, since Ma and Uncle Max were not finished with the tunnel, Timon and Pumbaa tried various tactics to stall the hyenas, to no avail. At one point, Timon got so desperate that he proposed to Shenzi, which utterly shocked Pumbaa. After recovering from his surprise, Pumbaa tearfully asked Timon if he could be his best man.
Suddenly, Ma emerged and asked if she should set off the trap. Timon told her to do so, and she did, only for the trap to fail, as one of the sticks that was needed to collapse the ground was stuck by a rock. With the tunnel a failure, the hyenas advanced on a terrified Timon, Pumbaa, Ma, and Uncle Max. Just before the hyenas could attack, Timon bravely jumped into the tunnel to finish the job. He knocked down the last stick, which caused the ground to collapse beneath the hyenas and send them plummeting to the base of Pride Rock.
After the attack, Pumbaa spotted Simba defeating Scar, and the friends celebrated their success. They went to the base of Pride Rock, where Simba embraced Timon and Pumbaa, and told them that he could not have done it without them. Simba then ascended Pride Rock and roared over his kingdom, while Timon and Pumbaa watched proudly.
Moving Timon's colony to the jungle
|“||Timon: I'm telling ya, buddy, it's gonna be like old times. You, me, and the little guy.
Rafiki: It is a girl.
Timon and Pumbaa: Girl?! Oy!
After the birth of Simba's daughter, Kiara, Timon and Pumbaa attended her presentation. Afterward, they shared their excitement about spending time with the "little guy," just as they had with Simba when he was a cub. However, Rafiki chuckled and informed the duo that Kiara was a girl, which caused them to faint from shock.
One day, Timon and Pumbaa were in the midst of searching for a rare grub called the Utamu when they ran into an infant honey badger, who began to follow them around. Pumbaa was immediately smitten by the infant's cuteness and begged Timon to let the youngster stick around, but Timon adamantly refused, claiming that they had already raised a lion. Despite Timon's opposition to his idea, Pumbaa noted that the honey badger had grown quite fond of them.
Eventually, Timon instructed the honey badger to climb a tree and fetch him and Pumbaa some Utamu grubs. When the infant successfully scaled the tree and delivered the grubs to Timon, the meerkat allowed him to stay and even named him "Bunga."
When Kiara left Pride Rock to play, Simba instructed Timon and Pumbaa to babysit her. They followed her away from Pride Rock and accidentally scared her into falling into a pool of water. Pumbaa bravely jumped in after her but accidentally sat on her. Eventually, Kiara spluttered to the surface, and Pumbaa sheepishly apologized. He then chided her for having run off and reminded her that she could have been hurt. Timon added that Simba would kill them if anything happened to Kiara. Frustrated, she reminded the duo that being a princess was only half of her identity. Pumbaa asked who the other half was, but Kiara could not answer him.
Timon suggested that they eat grubs. Kiara reacted with disgust, so Timon instead offered the grubs to Pumbaa. The warthog happily gobbled one up, only to spit it back out because it was "crunchy" rather than "slimy." Timon argued that crunchy grubs were better, which caused the two to start arguing. Taking advantage of the duo's distraction, Kiara snuck away.
Later, after Kiara was confronted by Zira, the leader of the Outsiders, Timon and Pumbaa joined Simba's pride in defending the cub. Timon ordered Zira to leave the Pride Lands, but she roared at him, which caused him to hide in Pumbaa's mane. After the confrontation, Timon and Pumbaa returned to Pride Rock with the pride.
Dawn of the Lion Guard
One day, Timon and Pumbaa helped a lion cub named Zuri free her claws from a log. The incident prompted Pumbaa to fondly reminisce about the days he and Timon had helped Simba free his claws from logs. Before the two could fully free Zuri, Bunga arrived and distracted Pumbaa, which caused the warthog to turn around and accidentally yank Zuri's claws out of the log. Bunga informed his uncles that he was planning to join the Lion Guard alongside his best friend, Kion. Pumbaa was at first hesitant, as he worried that the job would be dangerous, but he was soon won over and congratulated Bunga on his new role. He was so excited that he accidentally unleashed gas, which caused Kion, Bunga, Kiara, Tiifu, and Zuri to flee. Confused, Pumbaa asked Timon if he had said something that had offended everyone.
Bunga's stink problem
When Ono attempted to get Timon and Pumbaa to help wash away Bunga's stink, the two stuck up for their nephew's smell. Bunga's stench soon attracted grubs, which Timon and Pumbaa eagerly lapped up.
Bunga the Wise
After Bunga mistakenly thought that Rafiki had called him the smartest animal in the Pride Lands, he went off to tell his uncles about it. Timon and Pumbaa immediately set him up as a sage and drew a crowd of animals to their home, Hakuna Matata Falls, so they could ask Bunga for advice.
When the Lion Guard arrived at Hakuna Matata Falls, they saw the animals lined up to meet Bunga. Timon and Pumbaa informed the Lion Guard of Bunga's new status and forced them to wait in line to see him. Recognizing the disaster for what it was, Kion attempted to talk Bunga out of his new role, but the honey badger refused to rejoin the Lion Guard. Timon then ushered the friends out of Bunga's lair, and the Lion Guard reluctantly left.
Later, the Lion Guard saw Bunga at the head of a parade of animals who were celebrating his great wisdom, including Timon and Pumbaa. Kion ran up to Bunga and once again tried to make him see reason, but Bunga pointed out that everyone loved his advice. Timon added that Bunga had fixed a dam. Just then, the dam broke, and the animals were forced to flee across the plains. Though Timon and Pumbaa called to their nephew, urging him to flee, Bunga took off after his friends.
When Bunga was bitten by the venomous Ushari, Timon and Pumbaa rushed to Rafiki's tree, where they proceeded to weep over their nephew. However, much to their delight, Bunga was proclaimed to be immune to snake bites. To celebrate, they invited Fuli to join them at Hakuna Matata Falls. Once there, the duo attempted to serve her grubs, but she politely declined. Unwilling to let her go, Timon began to make conversation with her and discovered, to his delight, that her fur was incredibly soft. Pumbaa soon joined in on feeling her fur, and an uncomfortable Fuli left the celebration.
While the Lion Guard searched for Utamu grubs, Bunga told his friends about the day he had met Timon and Pumbaa. Later, when Bunga failed to catch any Utamu, the Lion Guard traveled to Hakuna Matata Falls, where Bunga admitted to his uncles that he had failed. Timon gently reminded the honey badger that they celebrated not because of the Utamu, but because of their relationship with Bunga. They then revealed that Utamu grubs had fallen out of the sky, and the group shared in on the feast of grubs.
When Bunga and Simba got trapped in a sinkhole, Timon and Pumbaa journeyed to Nandembo Caverns to search for them. However, during the search, the two broke down in tears over the loss of their nephews. Eventually, they managed to compose themelves, and Pumbaa told Kion that he would understand how they felt once he had his own children.
Suddenly, Timon and Pumbaa heard the faraway voices of Simba and Bunga, and rushed off to save them. Once Simba and Bunga had been saved, the four had a joyous reunion. Timon accused Pumbaa of having worried too much about Simba and Bunga's safety, and Pumbaa apologized for having forgotten the "Hakuna Matata" philosophy.
Scaring off the galagos
Tale of the Zimwi
When a group of young animals claimed to have seen the Zimwi, Pumbaa informed them that Timon was the only animal in the Pride Lands to have survived an encounter with the beast. Though Pumbaa claimed that Timon had seen the Zimwi, Timon explained that his mother's cousin's friend had known an ox who had been eaten by the Zimwi. Kion questioned how the ox could have told anyone about the Zimwi if he had been eaten, and Pumbaa looked to Timon for the answer. At the end of Timon's tale, the Lion Guard resolved to find the Zimwi, and Pumbaa sobbed over Bunga's bravery.
Bunga's pep talk
When Ono was ashamed of himself for having lost his crest feathers, Bunga encouraged him to stand out. He then mentioned Pumbaa, who stood out because of his flatulence problem.
Disturbed by Chama, Furaha, and Mzaha
At Mizimu Grove, Ma Tembo directed her herd in preparing for the Ukumbusho Tradition. Timon and Pumbaa soon arrived to help the Lion Guard with their lines, and Pumbaa declared that no one compared to Timon when it came to theatrics. Before practice could start, Ma Tembo pointed out that the Lion Guard was traditionally composed of lions only, and Makini suggested that she paint each Lion Guard member to resemble a lion. She did so, then took off to decorate the elephants.
With Makini gone, Timon and Pumbaa took over directing the Lion Guard on their lines, claiming that they knew best how lions acted since they had raised Simba. Kion tried to pitch in his opinion, but Timon silenced him. The duo then continued to guide the Lion Guard in their practice. Eventually, Timon became frustrated with the Lion Guard for being unable to speak their lines while holding the symbolic Branch of Peace in their mouths. Timon suggested they throw the branch away, but Kion protested that it was essential for the ceremony.
Later, Pumbaa watched the Ukumbusho Tradition alongside Timon. When a swarm of bees attacked, Pumbaa asked Timon what was going on. Once the issue got resolved, Timon and Pumbaa pushed for the celebration to continue.
Rafiki taught his young apprentice, Makini, about the holidays of the Pride Lands. One such holiday intrigued Makini, and Rafiki explained that it was called "Christmas" and that it had been brought to the kingdom by two outsiders, Timon and Pumbaa. He then launched into the tale.
Later, Bunga assisted Timon and Pumbaa in decorating an acacia tree with colored gourds. Timon attempted to place a star fruit at the top of the tree, but in doing so, he accidentally snapped a branch and began to plummet toward the ground. Coincidentally, the Lion Guard arrived at the base of the tree, and Beshte caught the falling Timon on his back.
The Lion Guard inquired about the oddly decorated tree, and Bunga explained that they were decorating their tree in honor of Christmastime. He claimed that Timon and Pumbaa had made up the holiday themselves, but the two corrected him, explaining that they had heard about it from other animals. They added that Christmas was about gift-giving and that a mysterious creature called Dandy Claws often left presents for the animals of the savanna.
Timon wept over Dandy Claws's continued absence, and Pumbaa explained that Dandy Claws only brought presents if animals performed a special song called "The Twelve Ways of Christmas" under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. This only worsened Timon's mood, and not even Bunga and Pumbaa could cheer him up.
Later that day, Bunga and Ono encountered Pumbaa. The two groups converged, and both acted suspiciously, denying again and again that they were planning a Christmas surprise for Timon. They then parted ways, with Pumbaa straying toward a patch of white flowers.
The next morning, Bunga hastened to Hakuna Matata Falls, where he awoke his uncles from slumber. At first, Timon was reluctant to wake up, as he did not wish to face another disappointing Christmas, but Bunga insisted that the two follow him to the Christmas tree. Once there, Timon and Pumbaa were met by the Lion Guard, who sang "The Twelve Ways of Christmas" to them with some animal recruits.
After the song, Timon and Pumbaa wept with joy, and Timon thanked the gathered animals for making his Christmas vision come true. Despite Timon's joy, Bunga expressed sorrow that Dandy Claws had not appeared. However, Pumbaa appeared dressed in white flowers and a gourd hat, and proclaimed that he had hoped to make Timon's Christmas better by dressing up as Dandy Claws. He then admitted that he had spent so much time assembling his costume that he had been unable to get Timon any gifts.
Timon told Pumbaa that he was not bothered by the lack of gifts, for the Pride Landers' song and Pumbaa's costume were more than enough. He then reminded Pumbaa that the song had left them with many gifts, including berries and bugs, and the two concluded that this had been their best Christmas yet. The gathered Pride Landers then yelled, "Merry Christmas!"
Pumbaa attended the Kumbuka celebration at Pride Rock. During the festivities, Simba got stung by Sumu the scorpion and collapsed, which caused Timon and Pumbaa to panic and rush to their friend's aid. When the Lion Guard returned to Pride Rock, they asked Timon and Pumbaa about Simba's condition, but the two did not know how he was doing. Throughout Simba's ailment, Timon and Pumbaa stayed by his side. Eventually, the Lion Guard returned with volcanic ash, and Bunga nearly dropped the gourd within which the ash was being stored. Just in time, Pumbaa saved him. Subsequently, Simba was healed, and Timon and Pumbaa rejoiced.
At Big Springs, Timon and Pumbaa wandered by on the trail of a slug. No sooner had they left when Makini arrived and showed off a plant root that would be part of her mpando mpaya, which was the traditional planting of a new baobab tree by a Royal Mjuzi. This prompted Kion to chase after Timon and Pumbaa, and ask them to perform at Makini's mpando mpaya. That way, the Pride Landers would treat it like a celebratory event and have their spirits raised. Delighted, Timon and Pumbaa agreed.
At Mizimu Grove, Rafiki and Simba announced the celebration. Simba then introduced Timon and Pumbaa, who performed "Tujiinue" for the gathered Pride Landers. Just then, the Army of Scar attacked, and the Pride Landers rose up to defend themselves. As the battle raged around them, Pumbaa asked Timon what they should do, and Timon reasoned that they should keep singing. Before long, Scar manifested in the flames and threatened to overtake the entirety of the Pride Lands, which frightened the Pride Landers and caused them to flee Mizimu Grove. After the herds had vacated the grove, Pumbaa asked if anyone wanted to see a grand finish. He and Timon then returned to Hakuna Matata Falls for beauty rest.
Lion Guard's trip to the Tree of Life
Kiara's first hunt
|“||Timon: Tango-Charlie-Alpha. What's your position?
Pumbaa: Uh, upright, head turned slightly to the left, tail erect.
On the day of Kiara's first hunt, Timon and Pumbaa gathered at Pride Rock with Simba's pride. After Kiara strode in-between the lionesses and nuzzled her parents, she embarked on the hunt. This caused Timon and Pumbaa to burst into tears. As Kiara took off into the savanna, Simba inconspicuously ordered Timon and Pumbaa to make sure she did not get hurt.
Timon and Pumbaa tailed Kiara through the savanna. At one point, Timon tried to ask Pumbaa where he was, but the warthog misunderstood the question and simply described his posture. The two moved on, only to get in the way of the antelope herd Kiara had been chasing. She soon found them and expressed anger at Simba for having broken his promise to her. Furious, she fled the Pride Lands to hunt on her own, and Timon and Pumbaa were unable to keep up with her.
Day with Kovu and Kiara
The next morning, when Kovu was teaching Kiara how to hunt, he accidentally lunged at Timon. Kiara soon appeared and alleviated the conflict. With the danger abated, Timon explained that he and Pumbaa were trying to eat grubs but were struggling to chase off some nearby birds who were seeking the same prey. Pumbaa suggested that Kovu help them scare off the birds, and Timon quickly claimed the idea as his own. Kiara and Kovu then roared, which scattered the birds, and the four friends jovially raced through the flock. Eventually, they ran into a herd of rhinoceroses and had to double back. In order to escape the herd, they hid in a crevice, where they laughed hysterically.
When Simba got injured in an ambush set by Zira and the Outsiders, Timon, Pumbaa, Kiara, and Zazu found him and helped him back to Pride Rock. Later, Timon and Pumbaa witnessed Simba confront and banish Kovu from the Pride Lands.
Reunification of the Outsiders and Pride Landers
When Kiara fled Pride Rock, Timon and Pumbaa argued over whose fault it was. Simba soon arrived, and the two reluctantly divulged that Kiara was gone. Just then, Zazu arrived with news that the Outsiders were on the attack, and Simba ordered Timon and Pumbaa to help him rally the lionesses.
Alongside Simba's pride, Timon and Pumbaa faced the Outsiders in battle. During the fight, Pumbaa questioned what they should do, and Timon claimed that their motto was "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Pumbaa pointed out that their motto was "Hakuna Matata," but Timon urged him to "stop living in the past." The two then charged at the Outsiders, only for a lioness to roar at them and send them scurrying away. Several Outsiders chased them and cornered them against a rock wall. In order to fend off the predators, Timon used Pumbaa's tail like a shotgun and warned the lionesses that he would use the warthog's flatulence on them. This caused them to flee in fear.
After the Outsiders joined Simba's pride, the combined prides gathered at Pride Rock for Kovu and Kiara's wedding. Timon and Pumbaa watched the proceedings happily and sobbed hysterically, to Zazu's annoyance.
Battle of the Lion Guards
When Bunga returned from the Tree of Life, Timon and Pumbaa greeted him at Pride Rock. After the reunion, the three ate Utamu grubs at Hakuna Matata Falls. While they were eating, Pumbaa accidentally slurped Timon into his mouth, but Timon freed himself, and the three laughed.
Later, Timon and Pumbaa watched the Battle of the Lion Guards, specifically Bunga's and Fuli's challenges. During Bunga's competition, the two cheered for him. They also witnessed Askari speaking to the Pride Landers and Kion lifting Pride Rock with the Roar of the Elders.
|“||Pumbaa: You really think I look fat?
Timon: Ugh. Pumbaa, Pumbaa, Pumbaa. You're a pig. It's a compliment!
Pumbaa is a large and portly warthog. He has red fur, with a maroon underbelly, pink inner ears, black hooves, and a pink nose. He also has two white tusks, a black mane, and a single snaggletooth on his bottom jaw. His eyes are black. According to Timon, he is fat.
Personality and traits
|“||Timon: Who's the brains of this outfit?
Timon: My point exactly.
Pumbaa is gentle, kind-hearted, and friendly to animals of all kinds. Unlike Timon, who is more distrustful and solitary, Pumbaa strives to make new friends and is particularly fond of small, cute animals. He is somewhat slow-witted and simple, and needs Timon for direction. Due to his overly literal nature, he often does not understand figures of speech and will respond seriously to sarcastic questions, commands, or comments. Even so, he does sometimes display more clarity of thought and emotional maturity than Timon, as he is far more knowledgable about science and can more easily pick up on another's emotional state.
Pumbaa is a loyal and devoted friend. He was even willing to abandon Timon so that he could help Simba in the battle of Pride Rock. He takes orders well and will fight fiercely for what he believes in. Though usually quite tame by nature, he can have a nasty temper, as seen when he reacted with aggression and fury to Banzai's comment that he was a "pig." Even in the face of impossible odds, Pumbaa will stand his ground and fight bravely alongside his friends.
Like Timon, Pumbaa is carefree and lazy. Both friends encouraged Simba to put his past behind him and to instead embrace a "problem-free" philosophy. They were sometimes callous and unkind toward him, albiet unintentionally. For instance, when Simba recounted a personal story that Mufasa had told him about the Great Kings of the Past, the two laughed at him and made fun of him, to the point that he had to walk off to be by himself. Both Timon and Pumbaa love grubs. In particular, Pumbaa favors grubs that are slimy and/or have wings.
Though Timon is more paternal than Pumbaa, the warthog is still protective of both his adoptive nephews. He often saved a young Simba from scrapes and was sensitive to his emotional state, such as when he invited the cub to sleep with him and Timon after he had a nightmare. Whenever their nephews are in danger, Timon and Pumbaa will panic and sob until the situation is resolved. They are supportive of both Bunga and Simba, and will do everything they can to help them.
- Pumbaa has been voiced by Ernie Sabella in every official media publication. The only exceptions have been the 2019 remake of The Lion King, in which Pumbaa was voiced by Seth Rogen; the "Amazon Quiver" episode of The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa, in which an elderly Pumbaa was voiced by Jim Cummings; and Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure, in which Pumbaa was voiced by Leslie Hedger.
- Pumbaa was animated by the following:
- In The Lion King, he was animated by Tony Bancroft.
- In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, he was animated by Bob Baxter.
- In The Lion King 1½, he was animated by Bob Baxter.
- The role of Pumbaa in the stage musical version of The Lion King was originated by Tom Alan Robbins.
- Pumbaa's name means "be foolish" or "be dumbfounded, be astonished" or "be weak-minded" or "be negligent, be careless, be thoughtless" or "be ignorant" in Swahili.
- Pumbaa dislikes large crowds, which suggests that he has enochlophobia.
- Pumbaa's dialogue with Banzai is a reference to a scene from the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night. "They call me Mister Pig!" is a reference to the Virgil Tibbs line "They call me Mister Tibbs!"
- Pumbaa has had various love interests, including Gertie, Growler's mother, Leslie Lambeau, Pika, and Sharla.
- In the Timon & Pumbaa episode "Home is Where the Hog Is", it is revealed that Pumbaa's last name is Smith.
- In the Timon & Pumbaa episode "Boary Glory Days", it is revealed that Pumbaa is seven years old.
- In The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa, it is revealed that Pumbaa has several relatives, including Auntie, Uncle Boaris, and Uncle Ernie.
- In the Timon & Pumbaa episode "Never Everglades", Pumbaa adopts an alligator, whom he names Pumbaa Jr.
- According to Ernie Sabella, Pumbaa is smarter than Timon.
- During the "Out There" musical sequence in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, two men are seen carrying a dead warthog that resembles Pumbaa.
- In Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Genie briefly morphs into Pumbaa and says, "Hakuna Matata!" to ease Aladdin's nerves. He then states that he has just had an "out-of-movie" experience.
- Pumbaa makes a brief cameo in the "Good Neighbor Cruella" episode of 101 Dalmatians: The Series. He is seen among a group of farm animals.
- In a Lilo & Stitch trailer that spoofs The Lion King, Rafiki holds up what is meant to be baby Simba, only for it to be Stitch. Timon, who is sitting atop Pumbaa, expresses his confusion.
- During the "W-I-L-D" musical sequence in Disney's The Jungle Book 2, a monkey and warthog who resemble Timon and Pumbaa can be seen dancing before they are bounced off Baloo's backside.
- Timon and Pumbaa make a brief cameo in Disney's Leroy & Stitch. They are seen among a group of aliens.
- In Disney's Enchanted, a warthog who resembles Pumbaa joins a line of animals who are waiting to have their books signed by Pip. Additionally, in the DVD extra Pip's Predicament: A Pop-Up Adventure, Pip accidentally transforms himself into Pumbaa for a few seconds.
- In Disney's Tangled, a warthog who resembles Pumbaa can be seen in the The Snuggly Duckling pub.
- Timon and Pumbaa make a brief cameo in the "One Golden Sun" episode of It's a Small World: The Animated Series.
- In the 2016 remake of Disney's The Jungle Book, a mongoose and boar who resemble Timon and Pumbaa can be seen among the jungle animals.
- In Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet, a screenshot of Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba is seen in the Oh My Disney area.
- Pumbaa's original name was Harold.
- According to George Scribner, screenwriter Linda Woolverton originally conceived Pumbaa as an elephant, but Scribner recommended the character be a warthog instead.
- During production of The Lion King, Timon and Pumbaa grew up with Simba and fled with him to the jungle. Their roles were changed to make them "strangers and fellow outcasts" so they could "take the impressionable cub under their wing."
- Originally, Timon and Pumbaa sang a song titled "Warthog Rhapsody". However, the filmmakers wanted the song to move the plot along and show Simba turning his back on his responsibilities, so it was replaced with "Hakuna Matata".
- Lyricist Tim Rice wrote a version of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" that was sung solely by Timon and Pumbaa. However, when the storyboard sequence was shown to composer Elton John, he protested that the most tender moment in the film was being played as a joke. As a result, a new version of the song was written in which Timon and Pumbaa closed and opened the song, while Simba and Nala sang the rest of it.
- Timon and Pumbaa were so popular at preview screenings that the filmmakers wrote in an additional scene for them: the "Hawaiian War Chant" musical sequence.
- One of Pumbaa's defining characteristics is the way he rubs his belly. The inspiration for the tick was animator Tony Bancroft's then-pregnant wife, who would often rub her own protruding belly. Bancroft thought that the action would make Pumbaa more "human and relatable."