She looks much like her boyfriend, Porky Pig, except that she wears a dress and has braided black hair (which she originally did not have).
Petunia's appearance and personality has changed over the years over the course of the late-1930s, evolving from a mean, selfish and snobbish girlfriend of Porky with an unappealingly heavyset appearance in the Frank Tashlin cartoons into the sweet, kind-natured girlfriend of Porky with a cute appearance ever since Bob Clampett retooled the character.
Petunia was introduced by animator Frank Tashlin in the 1937 short "Porky's Romance". The film is a parody of a 1932 Walt Disney cartoon called "Mickey's Nightmare". Whereas Mickey Mouse marries his longtime girlfriend Minnie in that film, Porky's overtures toward Petunia bring him only the scornful laughter of his porcine paramour, and instead only dreams of their potential future.
After Frank Tashlin's first departure from the studio in 1938, Bob Clampett redesigned Petunia to become cuter, similar to how he previously redesigned Porky the previous year. She appeared in only two Porky cartoons directed by Clampett in 1939, "Porky's Picnic" and "Naughty Neighbors", the latter being her final appearance from the Golden Age of American Animation. As Porky Pig's popularity gets eclipsed by brasher and funnier characters such as Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny in the 1940s, while Porky began starring in fewer solo cartoons, Petunia has been retired from the classic shorts at this time.
Petunia is one of the main characters in Baby Looney Tunes, where she was voiced by Chiara Zanni. In Season One, her hair was brunette before being changed to her trademark dark haired color for its second and final season.
Though Petunia does not appear in Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas, Porky's daughter Priscilla Pig bears a close physical resemblance to her. She is indirectly alluded to briefly in the said film when Porky mentions that Priscilla's mother is deceased, implying that Priscilla's mother could possibly be Petunia, though it is not confirmed.
Petunia appeared in The Looney Tunes Show, debuting in the Season Two episode, "Here Comes the Pig", voiced by Katy Mixon. Petunia was intended to appear earlier in the series with a different appearance that was conceptualized in Looney Tunes Laff Riot and Grey DeLisle returning to the role, but ultimately, she only made two appearances late in Season Two with a much different appearance, and spoke in only one episode, despite appearing prominently in early merchandising and promotional material, indicating behind-the-scenes politics saw her debut put off until the eleventh hour.
Petunia next appeared in New Looney Tunes. Her design is a combination of her heavyset appearance in the Frank Tashlin cartoons "Porky's Romance, "The Case of the Stuttering Pig", and "Porky's Double Trouble" and her more well-known look from the Bob Clampett cartoons "Porky's Picnic" and "Naughty Neighbors".
The Classic shorts:
- "Porky's Romance" 1937
- "The Case of the Stuttering Pig" 1937
- "Porky's Double Trouble" 1937
- "Scalp Trouble" 1939 (Photo in Porky's bedroom)
- "Porky's Picnic" 1939
- "Naughty Neighbors" 1939
- "Porky Pig's Feat" 1943 (mentioned)
- "Dumb Patrol" 1964 (mentioned)
The television specials:
- Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies 1972
- Bugs vs. Daffy: Battle of the Music Video Stars 1988
Baby Looney Tunes 2002 - 2005
The Looney Tunes Show 2011 - 2014
New Looney Tunes 2015-2020
Looney Tunes Cartoons 2020-present
- Bugs Bunny Hangs Around
- Bugs Bunny, Party Pest
- Bugs Bunny, Pioneer
- Bugs Bunny's Adventures
- Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny: Just Like Magic!
Looney Tunes Comics
Six Flags theme parks