Pepper is one of the original fifteen puppies of Pongo and Perdita in the 101 Dalmatians franchise. He/she is brave, helpful, and outgoing. He/she loves the outdoors. One day he/she wants to be as brave as Thunderbolt, the greatest dog in the whole world.
He/she first appears watching Thunderbolt with his/her siblings (obviously, because all fifteen are present), although it is unclear which pup he/she is, as he/she is never mentioned by name in the scene. However, later in the movie, Pongo sees all of his puppies and does calls Pepper by name.
Regardless, some sources suggest he/she is the one who says, "Ol' Thunderbolt is the greatest dog in the whole world!"
Pepper did not physically appear in the series; however, he/she has been mentioned on numerous occasions.
- His/her name appears on a picnic basket in "The Dogs of DeVil."
- His/her name also appears on a photo reel in "Frisky Business."
- Cruella verbally names him/her in "The Making of..."
The definite gender for Pepper has raised a lot of debate when it comes to fans. Some believe Pepper to be male; however, they are presumably mistaking Freckles for Pepper. Others believe Pepper is female, claiming her to be one of the pups wearing a blue collar in the "Thunderbolt" scene.
In Disney's 365 Bedtime Stories book, there are two stories which address Pepper's gender. One of which is called Patch's Plan where Pepper is referred to as "Patch's sister." However, in the story One Lucky Pup, Pepper is referred to as a "he." So, in the same book, Pepper has been addressed as both male and female.
Also, with the Diamond Edition release of One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Pepper is referred to as a "he," and wears a red collar in all of the promotional artwork and products, supporting the argument that he is male.
However, with an official Disney test asking, "Which 101 Dalmatian Are You?" to tie-in merchandise with the Diamond Edition release, the image for when you get Pepper is a Dalmatian with a blue collar, supporting the female case.
The debate on Pepper's gender remains pending.
In Disney's 365 Bedtime Stories book, there are various stories about 101 Dalmatians. Amongst many of the stories in the book, some feature Pepper.
One of which is named One Lucky Pup where the Dalmatians head out on a picnic and are unable to find where Lucky is. Pepper is able to deduce where Lucky may be and leads the others to find Lucky by a peach tree. In said story, Pepper is referred to as a "he."
In Special Delivery, Pepper and Rolly see a dog food delivery van and sneak into it, where they have a snack inside. However, the van is driven back to a depot where they come up against a guard bulldog. It acts intimidating at first, but Pepper acts brave against it, before it realizes that the two are Pongo and Perdita's pups and helps them return back to the Dalmatian Plantation.
Pepper comments on how he was able to stand up to the bulldog when he returns home with Rolly.