Bugs Bunny

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"Some people call me cocky and brash, but actually I am just self-assured. I'm nonchalant, im­perturbable, contemplative. I play it cool, but I can get hot under the collar. And above all I'm a very 'aware' character. I'm well aware that I am appearing in an animated car­toon....And sometimes I chomp on my carrot for the same reason that a stand-up comic chomps on his cigar. It saves me from rushing from the last joke to the next one too fast. And I sometimes don't act, I react. And I always treat the contest with my pursuers as 'fun and games.' When momentarily I appear to be cornered or in dire danger and I scream, don't be consoined [sic] – it's actually a big put-on. Let's face it Doc. I've read the script and I al­ready know how it turns out."
Bob Clampett on Bugs Bunny, written in first person.

Bugs Bunny is the modern American Trickster and the most famous star of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. This character as Funny Animal is found in many cultures' mythologies, including Reynard the Fox, Anansi the spider, American Indian spirit Coyote, and Bugs' great-grandfather, Br'er Rabbit. Bugs is specifically a Karmic Trickster: harmless when left alone, but gleefully ready to dish out poetic justice whenever he perceives the need. There is an element of education in his revenge.

Like many of his peers, Bugs' origins are unclear, lost in the mists of time and memory. Before him, the Marx Brothers were the premier American tricksters, and traces of their influence can be found in many of his best known mannerisms. (In fact, many people aren't aware that Bugs' saying, "Of course you realize, dis means war!" originated in films such as Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera.)

More directly, shy, timid prey unexpectedly turning on the pursuer was a common theme at the Warner Bros. animation studios in the early days - Daffy Duck made his debut in the same way. Director Ben 'Bugs' Hardaway introduced the notion of this character as a "scwewy wabbit" in "Porky's Hare Hunt" (1938), and the same small white hare appears in various later shorts, notably Chuck Jones' "Elmer's Candid Camera" (1940). His name, first seen on-screen in the credits for 1941's "Elmer's Pet Rabbit", derives either from Hardaway's -- model sheets were said to have been tagged with "Bugs' Bunny" -- or the contemporary Brooklyn slang "bugs", meaning "crazy". Or both. Friz Freleng, however, insisted that Hardaway had nothing to do with the Bugs we know and love, claiming that his Bugs was in no way related to the real Bugs Bunny (but even this is debatable).

However it's generally accepted that Tex Avery produced the prototype of the smart, suave, on-the-ball wabbit we know and love today, in "A Wild Hare" (1940). Chuck Jones later made him more sympathetic by giving Bugs that iconic attitude of live-and-let-live, right up until he's pushed just that one step too far, and then, it's war -- "at which point [he] retaliates in every way he can imagine, and he is a very imaginative rabbit."

The job of any trickster, but especially the American type, is to think the thoughts and do the things that they say can't be thought or done. He's most likely to be found disturbing the complacency of his culture, or deflating the pompousness of its symbols. Since Bugs is also a comedy hero, he has the added advantage of Plot Armor that could stop an armor-piercing round.

His influence on modern American culture, like that of all the Looney Tunes characters, has been far-reaching to the point of ubiquity. For obvious reasons, though, Bugs is the especial favourite, especially in the theatrical years, getting more shorts than any of his co-stars, with a impressive 168 titles under his belt[1]. Naturally, he has spawned several imitators over the years, notably direct descendant Buster Bunny of Tiny Toon Adventures and Yakko, Wakko and Dot of Animaniacs -- although these last three skew more heavily toward the Screwy Squirrel.

Bugs made appearances in The Looney Tunes Show, giving up his nomadic roots and rabbit holes in favor of a average suburban home shared with co-star Daffy Duck. That lasted for two seasons.

Naturally, Bugs has starred in many a hit short subject, with six of his cartoons being put on The 50 Greatest Cartoons (with What's Opera, Doc? at the No. 1 spot!) and 10 of his shorts serving as runner-ups on the list. He also holds a whopping 34 spots on The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes list (not counting shorts he cameoed in).


Filmography


1938[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Porky's Hare Hunt (LT, Hardaway): First appearance of the Bugs Bunny prototype. Here, he is a tiny, pudgy white rabbit with a Goofy-esque rural accent, who, in Ben Hardaway's words, was "Daffy Duck in a rabbit suit." Naturally, this prototype is far, far removed from the Bugs we know and love, being a mindless heckler, but with a touch of Groucho Marx thrown into the mixing pot, so this character at the least provided a foundation for the character of the Bugs we know. This prototype is also very similar to the earliest incarnations of Woody Woodpecker, who Ben Hardaway also helped write for.

1939[edit | hide]

  • Prest-O Change-O (MM, Jones): Second sighting of the prototype, who has taken up residence in the house of the magician Sham-Fu, and heckles the poor pups who he encounters for no discernible motive. He has become slightly taller and slimmer at this point. Bugs' trademark ability to have objects come out of nowhere is presented here for the first time, although in the context of him being a magician's rabbit. The prototype is silent here, save for his Annoying Laugh.
  • Hare-Um Scare-um (MM, Hardaway/Dalton): Where Bugs is officially named as Bugs' Bunny--note the possessive term (applied to the model sheet prepared by Charles Thorson). He is still manic, but has now grown in size and sprouted apricot fur, looking closer to the Bugs we know. His Hammerspace ability is revisited, now presented in a non-magical context. He also hams it up with some sarcastic mock-pathos, which would be echoed in A Wild Hare and The Wabbit Who Came To Supper.

1940[edit | hide]

  • Elmer's Candid Camera (MM, Jones): Debut of Elmer Fudd. Bugs is almost fully realized as a character by this point, with his original Screwy Squirrel traits played down in favor of being more reserved and in control than before, but his character is still very underplayed. With that said, he still has some of his unmotivated heckler self left in him, pestering poor Elmer (who was just taking pictures) to the point where he has a nervous breakdown. Chuck Jones was not happy with this short, saying the rabbit was "Bugs with his umbilical cord in his hand looking for a place to plug it in." and that it should only be watched "If you are dying to die of innui."
  • A Wild Hare (MM, Avery) - Starring Elmer. Official debut of the fully realized Bugs Bunny. This short is a semi-remake of "Elmer's Candid Camera", but improves in what Tex Avery felt was flawed about "Camera"--such as only making Bugs a defensive character who reacts to a threat and plays off of villainous Elmer's stupidity. Oscar nominee. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • Patient Porky (LT, Clampett): The prototype pops up for a gag in the first couple minutes, looking very close to Bugs' final design, but still having the manicness of the proto-Bugs.

1941[edit | hide]

  • Elmer's Pet Rabbit (MM, Jones): Chuck Jones' first short with Bugs, and the first one to actually give his name. In this short he has an extremely foul temper and a nasty personality, both of which were hurriedly dropped afterwards.
  • Tortoise Beats Hare (MM, Avery): The first of the three "Bugs Vs. Cecil" shorts. Chuck Jones, in his opinion, considered it a failure, feeling that Tex had swapped Bugs' in-control, defensive personality in favor of making him the loser ala Elmer Fudd while giving Cecil Turtle Bugs' personality (but with all fairness, it did show us a whole different side of Bugs than before).
  • Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt (MM, Freleng): Friz Freleng's first effort with Bugs. Here, he is presented as rather passive, at least in contrast with the previous shorts. Oscar nominee.
  • The Heckling Hare (MM, Avery): The cartoon that caused Avery to leave Leon's cartoon studio to make cartoons for MGM. With that said, Avery finally managed to nail Bugs' defensive personality again, capturing what made him such a hit in "A Wild Hare".
  • All This and Rabbit Stew (MM, Avery, uncredited): One of the "Censored Eleven"
  • Wabbit Twouble (MM, Cwampett) - Starring the Fat Elmer. Bob Clampett's first Bugs Bunny. It is rumored that this cartoon was started by Tex Avery but finished by Clampett, backed up by the fact that Tex and Bob planned it together early on. Here, Bugs goes right back to being a Villain Protagonist, pestering poor Elmer (solely because he set up camp in Bugs' territory). But wheras the earlier Bugs were fairly aggressive in their pestering, Clampett presents Bugs as going about it in a more playful, confident way, as if a nod to that Bugs knows exactly what he's doing, so in a sense, he's certainly not too Out of Character here. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.

1942[edit | hide]

  • The Wabbit Who Came to Supper (MM, Freleng) - Starring the Fat Elmer. Again, Bugs is more defensive here than usual, but his in-control persona still kicks up, manipulating Elmer into caring for him.
  • The Wacky Wabbit (MM, Clampett) - Starring the Fat Elmer. Again, Bugs is a Villain Protagonist, but is still very playful.
  • Hold the Lion, Please (MM, Jones): A very bizarre take on the Bugs Bunny shorts, with Bugs having his vague personality, but little of what made him so popular in previous shorts, a clear testament to that Jones still didn't have a full grasp of his character.
  • Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (MM, Clampett): Debut of Beaky/Killer the Buzzard. Unlike Clampett's previous shorts, Bugs is back to being a defensive character again. Runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons list, and one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • Fresh Hare (MM, Freleng) - Starring Elmer. Freleng presents Bugs as a defensive Villain Protagonist, on the run of Mountie Elmer Fudd in the Canadian wilderness.
  • The Hare-Brained Hypnotist (MM, Freleng) - Starring Elmer.
  • Case of the Missing Hare (MM, Jones): Jones finally nails Bugs' character here.
  • Crazy Cruise (MM, Avery/Clampett, both uncredited): Not a Bugs Bunny cartoon, but he does make a cameo in the ending.
  • Any Bonds Today? (AKA Bugs Bunny Bond Rally, Clampett): A very brief bumper short made to promote War Bonds. With Elmer and Porky.

1943[edit | hide]

1944[edit | hide]

  • Jasper Goes Hunting: Actually a Puppetoons short from Paramount Pictures, but Bugs makes a cameo in it.
  • Little Red Riding Rabbit (MM, Freleng): One of The 50 Greatest Cartoons, one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • What's Cookin' Doc? (MM, Clampett). Bugsy is presented as a very showboaty ham in this short. Clampett alledgedly make this short to make fun of Friz Freleng, possibly for his previous effort "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt", being snubbed for an Oscar. Features large usage of Stock Footage from "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt", although it's in the context of the story and not a mere corner cutting move.
  • Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears (MM, Jones): The debut of Jones' Three Bears characters. Runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons.
  • Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips (MM, Freleng): An infamous Wartime Cartoon featuring Bugs encountering an Asian Platoon on a deserted isle. Not screened on TV.
  • Hare Ribbin' (MM, Clampett): Clampett once again presents Bugs as a defensive character here. The short is notable for having an infamous alternate ending, in which Bugs himself guns down the dog that was chasing him! This "Directors Cut" can be found on the fifth Looney Tunes Golden Collection. This short also features Stock Footage from "The Heckling Hare" and "A Wild Hare".
  • Hare Force (MM, Freleng)
  • Buckaroo Bugs (LT, Clampett): The only Bugs cartoon where he is explicitly presented as a straight villain role.
  • The Old Grey Hare (MM, Clampett) - Starring Elmer. This is a bizarre cartoon that delves into the chemistry between Bugs and Elmer. Runner-up on The 50 Greatest Cartoons, one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • Stage Door Cartoon (MM, Freleng) - Starring Elmer.

1945[edit | hide]

  • Odor-Able Kitty (LT, Jones): Bugs himself does not appear, but the cat disguises himself in a Bugs Bunny outfit.
  • Herr Meets Hare (MM, Freleng): A Wartime Cartoon. Notable for having a gag that would be recycled for What's Opera, Doc?. Also notable for being the first time Bugs is seen tunneling underground as a mode of transportation(and the first time he makes that Wrong Turn At Albuquerque).
  • The Unruly Hare (MM, Tashlin) - Starring Elmer. First of two Bugs shorts directed by Frank Tashlin.
  • Hare Trigger (MM, Freleng) - Debut of Yosemite Sam.
  • Hare Conditioned (LT, Jones)
  • Hare Tonic (LT, Jones) - Starring Elmer.

1946[edit | hide]

1947[edit | hide]

1948[edit | hide]

  • Gorilla My Dreams (LT, McKimson): One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • A Feather in His Hare (LT, Jones) - No longer shown on TV.
  • Rabbit Punch (MM, Jones)
  • Buccaneer Bunny (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • Bugs Bunny Rides Again (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Haredevil Hare (LT, Jones) - Debut of Marvin the Martian. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • Hot Cross Bunny (MM, McKimson)
  • Hare Splitter (MM, Freleng)
  • A-Lad-In His Lamp (LT, McKimson) - with Smokey the Genie (voice of Jim Backus).
  • My Bunny Lies over the Sea (MM, Jones)

1949[edit | hide]

  • Hare Do (MM, Freleng) - Starring Elmer.
  • Mississippi Hare (LT, Jones) - Staring Colonel.
  • Rebel Rabbit (MM, McKimson)
  • High Diving Hare (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • Bowery Bugs (MM, Davis) - the only Bugs cartoon Arthur Davis would direct.
  • Long-Haired Hare (LT, Jones): One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • Knights Must Fall (MM, Freleng)
  • The Grey Hounded Hare (LT, McKimson)
  • The Windblown Hare (LT, McKimson)
  • Frigid Hare (MM, Jones) - First of two shorts to star Playboy Penguin.
  • Which Is Witch (LT, Freleng) - No longer screened on TV.
  • Rabbit Hood (MM, Jones)

1950[edit | hide]

  • The Lion's Busy (MM, Freleng) - Cameo; a Beaky Buzzard cartoon.
  • Hurdy-Gurdy Hare (MM, McKimson)
  • Mutiny on the Bunny (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Homeless Hare (MM, Jones)
  • Big House Bunny (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • What's Up Doc? (LT, McKimson) - Starring Elmer. With caricatures of Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny, Al Jolson and Bing Crosby.
  • 8 Ball Bunny (LT, Jones) - Second and last appearance of Playboy Penguin, and features a caricature of Humphrey Bogart. One of the rare times where Bugs becomes something of a Butt Monkey. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • Hillbilly Hare (MM, McKimson): One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • Bunker Hill Bunny (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Bushy Hare (LT, McKimson)
  • Rabbit of Seville (LT, Jones) - Starring Elmer. One of The 50 Greatest Cartoons, one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.

1951[edit | hide]

  • Hare We Go (MM, McKimson) - with an unreasonable facsimile of Christopher Columbus.
  • Rabbit Every Monday (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Bunny Hugged (MM, Jones): One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • The Fair-Haired Hare (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Rabbit Fire (LT, Jones) - Starring Elmer and Daffy. First of The Hunting Trilogy. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • French Rarebit (MM, McKimson)
  • His Hare-Raising Tale (LT, Freleng) - with clips from "Stage Door Cartoon," "Baseball Bugs" and "Haredevil Hare."
  • Ballot Box Bunny (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Big Top Bunny (MM, McKimson)

1952[edit | hide]

  • Operation: Rabbit (LT, Jones) - Starring Wile E. Coyote. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • Foxy by Proxy (MM, Freleng)
  • 14 Carrot Rabbit (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Water, Water Every Hare (LT, Jones)
  • The Hasty Hare (LT, Jones) - Starring Marvin. Features a caricature of Friz Freleng as an astronomer.
  • Oily Hare (MM, McKimson)
  • Rabbit Seasoning (MM, Jones) - Starring Elmer and Daffy. Second of The Hunting Trilogy. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • Rabbit's Kin (MM, McKimson) - with Pete Puma (voice of Stan Freberg).
  • Hare Lift (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.

1953[edit | hide]

1954[edit | hide]

  • Captain Hareblower (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Bugs and Thugs (LT, Freleng) - Starring Rocky and Mugsy. One of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.
  • No Parking Hare (LT, McKimson)
  • Devil May Hare (LT, McKimson) - Starring Taz.
  • Bewitched Bunny (LT, Jones) - Starring Hazel.
  • Yankee Doodle Bugs (LT, Freleng)
  • Lumber Jack-Rabbit (LT, Jones) - the only 3-D cartoon from the studio.
  • Baby Buggy Bunny (MM, Jones)

1955[edit | hide]

  • Beanstalk Bunny (MM, Jones) - Starring Elmer and Daffy.
  • Sahara Hare (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Hare Brush (MM, Freleng) - Starring Elmer.
  • Rabbit Rampage (LT, Jones) - Cameo by Elmer. A sequel to "Duck Amuck".
  • This Is a Life? (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam, Elmer, and Daffy. With clips from "Hare Do" and "Buccaneer Bunny."
  • Hyde and Hare (LT, Freleng)
  • Knight-mare Hare (MM, Jones)
  • Roman Legion-Hare (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.

1956[edit | hide]

  • Bugs' Bonnets (MM, Jones) - Starring Elmer.
  • Broom-Stick Bunny (LT, Jones) - Starring Hazel.
  • Rabbitson Crusoe (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Napoleon Bunny-Part (MM, Freleng)
  • Barbary Coast Bunny (LT, Jones) - Only Bugs and Nasty Canasta cartoon.
  • Half-Fare Hare (MM, McKimson) - with caricatures of Jackie Gleason and Art Carney as Ralph Cramden and Ed Norton.
  • A Star Is Bored (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam, Elmer, and Daffy.
  • Wideo Wabbit (MM, McKimson) - Starring Elmer.
  • To Hare Is Human (MM, Jones) - Starring Wile E.

1957[edit | hide]

1958[edit | hide]

  • Hare-Less Wolf (MM, Freleng)
  • Hare-Way to the Stars (LT, Jones) - Starring Marvin.
  • Now Hare This (LT, McKimson)
  • Knighty Knight Bugs (LT, Freleng) - Academy Award winner for Best Animated Short Film, starring Sam. Surprisingly, this is the ONLY Bugs cartoon to have won an oscar!
  • Pre-Hysterical Hare (LT, McKimson) - Starring Elmer.

1959[edit | hide]

  • Baton Bunny (LT, Jones/Levitow)
  • Hare-Abian Nights (MM, Harris) - Starring Sam.
  • Apes of Wrath (MM, Freleng) - Cameo by Daffy.
  • Backwoods Bunny (MM, McKimson)
  • Wild and Woolly Hare (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Bonanza Bunny (MM, McKimson)
  • A Witch's Tangled Hare (LT, Levitow) - Starring Hazel.
  • People Are Bunny (MM, McKimson) - Starring Daffy and caricature of Art Linkletter.

1960[edit | hide]

  • Horse Hare (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Person To Bunny (MM, Freleng) - Starring Elmer and Daffy.
  • Rabbit's Feat (LT, Jones) - Starring Wile E. Coyote.
  • From Hare to Heir (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam.
  • Lighter Than Hare (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam.

1961[edit | hide]

  • The Abominable Snow Rabbit (LT, Jones; co-dir.: Noble) - Starring Daffy.
  • Compressed Hare (MM, Jones; co-dir.: Noble) - Starring Wile E.
  • Prince Violent (LT, Freleng; co-dir.: Pratt) - Later renamed Prince Varmint for television broadcasts. Starring Sam.

1962[edit | hide]

  • Wet Hare (LT, McKimson)
  • Bill of Hare (MM, McKimson) - Starring Taz.
  • Shishkabugs (LT, Freleng) - Starring Sam.

1963[edit | hide]

  • Devil's Feud Cake (MM, Freleng) - Starring Sam. With clips from "Hare Lift," "Roman Legion Hare" and "Sahara Hare."
  • The Million Hare (LT, McKimson) - Starring Daffy.
  • Hare-Breadth Hurry (LT, Jones; co-dir.: Noble) - Starring Wile E.; actually a Road Runner cartoon, but Bugs fills in after RR "sprained a giblet making a sharp curve."
  • The Unmentionables (MM, Freleng) - Starring Rocky and Mugsy.
  • Mad as a Mars Hare (MM, Jones; co-dir.: Noble) - Starring Marvin.
  • Transylvania 6-5000 (MM, Jones; co-dir.: Noble)

1964[edit | hide]

  • Dumb Patrol (LT, Chiniquy) - Starring Porky and Sam.
  • Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare (MM, McKimson) - Starring Taz.
  • The Iceman Ducketh (LT, Monroe) - Starring Daffy.
  • False Hare (LT, McKimson) - Last of the original theatrical Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Post-1964[edit | hide]

  • Box Office Bunny (1990, Van Citters) - Starring Elmer and Daffy.
  • (blooper) Bunny! (1991, Lennon/Ford) - Starring Daffy, Elmer, and Sam. Never released until 1997.
  • Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers (1992, Lennon/Ford) - Starring Daffy, Elmer, and Sam.
  • Carrotblanca (1995, McCarthy) - Parody of Casablanca.
  • From Hare to Eternity (1996, Jones)
  • Hare and Loathing in Las Vegas (2003, Kopp/Shin)

Television shows[edit | hide]

Movies[edit | hide]



Bugs Bunny is the Trope Namer for:
Bugs Bunny provides examples of the following tropes:

Bugs:"You-! You-! Blankedy Blank Blank Turtle!"

  • Ambiguously Jewish: The Brooklyn accent, among other things, but also subtle things, like having grown up playing Pisha-Paysha when challenged to a game of blackjack (by Blacque Jacques Shellacque in Bonanza Bunny).
    • Mel Blanc (his voice actor) was in fact Jewish.
  • American Accents: Mel Blanc gave his wascally wabbit a Brooklyn accent so distinctive, it's the standard to which actors strive for their own Brooklyn-based characters.
    • Bugs's accent is actually a seamless blend of the Brooklyn and Bronx accents called Flatbush, after a community in the Brooklyn area where Mel had first heard it.
  • America Saves the Day: The World War II propaganda chapters used this.
  • And Call Him George: Bugs is nearly smothered (literally) with adoration by an Abominable Snowman. The Trope Namer.
  • Anti-Hero: Type IV or V, even if he is more lovable than most Antiheroes in similar categories.
  • Anvil on Head
  • Animated Actors
  • Arch Nemesis: Of all the characters Bugs goes up against, Elmer Fudd is probably the most frequent. Of course, Elmer is hopelessly outclassed...
    • On the other hand, he's perhaps the most frequent to actually defeat Bugs (a total of three times, only Daffy has done so the same amount of times, and none of which were via the original theatrical shorts).
      • A common myth; though the rivalry is iconic, there were actually comparatively few Bugs vs. Elmer shorts. Because Elmer is, as mentioned, hopelessly outclassed, it was a delicate dance to make sure Bugs didn't cross the line from merry prankster to outright bully (one they didn't always pull off so well). One of the reasons Yosemite Sam was created was to give Bugs an adversary who was smart enough (or, failing that, belligerent enough) that Bugs still looked like the good guy at the end of the cartoon.
        • He was however still one of Bugs' most frequent enemies, only Yosemite Sam really challenges his total bouts against the rabbit, not to mention they consist of what many consider some of the most iconic Bugs shorts to date.
        • Part of the reason Elmer gets this treatment is because he's the opponent that got a cartoon where he cleanly outdid Bugs - granted, he did so via role reversal (Elmer went crazy and believed himself to be Bugs; psychiatrists then kidnapped Bugs and convinced him that he was Elmer), but Elmer still came out on top.
      • Cecil Turtle is not only 3-0 against Bugs, he beat Bugs at his own game. (Technically Bugs won the last one, but it was clearly a moral victory for Cecil.)
  • Art Evolution: Very literal evolution -- in the earliest shorts, Bugs looks like a rabbit that walks upright, compared to his modern appearance where he's essentially a human with bunny ears.
  • Ash Face: Of course, occasions where he himself is a victim of this are quite rare. His antagonists on the other hand never fare as well.
  • Attention Whore: Definitely has moments of this, especially in "What's Cookin', Doc?"
  • Attractive Bent Gender: One of Bugs' favorite ways to escape Elmer Fudd. The ears or tail usually give him away, though.
  • Badass Adorable: Could you calmly ask "Eeeeh, whatz up, doc?" with a shotgun up your nose?
  • Badass Normal: See above.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: "Bully for Bugs" has him facing off against a strong, fast and smart bull in a rather unconventional bullfight.
  • Beware the Nice Ones
  • Big Ball of Violence (i.e.: Case of the Missing Hare")
  • Born in the Theatre
  • Bowdlerise: Like all the Warners' animated output -- indeed, that of all the major American studios during and just post-WWII -- some of Bugs' shorts are not very politically correct. At the height of the Pacific campaign, he starred in a blatant bit of propaganda called "Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips." He also appeared in Blackface on more than one occasion, including a short parody of Al Jolson's The Jazz Singer.
  • Bratty Half-Pint / Broken Record: "I want an Easter egg! I want an Easter egg! I want an Easter egg! I want an Easter egg!"
    • Baby Face Finster. Not a baby, just a midget bank-robber.
  • Breakout Character: Much like Donald Duck before him, Bugs' popularity ended up eclipsing his predecessors, Porky and Daffy. The difference however is that Bugs eventually became the face of the company.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Do not make Bugs angry.
  • Bullet Dancing: Subverted in "Bugs Bunny Rides Again," where Bugs breaks into a full-bore softshoe routine when Yosemite Sam tries this trope on him. Then Bugs yells "Take it, Sam!" and Sam does -- straight into an open mine shaft.
  • Butt Monkey: While Bugs is usually the cunning protagonist, writers took care to balance this with the odd fall-guy role so as not to lose audience sympathy. In keeping with the character's cockiness, though, when Bugs was a loser he was often a very sore one.
  • Crossover: Including Paramount's "Jasper Goes Hunting," Odradek's "Political Cartoon," Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
  • Cartoon Conductor
  • Carnivore Confusion: In spite of being almost fully anthropomorphic, large chunks (perhaps even the majority) of Bugs' filmography are about hunters and other predators trying to kill and eat him.
    • Elmer isn't a carnivore, he's a vegetawian, he only hunts for the sport of it, he he heh,
    • Except the time he's bought Bugs at a butcher's shop to make stew.
      • And, of course, it makes perfect sense for there to be a sport hunting season for characters who walk upright, speak English and have hands.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: A trademark. In "Hair-Raising Hare", Bugs is barricading a door with a monster on the other side and shouts frantically to the audience "Is there a doctor in the house?!" When one stands up, Bugs coolly enquires "Ehhh, what's up, Doc?"
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "What's up, Doc?"
    • "Of course you realize, This Means War!"
    • "I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque..."
    • "What's cooking?"
    • "Ain't I a stinka?"
    • "What a maroon."
  • Catch That Pigeon: Bugs and Elmer Fudd, Tasmanian Devil and numerous others.
  • Cavalier Consumption: Bugs often does this, as a possible holdover from his days as a Screwy Squirrel. When asking "Eh... What's up, Doc?", he's often feigning caring, and is even asking and talking while chewing.
  • Cement Shoes: Mobsters Mugsy and Rocky try this on Bugs in "The Unmentionables".
  • Chained to a Railway: Including one notable instance in which Elmer Fudd is tied to the tracks, and the "Super Chief" (namechecking a famous passenger train of the time) runs right over him -- a long line of little bunnies following Bugs, who's wearing a feathered headdress.
  • Characterization Marches On: To the point where people don't even like to look at his prototype as the same character.
  • Clip Show: "His Hare-Raising Tale", "Devil's Feud Cake", "Hare-abian Nights"
    • Not to mention a whole bunch of TV specials and feature films.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Played with, along with every other gun cliche known to man, in most of the Yosemite Sam shorts. Bugs once used a trick shot on Sam that not only parted Sam's hair but split his hat, as well.
  • Closet Shuffle: Bugs does this in "Racketeer Rabbit." Virtually duplicated in "Bugs And Thugs" with Rocky and Muggsy, once as a prank and once for real.
  • Colossus Climb: Especially true of Chuck Jones' Bugs, who has taken on bulls ("Bully for Bugs") and professional wrestlers ("Bunny Hugged")
  • The Dark Age of Animation
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially in later incarnations.
  • Depending On The Animator: In the late forties it was easy to tell who had directed which Bugs cartoon just by looking at Bugs's design. Friz Freleng used the design which we all know and love today, Chuck Jones had a slightly different version with larger eyes, larger cheeks and more pointy teeth, and Robert McKimson (plus, for his sole Bugs Bunny outing, Arthur Davis) had a majorly different version with more slanted eyes, long teeth, and a huge mouth that flapped around like a windsock whenever he talked. At the end of the decade, the differences became a lot less pronounced.
    • Some artists would even play this up for comedic effect. Picking out Rod Scribner and Robert Mc Kimson's animation of Bugs in a Bob Clampett cartoon is considered almost the entry level for identifying Golden Age artists' styles.
  • Deus Ex Machina: A hilarious one in Rabbit Punch. The Crusher has tied Bugs to a train track--in a boxing ring, mind you--then boards a locomotive and proceeds to speed towards Bugs. The scene makes it clear it's passed the Despair Event Horizon, with The Crusher's Slasher Smile and Bugs' genuinely worried expressions. What could possibly save him? Cue the film strip of the cartoon eventually breaking, showing Bugs in a White Void Room, revealing that he cut the film with scissors, ending the cartoon.
  • Duck Season! Rabbit Season!: Co-Trope Namer ; refers to series of cartoons in which Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck argue over what hunting season it is.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The early shorts are very strange to watch if you're familiar with the Bugs from the late 40's and onward--one must understand that in his infant years, the directors stumbled across Bugs entirely by accident in A Wild Hare, and didn't quite "get" what made Bugs such a hit at first. and this is supported by the early batch of post-Wild Hare shorts like "Elmer's Pet Rabbit", "Tortoise Beats Hare" and "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt". It wasn't until "The Heckling Hare" and "All This and Rabbit Stew" when they started to get a clue as to what Bugs was about, and even then Chuck Jones still took a while to fully understand Bugs' character.
    • This is because Bugs, like many other Golden Age cartoon characters, wasn't created fully conceived but instead evolved through numerous cartoons. His early prototype was based on the then popular Screwy Squirrel-type wacky character, which Daffy also began life as (and still has his moments) before settling into his more known sarcastic and self-centered persona. It was Bugs' glib attitude in A Wild Hare that set him apart from other cartoons in the era.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Bugs Bunny vs turtle, Both are cheats.
  • Fast Tunnelling
  • Faux Affably Evil: On rare occasions, early on at least. The later enterpretations, while still occasionally morally ambiguous, never quite reach this level.
  • Four-Fingered Hands
  • Flanderization: Bugs was initially a far wackier and egotistical protagonist, however his suave cunning demenor was exagerrated to such a point he is regarded as one of animations prime Invincible Heroes. As Chuck Jones once emphasized, Bugs is meant to be everything Daffy Duck isn't.
    • Yosemite Sam was actually created to combat this. After a few cartoons it rapidly became apparent that Bugs Bunny could think circles around Elmer Fudd so thoroughly that even when Elmer was clearly the antagonist Bugs still looked like the bully. So they created Sam to give Bugs an opponent who was smart enough (or at least belligerent enough) to give Bugs a challenge and keep him from Flanderizing into a villain. After a while, even Sam had become ineffective, and so both Marvin The Martian and the Tazmanian Devil were introduced to bring in a fresh new threat (proving slightly more effective).
      • Ironically, Daffy ended up being the perfect foil for Bugs in this regard, as he was far, far more egocentric and sometimes an outright ass compared to Bugs. The two are currently roomates in an Odd Couple type situation on The Looney Tunes Show now, and though more or less 'friends' now, these two still have ego clashes due to Daffy still being more of a dick than Bugs has ever been. It's part of why fans love seeing them onscreen together. They just work in this regard. The fact that Daffy actually became flanderized to points unheard of long before this didn't hurt, as it helped keep it from happening to Bugs.
  • The Fool: Even when he isn't using pure wit to defeat an adversary, he seems to have lady luck (and the villains' bumbling) on his side. Lampshaded in "Hare and Loathing Las Vegas"; he has his own pair of lucky rabbit's feet.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser : Taken to extremes. Bugs often had a very forgiving demeanor to the many individuals that tried to con, maim or even kill him so often.
    • Why take things personally when it's all part of the show?
  • The Golden Age of Animation
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: A Looney Tunes staple that was lampshaded in "High-Diving Hare", wherein Yosemite Sam ties him up, quick-marches him up onto a high-diving platform and out to the end of the board, then saws off the board in order to force Bugs to go through with his diving act... only for the diving platform to suddenly collapse and bring Sam down with it, while the diving board itself hangs in midair. "I know this defies the law of gravity... but I never studied law!"
    • Also done in "A Star is Born", when Daffy saws off the limb of a fake tree trunk. Bugs was sitting on said limb. Unfortunately for Daffy, the only part being held by invisible strings is said limb. The tree instantly falls over.
    • Let's not forget The Heckling Hare, which has Bugs and his antagonist Willoughby the dog falling off a cliff for a very long time. Averted at the end when they skid to a stop before hitting the ground.
    • In Falling Hare, the bomber that Bugs and the gremlin are in goes into a steep dive, during which the wings tear off, but it stops in midair right before hitting the ground:

Gremlin: Sorry folks! We ran out of gas!
Bugs: Yeah...You know how it is with these 'A'-cards![2]

      • Referenced in Looney Tunes: Back in Action, where this works until the female protagonist points out that this shouldn't work, upon which gravity kicks back in again and they land in a crumpled heap.
  • Guile Hero: He uses tricks instead of force or Science to triumph
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: If Bugs has ever worn pants, I'll eat my hat.
    • Get that hat ready, because he has worn pants--well, overalls, anyways. And a shirt and hat, too.
    • He's worn plenty of skirts and dresses, though.
    • Mrs. Bugs (as revealed in the short "Hold the Lion, Please") wears the pants in the family anyway...
    • He doesn't wear shoes often, either.
  • Hammerspace
  • The Hero
  • Hero Antagonist: Some of his later shorts tended to focus on his enemies (like Daffy) plotting ways to get back at him.
  • His and Hers: In Hare-Way to the Stars, Bugs has a pair of towels labeled "His" and "Hares".
  • Human Mail: Bugs mailed himself to Washington, DC. in Rebel Rabbit. First Class, so as to not associate with the common parcels.
  • Incessant Music Madness: "Long-Haired Hare" begins with Bugs playing various instruments (a banjo, a harp and a tuba) and singing while an opera singer is trying to rehearse, leading the opera singer to smash Bugs' instruments and beat him up.
  • Invincible Hero: Leaned into this more and more in later shorts (though granted most of the Rogues Gallery didn't exactly pose much of a challenge anyway). Arguably balanced by the occasional loss here and there, with Bugs even playing the Butt Monkey at times (he actually did lose much more frequently compared the other Looney Tunes protagonists such as Tweety Pie or Speedy Gonzales).
  • Karma Houdini: In Buckaroo Bugs, Bugs is the villain of the piece, a western outlaw named "The Masked Marauder", who steals carrots and humiliates the wimp of a cowboy sent to bring him in. While Bugs was the antagonist once or twice, he never again "got away with it" like he does here. (See next entry)
    • Cecil Turtle in Rabbit Transit. He cheated and still won. More accurately, he cheated until the home stretch, when he stopped using his rocket-powered shell. He let Bugs go by, who was running over the speed limit since he was aware Cecil was rocket-propelled. After he "won", he was promptly arrested. Both of these examples are particularly strange, as they were made during a time when the Hays Code banned Karma Houdinis in the film industry.
  • Karmic Trickster: The writers actually had a set of rules they always followed when writing Bugs Bunny cartoons to make sure Bugs didn't become an out-and-out bully. For starters, Bugs himself never started fights; he could retaliate all he wanted, but he never antagonized. On occasions when he did dole out punishments his victim didn't deserve, things would start going wrong for him. Best example would be Rebel Rabbit where Bugs is incensed that the bounty on rabbits is mere pennies, and sets out to prove that Rabbits aren't harmless by wrecking the country in funny ways. (Sawing off the state of Florida, filling in the Grand Canyon, literally tying up the railroads) In the end, he's hunted down by the armed forces and put in Alcatraz Prison, where he concludes that maybe he "went a little too far".
  • Large Ham Title: In the Bugs Bunny shorts (though not in Roadrunner), Wile E. Coyote introduces himself as; "Wile E. Coyote, genius!"
  • Life Imitates Art: Sort of. After Bugs appeared as a U.S. Marine in "Super-Rabbit", the real Marines made him one. He was officially inducted into the force as a private, complete with dogtags. The character was regularly promoted until Bugs was officially "discharged" at the end of World War II as a Master Sergeant.
  • Looney Tunes in the Thirties: Late 30's, if you count the proto-Bugs appearances.
  • Looney Tunes in the Forties: Bugs' golden years.
  • Looney Tunes in the Fifties
  • Looney Tunes in the Sixties
  • Looney Tunes in the Seventies and Onward
  • Lucky Rabbit's Foot: Referenced several times.
  • Magic Poker Equation: Most humorously in Barbary Coast Bunny where Bugs walks into a crooked casino where all the games are rigged, and still cleans the place out.
    • Also in Bonanza Bunny, where he plays 21 with Blacque Jacques Shellaque and holds on only one card. Blacque Jacques draws two tens of Spades for a 20, but Bugs' single card is a '21' of Hearts.
  • Malaproper: Sometimes combined with Delusions of Eloquence.
  • Medium Shift Gag: The punchline of "Rabbit Hood" is that Robin Hood has been MIA for most of the film, and when he finally appears, it's live-action footage of Errol Flynn from The Adventures of Robin Hood. A dumbfounded Bugs comments, "That's silly, it couldn't be him!"
  • The Millennium Age of Animation
  • Multiple Choice Past: Variously described as being from Manhattan (in shorts like A Hare Grows in Manhattan) and Brooklyn, though his accent is a Flatbush accent.
  • No Fourth Wall
  • No Sense of Direction: He always misses that left turn at Alburquerque.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: In an old comic, he reveals that his real name is George Washington Bunny.
  • Packed Hero: Used multiple times; see the trope page for details.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: His enemies will only realize it's him when they see his tail or ears, having not noticed Bugs' fur or little bunny nose.
  • Parody Magic Spell: Used in "Transylvania 6-5000". Bugs starts reading a book about magic words that contain the words "Abracadabra" and "Hocus Pocus." Unbeknownst to him (at first, anyway), "Abracadabra" turns the vampire into a bat, and "Hocus Pocus" turns him back into a person. He starts singing the words in a song, transforming the vampire back and forth (Hilarity Ensues)... then starts mixing them up in the song, "Abraca-Pocus" and "Hocus-cadabra", making half the vampire transform, i.e. a human body with a bat's head, then a bat's body and human head. Then he throws out, "Newport News!" which changes the vampire into an ugly witch, and finally, "Walla Walla Washington!" which turns him into a two-headed vulture.
  • Point That Somewhere Else: Bugs often does this in his encounters with Elmer.
  • Polka Dot Paint: In "Easter Yeggs", Bugs paints Elmer's head blue with yellow polka dots in two strokes.
  • Popcultural Osmosis: Some people would be surprised to know that Bugs and Elmer only shared 35 pictures out of Bugs' 168 shorts.
  • Projectile Toast: Bugs himself lampshaded this in "To Hare is Human" (when Wile E. Coyote attempted to replace the carrots in his toaster with grenades): "One of these days, I'm gonna hafta have that spring fixed."
  • The Protagonist: Usually, depending on the prominance of the villains however he is sometimes a Hero Antagonist.
  • Public Domain Animation: A handful of his cartoons have slipped into the Public Domain.
  • Pun-Based Title: The writers for Looney Tunes must have used every 'hare' pun possible while thinking up titles for Bugs Bunny shorts.
  • Rascally Rabbit: Bugs Bunny is a constantly using his trickster tactics to outwit and harass everyone. In the early days he was something of a Screwy Squirrel and would just prank others for his own amusement. Over the years he became more of a Karmic Trickster and only went after those who struck first.
  • Reaching Between the Lines
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Daffy's red.
  • The Renaissance Age of Animation
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: His appearances in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Space Jam and Looney Tunes: Back in Action
  • Rogues Gallery: Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Tasmanian Devil, and occasionally Marvin the Martian and Wile E. Coyote.
  • Screwy Squirrel: His initial appearances.
  • Siege Engines: in "Knighty Knight Bugs", the Black Knight (Yosemite Sam) uses a catapult to try to launch himself into a castle window.
  • Slapstick
  • Sore Loser: The lesser-seen aspect of his personality; during the rare moments where Bugs is on the losing side of things, he does not take it well. See the trilogy of his shorts with Cecil Turtle, and Rabbit Rampage.
  • Species Surname
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Bugs can apparently breathe underwater, since almost all of "Hare Ribbin'" (save the opening) is set underwater!
  • "Take That!" Kiss: One of his trademarks, especially towards Elmer.
  • Talking Animal
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: Notably in "Falling Hare."
  • Tim Taylor Technology: Wile E.'s massive computer in "To Hare Is Human" has all the answers for catching a rabbit, but none of them work. Except for the last when the boulder end of a booby trap is descending upon him:

Wile E.: (panickly pressing buttons) Rock...falling...what'll...I...do??
Computer read-out: Go back and take your medicine. (Wile E. goes back and lets the boulder fall on him)

    • And that's because Bugs was inside the machine every time.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Bugs is a huge jerkass in the shorts featuring Cecil Turtle and this causes him to lose Karmic Protection.
  • Trickster Archetype (obviously)
  • Tunnel King
  • Villain Protagonist: Bugs was generally a defensive character, but there have been several episodes where he became this. Examples of this include "Elmer's Candid Camera" (where the prototype/"Happy Hare" picks on Elmer unprovoked), "Elmer's Pet Rabbit" (where he heckles Elmer for no justifiable reason), "Wabbit Twouble" (again, picking on Elmer unprovoked), "The Wacky Wabbit" (picking on an unprovoked Elmer again), "Hare Ribbin'" (where he picks on a dog who just happened to encounter him, unlike his encounter with a similar dog in "The Heckling Hare", and even assists the dog in suicide[3]),), "Buckaroo Bugs" (where he's a flat out thief and bully) and "Rebel Rabbit" (where he wreaks havoc on the US solely because the bounty for rabbits was so low, doing atrocities like tying up a railroad and sawing California off the mainland, and by the end of the short gets so out of control that the military is called in to bring him down).
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Bugs and Daffy. Type 2.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice is lower and his accent is thicker in his earliest shorts.
  • Wartime Cartoon: Several, some good, some forgettable propaganda.
  • What Could Have Been: Tex Avery originally wanted to call him Jack E. Rabbit.
  • White Gloves
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Many, many times. And his enemies always develop a crush on him.
  • With Friends Like These...: With Daffy.
  • Worm Sign: It often happens when he travels under ground.
  • Wrong Turn At Albuquerque: Trope Namer.
  • You Say Tomato: Bugs Bunny is fond of odd pronunciations. "Maroon" for "moron" is perhaps the best known. Part of it is his accent, but much of it seems to be affectation.
  • You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses: In "Hare Splitter".
    • And "Transylvania 6-5000"

Count Bloodcount (as a bat): "You wouldn't hit a bat with glasses on, would you?"
Bugs (as a bat): WHACK!

  1. Not counting cameos and the four "proto-Bugs" cartoons
  2. AKA a fuel ration card, used during World War II; 'A' was the lowest rank.
  3. It's even worse in the directors cut included on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 5, where Bugs himself shoots the dog