- Happened in many Looney Tunes shorts with surprising frequency. See just about any short Bob Clampett directed, for instance.
- Which is why a lot of Looney Tunes cartoons have ended up banned from being shown on American TV, and the shorts that weren't banned were Edited for Syndication, ranging from slight snipping to being gutted and unwatchable.
- Just pause at 1:35 in the Wartime Cartoon short "Daffy-The Commando". If you look closely enough on the upper right, there's a Kaiserhof topless/nude pin-up poster on the wall.
- While producing the Looney Tunes shorts for Warner Brothers between the mid-1930s and 1946, the animators at the "Termite Terrace" studio threw in gags that obviously crossed the line, so the Hays Office would let more of their riskier gags into cartoons without being censored. (Presumably because they'd feel they had to give the studio a break sometime.) Some of the extreme jokes actually made it past the censors by mistake. (This makes this Older Than Television.)
- My all-time favorite example: in A Tale Of Two Kitties, the two cats (based on Abbott and Costello) are trying to catch Tweety Pie. Catstello is standing at the top of a shaky, rickety ladder, while Babbit is down at the bottom shouting, "Give me the bird! GIVE ME THE BIRD!" (To which Catstello mutters, "If the Hays Office would only let me, I'd 'give him the bird', alright!")
- Another example came from the nature mockumentary Unnatural History, where they showed a film clip of "a beaver damming a river". Just as the beaver finished building the dam, a big chunk of it breaks loose, water starts gushing through ... and the beaver starts jumping up and down, making garbled swear-noises. Dang, why can't I find this on YouTube?
- Try searching for "The Eager Beaver" (1946, Jones). The gag was first used in that cartoon.
- Looney Tunes was never specifically aimed at kids to begin with, so it's full of Parental Bonus:
- Throwaway gag in a Speedy Gonzales short: "Speedy knows my sister." "Speedy Gonzales knows everybody's sister!"
- One of this troper's favorites was a street merchant who offered Bugs Bunny "Flowers for his doxie" to which Bugs purchased some and gave them to his girlfriend. A doxie is a prostitute by the way, something only an adult or very perverted child would know.
- Every time Bugs Bunny dressed in drag. He's made out with Elmer (and Yosemite Sam and others) too many times to count and has married him at least twice (in the ends of both The Rabbit of Seville and Bugs' Bonnets, in which Elmer and Bugs ended up as a Bride and Groom, respectively).
- Lampshaded in Looney Tunes: Back in Action, when a female executive complains about the family-unfriendliness of Bugs' humor:
Kate Houghton: Okay, about the crossdressing thing - then, funny; now, disturbing.
Bugs Bunny: Lady, if you don't find a rabbit wearin' lipstick amusing, then we ain't got nothin' to say to each other.
- "Rabbit Seasoning": note Elmer's hat when Bugs-in-drag gives him a kiss. Boi-oi-oing!
- In the short Duck! Rabbit! Duck, Bugs and Elmer have the following conversation:
Elmer: Gotcha, you wabbit stew, you! (as he points gun at Bugs)
Bugs: Look, Doc, are you looking for trouble? I'm not a stewing rabbit, I'm a fricasseeing rabbit.
Elmer: Fwicasseeing wabbit?
Bugs: Have you got a fricasseeing rabbit license?
Elmer: Why, no.
Bugs: Do you know what the penalty is for shooting a fricasseeing rabbit without a fricasseeing rabbit license?
While this may be innocent to children (this troper in particular - she knew fricassee was a cooking method and thought Bugs was stalling for time), say "fricasseein'" ten times fast. Or like an expletive.
- "Oh, son of a bi-b-bi-son of a bi-b-b-son of a bi-b-gun! ...Ha ha ha, you thought I was going to say "son of a bitch", didn't you?"
- Which was intended for an in-house "bloopers" film, and not for the general public, so there was no censorship to be passed.
- Beaky Buzzard getting combative: "C'mon, ya big sack o' shhhhoe leather..."
- "Oh, son of a bi-b-bi-son of a bi-b-b-son of a bi-b-gun! ...Ha ha ha, you thought I was going to say "son of a bitch", didn't you?"
- Friz Freleng slipped an extremely clever one in "The Wabbit Who Came To Supper" (1942): At the end, Elmer opens a door to find Bugs wearing a bra, who screams - and then Elmer runs in closing the door - cue thrashing of the house, Bugs speeding out and straight to the door, with Elmer saying "Good widdance to bad wubbish!" And then, a delivery man comes to give Elmer an Easter egg, filled with potentially hundreds of baby bunnies.
- What about the fact that Bugs was in a frilly, lacy room with a vanity wearing a bra and panties? Nothing wrong with that (at least by today's standards), but then Fridge Logic and possible Fridge Horror sets in: Whose room is that if Elmer isn't married and is the only one in the house?
- Joe Adamson points out in his book "Bugs Bunny: 50 Years And Only One Grey Hare" that Bugs is a creature of infinite resources. Where did the confetti come from when he tricked Elmer into believing it was New Year's? Who knows? We were just as snookered as Elmer and quite amused.
- Also, in one scene in which there's a nude picture in Elmer's house while Elmer cradles Bugs singing him "Rock-a-bye Baby". No, scratch that, many nude pictures in Elmer's house.
- The rain puddle on the bed gag from "Porky's Badtime Story" (1937, remade in 1944 as "Tick Tock Tuckered"). A similar gag is used in "Daffy Duck Slept Here" (McKimson, 1948).
- "Little Man, You've Had A Busy Day" (Dog Daze, Freleng, 1937).
- A variation of that line is also spoken at the end of Wild Wife (McKimson, 1954), which has several references to sexism.
- In "An Itch In Time", Elmer's dog is being bitten in the butt by a flea and runs around the house yelping and dragging his butt on the carpet, moments later the dog pausing and starts panting heavily with a big smile on his face saying "Hey, I'd better cut this out; I might get to like it".
- That one, according to lore, was one of the gags put in with the expectation that the censors would take it out, allowing them to leave in less obvious or less risque gags. To the surprise of WB, the censors completely missed it.
- This clip from the 1963 Chuck Jones short "I was a Teenage Thumb".
- This infamous clip from the final Bosko Looney Tunes short "Bosko's Picture Show", depending on your own point of view on whether he 'really' said the word or not.
- At the beginning of "Easter Yeggs", Bugs was being interested reading a certain book. The name of the book? "How to Multiply".
- And he closes the book immediately after hearing someone cry.
- A similar joke occurs in "People Are Bunny", which is still rarely edited in modern showings. Bugs gets a call from a call-in quiz show where he has to answer a question to win a prize. The question is a very complicated multiplication problem, which he successfully solves in about a second. (And doesn't even need a pen and paper.) When the host asks him how he answered so quickly, his response?
Bugs: Well, if it's one thing us rabbits can do, it's multiply.
- The Pepe Le Pew cartoons would qualify (after all, the whole series is a Stealth Pun on men going after pussy...cats), though one Pepe cartoon makes this troper wonder why the Hays Office didn't intervene: 1953's "Wild Over You," in which Pepe's latest feline victim is an escaped wildcat who fights off Pepe by beating him up. The crap that got past the radar is Pepe stating that he liked it. Masochism, much?
- Another example was not so much as getting past the radar as the radar moving behind it: During one pursuit, Pepe calls out to Penelope: "You are too tightly wound up! You should try engaging in some recreational activitiy, like making love!" It wasn't quite so risque a term back then as it is now, but it still qualifies given the Hays Code and its rules on sex in cinema (including verbal implications of it).
- in "What's Cookin', Doc?", one of the films is a "stag reel" (the old name for a porno movie, particularly one that plays as part of the entertainment at a bachelor party). Since the films are ones Bugs starred in, the implication is that Bugs was a porn star.
- Tex Avery's "The Sneezin' Weasel": The little chick runs for the bathroom after a pediatrician administers castor oil to him.
- In "Acrobatty Bunny" when the lion is finished doing the hula wearing only a lei, Bugs says they are also available for "Picnics, Lodge Meetin's, Children's Parties and Smokers". Smokers was a term for Men's only parties that had the secondary meaning of "stag parties".
- In the Bob Clampett cartoon "The Hep Cat" at one point the cat falls in love with a female cat puppet that the dog uses to distract him, at one point he starts feeling where her butt would be which is the dog's nose and he squeezes it and says with a sly smile "Something new has been added!, woo hoo!".
- In the Three Bears short "A Bear For Punishment" at the beginning when it shows Papa Bear sleeping in his bed there is a box of tissues and a book entitled "The Kinsey Report" lying on the floor, now for those of you who don't know the Kinsey Reports are a series of books based on the studies of sexual behavior.
- "Hare Conditioned" (Jones, 1945), has Bugs in drag as a female customer in the shoe department trying to fool the store manager (who wants Bugs mounted and stuffed, having served his purpose as a store window prop). What the manager does following this dialogue would be tantamount to sexual harassment today:
Bugs: I'd like to see something nice in a pair of bedroom slippers.
Manager: Confidentially, so would I!
- Daffy's opening line in "Plane Daffy" (Tashlin, 1943):
I'll get the message through,
I'm a woman hater.
She won't get to first base,
This Hata Mari tomater!
- "Hollywood Daffy" (Freleng, 1946) has Daffy impersonating a studio director fooling the o-fay Joe Besser-like gate cop into thinking he'll make him a star. Daffy examines him and asks "What's Errol Flynn got that you haven't got?" before interjecting, "Don't answer that!" So what does Errol Flynn have that the studio cop doesn't? Apparently, a statutory rape charge. Errol Flynn was notorious as a ladies' man and was accused of seducing two teenaged girls a couple of years prior to the cartoon's premiere. Flynn was acquitted of all charges.
- In 1958's "Bird In A Bonnet," Granny is trying on a series of hats in a hat store and discarding each she tries on. She puts on a Napoleon hat, giggles and says "Not tonight, Josephine."
- The Latin names for the Coyote and the Road Runner in "Wild About Hurry" (Jones 1959) were "Hardheadipus oedipus" (Hard-headed Motherfucker) and "Batoutahelius" (Bat out of hell) respectively.
- By today's standards, there's the moment in the sketch with the gremlin where a picture of a donkey is superimposed over Bugs Bunny with the word "jackass" stamped on its side.
- One wonders how they got this one past: In the 90's short Carrot Blanca near the end Bugs has locked Yosemite Sam in prison sitting next to him is a big dopey prisoner who smiles at him in a lustful effeminate manner, Sam then screams to be let out.
- The Gruesome Twosome are a pair of alley cats, one a Jimmy Durante-like guy, the other a mostly silent deadpan, both after Tweety. At one point they're disguised in a two-man horse costume. The Durante cat pulls off his headpiece and tells us "I'm the horse's head!" Which of course makes the other guy...
- "The Fright Before Christmas" features Bugs reading his nephew's Christmas list to Taz, whom he has mistaken for Santa Claus. Among the items listed is "Frank Sinatra's old address book".
- In "Bewitched Bunny" (Jones, 1954), after Bugs turns Witch Hazel into a female rabbit, he turns to the camera and remarks, "Ah, sure, I know, but aren't they all witches inside?"
- That line was actually the subject of controversy in Canada, of all places, for being misogynistic (evidently America is either too stupid to know what misogyny is, outside of a rap video on BET or they didn't take the line seriously the way Canada did). The case in Canada was dropped after a few days. Here's the article on the subject: https://web.archive.org/web/20120531080815/http://looney.goldenagecartoons.com/ltcuts/b/cen-witch.html
- In the original theatrical release of "Devil's Feud Cake", when Satan first sees Yosemite Sam, he says to him, "Well, who in Hell are you?".
- Averted when the cartoon aired on television and the line was replaced with, "What the devil is your name?".
- In Book Revue, one of the books is called Cherokee Strip, presumably about the region in Kansas, but the cover has a picture of an Indian girl in revealing clothing accompanied by cheers and wolf whistles.
- In The Trial of Mr. Wolf, Red Riding Hood mentions her grandma has a huge hangover and quickly brushes it off.
- In The Draft Horse (1942, Chuck Jones) they snuck in the old marching song "You're in the army now" on an eyesight test, which featured the verse "you'll never get rich/you son of a bitch" (written so small it's almost illegible without pausing).
- Foghorn Leghorn is a guy who often Talks Like a Simile, but a lot of them come close to crossing a line, with references to nudity and strippers:
- "Hmmm, bare, I say bare as a cooch dancer's midriff."
- "This boy's as fidgety as a bubble dancer with a slow leak."
- "This is gonna cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show!"
- "That woman is as cold as a nudist in an iceberg."
- Back to Looney Tunes
- "Cooch dancer" is an old term for a stripper.