A legendary figure about the holiday Easter. In popular culture, it's a rabbit that hides Easter eggs (as in eggs dyed for Easter, not the video game Easter Egg), and children have to find them. Its origins are a bit more complex. Missionaries found that adding Christian elements to pagan celebrations made conversions a bit easier. So they combined the Christian celebration of Jesus's resurrection with fertility rites around that time of year, and rabbits and eggs being signs of those, they became symbols of Easter as well. It helped that the resurrection theme went along well with the renewal theme of most pre-Christian spring festivals. In many places where Easter is celebrated today, things about sex and coming back from the dead aren't considered appropriate things to teach children, so the elements got fiddled around with until Easter became a case of Santa Clausmas for many people, with the Easter Bunny being the most prominent figure instead of Jesus. Compare Santa Claus. In some more adult-oriented works, the Easter Bunny may be a woman wearing a Playboy Bunny outfit.
Mentions and appearances:
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- In Lobo's Paramilitary Christmas Special, the Easter Bunny hires Lobo to kill Santa Claus as he is sick of the jolly fat man hogging all of the holiday glory.
- A terrifying version appears in an issue of The Unexpected, where it lured a bunch of children into an old house for an Easter Egg hunt, then threw them into a vat of chocolate and planned to eat them as revenge for all the chocolate bunnies eaten throughout the world.
- In Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, one version of the Easter Bunny is an alien, who created the moai on Easter Bunny Island and used Earth to dispose of dangerous mutant eggs from his homeworld.
- A later issue introduced the actual Easter Bunny, who was swept up in the net when Roquat kidnapped the supernatural lapins from all adjacent dimensions. He was a typical anthropomorphic rabbit in Victorian clothing who carried a basket of eggs.
- Mentioned by Sassette in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Smurfed Behind: The Passion Of The Smurfs", when Tapper explains that the real purpose of Easter (and the Smurfs appearing in Jerusalem around 33 C.E.) was the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, with Snappy rather disillusioned by the whole revelation having nothing to do with Easter bunnies...although his mind is on seeing Smurfette in a "bunny suit".
- One of the "Council of Legendary Figures" in The Santa Clause 2.
- Then there was the scene toward the end of Home Alone, where an actor playing Santa Claus gets served with a parking ticket on Christmas Eve. "What's next?" he grouses. "Rabies shots for the Easter bunny?"
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 had Mike and the Bots poking fun at Santa and the Easter Bunny's adversarial relationship in Santa Claus (1959).
- Hop is about a bunny who is the latest successor to the title would rather chase his dream of being a rock drummer instead.
- One of the titular Guardians in Rise of the Guardians.
- Mallrats had Jay and Silent Bob beating up a guy dressed as the Easter Bunny thanks to Brodie telling them the guy beat him up (it was actually a store owner who did it, because he hates "mallrats" like Brodie and had just stolen his ex-girlfriend).
- William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood has E. Aster Bunnymund, a member of an order of Pooka's that have established a series of tunnels that lie beneath much of the Earth. Bunnymund himself is a talented martial artist and swordsman and joins other figures such as Santa Claus in the Guardians team put together by the Man in the Moon. He also played a role in shaping the planet. Originally egg-shaped and in danger of becoming orbitally unstable, Bunnymund recarved the Earth to a stabler globe shape, creating the continent of Australia among other features in the process. The film version plays up the Australia creation aspect as part of his personality with Hugh Jackman voicing him.
- In The Dumb Bunnies, the Easter Bunny rides in a shiny red minivan pulled by eight flying Pilgrims every Christmas to drop a bunch of eggs down the chimney.
- The Easter Bunny appears briefly in Merry-Go-Round in Oz, the last of the forty canonical Oz books. He is revealed to live in the land of Oz, with a number of bunny assistants who produce Easter eggs, and invites Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion in for jelly beans carrot tea. The Cowardly Lion is not thrilled with the choice of beverage, but the Easter Bunny quite misses his subtle hints and hospitably keeps offering him more.
- The Easter Egg Haunt from Graveyard School had David Pike being warned by what is implied to be the Easter Bunny to destroy a specific egg before it hatches. As it turns out, David's brother Richie finds said egg and is intent to make it hatch. No one besides David seemed concerned about the fact that the egg was in fact getting bigger and smelled as if something died. It later hatched into a gigantic mutant rabbit with claws and razor-sharp teeth.
- The Discworld counterpart is the Soul Cake Tuesday Duck, which lays chocolate eggs in the gardens of children whose parents can afford chocolate eggs. Unfortunately for it, Soul Cake Tuesday is also the start of the duck-hunting season.
Live Action TV
- Hilariously played with in an episode of Farscape.
Harvey: (wearing bunny suit) Curious holiday, Easter. A religious leader dies, comes back from the dead, and you end up celebrating like this.
- In The Vicar of Dibley Easter Special, Geraldine learned that the village of Dibley has a tradition of an Easter bunny, which is secretly one of the villagers, although the kids (and Alice) think its real. When Mrs Cropley died, she told Geri that she'd been the Easter bunny, and now she was passing it on to her. When Geraldine meets David Horton also dressed as a bunny, they realise that Mrs Cropley must have forgotten she'd already passed the tradition on. And then they turn the corner and find the entire parish council in rabbit ears.
- In Peanuts, Snoopy is the Easter Beagle.
- In the Valerie Harper episode of The Muppet Show, a rabbit named Bernie acts as Valerie's make-up artist, then gives her an egg. Hilda explains (in her vowel-shifting East European accent) that he's the Easter Bernie.
- Miss Texas dressed up as the Easter Bunny during the season for USWA in 1992.
- The Easter Bunny in the Deep 7 game Santa's Soldiers is in a cold war type situation with Santa Claus. Her "peeples army" will work with or against the elves, depsnding on what suits her agenda at the time.
- The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) includes the Easter Bunny, despite the protests of the actor who has to wear the bunny suit that it has nothing to do with the resurrection of Christ.
- In the webcomic Holiday Wars, the Easter Bunny kills Santa Claus and declares war on all the other holidays.
- Numerous Easter Bunnies are appointed by the Rabbit Council in Kevin & Kell to spread out Easter Eggs. The Dewclaw family has in one form or another been associated with the role of Domain's Easter Bunny since the beginning of the comic. As follows:
- Kevin: initially was merely the Easter Bunny's bodyguard, but was promoted to the role itself after the Council's insurance company refused to write a policy for anyone but him.
- Kell: a wolf. Filled in for Kevin one year after he fell ill.
- Rudy: Kell's son and Kevin's stepson, also a wolf. filled in for Kevin one year after a cave in buried the Hare Link headquarters in dirt. Was accidentally caught after stumbling on a sunrise Easter service. After a rabbit version of his image started being used in marketing, the Rabbit Council offered him a permanent position, with a scholarship to the college of his choice. He served a few more years until he was outed as a result of a scent-based masquerade. His scent 'mask' was a rabbit, and an artist had sketched what everyone looked like based on their scents. The media realized the similarities between the 'accepted' image of the Easter Bunny and rabbit!Rudy, and combined with the circumstantial evidence that accumulated, outed Rudy.
- Fiona: Rudy's girlfriend, a fox. Tag teamed with Rudy to help deliver eggs, and later split the scholarship with him after she lost her fortune.
- Dorothy: Kevin's mother. Was the first female Easter Bunny. Had to give up a prospective marriage with a pig (who's now Rudy's coach in the gardening team) because the Council threatened to fire her if she married outside the species.
- Wendell: Kevin's nephew. Always dreamed of becoming the Easter Bunny, was offered an apprenticeship after saving rabbit pheromone-dowsed Rudy and Fiona from wolves. Is now being trained by Dorothy as he is too young, too inexperienced, and too immature to go solo.
- Miranda Hutch: A friend and teammate of Rudy's and Fiona's. She's the Easter Bunny for the area surrounding Beige University. Her fathers secretly got her the job to give her an outlet for her recklessness that also gave her a bodyguard. Usually the bodyguard is her friend Carl, but after Fiona figured out she was the Easter Bunny, Fiona replaced Carl as her bodyguard.
- Hockney, a wild boar piglet who's in the same class as Wendell. Became a "cover story" Easter bunny when their classmate Lin caught him replacing the eggs with rocks and misunderstood, later insisted on taking the job for real because he thought Lin was attracted to him as a result.
- Doctor Fun once posited that Easter Bunnies are eusocial.◊
- There is the French Easter Bunny from Scary Go Round who is actually a Wendigo in a costume. And from Canada.
- Early in Sluggy Freelance, Bun-Bun accidentally kills the Easter Bunny with a giant robot. Turns out if you kill the Easter Bunny, you become the Easter Bunny. Needless to say, Hilarity Ensues.
- Rankin/Bass did at least 3 Easter Bunny specials: Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971); The First Easter Rabbit (1976) which was based on the children's story, The Velveteen Rabbit; and The Easter Bunny is Comin' To Town (1977). They sure liked that rabbit.
- In at least the original special of Santa Vs The Snowman, Santa is locked in prison, and says that the Easter Bunny is never going to let him live it down.
- There was a Looney Tunes cartoon, "Easter Yeggs", in which Bugs Bunny meets the Easter Bunny — who tries to foist his egg-hiding chores off on Bugs because he's lazy.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: Lock, Shock and Barrel were sent to retrieve Santa Claus but instead returned with the Easter Bunny.
- The Easter Bunny made an appearance in The Fairly OddParents! Christmas Special where he and the other holiday figures (and his dog who pretended to be the spirit of Halloween) were upset with Timmy for wishing it was always Christmas. He also had an uncontrollable urge to hide eggs under anything.
- He also made a cameo in Abra Catastrophe at Timmy's fairyversary party where he gave Timmy some exploding Easter eggs which came in handy for the climatic battle.
- A Claymation Easter has a greedy pig kidnap the Easter Bunny and take his place so that he can get all the lucrative endorsements the Easter Bunny declines.
- When Johnny Bravo told Suzy the Tooth Fairy wasn't real, she was sad and told she already knew about the Easter Bunny not being real but didn't expect the fairy to be another fake. Johnny was sorry for destroying her dreams and, once what she said about the bunny clicked in, gave a Big "NO!". Johnny spent most of the episode trying to restore her belief in the Tooth Fairy and, as the episode ended, she met the real Tooth Fairy and the real Easter Bunny.
- Yogi Bear once helped the Easter Bunny.
- In the Claymation special "Follow That Bunny'', a thief steals the magic egg that the Easter Rabbit (as he's known in this special) has to paint in order to make spring come, prompting a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits to go after it.
- Super Chicken once battled a rogue Easter Bunny who was robbing banks in order to dye the money pretty colors like Easter eggs. It turns out that the robber was a guy named "Louie the Lapin" in disguise. Near the end of the episode, the real Easter Bunny does a hop-on to wave at the Super Coop passing overhead.
- In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "From Here to Maternity," the gang signs up for Lamaze classes, run by a bunch of rabbits. The class is just a scam to steal eggs.
- The Wonder Pets had an episode in which they had to help the Easter Bunny because he had a cold. In this case, they were assisted by Ollie, a semi-regular guest star who also happens to be a bunny.
- Dora the Explorer had "Dora's Easter Adventure," in which the characters meet the "Hip-Hop Bunny," who actually wants to be a rapper, but is filling in for his brother, the Easter Bunny.
- In the Tiny Toon Adventures Spring Break Special, Elmyra tries to capture Buster Bunny because she thinks he is the Easter Bunny and in The Stinger, she's right.
- The Easter Bunny appears in the flesh in the first half of the Easter episode of Creative Galaxy, "Arty's Eggcellent Adventure / Hoppy Easter Dinner." Arty has to help him (her? It's not really made clear) out because the Easter eggs got broken when s/he accidentally dropped the basket.
- Artist Penny Parker has done a few artwork featuring a cute bunny set around easter◊ who are the easter bunny.
- Many rabbits get purchased as gifts around Easter time. Frequently this ends badly as children are not prepared for taking care of rabbits. Many rabbits end in shelters, but other get abandoned which is a certain death sentence.