"That's no ordinary rabbit! That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
It's small. It's fluffy. It's adorable
. And if you get on its bad side, your death will be painful, but swift. That's right: beware the cute
Related to but distinct from Fluffy the Terrible
, as well as being sort of a subtrope to Our Monsters Are Weird
, the Killer Rabbit
is any monster that's far more dangerous than it looks
. Maybe it's strong for its size
, poisonous on a massive level
, has flesh-rending pointy bits that aren't readily apparent, or can just turn into something far more dangerous
. Either way, it can make a person wary of picking on small, defenseless animals
, much like the Old Master
can make a person more eager to respect their elders. In many cases, the creature isn't even all that harmful unless you actually mess with it, whether intentionally or not.
This trope takes its name from the "Dread Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog" in Monty Python and the Holy Grail
, which seems to be a completely ordinary bunny rabbit, with the notably unusual ability to leap through the air at high speed and tear out people's throats.
This creature is also known as a "Vorpal Bunny
", a name which comes from the monster of that name in the original Wizardry
game from 1981, possibly inspired by the Monty Python
movie and is named after "The Vorpal Blade", a fictional sword used to decapitate the title creature in the Lewis Carroll
". The name also spread (via Dungeons & Dragons
) to other games such as Quest for Glory
and Ultima Online
There's enough truth behind this
that one of the first things many children are taught is "don't try to play with any animal until you know it's friendly." (Another lesson, learned later in life by many, sometimes too
late, is: "Animals can become un
friendly pretty damn fast
Specific types of Killer Rabbits include Evil Girl Scouts
and Ridiculously Cute Critters
that are secretly evil
that are more dangerous than they look are Superweapon Surprises
. Killer Rabbits are the most notable subversion of What Measure Is a Non-Cute?
, which is pervasive enough for everyone to assume that cute animals are friendly.
This trope is pervasive enough that if any of the Five Races
in games seems to be cute and harmless, they would by definition have to be occasional Killer Rabbits to make them viable to play.
For cases where the Killer Rabbit
is a literal
rabbit, see Hair-Raising Hare
If it has a scary name, but not a scary demeanor, it's Deathbringer the Adorable
Compare: Happy Fun Ball
; Beware the Nice Ones
; The Catfish
; Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
; Cute, but Cacophonic
; Badass Adorable
; Super Fun Happy Thing of Doom
; and The Not So Harmless Punishment
. If the video game character becomes a Killer Rabbit only when you hamper him, then he's Savage Setpiece
Contrast: Level Five Onix
; Holy Hand Grenade
(which is often the most effective way to deal with this).
Not to be confused with Kill da Wabbit
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- Knights Of The Dinner Table. There was the 'squirrel as a fifth level monster' from the strip "The Most Dangerous (Small) Game". Also llamas in B.A.'s campaign have horns and gore people.
- Twisted Toyfare Theater usually brings in unpopular characters in order to gruesomely kill them for a Take That. The Ewoks, however, instead became a race of vicious, psychopathic Killer Rabbits who dismember, kill, and eat anything that crosses them. Mostly because they are little carnivores with no regards for intelligent life, from the original canon.
- In Naruto Genkyouien the Kyuubi no Kitsune is revealed to be the kitsune version of a five year old, named Higashiyama Sayuri. An adorable girl, the youngest daughter of a large family of many sisters and nieces, who wouldn't have become a Kyuubi if it wasn't for Kitsune Poker Night. The rampage of destruction and the attack on Konoha? She discovered her giant fox form and chased her tails. However, she also happens to be really, really good with fire. Meaning she tends to set everything on fire or blow them up. And then there's the Pwetty Beam... She's still a little girl of course. Just a very powerful one. And clumsy...
- In a literal example from the same author as Naruto Genkyouien. The Tamers Forever Series does a very convincing job of showing BlackTerriermon to be a far more competant fighter than one would assume given his harmless-looking appearence.
- Then there's the original Terriermon going toe to toe with Daemon during the second to last chapter.
- A Growing Affection has Sol, Hinata's preferred familiar. She is a three-foot long albino squirrel. Unlike many of the other ninja animal clans, the squirrels are more trackers, scouts, and messengers than fighters. Sol is an outcast among her (normally black furred) clan because her albinism causes her to stand out. As a result, she is even more timid and apologetic than her contractor. She also helped Hinata seal the Two-Tails Cat (to be fair, her brother, Neji, and Tenten also helped) and when her Berserk Button was pressed went toe-to-toe with an Impure World Resurrection version of Tayuya.
- Fizgigg from The Dark Crystal. If a tribble and a bear trap had a baby....
- "HI, I'M A BUNNY!" This is a subversion. You don't need to be a genius to realize how dangerous Carl is...especially if you fit in his mouth.
- As a general rule, messageboards such as Spacebattles.com generally agree that the sillier a character is, the more dangerous they are and the higher they place on a Cool Versus Awesome combat tier. As a result, "whacky cartoon" characters like Bugs Bunny and Kirby are described as being able to easily defeat more (relatively) "realistic" characters like Jedi or Master Chief. This is largely due to them not being bound by the laws of reality and thus able to do things like shrug off rocket fire and swallow man-sized creatures whole.
- Not physically dangerous, but the subjects of the website Disapproving Rabbits can cause a severe feeling of inferiority. Especially this one.
- In the the radio show Old Harry's Game, Satan finds the most evil being in the world is a Dolphin. Called Chuckles.
- In one episode of A Prairie Home Companion, cowboys Dusty and Lefty come across "The Free-Range Chicken", which they then engage, and nearly lose to, in a gunfight.
- The South Sydney Rabbitohs have won the more premierships than any other Rugby League team in Australia.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins. Penguins are not exactly known for their toughness.
- The Werebears toys were seemingly adorable teddy bears with reversible heads and paws that would reveal their "nasty" face when turned inside out.
- After playing Hatoful Boyfriend to completion, Chukar partridges feel like singly terrifying little fluffy heretics.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni has the Chiester Sisters, very cute and innocent-looking rabbit girls… who can detect you, lock you on and shoot you dead with absolute precision from a kilometer away. Their arrows are homing and armor-piercing, so hiding is useless.
- The Bunnykill web animation series. A liberal exercise in the trope of Killer Rabbitry (and Katanas Are Just Better).
- The Metal Gear Solid short "Crab Battle!", where Naked Snake gets his ass handed to him by a Kenyan Mangrove Crab.
- Happy Tree Friends has several small animals that are for some reason vicious. Whistle, the man-eating puppy, a man-eating baby turtle, and a flock of man-eating ducks have all appeared. Plus, well, most of the cast.
- This short animated film Red where Little Red Riding Hood refuses the advances of the wolf (who looks like a slightly feral child wearing a wolf costume) after spilling the cakes she was going to bring to her grandmother. After leaving brokenhearted, Red encounters a unicorn-horned rabbit, which she hugs (not noticing the evil toothed grin it makes before mutating into a bear-sized horned monster that was ready to devour Red before the wolf comes back in time to save the day.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Puppy Bot.