"Te capiam, cunicule sceleste!"note
—Episode 9 title of the Negima!
The Rascally Rabbit is a rabbit or hare that is mischievous, troublesome or tricksome. Rabbits and hares have long been depicted as tricksters in worldwide mythology, and this has carried over to modern fiction.
To a certain degree this can be Truth in Television
, at least from the point of view of any farmers or gardeners trying to keep rabbits and hares from doing damage to their crops.
Compare to rabbits that are flat out evil and violent, which would be the Hair-Raising Hare
, and rabbits that are used for the sake of cuteness. See also Lucky Rabbit's Foot
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Anime and Manga
- In D.N.Angel, With is a living art creature that strongly ressembles a rabbit (the Anime explicity calls him a rabbit). He acts as a familiar to a Phantom Thief and his shapeshifting powers are used to trick people. In the anime, he also sometimes engages in minor acts of michief such as tagging along with Daisuke at school by hiding in Daisuke's school bag or eating all the strawberries.
- Hare of Monster Rancher is typically the schemer, and introduced as a con artist.
- The Trix Rabbit is constantly trying schemes to trick his way into getting the Trix cereal, though unlike the classical trickster, he usually fails.
- The Nestle Quik (now known as Nesquik) bunny is a trickster as well, but more benevolent. He leads the kids around the neighborhood doing chores for grownups so the grownups will reward them with Quik. There have been other ads where he is chased for his chocolate milk.
- In the New Zork chapter of With Strings Attached, the harveys that kidnap John invoke Bugs Bunny as trickster: “... gonna be terrorists like Saint Bugs!”
- The 1946 Disney film Song of the South is a frame story based on three Br'er Rabbit stories, "The Laughing Place", "The Tar Baby", and "The Briar Patch".
- In 1975, Brer Rabbit stories were retold for an adult audience in the cult Ralph Bakshi film Coonskin.
- A direct-to-video film The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, was released in 2006.
- In 1984, American composer Van Dyke Parks produced a children's album, Jump!, based on the Brer Rabbit Tales.
- One of Flobots' emcees is named Br'er Rabbit.
- "The Creggan White Hare" is about a beautiful, crafty creature who eludes capture
Mythology and Oral Tradition
- Brer Rabbit is a central figure in the Uncle Remus stories of the Southern United States. He is a trickster character who succeeds by his wits rather than by brawn, tweaking authority figures and bending social mores as he sees fit. The story of Br'er Rabbit, a contraction of "Brother Rabbit", has been linked to both African and Native American cultures.
- In Africa, the hare figures prominently in the storytelling traditions in Western, Central and Southern Africa. These tales continue to be part of the traditional folklore of numerous peoples throughout those regions. In the Akan traditions of West Africa, the trickster is usually the spider Anansi, though the plots of spider tales are often identical to those of rabbit stories.
- In West Africa, many tribal cultures, such as the Yoruba of Nigeria and the Wolof of Senegal, have traditional story cycles about an irrepressible hare trickster who is equal parts rascal, clown, and culture hero.
- In Central Africa, "Kalulu" the rabbit is widely known as a tricky character, getting the better of bargains
- In one pan–African story, the Moon sends Hare, her divine messenger, down to earth to give mankind the gift of immortality. "Tell them," she says, "that just as the Moon dies and rises again, so shall you." But Hare, in the role of trickster buffoon, manages to get the message wrong, bestowing mortality instead and bringing death to the human world.
- Rabbits feature as tricksters in the mythology of many Native American cultures.
- It is believed that the the Creeks and the Cherokee in particular contributed to the development of the Brer Rabbit stories.
- In Anishinaabe mythology, particularly among the Ojibwa, Nanabozho is a spirit, and figures prominently in their storytelling, including the story of the world's creation. Nanabozho is the Ojibwe trickster figure and culture hero.
- The Centzon Totochtin in Aztec mythology are a group of 400 rabbit gods who represent drunkenness, parties, and fertility.
- In Potawatomi myth, Wabosso is the Great White Hare (and the younger brother of Nanabozho) who travels north to become the greatest of magicians among the supernaturals
- The Utes tell the story of Ta–vwots, the Little Rabbit, who shatters the sun and destroys the world, all of which must be created again
- An Omaha rabbit brings the sun down to earth while trying to catch his own shadow.
- Among the Micmac and Passamaquoddy of the Northeast coast it is Mahtigwess the Rabbit who is a powerful trickster. Rabbit has m'te'olin, great magical powers.
- The rabbit is the trickster animal for the Seminoles and the Miccosukees.
- In Celtic Mythology, a puca is a shapeshiffing trickster that has a rabbit as one of is forms.
- There are a number of Central American stories about Juan Thul, a trickster rabbit.
- Chinese idioms dating to at least the Warring States Period about the rascaliness of rabbits: "The Clever Hare Has Three Nests" and "Once the Clever Hare is Dead, the Dog is Cooked".
- In the Panchatantra tales of India, Hare is a wily trickster whose cleverness and cunning is pitted against Elephant and Lion.
- In Tibetan folktales, quick-thinking Hare outwits the ruses of predatory Tiger.
- In Japan, the fox is the primary trickster animal, but hares also are clever, tricky characters. Usually depicted as male (whereas fox tricksters are most often female), hares in Japanese folktales tend to be crafty, clownish, mischievous figures.
- Silly Rabbit, Tricksters Are for Kids is a collection of trickster tales from around the world, including "Brer Rabbit", "Brer Alligator in Trouble", and "Tio Conejo (Uncle Rabbit) and Raven".
- Harvey has Harvey the pooka, a large anthropomorphic rabbit who can be seen only by the protagonist, from the play and film bearing his name.
- In the Mists of Pandaria expansion of World of Warcraft, we get the Virmen, a race of anthropomorphic rabbits that straddles the line between this and Hair-Raising Hare. They're mostly found in the Valley of Four Winds as a farm pest, though a burrowing variety in Kun'Lai peaks called "Wascally Wirmen" also exists.
- MIPS, the rabbit in Super Mario 64, who has a Power Star and will run off rather than give it to Mario. In the DS version, MIPS is replaced be a whole bunch of rabbits who have "borrowed" the keys to the minigames.
- Looney Tunes and relatives:
- Bugs Bunny is 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.
- Tiny Toon Adventures' Buster and Babs Bunny take after Bugs in this fashion.
- Loonatics Unleashed Ace and Lexie Bunny.
- Before Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny, there was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who also demonstrated trickster tendencies.
- In the Thundercats 2011 episode "The Duelist and the Drifter", the Drifter combines this trope with Righteous Rabbit. He's an eccentric rabbit man who serves as a Trickster Mentor to Lion-O.
- The greedy Rancid Rabbit from CatDog, to the point of being borderline evil.
- Subverted somewhat with Crusader Rabbit. Crusader was more of a Quixotic hero but could use some wiles where he needed to.
- Hanna-Barbera's Ricochet Rabbit started out rascally in an episode of Touchè Turtle in 1962. He was changed into a sheriff two years later who had an assortment of tricky bullets.
- The Claymation character Grabbit the Rabbit is based on various trickster legends, given a modern twist. For example, "Brain of the Forest" has three Impossible Task stories reinvented as a Game Show.