Westernanimation / Ballot Box Bunny
Ballot Box Bunny
is a 1951 Looney Tunes
cartoon directed by Friz Freleng
and starring Bugs Bunny
. In the short, Bugs throws himself into the race for small-town mayor after hearing that candidate Yosemite Sam's campaign platform includes a promise to wipe out every last rabbit. An escalating dirty-trick campaign ensues, along with hilarity.
- Action Politician: Sam might be a big jerk, but he sure is a man of action.
- Ash Face: Exaggerated. After the Explosive Cigar goes off, a man's whole head seemingly turns to ash, which then blows away. Fortunately, his real head was hidden under his coat.
- Bowdlerise: The ending gag, where Bugs and Sam play Russian Roulette after both losing the mayoral race to an actual "dark horse mare", was deleted for many years on American TV airings regardless of channel (it has been edited on ABC, CBS, WB, FOX, syndicated networks, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang) with a fake iris-out after Bugs says: "Dark horse?" and Sam says: "Mare?"(Mayor). Since 2011, Cartoon Network has aired the cartoon uncut and uncensored. One local station left the first part of the ending scene intact, but edited the short by ending it just as Bugs puts the gun to his head and the cartoon irises out, deleting the scene of Bugs missing and shooting Yosemite Sam instead. Because of the darker implications of this edit (that Bugs committed suicide, rather than having blasted Yosemite Sam), this edited version has only aired once.
- On Nickelodeon, in addition to the above main edit, the part in which Bugs plays his "juteybox" (read: Bugs' marching one-man band) and Sam shoots him is altered so that way, Bugs' marching is played in a loop and Sam is merely heard saying, "Shut off that juteybox! I can't hear myself a-speechin'," followed by a cut to Sam saying: "Now, where was I?", making it seem that Bugs merely stopped because Sam told him to rather than be forced to do it by use of firearms.
- Carry a Big Stick: During a campaign speech, Bugs does an impression of Theodore Roosevelt, quoting his saying about speaking softly and carrying a big stick. Sam retorts that he speaks loudly and carries a bigger stick — which he then hits Bugs with.
- Dark Horse Victory: In the end, Sam and Bugs both lose to a previously-unseen third candidate, who is literally a dark horse, and is declared the town's "new Mare".
- Driven to Suicide: "Well, anyone for Russian Roulette?"
- Election Day Episode: One of the central tropes of this feature.
- Explosive Cigar: When Sam decides to hand out cigars to prospective voters, Bugs swaps them for the exploding variety.
- Handbag of Hurt / Parasol of Pain: Sam gets a dose of this from some angry mothers.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Sam sets a trap for Bugs using a canon at his front door, only for Bugs to fool him into opening it.
- It's Like I Always Say
Sam: No one will vote for a flattened-out rabbit skin, I always say.
- Large Ham / No Indoor Voice: Sam, as per usual.
Sam: WELL I SPEAK LOUD! AND I CARRY A BIIIGER STICK! AND I USE IT TOO!! (Hits Bugs on the noggin.)
- Politicians Kiss Babies: Sam attempts this as a campaign tactic, with little apparent success even before Bugs disguises himself as a baby and accuses Sam of biting him on the nose. Bugs Bunny disguises himself as a baby and kisses him, then cries that "the bad man bit my widdle nose!", and all the women start to hit Sam over the head with their handbags and umbrellas.
- Sausage String Silliness: When Bugs throws a picnic for the voters, Sam releases ants than run off with the food. One group carry off a string of sausages, treating it like a mule train.
- Sleazy Politician: Sam is willing to use any trick in the book to beat defeat Bugs, no matter how violent and underhanded. And to be honest, Bugs is only a step or two behind him.
- Spit Take: Bugs' reaction to Sam's initial campaign speech.
- Strong Ants: The ants carrying off whole items of picnic food — especially the one ant who carries an entire watermelon by itself.
- Tap on the Head: This particular short is remarkable in that it features one of the rare occasions where Bugs receives one from one of his usual Butt Monkey antagonists. Specifically, during which Sam takes out his bigger stick and whacks Bugs over the head with it.
- Visual Pun: The actual winner of the election is literally a dark horse.
- Xylophone Gag: Sam tries it on Bugs with a rigged piano, and gets the usual outcome.