Award Snub: The 2002 Cartoon Network special The 1st Ever 13th Annual Fancy Anvil Awards Show Program Special (Live in Stereo) featured What's Opera, Doc? as one of the nominees for the Best Cartoon award. Unfortunately, it lost to the Dexter's Laboratory episode "Mock 5".
And of course the short was not nominated for an Academy Award. Warner Bros. instead nominated Tabasco Road and Birds Anonymous, the latter of which won (though nowhere near as good, it's certainly no slouch).
Silly as a rabbit in drag singing a love duet with a little bald man is, Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan's voices are still actually pretty lovely during the "Return My Love" song.
Ear Worm: "Kill da Wabbit! Kill da Wabbit! Kill da WABB-it!"
Ensemble Darkhorse: The obese horse that Bugs as Brünnhilde rides has tons of fanart, despite appearing for less than a minute of screentime.
Fashion-Victim Villain: The tubular design of Elmer's armor and the hemi-spherical helmet that covers his entire head makes Elmer look like a walking horned trash can.
Foe Yay/Ho Yay: The usual Running Gag in shorts; Bugs Disguised in Drag, and Elmer falling head over heels for him. What's a little different here is that the "Return My Love" segment is pretty sappy, cliché and emotional yet still funny, while all other times Bugs pulled out his drag act it was only Played for Laughs.
Hype Backlash: Bound to get a bit of this since it's considered the greatest cartoon short of all time by several historians.
Nightmare Fuel: For anyone who had the misfortune of seeing this when they were too young. You're expecting a normal, happy cartoon, and then Elmer Fudd SUMMONS A STORM THAT SEEMINGLY KILLS BUGS BUNNY!
The beginning of this cartoon seems like a Shout-Out to the Night on Bald Mountain sequence from Fantasia.
That terrifying brief moment after Elmer realizes his "twue love" is Bugs in disguise: Bugs runs away into the darkness of deformed canyon walls, the music turns ominous, and Fudd finally gets his helmet unstuck to scream, "I'LL KILL THE WABBIT!" with a berserker rage that would scare the Devil. This may be the one and only time his hatred of Bugs was played completely straight, without even a hint of humor.
Painful Rhyme: Some of Bugs' lines in his first conversation with Elmer require him to go through some painful linguistic contortions in order to meet the rhythm of the music.
"Weird Al" Effect: This short is arguably the source of many a modern person's knowledge of all things Wagner, to the point where some people don't even know the short was actually based on a real opera.