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Western Animation / Bugs and Thugs

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"We're not stuck, rabbit, you're stuck!"

"Bugs and Thugs" is a 1954 Looney Tunes short starring Bugs Bunny. In this cartoon, Bugs goes to the bank to withdraw some carrots from his safe deposit box, but blunders into the getaway car of bank robber Rocky and his mook, Mugsy. (Bugs thinks it's a taxi.) Shortly after, Rocky decides Bugs needs to be eliminated. Hilarity Ensues as Bugs outwits the criminals.

Directed by Friz Freleng.

"Bugs and Thugs" provides examples of:

  • Alliterative List: The final lines.
    Bugs: Hello, Bugs Bunny, Private Eyeball. Thugs thwarted, arsonists arrested, bandits booked, forgers found, counterfeiters caught, and chiselers chiseled.
  • Ash Face: Mugsy after Bugs shoots him.
  • Backup Bluff: Bugs fakes the sound of a squad of cops coming to get them, complete with sirens.
  • Bank Robbery: Rocky and Mugsy don't get the carrots.
  • Caught Up in a Robbery: Bugs visits a bank, where he keeps carrots in a safe deposit box. Upon leaving the bank, Bugs mistakes the getaway car of Rocky and Mugsy for a waiting taxicab. Rocky then leaves the bank, fires a couple of shots into the lobby, and tosses in some Stock Money Bags. The loot and the bunny get taken to the crooks' hideout.
  • Diminishing Villain Threat: Rocky and his goons were a sinister menace against Daffy Duck and Sylvester in previous shorts (and even won in "Golden Yeggs"). Naturally, against Bugs, Rocky quickly meets his match, especially paired with his far stupider mook, Mugsy.
  • Exact Words: Exploited when Rocky tells Mugsy to take Bugs to the other room and "let him have it". Bugs then demands to let him have the gun and shoots Mugsy in the face.
    Mugsy: I let 'im have it, boss, just like you said. [Collapses on top of Rocky]
  • Hammerspace Hideaway: Bugs crams both of the crooks into a tiny oven.
  • He Knows Too Much: Spoofed when Rocky asks Bugs what he knows, and Bugs rattles off a string of irrelevant trivia. Rocky concludes that "the rabbit knows too much" and decides to get rid of him.
  • Here We Go Again!: After Bugs pretends to talk to a policeman while Rocky and Mugsy hide in the stove (and Bugs lights it to "prove" Rocky is not there), the real police come and the entire exchange happens again... except this time Rocky and Mugsy break out and beg to be arrested.
  • In-Joke: Bugs Bunny, Private Eyeball, has a certificate on his wall awarded by the "Detectives' Guild Local 839". This is a nod to the Burbank, California chapter of what was then the Cartoonists Guild union (later dissolved and succeeded by the Animation Guild, but with the same chapter).
  • Literal Metaphor: Rocky tells Mugsy to "button your lip," and Mugsy... does.
  • Literal-Minded:
    • When Rocky tells Mugsy to take Bugs into the other room and let him have it, Bugs convinces Mugsy that Rocky meant to let him have the gun.
    • Also, when Rocky asks Bugs what he knows, Bugs answers, "Oh I know lots of things. Two and two is four, Carson City is the capital of Nevada, George Washington was the first President..."
  • Look Both Ways: At a railroad crossing, Rocky asks Bugs to see whether the train is approaching. Bugs looks both ways and gives the all clear. Rocky crosses... and is hit by the express train. He has Bugs fix the wrecked car, but when one of the wheels goes missing, Rocky makes Bugs take the place of the wheel.
    Rocky: Hey, Mugsy, let's take the scenic route. [Chuckles.]
  • Officer O'Hara: The real cops are Irish, as is Bugs' impression of a cop.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: When the cops finally arrive, Rocky and Mugsy beg to be taken away from Bugs (using the exact same voice, too).
  • Prefer Jail to the Protagonist: Rocky and Mugsy at the end when the cops arrive.
  • Pushy Gun-Toting Villain: A few of the short's jokes revolve around Rocky's preference to threaten to shoot Bugs to force him to do whatever Rocky wants.
  • Reaching Between the Lines: As Bugs calls the cops from a phone booth, Rocky drags him back into the car and drives off while Bugs is still holding the receiver. The cop on the other line is pulled through the booth and dragged down the road before the line snaps.
  • Recycled Script: Reuses many gags from 1946ís Racketeer Rabbit, including the ending.
  • Shutting Up Now:
    Rocky: Shut up!
    Bugs: Shut u-up? Why certainly! You don't think I'm the type that would keep on blabbin'? Some people never know when to stop. When I'm told to shut up, I shut up...
    Rocky: [sticks gun in Bugs's face] Shut up shuttin' up!
  • Stock Money Bag: The diminutive criminal Rocky robs the City Bank and emerges with about eight full cloth sacks, which he throws into the rear passenger area of his getaway car. None of the sacks have a dollar sign, though, which is why Bugs mistakes them for sacks of laundry.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "He's not in the stove!"
  • Too Dumb to Live: After Bugs politely asks to make a quick phone call at a gas station, Mugsy complies. He only realises his mistake midway through Bugs' call to the police department.
  • Verbal Irony: "Boy, am I glad I live in the city, where it's safe," says Bugs, as he blissfully crosses the street reading his paper, unaware of all the traffic that keeps just missing him, or the bank robbery in progress.
  • Wipe That Smile Off Your Face: "I said button yer lip." So Mugsy literally does.
  • Wrong Assumption: Bugs thinks Rocky's car is a taxi.