The Butt-Monkey, often Too Dumb to Live. An avid hunter, thus Chuck Jones' favorite adversary for both Bugs Bunny & Daffy Duck, reaching a peak in the iconic Rabbit Season trilogy. Less popular with the other directors, who found him too wimpy. He also had an earlier, less distinctive prototype named Egghead, who was sometimes referred to as Elmer.
Elmer Fudd was the only character in the classic Looney Tunes era that was not voiced by the immortal Mel Blanc. There were a few scattered exceptions, but for almost all of the character's appearances, he was voiced by an actor named Arthur Q. Bryan. After Bryan died in 1959, Hal Smith voiced Elmer in two shorts, but the character was soon retired. Mel Blanc did voice Elmer for a few later appearances after the Warner Brothers animation studio closed in 1969, but Blanc himself said he never got the voice right.
On a side note, he didn't appear as often as most people think—in fact, he only appeared in about 36 (out of 167) of the original Bugs Bunny cartoons, although he did star in many other character shorts, along with several of his own solo appearances, amounting to 62 classic shorts total (75 If you count the Egghead shorts).
- Egghead Rides Again (1937): Debut of Egghead.
- Little Red Walking Hood (1937)
- Daffy Duck and Egghead (1938): Daffy Duck's first appearance in color.
- The Isle of Pingo Pongo (1938): One of the Censored Eleven.
- Cinderella Meets Fella (1938)
- A-Lad-In Bagdad (1938)
- A Feud There Was (1938)
- Johnny Smith and Poker-Huntas' (1938)
- Count Me Out (1938)
- Hamateur Night (1939)
- A Day at the Zoo (1939)
- Believe It or Else (1939)
- Hare-um Scare-um (1939): Egghead's last classic appearance, as "John Sourpuss".
- Elmer's Candid Camera: Elmer's official debut.
- Confederate Honey
- The Hardship of Miles Standish
- A Wild Hare: Debut of Bugs Bunny.
- Good Night Elmer
- Elmer's Pet Rabbit
- The Wacky Wabbit
- Nutty News (only voice is heard, never seen)
- Fresh Hare
- The Hare-Brained Hypnotist
- To Duck or Not To Duck (LT) First pairing of Daffy and Elmer.
- The Stupid Cupid (LT)-Co-starring Daffy Duck
- Stage Door Cartoon (MM)
- The Unruly Hare (MM)
- Hare Tonic (LT)
- Hare Remover (MM)
- What Makes Daffy Duck? (LT)
- Back Alley Oproar (First pairing with Sylvester) (MM)
- Kit for Cat (with Sylvester) (MM)
- Wise Quackers -Starring Daffy (LT)
- Hare Do -Starring Bugs (MM)
- Each Dawn I Crow (MM)
- What's Up Doc? (LT)
- Upswept Hare (MM)
- Ant Pasted (LT)
- Duck! Rabbit! Duck! - Starring Daffy
- Robot Rabbit (LT)
- Design For Leaving (LT)
- Quack Shot (MM)
- Pests for Guests (MM)
- Beanstalk Bunny (MM)
- Hare Brush (MM)
- This Is a Life? (MM)
- Heir-Conditioned -Starring Sylvester (LT)
- Rabbit Rampage (cameo appearance)
- Bugs' Bonnets (MM)
- A Star is Bored -Starring Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, and Yosemite Sam (LT)
- Yankee Dood It -Final pairing of Sylvester and Elmer (LT)
- Wideo Wabbit (MM)
- What's Opera, Doc?
- Rabbit Romeo (MM)
- Don't Axe Me -Starring Daffy (MM)
- Pre-Hysterical Hare -voiced by Dave Barry (LT)
- A Mutt in a Rut (LT)
- Person To Bunny (MM)
- Dog Gone People (MM)
- What's My Lion?
- Crow's Feat
- 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
- Bugs Bunny's Bustin' Out All Over: "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Bunny" (segment of TV special)
- Daffy Duck's Quackbusters: Egghead makes a cameo appearance near the end.
- Blooper Bunny
- Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers
- Toon Marooned - Non speaking appearance
- The Matwix
- Judge Granny
- Mysterious Phenomena of the Unexplained
- Daffy's Rhapsody
Tropes related to Elmer Fudd:
- Adorkable: Sometimes has shades of this, especially when he falls for Bugs in drag.
- Affably Evil: Generally nice guy when not trying to blast (not-so-) innocent animals with his shotgun.
- Anti-Villain: Sure, he's trying to kill Bugs on a regular basis, but he's just a hunter practicing his sport and at worst a pitiful fool—it would be a huge stretch to call him evil. Friz Freleng cited this as a reason why he disliked using the character, feeling he was too wimpy to be a real threat to Bugs."Elmer was just too dumb. He was naïve and childish and Bugs outwitted him. It didn't take much brains to outwit Elmer. Sometimes you felt sorry for Elmer. He'd break down and cry. But that's why I didn't quite feel that Elmer filled the bill. He wasn't really a villain. He was a pitiful character. He had a duty to perform as a hunter. He had to go shoot a rabbit. But there wasn't a mean streak. He didn't really like to shoot the rabbit. You wondered why you didn't hate Bugs for doing what he did to him. It took a little more sharpness to outsmart Yosemite Sam than a chicken-brained Elmer Fudd."
- Arch-Enemy: Bugs Bunny.
- Art Evolution: His early Egghead look, plus his very brief change into a very obese design, before they settled into his standard look.
- Butt-Monkey: Even outside antagonist roles his abuse never ends.
- Catch-Phrase: "Shhh- be vewy vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbits."
- Characterization Marches On: Though later shorts established him as a vegetarian, "Easter Yeggs" featured him attempting to cook Bugs into a stew.
- Charlie Brown Baldness
- The Chessmaster: If one is to believe the theory that he faked insanity so he wouldn't get arrested for tax evasion in "Hare Brush". His final line to the audience supports this: "I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!"Bugs: "I am Elmer J. Fudd, millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht."
- Determinator: When it comes to hunting Bugs. At least he tries.
- The Ditz: Easily fooled by his adversaries, especially Bugs.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Egghead started off as something of a proto Elmer, but the two are officially considered separate characters. Egghead even got his own story in a Looney Tunes comic, and he made a cameo appearance to Daffy in one of the Looney Tunes compilation features.
- Dumb Blonde: According to Baby Looney Tunes he is a blonde, though as an adult he is completely bald. He's more "foolish" than outright ignorant.
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Twope Namuh.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In "Fresh Hare", one of his earlier appearances, he's an RCMP constable, and is chasing Bugs. At the end, he catches Bugs, who is then tried for several serious crimes and sentenced to death. Elmer asks Bugs what he wants, and he says "I wish..." and the entire scene turns into a blackfaced minstrel of "I Wish I Was in Dixie". Though not part of the "Censored Eleven," the ending is often censored in syndication.
- The Everyman: Seemed to replace Porky in this role in the fifties and sixties shorts. This is despite him being less than identifiable in brains to the average person, he is still nonetheless the most conventionally-living compared to the rest of the cast: he calls home an actual house (often located in the suburbs), has a job and at times even a wife.
- Evil Vegetarian: He mentions he's a vegetarian in Rabbit Seasoning. It makes his hobby even less forgivable since nourishment isn't even part of his reasoning... and one escape route less for Bugs and Daffy.
- Hidden Depths: Who would have guessed that the same Elmer Fudd that seemingly can't tell the difference between an actual woman and Bugs Bunny in a dress was an expert in economics? note In Tiny Toon Adventures, outside of being a teacher at Acme Looniversity he also shows up in a several episodes as Mr. Exposition including, in one case, an expert in seismology.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: But of course. He's so pathetic, that not only can he not top a wiseacre rabbit, he's had shorts where ants and even a living candle have gotten the better of him!
- Idiot Ball: Granted, he is not a very bright character to begin with, but he reaches his peak in the "Rabbit Season" trilogy where he is a complete airhead.
- Jerkass Ball: In some cartoons, especially those under Friz Freleng's direction. Examples include "Ant Pasted," "Quack Shot," "Hare Brush" and "This Is A Life?" Allegedly this was because Freleng and some other creative members thought Elmer's default character was too sympathetic to give the runaround.
- Karma Houdini: In "Hare Brush" (mentioned above), he spends the whole cartoon disguised as Bugs Bunny to get out of paying a massive IRS debt. At the end of the cartoon, Bugs is the one thrown in prison for tax evasionnote , with Elmer left completely unscathed. This is one of only two cartoons where Elmer actually gets the best of Bugs (the other being "Rabbit Rampage").
- My God, What Have I Done?: This is pretty much Elmer Fudd's reaction whenever he thinks he's finally killed Bugs. No matter how hard he's been trying throughout the episode to shoot Bugs he always breaks down in tears when he thinks he's finally done it, calling himself a murderer, which calls into question why he's a hunter in the first place. It doesn't help that in "Rabbit Fire," it was established that Elmer is a vegetarian and he just hunts for the sport of it, though, granted, Elmer's usual "kill" amounts to shooting Daffy's bill off, or blowing all the feathers off his body, his victim usually unharmed outside being somewhat annoyed.
- Nice Hat: His hunting hat.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Had occasional moments that took even Bugs by surprise. He's outrighted defeated him twice over. Heck, in "Quack Shot", he was actually on top of his game against nearly everything Daffy threw at him.
- Obfuscating Insanity: ''Hare Brush". Fudd, the millionaire head of a major corporation, is in a mental hospital because he thinks he's a rabbit. He lures Bugs into taking his place, who is put in hypnotherapy and starts to think he's Elmer. The cartoon ends with Bugs-as-Elmer being arrested for tax evasion, and Elmer says to the audience, "I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!"
- Obfuscating Stupidity: In What's My Lion?, a Lion hides in Elmer's lodge during the hunting season, putting his head through the wall to pretend to be a trophy. Throughout the short, Elmer gets injuring it on the grounds that it's already dead and stuffed, but at the end, after Elmer gets a phone call and reveals that hunting season is over, the lion - along with all other animals that had posed as animal heads as well - leaves the lodge, only for Elmer to reveal that he knew all along and set a new record, with it taking only three hours to get all those animals out of there.
- Signature Laugh: "Hehehehe".
- Smart Ball: He is oddly savvy in "Quack Shot", where he is ahead in Daffy's game several times.Daffy: Smartypants.
- Speech Impediment: A textbook example of rhotacism.
- Team Rocket Wins: He was able to get his revenge on "that wascawy wabbit" in Rabbit Rampage and Hare Brush. And then there's What's Opera, Doc?, wherein he seemingly kills Bugs. He also outwitted Bugs in one of their Tang commercials. Besides all that, he tended to have a better success rate when his opponent was someone other than Bugs. His win/lose ratio against Daffy was pretty even, and in "Crow's Feat" he is more than a match for two nuisance crows. He also makes a meal out of a murderous rooster (albeit accidentally) in "Each Dawn I Crow".
- Throw the Dog a Bone: "Hare Brush," "To Duck or Not to Duck" and "Rabbit Rampage", to name a few.
- Too Dumb to Live: His aim is to hunt Bugs, but he usually ends up seriously injuring himself.
- Took a Level in Badass: During the mid-50's, became quite a bit more crafty and smart than before.
- Villainous Underdog: A particularly infamous (and unintentional) case, since he was so meek and incompetent against Bugs Bunny that even some of the Warner Bros creative team started to think Bugs was coming across more as a petty bully than a defensive trickster. As such the series went through a long list of more challenging opponents to rectify this, though almost all of them still fit this trope, while Elmer started to drift into more incidental roles.
- The Voiceless: He doesn't speak in "Good Night Elmer", "Crow's Feat" and "Toon Marooned".
- Wealthy Yacht Owner: In the episode "Hare Brush" he's is a millionaire who "owns a mansion and a yacht". This becomes a hypnotic mantra a psychologist has him repeat after he has a mental breakdown and thinks he's a rabbit.