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Western Animation / Hair-Raising Hare

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"Hair-Raising Hare" is a 1946 Merrie Melodies animated short directed by Chuck Jones and starring Bugs Bunny.

One night as he's preparing for bed, Bugs has the feeling he's being watched by someone. Sure enough, he's being spied on through a television monitor by a Mad Scientist, who uses a mechanical female rabbit to lure Bugs to his laboratory. Upon arriving, Bugs learns the scientist intends to feed him to the lab's resident hairy orange monster (later known as Gossamer).

"Hair-Raising Hare" provides examples of:

  • Being Watched:
    • Bugs, by the audience.
    • Also by the scientist, with his television set.
    • Also used an Indy Ploy by Bugs to distract Gossamer in the penultimate moment of the short.
  • Born in the Theater: Bugs calls for a doctor, and the silhouette of a doctor rises in the audience. Near the end, Bugs scares the monster away by pointing out that an audience is watching them.
  • Brick Joke: At the beginning of the episode, Bugs comments that it feels like he's being watched. Towards the end, he mentions this to the monster.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": As Bugs is packing up to flee the lair: "And don’t think it hasn’t been a little slice of heaven! (Beat) Cause it hasn’t! (runs for dear life)"
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The scientist goes so far as to have a sign on his castle confirming it.
  • Chatty Hairdresser: When cornered by the monster, Bugs notices its dirty fingernails and suddenly becomes a manicurist, talking about how "eeenteresting" monsters are as he does its nails. This then leads to the Fingore gag below.
  • Creepy Basement: In a gag repeated from "The Wabbit Who Came to Supper", Bugs actually goes upstairs briefly and then quickly runs back down and tells the monster, "Don't go up dere! It's dark!"
  • Fem Bot: Two rabbit-shaped "female" robots appear.
  • Fingore: While acting like a manicurist doing the monster's nails, Bugs convinces him to dip his hands in a couple bowls of water. This resulted in the monster screaming in pain as a pair of Mouse Traps dangled from his fingers.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: Trope Namer... although Bugs isn't particularly frightening this episode.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Played for Laughs. Toward the end of the episode, Bugs points out the audience to the monster, who exclaims, "People!" and runs away, screaming his head off.
  • Impact Silhouette:
    • Bugs taps a hammer on a wall, draws a cross on it and whacks it with a mallet, forming cracks that take the shape of the monster. The broken part of the wall then falls down to leave behind a perfect monster-shaped hole, followed by the monster himself.
    • At the end of the short, the monster leaves these through several walls when he realizes that there are people watching him.
  • Is There a Doctor in the House?: Bugs, while being chased by the monster, gasps out this phrase. Of course, when a doctor stands up, Bugs asks, "What's up, Doc?"
  • Lampshade Wearing: Bugs puts a lampshade on his head to hide from the monster. The monster even turns on the "lamp", and the lights turn on.
  • Lorre Lookalike: The scientist is a caricature of Peter Lorre, based on Tex Avery's caricature of him in "Hollywood Steps Out".
  • Mad Scientist: He has a sign up on his castle that says "EVIL SCIENTIST".
  • Made of Explodium: The rabbit-bots, apparently. Though not so much "cartoony explosion" explosive, more "fall apart at the seams".
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: When the monster looks in a mirror, his own reflection runs away screaming.
  • No Name Given: The monster is not named in this short. The name Gossamer actually comes from his third appearance, in the 1980 short "Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24th-and-a-half Century". (In his second cartoon, 1952's "Water, Water Every Hare", he gets the name Rudolph.)
  • Portrait Painting Peephole:
    • The monster is watching Bugs Bunny through the eyes of a portrait. Unfortunately for the monster, Bugs penetrates the disguise and sticks him in the eyes.
    • Bugs is watching the monster through the eyes of the same portrait, when the monster figures out their roles are reversed. Unfortunately for the monster, Bugs pokes their eyes again before they could do it to him.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: "And so, having disposed of the monster, exit our hero through the front door, stage right."
  • Robosexual: Bugs goes moony-eyed over two rabbit-shaped "female" robots.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Upon learning the snarling beast is the "friend" that the Mad Scientist wants to introduce him to, Bugs shakes his hand and shouts, "Well, goodbye!" He packs some luggage to the sound of an instrumental version of "California, Here I Come" before bolting for the door.
    Bugs: And don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven— 'cause it hasn't!
  • Shout-Out:
  • Talking with Signs: Seeing Gossamer in full, a panicking Bugs holds up a sign reading "Yipe!" in very tiny print. He looks at Gossamer again and flips the sign to the other side, which reads "YIPE!" in much larger print.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Mad Scientist isn't seen again after he lets the monster out of its cell.


Video Example(s):



In order to get rid of Gossamer for good, Bugs makes him realize the eyes of the audience are upon him. The monster is so terrified he runs through several walls of the background.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / BeingWatched

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