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Western Animation / Hillbilly Hare

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"Step right up, you're doin' fine / I'll pull your beard, you pull mine..."
"Oh, Murgatroyd!"

"Hillbilly Hare" is a 1950 Merrie Melodies cartoon starring Bugs Bunny. Bugs is vacationing in the Ozarks when he runs into two stereotypical hillbillies who get the idea that Bugs is a member of the clan they're feuding with. After embarrassing and outwitting the hillbillies in typical Bugs Bunny fashion, Bugs tricks them into a long, elaborate square dance routine in which he gives them increasingly violent directions, until the brothers finally dance off a cliff.

Directed by Robert McKimson.


"Hillbilly Hare" provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: The two hillbillies are named Punkinhead and Curt.
  • Backwards-Firing Gun: Bugs does this by turning the barrel around after Punkinhead pulls the trigger.
  • Bowdlerization: The version shown on ABC's The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show back in the 1990s edited out a lot of comic violence:
    • The scene where Bugs mistakes Curt's gun for a camera and has his carrot shot full of holes.
    • The scene where Curt unties his rifle barrel and gets blasted in the face.
    • The scene where Bugs meets up with Punkinhead, and Bugs reverses the gun barrel so that Punkinhead is blown up.
    • The aftermath of the explosion in the dynamite shack sequence where Curt comes out with Bugs' lit lighter and says, "I think y'all are usin' too strong a fluid."
    • This part of the famous square-dance ending (and the matching comic violence):
    Grab a fence post, hold it tight
    Whomp yer partner wit' all yer might
    Hit 'im in the shin, hit 'im in the head
    Hit 'im again, the critter ain't dead
    Whomp 'im low and whomp 'im high
    Stick yer finger in his eye
    Pretty l'il rhythm, pretty l'il sound
    Bang yer head against the ground
  • The Chew Toy: The hillbillies.
  • Crocodile Tears: When Curt is about to fire his gun at Bugs, Bugs sarcastically cries that he will never see his family again.
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  • Deadpan Snarker: Punkinhead Martin has a pretty good comeback when Bugs asks who he might be.
    Punkinhead Martin: I might be Teddy Roosyvelt. But I ain't.
  • Deep South: More the Appalachian/Ozarks/backwoods side than the plantation side.
  • Disguised in Drag: One of Bugs's go-to tactics, which he uses here to lure the hillbillies into the square dance.
  • Eye Poke: Bugs gets the brothers to do this to each other during the square dance routine.
    Whop him low and whop him high
    Stick your finger in his eye
    Pretty little rhythm, pretty little sound
    Bang your heads against the ground
  • Feuding Families: The hillbillies, brothers from the Martin clan, believe Bugs is one of the Coys.
  • Fiery Redhead: Punkinhead.
  • Match in a Bomb Shack: After chasing Bugs into a dynamite shack, the hillbillies find themselves stumbling in the dark. Bugs hands one of them a lighter, then gets his distance from the shack before it explodes.
    Curt: I think y'all are usin' too strong a fluid.
  • Oh, Crap!: Punkinhead, when Bugs causes his about-to-fire rifle to point at him.
  • Overly Long Gag: The single longest gag in any Looney Tunes cartoon, the square dance takes up the whole second half.
  • Packed Hillbillies: Bugs lures the brothers into a hay baler ("Now don't you cuss and don't you swear, just come right out and form a square").
  • Palette Swap: The hillbilly brothers have the exact same character design, just with different colors.

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