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Western Animation / Rabbit Punch

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Rabbit Punch is a 1948 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones and starring Bugs Bunny.

The cartoon opens in an outdoor boxing arena with a championship bout between the muscular champ "Battling McGook" (simply known as Crusher in all subsequent cartoons) and his scrawny challenger "Dyseptic McBlaster". While the majority of the audience cheers the Champ on as he beats McBlaster senseless, he finds he has one heckler, Bugs, who is watching the match nearby from his burrow. When he hears Bugs say "Why don't you pick on someone your own size?!", McGook replies "Like you?!" before throwing Bugs in the ring to take McBlaster's place. Despite being puny, Bugs is able to use his wits to give the champ a tougher challenge than he thought. As the match goes further and further into more rounds, the two opponents use more and more unorthodox tactics, culminating in a final round that looks like Bugs has finally had it...until some "technical difficulties" occur.



  • Born in the Theater: Just as McGook is about to run over Bugs with a train, the film appears to slip off the projector and break. Then Bugs steps out on the blank screen to address the audience:
    Bugs: Ladies and gentlemen, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to continue with this picture. And, eh, confidentially... that film didn't exactly break. [pulls out scissors and winks at audience]
  • Boxing Episode: Bugs is forced to fight McGook after he has enough of his heckling. Turns into a Pro Wrestling Episode halfway through when The Gloves Come Off (literally).
  • The Coats Are Off: After a while, McGook decides to takes off his gloves and deal with Bugs barehanded. Bugs also takes off his gloves, and horseshoes drop out of them as he does.
  • Combat Commentator: Bugs has been knocked out and the announcer begins the count. Suddenly, Bugs grabs the mike and starts doing his own announcing, in which he gets back up and delivers devastating blows on McGook. The Champ, confused, reacts to the play-by-play as if it was really happening, eventually tripping on Bugs and falling down.
    Announcer: And here comes the count! One! Two! Three! Four! Five! The Champ is still champ!
    Bugs: [grabs the mike] Six! Seven! But wait just a minute, folks. Bugs is coming out of it. He's on his feet. He's moving in like a tornado. The Champ is confused. He doesn't know which way to look. Bugs lands a beauty to the solar plexus! A right to the jaw! A one-two on the instep! Four fast rabbit punches to the kidneys! A left hook, a right hook, a north hook, a south hook! What a fight! The Champ is groggy! [Champ trips on Bugs] The champ is down.
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  • Early Installment Weirdness: In this cartoon, the Champ is known as McGook, but in all his future appearances, he's call the Crusher.
  • Human Cannonball: Near the end, McGook launches himself from a cannon to deliver a devastating punch at Bugs. Bugs also launches himself towards his opponent, using a bow.
  • Is There a Doctor in the House?: After Bugs tricks him into thinking his leg has been broken, McGook asks for a doctor. Bugs takes the guise of a doctor and wraps the champ head to toe in bandages, then delivers a jab to the kisser.
  • Left Hanging: Deliberately invoked by Bugs at the end of the cartoon.
  • Literal Metaphor: "Bugs is down, he's out, he's flat! He's kissing the canvas!" Cut to Bugs literally kissing the canvas.
  • Kick Them While They're Down: This is what set Bugs off to heckling McGook, as even though he easily had the advantage over McBlaster, instead of giving him a One-Hit KO, he chose to prolong and torture the poor guy.
  • Pinball Gag: Bugs punches McGook so hard he bounces off the boxing ring posts, and a "TILT" sign pops up on the last one.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: In the final round, McGook tied Bugs to a track and attempted to run him over with a train.
  • Relax-o-Vision: The film suddenly breaks as Bugs is about to be run over by a train (which Bugs then reveals that it was no accident).
  • Slippery Skid: McGook tries to sabotage Bugs by pouring axle grease in his sawdust box so his feet would become slippery when he dusted them. Instead of hindering him, however, it enables Bugs to effortlessly skate across the canvas and deliver punches to McGook.
  • You Just Had to Say It: Bugs chides himself when McGook takes his heckling "Why don't you pick on someone your own size?!" as a challenge and throws him into the ring.
    Bugs: (Splayed out in the corner of the ring) Me and my big mouth.