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  • Accidental Innuendo: In Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers, Bugs sticks the Nudnik copies into a burlap sack, but the exact dialogue when he starts:
    "Get in the sack, Evil Twin. I've got plans for you."
  • Audience-Alienating Era: Robert McKimson's shorts from the late 1950s are seen as this for Bugs' classic run, due to generally suffering from mediocre animation, unoriginal stories and uninspired gags. Mckimson by his own admission had a difficult time working with Chuck Jones' revised characterisation of Bugs and considered him too suave and reserved to utilise properly. "Pre-Hysterical Hare" in particular is widely considered to be Bugs' worst cartoon, due to suffering all the aforementioned problems, plus a bland stock music score and Dave Barry's terrible voicing of Elmer Fudd. Fortunately, McKimson's shorts would improve in the early 1960s, after his long-time story artist Tedd Pierce left the studio, and John W. Dunn became story artist for all three units.
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  • Award Snub: Bugs' debut cartoon, "A Wild Hare", was nominated for an Oscar in 1941 for best animated short, alongside the MGM cartoon, "Puss Gets the Boot" (which featured the debut of Tom and Jerry). Both cartoons lost to the long since forgotten, and rather schmalzy cartoon, "The Milky Way". While the cat and mouse duo would go on to win several Oscars during their theatrical run, it took Bugs 18 years to finally win the award with "Knighty Knight Bugs". It ended up being the only one he would ever win.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Cecil Turtle can bring divisive opinions. Some believe his victories over Bugs were unearned, others believe giving Bugs A Taste of Defeat helped make him avoid Invincible Hero status and thus retain the audience's interest.
  • Broken Base: While almost everybody agrees that the Bugs from 1945 through 1954 is awesome, there tends to be debate over his characterization in earlier and later cartoons:
    • The 1940-1944 Bugs: A hilarious prankster or an outright bully who torments people for no reason other than personal pleasure?
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    • The 1955-1964 Bugs: A lovable protagonist or calm and easygoing to the point of being a Flat Character?
  • Character Rerailment: Some of Bugs' entries in the early 60s reverted him slightly to his earlier more hyperactive persona. According to director Robert Mckimson this was deliberate, as some of the creative team thought Bugs had become too reserved and bland.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Perhaps the most famous example in all of 20th-century media. Bugs was only intended to be a one-shot character, but he became an Ascended Extra, then the franchise mascot and, eventually, the second most famous cartoon character ever, behind Mickey Mouse.
  • Fair for Its Day: The satire on confederate sympathizers in "Southern Fried Rabbit" still holds up, despite being yet another Golden Age cartoon to feature some unfortunate racial stereotyping. Though Bugs' "slave" disguise avoids the always-uncomfortable blackface (he looks more like a normal rabbit in a summer coat), it's still a white actor doing a comical impression of a black slave. However, Sam is still depicted as an idiot for acting like the Civil War never ended and Bugs using said disguise to bust him for beating slaves by leaving and re-entering dressed as Abraham Lincoln (who tells Sam to "look me up at my Gettysburg address.") is played for such absurdity that it's hard to find it offensive.
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  • Fandom Rivalry: Bugs and Mickey Mouse have been the face of two competing animation studios for decades and several pieces of satirical media have depicted the two as enemies... even though they've been known to parachute jump together.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In "Falling Hare", Bugs narrowly stops the Gremlin from crashing into a pair of identical twin skyscrapers by flying in between them. Not sixty years later...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Rebel Rabbit", Bugs literally detaches Florida from the United States and lets it drift away into the ocean. The clip of Bugs sawing away at the Florida-Georgia border is now used to varying degrees of irony when discussing things that (supposedly) happen Only in Florida.
    • Bugs interrupting the Oscar ceremony in "What's Cookin' Doc" might remind you of certain memes...
    • "Bully for Bugs" features Bugs attempting to burrow to the Coachella Valley for "the Big Carrot Festival" before he misses his left turn at Albuquerque and ends up in Spain. 50 years later, making a pilgrimage to a music festival in the Coachella Valley would become an annual occurrence for a lot of people.
  • I Am Not Shazam: A slight one for some people on the younger side of the spectrum who may not know who Bugs Bunny is. No, his name is not Big Chungus.
  • Memetic Badass: Big Chungus. His thiccness is part of his badass.
  • Memetic Molester: Thanks to MeatCanyon's video, “Wabbit Season”, Bugs Bunny is depicted as a tragic rapist struggling to reform and be a better person. The video has since been taken down by Warner Bros, who filed a copyright claim. MeatCanyon disputed it, but YouTube sided with Warner Bros.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "What's up, doc?" has officially been a part of the American vernacular for close to a century. "Of course you realize, this means war" to a lesser extent.
    • The scene in "Rebel Rabbit" where Bugs saws Florida off from the rest of the United States has become a popular reaction GIF for Only in Florida stories online.
    • This gem from "Wabbit Twouble" shows up a lot, the overweight Bugs usually posted as a gag known as "big chungus".
      Bugs: (turns overweight as he makes fun of Elmer) That'll howd them, awwight! Hehehehehehehehehe! (turns back to normal) Phooey!
  • Newer Than They Think: Bugs Bunny was created after Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd (not counting prototypes).
  • Parody Displacement:
    • How many modern viewers — hell, how many viewers period — recognize that some of Bugs' most popular traits were lifted directly from Groucho Marx (carrot = cigar, "Of course you realize, this means war!")?
    • More than Groucho, it's pretty clear that the Warner animation crew had It Happened One Night in the back of their mind all throughout creating the characterization for Bugs. Peter Warne (Clark Gable) has a Bugs-like knack for using Trickster tactics to get out of jams. In one scene he pretends to be a gangster and talks about someone named Bugs Dooley. And one supporting character (played by Roscoe Karns) has a Verbal Tic of calling people "Doc". Bugs's love of carrots even came from the film's famous hitchhiking scene.
    • As for Bugs himself, how many people do you think believe that rabbits love carrots because of him?note 
  • Pop Culture Holiday: April 30th is Bugs Bunny Day, celebrating the character's first unofficial appearance in 1938's "Porky's Hare Hunt." However, his first official appearance is A Wild Hare, which is July 27th, 1940. While Bugs Bunny Day is regarded as April 30th, Bugs' official birthday is celebrated on July 27th, as evidenced by Boomerang holding a Bugs Bunny Birthday Marathon on July 27th, 2020 and Bugs referring to July 27th as his birthday in The Looney Tunes Show.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Bugs' "What's up, doc?" was meant as Casual Danger Dialogue as he was being hunted. Now that it's simply a common American saying, it's hardly seen as anything special.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: The two most debated Bugs-related pairings are Bugs/Lola and Bugs/Daffy, depending on your tastes.
  • Sophomore Slump: The second official Bugs cartoon, "Elmer's Pet Rabbit" is commonly regarded as one of the worst in the series, owing to Bugs' extreme Jerkass behavior, Off-Model use of yellow-colored gloves, a voice that doesn't sound anywhere close to his iconic semi-Brooklyn accent, as well as the sloppy timing that Chuck Jones' earlier efforts suffered from.
  • Ugly Cute: Witch Hazel in "Bewitched Bunny". Her reaction to Bugs finding Hansel and Gretel ("Call it a weakness.") is almost Moe.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • An example self-admitted by the creators themselves. Friz Freleng was convinced Elmer Fudd was such an incompetent pushover that Bugs came off as bullying him, so he created the far more belligerent Yosemite Sam to rectify this.
    • And then it started to lean too much the opposite way, with Bugs becoming so laid back it became hard for writers to even put the focus on him anymore and essentially made him a Hero Antagonist in his own series (Robert Mckimson even stated outright he thought Bugs had no personality during the fifties). Finding the middle ground was apparently very difficult, though given his popularity, they must have gotten it right for the audience a good few points.
  • Values Dissonance: "All This and Rabbit Stew", and most infamously, "Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips". The latter even got the first "Golden Age of Looney Tunes" laserdisc set recalled when it was included on it, replacing it with Racketeer Rabbit. It also got the 7th Golden Age VHS release(Bugs Bunny By Each Director) recalled(as well as the five tape box-set that included that volume). If you can find an unaltered copy of that laserdisc set with the Nips cartoon on it, you've got a nice collector's item on your hands.
    • Other shorts like "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt" aren't as derogatory as those two shorts, but still feature stereotypes that absolutely would not be allowed today.
  • Values Resonance: In "Southern Fried Rabbit", Yosemite Sam is a prideful Confederate soldier convinced the Civil War had never ended. Bugs tells him it ended "almost 90 years ago" and that he should move on. Sam's attitudes aren't too far off from Confederate enthusiasts' today, and the short very much puts him in the wrong for his beliefs. Despite some racial stereotyping – for instance, Bugs in a (very obvious) blackface disguise to goad Sam into "whipping slaves" – the gags set up the idea of Confederate sympathizers as looking foolish for their beliefs.

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