Strap in for another hare-raising listicle! We’re taking a look at the best rabbits (or rabbit-like characters) in pop culture. There’s no particular order here other than the order in which I remembered these bunnies existed. And no, that cereal thief didn’t make the list. Let’s hop to it!
ROGER RABBIT (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?)
Fun Fact: There was a time when you could grab your iPhone and ask Siri, “Who framed Roger Rabbit?” and she would actually tell you. She is now more sensitive to spoilers. Roger made his debut in the mystery novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit? but is far better known for the 1988 hit film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Both involve rabbits and murder. Roger makes the list for being both endearing and enduring… and also having a wife who’s insanely out of his league. Is that ever explained? It’s weird, right?
WHITE RABBIT (Alice in Wonderland)
Listen, I’m here to talk about rabbits, not symbolism. And this is a rabbit who sincerely cares about punctuality. Not enough to actually be on time, but enough to apologize for it. I respect that. The White Rabbit has become a weirdly significant part of pop culture, frequently referenced in movies, tv shows, books, and music (like that one song that plays during every movie’s trippy 60s flashback scene). Granted, most of those references are about… altered states of consciousness.
FRANK (Donnie Darko)
According to that one kid in my high school art class, Donnie Darko is the greatest movie of all time. I’m not sure I agree, but Frank certainly left an impression. Technically, Frank isn’t a rabbit. He’s just a dead (?) guy from an alternate universe (?) who wears a creepy rabbit costume and tries to guide Donnie to correct the altered timeline before the world ends. I think. Honestly, Frank is mostly here for his iconic look.
RABBIT OF CAERBANNOG (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
When you see a rabbit sitting on a pile of bones, do not charge into battle against that rabbit. You will lose. You will be forced to retreat. It’ll be both terrifying and hilarious. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is filled with plenty of awesome moments, but the brief battle against the fearsome rabbit of Caerbannog is easily my favorite. Fun Fact: There’s an awesome reference to this in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. And by “reference,” I mean “rabbit in front of a cave surrounded by bones.”
BUGS BUNNY (Looney Tunes)
C’mon, we had to. There’s probably a law somewhere that requires Bugs Bunny to be brought up in every conversation about fictional bunnies. He’s the Platonic Ideal of rabbits that don’t exist. The reason? Space Jam. No, but seriously, Bugs Bunny is crazy. Insult him, threaten him, mildly inconvenience him in any way at all, and he will stop at nothing to destroy you. He has undone mighty hunters, furious cowboys, ducks with delusions of grandeur and more. And he is still standing.
CAPTAIN CARROT (DC Comics)
Roger Rodney Rabbit (no relation) is the ultimate bunny hero, gaining his incredible abilities from cosmic carrots and bravely leading the Zoo Crew on many adventures! Basically, imagine Superman with bunny ears and you get the picture. He’s appeared sporadically since his debut in 1982, most recently as a major player in Grant Morrison’s Multiversity. I hope to see him pop up more often as DC continues to explore its weird multiverse.
MIYAMOTO USAGI (Usagi Yojimbo)
Originally based on the historic Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, this floppy-earred ronin has taken on a legacy of his own since being introduced to the world in 1984. After all, he’s a samurai rabbit, what’s not to like? Usagi (“rabbit” in Japanese) is probably best known to western audiences as “that rabbit from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons,” and while it’s accurate that he has a total bromance with Leonardo, he’s headlined an Eisner-award-winning series and is widely considered one of the greatest comic book characters of all time.
These weird creatures spun out of Ubisoft’s Rayman games and have somehow survived in the video game world long enough that they even managed to get a crossover game with Mario in 2017. For the uninitiated, imagine Minions mixed with The Noid and you get a pretty solid idea of both what they are and why they’ve stuck around for nearly eleven years. Are they annoying? Yes. Are they entertaining? Sometimes. Are they rabbits? …Seriously, no idea, they might actually be from the moon.