Ballot Box Bunny is a 1951 Merrie Melodies short directed by Friz Freleng and written by Warren Foster.


Yosemite Sam is running for mayor of a small town saying "There's enough fresh air and sunshine in this great country of ours for everybody- and I'll see to it, that you'll get your share!"). Bugs Bunny is underneath the podium drinking carrot juice when Sam makes a pledge to make good on his previous promise to rid the town "of every last rabbit" if elected. Bugs then decides he needs to fight against Sam by running against him for mayor.

Bugs proceeds to quickly try and win the townspeople over (including referencing Theodore Roosevelt's famous "I speak softly, but carry a BIG stick!" quote). However, Sam, declaring that he speaks loud and carries "a bigger stick, and I use it too!" has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. He steals Bugs' cigar stand, sends a boxful of army ants to steal all of Bugs' food, and rigs explosives (in, for instance, a piano and by the front door of Bugs' campaign office), all of which backfire on him. A campaign slogan seen on a pro-Bugs banner says that the candidate is "Loyal, Lovable, Literate." (Bugs switches his "SMELLO" cigars with five-cent ATOM Explosive Cigars {"You Will Get A BANG Out Of This"}, hides a dynamite stick in a watermelon, pretends that a pretty girl called Emma who loves Sam is at his door, and misplays the piano tune on purpose to infuriate Sam, who plays it right and falls for his trap for the fourth time.)

In the end, because they were too busy fighting with each other, they don't notice until it is too late that the mayorship has been won by a literal "dark horse" type of candidate: a chestnut-coloured mare! The two then play a game of Russian Roulette. Bugs shoots himself, but misses and Sam get shot in the head, leaving Sam angry and saying "I hate that rabbit!" (see "Censorship" note below for more information about the ending).


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  • Most of this cartoon was used in the TV special, Bugs Bunny: All American Hero.
  • The "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms" Exploding Piano Gag would later be reused in "Show Biz Bugs" (1957) and "Rushing Roulette" (1965).
  • The "dark horse" election as the new mayor is a pun joke; The term of "dark horse" refers to one who receives unexpected support as a candidate for the nomination in a political convention.
  • Unlike most cartoons, Bugs drinks carrot juice instead of munching on a carrot.


When Bugs plays two distinctly different sour notes each time, he is striking the exact same key.


  • In addition to the ending cut made by The Merrie Melodies Show, FOX, ABC, The WB, and the pre-2011 Cartoon Network and Boomerang, Nickelodeon altered the part in which Bugs plays his "juteybox" (read: Bugs' marching one-man band) and Sam shoots him by having Bugs' marching played in a loop and Sam yelling, "Shut off that juteybox! I can't hear myself a-speechin'" over the looped shot, followed by a cut to Sam saying: "Now, where was I?". This edit makes it seem that Bugs merely stopped because Sam told him to rather than be forced to do it by use of firearms.[1]


Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Ballot Box Bunny.



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External links

Preceded by
His Hare Raising Tale
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Succeeded by
Big Top Bunny
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