The story opens at night with an unseen Bugs preparing to go to sleep. A highway is in the background and immediately after Bugs retires Elmer Fudd drives up because he has seen a rare desert flower next to Bugs' hole that he wants to put in his tropical garden. Elmer does not notice the rabbit hole and is unaware of Bugs' presence, but he is careful when digging up the flower to include lots of room so that the flower can "prosper in its native soil". Elmer does not realize is that he has unknowingly taken Bugs as well as the flower back to his penthouse apartment.
The next scene has Bugs emerging from the hole still half-asleep. He obliviously goes into Elmer's penthouse thinking he is headed to his "bathing stream", which instead is a large Roman-styled bathroom with an indoor pool in the middle. Bugs gets into the pool and realizes that he is not in his stream but thinks his surroundings are a mirage so he plays along by splashing around and singing "There's no place like home" but instead substituting Rome for home. Bugs then sings the word "yearn" but, sensing that he might be signing out of tune, gets out of the pool and goes into the next room, where he plays and note on a piano and sings "yearn, fa la yearn" until he is in tune. Elmer sees Bugs go back into the "bathroom" and wonders why Bugs is there. Elmer then gets a shotgun and fires several shots into the pool. Bugs submerges under the water as if he has been killed but then hops out and sneaks behind Elmer, whispering into his ear: "You better plug him again, Mac, just to be sure." Elmer then inserts the barrel of the shotgun into the water and shoots, which results in him blowing a hole in the floor which causes the water to spill into the apartment underneath him. Then a knock is heard on Elmer's door and it is his downstairs neighbor, who is twice Elmer's size and soaking wet. The neighbor grabs the shotgun and ties the barrel around Elmer's head, then fires the gun before leaving.
Bugs then is seen in the patio area of the penthouse when Elmer tries to shoot him, but constantly misses. Bugs then asks if Elmer is trying to get rid of him and, when Elmer says that "rabbits don't belong in penthouses" accuses Elmer of thinking he is "better" than a rabbit and if Elmer can prove that he is better, Bugs will leave. Elmer accepts the challenge and Bugs fashions several contests around the penthouse that Elmer wins, but not before suffering large consequences. The first two events are a strength test and then a shooting test, both of which Bugs loses. He then says that there is one more event, the "jump test". Bugs fails his test, which involves jumping over an outdoor bench, and then sets up the bench for Elmer. However, Bugs positions the bench vertically and near the overlook of the penthouse so that when Elmer jumps over it, he is actually jumping off the edge of the building. Elmer flies over the edge and lands on the ground in a popcorn machine, and Bugs admits that Elmer is "a better man than I am, but only because I'm a rabbit" and then departs down the sidewalk with the flower that Elmer had dug up in the opening scene.
- On the ABC airing of this cartoon, the following scenes were cut:
- All scenes where Elmer shoots at Bugs and misses.
- The entire scene where Elmer lifts a barbell, crashes through the floor of his apartment onto his downstairs neighbor's head, and staggers out with the barbell wrapped around his head (however, this scene was cut out in the late 1980s. Starting in 1994 until "The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show" ended in 2000, the scene was left intact (though the shooting parts were still edited)).
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Southern Fried Rabbit