Buster Bunny (voiced by Charlie Adler and John Kassir) is a cartoon character from the Warner Bros. animated television series, Tiny Toon Adventures. He is the main character of the show, along with his best friend/girlfriend, Babs Bunny.
Buster is a young male rabbit and the leader of the Tiny Toons. He has to deal with the challenges of a tough school curriculum, the machinations of rich kid and local bully, Montana Max, and the advances of crazed and dippy animal lover, Elmyra Duff. Like Babs, he will do anything for a laugh, though he is marginally more sane and calm than his female counterpart. He attends Acme Looniversity and lives in Acme Acres.
His hero, mentor and favorite teacher is Bugs Bunny.
Buster's outfit is simply a long-sleeved red shirt and white gloves, and like many male toons, he does not wear any pants, even though his creator gives him clothes in the pilot episode "for the censors." His lack of pants becomes somewhat of a running gag throughout the series, with Babs being especially fond of pointing it out. Also, in the tradition of cartoon censorship, whenever he isn't wearing his shirt, he usually wears something to cover his waist (such as in the episodes when he is on the beach, in which he will usually wear swim trunks). His basic design is much like Babs' with a few key differences, such as a split front tooth, uncleft upper lip, eyes that lack visible irises, a pointy tail and slightly shorter ears. His body is light blue and white.
Buster lives in a rabbit hole in a tree stump with a tire swing and a basketball hoop. His parents are never shown, although he does mention his mother on a few occasions.
Buster is the epitome of the "rabbit next door"...with an attitude. He is the series' star and co-host, constantly commenting on the action and making asides to the audience. Buster is a winner, a high-energy teen with lots of ideas and dreams. He is what every kid wants to be, a fun-loving mischief-maker who gets away with just about everything. He has the sassiness of Bugs Bunny, but has to work a little harder because he's younger and still learning. He has the energy, enthusiasm and resourcefulness of Andy Hardy, which carries him through all troubles that he encounters.
Buster is able to talk just about anybody into just about anything. He's an instigator. He knows how to stir things up and how to talk his pals into engaging in some wild scheme or adventure. He knows everyone in Acme Acres and he knows them better than they know themselves. He's the common friend who ties together his eccentric pals -- Babs, Plucky Duck, Hamton J. Pig, Shirley the Loon and Fifi La Fume. He is constantly pointing out the amusing oddities of each of the characters. Buster has reoccurring conflicts with Elmyra, who wants to hug and love him to death; Montana Max, who wants to bully him; and Plucky, who wants to steal his spotlight. He tolerates Plucky's ego because he recognizes the duck's lovable side.
Buster's the little guy who pokes fun at authority, the pomposity, the egotism of those who take themselves too seriously. He is not mean or malicious; that is, he would never try to hurt someone's feelings. Although, Buster, as the group leader, drags his pals into outrageous adventures for the sake of a good time, sometimes it's for the sake of someone who needs help. Buster stands up for the weak and helpless. He'll go to battle when some "little guy" is being abused by a heavy. Declares Buster, "Why don't ya pick on someone your own shoe-size?" Buster's victories will be victories for the audience as well.
Buster's ears are like two extra limbs. He can run on them, throw with them, play "guess who" with them and do any other shtick one could imagine. At school, Buster maintains a B+ average; he studies hard, but would never admit it to his friends. His favorite class is "Wisecracks 101," taught by his hero and mentor, Bugs Bunny. Buster is popular with his classmates and a star on their sporting teams. He's Student Council President and has been voted "most likely to drive the faculty nuts."
He's fascinated by the lack of redeeming social values in his enemies. To Buster, the wild eccentricities of these heavies are "a total crack-up." Occasionally, a foe insults or attacks Buster's honor. "It's time to party...Buster style!," declares the rabbit. The enemy doesn't stand a chance against the quick-witted Buster. He has a mischievous nature, though his pranks are usually geared towards bullies and villains. Occasionally, however, he will play pranks on his on friends, sometimes on Babs, who usually responds in equal fashion.
Buster's adventures include outsmarting Montana Max numerous times, escaping from Elmyra's house, spending a summer vacation downriver, facing a Wolverine, trying to get muscular, saving defenseless animals, playing with a virtual reality machine, discovering lost treasure, going to the prom with Babs, visiting the center of the Earth, and directing a Christmas special.
In several episodes, Buster shows incredible musical skill playing the drums and the electric guitar.
Buster has an extreme fondness for Bugs Bunny, to the point of often imitating his mentor, such as using Bugs' slap dance technique from the Bugs Bunny cartoon, Hot Cross Bunny, when he takes Babs to the prom (though, with considerably less success until Bugs had to step in and help him out). Although cool and collected for the most part, there are rare instances where other characters will get the better of Buster, or some unfortunate mishap will befall him, unlike his mentor Bugs, who for the most part was always on top of his game. Occasionally, when something goes wrong or something unexpected happens, Buster says, "I should have gone to rehearsal."
It is revealed in the Season 2 episode, "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian," that Buster has an intense dislike for riding on airplanes, possibly because he gets motion sickness. In the episode, he tries to persuade the script writers to make a rewrite regarding his dislike for air travel, but because they refuse, he has no choice but to reluctantly accept it.
Buster parodies and portrays many different characters and actors, from Superman (which he is a bunny version called "Superbun") to Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers.
Like many of the main characters on the show, Buster's parents are never seen on screen. He seems to live alone, as evidenced by the way that he sometimes stays up late when he has friends over and leaves piles of trash around his home when he gets depressed. It has been theorized that Buster does live with his mother, however, because in the Tiny Toons fruit snacks commercial, she calls him on the phone to tell him that she is on her way home while he was having a party. Since it only happens in a commercial, though, it's unclear whether it is meant to be canon. In "Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow," Buster tells Elmyra that "My mother told me never to talk to strangers," which may imply that his mother was taking care of him at some point early in his life.
Buster and Babs are best friends and despite their similar appearance and shared surname, they are "No relation!" They are also no relation to Bugs Bunny, their mentor and favorite teacher at school (although in "Fields of Honey," Babs goes mad looking for a female mentor and eventually finds one: Honey, a forgotten actress from the old Bosko cartoons). They are like Bugs Bunny in their theatrical mannerisms, their general confidence in themselves and in their ability to work well with other headline characters. They are unlike him in their naïveté, as they are kids after all. Also, they tend to seek adventure, rather than wait for it to be thrust upon them, and they seem aware that an audience is watching.
Buster has many times shown to be attracted to Babs, as the feeling is usually mutual. Sometimes Buster will nervously retreat from her advances, sometimes he returns her affection, and sometimes he even goes out of his way to impress her. He takes her to the prom in "Prom-ise Her Anything" and also has a date with her in the "Dating, Acme Acres Style" episode segment, "Buster's Guide to Dating." In the episode, "Thirteensomething," he shows that he harbors deep feelings for her, which he only realizes after she has left Acme Acres. He rescues her and welcomes a kiss from her at the end of the episode. In the episode, "Love Disconnection," when Buster (as the host) interviews Babs about her ideal boyfriend, he slyly remarks to the viewers, "as if we don't already know" (indicating that he knows Babs is attracted to him). In the "It's Buster Bunny Time" episode segment, "The Anvil Chrous," Buster tells Plucky to be careful as Babs might have been hurt, showing that Buster cares about Babs, and would hate to see her hurt.
Early in the series, Buster is shown to be easily attracted to Babs when he kisses her during her sultry Jessica Rabbit impression in "The Looney Beginning," or just decides to fix herself up to look nicer (such as her dress for the prom in "Prom-ise Her Anything"). In the last episode, "It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special", Babs states that Buster is indeed her boyfriend while she's singing with Cher; Buster discovers that Babs' life would be trite and miserable without him, and towards the end of the episode, he willingly initiated a kiss out of his own accord and recognizes the value they have to each other. Presumably after this, he will no longer retreat from her in any way at all. In the "The Wacko World of Sports" episode segment, "Miniature Goof," their Perfecto Prep rivals, Roderick and Rhubella Rat, refer to Buster and Babs as "Mr. No Money Bunny... and his No Money Bunny Honey", indicating that others perceive Buster and Babs as a couple. In certain episodes, Buster calls Babs "Babsy" or "Babzinsky," showing that he holds a soft romantic spot for her.
Buster was the last and hardest to cast. Buster's original voice actor was Charlie Adler, who Tom Ruegger said, "Sometimes he went too gravelly and over the top, but brought a great deal of energy to the role." Steven Spielberg and other producers did not want Adler, but Ruegger and (Voice Caster/Director) Andrea Romano fought for him. When Adler landed in the role he said in an interview, "This is the first time in 30 series I have been in, that I'm having the best time of my life working." During production of Tiny Toons Season 3, Adler became disappointed that he didn't get a recurring character on Animaniacs (which was in pre-production at the time), while minor Tiny Toons voice actors from, such as Frank Welker and Rob Paulsen, were given main roles in the new series. He and his agent sent angry letters to Ruegger and other producers, claiming that his treatment had been "shabby" and that he was going to leave Tiny Toons.
When Adler dropped out, the studio still had a few Tiny Toons episodes to record, so they re-cast the role of Buster with John Kassir. Kassir's voice was slightly different than Adler's; Adler's voice was more gravelly and rough, whereas Kassir's was smoother. Kassir finished the last 10% of Adler's lines from "The Horror of Slumber Party Mountain." He went on to perform Buster's voice in "The Return of Batduck," "It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special," Tiny Toons Spring Break Special and Tiny Toons' Night Ghoulery, as well as The Great Beanstalk video game. For the promos on Kids WB, Buster was played by various other voice actors. Adler eventually returned to voice Buster for the unreleased video game Tiny Toon Adventures: Defenders of the Universe.
- Buster Bunny is mentioned in a first chapter of a Junie B. Jones book entitled, Junie B., First Grader: Dumb Bunny, along with Bugs Bunny, the Bionic Bunny from Arthur, Thumper from Bambi, the Trix rabbit, the Velveteen Rabbit and Peter Rabbit.
- In early development, Buster would have had the catchphrase, "Hello Nurse!," as sort of a follow up to his idol Bugs' famous catchphrase. This idea was dropped as they could not think of a good reason for him to say it; it later evolved into a character name on Animaniacs, as well as a cry of lust from Yakko and Wakko towards the nurse or other attractive women (sometimes even Dot exclaims this when she sees a handsome man).
- Coincidentally, both Buster Bunny and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters character, Ickis, not only share the same voice actor (the aforementioned Charlie Adler); they also share the same Japanese seiyu (Ryusei Nakao). Additionally, both characters have long ears and big feet.
- Buster is mentioned in the I. M. Weasel cartoon, "I Am Cliched" when the titular character points out that the Red Guy had been using an unoriginal script that was already used for both Looney Tunes and Tiny Toons. An interesting connection is that Charlie Adler, Buster's original voice actor, worked on the show.
- In issue #75 of the Looney Tunes comic by DC Publishing, we can see Buster Bunny's head mounted on Elmer Fudd's wall, implying he is dead.
- "And that's a wrap."
- "No relation." (in unison with Babs)
- "Now, it's personal!"
- "It's time to party, Buster-style!"
- "Hiya, Toonsters!" (addressing the viewers at home)
- "Rope it in, Babs."
In total, Buster has the most end tags of any character (three; two with Babs, one on his own).
- Buster's solo end tag is, "And that's a wrap!"
- Buster and Babs signing off together; Buster: "Say goodnight, Babs." Babs: "Goodnight, Babs."
- Buster and Babs signing off together (while wearing Hawaiian attire): "Aloha!"