The title was inspired by the 1939 book The Big Sleep and its 1946 film adaptation, also a Warner release.
Bugs and Elmer are in the midst of their usual hunting-chasing scenario. Elmer angrily quits, because he feels the writers will not "allow him" to catch Bugs.
Elmer decides to go fishing instead, thinking that he will not be around anymore rabbits, including Bugs. He was wrong, as Bugs follows Elmer to his fishing spot and sees him sleeping.
Bugs worms his way into Elmer's dream by taking sleeping pills and lying next to him in order to torment the inept hunter with nightmare imagery; Bugs chooses 'zillions of red and yellow wabbits' to start off the agony. Later, Bugs runs Elmer over with a "train" made of rabbits. Elmer's failed pursuit of the "wabbit" through the surreal landscape, as well as down connected rabbit holes, allows Bugs to dress Elmer in drag, making Elmer look like Rita Hayworth.
Bugs inspects his handiwork, then introduces Elmer to a trio of literal wolves, lounging by the sign at Hollywood and Vine. Upon noticing "Elmer", one wolf cries out, "How-ooooold is she?" Another wolf begins flirting with Elmer, causing the gender-morphed Elmer to exclaim "Gwacious!", and flee from the wolves, pausing long enough to ask, "Have any of you giwls evew had an expewience wike this?"
In an attempt to "help", Bugs persuades Elmer to follow a mad dash towards stage right, as Bugs plays the old gag "run 'this way'!", putting Elmer through a bizarre series of steps which include him running on his feet and on his hair, hopping like a frog, as well as Russian folk dancing.
Bugs and Elmer jump off the edge of the dreamscape. During the descent, Bugs drinks some "Hare Tonic - Stops Falling Hare" and screeches to a halt. The dream-Elmer lands roughly back in his own body and awakens. Elmer swiftly returns his job back at Warner Bros. Bugs happily speaks the catchphrase from the "Beulah" character on the radio show Fibber McGee and Molly, "I love dat man!"
- The scene of Bugs taking a sleeping pill (from a bottle labeled, "Sleeping Pills: Take Dese and Doze") to invade Elmer's dream was originally edited out when shown on most TV channels (particularly the Ted Turner-owned cable networks TBS, TNT, and Cartoon Network, but there have been cases of this cartoon appearing edited on local TV stations [both affiliates and independent stations]). The scene was most often deleted with a jump cut or, as on the Ted Turner-owned networks, with a fake black-out. In 2001, "The Big Snooze" was shown uncut on Cartoon Network's The Bob Clampett Show and has been shown uncut ever since, on Cartoon Network, its spin-off channel Boomerang, and on MeTV.
- The question of whether or not any of the girls in the audience have to put up with what was going on in a scene was later used in "Hare Splitter".
- Elmer tears up his contract with Warner Bros. and leaves. This was the last cartoon directed by Robert Clampett in production order before he left Warner Bros. As such, Clampett is not credited.
- The opening sequence, in which Bugs traps Elmer inside a log and rolls it toward a cliff each time Elmer tries to exit, reuses the animation from the 1941 Tex Avery cartoon "All This and Rabbit Stew". Instead of Elmer, though, the previous film features a black hunter chasing Bugs. Elmer was simply drawn in over the animation of the black hunter, right down to the same body poses and facial expressions.
- Backgrounds from "A Wild Hare" were reused in this cartoon.
- In the sequence where Bugs ties Elmer to the railroad tracks and pretends to run him over with a train, Elmer's cries of "Oh, agony, agony, agony!" are provided by Mel Blanc instead of Arthur Q. Bryan.
- As Bugs is pleading with Elmer not to quit, he turns to the audience and comments, "'Bette Davis' is gonna hate me for this." Davis, at the time, was going through a well-publicized legal battle with Warner Bros. trying to get out of her contract.
- After the dream, Elmer arrives back at the log in a rush and the pieces of contract blow about in the air. A nearly off-screen Bugs on the left looks like he mouths his catchphrase, "Ehhhh, What's up Doc?", but there is no sound.
- The Polish dubbing version has the 1946-55 version of The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down opening music theme replaced with the 1945-46 opening theme.
- Contrary to popular belief, Bob Clampett left before the cartoon was finished. He (along with Warren Foster) wrote the story and began directing it but left mid-way. Art Davis took over and finished what needed to be done and discarded everything else Clampett had planned. Clampett wouldn't see the cartoon until decades later.
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