18

Anya hates bunnies. In "Once More With Feeling" she sings what might be my favorite lyrics of all time:

Bunnies aren't just cute like everybody supposes,
They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses.
And what's with all the carrots?
What do they need such good eyesight for anyway?

This is not the first expression of her fear of bunnies, nor is it the last. Wikipedia chronicles all of the encounters with bunnies she has in canon TV episodes, but it doesn't address the cause of the phobia. I believe it is never revealed in the TV show. It's one of those little Joss-isms, an inside joke that's never really explained.

So, the question is: do any of the canon comics (or novels or games or any other applicable medium) ever explain why Anya hates bunnies so much? Are there any hints we can glean from sources outside the TV episodes?

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    This isn't an in-joke, it's an idiosyncrasy tailor-made for silliness. Is there any reason whatsoever to think this has been, or needs to be, explained?
    – Standback
    May 29 '12 at 14:14
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    @Standback none, except for Joss Whedon's notoriety for his attention to detail. I just want to know if there's a layer of depth that I've missed somewhere.
    – hairboat
    May 29 '12 at 14:16
  • She watched too much Monty Python and the Holy Grail as a child? May 29 '12 at 14:28
  • Hmmm. Maybe I need to ask a question about Whedon's reputation for attention to detail.
    – Standback
    May 29 '12 at 14:37
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    @Standback That's not what I'm asking. I'm not saying that there must be an answer because it's Joss Whedon and that's what he does. I'm saying "I'm puzzled by detail Y. Are there any more pieces to the puzzle that I'm missing?" I will be perfectly satisfied if the answer is "no".
    – hairboat
    May 30 '12 at 13:55
32

In the seventh season episode "Selfless," which is an Anya-centric episode, it is revealed that her home with Olaf (the future troll) in the year 880, she was breeding rabbits. This all changed when she found out Olaf was cheating on her and then used magic to punish him, thus leading to her life as a vengeance demon.

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It makes sense to me that rabbits became synonymous with her pre-demon life, and she possibly subconsciously associates rabbits with the incident that turned her into a thousand plus year old demon.

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    That might also explain why she changed from a very 'socialist' outlook as a human in 880, to being a rampant capitalist as a human in the time of the series. OTOH she was still having faith in the 'workers paradise' evolving during her conversation with Halfrek at the start of the Bolshevik Revolution. At that time, she apparently still had socialist leanings. Her reaction to bunnies when she was a demon never came up.. Jan 7 '13 at 17:36
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The her fear of bunnies is simply an indication of how different her perspective (as a former demon) is from that of humans. Its origin is never explained. It's Anya's Noodle Incident -- something clearly happened to her regarding bunnies, it clearly scarred her emotionally, and we never learn what it is. The attention to detail here is that Whedon clearly has this odd part of Anya's back-story that just exists, but is played consistently for the rest of her time as a character.

(Of course, it most likely started as a gag in the Halloween episode just to show Anya being "wierd" and worked so well they kept it. Not everything brilliant has to be planned that way.)

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