Title - Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning, and Duck! Rabbit! Duck!
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1951, 1952, 1953
Reason for Placement --
I know, I know, I'm technically cheating here, I'm sorry!! I know I established the rules, but try as I might, I just couldn't split these three cartoons up.
These three cartoons make up Jones' 'Hunting Trilogy', the three cartoons to feature Bugs, Daffy, and Elmer as they go up against one another during hunting season. All three have the same core plot line (in fact, the only major difference between them is that Duck! Rabbit! Duck! takes place during the winter, while the other two take place during the spring/summer & fall): Elmer is hunting in the woods, Daffy doesn't want him to find out that it's actually Duck Season, so he manages to trick the hunter into going after Bugs... which, of course, does not work out that well.
So what's so great about these shorts? Well, for starters, they were the first toons to really showcase a rivalry between Bugs and Daffy, and they were the first cartoons to feature Daffy's new catchphrase, "You're desthpicable!".
Taking them apart, each of these shorts gave us some of the most popular and famous jokes ever to come out of Termite Terrace. Whether it's Rabbit Seasoning's "Pronoun Trouble" scene, Duck! Rabbit! Duck!'s gag of pulling out new hunting season signs, or even the now infamous "Duck Season/Wabbit Season" scenes from Rabbit Fire, there's no denying that these are some of the most influential cartoons of all time.
Oh, and how could I forget! These were also the first shorts to showcase a new gag: every time Daffy got shot, his bill would fly off in a different style. Probably worth mentioning that this part was parodied in the opening scene of the movie Looney Tunes: Back In Action (and I want it on record that was probably the funniest part of the whole movie, not a good sign).
So we can debate for hours about which of these shorts was the best and whether or not I should have separated the three on the countdown (and whether it's Duck, Goat, Dirty Skunk, Mongoose, or even Baseball Season), but there is really no question that these are, without a doubt, three of the best Looney Tunes cartoons ever released.