Jessica’s Booby Trap
While searching Jessica for Mr. Acme’s last will and testament, one of the weasels reaches down into Jessica’s cleavage, where he gets a hand full of bear trap. The joke’s pretty clear already, but Eddie helpfully puts a button on it by saying, “Nice booby trap.”
Is That a Rabbit in Your Pocket?
While Roger is on the lamb, he accompanies Eddie to Delores’s bar. But Roger can’t just walk around town (he’s a wanted man after all), so he hides in Eddie’s coat in the most conspicuous way possible. If the visual isn’t enough, Dolores actually asks, “Is that a rabbit in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”
The Writing on the Wall
The men’s room wall that is. In an out-of-order men’s room in Toon Town, there’s a message to the gents that reads, “For a good time call Allyson ‘Wonderland.’ The best is yet to be.” There’s a lot to break down in to sentences, but Allyson Wonderland is obviously meant to be Alice in Wonderland, and “The best is yet to be” is simply a cleaned up version of “The best is yet to come” and if you don’t get that, then go ask your mother.
Eddie’s Artistic Pursuits
Any scene with Jessica Rabbit is loaded to the gills with sexual energy, so much so that you can’t even really call it innuendo. But when he’s caught with is pants down (underscored by a timpani drum, no less) Delores shows up and drops the best burn of the entire film: “Dabblin’ in water colors Eddie?” Boom. Roasted.
Roger Rabbit Is an Excellent Lover
Even if Jessica Rabbit didn’t flat-out say that Roger is a “better lover than he is a driver” Roger’s sexual prowess is pretty clear. Other characters continually ask what Jessica sees in Roger, and knowing about rabbits (that they have all the sex), it’s pretty easy to guess.
Jessica Is Very, Very Good at Patty Cake
The “patty cake” scene might be the most overtly sexually suggestive scene in the entire film. Maybe? From the orgasmic sounds of Jessica playing patty cake with Mr. Acme to Roger’s reaction when he sees the pictures, this scene might be the most PG-rated smut ever.
Baby Herman Is a Real Perv
Before walking off the set of the short he’s filming with Roger, Baby Herman walks directly under a woman’s dress and sneaks a peek at her unmentionables. It’s a quick enough shot that you don’t even know what you’re seeing unless you’re looking for it.
Remember to Check Your Probate
This joke is pretty on the nose, but there’s a 99% chance that as a kid you didn’t understand that Roger was mistaking the probate’s office (the place where you get your will taken care of) for an oncologist. Or a proctologist? Either way, Roger’s thinking about prostates.
That’s a Good Dishwasher
This is simply a quick visual gag, but in the opening cartoon the brand of the dishwasher in Baby Herman’s kitchen is “Hotternell” which is, of course, hotter than hell.
Dat Harvey Reference Doe
In a scene that’s so much more tense than any scene in a children’s movie needs to be, when Judge Doom is looking for Roger in the bar he asks if anyone has seen a rabbit, which leads head scumbag, Angelo, to introduce the Judge to “Harvey,” an invisible rabbit.
Any old-timer knows that Jimmy Stewart starred in a film of the same name about an alcoholic cartoonist with an imaginary rabbit friend. However, if you were 3 years old when this movie came out, there was a good chance you didn’t know why your parents were chuckling.
Who Doesn’t Like a Falling Piano?
Upon entering Toon Town, a crucial step on the hero’s journey for Eddie, he drives right into a truck labeled “Acme Overused Gags” that’s full of bowling balls, springs, banana peels, the usual.
It’s the sort of sly satirical commentary that makes a bit of slapstick work for grown-ups as well as children.
The Singing Sword Has More Backstory Than Needed
There are so many in jokes packed into the Singing Sword Gag that you almost need a diagram to explain it. In Prince Valiant, the knight uses a weapon called “the singing sword.” In Who Framed Roger Rabbit
, the lead character, Eddie Valiant, wields a “singing sword” to defend himself from Judge Doom.
If that wasn’t a big enough goof, the singing sword actually looks and sounds just like Frank Sinatra
. Who else needs a drink?
How Often Do You Change Your Shorts?
Here are two quick jokes that you can only catch if you’re actively looking for them, but after Eddie uses Bugs Bunny’s “spare” and lands safely on the ground, the Toon Town Theater has a sign that boasts that they “change [their] shorts daily,” and that they’re showing “Willie the Giant.”
See kids, you too can grow up to be a cartoonist.
Okay, this one isn’t in the actual movie, but it is from a Roger Rabbit short called “Roller Coaster Rabbit.” At one point, Baby Herman pops a balloon with his cigar, startling a woman. He laughs and asks, “What’s the matter, toots? Afraid of a little bang?”
Eddie’s Method of Getting Around Town
Is there anything more adult than laughing out loud at Bob Hoskins asking, “Who needs a car in LA?” before proclaiming, “We got the best public transportation system in the world.” Dude must have a side job working for the Metro’s PR company.
The Toon Town Bear Poster
In a Toon Town alleyway there’s a poster for Braer Baer that features the slogan “Not too hard, not too soft, it’s juuuuuust right!” We’ll be taking that barf bag now.
Felix the Cat’s Cameo
The entrance to Toon Town, which is actually the Griffith Park bridge, features a tragedy-comedy mask on its emblem. Instead of the standard faces used by the likes of Motley Crue, Who Framed RogerRabbit opted to use two faces of Felix the Cat.
Though he’s been around since the 1920’s, Felix has lost a lot of cultural cache and his pretty much unknown to most children.
The Constant References to Eddie’s Alcoholism
“Didn’t you used to be Eddie Valiant? Or did you change your name to Jack Daniels?” Get it? Eddie is a drunk. Since alcoholism isn’t a concept with which a lot of children are familiar, Valiant’s struggle with addiction tends to go right over kid’s heads.
Roger Rabbit Is Under Threat of Being Sent to a Lab
In the cartoon that opens Who Framed Roger Rabbit, one of the first lines from Baby Herman’s mother is a threat lobbed at Roger that if anything happens to her son, she’s sending the cartoon rabbit to a “science lab.” This might not seem like a big deal, but you know what they do to rabbits like him in a place like that?
How Many People Corrugated That Evidence?
This is for the wordplay nerds in the audience (say HEEEEEY!): When the weasels are looking for Roger in Eddie’s apartment/office, one of them tells Valiant that they’ve got information that was “corrugated” by several people, when in fact it was actually corroborated.
You see, “corrugated” is when a material like metal or cardboard is shaped into grooves. Does anyone else hear a nerd alert?