Remember Big Chungus? He’s back, in gacha form.
Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem is a mobile game in the vein of Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and Marvel Strike Force that apparently launched in 2018. I say “apparently” because I only just heard about it today, which I suppose is the reason the developers are trotting out a dead meme to raise its profile.
As with many popular online oddities, Big Chungus’ origins are simple. He’s basically a chubby Bugs Bunny, lifted from a short sequence in the 1941 cartoon “Wabbit Twouble” in which the wascally wabbit mocks perennial rival Elmer Fudd’s appearance. The word “chungus,” on the other hand, has its origins in the videos of gaming critic James Stephanie Sterling.
According to Know Your Meme, the Bugs Bunny image first started making the rounds online in 2016, and became associated with the Big Chungus label in 2018. Since then, the meme has been used across various mediums, most notably in the mock PlayStation 4 game cover seen below. Google searches for Big Chungus reached their apex in early 2019 before rapidly dropping off.
Not to play armchair capitalist, but it’s weird to see Warner Bros. publicly embrace the Big Chungus meme so many years removed from its relevance. I would have absolutely bought a Big Chungus plushie back when it was A Thing, and I’m sure marketing professionals could have figured out a million other ways to milk the joke for profit.
Now, the chubby Bugs Bunny is simply a way for the company to drum up some interest in a weird, Looney Tunes-flavored gacha game that has existed silently for almost three years. But then again, I’m writing about it, so I guess it worked.