"ain't no fun when the rabbit got the gun"

I came across the above slang recently. The explanation I could find on line is

Someone being butthurt over having something, they do to others regularly, done to the them

For the literal meaning, my understanding is "It is not a fun (not an enjoyable thing) when the rabbit got the gun".

  1. Is my understanding correct for the literal meaning?

Then I want to connect the literal meaning with its real meaning.

  1. Why could "ain't no fun when the rabbit got the gun" have the meaning as shown by the online explanation?

Is it because, from the perspective of a hunter, you used to carry a gun and chased the rabbit, and then suddenly the situation turned -- the rabbit got the gun and pointed it at you?

Furthermore, I would like to know the implication when this slang is used.

  1. What could the speaker imply when he or she says "ain't no fun when the rabbit got the gun"? Does the speaker imply that you should learn to accept the situation when "the rabbit got the gun"?

Some examples would be very appreciated.


4 Answers 4


This is just an expression of consternation due to the tables being turned on someone. What has previously been an easy victory over someone or something has now become difficult or even impossible because the metaphorical "hunter" has become the metaphorical "prey".

Compare it with this other slang expression:

Payback's a bitch.


Normally a hunter has the gun and is seeking the rabbit to shoot for a meal. It is not the preferred situation to find the rabbit with your gun. When the prey can shoot you with your own gun it is certainly no fun.


Think of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

Elmer always Hunted Bugs Bunny. And always loved it.

But when Bugs got the Gun.

It wasnt so fun for Elmer

  • I think you've hit on the origin of the expression here. In the real world no rabbit is ever going to be able to use a gun even if it could get hold of one but Bugs, being an anthropomorphised cartoon character, most certainly could. Popular cartoon characters like Bugs and Elmer insinuate themselves into the general culture to such an extent that they need little, if any, explanation when they are referred to like this.
    – BoldBen
    Jun 20 at 5:52
  • Also. The movie Training Day
    – Neil Marco
    Jun 21 at 10:22

With my experiences I seen it like this, in certain environments you are in, very little could be valuable, and you’re always valuable. Eventually you may become hunted for your pelt. But you never knew you were ever gonna be set up, stuck up, robbed etc over trust. But when they see me over there with the sub-compact tucked off, it ain’t no fun when the rabbits got the gun.

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