Exactly How Many Easter Bunnies Keep Coming To The White House?!

An investigation.

Monday saw the return of the Easter Egg Roll event to the White House, the first time since 2019 that the tradition has been held because of the pandemic.

Joe and Jill Biden smile as children roll painted eggs along the lawn with wooden spoons
Stefani Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images

Amid light rain, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed kids and their families to celebrate Easter with a book reading, an egg hunt, and the rolling of colorful eggs with wooden spoons across the White House lawn.

The tradition dates back to 1878 and the administration of Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th US president.

This year's event was themed around “EGGucation” in keeping with Jill Biden's background as an educator.

But it also saw the return of the giant Easter bunnies to the White House, two of whom were on hand as the Bidens made short remarks from the balcony.

The Bidens speak while two giant costumed bunnies look on
Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images

If that particularly shocked and disturbed one on the right looks familiar, it's because it's the same bunny that looked frozen in a state of perpetual horror as former president Donald Trump spoke back in 2019.

A bunny with a shocked face, mouth agape, watches Trump speak
Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

And in 2018...

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

And in 2017.

Trump points and speaks as the shocked Easter bunny looks on
Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images

Shocked Bunny has apparently become one of the US's most storied traditions.

Trump is seen in the foreground and the shocked bunny is seen in the background
Andrew Caballero-reynolds / AFP via Getty Images

They appear to be nonpartisan in their shock, having now been alarmed by both Democratic and Republican presidents.

The Bidens and the shocked bunny have their hands on their hearts
Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images

Here's the same bunny last year wearing a mask that barely covers their shock at what I can only imagine was in response to the global pandemic. Relatable!

The Bidens wear face masks as does Shocked Bunny
Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

But this other bunny was also spotted Monday at the White House, wearing a fashionable purple ensemble and looking perhaps more stunned than alarmed.

Fashionable Bunny and Biden are seen before a big crowd
Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images

As was this THIRD bunny, who was invited to the White House briefing room to make an appearance for reporters.

Jen Psaki is shown next to a bunny behind the podium
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

You'll notice this bunny differs from the others because they have some sultry little beauty spots and a little vest that matches the very retro light blue eyeshadow that's giving Agnetha from ABBA vibes.

The ABBA Bunny stands behind the podium in the press room
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Shocked Bunny, you'll recall, has purple eyeshadow. (Note: In my mind, all these bunnies are part of the LGBTQ community. They walk around wearing makeup and no pants. They're definitely queer.)

The shocked bunny in purple eyeshadow stand next to the Bidens, all with their hands on their hearts
Stefani Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images

So along with this queen with the purple dress and pink eyeshadow (which, to be frank, don't really go together that well), that makes THREE bunnies on just Monday alone!!!

Purple-dress Bunny is seen looking at the camera
Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

So just exactly how many bunny costumes have their been?

An exhausting (OK, 30-minute) review of photo archives reveals that same ABBA Bunny was present without clothes (kinky!) throughout the Obama administration. Here they are in 2016...

Obama is seen on a White House balcony next to ABBA Bunny
Andrew Harnik / AP

And 2010.

The Obama family is seen on a White House balcony next to ABBA Bunny
Charles Dharapak / ASSOCIATED PRESS

ABBA Bunny was also present back in 2006, but wore clothes (I assume because of the more conservative George W. Bush administration).

(Fun fact: Sean Spicer once wore that costume).

ABBA Bunny stands between the Bushes
Jason Reed / Reuters

But our old friend Shocked Bunny was around back in 2009 when they were also alarmed by things Obama said.

Obama whispers into Shocked Bunny's ear
J. Scott Applewhite / ASSOCIATED PRESS

And here's Shocked Bunny looking alarmed by Bush in 2008.

Shocked Bunny watches George and Laura Bush
Jason Reed / Reuters

So we know the same three bunnies, including this queen again, have been around for a long time.

Bush hugs Pink Bunny's head
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Just FYI: I actually reached out to a Jill Biden spokesperson to ask if the costumes were owned by taxpayers. He said he'd look into it (lol) but speculated they could be owned by the White House Historical Association nonprofit. I'll update this story if I hear back, and then will expect a Pulitzer nomination without delay.

(Update: scroll to the end of this story for the big reveal!)

But wait! There's more. Here's Pink Bunny with the Clintons in 2000.

Pink Bunny watches Bill Clinton speak
Joyce Naltchayan / AFP via Getty Images

And again in 1998. (They haven't updated that look in over 20 years. Tired!)

Pink Bunny wears the same purple dress and waves next to Bill and Hillary Clinton
Luke Frazza / AFP via Getty Images

And just look who I found looking as shocked as ever all the way back in 1993.

Shocked Bunny shakes Bill Clinton's hand
Mark Reinstein / Corbis via Getty Images

We won't spend too much time on this bunny, who appears to only have made one appearance with Clinton. What a flop!

Clinton is seen next to a brown rabbit with a massive head
Robert Giroux / AFP via Getty Images

Meanwhile, these two nightmarish bunnies haunted the administration of George H.W. Bush.

George H W Bush is seen with two giant rabbits, one of which looks menacing
Charles Tasnadi / AP

The one on the right appears to have first been introduced to terrify children by Nancy Reagan, as this 1981 photo shows.

Nancy Reagan hugs a bunny costume
Barry Thumma / AP

But really, she was doing the country a favor because just look what the Nixon administration wrought on the American people.

Tricia Nixon stands on grass in front of the White House with a terrifying clown and a very disturbing rabbit costume
Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Yes, that's former first daughter Tricia Nixon in 1970 doing what appears to be a summoning circle outside the White House with the bunny from Donnie Darko and Pennywise the Clown.

A close up of the same image
Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

So by my count, that's seven human-sized bunnies (if we're being generous and including that last monstrosity) throughout White House history.

I can't exactly tell you what the point of all this was, but I assume if you made it to the end of this story you probably look like this now.

A close-up photo of Shocked Bunny
Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

Happy Easter!

UPDATE

After this story was published, two friends of a late Ohio costume store owner reached out to BuzzFeed News to solve the mystery of the bunnies. John Schenz of Cincinnati began making the bunnies for the White House event back in the 1980s and traveled every year to DC for the Egg Roll, costumes in tow.

He did this until his death from lung disease in 2020 — the same year the event was canceled because of the pandemic.

Reached by phone, a friend of the late costumer told BuzzFeed News that he and two other of Schenz's associates are now carrying on with the tradition in his memory. (This person asked that they all remain anonymous in order to keep attention on Schenz.)

The bunnies were never owned by the White House, nor did taxpayers ever pay for Schenz to rent them to the government for the event.

Instead, he commuted at his own expense each year because he loved the joy they brought people.

The three bunnies pictured on Monday — "Mama," aka the bunny with pink eyes and a purple dress; "Papa," aka the shocked bunny in glasses; and "Junior," the bunny with blue eyes — were all originally made by Schenz.

Schenz's three friends now store the costumes "in an undisclosed place close to DC."

This year's event was the first time all the bunnies had been at the White House without the late costumer.

"It was surreal, but it was also a lot of smiles," his friend told BuzzFeed News. "The Easter Bunny always makes everybody smile."