- “I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way.”
- ―Jessica to Eddie Valiant
In the book Who Censored Roger Rabbit, she was an amoral upcoming star and former comic strip character, over whom her estranged husband, fellow comic strip star Roger Rabbit, obsessed over. In the film, she is re-imagined as a sultry-but-moral cartoon actress and singer at a Los Angeles supper club called the Ink and Paint Club.
She attests to Eddie Valiant that "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way." Indeed, she proves herself to be selfless and compassionate throughout the movie. Although she seems cool and distant, she has a soft spot for Roger, whom she married because he "makes her laugh", is a better lover than a driver and that he's magnificent and "better than Goofy". She calls him her "honey bunny" and "darling". She adores him beyond measure and is irrefutably loyal to him. As proof of her love, she tells Eddie that she'll pay any price for Roger and helps prove Roger innocent by assisting with the investigation.
She makes it clear that despite what others think of her, she only has eyes for Roger and would do anything for his sake. She proves to be brave, quick-witted, and intuitive; she knowingly puts herself at risk to save Roger and Eddie. Yet despite the danger, she maintains a calm composure and exhibits great skill in combat, including handling a gun. While she maintains a calm and collected demeanor, for the most part, the first time she loses her composure is when Judge Doom shows her and Valiant his deadly DIP and machine to destroy Toontown, and when she and her husband are almost sprayed by the deadly substance, she sighs in relief but feels she might faint.
Jessica is a tall, voluptuous woman with a curvy and slender hourglass figure with a narrow waist and large, broad hips. She has fair skin and long, luxurious red hair with side-bangs that usually cover her right eye. Her green eyes are heavy-lidded and seductive with long dark lashes and accented by shimmering lavender eyeshadow. Her nose is fairly small, especially in relation to her full, red pouting lips. Her ensemble consists of a red sequined strapless dress that reveals a lot of cleavage with a low back, sweetheart neckline, and high thigh slit. In addition, she wears matching red stilettos, elegant purple opera gloves, and gold stud earrings.
Jessica is first seen from behind the stage curtains at the Ink and Paint Club, singing "Why Don't You Do Right?" After her show, followed by Eddie, Marvin Acme, owner of Toontown and founder of the Acme Corporation, enters her dressing room and informs her that she absolutely, truly, and honestly murdered the audience that night, and he means it.
He says that she was superb while Eddie peers through the keyhole to see what's going on, but Eddie is tossed out into a pile of trash by Bongo the tuxedoed gorilla bouncer when he catches Eddie spying on Jessica and Acme. When Eddie hears Jessica and Marvin talking through a nearby window, he climbs up on a box and peers through a gap in the curtains.
Marvin insists that Jessica play patty cake with him on her bed, but she states that she has a headache. Marvin says that she promised, and convinces her to do it, so she agrees, but tells him to take off his hand buzzer first. While they play patty cake, Eddie pulls out his camera and takes several pictures by order of R.K. Maroon, owner of Maroon Cartoons.
Later, after Roger crashes through the studio office window, leaving a rabbit-shaped hole in the glass and blinds, and walks across the road at the Acme factory, crying, he pulls out his wallet to look at photos of him and Jessica on their wedding day, their honeymoon on a beach, and them hugging each other at a bar.
The next morning, at the Acme factory, following Acme's murder, Jessica, angered that Eddie incriminated Roger, smacks his face real hard, and scolds him, saying that she hopes he's proud of himself, and the pictures he took. She then storms out. Officers and investigators who witnessed her reprimand Eddie can only stare in shock and disbelief.
After Eddie leaves Roger with Dolores, he is visited by Jessica the next day. She states that he's got the wrong idea about her, and asks him to help find Roger. She asks him to name his price, and she'll pay it. He says that she must have Roger to make that scam work, but she states that she loves him, and tells Eddie he's got her all wrong and doesn't know how hard it is being a woman looking the way she does. Eddie says that she doesn't know how hard it is being a man looking at her looking the way she does. Then she remarks, "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."
Eddie asks Jessica if she wasn't the one he caught playing patty cake with Marvin, and she tells him that he forbade to catch her and was set up to take the pictures because Maroon wanted to blackmail Acme. She explains that according to Maroon, if she didn't pose for them, Roger would never work in Maroon Cartoons again, and she says she couldn't let that happen and would do anything for him while she approaches him in a seductive manner with her cleavage pressed up against him and wraps her arm around him. She claims she's desperate and asks if he can't see how much she needs him. Eddie's girlfriend Dolores happens to step into the room at that point, and she is shocked, jealous, and hurt upon seeing Eddie, with his trousers fallen down, wrapped in Jessica's arms, with her cleavage up against him.
Eddie struggles to pull up his trousers and as he stands, his head comes up between Jessica's gigantic bosom, making it bounce heavily, then he apologizes. As she exits, Jessica blows a sexy Toon kiss that flutters across the room and lands on his cheek just before Dolores pulls it off in anger. Jessica then eavesdrops on Dolores and Eddie from her car as Dolores reveals that Cloverleaf Industries has put the highest bid out for Toontown so if Acme's will fails to show up by midnight, Toontown will be Cloverleaf's property to do with as they please. Outside Maroon Cartoons, at twilight, Jessica hits Roger's head with a frying pan and throws her unconscious husband into the trunk of her car, then drops the pan into her handbag. After Maroon's brutal death, she runs to her car and has been looked out the office window and seen by Eddie just before he exits the building, making Eddie believe she was Maroon's assassin. The car chase begins, as he tries to follow her, but she disappears into a tunnel leading to Toontown.
In Toontown, a silhouette of Jessica is seen in a tall apartment building by Eddie. When he is elevated up to the floor by Droopy, he opens the door to her apartment, only to discover it isn't Jessica as she turns around, drops her hair from her face to reveal ugly Lena, and runs to him with her lips puckering for a kiss, but he slams the door on her, and her lips impale it.
After being tricked into plummeting about 500 stories by Tweety Bird and two parachuting Toons (Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny), but being both saved and kissed by Lena just before she crashes into the wall and knocks herself senseless thanks to him, he's pointed at with a gun by Jessica while in an alley, and a shadow of one pointing itself at him from the other direction casts itself on the wall beside him.
Then she shoots, and the gun falls from the shadow's hand. Now Eddie draws his Toon gun, holds her at gunpoint, and tells her to drop hers. Dropping hers, she claims that she just saved his life, but he claims that he doesn't trust anybody or anything. She shows him Doom's gold pistol on the ground, the one that killed Maroon, and Doom pulled the trigger.
Also, she says she was on his tail to Maroon Cartoons, but she was too late to stop him from murdering Maroon. Suddenly, heard by both, Judge Doom is screaming and running down the alley, and Eddie shoots three times with his Toon gun, but before the bullets reach him, he disappears down a side alley. However, the bullets grind to a halt, then go off in the wrong direction.
As Jessica drags Eddie to her car, she is shocked to see the trunk open and empty and asks where Roger is. Eddie replies that he chickened out back at the studio, but she tells him that she struck Roger's head with her frying pan and put him in the trunk, so he wouldn't be hurt. Eddie says that it makes perfect sense. She decides that they will take his car. However, he points down the road where swerving tire marks lead off into the distance past burst fire hydrants and knocked-over lampposts and states that he's got a feeling someone already took it, and she says that from the looks of it, it was Roger who was never good behind the wheel. Just then, they hear a siren, and she warns him that the Toon Patrol is coming as their LAPD paddy wagon appears up the street, heading their way, and decides that they'll take Gingerbread Lane.
When Eddie sticks out his thumb by accident, Benny the Cab appears out of nowhere. They jump in and speed along the tunnel leaving Toontown. Eddie demands how long Jessica knew it was Doom, and she explains that Marvin confided that Doom wanted to get his hands on Toontown and he would stop at nothing before the keeper was killed by a giant safe falling on his head. Marvin gave her his will for safekeeping, but when she opened the envelope, there was a blank sheet of paper inside. Eddie jokingly says, "Huh! A joker 'til the end."
Benny impatiently asks where he's taking them because his meter's running, and Jessica tells him she has to find Roger because she's worried about him and tells Eddie that what she sees in Roger makes her laugh. As they leave the tunnel, Doom tips a barrel of Dip onto the road. Benny spins around on it, screaming in pain, and crashes into a lamppost, tossing Eddie and Jessica out and onto the ground. Now they are taunted by the mocking Doom. When the Toon Patrol drive out of the tunnel and pull up by their boss, they put their captives in his van and go to the Acme Factory.
At the factory, Greasy, one of Doom's five weasels, volunteers to frisk Jessica, rolls up his sleeve and puts his hand inside her bottomless cleavage. However, there is a snapping sound, and he rapidly withdraws his hand from her rack with a bear trap on it, screaming in pain, causing the other weasels to laugh, and Eddie says, "Nice booby trap." Doom whacks Greasy into a pile of boxes spilling false eyes across the floor and asks his Toon minions if she and Eddie have the will or not, but Sergeant Smarty, Doom's lieutenant, says that it is just Roger's love letter. Doom says that it doesn't count. Then, he warns Eddie and Jessica that if the will won't surface in the next 15 minutes, Toontown will be legally his; lock, stock, and barrel.
As Roger is entering the factory, Doom walks up to a large object covered by a tarp, drops a silver tray onto the floor, pulls it aside, and opens a valve releasing a green liquid onto it which starts to corrode the metal in the tray, then asks if Eddie and Jessica can guess what that is. Jessica screams, "Oh, my God, it's....DIP!!!!" Doom pulls the tarp away to reveal a large pressurized machine that carries 5000 gallons of Dip, ready to pump at enormous velocity. When he responds that Toontown will be erased in minutes, Jessica supposes that he thinks no one will notice it has disappeared. He replies as to who's got time to wonder what happened to some ridiculous talking mice when she and Eddie were driving past at 75 miles per hour. She convinces him that there isn't a road past Toontown, but he says almost.
Then, he explains that several months ago he stumbled upon a plan of both city councils for a freeway. When Roger pops out of a manhole, he holds the Toon Patrol at gunpoint and says that if they don't lift their hands, he will let Doom have it, and he is reunited by Jessica. When a pile of bricks lands on him, she rushes over and tells him to say something, and he shows her stars around his head, saying to himself, "Ready when you are, Raoul." Then, Doom commands the Toon Patrol to tie them together on a giant hook and use escape-proof Toon rope. While Greasy activates the Dip machine, Jessica tells Roger that he was magnificent and better than Goofy and wants him to know she loved him more than any woman ever loved a rabbit.
Before his departure, Doom advises Smarty to let Eddie watch the Toon couple get dipped, then shoot him. When Eddie activates a music machine in order to make the Toon Patrol laugh like crazy, Jessica declares that he's lost his mind, but Roger disagrees. Then, she helps Eddie finish his next verse with the rhyming line, "Running out of time!" After the Toon Patrol's defeat, he turns the cannon the other way by accident just before the villainous Doom returns, slides across a line to strike him, and sends him flying just before they are dueling.
While Doom's body is flattened like a pancake by a steamroller, the Dip machine is getting closer to Roger and Jessica, but Eddie deactivates it. However, when Doom reaches an oxygen tank and reinflates himself, revealing himself as a dastardly Toon bank robber with evil crimson eyes who killed Eddie's brother Teddy, Acme, and Maroon, he starts it again to kill Roger and Jessica. While the deadly Dip is getting extremely close, she bids him goodbye, protesting, but thanks to Eddie tripping the main drain valve on the back of the machine to drain all the Dip out, as the Dip level in the machine runs out to let the jet of Dip from it die out, she says that she thinks she'll faint.
After Doom's sudden death, Eddie grabs a remote control and presses a button and the large hook on which Roger and Jessica are hanging moves out of the encroaching Dip machine's way. When it crashes through the factory wall and is hit by a speeding train, Roger asks Eddie how he and Jessica will get down if there's Dip all over the place, and Eddie cleans it up with the factory's emergency fire hydrant system. After Eddie unties them, Roger replies that that was a close shave and he thought for sure their goose was cooked.
Jessica dubs Eddie her hero, then saunters over to her "honey bunny", kisses him all over his face, and tells him that he was a pillar of strength just before Benny, Dolores, Lt. Santino, and the police arrive. When hundreds of Toons (including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck,Goofy, Pluto, Daisy Duck, Snow White, Bugs, Daffy Duck, Sylvester Cat, Tweety, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn, Snow White, Dopey, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, Pedro the Mail Plane, Peter, Yosemite Sam, Woody Woodpecker, Baby Herman, Zeke Wolf, Bongo (now reformed), and the rest of the Toons) pop out from Toontown through the giant cavity in the wall, Eddie asks Roger to read a love letter to Jessica that he wrote at the Ink and Paint Club with her lipstick, and Roger does so.
However, being interrupted by this, words start appearing on the paper, and as Roger keeps reading, he discovers it is Acme's will that they were looking for! Then, as he finishes reading, the Toons applaud and cheer. Also, he tells Eddie that was a pretty funny dance he did with the Toon Patrol and asks if his days of being a sourpuss are over, and he says that only time will tell. Then, to shake his hand and congratulate him, Roger tricks him with Acme's hand buzzer, causing the Toons to gasp in shock. However, with no sense of humor, smirking, he toughly grabs Roger by the neck and gives him a big kiss.
In the end, Jessica states that she will bake him a carrot cake just before the Toon couple, Benny, Baby Herman, Eddie, Dolores, and the Toons begin walking out toward Toontown through the hole, singing "Smile Darn Ya Smile".
Spin-off short films
Jessica appears as a nurse, pushing a cart carrying baby bottles.
Jessica appears as a damsel-in-distress tied up to roller coaster tracks by Droopy.
Roger fantasizes over Jessica as a park ranger, calling her a "babe in the woods" and panting like a dog.
Jessica, alongside the other central characters, appears in the graphic novel Resurrection of Doom. Jessica also appeared frequently in the subsequent Roger Rabbit comic book series, and she had her own feature in most issues of Roger Rabbit's Toontown such as “Beauty Parlor Bedlam,” where she comes face to face with female weasel counterpart, Winnie.
With the success of the film and upon the opening of Disney-MGM Studios on May 1, 1989, the film's characters featured prominently in the company. After taking the Studio Backlot Tour, various props decorated the streets including two different photo opportunities with Jessica: a glittery cardboard cutout and "The Loony Bin" photoshop which allowed you to take pictures in costume standing next to an actual cartoon drawing of characters from the film. There was also a plethora of merchandise including Jessica rub-on stickers called "pressers".
In 2000, Disney-MGM Studios stopped using any character memorabilia in the park, though some props are still present. These include a Maroon Cartoon billboard featuring Roger, Jessica, and Baby Herman across from the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! show Eddie's office, and a cut-out of Roger on the blinds of a neighboring window near the 50s Prime Time Café, and the "ton of bricks" hanging near the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: Movie Set Adventure.
In 2013, as part of the Disney Dreamers Everywhere special event at Disneyland Paris, Jessica made her first appearance as a walk-around character in any Disney park alongside Roger and Eddie. (However, some fans have expressed criticism for her not being a "face" character).
She also plays a large role in the Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin attraction. She can first be seen tied up in the trunk of the Toon Patrol's car and then later with a giant mallet making her escape.
A Jessica Rabbit store, entitled "Jessica's", was once part of Pleasure Island, Disney's nightclub attraction and shopping area. It featured nothing but Jessica merchandise, from her signature nightgowns and jewelry to shower curtains and beach towels. A giant 2-sided neon Jessica signs with a sequined dress and swinging leg sat atop the light purple colored building. A floor-to-ceiling windowed corner of the store allowed light to shine in during the day. Another corner of the store had a large stage door with her name on it. The inside was art deco in style and was very similar to designs used in the film's Ink and Paint Club scene.
There was a cardboard cutout of Jessica reclining above the cash register area and another of her, Roger and Benny. Cast members wore regular uniforms, and there were no special shopping bags or print material for the store other than mentioned in the Pleasure Island guide map where they invited people to visit. It was abruptly closed sometime in 1992. The large neon Jessica sign was relocated to another area of the park alongside a "Pleasure Island Tonight!" sign where it stayed for many years until it was removed in June 2006. Tomart's Disneyana Magazine #66 featured a special article about the store complete with merchandise pictures and interior photos.
Walt Disney's World on Ice
Jessica appeared in one incarnation of the show with Roger and Eddie. She apparently was the only one to cheer up Scrooge McDuck with her "jokes."
- According to Gary K. Wolf, the original creator of Jessica in his book Who Censored Roger Rabbit, she is based on Droopy's girlfriend Red Hot Riding Hood/Miss Vavoom (a cartoon character he lusted after as a boy), Tinker Bell (her attitude), and Marilyn Monroe (her design).
- Some test footage showed a different Jessica, voiced by Russi Taylor (the current voice of Minnie Mouse).
- Jessica's dress was originally going to sparkle all through the film, but this would have been too expensive at the time. It was done for only her "Why Don't You Do Right" scene, and after that it was put down to stage lighting.
- In 2008, Jessica was selected by Empire Magazine as one of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
- A 57-year-old British grandmother, Annette Edwards, has spent thousands of pounds on plastic surgery and more to turn herself into the living embodiment of Jessica.
- For her 2010 Halloween show (partially played in 3-D), Rachael Ray and her husband dress as Roger and Jessica.
- In the first Tiny Toon Adventures episode, Babs Bunny turns into Jessica and Buster Bunny mentions Roger. In another episode, she made a cameo riding in a limo with Roger (with him voiced by Steven Spielberg).
- Jessica has her own website at ImNotBad.com.
- The "Oh My God" music video featuring Lily Allen as an animated femme fatale is based on the famous "Why Don't You Do Right" scene.
- There is an old photo seen in the background in the movie, revealing what Jessica was really supposed to look like. In it, she is given a dress that covers her cleavage and neck, shorter gloves, and Kathleen Turner's features and hair.
- When concepts for a Roger Rabbit sequel were being tossed around in the early 90s, Jessica was going to be shown as a Nazi spy, before she meets Roger and later becomes his wife, thus a star.
- In the original release of the film, there was a brief scene of nudity when Judge Doom tipped the Dip onto the road and Benny drove into it; when Jessica and Eddie went flying from the crash, a few frames of her without underwear can be seen. This was altered in the home video and DVD release. Many adults complained about this, and it is rumored by many of them that "Writers drew Jessica without clothing".
- In the film's early screen tests, Jessica Rabbit was voiced by Russi Taylor, the current voice of Minnie Mouse and Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
- Jessica Rabbit's "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way" was later used as the promotional poster tagline for Descendants.
- As noted above, her characterization in the book Who Censored Roger Rabbit (which the film was loosely based on), Jessica Rabbit had the exact opposite characterization from the movie. In particular, she was revealed to be a porn star who also has been philandering, and has absolutely no loyalty or love for Roger Rabbit (though similar to the movie, she ultimately had no actual direct involvement in Rabbit's trouble). This ultimately ended up being retconned in later books to have her be closer to how she acted in the film, while her characterization in the first book was due to a dream she had.
- The newspaper version of the "patty cake" picture uses an earlier drawing of Jessica. This is because this scene was filmed before the design of Jessica changed.