Flappie is the name of a Dutch Christmas song written by comedian Youp van 't Hek in 1978. The song became popular in The Netherlands, and it has been played as part of the rotation of Christmas music every year since. Unlike most Christmas music, however, this song has a dark edge running through the song.
The song describes Youp's remembering Christmas morning of 1961, a time he still remembers. He looked in his rabbit cage, only to find that his pet rabbit Flappie was missing. He went to his mother to ask for help looking for the rabbit, and his mother told him that he'd have to wait for his father, who was busy in the shed. However, if Youp goes off to play, he'll get a treat later. Youp feels incredibly guilty about his pet rabbit – he could have sworn that he locked the gate, and now his thoughts were that his poor rabbit had frozen overnight in the snow. His father eventually comes to help look for Flappie in the woods and by the lake, but there's no sign of the rabbit.
During the meal on that fateful Christmas Day, Youp sings that his thoughts were still on his rabbit, and he didn't care about the food in front of him. When the main dish came out, his father announced "There's Flappie!". Youp then storms off to bed, angrily proclaiming that Flappie was his pet.
At the end of the song, Youp sings about Boxing day of 1961, which his mother still remembers. His father's bed was empty, and he told his mother not to go into the shed, but that if she went off to play she would get a treat later.
Because of the popularity of the song, there has been numerous cases of vandals breaking into rabbit cages around Christmas time, with the intention of re-creating parts of the Flappie song. There are also cases where people adopt a rabbit as a pet in December, again with the intention of recreating part of the song. In 2006, the Dutch Animal Protection made a statement that any people who wanted to adopt a rabbit would have to wait until January before they could adopt one. People who have pet rabbits are also encouraged to lock their rabbits indoors during December, to prevent vandals from breaking the cages open and stealing the rabbits.
Other uses of the term
Flappie is also the name of a widget application developed by Tasty Apps. Flappie is a virtual pet that is affected by the owners local weather conditions.