A while back someone was attempting to compile a treasury of Western animation tropes, and I submitted "Unicycle Legs." I don't know if anyone ever picked up on it.
This was seen a lot in kids' cartoons during the 1960s and '70s, particularly the ones by Hanna-Barbera. A character would see something scary coming after him, become frightened, and....run in place for approximately 4.6 seconds, his legs whirling around until they formed a de facto
wheel and "rattle-tattle-tat" sound effect filling the soundtrack as if someone was pushing a dining-cart tray down the stairs. Only after 4.6 seconds would the character actually try to get the hell out of there - and, conveniently enough, the villain or monster would always (well, almost
always, as I saw this trope subverted at least once) wait five
seconds before actually trying to grab the guy.
were probably the most guilty of this cliche.