[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SC00003_5789.jpg]]

->''"Now we're going to watch one of my favorite cartoons about a pathetic Coyote who spends his life in the ''futile'' pursuit of a sadistic roadrunner, who mocks him and laughs at him as he's repeatedly '''crushed''' and '''maimed'''! ''I hope you '''enjoy it'''!''"''
-->-- '''George Newman''', [[Music/WeirdAlYankovic Weird Al's]] character in ''Film/{{UHF}}''

An extremely popular series of ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short subjects made by Creator/ChuckJones during TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation, the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner shorts are centered on the titular duo as the smart but obsessive coyote does everything within his power (and uses everything within the ACME catalog) to capture the elusive Road Runner for dinner. Despite their penchant for formula, the shorts have remained extremely popular to this day, lasting for 40 shorts in the classic era, with new shorts being created for theaters.

They have made a comeback via CGI in ''TheLooneyTunesShow''.
----
!!These cartoons provide examples of:
* [[AccordionMan Accordion Coyote]]
* AcmeProducts: Of course, it's a mystery how Wile E. can pay for all the stuff he orders from them, and a bigger mystery why he continues to do so, seeing as nine times out of ten, their products are the reason he fails. (One Cartoon Network ad hints that he's the QA tester for the company, but another one has him ''sue'' the company over all the malfunctioning equipment, gaining a prime-time slot as a settlement.)
* AffectionateParody: The first short was made as a ''parody'' of "cat chases mouse" cartoons (and nature documentaries; the [[CanisLatinicus pseudo-Latin names]] are a direct callback to those), but audiences [[PoesLaw took it at face value]] and thought it was just something new. The rest is history.
* AmusingInjuries: Coyote suffers a multitude in every episode.
* AntiVillain: Wile E. Coyote.
* AnvilOnHead: A ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' staple, reproduced faithfully multiple times.
* ArchEnemy: Wile E. and the Road Runner.
* ArtEvolution: The designs of the two characters did change a bit over the years, but this trope was more evident in the background designs. The first three cartoons had scenic, but fairly bland-looking backgrounds, which gave way to more abstract designs starting with Maurice Noble's arrival. They gradually got more and more unusual, eventually leading to some flat-out ''weird'' scenery in "Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z-z-z" before settling down into a more consistent style from 1957 onwards.
* AshFace
* [[IncrediblyLamePun Beep]] [[BeamMeUpScotty Me Up, Scotty]]: We all know it's "BEEP BEEP!" Yet for some strange reason, it ''still'' sounds like "MEEP MEEP!"
* BearTrap
* BombWhistle: Everything that falls, including boulders, [[AnvilOnHead anvils]], and Wile E. himself, makes this sound.
* BoomerangComeback: Wile E. gets hit in the back of his head by his own boomerang (naturally) in "The Fast and the Furry-ous".
* BrickJoke: In some cartoons, an [=ACME=] contraption would fail early on and be ignored, until the Coyote comes back across it and does something foolish to trigger it.
* ButtMonkey: Wile E. himself; in fact he never gets to be anything [[IncrediblyLamePun butt]].
** IronButtMonkey: Even for a Warner Brothers cartoon, it's amazing what the Coyote goes through - and then gets up and goes right back in.
* CanisLatinicus: Both parties receive a new genus/species name in this style before each short ("To Beep or Not to Beep" being the exception). In one short ("Soup or Sonic"), even the Roadrunner's ''beeps'' get a scientific name: "beepus-beepus".
** Though "The Whizzard of Ow" showed the actual scientific names, Geococcyx Californianus (greater roadrunner) and Canis Latrans (coyote).
** "Stop! Look! and Hasten!" also features a cameo by a Burmese Tiger ("Surprisibus Surprisibus")
* CartoonPhysics: But it's so side-splittingly funny in ''all'' cases that [[RuleOfFunny it doesn't matter]].
* {{Catchphrase}}: Beep Beep!
* ColossusClimb: Averted. In the cartoon ''Soup or Sonic'', [[ThrowTheDogABone Wile E. finally catches the Road Runner]]. The episode's running gag involving size changing pipes leaves the Road Runner gigantic, but unfortunately for the Coyote he has become tiny, very tiny. He doesn't bother trying to scale the huge bird ([[OhCrap even he can appreciate he's massively outgunned]]) and instead asks the audience what is he supposed to do now.
* ConspicuousTrenchcoat: When Wile E. gets hold off a Spy Kit in "Sugar and Spies", he starts wearing a black trenchcoat and hat. In the middle of the desert.
* {{Crossover}}: Two, on a technicality. "Hare-breadth Hurry" has Bugs Bunny filling in for a sidelined Road Runner, while "The Wild Chase" has a cannonball race between the Road Runner and Speedy Gonzales, with the Coyote and Sylvester in pursuit.
** Wile E. also crossed into a few Bugs Bunny cartoons as well. These are where the "Wile E. Coyote, Super-Genius" persona comes from.
* TheDarkAgeOfAnimation
* DependingOnTheWriter: The Road Runner is variably either a wild creature going simply about its life and avoiding getting caught, or a sadistic trickster who deliberately sabotages the Coyote's plans and seems to enjoy seeing him get hurt.
* {{Determinator}}: The Coyote, of course.
** Rule Number 3: "The Coyote could stop any time ó IF he were not a fanatic."
*** Halfway through the cartoon, one realizes that the Coyote doesn't want to eat the Road Runner at that point--he just wants his contraptions to work properly.
* DitzyGenius: Wile E. Coyote, especially on the occasions when he goes after BugsBunny.
* EjectionSeat: When Wile E. Coyote builds a WeaponizedCar to catch the Roadrunner in "Sugar and Spies", it includes an ejection seat. You can probably guess how useful this proves to him.
* EpicFail: Cutting the branch hanging off a cliffside that the Roadrunner's on -- and the ''cliff'' collapses. 'Nuff said.
** Anything involving catapults will end in misfires that ''break physics''.
** Pretty much everything Coyote does ends in this. HilarityEnsues.
* EveryoneHasStandards: In one cartoon, Wile E. takes a ''massive'' tumble, falling down ''several'' cliffs, sucked through pipes, over waterfalls, and is hit by a truck, before finally coming to a stop at the top of a cliff, breathing hard and clutching his chest. The Road Runner runs up behind him and has a chance to scare him off the cliff like he usually does, but he holds a sign up that says "I just don't have the heart", and runs off again.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: [[FridgeLogic How did he not starve to death?]] [[FridgeBrilliance Oh yeah, he's functionally immortal.]] Averted at the end of one or two episodes, though. Flipped in the arcade game where you play the Roadrunner, and [[EndlessGame being eaten is the only way to end the game]].
** Some later shorts show a possible method of survival, opening with the Coyote trying to eat a rock or a cactus, failing, then going in pursuit of the Roadrunner. One episode even opened with the Coyote ''successfully'' eating a lizard (on screen: "Coyote (Eatibus anythingus)"). The Roadrunner is probably the only thing around with any real meat on it, so he's willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get just one filling meal.
* FlatCharacter: The Road Runner, being a LivingProp and an AlmostNormalAnimal, is nondescript in personality, never serving any purpose outside of being Wile E's victim.
** Arguably this is no longer the case in ''WesternAnimation/TheLooneyTunesShow'', where The Road Runner is portrayed as finding Wile E. Coyote's efforts playfully amusing; he gets as close to the Coyote as possible, including posing for photos with him, and in the short "Heavy Metal" he repeatedly runs back through the same tunnel to encourage the Coyote to chase him again.
** But, as the quote above shows, the Road Runner of the original shorts can easily be viewed as sadistic, making fun of the Coyote's suffering, kind of like Tweety for Sylvester.
* FriendlyEnemy: What the Road Runner regards Coyote as. He's not oblivious to the fact Wile E. wants to kill and eat him, but always 'Beeps' cheerfully to him, and is rarely malicious and never openly hostile towards to the Coyote.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In one short, Wile E.'s scientific name was given as "Hardheadipus oedipus", (i.e. hard-headed motherfucker). Meanwhile, the Road Runner's scientific name was given as "Batoutahelius".
* TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation
* GoneHorriblyRight:
** The Coyote disguised himself as a female roadrunner to attract the Road Runner. The disguise did a good work deceiving... other coyotes.
** Typically, whenever one of the AcmeProducts ''does'' work as advertised, their success manages to work against Wile E. For example, a Dehydrated Boulder, upon hydration, becomes so large that it squashes him, or he finds out that the Earthquake Pills bottle label's fine print states that the pills arenít effective on road runners... right after he swallows the whole bottle thinking they don't work.
* GravityIsAHarshMistress: The TropeCodifier in the public mind, since about half the gags involved Wile E. falling off a cliff as the result of his latest failure.
** Rule Number 8: "Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote's greatest enemy."
* HammeredIntoTheGround: Happens to Wile E. more than once, even as a result of his own inventions backfiring.
* HarmlessVillain: The Coyote.
* HeroAntagonist: The Road Runner can be considered the hero of this short, being hunted after by a hungry predator. However his character is kept deliberately [[FlatCharacter flat]] and OutOfFocus in each short so that the audience's sympathy is instead with [[VillainProtagonist Wile E Coyote]].
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Seriously, the Trope could practically be called "Wile E. Coyote Syndrome" it happens to him so often.
* HollywoodMagnetism: Wile E. Coyote got bitten by this once. In his attempt to catch Bugs Bunny with an iron carrot, his super-magnet ended up attracting all sorts of metal junk instead, including the Eiffel Tower, an ocean liner and finally a ballistic missile, which blew him to kingdom come.
** He also got the Road Runner to eat some iron pellets disguised as birdseed, then tried to capture him with a giant magnet. The magnet attracted a giant barrel of TNT instead.
* HomingBoulders: No matter how carefully the Coyote tries to avoid them..
* HopeSpot: Villainous example with "The Solid Tin Coyote", which the Road Runner shows visible fear towards and is captured by Coyote's HumongousMecha. [[YankTheDogsChain It doesn't work out.]]
* HumanCannonball: Wile E. has attempted to fire himself out of a cannon multiple times in his neverending quest to catch the Road Runner. What he has achieved is multiple new ways to injure himself.
* HumongousMecha: The eponymous giant robot from "The Solid Tin Coyote".
* ImpossiblyDeliciousFood: As Wile E. [[MrExposition explains to two viewers in one episode]], this is why he "spends his valuable time chasing this silly bird", claiming that "the Roadrunner is to the taste buds of a coyote, what caviar, champagne, filet mignon and chocolate fudge are to the taste buds of a man." He then pulls out a chart explaining that every part of the Roadrunner comes "In a dazzling array of flavors." From banana to sponge cake to candied yam to pistachio.
* [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain Ineffectual Sympathetic]] VillainProtagonist: Rule Number 10: The audience's sympathy must remain with the Coyote.
* [[InvincibleHero Invincible]] HeroAntagonist: Unlike most other recurring Looney Tunes heroes, who usually had at least [[ATasteOfDefeat the odd moment of defeat]], the Road Runner ''never'' "lost", or was even remotely hurt or humiliated throughout any cartoon.
* JustEatHim: Wile E. orders his aforementioned mecha to do this after capturing the Road Runner, which is strange considering that Wile E. himself should be the one trying to eat him.
* LargeHam: Wile E. Coyote, especially when he goes after Bugs Bunny, where he introduces himself as, "Wile E. Coyote, '''SUUUUUPEEERRR GEEEENIUS!!'''"
* LimitedAnimation: The Rudy Larriva shorts, and to a lesser extent, the two Robert [=McKimson=] shorts.
* LooneyTunesInTheForties: The very first short was made in the forties.
* LooneyTunesInTheFifties: Fifteen of the shorts were produced during this time.
* LooneyTunesInTheSixties: Where the bulk of the series output was made.
* LooneyTunesInTheSeventiesAndOnward: A series of shorts made for Series/TheElectricCompany, and the newer theatrical shorts.
* TheMillenniumAgeOfAnimation
* MrExposition: Wile E. becomes this in one cartoon where [[ShowWithinAShow two kids watching the cartoon]] on television wonder ''why'' he wants to eat the Road Runner. He explains in detail - with visual aids - just why road runners are considers such a delicacy to coyotes.
* OhCrap: Wile E. has this expression a lot (especially when [[GravityIsAHarshMistress gravitational cognizance]] kicks in). Perhaps the only time the Roadrunner has shown it is when he sees the [[HumongousMecha giant mechanical coyote]] that Wile E. has built.
** The Roadrunner gets an OhCrap moment during a guest appearence in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' segment [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwtVpOU_als ''The Little Old Slappy From Pasadena'']] ... just before Slappy Squirrel bumps him with her car.
* PackedHero: Wile E. ends up in a parcel that was meant for the Road Runner. Courtesy of an Acme parcel-making machine, naturally.
* PaintedTunnelRealTrain: ''Road Runner'' loves this trope.
* PedestrianCrushesCar: In one cartoon, Wile E. is hit so hard by a truck that he [[ImpactSilhouette leaves a hole through it]].
* PerpetualSmiler: The Road Runner--the only time he ''ever'' changes from this is when he sees the eponymous [[HumongousMecha giant robot]] from "The Solid Tin Coyote".
** He also changes it into a thoughtful frown as he seemingly forgets his {{Catchphrase}} in "The Whizzard of Ow".
* PinPullingTeeth: When Wile E. tries this in "Beep Beep", the grenade stays in his teeth.
* PunBasedTitle: Most of the shorts have a pun in their title.
* RacingTheTrain: In the cartoon "Zipping Along," the establishing scene features the bird zipping along a train, although he leaves the road and never attempts to beat the train to the crossing.
** The Road Runner's observation of safety is reprised in a later '''Operation:Lifesaver''' commercial aimed at children. In it, the Road Runner, despite his ability to put some extra speed in his already fast run, is aware of safety rules concerning railroad crossings and stops to allow a train to pass. Of course, Wile E. Coyote arrogantly doesn't, and he (once again) is crushed beneath another oncoming train.
* RecycledInSpace: It's a cat and mouse cartoon [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: IN THE DESERT ]]
! [[/folder]]

[[folder: AND THE VILLAIN IS WHO EARNS OUR SYMPATHY! ]]

* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation
* RoadRunnerVsCoyote: TropeNamer.
* RubeGoldbergDevice: Used in the climax of "Hook, Line and Stinker".
* TheRuntAtTheEnd: When Wile disguised himself as a female roadrunner to attract his prey but instead attracted other coyotes, the last coyote was a runt.
* RhymesOnADime: In some ''Looney Tunes'' comic books from the 80's where ''both'' characters talk, the Road Runner does this.
* ShadowOfImpendingDoom: Anything that Wile E. launches will produce one of these. Right over him. [[HomingBoulders Even if he tries to dodge]].
* SmallNameBigEgo: In most of the Coyote's confrontations with Bugs.
-->"I am Wile E. Coyote, [[InsufferableGenius super-genius]]."
* StrictlyFormula: Popular as the shorts are, they're best watched in small doses, as they tend to feel really, really samey if you watch all of them back to back.
* SuddenlyVoiced: At those rare occasions Wile E. ''does'' talk, he speaks in a very refined voice, as well as revealing the fact that he's an InsufferableGenius. However, he ''always'' speaks when he's up against Bugs (except for one short which doesn't really count, as Bugs is taking over for the Roadrunner in that one).
** Wile guested once on ''FamilyGuy'' where Peter Griffin was the customer service rep for ACME. Wile complains about the the product backfires such as slamming him into a mountain. When Peter says he can't refund money because the products were used, Wile complains that he's been a loyal customer for years so Peter offers Wile store credit.
* SuperPersistentPredator: And how! {{Lampshaded}} by BugsBunny in ''Hare-Breadth Hurry'':
-->"Y'know, it's amazin' the trouble this joker goes to to get a square meal."
* SurpriseJump: The Road Runner frequently does this to the Coyote. Subverted at the end of "Zoom and Bored" where the Coyote had just endured a harrowing journey involving a harpoon gun and had landed safely on solid ground. The Road Runner runs up behind him as usual... but then [[TalkingWithSigns "says"]] he doesn't have the heart this time, and leaves.
* SuperSpeed: The Road Runner.
* TalkingWithSigns
* TeamRocketWins: Yes, the Coyote catches the Road Runner at one point... but the gag makes it impossible for him to actually eat the bird. He even lampshades it by asking the audience what he should do now.
** He also catches Road Runner in "The Solid Tin Coyote", [[YankTheDogsChain Doesn't work out]]
** And again in the CGI short "Shut Your Trap". [[YankTheDogsChain Doesn't work out]].
** And AGAIN in the CGI short "Heartbreak Bridge", where The Road Runner willingly and happily jumps into the Coyote's arms, but this unbalances the bridge they are both standing on, and to save himself the Coyote has to throw the Road Runner to the other side. The rest of the short is the Coyote attempting to keep the bridge balanced while the Road Runner tries to tip it up. [[YankTheDogsChain Doesn't work out]].
** Most of the Road Runner shorts made by parody comedians have the Coyote finally catching the Road Runner. A Creator/SethMacFarlane short called "Die Sweet Roadrunner, Die", [[spoiler: has the coyote finally catching and eating the bird. But with his purpose in life lost he gets horribly bored and depressed and attempts suicide (hysterically enough, he does so with an ACME product). Then he does find a purpose in life and becomes a Born-Again Christian.]]
* TechnicolorEyes: In the shorts by Matthew O'Callaghan, Wile E.'s are {{red|EyesTakeWarning}}, and the Road Runner's are turquoise.
* ThoseWilyCoyotes
* ThreeDimensionalEpisode: "Coyote Falls", "Fur of Flying", and "Rabid Rider".
* ThrowThePin: Wile E. does this in "Beep Beep", leaving him with a grenade in his teeth.
* TheVoiceless: Both of them. Wile E. does speak during four of his five appearances with BugsBunny, and again when explaining to two young boys why he wants to eat the road runner.
** And in one cartoon, as he's walking off screen, mangled out of shape, he gives us a deadpan "ouch."
** If you were to count the Road Runner's "BEEP BEEP" as a voice, he would fall under TheUnintelligible.
* TruthInTelevision: In ''Just Plane Beep'' when Wile E. shoots the propeller of his biplane off trying to hit the road runner. That was a real problem in WWI before the interrupter gear was invented, and one solution (as was also shown) was to put armor plating on the propeller.
* VillainProtagonist: Wile E. Coyote is trying to eat the Road Runner, and is therefore ostensibly the bad guy. But he's just so adorably persistent in how he goes about it that you can't help but root for him.
** Chuck Jones in fact had it as written lore that ''all'' sympathy must be with the Coyote.
* VillainousUnderdog: The cartoons are built around this concept, with the smart, but horribly unlucky coyote being thoroughly overmatched by the [[SuperSpeed super fast]], equally smart, and [[BornLucky and ungodly fortunate]] Road Runner. Physics itself was always on the Road Runner's side, meaning Wile E's schemes were doomed from the start.
* VillainTeamUp: Well, if Sylvester counts as a villain, then the aforementioned {{Crossover}} counts.
* WeaponizedCar: Wile E. builds one in "Sugar and Spies". It includes machine guns, a cannon and an ejector seat.
* WickedCultured: In the cartoons where he speaks, Wile E. Coyote comes across as this.
* WrittenSoundEffect: "Chariots of Fur" (Chuck Jones's last Road Runner short) uses these quite a bit, but only once does it do something creative with them -- when the Coyote disguises himself as a cactus and tries to garb the Road Runner, but the Road Runner avoids him, the Coyote accidentally wraps his arms around himself in the process, and the smoke trail the Road Runner left behind turns into a "!!YEE-OOWW!!"
* WrongParachuteGag: Wile E. tries to be CrazyPrepared by wearing a parachute in case he falls off a cliff. He opens it and out comes... canning samples.
----