->''"Hmmm-hmmm, it's time for me to eat.\\
Catching a pig is quite a feat!"''
-->-- '''The BigBad Wolf''', Creator/RichardScarry's version of ''The Literature/ThreeLittlePigs''

A plot where the antagonist tries several times to capture, kill, or otherwise defeat the protagonist, and keeps failing spectacularly, either because the target is too smart, or because the antagonist is just [[ButtMonkey really unlucky]]. Often this plot will climax with a plan that looks actually serious, but will fail just as surely as the others.

A SubTrope of FailureIsTheOnlyOption, except this specifically focuses on repeated failures in succession. Frequently linked to HarmlessVillain, and may induce RootingForTheEmpire if the antagonist is pathetic enough.

Compare CatchThatPigeon, SternChase, VillainDecay (just here the villain decays immediately by design).
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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Advertising]]
* From 1993 to 1995, Energizer ran a series of commercials where the ficitional Supervolt battery company hired several famous villains ([[Franchise/StarWars Darth Vader]], Film/KingKong, [[{{Dracula}} Count Dracula]], etc.) to destroy the Energizer Bunny, with either the batteries in their weapons running out of power, or other circumstances allowing the Bunny's escape. A few of these commercials even had [[WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadRunner Wile E. Coyote himself]] as one of the Bunny's assassins.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''
** Team Rocket. They ''must'' capture the super-Pikachu!
* Nadie and Ellis in ''Anime/ElCazadorDeLaBruja'' are constantly on the run, having to evade various traps laid by [[spoiler:Rosenberg and the Witch Coven]] and bounty hunters, sent by the same people.
* ''Franchise/LupinIII'' will never be captured by [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist Inspector Zenigata]]. Well... at least not unless Lupin is trying to mess with Zenigata's mind. Zenigata admits that he wouldn't know what to do if Lupin was actually caught permanently.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* The Dutch comic ''ComicBook/DeGeneraal'', and the lesser-known ''¡Viva Zapapa!'', both by Peter de Smet, are filled to the brim with this trope. The main character, The General, assisted by a zany professor and a soldier, and armed with a rather ancient tank, repeatedly tries to take power from The Marshall (seated in a fort; the general's HQ is a preciously guarded tree). Their lack of success in whatever way they try is only surpassed by a motorcycle policeman's failures to book The General for breaking just about any law or rule the policeman thinks applicable.
* ''¡Viva Zapapa!'' takes the same basic idea, but instead of the complexity of the plans themselves, it's usually the bumbling assistant to The Great Revolutionary Leader Zapapa who manages to scupper those plans (if they had any chance of success in the first place).
* Comicbook/GhostRider vs Water Wizard worked like this, mainly due to Ghost Rider being seemingly unstoppable. Water Wizard eventually made a {{deal with the devil}}, specifically the EvilSorcerer Moon Dark, and looked like he would finally be able to defeat Ghost Rider, but did not.
* The ''ComicBook/{{Tintin}}'' album ''The Broken Ear'' features this as a subplot. After Colonel Diaz is arbitrarily demoted to corporal by General Alcazar, he makes four failed attempts at assassinating Alcazar. The second and third attempts leave Diaz with AmusingInjuries, though the four attempt does backfire lethally.
* Parodied several times in ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'':
** In one strip, Garfield chases a mouse as Jon cheers him on, only to step on the mouse by accident. He promptly stops and revives the mouse before sending it off unharmed, his dialogue basically explaining it was all an act for Jon's sake.
** In another strip, Garfield is being chased by a big dog, only to stop and demand to know what's going to happen now the dog has caught him. The answer? They start dancing the tango, with Garfield noting he wants to lead the next time.
** Another "dog chasing Garfield" strip ends with the reveal that they were actually both trying to chase an ice-cream truck, not chasing each other.
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[[folder: Eastern European Animation]]
* ''Animation/NuPogodi'' is the Russian answer to Road Runner and Coyote, with a wolf chasing a hare in a WorldOfFunnyAnimals setting.
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[[folder: Fan Fic]]
* A ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' Fanfic titled [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3844604/1/Ryouga_vs_the_Road_Runner "Ryouga vs. the Road Runner"]] had Ryouga deciding he needed training in speed if he was to ever beat Ranma. In true TrainingFromHell fashion, his training consists of catching the Road Runner. [[HilarityEnsues Hilarity does in fact ensue.]]
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[[folder: Film]]
* The middle of the ''Film/ChittyChittyBangBang'' movie where the Vulgarian spies are attempting to capture the car.
* The old, old movie ''Film/TheGreatRace'' was live-action Road Runner cartoon from start to finish. It was itself an inspiration for ''WackyRaces''.
* In ''Film/{{Caddyshack}}'', Bill Murray's Carl tries increasingly drastic plans to get a certain gopher.
* The full premise of ''Film/MouseHunt''.
* ''Film/OfUnknownOrigin'' plays this trope for ''horror''. Bart Hughes gradually undergoes a mental breakdown as he is repeatedly thwarted in his attempts to kill the rat that lives in his new house.
* ''Film/TheVillain'' is a Western example wherein the titular bank robber is trying to capture The Handsome Stranger (no really, that's his name) and Charmin'. Every scheme is right out of a Roadrunner cartoon, including painting a tunnel on the side of a rock and getting stuck in his own glue trap.
* ''Film/AFishCalledWanda'' has Michael Palin trying to kill an old woman before she can testify about his boss. Each attempt succeeds in killing, not her, but one of her dogs. Palin's character is an animal lover, and this impacts him greatly until, with the killing of the third and last dog, the old woman has a heart attack and snuffs it.
* ''Film/SmokeyAndTheBandit'' has the Bandit manage to elude the law as it pursues him across the south. [[CorruptHick Sheriff Buford T. Justice]] especially keeps failing spectacularly to capture him.
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[[folder: Franchise]]
* ''Franchise/TheSmurfs'': In all incarnations of ''The Smurfs'', Gargamel an impoverished evil sorcerer plots to catch the Smurfs so he could create gold, eat them or use them for magic potions. His cat Azrael tries to help him, too.
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[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard''. Kind of the whole point of the show -- a live-action version of the classic cartoon series, with Boss Hogg and Rosco coming up with scheme after scheme to destroy the Duke family but the Dukes always coming out ahead in the end.
* The ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "Bounty" was about a bunch of bounty hunters going after the Stargate team, and all but one of them fails spectacularly and hilariously.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': In "Revenging Angel", the protagonist's hallucination was a direct {{Homage}} to the Creator/ChuckJones cartoon.
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[[folder: Machinima]]
* Spriggs and Willy in ''Machinima/SpriggsAHalo3Machinima''.
* [[spoiler:Enzo]] from ''Machinima/Supermarioglitchy4sSuperMario64Bloopers'' PERIOD. [[spoiler:He wants to kill Mario all for the latter ruining his birthday party]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics]]
* Bun-Bun's repeated attempts to kill Santa Claus in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. He finally succeeds during the "[[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=031013 Holiday]] [[http://ads.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=031124 Wars]]" [[http://beta.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=031214 trilogy]], but Santa Got Better.
* Ralph in ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'' used to try to eat Kevin almost every time we saw him. He hasn't tried in years, arguably due to a HeelFaceTurn.
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[[folder: Web Original]]
* The climactic chase between Roy and Simon in ''[[WebVideo/TheCartoonMan Return of the Cartoon Man]]'' is an homage to this type of cartoon, and uses many of the requisite gags.
* ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'': Sniffles, while normally a hero, has these moments when trying to eat The Ants. But every time this happens, The Ants end up killing him in ways that are sadistic even for [[BloodyHilarious the show itself]].
* Black Kitty vs White Kitty in ''WebAnimation/GoodbyeKitty''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes' cartoons have been doing it for years.
** ''WesternAnimation/BugsBunny'': Many characters have attempted to catch and/or kill this RascallyRabbit, including WesternAnimation/ElmerFudd, WesternAnimation/YosemiteSam, Marvin the Martian, and the Tasmanian Devil, as well as numerous one-time villains, but Bugs is always cunning enough to outsmart them.
** ''WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck'': Duffy Duck was the road runner at first, then he became the coyote after he was changed into a near ButtMonkey.
** ''WesternAnimation/SylvesterTheCatAndTweetyBird'': Aww, an adorable black-and-white tom-cat tries to catch and eat a cute yellow canary.
** ''WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadRunner'': These two are the {{Trope Namer}}s.
** Played with in the ''WesternAnimation/RalphWolfAndSamSheepdog'' shorts, the protagonist was in fact the bodyguard, thwarting the antagonist from pursuing it's prey (in this case a field of sheep). Amusingly, this was [[PunchClockVillain just a routine day job]] [[PunchClockHero for the two]], they're good buddies off the clock.
** The HighSchoolAU version of the Looney Tunes, the ''WesternAnimation/TinyToons'' had many teen versions of the original Looney Tunes and some original characters, among them: Calamity Coyote and Little Beeper (teen versions of the Coyote and the Roadrunner) and Furrball and Sweetipie (Silvester and Tweety). There was also a little baby mouse Li'l Sneezer that was sometimes chased by Furrball and, in a curious continuation of the food chain, a nerd worm name Bookworm chased by Sweetipie, in all cases with bad consequences for the predator. But the writers soon left this formula and focus more on other kind of plots.
* Some WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts, particularly the ones involving Donald Duck of ''WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck'' used this trope, but not quite to the degree of the Warner shorts.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry Tom and Jerry]]'': Tom the tom-cat and Jerry the mouse are a classic example, but these cartoons belong among the rare ones which sometimes PlayedWith this trope. Jerry was very antagonistic in some cartoons to the point where Tom was the likeable character of the two and viewers rooted for him, hoping he would catch the bloody vermin. In some episodes, Tom had at least some vindication by the end, such as the episode in which he forced Jerry to learn how to "hunt cats" from his nephew. Sometimes Tom and Jerry even collaborated against a common enemy, like a new evil tom-cat in their house.
* Some of Creator/TexAvery's {{MGM}} shorts:
** ''ScrewySquirrel''
** George and Junior
** Droopy vs. Spike
* Creator/DePatieFrelengEnterprises' had ''WesternAnimation/TheAntAndTheAardvark'' series.
* Creator/ColumbiaCartoons-Screen Gems' ''The Fox and the Crow'' shorts of the '40s often have a variation of this dynamics.
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'':
** An episode in which Dexter got a bicycle turned into a direct homage to the Road Runner cartoons. Dexter tried to get even with a roller-blading Dee Dee.
** Episode "Mom and Jerry" was a ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' pastiche in which Dexter got trapped in the body of a mouse and his mom mistook him for a regular mouse. HilarityEnsues.
* The ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode where [[GreatGazoo Mxyzptlk]] first appeared.
* ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines'': The whole series boils down to the {{Villain Protagonist}}s trying to, in their own words, "Stop that pigeon!"
* ''WesternAnimation/WackyRaces'': Dick Dastardly's plans to stop the other which often use the ''same visual gags'' as the Road Runner cartoons. One of the writers for both shows was Michael Maltese, who had collaborated with Creator/ChuckJones on the Road Runner shorts.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooAndTheReluctantWerewolf'': Just think of ''Wacky Races'', only with ScoobyDoo and monsters, and the role of Dick Dastardly (basically the Coyote) replaced alternately by Count Dracula and the Hunch Bunch. [[DickDastardlyStopsToCheat Except their main target is only Shaggy's car, in hopes he loses the race so he will remain a werewolf forever]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'' homaged the Road Runner cartoons in "Back to Norm" where Crocker, in possession of a genie, wishes for elaborate traps to capture Timmy Turner, [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim rather than wishing him to Mars.]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest'' parodied this concept including Johnny going "beet beet" in the same style as the Roadrunner's trademark "beep beep" sound and Bling Bling Boy questioningly the sheer improbability of a train passing through a fake tunnel AND [[AnvilOnHead an anvil falling randomly from the sky]]. Oh, and Johnny and Bling Bling even had their [[CanisLatinicus "Latin" names]].
* The ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' segments of the ''WesternAnimation/SaturdaySupercade''. {{Mario}} was the Coyote, and DK was the Roadrunner.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' is perceived as this with Sonic and Tails playing the Road Runner while Scratch, Grounder and Dr. Robotnik (whom we call Dr. Eggman these days) usually played the Coyote. In the ending credits, Robotnik tries to smash Sonic in a trap in a road. When Sonic came, Robotnik pushed the button and seemed to have caught Sonic. However, when Robotnik went to check, he found no sign of Sonic whatsoever. While he [[TooDumbToLive left the remote control unguarded and stood at the trap area]], Sonic appeared and pushed the button, smashing Robotnik. Sonic then left, dropping the remote control at the trap area. When Robotnik, in a pancake shape as a result of the smashing landed, he hit the button, causing the trap to smash him again.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'':
** Candace is always trying to bust her brothers but never succeeds, instead she's getting either injured or humiliated.
** From the show, Dr. Doofenshmirtz scheming to take over the tri-state area and constantly being thwarted by Perry the Platypus.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'' toys with the concept somewhat (it probably borrows more from the premise of the Trope Namer's sister series ''WesternAnimation/RalphWolfAndSamSheepdog'') though is still clearly inspired by it, with the Urpneys frequently using cartoon gadgets to try and steal the Dreamstone from the Land Of Dreams. Expect AmusingInjuries galore.
* Creator/HannaBarbera's ''Blast-Off Buzzard'' (a segment of 1977's WesternAnimation/CBBears) had the title bird in pursuit of Crazy Legs Snake. And unlike H-B shows in general, this segment was completely dialogue-less.
* Creator/DePatieFrelengEnterprises' Crazy Legs Crane was always chasing a dragonfly (a tiny dragon with wings).
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'', about half of Slappy Squirrels plots revolve around old villains trying to get Slappy, and [[EpicFail failing badly]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TazMania'': This trope sums up the attempts of bot Francis X. Bushlad, and Bull Gator and Axl, to capture Taz, and Taz's attempts to capture the Kee-Wee.
* Oddly enough, ''WesternAnimation/TheItchyAndScratchyShow'' in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' almost never actually use this trope, despite being a parody of ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'', the premise being more an ultra violent ScrewySquirrel cartoon. In almost every episode, Itchy the mouse actually seeks to ''murder his best friend'', the cat Scratchy, ''for no reason'', and always succeeds... [[TheDogBitesBack except for one occasion]], which we never got to see.
* ''WesternAnimation/AngryBirdsToons'' revolves around the Bad Piggies attempting to steal the Angry Birds' eggs with the intent to eat them, and they're always thwarted. The show does, however, have the occasional SliceOfLife plot instead, applying to either the birds or the pigs.
* ''WesternAnimation/OggyAndTheCockroaches'' is an interesting case: while it's clear that the cockroaches are the antagonists of the series, either side of the ongoing fight can be the winner of the fight for the episode, sometimes both sides win, other times neither will, and yet still a third party can end up the winner.
* ''WesternAnimation/ZigAndSharko'', created by the creators of ''Oggy And The Cockroaches'' above. This one plays out more like a traditional Road Runner Vs. Coyote, though, with the added addition of Marina (the Road Runner of the series) having extra help to defeat Zig through Sharko, who uses brute force while Marina stays unaware of Zig's plans.
* ''WesternAnimation/WheelieAndTheChopperBunch'' had the former always getting antagonized by the latter, the latter's plans always failing on their part.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Bordertown}}'', in [[TheTeaser cold opening of every episodes]], Bud the border patrol agent is constantly trying to catch the human smugger El Coyote but he's always outsmarted by him on multiple occasions or by his bad luck.
* ''WesternAnimation/BettyBoop'' revolves around this concept except that in her case is [[BlackComedyRape a sexual predator the one trying to get her]]. One different from episode to episode.
* The alligators Floyd and Jolene trying to eat the cubs in ''WesternAnimation/{{Kissyfur}}''.
* The wolves Huff and Puff try to eat the eponymous ''WesternAnimation/PiggsburgPigs'' always failing While E. Coyote-style.
* A recurring villain in ''WesternAnimation/ShaunTheSheep'' is a Fox that constantly tries to eat the weakest members of the farm, like the chickens of Timmy the lamb.
* A similar case of a recurring fox villain in the Orson Acres segment of ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'' tries to eat several bird characters and the two chicks Sheldon and Booker.
** One Garfield sketch deconstructs the trope, asking just why cartoons portray cats being bad guys for chasing mice when, in the real world, cats are normally seen as the ''good guys'' for doing this, due to the fact that mice spread disease, spoil food and damage property.
* A RunningGag in ''WesternAnimation/GravedaleHigh'' is Mrs. Crone's zombie cat trying (and failing) to catch the Quasimodo-like rat suffering Coyote-style damages (but as it is a zombie cat he never gets really harmed).
* Paranormal investigator Professor Dweeb and his Poodle dog trying to capture Slimer in ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'' SpinOff ''Slimer'' has this dynamics.
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