->''"[[MemeticMutation Hmmm-hmmm]], it's time for me to eat.\\
Catching a pig is quite a feat!"''
-->--'''The BigBad Wolf''', 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 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:

[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''
** Team Rocket. They must capture ''that'' Pikachu!
** Team Galactic in "Diamond/Pearl". They do succeed in capturing some NPC's pokémon, for the most part the presumably stolen pokémon they use are pathetic, non-evolved species like Wurmple or Bidoof. Just to note, ALL evil organizations in the entire Pokémon universe use pathetic, non-evolved species.
* 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.

[[AC:Comic Books]]
* The Dutch comic ''ComicBook/DeGeneraal'', and the lesser-known ''ˇViva 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.
* ''ˇViva 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.

[[AC:EasternEuropeanAnimation]]
* ''Animation/NuPogodi'' is the Russian answer to Road Runner and Coyote.

[[AC:FanFic]]
* 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.]]

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* The middle of the ''Film/ChittyChittyBangBang'' movie where the Vulgarian spies are attempting to capture the car.
* The old, old movie ''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.
* ''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.

[[AC: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.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* 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.

[[AC:{{Machinima}}]]
* Spriggs and Willy in ''Machinima/SpriggsAHalo3Machinima''.
* In Machinima/Supermarioglitchy4sSuperMario64Bloopers, [[spoiler: Enzo, [[DrivenToMadness filled with madness]], wants to kill Mario (one of the two protagonists of the series) after the latter ruins the former's birthday party. This is pushed to {{Revenge}} when a Policeman arrests him]].

[[AC:{{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 ''KevinAndKell'' used to try to eat Kevin almost every time we saw him. He hasn't tried in years, arguably due to a HeelFaceTurn.

[[AC:WebOriginal]]
* 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.
* 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]].

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes' cartoons have been doing it for years.
** ''WesternAnimation/BugsBunny'':
** ''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 ''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.
* Some 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.
* 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'': "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.
** Dr. Doofenshmirtz trying to take over the tri-state area and constantly being thwarted by Perry the Platypus could count as well.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'' toys with the concept somewhat (it probably borrows more from the premise of the Trope Namer's sister series ''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 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]].
* 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]]).
* ''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.
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