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Running on the Spot
In many cartoons, especially ones by Hanna-Barbera, whenever a character starts running, they usually run on the spot for a few seconds before running away. It doesn't matter what they're running from, or why, but they always do this. A Wheel o' Feet is usually applied to this. It's common for this animation to be accompanied by about four seconds of "wacky" percussive sound effects followed quickly by a "slingshot" zip (perhaps best onomatopoeized as "Whamma-lamma-bamma-ramma-zamma-whamma-lamma-bamma-ramma-zamma-zamma - ZING!").

Compare Off Like a Shot.

Examples:

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Scooby-Doo did this many times, with Shaggy and Scooby being the worst offenders. Often Fred would catch them and pull them back whilst they were running on the spot - but they still did it every time.
  • This trope is also deconstructed in the animated Super Mario World series. King Koopa, Hip and Hop do this when they are found by a giant Piranha Plant only for said plant to swallow them whole.
  • Monterey Jack from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers often runs on the spot at the beginning of a cheese attack. If he doesn't float in the air, that is.
    • Sometimes even then. And it does propel him, yes.
  • In the movie Animalympics, a sight gag compares the hundred-yard dash to drag racing; the racers suit up in auto-racing suits, the "Christmas tree" countdown lights replace the starting pistol and the racers morph into actual Top Fuel cars during the sprint, burning out during the countdown and even using Wheel o' Feet.
  • Fred Flintstone's car on The Flintstones was powered by this.
    • Parodied on an episode of Family Guy, where Fred is being chased by police. As he runs in place, the officers catch up to him and starts moving right when they're near him.
  • Parodied in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Griffon the Brush-Off". Granny Smith does this when she's spooked by Gilda's prank, only to end up "running" away at a snail's pace.
    • Played straight in "The Ticket Master" with Twilight Sparkle and in "Boast Busters" by Trixie.

Literature
  • Invoked in Terry Pratchett's ''The Unadulterated Cat', in the section on identifying what type of cat you own.
    If, when it starts to run, its legs pinwheel in the air for a humorous few seconds making binka-binka-binka noises, it is a Cartoon cat.

Theater
  • In the Commedia dell'Arte style of Renaissance street theater, the stock character Il Capitano, a boastful coward, traditionally attempted to flee at the first sign of danger by doing a live-action version of this trope.

Real Life
  • Startled animals (cats in particular) on smooth surfaces that they can't dig claws into.

Running GagAnimation TropesScooby Stack
Running Into The WindowComedy TropesRuns with Scissors

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