Western Animation / A Pest in the House
A Pest in the House
is a 1947 Merrie Melodies
animated short directed by Chuck Jones
. In this cartoon, bellboy Daffy Duck
is constantly waking up a large, short-tempered customer who wants peace and quiet, and he keeps taking his anger out on manager Elmer Fudd.
- Bait-and-Switch: At the end of the short, Elmer tries to avoid getting punched by the customer by promoting Daffy to manager and demoting himself to bellboy. He still gets punched.
- The Chew Toy: Elmer
- Exact Words: The customers threatens to pop Elmer in the nose if he's woken. When Daffy keeps him awake, he still does just that.
- Hypocritical Humor: Daffy chewing Elmer out for making a noise (that he caused, by the way) that could have waken up the customer, while he's waking him up himself screaming at the hapless Elmer.
Daffy: So, a fine kettle of fish! Here, I work myself down to the skin and bones tryin' to keep this guy asleep! And what do you do!? Blow whistles! Just when I got things so quiet, you can hear a pin drop, you bust in here and bust out with a whistle, and you snafu the whole works! How in all in the name that's reasonable do you expect a guy to get his slumber when a goof like you goes around makin' noises like a one-man Fourth of July celebration!? He needs PEACE, and QUIIIIIET! It's positively OUTRAGEOUS!
- Idiot Houdini: As the Golden Collection DVD commentary notes, Daffy for once isn't intentionally malicious in this short and is actually trying to do his job, but is too insane to keep to the customer's demands for peace and quiet, resulting in the manager, Elmer, getting violently punished for it each and every time.
- Ink-Suit Actor: The customer is a caricature of Arthur Q. Bryan (who also voices Elmer).
- Arthur Q. Brian uses his natural voice to play the angry customer, which is even rarer than Mel Blanc using his natural voice in a cartoon.
- Misplaced Retribution: The customer warns Elmer he'll punch him if he doesn't get any rest. Despite Daffy being the one to keep him up, the customer always punches Elmer for it, even when he tries to make Daffy the manager so he can take the hit.
- Noodle Incident: In one scene, Daffy tries to tell the customer a hilarious joke. We don't hear much of it since it cuts to the customer punching Elmer again, but when Daffy finally gets to the punchline, he finds he can't remember it.
- Number of the Beast: The customer's room number is 666. It was apparently chosen because the guest is "in Hades" with Daffy taking care of him according to commentary.
- Reaching Between the Lines: At one point, instead of walking down to punch Elmer personally, the customer calls him up at the front desk and punches him through the phone.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When the customer threatens Elmer, his pupil turns blood red. His entire eyes turn red again when Daffy tricks him into leaving his own room, but it's subverted this time as he immediately heads to his bed instead.
- Running Gag: Elmer getting punched by the customer whenever Daffy wakes him up, all to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel".
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: The weary customer quietly tells Elmer he's very tired in a soft-spoken voice... before shouting and making his ultimatum known with red eyes.
Customer: Just one more thing...I'm a tired man. I gotta have my sleep...plenty of it... so see to it that I get lots of peace and quiet...(grabs Elmer) BECAUSE IF I'M DISTURBED AT ANYTIME, I'M GONNA BUST YOU RIGHT IN THE NOSE!
- Tranquil Fury: The customer sports a weary passive look nearly every time he walks into reception and slugs Elmer hard.