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.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- Sonic and Amy do this during cutscenes in Sonic Adventure, with Amy getting caught because of it.
- The "Super Peel-Out" move of Sonic the Hedgehog in Sonic CD is this, in video game form.
- Appears in a few cutscenes of Super Mario RPG, such as Mario's first venture into Bowser's Keep.
- Also the standard action when running from battle against minor Mooks in the later Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi games.
- Also happens whenever there's a dash button in a 3D Mario game. If you try to dash while standing still, Mario/Luigi/whoever will run in place, and then shoot off, identical to Sonic's Super Peel-Out mentioned above.
- Happens in most Final Fantasy games whenever the party tries to flee a battle.
- Minnie Mouse does this in The Gallopin' Gaucho and gets caught by Pete.
- Scooby-Doo did this many times, with Shaggy and Scooby being the worst offenders. Often Fred or Velma 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.
- All four Rescue Rangers do this near the end of the origins episode, and get caught because of it.
- 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, in "Boast Busters" by Trixie and Starlight Glimmer in "To Where and Back Again".
- Exhibited by Pinkie Pie on multiple occasions.
- In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode where the Eds "break" physics, Eddy uses this to get rid of Sarah by running in place, hopping out of the "foot wheel" and sticking her into it, which forces her to run away at high speeds.
- 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.
- Also by the same author, in Hogfather the Sock Eater does this when the wizards surprise it, because its instinct to flee is being countermanded by its desire to keep eating the Lecturer's socks. Its mouth keeps chewing while its legs ineffectually scrabble around underneath it.
- 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.
- Startled animals (cats in particular) on smooth surfaces that they can't dig claws into.