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Western Animation / An Itch in Time

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An Itch In Time is a 1943 Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Bob Clampett.

In it, traveling vagabond A. Flea has decided to set up camp on Elmer's pet dog. The dog desperately wants to scratch himself free of the pesky newcomer, but has been sternly warned by Elmer that if he sees him "skwatching" he'll give the dog a very unwanted bath. Hilarity Ensues as Flea's pestering slowly but surely become too much to bear.



  • Bowdlerization: The final gag where the cat shoots himself after seeing the flea carry Elmer and the dog on a platter has been cut on most American TV airings. The older transfers edit the scene out with a fake "iris-out" while newer airings use a fake dissolve to the end card.
  • The Cameo: Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig can be briefly seen on the cover of Elmer's comic book.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: According to his wife Sody Clampett, Bob himself wrote A. Flea's earwormy "Food Around the Corner" song.
  • Driven to Suicide: The cat in the uncut version.
  • Eyes Out of Sight: A. Flea's hair almost always covers his eyes.
  • Flea Episode
  • Hates Baths: The main conflict is that Elmer's dog is trying to avoid scratching himself, all because Elmer will give him a bath if he realizes the dog has a flea on himself.
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  • Larynx Dissonance: While almost all of A. Flea's dialogue is spoken by Sara Berner, the "T-BONE!" line is screamed by Mel Blanc in a much different sounding voice.
  • No Name Given: The dog's name is never revealed.
  • Pun-Based Title: On the phrase "A stitch in time."
  • Punny Name: A. Flea.
  • Recursive Canon: Elmer is seen reading a Looney Tunes comic book by his fireplace.
  • Seen-It-All Suicide: When Elmer's cat sees both his owner and the dog getting carried off on a plate by A. Flea, he quips "Now I've seen everything!" and shoots himself in the head with a pistol.
  • Talking with Signs: As A. Flea makes his appearance, a sign appears on the screen announcing "It's a flea, folks", followed by another reading "Teeny, ain't he??"
  • To Serve Man: A. Flea puts both the dog and Elmer Fudd on his menu in the end.
  • Wartime Cartoon: There are some brief references to food rationing (A. Flea takes a point out of his ration card before biting the dog, and sings about "no more Meatless Tuesdays" at the end), and A. Flea hides inside an air raid shelter after setting off some explosives.