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"Beep Prepared" is a 1961 Looney Tunes cartoon, directed by Chuck Jones.

It stars Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, up to their usual antics. In this episode the Coyote starts low-tech, with gambits like simply lying in wait for the Road Runner or sticking out his foot to trip the bird. When that doesn't work the Coyote graduates to more elaborate plans, like a bow and arrow on a serac, a manhole cover on a pulley, a batsuit with a jetpack, iron pellets and a magnet, a chunk of pavement springing up from the ground, shotguns activated with a tripwire and a rocket-powered sled. These fail as well, leading to a literally explosive finale.

The only Coyote & Road Runner cartoon to get nominated for an Oscar for Animated Short Film.


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"Beep Prepared" provides examples of:

  • Acme Products: This time, the Coyote acquires an Acme Do-It-Yourself rocket sled kit. The idea is to set the sled on the railroad tracks and use it to catch the Road Runner. Instead the sled sends the Coyote into space.
  • Ash Face: The Coyote is covered in cinders after his firework explodes (and destroys everything but the framework of the wings). The path of his date with gravity (where his legs actually change positions midway) is punctuated by a circling trail of soot.
  • Binomium ridiculus: Hungrii Flea Baggius and Tidbittius Velocitus.
  • Bowdlerization:
    • The beginning of the cartoon, when shown on CBS and ABC, cuts the part where Wile E. Coyote falls after the Roadrunner fires off the starter pistol because that's when the opening credits appearnote .
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    • Along with the beginning credits gag, ABC's version also cuts the gag near the end of the short where Wile E. sets up a machine gun trap and the Roadrunner breaks through the rope that trips the guns (which don't cause the guns to go off) and Wile E. pulls on the broken ropes and ends up getting shot in the midsection and cut down to size and an early gag where Wile E. Coyote is strapped into an elaborate rocket disguise that only succeeds in blowing him up and making him fall off the cliff.
  • Cold Opening: The first bit of comic business, in which the Coyote starts in the "on your mark" stance on a cliff-side road before the Road Runner comes up, comes before the opening title. Now in the "get set" stance, the Coyote is hit with the Road Runner's Jump Scare and ends up in mid-air in front of the cliff. When the starting pistol used by the Road Runner goes off, the fall begins.
  • Endless Daytime: The only "Coyote & Road Runner" short where this is averted, the sun shown setting towards the end of the cartoon, with Wile E.'s final plan taking place at night.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Signaled by three overhead shots, including the Cold Open in which the Coyote is still in the "get set" stance. He has to notice he's hovering off the edge of a cliff before he falls.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When the coyote lands into the Portable Hole (see that entry here).
  • Jump Scare: In the Cold Open, as the Coyote moves into his "get set" stance.
  • Portable Hole: The Coyote waits by a manhole in the road, but the Road Runner stops just as the Coyote whips off the manhole cover. Then the Road Runner picks up the hole and zips away. An outraged Coyote pursues the Road Runner to a bridge. The Road Runner throws down the hole just as the Coyote is about to grab him (in a successful variant of Door Judo). This leaves the Coyote to fall through the hole, to the ground next to the brook.
  • Squashed Flat:
    • In the first gag, this happens to Wile E.'s foot when a truck runs over it. In addition to being flattened, it also becomes bigger than usual.
    • In the fifth gag, the Road Runner leads Wile E. Coyote, who is chasing him on roller skates with a magnet strapped to his torso, onto railroad tracks, where the latter gets hit by an oncoming train and ends up like this, sans the magnet which stays upright.
    • In the sixth gag, the Coyote sets up a spring-loaded chunk of pavement and activates it as the Road Runner runs up. However, the bird stops short, leaving the pavement to spring up a bit too high and squash his nemesis.
  • Stellification: The final gag in Beep Prepared has Wile E. Coyote trying to catch the Road Runner with a rocket cart, which ends up going into the sky, shooting past the Sputnik satellite and the Moon, and exploding, creating a Coyote constellation.
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Beep Prepared

Just failing to shoot the Road Runner with a bow from very high ground is enough to trigger a chain of accidents for Wile E.

How well does it match the trope?

4.14 (7 votes)

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