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Western Animation / Design for Leaving

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Homeowner season!

"Design for Leaving" is a 1954 Looney Tunes cartoon staring Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. It was directed by Robert McKimson.

Daffy is a push-button salesman who converts Elmer's house into a push-button home free of charge (and without Elmer's consent). However, as he demonstrates each new household gadget, he only ends up putting Elmer in pain and wrecking his house.

"Design for Leaving" provides examples of:

  • Bamboo Technology: The garbage disposal's one moving part? A (non-anthropomorphic) pig under the sink that eats all the leftovers.
  • Big Red Button: There's one on the control panel that Daffy warns Elmer to never push. Eventually, Elmer does, and it lifts the entire house hundreds of feet in the air to protect from tidal waves. Daffy offers to install a blue button to put the house back down.
  • Billions of Buttons: The control panel for the house has dozens of buttons, including the aforementioned red button.
  • Bowdlerization:
    • The ABC version of this cartoon cuts out the brief shot of Elmer getting hanged by the neck by his necktie-tying machine (with Daffy referring to the setting as the "Alcatraz ascot").
    • Some syndicated versions cut out the part where Elmer notices that his staircase is missing just as he's about to go upstairs to take an "aspwiwin"
  • Burning with Anger: When Daffy has his window bricked up, Elmer becomes so angry his head starts to burn up, which unfortunately triggers the extremely sensitive fire alarm device.
  • Crooked Contractor: Daffy not only adds the machines to Elmer's house without his consent, he is nonplussed by the chaos they cause (the only two times he shows some regret is when Elmer accidentally activates the "Alcatraz Ascot" mode on the tie-tying machine and when he tries to calm down Elmer before the fire-prevention robot pours water on him) and when Elmer activates the anti-tidal wave mode of the building, Daffy reveals the machine does not has the button to bring it back down and he offers to install it for additional payment.
  • Digital Destruction: Unfortunately, it was one of the shorts affected by the short-lived policy by Warner Bros. Home Video to crop any 1.33:1 short from 1954 and after to widescreen ratio, causing some bits of visual information to be chopped off the image. It's most glaring towards the beginning when Elmer is put on a bus by Daffy- he's hardly seen in the frame at all.
  • Elevator Gag: Instead of stairs, the house has an elevator that brings the upper floor down... and crushes everything on the first floor.
  • Exact Words: Daffy asks Elmer if he's tired of looking at dirty windows. The device he activates doesn't clean the windows, it builds a brick wall over them so he won't have to look at them anymore.
  • Moving Buildings: Among the "improvements" installed in Elmer's home elevating mechanisms for lowering and lifting the second floor (flattening the first floor in the process) and for lifting the whole house, in case of tidal waves.
  • Noose Necktie: Daffy shows Elmer a necktie tying machine that lets one choose which knot. Elmer is almost choked when Daffy selects the "Alcatraz Ascot".
  • Running Gag: The fire-fighting robot keeps showing up to douse anything that produces smoke, or even steam, with a bucket of water.
  • Schmuck Bait: "Not the wed one! Don't ever push the wed one!"
  • Smart House: Parodied. The labor saving devices installed by Daffy are anything but.
  • Word, Schmord!:
    • Among the choices in the necktie tying machine are Windsor and Schmindsor.
    • When Elmer complains to Daffy about what he did to the stairs, Daffy replies with "Stairs schmairs".
  • Wrong Turn at Albuquerque: Daffy puts Elmer on a bus to work, despite his protests that he has his own car. That bus is actually a non-stop express to Duluth.