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Western Animation / Dime to Retire

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"Dime to Retire" is a 1955 Looney Tunes short starring Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. It was directed by Robert McKimson.

When an exhausted Porky reaches a nearby town in his travels, he finds that there seems to be no hotel with a vacancy, all except one run by Daffy, which only costs a dime per day. After settling into his cozy room, Porky finds it hard to believe that Daffy can afford to rent his hotel so cheap. However, he soon discovers there's a catch...

"Dime to Retire" provides examples of:

  • Answer Cut: While getting ready for bed, Porky wonders how Daffy can afford to rent the room so cheap. It then cuts to Daffy about to begin his scam.
  • Bowdlerization: The version that aired on ABC's The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show cut the end where after the hotel blows up and Daffy puts a "Closed for Repairs" sign up, he breaks the fourth wall by saying, "A little traveling music, please" and runs out of the blown-up hotel with his butt on fire. ABC's version ended the short after Daffy puts the "Closed for Repairs" sign up.
  • Cats Are Mean: The cat that scares away the mouse ends up hogging Porky's bed, to the point that it stretched out and defiantly clung to the mattress. And naturally, the lion that Daffy brought in to scare off the boxer dog tries to eat Porky.
  • Chain of Deals: How Daffy's extermination scam works. To get rid of a mouse, he sends in a cat, then a dog is sent to deal with the cat, then a lion, then an elephant, and finally the original mouse, bringing the chain full circle.
  • Elephants Are Scared of Mice: Daffy gets an elephant out of Porky's room by scaring it away with the very same mouse that started the whole cycle, causing it to repeat and causing Porky to get fed up and leave the hotel.
  • Exact Words: The room may only cost 10 cents, but the animal exterminating services are extravagant.
  • Foreshadowing: Considering that Daffy re-captured the mouse when it was chased out while letting the other animals flee, it was a hint that the rodent would come into play later on.
  • Forgot Flanders Could Do That: One of few shorts of the period where Daffy still has his earlier prankster qualities (though with now-characteristic money motivation), successfully conning Porky multiple times and only being foiled by a twist of luck at the very end. At one point he even replicates his old "WOO HOO" laugh.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Daffy gets his after bilking Porky out of $779 when the bags he confiscated, which were full of gun powder, explode in his face and destroy his hotel.
  • Number of the Beast: The price of Daffy's final new animal (the mouse that first pestered Porky) is $666.
  • Powder Trail: When Porky refuses to pay the 10 cents for the room, Daffy confiscates his baggage. Unfortunately, Porky is a gun powder salesman, and the suitcase with his wares is leaking. As Porky drives off, his car intentionally backfires and lights the trail left by the bag...
  • Pun-Based Creature: The dog is a Boxer, and also a boxer who starts punching Porky when a bell is rung.
  • Rump Roast: Daffy's tail-feathers are left on fire at the end of the cartoon.
  • Serial Escalation: Daffy starts by sending a noisy celery-eating mouse into Porky's room. He then sends a cat to get rid of the mouse, but the cat won't leave Porky's bed, so a dog is sent to get rid of it. The dog is a Boxer who then spars with Porky, and then a lion is sent to get rid of the dog. This then leads to an elephant brought in to take care of the lion. And of course, the elephant is dispatched with the same mouse, putting Porky back at square one. And with each new animal, the price for getting rid of it rises astronomically.
  • Shout-Out: Daffy has this to say shortly after his hotel is blown up by Porky's gunpowder and he closes it for repairs just before running away in pain with his tailfeathers on fire:
  • Too Good to Be True: Porky was amazed that Daffy's hotel was so cheap. He then finds out that it isn't as good as he thought when Daffy's extermination scam begins. It's $5 to exterminate the mouse, $10 to eliminate the cat, $26 to evict the dog, $72 to eradicate the lion, and $666 to exterminate the elephant, which causes the cycle to repeat, adding the total to $779.
  • Traveling Salesman: As revealed at the end of the cartoon, Porky was a salesman for the Acme Gunpowder Company.
  • Tube Travel: Daffy sends the mouse to Porky's room via a pneumatic tube akin to a mail transport.