The standard chase scene that opens the cartoon turns into a Hope Spot for the Coyote. When he thinks he’s finally captured his prey, he realizes that he has only a dust impression of him. After a pair of jump scares and getting flattened by the pole, he goes off to prepare for more.
The Coyote begins by lying in wait behind a walled formation… only to be greeted by another speeding truck. From there, it’s yet another collection of sight gags, with the usual results and no real surprises. They are: a boulder on a lanyard; a TNT load in a small tunnel; a Christmas present-making machine; another TNT stick on a fishing hook (which gets caught in the arm of a cactus); and finally, ACME Earthquake Pills, which he uses as birdseed — which, including the “canyon fall gag,” is the longest-running single scene in any Road Runner cartoon.
Tropes appearing in this cartoon:
- Accordion Man: More like Hamburger Coyote, after the impact of the power-line pole.
- Binomium ridiculus: Hard-headipus ravenus and Speedipus-rex; the only instance of the "taxonomy" appearing all alone with no other text.
- Blasting Machine: The plunger pushes down as the Coyote heads into the culvert underneath the roadway.
- The ABC version of this cartoon cuts the scene where Wile E. gets tangled on a cactus with dynamite and a fishing polenote . Also cut was the part where Wile E. ingests the entire bottle of earthquake pills before throwing the bottle aside and reading the warning that the pills don't work on Roadrunners. However, Wile E. swallowing the one pill before this scene was left in.
- Much like the ABC version, the Nickelodeon version also cut the part where Wile E. ingests the entire bottle of pills before throwing the bottle aside and reading the warning that the pills don't work on Roadrunners. Unlike the ABC version, Nickelodeon kept in the scene of Wile E. tangled on the cactus with the dynamite.
- Delayed Reaction: It takes some time between the moment the Coyote swallows the earthquake pills and the moment he sees the disclaimer on the bottle (Not Effective on Road Runners!!!).
- Dramatically Delayed Drug: Wile E. tries to get the Roadrunner by feeding it Acme Earthquake Pills. The Roadrunner eats them, then runs on its merry way with no effect. Wile E. looks at the bottle of pills, wondering if they're defective. He takes a few pills, then waits for them to take effect. Nothing happens. He laughs scornfully and then downs the entire bottleful, then waits again. Still nothing. He throws the empty bottle away, but as he does so, he notices some fine print on the label: it reads "CAUTION: Not effective on Road Runners." Wile E. gulps, then slowly stands up and starts to take a step... and that's when the pills take effect.
- Earthquake Machine: The ACME Earthquake Pills. As with all ACME products, it doesn't work as Wile E. wants it to.
- The End: Indicated by a dust trail left by the Road Runner on the very precipice the Coyote fell off following the earthquake pill incident.
- Failed a Spot Check: After surviving the earthquake pills incident, Wile E. walks away, only to fall off a cliff he didn't see.
- Homing Boulders: Only one this time — attached to a lengthy lanyard perched precariously on a butte. One good yank causes the boulder to land on the Coyote (except his feet). It’s also a rare instance of a crossfade after the gag.
- Hope Spot:
- The Coyote manages to jump the Road Runner by lunging for his neck. After a brief scuffle where they’re both seen rolling around… well, just look at the page image.
- Twice during the earthquake pill scene, the effects seem to wear off before starting up again a second later.
- Once the effect of the pills wears off entirely and Wile E. finds himself none the worse for wear, he confidently walks away... straight off a cliff.
- Iron Butt Monkey: The earthquake pills make Wile E. shake so hard he drills right through stone! With his teeth!
- Jump Scare: Three for the Coyote — one shortly after the Hope Spot scuffle, the next as he slides down the pole whose power line he was hanging by, and the third in the Christmas present gag.
- Loud Gulp: Wile E. after reading the fine print, knowing what he's in for.
- Overly Long Gag: The earthquake pills bit takes up the whole last third of the cartoon.
- Packed Hero: Wile E. tries to use an ACME Christmas present wrapping machine on the Road Runner, but ends up the one being wrapped inside a tiny gift box.
- Pun-Based Title: As usual — in this case, of Hopalong Cassidy.
- Read the Fine Print: The bottle of ACME Earthquake Pills has a warning in fine print that reads “CAUTION: Not effective on road runners.” Wile E. only finds out after it's too late.
- Rod And Reel Repurposed: Wile E. puts a lit stick of dynamite on the end of a fishing line and casts it towards the Road Runner. Unfortunately, it gets snagged on a cactus, and in trying to pull it away, he ends up tied to the cactus, with the still lit dynamite about to explode on his face.
- Stopped Reading Too Soon: What caused the Wild Take and Eye Pop: the Coyote failed to Read the Fine Print. Cue the Oh, Crap! gulp and the vibrating of his foot.
- Tempting Fate: After seeing the Road Runner eat the earthquake pills and suffer no effects, Wile E. looks at the bottle of pills and takes a couple. He waits for the pills to take effect, and when they don't, he lets out a scornful "Ha!" and swallows all the remaining pills. And after nothing happening, he looks scornfully at the bottle and tosses it away - and that is when he notices the fine print on the label.
- Wild Take: When Wile E. realizes there was a warning in fine print on the earthquake pills label. Complete with Eye Pop.