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Western Animation / Porky Pig's Feat

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"Porky Pig's Feat" is a 1943 Looney Tunes short, directed by Frank Tashlin, his first short following his return to Termite Terrace in 1943, having left for a five-year stint at Disney and Screen Gems studios.

The cartoon centers around Porky Pig and Daffy Duck's attempts to escape the Broken Arms Hotel manager without paying their bill, Daffy having gambled away all their money in a game of craps. Despite numerous methods to elude the hotel manager (from using the elevator, sending the manager down a large spiral staircase, or going out of the window), he eventually gets the upper hand and locks them up in their hotel room until they pay up.

This is marked as the only cameo appearance from Bugs Bunny in a black and white Looney Tunes short.

"Porky Pig's Feat" provides examples of:

  • All Men Are Perverts: When sliding down bedsheets to get out of the hotel, Daffy stops to look and whistle at an image of a pin-up girl (which, if he hadn't, might have been enough time for them to prevent the manager setting fire to Porky's feet). And when Porky and Daffy both go back up the sheets (the results of the manager secretly lighting matches on Porky's feet and Daffy running up to not get hit), Daffy again stops to whistle at the image.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The manager succeeds in imprisoning Porky and Daffy in their room after foiling their attempts to escape. He also does the same to Bugs.
  • Bedsheet Ladder: One of Porky and Daffy's escape attempts.
  • Big "WHAT?!": The hotel manager in response to being called an "overstuffed turnip" by Daffy after falling down the stairs.
    Daffy: YIPE!
    Porky: M-M-M-Me, too. Y-Yipe!
  • The Cameo: Bugs Bunny makes his only appearance in a black-and-white Looney Tunes short.
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: After Daffy loses the last of the money in a craps game, Porky and Daffy still have a massive bill to pay off, which they can't because they're confined to their hotel room. Meanwhile, as long as Porky and Daffy are confined to their room (and unable to go out and get jobs), the manager won't be receiving any money from Porky and Daffy, and he'll still have an unpaid bill on his hands and one less room to rent out to paying customers.
  • Characterization Marches On: While talking about Bugs Bunny, Daffy fawns over Bugs and calls him "my hero." Later cartoons would have Daffy hate Bugs and be his comic rival.
  • Character Shilling: Daffy and Porky shamelessly talk up Bugs Bunny as an invincible hero. They even name drop producer Leon Schlesinger for good measure. Of course this is all to set up the final subverting punchline.
  • Description Cut: Porky assures the manager that Daffy is out getting the money to pay their bill. Cut to Daffy losing said money in a craps game with the elevator operator.
  • Determinator: The hotel manager takes every trick Daffy and Porky can pull and still keeps them in the hotel until they pay their fee. It is later revealed his persistence foiled even Bugs Bunny after he tried to avoid paying.
  • Discretion Shot: When the manager glove slaps Daffy, the camera pans over to Porky as he reacts to the slap, then back to Daffy with a glove-shaped bruise on his face.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The manager resorts to shackling Porky and Daffy and Bugs in their rooms until they pay their bills.
  • Downer Ending: Daffy and Porky are unable to escape the hotel and are imprisoned in it indefinitely. And when they try to call Bugs for help, it turns out he's locked up next door to them.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The voice of Daffy's craps opponent sounds an awful lot like Yosemite Sam, roughly two years before Hare Trigger.
  • Easily Forgiven: Daffy loses their money in a game of dice and Daffy clearly tries to get out of them paying the bill. While Porky does not know why, he does go along with Daffy's plan to escape without paying, never questioning or getting mad at Daffy for losing the money to pay the bill.
  • Escalating War: Compared to most Looney Tunes shorts which were known for lopsided fares, both sides take turns trading blows throughout the short, the only consistency is that, no matter what the duo throw at the hotel manager, he still always outfoxes their attempts to escape the hotel.
  • Fat Bastard: The hotel manager. Daffy even calls him Fatso. (On a side note, Tashlin had a preference for fat villains.)
  • Glove Slap: The manager slaps Daffy with his glove. Daffy responds in kind, but not before putting a horseshoe inside it.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: The Broken Arms Hotel manager is painted as something of a greedy Jerkass who orders ridiculous prices for his rooms (including charging heavily for luxuries such as "Goodwill", "Sunshine" and "Air for breathing"), however Daffy and Porky have no intent on paying any fee and go to increasingly violent measures to leave the hotel free of charge.
  • High-Class Glass: The manager wears a monocle to show how haughty he is. He even puts it on when his face is covered in fly paper and he shouldn't be able to see out of it.
  • Hope Spot: In the last scene Porky and Daffy decide to call Bugs Bunny for advice, since he's usually able to get out of inescapable dilemmas. Bugs asks them if they tried several specific tactics, they say they did, then the door next to the phone opens with Bugs Bunny locked up in chains, observing "Ahh, don't work, do they?"
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Any place called the Broken Arms Hotel can't be a pleasant place to sleep in for the night.
  • It Only Works Once: Pulling the rug under the manager works the first time but, when Porky and Daffy try it a second time, the manager only repeats the screaming sounds to trick them into thinking it worked a second time.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Porky and Daffy are broke and can't leave the hotel to get a job to earn the money they need to pay the bill, because the manager won't let them leave until they've paid the bill. The problem could have been solved much quicker if the manager had either:
    • Let them leave to get the money they owed him, then called the police if he wasn't paid within a certain timeframe.
    • Made them Work Off the Debt.
  • Made of Iron: The manager goes through a lot of pain, including tumbling down every step in the hotel, and never comes off worse for wear.
  • Malaproper: The manager tells Daffy "You have insult me! We meet on the field of honor!" Daffy repeats the line to him, only it comes out "We meet on the field of onions!"
  • Missing Steps Plan: The manager imprisons Daffy and Porky in their hotel room until they can pay their bill, with the end of the short showing that he's kept them trapped there for months. A glaring issue with the manager's plan that isn't acknowledged in the short is that the duo have no way of obtaining money to earn their freedom and the manager is losing money by keeping the room unavailable to be rented out to other customers.
  • My Card: After being insulted by Daffy, the manager presents him with his card. Daffy takes a hole puncher and makes it into a paper doll chain, saying "You've had your coffee ration for the week, Robespierre." note  He then presents the manager with his own card, a sheet of flypaper which he sticks to his face. Later on, he takes it back.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Porky and Daffy swinging their way out of the hotel, complete with Daffy shouting "Geronimo!" Unfortunately for them, the manager intercepts them in the building where they land.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: Averted. Daffy pulls the rug from under the hotel manager, causing him to fall down the stairs, screaming. However, he quickly runs back up, causing Daffy and Porky to run into their hotel rooms and Daffy to once again pull the rug. They hear the manager making the same screaming sounds he made previously, but it turns out he didn't actually fall - his painful reactions were just a ploy to make them think they had succeeded again.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Although unseen, the elevator operator Daffy loses the money to talks like Eddie "Rochester" Anderson from The Jack Benny Program.
  • No Ending: After The Reveal, the cartoon just sort of stops.
  • Noodle Incident: How did Bugs manage to get stuck in the hotel with Porky and Daffy?
  • Not So Invincible After All: At the end we see Bugs Bunny and learn that that the normally Comically Invincible Hero is stuck in the exact same situation Porky and Daffy are.
  • "Oh, Crap!" Smile: Porky and Daffy each give one to the manager after he foils their attempt to swing out of the hotel with a rope.
  • Overly Long Gag: The manager tumbling down the stairs. All of the stairs.
  • Paying for Air: At the beginning, we see Porky's hotel bill list a number of "luxuries", one of which is "Air for breathing".
  • Pulling the Rug Out: When the manager tries to knock the door down, Porky and Daffy pull on the rug, causing the manager to fall down the staircase. They later try it a second time, but the manager is onto them and pretends to be falling to lure them out.
  • Reflective Eyes:
    • When the manager gets close to the camera, Daffy is reflected in his monocle. You can see him stick his tongue out at him.
    • As Porky and Daffy watch the manager fall down the stairs, he is seen reflected in both their eyes.
  • The Reveal: Daffy calls Bugs Bunny to help them deal with the manager. Turns out Bugs is in the room next door, in the same predicament they're in.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: It was inevitable, complete with Daffy "woo-hooing".
  • Short-Distance Phone Call: Daffy calls Bugs Bunny for help; then it's revealed that he's in the next room.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The plot where Porky and Daffy are trapped in a hotel room until they can pay their hotel bill resembles the Marx Brothers' 1938 film Room Service, where the Marxes are stuck in a hotel room until they can pay their outstanding hotel bill.
    • When Daffy ends up scrunching the manager's face, he compares him to a Dick Tracy character, specifically, Pruneface.
    • When the manager rapidly babbles the bill, Daffy replies, "SOLD TO AN AMERICAN!!!", a reference to the radio ads for the American Tobacco Company.
  • Staircase Tumble: The manager goes through a truly epic one, tumbling all the way down to the bottom floor.
  • Standard Snippet:
    • This was the first cartoon to utilize Raymond Scott's music. First, "The Penguin" is heard when Porky and Daffy make a run for the elevator. Then, the iconic "Powerhouse" is played when the manager attempts to open the locked door, before being tossed down the stairs.
    • Also, the Dubin-Warren song "Latin Quarter" plays when Porky reads the bill, and after Daffy loses his money gambling, he saunters out of the elevator to "Blues in the Night" (aka "My mama dun tol' me, when I was in kneepants...")
  • Subverted Catchphrase: At the end when Daffy calls Bugs Bunny, Bugs answers with "eh, what's up, duck?".
  • Sweetie Graffiti: Next to the Tally Marks on the Prison Wall, Porky has scrawled "Porky Loves Petunia".
  • Tally Marks on the Prison Wall: When Porky and Daffy are locked in their hotel room at the end, Porky is making tally marks on the wall.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: The cartoon opens with a disclaimer stating that any similarity the Broken Arms Hotel bears to any real-life hotels, living or dead, is merely coincidental.
  • Weighted Gloves: Daffy puts a horseshoe in his glove before slapping the manager with it.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Porky reads the hotel bill which shows a total of $152.50. A second look and some quick adding shows that the total should be $175.50.