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Western Animation / Ready.. Set.. Zoom!

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One BEEP instead of two.

"Ready.. Set.. Zoom!" is a 1955 Looney Tunes cartoon starring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, directed by Chuck Jones.

After waking up from his slumber, Wile E. Coyote spots the Road Runner at the bottom of a plateau and chases him yet again, but as always, the bird puts on an extra burst of speed to lose his predator. So the Coyote then begins to plot his new unsuccessful schemes, like glue on the road, a detour into a log hanging off the edge of a cliff, a massive weight hung by a pair of pulleys, a lasso rigged with fireworks, a life-sized slingshot, a hydropowered wagon, a large firework being used as a rocket, and last but not least, a female Road Runner costume.

"Ready.. Set.. Zoom!" provides examples of:

  • Always Need What You Gave Up: Noting the sign marked Danger: Bridge Out, the Coyote frantically attempts to undo the bonds on his hydropowered ride (outboard motor, washtub, and wagon). Not until he's left that side of the chasm (while being nowhere near the opposite end) does he get the cord off. Hanging in midair, he watches the cord drop and the wagon make it safely to where he could have. One pathetic wave goodbye as his body is shown drooping, and another date with gravity awaits.
  • Anvil on Head: Wile E. tries to drop a 10,000-lb weight on the Road Runner in the third gag, but the weight remains suspended in the air and only drops when Wile E. attempts to go after the bird.
  • Ass in a Lion Skin: Wile E. disguises himself as a female roadrunner in order to fool his nemesis. Instead, he ends up attracting a huge pack of coyotes (all looking identical to him) that chase him off into the distance.
  • Binomium ridiculus:
    • Road Runner (Speedipus Rex)
    • Coyote (Famishus-Famishus)
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Wile E. glances at the audience several times throughout the short.
  • Delayed Explosion: Just as the rocket Wile E. is riding seemingly runs out of power (much to his relief), it then explodes.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: The cartoon ends with Wile E. being mistaken for a roadrunner by a huge pack of coyotes and chased down the road.
  • Exorcist Head: The Road Runner swivels his head a full 360 degrees twice; first as his faux scientific name appears, and second before Wile E. runs down the plateau to commence the chase.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The mine where Wile E. exits through on his rocket has a sign on the entrance reading "Selzer Mining Co.", a nod to then-Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies producer, Edward Selzer.
  • Furry Reminder: The coyotes that chase Wile E. at the end make noises that sound somewhat like a real coyote's barking.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Wile E.'s roadrunner costume does a good job... at attracting other coyotes.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress:
    • The Road Runner is light enough to avoid tipping over the log the detour has led him into, but Wile E., not so much.
    • Noticing that he is about to pass into an area where a bridge is out, Wile E. tries to untie himself from the hydropowered wagon, but by the time he finally does, he is in midair and plummets to the bottom of the canyon while the wagon makes it safely to the other side.
  • Hope Spot: As the rocket-sized firework exits from the mine, it runs out of juice and deflates, much to the Coyote's relief. But he gets the same outcome as the regular-sized fireworks he used in his lasso.
  • Impact Silhouette: Wile E. misses the Road Runner on his rocket and leaves this in the pavement.
  • Jaw Drop: Wile E.'s lower jaw dangles open as he witnesses the burst of speed put on by his prey while halting, and when he runs into a dust cloud where his upper half ends up being concealed, his dentures fall out of his mouth, and he picks them up and places them back before stepping out.
  • Knows the Ropes: In the fourth gag, Wile E. attaches some fireworks to a lasso and starts spinning it, but it turns out that the Road Runner is actually running down a different cliff, so the Coyote keeps spinning the lasso until the fireworks go off on him.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: The short ends this way with the pack of coyotes pursuing Wile E., who is still disguised as a roadrunner.
  • Rocket Ride: Wile E. lights the fuse on the firework he is using in this fashion and hangs tight onto it as he approaches the Road Runner; however, he just misses the bird and plows right into the pavement, exiting through a mine.
  • The Runt at the End: The last coyote chasing the roadrunner-disguised Wile E. is shorter than the other coyotes.
  • Squashed Flat: Wile E. gets flattened by the massive weight in the third gag, and steps out looking like a walking barchair with eyes.
  • Sticky Situation: The first gag involves Wile E. smearing part of the road with ACME Glue, but what he thinks is the Road Runner approaching is actually a truck about to run him over, and his attempt to escape it fails when he ends up stepping on the glue. He then tries again, this time standing below the road with a firecracker in hand, but the Road Runner harmlessly zips across the glue and spills some of it onto the Coyote. As a result, the Coyote tries to put out the fuse by blowing at it, and when that doesn't work, he then walks on his buttocks and jumps into a river, but the firecracker finally blows up before he can make contact with the water.
  • The End: The phrase appears on a sign held by the Road Runner at the cartoon's closing.


Video Example(s):


Ready.. Set.. Zoom!

Wile E. Coyote makes two attempts to catch the Road Runner with glue on the road. The first attempt fails because of a truck advancing towards the Coyote, and the second attempt fails when the Road Runner zips harmlessly through the glue and spills some of it onto the Coyote, who is wielding a lit stick of dynamite.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / StickySituation

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