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Western Animation / Stop! Look! And Hasten!

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"Stop! Look! And Hasten!" was a 1954 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones and starring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

The Coyote is trudging down the usual open road in the desert Southwest, his hunger to the point that he snatches and eats a buzzing insect and starts chewing on an empty tin can. He is still chewing when he gets knocked into the air by the passing Road Runner. Watching the Road Runner put on his usual burst of speed for the getaway, the Coyote's eyes pop out of their sockets and land staring at his feet. Putting them back in and laying down on the road, he ponders his next play.

Said play includes a lanyard on a boulder, a lasso on the road, an open-road Pit Trap covered by a tarpaulin, an enormous pop-up metal slab with a crank, a Chase Scene on train tracks, a dynamite stack in a culvert, a motorcycle, a birdseed stop on a bridge (if you can believe it, his only date with gravity in the whole cartoon), and some – get this – Leg Muscle Vitamins (triple strength fortified, even). And of course, the Coyote continues to go nowhere in his pursuits, even though at the end he is doing it at double speed.

"Stop! Look! And Hasten!" provides examples of:

  • Binomium ridiculus: The Coyote is Eatibus anythingus; the Road Runner is Hot-roddicus supersonicus; and the Burmese tiger (shown in the page image) is Surprisibus! Surprisibus!
  • Bowdlerization:
    • On ABC, the part where Wile E. Coyote puts dynamite under the road and gets blown up when the detonator gets pressed up against the stone was cut.
    • On CBS, the end card where the Roadrunner spells out "That's All Folks!" in dust was cut.
    • The Nickelodeon version leaves in what ABC and CBS cut, but edits the sequence during the cartoon's climax where Wile E. Coyote ingests "Acme Triple-Strength Leg Muscle Vitamins" to remove the close-up shot of the box.
  • Brick Joke: The pop-up steel grate that didn't pop up when Wile E. needed it to finally deploys just as he's about to catch the Roadrunner and he slams into it head on.
  • Burning Rubber: The Coyote leaves a trail of fire when he runs after taking the vitamins.
  • Color Failure: The Coyote's reaction upon learning what he caught in the Burmese tiger trap.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: Averted. When Wile E. cuts the hole the bridge and everything but the cut circle falls, the bridge and the cliff faces have the same level of detail as the desert backgrounds.
  • Epic Fail: The Coyote is hanging over a bridge, taking a saw to the space around the birdseed while the Road Runner is eating. Guess which one part of the bridge doesn't fall away?
  • Exact Words: It's a Burmese tiger trap, not a Roadrunner trap.
  • Eye Pop: Exaggerated. The Coyote's eyes literally pop out of their sockets and fall onto the road. The scene is staged from the waist down, so we are spared the sight of the Coyote's face sans eyeballs.
  • Fictional Document: The instruction manual How To Build A Burmese Tiger Trap.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Coyote digs a Burmese Tiger Trap following expert advice. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: As the Coyote downs an entire box of Leg Muscle vitamins, his thigh and calf muscles swell to twice their size.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The boulder connected to the pulley, and the pop-up metal wall that finally deploys once the Road Runner passes over it.
  • Meat-O-Vision: To the tune of "A Cup of Coffee", the Road Runner is depicted as a roast bird with all the fixings.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: What's a Burmese tiger doing out on the open highways of the American southwest, anyway?
  • Oh, Crap!: The relieved Coyote steps onto the railroad tracks, thinking the danger has passed. Then he hears that ominous train whistle behind him...
    • Or when he runs away in terror after realizing that his Burmese Tiger trap literally captured a Burmese tiger.
  • Pit Trap: The Coyote builds a Burmese tiger pit and covers it up. Upon hearing the Road Runner beep and the trap activate, the Coyote dives in to capture his prey... only to find he Trapped the Wrong Target, instantly re-emerge all white and flee in terror, after which a Burmese tiger angrily climbs out of the pit and stalks off.
  • Plunger Detonator: Which gets caught on a rock as the Coyote is placing the dynamite. KABOOM!!
  • Pun-Based Title: The second cartoon to have one for "stop look and listen".
  • Running on the Spot: Follows the Growing Muscles Sequence. After a few light steps, the Coyote sets himself low to the ground to reduce his drag, then takes off, leaving the type of fire trail the Road Runner would leave in "There They Go-Go-Go!".
  • Specific Situation Books: How to Build a Burmese Tiger Trap. Though such camouflaged pits are in real life used to catch all sorts of prey, human and otherwise.
  • Talking with Signs: Soon as the relieved Coyote takes a step out on the tracks, he hears a train whistle behind him. Turning around to see the source of the whistle: STOP IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY! Of course, the train doesn't listen because the Coyote isn't human.
  • That's All, Folks!: Written out in a dust trail after the Road Runner returns to observe the impact of the slab on the Coyote. It crossfades into the regular end card after.
  • Too Desperate to Be Picky: To further expound on the "Eatibus anythingus" designation, the Coyote is shown eating a bee or a fly (which isn't a bad source of protein, for the record) and a tin can.
  • Trapped the Wrong Target: The Burmese tiger booby trap literally trapped a Burmese tiger. Perhaps the Coyote should have read the fine print.
  • What a Drag: The lasso winds up getting a moving truck instead. The Coyote gets bumped along a few times, does a forward roll once he loses his grip, and "slides" forward on his backside — losing that part of his hide. He skulks off in disgust.


Video Example(s):


Stop! Look! And Hasten!

Wile E. Coyote sets up a boulder trap in hopes of crushing the Road Runner. As one would expect from the hapless canine, he ends up on the receiving end of the trap.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / HomingBoulders

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