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Western Animation / Sugar and Spies

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Includes all Trope Co. espionage cliches!

"Sugar and Spies" is a 1966 Looney Tunes cartoon.

It looks like just another day, another chase for Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. Just as he’s about to catch his target, the Coyote gets hit with a mystery briefcase. It turns out to be a Spy Kit, tossed out by a black-clad fugitive being chased on the open road by a patrol car. Intrigued by the prospect of new (non-ACME) resources, he gets right down to business.

Naturally, he gets Hoist by His Own Petard no matter what he uses. Whether it’s sleeping gas, a packaged time bomb, a fuse linked to explosive mastic on a boulder, plans for the type of car the fugitive used, or some remote-controlled missiles, the end result never varies.

It is notable for being the final classic-era cartoon to feature the pair — the latter of two directed by Robert McKimson and the 14th not directed by Chuck Jones.

Spy Trope Plans:

  • Animation Bump: Although still not up to the standards of the original series, the animation and timing are at least a marked improvement over the 11 previous shorts directed by Rudy Larriva.
  • Book Ends: For director McKimson. His other effort ("Rushing Roulette") came out before the first of the Larriva 11 ("Run Run Sweet Road Runner"), while this one came out after the final entry ("Clippety Clobbered").
  • Central Theme: One of only three such cartoons to clearly state (behind “The Solid Tin Coyote” and “Just Plane Beep”).
  • Clothing Damage: In the final gag, when the missile explodes right on the Coyote. The trenchcoat loses its lower half, button section, and foresleeves in the process, but there is little Hat Damage.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Not that black matters much where they are.
  • Homing Boulders: The first one has a lump of mastic attached and linked to the fuse the Coyote lights. The other is the cannonball that rolls into the air from a curved stump the Road Runner is standing on.
  • Homing Projectile: The missiles in the final gag. They follow the Road Runner around just like they're supposed to. But then he hits on the bright idea of hiding under the Coyote's stool until just before the missile hits.
  • New Sound Album: The only Road Runner cartoon to be scored by Walter Greene, combined with the spy-themed plot, makes for a very different kind of music score for the series, being more twangy and with muted trumpets in a manner not unlike Greene's The Pink Panther and The Inspector scores.
  • Visual Pun: Aside from being a play on words for “sugar and spice.” In the opening title credits, there is a sugar bowl with a shadowy figure inside and a few more crouching behind it.
  • Weaponized Car: Being on the open road, the Coyote makes his vehicle out of the junk he finds in the roadside dump. Between the machine guns in the headlights, two uses of an Ejection Seat, and a cannon in the trunk, one guess as to how it all turns out.
  • You Got Murder: Wile E. tries to deliver a bomb in a package to the Road Runner, but it gets sent back to him for insufficient postage. It explodes before he can retrieve another stamp for it.