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Western Animation / War and Pieces

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"The End (old Chinese proverb)"

"War and Pieces" is a 1964 cartoon featuring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

Everything goes as well as it usually does for the Coyote, starting with a chase scene where he's carrying a hand grenade. The Road Runner outruns the explosive little thing, which (as he turns a corner of the road) ultimately bounces off a cactus and flies right back into the Coyote's face. Now covered in cinders, the Coyote goes off to ponder his next play. Between a bow with a rope tied to his hide on a pulley, a hydraulic press activated by an electric eye beam (the closest the cartoon gets to a case of Homing Boulders), a can of invisible paint, a shotgun disguised as a peepshow, a grappling hook, and a mini-rocket that somehow tunnels all the way into China, the Coyote's Butt-Monkey status reigns supreme.

It is noteworthy for being the last classic-era Looney Tunes cartoon for Chuck Jones (whose next project would be The Dot and the Line at MGM).


Not to be confused with the Roland and Rattfink cartoon of the same title (1970) or the Taz-Mania segment entitled "War & Pieces" (1991).


  • Ash Face: Several scenes: the grenade toss in the chase scene, the Secrets of a Harem peepshow with the shotgun as a lens, and the tearing of a cloud with a grappling hook (which emits a lightning blast).
  • Binomium ridiculus: Caninus Nervous Rex and Burn-em Upus Asphaltus, respectively.
  • Bowdlerization:
    • The version shown on ABC's The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show cut the beginning (where Wile E. Coyote lobs a grenade at the Road Runner, only for the grenade to catapult back to him thanks to a desert cactus) to remove the aftermath of the explosion and the part where Wile E. tries to shoot the Road Runner with a shotgun disguised as a peepshow called "Secrets of a Harem" and, predictably, gets shot in the face.
      • The "Secrets of a Harem" scene was also cut on CBS.
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    • The Merrie Melodies Show on FOX shows the "Secrets of a Harem" sequence (and leaves in the beginning with the grenade), but replaces the part where Wile gets shot with a frozen scene of the Road Runner looking down from a cliff.
    • The newly restored Memorable Entertainment Television Saturday Morning Cartoons print completely subverts this, as all of the aforementioned scenes are shown intact, as well as the ending scene with the Chinese Road Runner (the latter of which would be considered "politically incorrect" by today's standards).
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The overhead shot of his date with gravity (which is actually on a broken-off formation following the Stripping Snag) shows him waving goodbye.
  • Digging to China: For the final gag, Wile E.'s rocket winds up doing a U-turn on contact with the ledge. Then it ploughs through the center of the Earth and into China, where he discovers a Chinese Road Runner in an Asian rice hat and geta. He goes after it, but the Road Runner is carrying a gong that Wile E. crashes into, causing him to stumble down the hole and fall back to where he came.
  • Finger Extinguisher: In the first Ash Face instance, after the grenade boomerangs back at him, the Coyote takes stock of his smoldering tail and moistens his fingers to take care of the issue ("PFST!").
  • Impact Silhouette: The clouds that the Coyote passes through during his fall in the Invisible Paint gag.
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: The title is a reference to the novel War and Peace.
  • Saved by the Platform Below: Following the failed launch and Stripping Snag described downward. While the Coyote is holding onto the end of the bow for dear life, it snaps off and... he ends up dropping only a few inches. But then the whole formation drops, with him still on it.
  • Stripping Snag: When the Coyote attempts to launch over to the Road Runner, the bottom half of his pelt rips clean off, to reveal a pair of hairy legs, Goofy Print Underwear, and loose socks.
  • Talking with Signs: When the Coyote lands in the drink, headfirst into the underwater ground, a fish comes up to observe this anomaly and gets answered with: GET LOST!