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Western Animation / Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner
aka: Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner

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♫ Roooad Runner, the Coyote's after you!
Roooad Runner, if he catches you, you're through! ♫
"Okay, right now I'd like to show you one of my favorite cartoons. It's a sad, depressing story about a pathetic coyote who spends every waking moment of his life in the futile pursuit of a sadistic roadrunner, who mocks him and laughs at him as he's repeatedly crushed and maimed! Hope you enjoy it!"
George Newman ("Weird Al" Yankovic) effectively summarizing the cartoons, UHF

An iconic series of Looney Tunes short subjects made by Chuck Jones during The Golden Age of Animation.

Basically, this is what happens if Tom and Jerry was set in the desert, and replaced the cat and mouse with a coyote and a roadrunner.note  And with even less successful results for the chaser.

The Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner shorts are centered around the titular desert-dwelling duo, as the clever but destructively obsessive Coyote does everything within his power (and employs every item in the ACME product catalog) to capture the elusive Road Runner for dinner. But every attempt backfires on him in increasingly ridiculous and impossibly unrealistic ways. The elastic launcher to fling him at the ground cuckoo? Comes unanchored and hurls him into a jumping cholla cactus. The dart bombs? Go after him and thwart his subsequent attempts on Beep Beep. The metal plate to block the road? Doesn't pop up until several tries later, when it's the Coyote running past. A springy block of pavement serving as an ejector? Comes loose when the bird stops by and squashes the Coyote. Jones explicitly modelled the Coyote's seemingly inexplicable persistence on philosopher George Santayana's self-definition of a fanatic: someone who "redoubles his efforts when he has forgotten his aim." And it doesn't help him one bit that the Road Runner is apparently aware of this and more than happy to exploit it to his own, cheerfully sadistic ends.

Despite their surreally minimalist production design — very unlike the traditional Looney Tunes style — and penchant for formula gags, the Coyote/Road Runner cartoons have remained hugely popular right up to the present day. Forty shorts were produced in the classic era, and newer ones have been occasionally created for theaters in the decades since. Jones went on to cast a Coyote expy in the Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog series, while Wile E. himself was set against none other than Bugs Bunny for a few shorts, in which the self-described "super genius" proved to be just as unsuccessful at capturing Bugs as he did the Road Runner.

Between the mid-60's to the early-80's, the duo appeared in a series of comic books published by Gold Key Comics that ran for 105 issues. In those comics, the Road Runner was given the name Beep Beep (yes, seriously) and had a family consisting of a wife named Matilda and three unnamed identical sons. Both coyote and roadrunner also talked more often than they did in the theatrical cartoons, with the latter in particular speaking in Dr. Seuss-esque rhyme, which also applies to his sons and Matilda. Other than that, the premise of Wile E. trying to catch the roadrunners remained.

The duo have made a comeback via CGI in The Looney Tunes Show.

Wile E. is also set to star in the Dave Green-directed live-action/animated hybrid film from Warner Bros. Pictures Animation and DNEG Animation called Coyote Vs Acme, which was announced back in 2018, and to say it's had quite a rough journey is an understatement. It was originally set for release on July 21, 2023 before being taken off the schedule and replaced by Barbie. In November 2023, it was shelved by Warner Bros. for a $30 million tax write-off, only to later be shopped around to other distributors such as Prime Video, Netflix and Paramount, and even had a screenshot unveiled on Twitter / X by Eric Bauza... that is, until the movie was re-cancelled on February 9th, 2024, after Warner rejected all offers to purchase it... but not for long. In early March 2024, screenwriter Samy Burch confirmed that "conversations are still ongoing", hinting at a possible release for the film after all. Prior to that, the entire plot of the movie was leaked online by an unknown individual; where they even managed to get said plot remains unknown, though some people have speculated that the individual secretly possesses a copy of the movie.

Their character sheets can be found here.

See also the video games Road Runner, Road Runner's Death Valley Rally, Desert Speedtrap, and Desert Demolition.

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  • Zoom at the Top
  • The Adventures of the Road Runner (proposed pilot for a TV series)



  • War and Pieces - Final Golden Age cartoon directed by Chuck Jones.
  • Zip Zip Hooray (culled from "Adventures of the Road Runner")
  • Road Runner-A-Go-Go (ditto)



Post-Golden Age

These cartoons provide examples of:

  • Accordion Man: This is sometimes Wile E.'s fate after a long fall or being Squashed Flat.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: In Fastest with the Mostest, the Coyote corners the Road Runner near the edge of a cliff. Of course, the cliff itself collapses, while the piece the Road Runner stands on inexplicably floats in the air. The coyote laments how the Road Runner keeps breaking the law of gravity, only for the Road Runner to respond he never studied said law. This implies his ability to defy the laws of nature comes from his complete ignorance of them.
  • Acme Products: Of course, it's a mystery how Wile E. can pay for all the stuff he orders from them, and a bigger mystery why he continues to do so, seeing as nine times out of ten, their products are the reason he fails. (One Cartoon Network ad hints that he's the QA tester for the company, but another one has him sue the company over all the malfunctioning equipment, gaining a prime-time slot as a settlement.) When the ACME products do work as intended, they'll end up working on the coyote.
    • A magazine article of some time ago where the Coyote files a lawsuit against Acme is the basis of a Warner Bros. film having been made (currently being shopped for a distributor) titled Coyote Vs. Acme. Former pro wrestler John Cena has the role of Wile E.'s lawyer.
  • Affectionate Parody: The first short was made as a deliberately over-the-top parody of typical "cat chases mouse" type cartoons (and nature documentaries; the pseudo-Latin names are a direct callback to those), but audiences took it at face value and thought it was just something new. The rest is history.
  • Amusing Injuries: Coyote suffers a multitude in every short. Sometimes a combination of these in a short span.
  • Anti-Villain: Wile E. Coyote is basically of one these, since all he wants a square meal. Too bad he's so bad at getting it.
  • Anvil on Head: A Looney Tunes staple, reproduced faithfully multiple times.
  • Arch-Enemy: Wile E. and the Road Runner have been going at it for more than 60 years!
  • Art Evolution: The designs of the two characters did change a bit over the years, but this trope was more evident in the background designs. The first three shorts used scenic but fairly bland-looking backgrounds, which gave way to more abstract designs starting with Maurice Noble's arrival. They gradually got more and more unusual, eventually leading to some flat-out weird scenery in Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z-z-z before settling down into a more consistent style from 1957 onwards.
    • Interestingly, the eras can also be split by the sky color, of all things. The first two shorts had a usual blue sky, the late 1952 through 1955 shorts had an overcast/gray sky, the 1956 through 1959 shorts had a yellow sky, and 1960 to the end reverted back to a blue sky.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Coyotes are nearly twice as fast as roadrunners and actually prey on them in reality. The roadrunner's best line of defense is camouflage and stealth, as he wouldn't be able to outrun Wile E. on open ground.
    • Then again, he always chooses to run upright rather than on all fours, which leads to increased wind resistance - of course, this could be due to him being more vertically-centered than horizontally, like an actual coyote. It's mainly just down to Rule of Funny, since mice don't fare nearly as well against housecats outside of cartoons, either.
  • Ash Face: Wile E. sometimes gets these when his contraptions blow up in his face.
  • Aside Glance: In Hip Hip-Hurry!, Wile E. feeds a mouse a drink that allows him to move at Super-Speed. As the mouse is speeding across the landscape, he turns and looks at the camera.
  • Author Appeal: Jones' take on Wile E. was heavily influenced by Mark Twain's Roughing It, in which the coyote of the desert is described in great, pitiful detail.
  • Badass Adorable: The Road Runner has his rare moments, like in Fast and Furry-ous, where he holds out a metal lid for the Coyote to slam into in one scene, and tosses a boomerang at him in the other.
  • Bear Trap: One of the many maligned ACME products.
  • Big Bad: Wile E. Coyote is ultimately the main antagonist of the shorts, serving as the only threat to Roadrunner.
  • Binomium ridiculus: This series is pretty much the Trope Codifier for the use of fake species names as parody; in the opening scenes of several of them, the action suddenly pauses as a freeze frame showing either the Roadrunner or Wile E. Coyote in a pose reminiscent of a museum diorama, with the Roadrunner given names such as Speedius birdius or Speedometrus Rapidus, and the Coyote ones like Ravenus catchineatum or Famishus Famishus. One cartoon even gave the Roadrunner's "beep, beep" a scientific name ("beepus-beepus").
    • Subverted in 2003's "Whizzard of Ow" in which the actual binomial names were used: Canis latrans for the Coyote (barking dog — ironic when you realize Wile E. almost never speaks) and Geococcyx californianus for the Road-runner (Californian cuckoo that runs on land).
    • And in "Stop! Look! And Hasten!" Wile E.'s Burmese Tiger Trap catches a Burmese Tiger, Surprisibus! Surprisibus!
    • Even Wile E. Coyote gets in on the action when he refers to the common western rabbit (e.g. Bugs Bunny) as Rabbitus idioticus delicious in "Rabbit's Feat".
    • This even extends beyond the animated shorts themselves: in a commercial for Energizer batteries featuring Wile E. Coyote, he is introduced as "Pursuis Rabbitus Energizus", and the Energizer battery that powers the Energizer Bunny is introduced as "Powerus Never Stopus".
  • Blowing a Raspberry: The Road Runner does this to taunt the Coyote, and it sounds... rather peculiar to say the least, sounding like a series of cork bottles being opened in rapid succession.
  • Bomb Whistle: Everything that falls, including boulders, anvils, and Wile E. himself, makes this sound.
  • Boomerang Comeback: Wile E. gets hit in the back of his head by his own boomerang (naturally) in "The Fast and the Furry-ous".
  • Born in the Theatre: At the end of one short, Wile E. pulled a standing sign onto the set. "Wanted: One gullible coyote. Apply to manager of this theatre."
  • Born Lucky: NOTHING ever goes wrong for Road Runner. Sometimes the laws of physics and even reality bend over for him, such as when Wile E. painted a cliff wall to look like a road, and Road Runner proceeds to run right into the painted road and disappears into the horizon. And no surprise, Wile E. tries to follow and crashes into the wall. When Wile E. tried a painting of a chasm to hide an actual road, Wile E. is the one who runs right into the painted chasm.
    • The most extreme example of this is in Stop! Look! and Hasten! when Wile E. stops Road Runner on a bridge with birdseed and tries cutting a hole out from underneath him. The entire bridge and the rock formations the bridge is attached to collapse, leaving Road Runner standing on a floating wooden disc.
  • Born Unlucky: No matter how hard the Coyote tries, his plans to catch that Roadrunner end up backfiring on him spectacularly, including the devices he orders from ACME. He is also the epitome of the Butt-Monkey in Western animation. One of the laws of the cartoons is that "the audience's sympathy must remain with the Coyote." For a coyote to want to eat a roadrunner is perfectly natural in the order of things and to top it all off, he is regularly portrayed as skinny and starving. Furthermore, if a device does work as advertised, he takes the bait. That said, one of the rules that Chuck Jones created said that the coyote’s ineptitude could hurt him even in the Road Runner cartoons, so he’s a downplayed example of this.
  • Brick Joke: In some cartoons, an ACME contraption would fail early on and be ignored, until the Coyote comes back across it and does something foolish to trigger it.
  • Butt-Monkey: Wile E. himself; in fact he never gets to be anything but (not even in his appearances with Bugs Bunny).
    • Iron Butt Monkey: Even for a Warner Bros. cartoon, it's amazing what the Coyote goes through - and then gets up and goes right back in.
  • Cactus Cushion: A common hazard, given the setting take place in the southwestern US desert where saguaros are native.
    • "To Beep or Not to Beep" had Wile E. fall off a cliff as usual, only for a cactus to also fall off after him, leading to him flying back UP the cliff while howling in pain.
    • "Highway Runnery" has him standing behind a cactus as he prepares to dash off, only for the Road Runner's speed to bend the cactus so it hits his behind. Bonus: we get to hear a real coyote yowl as he does another Pain-Powered Leap.
    • "Chariots of Fur" has Wile E. test out a cactus costume, feeling visibly uncomfortable as he puts it on. He mistimes his attempt to grab the Road Runner and ends up wrapping his arms around himself with painful results, and promptly decides that the costume isn't worth the trouble.
  • Camera Tricks: In one of the Coyote's few speaking appearances in the Road Runner shorts, he mentions these when talking about how he keeps a "record of [his] 'activities'".
  • Canis Latinicus: Both parties receive a new genus/species name in this style before each short ("To Beep or Not to Beep" being the exception). In one short ("Soup or Sonic"), even the Roadrunner's beeps get a scientific name: "beepus-beepus".
    • Though "The Whizzard of Ow" showed the actual scientific names, Geococcyx californianus (greater roadrunner) and Canis latrans (coyote).
    • "Stop! Look! and Hasten!" also features a cameo by a Burmese Tiger (Surprisibus! Surprisibus!)
  • Cartoon Physics: But it's so side-splittingly funny in all cases that it doesn't matter.
  • Cerebus Retcon: According to Little Go Beep, the reason why Wile E. is The Voiceless is because it's a family honor that coyotes are not allowed to speak until they successfully catch a roadrunner.
  • Character Catchphrase: Road Runner's Beep Beep!
  • Characterization Marches On: The Roadrunner originally was depicted as somewhat a Karmic Trickster in 'Fast and Furry-ous (1949) being clearly aware of Coyote's hunting the whole time, a trait that would be mostly dropped in later Chuck Jones shorts since the Coyote gets Hoist By His Own Petards anyways. The Road Runner's characterisation would slip back in and out with efforts from other directors however.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Coyote buys a superhero costume and tries to fly off a cliff. He doesn't.
    • Another costume does work for flight, but it's specifically designed with rigid "wings" that fold out from under the arms. It's not much of a spoiler to note that Wile E. still ends up managing to plummet to the ground.
    • The Batman outfit also works (even though Superman can fly and Batman can't), but Wile E. does a smug Aside Glance while flying and rams into the side of a cliff.
    • And another set of wings gets destroyed in an explosion, resulting in no flight but in another date with gravity.
  • Colossus Climb: Averted. At the end of "Soup or Sonic", Wile E. finally catches the Road Runner. The episode's running gag involving size changing pipes leaves the Road Runner normal sized, but unfortunately for the Coyote he has become tiny, very tiny. He doesn't bother trying to scale the huge bird (even he can appreciate he's massively outgunned) and instead asks the audience what is he supposed to do now.
  • Comically Lop Sided Rivalry: The entire rivalry between the Coyote and Road Runner, which always ends in the bird's favor.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: When Wile E. gets hold off a Spy Kit in "Sugar and Spies", he starts wearing a black trenchcoat and hat. In the middle of the desert.
  • Crossover: Two, on a technicality. "Hare-breadth Hurry" has Bugs Bunny filling in for a sidelined Road Runner, while "The Wild Chase" has a cannonball race between the Road Runner and Speedy Gonzales, with the Coyote and Sylvester in pursuit.
    • Wile E. also crossed into a few Bugs Bunny cartoons as well. These are where the "Wile E. Coyote, Super-Genius" persona comes from.
  • Cruel Coyotes: Wile E. subverts this for the most part, as all of his schemes and traps fail to catch the Road Runner as intended, and even the audience sympathizes with himnote . However, the Beep Beep the Road Runner comic books published by Gold Key Comics make him much meaner and more malicious than he is in the animated shorts, as he is also willing to try and catch the Road Runner's three unnamed children alongside their father.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Despite often being referred to as “Roadrunner cartoons,” Roadrunner himself is never actually at the forefront of the plot. The stories always follow the Coyote and his failed attempts at killing his Arch-Enemy.
  • Delayed Reaction: Wile usually realizes very late that he's walking on thin air. Once he does, he falls down.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • While Wile E. is consistently unable to catch Road Runner, exactly how fast he is depends heavily on the short. In some, he is only barely slower than him, to the point he ends up frustratingly running a few feet behind his prey without actually reaching it, but in others, he is much less athletic and gets gassed out with relatively small efforts.
    • The Road Runner is variably either a wild creature going simply about its life and avoiding getting caught, or a more standard cartoon trickster who deliberately sabotages the Coyote's plans and heckles his failures.
    • Which is odd, given most of the classic "Road Runner" shorts were written by Michael Maltese. However, there were jam sessions where all of the studios writers would come together to pitch gags and ideas for various shorts. This could explain the discrepancy.
  • Detrimental Determination: The Coyote, of course.
    • Rule Number 3: "The Coyote could stop any time — IF he were not a fanatic."
      • Halfway through the cartoon, one realizes that the Coyote doesn't want to eat the Road Runner at that point—he just wants his contraptions to work properly.
  • Disaster Dominoes: The usual finale of the cartoons' formula brings back various devices or tactics, generally introduced by the coyote himself, in order to inflict even bigger Amusing Injuries.
  • Ditzy Genius: Wile E. Coyote, especially on the occasions when he goes after Bugs Bunny.
  • Dub Species Change: Early Italian dubs referred to the Roadrunner as either a fictional "Beep beep bird" or an ostrich. Later redubs rectified this and changed "Beep Beep" into the Roadrunner's given name. Similarly, in Polish the Road Runner is officially known as "Struś Pędziwiatr" ("Ostrich Run-like-the-wind").
  • Eat the Camera: "To Beep or Not to Beep."
  • Ejection Seat: When Wile E. Coyote builds a Weaponized Car to catch the Roadrunner in "Sugar and Spies", it includes an ejection seat. You can probably guess how useful this proves to him.
  • Epic Fail: Cutting the branch hanging off a cliffside that the Roadrunner's on — and the cliff collapses. 'Nuff said.
    • Anything involving catapults will end in misfires that break physics.
    • Pretty much everything Coyote does ends in this. Hilarity ensues.
  • Everyone Has Standards: But of course! Near the end of "Zoom and Bored", Wile E. takes a massive tumble, falling down several cliffs, sucked through pipes, over waterfalls, is hit by a truck, and then by a train, before finally coming to a stop at the top of a cliff, breathing hard and clutching his chest. The coyote is crying by this point. The Road Runner runs up behind him and has a chance to scare him off the cliff like he usually does, but at this point he's apparently as sympathetic as the viewers, holds a sign up that says "I just don't have the heart", and runs off again.
  • Evil Virtues: The Coyote has a Determination that puts Sisyphus to shame. Nothing can make him give up on catching that roadrunner.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • The book "How to Build a Burmese Tiger Trap" instructs you on how to construct a very effective trap... if you are trying to catch a Burmese Tiger.
    • Similarly, the gigantic sheet of fly paper is labelled "ACME Giant Fly Paper" and works perfectly... at catching a giant fly. The fly even gives a nasty Slasher Smile before wrapping the coyote in the flypaper.
    • Another very similar scheme has Wile using a gigantic spring mousetrap labelled "ACME Giant Mouse Trap." It works fine... at catching a giant rat.
    • Chronologically, the first time something like this happened was when Wile E. and Roadrunner were babies. The baby coyote uses a badger trap, on which he crossed out the word "badger" and wrote "roadrunner", which catching a badger.
  • Exorcist Head: At the beginning of "Ready, Set, Zoom!", the Road Runner is seen rotating his head a full 360 degrees as he looks around his surroundings.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The Road Runner Show has one.
    If you're on the highway and Road Runner goes "Beep beep!",
    Just step aside or you might end up in a heap.
    Road Runner, Road Runner runs on the road all day,
    Even the Coyote can't make him change his ways.

    Road Runner, the Coyote's after you,
    Road Runner, if he catches you, you're through!
    Road Runner, the Coyote's after you,
    Road Runner, if he catches you, you're through!

    That Coyote's really a crazy clown,
    When will he learn that he never can mow him down?
    Poor little Road Runner never bothers anyone,
    Just running down the road's his idea of having fun!
  • Extendo Boxing Glove: Wile E. Coyote tried to stun the Road Runner with this in the cartoon, "Beep-Beep".... with predictable results.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Stop! Look! And Hasten! opens with a famished Wile E. resorting to eating a fly, a bug, and an empty tin can... the latter of which he quickly discards once the Road Runner passes by and sets off his Meat-O-Vision.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: How did he not starve to death? Oh yeah, he's functionally immortal. Averted at the end of one or two episodes, though. Flipped in the arcade game where you play the Roadrunner, and being eaten is the only way to end the game.
    • Some later shorts show a possible method of survival, opening with the Coyote trying to eat a rock or a cactus, failing, then going in pursuit of the Roadrunner. One episode even opened with the Coyote successfully eating an insect (on screen: "Coyote (Eatibus anythingus)"). The Roadrunner is probably the only thing around with any real meat on it, so he's willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get just one filling meal.
    • Jones himself noted in his memoir "Chuck Amuck" that one of the rules that he and the other writers laid down was that Wile E. can never succeed in eating the Roadrunner, invoking this trope as a whole for the shorts.
  • Feathered Fiend: Downplayed for the Road Runner. While he often makes fun of Wile E.'s failures and even scares him off of cliffs, he is in no way genuinely cruel and has even helped him out on a few rare occasions, like giving him a lit match in "Hip Hip-Hurry!" and saving him from a fall down a cliff with a spring coil in "Fastest with the Mostest"; the Coyote even shows gratitude with a "Thanks" sign in the latter case.
  • Fictional Document: Wile E. sometimes consults these while constructing his traps, such as the book "How to Build a Burmese Tiger Trap" in Stop! Look! And Hasten! And it works just as announced.
  • Flat Character: The Road Runner is deliberately this, to focus our attention on the Villain Protagonist. He rarely does anything except run, eat, and say "beep beep!", and even his facial expression never changes in any of the Jones cartoons and most of the ones that followed.
  • Friendly Enemy: Despite being fully aware that Wilie E. is trying to eat him, the Road Runner has no grudge towards him and in some occasion he even helps him like in "Hip Hip-Hurry!".
  • Freeze-Frame Introduction: Wile E. and the Road Runner are always introduced with a freeze frame, with their name and a fake scientific name appearing next to them.
  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • The Coyote disguised himself as a female roadrunner to attract the Road Runner. The disguise actually did a good job... at deceiving other coyotes, a horde of which chase him to eat. Unsurprisingly, these coyotes never appeared again.
    • Typically, whenever one of the Acme Products does work as advertised, their success manages to work against Wile E. For example, a Dehydrated Boulder, upon hydration, becomes so large that it squashes him, the Burmese tiger trap catches an actual Burmese tiger, or he finds out that the Earthquake Pills bottle label's fine print states that the pills aren’t effective on road runners... right after he swallows the whole bottle thinking they don't work.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: The Trope Codifier in the public mind, since about half the gags involved Wile E. falling off a cliff as the result of his latest failure. Wile E. is also the current Trope Image.
    • Rule Number 8: "Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote's greatest enemy."
  • Hammered into the Ground: Happens to Wile E. more than once, even as a result of his own inventions backfiring.
  • Harmless Villain: The Coyote.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Road Runner can be considered the hero of this short, being hunted after by a hungry predator. However his character is kept deliberately flat and Out of Focus in each short so that the intended audience sympathy is instead with Wile E Coyote. In fact, according to the laws of Roadrunner cartoons, the only harm the bird can do to the coyote is give him a Jump Scare.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Seriously, it happens to him so often that the Trope could practically be called "Wile E. Coyote Syndrome".
    • Rule #2: No outside force can harm the coyote. Only his own ineptitude or the failure of ACME products.
  • Hollywood Magnetism: Wile E. Coyote got bitten by this once... very hard. In his attempt to catch Bugs Bunny with an iron carrot, his super-magnet ended up attracting not just said carrot (due to Bugs not eating it), but all sorts of metallic stuff alongside it, including the Eiffel Tower, an ocean liner and finally a ballistic missile, which blew him to kingdom come.
    Bugs Bunny: "One thing's for sure, we're the first country to get a coyote into orbit."
    • He also got the Road Runner to eat some iron pellets disguised as birdseed, then tried to capture him with a giant magnet. The magnet attracted a giant barrel of TNT instead.
    • He again gets the Road Runner to eat iron pellets disguised as birdseed, sets up the bait with a "FREE LUNCH!" sign, skates over behind a rock, and straps on a big magnet. As the magnet follows potential prey, so does Wile E. as the skates provide transportation. Just as the Road Runner approaches a bridge, he suddenly runs off as Wile E. ends up onto the Railroad Tracks of Doom, where he's flattened by an oncoming train. Somehow, the magnet remains upright.
  • Homing Boulders: No matter how carefully the Coyote tries to avoid them, you have an Epic Fail.
  • Hope Spot: Villainous example with "The Solid Tin Coyote", which the Road Runner shows visible fear towards and is captured by Coyote's Humongous Mecha. It doesn't work out.
  • Human Cannonball: Much like Daffy Duck did once, Wile E. has attempted to fire himself out of a cannon multiple times in his never-ending quest to catch the Road Runner. What he has achieved is multiple new ways to injure himself.
  • Humiliation Conga: Frequently happens to the Coyote. More often than not, he'll suffer a combination of being burnt to a crisp from explosions, Squashed Flat, or fall into an abyss in his Sisyphean quest to catch the Road Runner.
  • Humongous Mecha: The eponymous giant robot from "The Solid Tin Coyote".
  • Impact Silhouette: Often left by Wile E. after one of his plans fails. The Roadrunner also leaves one on occasion, like the time he went through a sheet of metal... which was in front of Wile E. at the time.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: As Wile E. explains to two viewers in one episode, this is why he "devotes his valuable time chasing this ridiculous road runner", claiming that "the Roadrunner is to the taste buds of a coyote, what caviar, champagne, filet mignon and chocolate fudge are to the taste buds of a man." He then pulls out a chart explaining that every part of the Roadrunner comes "In a dazzling array of flavors." From banana to sponge cake to candied yam to pistachio.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Rule Number 10: The audience's sympathy must remain with the Coyote. note 
  • Informed Attribute: The Roadrunner's speed, obviously played for laughs. In real life, a Coyote can run almost twice as fast as a Roadrunner (38 mph vs. 20 mph), and in a straight line, Wile E. would have little difficulty catching his prey.
  • Informed Species: Neither Wile E. nor the Roadrunner resemble their species.
    • Wile E. Coyote's resemblance to an actual coyote is vague. He almost looks like Bugs Bunny with more canine-like features, a longer snout, brown fur, wider cheeks, a heftier body and a bushier tail.
    • On the other hand, the Road Runner's resemblance to a greater roadrunner is completely nonexistent, and as such he looks more like a cross between a chicken and an ostrich or a cassowary (actual roadrunners are only two feet long and look like this).
  • Inflating Body Gag: In "Fastest with the Mostest", Wile E. Coyote tries to blow into a balloon for his latest plan, only for the air to shoot back and inflate him. He desperately grabs the nearest object—a bomb—to stop himself from drifting away, but just winds up carrying the bomb as he floats up. Then he deflates and finds himself high in the air, still holding a bomb. Whoops.
  • Insistent Terminology: The noise Road Runner makes is always transcribed as "beep beep", even though it sounds like "meep meep".
  • Instant-Win Condition: Wile E. setting up TNT to blow up by a manual detonator and catching the Road Runner off-guard with it would essentially lead to him winning instantly. However, the fact that reality itself works against him prevents that from happening each time he makes that setup, where the detonator itself goes inactive through some unknown means.
  • Invincible Hero: Unlike most other recurring Looney Tunes heroes, who usually had at least the odd moment of defeat, the Road Runner never "lost", or was even remotely hurt or humiliated throughout any cartoon. Though he was hampered on more than one occasion.
    • The only exceptions seemed to be Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, where he gets run over by a truck in one scene; the Animaniacs segment, "Little Old Slappy from Pasadena", where Slappy outruns him in her car and runs over Wile E. Coyote, and as he holds up an "I quit" sign with his foot, Buttons (who had been launched into the air in an earlier gag) lands on top of him with Mindy unharmed as usual; and the Taz-Mania episode, "Instant Replay", where Taz easily catches him and prepares to eat him, but releases him when Bull Gator and Axel show up.
  • Jump Scare: Rule #1: "The Road Runner cannot harm the Coyote, except by going 'Beep, beep!'"
  • Just Eat Him: Wile E. orders his aforementioned mecha to do this after capturing the Road Runner, which is strange considering that Wile E. himself should be the one trying to eat him.note 
  • Large Ham: Wile E. Coyote, especially when he goes after Bugs Bunny, where he introduces himself as "Wile E. Coyote, Genius." He later considers changing his title to "Super Genius" at the end of Operation: Rabbit... at least until a train runs into the explosives shed he was hiding in.
    Wile E. Coyote: "Wile E. Coyote: Super Genius. I like the way that rolls out! Wile E. Coyote: SUUUUUPEEERRR GEEEENIUS!!"
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: The cartoons are generally considered the oddball of Chuck Jones's work. Soon after Warner Bros. closed their animation studio, they subcontracted new cartoons including Road Runner titles, mostly directed by Rudy Larriva, which were sluggish, ill-timed, unfunny hack jobs only vaguely resembling the originals. Most revival cartoons not directed by Jones, while varying in actual quality, have a similar irregularity to them.
    • The shorts standard "rules" and formula were broken more regularly as well. Certain shorts had a running plot rather than interchangeable blackout gags, the Road Runner was sometimes more proactive and expressive, and some of Wile's traps became more surreal.
  • Leitmotif: Try listening to Dance of the Comedians without going "Beep Beep!".
  • Limited Animation: The Rudy Larriva shorts, and to a lesser extent, the two Robert McKimson shorts.
  • Made of Iron: If there's a way to get busted up, it's probably happened to Coyote, but he's always back the next scene, good as new.
  • Matchlight Danger Revelation: In "Beep, Beep", Wile E. loses his way underground, lights a match and learns he's in a tunnel crammed full of high explosives.
  • Minimalist Cast: Just two characters, Wile E. and Road Runner. That's it. No one else is even visible.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: As noted, in Stop! Look! and Hasten! Wile E.'s Burmese Tiger Trap proves to be a little too effective.
  • Motive Decay: Early on, it seems that Wile E. wants to eat the Road Runner. Typical predator/prey relationship. But, some of the things Wile E. plans (poisoning, exploding, etc.) would make the Road Runner inedible had they worked. At some point, his motivation seems to go from eating the Road Runner to just wanting him dead.
    • Chuck Jones would often quote George Santayana's definition of a fanatic - "someone who doubles his efforts while forgetting his aim" - in describing Wile E. and intentionally made most of the humor come from the fact that even though gravity is clearly against him at times, he never gets the message and gives up/chases some other animal.
    • The Cheers gang debate the motives of Wile E. It's pointed out that Wile E. doesn't want to eat just any roadrunner — he wants to eat that roadrunner.
  • Mr. Exposition: Wile E. becomes this in one cartoon where two kids watching the cartoon on television wonder why he wants to eat the Road Runner. He explains in detail - with visual aids - just why road runners are considered such a delicacy to coyotes.
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: Subverted. One comic revealed that Wile E.'s middle name is “Ethelbert”.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Some schemes from Villain Protagonist Wile E. would end up in his victory if he wasn't Born Unlucky and the laws of reality didn't bend to the Road Runner's will instead of his.
  • Nice Guy: The ever peppy Road Runner bears no ill will against Wile E. for chasing him, and seems to appreciate that's just nature's way. In fact, Rule #1 prohibits the Road Runner from ever causing the coyote any direct harm, except by Jump Scare with his happy "Beep Beep!" call.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: In "The Solid Tin Coyote" Wile manages to create an elaborate Giant Mecha that is formidable enough to actually garner the Road Runner's fear. It even catches him multiple times, though always loses him due to a malfunction or command error.
  • Now What?: At the end of 1980's "Soup or Sonic", the Coyote finally catches the Road Runner. Just one problem: it's at the end of a pipe gag that ended with Road Runner regular size, and Wile E. ultra tiny. The moment is actually the Trope Image.
    Wile E. Coyote (his sign): Okay, wise guys, you always wanted me to catch him — now what do I do?
  • Oh, Crap!: Wile E. has this expression a lot (especially when gravitational cognizance kicks in). This one being a prime example of these anxious expressions he'd make in every setback and backfire he partakes in.
    • Perhaps the only time the Roadrunner has shown it is in "The Solid Tin Coyote" when he sees the giant mechanical coyote that Wile E. has built.
    Roadrunner: Beebeebeep! *exits in his biggest hurry yet*
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In the above mentioned "The Solid Tin Coyote", Road Runner shows fear for the first and only time ever when the Coyote chases him down with a Humongous Mecha, and actually catches him.
  • Packed Hero: Wile E. ends up in a parcel that was meant for the Road Runner. Courtesy of an Acme parcel-making machine, naturally.
  • Painted Tunnel, Real Train: Road Runner loves this trope.
  • Pedestrian Crushes Car: In one cartoon, Wile E. is hit so hard by a truck that he leaves a hole through it.
  • Perpetual Smiler: The Road Runner—the first time he ever changes from this is when he sees the cannonball plummeting to earth from the Coyote's Rube Goldberg contraption ("Hook, Line and Stinker"). He does so again when he sees the eponymous giant robot from "The Solid Tin Coyote".
    • He also changes it into a thoughtful frown as he seemingly forgets his catchphrase in "The Whizzard of Ow".
  • Pet the Dog: At the end of "Zoom and Bored" the Road Runner is about to Jump Scare the Coyote like he usually does but after seeing him desperately whimpering for all the troubles and injures he went through he decides to spare it showing a sign that says "I just don't have the heart."
  • Pin-Pulling Teeth:
    • "Zipping Along". When Wile E. tries to pull the pin from a grenade, the grenade stays in his teeth.
    • "Hip Hip-Hurry!" Wile E. Coyote pulls the pin of a grenade with his teeth and drops the grenade on the Roadrunner from a great height. It bounces off power lines and back up to him. He tries to re-insert the pin, but the grenade blows up before he can.
  • Plummet Perspective: Almost every time Wile E. Coyote falls off a cliff and to the canyon floor below. Most often, he'll end up as an Accordion Man, be burnt to a crisp, or suffer a combination of these.
  • Pretentious Pronunciation: When introducing himself in a couple of his shorts with Bugs, Wile E. pronounces his Species Surname as "Coyo-tay."
  • Pun-Based Title: Most of the shorts have a pun in their title.
  • Punny Name: Wile E. (wily) Coyote
  • Racing the Train: In the cartoon "Zipping Along," the establishing scene features the bird zipping along a train, although he is on the road and never attempts to beat the train to the crossing.
    • The Road Runner's observation of safety is reprised in a later Operation:Lifesaver commercial aimed at children. In it, the Road Runner, despite his ability to put some extra speed in his already fast run, is aware of safety rules concerning railroad crossings and stops to allow a train to pass. Of course, Wile E. Coyote arrogantly doesn't, and he (once again) is crushed beneath another oncoming train.
  • Read the Fine Print: In "Hopalong Casualty," Wile E. attempts to trap the Road Runner by getting him to eat some Acme Earthquake Pills disguised as birdseed. They don't work, and it isn't until Wile E. contemptuously swallows the entire bottle of pills that he reads the fine print on the pill bottle and discovers that they're "not effective on Road Runners." Cue Oh, Crap!.
  • Revenge Before Reason: After a certain point, it becomes clear that Wile E. is really motivated more by this trope than by his ostensible motivations of desire for food. Many of his traps would kill the Road Runner in ways that would render the corpse totally inedible, but Wile E. has come to care more about finally defeating the Road Runner than feeding himself or not getting maimed. By Chuck Jones' own admission, Wile is a fanatic; ie. one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: In some Looney Tunes comic books from the 80's where both characters talk, the Road Runner does this.
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: Trope Namer, and that trope is the plot of these cartoons in a nutshell.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: Used in the climax of "Hook, Line and Stinker".
  • The Runt at the End: When Wile disguised himself as a female roadrunner to attract his prey but instead attracted other coyotes, the last coyote was a runt.
  • Sadist Show: The whole point of the series is to laugh at how the universe contorts itself to torture Wile E.
  • Saved by the Platform Below: Happens in one cartoon, in which Wile E. falls off a cliff and lands on a ledge just below. He's at first relieved, until the ledge gives way.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Invoked at the End of "Guided Muscle," Where after being defeated by the final trap, he puts out a sign advertising for a "gullible coyote," then walks off-screen and pulls out the end title card.
  • Seesaw Catapult: Happens several times, with the teeter-totter being made of stone. The Coyote would either use the teeter-totter rock as part of his scheme or end up falling on it as a result of a scheme. He would be flung into the air when a large rock fell on the other end of the teeter-totter rock.
  • Self-Damaging Attack Backfire: This is how Wile E. Coyote gets his comeuppance nine times out of ten. His traps for the Roadrunner always end up getting him instead, even if it goes against the laws of physics. The Roadrunner rarely does anything to counter the attack; it mostly doesn't have to.
  • Shadow of Impending Doom: Anything that Wile E. launches will produce one of these. Right over him. No matter where he is.
  • Shown Their Work: In "The Whizzard of Ow", the freeze frames that show Wile E. and the Road Runner's scientific names show their actual scientific names.
    "Road Runner (Geococcyx californianus)"
    "Coyote (Canis latrans)"
    • If a real coyote tops out at 38 mph versus 20 mph for the Greater Roadrunner, the chase scenes shown at the start of most episodes are a sign of this. Of course, Hilarity ensues with the little burst of speed the Roadrunner puts on for his getaway (one exception being "Sugar and Spies," when the Coyote was knocked down by a thrown briefcase). In "Fastest with the Mostest," it goes up to eleven, since the Coyote actually outruns the Roadrunner when the Roadrunner normally puts on the extra burst - running right past him and off the edge of a cliff.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: In most of the Coyote's confrontations with Bugs.
    "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Wile E. Coyote, genius."
    • Operation: Rabbit uses it as a Brick Joke.
      Wile E.: (seriously dazed) Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mud. (passes out)
      Bugs: And remember, mud spelled backwards is dum.
  • Smug Snake: Wile E. thinks of himself as a "super-genius", but is actually the epitome of the villainous Butt-Monkey in Western animation. No matter how hard he tries, the Coyote's plans always backfire on him, including the devices he orders from ACME. Furthermore, if his traps do work as planned, the Coyote is the one taking the bait. He provides the trope image.
  • Squashed Flat: Another Running Gag. Wile E. will oftentimes end up being crushed by boulders, vehicles, and anvils, and emerge out as an Accordion Man. Occasionally, he'll be in a Humiliation Conga of being covered in soot by explosives or end up falling in an abyss. He even ends up being flattened several times by his own giant robot in "The Solid Tin Coyote."
  • Stock Desert Interstate: The cartoons take place entirely along highways on the American Southwest with lots of images of the rocky red-tinged deserts.
  • Stopped Reading Too Soon:
    • One ploy that Wile uses on the Road Runner is to leave a pile of bird seed laced with Acme Earthquake Pills. The target ingests the entire bait, then departs unaffected. The coyote disgustedly eats the remaining pills, about half the bottle. A moment later, his eye catches the fine print at the bottom of the label: "Caution: Not effective on road runners." Cue the coyote's leg quivering ominously.
    • In another story, Wile acquires sled dogs that are said to catch up with road runners. It's only after they maul him that he reads the line stating sled dogs love coyotes. "Especially for supper".
  • Straw Loser: The former and titular Wile E. Coyote. In spite of being a genius (later super genius), he's always screwing up his own plans and makes a continual fool of himself in every cartoon he's in. Such to the point that it's obvious that many characters such as the latter and titular Road Runner and Bugs Bunny are always presented as awesome and flawless.
  • Strictly Formula: Popular as the shorts are, they're best watched in small doses, as they tend to feel really, really samey if you watch all of them back to back.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Wouldn't be a Warner Bros. cartoon without some dynamite and Cartoon Bombs exploding, usually in the Coyote's face.
  • Suddenly Speaking: At those rare occasions Wile E. does talk, he speaks in a very refined voice, as well as revealing the fact that he's an Insufferable Genius. However, he always speaks when he's up against Bugs (except for "Hare-Breadth Hurry", which doesn't really count as Bugs is taking over for the Roadrunner in that one).
    • Wile E. once had a cameo appearance on Family Guy, where Peter Griffin was the customer service rep for ACME. Wile E. complains about the the product backfires such as slamming him into a mountain. When Peter says he can't refund money because the products were used, Wile E. complains that he's been a loyal customer for years so Peter offers him store credit.
    • There's a few instances in the Road Runner cartoons where the Coyote will let out a yell or "OUCH!" For example in "To Beep or Not to Beep" when a cactus lands on him, or "Tired and Feathered" where he chops his tail with a propellor.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: And how! Lampshaded by Bugs Bunny in "Hare-Breadth Hurry":
    "Y'know, it's amazin' the trouble this joker goes to to get a square meal. Case in point..." (watches with dismay as Wile E. Coyote fails yet another one of his attempts at trying to catch his prey through the use of a seesaw)
  • Surprise Jump: The Road Runner frequently does this to the Coyote. Subverted at the end of "Zoom and Bored", where the Coyote has just endured a harrowing journey involving a harpoon gun and landed safely on solid ground. The Road Runner runs up behind him as usual... but then "says" he doesn't have the heart this time, and leaves.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Every so often, the Coyote actually manages to get some sort of Acme product, plan or thing to work as it should — only for it to backfire horribly because it was a flat-out stupid idea. And occasionally some of these plans aren't even met with cartoon logic, but a realistic application of how physics might make something fall apart.
  • Super-Speed: The Road Runner moves impossibly fast. One crossover between the Looney Tunes and DC Comics showed that he could outrun The Flash.
  • Talking with Signs: How both characters (mostly) communicate. One classic example occurs in "Stop! Look! and Hasten!" when Wile realizes he's about to get clobbered by a speeding train: STOP IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY.
  • Team Rocket Wins: Yes, the Coyote catches the Roadrunner at one point... but the gag makes it impossible for him to actually eat the bird. He even lampshades it by asking the audience what he should do now.
    • He also catches Roadrunner in "The Solid Tin Coyote". Doesn't work out.
    • He catches the Roadrunner in "Tired and Feathered" but only for a brief second and only by the tail - when he tries to pull the Roadrunner in, he only manages to yank out two tail feathers - which also throws himself backwards off the edge of a cliff.
    • And again in the CGI short "Shut Your Trap". Doesn't work out.
    • And AGAIN in the CGI short "Heartbreak Bridge", where The Road Runner willingly and happily jumps into the Coyote's arms, but this unbalances the bridge they are both standing on, and to save himself the Coyote has to throw the Road Runner to the other side. The rest of the short is the Coyote attempting to keep the bridge balanced while the Road Runner tries to tip it up. Doesn't work out.
    • In one "Acme Hour" commercial on Cartoon Network, the Coyote catches and cooks the Roadrunner using rocket-rollerblades instead of ACME (it's non-canon, however).
    • In another Cartoon Network bumper, Dexter of all characters took a crack at catching the Road Runner using a self-made rocket, and won.
    • Most of the Road Runner shorts made by parody comedians have the Coyote finally catching the Road Runner. A Seth MacFarlane short called "Die Sweet Roadrunner, Die", has the coyote finally catching and eating the bird. But with his purpose in life lost he gets horribly bored and depressed and attempts suicide (hysterically enough, he does so with an ACME product). Then he does find a purpose in life and becomes a Born-Again Christian.
    • In his later years, Chuck Jones created a piece of artwork depicting the Road Runner in the Coyote's clutches. Note the glasses the Coyote is wearing.
    • A Robot Chicken installment had the coyote throwing in the sponge and committing suicide, only to get even when the Road Runner arrives at his memorial.
    • A series of unlicensed T-shirts being sold in the 1970s showed the coyote with the Road Runner in his grasp saying "Beep beep yer ass!"
  • Technicolor Eyes: In the shorts by Matthew O'Callaghan, Wile E.'s are red, and the Road Runner's are turquoise.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Wile E. often did this voicelessly or via a little sign. If a gigantic boulder was going to crush him, he usually opened a tiny parasol in response.
  • Those Wily Coyotes: He's never wily enough, however.
  • Three-Dimensional Episode: "Coyote Falls", "Fur of Flying", "Rabid Rider" and "Flash in the Pain".
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • The ending of "Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z-z-z" has the Coyote falling off another cliff and with pleading eyes, holds up a sign that reads "How about ending this cartoon before I hit?"; to which an Iris Out begins and he holds another sign that reads "Thank You" and then it cuts to the That's All, Folks! screen. This was referenced at the end of Road Runner's Death Valley Rally, although it doesn't end as well when compared to the original episode.
    • In "Zoom and Bored" the Roadrunner repeatedly sneaks up behind the Coyote with his usual Beep-Beep and made him jump off cliffs in the beginning of the short. Later after Coyote gets sent flying via rope tied harpoon and sent skidding off the ground, flying in and out of a thin pipe, through a speeding truck, being hit by a train and finally landing safely on a cliff's edge sobbing and gasping in relief; the Roadrunner then sneaks up behind him, but this time holds a sign to the audience that reads "I just don't have the heart" before zooming away and leaving him be.
    • In "Lickety-Splat", the Coyote is trapped by a piece of the cliff he was standing on earlier in the last gag, and the last of the dart bombs are sticking on either end! Thinking that he's going to die, Wile E. covers his eyes with his ears, ready to accept his fate... but instead of exploding, the dart bombs unfurl to read "THE END". Upon realizing this, he gives a big laugh of relief.
    • In a Honey Nut Cheerios commercial from the 1990's, Wile E. corners the Road Runner at the edge of a cliff and is about to eat him, but Buzz the honeybee intervenes and offers to give the Coyote the aforementioned cereal. Not interested in the least bit, Wile E. tells Buzz to "Buzz off", but immediately changes his mind when the bee asks if he would rather have the taste of golden honey and crunchy nuts. Eventually, the Coyote decides to have the cereal instead and lets the Road Runner go for once.
  • Throw the Pin: Wile E. does this in "Zipping Along", leaving him with a grenade in his teeth.
  • The Voiceless: Both of them. Wile E. does speak during four of his five appearances with Bugs Bunny, and again when explaining to two young boys why he wants to eat the road runner.
    • And in Zoom at the Top, as he's walking off screen, mangled out of shape by a bear trap, he gives us a deadpan "ouch."
    • If you were to count the Road Runner's "BEEP BEEP" as a voice, he would fall under The Unintelligible.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: According to the cartoon rules of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, the only harm the Road Runner can do to Wile E. is to give him a Jump Scare by going "Beep beep". This rule has been broken in the DePatie-Freleng era and the CGI shorts of The Looney Tunes Show, where the bird has actually caused direct harm to the coyote other than the classic Jump Scare.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Bird seed for the Road Runner. Wile E. has used this on occasion to try and catch him, and has even tried mixing it with iron pellets and earthquake pills.
  • Truth in Television: In Just Plane Beep when Wile E. shoots the propeller of his biplane off trying to hit the road runner. That was a real problem in WWI before the interrupter gear was invented, and one solution (as was also shown) was to put armor plating on the propeller.
  • Twitchy Eye: Wile E. gets one ever so often.
  • Variable Terminal Velocity: When dropped from roughly the same height at roughly the same time, Coyotes will land about 2-3 seconds before anvils and boulders land. On the Coyote.
  • Villain Exclusivity Clause: Goes without saying, but the Coyote is the antagonist in every short.
  • Villain Protagonist: Wile E. Coyote is trying to eat the Road Runner, and is therefore ostensibly the bad guy. But he's just so adorably persistent in how he goes about it that you can't help but root for him. Most interpretations however consider the Coyote an antagonist instead of a protagonist, and put more sympathy on Roadrunner.
    • Chuck Jones in fact had it as written lore that all sympathy must be with the Coyote.
  • Villainous Underdog: The cartoons are built around this concept, with the smart, but horribly unlucky coyote being thoroughly overmatched by the super fast, equally smart, and and ungodly fortunate Road Runner. Physics itself was always on the Road Runner's side, meaning Wile E's schemes were doomed from the start.
  • Villain Team-Up: Well, if Sylvester counts as a villain, then the aforementioned Crossover counts.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Bugs Bunny in comparison to the Roadrunner as objects of hunger for Wile E. Coyote. “Hare-Breadth Hurry”, which follows the usual Road Runner vs. Coyote formula instead of Wile E. trying to catch Bugs with contraptions and Bugs foiling them, shows that Bugs can’t naturally run as fast as the Roadrunner without special vitamins. When Bugs runs out of those, he has to rely on his guile to evade Wile E. Coyote.
  • Weaponized Car: Wile E. builds one in "Sugar and Spies". It includes machine guns, a cannon and an ejector seat.
  • Wicked Cultured: In the cartoons where he speaks, Wile E. Coyote comes across as this. The episode "Compressed Hare" even shows that he owns a huge assortment of wines in his home.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Aside from ocassionally sneaking up from behind and startling him with a loud "Beep beep!", the Roadrunner does nothing to Wile E. He just runs off or stands back and lets Wile E. get Hoist by His Own Petard.
  • Written Sound Effect: "Chariots of Fur" (Chuck Jones's last Road Runner short) uses these quite a bit, but only once does it do something creative with them — when the Coyote disguises himself as a cactus and tries to grab the Road Runner, but the Road Runner avoids him, the Coyote accidentally wraps his arms around himself in the process, and the smoke trail the Road Runner left behind turns into a "!!YEE-OOWW!!"
  • Wrong Parachute Gag: Wile E. tries to be Crazy-Prepared by wearing a parachute in case he falls off a cliff. He opens it and out comes... canning samples.
  • Xylophone Gag: The "exploding piano" gag is used in "Rushing Roulette," as it was used in "Ballot Box Bunny" and "Show Biz Bugs" (though the third of these uses a xylophone instead of a piano). Wile E. uses a piano in an attempt to catch the Road Runner, but the trap backfires on him when he presses the rigged key.

Beep beep! (ZOOM)

Alternative Title(s): Road Runner, Wile E Coyote, The Road Runner


Looney Tunes

A sample of their peculiar catalogue.

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