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Western Animation / Zipping Along

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"Zipping Along" is a 1953 cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series, starring everyone's favorite desert duo, Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner.

The Road Runner starts his day by running along a train and then onto the roads, with Wile E. Coyote spying on him and getting ready to capture him. However, when he goes down onto the road, he is run over repeatedly by his prey, and soon concocts some new plans like throwing a grenade, several mousetraps, dropping an atomic bomb from a kite, axing down a telephone pole, bird seed mixed with steel shot, hypnosis, a seesaw and rock contraption, a gun trap, severing a bridge on a cliff, firing himself from a cannon, a wrecking ball and finally, a doorway that activates TNT when opened.

"Zipping Along" provides examples of:

  • Artistic License – Physics: The wrecking ball that Wile E. tries to hit the Road Runner with somehow manages to keep swinging in a full circle instead of swaying back and forth to a stop, hitting the Coyote instead in the process.
  • Ash Face: Happens thrice in the cartoon, albeit with the Coyote's entire body rather than just his face.
    • First, when Wile E. screws up his attempt to drop a bomb from a kite.
    • Second, when he fails to shoot himself from a cannon.
    • And third, when he tries to escape from the truck through a doorway... forgetting that it was his final plan to kill the Road Runner.
  • Binomium ridiculus: "Velocitus Tremenjus" for the Road Runner and "Road-Runnerus Digestus" for Wile E. Coyote. In the latter's case, the scene freezes exactly on the animation smear of Wile E. turning his head.
  • Booby Trap:
    • Wile E. crafts one with guns in his ninth scheme to kill his prey. Guess what happens next...
    • He crafts another one that consists of a doorway leading to several explosives, and the detonator is pushed when the door opens. It all goes horribly wrong when a truck comes along, prompting Wile E. to try to escape from it - and accidentally set off the trap.
  • Bungled Hypnotism: Wile E. practices hypnosis (which will get the victim to walk off a cliff) during his seventh scheme and successfully tests it out on a fly. Unfortunately, he himself becomes hypnotized by the Road Runner using a mirror and subjects himself to gravity.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: Averted. When Wile E. cuts the ropes of the bridge and the cliff falls instead of the bridge, the cliff part has the same level of detail like the rest of the desert backgrounds.
  • Delayed Reaction: Once Wile E. tosses the grenade pin away, it takes him a few seconds to realize what he just did. He also has one before his Pain-Powered Leap after his mouse trap plan goes awry.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress:
    • Not even a giant kite can save the Coyote from gravity.
    • And again when he tries to chop off a bridge with the Road Runner on it.
  • Hammered into the Ground: Wile E. tries to kill his target by chopping down a telephone pole, but the moment it starts falling, the Road Runner passes it. Another telephone pole connected to the first one then pounds the Coyote into the ground like a nail.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Especially with that Bungled Hypnotism attempt described upward.
  • Hollywood Magnetism: In an attempt to bring the Road Runner to himself, Wile E. gets him to consume bird seed mixed with steel shot, then leaps out wielding a giant magnet, but what does he catch instead of the bird? An explosive barrel which detonates and sends him flying into a rock wall.
  • Human Cannonball: Wile E. tries to fire himself from a cannon... with expected results.
  • Hypnotism Reversal: Wile E. tries to hypnotize the Road Runner into walking off a cliff, but the Road Runner uses a mirror to make Wile E. hypnotize himself instead.
  • Impact Silhouette: Wile E. leaves one in a rock wall after his magnet attempt fails.
  • Kite Riding: Wile E. attempts to do this while carrying a bomb... only to be overtaken by gravity. Part of the charred kite then breaks and falls off.
  • Lawof Inverse Recoil: Not only does the cannon fail to shoot out Wile E., it also gets pushed back by the force.
  • Mouse Trap: Wile E. uses several of them in his third attempt to catch the Road Runner. However, the bird harmlessly bowls them over onto the Coyote, causing the latter to succumb to a Pain-Powered Leap.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: A dazed and charred Wile E. ends the cartoon by mimicking the Road Runner, right down to the tongue popping and the "Beep beep!", before falling flat on his belly.
  • Pin-Pulling Teeth: When he tries to blow up the Roadrunner with a grenade, Wile E. Coyote pulls out the pin with his teeth but then does a Throw the Pin, blowing himself up.
  • Plunger Detonator: The Coyote puts a pile of explosives behind a wall with a door in it. He sets up a plunger detonator so it will detonate the explosives when the door is opened. A truck comes around a bend and forces him to open the door to escape, blowing himself up.
  • Racing the Train: The Road Runner does this at the start of the cartoon, but after a few moments decides to traverse to the roads.
  • Seesaw Catapult: Wile E. tries to reach the Road Runner on a high cliff with one, which ends with him being squashed by the boulder meant to land on the other side.
  • Throw the Pin: Wile E. accidentally makes this mistake in the first gag, causing the grenade to go off on him.
  • Toon Physics: When Wile E. severs the ropes supporting the bridge, it's the cliff that he's on that falls instead.


Video Example(s):


Zipping Along

Wile E. Coyote lays out some mouse traps for the Road Runner to step on. The bird just bowls them over onto the Coyote, who reacts appropriately.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / MouseTrap

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