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Western Animation / Zoom at the Top

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At least it's not a Burmese tiger trap.
Zoom at the Top is a 1962 Merrie Melodies cartoon written and directed by Chuck Jones, starring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, up to their old antics.

Wile E. Coyote tries to get to the Road Runner on the other side of a canyon, but as he takes several steps backwards to rev up, the precipice that he stops on breaks off and falls with him, only to land safely between two cliff ends. But just as the Coyote gets off from the rock and onto the left cliff, it breaks off and falls down, followed by the broken precipice crushing him.

Once he gets back up, he resumes his pursuit of the Road Runner, which ends when he and the bird stop right above a natural arch, pointing downwards. Wile E. then falls down to the bottom of the road as the Road Runner escapes once again...

...and that is when he starts his new unsuccessful schemes, including a bear trap, a jet mobile, an ACME Instant Icicle Maker and a boomerang coated with iron glue.


  • Accordion Man: Wile E. gets squished into an accordion shape by a rock in one scene and gets snapped by the bear trap into a zigzagged shape in the other.
  • Acme Products: ACME Bird Seed (used to bait the bear trap), an ACME Instant Icicle Maker and an ACME Boomerang smeared in iron glue.
  • Battle Boomerang: For his final plan, the Coyote purchases an ACME Boomerang, paints iron glue on it and gets ready to toss it at the Road Runner in hopes that it will come back with the bird stuck to it. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worst when the glue oozes onto his hand and he throws it.
  • Bear Trap: Wile E. sets up one as his first plan to catch the Road Runner. The trap is really sensitive, so Wile E. makes sure to be careful as he steps out and places a bowl of bird seed on it. Once the Road Runner comes, however, he fails to set off the trap as he feasts on the bird seed, while Wile E. makes the mistake of trying to fix the problem with an oil can, causing the trap to snap and chomp him between its jaws.
  • Binomium ridiculus:
    • ROAD RUNNER (disappearialis quickius)
    • COYOTE (overconfidentii vulgaris)
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress:
    • Right as Wile E. gears up to leap to the Road Runner, who is standing on a cliff opposite to the Coyote's side, he steps on a precipice at the end which breaks off and plummets, taking him with it. Luckily, it neatly lodges itself between two cliffs at the bottom, only for the left one to collapse just as Wile E. puts a foot on it.
    • During his second chase with the Road Runner, he and the avian stop right at the top of a natural arch, and once the bird points to the ground for the Coyote to look down at, the hapless canine then succumbs to gravity again and falls down to the pavement.
    • After unsuccessfully trying to get free from the iron glue-coated boomerang, Wile E., having no other option, allows himself to plummet to the bottom of a canyon rear-first.
  • Harmless Freezing: Wile E. purchases an instant icicle maker from ACME and tests it out on a cactus, reducing it to ice. He then takes it to the road for the Road Runner to get frozen, but when he steps under it, it ends up freezing him instead. Wile E. manages to brandish a magnifying glass in an attempt to melt the ice, and succeeds in doing so... and melting himself as well.
  • Harmless Liquefaction: Trying to thaw himself with a magnifying glass after being frozen by the ACME Instant Icicle Maker does not help Wile E. at all, as it melts him along with the ice.
  • Iris Out: One that's shaped like a boomerang appears at the end as an irritated and defeated Wile E. trudges off into the horizon with the boomerang still stuck to his back legs, though it doesn't close and stops for the words "the END" to appear.
  • Overly Long Gag: The boomerang gag takes up much of the last third of the cartoon.
  • Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: Once he gets frozen by the ACME Instant Icicle Maker, Wile E. breaks off part of the ice on his hand to hold out a magnifying glass, but not only does it melt the ice, it melts him too!
  • Sticky Situation: Once the iron glue on the boomerang oozes onto Wile E.'s hand, all hell breaks loose once he tosses it, and his attempts to get unstuck exacerbate the issue and leave him with his hands and boomerang stuck to his head and the back of his legs, respectively.
  • Suddenly Speaking: It's very brief, but as Wile E. Coyote walks off from the failure of his bear trap, he lets out an emotionless "Ouch".


Video Example(s):


Zoom at the Top

With some struggling, Wile E. Coyote sets up a bear trap and baits it with bird seed. However, when the Road Runner comes by and eats the seeds, he manages to avoid triggering the trap, while the Coyote tries to fix the trap with an oil can... making the mistake of being on the trap. The trap then goes off and snaps Wile E., and he walks off, distorted into a zigzag as he quips "Ouch".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / BearTrap

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