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File:Road Runner cartoon.jpg

Realistically animating running characters on a budget is just too hard. Instead, a vertical upper body is perched on a rotating wheel of blur lines and (occasionally) visible feet, which is animated in a loop. Add a Wraparound Background and some dustclouds, and voila, the character is running! And really fast, too! The preferred sound effect is fast bongos, followed by a whistle.

See also No Knees.

Examples of Wheel-O-Feet include:


Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Billy Whizz of The Beano usually had his legs shown as a wheel when he was running fast, which was most of the time.
  • Common in Asterix. However, in the Asterix at the Olympic Games book, a Roman athlete runs in a stylish pose, in contrast with Asterix and Obelix.

Film

  • Kung Fu Hustle, namely the chase scene with the landlady running after the hero. To reinforce how absurd this is, the hero uses two knives buried in his shoulders as rear-view mirrors, and at the end the landlady goes flying and ends up flattened against a billboard (somehow losing her panties and bra midair).
  • Wrongfully Accused, where Leslie Nielsen tries to outrun a carnivorous train.
  • Maruti as Hanuman does this before he starts to attack in The Return of Hanuman.
  • Inverted with Sideswipe from the live-action Transformers films: he has wheels for feet!

Live Action TV

  • In an episode of The Muppet Show, a character has three legs in a wheel arrangement, wildly spinning as a background scrolls behind him and he sings "Windmills of Your Mind." Amusingly, he later appears in another sketch, and he's still equipped with the leg-wheel, no longer spinning.

Newspaper Comics

  • Invoked in one strip of FoxTrot where Jason Fox runs around holding a pair of wheels with a spiral design during gym class, with dry ice strapped to his feet, so that he appears to be running fast (the dry ice generating the "steam trail" often associated with this trope).

Video Games, Visual Novels

  • Until he made the jump to 3D games, Sonic the Hedgehog's running animation was always done like this, in both the games and the TV series that was based on them.
    • The first Sonic Advance did this with Sonic only, but other characters and games averted it.
    • Even though Sonic's feet actually run in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the animation also has blur effects that evoke the classic wheel as an homage. One of his taunts also has him performing the perplexingly figure-8-shaped Super Peelout from Sonic CD.
    • Several of the 3D games worked similar to Brawl in using blur effects in the animation of his normal running as an homage. Usually you wouldn't see this unless he was running the fastest he could possibly go, which generally meant Super Sneakers on a straightaway. The games are usually viewed from behind Sonic, making the effect largely impossible to detect most of the time.
    • An issue of the American comic had Sonic answering a fan letter about how he did it. He proceeded to demonstrate, only to hit a tree in the middle of it.
  • Simply walking in Wario Land 2 had this kind of animation where his feet would appear near his front, cycle to his back and sort of roll behind him looking very much like his body is in front of a wheel with feet stuck on them.
    • In Wario Land: The Shake Dimension, you can use a Max Fastosity Dasherator for a speed boost, which would give Wario a wheel of feet.
  • Chloe in Touch Detective does this, usually when put in a tight place by her own words.
  • Used in, of all things, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Although it was during the silly, pre-killing part.
  • In Yoshi's Island, the eponymous Yoshi has this when running fast.
  • Shy Guys from the Super Mario series have a unique half-arc running animation.
  • In Spyro the Dragon 2, Spyro's feet do this when he's using a Supercharge.
  • Now we got Peacock, from Skullgirls, invoking this trope.
  • Starfy and Starly do this in the Starfy series whenever they run.

Web Animation

Western Animation

  • Any Hanna-Barbera production, most notably The Flintstones and their broadcast kids' cartoons.
    • A series of breakfast cereal toys was even released (if decades later) that follow this trope.
  • 1973/74 Superfriends episodes:
    • "Too Hot To Handle". Wonder Dog does it after he sees the villain and runs off to get the rest of the team.
    • "The Mysterious Moles". Wonder Dog does it to run away after the Moles' underground machine drills out of a wall and scares him.
    • "The Shamon U". Dr. Shamon and his two underlings do this before running away from a giant Wonder Dog.
    • "The Ultra Beam". Marvin and Wonder Dog do this before running after Ben, the villain with springs on his shoes.
  • Looney Tunes shorts:
  • Nickelodeon's animated anthology KaBlam!! had hosts Henry & June demonstrate this, and referred to this as "the bongo run", from the odd drum-like sound effects that often accompany the Wheel-O-Feet (in this case, literally provided by another character from the linking segments playing the bongos).
  • The Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy episode "1+1=Ed" had a surreal exploration of many different animated tropes. At one point, Eddy makes a Wheel-O-Feet, then jumps out and sticks Sarah in it, forcing her to run off.
    • Played straight in "Homecooked Eds" when Eddy attempts, and fails, to move the Kankers' trailer.
  • Animated series of Horrible Histories.
  • Done often in the animated segments of The Super Mario Bros Super Show!, with a sped-up version of the "vine climbing" sound effect.
  • Used on Jimmy Two-Shoes after Jimmy and Beezy are infected with the racing bugs. However, only Jimmy has a wheel of feet. Beezy's legs are too short to pull that off.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic uses this when resident biped Spike runs.
  • In Clutch Cargo, the dog Paddlefoot got a wheel o' feet whenever he ran.
  • In Animalympics, this is parodied with the 100-metre dash: the runners take on the characteristics of drag racers.

Real Life

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