Cartoon Laws of Physics

Any body suspended in space will remain in space until made aware of its

Daffy Duck steps off a cliff, expecting further pastureland. He loiters in
mid air, soliloquizing flippantly, until he chances to look down. At this
point, the familiar principle of 32 feet per second per second takes over.

Any body in motion will tend to remain in motion until solid matter
intervenes suddenly.

Whether shot from a cannon or in hot pursuit on foot, cartoon characters are
so absolute in their momentum that only a telephone pole or an outsize
boulder retards their forward motion absolutely. Sir Isaac Newton called
this sudden termination of motion the stooges surcease.

Any body passing through solid matter will leave a perforation
conforming to its perimeter.

Also called the silhouette of passage, this phenomenon is the speciality of
victims of directed-pressure explosions and of reckless cowards who are so
eager to escape that they exit directly through the wall of a house, leaving
a cookie-cutout-perfect hole. The threat of skunks or matrimony often
catalyzes this reaction.

The time required for an object to fall twenty stories is greater than or
equal to the time it takes for whoever knocked it off the ledge to spiral
down twenty flights to attempt to capture it unbroken.

Such an object is inevitably priceless, the attempt to capture it inevitably

All principles of gravity are negated by fear.

Psychic forces are sufficient in most bodies for a shock to propel them
directly away from the earths surface. A spooky noise or an adversarys
signature sound will induce motion upward, usually to the cradle of a
chandelier, a treetop, or the crest of a flagpole. The feet of a character
who is running or the wheels of a speeding auto need never touch the ground,
especially when in flight.

As speed increases, objects can be in several places at once.

This is particularly true of tooth-and-claw fights, in which a characters
head may be glimpsed emerging from the cloud of altercation at several
places simultaneously. This effect is common as well among bodies that are
spinning or being throttled. A wacky character has the option of
self-replication only at manic high speeds and may ricochet off walls to
achieve the velocity required.

Certain bodies can pass through solid walls painted to resemble tunnel
entrances; others cannot.

This trompe loeil inconsistency has baffled generations, but at least it is
known that whoever paints an entrance on a walls surface to trick an
opponent will be unable to pursue him into this theoretical space. The
painter is flattened against the wall when he attempts to follow into the
painting. This is ultimately a problem of art, not of science.

Any violent rearrangement of feline matter is impermanent.

Cartoon cats possess even more deaths than the traditional nine lives might
comfortably afford. They can be decimated, spliced, splayed, accordion-
pleated, spindled, or disassembled, but they cannot be destroyed. After a
few moments of blinking self pity, they reinflate, elongate, snap back, or

Corollary: A cat will assume the shape of its container.

Everything falls faster than an anvil.

For every vengeance there is an equal and opposite revengeance.

This is the one law of animated cartoon motion that also applies to the
physical world at large. For that reason, we need the relief of watching it
happen to a duck instead.

A sharp object will always propel a character upward.

When poked (usually in the buttocks) with a sharp object (usually a pin), a
character will defy gravity by shooting straight up, with great velocity.

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