Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner are a duo of cartoon characters from the "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" series of cartoons. In each episode, the Coyote repeatedly attempts to catch and subsequently eat the Road Runner, a fast-running ground bird, but is never successful. Instead of his animal instincts, the Coyote uses absurdly complex contraptions (sometimes in the manner of Rube Goldberg) to try to catch his prey, which comically backfire, with the Coyote often getting injured in slapstick fashion.

Wile E. Coyote was called Kelsey Coyote in his comic book debut, a Henery Hawk story in "Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies" #91 (May 1949). He only made a couple of other appearances at this time and did not have his official name yet, as it wasn't used until 1951 (in "Operation: Rabbit", his second appearance).

The first appearance of the Road Runner in a comic book was in Bugs Bunny "Vacation Funnies" #8 (August 1958) published by Dell Comics. The feature is titled "Beep Beep the Road Runner" and the story "Desert Dessert". It presents itself as the first meeting between Beep Beep and Wile E. (whose mailbox reads "Wile E. Coyote, Inventor and Genius"), and introduces the Road Runner's wife, Matilda, and their three newly hatched sons.

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