Looney Tunes Wiki
Looney Tunes Wiki

Behind the Meat-Ball is a 1945 Looney Tunes short directed by Frank Tashlin.


The title is a pun on the idiom "behind the eight-ball", which refers to a difficult situation where one is unlikely to escape. It also references Fido's craving for meat, which is played out in the film.


Fido will go to great lengths to get real meat to eat after having an unsatisfactory vegetarian diet given to him by his mistress. When Fido finally finds a real piece of meat which fell out of a meat truck, he gets in a fight over it with a terrier and a bulldog, whom are also as equally as desperate to get meat as himself. The three dogs fight for the meat, but in the end, the terrier ate the piece of meat. Accepting defeat, Fido says "Well, we can dream, can't we?", knocks himself and the bulldog out with a mallet, and the two dogs continue dreaming over succulent meat.





  • This was the final cartoon to use the 1941-45 rendition of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down". This was also the final cartoon to only credit certain people before the transition to expanded credits. As such, the opening themes would be shortened, but the ending rendition and drum ending still remained unchanged for another year.
  • Frank Tashlin is not credited in the credits, as no "Direction" credit is present. This is because Tashlin left Warner Bros. before the short was completed, and it was customary at the time to not credit people who had left the studio.
  • One of the dogs is an unnamed bulldog in the style of Spike the Bulldog/Hector/Butch.
  • The title card shows some meat rationing stamps, which is a reference to food stamps during World War II. At the time of its release, World War II was coming to its demise. The message that meat is hard to obtain references the wartime scarcity of food commodities. As such, posters asked people to ration their portions weekly and save them for soldiers who were currently fighting in World War II in the Pacific and in Europe.
  • IMDB lists Sara Berner as providing the voice of Fido's owner, and Mel Blanc as providing the voice of Fido, both uncredited. It is unknown who voiced the other two dogs, but they are possibly voiced by Blanc as well.
  • Bugs Bunny is once mentioned by Fido in this cartoon he describes the vegetarian diet given to him (particularly the carrots) as "Bugs Bunny food".
  • Despite the title mentioning meatballs, interestingly in the scenes where Fido dreams of meat, meatballs are not found among the meats in his dream sequences.
  • It is the last cartoon in the Associated Artists Productions package and the last non-Bugs Bunny cartoon to have the WB shield come before the "WARNER BROS. PICTURES INC.", "Present", the production code, and the copyright fade in. This is due to the transition to expanded credits. As such, the future shorts had a shortened rendition and no fade in of the "WARNER BROS. PICTURES INC.", "Present", the copyright and the production code (they are already present on the screen, though some Bugs Bunny shorts in the 1949-51 seasons had the fade in).


  • "Now wait a minute let me explain the setup, this is my steak and a little dog that I never saw before mind you, came along and took it so I chased after him and just recovered it and I'm sure that you'll appreciate my position in the-"
  • "Just let me explain - let me explain - just let me explain - let me explain"
  • "Well, we can dream can't we?"


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