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Muscle Tussle is a 1953 Merrie Melodies short directed by Robert McKimson.


One day at a beach, people are enjoying themselves and children are swimming. Daffy is there with his girlfriend Melissa. She and Daffy are taking photos of her on the beach as she poses. When Daffy instructs her to "turn [her] head and look over [her] shoulder" to strike a pose, she notices a muscular duck near the fitness equipment. She is immediately swooned by the duck, who notices her admiration and teases her with a pose of his own. Daffy is focusing the camera when he spots the Herculean duck now standing beside his impressed girlfriend. Believing that he will sweep her off her feet, Daffy approaches and confronts the duck. He tells Daffy that, if he doesn't back off and stop yelling at him, he will be forced to knock his head so far down between his shoulders that he'll have to unbutton his vest to eat. As Melissa watches, Daffy laughs off his threat, causing the male duck to follow through. Daffy, with his head now bashed down into his chest, opens his shirt to say "One cheeseburger, hold the onions..." Melissa checks her makeup and tells Daffy that he shouldn't take this disrespect, and tells him to stand up to the bully. Daffy becomes meek, afraid he will be beaten up violently by this big guy and made a fool of, even taking the bully's side before it's through. Melissa proclaims him a coward, not able to stand up for himself after provoking the other man. She tells Daffy she doesn't like cowards, saying she prefers big, strong men like him. She leaves Daffy in disgust with the muscular duck, calling Daffy a scrawny little nine-pound weakling. Daffy, angry and offended, says that he is obviously a "scrawny little *ten*-pound weakling."

A salesman hears Daffy and says he is selling "Atom Col", a new wonder formula tonic developed to build one's strength. He offers Daffy a sample of the "elixir" by swiping his cash and shoving a spoonful down his throat. The tonic contains mostly "hot mustard", causing Daffy to sputter, cough, spit fire, and nearly pass out. The crooked "salesman" then offers Daffy a chance to "test" the muscle building liquid by blowing up two balloons, attaching them to a pole and painting "5,000 pounds" on them while Daffy is incapacitated. When Daffy lifts the "weight" successfully, he regains his confidence and goes to find his girlfriend to win her back. He finds her with the muscular duck, who is singing and playing "Shake a leg bone, come with me, down to Nashville, Tennessee" on guitar. He gets her attention, and tells her that he is a "red blooded he-duck."

The bigger duck hears Daffy's boast and takes it as a challenge. He goes up to a steel gymnastics structure and rips off one of the pipes, effortlessly tying the metal into a knotted bow on a signpost. Daffy tries the same trick with a rental fishing rod at a boating area, but only ties his own arms in a knotted bow around a post. Next, Daffy's rival goes to a chained off area of the beach, and yanks off the linked steel. He takes a bite out of the chain, chews the metal like bubblegum, and spits it out of his mouth like a gun, in the form of nails into a wooden pole. When he lets Daffy have a shot at it, he only breaks all his teeth, spitting them into the wood as he smiles. Next, the hunky duck does a balancing act, placing his finger onto the mouth of a glass soda bottle and tilting his body upward, he balances his entire body on one finger upside down. Daffy only loses his balance and falls into the bottle. Finally, the strong duck finds a very heavy steel sledgehammer and, with only a single swing of the wrist, breaks a huge boulder into tiny pebbles. Daffy can barely lift the hammer, and when he strikes one of the rocks, the impact shatters himself into a thousand pieces. His beak tells the bully, "You're despicable!"

As his girlfriend walks off with the muscular duck, Daffy still doesn't give up, wondering how he can still prove himself, still believing to be stronger from the "muscle drug." He remembers the "barbell" the salesman gave him from before. Still finding it light, he hurries over to show his girlfriend and her latest crush that he was telling the truth about his strength. Daffy shows he can lift five thousand pounds by twirling the barbell like a baton and catching it with his foot. Both the other ducks stare in bewilderment and disbelief as Daffy challenges the muscular duck to do the same to prove his strength. The muscular duck arrogantly approaches the barbell and lifts with all his might, since he does not know it is just two balloons. He puts so much force into lifting the balloons, he shoots himself sky high to the point of barometric pressure bursting the balloons. He falls back to Earth as Daffy and his girlfriend look on in shock and confusion. With a mighty crash and shaking of the ground, the muscular duck crash lands. Daffy asks his girlfriend what she would "call" the sight of this. The muscular duck, now squashed to a tiny size says that they can "call" him "shorty," as he hobbles off quickly, dragging his arms behind him.

Daffy's girlfriend turns to him as she takes him back, saying she only likes them tall, dark.... and gruesome like him, to which Daffy chuckles.




  • The ABC version of this cartoon cuts the part where the big, muscular duck pounds Daffy's head into his shirt.[1]



External Links

← Duck Amuck Daffy Duck Cartoons Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century →
Daffy Duck Cartoons
1937 Porky's Duck Hunt
1938 Daffy Duck & EggheadWhat Price PorkyPorky & DaffyThe Daffy DocDaffy Duck in Hollywood
1939 Daffy Duck and the DinosaurScalp TroubleWise QuacksNaughty Neighbors
1940 Porky's Last StandYou Ought to Be in Pictures
1941 A Coy DecoyThe Henpecked Duck
1942 Conrad the SailorDaffy's Southern ExposureThe Impatient PatientThe Daffy DuckarooMy Favorite Duck
1943 To Duck .... or Not to DuckThe Wise Quacking DuckYankee Doodle DaffyPorky Pig's FeatScrap Happy DaffyA Corny ConcertoDaffy - The Commando
1944 Tom Turk and DaffyTick Tock TuckeredDuck Soup to NutsSlightly DaffyPlane DaffyThe Stupid Cupid
1945 Draftee DaffyAin't That DuckyNasty Quacks
1946 Book RevueBaby BottleneckDaffy DoodlesHollywood DaffyThe Great Piggy Bank Robbery
1947 Birth of a NotionAlong Came DaffyA Pest in the HouseMexican Joyride
1948 What Makes Daffy DuckDaffy Duck Slept HereThe Up-Standing SitterYou Were Never DuckierDaffy DillyThe Stupor SalesmanRiff Raffy Daffy
1949 Wise QuackersHoliday for DrumsticksDaffy Duck Hunt
1950 Boobs in the WoodsThe Scarlet PumpernickelHis Bitter HalfGolden YeggsThe Ducksters
1951 Rabbit FireDrip-Along DaffyThe Prize Pest
1952 Thumb FunCracked QuackRabbit SeasoningThe Super SnooperFool Coverage
1953 Duck AmuckMuscle TussleDuck Dodgers in the 24½th CenturyDuck! Rabbit, Duck!
1954 Design for LeavingQuack ShotMy Little Duckaroo
1955 Beanstalk BunnySahara HareStork NakedThis Is a Life?Dime to Retire
1956 The High and the FlightyRocket SquadStupor DuckA Star Is BoredDeduce, You Say
1957 Ali Baba BunnyBoston QuackieDucking the DevilShow Biz Bugs
1958 Don't Axe MeRobin Hood Daffy
1959 China JonesPeople Are BunnyApes of Wrath
1960 Person to Bunny
1961 The Abominable Snow RabbitDaffy's Inn Trouble
1962 Quackodile TearsGood Noose
1963 Fast Buck DuckThe Million HareAqua Duck
1964 The Iceman Ducketh
1965 It's Nice to Have a Mouse Around the HouseMoby DuckAssault and PepperedWell Worn DaffySuppressed DuckCorn on the CopTease for TwoChili Corn CornyGo Go Amigo
1966 The AstroduckMucho LocosMexican MousepieceDaffy RentsA-Haunting We Will GoSnow ExcuseA Squeak in the DeepFeather FingerSwing Ding AmigoA Taste of Catnip
1967 Daffy's DinerQuacker TrackerThe Music Mice-TroThe Spy SwatterSpeedy Ghost to TownRodent to StardomGo Away StowawayFiesta Fiasco
1968 Skyscraper CaperSee Ya Later Gladiator
1980 The Yolks on YouThe Chocolate ChaseDaffy Flies NorthDuck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century
1987 The Duxorcist
1988 The Night of the Living Duck
1990 Box Office Bunny
1991 (Blooper) Bunny
1992 Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers
1995 Carrotblanca
1996 Superior Duck
2003 Attack of the Drones
2004 Daffy Duck for President
2012 Daffy's Rhapsody