The title is a play on the phrase "tarred and feathered."
The Road Runner is running down the road, giving out a "Beep, beep!" From a high cliff, Wile E. Coyote spies on him using binoculars. Hungry, he dashes after him. Seconds later, he actually manages to get the Road Runner by his tail feathers! Or so you think. This does not stop the Road Runner, who, while actually reacting to the coyote yanking his feathers for a few seconds, continues along while Wile E. slides into mid-air off a cliff. Left with his prey's two feathers, the coyote looks at them both, then looks down into the canyon below! Horrified, Wile E. flaps the feathers, trying to fly. Unfortunately, the feathers are too light to grant Wile E. flight so gravity pulls him down. Once he has taken the plunge, Wile E. recovers and, annoyed, tries to blow away one of the feathers, but it just flies back and pokes him in the eye.
Next Wile E. paints a target on a cliff face along with a bowl labelled "Free Bird Seed" to lure Road Runner in a spot where he can roll a log on him. However Road Runner gets to where Wile E. is attempting to roll the log and rolls it down the cliff with Wile E. still on it. He crashes against the target with the log constantly rolling him flat and finally having the back of his fur shaven off from an oncoming bus. Wile E. realises what has happened and shuffles away embarrassed.
He then reads up info on Road Runners and decides to use an high powered motor engine to try and catch him. The motor chops Wile E's tail, and Wile E stands up and yelps in pain afterwards, making the jetpack fly up. Running out of juice, the propeller stops spinning, which sends Wile E. falling. Desperate, the coyote spins the propeller himself, only for it to make him fall faster and put him into a hole in a ground.
Lastly Wile E. is sleeping by the roadside dreaming of his meal, when a nearby telephone box rings. He picks up the receiver to answer it and hears the Road Runner's taunting "Beep Beep". Angry, he pulls the receiver out, but suddenly an evil smile spreads across his face as he now has another idea of how to get Road Runner. Firstly he replaces the receiver with one made of dynamite and rubber washers with the fuse being the wire. He then paints it the exact same color and places it in the phone box with the fuse being connected to a large detonator. Lastly he builds a bird sanctuary around the phone box, cuts the real phone line connection and puts up a sign saying: "U.S. GOVERNMENT BIRD SANCTUARY, NO HUNTERS, POACHES OR COYOTES, FREE PHONES" with an arrow pointing in the direction of Wile E.'s trap.
Road Runner appears and sees the sign while Wile E gets set to push the plunger. But suddenly a phone begins to ring, leaving Wile E. puzzled as he disconnected the phone lines and replaced the receiver. but his curiosity gets the better of him so he goes inside to answer it, forgetting about his trap.
Road Runner meanwhile has gone to the same place Wile E. was waiting and pushes the plunger whilst tucking into a bowl of bird seed that had been left there. Wile E. realises too late that he has fallen into his own trap as the fuse is ignited and a massive explosion goes off. Road Runner then leaves a blackened, burnt and dazed Wile E. behind with a departing "Beep Beep".
- (2017) Streaming - Boomerang App
- (2020) Streaming - HBO Max (restored)
Versions of this short shown on ABC's The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show cuts the explosion in the telephone booth so that the viewer doesn't see the blackened and burnt Wile E. Coyote in the booth.
- Beginning with this short, all subsequent Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner shorts would be directed by Rudy Larriva, as well as them being subcontracted to Format Films up until "Clippety Clobbered" (1966).
- Starting with this cartoon uses a set of stock music cues by William Lava, due to extremely low budgets, making the other ten Rudy Larriva-directed Road Runner shorts after this one to have the same exact music score from this short.
- Interestingly, these "repetitive" music scores by William Lava are also reused in the new animated bridging sequences that were directed by an uncredited Robert McKimson showcasing one of the Coyote's botched attempts of catching the Road Runner shown between each short in The Road Runner Show.