Cartoon Physics trope as used in popular culture. Animation Tropes, of course, occur in most Western cartoons of the classic era.
Cartoon physics is not limited to either cartoons or physics. For example, when a character recovers impossibly fast from a serious injury, the laws of biology rather than physics are being altered. Live-action shows and movies can also be subject to the laws of cartoon physics
The Physics of Cartoons
Any body suspended in space will remain in space until made aware of its situation. Then the regular laws of gravity take over. This is why babies can defy gravity for elongated amounts of time. (The character walks off the edge of a cliff, remains suspended in midair, and doesn’t fall until he looks down.) If this is referenced by a character in the cartoon as “Defying the law of gravity“, it is often explained that the character(s) involved have “never studied law”.
Any body passing through solid matter (usually at high velocities) will leave a perforation conforming to its perimeter (the “silhouette of passage”).
Certain bodies can pass through solid walls painted to resemble tunnel entrances; others cannot. Corollary: Portable holes work.
All principles of gravity are negated by fear (i.e., scaring someone causes him to jump impossibly high in the air).
Any violent rearrangement of feline matter is impermanent. (In other words, cats heal fast and/or have an infinite number of lives.) Corollary: Cats can fit into unusually small spaces.
Everything falls faster than an anvil. (A falling anvil will always land directly upon the character’s head, regardless of the time gap between the body’s and the anvil’s respective drops.)
Any vehicle on a path of travel is at a state of indeterminacy until an object enters a location in the path of travel. (Wolf looks both ways down the road, sees nothing, but gets run over by a bus as soon as he tries to cross.)