A comedic show specifically concentrating on being humorous before any concern of plot, drama, or even comprehensibility.
Noted for a complete lack of tact or pomposity on the part of the writers, and frequent postmodern
commentary. Can have occasional Fanservice
which the series will openly acknowledge. The Rule of Funny
will be observed.
Because they don't take themselves seriously, gag series tend to experiment across the board with parody, lewd humor, random cutaways
, and short-lived drama. In a win-win situation, these can be very successful experiments when they succeed, or mocked by the series itself when they fail as a protective tactic. Ironically, they can be praised for presenting such topics without being Anvilicious
. However, doing this at the end
of a series can cause accusations of being pretentious.
gag series often use a Puni Plush
design. Many are also Widget Series
. Shows that depend a lot on puns and parody are typically considered too difficult for commercial releases, and are fansubbed
only erratically. A few even get a Gag Dub
Anime and Manga are particularly notorious in this genre. Series will regularly go over the top in their nonsense and hilarity even within the context of the show itself. Characters will time-travel, change species or gender, die, destroy buildings, cities, or planets, anything that will push the ridiculousness even higher; also note that these effects are rarely, if ever, permanent. There are times when "normality" is broken and restored in the space of a few minutes.
Occasionally the Gag Series
is an adaptation of some 'canonical' source, except now the writers pretty much do whatever they like.
See also Big Lipped Alligator Moment
, for cases where an otherwise coherent story has occasional Gag Series
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Anime and Manga
- Excel Saga: A mockery of everyday Japanese life seen through the lives of two supervillain henchgirl temp workers and four municipal Sentai employees. Then Shinichi Watanabe turned it into an anime and made fun of every anime genre in existence.
- Seitokai no Ichizon: A parody Anime with bits of Romance added in ..
- Sket Dance: From the former apprentice of the guy who unleashed Gintama onto the world, we have three high school students who will assist anyone with anything, usually with disastrously hilarious results.
- Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu: With a mix of serious and nonserious subplots.
- He Is My Master: More so in the manga, where the author inserts romantic comedy cliches, then chides the reader for expecting serious resolutions.
- Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo: Plots constructed entirely out of bad puns, sight gags, and pop-culture flotsam.
- FLCL: Although there is a plot, you would be hard-pressed to find someone that could identify which parts are gags and which are not in the first viewing. Additionally, this show has been described as Excel Saga on Excel Saga. The creators themselves admitted that about half of what they put into this show were completely a result of nonsense, and what they found funny at the time.
- Galaxy Angel: The animated equivalent of Dada Comics — nothing is sacred, and the writers are by-and-large allowed to run with whatever they like. Including scissors.
- The Negima!? reboot is this, with most of the humorous banter between characters more characteristic of the Pani Poni Dash! writers than Akamatsu's usual fare. The original manga was like this for about 2 volumes before going in a different direction.
- School Rumble
- Di Gi Charat
- Super Milk Chan: An experimental anime, in the sense that taking a tab of Ecstasy and then boarding a tilt-a-whirl is experimental.
- Ninin Ga Shinobuden
- Azumanga Daioh: To a lesser degree, since the series does have continuity and plot, but each episode is definitely a Gag Episode.
- Magical Pokaan
- Pani Poni Dash!
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei
- Hayate the Combat Butler: The first season of the anime, anyway - the second season and manga have continuity, and the latter has a few bouts of seriousness.
- Gintama: Though with a healthy pinch of action and good ol' shonen standbys, like the power of friendship.
- Cromartie High School
- Axis Powers Hetalia
- Tokyo Pig
- Lucky Star: The series follows the norm and is quite realistic for the most part but has it's slight share of wackiness, especially in the anime.
- Beelzebub: Can't seem to take itself seriously even when trying to be shounen.
- Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu
- Puni Puni Poemi
- Muteki Kanban Musume
- Seitokai Yakuindomo
- Dai Mahou Touge
- My Bride Is a Mermaid: Nagasumi and Sun's blossoming relationship is played semi-seriously. Pretty much everything else is comedy fodder.
- Banana no Nana
- Majokko Tsukune Chan is a Cute Witch Gag Series.
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
- Dr. Slump
- Carnival Phantasm being an Affectionate Parody of the Nasuverse, has gotten quite hilarious EVERYTIME AND EVERYWHERE!
- Colorful. A couple of braindead losers and surprisingly innocent ecchi. The show makes fun of itself and perverts.
- Goldfish Warning. The show has a paper-thin plot, little to no continuity, 7 is just the random insane adventures of a a particular class in a farm school.
- Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, where anything, even reality, is subject to change at a moment's notice.
- Kill Me Baby, 99.9% of which is played for a purely comedic scenario where all seriousness and compassion are thrown out the window.
- Pokémon: Most of the Filler episodes as well as the Pikachu shorts at the beginning of the movies.
- DD Fist Of The North Star is a Super-Deformed parody series of the much more serious Fist of the North Star. There are two series sharing this name, both presuming that the end in the original's After the End setting never happened. Both shows are heavily referential towards iconic moments and memes of the original.
- The first is a web based Flash show, and is mostly slice-of-life with its humor.
- The second is considerably more comedy based, with Raoh, Toki, and Kenshiro described repeatedly as 'the three idiot brothers' attempting to find work with a convenience store, where everyone has been given an Idiot Ball of their own and Bat of all people is now a Deadpan Snarker Straight Man and possibly the Only Sane Man of the show.
- Haiyore! Nyarko-san, a hyperactive, Reference Overdosed parody of the Harem Genre in which a majority of the cast are the human forms of Cthulhu Mythos creatures (that Nyarko in the title? Short for Nyarlathotep). It tends to split its time between zany comedy and more serious moments, either gory battles with Cosmic Horrors or the emerging romance between the human Mahiro Yasaka and Nyarko.
- Jewelpet Sunshine, set in a school attended by humans, Jewelpets, talking animals, normal animals and the odd robot. And the teacher is a Hot-Blooded pink dolphin. Hilarity Ensues, though there is an underlying serious sub-plot.
- Jewelpet Kira Deco is a parody of Sentai shows, with its members being exaggerations of Five-Man Band members, and there's NEETs for villains.
- Jewelpet Happiness is much like Sunshine, but with a less colorful cast.
- The Gothic World Of Nyanpire: The anime and manga, at first might sound strange to you. But just watching an episode of the anime can be very amusing depending on the episode. Since Nyanpire is completely different compared to classic vampires and Dracula.
- : A gag manga spinoff of Naruto with Uchiha Sasuke as the main character.
Live Action TV
- Monty Python's Flying Circus frequently berated itself for being too silly. Many of the sketches head deep into Cloudcuckoolander territory (one had a caption saying "SOMETHING SILLY'S GOING TO HAPPEN"), and the animations in between them are even weirder. The Sergeant with no sense of humor would generally serve as a means to tell them to stop being so silly.
- Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In deserves a special mention because this particular variety/sketch show is seriously MADE of this trope!
- Green Wing (a Gag Hospital Soap)
- Let The Blood Run Free, an unrepentant parody of Australian soaps... from Australia. It makes Scrubs look like House. Observe.
- Le cur a ses raisons (aka Sins of Love) is yet another shameless parody of soaps, this one being of French-Canadian origin.
- Four Blokes Without Telly, one of the non in-universe camera Youtube series, and a great example of Gag Series
- The Mighty Boosh
- The Bitcom segments on Studio 3.
- Raumschiff GameStar.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- The Ghost Busters was, like the "Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters" movies, a beginning, an ending, and a rapid-fire succession of jokes in between. The writers and artists who worked on the animated sequel regarded it as a gag series compared to the more serious He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Tropes Are Not Bad comes into play: in interviews, they consider Ghostbusters to be some of their best and most creative work.
- Hello Cheeky was a series based almost entirely on quick jokes, with quite a bit of subtle strangeness and cartoon logic holding it together.
- God Hand: There actually is a plot, but even the characters make fun of it. Also, there are midget Super Sentai and a gorilla in a luchador mask.
- Katamari Damacy: Any attempt at a sane description of the plot is an exercise in futility.
- Saints Row has slowly drifted into this. The first game was a dead-serious Grand Theft Auto clone; the second game decided to swing for the fences, and it's gotten increasingly bizarre ever since. Also, it's in the same universe as Red Faction.
- Warioware's gameplay consists of a series of bizarre and humorous microgames that last less that 5 seconds most of the time and are completely unrelated to each other.
- Dra Koi shifts between being a gag series and some weird sort of romantic meta fiction without a moment's notice. It's hard to know what to take seriously.
- Invader Zim is a very dark variant of this.
- The Super Hero Squad Show. a wacky, lighthearted spoof of the Marvel Universe.
- The Fairly OddParents (especially later episodes).
- Sponge Bob Square Pants.
- Earlier episodes of Adventure Time
- 80% of [adult swim] programming
- Sheep in the Big City features Sheep, who is hiding from a secret military organization. Why? General Specific has a sheep-powered ray gun. Gags happen as the military tries and fails to grab one Sheep. Apart from the plot, there are also Parody Commercials, and a segment with the Ranting Swede.
- The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Very much.
- Secret Mountain Fort Awesome and its' spin-off Uncle Grandpa take this Up to Eleven.
- Teen Titans Go! is an Affectionate Parody of the original show as well as some other DC elements.
- Pearlie and from the same network, Being Ian.
- Squirrel Boy
- Yakkity Yak, it's another one of those shows that make you wanna ask What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?
- The Mighty B!
- Scaredy Squirrel. It relies on the same random humor as Yakkity Yak.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, which is a mix of dark humor and gross-out humour.
- Celebrity Deathmatch
- Xavier: Renegade Angel
- Jimmy Two-Shoes
- Almost all classic cartoon shorts, particularly Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, and the oeuvre of Tex Avery.