"Dearest Mother: We're thinking of portraying various dramas from everyday life from now on."
"Just kidding. This episode was a one time thing."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. Anime 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 interludes.
Kamiyama, Cromartie High School
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Anime and Manga
- Aoi House is part anime/manga parody, part American media parody (multiple references to Grey's Anatomy, and at one point a character is found to be singing the theme song to Cardcaptors), and entirely hilarious.
- Axis Powers Hetalia is a parody of World History. While some strips does depict real world events, some is actually just the countries bickering with each other silly.
- Beelzebub: Can't seem to take itself seriously even when trying to be shounen.
- Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo: Plots constructed entirely out of bad puns, sight gags, and pop-culture flotsam.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dragon Ball started off as this for its first several arcs, and is repeatedly called a gag series in the manga during these arcs. Once King Piccolo showed up, however, the story began taking itself much more seriously. Since the darker tone is present for a greater portion of the manga's storyline, the fact that it began as a vulgar comedy is often overlooked.
- That said, it's roots as a gag series still shine through from time to time, with villains that do elaborate poses in the style of Super Sentai characters, or moments like Goku having to catch his teacher's pet monkey as part of his training. The Majin Buu arc especially reads like a marriage between the silly and serious sides of the manga; Majin Buu is a fat, pink demon that goes around turning people into candy, but he's also a serious threat and slaughters entire cities. Goku and Vegeta do a silly-looking fusion dance that makes them even more powerful, and at one point they kick Buu's ass after being turned into a coffee-flavored jawbreaker.
- 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.
- 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.
- Haré+Guu: With a mix of serious and nonserious subplots.
- Gintama: The series is one big walking fourth-wall-breaking, parodying and absolutely nonsensical anime/manga. Though with a healthy pinch of action and good ol' shonen standbys, like the power of friendship.
- Goldfish Warning!. The show has a paper-thin plot, little to no continuity, 7 is just the random insane adventures of a particular class in a farm school.
- 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.
- 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.
- He Is My Master: More so in the manga, where the author inserts romantic comedy cliches, then chides the reader for expecting serious resolutions.
- 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.
- Kill Me Baby, 99.9% of which is played for a purely comedic scenario where all seriousness and compassion are thrown out the window.
- 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.
- 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.
- Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun: Since the series is an Affectionate Parody of shoujo manga and its making, most romantic or heartwarming moments will end up being ruined by one of the characters for the sake of a joke.
- My Bride Is a Mermaid: Nagasumi and Sun's blossoming relationship is played semi-seriously. Pretty much everything else is comedy fodder.
- My Monster Secret starts as a romance between a rather ordinary guy and a vampire girl… then all sorts of supernatural beings start to appear, whose degree of sanity ranges from silly to batshit insane. Most chapters feature an initially mundane situation that goes to hell thanks to that. The artist is notably prone to repeat panel layout between pages or using dramatic graphical effects in comical situations. The series becomes a little more plot-heavy in the post-92 chapters, but without letting go of the over-the-top absurdity.
- Ranma ½ is a wacky series about the shenanigans caused by the increasingly ridiculous forms of Martial Arts And Craft, Baleful Polymorph curses, and tangled Love Dodecahedron.
- 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.
- Strange+: the sordid tale of a 20-something year old who looks 12, likes to crossdress and get naked in public, and is in general a tremendous jerkass, his younger, saner brother, and their two co-workers - a violent woman and a possibly gay, dreadlocked, muscled guy. They Fight Crime!.
- Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, where anything, even reality, is subject to change at a moment's notice.
- Teekyuu demolishes everything within its two-minute limit-sanity, its own bizarre rules and order, any semblance of a fourth wall, the limits of personal taste, how fast a normal human can logically speak (and how fast a viewer can read subtitles) to tell a joke.
- Ambush Bug in both its '80s and '00s incarnations. Every issue skips from place to place in The DCU making fun of everything from Superman to The Sandman.
Live Action TV
- Big Time Rush is basically a live-action series with cartoon plots (and sound effects to boot).
- Green Wing (a Gag Hospital Soap)
- The Studio100 series Kabouter Plop while can be serious at times. Is mostly themed after slapstick humor.
- Le cœur a ses raisons (aka Sins of Love) is yet another shameless parody of soaps, this one being of French-Canadian origin.
- Let The Blood Run Free, an unrepentant parody of Australian soaps... from Australia. It makes Scrubs look like House. Observe.
- 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.
- Many Newspaper Comics or comics published in magazines tend to be gag series, because readers can laugh at the "joke of the day/week/month" even if they happened to miss an issue. Gag comics also tend to be popular with slow readers, because the stories are simple and have a direct pay-off once you've gotten past the page.
- Little Nemo typically featured a Dream Sequence which allowed all kinds of surreal storylines, only to end at the bottom of the page with Nemo falling out of his bed because it was All a Dream.
- Krazy Kat: All gags will end with Krazy Kat being zapped by one of Ignatz' bricks in one way or another.
- Max and Moritz, The Katzenjammer Kids, Sjors en Sjimmie, Perry and the Rinkydinks, Quick and Flupke, Billy Bunter, De Vrolijke Bengels, De Lustige Kapoentjes, The Bash Street Kids,... are all gag comics about the antics of misbehaving children versus their teachers, parents or a Meddlesome Patrolman.
- Peanuts, Garfield, Hägar the Horrible, Calvin and Hobbes, B.C., The Wizard of Id, Beetle Bailey, Piet Fluwijn en Bolleke, Robin Dubois, Léonard le Génie, Cubitus, Kid Paddle, Gaston Lagaffe, Idées Noires, Jan, Jans en de Kinderen, De Generaal, Haagse Harry, Le Chat, Kabout Wesley, L' Agent 212, Achille Talon, Le Petit Spirou, Titeuf, ... are all typical newspaper or magazine comics which work towards one punchline.
- Comic strips like Zippy the Pinhead and Cowboy Henk have more surreal storylines with set-ups and jokes that change in every episode.
- 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.
- The Demented Cartoon Movie features barely any plot, no continuity between scenes, and features more than half of the 30-minute running time consisting of explosions. Suffice to say, the title is accurate.
- Don Hertzfeldt's Rejected. Not a series, but it fits. Seriously, try to create a plot from it. Your brain WILL explode.
- RWBY Chibi is a Gag Series spinoff of the original RWBY, meant to provide fans with some comic relief following the dark and dramatic turn of the third season of the original show and to get the animators acquainted with the new tools they'll need for Season 4.
- Family Guy is (in)famous for this. Later episodes are often criticized for having Cutaway Gags and Overly Long Gags as pointless filler.
- Almost all classic cartoon shorts, particularly Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, and the oeuvre of Tex Avery.
- The Simpsons and Futurama both follow this in a Rapid-Fire Comedy manner most of the time, particularly in earlier episodes.
- 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).
- Spongebob Squarepants was always one, but later episodes take it Up to 11.
- The Amazing World of Gumball, though like Adventure Time below, it would stop doing this as frequently as time went on.
- Earlier episodes of Adventure Time tended to be this. Then Cerebus Syndrome kicked in.
- 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.
- Chowder is filled to the brim with wacky, Surreal Humour with little to no breaks in between.
- Likewise, CH Greenblatt's other cartoon Harvey Beaks, though it's much more relaxed and less surreal than most.
- Secret Mountain Fort Awesome and its' spin-off Uncle Grandpa take this Up to 11.
- Teen Titans Go! is an Affectionate Parody of the original show as well as some other DC elements.
- South Park, pre Bigger, Longer, and Uncut was based on this. The creators began to aim for more satire as they eventually realized the show would not be able to keep up the formula forever. Whether this was a good or bad move entirely depends on who you are.
- Yakkity Yak, it's another one of those shows that make you wanna ask What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?
- Scaredy Squirrel. It relies on the same random humor as Yakkity Yak.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy's writing can be most simply described as a slew of gags with a loose story tying them together for coherency.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, which is a mix of dark humor and gross-out humour.
- Jimmy Two-Shoes's episode plots are often about cramming as many jokes as possible into ten minutes with a story built to link them up.
- 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.
- Kaeloo has plots that switch halfway through the episode, one-off gags that have nothing to do with the rest of the plot of the episode, and barely any continuity between episodes. Sometimes, there isn't even continuity between scenes of the same episode. The main focus is humor.