"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
- 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.
- 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.
- Haré+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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Uchiha Sasuke's Sharingan Chronicles: A gag manga spinoff of Naruto with Uchiha Sasuke as the main character.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sgt. Frog: ...tell me it isn't.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sonic X
- The Smurfs (original books; the Animated Adaptation not so much)
- Any series about Dead Pool.
- 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 In Slumberland 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, Ach!lle 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.
- Red Ears is a popular series of Sex Comedy jokes.
- Idées Noires, Les Femmes en blanc and Pierre Tombal are Black Comedy gags.
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 cœur 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.
- Big Time Rush is basically a live-action series with cartoon plots (and sound effects to boot).
- 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.
- The Studio100 series Kabouter Plop while can be serious at times. Is mostly themed after slapstick humor.
- 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.
- Homestar Runner
- 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.
- The asdfmovies
- The Lazer Collection
- See Gag-per-Day Webcomics for a list. A complete list would probably make the internet asplode.
- 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.
- The Amazing World of Gumball.
- 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.
- Harvey Beaks.
- 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.