Manga / Pop Team Epic
Popuko and Pipimi, setting the mood.
"There is no darkness but ignorance" —William Shakespeare
—The official website's substitute for a premise

Pop Team Epic (ポプテピピック; also known as Poptepipic; occasionally spelled Pop Teen Epic) is a yonkoma series created by Bkub Okawa (otherwise known for his Touhou doujins) and published by Takeshobo.

It's not easily summed up, as it is a Widget Series with negligible continuity with humor relying on Non Sequitur or Japanese pop culture references, heavily relying on mocking and parodying other manga, anime, and video games. The only recurring characters are a pair of schoolgirls named Popuko, the blond-haired shorter one with a visibly drawn nose and who is quicker to anger, and Pipimi, the dark-haired taller one who is generally calmer. Other details tend to vary between comic strips. There's really nothing like it out there.

Bkub's Twitter can be found here. The original comics are on the Takeshobo website here (Second Season, Season 3). Fan translations of the comic into English are common; Tumblr blogger Sir Lorence has taken to typesetting one translator's work on his blog.note  Vertical Comics obtained the license for Pop Team Epic and will be releasing an official English translation of the manga in 2018.

In April 2017, an anime adaptation was finally announced for release later that year in October 2017, only to be delayed to January 2018 due to production difficulties. The official website is here. The series takes on a Sketch Comedy format, with different segments' animation handled by different animation studios, and more often than not amateur and independent animators:
  • Kamikaze Douga is the primary animation studio for the series, handling the 3D animated sequences as well as the Hoshiiro Girldrop segments.
  • Space Neko Company produces the 2D animated segments and are in charge of the "Pop Team Story" segments, animated shorts that reference both strips from the yonkoma while focusing on original longer form stories.
  • Makoto Yamashita produces the "Pop Team 8bit" video game parodies with original pixel art animation; his work on the series is part of his art school senior thesis.
  • Thibault Tresca of Kamikaze Douga produces the "JAPON MiGNON" segment that mocks his life in France rather than having anything to do with the original manga; the voice over parts are also entirely in French.
  • AC-bu (AC部) produces the "Bob Epic Team" segments known for their...distinct rough art style. They're also responsible for episode 7's "Pop Team Story".
  • UchuPeople produces the "Pop Team Dance" musical interludes featuring Stop Motion animated felted puppets.
  • Kazuki Sekiguchi produces the "Pop Team Cooking" 2D Line Boil animated segments parodying Japanese cooking shows.
  • Yuanyuan Hu has so far produced the "Bacon Mushamusha-kun" 2D animated segment, unique in that it doesn't feature either Popuko or Pipimi.
  • Miyo Satonote  produces the "Pop Team Epic Fairy Tales" segment made by animating sand art drawings as well as watercolors.
  • Gorilla Film has so far produced the "Barabara Tai-chan" 3D animated segments, which also doesn't feature Popuko or Pipimi (technically).
  • Asami Ike has produced a segment featuring 2D flipbook animation.

Each episode is a Quarter Hour Short...sort of. Each episode is broadcast and then an encore presentation is broadcast with a completely different voice cast for Popuko and Pipimi, with one pair generally being two women and the other pair two men.note  In each pair, the two have some relationship between them, generally as a pairing in a previous show or simply a well-publicized friendship. Sometimes the dialog and jokes are different between the two versions of the episode, either due to ad libbing on the actors' parts or jokes have been rewritten to fit in with a particular actor's prior roles, as well as other minor roles being recast for humorous effect. By the time the show is over, Popuko and Pipimi will have been voiced by 24 different people each, not counting the "Bob Epic Team" and "JAPON MiGNON" segments which each have different recurring voice actors and the two different sets of vocalists for the series' Insert Songs and ending theme songs. And that's just the original Japanese broadcast version.

The anime has non-exclusive redistribution rights in the west, with Funimation and Sentai Filmworks both picking up the show, which also simulcasts Crunchyroll, Asian Crush, and others, with different subtitle scripts;note  Funimation has also released a dub.


  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • The "Esahi Super Dry" and interrogation strips were combined into one for the anime, which has the side effect of implying that Popuko got arrested for underage drinking (she's 14, after all).
    • Downplayed: Episode 3 doesn't outright combine them, but because it plays adaptations of the part-time job strip and the list strip back to back, it implies they are two halves of the same story.
      • A similar effect happens with the futon and oversleeping strips at the start of episode 3; there's a bumper between the two, yet their being played consecutively in that order implies that the latter is meant to be a follow-up to the former in the context of the anime.
    • Episode 4 does it again with the save point and evil overlord strips, with a loading screen in between.
    • The game segments utilize the more blatant Shout-Out strips, but seem to combine them into one larger game with a couple of original segments inbetween.
      • Episode 7 combines one of the "Pop Team 8bit" segments with the "I'm not playing this shitty game again" strip.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The anime usually added some minor scenes that weren't in the manga strip, like the girls laughing before Pipimi asked "What will you do when I becomes an adult first?". In the manga, Pipimi asked the question right away.
    • The "Are you mad?" strip. The anime added an extra scene where Pipimi misses her cue and says "I'm not mad" before Popuko can punch her a third time.
    • To get Takeshobo in trouble in an early strip, Popuko scribbles "Designated Crime Syndicate" over the sign in front of their building before calling the police. Enter "The Dragon of Iidabashi", which turns them into an actual crime syndicate; it even reuses the bamboo-headed staffers as gang members.
    • Episode 11 begins with the "Eisai Haramasukoi" dance sketch, playing as usual... but then the regular theme song is replaced with a shorter one (actually the instrumental break found in the integral version of the regular theme song) where Popuko actually manages to make the dance an actual trend, doing it in a disco with people cheering on her while Pipimi plays as a DJ.
    • Bob Epic Team segments, despite the Stylistic Suck, usually significantly expands on the strips it adapts.
      • The Bob Epic Team version of the "Are you mad?" segment. Instead of stopping at punching Pipimi, Popuko proceeds to beat the crap out of her, pushes her into a vat of hot oil, and mass-produces Pipimi-faced takuan pickled radishes, before asking the final "Are you mad?", still met with a corresponding "I'm not mad". Additionally, it gives an explanation for why Popuko is punching Pipimi to begin with: Pipimi claims to have a "very calm personality" and "never gets upset". The original strip opens with Popuko punching Pipimi for no reason.
      • The Zoo segment expands the strip to include many more animals, and then revealing the girls were in Australia all along. The manga only included the panda and koala, without the Australia reveal.
      • The hide and seek segment is changed up quite a lot from the manga; instead of splitting into four and forming the borders, Pipimi morphs into a news channel border, complete with ticker text, and stalls Popuko for a few extra seconds.
      • After Popuko hurts the Samba Master's feelings, the anime adds an extra scene where Pipimi hurts the Flamenco Master's feelings by shouting "Ole!" in a flamenco pose, before the two masters bond over their wounded emotions.
      • The strip where they make fun of an older man for chastising current trends is drawn out a bit longer, and features the man vainly shouting at them a couple more times.
      • One Bob Epic Team segment in episode 4 adapts the "alien in Popuko's cat bed" strip. Instead of the alien immediately leaving, it tries in vain to convince Popuko that it's actually a cat... which she doesn't buy for a second.
      • Episode 5's second Bob Epic Team features the man staring at Popuko and Pipimi claiming he wasn't looking at them. In the manga, the strip ends with both girls just noticing the man's presence and he is never seen speaking.
      • The second Bob Epic Team of Episode 6 is the "Futon-kun" sketch that was already done normally at the beginning of Episode 3. While in the original version the blanket gets over Popuko and makes her fall asleep, here the mattress, the curtains, the pillow and the alarm clock go all out to force Popuko back to sleep instead of going to school.
      • Episode 7's Pop Team Story takes it to the extreme: it's the AC-bu version of the Hellshake Yano strip, but Pipimi's Imagine Spot is now a full docufilm about Hellshake Yano, done by filming the two AC-bu animators who also voice Popuko and Pipimi in the Bob Epic Team sketches, flipping sketchbooks with multiple drawings to "animate" the story while narrating and voicing all the characters.
      • Popuko's "Eisai Haramasukoi" dance went from flapping her arms around to imitating Blanka's heavy punch and crouching heavy kick from Street Fighter II. Pipimi actually tells her it won't catch on instead of thinking about it, prompting Popuko to flee all the way to the Statue of Liberty before Pipimi can comfort her.
      • In Episode 9, the sketch about Popuko chasing a bunny who is late is turned into Popuko and the bunny using ninja multiplying tecniques to block each other while Pipimi (dressed as Alice) wonders why the bunny is late.
      • Also in Episode 9, the "mistimed Rimshot" strip is adapted to Popuko doing a full-blown drum solo instead of a rimshot, and Pipimi has to tell Popuko she didn't say anything yet three times before Popuko stops.
      • The first sketch of episode 10 is a very faithful adaptation of the "God of Idleness" strip, except that this time Popuko's double middle finger somehow kills the god and then Popuko turns into a desert landscape.
      • The second one is the sketch where Popuko sets a death trap for a waiter because he spilled water on her face. In the original version she just places a bear trap on the floor, here she also places spears coming out from the wall and a spiked ball on the ceiling. Then, after calling multiple times the waiter, she goes out to search for him and then falls in all the death traps. Then the waiter finally comes with more water, which he splashes again on Popuko's face.
      • The first sketch in episode 11 is the one where Popuko aims a gun to the town mayor to force him to build rocket-boosted swings. In the original version she just points the gun at him, while here she shoots multiple times (though only firing potato pellets or some similarly harmless, edible projectiles)... until he splits in two, revealing he was actually two pigeons under a hat. Said pigeons proceed to peck away at the "ammo" scattered on the floor around them.
      • The second sketch of the episode is a "complaints letter" one. This time, the complaint is that Bob Epic Team is badly animated with very few frames, so Popuko answers with an exaggeratedly animated reprise of her "Eisai Haramasukoi" dance. Meanwhile, everything in the sketch outside of the dancing Popuko is a still image.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Some strips have nothing to do with Pipimi and Popiko, focusing instead on some other characters and whatever weird things they're up to.
  • Animated Adaptation: Before the official anime was released, YouTuber CptNameless made an unofficial motion comic-styled version; it's still running today, albeit at a much slower pace than before, possibly to avoid having to compete with the anime.
  • Animation Bump: The show's segments that weren't done entirely in its signature art style could delve into this. Pop Team Cooking, for example, is the closest PTE looks to a kids cartoon, utilizing squiggly lines, darker pastel colors and generally more in-betweens than usual; while JAPON MiGNON takes the show's CG animation and plucks the choppiness out of it. Then there is Bob Epic Team which over- and under-animates things on its own accord while making sure no one stays on model for too long.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification:
    • One strip personifies their publisher as Lord Takeshobo no Hikomaro, an emperor pursuing Pop Team Epic to presumably capture it and lock it away (or kill it). Popuko plays the role of her own manga.
    • In announcement strips, Takeshobo is often portrayed as a man with bamboo for a head.
    • Episode 8's Pop Team Story "The Rising Dragon of Iidabashi - Pipi the Avenger" has the entire yakuza Bamboozle Gang (Chikushokai); lower ranked members are bamboo shoots, the next tier up are bamboo shafts, and the Boss is a kadomatsu (the three angle-cut bamboo stalks used for Japanese New Year celebrations).
  • April Fools' Day: The official anime website was put up on March 31 as the site for an adaptation of Bkub's romcom manga Hoshiiro GirlDrop. On April 2nd, it was updated to show Popuko tearing it apart, revealing that Pop Team Epic itself was getting an anime adaptation.
  • Art Evolution: While the comic itself is already a noticeable upgrade from Bkub's early doujins, that doesn't mean the guy hasn't changed his style since starting Pop Team Epic. For comparison's sake, these are two of the earliest strips in the manga's run, while these two are more recent contributions. Aside from the lineart being a lot cleaner, Popuko and Pipimi have become noticeably rounder and stouter; this is particularly noticeable with Pipimi, who appears comparatively chubby as a result.
  • Art Shift:
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • How Season 2 of the manga opens up. After the conclusion of the original strip, Bkub started to draw for a comic called Hoshiiro Girldrop, about a boy encountering and housing a girl who supposedly was his childhood friend. While trying to convince the boy, the heroine rips off her face to reveal she's actually Popuko, kickstarting the real comic.
      • This gets two Call Backs in the anime: it was originally announced as a Hoshiiro Girldrop adaptation as an April Fools' Day joke, until an update the next day revealed the truth. The first episode proper also opens with a Cold Open and OP teasing the viewer into thinking it's a Girldrop anime, only ending when Popuko tears through the title card.
      • This is even lampshaded in a Freeze-Frame Bonus on episode 2, where one of the fortunes says "Terrible luck: You get to work on an incredibly cute idol anime but it ends up as the opening act to a shitty anime".
    • In the months leading up to the premiere of anime, the two voice actresses attached to the cast were announced as Mikako Komatsu as Popuko and Sumire Uesaka as Pipimi (she also sings the opening theme), as revealed during an advance screening of the anime in December 2017. However, this advance screening wasn't from the first episode. It was from episode 3. This led to weeks of awkward interviews with Komatsu and Uesaka who just so happened to be free during the pre-show press, despite the fact they both knew that they were only ever going to be used in one half of episode 3; Uesaka even berated the show's producer Kotaro Sudo for putting her in this predicament. After all, no one would know the truth until early January 2018, when viewers were treated to the vocal talents of Masashi Ebara and Hochu Otsuka instead, based on a strip where Popuko and Pipimi ask that these two men be their voice actors if Pop Team Epic ever becomes an anime. And thus began the show's descent into madness.
    • In the Vanver segment in episode 2, while the guest voice actors have an argument with the director, a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl fades in next to them. The narrator asks if we now understand what's going on as the camera zooms into... the corner of the room, where Popuko's and Pipimi's faces are hiding. In the reprise of the episode, with a completely different set of guest voice actors and completely different dialogue, when the camera zooms in to that corner there's instead a second ghost in the corner with her mouth wide-open... with Popuko and Pipimi hiding inside.
  • Big Applesauce: The setting of "Dancing with a Miracle". From the fact that the Twin Towers were still standing and the synth soundtrack in the beginning, the majority of it took place in the 80s as well.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Pipimi here, in response to Popuko claiming that she'll die if she sees a jagged word bubble. (This, predictably, kills her. Twice.)
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor:
    • Many, many jabs are taken at Takeshobo (the comic's publisher). Getting shafted at parties is the kindest treatment they get. Even one dessert café promotion got in on it, featuring a waffle (standing up, so it resembles an office building) with the Takeshobo sign on it.
    • Subverted in one comic where a budding manga artist was about to turn in his submission to Takeshobo, but Popuko and Pipimi show up with their own publishing company and offered up what seems to be a better guaranteed deal than Takeshobo's. The last panel indicates that the manga artist was never seen again after that point.
    • After the anime's premiere delay, the anime takes shots at King Records when it can.
  • Bland-Name Product: Esahi Super Dry is this to Asahi Super Dry, just a letter off.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Here, Popuko manages to leave the Earth searching for her glasses. Since the series runs on Negative Continuity, this is the first and last time Popuko is even mentioned as needing glasses...unless she's been wearing contacts the whole time.
  • Bowdlerise: To a degree. Crunchyroll's English subs for the anime seems to avoid translating "kuso" as "shitty", replacing it with "weird", "silly", or other similar words; "shitty" only appears a few times, whereas "crappy" tends to be the strongest flavor in the absence of it. Averted with Sentai Filmworks'/HIDIVE's subs, which translates "kuso" appropriately as "shit"...and occasionally as "fuck", for good measure.
  • Brick Joke: At the start of Episode 5, the "Steamboat Willie" parody is censored with footage of a boat. Later on in the episode, we have a skit with Popuko doing her impression of Mi**ey, and we only get to see it via her shadow.
    • The boat censorship, which was placed there to indicate "violence and adult issues" which were deemed harmful to minors, also doubles as one in and of itself if you know the reference: the following skit, "IMO☆YOBA", which was not censored, sees Iyo Sakuragi snap and attempt to stab Pipimi with a knife, only for Hojo-senpai to take the hit. Complete with Gorn.
    • The "Blu-ray version" gag mentioned in Art Shift eventually returned when the anime started getting physical releases, with the DVD covers rendered in the standard style and the Blu-Ray covers done in a more realistic style.
  • Butt-Monkey: Hoshiiro Girldrop despite being fictional. All of the series' announcements are torn through by Popuko, their anime announcement was an April Fool's joke, and what little we do see from the anime from its previews shows that it's little more than moving clip-art.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Deconstructed outside of battle. Popuko tricks a robot into performing a rocket punch, so the robot has to chase after its flying fist. Popuko finds it hilarious.
  • The Cameo:
    • An early strip has Histral from Bkub's Mission Impossible comic suddenly show up out of nowhere. Lampshaded when Popuko mentions she hates it when Production Throwbacks happen.
    • The Hoshiiro Girldrop opening shows the God of Eurobeat near the left when the whole cast is rounded up. As he is a one-off character in the regular Pop Team Epic comics, this is one of many clues that Girldrop isn't the real focus.
  • Canon Immigrant: Averted for laughs by this strip. Pepayo claims to be a character that made her debut in the anime, only for Popuko and Pipimi to point out she never appeared in it.
    • The God of Eurobeat, or Kouji Shakano as he's now labelled, seems to be a permanent cast member of Hoshiiro Girldrop as Drop Stars' producer.
  • Chest Monster: A bizarre example - the two girls find an insect that disguises itself as a Village Vanguard storenote  to lure in and kill "subculture bitches".
  • Cliffhanger: Parodied; every chapter ends with "To Be Continued" despite the comic having Negative Continuity.
  • Clone Army: In the idol band Mockumentary sketch from episode 3 of the anime, Pipi-P (Pipimi), struggling to find replacements for Pop-chin (Popuko)'s backup singers in her idol band, eventually resorts to cloning Pop-chin herself. The Pop-chin clones eventually overran humanity and laid cities to waste. This led to Pipi-P ultimately becoming a ruling dictator.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Popuko tends towards this, though Pipimi is hardly a saint herself.
  • Completely Different Title: In-universe example: Dancing with a Miracle was originally known as Dream in New York, but was changed when came time for translation.
  • Continuity Nod: In one of the rare moments of the manga having continuity, Popuko calls Pipimi out on daydreaming again, claiming the latter girl was imagining Hellshake Yano again after the first time she did it.
  • Coordinated Clothes: Nobuyuki Hiyama and Asami Sanada, the two Sempai/Kohai voice actors that showed themselves, suspiciously wore the same shades of clothingnote  It’s either this trope, or Dresses the Same, depended if they ever outted any insights about the show.
  • Credits Gag: Starting with episode 3 of the anime, Bkub Okawa's "role" in the production changes per episode. They have been: Executive Kusomanga Advisor (3), Middle-of-the-Islandnote  Writer (4), College Dropout (5), Virtual YouTuber (6), Warrior of Light (7), Miyakkonote  (8), Let's Player (9), Manga Lover (10), Choreography (11)
    • The opening sequence for the second half of Episode 10 suddenly has the music muted in favor of sound effects that weren't there before, much like Kamikaze Douga's work on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference: While the majority of the "Pop" in Pop Team Epic comes from anime and Japanese video games, quite a few references come from American pop culture as well: Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, Undertale, Cuphead, various Disney movies...the list goes on and on. There are also a lot of Die Hard references in the anime, due to the entire series being Author Appeal to its producer, Kotaro Sudo.
  • Cultural Translation:
    • Fanslations tend to do this occasionally. For example, one comic originally written entirely in the Banshu-bei dialect was changed to an exaggerated American Southern accent.
    • On the official side of things, episode 2 of the anime had Popuko sing a song, with another tagging along, upsetting Popuko. In Japanese, Popuko was singing "Shizukana kohan no mori no kage kara" (静かな湖畔の森の影から, literally "from the shadow of the woods by a quiet lakeside"), a Japanese children's folk song considered to be a variant of the Itsy Bitsy Spider melody. Funimation's English dub changes this to Popuko singing "Little Bunny Foo Foo" (a Western children's folk song also similar to Itsy Bitsy Spider) instead.
  • Cut-and-Paste Comic: Lampshaded here, with a letter complaining about it.
  • Dada: The anime is as close to dada as an anime can get. The first episode consists of a fake intro for a fake show, then becomes a succession of short and completely random clips with multiple Art Shifts that make no sense whatsoever. Then the ending credits start to play halfway through... and then the second half replays exactly the same clips in exactly the same order, only with different voice actors.
    • Only this series could sell pieces of concrete (helpfully labeled "Pieces of Takeshobo") as good luck charms at a Comiket booth.
  • The Day the Music Lied: One strip / segment sees Popuko wake up to the strains of Peter Gynt's "Morning Mood" (as established by a caption)... only to discover, after getting dressed and opening her curtains, that it's still night outside. Cue caption abuse.
  • Deader Than Dead: The "jagged speech bubble" gag.
  • Denser and Wackier: The "Part-B" version of the unfinished anime segment during Episode 2 features a different live-action segment than the "Part-A" version; while "Part-A" simply has the voice actors be upset with the producer over the excess amount of improv they were being asked to do and leave, "Part-B" had one of the voice actors in the fetal position (due to being forced to improv), followed by the other voice actor outright attacking the producer and playing Keep Away with his glasses before leaving.
  • Deranged Animation: Pretty much omnipresent throughout the anime, but especially in the deliberately Off-Model "Bob Epic Team" segments. Even in their "normal" forms, Popuko and Pipimi's extreme chibi character designs can be disturbing to look at, especially given the way their vaguely vulgar-looking mouths move.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Popuko's reaction to a bear smoking where he shouldn't be is to chop off his cigarette with an axe. When he gets out another one, she instead lodges it in his head.
    • Another has Popuko sliding down a handrail, only to be knocked off by a man sliding behind her. Her response is to shoot him.
    • A city advisor asks Popuko to build something for children. She builds a rocket swing. When the advisor tells her it might be too dangerous for kids, she accuses him of being an Ungrateful Bastard and asks to collect his head.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: One of the fortunes in Episode 2, combined with Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    You are too busy watching the boobs to notice Popuko on the right.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • In some early comics, the girls' mouths actually opened whenever they spoke, as opposed to always being shut, like they do now.
    • Some early chapters also render the Latinized title of ポプテピピック as "Pop Teen Epic", before finally sticking to the current "Pop Team Epic". The first strips called the title Poptepipic Hardcore.
    • The first episode of the anime had the male voices come on first before the female ones. From the second episode onwards, the female voices come on before the male ones.
  • Enhanced on DVD: Spoofed here with an Art Shift to a significantly more detailed "Blu-ray version" of the preceding panel.
    • Spoofed in a different way here, where Popuko admits that there's no punchline, but it'll be redrawn for the print collection.
    • Even the DVD and Blu-Ray covers for the anime get in on the joke.
  • Exact Words: In the Mockumentary portion of episode 3 of the anime, Pipi-P (Pipimi) told a smoking Pop-chin (Popuko) to "lose the cigarettes". Pop-chin then proceeds to replace her cigarette with a cigar, which Pipi-P actually commended her for.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The cold opening, title sequence and next episode preview for the first episode of Pop Team Epic are from Hoshiiro Girldrop, which only actually exists in a very short run series the creator apparently made between hiatus periods on the manga. Only the end credits are NOT from Girldrop.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Popuko's nonstop hiccuping. After Pipimi tells her of a rumor that hiccuping 100 times could kill someone, she stops at 99... and promptly self-destructs.
  • Fan Flattering: Combined with Take That, Critics! and Biting-the-Hand Humor here; Popuko prepares a party and offers a fancy table with luscious food and drink for the comic's fans (while haters and Takeshobo guests are forced to sit on the floor).
  • Fear of Thunder: Popuko, so much that she cusses out thunderstorms.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Here, Popuko makes a YouTube video so bad that she gets arrested for it.
  • Flipping the Bird: As seen in the page image, Popuko and Pipimi tend to do this often (usually with realistically-detailed hands) as a way to contrast with their cute designs.
  • Flirty Stepsiblings: The premise of episode 5's "IMO☆YOBA"note  skit is that Iyo Sakuragi and Hojo-senpai fall in love with each other but end up becoming stepsiblings when Iyo's deadbeat dad remarries Hojo's equally deadbeat mother. And Hojo's mom and Iyo's "dad" turn out to be (who else?) Popuko and Pipimi, respectively.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The anime adaptation of the "please subscribe to our channel" comic. The first time, the scene cuts to black and you hear the ringing of a phone. The second time, it cuts to black and you hear a knock on the door...
  • Foreign Queasine: One of the anime's JAPON MiGNON segments has Popuko and Pipimi try to be adventurous and order some French food, but they're put off by how strong the dishes smell (the smell even makes a passing insect drop dead). They end up going to a ramen restaurant instead.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The twirling scene in the opening theme has the girls match their outfits to the country they’re in. There are also numerous blink-and-you'll-miss-it gags in the background.
    • Even though it's censored, people can tell the wiki check on episode 1 was the Japanese Wikipedia page for ''Pop Team Epic''.
    • Episode 2 of the anime had a bunch of fortunes being displayed rapidly in succession, the viewer apparently is supposed to take photos of them with their cell phone camera. This handy link screenshots and translates them all.
    • In Episode 6 of the anime, when Popuko and PP1000 are playing a very faced-pace version of shogi, you can briefly see Popuko Flipping the Bird. The same scene has the PP1000 playing Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, go stones, and throwing a star-marked sutra.
  • French Jerk: The JAPON MiGNON segment of episode 1 has Popuko and Pipimi travelling to Paris and wondering how they will communicate. Pipimi tries to imitate a French mime to speak to a local. He responds by Flipping the Bird. Oh, and these segments are animated by a French guy.
  • Gag Series: But of course, something which the anime version somehow manages to exaggerate this further. One example: the scene featuring an ominous council remarking on how a Yonkoma could never become an anime features a character with a fidget spinner for no reason at all.
  • Good Morning, Crono: In the first episode of the anime, Popuko wakes up and runs to school but something bad happens and resets her back to bed repeatedly. This skit even includes a reference to Crono crashing into Marle in the Trope Namer, Chrono Trigger.
  • Gratuitous English: Happens in one strip; Popuko tries to ask for a hamburger, but the cashier rather condescendingly corrects her with the proper English pronunciation. What follows is Gratuitous English to be believed.
    • In another comic:
    Popuko: "GO GO GO GO"
    Pipimi: "HEY HEY HEY HEY"
    Pipimi: "DANGER ZONE"
    Popuko: "I LOVE DANGER ZONE..."
  • Gratuitous French: The JAPON MiGNON sketches from the anime are written and directed by French animator Thibault Tresca who works at Kamikaze Douga and features Popuko and Pipimi's travels in France, with both voiced by native French speakers Fanny Bloc and Christine Bellier. His colleagues at Kamikaze Douga decided to just give him strips of the comic to read, and Tresca, who cannot understand Japanese, just makes self-deprecating jokes about life in France rather than making "canon" stories.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Episode 9's Pop Team Story "Dancing with a Miracle" has a completely fluent English narration and acting from American-born Ayumu Murase as the young Joseph and the half-Aussie Ikuru Kamijou (a.k.a. YouTuber The Anime Man) as the older Joseph, who was also responsible for translating the script from Japanese into English. The encore performance decides to go in a completely different linguistic direction, by having the same segment narrated and acted in Okinawan. Masahiro Aragaki (Grandpa in Haitai Nanafa) translated the script into Okinawan (Shuri dialect, specifically), and Okinawa-born voice actors Shino Shimojinote  and Tarusuke Shingaki take over the roles of Joseph. Funimation only provides subtitles for this second half...but they're in Hawaiian Pidgin English.
  • Hand-Hiding Sleeves: Pipimi uses them to hide her Devil Hand.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Pipimi out of the blue asks Popuko to imagine her becoming an adult before she does. It does not go well.
    • It's arguably worse in the anime version (episode 2), because Pipimi asked this while both of them were on the floor, violently laughing.
      Pipimi: (sits up) Say, think about what you'll do if I become an adult tomorrow before you.
      Popuko: (still laughing; abruptly stops; Empty Eyes)
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: "IMO☆YOBA" has Popuko and Pipimi be Iyo and Hojo's step-parents. Among their acts includes blowing all their money on pachinko machines, constantly distracting them from studying by doing puppet shows outside their window, and keeping them up at night by Char's Gelgoog Dancing near their beds.
  • Horrifying the Horror: At one point, Popuko is called by the subject of the "Phonecall from Mary" urban legend. Instead of freaking out she gets pissed off and picks up her nail covered bat to fight back. When she doesn't find Mary in front of her house she actually calls the possessed doll to ask where she is. The anime adaptation of the skit even has Mary's response sound absolutely terrified!
    Mary: I-I am Mary.
    Popuko: WHERE ARE YOU?
    Popuko: DON'T YOU RUN AWAY!
  • How We Got Here: The Hiccups skit begins with the main duo in the afterlife as Popuko apologizes for what she did. It then flashes back ten minutes earlier.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Here, Popuko takes two panels to declare that there won't be any more copy-pasting... in a pose that is identical between both panels.
    • This strip has Popuko resort to asking "Protest-About-Things-On-Twitter Man" to protest about a woman ignoring her child while on the phone... presumably while on the phone himself, and similarly not doing a thing to resolve the "woman ignoring child" problem.
    • Popuko can't believe when girls call their beau sickeningly sweet slang nicknames. When Pipimi shows some interest in it, the former girl switches to calling her one of those nicknames immediately.
  • Identical Grandson: Parodied in the "IMO☆YOBA" skit, where both Iyo and Hojo's parents as well as their future children are portrayed by Popuko and Pipimi.
  • Improv: A few scenes in the anime are written like this, giving a blank where the voice actors can go completely off script. Parodied in the Fantasy World opening skit in Episode 2, where Popuko and Pipimi demand a couple of the characters there do impressions, prompting their voice actors to complain to the director that they can't do (, not supposed to do, or never informed they had to do) improv due to their “supposed” work not intended to have one in the first place.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: One comic is inexplicably written entirely in this. This fan translation, in a bit of Cultural Translation, instead uses an exaggerated American Southern accent.
  • Kick the Dog: During the Mockumentary segment, we are shown a montage of Pipi-P repeatedly (and literally) kicking out members of "Pop-chin with the Tame Monkeys" (and retooling the band with each new replacement) that didn't counterbalance Pop-chin herself. One iteration of the band did, in fact, have a dog as a member.
  • Late for School:
    • Parodied when Popuko tries getting to class via cape gliding.
    • Popuko fully embraces the cliche in the first episode, complete with a narration of how ordinary she is and a Toast of Tardiness.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • The interrogation strip focuses on Pipimi questioning Popuko about what she's done (being featured drinking beer in a commercial), while Popuko ignores her and continues to drink. This scene focuses on her doing the sort of Troubling Unchildlike Behavior that minors aren't allowed to do in Japanese media, making it seem like Pipimi is trying to make sure Popuko doesn't get the series into legal trouble.
    • During the idol mockumentary, Pipi-P motions Pop-chin to the cameraman, who just caught her smoking on tape. Her wondering about what Pop-chin is going to say about being caught mirrors the audience wondering about how a minor in middle school was able to be shown smoking on TV without being censored.
      • The male vocalists in the second part of the episode start to laugh at the end of the idol song they're singing.
  • Lighter and Softer: The JAPON MiGNON segments feature Popuko and Pipimi as earnest (and normal) Japanese tourists enjoying French culture whilst vacationing in Paris. This is because the segments are animated by a French animator who knew nothing about the series except the character designs.
  • Limited Animation: The "IMO☆YOBA" sketch in episode 5 of the anime is animated in such a matter where Iyo and Hojo have barely any animation to them at all. Only Popuko and Pipimi are slightly more animated than everyone else there.
    • The show as a whole thrives on this, often for comedic effect like in the "Bob Epic Team" skits or episode 2's "Vanver" sketch.
  • Line Boil: A staple of Pop Team Cooking's artstyle.
  • Literal Metaphor: A charming thief claims his greatest desire is to steal a woman's heart, then takes it right from inside her while she's swooning. Doubly literal since her heart leaps right out of her chest when he pulls it off.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • The "beef or chicken" strip was, in its native language, about Popuko confusing the flight attendant's food inquiry for Japan's local flavor of the classic "man or mouse" question (Beef = strength, Chicken = cowardice). Without knowing that, it comes across as Popuko being a very picky eater, having an instance of Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!, or even, as one Tumblr user hypothesized, about to attack the flight attendant over being asked to decide.
    • In episode 2 of the anime, the ad-libs said by the voice actors are different in each replay even though both are subtitled similarly in English. The second half even features an attempt at impersonating Takeshi Kitano. In addition, it ends with the phrase "Did you get it?" "Owari itadake darou ka?," which is a phrase commonly found at the end of ghost hunting programs on Japanese television. This is but one example of how self-referential the anime is.
    • The "three times three" skit has another joke besides Popuko getting a very basic question wrong. In Japanese, the usual way of saying 3×3=9 is "sazan ga kyuu". Popuko, however, said it as "mimin ga mi" (3×3=3). This prompted Pipimi to ask "mimin ga?" ("what is 'mimin'?"). Popuko misunderstood the question as "what is 3×3?" and thus answered "3". The Funimation dub manages to translate this skit somewhat well, with the dialogue in question reading "three threes're three; threethrees?; three."
    • Episode 9's B-Part has the Pop Team Story segment in Okinawan subtitled in Japanese (the two languages are related but not mutually intelligible). Sentai Filmworks decided to subtitle it normally. Funimation decided to use something resembling Hawaiian Pidgin, which is at least intelligible to English speakers; anything else and having to subtitle the subtitles of the subtitles would be a bit much.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Parodied here. A girl can't handle the pressure of being confessed to by school hunk Kiyoshi-kun, as she's already dating the other most popular guy in school: his puppet.
  • Meta Twist: If there's a "letters" skit, whatever is complained about in the letter will inevitably not be fixed (the manga's copy-pasting, the anime's glut of shout-outs). Then comes the Bob Epic Team version, where the complaint is about the segment's Limited Animation... to which Popuko actually commits and moves with way more frames than she did before. Pipimi, and the rest of the scene before this, has absolutely no animation at all.
  • Minimalist Cast: Just check the Characters page of this work. The only reoccurring characters are our two main characters, and everyone else is either inconsequential or only used for a gag.
    • This is of course subverted when it comes to the vocal cast, considering every episode has two different pairs of people voicing Popuko and Pipimi, without counting the musical interludes and the recurring French and Stylistic Suck sketches.
  • Mockumentary: Episode 3 of the anime has a sketch that plays out like this called "The Documentary: On the Other Side of an Idol's Dream", a documentary about Pop-chin (Popuko), her idol band "Pop-chin with the Tame Monkeys", and her manager Pipi-P (Pipimi).
    • Emotional Documentary: Hellshake Yano
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • One of the manga's favorite jokes - most commonly presenting an innocent scenario that abruptly turns dark near the end (see here for a good example).
    • The first episode of the anime already has several examples. Most notable is the Your Name bit, in which the bright sun that shines above the Crash-Into Hello scene turns out to actually be the meteor from the film, which eventually crashes, burning everything and the two protagonists into ash.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Episode 2 has the most epic bird-feeding sequence you'll ever see.note 
    • Episode 5. After voicing the Eye Catch announcement enough times, Tomokazu Sugita gets creative.
    • Hellshake Yano. Two guys rocking the shit out of a couple of flipbooks. Drawn in pencil. With cutout panels. Try as you might, you cannot just look away.
  • Mythology Gag: Popuko and Pipimi being voiced by Masashi Ebara and Hochu Otsuka, respectively, in the first version of episode 1 of the anime is a reference to a strip in the manga where they specifically say they want these two men to voice them if they ever get an anime adaptation.
  • Negative Continuity: While this is the norm, one comic manages to do it in a single panel:
    [Panel 1]
    Both: "Yeah!"
    [Panel 2]
    Popuko: "Aah... It's fall so let's eat some delicious harvest food! I'm starving!"
    Pipimi: "Huh?"
    [Panel 3]
    Pipimi: "Wait a sec, what the heck's going on in panel 1?"
    [Panel 4]
    Popuko: "Oh, that's just for a Line Sticker, so let's just ignore it."
  • No Dialogue Episode: Common (this is only one example).
  • No Fourth Wall:
    • The average reader can glean this from the strips: the girls love each other, hate their publisher, hate you (unless you read the manga), and regularly rattle off jokes about whether a given strip worked or not. Heck, an ice cream flavor made for a collaborative cafe is labeled as "the taste of your face hitting the floor when you heard Pop Team Epic is getting their premiere delayed".
    • Popuko wants long legs in one strip, so Pipimi uses Clip Studio Paint to stretch her out.
    • If the first episode of the anime didn't break the fourth wall enough, then the second one completely obliterates it.
      • Popuko and Pipimi are transported to a fantasy-adventure anime. An unfinished fantasy-adventure anime, complete with timecode, which they even point out. After the two make the other characters do impressions, we then cut to the live-action voice actors complaining about the amount of ad-libbing they have to do.
    Pipimi: Shut up, bit part actor. Your face isn't even drawn in.
    Catordog: I agree you suck, meow-bark!
    • "Let's go to the beach!" "Yay!" [beat] "Let's go to Japan's Machu Picchu!" "Can't. The background isn't done for that, so we can't."note 
    • Popuko wakes up, with "Peer Gynt 'Morning Mood'" appearing as a subtitle on the screen denoting the music playing, only for her to discover she woke up in the middle of the night. She then grabs the subtitle and begins to beat the shit out of it. This is made even funnier when the same scene is voiced by Frieza.
    • During the "I grow when given attention" scene, Tomokazu Sugita and Yuichi Nakamura break character and talk about how the animators have been really stretching the joke out, before realizing it reminds them of the opening credits of a television drama from the 90s, and how the animators could place the producer's name on screen in the style of the show's opening sequence, which the animation team took to heart and added a pop culture reference when there wasn't one before. Check the Shout-Outs page for more details.
    • Back-to-back bloops occurred in eye-catches for ep.6:
      • Take six:
      Hiro Shimono: "PopuTEpipikku! Oh sorry, my voice cracked."
      • And take seven:
      Hiro Shimono: "Popute..."
      Yuuki Kaji: "Popute..."
      Shimono: "...pipikku."
      Kaji: "Oh..."
      Shimono: "Ah."
    • The guys seem to have the most problems pronouncing the show's title, with episode 7 providing us with:
    Showtaro Morikubo: "Popupepi—Wait it's not Pop Peam Epic..."
    Kosuke Toriumi (and other staff): [Laughing]
    • When THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls stars Hiromi Igarashi and Rei Matsuzaki appear to perform the episode 8 ending theme, both of them wonder why they're even there as they didn't even appear in the episode proper, until one of them remarks that Bkub likes their characters' Anzu Futaba and Kirari Moroboshi, and the other remarks that she did see the art on his Pixiv. Of course, "Ankira" and "Pixiv" are censored. And the song ends with both of them remarking how short it was. The next episode, they continue to question their singing the song, and point out that all of the voice actor pairings are obvious jokes.
  • On the Next: The anime has next-episode previews...for Hoshiiro Girldrop.
  • Origin Story:
    • Emotional Documentary: Hellshake Yano shows the story of how the "Hellshake" part was added to his name.
    • Episode 9's segment, "Dancing with a Miracle", telling the story of a boy who ran away from home to New York City and crossed paths with Popuko and Pipimi, is very heavily implied to be the origin story of (at the very least an expy of) Mayor Mike Haggar.
  • The Other Darrin: invoked Made a regular gag in the anime. By the series' end, Popuko and Pipimi may just be tied with Asagi Asagiri for most consecutive recastings of a single character.
  • The Other Marty: Invoked in the strips leading up to the anime's premiere. A "second generation" Pipimi and Popuko were scouted out by Takeshobo to reshoot the strips using more attractive characters, but the original pair weren't having any of it.
  • Overly Long Gag: Implied when Popuko makes a video review of potato chips that goes on for nearly two hours.
    • The anime sometimes goes down this route, such as the adaptation "I grow when given attention" strip. In one version, Tomoko Kaneda moans and keeps repeating "Marilyn Monroe" while Yuu Kobayashi makes nonsense noises. In the other, there's complete silence while Yuuichi Nakamura and Tomokazu Sugita broke character and talk about how long the rough animation is stretching out this joke; and remarked on how it reminds them of the opening sequence of another television show, prompting the animators to add production credits over that scene in order to reference that other show.
  • Plant Person: The yakuza gang that Popu and Pipi join in episode 8's long segment are all anthropomorphized pieces of bamboo. The symbolism is a clear Take That! against none other than Takeshobo, as the first kanji in that name means "bamboo."
  • Please Subscribe to Our Channel: Parodied here, where Popuko goes so far as to "visit" people's houses to force them to subscribe.
  • Poe's Law: Manages to subject itself to it during the Niconico premiere of the anime's first episode. In a move that may have been influenced by the source material and advertisements calling itself shit, the after-episode poll on the site showed that very high amounts of people chose the "kuso" option. Knowing how popular the series is in Japan, and especially after the first episode's premiere, it's unclear how many of the votes were ironic.
  • Portmanteau Series Nickname: invoked Parodied in the episode 5 Pop Team Story romcom spoof "IMO☆YOBA" (Imouto Nante Yobanai de!), translated by Funimation as "Donca * Sis" ("Don't Call Me Little Sister").
  • Previously On: Parodied. The first strip of chapter 35 is the exact same as the last strip of chapter 34, only with a "Previously On" label sticked on.
  • Product Placement: Episode 11 clearly shows the labels of Bud Light, Pringles, Heineken, and Strong Zero among the snacks on the table in the horror skit.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Popuko and Pipimi, respectively. Best summarized here, where they notice someone staring at them:
    Pipimi: Whatchu looking at?
  • Reference Overdosed: While the main draw of the series is its weirdness, shout outs make up the other component of the series. It's so prevalent that some comics were devoted to the girls trying and failing to tell a joke without referencing something.
  • Relax-o-Vision: The anime's 5th episode opens up with live action footage of a boat and a note saying that the footage has been switched up due to mature content, with Steamboat Willie-esque music playing in the background, in a direct parody of the memetic "Nice Boat" incident. (Judging by the sounds being played during this segment, especially the waterfall noises at the end, it's heavily implied that what's being censored behind the footage is an adaptation of this comic, thus also possibly making this a Take That! of Disney's ultra-litigious nature).
  • Remember the New Guy: Invoked with Pepayo, a girl who claims she debuted in the anime as a new friend for Pipimi and Popuko. When they reply that they had no idea who she was, she falls into an existential crisis.note 
  • Rimshot: Popuko mistimes one, with tragic results.
  • Robotic Reveal:
    • Episode 4's Pop Team Story "SWGP 2018" about a skeleton race reveals that Popuko had a robotic body, giving her an unfair advantage in the race. Considering the Wacky Racing nature of the sketch, this is probably the least ridiculous and surprising development of them all.
    • Episode 6's Pop Team Story "The 30th Cyber War" about a shogi tournament has Popuko competing with Keicho Okusenman (who is totally not Heihachi) but Popuko manages to defeat him and mostly destroy his interior mechanisms, revealing him for the true robot he is. This leads up to the final confrontation with the world's most skilled shogi player, Mother AI PP1000, who has been masquerading as Popuko's Heian period shogi master guardian spirit Pipimi the entire time.
  • Running Gag:
    • Popuko having (or causing) trouble in restaurants.
    • Popuko's hatred for "subculture" and its "bitches", often extending into Disproportionate Retribution (even The Merch gets in on it). English translations in the anime substitute "subculture bitches" with "hipster girls".
    • After the Season 2 opener for the manga, anything related to Hoshiiro Girldrop actually turning out to be an announcement for something about Pop Team Epic. (Except for the Hoshiiro Girldrop anthology, which shocked fans by actually being real.)
    • Earlier strips involved Odd Job Gods somehow getting into contact with Popuko.
  • Saying Sound Effects Outloud: In episode 7, the two guys of AC-bu, who normally animate and voice the Bobnemimimmi segments, "animate" an entire scene with flipbooks while doing the voices, crowds, "music" and sound effects themselves. They appear on screen the whole time.
  • Serious Business: The anime's shogi sketch in episode 6 treats a shogi tournament this way, parodying similar tabletop board game tournament-themed manga such as Hikaru no Go (complete with Pipimi dressed as Sai), all culminating in a battle with a robotic version of Pipimi, PP1000, that ends in a huge explosion.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: It's never outright stated whether or not Popuko and Pipimi are this, but they undeniably have a very close bond (to the point where Popuko outright tells Pipimi she's smitten with her, albeit as part of a gag), and at one point Pipimi tells Popuko she loves her. And taking into account Popuko owns pinup posters of sexy girls...
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Also extremely common - Bkub has been known to outright call the comic shit. His self-proclaimed title is even "Kuso Manga Boy".
      • Episode 3 of the anime shows he's gotten a promotion to "Executive Kuso Manga Advisor".
    • A sad platypus is given a copy of the manga as some "Poptepi-therapy" to help him cheer up. He found it boring, prompting Popuko to snatch the book out of his hands.
    • Episode 2:
      • The entire project of Vanver -A Game in Another Dimension- counts as a mass Creator Career Self-Deprecation; both in and out of the wall.note 
      Nobuyuki Hiyama: "The entire industry's been really shoddy nowadays!"
      • One skit has a fortune labelled "Extreme bad luck" that reads: "You get to work on an incredibly cute idol anime but it ends up as the opening act to a shitty anime".
    • Episode 3:
    • Episode 4:
      • In the Pop Team Dance segment "Let's Pop Together", which parodies music videos featured on Nico Nico Douga, the comments that scroll across the screen include "This sucks," "What are they even parodying?" and "Mods aren't doing their job".
  • Shallow Parody: Popuko's "Mi**ey" impression is basically her doing something vaguely resembling "Mi**ey"'s voice (while constantly shouting vulgar things) while in shadow. (The original manga strip has her constantly spouting "wwwwww" (the Japanese equivalent of "lololololol"), which is pretty much unconveyable in a voice-acted anime adaptation)
  • Shout-Out: Every pair of voice actors has been cast together as a memorable pair in some other anime, and occasionally other roles they have performed get referenced for the sake of a joke, if not due to intentional ad libbing by the actors themselves.
  • Sketch Comedy: The format the anime is based around.
  • Spice Up the Subtitles: Many of the fan translated strips feature profanity not present in the originals. Tropes Are Not Bad, however, as this is commonly thought to enhance the quality of the comics rather than detract from them, with the swears being said to compliment the tone of everything else.
  • Standard Snippet: Parodied in one skit on the anime. Popuko wakes up while "Morning Mood" from Peer Gynt plays, as indicated by a subtitle. When she opens the window she sees it's actually late at night, and she proceeds to get mad and beat up the subtitle for lying to her.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: The usual setup for a sketch, with Pipimi acting as the straight man and Popuko as the wise guy.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: In the end of the "IMO☆YOBA" segment of the anime's 5th episode, Iyo and Hojo get married and have two children. Children who look exactly like Iyo and Hojo's parents Popuko and Pipimi.
  • Stealth Pun: In the Bob Epic Team version of Alice in Wonderland skit, the tea party doesn't have Mad Hatter, but it has the angry old guy who picked a fight with Popuko and Pipimi in Episode 4. In other words, a mad hater.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • The anime's "Bob Epic Team" shorts done by AC-bu are drawn and animated in a deliberately crude and inconsistent manner.
      • Episode 7 brings us a live-action "Bob Epic Team" of the two AC-bu animators flipping pages of sketch books in which they made of a "Hellshake Yano" skit, including having Hellshake Yano slap his manager and dropping the sketch book, and several pages cut up to layer on the other page. For the second play of the episode, the two animators badly dub over each other's lines.
      • Episode 11 has a "viewer complaint letter" that the "Bob Epic Team" segments have limited animation, all while focusing on a single static image of an Off-Model Popuko and Pipimi. The complaint prompts Pipimi to take the complaint to heart...and dance with far more frames than even the segments by other animators.
    • The first episode is also full of visual glitches that suggest that the digital signal is poor, switching between apparent other channels.
    • After the initial gag, Hoshiiro Girldrop's On the Next previews stop having decent animation and make the characters move like paper cutouts.
  • Surreal Humor: The bread and butter of this series. Just one example.
  • Suspicious Video Game Generosity: Parodied here, where Popuko encounters a save point and peeks around a corner to see if the boss is nearby. (It is.)
  • Takarazuka: Chapter 17 has a joke about the Takarazuka Revue doing a musical adaptation of the manga.
  • Take That!:
    • Justin Bieber's arrival here leads to a spoof version of Pikotaro sending him away almost immediately.
    • To Takeshobo, repeatedly, after Pop Team Epic got cancelled and ended its original run. Popuko swears revenge on the company in the last comic, and afterwards it's usually referred to negatively and sometimes used as a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis of sorts. Even one of the anime's promotional posters plays this up.
    • In a Season 3 comic, Pipimi and Popuko aim to destroy the Takeshobo building (as per the Running Gag), but accidentally destroy the Kadokawa building instead - alluding to the uproar following Kemono Friends director Tasuki's firing from the company.
  • Take That, Critics!:
    • Popuko is less than kind to critics of the comic. (The side note indicates that it's not serious, though.)
    • The lyrics of "Let's Pop Together" in episode 4 is basically a big "screw you" to haters. Some translated lines from the song:
    "You haters will become fans anyway."
    "We don't care about haters. They're ridiculous, pathetic, and not worth it at all."
    "How you long are you going to fight this hater battle?"
    • The ending of episode 8's main segment, "The Dragon Of Iidabashi: Pipi's Revenge," has Popu shot dead by her former gang the Bamboozle Gang. At her funeral, what makes her come Back from the Dead and get revenge is a guy Pipi picked up flipping through a copy of the manga (albeit covered in pixels to obscure the title) and griping about her hypocrisy:
    Guy: She said she hated subculture girls, but she sure sucked up to them.
  • Toothy Bird: The owl that shows up during the Bob Epic Team skit in episode 5 has visible teeth and gums.
  • Tournament Arc: Episode 6 has a whole sketch that parodies tabletop game tournament arcs, with Popuko and Pipimi (the latter whom is represented as a spirit dressed like Sai) playing Shōgi against other players and playing up the Serious Business factors typical with such arcs.
  • Tranquil Fury: Implied with the "Mi**ey" skit: Pipimi tells Popuko that she's asking for Death for doing the impression period, and then critiques it by saying that "Mi**ey doesn't even laugh like that".
  • Unreliable Expositor: The narrator of "Dancing with a Miracle" is telling his life story about his friendship with Popuko and Pipimi and how their strong bond inspired him to be the muscular New York major he is today, but what we're actually shown teaches us that he was a fanboying stalker to Popuko and Pipimi, who barely even acknowledged his existence outside of their one rescue.
  • Visual Pun: One that only works in Japanese; a horde of Americans charge towards Popuko and Pipimi and put rabbit ears on their heads. The Japanese word for "rabbit" is "usagi".
  • Wacky Racing: Episode 4 of the anime has a sketch that is a take on this trope with the skeleton racing sport. Miscolored and pixel-blurred versions of Dick Dastardly and Muttley even take part in the race.
  • Wall Pin of Love: Spoofed here, where it breaks the wall and sends them rolling along a track. The anime takes this one step further by transforming it into a Tokimeki Memorial style cutscene before shifting into a spoof of the Donkey Kong Country mine cart levels before finally crashing into and destroying the Takeshobo building.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Justin Bieber is sent "to the left".
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Despite being voiced by fluent English speaker Ayumu Murase, the younger Joseph in the first version of "Dancing With a Miracle" in Episode 9 has an accent that is incredibly jarring in the context of 1980s New York City, with his tendency toward Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable making his speech sound vaguely synthetic. The older Joseph is only better in that the Japanese-Australian "Joey" Ikuru Kamijou can do an American accent, but it doesn't sound a lot like a New York accent.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Episode 2 of the anime has a real-life cut to the voice actors complaining that most of the script is just "ad-lib" after the "sketchy anime" sequence.
  • Widget Series: Consistency is often sacrificed for the sake of a joke, not to mention how several jokes are either obscure cultural references or just outright incomprehensible. Taken particularly Up to 11 in the anime; just when you think the surreal humor can't top itself, it does.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: In the 6th episode's shogi skit, Popuko makes a competing shogi player break down under pressure before either one of them could make a move.
  • Word Puree Title: The surreal skits in the anime version done by AC-bu, which get their name from a gibberish rearrangement of the Japanese title: Bobunemimimmi (translated in by Funimation as the slightly more coherent "Bob Epic Team").
  • Word Salad Title:
    • The name of the manga itself.note 
    • Pipimi's musical number, "Goddamn Bitch in Cat Tights".

Popuko: So I instead said I wanted to be a Troper. Hey! Are you listening?!
Pipimi: Sorry, I was thinking about Hellshake Yano.