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Running Gag: Comics
  • In Bone, the insult "Stupid, stupid rat creatures!" is a Running Gag, as is one of the rat creature's fondness for quiche and the other's insistence that monsters should act a certain way.
  • Peanuts and its TV specials were fond of these, although always with some sort of variation. Lucy pulling the football away, Charlie Brown crashing his kite, etc.
  • Dagwood in Blondie: Always making his decuple-decker sandwiches, always running into the mailman on his hurried way out the door.
  • In Beetle Bailey, whenever General Halftrack sends his officers a written instruction, it will always have one tiny spelling error that completely changes the meaning of the orders ("buns" instead of "guns", "gag masks" instead of "gas masks", etc.). Someone will point out what the general meant to say, but then someone else will — always, invariably — ask: "But who dares to tell the general that he's done a mistake?" Nobody dares, and in the end, the officers always do exactly what it says in the instruction, even though it makes no sense. Often, General Halftrack is depicted witnessing the end results of his subordinates' interpreting his orders in some absurd way, and his reaction is always the same: "Now what?"
  • In Young Justice, whenever Robin would state the obvious, another character would say, "Obviously you've been trained by the world's greatest detective." If memory serves, even Batman got one in once.
  • Nikolai Dante encounters a seemingly unlimited supply of the Arbatov family; each of whom announce their intention to avenge the death of the previous Arbatov at the hands of Nikolai. Invariably they are themselves promptly despatched, to be avenged by later Arbatovs.
  • Groo the Wanderer has to be one of the kings of this trope: from defining "mulch" at every opportunity (or just randomly defining it for no reason at all) for five years straight, the titular character's ridiculous exclamations ("Hah! You take me for the fool I am!" "As any fool can plainly see."/"I can plainly see that!", "Groo does what Groo does best!", "Did I err?", etc.), ships sinking the instant Groo gets anywhere near them (unless his dog is with him), the name of the Sage's dog, Groo getting chased out of the city by every single person in the city, Drumm continually wanting to know "What pirates?" (and, later, alternating that with "You never bought me a house..."), Groo's dog never quite realizing how stupid Groo actually is, Captain Ahax going insane every time he's exposed to Groo (since the latter has a habit of continually sinking the ships under the former's command), "Must be stupid."/"Must be Groo."... and that's not even touching the 25 years worth of running gags in the letter columns.
    • Every issue also had a hidden message.
    • Also, whenever prompted to remember or not forget something, or sometimes just when he's got nothing to add to a conversation, Groo responds with "I am the Prince of Chichester!".
  • In Pearls Before Swine, Stephan Pastis has made a habit of setting up puns that are beyond lame. As of late, this has been lampshaded almost every time with Rat demanding that Pastis quit cartooning.
  • Even Watchmen gets one in: Rorschach repeatedly breaking Nite Owl II's door.
    • Which becomes subtly important later as it gives them more time when the police are trying to break down Dan's front door.
  • Deadpool is not an X-Man. Or a mutant.
  • Tintin:
    • Thomson's and Thompson's introduction: "Thompson, with a p, as in Philadelphia [the p is never pronounced with a p sound], Thomson, without a p, as in Venezuela";
    • Captain Haddock's obscure "obscenities";
    • Snowy's alcohol problem;
    • The fact that Prof. Calculus is hard of hearing and therefore can never hear a sentence correctly;
    • Captain Haddock's inability of keeping his monocle intact;
    • Tintin and Haddock's inability to hide from Castafiore and her singing;
    • In The Broken Ear, San Theodoros' constant (once every 10 minutes at one point) revolutions, and a bumbling assassin's inability to kill Tintin;
    • Thompson and Thomson's tendency to dress in outlandish and completely out-of-place ethnic costumes in order to "hide undercover";
    • People trying to call someone and getting Cutts the butcher, or vice versa.
    • In a history of the making of Tintin, the author states that Snowy himself started as "a literal 'running gag.'"
  • Astérix
    • The hapless pirates get sunk once every issue. Sometimes twice. In one book, they give up the pirate life to open a (boat-shaped) restaurant. It gets trashed.
      • And every sinking is drawn to resemble, in some way, The Raft of the Medusa, a famous painting by Théodore Géricault.
    • Caesar's tendency to refer to himself in the third person. This was a reference to Caesar's Commentaries on the Civil War and the War in Gaul, where he constantly refers to himself in the third person, to the point that the reader can lose sight of the fact that Caesar isn't writing history but self-justifying propaganda.
    • The ways the village keeps Cacofonix from singing.
    • Obelix's constant attempt to get a taste of the magic potion.
    • Obelix' denial being obese.
    • Vitalstatistix falling of his shield.
    • Asterix is of "undeterminate age".
  • Scott Pilgrim gives us Knives Chau: 17 years old.
  • Zits: Jeremy's inability to perceive of his brother's presence until he's just leaving.
  • Get Fuzzy: Bucky Katt's well-documented and forever-undying hatred of monkeys, and his occasional plans to eat one.
  • In classic Strontium Dog, Wulf had a habit of replacing some random word in a figure of speech with the word cucumber, such as "Ve are cool as der cucumber" or "He ran as qvick as der cucumber".
  • Every once in a while, a crazy person dressed up as a 616 Marvel superhero will be seen being arrested in Ultimate Spider-Man, usually screaming a catch-phrase related to that character.
  • Batman:
    • Every time someone meets him for the first time, they inevitably comment that they thought he'd be taller.
    • This even extends to other members of the Batfamily, such as Dick Grayson (who, to be fair, is a good 4 inches shorter than Bruce, so it's obvious when he's dressed as Batman that he's shorter than the original guy) and Tim Drake (it's mentioned in Young Justice).
    • Dick Grayson (Age 12) has his own running gag. Guess which part of Dick Grayson (12 years old) is the gag.
  • Ever since Orient Men tried unsuccessfully to fix an Eskimo's broken radiator, the Eskimo kept following him all over the world and appearing at the end of nearly every episode, asking random bystanders whether they can fix his radiator.
  • A little background for this one: In Midnight Nation, it turns out that Lazarus Came Back Wrong, and was told by Jesus to wait until Jesus would return. Lazarus mistakenly thought that Jesus would be coming right back after having a little dinner with 12 of his best friends... that didn't work out so well, and 2,000 years later Lazarus is still waiting. So, the actual gag is that whenever someone around him says "Jesus" in reaction to something, Lazarus responds by asking, "Where?"
  • Artist Leinil Yu has been known to sneak Howard the Duck into everything he draws, especially during huge spreads with lots of heroes where Howard won't be as easily noticed. Nobody knows why except Leinil.
  • The DCU's Invasion! miniseries frames several of its scenes as television newscasts. Whenever a reporter tries to interview one of the heroes, the hero invariably replies with, "Get that @%&£$€# camera out of my face!"
  • Newspaper comic Cow and Boy runs on running gags. this strip has a fraction of them in it.
  • In the newspaper comic Agnes, the title character is quite unable to speak up in class without ending up in the principal's office in the last panel.
  • In Marvel Star Wars, comics written and set after The Empire Strikes Back but before Return of the Jedi have Luke and Leia, mutually attracted, often start to touch or talk about their relationship before they are interrupted. Usually by the plot. It happens with some regularity, and good thing, too.
  • Flax Seed and his obsession with Filthy Rich's billboard in My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #3.
    Flax Seed: I always, like, feel like he's watching me. His eyes move with me. Always watching... never sleeping...
  • The Dutch comic De Generaal is full of these, with the most frequent one being a literal running gag: The eponymous general would always flatten the local cop's motorbike (and usually the poor guy himself too) under his tank or other Doomsday Device while on his way to the fortress he was forever trying to conquer. A later comic stated that the motorbike factory was "the cork that kept the Dutch economy afloat".
  • In the classic MAD parody of G.I. Joe, any woman who expressed a desire to talk to the hero would fling herself onto his lap and say, "Hey, Joe! You got chewing gum?" This gag resurfaced in at least one later Mad feature.
  • Superlópez: Any time Juan López enters a subway station, he'll absent-mindedly start ordering breakfast instead of asking for a ticket; then he'll go into a bar and order a ticket instead of breakfast. Sometimes it's because he's lost in thought, sometimes it's just plain stress or exhaustion.
  • Suske en Wiske:
    • Wiske is curious about something and brings herself into trouble by doing so.
    • Suske gets attention from other women and Wiske gets jealous.
    • Tante Sidonia getting a nervous attack and stiffening in shock.
    • Jokes at the expense of Sidonia's nose, thin body and large feet, usually by Lambik, who gets her shoe thrown against his head.
    • Lambik makes a Captain Obvious conclusion or says or does something else remotedly stupid. For instance he'll be master of a situation, but tricked into leaving or giving his gun to his opponents, allowing them to run away.
    • Jerom doing a remarkable stunt, showcase his superstrength.
    • Krimson getting a nervous attack and screaming for his pills, which are then brought by his butler.
  • Nero
    • Whenever characters go and visit their creator it turns out he's on safari.
    • Clo-Clo screaming loudly and deafening the others.
    • Adhemar saying This is scientifically impossible.
    • Abraham Tuizentfloot pricking people with his sabre.
  • Jommeke
    • Filiberke playing something and staying in character throughout the entire story.
    • Professor Gobelijn making confusing mistakes that are the exact opposite of what he meant.
    • Flip the parrot insulting others.
  • De Kiekeboes
    • Inspecteur Sapperdeboere being more interested in eating than solving cases.
    • Balthazar screwing up a crime he was trying to commit or driving his fellow criminals crazy with his stupidity.
    • Fernand Goegebuer spitting everybody full with saliva whenever he speaks.
    • An unknown obese woman appearing in a cameo like she does every album.
    • Moemoe manipulating everybody into getting what she wants.
    • Van De Kasseien committing adultery with one of his secretaries, call girls, prostitutes or other women.
  • Urbanus
    • Urbanus and his family waiting for Nonkel Fillemon to die and earn his fortune, only to be disappointed when he survives once again.
    • Dikke Herman beaten up or injured as a victim of Urbanus' pranks or strategies.
  • Agent 327: I Jzerbroot arriving at this office at the start of each album in a disguise, then complaining What a secret agent has to do nowadays to get to his office incognito.
  • Lucky Luke:
    • Rataplan the dog making wrong interpretations of what is going around him or reacting too late.
    • Averell not understanding what's going on and being more interested in food.
    • Joe getting worked up over his hatred of Lucky Luke.
  • Johan and Peewit:
    • Peewit trying to sing and play the harp, only to have everyone run away or find an excuse not to listen to him.
  • Tom Poes:
    • Marquis de Canteclaer looking down upon Bommel and insulting him every which way he can.
    • Wal Rus mispronouncing Bommel's name.
    • Garmt Grootgrut complaining that the small proprietorship is once again the victim.
    • Bommel always boasts about his talents, achievements and aristocratic background, but nobody seems to take him seriously. Also, he is rather incompetent and whenever danger is about he chickens out.
    • Bulle Bas arresting Bommel for crimes he didn't commit.
    • Wammes Waggel not understanding what is going on.
  • Gilles De Geus:
    • Admiral Lumey's self importance and clumsiness resulting in him getting into trouble or serious temper tantrums.
    • Leo never saying more thant Hee.
  • Benoit Brisefer: Benoit doing something to help others, but not realizing his own strength actually makes things worse, so he exclaims: Oh dear, what have I done now?
  • Les Tuniques Bleues'': Blutch trying to desert and his superior trying to get back at him for this.
  • Cubitus: Cubitus trying to find a way to beat Sénéchal up.
  • Gaston Lagaffe: Mr. De Mesmaeker arriving to have the contracts signed, but Gaston time and time and in various ways preventing the plan from actually being achieved.
  • Pierre Tombal: Scaring off other people by interacting with the living skeletons at his cemetery.

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