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Running Gag: The Annotated Series
The Annotated Series has mocked the entirety of several cartoon series, plus quite a few intermissions as well. It was fairly inevitable that a large amount of running gags would result.

Running Gags referencing specific series:

  • Ctrl+Alt+Del jokes are common in general:
    • One of the very earliest was WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS.
    • Whenever the cartoon uses copyright-infringing materials, someone adds a particular quote from Tim Buckley:
      "The thing about copyrights that I guess you don't quite grasp is that whether you're doing it just for fun, or for profit, using someone else's work without their permission is against the law."
    • Making a crack about Lilah's miscarriage occasionally pops up.
    • On the subject of miscarriage: "<x> is not a joke and I have no intention of making light of it."
    • Changing the credits of other annotated videos as if they're also produced by Blind Ferret Entertainment.
    • Ethan ends an episode asking Lilah "I still get laid tonight, right?" Up until sometime during Captain N, most episodes/series end with a male character repeating the question.
    • "HORSE CUM!" — originally just a mondegreen — appears whenever something liquid splashes around, typically "water" colored unusually white. The annotation is guaranteed when that something gets on a character's face.
    • Annotators create labeled "buckleyboxes" with overly long explanations of a joke's setup and punchline.
  • Gags starting in Super Mario World:
    • "I fell for hours!" whenever someone is falling for a long time, especially after a Commercial Break Cliffhanger. It's also occasionally subverted with very short falls, where the annotation is along the lines of "I fell for— oh, never mind."
    • "I am the <Title> of <Alliterating Action Or Adjective>!" Most often used whenever Cheatsy is in a scene (launched by his infamous "Emperor of Eavesdropping" line), gradually declining after the initial run of Super Mario cartoons but still appearing infrequently.
    • "Don't try <verb>ing (it) in Brooklyn!" Since the original line is from Luigi, adding "*WHEEZE*" to the end is optional. It can pop up just about anywhere to describe anything that characters are doing or discussing.
    • "The joke is Yoshi eats everything." — a variant on "The joke is..." from the general gags list below.
  • Originating from The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3:
    • The audience booing and throwing rotten food as the curtain comes down at the end of an episode. It gets a callback during Mortal Kombat when the characters explore an empty theatre.
    • Whenever a mummy appears or someone gets wrapped up like one: "WHERE'S MY SON?!" Heck, when the setting is just a desert or contains pyramid-shaped structures, the line is attributed to the mummy queen off-screen. Groups of mummies may call out for several different family members.
    • "Are We There Yet?" "How many times are you going to ask that, missy?" These two often appear in tandem during any traveling scene. The second question also sometimes appears as a response to other questions, particularly fellow gag "I still get laid tonight, right?"
    • As soon as Kootie Pie gets noisy, a "Kootie Pie tolerance meter" appears. It doesn't take long to max out.
    • Cargo nets deployed to capture characters are labeled "Nasty Nets".
  • Gags originating from/mainly used in Street Fighter:
    • Bathing in ice cream, which was originally an off-hand joke from Cammy. It got discredited pretty quickly.
    • Because of reused music, one particular cue spurs a "YESSSH!" every time.
    • Escher is the subject of remarks about constantly relocating his offices, as well as responding to any quip from Guile with "This is where I pull out my gun."
    • Annotators take notice of vertical pan shots and infer that all subjects are female, due to the frequency of introducing female characters into a scene with full-body pans.
    • Any close-up or zoom-in on a character's face leads to "No <character>, not the head bite!"
    • During Audience Murmurs, annotations point out what sounds like the word "wire."
    • Annotators literally interpret rhetorical remarks like "What's the matter?" or "Tell me about it!" with a paragraph of exposition as if reciting a Wikipedia article. For instance, "What's the rush?" and describing the rock band Rush.
  • Gags from Captain N: The Game Master:
    • The purportedly unlikable Simon Belmont frequently suffers for comic relief. When he doesn't deserve it, some variation of "Haha, that'll teach you to <innocent or helpful action>!" will appear. invoked
    • Whenever a pop culture reference is made, a "Topical" label appears.
    • Kevin's dog Duke often quotes Duke Nukem.
    • "Hoops" in the context of a bad pun/bad writing in general, after Season 3, Episode 2.
    • Referencing Kevin's lack of desire to clean his room.
    • Any electronic console will have a button labeled "Peach Hookers", in tribute to Season 2, Episode 9 (the scene in question is actually the thumbnail for the third part's video!)
    • The narrator often introduces scenes with "On the <adjective> world of <video game>...", so this gets extended to pretending that expository shots are depicting other video games or visual works.
    • When the show uses Super Mario Bros. sounds but nothing in the scene warrants an audio cue, annotators assume Mario and Luigi are doing something just off-screen.
  • Started by Sonic Underground:
    Queen Aleena: "We all feel proud of our special abilities and accomplishments."
    Annotator: "My special ability is deadbeat mothering!" (and variants thereof)
    • Referring to Queen Aleena as "Weiner Leader".
    • Mocking the SWAT-bots for their incompetence and fragility.
    • Providing unit conversions to and from "Mobius minutes", "Sonic seconds" and similar things.
    • Giving Robotnik dialog making him out to be an annotator, mainly to use him as a vehicle for Self-Deprecation.
    • Adding "Hahaha, cemetery!" to the end of Robotnik's lines, based on his threat "Sanctuary will become Cemetery!" — a rare case where annotators liked the writing and delivery.
    • Annotators getting irritated when Sonic uses what looks like a new ability, and calling him OP.
    • Each instance of the show's sole Idiosyncratic Wipe garners an ALL CAPS EXCLAMATION! commenting on the last scene.
    • When an expository shot holds on a background with no characters, annotators fill the space with a label pretending the environment is a Sonic game map (e.g. "Green Hill Zone, Act 1").
    • "That's a big YUPPERS!" — one of Sonic's lines that sounds especially forced.
  • Debuting in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show:
    • King Koopa asks for someone to lick his feet whenever he has a moment of self-satisfaction or his feet are prominently in frame.
    • Every few episodes annotators complain on the title card about new film releases they could have been watching instead of annotating, such as The Dark Knight Rises and Dredd.
    • "Uh-oh." "Uh-oh?" "UH-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH" (Mario and Luigi have had this exchange a couple of times.)
    • Pre-empting Koopa's "why thank you, Princess" whenever she calls him conniving, cruel, etc.
    • During the abridged preview for The Legend of Zelda, the title card gets rewritten to focus on notable quotes or actions from that one scene.
    Link: "I'm such a sucker."
    *title card appears*
    Annotations: "THE SUCH OF SUCKER"
  • Hatched from Savage Dragon:
    • In one of Mako's earliest appearances he mocks Dragon with "Savage Squirrel." Since then, anytime Mako appears and laughs it's because that one insult still amuses him. Sometimes he swaps in a different animal and thinks it's newly-minted comedy gold.
    • The episodes have a nasty tendency to glitch or lag, so when the episode is running smoothly, and then starts glitching without warning, the annotators will claim that a previous action caused the glitching (such as Barbarian punching Dragon so hard that it caused the glitching, or a dam is destroyed causing all of the glitches to flood out).
  • Coming out in Donkey Kong Country:
    • Whenever Eddie The Mean Old Yeti appears, there is a reference to either his musical number from Episode 4 or the "Squeezey Freezy" (a children's product whose bizarre commercial also involves a yeti).
    • DK constantly tormenting Diddy as a "Second Banana" whenever Diddy calls himself sidekick.
    • King K. Rool makes constant remarks about wanting to be a playable character in Super Smash Bros.
    • One of King K. Rool's most popular phrases is about his newest scheme being his "finest hour", so annotators reuse it at dramatic moments.
  • Spawned from Mega Man:
    • References to Dr. Light's Guidance System are quite frequent.
    • "NOW I'VE GOT YOUR POWER!" — as well as comments on scenes where Mega Man defeats or touches a robot that isn't a Robot Master and annotators pretend it gives him a new special weapon.
  • Spun off from Sonic Sat AM:
    • Robotnik is referred to as Tails' mother due to Tails spontaneously saying "Hi, Mom!" to Robotnik's surveillance camera in the pilot episode.
    • Cluck is given Scratch's classic "Bwa-ha-Bwa-haaaaaa!" laugh whenever he's annotated as saying anything.
    • Due to the show's reputation as the "serious" Sonic cartoon, cartoony and ridiculous plot resolutions are greeted with the annotators wondering if they're accidentally watching Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog instead.

Running Gags from non-serial shows:

  • "TINGLY FEELINGS" from the first Dr. D video will pop up if a character has some sort of a rape face.
    • It evolved into "MUSHY AND TINGLY FEELINGS" thanks to Mega Man episode 2.
  • The refrain "Tricky people / Tricky, tricky people" appears when an antagonist menaces another character in a way that could be construed as sexual harassment.
  • In Ratatoing, Greg's catchphrase "Precisely!" is so prolific in the source material that it's easy to squeeze in anytime someone finishes talking. He's also voiced by Mike Pollock, creating opportunities for Actor Allusions.
    • "Precisely!" is guaranteed to appear whenever a mouse or rat appears on-screen.
  • Establishing shots on cave entrances or animated tunnel sequences inevitably bring up cracks at Beauty and Warrior.
  • From an anti-drug PSA by Captain Lou Albano, "(Do X and you'll) go to hell before you die."note 
  • Notable quotes from Foodfight!:
    • Anything from Mr. Clipboard, particularly "SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST LEONARRRRRRD".
    • "The secret's inside!"
    • "Never opened... never enjoyed..." or a snowclone replacing the verbs.
  • The video of the Nickelodeon time capsule burial spawned "There will be no Gak in 2042!"

Running Gags in general:

  • One gag from the beeupyou days is simulating a TV station's watermark with an annotation in the lower-right corner of the video. Similarly, joke content ratings occasionally appear in the upper-left corner.
    • Returns after a fashion in Savage Dragon — the source videos have USA Network watermarks which turn into other place names, including references to other annotated shows. It's also similar in spirit to the next gag on the list.
  • Annotators love to deface title cards and other screens that have prominent logos.
    • For series that include Eye Catches or Ad Bumpers, annotators reference cliffhangers in the outro bumpers and commercials in the intro bumpers.
  • Gags involving use of file formats for audio or video, in the vein of "laugh_track.wav not found" and "reused_animation.gif".
  • Deliberately misinterpreting song lyrics or adding them to an instrumental track.
  • Annotators maintain running tallies of catchphrases or Stock Footage that happen at least Once an Episode and/or are already Memetic Mutation — such as Link's "Excuse me, princess!" or Mega Man's power-copying sequence.
  • If a character has a memorable one-liner, the annotators make it a catchphrase (sometimes mildly misquoting it). Examples include "Haha! Shocking!" from Street Fighter, "You could use a fencing lesson!" from Captain N, and "Going out with a bang!" from Sonic Underground (the latter two earning bonus points for not even making sense in context).
  • "The joke is <obvious statement>." See the Ctrl+Alt+Del and Super Mario World sections for specific variations.
  • Every time a character looks stoned (i.e. with droopy eyelids), someone adds some variation on "420 smoke weed everyday". If the character is also smiling or frowning, it may be "feels good/bad man" instead.
  • URLs to various tropes on This Very Wiki.
  • Any time a character appears to twitch due to jumpy animation causes a comment to the effect of "Oops, I'm having a seizure".
  • "I am pleased by this turn of events" when a character has a happy or content expression in circumstances where it looks out of place and they really should be showing at least some concern.
  • "Paused" or "Loading" annotations when the flow of events is disrupted by slow character responses or other lack of onscreen activity.
    • When a character's face is paused in this fashion, he will sometimes be made to say (in an Speech Bubble annotation) a sentence which is abruptly cut off, invoking the "I JUST" YouTube Poop fad. Other annotators might complain about "mabe_village.midi not found" afterwards.
  • When a full moon appears in a shot, it will often be given a face to resemble the moon from Majora's Mask, with an accompanying caption like "Dawn of the Final Day, 24 Hours Remain".
    • Around the time Darkstalkers and Savage Dragon finished, this changed to characters or the moon itself remarking "the moon is high."
  • THE UNBREAKABLE ANNOTATION. Which always ends up broken. It finally does its job successfully by surviving Kevin's Zapper in the Captain N Season 3 Intro.
  • But quite possibly the grandest, most continuing, most unabated, most returning, most tantalizingly reoccurring, most unstoppable, most—(AW SHADDUP! We'll never get started!) dynamic juggernaut of all running gags is "PULL. MY. FINGER." whenever someone points.
  • "PHYSICS" — not even Video Game Physics can excuse some of the animation oddities that crop up.
  • "Weapon Dickery" counts for when someone engages in Weapon Twirling and similar flourishes. Variants have included "key dickery" and "horse dickery".
  • A No Fourth Wall line annotated into a character that spontaneously looks at the camera, lampshading the background events, which invariably ends addressed to the "viewers at home".
  • Exclamation quotes and other HUD elements from the Metal Gear franchise are borrowed wherever a stealth attempt is thwarted. Iconic quotes from the series are also common.
    • Also inverted; the prominent appearance of an exclamation mark may prompt something along the lines of "BUBSY ALERT."note 
  • When a character complains, annotators might append "And the prom's tomorrow!" from the Harry Partridge short "The American Akira".
  • Fake notes from the production staff point out glaring omissions, only for the staff to shirk their assignments to go drink, have sex, take drugs, or do some other leisure activity.
  • When animation/script inconsistencies cause one character's mouth to move during another's lines, annotations will make the second character call out the first one.
  • Fake YouTube notifications for videos removed due to copyright claims during deliberate Shout Outs. example 
  • Characters' anguished groans and disapproving remarks become the reactions of the annotators or a hypothetical test audience watching the show.
  • Body counts show up when the heroes take out mooks. If buildings or vehicles get totaled, expect the numbers to suddenly skyrocket.
  • When a vehicle crashes and explodes, the viewers are reminded to "NEVER FORGET".
  • "Space for rent" on a background tapering off to a large section of solid-colored empty space. Small spaces like car interiors make good targets for this.
  • "<x> makes me cross-eyed every <expletive> time!" where <x> is whatever just happened or is happening in a shot with a character's face drawn cross-eyed.
  • Generally rare, but if something gets too self-aware, the annotators will claim that the show is annotating itself.
  • "DIS IS IT, LUIGI" from the Hotel Mario cutscenes often appears at the start of the final episode of a series.
  • When a character is Thinking Out Loud while hiding from someone within earshot, an annotation pops up as if that someone overheard the speaker.
  • If a character stands in place to quip during immediate danger, annotations simulate the character getting hit by whatever is threatening them, or just crossing out the eyes and writing "DEAD" on the screen.
    • Similarly, every time a character is crushed by something or just collapses, an annotation displays "R.I.P <character> <year of birth>-<year of death>". It's gone out of bounds with Mega Man getting crushed every episode (sometimes twice).
  • When a scene changes abruptly, annotators write "But enough of that", usually in large font. Sometimes this happens as a result of imperfect splicing showing only a split second of something, like with some of the commercials inserted into the main content.
  • When a cartoon shows a man with a white dress shirt and brown hair as an extra, annotators put in a profanity-laced rant in the vein of the Angry Video Game Nerd.
    RunningGag/Web OriginalChuggaaconroy

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