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Characters / Running Man

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The list of all Running Man cast members through the nearly 500 episodes of the series. Visit this Trope page for the Animation of the show.

Active Members

     Yoo Jae-Suk 
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "The one who controls space!", which Jae Suk says it is very embarrassing to say it out loud.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Yoo-mes Bond, Yoo-ruce Willis, Grasshopper.
  • The Leader: Ends up as this for the main cast most frequently. He's the one who usually speaks for the cast when they bargain or argue with the crew and producers about something. He also tends to be the one to host during introductions or closings of episodes, as well as be the one who conducts brief interviews with guests on the show. (He isn't nicknamed "The Nation's MC" for nothing.)
  • Leitmotif: "Step by Step" by New Kids on the Block. "Extreme Ways" by Moby if it's a Yoo-mes Bond-themed episode, or his Yoo-ruce Willis tendencies.
  • Small Name, Big Ego : Jae Suk always boasted he has the experience of doing something unusual but in reality, that only bite him in the ass when he failed to do it.
  • Tempting Fate: It also involves his misfortune :
    • In Episode 356 during his birthday even... LET'S GET IT!! catchphrase.
    • In Episode 372, in the beginning of the episode, Jae Suk joked that Kwang Soo should take the penalty by himself which Kwang Soo tells him he's going to be picked as his partner for the penalty. Jae Suk disagreed since this is Kwang Soo they're talking about. No second guesses who get picked.

     Ha Dong-hoon a.k.a Ha Ha  
  • Casanova Wannabe: Up until episode 123, he would frequently greet female guests with "Be my last love!" This ended when he got married to Byul (to whom he proposed with that same line).
  • In-Universe Nickname: Haroro, Playboy Haha (before he was married).
  • Leitmotif: The Pororo theme song. Lutricia McNeal's "Perfect Love" was his theme song before he get married.

     Ji Suk-Jin  
  • Acting Unnatural: Others are quick to catch onto him whenever he is tasked with accomplishing some hidden mission.
  • Attention Whore: Frequently accused of seeking screen time whenever he does or says something weird apparently for the sake of it.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: In episode the detective episode he had 2 of last survivors pinned by his bodyguards. One of the survivor offers a ceasefire while Suk Jin still holding to another survivor, agree. After making it clear that the bodyguards cannot elimiate them, one of them disable both bodyguards and the other one overpower and eliminate him
  • The Chew Toy: He's nicknamed 'Race Starter' since in most of the Elimination Tag Races he's always the first person to be eliminated.
  • Catchphrase: To Gwang Soo "Feel! Chok! Cross!"
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: Well, video, but from Episode 8, "I Swear..."
  • Genre Savvy: Due to being the 'Race Starter', he uses this as his advantage in Episode 79 when he's the spy by pretending to have been eliminated. It worked out well since no one was surprised at him being 'eliminated' even when there was no PA announcement of his elimination.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Big Nose, Impala, Race Starter.
  • Leitmotif: "The House You Live In" by JYP
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Makes a nod to this in one episode where he thinks he forgot his backpack while his team was boarding a van until Ji Hyo pointed out he was wearing it. He later relays a story where he and his wife forgot their infant son at a friend's party.

     Kim Jong-Kook  
  • The Ace: A.k.a Sparta. Although this much annoys most of the cast members.
  • Battle Aura: Digitally added in post-production, but the others usually know it's about to get real from his facial expressions.
  • Burning with Anger: Shown every time he gets angry (usually from Kwang Soo's antics) and gets serious.
  • Dumb Muscle: Averted. He may not be the smartest cast member, but he's definitely better than most of them.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Averted. He embraced the "Kookie" nickname to the point where the staff were embarrassed by it.
  • Feel No Pain: He'll keep a straight face and soldier on even in the face of injuries which would cause the other cast members to wince.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Sparta-kook (or just SPARTA), Commander, Kookie, Mr. Capable.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kim Jong Kook's TV persona may seem rough around the edges, but he's actually very sweet and well-mannered in person. He also has certain moments in episodes that show he does care about his cast-mates and friends, particularly in the later episodes.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Women, especially Yoon Eun Hye.
  • Leitmotif: "What We Need is a Hero" from the Beowulf (2007) OST.
  • Motor Mouth: If you're in a car ride with him, expect him to talk about various things for hours ON END. Guests Kim Min Seo and Seo Woo found this out the hard way; the latter even nearly felt like sleeping because he was talking so much.

     Lee Kwang-Soo  
  • Big "NO!": "ANDWAEEEE!!"
  • Born Unlucky: A whole lot until it cements the nicknamed 'Icon of Misfortune'. See Butt-Monkey.
  • Butt-Monkey: Nearly every episode something comically bad happens to him. Some of the notable mentions:
    • Episode 143, the raw egg incident. Each player takes turns choosing an egg and smashing it against their forehead; choose the one raw egg out of the batch (the rest are hard-boiled) and your team loses. Out of thirty total eggs in the first round, Lee Gwang Soo gets that one raw egg; the staff brings out a new batch of 20 eggs and Gwang Soo goes first... and immediately picks the raw egg again. Everyone cracks up in laughter or goes into shock from disbelief.
    • He lost in the final match during the Unluckiest Festival to Suk Jin, where being the unluckiest was the goal, rendering him unlucky in a meta sense.
    • In all three World Trip series, he's had to take all three penalty trips.
    • It even extends beyond the show's challenges - in Episode 352 as part of the group that went to Vladivostok he was the one most excited to meet the Russian captain's daughter and had been looking forward to a day out on the town, only to end up the Third Wheel to her and Kim Jong Kook because he couldn't converse in a foreign language (both she and KJK used English). The only time she paid attention to him on camera was right after he crashed his Segway.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: To the point that Kim Jong Kook thinks it's an actual disease. Jong Kook mentions that he has the 'Eliminate Jong Kook Syndrome' since it pleases him whenever Jong Kook's eliminated.
  • Easily Forgiven: Gwangsoo's betrayals. Lampshade himself in a recent episode, where he teaches another guest how to properly betray other people. Gwangsoo mentions that it's even fine to hit or kick Jong-Kook, as long as he makes sure to apologise later.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Betrayer Kwang-soo or Icon of Betrayal, Icon of Misfortune, Prince of Asia, Giraffe, Kwang-vatar, Framer Kwang-soo
  • Leitmotif: Most famously "St. Agnes and the Burning Train" by Sting for Lee Gwang Soo. He may also have "Theme of False Emperor" from the Sangokushi Taisen OST.

     Song Ji-Hyo  
  • The Ace: Gained it as a nickname due to her repeated success in accomplishing tasks against seemingly stacked odds.
  • Action Girl: Part of her popularity comes from the fact that she can hold her own against the guys and often show them up.
  • Berserk Button: Ji Hyo's weight; ask Myuk PD after he suffers her wrath. Also people pulling underhanded tactics on her to win, such as when she and Ha Ha had agreed to a timeout from a one-on-one nametag tearing duel to pick some stray hairs out from the velcro on her jacket only for him to sneak a grip onto her nametag.
  • Blank Stare: Occurs so frequently she even has a nickname for it: 'Blank~Ji Hyo'.
  • Born Lucky: To the point she was nicknamed the Goddess of Fortune.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Blank Ji, Ace, Monday Girlfriend (Part of the Monday Couple when she teams up with Gary), Goddess of Luck, Goddess of Sleep, Bad/Gangster Ji-hyo
  • Leitmotif: The Angry Birds theme song.
  • Sleepyhead: It's become a Running Gag for the camera to catch her asleep, usually while riding in a car between mission sites. Her ability to fall asleep even extends to the top of a giant Jenga tower with almost half of its pieces removed.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Small aquatic creatures like loaches, in her case. Especially if she has to stick her hand inside a covered container, in which case even things that just suggest it like pasta in water can freak her out.

     Jeon So-Min 
  • Acting Unnatural: The rest of the cast tends to pick up fast whenever So Min has a secret mission for an episode and she gets caught pretty easily.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: She has a tendency to say or do bizarre nonsense which leaves the others baffled.
  • Sixth Ranger: Along with Yang Se-Chan in Episode 348.
  • Troll:
    • One of the moments is during the Death Cage episode in Australia where she 'supports' the crocodile or even ask Kwang Soo for his PIN before he enters the Death Cage alone.
    • Yoo Jae Suk may have won the right to have his TV rating notice idea done in Episode 381 and make the others dress in ridiculous costumes, but So Min the Parrot got the last shot in the actual notice by tossing in a "Yoo Jae Suk is an idiot!"

     Yang Se-Chan 
  • Gonk: His looks are a frequent subject of (good-natured, of course) mocking. When the staff made a montage of faces that digitally combined the guys and girls, all of those involving Se Chan were pointed out right away (mainly due to his teeth).
  • Sixth Ranger: Along with Jeon So-Min in Episode 348.
  • Sycophantic Servant: Played for Laughs. Whenever it comes time for the cast to pick teams, Se-Chan tends to gravitate towards Kim Jong-Kook and proclaim loudly how close friends they are. It's mainly a self-preservation tactic as in Episode 392 he taunts the others on his team (including Kim Jong-Kook) over winning the exemption from that episode's penalty until KJK noted that they'll be back together next week, whereupon Se-Chan runs right back to Jong-Kook's side and proclaims that they're all a family.

Inactive Members

  • Berserk Button: Calling him ugly or a squid. Usually Haha's the one to joke about it.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Any moment where he is nicknamed 'Sudden Commander' or 'Random Mr. Capable'.
    • He manages to hit all 5 tomatos with just a Nunchuku in Episode 28
    • He manages to count all the bills in a stack correctly in every round even with the distractions in Episode 33
    • He wins the first two Best of the Best Match episode.
    • He manage to withstand the pain and agony of eating a vegetable porridge which was mixed with spicy chilies in Episode 124.
  • Feel No Pain: When they use chopsticks to hit themselves on the forehead in Episode 8. Even Jong Kook can't hide the pain of that hit.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Sudden Commander, Random Mr. Capable, Monday Boyfriend (Part of the Monday Couple when he teams up with Ji Hyo), Peaceful Gary

     Song Joong-ki  

Appearance: Episode 13,14 & 292 (guest), 18 -25 (regular)
  • We Hardly Knew Ye She only appears in a couple of episode and left Running Man due to rumors of her conflict in schedule.


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