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"The Gang" is a hypothetical Black Comedy American sitcom series that would probably air on IFC if it were real.

Presented in a standard 30-minute episode format, the show follows a group of middle-school friends as they go through the everyday struggles of adolescence and academia. As the show progresses, we see them advance into high school and later college.

The Gang would hypothetically provide examples of:


  • Atomic F-Bomb: Used without prejudice by nearly every character, though Ethan's half-sarcastic uttering of the word is perhaps the most notable recurring example.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Many.
    • Conor has 4, though they vary greatly in how annoying he finds them.
    • Joey has Paul, who is arguably a very, very exaggerated version of his older brother.
    • Jason has Kenny, who is a Foil for his elder sibling.
    • Ferris usually considers Ryan this.
    • Mike has a younger sister whom he finds annoying.
  • Black and Nerdy: Derwin, a recurring character who first appeared in season 4. He's generally very well-liked by the main cast, since he shares most of the same interests as them.
  • Character Development: Lots of it. Due to the show also being something of a Coming-of-Age Story, most, if not all of the characters undergo significant changes to their personality and morals. Examples include...
    • Jwong goes from a sheltered Child Prodigy to one of the more deviant characters. Though he remains one of the most intelligent characters, he does attend community college (though it is implied that this wasn't his choice).
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    • Jason starts out as an MSNBC Conservative who is a bit too overzealous about everything, as well as being selfish at times. Flash forward to now, where he's become very left-leaning, far more reserved, and one of the most compassionate characters on the show.
    • Joey, while a bit more static than other characters, becomes much more self-aware as the series progresses, and, by extension, becomes kinder. That's not to say he wasn't a Nice Guy to begin with, though.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: "The Tattoo" revolves around the rest of the gang attempting to dissuade Ethan from getting one of these. He ends up getting the ink, but moves it to a more concealable location.
  • Ensemble Cast: There really isn't a main protagonist to the show. Conor, Ethan, Joey, and Jason, having been in the main cast from season 1 until present time, though, tend to get more focus than others.
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  • Everyone Meets Everyone: Subverted. While the characters do briefly meet in the pilot, most of them hardly interact at all at and split off into smaller groups.
  • Foil:
    • Joey and Jason. One is a hyper active borderline-genius with an affinity for off-color humor and YouTube Poop. The other is a mild-mannered (usually) social justice warrior who enjoys classical music and dense absurdist literature. Despite this, they're the best of friends. One of their teachers name-drops this trope when describing them in season 4.
  • Food End: How numerous episodes conclude.
    • Sometimes, this is subverted when the plot seems to be wrapping up, but an new plot development opens up while the gang is eating. One such example is season 8's "The Funeral."
    • In a comical twist on this, the gang usually ends up eating at a real-life fast food chain, often McDonald's or Dairy Queen.
  • Freudian Trio: Numerous examples depending on the group. Joey as The Kirk, Conor as The Spock, and Jason as The McCoy. Ryan as The Kirk, Ferris as The Spock, and Conor as The McCoy. Ethan as The Kirk, Adam as The Spock, and David as The McCoy.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode of the show is titled "The_________", with the blank always containing a single word....even if it doesn't exactly make sense.
    • Subverted by the very first episode: "This is Your Pilot Speaking."
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Played with quite a bit. Starting around season 7, some characters (namely Jason, Conor, and Ferris) start discussing the show "The Gang" as if it is a sitcom about their lives, sometimes going so far as to identify episode titles and summarize the episode. They seem to treat it like an elaborate joke, but it borders on No Fourth Wall.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: From season 1, the show introduces countless minor and background characters, almost all of whom are named. This continues to happen every season, without fail. Also, while most of them don't appear often, any of them are fair game to be referenced, so best keep a Universe Bible on your hands when watching.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Often invoked by Joey. He will regularly make racist, sexist, and other bigoted remarks ironically in hopes that his friends will get angry at him. Sometimes gets him into trouble when other people overhear.
  • Nice Guy: While they all have their flaws, each member of the gang is this to some degree. Ferris is perhaps the most straight-forward example, though Jason, David, and Conor often play this role as well.
  • Non Sequitur: An integral part of the show's humor. Spoken often by just about every one of the main characters. Most infamously, however, Joey (along with his brother Paul) are the main offenders.
    • Starting around season 8, Joey's constant use of these, along with everyone else's annoyance at it, becomes a Running Gag.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Averted. Much of the main cast, from season 7 onwards, have part-time jobs that frequently prevent them from being present in episodes. Ferris, Ryan, Adam, and Ethan are the most prominent examples of this.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: Averted, hopefully. Some fans were afraid that episodes that featured Jason's college life - ones that contained many new characters - were part of a backdoor pilot. Thankfully, this does not appear to be the case, and Jason still appears regularly with the rest of the cast.
  • Put on a Bus: Numerous examples.
    • Brayden, who was a recurring character since season 1 and a main cast member in seasons 4-5, moved out-of-state. He made surprise appearances in seasons 6 and 7, but has yet to come back since.
    • Davis, a main cast member in seasons 1-3, was downgraded to recurring in season 4. During that season, he moves away and is only occasionally mentioned. In season 7, The Bus Came Back and he made a cameo appearance. He has since made more occasional appearances.
    • Averted with David. He moves away in season 5, but it turns out that the distance wasn't much of an issue and he still pops up from time to time. In season 8, he moves back closer to everyone else.
    • Also averted with Joey and Jason. At the end of season 7, they both go off the different colleges. However, they both still regularly come back to town to hang with the other characters and other episodes also give us a look into their college lives.
  • Real Men Cook: David. Though he mostly ends up cooking ramen...
  • Red Oni,Blue Oni:Numerous examples depending on who is paired up. Joey's Red to Jason's Blue. Ryan's Red to Conor's Blue. Conor's Red to Ferris's Blue. Pradheep's Red to Sarah's Blue.
  • Reference Overdosed: Taken to the max. Because most of the main cast consists of unabashed pop-culture geeks, references are abound. Many of them are almost incomprehensibly obscure, especially when Joey starts to spout them off.
  • Revolving Door Casting: Since the characters are all teenagers (at least, until season 10), many characters move away, start attending different schools, or simply drift away without much explanation. Some characters, like David, still remain on the show despite this. not.
  • Road Trip Plot: "The Lake" from season 8 revolves around Jason taking David back home after Ethan bails on his promise to do so. Conor tags along, and the three spend most of the time ranting about Thomas the Tank Engine. Then there's the Boring Return Journey.
  • Running Gag: Too many to list.
    • Joey's non-sequiturs.
    • Ironic gay jokes at Ethan's expense. (He's not actually gay, and none of the main cast are homophobic. It Makes Sense in Context.)
    • Adam's enjoyment of Lolicon and Shotacon and the implications that come with it.
    • Jason saying "No!" in response to something absurd being said, as well as other characters imitating it.
    • Ryan somehow being involved in the 9/11 attacks.
    • Conor yelling at his immediate family, and the yelling that they do amongst one another.
    • Ethan's lame excuses.
    • Jokes about Ferris enjoying anilingus.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Mary/Sarah often.
  • What If?: The trope behind the "What If?" episodes that started in season 9. They are all non-canon looks into various bizarre adventures had by the main characters, often with fantastical, sci-fi, or supernatural circumstances. They are also preceded by their own title sequences.

Example of: