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Manga / Gintama

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"Why is the sea salty? Probably because you city folks use it as a toilet!"

In an Alternate Universe version of the Edo period, Japan was not visited by American flotillas and subtly encouraged to drop her tariffs and expand her international trade — but was visited by a race of space aliens known as the Amanto, who brought with them super-futuristic know-how and gadgets (resulting in things like mopeds, TVs and robots being invented earlier than usual), a ban on swords and the fall of the samurai caste as we know it. A resistance group known as the Joui set out and declared war on the Amanto to no avail, and the samurai were all but wiped from the map. Enter Gintoki Sakata, a former member of said resistance group, feared as the “White Yasha”; once an impressive swordsman, he dropped out because in the end, it really wasn't worth it to be fighting against a bunch of stupid foreigners in the first place.

Nowadays, Gintoki makes his living as a self-appointed freelancer, taking on any job he can for cash to pay his rent, but that doesn't seem to happen very often when there's sweets and Shonen Jump to be had. Joining him in his exploits are samurai-in-training Shinpachi Shimura, who winds up taking the brunt of much of the series' abuse and leads a pop idol fanclub; Kagura, a young alien girl who spends most of the time eating, beating someone up, or just generally being an idiot; and Sadaharu, Kagura's giant pet dog that gleefully chomps on everyone and anyone. A lot.

Gintama is the oft-anachronistic brainchild of Hideaki Sorachi, who had originally intended to create a manga inspired by an NHK drama about The Shinsengumi. However, despite the historical connotations that the Edo period brings, it's a Gag Series in one of its most warped states, filled with Shout Outs to everything under the sun (even fellow Shonen Jump series such as Bleach and One Piece are not immune to lampooning), over-the-top humour, ridiculous puns, sight gags and a liberal dash of action to top it all off. Stories tend to emphasize no such thing as black and white and how that plays into the Japanese concept of honor.

After the manga premiered in December 2003, a one-episode OVA was produced for JUMP Festa. A TV series produced by Sunrise made its debut in April 2006 and concluded in March 2010, followed by Yorinuki Gintama-san (literally "The Very Best of Gintama"), which was re-runs of old episodes remastered in HD with new opening and ending themes. Eventually the re-runs came to an end and, in April 2011, the series returned with Gintama' (note the dash). That show ran until March 2012, only to return in October of the same year as Gintama': Enchousen, which concluded in March 2013.

A third series, Gintama° (note the circle), was announced and began airing in April 2015. Unsurprisingly, Sunrise opted out of producing it, and were replaced by Bandai Namco's newly-formed animation branch, BNPictures. This series ended in March 2016, with the last episode teasing viewers with a screenshot from the next arc, implying another anime is already in the works. Indeed, a fourth series titled Gintama. (yes, period included) aired from January 9 - March 27 2017, with another series dedicated to reruns called Yorinuke Gintama airing the following week. A new series titled "Porori Arc" started airing in October 2017, this time covering the comedic and less plot-heavy chapters that were originally skipped in Gintama°'s run. The next big and final arc, "Silver Soul", was partly adapted and aired as split cours from January to October 2018; according to Gintoki in the final episode, this season was meant to be the anime finale but failed due to Sorachi needing more time to wrap things up in the manga at the time.

When the series concluded its run in Weekly Shonen Jump in September 2018, the characters announced (in series, in fact) that the final arc would be wrapping up in Shonen Jump GIGA. This ran in GIGA from December 2018 to February 2019 before moving to its own app, where it finally concluded in June 2019.

The series had two anime movie adaptations and one compilation movie series. The first movie is a retelling of the Benizakura arc, the second movie is an original story involving Gin jumping forward 5 years to a changed Edo, and the compilation movies recap the Shinsengumi Crisis and Four Devas arcs. Additionally, the series saw its first live-action adaptation film, Gintama (2017), which adapted the Benizakura arc. This was followed by a sequel the next year covering the Shinsengumi Crisis arc, and also saw two web series that aired alongside each movie (one adapting the Mitsuba arc, the other adapting several comedic stories). A third anime movie titled Gintama: The Final adapted the final chapters of the manga and acted as the finale of the franchise "for real this time," releasing on January 8, 2021.

For their 20th anniversary, an animation adaptation of the "Teach Me, Ginpachi Sensei!" light novels was annouced along side other news.

An English translation of the manga was published by Viz Media, but cancelled after Volume 23 due to low sales. The anime is licensed by Sentai Filmworks, who have so far released the first season on 4 DVD sets, as well as the movie adaptation of the Benizakura Arc on DVD and Blu-Ray. The releases are sub-only, though the movie came with an English dub and, according to The Other Wiki, Sentai was considering releasing more of the show depending on how well the movie does. Instead, Crunchyroll acquired the license and plans to release the entire series on Blu-ray and DVD with a complete English dub, startng with Season 3. The Latin American fans can rest easy too, since a dub of the whole series is planned for them as well.

    List of Licensed Games 
  • Gintama DS: Yorozuya Riot ( 銀魂でぃ〜えす・万事屋大騒動! Gintama Dīesu Yorozuya Daisōdō!) (2006)
  • Gintama: Gintoki vs. Hijikata!? The Kabuki District Silver Ball Competition!! ( 銀魂 銀時vs土方!? かぶき町銀玉大争奪戦!! Gintama Gintoki vs Hijikata!? Kabuki-cho Gitama Daisōdatsusen!!) (2006)
  • Gintama: With Gin-san! My Kabuki District Diary (銀魂 銀さんと一緒!ボクのかぶき町日記 Gintama Gin-san to Issho! Boku no Kabuki-chō Nikki) (2007)
  • Gintama: Yorozuya Tu~be! Tsukkomable Video (銀魂 万事屋ちゅ〜ぶ ツッコマブル動画 Gintama Yorozuya Chūbu Tsukkomaburu Dōga) (2007)
  • Gintama: Silver Ball Quest: Gin-san Changes His Job and Saves the World ( 銀魂 銀玉くえすと 銀さんが転職したり世界を救ったり Gintama Gintama Kuesuto Gin-san ga Tenshoku-shitari Sekai o Sukuttari) (2007)
  • Gintama Sugoroku ( 銀魂のすごろく Gintama no Sugoroku) (2013)
  • Gintama Rumble (2018) created by Bandai Namco Entertainment for the PlayStation 4 and Play Station Vita.

Other appearences include:

This series provides examples of:

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  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects:
    • The Kondo-shaped snot in episode 194 is done in CGI, making him stand out in a weird away.
    • The police car in episode 3 as well as the beetles in a later episode.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Gintoki's Lake Touya is absurdly sharp for a wooden sword, even able to cut through metal objects if he wants too. The Benizakura swords can cut through ships with ease, although it pretty much takes over it's host bodies over time.
  • Accidental Hero: Gintoki and Hattori save the town from an extremist Anti-Foreigner Faction trying to destroy the Terminal. They were actually fighting over a double-issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.
  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • There is Katsura's Catchphrase which is, "It's not Zura, it's Katsura." note  Turned out Gintoki was the one who named his as such as kids, and only because he was too lazy to add the "ka". The name's been stuck ever since, with many other people accidentally or intentionally using the nickname to address him and Gintoki seemingly forgotten Zura isn't his actual name.
    • Poor Prince Hata is constantly called Prince Idiot (Baka Ouji) by many people, including his own grandfather. Parodied in his TV interview where the interviewer has to correct himself after nearly calling him Prince Idiot, only to do the opposite later on when he starts to call him by his proper title but stops and then calls him Prince Idiot, much to Hata's chagrin. He eventually doesn't even bother with the "prince" bit and just calls him Idiot.
    • It is a running gag that Gintoki will be misnamed as Kintoki for whatever reason. This includes the ditzy Sakamoto calling him this when reuniting with him after 10 years (and never stops calling him it until a lot later), and an episode where Gintoki is trialing an RPG game but there's not enough character spaces for his name (ぎんとき) so the people shortened it to Kintoki (きんとき, without the dakuten/quotation mark).
    • When Gintoki has to pretend to be Okita's best friend in front of his sister Mitsuba, Gintoki fails to remember his first name (Sougo) correctly and calls him Souichiro. Played for Laughs when he later calls him Souichiro Yagami and Takeshi Kaga (the name of the actor of the aforementioned character in the live-action movie).
  • Action-Hogging Opening: Guilty of this when their action-packed openings are played during the non-serious/long arcs.
  • Action Insurance Gag: During the climactic battle in episode 17, Kondo breaks his sword and dramatically frets over the fact that he hasn't finished paying it off yet.
  • Actor Allusion: A few that often even crosses over No Fourth Wall territory.
    • One of the 3Z Ginpachi Sensei omake has a funny one, in which Tomokazu Sugita tells about how he got a call from his mother after the Stand Inn arc was aired, telling him he really should work on his singing.
    • In Episode 65, Okita says "Mind if I beat you? Can't hear your answer!" and his eyes flash purple.
    • Two involving Hasegawa's voice actor, Fumihiko Tachiki:
      • Episode 150 includes a frame-by-frame parody of a scene in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Hasegawa takes the place of Gendou Ikari, also voiced by Fumihiko Tachiki. He also, sometimes does some mannerisms as Gendou.
      • In Episode 122, before he's revealed, the Eyecatch has his silhouette shaped like Bleach's Kenpachi Zaraki.
    • Hijitaka says "LET'S PARTY!" in his introduction as hosts in the Takamagahara host club. The difference is, instead of a horse, Hijikata uses Kondo as his Harley Gorillason!
    • Upon Gedomaru's arrival in Episode 249, Gintoki yells "Saber!".
    • When Tsukuyo kicks Gintoki, Gintoki yells out "Kshatriya".
    • In Episode 258, after contemplating what to do after finding the shogun near dead, with Gratuitous English that ends with 'away' a lot of times, Gintoki resorts to something similar to the Joestar family secret technique, also with the same pose (in English), "RUN AWAAAYYYY."
    • In Episode 329, Shinpachi compares himself to Masaki Suda, the actor who plays him in the live-action adaptation. Gintoki and Kagura beat him up because of that.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The last few arcs of the anime suffered from this due to time and budget constraints. Especially in the latter half of the Silver Soul arc, where last minute character development for some important characters got cut out.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Several of the stories in the anime are lengthened compared to their manga counterparts.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Although mostly consistent (helped by two breaks), a few plotholes caused by the anime have occurred.
    • Ending 10 shows Kamui with black hair when he actually has orange hair like his sister and mother. When asked about this, Ginpachi-sensei... throws the letter in the bin.
    • The Beninzakura movie includes a flashback scene that strongly implies that Gintoki was taken in later by Shouyou after Takasugi and Katsura; however it's established later on that it was the other way around. Unsurprisingly, when the anime and manga make that establishment, Sorachi/Ginpachi-sensei lampshade the problem when they answered fanmail asking about it and promptly made up a deliberately nonsense explanation (which was that instead of introducing Gintoki to the class, Shouyou was actually just asking around for clean underwear for him and then told him to wipe his ass with the book).
  • Affably Evil: Kamui, who always have a smile in his face and will even joke around with his enemies before smashing their heads to the ground. An episode even has him messing around with a space pirate captain before sadistically betraying him for Takasugi's side.
  • Afraid of Doctors: An episode reveals that both Gintoki and Hijikata are afraid of the dentist despite being adults. The fact that they meet at a Depraved Dentist clinic didn't help.
  • After the End: Effectively. The setting is an epilogue to a great, big Shounen hero story where the protagonist now has to readjust after the war he and his friends fought ended in failure, leaving aliens to take over the world. Somewhat subverted, as it's not nearly the dystopian hellhole one might expect. Gintoki just has a tough time paying the bills.
    • Played straight on Silver Soul epilogue.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: The characters' lack of aging in the series is lampshaded at Kyuubei's birthday party. Some characters however do have their ages confirmed by Sorachi.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Hijikata pleads with the Yorozuya to protect the Shinsengumi when he knows Itou is up to something bad and he himself is possessed by an otaku spirit from his sword.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Some of the villains die not long after their tragic backstories are revealed, making their deaths more depressing than anything else. Said villains include Ito, Housen, Jiraiya, and Oboro.
  • Alien Invasion: In this world Japan was attacked by aliens, during Edo period, called "Amanto" ("Sky People"). The samurai of Japan join the battle against the aliens, but when the Shogun realizes the power of aliens, he betrays the samurai and surrenders to the aliens.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Even the aliens in the show, from the human-like Kagura to not-so-human-like Prince Hata, speak Japanese.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Mercilessly enforced. While there are bits of Ship Tease, Belligerent Sexual Tension and romance-like situations, that's all you'll get. All romance attempts are either met with the death of one of the lovers, utter disinterest or are strictly Played for Laughs with bits of slapstick abuse and stalker-ish courting.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Hyakka, Yoshiwara's law enforcement squad, which is led by Tsukuyo.
  • Amazon Chaser: Many men in the series find Tsukuyo even more attractive for being able to take action in a physical fight.
    • Umibozu had an... instinctive response to the woman who would become his wife. He was sure getting involved with her could kill him. So he chatted her up.
    • Kondou is not an open masochist like Sarutobi, but he pines after Otae, who beats the tar out of him several times a day.
    • It's up in the air if Tatsuma and Mutsu have romantic feelings for each other, but Tatsuma was persistently determined to have the pavement pounding Yato pirate queen girl at his side.
    • If Okita has a sweet spot for his rival Kagura, it's because she can fight him on an equal level without him needing to hold back, or fight alongside him without having to worry about her safety.
    • Shinpachi to a degree seems to appreciate strong girls, since he has a soft spot for his sister Otae.
    • Averted with Gintoki; every main and secondary woman in the series is an amazon and, respect and friendship aside, they freak him out more than anything else, which is why he's still single.
  • Amusing Injuries: Most characters suffer from this due to karma and bad luck. And most injuries are usually inflicted down there.
  • Anachronism Stew: Aliens (known as Amanto) forcibly open up Japan instead of Commodore Perry and crew, bringing all sorts of new-fangled technology to Edo (space travel, electric fans, bazookas, etc). And since Gintama is supposed to be a Gag Series, you get things like the main character being a big fan of Weekly Shonen Jump (most notably Bleach, since he uses a sword too, as well as manga set around the same time that Gintama is supposed to take place in), idol singers, and countless references to modern pop culture mixed in with more traditional fare, like The Shinsengumi, the Joi resistance, and the Oniwabanshu (though disbanded in the series). They even make reference to the very figures and countries that would have been involved in Japan's opening in some gags as if it still happened that way.
  • And the Adventure Continues:
    • Invoked by Katsura in the last Jump chapter, where he asks how the manga can possibly end in the middle of the final final battle. Gintoki spends the last page saying that the adventure indeed will continue... in Jump GIGA.
    • Played straight in the final chapter, where everyone gears up to continue their odd jobs activities.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: At the end of the Timeskip Arc, Shinpachi whacked everyone infected by warts to turn them back to normal and he discovered Hijikata was also affected as well. Knowing how the warts attract ambition, it gives him a lesson to not shirk off his Straight Man duties and vows to work harder. Gintoki arrives and whacks Shinpachi with a paper fan, telling him that he is also a wart affected by ambition much to former's dismay. After turning Shinpachi back to normal, Gintoki drops the Yamcha act to reveal that he wasn't affected at all and only blended in because everyone else changed so he went with the act until he knows what happened and why the warts didn't affect him as well.
  • Animal Motifs: Some characters do follow an animal motif:
  • Animated Actors: Some episodes and On the Next episode previews in the anime have the characters turn out to be this.
  • Animation Bump: The smoothness of the characters' movements will bump up more often than you would expect, this happens especially when there's a battle sequence.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Aliens have conquered samurai-age Japan and brought over many of their technological advancement. Most of the main cast sticks with katanas.
  • Arc Villain: Apart from the arcs where the main recurring villains are involved, most of the serious arcs and some of the not-so-serious have their own villain.
    • Fuyo: No. 502 aka Professor Ryuzan Hayashi.
    • Shinsengumi Rebellion: Kamotaro Ito.
    • Ryugujo: Otohime.
    • Yoshiwara: Hosen.
    • Red Spider: Jiraia.
    • Onmyoji: Doman.
    • Four Devas: Kada.
    • Renho: Dark Vader.
    • Kintama: Kintoki Sakata.
    • Courtesan of a Nation: Sadasada Tokugawa.
    • Shinigami: Yaemon Ikeda.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil:
    • Tokugawa Sadasada is this in spades. He kept a tight control over Edo for many years even after his supposed retirement, working to keep his empire alive for himself. He uses his nephew Shigeshige in order to do his bidding, has the Naraku on his side eliminating all the enemies trying to take him down and is the instigator of the Kansai Purge, and indirectly the reason of Yoshida Shouyo's death. Lastly, he forcibly parted Maizo and Suzuran and forced the former to serve him for decades, even knowing the promise they made to each other. It's easy to say that Takasugi killing him is very cathartic to watch.
    • Tokugawa Nobunobu follows the above in jerkassery as well. He became power mad after taking the title of Shogun, and flaunts his powers to his enemies with no regards to his allies. Which is why his retainers left him after a brief struggle with the main characters.
  • Art Evolution:
    • The anime shows a great improvement ever since its start. If the first episodes looked good enough in terms of animation and art by the time it was being aired in late 2000s, with the show's growing popularity and its later transition to an HD format, the animation of the later seasons improves a lot in quality and fluidity.
    • The manga itself, as well. Compare the 1st volume cover with the 43rd volume cover, that's quite a transition in only six years for Sorachi, who rants from time to time that he doesn't draw well.
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: Used in the latter part of the series to highlight important flashbacks, notably during Gintoki and Takasugi's fight, where their past was shown in letterbox.
  • Ass Shove:
    • Poor Hattori. The cherry on the top is that he suffers of hemorrhoids.
    • Adding to Kondo's often literal Butt-Monkey status, in the space of two episodes he gets a jackhammer and a pair of horns stuck down there.
    • Doman Shirino, from the Onmyoji Arc, has been a HUGE victim of this trope in the past by Seimei.
    • Tae at one point does it to both Shinpachi and Obi Hajime with a light- I mean beam saber.
    • Kusanagi really wanted a scabbard and Gintoki's ass was conveniently nearby.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Kyuubei, Gintoki, Kondo, Sougo, Sa-chan and Tsukuyo all turn into this as a result of having their sexes changed by the followers of Dekobokko. At the end of the arc, Kyuubei decides they're neither male or female.
  • Author Avatar:
    • In one episode, it is revealed that the enigmatic Elizabeth is merely the director wearing a weird costume.
    • Sorachi himself is portrayed as a gorilla in a t-shirt, whose only true dream is to become "a stack of waffles".

  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Many characters get into epic fights with their backs to each other.
    • Gintoki and Katsura against the Harusame in the Benizakura Arc is probably the best example in the series. It gets taken to another level in the Benizakura-hen movie.
    • Gintoki and Umibouzu against the huge alien monster attacking the Terminal.
    • Gintoki and Kyojiro in episode 108.
    • Gintoki and Hijikata again the criminals Hijikata's targeting in episode 166. WHILE HANDCUFFED!!! (Although there are a few people who thought that the fight itself would have been a Shout-Out to Double Arts if it continued).
    • Gintoki and Tsukuyo against Jiraia's Mooks in the Red Spider Arc.
    • In the Four Devas Arc we have Gintoki and Jirochou against Kada's Elite Mooks! It also counts as an Enemy Mine.
    • A short villainous example, Kamui and Takasugi against the people trying to execute Kamui during "Odd or Even".
    • Tsukuyo and Nobume against the Naraku in the Courtesan of a Nation Arc.
    • A case of back-to-back-to-back-to-back with the reunion between Gintoki, Katsura, Tatsuma, and Takasugi in Rakuyou.
    • Almost everyone in the Silver Soul Arc has one.
  • Back for the Finale: Almost every single named character who hadn't died yet comes back in time for the "Silver Soul" arc. Exceptions are to be had, but it's worth it to see characters who dropped off the face of the comic after years have passed.
  • Badass and Baby: Gintoki, the lazy but ultimately kind and strong protagonist, and Kanshichiro, the Doorstop Baby he finds and looks after.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Happens plenty of times across the series. You just never know when Sorachi will pull the wool over your eyes.
    • The conclusion of the Renho arc has Elizabeth leave the series with a tearful goodbye and some big character expansion. Then another Elizabeth comes near Katsura, and he reveals the one that left was just the temp that comes on Mondays. invokedNobody was amused.
    • Post "Silver Soul", Kondo talks about his retirement from the Shisengumi and his being a househusband for his new wife. In the same scene, Tae appears to be pregnant, eats the food Kondo serves her, and Shinpachi is (even more) used to his presence in their house. When Otose and Catherine believe that Tae and Kondo got hitched off screen, Shinpachi shows them the latter man's wedding photo... and he turns out not only to be politically married to the gorilla princess from way back, he also cooks for Tae to practice being a househusband for said princess, and as a result her swollen belly is just a full gut.
  • Bait-and-Switch Time Skip: Exaggerated with the aptly named "Time Skip" arc. What seemed to have been two years that passed while Shinpachi was away turned out to have only been two weeks, and everyone's strange behavior was the result of a parasite that eventually grows into a version of the host they fed off of.
  • Balanced Harem: Parodied in the Scandal arc. Gintoki gets drunk and apparently has a one-night stand with Otae, Kyuubei, Sacchan, Tsukuyo, Otose, and Hasegawa. He proceeds to try and take responsibility by taking them all to live under the same roof as him, but without any of them knowing Gintoki is seeing the others. Hilarity Ensues when Gintoki tries to hide the girls from each other while living at the same apartment building and taking them all out on dates at the same time. The truth was the five women were in cahoots the entire time just to try and teach Gintoki a lesson so he would finally quit drinking. He did sleep with Hasegawa, though.
  • Balloon Belly: Kagura gets a full, big belly in episode 74, episode 153 and the 14th ending.
  • Bash Brothers: Again, Gintoki and Katsura. Also, Shinpachi and Kagura.
  • Beach Episode: There's a couple of episodes of characters at the beach. Notably, majority of one arc (the Ryugujo arc) takes place at the beach/seashore.
  • Beautiful All Along: Played with. In the Love Choris arc, Gintoki uses all-out willpower to make Pinko look this way. Of course, the justification is that adults have to use their imagination to make their now-old-and-ugly partners look more attractive.
  • Bedmate Reveal:
  • Bee Afraid: Subverted in chapter 269 (ep 185 anime), when Gin is hired to exterminate a beehive... filled with alien half-man half-bee gangsters. He and Kagura accidentally destroy three hives within the chapter.
  • Belly Mouth: One member of Shinpachi's Otsuu fan club in an early episode is an Amanto that forms a mouth on its stomach and devours things when it gets excited.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension:
    • Sougo and Kagura. Both instantly tease and provoke each other whenever they meet. He's also been getting some tension with Nobume too since the Baragaki Arc, with the two constantly fighting each other but also holding some respect and concern for one another.
    • Between Gintoki and both Otae and Tsukuyo. Others often mistake Otae and Gintoki for a couple (Sarutobi comes to believe that she's keen on him), but they always correct the error; however, the tension is lampshaded in Episode 156 - the climax of which culminates in look-alikes for Otae and Gintoki starting a relationship to the frustration of a look-alike for Kondo. Tsukuyo, by contrast, likes Gintoki, but she waits for him to reciprocate; while he doesn't, he occasionally takes advantage of her and touches her boobs or her butt - when he does, it takes her a while to react, but, when she does, he knows she doesn't appreciate it.
  • BFS: The Benizakura swords can extend to cut a ship and grow taller than a human being. Hosen's umbrella also counts as this as it is taller than Hosen himself.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Gintoki gets to do this a lot (must be in the contract for a Shonen series' main protagonist). A candidate for his best one so far? Stabbing Jiraiya's hand while suddenly showing up from behind a tied-up Tsukuyo, then swatting him away.
    • Nearly everyone gets a scene at the start of the final arc, from recurring characters to one shot characters that disappeared after their introductions.
  • Bifauxnen: Mutsu, who's flat chested, and talks and dresses like a man. And there's Kyubei, who occasionally desires to be in touch with their femininity, but ultimately rejects being considered male or female.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Everything about JUMP, especially the immaturity of its comics, is constantly mocked. Gin is treated as a loser for reading it, all glimpses we see of comics within it are scribble-quality, and any member of the Shinsengumi who reads it must commit seppuku to atone. The anime adds many snipes at Sunrise (and in the third season, to BNP) to no one's surprise.
  • Blade Run: Gintoki jumps on the Benizakura sword in his third fight against Nizo.
  • Bland-Name Product: Bentendo (with the Owee), Zony, Bargain Dash...
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: What the series runs on, a fourth of the time.
  • Bookends: The first chapter's "lesson" is "Nobody with naturally wavy hair can be that bad of a guy". The last chapter has a similar title, except it's about how good of a guy Gintoki can't possibly be.
  • Bowdlerise: In the manga version of the mini arc where Shigeshige goes to a hostess club, Sacchan originally had a ball gag that she couldn't speak clearly from and a leather leotard. The anime replaced her gag with sticks up her nose, which evokes the same effect.
  • A Boy and His X:
    • Kagura and her uber-cute, head biting inugami, Sadaharu.
    • Katsura and his man-disguised-as-duck, Elizabeth.
    • Kyubei and their monkey, Jugem Jugem...
  • Boyfriend-Blocking Dad: Matsudaira and HOW. He repeatedly tries to assassinate his daughter's boyfriend. To a lesser extent, Kagura's dad, Umibouzu.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: It's revealed that Hijikata intentionally rejected Okita's sister Mitsuba in a rather cruel manner because the latter felt his life was not a safe life for her and he knew it was possible he could die at any time, so he'd rather let her life a happier life with someone else.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: If there is one that existed in the first place. Sometimes the characters themselves address the audience in comedic scenes. Possibly the most triumphant example of this trope: Otae jumped out of the TV to kill the author because she was pissed off that the gorilla was more popular with fans than her. The anime promptly gets screwed up and stopped airing altogether, until the studio staff rebuilt a robotic replacement of the author.
  • Breather Episode: Usually, there will be comedic chapters and mini arcs following the serious arcs, providing levity after the dour tones. The anime's "Porori Arc" serves as one for the anime as a whole, giving the team and the characters a whole season of comedic episodes (all of the comedic chapters they skipped) in between the heavy Rakuyo arc and the Series Fauxnale "Silver Soul" arc.
  • Brick Joke:
    • War-san and Ner-san in the first movie. They are first mentioned at the beginning where Kagura wonders if the Warner Bros are actual brothers - then they appear again right at the end when the entire cast (including those who didn't get to appear) are fighting over screentime, baffled that Gintama isn't as cool as they thought it'd be.
    • In episode 202, Kondo claims that eating Otae's omelette will allow him to forget everything bad that's happened. This is a call back to the Amnesia Arc a 150+ episodes ago where the exact thing happened to Kondo. It comes back again in episode 289, where it's shown that Otae's omelette has once again claimed another victim.
  • Bridal Carry: Gintoki carries Tsukuyo this way after freeing her from Jiraia's web, in the very ship-teasing Red Spider Arc.
  • Brown Note: In an episode when the cast are thinking of ways to change the show, Okita's idea is disturbing enough to be not shown on air. The following scenes has the characters being psychologically disturbed after being exposed to said idea.
  • Bug Catching: One story is dedicated to the Yorozuya going beetle-hunting (and clashing with the Shinsengumi, who are looking for the Shogun's pet golden beetle Rurimaru). For Kagura, it's to find a successor for her now crushed beetle Sadaharu No. 28 to use for beetle-fighting. For Gintoki, it's to get rich quick scheme.
  • Butt-Monkey: Take your pick...
    • Hasegawa Taizo A.K.A. Madao, short for maru de dame na ousan ("totally useless middle-aged man") - or whatever else you can string together with words starting with the syllables "ma", "da" and "o" - in Japanese) gets absolutely no respect at all.
    • Yamazaki falls victim to lots of punishment, especially from Hijikata.
    • Kondo, the butt gorilla, keeps getting beating after beating from Otae, in addition to whatever Matsudaira or karma has in store for him.
    • Zenzo takes plenty of abuse from Ayame or Gintoki, most of which literally aimed towards his butt—on top of his hemorrhoids—making him another literal instance of a butt monkey.
    • Prince Hata; you know he's going to get abused the moment you see him. Nothing good ever happens to him.
    • Shinpachi is the butt monkey for the Yorozuya trio, often having to put up with his companions' insults and laziness/retardation/plain old idiocy. The crossover episode in Sket Dance also had him being rejected by Himeko. However, he's also the Straight Man (Tsukkomi) or the mother of the crew, so he seems to be able to hold his own by yelling at Gintoki and Kagura whenever they do or say something inappropriate. Which is often.
    • Gintoki himself when none of the usuals are around.
    • Shigeshige is the heavyweight champion of this... getting painful levels of humiliation in mere panels/seconds after his appearance, but remains stoic even if he is crying inside.
    • Sakamoto is another one as well, whenever he appears you can expect that he will do something stupid and be beaten up by the scene's straight man (usually Gintoki or Mutsu.)
  • Cain and Abel: Siblings Kagura and Kamui are protagonist and antagonist for a good chunk of the series, though Kamui acts more indifferent. Kagura's still sore over the attempt to kill their dad and the abandonment, though.
  • Call-Back:
    • The speech Shinpachi gives that opens up the series, about how Edo used to be a land of samurai before the Amanto came, is referenced plenty of times throughout the series and even closes out the Rakuyo arc to prepare for the final battle.
    • The first segment of episode 164 revolves around Gintoki and the others trying to shut down a mysterious new Yorozuya that has come to town. In the end, three of the new Yorozuya's members turn out to be Kanemaru, Ikesawa and Furuhashi, three of Gintoki's former comrades from the original Yorozuya shown back in episode 138.
    • The phrase Gintoki introduces himself with in the narrative ("Gyaa gyaa gyaa gyaa. I can't hear with all of your squawking. What are you, in mating season?") is repeated by Future Shinpachi in the Be Forever Yorozuya movie, and again in the first chapter after the "Silver Soul" arc.
    • The "Shogun ka yo?!"/"It's the Shogun?!" running gag gets an Oh, Crap! call-back when Gaimon, one of the Iga ninja traitors, realized that the Shogun is still alive and disguised himself as one of the ninjas.
    • Gintoki's speech during the Darkest Hour of the Farewell Shinsengumi arc when Isaburou faked Kondo's death was used again by Kondo when Gintoki was losing hope during the penultimate battle in the Silver Soul arc.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Thanks to the Terminal is this an ordinary thing. Traveling to space is Gintama's version of traveling to Hawaii. Taken to the extremes in the apparent final arc where Gintoki and crew travel to space and back very often, so often that it's confusing.
  • Catchphrase: "Zura janai, Katsura da!" ("It's not Zura, it's Katsura"). Zura also means wig, which is played with occasionally.
  • Cat Girl
  • Cats Are Snarkers: During the Kabukicho Stray Cats Arc. Especially Gintoki as a cat.
  • Censored for Comedy: Censors for comedic effect are used all the damn time, such as the censoring of male genitalia and censoring of Otsuu's lyrics.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: Most of the time it's comedy and gag, with the occasional heart-warming or tear-jerking episode. Then it gets very serious over the course of a single arc before going right back to comedy and gag. Then the next serious arc comes around a while later, and rinse and repeat. The series then focuses mostly on the serious issues from the Shogun Assassination arc onward.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Gintoki is notably strong for a human, often fighting on par with Yato fighters (the inhumanly strong warrior alien race), though most of the human protagonists display similar qualities when the appropriate fight in the plot demands it.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Remember minor character Ana Ketsuno being married (who would) WAAAAAAAY back then? 150+ chapters later, not only does she gain an important role in the Onmyoji arc, her marriage becomes a major plot point in the arc.
    • Kagura befriends Princess Soyo, the Shogun's little sister, in chapter 23, from which point onwards she doesn't really appear again until 364 chapters later in the Courtesan of a Nation arc, where Soyo returns with their friendship being brought up again. It's what allows the Yorozuya and Tsukuyo to enter the Shogun's castle.
    • Prince Ba- Hata suddenly disappears after many episodes in, only to reappear again in the Silver Soul arc. He is instrumental in Elizabeth regaining her... his memories as prince Dragonia, which allows the humans to gain a powerful ally against the Altana Liberation Army.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • One of Katsuo's minions mentions very early on that Jirocho used to be in love with Otose. This becomes a very important plot point much later in the Four Devas Arc.
    • Shigeshige's resignment letter to his position as Shogun that he presented to the Tendoshu in the Courtesan of a Nation arc. It was initially "rejected" by them, but was conveniently brought up again in the Shogun Assassination arc when they found a better puppet to replace him as Shogun: Nobunobu.
    • Say, remember the priestess sisters Ane and Mone who were driven out of their shrine, which guarded the Dragon's Gate and which the Terminal was built on top of? Turns out it has an even bigger importance than just powering up the Terminal. The Dragon's Gate, also known as the Altana, is a power source found on several planets that the Tendoshu was formed to harness. Earth's Altana is particularly special, because it's the reason Utsuro is unable to die.
  • Christmas Episode: Two episodes of characters attempting to prove that they're the real Santa to achieve their own goals. The real Santa does show up in the series, but not in this arc.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander:
    • Katsura often sounds like he lives in his own world, sometimes narrating situations that doesn't match with his Imagine Spotting, or even disguising to trick the Shinsengumi.
    • And then there's Sakamoto, who even in the most serious situation, he often plays with it as a joke, laughing as a hyena. Thanks to that part of his loud personality, he is often punished by Mutsu.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: A lot of rotten things happen to the protagonists, but, far more often than not, it's Karma.
  • Comic Trio: The Yorozuya trio are the primary one of the series. But even at times, the Shinsengumi's main trio, Kondo, Okita and Hijikata, count as well.
  • Composite Character: Katsura becomes Japan's first Prime Minister in the epilogue, combining by proxy PM Hirobumi Ito and Katsura's historical counterpart Kogoro, all while he's doing a Donald Trump impression to boot.
  • Cosplay: Universally accompanied with a lampshaded Shout-Out, the protagonists occasionally dress in the uniforms of the characters of another manga (Dragon Ball Z and Saint Seiya, for example).
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Partially justified and mostly averted in fight scenes.
    • Experienced Protagonist Gintoki, Katsura and Takasugi are explicitly stated to be inhuman at fighting, Kagura, Kamui and Umiboozu is part of the Yato race and can hold their own against many enemies, and many of Gintoki's allies are not pushovers themselves. The Shinsengumi is pretty much your standard police force save for The Leader Kondo and TheAces Hijikata, Sougo and Shimaru. These characters this play this trope straight when they need to fight some goons before challenging a Big Bad; however, while all of them can fight against a crowd by themselves, they've aso shown to be overwhelmed if they are not able to escape or defeat the mooks before getting tired or help will arrive.
    • Averted when the Yato and Naraku enters the fray as the heroes facing them even in small numbers alone is pretty much a death sentence and many characters are only able to survive through sheer luck or by trickery, save for Umiboozu. And thanks to his previous injuries from the Rakuyo arc, even he has to struggle against the latter.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Many characters in the story are orphans. Gintoki, Shinpachi, Katsura, Sougo Okita, just to name a few. Justified because the backdrop of the story is a war in which humans lost to alien species.
  • Courtroom Episode: In one episode, Gintoki defends Madao against sexual harassment charges. It goes as well as you would expect it.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Gintoki and Shinpachi first meet Kagura when they run her over with their scooter just as she's running away from the criminal gang that had been using her. Thankfully, as a Yato, Kagura is tough enough to recover from that in a few minutes.
  • Creator Cameo: Sorachi appears in both anime and manga in the form of a gorilla, a humanoid Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal sporting a yellow t-shirt, he still is a manga-ka in this caricature of him and for some reason Gorilla Sorachi is always seen in trouble, lacking ideas for the manga he is working on. He also makes grunts as his gorilla avatar self in the post credit scene of GINTAMA THE FINAL Movie
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Many, many characters have this applied to them, most notably Katsura and Kondo.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: There's a good number of very one-sided fights throughout the series, showing how powerful the protagonists or antagonists are.
  • Damsel in Distress: Insignificant/one-off non-action girls sometimes need saving in the smaller stories. Some action girls like Kagura and Tsukuyo also get endangered and require help in some way, although it happens just as often to male characters too.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shinpachi most prominently but Gintoki and Kagura do so from time to time as well. But Okita is the biggest one as far, even more than Shinpachi.
  • Debut Queue: The first 30 or so episodes in the anime is used up to introduce a good chunk of the huge cast.
  • Dénouement: Enforced by Sorachi post- "Silver Soul" arc, as he deliberately tells the readers that he aims to resolve all remaining loose threads before the manga finally ends with his "Cleanup Project 2018".
  • Depraved Dentist: The dentist in episode 175 is this, complete with blood-spattered operating room, chairs with steel restraints and a chainsaw.
  • Died During Production: Parodied in-universe. During the Second Popularity Poll Arc, Otae, pissed off that a certain gorilla got a better ranking than her, breaks the fourth wall to kill Sorachi in the real world, and the quality of the art of the chapter (and its equivalent in the anime) gets worse until it fades. He sort of gets better in the next episode/chapter.
    Shinpachi: I guess Gorilla #15 was out of commission for a week!
  • Diet Episode: One episode features most of the major female characters having become obese within the same time period and enrolling into a fat camp. They all go back to normal at the end of the episode after eating laxative-laced chips.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Any member of the Shinsengumi who reads Shonen Jump or answers a mobile phone during meetings is obligated to kill himself.
  • Documentary Episode: A few episodes take this style. For example, one episode follows the Shinsengumi, and another episode has a reporter interview Katsura.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: While this trope is used many times throughout the series, the Amanto Sword Arc takes it to another level, by making one long joke that compares swords and sheaths to human sexual organs.
  • Doorstop Baby:
    • Kanshichiro, a baby who looks eerily to Gintoki (it's not his), who was abandoned by his mother to avoid trouble with her family. He even provides the page image!
    • Sadaharu, whose size would not exactly suggest it, is found by Kagura outside their home. He's turned out to have originally belonged to Ane and Mone who gave him up because they couldn't afford to keep both him and Komako.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Subverted AND played straight. While a huge chunk of the comedy is women beating the crap out of men, men are free to return the punches & fights as equals. Kamui has no problem with punching his little sister in the face at full force, because he knows she can take it & will return it. Likewise, Okita enjoys sparring with Kagura & Nobume & doesn't insult them by holding back. Gintoki is extremely harsh on his stalker, Sarutobi, but since she's a masochist, she enjoys it thoroughly. A woman will occasionally get accidentally punched or crushed with a heavy object.
  • Dramatic Irony: Often played in the serious arcs. For example, in the Shogun's Assassination arc, the name itself is dramatic irony. Sure, Shigeshige is shown at the start to be almost killed. Hattori sacrifices one of his friends to trick the enemies (and perhaps, even the entire nation) that the Shogun's dead... but it turns out to be a "shadow" double. And everything's looking alright... until Shigeshige is killed by a childhood friend/ally, who was used by the Naraku, at the end when he's already secured. To make things worse, he dies peacefully in Soyo's lap... while the Yorozuya is reading a letter of how good things have been going for them.
  • Dramatic Stutter: Characters often stutter when nervous, especially in comedic arcs.
  • Dualvertisement: THE FINAL had promotional images given out during the first few weeks of runtime, distributing character portraits...of the protagonist and Hashira of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. It actually serves as the setup for Gintoki's portrait—the fact that he actually has one among all the Demon Slayer cast, because Tomokazu Sugita voices him and the Stone Hashira Himejima. Gintoki even wears Himejima's outfit.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: Happens regularly especially with the Yorozuya who are usually only willing to help out if they get something in return.
  • Dynamic Entry:
    • Gintoki once greets a rapping Katsura by kicking him in the face out of annoyance.
    • Kagura and Gintoki does this when they had finally confronted Takasugi and Kamui.
  • Elite Mooks: Kada's Shinra soldiers and Oboro's Naraku certainly prove to be tougher challenges than the regular Mooks faced by the cast, though they still die by the droves. Interestingly, both groups are essentially ninjas in all but name. However, the true Elite Mooks of the series are the Yato of the Harusame's 7th Division, who are quite capable of taking on named characters in small numbers and prove a major challenge.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Usually happens to the Shinsengumi and the Yorozuya Trio when they have a common enemy to take down in the early episodes.
    • Gintoki and Jirocho team up with each other at the end of the Four Devas Arc to take on Kada and her Elite Mooks.
    • In a later manga arc, Katsura and Kondo have to team up with each other (as do Katsura's Joui fraction and Shinsengumi) to escape from prison and bring down Nobunobu's oppressive rule.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Oh man, too many times to count the main characters have tried to avoid making problems in situations only to make it a lot worse. The most prominent example probably has to be the Yorozuya's every encounter with the Shogun, where everything they do goes wrong in the worst possible way.
    • The Kintarou Arc, it's revealed alien parasite known as the "Planet Eater" Parasite x that possesses and destroy planets while leaving biting marks on it via possessing lifeforms. On its conquest to Earth 18 years ago, he arrogantly closes his eyes and randomly possesses a lifeform to destroy Earth... only to possess the dog that was near-death in mother's womb and stuck with the Old Man for 18 years before on the same deathbed as him much to his dismay. Its Good Counterpart, "Planet Pukers" known as Parasite Z, possess lifeforms and fight off X's hosts to save the planet while leaving its mark (which is actually vomit hence the name}. As they arrive to Earth, Z split up and possess the lifeforms to counter X with eyes half-open... all possessing cats much to their dismay.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Takasugi gives a fairly good idea of what Gintoki and Katsura could become if they ever decide to go on the Roaring Rampage of Revenge. At the same time, Jirocho seems to be essentially a much older and evil Gintoki, but is really not evil at all.
    • Itou as one for Hijikata, It's even acknowledged by everyone in the Shinsengumi that both are similar to each other. Only Itou just wants to take over the Shinsengumi and even teams up with Takasugi.
  • Evil Diva: Galaxy Kingdom Bitches 48. Not only the evil counterparts to sweet (if vulgar) Otsu, they represent every possible critisism of the idol industry: skimpy clothes, cherrypicking all the best singers, crushing less popular or grassroots acts, theming themselves around sex, doing lewd acts with the fans to get them to buy more tickets, being snide, power hungry witches behind the scenes, and hiring as many undesireable girls as possible in order to make the lead singer shine while lying to the others about it. Granted, they were all succubus-like aliens brainwashing their fans, but still.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Many antagonistic groups or people often face off against each other. This includes the Kiheitai versus the Tendoshu, a case of internal strife in the Harusame, and briefly Takasugi versus Kamui.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • Episode 138's ending replaces the current Yorozuya members with the old members introduced in the episode.
    • The 8th opening eventually adds Katsura, Takasugi and Sakamoto running alongside Gintoki in the sequence of him during the war.
    • In the Kintoki Arc, Kintoki replaces Gintoki in the opening and ending sequences. At the last episode of the arc, Gintoki replaces him and the some character interactions has been changed (such as Kagura and Shimpachi kicking him while hugging Kintoki in his version).
    • After he's formally introduced and is shown to be one of the villains, the 15th opening/second Gintama° opening shows Nobunobu's full face instead of the back of his head.
    • When the cast was gender bent in the Gender Bender arc, the ending shows them on their gender bent forms. The ones who didn't appear were given minor changes instead (such as Katsura and Sakamoto getting a hair bow)
    • The openings 16 and 17 have some very interesting changes happening. For the 17th opening, you can see a comparison here:
      • At the start of the Shogun Assassination Arc, the chorus of the 16th changes from a simple running montage of the Yorozuya Trio to some the main characters starting to fight enemies. The shogun walking to the light is also added in the end. The end scene has the sky turn orange and a subtitle is added to the logo.
      • The 17th opening keeps the chorus section of the last song, but now it has some character images overlay their scenes and blood spatters cover up the screen in random moments.
      • The version 2 shows some of Gintoki's fight scenes, Takasugi and Gintoki's encounters, and some scenes from the first movie, with the same effects as the first one.
      • The third one changes the whole opening again to show some scenes from the arc itself.
      • At the start of the FA arc, it keeps the same song but the entire opening has changed to a dark and gloomy atmosphere and shows the cast fighting the Naraku at the chorus part. Utsuro also makes his appearance here.
    • When the Shogun Assassination arc begins, the 25th ending/third Gintama° ending expands a few more scenes to help relate to the arc.
      • In the sequence of Gintoki facing all his important enemies, Shoyo is shown after Takasugi, which is a possible hint to 1) Gintoki being the one to kill Shouyou during the war in exchange for Katsura and Takasugi's lives, and/or 2) the next arc where he eventually fights Utsuro who is revealed to be Shouyou (sort of).
      • The Shogun is shown in the reflection of the third kunai along with Sarutobi and Hattori, hinting at the Oniwabanshuu's role in the assassination as well as his connection to them.
      • Kagura and Kamui nod their heads slightly with a look of determination and blood-lust respectively in their eyes, hinting at their upcoming fight.
    • The Gintama. opening adds in Takasugi running alongside the rest of the Joui Four from Episode 7 (episode 323) onwards, after Takasugi's woken up from his coma and has now joined in the fight.
      • Episode 6 (episode 322) also has a subtle one for comedic effect, in which Pakuyasa replaced Gintoki in the Joi War portion. Of course, it was returned to normal afterwards.
    • The opening of Gintama.: Silver Soul adds in a few more characters at the end of the character montage in the second half when said characters join in to help the Yorozuya fight (such as Jirocho, Chin Pirako, and the Ketsuno/Shikigami group). The Shinsengumi are also properly added in and shown coming to the Yorozuya's aid in the opening once they make their grand return in the arc.
    • Episode 6 of the second cour of the Silver Soul adaptation (episode 359) adds in Nobunobu in Shigeshige's scene in the opening after Nobunobu succumbs to his gun wounds and "joins" the past shoguns in the afterlife, including Shigeshige himself.
  • Excalibur in the Stone: Done in a roundabout way: Kusanagi, an Excaliburian Amanto, lodges himself in a tough place and won't budge until he finds his old scabbard again. Unfortunately, that tough place happens to be Gintoki's ass.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Kyubei and Takasugi both wear eyepatches due to losing their eyes in fights. Both look more bad-ass thanks to that.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Narrowly avoided by Kanshichiro's mum. "Do you know why you were born with two eyes? So that you can still live with one after this."
    • Later on, Gintoki stabs Hosen in his right eye with a pipe.
    • Takasugi had his eye stabbed during Shoyo's execution by Oboro. The last image he saw with his left eye? Gintoki crying when he performed the execution. Many years later, Takasugi returns the favor, and stabs Oboro's left eye as well.
  • The Faceless:
    • The face of Hatsu, Hasegawa Taizo's wife, is never shown, leaving her to be a mysterious character whose estrangement from her husband is the only thing we know.
    • Gintoki, Katsura, and Takasugi's teacher, Shoyo, is shown faceless until it's finally revealed the Courtesan of a Nation Arc in an important flashback Gintoki has of him.
  • Fake Memories: In the Kintama Arc, Kintoki (the evil robot counterpart of Gintoki) brainwashes almost everyone in Kabukicho and Yoshiwara with soundwaves to forget a certain main character named Gintoki Sakata. He replaces all mention and image of the silver-perm haired with his own golden-straight perm haired identity... to become the series' protagonist! Except that he can't replace the memories of the man himself, as well of those of Sadaharu and Tama, because the wave didn't work on animals or other robots.
  • Fake Arm Disarm: Several examples among the Yato: lampshaded by Abuto during the Shogun Assassination Arc when Momochi's puppet blows up while he's holding it, destroying his prosthetic arm ("What do all of you have against my left arm?!") and Umibozu loses his at the start of his fight with Utsuro during the Battle on Rakuyo Arc.
  • Fanservice Extra: While some of the fanservice in the show is provided by the characters, especially Sacchan, a lot of the fanservice comes from scantily clad extras, including dominatrixes in leather, poledancing strippers, and prostitutes wearing their kimonos off the shoulders.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Quite a few as most of the world outside Japan is mostly ignored. One is Prince Hata's kingdom, Okoku, which is a stereotypically European place complete with a castle.
  • Fat Camp: Most of the main female cast attends one during the Diet Episode. After the third timeskip arc, Otae is revealed to be teaching fat women the way of the sword (if you can call it that way)
  • Fate Worse than Death: An interesting contrast. Many antagonists in the more serious arcs pass away peacefully through the power of Flashback (ex. Hosen, Jiraia, Ito). On the other hand we have Kada who survives only to completely crack under incarceration.
  • Filler: There's actually very little anime-original filler, but they do occasionally pop up. The most commonly seen fillers are those involving the anime supposedly ending. There is even a scene of them explaining why fillers are made in anime shows.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Seriously, Hijikata, chill. Shonen manga is not worth committing seppuku over.
  • Fixing the Game: Gintama played with this trope by having a man gifted with the ability to see the flow of luck. Though as it turned out he lost that ability a few years back and has been cheating at games since then.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The entire Shinigami arc serves as this for a certain reveal. Word of God even acknowledges this- it was "something that had to happen for future reference".
    • The beginning of the Shogun Assassination arc with Shigeshige and Soyo foreshadows the end of the arc, only that the Shogun doesn't survive this time.
    • Yamazaki's past as a reformed punk gets foreshadowed ever since the Time Skip arc, where he is shown as a punk who doesn't receive orders from a nice Hijikata, in a Shinsengumi that gets corrupted by Okita. The Time Skip parasytes accomplished a deep inner wish from the victim (Kondo getting married to Tae, Kyuubei not being a man or a woman, Kagura getting beautiful and stronger) and it looks like it is also the case for Yamazaki, since he has been scared of his superiors' strength ever since he met them... enough to turn him from a punk into the regular person he is today.
    • Katsura and Shige Shige's conversation during the Confessional Arc takes an important turn much more later on:
    Shige Shige: The next time we meet, one of us will be dead, but-
    Katsura: -the one still alive will create the brand new world.
  • The Four Gods: The Four Heavenly Emperors of Kabukicho which rule over the district and shouldn't be confused with the Four Heavenly Emperors of the Yagyu Clan. The latter would probably be more fearsome if they weren't named after the main four romantic interests of Strawberry 100%.
  • Four Is Death: Chapter 444 features Madao attempting suicide and two assassins trying to stop him from killing himself while killing each other.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: Usually run by Ginpachi-sensei (based on letters Sorachi gets from fans), and answered in character with no regard for the fourth wall.
    • Notably someone asks at the end of episode 146 why Kagura's brother was animated as having black hair prior to his first proper appearance in the anime. Had they perhaps imagined it? Gin answers that they didn't imagine it.
    • After episode 306, a particularly heart-wrenching episode, Ginpachi-sensei comments on the fact that doing the quirky Fourth-Wall Mail Slot is very inappropriate, but they're doing it anyway. And then turn a heartfelt flashback into a poop joke.
    Yeah, we're actually doing Ginpachi-sensei here.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: A Shinsengumi crime simulation came up with a retelling of Momotaro turned murder mystery. While initially the cops got into an argument over who killed whonote , they eventually find out that the group was killed almost immediately after meeting the head oni of Onigashima, were subsequently eaten and vomited, and their corpses were sent floating down the river.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip:
    • Gintoki and Sadaharu switch bodies at one point in the anime with no explanation. Hilarity Ensues, including Sadaharu taking a dump in Gintoki's body which Kagura and Shinpachi (who are unaware) judge the crap out of. He and Shimpachi's glasses exchange souls at the end.
    • An entire arc based around soul-switching happens with Gintoki and Hijikata after they get hit simultaneously by a truck... which just gets worse and worse as more characters got involved.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During Yamazaki's "Tama-san" (たまさん) rampage in one of his entries in his observation diary of the Yorozuya, tamakin (たまきん, testicles) can also be seen mixed in there.
  • Freud Was Right: When someone brings up the "Neo Armstrong Cyclone Jet Armstong Cannon" during the snow sculpture contest, Shinpachi always remarks the obvious joke around it, when everyone else ignores it and treats it as a real weapon.
  • Funbag Airbag: Tsukuyo wants to prove to Gintoki that she's abandoned her identity as a woman by letting him touch her breasts. Gintoki would have none of it EXCEPT he saw a spider. He then falls headfirst on to Tsukuyo's breasts (and, for the hell of it, gropes them anyways), who unfortunately does not want it and does a frickin' SUPLEX on Gintoki, crashing him through the door of the druggies hideout.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral":
    • Episode 231 has the Yorozuya and the main Shinsegumi trio attending a funeral for the owner of a restaurant Gintoki and Hijikata were regulars at, which the foreword states will be a solemn, dignified affair. It goes well up until Kagura gets involved, then takes a nosedive from there after she completely messes up at paying her respects properly, which provokes the owner's ghost into trying to ensure the processions go smoothly by force. It ends up having the opposite effect due to how horrified Gintoki and Hijikata are of him (made worse by the fact that only they can see him), which leads to them making even more mistakes, wrecking his coffin and launching his corpse into a delivery truck among other things.
    • A later story arc has everyone attending a funeral for a not-quite dead Kagura, which after a series of mishaps, leads to them all thinking that the proper way to pay their respects is to crush the coffin with a giant boulder...
  • Gag Dub: In-universe, a few characters attempt to dub over other characters during the meta/fourth-wall-breaking episodes:
    • Prince Hata does this in Episode 75, when he dubs Takasugi, much to Shinpachi's dismay and Gintoki and Kagura's hilarity; he gets kicked out of the apartment by an enraged Shinpachi.
    • The Yorozuya does it again by Kagura doing Catherine, Shinpachi doing Yamazaki of all people, and Gintoki dubbing Matsudaira; it really helps that Gintoki's seiyuu is a fan of Norio Wakamoto from youth.
    • Episode 176 Prince Hata comes back for a gag dub up to eleven, by dubbing the entire recap of top ten epic lines throughout the series.
  • Gag Series: The series is one big walking fourth-wall-breaking, parodying and absolutely nonsensical anime/manga. Usually.
  • Gainax Ending: Several fake nonsensical endings for the anime are once discused. The premise of episode 150 was that the show was abruptly ending due to lack of funds, so they threw together a final episode. Several versions of this "final episode" are shown. All of them start with a showdown between Gintoki and Takasugi and spiral downwards from there:
    • The supposed original ending was intentionally ambiguous, with no particular conclusion of the big showdown shown. Instead, Shinpachi is off to a journey, bids farewell to the gang, and gets some final words from Gintoki... that are unfortunately lost thanks to Plot-Based Voice Cancellation, so all he hears is "You're a xxx!"
    • A parody of the original Gainax Ending, with a frame by frame recreation of the original Neon Genesis Evangelion ending.
    • Gintoki pitches a baseball at Fenway Park, Elizabeth becomes a robot and Shinpachi dies.
    • The final one pitched — Shinpachi is a Magical Girl and turns everything (including Takasugi) into a cutesey floral scene. But must go as it was his/her/their Magical Girl Queenliness Test to live on Earth which was supposedly a secret for actually being an amanto princess.
  • Gambit Roulette: All for a chance to become Nabe-Shogun. Ryuk even makes an appearance.
  • Gender Bender: As punishment for blurring gender roles, the followers of Dekobokko swap the sexes of the residents of Kabukicho and a number of people who are coincidentally in Kabukicho at the same time, such as Kyuubei, Tsukuyo, Sa-Chan and the Shinsengumi. The only ones unaffected are Shinpachi (his glasses only turned pink) and Tae (who was outside of Kabukicho when it happened). Kyuubei, who the arc focuses on due to their long-time struggles with their gender identity, stated that they think of themself as neither male or female at the end of it.
  • Genre-Busting: The series as a whole is a "sci-fi human drama historical comedy". According to Word of God, every individual chapter has its own genre.
  • Genre Roulette: Gintama cycles between being a gag manga, completely serious battle manga, and heartwarming slice-of-life (well, as close as it can get in Alternate Universe historical Edo, anyways). According the Word of God each chapter is its own genre.
  • Gentle Giant: Hedoro, whose terrifying appearance manages to create so much misunderstanding when all he wants is to befriend everyone.
  • Gentleman Thief: A minor character presented in chapter 135, named as Firefox Chogoro, who is suspected to have become a murderer after 10 years of being persued as a Phantom Thief.
  • Give Me Back My Wallet: It's a bad idea to steal Gintoki's wallet, and not just because it's empty, as Seita discovers when he too gets pick-pocketed. It ends up kick-starting the very serious Yoshiwara Arc.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: The good guys Hijikata, Hasegawa, Otose and Matsudaira smoke cigarettes, while antagonists Takasugi, Tsukuyo and Jirochou (although it's subverted with the latter two when they turn out to be good guys) each smoke a pipe (kiseru to be more specific). Averted with Terada Tatsugoro (Otose's husband who was a beloved policeman), who is shown to have owned and smoked from a pipe (which Jirochou now uses).
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Gintoki's pink strawberry boxers.
  • Gratuitous English: The series and its characters thrive on randomly inserted (and sometimes incorrect) English, especially Gintoki.
    Kagura: Health, health me!
    Gintoki: It's "help me", got it?
    Kagura: Shape, shape up now!
    Gintoki: It's "help me", got it?
    Kagura: Pulp, Pulp Fiction!
    Gintoki: It's "help me", got it?
    Shinpachi: Herpes, herpes me!
    Gintoki: ... It's "help me", got it?
  • Gratuitous Rap: Take your pick. The series is willing to throw in random raps for kicks.
    • At a hospital, Kagura raps before Shinpachi stops her. She grabs a skateboard out of nowhere and pummels Shinpachi's head.
    • While the trio organizes a group date for Kyuubei, Katsura (who denied the invite) is preparing a nationalist campaign... by practising a rap. It's ruined when Elizabeth uses her signs to "rap" along and a frustrated Gintoki kicks Katsura, asking why he even chose rap.
      It's not rap, it's Katsurap yo!
    • Hilariously used in the Baragaki Arc, when Tetsunosuke tries to be Pretty Fly for a White Guy and raps at random times. This includes a rap battle against Gintoki.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told:
    • In the second segment of episode 21, Gintoki essentially saves the world while looking for an electric fan. Even though the episode's Damsel in Distress autographed the fan, Shinpachi and Kagura still refused to believe him.
    • After the conclusion of the Silver Soul arc, Gintoki's role in it went unnoticed by the public, especially after he skipped town to break the Odd Jobs fellowship. The man who got all the credit ended up being Hasegawa, of all people, netting himself a cushy life as a war hero and a bit of a swelled head.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Joui War is often referenced during the course of the series and many notable characters took part in it, but only few flashbacks of the war are shown at best.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Gin's tama even fall off at one point. And then get individual names. And are then slammed repeatedly into each other. Hard. Also often evaporated or transformed into some random tool, which is lampshaded in the Sket Dance Crossover Special. Since his tama are named after Bossun/Yusuke and his Rival and twin brother Sasuke.
    • Lampshaded when during the arc inside Tama's body, it even gets pixelated! "Why is all the enemy fire concentrated there!?!"
  • Grub Tub: Happens in Chapter 322 Gintoki and Hasegawa want to enjoy their trip to the pool in their own ways, so Hasegawa goes Skinny Dipping and Gintoki fills the pool with strawberry milk. It makes just as much sense as described.
  • Hadaka Apron: Donned by the Goddess of Victory.
  • Hands Off My Fluffy!: Prince Hata and his pets, though they often end up attacking him as well.
  • Haunted Technology: The cursed Blu-Ray player. Who then becomes the cursed GPS system. She was meant to be a parody of The Ring... at first.
  • Healing Factor: Anyone from the Yato Clan has this. To illustrate, Kagura is able to recover from gunshot wounds over one night.
  • Heir to the Dojo: Subverted, in that while Shinpachi and Otae both inherited their dojo after their father's death, they're the farthest thing from rich you can think of (the dojo nearly becomes repossessed in one episode) and nobody really studies there, either. They finally start it up again in the Beam Saber Arc and Shinpachi is shown to still be teaching students in the Gender Bender Arc.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Subverted in episode 47, in which the Yorozuya are convinced Hedoro came to invade the earth:
      Gin (grabbing his bokuto): I'll keep him busy. You guys run in the meantime. [...] (lunging at Hedoro) Hedorooo! I'll never hand the Earth to you!!
      Shinpachi (running with Kagura): Gin-san, I'm so sorry! I'm just a wuss! All I think about is saving my ass by sacrificing yours-
      (later) Gin (running behind) : NOOOOOOOO!! (slaps Shinpachi and Kagura out of the way)
      Shinpachi: Gin-san? Weren't... Weren't you sacrificing your life to save the Earth?!
      Gin: My life comes before the Earth!!
    • Played straight with Tama at the end of her arc, though they manage to rebuild her.
  • Hidden Villain: While most of the arc is focused on Jirocho and Pirako, the real villain of the Four Devas Arc is Kada, who is also revealed to lead the 4th Division of the Harusame Pirates.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja:
    • Played straight with Sa-chan, who doesn't really bother hiding herself, and averted with Hattori who does his job properly such as hiding in the ceiling when helping a scammer "fulfill" wishes of his followers.
    • Parodied in one chapter when Katsura enlists the Yorozuya (plus Sacchan) to save Elizabeth, and they have to become ninja to do so. Sacchan demands that everyone wear different, highly visible costumes because she can't tell them apart otherwise. Gin ends up in a white ninja outfit, Kagura in red, Katsura in yellow, and Shinpachi in a cow print. Their attempts to use ninja camouflage fail about as miserably as one would expect.
  • High School AU: Class 3-Z Ginpachi-Sensei stars Gintoki as the titular Ginpachi-sensei, while many of the series' regulars are featured as his students (with few exceptions, such as Otose or Tsukuyo, as teachers in the same school). This AU turned out to be popular enough (as it's also the scenario often used as a Fourth-Wall Mail Slot segment in the anime) to have a Light Novel serial, and a spin-off based on Kamui and his "misadventures" in a Yato-oriented and destructive high school, called Be-Bop! Kamui-kun!.
  • Hikikomori: Your Brother is a Hikikomori! "Quit being a burden and go do volunteer work or something!"
    • In the Guardian Dog arc, the Yorozuya Trio is enlisted by a mob boss to convince his Hikikomori son out of the shed he's in. Turns out it's a cover up and the son committed suicide 5 years ago, the boss died later without knowing the truth.
  • Historical In-Joke: Tons - most of the main characters are based on real people, and thus a lot of the humour comes from what alleged heroes are generally like when they're not actively being heroic. Oh, and the thing about firing a laser cannon at the capital? Happened in real life, albeit with a regular cannon. Even the customer of the Week is often a comedic version of a historical figure.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: After a night of drunkenness in episode 239, Gintoki discovers he's slept with six women and... Hasegawa (Madao). It turns out to be one huge prank to get Gin to quit drinking. The twist at the end of episode 240 is that Hasegawa was the only one who wasn't in on it. Yes, Gintoki/Hasegawa may have actually taken place in canon.
  • Hot Springs Episode: A whole arc dedicated to it, the Hot Springs Arc (episodes 131-134).
  • Human Aliens: Many of the Amanto could easily pass off as humans due to their looks, such as the the Yato Clan. However, the Yato have some features that give away their real identity — they are weak against the sunlight, they are incredibly strong, and they can heal from any kind of wounds in a matter of hours.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Filled with all sorts of Japanese word puns, which makes translating the series a major headache.
  • Hypnosis-Proof Dogs: One arc features Kintoki, the robot version of the protagonist Gintoki, implanting in most of the cast Fake Memories that he has been the protagonist. Canis Major Sadaharu and Robot Girl Tama are the few ones immune to his hypnosis wave.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: "Having no money is like having a sinus infection. You just have to ignore it and not pick at it, and it’ll go away."
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The series' chapters are styled as "lessons", with each chapter title supposedly presenting some important life lesson. Due to the tone of the series, these "life lessons" tend to be rather wacky and nonsensical, or not even a life lesson at all as seen by the page quote. When some events have a serious tone, the episode naming changes to reflect those, as seen during the Shogun's Assassination arc.
  • Idiots Cannot Catch Colds: Defied during the episode where all the idiots get sick, leaving Shinpachi to take care of everyone.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: While the few named gunslingers in the series are expert marksmen, all the mooks with guns have adsurdly bad aim. Of particular note is the Kiheitai gunner during the Shinsengumi Rebellion arc firing upon Gintoki with a machine gun from a short distance and only hitting the ground around him.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • In episode 99, Gintoki and co. play a video game contest to win a parody of the Nintendo Wii. The final round is a Dragon Quest MMO parody in which Gintoki ends up using the village elder (and later the elder's corpse) as a weapon. Things get crazier when Okita and Kagura show up respectively wielding the King and the Demon King as weapons.
    • In episode 77, Kagura uses Okita as a weapon. And then took a picture of her victorious aftermath.
    • Katsura, when he's transformed into a cat, accidentally rips off Gintoki's tail (who has also been turned into a cat) and use it as a sword and later does the same with his own tail, in the Kabukicho Stray Cat Arc. In that same arc, Kondou (in his gorilla form) uses his schlong as a weapon.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura experience this trope in order to save Tama from the Tapir virus. How do they get shrunk? Gengai has his robot, Saburo, smash them over the head with a shrinking hammer.
  • In Medias Res: The anime starts out like this with a two-parter.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: Remember episode 13 where the Yorozuya is tasked to find a girl who ran away from home? Turns out she got addicted to a drug made by the Harusame, one of the largest space pirates in the galaxy. Gintoki and Katsura raid the base in order to save Shinpatchi and Kagura and in the process gives them a bad reputation against the group. The next episode reveals the Bafuku's involvement with the Harusame and how the pirates have the earth and Kabukicho in their sights thanks to the fallout. Their actions also allows Takasugi to set up a deal with them, and later establish an alliance with Kamui and the Bafuku. This also allow some villains connected to them to learn who they are in the future arcs, such as Hosen, the Tendoshuu, and the Naraku.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!:
    • "Mobile Suit Gintama" from the OVA. Needless to say, it doesn't last very long.
    • The first part of Episode 189. It's also a Shout-Out for the Mobile Suit Gundam series celebrating its 30th anniversary.
    • Episodes 233 and 234 feature the Renho (Elizabeth's race)'s trump card for invading Earth — the Gunsam. One of them even gets hijacked in classic Gundam fashion by a guy who have the same voice actor of Amuro Ray. Lampshaded by the characters, who note that they would have been sued if the show hadn't been animated by Sunrise.
    • The Renho arc also features Kaien, a Combining Mecha formed of the Kaientai fleet, used to defeat the Renho's mothership.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Hijikata is revealed to be still in love with Mitsuba despite having rejected her in the past and said girl now engaged — he explains it's because he wants her to be happy and he considers his work too dangerous for it to happen.
  • Is That Cute Kid Yours?: The baby Kanshichiro looks like Gintoki and everybody thinks he's his son.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Umibouzu, Hosen, Otose, Jirocho, Suzuran, Orohime and Maizo were all rather attractive in their youth.
  • Jerkass: Every character has their jerk moments, but Okita especially.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Whenever Takasugi or the Harusame Space Pirates shows up, things start getting serious.
  • Late to the Punchline: Inverted, as Katsura delivers the punchline an entire episode late!
    "So, in the end, you played with the Mega Drive, too?"
  • La Résistance: The Anti-Foreigner Faction during the Joi War. Katsura and his faction try to be one in the present, but they're hilariously inept. Takasugi revived his Kihetai army and was able to amass many followers, is more successful than Katsura. There are still many groups scattered in the present day as explained by Hijikata and Okita.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Directly addressed during the manga's end, where it proudly claims the comic had (amazingly) never actually gotten angry letters or sued by anyone they'd parodied.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The series offer quite a good spectrum of this. Kagura, Otae, Tama, Otose, Princess Soyo and Hinowa are the Light Feminine whereas Tsukuyo, Kada, Mutsu and Matako embody the Dark Feminine. (Kyuubei overall may be considered Dark Gender Neutral.) Straddling the line are Sacchan, Catherine and Pirako.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Occasionally subverted, and hung a lampshade on it at least once.
    • In one episode, Shinpachi is seen drying several different sets of Gin's outfit on a clothesline.
  • Literal Metaphor: The age old Visual Pun of a sword going into a scabbard as a metaphor for sex is referenced throughout the Scabbard arc, and is pretty much how Excaliburians do the nasty to boot.
  • Live-Action Adaptation:
    • Parodied in one episode of the anime, replacing Gintoki and Kagura with mannequins, while Shinpachi is replaced by a pair of real glasses. Instead of getting an "adaptation", the viewers are treated with a tour of what's inside the building of Sunrise.
    • After 13 years of serialization, a live-action adaptation of the series began in 2017, mostly as films. The adaptation is directed by Yuichi Fukuda (of The Hero Yoshihiko fame) and stars Shun Oguri as Gintoki.
  • Loss of Identity: Happens to Hijikata when he gets a cursed sword that warps his personality into a cowardly okatu.
  • Love Is in the Air: A whole arc deals with an incense that makes people fall in love with the first person they see after smelling it. In true Gintama fashion it becomes a giant mess and turns Yoshiwara into a pit of sexual deviants... and that's saying something.
  • Madonna-Whore Complex: Zig-zagged in Otsu's second major arc, where her reputation tanks after she's seen in a compromising situation with her producer. Compare that with the Controversy Proof Galaxy Kingdom Bitches 48, who wear their slutty moniker with pride. It gets thrown out the window when Otsu's new idol group tries to stoop down to their level in a meet-and-greet-off, but then that turns out to have been orchestrated by her backup to show her as purehearted and above that nonsense in the ways that they and GKB48 aren't.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Usually censored, but Kondo, Hasegawa and the Shogun seem to have a predilection for it. Probably because they are the Butt Monkeys.
  • Man Behind the Man: It's revealed very early into the series that the Tendoshu, a council formed by Amanto, control the actions of the Bakufu, while using the Shogun in turn as their puppet.
  • Medium Awareness: There are several instances. For example, in a manga chapter, Gin grabs a dialogue bubble and hits someone with it. They immediately wonder how that will be represented in the anime... when it finally was adapted, Gin decided to hit the character... with close-captioned subtitles.
  • Meido: How about a whole army of Killer Robomeidos?
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Zig-zagged. The Yoshiwara Arc shows females being killed and battled casually due to the presence of an Amazon Brigade, and the main girls regularly go out to lay their lives out on the line. That being said, girls usually have a higher survival rate than the guys outside of plot-important deaths.
  • Men Use Violence, Women Use Communication: Gender-inverted. Men always try to talk things out rationally before resorting to sword fights, women usually respond with immediate violence.
  • Miko: The two sisters Ane and Mone, although they mostly retain the title, but not the job.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Kyubei's grandfather Binbokusai, who happens to be a great swordsman despite his height, as well as Maizo and Suzuran. Not to mention Gintoki and almost everyone from the main cast when they got aged in the Ryugujo Arc.
  • Mood Whiplash: Played very straight. While this may be a parody series, you WILL find yourself crying or at least on the verge of tears just watching a few of those episodes. Or alternatively, because it's a parody series, you will find yourself bawling your eyes out only to watch the ending and be filled with the inexplicable urge to throttle Sunrise and Sorachi for trolling you all while laughing your guts out because the whiplash was so harsh it became hilarious.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Tsukuyo manages to convince her own Hyakka to rebel against Hosen with her after having earlier defected herself to help the Yorozuya reunite Seita with Hinowa.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: There's almost no man in this series who hasn't had his ass repeatedly kicked by a woman for anything from a minor infraction to actual combat. Kondou loses to Otae, Tatsuma loses to Mutsu, everyone but Okita & Kamui have lost to Kagura, Gintoki has lost to every woman except Sarutobi & Ana, & few men can match Nobume with a sword.
  • Mouth Full of Smokes: Played for Laughs by Hijikata when he realizes the lottery ticket he got given matches the winning number. Incredibly nervous about this realisation, he excuses himself out by 1) stuffing all of his cigarettes into his mouth, 2) lighting them while saying he's just run out, and 3) making a run for it as he claims he's going to go buy more. (Note that he just bought cigarettes earlier that day from the place he got the ticket, too.)
  • The Movie: Two movies so far. The first is a movie adaptation of the fan-favorite Benizakura Arc with the backing of Warner Bros.. It then got a second movie in Summer 2013 written by Sorachi himself.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Many of the male characters. Even with all of their... quirks. Special note goes to Gin - one year he has ranked 1 in a number of polls, including an anime husband and valentines poll.
    Gintoki: "I may not be popular in 2D but in 3D, Everybody WANTS ME!!!"
  • Ms. Fanservice: Strangely enough, of the female characters only Sa-chan really applies to this, but she really pushes the broadcasting regulations to their limits.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Plenty of the "battles" that occur outside of the more serious arcs. And sometimes they don't have to be battles.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: In Episode 111, Kagura receives an umbrella with a flower pattern from Gintoki. This is followed by a montage (with a nice melody) of Kagura strolling around the streets happily, the montage is repeated with slightly heavy rain with more rock added into the music. She still goes out with the umbrella even when there's a typhoon rampaging outside.
  • Musical Nod: Gintama.'s first ending theme, "SILVER", has a few bars of melody reminiscent of the eyecatches of the series.
  • Naginatas Are Feminine: Otae is set up to be a traditional Yamato Nadeshiko and has several of the feminine aspects, but as it turns out is also violent and a poor cook.
  • National Stereotypes: Gratuitously used.
  • Nerf Arm: Gin's wooden sword.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The in-magazine post chapter previews attracted some criticism in Japan because they were always made in the early stages of writing the chapter in question, meaning that the preview and the actual story always ended up completely different to the point of being funny. It was quite common to have a wacky-sounding preview like "Gin enters a marathon!" only for next week's story to be deadly serious. Very likely intentional, this being Gintama after all.
    • One of the chapter titles/episode titles alludes to misleading previews: "The Preview Section in JUMP is Always Unreliable".
    • Parodied in the Gintama: Shiroyasha Koutan special where a four-minute trailer of an epic-looking movie about the Joui War (which includes a fake scene of Takasugi losing his eye to an Amanto who supposedly killed Shouyou) is shown. Shinpachi marvels at how good it will be, only to be told that the movie is fake and is never going to happen.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Parodied. The main trio is suddenly brought into another dimension by a sage to learn new, secret techniques, but all of them believe that they're strong enough already and actively avoid learning anything.
  • No Ending: The ending of Part 2 of the "Silver Soul" anime adaptation invokes and lampshades this to absurd No Fourth Wall levels. It's made more ridiculous since it's in the middle of the climactic final arc of the series, and interrupting an important scene just to announce how short on time they are naturally pisses off the characters. Shinpachi and Gintoki have just reunited after having separated for two years, and Shinpachi is making a dramatic speech to the men targeting Gintoki... then Gintoki gives the shooting staff the okay to stop filming, and informs the confused characters (and the audience) how troubled the Gintama anime production has been ever since Gintama゜ began (thanks to Sorachi delaying the ending) and that the plan to wrap up the series in this supposed anime finale failed. The episode and season ends with Sorachi's letter, apologising and thanking the viewers, leaving the final arc unresolved and the situation ambiguous as to when (or if) the rest of the manga will be adapted.
  • No Fourth Wall: Present in the whole series. It's worth mentioning that the characters often badmouth and make fun of both the animation staff and Sunrise (and their successor, BN Pictures), the author himself, the companies involved with the DVD home releases (Aniplex) and the merchandise, such as videogames, their voice ators, etc.
    • The most known and big example is the Popularity Poll Arc. It starts with the announcement of the results of a fan poll to determine the most popular characters that people voted in the Weekly Shounen Jump magazine in 2009. The arc (spanning four chapters and three episodes) proper is entirely based on the results of this poll, with several characters depressed over having finished lower than expected while others gloat over their good showings. Also, every time anyone appears onscreen and on-panel, a number floats above their head reminding the viewer what place they got. And then shenanigans happen, from Otae CLIMBING OUT OF THE FRAME announcing she would kill the character who placed ahead of her (being the series creator), and people FIGHTING over their popularity, to form alliances with others to claim their places, etc.
    • The characters (mostly Shinpachi) often wonder if the constant parodies, references and such would serve a proper sue for them.
    • The first episode of Gintama° (episode 266) opens up with a press conference as Gintoki breaks down and apologizes for the show's "recent failures" (such as trolling the viewers two years ago about how Season 2 was supposed to be the last).
    • The first episode of Gintama. (episode 317) has the Yorozuya holding boxes full of their belongings as they "move back" to their nighttime slot (and then Kagura finds a headpiece from the "previous occupant" aka the protagonist of The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. which was indeed the anime that used that timeslot in the last anime season).
    • The second to last popularity poll of the manga has Shinpachi crying out of anticipation that he'll end the series with yet another eighth place position, only to be surprised that he was bumped up to seventh. The poll closes out with him wondering how to feel about it.
  • Nobody Poops:
    • Averted. Even the girls poop. Including male-turned females (see: genderbent!Kondo).
    • Parodied in a dialogue between Shinpachi and Kondo, when the latter tries to get Shinpachi to be realistic about his favourite idol only to then be hypocritical when Shinpachi asks about his sister. They reach the conclusion that Otsuu's poop comes out in the cute shape of an egg and Otae's farts come out as pink smoke.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Subverted heavily. Kagura's parents, Kondou's fixation on Otae, Okita doesn't even pay attention to women who can't match him in battle, Tatsuma was very adamant on getting Mutsu at his side, the potential spark between Gintoki & Tsukuyo, Isaburo admired that about Nobume, & the area of Edo is reknowned for its Dom Queens.
  • Nose Bleed:
    • Characters (typically males) often have nosebleeds, including IN A COURT OF LAW PEOPLE! Not to mention other places.
    • One unusual use was as a Red Right Hand in ch. 5 for eating Gintoki's chocolate.
  • Nose Nuggets: All over the place. Most notably, the episode about the snot dangling from Kondo's nose.
  • No Smoking: Averted (several characters are seen smoking regularly) and spoofed ("This isn't a cigarette, it's a lollipop!").
    • Played straight on the manga covers because the Shounen Jump editors wouldn't let Sorachi depict Hijikata and Matsudaira with cigarettes on the tankoubon covers.
    • Hijikata lampshades this during the No Smoking episode when he's forced to give up his cigarettes as part of the new smoking bans (and isn't coping very well).
  • Not So Above It All: Everybody that tries to act as a Straight Man at one point or another! This is especially true for Shinpachi, the series' foremost Straight Man.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word:
    • During the Hot Springs Arc— Don't say "spirits"! Those are Stands!
    • "You said it! You called them 'Zombrows'."
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Tendoshu, a council of twelve Amanto who are the true power behind the Bakufu. While introduced early on and are important to the backstory of the series, they only rarely appeared and didn't really become important to the story again until the Courtesan of a Nation Arc.
  • One Cast Member per Cover: Most of the volume covers feature a different cast member, although there's several volumes featuring multiple characters as the series goes on. Only the three members of the Yorozuya and Hijikata are on more than one cover by themselves.
  • Only Six Faces: It's noted and lampshaded early on when Ginpachi-sensei explains how to draw Shinpachi and Kagura... which is to draw an average face and then add glasses (Shinpachi) and to draw Shinpachi and then to remove the glasses and add buns (Kagura). However, it's not actually used. (although there is Art Evolution over the years).
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Played for laughs in the Benizakura arc, when Elizabeth actually talks to Shinpachi when the latter pushed the Rousing Speech a bit too far by punching Eli.
    • In the first epiosde of the Vacation Arc Gintoki lampshades it when Hijikata makes an out of character remark because of the situation's gravity (and absurdity).
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Happens to Kagura in episode 6 when she starts to drop the aru Verbal Tic, and Gintoki lampshades it.
    • Inverted which Shimaru, who gains a foreigner accent thanks to Kagura speaking through the microphone used to make him "communicate" with the other Shinsengumi members in his trial.
      Kondo: "What's with the "aru"? Why'd your speech suddenly get so stilted?"
  • Our Angels Are Different: The cursed Blu-Ray player, who is complete with a CD halo and one wing (she originally had six wings, but they were burnt off by her kotatsu).
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • Katsura's tales that have nothing to do with the plot of the chapter taking place. One example is in episode 110, Katsura was led into counting sheeps so he could fall asleep. On the 13th sheep, he began fantasizing an elaborate and sad tale in High School AU style for this 13th sheep for a full 4 minutes!
    • People mistaking Shinpachi's glasses for him.
    • The humour behind Kyuubei's pet monkey is its Overly Long Name, which gets repeated many times hence taking up a lot of unnecessary time/space. The anime even goes as far as to rewind through it at times.
    • The cursed Blu-Ray player and her kotatsu story. It goes from a gag where she's worried if she has turned her kotatsu off to a cliche domestic abuse story. Don't ask us how.
    • The Hard Boiled episode beats a dead horse with it's own leg, such as repeating the same stint in the first few minutes several times. Gintoki eventually gets sick of it and beats the policeman up, scolding him for taking up too much time of the anime.
  • Overly Long Name: Parodying the Jugemu folktale, Kyuubei can't pick a name for a monkey they're training (which eventually becomes their pet) and decides to use all the suggestions they're given. As a result, its name is "Jugem-Jugem Poop-Throwing Machine Shin-chan's Day Before Yesterday Underwear Shinpachi's Life Balmunk Fezarion Isaac Schneider One Thirds Pure Feeling Two Thirds Worried-Over-a-Hangnail Feeling Though Betrayal Knows My Name I Know The Unknown, The Cuttlefish Tastes Kind Of Different Than It Did Last Time Because It Was Caught Near The Pond And Served With Oil From A Hoofed Mammal, pepepepepepepepepepepep Bichiguso-maru".
  • Overused Running Gag: Gintoki and Kagura picking their noses is practically they're defining traits.
  • Padding: invoked There is an episode in the anime where characters talk about methods of padding when an anime Overtook the Manga. And they spend half the episode doing... well, exactly that.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: While, sometimes, the Yorozuya often recur to this to not rise more suspicion from the Shinsengumi in some of their activities, Katsura is the only one who manages to fool them, even if he is just using an afro wig.
  • Parasol of Pain: The weapon of choice for the Yato clan; features bulletproof fabric, integrated machinegun and, of course, sun protection. Thanks to the Yato's strength, these have a huge size variety: Kagura's is normal in size, but Hosen's is about the size of a car!
  • Parlor Games: In one episode, when the Yorozuya trio are playing hot potato with a time bomb, they suddenly begin playing shiritori.
  • Parody Names: Unfortunately, this is lost in translation, but this "Shinsengumi" is spelled with different characters from the real one. ("True selection corps" rather than "Newly selected corps".) More recognisably, many characters have the names of their real-life counterparts with a single kanji changed: e.g. Kondo Isao instead of Isami, Sakata Gintoki instead of Kintokinote , and Katsura Kotaro instead of Kogoro. A Ginpa-Sensei corner even had him complain about the letters he gets from concerned parents writing in about their kids taking the parody names as historic fact.
    • An interesting case that also includes Portmanteau Name: The ryuha (style) that Shinpachi and Tae inherited from their father is Tendo Mushin Ryu, which is a combination of two of the prominent ryuha used by the Shinsengumi: the historical Kondo's and Okita's sword style Tennen Rishin Ryu (in which both were entitled with the title of soke, or grand master. Hijikata also trained in the Shieikan Dojo but was never considered as a member of the ryu) and the historical Shinpachi's style, Shindo Munen Ryu (which also happened to be the style of choice of the historical Katsura, Ito Kashitaro, and Takasugi).
  • Parody Episode: So many damn times. Hell, there's even parody arcs.
  • Percussive Pickpocket: When Seita and Gintoki first meet, they unknowingly do this to each other.
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: In-universe, Shinpachi starts a fistfight against someonenote  who tells him that loving an Idol Singer is about as realistic as this trope.
  • Pixellation: Used frequently to the point of ridiculousness. Pixellated vomit tetris anyone?
    • Yo dawg, I heard you like pixellation. So we put Madao in a pixellated shit body vomiting pixellated vomit on pixellated crap so everyone can become pixellated shit.
    • And since you like pixellation that much, we will feature a guy who is always covered in pixellated vomit, so Sorachi doesn't have to draw his face.
  • Platonic Prostitution: Gintoki is manoeuvred into this situation with Tsukuyo at the end of the Red Spider Arc after being promised free drinks. Tsukuyo assumes that she's supposed to sleep with him in gratitude for him saving Yoshiwara, but Gintoki is appalled at the suggestion and instead gets her to sit down and drink with him. It would have been a nice, friendly evening after that had it not been discovered that Tsukuyo has an extremely low tolerance for alcohol.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: Parodied in the first attempt at an ending in episode 150.
  • Posthumous Character: Shoyo Yoshida, Gintoki's, Katsura's and Takasugi's teacher. There's also Zenzo's father and Otose's husband Tatsugoro.
  • Postmodernism: Let's see... Self-referential fiction? Check. A fiction which references other fiction? Check. A fiction which displays some awareness that it is a fiction? Check!
  • Prison Episode: All of the Joi leaders were sent to prison in one way or another.
    • A much lighter-hearted version happened to Katsura during Katsura Appreciation Month. 13th sheep anyone?
    • Gintoki later ends up in the same prison for two episodes.
    • Sakamoto is also imprisoned by Harusame pirates as revealed by Mutsu in flashbacks.
    • Takasugi also sent himself in a prison where he was able to gain followers to his Kihetai army.
  • Pun-Based Title: "Gintama" can either be read as "Silver Soul" or as "Silver Balls" (since the pronunciation is similar to "kintama", which means "golden balls" and "testicles").
  • Purely Aesthetic Era: In this series, Anachronism Stew is very much in play, making the use of technology, pop culture and whatnot in the supposedly Meiji era pretty hilarious and bizarre. It gets to a point where you start to wonder how Japan will ever make it to Modern history as we know it, considering the country basically got a head start against everybody else in the world. The Silver Soul arc answers that little problem by Gengai using a device against the invading ships that renders all tech, including all the great advances made on Earth, permanently useless... until the epilogue reveals Japan is doing just fine readjusting their tech after the war, even to the point of investing in (and bankrupting themselves) with cryptocurrency.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Only used twice so far in the series, with the Shinobi Five and the Yagyu Clan's Four Devas (Unrelated to the Kabukichou Four Devas).
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Yorozuya and the Shinsengumi. And if they ever stop fighting each other, watch out.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gintoki to Dark Vader.
    "You can have this empty shell. It'll be your coffin. Nobody will mourn you! Nobody will remember you! You're going to die an empty death on your empty planet!"
  • Recursive Canon: One of the anime's episodes features Gintoki reading and narrating Gintama manga. The exact same chapter.
  • Red Baron: Most of the big players of the show have earned a title:
    • Gintoki: "The White Demon"
    • Hijikata : "Demonic Vice-Commander"
    • Katsura: "Young Noble of Terror"
    • Tsukuyo: "Courtesan of Death"
    • Otose: "Empress of Kabuki District". Title goes to Otae afterward with consent from both Otose and Saigou.
    • Saigou: "White Loincloth Saigou" before he's a transversite: "Demon God Saigou"
    • Kada: "Peacock Princess"
    • Matako: "Red Bullet"
    • Sakamoto: "Loud Person". "The Dragon of Katsurahama" in the past.
  • Redemption Equals Death:Nobunobu
  • Red Light District: The main characters live in Kabukicho, which is considered one of the worst in Edo note . There's also the literally underground district Yoshiwaranote .
  • Reference Overdosed: Sorachi has claimed in the past that he tends to put lots of pop culture references in the series. His assistants may help, his editors... perhaps even Sunrise exaggerate them by a 300% in the anime.
  • Reincarnation:
    • A robotic case in the epilogue: Tamako, the android Gengai made following Tama's shutdown, is essentially the latter android's copy lacking most of her memories. If in the event the first Tama is fixed, she will serve as Tama's memories post Edo's restoration and will fuse with her. Ultimately, this turns out not to be the case and she is treated as her own separate entity, still activated after waking Tama up.
    • This happens to Utsuro after his defeat. Gintoki had a hunch that he will return and searched for any signs of him for 2 years. Turns out he was ejected in one of the Dragon's Gate entrances as a baby, where he rapidly grew up in a span of days.
    • In the epilogue, Takasugi is heavily implied to have been reborn following the Altana tower explosion, thanks to Shouyo's influence.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: In the final arc, the invading Altana Liberation Army are this and they thrash the city while trying to hunt do the Tendoshu as well as endangering the citizens. It took the Yorozuya's arrival for the citizens to stand up to them.
  • Rewatch Bonus: By the tail end of the series, the meat of Gintoki's past is revealed, after which multiple details either stand out much more or are completely recontextualized on a rewatch. Two particular examples which both involve Gintoki being forced to kill Shoyo to save his comrades are as follows:
    • In the Red Spider Arc, the shocked expression on Gintoki's face when Tsukuyo finished off her own master, a person that in Gintoki's own words she looked up to and wanted to be like. Initially, it may seem he's just surprised, but on a rewatch, one can only imagine the pain of the memories rushing back to him.
    • In the Four Devas Arc, Gintoki's sheer rage at Jirocho for seemingly killing Otose, who requested that the people of her bar and Odd Jobs be spared in exhcange for her life. A first-time viewer may think Otose is that precious to him, or that his rage may be due to losing something important again, but a re-watcher will see that the circumstances are nearly identical to Shoyo's death, and Gintoki was most likely re-living his traumatic experience.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Happens a lot at the end of an episode/arc to highlight the heartwarming aspect. Occasionally subverted for Gintama's trademark trolling.
  • Rogues Gallery: Okay, okay, we know, we know, it's not a superhero series. However, its hilariously absurd premise allows for a lot of the usual elements one expects of a superhero work (the hero uses insanely powerful abilities to defend his city from criminal elements and the occasional alien threat), so naturally Gintoki and company get to face several recurring antagonists of varying threat levels across the series, whether they be human or Amanto. Some, including Shinsuke Takasugi and the members of the Kiheitai (Bansai Kawakami, Matako Kijima, Henpeita Takechi, and Nizo Okada) prove to be quite dangerous, while others, such as Prince Hata and the Evil Organization, are either accidental threats or outright laughable depending on the episode's plot. Other adversaries include Zenzo Hattori, the Tendoshu, Oboro, Peacock Princess Kada, Kintoki Sakata, Utsuro, and the Harusame Space Pirates (which includes the likes of Abuto and Kagura's brother Kamui).
  • Rubber Orifice: Well-known chain-smoker Hijikata stuffs all of his cigarettes into his mouth at once and lights them.
  • Running Gag: Plenty of frequent gags. There tends to be at least one per character.
    • Gintoki trying to bribe people with 300 yen. There is also mistaking his name for Kintoki, mostly by Sakamoto.
    • Katsura calling Kagura "leader", from the curry ninja episode. Because leaders wear red.
    • Katsura's catchphrase, "I'm not Zura, I'm Katsura!"
    • Shinpachi's apparent existence being only his glasses.
    • Hijikata's love of mayonaise.
    • Kondo's a gorilla. And for that matter, Tae being a gorilla.
    • Yamazaki's anpan craze ("ANPAN! ANPAN! ANPAN!").
    • Characters panicking and looking for a Time Machine after running over someone.
    • Whenever the Shogun so much as gets near Gintoki, he's gonna end up injured, typically knocked out.
  • Sanity Ball: Just about everyone gets to be the tsukkomi/straight man. Yes, that includes the usual idiot Gintoki being the one to throw punchlines when with the likes of Katsura and Sakamoto, and The Ditz Kagura showing her distaste when characters react to her (fake) illness very inappropriately.
  • Sauna of Death: One of the most fangirl-approved moments in Gintoki and Hijikata's rivalry when they "battle" each other at the sauna while wearing ridiculously tiny Modesty Towels, determined to withstand the heat the longest.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: While Gintoki's recovering after the Benizakura Arc, Kagura tries reading Shonen Jump out loud to him, but she isn't all that good at it.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: ALWAYS follow garbage disposal regulation, or else a decapitated head will stare at you! (Apparently this tactic worked on Gin.)
  • Scary Black Man: The old Yorozuya members are all intimidating black foreigners, who are pretty much the counterparts of Kagura, Shinpachi and Sadaharu (Sadaharu's counterparts acts like a dog), and the way they're portrayed is very unflattering and caricatural.
  • Schizo Tech: Robots, laser cannons, and video games exist in what is otherwise Meiji-era Japan, leading to things like samurai fighting on spaceships, and bright Zeerusty towers literally next door to traditional Japanese houses. And even the robots come in "steam-powered tin can" and "ridiculously human" flavours, with nothing in between.
  • Scratchy-Voiced Senior: Otose is an old woman with a gravelly voice, which may be caused at least partly by her smoking.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • The author's commentaries in the compiled volumes are pretty much nothing but this, like a "how to draw" column that highlights his inability to draw more than one incredibly ordinary face, or saying that the unique aesthetic of the comic comes from the fact that it's "really poorly drawn". He also complains about his editor at every opportunity and at one point described working on a deadline as "walking a tightrope made of toilet paper across the Grand Canyon, and there's a monkey that looks like my editor peeing on the toilet paper".
    • The anime isn't better — they constantly talk about their poor rankings, lack of budget, and the production team.
    • The entire Gintaman arc is nothing but this, as Gin himself unknowingly points out to the Gintaman manga's editor:
      "You're a Gintaman fan? Reading a manga like this will stunt your growth."
  • Self-Serving Memory: Katsura and Hasegawa requires to this especially in the Zombrows mini-arc. Even lampshaded by Shinpachi pointing this in the manga panels.
  • Self-Parody:
    • In one chapter, Gin gets sick and Kagura decides to take over his identity until he gets better. The result is a highly exaggerated parody of the story's usual formula:
      Shinpachi: No, it's too soon for the cool, heartwarming speech! We're only two pages in!
    • Gintaman. The levity of the characters is almost entirely removed leaving something so gruff that's it's hard to take seriously. To say nothing of how Gintaman was influenced by Gintoki lecturing the author of the manga (a gorilla) on comedy and how to write a popular shounen manga.
  • Serial Escalation: This series attempts to find out just HOW FAR they can make parodies out of any series. Episode 150 takes this to the extremes though with the infamous Neon Genesis Evangelion episode 26 where they literally copied almost frame to frame with Shinji and Shinpachi. To drive the point home, Hasegawa is in the same position as where Gendo was and both have the same seiyuu.
  • Series Fauxnale:
    • Gintoki lampshades the second movie's ending in the opening for the third season. Because Be Forever Yorozuya - released between the second and third seasons - sold enough DVDs of the series to warrant another season in spite of the conclusion of the film, Gintoki apologizes in a press conference during the opening of the third season, citing his wonder that the DVDs had sold so well.
    • In retrospect, the Silver Soul arc is this. While it wraps up much of the plot and brings back everyone for a grand and epic final battle, nothing would be truly resolved until the Clean Up arc.
    • Chapter 698. Everyone is Back for the Finale, the Final Boss is clearly set, they even spent the previous chapter counting down to the end... Only to reveal that Gintama will continue to be published in Jump Giga.
  • Seppuku: Breaking any of the Shinsengumi's many rules is punishable by seppuku, which Hijikata ruthlessly enforces. (This is Truth in Television.)
  • Shady Scalper: When the characters line up in front of a store to buy the new Bentendo Owee, Catherine reveals that she doesn't care about video games; she just intends to buy the console to resell it at a higher price.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Gin and Zenzo have an epic battle for the last copy of that week's JUMP...only to realise that it's actually a different issue.
  • Share the Male Pain: Happens all the time whenever some unlucky fool get hit on his balls, usually Gintoki. The most memorable one is from the Onmyouji arc, where Gintoki's golden balls fly around the arena before being smashed by Gedomaru, complete with appropriate reactions from the audience.
  • Ship Tease: While All Love Is Unrequited seems to apply, Gintama still features a number of ships being teased.
    • Gintoki and Tsukuyo (who explicitly has the crush on the former) have had ongoing Ship Tease since Tsukuyo's introduction, most prominently in the Red Spider Arc which heavily teases the pairing. It even had Gintoki carrying Tsukuyo in his arms after freeing her from Jiraia's web. Amplified by the Love Incense arc which follows Tsukuyo's crush being further fuelled by the titular incense and Gintoki (also affected) also taking a liking to her... and his "harem".
    • Gintoki is teased with Otae at times, such as Otae lending him her umbrella in the Benizakura Arc.
    • Otae and Kyubei (who is in love with the former) are heavily teased such as in Gintama's openings and endings (which includes hand-holding) and the Dekoboko Arc where Tae's shown possible attraction to "Juubei" (Kyubei as a male).
    • The anime really likes to tease the Gintoki/Hijikata shippers, what with the fake DVD covers Gintoki presented and of course the anime original episode 166 where the two are chained together.
    • Katsura takes a liking to Ikumatsu, a widowed ramen shop owner who shelters him when he's injured and running from the Shinsengumi. Even Gintoki ships them in Ikumatsu's later focus arc. Unfortunately in the aforementioned arc, Katsura makes it clear that the two won't ever be a thing, Ikumatsu will never love anyone more than her deceased husband.
  • Shirtless Scene: The seventh ED is, shall we say... gratifying, to those who appreciate the show's aesthetically appealing male cast as they are shown shirtless. Unfortunately, among these characters is Prince Hata who is both shirtless and in a fudonshi.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Throughout the gag episodes, even the main characters seem to have the default reaction to flee before danger, leaving their comrades behind (often followed by a Taking You with Me moment). However, when there's a serious arc going on, that behaviour is forgotten and they strive to protect one another in battle.
  • Shout-Out: ...listing all of them would take up nearly three quarters of the article. So we have another page!
  • Shower Scene: One with Katsura in the MMORPG game arc. Unfortunately, at that time he was discussing how everyone urinates in the showers...
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: The series ping-pongs back and forth to both ends of the scale, often at the same time.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Several characters smoke to enhance their coolness factor: Hijikata, Tsukuyo, Otose, Hasegawa, Matsudaira, Jirocho, and Takasugi.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Averted. While the Yoroyuza Gin is a classic Two Guys and a Girl dynamic, there are plenty of supporting female characters who actively participate in the different story arcs of the series.
  • Something We Forgot: Yamazaki turned out to be this in the epilogue. After the last climactic battle, everyone left before they could confirm he wasn't actually killed by his injuries, nearly dying as a result.
  • Spiteful Spit: Gintama also done lots of it. Mostly Played for Laughs. Like, spit on people, items or hearing something they don't like.
  • Spoiler Opening: Gintama's just as guilty as any other shounen anime of spoiling or hinting at new characters and important developments in their openings and endings.
    • Kyubei is the only one wearing a Sarashi at the chest (rather than at the waist like Kondo does) in the seventh ending ("Signal") while several of the guys are featured shirtless. This hints at Kyubei actually being biologically female rather than male, which is unknown to most of the characters and supposedly viewers until a few episodes after the ending is first used.
    • Opening 18 (first opening of Gintama.) introduces a new character... who very much looks like Kagura, and the scene is followed by a distressed Kagura running. Ending 27 (first ending of Gintama.) then shows a family picture of this mysterious woman, Umibozu, and Kagura and Kamui as kids, which basically confirms she is Kagura's mother and hints that the family's background will be revealed. The captions shown during the preview of her meeting with Umibozu lampshades this.
  • Spoof Aesop: This goes hand in hand with Idiosyncratic Episode Naming; many episodes are named such things as "When you're tired, eat something sour!" or "A life without gambling is like sushi without wasabi."
  • Stalker with a Crush: Kondo and Ayame shamelessly stalk their respective crushes Tae and Gintoki, with the two frequently found in their homes without telling anyone.
  • Standard Evil Organization Squad: The Kihetai, lead by the Big Bad Takasugi, are space pirates and the antagonists for a good chunk of the series.
  • Strawberry Shorthand:
    • Gintoki insists the superiority of strawberry milk in his famous Rousing Speech.
      "Listen up! Let's say you drink too much strawberry milk, and have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. But it's cold outside your bed. You don't want to get up, but the urge to urinate is just too strong! You make up your mind to go! You run to the bathroom, stand in front of the toilet, and let loose! You think that all your life has led to this moment! But then you realize! It isn't the bathroom! You're still in bed! That feeling of lukewarm wetness spreads like wild fire! But you don't stop! You can't stop! That's what I'm talking about! That's the truth of the strawberry milk! DO YOU GET IT!?"
    • Just don't let Sadaharu eat strawberries combined with milk, just don't. According to Ane and Mone, the powers of an inugami are released by a crimson fruit and goat's blood... aka strawberry and milk. At that point, Kagura had been feeding Sadaharu strawberry milk, hence his sudden growth and awakening of his powers.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike:
    • Gintoki and Hijikata's similar minds are emphasised in the episode where they keep running into each other. "Huh? Essay prompt?" Made evident during the Chained Heat episode.
    • Kondo and Katsura are shown to think similarly whenever they meet in situations in which they do not know they should be enemies. They say the same things and get along very well.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • The 8th opening gets redone in one episode on Paint, due to Otae killing off Sorachi in the previous episode. A very, very crude version of the original opening ensues.
    • Episode 243's Chageth Note, especially the animated version. The art is okay (one Shachi takes over anyways) but the story is terribly cliched or nonsensical (at one point the Yorozuya's conversation appears in the story!).
  • Sunglasses at Night: Bansai and Hasegawa wear sunglasses all the time. Hasegawa once lampshades his need to wear his in one episode when other characters insist he'd find a job once he gets rid of them. He reluctantly stops wearing them and gets a job as a taxi driver right away... but then loses the job and is back to wearing sunglasses.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • For all that it's a gag-series that regularly breaks the fourth wall and plays a lot of its antics for comedy (when the arc isn't a more serious one, at least), the series actually had this happen at one point, but in a very unusual way. At one point, Gintoki and his allies face off against the Shinsengumi in a series of gaming challenges for a chance to win a highly-sought-after video-game console; one of the challenges sees Kondo and Katsura facing off in a dating simulator which proves to be rather difficult to win, since the in-game girl is...temperamental. The object of the challenge is to try and seduce the girl before the other player can do so, and Kondo attempts to accomplish this by using his cursor to click on the girl's boob at rapid-speed, which in effect has his game-avatar feeling her up...and because the contact is being done in a public place and without the girl's consent, his game-avatar ends up being arrested. Honestly, you'd think that Kondo, the Shinsengumi commander, would know not to do something that could result in prison time, either in a video-game or real life (then again, the fact that he's a Stalker with a Crush toward Shinpachi's sister Tae is always Played for Laughs).
    • While Sacchan's goofiness and lack of success as an assassin are generally Played for Laughs, these traits comes back to bite her in the Glasses arc. After she bungles several high profile assignments due to wearing glasses with the wrong prescription, her superiors decide that she's a liability (especially since she could be forced to give up sensitive information if she were ever captured) and try to have her killed.
  • Taking the Bullet:
    • Gintoki pushes Tsukuyo out of the way when Hosen throws three kunai at her, taking them in her place, but manages to survive.
    • Katsura took a shot for Kondo in the Farewell, Shinsengumi Arc.
    • Both Mutsu and Elizabeth take a shot to save Sakamoto and Katsura respectively in chapter 644.
    • Kamui takes one of Utsuro's attacks meant for Kagura in the Silver Soul arc, signifying how he's come to value them more.
  • Take That!:
    • The characters REALLY hate Yamcha (although it may be an Affectionate Parody, as the creator agreed with a fan letter that said "Namcha" is still a strong character, as he strives to do what's right even though he isn't as powerful as the others). For example in Episode 100 when Gintoki explains the JUMP system using Dragon Bozu characters:
      Gintoki: Well, it's something like this: He fights with his rival and wins. (writes one arrow from Yamcha to Tien) Then become friends without knowing it. (writes another arrow from Tien to Piccolo) And a new rival appears, and he fights and wins again. (writes another arrow from Piccolo to Vegeta) And made a new friend... Repeating this and dragging it on is the standard JUMP formula. (Circles all the characters except Yamcha)
      Konoshi: Oi! One persion is missing! Namcha?! Is that Namcha?!
      Gintoki: Well, that's what the rival part is all about. (crosses Yamcha out)
      Konoshi: Oi! Let him in! Let Namcha join in the JUMP system!
      Gintoki: The next thing is... Let's talk about the comedy part. (kicks the board down, directly where Yamcha was)
      Konoshi: NAMCHA!!
    • Episode 112 where Gintoki rants about when the next chapter of Hunger X Hunger is going to come out, obviously making fun of its indefinite hiatuses.
    • When Gintama comes back in episode 253 (the start of Enchousen and the Kintama arc), and Gintoki is upset at how it begins, he says, "Last time I saw a first episode so bad, Gintama was back in six months!"
    • In Episode 317 (beginning of Gintama.), Kagura and Shinpachi advertise the Odd Jobs. Kagura goes around asking if people are going to collect more Love Live! merchandise or sell off any Love Live! Sunshine!! items. Even worse is that Rie Kugimiya voices the mother of one of the Sunshine!! cast.
    • What does the author do when the campaign against Ecchi appears? Give us an Unwanted Harem Arc of course!
    • The epilogue takes a few potshots at epilogue endings in manga, with Catherine and Otose complaining about the main cast suddenly hooking up in the finale and fearing that they'll get paired with someone they barely know.
  • The Teaser: One episode of the anime focuses on the Shinsengumi for the first half of the plot, when the story eventually comes around to Gintoki he complains that the Title Sequence hasn't even rolled. Then the entire opening plays, in the middle of the episode.
  • This Is Reality: Probably the only time anyone's attempted to acknowledge the fourth wall (and it's made of balsa wood). In episode 169, the Yorozuya are attempting to cure Tama's illness. Because she's so obsessed with Dragon Quest, the arc is one big parody of the franchise, and at one point Shinpachi has to remind everyone that it's not really a game and they can't rely on standard conventions, such as save points, to get them through it.
  • Time Skip: Done four times — and not even four sequential timeskips, they're all in nearly the exact same period! One ends up being fake, while the other two are played straight (but one is reversed, sorta). All three timeskips, naturally, parody cliches that frequently turn up in shounen timeskips.
    • In chapters 324 to 326 (episodes 1-2 of Gintama'/episodes 202-203 overall), as Shinpachi is supposedly sent two years into the future in; however it's revealed to be subverted as the cast had gotten attacked by wart-like aliens during their previous (manga) week-long hiatus, which made them become their future selves. Hilarious "changes/developments" include:
    • A (legit) two-year timeskip occurs in the later stages of the series, after the battle with Utsuro reaches a conclusion. The Yorozuya have gone their separate ways to fulfill their personal motives, and the other characters also change in various ways. Despite the sobriety, there are still parodies galore:
      • Otae and Kondou are supposedly having a child together, except it turns out Kondo has a child with his actual wife aka Princess Bubbbles the gorilla. Otae just got fat from his househusband training which includes cooking for the Shimuras).
      • Katsura becomes Japan's prime minister under the name Donald Zuramp.
      • Sakamoto goes bankrupt and goes on the Brave Men Road.
      • Kagura has a child called Kanna, and Shinpachi is understandably freaked out since said child looks a lot older than two years old and Kagura should only be sixteen at this point. According to Kanna, Kagura gave birth to her Piccolo-style after eating one too many bananas. Then a further twist to this turns up, as it's revealed Kanna is Kagura after all.
    • One last timeskip occurs near the very end, focusing on a rebuilt Tama and a video message left for her by her friends from the past, making it seem like a long time has passed and Edo is now Tokyo. Then it turns out to just be Hasegawa spouting bullshit to Tamako as part of a Running Gag about fake endings, and that in truth not much time has actually passed, the Yorozuya themselves showing up to beat the shit out of Hasegawa for pulling that stunt.
  • Title Drop: The penultimate arc of the series is called the "Silver Soul" arc. Though the spelling they use for the arc is a different reading ("Shirogane no Tamashii" rather than "Gin Tama"), this was the intended reading of the series title.
  • Toilet Humour: Done to legendary levels. For example, during the Yagyuu arc, several of the characters (both protagonist and antagonist sides) are "trapped" in the toilets because they've all taken a dump and have run out of toilet paper. All have to think of ways to wipe themselves with... something, so they can leave and fight each other.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Seriously, in a Japanese setting where almost all the foreigners (besides humans of non-Japanese backgrounds like the American Taka-tin) are aliens and a good chunk of the plot is based in Edo (which was Tokyo at the time), this is pretty inevitably invoked. Even so, the series still shows some landmark traits of this; Edo's an intergalactic port and it doesn't seem like the aliens bother with any other country, Edo is where some of the Joi War's fiercest fighters congregate, Edo is where the galaxy's most powerful villain learned how to be human again, if only for a short time, and just where might be the giant planetary energy reserve that's keeping him alive?
  • Toplessness from the Back: Done a few times by Gintoki of all people.
  • Training from Hell: Parodied to hell and back in chapter 229 (or episode 147) through total destruction of the fourth wall. "Go train in another manga, I've heard of some good ones."
  • Traumatic Haircut: Played for Laughs when the Shogun visits the barber which coincidentally is being run by the Yorozuya for the day. The Yorozuya mess up his haircut and so end up losing his topknot, and their attempts to cover it up are horrifying (includes Gintoki stretching his face so bad to the point of tears to cover up his mistake and Kagura placing dog poop on his head). The Shogun's traumatised enough from this experience to go out of his way to reform the barber shop, thinking the shocking treatment was due to poor conditions.
  • True Companions: The Shinsengumi. Also, hurting Gintoki's friends can trigger Gintoki's change from a seemingly useless bum to the white demon.
  • Twice-Told Tale:
    • Gintoki may be no Kintarou, but one can still see the traces of the old folk tale in his backstory. Abandoned as a child, he was taken in by a kind soul that turned out to be a sort of "demon". He was an abnormally strong boy as a child, was somewhat aloof, mostly used his talents to fight, and later on in life ended up fighting some well-known "demons", though he got himself labeled as one in the process unlike Kintarou.
    • Kintoki gets in on it too at the start of his arc, where he fulfills the "helpful neighbor" aspect of Kintarou's myth. That being said, Gin is pretty helpful too, but it takes a while for his assistance to be really apparent.
  • Underground City: Yoshiwara is an underground Red Light District with its own laws seperate from the Bakufu. It was originally an underground shipyard where the Bakufu built its ships, but Yoshiwara and its residents were moved down there after its original destruction during the Joi Arc.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Kagura, under the influence of her baser instincts, when Abuto tries to kill Shinpachi. Gintoki also has brief but still terrifying moments of this when someone pushes enough of his berserk buttons- like with Jiriya, Jirocho, Sada Sada and Oboro.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Otose and Catherine call romantic Time Skip manga endings "Final Fantasies".
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Gintoki aside in its introductory chapter/episode, nobody ever comments on how bizarre Katsura's friend Elizabeth looks; it resembling to be a cross between a Bedsheet Ghost and a penguin, plus it also seems to just be a costume, as its legs appear to be those of a man's on the odd occasion where they're visible. It's possibly justified by the fact that the world is filled with all the manner of aliens, but even by their standards, it's still extremely weird-looking. It turns out that it's actually a member of an entire race of Human Aliens who don the same costume, just with the addition of accessories so they can actually distinguish one another. Or not. That was actually just its substitute that fills in for it on Mondays.
    • A story arc has Kondo transformed into a gorilla by the same curse that turned Gintoki and Katsura into cats. Again, nobody seems to really find anything very unusual about seeing him walking around in public, offering him food like they might any other stray animal.
  • Unwanted Harem: The Scandal Arc, where Gintoki wakes up from a drunken night and finds out that he's slept with Otose, Otae, Kyuubei, Sarutobi, Tsukuyo and Hasegawa. At the urging of Zenzou, he decides to secretly begin relationships with them and starts living with them... individually, in the same building, as he doesn't want them to know he's slept with all of them. Subverted in that his "harem" was a prank played on him to make him stop drinking. Except for Hasegawa.
  • Urine Trouble:
    • First happens in Episode 6 when Gintoki takes a piss in front of the police station after he is interrogated to show his distaste for the police.
    • In Episode 19, Hasegawa is relieving himself off of a cliff in a flashback when a woman notices and blushes. The worst of it is that, as he tells us, that woman came to be his future wife!
    • In Episode 42, Gintoki and Umibouzu pee on the giant alien they just killed as a sign of victory.
    • In Episode 53, Gintoki has to put out a fire but doesn't have any water to use, so he uses his penis to do the job for him.
    • In Episode 115, when he is lost on an island, Katsura writes a big "SOS" in the sand with his pee.
    • In Episode 190, Gintoki pisses on a mound of dirt that turns out to be a cursed cat's grave.
    • Gintoki once pisses into a river while a man (who is a little bit downstream) is trying to drink from it.
    • Happens to "Mountain" Zaki when he tried to challenge Kondo in a fight and was scared to soil his pants by Okita and Hijikata.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Gintoki and Katsura. Also, Hijikata and Okita. Seimei and Doman seem to have turned into this by the end of their arc. Gintoki and Takasugi is this after they finally made up.
  • Voices Are Mental: Averted in the Soul Switch arc where Gintoki and Hijikata speak in their respective bodies' voices after being switched. Averted with everyone else who was switched later in the arc.
  • Vulgar Humor: Just name it, and, chances are, someone in Gintama's either done it or alluded to it — for a shounen series, a surprising amount of vulgar stuff happens. This includes:
    • Gintoki and Umibozu peeing on a dead wormlike alien (You Know What Happens if You Pee on a Worm).
    • Hasegawa wetting his pants and wearing a diaper.
    • Hijikata zipping his pants and snagging the zipper on his private parts.
    • Yoshiwara, the courtesan safe haven that even lets a kid run a toy store.
    • In the Onmyoji Arc, a battle is literally fought with Gin's... tama (balls). The two fighters even gave them individual names. That last one was more of a Shout-Out to Sket Dance, due to the names they gave them.
    • Matako's name is usually censored whenever she appears thanks to her name being similar to the Japanese word of "Vagina".
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Yato Clan is one of the strongest species in universe, yet rays of sunlight tend to not treat them kindly. Hosen dried up after being suddenly exposed to sun, since he had been living under the ground for many years. Kagura in comparison merely gets weaker and dizzy if being outside without an umbrella, so they're probably generally adaptive.
  • Weather Report: Starts off that five-episode arc about shikigami, when popular reporter Ketsuno Ana's impeccable weather predictions start being consistently dead-wrong.
  • We Help the Helpless: Since the Yorozuya literally takes on odd jobs, they end up helping all sorts of people and not always for money.
  • Wham Episode: Of a sort, several times. Many times, a serious arc will start off just as silly as regular arcs, only for something to happen which makes it clear to both the audience and the characters that the situation is much more serious than initially thought. Of course, it's also subverted in that once the serious arc is over, the series returns to it's usual formula, not affected by the events of the serious arc at all... until the Shogun Assassination Arc, that is.
    • The Shogun Assassination arc involves several near-deaths and a few faked deaths, while the Yorozuya and their allies finally get their big showdown with the Kiheitai. The major whams of the arc comes from certain revelations, the lasting changes in power between the competing groups, and to the surprise of many, the death of a major recurring character.
      • The change in power comes from Nobunobu betraying the Kiheitai by taking the Tendoshu's offer to become shogun, while Harusame betray Kamui and oust him as admiral. As a result, a major wrench was put in the Kiheitai's plan, and the group went on the run with a comatose Takasugi.
      • One major reveal in particular shocked readers: namely that Gintoki was the one who killed Shoyo! All to protect his comrades... No wonder Takasugi went bad.
      • The arc ultimately ends with Shigeshige assassinated... This time for real. The first time a major recurring character is killed in-series.
    • The Shogun Assassination arc is followed right after by the Farewell Shinsengumi arc, where the consequences of the previous arc have immediate effect, while also introducing its own whams.
      • Nobunobu begins abusing his new authority by having Kondo and Matsudaira arrested and sentenced to death. The Shinsengumi is also disbanded, its members scattered around Edo. On the brighter side, the Shinsengumi teams up with Katsura and the Yorozuya to counter this.
      • The first Tendoshu to be named, Utsuro, arrives on the scene and brings a whole new wham: He either strongly resembles or really is Shoyo himself. Even Gintoki is stunned as he removes his mask.
      • The arc does end on a sad, but less whammy note (though certainly impactful), as all the police organizations are officially disbanded, meaning that the Shinsengumi and Mimawarigumi are considered rebels and need to leave Edo behind for the time being. However, this has left the Bakufu without much of a police force, weakening them considerably.
    • The Battle on Rakuyo arc following the Farewell Shinsengumi arc has some stunning revelations of its own:
      • The earlier wham from the previous arc is confirmed as it turns out Shoyo and Utsuro are the same person. Shoyo used to be Utsuro, the immortal leader of the Naraku, until he left to atone for his past. After being killed and his corpse burned on a pyre, he rose again as Utsuro with all traces of the kind teacher Shoyo gone, and now leading the Naraku once again.
      • The finale is setup with the true Big Bad's endgame. Utsuro played the Tendoshu like a fiddle by letting them rot their bodies with his immortal blood, tricking them into giving him their keys to control the Altana from other planets to destroy them, creating a universe scale war that would result in the destruction of Earth, and he planned this all just so he can find a way to die!
    • The Silver Soul Arc as the Grand Finale of the series has some as well.
      • Continuing from the previous arc, the Tendoshu, built up as the Greater Scope Villains of the series, are no more. They are found in the wreckage of their ship by the Altana Liberation Army's Earth Search Unit, having been reduced to living corpses after being cut to pieces by Utsuro, yet are unable to truly die because his immortal blood. Without the Tendoshu around to enact his vengeance upon, Prince Enshou of the Altana Liberation Army continues the war on Earth in order to satisfy his desire to avenge his wife and child.
    • Two years after the war and the Silver Soul Arc still going, it shows that The Tendoshuu is still there and even more, they got regenerated thanks to Utsuro's blood!
      • Even more Takasugi got imbued by the blood of Utsuro, enabling his regeneration.
      • 699: As everyone gets together to fight against the Tendoshu and their forces, the battle won't be easy as the Tendoshu themselves became clones of Utsuro due to his will taking over.
  • Wham Line:
    • Just as the Shogun Assassination Arc seems to end with the status quo changing, but with a hopeful tone, the tone sharply changes after this ominous line that counts as a Meaningful Echo said by Nobunobu is uttered by one of the Shogun's childhood friends who assassinates him with a poisoned needle, just as Shigeshige welcomed his loyal friends with opened arms.
    • The end of Chapter 525 immediately follows up on the Wham Episode that was the Shogun Assassination arc:
      Nobunobu: And so, I now decree that Katakuriko Matsudaira and your subordinate, Shinsengumi Chief Isao Kondo are sentenced to decapitation. And as of today, the Shinsengumi is disbanded.
    • Chapter 553/Episode 317 explains what has happened with Kamui's 7th division and how their offense against Harusame led to a trap by the use of their own stronghold which the organization doesn't usually do. Leading to why Matako and Henpieta are not with Takasugi.
      Abuto: I knew it. Who the hell have they teamed up with?
      Kamui: Just think about who could pull this crap against Yato. Stupid me and my stupid father.
    • Despite the meddling of the Big Bad, it initially appears that the war between the Altana Liberation Army and Earth will be avoided due to diplomacy and the promise of fighting their common enemy, the Tendoshu. Then in chapter 602 Prince Enshou reveals to Shijaku that the target of their revenge, the Tendoshu, had already been found a month ago, reduced to a bunch of living corpses by Utsuro. Unable to get his revenge on them, Enshou changes the target of his revenge to Earth itself.
      Enshou: One month ago, the Earth Search Unit found the wreckage of a ship. The results of the investigation revealed that the ship belonged to a certain group of people. This war cannot be ended. And that is because it has already ended. Allow me to introduce to you my arch-enemies, the gentlemen of the Tendoshu.
    • Chapter 609 initially starts out comedic but ends with a darker tone when Gengai reveals that his secret weapon to turn the tide for the Earth forces doesn't just shut down the Altana Liberation Army's machines, it shuts down all machines, including Tama and Kintoki who are powering the weapon.
      Gengai: That's right. This is a machine created to stop war. Whether it's the enemy's... or an ally's... It's a machine that will destroy all other machines.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?:
    • Invoked with Sa-chan's first appearance, where she had fallen through Gintoki's roof and slept on top of him. Gintoki was drunk the day before and can't remember anything, so she uses that to her advantage to hide from her enemies.
    • This is the premise that starts off the Scandal Arc, with Gintoki getting absolutely wasted and sleeping with Otose, Tae, Kyuubei, Sa-chan, Tsukuyo and... Hasegawa. It's subverted when it turns out to all have been a prank to get him to stop drinking, then double-subverted when it's revealed that Hasegawa was not in on it. Gintoki promptly heads to a bar to get drunk enough to forget he just learned that.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The final chapter features a prerecorded message for Tama telling her what's been going on in Edo (now Tokyo) while she was unconscious.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Crossdressing is often casually involved for whatever reason. For example there's Gintoki as Paako and Katsura as Zurako when they help out Saigo, and Kagura dressing up in a suit as a male host when the Yorozuya help out the host club.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Gintoki is very scared of ghosts. So is Hijikata. Not that either of them will ever admit it.
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Gintoki's reliable Lake Toya, which despite being mere wood managed to cut through a spaceship's humongous cannon. It turns out that this is because it's some special super-hard alien wood, at least according to the commercials he orders it from.
  • World of Snark: Yeah, virtually everyone there are snarkers to a different degree.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Played for laughs of course since this is Gintama. The whole Popularity Poll Arc? All planned by YAMAZAKI!. He wasn't happy with his ranking so he started a war to get all the characters to reduce each other's ranking. Seeing as he wasn't the only one unhappy with his ranking, they almost did it without his help. The outcome of said war would help him either way.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Parodied in the first chapter. Gin lets them pass after a single page (And he survives!). Played more straight when Tsukuyo holds off her Hyakka to give the Yorozuya free reins to find Seita and reunite him with Hinowa.
  • You Wanna Get Sued?: Due to the sheer amount of references the show gets away with, Gin or some other cast members will worry about one of the companies getting pissed off and suing. In one case, during the Renho arc, Shinpachi worried about getting away with the blatant Gundam robots the enemy was building, only for Gintoki to respond that it's okay because both Gundam and Gintama's animes are produced by Sunrise.
    Gintoki: "Toei Animation is going to kill us!" (in reference to the Saint Seiya parodies)
  • Zeerust: A lot of the Amanto technology is like this.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Parodied in one episode where a special kind of virus strikes Edo, making those who are affected act like zombies... with the interests of useless old men who like to lay around all day and do nothing but play pachinko note . Katsura immediately starts calling them 'zombrows' due to the unibrows they immediately sprout upon infection. It spreads quickly and soon only a handful of people are left. The situation looks hopeless, but because Gin already acts like a useless old man the virus passes him over and he manages to get everyone back to normal.


Video Example(s):


Anime and Manga Pacing

Gintama explains potential outcomes of an anime catching up to its manga source material, such as filler or total divergence.

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