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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • In Xendra ever since Halloween where he went as Xena, Xander's unable to go a week without being turned into a teenage version of Xena (named Xendra). At first it's due to a law of magic that if magic has had a given effect on someone before, it's more likely to do so again, especially if it's had said effect multiple times. Later it's because Xendra's a better fighter than Xander.
    • Starting in Season 3, this extends to Wesley being turned into a woman when exposed to magic due to a spell that should have killed him and Xander; it instead turned Xander into Xendra and thus turned Wesley into a woman as well.
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    • Later, it seems everyone but Cordelia cleans the Hyperion's kitchen and, when caught, tells the Scoobies not to tell Cordelia they were cleaning in there.
  • Working for the Weekend has people speaking entire complicated statements with a single word, usually "Dude", though the Mayor accomplishes it with "Son". The idea is first introduced by Xander and Jesse who are trying to teach themselves telepathy and started by having entire conversations consisting of the word "Dude", but later chapters show many other characters getting in on it.

Calvin and HobbesExamples from The Calvinverse:

  • Calvin and Hobbes: The Series:
    • Hobbes running away from danger.
    • Everyone calling Dr. Brainstorm "Frank".
    • Hobbes calling Sherman "Vermin".
    • Every time something odd happens, the same guy will always witness it and comment "Mm-hmm".
    • Calvin dressing himself by climbing inside the top drawer of his dresser, going down, and emerging from the bottom drawer fully clothed.
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    • In Season 1, Calvin and Hobbes would often argue about some minuscule thing that Calvin had done (possible padding). This didn't return in the second season.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: The Movie:
    • Tracer not loading his gun and being questioned about it when a fight breaks out by whoever.
  • Retro Chill
    • The aliens freaking out believing there's a ghost on the ship.
    • "How could a little fur ball build something so big?"
    • Bob being startled by the aliens.
  • Which Way is Where?:


  • Cave Story Versus IMMeen has many of these, but primarily uses Jack's severe habit of vomiting due to his somewhat weak stomach as the main Running Gag; however, he gets over it during the final chapter.
  • The multi fandom crossover series, Chance Encounter has a couple of these.
    • One is Balian a) insisting 'it feels worse than it is' or variants thereof b) Balian's numerous attempts to escape whichever infirmary he is in this time, being something of the Butt-Monkey (he gets beaten up repeatedly, usually after doing something stupidly heroic and getting outnumbered).
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    • 'Nanny Balian' and 'Nurse Legolas' (or according to Jack Sparrow, Nurse Legless, somewhat ironic as he spends most of his time drunk). This last one also doubles as a Berserk Button for both of them. Also, 'Truly, it is not a coincidence' or some variation on the theme, however this can be seen as arc words, referring to divine meddling. The author is rather fond of the phrase, using it in a separate but similar fic.
  • In Child of the Storm, Harry and Carol insisting that really, they are absolutely not flirting becomes this, and everyone from their friends to their enemies to random people they don't even know not believing them.
    • Harry, following his realisation that he's a demigod, spending a lot of time trying to figure out who he should swear by - or, if it comes to it, swear at.
    • Doctor Strange's talents as a Time Master allow him to be an absolute master of the Batman Gambit and smoothly keep on top of a nigh-ridiculous number of Gambit Pileups. He'll also often use his knowledge as The Omniscient to mess with people, mainly by popping up right behind someone's left shoulder or reacting to something before it even happens.
    • In a reference to one of the Running Gags from the canon Harry Potter books and films, it's mentioned (shortly before Halloween, mind you), that Seamus Finnegan has had to regrow his eyebrows after a Noodle Incident. For the seventeenth time.
    • The absurdities of Harry's increasingly complicated family tree become this (the fic is the only work of any kind to have its own Tangled Family Tree page), with Carol summing up general feelings on this in chapter 52 of the sequel.
  • Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron
    • Throughout the early chapters, C.C. will appear from nowhere, to the confusion or consternation of someone else.
    • Another one is someone wondering just where Lelouch found C.C., given her antics.
  • In Doctor Whooves and Assistant, they play with some of the classic running gags from Doctor Who.
    • The first time Ditzy/Derpy meets the Doctor, and she asks him who he is. Naturally, the Doctor says, "I'm the Doctor." Rather than play the gag straight, Ditzy responds, "Doctor of what?"
    • And again, when Ditzy sees the inside of the TARDIS for the first time.
      Ditzy: It's-!
      Doctor: Yes?
      Ditzy: It's-
      Doctor: Yeah?
      Ditzy: ...smaller on the outside!
  • In Dungeon Keeper Ami, Sailor Mercury simply cannot catch a break. No matter how hard she tries, everyone thinks she is a demented rapist, Magnificent Bastard empress, and magical prodigy out to destroy the world.
  • Equestria Girls: A Fairly Odd Friendship
    • People learning about places through brochures.
    • Rainbow and Scootaloo using bricks to solve every problem.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon reminds himself he has a very special hell waiting just for him after kissing Haruhi, the older Mikuru and Yuki.
    • Also, the very first line readable from a letter from the future is an commentary in context of the conversation.
      Haruhi: Can I go (time travelling) with you?
      Kyon: (reading the letter) "No, she can't."
    • Kyon's habit of sending greetings to himself when Time Travelling.
    • Kyon's remarks about how his past and future selves are annoying, then laughing at his past self for doing something stupid.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Shinji is the Butt-Monkey in the omakes, often being placed in highly embarrassing situations where he seems a pervert.
  • Turnabout Storm:
  • Twilight's poor tree home/library can't stay in good shape for more than minute after it's repaired in Ponyville Goes to the... Dragons??. As of fourteen chapters in, it's been wrecked by a spell gone wrong, had it's books scattered around the place more than once on accident, had it's front door knocked off it's hinges repeatedly, completely decimated by Cynder's tornado attack, and has had multiple fights break out in it. Needless to say, this get's repeatedly lampshaded.
  • Three occur in The Nighthawk Chronicles
    • Villains insist that Xander doesn't fight fair.
    • Batman likes Xander
    • Xander wishes God would just kill him before he becomes like Angel (Xander is mentally 26, physically 16, and has several teen super-heroines interested in him)
  • In Origin Story, everyone assumes that Alex Harris's name is “Karen Starr” (which is Power Girl's real name) despite her never once claiming to be Karen Starr. And no one really believes her denials, either.
  • In The Devil Ashikabi has one in Karasuba splattering Harry Potter in blood every time she kills something. By the time she kills the Troll, he's merely mildly annoyed at how much time it takes to get out of his hair.
  • In Super Sentai vs. Power Rangers: The Liveblog, anytime something really stupid happens in Super Sentai vs. Power Rangers, Rika either finds a wall to coat a nice shade of red and bashes her head against it or drinks away the pain.
  • In On the Back of the Turtle, so many people ask why Hippolyta is topless (the island they're on regularly has things wash up and shirts seem to be rare) that she eventually asks Xander if there's something wrong with her breasts.
  • Light and Dark DEUX: The New Adventures of Dark Soichiro never writes the word 'two', or any of it's homophones, instead writing DEUX, even in composite words.
  • Wonderful (Mazinja): When Sophia wears the Sentinel Suit, a mask materializes over her own mask. As a result of it, people keep asking: “… Shadow Stalker? Why are you wearing a mask over your mask?”
  • The Harry Potter and Fate/stay night crossover fic Crosswinds of Fate has the running gag of Binns referring to Saber with various bladed weapons during the History of Magic class.
  • In Itachi, Is That a Baby? has Harry Potter easily accomplishing first year spells before anyone else and without a wand due to his shinobi training. It gets to the point that McGonagall knows Harry did a spell correctly without being in the room to see it because she notices "Hermione's vibrating fury" (over Harry doing things "wrong") and Flitwick congratulates Harry before even entering the classroom.
    • Others include: Snape blaming everything on Harry, Harry getting annoyed whenever someone asks him "What?" after Hermione did so several times in a row, no one knowing Astoria's name and calling her "Girl-Tobi", and obvious murders being declared "Natural Causes".
  • In Dark Dynasty, Rumple really likes to turn people into gasteropods. He actually turns two persons only, but he often talks and thinks about it.
  • A Wizard Among Bats considers Bruce Wayne adopting troubled kids as this in-universe. Wally's reaction, when learning that Harry Potter is coming to live with the Waynes, is to bitch that bro-code means Dick should have told him first he had YET another sibling, while Jason's is basically "Dude, AGAIN? Bruce got ISSUES."
  • In Five Nights with Harry, poor Remus finds himself called a pervert. It's most likely the mustache.
  • Martha Kent's cookies in The Institute Saga. Everyone at the Institute (and elsewhere!) is addicted to them.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Izuku's Spider-Sense tends to fail him at the worst of times, letting him get repeatedly face-planted by Peter while training and not tipping him off when Bakugou was lying in wait for him despite loudly announcing his desire to beat the crap out of him. Izuku also tends to get face-planted into floors, ceilings, and walls, remarking that he hoped it wouldn't become a thing in the first issue.
    Izuku: Spider-Sense, you have failed me again.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, Blake is frequently accused of being a human by the White Fang, much to her frustration.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton: Tucker getting paired up with a lousy date due to refusing to change his profile page.
  • Lelouch of the Wings of Rebellion
  • Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness, aside from continuing gags from half of the source material, has two of these:
    • Jamie gets rejected by almost every girl he meets in Gensokyo.
    • Marisa obsesses over riding inside Megas, whether in reality or in others' imaginations.
  • SAPR: Sunset didn't break out of prison, she has a note!
  • The Dragon and the Butterfly:
    • People reacting with laughter and exasperation when Hiccup tells people his Unfortunate Name.
    • Snotlout being a chauvinist and getting a cactus to the face for it by Isabela.
    • Mocking Berk's tradition of hideous names, Hiccup and Mirabel routinely joke about their hypothetical first child named "Fartmuncher."


  • Batman often tends to be teased over the fact he basically runs an orphanage by the fandom. He generally protests that no, he's not adopting every child he meets on the spot... just several of them.


  • A.A. Pessimal wrote a kind of crossover short between the Discworld and Good Omens. In The Turtle Moves, Ponder Stibbons is tasked with closing down Project Chelonian, the ongoing Wizard research into "borrowing" the mind of the world turtle Great A'Tuin and finding out exactly what is going through his, or her, mind. Ponder discovers that the Turtle is in fact listening to The Music of the Spheres, the background harmony of the Cosmos, sufficiently slowed down to suit the brain-rhythms of a large slow long-lived creature. As with any other music playing on a sufficiently long journey, however, the waveforms have collapsed into scaramouches, fandangos, septuple seas of Rhye, and so forth. This proves the truth of the running gag in Good Omens about tapes left in cars....

Doctor Who

  • Keep On Running: In the three chapters from Clara’s perspective, she thinks about people’s strange clothes, twice Jamie’s and once the Second Doctor’s.

Dragon Age

  • In the Twice Upon an Age series, Varric Tethras - the Unreliable Narrator of the second game - is cast in the role of the stories' editor. The various parts of the series are littered with "editor's notes" where he wants to comment, for one reason or another, on the current story arc. These notes are intended as a running gag, but it's left up to the reader whether it's a gag by the author or the editor.
  • Burlap sacks are a recurring joke in Beyond Heroes: Of Sunshine and Red Lyrium. It's a reference to a slightly obscure piece of party banter from the Mark of the Assassin DLC in Dragon Age II, in which Varric tells Bethany that she "could make a burlap sack look good."
    • Later in the story, another private running gag involves "conversations" which don't necessarily have anything to do with talking.

Dragon Ball

  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged has the Krillin Owned Count, which is fairly self-explanatory. Prior to Episode 25, he has been owned 14 times. Frieza then bumps him up eleven more for a total of 25 (and two 1ups to boot).
    • For the Planet Namek arc, virtually everything referenced that should be alien simply has "Space" tacked on in front of an Earth reference.
    • "Kaio-wha-"[blow to the face]
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus inserted into the Solar Flare of something disturbing, based on Vegeta's comment that it was like seeing Frieza taking a shower (which was used for the next Solar Flare).

The Fairly OddParents

  • In Never Had a Friend Like Me, Norm torments the country of Canada in increasingly horrible ways.
    • He also wants to send people he doesn't like to Mars.

Harry Potter

  • A Very Potter Musical has several:
    • Hermione losing House points (for reasons that get more and more blatantly unfair each time), followed by a sarcastic "Thanks, Hermione" from Ron and Harry.
    • Gryffindor losing points - again, each time is increasingly ridiculous.
    Severus Snape: (to Draco Malfoy) Coward! Ten points from Gryffindor!
    • Ron's snacks.
    • Draco rolling around on the floor for emphasis.
    • Some might find Cedric's puns about Hufflepuffs being great finders to be a running gag.
    • In the sequel: diapers, Redvines, who James Potter's best friend was...
  • After meeting Romulus Lestrange - Harry's true identity in The Curious Case of Romulus Lestrange, everyone's first reaction is accusing Sirius from dumping his illegitimate kid with the Potters. Sirius is not amused at all.
  • Almost every story written by the talented Harry/Hermione shipper, Robst, contains a wedding, and every best man speech mentions some variation of the joke about "the one-eyed barman and the stuttering witch." The mention invariably comes in the form of one of the other members of the wedding party refusing to let the joke be told, so it's also something of a Noodle Incident.
  • Thirty Hs changes Gumbledorp's name every time he's mentioned, until he becomes Dumblecop of the Darkmeal, at which point it seems to stick.


  • Be the Sea Dweller Lowblood has... no, the OTHER sea dweller lowblood. No, not that one! The OTHER other one! The FEMALE sea dweller lowblood! No, not that female! Seriously, you're just doing this on purpose now.
    • Sea dwellers don't have hearts. They have collapsing and expanding bladder based aquatic vascular systems.
  • Hivefled: Vanate still doesn't have pants.
  • Alternian Turnabout: Aradia Megido: This fangame continues running gags and callbacks from Ace Attorney, Jailbreak, and Homestuck alike, ranging from the old ladder vs. stepladder discussion to the vanishing pumpkins.

Invader Zim

  • Becoming a True Invader:
    • The canon one about the size of Dib's head is repeated here. Most prominently when the group is on Heboad, and the size of his head marks him as the Heboadians' Chosen One.
    • GIR referring to Skoodge as a piggy.
    • Tak not understanding the Employer's Gratuitous Spanish.
  • For the Glory of Irk has racked up a number of gags, which come and go over time:
    • Zim grounding CB whenever he gets mad at him (which is a lot).
    • Likewise, CB popping up in Dib's various digital devices without his consent.
    • Again with CB, there's Skoodge complaining that he doesn't operate as a proper security system. Which means that when he does react properly to Zeke's intrusion into the base, Skoodge is shocked.
    • Syndicate members noting that Skoodge doesn't look like the figure in the propaganda posters using his name.
    • Rose pointing out that Dib almost never turns any work into her class.
    • Voel struggling to find the right words to describe something, and Therron having to fill it in for him.
    • When the protagonist group visits the Massive, they learn that Skoodge has been listed as officially dead. Because of this, and despite him being clearly alive, every Irken he meets keeps offering Skoodge their condolences for dying. Even later, it turns out that other Irkens are still treating him like he's dead.
    • Moira and Professor Membrane keep bringing up moon monkeys. Also, they keep providing (or offering to provide) Dib with odd weapons-grade technology.
    • People having to go through the It's a Small World style ride that Therron had installed on the Massive.
    • Syndicate members having names that sound similar to human names but are spelled differently, and when Dib repeats them he's told he's somehow mispronouncing them.
    • Lor completely misunderstanding and mixing up Earth holidays.
    • Tenn hanging out on the ceiling. Also, her obsession with guns.
    • Therron being convinced that Captain Rose is in love with him.
    • Carrius kicking in doors when he enters a room for pointless dramatic effect.
  • Ruby Pair:
    • The canon one about the size of Dib's head returns.
    • Tenn trying to kill Keef to get rid of him.

Kingdom Hearts

  • Those Lacking Spines: Several...
    • Vexen gets himself a phobia of cake about half-way through the fic. It keeps getting brought back, until he even comments about how this running gag will appear in another fanfic.
    • "Xaldin was wrong."
    • The little-known facts about Demyx the Pizza boy.
    • "Did you just go there?"/"I rather think I just did."

The Legend of Korra

The Legend of Zelda

  • "The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time" has a running gag of Link continuously mispronouncing "Grindelwald", the name of a Goron. Gorons speak and use German in this story, so their W's are pronounced like V's. Link pronounces "Grindelwald" as it is spelled, rather than "Grindelvald".

Lyrical Nanoha

Mass Effect

  • In the fics Inglorious Bosh'tets and Project Gethinator, neither Tali nor Shepard can seem to go through a single mission without something going kaboom.
  • In the Mass Effect self-insert Mass Vexations, Author Avatar Art introduces The Game to Urdnot Wrex. There isn't a single conversation that they have afterwards where Wrex doesn't try to make Art lose the game.
    • And, as of MV2, Wrex has taught ALL OF TUCHANKA about the game. ALL OF IT. Art loudly makes Wrex lose the game and the entire room of Krogans goes "Oh, dammit!"

Mega Man (Classic)

  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race has the author asking fans to point out any continuity errors big enough to [x], with [x] usually being something near-impossible, such as breaking a Met's hardhat.
  • Mega Man Reawakened has a few.
    • Many next chapter previews end with an adjective related to the next episode, such as 'destructive' for Bomb Man's chapter or 'chilling' for Ice Man's.
    • The "I AM A MAN!" punch.
    • Heat Man flipping his top down, resulting in no one being able to understand him.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • Chat's got Her Tongue has an in-universe example. Tikki has had to explain Miraculous-bearing soulmates to so many Ladybugs, and dealt with so much romantic angst over the years that she just can't do it again without breaking into laughter. The present-day Ladybug - not being in on the joke - is distinctly unimpressed by this.
    "What's so funny, Tikki?! This is serious!"
    "I know, I know," Tikki gasped between giggles. "It's just that this happens every time."
  • The story Porte-Boner has a frequent joke, either by the characters or the Lemony Narrator, involving terms starting with the word "French". The basic pattern:
    Mylene: Were they French kisses!??!
    Alix: You know, in France, we just call those 'kisses'.
    • At first this is done with simple things like French Toast, French manicures, French omelets, etc, but it's later taken to absurd extremes when the characters watch The French Connection, "or, as they called it in France, The Connection." Or, even sillier:
    Rose: Will you draw me like one of your French girls, Nath? Or as we say in France, draw me like one of your girls.

My Hero Academia

  • In chapter 18 of A What If, everyone assumes that Izuku is Rumi's son because they both have rabbit Quirks. Not helping matters is that Bakugou finds it hilarious to feed said rumors. It gets to the point that half of Present Mic's commentary during the Sports Festival is referring to Izuku as Rumi's son and when Izuku receives an internship offer from her, Ochaco comments on Izuk training under "his mother".
  • A Green Dragon's Hoard: In the second chapter, Yamato keeps trying to introduce herself to Izuku only for someone or something to interrupt her.
  • In Custody Battle, a My Hero Academia fanfiction, All for One complains that his younger brother might have been swapped at birth whenever he does anything to annoy him.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • In Equestria: A History Revealed, everypony, including the Lemony Narrator herself, seems to forget about Luna's existence, often just talking about Celestia and then adding a "and Luna too, I suppose" when referring to both princesses. The most prominent example being when Celestia and Luna had defeated King Sombra, he yells out a long and elaborate speech cursing Celestia, before hastily adding a "and Luna too, I suppose" at the very end. Is it any wonder she turns evil later on?
  • Progress has poor Princess Luna getting bashed and battered by baseballs. That, and her attachment to her abacus, which has become a bit of a running gag in itself because it gets shout outs in other fan-fics.
  • PONIES The Anthology has several clips that repeat throughout the entire show, but the best known would be several characters "Firing their lazor." Throughout the first Anthology it's done with Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie (twice), Spike, and, somehow, a letter to Princess Celestia.
  • The Ponies of Olympus series:
    • Ditzy somehow setting things on fire in Ditzy Don't, even when it's not physically possible.
    • Tom in Atlas Strongest Tournament.
  • Ponies seem to have a great attraction to Sweetie Belle as a target for Jump Scares in The Sweetie Chronicles: Fragments.
  • Tangled Up In Blues: Every single mare that Blues the pony meets is described as "the most beautiful filly I've ever seen".
  • Pink Personal Hell And Altering Fate features one per narrative:
    • Pink Personal Hell: Gummy likes to bite onto Dominic.
    • Altering Fate: Nickel Steel has trouble with stairs.
  • In Vinyl and Octavia Fight Ten Thousand Ninjas, a recurring joke is ponies questioning whether the plural of ninja is ninjas or ninja.
  • The Dear Sweetie Belle Continuity repeatedly notes that the members of the Apple clan seem to have a fondness for pegasi.
  • The Pony POV Series:
    • During the Shining Armor Arc, a member of Shining's squad is literally named Running Gag. So naturally he has one, namely being attacked by a cat whenever he's near one...except the Luvcats, which he's terrified of. Also, his habit of telling really bad jokes that make the others groan.
    • Every time a pony throws up, they or someone else questions how it's biologically possible given ponies shouldn't be able to.
    • Every time Twilight Sparkle or a member of her family gives a lecture, a soapbox appears under their feet. Sometimes, they do it on purpose to use the box as a weapon, firewood, or some other reason.
  • How Trixie (Somehow) Saved Hearth's Warming:
    • Trixie frequently says something with her normal grandiose boasting...only to then cut to her internal thoughts where her actual emotions are portrayed, which are generally what someone actually in her present situation would say in the predicaments she ends up in.
    • During the section at the Rat King's castle, flower pots keep appearing, getting smashed, or being weaponized, to the point Vixen questions why a castle in the frozen north has so many. They later find an entire room full of them and Trixie questions the Rat King himself about it during their sword fight.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Nobody is quite sure of the proper name for the Library of Canterlot, which is alternatively referred to as both the Great Library and Grand Library. The sequel has people actually lampshading this.
  • In The Meaning of Harmony, whenever Rainbow Dash is getting too obnoxious, count on someone bringing up the barn party to get her to shut up.
  • Adjacency: Rainbow Dash's Atrocious Alias of "Firebug", which gets repeated comments of making her sound like an arsonist, which she created by spur of the moment thinking while not wanting to use her mother's name of Firefly.
  • ForgaLorga's videos have multiples of these:
    • Those that feature Starlight Glimmer typically have her attaining or otherwise trying to gain alicorn-hood, all with a Thousand-Yard Stare that rarely fades.
    • Celestia gorging herself on cake.
    • Luna's obsession with video games.

Mystery Science Theater 3000


  • Anytime someone asks how/why Naruto (or one of his apprentices) did something in Reaching for a Dream, the response is invariably, "Fuck you, that's how."
    • For a long time, Team 7 was incapable of going on a mission without Naruto having sex with the client and/or a relative of the client. Justified given that every D-rank they get is from a former prostitute Naruto helped get out of the business who wants to "thank" him.
  • Hinata in For My Brother has a tendency to kill-steal, much to Naruto's and Sasuke's annoyance.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • Advice and Trust: In chapter 4 Asuka tells Shinji: "Pervert. I could hear you thinking it. You are not getting an 'Israfel Special' with me and her!" From that point forward the "Israfel Special" expression (Shinji having a threesome with Asuka and Rei) becomes a running joke between both (and among the readers).
  • The Child of Love: Someone screaming "She's WHAT?" whenever they find out about Asuka's pregnancy.
  • The One I Love Is...: Shinji is constantly falling on top of women in increasingly embarrassing situations -and positions-. Rei, Asuka... When he falls on top of Misato in chapter 8 he is wondering whether it is some kind of curse.
    However I didn't plan on Misato walking on a beer can and, with her already unsteady balance, falling on the said bed, dragging me along with her. The outcome of this... I had fallen on top of a female... *again*! Surely, it was a curse!
  • In Science: Saving Humanity Without Regard to Morals or Ethics, several people insist that Shinji needs to buy a lottery ticket given his absurd luck, especially with women.

Odd Squad

  • All Mixed Up! continues the running gag of a character saying "If Sheila could see me now" that was prevalent throughout Season 1 of Odd Squad before getting Running Gagged.
  • Likewise, My Dream Is Yours continues the running gag of toast being a prominent theme that was present in Season 2.

One Piece

  • Crossed Lines: In every timeline except Zoro's, Luffy ate some ridiculously powerful Devil Fruit or other (including Kaido's, Whitebeard's, and Enel's), causing Robin to wonder what lucky star he was born under.
  • This Bites!:
    • The line "I am...conflicted." seems to be this.
    • Cross setting towns on fire with his antics.
    • Assorted crew members contemplating setting the world on fire.
    • Soundbite interrupting Cross whenever he tries to start the SBS. And after that, other people start interrupting Soundbite interrupting Cross. So whenever Cross is not interrupted, that's when those listening to the SBS know the Strawhats are going to enter a serious situation.
    • People shouting "CROSS, YOU SON OF A-!" only to be interrupted or cut off.
    • Cross hitting the foghorn button.
      Cross: I love this thing.
      Everyone else: WE KNOW!
  • In Twelve Red Lines, Jones is not allowed to cook since her first - and only - try managed to make Luffy sick. Sanji even namedrops the trope.


  • Ashes of the Past has several.
    • Pokemon evolution is mysteriously accelerated around Ash. Pokemon frequently evolve just by being in his presence. This is something of a Mythology Gag referencing the TV series.
    • Ash gains a reputation for destroying gyms, starting from the time his Muk uses dozens of moves at once and completely annihilates Whitney's gym.
    • Eventually he manages to leave a gym intact — and then, as he leaves, an entire tankful of Wailmer in another room of the gym evolve into Wailord, massively increasing their size and thus breaking the tank and causing extensive damage to the gym.
  • Brandon getting knocked out in Pokéumans. Dropped in recent chapters, but at his peak he was going about five times per chapter.
  • In Pokémon: The Mew-sical, there are several running gags, including Giovanni shooting people, James trying to work the Magikarp submarine into every plan, and Gary ordering Eevee to use Leer, following the command with "SICK!"
  • In Pokemon Opal And Garnet, there is a common running gag in which Kaylie's Touceet, Clopin (yes, he's named for the character in the Disney version of Hunchback Of Notre Dame), continually gets his name mispronounced, usually as "klop-pin." He will always be quick to correct them: "kloh-PAH~(n)," with the name ending in a Kalosian (French) nasal vowel. Many people and Pokemon have trouble with this, so usually "kloh-PAH" is accepted as being "close enough"- or, in PokeLatin, "künek sjine." However, he will explain to them the (approximately) correct pronunciation of the Kalosian nasal vowel, as shown in this scene from "A Very Rocky Start":
    Clopin (to Rocky): Don't get it? Allow me to show you, then. Take the ending- that "PAH" part that you said- and give it a sort of nasal pinch. Another way you could think of it is like the word "pang," but without the "-ng" at the end. Go on, just try it.
    Rocky: "PAH."
    Clopin: Good, but with a pinch. "PAHHH~~." Did you hear how that was tightly nasal? That's how it should sound, with a slight bit of nasality at the end, almost as if you're holding your nose while saying it. Just remember that it should sound like "pang" without the "-ng." Then, all you have to do is push the air out through the nasal cavity while saying it and you're good to go! note 
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has quite a few:
  • Mystery Dungeon with Critical Chaos:
    • Kai's fondness to Eat Dirt, Cheap.
    • In the first episode, Parker is elected the leader of the team on two grounds: firstly, his level-headedness and ability to make decisions, and secondly, he's the only member with opposable thumbs. In later episodes, Parker's thumbs are effectively regarded as being his badge of office.
    • Morgan the Fletchling got the finishing blow on the boss at the end of the first episode, and since it was more like a shambling construct of a Pokémon than a normal one it appeared to keel over and die. This lead to a joke that Morgan had committed actual murder, and as she grew into one of the groups' prime physical attackers this became a depiction of her as a ruthless, ridiculously-buff killing machine - a joke that started rubbing off on other small birds in the series as well.
Ranma ½
  • Boy Scouts ½, set in Massachusetts, almost completely ignores characters from the original work. The one major exception is Ryoga, who invariably turns up once a storyline, lost and wondering how to get back to Japan.
    • The gag is turned on its head in the sequel series Boy Scouts ½ in Japan. When Ryoga sees the Boy Scouts ½ characters, he assumes he is in Massachusetts once more, failing to notice that this meeting is taking place right outside of his intended destination. Poor Ryoga wanders away before anyone can inform him of this.


  • Ask the Ryans really runs with the Weighted Gloves trend set by the game, with numerous jokes regarding characters stuffing their gloves with horseshoes, cheeseburgers, and firecrackers.

Real-Person Fic

  • There are two in With Strings Attached:
    • When the four first meet the exiled skahs wizard Lyndess, she immediately asks them, “What are you selling, olyrr-sars [outworlders]?” When they are sent to Ta'akan, every single person they meet thereafter asks them the same question, until word finally spreads that they have nothing to sell. (At one point a very annoyed John comments that if they get asked that stupid question one more time, he's going to pull his trousers down and say “Yeah.”) Much later, when the Hunter is brought to Ta'akan, he gets swamped with people asking him that.
    • There's a literal Running Gag that starts in the New Zork chapter. Ringo finds himself yanked, dragged, and carried around by practically everyone he meets. This includes a pair of disembodied arms that throw him off a roof, Beagle Brian Epstein, some cops, Flyboy from the “Hitler Youth,” and John. He gets picked up and carried in someone's arms several more times during the book (including twice during the climactic assault on the warehouse), and at one point the Hunter offers to carry him.


  • Every RWBY story by Coeur Al'Aran has someone mistaking Neo for a tween, to her irritation.
  • In Pineapple, after Jaune is the only student to pass Initiation (by being the only one to realize the giant chess pieces were the relics they were after), he tells everyone who failed "You should have tried harder".

Slightly Damned

  • A Different Medius has Iratu constantly being compared to a "Fragarian Scythe-Dog". Eventually, Buwaro and Sam actually meet one in a flashback.

Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Wars

  • In Star Wars: Lineage, Obi-Wan may be absolutely fearless in battle...but he hates going to the doctor.
    • As per canon, Qui-Gon will disobey the Jedi Council/local government/established customs to do what he believes to be right. No matter what.

Total Drama

  • Total Drama Comeback has Beth asking a question that reveals some detail about the challenge that Chris would have forgotten to mention.
    Beth: Chris, what about <insert detail about challenge>?
    Chris:' Why thank you Beth, here have a cookie.
    • it was a sad day when Chris ran out of cookies

Touhou Project

  • In Touhou Project fanfiction, Marisa always seems to be stealing Patchouli's books.
    • We probably shouldn't get into Touhou running gags from a fandom perspective or we'll be here all day. There's few characters that don't have three or four running gags to their name.

Touken Ranbu

Toy Story

  • Three in Breakaway, all in the protagonist's team:
    • Ice's ignorance of mainstream culture, idioms, and informal English.
      Windy: "Does the word 'ain't' not register in your vocabulary?"
      Ice: "Should it?"
    • Windy constantly teasing Ricki and saying things like "green-blooded hobgoblin," as if they really were McCoy and Spock, respectively.
    • Which leads to the final running gag: the girls constantly roleplaying Star Trek.

Warhammer 40,000

  • In Be All My Sins Natalie, a Slaaneshi cultist, keeps getting into situations or making misstatements that convince the people around her that she's a cannibal. in a darker twist, this becomes less and less false as time goes by, but she never stops being embarrassed by it.

Warrior Cats


  • X-Men: The Early Years: In "Hit Women, Goats, and Other Vacation Blunders", the team spends a great length of time looking for and chasing after a cranky goat; hence, the repeated instances of someone telling "Follow the Goat".


  • The CSI fic What if Our CSIs were on Facebook has a ton, because it's a parody. Each character has at least one: Nick says he looks hot doing everything. He also often wets himself. Gil always says stuff makes him nervous. Catherine wants Warrick to take his shirt off. She also often forgets she has a daughter. Catherine's dad, Sam, often mentions his concrete swimwear. There's also a running gag about the writers being cheap because of the Lawrence Fishburne Emergency Contract Fund, and one about the show being set in Vegas but filmed in LA. Then there's the Tarantula gag, which turned into two versions - Gil G and his literal tarantula, and as a euphemism for a certain body part, for multiple characters. Later events like Nick being buried and Warrick being shot turned into running references too, way before they happened.
    • Naturally when 'Ending Happy' rolled around, the author got as much mileage out of the 'no signs of sexual trauma' running gag that was shown onscreen as possible. (Dave: Still no signs of sexual trauma!)