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  • Bojack Horseman: A regular gag throughout the show is Mr. Peanutbutter calling every time he and Bojack accidentally meet up at the same place a "crossover episode", as both worked on family sitcoms during the 1990s and a crossover between their two shows was one of his biggest dreams. It finally gets paid off in the final season, when they come across the old set of Mr. Peanutbutter's show at the pop culture wing of the Smithsonian and Bojack humors him by suggesting they finally act out that crossover. Mr. Peanutbutter is so overwhelmed with joy that he breaks down in tears partway through their improv skit.
  • The Hollow: Kai constantly think they're Dead All Along and asks for confirmation.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Dave peak molt stage gives him wings and strength, but tends to be the most short-lived of them all. So he either enters it too late or exits it just as soon as it would help the group's situation.
    Wolf: It's like realizing you could be useful makes you useless.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog has quite a lot of these, most notably:
    • Among other things, Muriel's using vinegar in almost everything she makes.
      • And almost everyone not liking vinegar. This includes liking what she makes and immediately hating it once they find out that there's vinegar in it.
    • Eustace pulling out his mask to frighten Courage.
    • Muriel playing the sitar.
    • Eustace complaining about his possessions such as his chair, hat, or truck.
    • Muriel asking for or giving tea.
    • Di Lung's car suffering severe damage in its every appearance.
    • Di Lung yelling "WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING, YA FOOL" at people, usually for hypocritical reasons.
    • Eustace complaining about Courage sitting at the table.
    • "There's something wrong here! Or my name's (something completely random/foreign)...and it's not."
    • Whenever Courage runs into a locked door, he usually pulls bone-saws, arc welders, heavy artillery or whatever in the hopes of opening it. Naturally, it never works.
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    • Poultry seems to be a recurring theme for villains, with many being chickens, ducks, and geese.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures has Uncle hitting Jackie in the head with a two-fingered strike each time he does or says something wrong. He also hit other characters such as Captain Black, Tohru, Dark Jackie, Super Moose, and Hsi Wu. In one occasion, he hits himself because he blames himself for the kidnapping of Tohru, and in one episode, he gets hit by Dark Jackie and the two start hitting each other repeatedly.
    • "One more thing..." Every episode, Jackie insists that Jade stays at home, or with some adult, or at any attraction they were at, only for Jade to find some loophole to his request and just appear on the battle scene; and Jackie is always surprised that she never listens.
    • And this was lampshaded in a certain episode, with a dialogue that went like:
      Jackie: (talking to Jade on the phone) Okay then. But you stay where you are and don't do anything! (turns off phone)
      Uncle: Jade never doesn't do anything.
      Jackie: I know, but I feel like I have to say it.
  • House of Mouse: "No one can [perform an action] like Gaston."
  • Kaeloo: Stumpy's sister being mentioned before somebody realizes that Stumpy has no sisternote .
  • Archer
    • Whenever Archer suspects Lana to have feelings for him, he feels compelled to inform her that she has entered the DAAAYNJA ZOOOONE.
    • Archer trying to get someone (usually Lana) who is evidently and purposely ignoring him to respond to a minor comment he's just made:
      Archer: Lana.
      Lana: *Pointedly ignoring him*
      Archer (more firmly): LANA.
      Lana: *Still ignoring him*
      Archer (screaming): LAAAAANNAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
      Lana (exasperated): WHAT?!
      Archer (in a normal voice): Danger Zone!
    • Lana's big and strong man hands.
    • Archer's elaborate voice mail greeting pranks that make people think he's in at first, only to realize he's not later. This doesn't help at all when people try to help him on his missions and end up getting pranked.
    • Brett gets accidentally shot or hit by ricochets a lot (in one instances, the bullet ricochets all the way downstairs). At least he dies doing "what he loves".
    • Carol's fetish for getting the SHIT choked out of her.
    • The absolutely disgusting state of the carpets at ISIS. "Because that's how you get ants."
    • "Barry, you ass!"
    • "Phrasing!"
    • Archer vomiting when someone mentions his mother's sexual activities.
    • Archer never reading the dossiers before missions. Although he claims to have skimmed it once before one. Due to him having mission success without reading them, it's unlikely that he ever will.
  • In every adaptation, Sam and Max always fight over answering the phone screaming "I GOT IT! I GOT IT!" Sam always wins. There have only ever been two exceptions to this. In the episode "A Glitch In Time" Max inadvertently changes the timeline, causing Sam to become a mild-mannered monk running a Discount Pet Wash. When the phone rings, Max screams "I GOT IT!", then turns to Sam who just stands there, then sighs and answers the phone.
    • For the other exception, boogie on down to the entry in the Video Games section.
  • South Park: "Oh my God, They Killed Kenny!" "You bastards!"
    • Other than the obvious ones, such as Kenny dying, there are other, smaller ones such as Cartman's almost unvarying goal to get "ten million dollars". It's never explained why he wants exactly ten million dollars, and the closest they get to it is when another character reveals their own plan to get ten million dollars, they say "that's how scams work."
      • In "Cartmanland", it is revealed Cartman always wanted one million dollars to buy a theme park. Why he wants the other nine is never shown.
    • Whenever the red-haired redneck shows up, he'll inevitably yell out "DEY TOOK AR JERBS!" or a variation of it.
      • "DEY TOOK ERR JERBS?!"
      • DRR TRRKA JRR!!
      • DURKA DUR!
    • During the earlier seasons at least, there is at least the outline of one of the aliens from the first episode's heads once per episode. EVERY. SINGLE. EPISODE.
    • On the DVD release of the first season, Matt and Trey have "Fireside chats" between the episodes, in which they have a dog named "Old Scratch" who changes breed (and even changes into stuffed animals) each time he is seen.
    • There was also more than one mention of Cartman wanting to give Kyle AIDS. Until he does.
    • Scott is a dick.
    • "You know, I learned something today."
    • "I'm gonna need about tree fitty."
    • "Herro this is Shitty Wok." or when he says "Dem Mongorians broke down my shitty wall!" A.K.A him saying shitty instead of city.
    • Season 19 has PC Principal making a speech and—GODDAMMIT, LESLIE, SHUT YOUR FUCKING PIEHOLE!
      • The season also has Caitlyn Jenner running people over with her car, a reference to her infamous February 2015 collision. "Buckle up, buckaroos!"
  • The Running Gag of the Animated Adaptation of The Mask is that the titular character constantly gives characters atomic wedgies at random. Lt. Kellaway gets the brunt of said gag.
  • Big Mouth: Jay constantly quotes his father's politically incorrect divorce lawyer commercials, with people pointing that behavior out and asking him to stop.
  • An episode of Garfield and Friends incorporates an intentionally blatant running gag: the episode is framed as a "behind the scenes" documentary where Garfield gives advice on comedy. One of his first pieces of advice is that the secret of humor is to repeat something until it becomes funny. As part of the setup, the lights are often lowered to show a clip. Each time they are to be raised, Garfield calls "Lights!", in response to which several hands appear, offering him lightbulbs. His reaction grows in intensity with each occurrence, starting with "Not funny" and progressing to his final...y being incapacitated by helpless side-splitting laughter when it occurs for the final time.
    Garfield: Take note: if you do the same stupid joke over and over, eventually it turns into a running gag and becomes funny.
    • The show itself made constant references to the Klopman Diamond.
  • The Fairly OddParents.
    • Timmy's parents often ask him where he got a particular item that he has acquired by wish. Timmy replies, "uuuhh...internet?".
      • Lampshaded in an episode where this exchange occurs, followed by Dad asking, "and where did you get the Internet?" to which Timmy couldn't respond anything in time, and made his Dad faint because he became suspicious that Timmy was involved in robbery.
      • When Timmy gets suddenly rich: "Internet... Inheritance... I, uh, inherited the internet!"
    • When someone brings up Super Toilet, followed by Cosmo freaking out and yelling "So. much. CLOGGING!!".
    • A character's parent knocking on their offspring's door, followed up by the parent saying that while they respect their offspring's privacy by knocking, they're asserting their authority as their mother/father by coming in anyway, and the parent smashing the door down with a pillar.
    • "FAIRY GODPARENTS!", complete with insanely hilarious spasms. Mr. Crocker is bound to have a fairy-related spasm sooner or later in any episode he appears in.
    • Although, in one episode where Timmy wishes himself out of existence, we get to see Crocker as he would have been if not driven fairy-mad. He is seen as a highly appreciated philosophy teacher, yet still spasms as he says "EXISTENTIALISM!"
    • Timmy spasming in Crocker's Day in the Limelight special when he finds out that Crocker had fairies as a kid, immediately followed by him asking his fairies to hit him if he ever did that again. He does, they do.
    • When Timmy wishes the present was the space-age future that people in the 60s-80s predicted it to become, Crocker becomes a muscular janitor convinced that robots will revolt against humanity and spasms "ROBOTS ARE EVIL!"
    • Every single episode in this show has its own running gag!
    • Several very common ones often appear:
      • "Dinkleberg!"
      • "Curse you X!"
      • "Yay X!"
    • Mr. Turner's obsession with eggnog.
    • "Pipe Down!" has a gag where people yell so loudly that their clothes burst right off of them.
    • Another Butch Hartman series, T.U.F.F. Puppy as well as Bunsen Is a Beast, has some running gags, too. Running gags are apparently Butch's bread and butter for his comedy shows.
  • In The Emperor's New School, Yzma orders Kronk to "Pull the lever. in order to access her secret laboratory" This often produces comical results.
  • D'Nerd from The BOTS Master is a robot that serves as a large databank, and often times would kick into "dictionary mode" to explain the definition of something when the question was meant to receive a more casual response.
    ZZ: Hey D'Nerd. What's up?
    D'Nerd: There are 81 definitions of 'up', which can be used...
  • On the extremely short-running Clerks: The Animated Series, the second episode is a clipshow (yes, it's absurd; that's the joke), and the running gag is that nearly every time someone says "remember when...", the "memory" clip is a moment from the previous episode — even the "next week on Clerks" clip is this same moment.
    • One clip that featured four times in said clipshow and remained a Running Gag afterward: Dante and Randal are (apparently) climbing a building using a rope, until a flower pot falls and lands between them. Dante asks, "Why are we walking like this?" and the camera rotates 90 degrees and zooms out.
  • In addition to the vast number of things that happen Once an Episode, in Phineas and Ferb almost every scene that involves something being built or things being moved around will include the giant creepy-looking baby head from "One Good Scare Oughta Do It!" appearing at some point.
    • Also, "Aren't you a little young to be (insert dangerous job here)?" "Yes, yes we are."
    • Phineas and Ferb has so many running gags, it might qualify for a gag marathon.
      • "Ferb, I know what we're gonna do today."
      • "Hey, where's Perry?" "Oh, there you are, Perry."
      • Candace and whatever Cassandra Truth she's trying to inform her Mom of this time.
      • Isabella becoming visibly upset whenever someone uses her Catchphrase. Anyone but Phineas, that is.
      • Doofenshmirtz and his traumatic childhood in various flashbacks.
      • The number of times they play with the Catchphrase moments might also qualify.
      • Doof's ridiculous traps for Perry the Platypus.
      • Nagging Wife: "What did you expect, that a [object] would fall out of the sky?" And then it does. Sometimes on top of her.
      • (insert character name) is out, peace!
      • People mistaking Doofenshmirtz for a pharmacist
      • "What if a satellite falls out of the sky?"
      • The Lice Duo, Olga and Chicago Joe, are in (or at least mentioned) in several episodes. Never really explained, though...
      • A pigeon will crash into anything Phineas and Ferb have built provided it is tall enough. Subverted in one episode where Ferb installs a sliding panel to let it through.
      • Doofenshmirtz's evil jingle.
      • Agent P's entrances to his secret lair, and by extension, his briefings with Major Monogram.
      • In big chaotic crowd scenes, someone will be trying to protect their watermelon of all things.
      • Buford saying, "I am so in love with her right now."
      • Doof's inability to recognize Perry the Platypus without his Nice Hat.
      • "Secretly, I'm very lonely."
      • "The Viking is right!"
      • The talking Zebra that calls Candace Kevin shows up a lot, usually when Candace is dreaming or hallucinating. It's even been Lampshaded. She realizes she's dreaming, and says so. Jeremy says that it would explain the talking zebra, but she says that she sees him all the time.
    Phineas: I'm just saying that as a Non Sequitur, a talking zebra seems a little—
    Isabella: Forced?
    Phineas: Yeah, forced.
  • Total Drama has tons of these, though most of them only lasted for one season. The Total Drama Wiki has a full list of running gags for those who are interested.
  • There's a running gag in the series Kim Possible, regarding faithful sidekick Ron Stoppable's disappearing pants. They regularly get slashed open or pulled off of him, exposing his rather colorful collection of boxer shorts. There's even been some Lampshade Hanging on it; in "Showdown at the 'Crooked D'", when confronted with the fact, he claims it's only happened "six or eight times;" in "Exchange," when it happens once again, Ron bemoans his misfortune with a "Oh, man! Even in Japan!"
    • This itself is almost becoming a running gag; in the episode "Ill Suited", his reaction is "Oh, man! Even as a senior!" This however was lampshaded and solved in Season 4 as Wade made an unbreakable titanium phlebotinum belt for Kim to give Ron.
    • In "Clean Slate", where Kim gave Ron the belt, he later used the belt to close a steam pipe, thus making his pants fall down again.
    • Which culminated in a montage of previous falling-pants incidents, as Kim (who was suffering from Easy Amnesia at the time) finally remembered her relationship with Ron, and declared "I love you" to him for the first time. Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming? Yeah.
    • Without exception, at least once each recurring villain from the Rogues Gallery in Kim Possible has forgotten Ron's name. Senior Sr. and Monkey Fist remember his name a bit better than everyone else, however Dementor and Dr. Drakken have NEVER remembered his name.
    • Ron himself commented on this in one episode, speaking to Monkey Fist: "You know, you're the only bad guy who ever remembers my name. I respect that."
    • Whatever the plot-relevant class, sport, or administrative duty is, Mr. Barkin will be covering it today as the regular teacher is unavailable.
    • In the first season, upon seeing an enormous obstacle/opponent that they would have to face, Ron would often exclaim:
    Ron: "That would be so cool if it wasn't gonna hurt us!"
    • Ron being 'micro chipped' by Wade.
    • The number of Almost Kisses between Kim and Ron became a gag in season 4. However, if you're a K/R fan, you might see it as a Moment Killer.
    • Motor Ed's verbal tic. Seriously.
    • After "Rappin' Drakken," that plan's horrific failure becomes a running gag that spans Season 4 - mostly via Shego's snark or someone only remembering him because of the shampoo. It was even what lead to Drakken being freed from prison by Warmonga who caught the transmission and thought he was the Great Blue. This culminates in him being able to easily put together a Mass Hypnosis plan because "there was plenty of the mind control shampoo left over."
    • Several episodes, particularly the ones with two shorts that were more humor related instead of one full story, have the running gag of Kim getting stuck with the worst luck or having a much harder time dealing with something while Ron skates through the sitch with good luck and a total lack of interest. This includes Ron being bumped up to first class on a commercial flight - twice - while Kim is stuck in coach (Ron has the decency to try to pretend it wasn't awesome, though he fails), Kim being totally blindsided and humiliated by having the tell the truth all the time while it makes Ron instantly popular, Ron bonding with an overgrown roach monster while Kim is so grossed out she constantly freaks out (after telling Ron not to worry about bugs, no less), both episodes that focus on Felix and the first half of "Sick Day."
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The series continues the Star Wars legacy of characters claiming to have a bad feeling about things.
    • In "Lair of Grievous" Jedi Knight Nahdar Vebb says "I have a bad feeling about this." when Grievous tells them to please enjoy all his home has to offer, as its been prepared for univited guests like them and he's destroyed their transportation and long range communications abilities.
  • The Running Gag on Teen Titans about Raven's obsession with the secrecy of her room was repeated exactly three times:
    Raven: They went into my room. No one should ever go into my room.
    Cyborg: We're in Raven's room. We should not be in Raven's room.
    Raven: That's my room! Nobody goes in my room!
    • Others can be said to be Starfire's culture and its... odities.
    • Or Cyborg's obsession with food.
    • Or Beast Boy's obsession with tofu.
    • Or Starfire's love of foods no-one else would eat. "This tangy yellow beverage is most delicious!" "Uh, Starfire?" "That's mustard." "Is there more?"
    • The episode "Spellbound" has Raven's obsession with a book she was reading. Each time she read, the scene is visualized for the audience. And every time she's interrupted, the scene would stop/freeze/burn as it would if it were an old-school projector film. It got worse every time Raven is interrupted, as her temper grows shorter.
    • Beast Boy has very little resistance to hypnosis. And the only thing to get him out of it is to make him laugh. Something that's a running gag in Mad Mod episodes.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: The title character suffers this trope, in almost every episode.
  • In Family Guy: Peter blowing off the front of Cleveland's house while he's in the tub (causing the tub to fall off the second floor into the front yard as Cleveland yells "No no no no no noooo!"), Joe re-gaining the ability to walk and instantly becoming crippled, Peter's spontaneous battles with a giant chicken, the evil monkey in Chris's closet (Though this one has been resolved).
    • In an in-episode example ("To Love And Die In Dixie") Peter is attacked by a raccoon at increasingly random times.
    • The Vaudeville duo "Play me off..." (also resolved), Giggity Giggity, and Stewie talking to Brian about the book he is writing in a high pitched voice are other examples.
    • Consuela the maid's "No,", and "more Lemon Pledge"
    • "[indrawn hiss]...aaaahhhh...[indrawn hiss]...aaaahhhh..."
    • Every time Peter asks if someone has heard, the person says "Heard what?" Peter then proceeds to sing the lyrics to "Surfin' Bird" to an annoying degree. Lampshaded in one episode where Peter loses his memory and turns on a jukebox that plays the song, but Peter unplugs it and says the song is annoying.
    • Similar to The Simpsons example below where Groundskeeper Willie keeps getting axed in the back, in the episode "Three Kings," which is three short segments parodying Stephen King stories, whatever character Joe portrays will always start with the ability to walk, but will have his legs crippled sometime before the end of the segment.
    • The Kool-Aid Man breaking through the wall of a courtroom like he does in the 1970s-80s TV commercials whenever a number of people say "Oh, no!" (The drink-mix mascot also makes cameo appearances in other episodes, including one in which he witnesses something else break through a wall and realizes that it can be annoying.)
    • Episodes in seasons 4 through 8 would often feature some non-human creature having a case of Vocal Dissonance in the form of having Bruce's voice. These included Jaws, a giant bee, the Alien queen, and a giant rat.
  • A key element of the humor in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is the numerous running gags, from Phil Ken Sebben's "Ha ha... Double Entendre", to Peter Potamus' "Did you get that thing I sent ya?", to Mentok's mindtaking, to Reducto's paranoia and obsession with small things... It's a long list.
  • The Transformers wiki often follows up something that makes fans happy with "and there was much rejoicing (yay...)". There are also a multitude of jokes about various incarnations of Ultra Magnus dealing/not dealing with things (based on a line from The Movie). Also, whenever there's a picture of Animated Starscream or one of his clones, it's almost inevitably accompanied by a relevant quote about Arnold Rimmer.
    • Bonecrusher hates that he was forgotten on this list.
    • Bonecrusher also hates that he was added to this list.
    • Bonecrusher especially hates being added to the "overused" jokes list.
    • Any image of a bird alternate mode, some sort of flying alternate mode or just tangentially related to flying will be accompanied by the Furmanism "like a vast, predatory bird...".
      • Furmanisms as a whole.
    • Movie Optimus Prime wants YOUR FACE. Occasionally bleeds into other continuities if faces are involved.
    • The infamous "Know that I am Razorclaw" speech from the Universe comic. There are multiple characters named "Razorclaw", and all of them get a reference to it.
    • Another one that repeats over and over again throughout the franchise; if a decepticon named Cy-Kill ever shows up, expect him to be dead within 5 pages, usually by Megatron.note 
    • Skywarp(s) like to shove people down the stairs. note 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has a few running gags.
    • Zuko's ship being damaged in Season 1: being buried under an avalanche (ep. 02), being set on fire by Zhao's catapult (07), losing the miniboat over a waterfall (09), being struck by lightning (12), a Shirshu ripping a hole in the deck (15), and finally being blown up in the season finale.
    • The Cabbage Guy getting his cabbage cart smashed. ("My cabbages!"). Lapses for the second season before making a surprise return late in the third season when the playwright traveling the world interviewing people to research the Avatar's journey met "a surprisingly knowledgeable merchant of cabbage".
      • In The Legend of Korra, Cabbage Corp is mentioned in several episodes before appearing, with a statue of its familiar-looking founder standing by his cart. As the owner is being arrested and his company's assets frozen, he cries out "Not my Cabbage Corp!".
    • Various characters forgetting that Toph can't see, to the point where Toph once lampshades, "I mean, seriously, what's with you people?! I'm BLIND!" Toph herself isn't above taking advantage of it in order to pick on others, but one time she gets defensive about not being included in an activity that would require sight to do. They also subverted it once where Toph mocks Sokka for asking her to take the wheel of an airship, but he wasn't actually talking to her.
      Sokka: Take the wheel!
      Toph: (smirks sarcastically) That's a great idea! Let the blind girl steer the giant airship!
      Sokka: (dryly) I was talking to Suki.
      Toph: (stops smiling) Thaaat would make a lot more sense...
      • Taken to extreme when in order to end a rift between Toph and Katara, Sokka writes an apologetic letter supposedly from Toph and sends it to Katara who is not fooled as being blind 'Toph can't write!', Aang still enthusiastically suggests they try again reversing the recipient of the fake letter but Sokka realises 'we may face the same problem'.
    • Sokka's fake beard in the third season. Then his alias of "Wang Fire" went on to become a Memetic Badass.
    • His terrible drawing skills that go from "Lake Laogai" all the way to the Grand Finale. Toph thinks he's a great artist, which is nice of— heyyyy...
    • Every time a character (usually Sokka) tells a bad joke, there is a moment of silence, followed by an off-screen cough.
    • Katara's water bending always gets Sokka wet throughout season one followed with
      Sokka: KATARA!
      Katara: Sorry Sokka.
  • The episode "Comic Book Capers" of Darkwing Duck has a character whose name is Little Running Gag. He threw pies and ran through the scene for no reason. Oh, the name? He was a stereotypical Native American: "Ha! That's my assistant, 'Little Running Gag'." "Oh! I get it. It's a running gag..."
    • Also:
      Gosalyn: If you don't come [to Honker's birthday party], I won't clean my room.
      Drake: You never clean your room.
      Dark Warrior Duck: I should have recognized you as a bad egg from the start. You never cleaned your room.
      Darkwing: You're, uh... you're grounded!
      Gosalyn: Grounded?! What for?
      Darkwing: (not wanting to tell her he's trying to protect her from Taurus Bulba, now Back from the Dead) Um, for... not picking up your room.
      Gosalyn: I never pick up my room! You're gonna have to do better than that!
  • An episode of Tiny Toon Adventures had a similar joke to Darkwing's literal running gag, only with a clown (making it even more literal).
    • Buster and Babs "No relation" gag.
  • The Weekenders go out for pizza once every weekend... the pizza place is NEVER the same theme twice.
    • On a few occasions, the pizza restaurant has even changed mid-episode.
  • A "Treehouse of Horror" episode of The Simpsons had a running gag where Groundskeeper Willie was given the axe. Right in the back. In every story. He acknowledged this in the third story as he was killed.
    "OHH, I'm bad at this..."
    • The Simpsons is full of running gags, including but by no means limited to:
    • Probably the most famous one, Homer strangling Bart.
    • Springfield's exact location is never given, or even hinted at too closely.
    • Sideshow Bob's appearances always include him stepping on a rake at some point, since his scene with the infamous many rakes in the episode "Cape Feare".
    • Bart's prank phonecalls to Moe's Tavern.
    • Nelson pointing and laughing at other peoples' unfortunate mishaps.
    • Homer referring to something as his lifelong dream, often only to have all his previous "lifelong dreams" listed to him.
    • Mr. Burns never remembering Homer's name.
    • Helen Lovejoy saying "Won't somebody please Think of the Children!?"
    • The ever changing couch gag.
    • On the same vein, Bart Writing Lines on the blackboard.
    • "Mmmmmmmmm, (food!...)" which changes depending on what food Homer notices at the time. It doesn't even have to be food.
    • "Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You Might Remember Me from...... "
    • “Hi, everybody!”, "Hi, Dr. Nick!"
    • All the times the show has made fun of FOX.
    • If a Simpson shows kindness toward an animal, it WILL be eaten by another animal.
    • If an elephant shows up in a scene, it's probably going to stick someone's head in it's mouth.
    • Maggie never talks. Even in stories set in the future, some contrivance will prevent her from speaking.
      • As a part of the latter, Maggie is usually depicted as being a chatterbox (IE every scene in "Lisa's Wedding" has her tying up the phone, but when we cut to Maggie we only see her roll her eyes when taken to task).
  • Animaniacs frequently has Yakko, Wakko, and Dot running by in the other characters' segments, pursued by Ralph the Guard. Pinky and the Brain would also frequently appear in the background in other segments doing the same thing they do every night. Other characters occasionally get into the act as well.
    • And:
      Yakko & Wakko: HELLOOOO NURSE!
      Dot: Boys. Go fig.
    • Yakko's typical response to an Innocent Innuendo or other off-color joke is to turn to the audience and say "Goodnight everybody!"
    • Dot introducing herself as "Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fanna Bo Besca the Third... but you can call me Dot. Call me Dottie and you die."
    • Speaking of Pinky and the Brain, it has its own. In addition to its Once an Episode gags ("The same thing we do every night" and "Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?"), there's also the matter of Pinky answering Brain's rhetorical questions with a cultural reference that actually fits the question (if not the way Brain intended).
    • The episode "Survey Ladies" is a one-episode example. The titular survey ladies pop out of everywhere, pestering the Warners. It goes to the point where it's lampshaded by Dot.
      Dot: See, it's a running gag thing. I think everyone gets it now.
    • Another one-episode example was the full thirty-minute "King Yakko". Several times, someone held up a piece of polka-dotted clothing in front of Dot and quizzically said, "Polka dot?" Which caused Wakko to pull out an accordion and the three siblings (and everyone else present) to dance the Polka.
  • In Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights, the "Sinbad" story frequently features the evil Captain's run-down boat being sunken by something, and then the luxury cruise ship Magilla Gorilla was supposed to get on passing by after that.
  • The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show Has Scrappy's love of putting ketchup on the most...unlikely of foods.
  • On Histeria!, Pepper Mills constantly bothers historical celebrities for their autographs, not realizing until after she's gotten it that the person in question is not the pop cultural celebrity she has mistaken them for.
  • Captain Fanzone's car gets destroyed whenever it shows up in Transformers Animated. He also can never get technology to work properly.
    "This is why I HATE machines!"
  • The size of Dib's head on Invader Zim. The people who worked on the show never got tired of it; in fact, the staff subtly modified the proportions of his head over the run of the show just for that gag!
    • My head's not big!
    • Several episodes have a character suffer a spinal injury and scream "MY SPINE!!"
  • Transformers: Prime has "I needed that!" from Ratchet everytime someone breaks a piece of equiptment Ratchet needed (usually Bulkhead). Even gets called back to in the movie by bumblebee.
  • Beast Wars Transformers has several for the characters; Megatron's "Yessss" and his taking his rubber ducky with him into the regeneration tank, Rattrap and Dinobot's constant exchange of argues, everyone telling Rattrap to shut up whenever he declares that "We're all gonna die!" (which he actually lampshades, once), Waspinator's many, many, many slaggings, Inferno referring to Megs as "My Queen", etc.
  • Jim Moralès could tell you all about Code Lyoko's example, but he'd rather not talk about it.
  • ReBoot actually makes a running joke of the main character, Bob's many catchphrases ("This is bad...very bad", "Stay frosty!", "That was easy enough"). Having other characters use them, and referring to the fact that if Bob was with them, he'd probably say one of those lines.
    • Remember that running gag, Al?
    • ..."WHAAAT?"
  • In Hey Arnold!, there were two recurring gags throughout the years Brainy sneaking behind Helga and breathing heavily and her punching him, and Eugene always getting involved in some kind of accident usually on his bicycle.
    • "I'm okay."
  • The Venture Bros. includes several, including 24's Nissan Stanza and 21 complaining about not being told about things, such as the fact that the wings on the henchmen's costumes are actually flight-capable.
    • Monarch and taxi drivers. Every time he has to take a taxi, he either orders that the driver be killed or shoots the driver himself with a tranq dart.
    • In season 4, every mention of the organization SPHINX was followed up either by a choir saying "Sphinx!" or Shore-Leave saying it himself in his best Camp Gay voice.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Any time Shake handles something, which he ends up flinging to the ground, it explodes. Notable examples including from TV remotes, to the Satellite dish he used to cook hot dogs, to three one dollar bills (which took the time to slowly drift to the ground before exploding), and causing a chain reaction once by flinging an object into the television, the object exploding, then the television exploding a few seconds later. It's implied this isn't just a visual gag by characters silently backing away from the explosion.
  • Squidbillies: Early Cuyler always robbing the same convenience store, and blowing off the old man's left hand.
  • Futurama:
    • Roberto robs the same bank three times in a row, in the same episode.
    • Zoidberg's limited knowledge or the human body, his financial status, and him losing an organ he doesn't need. It's a Funny Moment when it's discovered that Zoidberg is actually a doctor of Art History.
    • Good news, everybody!
    • Sweet (something) of (somewhere)! Lampshaded in "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", where he's so freaked out that he can't come up with a real saying and actually says "Sweet...something of...some place."
      • A simile involving a "green snake" and "sugar cane" (climbing faster than a green snake up a sugar cane, hungrier than a green snake in a sugar cane field, etc.).
      • "MY MANWICH!!"
    • I'm Scruffy. The janitor.
      • I've never seen you before.
      • Scruffy's never seen you before neither.
    • Bender proclaiming that he's 40 percent something, including titanium in "A Head in the Polls", dolomite in "Jurassic Bark", and zinc.
      • Attack of the Killer App adds 40% chromium to Bender.
      • And All the Presidents' Heads makes him 40% scrap metal.
      • In "Decision 3012," 40% wire.
      • As an elephant seal in Naturama, he's 40% ass.
      • He's also 60% storage space, and a few other things that don't really... add up.
    • Neat! *click*
    • He's dead.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Whenever there's a panicking crowd, a guy can often be heard shouting: "My leg!"
    • Parodied in the episode "Squid Baby", with "My face, my face!... Also my leg, but mostly my face!"
    • An entire episode, simply titled "My Leg!" was made around this gag. It explains how Fred, a background fish, was the one who always said it, and how he always did it in an attempt to be with a Nurse he's in love with.
    • How about Old Man Jenkins as a running gag character? Or his name, rather, considering that it's apparently the name of several different elderly fish in Bikini Bottom.
      • As of lately, there's been one consistent design for Old Man Jenkins, and another old fish who originally went by that alias was renamed 'Old Man Walker'.
    • "Chocolate? Did you say CHOCOLATE!?!"
    • In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, we have the reaction to King Neptune's baldness; "B-B-B-Bald! Bald! Bald!" "My eyes!"
    • Various things randomly exploding in a mushroom cloud for little to no reason. Naturally gets combined with the "WTF!!! BOOM!!! meme quite often.
    • Mrs. Puff getting arrested, when it's usually SpongeBob's fault. She even spent one whole episode in prison.
    • Patrick spending so much time at the Krusty Krab that Mr. Krabs sometimes forgets that he doesn't work there.
      Patrick: (reading card) "One of your shipmates has been a bad pirate! Send him to the brig!" Hmmm. It's off to jail for you, Mr. Krabs!
      Mr. Krabs: Patrick, you're fired!
      Patrick: But I don't even work here!
      Mr. Krabs: Would you like a job, starting now?
      (hands him a Krusty Krab hat)
      Patrick: Boy, would I!
      (snatches the hat back)
      Mr. Krabs: You're fired!
    • Plankton getting crushed by a piano in "Fear of a Krabby Patty".
    • "Rock Bottom" has a couple, such as SpongeBob missing the bus, which makes up a large part of the episode, and SpongeBob's balloon hitting the bus driver.
    • One involving Plankton and Karen. She would suggest a way to steal the formula, but he dismisses her for being random or bothering him, then he would say the exact same idea.
  • SWAT Kats: Mac can't drive straight no matter what vehicle he's in. Molly loves to remind him of this.
    • "This is Feral! Bring me chopper backup!"
  • In Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Cartoon Planet, Space Ghost has what is essentially a reflex to shoot Zorak whenever the latter says something incredibly insulting. This got a skit/episode dedicated to lampshading it in both series. The former had Zorak faking his death after getting shot repeatedly, and the latter had Brak incurring Space Ghost's wrath simply because he "isn't animated to explode" like Zorak is, with the mantis taking all the heat(rays).
    • The show has a habit of mocking interviewees when they try to get their plug out of the way, even cutting them off in the middle of it. Eventually one of his guests calls out Space Ghost on this behavior, and then tries to use it to segue into his own plug, at which point the show suddenly cuts to Non Sequitur Stock Footage of a panda.
  • KaBlam! has A TON. Henry getting beat up by Mr. Foot, the duo Lampshade Hanging, and many, many, more...
  • Almost every Looney Tunes character had at least one Running Gag.
    • "I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque..."
    • Daffy getting his bill blown off in creative ways. Only used in a few cartoons, but they were some of the most memorable.
    • And let's not forget: "Duck Season, Rabbit Season".
    • Porky stuttering on one word, then replacing it with a different word. "That's ridi-ridi-ridi-prepos-te-th-that's just plain silly."
    • "Awww, da poor puddy tat. He faw down!"
    • " I taught I taw a puddy tat!" "I did! I did taw a puddy tat!"
    • A French female feline somehow suffers a streak of white down her back, immediately attracting the unwanted affections of Pepe Le Pew.
    • "Fortunately, I always keep my feathers numbered, for just such an emergency."
    • Coyote. Cliff. 'Nuff said.
      • Also, the Coyote getting blown up as well as crushed by a boulder.
  • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers has a running gag of Pete motioning to a poster for an opera where he plans to overthrow Minnie. Everytime it's shown, a small tune plays, noticed only by Pete.
  • Beetlejuice has tons of running gags. One of the funniest was a Gory Discretion Shot whenever BJ ate a bug.
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Gopher falling into one of his own gopher holes. ("I'm not in the book! Aaaaaaahh!")
  • Series 9 and 10 of Danger Mouse had Greenback activating a "hit box," which contained a mallet that bopped Stiletto on the head whenever he said something stupid.
    Stiletto: Ow! Ow! And Ow!
    • The entire series has DM getting exasperated with Penfold whenever he says something...out of place:
    "Penfold, shush!"
  • Young Justice has a few: Kid Flash's habit of picking up souvenirs, Robin's backformations and prefix removal, Superboy's hatred of monkeys, and Artemis nearly drowning has officially been repeated three times, so it counts, too. They're starting to play around the various gags, as well, with Kid Flash complaining about forgetting a souvenir and Robin using one of his created words in a deadly serious context.
  • On Doug, Mr. Dink always says things are "very expensive". Subverted in an episode where he notes something was "surprisingly cheap".
  • The Smurfs:
    • Starting with the episode "The Astrosmurf", the cartoon had a joke that went like this: Papa Smurf would lead the other smurfs on a long journey. One would start to get tired, and ask "Is it much farther Papa Smurf?" and he'd reply, "Not far now." Then the scene would shift, another smurf would ask the question again, and he'd reply the same way. After four scene-shifts and being asked the question four times, he'd finally lose patience and reply, "YES IT IS!!" After that episode, the joke, or a version of it was used frequently throughout the whole run of the series, whenever there was a scene involving a long walk or journey. ( Even Gargamel, who tagged along with Smurfs in one episode, complained about the journey being too long.) In fact, in a late season, the joke was lampshaded; after the question was asked a second time, Papa Smurf snapped, "Oh, now don't start that again!"
    • Brainy had a running gag that ended a lot of episodes. One of the smurfs would get upset at his annoying lectures, and he'd be thrown out of the village, land on his head, and make some sort of funny comment. (For instance, in "The Gingerbread Smurfs" episode, it happened when it was clear he hadn't learned a thing, and said, "I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles!") One time the episode ended outside the village, and he was thrown into it, surprised that had actually happened.
  • One can always tell when a Rocky and Bullwinkle adventure is about to come to a close when Boris finds one last thing to say to Natasha as their plans lie in ruins around them:
    • This running gag even gets a little shout-out during the Oogle Bird adventure, when Boris yells to the bird, "Aw, shut up your beak!"
    • "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!"
  • Superman: The Animated Series: Batman was missing from Gotham and really under Braniac mind control. After Superman as Batman leaves after talking to Gordon, one of the cops standing around remarks "Did he look taller to you?". This is carry-over from the print comic running gag where characters often expect Batman to be taller.
  • The chief weakness of Planet Sketch was that it tried to make all its jokes into running gags. In the end, there was very little incentive to watch multiple episodes, since they were all exactly the same.
  • Hot dog stands being knocked over in Ben 10. The joke made a brief reappearance in one of the sequels.
    • Ben getting an alien he doesn't want (most of the time, when he wants Four Arms, he will get Gray Matter).
      Ben: [As Gray Matter.] I said MUSCLE not MINUSCULE!
      Ben: [As Ripjaws while dangling off of Roosevelt's nose (Mount Rushmore).] Oh, sometimes I hate this watch!
      Ben: [As Gray Matter.] Sometimes I think this thing just plain hates me.
      Ben: [As Gray Matter.] Huh? Oh, no no no no no. Anything but being a micro-munchkin!
  • 'Victor and Hugo - Bunglers In Crime' - In every episode (with one exception) a small, growling dog would appear out of nowhere, run up Victor's trouser leg and remove his underwear. No explanation is given other than that it is funny - particularly for Hugo.
    • The daft radio/TV announcements used to open (almost) every episode.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: Whenever there's any off-screen destruction a man is heard yelling, "My car!". In The Return of the Revenge of Doctor Blowhole Skipper destroys a building in Shanghai and someone yells it in Mandarin.
    • Also Skipper´s "Copenhagen/Denmark incident"
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness: Tigress being mistaken for a man.
    • "The Princess and the Po"
    Mei Li: I never have any friends. Not real friends like you have. Like the cricket and that mean man with the stripes.
    • "Big Bro Po" has this:
    Tigress: Hey there, you. Um...settling in ok?
    Bian Zao: Yes sir!
    • "Father Crime"
    Croc Bandit: We caught that tiger dude.
    Tigress: Tiger lady!
    • Fung the lead Croc Bandit flinging his helmet on the ground in rage. And yelling "DARN IT!" And pronouncing Gah-Ri's name wrong.
    • Tong Fo's huge eyes being mentioned and followed with this retort:
    Tong Fo: They're not big! I have a small skull...
  • Pretty much all of the jokes in Frisky Dingo are made entirely of this. The only time new jokes are generally made is to make them into even more running gags.
  • Practically every episode of Rocko's Modern Life has Rocko being injured in some way. He also gets Squashed Flat a lot too.
  • Ned's Newt: Ned's parents entering his room just as he's talking to Newton (the giant shapeshifting newt), upon which Newton quickly transforms into some supposedly innocuous object (such as the Venus of Milo), which Ned's parents remark upon but don't mind too much.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: Omi's misuse of slang. Even the villains were stunned by the third season.
  • Grojband: Trina going into Diary Mode.
    • Corey giving his end of episode's Spoof Aesops.
    • Mina getting abused.
    • Trina failing to kiss Nick Mallory.
    • People assuming Laney's a boy.
  • King of the Hill: Peggy's tenuous grasp of the Spanish language, especially her pronunciation.
    • Any song Chuck Mangione plays eventually turns into Feels So Good, if he's not already playing it.
    • Chuck Mangione in general, actually.
    • Hank is sometimes unable to understand Boomhauer, but never for the obvious reason.
    • Dale's continued need to smoke, even in under odder circumstances. At one point, when he's about to have his mouth covered, he quickly flips it into his mouth before hand. And after that, smoke can be seen coming out of his nose.
  • Atomic Puppet:
    • Joey and AP breaking a hole in their room's roof whenever they leave to fight crime.
    • Joey and AP shouting "Victory Pose!" and striking one after they defeat the villain of the episode.
    • AP throwing things into the sun (or suggesting to do so) as a method of disposing threats.
    • AP (and sometimes other characters) bringing up Joey's "spaghetti arms", to Joey's annoyance.
  • "Hey, Freakazoid!. Wanna [do something mundane and entirely unrelated to the crisis at hand]?"
    • Despite his triumphant theme song, the Huntsman's complete lack of crime to fight. "Darn the luck!"
    • Duncan (Dexter's older, meaner brother) being constantly tormented by Freakazoid, and nobody believing him when he whines about it later.
    • Emmett Nervend.
    • Though only in one episode: "That was quite a jolt, Freak."
  • Earthworm Jim has a running gag at the end of each episode in which either Jim, Peter or one of the villains had a cow fall on top of them.
  • Justice League: Batman being a part-time member of the League. This actually originated back in Batman Beyond.
  • Madeline has one in which when Pepito accompanies the girls on a trip, the taxi always leaves him behind at first.
  • Bratz: Rock Angelznote  has one involving Kirstee and Kaycee, (whom the Bratz themselves refer to as the "Tweevils"note ) where one of them, who just had a nose job, occasionally hits her nose on something (including the ground in one scene).
    "Ow! My nose!"
  • The Donald Duck short Modern Inventions can be best described in three words:
    Robot Butler: Your hat, sir.
    • There's also Mickey's Revue, which was Goofy's first appearance, where this happens each time Pluto is given the Vaudeville Hooknote 
  • Ready Jet Go!:
    • Mindy's excuses for not joining the gang in their trips to outer space, to say nothing of her need to mention that she's "not allowed to go past Jet's yard". Becomes averted by Season 2 once she turns five years old, and is now allowed to go into space with him.
    • Mindy is constantly sneaking up on Mitchell whenever he spies on Jet, which he finds uncomfortable. He even lampshades this a few times.
  • Wild Animal Baby Explorers has Sammy the Skunk randomly playing hide-and-seek with the other characters and they never quite know when he's going to do it.
    Benita: Sammy just loves-loves-loves to hide! And we love-love-love to find!
  • My Friends Tigger & Pooh:
    • There's a small running gag that Lumpy is apparently unable to recognize Tigger and Pooh so long as they're wearing their Super Sleuth outfits. Even when Darby tells him they're just Tigger and Pooh, he insists she's pulling his leg.
    • Tigger refers to the coloring on Raccoon's face as a mask, only for him to insist "It's not a mask."
  • Turbo FAST:
    • White Shadow groaning in exasperation every time Turbo brags about winning the Indy 500.
    • The Teen Rec Center getting destroyed. In "Hawaii Five-No", one of the things Burn forces the FAST crew to do is to rebuild it.
  • Merrie Melodies "Cross Country Detours" has a literal running gag - an Alaska Husky dog with a California-Or-Bust determination. The climate? The surfing? No...
  • On Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, when the characters are baking something and the timer on the oven dings, saying "X is ding... I mean done."
  • The Disney series DuckTales (1987), had a few of these also. Examples include:
    • Almost invariably, Launchpad would crash whatever craft he's piloting/operating, even when it should be impossible (for example, a rocket car on tracks). Lampshaded throughout the series by various characters (including Launchpad).
    • The nephews' Jr. Woodchuck Guide Book almost invariably has a solution or numbered plan to solve whatever crisis befalls them, no matter how unlikely or outlandish it may be (such as instructions on how to pilot an alien spaceship).
    • Going back to Launchpad, "Launchpad's Civil War" has the impossibly-old veterans of the Battle of Duck Ridge constantly reminding Launchpad how his ancestor, Rhubarb McQuack, screwed up.
      "...that lousy, rotten, bungling polecat McQuack (Gasp!) lost us the Battle of Duck Ridge!"
  • DuckTales (2017):
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show:
    • Being the "eediot" that he is, Stimpy is pretty much a walking, visual running gagnote , which comes to a head in the infamous Son of Stimpy episode, which blatantly implies that Stimpy is literally that stupid.note 
    • That said, Ren losing his temper is another one, along with Ren going insane, whether it be due to "space madness" or Stimpy's "happy helmet".
    • "No sir, I don't / didn't like it."
  • Dinosaur Train:
    • The Conductor's mother and the doting way in which she treats her son, though sometimes embarrassing him.
    • Don's obsession with holes, as well as him not understanding the names of some dinosaur species (especially Ornithomimus, whose name he forgot at least twice).
    • At least with all the songs that made it onto the "Dinosaur Jams" album, there's a running gag with every song sung by the Conductor. He says that something reminds him of a song, resulting in the Pteranodon kids/Buddy asking for him to sing it, only for him to insist that they couldn't possibly want to hear him sing. They beg for him to sing it and he immediately launches into song, with everyone else present soon joining in.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Marinette/Ladybug and Adrien/Cat Noir both secretly fantasize about a future life together, which includes a pet hamster. However, they are always snapped out of their Imagine Spots right before saying the name of the hypothetical hamster.
  • Ninjago: Villainous characters having four arms. In the 8th season, there's even a Mask of Power that gives this ability to the wearer, and when Jay sees it in action he lampshades how often it happens.
  • Muppet Babies (1984) has Fozzie telling bad jokes, and either the other babies giving him a First Name Ultimatum, or imagining he's being hit with rotten tomatoes. There's also Gonzo opening the closet door to find various different weird (and sometimes scary) things behind it. There's also the show's use of various film and TV clips usually as part of various gags, not to mention Baby Piggy blowing off or otherwise mistreating Gonzo.
    • "Good [whatever Animal just atenote ]! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!"note 
  • Steven Universe seems to have a tendency to see Steven's TV set get destroyed every few episodes.
    • Steven himself destroys the TV in "Gem Glow" when he summons his mother's Hard Light shield only to accidentally send it flying.
    • Holo-Pearl stabs the TV in "Steven the Sword Fighter"
    • The Wailing Stone's vibrations shatter Steven's TV in "Rose's Room", and just as Steven was about to unlock the secret ending to Golf Quest Mini.
    • In "Back to the Barn", Peridot smashes the TV set in order to salvage it for parts.
    • In "Know Your Fusion", Smoky Quartz accidentally smashes the TV while doing tricks with their Killer Yoyo.
  • In some of the later installments of the Animated Adaptation of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Oliver giving Mouse whatever object it is that kicks off the events the episode (for example, a piece of chalk), only to admit that he doesn't know what will happen next if he gives it to him and asking what he wants it for.
  • The Breaking the Fourth Wall gags in Chowder, which occurred darn near constantly throughout the show's run and (depending on who you ask) ended up run into the ground mercilessly by the show's end. There really was No Fourth Wall by the series finale.
  • Hero: 108:
  • On Mack & Moxy, Mack's go-to solution to a problem is to suggest the building of a rocket ship, which nobody else ever thinks is a good or practical idea.
    Mack: What does everyone have against rocket ships?
  • At the end of each installment of JoJo's Circus, JoJo is asked what she learned and starts to reply, only be literally dragged off to be placed on stage as the "Spotlight Moment Song" plays to relate what she learned there on-stage. You'd think she'd get used to it.
  • In Staines Down Drains, Stanley has a slight phobia about dirt and germs. And so, of course, he is routinely forced to travel into the town's drain system.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Swift Wind complaining that he doesn't have a chair in the council chamber.
    • People forgetting what Netossa does... even though it's literally her name.
    • Adora using the Sword of Protection, her sacred Morph Weapon, for Mundane Utility like a mop or a cup.
    • Sea Hawk either setting a boat on fire or someone complaining that he set their boat on fire in the past.
    • Bright Moon having no dungeons or cells... and having to use guest rooms for that function when they do have prisoners.
  • On Esme & Roy, Roy does something overly dramatic. He then asks if it's "too much" and either Esme or the monster that they're monster-sitting agrees "a little."
  • Handy Manny:
    • The tools speculating that for once Manny needs something so unusual that Kelly won't have it at her supply shop, only for her to indeed have it.
    • Mr. Lopart refusing help from Handy Manny saying that he can do something himself, only to end up in a pickle because of it.


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