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Running Gag / Western Animation

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Beetlejuice has tons of running gags. One of the funniest was a Gory Discretion Shot whenever BJ ate a bug.
  • 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!
  • Big Mouth: Jay constantly quotes his father's politically incorrect divorce lawyer commercials, with people pointing that behavior out and asking him to stop.
  • 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.
    • Honeydew melon seems to appear just to annoy many characters, mostly Bojack, until the series finale.
  • D'Nerd from The BOTS Master is a robot that serves as a large databank, and oftentimes 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...
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Jim Moralès could tell you all about Code Lyoko's example, but he'd rather not talk about it.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Whenever H.I.P.P.I.E.-H.O.P. appears, it always gets destroyed before it manages to do something useful. And then whenever Numbuh 3 pops out of it unharmed, the parachute always activates after she hits the ground.
  • 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!"
  • 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 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!
  • Dexter's Laboratory: The title character suffers this trope, in almost every episode.
  • 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.
  • On Doug, Mr. Dink always says things are "very expensive". Subverted in an episode where he notes something was "surprisingly cheap".
  • 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):
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • "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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Garfield mailing Nermal to Abu Dhabi.
  • Grojband: Trina going into Diary Mode.
    • Corey giving his end-of-episode Spoof Aesops.
    • Mina getting abused.
    • Trina failing to kiss Nick Mallory.
    • People assuming Laney's a boy.
  • Handy Manny:
  • 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 mind-taking, to Reducto's paranoia and obsession with small things... It's a long list.
  • Hero: 108:
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • The Hollow: Kai constantly thinks they're Dead All Along and asks for confirmation.
  • House of Mouse: "No one can [perform an action] like Gaston."
  • 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 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!!"
  • 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.
  • Johnny Bravo: The titular character frequently trying to score with a woman whenever he sees one, then getting hit or injured in some way by her.
  • 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.
  • Justice League: Batman being a part-time member of the League. This actually originated back in Batman Beyond.
  • KaBlam! has A TON. Henry getting beat up by Mr. Foot, the duo Lampshade Hanging, and many, many, more...
  • Kaeloo: Stumpy's sister being mentioned before somebody realizes that Stumpy has no sisternote .
  • 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 under odder circumstances. At one point, when he's about to have his mouth covered, he quickly flips it into his mouth beforehand. And after that, smoke can be seen coming out of his nose.
  • 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.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness:
    • Tigress being mistaken for a man, most notably in the following episodes:
      • "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":
        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...
  • The Lion Guard had one with Makini losing her staff. It stopped happening when she needed it to read the signs on the way to the Tree of Life, then happened again just as they arrived. After she was gifted a staff by Queen Jana, it never happened again.
  • The Loud House:
    • All of the Loud siblings have at least one running joke associated with them.
      • Lincoln: making plans with long names (which end in him lampshading them) and reading comics in his underwear.
      • Lori: saying "Literally", fartingnote , and sometimes her romance with Bobby is played for comedy.
      • Leni: missing the point of things, being clumsy, and saying "Like" (though this last one currently isn't brought up anymore).
      • Luna: referencing songs and using slang like, "Dude", "Dudette", "Bro", and "Brah".
      • Luan: her jokes and pranks.
      • Lynn: turning mundane things into sports and having unusual superstitions.
      • Lucy: saying "Sigh", suddenly appearing, and occasionally her poetry is treated as a joke.
      • Lana: her gross habits.
      • Lola: telling on people.
      • Lisa: doing wacky experiments.
      • Lily: pooping her diaper and/or saying "Poo-poo".
    • Lincoln gets so worked up with what he expects of his sisters from previous experiences that he ignores them trying to stop him by saying his name repeatedly only to have his expectations subverted. This happens in "Room with a Feud" and "White Hare" at the least.
    • People unfamiliar with the family mispronounce their name as "La-ood".
    • Anytime the parents come into money, it's gone by the end of the episode, leaving them stretching their shoestring budget again.

  • 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?
  • Madeline has one in which when Pepito accompanies the girls on a trip, the taxi always leaves him behind at first.
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Gopher falling into one of his own gopher holes. ("I'm not in the book! Aaaaaaahh!")
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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. Every time it's shown, a small tune plays, noticed only by Pete.
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Goofy has a habit of mispronouncing 'Mouseketool', which often frustrates Donald. Either Mickey or Donald will correct him.
  • 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.
    • An in-episode version occurs in "Truth"; whenever Truth brainwashes the citizens into telling him Marinette's secret, their answer is always "She's in love with Adrain Agreste."
  • 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 
  • Molly of Denali: In the episode "Forget-You-Not," there is a repeating gag of everyone being out of fireweed honey. This gag comes to an end when Mr. Rowley is shown to have a jar of it.
  • 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 
  • 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."
  • In My Little Pony: Make Your Mark, Izzy keeps dropping food whenever she's surprised.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Oscar's Orchestra: Usually kicked off by something shocking happening, Sylvia will tell Trevor to catch her as she falls or faints, and Trevor is never able to succeed at doing that.
  • The Patrick Star Show: In "Just in Time for Christmas", Patrick wears a Santa hat with mistletoe on the end of it. Throughout the episode, people repeatedly try to kiss him because of it.
  • 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"
  • 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.
  • 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. This shows that she's the only one of Jet's group who knows of Mitchell's plans to learn Jet's alien secret and expose him.
  • 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?"
  • 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."
  • Having itself being a Gag Series as its premise is what Robot Chicken does best, but it's most famous for what it does for its season premieres (excluding the first) and its season finales. The whole gist of it is playing around with cancellations and renewals, with each season finale being treated as the Grand Finale of the entire series... which then leads to the next season starting with its "renewal".
  • Practically every episode of Rocko's Modern Life has Rocko being injured in some way. He also gets Squashed Flat a lot too.
    • Most characters tend to not be able to tell that Rocko is a wallaby, including an actual kangaroo.
  • 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!"
  • Rosie's Rules: In "The Cake-Off," a running gag is Iggy using the ballot box as a car.
  • 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.
  • Scooby-Doo: Many iterations will have some sort of misfortune happen to the Mystery Machine, usually the engine breaking down (or even getting stolen outright in one instance), and getting damaged or destroyed outright in more recent decades.
  • The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show Has Scrappy's love of putting ketchup on the most...unlikely of foods.
  • In Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights, the "Sinbad" story frequently features the evil Captain's run-down boat being sunk by something, and then the luxury cruise ship Magilla Gorilla was supposed to get on passing by after that.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • A lot of important information was covered in Force Captain orientation. Catra skipped it.
    • 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 (The Dragon's Daughter 1 and 2) 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.
  • The Smurfs (1981):
    • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Squidbillies: Early Cuyler always robbing the same convenience store, and blowing off the old man's left hand.
  • 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.
  • 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 itís been prepared for uninvited guests like them and he's destroyed their transportation and long range communications abilities.
  • 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.
  • 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 a carry-over from the print comic running gag where characters often expect Batman to be taller.
  • SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron: 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!"
  • The Running Gag on Teen Titans (2003) 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 reads, 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 gets 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 
  • 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!"
  • Transformers: Prime has "I needed that!" from Ratchet everytime someone breaks a piece of equipment Ratchet needed (usually Bulkhead). Even gets called back to in the movie by bumblebee.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • '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 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.
  • 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!
  • Work It Out Wombats!:
    • "The Mighty Zeke": Mr. E dropping his books and other mishaps.
    • "Hopping Helpers": Malik blowing a horn and scaring people.
    • "Zadie and the Really Big, Really Loud Noisy Thing": Zadie's loud music startling everyone.
    • "Sparklepants": Mr. E's nicknames for the Sparklepants, such as Glittering Trousers, Sprinkle Slacks, and Preposterous Pantaloons.
    • "Bake It Til You Make It": Kat and Kit making a giant stack of flowerpots.
  • Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum:
    • Brad not wanting to time travel, but being made to come along anyways.
    • Yadina making lame puns that no one understands.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: Omi's misuse of slang. Even the villains were stunned by the third season.
  • Young Justice (2010) 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.