Follow TV Tropes


Series / AKBingo!

Go To
You know those memes of two Japanese girls blowing a cicada (not a cockroach) through a glass pipe to each other? They're from this show.

AKBingo! is a long-running Japanese television Variety Show featuring idol group AKB48, aired weekly with that title from October 1, 2008 until September 24, 2019 on Nippon Television. In each episode, members from AKB48 and sometimes the sister groups participated in activities that included quizzes, games, interviews, and news.

The first two seasons of the show were respectively titled AKB 1ji 59fun and AKB 0ji 59fun, the numbers referring to its time slot. The first episode of the former was aired on January 24, 2008, which is considered the starting date of the show as a whole.

The Sakamichi Series groups have adapted comparable shows with NogiBingo!, KeyaBingo!, and HinaBingo!. There have also been spinoffs for the sister groups, such as SETOBINGO for STU48 and HKTBINGO for HKT48 in 2018, and SKEBINGO for SKE48 slated to air in 2019. Their Chinese sister group, SNH48, has "SNHello!" which premiered in 2014.

The hosts of the show were the owarai comedy duo Bad Boys (Ōmizo Kiyoto & Sata Masaki), until they were succeeded after 395 episodes by Woman Rush Hour (Muramoto Daisuke & Nakagawa Paradise) on 28 June 2016.

On episode 555, broadcast on August 20, 2019, it was announced that the show would end in September, following a string of AKB show and event cancelations (AKB48 Show! on NHK, All Night Nippon radio show, Senbatsu Elections, Janken Tournament, etc.) after a certain scandal broke out earlier that year. Episode 560, the final episode filled with highlights from the show's 11-year run, was aired on September 24.

In January 2021, a revival of the show, titled AKBINGO! NEO, was announced. The participants were decided through special events in the mobile game AKB48 Dobon!, in which fans (and the members themselves) played to contribute points to support their favorite members. The first episode was aired on March 30 on BS Nippon (Nippon TV's satellite channel) and two more episodes were aired as special programs that year.

From April 2022 to March 2023, another revival titled AKB48 Sayonara Mouri-san was aired on Nippon TV, hosted by Shimofuri Myojo (Seiya and Soshina) and former AKB48 member Minegishi Minami. Its goal was specifically to "update the AKBingo! formula" for Japan's Reiwa era. It was replaced by the reality talent show Out of 48, which pitted AKB48 members against both each other and non-members for the opportunity to join a new group, while retaining their AKB48 membership.

Episodes of the show are available to stream on Hulu Japan, which has a partnership with Nippon TV. The cable channel Gems TV Asia, co-owned by Nippon TV and Sony Pictures, would also rerun the last seasons of the show starting January 24, 2019.

Episode guides are available from Stage48, TheTVDB, and the Japanese Wikipedia. There are also many, many episode recaps you can look up.

For consistency, East Asian names follow the convention of that region (surname followed by given name).

Recurring segments:

  • AKB Profiling: Three teams of members are presented with a murder case and five members as suspects, and have to guess which one is the culprit based on the clues. The teams cosplay as Sherlock Holmes, Edogawa Conan, and Kindaichi Kosuke.
  • AKVegas: Five members plus Kiyoto are divided into three teams. Other members then play various games and the three teams have to "bet" which player will win in each game.
  • Bucchake Baseball (Bluntly-speaking Baseball): A Spiritual Successor to Shōjiki Shōgi played for the first time in episode 522, where the "batter" makes a confession and Muramoto declares whether it's an "out", "hit", or "home run" depending on hilariousness (or his personal preference).
  • Delusion Drama: Groups of members produce, direct, and act in their own romantic skits according to their "delusions".
  • Famous Person Looking for a Friend: An older female celebrity, usually a comedian, comes to pick a member to hang out with. She will describe the kind of person she dislikes and the members will usually accuse each other of fitting the description. The guest can issue a yellow card to members who displease her; two yellow cards and that member is sent out of the studio.
  • Kyun-1 Grand Prix: A flirting and Dating Sim contest between AKB and several or all of its sister groups, where members have to come up with "Mune Kyun Phrases" ("Heart-throbbing Phrases") to win a guy's heart in the given scenarios. The judges are always a selection of AKB48 fans and celebrities, who decide on the winner by voting or awarding "Moé points" by pushing a buzzer repeatedly (presumably proportional to how faster their hearts beat). Usually held right after New Year Lucky Girl since many sister group members are already present for that segment.
  • Missing48: A familiar picture is shown and the players have to guess which parts have been Photoshopped out. Fail to answer correctly and the game's mascot, the Tarinai Dog, will push her into a pool of flour.
  • Monoboke Battle: A popular Japanese variation of Improv and Sketch Comedy, where the participants are provided with a collection of random props and have to come up with as many sketches as possible within the time limit. The judges, usually made up of fellow members, hold a mouthful of milk and wear a black poncho to make it easier to tell if they laugh, as the milk will spill out; one laugh equals one point.
  • Muchaburi Dodgeball: A dodgeball game where the eliminated players have to complete a muchaburi ("unreasonable task", meaning disgusting or humiliating ones in the show) as punishment.
  • New Year Lucky Girl Ranking: In the first two episodes every year, the members are ranked by level of predicted luck for the year according to comedian and palm reader Shimada Shuhei. Pretty Serious Business, especially for the girls at the bottom ranks.
  • Nihongo Nadeshiko Battle: A combination of the terms Nihongo (Japanese language) and Yamato Nadeshiko, the girls are split into Teams Hakama and Yukata and take part in various word games. Possibly meant as a Spiritual Successor to Time Pressure Battle Burger Shop as both are a series of word games with thematic costumes.
  • The Nominated Five will Answer! Answer the Obvious!: A trivia game played by six members who have known each other for some time, set in a circular chamber with a rotating cream cannon in the middle. One player plays as dealer and each turn picks one of the other 5 players to answer one of 7 questions the dealer prepared beforehand, which is a trivia about the dealer or related to a past incident between them. If the player can't answer correctly, she'll be shot with the cream cannon and the dealer loses one life. If the dealer loses 3 lives, it's game over and she'll be blasted with a pair of cream cannons.
  • Popularity High-Low: Five senior members have to guess how their juniors rank them on several given categories.
  • Private Collection Fashion Show: Usually held during seasons change, the girls walk the runway modeling their own clothes they've selected according to the given themes. A fashion critic, usually Uematsu Koji, is present to judge their fashion sense. After WRH became the hosts, the jury is changed into a panel of three judges.
  • Shōjiki Shōgi (Honest Chess): The players sit across each other facing a Shōgi board, with a lie detector strapped to their fingers. They take turns "attacking" by reading an unflattering statement about the opponent off a list they've prepared (the board is for announcing the statement number by dramatically placing numbered tokens shaped like Shōgi pieces ☖) and the "defending" player has to deny it without setting off the lie detector. The professor character who operates the lie detector during each match claims that the lie detector is 99.9% accurate.
  • Time Pressure Battle Burger Shop: A word guessing game with two teams of six players playing as competing burger joints. The first five players have 5 seconds each to provide one clue for the sixth to make a guess. There are several variants: Kotoburger*, where the clue is one phrase from each player; Illus-tray, where the clue is a drawing to which each player contributes a part made of one unbroken line, or a clay diorama made by the players in turn; Combo Menu, a Shiritori variant where the player has to come up with three connecting words from the given categories; and Save The Nuggets, a team Shiritori game where the total letter count each round must be exactly 24.

To be honest, AKBingo! provides examples of the following tropes:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A to C 
  • Accent Interest: Episode 299 features a dialect quiz by Team 8 members. They start with Yokoyama Yui and her thick Aomori accent.
  • The Ace:
    • Oshima Yuko has been described as an excellent actress (she's been one since she was a child) and bass player, knows sign language, is very athletic (good at horse riding, table tennis, swimming, and snowboarding), and can make 100 weird faces and do a mean chicken impression.
    • Matsui Jurina joined the 48 Group when she was 11 years old and is rarely beaten in both physical and intellectual games. She is partial to delivering one-liners before and after winning. See also the Pint-Sized Powerhouse entry.
    • Founding member Maeda Atsuko is called the eternal ace of the group and the embodiment of how the group can turn ordinary girls into stars, although she considers herself poor at variety shows and doesn't appear in the show often.
    • In Shōjiki Shōgi, Miyazaki Miho has never been defeated.
  • A-Cup Angst: Sashihara Rino is revealed in a Shojiki Shogi match to drink soybean milk to help her breasts grow. It didn't work.
    Sasshi: At the handshake event, a few fans asked me, "Are you worried about your breasts?" I said I wasn't, but it's actually been on my mind... (loud sigh).
  • Affectionate Parody:
    • The AKBest 10 segments, where members perform gags most voted by other members and staff, are a parody of Best 10, one of the shows Akimoto Yasushi, the group's producer, worked on early in his career and which became the inspiration for such events as the Senbatsu Election and Janken Tournament.
    • The Dr. Parutaro sketches are a parody of a 2015 Nippon Television drama called Dr. Rintaro, Psychiatrist, down to the Opening Narration sequence and slightly sepia Color Grading.
      This is the story of a doctor who helps idols with their problems. But I haven't introduced myself. I am a psychiatrist, Shimazaki Parutaro.
    • Tomomichelin is one of the Michelin stars.
    • Boss Burger (Boss Coffee) and Kiyotucky (KFC, obviously), the rivaling fast food joints in Battle Burger.
    • In episode 417, Omori Miyu's dog breed memorization test parodies Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
  • Air Guitar: Shinoda Mariko's special skill is playing the air ocarina.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Episode 483 reveals that several members, like many of the high school age respondents interviewed for the show, prefer mean guys (S-types, or sadists, in Japanese slang). In episode 508, Hama Sayuna reveals that since then her fans have started to emulate such people to try to please her.
    Hamachan: They started saying stuff like "Do you want me to put a collar on you?" But I could feel their hands trembling as they said that. I feel bad for them.
  • Alliterative Title: Shōjiki Shōgi and its Spiritual Successor Bucchake Baseball, as well as Battle Burger and Nihongo Nadeshiko.
  • Alter-Ego Acting: In general, all public appearances of the members are Type 3, since everything we see is part of their chara, including in this show.
    • Iriyama Anna relates in a lecture session in episode 436 how earlier in her career she tried to present a Genki Girl persona, complete with a now-Abandoned Catchphrase, but realized that it didn't fit her and decided to go with her current "cool beauty" persona instead. In episode 432, she confesses that when a fan recognized her in a supermarket, she told the fan that she was looking for acai berries to sound sophisticated, even though she was actually getting discounted yakitori.
      Annin: Back then, I used to introduce myself with "Coming from strawberry land to entertain you..." etc.
      Muramoto: Strawberry land? Did you come from such a place?
      Annin: No, I'm just a normal Chiba girl. But "peanut land" wouldn't sound cute.
    • Similarly, Kato Rena confesses in episode 522 that she used to present herself as a fruit lover, even though she hates fruits, and dropped the persona after fans kept trying to talk to her about fruits. Her favorite food is pickles.
    • Shimazaki Haruka is somewhat Flanderized in the Doctor Parutaro segments, where her brutal honesty is played up to the point of callousness.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents:
    • In episodes 355-356, parents of several members, as well as Nishino Miki's younger brother, are invited to the show to share stories about their daughters and sister. The members would rather those stories not be told, to put it mildly.
      Guest host Sugaya Daisuke: By the way, Nishino Miki-san almost beat up her brother while we were on break.
    • In episode 451, Muramoto reveals that he managed to get in touch with his (supposedly former) Arch-Enemy Hayasaka Tsumugi's father in Yamagata through their mutual associate, Yamagata-born comedian Miura Yuka, and got his recorded approval to prank his daughter, which is then played in the show when she is about to be shot with a cream cannon. Tsucchan is not amused at all.
      Tsucchan: (glaring at Muramoto) Why do you just do as you please? Really? You really did that? I don't want to be here anymore, you're the worst.
    • At handshake events, Mukaichi Mion's uncle likes to brag to other visitors that he's her uncle. Kato Rena confesses that she once called him a liar to his face, unaware that he was telling the truth.
    • Episodes 554-555 are a tournament between the families of members, and they also reveal various embarrassing stories.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Akimoto Sayaka is known for her muscular physique.note  Tano Yuka also works out four times a week.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Hayasaka Tsumugi hates Muramoto's guts since their first meeting. She is shown to be much livelier in other shows and her own live streaming than in this show simply because he's not there. However, she has opened up a little since their day out together in episode 419.
    • Assistant Director Inaba of the studio crew has made a few enemies while working on the show.
      • He drives Watanabe Mayu to tears while playing as her opponent in a basketball-themed obstacle course (she wanted to prove that she didn't deserve to be Picked Last, but Inaba singled her out and she placed last in the race), and she shows her dislike of him many times since then. When she was about to graduate in late 2017, he (now a director of another show) appears in her farewell episode (episodes 471-472) to apologize for the incident, and proceeds to give her a bouquet... after changing into the same basketball jersey he wore back then and holding the bouquet out of her reach like he did in the game, before finally letting Mayuyu triumphantly snatch it from his hand.
      • His oshimen, Kasai Tomomi, also dreads his appearances as the Cordon Bleugh Chef in Muchaburi Dodgeball, as she is always pressured to sample his creations even if not being the one assigned the muchaburi. Kasai does forgive him for a moment when she tries the watermelon curry - which happens to be actually tasty - in episode 144, though. She even gives him a handshake!
  • Ascended Extra:
    • The Golden Cushion competitions offer members the opportunity to appear in the show for one full season. It usually results in a popularity boost for the winners.
      • Okabe Rin, the first Golden Cushion winner, can't appear in the first two episodes after her victory due to academic reasons, and her place is reserved with her official headshot placed on the eponymous cushion. She also sent another picture of herself studying.
        Muramoto: She doesn't look upset at all! Does AKBINGO! mean anything to her?
    • In 2016, Fukuoka Seina made a tearful plea on her Showroom stream to appear in this show. Producer Mori Shinobu decided to give her a shot and turned out she's good enough to become a regular. Not coincidentally, in 2017 she jumped 65 places to #32 in the elections and broke into the secondmost elite Undergirls ranks.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: In the 2018 Halloween episodes, Kato Rena cosplays as Olympic figure skater Alina Zagitova and partially speaks English to sound the part, even though Zagitova is Russian.
  • Ass Kicks You: A recurring segment is a form of Game of Chicken, where comedian Kuro-chan bends over on a platform that moves towards a member and the member is judged on how close his backside is to her face when she presses the button that stops the platform. Notably, Akimoto Sayaka valiantly takes the butt on her face during her turn, which years later inspires Komiyama Haruka, her distant successor as Team K's captain, to do the same.
    Sayaka: I will not let people think that idols have no guts!
  • Attention Whore:
    • Minegishi Minami, or at least her stage persona, openly admits her desire to get as much screen time as possible and her need to be liked by others. Unlike the other Minami (Takamina), who just laughs it off, she tends to take offense when others seem to take her lightly.
      • When she fails to earn a single point in a personal photo survey contest against Takeuchi Miyu, she is devastated and attempts to walk out from the studio, thinking that it means she is disliked by the general public. The hosts and other members convince her to stay by pointing out that she has simply chosen the wrong genres for every single picture, e.g. a photo she considers cute was categorized as mature by most respondents, and all the pictures are actually positively received.
      • After she became the new Team 4 captain following her scandal, she uses her screentime-grabbing skills to introduce and direct attention to her team members, who are all new to the group.*
        Miichan, episode 263: Takashima! You always said you want to appear on TV. Now you're actually here, don't freak out! Show us what you got!
        Takashima Yurina: I don't want my seniors to say I'm annoying...
    • Oguri Yui displays shades of this at times.
      Ichikawa Nanami, episode 443: When [Team 8 members] are hanging out, sometimes Yuiyui would suddenly say stuff like "Everyone, please listen, Yui's about to drink this juice!" or "Everyone, Yui just memorized the script!"
      Ota Nao: When some people are talking, Yui often barges into the conversation, and after she leaves, we lost track of what we were talking about and couldn't continue.
      Muramoto, always taking Yuiyui's side: Aren't you in the same Team 8? You should be more inclusive of her!

      (episode 449, when discussing Cho Kurena's photo in the 2016 Renacchi Sousenkyo photobook)
      Yuiyui: (raises hand) Actually, I placed #1 during this election.
      Renacchi: (smirks) Yes, Yuiyui is cute and everybody already knows that. That's why this time I put Kurenyan to the challenge.
      (Yuiyui hangs her head submissively)

      Okabe Rin, episode 513: I'm curious why Yuiyui is very nosy around members. She often asks about really frivolous things. All Team 8 members know about this.
      Kato Rena: Isn't that because she doesn't have any conversation topics? You'd usually open with something like "Are you feeling healthy today?" or something like that.
      Muramoto: Do you also do that, Kato-san?
      Renacchi: Yup!
    • In episode 547, Yahagi Moeka reveals that she occasionally stands around Harajuku to get people to notice her. Maeda Ayaka also likes to stroll in public to get noticed by talent scouts, just so she can decline their offer by saying she's already in showbiz.
    • Komiyama Haruka puts a lot of work into her Instagram account and is dubbed the "Instagram Queen". She's also revealed to seldom wear a mask to protect her privacy when going out, and is once pranked for this.
  • Audience Surrogate: The hosts aren't AKB otakus and are mostly as knowledgeable about AKB as the general public despite working closely with them, so they often serve as this. A guest comedian invited for a trivia quiz once calls them out on this.
  • Badass Biker: The Bad Boys are former motorcycle gang (Bōsōzoku) leaders. The first time they appear in the show, they enter the studio on a Cool Bike carrying wooden swords, terrifying the girls and causing at least one to burst into tears. One episode, they reunite with their old gang in Fukuoka with Kuramochi Asuka and Akimoto Sayaka in tow.
  • Band of Relatives: Episodes 456 and 458 feature several members performing with their families. It's also revealed that Tano Yuka calls her hippie-looking father by his first name, Ken.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Okabe Rin, Team 8's Ibaraki representative, scolds people who pronounce her home prefecture as Ibaragi, including her seniors, even though many Ibaraki natives pronounce it that way. Takahashi Juri, who's also from there, doesn't seem to mind.
      Episode 318, after Sata trolled her several times: It's Ibaraki! Ugh, this is annoying!
      Episode 435, to Kojima Natsuki and Muramoto: Please stop calling Ibaraki "Ibaragi". ... It's ki! KI!!
      • In episode 519, where the girls watch videos of several members preparing for a comedy competition, a clip shows Ma Chia-Ling making a joke about the pronunciation of Ibaraki. Cut to Berin looking aghast.
    • Takahashi Juri does mind if others act surprised whenever she does girly things.
      Yokoyama Yui, episode 260: I wonder why you've been into making sweets like scones. That's very girly.
      Juri: I am a girl!
      Yuihan: Well, I guess you are.

      Several members, episode 340: Look at her face in the video! That's a very girlish expression right there!
      Juri: I'm actually a girl, though!
  • Bifauxnen:
    • The girls almost always turn into these when crossdressing. Many episodes feature romantic encounter scenarios between the members and the Bifauxnen members, where they can act out their romantic fantasies without breaking the dating ban.
    • Despite always come up last in Clothes Collection, Miyazawa Sae always got a raucious welcome from the audience in Danso Contest and she never got below 17 points (out of 20) in votings. Her height and masculine features helps a lot.
    • In episode 368, Nakamura Mariko produced the danso idol unit Eternal Boys, consisting of Oshima Ryoka (Ryota), Mogi Shinobu (Shinobu), and Iwata Karen (Ren). The girls cannot stop squeeing at them, while the Bad Boys are totally creeped out. The group reappears in a later episode as Eternal Boys Z with Ren having been replaced by Muto Tomu (Tomuyuki), since Iwata Karen has graduated.
    • AKB/STU's Okada Nana is also considered to have a manly personality, as seen in episodes 526 and 528.
      Yamada Takayuki: She listened and made me feel everything's gonna be alright, raising my spirit with words like "It's okay! Get to work! Man up!"
      Muramoto: That phrase worked because Okada-san said it. Yabushita-san?
      STU's Yabushita Fu: Yes, Nana-san is such an ikemen. To me, she's even cooler than Yamada-san!
  • Big Sister Instinct: Watanabe Mayu squees and acts like a doting older sister whenever Tanaka Miku and Yabuki Nako (NakoMiku) of HKT48 are around (they are 7 years apart in age). When Nako cries out of fear upon seeing Aja Kong for the first time, Mayuyu is the one to calm her down.
    Minegishi: She usually will ask them to kiss her. See? I don't really understand their relationship.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Episodes 512-513 deal with this. Among others, three members demonstrate their love of spicy food (described in Fire-Breathing Diner below); Yahagi Moeka reveals that she puts ponzu sauce on everything and goes to a market with Komiyama Haruka to find the food that pairs the best with the condiment (it turns out to be pudding, which taste becomes like Calpis); and Maeda Ayaka is also revealed to habitually separate her meals into its parts (e.g. hamburger into buns, lettuce, pickles, and patty) before eating, and hates food that cannot be eaten in that way, such as fried rice.
    • In episode 557, Ota Nao reveals that she enjoys soumen noodles dipped in a mixture of tsuyu sauce and... milk. Surprisingly, a few other members like it too (it pretty much becomes a dessert) , while Komiyama Haruka, who hates milk, almost throws up after trying it.
  • Blackface: In earlier episodes, AD Inaba cosplays as Michael Jordan and Akimoto Sayaka as Michael Jackson and both employ this technique. In episode 472, clip of the former is shown and the members comment that it would not be allowed in 2017.
  • Boisterous Weakling: In contrast to the Bad Boys, WRH is easily knocked around by the girls on occasion, despite Muramoto's threats.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase:
    • In episode 286, Yokoyama Yui and Kitahara Rie do a comedy skit incorporating several other members' famous catchphrases.
    • In episode 445, Oda Erina can't help copying Ma Chia-Ling's "Ottamage!" when the latter appears in the golden costume used in the "Flying Get" music video.
  • Brainless Beauty:
    • Kojima Haruna has an "airhead" (tennen) persona, frequently spacing out and showing lack of general knowledge (whether this is an act or her real personality is unclear). She has also been an underwear model and is considered one of the most fashionable members.
    • In episode 533, a little airheadedness is considered an appealing trait for classic-type idols like Oguri Yui and Kubo Satone.
    • In a Popularity High-Low segment, some of Mayuyu's juniors seem to perceive or wish that she is one (she's pretty much AKB's most successful classic-type idol).
      Sata, episode 197: One of your juniors said, "Since she is so perfect, I hope she isn't too smart."
      Mayuyu: Well, if that's their reasoning, then I don't mind being put in fourth place [out of five in terms of intelligence].
    • Members accused of being dumb are often challenged to recite the multiplication table.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Oshima Ryoka, 152 cm tall with a cheeky mouth, also known as Kusogaki ("bratty child").
    Ryoka: I challenge Yokoyama, the old hag!
    Ryoka, to Aja Kong: I have a question... Are you a man or a woman? ... I think you're a guy.
  • Brawn Hilda: Pro wrestler Aja Kong is sometimes called in to execute punishments that require brute strength, especially her Signature Move "Giant Swing". She invariably enters in a violent fashion, prompting the hosts to call the large (but not necessarily strong) Assistant Director Uno to subdue her, only for her to curb-stomp him as a Running Gag. She's also half African-American from her father.
    Sata: Erika-sama! Erika-sama!
    Aja Kong: (enters accompanied by Judas Priest's "Electric Eye", banging on stuff along the way) How dare you call me Erika, you bastard!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The show doesn't hide the fact that many parts of it are scripted.
    Shimazaki Haruka, episode 404: I didn't know everyone was making such idol-ish videos. When I got into the dressing room, the script was already there, and I only found out about this segment then.
    Muramoto: We seriously have a talent that would proclaim that this segment is fixed?
    • As seen in Alter-Ego Acting above, sometimes they openly discuss how they developed their idol characters and how it may or may not differ from their off-screen selves.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Shimazaki Haruka always seems apathetic in this show, but takes her job as an actress and model seriously. Everyone's amazed at her transformation whenever she is given the opportunity to show her prowess as either one.
    Tetsu and Tomo, the guest musician duet in episode 309: (singing) I wonder why? I wonder why? Why does Shimazaki-san's tension* always seem so low?

    Muramoto, episode 403: I'm feeling really nervous right now. This is the first time I meet Shimazaki-san, who's here with us today. I've heard things about her, like how she snubbed Tokumitsu Kazuo (regular Sousenkyo host). So, Shimazaki-san, have you watched this show since we became hosts?
    Paruru: Sorry, I haven't. But I've seen some of your manzai shows and other videos, they were very funny.
    Muramoto: Why, this is going much differently than I expected! I feel like I'm talking to a Hollywood actress!
    Paruru, sharing a hurtful moment: When I was a trainee, people believed I was unmotivated and hard to talk to. I was also aware that I couldn't express myself properly. And one day I heard a staff member said, "Anyone can replace her." It made me even consider quitting for a while, but then I vowed to never forget that comment and took it as motivation to become better.
    Muramoto: It seems that people always say that you have a salty way of interacting, even though you said you did your best.
    Paruru: Well, I can't really say that I have.
    Muramoto: You just took this conversation into a strange direction!

    Muramoto, episode 404: Shimazaki!... SHIMAZAKI!!... From seeing your usual demeanor, nobody would expect you to act that cool in the video!
  • Broken Pedestal: In episode 437, Kojima Mako confesses that at one point she had poor attitude at handshake events, which made her lose many fans. She proceeds to demonstrate it with 16th generation member Nagatomo Ayami, who volunteered since she is actually a fan of hers.
    Ayamin: If she did that to me back then, I would have taken down her poster and put it up for auction.
    Muramoto: I see, that way you can at least get some of your money back!
  • Burger Fool: The theme of the Time Pressure Battle Burger segment.
  • Burikko:
    • Iwatate Saho's gimmick is acting like one, particularly scolding people and giggling when they speak too early or too fast.
      Minegishi, episode 264: She says "you-are-too-quick!" ("ha-ya-i!") like that to fish maniacs. Video compilations of her saying that seem to be popular.
    • Otona AKB (Adult AKB) sole member Tsukamoto Mariko, 37 years old and married with children, is seen as one by some members since she tries to act younger in order to fit in.
    • In episode 530, Taguchi Manaka and Suzuki Kurumi accuse each other of being one.
  • But Now I Must Go: AKB members who often appear in the show usually get to have a farewell video recorded when they graduate from the group. Very popular members get an entire episode dedicated to showcase their best moments in the show.
    • To commemorate the departure of Watanabe Mayu, the last of the original Kami 7 to graduate, episodes 471-472 have her fulfilling the final requests of her juniors (and of Kashiwagi Yuki, her best friend of the same generation), and episode 473 shows her best moments. She also gets to give her farewell speech to her juniors in person instead of through recording in episode 472.
    • When the Bad Boys graduate from the show in episode 395, Izuta Rina leaves with them since she didn't earn enough points in the quiz segment. She is allowed back in episode 406 after she helped WRH obtain backstage footage of the members.
    • Episode 422 is Shimazaki Haruka's farewell episode... Until the staff realize near the end that Ogasawara Mayu is also leaving and fill the remaining time with her highlight reel. Until the very end, Maachun is Overshadowed by Awesome.
  • Butt-Monkey
    • Almost every Shōjiki Shōgi match (when she is still a member of AKB48) has a statement or two making fun of Takahashi Minami's quirks (fail jokes, poor fashion sense, mediocre MC skills, etc.), and it gets a point almost every time as well (i.e. the defending player thinks that statement is true). Everybody also seems to aim for her in Muchaburi Dodgeball matches.
    • An almost-literal example was Akimoto Sayaka, since she is often compared to gorillas for her muscular physique. Her attempts to act kawaii and do kawaii things are consistently shot down by her peers.
    • For some time since the incident, Minegishi Minami's team members like to poke fun at their captain about the Traumatic Haircut she has inflicted on herself in shock following a high-profile scandal.
    • Assistant Director Uno becomes the bait for several pranks and is always the one to try and fail to stop Aja Kong.
    • Shimada Haruka is often made fun of because of her weight, outspokenness, and relatively low popularity.
      Taniguchi Megu, episode 411: Shimada-san is... Well, we have amazing seniors who are regularly included in the senbatsu, Shimazaki-san and Yokoyama-san, and Shimada-san is their contemporary. ... Ah, but she also has a really good handle on things! ... [She's a contemporary of] Shimazaki-san and Yokoyama-san.
      Shimada: Just shut up! I ranked out in every election!
    • Nakanishi Chiyori is often made fun of for her large face (smaller faces are favored by Japanese beauty standards) and larger expressions. However, other members have revealed that she can be a Sad Clown when overly teased.
  • Candid Camera Prank: The girls are often pranked with hidden cameras. They are also often made to prank strangers, such as walking into a restaurant in a costume and eating from strangers' plates, as punishment for losing a match.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Takahashi Minami. Made worse by her always hyping up the joke before telling it.
  • Cardboard Pal: Early episodes of AKB 1ji 59fun feature a life-sized cardboard cutout of Maeda Atsuko standing in for her, since she is out filming a drama, although it's a professionally taken photograph instead of crude drawing.
    • The same happens with Okabe Rin who won a reserved spot in the show but has to be absent for two episodes for academic reasons. Muramoto also gets a cardboard stand-in when he's out to accompany some of the girls to a guest spot in another show in episode 467.
  • Cast Calculus: In episodes 533-534, comedian Yamazaki Kei attempts to categorize the members present into four genres which roughly correspond to the Four-Temperament Ensemble: Classic-type idols (Phlegmatic, the archetypal Idol Singer personified by Watanabe Mayu), which most idols aim to become when they start out; variety (Sanguine, self-deprecating Plucky Comic Relief Covert Perverts like HKT's Sashihara Rino); dark (Melancholic, sharp-tongued with lots of Angst and Inferiority Superiority Complex, like NGT's Nakai Rika); and popular with women (Choleric, fashionable and independent female role models, like Kojima Haruna).
  • Catchphrase:
    • Takamina's most often used catchphrase is "Enjoy yourselves" ("asobina, asobina"). She is also believed to have a "doushita sensor", named after her habit of approaching a troubled member and simply asking "doushita?" ("what's up?").
    • Kasai Tomomi has "Chiyuu!" which she claims came from the Japanese words for "wisdom" and "courage" (instead of being just a cute Verbal Tic).
    • Kojima Mako recurring gag is asking for money with "A thousand yen, please!" ("Sen-yen, choudai!"), which started when she had to cosplay as a samurai retreating from battle for a muchaburi.
    • Macharin has "Shocking!" ("Ottamage!"), which she picked up from HKT48's Tashima Meru and is one of her first Japanese slang words.
    • Nakagawa Paradise has "Paaaradise!"
    • Yahagi Moeka pronounces suki ("to like") as suchi and likes to incorporate it into other words, e.g. Sashihara becomes Suchihara. The subunit Sucheese, which she centered, was named after this.
  • Celebrity Star:
    • A few episodes feature groups of members being sent out to meet domestic and international stars, like Robert Pattinson and Angelina Jolie, and doing whatever it takes to get them to say they like AKB48.
    • In episodes 526-528, actor Yamada Takayuki of Train Man (2004), Crows Zero, and The Hero Yoshihiko and the Devil King's Castle fame makes a surprise appearance as a judge for Kyun-1 and completely outshines the usual judges, magazine editor Aoki Hiroyuki and athlete Takei So. Turns out his oshimen used to be Oshima Yuko and he feels like finding a new one. At the end, he seems to be most interested in NGT's Yamada Noe because of her outspokenness.
      SKE's Suda Akari: Usually I'm not very excited about this game because we must flirt with old men, but since Yamada-san's here, I'll go full power!
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Mukaichi Mion is very attached to Mogi Shinobu (they're called Mogion for a reason) and doesn't like it when she's too friendly with other members.
    • Okabe Rin hates it when her fans also support other members. However, she has confessed that she herself supported both Maeda Atsuko and Kojima Haruna back in the day.
      Berin: If I saw my fans lining up to shake hands with another member, I'd grow to hate them.
    • In NEO episode 1, Okada Nana tells about her big fight with Murayama Yuiri, which started when she discovered that Yuiri went out with Mukaichi Mion after turning down her invitation and that they decided to keep it a secret from her. The "clingy" part is that Naachan seized Yuiri's phone and took screenshots of Yuiri and Mion's chat as evidence.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Ichikawa Miori is obsessed with becoming a fresh lemon and took Fresh Lemon as her nickname. When asked to draw herself in episode 352, she draws a lemon and a cup of lemon tea.
    • Episode 527 features a Kyun-1 seduction duel between HKT's Matsumoto Hinata and NGT's Takakura Moeka, both the weirdos of their groups.
  • Comedic Sociopath: Shinoda Mariko's news anchor character, Shinoda Maristel (probably an Affectionate Parody of announcer Takigawa Christel), routinely abuses her bald drunkard partner, played by Kiyoto.
  • Comedy Duo: The hosts, namely the Bad Boys and Woman Rush Hour, are comedy duos, specifically of the Japanese style known as manzai.
    • The Bad Boys perform a manzai skit in their final episode.
    • Hiwatashi Yui performs Muramoto's part in WRH's award-winning routine, Baito Leader, with Paradise in episode 418. Interestingly, both of them become Crosscast Roles, since the Baito Leader is heavily based on Muramoto while Paradise plays a timid waitress.
  • The Comically Serious: Okada Nana. Not in the sense of lacking expression; she's very polite and considerate, but her adult-like personality stands in stark contrast against her carefree teenage peers and even the hosts, who are actual adults. She is also awkward at Trash Talk (usually ending up actually praising her opponent if going against a respected senior, which happens twice in a row in episodes 263-264), comedy, and playful interactions, especially during her first year or two in the show. Of course, this in itself becomes comedy as the hosts deliver the Running Gag Punch Line, "You're too serious!"*
    Episode 264
    Naachan: (intimidating tone) Oi, Kashiwagi!
    Yukirin: (steps forward in anticipation) Yes, what is it?
    Naachan: (gushing) You and the other seniors have built AKBingo! into what it is today, and now we juniors have been given the opportunity to participate as well. (Yukirin confused) Thank you very much! (deep bow)
    Yukirin: (amused yet exasperated) So serious!
    Sata: See? Even your senior doesn't know how to respond to that!
    Yukirin: Really, AKBingo doesn't need overly serious people like you!

    Episode 263
    Naachan: (intimidating tone) Ōshima Yūko...
    (Yuuko smirks in anticipation, crowd murmurs)
    Naachan: (gushing) Yuuko-san is a senior that I look up to... To face you in this match, is an honor! (drops mic)
    Sata: (hits Naachan with a toy mallet) Too serious! Nothing that you said got to her at all!
    Yuuko: (amused) So you're really that serious of a person, huh. Maybe it'll work out for you one day, but right now, you're just a greenhorn! (winks)
    • In a three-part series (episodes 266-268) billed "How Serious is Okada Nana?", members and staff give testimonials on her extreme attentiveness, and she's put through various pranks to test the extent of her Stiff Upper Lip; she doesn't break even once, and even asks after the prank is revealed whether her hardships have been interesting enough to watch.
    • Other members have revealed that she has scolded them for using improper grammar or swearing off-stage for fear that they will let those slip on-stage, except if they're deliberately cultivating a "rebellious girl" image.
      Minegishi: One time, we were on a radio show, and there were kanji characters in the script that Miki couldn't read. Naachan said during the recording, "I wish someone who's holding everyone back with her inability to read kanji would study more."
      Nishino Miki: She always says stuff like that. Look, I get it, okay? But even if I study harder, I won't become smart so quickly!
      Sata: Is she annoying? You want her to shut up?
      Mikichan: ... Yeah.
    • Naachan is also Properly Paranoid of hidden cameras and wiretaps, even in the dressing room. A guest band once comments that she kept looking around the room searching for those during their meeting.
    • Her respect for seniors is exploited during a Dodgeball match when Minegishi, on the opposing team with ball in hand, calls out to her and she promptly comes closer, allowing Minegishi to literally hit her with the Idiot Ball. She is not amused.
    • Subverted in episode 365, in which she is 20 minutes late (a big deal for the Japanese, who measure train schedules by the second) for a supposedly private lunch with another member, which is actually a prank to reveal what the members are like in daily life. This leads the others to suspect her seriousness as just a gimmick; she vehemently denies this and claims that she is simply a late riser... even though the meeting is at noon.
    • In episode 526, Naachan's seriousness makes a comeback in the Kyun-1 contest. The judges seem to find it a bit too manly for their tastes, though, as her attempt doesn't get a very high score.
      Boyfriend character: Wouldn't it be bad if people found out we're dating?
      Naachan: If that happens, I'll take full responsibility. We'll get married!
      The judges and Paradise: That's a very Setouchi response! So manly, fit for those who sail the sea!
    • In the show's final episode, Naachan confesses that having this established image motivated her to explore herself more until she eventually cut her hair short and became more known as an Ambiguously Bi Bifauxnen.
  • Comical Overreacting: A large appeal of the show is watching everyone's overreactions.
    • Kashiwagi Yuki is dubbed the Reaction Queen because of her huge overreactions. Due to this, she is a regular target for Dokkiri
    • Nishino Miki takes this to extremes as described in the Hysterical Woman entry.
    • One time, particularly scary-looking larvae were brought into the studio and the girls discuss how they don't have to overreact for that one, because it is genuinely that terrifying.
    • Watanabe Mayu, of all people, screams hysterically when she gets hit for the first time in Muchaburi Dodgeball and has to receive an Embarrassing Makeup in episode 85.
      Sata: Watanabe's embarrassing makeup will be... Dozeumon (a thief character)!
      Mayuyu: (sulking) Who the hell is Dozeumon?!
      • She attempts to run away from the studio in a later episode when hit with a muchaburi which requires her to be the subject of AD Uno's hand-chopping magic trick, especially since his earlier demonstration of the trick (with a radish in place of a hand) ended in failure.
  • Consummate Liar: In Shōjiki Shōgi segments, Kiyoto does commentary as lying master Ōuso-sensei, his name meaning "big lie" and a play on his real surname.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The muchaburi given for losing or being eliminated in a match fall into this trope. Some are described in the other entries, and there's also a more comprehensive list in the Wiki.
  • Cool Teacher:
    • The show occasionally invites seasoned professionals such as news anchors to coach the members in their art.
    • In episodes 142-143, child prodigies from several fields such as martial arts, unicycling, and magic are invited to teach the members their special skills to help the latter become more well-known.
    • Senior members occasionally hold lecture and Q & A sessions for their juniors on being an idol, such as in episodes 436-437.
    • In episode 281, a high school headmaster wrote to the group asking them to record a message for his graduating students. As Ōshima Yuko is also about to graduate from the group, they decide to visit the school in person and do a surprise show instead. When asked about his favorite member, the headmaster starts gushing about Shimazaki Haruka (Paruru), who is present, until Takamina humorously cut him short.
      Headmaster: Paruru-san is seen as cool, even cold, but to me it's one of her...
      Takamina: You really like her, huh? You know a lot about her!
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef:
    • One of the muchaburi, "Inaba Gohan", involves sampling a meal prepared by Assistant Director Inaba of the studio crew who experiments with unusual combinations like pudding with rice and banana tuna rice. His appearance is a recurring nightmare for his favorite member Kasai Tomomi, since she would always be "persuaded" to sample the dishes under the pretext of not wanting to disappoint a fan.
      • No wonder how much of a shocking moment it is when Inaba finally makes something edible in episode 144. Kasai liked the watermelon curry so much that she even shook his hand.
    • Iwatate Saho actually likes eating insects and takes AD Inaba's place in episode 264, with the muchaburi renamed to "Sahho Gohan". Subverted since everybody who tries her steamed grasshoppers concedes that it's delicious.
      Iwata Karen, before and after eating: Farewell, human me! ... Hate to admit it, but it's actually tasty!
    • In cooking stadiums, inexperienced members are guaranteed to makes a mistake either by choose the wrong ingredients or cooks the ingredients in an absurd way, causing the food to be either taste horrible or looks inedible (Often Lampshaded by Ohori Megumi, who serves as a commentator and an expert cook)
      Guest Judge Kasuga Toshiaki, after tasting gyoza: This taste like soil!
  • Cosplay:
    • Kiyoto dresses up as a scholar character (art curator, professor, etc.) for some segments.
    • Every year, there's a Halloween series spanning several episodes where the girls show up in various cosplay, notably including Donald Trump and Steve Jobs accompanied by Siri (a full-body iPhone costume) in 2016.
    • Muchaburi assignees have notably dressed up as C-3PO, Sadako, and Neytiri.
  • Costume Porn:
    • To promote the recently released AKB costume guide, episodes 444-445 showcase the seven best AKB48 costumes to date according to members' vote, as well as some of the most difficult ones to create according to the costume department. The junior members are delighted to model the outfits, several of which are one-of-a-kind versions customized for the esteemed Kami 7 graduates. The costumes are described in great detail and various behind-the-scenes trivia are also revealed. Muramoto later reveals that he has secretly made his own list of the 3 sexiest costumes and makes the members model those as well.
      Kizaki Yuria, discussing a transforming costume: Kato Rena-chan and myself were the double centers for this song.
      Muramoto: Yuria-san, what's the song called?
      Yuria: "Me wo Aketa Mama no First Kiss" ("First Kiss with Eyes Open").
      Muramoto: (snorts) Yeah, you're the type who'll do that! Your eyes will be wide open!
      Yuria: Stop messing around!
    • In episode 381, the girls wear several of the most popular real high school uniforms in Japan.
  • Country Mouse:
    • Episodes 318-319 features Team 8 members from outside Tokyo going on a virtual tour of the capital, with various comments on the big city life. There are also trivia quizzes with popular Tokyo snacks as the prizes.
    • Muramoto, who is from the rural Fukui Prefecture, loves to make fun of Team 8's Yokoyama Yui who is from the similarly rural Aomori.
      Muramoto, episode 402: Yokoyama, you have 30 friends? That's everyone in Aomori!

      Muramoto, episode 405: So, Yokoyama, people change in Tokyo. For example, in Roppongi, you'll see many people cruising around on their fancy road bikes, hanging their keys on their necks. One day you'll be like that too, riding your road bike while herding your cattle...
      Yokochan: I don't own cattle!
      • He in turn is often teased that Team 8's Cho Kurena, also from Fukui, is now more popular than him despite being much younger and much newer to the entertainment industry.
        Narrator, episode 478: Certainly, Cho Kurena's contributions to Fukui Prefecture have far exceeded Muramoto's!
        Muramoto: Damniiiit!
    • In episode 398, Muramoto comments on Ibaraki native Okabe Rin's cowboy hat.
      Muramoto: I don't know if it's stylish, but it certainly leaves a strong impression. Okabe-san's outfit screams "I just arrived in Tokyo!"
      Berin: Well, since I've just got to Tokyo, I want to try something new.
      Muramoto: Excellent! That's what I'm talking about!
    • Many other Team 8 members also came from the countryside. For example, Tanikawa Hijiri lives in a forest in Akita, and in episode 499 relates how some days while she's walking to school a government car would pass by warning about wild bears near the area. Sato Shiori also often receives bear warnings in her hamlet in Niigata.
      Muramoto: So you came here to sing and dance from a place where bears live!
      • In episode 534, Yamazaki Kei remarks that Yokochan and Hijirin have managed to considerably improve their fashion game despite their country roots, which have earned them female fans aspiring to do the same.
        Utada Hatsuka: In Team 8, we're supposed to show love for our home prefecture. But lately it seems Hijirin wants to become a Tokyo girl.
        Hijirin: I'm not abandoning my hometown! I still live there and came all the way here!
    • Fukuoka-raised Oya Shizuka relates how, when she started to live in Tokyo years earlier, she didn't want to pay a mover and took multiple trips on the subway to carry her belongings with Kitahara Rie and both their mothers. She admits she would be embarrassed if she has to do it again.
    • In episode 541, Kagoshima native Kashiwagi Yuki confesses that she used to proclaim that she would never dye her hair, but then everyone around her did so and she felt self-conscious about looking like a country girl. She then made the director of a drama she starred in rewrite her character into a brunette, so that she had an excuse to break her promise.
    • Episode 547 shows Shitao Miu's daily life at her hometown in Yamaguchi, such as foraging for wild bamboo shoots and participating in town festivals.
  • Covered in Gunge: The idols get this in various ways: thrown or slid into a pool of flour, flour chamber, Pie in the Face, cream cannon, cream bazooka, water balloons, etc.
  • Covert Pervert: Many members qualify, as revealed in Shōjiki Shōgi, Delusion Drama, and other segments.
    Murayama Yuiri, episode 370: When I stayed over at Naachan's place for the first time, she invited me to take a bath together, but I declined because I was embarrassed. I went inside the bathroom and started taking off my clothes, and suddenly Naachan called, "Yuu-chan, open up..."
    Naachan: It's not what you think! Since it's not her own shower, I thought she might not know how to use it. ... But since I was already in the bathroom, I figured we might as well take a shower together...
    The hosts: That was your intention all along! It's the kind of excuse all perverts give!
    Tropes D to G 
  • Dating Sim: Aside from Kyun-1, there are several episodes with dating simulations.
    • Episodes 410 and 507 are where the girls have to show how they would handle a Jerkass boyfriend.
    • Episode 506 features romantic scenarios supposedly based on the real stories of several celebrity couples.
  • The Cutie: Being cute is pretty much a minimum requirement to become an idol, but some members are regarded in the show as the epitomes of kawaii, such as Oguri Yui and Kato Rena.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: Several episodes feature the members having a dance competition.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not all AKB48 idols are sweet and bubbly.
    • Shimazaki Haruka is a constant source of dry humor, affectionately known as "salty interaction" which is a combination of her ditziness, lower-than-average enthusiasm, and Brutal Honesty. She has her own series of skits titled Dr. Parutaro, in which she portrays the eponymous psychiatrist-for-idols and listens to members' problems with her sycophantic nurse Kitahara Rie, only to put them down afterwards (see Psycho Psychologist below). Episode 422, her farewell episode, shows some of her best quotes, as well as her Cute Clumsy Girl tendencies.
      Kiyoto, episode 296: At times like this, we should ask Shimazaki's opinion, since she's a straightforward person.
      Sata: So, Shimazaki, what do you think about Komiyama?
      Paruru: I can't deal with her type.
    • Taguchi Manaka seems to be growing into one as of late 2017, and Yahagi Moeka since late 2018.
      Manaka, episode 463, after the heartwarming reconciliation described in We Used to Be Friends below: That was a good farce.
      • In episode 522, everybody wonders whom Manaka would roast in her confession. Turns out it's her entire generation.
        Manaka: During the audition, from the bottom of my heart, I thought everybody else was ugly! ... Maeda was the worst, she looked like a random Japanese girl you could find anywhere.
        Maeda Ayaka: Well, Taguchi Manaka there had a little boy's haircut, she was way worse than me!
    • Kiyoto becomes one during the Phrase Museum segments as well.
      What you want to hear from your junior after club activities
      Yukirin: Please use this bandage. I've put a charm on it, so it will help you heal faster. ❤
      Kiyoto: Eh? But I have broken ribs...
  • Death Glare:
    • Muramoto and Taniguchi Megu take to glaring at each other as a Running Gag in the first few episodes with WRH as hosts.
    • Okabe Rin is prone to doing this whenever she's pressured to do something she finds embarrassing or hears "Ibaragi".
      Episode 536, after being embarrassed by Kubo Satone: I'll take her behind the gym after this.
  • Delinquent Hair: Sata Masaki is always seen with an oversized pompadour, until it is shaved by the girls at one point.
  • Dirty Old Man:
    • Contest judges for cute seduction contests often consist of middle-aged and old men wearing old-style high school uniforms, and the girls have to direct their affection at them. NGT's Kitahara Rie calls them out on episode 378 for apparently basing their judgement on the girls' physical appearance instead of their words.
      Kitarie: Let's have Chiyori say the exact same words Paruru just said and see how many points you give her!
      (Chiyori gets 16 points, while Paruru got 196. To be fair, the two have very different characters and Paruru's word choice couldn't have worked with Chiyori, but Chiyori's own words before that were also not highly ranked.)
      • Later, the sulking Kitarie sarcastically congratulates Aoki Hiroyuki (Chief Editor of Kobunsha Flash and huge AKB fan), the oldest judge, after NGT's Kato Minami did a double front flip in front of him (although they all wear Modesty Shorts).
        Kitarie: I would love to see that from Aoki-san's point of view. What a lucky guy.
    • Muramoto technically qualifies since he favors the high school age members.
      Mayuyu, 2017 Lucky Girl Ranking episode: Oi, Lolicon!
    • In episode 542, HKT's Tanaka Miku reveals that once when a fan asked her to roast him in a handshake session, she gave him "Go to hell, you Lolicon!" Turned out he liked it and came back for more.
  • Dodgeball Is Hell: Muchaburi Dodgeball. The game itself isn't particularly rough, but the muchaburi that await the eliminated players can be pretty outrageous.
    • Before the very first Muchaburi Dodgeball match, Akimoto Sayaka reveals that she hated the game since boys used to aim for her face when she played as a child.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: In episode 453, a high school football player is too excited about his role as Kyun-1 judge and broke the table while scoring with the buzzer.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • In episode 439, Iwatate Saho's catchphrase, which is quite flirty and includes the expressions "too quick" and "too long", is suspected of being a Double Entendre. She strongly denies this, arguing that she came up with it when she was still "pure" (5 years before, which means around age 17 or 18; she first used the phrase in this show in episode 264) and didn't know of such things. She's probably saying the truth, judging from the way her expression slowly changes upon realizing about that alternate interpretation.
    • The hosts sometimes mention that the more maniacal fans would be delighted to see their idols splattered with white cream from the cream cannon.
    • In episode 527, HKT's Matsumoto Hinata attempts to seduce judge Takei So by offering to make his "dumpling" bigger. Turns out she's referring to his biceps.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: "Aitakatta", and "Bingo" for the AKB News segment (both until 2016). "Beginner" is used in the AKBeginner series.
  • Dope Slap: as expected from the Tsukkomi, Sata often give Kiyoto or the girls a slap whenever they act silly or irritates him. The girls calls him out for hitting them as hard as he slaps Kiyoto.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Early episodes of AKB 1ji 59fun has three hosts (Bad Boys and Takada Junji) and they make a big deal of which members should lead the greeting at the beginning of each episode. They also give stickers to the members as reward for winning games, which could have been exchangeable for gifts, until the concept is abandoned.
  • Earn Your Title: While most members have an official nickname based on their real names, some have other appellations thanks to their reputation or physical features.
    • "Mad Dog" Miyazaki Miho, for her vicious Trash Talk and comments. Downplayed as she becomes a senior member, since she believes doing it to juniors would be akin to bullying. Taguchi Manaka eventually gets this nickname as well.
    • "Majime"* Okada Nana, The Comically Serious. In episode 268, the narrator names her, in captioned Gratuitous English, "King of マジメ".*
    • "Reaction Queen" Kashiwagi Yuki, for her Comical Overreacting
    • "Slip-Up Queen" Takahashi Minami, because she Cannot Tell a Joke, "slipping" being a Japanese slang for failed joke.
    • "Variety Queen" Minegishi Minami, who is a dominant presence in many variety shows, including this one. Also "Gachapin" for her droopy eyes and buckteeth.
    • "Hetare Queen" Nishino Miki, which means inept or timid, and sometimes also "Reaction Queen".
    • "Akigori" or "Gori-san" Akimoto Sayaka, who is often a literal Butt-Monkey because of her physical build, and the fact that she can do an extremely realistic impression of a gorilla.
    • "Salty" Shimazaki Haruka, the apathetic Deadpan Snarker (i.e. not sweet), sometimes escalated to "Waruru", a combination of warui (bad) and Paruru (her nickname), when she's being really mean. Also "Ponkotsu", roughly meaning Cute Clumsy Girl.
    • "Fashion Leader" (said in English) or "Oshare-bancho"* Itano Tomomi, The Fashionista and Gyaru Girl. Bancho is also a common title for teenage gang leaders, invoking a certain Lovable Alpha Bitch vibe.
      • Kato Rena and Iriyama Anna are later also acknowledged as fashion leaders.
    • "Sōkantoku" Takahashi Minami and later Yokoyama Yui, which means General Manager, their actual job title.*
    • "Mogu Mogu Mion" ("Munching Mion") Mukaichi Mion, which started after she deliberately eats a bowl of udon very slowly in a speed eating contest (the goal is to either be the fastest or the slowest to finish).
    • "The Once in 20,000 Years Bishoujo" Oguri Yui, given to her in another TV show.
      Muramoto: Okada, have you counted whether it's exactly 20,000 years?
      • Hama Sayuna parodies this in her 2018 The W comedy routine, as seen in episode 521.
        Hamachan: When we talk about idols, a person we must mention is Hashimoto Kanna-san, "The Once in 10,000 Years Bishoujo". What a nice nickname. Well, I also have a nickname given to me on a TV show:note  "Jobless 5 Days a Week Idol". Or as my father puts it, "Stay at Home Idol". ... When I debuted, I also heard this a lot: "In A Few Years Bishoujo". Now I've been an idol for five years, and these days, they call me: "In Another Few Years Bishoujo".
    • "Sento-kun" Suzuki Kurumi, after the mascot of the city of Nara whom she resembles. She cosplays as that character in the 2018 Halloween episodes.
  • Eat That: Punishments for Muchaburi Dodgeball and other games include eating strange food. Insects usually turn out to be surprisingly tasty.
  • Education Papa: In episode 523, Takahashi Ayane confesses that until middle school, she was limited to 1 hour of TV daily and was required to read a book for the same duration she wanted to watch more and write a book review. It was because her father couldn't enter Tokyo University and pushed that dream to her. Ironically, she's now an idol instead, although she also goes to another college.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: Old photos of the members, as well as old audition footages, are exposed in several episodes, especially in the Answer The Obvious segments. Kashiwagi Yuki is particularly horrified when a set of photos of her posing like an idol at home before joining the group are shown in episode 449.
    Muramoto: So this is that Kagoshima beauty I've heard about! ... You look like a model for a local snack brand!
    • In episode 275, a photo of 3-year-old Katayama Haruka is exposed by Nishino Miki. What shocks everyone is the year on the picture, 1987, which implies that she's actually 30 years old. Haachan passionately denies this, claiming that the camera's clock wasn't set correctly, but everyone is already suspicious.
      Haachan, on the verge of tears: Should I show you my insurance card?!
  • Emo Teen: Lune, the "negative" idol unit in episode 367 consisting of Mukaichi Mion and Okawa Rio, dresses in Elegant Gothic Lolita, hates being complimented, never smiles (although Mion can't help breaking character once), and recites self-loathing poetry. This makes the audience sympathize with and want to support them. However, both of them immediately abandon their characters upon laying eyes on the Eternal Boys.
    • In episode 534, Miion is revealed to actually have a negative outlook in real life, so her attitude in Lune was not entirely just an act.
  • Emotionless Girl: Team 8's Hayasaka Tsumugi has very subdued emotions. In episode 388's Monoboke Battle segment, she is the only judge out of five who doesn't laugh at all. Muramoto makes it something of his personal mission to help her get out of her shell.
  • Empty Eyes: Takahashi Juri's Embarrassing Nickname is "Messhi", meaning "dead eyes". Hayasaka Tsumugi is offended to the point of tears after Muramoto commented that he can't tell whether she's alive or dead because of her eyes (she had been bullied at school for the same reason).
  • Engrish:
    • When Maeda Atsuko is challenged to write Thursday in English, she spells it "Sath-day".
    • Oshima Ryoka and Kojima Mako call their pairing in episode 246 "Big-Small Island", which is the combined meaning of their respective surnames.
      Bigu... sumoru... airandooo!
    • Meanwhile, Shimada Haruka and Shimazaki Haruka are the "Double Island".
    • Obviously, Oshima Yuko and Ryoka are the "Big-Big Island".
    • The narrator names Okada Nana the "King of Majime" in episode 268. It's later changed to Queen of Majime.
    • In episode 436, nobody understands when SKE's Goto Rara, who is fluent in English, said "Instagram" in her American accent, since they're used to the Japanese pronunciation "Insutaguram" (インスタグラム).
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped:
    • Due to her lisp, HKT's Kodama Haruka's lines are often subtitled... with gibberish.
    • Longer foreign language dialogues are also often subtitled with gibberish, if at all. Averted with shorter sentences, which are usually correctly transcribed.
  • Exact Words: Unintentional; in episode 508, which discusses the members who ranked out in the 2018 election, Kotoge of the comedy duo Viking predicts that those members would not be there in future ranked-out episodes. Turned out both the election and this show were cancelled the next year.
  • Extreme Omnivore:
    • Itano Tomomi somehow finds everything she eats delicious (except, she claims, the food provided during overseas work). A segment in episode 22 called "Tomomichelin" features her and Kashiwagi Yuki reviewing a ramen joint notorious for its horrible taste,note  and although Yukirin finds the food inedible as the rumors said, Tomochin gives the place a 3 out of 3 Tomomichelin stars rating.note 
      • In episode 40 where she and several members were challenged to order food in french restaurant by choosing from several options note  at first they thought they choose the right answer since they were given some fried meat and enjoyed it ("tastes like chicken"). Until Sata revealed that they eat fried frog meat, in which they immediately freaked out.
    • Iwatate Saho likes insects and other unusual food.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Members from outside Tokyo often take advantage of their native dialects in flirting contests.
    • Episode 479 has a representative of each sister group presenting a romantic scenario with their hometown dialects, including STU for the first time, represented by Iwata Hina with her Yamaguchi dialect. AKB is represented by Ma Chia-Ling, who adds some Chinese to the mix. In episode 527, STU's Ishida Chiho and Team 8's Yokoyama Yui compete to win Yamada Takayuki's heart with their respective Hiroshima and Tsugaru dialects.
      Muramoto: You're just like an Aomori cabaret girl!
    • Team 8 has one member from each of The 47 Prefectures and they're often asked to talk in their native dialects. Kanagawa representative Oda Erina laments that her home prefecture has no dialect of its own.
  • Expository Pronoun:
    • Takahashi Minami caused an uproar when she revealed that she often uses the first-person pronouns oira (associated with rural older men) and boku off-camera.
      Takamina: Oira koura! ("I'll have a cola!")
    • Nogizaka46's Ikoma Rina accidentally refers to herself with the Akita dialect ora (which sounds like the rough ore) when freaked out in a horror segment.
    • The Prima Donna Director in episode 268 addresses Okada Nana's two friends with the polite anata and her using the rough omae.
    • In episode 259, Kojima Mako reveals that Okada Nana scolds teammates who refer to others using aitsu (a rough way to say "that person") and insists they use ano hito (more polite way to say the same) instead.
  • Face Doodling: The member whose phrase loses in the Phrase Museum segment gets her face painted. Also happens during Embarrassing Makeup muchaburi and other games.
  • The Fake Cutie: Some of the girls have been accused as "black-hearted" (haraguro), such as Kashiwagi Yuki and Komiyama Haruka.
    Takamina: (about Komiharu) My instinct as General Manager tells me that that girl is black-hearted. She has a first-class dangerous aura.
    Episode 295
    Komiharu: Truth be told, I'm tired of putting up a smile for members of my own generation. (grins)
  • Fan Boy: Fans of the group are highly encouraged to pick a favorite member (oshimen), and even the studio crew make their favorites known. Many episodes featured the girls appealing to celebrity guests to pick one of them as their oshimen.
    • Sata of the Bad Boys is partial to Shinoda Mariko, and she in turn makes Kiyoto her Butt-Monkey. Kiyoto himself likes Izuta Rina.
    • Episodes 283-284 feature the girls competing for the chance to appeal to the show's Interactive Narrator Iwami Seiji, since his current oshimen Oshima Yuko is going to graduate. Iwami ends up choosing Tano Yuka as his new one. He later quietly switched to Hama Sayuna after Yuka also left.
    • Uno/Bichao stanned Yokoyama Yui until he switches to Okada Nana after witnessing her earnestness in the episodes described in The Comically Serious entry above.
      Aja Kong, while holding Bichao in a chokehold: Who's your favorite AKB member? Spill it now or I won't let you go!
      Bichao: It's the one who wants to shine brighter than the Golden Pavilion, Yokoyama-san...
      Yuihan, beaming: He even knows my theater catchphrase!
    • Inaba is a fan of Kasai Tomomi, which the latter doesn't appreciate since that means she's always pressured to sample his cooking during "Inaba Gohan" muchaburi to avoid "offending" him.
    • Muramoto's oshimen is Oguri Yui (Yuiyui) and he's generally biased toward the younger members. He also pays special attention to Hayasaka Tsumugi, and often shows his attraction to Iriyama Anna.
      Muramoto: (to Kato Rena) Kato-san, thank you for selecting Oguri in the Renacchi Sousenkyo. Please take care of my Oguri. It's the Oguri Senbatsu.
      • In episode 396, his very first episode as host, Annin is seated closest to the hosts' desk (although he is somewhere else and communicates with the studio via intercom for most of the episode) and he admits that he would love to go out with her someday.
      • In episode 406, he's way too delighted that Annin has followed him on Twitter and acts disheartened when Annin claims it's simply because they work on the same show.
      • In the 2018 Halloween episodes, the members are tasked to trick-or-treat the people in and around the NTV studio and obtain the most unique items. Yuiyui's team found a large poster of her and she signed it for Muramoto, with Mukaichi Mion adding the words "I love you!" for good measure. They instantly win the contest.*
        Muramoto: The other teams found various treasured items, but Yuiyui's team created their treasure!
      • In episode 531, Muramoto lets out a pained hollow laugh after Annin revealed that she did a kiss scene in her Mexican telenovela, LIKE, La Leyenda.
      • In the final episode, Muramoto offers a few final words for the girls.
        Muramoto: I wonder what you'll become. I think this is the beginning of a very enjoyable time for you. You might become an actress or pursue theater, or even quit and get married... I'm looking forward to see what happens in the future. I myself will also keep working hard. I'll keep supporting you... Oguri-chan.
        Everybody else: You seriously said all that just for Yuiyui?! Give back the tears we've shed!
    • Because of this, contest judges rarely do their job fairly.
    • Idols fighting over celebrity fans has happened a few times, such as NMB's Watanabe Miyuki vs Kojima Mako for magazine editor Aoki Hiroyuki and Kojima Natsuki vs Oshima Ryoka over soccer player Iwamoto Teru.
    • In episode 500, hardcore fans of Team 8 who spend millions of yen to follow them around the country and invest in professional photography equipment to document their concerts are interviewed.
      A middle-aged fan: I've maxed out four credit cards. I've also become a master in night bus travel, can't afford the Shinkansen. ... Sometimes in life, you work hard and get nothing in return, but being a Team 8 fan is always worth it.
    • In episode 554, an assistant director wears a fan T-shirt of Tokyo Girls' Style Yamabe Miyu, who came as a guest. Unfortunately, she didn't notice it until Muramoto points it out since she was focusing on the game.
  • Fangirl: Many members are AKB48 fans themselves since before they joined. Shimada Haruka in particular is well-versed in AKB48 history, and Sashihara Rino can do the wotagei fan dance routine.
    • Maeda Atsuko, legendary AKB48 center and one of the most famous entertainers in Japan, is a Twilight fan and is starstruck like any other teenage girl when she and Shinoda Mariko meet Robert Pattinson in a mission to turn him into a fan (they succeed). She is flustered again later in a Shōjiki Shōgi match when her continued infatuation with him is exposed.
    • In a Shōjiki Shōgi match, it is revealed that Watanabe Mayu passed on buying a new single by AKB48 subunit no3b in favor of an Hetalia: Axis Powers Image Song single which was released around the same time, to the shock of the spectating members, especially the three belonging to no3b (Kojima Haruna, Minegishi Minami, and Takahashi Minami).
    • In another Shōjiki Shōgi match, it's revealed that Takeuchi Miyu styled her hair after Maeda Atsuko's, and she proceeds to gush over Acchan who happens to be the commentator in the match, to the latter's delight.
    • Kuramochi Asuka is a big fan of pro wrestler Kobashi Kenta, and the show arranges for them to meet in episode 46.
    • A Running Gag between Muramoto and Sato Kiara is him accusing her of being a cosplaying AKB fan who sneaked into the studio, followed by her retorting "I'm an idol!".
      • In episode 511's word guessing game, Ichikawa Manami guesses that something Kiichan wants to be but can't is "idol".
    • In episode 432, a fan reported that she witnessed Okada Nana taking pictures with an advertisement featuring Takahashi Minami at a mall in Kanagawa.
      Naachan: It's because Takamina-san is a god!
      Muramoto: Okay, now you're scaring me.
    • In the Watanabe Mayu farewell episodes (471-472), many members (and Keyakizaka46 captain Sugai Yuuka, who sent a recorded message) share how they are big fans of Mayuyu since before joining.
      Sugai Yuuka: I'm an active Keyakizaka member right now because of Mayuyu-san. Even the thought that Mayuyu-san will watch this video almost makes my heart stop.
    • Kashiwagi Yuki reveals that she, Sashihara Rino, and Watanabe Mayu are fans of Hello! Project's Morning Musume and often go to their concerts.
      Yukirin, episode 540: The Momusu fans have accepted me as just one of them. So whenever we come to a concert, rather than "Whoa, AKB members are here!" it's like "Cool, you made it! Let's enjoy the show, yeah?"
  • Fan of the Past:
    • In a Shoujiki Shougi match, Shinoda Mariko is revealed to be out of touch with the music that her juniors enjoy and can only sing older songs at the karaoke. She is delighted when another member knows the song she is singing... until that member turns out to be Akimoto Sayaka, who is about her age.
    • In episode 522's Bucchake Baseball, Yokoyama Yui complains that Fukuoka Seina called her outdated after she told her that she enjoys the "Koi Dance", a trend from 2016 (three years before). She proceeds to awkwardly dance it by herself without music, leading Muramoto to give her an "out".
      Muramoto: I have to say, the General Manager always ends up looking lame.
  • Fan Sub: Mostly of high quality and available in various languages such as English, Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese. Some subbers are even familiar enough with Japanese culture to insert footnotes on terms and cultural references relatively unknown to foreigners. There's also the occasional Cultural Translation, such as where Japanese dialects are translated to regional languages to differentiate them from standard Japanese.
  • Ferris Wheel Date Moment: Having started off on the wrong foot, Muramoto and Hayasaka Tsumugi get along better ("25%" according to her) after hanging out together in episode 419 which ends with a heart-to-heart on a Ferris wheel, during which they discover that they have something in common (social awkwardness), and Muramoto expresses his appreciation for her since her cold shoulder toward him has actually contributed to the show's comedy.
  • Fille Fatale:
    • In her Shoujiki Shougi, then 16-year-old Ono Erena is revealed to be confident in her sex appeal, especially since she already has several photobooks released.
      Erepyon: Compared to Mayuyu and Myao, I'm the one with the nice body!
    • In episode 530, Kato Rena reveals that Yahagi Moeka, then 16 years old, tends to pull fans' hands dangerously close to her chest and get her face really close as well during handshake meetings. In episode 541, Komiyama Haruka accuses her of deliberately leaving her top button undone during a handshake session, enabling fans to take a peek.
      Moeka, defending herself: But that sells, so what's wrong with it? ... My sister (Yahagi Yukina) was an SKE member, and she said that Suda Akari-san taught her to treat each visitor as special. I greatly respect her!
      Dasu: Does that mean I created this monster?
      Muramoto: Yes, you brought this Darth Vader to life!
  • Fire-Breathing Diner:
    • In episode 2, Maeda Atsuko is unable to continue recording after eating a very spicy muchaburi meal.
    • Averted by Yokoyama Yui who actually likes spicy food and eats a spoonful of spicy curry with no problem for a muchaburi. Takamina tries the food too out of curiosity, and is rendered speechless when asked to describe the taste.
    • Averted by Okada Nana in episode 268 in a prank disguised as a food tourism segment, in which she finishes a croquette secretly stuffed with wasabi without flinching to avoid offending the elderly vendor lady (who is actually an actress in on the prank) and stays composed enough to offer a polite compliment.
      Naachan: I really felt like I was going to die. But I couldn't bring myself to complain to the lady after she told us that sad story about her late husband.
    • In episode 512, Shinozaki Ayana, Chiba Erii, and Yumoto Ami drag an unenthusiastic Kato Rena along to sample their favorite extremely spicy dishes.
      Renacchi, watching Erii happily eating spaghetti topped with two bottles worth of habanero and tabasco: Are you a robot?
  • First-Name Basis: Ōmizo Kiyoto is always referred to by his given name.
    • Some members such as Ōshima Yuko use their given names as nickname.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Ma Chia-Ling (Macharin) is from Taiwan and is the only non-Japanese AKB member.
  • Fortune Teller: The show has invited several psychics, mostly around the first three years of its run. In the annual New Year Lucky Girl segments, comedian and palm reader Shimada Shuhei ranks the members by their projected fortune for the year (and every year notes that the number of hands he had to read keeps increasing). A few members are skeptical, although most seem to take his reading seriously.
    • In the 2014 New Year Lucky Girl segment (episode 271), Minegishi Minami and Sashihara Rino accuse Shimada of being a Phony Psychic, since Miichan who placed first in the previous year's luck ranking was caught in a major scandal, while Sasshi who placed last topped that year's Senbatsu Election. Shimada points out that the Attention Whore Miichan, whose apology video went viral, is now known internationally, while Sasshi, who doesn't really like too much attention on herself, is now the face of the group, so his predictions were accurate From a Certain Point of View. Nevertheless, another fortune teller, Getter's Iida, is then brought in to provide second opinion (and the members take the latter's predictions more seriously, much to Shimada's chagrin).
    • In 2019 Lucky Girl, Komiyama Haruka reveals that after the previous year's reading, she asked another fortune teller for a second opinion, offending Shimada.
  • Friendless Background: A few members and Muramoto have revealed that they have no one they consider friends, such as in episodes 375 and 402.
    Shimada Shuhei, episode 375: You have a tendency to be overly concerned about your friends' lives, which will make it hard to focus on your work.
    HKT's Miyawaki Sakura: But I have zero friends...
    Shimada: Well, in that case, there's no problem.
  • Funny Foreigner:
    • Several early episodes feature French lessons with a real French guy playing the role of waiter or storekeeper.
    • A fake Indian psychic who pretends to have telekinetic powers is called in for a prank in an early episode.
    • Ma Chia-Ling often plays up her foreigner status and imperfect Japanese for laughs.
  • Fun with Acronyms: In episode 405, Muramoto asks Kawamoto Saya what AKB stands for. She answers "Aidoru you can meet, Kids to adult members, Boneheads we are not!" ("Ai ni ikeru, Kodomo kara otona made iru, Baka janai yo!"). Muramoto simply expected the answer "Akihabara".
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Many members love dolls.
    • Okada Nana and Murayama Yuiri show off their matching teddy bears in episode 370. Mogi Shinobu also owns a lot of bears.
    • Takahashi Juri talks to and abuses her dolls to relieve stress.
      Juri: In the mornings when I don't feel like going to work, I'd ask Pooh-san, "Pooh-san, do I really have to go today?"
      Muramoto, to the camera: Akimoto-san, it's getting bad!

      Miyazaki Miho: Juri and I often shared a hotel room during Produce48. We were watching the show on TV and Juri didn't perform too well in that episode, and then I saw her pummeling the doll she brought while yelling "You bastard! Stop messing around!"
  • Girly Bruiser: Muto Orin is a national karate champion and creates a personal greeting which includes a Roundhouse Kick in episode 437.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: In episode 554, Komiyama Haruka's sister is invited to the show and Komi apologizes for "stealing" her boyfriend by turning him into her fan.
    Komi's sister: He watched her Showroom stream when he was right next to me and bought virtual gifts for her. He even asked me to go with him to her handshake event. Why should I pay money to meet my own sister?!
    • Yamabe Miyu, Tokyo Girls' Style member and Yamabe Ayu's older sister, also reveals that her sister has always been competitive with her since their childhood, which implies that Ayu became an idol because of her as well.
  • Golden Snitch: A Running Gag in competition episodes, especially those involving sister groups. Usually the final round is between the leader of each group and is worth 48 points.
  • Gonk:
    • Nakanishi Chiyori is treated as one for laughs. While she usually takes it in good fun (and does have cute pictures of herself which she shows off to counter the teasing), her Shōjiki Shōgi match and other members' stories reveal that she isn't necessarily fine about it.
      Paruru, episode 377: Your face is loud!
      • When her high school buddy, Fukuoka weather girl Zaitsu Minami, is invited to the show, the latter reveals that Chiyori is quite popular at school, but Muramoto keeps pressuring her to admit that Chiyori is unattractive.
      • Averted in episode 506 where she infiltrated a speed dating event and was quite popular, although in the end nobody picked her for a second date.
        Chiyori: I felt like I'm a real woman. Not girl, woman!
    • In episode 453, SKE's Suda Akari's introduction caption includes the remark "Ugly, but is in the Kami 7".
      • In episode 523's Bucchake Baseball, she calls out Muramoto for giving Oguri Yui a home run despite her borderline Non Sequitur confession.
        Dasu: This is totally weird! Why are you so nice to her? Because she's cute?
        Muramoto: Well, maybe because you're ugly!
    • In episode 533, comedian Yamazaki Kei laments that plain female comedians have to compete with AKB's variety idols for jobs.
      Yamazaki: On the human attractiveness pyramid, female comedians like myself are on the rock bottom, while all of you AKB variety idols are the ugliest of the top tiers. Can you imagine how hard it is for us to go against you?
  • Gratuitous English:
    • The narration, title cards, and segment titles often include English phrases. See also Engrish above.
      Narrator, in English: Let's dansooooo!!! (He meant "crossdressing", not "dance". This "Let's" + noun form happens all the time)
    • In episode 534, Komiyama Haruka is revealed to habitually single out the word "Lesson" by writing it in English (instead of its katakana equivalent レッスン ressun) when posting on social media, which her many female fans find stylish.
  • Growing Up Sucks:
    • In episode 446, Kizaki Yuria warns members who present an Everyone's Baby Sister persona (like she used to) that it won't work anymore when they grow older and they should be prepared to reinvent themselves (she herself went with an outspoken yankee persona, which suited her well).
      • Hiwatashi Yui have gotten away with this even at age 17, thanks to her small stature.
    • Miyazaki Miho can't use her trash talking skills anymore after she becomes a senior member, because doing it to juniors would be bullying.

    Tropes H to M 
  • Happily Married: Despite their rough personae, both Sata and Kiyoto are married men (Kiyoto got married during the show's run). Sata is also shown to shed Manly Tears when giving his speech at Kiyoto's wedding. Sata's wife, Kyoko, is invited to the studio for a game segment where Sata has to guess how she feels about him on several matters (which eventually leads to his Important Haircut), and episode 331 features several members visiting the Satas's home and being entertained by the couple after a location shooting.
    • Nakagawa Paradise also has a wife and son. Despite that, a Running Gag is that most members find him creepy. In episode 554, he teases Muramoto, who is single, when Chiba Erii's mother is revealed to be the same age as him.
  • Hate Sink: Muramoto has made a career out of being a kiraware, and even the show's narrator occasionally calls him names. In episode 403, he reveals that he regularly receives death wishes and it took a while to become accustomed to that. To help the girls be prepared in case they receive the same, he invites them to adopt his mantra, "I can get used to being told to die. Good day to you!" Paruru is unexpectedly really amused by this.
    Muramoto, delighted at Paruru's laughter: This is the happiest I've been this year!
  • Height Angst: Takamina is often made fun of because of her shortness (148.5 cm, which incidentally contains the number 48, as does her birthday, April 8). Conversely, Tanaka Natsumi of HKT48 is insecure about being too tall (170.4 cm, 2.4 cm taller than she claimed) and is incensed when Murashige Anna exposed this in a Shōjiki Shōgi match.
    Natsumikan: I really want to smack her face right now!
    • In episode 403, Shimazaki Haruka (157 cm) admits that she doesn't like to look tall in photos and once offended her junior Hiwatashi Yui (151 cm) by refusing to take a picture with her during a photoshoot, opting to pose with the taller Iriyama Anna (160 cm) instead.
    • In episode 557, Hama Sayuna reveals that she felt insecure about her 145 cm height until she witnessed Takahashi Koyo, a shooting guard for her hometown's Shiga Lakestars basketball team, taking advantage of his small size (193 cm, relatively short for a pro basketball player) in a match, and became their supporter ever since (she later got her own newspaper column called Hama Sayuna's AKBasketball).
  • Heroes Love Dogs: In episode 407, four members (Kojima Natsuki, Komiyama Haruka, Muto Tomu, and Izuta Rina) bring their pet dogs to the studio to everyone's Squee Subverted when it is revealed that three members (Watanabe Mayu, Kashiwagi Yuki, and Mukaichi Mion) actually hate dogs (they prefer the term "dog novices" due to this trope). The episode then shifts into a discussion session between the dog lovers and dog novices, and the latter are then made to play with the dogs to conquer their fear; they do warm up to the smaller ones, but still run away when Tomu's beagle (who happens to be called Oguri, by the way) is brought closer.trivia
    • In episode 398, Muramoto accuses several members of seeking attention by taking pictures with their pet dogs but showing more of their own faces than the pets'.
  • A Hero To Her Hometown: Episode 499 reveals that Team 8's Yokoyama Yui is quite famous in her home prefecture of Aomori, as everyone interviewed on the street knew of her and were elated when she came to greet them. Other Team 8 members also often get local jobs from their home prefectures, regardless of their national popularity.
    An Aomori high school girl: She's a role model for Aomori, proof that even we can become idols.
  • Hostile Show Takeover:
    • The girls have defended their show from being renamed after their sister groups several times.
    • Episode 433-434 show that a jealous Muramoto invaded Team 8 no Bunbun, hosted by the comedy duo Audrey whom Team 8 members supposedly prefer to WRH, and challenged them to a series of matches where Bunbun would be cancelled if the AKBingo! team won and Audrey would take over as AKBingo! hosts otherwise. The AKBingo! team is soundly defeated and Audrey become the hosts, although only for episode 447.
    • Episode 457, dedicated to chronicling Cho Kurena's preparation for her solo appearance in the prime-time comedy show Enta no Kamisama, has her teammates Oguri Yui and Okabe Rin taking over as MCs. Yuiyui also takes the chance to bully Muramoto by making him imitate various members' gags.
      Berin, to WRH: You've never been invited to Enta, have you? Third-rate comedians should sit in the third row!
      (WRH sheepishly step away and sit on the edge of the third row bench)
  • Hot for Teacher: Quite a few Delusion Drama and Kyun-1 scenarios involve this.
    NGT's Homma Hinata, episode 526: Sensei! There's a word I don't understand. I've looked it up in the dictionary. Here it is... "Love: to like someone, wanting to meet, a longing desire to always be next to that person." Hmmm... I really don't understand... Sensei, would you teach me what it means?
  • Human Aliens: Okada Nana wins a tall tales contest in episode 299, modeled after the International Tall Tales Tournament (Bankoku Horafuki Taikai) held annually in Aomori and judged by Team 8 Aomori rep Yokoyama Yui, by claiming that she's an alien. Sata, always amused by her seriousness, remarks that it might be true after all.
    • A year later in episode 367, she (as Nanatas), Iwatate Saho (as Sahoru), and Muto Tomu (as Tomuris) formed an alien idol unit called Saint Cosmo, produced by Kitahara Rie. They supposedly have No Gender and came to Earth to learn about love and feelings, and have superpowers such as "Cosmo Telepathy" and the infatuation-inducing "Cosmo Gun".
      Nanatas: We wish to coexist with earthlings.
  • Hysterical Woman: Nishino Miki cries hysterically when she has to eat bugs blindfolded during a Dodgeball match. They open the blindfold and she screams even more, and in the end doesn't eat the bugs.
    Minegishi, referring to this later in episode 264: Certainly, anyone eating a bug should put it in her mouth in one go!
    • She screams and cries for 20 minutes (thankfully fast-forwarded) before she finally gathers the courage to put her hands in a mystery box, only to figure out that it contained a... stuffed robot dog.
    • The above incidents lead to a two-part series at a theme park, where she is crowned the "Hetare Queen" and is given the opportunity to be relieved of the unwanted distinction. She doesn't do too badly in the first part (singing on a roller coaster), but almost the whole second part is spent persuading her to enter a haunted house attraction, including by calling General Manager Takahashi (future General Manager Yokoyama and Sashihara Rino are with her and also offer their encouragement), reading a letter from her mother, and having the ghosts themselves greet her to show that they're really just actors. In the end, she takes longer than the time limit to go through the house and has to keep her title.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Delusion Drama scenarios often portray the female protagonist as a Shrinking Violet being confessed to by the Big Man on Campus.
    Shimazaki Haruka, episode 345: Jonishi-kun, please don't pay attention to me. If you're seen with me, people will look down on you too. I'm fine with being alone.
    Jonishi Kei, putting her in a Wall Pin of Love: Wait up! It's annoying to be friends with you! So... would you be my girlfriend? ... Will that be an "OK" or a "Yes"?
  • The Idiot from Osaka:
    • NMB members are usually the weakest at flirting contests like the Kyun-1, since they keep including humor in their attempts that the flirting part falls flat.
    • In episode 500, Team 8's Hyogo representative Yamada Nanami complains that the Kansai reps rarely receive positive response when they say cute things, since everybody expects humor whenever they speak.
    • Yamada Nanami and Shiga representative Hama Sayuna are known for their exaggerated gestures and covert perversion. Ironically averted with the actual Osaka rep, Nagano Serika, who seldom appears in this show.
  • Idol Singer: Of course, all the girls are AKB48 members, and their sister groups and rival group Nogizaka46 are sometimes invited as well. However, there are some members in their late 20s and the members' behavior can often become very atypical of idols.
    • Episode 335 takes place in Jakarta and features JKT48 members, since they were going to have a joint concert in the city. Nakagawa Haruka, who transferred to JKT from AKB, serves as interpreter.
  • I Just Want to Be Beautiful:
    • A Running Gag for Kashiwagi Yuki is that she's supposedly very plain without makeup and spends hours to put it on perfectly.
      HKT's Sashihara Rino, episode 541: The other day, Yahagi Moeka-chan saw Yukirin without makeup and she said, "Whoa, seriously?"
    • Komiyama Haruka has a "backstep" technique for group selfies, with which she ensures her face look smaller (and therefore cuter) than the other girls in the picture.
    • Hama Sayuna is very delighted when others compliment her looks, since she claims she doesn't get that a lot, unlike most of her colleagues who are usually embarrassed by such comments.
    • Despite regularly being called plain and weird-faced in the show, Nakanishi Chiyori tries to look attractive on social media as seen in episode 449. Muramoto mocks her for this, but she points out that he also does the exact same thing, even though he's a comedian and isn't judged by his looks as much as idols are.
  • I Just Want to Be You: In episode 533, Kubo Satone is revealed to have emulated Oguri Yui's fashion style and speech pattern, since they're both classic-type idols.
    Muramoto: Well, this is kinda scary. One of these days, Yuiyui will go missing and Sato-chan will be like "Yeah, Yuiyui's gone, what about it? By the way, have you seen Strolling Sato?"note  (A picture of Satopii eating a turkey leg is shown) We should check whether Yuiyui still has her upper legs! "Yeah, this is Yuiyui leg..."
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Episode 401 sees Muramoto trying to improve his relationship with the members by challenging them to various matches, with cakes as reward for winning.
  • Important Haircut:
    • Sata's trademark pompadour is completely shaved in episode 235 after losing in a series of games against the members.
    • Yokoyama Yui gives a haircut to a very lucky fan in a 2012 special episode.
  • Impossible Task: Later episodes of AKB 0ji 59fun and first nine episodes of AKBingo! chronicle Ohori Megumi's solo debut, the condition for which is she has to sell 10000 records in one month with minimal support or would be forced to graduate. Her efforts include performing on the street and inn to inn at small towns and holding her own "hug events", and many offer their help throughout the process, including a radio station owner and her own teammates. At the end of the time limit, 10125 copies have been sold, so she can remain in the group.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Shows up very often in the fashion show segments. Takahashi Minami is notorious among members for her poor taste in clothes, but surprisingly the fashion show judge often likes her style.
    • Some of the members are known to have poor fashion sense, such as Takahashi Juri, NMB's Yamamoto Sayaka, and all three General Managers (Takamina, Yokoyama Yui, and Mukaichi Mion).
      Paruru, episode 320: Lately, Yui has started to look a bit more fashionable, since she's been sharing clothes with her sister.
      Sata: What about her own fashion sense?
      Paruru: Haha, seems like she has none.
      (Paruru's assessment proves to be accurate as Yuihan gets her first "Stylish" verdict, averting this for once)
      Yuihan: All my fans can Take That! They often say my clothes are lame, it was so frustrating!

      Kojima Natsuki, episode 435: Maybe nobody notices Juri on the street because her clothes are so lame, you couldn't guess she's in AKB. (Juri's clothes are shown) See those trousers that look like window curtains?
  • Incest Subtext:
    • In an early episode, Miyazaki Miho roleplays as a girl afraid of sleeping alone and asking to sleep in her older brother's room. The dialogue and camera angles make this less innocent than it should be.
    • In episode 554, Shinozaki Ayana has to seduce her older brother Naoki as punishment for his losing a match. Even better, her brother seems to have lost on purpose. Their eldest brother Yuuki doesn't hide his disgust.
      Naoki: I'll go to the handshake meetings from now on!
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • When discussing how the Iki-sumo (Breath Sumo) muchaburi has gained international attention, the show always makes sure to point out that the insect being blown is a cicada, not a cockroach as the foreign media often reported.
  • Instant Seduction: Most of the men who appear in the show are easily flattered by the girls, including Kiyoto and Muramoto.
  • Interactive Narrator: The show's narrator, Iwami Seiji, is usually in the studio and the cast physically interact with him several times. Two episodes were dedicated for the girls to appeal to him (since he needs a new oshimen to replace Oshima Yuko), and he narrates from his personal point of view.
  • It's A Small Net After All: In episode 534, it's revealed that Oda Erina ran a Twitter account called Yahho-Man, from which she offered encouragement to people who tweeted about their troubles. Turns out Muramoto was one of those people.
    Odaeri: I searched for people who tweeted depressing things and replied with words of encouragement. I wanted to be a hero who helps people.
    Muramoto: That Yahho-Man person was you?!
  • Japanese Delinquents:
    • The Bad Boys are former Bōsōzoku leaders, and their usual attire reflects their background.
      • In episode 52, Kiyoto points out how Sata has cleaned up his act and now portrays a police inspector for AKB Profiling.
    • When exchanging Trash Talk, the girls usually emulate the yankii speech pattern... then revert back to normal speech when defeated.
    • In several episodes, the girls portray yankii (some of them reprising their roles in the series Majisuka Gakuen) and rivaling bosozoku gangs. The earlier generations even use stereotypical delinquent Japanese Pronouns and insults such as atai and kono yarō while in character.
    • They invite several real yankii to the show for a game segment in episode 322, billed "AKBingo Gakuen".
    • Takajo Aki does a series of skits where she plays former yankii turned upcoming idol Harunatsu Aki, who presents a saccharine persona when others are around and reverts to her motorcycle-loving, black coffee-drinking rough self when only with her manager, played by Sata.
      Idol catchphrase: Haru, natsu, aki, fuyu,* bringing you joy in all seasons! Buri buri!
      As yankii: LAAAAAME!!!!! (kicks trash can)
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: The girls often reveal that the hosts are kind people backstage.
    Iriyama Anna and Owada Nana, episode 406: Muramoto is verbally abusive, but he's really nice after the cameras stopped recording.
    • In episode 395, everybody cries when the Bad Boys graduate from the show.
    • In the show's final episode, several members thank WRH, especially Muramoto, for helping them get more individual recognition through the show.
  • Kimono Is Traditional: In 2013's Lucky Girl Ranking in episodes 219-220, everybody wears kimono. The opposing teams in Nihongo Nadeshiko are Team Yukata and Team Hakama.
  • Labcoat of Science and Medicine:
    • The scientist who operates the lie detector for Shōjiki Shōgi wears this.
    • Dr. Parutaro, Shimazaki Haruka's character, also wears one.
  • The Lad-ette:
    • Akimoto Sayaka is considered manly because of her straightforwardness and muscular body.
    • Takahashi Minami has been accused of being a guy several times, and allegedly shaves her mustache every morning before she has facial hair removal surgery.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Wordplay (dajare) is a staple of Japanese comedy and the hosts would often point out any attempts made by the members, especially if it went unnoticed.
    • Kiyoto often respons snarkily on members lame puns effort, or complaining that the show isn't a new year party in AKBest10 if puns is involved
      An incensed Kiyoto confronting Sata after Kasai Tomomi make some puns with Chiyuu
      Kiyoto: Wait a second, What is this?! What the hell is this?!
      Sata: Isn't that great? He makes some sentence with Chiyuu!!
      Kiyoto: Then what?!
    • In a Shoujiki Shogi match, Sata scolds Ogasawara Mayu for ignoring NMB's Shiroma Miru's pun, "It makes me sad-roma" (kanashiiroma).
    • In episode 402, Muramoto "rescues" Ogasawara Mayu whose pun of "going to Tokyo" and "circumstances" (both pronounced "joukyou") went unnoticed.
  • Last-Name Basis: Unlike his partner, Sata Masaki is always referred to by his surname.
  • Leg Focus: In episode 369, Shimada Haruka formed an idol unit called Bikyaku Sensation (Beautiful Legs Sensation), consisting of Abe Maria and NMB's Watanabe Miyuki and Yoshida Akari, with an average leg length of 79.6 cm.
  • Leitmotif: Each recurring segment has its own intro music which fits with the theme of the game.
  • Lie Detector: Used in Shōjiki Shōgi.
  • Likes Older Men: In episode 402, many members confess to liking older men.
  • Long-Runner Cast Turnover: Naturally, as new AKB members join and others leave when they graduate or move to one of the overseas sister groups. The host duo has changed once so far.
  • Manipulative Editing:
    • Sometimes the episodes are not aired in the order they are recorded, which results in continuity errors.
    • In episode 500, Oguri Yui suddenly appears in the front row in the middle of the episode with no explanation given, and is gone again near the end.
  • Manly Tears: The Bad Boys cried a river near the end of their last episode as hosts.
    • Akimoto Sayaka has been known to shed manly tears, like when she got emotional from a letter she wrote to Sae.
  • Mascot: The show's mascot is called AKBear. The show logo is bordered with the creature's mouth and fangs. The sister shows have their own versions of the bear.
  • Missing Mom: Episode 5 focuses on reuniting Kiyoto with his missing mother (but makes a game out of it where the members must guess which one is his real mom out of five women in the studio). In episodes 116-117, an elaborate prank involves the Bad Boys pretending to leave the show and one of their successor duo also reuniting with his (fake) missing mother and brother (the latter is Sata, coming in to reveal the prank).
  • Mistaken Nationality: In episode 522, the Taiwanese Ma Chia-Ling complains that Oguri Yui kept forgetting her homeland and mistaking it for Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Thailand.
    Muramoto, displaying blatant favoritism: If Yuiyui said that, it must be true, isn't it? ... Yuiyui, why did you forget it?
    Yuiyui: I didn't forget! I was just... mistaken.
  • Mister Big: Takahashi Minami is 148.5 cm (she is very adamant about the extra 5 mm) tall and was the General Manager of AKB48 and all sister groups. Averted by her successor, Yokoyama Yui (158 cm), and played straight again with Yuihan's successor, Mukaichi Mion (150 cm).
  • Morton's Fork: Some Shōjiki Shōgi statements make the defender look bad, whether or not it's proven true. Also, occasionally a statement is beneficial to the defender if true (and it usually is), but she has to deny it per the rule.
    Shōjiki Shōgi - Shimazaki Haruka vs Yokoyama Yui
    Yuihan: Many call you Ponkotsu (useless clumsy girl), but it's all just an act.
    (the statement was proven false)
    Ouso: Well, that means you really are a Ponkotsu.
  • Motor Mouth:
    • Muramoto's special skill. In episode 457, a comedy show producer mentions that WRH haven't been invited to his show since Muramoto's speech is hard to understand.
    • There's a reason why GM Yokoyama Yui's wrestling moniker in Tofu Pro Wrestling is "Long Speech" Yokoyama.
    • Team 8's Yokoyama Yui also speaks fast, in both standard Japanese and Tsugaru dialect.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: The show has invited guests and interviewed respondents from many different demographics.

    Tropes N to R 
  • Never Trust a Title: Except for a very short opening segment in episode 238, they've never played Bingo on the show. They also don't say "Bingo!" as an interjection or catchphrase, as Muramoto is quickly informed when he does that in one of his early episodes. The title came from the group's sixth single "Bingo!", released in 2007. That song wasn't even the show's theme song, but it was used for the news segment jingle until 2016.
  • New Season, New Name: The first two season's titles referred to the show's timeslot, and they changed to the much catchier current title since the third season.
  • The Nicknamer:
    • When Shimazaki Haruka is accused in her Shojiki Shogi of copying Watanabe Mayu's nickname, she reveals that "Mayuyu" and "Paruru" were both coined by Yonezawa Rumi.
    • Kitahara Rie coined Assistant Director Uno's nickname, Bichao, in episode 116.
    • Muramoto has helped establish the catchphrases and gimmicks of several members, such as Suzuki Kurumi's "Sento-kun", Ma Chia-Ling's "Ottamage!" and Kashiwagi Yuki's "ugly without makeup" running gags.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: In episode 476, it's revealed that STU48's Yabushita Fu is very particular about her hairstyle. She bursts into tears after Muramoto forcibly messed it up (or maybe just terrified of being manhandled on TV).
    Fuuchan: YOU'RE THE WORST!!!
  • No Indoor Voice: The "variety group" such as Nakanishi Chiyori and Nishino Miki are loud, but NGT's Yamada Noe takes the cake.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Despite her reputation of apathy, Shimazaki Haruka does laugh heartily at whatever she finds hilarious. In episode 230, she thoroughly enjoys her day trip with Shimada Haruka.
    • In episode 451, the expressionless Hayasaka Tsumugi is at first terrified of the cream cannon she's about to be shot with, then angry at Muramoto for contacting her father behind her back, and finally laughs in relief after being Covered in Gunge.
    • Recurring guest host Sugaya Daisuke often forgets his formal attitude upon displays of cuteness. He seems to have a soft spot for Kato Rena.
  • Obsessed with Food: It is revealed that Akimoto Sayaka often brings home stacks of uneaten catering boxes from work.*
  • Older Than They Look: Many members who are in high school look like they've just finished elementary school. When a 10-year-old female junior sumo master is invited to train the girls, Sata comments that nobody could tell that she and Ichikawa Miori are 7 years apart in age.
  • Old Maid: Since idols are usually in their teens to early twenties, members aged above 25 are often teased about their age and loss of youthful cuteness.
    • Ohori Megumi and Kayo Noro are regular victims in early episodes. Nobody dares to tease Shinoda Mariko, though.
      • Kashiwagi Yuki savagely teases Ohori Megumi's age and her need to put on more make-up compared to the teenage members (Yukirin herself is 17 at the time) during a Trash Talk battle. As it turns out, she's still with the group in her late twenties and is often given the same treatment by her juniors.
    • Kashiwagi Yuki takes offense when Oguri Yui did an imitation of her greeting but added her age (then 25) at the end. She intends to remain an idol until she's 30.
      Yukirin: I never mention my age in my greeting!
      • In a Nihongo Nadeshiko word guessing game, Yahagi Moeka's clue about Yukirin is "auntie".
      • In episode 541, the Bucchake Baseball team she leads is called Kashiwagi Otsubonés ("haughty boss lady"), which she dislikes.
    • In episode 523, since she's already 27, SKE's Suda Akari confesses that she habitually judges all the men around her to see whether they're dating material. She considers the men in the studio all eligible partners... except Paradise.
    • In episode 530, SKE's Matsumura Kaori laments that she languished as a trainee (kenkyuusei) for five years (the record in 48 Group, and she earned the title "Lifetime Honorary Kenkyuusei" after she was finally promoted) and only became a full member after she had turned 25 and lost most of her youthfulness (and at one point, lots of her hair). She also reveals that her prime was when she worked as a cabaret club girl in Kabukicho before joining SKE, and that one of the show's crew was a regular (and generous) customer. WRH then proceed to escort her to reunite with said former customer after 10 years.
      Muramoto: I never imagined that we'd reunite a former cabaret girl with her customer in AKBINGO!

  • One-Steve Limit: Almost all members go by their real names, so this is bound to be averted. For example, there have been at least two Minamis, three Kojimas, two Tomomis, three Matsuis, and five Harukas (more examples in the AKB48 page). There are even two full Yokoyama Yuis (General Manager and Team 8) and Sato Shioris (3rd Draft and Team 8), although spelled with different kanji. Nicknames help to avoid confusion.
    • Members whose names are similar to the group's most popular members have shared how that fact has hurt them. In particular, fans sometimes bought their handshake tickets by mistake and act unpleasantly to them out of disappointment.
      Stories from handshake events, episode 403
      Kojima Natsuki: Kojima Haruna-san, Kojima Mako-chan, and myself have become known as the Kojima sisters. But one night before a handshake event, I saw both of them in a TV commercial, happily jumping around in their swimsuits,note  then it hit me how far they've progressed compared to me. I was still troubled by that during the event, then this fan came and said to me, "Hey, since you're the only one not selling, why don't you change your name?" Somebody also said "I didn't really come to see Nattsun, but I already bought the wrong ticket so I came anyway. However, you don't have Kojiharu's great fragrance."
      Yokoyama Yui (Team 8): Somebody who bought the wrong ticket once said, "Your face doesn't make me want to support you."
      Matsui Sakiko: At the event I was to appear at, the MC announced, "Let's welcome, AKB48's Matsui..." and the crowd went wild! And then he finished "Sakiko!" and the crowd became completely silent.
    • Ogasawara Mayu (Maachun) plays this up by frequently impersonating the highly popular Watanabe Mayu. Mayuyu herself is amused.
  • One-Woman Song: The spoof Bifauxnen idol unit Eternal Boys claims that their single will be released in many versions with different girls' names, to appeal to girl fans with those names.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Since everyone else uses their real name, Paradise stands out. His real given name is Takamune.
  • Opposites Attract: The original concept of the show is pitting dozens of young and innocent idols against the "unprincipled" Badass Biker duo (Bad Boys). After eight years on the show, the Bad Boys graduated (allegedly because they have become too kind to the girls) and their successors are a Jerkass Handsome Lech and his funny sidekick (Woman Rush Hour), who are also regarded as mavericks in the Japanese comedy scene for their political commentaries, among other things.
  • Otaku: Many of the cast are passionate about pop culture.
    • Mayuyu's special skill is drawing manga characters in seconds.
    • Episodes 183-184 are all about a group of manga otaku members sharing about their passion. Mayuyu surprisingly isn't part of them, since she prefers watching anime.
    • Iwata Karen's favorite trick is voice acting scenes from mangas such as Attack on Titan.
    • Muramoto often inserts manga references into his jokes, most frequently One Piece and Great Teacher Onizuka.
    • In episode 534, it's revealed that Team 8's Sato Shiori is also a manga and game otaku, and that she and Yokoyama Yui play a zombie shooter Battle Royale Game.
    • Taguchi Manaka is obsessed with Kamen Rider, especially Kamen Rider Gaim. In episode 539, Yokoyama Yui mentions that when Manaka stayed over at her place, Manaka made them watch the latest episode on TV.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome:
    • The less popular members often share their frustrations at always being Out of Focus during performances and in this show. As a Running Gag, the camera usually focuses on the more popular member(s) in question while the former is talking to prove the point.
      Nakanishi Chiyori, episode 297: We were MC-ing during a theater performance. Paruru-san didn't say much but the camera kept focusing on her face, while I was never recorded even though I talked at length. (raises voice) Even as I'm talking right now, only her face is being captured!
      Fellow Fukuoka native Tomonaga Mio, in Fukuoka dialect: That's because Chiyo-san is plain!
    • For those with comedic talent, specializing in variety shows like this one and being counted as one of the so-called "variety group" is an alternative way to avert this trope in their idol career.
    • In episode 289, Shimada Haruka demands that the show stop pushing a few new members at the expense of others, especially older members like herself. The motion is ultimately rejected.
      Nishino Miki, a pushed new member: But it should be okay for Shimada-san to not appear much, since she has already established her character as an angry, unrefined person.
      Hashimoto Hikari: You complained that only the young members are being pushed. I'm a young member, but in my generation, only the Three Musketeers are heavily promoted.
      Iwatate Saho: The Three Musketeers never talk much and mostly just smile for the cameras. I also don't appear much since the cameramen keep focusing on those three, and I'm very concerned about this. ... See? I'm talking aloud but the camera's recording them instead. I've become another Shimada-san!
      • In the same episode, she also calls out the editor for giving screen time to everybody except her during a song performance.
        Shimada: People even say I waste screen time because I look like Kojima Mako anyway.
        Komiyama Haruka: No, you don't look alike! If that was true, Shimada-san would've been more popular.
    • Episodes 327-328 feature members who want to appear more often in the show making their appeal.
    • Kitahara Rie lampshades the show's preferential treatment to the most physically attractive members when she is given the seat closest to the hosts in episode 394.
      Kitarie: This is my first time sitting on this spot. Usually this seat is reserved for the cutest members, although they're not funny at all.
      • In episode 534, Yamazaki Kei argues that classic-type idols are supposed to just sit there and look pretty, since people love them for being their natural selves.
    • In episode 263, Iwata Karen turns this issue into a super-effective Trash Talk.
      Karen, to Maeda Ami: Maeda Atsuko-san has graduated. Many people know there's still another Maeda in AKB, but they don't know about you!
    • In episode 411, Muramoto is displeased because the Senbatsu members have another job and are unavailable for recording (this is technically inaccurate since Muto Tomu is present, although he specifically mentions Mayuyu and Yukirin) and compares the situation to a Dragon Ball episode with only Krillin and Yamcha. He then proceeds to call in a group of members that haven't appeared on the show for some time to compete against the regulars for their position.
    • In episodes 444-445, while discussing the best AKB costumes, a few members lament that they have yet to be selected for a major single and have costumes that are customized for them.
    • Episode 508 points out that members who don't rank in the Senbatsu are not necessarily unpopular, since in 2018 even the bottommost rank 100 (Oya Shizuka) got 14,488 votes, meaning that the unranked members could have received any number below that.note 
  • Passing the Torch:
    • After the graduation of Acchan and Yuko, for some time the show is focused on finding the most worthy successors of the popular senior members (i.e, the original Kami 7) in their specialties, such as singing skills, leadership skills, and fashion sense.
      • Shortly after AKB48 9th Generation debuted, a series of episodes, billed AKBeginner! after the group's 18th major single "Beginner", heavily features them as the next big thing.note 
      • Miyazaki Miho has a series of episodes where she coaches the newer members in the show's iconic segments (which unfortunately turned out to be one of the show's last episodes).
    • The title AKB48 Sayonara Mouri-san refers to the show being passed from producer Mouri Shinobu to a new production team. Amazingly, Minegishi Minami also received the torch of regular MC after having been a regular cast on AKBingo!.
  • The Philosopher: NMB's Sutou Ririka is into philosophy and once quotes Friedrich Nietzsche in a pep talk.trivia
  • Picky Eater: Kojima Mako is shown to be one, such as in episode 268. Knowing this, the hosts often select her to eat extreme foods.
  • Pie in the Face: This is another form of punishment for losing.
    • In episode 73, Maeda Atsuko complains that Matsui Jurina has never received one of these even after two years in the show, which leads to the gauntlet described in the Pint-Sized Powerhouse entry below.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Episodes 78-79, billed "Matsui Jurina vs 10 Challengers", features 10 AKB48 members, who are high school students and young adults, going against SKE48 ace Matsui Jurina, who is 13 years old at the time, in 10 games of skill, strength, knowledge, and chance. The loser of each game receives a Pie in the Face. Jurina wins every single game without breaking a sweat.
    (After defeating Kashiwagi Yuki at arm wrestling in about two seconds)
    Jurina: Somehow... It's all over in the blink of an eye.
    Yukirin: (glares scornfully at Jurina with a face full of pie)
    • In episode 20, when she is 11 years old, she participates in a survey result guessing game which topic is "turn-offs for high school girls". The hosts have to read an answer option, "Control Freak" (束縛する sokubakusuru), for her* and explain what it means*. She gets the #1 answer anyway ("filthiness").
      Jurina: At school, many of the boys have dirty supply boxes, and I don't like seeing that.
      Sata, acting tough: Supply box? I don't know what that is!
  • Practice Kiss:
    • In episode 523, Ma Chia-Ling confesses that she has never seen people kiss on the lips, and even thought it was a crime when she was younger. Muramoto offers to give her her first look, and then Paradise, a family man in real life, proceeds to kiss a random male assistant director, to the shock of every single member present.
      Macharin, collapsed from shock: THAT'S A CRIME!!!
    • In episode 536, one of the possible punishments is "Paradise Kiss" and the girls are particularly disgusted at the possibility of receiving it.
      Muramoto: We really should apologize to Nakagawa-san's wife for this!
    • Episode 537 features several of these, in imitation of the comedy group Dacho Club. The first one between Miyazaki Miho and Taguchi Manaka looks a bit too real, though.
      Muramoto: That's not a Dacho Club kiss, that's a real love story one!
  • Prima Donna Director: The final prank used for testing the limits of Okada Nana's Stiff Upper Lip in episode 268 is setting up a fake TV ad shooting where the director, who claims to have recently worked in Hollywood, scold her for every single real and imagined mistake and eventually make her wear a ridiculous horse costume. As mentioned earlier, Naachan doesn't break.
  • Product Placement:
    • Crafty members regularly use the few seconds the camera is on them to plug their newest release, be it their sub-unit or solo singles, movies, or TV dramas.
      Shōjiki Shōgi - Shinoda Mariko vs Maeda Atsuko
      Acchan: Of all the jobs I do, I find variety shows the most difficult. ... I always consult Miichan about it.
      Miichan: Yes, the live-action movie of Moshidora, starring Acchan and myself, will be released in theaters on June 4[, 2011], so both of us have been promoting it in other shows. Acchan isn't good at variety while I've been working hard on them, so we balance each other.
      Kiyoto: What the hell, did she just smoothly do a promotion?

      Episode 162
      SKE's Takayanagi Akane (Churi): If we had won this match, I would have announced that SKE48 Team KII have started performing our new stage show, Ramune no Nomikata, so everyone please come and watch!
      Sata: You announced it just now!
    • In episodes aired around Iriyama Anna's photobook release (March 2017), Muramoto and other members like to do this by teasing her about its fairly suggestive title, The Beautiful Sin (Utsukushii Tsumi).
      Episode 435
      Muramoto, while discussing poses during photoshoots: Iriyama-san, what about your "Beautiful Sin" photobook? What's the most extreme pose you did for it, aside from the cover picture?
      Annin: I can't do it here!
      Muramoto: Is that so? You're good at promoting, makes me want to see it even more!
      Episode 436
      Oguri Yui: Iriyama-san, your photobook has just been released, right?
      Annin: (Oh, Crap! expression) Uh, yes.
      Yuiyui: Could you tell me its title again?
      Annin: The Beautiful Sin.
      Yuiyui: (mind blown gesture) Boom!
      Muramoto (who did the same thing a few episodes earlier): I taught her that since she's a member of Muramoto Clan!
      • In episode 477, Nakanishi Chiyori revealed that a ramen chain made her and Annin the promotional models for their extra-spicy ramen with the tagline "The Beautiful Spiciness".
    • Takahashi Juri's photobook, My Ambiguous Self (Aimaina Jibun) also gets mentioned several times.
    • Given the influence of talent agencies (jimusho) in the Japanese entertainment industry, the members' agencies are often given a mention and members belonging to the same agency are grouped together at times. The hosts also often mention their agency, Yoshimoto Kogyo.
    • Episode 348 starts with a Tracking Shot of the girls and studio crew playing a word game called "Pa-pi-pu-pe-Papico", introduced in a commercial for Papico ice cream starring AKB members which was released around the same time.
    • When the girls are doing cosplay, the characters are often from the many other shows broadcast by NTV or its associates, such as Case Closed (they even plugged the 2018 movie in the Halloween episode), Dr. Rintaro, or Miss Devil.
  • Product-Promotion Parade: The segment "AKB News" which usually runs around 5 minutes near the end of each episode is dedicated for the 48 Group's latest news and new singles release information, complete with the music video.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: Episode 370 is dedicated to interviewing two pairs of members, Mukaichi Mion/Mogi Shinobu (Mogion) and Okada Nana/Murayama Yuiri (YuuNaa), who claim to be in a relationship.* Episode 376 continues this with Kato Rena/Nishino Miki and Muto Tomu/Omori Miyu (TomuPon). Naachan and Miion in particular are revealed to be jealous.
    Komiyama Haruka: When Mogi-san was crossdressing [during the 6th Janken Tournament], I took a twofie with her. Miion was cosplaying as a character from Unfairnote  with a gun, and when she saw us, she pointed her gun at me with a serious face! I got the message, moved away from Mogi-san and waved at her, but she didn't lower the gun.
    Yuirii: If I doze off while waiting for something, Sahho will suddenly kiss me on the lips.
    Naachan: When I heard about this, I wanted to tear Sahho apart! She shouldn't do such things without consent!
    • Years earlier, Takashima Yurina referred to Okada Nana as her "future wedding partner" in episode 285.
    • In episode 384, Naachan (crossdressing as Okada-kun) confesses her love for a shy Yuiri in a Delusion Drama, after a failed attempt to bait her into an Indirect Kiss with a drinking straw.
    • Naachan's Shoujiki Shogi match against Iwata Karen reveals that Karen has a crush in the group. Turns out it's Naachan herself, since another member has heard Karen said during episode 270's fashion show that she wanted to date Naachan when she saw her on the runway.
    • In episode 381, Miion glares jealously at Yuirii and a crossdressing Shinobu when they're simulating a head-patting scenario.
  • Psycho Psychologist:
    • Idols who consult Dr. Shimazaki Parutaro, portrayed by Shimazaki Haruka (Paruru) in episodes 341-344 and 346-347, probably wish they hadn't.
      Komiyama Haruka: Somehow Komi is now seen by the fans as Shimazaki Haruka-san's natural enemy, ever since you said during that [episode 296] fashion show that you're not good with people like me. How can I get along better with Shimazaki Haruka-san? Komi really want to be friends.
      Dr. Parutaro: How about you stop referring to yourself as "Komi"?

      Mukaichi Mion: How can I become more fashionable? I keep getting "Somewhat Ugly" ratings in the fashion shows, while Doctor, even though your clothing choices are a bit on the weird side...
      Nurse Kitarie: Excuse me, are you dissing her?
      Miion: Not at all! Even today, Doctor was wearing a very loud striped outfit and even that became a solid look on you. To be honest, I'm a bit jealous.
      (Miion grins awkwardly as the doctor gazes at her from head to toe)
      Dr. Parutaro: Can you please stand up?
      (Miion stands up, the doctor continues to gaze at her)
      Dr. Parutaro: Probably, the problem is with your height.*
      Nurse Kitarie: That is all.
      Miion: That's it? Don't you have any suggestions on how to grow taller or something?
      Dr. Parutaro: Well, it's in your genes.

      Tanaka Natsumi: The staff don't care about me. I'm a concurrent member of HKT48 and SKE48, so I often take the Shinkansen to Nagoya for work. At first, I was always given tickets with reserved seat numbers, but recently my manager comes with me less often and always gets me unnumbered tickets...
      (the doctor laughs heartily)
      Natsumikan: Excuse me, do you think this is funny? I had to stand for 3 hours waiting for a seat, reading a newspaper to pass the time next to a random old guy! I'm not even asking for the green VIP seats, I just want to be seated, even in the middle seat is fine.
      Dr. Parutaro: Why don't you become a staff member yourself?
      Natsumikan: You want me to become a staff member?
      Nurse Kitarie: I believe you already look like one.
      Natsumikan: (while exiting the room) I'll just get my own tickets next time.

      Tani Marika: How can I be as cute as Paruru-san?
      Dr. Parutaro: (turns to desktop computer) I'll refer you to a plastic surgeon.
      Marika: (while exiting the room) I'll start with the procedure tomorrow.

      Yokoyama Yui (Team 8): My face always looks rounda' in pictures. What should I do about this?
      Dr. Parutaro, to Nurse Kitarie: "Rounda?"
      Nurse Kitarie: Ah, I believe she meant "rounder".
      Dr. Parutaro: Just fix the worst ones with Photoshop.
      Yokochan: (while exiting the room) I think I'll just go back to Aomori.

      Murayama Yuiri: How can I gain more confidence around seniors? I really respect Kashiwagi Yuki-san and she twice invited me to have dinner together, but I was so afraid that it would be awkward that I declined both times! With Shimazaki Haruka-san, I sometimes greet her, but I wonder whether she even knows who I am. I can't strike a conversation since I don't know what would be interesting to her.
      Dr. Parutaro: This is too difficult to treat in one session, please come again another time.
      Yuirii: I have to come again next time? I see, somehow that makes me happy.
    • In episode 534, comedian Yamazaki Kei and other members lay out Mukaichi Mion's insecurities for the world to see, even going as far as setting up a fake lunch meeting to record her and have two psychologist comedians analyze her body language.
      Komiyama Haruka: One time, we were about to perform, and I heard Miion mutter to herself, "Can't believe they picked a hag like me as center..." And then she entered the stage and performed with us like nothing happened.
      Miion: If you live life believing you're the worst, then you can't get hurt, right?
      Yamazaki: If you really believe you're ugly even with a look like that... then maybe even I have a better chance at happiness.
  • Pun-Based Title: Kotoburger (kotoba and burger), Illus-tray (illustration and fast food tray), Tomomichelin (Itano Tomomi and Michelin stars). They're also Portmantitles.
  • Pungeon Master: SKE's Matsui Jurina's love of puns is well-known.
    Matsui Rena, episode 78, picking up Jurina's habit: Jurina has a really elastic body, just like the famous Nagoya kishimen noodles, Jurina's waist (koshi) is the strongest. ... So far, Jurina is the pieless queen, but she has a lot (ippai) of power.
    Jurina: I will not fail (shippai)!
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: In episode 527's Kyun-1 seduction duel, Team 8's Yokoyama Yui and STU's Ishida Chiho are evenly matched, but judge Yamada Takayuki (who portrayed Serizawa in Crows Zero) declares Yokochan the winner because Chiho offered him a Pocky.
  • Recognition Failure:
    • In episode 435, which discusses AKB members seen in public, Taniguchi Megu is the only one never recognized (since she always wears a wide-brimmed hat and mask when going out).
    • In episode 400, Owada Nana reveals that when she went to the Liz Lisa clothing shop, the cashier mentioned to her that AKB members often shop there, even though she was a model for the brand at the time and her likeness was displayed in the shop.
    • Paradise isn't good with names. He calls Oda Erina "Erena" for a few episodes until she corrects him, and on the final episode cannot recall Omori Maho's name.
  • Reluctant Fanservice Girl: In episode 444, Muramoto makes three members the models for his top 3 sexiest AKB costumes. The modest Okabe Rin wears his favorite, the Naughty Nurse Outfit from the "Ambulance" MV,trivia and her shyness unsurprisingly makes everyone present even more excited. Kizaki Yuria also doesn't really like the all-pink fluffy costume she's made to wear. Averted with Taniguchi Megu, who just turned eighteen and welcomes the opportunity to try a more adult look.
    Omegu: When I throw this scented garter, the audience is mine!
    Yuria: I'm actually more of a yankee character. Wearing pink stuff like this makes me cringe.
    Berin, flustered: Ummm... Please don't look too much...
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: In episode 402, the members discuss their monthly allowances.note  On average, the members receive 37,500 yen (about $350), but Kizaki Yuria gets 150,000 yen (around $1400) monthly, which is initially justified since she lives by herself and is expected to treat her juniors as a senior member. What shocks everyone is when she mentions offhand that she once spent almost 5000 yen for one breakfast, consisting of 2 asparagus and mushrooms. According to Nishino Miki, Yuria also cannot cook at all and only stocks food that can be immediately consumed by hand.
    Yuria: The Kizaki family has a motto: "Wear nice clothes and eat good food". Well, I spend a lot on food, I eat out almost every day...
  • Ridiculously Photogenic: Inverted by Muto Orin, who complains in episode 508 that she always looks terrible on official merchandise and that it might have influenced her non-ranking in the elections.
    Muramoto, browsing the merch: This photo looks like a comedian crossdressing as a woman in London Hearts!
  • Right Under Their Noses: In episode 222, an actress named Tsukada Honami, assuming the (fake) identity of 6th Generation SKE member Kimura Ai, infiltrates a Lucky Girl Ranking recording session (episodes 219-220) and interacts with members of AKB and sister groups to test how long it would take until she is exposed. Nobody figures out she's an impostor until the end, not even General Manager Takamina.
  • Rule of Funny: Since the focus of the show is on entertainment rather than sportsmanship (not unlike Professional Wrestling), they'll gleefully bend the game rules if it'll make the show funnier. Winners of a game are sometimes also persuaded to receive the punishment to double the laugh.
    • For example, in episode 327 it is revealed that Mogi Shinobu was not called to the show for some time because she played Dodgeball too cleanly, being neither the top scorer nor entertaining through being punished.
    • Episodes 307-308, billed "Being in the Middle is No Good, Smash the Center!" are a series of games played by 5 players each, where the player who places third (i.e. in the middle) loses. One of the 5 players in each game is an average person presumed to get that middle position, but as it turns out, most of the time it's one of the idols.
    • Muchaburi Dodgeball lineswomen are made up of junior members whose unspoken primary objective is to appeal to the camera, so they're more concerned about delivering "out" verdicts in cute and memorable ways than actually assisting referee Sata.

    Tropes S to Z 
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!:
    • In episode 368, Kojima Mako produced the "royal idol" unit Twinkle (Kato Rena, Owada Nana, and Komiyama Haruka) whose sole trait is cuteness, with the justification that idols are supposed to be cute and beyond reach, as was the case with Matsuda Seiko and other Showa idols, and shouldn't be subjected to humiliation and physical comedy in variety shows like AKB (especially herself) and most of its contemporaries. Twinkle's song is also a spoof of Matsuda's 1982 hit "Nagisa no Balcony".
      • She's actually angry when Oda Erina challenges her to Iki-sumo in episode 388, especially after hearing the latter's reason.
        Odaeri: Kojima-san is always laughing carelessly. She's so calm and composed and I admire her.
        Kojimako: Are you serious?! I've stretched myself more than expected for this show, so sad that it's not recognized!
    • Muramoto's judgement of contests is so heavily biased when Oguri Yui is involved that it becomes a Running Gag.
      • Lampshaded in episode 417, where eight girls have to do an unusual performance after practicing for one week, when Okada Nana calls out Muramoto for basing the ranking on the contestants' cuteness instead of performance (it is the first time he openly shows his favoritism toward Yuiyui). Played straight when she later admits that because Yuiyui has said something cute, she would have put her at #1 as well.
    • In episode 452, a Kyun-1 seduction contest held at a boys' dormitory in Tokyo, Muramoto noticed that SKE's Kitano Ruka has a large bust. After she mentioned that she's a G cup (American E cup), the judges immediately attempt to give her around another 70 points, which Muramoto nullifies.
      Muramoto: No count! This is not Mune Kyun Bust, this is Mune Kyun Word!
    • In episode 525, Oguri Yui herself is accused of knowingly taking advantage of Muramoto's fondness of her.
  • Secretly Wealthy:
    • In episode 270, Takashima Yurina remarks that Okada Nana might be rich since she speaks in keigo to her mother.
    • In episode 402, Kato Rena claims that she only gets a "Low" allowance of 25,000 yen (i.e., lower than the 37,500 yen average), but turns out her parents replenish her allowance daily, so she always has 25,000 yen. Other members also reveal that she usually goes around by taxi instead of the subway.
      Muramoto: You belong to the "High" side! I'll even build a chair for you on top of that "High" sign!
    • Subverted in episode 425 when Muramoto brings up again that Kizaki Yuria once spent 5,000 yen for breakfast (as revealed in episode 402), right after NMB48's Sutou Ririka revealed that her monthly food budget is only 10,000 yen due to her group's low salary range.note 
      Yuria: I'll get complaints about this, please change the subject!
    • In episode 522, SKE's Suda Akari confesses that she used to carry branded handbags when she debuted (although she was still in high school), but lowered her fashion game in order to garner more sympathy from fans after she noticed that members who looked less fortunate tended to become more popular.
      Dasu: Since then, I carried cheap 3,000 yen bags and let my eyebrows become bushy. I turned myself into a complete commoner!
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: In contrast to the Bad Boys' biker gang attire, Muramoto wears a dark suit and tie.
    • In episode 404, Paruru wears a pinstripe skirt suit when portraying a career woman drinking after work.
    • NTV announcer Sugaya Daisuke is the guest host for episodes that require an air of formality, athough he's actually Not So Stoic.
  • Sibling Team: Episodes 554-555 are a family tournament, so this is a given. Participants include Muto Orin, who came as Muto Tomu's younger sister and doesn't wear the show's uniform, and Tokyo Girls' Style's Yamabe Miyu who happens to be Yamabe Ayu's older sister.
    Muramoto: When you mentioned you're an artist with Avex Music, the other members immediately tensed up! "She's our rival!"
  • Silly Walk:
    • Nogizaka46's Ikoma Rina does an impression of a Titan in episode 286. It's as unsettling as the original.
    • Kato Rena and Kashiwagi Yuki reveal that they walk strangely on purpose when walking alone at night to repel unwanted attention, as seen in episode 405.
    • In episode 476, an anonymous staff member revealed that STU's Takino Yumiko can't walk properly in high heels, which she then demonstrates.
      Muramoto: So STU has started its activities... I understand that you'd want to look interesting on TV for the sake of the group, so let me ask you something: did you exaggerate your walking just now?
      Yumirin: Yes!
  • Skinship Grope: The members often share stories of groping incidents between members in the changing room. Some of them enjoy the physical contact while some others don't.
    • Team 8's Yamada Nanami and Hama Sayuna grope other members' breasts as a form of greeting, as revealed in episodes 390 and 523.
      Hamachan, to SKE's Suda Akari: You have quite the healthy bosom there. May I touch? ... Huh, it's smaller than I expected.
    • In episode 543, STU's Ishida Chiho reveals that she likes to feel other members' lower butts for tenderness, or as she calls it, monyo-monyo. Muramoto then gives her the chance to check out Oguri Yui and HKT's Sashihara Rino, the latter of whom she finds to have the perfect lower butt.
      Chihochan: This is A5 grade* monyo-monyo!
  • The Slacker: The skit series Osabori 3 (Slackers Threenote ) involves the crew finding Nishino Miki, Okada Nana, and Kojima Mako (a.k.a. The Three Musketeers, the most promoted members of 14th generation) slacking off and challenging them to a game. The three usually lose and receive the punishment of drinking a blend of their disliked food items, namely a combination of carrots (Kojimako), tomatoes (Naachan), and pudding (Mikichan). On the other hand, the scoring is very lenient in the games they do win, which other members consider pandering.
    Kitarie and Shimada, episode 289: I don't know how they could even call this a program. ... No punchline, no variety humor... When did AKBingo! become this lenient?!
    Kojimako: Do you have any suggestions on what we should do next?
    Kitarie: Anything you three do, we have no interest in watching.
  • Sleepyhead: Okada Nana often dozes off and makes funny faces while asleep, of which other members delightfully take pictures.
  • Slice of Life: Episodes 477-478 follow a day in the lives of several members (Mukaichi Mion, Oguri Yui, Okabe Rin, Kubo Satone, Ma Chia-Ling, and Cho Kurena).
  • Slumber Party: Episode 232 features members of AKB and HKT in a slumber party setting, with the requisite confession session. It was proposed by Umeda Ayaka in the previous episode since this episode is the first one in a new timeslot.
  • Smells Sexy: In episode 518, a fan confesses that she and her best friend smell each other's hands after attending handshake sessions to exchange the scents of their favorite members, Oguri Yui and Okabe Rin. The two can't hide their cringe, while Hama Sayuna bursts into laughter.
    Paradise: So male and female fans aren't too different!
  • Smelly Feet Gag: One of the muchaburi tasks imposed in games is sniffing AD Inaba's socks which have been worn for days.
    • During a Battle Burger segment, Maeda Mitsuki is accused of having poor hygiene, including smelly feet. Otona AKB member Tsukamoto Mariko is then asked to sniff Mitsuki's feet (as a mother, she's considered the most suitable to do this deed), and confirms that they are in fact not smelly... while visibly cringing.
  • Stage Fright: NGT48's Takakura Moeka is terrified of flirting contest segments, such as in episode 479, and once bursts into tears after participating in one out of utter embarrassment.
  • Stealth Insult:
    • In the group battle episodes against Nogizaka46, that group's Ikuta Erika performs her own song on the ukulele about AKB Team K, in which she expresses her admiration for AKB's #3 team (after Teams A and B).
    • In episode 303, when Shimada Haruka's weight is brought up, Shimazaki Haruka is asked to comment.
      Paruru: I don't think she's tall.
    • In episode 522, while many people nickname Takahashi Juri "Egg" because of her fair skin, she accuses Kato Rena of calling her that to subtly say that she is fat.
      Juri: Like many people, she often said I looked like an egg. But one day she posted on Twitter that she must have gained weight since her manager had said she looked like an egg. So that was what she meant all those times! I was hurt!
      Renacchi: No, no, you're a slim egg!
    • In episode 541, Renacchi herself wonders why Yahagi Moeka is friendly with seniors like Minegishi Minami and HKT's Sashihara Rino, but not her. Moeka explains that she couldn't approach Renacchi because Renacchi is beautiful.
      Sasshi: Moechan! Then what about me and Miichan?!
      Moechan: Ah, I'm totally okay with you guys.
  • Stood Up: Being stood up for appointments is a cause for grudges among members, such as in episode 400.
  • Sumo Wrestling:
    • Iki-sumo ("Breathing Sumo") is themed after this sport, except the pushing is done by exhaling air, and the referee borrows sumo terms while overseeing the matches.
      • Hilariously, Oguri Yui initially thinks that the winner is the one who eats the bug when she plays against Yahagi Moeka in episode 558.
    • The girls have dressed up in sumo cosplay for segments, with rubber suits for size.
    • A female junior sumo wrestler is invited in an episode to train members who want to have sumo as a special skill.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • Aigasa Moe is often said to be one of Itano Tomomi.
    • Okabe Rin confesses in episode 522 that she tries to avert being seen as one to Maeda Atsuko (Sashihara Rino has said they have the same voice, and their characters are also similar) by saying she's a fan of Kojima Haruna, even though she owns more Acchan merch.
  • Tacky Tuxedo: In contrast with his partner, Nakagawa Paradise wears a red or pink suit with matching shorts and bowler hat.
  • Team Mom: Despite her antics, Takahashi Minami was the first ever appointed General Manager (総監督 Sōkantoku) of 48 Group, responsible for managing the 200+ members, and held the job for five years. When she graduated, she passed on the title to Yokoyama Yui, who has a more serious disposition. In December 2018, Yuihan revealed that she is grooming Mukaichi Mion to take over the job, although in episode 524 she clarifies that she has no plans to graduate yet. Episodes 535-536 commemorates Miion officially taking over the job on April 1, 2019, by having her host a trivia quiz called the Mukaichi Center Exam.note 
  • Through His Stomach: One of the go-to ways of appealing to the celebrity guests is through a cooking contest.
    • To promote her new photo book, Maeda Atsuko goes to a boys' dormitory and makes omurice for a lucky fan.
    • In Watanabe Mayu's farewell episode (471), Ma Chia-Ling, Team 8's Sato Shiori, and Hiwatashi Yui have a chicken karaage cooking contest, since it's Mayuyu's favorite food. The winner is Macharin.
      • Oguri Yui also made chocolate pie for Mayuyu, with a thank you message written in icing, for her farewell stage, as shown in episode 478. The same episode also reveals that Macharin is a certified cook and showcases her culinary skills.
    • In a Bucchake Baseball episode, Fukuoka Seina is accused of trying to win favors from seniors by giving them her homemade cookies, but she insists that she simply did that out of affection.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In episodes 289-290 where they evaluate past episodes and discussed ideas for the show going forward, Kitahara Rie calls out the Bad Boys for having softened up considerably compared to their early appearances and demands they rename themselves to "Big Bros", and later "Fan Boys" after other members reveal that they often express great admiration and care toward the members they're working with. Bichao adds that Sata has become totally domesticated and enjoys hobbies like raising pet carps. They vehemently deny this and try to act tough to compensate, until Kiyoto becomes convinced by the arguments and takes the girls' side.
    Kiyoto: You're no longer fit to be a biker gang leader!
  • Tough Room: A recurring challenge is making a stone-faced show director laugh, which the girls invariably fail.
    • In episode 542, HKT's Sashihara Rino complains that in its early days, the show's crew were very hard to amuse, which made the inexperienced girls dread showing up for recording (although she admits they weren't that funny to begin with). However, she acknowledges that other comedy shows became comparatively easy after enduring this show.
  • Trash Talk: In many game segments, participants are encouraged to exchange smack talk before the match. Those skilled in this are called the "mad dogs".
  • Trash of the Titans: In episode 373, SKE's Matsumura Kaori pays a surprise visit to SKE's Tani Marika's apartment, which turns out to be a total pigsty. Kaotan proceeds to considerably tidy it up off-screen and it's said they later send a professional cleaning crew.
    Shimazaki Haruka: [If I ever entered that room,] I'd instantly contract pneumonia.
    • Yokoyama Yui is also said to hoard piles of old magazines, which she claims is for her cats' play space.
  • Tsundere: In episode 369, Mukaichi Mion formed a tsundere idol unit called Bitter Milk, consisting of Kato Rena, Okada Ayaka, and Fukuoka Seina, with gimmicks like "scolding meetings" in place of handshake events.
  • Uncle Pennybags: In episode 543's Bucchake Baseball, HKT's Sashihara Rino is revealed to often treat her juniors to lavish meals and give large New Year cash gifts. She also prefers carrying around stacks of cash to more modern payment systems.
    Sasshi, to HKT's Tanaka Natsumi: You made me sound like the Godfather!
    • Sasshi also regularly holds "Sasshi Market" to give away her (mostly branded) clothes to other HKT members. In episode 542, Natsumikan confesses that she usually takes more than allowed and has even sold the ones she couldn't wear.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • In episode 460, Ma Chia-Ling relates how a staff member assumed that she couldn't read kanji and gave her a script fully in katakana (which is roughly equivalent to writing alphabet in ALL CAPS), even though she's Taiwanese (kanji is adopted from Chinese script), and then lets out the gyaru slang for god-level fury. WRH unsurprisingly isn't familiar with the term and Takita Kayoko has to explain it for them.
      Geki Oko-stic Final Reality Punpun Dream!
    • In episode 387, NMB's Ambiguously Lesbian Kinoshita Momoka describes her relationships with several members using the word itte ("going") without elaborating, leaving the rest to everyone's imagination.
  • Vehicular Theme Naming: Miyawaki Sakura and Kodama Haruka of HKT48 call their duo "The Shinkansens" since they happen to share their names with the Sakura and Kodama bullet trains.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: Assistant Director Inaba of the studio crew was personally involved in many of the pranks and is also a Cordon Bleugh Chef.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • In episode 510, Yamamoto Ruka's guess of a word related to "daily fighting" is "idols".
    • The group's 16th generation has this reputation.
      Suzuki Kurumi, episode 531: It's been about a year since we became full members, and we don't get along most of the time.
      Maeda Ayaka: But we're all friends, so we can say things like "You look ugly today!" without problem.
  • Vodka Drunkenski: In episode 541, HKT's Sashihara Rino reveals that the half-Russian Murashige Anna, also of HKT, drinks a lot and becomes even crazier when sloshed.
    Sasshi: We had to drag her out of the pub because she was out of control, and she hurled the booze in her mouth onto my Balenciaga T-shirt!
    Aanya: I don't remember anything from that night, but my manager said I approached random people and yelled "Let's get crazy!"
  • Voice Actor: Episodes 461-462 are an audition to find one girl to become a guest voice actress for the Japanese dub of the British series Humans. Komiyama Haruka got the part.
  • Watershed: Being broadcast at 12:59 AM lets them get away with quite a few naughty stuff and suggestive comments, although with the awareness that many of the idols are minors.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • As the commentators love to point out, Shōjiki Shōgi matches between members who happen to be close friends could turn into this, since they will expose each other's most embarrassing secrets. Spectating members (especially Takamina, who somehow always comes up) are also at risk since the secret might involve them as well. The match between Watanabe Mayu and Kashiwagi Yuki even features a "Friendship Meter" which decreases with every question.
    • "Answer the Obvious!" questions are based on the dealer's fond memories with the friends she handpicked for the game. Many dealers are disappointed when it turns out her friends can't remember those moments and get themselves (and eventually the dealer) creamed as a result.
      Shimazaki Haruka, episode 239, while wiping cream off her face: I have no words for how hurt I am right now...
      Nagao Mariya, who failed to answer the most emotional question: Are we still friends?
      Paruru, not even looking at her: Ah... sorry. I definitely can't put up with all of you anymore.
    • Takamina related how she grew apart from her Childhood Friend after she became an idol, to the point that she completely lost contact with her. In episode 23, the production team has tracked her friend down and arranged for them to meet at their old school. The friend is 30 minutes late, but they reconcile.
    • In episode 460, Shimoguchi Hinana relates how shortly after her debut in 2014 she had a falling out with Goto Moe, who debuted together with her, after Goto posted a photo of her in an unflattering pose. Three episodes later, both are invited to the show to settle the matter and they finally reconcile.
  • White Stallion: Parodied in episode 472, in which Keyakizaka46 captain Sugai Yuuka asks Watanabe Mayu to say a few words for her while riding a white horse* as a last request before the latter graduates. Muramoto announces that the show doesn't have that kind of budget, so Mayuyu sits on a white rocking horse instead.
    Paradise: I can't take you seriously while you're sitting on that!
  • Weight Woe:
    • Subverted by Shimada Haruka (she was around 57 kg in 2015, which is rather overweight by idol standards), as she managed to turn this to her advantage by participating in prime-time eating shows.* Played straight by Sato Kiara and Nakanishi Chiyori in episode 410, who are terrified when the graduating Shimada nominates them to inherit her "fat girl" character and makes them sit on a see-saw to determine who is heavier, which turns out to be Chiyori.
    • In episode 365, Owada Nana looks ready to punch someone when she's compared to "Giant" Shimada.
    • Fifth generation member Miyazaki Miho relates in a lecture session in episode 436 how she broke into the elite Senbatsu ranks in her first and second years in the group and was called an upcoming ace, but rapidly lost fans after she neglected to take care of her body and gained a lot of weight, and never quite regained her previous popularity. She cautions her 16th generation juniors not to make the same mistake.
      Myao: During the height of my popularity, the handshake events at Makuhari Messe event hall would be packed full of my fans! But after I became fat, the few fans who stayed on would line up multiple times so I wouldn't feel lonely. I knew all their names and faces, we were like a family! ... When you have youth, freshness, timing, and chance, all four combined would result in popularity. It took several years to get back in shape, and my popularity never returned.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Many segments feature several of the girls cross-dressing as good-looking men (ikemen), a practice known as danso in Japanese, to the delight of the other members.
  • Whoopee Cushion: Yet another punishment for losing a game is sitting on one of these. In episode 292, when Shimazaki Haruka has to do it, somehow two little boys are in the studio and Sata invites them to watch from up close, simply so they can laugh at her to increase the humiliation.
    Paruru: When little boys do that, I feel like I can't say anything back...
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Sata has an intense fear of snakes and runs like a madman when one is brought to him, which hilariously clashes with his tough biker image.
    • Watanabe Mayu is afraid of birds and dogs, but can handle smaller dogs. Kashiwagi Yuki and Mukaichi Mion are also afraid of dogs, and the three of them are made to play with the other members' dogs in episode 407 to conquer their fear.
    • Oshima Yuko is afraid of popping balloons.
    • Despite hailing from a rural prefecture, Team 8's Yokoyama Yui is terrified of frogs, and in episode 508 almost runs away crying and trembling from the studio when a Budgett's frog is brought in. On the other hand, the frog was prepared for Yahagi Moeka, who is a herpetophile and whose fans wear Budgett's frog T-shirts in her honor.
  • Wise Beyond Her Years:
    • In the early years of the show, SKE's Matsui Jurina is one of the youngest regular members and is often regarded to be this, especially compared to her older colleagues.
    • Despite her young age, Yahagi Moeka often shows a surprising familiarity with how the business works and gets along very well with seniors. Like Jurina, she also happens to be fast-tracked by the management. This is largely because she's been taught by her mother and sister, who used to work in the entertainment industry (said sister is former SKE member Yahagi Yukina, now a dentist).
      Muramoto, when they meet a Nippon TV executive in a 2018 Halloween episode: How come a teenager like you know to flip an executive's business card to get his phone number?

      Moeka, episode 547: My mother often gives me advice. She said that older men love to hear high school girl slang.
  • Wolverine Publicity: The main image on the show's website, which is changed every season, features a few top members who rarely appear in the show.
  • Would Hit a Girl: As typical of manzai, the Bad Boys regularly gave the girls a Dope Slap, with Sata doing it more often as the tsukkomi of the two. One time, a young Team 8 member cries after receiving one and Sata lets her give him a taste of his own medicine. Muramoto prefers to smack them with his hand-shaped pointing stick.