The series is hosted by mainstays referred to as "Dabarkads"note and consists of various game and talent show segments along with live performances from the hosts and/or guest acts.
An Indonesian version called Eat Bulaga! Indonesia also aired from 2012 to 2019, making it the first time that a Filipino television program was franchised by another country. This is then followed by another overseas franchise, Eat Bulaga! Myanmar, which was announced on July 30, 2019 in time for their 40th anniversary.
Eat Bulaga! contains the following tropes:
- all lowercase letters: The logo sometimes renders it as eat bulaga!
- Audience Participation: It's pretty common for the hosts to interact with the audience in some way. For example, they might take selfies with smiling audience members.
- Christmas Episode: Special Christmas segments are shown in episodes that air around that time of year.
- Excited Show Title!: Eat Bulaga!
- Genre Shift: With their Lenten specials, where they cast aside their gags and musical/game show numbers in favor of inspirational or faith-based dramas in time for the Lenten season.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The show's hosts bill themselves as a more wholesome alternative to Vice Ganda's ribald jokes on It's Showtime, though Bulaga does have its moments...
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: In the segment Jackpot En Poy, the sound of a heart beating plays before people decide whether to throw rock, paper, or scissors.
- Long-Runner Cast Turnover: The first three Dabarkads, Vic Sotto, Tito Sotto, and Joey de Leon, are still on the show even after all these years. The cast of co-hosts, on the other hand, has seen constant changes throughout the show's run.
- Long-Runners: Barring network changes from RPN, ABS-CBN and finally on GMA, the show has been on air since July 30, 1979.
- The Moral Substitute: Compared to It's Showtime, as both the hosts and Bulaga fans brag about their taste in comedy in contrast to Vice Ganda's reliance on insult comedy at the expense of others. But as stated above, Bulaga does have its less-than-wholesome moments.
- Please Subscribe to Our Channel: The YouTube description asks you to "SUBSCRIBE to our channel now to get exclusive videos and full episodes of Eat Bulaga! Be with your favorite Dabarkads 24/7!"
- Product Placement: Certain segments are sponsored by Ajinomoto, Coca-Cola, etc.
- Pun: The phrase "Juan For All, All For Juan" is a pun on the phrase "all for one, one for all" and the name Juan, referring to Juan dela Cruz, the national personification of the Philippines representing a Filipino everyman.
- RockPaperScissors: The segment Jackpot En Poy is a rockpaperscissors tournament for a cash prize.
- Ship Tease: The hosts are very fond of this. The AlDub pairing happened because of this.
- Shout Out: The name of EB Fone Home, a segment of the show which ran from 2004 to 2006, is a reference to the quote "E.T. phone home".
- Valentine's Day Episode: The segment Heart to Get is about finding good dates for Valentine's Day.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Jose, Wally and Paolo, in character as the Lolas during the "Kalyeserye" segments. In addition, Paolo himself has also made a career out of it for his makeup transformations and drag performances.
- You Are Fat: Ruby Rodriguez in particular, though in fairness she does take the jokes in stride, and also to an extent with Ryzza Mae Dizon.