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Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!! (ダウンタウンのガキの使いやあらへんで!!, Downtown's 'This Is No Job For Kids!!'?) is a Japanese variety show hosted by the popular Japanese owarai duo, Downtown. The popular show began airing on October 3, 1989, and continues to air every Sunday night.

The regular cast consists of 5 comedians: the Downtown combi formed by Hitoshi Matsumoto and Masatoshi Hamada, the Cocorico combi formed by Naoki Tanaka and Shouzo Endo, and Housei Tsukitei (formerly known as Housei Yamazaki).

They're best known for their New Year's Punishment Games and the Silent Library skits, the latter of which became the basis of its own game show in the United States on MTV.

第1回ダウンタウンのガキの使いやあらへんで!! チキチキ 話し合うべき非常に多くの状況! TV Tropesエンドレスリスト!note 

  • Adam Westing: Ichiro Mizuki's appearances in the Batsu games tend to revolve around him gleefully indulging in this. (Mizuki is an anime/tokusatsu singer best known for singing the opening theme of Mazinger Z.)
  • A Day in the Limelight: The special episodes often feature people that are not members of Gaki no Tsukai per se, such as stage director Heipo, producer Nakamura and producer Kenji Suga.
    • This also occurs in some of the regular episodes. One series for example focuses on Heipo going out on dates with different women (one is Ayako Nishikawa) and seeking advice from the regular cast. Suga also makes appearances in these episodes to comfort the women after Heipo screws up the dates.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Every now and then the guys, Matsumoto in particular, stop to marvel at some of the overly elaborate apparatus involved in their challenges despite what the thing was intended for.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Matsumoto. In recent years, he has grown out a beard and bulked up some. He has also stopped shaving his head, opting instead to sport spiky bleached blonde hair.
  • Affectionate Parody: Their Gorenjai skits live and die by this trope.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Famously in the prison-themed No Laughing challenge. The guys are clearly out of shape for that sort of thing so the vent is even wider than Hollywood standards. Unfortunately it only leads to the toilet.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Drunk Momotaro Theater skit. In an effort to prove that as "Professional Comedians" they can perform thru any situation, the group (with a roped in Director) attempt to perform Momotarō while drunk. The group is to perform the lines from the play flawlessly; any mistake means that the play is stopped and the group must drink another round. The production crew decides to let the group continue on after a botched line on the second attempt for fear the group would get too inebriated.
  • All Men Are Perverts: One No Laughing challenge has all the guys hurled back in time to the Tokugawa regime, where they are granted an audience with the reigning shogun Tokugawa Kogemitsu. Fujiwara (the longstanding handler for the annual No Laughing events)has already prepared a gift 'from the future' to appease the temperamental shogun... a porn mag.
  • Animal Motifs: Hamada is often associated with Gorillas. Notable invoking done during the 24 Hour Tag and the Teacher Batsu.
  • Apple of Discord: Though it never escalates too far, the 24-hour tag sequence has the group of 4 (Hamada, Yamasaki, Endo and Tanaka) being given single items (such as a single cup ramen, single piece of pork bun, or a single sausage). Tanaka, Endo and Yamasaki team up to contrive farfetched reasons and methods to split the items between just the three of them and exclude Hamada.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The murder mystery DVD from the 2017 No Laughing challenge. One murder victim has apparently written the murderer's name in blood, and we see the kanji for the 'ta' in Tanaka... Turns out it's upside down. The full name ends with that kanji... it's really Hamada.
  • Benevolent Boss: Producer Kenji Suga a/k/a "Gaasuu", who qualifies inasmuch as he doesn't actively inflict any more misery on his subordinates than they do to each other already.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Played straight or subverted, depending on your point of view; Downtown is credited with bringing a more conversational and improvisational style to the previously rigidly-structured manzai routine. The "Free Talk" segments on Gaki no Tsukai are always an excellent example.
    • That being said, they still refer themselves as a Boke and Tsukkomi combi.
  • Boob-Based Gag: Hamada almost always wear fake boobs whenever they have to crossdress.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick : Played for laughs to some degree.
    • A regular example of this that actually involves food can be seen in the various 'Absolutely Tasty!' episodes. While the cast like to experiment with their ingredients (such as Endo's use of Frisk mints), they're usually surprisingly rational to some degree... until Matsumoto's choices come up, which are almost always very bizarre and nasty. Past choices have included horned turban liver, a bear's paw, a tuna's head and the skin of a pig's face.
    Endo (regarding the horned turban liver): If I give it ten points, do I still have to eat it?
  • Breathless Non Sequitur: Matsumoto tends to ramble a lot during No-Laughing Batsu games, just to try to get others to laugh, but it successfully backfires just about as often.
  • Broke Episode: Producer Suga tells the group that due to a bit of "overspending" in the last episode, the budget for the current episode will only allow the crew to go to a family restaurant for some B-Roll footage and Suga assuming full video editorial duties. The segment shows the crew in a relaxed setting with Suga's edits claiming uncouth things about each individual member.
  • Broke the Rating Scale: The "Zettai ni Oishii" cooking segments already have negative numbers built into their scoring system; it goes from 10 down to -2, with negative points depicted as skulls... but at least one dish was bad enough to get two full skeletons.
  • Butt-Monkey : Tanaka and Yamazaki, but Heipo stands above those two.
    • Or is it below?
    • To be fair, every cast member (even Hamada) gets his turn at getting this treatment, but Heipo in particular gets the Chew Toy treatment.
    • Many other crew members too; if a mistake is made, the cast will heckle the crew mercilessly. Some of the most enduring Running Gags on the show were born out of minor screw-ups on the part of the production team.
  • Call-Back: One batsu from a recent Silent Library involves getting slapped by a trained monkey, which all the guys recognized as the same monkey brought in to slap Endo (and supposedly ordered by Endo's ex wife Chiaki) in the No Laughing Detectives challenge.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin' : With a little dose of Can't Get in Trouble for Nuthin'
    • During the No Laughing Spy batsu game, Endo finds a panel with a photograph of a waitress he asked out. The waitress is really a mole planted by the staff. Two years later in the No Laughing Enthusiastic Teachers batsu, he finds a magazine with photos of him courting the waitress in question. Endo is later put on a sham trial for sending lurid text messages to her and another female TV presenter, and compounding the offence by asking his ex-wife, Chiaki, to help him cover it up.
  • Catchphrase
    Masahiro Chouno (every time he shows up): GOD DAMN!!!!
    Yamazaki (at some point in almost every batsu game): Jigoku ya, honma jigoku. (This is hell, sheer hell.)
  • Caught with Your Pants Down : Specially when they have to go to the restroom; other times, someone will pull down their pants.
    • The Yugawara Onsen batsu game: When Tanaka, Hamada, and Yamazaki are in the dressing room, two old men in swim trunks, one of approximately Tanaka's height and build and the other of Yamazaki's, each walk into the room and remove their swim trunks (revealing a second pair of swim trunks underneath) and hand them to the player sized similarly to them. When Hamada gets his, however, the person wearing them turns out to be Matsumoto — who promptly drops trou to reveal that he is NOT wearing another pair of trunks underneath. This, of course, results in one or more of the players busting out laughing, at which point Matsumoto pulls the suit back on and waits for the offending player(s) to get whipped... after which he disrobes again. This was made funnier for the viewing audience by the addition of a ringing doorbell sound every time Matsumoto pulled his trunks down.
      • It gets even worse — as the old men are being dismissed, Matsumoto trips and "accidentally" flashes his taint at Hamada. After getting up, Matsumoto pauses to rip an impressive fart before he finally leaves the room.
  • Color-Coded Characters: The five cast members are each associated with a particular colour. Matsumoto is red, Hamada is blue, Yamazaki is green, Endo is orange/yellow and Tanaka is purple/pink. This can be seen in the show's colouring of dialogue subtitles, and is all but confirmed in the 2009 Hotel Batsu game.
    • Strangely this is reversed with Yamazaki and Tanaka's apron colours in 'Zettai ni Oishii', being Pink and Green respectively.
  • Comedic Sociopathy : And how!
  • Cool Mask : Dynamite Shikoku.
  • Contrived Coincidence :
    • How Masahiro Chouno ends up slapping Yamazaki, one way or the other.
    • One Silent Library session ends with the guys doing something different for the final batsu, as they leave the cards in a pile and each draw a card one by one, dragging it out like some other reality shows, complete with a Commercial Break Cliffhanger when they're down to the last two. Somehow the skull card is still the last one drawn.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef : Integral part of their "Zettai ni Oishii" segment. See Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick.
    • The Rice Cakes in the Earth Defense Batsu, once Endo and Hosei realize what the secret ingredient is via DVD.
  • Couch Gag : The regular episodes are often (though not always) opened by a cast member, usually Hamada, quickly shouting out the show's title and the episode's game/skit in a tongue-twisting fashion. Hilarity Ensues when, on occasion, the cast member screws it up.
  • Cringe Comedy : With some Squicks here and there, it can't be helped.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Gaki no Tsukai crew plus Inomoto and "Vacuum" Fujiwara (from comedy duo License) against real-life Big Eater Natsuko "Gal" Sone in a big eating "7 Men, 7 Kilograms of Food" contest. The Gaki crew had to resort to altering the rules and even outright ignoring said rules, and Sone still leaves them in the dust. That being said, Gaki crew had some serious handicap in the form of both Hamada and Matsumoto eating before the contest, putting them basically out of the running. Meanwhile, the much-vaunted Vacuum Fujiwara isn't living up to the name, for some reason.
    • During the revenge qualifier after the 24-Hour Tag Batsu, Endo, Tanaka, Yamasaki and Hamada challenged Matsumoto again in a 4 versus 1 sports matchnote . This time, the race was a 100-meter swimming race, and similar to the one before, the team does a relay race while Matsumoto has to swim all the way. By the time Hamada reaches the finish line, Matsumoto has just barely cleared the halfway mark.
  • Cursed with Awesome : In one of the special segments, the Gaki crew versus another comedian group crew are challenged to run in a straight line after being spun rapidly. Hamada shrugs the effect after being spun 99 times and runs like nothing happened. It turns out that there's something wrong with his ear canal which enables him to completely not feel any dizziness from being spun.
    • Revisited in the 2020 No Laughing Youthful High School challenge; Tanaka, after being spun 50 times, falls down almost immediately and rolls off the path, but Hamada manages to run the entire path to the buzzer, though he has to work to stay running in a straight line. Hamada even admits that he wasn't sure that he could still pull off the feat, since it had been many years since he had last done so.
  • Deconstructive Parody
  • Digging Yourself Deeper : Everyone at times, but there's a reason why Matsumoto always gets the most punishments.
  • Disguised in Drag : Fujiwara in every major Batsu game. The main cast in the hospital and airport batsu games; Hamada gets the worst of it, being given large fake boobs and a shorter skirt than everyone else.
    • In the Earth Defense Force Batsu, Hamada is made to wear the women's version of the EDF uniform, complete with short skirt, stockings, and pageboy wig, while the other four are attired in the men's version.
    • Double Subverted in the 2017 No Laughing challenge based on the US police, where Hamada is instead dressed up as Eddie Murphy from Beverly Hills Cop (with blackface and everything). After they reach the office, Hamada is called away and returns in the "traditional" wig and skirt version of the guys' uniform.
  • The Ditz: Jimmy Onishi whenever he appears in the Batsu games — much to the chagrin of the regular cast.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Anything done in the Degawa vs Ueshima group battles, as most comedians participating actually end up with burns. Nevertheless, they still do it every single year.
  • Dope Slap: Regularly given by Hamada.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Yoshiko Mita grabbing Hamada's balls in the Airport Batsu.
  • Eagleland: The theme for the 2017 Try Not To Laugh challenge. The producer starts off by goading everyone into speaking Gratuitous English, and the costumes for this year are Texas border patrol.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness : What with the show's Long Runner status. Some newer (non-Japanese) fans are surprised to learn that Matsumoto used to have a full head of hair, or that the cast used to do actual sports challenges occasionally, or than Jimmy Onishi was a regular cast member at one point, or that Coq Au Rico were only added to the cast in the mid-'90s, etc.
  • Embarrassing Nickname : Natsumi, Hamada's wife, calls him Piko-chan.
  • Even Evil Has Standards : In the Hospital Batsu, "Super Sadist" Hamada is so aghast by Ayako Nishikawa's methods of proving that "patients under anesthesia" are not going to wake up that he tries to physically restrain her when she uses a pair of slippers to roughly slap one patient's head multiple times.
  • The Everyman : Tanaka. Referenced during the gossip section of the 2009 Hotel Batsu, and lampshaded again in the Airport Batsu.
    • Tanaka's Breakdown series makes this a plot point, especially the first one, after Matsumoto revealed that he wouldn't want to be reborn as Tanaka due to how boring he looks. Tanaka looks devastated and the series seeks to subvert this image.
  • Eye Scream: Not for real but damned close - one batsu from Silent Library is a pair of steaming hot shumai or pork dumplings held in a spectacle frame, with the sole intention of being placed on your eyelids. The poor sod who draws this one? Hamada.
  • Face Doodling: Easily the most harmless batsu of all time, from one Silent Library challenge.
  • Facial Horror: Not for real but damned close - the Oni Tag session in the 2017 No Laughing challenge sees Hamada and Matsumoto getting cello tape wrapped around their heads (not together mind you). The editors playing it like a Jump Scare didn't help.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: One secret DVD from the 2017 No Laughing challenge is done as an interactive visual novel about a murder mystery. After picking B ends up badly, they go back and pick A, only to find that both choices lead to the same thing... Tanaka Thai Kick.
  • Fan Disservice: Hosei, as Hentai Kamen, in the Prison Escape batsu. Made even worse when the yellow stain on Hentai Kamen's mask is reveal to be Ebisu's piss, much to the dismay of Hosei, Matsumoto and Endo who took turns to wear it.
  • Flipping the Table: Matsuko Deluxe in the Earth Defense Force Batsu
  • Follow the Leader: Gaki no Tsukai's Batsu games proved popular enough that the US recently started airing a knockoff of one of their most popular segments, Silent Library.
  • Food Porn: Partially deconstructed in the 2009 Hotel Batsu Game.
    • ...and lampshaded in the "Kiki" & "Absolutely Tasty" Series.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Many, many examples. The most obvious cases of these can be found in the various "trial" episodes, where a cast member is charged with a "crime" (Hamada was judged for his Comedic Sociopathy, Yamazaki was charged with being a coward, etc.). Do they have a chance in Hell of getting away with it? Of course not; this is the Gaki no Tsukai court of justice! The punishments themselves are also suitable foregone conclusions. What was Yamazaki's punishment for being a "plagiarist" of fashion styles and so on? Why, a slap from Masahiro Chouno of course!
  • Foreign-Language Tirade: One of the addressers at the Spy Batsu game, who is introduced as the head of the agency's office in Holland and and gives a speech entirely in Dutch that ends with him ranting incoherently in Tanaka's face.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: The 2018 No Laughing challenge. "Thai Kick" is sent for training under a celebrity mentalist, all to play a double-or-nothing card game against Tanaka, who must play to be spared of the Thai Kick fair and square for once.
  • Four Is Death: Invoked in Yamazaki's Haunted Piano Recital. He's made to perform in the fourth room on the fourth floor of a school. He is tasked with playing four songs, thus necessitating four trips through the school, with the last performance taking place at four in the morning.
  • Funny Foreigner: Somewhat goes together with Fun with Foreign Languages below, though none of the cases are extreme, and the cast tend to be on the receiving end of whatever's happening. One interesting case was in Hamada's 2003 Vladivostock batsu game, where he finally meets the Russian "secret gang." He reveals during the post-game talk that they had to do several retakes because the Russian actor's Japanese was excruciatingly bad.
    • Averted in the 2007 No-Laughing hospital batsu game, where a foreign man enters a doctor's office with a translator... and speaks flawless colloquial Japanese.
    • Matsumoto's Stair Helpers in the 2011 Airport Batsu.
    • David Hossein, a/k/a Konya ga Yamada, whose entire shtick on the show involves repeating (and horribly mispronouncing) his pseudonym and saying absolutely nothing else.
    • An example which seems effective for the main cast are the black people used to garner laughs by being placed in traditionally Japanese roles, such as Watanabe-Kun, the fainting student from No Laughing School, the Shinto priest and sushi chef from No Laughing Yugawara, and "Black Bob" from No Laughing Hot Springs.
    • The foreign actors used to mete out punishments for many of the Kiki challenges (e.g. Germans in the Beer episode, Brazilians from the Coffee episode, Indians from the Curry episode).
    • In a more meta-example, the reason why Americans find the show funny.
    • Any time where they require Claudia Umemiya to star in live productions of American movies and purposely mispronunced English words despite being a native speaker.
  • Fun with Foreign Languages: Done hilariously when Bob Sapp was a guest at their show. Also, Jimmy Onishi whenever he's asked to say something in English (see also Intentional Engrish for Funny).
  • Fun with Subtitles: The "do not try this at home" disclaimers are frequently phrased as reasons why the Gaki cast can do things that the audience shouldn't do. Most of these, when not Blatant Lies, are obvious insults directed at the cast themselves.
    • In one case, the subtitles proclaim (among other things) that Tanaka's all right because he never gets dizzy, that Matsumoto's not in real pain because he gets a gigantic paycheck and because the fire on his ass is actually CGI, that Heipo's not in real pain because he's actually CGI, that Yamazaki actually likes the taste of Tabasco (which is why they gave him a plate full of pasta soaked in it), and that Hamada can survive Groin Attacks because he has a small dick, although he still has to pretend that the attack actually hit him.
  • Gag Censor: Whenever any one of the main cast is naked, their naughty bits are covered with photographs of their own faces.
  • Gonk:
    • Matsuko Deluxe, a gay comedian and journalist, in nearly all No Laughing skits since 2008. Particularly affectionate with Endo and Hamada.
    • in the Dice Reaction batsu game, Tanaka is forced to passionately kiss a fat, effeminate male.
  • Gossipy Hens: As of recent, towards the end of the batsu games, the cast are introduced to a meeting of several "undercover" employees of whatever company (newspaper, hospital, airline) they're supposedly working for, all of them played by fellow comedians. Under the excuse of identifying people the company's had "issues" with, the group starts gossiping about things they have heard about others, including the main cast, with some of the stories being Serial Escalation. Played for Laughs.
    Matsumoto: Why do I have to get my ass whooped when you lie?!
  • Groin Attack: The Pie Hell had Matsumoto struck in that area with pies.
    • The Chinko Machine causes these.
    • The Degawa vs Ueshima group battles normally devolve to this, by exploding rockets on their groin, or using a hyper-wedgie machine, among other things.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Matsumoto's attempts at intentionally making the others laugh usually backfire on him and he gets punished as well.
    • Hosei's attempts to get the others laugh by dressing as 'Hentai Kamen', during the Prison batsu, backfire spectacularly when it's revealed that Ebisu had actually pissed on the underwear he was wearing for a mask.
    • And again in the Detective Batsu, where upon seeing Hosei in the Kekko Kamen costume, Matsumoto pulls out a card and invokes 10 minutes of "Joint Liability." In essence, if any one of the four laugh, everyone get punished, not just the people that laughed. Because of the Kekko Kamen mask, it's easy for Hosei to laugh and the watchers won't see it (which has been pointed out in past Batsus anytime Hosei is in disguise that obscures his face). Hosei literally goes thru hell as he is punished on his nearly bare buttocks.
  • Hope Spot: Given in the 2008 No Laughing Special. Poor Yamazaki is sure that he's not going to be the one slapped by Masahiro Chouno, but suddenly someone told Chouno that his kid is injured; the same kid that Yamazaki bumped into earlier... and just as Tanaka was about to get slapped.
    • Avoided from 2009 and thereafter. Chouno will somehow choose him.
    • In the new Detective Batsu, It seems it's gonna be Hamada the one to be slapped by Chouno for being a new generation of Phantom Thief X. Just as the slap timer is down to three, Conan appears and (in light of new evidence (and having Chouno chisel away at the bust sculpture of Phantom Thief X with a hammer)) reveals that the real culprit is Hosei. This of course ends with Hosei getting slapped by Chouno.
  • Human Resources: A variation: In the 2014 Earth Defense Force batsu game, a DVD movie shows senior actor Ebisu Yoshikazu being placed in a sauna for 20 minutes, where his sweat is collected, then boiled off to collect its salt, which is later used in the preparation of rice cakes... rice cakes that Endo and Yamazaki had found in their respective drawers and eaten previously before it was too late. Needless to say, Endo and Yamazaki were rather perturbed and disgusted when they found out.
  • Hurricane of Puns : A 2003 batsu game had Hamada travel to Vladivostok to receive a 'back-slap' from a 'secret gang member'. The hurricane formed even before the batsu game started, however. Hamada and Matsumoto, in an earlier show, had bet on the outcome of a baseball game. When the team Hamada chose ended up losing, Matsumoto realised - something he later shared on-camera - that they'd lost mostly due to how they'd responded in the bottom of each inning; the 'back half' of a baseball game. Due to this, most of the game - including the name of the game itself - involves Hamada visiting or encountering things and places with the word 'ura' ('back') in them (Vladivostok itself is a joke, going off its Japanese pronunciation) and finding things upside-down, such as the car he's been given. He also gets a visit by Japanese fairy tale character, Urashima Tarou and plenty of other people with 'ura' in their name.
  • Internal Homage: Unintended example in an "all new" Silent Library challenge. One batsu is Baseball Bat To the Ass, and of all people Tanaka draws the short straw. The end result is virtually identical to Tanaka Thai Kick.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: Played for Laughs in "No Laughing High School" when Jimmy Ohnishi mispronounces English words (i.e. "lotions" for "questions", "VICTOR" for "Venice", etc.), and even translates 20 (i.e. "twenty") as "ten-ten", a literal translation of the Japanese form of 20 ("ni-juu", or "two tens").
  • Jerkass : Hamada can be rather cruel when he's in charge of dishing out punishment. Matsumoto's style in similar situations is less outright sadistic, and more purely cold-blooded.
    • This has more or less been Character Development for Matsumoto in recent years, where the show has shifted from a 'Matsumoto vs. Hamada' format to a 'Matsumoto and Hamada vs. everyone else' format. See Magnificent Bastard on the YMMV page.
  • Karma Houdini: Hamada in the Earth Defense Force is responsible for Hosei getting caught by the Honeymoon ONI, and Tanaka for getting caught by Egashira 2:50. Although in Hosei's case, he deserved to be caught for trying to sell Tanaka to other ONIs
  • Kick the Dog:
    • The 2017 No Laughing challenge has a rare case of Tanaka being subjected to the batsu whip mere seconds after a Thai kick.
      • A more blatant case with the animatronic robot dressed up as Chucky, which suddenly activates and yells at the guys, ending with "I AM HOSEI, HAHAHAHAHA..." after which it's Hosei that gets whipped. It's heavily implied that Hosei is going to keep getting whipped every time it says that until they can shut the doll down.
  • Large Ham: Bibari Maeda, of all people, in the 2009 Hotel Batsu.
    • This trope has long been an intentional part of Matsumoto's persona. It was practically necessary when Downtown still did their manzai routines on the show, but he still plays the card when the time is right.
    Matsumoto: MATSUI!
    • Matsumoto pulls this also on the Yurusenai Hanashi series.
    • Yamazaki pulls this off too, sometimes to take advantage of his Butt-Monkey status. The rest of the cast have learnt to catch on quickly to this, it seems, in the 2009 Hotel Man batsu game.
      • One thing you can usually expect from every No Laughing batsu game is that someone will try to do this to crack the other contestants up; it frequently backfires, however, especially if the perpetrator is Matsumoto.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In the Earth Defense Force batsu, Hosei tries to sell out Tanaka to the ONIs. The ONI not only punishes Hosei instead, but he quickly gets caught by the next ONI that punishes with wedding car cans, which attracts even more ONIs. Not only others shun him immediately for this, but his cans get tangled in some stars handrails, leaving him at the mercy of other ONIs, at least until he bit thru the lines and managed to escape.
    • The qualifier for Yugawara Batsu Game was the Wasabi Sushi Russian Roulettenote . During the second-to-last round, Tanaka was put out of the running when he bit into a salmon sushi. Assuming that the same type of sushi isn't laced with wasabi more than once, Hamada gets the last salmon sushi assuming it to be safe, much to the others' chagrin. In the most improbable turn of event, that same sushi is also laced with wasabi, getting Hamada sent out and ending the qualifier. Even Matsumoto remarks that it was akin to "old stories" (when evil is vanquished) due to how much of a laser-guided karma it was.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: Thai kick. That is all.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: The show's opening titles in 2017note , whose only lyrics are "Gaki no Tsukai!!"
  • Long Runner: Both the show itself - having started in 1989, it's as old as the likes of The Simpsons and Red Dwarf - and Downtown themselves. While Matsumoto had at least one owarai partnernote  before Hamada, the two of them, having met in elementary school have known each other for, at most, the better part of forty-five years.note  For a western equivalent of the sheer level of seniority, clout and influence Downtown possess in the Japanese comedy scene, you'd have to look at the likes of Johnny Carson.
  • Loophole Abuse: Technically, the No Laughing challenge starts when the guys board that bus at the beginning... meaning that whoever is dumb enough to get on first is at risk of being left up there while everyone outside is spared of any batsu. Most of the time it's Matsumoto.
  • Losing Horns: Type B variant in the Batsu games. If anyone violates the No-Laughing rule, a two-note cue plays.
  • The Men in Black: In the 2010-2011 Spy Batsu game.
  • Manchild: Yamazaki, basically. From choosing kid-friendly ingredients during Absolutely Tasty segments, being the fastest to pout when things don't go his way, proclaiming himself as Boy Genius ("Tensai Shounen") and even flat-out crying when he got slapped during Kiki Curry segment. This gets lampshaded when Matsumoto pretty much labels him "Obocchama Geinin" (Bratty Celeb).
  • Million to One Chance: In a revival of their Gorenjai skits, the entire Gaki crew had to don one color of five Gorenjai costumes inside a booth, with the goal of having everyone donning a different color. While they do have six hours to do so, keep in mind that the probability of five people wearing five different colors is 24 in 625, or 3.84%! note  They actually did it with minutes to spare, and this is unscripted.
    • Better yet, by sheer dumb luck, they were actually one Ranger away from a full set of five on their first attempt.
    • However, they were literally Tempting Fate when later, they added the Ameagari duo and expanded the costumes to 7 colors (including black and white). The probability this time balloons to 720 in 117,649, or 0.612%. Needless to say, they had to bow down to statistics; six hours were not enough for them to actually complete this.
  • Mood Whiplash: A devastating example in the incredibly emotional letter Tanaka's son wrote for him, bringing many of the them to tears... and ends with calling Tanaka out for a THAI KICKU!!!
    Tanaka's Son: I love you. Year 3, Red Class; Tanaka... Thai Kick.note 
  • Musical Trigger: The dramatic "DUN-DUUUUUN!" sting that plays whenever someone laughs in the No Laughing Batsu Games. Given that this is a 24-hour game being played by five comedians, it isn't uncommon to have the alarm play hundreds of times every year. The only thing stopping the number of replays from hitting four figures is how the announcer will call offenders out in groups or simply say "EVERYONE, OUT!" if there's no innocent party at the time.
    • And, in 2016's Science Lab game, Matsumoto even manages to seemingly summon it on cue.
    Hosei: Hey, Hamada..?
    Hamada: Yeah?
    Hosei: When he said Janken-pon-pon!note , you kinda smiled a little there!
    Hamada: No, I didn't!!
    Matsumoto: Yeah. Alright! Ring him out in three, two, one... go. Dun-duuuuun...!
    [As soon as Matsumoto points his finger and says "go", the Batsu alarm suddenly goes off, punishing Hamada]
  • Naked People Are Funny: Every now and then during the batsu games, either by the cast themselves or the special guests.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Masahiro Chouno. The mere presence of him in the same scene as the regular cast means someone is gonna be in a lot of pain soon... and they know it. Most of the time, it's Yamazaki.
    • Played with in 2008 Newspaper Batsu Game. The reporters are told to cover the premiere of a movie called "Field of Butterfly" (which came out as "Field of House" in Tanaka's mangled translation). Later, after Yamazaki got the bejesus slapped out of him, he figures out that "Field of Butterfly" is the Anglicized translation of "Chouno", Masahiro's last name. None of the Gaki crew figured it out prior to the event.
    • Even lampshaded by Chouno himself in the 2009 Hotel Batsu Game.
    • Tanaka and the word "Thai Kick."
  • No Name Given: The Muay Thai practitioner responsible for the Thai Kick actually appears in a secret DVD in the 2017 No Laughing challenge, but credited only as 'Thai Kick'.
    • Thai Kick is Torsu na Nontachai, a Muay Thai dojo owner with three decades worth of experience - which means that people are able to learn how to Thai Kick by being taught by Thai Kick - and has even starred in some Japanese commercials.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Some of the stuff the the hosts and the guests do during the batsu games would most likely result in severe lawsuits if done here in the US, even if its part of a show.
  • Oh, Crap!: Hosei's general reaction upon seeing Chouno.
    • The cast's reaction when they see Demon Tag has been brought out of its 10-year retirement.
  • Overly Long Gag : Every No-Laughing batsu game seems to have at least one.
  • Pixellation: And thank goodness for it.
  • Playing Against Type : In-universe. Often the schtick of various Special Guests showing up in both the regular episodes and the specials. Recently, a number of period drama and soap opera actresses have somehow ended up playing parts in the No Laughing Allowed batsu games — the mere fact of their participation is usually enough to crack the cast up.
    • Another frequent tactic is the use of well-known dramatic actors, or at least comedians with Comically Serious screen personae, to play complete and total Cloudcuckoolanders. Most infamously, Sonny Chiba himself appeared as a hospital director who hopped out of a tanning bed in his office and handed out his e-mail address to the Gaki cast — it turned out to be a long string of random Engrish words including "Tarantino" and "California".
  • Prison Episode: 2014's New Year's eve No-Laughing special.
  • Put on a Bus: Heipo in the Substitute Teacher Batsu.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: One batsu during a No Laughing event was so terrible that Endo can be seen crossing his heart in response.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During the "Kiki" episodes, if any member incorrectly guessed a brand, a character would enter the room and chastise the said member, before or while inflicting punishment on that member.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni : Matsumoto's Red to Hamada's Blue. Lampshaded in the 2008 New Year's Batsu special, with Hamada's color being blue and Matsumoto being red, not to mention their behavior during their Test of Courage segment.
    Matsumoto: Nyah~!
    Hamada: Shut up, will you.
  • Replicant Snatching : In the 2010-2011 Spy Batsu game, where a member of the cast gets snatched and replaced with Itao Itsuji wearing a facemask in the victim's likeness. Also counts a bit as Mirror Universe as the Replicant acts quite out of character. Obviously played for laughs — especially since the rest of the cast could tell quite easily that something was wrong.
  • The Roast: What the blacklist sessions basically are, although the targets are not limited to the main cast.
  • Running Gag : Oh so many, from Tanaka's cowardice, Heipo's ineptitude, Onishi's Epic Fail at English, Yamazaki being slapped around by Masahiro Chouno, Endo's Dynamite Shikoku, Matsumoto's Hair-Trigger Temper, Hamada's sociopathy, Fujiwara crossdressing, Suga inserting photographs of himself in bizarre places, the list goes on.
    Tsukitei (Yamazaki): Chouno-san, do you want to slap me? You want to slap me, right?
    TANAKA - THAI KICKU!! (Hotelman, Spy, Airport, Enthusiastic Teachers, Earth Defense Force, Great Prison Escape, Detective, and Science Lab.)
    • Hamada crossdressing as part of the batsu games.
    • Lampshaded in the Spy Batsu where Matsumoto casually remarked and wondered if Yamasaki would be ignored as in past Batsu Games by the bosses of the respective institution they were employed at. Then it got averted as Yamasaki was punched in his gut by the head of the Spy Agency.
    • The "test of courage" teams from the No Laughing specials have their own running gags — one of the most obvious being that Takayuki Haranishi's challenge always involves something boiling hot (eating soba with his bare hands, trying to put on clothes soaked in hot water, catching heavy items in a tub full of hot water which splashes him repeatedly in the face).
      • An accidental one, but Ueshima has had to run backstage after being filled with air for the no-fart arm-wrestling challenger several years in a row.
    • Brick Joke: This show will wait years to bring back a Running Gag, if it has to. One of the reasons Tanaka cracked up repeatedly over Endo's Dynamite Shikoku character in the Yugawara Hot Springs, No Laughing Allowed batsu game was that it had been almost seven seasons since the last time they'd used him.
    • Oni Tag Team Hell and Chouno slapping Hosei are a yearly staple by the time the Prison special rolls in.
  • Serial Escalation: The Labor Union and the Administrators in the Airport Batsu game argue who is superior, and thus solve a labor dispute, by doing a challenge more outlandish than the previous one, from getting hit on the face by a bottle rocket, to eating boiling noodles with the bare hands, to trying to move snakes into a box and getting bit in the process, to setting off gigantic wads of nitrocellulose flash paper in their buttcracks.
    • That wasn't the first time, and was not the last time either. It is in fact a Running Gag to set up comedians by groups, lead by Degawa and Ueshima, and duke it out with tests of courage that actually do result in, at least, minor injuries, including burns. Nevertheless, it's all Played for Laughs.
  • Shout-Out: Too many to list.
  • Smash Cut: The emotional letter from Tanaka's son in the Defense Forces of Earth Batsu ends with......THAI KICKU.
  • Special Guest : Most prominent during their New Year's specials. The 2010-2011 Spy Batsu Game has over 100 Japanese celebrities involved, including Masahiro Chouno.
    • The Special Guest most Western fans would be likely to recognize is Sonny Chiba, who made a brief appearance in the "No Laughing: Hospital" batsu game.
  • The Spook: They're supposed to be training to be this in the 2010-2011 Spy Batsu game. Obviously played for laughs.
  • The Stoic: Koki Mitani in the 2008 Silent Library.
  • Suddenly Speaking: The Muay Thai practitioner appears in a video the guys are watching, and finally gets lines - in Thai.
  • Sudden Name Change: A couple of years ago (on New Year's Day), Yamazaki changed his stage name to Tsukitei, so since then he's referenced as Hosei in the show.
  • Taking You with Me: Hosei will always try to get the rest of the gang to laugh as much as possible whenever faced by Chouno before he gets slapped around.
  • Tempting Fate: In the Detective Batsu, one of the DVDs they get is an Infomercial about a product designed to protect your buttocks from Thai Kicks. Tanaka orders one immediately using money he had just found earlier and receives it right away. The next DVD they play naturally calls for Tanaka to get Thai Kicked, but the device is not only not as seen on TV but the thai boxer kicks him in an area that it wasn't "protecting".
    • Just minutes later he calls to complain about a defective product, so they send him another "Mamoru-Kun", and a Thai Kick. The device fails again by inflating in front on him, leaving himself uncovered for the Thai Kick.
  • Thinking Out Loud: Used in the Prison batsu, when Junpei, and later Helen Nishikawa address the cast, with their quite weird thoughts being played over the PA system.
  • Time Travel: Happens during the field trip in the Enthusiastic Teachers batsu, where the gang (including Fujiwara) get sent back to the Edo period.
  • Title Drop : In the regular Couch Gag, but this was also brought up by Matsumoto as a joke in the tarai roulette game. After the rules have been explained, which say that the game goes on until either Hamada or Matsumoto are out, Matsumoto questions whether the title should be changed to 'Coq Au Rico no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!!!'.
  • Toilet Humour : Now and then. One challenge in particular involves the five cast members going to a posh restaraunt, with the obstacle being that they can only be served when they emit an audible fart. Hilarity Ensues when Yamazaki takes all the courses early on and Coq Au Rico are reduced to sitting in odd positions on the floor in a bid to force something out.
    • In 2004's batsu game at the Yugawara Hot Springs, after giving Hamada a pair of swim trunks right off his own body, a naked Matsumoto is leaving the room when he first pratfalls with his butt high in the air, then, after getting up, lets loose a loud fart towards everyone present.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Matsumoto's substitute during Spy Game's Demon Tag said Tanaka's wooden horse punishment "looks fun".
  • Torture Cellar: Borders on Cold-Blooded Torture with Heipo stuck in a shipping container (furnished like a studio apartment) for 24 hours, for the duration of the Hotel batsu, with live feed for the regular cast.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Endo tries using Frisk mints in most episodes of the Absolutely Tasty series.
  • Unwanted Assistance : This is played with in the No-Laughing batsu games using Hiroshi Fujiwara's guide roles. Other than setting up the incoming traps, he tends to constantly mess up his lines, creating additional laughs.
  • Unwinnable Joke Game: In Detective Batsu, the Super Mario Maker level that Tanaka is tasked with beating ends with Mario being dumped into a bottomless pit by the only Warp Pipe out of Bowser's room. Just to rub it in, the blocks over the pit spell out "TANAKA THAI KICK".
    • To make it worse, it had taken the Gaki crew - working as a team - thirty-five attempts to get that far.
  • Visible Silence: Used prominently in the Batsu Game series, usually denoting a beat when someone says something peculiar which is invariably followed by at least one of the parties (or both) trying not to laugh. Usually, they fail spectacularly.
    Yamazaki: Well, it's not like you need to quit, you don't smoke that much anyway.
    Tanaka: Yeah, but I ought to switch brands. I'm smoking a stronger one these days.
    Yamazaki: Stronger how?
    Tanaka: The magnitude, I mean.
    Yamazaki: "Magnitude"?
    Both: ...
    Yamazaki: [cracking up] What the hell is "magnitude" supposed to mean?!
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: One Silent Library batsu involves pouring raw eggs down the throat of the guest player. Cue Relax-o-Vision.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Nakai, of SMAP suffers one where his pants tore up at the butt because they purposely gave him clothes too tight.
  • Whole Costume Reference: The No Laughing challenges require all the guys to get into costume, thus resulting in a few of these. The 2017 one is themed after "American police", but is really Rick Grimes' uniform. Except for Hamada, who gets Eddie Murphy's jacket and jeans from Beverly Hills Cop. Complete with blackface.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Tanaka and Heipo are scared of everything. Tanaka's legs tend to give out whenever he gets a nasty, sudden surprise, whereas Heipo just screams and flails.
  • Worked Shoot : The pranks that the cast used to pull were typically framed like this. The most famous examples were when Hamada would go into a blind rage over something and would need to restrained by the rest of the cast before he could actually attack the one "responsible" for the error. When they pulled this one on Tanaka, he started crying.
    Tanaka (during Hamada's Comedic Sociopathy trial): That was the only time in my life that I have ever cried in the arms of another man.
    • It's been a thing since the very early days of Gaki no Tsukai. One example is the prank to ignite fireworks while Yamazaki is locked in a phone booth. Yamazaki looked really, really bad afterwards, causing Matsumoto to actually show concern. This is of course, the worked shoot; Yamazaki and Hamada agreed beforehand to prank Matsumoto in the guise of pranking Yamazaki. Sure enough, Hamada then shows up with a "Punk'd!" board. A similarly early example has Yamazaki being cornered by a Yakuza-looking person in a small room and being forced to get out to settle things "man to man". Hamada and co. appears after Yamazaki very nearly crapped his pants.
  • Worst Aid: The 2017 No Laughing challenge. After Hosei goes through a particularly skimpy wardrobe change, the other guys realise they have to do something once the repeated batsu whippings cause welts to appear on Hosei's unprotected cheeks. They find a minifridge in the office, which leads up to Endo putting ice blocks directly on Hosei's bare ass. And Matsumoto tries covering Hosei's ass with his medicated menthol oil which just makes it sting worse!
  • Would Hit a Girl: Hamada, during one of the bus stops in the Earth Defense Force batsu game, smacks the head of the female half of the W Cheesecake comedy duo at one point during their skit.
    • On one occasion, Tanaka finally gets to exact some Thai Kick vengeance. Dressed up in full Muay Thai gear, he delivers kicks - complete with a run-up due to his lack of experience - to all and sundry, including two female celebrities.
    • Then Thai Kick himself shows up. Fully expecting the alarm to go off and and announce his next victim, Tanaka stands up to him. And then....
    Tanaka: Oh, look who's here..! [Tanaka starts pacing around]
    Announcer: TANAKA... Thai Kick!!
    Tanaka suddenly looks... alarmed.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Hosei will always end up doing something that merits a slap from Chouno, to the point that in the Earth Defense Force special, he just gave up when he knew how and resigned himself to that fate, although he still tried to argue his way out of it once marked for the slap.