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Q, Sal, Joe, Murr. Not pictured: LARRY!
WARNING: The following program contains scenes of graphic stupidity among four lifelong friends who compete to embarrass each other.
Opening Disclaimer from Seasons 1-9
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Impractical Jokers is a hidden-camera series from TruTV, featuring the Tenderloins Comedy Troupe, which is comprised of four longtime friends (Brian "Q" Quinn, James "Murr" Murray, Salvatore "Sal" Vulcano, and Joseph "Joe" Gatto) who challenge each other to act outrageously in public. If you refuse, you lose. The show is presented as a sort of reality competition, where whoever fails the most challenges in an episode is forced to undergo a non-negotiable punishment of greater humiliation than normal.

On December 31, 2021, Joe announced his departure from the show after nine seasons, citing personal issues. Q, Murr and Sal have agreed to produce Season 10 without him.


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This show provides examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • Murr deals with a sassy customer during a challenge where he plays a security guard at a pharmacy. Joe tells him to say "I figured out what stinks in here — it's your pussy!" Murr blurts it out and immediately covers his mouth in horror as the other three jokers laugh uproariously. Even the customer got a good laugh out of it.
    • The Jokers give Q a fake safe word of "pumpernickel" during his tarantula punishment. After Q says it multiple times, Sal points out "You're a grown man screaming 'pumpernickel' in a warehouse!" which causes Q to crack a smile.
  • Aerith and Bob: On one hand, we have Joe and Sal. On the other, we have Murr and Q. Justified, as these are just nicknames derived from their last names, Murray and Quinn. Murr and Q's real first names are James and Brian, respectively.
  • Ain't No Rule:
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    • No rule says that, when challenged to shop out of other people's cart, you can't just walk away with the whole cart long enough to qualify.
    • Q is one that tries to bend the rules the most, such as when he had to get someone to dance with him without asking him. He did it twice. The first time he mumbled under his breath. The second time he didn't even try hiding it.
    • Even though it's already written, no rule says that you actually have to use the excuse provided to keep people from using a restroom. Sal did not like this since it negated the need to write the excuses.
  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: One of Joe's punishments involved Joe asking questions to a motorcycle club. The members repeatedly insisted that they weren't a gang.
  • All There in the Manual: The Inside Jokes version of "The Good, The Bad, and the Punished" reveals that all the characters Q encountered were given names (even though they knew they'd never be used on TV).
  • Amusing Injuries: Some of the later punishments involve the guys going through tons of pain.
  • Animal Reaction Shot: When Murr quits his "job" at the zoo because of the penguin drama, the cameras repeatedly cut to the penguins that Murr yells at, as if to show them wondering why some guy they've never seen before is throwing a fit.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The "Sashay Away" challenge was done twice. The first time, the Jokers weren't allowed to talk at all. It initially appeared that only Q had won the challenge, until he was revealed to have cheated and was disqualified. The Jokers changed that rule to "No talking about dancing" the second time they did this challenge. This time, Sal and Murr won, Joe lost, and Q got disqualified again.
  • April Fools' Day: The show's social media pages pulled one in 2014 when they claimed that the guys were being replaced with a new cast, even going so far as to film new footage with them to use in a "teaser" for the next season.
  • Arc Welding: In one challenge ("Well, That Went Badly"), Joe opts to use Murr's story as a basis for his own, saying he's from "Stomp" and that he beat up a guy with an "A" tattoo (Murr).
  • Aside Glance: Happens frequently, especially when the challenge is ridiculous. Joe and Q are the worst offenders. In a challenge where Q had to sabotage Sal's story, the latter had an epic one after blurting out "I hate the guy who killed my uncle."
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Sal's weapon of choice in a few challenges.
  • Ass Shove: One of Murr's punishments requires him to volunteer for a prostate exam — in front of an audience. This becomes a Running Joke over the course of the series, as Dr. Frank Contacessa, who administered the exam the first time, returns at least twice to check Murr’s prostate again.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: In one of the after party episodes, Sal tells Murr why he is such a great friend, which is heartwarming since they usually argue a lot.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Several punishments are initially set up to look like one thing, but turn out to be something else. One example is Murr dressing up as Dracula for a production of The Vampire Monologues — except he's actually joining a gospel choir. As Dracula.
    • The name of the season 9 episode Prince + Charming would leave you to believe Sal is the episode's big loser. note  It was actually Murr
  • Bald of Evil: When Murr's head is shaved for a punishment (including his eyebrows, but not the top of his head, like an inverted tonsure), he says he looks like Lex Luthor.
  • Best Served Cold: Sometimes one joker will set up another one's punishment as retaliation for a previous incident. For example, the jokers once punished Q by making him humiliate himself in a stage musical in front of his firefighting buddies; in retaliation, he later punished them by making them go an especially goofy version of firefighter training.
  • Big Applesauce: The Jokers are from Staten Island, and most of the routines they pull are done in the city or the general Tri-State Area. Since New York City has odd things going on at any point, they can get away with a lot of incredibly unusual behavior.
    • Because Murr does not speak with a stereotypical New York-type accent like the other three Jokers, they have jokingly accused him of having forgotten his roots.
  • Big Damn Movie: Impractical Jokers: The Movie, a Road Trip Plot extended episode.
  • Bindle Stick: In one challenge, Murr made one of these when the guy he rubbed the wrong way in a challenge told his friend, the manager of the restaurant where they were filming the episode, that Murr should be fired.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: In bonus footage of "The Butt of the Joker," Joe's presentation included a point "It's tru. TV is horrible," a jab at the show's network TruTV.
  • Black Comedy:
    • The Flea Market challenge, where Sal, Murr, and Joe are forced to admit that their items were looted from dead bodies.
    • Joe's parents are dead, so he occasionally has them appear as a pair of plastic skeletons.
  • Bonus Space:
    • Two of these are on the Wheel of Doom: Automatic Win and Get $20 from Each Joker.
    • Hitting the bullseye on the Dartboard of Destiny is worth $50.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Subverted because this is reality TV, although Q revealing to the woman in the elevator challenge that she was on a hidden camera show qualifies.
    • A woman approached Sal during his turn in the drugstore security guard challenge and asked if she could tell him where she thought she recognized him from. Sal’s answer was, “Yes, but not right now.” The woman, understanding that filming was happening at that moment, quietly excused herself.
    • Murr revealing the show during a challenge in "Brow Beaten" after an ill-advised remark in the presence of a police officer qualifies as well.
    • In the pawn shop segment of "Stage Fright," a customer tells Q and Sal that they remind him of the show. Q and Sal keep the customer engaged, asking him to pull up show clips, as Joe and Murr enter the store to surprise him. After realizing that he is actually on the show, the customer has a good laugh with and is thanked by the guys for his support.
      Sal: What an honest, glowing endorsement!
    • During the British Invasion episode, Q is in a challenge to give away tickets to a made-up show. He starts talking to a guy whose first reaction is to look RIGHT at the hidden camera operator. At this point Q pitches the pretense and just tries (unsuccessfully) to get the mark to accept the tickets despite the now-obvious set-up, and even introduces the mark to the operator.
    • Joe has had a couple of instances where he smashed the fourth wall:
      • During a supermarket challenge, a woman recognized him and asked to take a selfie with him. Joe granted the request, and was soon posing for selfies with other customers who discovered what was happening.
      • In episode “Sun-Fan Lotion,” Joe’s punishment was to get someone in a city park to put sunblock on him. Not long after the punishment started, a young man recognized him and, being a big IJ fan, got excited and asked if the show was filming and where the other Jokers were. Joe managed to convince the young man that filming was not happening, while getting him to apply sunblock to him. After he was covered with sunblock, Joe revealed that they were indeed filming, and had Murr, Sal, and Q come out to say hi to the thrilled fan.
    • From bonus footage of the virtual job reference challenge in episode "OK Zoomer," Q's mark straight up tells him that he looks and sounds like “that guy off Impractical Jokers.” Q plays along before the other 3 guys enter the shot, to the shock and delight of the mark. Joe then thanks the mark for watching the show.
    • Sal once had a punishment where he was made to work the drive-through window of a White Castle while the other three Jokers hijacked the speaker box and said outrageous things to customers, who then confronted Sal at the window. One gentleman drove up to the window and was about to go off on Sal, but immediately changed his tune when he came face to face with him.
      White Castle customer: [pleasantly surprised] Oh my God, Sal! It’s you!
  • Breath-Holding Brat: In an unaired challenge, the guys had to beg toy store customers to buy something for them. This was Q's tactic even though the mark informed him that you can't die from holding your breath.
  • Brick Joke: During one episode filming, Murr takes an interest in an anal-bleaching product called "My Shiny Hiney". (Yes, seriously.) This then sets up a later punishment where Murr becomes the spokesman for My Shiny Hiney.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: During one of the shoe store challenges, Murr is instructed to (and does, shamefacedly) put on a Jamaican accent to a Rastafarian customer.
    • Q is forced to do the same in a punishment where he worked as a playwright.
  • Broken Record: Q's punishment in "Drive, Drive, Drive," in which he had to drive all over New York City in a car in which singing animatronics have been installed, and sing only one song over and over, the titular "Drive, Drive, Drive," which can be heard here in all its 15 second glory.
    • Q was tasked by the other Jokers to pick up food and deliver it to them while driving this car. Keep in mind that NYC itself is enormous; over 300 square miles over the 5 boroughs. Not helping is that Joe now lives on Long Island and Murr now lives in New Jersey. Q had to start at the Jokers' old high school on Staten Island and head into Manhattan to pick up food for Joe. After Q dropped off Joe's food, Sal asked him to pick up food from the White Castle in the Bronx, despite there being a White Castle close to his home on Staten Island. After Q brought Sal his food, Murr asked him to return to the same White Castle where Sal had sent him, but Q struck a deal with Murr that allowed him to go to a White Castle on the way to Murr's house.
    • All told, Q endured over 11 hours of the animatronics singing, the experience exacerbated by traffic jams, the need to refuel, and the animatronics developing some squeaky parts along the way.
      • Understandably, he was pretty frazzled by the time he got to Sal’s house.
      Sal: You look like shit!
      Q: Dude, I am harrowed!
      Sal: That song is all over you!
      Q: [laughs ruefully]
    • Once he delivered Murr's food, he started walking away, leaving the car, animatronics still singing and swaying, in front of Murr's house. After protesting that Q had blocked in his car, Murr offered him a ride home.
  • Brooklyn Rage: For the most part, the people that the Jokers interact with are good sports, but there are times when some folks will be less than receptive or even take offense to the Jokers' antics. Because of this, at least a couple of crew members will stay close and blend in with the crowd during a challenge in case the Jokers need to be protected from more aggressive members of the public.
    • Q once had a punishment where he collected a cover charge at a club, only to learn that the band was playing for free that night. Crew members and on-site security had to protect Q from angry clubgoers demanding their money back.
    • In a segment filmed at Jack's Discount Store, Murr, during his turn, unwittingly upset a very tall and muscular man who was so enraged by Murr’s antics that he chased after Murr, who had to be rescued by actual store security. It was later revealed that the angry man had actually waited in front of the store to confront Murr again, resulting in the Jokers having to escape through the rear service entrance.
    • Sal has been assaulted twice on the show. In the first season, a war veteran strangled him for cutting in line. He also got slapped for telling a woman her baby was ugly.
    • Joe had a punishment where he had to prevent kids from catching baseballs autographed by Noah Syndergaard at Citi Field. He was followed by an incensed mother who read him the riot act for taking the balls from the kids, demanded that he hand over the last ball that he took, and that he apologize for his actions. Joe later admitted that this was the most uncomfortable punishment he had ever done.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • All four of them take turns being this—it's essentially the premise of the show—but especially during the punishments. Murr and Sal have it the worst, though, as their punishments are usually more personal (i.e. exploiting Sal's germaphobia and Murr's fear of skydiving).
    • Every time Rob Emmer appears (a crew member who has played bit roles as a stooge in several challenges), the Jokers take the opportunity to harangue him for doing a terrible job, culminating in him getting mock-fired in the 200th episode.
  • Calvinball: Not a full example as the games ostensibly have rules, but the Jokers give immense leeway to them, sometimes giving extra chances despite a clear failure or awarding victories despite conditions not being fulfilled. In addition, it's not always clear what will lead to a victory or a loss - in some games you only need to succeed once out of multiple tries, in others a single failure among other successes means a thumbs down. It generally boils down to "whatever the Jokers think counts."
    • In the "Footlosers" segment of episode "Blind Justice," the objective is, by wearing a pair of headphones and dancing, to get someone at the mall to ask the Joker what they are listening to. Q begs his way to a win when a woman shimmied briefly with him, though she did not explicitly ask him about the "music"; Murr votes to give him the win and the others agree. Later in the segment, Murr loopholes his way to a win after failing to attract attention with his dancing simply by remarking about the "music" he is "listening" to, piquing the curiosity of a couple of girls nearby.
  • The Cameo: Chica, a dog who appeared regularly in previous TruTV show South Beach Tow, makes a cameo in a challenge that sees Sal and Q working at a pet store. Though not specifically mentioned for her role in South Beach Tow, they do call her by name and refer to her as a "production mascot".
    Sal: For a small fee, you could put her (Chica) down
  • Candid Camera Prank: The Jokers have to make fools of themselves in public while hidden cameras record people's unsuspecting reactions.
  • The Cast Show Off: Sal is a surprisingly good singer!
  • Catchphrase: After Joe rode the top of the Roosevelt Island tram and yelled "Suck It" with a pelvic action, the phrase and action occurred in following episodes.
    • "Up your ass and to the left!" This is the answer given if someone asks any of the Jokers for directions.
  • Cats Are Mean: Benjamin Cat, a man in a black cat mascot suit, whose only objective during his appearances is to terrorize Sal. The character is directly inspired by Q's cat of the same name.
  • Character Aged with the Actor/Divergent Character Evolution: Q and Sal sport facial hair from season two onward, and Murr's hairline continues to recede. Around the time he gets married, Joe's hair starts to go gray. His bald spot has also grown larger as the years have passed, and by the start of Season 8, he stopped gelling his hair into spikes. Q's hair and beard have also started going gray, and after he has his long hair shaved off to make Murr's wig, he has more or less kept his hair short. On the other hand, Sal has let his hair grow to about the length that Q used to have his.
    • In one of the first episodes in which Murr was made to wear the wig made from Q's hair, he notes that the wig has quite a few gray strands and remarks that he's surprised that Q never thought about dying his hair. Q responds that he didn't want to fight the natural aging process.
    • In early season episodes, Murr would wear glasses occasionally, but he began wearing them much more frequently starting in Season 7, and, by the following season, he is wearing glasses full-time. Sal has worn glasses off and on during the series run, and though he wears them more frequently in later seasons, he has not yet graduated to donning them full-time.
  • The Charmer: Sal, hands down. With a smile and some smooth talk, he has gotten people to let down their guard and go along with him when the other Jokers have failed.
  • Clip Show: Has had three already, one in the middle of season one, and two in the first four episodes of season two.
  • Clucking Funny: One of Sal's punishments has him rounding up a bunch of chickens as his father watched.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    Joe: "With a f*** f*** here and a f*** f*** there, here a f***, there a f***, everywhere a f*** f***."
  • Continuity Nod: In the episode "The Truth Hurts," Murr was hooked up to a lie detector and forced to admit he had a crush on his Spanish teacher, Senora Lanza. When Joe and Sal get punished in "Enter The Dragons," they have to pose as a rock group that Murr has dubbed Senora Lanza.
  • Continuity Porn: The Nitro Circus special. The challenges were fan favorites (with the last one being a combination of the Wheel of Doom and "Now!"), most of the guys came out in outfits referencing past punishments for the obstacle course, and two of the obstacles alluded to past moments in the show. For an unintentional extra nod, Joey Fatone pitch-hit for Q once again.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: This happens to the loser(s) if they lose a challenge. They range from Murr being forced to skydive, Q being covered with tarantulas, Joe's house being entirely gift-wrapped from the inside, to Sal being forced to watch his sister get married to Murr.
  • Corpsing: invoked Naturally, the guys very often completely break down laughing at the others' antics during a challenge, at least Once an Episode by this point. Some of the challenges, like Laugh Man Standing, Now You See Me, and Cranjis McBasketball, invoke this specifically; whoever corpses the most times loses, or, in the case of Laugh Man Standing, whoever laughs is out of the game until there is only one Joker remaining.
    • Sal is, by far, the worst offender here; it doesn't take much to have him falling to the floor doubled over laughing. This has been lampshaded In-Universe by the guys multiple times over the course of the series.
  • Cringe Comedy: The entire show, although it's often turned Up to Eleven during the punishment rounds at the end of every episode. Perhaps the biggest one is when Q refused to paint a giant red X on a canvas during a parent-child art class, and since he was the Joker with the most losses that episode, his punishment was to draw red X's on all the canvases. It's telling that this episode closes with production revealing the show to the kids and parents, which is normally restricted to bonus content.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Joe vs. Byamba, world champion sumo wrestler. It goes exactly as one would expect, even with Byamba holding back.
  • Death Glare: Though this happens often enough when the guys say something truly insulting, nothing reached the levels of the Klepto Buffet.
    • Sal shoots Joe one after the reveal of his Jaden Smith tattoo.
  • Depraved Kids Book Author: In "Scarytales", Q has to pretend to be a children's book author with a story called "The Remarkable Misadventures of Q the Dung Beetle," which the other three wrote for him. The story starts off fairly normally, but rapidly devolves into depictions of swearing, alcoholism, marital problems, and prostitution.
  • Dodgy Toupee: Towards the end of Season 6, Q voluntarily had his long hair shaved off and made into a wig that Murr was made to wear for the rest of the season.
  • Dragged into Drag: Often part of a punishment.
    • Happens to Murr twice during his punishment in "Kill the Centaur".
    • Happens to Joe in three separate punishments: "Bellydancer", "Dog Days of Bummer" and "Fe-Mail".
    • In the opening of the British Invasion special, Q is dressed as Queen Elizabeth.
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    • Q seemed to feel this way about Murr's punishment in "Browbeaten". His body language and remarks suggest pretty strongly that he was not finding it nearly as amusing as Joe and Sal were, and he even said that he would quit the show if it was being done to him.
    • In Joe, Murr, and Sal's firefighter training punishment, Q made Joe put an axe through an image of either his wife, Bessy, or then-toddler daughter, Milana. Joe chose to chop through the picture of Milana, and, as he repeatedly swung the axe, he alternately screamed apologies to her and raged at Q for forcing him into making the choice in the first place.
    • Having developed an appreciation for having had long hair until he had it sheared off in Season 6, Q protested loudly when Murr, during his turn in the "Security Breach" challenge of Season 9’s "Smashing Success," cut off half of producer Stephen Hopper’s ponytail, as part of the latter's "firing."
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first episode had more narration, left out the word "lifelong" from the opening crawl, and genuinely attempted to build up the suspense about who the big loser at the end of the episode would be. It wore off over time (especially with the truTV previews that actually do reveal who the loser is) and currently there is little to no narration except to introduce the show, recap scores, and announce the big loser(s).
    • The first couple of seasons would regularly include short clips of the Jokers walking around and cracking jokes between challenges.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo:
    • Sal has an unfortunate one from a heavier time that keeps cropping up as Employee of the Year, or a background picture to a photo booth.
    • The picture of a younger, hairy-chested Murr wearing nothing but his favorite blanket first appeared in the punishment of "A Charity Case" and has been exploitable ever since.
  • Epic Fail: When Murr has to quit his "job" at the zoo because of the penguin drama, he's supposed to get the crowd to cheer for him. Unfortunately, he completely alienates the crowd by yelling at the penguins that they came to see, as the other Jokers realize. And then Murr makes it worse by yelling at the crowd.
    Murr: (to the penguins) Everything in the world is not black and white! Save the drama for your penguin mama!
    Q: He expects to win the crowd over by berating cute little animals?
    Sal: He's going in the complete wrong direction!
    [...]
    Murr: It's people like you are the reason this penguin drama goes on and on and on! I'm feeding them fish! YOU'RE FEEDING THEIR EGOS!
    Sal He's now berating them! The whole point is to get people to cheer for him!
  • Establishing Character Moment: The entire first episode is this for all four Jokers, but especially the White Castle challenge (since it's the very first), establishing the Jokers' playing strategies and willingness to say lines to strangers, as well as their individual traits, such as Sal's germaphobia and Joe's Fearless Fool status.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Murr will ask someone on their way to a memorial service, "who kicked the bucket?", but he and the others have a hard time being outright degrading to women.
    • The boys have no problem saying stupid and embarrassing things, but will usually refuse to outright insult people to their faces, especially if the comment involves the person's looks, race or weight.
    • Any remark that comes a little too close to sexually inappropriate, such as hitting on the mark or making a comment about their body, will most likely get a refusal as well.
  • Everyone Hates Mimes: Q, who thinks mimes are creepy, once had to spend 24 hours chained to one. The Montage shows Q slowly breaking down because the actor refuses to break character. Once the punishment was over, the mime walked off after saying a farewell.
  • Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Parodied in Joe's "Fe-Mail" punishment after he delivers a presentation while dressed as a woman.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Murr once played a zoo worker who quits because he's tired of all the "penguin drama." He fails to get anyone to sympathize with him.
    • In the opening of the zoo challenge in "Enter the Dragons," a very happy Q is holding a penguin.
  • Evolving Credits: Seasons 1 and 2 have simple intros with a narrator who has a deep voice, but Season 3 gives us a more polished and unique intro credits now that the show has had time to develop a following and recognizable gags with a new narrator with a more energetic voice.
    • A new credits sequence was revealed in the sneak preview episode after Joe’s departure from the show, which featured short montages of the three remaining Jokers from past seasons, the neon-styled font from Impractical Jokers: Dinner Party, and introduction of the episode’s special guest.
  • Exact Words: In one episode, the guys are specifically tasked to "prevent people from going into a bathroom" which they had just come out of; when questioned, the excuse was to be provided by the other Jokers. After the first turn (Murr), the Jokers quickly found out that people evidently did not really want to hear the excuse and were content to simply heed the Joker and walk away. Sal used this to his advantage, but was not amused by the other Jokers exploiting this new loophole, allowing them to win effortlessly.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • In the "Dartboard of Destiny" challenge, Joe hit a "Joker's Choice" space when it was his turn. He picked "Baby Talk a Guy", and only a second later did Q point out that $50 was one of the options.
    • Sal not noticing that his picture was on every wedge of a "Wheel of Faces" segment. Twice!
    • At least one fan of the show has failed to realize that he's talking to at least one of the jokers.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Once when the Jokers used the "Wheel of Faces" (one Joker shoots the wheel, and whichever Joker's face they hit has to complete a task), they brought out a version of the wheel where every face was replaced with Sal's. It twice succeeded in assigning Sal to tasks before he noticed he was played, with the first time being when he was the one taking the shot.
  • Fake Charity: In the "Charity Cases" challenge, the Jokers have to persuade people to give money to a made-up charity with an obviously ridiculous name, including "Handjobs Across America," "Get That Kid Out Of That Well," "Kolonics for Kids", and "Surprise Funeral." To everyone's astonishment, Murr managed to get a donation for a charity literally named "Fake Charity."
  • Fearless Fool: Joe almost never backs down from anything, no matter how dangerous it is or how stupid it makes him look. The most notable exception is when he was challenged to kiss an actress, hired by the other Jokers, in a mall food court. Joe realizes that he's in trouble when his wife, Bessy, shows up, sits next to the actress, and says that he can kiss the actress, but he'll be sleeping on the couch if he does. He leans in, then suddenly turns to Bessy and kisses her instead.
  • Flanderization: The punishments originally focused more on humiliation, but over time it's gotten to where they cause more physical harm and come off as pure torment, such as forcing Murr to get a prostate exam for no reason other than because it's funny.
  • Flat "What": When Q "gives birth"
  • Four-Man Band:
  • Forced Meme: In-Universe, Joe mimes slipping backwards on a wet floor, while making exaggerated hand gestures and yelling "Whoa! Whoa!". He does this no less than three times, then tries to have the rest of the Jokers do it. Sal just gets more annoyed every time.
    Joe: "It's sweeping the nation!"
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Joe is choleric, Q is melancholic, Sal is phlegmatic and Murr is sanguine.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: The show goes out of the way to avert this in group challenges, by making sure each Joker is paired off with all the others at various points.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": Murr and Sal once laughed until they cried at a funeral because someone's phone went off and their ringtone was "The Exorcist" theme. Whose funeral was it? Joe's grandmother's.
  • Fun with Homophones:During a challenge, Murr will sometimes say that he can't have children because he's barren — except that "barren" refers to a woman who can bear children; a man who can't procreate is "sterile". On one occasion, he covers by claiming that he actually said "baron" — as in, he's actually royalty.
  • Gag Haircut: For all four in the first season. Joe got a mullet; Q, bright red curls; Murr, shaved except for a tuft in front; and Sal, whose haircut is basically two bleached horns.
    • Murr gets one as a punishment in Season 5, where he gets his head and eyebrows shaved. To make things worse, the guys were to leave for London the next day to shoot an episode, and Murr was to sponsor his nephew's confirmation two weeks later. Taken Up to Eleven when the guys make him go take a new driver's license picture.
    • The following season, Q voluntarily had his head shaved; his hair was then made into a wig that Murr was made to wear for the remainder of the season. Again taken Up to Eleven when Murr is made to wear the wig when he gets a new passport photo taken.
      Murr: Stop screwing with my travel!
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: The mission was to get people to comment on bogus news stories in Times Square, and when approached two women commented "We don't speak English." It was promptly lampshaded.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: During the "What's the Scoop?" challenge, Q tries to "loophole" his way to victory by dumping his entire bowl of mashed potatoes onto a diner's plate. This backfires hugely when the guys tell Q that the challenge was how many scoops one could dish out, not how much of the volume of the bowl was served. Q loses the challenge since his emptying the bowl all at once counted as just one scoop.
    • In the "Laugh Man Standing" challenge in episode "Flatfoot the Pirate," Sal has a lady leave her toddler with Murr to make him laugh, but it's Sal who ultimately cracks up and loses. Bonus points to Murr for himself adding a baby to the mix.
    • Murr himself falls victim to this in a subsequent "Laugh Man Standing" challenge when he has Rob Emmer dress up as the Kool-Aid Man to try to make Q and Joe laugh. Rob botches his appearance, which causes Murr to break and leave the room riding his Modobag.
      • Earlier in the same episode, Sal has a pizza delivered to him under the name Tanka Jahari. He hadn't bargained on Joe actually calling him Tanka, which broke him.
  • Honest John's Dealership: The intro to the car lot challenge invokes this, as does Q's entire outfit and demeanor.
  • Honor Before Reason: In "Browbeaten", Murr asked a police officer to donate to the fake charity "Serious Shit". She put a dollar in the cup, then she talked about her motherhood raising two college-aged kids and having three more at home. Murr poured some money out of the cup to give to her, which negated his win.note 
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: Parodied after Q beats up a paper-bag puppet, then has a "My God, What Have I Done?" moment and tries to resuscitate it.
    Q: (giving the puppet mouth-to-mouth) Come back to me!
  • Humiliation Conga: Some of the punishments essentially play out like this (the "Murr-athon" being a good example).
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: When Murr is in the park and has to hide from an elderly actress dressed like a nun.
    Q: I've always wanted to say this: Send in the nun!
  • I'll Kill You!:
    • On two occasions, Q threatened the other Jokers with this during a punishment: the first after teaching sex education to his parents and the second during his tarantula punishment. Q also says "I'm gonna kill you" to the cowboy who drags him behind a horse during his rodeo punishment.
    • Sal threatened to kill Murr twice in the punishment where his sister Jenna and Murr got married, not including this Implied Death Threat.
      Sal: (to Jenna) You're gonna be a widow soon.
  • Incessant Music Madness: Q's "Drive, Drive, Drive" punishment has him making food deliveries in a car with several puppets dancing to the same music over and over again.
    Drive, drive, drive, drive, drive
    It feels so good (So good!)
    To be alive (Alive!)
    Are we there yet? No!
    Are we there yet? No!
    Well then it's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Let's...
    repeat ad infinitum
  • Incest Subtext: Invoked with the jingle for the "Sister Tracker", especially given the "Sister in the shower" bit.
  • Instant-Win Condition: The "Did I Deserve That?" challenge involves an actor throwing a cup of water at one of the Jokers, who is posing as the clerk at a convenience store. The Joker must then convince a customer that he didn't deserve getting the water thrown at him. The first time this challenge was played, the actor that was to splash Q completely bypassed him and threw his water at the wrong person. The actor had been told that his target was someone "with a hat and beard" (a bearded Q was wearing one of his signature newsboy caps that day), and the hapless crew member who took the hit just happened to also have a hat and beard. After the actor realized his mistake, the other Jokers decided to give Q the win on the spot.
    • The Wheel of Doom has an "Instant Win" space. The "Receive $20 From Each Joker" space also qualifies.
  • Irony: One episode has Joe explain that he wanted to take karate lessons when he was younger, but his mother wouldn’t let him because she feared that he would get into a fight and get his nose broken. Some time after that, Joe got into a fight and, because he was unable to defend himself, got his nose broken.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Q in the "Eat and Run" challenge uses this approach and it works.
  • Jerks Use Body Spray: An episode had a variation with a "Joker vs. Joker" challenge between Sal and Q in which each one presents a new (fictional) fragrance to a panel. Sal's fragrance was called "Eau Ver Compensate," a play on "overcompensate," which Q understood right away, but Sal did not (he persists in mispronouncing it, even after Q points out the word play). The packaging featured an overconfident looking guy kneeling in front of a sports car. The "Inside Jokes" version states that the art department was asked to use the "douchiest" looking stock photo they could find.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Such as in this clip, Sal faking not speaking English well is some sort of weird Italian-esque gibberish. Joe also puts on this kind of act when he pretends to be a Funny Foreigner.
  • Kick the Dog: A lot of challenges descend into Schadenfreude if a Joker is having a bad time and somebody among them finds a way to make it worse.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • What people who felt sorry for Murr during "Human Pinata" and Sal during the Garbage Barge punishment when Joe sent him to voicemail felt finally happened to Joe at the end of "Dog Days of Bummer".
    • The same people who felt sorry for Murr at the end of "Look Out Below" cheered when this happened to Joe again in "The Great Escape" and Sal in "Field of Screams".
    • Sal and Q get hockey pucks slung at them in their punishment in "Deal With the Devils". They get very direct payback at the end of the "British Invasion" episode, where they subject Joe and Murr to the same punishment, only with soccer balls.
    • After having tarantulas put on him and being embarrassed in a play in front of his firefighter friends in back-to-back punishments near the end of season 5, Q got the rest of the guys back in a triple punishment by forcing each of them to undergo a part of firefighter training.
    • Q immediately follows THAT during the episode "Catastrophe" when it's Sal's punishment by basically repeating the tarantula punishment, but with Sal's biggest fear; cats! Sal is actually MORE scared than Q was, and is not only sweating up a storm, but crying by the end of the punishment.
    • The season 2 episode "The Alliance" has Sal, Joe, and Murr form the titular alliance in the final challenge to vote Q into taking the challenge repeatedly. Eventually, Q suspects that something's afoot and demands that if he succeeds one last time, the other three automatically lose the episode. They agree, and no points for guessing what happens next.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Usually, on a losing statement, the guys will just substitute a line or refuse to do an action, but occasionally they'll drop hints of something being up (a notable one in particular when Joe was working as a hot dog vendor and challenged to make a wife joke). Other times they'll make references to "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" after winning or losing a challenge, incorporating the passers-by involved in the game.
    • Joe will occasionally sing the last four notes of the show's theme song for emphasis.
  • Look Behind You: Part of Murr's strategy in the Klepto Buffet is to tell a guy a tree almost fell in the parking lot. It worked.
  • Lost in the Maize: One of Sal's punishments required him to navigate such a maze. Obstacles included a little girl, a scarecrow, a pile of manure, and Benjamin Cat.
  • Lying on a Hillside: Parodied when the jokers are in the park watching the clouds, and Q says that a cloud looks like Murr's mom.
  • Manchild:
    • Hilariously, Q was told to be this as an Ikea salesman, wearing pajamas over his uniform, lugging around an oversized stuffed monkey, and asking a customer to read him a bedtime story. Made funnier when the customer continues to treat Q as a legitimate employee, even after all of the above.
    • Season One had an unaired challenge (shown in Season Two's "The Stoop Sessions, Part 2") where each Joker had to beg a toy store customer to buy them a toy. If the customer refused, the Joker would throw a temper tantrum until the customer either left the store or capitulated. The only one to win that challenge was Murr, who got his mark to buy him a rubber ducky.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Murr isn't the best of the four at most of the challenges, but it seems like he can get people to do almost anything.
  • Megaphone Gag: The series did this at least twice. The gag consisted of one Joker taking a turn holding a megaphone linked to a wireless microphone, and the other three Jokers saying some bizarre phrases at passersby.
  • Men Don't Cry: Inverted in a challenge that had Sal teaching his "daughter" (played by recurring child actress Ashyer Gibbons) that it's not okay for men to cry. This immediately draws the attention of an elderly Navy veteran, who says that, of course, it's okay for men to cry. The other Jokers acknowledge the man's military service as confirmation of his masculinity and, therefore, do not dispute him.
    Q: I love that he's a Vietnam vet, so you can't even discount him as, like, not manly. He's, like, more manly than anybody else in this park.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Joe as a horoscope reader, culminating in somersaults and cartwheels.
  • Mirror Reveal: The four guys all got a Gag Haircut punishment at the end of Season One, when the stylist turned the barber chair towards the mirror. Joe, who hates having long hair, was revealed to have been given a sparkly mullet. Q, who sports wavy black hair, was revealed to have bright red curly locks like Little Orphan Annie. Sal's head was shaved down the middle, and the hair in the front of his head was bleached. Murr was given the hairstyle of a Munchkinland resident.
  • Mistaken for Fake Hair: One of Murr's punishments had him trying to find someone wearing a toupee in a crowded restaurant. His method of doing this was tugging on people's hair, which led to immense discomfort to Murr and the other Jokers.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile:
    • Murr almost got into hot water by asking if two school children were over 18note  right in front of a police officer. He needed to blow his cover and lose the challenge (and eventually the episode) in order to avoid getting in trouble.
    • Apparently not by the actual parents/guardians of the children involved (since they obviously signed releases that allowed their children's faces to be shown on tape), but Q having massaged a young boy's shoulders at the mall and skipped hand in hand with a little girl at the supermarket could qualify for people not aware of the show or its nature.
      Sal: [while watching Q skipping down a supermarket aisle with a little girl] WHERE ARE YOUR PARENTS?!
    • In a challenge where the Jokers were supposed to “fall in love” with random strangers in the park, Joe had the bad luck to pick two successive people who turned out to be underage. He immediately declares a loss for himself for the entire scene, for fear of looking like an ever bigger creep if he kept trying.
  • Mistaken for Prostitute: Played for Comedy in the episode "Scarytales". Q's punishment is to portray a children's book author and present his latest book to a group of children and their parents. The book, written by the other Jokers, is called "The Remarkable Misadventures of Q the Dung Beetle," and features a fight between Q the Dung Beetle and his wife, who storms out of the house. The final scene of the book is Q the Dung Beetle driving up to a female dung beetle prostitute and asking her, "How much?" Q's reaction?
    Q: Even dung beetles need companionship.
  • Mistaken for Racist: "Stripteased" has a very unfortunate moment for poor Murr. Q reads his Twitter posts aloud in the middle of a crowded cafeteria, which only annoys him at first until Q adds in that Murr said he wants to bring back segregation. While Murr desperately tries to defend himself, a black girl recognizes him and asks for his autograph, so Murr tells her to sit back down so that his cover's not blown. Q can't resist pointing out the Unfortunate Implications of telling a black person to sit down in her own place.
  • Mister Seahorse: A very funny variant; as a punishment, Q, who is obviously incapable of becoming pregnant, was forced to go through simulated labor pains. What's worse, he's doing it in a room full of pregnant women who were expecting a Lamaze class, but instead got him experiencing the worst part of the process: delivery. Hilarity Ensues as Q succumbs to shouting out loud, "Get this demon baby out of me!" in front of them while busting apart a nearby divider screen.
    Q: (after "giving birth") Now comes the hard part: what to name it.
  • Monster Clown: Q has to be a clown in his punishment on "Smushed." His make-up job doesn't cover his beard and he isn't a great entertainer, so the kids treat him just like they would any terrifying clown. They scream at him from the start, boo at him, complain that he's a bad clown, and even hit him when he's face first in the cake.
  • Mythology Gag: In one "get the guy to housesit for you" challenge, Sal was forced to explain away a baby sitting in the middle of "his" bedroom with a jug of milk. This is actually a reference to "The Do's and Don'ts of Parenting," one of the comedy sketches the Tenderloins did back in 2007.
  • Naked People Are Funny:
    • The basic premise of the punishment in "Strip High Five." Joe and Murr, the two losers, must get a high-five from passersby or remove an article of clothing for every high five that they fail to pick up. Both Jokers are stripped to their boxers before Murr ultimately loses and ends up naked in front of the dozens of people who have gathered to watch the spectacle.
    • Joe is the first to be shown naked during Sal's Joker home invasion punishment in "Sweat the Small Things," first writhing on the couch, then doing jumping jacks in full view from Sal's bedroom window. Q and Murr join Joe in the window, pelvic thrusting in their birthday suits, to the horror of Sal's neighbors.
    • Murr becomes a victim of this trope once again in "Not Safe for Work," where he poses as a nude model.
    • It's also used successfully twice during the Now You See Me challenge in "Joker's Playhouse".
    • Another Murr punishment features him in a sauna with several very large towel-clad men. Suddenly, the Electric Slide is announced, and all the men gather to start the dance, waving Murr into the middle of the group. Hilarity Ensues when the music starts and the towels drop.
  • Narrating the Obvious: In a punishment where Sal has to climb into the trunk of an unsuspecting driver, said driver whacks Sal with a baguette when he's discovered. Sal deadpans "You're hitting me with a loaf of bread right now."
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Q's punishment in the Miami episode had him having to wrestle what (he thought) was his backpack off the back of a live, 7-foot alligator.
  • Non Standard Game Over:
    • In the second episode, the Jokers competed to pay as little as possible for a cup of yogurt with the loser being the one who paid the most. When it was Joe's turn, the cashier got fed up with his "sampling" and kicked him out of the store. The other jokers counted this as a disqualification, giving him the loss.
    • In "Do Something to My Face", Joe feels he cannot convince a stranger to protest with him. Q defies Joe, betting he can get a stranger to protest with him while holding Joe's "Wash It After" sign. Joe loses and gets the punishment, despite Murr having lost the most challenges.
    • In the Texas special, the last challenge was Murr taking commands with the blinding glasses. He was told to say "You look like you remember the Alamo" to an elderly couple, and Q was so sure that Murr wouldn't say it that he would take the loss for the whole episode if he did. Murr did, causing him to lose instantly while Murr was in last place. Sal and Joe even called him out for making a needless bet when Murr was going to lose no matter what he did anyway.
    • In the episode "Tooth and Consequences", the last challenge of the episode was to get a selfie with a stranger. Before it could even get started, Murr had a front tooth fall out. He refused to play the challenge, and the loss caused him to lose the whole episode instantly. The challenge then became Murr's punishment on the spot, where he had to get multiple selfies with a tooth missing.
    • In "The Alliance", the final challenge was one where the task was selected by lottery, and the players could vote on who would have to do it. Every single time, Q was voted to play. When he learned that the other three conspired to have him do every one (which he succeeded), and when a particularly difficult challenge came up (up-zip someone's pants zipper), he cut a deal with them: if he pulls it off, all three of them lose the whole show (it was a three-way tie for last that included Q at that point). He one-ups them by unbuttoning someone's jeans, which allowed Q to put them through his own punishment: a quiz about him on the precipice of a waterfall, where wrong answers put them one step closer to the edge.
    • In "Water Torture", the challenge was to protect someone after a child actor squirts them with a water gun, then insult the person. Sal (who had already received a thumbs down in another challenge) was the first one up. The kid ends up making so many mistakes, and they have to shoot so many multiple takes that Sal starts to get annoyed. Joe comes up with the idea that since Sal already has 1 thumbs down while the rest of them don't have any, they should just make this Sal's punishment! They then tell the kid to deliberately mess up each time until Sal basically can't take it anymore and storms off the set before the other 3 reveal what they'd done.
    • In "Remember the Pact", Murr would lose if the other three did not get a thumbs down so they made a pact to make Murr lose, everytime the joker doing the challenge would get a difficult task, they would say "Remember the Pact", at the end, they told Murr about the pact.
    • In "Prince + Charming", Murr was the first to go in the "Dating Disaster" challenge. He asked someone on a scale of 1 to 10 to rate his dating profile and got an answer of negative 10. The other Jokers instantly gave him the loss since the score was so bad.
  • Noodle Incident: How did Q's tooth get so jarred? All we know is that it involves a German police officer punching him in the face...note 
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Joe's common trick of "nosing" (touching his nose to someone without them noticing) is a variant, although sometimes they're just challenged to get as close as possible.
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: In the season one episode where the guys have to ask people to donate to a fake charity, Q notices a man that is not wearing a shirt under his jacket, and asks him to donate money to his "charity." Not appreciating Q's humor, the guy threatens to kill everyone in the neighborhood if the charity turns out to be fake, and says he'll go looking for him. Q refuses the money for the sake of the safety of the people living in the area.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In one punishment, Sal was made to walk through a cornfield maze at daybreak, which he was told was full of booby traps and jump scares. The other three remarked how they left much of the beginning of the maze empty just to freak him out more.
  • Off the Rails: In "Pulling the Rug," Murr is planted in a crowded restaurant and find a specific patron wearing a wig. Things don't go to plan when Murr finds the wig but fails to recognize it as such, giving the other three an opportunity to keep him out there longer.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • After losing an episode, Murr gets dressed as a pinata and hit with bats by the other Jokers until candy comes out. Unfortunately for Murr, they decide to bring in a ringer: Joe's brother-in-law, a muscular man who wasn't exactly pleased about Murr groping his wife, Joe's sister, during a raunchy political correctness video on a previous episode. Murray is understandably terrified when they hand him a bat and let him give a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner before going to town.
    • Murr had an epic one after being told he has to jump out of a plane. A series of rapid fire no's follows, accompanied by Murr running away while frantically stripping off his jumpsuit.
    • Joe had a pretty epic one in "Pseudo-Sumo" when he realized he had to fight 300-pound sumo wrestler Byamba.
    • Q had one at the beginning of his punishment in 'Spider-Man' when he found out that the thing he fears the most — spiders — were going to be put all over him while he's shackled to the floor.
    • Q had a particularly painful one after refusing to draw an X on a child's canvas in "X-Man," costing him the episode and leading to him being forced to draw an X on all eight canvases in the room.
      Q: Oof, I think I'm just gonna draw a red X on my head, you know what I'm saying?
      Joe: Oh, that's interesting because we just checked the scoreboard, buddy. You lost this episode.
      Murr: Aaah!
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Implied by Q when Joe starts singing "Scoopski Potatoes" during the mashed potato challenge at Redd's.
    Q: Whenever he makes up words, I get scared.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Q and Murr.note  Downplayed in that they regularly go by their full names when conversing with strangers.
  • Opinion Flip Flop: In Q's sheriff punishment, he boasts "I'm the sheriff of an awesome town." After he gets his ass kicked at a saloon, he comments "This town sucks!"
  • Panty Thief:
    • Murr's very first punishment was to go in to a laundromat, steal other people's underwear, and, ultimately, wear it on his head. It did not go unnoticed.
    • In "Strip High Five", Joe runs off with Murr's clothes except his underwear.
    • In a Housesitters challenge, Q and mark walk up to a drone stealing Q's underwear.
  • Pie in the Face: The first time was delivered to Sal at the end of his "Butterfly Crime Scene" punishment. Since then, Joe has put his face into a tiramisu during their first bakery challenge and took a pie to the face during the "Do Something To My Face" punishment, and Q took a pie to the face at the end of a game played during the second cruise and had his face shoved into a cake at the end of his "Smushed" punishment.
    • With all the indignities that he's suffered over the nine seasons of the series thus far, it's almost surprising that Murr has yet to been the recipient of such.
  • The Pig-Pen: Sloppy Joe, an overweight, shirtless man with a habit of chugging milk jugs and spilling it onto everyone, is a character that tends to pop up in punishments where the loser gets dirty.
  • Pizza Boy Special Delivery: Doesn't happen in-show, but is referenced in Sal's past as a delivery boy, having a door answered by a topless woman.
  • Pop-Up Trivia: In 2016, a set of reruns with added production trivia started airing as Inside Jokes. Since they're old episodes, they tend to spoil the losers immediately.
  • Potty Emergency: Poor Q, having to beg for anti-diarrhea medicine to be poured directly into this mouth.
  • Potty Failure: One of Sal's punishments involved being locked in a room with strangers and the only way out was to pee his pants in front of them all.note 
  • Prank Punishment: Every episode ends with the Jokers pulling a grandiose prank, called a punishment, on whichever Joker lost the most challenges in that episode. These punishments often place the losing Joker in awkward public situations, and are sometimes tailored to each Joker's specific fears.
  • Precision F-Strike: Countless times, although the "f" words are bleeped out, of course.
  • Precious Puppy:
    • In a first season episode, all four Jokers are holding very cute puppies as they talk about having to do or say what they're told in a pet store specializing in puppies.
    • Joe's dogs appear from time to time.
  • Press X to Die:
    • A recurring challenge puts one Joker in a mobile scooter at the mercy of the other three who are controlling it. The Joker loses if he disables the scooter or says "I'm sorry."
    • Lampshaded in a different challenge where three of the jokers control an RC car with the fourth having a fake remote while not being allowed to apologize as the RC car zipped around. When it was Murr's turn, the other Jokers used the car to send an invitation to a man minding his own business at the park. Murr got to read the note, said "I'm sorry", and he realized his mistake immediately afterward.
      Murr: I suck at this.
      • During Sal's turn in the same challenge, the Jokers steered the RC car into the street. When trying to retrieve the car, he almost got hit by a taxi, whose driver honked at him. Instinctively, Sal turned and screamed, "I'm sorry!" to the taxi driver, securing his loss.
  • Product Placement:
    • Happens pretty obviously with Kellogg's Granola Crunch in one challenge.
    • Happens in season two with Dairy Queen.
    • In some episodes, the start of a commercial break has a special mini-challenge segment centered around a sponsored product, such as Cheez-It and Fiat. The challenges are otherwise identical to the normal ones, but they're not part of the episode proper.
    • Many challenges take place at chain restaurants, most notably White Castle (see Incoming Ham above).
    • Three episodes were shot entirely at Universal Studios; two in Orlando, and one in Hollywood.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The 'WHEEL! OF! DOOM! intros.
  • Pungeon Master: The narrator pretty much always makes at least one pun when announcing the results of each game.
  • Punny Name: Consistently used in the "Cranjis McBasketball" game. note 
    • Disfatt Bidge. note 
    • Juanita Indacaboosa. note 
    • Eetwont Flush note 
    • Dadood Frumcheers. note 
    • Meaningful Punny Name with Simmy Kantstandyourbitz note . The name is a pun of Simmy Kustanowitz, the Vice President of Development & Original Programming for truTV.
  • Pyrrhic Victory:
    • For a debate challenge, Murr and Q have to make a girl choose which one of the two she thought was uglier. Q won the challenge but did not feel happy about it.
    Q (sounding defeated): Well, I won that one.
    Murr (sounding ecstatic): No, I won that one.
    • One challenge had a Joker allowing the others to use his cell phone and confer with a stranger to approve an action being done with it. When it was Murr's turn, he said didn't want a message being sent to his ex-girlfriend only for Joe send it anyway. Murr sprinted over to confront Joe who contested that it was an accident due to the phone's touchscreen. Once the dust cleared, Murr declared that he won the challenge. Probably a good thing, because Murr would been involved in a double punishment with Sal if Joe didn't send the text.
  • Real Joke Name: During Q's turn in a "Cranjis McBasketball" challenge, one of the guests in the waiting room answered to the name "The One-And-Only Egg Montoya"; the gentleman's name really was Eric Montoya, and he explained how his friends had nicknamed him "Egg." The guys were flabbergasted, but did not award Q any extra points.
    Q: [upon learning that Eric Montoya's friends had nicknamed him "Egg"] Did I just win?
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The punishment of Brother-in-Loss involved Murr getting married to Sal's sister Jenna as Sal was forced to watch while tied up to a dolly. They even went as far as showing them signing the marriage license and only referring to Jenna as "Sal's sister". Sal, of course, threatened death upon Murr the entire time and was gagged with duct tape before he was able to object.
  • Reconstruction: Of the Candid Camera Prank show. The genre had fallen out of favor due to being seen as unkind to the random people who were secretly filmed while pranksters made fools of them. Impractical Jokers preserves the gimmick of covertly filming random people's reactions to pranks, but with the important distinction that the Jokers themselves are the butts of the jokes, and people's unscripted reactions just confirm that the guys have successfully made fools of themselves.
  • Red Herring: It's not uncommon for the guys to mislead each other during challenges or punishments that involve locating something or someone. To name one example, when Q is forced to locate a dirty diaper in a kids' playground, the other Jokers eventually imply that the diaper in question doesn't actually belong to one of the children. Q takes this to mean that he has to check an old woman who happens to be present, but it turns out that this was the Red Herring; the diaper actually did belong to one of the kids.
  • Red Herring Twist: An epic version came during Q's punishment at the end of Season 9 episode "Moist Richard"; Q was made to believe that his punishment was to host an impromptu podcast, which included getting raked over the coals by a caller (played by Q's friend Bryan Johnson, who actually does host a podcast with him). Partway through, the other Jokers revealed that the fake podcast was merely misdirection, causing Q to hurry home to find that the other Jokers had cleaned out his closet and donated all of his clothes to charity in their names!
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • Most commonly seen in the "Don't I Know You?" challenges, the most outrageous claims (such as Murr getting molested by an octopus) get usually nothing worse than polite confusion.
    • One challenge required the Jokers to pile as many scoops of mashed potatoes as they could onto people's plates until they protested. Sal just nonchalantly scooped potatoes onto the plates and managed five before having to admit that he didn't work at the restaurant, ending his attempt. Murr tried distracting the diners, but only managed two before they told him to get lost. Q dumped the entire bowl onto one diner's plate — but it only counted as one. Joe, on the other hand, performed a made-up song and dance called "Scoopski Potatoes" while pulling off ten — more scoops than the others combined — just because the diners were laughing too hard to protest.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Joe has a pet dog named Cannoli, who is without a doubt one of the cutest things you ever saw! Later episodes show Joe's other dogs, all of whom are just as cute.
    • He's now up to 5 impossibly adorable dogs, all of whom were featured in the challenge "Watch Joe's Dog" (one of the dogs died not long after the first of these was filmed, and Joe got two more dogs before the second iteration of the challenge).
  • Rod-and-Reel Repurposed: One challenge has the Jokers attempt to grab bags in a mall with a comically oversized fishing hook.
  • Rule of Funny: When Murr has to be a ring girl at a professional boxing match, he's given a Princess Leia costume consisting of the slave girl bikini and cinnamon bun style wig. The other Jokers comment that they know the hairstyle doesn't match the costume, but they think it's funnier this way.
  • Running Gag:
    • If there's someone to be called for offscreen, it's Larry. As well as Irene, Dalton, and the mysterious gangster Santiago.
    • Sal and Murr's embarrassing pictures.
    • Joe "nosing" someone.
    • Sal and Q using the aliases "Ja'Crispy" and "Tony Gunk" respectively.
    • Murr claiming to have "a foolproof plan" for winning a challenge (and then have said plan fail phenomenally).
    • Jaden Smith.
    • Whenever someone asks the Jokers for directions, more often than not, the response they're forced to give will be "Up your ass and to the left".
    • Cranjis McBasketball, which usually comes up during iterations of the challenge "The Name Game."
    • The Jokers are often told to flirt with women by asking if they've ever seen Hamilton. This is because Murr is a big fan of the production.
    • Sal's flat feet are joked about on a regular basis.
    • If Sal endures a punishment designed to provoke his fears, it will involve cats, little girls, and sick people, and a good chance that Benjamin Cat will show up at the end.
    • Joe pretending to be a silly foreigner.
    • Gary Busey showing up for shenanigans of his own.
    • Joe slapping Sal whenever the latter is wearing blackout glasses.
  • Scatting: Joe did this during the "Klepto Buffet" challenge, which was referenced in a later clip show.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: In one episode, after a lot of false starts with a child actor who was supposed to cue in for a challenge involving Sal, Joe came up with the idea of just abandoning the challenge and turning it into a punishment for Sal (who was the only one on the Loser Board anyway). Murr asks if that's against the rules, to which Q replies, "What rules? We make the rules!"
  • Security Blanket: Murr has one made by his grandmother that he still sleeps with, and even admitted that he will cuddle with it after sex.
    • In the "Inside Jokes" episode that mentions behind the scenes facts about Murr's Flashmob punishment, where a Mola Ram Expy throws his blanket into a fire, it mentions that two copies of the blankie were made. Once the Flash mob disassembles, the other guys reassure Murr that they burned a copy, Joe takes out the "real" blankie as proof, and throws it into the fire. Murr later found the actual blankie safe and sound at home, which he tweeted to relieve fans, and on After Party, production showed that his true blankie remained safe and sound.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • When they were trying to talk Murr into jumping out of a plane, despite the fact that he's terrified, Sal reminds him that they made a pact a long time ago that they would never back out of a punishment. How soon we forget the infamous Human Pinata episode when Joe DID back out of a punishment, Sal? Coincidentally, Murr took the entire punishment in that as well!
    • Though Joe actually did take the punishment in "Do Something To My Face," had Joe not made the bet with Q, Murr would have have been the one to take the punishment because he would have had the most losses no matter what.
      • Actually, Joe volunteered to take the loss for the whole episode if Q was able to get someone to march with him while holding the "Wash It After" sign. Murr never uttered a word either way and was the simply the lucky benefactor of Q's success.
      • This was the second time Murr escaped punishment when he was about to lose the episode. The one time before came in "Bigger in Texas"; Q, convinced that Murr wouldn't ask an elderly couple if they remembered the Alamo, volunteered to take the loss if Murr did actually say the line. No points for guessing what happened next.
  • Shirtless Scene: Happens a few times in the show, especially with Joe.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the "Dino-mite" challenge, Q and Sal are dressed as John Hammond and Alan Grant from Jurassic Park. Joe and Murr are also both wearing different outfits from the Indiana Jones films.
    • In another challenge, the guys were using voice-altering technology and made references to Taken
      Q: Give me back my son!
      Joe: You're about to be taken.
      • Taken is referenced twice more, with Murr having to tell a woman that she's about to be taken, and one of the descriptions Sal is told to repeat in a round of "Have You Seen My Wife?" is that his wife "played the villain in Taken".
      • Thrice now, as Murr himself was taken as the punishment in "Lady and the Tramp."
    • In the episode "Indecent Proposal" Sal's punishment consisted of him posing as a dance instructor, and going around the room asking people if they would allow them to sleep with their partner in exchange for money, much like in the movie of the same name. The punishment ends when after receiving no takers, he flashes a Briefcase Full of Money, and tells people that they missed out on a huge sum of cash.
    • One of the punny names Murr had to read in the Cranjis McBasketball game was "Albie Darforyu".
  • Situational Sexuality:
    • Q did this in an episode during a round of "Have You Seen My Wife?" where he decides instead he's going to ask passers-by if they've seen his husband.
      Joe: He has a great set of tits!
    • Sal poses as Joe's husband during the "Vehicular Manslaughter" challenge in "Bidder Loser".
      • Murr played Joe's husband in a challenge as well, where they had a passer-by settle a debate about what race the child they'd be adopting should be.
  • Sixth Ranger: Invoked with the "Fifth Joker" challenge. Joey Fatone could also be seen as this.
  • Sore Loser: Sal didn't take getting caught cheating in a "Repeat After Me" challenge well. The other jokers took away his win when they determined him saying "It's fun to say" was illegal. Sal told them they were "full of shit" and later said he didn't want to do the challenge again after Joe won.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Defied in the punishment where Sal's sister and Murr get married. Immediately after the minister says "If anyone here objects...", Joe puts duct tape on Sal's mouth. Sal's muffled shouts were in vain, as neither the Jokers nor the minister claim to hear him objecting.
  • Special Guest:
    • Q finally meets his long lost twin Rosie O'Donnell when the guys get her to appear during one of his punishments. Rosie, ever the good sport, even dressed like Q for the bit.
    • One episode had Q call in *NSYNC star Joey Fatone to take his place during a challenge at a restaurant. He aced everything the guys threw at him.
      • Joey covered for Q again during the Nitro Circus special when Q was medically unable to do the obstacle course for his charity of choice. To the surprise of everyone, Joey made second place.
      • A later episode took place at a hot dog chain owned by Joey, who once again joined in on the fun.
      • And now Joey hosts the Impractical Jokers After-Party segments after the show.
    • Imagine Dragons were featured in a punishment for Joe and Sal, where they had to perform as the opening act for a concert in a venue packed with over 14,000 people... without actually knowing how to play instruments.
    • Another one is Danica McKellar, Murr's childhood crush who he was tricked into interviewing wearing only a speedonote .
      • She returned in a later episode to help Murr recreate the incident in reverse during a "Don't Laugh" challenge.
    • The live punishment special was hosted by comedian Howie Mandel.
    • Murr surprised everyone during a "don't laugh" challenge by bringing in Gary Busey, who portrayed a hulked-out Murr in a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario.
      • Like Fatone, Gary has since become a recurring guest on the show.
    • Matthew Lewis filled in for Sal on a challenge in "Universal Appeal". Like Joey, he succeeded.
  • Speed Dating: One of Q's punishments has him attending a speed-dating event with a pair of large turkey legs attached to his wrists — and he can't leave until he's eaten both of them. When he's finished, he's very nauseated from eating so much turkey at once.
  • Spit Take: Q does this upon hearing the name "Chinese Name" being called during a receptionist name-calling challenge Murr plays.
  • Stag Party: For one of Joe's punishments, the guys tell him that he has to jump out of a cake at a bachelorette party. It turns out to be a Bait-and-Switch, however, and he jumps out in front of a gathering of elderly war veterans.
  • Straight Man: Joe can do just about any task while maintaining composure. Lampshaded on many occasions.
  • Subverted Catchphrase: Recent episodes extend "If You Refuse, You Lose", to the likes of "If You Refuse To Do Or Say What You're Told, You Lose" among others.
  • Taking a Third Option:
    • During the "Hot Potato" challenge of the episode "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", Murr and Sal are passing a propane tank back and forth, trying not to be the one holding it when the lady between them gets up to leave. However, at one point the lady winds up holding it, and both Murr and Sal leave, making the game a draw with no losers (Murr was nice enough to let her have the bag Sal brought it in).
    • In the "Toy Vey!" challenge from "No Child Left Behind", Sal and Murr create toys for each other to pitch to a focus group. Sal gets one hand raised for Heather the Cookie Monster for Girls and Murr gets one hand for Grandpa Whoopsie. The third person in the group refuses to pick either toy, so the challenge is declared a draw with both Jokers getting the win.
  • Technobabble: In one challenge, Joe advocates for a holiday called "Reverse Hyperkinetic Particle Matrix Awareness Sunday". Naturally, nobody has any idea what the hell that means, including the jokers themselves.
  • The Talk:
    • In one punishment, Q had to give a lecture about the birds and the bees to a class full of students ...only to find out that he was lied to, and he instead has to give the lecture to his parents.
    • In another episode, Q is an office worker who has to give the talk to everyone who comes in, each time starting with "When a man loves a woman..." and mentioning that the woman has a "socket".
  • The Teetotaler:
    • Sal has to be somewhat of one in his liquor sample punishment on the episode "You're Cut Off".
    • Joe revealed he is one during a nightclub challenge and in the episode set in New Orleans when he refused to drink a Hurricane during another challengenote .
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
    • "Welcome to White Castle, bitch."
    • "Make it rain, bitch!"
    • "We're in London, bitches!”
    • “Aloha, bitch.”
    • "BOOM! I got your nose, bitch!"
  • This Is Gonna Suck: A frequent reaction during punishments when the joker being punished realizes what he's in for.
  • Toilet Humour: Shows up occasionally, but nothing reaches the level of Joe's punishment of opening up a public bathroom door while on the can, and asking for a little help with his paper shortage emergency.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Doughnuts for Joe and soup for Murr.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • Thanks, TruTV, it's not like anyone minds being spoiled on who the loser is by a commercial airing during the episode.
    • Season 2 part 2 has been the worse so far in this category. They blatantly show who the loser is and what their punishment is right in the preview of at the beginning of the each episode. In the first two seasons they would at least blur out their faces so as not to give it away...but they're not even bothering keeping it a secret anymore.
    • Particularly egregious in "Not Safe For Work" commercials, where they prominently show Murr acting as a nude model, which is quite obviously the episode's punishment.
      • Right at the first ep of Season 2 part 3- Enter The Dragons- the entire week showed commercials for the show with Sal and Joe playing drums and guitar during a rock concert...and by the time the episode aired that very scene was blurred when the narrator mentioned tonight's losers. Generally, this means that they've removed the in-episode spoiling, but seriously, unless you haven't seen TruTv or paid any attention to the commercials all week, you KNOW who the losers are and what their punishment is!
    • The blur effect doesn't even work that well some of the time.
    • The episode "Catastrophe" has the punishment where a certain joker is chained to the floor and people put cats all over them. The title suggests this, and the preview shows it. If you know the Jokers well, it's blatantly obvious who the loser is.
    • One episode involves the loser being the leader of a breakdance crew, despite not being able to breakdance. They do a good job of blurring the loser...but neglect to blur the shirts of the crew, which have the loser's name clearly emblazoned on it.
    • Inside Jokes doesn't even try to hide who the big loser is, outright spoiling it with a Spoiler Alert at the beginning of each episode.
    Note: Spoiler alert: It's [joker(s) being punished]!
  • Trash the Set: In one of Joe's punishments, which is set during an Arabian Nights play, he is dressed up as a genie whose flying movements are controlled by cables, so he naturally ends up knocking down the entire set during acts 1 and 3. He's even told to punch a wall at one point.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: The point of one challenge: Sal had to make an annoying noise, Q had to ask a pretty woman to pop a pimple on his back, Murr had to act as though he was having a Potty Emergency...
  • Undesirable Prize: Double Subverted in one of Murr's punishments where he played against a boy named Jake on a game show. If Jake got a question that Murr missed, he got to take anything he wanted from Murr's apartment. Instead of his flat screen televisions or video gaming equipment, Jake took the following items from Murr: his shower head, his front door handle, his bedding and his Georgetown University diploma. It was later revealed that the other jokers influenced Jake on these decisions because they knew each one would hit Murr pretty hard, particularly the Georgetown diploma. At the end of the punishment, Jake got an Xbox 360 signed by all four of the jokers.
  • Unishment: The jokers have mentioned on numerous occasions that Joe is the hardest of the lot to punish because he has little shame. He looks like he's enjoying at least half of his punishments.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A lot of what they do is highly unusual but is barely batted an eye at. One of the reasons it works is because most of what they do is done in New York.
  • Urine Trouble: Sal at the beginning of the challenge "Puppy Pushers".
    Sal: The guy who worked here told me in 30 years, he's got peed on twice. I'm not even five minutes 'til it pissed all over me. (the other Jokers laugh) I got pissed on... (holds up puppy) ...by that.
    • This is literally the title of a Season 8 episode in which Sal's punishment is to pretend that he's been stung by a jellyfish and must ask random beachgoers to urinate on his injury. He ultimately has no takers, so the other guys send in a barbershop quartet who "serenade" Sal with a tune referencing his loss and punishment before one of the singers actually does pee on him.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Sal and Murr get on each others nerves a lot, making fans question if they hate each other. Sal and Murr are actually great friends and have said that they play up the arguing for the show.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot:
    • Q laughs so hard at Murr's punishment in "Not Safe For Work" that he ends up puking in a bucket, with only his back and germophobic Sal trying to escape.
    • Sal had to drink pool water as part of a challenge, which lead to him going back to where the other guys were after drinking it and throwing up in the garbage in the back.
    • In the episode "Stare Master", it happens again during Murr's turn at a Kid Copycat challenge, where the Jokers tell a child assigned to the Joker to do something, which the Joker has to copy. The challenges they have Murr and the child assigned to him do are so funny that it causes Q to throw up for the 2nd time, but he ducks behind a tree to do so. Afterwards he accidentally spits in the face of germophobic Sal, and HE proceeds to throw up.
    • Both Sal and Q end up vomiting again after Q drinks from a glass of water with dollar bills in it in "Statue of Limitations." All it took for Sal was HEARING Q start to throw up and he began to retch.
      Q: (sounding miserable) The watah tasted like dollahs...
    • In one punishment, Sal drank breast milk that had been left out in the sun for a few hours. He promptly threw it up.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Q as of season two has taken to wearing an American flag scarf.
  • When It All Began: How the four came to be -in comic form!
  • Wham Line: Whenever three of the jokers say, "WEEEELLLLLLLLLL" note  such as in Murr's skydiving punishment.
  • Wham Shot: A few times. Such as Q's father appearing during a White Castle tip challenge.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Q catches a lot of flak for the art class punishment after painting red X'es on all the canvases, even after the nature of the show is revealed.
    Little Girl: If you do this, I'll never forgive you.
    (after Q paints an X on her canvas)
    Little Girl: There's no words to describe how much I don't like you right now.
    Q: I don't like me either.
    (after everyone learns that they're on the show)
    Little girl: I still hate you!
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Some people who hear the strange names during the Cranjis McBasketball challenges have this reaction. Murr was asked this after reading the name "Wicked Fot", to which he replied "Mr. and Mrs. Fot".
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Sal is not only a germaphobe, but is also terrified of cats. Naturally, the other jokers are all too willing to exploit this.
      • Actually, if the episode 'Ruffled Feathers' is any indication, he seems to be scared of almost ALL animals, from hawks to lizards! Though it might have more to do with the fact he didn't didn't have proper training for handling the more dangerous animals (which Q hints at via a Don't Try This at Home warning to the crowd).
      • He can also list the number of times that he's been scared of little girls (the corn maze, the VR room, etc).
    • Murr has a deathly fear of heights, which is taken to dizzying new levels when he is forced to jump out of a plane!
    • Murr also has a phobia of sharks, and sure enough wound up spending some time in an open water shark cage.
    • Q has a severe case of arachnophobia, as was shown in "Spider-Man".
    • The most literal version is Indiana Murr's punishment in "Prince + Charming", where he has to charm a fake snake by playing a flute while sitting in a pit of REAL snakes.
  • With Due Respect: One challenge requires the Jokers to say "No disrespect..." and follow it up with something disrespectful.
  • With Friends Like These...: The punishments might make viewers question if these guys can really be good friends, but they really are the best of friends.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: One of Murr's punishments was taking part in the mock game show Is Murr Smarter than a Young Child Student Between 4th and 6th Grade?
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Joe's fictional boy band "The Yoloboyz (with a Z on the end)". Their motto is "Hey! Do it, but do it with a Z!" In another episode, Joe and Murr pitch "Safe Dogz" (live dogs that are capable of storing one's valuables).
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Q is told to speak this way at White Castle and belts out "GOOD MORROW, SIRE, AND WELCOME TO THE CASTLE OF WHITE! WHAT IST THOU CRAVING?"
  • You Didn't Ask: Q had to be kept in a zoo exhibit as a punishment with the rule being that he must stay until the other jokers unlock the gate. They never told Q that the gate wasn't even locked... which Q found out the hard way when he called Joe late that night.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: One of Sal's punishments was having to save his nieces from one that took place underground.

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