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Games Done Quick is a semiannual charity marathon, hosted by Speed Demos Archive and Speedruns Live. Inspired by The Speed Gamers, GDQ aim to raise as much money as possible for their charity of choice by bringing in speedrunners from around the world and playing games non-stop in shifts over the course of several days. Viewers are offered incentives for donations that range from deciding a runner's choices in a game to entry into raffles for video game memorabilia. Throughout the experience, there is usually always a donation reader (again, working in shifts) that fills lulls with messages from donators and supporters as well as news regarding goals and incentives.

There are two primary marathons - Awesome Games Done Quick in early January and Summer Games Done Quick in late June or early July - plus a number of one-off special marathons held at current organizers Games Done Quick, LLC's discretion. The games scheduled are often an eclectic mix; it's common for an NES platformer with an estimated run time of ten to thirty minutes to be aired several hours prior to an epic RPG with an estimate of five hours, for example. The events also feature several consistent blocks of games that have appeared in multiple marathons, including blocks focused on either a console, franchise, or a specific theme, Awful Games Done Quick (a stream of games widely considered as terrible or So Bad, It's Good), and Silly Games Done Quick (back-to-back Widget Series in a format similar to Awful Games, but with games of varying quality and the silliness and hilarity turned Up to Eleven). It's also not uncommon to see variants on typical speedruns; multi-runner races, blindfolded runs, one-handed runs, and two-player-one-controller sessions up the excitement immensely.

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To date, the following marathons have been held:

    List of Marathons 
  • 1-3 January 2010: Classic Games Done Quick - $10,531.64 raised for CARE
    • Of some note is the story behind CGDQ: It was supposed to happen at MAGFest, a large convention for music and gaming. And then it turned out that the hotel didn't have the Internet connection required, so the organizers, at the last minute, moved the event to Mike Uyama's mother's basement. (Uyama was one of the organizers, and his mother lived in the same area that MAGFest took place that year.)
  • 6-11 January 2011: Awesome Games Done Quick 2011 - $52,519.83 raised for the Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • 7-10 April 2011: Japan Relief Done Quick - $25,800.33 raised for Doctors Without Borders
  • 4-6 August 2011: Summer Games Done Quick 2011 - $21,396.76 raised for the Organization for Autism Research
  • 4-9 January 2012: Awesome Games Done Quick 2012 - $149,044.99 raised for the Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • 24-28 May 2012: Summer Games Done Quick 2012 - $46,278.99 raised for the Organization for Autism Research
  • 6-12 January 2013: Awesome Games Done Quick 2013 - $448,423.27 raised for the Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • 25-30 July 2013: Summer Games Done Quick 2013 - $257,181.07 raised for Doctors Without Borders
  • 5-11 January 2014: Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 - $1,031,665.50 raised for the Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • 22-28 June 2014: Summer Games Done Quick 2014 - $718,235.07 raised for Doctors Without Borders
  • 4-10 January 2015: Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 - $1,576,085.00 raised for the Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • 26 July - 1 August 2015: Summer Games Done Quick 2015 - $1,215,601.49 raised for Doctors Without Borders
  • 3-10 January 2016: Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 - $1,216,304.02 raised for the Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • 3-9 July 2016: Summer Games Done Quick 2016 - $1,301,654.48 raised for Doctors Without Borders
  • 8-15 January 2017: Awesome Games Done Quick 2017 - $2,215,040.31 raised for Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • 2-9 July 2017: Summer Games Done Quick 2017 - $1,778,400.20 raised for Doctors Without Borders
  • 1-3 September 2017: Harvey Relief Done Quick - $227,876.53 raised for Houston Food Bank
  • 7-14 January 2018: Awesome Games Done Quick 2018 - $2,261,823.19 raised for Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • 24-30 June 2018: Summer Games Done Quick 2018 - $2,123,885 raised for Doctors Without Borders
  • 26-28 October 2018: Games Done Quick Express 2018 - $139,879 raised for TwitchCon Charity Plaza
  • 7-14 January 2019: Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 - $2,394,788 raised for Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • 23-30 June 2019: Summer Games Done Quick 2019 - $3,003,889 raised for Doctors Without Borders
  • 27-29 September 2019: Games Done Quick Express 2019 - $152,227 raised for the AbleGamers Foundation
  • 5-12 January 2020: Awesome Games Done Quick 2020 - $3,131,475 raised for Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • 17-19 April 2020: Corona Relief Done Quick - $400,609.60 raised for Direct Relief
  • 16-23 August 2020 note : Summer Games Done Quick 2020 Online note  - $2,308,922.84 raised for Doctors Without Borders
  • 3-10 January 2021: Awesome Games Done Quick 2021 Online note  - $2,758,847 raised for Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • 4-11 July 2021: Summer Games Done Quick 2021 Online note  - $2,897,704 raised for Doctors Without Borders
  • 9-16 January 2022: Awesome Games Done Quick 2022 Online note  - $3,416,729 raised for Prevent Cancer Foundation
  • 26 June - 3 July 2022 : Summer Games Done Quick 2022 - Pending, will support Doctors Without Borders

When a Games Done Quick marathon is active, you can find the stream, schedule, donation info, and other such information at the Games Done Quick website. You can also find the stream directly at the SDA Twitch page. Speedrunner (and marathon coordinator) UraniumAnchor uploads highlight reels and behind-the-scenes footage to his own channel, and there are a number of YouTube channels for archive footage:

  • Speed Demos Archive, the original official channel, started out showcasing segmented speedruns. It has archives of every event from Classic Games Done Quick to AGDQ 2014. The archives are rather messy, though - the earliest marathons have segmented playlists dedicated to each individual game, and the only marathons having all-encompassing playlists are SGDQ 2013 and AGDQ 2014. Due to the creation of the Games Done Quick channel, this is now considered an unofficial channel.
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  • Games Done Quick, the current official channel, archives every marathon from SGDQ 2014 onwards.
  • Speed Marathon Archive, an unaffiliated channel, has archives for SGDQ 2014 and AGDQ 2015. It originally had uploads from SGDQ 2015 as well, but they've been removed.

Direct links to official uploads of all GDQ runs can be found on GDQ VODs.

In addition to the main events, Games Done Quick hosts Frost Fatales and Frame Fatales, smaller-scale winter and summer marathons that take place weeks after the end of AGDQ and SGDQ respectively. These marathons focus on women and operate on a similar weekly structure to the main GDQ marathons, albeit with 12-hours-per-day schedules instead of the full 24-hour schedules.

Starting in 2018, Games Done Quick began The GDQ Hotfix, originally composed of miscellaneous one-off speedrunning events held between marathons before being reorganized into a regularly-scheduled collection of speedrunning-themed shows that air between major events. Scheduled events on Hotfix include:

    Hotfix Shows 
  • AIMBOT: This show features speedruns of first-person shooter games.
  • Awfully Silly: Much like "Silly Block" or "Awful Block" in a regular marathon, this show features speedruns of games that are considered weird or bad.
  • The Bargain Bin: Hosted by Midnight_Vesper, this show features speedruns for games that cost $20 USD or less.
  • Challenger Approaching: Hosted by adef, this show features runs (not necessarily speedruns) that involve some sort of Challenge Run.
  • Community Spotlight: Hosted by Raelcun, this show features speedruns submitted for demonstration by the community and voted for by fans via Twitter.
  • The First Step: Hosted by Jhobz and Keizaron, this show is designed to demonstrate the low barrier to entry for speedrunning by having the two hosts compete head-to-head in a "semi-blind" speedrunnote  where they are tasked with either beating the game (for short games) or achieving some sort of objective within 4 hours (for longer games).
  • Games Done Classic: Hosted by LattMackey, this show features iconic speedruns and speedrun moments from past Games Done Quick marathons and interviews with their runners and couch.
  • Going Places: This show features speedruns for portable or foreign games.
  • How to Train a Speedrunner: This show features a runner giving a basic tutorial on how to speedrun specific games.
  • It's Dangerous to Go Alone!: This show features speedruns of co-op or multiplayer games.
  • Legally Cute: This show features speedruns of "cute" games.
  • Mercy Kill: Hosted by Skybliz, this show features runners attempting to speedrun games that they have not played in a while and racing against their personal best runs and a (gratuitous) estimate.
  • Never Before Seen: Hosted by AmberCyprian, this show features speedruns or Challenge Runs that have not yet been featured in a main Games Done Quick event or marathon.
  • No Category Left Behind: Hosted by nukkular_reaction, this show features "category extension" speedruns, which are speedruns of categories that require completing specific goals rather than just beating the game.
  • PB Precipice: Essentially the opposite of Mercy Kill, this show features a runner close to beating their own personal best on a speedrun and racing against their best time.
  • Random Number Generation: Hosted by Skybliz, this show features speedruns of various types of randomizers.
  • Speed Seasons 3: Hosted by AmberCyprian, this show features an open-entry speedrunning tournament. A single bracket plays out over multiple episodes.
  • Speedruns From the Crypt: Hosted by Ecdycis, this show features speedruns of horror games.
  • Super Boss Brothers: This show features two speedrunners competing in a gauntlet of randomized, bite-sized speedrunning-themed challenges and seeing who comes out on top.
  • Game Masters: Hosted by ogNdrahciR, this show features runs from speedrunners who are particularly well-versed in the game or a specific run category.
  • Testing Grounds: Hosted by ogNdrahciR, this show features speedruns for games that are relatively recent at the time of recording.
  • That's Never Happened Before: Hosted by Kungfufruitcup, this show features glitch and trick exhibitions for various games.
  • Time Capsule: Hosted by SmoothOperative, this show features speedruns for a game or games themed around a specific release year.
  • Tina's RPG Show, I Guess?!: Hosted by the (titular) tinahacks, this show features speedruns for various RPGs.
  • What's Faster?: This show features two runners racing each other in completely unrelated games with roughly similar speedrun estimates.
  • Miscellaneous events are still held every once in a while, prefaced with GDQ Hotfix Presents, and follow their own event-specific formats.

For the European and Japanese equivalents, check out the European Speedster Assembly and RTA in Japan respectively. For a related event also done by Speed Demos Archive, check out RPG Limit Break (formerly Crystals For Life), which focuses solely on speedrunning RPGs with all proceeds going toward the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). While RPG Limit Break is a once a year event, it also hosts smaller "for fun" events throughout the year.


Games Done Quick events typically contain the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Villainy: In AGDQ 2021's run of Ultima VI, the Avatar is Lord Blackthorn.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Invoked during AGDQ 2021's Ultima VI: The False Prophet run where the runners and commentators call Lord British a tyrant, and even kill Lord British.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Runners are allowed to use "safe" strategies to avoid things that could result in the game crashing, soft-locking, or otherwise cause a massive loss in time that could kill the run.
  • Arc Number: AGDQ 2022 Online had the number 2 as a recurring motif in the titles of the games featured in the marathon.
  • Audience Participation: At the AGDQ 2022 run of Discworld, runner Mindez invites the Twitch chat to chant "JAGEGA!" to summon the dragon as the Brotherhood does in-game.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • "This game isn't broken at all...", followed by the runner exploiting a ridiculous/hilarious glitch. The Sonic games especially are notorious for this. TenShotsTV played with this in his I Wanna Be the Guy run in AGDQ 2014, where he built up the fake Windows error message built into the game as a potential run-ending glitch (after earlier having died to Mike Tyson because of Windows device driver pop-ups).
    • Other common Blatant Lies include "Very technical boss", "Frame-perfect trick", "First try", "Most important trick in the game", and similar stuff.
    • Some runners will claim that, if they mess something up or get hit, it's "manipulating RNG for later"... though occasionally, this actually is the case.
    • The phrase "Deep lore" is jokingly reserved for games that fall into Excuse Plot or No Plot? No Problem!.
  • Bookends:
    • The AGDQ 2016 Majora's Mask run more or less starts with them visiting Anju's grandmother and listening to her story so they can skip forward a day. Near the very end, they visit her again to get two of the remaining few Heart Pieces. And the last Heart Piece they get that isn't on the Moon is the very first one they saw, but utilized a glitch to avoid (so they could more easily do a death warp later on), in front of the door to the top of the clock tower.
    • AGDQ 2022 plays a very brief clip of the pre-show once the credits end, in a nod to the "Groundhog Day" Loop gags present throughout the marathon.
  • Born Unlucky: The Random Number God really seems to hate Keizaron. A worryingly high percentage of his runs end up with him going over estimate because of sheer bad luck (albeit that most of these are in the Awful Games block). The most spectacular instance was an Animorphs: Save the Animals run where terrible RNG kept him on level 1 for 23 minutes (when he later restarts the game, he manages to finish 3 levels in near that amount of time).
  • Brick Joke: About halfway through the Mario Kart 64 run in AGDQ 2014, a donation read-off asks for everyone to shout "LEEROY!", to which they comply. At the very end during the credits, a second donation references this one, admonishing them because "there wasn't a single 'Jenkins'" and asking for closure on that.
  • The Cameo: Sometimes game developers and Let's Players donate during the event.
  • Canon Discontinuity: SGDQ 2015's Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back run has become this, due to the runner's commentary. So far, it's been the only run they've completely skipped over uploading.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: medibot, who played Yoshi's Cookie in ADGQ 2014 for the Global Yoshi's Cookie League. His attitude ends up rubbing off on everyone else, leading to some very weird conversations and donations.
  • Companion Cube: Plushies were often found lying on the sofa or in the hands of someone in the crowd. They're usually treated affectionately by the runners and the stream chat alike. This is best demonstrated by the infamous fire alarm cat rescuer. This was stopped around AGDQ 2014, though, due to rule changes - but they still adorn the interview table and are given out as donation prizes.
  • Dance Party Ending:
    • The Splatoon 2 run at AGDQ 2018 attempted to have one of these, not helped by the fact the runner's gyro sensor went nuts any time they tried to join in. note  When the runner returned a year later to play Octo Expansion, he made it very clear that he wasn't going to try it again.
    • The DanceRush Stardom showcase at SGDQ 2021 Online ends with runner Eijiken and his crew jumping onto the game's mat one-by-one to dance to the song Crazy Shuffle.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of the runners tend to show shades of this, but special mention goes to runners such as Breakdown, Duke Bilgewater, M1_Account and tminator64.
  • Demoted to Extra: After several marathons of being staples at GDQ, Summer Games Done Quick 2020 Online would lack dedicated Mega Man or TASbot blocks. Instead, each category received only one run. Both blocks returned to some extent in Awesome Games Done Quick 2021 Online, only to be Demoted once more for Summer Games Done Quick 2021 Online and Awesome Games Done Quick 2022 Online by making the Mega Man runs take place on different days and having only one TAS run in each marathon that were completely disconnected from TASbot as a whole.
  • Downer Ending: Sometimes, thankfully not often, runs may come to an abrupt end due to game-breaking glitches or even technical difficulties. On fewer occasions the runner is unable to finish inside the estimate time, like werster during his Pokémon Gold and Silver glitch manipulation run.
    • The 2014 The Binding of Isaac run ended with the runner dying on True Final Boss Isaac. (It was a Judas run.)
    • Keizarion's HeartGold run at SGDQ 2017 ended on a self-Mercy Kill after he failed to beat Red twice due to bad luck. Though he wasn't too cut up about it, as he felt he was there to demonstrate, not break records.
    • Keizarion runs tend to go over estimate in general, although it usually happens when he runs games in the awful block. When he ran Animorphs: Shattered Reality at AGDQ 2018, he ran over estimate because he phased through a platform for no reason. His reputation for this got to the point that the SGDQ 2019 run of Pokémon Crystal was submitted with a estimate of 3:30:00, but got 25 minutes added to it by GDQ just to be on the safe side. (The run's time ended up being 3:31:15.)
    • The Enter the Gungeon run by teddyras saw the return of the Streamer's Curse, with the relentlessly cruel RNG dispensing one of the worst possible scenarios, one that no amount of skill could get the runner through. The organizers allowed him to try again, only for the RNG to dispense another terrible combination that resulted in him dying on the Final Boss despite excellent play because the game simply never gave him the tools to fight it.
    • NeoKad's run of Power Blade for SGDQ 2020 Online was off to a rocky start before technical issues caused by the shift to an online format (in particular, the runner's internet cutting out at the worst time) forced the run to be aborted.
    • JP_Xinnam and PulseEffect's Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen run was a smooth-sailing trip, but the reliance on Save Scumming on tougher trainers got the best of PulseEffect when he, with only his Charizard, reached Lance and spent five minutes defeating Gyarados due to a type and level disadvantage. Afterwards, PulseEffect starts a battle with Blue only to have his Charizard faint immediately to Pidgeot, forcing another reset. When he loads his save, he's sent back to Lance and loses ample time trying to defeat him once again. By the time he makes it to Blue, he's five minutes over estimate and meets his end to the hands of Blue's Blastoise, putting an end to the run.
    • Omnigamer accidentally discovered a new soft-lock in the second-to-last stage of Metal Warriors, forcing his run to end early.
    • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories race between Keizaron and skybilz at AGDQ 2022, with the latter established as the victor minutes prior, Keizaron took the loss in the race gracefully and forfeited his run after getting a Game Over against the final six, knowing he would go over estimate if he tried again.
  • Drunk with Power: Joked about during the Final Fantasy VI run at SGDQ 2018. When Sumichu came on stage to sing, everyone on the couch spontaneously moved aside to give her a seat.
    Sumichu: You don't have to do that! (Beat) I'm enforcement though, can't I tell you to, like, move over?
  • DVD Commentary:
  • Dwindling Party: Usually happens during multi-person races. It depends on the game, but usually happens during the Super Metroid race.
    • During the Super Metroid run in SGDQ 2016, 3 of the 4 runners had died, starting with Sweetnumb, then Zoast, and then OatsnGoats, at the Final Boss! Luckily, Behemoth87, the underdog of the race, was able to finish, in amazing fashion.
    • The ridiculous 8-person note  Tetris: The Grand Master race at SGDQ 2017, which saw half the pack reach GM and the rest drop out.
    • When Tetris: The Grand Master returned with a four person race on the final day of AGDQ 2022, only one of the four runners was able to achieve GM, and none of them were able to get the secret GM grade as part of the incentive.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The setup for Classic Games Done Quick was much more amateurish, being completely done in event founder Mike Uyama's basement, and it was less family-friendly than what they do now.
    • The lineup for Classic Games Done Quick consisted almost entirely of NES, SNES, and Genesis games. The only post-1996 games featured were Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997) and Metroid: Zero Mission (2004). The lineup of games was also exclusively console games, unlike later marathons that provide a blend of PC and console games (PC being preferred for multiplatform releases due to reduced loading times and improved performance).
    • Classic Games Done Quick did not have an onscreen timer, nor were runs precisely timed; all finishing times were estimates. Modern events include a timer that is visible at all times and is precisely started and stopped at the runner's commands.
    • The first few runs at Classic Games Done Quick didn't even have a commentary track, due to technical difficulties.
    • Mike Uyama himself ran ten games at CGDQ, and fewer than 20 runners attended in total. Nowadays, there are over one hundred runners per marathon and each runner only runs one game each marathon, rarely two, and even more rarely three.
    • SGDQ 2011 and 2012 had 3- and 4-day schedules, was hosted at Essentia's house, and they raised money for the Organization for Autism Research. All subsequent Summer events from SGDQ 2013 onwards have week-long schedules and raise money for Doctors Without Borders.
    • Before around 2014 when the event started getting big sponsorship endorsements and switched to a family friendly image, the staff were generally alright with swearing, as demonstrated by nobody even telling Werster off for saying something very racist in exchange for a $1,000 donation, when these days that would immediately get him permabanned.
    • Before AGDQ 2015, there was no onscreen counter showing how much money had been raised for charity.
  • Epic Fail:
    • The run of Halo: Combat Evolved from AGDQ 2011, which started the "Halo Rule" for future events. The runner finished almost 23 minutes after the estimate time. Then it was found out that in 2006, said runner faked a no-death speedrun of Halo 2 just so he could get into the Guinness Book of World Records.
    • The AGDQ 2014 Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones run, which was so bad that the Halo Rule was renamed for it. By the time the run was ended by marathon staff, the runner was 27 minutes over estimate with two missions to go. Although to be fair, the only reason it bombed so badly was due to bad RNG.
    • The Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back run during SGDQ 2015 was a complete and utter clusterfuck. Runner gamepro11 had already completed a run for Sonic Adventure DX earlier in the marathon, but he was still so nervous that he spent the entire Crash 2 run making poorly-received jokes about suicide and murder, with the run culminating in him soft-locking the game at the final boss right as he hit the estimated completion time. Saying the Twitch chat hated the guy is an understatement: the chat mod/admin had to set the word "cringe" to auto-censor because it was being spammed so much, and a good chunk of the chat hivemind reported the runner's Twitch channel en masse for "violating terms of service". The GDQ staff later banned him from the event, Twitch temporarily hit him with an IP ban, and SDA has deliberately skipped over the run while uploading the marathon to both their YouTube channel and to the Archive. The only way to even watch it is to either watch the VOD on Twitch or find one of the alt language re-streams that has uploaded the run to YouTube.
    • SGDQ 2016 surprisingly had a few:
      • The BioShock run ended with the runner, Blood_Thunder, accidentally ignoring the donation incentive. Due to reloading the game from the wrong backup save, he completed the run with the good ending. He did man up to his mistake and they showed the bad ending before he ran Wolfenstein: The New Order.
      • The runner for Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, Kythol, had one of the worst-received runs in the event. He set a $5,000 donation incentive for a pacifist run, made it, then completely ignored the fact that it was even met until closer to the end of the run. One of the developers even donated during the run and he never said anything. While he did end up donating for every unneeded kill he made, he only donated $1 per kill.
      • Shockingly, not one against the runner, even though the run was over estimate. Shortest explanation: the game in question was Pikmin, and the Epic Fail comes from YouTube. When the run was uploaded to YouTube, the video was automatically hit with an audio copyright claim, resulting in the audio for the entire run being muted. The mistake was later fixed.
    • A fail not by a runner but by a game comes in the form of Keizaron's infamous Animorphs run, which was possibly the greatest example of the Random Number God destroying a run that AGDQ has ever seen. RNG alone keeps Keizaron from beating the first level. When he restarts, the RNG starts acting normally, driving home how utterly catastrophic the first attempt was.
    • A combination of this and bad luck struck DragonFangs during the Metroid: Zero Mission race at SGDQ 2018 when he had to forfeit the race due to hardware failure: the GameCube he was playing on had a fan malfunction and overheated, causing it to shut down.
    • Not one but three instances of an NES crashing during the Super Mario Bros. 3 race between MitchFlowerPower and GrandPooBear during SGDQ 2018. The first instance happened early enough to allow Mitch to catch back up (as GPB waited for him). The second happened at the very end right as the two were one screen apart in Bowser's castle with Mitch having the chance to regain the lead due to having a Hammer Suit and GPB dropping his controller after dying, only for Mitch's NES to immediately crash again. This ended the race but both of them still had time to at least try to finish the game, with Mitch rebooting his console and using a wrong-warp (with the blessings of the GDQ staff, the audience, and his fellow runner) to skip directly to the credits, only for his console to crash a third time right as the credits were about to appear.
    • ViceroyOfMonteCristo's SGDQ 2019 run of Split/Second (2010) was one from a speedrunning standpoint. The runner was not used to such a large audience and his nerves showed as he forgot some tricks, couldn't pull off others, and never explained the rest, barely showcasing or even talking about the game at all. The run wound up resembling a casual playthrough rather than a speedrun, annoying a good portion of the viewers and some other runners of the game. The runner later apologized for the super-safe play and lack of game-related commentary on Reddit.
    • Notably subverted with TVGBadger's speedrun of Terraria during AGDQ 2020, which had all the elements of a truly epic fail on the game's part but turned into a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming and a beautifully wholesome disaster. The runner ran into a number of extremely rare bugs and disastrously bad RNG all in the same run, from bad timings on spawns to a Blood Moon at the worst possible time to items with a high drop rate just not dropping, culminating in an inexplicable bug where the next-to-last boss wouldn't spawn at all even with console commands, and the run had to be aborted. All throughout, though, the runner's endless optimism and positivity, the energy and support of the crowd and crew, and the runner's ability to poke fun at the unfolding disaster without getting agitated wound up making it one of the most popular, upbeat, well-received runs of the event.
  • Everything's Better with Plushies: Homemade and licensed video game plushes have gone up for grabs as donation incentives throughout the marathons.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: invoked During his AGDQ 2014 Super Empire Strikes Back run, Striker invokes this trope when he mentions the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
  • Finagle's Law: Several runs have encountered the worst possible RNG they could get, despite this never being a problem in countless practice runs before the show. Runners have described this phenomenon as "marathon luck", and during the Resident Evil 2 (Remake) run at SGDQ 2019 a strategy was described as always working except at GDQ.
  • Four Is Death: During the Super Metroid race in SGDQ 2015 between Zoast, David Clemens, Straevaras, and Oatsngoats, David died while fighting against Mother Brain. His time? 44 minutes and 44 seconds.
  • Game Mod: Some games are run with mods to add light QoL improvements in a marathon setting for speedrunning and/or personalized elements to reflect either the runner or Games Done Quick itself. Others are full blown ROM hacks to provide a much higher level of challenge than the original game, such as "Kaizo" Mario hacks (especially for Super Mario World) and "Randomized" Zelda hacks (including A Link to the Past: Randomizer).
  • Gone Horribly Right: Towards the end of AGDQ 2017's great Super Metroid 100% race, in response to the repeated Waluigi WAHs from the audience, one of the people near the couch took someone's live microphone and told audience members to stop... by telling them that they were cancer and that they should kill themselves by stepping in front of the hotel shuttle. He succeeded in stopping the WAHs...and also horrified everyone watching, to say nothing of overshadowing the race itself (which was too bad, as the race was great, the margin of victory being about 7 seconds).
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Due to the family-friendly nature of the events, they sometimes resort to this.
    UltraJMan: You mother-licking father-sucker.
    [laughter]
    spikevegeta: Keepin' it clean.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The main motif of AGDQ 2022 Online's pre-show and many of the daily Recap Episodes in a nod to Deathloop, one of the marathon's first runs. It even manages to sneak back into the finale.
  • Handicapped Badass:
    • Recurring runner Halfcoordinated has a medical condition that prevents him from using one of his hands. He doesn't let it stop him from crushing games.
    • There are also runs where the players play the game blindfolded, as shown in the header image.
  • I Let You Win: During the SGDQ 2019 Chrono Trigger run, the viewers came extremely close to meeting the final donation incentive when time ran out. In response, Puwexil started slightly sandbagging his run to give them an extra minute.
  • Large Ham: If the runner isn't a Deadpan Snarker as mentioned above, then they're probably this instead. Notable examples include Naegleria and ProfessorBroMan.
  • The Hyena: Whether CovertMuffin is present as a runner or as a couch commentator, he'll consistently pepper his commentary with laughter.
  • Mind Screw: Runs that make use of many glitches tend to result in a very confused audience, especially if they are memory-corruption glitches which have no visible correlation between cause and effect. Explanations by the runner don't always help. TASBot "runs" often end up literally reprogramming the game; one memorable case had the bot hack a normal Super Mario game into a simplified Super Mario Maker.
  • Motor Mouth: Argick commentated his own run of Sonic Mania with such unrelenting rapid-fire speed that the entire chat and several donations marveled at it, remarking that just hearing it made them feel caffeinated.
  • Not the Intended Use: Well, duh. It's speedruns. A few examples (out of many) include Link using bombs for mobility and playing Magic Music on a bottle and his hookshot in Ocarina of Time, using recycler bombs to wrench doors open in Prey (2017), hopping backwards in the Half-Life games for speed, and using tripmines as ladders.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Most runners are calm and lighthearted despite the challenge they face during the runs, so when they ask for moments of silence to focus - mostly known as "serious time" - something big is about to happen.
  • Overused Running Gag:
  • Passing the Torch: The four runners at the Tetris: The Grand Master race on the final day of AGDQ 2022 Online were entirely new faces to the TGM scene and were all inspired to run the game following the efforts and showcases of the TGM Crew from past marathons.
  • Precision F-Strike: Swearing is a no-go at the marathons, as they attempt to keep things family-friendly as best they can, so when you hear a heavy swear get dropped, you know something serious has happened.
  • Put on a Bus: TASbot would not appear in SGDQ 2021 Online and the TAS run of the marathon (Sonic Heroes) was showcased by Malleo and Tales98, the creators of the TAS, instead of dwangoAC. TASbot's absence, however, would be subverted outside the stream and the run itself as one of the official T-Shirts released for SGDQ 2021 uses TASbot as an avatar to represent tool-assisted speedruns.
  • Recap Episode: Starting from AGDQ 2021 Online, daily recaps and highlights of various runs are shown with commentary by the crew of interviewers.
  • Retool: AGDQ 2015 onwards focused more on the charity aspect (and included an actual on-screen money raised counter), focused more on the actual games than the runners, and generally had a more professional presentation than the borderline anarchy of previous GDQ's.
  • Running Gag:
    • Twitch emotes are common place in the stream chat, including a batch of emotes created specifically for the Games Done Quick streams- a good few starring its mascot Velocity, and emotes from the current runner's Twitch account. Rarely, these emotes are acknowledged and even encouraged by hosts and runners alike.
    • If a game begins to take a turn for the slow, expect the couch commentators to crack a few jokes about the run becoming a Let's Play.
    • They tend to mention Die Hard runs pretty often. This in particular refers to the Final Fantasy IV Any% run... because there are lots of stairs in that game.
    • During toufool31's run of Super Mario Sunshine at SGDQ 2013, the runners on the couch began singing along to the soundtrack every time the a cappella cover of the Super Mario Bros. main theme would begin to play. Some donors began calling them the "doo-doo-doo crew". For the next few years, donors would request that the people on the couch do the same thing over and over again, even though it seemed to stop after the run by Averagetrey at SGDQ 2015, when the people on the couch didn't seem too enthusiastic about it and were doing it out of sync and out of tune.
    • Final Fantasy VI runs always have people singing during the Opera scene. Since then, GDQ has turned singing into a donation incentive, such as singing One Winged Angel in Final Fantasy VII or Disney songs during Kingdom Hearts runs. GameJ06's impromptu singing during his Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels run even racked up serious donations.
    • The Demon Chocobo has become one as a way to troll Essentia. Long story short, she and speedrunning partner Puwexil unveiled a running incentive throughout their playthrough of Final Fantasy VI at SGDQ 2014, where every text box would either be the default blue or a hideously-recolored in-game Chocobo scheme. During their playthrough of Chrono Trigger at SGDQ 2015, donations were being sent in to name each character in their preferred end-game party "Hail", "Demon", and "Choco" (due to the five-character name limit). It sadly didn't work out, with the Demon Chocobo's followers swearing revenge for SGDQ 2016, and they got it. It even crosses over to RPG Limit Break, mainly because that event and GDQ have the same staff and many of the same runners.
    • Sonic Adventure 2 runs always have the audience acting out the infamous "faker" cutscene.
    • Donations starting with "Hey Brossentia" and including a bad pun based on the group the marathon is raising money for tend to happen especially during the RPG runs even when Brossentia isn't the runner or on couch.
    • "That's never happened before" and variations thereof crop up surprisingly often considering how much speedrunners play their game of choice. It's especially hilarious when the runner has no idea what went wrong or why.
      • The most hilarious use of it came with AGDQ 2018 when, during an early run, the Twitch stream itself declared it on a We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties card. note 
    • Since SGDQ 2016 started on the weekend of Independence Day for the United States, there were many chants of "USA! USA!" whenever the New Super Mario Bros. runners triggered fireworks.
    • On the note of SGDQ 2016, the audience going "Wah" started picking up after ProtoMagicalGirl's run of Super Mario Land as "Waluigi" (using the Super Game Boy color palettes to make Mario purple). If what happened at AGDQ 2017 is any indication, this particular gag had a short lifespan.
    • Thanks to a run of Super Mario Bros. 3Mix, AGDQ 2019 has the audience and Twitch chat collectively going "Orb!" whenever an orb, a bubble, or a similar spherical item is collected or used. In situations where many orbs are used in quick succession, they will even say the name of a different item in the same tone in addition to "Orb!", such as "Key!", "Cloud!", or "Diamond!". This gag peaks whenever Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, or a ROM hack of either game (mostly the latter) is shown due to the question-mark orbs that are dropped by Boom Boom and found in the Sunken Ghost Ship respectively.
    • During the Awful block of AGDQ 2019, the audience screamed whenever the Noid appears in fullscreen on Avoid the Noid, and during the loading screens of Urban Yeti!.
    • At AGDQ 2020, "Honk!" quickly accelerated into a running gag from day one on the level of "Orb!", with the name even being a donation incentive for certain games where it's possible to name a file or character. SGDQ 2021 Online turned the channel points into Honks for the rest of the marathon and introduced a "Honk!" emote just in time for the two-player co-op run.
    • Whenever music from Shovel Knight is played during intermissions, the screen always states its system as "NES/Famicom" despite it not actually being on that platform. note 
    • Whenever a Trauma Center game is run, expect the runner, and at least one person on the couch, to be wearing scrubs.
    • SGDQ 2021 Online introduced an ironing machine as a minor recurring gag during prize showcases, ignited by the NightFire run on Day 1 of the marathon. An accompanying emote was also created for subscribers to use in the twitch chat. A watermelon would join it later in the week, to the point that one of the Recap Episodes features it as one of the commentators.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: While most runs simply need to complete games as quickly as possible (dubbed "Any %"), there's the occasional run that has a special requirement, usually because of a donation incentive. Most common choices can be a low% run, a 100% run, or a speedrun category specific to the played game. One-handed is also occasionally done, and runner Halfcoordinated plays all of his games one-handed because of a condition he has that weakens one of his hands. invoked
  • Sensory Abuse: While Bubzia was busy playing a blindfolded run of Super Mario 64 for SGDQ 2021 Online, at one point during the run, the stream's entire video feed began to flicker in and out.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • If Punch-Out!! turns up on the schedule for the current marathon, it will be played in an increasingly bizarre and ridiculous way, from playing it blindfolded, to one person playing two different versions of the game simultaneously with the same controller, to two different people blindfolded playing the game with the same controller.
    • Across the two 2021 marathons, Super Mario 64 was featured twice, both as blindfolded runs. At AGDQ 2021, the run was 16 Stars and used exploits to reach the final level. At SGDQ 2021, the requirement was upped to 70 stars and the final level must be unlocked the intended way.
  • Series Mascot: SGDQ 2019 introduced one in Velocity, an adorable Velociraptor that appeared before the marathon started and sometimes during intermissions as drawings. In AGDQ 2021 and onwards, other velociraptors similar to Velocity were introduced. As a substitute for the live audience, a "virtual crowd" of these dinosaurs are displayed in intermissions in-between runs and on the Games Done Quick site and can be animated by emotes used in the stream chat.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Speedrun: Games Done Quick is a charity stream all about players speedrunning their favorite games.invoked
  • Stealth Insult: It can happen. For context, the runner had slept with the donator's wife at the previous event, hence the message of "I lost my wife this past June".
  • Sudden Name Change: In SGDQ 2019, an eight to nine-hour block that ran through the beginning of the fifth day of the marathon was introduced to complement the Awful Games Done Quick block from the AGDQ marathons. In its debut year, it was called Weird Games Done Quick, but was retitled Silly Games Done Quick at SGDQ 2020 Online to keep the naming gimmick of sharing the current marathon's acronym intact. The name would stick for its return in SGDQ 2021 Online.
  • Take That!:
    • As the runners kept pointing out, Super Panga World was created as a giant Take That! towards a USA Today article that insulted PangeaPanga for spending enough time on Super Mario World to play it blindfolded. They actually read the article out on the stream.
    • For the SGDQ 2019 Celeste run, a custom version of the game was used that replaced one of the in-game noises with CovertMuffin's laughter.
    • During the ADGQ 2022 pregame show, Feasel read a poem about Half-Life 2. It wasn't finished.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: Sometimes, the sheer number of bugs that a runner exploits can wind up doing it.
    • In Vulajin's Bastion run at AGDQ 2014. It was brought to a rather anti-climactic end by "soft-locking" the game they're running, inevitably bringing an abrupt end to the run. He did it through a combination of a number of Game Breaking Bugs and Vulajin himself accidentally, on instinct, selecting the wrong ending.
    • In Wall Of Spain's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim run, there were several times where the game had a crash-to-desktop, but the most embarrassing and nearly run-ending glitch was when they accidentally quicksaved during a boss with practically no health, forcing them to ask the couch to look away as, on the stream, it shows him open up the console and use the God Mode cheat to get past the boss.
  • Wham Line: Occasionally, the declaration of "Time!" can be this. AGDQ 2015's Super Pitfall run is a good example, since the ending is triggered after the runner game overs.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: During his Sparkster run at SGDQ 2018, Drakodan just walks away from the game during an auto-scrolling level. It works amazingly well. Many runners will, if their game has a similar segment, put down the controller to take a selfie with the crowd.

And... Time!

Alternative Title(s): Awesome Games Done Quick

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