There’s nothing quite like a gag that keeps coming up in anime that while repetitive, manages to make me laugh every time. I’ve watched a few anime recently that gave me the idea of making a list of my favourite recurring gags. The only real requirement for this list is that the gag shows up at least twice. I was a little liberal with this list, and decided to include gag characters, due to their recurring nature.
Also I didn’t count anime where the “gag” is core to the anime itself, for example: Handa Sei (from Handa-kun) and his paranoia. I really enjoyed Handa and his reactions to what was going on around him, but I think that at this level it’s become more than just a gag.
Just a heads up in case someone is worried about gags being spoiled, I will put the title of the anime first so you can skim past if you’d like. I went a little nuts with pictures, but this is a fun post anyways 🙂
Ok let’s get started!
12. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – The Rooster (Nagoya)
I don’t know what it is about chickens but they are pretty funny. I’ve never owned any myself but I have lived next to many people who have had them. It’s kind of fun to watch them wander around making funny clucking noises. Nagoya, the rooster from Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is no exception. Maybe this isn’t technically a gag? But I think the rooster is funny in his own way so he gets #12.
11. Mob Psycho 100 – Teru’s Hair
Sometimes it’s the small things, the simple things, that make a gag great. After Teru loses his fight with Mob, he proceeds to learn a lot and become a real pillar of the psychic community so to speak. He becomes a great ally with some real wisdom, having learned from his own mistakes. That being said, he also for some reason decided to overcompensate for his lost hair by wearing a crazy tall wig. I just love how after the wig is introduced, it just becomes a part of Teru that isn’t really brought up anymore, aside from the odd character reacting to seeing it. He also acts so natural despite wearing such a ridiculous wig.
10. Gintama – Hasegawa, God of Cardboard
The whole madao thing was funny at times, but I think that the one Hasegawa gag that really stuck with me is his whole relationship with cardboard. It’s just so funny seeing this guy use cardboard for almost anything, and the anime really stuck with it. Not much else to say but that Hasegawa is really damn innovative when it comes to cardboard, and it’s hilarious at times.
9. Boku no Hero Academia – Invisible Girl
Now I haven’t watched any of season 3 yet, but based on the first two seasons I got some good laughs from the invisible girl. I don’t remember her name, but it doesn’t really matter here. Watching her act embarrassed, or looking to be noticed while she is completely invisible is just funny. I wonder how her parents reacted when she developed this quirk, one day in her childhood she just disappeared? Funny character and a fun addition to the anime.
8. Great Teacher Onizuka – The Cosplay King
I love how Onizuka, this rough and not-so-smart teacher has such a passion for cosplay. He just loves to throw on a costume without a second thought, and acts so natural no matter how ridiculous his costume is. Its just a funny combination that works well, plus it ends up leading to some funny situations at times.
7. Dragon Ball Z – Hercule Satan
Hercule Satan is just an excellent gag. Blatantly weaker than the Z fighters, and yet he acts like he is king of the fighting world. Plus his afro speaks for itself. Hercule Satan is a great example of a funny gag character that sometimes gets in over their head. It’s always funny watching how he deals with being around fighters who are insanely stronger than him, and the excuses he comes up with. I also really like how he has so many hardcore fans despite being one of the weakest characters in DBZ.
6. SKET Dance – Saotome Roman’s Fantasies + Manga
A couple gag characters in a row here, but considering the gags they produce are high quality I think it’s okay. Saotome Roman is a really funny character from SKET Dance, I love the whole “Roman vision” where we see everything displayed as some old school manga romance story. It’s well done and funny to watch. Plus she has this theme song that really adds to the whole gag. I also just love how janky her manga looks.
5. Monogatari – Shitsurei kamimashta / Sorry I stuttered
Some people might think that Hachikuji’s “shitsurei kamimashta” is a little overdone, but I loved the gag so I enjoy every moment of it. The “stutter” word games that Hachikuji plays with Araragi are funny and enjoyable. It’s a fun gag for a fun character I think. Monogatari did a good job with this one as it’s a pretty memorable gag.
4. Bakuman. – Hiramaru-kun
Yeah I know I just recently wrote a post about Hiramaru, but he is a good gag character that I had to include here. I love how he is constantly trying to escape work, and how his editor is constantly coming up with new ways to trick him into working. He is a very funny character with some very funny moments, and that’s good enough for #4 I think.
3. Mob Psycho 100 – Reigen’s Special Moves
Another Mob Psycho 100 entry here, but I can’t mention a Mob Psycho gag without also including this one somewhere. It’s a very funny gag where Reigen’s super ordinary moves, like a regular punch, throwing salt, providing a massage, are showcased as if they are superpowers. It’s well done and I really enjoyed it.
2. Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou – Moments With Literary Girl
Of all the gags in Danshi Nichijou, Literary Girl takes the cake for me. The super cringe-worthy moments involved with this girl are just hilarious. I love how the “story” progresses with this gag, and I just love all the moments where they are near each other in total silence and Hidenori is going nuts in his head trying to figure out what he should do or say. Great gag!
1. Gintama – Shinpachi is a Pair of Glasses
You may have seen this one coming, due to a certain profile picture. I love this gag, it’s easily my favourite gag in Gintama. The whole “Shinpachi is that pair of glasses” gets me every time. When something happens to Shinpachi’s glasses and everyone reacts as if it was Shinpachi I can’t help but laugh. And this gag isn’t overdone either, it’s spaced out very well. I would even enjoy seeing it more, but that’s just because I love this gag so much.
My favourite Gintama moment, from the entire anime (Episode 160), is when Shinpachi’s glasses fall down a slide during a competition, and everyone is shocked, screaming at Shinpachi for losing right at the onset of the game. I can’t even explain how much I laughed at that moment when those glasses slid down into the water, and the following reactions. Plus I love how the announcer says that Shinpachi is showing an expression of regret. This gag is just the king of gags to me, and naturally that means it gets the #1 spot on this list.
It’s so funny that I’ll include the youtube clip here.
And that’s all for this list. I scoured my anime list trying to think of the best recurring gags, but I guarantee after I publish this I will think of some other ones that deserved to be on this list. There really is nothing like a great gag that keeps coming back to bring some good comedy to an anime.
Hope you enjoyed this list, and thanks for reading 🙂