A comedic show specifically concentrating on being humorous before any concern of plot, drama, or even comprehensibility. Noted for a complete lack of tact or pomposity on the part of the writers, and frequent postmodern commentary. Can have occasional Fan Service which the series will openly acknowledge. The Rule of Funny will be observed.
Because they don't take themselves seriously, gag series tend to experiment across the board with parody, lewd humor, random cutaways, and short-lived drama. In a win-win situation, these can be very successful experiments when they succeed, or mocked by the series itself when they fail as a protective tactic. Ironically, they can be praised for presenting such topics without being Anvilicious. However, doing this at the end of a series can cause accusations of being pretentious.
Anime gag series often use a Puni Plush design. Many are also Widget Series. Shows that depend a lot on puns and parody are typically considered too difficult for commercial releases, and are fansubbed only erratically. A few even get a Gag Dub.
Anime and Manga are particularly notorious in this genre. Series will regularly go over the top in their nonsense and hilarity even within the context of the show itself. Characters will time-travel, change species or gender, die, destroy buildings, cities, or planets, anything that will push the ridiculousness even higher; also note that these effects are rarely, if ever, permanent. There are times when "normality" is broken and restored in the space of a few minutes.
Occasionally the Gag Series is an adaptation of some 'canonical' source, except now the writers pretty much do whatever they like.
- Excel Saga: A mockery of everyday Japanese life seen through the lives of two supervillain henchgirl temp workers and four municipal Sentai employees. Then Shinichi Watanabe turned it into an anime and made fun of every anime genre in existence.
- Student Council's Discretion: A parody Anime with bits of Romance added in ..
- Sket Dance: From the former apprentice of the guy who unleashed Gintama onto the world, we have three high school students who will assist anyone with anything, usually with disastrously hilarious results.
- Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu: With a mix of serious and non-serious subplots.
- He Is My Master: More so in the manga, where the author inserts romantic comedy cliches, then chides the reader for expecting serious resolutions.
- Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo: Plots constructed entirely out of bad puns, sight gags, and pop-culture flotsam.
- FLCL: Although there is a plot, you would be hard-pressed to find someone that could identify which parts are gags and which are not in the first viewing. Additionally, this show has been described as Excel Saga on Excel Saga. The creators themselves admitted that about half of what they put into this show were completely a result of nonsense, and what they found funny at the time.
- Galaxy Angel: The animated equivalent of Dada Comics -- nothing is sacred, and the writers are by-and-large allowed to run with whatever they like. Including scissors.
- The Negima!? reboot is sliding towards this, with most of the humorous banter between characters more characteristic of the Pani Poni Dash! writers than Akamatsu's usual fare. The original manga was like this for about 2 volumes before going in a different direction.
- School Rumble
- Di Gi Charat
- Super Milk-chan
- Ninin ga Shinobuden
- Azumanga Daioh: To a lesser degree, since the series does have continuity and plot, but each episode is definitely a Gag Episode.
- Magical Pokaan
- Pani Poni Dash!
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei
- Hayate the Combat Butler: The first season of the anime, anyway - the second season and manga have continuity, and the latter has gotten serious.
- Gintama: Though with a healthy pinch of action and good ol' Shonen standbys, like the power of friendship.
- Cromartie High School
- Axis Powers Hetalia
- Tokyo Pig
- Lucky Star: The series follows the norm and is quite realistic for the most part but has it's slight share of wackiness, especially in the anime.
- Beelzebub: Can't seem to take itself seriously even when trying to be shounen.
- Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu
- Puni Puni Poemi: Excel Saga, Only More So.
- Muteki Kanban Musume
- Seitokai Yakuindomo
- Dai Mahou Touge
- Seto no Hanayome
- Banana no Nana
- Majokko Tsukune-chan is a Cute Witch Gag Series.
- Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt
- Doctor Slump
- Carnival Phantasm being an Affectionate Parody of the Nasuverse, has gotten quite hilarious, EVERYTIME AND EVERYWHERE!.
- Colorful. A couple of braindead losers and surprisingly innocent ecchi. The show makes fun of itself and perverts.
- Goldfish Warning. The show has a paper-thin plot, little to no continuity, 7 is just the random insane adventures of a a particular class in a farm school.
- Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, where anything, even reality, is subject to change at a moment's notice.
- Kill Me Baby, 99.9% of which is played for a purely comedic scenario where all seriousness and compassion are thrown out the window.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- Ambush Bug in both its '80s and '00s incarnations. Every issue skips from place to place in The DCU making fun of everything from Superman to The Sandman.
- Aoi House is part anime/manga parody, part American media parody (multiple references to Grey's Anatomy, and at one point a character is found to be singing the theme song to Cardcaptors), and entirely hilarious.
- Sonic X
- The Smurfs (original books; the Animated Adaptation not so much)
- Monty Python's Flying Circus frequently berated itself for being too silly. Many of the sketches head deep into Cloudcuckoolander territory (one had a caption saying "SOMETHING SILLY'S GOING TO HAPPEN"), and the animations in between them are even weirder.
- Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In deserves a special mention because this particular variety/sketch show is seriously MADE of this trope!
- Green Wing (a Gag Hospital Soap)
- Let The Blood Run Free, an unrepentant parody of Australian soaps... from Australia. It makes Scrubs look like House. Observe.
-  (aka Sins of Love) is yet another shameless parody of soaps, this one being of French-Canadian origin.
- Four Blokes Without Telly, one of the non in-universe camera Youtube series, and a great example of Gag Series
- The Mighty Boosh
- The Bitcom segments on Studio 3.
- Hello Cheeky was a series based almost entirely on quick jokes, with quite a bit of subtle strangeness and cartoon logic holding it together.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Katamari Damacy: Any attempt at a sane description of the plot is an exercise in futility.
- God Hand : Near the end of the game you're treated to a mountain of plot....then you fight midget power rangers and a man in a monkey suit who happens to be a luchador so take that as you will.
- Wario Ware
- Saints Row has slowly drifted into this.
- Homestar Runner
- The Demented Cartoon Movie features barely any plot, no continuity between scenes, and features more than half of the 30-minute running time consisting of explosions. Suffice to say, the title is accurate.
- Rejected. Not a series, but it fits. Seriously, try to create a plot from it. Your brain WILL explode.
- It would be easier to list examples that AREN'T gag series!
- Please do...
- Archer: whilst employing running gags and callbacks, as well as visual and verbal joke-telling, Archer focuses heavily on plot and drama, even when they wre being subverted for comedic effect.
- South Park: jokes exist to further the plot, to which great attention is paid.
- Season 10 Episodes 3 and 4, Cartoon Wars 1 and 2 demonstrates the difference between South Park and Family Guy, with Family Guy mocked mercilessly in the process.
- Please do...