Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

In an Alternate Universe version of the Edo period, Japan was occupied not by the usual Western fleets like you'd expect from normal history -- but by a race of space aliens known as the Amanto, who brought with them super-futuristic technology, a ban on swords and the fall of the Samurai class as we know it. A resistance group set out and declared war on the Amanto to no avail, and the samurai were all but wiped from the map. Enter Gintoki Sakata, a former member of said resistance group; once an impressive swordsman, he dropped out because in the end, it really wasn't worth it to be fighting against a bunch of stupid foreigners in the first place.

Nowadays, Gintoki makes his living as a self-appointed freelancer, taking on any job he can for cash to pay his rent, but that doesn't seem to happen very often when there's sweets and Shounen Jump to be had. Joining him in his exploits are samurai-in-training Shinpachi Shimura, who winds up taking the brunt of much of the series' abuse and leads a pop idol's fanclub; Kagura, a young alien girl who spends most of the time eating, beating someone up, or just generally being an idiot; and Sadaharu, Kagura's giant pet dog that gleefully chomps on everyone and anyone. A lot.

Gintama is the sometimes-anachronistic brainchild of Hideaki Sorachi, who had originally intended to create a manga inspired by an NHK drama about the Shinsengumi. However, despite the historical connotations that the Edo period brings, it's a Gag Series in one of its most warped states, filled with Shout Outs to everything under the sun (even fellow Shonen Jump series such as Bleach and Naruto are not immune to lampooning), over-the-top humour, ridiculous puns, sight gags and a liberal dash of action to top it all off. Stories tend to emphasize no such thing as black and white and how that plays into the Japanese concept of honor.

After the manga premiered in 2004, a one-episode OVA for JUMP Festa was produced; a Sunrise-produced TV series made its debut in April of 2006 and finished its run in March of 2010, after which Yorinuki Gintama-san (literally "The Very Best of Gintama") followed, which was essentially just reruns of old Gintama episodes remastered in HD with new opening and ending themes, eventually the reruns came to an end and in April 2011 Gintama was finally continued as Gintama' (Note the dash)...until that ended in March 2012. An English translation of the manga was published by Viz but was cancelled after Volume 23 due to low sales and the anime has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks for a North American release, the first volume of which was released in April of 2010.

Tropes used in Gintama include:
  • A Boy and His X: Kagura and her uber-cute, head bitting inugami, Sadaharu.
    • Also Katsura and his man-disguised-as-duck, Elizabeth.
    • And now Kyuubei and her monkey, Jugem Jugem...
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade
  • Action-Hogging Opening
  • Actor Allusion: A few including the one below under No Fourth Wall.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Several of the stories in the anime are lengthened compared to their manga counterparts.
  • Aliens Speaking Japanese
  • Amazon Brigade: The Hyakka, the law enforcement squad of Yoshiwara.
  • Anachronism Stew / Purely Aesthetic Era: Pretty much the point of the entire series. Possibly justified because the Amanto brought to Earth technology akin to modern-day Earth technology.
  • Animation Bump: The smoothness of the characters' movements will bump up more often than you would expect, this happens especially when there's a battle sequence.
  • Ass Shove: Poor Hattori.
    • Kondo's not much better off. In the space of two episodes he gets a jackhammer and a pair of horns stuck in there.
  • Author Avatar: In one episode, it is revealed that the enigmatic Elizabeth is merely the director wearing a weird costume.
    • In the anime Sorachi himself is portrayed as a gorilla in a t-shirt, whose only true dream is to become "a stack of waffles".
  • Author Existence Failure: In continuity example. During the Second Popularity Poll Arc, Otae, pissed off that a "gorilla" got a better ranking than her,breaks the fourth wall to kill Sorachi in the real world. He sort of got better in the next episode/chapter.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Subverted. The title was supposed to sound like a cool thing for kids to say. But "tama" has two meanings. One is soul (Gintama = Silver Soul--the title specifically uses this kanji set, for the record); the other is...balls (Gintama = Silver Balls).
    • Just think what would've happened (and it's been referenced a few times already) if it was named Kintama (Kin = golden) and the fact that Kintama itself also means testicles.
    • Also acknowledged is the fact that the robot, Tama, has a name that means "eggs."
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Gintoki and Katsura. Taken Up to Eleven in the Benizakura-hen movie.
    • Also Gintoki and Hijikata in episode 166. WHILE HANDCUFFED!!!
      • Although there are a few people who thought that the fight itself would have been a Shout-Out to Double Arts if it continued.
    • In the Jiraiya arc, Gintoki and Tsukuyo.
    • In the Four Devas Arc and an Enemy Mine, Gintoki and Jirochou!
    • Gintoki and Kyoujiro in episode 108
    • And a short villainous example, Kamui and Takasugi during Odd or Even
  • Badass and Baby: Gintoki and 'Appo.
  • Balloon Belly: Kagura gets a full, big belly in episode 74, episode 153 and the 14th ending.
  • Bash Brothers: Again, Gintoki and Katsura. Also, Shinpachi and Kagura.
  • Beach Episode: Well, more like Beach Arc.
  • Beautiful All Along: Played with. In the Love Choris arc, Gintama uses all-out willpower to make Pinko look this way. Of course, the justification is that adults have to use their imagination to make their now-old-and-ugly partners look more attractive...
  • Bedmate Reveal: Gintoki waking up with Sacchan sleeping on top of him shortly after Shinpachi and Kagura walk in on them.
    • What started the hilarious harem arc, with Gintoki waking up in a love hotel next to... Otose.
  • Belly Mouth: One member of Shinpachi's fan club is an Amanto that forms a mouth on its stomach and devours things when it gets excited.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Sougo and Kagura mostly. Both instantly tease and provoke each other whenever they meet. Lately he's been getting some with Nobume too.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Gintoki gets to do this a lot (must be in the contract for a Shonen series' main protagonist). A candidate for his best one so far? Stabbing Jiraiya's hand while suddenly showing up from behind a tied-up Tsukuyo, then swatting Jiraiya away.
  • Bifauxnen: Mutsu, who's flat chested & talks & dresses like a man. Also Kyuubei.
  • Bishounen: Okita is by Word of God the token bishounen. Katsura and Kamui also count.
  • Blade Run: Gintoki on Benizakura.
  • Bland-Name Product: Bentendo (with the Owee), Zony, Bargain Dash...
  • Bloodless Carnage: Played with, since Gintoki uses a bokkun... And yet, when he leaves it holstered to Shinpachi in episode 3, it's bloodstained!
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: What the series runs on, a fourth of the time.
  • Bokukko: Kyuubei and Tatsumi, the fire fighter.
  • Brick Joke: War-san and Ner-san in The Movie.
    • In episode 202, Kondo claims that eating Otae's omelet will allow him to forget everything bad that's happened. This is a call back to the Amnesia Arc a 150+ episodes ago where the exact thing happened to Kondo.
  • Bridal Carry: Gintoki to Tsukuyo in the very ship-teasing episode 180.
  • Brown Note: This.
  • Bug Catching: Less as a pastime, more like a get rich quick scheme.
  • Butt Monkey: Take your pick...
    • Hasegawa Taizou A.K.A. Madao (which stands for "totally useless middle-aged man" in Japanese) gets absolutely no respect at all.
    • Yamazaki falls victim to lots of punishment, especially from Hijikata.
    • Kondo, the butt gorilla, keeps getting beating after beating from Otae, in addition to whatever Matsudaira or karma has in store for him.
    • Zenzo takes plenty of abuse from Ayame, most of which literally aimed towards his butt--on top of his hemmorrhoids--making him another literal instance of a butt monkey.
    • Prince Hata; you know he's going to get abused the moment you see him. Nothing good ever happens to him.
    • Shinpachi is the butt monkey for the Yorozuya trio, often having to put up with his companions' insults and laziness/retard-ness/plain old idiocy. The crossover episode in Sket Dance also had him being rejected by Himeko. However, he's also the stand up man (Tsukkomi) or the mother of the crew, so he seems to be able to hold his own by yelling at Gintoki and Kagura whenever they do or say something inappropriate. Which is often.
  • Cain and Abel: Kagura and Kamui, though Kamui seems rather indifferent. Kagura's still sore over the attempt to kill their dad and the abandonment, though.
  • Catch Phrase: "Zura janai, Katsura da!"
  • Catgirl: Numerous ones of both genders, none of which are attractive.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: During the Kabukicho Stray Cats Arc. Especially Gintoki as a cat.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Gintoki, in addition to various other characters.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: They do pop up occasionally, like for example: Gintoki defeating Bansai Kawakami, aka the guy who composes the songs for Tsu Terakado, has an impact on Tsu's career in that she wasn't able to get a release on her second album right away. And the Shinsengumi arc happened 20+ episodes ago.
    • It seems like Sorachi Hideaki wants to compete against Eiichiro Oda for having the LONGEST Chekov's Gunman ever. Remember Ketsuno Ana being married (who would) WAAAAAAAY back then? 150+ chapters later, it becomes the major plot point in one of the arcs.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The very first trailer of the movie was about the Benizakura arc. After it finished, it's revealed it was a joke and there won't be movie about the Benizakura arc. What was the movie about at the end?
    • Made even more funny when they later used the fake trailer as the real one.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Katsura.
    • Don't forget Sakamoto! Ahahaha!
  • Comedic Sociopathy
  • Comic Trio: Yorozuya are the primary one, but at times Kondo, Okita and Hijikata count too.
  • Conspicuous CG: The Kondo-shaped snot in episode 194.
  • Cosplay
  • Creator Cameo: Sorachi appears in both anime and manga in the form of a gorilla, a humanoid Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal sporting a yellow t-shirt, he still is a manga-ka in this caricature of him and for some reason Gorilla Sorachi is always seen in trouble, lacking ideas for the manga he is working on.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass / Obfuscating Stupidity: Gintoki comes across as aloof and lazy in the beginning, but try to tell that to the resistance group that saw him ruthlessly take down a pile of Amanto without so much as blinking. Also Katsura, who used to fight alongside Gintoki.
    • Then there's... the Shogun. The first few times he was shown he was being played around, having a dung replace his hair, and more often than not, stripped naked. Then comes the avalanche arc... even though he was still constantly abused (and ended up naked, again), you got to respect a guy who was able to survive frigid cold(naked), have his (naked) testicles bloodied thanks to having Gin using him as a speeding (naked) snowboard, able to find a shelter (naked), facing a bear with his bare (naked) hands and win, turn it into a winter clothes, and ended up rescuing Kondo (semi-naked) and the rest of the cast.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: A lot, but special mention to the end of Benizakura arc, when Katsura and a heavily injured Gintoki fight completely outnumbered against numerous members of Harusame. The situation ends with them jumping from the ship, but the Harusame weren't able to put a finger in them. It's better in the movie.
    • Even better is when a corrupt jailer throws Gintoki in jail, and at the end when you find out the jailer was really trying to do something nice for one of the prisoners, and when a riot break out he's outnumbered a beaten to a pulp. Just as they drag him into solitary Gintoki is there, and he decides to go wild. The fight isn't shown, but the result is. Every single prisoner shoved into the small solitary room like sardines. Like the guard said, "There's no cell in this jail that can hold him".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shinpachi most prominently but Gintoki and Kagura do so from time to time as well.
  • Debut Queue: The first 30 or so episodes in the anime.
  • Deconstructor Fleet
  • Depraved Dentist: The dentist in episode 175 is this, complete with blood-spattered operating room, chairs with steel restraints and a chainsaw.
  • Diet Episode
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Gintoki manages to score 6 times with 6 different people though one was an old hag and another was a MADAO when drunk in episode 239, to predictably hilarious results.
  • Disposable Woman: Mitsuba. She lived surrounded by badasses, was blood-tied to one, loved by one and liked by many of them. She ended up accordingly to push their own story.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Any member of the Shinsengumi who reads Shonen JUMP or answers a mobile phone during meetings is obligated to kill himself.
  • Door Step Baby: "Appo"
    • Sadaharu, too... kinda.
  • Dramatic Stutter: Often used in comedic arcs.
  • ÞDude, Where's My Reward?Þ: Happens regularly.
  • Dynamic Entry: "JOOOOOOOOY!"
  • Epic Fail: Oh man, there's a lot in this series whenever the main characters try to avoid making problems in situations only to make it a lot worse. The prominent examples are the Yorozuya giving the Shogun a haircut, only for Kagura to accidentally vomit on him which he didn't notice, Gintoki wiping all of it off except for the naruto (sliced fish cake) which for some reason split into two and it only got worse from there.
  • Evil Counterpart: Takasugi gives a fairly good idea of what Gintoki and Katsura could become if they ever decide to go on the Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • Jirochou was also compared to Gintoki quite often, although Gin is also compared quite a bit to Otose's late husband as well.
  • Evil Versus Evil: An instance of internal strife in the Harusame. And for a while there, there was Kamui vs Takasugi.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Kyuubei and Takasugi.
  • Eye Scream: Narrowly avoided by Appo's mum. "Do you know why you were born with two eyes? So that you can still live with one after this."
  • The Faceless: Hatsu, Hasegawa Taizou's wife. Strange in that she isn't an important character at all.
    • Finally averted in Chapter 396 "Vow" with Gintoki, Katsura, and Takasugi's sensei, Shouyou.
    • Kagura and Kamui's mother.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: An interesting contrast. Many antagonists in the more serious arcs pass away peacefully through the power of Flash Back (ex. Housen, Jiraia, Ito). On the other hand we have Kada, who survives only to completely crack under incarceration and Nizou, whose status is still unconfirmed and had basically become a one-armed monster before his defeat.
  • Filler: While the very first episode of the anime was filler, it wasn't employed again until the 4th season, as the anime has come perilously close to the manga.
  • Fixing the Game: Gintama played with this trope by having a man gifted with the ability to see the flow of luck. Which turned out that he lost that ability a few years back and has been cheating at games since then.
  • The Four Gods / Four Is Death: The Four Devas of the Yagyu tribe. They'd probably be even more fearsome if they weren't named after the main four romantic interests of Strawberry 100%.
    • Also the Four Heavenly Emperors of Kabukichou District.
  • Freaky Friday: The arc where Gintoki, Katsura, and Kondo turn into a cat, another cat, and a gorilla respectively.
  • Funbag Airbag: Tsukuyo wants to prove to Gintoki that she's not a woman by letting him touch her breasts. Gintoki would have none of it EXCEPT he saw a spider. He then falls headfirst on to Tsukuyo's breasts (and, for the hell of it, gropes them anyways), who unfortunately does not want it and does a frickin' SUPLEX on Gintoki, crashing him through the door of the druggies hideout.
  • Fundoshi
  • Funny Afro: More like Funny Perm, though this is played straight a couple times.
  • Gambit Roulette: All for a chance to become Nabe-Shogun. Ryuk even makes an appearance.
  • Gainax Ending: Several fake ones, actually. The premise of episode 150 was that the show was abruptly ending due to lack of funds, so they threw together a final episode. Several versions of this "final episode" are shown. All of them start with a showdown between Gintoki and Takasugi and spiral downwards from there.
    • In one ending, Gintoki pitches a baseball at Fenway Park, Elizabeth becomes a robot and Shinpachi dies.
    • In another, Shinpachi is a Magical Girl and turns everything (including Takasugi) into a cutesey floral scene.
  • Genre Busting: The series as a whole is a "sci-fi human drama historical comedy". According to Word of God, every individual chapter has its own genre.
  • Genre Roulette: See above.
  • Genre Savvy
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Done to a legendary extent. Half of episode 176 consists of a best-of of these moments!
  • Give Me Back My Wallet: It's a bad idea to steal Gintoki's wallet, and not just because it's empty.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Hijikata smokes cigarettes and Takasugi is often seen smoking a pipe.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Gintoki's pink strawberry boxers.
  • Gosh Hornet: Subverted in chapter 269 (ep 185 anime), when Gin is hired to exterminate a beehive... filled with alien half-man half-bee gangsters. He and Kagura accidentally destroy three hives within the chapter.
  • Gratuitous English: The series and its characters thrive on this, especially Gintoki.
  • Gratuitous Rap: Zura janai, Katsurap dayo!
    • Also hilariously used in the Baragaki arc.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: In the second segment of episode 21, Gintoki essentially saves the world while looking for an electric fan. Even though the episode's Damsel in Distress autographed the fan, Shinpachi and Kagura still refused to believe him.
  • Groin Attack: Gin's tama even fell off at one point. And then got individual names. And were then slammed repeatedly into each other. Hard.
    • Also often evaporated or transformed into some random tool. Lampshaded in the Sket Dance Crossover Special. Since his tama were named after Bossun/Yusuke and his Rival and twin brother Sasuke.
    • Also lampshaded when during the arc inside Tama's body, it even gets pixelated! "Why is all the enemy fire concentrated there!?!"
  • Hachimaki: Part of the required uniform for Otsuu's fanclub.
  • Hadaka Apron: Donned by the Goddess of Victory.
  • Hands Off My Fluffy
  • Haunted Technology: The cursed Blu-Ray player. Who then becomes the cursed GPS system.
    • She was meant to be a parody of The Ring... at first.
  • Healing Factor: Anyone from the Yato clan has this. To illustrate, Kagura is able to recover from gunshot wounds over one night.
  • Heir to the Dojo: Subverted, in that while Shinpachi and Otae both inherited their dojo after their father's death, they're the farthest thing from rich you can think of (the dojo nearly becomes repossessed in one episode.) And nobody really studies there, either.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted in episode 47, in which the Yorozuya are convinced Hedoro came to invade the earth:

Gin (grabbing his bokuto): I'll keep him busy. You guys run in the meantime. [...] (lunging at Hedoro) Hedorooo! I'll never hand the Earth to you!!
Shinpachi (running with Kagura): Gin-san, I'm so sorry! I'm just a wuss! All I think about is saving my ass by sacrificing yours-
(later) Gin (running behind) : NOOOOOOOO!! (slaps Shinpachi and Kagura out of the way)
Shinpachi: Gin-san? Weren't... Weren't you sacrificing your life to save the Earth?!
Gin: My life comes before the Earth!!

  • Hidden Villain: The Reveal in Chapter 305, the real Big Bad of the story arc taking place is Kada, one of the Four Devas and 4th Division Captain of the Harusame Pirates!
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Played straight with Sa-chan and subverted with Hattori.
    • The trope is parodied in one chapter when Katsura enlists the Yorozuya (plus Sacchan) to save Elizabeth, and they have to become ninja to do so. Sacchan demands that everyone wear different, highly visible costumes because she can't tell them apart otherwise. Gin ends up in a white ninja outfit, Kagura in red, Katsura in yellow, and Shinpachi in a cow print. Their attempts to use ninja camouflage fail about as miserably as one would expect.
  • High School AU: Class 3-Z Ginpachi-Sensei
  • Hikikomori: Your Brother is a Hikikomori! "Quit being a burden and go do volunteer work or something!"
  • Historical In-Joke: Tons- most of the main characters are based on real people, and thus a lot of the humour comes from what alleged heroes are generally like when they're not actively being heroic. Oh, and the thing about firing a laser cannon at the capital? Happened in real life, albeit with a regular cannon. Even the Customer of the Week is often a comedic version of a historical figure.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Hinowa and Tsukuyo.
  • Hot Springs Arc: Episodes 131-134
  • Human Aliens: The Yato clan.
  • Humongous Mecha: Mobile Suit Gintama from the OVA. Needless to say, it doesn't last very long.
    • The first part of Episode 189. It's also a Shout-Out for the Mobile Suit Gundam series celebrating its 30th anniversary.
    • Episodes 233 and 234 feature the Renho (Elizabeth's race)'s trump card for invading Earth -- the Gunsam. One of them even gets Gundamjacked in classic Gundam fashion. Lampshaded by the characters, who note that they would have been sued if the show hadn't been animated by Sunrise.
    • Transforming Mecha: Kaien, the Galactic Merchant Fleet mecha.
  • Hurricane of Puns
  • Hyperspace Mallet: What better way to shrink the Yorozuya than by smashing each of them with a giant hammer? (Unfortunately, it didn't come from hyperspace, but it does make amusing injuries, and the shrinking part is well worth it!)
  • Ice Cream Koan: "Having no money is like having a sinus infection. You just have to ignore it and not pick at it, and it’ll go away."
  • Idiots Cannot Catch Colds: Defied during the episode where all the idiots get sick, leaving Shinpachi to take care of everyone.
  • Improvised Weapon / Grievous Harm with a Body: In episode 99, Gintoki and co. play a video game contest to win a parody of the Nintendo Wii. The final round is a Dragon Quest MMO parody in which Gintoki ends up using the village Elder (and later the Elder's corpse) as a weapon. Things get crazier when Okita and Kagura show up respectively wielding the King and the Demon King as weapons.
    • In another episode Kagura used Okita as a weapon. And then took a picture of her victorious aftermath.
    • What about Katsura, transformed into a cat and ripping off his own tail as a weapon, in the Kabukicho Stray Cat arc?
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura experience this trope in order to save Tama from the Tapir virus. How do they get shrunk? Gengai has his robot, Saburo, smash them over the head with a shrinking hammer.
  • In Medias Res: The anime starts out like this with a two-parter.
  • Is That Cute Kid Yours: Appo again.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Gintoki's landlady, Otose. And Jirochou.
  • Jerkass: Every character has their moments, but Okita especially.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Whenever Takasugi or the space pirate group Harusame shows up, things start getting serious.
  • Kotatsu: Shows up whenever the animation team decides to reuse the New Years footage. Even has the bowl of tangerines.
    • Blu-Ray-ko also owns one.
    • Episode 251 revolves around one that contains a black hole inside.
  • Late to the Party: Gintoki, Katsura, Takasugi, and Sakamoto--while famous veterans of the Joi War, they only participated in its final years.
  • Late to the Punchline: Inverted, as Katsura delivers the punchline an entire episode late!

"So, in the end, you played with the Mega Drive, too?"

  • La Résistance
  • Lethal Chef: Otae. Shinpachi even suggests that his bad eyesight is from eating too much of her cooking.
    • ...and it's been shown to cause amnesia. Lethal, indeed.
    • Somehow she was able to burn sushi in HER HAND.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Occasionally subverted, and hung a lampshade on it at least once.
    • In one episode, Shinpachi is seen drying several different sets of Gin's outfit on a clothesline.
  • Live Action Adaptation Parodied in the anime. Although, we get a tour of what's inside the building of Sunrise.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Not as much as your average Shonen though but there are many characters.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Usually censored, but Kondou, Hasegawa and the Shogun seem to have a predilection for it.
  • Man Behind the Man: In episode 27, It's revealed that the Tendo are the ones who rules the Bakufu. Also in Episode 215, they are also the ones who have connections with the Harusame Pirates.
  • Medium Awareness: In the manga, Gin grabs a dialogue bubble and hits someone with it. They immediately wonder how that will be represented in the anime.
  • Meido: How about a whole army of Killer Robomeidos?
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: A female character, named or not, has yet to be killed on screen. Otose doesn't count since she just faked her death.
    • Subverted with Mitsuba.
  • Miko: Aside from the two sisters, Chapter 282 reveals that Ketsuno Ana the weather reporter, Gintoki's crush, is secretly one.
  • Mood Whiplash: Played very straight in here. You WILL find yourself crying or at least on the verge of tears just watching a few of those episodes.
  • The Movie: Sunrise made a movie adaptation of the fan-favorite Benizakura Arc. WITH THE BACKING OF WARNER BROS!
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: Many of the characters. Even with all of their... quirks.
    • Special note goes to Gin- one year, he ranked 2nd in the "Anime Husband" online poll. Out of all the male characters in all manga and anime that year, apparently he inspired some of the most Perverse Sexual Lust!
      • He is now ranked 1st.
    • Also in the 2012 Valentine poll, he ranks first there as well

Gintoki: "I may not be popular in 2D but in 3D, Everybody WANTS ME!!!

  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Zura ja nai, Katsura da.
    • It's not Prince Baka, it's Prince Hata.
    • It's not Kintoki, it's Gintoki.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: In Episode 111, Kagura received an umbrella with a flower pattern from Gintoki.
    • This is followed by a montage(with a nice melody) of Kagura strolling around the streets happily, the montage is repeated with slightly heavy rain with more rock added into the music. She still went out with the umbrella even when there's a typhoon rampaging outside.
  • National Stereotypes: Gratuitously used, sometimes with Unfortunate Implications.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Harusame Pirates.
  • Nerf Arm: Gin's wooden sword.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: All female characters of note earned their positions thanks to a stronger, bigger and more Badass man, especially the Action Girls.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The in-magazine post chapter previews attracted some criticism in Japan because they were always made in the early stages of writing the chapter in question, meaning that the preview and the actual story always ended up completely different to the point of being funny. It was quite common to have a wacky-sounding preview like "Gin enters a marathon!" only for next week's story to be deadly serious.
    • Maybe it was intentional This is Gintama after all.
    • The fake Benizakura Arc movie trailer which ended up being used again as a real trailer once a movie was being made!
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Parodied. The main trio is suddenly brought into another dimension by a sage to learn new, secret techniques, but all of them believe that they're strong enough already and actively avoid learning anything.
  • No Fourth Wall: The whole series. One arc begins with the announcement (before the opening credits) of the results of a fan poll to determine the most popular characters. The arc (spanning four chapters and four episode) proper is entirely based on the results of this poll, with several characters depressed over having finished lower than expected while others gloat over their good showings. Also, every time anyone appears onscreen, a number floats above their head reminding the viewer what place they got.
    • The first episode ends with Otae CLIMBING OUT OF THE FRAME and announcing that she's going to murder the character who placed ahead of her. The aforementioned character/victim is the series creator.
    • From the same arc, Katsura says one of Date Masamune's signature Engrish phrases, "LET'S PARTY!" Otae tries to goad Hijikata into saying the same thing and asks him if he's excited about the second season. Hijikata and Masamune have the same voice actor.
      • Made even more hilarious when Hijikata specifically yells at her not to try and invoke something that would break the fourth wall.
      • In a later manga chapter, Hijikata yells "Here we go!! Okay!! Let's Party!!" as he arrives at Otae's cabaret riding an almost naked Kondo who has motorcycle handlebars taped to his head.
    • The lack of a fourth wall somehow works both ways--the author once told an anecdote that when a rumour spread about Chinese women coming and going from his apartment, he (in a sleep-deprived state) initially wondered if they were talking about Kagura, before reminding himself that she isn't real.
    • Don't forget that bizarre and surreal "live action sequence" in the anime that was acted out with cosplaying mannequins and a pair of glasses who then visit the Sunrise Studios (which they call a modern day sweatshop) and play around before the entire segment suddenly becomes a PSA for the switch to digital broadcasting.
    • During some filler segments, the characters often note how footage is being reused, especially the kotetsu footage, which has become sort of a running gag in itself.
      • Made more funny during one segment where Shinpachi notes that the only new footage in the scene was a new version of the suggestive DVD cover.
    • In one bit of filler during the Yoshiwarya Arc, Kagura notes that the animators are tired because there have been too many fight scenes.
    • And the characters regularly reference the fact that they are running on a shoestring budget and once referenced the 2008 financial crisis.
    • The director is said to reside inside Elizabeth.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Sexual jokes are common, but all characters remotely interested in romance are strictly Played for Laughs and exaggerated to Stalker with a Crush levels. There aren't any married couples because one or both partners always ends up dead. The characters live in a district infamous for prostitution and some of them work in clubs or bars, but we never see anything more than conversation over drinks going on. Without exception, dates end unimaginably horribly for all parties involved. Hijikata and Katsura soundly reject their respective love interests to keep them safe.
    • Actually, it's implied that Katsura and Ikumatsu are still on friendly or even possibly romantic terms since he holds an interview in her shop during a later bit. However, she remains a background character.
    • Elizabeth manages to get a (human) girlfriend in one chapter, and after a frolic down a tree-lined lane, the girl is never seen or referenced again.
    • Subverted in episode 180 where Gintoki and Tsukuyo hug each other after Gintoki saves her from Jiraiya's clutches.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. Even the girls poop.
    • Also parodied in a dialogue between Shinpachi and Kondo. They reached the conclusion that Otsuu's poop came out in the cute shape of an egg and Otae's farts come out as pink smoke.
  • Nosebleed: IN A COURT OF LAW PEOPLE! Not to mention other places.
    • One unusual use was as a Red Right Hand in ch. 5 for eating Gintoki's chocolate.
  • Nose Nuggets: All over the place. Most notably, the episode about the snot dangling from Kondo's nose.
  • No Smoking: Averted (Hijikata and Hasegawa are seen smoking regularly) and spoofed ( "This isn't a cigarette, it's a lollipop!" ).
    • Played straight on the manga covers because the Shounen Jump editors wouldn't let Sorachi depict Hijikata and Matsudaira with cigarettes on the tankoubon covers.
    • Hijikata lampshades during the No Smoking episode.
  • Not Using the Z Word: Hotspring Arc. Don't say "spirits"! Those are Stands!
    • "You said it! You called them 'Zombrows'"
  • Old Master: Binbokusai, definitely.
  • Only Six Faces
  • Onmyodo: The Shirino and Ketsuno clans.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The cursed Blu-Ray player, who is complete with a CD halo and one wing.
    • She originally had six wings, but they were burnt off by her kotatsu.
  • Overly Long Gag: Katsura's tales that have nothing to do with the plot of the chapter taking place.
    • One example is in episode 110, Katsura was lead into counting sheeps so he could fall asleep. On the 13th sheep, he began fantasizing an elaborate and sad tale in High School AU style for this 13th sheep for a full 4 minutes!
    • Chapter 314, Kyuubei gives a long name to the monkey she was taking care of. Its name is Jugem-Jugem Poop-Throwing Machine Shin-chan's Day Before Yesterday Underwear Shinpachi's Life Balmunk Fezarion Isaac Schneider One Thirds Pure Feeling Two Thirds Worried-Over-a-Hangnail Feeling Though Betrayal Knows My Name I Know The Unknown, The Cuttlefish Tastes Kind Of Different Than It Did Last Time Because It Was Caught Near The Pond And Served With Oil From A Hoofed Mammal, pepepepepepepepepepepep Bichiguso-maru.
    • The cursed Blu-Ray player and her kotatsu story. It goes from a gag where she's worried if she has turned her kotatsu off to a cliche domestic abuse story. Don't ask me how.
  • Overly Long Name: See above.
  • Overprotective Dad: Matsudaira and HOW. He repeatedly tries to assassinate his daughter's boyfriend. To the lesser extent, Kagura's dad, Umibouzu.
  • Overused Running Gag: Gintoki & Kagura picking their noses.
  • Parasol of Pain: The weapon of choice for the Yato clan; features bulletproof fabric not melee-proof, integrated machinegun and, of course, sun protection. Thanks to Yato's strength, these have a huge size variety. Housen's is about the size of a car.
  • Parody Names: Unfortunately this is lost in translation, but this "Shinsengumi" is spelled with different characters from the real one. ("True selection corps" rather than "Newly selected corps".) More recognisably, many characters have the names of their real-life counterparts with a single kanji changed: e.g. Kondou Isao instead of Isami, Sakata Gintoki instead of Kintoki, Katsura Kotarou instead of Kogorou.
  • Parody Episode
  • Percussive Pickpocket: When Seita and Gintoki first meet, they unknowingly do this to each other.
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: In-universe, Shinpachi starts a fistfight against someone[1] who tells him that loving an Idol Singer is about as realistic as this trope.
  • Pixellation: Pixellated vomit tetris anyone?
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: Parodied in the first attempt at an ending in episode 150.
  • Post Modernism: Let's see... Self-referential fiction? Check. A fiction which references other fiction? Check. A fiction which displays some awareness that it is a fiction? Check!
  • Pun-Based Title. Can either read it as it is ("Silver Soul") or kintama (balls)
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Yorozuya and the Shinsengumi. And if they ever stop fighting each other, watch out.
  • Recursion: One of the anime's episodes features Gintoki reading and narrating Gintama manga. The exact same chapter.
  • Red Baron: Most of the big players of the show have earned a title:
    • Gintoki: "The White Demon"
    • Hijikata : "Demonic Vice-Commander"
    • Sougo : "Okita de Sade" after the timeskip.
    • Katsura: "Young Noble of Terror"
    • Tsukuyo: "Courtesan of Death"
    • Otose: "Empress of Kabuki District"
    • Saigou: "White Loincloth Saigou"
    • Kada: "Peacock Princess"
    • Matako: "Red Bullet"
  • Reference Overdosed
  • Refuge in Vulgarity: Just name it, and, chances are, someone in Gintama's either done it or alluded to it. From Gintoki and Umibouzu peeing on a dead wormlike alien (You Know What Happens if You Pee on a Worm) to Hasegawa wetting his pants and wearing a diaper to Hijikata zipping his pants and snagging the zipper on his private parts, a surprising amount of vulgar stuff happens. And of course, one has to mention Yoshiwara, the courtesan safe haven that even lets a kid run a toy store. In a recent chapter, a battle was literally fought with Gin's...tama (balls). The two fighters even gave them individual names.
  • Relationship Voice Actor: Subverted with a Cain and Abel role where Satoshi Hino is Kamui and Rie Kugimiya is Kagura.
  • The Remnant: The Kiheitai.
  • Retro Gaming: Nearly everyone makes references to Dragon Quest and other famous game franchises throughout the series. Katsura in particular is a big fan of the Mega Drive and Famicon. Goes the distance in episode 167 where Tama gets sick and transforms into an 8-bit sprite, complete with Dragon Quest style dialogue windows, earning EXP from going shopping and an inventory full of standard Dragon Quest items like medical herbs and a cypress stick. Then again in 168, where the opening segment is a brief 8-bit game sequence starring Tama. The rest of the story arc is one big Dragon Quest parody.
  • Riding Into the Sunset: Happens a lot at the end of an episode/arc to highlight the heartwarming aspect. Occasionally subverted for Gintama's trademark trolling.
  • Running Gag: Plenty. There tends to be at least one per character.
    • Gintoki trying to bribe people with 300 yen.
    • Katsura calling Kagura "leader", from the curry ninja episode. Because leaders wear red.
    • Shinpachi's apparent existence being only hid glasses
    • Hijikata's love of mayonaise.
    • Kondo's a gorilla.
    • Yamazaki "ANPAN! ANPAN! ANPAN!
  • Sauna of Death: One of the most fangirl-approved moments in Gintoki and Hijikata's rivalry.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: While Gintoki's recovering after the Benizakura arc, Kagura tries reading Shonen Jump out loud to him, but she isn't all that good at it.
  • Scare'Em Straight: ALWAYS follow garbage disposal regulation, or else a decapitated head will stare at you! (Apparently this tactic worked on Gin.)
  • Self-Deprecation / Biting the Hand Humor: Everything about JUMP, especially the immaturity of its comics, is constantly mocked. Gin is treated as a loser for reading it, all glimpses we see of comics within it are scribble-quality, and any member of the Shinsengumi who reads it must commit seppuku to atone.
    • The author's commentaries in the compiled volumes are pretty much nothing but this, like a "how to draw" column that highlights his inability to draw more than one incredibly ordinary face, or saying that the unique aesthetic of the comic comes from the fact that it's "really poorly drawn". He also complains about his editor at every opportunity and at one point described working on a deadline as "walking a tightrope made of toilet paper across the Grand Canyon, and there's a monkey that looks like my editor peeing on the toilet paper".
    • The anime isn't better, they constantly talk about their poor rankings, No Budget and the production team.
  • Schizo-Tech: Robots, laser cannons, and video games exist in what is otherwise Meiji-era Japan, leading to things like samurai fighting on spaceships, and bright Zeerusty towers literally next door to traditional Japanese houses. And even the robots come in "steam-powered tin can" and "ridiculously human" flavours, with nothing in between.
  • Serial Escalation: This series attempts to find out just HOW FAR they can make parodies out of any series. Episode 150 takes this to the extremes though with the infamous Neon Genesis Evangelion episode 26 where they literally copied almost frame to frame with Shinji and Shinpachi. To drive the point home, Hasegawa is in the same position as where Gendo was and both have the same seiyuu. Here's the video itself with Gintama at the left and Evangelion at the right.
  • Self Fanservice: Despite a Running Gag of Shinpachi being entirely generic and plain-looking in the actual series, doujinshi artists consistently draw him incredibly pretty. It's surprisingly averted with Kondo and Hasegawa, though.
  • Self-Parody/Trope Name: In one chapter, Gin gets sick and Kagura decides to take over his identity until he gets better. The result is a highly exaggerated parody of the story's usual formula:

Shinpachi: No, it's too soon for the cool, heartwarming speech! We're only two pages in!

  • Shaggy Dog Story: Gin and Hattori have an epic battle for the last copy of that week's JUMP...only to realise that it's actually a different issue.
  • The Shinsengumi: With bazookas. Chances are your impressions of the Shinsengumi will never be the same again.
  • Ship Tease: While there are elements of this sprinkled through the anime, filler episode 166 forcefully pairs Gintoki and Hijikata for a day. Also used sometimes between Gintoki and Tsukuyo.
  • Shiritori: Combined with a game of Pass the Bomb.
  • Shirtless Scene: The seventh ED is, shall we say...gratifying, to those who appreciate the show's aesthetically appealing male cast.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Throughout the gag episodes, even especially the main characters seem to have the default reaction to flee before danger, leaving their comrades behind (often followed by a Taking You with Me moment). However, when there's a serious arc going on, that behaviour is forgotten and they strive to protect one another in battle.
  • Shout-Out: ...listing all of them would take up nearly half the article. So we have another page!
  • Shower Scene: One with Katsura in the MMORPG game arc. Unfortunately, at that time he was discussing how everyone urinates in the showers...
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: Gintoki does this in ch. 167 after Bansai tries to justify his attempt to destroy Japan by stating how Japan under the Amanto's dominion is doomed to rot away and taunts Gintoki about how Gintoki has nothing left to fight for.

Gintoki: Clean the snot from ears and listen well. For that kind of worthless nationalistic ideal I have never fought a single battle. All that bull about the collapse of the country or the extinction of the samurai I don't care for a long time. Whether now or in the past, there has been only one thing I want to protect. AND IT HAS NEVER CHANGED!!!


Gintoki: Well, it's something like this: He fights with his rival and wins. (writes one arrow from Yamcha to Tien) Then become friends without knowing it. (writes another arrow from Tien to Piccolo) And a new rival appears, and he fights and wins again. (writes another arrow from Piccolo to Vegeta) And made a new friend... Repeating this and dragging it on is the standard JUMP formula. (Circles all the characters except Yamcha)
Konoshi: Oi! One persion is missing! Namcha?! Is that Namcha?!
Gintoki: Well, that's what the rival part is all about. (crosses Yamcha out)
Konoshi: Oi! Let him in! Let Namcha join in the JUMP system!
Gintoki: The next thing is... Let's talk about the comedy part. (kicks the board down, directly where Yamcha was)
Konoshi: NAMCHA!!

    • This may be an Affectionate Parody, as the creator was sent a long letter from a fan saying though Namcha isn't strong physically, he is still a strong character, as he strives to do what's right even though he isn't as powerful as the others. Sorachi's response? "I agree."
  • Talking to Himself: LITERALLY. Gintoki and the Leukocyte King.
    • Episode 26 (or 227, depending on your point of view) has it when characters from Sket Dance meet the Yorozuya gang:Tomokazu Sugita as both Sakata Gintoki and Switch.
      • In the anime, EVERYONE (with the exception of Kagura literally talked with themselves. Yes, even Ryoko Shiraishi who got casted as the monkey (Jugem-monkey).
  • The Smurfette Principle: Averted. Kagura may be the heroine, but she's definitely not The Chick, and there are plenty of other girls about which the same could be said.
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: Hamiko has one.
  • This Is Reality: Probably the only time anyone's attempted to acknowledge the fourth wall (and it's made of balsa wood). In episode 169, the Yorozuya are attempting to cure Tama's illness. Because she's so obsessed with Dragon Quest, the arc is one big parody of the franchise, and at one point Shinpachi has to remind everyone that it's not really a game and they can't rely on standard conventions, such as save points, to get them through it.
  • Throw It In: The initial title of Yorozuya Gin-san was rejected by the editor, and another one was needed. Expecting that his other ideas would be shot down too, the author decided to play a little joke and submitted a random title his dad had made up: Gintama.
  • Time Skip: Chapter 324 to 326 (episodes 1-2 of the 2nd anime series, or episodes 202-203 if you're counting it as a continuation of the original anime series), parody this, as Shinpachi is sent two years into the future, where Gintoki looks like Nam-Cha, Kagura has developed breasts, and Tae and Kondo somehow manage to get married and are expecting kids.

Shinpachi: Where the hell is that place? It's not even in Japan!
Gintoki: Who cares? We still have to get stronger!
Shinpachi: Did we just do this arc because the other manga is doing it?

    • The Shinsengumi is now a fucking empire led by (Ba)Kaiser Sougo 'Sadistic' Okita III, the Demon Vice-Captain title is now held by Yamazaki, and Hijikata is a living embodiment of Good Is Dumb, but not really. By the way, they want to conquer Edo. Yeah.
    • Subverted, turns out they were actually the result of a boil the cast got during their previous week-long hiatus
  • Toilet Humour: Oh so much.
  • Edo Is The Center Of The Universe: Seriously, in a Japanese setting where the only foreigners are aliens, this is pretty inevitably invoked.
  • Toplessness From the Back: Done a few times by Gintoki of all people.
  • Training from Hell: Parodied to hell and back in chapter 229 (or episode 147, if you're watching the anime) through total destruction of the fourth wall. "Go train in another manga, I've heard of some good ones."
  • Training Montage: featuring Prince Hata of all people!
  • Traumatic Haircut: Katsura got his hair cut short after being supposedly killed in the Benizakura arc.
  • Trolling Creator: Sorachi is known as the greatest troll on the other side of Japan. There's even a special idiom for him, "Gorilla is playing with reader's crotch again."
  • True Companions: The Shinsengumi. Also, hurting Gintoki's friends can trigger Gintoki's change from a seemingly useless bum to the white demon.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Kagura, under the influence of her baser instincts, when Abuto tries to kill Shinpachi.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight
  • Unwanted Harem: From ch.336 to ch.339. Subverted in that his "harem" was a prank played on him to make him stop drinking.
  • Urine Trouble: This trope first happens in Episode 6 when Gintoki takes a piss in front of the police station after he is interrogated to show his distaste for the police.
    • Furthermore, in Episode 19, Hasegawa is relieving himself off of a cliff in a flashback when a woman notices and blushes.
      • The worst of it is that, as he tells us, that woman came to be his future wife!
    • In Episode 42, Gintoki and Umibouzu pee on the giant alien they just killed as a sign of victory.
    • In Episode 53, Gintoki has to put out a fire but doesn't have any water to use, so he uses his penis to do the job for him.
    • In Episode 115, when he is lost on an island, Katsura writes a big "SOS" in the sand with his pee.
    • In Episode 190, Gintoki pisses on a mound of dirt that turns out to be a cursed cat's grave.
    • Gintoki once pisses into a river while a man (who is a little bit downstream) is trying to drink from it. [dead link]
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Gintoki and Katsura. Also, Hijikata and Okita.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Yato race is one of the strongest species in universe, yet rays of sunlight tend to not treat them kindly. Housen dried up after being suddenly exposed to sun, since he had been living under the ground for many years. Kagura merely gets weaker and dizzy if being outside without an umbrella, so they're probably generally adaptive.
  • Weather Report: Starts off that five-episode arc about shikigami.
  • We Help the Helpless
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Plenty of the "battles" that occur outside of the more serious arcs. And sometimes they don't have to be battles.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: Seriously, Hijikata, chill. Shonen manga is not worth committing seppuku over.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: The premises that started off the harem arc. Nothing like a series of hilarious Gintoki facial expressions.
    • Sa-chan having fallen through his roof and slept with him (and then using that to her advantage) provides the trope page picture.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Gintoki Paako and Katsura Zurako anyone? Averted with Mademoiselle Saigou and her girls. They're very wholesome, just totally unconvincing.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Gintoki is very scared of ghosts. So is Hijikata.
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Gintoki's reliable Lake Toya.
    • Which despite being mere wood managed to cut through a spaceship's humongous cannon. It turns out that this is because it's some special super-hard alien wood.
    • Katanas Are Just Better: Gintoki goes to town with a regular katana when battles become X-Rated.
  • World of Snark
  • Wretched Hive: Yoshiwara, the underground courtesan safe haven. Heavily subverted later, albeit, as we learn that Yoshiwara's filled with decent people, especially with regards to how they protected Seita as a baby and how they got him far away from Yoshiwara for his safety. Also, despite crime still being prevalent, it's not so underground and violent anymore, now that Gintoki defeated Hosen and Jiraiya. Heck, Seita's living there now (working at an adult toy store, for crying out loud...) and Gintoki even comments how basic life there isn't different from any other town.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Played for laughs of course since this is Gintama. The whole Character Popularity Arc? All planned by YAMAZAKI!. He wasn't happy with his ranking so he started a war to get all the characters to reduce each other's ranking. Seeing as he wasn't the only one unhappy with his ranking, they almost did it without his help. The outcome of said war would help him either way
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Bansai, Ayame, Tama, Tetsuko.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Parodied in the first chapter. Gin lets them pass after a single page. (And he survives.)
  • Zeerust: A lot of the Amanto technology is like this.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Tsu Terakado. Seems to be the standard fashion for teenage girls in Edo.
    • Kagura also wore them in the fourth ending, though it's relatively hard to spot. Her outfit in Yoshiwara also featured this.
    • The members of the Hyakka also wear these, usually fishnets.
  • Zombrow Apocalypse: Parodied in one episode where a special kind of virus strikes Edo, making those who are affected act like zombies... with the interests of useless old men who like to lay around all day and do nothing but play pachinko [2]. Katsura immediately starts calling them 'zombrows' due to Genre Savviness and the unibrows they immediately sprout upon infection. It spreads quickly and soon only a handful of people are left. The situation looks hopeless, but because Gin already acts like a useless old man the virus passes him over and he manages to get everyone back to normal.
  1. Toshi, Hijikata's Otaku ego
  2. a parody of Kochikame's protagonist Kankichi Ryotsu