Running Man List

I've been a fan och the highly popular variety show Running Man on SBS as long as I've been a fan of K-pop, and have watched basically all episodes I could find with English subtitles. While not all episodes have been flawlessly composed an executed, there are more the plenty that I highly recommend watching. Naturally, more episodes will be added as I re-watch them, but bare in mind that it will take a while to do so.

(Episodes marked with are personal favorites of mine)

Ep. 1 - Escape the Mall
Also known as the rainiest opening to a new show ever. 

Broadcast Date: July 11, 2010
Guests: Lee Hyori, Hwang Jung Eum
Funny moments: 
-Kwang Soo's introduction being overshadowed by the heavy rain
-The two jointed hats and the hilarious banter that followed
- Poor Jae Suk getting hit with a knee right in the crotch
-Hyori being unable to take a bad picture 

Additional Notes: 
The first episode is definitely a bit awkward and confusing, but you can already feel all the potential. I love how dumbfounded the cast members are by the various challenges they're faced, such as the clothes-hanger race and the chicken-fight-game against a small army of men. Also, Hyori is amazing.

Rating: 7/10

Ep. 2 - The Stadium Escape Challenge Part 1
Also known as the first episode starring our very own ace Ji Hyo, but as a guest.

Broadcast Date: July 18, 2010
Guests: Goo Hara (Kara), Lee Chun Hee, Song Ji Hyo
Funny Moments: 
- No one wanting to be on Kwang Soo's team
- The birth of "peaceful Gary"

Additional Notes:
The games are fun, strange and creative and I love the members' reactions to them. This is also the first episode to feature a diving challenge, which is a recurring event later on in the show. I really like the guests, and I love it when the girls are active and full of fighting spirit (hence my love for Hara).

Rating: 6/10

Ep. 3 -  The Stadium Escape Challenge Part 2
Also known as the birth of Sparta-Kooks and the first and last appearance of the telepathy game. 

Broadcast Date: July 25, 2010
Guests: Goo Hara (Kara), Lee Chun Hee, Song Ji Hyo
Funny Moments: 
- The telepathy game is the best game ever invented and is easily the episode's highlight
- Jong Kook and Haha's bickering about heights and ex-girlfriends
- Gary continuously getting hit by footballs
- Suk Jin being jelaous of the younger members' close relationship

Additional Notes:
It's funny how I can tell it's an old episode by how they aren't even considering stealing each other's piggy banks, as the newer episodes are pretty much all about that. This is also the first episode to feature Jae Suk's infamous VJ Ryu Kwon Ryeol, a familiar face to anyone acquainted with the show.

Rating: 7/10

Ep. 4 - Night at the Museum Part 1
Also known as the first appearance of the high-jump water challenge. 

Broadcast Date: August 1, 2010
Guests: Jessica (SNSD), Nichkhun (2PM), Song Ji Hyo
Funny Moments: 
- Jong Kook's frustration over being put in the "child" team aka the short team
- Gary getting sneaked up on throughout the episode
- Kwang Soo submerging into the water
- Suk Jin landing flat on his face and getting hit by an elbow 
- Jong Kook dragging half the cast up the stairs by his name tag

Additional Notes:
What I find really separates these older episodes from the newer ones is the way the guests are involved. Nowadays the episodes pretty much revolve around the guests, rather than having them on just to act as another member of the cast. The main focus still lies on the challenge itself, which I think is a much better purpose.

Rating: 7/10

Ep. 5 - Night at the Museum Part 2
Also known as the one where Jong Kook, Gary and Suk Jin teaches us how to dance like a pro.

Broadcast Date: August 8, 2010
Guests: Jessica (SNSD), Nichkhun (2PM), Song Ji Hyo
Funny Moments: 
- The beginning of Suk Jin's image as we know it
- The entire photozone challenge is just spot on (and Gary is amazing once again)
- The members showing off their dance skills 
- The bus challenge is absurd and brutal but it's hilarious

Additional Notes:
There are many things that I like about this episode, but in particular I love the part where they all just sit and rest in between the missions, as you get to see some more genuine interactions between the members. I think this episode is better than the last one, and I admit to having laughed out loud a couple of times.

Rating: 7/10

Ep. 7 - Center of Performing Arts Race
Also known as the first introduction of the scary hide-and-seek-bells game.

Broadcast Date: August 22, 2010
Guests: Jo Kwon (2AM), Eunjung (T-ara), Yonghwa (CNBlue)
Funny Moments: 
- The updated ballerina photozone challenge and the hideous wigs that come along
- Jae Suk's face when he realizes he's been eavesdropped on
- The birth of "Jong Kook and the kids"
- Jong Kook and Jae Suk getting 11 lemon halves each for their "lemon tea"

Additional Notes:
This episode is also acknowledged Running Man legend Yonghwa's very first episode as well as Ji Hyo's first as a regular cast member. Yonghwa does steal the show though, as he manages to basically single-handedly win the mission for this team (with some help from Ji Hyo and Jo Kwon of course). 

Rating: 7/10

*Ep. 8 - Seoul History Museum Race
Also known as that one time where all cast members were embarrassed by old footage.

Broadcast Date: August 29, 2010
Guests: Lee Joon (Mblaq), Victoria (f(x)), Park Joon Gyu
Funny Moments: 
- Everyone hitting each other with sticks and Gary enduring pain like a true champion
- The "Law of pain" as presented by Suk Jin on Jae Suk
- Suk Jin's nose coming to the rescue for the Blue Team
- Joon accidentally loosing VJ for 20 minutes 
- "I Swear". Do I need to say more?

Additional Notes:
This episode is full of exciting games, such as the "breaking the chopsticks with your fingers", "clothes peg tug-of-war" and the  twist on the "hide and seek" race that all pave way for some amazing moments. The ending is the best though, and it definitely is what makes this episode on of my favorites ever. 

Rating: 9/10

Ep. 11- Seoul Post Office Race
Also known as the episode where everyone tricks Gary by smearing ink all over his face.

Broadcast Date: September 19, 2010
Guests: Yonghwa (CNBlue), Kim Jae Dong
Funny Moments: 
- Framer Kwang Soo strikes again
- Yonghwa imitating Jae Dong and doing it perfectly
- Suk Jin and Jong Kook fighting over who won at rock-paper-scissors
- The mysterious "Sergeant Im"

Additional Notes: 
I always love the 1 vs X segments, because it's hilarious seeing the members working together towards a shared goal and trying not to reveal themselves.The Monday Couple is also really progressing fast as this point, or well, Gary is basically taking every shot he gets in trying to establish the love line between Ji Hyo and himself.

Rating: 7/10

Ep. 12 - Seoul Design Fair at the Olympic Stadium
Also known as the one with the infamous "Pygmalion Effect". 

Broadcast Date: September 26, 2010
Guests: None
Funny Moments: 
- Jong Kook still holding grudges after last week's rock-paper-scissors battle
- Gary's hilariously nervous "Donatello" rap
- Jae Suk going for a team kill with his irritable questions 

Additional Notes:
The 1 vs X is back once again, but this time the mission is to fool Joong Ki, and on his own birth day on top of that. It's honestly so funny seeing the members' awkward acting and exaggerated reactions, as well as their nervous laughter. Joong Ki probably isn't the best person to fool either, because that guy has a brain, and a big one indeed. 

Rating: 6/10

*Ep. 13 - SBS Broadcasting Station Race
Also known as the one time half of the members appeared in Hanboks on live broadcast.

Broadcast Date: October 3, 2010
Guests: Jang Dong Min, Lizzy (After School)
Funny Moments: 
- Suk Jin's first love, Ji Soo
- Kwang Soo cheating, or is he just coughing?
- Ji Hyo literally running into Jong Kook whilst escaping from Haha
- Jae Suk witnessing a "horror scene" from the elevator

Additional Notes: 
The "hide-and-seek" race in this particular episode is actually one of my favorites in the category, as it provides plenty of those thrilling moments that this show is both known and loved for. The race is intense and hugely entertaining to watch, with plenty of twists and turns and because of the sheer, raw suspense and genuine reactions by the members.

Rating: 9/10

Ep. 14 - Boramae Safety Experience Center Race
Also known as the one where the Monday Couple is officially born.

Broadcast Date: October 17, 2010
Guests: Lizzy (After School)
Funny Moments:
- Framer Kwang Soo outs Jong Kook as a nail art fan
- PT Kwang Soo's memorable appearance
- Jae Suk fleeing Jong Kook when it should be the other way around
- Ji Hyo's new tactic: the leg-clinging technique 

Additional Notes: 

It's a 1 vs 8 mission again, but Jong Kook is the one trying to deceive the other seven instead of the other way around, and boy does he take it seriously. For the main hide-and-seek game the usual teams are mixed up and this time Jong Kook is the one being chased. It doesn't go quite as well since he's definitely not one to be caught easily.

Rating: 7/10

Ep. 16 - Yongsan I'Park Mall Race
Also known as the one where the Running Man cast bring a Girls' Generation member to tears.

Broadcast Date: October 31, 2010
Guests: Yuri (Girls' Generation)
Funny Moments:
- Kwang Soo taking down Jong Kook, one diss at a time
- The members getting even the strangest questions right
- Jong Kook being the health freak he is and taking it out on the "kids"
- Ji Hyo's being the one witnessing a horror scene from the elevator

Additional Notes: 
Poor Yuri is the one being fooled in this 1 vs X edition, and I felt really sorry for though her watching her take all the blame. The food mission is super sweet, and I really like the three teams: "Jong Kook and the Kids", "Ji Hyo and the Uncles" and "The Youthful Romance Drama", and the fantastic chemistry and banter.

Rating: 7/10

*Ep. 17 - Hanyang Women's University Race
Also known as the one with the reverse 1 vs X, as Yong Hwa decides to fool the entire cast.

Broadcast Date: November 7, 2010
Guests: Go Joo Won, Yong Hwa (CNBlue)
Funny Moments: 
- Jong Kook's perm. Seriously dude.
- The PD punishing Jong Kook by accident. Twice.
- Kwang Soo learns the meaning of "what goes around, comes around"
- Haha and Jong Kook's high pitch competition
- The formation of the "Jail Regulars"

Additional Notes:
This episode is a fun one, and I'm already loving it in the opening sequence, because both parties are trying not to act awkward and unnatural and some of them are having a harder time than others.
The music mission is also surprisingly funny, and the "flower boys" duo sweeping through the halls made me giggle.

Rating: 9/10

Ep. 18 - Running Man Cruise
Also known as the one where dance club president Yoo Hyuk and Haroro are born.

Broadcast Date: November 21, 2010
Guests: Lizzy (After School) becomes a regular member at this point.
Funny Moments:
- The manager invasion punishment
- Yoo Hyuk showing off his moves
- The pirate costumes. Seriously, guys?
- Seeing the member's faces right after they've woken up? Priceless.

Additional Notes:
First of all, can I just say how much I adore Joong Ki's outfit in this episode? His uggs are ridiculously cute. The Song-Song couple interaction is also ridiculously cute and Monday couple aside, they would make such a gorgeous pair. This episode's concept was slightly vague, but the final mission was just the right amount of random to make it enjoyable.

Rating: 6/10

Ep. 21 - Fun At The Train Station
Also known as the one when the Spart-Ace couple score an all-kill.

Broadcast Date: December 12, 2010
Guests: Kim Jae Dong
Funny Moments:
- Kwang Soo letting his team down, the first of many more times to come
- Jae Suk running off with Jae Dong's glasses
- The last few minutes of the 1 vs 9 game was chaotic and hysterical
- The running "bell"

Additional Notes:
This episode is the first to feature the reoccurring train-elimination challenge, and is therefore by default the most interesting because the members are still unfamiliar with the concept. I also happen to really enjoy the teams in this one. There's never a particularly outstanding moment in the episode, but everything's quite cute and entertaining.

Rating: 6/10

*Ep. 22 - 1st Christmas Special
Also known as the one with all the toys and where the members exchange shirts on air.

Broadcast Date: December 19, 2010
Guests: Choi Si Won (Super Junior), Kim Min Jong
Funny Moments:
- Suk Jin the realistic dad getting completely run over by his team members
- Si Won's animated hand gestures and the added sound effects
- The overplayed reaction to Min Jong's kiss scene
- Jong Kook's "My eyes aren't even half the size of his!"
- All of the reenactment scenes.
- Min Jong's signature melody: "Geudaeyeo"

Additional Notes:
Running Man in an enormous toy store? It really doesn't get better than this. I love all the members' enthusiasm as the try to find the most popular toys, and Si Won in particular is adorably excited. Literally every mission in this episode was amazing, and I was laughing out loud throughout the entire thing.

Rating: 8/10

Ep. 25 - Manhwa Museum Extraordinaire 
Also known as the one where and Gary is a crew member and no one notices.

Broadcast Date: January 9, 2011
Guests: Park Bo Young
Funny Moments:
- The entire intro sequence. The costumes. The acting. Jong Kook as a baby
- Bo Young calling Gary an ahjussi. To his face
- Kwang Soo's hat being blown off over the wall behind him
- Lizzy and Jae Suk sacrificing Kwang Soo in order to save themselves.
- Jong Kook in the wolf costume. I DIED.

Additional Notes:
I seriously love the "Secret Gary" mission, and apparently it works quite well because Gary seems to have a very ordinary face. A handsome ordinary face, of course. However, Bo Young is not one to be easily fooled. Her guest appearance alone is truly worth nothing, as she with ease interacts and plays with the cast members and engages in the games. Could all female guests be like this, please?

Score: 7/10

Ep. 26  - Instrument Shopping Center Fun
Also known as the first "catch the guest" episode where the cast butchers foreign languages.

Broadcast Date: January 16, 2011
Guests: Lee Moon Sik, Jung Jin Young
Funny Moments: 
- PD-nim: "You have to catch the guests" RM: *Endless complaints*.
- Jin Young casually eating as if nothing's happened.
- The entire World Music segment is hysterical and amazing and I love José Hyung-nim.
-"Adult Video Addict: Yoo Jae Suk"

Additional Notes:
Anytime Jong Kook and Kwang Soo teams up at any point; I'm a happy camper. I'm also still deeply impressed by Jae Suk's emotional renedition of "Run Towards the Future", as it was just as impressive as it was comedic. Overall, it was a cute, funny episode with good guests, but there was a bit too much action missing for my taste. Still, it was pretty enjoyable. 

Score: 6/10

Ep. 27 - Running At The Opera
Also known as the one with Yunho's infamous rhinoceros drawing. 

Broadcast Date: January 23, 2011
Guests: Yunho, Changmin (TVXQ)
Funny Moments: 
- Suk Jin falling in love with every woman he encounters
- The painting of Kwang Soo in the art gallery
- Yunho's jab at Jong Kook: "He was more cheap in the past"
- Dancing Machine Kwang Soo's first appearance 

Additional Notes:
Let's just say it's fortunate that Joong Ki and Yunho are entertainers and not illustrators. I love how Jong Kook became Yunho's sunflower as Suk Jin has been Jae Suk's, and I love that the bonds from the old X-Man days are still there. Seriously though, this episode isn't that exciting but the missions are cute and cozy and I love me some Changmin and Yunho. Especially the latter one. 

Score: 6/10

Ep. 28 - Bathhouse Fun
Also known as the episode with the best Running Man dance party ever.

Broadcast Date: January 30, 2011
Guests: Kim Byung Man
Funny Moments : 
- Master of disguises Maknae FD Dong Wan making a memorable first appearance
- Ji Hyo butchering So Chan Whee's "Tears" in the cutest way possible
- Suk Jin's rubber band slipping 
- Turbo karaoke is the best event to have happened, period

Additional Notes:
I'm pretty certain Diet Karaoke is one of the better Running Man games invented, as it combines to things that really aren't meant to go together which of course, results in hysterical laughter from my side. The Turbo dance party is also a huge highlight in this episode, which otherwise is fun, but not on top of the ratings. 

Score: 7/10

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