Laughter Guaranteed: 10 Memorable Episodes From “Running Man” In 2020

For the past 10 years, “Running Man” has been a staple in many a households, providing constant laughter and joy week after week. While some may argue that the show is not how it used to be, it still has plenty of gas in its tank and still knocks out on the entertainment factor. And in a year that celebrates the show’s 10th anniversary, let’s also celebrate some of the memorable episodes that “Running Man” has given us this year. (If you instead want to take a trip down concept-memory-lane, be sure to check out this article too).

Here are 10 episodes that were especially memorable for various reasons, in chronological order:

Ep. 490-491 (February 16 & 23)

This episode was filmed during the early COVID-19 days, so the cast and crew had to stay indoors for safety reasons. However, they used the situation to their advantage and turned in one of the funniest episodes in the earlier months.

The idea of the episode is that each member has a random amount of time to “live” until they’re eliminated, and as you can imagine, things get pretty funny when the members are desperate. The first part of the episode is hilarious and the second half is action-packed with plenty of twists and intrigue.

Ep. 493 (March 8)

The majority of this episode is basically the “try not to laugh challenge” but on crack. Lee Kwang Soo is usually a key player during these segments, though he was absent from the episode due to an injury. The other members, however, more than stepped up to deliver some of the funniest moments of the year. Whether it’s Yang Se Chan and Jun So Min’s parody of the pottery scene from “Ghost” (as Minions no less), Yoo Jae Suk as a llama, or a completely expressionless Song Ji Hyo dancing to Zico’s “Any Song,” it was just punch after punch of hilarity.

Ep. 500 (April 26)

500 episodes is a huge milestone in Korean variety history, and not many shows are able to claim this accomplishment. Unfortunately with the pandemic, the show couldn’t plan a huge extravaganza for the momentous occasion, but they still gave us a great episode to enjoy. The guests of the week (Weki Meki‘s Choi Yoojung, Chungha, Lovelyz‘s Mijoo, and Apink‘s Chorong and Yoon Bomi) were there to have fun, and the chemistry was great all around. The twist at the end is also a nice call back to a very early episode when Song Ji Hyo turned out to be a spy (episode 62).

Ep. 505 (May 31)

After taking a brief break for health reasons, Jun So Min rejoins the group in this episode. It’s light and fun with plenty of silly stories from the cast to start off the show, and it seems like everyone is in a brighter mood getting to film outdoors for a change. Things take an exciting turn when the “storyline” of the episode kicks in — there’s a malevolent scarecrow that demands human sacrifices — and everything is suddenly shrouded in mystery and tension.

Ep. 509 (June 28)

The “superpowers” series are beloved among “Running Man” fans, and for the 10th anniversary, the show brought this concept back. But as a twist, instead of cool powers, the cast (and family-like guests of Kang Han Na and Lee Sang Yeob) were given superpowers with a side of funny, with Ji Suk Jin’s definitely being the highlight of the episode. Without giving too much away, his powers involve a lot of regressing (and a lot of costume changes). Kim Jong Kook has a fun twist too, because just when we thought he had “WiFi” powers again, it turns out… well, you’ll just have to watch the episode to find out!

Ep. 511 (July 12)

To celebrate and thank the viewers for 10 years of love and support, the “Running Man” team gave us an interactive episode for the 10th anniversary. The members had to figure out who the “thieves” among them were, while the thieves’ mission was to steal the gold bars without getting caught. It’s fun to watch as they try to investigate with their special occupational-based abilities, and viewers even got a chance to vote out their choice of suspects. The result itself is a doozy!

Ep. 515 (August 9)

The show had been utilizing the “members vs. spies” concept a lot around this time period, so this episode’s rules were interestingly different for a change. It is sort of an escape-from-prison theme, with different factions (and sidekicks) in play. The guests for the episode were a highlight too (Ha Do Kwon, Ji Seung Hyun, Kim Yong Ji, and Kim Young Min) as they were all intuitive and were ready to immerse themselves in the experience. They all got a chance to shine, which gave us a funny, fresh, and memorable episode.

Ep. 520 (September 13)

This is quite a change of pace for “Running Man,” as instead of the usual concepts, this one was about the cast trying out new hobbies like yodeling, dancing the Samba, and singing a capella. (COVID-19 numbers spiked again in Korea around this time, so they had to stay indoors). On paper it might seem like an uneventful episode, but because the members themselves were having so much fun, it made everything twice as funny. Whether it was HaHa dancing the sexy Samba with Yoo Jae Suk, or the disastrous rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” with Lee Kwang Soo, Song Ji Hyo, Yang Se Chan, and Yoo Jae Suk, you’ll be guaranteed to be ROFL-ing throughout.

Ep. 530 & 531 (November 22 & 29)

In this episode, “The Penthouse” cast pop by “Running Man” for a visit, where the mission is to be the first few members to “move in” to the penthouse. The four guests — consisting of Ha Do Kwon, Eugene, Kim So Yeon, and Lee Ji Ah — are mostly variety newbies which makes them the perfect targets for the cast’s teasing. Kim So Yeon and Lee Ji Ah especially drew much laughter with their quirky, awkward, honest reactions as well as their uncoordinated-ness in games. And we can’t forget the opening either, where Song Ji Hyo and Lee Kwang Soo fulfill a punishment from a previous episode — dressing up as 18th century opera singers.

Ep. 532 (December 6)

This episode is the “Best Friend” special, where friends of the cast make an appearance, including the always down-to-have-fun Cha Tae Hyun who hasn’t been on the show in about nine years. (Other guests include TXT‘s Huening Kai and Yeonjun, Lovelyz’s Mijoo, Jang Dong Min and Yang Dong Geun). Most of the guests are chaotic and they know each other well which makes for great chemistry all around, resulting in a rambunctious episode where the cast have a blast playing a game similar to Monopoly. And as with most “Running Man” episodes, the cast go around swiping (read: stealing) each other’s “coins,” which intensifies to an extent where Ji Suk Jin is just walking around with a strap with no pouch attached.

Watch “Running Man” with English subtitles below!

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Which “Running Man” episode from this year has been the most memorable for you? Give us your own recommendations in the comments section below! 

Belinda_C thanks “Running Man” for providing much of the laughter this year! Talk variety shows, SEVENTEEN, and Shinhwa with her on Twitter!

Currently watching: “The Uncanny Counter”
All-time favorite:
 “Kill Me Heal Me,” “Defendant,” “Hotel Del Luna
Looking forward to: City Couple’s Way of Love” starring Ji Chang Wook and Kim Ji Won

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