When coming into the world of K-pop or K-dramas, one would definitely come across variety shows as well. One of the most famous variety shows in Korea is “Running Man.” Started in 2010, it’s one of the longest running shows in South Korea. The show includes multiple kinds of games, including the ever-popular “Name Tag Elimination.” The members of “Running Man” play alongside celebrity guests who are invited each week. Although there are many great “Running Man” episodes to choose from, here are the top ten “Running Man” shows that I recommend. This list is in no particular order. Check out the list below and let us know if we included your favorite episodes!
1) Ep. 277 – Zombie Special
In this episode, the members are immersed in an apocalyptic world where zombies run rampant. Their task is to find survivors while also finding an antidote for the zombie virus. With members trying to steal each other’s survivors (points) along with great zombie acting from the cast, this episode is a must-see. How many survivors did they rescue? How many running man members turned into a zombie?
2) Ep. 104 – Summer Olympics
This episode’s guests included Eunhyuk of Super Junior, Nichkhun of 2PM, Jung Yonghwa of CNBLUE, Lee Joon of MBLAQ, Yoon Doojoon of B2ST, Im Siwan of ZE:A, and Eunjung of T-ARA. These guests form the group “Team Idol”, while the “Running Man” members form Team Running Man. From a relay race to a volleyball court while on a trampoline, from a teammate hurdle toss in water to Switch Off Name Tag Elimination, this episode will have you rooting for your favorite team.
3) Ep. 216 – Running Heroes
“There are no guests in this episode as the “Running Man” members are dressed up as superheroes who have lost their powers. Through different tests, they try to recover their powers. They walk among civilians, and at times are laughed at while helping those who call out for them. They even get tested on their bravery while crossing a rooftop of two buildings in which hilarity ensues.
4) Ep. 9 – Lotte World
Heading back to the early episodes of “Running Man” (and on my list of favorites) is Ep 9, where members and guests enter into a theme park called Lotte World. The guests in this episode are Shin Bong Sun, Kim Soo Ro and Lee Hong Ki of FTISLAND. “Running Man” members and guests are split into blue and red team. The missions involve roller coaster karaoke and name tag elimination with bells. With Shin Bong Sun sticking to Kim Jong Kook and attacking other members to save her love, this episode will give you stitches.
5) Ep. 197 – National College Ddakji Challenge
The guests in this episode are not celebrities, but Korean college students. The “Running Man” members split up and go to different colleges to recruit students to join their team. Students play for scholarship money and college pride, along for general fun. It is great to see members interacting with regular citizens. Watch out for “Mr. Bean.” He’s a college student who likes to turn back time. Check it out to see which college won.
6) Ep. 187 – Han River Crossing Race
This is another episode with no celebrity guests. The “Running Man” members recruit college students to help build a boat made of everyday materials in order to cross the Han River. As college teammates are chosen, teamwork and communication seem to come easier than others. Who will be able to cross the river? Whose boat will collapse?
7) Ep. 189 – Adventure in Australia
“Running Man” members visit Australia with guests Kim Woo Bin and Rain for the second part of their trip (first part is ep.188). The beginning of this episode shows the late-night shenanigans as the members and guests are given their own personal cameras. The next day, without knowing what they are for, they choose cards between land, sea, and air for transportation and later receive element cards as cheating and betrayal occur. Ahh, that’s “Running Man” for you!
8) Ep. 289 – Running Man in Dubai
“Running Man” members are in Dubai with guests Jung Il Woo and Lee Da Hae. Their Dubai trip seems to be an easy going one as everyone is told that it is their day off. The crew proposes five activities that include skydiving and zip lining. Members, as well as guests, can choose if they want to do any of it or none of it. What is their motivation for doing these activities? They will receive stamps shaped like a grasshopper (Dubai is Arabic for grasshopper) for each activity completed and the number of stamps depend on the activity difficulty level. Earning ten stamps gets them a lovely night at a luxury resort. The others? Well, let’s just say they’ll be enjoying the night stars. Watch as they overcome their individual fears for a chance at a luxurious stay.
9) Ep. 130 – Back to 1938
This episode has time travel, along with betrayals at its finest! With no guests in this episode, “Running Man” members are all transported back in time during the resistance movement. Weird things happen to each member as they try to figure out what is going on while finding these mysterious keys. A twist lies before us in the end as the members are reincarnated in 2013.
10) Ep. 271 & 272 – 100 vs 100
This last recommendation is a two-part episode, as the members call in 93 guests to help compete against 100 martial artists, wrestlers, and taekwondo professionals. Celebrity guests keep pouring in as they introduce themselves in between separate challenges that lead to the ultimate Name Tag Elimination.
What do you think about these episodes? Are these some of your favorites or do you think other episodes deserve to be on this list? Let us know in the comments below! Make sure to tell us about your favorite “Running Man” episode.
Panamami started listening to Kpop and watching Kdramas in early Feb 2015. She finally succeeded in getting her best friend into it a year later. Hey favorite group is BTS and her bias is Rap Monster. She also listens to Jay Park and Illionaire and loves discovering new news with her friend. When not watching Kdramas or working, she can be seen volunteering at a horse farm. Panamami loves animals and has a dog and two cats.