The Top 10 Running Man Episodes of 2013



2013 was a year full of ups and downs for Running Man. Literally. Not only did it achieve it's highest ever ratings, the ratings also quickly slumped to one of the lowest. But ratings do not a good Running Man episode make. Since it's the end of the year, it's definitely a perfect time to take a look back at the episodes that stood out in 2013.

I have to make a note here that what constitutes a "great" Running Man episode (to me, at least) is how entertained I was from watching it. Running Man is, after all, a variety show and variety shows are supposed to be a source of entertainment and laughs. That's what I deem to be a good Running Man episode.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 Running Man episodes in 2013, in no particular order, and in my very humble opinion.

Note: The final episode of the year (ep. 178) is not included in the list because it hasn't come out at the time of writing. 

Episode 129: Idols Winter Olympics

What do you get when you put idols, winter Olympic sports and Running Man together? You'll get the craziest, most unsporting and stomach-wrenchingly funny event, that is the Running Man Winter Olympics. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this episode, because it has every single event which guarantees action, sportsmanship (though with Kwang-soo and HaHa around this is a huge question mark), and a timer nametag ripping hide and seek game for the idols. In between, there are also lots of smashing and crashing, mostly by the Commander.

My personal favorite was the diving board leap, which actually resembled some kind of sport. For a sport themed episode, this one definitely delivered the goods.

Episode 130: Reincarnation

The Reincarnation episode was one of my personal favorites. The episode had everything from an exciting nametag ripping battle between two of Running Man's Commanders, Gary and Jong-kook, to a concept which was as breathtakingly interesting to us as the viewers and for the members as well.

Plus, there was also Suk-jin's first ever kill of the Commander, which only makes this episode so much more memorable.

Episode 134: Legend of the 9 Swords: Vietnam

I have always loved international episodes, with the Bangkok, Beijing and Hong Kong races especially exciting. What I did not expect with 2013's grand Asian Race was how uninteresting most of the games were. Sure, the members leapt off the Macau Tower and that was one of the highlights, but the Macau stop of the race wasn't exciting enough. One reason for this is because of the popularity of Running Man, making filming on the streets very difficult.

On the flip side, the first Vietnam episode was exhilarating. Nametag ripping, playing games with the locals, and a whole lot of action till the end gave the episode an edge over its other 2013 international episode counterparts.

Even an injured Commander couldn't put out the flames of this episode.

Episode 137: Princess and the Ondal

One of the more guest dominated episodes on this list is also one of the best. There is nothing not to love about the golden pairing of Noh Sa-yeon aka Tuna Noona, the shining star of prettiness, UEE and Mong Ji-hyo as princesses who have to train the rest of the fools (all the male members).

The opening sequence where the men were required to act like fools is still one of the funniest openings, while the rest of the missions; the stomach hurting hilarity of the water blasts, Monday Couple's pepero kiss and a boxing ring battle for the best, cement this as one of the year's best episodes.

Episode 153/154: Park Ji-sung Returns

Newly non-single Park Ji-sung's second appearance on Running Man didn't make quite as big an impact on audiences as his first, but it was still a hoot and a half. Along with cute as a button Sulli and captain of the South Korean football team Koo Ja-cheol, Park Ji-sung brought a brand of humor and football related games which culminated in a nametag ripping battle for the best.

Of course there was also the Monday Couple moment which put everyone on an emotional roller coaster, so there's that.

Episode 154 was mostly focused on the Asian Dream Cup, with Yoo Jae-suk missing a penalty, but holy cruds was it funny. And Manchester United's Patrice Evra was the guest. What can Running Man not do?

Episode 155: Partner of Fate

I can never get enough of the concepts that Running Man can come up with. In this horror special, with Suzy guesting as a very pretty ghost, the suspense was driving the members, and viewers like myself, crazy. Until the ghosts were revealed, the entire mission looking for mirrors and the creepy voice issuing death warrants was both terrifying, and hilarious (Kwang-soo's head in a self made neck strap to prevent him from looking back).

Episode 159: Couple or Gold

An episode with a record number of guests, and so much fun and laughter. The main mission was to choose between couples or gold, but it was the side missions which brought out the true meaning of what it means to be a couple.

The boat building mission especially wasn't funny, until you saw Jae-suk and Kwang-kyu's "coffin", and how the won the race through sheer terror alone.

That was one of the most hilarious things I've ever watched on Running Man, and that's saying a lot. And the Monday Couple's big win at the end burst my frail Monday Couple shipping heart.

Episode 161: Pirates of the Caribbean

I wasn't active at all in the Korean variety world back in the day when Shinhwa were the kings. The variety veterans took to the stage in a series of games, proving their versatility and their prowess in the variety world. The toe battle between Jun Jin and Kwang-soo is funny, and I didn't know it would be so painful to watch two grown men battling with their toes.

The final mission was superbly executed as well, with pirates Shinhwa taking back their crowns as the true variety kings.

Episode 145: Running Man vs Law of the Jungle

Pit a team of hardened machines, trained in the laws of the jungle (geddit?) against the Running Man members and you'll probably get one of the most mismatched and one sided defeats ever seen in Running Man history. As competitive as this matchup was going to be, it also remembered to be funny, with most of the jokes coming from the Law of the Jungle team utterly humiliating the Running Man members in almost every aspect.

Not to mention that this episode had one of the most thrilling nametag ripping games in a really, really long time, making this episode a perfect mix of humor and action that Running Man is so famous for.

Episode 177: Nightmare before Christmas

I love Running Man PDs and their unique concepts, and the Nightmare before Christmas episode showed me just how much. There was mystery (Gary's been kidnapped!?), a lot of chasing and sleuthing, some hastily (and hilariously) written rap lyrics, as well as a whole lot of guest appearances.

But the main draw of the episode was the first appearance of Gary's long time partner Gil of LeeSsang, which was what originally drew me to the episode. But the episode itself was brilliantly done, with a twist in the middle that wasn't expected at all. This is Running Man at its best.

Do you agree with my choices, or do you think I missed out something, somewhere? Which are YOUR top episodes from 2013? Leave a comment below!

Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to more Running Man goodness next year!

I did a similar list for the past 2 years, which you can check out here: 
Top 10 of 2014 
Top 10 of 2015


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