Sitcoms/Variety Shows
Running Man: Episode 184
by | February 15, 2014 | 45 Comments

What better way is there to fight the freezing cold than the chance to win glory and gold? The Winter Olympics may take place once every four years, but our cast will put their speed, concentration, and agility to the test in these games against the all-stars. Though I’m pretty sure actual Olympians don’t have to cook or do laundry with ice cold water, this training camp isn’t for the weak or weary, because simply coming out of it unscathed is a feat in of itself.

EPISODE 184. Broadcast on February 9, 2014.

Welcome to the 2014 Running Man Winter Olympics… where the low-rent outdoor backdrop is falling apart around our cast members. Ha, that’s one way to start an opening.

Our Running Man Team send warm cheers to the Olympians while fighting the bitter cold, unaware of the hellish training camp that awaits them here. They’ll be pitted against the All-Star Team today, led by Jong-kook—meet our guests: singer and actor Seo In-gook (No Breathing), Answer Me 1994 co-stars Sohn Ho-joon and Baro (B1A4), actor Park Seo-joon (A Warm Word), and actress Kang Ye-won (The Huntresses).

Gathering a variety of guests is always a toss-up since you can never be sure how they’ll mingle with the cast or each other. But what we do know is that Baro is a ball of energy, from the almost slip-and-fall and impromptu stretching—such a far cry from his reserved character in the drama.

Jong-kook warns the other team that Ye-won has a strong personality herself, but we know that Ji-hyo is none to be trifled with (Haha: “Ji-hyo even curses!”). This is the first time Jong-kook has met his teammates (apart from In-gook), which should make for some interesting team dynamics.

Like the mention of Ho-joon’s short-lived idol days (he was part of the singing group Tachyon), which leaves our guest all flustered. But leave it to the staff to show us a clip anyway. Heh.

After they get Ho-joon to break out his Jeollado accent and greet Seo-joon, the teams turn their attention to the screen. Thanks to a bit of clever editing, our resident announcer Kim Hwan introduces a new Olympic Event: nametag ripping… on ice.

Wait, the winning team will participate in the Winter Olympics? Uh, you mean actually go to Sochi? And Jo PD must be saying all this with a straight face because the cast remarks on how serious he sounds about it, and yipes—even the mission board says: “leaving the country.”

The laundry list of today’s games takes me back to the Family Outing variety days of yore, where the winning team gets to kick back after each game whereas the losing team is faced with a task/punishment/manual labor.

The first game will test their speed in a speed-skating relay race. There are plenty of first-time skaters on the ice between the two teams, but it becomes quickly apparent that the All-Star Team has the clear advantage.

So even before the start, it seems like the Running Man Team will be the ones stuck making lunch for everyone. Not that you can really tell the difference once the whistle blows because Ye-won latches onto Kwang-soo.

Then later it’s Jong-kook who puts some distance thanks to Baro, and then Gary pushes Ho-joon at the pass. Ho-joon tries to return the favor in kind around the bend, but Gary catches up to him.

It’s a neck and neck race with our final competitors until the midway point where Seo-joon skates ahead… and then takes a tumble, allowing Haha to win the first round.

Ho-joon promises his teammates that he’ll stop pretending and skate properly this time, which only makes me think he’s a heodang in disguise. Embrace the heodangness—viewers (myself included) find it so endearing!

Ha, he totally is. Ho-joon ends up walk-running on the ice again, and later Ye-won tries her best to just keep her balance. Doing so puts her at least half a track behind the other team, but In-gook quickly closes the gaps.

With all this shoving and grabbing going on, there really are no rules in this relay, is there? Then it’s down to Haha and Baro as they come around the bend… and Baro falls to the ice, giving the Running Man Team the win.

They rattle of their lunch choices to the All-Star Team, and Ho-joon declares that he’s confident in his spicy chicken stew cooking skills, which gets In-gook to yell that he’s only making things harder on them. Can’t blame a guy for trying to get screentime and find a variety niche!

Thankfully the kitchen is pretty clean, but the pipes are frozen over, which means cleaning their food and rice in ice-cold water.

Meanwhile, the Running Man Team rests up inside, and I don’t blame Ji-hyo in the slightest for catching a few winks, what with her hectic schedule for Emergency Couple and all.

The boys realize that they’re in for a world of pain if they lose the next game, so they play a game to check in with the cooking team, and Jae-suk drags Kwang-soo with him. Jae-suk teasingly asks why Jong-kook is dicing garlic, to which Jong-kook dishes back: “Because I can’t dice you!” Gulp.

But Jae-suk and Kwang-soo get reined in to do some work, and Kwang-soo cries of shock at the freezing water grabs everyone’s attention. Despite Ye-won pouring a half bag of sugar into her marinade (though I love how she charges on anyway), the food itself looks amazing.

And when the Running Man Team drops by again, Jong-kook immediately puts them to work and chides them for wanting to put ramyun in their boodaejjigae. Jae-suk sneaks a few in anyway. Ha.

Everyone digs in for a yummy lunch where Suk-jin manages to throw in another teasing jab: “If you can cook this well, imagine how great you’ll be at laundry!”

Their second game takes place by a stream to test their concentration. They’re going to have to go barefoot, aren’t they? Sure enough, each team will need to construct a rock tower on the tables while barefoot. The response? “You know it’s the middle of winter, right?!”

I don’t doubt for a second that the water must be absolutely freezing, which is why I don’t blame the teams for traversing back and forth to their starting points either. So I’m here biting my nails nervously praying that they don’t get hypothermia whereas the upbeat music is trying to get me to laugh.

At one point, Jong-kook urges his teammate to hurry, but In-gook can only yell back: “I want to be quick, but [the pain] won’t let me!”

Then there’s Seo-joon, who grits through the chilly waters in silence (and the show hilariously paints him in flowery CG and the Frozen soundtrack), and then belatedly lets out one long utterance of pain.

The All-Star Team is down to their last competitor when the Running Man Team still has two more to go. Suffice it to say, the former wins the first round.

Each team sends out three representatives for the second round. With laundry duty on the line, everyone buckles down to focus. This round goes much faster, and both teams place their last rocks down at the same time… but it’s In-gook who hurries back first to secure the win.

The Running Man Team tries to call for more rounds, even trying to get the crowd involved. But those attempts get promptly dismissed, which means it’s off to do laundry with freezing water and solid soap.

They can only laugh at the absurd situation of washing (and drying) clothes outside by hand before the grumbling settles in. At least they get rubber gloves to stave off the chilly water, and can only comply when Baro and Seo-joon drop by to tack on to the ever-growing load.

Kwang-soo finds a pot of warm water, but gets caught with it moments later. Flustered, he throws out the whole pot, which earns him a round of scolding from the others.

While Jong-kook and his teammates enjoy themselves with a bit of karaoke, the others are still outside. And when they’re handed an article of Jong-kook’s clothing, they refuse to wash it. Lol.

Unfortunately for them, Jong-kook immediately catches on that something is amiss when he inspects his pants and finds them dry (whereas the rest is frozen stiff) and unwashed.

Their third game will test their teamwork, where the teams will race (or edge) around a flag while holding each other’s ankles. Despite Jo PD’s emphasis that this is an actual training exercise for the athletes, he’s met with collective looks of disbelief: “You want us to do that here [on a snowy, bumpy field]?!”

Coach Kookie gets to work to train his teammates, who look like they’re about to collapse just from practice. Conversely, the Running Man Team doesn’t get anywhere in practice and Gary calls out in the end: “Why am I still in place?”

They eventually agree to a 2:2 relay race due to Suk-jin’s tired muscles (“I think they’ve burst!”)and the mat hyung finds a buddy in Ho-joon, who also sits out (“He doesn’t get along with snow.”).

Both teams are pretty synchronous, and after the switch, Kwang-soo and Jae-suk speedily march through the snow to win the round. When Coach Kookie immediately puts his exhausted teammate through more practice, he has to be told that none of his teammates can keep up with him. Jong-kook: “My body hasn’t even warmed up yet!” Seo-joon: “I’m normal!!”

Leave it to Jong-kook to see the punishment of chopping wood as a great form of exercise, words that are met with disbelieving laughs. The All-Star Team is faster the second time around, but Kwang-soo and Jae-suk close that gap and Seo-joon crumbles mere inches from the finish line.

So the Running Man Team heads inside without so much as a second glance as Jong-kook tries to boost his team’s morale that the punishment isn’t that bad. Which is easy for him to say since he’s the only one who can manage to actually chop wood.

Aw, Baro gets all excited once he figures out the technique, but gets shifted aside for the others. And when Jong-kook is asked whether he genuinely finds this activity fun, he admits that he really wanted to chop wood. Ha.

I love the laughter coming from the staff when Ho-joon steps up to the plate. He claims that he’s got a lot of experience under his belt… and then totally fails. Twice. It’s totally endearing.

Why do I get the feeling that Jong-kook will be the only one actually doing the punishment? The others do get a whack at it, and Seo-joon remarks that he’s found a new profession. Ha.

We move on to our final mission: nametag ripping on ice. The rules are a mouthful, so let’s see if we can break it down: Each half will last five minutes and four members will be on the ice at all times to eliminate the other team in order. One point is awarded per elimination and the team that acquires the most points wins.

The teams strategize before the start, and then both sides go after their first target once the whistle blows. Ye-won is eliminated rather quickly and Jong-kook pins two people in a firm hold. Both Jae-suk and In-gook are eliminated and as the next target, Baro runs to save himself. Lol.

Ho-joon tears off Kwang-soo’s nametag to level the playing field. Suffice it to say the ice match is utter chaos and all I hear is one rip after another as players continue to get rotated in and out.

At the two minute warning, the score is 2:6 in favor of the All-star Team. It amazes me how quickly the teams can keep track in the chaos, and by halftime, the score is tied up at 7:7.

It’s too crazy to keep track of who the present target is with how quickly players are getting tagged out. But it’s cute how Baro tries to scare off his opponents, only to regret it moments later when they grab him.

The score is tied up again at 9:9, and Suk-jin tries to tackle his easiest target, Ye-won. Next thing we know, she’s got him pinned to the ice with her knee.

At one point, both Ho-joon and Suk-jin are targets, and there’s a hilarious shot of a pile on top of Ho-joon and nobody pays any attention to Suk-jin, who sits there a few feet away and calls out the next target instead. Ha.

With less than ten seconds on the clock, the teams clamor to rip off one more nametag. And after the whistle blows, both teams congratulate each other on a job well done. Aw.

The Running Man Team wins it with a score of 15:12 and are awarded with gold. They climb onto the bus, wondering if they’re really headed off to Sochi (Suk-jin: “I haven’t called home!” Ji-hyo: “My drama hasn’t finished yet!”).

Then Kim Hwan flickers on screen to report that the cast won’t be going after all. Ha, makes sense since we’d see headlines if the cast actually went overseas. Well, at least they get to take home the gold.

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45 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. barbara black fox

    I loved this episode! Thank you so much for your diligent recapping, gummimochi. The guests were good and I enjoyed the unique name tag rip off.

  2. Judith

    LOLs at Suk Jin being ignored!!

    • 2.1 carrie

      yeah, that was pretty awesome. you could tell that he kinda wanted to say “umm, guys? aren’t you supposed to be catching ME?” but also that he knew he should just deal with being ignored for the sake of his team. but when he lay down on the ice and sorta started to make a snow angel i was cracking up so hard.

  3. BabySera

    Loved the nametag-ripping on ice. Thanks for the recap, gummi!

  4. kaydey

    thanks, gummi!
    I loved this episode! Great to see some action. Can’t wait for the next episode. ( I hear it’s a You Who Came From The Stars special. *squeal*)

  5. ellabit

    Can I just say, Park Seo-joon was superbly handsome? And cute…constantly worried about what his mom would think seeing him washing rice in the cold. Ahahahaha.

  6. PL

    It looks like the YFAS special will be another “Best of the Running Man” challenge. Will Gae-minjoon reclaim his throne this time? Or will it be Ha-minjoon’s second victory in a row? Or..wait, is Kim-manager going to clinch his first solo win in a long while? Can’t wait to find out.

  7. enywidiya

    thanks for the recap.
    the name tag ripping on ice was hilarious…. I’m losing track about who’s next on rip-line.

  8. callmeadreamer

    Pretty good episode. I still think something is off with their editing though. Lately the episodes just feel different to me.

    The guests were all pretty active, but I think the stand out was Ho-joon. He kind of reminds me of Lee Seung-gi. He is really attractive and looks like he’d be awesome at everything but he’s just missing that little something… But this is the first time I’ve seem him outside of a drama so I could be wrong. I thought Kang Ye-won would be more involved but she was a lot more tame than I expected so she was a disappointing guest. I was a bit annoyed that she didn’t even try to skate and just held onto Kwang-soo, since it started the game off on a cheating foot.

    Kim Jong-kook did a really good job leading them. He really likes teaching and instructing. I can’t remember who it was, but I cracked up when he told a member to improve while he was still be nice. heh.

    All of the Running Men were entertaining. I wasn’t even really annoyed that Kwang-soo tossed out the water.

    I liked all the games and the punishments made a welcome return. KJK was hilarious with his team while cooking and chopping wood. The nametag ripping game was especially creative and entertaining. It was nice that both teams were together for most of the episode, since it’s not always as fun when they go off on their own or in small teams since so much can get cut out.

    • 8.1 yuhoo

      I agree with the editing. The past episodes’ sequences have been iffy.

    • 8.2 gg

      I know right, KJK was so funny when after losing the game, he admitted “I secretly enjoy chopping wood!”

  9. Cheliwel

    This episode was pretty good. Although the previous Olympics specials were much better. I do like the punishments part. It was hilarious when YJS put ramen in that soup that KJK was cooking. He knew that KJK wouldn’t add any ramen but the RM team bought their own and put some anyways. I loved it when the RM team refused to wash KJK’s pants and immediately threw it away when they received it.

    It made me laugh that KJK was actually enjoying the punishment while his team felt like being tortured. LMAO! I was surprised how fast LKS and YJS were on the 2:2 game.

    • 9.1 bd

      The adding the ramen noodles reminded me of the FO days when the guys would plot to add ramen powder to whatever soup was cooking but had to do it w/o Hyori or Yejin knowing.

  10. 10 LoveSilents

    Oh so funny!

    I can’t believe how choppy that ice rink was – I am surprised that more people didn’t wipe out.

    While all the celebs were great I would love to see Baro come back on his own. What a goober – he has variety written all over him. I wanted to see more of his and Jong-kook’s dance with the karaoke.

    Not washing Kookie’s pants was funny – he should have thrown in his long john’s, under wear and socks too!

    I loved how fast Gwang-soo and Jae suk could do that caterpillar race – they were flying!

    What is up with Running Man’s lack of equity when it’s time for punishment? The women always seem to get it easier. My gawd we can push out an 8 pound baby I think we can take the punishments! Even crossing the icy stream both women had socks or water shoes on – sheesh!

    But still very “cool” show!

    • 10.1 Quiet Thought

      “The women always seem to get it easier” . . . Yep. South Korean society is still very traditional in that regard. From an American point of view, it’s like a flashback to the 1950s. Right down to even a brave soul like Song Ji Hyo still being willing to get hysterical in public about a bug flying around her!

      • 10.1.1 LoveSilents

        Ha ha – thanks for the feedback!

      • 10.1.2 bd

        Oh, c’mon – that’s the way the world pretty much still thinks.

        The Olympic Committee just recently allowed women to ski jump b/c prior to that – they didn’t think women could hack it/should be subjected to possible horrific injuries.

    • 10.2 Soprection

      The strange thing is that when the show first started, they didn’t change the rules to make it easier for women and only started doing it about halfway in when they had a spate of female guests back to back to back. You might also notice that they tend to go for dating/romance themed episodes if they have a lot of female guests. It’s the one thing that really frustrates me about the show, especially given that they have such a kick butt woman on the cast who alone should show that girls don’t NEED special treatment, although I know it’s a societal thing so there’s more at work here. That being said, if I were the girls, I would have been grateful for it in this episode because that water seemed freezing even though I doubt wearing a layer of tights would have made that much of a difference.

  11. 11 Quiet Thought

    Just to clarify on the name tag game: each player had a number, and the numbers had to be ripped off IN SEQUENCE. Further, the two teams had six numbered players on their team ice and only four could be on the ice at a time. Hence KJK got his team an early edge by putting himself at #4 and his weakest player at #1, where she could be protected while both teams were at full strenght. However, once the rotation process was in full swing everything was up for grabs. Everyone mixed it up, including both women, and I’m thinking those hockey pads were really useful for everyone.

  12. 12 Quiet Thought

    Like gummimochi, I assumed the ice-skating race would be a walkover for the side with a couple of experienced skaters, and I was alarmed that they would expect untrained people to even attempt it. A skating fall is no joke even if you’re moving slow, and it is very easy to break elbows, wrists, and hands if you take a bad one.

    The equalizer, and I assume this was deliberate, was that the race was not held on a clean rink and was very small. The ice was so chopped up that the better skaters had to fight to make headway and moves that might have won a serious race would just trip them up. The skates looked to be of training quality, so you could, if reasonably fit, walk across the rough ice in them.

    Under those conditions, Kang Ye Won’s opening move was pretty clever. She would have lost the round immediately if she’d fallen too far behind Kwang Soo.

  13. 13 AuroraB

    I think the funniest part of this episode was the wood chopping scenes. Kim Jong Kook was ecstatic about that–he got to exercise AND boss kids around. It was hilarious. The final game was a good concept, but it got confusing when all the players would gang up together…it didn’t translate well on camera is what i’m trying to say.

    • 13.1 Jenn

      The chopping wood part was my favorite and I watched it about 5 times and laughed all thru it! Seriously crazy how KJK ripped the wood apart with his hands-the kids stood gaping in disbelief!!

      • 13.1.1 durianlover

        Wood chopping was also my favorite segment. I think I could watch them chopping wood the whole episode!

    • 13.2 bd

      KJK (and YJS) had plenty of practice w/ woodchopping during their FO days.

      The secret is to let the weight of the axe head work for you.

  14. 14 bd

    W/ such a young group of guests – the problem would have been not enough banter/showing of a fun variety persona as many veteran entertainers are apt to do, but the games here were fun enough (not to mention active) to make up for any of that.

    The RM team winning the ice skating challenge was a bit of a surprise; actually would have liked to have seen them lose b/c there would have been a lot more shenanigans while they were cooking (harking back to when members of FO were cooking).

    The building a rock tower while wading through a stream was hilarious simply b/c of everyone’s reaction to the snow/cold water, esp. KJK yelling at his team members and then doing the exact same thing.

    • 14.1 Quiet Thought

      “There would have been a lot more shenanigans while [the RM team] were cooking.”

      Indeed. I suspect that this was why Jae Suk took Kwang Soo over for a visit. That man has the best variety instincts in the business.

    • 14.2 bd

      I’m going to amend my comment a bit now that I have finished watching the ep – while young, this group (Baro and Ho-joon really stood out while In-gook seemed like he was laughing the whole time; this was kinda like a mini “Answer Me” reunion) of guests were more outgoing and had more variety chops than the usual group of young actors/idols.

      The games were definitely wacky/fun and the continual name-tag ripping on ice was again, a good, interesting twist to the standard format.

  15. 15 sponge

    What a fun episode, I really enjoyed it, thanks to fun guests! The events were good too, and i always love it when rm band together :) am I the only one that loved the woodchopping part? I couldnt help cracking up over it, whther it was jongkooks inspirational life lessons or the guests reactions to cutting wood xD

  16. 16 jam

    as an avid RM watcher, i just can’t help but always love the interactions btwn our RM members. even after all these years, they really do seem like family. anyways, this episode was funny! though like someone mentioned the editting seems a bit off these days. cant wait for tmrw’s episode!!!!!!! my 2 fave shows in one hehe

    • 16.1 nomad

      And we can all still attest then, that 3 years of name tag ripping is nothing to laugh at. With such young guests, the winners were still a team which consists of a 50 year old mat hyung and a 41 year old Yoojames, and the rest who are all older than 30 year olds. I’m so proud of ‘em all.

  17. 17 graegrae

    I know Baro could be a goofball from watching R1994 specials but I didn’t know he could do slapstick w/out even trying. I lost it at his karate air chops.Haha!

  18. 18 rhia

    Park Seo-joon was soooo adorable. <3

  19. 19 Jackeline

    Oh gosh… KJK should just become an inspirational lumberjack LOL. That wood chopping segment had me in tears. All the kids watching on as the master taught them ways of life… xD

  20. 20 @Elf

    CAN ANYONE PLEASE TELL THE NAME OF THE SONG WHEN IN GUK AND GARY ALMOST FINISHES THE RACE PLEASEEEEEE!!!><

  21. 21 @Elf

    please guys can anyone tell me what is the song when gary and in guk almost finishes the race at the lake ..PLEASEE!! ><

    • 21.1 @Elf

      thanks guys i knew the name ..no need for help XD

      • 21.1.1 KolkeMc

        oh! you know the name … can you tell me please~~!!!

  22. 22 denise31

    Park Seo Joon was adorable. Loved him on his current drama. Loved this RM episode.

  23. 23 Quiet Thought

    Still not clear on whether there are guests next week. I am clear, however, on that persistently dopey “You are my dessstinnneey!” song. If anyone starts singing it around me, I’m going after them, screaming, with Jong Kook’s axe.

  24. 24 Waiting

    I love RM and for some odd reason have not watched in in weeks and weeks. I watched this episode and it did not disappoint! The wood splitting and rock stacking were the highlights. Loved it!

  25. 25 ABCD

    I loved the sequenced name tag ripping at the end cause it was total chaos.

  26. 26 Raptor

    I can’t believe LKS threw out the hot water. If that part’s not scripted, then I must admit he’s lost a couple of points in my book, because that was just plain selfish and idiotic.

  27. 27 Sei

    Hey, are SJH and KJK dating? ’cause Ji hyo was acting more…. closer to him lately….. O_o

  28. 28 @lemon

    Hello. Is anyone here know what is the game that the RM are playing while they are resting to check out the team in the kitchen ?

  29. 29 CutiieAngiie

    I freakin’ loved that episode. I keep replaying the episode over and over again.
    The guests were good and the interactions between the members were gold. The two highlights for me were when they knew that KJK wouldn’t put ramen and so they decided to buy it in advance and when Ji Hyo helped Jae Suk to take his socks off. It’s those little gestures that are so sweet to me. Really like a family because heck, you don’t take someone’s socks off just like that. Oh and when they slept all together, it was adorable.

    Even though the games seemed horrible because of the cold, I really enjoyed them and the punishements. The chopping wood was my favorite though. Sparta seemed to enjoy it so much lol. Nametag ripping on ice ? DAEBAK :D

    P.S. Korean viewers really seem to love episodes where there are a lot of guests. The cooking episodes had ratings of over 15%, same for Chinese Chess … etc.

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