Running Man: Episode 254
You are cordially invited to play the Running Man Game this week, as our cast members play alongside Girls’ Generation to try and escape the Game World. Some games will instill a sense of nostalgia, but one thing’s for sure: things will get downright dirty real quick and some layers will be peeled.
Getting out of this world will be easier said than done, especially when there are countless enemies who would rather keep them trapped in this 8-bit world.
EPISODE 254. Broadcast on July 5, 2015.
We find an exasperated Haha at his office, currently a sore loser because of a video game. He and our other cast members are invited to participate in a “special game” today. Take the blue or red pill indeed, and we shall see how deep this rabbit hole goes…
Kwang-soo is our other noteworthy mention as he passes a deuce (“You can’t beat me!”) before being pulled into a pixellated teleportation.
Our seven aren’t the only ones transported into this strange world—so are our guests: SNSD or Girls’ Generation: Taeyeon, Yoon-ah, Soo-young, Hyo-yeon, Tiffany, Sunny, Yuri, and Seo-hyun.
One by one, the girls are pulled into the abyss aka the mud flat, where our official opening takes place. After congratulating the ladies on their comeback in over a year, our guys worry over some outfits about being non-mud flat friendly: “It’ll probably take you an entire day to clean out the mud from your belly button!”
They’ve already been partitioned into teams today, so let’s announce them before we dive into the games: Yellow (Gary, Soo-young, Yoon-ah), Orange (Haha, Yuri, Tiffany), Pink (Jong-kook, Seo-hyun, Taeyeon), Green (Jae-suk, Kwang-soo, Hyo-yeon), and Blue (Suk-jin, Ji-hyo, Sunny).
Longtime RM fans will know why it’s a bit sad not seeing Kwang-soo and Yuri together (as Song Joong-ki attempted to pair them up once), but Haha seems to win at the pity party today, saying that both his teammates cursed themselves to being paired with him.
Trapped in the Game World, our teams must clear every stage in order to return to reality. They’ll be acquiring hints along the way, and only one team will be able to make it back. Gary: “I don’t want to go back today…”
Their first game draws influence from Pac-Man, where one team will battle off the other teams in various obstacles in order to get to the finish line. The team with the fastest time, wins, and the top two teams will snatch up hints. Oh man, this is going to be tiring for everyone.
The Yellow Team is up first, and Gary asks for lenience. He points out Soo-young’s futile efforts at looking flawless, but Soo-young whines that she has to look good when she can. She’s got you there.
They approach the monkey bars, where Jong-kook and his teammates squat below like a pack of hungry trolls. But it turns out Jong-kook is the least of Gary’s worries, as the girls pull at his pants.
The trio make it across eventually, then Yoon-ah steps up for the next stage. One by one, Yoon-ah knocks them down, and they all power through the chicken leg fight. Gary squishes a fistful of mud to Kwang-soo’s face, only to receive the same treatment. Grabbing the sock at last, the Yellow Team crosses the finish line in 4 minutes and 46 seconds.
Yuri can’t help but laugh at Kwang-soo’s muddy face, which has him point out their good ol’ days. Taeyeon trips up on the mud every few steps, and when the Orange Team grabs at Jong-kook’s clothes, his teammates dive into the rescue.
Jong-kook hoists Taeyeon onto his shoulders to help her across the monkey bars, then one or two smacks are all it takes to topple their next opponents. By the time they have to grab the sock from Sunny’s foot, only wafer-thin Taeyeon is left to take it.
She gets dragged away from her teammates as the latter make it across the finish line. Jong-kook runs back to rescue her, literally kicking Suk-jin away.
Ji-hyo is no match for Jae-suk, who gets kicked in the groin, or Kwang-soo, who gets his hair pulled. After helping Suk-jin get his pants back on, the girls help the mat-hyung across the bars. Well sort of, because Ji-hyo decides to leave him behind.
We skip ahead to the Green Team’s turn, and the Yellow Team is still the fastest. Jae-suk slips and falls on the first turn, but they charge ahead… until Sunny starts pulling down Jae-suk’s pants.
A little far off, the Orange Team decides to bury their feet in the mud. So even if they can’t move, their opponents won’t be able to figure out where the sock is located.
Poor Kwang-soo slips and falls, perhaps giving the entire world a full moon. Introducing Mud Pac-Man who’s practically covered in mud. Jae-suk faces against the Pink Team with Hyo-yeon and Kwang-soo literally keeping him upright as he goes up against Jong-kook.
Jong-kook still overpowers them, and Kwang-soo opts to fight dirty instead. At this point, whatever works. They hit the four-minute mark by the time they reach their final obstacle. It’s Mud Pac-Man who finds the right foot…
… or so we’re led to think because it’s a towel instead. Ahahaha. That’s a pretty good diversion, but now both Haha and Kwang-soo are shirtless, still duking it out in the mud. Somehow Jae-suk’s pants are stripped away too, revealing those trademark orange undies.
Once the whistle blows, Jae-suk indignantly turns to the staff: “The viewers will think that these are the only pair I own!” Unable to move, the trio stay behind to hear that the Yellow and Orange Teams have grabbed the top two spots.
Showered and dry, the teams climb into their cars, where Jae-suk curses those unforgiving orange undies. Kwang-soo comments that the orange underwear has made more appearances on this show than some guests, then offers to buy Jae-suk some new ones for his next birthday.
Soo-young worries that their next game will be physically-exerting too, smiling when told it may not be the case. Her aegyo-filled response has Gary remind her to be careful with the cute, because guys can easily get the wrong idea.
At their next location, Gary shares how his SNSD teammates were all impressed by Kwang-soo’s gentlemanly ways (feeding Ji-hyo before eating himself). Jong-kook bursts his bubble by saying that Kwang-soo knew they were watching, but I’d bet it’s just his nature.
Yoon-ah and Soo-young squeal at everything Kwang-soo does, like being scared of bugs or breaking out his robotic dance moves. Careful there, Kwang-soo—both these ladies are taken and I’m not sure if you wanna answer to either boyfriend.
Stage 2 is another nostalgic game: Wall Tetris. The teams will duke it out to grab the flying tetris pieces to fill their “screens.” While the teams are busy trying to chase Kwang-soo, Suk-jin picks up a piece for his team.
Pieces come flying left and right, and Haha and his team take a minute to strategize on what pieces they need next. The Yellow Team is busy rearranging their pieces too, and Haha tries to persuade Kwang-soo into trading pieces. His teammates finally order him to step back so they can fill in the last two pieces to grab first place.
Not only that, but now the Green Team holds the power in distributing pieces, which calls for a dance break. The Yellow Team’s wave earns them a single block, and it takes a few more dance moves before the second round falls into a regular pattern.
Both the Yellow and Orange Teams gather pieces relatively quickly, and soon they only need one more piece each. Not one to waste an opportunity, Jae-suk calls for another dance break.
Tiffany is one step too late in grabbing the piece her team needs, which Jong-kook gives up anyway. And that’s how the Orange Team snags second place, much to Yoon-ah and Soo-young’s ire. “We asked for the tiny block!”
Today’s final stage takes place at an expansive mall, where our teams must find four barcodes to crack the code and escape. Haha and Jong-kook playfully buy into the horrors of being left behind if they should fail: “You guys won’t be able to release your album!”
But things won’t be so easy tonight: There are NPCs who cannot be eliminated but have got their eyes on their nametags. Their only defense? Run and evade attack.
What’s more is that they’re told that a certain “Angel Code” will try to beat them to their escape. So time is of the essence, and they’ve got lots of enemies after them.
The hints appear to provide clues on the barcodes’ locations, but then a distant cry grabs their attention. Ji-hyo is alone when she runs out to investigate, only to find herself face to face with the swarm.
They’re the Masked Men patrolling the third floor, and it isn’t long until the twenty men encircle Ji-hyo. None of the guys can believe that she’d be eliminated so soon in the game, but Haha can barely get out the words before he spots the swarm.
Hyo-yeon stays crouched in her corner until the enemy passes, then grabs the A barcode. Yuri is on the second floor when she finds the B barcode, then scurries off to the stairwell when she lets out a bloodcurdling scream…
… to see Tiffany on the other side. Something or rather someone else is moving on a different floor—Tuxedo Mask is that you?
No, but one can recognize that handsome smile anywhere—oh hai there, SHINee’s Minho.
The fear barely settles in before Soo-young ducks down moments before her masked opponent approaches her. She kicks him away before calling him out by name: “Hey Choi Minho!” You rang?
She pleads with him, citing that today’s her first-ever Running Man appearance. “We’re both Chois! You know how much Noona cares for you, right?” Hahaha, but it works and Minho lets her off the hook for now.
Haha has spotted the masked man in the red suit for a full second before taking off. Minho rips off Sunny’s nametag before she even registers who it is. I love how she takes off after him, thoroughly upset at her hoobae.
Minho eliminates Tiffany, stops for a water break with his VJ, assuring him that it’ll all be over soon. So that’s how he takes out Seo-hyun and Taeyeon and realizes that they’re with Jong-kook.
Soo-young tries to evade another attack by Min-ho, but heading down to the first floor is the wrong thing to do because yet another obstacle is waiting down below: the 218 cm MMA giant, Choi Hong-man.
Seeing his face makes everyone do an about-face back up the escalator, but of course Minho is waiting for his prey on top. Kwang-soo gets caught in the sandwich and promptly eliminated. With a painful smacking bonus.
On the escalator, Yoon-ah and Gary are in prime position to spot all three of their enemies. Haha and Yuri are up on the third floor where they find an A barcode for themselves. Jae-suk and Hyo-yeon are on the same floor where they find a Rubik’s cube. Perhaps it has to do with that Angel Code?
Yoon-ah finds one of her own and radios Gary about it. But then things take a turn for the worse: now Hong-man and Minho are free to roam on any floor they like. Uh oh.
Jae-suk runs downstairs to avoid the Masked Men, only to be attacked by Minho whose outstretched arm rips off Jae-suk’s nametag.
Haha picks up a D barcode and radios Yuri to look for the last one. She’s too busy trying to solve that cube, and so is the Yellow Team. Gary prides himself on solving one face, then two.
But then someone draws near: Hong-man. Gary crawls on the floor before Yoon-ah makes a break for it. Gary follows suit but they aren’t in the clear yet because Minho is running down the hallway.
Minho blows past Yoon-ah to catch up to Gary and eliminate him in seconds. No one’s having as much fun watching this unfold than the peanut gallery aka the Eliminated. Elsewhere, Soo-young hides in a closet office, frightened by Hong-man scoping out the store.
But there isn’t an ounce of fear in her voice when he peers over the top and she announces herself. She tries the “it’s my first time on this show” line which doesn’t work because it’s Hong-man’s first appearance too. Hahaha, worth a shot.
Then Soo-young pleads that if he lets her go, she’ll give him all of their phone numbers. HA, that’s a tempting offer. Hong-man wavers again when she offers that the girls will take him out to eat.
He tells himself that he can’t falter, but she continues to sweeten the deal, and that’s enough for him to back off.
Jong-kook takes off when he thinks Minho has spotted him. Wow, Minho’s really speedy. He catches up to Jong-kook… then calls out to Hong-man for help. And once Hong-man joins them, he goes to slap Jong-kook on the arm.
The two take Jong-kook down and Hong-man prides himself on his accomplishment before hugging Jong-kook.
Haha finally finds the last barcode and tries to contact Yuri. She and Yoon-ah are busy trying to crack the cube’s mystery. Yoon-ah sees Minho approach as Yuri tries to put the characters together. Could it be spelling out “Yoon-ah”?
And then Minho walks right past Yoon-ah. As it turns out, the cube spells out her name and all the enemies have been walking right past her the entire time. She’s the Master of this Game World, and now she wonders to herself, “Why have I been running around all this time?”
Yoon-ah is safe until someone else rips off her nametag, but all she needs to escape this world is to head downstairs. That’s when she runs into Yuri, who knows that Yoon-ah is the Angel Code.
Yuri radios Haha for help, but the latter is busy trying to stay off of Minho’s radar. She calls out to Haha, who chucks the barcodes downstairs. But that’s where Hong-man is waiting, and Yuri approaches Yoon-ah…
… but Yoon-ah slips past her, and Yuri wonders why Hong-man won’t catch Yoon-ah. At the same time, Yoon-ha signs onto the computer and registers the “barcode” in her wrist to essentially win the game.
At the closing, Taek PD announces that the Angel Code’s victory means that they all remain in the Game World. Sunny says it isn’t half-bad here, as long as they turn on the AC.
I suppose there are worse punishments than living in an 8-bit world with a flower boy, after all.