Running Man (Korean: 런닝맨) is a South Korean variety show; a part of SBS's Good Sunday lineup, along with Heroes (영웅호걸). It was first aired on July 11, 2010. This show is classified as an "urban action variety"; a never-before-seen new genre of variety shows and will greatly involve the participation of viewers. The MCs and guests are locked in a landmark during closed hours and are required to leave before opening hours. The first team to leave will win, while the losing team will be punished in the landmark. It has garnered attention as being the come-back program for Yu Jae-suk, the main MC of the program, after leaving Good Sunday's Family Outing in February 2010.
The MCs and guests are locked in a landmark and are required to earn Running Balls for a chance to escape punishment. Through a series of missions, the Running Man members may divide into teams and/or individually earn Running Balls. The format for the missions are:
- Mission 1 is the race mission, Find the Guests.
- Mission 2 features games related to the landmark.
- Mission 3 is the One Chance challenge. It has been absent since episode 32.
In the end, the Running Balls collected throughout the night are put into a lottery machine. The balls that come out will represent which individuals that win. The losing team will be punished usually with an embarrassing punishment. When there are a lot of members with no Running Balls, they are automatically punished and there is no lottery. However, if the members succeed in the One Chance mission, they will all be relieved of the punishment regardless of Running Balls and there is no lottery either.
The MCs and guests are locked in a landmark during closed hours and are required to leave before opening hours. In the first episode, they are divided into two teams and race to find the code to the main doors hidden in the landmark. With a total of 5 numbers, after one is found, a game is played to determine which team will start first in the next race. The losing team receives a punishment while the other team has a head start. After all numbers are found by either teams, they reach the door and enter the code they believe is correct. The correct team leaves the landmark while the losing team is punished inside the landmark.
From the second episode to the fifth episode, both teams compete to find money hidden in the landmark and participate in games to win more money. The team with the most money will escape the landmark and win, while the losing team will be punished in the landmark. The money collected by the teams will be donated in the winning teams honour. Viewers can vote on the official homepage on who they believe will escape the landmark first, a lucky viewer who guesses correctly will have his/her name included in the donation.
From episode 6 to 10, a consistent format has been used. Both teams compete to find Running Man Balls (shortened to Running Balls in future episodes), the team which finds a ball or who wins a game will receive a ball of their team color (blue or red). The games and races are considered missions. The missions for are as follows:
- Mission 1 features games related to the landmark. Previously, the Photo Zone Game was played at every landmark.
- Mission 2 is the race mission.
- Mission 3 is Leisure Time for a Cup of Tea. This mission has not been present since the eleventh episode due to controversies.
- Mission 4 is Morning Team Sports. This only aired in episode six, and only highlights were given in episode seven due to time restraints.
In the end, the Running Man Balls collected throughout the night are put into a lottery machine. Which ever color ball that comes out first will represent that team winning. The more balls that are collected, the better the chances of that team's ball being chosen. The losing team will have to commute home using public transportation with an embarrassing punishment.
As of the eleventh episode, teams are no longer used except for the race mission. Smaller teams may be used during other missions. Everyone will individually earn Running Balls throughout missions and the balls that come out will represent which individuals that win. The format of missions has changed:
- Mission 1 is Challenge 1 vs. X.
- Mission 2 is Find the Thief. From episode 14 to 25, games related to the landmark were played.
- Mission 3 is the race mission, Bells Hide and Seek.
As of the eighteenth episode, only those with no Running Balls are punished.
As of the twenty-sixth episode, the race mission, Bells Hide and Seek, has been replaced by the Find the Guests mission.
The following is a list of missions that have aired on Running Man in chronological order. Missions that have been modified or which are played during another mission are grouped together.