General:Running Gags


Running gags are amusing jokes or comical references that have appeared repeatedly throughout The Elder Scrolls series. They can begin with an instance of unintentional humor that is repeated in variations as the joke grows familiar and fans anticipate reappearances of the gag. The humor in a running gag may derive entirely from how often it is repeated, however the underlying statement or situation will always require some form of jocularity. Some of the most commonly recurring gags are Fishy Sticks and M'aiq the Liar. Certain gags have become so popular that they've appeared in other media.

Adoring FanEdit

  • The Adoring Fan first appeared in Oblivion.
  • In Skyrim, Cicero's Journal mentions him masquerading as an adoring fan to gain an audience with the Grand Champion. An Arena Fan is also added by the Creation Club, having come to Skyrim to meet a former Grand Champion.
  • In ESO:
    • The furnishing item "An Adoring Fan" is named after him.
    • There is an NPC named "The Undying Fan", who, like the original, is a Bosmer that loves watching arena matches.
    • In Blackwood, you can encounter The Adoring Admirer, a Bosmer fascinated by your exploits. When he greets you, he may exclaim "By Azura! By Azura! By Azura!", or refer to you as "the champion". An achievement can be earned by meeting him four times.
  • There is a card of the Adoring Fan in Legends, obtained by becoming an Arena champion. Like the original NPC from Oblivion, the card will eventually respawn after being killed.
  • In Skyrim Very Special edition, there is an enemy called "Adoring Fan".
  • In Blades, townsfolk may say "By Azura! I'd die to meet a Grand Champion!".

Arrow in the KneeEdit

  • The line "I used to be an adventurer like you. Then I took an arrow in the knee..." first appeared in Skyrim, said by city guards.
  • In the Game Jam video, Bethesda used a song parody titled "Arrow to the Knee" that used the dialogue as an audio sample.
  • ESO:
  • In Legends:
    • Arrow in the Knee is a card. It deals a minor amount of damage to a creature and shackles it.
    • One of the loading screen tips is "I used to be an adventurer like you. Then I took an arrow in the knee and got shackled."
  • In Blades, an Arrow emote can be purchased. It involves your character crouching down to inspect an arrow in their knee, and the description is, "You used to be an adventurer, then something bad happened. True story."

Fishy StickEdit

The fishy stick phenomenon began when Captain Eldrad joined the Official Forums on January 18, 2001. The graphic used is from an advertisement for Captain Morgan's rum, with a fish stick in place of the bottle of rum. In the beginning, fishy sticks were only given to those who truly deserved the honor, by Captain Eldrad himself. Later, his friend Soursha gave them away to new members. Eventually, it became customary to give fishy sticks to the newcomers of the forum. The Bethesda developers were very amused by all of this, and they added tributes to the fishy stick in several games.

Giant Club LaunchEdit

  • In Skyrim, when a giant hits a creature with its club, the target will be sent flying hundreds of feet into the air.
  • In Fall of the Space Core, Vol 1, the Space Core can be sent back to space via giant club launch.
  • In ESO, Sigunn says, "That giant took me by surprise. Wrecked my wagon on the road and clubbed me so hard I swear I was swimming in the sky."
  • In the book Kyne's Challenge: A Hunter's Companion, there's a line that references this: "Unhappy in the extreme, it lifted its colossal club, then dropped it into the heather, hitting the ground with such force I half expected Fenrig to be launched tumbling upwards, through the low clouds to a distant doom."
  • In Legends, the background of the Belligerent Giant art has an unfortunate adventurer falling out of the sky.

Horse ArmorEdit

  • The Horse Armor Pack was a DLC for Oblivion, infamous for being little more than cosmetic.
  • The Dwarven Armored Mudcrab Creation for Skyrim is a reference to PC Gamer's satirical 2011 "Crab Armor DLC" advertisement, which itself was a reference to the Horse Armor Pack.
  • Horse Armor is a card in Legends. It adds +1 to a creature's defense, and adds a cosmetic bonus of turning the card premium (animated).

M'aiq the LiarEdit

M'aiq the Liar is a Khajiit character who has recurred in many Elder Scrolls games since Morrowind, making him one of the longest running gags of the series. While every rendition of M'aiq the Liar is technically a different character, they all break the fourth wall and make some reference to Dragons.

Mudcrab MerchantEdit

Naked NordEdit

  • In Morrowind:
    • Naked nords dressed in nothing but their undergarments frequently appeared in Morrowind, having been tricked by witches.
    • In Tribunal, this trope is subverted by a Nord in Mournhold who is naked by choice, criticizing those who believe he was tricked.
  • In ESO, two quests relating to naked Nords are present: The Naked Nord in Deshaan, and If the Spell Fits in Vvardenfell.

Sweet RollEdit

  • The Sweet Roll initially originated in Arena where, at the beginning of the game, one of the class-determining questions is:
"While in town the baker gives you a sweetroll. Delighted you take it into an alleyway to enjoy, only to be intercepted by a gang of three kids your age. The leader demands the sweetroll, or else he and his friends will beat you and take it."
  • In Oblivion, Sweetroll is an available potion ingredient.
  • In Skyrim:
  • In ESO:
    • Sweetroll is one of the food recipes that can be obtained and crafted.
    • Several furnishing items involve sweetrolls. One of them, the Resplendent Sweetroll, is a glowing sweetroll available as an Apex-level reward in every Crown Crate and can be exchanged for 400 Crown gems, the amount it costs to buy an apex-level mount.
    • A quest in the Dark Brotherhood DLC, The Sweetroll Killer, involves a serial killer sending a sweetroll with a message hidden inside to each of their victims.
    • The default name for the Sorrel Horse mount, which is available for free as a level 10 reward, is "Sweetroll".
  • In Legends, Sweet Roll is a card. Creatures can be transformed into one by Grisly Gourmet or Wabbajack, or one can be created in some other circumstances. Playing one even rewards you with the title "The Pastry Chef".
  • In Blades, sweetrolls can be found as a food during quests. They're also on display on the Sweet Rolls decoration.
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