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Why is Monday couple so popular among Running Man fans?

Running Man cast: Lee kwang soo, haha (ha dong hoon), Ji suk jin, Kim Jong Kook, Yoo jae suk, Gary, Song Jihyo

Running Man is one of the most popular variety shows in S.Korea right now. Not only is it popular in Korea but it is also popular outside, gaining fans across Asia and even other continents. The games, the humor (WARNING: You would not be able to watch a full Running Man episode without laughing- i tried= IMPOSSIBLE) and the relationship between the cast all contributes to its success.
For this post, let me emphasize on “the relationship between the cast” part and talk about….

Monday couple.

If i randomly write “Monday couple” down like i did above, the people not familiar with Running Man would have no clue what I’m referring to.
But in the other hand, the regular viewers would know straight away what it refers to.
Today, I’m going to write about Monday couple and mentions the reasons why i believe this variety couple is popular among Running Man fans.
I’m secretly a “Monday couple” fan myself.

If you watch Running Man,you would know the term “Monday couple” in itself refers to Gary and Jihyo, the term came about when in episode 14, Haha(ha dong hoon) mentioned how Gary and Jihyo always seems close anytime they filmed (referring to Gary’s flirting and Jihyo’s interaction with him) which were on Mondays (filming date) , they were first dubbed “Monday couple” then by the captions. Jihyo then confirms their Monday couple status when in episode 16 she says “On Mondays, i have a man” referring to Gary.


Running Man viewers, especially Monday couple fans have grown so fond of this on-screen (variety) couple from that point on , to the extent that even after Song Jihyo’s real life’s relationship was made known in episode 82 , viewers are still eager and enjoy to see Monday couple interact.
Therefore i decided to write about Monday couple and the reasons why they’re still so popular among Running man viewers?


In all honesty, I believe the main foundation of Gary and Jihyo’s monday couple relationship on the show all started from Gary’s honest approach and the fact that from the beginning, he was pretty straight forward showing his feelings,never hiding the fact that he he was somehow attracted to her. One can call it a crush.
Not a crush that would go as far as him wanting to die for the person and marry them, but an innocent crush, obvious enough that people around you would see you are turning red anytime that person’s name is being mentioned or when the ones around you see your embarrassment when faced with the question ” Do you like her/him?”.

Such as below (in episode 8)

Here in episode 15 when Joongki kisses Jihyo in the cheek, Yoo Jae suk asks if Gary is doing okay and here’s Gary’s reaction:


The fact that Monday couple started from raw emotions and naturally,makes the audience relates and it also brings some sense of realism because it is somehow realistic.


If you’ve followed Running Man since the early episodes, you would know for certain that Gary and Jihyo’s relationship on the show (Monday couple) is not scripted but that it started naturally and gradually.
The fact that Monday couple’s interaction is non scripted and not dictated by any producers but is natural brings about a lot of unexpected interactions between Gary and Jihyo and makes the audience please as they can relate to them, one that haven’t followed Running Man would even ask if they are a real couple.

Few guests on the show even asked if they are a real couple because of their natural chemistry, including UEE in Episode 34.

Haha (ha dong hoon) answered the question:IMG_3362

And Jihyo jockingly said it is midnight already,Monday has passed so they’re already over for the week.


As Running man viewers, the viewers have been able to witness Gary and Jihyo go from having the most awkward relationship among the cast members in the earlier episodes..
(pictures taking from episode 10)

You could say Jihyo was almost afraid and intimated by Gary. Very funny to think about it now. IMG_3439 (I believe the main reason why Jihyo was so awkward with him is because just like the viewers, she was aware of Gary’s likeness towards her by then) but that moment in the exhitibition arts room, this moment together helped them to be more comfortable towards each other and brought them slightly closer.
With Gary even buying coffee for her and Jihyo sharing it.

….when Jihyo tried to strike up conversation and asked him if he has plans to get married yet as he’s in his thirties, he replied by saying

With that,their interaction became natural and as the episodes went along their relationship grew into something Gary could have only imagined in his head. …

From episodes…to episodes…

to episode…


After Jihyo’s relationship was announced Jihyo and Gary became awkward and barely talked to each other. When they were put in the same team for the first time after a while, it was all like the beginning again. Awkwardness (ep 90)

But after a few episodes and a few awkward moments has passed, they slowly but surely got past the awkwardness stage and became comfortable again.

IMG_3400 (episode 137)


The fact that from the beginning until now the audience have been seeing their progress and how their relationship has grown over the show contributes to their popularity among Running Man fans.

Another thing that contributes to the popularity of Monday couple would be…


Of course.
Some say when you love, words just come flowing. I’m sure it’s no different from our Kang Gary. Because of his Monday boyfriend status he has been able to come out with the most unforgettable and funniest, same time cheesiest lines in Running Man history,fans have also been able to witness the quirky side of Leesang’s Gary.
Here are some examples of Gary’s memorable & also cheesiest lines:

(Episode 29) Even turtles live together in the same place, why are people only able to meet on Mondays? Ah! A true enviable family!

(episode 55) Is what they call love? When you have it, it’s a burden! Without it you’re lonely.

(episode 135) Song jihyo is asked by Ji suk jin if she’ll ever date Gary, she replies by “I’ll think about it” she asks Gary if he had thoughts on dating her.
Gary replies by ” Don’t think about it next time, tell me either X or O now”(referring to her answer to Ji suk jin’s question)

(episode 120) Gary has a wardrobe malfunction, his underwear can be seen slightly & he asks Jihyo “…It’s the color you like right?” Hilarious.

(episode 10) When Jihyo says that they have 4 years age difference and Gary replies “Like four letters to love to death?”

(episode 135) Song Jihyo asks Gary what clothes he would recommend her to buy if they went shopping, he replies ” Song jihyo has no need for that (all the expensive clothes) , Song jihyo herself is beautiful, Song jihyo…she is a flower”


The Monday couple captions is also one of the reasons why i believe Monday couple is popular even after Jihyo’s relationship announcement. The fact that the captions”Monday couple” has not being taking off the show but still appears now and then, let the viewers know that Monday couple is still alive and part of the show.

IMG_3419 (ep 137)


Not only the captions, but also the members adds to the popularity of this on-screen couple, the fact that the cast members still emphasize on each interaction they see coming from Gary and Jihyo. Haha (ha dong hoon) is not being shy expressing the fact that he wants them to date in real life, outside the show.

A Monday couple shipper are you, Ha dong hoon?

Summarizing, i believe the reasons why Monday couple is still popular among Running man fans, is because of all these reasons mentioned above! Their natural chemistry; Gary’s love lines and so on.

Episode 137 i believe is the most powerful Monday couple moment until date, when Gary & Jihyo had to do the “pepero game”. I believe it would stay one of the most classic moments for Monday couple fans out there.

What do you think of the Monday couple? Leave comments below ๐Ÿ™‚


20 thoughts on “Why is Monday couple so popular among Running Man fans?

  1. is it delusional to want them to be a real couple??? coz I really adore this two, I watch Running Man from ep 1 until now and everytime I always long to see Gary and Jihyo interaction as monday couple…thanks for the post about monday couple, my most favorite couple in the reality show world right now (still wishing it may be true in reality world too :P)

    1. Ha ^^, it’s understandable, you’ve grown fond of them, i tell you in South Korea, i heard they are VERY popular too , so you’re not the only one.
      But in fact, Jihyo is in a relationship? right? So we can’t be too delusional to not be disapointed:) But there’s nothing wrong with u liking their interactions ๐Ÿ™‚ I would advise to read my latest post ” Some asks: Why are Jihyo & Gary not dating in real life?” https://myriamonliine.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/why-are-gary-jihyo-are-not-dating-in-real-life-yet/

  2. I just found your blog… ๐Ÿ™‚ Nice article here, its just like reading my own opinion… ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so happy that they became close again. I still remember watching Episode 82 when the news about JiHyo dating her CEO spread, the guest was Lee Da Hae, one of my favorite actress, but I kinda hate that episode because I thought there will be no more Monday Couple…

  3. I know that I might offend Monday couple fans but I just don’t think that they are good together. The pds were the ones who made Monday couple come true and their relationship while watching running man seems one-sided. Even if Song Ji Hyo tries to interact with Kang Gary, it seems awkward and forced. I tried to like Monday couple but i just can’t. Monday couple is better off only being on running man and not for real. Imagine what would happen if they become real. I know that there are pros but there are also cons. For example, Song Ji Hyo is usually awkward if Kang Gary tries to interact with her and in the end, they will break up because it is a one-sided relationship. Song Ji Hyo’s male fans will be utterly disappointed and they would find a new idol to like, lowering the amount of fans that she has. I don’t think that the possibilities of Kang Gary ad Song Ji Hyo is high. I know that most of you here ships Monday couple but try to watch their expressions more carefully. Especially Song Ji Hyo since she is an actress. I think that her ace personality is better and do you know that Spartace was about to happen on episode 4 but Nickhun came? Stop being delusional! Stop forcing people to be together! One of the reasons why I hate shipping people is because the people who are shipped together feels forced to be together just to make their fans still like them . Another reason why i hate shipping people up is because people who shipped others together only care about how they feel and not how the people who are shipped together feel. Start caring about how the people shipped together feel and not about satisfying yourself! The people who are shipped together are human beings, just like us! They have feelings just like us! So stop supporting ships and let couples happen naturally. I personally think that I will be glad if Song Ji Hyo ends up with anyone.

  4. One cheesy line i remembered from Gary was when he came to Singapore (with RM casts) and I forgot what question the MC asked but its about cheating and naturally people will say they will not cheat or they will not condone it.

    Gary replied : “Maybe”

    So, curiously the other RM members asked him to elaborate and he said

    “if my wife is SJH, I will never cheat. But if my wife is not JH, i will” (implying that he will cheat on his wife with SJH !!!)

    So cute and sweet!! Got all the fans laughing at a blushing jihyo!

  5. One cheesy line i remembered from Gary was when he came to Singapore (with RM casts) and I forgot what question the MC asked but its about cheating and naturally people will say they will not cheat or they will not condone it.

    Gary replied : โ€œMaybeโ€

    So, curiously the other RM members asked him to elaborate and he said

    โ€œif my wife is SJH, I will never cheat. But if my wife is not JH, i willโ€ (implying that he will cheat on his wife with SJH !!!)

    So cute and sweet!! Got all the fans laughing at a blushing jihyo!

      1. Its never right to condone cheating, but to have a guy pledge this kind of love to you is in itself really beautiful. I don;t think I “read into it too much”. I never expected or wanted them to date irl, if they do, good for them. It not, then at least they are good friends. But I think the exchange in itself is really romantic regardless of who said it or to whom it was directed at.

  6. If i had a chance to wish, I would wish, “Gary and Ji Hyo date in real life and never break up.”

  7. I’m sorry but I only felt at first the Monday Couple was just a one-sided crush from Gary and now it turned into a forced, scripted drama every time they’re on scene just to satisfy every Monday Couple fan out there. Unlike Spartace that only came natural, even behind scenes when the camera just pass by, I can always caught a glimpse of warm care behind their actions.

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