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The Impractical Jokers Punishment That The Network Repeatedly Declined

"Impractical Jokers" has become a television favorite since arriving on truTV in late 2011, and it's not difficult to deduce why that is. What's not to love about a bunch of lifelong friends and comedians going above and beyond to embarrass one another in crude and outlandish ways? Sure, sometimes the program will make you cringe, and the departure of fan-favorite star Joe Gatto in early 2022 was a devastating blow to take, but at the end of the day, there's still plenty to enjoy from the show — especially the horrifically creative punishments.

To close out each episode, "Impractical Jokers" features what's known simply as a punishment: a scary, degrading, yet highly entertaining task that whoever failed to win the most challenges must do without objection. Over the years, Joe, Brian "Q" Quinn, Sal Vulcano, and James "Murr" Murray have concocted some truly devilish concepts for their poor co-stars to take on, all for the viewing pleasure of the "Jokers" audience. While some of these turn out pretty brutal, it's not uncommon for the guys to come up with an idea that the powers that be have to shut down.

According to the "Impractical Jokers" crew themselves, the network declined this punishment time and time again before ultimately giving in.

The infamous tattoo punishment took many tries to become a reality

One of the most infamous punishments in "Impractical Jokers" history took place in the episode "The Permanent Punishment" from Season 3. Q, Sal, and Murr lost the episode, meaning they had to get a tattoo of Joe's choosing, and they wouldn't know what it was until the artist finished. As Sal, Joe, and Murr recalled, it took quite a few tries to get the network to let them do it (via YouTube). In fact, they pitched the idea as early as the start of Season 1, yet it met constant vetos for a while. Finally, those in charge decided to let it happen, but Sal figures they rejected it at least 20 times beforehand.

As if this punishment wasn't rough enough, it paved the way for an uncomfortable interaction for Sal down the line. Joe selected a portrait of Jaden Smith to go on Sal's thigh, so as he told Yahoo! in 2017, he took the opportunity to show Smith when he ran into him at a Comic-Con event. However, Smith's security being on high alert, coupled with a poor move on Sal's part, made things awkward in a hurry. "I started to unbuckle my pants, which I didn't realize what that would look like. And then they swarmed me," he said, adding that they eventually recognized him from "Impractical Jokers" and allowed him to show Smith his tattoo.

From the outside looking in, the tattoo punishment is hilarious, so it's great that the network finally gave it the green light. Although, one has to imagine that Sal, Q, and Murr likely regret campaigning so hard for it for so long now that they're the ones adorned with odd body art.