Emma’s Top Nine MNet Relay Dances (Kpop Boy Group edition)

During the month of December, Loyola Libraries staff make lists and check them twice. What are these lists about? Anything! You can look at past years’ lists here and stay tuned for more lists!

Okay, if you know what the MNet relay dance is, you know how this is supposed to work.

  • Everyone has to be having fun or why are we even here…your serious face belongs in the mv.
  • You need at least one maknae acting like a total idiot.
  • Someone has to be somehow surprised that it is his turn despite the fact that he probably practiced this 40 times.
  • Someone needs to pick someone up who then looks embarrassed even though he clearly loves it.
  • Someone has to completely not understand the relay concept.
  • Someone needs to act super disapproving of everyone else’s total lack of professionalism.
  • Some spotlight hog has to just REFUSE to stay in single file even if he’s in the very back of the line.
  • At least 4 people need to be goofing off in the background even if you only have 5 members.
  • Someone has to look completely self-conscious because they’ve only ever danced in groups of 12 or more and can’t handle that solo life.
  • And if you don’t have an outtakes reel did you even do a relay dance?

EVNNE “Trouble”

Good job, new group! I like to think they were rigorously coached by big brother groups VIXX and VERIVERY on how to make an entertaining relay dance, but they’re also just a naturally fun bunch and this song is very high energy. It took about 100 relay dances for groups to realize they did not have to stay single file for the entire relay and could break out into groups of 2 or 3 especially for point dances, and EVNNE has this down to a science. They also make great use of what I like to call “Wolf Arms” formation for cool arms moments.

WayV, “On My Youth”

Lots of “Wolf Arms” from the company that invented Wolf Arms. A relay dance is infinitely improved by a member who cannot keep a straight face at any time to save his life. Thanks, Winwin. It’s a melodramatic song and WayV are pros who excel at poking fun at themselves. But those vocals, man, wow.


Full disclosure: I did not watch Boys Planet because kpop survival shows make me cry and how can you people do that to yourselves?!?! So many tears. So I do not know all the members. But survival boys generally know how to milk the camera and these kids do a great job entertaining while also apparently having no idea what is going on. Ricky? The blond one? Is that Ricky? Get yourself together, bro.

TXT, “Chasing that Feeling”

Extra points to the relay dance if one member of the group (looking at you Taehyun) refuses to improvise with the choreography for even one second. He’s so serious, even when he smiles. JUST LET IT GO. Unlike Soobin who was born forgetting his choreo.

P1Harmony, “Jump”

Imagine if they had a boring relay dance for a song this fun? Lol it would never happen, not with these champs. Big brothers SF9 did some of the first MNet relay dances ever and even back then FNC knew how to make them fun. My favorite thing about P1Harmony is they may seem chaotic and random but you know it has all been ruthlessly rehearsed to maximize youthful charm album sales.

EXO, “Cream Soda”

From the guys who invented Wolf Arms, we see zero. Wow these guys are old. Chanyeol has forgotten how to idol but at least he’s still having fun. Sehun is embarrassed for you, CY. And Chen pretends like he’s so surprised as though he hasn’t been putting up with this catastrophe for 12 years. This is why SHINee knew you’d never replace them, EXO. They do nail the cringe aspect of the relay dance though.

Infinite, “New Emotions”

Infinite is basically here to show younger groups (and EXO) how it’s done. Sunggyu now runs this company and just finished a solo comeback and barely knows the choreo so he hides, L is probably filming 17 back-to-back dramas, Sungyeol just golfs now, Woohyun is getting over cancer, and yet…SO PROFESSIONAL. The inventors of knife-like dance moves proving they can still hack it while making it look easy. The fact that L, full-time actor, knows the dance better than anyone else leads me to assume a) he never sleeps and b) they must have a lot of downtime on kdrama film sets.

The Boyz, “Lip Gloss”

Ah, The Boyz. Unparalleled masters of the relay dance. Probably rivalled only by Monsta X and ATEEZ in terms of sheer volume of fun relays. “Roar” was also a great relay this year, but of course Lip Gloss, as a fluffy summer song, just lends itself too well to relay shenanigans. PLEASE DON’T DROP KEVIN. Does any group have more fun than The Boyz? We were robbed of a US tour in 2023.

And Emma’s #1 Relay of 2023 is…Treasure (T5), “Move”!!!

As you would expect from 5 boys locked in the YG basement for the majority of their lives, T5 kills this song every time they perform it, but they manage to make what is a sexy song very fun for their relay. Mostly by mercilessly tickling Junkyu. He tries so hard to recover. Fun fact: I thought Junkyu was the Treasure maknae forever because he acts like such a baby. He is actually like “kpop 40” (23 in real years). I admit I watch this relay whenever I need to be cheered up, so basically every time I accidentally read any news this year.

Emma has been a k-pop fan for an extremely long time thanks to her best friends Leila and Corinne. She is a Shawol/Starlight/Inspirit probably in that order, and a proud former Baby (RIP B.A.P). She feels absolutely no shame sharing an intense love of k-pop with a billion 13-year old girls around the world because 13-year old girls are our future. She has hi-touched BTS twice. She is also a librarian #bestcareerever. Here is a picture of the author and her amazing goddaughter (age 13) at a Monsta X show.

Back To Top