History VerySpecialEpisode / LiveActionTV

11th Aug '16 7:42:51 PM Discar
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* Parodied in "Mr. Series/{{Monk}} and the Naked Man" which explains his prejudice towards nudists. He even has a silly FreudianExcuse.

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* ''Series/{{Monk}}'': Parodied in "Mr. Series/{{Monk}} Monk and the Naked Man" which explains his prejudice towards nudists. He even has a silly FreudianExcuse.
22nd Jul '16 5:34:37 AM mlsmithca
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A "{{very special episode}}" in television parlance is one with a much darker or serious storyline than usual, especially if the series is a situation comedy or a lighthearted drama. But in its broadest sense, the "very special episode" is simply a television program that:

to:

A "{{very special episode}}" "VerySpecialEpisode" in television parlance is one with a much darker or serious storyline than usual, especially if the series is a situation comedy or a lighthearted drama. But in its broadest sense, the "very special episode" is simply a television program that:



** "Dead Last", where a jockey is killed by a horse -- [[OrIsIt or is he?]]

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** "Dead Last", where a jockey is killed by a horse -- [[OrIsIt or is he?]]he?
9th Jul '16 10:19:19 PM GoldenSeals
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When people think of a "{{very special episode}}" in television parlance, it's thought of as having a much darker or serious storyline, especially if the series is a situation comedy or a lighthearted drama. But in its broadest sense, the "very special episode" is simply a television program that:
* For a regularly scheduled program, airs at a time other than its regular timeslot. These can range from simply being reruns or new showings of run-of-the-mill episodes, to shows that feature guest stars or have a different non-"very special episode"-type storyline as a ratings stunt (such as the main cast going on vacation or a special guest star), subsequent parts of multi-part episodes, a MilestoneCelebration ... or indeed be a "very special episode" aired at a time where the network believes said episode can reach a larger audience.
* Is a one-off special that pre-empts regular programming. Originally, these were special theatrical presentations meant to appeal to high culture, such as a videotaped presentation of ''Literature/PeterPan'', but later evolved into one-time comedy specials (e.g., various Creator/BobHope specials) or cultural events (such as the Academy Awards).

to:

When people think of a A "{{very special episode}}" in television parlance, it's thought of as having parlance is one with a much darker or serious storyline, storyline than usual, especially if the series is a situation comedy or a lighthearted drama. But in its broadest sense, the "very special episode" is simply a television program that:
* For a regularly scheduled program, airs at a time other than its regular timeslot. These can range from simply being reruns or new showings of run-of-the-mill episodes, to shows that feature guest stars or have a different non-"very special episode"-type storyline as a ratings stunt (such as the main cast going on vacation or a special guest star), subsequent parts of multi-part episodes, a MilestoneCelebration ... or MilestoneCelebration. Or it could indeed be a "very special episode" aired at a time where the network believes said episode can reach a larger audience.
* Is a one-off special that pre-empts regular programming. Originally, these were special theatrical presentations meant to appeal to high culture, such as a videotaped presentation of ''Literature/PeterPan'', but later evolved into one-time comedy specials (e.(''e.g., '', various Creator/BobHope specials) or cultural events (such as the Academy Awards).



* One of the more famous modern ones is the ''Series/EightSimpleRules'' two parter entitled "Goodbye". This was a case of RealLifeWritesThePlot as lead actor John Ritter collapsed on set during the second season and later died of an aortic dissection. The show killed off his character Paul Hennessy (implying that he had a heart attack) and the episode was broadcast without a laugh track and the show's opening credits were never seen again. This is considered a JumpingTheShark moment for the show as it had previously been about Paul trying to relate to his teenage daughters but its focus then shifted to Cate (played by [[Series/MarriedWithChildren Katey Sagal]]) dealing with his death and keeping the family together. It also featured the introduction of James Garner as Cate's father who would join the show as a regular cast member.

to:

* One of the more famous modern ones is the ''Series/EightSimpleRules'' two parter two-parter entitled "Goodbye". This was a case of RealLifeWritesThePlot RealLifeWritesThePlot, as lead actor John Ritter collapsed on set during the second season and later died of an aortic dissection. The show killed off his character Paul Hennessy (implying that he had a heart attack) and attack), the episode was broadcast without a laugh track track, and the show's opening credits were never seen again. This is considered a JumpingTheShark moment for It marked the point in the show as it had previously been about where the focus shifted from Paul to his wife Cate, who's now trying to relate to his teenage daughters but its focus then shifted to Cate (played by [[Series/MarriedWithChildren Katey Sagal]]) dealing with his death and keeping keep the family together. It also featured the introduction of James Garner as Cate's father who would join the show as a regular cast member.together.



* A fourth-season episode of ''Series/TwentyFour'' had Jack Bauer hiding out in a gun shop owned by two foreign immigrants, who demonstrated that they were patriotic and wanted to serve for the good of the American people. This episode also featured a PSA by lead actor Kiefer Sutherland, who highlighted the discrimination faced by Arab and East Indian residents living in America, a situation caused by September 11th and the War on Terror.
* ''Series/TwoPointFourChildren'' was better known for {{Anvilicious}} ''moments'' rather than a whole episode, but did sometimes use this trope. One example is an episode based around Bill's desire to keep David from becoming friendly with a local LowerClassLout - only to learn about what a rough time the boy is having at home and how his mother is struggling as a single parent. In another, Rona (who has struggled to get pregnant) takes home an abandoned baby she found, and has to learn the lesson that she's not entitled to a child just because she wants one.

to:

* A fourth-season episode of ''Series/TwentyFour'' had Jack Bauer hiding out in a gun shop owned by two foreign immigrants, who demonstrated that they were patriotic and wanted to serve for the good of the American people. This episode also featured a PSA by lead actor Kiefer Sutherland, who highlighted the discrimination faced by Arab Arabs and East Indian residents Indians living in America, a situation caused by September 11th and the War on Terror.
America during UsefulNotes/TheWarOnTerror.
* ''Series/TwoPointFourChildren'' was better known for {{Anvilicious}} ''moments'' moments rather than a whole episode, but it did sometimes use this trope. trope.
**
One example is an episode based around concerns Bill's desire to keep David from becoming friendly with a local LowerClassLout - LowerClassLout, only to learn about what a how rough time the boy is having has it at home and how his mother is struggling as a single parent. parent.
**
In another, Rona (who Rona, who has struggled to get pregnant) pregnant, takes home an abandoned baby she found, and has to learn the lesson that she's not entitled to a child just because she wants one.



* Perhaps the most notorious show for very special episodes was the WB's ''Series/SeventhHeaven'' where for a while, virtually every episode was "very special." This often involved new friends that were never seen or mentioned again. One example of this is the episode "Cutters" where a recently befriended girl is caught cutting herself. She is put on a bus at the end of the episode.
* ''Series/AdamTwelve'': The third-season had a very touching and insightful episode called "Elegy for a Pig," where Officer Pete Malloy (Martin Milner), the elder of the two regular officers, narrates a documentary about his one-time partner, who was killed while staking out a robbery. Malloy's emotional telling of the story sends shivers down the viewer's spine, showing that when an officer dies, he is more than just a statistic ... he is a comrade, friend, family man and much more. The end credits for that particular episode did not use the usual sequence or theme -- rather, [[SilentCredits a black screen with no music]] (the end logos for Mark VII Limited Productions and Universal Television were kept as usual).
* The ''Series/AfterschoolSpecial'', which at one point aired on all three networks (under various titles) frequently explored serious social topics, such as [=AIDS=], bullying, censorship, child abuse (physical and sexual), crime, drunk driving, drugs, date rape, hitchhiking, mental illness and so forth. The idea was for adults and teenagers to watch the episode together and discuss the issues presented.

to:

* Perhaps the most notorious show for very special episodes was the The WB's ''Series/SeventhHeaven'' where was notorious for a while, virtually every episode was being "very special." This They often involved new friends that who [[LongLostUncleAesop were never seen or mentioned again. One example of this is again]]. For example, the episode "Cutters" where is about a recently befriended recently-befriended girl who is caught cutting herself. She is put on a bus herself and gets PutOnABus at the end of the episode.
* ''Series/AdamTwelve'': The third-season had a very touching and insightful episode called "Elegy for a Pig," Pig", where Officer Pete Malloy (Martin Milner), the elder of the two regular officers, narrates a documentary about his one-time partner, who was killed while staking out a robbery. Malloy's emotional telling of the story sends shivers down the viewer's spine, showing shows that when an officer dies, he is more than just a statistic ... he is statistic, but rather a comrade, friend, family man and much more. The end credits for that particular episode did not use the usual sequence or theme -- rather, theme, but rather [[SilentCredits a black screen with no music]] (the {{vanity plate}}s at the end logos for Mark VII Limited Productions and Universal Television were kept as usual).
* The ''Series/AfterschoolSpecial'', which at one point aired on all three networks (under various titles) titles), frequently explored serious social topics, such as [=AIDS=], bullying, censorship, child abuse (physical and sexual), crime, drunk driving, drugs, date rape, hitchhiking, and mental illness and so forth.illness. The idea was for adults and teenagers to watch the episode together and discuss the issues presented.



** "Archie and the KKK," where Archie runs into an old buddy, who invites him to the Kweens Kouncil of Krusaders. Archie doesn't get (at first) that said organization is actually the local Klu Klux Klan chapter taking on a very-misleading name. Not only does Archie get a chance to reflect on his own viewpoints about people with backgrounds or ethnicities outside his comfort zone, it showed viewers that Archie does have a touch of decency in him and that his views reflected the times in which he grew up, not pure racism. (In the end, Archie thwarts a planned cross-burning when he realizes that Mike is the target of the intended act.)

to:

** "Archie and the KKK," where Archie runs into an old buddy, who invites him to the Kweens Kouncil of Krusaders. Archie doesn't get (at first) that said organization is actually the local Klu Klux Klan chapter taking on a very-misleading name. Not only does Archie get a chance to reflect on his own viewpoints about people with backgrounds or ethnicities outside his comfort zone, it showed viewers that Archie does have a touch of decency in him and that his views reflected the times in which he grew up, not pure racism. (In In the end, Archie thwarts a planned cross-burning when he realizes that Mike is the target of the intended act.)



** "Edith's Crisis of Faith," where Edith witnesses the brutal slaying of cross-dresser Beverly [=LaSalle=] (during a failed robbery attempt), and is so shaken that she nearly renounces her faith in God.
** Although it didn't have an adult theme per se, the season finale "The Stivics Move West" was also a very special episode, in that it was the last regular show featuring Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers as regulars. There was a very emotional farewell at the very end, after which a deeply saddened Archie forlornly watches the taxi (with Mike, Gloria and Joey inside) drive out of sight ... before he tearfully goes over to his armchair to sit next to an also deeply saddened Edith, before the camera fades out and the audience applauds. Word has it that the foursome had such a difficult time keeping their emotions in check that more than 20 takes had to be made before one was keepable.
** Two other episodes -- "[[Recap/AllInTheFamilyS5E15TheBestOfAllInTheFamily The Best of All In the Family]]" and "[[Recap/AllInTheFamilyS9E21AllInTheFamilysTwoHundredthEpisodeCelebration All In the Family's 200th Episode Celebration]]" -- fit the broadest definition of "very special episode" ... to wit, a departure from the normal format and instead celebrating the show's success and groundbreaking accomplishments. "The Best of All In the Family," aired in December 1974, presented highlights, interviews and mainstream media coverage from the show's first four seasons (January 1971 right up to the present; including an announcement of the show's latest spinoff, ''Series/TheJeffersons'', to debut a few weeks later). "All In the Family's 200th Episode Celebration" aired in March 1979 and, along with some recycled material included updates from 1975 right up through shortly before production of that episode began in February 1979.
* ''Series/ArchieBunkersPlace'': The follow-up series to ''All in the Family'' had a number of episodes with very special episode topics, including pregnancy and drug abuse. None were as special as "Archie Alone," the 1980-1981 season opener which saw Edith die of a stroke (offscreen; Jean Stapleton had resigned her role) and Archie release his pent-up grief, a month after trying to dodge the fact that his beloved "Dingbat" had died before he had a chance to say, "I love you" one last time.
* ''Ask This Old House'' on PBS has had a few episodes specifically dealing with one special topic.
** One episode had a focus entirely on kitchens, because the show got the most mail about kitchen-related matters.
** One episode dealt with do-it-yourself projects you could do with children.
** An episode in the spring of 2009 dealt with the summer 2009 U.S. government mandated switch to digital broadcast television and focused on getting an entire neighborhood ready.
** One episode had a focus entirely on winter weather and another dealt with severe weather awareness.
** One episode had a focus on renewable energy.
** One episode dealt with home accessibility, namely outfitting a whole home for an elderly man bound to a wheelchair, and building new steps for a women with prosthetic legs.
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' had an interesting subversion of the VSE when a young colonist sneaked aboard Galactica to get an abortion. All of the components for an allegory about American attitudes towards abortion were in place: Devout colonists considered it immoral, secular colonists considered it a fundamental right, and the single case was turned into a wedge issue during an election. But the critical difference between BSG and the real world trumped the allegory - with the human race reduced to less than 50,000 people, the survival of the species became paramount, and abortion was criminalized.
* ''Series/{{Baywatch}}'' tended to do two half-hour plotlines within a single hour-long episode, running them simultaneously in the episode's timeline. Sometimes, this had... possibly unintended results. Such as the hilarity of combining a Very Special Episode plot in which one of the lifeguards gets skin cancer, with a plot in which Hulk Hogan has a wrestling match against one of the WWF heels in order to save a local youth center or similar.
* Given a nod in the ''Series/BigWolfOnCampus'' episode "The Sandman Cometh": "They did four Very Special Episodes in a row... it was an emotional workout."

to:

** "Edith's Crisis of Faith," where Edith witnesses the brutal slaying of cross-dresser Beverly [=LaSalle=] (during during a failed robbery attempt), attempt, and is so shaken that she nearly renounces her faith in God.
** Although it didn't have an adult theme per se, the season finale "The Stivics Move West" was also a very special episode, in that it was the last regular show featuring Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers as regulars. There was a very emotional farewell at the very end, after which a deeply saddened Archie forlornly watches the taxi (with Mike, Gloria and Joey inside) drive out of sight ... sight, before he tearfully goes over to his armchair to sit next to an also deeply saddened Edith, before the camera fades out out, and the audience applauds. Word has it that the foursome had such a difficult time keeping their emotions in check that more than 20 it took twenty takes had to be made before one was keepable.
film this scene.
** Two other episodes -- fit the broadest definition of "very special episode", in that they depart from the normal format and serve as {{Milestone Celebration}}s. "[[Recap/AllInTheFamilyS5E15TheBestOfAllInTheFamily The Best of All In the Family]]" Family]]", aired in December 1974, presented highlights, interviews, and mainstream media coverage from the show's first four seasons. It also had an announcement of the show's latest spinoff, ''Series/TheJeffersons'', which would debut a few weeks later. "[[Recap/AllInTheFamilyS9E21AllInTheFamilysTwoHundredthEpisodeCelebration All In the Family's 200th Episode Celebration]]" -- fit the broadest definition of "very special episode" ... to wit, a departure from the normal format and instead celebrating the show's success and groundbreaking accomplishments. "The Best of All In the Family," aired in December 1974, presented highlights, interviews and mainstream media coverage from the show's first four seasons (January 1971 right up to the present; including an announcement of the show's latest spinoff, ''Series/TheJeffersons'', to debut a few weeks later). "All In the Family's 200th Episode Celebration" Celebration]]", aired in March 1979 and, along with some recycled material included updates from 1975 right up through shortly before production of that episode began in February 1979.
1979, did effectively the same thing as well.
* ''Series/ArchieBunkersPlace'': The follow-up series to ''All in the Family'' had a number of episodes with very special episode Very Special topics, including pregnancy and drug abuse. None But none were as special as "Archie Alone," Alone", the 1980-1981 season opener which saw Edith die of a stroke (offscreen; Jean Stapleton had resigned her role) and Archie release his pent-up grief, a month after trying to dodge the fact that his beloved "Dingbat" had died before he had a chance to say, "I love you" one last time.
* ''Ask This Old House'' ''Series/AskThisOldHouse'' on PBS has had a few episodes specifically dealing with one special topic.
topic:
** One episode had a focus entirely on kitchens, because the show got the most mail about kitchen-related matters.
** One episode dealt with do-it-yourself projects you could do with children.
** An episode in the spring of 2009 dealt with the summer 2009 that summer's U.S. government mandated government-mandated switch to digital broadcast television and focused on getting an entire neighborhood ready.
** One episode had a focus focused entirely on winter weather weather, and another dealt with severe weather awareness.
** One episode had a focus focused on renewable energy.
** One episode dealt with home accessibility, namely outfitting a whole home for an elderly man bound to a wheelchair, and building new steps for a women with prosthetic legs.
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' had an interesting subversion of the VSE when a young colonist sneaked snuck aboard Galactica to get an abortion. All of the components for an allegory about American attitudes towards abortion were in place: Devout colonists considered it immoral, secular colonists considered it a fundamental right, and the single case was turned into a wedge issue during an election. But the critical difference between BSG and the with real world trumped the allegory - life is that with the human race reduced to less than 50,000 people, the survival of the species became paramount, and abortion was criminalized.
* ''Series/{{Baywatch}}'' tended to do [[TwoLinesNoWaiting two half-hour plotlines plotlines]] within a single hour-long episode, running them simultaneously in the episode's timeline. Sometimes, this had... possibly unintended they didn't match in tone, leading to {{Narm}}y results. Such as the hilarity of combining a Very Special Episode plot One example is an episode in which one of the lifeguards gets skin cancer, with a plot in which cancer -- and Hulk Hogan has to win a wrestling match against one of the WWF heels in order to save a local youth center or similar.
center.
* Given a nod {{Discussed|Trope}} in the ''Series/BigWolfOnCampus'' episode "The Sandman Cometh": "They Cometh":
-->''They
did four Very Special Episodes in a row... it was an emotional workout."''



* Popularly attributed to ''Series/{{Blossom}}'', which had a lot of Very Special Episodes, promoted as such. Frequently, episodes employing this trope were introduced by actress Mayim Bialik (who played the title character) intoning in a somber manner, "Tonight, on a Very Special ''Blossom'' ... ," followed by teaser scenes dramatically showing the conflict and cutting off before the most dire event reaches its climax. If the "very special ''Blossom''" was a two-parter, Bialik would often introduce the second (and any subsequent installments) as "[[PreviouslyOn Last time ... on ''Blossom'']]", followed by scenes from the previous episode showing the most dramatic parts of the conflict, including the last scene where the most serious incident happened.
** Parodied on ''Series/{{Friends}}'' when Joey (who has just been chosen to appear on a poster warning against sexually transmitted diseases) walks into the flat and says "My family thinks I've got VD!" Chandler sardonically replies, "Tonight on a very special ''Series/{{Blossom}}''!"
** {{Subverted|Trope}} by an episode of the American ''Series/WhatNotToWear''. Billed as "A Very Special Episode", the celebrity makeover target was revealed to be Mayim Bialik, the actress who used to play ''Series/{{Blossom}}''. And in fact she did seem to dress like a grown up Blossom gone to seed. As is common with many guests of the show, SheCleansUpNicely.
** This was also parodied on ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' when Dr. Orpheus threatened to "make you believe you ARE a very special episode of Blossom."

to:

* Popularly attributed to ''Series/{{Blossom}}'', which had a lot of Very Special Episodes, Episodes which were promoted as such. Frequently, episodes employing this trope were introduced by actress Mayim Bialik (who played the title character) intoning in a somber manner, "Tonight, on a Very Special ''Blossom'' ... ," ''Blossom''..." followed by teaser scenes dramatically showing the conflict and cutting off before the most dire event reaches its climax. If It was enough to be the "very special ''Blossom''" was a two-parter, Bialik would often introduce the second (and any subsequent installments) as "[[PreviouslyOn Last time ... on ''Blossom'']]", followed by scenes from the previous episode showing the most dramatic parts source of the conflict, including the last scene where the most serious incident happened.
many {{parodi|edtrope}}es:
** Parodied on ''Series/{{Friends}}'' when On ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Joey (who has just been chosen to appear on a poster warning against sexually transmitted diseases) walks into the flat and says announces, "My family thinks I've got VD!" (the result of a [[PublicServiceAnnouncement PSA poster campaign]] he was in sending the wrong impression). Chandler sardonically replies, "Tonight on a very special ''Series/{{Blossom}}''!"
** {{Subverted|Trope}} by The American ''Series/WhatNotToWear'' had an episode of the American ''Series/WhatNotToWear''. Billed billed as "A "a Very Special Episode", Episode" where the celebrity makeover target was revealed to be Mayim Bialik, the actress who used to play ''Series/{{Blossom}}''. And in fact she did seem Bialik. She even seemed to dress like a grown up grown-up Blossom gone to seed. As is common with many guests of the show, SheCleansUpNicely.
seed.
** This was also parodied on ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' when On ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', Dr. Orpheus threatened threatens to "make you believe you ARE ''are'' a very special episode of Blossom.''Blossom''."



* ''Series/{{Bones}}'' did one about a homeless war veteran who died 10 days after the Pentagon attack on September 11.

to:

* ''Series/{{Bones}}'' did one about a homeless war veteran who died 10 ten days after the Pentagon attack on September 11.



** In one episode Cory and Shawn become completely drunk sharing a small bottle of whiskey, leading to Shawn having a harrowing week of alcoholism before it being solved by 'talking to some guy.'
** Another is the episode where Shawn has a friend who is physically abused by her dad, so Shawn and Cory decide to hide her at Cory's house overnight. Ends with the Kids Help Phone Hotline number.
** Or the one where Shawn joins a cult, which came out around the Heavens Gate suicides. It started with a lonely Shawn being invited to what was described as a youth center, where he is surrounded by new friends and an adult father figure, Mr. Mack, was ran the Center. The easy companionship is shown as addicting, to the point where Shawn stops hanging out with Cory and his regular friends, until Mr. Turner is left in critical condition because of a motorcycle accident and Shawn realizes just how much Mr. Turner and his friends mean to him. Strangely enough, Mr. Mack, despite being the episode's "bad guy", is shown somewhat sympathetically, accompanying Shawn when he visits Turner at the hospital, being civil with Mr. Feeney, despite Feeney's obvious dislike for him and his Center, and taking Shawn's decision to leave the Center gracefully. Also, the cult itself isn't very cultish except for having a leader and Shawn's estrangement from his friends. Everybody looks well rested and well fed, other people had no trouble finding the Center and there was no monetary or work aspect to it.
*** He was anything but a harmless human being, even though he wasn't causing physical harm. Instead he decided to prey on the minds of delicate teenagers until they lost their sanity, which is what was happening to Shawn before his friends helped him come to his senses. Without them, he wouldn't have even known about Mr. Turner's accident, that's how tight of a grip Mr. Mack had on him.
** In one well-done episode, Cory makes a bet with Feeny that if he teaches one of the classes for a week, more students will pass the test at the end. After instituting anarchy and then realizing that he needs to do some actual teaching, Cory attempts without success to interest the class in The Diary of Anne Frank. At one point Cory finds Eric comforting his Asian girlfriend after she's been called by a racial slur. He finally gets the attention of the class by calling Shawn a wop, asking "What if we lived in a country where I could kill you just because of your mother's maiden name?" Though the same number of students as usual pass the test, Shawn scores a "B" instead of his usual "C," showing that he took the lesson to heart.
* One episode of ''Series/TheBrothersGarcia'' had Carlos finding out a girl at school wears a wig and delightfully plans to tell everyone...only for Sonia to take him to the hospital and show him into the oncology department, revealing that the girl in question has cancer. It was handled rather well and had a pretty touching ending .

to:

** In one episode Cory and Shawn become completely drunk sharing a small bottle of whiskey, leading to Shawn having a harrowing week of alcoholism before solving it being solved by 'talking "talking to some guy.'
"
** Another is the episode where Shawn has a friend who is physically abused by her dad, so Shawn and Cory decide to hide her at Cory's house overnight. Ends It ends with the Kids Help Phone Hotline number.
** Or the one where Shawn joins a cult, which came out around the Heavens Gate suicides. It started with a lonely Shawn being invited to what was described cult disguised as a youth center, where he is surrounded by new friends and an adult father figure, Mr. Mack, was ran he's so enamored with the Center. The easy companionship is shown as addicting, to there and taken in by the point where Shawn stops hanging out with Cory cult leader that he cuts himself off from his usual friends and his regular friends, slowly turns insane -- until Mr. Turner is left in critical condition because of has a motorcycle accident and Shawn realizes just how much Mr. Turner and his friends mean to him. Strangely enough, Mr. Mack, despite being that leaves him in critical condition. It aired not long after the episode's "bad guy", is shown Heaven's Gate suicides, although the cult leader on the show was portrayed somewhat more sympathetically, accompanying Shawn when he visits Turner at the hospital, being civil with Mr. Feeney, despite Feeney's obvious dislike for him and his Center, and taking Shawn's decision to leave the Center gracefully. Also, the cult itself isn't very cultish except for having if a leader and Shawn's estrangement from his friends. Everybody looks well rested and well fed, other people had no trouble finding the Center and there was no monetary or work aspect to it.
*** He was anything but a harmless human being, even though he wasn't causing physical harm. Instead he decided to prey on the minds of delicate teenagers until they lost their sanity, which is what was happening to Shawn before his friends helped him come to his senses. Without them, he wouldn't have even known about Mr. Turner's accident, that's how tight of a grip Mr. Mack had on him.
bit nutty.
** In one well-done episode, Cory makes a bet with bets Feeny that he can get more students to pass a test if he teaches one of the classes himself for a week, more students will pass the test at the end. After instituting week. He immediately institutes anarchy and then in the classroom before realizing that he needs it was a bad idea and deciding to do some actual teaching, Cory attempts without success teaching. He winds up trying to interest the class in The Diary of teach about racism and Anne Frank. At one point Cory finds Eric comforting his Asian girlfriend after she's been called by a racial slur. He finally gets the attention of the class by calling Shawn a wop, asking "What if we lived in a country where I could kill you just because of your mother's maiden name?" Though the same number of students as Frank's ''Literature/TheDiaryOfAYoungGirl'' and makes no headway -- except with Shawn, who does better than usual pass on the test, Shawn scores a "B" instead of his usual "C," showing that he took test at the lesson to heart.
end.
* One episode of ''Series/TheBrothersGarcia'' had has Carlos finding out a girl at school wears a wig and wig. He delightfully plans to tell everyone...everyone, only for Sonia to take him to the hospital and show him into the oncology department, revealing that the girl in question has cancer. It was handled rather well and had a pretty touching ending .ending.



** Willow's story arc throughout season 6 is frequently derided for being one long Very Special Episode all about the evil of drugs; it's the single biggest reason why many people [[FanonDisContinuity tend to ignore everything after Tabula Rasa.]] If the message wasn't clear enough we get Rack, Willow's dealer. He's slimier than [[Series/{{Underbelly}} Alphonse Gangitano, Carl Williams, Jason Moran, Tony Mokbel and Mick Gatto put together.]]

to:

** Willow's story arc throughout season 6 is frequently derided for being one long Very Special Episode all about the evil of drugs; it's drugs. It's the single biggest reason why many people [[FanonDisContinuity tend to ignore everything after Tabula Rasa.]] If the message wasn't clear enough enough, we get Rack, Willow's dealer. He's dealer, who's slimier than [[Series/{{Underbelly}} Alphonse Gangitano, Carl Williams, Jason Moran, Tony Mokbel and Mick Gatto put together.]]



--->'''Xander''': And was there a lesson in all this? huh? What did we learn about beer?\\
'''Buffy''': Foamy.\\
'''Xander''': Good, just as long as that's clear.
** The season 3 episode "[[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS3E18Earshot Earshot]]" dealt with a fringe character planning to commit suicide and included a [[PublicServiceAnnouncement PSA after the episode aired]].

to:

--->'''Xander''': --->'''Xander:''' And was there a lesson in all this? huh? What did we learn about beer?\\
'''Buffy''': '''Buffy:''' Foamy.\\
'''Xander''': '''Xander:''' [[SpoofAesop Good, just as long as that's clear.
clear.]]
** The season 3 episode "[[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS3E18Earshot Earshot]]" dealt with a fringe character planning to commit suicide and included a [[PublicServiceAnnouncement PSA after the episode aired]]. The season 3 episode "I Only Have Eyes for You" also ended with a PSA about suicide and a suicide hotline number.



** The season 2 episode "[[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS2E20GoFish Go Fish]]" has the swim team being given a drug which is constantly referred to as steroids which ends up turning them into fish.
** The Season 3 episode "I Only Have Eyes For You" ended with a PSA about calling the suicide hotline, which would have been useful for some fans.
* ''Series/CanadasWorstDriver'' bordered on this during the episode of ''Ever'' when Angelina finally agreed to go into a mental health program. The episode ended with Andrew encouraging viewers to contact the Canadian Mental Health Association, "Silence is not the cure".
* ''Series/ChicoAndTheMan'': "Raul Runs Away," which was the show's way of explaining that main character [[TheCharacterDiedWithHim Chico had died]] (off-screen). The episode aired two days short of the one-year anniversary of Freddie Prinze's 1977 suicide, and for viewers and his fellow cast members brought closure to his passing ... and the series, as ''Chico'' lasted only a few more episodes.

to:

** The season 2 episode "[[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS2E20GoFish Go Fish]]" has the swim team being given a drug which is constantly referred to as steroids which a steroid but ends up turning them into fish.
** The Season 3 episode "I Only Have Eyes For You" ended with a PSA about calling the suicide hotline, which would have been useful for some fans.
* ''Series/CanadasWorstDriver'' bordered on this during the episode of ''Ever'' when Angelina finally agreed to go into a mental health program. The episode ended with Andrew encouraging viewers to contact the Canadian Mental Health Association, "Silence stating that "silence is not the cure".
cure."
* ''Series/ChicoAndTheMan'': "Raul Runs Away," which was the show's way of explaining that main character [[TheCharacterDiedWithHim Chico had died]] (off-screen). The episode aired two days short of the one-year anniversary of Freddie Prinze's 1977 suicide, and for viewers and his fellow cast members brought closure to his passing ...passing... and the series, as ''Chico'' lasted only a few more episodes.



* A few episodes of ''Series/ColdCase'' dealt with DomesticAbuse, notably "A Perfect Day", "Churchgoing People" and "The Brush Man". The former was the show's highest-rated episode. Every other episode dealt with some hot button issue like gender, women's rights, race, mental health and even gun control.
* In ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode [[Recap/CommunityS1E21ContemporaryAmericanPoultry "Contemporary American Poultry"]] was mentioned by Abed, but ultimately averted.
** Played pretty straight in "Mixology Certification", which shows issues with alcoholism, feeling helpless, adjustment to disability, dealing with adulthood and questioning your path in life. Played very realistically without Narm, while still retaining the shows charm and humour

to:

* A few episodes of ''Series/ColdCase'' dealt with DomesticAbuse, notably "A Perfect Day", "Churchgoing People" People", and "The Brush Man". The former was the show's highest-rated episode. Every other episode dealt with some hot button hot-button issue like gender, women's rights, race, mental health health, and even gun control.
* In ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode [[Recap/CommunityS1E21ContemporaryAmericanPoultry "Contemporary American Poultry"]] was mentioned by Abed, but ultimately averted.
** Played pretty straight in
''Series/{{Community}}'': "Mixology Certification", which shows Certification" showed issues with alcoholism, feeling helpless, helplessness, adjustment to disability, dealing with adulthood adulthood, and questioning your one's path in life. Played very realistically without Narm, while still retaining It was much heavier than other episodes in tone, although it retained the shows charm and humour show's trademark humor.



* Though nearly every episode of ''Series/{{CSI}}'' covers anything to make it "Very Special", there was one episode in particular that was created in the wake of the Michael Vick case. The episode was focused around dogfights and how terrible they are for both the dogs and the people. The episode (not sure of later airings, but it's initial one on CBS at least) even had a PSA announcement after the credits by William Petersen, who plays Gil Grissom in the series. To add to that, he even had his own dog with him on screen to show his support in opposing dogfighting.
** ''Series/CsiNy'' had an arc of this, where Stella feared she'd contracted AIDS. It was done in cooperation with KnowHIVAids.org, and a PSA aired after each of the episodes.
** ''Series/CSIMiami'' had an episode based on the real-life story of a photographer suspected of being a killer. One of the photographs found in his possession was of the sister of the actress who plays Natalia Boa Vista, though she was not a victim. The episode was followed up by a PSA featuring the photos of the women who are still unidentified, in hopes it would lead to some ID's.

to:

* Though nearly every episode of ''Series/{{CSI}}'' covers anything to make it something "Very Special", there was one episode in particular that was created some stand out:
** One episode, aired
in the wake of the Michael Vick case. The episode was Vick's arrest for running a dogfighting ring, focused around dogfights on dogfighting and how terrible they are for both the dogs and the people. The episode (not sure of later airings, but it's initial one on CBS at least) even had bad it is. It ended with a PSA announcement after the credits by [[PublicServiceAnnouncement PSA]] from William Petersen, who Peterson (who plays Gil Grissom in the series. To add to that, he even had Grissom) and his own dog dog.
** A whole are on ''Series/CSINewYork'' dealt
with him on screen to show his support in opposing dogfighting.
** ''Series/CsiNy''
Stella's fear that she had an arc of this, where Stella feared she'd contracted AIDS. [=AIDS=]. It was done in cooperation with KnowHIVAids.org, [=KnowHIVAIDS.org=], and a PSA aired after each of the episodes.
episode.
** ''Series/CSIMiami'' had an episode based on the real-life story of RippedFromTheHeadlines about a photographer suspected of being a killer. One of the photographs found in his possession was of the sister of the actress who plays Natalia Boa Vista, though she was not a victim. The episode was followed up by killer; it ended with a PSA featuring the photos of the women who are still unidentified, in hopes still-unidentified real life women, hoping that it would lead to some ID's.someone identifying them.



* Practically every episode of the ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'' franchise is a very special episode. From abortions to suicide to events [[RippedFromTheHeadlines ripped from Canadian headlines]] to rape to lesbianism to abuse to unwanted pregnancies to neglected friends to pedophilia to online stalkers to self-worth to HIV/AIDS to environmental awareness... it's all here. In fact, the "Degrassi Classic" franchise emphasized this in a series of short documentary features co-produced by the Canadian government called "Degrassi Talks", in which cast members talked about disturbing events that happened in their lives. 7th Heaven doesn't have shit on this.

to:

* Practically every episode of the ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'' franchise is a very special episode. From abortions to suicide to events [[RippedFromTheHeadlines ripped from Canadian headlines]] to rape to lesbianism to abuse to unwanted pregnancies to neglected friends to pedophilia to online stalkers to self-worth to HIV/AIDS to environmental awareness... awareness, it's all here. In fact, the "Degrassi Classic" franchise emphasized this in a series of short documentary features co-produced by the Canadian government called "Degrassi Talks", in which cast members talked about disturbing events that happened in their lives. 7th Heaven doesn't have shit on this.



** The best known Very Special Episode was "The Bicycle Man," aired during the series' fifth season. In it, Arnold and Dudley befriend a genial bicycle shop owner (Gordon Jump, best known as Mr. Carlson on ''Series/WKRPInCincinnati''), unaware that he is a pedophile and is buttering them up for a possible sexual encounter. When the two are shown an X-rated "cat and mouse" cartoon, Arnold decides he's had enough and leaves, then lets slip some details about the bicycle shop owner (unaware that Dudley is still there, and has been given a pill). Not to worry: Dudley is saved in the proverbial nick of time, and the bicycle man is off to prison. On the FOX sitcom, ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'', it was revealed that this actually happened to Principal Lewis and that his friend, Dudley, was traumatized over it.
** The other well-known Very Special Episode was "The Reporter," aired just weeks after "The Bicycle Man." Here, Arnold joins the school newspaper and writes an article about drugs being sold on school grounds. The school administration thinks Arnold is lying and won't allow such a fabrication to be printed in their newspaper ... that is, until First Lady Nancy Reagan shows up with ample proof and persuasion that such activities had (sadly) become the norm, and not just at Arnold's school. The episode was part of Mrs. Reagan's "Just Say No!" campaign.
** Other "very special" episodes included Kimberly [[CompressedVice suddenly being bulimic]], the show's resident CousinOliver Sam being abducted, the boys being refused entry into an elite school with a racist admissions agent, the family housekeeper revealing she's epileptic (prompted by Arnold and Sam making fun of a street performer they saw having a seizure), Willis having a health scare due to excessive stress (!) and several more. The show was the king of very special episodes long before ''Blossom'' came along.
* ''Series/ADifferentWorld''
** An episode on date rape co-starring Tiamak.
** And one about AIDS starring Tisha Campbell.
** Then again, many episodes ventured into this trope. AIDS, Apartheid, racism, dating violence, pregnancy scares, interracial dating, gang violence, the L.A. Riots, to name a few all visited the Hillman College campus. ''Series/InLivingColor'' parodied this in the skit "A Different Message".

to:

** The best known Very Special Episode was "The Bicycle Man," aired during the series' fifth season. In it, Arnold and Dudley befriend a genial bicycle shop owner (Gordon Jump, best known as Mr. Carlson on ''Series/WKRPInCincinnati''), unaware that he is a pedophile and is buttering them up for a possible sexual encounter. When the two are shown an X-rated "cat and mouse" cartoon, Arnold decides he's had enough and leaves, then lets slip some details about the bicycle shop owner (unaware that Dudley is still there, and has been given a pill). Not to worry: Dudley is saved in the proverbial nick of time, and the bicycle man is off to prison. On the FOX sitcom, ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'', it was ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' revealed that this actually happened to Principal Lewis and that his friend, Dudley, was traumatized over it.
** The other well-known Very Special Episode was In "The Reporter," Reporter", which aired just weeks after "The Bicycle Man." Here, Man", Arnold joins the school newspaper and writes an article about drugs being sold on school grounds. The school administration thinks Arnold is lying and won't allow such a fabrication to be printed in their newspaper ... that is, print the story -- until First Lady Nancy Reagan shows up with ample proof and persuasion that such activities had (sadly) become the norm, and not just at Arnold's school. The episode was part of Mrs. Reagan's "Just Say No!" campaign.
** Other "very special" episodes included Kimberly [[CompressedVice suddenly being bulimic]], the show's resident CousinOliver Sam being abducted, the boys being refused entry into an elite school with a racist admissions agent, the family housekeeper revealing she's epileptic (prompted by Arnold and Sam making fun of a street performer they saw having a seizure), Willis having a health scare due to excessive stress (!) stress, and several more. The show was the king of very special episodes long before ''Blossom'' came along.
* ''Series/ADifferentWorld''
** An episode on date rape co-starring Tiamak.
** And one about AIDS starring Tisha Campbell.
** Then again,
''Series/ADifferentWorld'' had many episodes that ventured into this trope. AIDS, Apartheid, [[UsefulNotes/TheApartheidEra Apartheid]], racism, dating violence, pregnancy scares, interracial dating, gang violence, the L.A. Riots, to name a few all visited the Hillman College campus. ''Series/InLivingColor'' parodied this in the skit "A Different Message".



** And the finale itself was a Very Special Episode about pollution. It [[SuddenDownerEnding wasn't]] [[KillEmAll very]] [[TearJerker/{{Dinosaurs}} up-beat]].

to:

** And the The finale itself was a Very Special Episode about pollution. It [[SuddenDownerEnding wasn't]] [[KillEmAll very]] [[TearJerker/{{Dinosaurs}} up-beat]].



** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E10VincentAndTheDoctor Vincent and the Doctor]]" is set during Creator/VincentVanGogh's final days and thus touches closely on issues of chronic depression which the man suffered from in real life. In its original UK airing, the episode closed with a plug for a BBC website about depression and a counselling hotline.
** The episode "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E8TheHungryEarth The Hungry Earth]]" has an anvilicious aesop about dyslexia as a minor subplot. Also with a web link at the end of the episode.
** There are a few examples in old school, in particular "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS17E4NightmareOfEden Nightmare of Eden]]" (DrugsAreBad), "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS10E5TheGreenDeath The Green Death]]" (GreenAesop) and "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS22E4TheTwoDoctors The Two Doctors]]" ([[TheRightOfASuperiorSpecies Eating meat is evil]]).
* ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow'' parodied this with "A Very Special Drew." The episode covered potential [[DeathByChildbirth miscarriage]], raising a child in poverty, [[MoralGuardians irresponsible gun (and alcohol) ownership]], obsessive-compulsive disorder, kleptomania (supplemented by a FreudianExcuse), anorexia, [[{{Angst}} misdirected self-loathing]], loved ones succumbing to [[SoapOperaDisease unknown illnesses]], illiteracy, unexpected death of a loved one, organ donation, [[TheLastDance last-minute marriage]] (failed due to said unexpected death), the LittlestCancerPatient, and coming out of the closet ([[IAmSpartacus Spartacus-style]]). The whole episode was framed around the cast [[OscarBait trying to win an Emmy.]]

to:

** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E10VincentAndTheDoctor Vincent and the Doctor]]" is set during Creator/VincentVanGogh's final days and thus touches closely on issues of chronic depression depression, which the man suffered from in real life. In its original UK airing, the episode closed with a plug for a BBC website about depression and a counselling hotline.
** The episode "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E8TheHungryEarth The Hungry Earth]]" has an anvilicious {{Anvilicious}} aesop about dyslexia as a minor subplot. Also with a web link at the end of the episode.
** There are a few examples in The old school, in particular series has a few, particularly "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS17E4NightmareOfEden Nightmare of Eden]]" (DrugsAreBad), "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS10E5TheGreenDeath The Green Death]]" (GreenAesop) and "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS22E4TheTwoDoctors The Two Doctors]]" ([[TheRightOfASuperiorSpecies Eating meat is evil]]).
* ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow'' parodied this with "A Very Special Drew." The episode Drew", which tried to tackle every Very Special Problem at once. It covered potential [[DeathByChildbirth miscarriage]], raising a child in poverty, [[MoralGuardians irresponsible gun (and alcohol) ownership]], obsessive-compulsive disorder, kleptomania (supplemented by a FreudianExcuse), anorexia, [[{{Angst}} misdirected self-loathing]], loved ones succumbing to [[SoapOperaDisease unknown illnesses]], illiteracy, unexpected death of a loved one, organ donation, [[TheLastDance last-minute marriage]] (failed due to said unexpected death), the LittlestCancerPatient, and coming out of the closet ([[IAmSpartacus Spartacus-style]]). The whole episode was framed around the cast [[OscarBait trying to win an Emmy.]]



* ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' had one where the sub-plot involved Thomas trying to start a relationship with someone who he learns has recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It's not too thick on the coverage, and at the end of the airing there was a PSA from his actor about [=MS=].

to:

* ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' had one where the sub-plot involved Thomas trying to start a relationship with someone who he learns has recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It's not too thick on the coverage, and at the end of the airing there was a PSA from his actor about [=MS=].



** There was an episode where Natalie almost gets raped.
** Not to be confused with a later episode in which the same character voluntarily slept with her boyfriend. It too was billed as VSE, but the rape episode came much earlier. Also, the VSE in which a boy falsely spread rumors that Natalie was easy, causing her to gain a bad reputation, was separate.
** There was also an episode featuring [[LongLostUncleAesop Blair's cousin Geri]], who has cerebral palsy. Interestingly, it managed to avert the usual VSE tropes by having the episode ''not'' be centered on a "those with mental impairments are people, too" message. Instead, Blair is forced to admit that she's secretly jealous of her cousin, because Geri is praised for being able to do simple things while she (Blair) rarely receives any recognition from her family despite working extremely hard to impress them. Mrs. Garrett [[WhatTheHellHero calls her out on this]] without moralizing, instead telling her to consider the implications of what she just said. It helps that Geri returned for a few more episodes, which avoids the typical pattern for these episodes.

to:

** There was an episode where Natalie almost gets raped.
** Not to be
raped. It's often confused with a later episode in which the same character voluntarily slept with her boyfriend. It too was similarly billed as VSE, but the rape episode came much earlier. Also, the a VSE (but in which she sleeps with her boyfriend voluntarily) or a different VSE in which a boy falsely spread spreads rumors that Natalie was easy, causing easy and wrecked her to gain a bad reputation, was separate.
reputation.
** There was also an One episode featuring featured [[LongLostUncleAesop Blair's cousin Geri]], who has cerebral palsy. Interestingly, it managed to avert the usual VSE tropes by having the episode ''not'' be centered on a "those with mental impairments are people, too" message. Instead, Blair is forced to admit that she's secretly jealous of her cousin, because Geri is praised for being able to do simple things while she (Blair) herself rarely receives any recognition from her family despite working extremely hard to impress them. Mrs. Garrett [[WhatTheHellHero calls her out on this]] without moralizing, instead telling her to consider the implications of what she just said. It helps that Geri returned for a few more episodes, which avoids the typical pattern for these episodes.



** One particularly notable VSE on this show is "Go Softly Into The Morning", an episode about drunk driving that just so happened to have been brainstormed ''right'' around the time Nia Peeples (Nicole) was about to leave the show - and the producers successfully got her permission to [[McLeaned kill off the character]] as the result of another student's carelessness. They later regretted offing Nicole, and said that they would have loved for her to come back for the GrandFinale.
** "A Tough Act To Follow" is another notable one. It's the episode where Mr. Crandall (played by Michael Thoma) is formally killed off, but it was filmed around the same time that Thoma died for real of cancer, and the episode was dedicated to him as a result.
** "Help From My Friends" counts as well, as it is about Dwight finding a suicide note in a student's vandalized locker and everyone else tracking down the note's author.
** In "Bottle of Blues", Doris reunites with a past boyfriend of hers who is an alcoholic. He swears that he stopped drinking, but shows up late and drunk to a rehearsal, so she's forced to give him up.
** "Childhood's End", where Coco deals with the death of her grandmother.

to:

** One particularly notable VSE on this show is "Go Softly Into The Morning", an episode about drunk driving that just so happened to have been brainstormed ''right'' right around the time Nia Peeples (Nicole) was about to leave the show - and the show. The producers successfully got her permission to [[McLeaned kill off the character]] as the result of another student's carelessness. They later regretted offing Nicole, and said that they would have loved for her to come back for the GrandFinale.
** "A Tough Act To Follow" is another notable one. It's the episode where Mr. Crandall (played by Michael Thoma) is formally killed off, but it was filmed around the same time that Thoma off Mr. Crandall. It aired not long after his actor, Michael Thoma, died for real of cancer, and the episode was dedicated to him so it doubled as a result.
tribute to Thoma.
** "Help From My Friends" counts as well, as it is about Dwight finding a suicide note in a student's vandalized locker and everyone else tracking down the note's author.
** In "Bottle of Blues", Doris reunites with a past boyfriend of hers who is an alcoholic. He swears that he he's stopped drinking, but he shows up late and drunk to a rehearsal, so she's forced to give him up.
** In "Childhood's End", where Coco deals with the death of her grandmother.



** Gun and gang violence among youth, complete with PSA from the actors out of character at the end, and a catchphrase [[http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/chc/squash-it-campaign/ "Squash it" ]] that was part of a national anti-violence campaign.
*** It's obvious the actors were REALLY uncomfortable doing this PSA. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgD2Qr67ymc See for yourself]].

to:

** Gun and gang violence among youth, complete with PSA from the actors out of character at the end, and a catchphrase [[http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/chc/squash-it-campaign/ "Squash it" ]] that was part of a national anti-violence campaign.
***
campaign. It's obvious the actors were REALLY uncomfortable doing this PSA. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgD2Qr67ymc See for yourself]].kind of uncomfortable doing the PSA]].



** Black History Month -- when Laura suggests that a black history class be put into the curriculum, she gets harassed by the white students, causes racial tension in the student body, and has her locker defaced ([[EditedForSyndication in the uncut version, Laura finds a note telling her to go back to Africa, then when she closes her locker, she finds the word, "NIGGER" spraypainted on it; the edited version jumps to commercial break after she reads the note about going back to Africa]]).
** Another episode has someone spiking Urkel's drink at a party; Urkel almost dies as a result.
** In yet another, Carl had a heart attack.
** Another had Urkel saving Carl's life with CPR after he gets electrocuted by a lamp.
** The most {{Anvilicious}} episode of them all: The one where Eddie is chastised by ''every one of his gym classmates'' for [[AManIsNotAVirgin still being a virgin]]. You can probably guess what happens afterwards...
* ''Series/FamilyTies'' had many of these, some of them incredibly {{Anvilicious}} like some other shows, and others actually effective at [[TearJerker making tearjerking moments]].
** The episode in which Alex loses a friend to drunk driving.
** The episode where Steven has a heart attack.
** The episode in which a friend of the family makes a pass at Mallory.
** The episode in which Alex gets addicted to diet pills.
** The episode in which LongLostUncleAesop is an "off the wagon" alcoholic. (Which is now HilariousInHindsight thanks to the fact that the uncle in question [[http://www.agonybooth.com/agonizer/Family_Ties/Say_Uncle.aspx was played by Tom Hanks]].)
--->'''Uncle Ned''': (*sob*) I hit Alex...
--->'''Uncle Ned''': It may not be Miller time, but it is vanilla time! (he then downs an entire bottle of vanilla extract)
--->'''Uncle Ned''': C'mon, Alex, are you too good to sit down and have a glass of maraschino cherries with your uncle?

to:

** Black History Month -- when Laura suggests that a black history class be put into the curriculum, she gets harassed by the white students, causes racial tension in the student body, and has her locker defaced ([[EditedForSyndication in the uncut version, Laura finds a note in her locker telling her to go "go back to Africa, then when she closes Africa". The broadcast version [[EditedForSyndication cut the scene right after]] showing her locker, she finds closing her locker and finding the word, word "NIGGER" spraypainted spray-painted on it; the edited version jumps to commercial break after she reads the note about going back to Africa]]).
it.
** Another episode has someone Someone spiking Urkel's drink at a party; party, with Urkel almost dies dying as a result.
** In yet another, Carl had having a heart attack.
** Another had Urkel saving Carl's life with CPR after he gets electrocuted by a lamp.
** The most {{Anvilicious}} episode of them all: The one where Eddie is chastised by ''every one of his gym classmates'' for [[AManIsNotAVirgin still being a virgin]]. You can probably guess what happens afterwards...
virgin]].
* ''Series/FamilyTies'' had many of these, some of them incredibly {{Anvilicious}} like some other shows, and others actually effective at [[TearJerker making tearjerking moments]].
moments]]. In these episodes:
** The episode in which Alex loses a friend to drunk driving.
** The episode where Steven has a heart attack.
** The episode in which a A friend of the family makes a pass at Mallory.
** The episode in which Alex gets addicted to diet pills.
** The episode in which LongLostUncleAesop is an "off the wagon" alcoholic. (Which is now HilariousInHindsight thanks to the fact that the uncle in question (played by [[http://www.agonybooth.com/agonizer/Family_Ties/Say_Uncle.aspx was played by Tom Hanks]].)
Hanks]] is an "off the wagon" alcoholic.
--->'''Uncle Ned''': Ned:''' (*sob*) I hit Alex...
--->'''Uncle Ned''': Ned:''' It may not be Miller time, but it is vanilla time! (he then downs (downs an entire bottle of vanilla extract)
--->'''Uncle Ned''': Ned:''' C'mon, Alex, are you too good to sit down and have a glass of maraschino cherries with your uncle?



** The episode from the final season in which the Keatons' new black neighbors encounter racism.
* ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' had this a bit regularly, ranging from questions on racial profiling (Will argues that the sole reason they were pulled over after trying to get to a fancy party was that they were two black kids driving a Mercedes, whereas Carlton argues the cops were just doing their job) to gun violence (an arc had Will recovering from a gunshot wound, which made Carlton briefly DarkerAndEdgier).
** And the one where Will's deadbeat dad (played by Ben Vereen) came back, then abandoned him again (with a ''very'' [[TearJerker tear-jerking]] ending where Will just breaks down over the fact that his real father doesn't love him).
** There's also one where Will is given speed to help keep him awake, but he tosses it in his locker since he has no interest, only for it to be found by Carlton, who mistakes it for acne medicine. Carlton, tripping ''high'', [[TheCastShowoff dances]] wildly at the senior prom and nearly dies. It ends with lots of hugging and crying.
** There was also an episode where Carlton becomes a victim of discrimination from a member of a fraternity he's pledging due to not being "black enough".
** There was one where Will is challenged by his love interest's new boyfriend to a drinking contest where he gets drunk and passes out. Unlike most drinking episodes, it's surprisingly well done in that they portray alcohol consumption as okay as long as you're of age and not doing it excess they focus on the bigger picture, that Will did something ridiculously stupid for the sake of respect, rather than just the fact that he was drinking though they managed to sink in a few moments about the dangers of alcohol use in excess, but without milking it out for drama.
** There was also one where Carlton nearly becomes a victim of PaternityFraud because he's too afraid to admit he's a virgin.
* ''Series/FridayNightLights'' had a Very Special Two-Parter about racism that was actually very good and realistic. The racist coach even gets some amount of pity from the show as he privately admits to struggling with his own prejudices.

to:

** The episode from the final season in which the Keatons' new black neighbors encounter racism.
* ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' had did this a bit regularly, ranging from questions on racial profiling (Will argues that the sole reason they were regularly:
** Will and Carlton are
pulled over after trying to get to a fancy party was that party. They debate police racism; Will thinks they were only pulled over because they were two black kids driving a Mercedes, whereas Carlton argues thinks the cops officers were just doing their job) to gun violence (an arc had job.
**
Will recovering recovers from a gunshot wound, which made allowed the show to address gun violence (and briefly make Carlton briefly DarkerAndEdgier).
** And the one where Will's deadbeat dad (played by Ben Vereen) came comes back, then abandoned only to abandon him again (with a ''very'' [[TearJerker tear-jerking]] again. The TearJerker ending where shows Will just breaks breaking down over the fact realization that his real father just doesn't love him).
him.
** There's also one where Will is given speed to help keep him awake, but he has no interest in it and just tosses it in into his locker since he has no interest, only for locker. Then Carlton finds it to be found by Carlton, who and mistakes it for acne medicine. Carlton, He gets tripping ''high'', [[TheCastShowoff dances]] wildly dances wildly]] at the senior prom prom, and nearly dies. It ends with lots of hugging and crying.
** There was also an episode where Carlton becomes a victim of discrimination from a member of a A fraternity Will and Carlton are trying to join doesn't like Carlton because he's pledging due to not being "black enough".
** There was one where Will is challenged by his Will's love interest's new boyfriend challenges him to a drinking contest where contest; he gets drunk and passes out. Unlike most drinking episodes, it's surprisingly well done in Rather than say outright that they portray alcohol consumption as okay as long as you're of age and not doing it excess they focus on is evil, the bigger picture, that Will did something ridiculously stupid episode decries the stupidity of abusing alcohol for the sake of respect, rather than just the fact that he was drinking though they managed to sink in a few moments about the dangers of alcohol use in excess, but without milking it out for drama.
respect and machismo.
** There was also one where Carlton nearly becomes a victim of PaternityFraud [[TheBabyTrap paternity fraud]] because he's too afraid to [[AManIsNotAVirgin admit he's a virgin.
virgin]].
* ''Series/FridayNightLights'' had a Very Special Two-Parter about racism that was actually very good and realistic. The racist coach even gets some amount of pity from the show pity, as he privately admits to struggling with his own prejudices.



** There's one episode in particular where Jon Lovitz plays a restaurant manager who smokes a joint before interviewing Monica for a job with his restaurant. His behavior [[MarijuanaIsLSD certainly isn't that of somebody who smoked a marijuana cigarette.]]

to:

** There's In one episode in particular where particular, Jon Lovitz plays a restaurant manager who smokes a joint before interviewing Monica for a job with his restaurant. His behavior [[MarijuanaIsLSD certainly isn't that of somebody who smoked a marijuana cigarette.]]



** "The Last Dance", where [[spoiler:Jesse's grandfather dies]], and unlike many Very Special Episodes for TV shows, it wasn't {{narm}}y and was actually handled very nicely, if not a TearJerker.
** They played it a little more straight with the child abuse episode, "Silence is Not Golden". Stephanie's never-before-introduced friend Charlie keeps coming into school covered in bruises and whatnot; when his teacher asked, Charlie replied that he [[CutHimselfShaving fell down the stairs]]. Charlie's portrayed as a bit of a jerk from Stephanie's point of view, but becomes a lot more sympathetic when she finally pries the truth from him ("I ran into a door. [[Narm/LiveActionTV A door named Dad]]."). She spends the greater part of the episode wrestling with her promise to not tell anyone else, until Uncle Jesse pries it out of her in turn. The episode ends with the usual lecture, this one about how Charlie's father won't be able to hurt him anymore, and that reporting such cases is far better than keeping a secret that gets someone hurt. In typical VSE fashion, Charlie was never seen again.
** Another episode played with this. Instead of the cliched scenario of "kid drinks and gets in trouble", the episode had DJ declining the beer that her friends were offering her and blasting them for how stupid they looked and acted. Unfortunately, Jesse completely misinterprets the scene and refuses to listen to her side of the story, as does her father, despite DJ's insistence that because he had already talked to her about such matters, she knew better. Not until DJ's friend Kevin confirms her innocence do the adults believe her, even though Danny himself mentions that DJ has always been a good kid.
** In yet another episode, DJ gets an eating disorder because she's invited to a pool party and doesn't want to be seen in her swimsuit. She spends about three days skipping meals and swears Stephanie to secrecy after getting caught feeding her lunch to the dog, but Stephanie breaks her promise (sensing a trend) after DJ passes out during their family trip to the gym that afternoon. Naturally, she's cured by a hug at the end of the episode.
** "Under the Influence" where Kimmy drinks too much at a fraternity party and D.J. forcibly takes the keys from her and drives her back to her (D.J.'s) house. Kimmy, it turns out, was acting like a jerk and was going to be kicked out of the party. Kimmy asks why should D.J. care and D.J. reveals that [[MissingMom her mother died in a drunk driving accident]] before the start of the series. Kimmy apologizes for what happened.
** There's an episode where Stephanie and a friend lie about their age (claiming sixteen when they were thirteen or fourteen), and decide to go for a ride with a couple of (actually) sixteen year old boys. The boys engage in risky driving behaviors such as speeding, racing other cars, driving on the other side of the road, and playing chicken because it's "cool". When Stephanie is preparing to go on another ride with the same group, [[FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling DJ confronts her on the risk taking behaviors and lying about her age, and when Stephanie insists on going anyway, threatens to tell Danny, forcing Stephanie to cancel.]] Later, her father tells Stephanie that he received a phone call that her friends had been involved in a car accident, where they took a turn too fast and wrecked the car (possibly by flipping it), and cites that the only reason the crash was survived with relatively minor injuries is due to the fact that [[AnAesop everyone in the car had on a seatbelt.]]
** There was another episode in which Stephanie and a friend are offered cigarettes by some other girls in the school washroom; after some indecision Stephanie refuses. Later DJ and some friends are hosting some sort of teen help radio segment and Stephanie, using a false name and a bad accent calls in for some advice about the washroom incident. DJ, apparently not recognizing her sister's voice, tells her she did the right thing by refusing and gives her some advice on resisting peer pressure. A bit later Stephanie is in her room pondering the advice she was given when Danny (who had been listening to the radio show and apparently hadn't recognized her voice either) comes in to talk about something and Stephanie accidentally answers him with her fake voice leading him to recognize her from the radio show. Stephanie thinks he'll be mad at her for almost taking a cigarette but he hugs her and says that he is proud of her for saying no and that she shouldn't be afraid to come to him in that type of situation.

to:

** "The Last Dance", where [[spoiler:Jesse's grandfather dies]], and unlike dies]]. Unlike many Very Special Episodes for TV shows, Episodes, it wasn't {{narm}}y and was actually handled very nicely, if not a TearJerker.
** They played it a little more straight with the child abuse episode, "Silence is Not Golden". Golden", where Stephanie's never-before-introduced [[LongLostUncleAesop never-seen-before and never-seen-again]] friend Charlie keeps coming into school covered in bruises and whatnot; when is abused by his teacher asked, Charlie replied that dad. He insists he [[CutHimselfShaving fell down the stairs]]. Charlie's portrayed as a bit of a jerk from Stephanie's point of view, but becomes a lot more sympathetic when she finally pries stairs]], then admits the truth from him ("I to Stephanie but makes her promise not to tell anyone. Stephanie wrestles with that promise before Uncle Jesse convinces her to spill the beans. The Aesop was meant to show the importance of reporting child abuse when one sees it. It also gave us a particularly {{Narm}}y line:
--->''I
ran into a door. [[Narm/LiveActionTV A door named Dad]]."). She spends the greater part of the Dad.''
** Played with in an
episode wrestling with her promise to not tell anyone else, until Uncle Jesse pries it out of her in turn. The episode ends with the usual lecture, this one about how Charlie's father won't be able to hurt him anymore, and that reporting such cases is far better than keeping a secret that gets someone hurt. In typical VSE fashion, Charlie was never seen again.
** Another episode played with this. Instead of the cliched scenario of "kid drinks and gets in trouble", the episode had DJ declining the beer that her friends were offering her and blasting them for how stupid they looked and acted. Unfortunately, Jesse completely misinterprets the scene and refuses to listen to her side of the story, as does her father, despite
where DJ's insistence that because he had already talked to friends offer her about such matters, a beer; she knew better. Not declines and derides them for stupidity, but a classic ThirdActMisunderstanding leads to no one believing her until DJ's her friend Kevin confirms her innocence do the adults believe her, even though Danny himself mentions that story for everyone.
**
DJ has always been a good kid.
** In yet another episode, DJ gets an eating disorder because she's
is invited to a pool party and doesn't want to be seen in her swimsuit. She spends party, is insecure about showing up in a swimsuit, and develops an eating disorder. She skips meals for three days skipping meals and swears before Stephanie to secrecy after getting caught catches her feeding her lunch to the dog, dog; she makes her promise not to tell anyone, but Stephanie sensing a trend, she breaks her promise (sensing a trend) after DJ passes out during their family trip to at the gym that afternoon.gym. Naturally, she's cured by a hug at the end of the episode.
** In "Under the Influence" where Influence", Kimmy drinks too much at a fraternity party and D.J. acts like a total JerkAss, before DJ forcibly takes the her keys from her and drives her back to her (D.J.'s) house. Kimmy, it turns out, was acting like a jerk and was going to be kicked out of the party. home. When Kimmy asks why should D.J. care and D.J. she would care, DJ reveals that [[MissingMom her mother died MissingMom was killed in a drunk driving accident]] accident before the start of the series. Kimmy apologizes for what happened.
series.
** There's an episode where Stephanie and a friend lie about their age (claiming sixteen when they were thirteen or fourteen), and decide to go for a ride joyriding with a couple of (actually) sixteen year old boys. The boys sixteen-year-old boys, who engage in all sorts of risky driving behaviors such as speeding, racing other cars, driving maneuvers on the other side of the road, and playing chicken because it's "cool". When Stephanie is preparing road. DJ thwarts her plan to go on another ride with the same group, [[FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling DJ confronts her on the risk taking behaviors again, and lying about her age, and when Stephanie insists on going anyway, threatens to tell Danny, forcing Stephanie to cancel.]] Later, her father tells Stephanie they later find out that he received a phone call that her friends had been involved the kids were in a serious car accident, where they took a turn too fast accident -- and wrecked the car (possibly by flipping it), and cites that the only reason the crash was they survived with relatively minor injuries is due to the fact that was [[AnAesop everyone in the car had on a seatbelt.]]
because they were all wearing seat belts]].
** There was another episode in which Stephanie and a friend are offered cigarettes by some other girls in the school washroom; after some indecision bathroom; Stephanie refuses. Later DJ and some friends are hosting some sort of teen help radio segment and Stephanie, using a false name and a bad accent calls in for some advice refuses, but only after much deliberation. She's so guilty about the washroom incident. DJ, apparently not recognizing her sister's voice, tells her fact that she did the right thing by refusing and gives her some advice on resisting peer pressure. A bit later Stephanie is in her room pondering the advice even considered it that she was given when Danny (who had been listening to the causes a ThirdActMisunderstanding by calling into a teen radio show (run by her sister DJ) and apparently hadn't recognized explaining her voice either) comes predicament in to talk about something and Stephanie accidentally answers him with her a terrible fake voice leading him to recognize her from the radio show. Stephanie thinks he'll be mad at her for almost taking a cigarette but he hugs her and says that he is proud of her for saying no and that she shouldn't be afraid to come to him in that type of situation.accent.



* ''Series/GhostWriter'' had the story arc "What's Up With Alex?" where one of the characters befriends a marijuana user.

to:

* ''Series/GhostWriter'' had the story arc "What's Up With Alex?" Alex?", where one of the characters befriends a marijuana user.



* ''Series/{{Glee}}'' seems to have given every one of the show's FiveTokenBand ADayInTheLimelight, such as the Very Special [[SassyBlackWoman Zaftig African-American]] Episode, the Very Special Gay Episode and the Very Special Disability Episode. There was also a Very Special Gun Control Episode, a Very Special Drinking Episode, and one about the dangers of abusing amphetamines (although the latter two have become much HarsherInHindsight due to Cory Monteith's death from an overdose combination of alcohol and drugs). Speaking of Monteith, he got a special tribute episode called "The Quarterback" in the wake of his death.
* ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'' did this periodically, and remarkably ''well''. There were episodes touching on common VSE subjects like drug abuse, AIDS, and homelessness, but they also touched on some other issues that were unusual. The episode in which Dorothy was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a good example; the [[AnAesop aesop]] was about the behavior of some medical professionals toward their patients (the doctor Dorothy saw first was unfamiliar with CFS, and dismissed her as delusional). The general lack of {{narm}} was part of the reason for the show's enduring popularity.
** What really sold these episodes was which characters the writers chose to write them around. Sex-loving [[EthicalSlut Blanche]] is the one that has to learn that accepting her brother's homosexuality means accepting everything that goes with it. Blanche also served as an example of ParentsAsPeople, and had to deal with the ramifications of her hands-off parenting and how it's affected her children and grandchildren. Sweet, slightly prudish [[TheDitz Rose]] is the one that goes through an AIDS scare, a drug addiction, and the aftereffect of a house robbery. Strong, [[OnlySaneMan stable]] [[DeadpanSnarker Dorothy]] is the one that has to cope with a gambling addiction and a mysterious disease that's completely upended her life. It was the use of the unexpected characters that really sold the overall message that these issues can affect anyone.
** There were also the episodes where Sophia, a CoolOldLady and MamaBear, dealt with issues afflicting people in her age group. She befriended a man who had Alzheimer's, had to talk a woman out of her killing herself because of how sick, old, and lonely she was, and tried to break a friend out of a substandard nursing home and care for her, even though the friend is slightly senile. She's also dealt with [[spoiler: the death of]] her cross-dressing son Phil, whom she was estranged from because she felt that his desire to wear dresses was because of something she did, and was angry at his wife for not stopping it. [[spoiler: Only after she realizes that her son was a good man and a loving husband does she truly begin to grieve and drop her animosity with her daughter-in-law.]]

to:

* ''Series/{{Glee}}'' seems to have given every one of the show's FiveTokenBand ADayInTheLimelight, such as the Very Special [[SassyBlackWoman Zaftig African-American]] Episode, the Very Special Gay Episode and the Very Special Disability Episode. There was also a Very Special Gun Control Episode, a Very Special Drinking Episode, and one about the dangers of abusing amphetamines (although the latter two have become much HarsherInHindsight due to Cory Monteith's death from an overdose combination of alcohol and drugs). Speaking of Monteith, he Monteith also got a special tribute episode called "The Quarterback" in the wake of his death.
* ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'' did this periodically, and remarkably ''well''. There were episodes touching on common VSE subjects like drug abuse, AIDS, and homelessness, but they also touched on some other issues that were unusual. The episode in which Dorothy show was also notable for foisting Very Special Problems on the characters least likely to have them.
** [[DeadpanSnarker Dorothy]], usually the strongest character, is the one dealing with a gambling addiction. She's also
diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is (after a good example; the [[AnAesop aesop]] was about the behavior number of some medical professionals toward their patients (the doctor Dorothy saw first was unfamiliar with CFS, and dismissed her doctors initially dismiss it as delusional). The general lack of {{narm}} was part just age or laziness) -- TruthInTelevision, as this had happened to one of the reason for the show's enduring popularity.
writers, and Dorothy's TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to her doctors seems much like a CharacterFilibuster -- but a completely understandable one.
** What really sold these episodes was which characters the writers chose to write them around. Sex-loving [[EthicalSlut Blanche]] is the one that has struggles to learn that accepting deal with her brother's homosexuality means accepting everything that goes with it. Blanche homosexuality, and also served as an example of ParentsAsPeople, and had has to deal with the ramifications of her hands-off parenting and how it's affected her children and grandchildren. grandchildren.
**
Sweet, slightly prudish [[TheDitz Rose]] is the one that who goes through an AIDS scare, a drug addiction, and the aftereffect aftermath of a house robbery. Strong, [[OnlySaneMan stable]] [[DeadpanSnarker Dorothy]] is the one that has to cope with a gambling addiction and a mysterious disease that's completely upended her life. It was the use of the unexpected characters that really sold the overall message that these issues can affect anyone.
robbery.
** There were also the episodes where Sophia, a the CoolOldLady and MamaBear, dealt with issues afflicting people in her age group. She befriended a man who had with Alzheimer's, had to talk a sick, old, lonely woman out of her killing herself because of how sick, old, and lonely she was, and suicide, tried to break a (slightly senile) friend out of a substandard nursing home and care for her, even though the friend is slightly senile. She's also dealt with [[spoiler: the death of]] her estrangement from her cross-dressing son Phil, whom she was estranged from because she felt that Phil [[spoiler:and his desire to wear dresses was because of something she did, untimely death]], and was angry at his wife for not stopping it. [[spoiler: Only after she realizes that her son was a good man and a loving husband does she truly begin to grieve and drop eventually got over her animosity with toward her daughter-in-law.]]



* ''Series/GoodTimes'' had an episode about VD, complete with a disclaimer at the beginning. It did not give a number for viewers to call for information at the end like most [=VSE=]s. During the episode, a then-unknown Jay Leno tells JJ that if people weren't ashamed to come to the clinic to get treatment, then VD wouldn't be so rampant. [[TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed It would have helped if they told people how VD was spread and how it could be prevented]].
** The multi-episode arc about Penny being abused by her mother averted the LongLostUncleAesop trope by having Penny remain on the show once the Very Special Issue was resolved [[spoiler: as Willona adopted Penny after her mom abandoned her]].

to:

* ''Series/GoodTimes'' had an ''Series/GoodTimes'':
** One
episode was about VD, complete with a disclaimer at the beginning. It did not give a number for viewers to call for information at the end like most [=VSE=]s. During the episode, a A then-unknown Jay Leno tells JJ that if people weren't ashamed to come to the clinic to get treatment, then VD wouldn't be so rampant. [[TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed It would have helped if they told people how VD was spread and how it could be prevented]].
prevented]]. They didn't even put up a hotline number.
** The A multi-episode arc about Penny being abused by her mother averted the LongLostUncleAesop trope by having Penny remain on the show once the Very Special Issue was resolved [[spoiler: as Willona adopted Penny after her mom abandoned her]].



* In the fall of 2007, Creator/{{NBC}} launched [[GreenAesop "Green is Universal" to focus on helping the environment]]. To coincide with this campaign, that November the network launched "Green Week," an entire week where every show had an episode focused on environmental issues, and often had Al Gore guest star. NBC continues this practice today, though on fewer programming, and "green" NBC programming nowadays almost always premieres during the week that Earth Day falls on.
* An episode of ''Series/GrowingPains'' involved Mike and his friends being offered drugs at a party. The episode's coda featured Kirk Cameron speaking directly to the viewers about the dangers of drug abuse.
-->"Boner wanted me to tell you that he didn't go to the bathroom"
** It also had one against drunk driving, guest starring a young [[Series/{{Friends}} Matthew Perry]], who snatches death from the jaws of recovery.

to:

* In the fall of 2007, Creator/{{NBC}} launched [[GreenAesop "Green is Universal" to focus on helping the environment]]. To coincide with this campaign, that November the network launched "Green Week," an entire week where every show had an episode focused on environmental issues, and often had Al Gore guest star. NBC continues this practice today, though on fewer programming, programs, and "green" NBC programming nowadays almost always premieres during the week that Earth Day falls on.
* An episode of ''Series/GrowingPains'' involved ''Series/GrowingPains'':
**
Mike and his friends being are offered drugs at a party. The episode's coda featured features Kirk Cameron speaking directly to the viewers about the dangers of drug abuse.
-->"Boner -->''Boner wanted me to tell you that he didn't go to the bathroom"
bathroom.''
** It also had one An episode against drunk driving, guest starring driving guest-starred a young [[Series/{{Friends}} Matthew Perry]], who snatches death from the jaws of recovery.



** "Been Here All Along" counts as well. The episode revolves around Miley cancelling a father-daughter afternoon so she can spend the day with her boyfriend, Jesse. During the date, Jesse gets a call from his own father, and to Miley's dismay, he spends a very long time talking. After the call is done, Jesse reveals to Miley that his father is stationed in Afghanistan. Realizing how foolish she was to blow off a day with her father, she organizes a Hannah Montana concert dedicated to military families.
*** The U.S. airing of the episode at least featured messages to RealLife deployed soldiers from their families during the final song; these messages continued to air on Creator/DisneyChannel throughout the evening the episode premiered and were made available along with the full episode on a now-defunct subpage on the official Hannah Montana website.

to:

** "Been Here All Along" counts as well. The episode revolves around Miley cancelling a father-daughter afternoon so she can spend the day with her boyfriend, Jesse. During the date, Jesse gets a call from his own father, and to Miley's dismay, he spends a very long time talking. After the call is done, Jesse reveals to Miley that his father is stationed in Afghanistan. Realizing how foolish she was to blow off a day with her father, she organizes a Hannah Montana concert dedicated to military families.
***
families. The U.S. original airing of the episode at least also featured messages to RealLife real-life deployed soldiers from their families during the final song; these messages continued to air on Creator/DisneyChannel throughout the evening the episode premiered and were made available along with the full episode on a now-defunct subpage on the official Hannah Montana website.families.



** For a lighthearted, wacky comedy, the closest it had to a VSE was the Season 5 episode "Richie Almost Dies," where Richie suffers a severe concussion after a motorcycle accident, rendering him in a coma, and it is initially feared he might die. Two scenes in this Very Special Episode, meant to underscore the serious tone of the episode, are frequently panned as [[{{Narm}} laughable]]: a montage of Richie clips set to a Suzi Quatro's very late-1970s-sounding "Find Strength in Your Friends," and Fonzie's emotional breakdown at the hospital where he begs God to let Richie live.
** There was also an episode where a motorcycle accident causes Fonzie to (temporarily) go blind. The episode centers around him having to cope with losing his sight and him learning how blind people deal with everyday life.
* ''Series/HeyDude'' had an episode where Melody's brother showed up and it is later revealed that he has a drinking problem.

to:

** For a lighthearted, wacky comedy, the closest it had to a VSE was the Season 5 episode "Richie Almost Dies," Dies", where Richie suffers a severe concussion after a motorcycle accident, rendering him in a coma, and it is initially feared he might die. Two scenes in this Very Special Episode, meant to underscore the serious tone of the episode, are frequently panned as [[{{Narm}} laughable]]: a montage of Richie clips set to a Suzi Quatro's very late-1970s-sounding "Find Strength in Your Friends," Friends", and Fonzie's emotional breakdown at the hospital where he begs God to let Richie live.
** There was also an One episode where had Fonzie in a motorcycle accident causes Fonzie that caused him to (temporarily) temporarily go blind. The episode centers It centered around him having to cope with losing his sight and him learning how blind people deal with everyday life.
* ''Series/HeyDude'' had an episode where Melody's brother showed shows up and it is later revealed that he has to have a drinking problem.



** "Bad Timing", the safe sex episode, was perhaps the most notable as it was not only one of the first sitcoms to touch on the topic of safe sex, it also marked the first primetime usage of the word "condom". As such, {{content warning}}s aired before the episode and during ads for it, as well as before commercials for birth-control products and safe sex PSA's. It was also the only official video release of the show, distributed exclusively to teachers and health educators because it discussed safe sex so well that it was deemed appropriate for school discussions.
** Subverted with "Movin' On", which wasn't too much of a VSE in that it was mainly to get Creator/SandyDuncan warmed up to her new TV role as the family's aunt. However, it ''did'' establish the death of Creator/ValerieHarper's character in a car accident.
** [[HouseFire "Burned Out"]], a follow-up to "Movin' On", is a much better example of this trope. As the rest of the family is helping Sandy move in, they find a poorly-made lamp, which catches fire overnight while they're away from it. The house burns severely and the Hogans have to stay with their neighbors, the Pooles, while the house is being repaired. Notably, UsefulNotes/McDonalds helped finance the set damage and aired commercials relating to fire safety during the original airing. Also during the original broadcast, as [[http://allisonswrittenwords.blogspot.ca/2014/10/HoganFamilyBurnedOut.html this review]] proves, a few NBC affiliates ran text scrawls relating to local fire safety/preparedness activities, as the episode premiered during Fire Prevention Week.
** There was also, in season 3 (not long after Valerie died) a drunk-driving episode similar to ''Series/FullHouse''[='=]s "Under the Influence" mentioned above. When David's friend Rich gets drunk during a house party, David locks him in the closet overnight, and at the end of the episode reminds him that his mother died in a car accident previously, after which Rich feels remorseful.
** One of the last episodes, entitled "Best Of Friends, Worst Of Times", deals with David finding out that the same Rich mentioned above has contracted AIDS. The majority of the episode deals with David coming to terms with this, and later getting Rich to help him with a documentary David and his other friend Burt are doing at the hospital. The last few minutes of the episode show David making a speech about AIDS at an assembly, jossing various misconceptions about the disease and giving facts about how it can be prevented... and then he breaks the news of Rich's death, which happened the night before.
* ''Series/HomeImprovement''
** The premise of one episode was Randy might have cancer. Turned out he didn't and the whole thing was a false alarm. He did wind up with ''hypothyroidism,'' a thyroid condition that effectively requires a pill a day for the rest of his life. In fact, most of the emotional turmoil the characters experienced were, indeed, that he ''might have'' cancer, or several other things, and that they simply didn't know. The stress of waiting to find out was the linchpin of the drama.
** It was a rare show that actually handled these kinds of episodes very nicely. For example, in another Very Special Episode, Brad smoked pot. Parents behaved in the typical matter, but the episode lacked the soap box feeling most episodes of that nature had. Nobody died when Brad smoked, nobody even got injured, no [[MarijuanaIsLSD out of proportion hallucinations that pot doesn't actually have]], and Jill came out later in the episode, admitting she experimented with it. They said DrugsAreBad, but they didn't [[{{Anvilicious}} put an anvil on the drugs]]. Unlike comparable sitcoms, in which the presence of marijuana is implied by the presence of a paper bag or tiny white sausages (joints) but never shown in actual plant form, the marijuana in this show was actually a green herb inside of a plastic bag. (Al mistook it for oregano.) Also, somewhat cleverly, Brad was keeping his stash outdoors, hidden underneath a chair. Perhaps some astute young viewers took note.

to:

** "Bad Timing", the safe sex episode, was perhaps the most notable as it was not only one of the first sitcoms to touch on the topic of safe sex, it but also marked the first primetime usage of the word "condom". As such, {{content warning}}s aired before the episode and during ads for it, as well as before commercials for birth-control products and safe sex PSA's. [=PSAs=]. It was also the only official video release of the show, distributed exclusively to teachers and health educators educators, because it discussed safe sex so well that it was deemed appropriate for school discussions.
** Subverted with "Movin' On", On" which wasn't too much of a VSE in that it was mainly to get Creator/SandyDuncan warmed up to her new TV role as the family's aunt. However, it ''did'' did establish the death of Creator/ValerieHarper's character in a car accident.
** [[HouseFire "Burned Out"]], a follow-up to "Movin' On", is a much better example of this trope. As the rest of the family is helping Sandy move in, they find a poorly-made lamp, features an accidental fire which catches fire overnight while they're away from it. The house burns severely damages the Hogans' house and the Hogans have forces them to stay with their neighbors, the Pooles, while the house is being repaired. Pooles. Notably, UsefulNotes/McDonalds helped finance the set damage and aired commercials relating to fire safety during the original airing. Also during the original broadcast, as [[http://allisonswrittenwords.blogspot.ca/2014/10/HoganFamilyBurnedOut.html this review]] proves, a few NBC affiliates ran text scrawls relating to local fire safety/preparedness safety and preparedness activities, as the episode premiered during Fire Prevention Week.
** There was also, in In season 3 (not 3, not long after Valerie died) a drunk-driving episode similar to ''Series/FullHouse''[='=]s "Under the Influence" mentioned above. When died, David's friend Rich gets drunk during a house party, forcing David locks to lock him in the a closet overnight, overnight and at the end of the episode reminds remind him that his mother had died in a car accident previously, after which Rich feels remorseful.
accident.
** One of the last episodes, entitled "Best Of Friends, Worst Of Times", deals with David finding out that the same Rich mentioned above has contracted AIDS. The majority of the episode deals with David coming to terms with this, and later getting Rich to help him with a documentary David he and his other friend Burt are doing at the hospital. The last few minutes of the episode show David making a speech about AIDS at an assembly, jossing dispelling various misconceptions about the disease and giving facts about how it can be prevented... and then prevented. Then he breaks the news of Rich's death, which had happened the night before.
* ''Series/HomeImprovement''
** The premise of one episode
''Series/HomeImprovement'' was a rare example of a show that handled these things nicely, if only because people behaved more realistically than usual.
**
Randy might have cancer. Turned out he didn't had a cancer scare, which caused his family to worry incredibly about him and the whole thing was uncertainty before the diagnosis. It turned out to be a false alarm. He alarm, but he did wind up with ''hypothyroidism,'' hypothyroidism, a thyroid condition that effectively requires a pill a day for the rest of his life. life.
**
In fact, most of the emotional turmoil the characters experienced were, indeed, that he ''might have'' cancer, or several other things, and that they simply didn't know. The stress of waiting to find out was the linchpin of the drama.
** It was a rare show that actually handled these kinds of episodes very nicely. For example, in another Very Special Episode, Brad smoked pot. Parents behaved in the typical matter, but the episode lacked the soap box feeling most episodes of that nature had. Nobody died when Brad smoked, nobody even got injured, no [[MarijuanaIsLSD out of proportion hallucinations that pot doesn't actually have]], and Jill came out later in the
one episode, Brad's secret pot stash is discovered (in a clever place, outdoors hidden under a chair -- too bad his dad invented TimTaylorTechnology and crashed right through it on another one of his escapades). It notably averts tropes like MarijuanaIsLSD, and Brad's parents are much more understanding of what pot does and why he would smoke it, with Jill even admitting she to having experimented with it. They said DrugsAreBad, but they didn't [[{{Anvilicious}} put an anvil on it when she was younger. Interestingly, the drugs]]. Unlike comparable sitcoms, pot was also showed in which the presence of marijuana is implied by the presence of a paper bag or tiny white sausages (joints) but never shown in actual plant form, the marijuana in this show was actually form as a green herb inside of in a plastic bag. bag (Al mistook it for oregano.) Also, somewhat cleverly, Brad oregano); this was keeping his stash outdoors, hidden underneath unusual, as most [=VSEs=] don't like to show the substance itself (if anything, they'll only show a chair. Perhaps some astute young viewers took note.joint).



* Creator/TylerPerry's TV show, ''House of Payne'' LOVED this trope! Drug addiction, cancer scares, STD's, TeenPregnancy, postpartum depresssion, gun violence, domestic violence, sexual abuse, etc. Some of the episodes ended with an actor (usually whoever the VSE was about) telling viewers that they can get help for the Very Special Problem through an 800 number or a website.
* ''Series/JackAndBobby'' had an episode where Jack's ex-best friend Matt (who was only in this one episode) committed suicide. Through flashbacks in Jack's memory, the reason for Matt's suicide was revealed to be that Matt was gay, and in love with Jack. After confessing his feelings to Jack, the two eventually parted ways. Later, when Jack talks to Matt's parents, he finds out that Matt had tried to come out to his mother, but she had rejected him. At the end of the episode, there is a hotline number on the screen for LGBT teens who are depressed or suicidal.
* ''Series/TheJeffersons'' had an episode where Louise and Helen are called niggers by a Klansman who just moved into the building. George and Tom later save the man's life when he has a heart attack, but when he realizes George was the one mainly responsible for saving him, he tells his son "You should've let me die."
** A few factors keep this episode from falling into {{Narm}} territory. The first is a truly hilarious example of PoorCommunicationKills: the Klan members are planning a meeting about kicking Black people out of the building just as a string of robberies is occurring there as well. Tom innocently chats with one of the Klansmen on an elevator and mistakenly assumes that the "bad people" they're talking about eliminating are the thieves...so he invites George to their meeting. It quickly turns serious, but the image of George walking through the door loudly and cheerfully greeting the Klan makes for a good laugh.
*** The second redeeming quality of the episode is that in the end, every member of the Klan--including the son of the Klansman who George saved--walks out of the meeting, realizing just how stupid it is.
** Another episode dealt with gang violence, and how it affects youth.

to:

* Creator/TylerPerry's TV show, ''House of Payne'' LOVED loved this trope! Drug trope, tackling drug addiction, cancer scares, STD's, [=STDs=], TeenPregnancy, postpartum depresssion, gun violence, domestic violence, and sexual abuse, etc. abuse. Some of the episodes ended with an actor (usually whoever the VSE was about) telling viewers that they can get help for the Very Special Problem through an 800 number or a website.
* ''Series/JackAndBobby'' had an episode where Jack's ex-best friend (and LongLostUncleAesop) Matt (who was only in this one episode) committed commits suicide. Through flashbacks in Jack's memory, the reason for Matt's suicide was revealed to be that Matt he was gay, gay and in love with Jack. After confessing his feelings to Jack, the two eventually parted ways. Later, when Jack talks to Matt's parents, he finds out that Matt had tried to come out to his mother, but she had rejected him. At the end of the episode, there is a hotline number on the screen for LGBT teens who are depressed or suicidal.
* ''Series/TheJeffersons'' had an ''Series/TheJeffersons'':
** One
episode where Louise dealt with gang violence and Helen are called niggers by how it affects youth.
** One episode features
a blatantly racist Klansman who just moved woves into the building. He uses racial epithets and plans to kick every black tenant out of the building. He then has a heart attack and George and Tom later save the man's life when he has a heart attack, him, but when he realizes George was the one mainly responsible for saving him, who saved his life, he tells his son son, "You should've let me die."
** A few factors keep this
" The episode is saved from falling into {{Narm}} territory. The first is a truly hilarious example of PoorCommunicationKills: the Klan members are planning a meeting territory by injecting humor about kicking Black people out of the building just as Klan's ridiculousness, including one scene where a string of robberies is occurring there as well. [[PoorCommunicationKills miscommunication]] leads Tom innocently chats with one of the Klansmen on an elevator and mistakenly assumes that the "bad people" to think they're talking about eliminating are the thieves...so he invites George just planning to evict a couple of thieves -- and crash their meeting. It quickly turns serious, but the image of George walking through the door loudly and cheerfully greeting the Klan makes for a good laugh.
*** The second redeeming quality of the episode is that in the end, every member of the Klan--including the son of the Klansman who George saved--walks out of the meeting, realizing just how stupid it is.
** Another episode dealt with gang violence, and how it affects youth.
meeting looking to help.



* ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' has one episode that takes the FantasticDrug aspects of the villains [[TransformationTrinket Gaia Memories]] UpToEleven. It deals with a bunch of teenage runaways sharing a single memory in a way that's very reminiscent of sharing needles. The "actual" memory user actually says that the power gives them a high and they've been using it to cope with stress.
** Also done in the episode where [[spoiler:Isaka[=/=]Weather Dopant]] dies from overuse of the Gaia Memories, which is presented very much as an allegory for drug overdose.
* ''Series/KyleXY'' had one about tolerating gays. See FictionIsntFair.
** HilariousInHindsight since Matt Dallas is gay.
** Also one about teenage drinking.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' is a show about sex crimes and child abuse, two rather hot-button issues, and it had a Very Special Episode. What about? Teenaged binge drinking. Complete with a title card [=PSA=] at the end about the prevelance of underaged drinking. And the {{Narm}} did flow like a mighty stream...
** In April 2014, Creator/UsaNetwork aired a marathon of episodes about domestic violence and sexual assault, called the "No More Excuses" marathon, complete with cast PSA's that aired during the marathon.

to:

* ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' has one ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'':
** One
episode that takes the FantasticDrug aspects of the villains villains' [[TransformationTrinket Gaia Memories]] UpToEleven. It deals with a bunch of teenage runaways sharing a single memory in a way that's very reminiscent of sharing needles. The "actual" memory user actually says that the power gives them a high and they've been using it to cope with stress.
** Also done in the episode where
stress. In another episode, [[spoiler:Isaka[=/=]Weather Dopant]] dies from overuse of the Gaia Memories, which is presented very much as an allegory for drug overdose.
* ''Series/KyleXY'' had one about teenage drinking and another about tolerating gays. See FictionIsntFair.
** HilariousInHindsight since Matt Dallas
FictionIsntFair is gay.
** Also one about teenage drinking.
in full force here.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' is a show about sex crimes and child abuse, two rather hot-button issues, issues. Creator/USANetwork even aired a marathon of the show as part of a campaign against domestic violence and it had a sexual assault. But the show's own Very Special Episode. What about? Teenaged Episode turned out to be about teenage binge drinking. Complete with a title card [=PSA=] at the end about the prevelance of underaged drinking. And the {{Narm}} did flow like a mighty stream...
** In April 2014, Creator/UsaNetwork aired a marathon of episodes about domestic violence and sexual assault, called the "No More Excuses" marathon, complete with cast PSA's that aired during the marathon.
stream.



** In an episode, Beaver learned that his family's gardener was an alcoholic. (Bizarrely, the man became drunk after ''eating a cake''. A ''rum'' cake, but still...''a cake''. Then again, a proper rum cake will have been soaked in alcohol for up to a month; it's possible to get drunk eating one.)
** Another VSE dealt with the topic of divorce.
* ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'' has one about the evils of FootballHooligans. While it was notably well-done, Sam's impassioned speech was met with quite a bit of giggling in other countries, perhaps because the viewers had never experienced something or didn't know of the Hillsborough Disaster.

to:

** In an one episode, Beaver learned learns that his family's gardener was is an alcoholic. (Bizarrely, the man became Bizarrely, he gets drunk after ''eating from eating a cake''. A ''rum'' rum cake, which is ''possible'', but still...''a cake''. Then again, a proper rum cake will have only if the thing has been soaked soaking in alcohol for up to a month; it's possible to get drunk eating one.)
months.
** Another One VSE dealt with the topic of divorce.
* ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'' has one about the evils of FootballHooligans. While it was notably well-done, Sam's impassioned speech was met with quite a bit of giggling in other countries, perhaps because the viewers had never experienced something or didn't know of weren't familiar with the Hillsborough Disaster.Disaster, a football match stampede which killed 96 fans -- many of whom were mistaken for hooligans and thrown back into the crowd when they tried to escape onto the field.



** The three-hour special "[[Recap/LittleHouseOnThePrairieS6E9SpecialTheLittleHouseYears The Little House Years]]" is an example of the broadest definition of the term Very Special Episode, as it was a celebration of the show's success. Much of the episode is compiled from seven of the series' best-loved and acclaimed episodes to that point in the show's run, ranging from highly dramatic and tragic to comedy. Additionally, "The Little House Years" movie aired on a Thursday night (and supposedly independent of the regular series, although the movie is canon with the show), whereas regular episodes aired on Mondays.
* There was an episode of ''Series/LizzieMcGuire'' dealing with anorexia, where Miranda "contracts an eating disorder" - she skips lunch once, one day, and learns her lesson after she almost faints. Surprisingly for a Disney Channel tween sitcom, the episode handles the reasoning behind why people develop eating disorders in a mature way. Instead of the typical "I'm anorexic/bulimic/etc. because I think I'm fat and ugly" explanation most shows use, the episode has Miranda realize that her eating disorder is due to severe anxiety.
* ''Every'' episode of ''Series/LouGrant''. The show often deals with such issues as nuclear proliferation, mental illness, gay rights, child abuse and chemical pollution.
* '''[[Series/{{Mash}} M*A*S*H]]''' had the infamous one where Henry Blake goes home, where the show utterly destroyed the convention for comedies [[spoiler:never letting any main character die. Also, torpedoed the idea of meaningful deaths in war]].
** Really more of a subversion. The episode itself was a lighthearted sendoff of an actor who was leaving the show... until the last 30 seconds.

to:

** The three-hour special "[[Recap/LittleHouseOnThePrairieS6E9SpecialTheLittleHouseYears The Little House Years]]" is an example of the broadest definition of the term a Very Special Episode, as it was a celebration of the show's success. Much of the episode is compiled from seven of the series' best-loved and acclaimed episodes to that point in the show's run, ranging from highly dramatic and tragic to comedy. comedic. Additionally, "The Little House Years" movie aired on a Thursday night (and supposedly independent independently of the regular series, although the movie is canon with the show), whereas regular episodes aired on Mondays.
* There was an One episode of ''Series/LizzieMcGuire'' dealing deals with anorexia, where anorexia; Miranda "contracts an eating disorder" - when she skips lunch once, one day, ''once'' and learns her lesson after she [[CantGetAwayWithNuthin almost faints. faints]]. Surprisingly for a Disney Channel tween sitcom, the episode handles the reasoning behind why people develop eating disorders in a mature way. Instead way; instead of the typical "I'm anorexic/bulimic/etc. because I think I'm fat and ugly" explanation most shows use, blaming it on poor body image, the episode has Miranda realize that her eating disorder is due to severe anxiety.
* ''Every'' Every episode of ''Series/LouGrant''. The show often deals with such issues as nuclear proliferation, mental illness, gay rights, child abuse and chemical pollution.
* '''[[Series/{{Mash}} M*A*S*H]]''' ''[[Series/{{Mash}} M*A*S*H]]'' had the infamous one where a Very Special Episode billed as a light-hearted send-off for Henry Blake goes home, where Blake, as he left Korea and flew home. In the show last 30 seconds, it utterly destroyed the this convention for comedies [[spoiler:never letting any main character die. Also, torpedoed the idea of meaningful deaths by [[spoiler:having his plane shot down and killing him off.]] It largely worked because [[spoiler:people always die senselessly in war]].
** Really more of a subversion. The episode itself was a lighthearted sendoff of an actor who was leaving the show... until the last 30 seconds.
war]].



** One [[{{Narm}} unintentionally hilarious]] episode involved black rhino poaching in Africa. It starts out with a warning for the squeamish that they would show a "realistic" depiction of a rhino involving blood (it wasn't too convincing looking), then after the regular plot (just StrictlyFormula ''Series/MacGyver''), Richard Dean Anderson gives an out of character ''speech'' for nearly a minute about the dwindling population of the black rhino. Most people were just laughing hysterically at it.
* The UsefulNotes/MacysThanksgivingDayParade has had several moments that fall into this. There was the 1963 parade held one week after the Kennedy assassination, the 2001 parade held several months after the World Trade Center bombing, and to a lesser extent the 2012 parade after Hurricane Sandy. The 1990 and 2003 parades also had several tributes to the then-recently deceased Creator/JimHenson and Creator/BobHope respectively, and 2005 had a tribute to the city of New Orleans after Katrina.
** The parade itself, however, is an example of the broadest term of a VSE, as it (and since 2002, the National Dog Show) pre-empts most if not all of NBC's daytime programming (save for network mainstay ''Series/{{Today}}'', and even then they focus mostly on the parade's development, both being in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity and all) and is one of few recurring events on the Big Four networks that appeals to the whole family, at least since the rise of cable. This reached its epix with a primetime documentary special [[MilestoneCelebration celebrating the parade's 85th anniversary in 2011]], which aired several hours after the main event and featured interviews with many people involved with the parade through the years, as well as rare archive footage.
* An early example is the "Maude Has An Abortion" episode of ''Series/{{Maude}}''. It wasn't done as a Very Special Episode, though, since it did not moralize. It simply shocked America. In fact, it might have inspired the very concept Very Special Episode by the massive ratings it received.
* Subverted with ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers''. Not long after the Oklahoma City bombing, a series of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2-CiRa5VUU promos]] started airing for a special entitled ''Talkin' It Out'', with the Rangers explaining that the scary situations they get into are all just pretend, and that there are much scarier events in the real world. However, this turned out to be a case of NeverTrustATrailer; ''Talkin' It Out'' was actually a standalone Creator/FoxKids special and the Rangers only appeared at the very beginning to discuss what we were about to see. The remainder of the special involved [[Series/AmericasMostWanted John Walsh]] interviewing children about the then-recent bombing and how it affected them. Since it was a one-off special, preempted ''WesternAnimation/WhereInTheWorldIsCarmenSandiego'' and aired commercial free, it could also be considered the broadest term of a VSE.

to:

** One [[{{Narm}} unintentionally hilarious]] episode involved involves black rhino poaching in Africa. It starts out with a warning for the squeamish that they would show a "realistic" depiction of a rhino involving blood (it wasn't too convincing looking), then convincing). Then, after the regular plot (just StrictlyFormula ''Series/MacGyver''), Richard Dean Anderson gives an out of character ''speech'' speech for nearly a minute about the dwindling population of the black rhino. Most people were just [[{{Narm}} laughing hysterically at it.
it]].
* The UsefulNotes/MacysThanksgivingDayParade has had several moments that fall into this. There was is, in broad terms, always a VSE, as it pre-empts most of NBC's daytime programming and is one of the 1963 few programs the network can count on to attract the entire family. But some parades were particularly special:
** In 1963, the
parade was held one a week after the Kennedy assassination, and as such was a tribute to the late president.
** The 1990 parade included a tribute to the recently-deceased Creator/JimHenson. The 2003 parade was a similar tribute to Creator/BobHope.
** The
2001 parade was held several only a couple of months after the World Trade Center bombing, and to a lesser extent the 2012 9/11.
** The 2005
parade after Hurricane Sandy. The 1990 and 2003 parades also had several tributes to the then-recently deceased Creator/JimHenson and Creator/BobHope respectively, and 2005 had was a tribute to the city of New Orleans after it had been hit by Hurricane Katrina.
** The parade itself, however, is an example of the broadest term of a VSE, as it (and since 2002, the National Dog Show) pre-empts most if not all of NBC's daytime programming (save for network mainstay ''Series/{{Today}}'', and even then they focus mostly on the parade's development, both being in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity and all) and is one of few recurring events on the Big Four networks that appeals to the whole family, at least since the rise of cable. This reached its epix with a primetime documentary special [[MilestoneCelebration celebrating the parade's 85th anniversary in 2011]], which aired several hours after the main event and featured interviews with many people involved with the parade through the years, as well as rare archive footage.
* An early example is the "Maude Has An Abortion" episode of ''Series/{{Maude}}''. It wasn't done as a Very Special Episode, though, since was so early that although it did not moralize. It simply shocked America. In fact, didn't moralize, it might have inspired still codified the very concept Very Special Episode by the massive VSE -- it was so shocking and received such ratings that it received.
produced a winning formula.
* Subverted with ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers''. Not long after the Oklahoma City bombing, a series of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2-CiRa5VUU promos]] started airing for a special entitled ''Talkin' It Out'', with the Rangers explaining that the scary situations they get into are all just pretend, and that there are much scarier events in the real world. However, this turned out to be a case of NeverTrustATrailer; ''Talkin' It Out'' was actually a standalone Creator/FoxKids special and the Rangers only appeared at the very beginning to discuss what we were about to see. The remainder of the special involved [[Series/AmericasMostWanted John Walsh]] interviewing children about the then-recent bombing and how it affected them. Since it was a one-off special, preempted ''WesternAnimation/WhereInTheWorldIsCarmenSandiego'' ''WesternAnimation/WhereInTheWorldIsCarmenSandiego'', and aired commercial free, it could also be considered the broadest term of is a VSE.VSE in a broad sense.



* ''Series/MrBelvedere''
** Anyone else remember the episode where one of Wesley's classmates contracts HIV?
** There was also an episode about Alzheimer's disease, where Wesley has to deal with the failing memory of an old lady he visits in a nursing home.
** Yet another episode had Wesley getting molested by a summer camp counselor.
** And another which had Heather nearly getting raped by her prom date. What makes this a standout is that the scene ended with him pushing her down as she screamed "No!", then picked up with her at home, acting shaken and upset, leaving viewers to wonder if she ''had'' been raped (pretty heavy stuff, even for a VSE). Only after she finally confided in Mr. Belvedere (he had found her torn dress and asked her what happened) does the audience learn that [[DateRapeAverted she was able to fight him off]]. Even then, she's still reluctant to tell her parents what happened until the guy shows up at the house and tries to act like nothing happened.

to:

* ''Series/MrBelvedere''
''Series/MrBelvedere'' has [=VSEs=] in which:
** Anyone else remember the episode where one One of Wesley's classmates contracts HIV?
HIV.
** There was also an episode about Alzheimer's disease, where disease is tackled, and Wesley has to deal with the failing memory of an old lady he visits in a nursing home.
** Yet another episode had Wesley getting is molested by a summer camp counselor.
** And another which had Heather is nearly getting raped by her prom date. What makes this a standout is that date -- and the scene ended with him pushing her down as she screamed "No!", then picked up with her at home, acting shaken and upset, leaving viewers to wonder way it's filmed, we're left wondering if she ''had'' been really ''was'' raped (pretty heavy stuff, even for a VSE). Only after before she finally confided in confides to Mr. Belvedere (he had found her torn dress and asked her what happened) does the audience learn that [[DateRapeAverted she was able to fight him off]]. Even then, she's still reluctant to tell her parents what happened until the guy shows up at the house and tries to act like nothing happened.off]].



* ''Series/MySoCalledLife'' does this with the {{Anvilicious}} episode "So-Called Angels" that deals with the issues of teen runaways/homelessness. Complete with a PSA at the end and ''Juliana Hatfield as a magic homeless angel strumming her guitar''.
** What's particularly strange is that, in an earlier episode, Angela admits (to the audience) that she's not even entirely sure of whether or not she believes in God. Although one could argue that, given all her personal development over the course of the series, she began finding God at around this time.
* Occasionally parodied on Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000. One example comes after the showing (and riffing) of the road safety short Film/LastClearChance. Immediately afterwards, "Trooper" Tom Servo gives a heavy-handed rant on the dangers of steam irons, sandwiches and lint filters..
* The episode of ''Series/OneTreeHill'' where Lucas' estranged friend Jimmy decides to shoot up the school. Some feel that they could at least have made some token effort to point towards the whole gun control vs. right to bear arms issue, but the episode moreso focused on the emotional ramifications on Jimmy because of getting left behind by his friends, that was a much more impactful message than anything political would have been.
* Although ''Series/PartyOfFive'' was a drama show there were two episodes in particular where the show's opening credit sequence was not shown and had a noticeably more serious plot than the rest of the season. In season 2 an episode revolves around Julia discovering that she is pregnant and debating whether or not to keep it. It presents two opposing views on the subject of abortion with Charlie wanting Julia to abort the baby since she is only 16 and therefore not ready to be a mother while Claudia wants Julia to keep it since she considers abortion to be the same as murder. [[spoiler: At the end of the episode Julia ended up having a miscarriage but the episode did have an effect on her development for the rest of the season, particularly in her relationship with Justin (the father)]].
** From season 3 there was "The Intervention" which was the culmination of a storyline in which Bailey became an alcoholic. The family members try to have an intervention for Bailey and are forced to lure him to the house under false pretences. The episode is considered one of the most powerful in the show's run as one scene has Bailey criticising the others for their past mistakes such as Julia's pregnancy, Charlie's cheating on Kirsten and Sarah's failed attempt to lose her virginity. It also drops a huge bombshell that their deceased father was also an alcoholic.

to:

* ''Series/MySoCalledLife'' does this with the {{Anvilicious}} episode "So-Called Angels" that deals with the issues of teen runaways/homelessness. runaways and homelessness. Complete with a PSA at the end and ''Juliana Juliana Hatfield as a magic homeless angel strumming her guitar''.
** What's particularly strange is that, in an earlier episode, Angela admits (to the audience) that she's not even entirely sure of whether or not she believes in God. Although one could argue that, given all her personal development over the course of the series, she began finding God at around this time.
guitar.
* Occasionally parodied on Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000. One example comes after the showing (and riffing) of the road safety short Film/LastClearChance. Immediately afterwards, "Trooper" Tom Servo gives a heavy-handed rant on the dangers of steam irons, sandwiches sandwiches, and lint filters..
filters.
* The episode of ''Series/OneTreeHill'' where Lucas' estranged friend Jimmy decides to shoot up the school. Some feel that they could at least have made some token effort to point towards You'd think it would address the whole gun control vs. right to bear arms issue, debate, but the episode moreso it really focused on the emotional ramifications on Jimmy because of getting left behind by Jimmy's relationship with his friends, that was a much more impactful message than anything political would have been.
which left it somewhat less impactful.
* Although ''Series/PartyOfFive'' was a drama show show, there were two episodes in particular where the show's opening credit sequence was not shown and had a noticeably more serious plot than the rest of the season. In season.
** A
season 2 an episode revolves around Julia discovering that she is pregnant [[TeenPregnancy pregnant]] and debating whether or not to keep it. It presents two opposing views on the subject of baby. Charlie wants her to get an abortion with Charlie wanting Julia to abort the baby since she is only because she's 16 and therefore not ready too young to be a mother while mother; Claudia wants Julia is morally opposed to keep it since she considers abortion to be and insists that she keep the same as murder. [[spoiler: At baby. It's resolved when [[spoiler:Julia has a miscarriage at the end of the episode Julia ended up having a miscarriage but the episode episode, although it did have an effect on her development for the rest of the season, particularly in develop her relationship with Justin (the father)]].
her father Justin]].
** From season 3 there was Season 3's "The Intervention" which was the culmination of a storyline in which Bailey became an alcoholic. The family members try to have an intervention for Bailey and are forced to lure him to the house under false pretences. The episode is considered one of the most powerful in the show's run as one run, in particular a scene has in which Bailey criticising gives the others for family a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech and criticizes their past mistakes such as handling of other issues, including Julia's pregnancy, Charlie's cheating on Kirsten and Sarah's failed attempt to lose her virginity.pregnancy. It also drops a huge bombshell that their deceased father was also an alcoholic.



** ''Don't Look Back In Anger'' (aired 15 November 1997): An exploration of the history of roads and traffic, including the breathalyser's usage. Avoided being {{Anvilicious}} yet it was a highly-praised episode. [[MissingEpisode ITV4 sadly hasn't aired it much these days, presumably due to rights issues]].
** ''Learning The Hard Way'' (01 Jan 1999): Although a ClipShow of sorts, it was also a VerySpecialEpisode looking at world-class rally drivers. [[MissingEpisode Again, never aired since]].
** ''Crash Test Racers'' (July 2000): This was noticeably different. A ToneShift, it had no [[TheTeaser Cold Open]], and was more about TalkingHeads - except there was plenty of [[SceneryPorn gratuitious scenery usage]] and even medical footage, as well as archive footage too. It even featured Stirling Moss.
** ''Highway of Tomorrow'' (August 2000): As above, but focusing on road technology in the future, and also LampshadeHanging on {{Zeerust}} was mentioned.
** ''Drink Driving Special'' (17 December 2008): Gethin Jones [[TheNthDoctor suddenly replaced Alastair Stewart]] as this episode was ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. It was DarkerAndEdgier than other episodes in the series.
** ''Young, Legal, But Lethal'' (July 2011): Young drivers causing danger
** ''Fast and Furious'' (August 2011): The title was a reference to [[Film/TheFastandTheFurious the films]], and the episode was pretty heavy viewing. Criticised for having ''too much'' American footage.
** ''Dangerous, Distracted and Dumb'' (Aug. 2011): Looking at the dangers of being distracted when driving, and '''very''' heavy viewing.
** ''When Lorries Become Lethal'' (Aug 2011): Another episode that is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
*** It's safe to say that the concept of a VerySpecialEpisode was by no means a DeadHorseTrope once Optomen realized its potential with ''Series/PoliceCameraAction'' (which had been a straight-up documentary until now).

to:

** ''Don't "Don't Look Back In Anger'' (aired 15 November 1997): An Anger" is an exploration of the history of roads and traffic, including the breathalyser's usage. Avoided being {{Anvilicious}} yet it was a highly-praised episode. usage.[[MissingEpisode ITV4 sadly hasn't aired it much these days, presumably due to rights issues]].
** ''Learning "Learning The Hard Way'' (01 Jan 1999): Although Way" was a ClipShow of sorts, but it was also a VerySpecialEpisode looking at world-class rally drivers. [[MissingEpisode Again, never aired since]].
** ''Crash "Crash Test Racers'' (July 2000): This Racers" was noticeably different. A ToneShift, a ToneShift; it had no [[TheTeaser Cold Open]], and it was more about TalkingHeads - except there was plenty of [[SceneryPorn gratuitious scenery usage]] TalkingHeads, SceneryPorn, and even medical footage, as well as and archive footage too. It even featured Stirling Moss.
footage.
** ''Highway "Highway of Tomorrow'' (August 2000): As above, but focusing Tomorrow" focused on road technology in of the future, and also LampshadeHanging [[LampshadeHanging hung a lampshade]] on the {{Zeerust}} was mentioned.
of it.
** ''Drink "Drink Driving Special'' (17 December 2008): Special": Gethin Jones [[TheNthDoctor suddenly replaced Alastair Stewart]] as this episode was ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. It was DarkerAndEdgier than other episodes in the series.
** ''Young, "Young, Legal, But Lethal'' (July 2011): Young Lethal" concerned young drivers causing danger
danger with their poor driving habits.
** ''Fast "Fast and Furious'' (August 2011): Furious": The title was a reference to [[Film/TheFastandTheFurious the films]], and the episode was pretty heavy viewing. Criticised viewing about street racing. It was criticised for having ''too much'' American footage.
** ''Dangerous, "Dangerous, Distracted and Dumb'' (Aug. 2011): Looking at Dumb" was a heavy episode about the dangers of being distracted when driving, and '''very''' heavy viewing.
driving while distracted.
** ''When "When Lorries Become Lethal'' (Aug 2011): Another episode that is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
*** It's safe to say that the concept of a VerySpecialEpisode was by no means a DeadHorseTrope once Optomen realized its potential with ''Series/PoliceCameraAction'' (which had been a straight-up documentary until now).
Lethal": ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.



* ''Series/PunkyBrewster'' had a special two-part episode. Part One had to do with Punky learning CPR, then in Part Two, her friend suffocated inside an old fridge, which allowed Punky to put her CPR skills to the test. A chroma-keyed text imposed atop a still of Punky's CPR class, along with a stern announcer, told us "CPR should only be performed by certified people" (of which Punky was not, incidentally). [[ContestWinnerCameo The episode's plot was submitted by a real child, who had won a contest]].
** Another has her foster dad Henry becoming addicted to medication. Typically for a [=VSE=], the problem is resolved in a single episode and [[StatusQuoIsGod never mentioned again]].
** The second season finale (and also the last episode to be broadcast on Creator/{{NBC}}) in which Punky's dreams of becoming an astronaut are crushed witnessing the real life Challenger explosion. Soon, her teacher arranges a meeting with Buzz Aldrin, who encourages Punky to not give up on her dreams.
** "The Reading Game" episode deals with illiteracy: Cherie's cousin Paula can't read, and has been hiding it, despite being in seventh grade. However, she learns the importance of reading once she is left alone with her younger brother Bobby, who ends up drinking fabric softener and she can't read the warning label when instructed to by the 911 operator. Only when Punk and Cherie return, do they use reading and solve the problem.
* ''Series/QuantumLeap'' had many of these throughout its run, with Sam having to tackle things like racism, teen pregnancy, handicaps, etc.
* Has there ever been an episode of ''Series/{{Quincy}}'' without the title character fighting evil bureaucrats to cure the disease of the week? It gets so tiresome that even his sidekick complains that he's tilting at windmills.
** Actually, there are quite a few (especially in the first half of the run) which put aside soapboxes in favour of actually entertaining the viewers, like "Dead Last" (involving a jockey killed by a horse - or was he?) and "To Kill In Plain Sight" (with Quincy and Monahan racing to stop a political assassination - not very connected to Quincy's day job, but in no way a VerySpecialEpisode).
** And then there's the infamous "Next Stop, Nowhere," which was half about Quincy solving a murder in LA's punk scene and half about Quincy [[TheNewRockAndRoll warning the parents of LA about the moral scourge of punk rock]].
* ''Raising Dad'' had an episode where Sarah decided she wanted a nose job. In a twist, it's the other characters that learn AnAesop such as Stuart and Emily discovering that a perfectly nice looking girl like Sarah can have a bad self-image and that constant teasing can push them over the edge. Emily in particular is horrified when she finds out exactly what happens during plastic surgery. The episode is resolved by Sarah learning a DoubleAesop when a popular girl she wanted to be like talks about all the surgery she still wants to get.
* Subverted on ''Series/{{Roseanne}}''. The show's arguable CrowningMomentOfFunny was the episode dealing with marijuana. Dan and Roseanne find a bag of weed and think it's David's, and threaten to throw him out if they catch him with drugs again, but it turns out to be ''theirs''. Back when Roseanne was pregnant with Becky, she and Dan agreed to kick the stoner habit and be responsible parents, only he never had the heart to throw it away. The rest of the episode shows them smoking it with Jackie and acting blown out of their minds. Even the episodes that really did have serious themes like domestic violence, racism, infidelity, and Dan's heart attack weren't as out-of-place as these episodes tend to be, since they kept the dark humor that the show was famous for.
* ''{{Series/Roundhouse}}'', an early 90's Nickelodeon SketchComedy, has "The Feminizer" (where the mother believes she'll get more respect at work if she becomes a feminist), "Paper Hat Head" (where the son drops out of school to pursue his budding skateboarding career), "A Single Spot" (where the family endures several natural disasters after moving to Hollywood), "Thing a Thong" (where the family tries to help the environment) and "Step-Family Feud" (where the son fakes his own parents' divorce).
** Perhaps the most compelling VSE of this show was "The Cruds And The Gimps", which dealt with the son being pressured by gangs at school. [[spoiler:The events of the episode turn out to be AllJustADream, but the Cruds and the Gimps still exist in the real world, and the show's SigningOffCatchPhrase "reprise the theme song and roll the credits" doesn't work this time. The son wanders off confused, and we're left with a text reminder that "gang violence is no joke" and SilentCredits.]]

to:

* ''Series/PunkyBrewster'' had a ''Series/PunkyBrewster'':
** A
special two-part episode. Part One episode had to do with Punky learning CPR, then in Part Two, her which she gets to put to the test on a friend suffocated who suffocates inside an old fridge, which allowed Punky to put her CPR skills to the test. fridge. A chroma-keyed text imposed atop over a still of Punky's CPR class, along with a stern announcer, told [[OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope reminded us that]] "CPR should only be performed by certified people" (of which (which [[CPRCleanPrettyReliable Punky was not, incidentally). not]]). The plot was in fact submitted by a [[ContestWinnerCameo The episode's plot was submitted by a real child, kid who had won a contest]].
** Another has her foster Henry's dad Henry becoming becomes addicted to medication. Typically for a [=VSE=], VSE, the problem is resolved in a single episode and [[StatusQuoIsGod never mentioned again]].
** The second season finale (and also the last episode to be broadcast on Creator/{{NBC}}) in which showed Punky's dreams of becoming an astronaut are crushed crushing while witnessing the real life real-life Challenger explosion. Soon, her Her teacher then arranges a meeting with Buzz Aldrin, who encourages Punky to not to give up on her dreams.
** "The Reading Game" episode deals with illiteracy: illiteracy; Cherie's cousin Paula can't read, and has been hiding it, despite being in seventh grade. However, she learns the importance of reading once when she is left alone with her younger brother Bobby, who he ends up drinking fabric softener softener, and she can't read the warning label when instructed to by the 911 operator. Only when Punk Punky and Cherie return, return do they use reading and solve the problem.
* ''Series/QuantumLeap'' had many of these throughout its run, with Sam having to tackle things like racism, teen pregnancy, handicaps, etc.
and handicaps.
* Has there ever been an episode of ''Series/{{Quincy}}'' without the title character fighting evil bureaucrats to cure the disease of the week? It gets so tiresome that even his sidekick complains that he's tilting at windmills.
** Actually, there are quite a few (especially in
windmills. It's easier to list the first half episodes that have ''less'' of the run) which put aside soapboxes in favour of actually entertaining the viewers, like a VSE bent, including:
**
"Dead Last" (involving Last", where a jockey is killed by a horse - -- [[OrIsIt or was he?) and is he?]]
**
"To Kill In in Plain Sight" (with Sight", where Quincy and Monahan racing race to stop a political assassination - -- not very connected to Quincy's day job, but in no way a VerySpecialEpisode).
VSE.
** And then there's the infamous "Next Stop, Nowhere," Nowhere", which was a VSE but quite ridiculous, since it was half about Quincy solving a murder in LA's punk scene and half about Quincy [[TheNewRockAndRoll warning the parents of LA about the moral scourge of punk rock]].
* ''Raising Dad'' had ''Series/RaisingDad'' has an episode where Sarah decided decides she wanted wants a nose job. In a twist, it's the other characters that who learn AnAesop such as AnAesop; Stuart and Emily discovering discover that a perfectly nice looking nice-looking girl like Sarah can have a bad self-image and that constant teasing can push them her over the edge. edge, and Emily in particular is horrified when she finds out exactly what happens during plastic surgery. The episode is resolved by Sarah learning a DoubleAesop when a popular girl she wanted to be like talks about all the surgery she still wants to get.
* Subverted on ''Series/{{Roseanne}}''. The show's arguable ''Series/{{Roseanne}}'' whose CrowningMomentOfFunny was the episode dealing with marijuana. Dan and Roseanne find a bag of weed and think it's David's, and threaten to throw him out if they catch him with drugs again, but it turns out to be ''theirs''. Back when Roseanne was pregnant with Becky, she and Dan agreed to kick the stoner habit and be responsible parents, only he never had the heart to throw it away. The rest of the episode shows them smoking it with Jackie and acting blown out of their minds. Even the episodes that really did have serious themes like domestic violence, racism, infidelity, and Dan's heart attack weren't as out-of-place as these episodes tend to be, since they kept the dark humor that the show was famous for.
* ''{{Series/Roundhouse}}'', an early 90's Nickelodeon SketchComedy, has the following VSEs:
** In
"The Feminizer" (where Feminizer", the mother believes she'll get more respect at work if she becomes a feminist), feminist.
** In
"Paper Hat Head" (where Head", the son drops out of school to pursue his budding skateboarding career), career.
** In
"A Single Spot" (where Spot", the family endures several natural disasters after moving to Hollywood), Hollywood.
** In
"Thing a Thong" (where Thong", the family [[GreenAesop tries to help the environment) and environment]].
** In
"Step-Family Feud" (where Feud", the son fakes his own parents' divorce).
divorce.
** Perhaps The "Cruds and the Gimps" was perhaps the most compelling VSE of this show was "The Cruds And The Gimps", which dealt with VSE; the son being pressured by gangs gets caught up in gang violence at school. [[spoiler:The events of the episode turn It turns out to [[spoiler:to be AllJustADream, but since the Cruds and the Gimps gangs still exist in the real world, and the show's SigningOffCatchPhrase "reprise the theme song and roll the credits" doesn't work this time. The son wanders off confused, confused]], and we're left with a text reminder that "gang violence is no joke" and SilentCredits.]]



* The ''Doctor Who'' SpinOff series ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' had two consecutive stories in its final season: "The Curse of Clyde Langer", where one of the characters becomes homeless after an alien artifact rouses a specifically-targeted HatePlague against him, and "The Man Who Never Was", which uses a story about aliens to make heavy-handed points about people trafficking and the abuse of workers by outsourced manufacturers in the tech industry.
* ''Series/SavedByTheBell''
** The episode in which Jessie becomes addicted to caffeine pills, leading to the infamous "[[Narm/LiveActionTV I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so... so scared!"]] scene (may be seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bflYjF90t7c here]]).
** The very special episode where Zack's duck Becky is killed by an oil spill.
** The one where the gang meets their favorite actor and finds out that he smokes pot.
** There was the one where they drink and drive during homecoming and they wreck the car and Slater breaks his arm.
* ''Series/TheSecretLifeOfTheAmericanTeenager'' is practically a Very Special Series, though some episodes are very centered on a specific "issue". To name just a few examples: The episode where everyone gets a fake ID so they can go to the teen wedding (this was followed by an episode that was kinda about illegal underage marriage), two ([[GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion almost]]) abortion episodes, and an episode about STD testing.
** A special mention goes to the fact that there's a message at the end of every episode telling teens to talk to their parents about sex and avoid teen pregnancy. It was replaced once by a message giving information about a sexual abuse help hotline. Naturally, this message was preceded by a very special episode where Ricky encounters his on-parole birth father, who used to sexually abuse Ricky.
** An episode of season 4 had an episode about LGBTQ acceptance/sensitivity. Adrian's mother gave her a speech about how hard LGBTQ teens have it and that pretending to be gay or bisexual to get attention could be deemed offensive to others who are actually struggling with it, a lesbian student from her school gives her the same speech and calls out [[WhatAnIdiot Grace who decided to come to school dressed like]] a stereotypical ButchLesbian. In the same episode, Ricky calls Amy out for being an insensitive {{Jerkass}} to her mother who recently identified as a lesbian.
* Exception: ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' is known for having never had a Very Special Episode, and just never being that sentimental in general. In fact, the rules the writers set for Seinfeld are "No hugging, no learning". One could argue that the popularity of ''Seinfeld'' led to other shows imitating the conceited superficial narcissism of its characters, spelling [[DeaderThanDisco/LiveActionTV the death of the VSE in sitcoms]].
** The third season episode "The Pez Dispenser" *did* include a never before seen Special Guest Character who was struggling with drug addiction, and was never seen again after the successful intervention got him into rehab. The intervention itself took place offscreen, the buildup was played for laughs, and the whole storyline was a secondary plot, and he apparently got addicted to *pez candy* right after.

to:

* The ''Doctor Who'' SpinOff series ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' had two consecutive stories in its final season: season:
** In
"The Curse of Clyde Langer", where one of the characters becomes homeless after an alien artifact rouses a specifically-targeted HatePlague against him, and him.
**
"The Man Who Never Was", which Was" uses a story about aliens to make heavy-handed points about people human trafficking and the abuse of workers by outsourced manufacturers in the tech industry.
* ''Series/SavedByTheBell''
''Series/SavedByTheBell'' had several, in which:
** The episode in which Jessie becomes addicted to caffeine pills, leading to the infamous "[[Narm/LiveActionTV I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so... so scared!"]] scene (may be seen scene, which you can see [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bflYjF90t7c here]]).
here]].
** The very special episode where Zack's duck Becky is killed by an oil spill.
** The one where the gang Gang meets their favorite actor and finds out that he smokes pot.
** There was the one where they They drink and drive during homecoming and they wreck the car and car, with Slater breaks breaking his arm.
* ''Series/TheSecretLifeOfTheAmericanTeenager'' is practically a Very Special Series, though some episodes are very centered on a specific "issue". To name just a few examples: The "issue", including:
** One
episode where has everyone gets get a fake ID so they can to go to the teen wedding (this was wedding, followed by an episode that was kinda about illegal underage marriage), two marriage.
** Two episodes dealt with
([[GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion almost]]) abortion episodes, abortion, and an episode about another deals with STD testing.
** A special mention goes to the fact that there's a message at the end of
testing. And every episode ends with a message telling teens to talk to their parents about sex and avoid avoiding teen pregnancy. It was pregnancy (later replaced once by a message giving information about with a sexual abuse help hotline. Naturally, this message was preceded by a very special hotline message).
** One
episode where saw Ricky encounters encounter his on-parole birth father, who used to sexually abuse Ricky.
him.
** An episode of A season 4 had an episode about dealt with LGBTQ acceptance/sensitivity. Adrian's issues, in particular Ricky's mother gave her coming out as a speech about how hard LGBTQ teens have it lesbian and that Grace dressing like a stereotypical ButchLesbian and pretending to be gay or bisexual just to get attention could be deemed offensive to others who are actually struggling with it, a lesbian student from her school gives her attention.
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'', as
the same speech and calls out [[WhatAnIdiot Grace who decided to come to school dressed like]] a stereotypical ButchLesbian. In series whose philosophy was "no hugging, no learning", is largely credited for [[DeaderThanDisco killing the same episode, Ricky calls Amy out for being an insensitive {{Jerkass}} to her mother who recently identified as a lesbian.
* Exception: ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' is known for having never had a
Very Special Episode, and just never being that sentimental in general. In fact, the rules the writers set for Seinfeld are "No hugging, no learning". One could argue that the popularity of ''Seinfeld'' led to Episode]], as other shows imitating the conceited imitated its characters superficial narcissism of its characters, spelling [[DeaderThanDisco/LiveActionTV the death narcissism. Oddly, though, it rarely outright made fun of the VSE in sitcoms]].
** The third season episode "The Pez Dispenser" *did* include
VSE; it even featured a never before seen Special Guest Character guest character who was struggling with drug addiction, addiction and was never seen again after the successful whose intervention got him into rehab. The intervention itself took place offscreen, the buildup was played for laughs, and the whole storyline was a secondary plot, and completely straight (albeit offscreen). Well, before he apparently got addicted to *pez candy* right after.pez candy.



** The groundbreaking 1983 episode where Big Bird learns of Mr. Hooper's death and has to understand that his friend is never coming back. Notable for averting NeverSayDie on a show for very young children, it was lauded by the Daytime Emmys as "very special" even by this trope's standards. The topic was once again dealt with for a primetime PBS special called ''When Families Grieve''.
** A 1993 episode dealing with racism has Gina and Savion receiving a racist call at Hooper's Store and explaining to Telly that there are "really stupid people" who hate to see people of different races being friends, which Telly has trouble understanding given Sesame Street's rather diverse population of ethnic humans, not to mention animals and monsters (including a eight-foot-tall yellow bird).
** A week-long StoryArc from 2001 deals with a hurricane blowing though Sesame Street and destroying Big Bird's nest. The arc was reaired in 2004, 2005 and 2012 after several high-profile hurricanes. (Though in 2012 the last four episodes were compressed into a single episode to comply with the show's current format).

to:

** The groundbreaking 1983 episode where Big Bird learns of Mr. Hooper's death and has to understand that his friend is never coming back. Notable for averting NeverSayDie on a show for very young children, it was lauded by the Daytime Emmys as "very special" even by this trope's standards. the usual standards of the trope. The topic was once again show dealt with the topic again for a primetime PBS special called ''When Families Grieve''.
** A 1993 episode dealing with racism has Gina and Savion receiving a racist call at Hooper's Store and explaining to Telly that there are "really stupid people" who hate to see people of different races being friends, which Telly has trouble understanding given Sesame Street's rather diverse population of ethnic humans, not to mention animals and monsters (including a eight-foot-tall yellow bird).
understanding.
** A week-long StoryArc from 2001 deals with a hurricane blowing though Sesame Street and destroying Big Bird's nest. The arc was reaired re-aired in 2004, 2005 2005, and 2012 after several high-profile hurricanes. (Though in 2012 the last four episodes hurricanes (although they were compressed into a single episode to comply with the show's current format).for 2012).



** There was also a DirectToVideo project where Rosita deals with her father being confined to a wheelchair due to a war injury. It was done as part of the show's "Talk, Listen, Connect" initiative for kids with deployed parents.
** An episode with Snuffy dealing with his parents' divorce was produced, but it was never aired after negative reaction from test audiences.
*** This subject was tackled again years later, this time with Abby Cadabby, who had drawn two pictures of her parents in separate houses, revealing her parents are divorced. Unlike the example above, it is shown in a lighter tone as Abby explains that while her parents are no longer together, her parents still love her and she gets to see them whenever she wants.
** There was an educational kit for adults, entitled ''Lead Away'', to educate them about the dangers of lead poisoning and keeping it away from children. One of the more memorable segments involves "The Lead Police", a group of Anything Muppets who sing about lead poisoning InTheStyleOf Music/ThePolice.
** There was also an educational kit for kids with incarcerated parents.
** Another primetime special entitled ''Families Stand Together'' directly addresses parents about how to help raise their families during tough economic times. It was available in full on the show's website for a few years, but it seems to have been removed since then. A trailer is still available on Website/YouTube, and can be found [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9FbZaxa6Jc here.]]
** The episode aired on Halloween 2013, while not featuring any specific "very special" topics, fits this trope because [[RealitySubtext it was made in response to the passing of longtime Muppeteer Jerry Nelson]]. It revolved around his most famous character, the Count, missing out on an award ceremony where he will be rewarded for his counting. The other cast members impersonate him to stall the awards committee, but they fail, and his award is forfeited to a handheld calculator in Beijing. But the cast is reminded via a text by the Count that having prizes to count isn't as important as having friends to count, as well as care about you when you're not there. [[Heartwarming/SesameStreet Then the Count himself swoops in aided by his bats and counts everyone on the street via pre-existing audio from Jerry]].

to:

** There was also a A DirectToVideo project where has Rosita deals dealing with her father being confined to a wheelchair due to a war injury. It was done as part of the show's "Talk, Listen, Connect" initiative for kids with deployed parents.
** An The show tried dealing with divorce twice, but it's a particularly tricky subject to explain to young children. The first saw an episode with produced where Snuffy dealing deals with his parents' divorce was produced, but it was never aired divorce; after negative reaction from test audiences.
*** This subject
screenings, it [[MissingEpisode was tackled again never aired]]. The second did air years later, this time with and it involved Abby Cadabby, who had drawn two pictures of Cadabby revealing that her parents in separate houses, revealing her parents are divorced. Unlike were divorced; the example above, it is shown in a lighter tone as Abby explains fact that while her parents are no longer together, her parents she still love her and she gets to see them whenever she wants.
both and was on good terms with them softened the blow.
** There ''Lead Away'' was an educational kit for adults, entitled ''Lead Away'', to educate them about adults dealing with the dangers of lead poisoning and keeping it lead away from children. One of the more memorable segments segment involves "The Lead Police", a group of Anything Muppets who sing about lead poisoning InTheStyleOf Music/ThePolice.
** There was also an One educational kit was specifically for kids with incarcerated parents.
** Another A primetime special entitled special, ''Families Stand Together'' Together'', directly addresses parents about on how to help raise their families during tough economic times. It was available in full on the show's website for a few years, but it seems to have been removed since then. A trailer is still available on Website/YouTube, and can be found [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9FbZaxa6Jc here.]]
** The episode aired on Halloween 2013, while not featuring any specific "very special" topics, fits this trope because [[RealitySubtext it was made in response to the passing of longtime Muppeteer Jerry Nelson]]. It revolved around his most famous character, the Count, missing out on an award ceremony where he will be rewarded for his counting. The other cast members impersonate him to stall the awards committee, but they fail, and his award is forfeited to a handheld calculator in Beijing. But the cast is reminded via a text by Then the Count texts the cast and reminds them that having prizes to count isn't as it's more important as having to count friends than prizes, and how honored he was for them to count, as well as care about you when you're not there. him even in his absence. [[Heartwarming/SesameStreet Then the Count himself swoops in aided by his bats and counts everyone on the street via street]], thanks to some of Nelson's pre-existing audio from Jerry]].audio.



* Every ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' episode with guest star Creator/ChristopherReeve ended with him and Tom Welling telling people to donate to the ''Christopher Reeves Treatment For Spinal Injury Foundation''.
* ''Seven Swordsmen'' a Chinese {{Wuxia}} series, has an episode that reveals why Swordsman Mu is so interested in learning to read--his entire family was killed by their illiteracy when they were tricked into putting up anti-government banners for a festival.
* One episode of ''Series/TheSopranos'' focusing on the soccer coach of Tony's daughter being a child molester played with the trope, in that given their general treatment of women, Tony and his crew come across as somewhat hypocritical in condemning his behavior--particularly in later seasons, the difference between the way Tony and his crew treat women and the way the coach did is that Tony and his crew wait until they're eighteen. Moreover, rather than the black and white morality of the usual VerySpecialEpisode, the show is typically morally ambiguous, as Tony wants to kill the coach, feeling that [[ARealManIsAKiller he would be less of a man were he to rely upon the legal system to seek justice]]--and that even if he did, what the legal system would do could hardly be called justice. In the end, however, Tony gets ''very'' relaxed on both medication and alcohol, [[spoiler:and seems quite content with the idea that "I din' hur' nobody"]].
* During an [=AIDS/HIV=] awareness month on American television, ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' aired an episode in which T'pol, the catsuited Vulcan first officer, entered an unprotected mindmeld with a rogue hippie Vulcan (played as an {{Anvilicious}} sexual metaphor), a scene which veered into MindRape territory, and as a result, T'pol contracted a rare Vulcan neurological disease that...oh hell, she got Vulcan Space [=AIDS=].
** Meanwhile, the B plot involved Phlox and one of his wives encouraging Tucker to engage in casual sex with multiple partners.
** The trope was played straight in the original episode, but the significant consequences of having the disease were played out long term over a number of episodes, though the Space AIDS parallels never went away.

to:

* Every ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' episode with guest star Creator/ChristopherReeve ended with him and Tom Welling telling people to donate to the ''Christopher Reeves Christopher Reeve Treatment For Spinal Injury Foundation''.
Foundation.
* ''Seven Swordsmen'' a Chinese {{Wuxia}} series, has an episode that reveals why Swordsman Mu is so interested in learning to read--his read -- his entire family was killed by their illiteracy when they were tricked into putting up anti-government banners for a festival.
* One episode of ''Series/TheSopranos'' focusing on handled this without the usual BlackAndWhiteMorality; when Tony discovers his daughter's soccer coach of Tony's daughter being is a child molester played with molester, he tries to solve the trope, problem in that given their general treatment of women, this vein and fails because (a) Tony and his crew come across as somewhat hypocritical in condemning his behavior--particularly in later seasons, the difference between the way Tony and his crew don't treat adult women much better, and (b) he thinks ARealManIsAKiller and doesn't think the way the coach did is that Tony and his crew wait until they're eighteen. Moreover, rather than the black and white morality of the usual VerySpecialEpisode, the show is typically morally ambiguous, as Tony wants to kill the coach, feeling that [[ARealManIsAKiller he would be less of a man were he to rely upon the legal system to seek justice]]--and that even if he did, what the legal justice system would do could hardly be called justice. In solve the end, however, Tony problem even if he deigned to go to them. So he gets ''very'' relaxed on both medication and alcohol, [[spoiler:and alcohol and [[spoiler: seems quite content with the idea that "I din' hur' nobody"]].
* During an [=AIDS/HIV=] awareness month on American television, ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' aired an episode in which T'pol, the catsuited Vulcan first officer, entered enters an unprotected mindmeld with a rogue hippie Vulcan (played as an {{Anvilicious}} sexual metaphor), metaphor). After a scene which veered veers into MindRape territory, and as a result, T'pol contracted she contracts a rare Vulcan neurological disease that...oh hell, she got Vulcan Space [=AIDS=].
** Meanwhile, the B plot involved Phlox and one of his wives encouraging Tucker to engage in casual sex with multiple partners.
** The trope was played straight in the original episode, but the significant consequences of having the disease were played out long term over a number of episodes, though the Space AIDS parallels never went away.
[=AIDS=].



** ''The Outcast'' is probably the most (in)famous - Riker falls for a (female) gendered "deviant" from a mono-sexed race that considers expressions of gender to be evil. The episode is a barely-veiled commentary on the treatment of gay and transgender persons. It's actually a rather clever postmodern inversion, whereby OUR norms are constructed as transgressive by this culture, although it's rendered in the series' typical heavy-handed style. The point was to show a culture where the "homosexual analogy" majority is oppressing the "heterosexual analogy" minority. Unfortunately it ended up a CluelessAesop to many, partially because the lack of apparent gender of the genderless alien who announces herself to be female was rather an InformedAttribute given the casting and costuming, partially because of the shoehorned love story between the obviously-female alien and the most stereotypically studly regular male character, and partially because the aforementioned casting and plot choices made it look like a reactionary "heroic heterosexual feminine woman rebels against separatist butch lesbian tyranny" fantasy. Creator/JonathanFrakes realized this would happen and '''strongly''' argued for the "deviant female" to be played by a man, or at least by a more genuinely androgynous woman, but he was overruled.
** They attempted a similar style of inversion with ''Angel One'', making commentary about sexism by showing a female-dominated society where women tended to be bigger and physically stronger than men. Like ''The Outcast'', it also showcased Riker falling in love with one of the women on the planet, and zig-zagged between an intelligent inversion saying "Here's how misogyny looks when you flip-flop the gender" and a CluelessAesop that, by turning the "oppressed" side into the "oppressors", just made them look like bad guys and blowing the point.

to:

** ''The Outcast'' "The Outcast" is probably the most (in)famous - an infamous example. Riker falls for a (female) gendered female "deviant" from a mono-sexed race that OneGenderRace which considers expressions of gender evil. It was meant to be evil. The episode a way to showcase how "deviant" is really a barely-veiled commentary on the treatment of gay and transgender persons. It's actually a rather clever postmodern inversion, whereby OUR norms are constructed as transgressive by this culture, although it's rendered in the series' typical heavy-handed style. The point was to show a culture where of view. However, the "homosexual analogy" majority is oppressing casting and costuming made the "heterosexual analogy" minority. Unfortunately it ended up alien look very obviously female, which caused a bit of a CluelessAesop to many, partially because the lack of apparent gender of the genderless alien who announces herself to be female was rather an InformedAttribute given the casting and costuming, partially because of the shoehorned love story between the obviously-female alien and the most stereotypically studly regular male character, and partially because the aforementioned casting and plot choices made it look like (or worse, a reactionary "heroic "feminine heterosexual feminine woman rebels against separatist butch lesbian tyranny" fantasy. {{Butch Lesbian}}s" kind of plot). Creator/JonathanFrakes realized this would happen and '''strongly''' argued strongly for the "deviant female" alien to be played by a man, or at least by a more genuinely androgynous woman, but he was overruled.
** They attempted "Angel One" was meant to be a similar style of inversion with ''Angel One'', making commentary about sexism by showing a [[LadyLand female-dominated society society]] where women tended to be bigger and physically stronger than men. Like ''The Outcast'', it also showcased Again, Riker falling falls in love with one of the women on the planet, woman, and zig-zagged between an intelligent inversion saying "Here's how misogyny looks when you flip-flop the gender" and it turns into a CluelessAesop that, by turning the "oppressed" side into the "oppressors", just made them making the strong women look like bad guys and blowing the point.bad.



** Most notable is probably ''Let That Be Your Last Battlefield'', a "racism is bad" episode where an alien species that looks like humans except for their skin hue has two races - one of which is black on the right side and white on the left side (literally the colors black and white, not the skin tones that we call "black" or "white") and the other of which is black on the left side and white on the right side. The black/white alien is shocked that Kirk and Spock don't understand that the white/black man is "obviously" inferior, and each race hates the other, culminating in a [[TheGreatOffscreenWar war for extermination]] that wipes out both races altogether.
* ''Series/StepByStep'' toyed with this territory on occasion. Most memorable is an episode where J.T. learns he has dyslexia. Throughout the episode, his parents and siblings take note of his poor grades and blame them on his study habits and work ethic. The lesson begins to hit home after Cody has J.T. read a chapter out of a schoolbook and has him report on the contents:
-->'''Cody''': So what'd it say?
-->'''J.T.''': I dunno...it didn't make any sense.
-->'''Cody''': Come on, man, stop fooling around.
-->'''J.T.''': I'm not fooling around!
** Once the seriousness is established, the episode scores a CrowningMomentOfFunny when J.T. comes back from the doctor, exclaiming happily(?!) that he has dyslexia:
--->'''Carol''': Oh, thank god, I knew you couldn't be that stupid!
*** It gets even funnier when J.T. assumes dyslexia will get him a free ride, but realizes via Cody that he will have to work even harder now. J.T. laments he was better off with everyone thinking he was just stupid.
** ''Series/TheCosbyShow'' had a similar episode, where Theo was revealed to be dyslexic. As he's headed to take the test for it, his father helpfully coaches "I hope you fail with flying colors!"
* The VerySpecialEpisode was viciously subverted, parodied, mocked, mooned, and otherwise brutalized with the kind of glee generally only reserved for children on Christmas Morning in every episode of ''Series/StrangersWithCandy''.

to:

** Most notable is probably ''Let "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield'', a "racism Battlefield" is bad" episode where an alien species that looks like humans except for their skin hue has two races - one particularly notable, given [[TheSixties when it aired]]. It showed a race of which is HumanAliens, half of whose body was black on the right side and white on the left side (literally the colors black and white, not the skin tones that we call "black" or "white") and the other half white. It illustrated the inherent absurdity of which is racism by showing a conflict between aliens whose left half was white and whose right half was black, and aliens whose left half was black on the left side and white on the whose right side. The black/white alien is shocked half was white. They were all stunned that Kirk and Spock don't understand couldn't tell right away that the white/black man other is "obviously" inferior, and each race hates the other, culminating inherently inferior. The conflict culminated in a an [[TheGreatOffscreenWar war for extermination]] offscreen war]] that wipes wiped out both races altogether.
* ''Series/StepByStep'' toyed with wandered into this territory on occasion. Most memorable is occasion, most memorably in an episode where J.T. learns he has dyslexia. Throughout the episode, his parents and siblings take note of his His poor grades and blame them are originally blamed on his study habits and work ethic. The lesson begins to hit home after ethic, but then Cody has J.T. read a chapter out of a schoolbook and has him report on the contents:
-->'''Cody''': So what'd it say?
-->'''J.T.''': I dunno...it didn't make any sense.
-->'''Cody''': Come on, man, stop fooling around.
-->'''J.T.''': I'm not fooling around!
** Once the seriousness is established, the episode scores a CrowningMomentOfFunny when J.T. comes back from the doctor, exclaiming happily(?!)
discovers that he has dyslexia:
--->'''Carol''': Oh, thank god, I knew you couldn't be that stupid!
*** It gets even funnier when J.T. assumes dyslexia will get him a free ride, but realizes via Cody that
can't make sense of the things he will have to work even harder now.reads. J.T. laments he was better off with everyone thinking he was just stupid.
** ''Series/TheCosbyShow'' had
further assumes that dyslexia will give him a similar free ride, before Cody teaches him he'd have to work harder now. It does, however, give us the following line on J.T.'s diagnosis:
-->'''Carol:''' Oh, thank God, I knew you couldn't be that stupid!
* ''Series/StrangersWithCandy'', in every
episode, where Theo was revealed to be dyslexic. As he's headed to take takes the test for it, his father helpfully coaches "I hope you fail with flying colors!"
* The VerySpecialEpisode was
Very Special Episode, and viciously subverted, parodied, mocked, mooned, subverts, parodies, mocks, moons, and otherwise brutalized brutalizes it with the kind of glee generally only reserved for children on Christmas Morning in every episode of ''Series/StrangersWithCandy''.morning.



** Probably the clearest example is "Alex's Old Buddy", which involved the death of Buddy, Alex's dog.

to:

** Probably the clearest example is "Alex's Old Buddy", which Buddy" involved the death of Buddy, Alex's dog.



** There's the Black History Month episode where Raven and Chelsea apply for a job at a clothing store. [[TheFashionista Raven]] is clearly in her element, while [[CloudCuckooLander Chelsea]] is not. Chelsea gets the job, and Raven has a vision of the manager flat out stating "I don't hire black people." Raven then goes undercover to expose the racism. Meanwhile, Corey has a dream that teaches him how important black history is after he complained about having to write an essay on it.
* However, it's sometimes daytime TV in the United Kingdom that's a frequent user of this trope. British daytime show ''Series/ThisMorning'' occasionally uses this trope to get across issues in a somewhat [[{{Anvilicious}} heavy-handed manner]], on things like cancer etc.
* ''Series/{{Titus}}'': In a notable subversion, the show framed ''every'' episode as a Very Special Episode, most notably because of the subject matter (drugs, suicide, abuse, infidelity, domestic violence, and insensitivity to others were ''common'' in the series). However, because they then took to the other extreme of the VSE, [[BlackComedy the subject matter was always presented as humorous]] and without redeeming qualities (people very rarely learned a lesson that was really worth learning). ''And it worked''. It ran for 3 seasons, but possibly the only episodes that would be considered traditional [=VSEs=] would be:
** "The Smell of Success": Titus turns to alcohol after his hot-rod business goes under and his father refuses to give him money to keep the shop afloat -- though the second part of that episode -- "Deprogramming Erin" -- is more on par with how ''Titus'' subverts the typical Very Special Episode found in many sitcoms.
** "The Last Noelle": Titus goes to the funeral of his first girlfriend -- an abusive, manipulative woman named Noelle -- and discovers that the only reason he ever liked her -- and dated many women who were either unfaithful or mentally deranged -- was because he was secretly attracted to women who acted just like his mom.
** "The Protector": Amy gets in trouble for beating up a boy who sexually harasses her, then confronts the man who sexually molested her as a child, with Titus thinking that she's lying to cover up her assault on his son...until Erin finds a poem about the rose tattoo Amy saw on the man's penis when she was a child.
* ''Series/{{Victorious}}'' has ''Rex Dies'', which is about Robbie's puppet Rex being injured and while Tori tries to make amends, Jade and the rest of the gang attempt to make Rex die so Robbie will move on from him. In the same episode, Cat gets put into a mental ward. On the Victorious Wiki, it was called (at the moment) the most serious and emotionally toned episode the show had to date.
* ''This Old House'' on PBS has had a few mid-season projects that fell into this category. The series spent a few episodes visiting New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina as well as the Jersey Shore post Sandy. One three-episode project focused on the ground-up construction of new homes for U.S war veterans. By far the most special full-length season remembered by fans was in 1999 when Master Carpenter Tom Silva and his family lost their home to a fire and the show helped them rebuild.
* ''Series/WalkerTexasRanger'' takes these to their extreme. There are several episodes about racism, one about AIDS, and an episode about sexism where they even had a normally tolerant character act out of character just to hammer the point home.
** Another episode that takes it to a further extreme, for their message against gangs, they have a young girl killed, magically resurrected by an angel (special effect glow and all), and then 'blessed' with holy wisdom and the ability to talk to her angel, with the actors talking to the screen more often than to each other.

to:

** There's the An episode during Black History Month episode where had Raven and Chelsea apply for a job at a clothing store. [[TheFashionista Raven]] is clearly in her element, while [[CloudCuckooLander Chelsea]] is not. Chelsea gets the job, and Raven has a vision of the manager flat out stating stating, "I don't hire black people." Raven then goes undercover to expose the racism. Meanwhile, Corey has a dream that teaches him how important black history is after he complained about having to write an essay on it.
* However, it's sometimes daytime TV in the United Kingdom that's a frequent user of this trope. British daytime show ''Series/ThisMorning'' occasionally uses this trope to get across issues in a somewhat [[{{Anvilicious}} heavy-handed manner]], on things like cancer etc.
* ''Series/{{Titus}}'': In a notable subversion, the show framed ''every'' episode as a Very Special Episode, most notably because of the subject matter (drugs, Episode. Drugs, suicide, abuse, infidelity, domestic violence, and insensitivity to others were ''common'' all common in the series). However, because they then series. It took to the other extreme of the VSE, [[BlackComedy the subject matter was always presented as humorous]] and without redeeming qualities (people very rarely learned a lesson that was really worth learning). ''And it worked''. It ran great delight in playing those things for 3 seasons, but possibly the only episodes that would be considered traditional [=VSEs=] would be:
BlackComedy. The closest to a tradition VSE are:
** "The Smell of Success": Success", in which Titus turns to alcohol after his hot-rod business goes under and his father refuses to give him money to keep the shop afloat -- though the second part of that episode -- "Deprogramming Erin" -- is more on par with how ''Titus'' subverts the typical Very Special Episode found in many sitcoms.
afloat.
** "The Last Noelle": Noelle", in which Titus goes to the funeral of his first girlfriend -- an abusive, manipulative woman named Noelle -- and discovers that the only reason he ever liked her -- and dated many women who were either unfaithful or mentally deranged -- was because he was [[FreudWasRight secretly attracted to women who acted just like his mom.
mom]].
** "The Protector": Protector", in which Amy gets in trouble for beating up a boy who sexually harasses her, then confronts the man who sexually molested her as a child, with Titus thinking that she's lying to cover up her assault on his son...son -- until Erin finds a poem about the rose tattoo Amy saw on the man's penis when she was a child.
* ''Series/{{Victorious}}'' has ''Rex Dies'', "Rex Dies", in which is about Robbie's puppet Rex being injured and while is injured. While Tori tries to make amends, Jade and the rest of the gang attempt to make Rex die so Robbie will move on from him. In the same episode, Cat gets put into a mental ward. On the The Victorious Wiki, it was Wiki called (at the moment) it the most serious and emotionally toned episode the show had to date.
* ''This Old House'' ''Series/ThisOldHouse'' on PBS has had a few mid-season projects that fell into this category. The series spent a few episodes visiting New Orleans post after Hurricane Katrina as well as and the Jersey Shore post Sandy. One three-episode project focused on the ground-up construction of new homes for U.S S. war veterans. By far the most special full-length season remembered by fans was in 1999 1999, when Master Carpenter Tom Silva and his family lost their home to a fire and the show helped them rebuild.
* ''Series/WalkerTexasRanger'' takes these to their extreme. There are several episodes about racism, one about AIDS, and an episode about sexism where they even had a normally tolerant character act out of character just to hammer the point home.
** Another
home. Perhaps the most {{anvilicious}} is an episode that takes it to a further extreme, for their message against gangs, they have where a young girl killed, magically killed by gang crossfire is resurrected by an angel (special effect glow and all), and then 'blessed' "blessed" with holy wisdom and the ability to talk to her angel, with the actors talking to the screen more often than to each other.angel.



* ''Series/WelcomeBackKotter'': As close as it got when Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington, the athlete of the Sweathogs, begins taking painkillers to heal a basketball injury ... and almost gets Horshack hooked as well after he tells his friends that the pills are merely "vitamins." At least one critic Tom Hill, who wrote a book about the TV Land cable network and rated classic sitcom episodes criticized the execution of the show's tag; it ends up being, instead of Freddie reflecting on his addiction to painkillers, simply another of Gabe Kaplan's throwaway jokes about his relatives.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'' did something similar as the ''Series/TwentyFour'' example with the episode "Isaac and Ishmael", by having a staff member have the same name as a terrorist. While the rest of the team answered questions from schoolkids about the history of terrorism, and why it happens, Leo was with secret service agents and the accused, asking questions in a shockingly hostile manner. After it turns out that the man is innocent, Leo gets a sharp wake-up call from the accused, who reminds of the shooting in Rosslyn, and adds that it was because "one of [the staff] wasn't [white]".
* Another parody occurred on ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway''. When Ryan portrays Drew as being lower on the evolutionary scale than apes (as a joke), Drew fires back by calling Ryan a "freak" -- over and over again. After a while, though, he apologizes to Ryan and is obviously feeling sincerely guilty. Noticing the extremely unusual (for Whose Line) mood shift, Wayne chimes in with a sarcastically somber voice, saying "A very special ''Whose Line Is It Anyway?''".
* ''Series/WKRPInCincinnati'': The 1980 RippedFromTheHeadlines episode "In Concert" centers around the real-life events surrounding concert-goers being trampled to death at a rock concert headlined by Music/TheWho at Riverfront Stadium (set in the fictional [=WKRP=]'s town of Cincinnati). In the show's fictional universe, station employees gleefully promote the concert and talk about what a great time they plan to have at the show, but on the morning after the concert, the staff is wrought with guilt upon learning of the incident -- in which several of the victims were under the age of 18 -- and resolve to call for action to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again. Even Les, the otherwise-grossly incompetent news director who doesn't know a news story from a wristwatch, is in his shining moment here, knowing that something needs to be done to prevent future similar tragedies. The episode ends with employees leaving to go to a candlelight vigil for those who were killed.

to:

* ''Series/WelcomeBackKotter'': As close as it got when Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington, the athlete of the Sweathogs, begins taking painkillers to heal a basketball injury ... injury, tells his friends they're just "vitamins", and almost nearly gets Horshack hooked as well after he tells his friends that the pills are merely "vitamins." well. At least one critic critic, Tom Hill, who wrote a book about decried the TV Land cable network and rated classic sitcom episodes criticized episode for throwing away the execution of the show's tag; opportunity to become a VSE, making it ends up being, instead of Freddie reflecting on his addiction to painkillers, simply another one of Gabe Kaplan's throwaway jokes about his relatives.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'' did something similar as the ''Series/TwentyFour'' example with the episode ''Series/TheWestWing'': "Isaac and Ishmael", by having a Ishmael" explored racism against Arabs and South Asians in the wake of 9/11, similar to ''Series/TwentyFour''. A staff member have has the same name as a terrorist. While the rest of the team answered questions from schoolkids about the history of terrorism, terrorist, and why it happens, Leo was with secret service agents and the accused, asking questions in a shockingly hostile manner. After Secret Service interrogate the heck out of him. When it turns out that the man is he's innocent, he gives Leo gets a sharp wake-up call from the accused, who reminds of the shooting in Rosslyn, and adds that it was because "one of [the staff] wasn't [white]".
big TheReasonYouSuckSpeech.
* Another parody occurred on ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway''.''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'' {{parodied|trope}} it. When Ryan portrays Drew as being lower on the evolutionary scale than apes (as a joke), Drew fires back by calling Ryan a "freak" -- over and over again. After a while, though, he apologizes to Ryan and is obviously feeling sincerely guilty. Noticing the extremely unusual (for Whose Line) ''Whose Line'') mood shift, Wayne chimes in with a sarcastically somber voice, saying "A very special ''Whose Line Is It Anyway?''".
* ''Series/WKRPInCincinnati'': The 1980 RippedFromTheHeadlines episode "In Concert" centers around the real-life events surrounding concert-goers being trampled to death at a rock concert headlined by Music/TheWho at Riverfront Stadium (set in the fictional [=WKRP=]'s town of Cincinnati). In the show's fictional universe, station employees gleefully promote the concert and talk about what a great time they plan to have at the show, but on the morning after the concert, the staff is wrought with guilt upon learning of the incident -- in which several of the victims were under the age of 18 -- and resolve to call for action to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again. Even Les, the otherwise-grossly otherwise grossly incompetent news director who doesn't know a news story from a wristwatch, is in his has a shining moment here, knowing that something needs to be done to prevent future similar tragedies. The episode ends with employees leaving to go to a candlelight vigil for those who were killed.
29th Jun '16 12:10:23 PM IAmNotAFunguy
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* One episode had a focus on renewable energy.

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* ** One episode had a focus on renewable energy.
29th Jun '16 12:09:52 PM IAmNotAFunguy
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Added DiffLines:

* One episode had a focus on renewable energy.
29th Jun '16 12:08:35 PM IAmNotAFunguy
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* ''Ask This Old House'' on PBS has had a few episode specifically dealing with one special topic.

to:

* ''Ask This Old House'' on PBS has had a few episode episodes specifically dealing with one special topic.


Added DiffLines:

* ''This Old House'' on PBS has had a few mid-season projects that fell into this category. The series spent a few episodes visiting New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina as well as the Jersey Shore post Sandy. One three-episode project focused on the ground-up construction of new homes for U.S war veterans. By far the most special full-length season remembered by fans was in 1999 when Master Carpenter Tom Silva and his family lost their home to a fire and the show helped them rebuild.
29th Jun '16 12:03:07 PM IAmNotAFunguy
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Ask This Old House'' on PBS has had a few episode specifically dealing with one special topic.
** One episode had a focus entirely on kitchens, because the show got the most mail about kitchen-related matters.
** One episode dealt with do-it-yourself projects you could do with children.
** An episode in the spring of 2009 dealt with the summer 2009 U.S. government mandated switch to digital broadcast television and focused on getting an entire neighborhood ready.
** One episode had a focus entirely on winter weather and another dealt with severe weather awareness.
** One episode dealt with home accessibility, namely outfitting a whole home for an elderly man bound to a wheelchair, and building new steps for a women with prosthetic legs.
26th Jun '16 9:50:47 AM twilicorn
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* ''Series/WKRPInCincinnati'': The 1980 RippedFromTheHeadlines episode "In Concert" centers around the real-life events surrounding concert-goers being trampled to death at a rock concert headlined by Music/TheWho at Riverfront Stadium (set in the fictional [=WKRP=]'s town of Cincinnati). In the show's fictional universe, station employees gleefully promote the concert and talk about what a great time they plan to have at the show, but on the morning after the concert, the staff is wrought with guilt upon learning of the incident -- in which several of the victims were under the age of 18 -- and resolve to call for action to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again. Even Les, the otherwise-grossly incompetent news director who doesn't know a news story from a wristwatch, is in his shining moment here, knowing that something needs to be done to prevent future similar tragedies. The episode ends with employees leaving to go to a candlelight vigil for those who were killed.

to:

* ''Series/WKRPInCincinnati'': The 1980 RippedFromTheHeadlines episode "In Concert" centers around the real-life events surrounding concert-goers being trampled to death at a rock concert headlined by Music/TheWho at Riverfront Stadium (set in the fictional [=WKRP=]'s town of Cincinnati). In the show's fictional universe, station employees gleefully promote the concert and talk about what a great time they plan to have at the show, but on the morning after the concert, the staff is wrought with guilt upon learning of the incident -- in which several of the victims were under the age of 18 -- and resolve to call for action to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again. Even Les, the otherwise-grossly incompetent news director who doesn't know a news story from a wristwatch, is in his shining moment here, knowing that something needs to be done to prevent future similar tragedies. The episode ends with employees leaving to go to a candlelight vigil for those who were killed.killed.
* ''Series/{{Zoom}}'' has two 9/11-related VSE's, entitled "America's Kids Respond" and "America's Kids Remember".
25th Jun '16 5:44:51 AM twilicorn
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* ''Series/{{Blackish}}'' had one about [[RippedFromTheHeadlines police brutality]].

to:

* ''Series/{{Blackish}}'' had one about [[RippedFromTheHeadlines police brutality]].brutality]] that was even advertised as such.
19th Jun '16 4:47:20 PM DesertDragon
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* During a [=AIDS/HIV=] awareness month on American television, ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' aired an episode in which T'pol, the catsuited Vulcan first officer, entered an unprotected mindmeld with a rogue hippie Vulcan (played as an {{Anvilicious}} sexual metaphor), a scene which veered into MindRape territory, and as a result, T'pol contracted a rare Vulcan neurological disease that... oh forget it, she got Vulcan Space [=AIDS=].

to:

* During a an [=AIDS/HIV=] awareness month on American television, ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' aired an episode in which T'pol, the catsuited Vulcan first officer, entered an unprotected mindmeld with a rogue hippie Vulcan (played as an {{Anvilicious}} sexual metaphor), a scene which veered into MindRape territory, and as a result, T'pol contracted a rare Vulcan neurological disease that... that...oh forget it, hell, she got Vulcan Space [=AIDS=].
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=VerySpecialEpisode.LiveActionTV