A play on words from the phrase, "Same time, next year", a lot of series are known for recycling certain kinds of plot devices, whether it's a Boxing Episode
, a Hawaii episode
, Musical Episode
, Amnesia Episode
, even Christmas episodes
; but some times, certain series develop their own little traditions on the set, that result in those series doing some kind of episode that's become relevant to their show (and perhaps their audience), at least once a season.
A few examples are as follows:
- During the latter half of Sanford and Son, once a season would feature a plot, or subplot, involving Fred and Lamont's unorthodox manner of filing their income taxes, and exasperating Marvin, their accountant, in the process.
- During the mid-2000s, Sesame Street would feature a story once a season, in which, Zoe's pet rock, Rocco, goes missing, because, as it turns out, a wandering chicken finds it, mistakes it for an egg, and tries to hatch it.
- Before Cerebus Syndrome plagued M*A*S*H in its last few seasons, from the beginning the producers made it a point to do a Darker and Edgier episode once a season; a couple of years after the series' debut, it also became something of a tradition to also have an episode, or two, each season, that eliminated the laugh track altogether as well.
- While not quite on a seasonal basis, Hogan'sHeroes seemed to like doing "evil twin" episodes on a frequent basis, in which, a doppelganger of a character is introduced into the story, the Heroes use this to advantage by kidnapping the doppelganger and having the original character masquerade as the doppelganger in their latest attempt to thwart the Nazi war effort.
- Arthur has become a big example of this: at least once a season, they have an episode dedicated to a new, usually one-shot, character, who is handicapped, or disabled, in some way or form.
- As well, once a season, a celebrity guest star is brought in, usually for no real reason, other than to teach a specific character An Aesop about whatever the episode's theme is.