A staple in most classic sitcoms and animated television programs is the "ageless birthday episode." This is an episode that centers around a specific character's birthday but never mentions the character's new age. If this character's actual age is part of the show's status quo (see: Status Quo Is God
), then you can expect his/her age to remain the same even after the "birthday episode." The inevitable numerous guests (see: 24 Hour Party People
) and fancy decorations at his/her birthday party raise even more curiosity as to what this character's age is, as such a party would only seem to make sense during a monumental birthday like his/her 21st or 40th.
Live Action TV:
- Family Matters had several episodes devoted to Carl's birthday with no mention of his age.
- Friends had several ageless birthday episodes for Rachel.
- Averted, though, in the episode where Rachel has her 30th.
- Played completely straight with the Rugrats episode "Angelica's Birthday." To the extent that, in a later episode ("Pickles Vs. Pickles"), her parents say that she's still 3 years old.
- Averted, though, in the aptly titled "Tommy's First Birthday."
- Played similarly straight in the Nickelodeon Doug episode "Doug's Birthday Present." To the extent that the Disney series opened with an episode about him turning 12. Since he was 11 1/2 when he moved to Bluffington and lived there during the Nickelodeon birthday episode, the only logical conclusion one could draw is that he had two 12th birthdays!
- The South Park episode "Damien" does this with Cartman's birthday (although we can probably assume that he turned 9 in this episode, as the show subtly suggests that he's a little older than the other three SP boys).
- The Flintstones had several such episodes for Fred (such as "The Swimming Pool"). Averted in the episode where Pebbles has her first birthday.