A Cryptid is an animal which is not yet known to modern science, such as [[BigfootSasquatchAndYeti Bigfoot]], Mothman, or the [[StockNessMonster Loch Ness Monster]]. Sometimes, a show that is not usually focused on them will have an episode or two about them.

This type of episode can be used as a characterisation exercise, establishing some of the characters as [[AgentMulder believers]] and others as [[AgentScully skeptics]].

Possible plots for this kind of episode include:
* The characters spend the episode trying to find the cryptid. In a SliceOfLife series, they generally don't succeed, conclude that it must not exist, and go home. (Sometimes it will be revealed to the audience that the creature is RealAfterAll, but the ''characters'' discovering a cryptid could [[StatusQuoIsGod permanently change their lives forever, and that's BAD]]).
* The characters find a cryptid early in the episode, and spend the episode trying to look after it/hide it/help it find its way home.
* Characters are traveling on holiday and encounter one. (Abominable Snowman seems to be the most common one for this, what with mountain getaways and {{Christmas Episode}}s providing plenty of snowy settings).
* A show with a MonsterOfTheWeek format will have a cryptid as one of said monsters.
* A crime show may come across a murder or other crime allegedly committed by a cryptid. The characters usually find out that there's a reasonable explanation for it.

If done clumsily, this can easily result in a BizarroEpisode.

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!!Examples:
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[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* ''Franchise/LupinIII'': Fujiko's singing voice attracts the Loch Ness Monster, Lupin is tasked with collecting tears from a yeti, the entire gang goes after a mermaid's treasure... this sort of plot has happened a few times... In Anime.LupinIII, at least.
* ''CreamyMami'', of all things, had an episode based around a sea monster.
* In an episode of TheNineties ''Anime/SailorMoon'', they find a sea monster while on vacation. It doesn't have any connection to the magic of the show.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the short story "The Convenient Monster", Literature/TheSaint uncovers a murder that looks like the work of the Loch Ness Monster. At the end of the story, [[spoiler: the murderer is killed by the actual Loch Ness Monster]].
* ''{{Goosebumps}}'' uses either stock monsters (vampires, werewolves, mummies, etc.) or original ones, the sole exception being ''The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''{{Heartbeat}}'' had one episode with the cops searching for some legendary big cats that were killing sheep on the Yorkshire moors. Turned out to be incompetent sheep rustlers instead.
* ''ICarly'' has an episode centering around the hunt for Bigfoot.
* ''Series/MacGyver'' has an episode like this in the second or third season.
* The infamous ''TheSixMillionDollarMan'' episode where Steve Austin fights with Bigfoot.
** Spoofed on ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', where the [[CaptainErsatz show's version of Steve Austin]] is living with Bigfoot [[spoiler:as ''lovers'']].
* In one episode of ''TheDukesOfHazzard'', TheGreys are hiding in Hazzard County.
* The ''{{Bones}}'' episode focusing on the Chupacabra cryptid uses it as a way to explore the difference in worldviews between rational, scientific female lead and her more open-minded male partner.
* ''Series/TheInvisibleMan'' (the Sci-Fi/USA TV series) did a Big Foot episode. Big Foot turns out to be naturally invisible. And a female.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' had enough cryptid episodes to stuff the Berlin Zoo full with them. And often subverted (and double subverted) them. A rampaging lake monster turns out to be a killer alligator [[spoiler: while at the end the lake monster surfaces, unseen by anyone]] and a group of greys walking down a hill at an environmental spill turn out to be misidentification of men in HazMat suits.
* Interestingly enough, ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' completely averts it: in the course of six-and-a-third seasons, the main characters have encountered [[FantasyKitchenSink angels, zombies and everything in between]], but [[RunningGag any hunter worth his rock salt knows that Bigfoot is a hoax]].
** The Wendigo was still played straight though.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' had a "cock-a-mouse," part cockroach, part mouse, capable of flight.
** Also one cut to 2029 references this in a BackgroundGag, with an older, balding Marshall standing in front of a newspaper clipping reading "NYC Lawyer Captures Nessie".
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', the Doctor has met up with Yeti in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E2TheAbominableSnowmen The Abominable Snowmen]]" and the Loch Ness Monster in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS13E1TerrorOfTheZygons Terror of the Zygons]]".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Game ]]


* ''VideoGame/NelsonTethersPuzzleAgent'', in the second episode Nelson encounters [[spoiler:Bigfoot]] who helps in destroying the lunacy machine.
* Cryptid-related sidequests show up fairly often in ''Franchise/MetalGear'':
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2Substance'''s "Snake Tale E - External Gazer" is a story about Snake being sent by Otacon to photograph a weird sea monster that's been spotted in New York. Otacon is curious about what this means for the sciences, Mei Ling wants it in a zoo, and Snake doesn't believe it exists (and has to fight it, obviously). The sea monster is a giant version of the {{Mook}} soldiers you fight in the main game with a fin on its head, though this is never mentioned in the plot.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'', it is possible to capture the Japanese cryptid the tsuchinoko, which causes Zero to order you not to eat it and to bring it back home. If you successfully return it you get the rank 'tsuchinoko' and stealth camouflage to use. (If you eat it, it tastes delicious.) Only one exist in the game.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'' contains a chunk of ''Franchise/MonsterHunter''-pastiche missions where the player gets to fight and harvest meat from dinosaur-like monsters referred to in-universe as UMAs, including Gear Rex (a non-"metal" version of Metal Gear REX). It also contains ghost photography missions where you must detect and photograph ghost guards.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidGroundZeroes'' has a mode where you play as Raiden to fight aliens.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Puppet Shows ]]

* An episode of Gerry Anderson's ''Series/{{Stingray 1964}}'' has the submarine and crew shipped to Scotland to find the Loch Ness Monster.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Radio ]]

* One episode of ''TheNavyLark'' has the Troutbridge crew reassigned to find the Loch Ness Monster.
* The ''Radio/HamishAndDougal'' episode "The Monster in the Loch" has the characters accidentally burn the log that gullible tourists mistake for a monster, and then learn that it's RealAfterAll.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Par for the course in ''TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' So far the characters have met Dragons, Unicorns, Bigfeet, and the Loch Ness Monster.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''SuperpowerEmpireChina1912'' deals with AlternateHistory but one of the episodes involves chasing a bigfoot in the Mongolian steppe.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The [[StockNessMonster Lake Nose Monster]] and the {{Chupacabra}} from ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb''.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' featured [[BigfootSasquatchAndYeti Bigfoot]] while another used the {{Chupacabra}}.
* One episode of ''{{Chowder}}'' has Chowder searching for [[PunnyName Bigfood]].
* One episode of ''GarfieldAndFriends'' has Jon looking for Bigfeets.
* In ''WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries'', Godzilla fights the Loch Ness Monster.
* In one episode, AngelaAnaconda and her friends go looking for a yet- erm, [[InsistentTerminology sasquatch]].
* In one episode of ''GeneratorRex'', the creature he is fighting turns out not to be an EVO but is instead a (perfectly natural) chupacabra.
* The "Little Bigfoot" episode of ''WesternAnimation/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'' has Sam trying to rescue a young Bigfoot working as a busboy and return him to the wild. [[spoiler:It turns out he wasn't a Bigfoot, just the son of a sideshow freak.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In an attempt to become the world's most lovable billionaire, Mr. Burns goes to Loch Ness to capture Nessie.
** A sort-of example is the episode where Homer gets lost in the woods and is mistaken for Bigfoot.
* A MonsterOfTheWeek in ''AmericanDragonJakeLong'' was TheJerseyDevil.
* In the ''{{Futurama}}'' episode "Spanish Fry", Fry goes to look for Bigfoot, who appears at the end to act as a DeusExMachina.
* In ''TheAngryBeavers'', Dagget meets "Big Byoo-tocks".
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' featured a visit to Loch Ness during the Avalon World Tour. Of course within the series, the Gargoyles themselves are technically cryptids too.
* Cryptids are the entire point of ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretSaturdays''.
* The ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episodes "Jakavosaurs" and "Jewpacabra".
** And AlGore ''thinks'' it's the premise of "Manbearpig", but it really isn't.
-->"No one takes me cereal!"
* In one episode of ''[[{{Casper}} The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper]]'', Dr. Harvey and the Ghostly Trio went on a camping trip and Bigfoot scared them away. It turns out [[spoiler:Bigfoot was actually BabyHuey]].
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog'' involved Bigfoot. A subplot involves Eustace capturing said Bigfoot for a reward.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'' "Canada", Dan and Chris run afoul of a yeti [[spoiler:who is descended from Chris' great-grandfather, meaning him and Chris are related.]]
* Interestingly, the Franchise/ScoobyDoo franchise usually makes up its own monsters from scratch. When [[YouMeddlingKids Those Meddling Kids]] ''do'' encounter a famous cryptid such as Nessie or the Chupacabra, it tends to happen in a feature-length story rather than a routine episode.
* WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim had an episode, "Trout!" where Jim drags Peter on a road trip after seeing a (obviously faked) postcard of a 'Giant Fur-bearin' Trout'. At the same time, Queen Slug-For-A-Butt is on earth searching for said fish, as, for some bizarre reason, Professor Monkey-For-A-Head's newest weapon is powered by fish-hair. Jim almost gives up after going to the maker of said postcard who admitted it was a fake, but is drawn by a vision which actually does lead him to the Giant Fur-bearin' Trout, which he must protect from the queen.
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