* ''Series/TheXFiles'': "X-Cops" (which was shot as an episode of the show ''Series/{{COPS}}''), "Post-Modern Prometheus" (black and white), "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'" (told through [[TheRashomon conflicting flashbacks]]), "Bad Blood" (also told in conflicting flashbacks), "Triangle" (split-screen), and "Humbug" (first comedy episode).
* One of the biggest offenders being ''TheDrewCareyShow'' having April Fools Day episodes, live episodes, and the like.
* ''Series/{{Mash}}'' had several of these during its run: TheDocumentary, the "letters to home" episodes, the newsreel episodes, the RealTime episode, the NearDeathClairvoyance episode, the "Hawkeye monologue" episode, the episode done totally from the [[POVCam point of view of a wounded soldier]], and the "[[BadDreams dreams]]" episode, among others. (Some of these may well have been the initial examples of their kind, copied by later series.)
* ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'':
** An episode called "Top of the Heap," which [[PoorlyDisguisedPilot focused on the Verduccis]] (Al's friend, Charlie, and Charlie's dim-witted son), and aside from a brief appearance by Al (both in the beginning and [[spoiler:in the end when he takes back the TV he lost in a bet]], featured none of the regular characters.
** Another pilot-in-disguise episode was "Radio Free Trumaine." It featured a pair of radio jockeys at Bud's college, with only minor appearances from Bud and Kelly and major appearances from Steve (who is now Trumaine University's Dean of Students) and Marcy (who is leading a protest against the radio station).
** A PoorlyDisguisedPilot episode called "Enemies," which focused on Kelly, her new boyfriend, and her new boyfriend's sarcastic friends.
* Various episodes from both ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'' and its companion show ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess''.
* "Once More With Feeling", the musical episode of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''.
** Other examples from ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' include "Hush" where nobody speaks for most of the episode, "Restless", which takes place mostly in the characters' dreams, and "Superstar" where an extremely minor character usurps main character status, even [[SpecialEditionTitle taking over the opening credits]].
** There was also "Conversations With Dead People," which features five stories taking place in different places at the same time, each of which includes, well, a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin conversation with a dead person]]. The stories weren't even thematically linked until the next episode, when they all converged.
** And the group amnesia episode - ''Angel'' had one too.
** "The Body" was probably the best example. It begins immediately where the last episode ended, with Buffy finding [[spoiler: her mother]]'s pale, lifeless body on the couch, and except for the last five minutes features nothing supernatural, just the poignant shock of an entirely normal, unexpected death. The effect is heightened by the complete lack of background music, close-ups of seemingly random details, etc.
** Also, the episode "The Zeppo", which took place entirely from Xander's perspective; he had a wacky adventure while [[spoiler: the rest of the main cast prevented the apocalypse, entirely in the background]].
** "Smile Time", wherein the basic formula is the same, except the [[MonsterOfTheWeek main antagonists]] are puppets, and [[spoiler: Angel himself becomes a puppet for the duration of the episode.]]
* The ''Series/{{Millennium}}'' episode "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me" featured four demons sitting in a coffee shop discussing humanity's flaws; the main character of the series only appeared for brief periods. Many fans of the series consider the episode a favorite.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' had a few episodes following this.
** "My Musical" was, of course, a musical.
** The episode "My Life in Four Cameras" becomes a typical SitCom.
** The "His/Her Story" episodes, as they're narrated by different characters than normal.
** There was "My Day Off", where JD had to experience the hospital as a patient, not a doctor.
** "My Princess" in which the events of the episode are portrayed as a fairytale being told by Doctor Cox to his son.
* ''NewsRadio'' had two episodes which, while not actually changing the format of the show or the characterization of the leads, instead changed the setting (by way of a clever set redress). The characters act as if nothing is different. The 3rd season finale was set on a radio station in space, and the 4th season finale was set on the Titanic, and roughly followed the plot of the hit 1997 film. These episodes, naturally, do not follow series continuity, especially since both involve the deaths of nearly all of the main characters.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', episode "Gone". The episode literally begins with the arrest and preliminary hearing of two suspects, but soon [[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle a twist is thrown in]]. The audience is caught up to speed when the ADA asks the detectives to [[TellMeAgain tell her again]] all the details of the case. Pretty much the entire episode deals with the legal side of things.
* ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'':
** The episodes "[=Y2K=]" (which, in flashback, deals with the characters' experiences at the turn of the millenium) and "Our "Cops" Is On" (most of which is presented as an episode of ''Series/{{COPS}}'' featuring the characters).
** "Our [[spoiler:''Other'']] "Cops" Is On".
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has had a few of these, including the new series' "Doctor-lite" episodes, made because the actors playing the Doctor and his assistant don't have the time to film 45 minutes of footage for all 14. So we get an episode with the main characters reduced to a few, usually crucial, minutes of screen time that they could film in a day or less.
** In the original series, "Mission to the Unknown" did not feature any of the cast, who did not get a mention. The episode concerned some humans' [[DownerEnding doomed]] struggle against Daleks on an alien planet and acted as an episode-long prologue to "The Daleks' Master Plan", which aired a few weeks later.
** "The Feast of Steven", a strange ChristmasEpisode break from the "Daleks' Master Plan" storyline done partly in the style of a silent comedy and ending with the Doctor [[BreakingTheFourthWall wishing the viewers happy Christmas]].
** The Doctor-lite "Love & Monsters" told a story set in the {{Whoniverse}} [[LowerDeckEpisode from the perspective of an ordinary human]] (and UnreliableNarrator) who only knew rumours about the Doctor's existence.
** "Blink" has... well, best to experience it spoiler-free. ([[ParanoiaFuel If you can handle that.]])
** Series 4 gave us the Donna-lite episode "Midnight" and Donna-centric Doctor-lite episode "Turn Left", which were filmed at the same time with different crews and casts and both unusually dark stories. Donna only has about one minute of screentime in "Midnight" and the same is true for the Doctor in "Turn Left."
** The Series 3 episode "42", which had the normal cast, took place in RealTime.
** The "Deadly Assassin" 4th Doctor story was the first and only Doctor Who arc to not include a companion.
* The penultimate episode of ''Series/{{House}}'''s first season, "Three Stories", takes the form of a lecture that Gregory House gives to medical students. He narrates three case histories, absurdly embellished to the point where one patient is "played" by Carmen Electra. [[spoiler:As House's own memories intrude, it turns out that Carmen Electra is actually House himself, in a flashback to his infarction.]]
** And the second-season finale "No Reason" [[spoiler:contains about five minutes of "real world" time; the rest is [[AllJustADream House's various hallucinations after being shot in the teaser]].]]
** The fourth season episode "Ugly" was TheDocumentary.
** Season two had an episode called "The Mistake" where Stacy investigates what caused the death of a patient. The patient storyline is told mainly through (sometimes conflicting) flashbacks.
* The wonderfully irreverent ''LoisAndClark'' did this quite frequently. The episode "Don't Tug On Superman's Cape" is a collection of TV pastiches revolving around Supes and Lois' relationship troubles, with a [[LargeHam hamtacular]] Jonathan Frakes providing the B-story/frame story of the episode.
* ''HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'' did one of these practically every year, with some stand-outs being ''Night of the Dead Living'', ''Three Men and Adena'', ''Colors'' and ''The Subway''.
* The ''Series/LawAndOrder'' episode "Aftershock" was a famous episode that showed the main characters on their day off from work, having attended an execution of a criminal the night before, culminating in Claire Kincaid getting KilledOffForReal in a drunk driving accident.
** Also of note, was "Marathon", another episode which famously followed Briscoe and Logan spending a twenty-four hour period dealing with a variety of cases, with the prosecution team appearing only briefly. The episode was popular enough that the writers did a sequel several years later, with Briscoe and Green and is one of those "translated" into Series/LawAndOrderUK (an honor Dick Wolf reserved for his favorite and/or what he felt were his best episodes of the original).
* ''{{Series/ER}}'',much like Homicide, would do one every year, starting with ''Love's Labor Lost'' and including memorable episodes such as ''Hell and High Water'', ''The Long Way Around'' and ''Secrets and Lies'', a [[Film/TheBreakfastClub Breakfast Club]] type episode where the doctors sit around and just talk to each other.
* The ''EastEnders'' episode dated 31/01/2008 featured only one character, Dot Branning, recording a message for her husband. This was due to [[RealLifeWritesThePlot the actor playing the husband suffering a stroke]]. The episode made this editor [[TearJerker cry into a cushion]].
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'': The Chinese Restaurant, an episode in which Jerry, George and Elaine wait for a table at a Chinese restaurant.
** The [[BackToFront backwards episode]] "The Betrayal".
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' had the two-parter, "In a Mirror, Darkly", set entirely in the MirrorUniverse, complete with evil SpecialEditionTitle. And it is ''awesome.''
** And the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' franchise's official DarkerAndEdgier series, ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', took a break from the wars, rebellions, and deaths to do a RomanticComedy episode: "His Way," devoted to getting [[spoiler:Odo and Kira]] together. Better yet, it aired the week after "In the Pale Moonlight" - widely regarded as the darkest ''Trek'' episode ever produced - therefore serving as a BreatherEpisode as well.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' had "Family," which took place on Earth and featured the crew members seeking out their families while Picard dealt with the emotional trauma of his recent assimilation and clashed with his wine-making brother.
** That season also featured "Data's Day", a DayInTheLife episode centering on Data.
** Also, a LowerDeckEpisode, called--er, "[[TropeNamer Lower Decks]]".
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'s'' third season featured a Sam-and-Dean-lite episode, "Ghostfacers," which focused on two characters from the first season episode "Hell House". It was also shot like a real pilot, with handheld cameras and everything. Demonstrates one of the dangers of these episodes in that it did not look like an episode of ''Supernatural'' and, combined with the confusion due to the writers' strike and a lack of advertising, many people didn't realise they were watching the right programme. And switched off.
** In fact, ''Supernatural'' does so quite frequently (the episode "Monster Movie" comes to mind). It is one of the (many) reasons the show is a firm two-thirds in DeconstructorFleet territory.
* ''{{Coupling}}'' did this enough so that it practically became the norm. Episode quirks include the following: One told first from the point of view of Jeff talking to an Israeli woman who speaks no English, which then switched to an Israeli perspective where the Hebrew dialogue is in English, the English dialogue is in gibberish, and we find out what she's really saying; One that takes place entirely in a split-screen perspective after a break-up, where one-half of the screen is devoted to each member of the break-up; And the one that narrates the same nine and a half minutes from three different perspectives.
* Jimmy Olsen's DayInTheLimeLight episodes on ''{{Smallville}}'' have been taking on a style like this. "Noir" was a FilmNoir parody, and the most recent was done in the style of a spy thriller. Fans have noted they are some of the weakest episodes in the series.
* ''TheMonkees'': "The Monkees on Tour" (a cinema verite documentary about the actual band playing a live show); "The Monkees in Paris" (basically a longform music video of the guys romping around Paris and getting chased by gorgeous models); "Fairy Tale" (a FracturedFairyTale with cardboard cutout sets and props.)
* ''TheWestWing'' had the seventh season episode "The Debate", which was a real time presidential debate between Santos and Vinick shot in one take. It was pretty freaking amazing.
** Not just in one take, but done twice - once for live broadcast on the East Coast, and once for live broadcast on the West Coast.
** In addition, the fifth season episode "Access" was a mock documentary of Press Secretary C. J. Cregg. It was not great.
* ''MurderSheWrote'', especially in the later years, had multiple "Jessica-light" episodes focusing on recurring characters (e.g. reformed GentlemanThief Dennis Stanton; MI6 agent Michael Hagarty) or supposedly based on one of Jessica's books.
** One episode, "The Days Dwindle Down", was essentially a follow-up of an obscure film noir thriller "Strange Bargain", with members of the movie's original cast reprising their roles as Jessica investigates the 35-year-old murder.
* An episode of ''The Father Dowling Mysteries'', which was partly told by a "fictionalised" version of events set in the 1920s. (So when Father Dowling was visited by yuppified gangsters in sharp suits, his fictional counterpart was visited by stereotyped hoods in double-breasted pinstripes.)
** Another Father Dowling episode was a remake of ''TheDevilAndDanielWebster'', with Father Dowling defending [[TheWatson Sister Stevie]] when she's forced to make a DealWithTheDevil to save her brother.
** Yet another episode featured Dowling doubting his deductive powers when the police arrest the wrong man on his reasoning. This doubt causes him to congure up a consulting detective...none other than SherlockHolmes.
* ''[[ThirdRockFromTheSun 3rd Rock From The Sun]]'' with the two-part AlternateUniverse episode set in New York City. Then there's the episode "Dick and Harry Fall Down a Hole". The title says it all. They also did [[TheDocumentary a documentary episode]].
* ''{{Moonlighting}}'' featured an episode spoofing ''The Taming of the Shrew'' entitled "Atomic Shakespeare", written entirely in Iambic Pentameter.
** The Season 2 episode "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice" has David and Maddie imagine themselves in 1946 (in black and white, of course). If that isn't enough, it's introduced by OrsonWelles.
*** Welles introducing the episode was a network mandate, as [[ViewersAreMorons they were horrified that the audience would change channels if they saw the show in Black and White, let alone with with Willis and Sheppard playing different characters]]. The writers response was to have Welles do an introduction praising the show for pushing the envelope for doing an episode that was 80% black and white footage.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'': The series' penultimate episode, "Vegas" is set entirely in an AlternateUniverse, with Sheppard as a Las Vegas homicide detective. The [[InTheStyleOf writing and visual style of the episode]] is an homage to ''Series/{{CSI}}'', even including a NecroCam shot of a Wraith victim's heart desiccating. The only connection to the primary Franchise/StargateVerse comes at the end, when the resolution of the plot foreshadows events of the series finale.
** ''Series/StargateSG1'' did "200", their 200th anniversary episode, a humorous episode that's basically about SG-1 sitting around the table while trying to come up with a good movie idea.
* The DayInTheLimelight episode of ''[[Series/{{CSI}} CSI Las Vegas]]'', "Lab Rats". The whole episode takes place inside the laboratory, focusing on a group of lab technicians revisiting the miniature killer case, the main investigator team making only short appearances, and the whole atmosphere being a lot more humorous.
** "A Space Oddity". An episode involving a death at a sci-fi convention, where one of the techs kept daydreaming he was Captain Ki- er, [[CaptainErsatz the lead in a cheesy old sci-fi show]]. The episode contains homages to ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', as well as both the original and re-imagined ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}''.
** "You Kill Me". Hodges uses the other lab techs to play-test a game he designed based on the the [=CSI=] lab.
** An episode where three seemingly-unrelated cases are linked together through a non-linear story told in a series of progressively-earlier flashbacks.
** The episode "Rashomama", which is told mostly through [[TheRashomon conflicting flashbacks]].
* The sitcom ''MadAboutYou'' did an entire episode in one take, with Paul and Jamie sitting outside of the bedroom door waiting for Mabel to fall asleep.
** A first-season episode was entirely in flashback, showing how Paul and Jamie met.
* ''Series/TheSopranos'' had a few episodes that did this. The most notable examples were:
** "Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood" is a VillainEpisode shown from the [=POV=] of the FBI as they attempt to plant a bug in the Soprano home.
** "Employee of the Month" is mostly see from Dr. Melfi's point of view and has a subplot that sees her [[spoiler: raped]] and deal with whether or not she should have Tony deal with it.
** "The Test Dream" features an elaborate 20 minute dream sequence.
* On one April Fool's Day, Alex Trebek (host of ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'') and Pat Sajak (host of ''WheelOfFortune'') switched places.
** For a week in 1968, Ed [=McMahon=] hosted The MatchGame while that show's Gene Rayburn hosted Ed's ''Snap Judgment.''
* ''FamilyMatters'' did one episode as if it were a trashy Jenny Jones-like talk show.
* ''{{Psychoville}}'s'' fourth episode focused entirely on one of its five storylines, rather than jumping between them. It also consisted of just one scene, shot in two takes.
** In addition, the Halloween special takes the form of an Anthology Episode starring the characters in various horror stories, with a plot-advancing FramingDevice to boot.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' tends to have one flashback episode each volume.
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' has done this from time to time:
** "The Rescue Mission" (''[[Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy Lost Galaxy]]'') was an OutOfGenreExperience, being a much harder and darker style of sci-fi than the rest of the show.
** "Lost and Found in Translation" (''[[Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder Dino Thunder]]'') had the Rangers watching a Japanese TV show based on their exploits (actually a {{Hong Kong Dub}}bed episode of its source series ''Abaranger'')
** "And... Action!" (''[[Series/PowerRangersRPM RPM]]'') was a behind-the-scenes episode.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'': The season four finale is a DreamSequence in which Booth and Bones are married and running a bar, with most of the cast working for them.
** The season eight episode "The Ghost in the Machine" is shot entirely from the perspective of the skull of the person whose death Booth, Brennan and the Jeffersonian team were investigating.
* The ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' episode "Brown Betty" is mostly the story that Walter tells to Olivia's niece, in which Olivia is a PrivateDetective in a [[NoirEpisode pastiche]], dealing with variations on the shows characters. Who occasionaly sing.
* ''TheDickVanDykeShow'' presented its ChristmasEpisode, "The Alan Brady Show Presents", as an episode of the fictional ''[[ShowWithInAShow Alan Brady Show]]''.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'' usually has the team trying to hunt down a SerialKiller. Episodes that did something different include "Secrets and Lies" (the team searches for a mole in the CIA headquarters), "Honor Among Thieves" (the team investigates a kidnapping perpetrated by the Russian mafia), "Derailed" and "Minimal Loss" (the team become embroiled in a hostage situation), "Lessons Learned" (the team go to question a terrorist), "Masterpiece" (the killer turns himself in at the beginning), "Tabula Rasa" (the team help [[CourtroomEpisode prosecute a killer]]) and to a lesser extent "True Night" (like a regular episode, except [[VillainEpisode the killer is the main character]]).
* There have been a few of these in ''HomeAndAway'''s 2010 season. One such occurrence was an episode themed around dreams (Annie had some dreams of Romeo that involved nudity, Tony and Rachel had dreams about how they weren't prepared to care for Harry). Another occurrence was an arc where Miles gained an imaginary friend who turned out to be [[spoiler:an aged-up ghost of his daughter, complete with psychic ability]].
* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' itself has the Cycling Tour episode, which is unique in Pythonian terms since it actually has a continuous and more or less coherent plot.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'' would provide several examples of this if it weren't for the fact that, at this point, doing this pretty much ''is'' its general formula.
** For this reason, it could be argued that the show itself is SomethingCompletelyDifferent, because unlike pretty much every other show out there, it doesn't have any discernible formula except for its lack of any discernible formula.
* The ''Series/ThirtyRock'' episode "Queen of Jordan" was done entirely in the format of a Bravo reality show.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' had a few of these episodes. The first was "The Other 48 Days" which, instead of featuring one character with off-island flashbacks, focused on all the characters from the tail section of the plane, and told the story of their time on the island.
* Each season of the ''Series/MastersOfHorror'' anthology (usually set in modern day EverytownAmerica) had one episode set in the early 19th century and another filmed in Japan and directed by a Japanese director.
* The ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' episode "Revenging Angel" features repeated excursions into the psyche of the comatose John Crichton...in the form of pitch-perfect Looney Tunes parody animations. That's weird enough, but when the slapstick and cartoon logic start to cross over into live-action sections it all gets a bit brain-breaking. And horrific. ''They blew up D'Argo!''
* The ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' episode "Symphony of Illumination" used the FramingDevice of Robin talking to her kids in the future, rather than every single other episode's framework of Ted talking to his kids. [[spoiler: However, it turned out that all the narration and the kids were figments of Robin's imagination while she was reflecting on the events of the episode, and Future Ted actually ''was'' telling the whole story in the end, making the episode an imagine-spot-within-a-framing-device-within-a-story-within-a-framing-device.]]
* The overall concept of {{Celebrity Edition}}s on {{Game Show}}s can be seen as this.
* ''ThePrisoner'' had a couple of episodes that were way out of their Village context, only resolved at the end - "The Girl Who Was Death" shows Number Six as a secret agent out in the outside world in a loopy story that turns out to be [[spoiler: a bedtime story he's telling children in a Village nursery]]. "Living in Harmony" is a straight Western (casual viewers could easily assume they tuned in to the wrong show) until the ending where it was all [[spoiler: a mind control experiment]].
* ''SaturdayNightLive'' had a few:
** The Charlene Tilton episode from season six (with musical guest Todd Rundgren and {{Prince}} before he hit it big with ''1999'' and ''Purple Rain'') had a running storyline called "Who Shot C.R.?" (a take on ''Dallas'''s "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline) with Charles Rocket (a.k.a "C.R.") falling in love with host Charlene Tilton, and the other cast members vowing revenge. Rocket ends up getting shot during a sketch called "After Midnight" about two swingers who trade sexual innuendo while bathing a dog. At the end, he unintentionally shocks the audience when he says, "I'd like to know who the fuck did it?" and, thus, brought the maligned Jean Doumanian-era to an end.
** The season eleven episode hosted by George Wendt with Francis Ford Coppola also had a running storyline, only this time, it was about Francis Ford Coppola trying to make ''Saturday Night Live'' more cinematic and worth watching (as its ratings at the time were in the toilet). It failed miserably.
** The two episodes that started on a more dramatic tone after a tragedy (the ReeseWitherspoon episode that came on after the 9/11 attacks, featuring Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and New York City's fire, police, and medical departments; and the Martin Short Christmas episode from season 38 that came on a day after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that started with the New York City Kids' Choir singing ''Silent Night'').
** The season three episode on December 17, 1977 is the first (and only) episode hosted by someone who isn't a celebrity. An old woman named Miskel Spillman was chosen to host an episode as part of a contest ''SNL'' had where an average viewer wins the chance to host an episode.
** The first episodes of seasons seven and ten are the only ones that have no host. James Caan was originally supposed to host the season seven premiere, but had to back out after his sister was sent to the hospital for bone marrow cancer. For season ten, Ebersol chose not to have a host.
** Eddie Murphy hosted an episode in season eight when the slated host (Nick Nolte) was too ill [[note]] hungover [[/note]]. It remains the only episode hosted by a then-current cast member. In the cold open, Murphy controversially announced "Live from New York, it's the Eddie Murphy Show!"
* The central McGuffin of ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' is the Machine, a government surveillance supercomputer that can predict acts of terrorism. Most episodes focus on Reese and Finch, who take advantage of a side-effect of the Machine to [[WeHelpTheHelpless help ordinary people]] that are about to be involved in a violent crime, but the episode [[Recap/PersonOfInterestS02E16 "Relevance"]] unfolds from the perspective of Shaw, a government agent whose job is to follow up on the Machine's primary function of trying to stop terrorists, and winds up becoming one of the people Reese and Finch have to help. While Reese and Finch do appear, it's only for about five minutes.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'' had the 1-hour special "The One that Could Have Been." Aside from the pre-opening sequence, the entire episode takes place in an alternate timeline where each member of the gang's lives had turned out differently than in the actual show (although things more or less wind up close to how things are regularly by the end).
* In one episode of the chat show ''Clive Anderson Talks Back'', all the guests were different characters played by Creator/PeterCook.
* In general, ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack'' is a capricious blend of BlackComedy and ensemble drama that's primarily known for its diverse cast of memorable characters; though it has its fair share of drama, it's largely a LighterAndSofter take on the prison drama, as it takes place in a minimum security women's prison. Then there's "Thirsty Bird", the premier episode of Season 2. For just one episode, everyone in the cast except Piper drops OutOfFocus, and the setting shifts to a hellish maximum security prison in Chicago, where Piper is forced to fight to keep her sanity while living with a slew of genuinely evil or psychotic women. In a show known for its use of humor and its recurrent theme of feminine bonding, "Thirsty Bird" is so damn bleak that it may as well be a Creator/FranzKafka story. [[ItMakesSenseInContext It even has cockroaches!]]
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