Art: Why does every anime series under the sun have to have a fan-service episode? An episode in which the cast all wander around in swimwear or less for no real reason? It's so low-brow. Pip: Shall we confirm that by watching it again? Art: Absolutely.
Another has this type of episode, in which someone gets gratuitously mauled by a boat propeller.
Asu no Yoichi! actually has its beach episode mixed with storyline and one character's development. In the manga, this is when the villains of the arc show up (they weren't even hinted at before this) for the first time as well.
Axis Powers Hetalia: Germany, Italy, and Japan get shipwrecked on a tropical island and don't seem to mind too much. They actually enjoy themselves. In another strip, America and England are both stranded together, both being themselves.
Also, one of Seychelles's first apparitions has her seeing the others around as she wonders what the Hell are they doing at her islands.
Another one has America stranded in a beach with China instead.
Azumanga Daioh has several, though as a Slice of Life series, they aren't filler. One even provided the infamous scene of Osaka waking Yukari up with a knife. And Nyamo's drunken lecture. And Yukari's driving. Heck, a good chunk of the memorable things about Azumanga Daioh were from the beach episodes.
Bleach conveniently has a Beach Episode that pops up right in the middle of a major arc. The twist: although the reason for the beach party is expanded into the realms of anime filler, the fact one occurs at all is actually based on a series of omakes Kubo inserted into his manga, so the premise of it is actually Canon. It focuses on the Shinigami Women's Association (accompanied with the boys). Such highlights included skimpy bikinis (including Captain Unohana wearing one of the skimpiest swimsuits), Matsumoto teaching Orihime how to use her breasts as a bucket much to the horror of either Ichigo (manga) or Nanao (anime), a sandcastle-building competition, and a watermelon/tentacle monster hybrid. And Hitsugaya and the ice. Good lad to have around in hot weather.
Blue Drop. There is one in the anime, leading to an important turning point in the relationship between Mari and Hagino.
Blue Exorcist has one the anime and one in the manga. The former is pure filler. The latter, however, adds in Character Development for both Rin and Shiemi while dropping hints to Yukio falling apart. Both involve a Kraken.
Subverted in episode 6 of Bodacious Space Pirates. Marika and Mami are ready to go to the beach... only for Misa and Kane to pike up Marika to fill out a few trees' worth of paperwork.
In episode 20, the Yacht Club goes to the beach, but it's for plot purposes - they're training for an upcoming race. The bulk of the fanservice is provided by Kane in a speedo.
Bokurano begins with kids playing happily at the beach. It does not stay that pleasant though...
Burst Angel has a beach episode with very skimpy swimsuit. And a tentacled Squid Monster. Made even better once you find the dirty hidden commentary on that DVD.
Busou Renkin also involves such an episode. In the manga, it is stated that Nobuhiro Watsuki originally did not plan to do it, but insistent letters from fans and encouragement from his staff eventually won him over. The Bravo Kiss and Papillion wearing Borat's swimsuit? What's not to like?
Zig-Zagged in Cardfight!! Vanguard, with the characters having getup of varying levels of conservativeness.
Chobits anime series: one of the many deviations from the manga is a Beach Episode. Completely useless for the plot and hammered in without fear of splinters....
A Certain Magical Index has a Beach Episode right after the Radio Noise arc. It initially appears as a simple family reunion between an amnesiac Touma and his parents he doesn't remember. Unfortunately for Touma, the beach happens to be the beginning of the Angel Fall arc... specifically, everyone but a handful of people gets their physical appearances switched without realizing it. And then one of the arc's good guys turns out to be an angel Touma's father accidentally summoned and which is now hell-bent on killing the summoner in order to get back to Heaven. Hell-bent, as in, ready to unleash the fire and brimstone rain on his head.
Then comes A Certain Scientific Railgun which returns the favor somewhat. Mikoto and Kuroko are invited by swim club members to do a photoshoot. Several other prominent female cast also attend. Mikoto initially wants to don a frilly, girlish swimsuit but ultimately settles for a one-piece. Then comes the shocker when Kuroko tries wearing something that would make even adult women blush... only to get one-upped by Kongo appearing with a live snakenote as she says in Engrish, "Sexy and exotic!"; not that the other girls (except Uiharu) liked the idea coiled around her one-piece... only to get one-upped in turn by Konori showing up with a bikini she complains is too small for her. She's not kidding;even the snake is staring at her. The photoshoot happens in a Holodeck type room where one can change the scenery to match the needs of the scene. At first it works for the shoot (Beach, poolside, pleasure boat), but then the shoot has a glitch of sorts (Mountains with blowing snow, Hot Desert, a fishing boat in a storm, and the surface of the moon) which has to be fixed, so the girls are "transported" to a camp site to take a break and decide to make some curry.
The anime of "Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!" has the distinction that the Beach Episode is the first serious episode. They reveal why the main female character is like she is. When her dad died she started acting like this because she doesn't want to accept the reality that he's dead.
The Daughter of Twenty Faces has a Beach Episode that furthered both plot and character development, and the actual beach scenes were rather short and almost completely devoid of fanservice. Unless you're into conservative 1950's style swimsuits or something.
Digimon Frontier has the episode "Beasty Girl", where the protagonists take advantage of the fact that they've arrived on a tropical island resort to try and relax. Unfortunately for them, the mons running the place are part of Ranamon's fan club, eventually leading to a battle.
Excel♥Saga — Lampshaded. The show's creators introduced one episode by saying that they needed better ratings, and as a result there would be no men in the episode, and all the women would be wearing swimsuits.
The manga had two Beach Episode chapters as well. One was a Something Completely Different chapter that turned the manga into a high school drama, and the other was a regular chapter, where the Department of City Security were on break and the ACROSS girls were trying to win a Birdman competition.
Fairy Tail got one, complete with Erza wearing a bikini and a hot dress (they went to a casino after, double win anyone?) and Lucy getting tied up in a rope (bended backwards even).
A second in the Welcome To Fairy Hills OVA.
And then there's a third in the X791 arc, which includes copious amount of Lucy, Erza, Juvia and Levy fanservice as well.
And a fourth after the third day of the Grand Magic Games, the pool variant. Also, it's a flashback episode during the fourth day of the games.
Franken Fran subverts it : In Chapter 41, Fran and some of the cast go to a beach to try and investigate on a mysterious phenomenon that causes many people to drown, but Fran, in true Cloudcuckoolander fashion, still wants to have fun.
"But let's not worry too much about the whole DYING thing. We should think of this as a vacation and have a good time !"
Free! offers both an inversion and deconstruction in episode 5. Even though Gou is seen wearing a swimsuit one at one point (it's still relatively covered up) it's the guys who are dressed in swimsuits more and they are here for swim training. The deconstruction part comes when the weather turns bad and Rei decides to sneak in to practice at night and he nearly drowns as a result.
Twice, Kaname gets primed and ready for a beach vacation only to end up having Sôsuke drag her somewhere else (once to a submarine, once to a military festival) instead. When Kaname does go to the beach for a vacation in the middle of the series, the episodes focus almost entirely on Sôsuke's mission in the Middle East instead, with only a few brief cuts to Kaname showing her bored and worrying about him.
Gakuen Babysitters has a beach chapter, but it really has only one scene that can be considered as fanservice. The chapter's actual intended focus is Ryuuichi's insecurities about the trust between him and Kotarou, using the current and past visits to the beach as a device.
Genshiken has fun with this type of episode, as most of the cast were otaku and thus not the sort to go to the beach on a regular basis. ("What the hell am I doing in a place like this... Isn't it embarrassing to go to ComiFes with a tan?") Also notable was Cosplay Otaku Girl Ohno, who wears some fairly risque things, being shy enough to cover most of her outfit with a long shirt.
Gravion has a Beach Episode that gets interrupted by the Zeravire planning to assault a peace summit, resulting in the hero and the Gran Divas having to do battle in their swimsuits.
GUN×SWORD had a plot episode where they needed to kidnap a character living in the Kingdom of Mizugi Missoghi, a port which only women wearing swimwear could enter. In a solid effort it managed to provide fanservice and plot at the same time. With a nice dose of Fan Disservice in the closing moments.
Hajime No Ippo has one featuring not only humor, but also some degree of plot as the guys went there not just to relax and have a good view of girl booty, but to train. In fact, Ippo realizes one of his early flaws (lack of leg strength) there.
Later it's subverted, as the guys assume they will go to the beach to train and end up going... elsewhere.
Even Hamtaro had one, with the Ham-Hams exploring the beach for the first time and helping Laura during a storm.
Hana Yori Dango. The anime and manga continuities of have two beach plot arcs, one during a summer break and one on the Domyoji private island.
A Beach Episode with a twist, a parody of a Locked Room Mystery that has been set up, Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre-style, to keep Haruhi from getting bored. And since it was taken directly from the novels, it is not filler but canon.
And also the Phoenix Wright Parody.
Happiness! has a Beach Episode for its eighth episode, taking the opportunity to show off the female cast in their swim attire. Later parts of the episode do contain material that is slightly more plot-relevant.
High School Of The Dead: The cast finds an island where not a single zombie exists, and decides to take this oppertunity to have some fun in the sun... until they realise that no-one was on the island in the first place because of dangerous halloconogenic plants which cause all the adult women to get randy for the only good-looking guy in the group. It got also zombie bikini girls trying to eat (or even try to have sex with) a sleeping Takashi, while Takashi himself was dreaming of sex with his female companions!
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has a beach arc (one day), which was adapted into a one episode. In the anime, it's a pool arc. Also, the manga has a few swimsuit omakes, and there are quite a few beach/pool official arts.
Hitohira has a dramatic beach episode in which Nono and Risaki beat each other up until they collapse.
Ichigo Mashimaro has Nobue take the girls to the beach one summer break; slightly parodies the trope, as Miu comments that her friends should have "sexy" swimsuits like hers.
Kamisama Kiss has Nanami going on a trip with some school friends to the beach and dragging Tomoe along for the ride. He didn't want to go because he had previously pissed off a ocean demon and was wary of setting foot in the ocean again.
Kanojo Ga Flag Oraretara: In the twelfth chapter of the manga (episode 6 of the anime), a few members of the cast (Souta, Megumu, Nanami, Ruri, and Tsumugi) hang out at the beach
Kasei Yakyoku: The third OVA features this, which features Sara and Taka having sex in a small beach town.
Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho has several beach episodes, including the start of the first episode when Amuro's house arrives at the beach. Since the show focuses on a swim team, though, the cast is almost always in swimwear anyway.
Keroro Gunsou does about one of these a year. The anime tries to balance the fanservice in the first one by throwing in a comedy contest, whereas the original manga was a straight-up swimsuit contest. Involves at least one girl losing her top in front of many geeks, who are there for the Gundam models as much as the swimsuit models. Inverted in the manga with a women's skiing contest during a trip to the mountains, and in an episode of the anime featuring a man-only beefcake contest.
Kimagure Orange Road. The pilot is a Beach Episode. There is another one later heavily based on it. Both of these episodes were based on the same story in the manga, with the second one (set in a skiing resort) being the accurate one. Even more surprising was that during these two episodes, things between Kyōsuke and Madoka progressed somewhat, especially without Hikaru around as much to be a Clingy Jealous Girl.
Kimi ni Todoke has a beach chapter; the main characters all go to the beach in chapter 51. It doesn't really have any fanservice, though, considering that Chizu's the only character who turns up in her swimsuit and Ayane accuses her of being childish for wanting to swim.
Macross 7, never accused of being the most plot-heavy of series early on in its run, has one as well... only an emergency related to an attack by the Varuta caused Basara and Mylene to get trapped in between two emergency bulkheads and nearly freeze to death in a rather ironic subversion.
Madlax has this, sort of, in episode 9, unless you count a luxury resort as a beach. It is also one of the few times in the entire series that we get to see Elenore wearing something other than her uniform.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. The third Megami Sound Stage, which took place in a beach, parodied the tendency for this trope to be used as an excuse for Fanservice when Hayate cheerfully announced that she, Nanoha, Fate, and Vivio were doing the recording in swimsuits. When everyone else reacted in surprise at her comment, saying that they're all in uniform, Hayate explained that since this is an audio media, she's sure everyone listening was imagining them in swimsuits regardless of what they're wearing.
Mahou Sensei Negima! The manga has several chapters taking place at beaches. The original Marshmallow Hell incident occurred at one of them. Also notable that most Beach Chapters do have important or at least notable events occur during them.
Mai-HiME: Fanserviceand plot advancement in a Beach Episode? Yep. Episode 9 of Mai-HiME managed to get (most of) the girls in bathing suits, but also included a B-story that delved into Natsuki's past (and there was the whole Laser Hallway subversion, too).
Mars Daybreak manages to get one despite the fact that there aren't any beaches on Mars: The pirates found a spot on the planet where The Federation's satellite surveillance system was blind for one day out of the year, and so take advantage of the situation to open up a swimming pool on top of their sub.
Martian Successor Nadesico has both a bonafide Beach Episode early in the series, and a swimsuit contest onboard of the eponymous spaceship later in the series. And even so, things still occurred that were quite amusing, and didn't end up as something that 'never happened.' Especially with the Admiral's fate in the first of these two.
''Mazinkaiser': The OVA even has a classic Beach Episode with explicit Fanservice that may have given Kouji's perverted little brother a permanent... yeah. The Professor's shapely twin assistants need someone to oil them, for starters.
Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. Practically every episode has the beach in it, though as expected for the demographic a lot of Fanservice is male. There are more traditional Beach Episodes, though, such as the "Mermaid Contest" episode, where the girls try to show off talents and compete with the Dark Lovers in a beachside beauty contest. In the manga, Lucia even wins by inadvertently flashing the audience when her bikini top comes undone.
Naruto has yet to have a Beach Episode (or have anything set anywhere near a beach). However, at the end of the third movie, there is a beach scene. And yes, Sakura is the focus of the scene. Shippuden also has a Beach Ending Credits.
Ninin Ga Shinobuden. The 4th episode is parody of these. It doesn't even take place at a beach.
Nodame Cantabile. In the OVA, the main characters go to the beach, offering Nodame a chance to show herself off in a bikini.
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu has a Beach Episode as the prelude to the title character's birthday party. On a island that her father had bought for her especially for the occasion. Is canon, as a VERY important plot character is introduced during this episode: Haruka's grandfather, a man that even when retired, causes industrial giants to cower in fear.
While Noir doesn't have a beach episode per se, one early episode has them operating out of a beach house, and includes a scene where Mireille plans the next stage of their current job while lounging on the beach in a bikini.
The Onegai Twins OAV also qualified, given the greater prevalence of swimsuits and absence of plot or character development.
One Piece has one that doubles as a double Breather Episode, a two-part run at a resort after the Thriller Bark Arc, complete with requisite Fanservice for Nami and Robin, as well as stranger elements, like candy raining from the sky.
Ouran High School Host Club. There is a Beach Episode that features guys in bathing suits, but the one main female character is of course in a T-shirt and shorts, as she cannot reveal her gender. This was compensated for by having the club's customers prance about in swimwear. Hilarity Ensues? Well, not really. Instead, Kyouya acts like a creepy sexual offender, and Tamaki teaches Haruhi a vaguely sexist lesson.
There is another "beach" episode in which the club is on their own vacation.
Outlaw Star has the wonderful Hot Springs of Planet Tenrei in which the crew of the ship visit an entire planet that was turned into a resort. Rather unusually it was canon since Gene collects some rare caster shell bullets from some of the monks that made them in the past. The fact that this episode contained canon information caused a bit of a plothole when CN refused to air it, given that the rare shells Gene receives in this episode are important to the finale.
The first part of episode 9 of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. Panty and Stocking go to the beach and get into a beach volleyball match with the Demon Sisters. The opening narration even admits that they're condensing the set-up for the benefit of the male audience.
Pokémon has an episode named "Beauty and the Beach" that was — you guessed it — a Beach Episode with a swimsuit contest. It was originally cut from airing outside of Japan, but later aired as a lost episode with the most questionable part cut out: James entering the contest in a skimpy bikini with inflatable breasts.
There was another altered scene during the Beauty Contest; in the dub, Misty makes a point of saying that her participation was "degrading" while she was strutting down the catwalk, while in the original, Kasumi is happily waving to the audience and chirping about how she intends to win (Kasumi also self-describes as an idol when she first appears in the episode, while Misty asks why Ash and Brock weren't meeting her at an ice cream stand).
Each Saga has at least one or more Beach episode.
The Pretty Cure franchise has one Beach Episode per season, but, notably, it's not for fanservice. The girls never wear swimsuits and they don't swim at all.
There is rare case where Karen wears a swimsuit at a swimming pool (still in the Beach Episode), but you don't see much skin. She doesn't swim either.
The Prince of Tennis: Inverted when the main characters take a break to play in an unofficial beach volleyball tournament. Male ass is revealed, and the only woman in a swimsuit is pushing 50, resulting in severe nausea when she tries to be seductive. Also a parody, since this episode was an Alternate Continuity version of PoT where the cast played beach volleyball rather than tennis. When Inui realized the truth and tried to tell the others, the word "tennis" was censored out, as if some cosmic force were trying to stop him...
Prunus Girl has a beach trip in the second chapter. Kadoyama is eager to see what Aikawa picks out to wear, but it ends up just being shorts and a hoodie.
Psychic Academy had a short arc which tool place during a summer training session at the beach. It's actually plot relevant, as it reveals the existence of the Paradream and that the girl that Ai met on the beach all those years before was Mew, not Orina. It was the last story arc to be animated, despite it happening roughly a third of the way through the manga.
RahXephon: Subverted in episode 8 is set up as a Beach Episode, with everyone wearing swimsuits, but... it's Christmas, it begins to snow, and the rest of it is played more or less like a typical Christmas episode.
Ranma ½ has almost an entire movie as a Beach Episode, as well as a pair of regular ones. An interesting note is the transition from manga to anime actually removes one as the setting was changed from a beach to a ski resort (though it also adds another one as filler). The "Ranma Goes Hawaiian!" chapter in the manga functions also as a beach episode.
Rosario + Vampire gets one in the anime and one in the manga, which are completely unrelated. In the anime, the Witch's Hill arc began with a beach trip, whereas the manga focused a later arc around a beachside hostel. There was fanservice, yes, but both were Darker and Edgier than the typical example.
Saber Marionette J does not have a true Beach Episode in its TV run, but it does feature a contest with several of the female characters in swimsuits instead. Also, the manga version has an actual beach chapter, complete with two beach volleyball games.
Sailor Moon. The Ninetiesshojo anime has at least one Beach Episode per season. Notably, the one for Sailor Moon R was absent not only from the DiC dub, but also from the ADV Films uncut DVD release; the incident is often presented as "the creators didn't like it", however it's possible that DiC simply decided to not even bother with this episode and didn't acquire it (ADV apparently used the same masters). The episode is rather silly: it isn't a part of the season's main storyline, and involves Chibi-Usa and what appears to be a baby plesiosaur.
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has a fairly normal episode in which the cast are all at a water park for some reason and Nozomu is mistaken for a pervert due to a trick played on him by Majiru and Kafuka. There's also a rather bizarre episode in which it is revealed that the cast aren't actually at a beach — it's just a fake background —, they are actually just at school. However, it's not the school that they are usually at, it's one on the other side of the country. And everyone is there, including the hikikomori.
School Rumble: The beach episode had an awkward moment for Eri and a very naked Harima.
SHUFFLE!: The first half of episode 9 involves the whole cast enjoying themselves at the beach, including Asa getting her bikini top washed away by a large wave. The second half takes a slightly more serious turn to get in some character development between Rin and Sia, but it still ends on a silly note.
Star Driver has one. It does take place on a tropical island, so it's more surprising that there is only one. Not a filler one either, as it introduces two recurring villains, has Vanishing Age take over Glittering Crux and destroy the Electric Biers and sets up the fights/plot for (most) of the rest of the series.
Strike Witches: First season has a run-of-the mill type of Beach Episode; girls relaxing in bikinis have to scramble when the enemy attacks. As for the second season, there is this quote from Sankaku Complex:
The 9th episode of Strike Witches 2 is the obligatory beach swimwear service episode — however, fan enthusiasm was muted by the presence of rather more "quality" in the episode than Strike Witches fans have come to expect...
Tamako Market's episode 5 is one, which focuses less on fanservice than a love triangle formed between Tamako, Mochizou, and Midori.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann plays with this. When the crew arrive at the sea for the first time and the the girls demonstrate the connection between beaches and skimpy outfits, almost everyone turns expectantly to Yoko. After "voicing" her dissatisfaction, she appears in a beach outfit that is rather more conservative than her usual attire. Considering that she normally wears a string bikini and daisy dukes, if it got any skimpier she would just be naked. Even so, the episode is no filler as it features Yoko developing trust in Nia for the first time, as well as the death of a recurring villain.
Tokyo Mew Mew has a Beach Episode that focused mainly on Lettuce trying to help a little girl learn to swim and learning to swim herself.
Urusei Yatsura generally incorporates several Beach Episodes into every summer vacation arc. Interestingly, while most of the Aliens in the cast wear swimsuit-type outfits for daily wear, they usually change over to Earth-style swimsuits to hit the beach. Or the pool as it may turn out.
Uta Kata takes place in the Japanese town of Kamakura, known for its beautiful beaches, so the occurrence of a Beach Episode is almost inevitable. In fact, there are two of those and both of them are relevant to the plot.
Wedding Peach averts the filler part by having the Beach Episode in the first part of the OVA, and it's where their new enemy appears.
Welcome to the NHK has the main character join up with the girl he had a crush on in high school and a few of her internet friends to go off to a beach island...where it turns out that everyone there except him is part of a suicide pact that they plan to make good on there. Hilarity Ensues...until it doesn't.
Witchblade has one. Perhaps memorable for having possibly the most prominent use of Gainaxing in the series, as Masane runs towards the screen, whilst undressing to a white bikini.
xxxHOLiC has one. It exchanges fanservice and being filler for a downright creepy Stinger and a plot about Watanuki needing to trust Doumeki rather than being too headstrong.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX episode 47 has Manjyome challenging Asuka to a duel on the beach in an attempt to win her heart.
Zero no Tsukaima may be set in a medieval European fantasy world, but that does not stop it from having a Beach Episode. It helps that Headmaster Osmond is a Dirty Old Man who will make up whatever excuse he can to get the girls into swimsuits that have somehow appeared from our world.
The post-Zero Hour comic has a Beach Issue with Legionnaires #77, when most of the Legion takes a vacation on the resort planet Summer World. This was the outgoing creative team's swan song, giving the kids one last nice day of Silver Age-ity fun times before the incoming creative team would turn everything Darker and Edgier with a story called "Legion of the Damned." Sigh.
In the general spirit of the trope, we also have Legionnaires #7, in which the kids take a vacation in Atlantis, allowing for much swimsuit fun.
The second issue of the first ongoing Gen 13 comics series is a veritable beach/swimsuit extravaganza, made even more notable by the revelation of a major cast member as a homosexual.
Gold Digger, already a fanservice-laden comic, has a "Summer Annual" of pinup beach pictures and short comics drawn by a variety of artists.
A brief scene where the protagonists are going to swim, including a scene with Jadina stealing Shimy's top swimsuit (which doesn't reveal much, considering they have the bodies of 10-year-old kids). Subverted in that the scene only last a few pages at the beginning of the Anathos Cycle, a saga basically put a nightmarish Cerebus Syndrome on the series.
Hilariously parodied on a page of Book 13, with a postal card showing the Hellions posing in bathsuits on the beach with "Kiss from Hell" written.
All-New Ultimates had all the female members hit the beach in issue 4.
There is one of these in the Fanfiction More Than Human that actually advances the plot.
The Naruto/TMNT crossover fic Teenage Jinchuriki Shinobi has the new team seven (Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, Himeko, and Kin), Hinata, Kakashi, Kushina, the turtles and Splinter, and Casey Jones' family on one as break, and while the resort was legitimate, it turns out to be a trap set up by Kira and Sakyo.
In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Episode 13 takes place while the Lights and Bonnes are on vacation, and both Kalinka and Splash Woman act a bit sensually towards Mega Man. The girls are also in swimsuits.
The Season 1 crossover episode of Zany To The Max starts out like this. If it wasn't for Jot finding that sign in the beginning, it probably would have remained one (and it wouldn't have been a crossover episode.
The Season 2 episode "Sikko's Plan" involves Sikko inviting Coach Nurse and the Zarner siblings to the Warners' pool. Don't ask how the Warners can fit a pool in their water tower. They just can.
Part of the episode "Wakko Takes the Challenge" takes place on a beach.
Films — Live-Action
Consider the plethora of Beachy movies that came out in the '60s, nearly all, seemingly, starring Annette Funicello and/or Frankie Avalon. The list includes (but is not limited to) How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, Beach Blanket Bingo, Bikini Beach, Muscle Beach Party, and the eponymous, Beach Party. Not much fanservice by today's standards, perhaps, but at the time, they were consider passably risqué.
See also Gidget, its movie sequels, and the subsequent TV series.
Summer Lovers is a Beach MOVIE, specifically, the beaches of Greece.
Dates all the way back to 1985 and La Mer, one of the pioneering films shot by the Lumière brothers, which features five guys having fun jumping off a short pier into the water.
Can a non-visual book have a Beach Episode? Apparently so! In Larry Bond's First Team series, the main character, basically a Cowboy Cop of spies, once refuses to meet his overseer anywhere but on a beach. In a Middle Eastern country where women's swimsuits come in only two sizes: tiny, and microscopic. And she does it! In another scene, one of his female agents is wearing a tiny Wicked Weasel bikini.
Pizza has a Season 5 episode, Beach Pizza Parts 1 & 2. The day explodes into mayhem as pizza deliveries go wrong and Habib and Rocky accidentally start a riot with lifesavers. The media then interview Pauly and he is taken out of context and blamed as the instigator of the Cronulla Beach riot. So it is againts the Lebs vs. Aussies.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has its Jersey Shore episode where the gang goes to the beach for a relaxing vacation. Though it obviously does not go that well. Except maybe for Charlie.
The Brady Bunch Season 4 opener in Hawaii is both textbook and an extended beach episode. Particularly with the scenes involving Greg surfing (and having his surfing accident), Greg later going girl watching and later the episode-clinching luau. Not much plot, as Barry Williams later pointed out in his autobiography "Growing Up Brady," although it was a great way to get guest star Vincent Price involved.
An episode from later in Season 4, "Greg's Triangle," features Greg's babelicious (but conniving) girlfriend Jennifer Nichols (Tannis G. Montgomery) in a 1972-era bikini, in a scene set at the beach.
The third season-opener for Growing Pains, titled "Aloha," was set in Hawaii.
Noah's Arc: The last episode of the second season, during the Pride beach party. Though the first half of the episode plays the trope straight (purely fanservice and relatively relaxed), the last half cranks the drama Up to Eleven.
Step by Step: The Foster-Lambert family travels to Hawaii for the two-parter "Aloha."
Astonishingly, a textbook example can be seen in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Let He Who Is Without Sin...". Taking place on Pleasure Planet Risa, it's played straight as an arrow. The episode takes place square in the middle of a story arc involving the emergence of the Jem'Hadar from the Gamma Quadrant and the threat of imminent war. A full recap detailing point by point its awfulness can be found here. Even the writer admitted the idea was one of the worst ideas he ever had, and said that what was on his mind when writing it was "Please don't let this suck. Please don't let this suck."
You see a lot of the beach in Ninja Storm, what with it being New Zealand and everything.
Meanwhile, all the New Zealand-filmed seasons afterwards have had practically no beach episodes. Assumedly the producers wanted to use as much of the new location novelty as they could at the start, before it wore off. That, and they probably didn't want to wear out the excuse that Ninja Storm used - that one of the Rangers is a surfer in her off hours.
Alpha 5 once lampshaded their tendency to go to scuba diving all the time during monster attacks.
Due to location, as many as half of all CSI: Miami episodes qualify.
One episode not only had a beach volleyball match (women's, naturally), but they managed to get a camera angle where the brand of bathing suit was clearly visible. That Jerry Bruckheimer! Always thinking!
The episode "The One at the Beach" in Friends, and its counterpart "The One with the Jellyfish", respectively the last episode of season 3 and the first of season 4. Many cast members appeared in beach clothes. Joey was given sand boobs. And Chandler pissed on Monica's leg after she was stung by a jellyfish. BEST EPISODE EVER. Subverted a few seasons later with "The One in Barbados" because they arrive there during hurricane season.
Six episodes of Saved by the Bell's third season featured the main cast working in a beach resort over the summer.
Actor Jensen Ackles likes to joke that he's been trying to pitch the "Demon Surfer" episode of Supernatural so they can film in Hawaii and have a Beach Episode. Strangely, this tends to happen in a lot of Supernaturalfanfics.
The short-lived Falcon Beach was pretty much nothing but this. How did this show not survive? Oh, right, Screwed by the Network, which gave it a horrible time slot. And no, this wasn't FOX's fault. Actually, FOX would be a logical place for this show...
Scrubs has The Janitor's and Lady's Wedding set in the Bahamas.
The Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode "The Apple" featured our heroes at a beach. It's heavier in plot than most beach episodes, but the fangirls get to see Hercules and Iolaus almost naked. And Iolaus invents surfing! The series itself is already known for quite a bit of regular fanservice every episode as well.
The Office has an episode where they went to the beach. Or rather, the side of a lake. Subverted in that hopes of beachy fun and Pam in a two-piece were dashed as Michael used it as an excuse for a Survivor style event to pick his successor, and the episode features some of the best character development to date.
It can be argued that Baywatch was nothing but an endless series of beach episodes. That is largely the source of its high ratings.
Even The Thick of It had a beach episode: the party conference episode in series three, for which the action moved to a hotel in Eastbourne. Being The Thick Of It, this was just as unglamorous as all the other episodes. No swimsuits were seen: the closest we got was Terri in her cagoule on a windswept beach.
Burn Notice is set in Miami FL specifically for the purpose of setting up meets either on Miami Beach or a swimming pool or hot tub, with tons of extremely attractive women in teeny-weeny bikinis parading past the camera before we focus on whoever Michael is meeting at the moment. This qualifies because Michael could as easily meet at the park or a deserted alley, but no, it has to be somewhere where swimwear is required. Partially justified because (as Michael says in a voice-over) "The beach and pools are great places to meet if you don't want to have to search people for weapons or microphones". He has never figured a good way to hide a gun in a swimsuit and even hiding a listening device (somehow) tends to get skewed when meetings are held in hot tubs.
There was also another episode that initially seemed to be this but ended up being about being stuck in a traffic jam. Peg, Kelly and Bud even occasionally walked their way back and forth between their car and their house.
The show tried hard to avert the filler aspect: Sean leaves in a Beach Episode.
There's also another one where we're introduced to Paige's brother Dylan. And Spinner has to choose between Sean's friendship and Darcy's love in yet another.
All together it's not quite Once a Season but rather a lot happens at the beach considering the school year and beach season only overlap by a month or so at either end in the Great Lakes region...
Portions of the Farscape season 4 opener "Crichton Kicks" occur on a beach... in Crichton's head... with Aeryn in a bikini... pregnant.
In the commentary for the Stargate Atlantis episode "Sanctuary", Torri Higginson and Rachel Luttrell express a desire for a beach episode... before realizing that Rachel would almost certainly be put in Barely-There Swimwear while Torri would be way overdressed.
South of Nowhere's "Girl's Guide to Dating" had Spencer and Ashley ditching school for the beach, and end up missing a lock-down. Doubles as a Coming-Out Story.
The Monkees. As they live in a shabby house on the beach, scenes from many episodes take place on the beach. Most notable is episode "Monkees at the Movies".
Victorious has the cast go to a beach, but end up getting trapped in an RV.
The Batman episode "Surf's Up! Joker's Under!" features Batgirl wearing a sexy one-piece bathing suit... and Batman and the Joker wearing swim trunks over their regular suits for a surfing contest.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer 5th season opener starts out as a beach episode, but mere minutes in, Willow ignites a cookout fire with a spell that causes an elemental imbalance and a sudden storm. End of beach time. Of course, it's also possible that the storm was due to Dracula plonking his castle down outside of town.
H2O: Just Add Water is set in Australia's sunny Gold Coast, and consequently takes advantage of its beach setting in many episodes.
The opening parts of the Doctor Who story "Planet of Fire" are set on contemporary Lanzarote, and take advantage of it to put both Peri and Turlough into skimpy swimwear for gender-equal Fanservice.
Chuck quite gleefully embraced its use of Fanservice with several episodes a season which put characters in bathing suits (or less, with one episode set partially at a nudist retreat). Especially Sarah, though Ellie and Devon at times got in on the action. Hilariously, one episode in season 5 involved Casey trying to balk at an on-again/off-again lover/rival trying to get him into a banana hammock, with Sarah immediately Lampshading how many skimpy outfits she had been required to wear over the course of the series.
Subverted in Person of Interest season 2 when Reese searches for a serial killer on Owen Island. He points out that he's going to the beach, except its hurricane season.
WCW used to hold a yearly pay-per-view called Bash At The Beach, where all the matches would take place at a beach somewhere. The 1996 installment saw the formation of the New World Order.
The Space Gypsy Adventures story 'The Daytrip To Tower City' could be considered one of these, even though most of the action takes place on the Pleasure Beach/Central Pier hybrid theme park visited by the characters.
Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball and its sequel are the video game equivalent of this.
Bikini Karate Babes is an entire video game made of this trope! More specifically, a large group of motion captured women get stranded on an island and have to wait for a rescue boat to come. So how do they pass the time? By fighting in front of each other. The winner gets to rip off either the top or bottom half of her opponent's bikini. Yes, this is a real game, and no, it's not very good.
Late in Tales of Symphonia, there is a sidequest that allows you to get some beach-based alternate costumes for some of your characters. It takes a minimum of three plays to get all eight characters' costumes. In the same game, there is not one, but two Hot Springs scenes.
Valkyria Chronicles has a feature that lets you purchase extra chapters — some are just story, some have missions that can gain you extra cash and XP. The most expensive of all of these? "Squad 7's R&R", where they all head to the beach...
Averted with Wii Sports Resort. While the game's events take place at an island resort, most of the events take place on land or indoors. The only ocean events are powerboating and wakeboarding, and the only event occurring on a beach is tossing a frisbee to a dog.
Romancing Sa Ga 3 has Great Arc, a large tourist spot on the beach, where the heroes can get directions to Pirate Black's Treasure. The Old Man at the port holds the correct map; said old man is Pirate Black
Super Mario Sunshine is set on the tropical Isle Delfino. Two of the stages are calm, relaxing beaches (one of which even has a hotel).
The first level of Pokémon Snap is the Beach, where you can take pictures of unique Pokémon such as a "Surfing" Pikachu and a dancing Meowth.
On the 3rd planet, Aqua Star, the 3rd stage is an actual beach, which, oddly enough, is after a stage featuring a freshwater river, but appropriately enough, the stage after 3-3 takes place underwater.
The cutscene that plays after you get a Crystal Shard from Acro, the boss of Aqua Star, shows Kirby and his friends skipping stones on the ocean.
If you get a high enough total score in Elite Beat Agents, you can unlock a picture of the agents at the beach with some rather fanservicey material for both genders (J surfing with a dolphin, Spin playing volleyball with Missy, and Chieftain apparently checking out Foxx's body). The tenth stage is also on the beach, essentially, with lots of Gainaxing.
Xenosaga, being a game of cutscenes, has a beach "episode" around the half-way point of Der Wille zur Macht. Also sprach Zarathustra quickly gets a scene of Shion in a bikini on the beach.
Mega Man Star Force: The school trip to Alohaha is an example of a Beach Episode gone horribly wrong. How wrong? Criminal Wizards steal various character belongings, the Evil Duo corrupt the Wizard in charge of the environmental system, said corrupted Wizard starts an earthquake that threatens to sink the island and everyone on it, and it all ends with one villain killing three separate characters, one of which is human! She ends up okay though.
Duke Caribbean: Life's a Beach, an expansion for Duke Nukem 3D has Duke kill aliens and inflatable sea monsters with water guns and pineapple grenades for ruining his vacacion.
Ape Escape has a level about a third of the way through that's a beach episode for the monkeys. It's by far the easiest level in the game, as the monkeys are just lounging around, making sand-castles, playing in the water, etc rather than running around with rocket launchers and SMGs.
The 18thnote 19th, technically; beatmania IIDX substream is not part of the numbering scheme installment of beatmania IIDX, beatmania IIDX 18 Resort Anthem, is primarily themed around tropical resorts and beaches. Naturally, promotional art of it consists of the female DJ characters in bikinis. Many songs introduced in Resort Anthem are themed around summer vacation, such as "Golden Palms", "Everlasting Resort", the Extra Stage Latin-esque song "ANTHEM LANDING", and the One More Extra Stage song "Shakunetsunote Scorching Beach Side Bunny". Ironically, the game was released on September 15, 2010, right around the end of the summer season.
Fire Emblem Awakening has a DLC set on the beach, where the members of the first generation can have conversations, while clearing out bandits who have invaded.
There's a Beach episode in Super Robot Wars Z3: Jigoku-Hen, but all the girls lost their tops. They have to cover themselves and fight. The quotes before battle are hilarious. Asuka, Noriko and Fa slap Kamille for trying to peep. Shinji gets yelled at by Aoi and Youko. Viral doesn't care. Kittan, Andy, Ozma lose their shit. Basara doesn't care. Sousuke is busy being Bonta-Kun. Amuro makes a remark about how well "fitted" the team is. Lockon and Kurtz are having a blast. Lockon wonders how Tieria would wear a swimsuit. Tieria smacks the shit out of Lockon. Allelujah blushes in response to the naked Marie/Soma and says, "Ma..Marie!" Soma slaps Allelujah. Setsuna doesn't care. Kouji gets slapped by Sayaka for peeping. Ryouma doesn't care. Benkei gets excited. Hayato doesn't care. Amata is a clueless idiot. Chirico doesn't care. Zero has a smirk inside his mask. Suzaku doesn't know where to look. Kallen is annoyed. C.C is having fun being topless. Andy is sad because Mix isn't with them.
ickle and Lardee from My Milk Toof take a trip to the swimming pool.
Sluggy Freelance has done a couplearcs at the beach. However, those contain plot, and the closest to a gratuitous beach episode happens not for the main cast but for the mostly nameless employees of an antagonistic evil organisation. For some reason.
TRU Life Adventures gave a store refit as an excuse to send the staff to a nearby water park for a story arc.
Questionable Content parodied this in the random-filler-art strip the night before the artist's wedding.
Wapsi Square featured a brief arc on a sandbar somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle starting here.
Issue 8 of Sonichu has a beach episode. While part of the story does drive part of the main plot, it was mostly done for the (wholly inappropriate) Fanservice.
Bittersweet Candy Bowl had this during the vacation arc, though ironically the characters are wearing more clothing than usual due to the Barbie Doll Anatomy typically exhibited by the cast. This is played for laughs when one of the characters shows up naked (like normal) and other characters call him on swimming in the nude.
In Moon Crest 24, chapter 5 is one of these. Although, not being quite a filler "episode", it does have plenty of Fanservice, specially coming from the beach goers and surprisingly not so much from the main cast.
Roommates has some too (the third part of the First Vacation Arc, and arguably also the Second (a tubing trip) mixed with Road Movie). Being heavy on Fanservice this surprises nobody.
Karin-dou 4koma: Since Tamaryu's horn prevents her from going to the pool or beach, Seren creates a huge beach of their own inside a Pocket Dimension / closet, and several strips afterwards take place there.
lonelygirl15, "At the Beach". Subverted in an earlier episode, "The Perfect Beach", which has an innocuous sounding description and starts cheerfully enough, only to pull a shock twist ending so severe that some fans accused the show of Jumping the Shark.
The 2011 August calendar in the website Onion Club, which has Onion Mei in a swimsuit standing in what appears to be a beach.
W.I.T.C.H. has one in the second season episode "I is for Illusion" where the girls go to the beach to relax on summer vacation, though unlike other examples it's anything but filler as The Chessmaster Nerissa attempted to sow seeds of discontent amongst the girls, and very nearly managed to steal Will's Heart of Kandrakar. In the very next episode, "J is for Jewel," Irma is still at the beach with her family as they decided to stay a few extra days while the other girls leave, which leads to a big problem when she's needed to help fight and is separated from the rest of the girls.
One Season 3 episode is entitled "The Beach". If you hadn't already guessed, yes, it is indeed a Beach Episode, featuring Ozai's Angels (+ Zuko) in swimsuits. The preview images, particularly Ty Lee's, erupted into quite a scandal in the fandom. Unusual for a Beach Episode in that it climaxed in a very dramatic scene that not only revealed the Freudian Excuses for Mai, Ty Lee and Azula, but also an important part of Zuko's character development.
The Grand Finale also had a brief scene at a beach (likely the same beach). Sokka tries to get everyone to chill out, only to be derailed by Zuko's attitude... and fireballs.
Ben 10 does this in both series. In the first, they're children, and it's summer vacation, so there's nothing surprising about them going to the beach (and a water park). In Alien Force, they're teenagers, and it's apparently later in the year (as everyone's normal day clothes have long sleeves, a jacket, etc), but they still find a reason to go to a lake and splash around for five minutes. Suprisingly enough however, it only lasts a few seconds; no episode is entirely about them being at the beach.
Con of Rath subverts the trope by having the three protagonists about to go to the beach... then an alien ambassador comes to ask them for a mission. According to Gwen, this situation happens quite often when they try to go to the beach.
There's an episode about surfing, but the surfing was left for the near end, since they were looking for the perfect waves. Bonus points go for Austin and his "Mystery Lifeguard" song.
"Legend of the Volcano Sisters" was also a Beach Episode.
Several episodes involving Shego in Kim Possible, since she does enjoy sunbathing during her vacations. Come to think of it, she doesn't even need a beach....
Although several Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episodes involve beaches, the one true beach episode is "Shell Shocked" because Gadget is wearing a swimsuit. A one-piece swimsuit with attached skirt, but a swimsuit.
The Futurama episode "The Deep South" is primarily a beach episode, and the movie Benders Big Score features a prominent scene with everyone at a nude beach (also highlighted in the DVD packaging).
Even Hey Arnold! has one ("Summer Love", a.k.a. Beach Story). It helped to develop Arnold and Helga's UST and throw some fanservice by the character-of-the-week, appropriately named Summer.
Winx Club features the girls in their swimsuits by a lake. There's also a 3-D music video called "Mambochiwambo" that filled the role, more or less.
Phineas and Ferb has a few. In one episode they make a beach, and on another occasion they go to a genuine one to find a lost goldfish, and then in a later episode they return to search for Atlantis.
An episode of Rugrats when the gang goes to the beach where Tommy and Chuckie attempt to release a bowl of brine shrimp back into the sea.
When the heroes of Dinosaucers are prevented from battling their arch-enemies (the Tyrannos) because of a holiday both factions hold sacred on their homeworld, their human allies decide to take the opportunity to show the dinos how to have fun in the sun. Hilarity ensues when Dinosaucers and Tyrannos end up on the same beach.
The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan episode 3 featured the kids having a relaxing day at the beach, until it was interrupted by a crook framing their Pop for a string of robberies. Luckily, they got to resume their fun once the case was wrapped up.
Jimmy Two-Shoes has "Heat Blanket Jimmy", where Jimmy decides to throw a beach party to beat the heat. Naturally, when Lucius finds out, he tries to ruin it.
The Gravedale High episode "Do the Rad Thing" is to be considered as one. It's about Gill missing school and eventually dropping out to practice for a surfing contest with his human idol, Kahuna Bob. Also, the class spends the night at the beach trying to persuade Gill to come back to the school.
Ed, Edd n Eddy: Hot Buttered Eds. Eddy attempts to get his "spot" at the swimming hole back from Kevin, and Edd freaks out lack of sunscreen.
The Pink Panther: "Come on In, the Water's Pink", where the Pink Panther visits Bicep Beach and makes good use on a whole bag of self-inflatable items to upstage the strongest man on the beach.
In The Ant and the Aardvark cartoon "Dune Bug". While the Ant is trying to have a nice time at the beach, the Aardvark shows up and starts trouble. The Aardvark must try to catch the Ant, while trying to stay away from the lifeguard who thinks he is a dog.
Done in Trollz, with three of them making up the last story arc.
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius has "Beach Party Mummy" where the gang plays hooky due to a boring lesson on Egypt, deciding to go visit the real deal complete with having a beach party, finding an ancient tomb and giving Libby a permanent make-over, which resembles the Egyptian Queen Howzaboutislapya.
The Young Justice episode "Infiltrator" includes a Beach Opening Scene, complete with loving shots of Miss Martian in a two-piece swimsuit and Aqualad, Robin, and Superboy shirtless.
The Mr. Men Show has the episodes "Beach," "Seashore," and "Sand & Surf." Since the characters fit the trope Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal, the characters are always wearing their normal clothes in these episodes (though the shoe-wearing characters are usually seen without shoes).
Mon Suno does this in episode 16 by having the protagonists taking a break going to the beach; surprisingly enough, the fanservice is quite limited for this episode; we only get one scene of them in swimsuits, one of the male protagonists (Beyal) retains his clothes (granted, him being a monk, it's not that surprising), and the only girl of the team wears a rather sober swimsuit. In addition, the episode focus on the beach part only for a few minutes before going back to the plot.
Tom and Jerry had a few of these, most notably Salt Water Tabby and Muscle Beach Tom, as well as the opening of The Cat and the Mermouse.
The later series Tom and Jerry Tales had an episode where its Three Shorts were all beach-themed (the three shorts of any given episode usually stayed within a single theme).
The Classic Disney Shorts had "Hawaiian Holiday", featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy at the beach in Hawaii. It's mostly dominated by Goofy's failed attempt to surf.
The U.S. 2008 Presidential Election had one of these. In between serious debates on Energy Policy, Climate Change, Terrorism, and Healthcare Reform, someone leaked a picture of President Barack Obama in a swimsuit and a media storm ensued. All serious discussions were put on hold for the day while every major news network focused on then-Senator Obama's washboard abs. Only in America.
And then, a couple weeks later when Sarah Palin was announced as the Republican Vice Presidential nominee, the media spent another day focused on a clearly faked picture of her in a bikini holding a gun.