Exactly What It Says on the Tin
So our characters wake up to a normal day. It's your typical average day, BUT WAIT
, WHAT'S THIS!?!?
It's somebody's birthday! The birthday episode is where an episode is dedicated to celebrating someone's birthday.
Typically seen in fiction as a device with various possible purposes, ranging from showing what characters were like in the past, having an opportunity to bring non-main-cast characters into the spotlight or even just representing a stage of growth in-series. For an example to count, the birthday, or the celebration of the birthday (they are not necessarily the same thing), has to at least be a significant part of the episode it appears in.
Supertrope to Forgotten Birthday
, Surprise Party
, Ironic Birthday
and The Hero's Birthday
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Anime and Manga
- Mayo Chiki!: Kureha, the resident token little sister, has a dedicated birthday episode to add more flavor to the protagonist's character. Not to mention, the episode was complete with a female cast birthday song with some Gratuitous English.
- Shinryaku! Ika Musume: In one episode, Squid Girl discovers the surface dwellers' custom of birthday parties, and declares today to be her birthday to take advantage of the goodies.
- Sailor Moon the titular character is thrown a surprise party by her friends and is targeted by the villains.
- Episode 21 of Vandread revolves around the resident Stoic Meia's birthday. The problem is, she is an avid Birthday Hater and the rest of the crew goes to ridiculous lengths to rope her into at least some kind of celebration—which doesn't go well. Suffice to say, she almost performs a Heroic Sacrifice before it is over.
- A birthday movie in fact. Run Away Locomon is set on Rika's birthday. She finds out about and bemoans Jeri throwing her a surprise party from Takato. The movie essentially boils down to the Tamers going to Rika's house for the party and dealing with said Locomon on the way. Rika's Disappeared Dad issues are used against her by the Parasimon to control her and attack Takato. She does make it to the party in the end, but she's pretty much the only one not enjoying herself.
- Early in their partnership in Tiger & Bunny, Kotetsu finds out Barnaby's birthday is coming up a plans a surprise party involving a fake mugging. It ends up being a disaster and gets hijacked by an actual criminal chase, but this leads to the first real "power of teamwork" moment for the pair.
- Episode 7 of Season 2's Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai has the main characters celebrating Kobato's birthday.
- Nurse Angel Ririka SOS begins on the main character's 10th birthday and ends on her 11th birthday.
- Averted in the first episode of DSBT Insani T, much to Bear's confusion.
- Phineas and Ferb had an episode where they celebrated Linda's birthday.
- Also in Phineas and Ferb, an episode is dedicated to Phineas' birthday in the form of a Clip Show. Doofenshmirtz also has a birthday in the series, though it wasn't the focus of the episode.
- Codename: Kids Next Door has plenty of episodes where it is one of The Delightful Children From Down The Lane's birthday and the KND try to take their cake.
- The Regular Show episode "Free Cake" revolves around Mordecai and Rigby setting up a birthday party for Skips, but only so they could have free chocolate cake. In trying to get Skips to the party, they interrupt a ritual that gives him eternal life, and have to sacrifice the cake to save him.
- The Simpsons
- "Radio Bart" starts with Bart's tenth birthday at a Suck E. Cheese's. He thinks that it sucks, but Homer helps him to see the merit of the radio and microphone that he got him...
- In one episode, Homer gives Marge a bowling ball for her birthday—despite the fact that she doesn't bowl. He even got it inscribed with his name, on the assumption that she'd give it to him to use. She takes up bowling just to spite him, claiming that Homer is the name of her ball.
- In the Michael Jackson episode, Lisa turns 8. Nobody pays attention. In the end, Michael & Bart write a song for her.
Lisa, it's your birthday
Happy birthday, Lisa!
- This was the first episode of the Rugrats series, not counting the pilot. It was Tommy's birthday.
- Angelica's birthday is also the plot of a later episode. She worries about growing older and tries to act like a baby.
- The spin-off All Grown Up! has an episode that revolves around Angelica's birthday again, now thirteen. The school Alpha Bitch deliberately schedules a party on the same day as Angelica's to teach her a lesson.
- The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "Reptiles in the Rose Garden" takes place on Kootie Pie's sixteenth birthday in which she desires the entire USA, unhappy with the gifts Bowser got for her.
- Adventure Time: Jake and the Candy People throw a party to help Finn celebrate his 13th birthday in the episode "Mystery Train". People start dying before they even get there.
- Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends has several such episodes. The birthdays celebrated in those episodes were Madame Foster, Mac and Bloo.
- Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines has two. One concerns Muttley's birthday, and in the other, Dick Dastardly thinks it's the general's birthday and discovers it's his own.
- Family Guy
- "Chitty Chitty Death Bang": Stewie turns 1. Peter screws up the planning for Stewie's birthday party, while Meg tries not to attend. Stewie murders a man he thinks is the doctor who delivered him.
- "Peter's Two Dads": Meg asks for a birthday party, and it takes input from Chris for Lois and Peter to make a connection. They don't realize that Meg is turning 17. Francis Griffin is injured by Peter while Peter is performing as a clown. Francis dies from his injuries.
- The Powerpuff Girls had "Birthday Bash," in which three of the girls' imprisoned foes try to send them booby-trapped gifts.
- Scooby-Doo has had at least two. In the New Scooby Doo Mysteries debut, it's Scooby's birthday and he's being feted with a "This Is Your Life"-style TV ceremony. The What's New? episode "A Terrifying Round with a Menacing Metallic Clown" briefly brings up Velma's birthday when she was much younger and why she's afraid of clowns.
- An episode of The Flintstones has Fred getting wise to a surprise birthday party for him.
- Recess had two: "Randall's Friends" (Randall's birthday) and "Bonky Fever" (Mikey's birthday).