However, because this is Revolutionary Girl Utena, even these episodes contain themes and ideas that help to explain the rest of the series. Not that you're likely to notice the first time in the middle of the giant WTF it induces.
This was such a successful episode, a Hallowe'en sequel was done for the Japanese New Year, set in a Monster Mash setting. Ichigo remembers his last dream experience episode all too well. Once again he's the Only Sane Man. Yet again, the mystery lies with the identity of the dreamer.
Many filler episodes will blow the feel of the canon story and setting to pieces. The animators are not above teasing the characters and settings during fillers but even the ones that attempt to be serious can be very much at odds with the official setting and feeling of the show.
The episode "Warehouse 13" from the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime. The men on Mustang's staff (note, men - Hawkeye was not involved; nor were Ed or Al) believe they have seen the haunted military warehouse 13 and are terrified to walk by the warehouses at night. Mustang is the only one who really stays in character, denouncing the warehouse as foolishness and going out at night with his men to prove to them that it doesn't exist. What really makes this a Bizarro Episode is the fact that four trained military professionals are suddenly freaking out about an urban legend.
That episode consisted of two shorts. The other one was Havoc discovering the girl he had a crush on was dating Mustang, so Havoc tried dating Armstrong's sister.
They were probably trying to lighten the mood, because the audience won't laugh again for the rest of the series.
The episode of Ouran High School Host Club wherein (young) Haruhi suddenly steps into a pastiche of Alice in Wonderland with characters from the show in all the major roles. Of course, this is really All Just a Dream, but surprisingly, the entire episode is not only entirely in continuity but it actually is important for developing several of the characters. Especially Haruhi's mom, who doesn't appear in person in any other episode. Because she's dead.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has its Blammer with episode four: The heroes don't seem to have anything better to do than trying to get some food, Kamina almost kills Simon "to make him more manly", there is a lot of lecturing on how to combine as brotherly as possible and the animation suddenly drops in quality. The only thing relevant to the plot is Kittan and his sisters being introduced, wearing psychedelic costumes while riding cows backwards. The consumption of Boota's tail is instrumental in defeating this episode's enemy mecha, which is piloted by a bunch of pink puffballs.
Supposedly episode 4 was made as a jab at other anime that decrease in overall quality after the first few episodes, but it was still effed up.
Pokémon has too many of these to count, but the first was the episode "The Ghost of Maiden's Peak". In this episode Ash and the crew get off a boat on a beach, Brock spots a mysterious girl and falls head-over-heels, but Ash and Misty miss her completely. Team Rocket gets off the same boat, and James suffers the same situation. They run into a strange old woman, who informs them of this condition, and the next day, both of them are kidnapped by the ghost. When they are found, they have become completely obsessed with the girl, and the old woman from the earlier scene explains that the girl is a spirit who wishes to steal their souls. The spirit turns out to be a Pokémon named Gastly, who defeats Ash's and Team Rocket's Pokémon by turning into their weaknesses (AKA: a mousetrap for Pikachu, a ball of yarn for Meowth, a water bottle for Charmander, and he combines an illusionary Venusaur and Blastoise to make a "Venutoise"). However, the sun rises and Gastly vanishes. Ash and co. and Team Rocket party for the night, and the episode is never mentioned again.
The one involving TIME TRAVEL! Brock, May, and Max lose Ash in the woods. Ash meets a cloaked woman in the middle of the woods who is singing a little song about Baltoy and treasure. She has an old book, but Ash doesn't pay it or her much attention at the time. Later, he meets a much younger girl who's searching for a treasure with (you guessed it) her Baltoy. She tells Ash she's searching for a treasure hidden somewhere in the woods, and opens a little book that talks about the treasure. It has a little song in it, which she starts singing. Ash interrupts and starts singing the rest, recognizing the song is the same one the woman was singing. The girl is surprised since the book only just came out. Ash explains about the woman and they eventually find her battling Team Rocket. They win and she takes them to a cave, where they fall down a hole in the floor, leading to a tunnel. As they reach the end of the tunnel, the woman takes off her cloak's hood, revealing herself to be an older version of the girl. She then explains that the giant stone tablet thing at the end of the cave is a time machine activated by a Baltoy. Then she goes back to the future. Then the girl leaves and Ash meets back up with his friends. AND ASH NEVER SAYS ANYTHING ABOUT THE TIME MACHINE!!!
May and Meowth had a Time Travel episode too. Only instead of a Stable Time Loop, they end up changing the course of history so that a guy doesn't die anymore and a town expands into a city. And instead of a time machine they get zapped by a magic locket. Because of love, or something. Anyway, neither May nor Meowth sees fit to tell anyone about the whole futzing about with time.
An episode involving a sadistic Togepi, a rocket, and Rayquaza. It's probably one of the funniest and second most surreal episode in recent history and needs to be seen to be believed.
By the way, the episode marks the first time Pikachu is referred to as male in the English dub. This doesn't stop him from getting shipped with Piplup, especially considering what happened seven episodes later...
Even the "Who's That Pokémon?" eyecatches had a few strange moments. In one episodenote "Beauty and the Beach", the WTP of the day was a one-off human character with a Verbal Tic, and in anothernote "The Bug Stops Here" it was Jessie in a Venomoth costume (the same one she stole earlier in the episode). Note that these oddities were only present in the Japanese version, with the dubbed versions instead showing Pidgeotto and Cubone respectively.
Yu-Gi-Oh! managed to get a BLAM season. Between the quarter-finals and the semi-finals of the Battle City tournament, they arrive on a submersible military base and have to fight the digitised minds of all previous high ranking officials of KaibaCorp in a mindscrewed reality, at the behest of Seto Kaiba's anime-exclusiveVirtual Ghost half-brother, Noah. The season also introduced the Deck Master to the games, a process that makes no sense whatsoever (but what else is new). And to secure it as a total BLAM, the digital mind of Kaiba's father tries to turn into a giant being of fire and eat their jet as it's leaving. Lampshaded when Kaiba says he never wants any of them to mention it again. Oh, and Tristan gets turned into a monkey. Lay off the crazy juice, Japanimators.
Then there's the "Abandoned Dorm" sub-arc in GX. While "investigated" several times in Seasons 1 and 4, answers about what it actually was were few and far between, and usually resulted in bizarre Shadow Duels that get hardly a mention afterward.
And finally, there's the "Crashtown" arc of 5D's. In the middle of a season-long arc of finding the Three Emperors of Ylliaster, let's intercut a Noah-like arc in the Wild West involving a former villain from Season 2, and put Yusei in a poncho. Needless to say, until the real season started getting hit with Wham after Wham, this was the point in which fans were starting to wonder whether the cast had used their Duel Runners to Jump the Shark.
Almost all of episode 7 of Soukou No Strain, "Lavinia's Lovely Plot", is markedly different (and far more Fanservicey) from the dark tone of the series. Very little of what happens here is mentioned again, made especially jarring by the fact that Strain is only a thirteen-episode anime.
The zombie episode of Samurai Champloo, which has overtly supernatural elements that would be out of place in the rest of the series, and ends with the main characters either dead or undead. A very brief and light Lampshade Hanging later, and next episode, it's like none of this ever happened.
Lampshaded by Ed in the "Next Episode" preview on the English dub, which leads to a humorous exchange.
Edward: And so, they all passed away, every one. It was a short series, but thanks for your support. That was the last episode. May they all rest in peace. Amen. [pause] And for the next series, we bring you Cowgirl Ed, Ed is the main character! [giggles]
Excel♥Saga, the anime where the fourth wall is nonexistent, nothing is too crazy, and every episode is a wild parody of something different, pulls the ultimate Bizarro Episode by doing exactly what no one would expect: making one episode that's dead serious. Though said episode still cracks a number of gags, so the success of this attempt is debatable.
Episode 101 of Naruto. Apparently they were trying to figure out what Kakashi looked like without his mask... Oh dear GOD, that will never make sense.
The "prison escape" arc during the Part 1 filler also qualifies. Two of the main villains are giant men shaped like giant Russian dolls (tiny at the top and wide at the bottom) and equally bottomless; their battle cry is "Food! Food! Food!", and Naruto plays hide-and-seek with them (?). Meanwhile, it turns out that the Big Bad of the day is none other than Mizuki, who is now fully Ax-Crazy and has an old grudge against Iruka. For some reason he has grown giant muscles over the previous year, so the previous Bishōnen now looks like one of those scary bodybuilders with a serious case of Testosterone Poisoning. And Orochimaru supplied him with a potion that turns him into a sort of tiger-thing. Pass the mind bleach, please.
Many of the one-episode fillers qualify. The first of these was the Hot Springs Episode 97, which is so different from Naruto in animation, story and style, it makes you wonder if you're watching the right show
Animefiller, in general, tends be this, with Dragon Ball Z being hit particularly hard. Many filler episodes are radically different in tone from the rest of the series, with continuity errors that make you wonder if the writer had even seen the show before. You could practically base a Drinking Game off of the filler episodes where one of the characters forgets that he can fly.
The episode of DBZ in which Goku and Piccolo learn how to drive, in particular.
Debatable since that episode is referenced later in the series.
Heck, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo is a Big Lipped Alligator Series, with special mention going to the episode in which Dengaku Man is launched up Bo-Bobo's rear end to form a Magical Girl, who then subdues her enemy by singing. It was so nice they did it twice, though with a picture book instead of singing.
Not only that, there are meta-BLAMs, when there are scenes that can be considered BLAMs even within the context of the Bizarro episodes. For instance, during a pointless scene where Bo-bobo is riding a kiddy train ride at an amusement park, a giant baby bursts out of a tunnel, smacks some monkeys, and crawls away without ever being mentioned again.
The original Tenchi Muyo! TV series made some waves at the time of its original broadcast by taking a couple of weeks off from the storyline to air a series of "alternate-universe" vignettes starring the main characters in very different settings (one of which actually spun off into its own franchise). Definitely the first time this trope had ever been used in anime, and possibly a first for Japanese television as a whole!
Sailor Moon had an episode during Sailor Moon R that featured the main characters having an island vacation in which Chibiusa befriends a dinosaur and the main characters use their superpowers to save said dinosaurs from a volcano. Yea, that's right. The main characters fight a volcano to save a pair of dinosaurs. The show normally didn't venture into such fantastical territory being acceptable, and the existence of living dinosaurs never comes up in the show again. It's generally considered one of the most pointless episodes of the entire show since absolutely nothing happens to progress the plot or flesh out the main characters. It was never dubbed into English and left off the English subbed DVD releases entirely, as it was never dubbed and ADV claimed Toei didn't give them the episode due to the creator not liking it. Most people only complained that it made their DVD collections incomplete, as opposed to genuinely missing the episode.
The final episode of Ookamikakushi was probably meant as a Slice of LifeDistant Finale... featuring, among other things, Nemuru and Mana fangirling over a weird frog/rabbit character and Hiroshi crossdressing and getting hit on by gangsters.
The filler episodes in Fairy Tail. The first is a series of short bonus stories from the manga (which are all a Big Lipped Alligator Moment in their own rights) with the added story of a town of mages that accidentally cursed themselves to turn into monsters that the main characters all try to eat. The second is a "Freaky Friday" Flip that ends unresolved, which is actually made weirder by being mentioned in a later episode.
Neon Genesis Evangelion did this very noticeably in "Both of You, Dance Like You Want to Win!" which is an entire Hard Work Montage episode featuring Shinji and Asuka's attempt to work together as a team to defeat an Angel, with hilarious but, ultimately, successful results. The whole episode parodies itself very heavily and breaks so sharply with the overall feel of the rest of the series that it deserves special mention, mostly because most of the show exists in soul draining depression state, and this one episode practically turns the show into a lighthearted comedy!
"The Hot Spring Planet, Tenrei," an episode of Outlaw Star. The rest of the series is a lighthearted Space Opera action show, but this episode briefly turns it into a Fanservice-laden slapstick comedy. While different in tone to the rest of the series, this episode is noteworthy for actually explaining the backstory of the caster shells, so it's not entirely pointless.
Episode 22 of the Black Butleranime adaptation was pretty random, though since it was near the final episode it did have something to do with the plot. In fact, since the animeOvertook the Manga, it had a lot of stuff which didn't make sense. Anyway, in this episode, Ciel and Sebastian go to Paris for the World's Fair. Ciel reads about how there's a stuffed Angel somewhere there, so they go look at it due to the fact that they had previously encountered an Angel named Angela only to find it's just a taxidermy monkey with wings attached. Suddenly, the monkey COMES TO LIFE! And it ATTACKS SEBASTIAN! And DESTROYS THE LIGHTING! So Ciel runs off to escape the evil winged monkey of doom, and goes to an elevator that leads to the Eiffel Tower. And who should he meet but...THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND! And her butler, Ash! When they go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the Queen lifts her veil to reveal that she's all young again. And it turns out that Ash is an Angel too, and had sewn the Queen and her late husband Albert together...which...somehow made her all youthful or something. And of course, it turns out Queen Vicky was secretly behind Ash's evil plans and the murder of Ciel's parents. So, Ash is about to attack Ciel or something, but just then, Sebby turns up (obviously finished his epic battle with the evil winged monkey of doom) and fights him off with cutlery. The Queen and Ash escape and our two "heroes" return to their hotel. And the next morning, his faithful butler hath vanished! So, Ciel attempts to find his own way back to London, which he isn't very successful with. And he strokes a cat at one point. Isn't he allergic to them? Anyway, he finally stows away on a ship, where he meets the Undertaker, who feeds him bone-shaped biscuits. They return to London to find... London is burning! The next episode makes it all sillier when you discover Angela and Ash are one and the same.
Episode 19 has Pino, in a dream, visiting a theme park called Smile Land, owned and run by a man called Will B. Goode, who also happens to be a proxy. The episode consists of Pino exploring the park along with a couple of its (presumably also AutoReiv) characters, and ultimately being convinced by Mr. Goode to avoid visiting the park when she, Re-l, and Vincent pass by it for real, since Goode doesn't want to fight but knows that Ergo Proxy will try to kill him. When Pino wakes up, she succeeds in steering Re-l and Vincent away from the park, which was never seen or heard from again.
Episode 15 doesn't quite qualify; Vincent winds up as the contestant on a "Nightmare Quiz Show," presumably through the devices of a Proxy, and the entire episode depicts an episode of said quiz show. While this is a vastly different style and tone from the rest of the series (with the possible exception of the aforementioned episode 19), the episode delivers a lot of important,if cryptic, exposition about the backstory and the creation of the Proxies; moreover, the episode is repeatedly referred to, or even flashed-back to, in several later episodes.
The entire Fusion Reborn movie was this. It starts with one of King Enma's workers getting mutated into a giant reality warping baby, that talks like a Pokémon, traps Enma's palace in a barrier, which causes the dead to return to Earth, transforms the clouds into marbles and the blood pond into a giant jelly bean. Goku attempts to fight him while Paikuhan tries to free Enma, by INSULTING the barrier. Then Vegeta shows up, and he and Goku defeat this powerful demon that fights with Atari-esque special effects. All the while, Goten and Trunks have a cartoonish slapstick fight with Adolf Hitler and his army of tanks. Oh, and let's not forget Goku and Vegeta fusing. Ho Yay doesn't even describe it. Yeah, the writers were smoking something while making it.
The second episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig focuses on a one-off character, a pilot named Gino, who plans on assassinating one of his most recent clients. The whole episode is something of a Mind Screw, since it tends to flash in and out of Gino's fantasies about doing so. The only recurring characters who appear are Major and Batou, who only appear in rather minor roles that are, to add to the weirdness, totally different from who they are. At the end, it's revealed to be something of a sting to determine whether or not Gino would actually go through with the assassination. They just say he would never do it, the episode ends, and the whole thing is never mentioned again. The entire thing is a Whole Plot Reference to Taxi Driver.
It's also tenuously linked to the Individual Eleven plot, as they're also investigating to see if he's a member.
Inazuma Eleven episode 100. Hiroto and Kogure get lost in the woods, and are challenged to a match by a pair of Kappas, no character development happens, no new techniques are learned, and it's only mentioned in a blink and you miss it scene during a flashback.
Uta Koi's episode 6 "Uta Hen+". Despite the fact this anime starts off with some weird intros at times, this one is weirder than most and then spirals out of control on the weird scale. Best part? One of the characters points out the weirdness... and then proceeds to make it get even more hilariously and disturbingly weird. The next episode proceeds as normal.
The chibi episodes also count. There will be random filler episodes every so often where the entire main cast becomes Super-Deformed and play out episodes that are weird even in the context of a weird show. Fuji and Oishi usually become women in these episodes.
D.Gray-Man has the Komuvitan D. arc, where the entire Black Order staff is turned into zombies by one of Komui's many defective inventions during the Science section's cleaning. It notably features Lenalee turning into a cat (sort of), Lavi and Kanda turned into kids, Bookman with rabbit ears, Timcampy getting hair, and a new Komulin robots who is a tad bit too sensitive and gets seduced by Allen. The conclusion is surprisingly moving though: the culprit was a ghost of one of the girls who died in the Black Order's forbidden experiments. And Komui remembers every one of these victims' names. It's sort of a Breather Episode, as it comes just after an arc where the Black Order was nearly wiped out by an Akuma invasion.
Episode 39 of Jewelpet Sunshine ditches almost the entire cast and its high school setting in favor of a road film plot set in an Arizona-esque landscape and starring two of the more childish characters in the series. And it ends with a failed alien abduction. Go figure. This is never heard from again, not even when Kanon goes Walking the Earth to find a clue to defeat the Dark Queen.
The G8 filler arc in One Piece, where the crew suddenly finds themselves landing right in the middle of an inescapable Marine base. There are almost no fights whatsoever, with the crew instead fleeing the Going Merry and infiltrating the base to try and find a way out, while matching wits with the base's Chessmaster Vice Admiral. Surprisingly, it's actually considered one of, if not the best, filler arc in the series (enough for Vice Admiral Jonathan to make a cameo at Marineford later on).
Mr. Mxyzptlk was basically an Excuse Plot device to put Superman in bizarre situations, especially since Mxy's returning was a Reset Button putting everything back the way it was.
Knights of the Dinner Table: The strip "Heroes on the Town" shows us a world where Bob, Dave, and Brian fully roleplay their characters, treat NPCs with respect, and are generous to a fault. In short, they live up to a lawful good alignment instead of just paying it their usual lip-service. Sara's behavior remains unchanged from canon universe. It can be quite bizarre to any reader used to their normal behaviors. At the end it's shown to be a wish-fulfillment dream of the DM's.
Dr. Droid was supposed to make a return appearance in a later miniseries, as the threat Knuckles was prophesied to defeat. Thanks to Executive Meddling, though, that plot was dropped and the miniseries got turned into the infamous "Mobius: 25 Years Later" arc.
Like the above example, almost every intercompany crossover is a Bizarro Episode. They remain popular because of the potential for a Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, and if nothing else there's always the hope that fans of one character will read the crossover and decide they like the other character as well and start reading that - basically, companies trying to cross-pollinate their fandom. However, for legal reasons these crossovers very rarely have any impact on ongoing continuity (although it happens occasionally), and works set in different universes tend to have different assumptions and physical laws, in particular about Power Levels. Most intercompany superherocrossovers have involved characters casually running into each other even though if they existed in the same universe they really should have had plenty of encounters before now or something, and afterwards are never mentioned again in-story unless there's another crossover.
Issue 34 of the first incarnation of Marvel Comics' What If? consisted of nothing but humorous takes on the Marvel Universe and its characters (a good number of them one-panel stories, even), culminating with "What Will Happen When Stan Lee Reads This Issue?" He fires the entire staff. 'Nuff said.
Issue 34 of the revived series did it again, although without the epilogue.
A better example is Uncanny X-Men #153, the classic "Kitty's Fairy Tale", in which Kitty regaled young Illyana Rasputin with a made-up Fairy Tale casting herself and Colossus as heroic pirates, and other members of the X-Men as their allies to rescue the Phoenix Genie. Some see this issue as a coda to the Claremont/Byrne era, as it shows Kitty fully assimilating with the team to the point where she can gently rib her teammates for their peccadilloes (as the story progresses the rest of the X-Men listen in and enjoy a good laugh), and even give the Scott and Jean in her story the happy ending which they were denied.
Astérix and the Falling Sky is a Bizarro book. Aliens (Disney-like cartoons character using superheroes and manga-like characters using robots) fight over the village. And it ends up with the good, toon-like aliens, erasing the villagers' memories of this episode.
Garfield was always a commercially-friendly strip. While it *could* be genuinely funny, it clearly knew what its remit was, and wasn't going to confuse its audience by going beyond that. Which makes the one time that it *did* all the more incongruous. In 1989, a multi-strip storyline saw Garfield alone in his apparently long-abandoned house.  What really makes this strange is that it doesn't use this as a setup to a humorous or "safe" conclusion (as happened during a similar storyline elsewhere), but instead leads to a strange metaphysical/psychological horror ending where it turns out Garfield himself no longer exists and "wills" Jon and Odie back into "existence" through the power of denial, or madness. And that's it, no further explanation. Apparently Jim Davis intended this as a Halloween special, and the strip mirrors the 1976 Italian animation Allegro Non Troppo. Still the most unusual Garfield strip that has ever appeared.
Every year at Kwanzaa, Curtis runs a two-week-long Story Arc that involves new, made-up characters doing absolutely ridiculous things that resemble African folktales, with little concern for anything other than being awesomely over-the-top, often toeing the line between Rule of Cool and an outright Mind Screw. Past arcs have included a golden, telepathic otter and a magic sandal◊ and bat-winged bears◊, among others. Consensus among fans (or at least among The Comics Curmudgeon and his followers) is that these are among his best works; he even considers the otter "still the gold standard."
For the German Club Nintendo comics, Super Mario in Die Nacht des Grauens (Super Mario in the Night of Horror) was this. Okay, the series was already bordering on the bizarre to begin with, but most others at least have something to do with the source material. This one? Had Mario as Van Helsing leading Link and Kirby through an adventure in their now possessed tower home to defeat Wario and Abigor, the latter of which was a demon from hell. It also features a zombie Princess Peach, Jason Voorhees, Chucky and Leatherface as characters and an absolute ton of other things from horror films.
Issue 8 of the New52 ''Superboy series. It's an entire issue of Superboy fighting Grunge of the Gen13, who in the new universe is a Ravager. There was no build up to this issue, has no bearing on the series proper, it's just Superboy and Grunge fighting as Grunge talks about the qualifications of being a Ravager, and it is never mentioned again.
The entire second half of Gremlins 2: The New Batch is just a long series of gags which don't actually drive the storyline anywhere. In fact, most of the first half of that film is entirely useless, as well.
On the commentary, Zach Galligan eventually notes that despite being the nominal Main Character of the film, he's only onscreen for about a third of it thanks to all the gags.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch has nothing to do with Michael Myers and instead has a plot that involves a mind-control conspiracy. What, you want continuity? Forget it. Not only does the film make no sense on its own, it is a stand-alone film with no connection to any of the other Halloween movies at all.
Originally the idea behind the Halloween movies was they'd have nothing in common except taking place on Halloween. The problem was the first one did too well and Michael Myers became too much of an icon to make the other movies without him. Halloween III was an attempt to revive their original plans and was so bad it killed all possibility of making any other movies not centering around Mr. Myers.
That The Movie of Tank Girl would end up as one of these was guaranteed the minute they decided to cast Ice-T as an anthropomorphic kangaroo.
The spy parody Casino Royale (1967) . Many things in the film are never mentioned again once they happen. It is all completely over the top even for psychedelic sixties spy flicks. Many scenes could be removed from the film with little or no damage to the plot. There are even some scenes that when seen together have absolutely nothing to do with each other. But somehow it fits together as a whole.
You can blame this completely on the film's fascinating Troubled Production. Those five directors listed in the credits? None had any contact with each other, and none were working with a complete script. Plus, Peter Sellers was originally supposed to be the star, but either quit or was fired depending on who you believe, prior to filming several important scenes, so the film was awkwardly retooled to center around David Niven instead.
In the context of Star Warscanon, The Star Wars Holiday Special is essentially a string of BLAMs. It involves a Wookiee family watching a cooking show, some sort of strange Wookiee porn, a sci-fi action scene in cartoon form, a Wookiee watching an instructional video on how to assemble a transmitter (every step of which is shown to the audience), and Bea Arthur as a singing bartender on Tatooine.
Slumber Party Massacre II, which is a musical full of Mind Screw where the psycho is a ghostly rockabilly who kills with a drill attached to an electric guitar. The previous film was comedic, but not random as fuck like this one, while the proceeding one was completely serious, and the villains of both of those were just crazy, non-supernatural guys.
The Ruling Class, between the bizarre hallucination scenes, random musical numbers and non-sequitur humor that go unmentioned after occurring, is a self-contained example. Jack's encounter with "the High-Voltage Messiah" manages to stand out.
Shusaku Endo's short story anthology Stained Glass Elegies consists of deadly serious examinations of Catholic faith in everyday life...and an over-the-top, sidesplitting parody of Fantastic Voyage. It was apparently the only comedy story Endo ever wrote, which makes the transition from thoughtful treatises to enema jokes all the more jarring.
The Goosebumps book I Live In Your Basement!, due to copious amounts of mindfuckery and gorn.
Dexter in the Dark, the third Dexter novel, shifted the series from crime thriller to supernatural horror, revealing the reason Dexter kills is because the spawn of an Eldritch Abomination (which comes complete with its own cult) has taken him as its host. The later novels make only minor references to these events, if that.
Animorphs had a few examples, but a special shout-out goes to the 39th book, The Hidden. The Helmacrons return, forcing the Animorphs to go on the run with the blue box. Along the way a buffalo and an ant acquire morphing powers, in violation of all previous continuity about how the blue box works. Thankfully, none of these events are ever mentioned again.
The second, third, and fourth Megamorphs books. Time-Travel involving Ancient Astronauts ("In the Time of the Dinosaurs"), Time-Travel involving a time machine which may be a piece of the Ellimist, with Nazi who aren't Nazis and Hitler as a random jeep driver, and the It's a Wonderful Life episode in which the Animorphs never got their powers (and don't know what's going on until the end). And #41, which was just the author trying to see how far she could stretch suspension of disbelief before the readers snapped, with a mysterious Sufficiently Advanced Alien or something running a test on one of the character, which we never find out the results of.
The third story in Flashman and the Tiger, where the title character runs into Sherlock Holmes, Watson and their antagonist Sebastian "Tiger" Moran. For a series otherwise confined to real historical events, it's a jarring entry that's considered a Base Breaker among Flashman fans.
Live Action TV
Community has some episodes that are surprisingly bizarre, "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" is a musical Christmas episode done in stop motion, another episode was mostly animated in 8-bit, and The Zombie episode certainly came out of left field.
Columbo's episode "Last Salute to the Commodore" definitely qualifies. Not only is it a who-done-it, it also has the weirdest performance by Peter Falk ever. He just walks through without any emotions completely hamming it up. He seems high as a kite. In the bizarre ending, Columbo goes around showing everyone a watch saying 'Commodore's watch' until someone eventually says 'T'isnt,' thus proving he is the killer.
UFO's episode "Mindbender" had Straker hallucinate that he was an actor in a TV series about UFOs. One memorable scene had him wandering around the actual UFO soundstage, showing the HQ and moonbase sets.
Similarly, Charlie Drake's Brit ComThe Worker ended its original black and white run with an episode in which Drake is confused to discover that he's actually a comedian in a Brit Com. Drake seemingly liked this ending so much he used a variation of it a few years later when the show was revived in colour. There's another episode in which Drake's character gets hit on the head by a boomerang (a deliberate aversion of Drake's song "My Boomerang Won't Come Back") and suffers some weird hallucinations, ending with a trial in which he is the judge, jury, barrister and defendant.
Roseanne had some of these, to the point where it may not even count anymore. To set out a brief list, there were a few Halloween Episodes that seemingly broke reality, a few episodes that were All Just a Dream, and toward the end of the series, plenty of them, such as episodes where Roseanne posed for Playboy, won Miss Universe, and, well actually the entire final season was this after they won the lottery.
Which is actually explained in the finale as a series of stories written by Roseanne as a way to deal with her grief over losing Dan to his heart attack earlier in the series.
Wolf Lake did this in the episode "Leader of the Pack", in which an incident is presented as narrated to a team of investigators by Graham Greene's character Sherman Blackstone. To say that he's an Unreliable Narrator is an understatement; the episode is hilarious and basically told from first-looney's point of view, with Blackstone admitting to telling the investigators the kind of story he would find fun to hear. Random daydreams and Fanservice are inserted into the story, and salacious elements such as a married pair of gay bank robbers who also happen to be brothers are included. Elements that would actually be pertinent to the story are glossed over, such as brushing off murders with comments such as "drinking problem".
Quest Of The Delta Knights had Pearl in the theater quipping with the bots while Mike hung out with Observer and Bobo on the planet below. A subversion, since neither changed their personalities.
Prince of Space in a big way: Mike and the Bots end up in a wormhole. Shape-shifting, time displacement and general insanity ensue.
The B-plot of the How I Met Your Mother episode "The Mermaid Theory", in which Future!Ted's usually impressive memory breaks down while telling his kids about a fight Lily and Barney once had, and he starts describing things that make no sense, like a motorcycle roaring through McLarens, Barney magically levitating a beer bottle, or Barney and Lily switching personalities; then going "Wait, wait, that's not right" and starting the whole story over again. This causes an unusually high degree of Medium Awareness on the parts of "Barney" and "Lily", who are shown referring to the topic of their fight in-dialogue as "something" ("I'm still mad at you because of something!") because Ted can't remember what they were upset about, and at one point they wind up suspended in limbo, casting glares at the screen and checking their watches impatiently while Future!Ted mutters "um...hang on...let me see..." to himself.
From Battlestar Galactica: The episode "Black Market". Oh, where to begin? We find that Apollo has been seeing a single-mom hooker and her child regularly on Cloud Nine. This was never mentioned before or ever again. He is seeing and helping out her and her kid due to guilt over leaving his former pregnant girlfriend shortly before the Cylons attacked. This was never mentioned before or ever again. He winds up killing the black market's ringleader in a totally out-of-character manner. THEN he declares that the black market can continue because it's necessary or something. And we never hear anything more about it. It's saved from being a complete Bizarro Episode by dint of two factors: 1) Commander Fisk's murder in this episode starts a chain reaction of events that eventually puts Lee in command of Pegasus, and 2) the head of the black market is played by Bill Duke. Ron Moore later discussed Black Market very frankly both on his blog and in the episode's commentary, admitting that it was completely nonsensical and explaining the logic that went into making it that everyone thought made sense at the time, only to realize with growing horror that it just didn't work.
Black Market has a third point of relevance: it's the episode where Baltar decides to run for President when Roslin realizes he could be a thorn in her side and tries to convince him to resign. Obviously though, the scene where this happens has nothing to do with the plot of the episode.
"The Woman King" came along one season later and stole "Black Market"'s crown. This episode involves a well-beloved but insanely racist doctor who sets about killing citizens of the "poorer" Colonies under the guise of a free clinic he's operating right on Galactica. Helo's tasked by a woman (named King) to put a stop to the Mad Doctor and avenge her son (who the doc allegedly killed). Helo spends much of the episode on a Cassandra Truth wild goose chase because no one believes him, what with the better half of the cast coming down with a sudden case of 24-hour Fantastic Racism Disease. Everyone acts Out of Character, the episode just goes in circles, and everyone forgets it even happened by the next episode.
It doesn't help that the episode is one of the few remnants of a subplot about the Saggitarons on New Caprica that was soon abandoned (the only other really noticable one is Baltar's mysterious whisper that causes Gaeta to try to kill him, which was eventually repurposed towards another subplot in a webisode series), and scenes in earlier episodes that would have helped explain everyone's refusal to believe Helo were all cut.
Babylon 5 - Grey 17 is Missing is viewed as this by much of the audience, with no future mention of any of the primary plot ever again. J Michael Straczynski has offered to personally apologise to every fan who complains directly to him about the episode, citing it as the bastard offspring of an unholy trinity of Author Brianfart, Executive Meddling, and Ran Out Of Time & Money.
Also The Mind Robber, in which the TARDIS materialises outside reality and then explodes, and the characters find themselves randomly interacting with fictional characters.
And Amy's Choice turned out to all be a dream.
The Final episode of Shaun Micallef's news parody Newstopia was a full episode of "Inspector Herring" the black and white, russian language show within a show, about a Soviet Police inspector that happens to be a fish. The plot revolved around a plan to assassinate Andre Rieu, which succeeds.
The Honey, I Shrunk the Kids episode "Honey, I'm Spooked". It involves the spirit of a pint-sized clown showing up and weird things happening to the Szalinskis, such as turning Nick into a ficus and Diane regressing into childhood.
The episode is also heavy on the horror, seeing as part of it has a malevolent spirit take over Amy and cause her to talk in Evil Sounds Deep while flashing a Slasher Smile.
The Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps episode "When Janet Killed Jonny" is one of these. It is an episode set outside of the main continuity, and is a "horror special", featuring many parodies of the horror genre (although it does contain many moments of terror, in a deviation from the show's usual formula). The episode features the cast breaking into the deserted Archer pub to drink the leftover beer, only to fall victim to the previously unmentioned "pub curse", which causes them to be "killed by the thing they love the most". As a result, the entire cast is killed off in an assortment of highly gruesome ways, only to later return as zombies.
Some viewers consider the Angel episode "The Girl In Question" to be this - in the middle of a tense, tragic story arc leading up to the heavily depressing series finale, we get an episode revolving around Spike and Angel gallivanting off to Italy to have wacky, hoyay-tastic adventures while trying to rescue Buffy from the mistake of dating an unseen, vampiric sexual predator with whom they apparently have a never-before-mentioned complex history; this unapologetically farcical storyline is played against a bitter, tragic Los Angeles subplot in which Illyria assumes Fred's form in order to deceive her parents into believing that their daughter is alive and well, a state of affairs which nearly breaks Wesley and is difficult to watch even for the viewers.
It also doesn't help that the B-plot indicates that Wesley didn't carry out Fred's final wish that he inform her parents of her death. And that from what we hear, Buffy has turned into The Ditz, having an affair with the evil Immortal, making it come off as a rather petty Take That after Sarah Michelle Gellar refused to appear in the show's 100th episode. Whedon later made an Author's Saving Throw in the Buffy comics, revealing that it was actually one of several Slayers around the world who are impersonating Buffy to confuse the bad guys.
"Soul Purpose" is a better example, which mostly consists of Angel having bizarre hallucinations.
The Young Ones could be considered to consist of little else. There are indeed plotlines within episodes, but they don't connect to other episodes, and are often derailed partway through. Sometimes they are not even resolved.
The two-part Heroes episode "The Eclipse", in which an eclipse randomly and inexplicably removes all the characters' powers. We never found out how or why this happened, and none of the events of those episodes were ever mentioned again.
Heroes had an entire SEASON of this. Remember season two? The writer's strike? Micah's cousin who could learn anything she saw on TV? Maya got a bit of a sendoff, but her brother was unceremoniously dropkicked out of the show. Clare's flying boyfriend who hated her father? And best of all, the girlfriend Peter forgot in the future?
SeaQuest DSV "Knight of Shadows". It's a Halloween episode, and does at least try to give the OOC characters some excuses. But still, it was a low point for the otherwise shining season 1.
Once or twice a season Supernatural will include a comedy episode, with a ridiculous plot which is just an excuse to use situations like 'Sam and Dean are suddenly trapped on the set of this weird TV show called Supernatural, and we are now going to spend 40 minutes making fun of our own premise, crew, actors, and viewing figures'. This does not necessarily make these episodes bad, and these episodes are both insanely popular and widely considered to be the best episodes of the series in terms of sheer entertainment value, once again proving that tropes are most definitely not bad.
There was also "Do Not Forsake Me, O My Darling," which Patrick McGoohan isn't even in, where the Powers That Be basically put Number 6's brain in some other guy and send him on an errand outside of The Village for them.
Most people would have just mentioned the series finale and moved on.
The fifth season episode of Xena entitled "Married With Fishschticks" which mostly forgets about the story arc going on at the time to do a pointless filler episode where the feuding Aphrodite and Discord accidentally send Gabrielle into this alternate world where she's a mermaid, and is entirely populated with mer people. The whole thing is weird even by this show's standards, and ends with it apparently being All Just a Dream as Gabrielle wakes up back with Xena.
The people behind the show were well aware that this one wasn't their finest moment, and even did some micromanaging of the schedule to make sure it didn't get the distinction of being the show's 100th episode.
Star Trek has the Mirror Universe episodes, where most of the characters are downright evil or entirely different than what is expected. Just to add to this, there is no Federation; instead, the Terran Empire exists in its place - up until Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, that is, when the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance defeats them and conquers Earth.
Enterprise's "In a Mirror, Darkly" two-partner is an excellent example. While the other episodes crossover between the two universes, this one was set entirely in the Mirror Universe. Except for the Defiant that had somehow ended up in the Mirror Universe. That's the Defiant from TOS episode "The Tholian Web", not the one from Deep Space Nine. The Enterprise production team went balls-to-the-wall and combined this trope with a Breather Episode full of Fanservice and soft-core Continuity Porn, not to mention the entire cast in Large Ham mode and obviously having tremendous fun; it's one of the most entertaining episodes in the series.
On the episode Hide And Q, the character Q grants the characters wishes, and teenage Wesley Crusher wishes to be 10 or so years older. Then suddenly, BAAM he's transformed into a strapping, tall and exceptionally hunky man. We then cut to Geordi LaForge leering at the new Wesley and saying, "Hey, Wes. Not bad." It has been noted by several sources that Lavar Burton's character was originally supposed to be gay, but this is the only time it appears to be shown on screen, in this season one episode. Thereafter, it is NEVER EVER EVER EVER mentioned again, and the LaForge character eventually falls in love with a holodeck character then eventually an actual woman, and they live happily ever after. BLAM.
It's worth noting that this is the series' second episode, so for new viewers it was less "a weird departure from the show's normal tone" and more "oh God what the hell IS this show?"
"Justice". The crew of the Enterprise is schmoozing with what appears to be a pre-warp culture, when Wesley knocks over an outdoor decoration and is sentenced to death. And even though the Prime Directive didn't prevent them from making contact with this planet, all of a sudden it prevents Picard from saving Wesley.
"Conspiracy" is another TNG example of this. Starfleet command has apparently been infiltrated by parasitic slugs that inhabit the brain of the host creature. This is obviously an event of considerable political magnitude, but it is never again referenced. However, it was Foreshadowed several episodes earlier, making it a kind of Aborted Arc.note The story was originally intended to have a purely human conspiracy within Starfleet, but Gene Roddenberry himself vetoed that because of how it clashed with his vision of Star Trek as an utopia where all humans work towards a common goal in harmony. So they added mind-controlling alien infiltrators to the plot. It was intended to be the hook for the major villains of the series. The thing was, it created too much paranoia that they wanted to avoid, so they changed the concept over to the Borg. It is explored a little further in the Expanded Universe.
TNG has a number of oddball episodes that qualify for this, most notably some of the truly god-awful episodes of the final season. After all, we got such lovely inexplicable plots as Beverly's inherited ghost lover and everyone on the Enterprise "devolving" into things that make absolutely no fucking sense.
The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Threshold". So Tom Paris breaks the "transwarp barrier", right? And this results in being in every location in the universe at once. Somehow this makes him evolve into a higher order of being... which turns out to be a Mudkip-like lizard thing who can't breathe air. He kidnaps The Captain and they run away in said transwarp barrier-breaking ship. They are discovered within range and the crew find them on a beach together having just had a small litter of Mudkip babies. (Repeat: Paris had children with Captain Janeway. When they were both Mudkips.) The babies are still out there presumably but everything else is reset with antimatter injections. Got all that? Okay, because this is the one episode out of all theStar Trekepisodes ever made that is considered Canon Discontinuity, to the point that in "Timeless", Tom Paris himself mentions that he has never travelled in transwarp before. Never.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine went off the rails a few times late in the series, producing such bizarro episodes as the holodeck baseball game and the Ocean's Eleven knockoff where the main cast ignored their duty in favor of pulling off a heist to save the holodeck lounge singer from a gangster. (No, it doesn't make sense in context.)
Power Rangers Ninja Storm while surfing Tori got into a major wipe out, and wind up in a Mirror Universe where the Rangers are the bad guys and Lothor and his goons are good guys. She eventually gets back to her own universe by getting wiped out again.
On the subject, Super Sentai has this for its Samurai Sentai Shinkenger iteration in the form of its Direct to DVD movie. Released after the end of the series run, it talks of the team 'returning,' since they part at the end. The team is together for the whole movie, and then there's the content itself.
There's also the now-traditional DVD shorts that both Sentai and its block-mate Kamen Rider give out yearly in Telebi-kun Magazine. A lot of these are very nonsensical even compared to other filler episodes within the series.
Speaking of Kamen Rider, it is something of a tradition for a couple of episodes around episode 30 of each series to be a bit...different.
Kamen Rider Blade had Hajime losing his memory and meeting a man identical to himself. They swap lives and have cooking duels, culminating in Hajime's lookalike making himself a suit of armour and beating the monster of the week.
Kamen Rider Kabuto had the Dark Kitchen arc, featuring cooking duels and food that can manipulate emotions, and very little actual Kamen Rider action (just one or two obligatory action scenes disconnected from the plot).
Kamen Rider Double had Shoutaro and Phillip chasing a Dopant that sent people into comas through lucid dreams. To catch him, they fall asleep (while transformed, in the middle of a football pitch) and went into the dream world, where they were samurai. Or something. Even one of the villains point out how odd that is. And that's just the first part!
Kamen Rider OOO had 2 episodes celebrating the 999th and 1000th episodes of the franchise, featuring loads of old monsters, the cast trying to make their own Kamen Rider Movie, and Kougami watching Kamen Rider on about 50 different screens.
One episode was narrated by Rudy, which featured the cast as fairy-tale characters, clothed in costumes made to look like crayon drawings.
A later episode had Cosby's character eating a big hoagie/hero/sub before going to bed, and then dreaming that all of the male cast were pregnant.
Still later, Cosby has another big sandwich before going to bed. The above episode is actually mentioned. This time, his dream involves Vanessa being a jazz musician, Denise is a firefighter, Clair is threatening to jump out of a window, and then the Muppets show up. To say that this episode makes no sense is an understatement.
The Bones fourth-season finale features Booth as a nightclub owner, Brennan as his wife, Hodgins as a hard-drinking novelist, Cam as a detective, etc. Of course, it's all in Booth's head as he's actually in a coma, recovering from the removal of a brain tumor. The dream is "inspired" by a story Brennan is writing, which she is reading aloud to Booth as she sits in vigil by his bedside.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show had an episode where each of the major male characters imagined what it would be like if they were married to Mary.
At first glance, Farscape seems to have a few interesting examples:
"Crackers Don't Matter" had the entire crew trying to kill each other over some crackers, while "Won't Get Fooled Again" was... Well, The Dragon was wearing bright red pumps at one point. However, even these Farscape episodes have a bearing on the overall story arc, proving that a sure way to avoid Bizarro Episodes is to make the entire series bizarre.
There is also the episode where D'Argo accidentally knocks Crichton out, causing him to hallucinate a series of Looney Tunes-type cartoons... the only plot point of which is to get D'Argo and Crichton to stop falling out over trifles. According to the directors' commentary, they were desperate to do a blend of animation and live-action, but it took a long, long time to do and many of the sequences were made before they had worked out how they were going to tie them in to the main plot. The guys' feud is set up in the previous few episodes, but there's never any real reason for it. Crichton [Lampshade Hanging says] at one point that he doesn't know why they were arguing in the first place.
Part of the charm of Lexx is that the normal status quo is what would be a Bizarro Episode in most shows, but it still has a few Bizarro episodes by its own standards. The most obvious is the fourth-season episode A Midsummer's Nightmare, where the crew is trapped in the fairie kingdom by Oberon, who seeks a new bride to replace Titania. Oberon is gay, Titania is a male midget crossdresser, Puck is Camp Gay, Kai ends up turning into a tree while dancing and singing, Stanley nearly marries Oberon and gets as far as putting on the wedding dress... Oberon even admits that he has zero understanding of the show's cosmology, lampshading how the batshit insanity everyone is going through just plain doesn't fit into it.
Icing on the cake in A Midsummer's Nightmare is that the episode was relocated from New Age hub Glastonbury to Battersea Power Station, due to a real life outbreak of foot and mouth disease
In the fourth-season episode "Prime Ridge", the crew (having been unable to find the Lexx's key for several episodes) decide that they have nothing to do, and so they buy a house in a small-town neighbourhood (which is being sold by Britt Ekland]. 790 hacks an ATM. The crew live in it for several days. Stanley sleeps on the lawn for some unexplained reason, and then gets hit on by said real estate agent and her daughter. Xev gets a job as a stress counsellor (despite having no resume or references) and the whole episode culminates in a giant firefight between the FBI and a pair of stoned teenagers wielding machine guns. Xev, Stan and Kai get in a car and drive away, and never mention the incident again for the rest of the series.
"The Cycling Tour" episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Not only does it have the same plot throughout, whereas most episodes were a series of sketches, but it does not begin with the usual theme music and animation.
"iSpace Out" from iCarly has a BLAM subplot, with a random little girl wandering into the apartment when Spencer is there, and not doing anything until she walks out again, it takes up half the time of the episode and literally nothing happens or is resolved. "iMake Sam Girlier"'s entire plot was Sam wanting to get a boyfriend; she tries to act more girly, but in the end Be Yourself wins out. The guy vanishes and is never spoken of again, not even to explain why.
Another Spencer B-Plot (to use the term loosely) just has Spencer wandering around the house doing nothing in between other scenes.
iCarly and Victorious each aired an April Fools episode back to back. Both were utterly nonsensical episodes. Nothing made sense, and it was completely random. There was No Fourth Wall. They were both pretty much aware of this trope all the way through
Even Police Stop! isn't immune to this. The episode Police Stop! 3 has subjects that are never mentioned again for the rest of the series and doesn't mention the United Kingdom very much. The same can be said for Police Stop! 4, its sequel that followed in 1995, which had no idents between episodes. This is surprisingly rare for a documentary to do such things. However, your opinion will differ on this. If you do wish to see the series, watch it on ITV4, it's nearly always shown as reruns.
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys gives us the 4th season episode "... And Fancy Free", in which Hercules enters a dance competition. Nothing rests on this competition other than his partner's self esteem, and a nice trophy. Apparently, in spite of this, the town magistrate finds this competition important enough that he spends most of the episode sending assassins after Hercules and his partner to stop them from winning. No other motivation is given, he just wants his daughter to win. Bonus Points for guest starring Michael Hurst in drag as the dance instructor.
"Stranger in a Strange World", which is referred to as a "Bizarro World episode" by the writer in the interviews feature on the DVD. This episode features an alternate universe with Hercules an evil tyrant marrying Aphrodite, the Xena cast in different roles, and a battle using a wedding cake. And Iolaus as a jester.
There is a later episode featuring the same characters in struggle over fashion...which is about as pointless as "...And Fancy Free". Also no explanation is given as to why the town magistrate has apparently given up his duties to go into the world of ancient Greek fashion.
Speaking of Hercules, the episode set in the present day which is all about Kevin Sorbo having gone missing, and features the memorable and hysterical restroom whistling scene.
There was another one where the cast goes on a teamwork-building retreat hosted by Sunny Day (played by Renee O'Connor; normal role Gabrielle). It leads to a Scooby Doo ending where Sunny is revealed to be B.S. Hollinsfoffer (played by Robert Trebor, normal role Salmoneus), who is 1. a lot taller than Sunny, 2. at least a hundred pounds heavier, and 3. male, and concludes with Ares revealing himself to the cast. On top of that, most of them aren't even all that surprised to learn that Greek god of war is real; one of them even claims "I find the thought rather comforting myself."
Similar to the Mad About You example noted above, Series'Friends had a "what if?" episode that explored the possible consequences of Joey becoming a star with Chandler as his personal assistant, Monica staying fat, Ross's Closeted Gay wife staying in the closet and keeping their marriage going, Rachel having gone through with her marriage (thus never meeting any of the friends) and Phoebe somehow becoming a stock broker.
The X-Files did this a few times, most notably in its The Rashomon episodes "Jose Chung's from Outer Space" and "Bad Blood". Then there's Post-Modern Prometheus, which is filmed entirely in black and white and ends with a song-and-dance number featuring a Cher lookalike (after Mulder had effectively broken the fourth wall because he decided the original ending sucked). Oh, and Jerry Springer was in it, too.
NewsRadio had two special episodes that were set out of continuity: one featuring the staff of a radio station in space, and another where they run a radio station on the Titanic.
The season 4 finale, "Restless", starts like this. Eventually what's going on is clarified, as well as the fact that it contains large amounts of foreshadowing.
"Superstar". Season 4, ep 17. Jonathan, a recurring Butt Monkey who'd been the butt of jokes for the past four seasons, rewrites reality to make himself a Black Hole Sue who even takes over the opening credits.
Also, the season 3 episode "The Zeppo" can be seen as this, diverting from the building plot threads of that season to tell a completely zany, full-out self-parody of every Buffy trope in the book.
Crime Story was stylishly moody and gritty...then there was the 2nd season episode "Pauli Taglia's Dream". It did show how mobster Ray Luca and his goofus flunky Pauli had earlier survived a nuclear bomb test, but through Pauli's point of view - complete with cartoon sound effects, Three Stooges slapstick, and cuts of him lipsynching Bobby Fuller's "I Fought the Law" wearing impossibly high rockabilly hair and a radiation suit.
Over its last two seasons it became clear that Day 6 of 24 was a Big Lipped Alligator Season. Events like the detonation of a nuclear device in an American city by foreign terrorists and the attack and incapacitation of an American president while in the White House - both of which happened within hours of each other and would have deeply impacted the country's history and internal and international policies - are never mentioned or even alluded at in the following seasons. Matter of fact, President Wayne Palmer was effectively "brother Chucked" without as much as a throwaway line to explain what ultimately became of him. Howard Gordon has stated he lived, but a prop newspaper from the made-for-TV movie Redemption mentions his death, thus leaving his fate unknown. Day 7 has its couple of bizarro episodes in which an African tin pot dictator and his five - six at most - bodyguards take the White House and everyone inside hostage - with some help from (what else in 24?) moles on the inside. Jack Bauer resolves the entire situation in two hours of "Real Time" and the entire situation does not impact the rest of the season - the second half of it - in any significant way.
With the exception of killing off Bill Buchanan, who by that point was one of the show's main characters. Although the immediate fallout for that is something of a Big-Lipped Arc itself ( Jack is framed for trying to avenge his death and is wanted dead or alive in the cliffhanger of the following episode, only to have his name cleared at the very beginning of the episode following that, leaving those events to quickly be forgotten), it does later provide a motivating factor for Chloe when she returns and discovers what's happened.
Similarly, many of the events of Friday Night Lights Season Two aren't referenced in later seasons, the most egregious of which would be Landry KILLING a man to protect Tyra, and even confessing to it. Other stuff happened that season, too (Matt and Grandma Saracen's maid, Buddy raising a ward named Santiago), but the only major event to happen that season with any significant impact on future seasons is Jason Street getting a woman pregnant.
Merlin. In the middle of the season that also included Merlin losing his first love, Arthur discovering the truth about his mother, Morgana's Start of Darkness and the introduction of two of the most powerful/terrifying villains the show had ever showcased (Morgause and the Witchfinder), two utterly superfluous episodes were devoted to a troll successfully marrying King Uther and becoming Queen. It was a great performance by Sarah Parish, but the humor was made up of pratfalls and Toilet Humour, Arthur, Gwen and Morgana were utterly (and uncharacteristically) useless, the audience was scarred for life by being forced to watch Uther go to bed with a troll, and after the episode ends, no one ever again thinks to mention that a shit-eating troll had been the Queen of Camelot for an extended period of time.
The 1980s War of the Worlds episode "Candle In The Night". This is a show that thrived on an overarching conspiracy by aliens to overthrow the Earth, interpersonal conflict between the cast and gratuitous violence that pushed the limits of what syndicated television could show...and someone decided that an entire episode should be focused on a supporting character having a birthday party. The plot follows one of the team members, Debi, who sneaks out of the Blackwood Project's headquarters to have a birthday party with a bunch of random kids she meets. There's no real tension or drama in the episode, and none of the characters or events are mentioned again.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles had a surreal, cyborg-free episode where Sarah is in a sleep clinic and is haunted by nightmares which are actually real, while the clinic is a hallucination caused by a one-off villain probing her mind.
The Odd Couple had a flashback episode that parodied the James Bond films and featured Felix and Oscar's fathers.
The Kids in the Hall episode "Chalet 2000" was one long Buddy Cole sketch (with it's own credit sequence), and to top it off, Queen Elizabeth appears and ends up sleeping with a talking beaver.
The Suite Life of Zack and Cody has had a few over the years. In one episode, the twins travel to a parallel dimension where their parents never divorced. Oddly, this does not have an "All Just a Dream" ending. Another episode involves time-travel to a distant future on a cruise ship in space. This episode turned out to be a story Zack made up to explain why he didn't do his homework, but for some reason, clips from this episode comprise most of the final season's Title Sequence, making the show appear to be a sci-fi series.
There's a Diagnosis: Murder episode where the killer is a vampire. Yes, as in the actual mythological creature.
Smallville: Hex and Fortune, both episodes involving, essentially, Zatanna screwing with the main cast; the first time is at least largely unintentional and just trying to make them happier. The second, she's flat out trolling them. Both are rather insane, running on Rule of Fun, and provide a great deal of hilarity. Fortune does, however, write out Chloe, marrying her to Oliver, so it does connect to the season's plot. Given how important Chloe is to the show previously, it also counts as a WHAM Episode.
Frasier: "Freudian Sleep", the "unusual dreams" episode.
Seinfeld: virtually the trope-namer. The season eight episode "The Bizarro Jerry" posited an alternative world where the show's male characters are re-imagined as sensitive, enlightened and supportive. However, the show had experimented with such alternative formats all through its run. Some examples include,
"The Chinese Restaurant" and "The Parking Garage", which place the central characters in an unfamiliar setting from which they spend the full 22 minutes struggling to free themselves.
"The Opposite", where George takes a vow to suppress all his usual instincts and finds that his life is transformed into an unqualified success. To redress the cosmic balance, Elaine, whose life had always been somewhat successful is suddenly beset by a sequence of failures. She soon realises, "I've become George!"
"The Chicken Roaster", where Jerry and Kramer switch apartments and, as a result, temporarily develop each others' personality traits.
"The Butter Shave", where all three main male characters begin the episode with incongruous mustaches.
"The Merv Griffin Show", where Kramer installs the set from the eponymous talk show in his apartment. As a result, the show's discussion scenes, which usually take place in Jerry's apartment or the coffee shop, follow the formula of a talk show with Kramer as the host.
"The Betrayal" (also known as "The Backwards Episode"), in which the episode's scenes are played in reverse order.
And, of course, "The Finale", in which many of the show's past characters are summoned to court to testify against the main group. At the end of the episode, the typical "coffee shop" conversation takes place in a prison lock-up. In the final credits, the show's characteristic "stand-up" set now takes place in a prison rec-room (with a VERY hostile audience).
The Fringe episode "Brown Betty," from season two. Walter Bishop smokes some special dope, and then entertains Olivia's niece Ella by telling her a story in which Olivia is a hard-boiled private detective in a world of Anachronism Stew. Walter's story has obvious resonances to the main plot, but the whole episode boils down to him doing some child-minding. Made all the more jarring by coming right after some serious, dramatic episodes about Walter's relationship with his son Peter.
''The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" has a weird episode, where Will and Carlton tell Jazz a story about how Will testified against a dangerous murderer, so he and the Banks family had to go into a witness protection program and live among hillbillies in the middle of nowhere.
"Bakerman" on the Midnight Oil album Red Sails in the Sunset. It's a Japanese school band playing an instrumental oompa ditty, in the middle of an otherwise pre-alternative rock album. Also very Mood Whiplash.
Synchronicity: "Mother", a repetitive tune in 7/4 with screamed vocals and weird lyrics, shows up after the comparatively normal "Synchronicity I" and "Walking in Your Footsteps".
"You're Gonna Die", a 9˝-minute song (using the term loosely) at the end of Reel Big Fish's We're Not Happy Till You're Not Happy album. It's essentially nothing but screaming and static in the same vein as "Revolution 9" and even contains a Big Lipped Alligator Moment of it's own in "Aaron is Made of Babies," a one-minute novelty song thrown smack-dab in the middle of the hectic track.
"Anyone's Daughter" from Deep Purple's Fireball. The lyrics are typical DP - a man sleeps with a bunch of women and marries one of them when he gets her pregnant - but the music is in a Country and Western style that's out of place for this period of the band.
Judas Priest aren't total strangers to ballads, but even by their standards, the romantic soft rock ballad "Last Rose Of Summer" (from Sin After Sin) is an unexpected number from the metal masters.
The hidden track in My Chemical Romance'sThe Black Parade, "Blood", is a song about drinking blood done in a vaguely Broadway style with bad sound quality, and it has nothing to do with the rest of the album. Bizzaro indeed.
"Look Who's Walking On Four Legs Again" by Local H is a twangy country ballad in the middle of a grunge album. It's actually a crossover between Scott Lucas's two bands, Local H and Scott Lucas And The Married Men, but if you're not expecting it, it's quite jarring. (A Local H-only version, titled "Look Who's Rocking On Four Legs Again" appears on the Another February EP.)
The Stanley Parable puts the player in one if they should deliberately take the wrong paths, basically frustrating the Narrator, and eventually putting the player in a Director's Commentary room, before finally having them have the only way to escape alive is to turn the game off.
The World Ends with You has Another Day, you can access this episode after you complete the main storyline and takes place in an alternate universe where Tin Pin Slammer is Serious Business. And it gets even more confusing when the Joshua and Hanekoma from the main game show up and challenge AD Neku. The former has a Boss Rush and the latter is the strongest Bonus Boss in the game.
The "What If?" mode in the PS1Spider-Man game. It took the base plot and added tons of silly lines. "Doc Ock has trapped me... and I can't stop dancing".
Command & Conquer Red Alert had two: the secret Giant Ant missions and one multiplayer map set on the moon which randomly reassigned all the units' weapons, so you had helicopters firing flamethrowers and V2 rockets.
The Fallout: New Vegas DLC Old World Blues has your brain, spine and heart being stolen by incompetent Mad ScientistBrains In Jars who are all drugged out of their gourds, an area exhibiting all the craziest pre-War SCIENCE! (and since this is Fallout, that's really saying something), a gun with a living dog brain as a component, a talking stealth suit that calls you her best friend and plays pranks on you, a base full of talking appliances who all hate each other, and a surreal conversation with your own brain in a tank, who sounds suspiciously like Seth McFarlane even if you're a woman.
Proving that Tropes Are Not Bad, OWB in all its bizarro glory is often considered one of the best parts of New Vegas, and has won awards above and beyond the base game.
City of Heroes has this issue with the Mission Architect system. Due to the overwhelming amount of player-made content in the database and a ratings system that leaves something to be desired, it's inevitable that BLAM Story Arcs will come up fairly frequently in any random sample. If the first time a player tries the system results in having one of these thrown at them it can easily be the last time they will ever bother with the Mission Architect. Which is why a number of authors have been taking it upon themselves to review arcs and compile lists in the official forums make it easier to find the "good stuff".
Atlantica in Kingdom Hearts II also counts. It has absolutely no plot relevance and features the characters singing in order to keep Ariel happy with undersea life. Even more BLAM is the fact that the entire story of the world is based on mini-games and seems to just be an excuse to put the world in the game. Also odd was how nobody seemed to remember any of the events that happened in Atlantica in the first Kingdom Heartsgame; except for who Sora is. Ariel just forgot how the last time she made a deal with Ursula ended, and Ursula forgot dying.
Star Fox (the 1993 Super NES game) combined this with an Easter Egg — "Out Of This Dimension", where paper airplanes are enemies and the boss is a Slot Machine. Not to mention the ending. An endless minigame. The fate of pretty much everything is left unexplained.
Happens halfway through Kid Icarus: Uprising, when the main plot is completely put on hold when an utterly random alien invasion forces all of the main, characters to work together to stop it. This lasts for about 3 chapters and then it is never mentioned about again when its done. Another chapter that qualifies is Chapter 13, The Lunar Sanctum. Sure, it sets up the entire Chaos Kin arc, but on its own, it's pretty weird. Instead of Hades or Viridi, the chapter's villain is an uptight British guy, and it takes place on the surface of an artificial moon.
Dynasty Warriors has never placed any priority on accuracy, historical or otherwise, so it has had its share of weirdness. However, by far the most bizarre battle (which is also really, really difficult) is the Battle of Jian Ye in DW4. Your forces start in the north, and you have to fight your way to Sun Jian in the south. In between are Taishi Ci, Zhou Tai, Huang Gai, and Jian's three offspring, Ce, Quan, and Shang Xiang. Just a really big battle, right? Except that almost immediately after it begins, three duplicates of Sun Jian appear, and dispelling any one merely causes another to appear elsewhere. Furthermore, the Sun kids cannot be killed; if defeated, they simply flee the battlefield and return at full health in about a minute. So, just gotta bite the bullet, charge straight to the real Jian, and cut him down? Well, that is the correct course of action... unfortunately, this doesn't end the battle; it simply switches command to Ce, and although he'll be killable now, Quan and Shang Xiang still won't. Not until you've slain him, Quan, and Shang Xiang...in that order!...do you prevail over this nightmare. Needless to say, good luck finding any kind of justification for this in Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
The original Charlie The Unicorn video is merely weird and has two crazy unicorns talking nonsense. Then come episodes two, three and four, which are pretty much six minutes of continuus BLAM.
"STARFISH REALLY LOVES YOU!"
The Happy Tree Friends episode "I've Got You Under My Skin" could easily count. It starts off relatively understandably (for the show, anyway), but then Giggles sneezes on Lumpy's face... he catches a cold, which Sniffles apparently thinks needs to be dealt with via "Fantastic Voyage" Plot. Whereupon the fact that Giggles is lying on the couch shivering with her brain coming out of the back of her head her head is almost completely forgotten. And did we mention that Happy Tree Friends isn't the kind of show you'd ever really expect to involve a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot?
The Strong Bad Emailvirus involves reality breaking apart after Strong Bad gets emailed a virus. Much mindscrew occurs until Bubs fixes it by shooting a hole in Strong Bad's computer with Homestar Runner's leg
Sluggy Freelance brought us Chapter 63: Safehouse, bringing us Torg taking up gardening, and coming up with increasingly surreal plans to protect the garden from chipmunks and deer, that all fail spectacularly, Bun Bun robbing a bank with the help of a talking bear and an old man with a huge mustache, and the entire main cast getting addicted to the latest computing technology and the possibilities it offers, and getting tangled up in weird on-line community shenanigans, and playing a suspiciously addictive online game which, after a hacker attack, starts a zombie apocalypse that only affects animals.
While randomness is par the course for Sluggy, what makes this a bizarro episode is that it went on for an extended period of time right after a very dark storyline, and pretty much ignores all of the lingering questions, including the fate of a character that the group lost contact with and is on a dangerous mission, a character that refuses to accept that her friends thought to be dead are alive, and a plan to finially get rid of the resident physcopathic, ninja, Stalker with a Crush that caused said friends to become almost dead. Word of God seems to indicate the arc will bare no overall importance as well.
Homestuck's Trickster arc revolves around a group of protagonists temporarily being turned into saccharine, sugar-rushing versions of themselves in colorful outfits, which begins during the End of Act 6 Act 5 Act 1. The plot starts getting increasingly bizzare; with the protagonists making equally colorful endgame weapons and Santa Statues with Alchemy, as well as making plans for quadruple weddings for everyone because they think this will solve all their personal problems and conflicts. Except for Dirk who gets a new outfit but remains as deadpan as before. Officially, this all takes place inside Act 6 Act 5 Act 2 and ends with all the characters waking up hungover and having lost the item that changed them. Then dying.
The Nostalgia Critic had one himself with "You're A Dirty Rotten Bastard". Opened and closed by Santa Christ (who after Kickassia heavily dislikes the Critic) like it was a story, going against a lot of established characterization to make Critic look like the biggest jackass in all the world, and never mentioned again.
Fanfic example: Chapter 122 of Guardians Of Pokemon. The cast has just gotten back from a Trapped In Video Game Land arc, only Ash hasn't lost his Heroic Mime status, and then it turns out that Butch and Cassidy stole it just before they all left the video game world and now Butch is calling himself "Smash Ketchum" and using Ash's voice to hypnotize everyone over the radio. Then a battle happens and every time someone gets hit, their voice pops out of their body, leading to everyone switching voices for the rest of the episode.
As funny and clever as it may be, the Teen Titans episode "Fractured" feels like that. We learn that there's a whole dimension that exists just for Robin and then the Robin from that dimension (Larry) breaks his finger and everything becomes chaotic. It's hard to believe that no one talks about that ever again.
Teen Titans had at least one completely insane episode per season, and the tone of the average episode wasn't much less wacky. If anything the episodes which focused on continuity and drama were the ones out of place. "Fractured", "Mad Mod", "Bunny Raven/How To Make a Titanimal Disappear", "Mother Mae Eye", and "Episode 257-494", the episode where Control Freak causes the Titans to become Trapped in TV Land.
Well, the last one was referenced in the big Finale, when Control Freak was using the Lightsabers he got from TV Land.
Oddly enough, most Bizarro Episodes are right before the season finale. Going from a deranged Hansel and Gretel Whole Plot Reference to Raven fulfilling her destiny and ending the world, or from the aforementioned Larry episode to Terra picking off the team one by one led to some absolutely beautiful Mood Whiplash and gave the show its signature schizophrenic tone.
A good rule of thumb was this: if the opening Theme Tune was in Japanese, as opposed to the usual English, you were about to see some weird shit. Especially when the one singing in Japanese is Larry.
Except "Nevermore"- though that one is weird for a solid chunk in the middle, it's less "crazy and funny" weird and more "Mind Screw, Uncanny Valley, and a side dose of horror" weird, and the central plot about Raven fighting her Enemy Within is serious.
"Fear Itself" can function as a fairly good bait-and-switch in terms of this. The episode starts out silly, the first part being the debut of Control Freak, where the Titans fight him in a video store and he brings things like candy to life and turns them evil. Then things get dark.
Codename: Kids Next Door Operation: R.E.P.O.R.T. set entirely in the character's parody rich imagination's... Numbuh 4 turns into a super saiyan. Operation: W.H.I.T.E.H.O.U.S.E. which was also All Just a Dream did make self-contained sense until the very end when Numbuh 1 turns into a big monster for no explained reason.
Daria was generally based on reality, except with its eccentricities taken Up to Eleven. The plot of "Depth Takes a Holiday," however, begins when Daria randomly meets the Anthropomorphic Personifications of St. Patrick's Day and Valentine's Day, who need her help to get Christmas, Halloween and Guy Fawkes' Day back to "Holiday Island." An uncharacteristically whimsical plot, to say the least, but Daria manages it the same way she does everything else: through sarcasm.
"I'm obviously having some kind of nervous breakdown. I'll just ride it out and see where it takes me, Zelda Fitzgerald-style."
The Donald Duck short "Duck Pimples". Donald listens to scary stuff on the radio, causing his overactive imagination to bring a bunch of shady characters to life. First, he envisions a creepy yet silly salesman who drops a lot of horror novels on Don's sofa. As he starts reading one, more weirdos emerge from the book, such as a gruff police officer who accuses Don of stealing a dame's pearls, accompanied by the lady herself. After some Big Lipped Alligator-y gags, both are about to murder Donald because he hasn't "confessed" yet. Just before they cut his throat in half, the author himself exits the book and reveals the officer to be guilty. The cop confesses it was indeed him, but he ain't amused, and as he steps back to go back into the book's pages, he "shoots" Donald with thin air; he reacts just as if had been shot for real. Terrified, the dame and the author go back to the novel as well. Donald regains conscience and immediately shakes the book to confirm it all ended, as some offscreen voices tell him it was all imaginary. He's not convinced and the cartoon ends with him trembling in fear, slowly muttering to himself "Yeah...Ima......Gination"... Just in time for the pearls to appear on his neck before the iris out. What the hell, Disney!?
Ed, Edd n Eddy: "1 + 1 = Ed", otherwise known as the episode where Ed asks Double-D a bunch of questions, the questions become increasingly philosophical, reality and imagination begin to melt into each other, existential crisis manifests itself into abstract surrealism, and everyone and everything around them becomes horribly deformed and absurd.
It has competition: "Dexter and Computress Get Mandark" was written by a 6-year-old, and is psycho-freaking-loco; "The Continuum Of Cartoon Fools", and "Dee-Dee's Tail", where Dee-Dee becomes a horse. Surprisingly, it ends in a very heartwarmimg way.
"Rollercoaster: The Musical". It's essentially a Musical Episode version of the pilot. But there's random stuff going on, and most of the songs and scenes are never mentioned after they occur, and the barrage of Cameos in the final song, which itself is a BLAM.
It's very self aware about its Bizarro Episode status. The episode constantly Lampshades its repeating of the original episode, as well as the fact that it's incredibly weird even by the standards of the show.
"Ferb TV" blows it completely out of the water though. The entire episode just consists of random fictional TV show clips which make little-to-no sense overall.
"The Remains of the Platypus" opens with Perry running on a hamster wheel surrounded by artificial lightning, a box landing on Doofenshmirtz's apartment building saying "joy located", Carl in a cage dressed up as a squirrel, a swelled-up Major Monogram running saying "gimme a high-five! Don't leave me hanging!" It gradually drives its own screw though.
South Park: "Not Without My Anus." Purposeful bizarro episode on the part of the writers as an April Fools' Day joke, delaying the conclusion of "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut" in favor of a ridiculous Terrance and Phillip story.
In another Filmation show, Bravestarr, main henchman Tex Hex has a similar moment in a Yet Another Christmas Carol episode. It's subverted in that the woman he saves is his one great love, now lost to him, and when the ending moral is shown, Marshal Bravestarr takes care to tell viewers not to expect Tex Hex to change after this.
Yes, that title is right. There was no "Escape to the House of Mummies! Part I", and just a preview for "Escape to the House of Mummies! Part III".
Also, Caligula was there too. And no, none of that makes even the slightest bit of sense.
The point of the episode was to parody instances of one multi-part episode being aired independently as a rerun, leaving viewers with little idea of what is going on.
The episode "Party All the Time" from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Frylock contracts melanoma (a form of cancer), which causes him to slowly decay and become sick (which leads to all the fries disappearing from his head, and him dressing in a hat to conceal the fry loss). Shake and Meatwad try a number of tricks to cheer him up (including a performance from Andrew W.K.), but they find out that it's no use. Suddenly, at the end, Frylock goes to a doctor, who tells him that the melanoma is reversing and that he will eventually get better...and the episode ends, and nothing in it is ever referenced or mentioned again.
Of course, since Negative Continuity is in full effect for this series, that's to be expected. What wasn't to be expected was the more serious tone, or the Big Lipped Alligator Moment where Frylock inexplicably dreams up a scenario in the same doctor's office where the doctor starts jabbering about aliens, who then abduct him.
The New Batman Adventures has always been a little more lighthearted than its predecessor. However, the episode "Critters" was just plain out there. A farmer and his daughter genetically engineer farm animals so they can become bigger. After a cow runs amok at an agricultural expo, they're ordered to cease their growth hormone experiments. So they send giant praying mantises, demonic chickens, and a talking goat to attack Gotham City. The Agony Booth said it best "I wish I was making all this up, believe me. It’s like David Lynch made a Batman cartoon and forced the networks to air it."
In point of fact, it was written by Steve Gerber (the guy who gave the world Howard the Duck and other strangeness) and horror novelist Joe Lansdale.
Quack Pack has the episode "All Hands on Duck", which was about Donald Duck being recruited back into the Navy and later fighting a giant bomber drone. Everyone in this episode besides Donald and Daisy is for some reason a Dogface.
American Dad!: "Tear Jerker" and "For Black Eyes Only" (James Bond parodies), "Hot Water" (a Musical Episode where a hot tub kills off everyone in the cast. In that episode's defense, it was supposed to be the last episode of the entire series because the writers were afraid FOX was going to cancel the show. When they discovered that FOX wasn't going to cancel American Dad, the episode was put on as a season seven premiere and the deaths were written off as non-canon), and "Blood Crieth Unto Heaven" (an American Dad episode set up like a stage play).
In Stickin' Around, every day is a day at the bizarro considering that most of an episode happens in the main character's imagination.
While Toon Physics are practically nonexistent as a rule to begin with, Duck Amuck shatters any conception of the fourth wall by having Daffy Duck arguing with and being screwed around with by the animator who turns out to be Bugs Bunny.
Bugs later got a taste of his own medicine in Rabbit Rampage, with the animator being Elmer Fudd.
Early Bob Clampett masterpiece Porky In Wackyland was another one, abandoning any precept of cartoon rules or logic in favor of random creatures and nonsensical gags.
The Rugrats dream episode. We see Chuckie wake from each dream, and supposedly enter the real world, only to discover slowly that he is still dreaming; with strange settings and weird stuff like Spike talking.
Ben 10 has the episode "Gwen 10". In that episode, they were all back to the first day of summer and Ben was the only person remembering the previous episode's events. As the title episode suggested, Gwen was the one to find the Omnitrix this time. At the end, it got detached from her and Ben thought he'd finally have it like in the original timeline but it went to Max instead. It becomes Hilarious in Hindsight when it's revealed in a later episode that the person who sent the Omnitrix to Earth expected Max to have it in the first place. The next episode had Ben with the Omnitrix again with no explanation and "Gwen 10" events were never mentioned in any other episodes of the series.
The start of the episode explained how it worked much like a comic book plot, of different realities and different stories. Gwen 10 (or Max 10) probably went very radically in its own direction, but for the sake of continuity and story of the main plot hook, went with Ben 10 still having the Omnitrix. However, that doesn't explain how the mainstream Ben went to the Gwen 10 reality, how he returned to his own, or what happened to that reality's Ben.
This was subtly referenced in the "Ultimate Alien" episode "Ben 10,000 Returns" where paradox mentions a timeline where Gwen got the Omnitrix.
Supposedly, all episodes that start by displaying a comic book at the start are such episodes. Another one had the series ending with Ben starting school again—except it was just before the actual series ending and contradicted it.
Also possibly an homage to the 1980s Star Wars: Droids cartoon, which contained many BLAM moments if not entire episodes (C-3PO blinking and sprinting, R2-D2's hammerspace gadgets and breakdancing).
Season 3 has the Mortis trilogy of episodes. The basic plot is that Obi-Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka get stranded on a surreal planet whose only three inhabitants — Father, Son and Daughter — are the living embodiments/avatars/personifications of the Balance of the Force, the Dark Side and the Light Side, respectively. During the course of the episodes Father, Son and Daughter either kill each other, or arrange for the Jedi to do so on their behalf. Unsurprisingly it is never referred back to and, aside from the anvilicious hints that Anakin has more sympathy for the Dark Side than is strictly healthy, comes off as extreme padding.
It gets referenced back to again in the last story arc of "The Lost Missions", when Yoda asks Anakin about his encounter with Qui-Gon Jinn on Mortis after he himself has been hearing Qui-Gon's voice.
Mega Man had more than its share of camp, but by far the most bizarre and memorable example is "Curse of the Lion Men" - a passing comet awakens a group of ancient mummified lion-men who aim to conquer the world by turning every non-robotic human on the planet into lion creatures using Eye Beams. No, it doesn't make any more sense in context.
The episode "Da Boom" in Family Guy, which is the episode with the nuclear explosion due to the Millennium Bug. The Griffins try to find a lost Twinkie factory, and decide to form a new town, with Stewie turning into an octopus. (It all makes sense in context.) At the end, a Dallas character wakes up from a dream and tells Bobby about this weird episode. Bobby doesn't understand what Family Guy is, which freaks her out even more. Oh, and it was the first episode to feature Ernie the Giant Chicken and his fights with Peter.
The "Anthology of Interest" episodes are two sets of three What If? shorts.
"The Futurama Holiday Spectacular" is a pastiche of holiday specials.
"Reincarnation" imagines the cast of the show in three different animation styles: old-time "rubber hose" cartoons from The Thirties, early 1980s video game pixel art, and badly-dubbed, stiffly-animated Japanimation from the 1970s.
"The Six Million Dollar Mon", in which Hermes Conrad gradually turns himself into a cyborg, has no real relevance to anything and has several plot points that don't make any sense even by Futurama's rather lax standards.
The Simpsons has quite a few. What's weird is that they began as somewhat ordinary episodes and quickly went into weirdness.
"The Computer Wore Menace Shoes": Homer starts a website that reveals peoples' secrets, but when nobody wants to get near him when they find out he, he makes up lies. However, one of those lies turns out to be true and he gets sent to a Prisoner-esque island for it. He escapes and fights with a German lookalike of him, but he ends up back on the island, this time with his family accompanying him.
"Missionary: Impossible": Homer gets chased by PBS personalities for lying about making a donation to a telethon, so Reverend Lovejoy makes him a missionary and is sent to a South Pacific island. His antics end up putting him in danger and right when the climax hits its peak, the show stops and it turns out to be a part of a FOX telethon.
"Saddlesore Galatica": Homer and Bart train a horse to become a racer with Bart as its jockey. However, the other jockeys turn out to be elves (complete with underground kingdom) and force Homer to throw the race. The episode even calls itself out on being a weird, derivative episode (in the form of The Comic Book Guy being an audience surrogate), which led to a lot of real fans branding the episode as the worst ever and some claiming that it's a brilliant work of surrealism and post-modernism.
And, obviously, the Treehouse Of Horror episodes.
Any episode that shows the Simpson family and other Springfield citizens in the future ("Lisa's Wedding," "Bart to the Future," "Future-Drama," and "Holidays of Futures Passed.")
"Moe Goes From Rags To Riches": The main plot revolves around a talking rag voiced by Jeremy Irons telling its story. The rag's sentience is given no explanation, the episode hops time periods with almost no connectivity between segments, and some of the plot points have no basis in reality, but were played perfectly straight. Much like Saddlesore Galactia, the episode has been panned by critics.
Sealab 2021 had a couple that were strange even by that show's standards. "Waking Quinn" involved Dr. Quinn getting repeatedly electrocuted into unconsciousness leading to really bizarre dreams. Another episode is actually titled "Bizarro" and involves the crew being kidnapped by Bizarro versions of themselves (which is where the page image comes from), but that's par for the course on Sealab. And still another subverts the trope my being a line-for-line remake of one of the original Sealab 2020 shows, with all the melodrama that implies.
For nearly its entire run, Beetlejuice had fairly straightforward adventures. Then came "Poe Pourri", a tribute to the surrealist stylings of Edgar Allan Poe, which had none of the series' trademark cornball humor. What it did have: The poet himself, reduced to eternal wailing laments over his lost Lenore, a gravelly-voiced rapping (both meanings of the word) raven who appears out of nowhere and spouts cryptic verses, a 15-foot-tall wall-crushing human heart, a menacing pendulum scythe which ends up cutting the entire cartoon in half, massive pits appearing out of nowhere, a giant red mask which gives Beetlejuice an incurable disease, and a ferocious green gorilla. On top of that, the whole thing is shown to be a dream, then a dream within a dream, then a dream within a dream within a dream, until the episode ends...at exactly the same point it began.
Episode 10 of Clone High focuses around the death of Ponce De Leon, a character who never appears in any other episode. In spite of this, the episode is filled with constant reminders that everyone looks up to Ponce and that he and JFK are inseparable best friends.
Adventure Time: "BMO Noire". BMO tries to find Finn's missing sock by imagining himself as a hard-boiled detective "interrogating" such suspects as a mouse, a remote control, and a chicken. What.
And then they are both topped by "A Glitch is a Glitch", which is a massive Mind Screw even by the show's rather surreal standards.
"Puhoy". Finn climbs into Jake's pillow fort, and it's a portal to a whole new world. Then he gets married. He ages to 40 years old in one day, and dies. It turns out it was All Just a Dream.
The Mask: The Animated Series is already a bizarre series, but "Flight as a Feather" was very weird, even by the show's cartoony standards. Stanley didn't appear in the episode (making it seem as if The Mask is his own character), there's no villain (unless you count Cookie BaBoom and Walter), it had a Random Events Plot, and, of course, the Cookie BaBoom sequence is the most risque scene ever committed to 1990s animation.
The Fairly OddParents episode "Crock Talk", where Timmy wishes up a bunch of monsters for no apparent reason, which repeatedly beat up Crocker.
The 101 Dalmatians: The Series episode "DeVil-Age Elder", where the Dearlys, the main pups, and Cruella stumble upon "DeVil Ville", a Renaissance-era town cursed 1000 years ago by a witch (Who resembles Nanny), to make the town only appear every 1000 years a la ''Brigadoon.
The Recess episode "Big Ol' Mikey", where after Gretchen uses her Galileo PDA to predict what the gang's future heights are going to be as adults, Mikey thinks he's going to grow up to be fifty feet tall, and a majority of the episode consists of of Imagine Spots where the gang are imagining the advantages of Mikey growing huge, and then Mikey having a bad dream about being a giant and destroying a city.
In "Rinse and Spit", Rocko's attempts to help Filbert pass a dental school exam lead to a giant molar rampaging through O-Town.
In "Boob Tubed", after Heffer literally gets his brain sucked out by Rocko's new TV, Rocko and Filbert journey into the world beyond the TV snow to retrieve it.
The second act of "Cruisin'", where Rocko and Heffer get stuck on a senior's cruise that accidentally travels into the Bermuda Triangle, which turns them old and all the seniors young.
SpongeBob SquarePants has a few examples. "I Had An Accident", the episode where Spongebob breaks his butt and becomes a recluse, gets especially weird at the end, where a plot by Patrick and Sandy to get Spongebob out of his house ends with a gorilla who beats up SpongeBob and rides away on a pantomime horse. The episode ends with a live-action family seeing the end of the episode looking quizzically at the camera.
The Jimmy Two-Shoes episode "Going Green". Okay, so Lucius tells the people of Miseryville to deliver their suggestions of how to run Miseryville to Jimmy's house. He gets a ton of suggestions from a guy named TGF, who is all about the environment, and then he splashes himself with tomato juice, impersonates Beezy, and tells the people of Miseryville to be more green, but Lucius tells people it was all just a TV show. It's probably better if you just see it yourself. The next episode is pretty weird too, centering around someone trying to marry Jimmy's sandwich.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero had "Once Upon A Joe," featuring a rather bizarre fairy tale (full of Joes and Cobras of course) being told by Shipwreck to an orphan. The animation style for the tale was totally different. Even the MAIN plot was weird, with the episodes Macguffin actually being called a Macguffin and Zandar beating up on other Dreadknocks WITH AN ALLIGATOR.
The Catscratch episode "Core-Uption". When Kimberly gets an 'F' on her science project for saying that the earth's core is made of unicorns and rainbows, Gordon drills to the core and stuffs the project inside it, causing the world to turn into a Tastes Like Diabetes wonderland. In the process, Gordon becomes a Pikachuexpy, Mr. Blik becomes a mouse pull-string doll, Waffle becomes a potted plant and Hovis becomes a gingerbread man.
Darkwing Duck has had a few, such as "Darkwing Doubloon" which re-imagines the entire cast as swashbucklers chasing after Negaduck's band of pirates and "The Secret Origins of Darkwing Duck," which uses the future as its framing device and reveals that Darkwing was sent to Earth as a baby from a dying planet.