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Boot Camp Episode
Exactly What It Says on the Tin
, an episode where the characters (accidentally or not
) become recruits at the Military Academy
, or in case of children they go to the Military School
as punishment, either way Hilarity Ensues
Expect to see lots of Peeling Potatoes
, training The Spartan Way
, plenty of Physical Fitness Punishment
, the obligatory Drill Sergeant Nasty
and maybe even battlefield action. Male characters will probably be shaven bald
upon arrival (female recruits usually just have to resort to a tight ponytail or bun).
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- The Lion King Adventures has two stories featuring this trope.
- Dig It features Simba being sent to a desolate camp where he is forced to dig holes all day.
- Return to Camp Kazi portrayed it as more like a summer camp. It was being ruled over by a soul-sucking Surfer Dude alien, though.
Live Action TV
- Family Matters had Urkel and Eddie infiltrate a boot camp in order to convince an emotionally hurt Waldo to leave.
- The Sarah Connor Chronicles season two episode "Goodbye To All That" has John enroll in military school and Derek sign up as a teacher.
- Laverne and Shirley had a two-part episode where they joined the army. Vicki Lawrence guest-starred as their Drill Sergeant Nasty.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch had her get sent there by her aunts for crashing a train into the living room.
- Done on Popular as a method of punishment, and to introduce another Glass sibling.
- Done in The Andy Griffith Show when Gomer Pyle joins the Marine Corps, which leads to the spinoff series, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. In this episode, Andy gives Gomer a ride, accompanies him onto the base, and even interacts with Gomer several times, all with the intent of talking Gomer out of his decision. The pilot episode of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. led to some disconinuity as many of the scenes were re-enacted without Andy being present.
- A segment of The Colbert Report's series from Iraq featured Stephen going through a boot camp. Stephen never broke character, and the Drill Sergeant Nasty never cracked a smile.
- The kids on Saved by the Bell had a rudimentary training experience in one episode (rope climbing, running through tires).
- Shortland Street has done at least one arc about it, with Daniel Potts being sent there as punishment for selling bootleg MP3 players.
- JAG: A first season episode had Meg go undercover as a female Marine recruit, to investigate the suspicious death of another female recruit.
- NCIS: The eleventh episode of season three, "Model Behavior", has a reality show with models set at a boot camp.
- Jake 2.0: Jake has to infiltrate a specialized black-ops army corps. His powers allow him to keep up with the soldiers' extreme training, but the real problem is adapting to their mentality. The episode is called "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot."
- In Raumschiff GameStar, the newly-appointed Number Two Stangl organizes one for the rest of the crew, with himself cast as a Drill Sergeant Nasty.
- Enderís Game is this. They send young kids to battle school, to train super-geniuses to command a fleet against alien invaders.
- An instance where the "episode" lasted most of the series: Beetle Bailey was originally a slacker college student, when one day in the first year of the strip's run he ran into an army recruiter office to hide from his two love interests. He's been in Camp Swampy ever since.
- Bill Mauldin's Willie And Joe was this for the first three years.
- Shoe had a running gag where Skyler wound up spending every summer in Marine Corps boot camp.
- In The Simpsons Bart is forced to go to military school after blasting a soundwave through the town (and Lisa joins him after being bored with public school education).
- In two other The Simpsons Homer joins the Naval Reserve (Simpson Tide), and later the Army (G.I.-Annoyed Grunt).
- In Futurama, Fry and Bender enlist in order to take advantage of a discount for recruits in "War is the H-Word". Almost immediately, war was declared.
- Johnny Bravo accidentally joins the army rather than the Dodgeball Camp.
- On Family Guy Stewie signs himself and Brian up for the military after Brian tries to get Chris out of a recruitment contract.
- In The Proud Family, Penny becomes a bad girl while coming up with an interesting story about The Gross Sisters for the school newspaper, and is sent to a boot camp style reformatory.
- In a Flashback Episode of Transformers Animated, Bumble Bee and Bulkhead go through basic training.
- One of the Warner Siblings shorts in Animaniacs has them discovering boot camp (They all think it's summer camp, Dot thinks it has to do with fashionable footwear). Hilarity Ensues.
- A similar thing occured in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, but with prison camp. Similar hilarity ensues though.
- An episode of Disney's Hercules has Herc and Icarus infiltrate Spartan Military Academy to save Adonis, who has to go through basic training in accordance to family tradition. Ironically, Butt Cuckoolander Icarus warms up to the military lifestyle.
- Invader Zim, "Hobo 13": Zim is sent to the military training world 'Hobo 13' and told that if he survives he can have a big sack of battle tanks. The drill instructor is a hulking cyborg played by R. Lee Ermey.
- X-Men: Evolution also had an example (with both the good guys and the bad guys sent to a boot camp).
- Total Drama Island had one of these.
- King of the Hill had an episode where Cotton wanted Bobby to go to a boot camp to be toughened up.
- The trope is mostly averted however when Cotton discovers the camp has been turned into more of a military-themed summer camp for young boys. Then Cotton takes over as headmaster, but utterly fails (ironically, his own bragging on the wall of "the box" is what gives Bobby the resolve to perservere).
- Dave the Barbarian: when Dave and Fang joined the Mongrel Horde.
- The Mask: The season two episode "The Green Marine" showed how The Mask accidentally enlisted himself in the Marines.
- The short-lived Laverne & Shirley animated series had them joining the army. Their drill sergeant was a talking pig.
- The Jetsons puts its spin on this trope in the episode where George, Mr. Spacely, and apartment handyman Henry have to report to a National Guard training camp.
- On Phineas and Ferb, the titular boys are sent to a boot camp after Candace actually manages to bust them. The camp (run by an evil drill sergeant) is designed to smother and stifle their creativity. It works. They get better. And then...
- Aqua Teen Hungerforce had Meatwad inadvertently sign the titular trio up for the Marines while trying to buy gum. Shake decides to blow his face off with a shotgun reasoning that there's no way they'll take him in that condition. Cue Ironic Echo Cut.
- A Ren and Stimpy episode features the duo in a boot camp.
- Two Stupid Dogs were sent to a "cartoon boot camp".
- Happens rather frighteningly on Cow and Chicken.
- Bugs Bunny was once enlisted in the army in Forward March Hare
- He was also enlisted in the U.S Marines during WW2, and retired at the end of the war a Master Sergeant...
- Donald Duck had a number of boot camp episodes all while under Sergeant Pete. There was Donald Gets Drafted, The Vanishing Private, Sky Trooper, Fall Out Fall In and The Old Army Game.
- Generator Rex features an episode where the titular character and his friend Noah join a Providence boot camp. Even though Rex has superpowers, they still wind up failing by passing.
- In the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Zach and the Alien Invadors", Zach is sent to a boot camp for constantly Crying Wolf from reporting crimes that never occurred. No physical activity was shown, but Zach notices the fellow cadets are zombies controlled by two aliens disguised as officers.
- The Little Lulu Show episode "Iggy's New Leaf" had Iggy faced with the threat of getting sent to military school if he does one more bad thing, prompting Lulu, Tubby, and Willy to help him stay out of trouble. In the end, however, the three wind up getting sent to military school instead, because of the troubles that they got caught up in that they were trying to keep Iggy from committing, while Iggy gets off the hook.
- In the Code Lyoko episode "I'd Rather Not Talk About It", the Lyoko Warriors go to boot camp under Jim to get in shape.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Wonderbolts Academy" puts Rainbow Dash through this, though it's to join the Wonderbolts, a squadron of pegasus flyers, rather than the military.
- Though it still has a prominent military flavor, possibly due to the Wonderbolts themselves being a reference to the Blue Angels, and the fact that pegasi were the soldier-class during the pre-Equestria era (unicorns were the nobility, earth ponies were the farmers).
- Daffy Duck joins the Marines in The Looney Tunes Show episode "Semper Lie".
- Codename: Kids Next Door has "Operation: T.R.A.I.N.I.N.G.", where Numbuh 2's little brother Tommy is in KND arctic training base. Subverted as everyone but Tommy and 2 other recruits are called away early in the episode and Father arrives to steal the Code Module.
- This was the Plot Point of the Mr. Bogus episode "Battle Action Bogus", where Bogus finds himself getting enlisted in a military base camp in Bogusland.