[[quoteright:350:[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bottle_episode_7.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[LockedInARoom One shuttlepod]], [[MinimalistCast two characters]] and [[VisualPun a bottle]].]]

->''"I hate bottle episodes. They're wall-to-wall facial expressions and emotional nuance. I might as well sit in the corner with a bucket on my head."''
-->-- '''Abed''', ''Series/{{Community}}'', "Cooperative Calligraphy" ([[HypocriticalHumor the series' bottle episode]])

A "bottle episode" is designed to take up as little money as possible. The easiest way to go about this is to use only the regular cast (or even just ''part'' of the regular cast) and set it in a single location, especially if you have a main standing set. This keeps production costs down, because no-one needs to scout locations, build new sets, or create fancy CGI graphics of the outside of the spaceship. Bottle episodes are often a chance for a slow, characterization-filled episode before[=/=]after a big special-effects-laden action episode. Of course, all this doesn't mean the episode ''will'' be cheap, just that it's ''meant'' to be; like any regular episode, [[RealLifeWritesThePlot unforeseen complications]] can cause the show to run over the scheduled budget.

Note that the term has become synonymous with "single-location" episode, even though bottle episodes can (theoretically) have as many locations as a normal episode. All that matters is that it costs less, because the money is having to pass through a "bottleneck". The ''Franchise/StarTrek'' cast and crew call this a "ship-in-a-bottle" episode, which is where the name originated.

Typically, effects-heavy shows such as ''Star Trek'' will hold off on the bottle episodes until near the end of a given season, saving the Big Money for mid-season cliffhangers and special guests.

Bottle episodes are known as a challenge and/or a chore, depending on the writer. Since most/all of the episode is set in a single location (sometimes even entirely in one room) with a smaller than usual cast, the dialogue (regarded as one of the harder things to write) needs to be better and tighter than in other episodes since the writer can't really do anything else with the cast. Depending on the writer and how well the premise works out, bottle episodes can range from terrible, to some of the best episodes of their shows and even their franchises.

Sometimes, writers create single-location episodes just [[SelfImposedChallenge as an exercise to see if they can]], like in the case of one of the first bottle episodes, ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'''s "The Chinese Restaurant", which actually ended up costing as much as a regular episode due to the expense of the new set. In any case, this generally results in either one of the most boring episodes of a series, or one of the best. In [[BritCom britcoms]] especially, they tend to be one of the better episodes.

Some plots lend themselves to the nature of a Bottle Episode, such as SinkingShipScenario, GroundhogDayLoop, LockedInARoom, or EpisodeOnAPlane. Sometimes an episode which is a PeriodPiece may ''look'' fancy and expensive, but these are often using the studio's already-existing (thus free) costumes and sets. DieHardOnAnX, though limiting the episode to one location, rarely fits this trope, since the other elements of that trope often negate the budget-saving aspects of a Bottle Episode. Also, a bottle episode may or may not involve a MinimalistCast.

Keep in mind that [[TropesAreNotBad a Bottle Episode is not necessarily bad]]. Just being a Bottle Episode does not mean the episode had NoBudget or badly done -- they were just saving some up, or making up for an earlier expensive episode. In fact, as noted above and below, many have actually become highly acclaimed. That may because expectations are lower for bottle episodes, but they can also encourage the writers to make up for the lack of characters and sets with their writing.

Almost all {{Clip Show}}s (and, by extension, {{Recap Episode}}s) fit this trope, despite not strictly being an actual Bottle Episode. Not to be confused with DrowningMySorrows, nor with [[MessageInABottle sending out messages in bottles]]. Another cause that happens on occasion is a [[UsefulNotes/TVStrikes writers' strike]]. With the shorter formats, such as half-hour TV series, the temptation for the director is sometimes to make it TheOner as well.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'':
** The episode "Someday in the Rain" takes this idea and runs with it including a long shot of Yuki reading a book motionless as language lessons and radio programs play in the background. Oddly the budget was clearly substantial and the episode has no connection to the light novels the rest of the anime is based on -- implying that it may have been done either for the hell of it or as a deliberate reference to the typically conservative animation styles in anime.
** Surprisingly averted with the infamous Endless Eight arc, consisting of the cast stuck in a GroundhogDayLoop repeating most of the same actions and lines over and over for 8 episodes. Despite the premise practically begging for laziness and animation recycling, each episode was animated from scratch (with the cast's constantly rotating outfits hinting at this.)
* Episode four of ''Manga/KamichamaKarin'' has possibly the most OffModel art of the whole series, but the story was actually quite well-written.
* Episode nine of ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' takes place almost entirely in a virtual chat room.
* Episode 11-B "Nothing To Room" of ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt''. The episode consists entirely of [[LeaveTheCameraRunning a single shot with no variations in camera angle or location]] (with some minor modifications to depict different times of day), and the majority of the episode is just the characters talking with each other about [[SeinfeldianConversation nothing in particular]]. Even the plot is minimal; it's basically "Panty and Stocking sit on the couch and waste an entire day." It still manages to be entertaining, though. It's also the last episode before the GenreShift the GrandFinale faces.
* Aside from a brief scene at the beginning, ''LightNovel/ReZero'' Episode 18 focuses solely on Subaru and Rem, and they spend three-quarters of the episode up on a roof while Subaru has a DarkestHour HeroicBSoD and Rem tries to talk him out of it. The animation is actually extremely good.
* In the first season of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', the episode "Pikachu's Goodbye" was thrown together during the hiatus following the "Electric Soldier Porygon" seizure incident, and was the first aired when the show returned from its hiatus. To take pressure off the animators, the only Pokemon included were Meowth and Pikachu (the latter in large numbers).
** The ''Sun and Moon'' episode "Partner Promises" features Ash and Pikachu going on a adventure by themselves in a MilestoneCelebration of the anime's 20th anniversary, with the other characters mostly showing up at the beginning of the episode.
* One chapter of ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' is solely about a conversation between a blind girl and her friend, a king. As it's from the point of view of the blind girl, every panel is pitch black except the speech bubbles. The perspective returns to normal third-person at the end of their conversation to show that [[spoiler:the king has died]].
* ''Manga/{{Genshiken}}'' has an episode with only two characters, Kasukabe and Madarame, with the majority of the acting simply being Madarame ranting in his head about his feelings for Kasukabe, and the majority of the animation being Madarame on various minimalist backgrounds as he struggles in his imagination, while Kasukabe turns the pages of her book.
* Taken to the LogicalExtreme with the last two episodes of ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. Episodes 25 and 26 start with a disclaimer - "[[spoiler:[[TheBadGuyWins Instrumentality is starting]]]], but we don't have [[NoBudget the time]] to show it, so we'll just ''completely deconstruct our characters''".
* In the anime adaptation of ''Manga/{{Nisekoi}}'', the second episode of the second season has only three characters present: Raku, Tsugumi, and Paula, and nobody else, not even in the background.
* Quite a few episodes of ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'' are like this, but one particular episode features a close-up shot of a food cart, the voices of some people who sound like the regular cast, and not much else. [[spoiler: The dialog even hints at the characters' identities, right until the camera changes perspective and shows the speakers being completely different people.]]

[[folder:Audio Play]]
* The ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' episode, "[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWho052Scherzo Scherzo]]". The story features a MinimalistCast consisting of the Doctor (voiced by Creator/PaulMcGann), his companion, Charley Pollard (voiced by India Fisher) and the MonsterOfTheWeek in form of "the Sound Creature" (voiced by both Paul [=McGann=] and India Fisher), sees them trapped together for pretty much most of the story in a ClosedCircle, in the form of some strange experimentation chamber literally shaped as a huge ring, and is very heavy on characterisation as the Doctor and Charley spend most of the time discussing their relationship and how they respectively understand what the word "love" means to them, and even uses pretty minimal special effects for an AudioPlay as the soundscape for the bulk of the story is a constant, low volume DroneOfDread. The episode even comments a bit on the trope from the fact that the experimentation chamber the Doctor and Charley are trapped in is essentially a huge test-tube, and is even described as being made of a glass-like material.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/TheTransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'' does this multiple times:
** "The Waiting Game" (aka Spotlight: Hoist). The issue stars four mismatched Autobots and their pet Insecticon trapped in shuttle on an uninhabited world. They cannot venture out for fear of being killed by an extremely powerful Decepticon and are unable to call for help. They wind up spending most of the issue swapping stories and getting on each others nerves.
** Issue 31. The entire issue takes place inside an escape pod, where twenty members of the crew are stuck after the events of the previous arc. Nothing is seen outside of the pod aside from brief glimpses of empty space through the windows.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The ''FanFic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' episode ''Roughin' It'', isn't technically a bottle episode, but it's designed like one. There are only two speaking roles (Calvin and Hobbes, and they spend most of their time just camping out in the woods. There's no action, no real plot, just a lot of ConversationalTroping.
* The majority of ''{{FanFic/Glass}}'' is just Seto, Pegasus, and a glass wall, with occasional looks into other characters and locations.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TenCloverfieldLane'' is set almost entirely in an underground bunker, and only five actors appear in the film.
* ''Film/TwelveAngryMen'' is set almost entirely in a jury deliberation room.
* ''Film/AllIsLost'' has only one actor (Creator/RobertRedford) and very little dialogue.
* ''Film/TheBreakfastClub'' is basically a play.
* ''{{Film/Buried}}'' is set entirely in a coffin and features only one actor.
* Similarly, Creator/KevinSmith set ''Film/{{Clerks}}'' almost entirely within a convenience store to keep costs down.
* About 75% of ''Film/{{Devil}}'' takes place in an elevator with a [[TenLittleMurderVictims constantly dwindling cast]].
* The bulk of ''Film/GlengarryGlenRoss'' takes place in the confines of the office. This makes sense as it was derived from ''[[Theatre/GlengarryGlenRoss a play]]''.
* ''[[Film/EbirahHorrorOfTheDeep Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster]]'' is considered this in the Godzilla franchise as it's unlike its previous films. The cast is mostly on an island or out at sea, Godzilla does not attack a city (although he does attack a military base), and the only other monsters are Ebirah and Mothra.
* ''Film/GodzillaVsMegalon'' features a relatively small cast and a heavy reliance on StockFootage, while the number of miniature sets is limited to a single dam.
* The majority of the original ''Franchise/{{Halloween}}'' movies take place over the course of the titular day, with brief prologues set the day before. In particular the first two--[[Film/HalloweenII1981 the second]] [[ImmediateSequel even picks up right where]] [[Film/{{Halloween 1978}} the first]] one ended.
* ''Film/HardCandy'' only has [[MinimalistCast two main characters]] and is set almost entirely in the house of the male lead.
* The first third of ''Film/TheHatefulEight'' takes place inside a stagecoach, and the remainder takes place inside a stagecoach lodge. The film's extremely wide aspect ratio makes both of these environments feel very immersive and claustrophobic.
* Creator/AlfredHitchcock liked to experiment with this format:
** Except for a shot of the ship sinking at the beginning, the entirety of ''Lifeboat'' is set on the lifeboat, the plot driven solely by the survivors' increasingly hostile bickering among each other.
** ''Theatre/{{Rope}}'' begins with an EstablishingShot of the apartment building where the rest of the movie takes place. Not only does the whole story unfold in one room, the movie was edited in such a way to conceal as many cuts as possible, making it feel like the whole movie was a single ''shot''.
** Paralleling the protagonist's voyeuristic tendencies in ''Film/RearWindow'', the camera in this movie never ventures more than several feet away from Jeffries's room's window. Until the climax, the camera never even leaves his room.
* ''Film/TheManFromEarth'' is shot entirely in one location, mostly in a single room.
* Creator/QuentinTarantino has said he wrote ''Film/ReservoirDogs'' like this to keep the costs down to make it more likely to be filmed. The majority of the movie takes place in the warehouse, while Mr. Orange's apartment and Joe's office were located in the same building.
* George Romero's first three zombie films each are each primarily set in one location. ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968'' traps the characters in an isolated farmhouse about ten minutes in, ''Film/DawnOfTheDead1978'' moves through a few different locations in the first act before settling into the shopping mall for the long run, and ''Film/DayOfTheDead1985'' is set inside an underground bunker aside from the opening in the abandoned city and [[spoiler: the final scene on the beach]].
* The first two acts of ''Film/{{Room}}'' are set in a cramped, back house apartment and only three characters (Joy, Jack, and "Old Nick") appear.
* The satirical World War II Prisoner of War film ''Film/Stalag17'' has the cast largely filmed within their barracks. Aside from making sense due to the characters being prisoners, the film was based upon a play.
* ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'' is a bottle episode, as much as a movie can be. After ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'', which DevelopmentHell and special effects turned into an extremely expensive project ($46 million, including development on the aborted ''Star Trek: Phase II'' TV series), the studio gave the next film a considerably lower budget. It resulted in what is still typically considered the best ''Trek'' film -- despite costing only a quarter of what its predecessor did. Harve Bennett hired a production team with mainly TV movie experience, much of the ship footage is StockFootage reused from the first movie, and Nicholas Meyer wrote the script so that a majority of the scenes would be shot on the ''Enterprise'' bridge set (which was also redressed as the ''Reliant'' bridge). The space suits worn by Terrell and Chekov, as well as the uniforms worn by extras, were also leftovers from the first film. Kirk and Khan also never physically meet in the film -- they only ever interact with each other over radio transmissions and the viewscreens on their ships. The two actors had busy schedules and working around them would have been much more expensive. Yet Khan is often cited as the greatest opponent Kirk ever faced, despite the fact that their scenes were filmed months apart from each other.
* Almost all of Creator/TheThreeStooges' short ''Cuckoo on a Choo-Choo'' takes place inside a railroad boxcar.
* ''Film/{{Locke}}'' starts with the titular character getting into his car, he doesn't get out of it for the duration of the film (the camera only leaves the car for the occasional exterior shot), and his is the only face we see on camera, the only other characters are only heard over the phone.

* ''Literature/SplinterOfTheMindsEye'', the first-ever novel in the original ''Franchise/StarWars ''[[Franchise/StarWarsLegends expanded universe]], was originally developed as a low-budget film sequel written under the assumption that ''Film/ANewHope'' wasn't going to be much of a box office success, and it ''really'' shows in the resulting book. It takes place almost entirely on a fog-shrouded planet, there are very few things which would have required new props or costumes, Han Solo is totally absent because Creator/HarrisonFord hadn't been signed on for a sequel yet, and there's not a single space battle. Of course, ''A New Hope'' went on to become the most successful film of all time at that point and there was no need for the bottle tactics when ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' was made.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred'' had an episode that took place entirely inside NTAC HQ.
* In the ''Series/AdamTwelve'' episode "Light Duty", the whole episode takes place entirely inside the police station, as Malloy (sporting an injured wrist) and Reed man the front desk and listen to the day's action through the radio while dealing with assorted people who come in for assistance.
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperman'' is an early example. Not only were many of the same shots used in many episodes (the establishing shot of the Daily Planet, Clark running into an alley emerging as Superman, the same shot of Superman flying and looking to his left superimposed over different backdrops) but in any given season, every scene in the usual sets, such as Perry White's office were filmed within a few days, and for the most part, the seasons were all filmed within two weeks. The Season 1 episode "Crime Wave" consists largely of clips from earlier episodes. It wasn't quite a ClipShow because they weren't showing these shots as "highlights," they're just used as stock stuff, even though some of it (the fight from "Mind Machine") were fairly notable.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': "Spin the Bottle" has at least the tendencies of a Bottle Episode: most of the episode takes place in the hotel, with no guest stars and an "amnesia" concept that makes for a low need of special effects.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'', the Season 4 episode "Intersections In Real Time", the main character (Sheridan) was in a cell, being psychologically tortured to make him break. It is widely regarded as the most emotionally-charged episode of all the series. It is also notable in having been done with one continuous take for each act of the show, and having only one main character (Sheridan) speak. The only other main character who appears is Delenn, who appears only as a non-speaking hallucination.
* The classic sitcom ''Series/BarneyMiller'' was nothing BUT bottle episodes. Every episode took place in the same squad office at the police station, which consisted of three small rooms: the main office, the holding cell, and Barney's office. That's it. Characters would come and go, but their interactions with the world outside the office were almost always told and not shown. About once a year they would do an episode where characters actually went outside, but after a few seasons, even this was dropped. The show was never a big ratings hit but managed to last eight seasons because it was incredibly inexpensive to make. WordOfGod says that the whole philosophy behind ''Barney Miller'' was to make a show that resembled a classic stage play. The economic benefits were just a happy side effect. Of 175 episodes produced 1975-1982, only thirteen episodes showed scenes outside the station: "Ramon", "Graft", "The Stakeout", "Hair", "The Hero", "Film/GrandHotel", "Fish", "Wojo's Girl" part 2 (itself a Bottle Episode as the whole episode took place in Wojo's apartment), "Contempt" parts 1 & 2, "Chinatown" parts 1 & 2, and "Eviction" part 2.
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': A ''lot'' of the action happens in the eponymous Battlestar, especially the CIC. Ron Moore mentioned at one point that it was a shame that they could not have shot more scenes aboard the civilian ships in the fleet.
** The episode "Unfinished Business" consisted almost entirely of a boxing tournament in a single room and flashbacks to the time on New Caprica. The flashbacks had all been shot during the hiatus between seasons. They were intended to be spread across the entire season, but they all ended up being put into one episode.
** An episode contained an extended space battle scene... in which the scene was depicted without CGI-- or even seeing the battle at all-- but rather by the reactions of the bridge crew to the audio of the space battle.
* ''Series/{{Baywatch}}'' would do this occasionally and they'd often be among the show's better episodes. One in particular had no definite plotline, just depicted the typical chaos that a lifeguard might deal with on an average day.
* UK cop drama ''Series/TheBill'' often invoked this in the old days, when the "cheapie" episode could be distinguished by the fact that it would take place entirely within the confines of the police station, and (usually) had a plot focused on characters doing their daily paperwork/avoiding doing their daily paperwork. In other words, the bottle episodes were usually the ones which focused a lot on 'character interaction' rather than on story. One award-winning episode was set entirely in the back of a police van, and another notable episode was set entirely in the Interview Room.
* Every single episode of ''[[Series/BlackAdder BlackAdder II]]'' was somewhat of a bottle episode. The first series of the legendary British sitcom, though generally being well received, cost the BBC huge amounts, with many different and massive sets, from the many rooms of the castle to the battlefields, towns and other locales. When the next series came along, the BBC wanted to keep costs down, and so there were only a few sets, all relatively small, with the odd outdoor scene, new set and such. Downplayed in the first episode, as there are a massive number of sets: a bunch of outdoor scenes, a doctor's office, a bedroom, the Queen's court, Bob's home and numerous other joints. The trend for having a small number of sets continued with the third and fourth series. ''Blackadder the Third'' rarely moved away from the Prince Regent's apartments, the servants' quarters downstairs and Mrs. Miggins' Pie Shop, while ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' rarely left the trenches or General Melchett's post behind the lines.
* ''Series/BlackIsh'': the season 2 finale "Hope", dealing with police brutality against blacks, takes place in the Johnsons' living room and kitchen, with only the final shot taking place outside.
* "Sunday Best" from ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'', about little more than how various characters spend Easter.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'':
** The Season 6 episode "Blackout in the Blizzard" has an abridged cast of the main characters; 2 of which spend the majority episode stuck in an elevator with a 3rd overlooking. The remaining 4 characters in the episode solve the entire crime in the standard "Jeffersonian" set...in the dark.
** The season 1 ChristmasEpisode had the cast quarantined at the Jeffersonian.
* ''Series/{{Bottom}}'' has a lot of these.
** One series 3 episode took place solely on top of a Ferris wheel [[spoiler: [[ItMakesSenseInContext and God's palm]]]] with only the two cast members.
** 3 episodes take place entirely outside the flat (with only one set), and 3 episodes feature only two characters. There are a few set entirely within the flat.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'':
** The season 3 episode [[Recap/BreakingBadS3E10Fly "Fly"]] - with only Walt and Jesse appearing, and set almost entirely in one room, the lab. It saw Jesse and Walt [[ItMakesSenseInContext chasing a fly]] for the full forty-something minutes. Better than it sounds, thanks to the extraordinary levels of tension present throughout, coming to a peak when Jesse is balanced precariously at the top of a ladder while at least three potentially relationship-destroying secrets are on the brink of being revealed during the course of an absolute TearJerker of a monologue by Walt.
** [[Recap/BreakingBadS1E3AndTheBagsInTheRiver "...And the Bag's in the River"]] in season 1 takes place mostly in Jesse's house.
** Season 2's [[Recap/BreakingBadS2E9FourDaysOut "4 Days Out"]] subverts the idea as far as cost lowering goes. It revolves around Walt and Jesse being stranded in the desert and was intended to take place entirely in the RV. But the plot ended up requiring more and more scenes outside and it eventually became one of the season's most expensive episodes.
* In ''Series/BuckRogersInTheTwentyFifthCentury'', the episode "A Blast for Buck" was mainly a montage of previous episodes, plus a framing story where Buck Rogers receives an ominous sounding message in a container teleported into his room. The episode took place almost entirely within a single room.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Because Creator/JossWhedon has to take this trope and mix it up with Angst UpTo11, there's the episode "[[{{Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS5E16TheBody}} The Body]]". It has only one instance of special effects, one vampire (that's where the SE come from), and takes place almost entirely indoors and has no soundtrack.
** Season 6's "[[{{Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS6E14OlderAndFarAway}} Older And Far Away]]", where Halfrek tricks Dawn into wishing nobody can leave the Summers house. Hilarity and drama ensue.
* In ''Series/CarShare'', ''every episode'' mainly consists of two people just sitting in a car and talking.
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'':
** The episode "Cuffed" takes place almost entirely in [[LockedInARoom a little room]] where Castle and Beckett are [[ChainedHeat handcuffed to each other]], with a few flashbacks as they tried to remember [[HowWeGotHere how they'd gotten there.]] In the DVD commentary, writers Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller acknowledged that they'd deliberately planned a bottle episode because they needed it to be under-budget after the last few episodes had gone over-budget.
** The episode "Still" revolves around Beckett standing on the trigger plate for a bomb while she and Castle discuss their relationship and adventures over the years interspersed with flashbacks to previous episodes.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'':
** "Sand Francisco Dreamin" takes place almost entirely inside the Manor and features a plot about the sisters' dreams coming to life. None of the lavish special effects the show normally used were required (Piper's dream was a man romancing her, Paige's was her clown doll coming to life, Phoebe's was being chased by a masked chainsaw killer and Leo's was being pregnant himself) and hardly any other cast members were used.
** "Cat House" from season 5 is another contender. The majority of the episode is Piper and Leo at a marriage counsellor where they have cast a spell to relive their memories that ends up sending Phoebe and Paige into the past to relive them. Most of the episode has clips of Alyssa Milano and Creator/RoseMcGowan superimposed over clips from previous episodes.
* Most episodes of the Mexican sitcom ''Series/ElChavoDelOcho'' are this, taking place in "La Vecindad" with occasional scenes inside Doña Florinda's or Don Ramón's apartments. There were also occasional episodes (or in some cases, single scenes) set in the school that El Chavo, Quico (before Carlos Villagrán left the show), and La Chilindrina attend. There was however, one two-part location episode where the characters are on location in Acapulco.
* ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' had many episodes where the entire episode took place in the bar, including the ''entire first season''. The first episode with scenes set outside the bar was the second season premiere, "Power Play".
* ''Series/Class2016'' has the episode "Detained", which takes place entirely in one school classroom with only the regular characters (one of whom only appears briefly at the beginning and end) and one guest character who manifests only as a disembodied voice.
* A handful of ''Series/ColdCase'' episodes did this, with the flashbacks that filled in the blank between when the audience meets the victim and his/her murder taking place only over a matter of hours and/or in the same location ("Blood On The Tracks", "Blackout").
* ''Series/{{Community}}'' has a lot.
** The most notable being the episode "[[Recap/CommunityS2E08CooperativeCalligraphy Cooperative Calligraphy]]", which takes place entirely in the study room that the main characters meet for their study group. Abed and Jeff even refer to the "Bottle Episode" concept by name. (It's also the only one actually referred to as being "The Bottle Episode" by fans and crew alike.)
** The second season episode "[[Recap/CommunityS2E14AdvancedDungeonsAndDragons Advanced Dungeons and Dragons]]" took place almost entirely in the study room with the group playing D&D. Like, dice-rolls-and-described-actions D&D, not elaborate-dream-sequence D&D.
** [[Recap/CommunityS2E22AppliedAnthropologyAndCulinaryArts Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts]] was shot in the anthropology room, due to the two/three expensive episodes it was between.
** Season 3 has "[[Recap/CommunityS3E04RemedialChaosTheory Remedial Chaos Theory]]" which takes place entirely in Troy and Abed's apartment (save for one scene in the study room at the end) that involves Jeff rolling a die to decide who has to go downstairs to let the pizza delivery man in the building and each way that it lands creates an alternate timeline.
** Season 5's "[[Recap/CommunityS5E04CooperativePolygraphy Cooperative Polygraphy]]," except for TheTag, takes place entirely in the study room as the group is interrogated [[spoiler: as to whether they were responsible for Pierce's death.]]
* Combining this trope with MinimalistCast, ''Series/CoronationStreet'' managed to have two episodes so far invoking this: the first was from New Year's Day 2000 with estranged married couple Curly and Raquel Watts having a heart to heart where she introduced his previously unknown three-year-old daughter to him (via pictures) and the latter asked for a divorce as she had fallen in love with another man and was pregnant with his child (which he granted as he had fallen in love with a [[FairCop local policewoman,]] who eventually became his second wife). The second was between well-known mother and daughter Deidre and Tracy Barlow from 2007, where the latter confessed to killing her boyfriend before turning herself in and they both reflecting on both her actions and their troubled relationship. TheOtherWiki refers to this type of episode as a Two Hander, which is quite a feat [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters in a series such as this.]]
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'' has the episode "Seven Seconds", which took place within the same shopping mall almost the entire time.
* ''Series/{{CSI}}'' had the lighthearted [[LowerDeckEpisode Lower Deck]]/BreatherEpisode "You Kill Me", about TheLabRat Hodges running the other Lab Rats through elaborate (and absurd) murder scenarios as part of a CSI-themed board game he was creating. The previous episode featured the PutOnABus departure of a main character, while the following episode concerned another main character breaking down after becoming addicted to prescription drugs.
* ''Series/TheDeadZone'' had a BottleEpisode ("Cabin Pressure") that took place entirely on a flying airplane (which, admittedly, was not one of the show's normal sets). Interestingly, this episode was also an example of RealTime.
* Episode 8 of the second season of the Netflix show ''Series/DearWhitePeople'' follows two characters' conversation around the racial politics that surround them and their own personal relationship in a single set, the basement/recording studio of their school.
* The BritCom ''Series/{{dinnerladies}}''. ''Every'' episode took place entirely on a single set. (The only time a character appeared elsewhere was in two short inserts of film [one a home video, one an in-universe TV show] that the other characters were watching.)
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Classic:
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E3TheEdgeOfDestruction "The Edge of Destruction"]] was set entirely in the TARDIS. It came immediately after a seven-part Dalek serial (the first ever), which naturally required them to spend a lot of money on building tens of Daleks.
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E2MissionToTheUnknown "Mission to the Unknown"]], a sort of proto-Minisode, a PoorlyDisguisedPilot for a Dalek television series and a prequel to the later serial [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E4TheDaleksMasterPlan "The Daleks' Master Plan"]]. It was written hastily when [[Recap/DoctorWhoS2E1PlanetOfGiants "Planet of Giants"]] was judged to be too long and edited down to three episodes rather than the planned four. It uses three sets (a human spaceship, the Dalek [[TheWarRoom War Room]] and a jungle) all built for and [[RecycledSet recycled]] in "The Daleks' Master Plan", a couple of [[PropRecycling Daleks]], a couple of [[PeopleInRubberSuits very low budget monster suits made of glue and fluff]] representing PlantAliens (which also get reused in "The Daleks' Master Plan"), a bunch of rather better-looking aliens on the Dalek ship (also reused in "The Daleks' Master Plan") and a spot of cheap {{Gorn}}. There is no Doctor, no companions, and the majority of the episode takes place with two actors arguing in the jungle.
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS4E5TheUnderwaterMenace "The Underwater Menace"]], an unpopular script that was dashed out as cheaply as possible when the producers realized it was the best script out of the bad bunch they had. Unlike many of these examples, which are quite minimalistic, suspenseful and creepy, this does not work in the episode's favour as it relies very heavily on sets (representing a massive Atlantean temple system with a series of box rooms with shells glued on), costumes (cardboard headdresses for everyone!) and monsters (the 'fish people' are dressed in what look like Pierrot-style white ruffled bodysuits with sequins to represent scales and big cardboard eyes). Some people find this to be enjoyable 1960s camp and link it to the psychedelia movement. Others find it SpecialEffectFailure.
*** Episode 4 of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS4E9TheEvilOfTheDaleks "The Evil of the Daleks"]] is Doctor-lite and (one) companion-lite as Creator/PatrickTroughton was on holiday. It mostly is about the primary companion, Jamie, running down corridors with one-shot ally Kemel, with the Doctor only appearing in a pre-recorded sequence where he describes Jamie's personality to the Dalek, and the other companion, Victoria, only appearing in a quick pre-recorded shot right at the end.
*** The first episode of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E2TheMindRobber "The Mind Robber"]], which was added at the last moment to extend the story to five episodes and took place only in the TARDIS and on an empty stage.
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS7E4Inferno "Inferno"]], which is set in a MirrorUniverse version of UNIT. It takes place entirely on sets already built for UNIT and a bit of location filming in a generic [[BBCQuarry refinery]]. There are monsters in the episode, but they are TechnicallyLivingZombie versions of the main cast requiring minimal makeup, and much of the supporting cast is [[ActingForTwo playing both their usual characters and their evil counterparts]]. There are few effects beyond some fight sequences and StockFootage.
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS10E2CarnivalOfMonsters "Carnival of Monsters"]]. The more elaborate set is a combination of PropRecycling from the extensive BBC CostumeDrama collection, some BackedByThePentagon boat exteriors, a BBCQuarry and a dark sound stage. The less elaborate set is a small round area. About half of the plot is three RubberForeheadAliens arguing with two HumanAliens in a small room. The monsters are latex puppets called Drashigs, a SignificantAnagram of "dishrags", as Creator/RobertHolmes assumed that was what they'd end up being made out of considering that this was a cheap story.
*** The first episode of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E2TheArkInSpace "The Ark in Space"]] features just the Doctor, Sarah, Harry and no other characters save for some cryogenically frozen extras. This was because the set had been extremely expensive to construct. The set [[RecycledSet reappears]], with some light modifications, later on in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E5RevengeOfTheCybermen "Revenge of the Cybermen"]].
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E3TheSontaranExperiment "The Sontaran Experiment"]]. The incoming showrunning team (Philip Hinchcliffe and Robert Holmes) had decided to abolish the 6-parter format in favour of 4-parters while still being commissioned for the same number of episodes, leading to a remainder of two episodes which had to be produced for NoBudget. The whole story, in addition to being two episodes long and [[VideoInsideFilmOutside shot on videotape to save money]], takes place entirely on a [[BBCQuarry hillside]]. There are four guest stars in [[PropRecycling recycled space suits]], one of whom is even played by Creator/TomBaker's StuntDouble ActingForTwo, and two Sontarans (recycled costumes). There's a TinCanRobot and some props recycled from the Sontaran spaceship sets of previous Sontaran stories. It also has no scenes in the TARDIS. The most notable thing about it is that it was also Tom Baker's first story in which he could adjust to the role. The cost-saving genius was that is was made using the location filming allocated to the four-parter it was produced alongside, resulting in two stories shot for the price of one. This practice was later fine-tuned under the last producer of the classic series, John Nathan-Turner, and was the only method of production for the shortened, NoBudget last three seasons under the Seventh Doctor.
*** The Fourth Doctor serial [[Recap/DoctorWhoS13E5TheBrainOfMorbius "The Brain of Morbius"]] was written to be the season's cheap story -- it's not particularly extreme as one, but it has only a couple of fairly simple sets, is light on the special effects and features mostly heavily made-up HumanAliens with only a couple of proper monsters showing up. At least one of the monsters was a recycled monster costume from the Pertwee story [[Recap/DoctorWhoS9E4TheMutants "The Mutants"]]. In fact, the original script had a villainous robot character in it, but to save money on building a robot the script was rewritten to convert it into Mehendri Solon, a HumanAlien MadScientist, and his [[TheIgor disabled servant]]. This all ended up working in the story's favour, as Solon is able to be a lot more expressive and entertaining than some guy in a robot mask would ever be able to manage, the simple visuals force the serial to rely on very tight and intelligent dialogue storytelling, and it's ranked amongst Tom Baker's best serials.
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS17E5TheHornsOfNimon "The Horns of Nimon"]]. Sets recycled from various other BBC productions and from previous stories, a bit of slowmo with some borrowed equipment from the sports department, some CSO, some fireworks, some teenage extras. The focus is on a small cast of ridiculously campy villains and a lot of HamAndCheese. This was to save money for the next serial, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS17E6Shada "Shada"]], [[MissingEpisode but]]...
** The [[{{Revival}} new series]] does this [[OnceASeason Twice a Season]], having to squeeze fourteen episodes into a budget (and shooting schedule) of thirteen. Often the limitation is not in set construction, but in special effects or actors, meaning a "Doctor-lite" and a "Companion-lite" episode get shot in the same production block:
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E11BoomTown "Boom Town"]]: Specifically described by Creator/RussellTDavies as a bottle episode, set in Cardiff, with the guest stars being Margaret Slitheen and Mickey Smith, recycling monsters that had already been designed, and more scenes in the TARDIS than any other episode up to that point.
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E11FearHer "Fear Her"]]: A nearly FX-free episode (some lights and banging, animation, a monster that's just a big ball of wire and a single shot of a CGI jellyfish). It was a last-minute affair to take the place of a planned episode by Creator/StephenFry which fell through.
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E10Midnight "Midnight"]]: Nearly all of the episode takes place in a single location with minimal effects. Donna is almost entirely absent from it, because she was filming [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E11TurnLeft "Turn Left"]], in which the Doctor was likewise mostly absent. It's basically one continuous scene: Of a sixty-six page script, there are thirteen scenes. Two are effects shots and one is wordless. Scene 9 is the longest one, starting on page 17 and ending on page 65. Rusty wrote it on the hoof in about three days. Like [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E10Blink "Blink"]], this episode is considered remarkably good and scary in its weirdness. And despite all this, it wasn't a money-saving episode. They had to build that one set to meet a lot of requirements, pay a whole cast for two weeks instead of a few days each, and spend a day on rehearsal, since it had to be performed basically like a play. It's a bottle episode done for its own sake. It's a bit surprising it ever got made.
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E7AmysChoice "Amy's Choice"]] uses only the TARDIS set and a sleepy country village.
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E11TheLodger "The Lodger"]]: An episode set mostly in a Colchester flat. Amy's scenes are limited to a handful in the TARDIS control room.
*** The [[Recap/DoctorWho2011RNDSSpaceAndTime specials]] for Red Nose Day 2011 are set within the TARDIS control room, which is ''also'' within the TARDIS control room. It's a Klein Bottle episode!
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E10JourneyToTheCentreOfTheTardis "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS"]]: There are only six characters and two settings. There are no monsters. There's about a minute of CGI of objects floating in a white room. There's also some Christmas lights in a black room.
*** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E4Listen "Listen"]] -- a tiny cast (some extras, two guest stars, Samuel Anderson doublecast as an IdenticalGrandson of his usual character), no CGI, a bit of ScreenShake, space suits [[PropRecycling recycled]] from "The Impossible Planet", a focus on the Doctor having a tiny mental breakdown, a "monster" [[BedsheetGhost represented by a small figure moving under a blanket]] and [[NothingIsScarier never actually shown to us]] (and which might not actually be a monster).
*** Subverted with [[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E11HeavenSent "Heaven Sent"]], which was ''intended'' as this: The action is mostly limited to a mysterious clockwork castle. There are only four characters, two major (the Doctor and a mute monster) and two minor ([[spoiler: the Doctor's mental image of Clara and a Gallifreyan boy]]), and only two of them have any dialogue (mostly the Doctor). And the plot is simply the Doctor struggling to escape the castle while his anguish and rage over [[spoiler:his capture and Clara's death]] in the previous episode fester within him. But the castle was such an elaborate, lavish, and special-effects heavy setting that the episode wound up being more expensive than anticipated; moreover, the episode runs 10 minutes longer than a standard [=NewWho=] episode.
* The ''Franchise/{{Dragnet}}'' episode "B.O.D.-DR-27" also had Friday and Gannon manning the front desk.
* ''Series/{{Eastenders}}''' two-hander episodes (and its ''one-hander'' episode) are usually this to a T - originally designed as casting timesavers much like ''Series/DoctorWho'' mentioned above, they've since become revered in their own right - although the show uses them sparingly to prevent overkill.
* The vast majority of ''Series/{{ER}}'' episodes took place over the course of one day and had the majority of its action set in the titular hospital. Several (among them the show's best known episodes--"Love's Labor Lost", "Hell & High Water", etc) even focused only on one story and one even took place in real time, with the patient's admission, treatment, and death, taking all of 45 minutes.
* ''Series/{{Eureka}}'':
** "H.O.U.S.E. Rules" -- automated house S.A.R.A.H. locks the cast inside.
** "A Night in Global Dynamics" -- self-explanatory.
** The Season 3 episode "You Don't Know Jack" (people start to lose their memories) consists of maybe 40% footage from previous episodes, and only requires one explosion as far as FX go. However, it is not entirely self-contained, as [[spoiler: Allison's daughter is born]] in this episode.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}''[='=]s "Crackers Don't Matter" is light on effects, takes place wholly on the ship, and has only one weird alien guest star-- all odd for the series. The main characters all become increasingly crazy over the course of the episode, eventually turning on each other and exposing harsh truths about their relationships, making the episode a fan favorite. That was just one of the most memorable, there were a '''lot''' of ''Farscape'' episodes that were set entirely aboard the ship with only one or two guest characters.
* A couple of ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episodes, such as "Our Mrs. Reynolds" or "Objects In Space", took place almost entirely aboard the ship.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'', perhaps following the lead of the show it spun off from (''Cheers''), employed this a lot. Early episodes rarely left Frasier's apartment, KACL, and the Cafe Nervosa. The grand champion example of a ''Frasier'' bottle ep would be "The Dinner Party" which uses only the main cast (plus one voice over), only one set (Frasier's apartment), and occurs in RealTime.
** The Season 1 finale, "My Coffee With Niles", takes place entirely in Cafe Nervosa, and it also occurs in RealTime.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'' has done this quite a few times, especially in the first season where the entire cast had to stay in one apartment, and it was so well received that bottle episodes became a staple of that program.
** Notably, the season 3 episode 'The One Where No One Is Ready' is often lauded as one of the best episodes ever, and it never even leaves Monica and Rachel's main room (except for a short scene during the credits).
** Interestingly, the episodes featuring all six Friends among themselves are consistently the best episodes of the entire series. This fact is why Thanksgiving episodes are typically bottle episodes.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Subverted by "[[Recap/GameOfThronesS2E9Blackwater Blackwater]]", "[[Recap/GameOfThronesS4E9TheWatchersOnTheWall The Watchers on the Wall]]", and "[[Recap/GameOfThronesS6E9BattleOfTheBastards Battle of the Bastards]]", which were easily the most expensive episodes of the show, despite featuring far fewer locations than usual and discarding most of the show's FourLinesAllWaiting. Those cases are, more accurately, examples of ShootTheMoney: when the production staff pulls out all the stops for a truly expensive action sequences, they make ''damn'' sure they get a whole episode's worth of material out of it. (Even then, there were some complaints that "Battle of the Bastards" had to write out Jon's direwolf, Ghost, due to budget constraints.)
* ''Series/{{Girls}}'' had four bottle episodes, the Hannah-centric "One Man's Trash" and "American Bitch", the Marnie-centric "The Panic in Central Park", and the final episode "Latching" which focused on Hannah, Marnie and Hannah's mother Loreen. The two Hannah-centric episodes were standard bottle episodes, mostly shot with only two actors in one location, while "The Panic in Central Park" featured far more on-location filming than normal episodes.
* ''Series/TheGoodies'' used this a few times, two notable examples being "The End", where the Goodies' office was sealed in a block of concrete, and "Earthanasia", which took place in real time on Christmas Eve [[spoiler: with the world being destroyed at midnight]]. These episodes usually came at the end of a series, after the entire budget for location filming, special effects and guest stars had been exhausted.
* Outside of a few flashbacks, the Season 1 finale of ''Series/TheGoodPlace'' takes place almost entirely in Eleanor's apartment.
* The season 13 ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' episode "The Room Where It Happens" chronicles a single complicated surgery from start to finish, never leaving the titular OR except in characters' imaginary sequences where they each try to relate to the John Doe on the table by linking him to past experiences. Only four members of the main cast--Meredith, Webber, Owen, and Stephanie--appear.
* ''Series/H2OJustAddWater'' has "The Siren Effect" in season 1. The episode takes place in both the Juice Café and Cleo's house, two regular sets on the show. None of the girls use their powers and it's the only episode of the series not to feature a mermaid transformation.
* An episode of ''Radio/HancocksHalfHour'', "The Bedsitter", was not only just set on the one set (Tony Hancock's bedsit flat) but also featured no other actors other than Tony Hancock himself. The plot, such as it was, just featured Hancock trying to amuse himself for 20 minutes. It was justly acclaimed as one of the funniest episodes he'd done. The aim of this one wasn't so much to save money (although that was no doubt a welcome side-effect for Creator/TheBBC) as to prove that Hancock could carry a show on his own.
* ''Series/{{Heartbeat}}'' had one episode consisting of all the regular characters gathering to watch the Apollo 11 moon landing on TV. The entire episode took place on the regular sets, with the only outdoors "scene" being a single stock shot, and uniquely there was no period music on the soundtrack, just the show's standard cues.
* Series/HenryDanger has had two so far.
** The entirety of the events in "Cave In" take place in "Junk n' Stuff" and the Man Cave.
** Nearly the entirety of "Car Trek" takes place in Schwoz's Recreational Vehicle where the Junk-N-Stuff people are and in the Hart Car with Piper and her father.
* ''Series/HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'':
** Won an Emmy for "Three Men and Adena" which was almost entirely two detectives and a suspect sitting talking in the interrogation room.
** "Night of the Dead Living" from the same season similarly stayed in the station house. Both of these episodes are substantially more TruthInTelevision, however, as they depict, in fairly realistic terms, events from the non-fiction book of the same name that inspired the show. Not that it didn't also help to save money.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' uses flashbacks and flashforwards very liberally, but "The Limo" was, according to WordOfGod, a bottle episode. No flashes, and the tale of them hitting up five parties on New Years Eve was told almost entirely from the backseat of a limo (with only a couple shots of street, and one brief phone call to the limo from one of said parties).
* ''Series/InTheFlesh'' Season 2:
** In the fifth episode, where Kieren is absent for most of the episode and the episode focuses mostly on Simon. Nearly the whole episode rakes place at Norfolk, with a few bits and pieces in Roarton.
** Episode 3 does the same thing, focusing on a minor character with nothing major happening until the final scene.
* In ''Series/{{Justified}}'' episode Blowback, nearly the entire episode takes place in the Marshal's office after a prisoner who is being transported uses a hidden shiv to take his jailers hostage. Raylan spends the episode trying to talk the man down to prove that he can deescalate situations without shooting anyone.
* While ranging quite a bit through various Seattle locales, episode #11 "The Missing" from ''Series/TheKilling'''s first season strikes many as being a bottle episode in spirit. It features only the two main characters, with generous helpings of heretofore basically absent character development. While some dismissed the episode for venting whatever narrative urgency the main murder plotline still had going, others were grateful for a reprieve from those most frustrating elements of the show.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'''s main premise are elaborate cons, but they manage to fit a few Bottle Episodes into the format:
** "[[LampshadeHanging The Bottle Job]]" takes place almost entirely within the pub Nate lives over. The episode title has a [[JustifiedTitle triple meaning]], as this is the episode where Nate starts drinking again, while the team has to squeeze a con that normally takes the better part of a month to pull off into about an hour and a half. Nate explicitly calls it "[[AttackPatternAlpha The Wire]] in a bottle."
** "The Cross My Heart Job" featured the team at an airport in which they recover a stolen heart that was intended to be transplanted to a young boy. [[OffscreenMomentOfAwesome The team had just returned from a job in which Eliot fought someone underwater while destroying Hardison's computer.]] As a result of this previous con Hardison burned their identities and [[NoGearLevel they had no access to money or any of their equipment]].
** "The Broken Wing Job" features Parker with a broken leg foiling a [[spoiler: kidnapping]] while the rest of the team is doing [[NoodleIncident God-knows-what]] in Japan.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': between the on-location filming and narrative structure that constantly calls for new sets, it's almost impossible to have an episode filmed on just one or two standing sets. But by having each episode focus on just one or two characters, some of the actors can disappear for weeks at a time, possibly saving the producers money over the season.
** "The Constant" is one of the most widely loved episodes though only six (out of sixteen) regulars appear, with only two of them being original cast members.
** The Hydra arc of early season 3, where 3 principal actors were stuck in cages for several episodes in a tow resulted from the network's concerns about the show going over budget in season 2 finale.
** An infamous example of TropesAreNotGood with regards to bottle episodes, showing the negative effects they could have is the notorious season 3 episode ''Stranger in a Strange Land'', which decided to explore the origins of, of all things... ''[[BizarroEpisode Jack's tattoos]]''. As one would expect from such a flimsy concept for an episode, the episode was [[{{Padding}} padded]] to all hell with no major action happening in either the flashbacks or the island scenes, and no further development of the story or characters. The episode is often seen as one of the worst episodes of the series, if not the worst, and the writers [[CreatorBacklash hated it so much]] that they used it, when approaching the network for an end date, as proof that there's only so far an already restrictive story set entirely on an island can be stretched.
** The season 6 episode ''Across The Sea'' is possibly this. It features none of the regular cast whatsoever save a brief piece of archive footage from the first season, only prominently features 3 characters, 5 actors with big speaking parts (two of whom are child versions of two of the characters) and takes place entirely on the island.
* ''Series/LostGirl'': "Original Skin" takes place almost exclusively in The Dal when a serum causes the spirits of the main characters to swap bodies. They spend the rest of the episode trying to get back into their original bodies.
* ''Series/MacGyver1985'': When Mac and Harry drop by the Phoenix Foundation to pick up some hockey tickets in "Phoenix Under Siege", they find themselves in the middle of a terrorist attack and the terrorists seal the building.
* ''Series/MadAboutYou'' had a bottle episode ("The Conversation", which was also an example of TheOner) where the camera didn't move -- it remained stationary, pointed at the door to the crying baby's room, while Paul and Jamie talked about stuff. The characters left the frame completely several times, talking off-screen and the camera was pointed at nothing. This was lampshaded in the ending credits, where Paul was watching an unseen show and commenting about what amazing cinematographic skill it took to shoot an entire episode from one camera shot. This is in addition to plenty of "traditional" Bottle Episodes that never leave the couple's apartment.
* "The Suitcase" from ''Series/MadMen'', in which Don and Peggy spend a whole night trying to come up with an idea for a suitcase commercial. It was pretty much immediately hailed as one of the show's best single episodes.
* The first season finale of ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'', "Johnny Be Gone", takes place only downstairs at the Bundys', only features the main cast, and is in fact one long scene. This was repeated, albeit with guest stars, in the penultimate episode "The Desperate Half-Hour".
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'':
** "Hawkeye" has Hawkeye confined to a Korean family's hut after having crashed his jeep and gotten a concussion. Alan Alda is the only one of the main cast to appear in the episode.
** "O.R." was shot entirely in the operating room. And since the LaughTrack wasn't used for any shot taking place in the O.R., this is the first ''M*A*S*H'' episode to omit the laugh track completely (although when ''M*A*S*H'' was shown in Britain initially the ''series'' omitted the laugh track - this is not the case nowadays).
** "A Night at Rosie's" takes place entirely at [[LocalHangout Rosie's Bar]].
** "The Bus" takes place entirely on and around the title conveyance (which has broken down in the countryside behind enemy lines), and only five of the eight regular characters appear.
* The {{Britcom}} ''Series/MenBehavingBadly'' had a bottle episode that took place in a single room -- indeed, very nearly a single camera shot.
* Any episode of ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'' that centres on Gaius will be that season's BottleEpisode.
* "Just Act Normal", episode 5 of series 2 of ''Series/{{Miranda}}'', is set entirely in a psychiatrist's office.
* In ''Series/TheMonkees'':
** "Monkee Mother" and "A Coffin Too Frequent" both take place entirely in the Monkees' apartment.
** The episode "Fairy Tale" takes place on a minimalist cardboard set.
* The ''entire run'' of ''Series/MrsBrownsBoys'' takes place on just three sets, or two if you count Mrs Brown's kitchen and living room as a single set.
* ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'' typically does a lot of location work, along with a lot of {{flashback}}s and {{Cutaway Gag}}s making the episodes constantly expensive. To offset this they had a number of episodes focus on keeping the action comparatively in one location, usually at the LocalHangout the Crab Shack. But especially notable was the second season episode where they watch an episode of ''Series/{{Cops}}'' taking place in their city, the {{mockumentary}} style streamlined the filming such that despite taking place in several dozen locations they had light filming days and even finished early. It's also considered one of the funniest episodes of the series. The third season had a SequelEpisode ''Cops'' two-parter and the fourth season had a similar two-parter with a fictional news program called "Inside Probe."
* The ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' episode "Trojan Horse" mostly takes place within NCIS headquarters. Another example would be season 7's "Good Cop, Bad Cop", which aside from the opening scene, had all the present-day scenes occur inside NCIS. There's also the episode "Detour", which, despite its multiple locations, took place over the course of only one day.
* ''Series/NightCourt'' was almost exclusively bottle episodes, particularly in the first season when budgets were limited. The vast majority of the content takes place in the court room, with only occasional visits to the hallway and Harry's chambers. Later on another hallway and the cafeteria was added. Only rarely did they venture out to a late night restaurant or someone's apartment.
* ''The Office'' has many episodes that only took place in the office, especially the [[Series/TheOfficeUK UK version]].
* ''Series/OneFootInTheGrave'' had these once per series (except for the first series) and all make use of different extremes and take place in real time:
** "Timeless Time" (series 2, episode 6) is set entirely in Victor and Margaret's bedroom during a sleepless night.
** "The Beast in the Cage" (series 3, episode 4) is set entirely on a motorway during a traffic jam and almost entirely in a single car stuck in said jam. It's the only BottleEpisode in the series to be shot entirely on-location; the rest are shot entirely in-studio (save for a few filmed inserts at the beginning and end of "The Trial"). In BottleEpisode terms, this one rather backfired as the setting made it considerably ''more'' difficult to film than a regular episode.
** "The Trial" (series 4, episode 5) is set entirely in the Meldrews' home and might be the most extreme example in the series as it features no actors other than Richard Wilson (though Doreen Mantle as Mrs. Warboys can faintly be heard over the phone at one point), much like the ''Hancock's Half-Hour'' example above.
** "Rearranging the Dust" (series 5, episode 4) is set entirely in a solicitor's waiting room.
** "Threatening Weather" (series 6, episode 4) is set entirely in the Meldrews' home during a power cut on the hottest day of the year.
* The ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'' episode "The Longest Night" takes place mostly in a supermarket manager's office during a raid [[spoiler:which turns out to be a set-up]].
* ''Series/TheOuterLimits1963'' is another contender for possible TropeNamer, and many TOS episodes were written specifically to be produced cheaply. In particular, "Controlled Experiment" was made at a time when the first season's production budget was going out of control and "The Probe" was written and filmed ''after'' the series was canceled to fulfill the show's commitment to Creator/{{ABC}}.
* ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'' had several, including an interesting twist on the Doomsday Device in "Dead Man's Switch" where at least 1 of 5 people have to press a button (which triggers at random intervals) to prevent the end of the world. Humans set this up because aliens are coming and they don't know their intentions. Almost all of the episode takes place in a single room, with 4 other people shown through closed circuit TV.
* ''Series/{{Oz}}'' may very well be [[RecycledTheSeries Bottle Episode: The Show]], in terms of settings at least. Throughout the entire run, the only settings used were Emerald City, the cafeteria, the library, the gym, the medical wing, one of the cell blocks, death row, solitary confinement, the staff break room, and the offices of Leo Glynn, Sister Peter Marie and Father Makuda. The outside world was only seen through the television, very brief crime flashbacks, conferences Governor Devlin held, an episode where a bus transported family members of prisoners, once in a flashback and then a last time in the finale. That may seem like a lot, but keep in mind these were the only settings used for fifty six episodes.
* The season 1 ''Series/PennyDreadful'' episode "Possession" takes place entirely in Sir Malcolm's home, as the protagonists attempt to exorcise Vanessa.
* ''Series/PoliceCameraAction'':
** ''The Liver Run'', which was a VerySpecialEpisode featuring the Metropolitan Police, Eli Kernkraut, Aliza Hillel - filmed in one room, and entirely footage-based (apart from interviews with officers).
** ''Helicops'' (1995 episode) - only filmed at a police airfield in London - with the Metropolitan Police - and around Surrey (mainly Sunbury-on-Thames, Hersham and surrounding streets), but nowhere else.
** The episodes ''Don't Look Back In Anger'' (aired 13 November 1997) and ''Learning the Hard Way'' (March 1999) zig-zag this trope; the first one is almost a ClipShow with some new footage added, whilst the second one is an entire ClipShow / RecapEpisode. Both are VerySpecialEpisode episodes
** ''Less Lethal Weapons'' - set almost entirely in one room with police weaponry.
** ''Death Wish Drivers'' (which has 2 edited versions) - this episode has no StockFootage, and does '''not''' go out "on report" with the police unlike the rest of the 2007 - 2010 series.
* The ''Series/{{Porridge}}'' episode "A Night In" takes this concept to an extreme -- it's 25 minutes of two men talking ''in a darkened room''.
* ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai''
** Did this with "Trickster Treat", which may have been a contractual obligation; shot well after production had wrapped and not long before ''Series/PowerRangersMegaforce'' started shooting. The episode uses almost no original footage ( save for a couple of shots), recycling stuff from other episodes of Samurai, even recycling stuff from ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger'' that normally would've been edited out, such as the Kuroko. It even features Mako standing in for Mia at one point, with only clever editing attempting to hide it (and not that well; even someone who hadn't seen Shinkenger could see that the woman singing wasn't Mia). Only the main 6 Rangers were in this with no supporting characters.
** "Stuck on Christmas" did it as well, though it actually used original footage, mainly the Megazord cockpit and the Shiba house intertwined into a ClipShow. Also of note this episode used very little Shinkenger footage and the main unmorphed fight scene was recycled from an earlier episode. Plus none of the actors minus those for Ji, Bulk and Spike appeared in this with the ranger actors once again confined to the audio booth with Antonio mysteriously missing most likely due to the Shinkenger footage not featuring Shinken Gold.
* You can tell when ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' in general (Barring ''Samurai'' and ''Megaforce'', which primarily take fights from the Sentai anyway) is saving up for a large, original fight-scenes-and-effects-heavy set of episodes when they rely a lot on the ''Super Sentai'' source material and/or only the primary recurring characters appear alongside the Rangers.
* Episode 4 of ''Series/{{Psychoville}}'' features only David and his mother attempting to avoid getting caught by a police inspector in a flat in Hammersmith, London. It's an homage to Creator/AlfredHitchcock's ''Film/{{Rope}}'' (with nods to ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' and ''Film/{{Frenzy}}'') and mostly consists of two long continuous shots joined by a concealed edit.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'':
** Series 1 was predominantly set in the bunk room or the engine room, and usually one or two other rooms, all aboard the ship Red Dwarf itself. Most scenes focused on the two main characters Lister and Rimmer, and subplots focused on The Cat, with guest roles usually being flashbacks or voiceover parts. The budget was very low partly due to a writer's strike early on, and partly because the BBC didn't have much faith in it at the time. The second series had a higher budget which permitted some location filming and also added the sub-craft Blue Midget to allow the characters to go off-ship, but still featured several episodes which were entirely confined to the studio.
** In what is frequently regarded as one of the show's best episodes, "[[RedDwarfSeasonIIIMarooned Marooned]]" primarily takes place on a crashed Starbug, with a couple of shots of Red Dwarf. Kryten, Holly and The Cat make very small appearances, with most of the episode focusing on Lister and Rimmer. It was also shot with a handheld camera, unusual at the time.
** Series VI's finale, "[[Recap/RedDwarfSeasonVIOutOfTime Out of Time]]", which was written at the last minute[[note]]in fact it was still being written ''whilst it was filming'' and the writers had to type lines onto autocues for the cast[[/note]] features no guest sets or characters, although it manages to cover it up with some creative writing.
** Series VII's "[[Recap/RedDwarfSeasonVIIDuctSoup Duct Soup]]" was almost entirely set in the air ducts of the ship and only features the four regulars. They put the episode together at the last minute to replace the unproduced episode "Identity Within", which was too expensive to film, and therefore had to keep to a minimum for new sets.
** Much of Series X was this because Dave didn't have as high a budget as the BBC did, and the series in general was a TroubledProduction; the obvious Bottle Episode of what has been called the Bottle Series is "Dear Dave", which features no guest sets and no guest stars apart from one minor voiceover part, and was a last minute replacement for an episode which had to be cancelled when the location filming fell through.
** Series XII's "Mechocracy" is the only episode of its run to take place entirely aboard Red Dwarf (notable because of how little of the rest of XI & XII took place there, to the point that another episode in the run was an unprecedented example of an episode to have no scenes on board that series' main ship at all), and all of the guest parts are voiceovers.
* The aptly titled ''Series/ReGenesis'' episode "Unbottled". The lab is deserted except for the main cast and the terrorists holding them captive, and the protagonists spend most of the episode locked in a storage room.
* ''Series/TheRoyleFamily''. There are only two sets, the living room/dining room (with attached hallway that is occasionally seen) and the kitchen. In the show's original three series they'd ''at most'' go upstairs for a scene once a season. This is averted with the one off specials, which tend to spend very little time in the Royle household. It is often regarded as a startlingly funny and well observed portrait of (a now slightly dated version of) British domesticity.
* Many episodes of ''Series/TheSandbaggers'' come close to this. The majority of each plot unfolds in the offices of [=SIS=], with the occasional exterior shot set in London or a [[CaliforniaDoubling stand-in for an Eastern Bloc country]].
* ''Series/SavedByTheBell'' was often made of bottle episodes, especially in the first season where the scenes were shot entirely in the one and only classroom and the hallway immediately outside. Even more common on the single season of ''Good Morning Miss Bliss'' as it didn't have the same budget.
* The eighth season of ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' had to bring down its budget, in part by setting most of its 18 episodes in the hospital, and giving each cast member (including the main character, Zach Braff's J.D.) at least two episodes off. Thus, a lot of the episodes come off a little bottle-y, but a few episodes especially so. "My Full Moon", for example, only features cast members Sarah Chalke & Donald Faison, as well as a few recurring characters, and takes place over one night on one floor of the hospital.
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'':
** The episode "The Chinese Restaurant" took place entirely in a Chinese restaurant, in which the characters do nothing but hang around bitching about not being able to get a table and worrying about offscreen issues. The concept of an episode like that was so groundbreaking at the time that the network executives couldn't understand it, thinking that the only explanation was that production ran out of money. This wasn't the case; it was just an experiment by the writers, and "The Chinese Restaurant" became ''Seinfeld's'' GrowTheBeard episode, introducing the unique plot and humor styles that made the show a hit later on.
** Other bottle episodes include "The Parking Garage", which never leaves the titular location, and its second-to-last episode which takes place over a few hours. Like "The Chinese Restaurant" these had nothing to do with lack of funds by the production team; creating the titular set for "The Parking Garage" was extremely difficult and time-consuming before filming even started.
* ''Series/TheShield'' had, in its fourth season, an entire episode set in the Farmington police headquarters' interrogation room, where Vic Mackey and Monica Rawlings spend 42 minutes grilling a suspect. Notably, the episode was an extended 90 minute (with commercials) episode as opposed to the usual 60 minute (again, with commercials) episodes.
* ''Series/{{Spooks}}'' did something very close to one in its second series (The VX one) and it was one of the best of that series.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' and ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' both have their fair share of episodes taking place almost entirely within the SGC or Atlantis, respectively. Including, for each series, the second ever episode.
** They even reference each other a bit: One SG-1 episode was called "Grace" and most of the episode was Carter, alone, on the starship, "hallucinating" a little girl named Grace, as well as some of the other members of SG-1 and her father, with those hallucinations bidding her to deal with her {{UST}}. For ''Atlantis'' they had Rodney stuck in a jumper under the ocean. The name of the episode was "Grace Under Pressure", which was a rather clever pun -- the episode was essentially "Grace" under pressure. In this episode Rodney hallucinates ''Carter'', who not only helps him cope with his situation but advises him on his relations with the rest of the Atlantis expedition.
** One SG-1 season 8 episode ("Prometheus Unbound") was a bottle episode that (except for a brief establishing scene) used only two existing sets; featured only one main actor, several regular secondary actors, and one guest star; and seems to have been set up in such a way that it could be filmed simultaneously with other episodes without taking up all of the main sets and actors. It became notable in that the guest character featured became a fan favorite, and was [[EnsembleDarkHorse brought back as a recurring character in the following season and a main character in the one after that.]]
** Fan favorite GroundhogDayLoop episode "Window of Opportunity" was this to the point that it was overly successful at it. According to the DVDCommentary, because of the minimum set redressing, etc., the whole crew was enjoying going home early every day for once. In the end they had to film a bit of extra footage (biking through the base, the golf scene, etc.) because the show was coming in ''under its normal running time'' -- a rarity, as shows usually need to be cut back.
** According to the DVD commentary, ''Atlantis''[='s=] "Trio" was supposed to be this. The original idea behind it was to save a lot of money by putting three characters into a small room with minimal prop-requirements, and have them fill 40 minutes with dialogue and some climbing in their attempts to get out of there. However, due to a rather complicated set required for most of the stunts and the earthquake effect they needed, it would eventually turn into the most expensive episode of the entire 4th season.
** One of the bottle episodes from the second season has an apt title: "Message in a Bottle".
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' was a pioneer of this trope. All the modern ''Franchise/StarTrek'' series would frequently resort to series of BottleEpisode when UsefulNotes/{{ratings}} were down (or when the budget was), with a complete list available at [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Bottle_show Memory Alpha]]. A notable side effect of bottle episodes is that they are frequently of [[ADayInTheLimelight higher quality in terms of writing, direction, character development, and plot]] than their unbottled counterparts. This is one reason why all the front-line starships are ''Constitution''-class like the ''Enterprise'' -- they could reuse both the exterior model and the interior sets.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': A perfect example of this is "[[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS01E19Duet Duet]]", from the first season of ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' - shot purely on existing sets, with purely existing costumes and props, with a grand total of one guest star and a brief appearance by a semi-regular, it cost less than half a normal episode. It's also generally considered one of the top five episodes of the entire series' run and one of the best episodes in the entire history of the franchise, and is a crucial moment of CharacterDevelopment for Major Kira.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
** Subverted with "[[{{Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS5E24TheNextPhase}} The Next Phase]]". It was ''meant'' to be a bottle show and was written with saving money in mind, but they somehow didn't account for the many complicated special effects required, which made it one of the most expensive episodes of the season. The same thing happened to "Power Play" from the same season.
** "[[{{Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS4E21TheDrumhead}} The Drumhead]]" from the fourth season: it takes place entirely on the Enterprise's existing sets, uses nothing but existing f/x (the instigating event, a warp engine explosion, is only referred to) and deals with a philosophical issue (the morality of political witch-hunts) rather than an action-oriented one. The sole major expense is special guest star Jean Simmons, who as a fan of the show likely didn't demand a huge fee (and even if she had, the other cost savings would've helped paid for it).
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'': "Shuttlepod One" plays it straight, taking place almost entirely in the titular shuttlepod, with a few short scenes taking place on the Enterprise itself, and only featuring the main characters. (And a bottle of Kentucky bourbon, making it a literal "bottle episode".) On the other hand, breaking the usual pattern of Trek bottle shows, "A Night in Sickbay" took place almost entirely in sickbay and frequently appears on "Worst Ever" lists.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' had a particularly impressive line in them, since the USS Voyager was far more active at putting itself in harm's way than the Enterprise; it ran into enough anomalies, obstacles, and [[NegativeSpaceWedgie negative space wedgies]] that at times it could feel like they were trying to film half the season without actually setting foot on a planet.
* ''Series/SteptoeAndSon'' pretty much IS this trope. %%Can someone who knows about the programme correct this, please. I would do it myself, but I know nothing about the show.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''
** The season 9 episode "Slumber Party" takes place entirely in the Men of Letters bunker where Sam and Dean live, although Oz is glimpsed through a door near the end.
** The season 11 episode "Baby" takes places in several locations but is seen entirely from the point of view of the Impala.
* ''Series/TeenWolf'':
** The episode "Night School" [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin takes place in the high school at night]]. It has Scott, Stiles, Lydia, Allison and Jackson form a temporary alliance while trying to evade the Alpha.
** The fourth season episode "Weaponized" is a recreation of it, with the cast being trapped inside the school, this time due to a virus. Curiously, many guest stars are present in the episode.
* ''Series/{{Titus}}'' is nothing '''''BUT''''' bottle episodes, though sometimes it's two joined rooms rather than just one room and it does cut away to Titus in the Neutral Space [[note]][the black-and-white room in which Creator/ChristopherTitus narrates the episodes] explaining a certain situation or giving insight on an event that just happened (often comedically; but sometimes dramatically)[[/note]]. Other than that, a typical episode of Titus usually has two settings, the five main actors [[note]](Christopher Titus {[[AdamWesting as himself, essentially]]}, Zack Ward {Dave}, David Shatraw {Tommy}, Cynthia Watros {Erin}, and Stacy Keach {Ken Titus})[[/note]], and maybe some recurring supporting characters [[note]](Amy, Titus's sister Shannon, Erin's DysfunctionalFamily {Nora, Merritt, Kim, and Michael}, Juanita {Titus's violent, manic-depressive schizophrenic mom}, and/or Kathy {Ken's bitchy nurse fiancee})[[/note]] or one-shot characters.
* ''Series/TopGear'' occasionally has an episode where the presenters tell the viewers they've "spent all the money" and can't afford their normal mix of insane stunts and expensive cars. This is used as much ironically as straight up; what follows is either even more insane stunts with cheaper cars or the most expensive cars of the season. An example is Series 14, Episode 07, where Clarkson claimed the budget had run out and he had to do a sensible review of the BMW X6 -- and then filled the film with gratuitous SceneryPorn shots of him and the car all around the world. It started on a quiet English lane, but the fun began when Jeremy makes a note of the two-part clamshell glovebox.
-->'''Clarkson:''' It works well here, but what about upside down?\\
''[cut to establishing shot of the Sydney Opera House]''
* In ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' the vast majority of [[Recap/TorchwoodS1E6Countrycide "Countrycide"]] was filmed entirely around a few buildings in rural Wales and had no CGI at all. And as with ''Doctor Who'''s "Blink", the episode is pant-soilingly scary.
* Several episodes of ''Series/{{The Twilight Zone|1959}}'' were either filmed in a small space ("Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room" was filmed in a single room with a minimal cast), filmed with a minimal cast (the PilotEpisode had Earl Holliman walking around a deserted town asking "[[TitleDrop Where Is Everybody?]]" for nearly the entire duration), or filmed only with two people (in "Two", Charles Bronson and Elizabeth Montgomery are the only two soldiers at war after WorldWarIII has vaporized everyone else). "[[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS5E125TheLastNightOfAJockey The Last Night of a Jockey]]" takes all honours, however - set entirely in one room, with a cast of ''one'' (Mickey Rooney).
* In one of the few childrens' show examples, season 1 ''Series/{{Victorious}}'' episode "Wifi in the Sky" takes place entirely on an airplane--though subverts the idea a little with webcam interaction with her friends.
* ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' utilizes this trope somewhat frequently, dedicating entire episodes to one character's storyline. The most straightforward bottles episodes are season four's "The Grove", set entirely on a farm with only four characters, and season six's "Here's Not Here", mostly set inside a cabin with only two characters.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'':
** During the second season, Creator/AaronSorkin was told that money was tight, and to make up for budget overruns, he'd have to write an episode with "no guest cast, no locations, no new sets, no extras and no film. In other words, [he] got to write a play." The resulting episode, "17 People," is probably one of his best.
** "No Exit" contains three sets bottled by the Secret Service after a possible toxic breach is declared. The President, Debbie and Charlie were sealed in one area with a Doctor and Agent Butterfield, Kate with Josh, Will with Toby, Leo with Abby and CJ with Donna. Notably, except for the group with the President, and the CJ/Donna match, which were fairly amiable, all of the other bottled pairs had spent the majority of the season growing increasingly angry with each other. Also notable because when you lock each of them in one room on a Sorkin production, you lose the abiliuy to {{pedeconference}}.
** "Isaac and Ishmael" also ended up being this, in its capacity as a VerySpecialEpisode (likely because it was done in response to the then-recent 9/11 attacks, and didn't have much of the budget allotted to it because it wasn't planned in advance). The entire episode consisted of the main cast having a discussion about terrorism with a group of high-schoolers while stuck in a guest room at the White House, with characters drifting in and out at their leisure to throw their two cents into the discussion. In the cast's introduction, Bradley Whitford even refers to the episode as a "play".
* The season six Christmas episode of ''Series/TheXFiles'' was this; the other episodes were getting so expensive that Fox was getting antsy. Therefore, "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" takes place almost entirely in one room and has only four cast members.
* A Season 5 episode of ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'', [[Recap/BrooklynNineNineS5E14TheBox "The Box"]], takes place almost entirely within the interrogation room (minus a few shots of the precinct and a shot of the outside) and has only four characters. (Jake, Holt, the suspect, and [[spoiler: the suspect's lawyer]], although Charles makes a minor appearance at the very end) In a major ActorAllusion, Holt is played by Creator/AndreBraugher, who also played Frank Pembleton in ''Series/HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'', a character who was featured in the above-mentioned show.
* One from French TV. Creator/{{TF1}}'s long-running popular sitcom ''Series/LesFillesDaCote'' ran on this trope, dealing with the lives of two sets of neighbours and the gym/health club they visited. This is pretty much a Bottle ''series'' in which the action took place in four sets, all indoor: the girls' apartment, the boys' apartment, the gym/health club they all visited, and the corridor/lift outside the apartments. The fact a whole country called France existed outside the indoor sets was an InformedAttribute; none of the characters was ever seen to go outside.

* ''Music/{{Berlin}}'' by Music/LouReed: All action of this ConceptAlbum takes place in Berlin.
* ''Music/HeroesDavidBowieAlbum'' by Music/DavidBowie: All action of this concept album takes place in Berlin.
* Music/BruceSpringsteen's album, ''Nebraska''. The album was largely recorded in Bruce's bedroom at home as demos. When he tried to record the songs with the rest of the E Street Band, they didn't evoke the same bleak, stark feel and instead decided to release the demos as the album.

* ''Radio/CabinPressure'' had one in nearly every series, generally featuring the main cast's interactions for most of the episode with one or no guest stars; the first season finale "Fitton", second series' "Limerick" and the foruth series episode "Xinhou". "Limerick" is the purest example, as it features no guest cast, is told entirely in real time and never leaves the flight deck.
* The ''Franchise/SherlockHolmes'' radio drama "The Abergavenny Murder" takes place entirely in the Baker Street sitting room and consists of Holmes and Watson trying to discover what happened to the client who staggered in, asked for their help, and dropped dead.

* Thornton Wilder's Theatre/OurTown is performed with minimal scenery and many of the props are pantomimed, with the stage manager filling such additional roles as the minister at the wedding, soda shop owner, local townsperson, etc.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' was made with fewer resources and in a shorter period of time compared to most other Zelda games (which typically suffer ScheduleSlip). The development team accomplished this by recycling the engine and many assets from ''Ocarina of Time''. This tactic was repeated with ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle of Ages and Seasons]]'' (by reusing the ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening Link's Awakening]]'' set), ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'' (by reusing the ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass Phantom Hourglass]]'' set), and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTriForceHeroes'' (by reusing the ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds A Link Between Worlds]]'' set); and in each case it was done to aim the greater resources at bigger installments (''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild Breath of the Wild]]'', respectively).
* In the latter half of ''[[VideoGame/DevilMayCry Devil May Cry 4]]'', since you are replaying the same levels/bosses as the first half, the level structure is just reversed.
* The Inverted Castle in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''. The level layout is exactly the same as the normal castle, just flipped upside down (though at least there's different bosses and enemies).
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** The remakes of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' have included post-game bonus content in which 2 of 3 dungeons are mirror images of the levels at the end of the regular game.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears'' and its prequel ''Interlude'' recycle assets from the original SNES version of ''IV'', as well as the PSP and DS remakes in the PSP and PC versions. It also recycles a lot of [[GenerationXerox level and boss design]].
* ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'' revolves around Sonic and his friends being caught in a simplistic white world, reliving memories of past games and going through their levels, one for each game.
* ''VideoGame/ThisIsTheOnlyLevel'' revolves around escaping the same room over and over, with different variations each time.
* ''VideoGame/OdinSphere'' has only 8 locations, with 5 characters having to go through 7 of them each. Each location has the same set of enemies with the occasional bit of variation (like Velvet's run through Winterhorn Ridge where she's being chased by goblins along with the standard enemies) and generally has the same map layout throughout, just with rooms switched around for each character. Bosses are fought repeatedly by the characters (''especially'' Belial, who's fought by every character, though with one of them it's part of a DualBoss fight) with unique bosses only coming rarely.
* The original ''[[VideoGame/EarthwormJim Earthworm Jim's]]'' secret level, Who Turned Out the Lights, is an entire level that the player may never stumble upon. How could the time and effort needed to make such a level be justifiable? Easy. It consists of the player running around in the dark with the only new graphics being spotlights, doors, a silhouetted Jim, menacing orange enemy eyes, superimposed [[ByTheLightsOfTheirEyes regular]] and [[EyePop AWOO-GA]] eyes for Jim, and ''giant'' menacing orange eyes. The level's music didn't even need composing, as it's the [[PublicDomainSoundtrack public domain]] Maple Leaf Rag. The level is fun and interesting and even has items hidden in hard-to-reach sections and a memorable setpiece (the aforementioned giant eyes).
* The final level of ''[[VideoGame/SilentHill1 Silent Hill]]'' (titled "Nowhere") consists entirely of reused rooms and assets from earlier sections of the game. [[spoiler:Most notably, Nowhere closely resembles the hospital. However, some rooms are also taken from other areas, such as the school, the town center, and the antique shop.]]
* The live-action FMV cutscenes in ''VideoGame/{{Roundabout}}'' are all shots of either Georgio in the front seat of the limo or a shot of the passenger in the backseat, all using the same static camera angles and with an obvious green-screen stock-footage background where appropriate. The only exceptions come from shots consisting entirely of Stock Footage and a few missions with characters standing in front of the same obvious green-screen.
* Many EnvironmentalNarrativeGames are made by small indie developers with limited staff and budgets, and hence meet many of the conditions for this trope:
** ''VideoGame/DearEsther'', the TropeCodifier, started the trend: set on a single, small island; no onscreen characters besides the PlayerCharacter; a much shorter runtime than a typical video game (1-2 hours).
** ''VideoGame/GoneHome'': set in a single house; no onscreen characters besides the PlayerCharacter; short runtime (2-3 hours).

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/DrHavocsDiary'': Episode 27, the episode where Dr. Havoc, Kim, and Brock go to Couple's Therapy.
* Unless you count the Machinima aspects of the show, the entirety of ''Machinima/ArbyNTheChief'' mainly consists of two talking action figures that live alone in an apartment and are unable to venture out of it in fear of causing panic to the outside world.
* ''WebAnimation/BonusStage'' has a few bottle episodes that the fandom termed "Anti-Episodes" due to them often having nothing to do with their episode guide description:
** Season 1 had "Recap", ostensibly about Joel and Phil reminiscing on the good old days. It was actually less than a sentence from each with a short bonus cartoon after the credits.
** Season 4 had "Cursive Written Script". It was delayed a week due to trouble scripting it, [[RealitySubtext mirroring the plot of June and the other characters being aimless without Joel to script]], and released a day before the next episode. The voices were done by Shmorky, half of the episode took place in Phil's garage, and it, like "Recap", had more of the episode after the credits.
** Season 5 originally had "Fe Fi Fo", to be about [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever Joel accidentally making Phil a giant]], but it was changed to "Five Minute Story Time", a story about a laptop's adventure narrated by Joel.
** Season 6's "Phil the [=WereDevil=]" was originally about Phil being infected by malicious marine life, but was changed to an MTV-like special about the production of the episode or lack thereof.
** Season 7 gave "Nerds and Geeks Are Not the Same", which was, instead of a regular cartoon, a sort of proto–{{abridged series}} with Andrew, Elly, Phil and Joel voicing [[WesternAnimation/{{Popeye}} Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto]] and a skeleton, respectively. The episode was released sooner than originally planned, pushing three other episodes behind it.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/EchoChamber'', the Wiki/TVTropes webseries, had [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmB1u1C-cSs an episode]] on WalkAndTalk which was substantially shorter and simpler than a normal episode. Tropers were divided on whether its [[Administrivia/BrevityIsWit brevity]] was an asset or a liability, compared to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV_W6uMfrv0 the previous episode]].
* ''WebVideo/KateModern'' tended to follow a schedule of one episode every weekday, with Bottle Episodes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and a more special effects-heavy episode on Friday. This was sometimes subverted, either by having the bigger budget episode earlier in the week or by showing an additional, often more dramatic episode at the weekend.
* ''Podcast/BlackJackJustice'' has the episode ''The Road to Hell'', which consists entirely of Jack and Trixie bickering with each other as they follow a suspect per car. There are no other speaking roles in the episode.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AnyBondsToday'' just features WesternAnimation/BugsBunny, WesternAnimation/PorkyPig and Elmer Fudd singing on a stage in front of patriotic and militaristic imagery. This the only location seen in this propaganda WartimeCartoon.
* The ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' shorts featuring WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadRunner never take place outside the desert, and the title characters are the only characters who appear in those shorts. The exception to that rule is the short ''The Wild Chase'', where [[WesternAnimation/SylvesterTheCatAndTweetyBird Sylvester]] and Speedy Gonzales makes an appearance.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'':
** "Lo Scandalo" is one, the entire episode taking place inside Malory Archer's apartment.
** Season 6 Episode 5's "Vision Quest" has the entire cast stuck in an elevator for almost the entire duration of the episode. Between the characters' respective quirks and addictions, no cell phone service, and Pam [[UrineTrouble turning it into a Pee Bottle Episode]] after guzzling a forty-oz. then [[{{Squick}} trying to pour it back in the bottle]], the most dangerous mission may have been this one, where they were barely twenty feet away from the office.
* ''WesternAnimation/ClerksTheAnimatedSeries'':
** In one episode they made a point of keeping Dante and Randal inside the store while incredible happenings occurred just outside, with the whole purpose being to [[LampshadeHanging hang a lampshade]] on how dissimilar the series was to [[Film/{{Clerks}} the original movie]].
** The ''very second episode'', "The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Clipshow]] Wherein Dante and Randal are Locked in the Freezer and Remember Some of the Great Moments in Their Lives", was both this trope ''and'' a fake ClipShow.
* The ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' episode "Zim Eats Waffles", with the exception of the first minute and about twenty seconds at the end, consisted entirely of two camera angles. May have been due to a relatively large portion of the budget allocated to the second season finale (which was never made due to [[ExecutiveMeddling the series being canceled]]), although that remains unclear. The commentary actually states that this was the writer's intention. It's one of the series' most beloved episodes.
* The episode "A Third Dad Cartoon" from ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' uses a ''single'' camera angle, and consists entirely of Dad setting up a golf shot while the kids watch. Luckily, this was one of the shorts.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E8LookBeforeYouSleep Look Before You Sleep]]" fits this trope, and may have been intended to conserve the budget, since it has only three speaking parts and is set mostly inside Twilight's treehouse. It's rumored they originally were well into another episode which had to be scrapped, and what we got was what they made in about a third of the time they'd normally have to make an episode.
** "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS6E3TheGiftOfTheMaudPie The Gift of the Maud Pie]]" is this in terms of the number speaking roles (five characters by four voice actors). However, there is a ton of new designs and settings present throughout.
** "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E5SisterhoovesSocial Sisterhooves Social]]", in terms of speaking roles, is centered mostly on Rarity, Applejack, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle. Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie are absent, and Spike is given a cameo in the ending.
** The majority of "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS6E20VivaLasPegasus Viva Las Pegasus]]" takes place inside Gladmane's hotel, rather than the whole city of Las Pegasus.
* The ''WesternAnimation/RenAndStimpy'' DVD commentary says that "Rubber Nipple Salesmen" was a BottleEpisode. The only fully-animated scenes were Ren and Stimpy driving the truck and standing outside someone's house whenever they had to sell rubber nipples and the GainaxEnding where the duo get thrown out and end up on the backs of two bulls who ride them off into the sunset. The animation budget they had for the episode was really tight, so John K. and the good people at Spumco couldn't animate Ren and Stimpy actually getting out of the truck or driving away.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'':
** "Gary Takes A Bath". 8-minute season 2 finale with one voice actor, only three characters (Mr. Krabs doesn't even talk) and a simple plot.
** The NoDialogueEpisode "Reef Blower", which only focuses on [=SpongeBob=] and Squidward, and only the latter has any semblance of dialogue.
** "The Camping Episode" takes place mostly outside of [=SpongeBob=] and Squidward's houses. The only characters to appear are Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward, [[BearsAreBadNews a sea bear]] and [[RhinoRampage a sea rhinoceros]].
** "Krusty Krushers" takes place entirely inside the wrestling arena, except for a brief scene in Patrick's house.
** Oddly, "Truth or Square," the 10th anniversary special, is one of these, with the majority of the animated portion taking place in the Krusty Krab's air ducts and the Patchy portion being shot entirely around Nickelodeon itself.
** "Big Sister Sam" takes place entirely on Conch Street. Simply put, there is only one background.
** "Yeti Krabs" takes place mostly in an empty Krusty Krab, with one scene showing a snowy mountainside and downtown Bikini Bottom.
** A rather large number of Season 1 episodes (ex., "Bubblestand", "Naughty Nautical Neighbors", "Opposite Day" (to some extent; the realtor's office is given very brief screen time), "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost", "I Was a Teenage Gary", and "The Paper" (probably the straightest example on this list)) have the only background being Conch Street.
* The ''WesternAnimation/Sealab2021'' episode "Fusebox" consists almost entirely of one exterior shot of Sealab while the power is out.
* According to WordOfGod, ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' episode "Tag Sale... You're It!" was ''meant'' to be one of these by keeping the action on the Venture compound. Then the plot of the episode called for [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters Loads and Loads of Background Characters]], and the amount of work for the animators didn't really diminish.
* The 150th ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "Brian & Stewie", which is about Brian and Stewie coming to terms with each other while locked in a bank vault. The entire episode was free of the show's normal conventions (cutaway gags, recurring characters, burns against celebrities, flashbacks). It's basically just Creator/SethMacFarlane TalkingToHimself -- no Alex Borstein playing Lois, no Seth Green as Chris, not even Mila Kunis as the DesignatedMonkey Meg -- for 22 minutes. It's about as minimal as an episode can get, which people either applauded for being different or jeered because of the gross, diaper-eating scene or thinking that the episode is an excuse for Creator/SethMacFarlane to hog the spotlight.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has several:
** "Marceline's Closet", where Finn and Jake spend the majority of the episode [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin trapped in Marceline's closet.]]
** "Still", as evident by the fact that Finn and Jake are frozen the entire episode. One of the workers on the show even ''called'' it a Bottle Episode.
** "Card Wars" takes place entirely in the tree house and only features Finn, Jake and BMO.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'':
** "Lights Out", following action mostly by sound-effects and following the characters ByTheLightsOfTheirEyes.
** "Desperate Without Housewives" takes place mostly in one room of the Turner house with a static background despite the fact that 24 hours pass.
* ''WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012'' has at least two such episodes, though in different senses:
** "[[Recap/LittlestPetShop2012S1E24Frenemies Frenemies]]" is set almost entirely in the day camp room, with a handful of short scenes in Blythe's room and at the storefront. Nevertheless, the episode is indoors from beginning to end, and only the main characters are present.
** "[[Recap/LittlestPetShop2012S2E3EightArmsToHoldYou Eight Arms to Hold You]]" shows a lot of locations, more so than most other episodes, but only six characters have screentime longer than five seconds. These six are also the only characters in the episode with speaking roles and thus half of the voice actors for this show sat this episode out. To save on animation, a power outage means a few scenes are also set in total darkness.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' has the appropriately titled "The Powerpuff Girls' Best Rainy Day Adventure Ever," which as the title suggests features the girls stuck inside the house because of the rain, so they in turn act out one of their own adventures. It's generally regarded as one of the funniest episodes in the series.
* ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales'' has the special known as "''Dave and the Giant Pickle''", which is a simple retelling of the story of DavidVersusGoliath. According to the crew, they had spent so much money putting together their previous special "''Rack, Shack, and Benny''" that they had to make this particular special very simple, otherwise Big Idea Inc. would've gone bankrupt.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAngryBeavers''' unaired and unanimated series finale "Bye Bye Beavers" would have been this.
* The ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' episode "Blackout" appears to be this, as the animation mostly consists of several pairs of eyes against a black background.
* The 1930 [[WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShort Disney short]] ''Fiddling Around'' was made in response to the sudden departure of Disney's key animator Creator/UbIwerks. It featured only MickeyMouse, and it consisted him of performing violin tunes on a stage.
* One of the last second season episodes of ''WesternAnimation/DonkeyKongCountry'' combined this with a clip show, taking place only at the beach and DK's treetop house with the majority of the action in flashbacks and with no original songs. This was lampshaded in the episode's title, "Message in a Bottle Show".
* ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad'':
** "Killing Time", the only three-minute episode, consists of the guys having to just talk to Nicholas Copernicus about becoming an astronomer for 30 seconds, while the rest is just them waiting for Larry's transport device to reboot.
** "Larry Upgrade," "Cabin Fever", and "Day of the Larrys" are all episodes where the Time Squad just don't go anywhere in history and remained on the satellite where HilarityEnsues.
** "Hate and Let Hate" is a zigzagged example. While it does mostly take place on the satellite (Larry and Tuddrussell arguing), there are also scenes of Otto being left on the desert island and trying to survive.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'', "The Procrastinators": Only two locations (inside and in front of the Watterson house), with Gumball and Darwin as the main characters. Nicole appears in the beginning and the end, Richard and Anais are only shown in the end, and a creepy clown messenger is the only non-Watterson family character.
* Parodied and deconstructed on ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansGo'' in the aptly named "Bottle Episode", in which the Titans spend the entire episode trapped inside a giant bottle and flashing back to clips of past adventures.
* Spoofed in the ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'' episode "Blackwatch Plaid", which is almost entirely made up of scenes from other episodes re-dubbed and live action scenes (which are cheaper to do than animation). Really hilarious when the ending has Harvey discussing how to stop Phil's [[BigBrotherIsWatching extreme monitoring]]...which, thanks to reusing a scene, has Phil ''right in the room with Harvey''.
* Most episodes of ''WesternAnimation/TheTrapDoor'' take place in Berk's castle home, with a few episodes including another location, either the forest outside of the castle or the inside of the eponymous trap door.