Max: Is this turning into one of those shows where we sit around and reminisce, thereby recouping eighty percent of the episode cost, via the use of clips and archive footage? Sam: Yes it is, Max. Now stop talking, stupid, it's costing money.
An episode which consists mainly of fragments (clips) of previous episodes. Usually has a theme: for example, to highlight a character's development over the years, or show the relationship between characters. Sometimes, however, it won't be shown that the events take place in the past, but they are shown as appearing directly one after another.
Clip shows can be used to stretch the budget — they utilize footage already shot, thus needing only narrative glue money for the episode. In that sense, they are similar to a Bottle Episode.
When a clip show is used to sum up a season or storyline, it is a Recap Episode.
Clip shows were more appreciated by viewers in the days before reruns, syndication, and videotapes/DVDs provided an alternative way for them to revisit the old moments of their shows. There were even theatrical films that served as these (most famously the That's Entertainment! films) in the 1970s. In those days, they were less likely to get today's cynical reaction, "They've just done it to save money." Still, the fact that they do save money means that clip shows will continue to exist for quite a while longer.
When previous clips of a single character's line or action are played out in rapid succession (such as Homer's "D'oh" sequence in So It's Come To This: A Simpsons Clip Show), that's a Fully Automatic Clip Show.
Compare this to the use of the Magical Security Cam. Also, the Voiceover Clip Show, which is simply a cheap/lazy way of making factual entertainment shows.
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Anime & Manga
Robotech had an expertly edited dream sequence episode formed mainly of clips, with new dialogue, which flowed into each other in a very accurate rendition of dream logic.
They did it twice, actually. Once in the episode that linked the Macross segment to the Robotech Masters segment. Then again in a New Generation episode called "Sandstorm". The first one was particularly notable because it was created entirely from other episode content by the American translation company.
A more traditional example can be found in the season one episode Gloval's Report, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: Captain Gloval reporting the major milestones of the series thus far to his superiors. This was a direct adaptation of the Super Dimension Fortress Macross episode Global Report.
That episode was in the original Japanese version as well. There were also two others: episodes 144 and 184. 144 took place in between the Battle City and anime-only Doma arcs that had Tea (Anzu) and Serenity (Shizuka) reminiscing about the events of the Battle City Tournament as well as when Noah took them hostage. Episode 184 ended the Doma storyline, but actually spent most of it having the characters in the arc remember what happened in the past 40 episodes.
Pokémon held out for eight years before creating a clip show — a mash of scenes from the current arc's important battles that wasn't even edited to make the music flow. The dub just skipped it, and its three later successors.
And the last episode of the second arc was a joke clip show about a secondary character. And the last episode of the third arc was a clip show interspersed with a narration by the main character revealing that she slept with Akio.
You're not going to believe this one. Wolf's Rain had FOUR OF THESE IN A ROW. That's right. FOUR. Episodes 15-18. It seems several months passed after episode 14, so it was deemed necessary to recap pretty much the whole thing (or was it the budget?). On the American DVDs, the four episodes filled an entire volume (vol. 4: "recollections"). Well, at least the name is accurate. It retails for $30, and the average rating on amazon is one and a half stars (as opposed to five stars for vol. 3).
The Transformers series Car Robots has three clip shows; when it was dubbed into Transformers: Robots In Disguise those episodes remained clip shows, but the clips involved were completely different. In at least one case this was probably an attempt to show scenes that hadn't aired because the episode came Too Soon after 9/11.
Transformers Victory had no less than six over the course of its run, with another four added for the video release. Since these episodes contributed nothing to the plot, they were omitted from the UK/Australian DVD releases.
Trigun's 13th episode, "Vash the Stampede", is a clip show episode wherein Meryl is typing her report on Vash and summarizing all that she has witnessed since following him.
One Piece has a particularly aggravating example: right after a dramatic moment in the CP9 arc, preceded by a three-episode flashback, the arc decides to pause again with the heroes falling in mid-air for fiveClip Showepisodes in a row.
To be fair, when originally broadcast, these episodes were aired during the offseason. So they were really more of a fancy way of doing reruns. They didn't soak up any of the season's actual episodes.
Original broadcast version of Gurren Lagann replaced the infamously fanservicey episode 6 with one of these. The unedited episode was included on the DVDs.
Episode 16 is actually a clip show.
Same goes for Gurren-Hen and Lagann-Hen, the two Compilation Movies, though they add new scenes as well.
Excel♥Saga had two of these despite only running for 26 episodes. The first was halfway through the series and was about half and half between old and new content (with the premise of a New Year's gameshow that had clips for some reason), while the second was about five episodes later and recapped the Pedro storyline, consisting almost entirely of recycled content up until the end when the storyline was expanded on a bit.
Naturally, since this is Excel♥Saga, it was parodied: Not all the clips shown play out like they did in the episodes which turns "remember that time" into a form of Unreliable Narrator.
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing had a two-part clip show coming right after the emergence of Wing Zero. The first one is voiced over by Relena who just straight recaps the plot, and the second is by Trieze who babbles philosophically like always. There is slight plot development though, as you get a glimpse of the final Gundam, Epyon. Of course, as any fan can tell you, these episodes only exist because plans to animate vignettes from the Gundam Pilots' childhoods (collectively known as "Episode Zero") fell through.
The first half of episode 14 of Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of these, with the SEELE committee narrating the events of the series so far.
The first 70 minutes of Death and Rebirth is a clip movie.
Eureka Seven's episode 14 is one of these, with the events narrated in the form of various reports written by two cast members.
The first Fist of the North Star anime series had a clip show for its series finale, actually called "A Look Back! The 2000 Year History of Hokuto"... despite only recapping the series' events; the "proper" series finale had been the penultimate episode. Fist of the North Star is rife with these, unfortunately, with each episode after the first having a recap Clip Show, and with several episodes that were nothing but clip shows, including one notorious incident where five episodes in a row were just clip shows. Fully half of the penultimate episode was a recap clip show of the antepenultimate episode. It's one of the reasons the series is basically not watched today.
Throughout the two-year filler period that Naruto Part 1 aired, only one episode, 202, was a clip show. It was based on a viewer vote of the best five fight scenes, and ended with cameos of Jiraiya, Orochimaru, and Sasuke.
Naruto Shippuden gave us a double-length clip show with episodes 212 and 213. A handful of plot developments were thrown in between the flashbacks, but the two episodes had barely 10 minutes of new footage between them.
Code Geass had two Clip Show episodes in the first season, but unlike many such examples, the staff outright admitted that they were Filler episodes intended to buy them some "breathing room" so they could work on more plot-relevant episodes. These two episodes didn't even make it into the American release, becoming Missing Episodes.
Chobits managed to have three clip episodes, two of which aired with the original broadcast, and one of which was made for home video. And at least in the North American DVD release, all three were included on the final volume, which also included the "Chibits" short.
Kare Kano had a clip show that actually lasted one and 1/2 episodes of it's 26 episode run.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood had an interesting take on this for episode 27, with a clip show brought on by the framing device of a very strange dream by Hohenheim.
Samurai Champloo had one in episode 13 when Mugen and Jin read Fuu's diary, which sees her personally recapping the events of the past 12 episodes.
A notable one happened in episode 89 of Sailor Moon. It featured only voiceovers of the five main senshi discussing the events of the season and pondering the future while clips from the entire series played out.
Although Dragon Ball Z never had an entire clip show, it played with the idea a little. For filler the anime would often have scenes taking place away from the action where characters would reminisce about events from both DBZ and Dragon Ball and could range anywhere from five to ten minutes. For example, late during the Goku/Freeza fight after everyone else gets teleported back to Earth by Porunga there's an episode that devotes a little bit of time to have Piccolo think back on his past with Goku, which then features clips of mainly from the Piccolo storylines from Dragon Ball. Another episode has Muten Roshi explain the history of the Red Ribbon Army to some of the supporting cast hanging out on his island early on during the Artificial Human saga, which in turn features clips from the entire Red Ribbon Army arc from the original Dragon Ball.
Given the length of the series, those flashbacks were probably included because the people making the anime thought people legitimately wouldn't remember (or wouldn't even have seen) stuff that was important to a new plot. They became particularly important when the show was exported, because the original Dragon Ball hadn't been aired outside of Japan.
Like the Clerks example under Western Animation, Miami Guns did a clip show for its second episode, though in this case it was entirely new content with no flashbacks to the first episode. It also broke the fourth wall — inconsistently — with the lead characters sometimes talking about behind the scenes stuff like Animated Actors and sometimes treating the clips as the actual events of their lives.
A portion of episode 73 of the Fairy Tail anime (adapted from the manga's "Rainbow Sakura" omake) features Lucy reminiscing a bunch of events from the previous 72 episodes while she's sick in bed.
The first half of episode 26 of Death Note is this, through the frame of L's reports on the Kira case, which Light subsequently finds and deletes.
Captain America and The Falcon #155 contains a lengthy "flashback" made up of pages from Young Men Comics #24, an issue that had been printed over two decades prior. To the book's credit, the editor included a caption acknowledging that the flashback was indeed recycled content.
It's not the only one: chapter 2note (actually chapter 1, the previous chapter was the prologue) of Paper Mario X 2 is not only also a clip show, but a Recap Episode.
Films — Animated
Oddly enough, this is Older than Television; there are old animated theatrical shorts composed mainly of footage from other shorts. Tom and Jerry is very guilty of this, having six shorts composed mainly of footage from earlier T&J cartoons. One of the T&J "clipshows" takes it a bit further: after the usual schtick of having Tom watch older T&J cartoons, it then tries to pass off a scene of Tom working at a drawing board from an earlier short as being part of the actual story.
"Adventures of Popeye" (1935: Popeye leaps out of a book to tell a live-action boy his adventures, using clips from "I Eats My Spinach", "Popeye the Sailor" (the pilot short), "Wild Elephinks" and "Axe Me Another".
"I'm in the Army Now" (1936): Popeye and Bluto prove they're Army material by showing scenes from "Blow Me Down", "Shoein' Hosses", "Choose Yer Weppins" and "King of the Mardi Gras".
"Customers Wanted" (1939): Popeye and Bluto show Wimpy clips from "Let's Get Movin'" and "The Twisker Pitcher".
"Doing Imposskible Stunts" (1940): Popeye auditions to be a stuntman by showing clips from "I Never Changes My Altitude", "I Wanna Be a Lifeguard" and "Bridge Ahoy", while Swee'pea shows a clip of his heroics from "Lost and Foundry".
"Friend or Phony" (1952): Bluto fakes an injury to he can make Popeye give up spinach and relates the events of "I'll Be Skiing Ya" and "Tar with a Star".
"Big Bad Sindbad" (1952): Popeye tells his nephews the story of his encounter with Sindbad the Sailor.
"Popeye's 20th Anniversary" (1954): Popeye celebrates 20 years in show business with clips from "Rodeo Romeo" and "Tops in the Big Top".
"Penny Antics" (1955): Popeye and Bluto show Wimpy clips from "Silly Hillbilly", "Wotta Knight" and "The Fistic Mystic".
"Assault and Flattery" (1956): Bluto sues Popeye for beating him up all the time and relates the events of "The Farmer and the Belle" and "How Green is My Spinach", while Popeye defends his case with a scene from "A Balmy Swami".
"The Crystal Brawl" (1957): Popeye poses as a sooth seer and shows Bluto and Olive scenes from "Quick on the Vigor" and "Alpine for You" from a crystal ball.
The Betty Boop short "Betty Boop's Rise to Fame", using clips from "Stopping the Show" (cut from modern prints), "Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle" and "The Old Man of the Mountain".
1974's That's Entertainment! is a collection of highlights from MGM musicals, hosted by performers who had appeared in those films. Released as a Milestone Celebration for MGM's 50th anniversary, it was a surprise box-office hit. There would be two follow-ups: 1976's Part 2 included scenes from musicals and non-musicals, and 1993's Part III included Deleted Scenes and rehearsal/test footage from musicals along with finished scenes. The 1984 Spin-OffThat's Dancing! didn't restrict itself to MGM movies. On top of all this, several variations were made well into The Eighties, such as America at the Movies (a tie-in to the U.S. Bicentennial), It's Showtime (animals), It Came from Hollywood (So Bad, It's Good) and Terror in the Aisles (thriller and horror films). This was also the inspiration for the Looney Tunes compilation movies described below.
1982's Trail of The Pink Panther is a variation that uses the format to make a movie starring Peter Sellerstwo years after he had died. The first half of the film uses then-unseen deleted scenes of Sellers as Inspector Clouseau from the series' 5th film (The Pink Panther Strikes Again) with new material filmed with the other actors to change the context and create a new storyline. When Clouseau goes missing at about the halfway mark, a reporter interviews people who knew him, triggering flashbacks to previously-seen clips from all of Sellers' previous PP films. The poor taste of the exercise led to a successful lawsuit by Sellers' widow against the studio and director/writer/producer Blake Edwards.
Gamera Tai Uchū Kaijū Bairasu (which translates to So It's Come To This: A Gamera Clip Show); it's filled with stock footage recounting fights in the previous movies. Hope you really liked those previous films! It's perhaps only bested by 1980's even lazier Uchu Kaijū Gamera ("Another Gamera Clip Show"), which was the last entry in the series until 1995.
One or two entries in the Guinea Pig series of gore films.
Some Mondo film series will do this, an example being The Worst of Faces of Death.
When Double Helix Films went bankrupt in 1992, their last effort Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor was left unfinished. The film finally saw a release in 2012 when a fan of the series edited the shot footage together with 35 minutes worth of clips from the three previous films.
Generally of dubious quality, but Andromeda's "Unconquerable Man" proved a deft use of the mechanism, changing the context of every clip.
After the death of actor Jack Soo (Det. Yemana), Barney Miller aired a tribute in the form of a clip show, with the actors breaking character and recalling their favorite Yemana scenes.
iCarly: iBloop is a clip show of bloopers, which makes it easier to digest than a normal clip show.
Big Wolf on Campus did this twice. The first time was during the Season Two finale to show the Grim Reaper that Tommy Dawkins was too good to die. The second time was during the Third Season finale in which the ACTORS presented clips of the fans' favorite moments as well as clips of their favorite villains.
Charmed also did an innovative clip show in season 5's "Cat House", by having Piper cast a spell before recounting (with her hubby, Leo) many memories to a shrink... which has the side effect of putting Phoebe and Paige into scenes of those memories (although some of the memories have been tweaked to excise Prue... Phoebe sort of hangs a lampshade on how Paige replaced Prue by noting, "You wanted to meet Prue," while they're in a memory featuring her as a wolf).
Dinosaurs did two clip shows, both having the framing device of a modern-day paleontologist making conclusions about dinosaur society that are shown to be completely wrong by the interspersed clips.
The episode of Drake & Josh where the title characters go on "Dr. Phyllis"'s talk show.
Due South ended its second season with a clip show. Until the show was resurrected that fall, it also served as the series finale, to the annoyance of fans.
Friends is the master of the clip show. They have had so many, but they are so good. The first one was in Season 4, episode 21, where Ross's decision whether or not to invite Rachel and her decision whether or not to attend are accompanied by flashbacks of every memorable scene in their relationship over four seasons. There are about a total of four new scenes, period, including the two bookends.
Subverted in "The one where everyone turns 30" which showed clips of what the gang did when they each turned 30.
"The One With Christmas in Tulsa" in Series 9 played with this: half of the episode was a clip show, but the rest was new footage, and contained a very plot-relevant development. Namely Chandler quitting his job.
Ending an entire series with a Clip Show is just asking for trouble. Naturally, people who write sitcoms do it all the time. Full House did it (using Michelle getting amnesia from a fall from a horse as a Framing Device). Growing Pains did it. The Facts of Life did it. Home Improvement did it. Leave It to Beaver did it, pioneering not only many clip shows to come but setting an early precedent for series finales altogether. When Seinfeld did it, there was rioting in the streets even though Seinfeld used the most interesting framing device in years (the gang was put on trial for, well, not being pleasant people). Sometimes, the series finale Clip Show is framed as the reminiscences of the characters as they prepare to move.
The reason for the outrage over Seinfeld's clip show finale was that just prior to the finale, NBC aired a 70 minute clip show. So they gave us back to back clip shows. And since it was the most popular syndicated show of all time at that point, it was clips that everyone had seen 50 times already.
Each of the four series of ''SClub'' ends this way... which is very annoying as they often used clips used in previous series finale clip shows. Though, given that the rest of the series finales revolves around being as depressing as possible, it may not have been such a bad thing. They also did this when Paul left, if I recall correctly.
Because of the massive number of storylines running at any given time and the fact that networks have moved away from actually airing reruns for long-running serialized shows, ABC produced a good number of clip-shows for LOST and Desperate Housewives, usually airing them whenever the show's new season starts or after a brief hiatus between new episodes during the season. The purpose for these clip shows are to get returning fans up to speed with the plotlines or in the case of LOST, to clarify plot-points for viewers.
MacGyver did at least three: "Friends", "Unfinished Business" and "Hindsight".
The Incredible Hulk had a clip show centering around Jack McGee talking to his new boss, trying to justify his continued pursuit of the Hulk.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 has an episode where the host segments were in Clip Show form; it was admitted in the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide that doing the narrative glue took up just as much time and money as making wholly new ones.
An unusual example occurs in the third act of the Frasier episode "Daphne Returns"; over the course of the episode, Niles and Daphne have been experiencing difficulties in their relationship, and in an effort to help, Frasier talks Niles through some of the significant moments in their relationship (their first meeting, their first dance, etc) — however, similar to the Charmed example above, both the current Frasier and Niles are inserted into the scenes with their past selves, thus allowing the characters (and audience) to view the scenes in question from different perspectives. Not only are the clips worked into the episode in a logical and interesting fashion, but they only appear towards the end.
Crock Tales also subverted the trope, in which new scenes depicting the cast in previous seasons were shot, with the cast recreating their mannerisms, and in some cases, wearing wigs.
Power Rangers tends to play it straight with its seasonal clip shows, generally either as a form of recap or an attempt by the Rangers to piece together several past clues they originally missed to try and figure out what the enemy is really planning.
Of particular note is the 500th episode, "Legacy of Power", in which the incumbent team (Dino Thunder) is caught up on the entire history of the Power Rangers in a series of archived videos narrated by Tommy Oliver. Dino Thunder later had its own clip show, "A Test of Trust", after an Internal Reveal shook the team up a bit.
The "Buster Special" blends several clips of Buster getting trashed with footage of the rebuild.
The "Outtakes Special" is just what it says — clips that didn't make it into the show.
One could argue that "MythBusters Revealed" qualifies as well, with clips mixed in to interviews with the team.
During the first season(s), several myths with similar themes (explosions, animals, etc.) were combined into one episode, while sacrificing some of the "filler" material from the original segments.
As part of Discovery Channel's 25th anniversary celebration, MythBusters did a two-hour "Top 25 Moments" Clip Show special.
One "Shark Week" special was a collection of shark-themed clips.
Saved by the Bell does this three times. One episode uses a framing device of the gang hanging around the Max reminiscing about various scenes/episodes related to dating and romance. Another has Mr. Belding with a group of students from a class many years in the future, watching a video time capsule made by the "present" group of kids. The last has the gang at Zack's house remembering the wacky hijinks of their summer working at the beach club (the 8-episode summer season).
A very unusual variant is the Scrubs episode "My Deja Vu, My Deja Vu", in which, after J.D. comments that at this stage of his career it seems like everything's happened before, much of the rest of the storyline consists of re-recorded scenes from earlier episodes. Scrubs also did a regular clip show in season 6 — really more of a montage show, with sequences of "people dancing", "people falling over", etc. The season six clip show is notable for its lampshade hanging and self-mockery. Fans in aggregate have rated it the series's worst episode.
The funny thing is that in the re-recorded scenes of My Deja Vu, My Deja Vu, there are minor differences in the dialogue, such as the Janitor claiming to have been from Yale instead of Harvard. The entire point of the episode is that while things can repeat themselves, it's the little differences that matter.
Unsurprisingly for a show made by the creators of The Outer Limits revival mentioned above, Stargate SG-1 has several clipshows, usually in the context of one of SG-1's political enemies trying to convince their superiors to fire SG-1.
"Politics" at the end of Season 1 — the Stargate team tries to persuade a politician to keept funding the project
"Out of Mind", last episode of Season 2 — the heroes have been captured by the enemy pretending to be friends and asking about past missions.
"Disclosure" — the Stargate program is presented to representatives from other countries.
"Inauguration" — the new President being briefed about the Stargate program. Interestingly enough, one of the clips of this Clip Show is from an original segment of the aforementioned Clip Show episode — "Disclosure".
In Season 8 episode "Citizen Joe", they do a quite delightful clip show that actually has very few clips in it — the eponymous Joe is a regular guy who has picked up an alien device seven years ago that gives him a psychic connection to SG-1's Colonel O'Neill. Most of the episode is Joe recounting the events of various SG-1 episodes to the customers in his barber shop, and eventually trying to sell them as short stories. Joe's friends and wife get to play the role of the SG-1 fan as they make comments and complaints that real-life fans have made. They comment on Jonas Quinn, a temporary replacement for Dr. Daniel Jackson (because the actor playing Jackson took a year off from the show), for example.
The second episode of season 5, Threshold, is something of a "fake-out". The setup of the show is that the characters have to stay awake with Teal'c, talking to him. Just when the viewer is certain it's going to be a boring clip-show, it turns out every one of Teal'c's past memories is brand-new footage containing tons of character development.
Stargate Atlantis also has a clip show episode, "Letters from Pegasus". The characters record messages to be sent to Earth before they die, and footage from earlier in the season is aired again. It was mainly used to drive in the poignancy of that time in their lives as they were unable to describe all the things that had happened to them because the Stargate program is a secret. One memorable scene is footage of Atlantis rising from the ocean with an added voice-over entirely in Czech from Dr. Zelenka. However, the plot is still continued in-between the recorded messages.
They have another clip show in the final season, in which the characters are put on trial by the inhabitants of the Pegasus Galaxy; the clips are flashbacks to the things they're accused of. (See SGA's Moral Dissonance section to find out just how much trouble they were in.) They got off by basically saying "Yeah, well, we're still the only ones who can save your asses from the Wraith."
Babylon 5 and Star Trek: Voyager both do what could be considered a "reverse" clip show, where clips feature events that would come to pass later in the series. (In the former case, care is taken to make the clips come to pass exactly as shown. In the latter, thanks to the character's foreknowledge — the clips are events one character lived through as she travelled back in time to the present — the events which came to pass are similar, but not identical.)
While not strictly a clip show, there is an episode where the ship itself became a clip show of sorts, with different parts of it reverting to moments from different points in time, in a hilarious send-up of clip shows. You can recognize the episodes and even guess them, through all the seasons, reusing all the old hairstyles and everything that changed season to season. It was amazing :)
Voyager also has the sixth season episode "The Voyager Conspiracy", which see Seven of Nine hypothesising that various unconnected events over the course of the series are linked together into some big conspiracy theory, dating all the way back to the pilot episode. Extensive use of clips of events from several former episodes are used to help illustrate her points. It was TNG's "Shades of Grey" done right.
Meanwhile, Star Trek: The Next Generation has one of the most abysmal clip shows ever in its second-season finale, "Shades of Grey" It was almost literally, "Riker's got a fever and the only prescription is A CLIP SHOW!"
On the other other hand, Star Trek: The Original Series has a (much better) two-part episode, "The Menagerie", which is often named as a clip show, although all of the clips were from the unaired Pilot episode. This fact is lampshaded in-universe due to the impossibility of things such as overhead shots of the Enterprise and alternating camera angles.
Stroker and Hoop made an interesting use of this trope during its season one finale (although it didn't get a second season). The heroes were being held in a Death Trap by someone who swore revenge on them. He would only release them if they could identify him. All the clips focused on a minor character who appeared in some (but not all) of the episodes in the series, whom they unwittingly wronged in every episode, either directly or indirectly.
War of the Worlds uses a clip show near the end of its first season, framed as the Blackwood project's presentation to a international conference on alien-fighting. The clip show section only takes up about half of the episode, however, as the aliens besiege the conference in order to prevent the producers from needing to magic up clips to go along with the presentations of the other countries involved.
In the early WKRP in Cincinnati episode, "Mama's Review", Mama Carlson comes to review the progress of the radio station and Andy and Arthur Carlson ineffectually try to explain the bizarre disasters that have occured as seen in the clips. Unlike similar shows, this episode also features significant character development of both Mama and Son Carlson as each own up to their mistakes.
Small part of The X-Files series finale, "The Truth," feels like a Clip Show. In the episode, the characters recap the series Myth Arc as part of Mulder's trial, and the clips accompany their recaps, but the after the trial, there are new scenes.
Xena: Warrior Princess has several. The most memorable is the bard one, which has Gabrielle at bard school, where she sings the praises of Xena. This clip show also uses footage from the Steve Reeves movie sung by the bard Stallonus (as an actor called Sylverster), and footage from Spartacus sung by the bard Homer, who wins the competition by closing his eyes before singing (thus earning the nickname "the blind bard").
Another Gabrielle-based clip show was very well done by going over the current Arc, which has Xena and Gabby's relationship straining, and put a new spin on the events of a pivotal two-parter by exploring Gabrielle's motives. It also uses cut footage to good effect AND serves to close a Plot Hole that had been hanging (namely, how did Gabby get to China before Xena?).
There is also a rather unusual example in the fourth season episode "Lifeblood"; the production company had filmed an hour-long pilot for a new series, Amazon High, which never got picked up (among other reasons, it doesn't appear to have been very good). So, instead, they edited a bunch of the footage into a X:WP episode that explained the "origin" of the Amazons through a series of vision quest flashbacks. Ergo: a Clip Show that didn't look like a Clip Show. Clever, yes?
The episodes of both Xena and Hercules that are based in the present day are almost always clip shows, but it's understandable why those aren't discussed offen.
The Season 7 M*A*S*H episode "Our Finest Hour" has reporter Clete Roberts, previously used in the acclaimed Season 4 episode "The Interview", returning to the 4077th to interview the doctors and nurses for a black-and-white TV documentary. However, whereas the earlier episode featured all-new material and never broke from its concept, "Our Finest Hour" awkwardly inserts a large number of (color) clips from earlier episodes in a manner that destroys any kind of narrative flow in the Roberts segments. All of this goes a long way toward explaining why "Our Finest Hour" is regarded by many M*A*S*H fans as one of the weakest episodes in the show's run, making its title more than a little ironic.
In its very first season, Diff'rent Strokes has an episode where Mr. Drummond reminisces with Arnold and Willis while they prepare to celebrate their first Christmas together. That's right: not only did they give us a Clip Show a mere nine episodes into the series' run, they combined it with a Christmas Episode in the bargain! And it was a two-part episode, to boot. In the framing sequence, Mr. Drummond wakes up the kids in the middle of the night to remind them that it's the 8-week anniversary of their arrival.
The Pretender, "Mr. Lee": Mr. Lee tries to find Jarod by interviewing people from past episodes.
Forever Knight, "Close Call": Schanke starts putting together all the strange things he's noticed about Nick (and comes this close to confirming that Nick is a vampire).
The twelfth episode of Legend of the Seeker is a recap of the events of the early episodes, using the frame of Rahl tapping into Richard's mind with a spell and trying to get information out of him.
The second season has another one, this time the frame being The Creator putting Richard on trial.
Kamen Rider Dragon Knight has a rare and completely ridiculous example of a clip show that flashes back to another clip show.
The show actually has three in its run, a bit much for the amount of episodes the show has. What's worse, the final battle and main resolution of the story takes place in the penultimate episodes, with the actual final episode being a clipshow of the whole series, which tied up some of the loose ends in passing. "Kit's dad and Sting? Oh yeah, they got better." No wonder the series was cancelled before either of these got to air...
The Cosby Show has some clip shows, including one which aired outtakes, bloopers, and deleted scenes.
Family Ties had several of these. In one, the family members share stories with Alex's girlfriend Ellen; another has Alex's second girlfriend, Lauren, asking family members to relate past stories while working on a research paper ; still another has the men and women of the family rehashing past incidents while arguing at a restaurant; finally, there's one where everyone reminisces while Andy works on a time capsule he's planning to bury.
Spoofed by SNL when Justine Bateman hosted and they did a "Family Ties" skit. The Keatons would reminisce about a previous episode which was another clip show which would flash back to another episode.
Which then flash backed into an episode of The Jeffersons which was itself a clip show...
The 100th episode, aired in December 1974, was a "best of" clip show hosted by Henry Fonda. Unlike many clip shows before or after, there was no plot per se; it was merely Fonda introducing clips and providing commentary.
The 200th episode, which came in early 1979, was an updated "best of" clip show, this time hosted by series' creator Norman Lear. As was the case with the original, the plot was discarded in favor of a montage of clips and commentary from Lear.
The Jeffersons' clip show came midway through the fourth season (1977-1978), when George and Louise – after interrupting a burglary at their apartment, are tied to chairs while the robbers get away – reminisce about their first three years in Manhattan. As a bonus, the show flashes back to their days on All in the Family and their conflicts with Archie Bunker.
The season 6 episode of The Office, "The Banker". Though one of the first known mockumentaries to have a clip show, the episode followed a fairly standard clip show format, having characters recall past moments and grouping clips into accidents and injuries, Jim's pranks, romantic moments, etc. Though at least a third of the episode was new footage, the show got flack for being on hiatus for over a month and coming back to a clip show rather than a new episode.
Night Court did a two-part clip show where a city auditor(played by Les Nesman) demanded an explanation for the outrageous expenses filed by the people in Harry's court. Then Judge Harry's office is taken hostage by a clown with a gun played by Mr.Carlson.
The Steve Harvey Show did this when Byron came to do a Where Are They Now-esque show featuring Steve. Unfortunately, everyone wanted to talk about themselves. Byron became frustrated that Steve did not have any juicy secrets and when the show aired, all it said was that Steve was a music teacher.
In the first season of Dead Like Me they had a clip show episode. But still managed to be interesting because it gave some insight on Daisy for the first time, and tried their best to make the time between the clips interesting to watch.
The Eureka episode "You Don't Know Jack", which centers around a memory-recording device that starts erasing people's memories.
The 3rd Rock from the Sun episode "Seven Deadly Clips", in which the clips were loosely themed around the Seven Deadly Sins. It includes Harry mistakenly identifying "falling down" as a deadly sin so that they could show a bunch of Slapstick clips. Also, a clip of Evil Dick is included at one point, as though it were demonstrating the behavior of the "real" Dick.
Home Improvement had two: "Tool Time After Dark", where Tim watches tapes of the Show Within a ShowTool Time, and the second part of the three part finale, where Tim, Brad and Mark reminisce about their life in Detroit while preparing to move.
The 3000th and 4000th episodes of Wheel of Fortune were clip shows giving glimpses at the show's history, also including some memorable moments (five words: "A group of pill-pushers"). Sister show Jeopardy! also did this for its 4000th.
Hannah Montana's clip show was in the form of an interview, and not subtle at all.
The series finale of Boy Meets World, although it had a plot going on at the same time.
Young Dracula has the episode "Fangs for the Memories", which is somewhat helpful since the show was cancelled then Un-Cancelled, meaning much of the footage was from four years ago.
Sons Of Guns had one — Sons Of Guns: Guns of Glory on Thanksgiving 2011 listed the crew's favorite projects from the previous episodes.
The "Science of Disaster" episodes of Air Crash Investigation can be counted as this, as it's usually half a recap of air disasters centering around a theme (ATC, bad weather, pilot errors, etc.) and half an explanation about the theme itself and how to prevent similar disasters in the future.
JAG had only one: "Lifeline" in season 6. Though there were a couple of brief clip-show-style moments in a few other episodes.
The season ending episodes of seasons three and four of Punky Brewster when it went into first-run syndication were clip shows. "Remember When" (season three) featured clips as the gang dealt with a power outtage during a blizzard. while "Wedding Bells For Brandon" (season four and series finale) used clips from past episodes as a wedding for Punky's dog Brandon and a female golden retriever named Brenda was arranged.
Pee-Wee's Playhouse marks yet another series that used a clip show as its finale. Miss Yvonne mistakenly thinks that Pee Wee is selling the Playhouse and thinks back to all the fun everyone's had there in the past.
The Young and the Restless has had a number of these over the years, often involving Victor Newman reminiscing on his on-and-off romance with Nikki and/or the importance of family.
"The Stoop Sessions" from Impractical Jokers comprised of this and some behind-the-scene footage.
Minder did one as a Christmas Episode, with the principals sitting around the pub remembering the events of the year.
"Horrible Histories" has ended each series after the first with a clip show of the ten best music videos (in chronological order) from that series under the title "Savage Songs".
Mr. Show had three mid-season specials that acted as this. The first was about them appearing on an infomercial, the second was them doing a press conference (which wasn't include on any of the DVDs), the third was the cast dubbing over an old news program.
"HAL" in Pixelface. An incomplete update cause the Console to go insane. As she torments the characters, she keeps playing clips from her "archive" to illustrate her points.
Castle, "Still": Used to reminisce about Castle and Beckett while the latter is standing on a Pressure Plate with a bomb attached.
In My Name Is Earl, Earl was in a coma, and his coma dream consisted of a Dom Com where he was married to Billie Cunningham. A clip show (where Earl and Billie and all their friends are now elderly and reminiscing) marks the episode where Earl finally comes out of the coma in the "real" world.
Punky Brewster had two clip shows: "Remember When" (season three finale) and "Wedding Bells For Brandon" (series finale).
The Golden Girls featured a clip show in every season between seasons 3 and 7 - and every one was a double episode!
Air Crash Investigation: The "Science of Disaster" episodes can be counted as this, as it's usually half a recap of air disasters centering around a theme (ATC, bad weather, pilot errors, etc.) and half an explanation about the theme itself and how to prevent similar disasters in the future.
The Kids Praise series had a clip album: Psalty's Singalongathon Maranatha Marathon Hallelujah Jubilee, set up as a TV special where viewers at home could phone in their votes for their favorite songs from the previous albums, which Psalty and the Kids would then perform.
The BBC's Top of the Pops 2 which mostly focussed on selected archive performances from the show's history, as well as showcasing the odd bit of new music.
Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri: The cutscene for "The Voice of Planet" Secret Project consists primarily of sped-up clips from all the previous cutscenes in the game to represent the entire contents of their version of the internet being forcibly uploaded into the Planet brain with the force of every reactor on the planet.
In a Homestar Runner cartoon that never aired on the site (originally seen at the Flash Forward convention), Homestar misinterprets the name of the con as "The Flashback Show". Strong Bad's response: "I love a good cop-out!" He then has "flashbacks" to previous cons in the style of a clip show.
Phineas and Ferb had a "Musical Cliptastic Countdown" composed of clips from their most memorable musical numbers, as voted on by the viewers. There's also "Phineas's Birthday Clip-o-Rama", where the gang makes a clip show for Phineas's birthday. As expected, they take joy in lampshading this trope at every chance they get. It is also a subversion because there is at least one clip in each segment that didn't come from any episode and makes no sense at all.
There is also the episode "This Is Your Backstory", which is a much more traditional clip show. Dr. Doofenschmirtz makes a device that will use all of his tragic backstories to make his more evil. It also comes off as a not-quite-successful attempt to organize his numerous backstories.
In addition to re-using old animation in "new" theatrical shorts and TV specials, the Warner Brothers cartoon set has five movies devoted to this. The first, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (1979), is a That's Entertainment!-esque retrospective hosted by Bugs Bunny in new linking segments; the sequels use new animation to link the shorts together into a long storyline. For example, Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island has a framing device of various characters making wishes in a wishing well.
Duckman's second season ended with "Clip Joint", a clip show that deconstructed clip shows. The framing story had a disgruntled television critic kidnapping the titular character and trying to convince him that Duckman is the most immoral show of all time. Duckman is unaware that he is a television character, and can't understand where and how the critic acquired all the clips of his past adventures, which he uses to torture Duckman by showing him the worst aspects of his personality. In the end Duckman is rescued, and his sons Charles and Mambo point out that if their life really were a TV program then this occurrence would have been a clip show created as an excuse to spend less money on original production. Duckman scoffs at the idea and asks who could possibly be so cynical to do such a thing. He then stares out at the audience as the credits start to roll, beginning with the names of the series' executive producers.
Gargoyles has a truly excellent example: a clip show centered around the paranoid rantings of a recurring background character. (See Recurring Extra.)
Shadow Raiders has a clip show based around Graveheart having a crisis of faith in his leadership abilities. It consisted of each of the main characters going "Did I just hear you want to quit? What about the time you did X?" and a clip would roll. Sadly, one of the series' weaker episodes, though it did resolve this arc for his character, for what that's worth.
The Simpsons (like many other sitcoms) has clip shows, only theirs are a little different:
"So It's Come to This: A Simpsons' Clip Show" (Season 4): It's April Fools' Day and Bart has had it with Homer's pranks, so Bart shakes a can of beer up so much that it explodes (using a paint shaker at a local hardware store), putting Homer in a coma. While Homer is in a coma, the rest of the family (and Mr. Burns) reminisces about all the wacky adventures the Simpsons have had from seasons 1 through the first half of 4. Includes a self-referential joke where Bart remembers an "Itchy and Scratchy" cartoon and says, "It was an amusing episode...of our lives."
"Another Simpsons Clip Show" (Season 6): After reading The Bridges of Madison County, Marge decides to gather the family in the kitchen so they can discuss their love lives (most of which ended in tragedy [Bart getting his heart broken by Laura from "New Kid on the Block" and Lisa yelling at Ralph in "I Love Lisa") or near-infidelity (Homer almost sleeping with his coworker Mindy in "The Last Temptation of Homer" and Marge almost driving to Jacques the French bowler's house in "Life in the Fast Lane"). Notable for having next to no new footage for its framing scenes (the kitchen sequence used for the entire episode was reused from Season 2's "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish") and making a joke about how the cel-animated cartoons of old recycled clips to make new scenes and episodes that would only be seen as new in the eyes of naive viewers (much likeRen & Stimpy).
"The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" (Season 7): A take on sitcom retrospective episodes of the 1970s (like the Three's Company example mentioned above). It had Troy McClure hosting a retrospective of The Simpsons, showing viewers the show's early years as animated filler on The Tracy Ullman Show, deleted scenes from popular episodes (all of which are real, according to Word of God, including the infamous "Robotic Richard Simmons" scene from season 5's "Burns' Heir"), portraying Matt Groening as a bald, drunken gun nut (instead of a bearded, bespectacled nerd), and, of course, "hard-core nudity!"
"All Singing, All Dancing" (Season 9): Starts out as a normal episode (much like "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons' Clip Show") where Homer rents a Western that turns out to be a musical, then complains that musicals suck, prompting the rest of the family to show video clips of the many times the Simpson family (and the people of Springfield) have broken out in song. In response to this, Snake barges in and holds the entire family hostage, but leaves when he realizes how weird it is to hold a singing family at gunpoint. Has a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment during the credits where gunshots can be heard when Phil Hartman's name appears in the credits (to make matters worse, this was the last episode for which Hartman did voicework shown before he died, although his voice appeared in "Bart the Mother," a leftover season nine episode that aired in season 10).
"Gump Roast" (Season 13): Homer is honored at a Friars' Club Roast, when Kang and Kodos invade so they can enslave humanity. Not much to write home about, except for the end song, sung by Dan Castellaneta, parodying Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" and the lyric: "We're sorry for the clip show!" Also has a Hilarious in Hindsight moment where the song mentions an episode with a "crazy wedding" involving Patty, Selma, and Grampa getting married to each other. Selma and Grampa would marry each other in season 18's "Rome-Old and Juli-Ech." Patty, on the other hand, would get married in season 16's "There's Something About Marrying," but in that episode she would almost marry a man who looks like a woman and break up with her near-husband/wife because Patty just revealed to Marge that she was a lesbian — despite her and Selma's crush on MacGyver. Also of note that this is the last clip show the writers have done, according to the season 13 DVD commentary, as the writers have now taken to doing "trilogy" episodes [episodes with three separate stories for each act], such as "Margical History Tour," "Tales From The Public Domain," "Love: Springfieldian Style," "Simpsons Christmas Stories," "Four Great Women and a Manicure," and "The Fight Before Christmas."
The show itself sent "Gump Roast" up just one week later with "I Am Furious (Yellow)", in which Bart makes Homer the subject of his highly popular Angry Dad cartoon; when Homer catches on, he immediately swears off all expressions of anger. Bart, watching Homer get hit by objects but not reacting, says, "Come on, Angry Dad! Get angry! Don't make me do a clip show!"
In addition to the full-episode clip shows, there were some partial clip shows The Simpsons had: in season 5's "Bart's Inner Child," Lisa and Bart think back to all the times Marge has nagged them after Marge asks if she nags the family all the time.
In season 11's "Behind the Laughter", the family is portrayed as Animated Actors. During the "documentary", clips are shown from "Bart the Daredevil" and "The Principal and the Pauper", as well as scenes of previous guest stars.
In season 13's "The Blunder Years," Homer thinks back to the time he jumped over Springfield Gorge (the Crowning Moment of Funny from season 2's "Bart the Daredevil"), but Lisa interrupts, stating that everyone is sick of that flashback.
In season 19's "Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind," Homer travels through his mind to see what he did to make his family leave him. If you look closely at the background, you can see clips of scenes from the past 18 seasons).
The SWAT Kats episode "Swat Kats — A Special Report" is a clip show disguised as a news report about the heroes.
The final episode of The Critic, "I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show", takes place at the filming of a clip show celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Show Within a ShowComing Attractions. As a result, the clips are from that and the various movie parodies featured in the series.
The original final episode of Beavis And Butthead is a clip show where all the secondary characters have flashbacks over their encounters with the two main characters from the previous episodes.
The final episode of Code Lyoko, "Echoes", is a clip show where the main characters are reminiscing of their adventures throughout the series, before shutting off the Supercomputer for good.
KaBlam! never had an official clip show, but the episodes "Won't Stick to Most Dental Work!" (in the begining, when Henry shows all the times June has been pranking/beating him up, and at the end, when June was showing all the good times she and Henry had together) and "Under New Management!" (when Henry's thinking back to the moments that Mr. Foot beat him up) played clips from previous episodes.
When Action League Now became a show, they had a clip show, "And Justice For None", when the Action League is trying to explain why the team shouldn't be terminated.
The Series Finale episode "Clip Hangers" of Timon & Pumbaa had Timon and Pumbaa falling off a cliff after trying to catch a grub. Then, clips of their previous adventures show.
Transformers Prime has the episode Grill, in which Agent Fowler must make a case to his superiors for Team Prime to stay active on Earth in the wake of MECH's plots to discredit the Autobots with a fake version of Optimus.
In the same season, we also got the episode Patch, where Megatron enters Starscream's mind and overviews Starscream's previous plots against him to see if he should rejoin the Decepticons. Slightly subverted as it ends up having immediate consequences for both Knockout and Dreadwing.
Taz-Mania: "The Platypi Psonic Psensation Psimulator" (although, this being Taz-Mania, the Playpus Brothers immediately lampshade this episode as what it is).
Captain N: The Game Master: set a new low for cheaply done clip episodes: their clip show has no framing story to justify the clips, and in fact contains no new footage whatsoever. It's just a half hour of randomly assembled clips with no explanation...and with no dialog. Yes, for some reason, all the dialog has been removed from the clips, resulting in 30 minutes of silent reused animation playing over background music. Kids were understandably confused and upset.
When the episode aired in syndication, they put the voices back in and added some new narration, most of which has nothing to do with the action on screen.
101 Dalmatians: The Series had two episodes that were clip shows. One was "Humanitarian of the Year", where Cruella attempts to win the mentioned title for publicity, while the pups find photographs she ordered Horace and Jasper to hide of her being her usual cruel self, bringing up clips from previous episodes (Oddly, there were no cameras present to take pictures of these situations). Next was "Horace and Jasper's Big Career Move", where Horace and Jasper try to find new jobs, bringing up events of previous episodes. "The Making Of..." uses a few clips from previous episodes at first, but then goes off on its' own.
The 13th and final episode of ProStars was a clip show.
The RecessDirect-to-Video movies note They're not really movies because of this trope, but according to Disney, they're movies. Fans usually consider All Growed Down the show's third movie while Miracle on Third Street is just a specialRecess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street and Recess: All Growed Down both consisted of episodes of the television show (Four for the former, three for the latter) with linking material. Some fans felt ripped off because they hardly got anything new, but it could've been Disney's secret way of saying "Alright, we're not making new episodes of this show. Buy these now before we take the show off!"
Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street (Released a day after the show aired it's final episode) took place right after the Christmas Episode, with Principal Prickly carpooling Miss Finster and Miss Grotke home after school, until his car gets stuck in a snowbank, making him and Miss Finster instantly blame the kids, due to them having to deal with their pranks every day. So Miss Grotke tries to explain to them that the kids aren't as bad as they make them out to be, bringing up previous episodes ("Principal for a Day", "The Great Can Drive", "Weekend at Muriel's", and "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave"), which play as part of the movie.
Recess: All Growed Down (Released two years after the show ended, along with Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade) was about the gang getting kidnapped by the kindergarteners, though only because their new leader, Chief Stinky wanted them to, and made the other kindergarteners believe that the older kids were bad. So the gang try to re-affirm the fact that they've been nice to them by bringing up (And playing) the episodes "The Legend of Big Kid", "Wild Child", and "Kindergarten Derby", and the rest of the film is new material- specifically, Gus bringing up the gang's origin story of how they met in kindergarten.
Clerks featured a clip show... as its second episode. Most of the footage used was new, but there was a flashback to earlier in the episode.
The episode, "DW's Perfect Wish" has Arthur cheer up a depressed D.W. on her fifth birthday by reminding her of all the good times she had when she was four.
The episode, "Best Day Ever", has Arthur's friends remembering their favorite days, and Arthur trying to come up with one for himself. Even though video clips from older episodes are used, they are dubbed with the show's current voice actors.
While Rugrats never officially had a clip show episode, the featurette "The Pickles Family Album" (included as a bonus on the Decade in Diapers DVD) features clips from various episodes of the show. The featurette is hosted by Angelica Pickles.
Clips from various episodes can also be seen at the end of the "All Growed Up" special.
The Magic Adventures Of Mumfie had "The Album", where the characters find a memento of one of their adventures and a clip from the episode follows it. The order of the items may suggest that all the episodes are Out of Order.
Subversions and Parodies
Anime and Manga
The second episode of Miami Guns was a Clip Show that reviewed episodes from an imaginary first season.
Subverted in Seitokai Yakuindomo. The final episode starts its second half with what appears to be a regular clip show. Then things start getting strange when characters flash back to events that didn't happen the way they happened. In Mutsumi's case, events that weren't even in the same genre. And it gets Up to Eleven weirder; apparently Tsuda's souvenir actually changed to conform to Shino's warped memory, causing Tsuda to go into a short Heroic BSOD. That the whole thing is topped off with a preview for the show that will be taking their time slot (that also doesn't exist) cements the show taking a sledgehammer to the fourth wall.
Live Action TV
Parodied in Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger Episode 13. The Akibarangers are sent a DVD of their previous adventures in order to find out what they did wrong in order to get a second season. This episode features enough humorous commentary by the team to be a parody alone. Eventually they figure out it was just the producer's way to force a clip show episode.
Subverted with Doctor Who's season 23, the four serials (or one, or three, depending on who you ask) are set out like a clip show but it's all new footage.
The Terror of the Vervoids section is a bit of a Double Subversion, in that the clips shown are of events that have yet to happen, from the point of view of the characters in the courtroom.
Community did a clip show in the second season, to draw attention to and/or resolve running character arcs — but being a show that thrives on Affectionate Parody and Breaking the Fourth Wall, the clips weren't from previous episodes, but instead were written and shot just for the episode. As a result, the episode is wall-to-wall Noodle Incidents.
There are a couple segments that take place during — but not actually in — two episodes (and weren't deleted scenes or even filmed at the same time as those two episodes either. Some of the set dressing of one of the previous episodes had to be recreated). Additionally, the one thing we did see that is referred to in the episode (Annie's pens being stolen) is not flashed back to. One example is even filmed in the 'stop motion animation' style adopted by an earlier Christmas episode (although this example was done in advance along with the earlier example, it being prohibitively expensive to do otherwise).
Subverted in the 30 Rock episode "The Bubble" when Jack mentions that Tracy's contract is up and Liz responds that they sure do have some crazy memories of Tracy. They stand quietly for a moment with Liz remarking "I'm picturing them right now", but no clip starts and both characters shake it off and continue with the episode.
The April Fools' Day episode of iCarly starts out like a typical clip show episode...but soon turns into absolute madness.
The season 1 finale of Taxi has a standard clip show format with everyone reminiscing about their times driving a cab that's just been wrecked. However, it's entirely new material.
Supernatural, of course, has a twisted version. In the penultimate episode of season eight (actually called "Clip Show"), Crowley starts killing people Sam and Dean have saved, threatening to destroy their entire lives' work unless they stand down. Clips from previous episodes are used so we know who all these people coming Back for the Dead are, but they actually don't take up a large part of the episode.
In the Hamish And Dougal episode "Trapped!", Hamish and Dougal find themselves trapped on an escalator (yes, it's that kind of show), and Hamish reminisces about the events of the previous episode, because that's what you do when you're trapped somewhere. Dougal doesn't quite get the concept, becoming confused as to which of him is when halfway through a line from the clip, and then remembering a scene from Friends instead.
Spoofed on Homestar Runner: Strong Bad, when asked about his favorite emails, lists two real examples (e.g. "invisibility" and "gimmicks"), but then starts making ones up (like the time he got drunk on soy sauce and tried to fly Bubs' Concession Stand, or the time Coach Z and Pom Pom got in a knife fight). This caused a lot of confusion when some people thought they were real excerpts, and that they had missed emails.
Similarly referenced in "email thunder" when Homestar explains that Strong Bad was in a bunch of his hremails, listing the two real sbemails "caper" and "long pants" before following them up with a fake one where he dressed up like Coach Z.
The Insecticomics has a clip webcomic, in which Tarantulas uses a device to show Megatron past and future comic panels. Oddly enough, some of the panels never actually happened and were probably thrown in for the heck of it.
In 8-Bit Theater, at one point Black Mage asks "Have I mentioned that I hate Thief?" Which cues a montage of the times Black Mage said that he hates Thief in response to Thief screwing the team over. One of these is from an event where Black Mage doesn't actually use the phrase, but it's got a lampshade along the lines of "I'm not saying it, but I'm certainly thinking it." The last of these is just a scene from Boondock Saints with the faces of the Light Warrior pasted on.
Satirized in The Nostalgia Critic's 100th Episode special, where the Critic appears on-camera to tell the audience that they can watch some lame clips of his past episodes while he goes backstage to smoke a joint... until the characters in the clips call him out on it and insist that he review Battlefield Earth.
In the commentary for that episode, Mr. Walker said he planned to do a clip show... but with all the clips not being from any episode. Seems like he wanted to do some personal favorites...
Avatar: The Last Airbender 's penultimate episode had another variation: the characters attend a play about their adventures, which provides a more-or-less accurate summary of the series so far while somehow managing to get the details comically wrong and accurately poke fun at itself at the same time.
Spoofed in the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "The Good Ol' Ed", which had the Eds collecting things from previous episodes for a time capsule and reminiscing about past misadventures. While events of actual episodes were mentioned, all the "flashbacks" were to events never seen in previous episodes (a fake time machine scam, Edd getting a bad case of the hiccups, and the Eds trying to make the world's biggest pancake). The only real flashback was Ed remembering something that happened earlier in the current episode, and that was interrupted by Eddy smacking Ed with a fish and protesting "I hate clip shows!"
The Phineas and Ferb episode "Phineas's Birthday Clip-o-Rama" is both a straight example and a subversion, because there is at least one clip in each segment that didn't come from any episode and makes no sense at all.
The second episode of Clerks is a clip show that flashes back to a single scene of the first episode several times and then starts making up clips from episodes that had never happened.
As well as showing clips from that episode that happened 5 minutes ago.
Made even better by the fact that the series was shown out of production order and as such there are no clips or references to the fourth episode of the series which was actually the first to air.
Likewise spoofed in an episode of The Powerpuff Girls ("The City of Clipsville"): The episode starts out looking like a clip show, but the clips quickly turn into outrageous, bizarre events that never took place. Ultimately it turns out the clip show was a clip, with them at the end saying "Remember when we were remembering things?"
Spoofed again in the final episode of the Sam & Max: Freelance Police cartoon. While captured by the most memorable villains of the series, Sam and Max reminisce about things that never happened in the show. They continue to do this while escaping.
South Park parodies this in "City on the Edge of Forever", where the children recall incidents from past episodes, but their stories increasingly diverge from the original episodes. Eventually the kids starts lampshading the fact that the original stories didn't happen quite like that. Ultimately the episode is explained away as All Just a Dream of Cartman's, which then turns out to be a Dream Within a Dream of Stan's, who notes, "I must have some serious emotional problems!"
Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Grim Reaper Gutters" started out as a subversion of a clip show where at least a couple of the flashback turned out to be camera footage secretly compiled by Frylock and Meatwad. Their clip show ends when Meatwad, faced with his depressing and meaningless life, kills himself
Duck Dodgers uses a subversion in "Deconstructing Dodgers", where specific episodes and incidents are mentioned, but the actual clips shown are outtakes, unused gags or even one-shot jokes with no setup or context whatsoever.
Subverted in Total Drama Action, where they briefly return to Camp Wawanakwa from the first season.
Chris: If you need to take a moment to reminisce about the great times you had here...
Everyone else:[laugh for a rather long time]
Chris: Fine. We'll skip the good memories montage.
There's an episode of Fairly Odd Parents in which Wanda and Timmy show clips to prove what a good godparent, friend, and humor generator Cosmo is — but they're all things that must've happened between episodes.
Motorcity did this with the episode "Threat Level: Texas" in which Texas retells events that happened in "Power Trip," "The Duke of Detroit" and "Going Dutch" only to match his Self-Serving Memory, so believes that all the good ideas and KaneCo attacks were performed by him instead of Mike. Everyone in these flashbacks are incredibly out of character and can't stop talking about how "awesome" Texas is.