[[quoteright:350:[[Anime/{{Kagewani}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kagewani_photos.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Guess Takeru had to find out the hard way.]]

A Cryptid is an animal which is not yet known to modern science, such as [[BigfootSasquatchAndYeti Bigfoot]], Mothman, or the [[StockNessMonster Loch Ness Monster]]. Sometimes, a show that is not usually focused on them will have an episode or two about them.

This type of episode can be used as a characterisation exercise, establishing some of the characters as [[AgentMulder believers]] and others as [[AgentScully skeptics]].

Possible plots for this kind of episode include:
* The characters spend the episode trying to find the cryptid. In a SliceOfLife series, they generally don't succeed, conclude that it must not exist, and go home. (Sometimes it will be revealed to the audience that the creature is RealAfterAll, but the ''characters'' discovering a cryptid could [[StatusQuoIsGod permanently change their lives forever, and that's BAD]]).
* The characters find a cryptid early in the episode, and spend the episode trying to look after it/hide it/help it find its way home.
* Characters are traveling on holiday and encounter one. (Abominable Snowman seems to be the most common one for this, what with mountain getaways and {{Christmas Episode}}s providing plenty of snowy settings).
* A show with a MonsterOfTheWeek format will have a cryptid as one of said monsters.
* A crime show may come across a murder or other crime allegedly committed by a cryptid. The characters usually find out that there's a more reasonable explanation, but the end of the episode may reveal the creature is RealAfterAll.

If done clumsily, this can easily result in a BizarroEpisode. See also OurCryptidsAreMoreMysterious.


[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]
* ''Anime/{{Kagewani}}'' showcases cryptids being investigated by Profesor Banba in a monster of the week format. It also shows their aggression towards civilians caught up in their attack.
* ''Franchise/LupinIII'': Fujiko's singing voice attracts the Loch Ness Monster, Lupin is tasked with collecting tears from a yeti, the entire gang goes after a mermaid's treasure... this sort of plot has happened a few times... In the anime ''Anime/LupinIII'', at least.
* ''Anime/MagicalAngelCreamyMami'', of all things, has an episode based around a sea monster.
* In an episode of TheNineties ''Anime/SailorMoon'', they find a sea monster while on vacation. It doesn't have any connection to the magic of the show.
* ''Manga/EngagedToTheUnidentified'' has an episode where the cast leave the city for a while and may or may not have found an analogue to Nessie.
* One season's shorts in Yokai Watch had Komasan and Komajiro recruited in a series to explore legends and mysteries, some of which were finding cryptids. The man that recruited them (poorly) faked them all only for Komasan to witness their existence as they leave.
* The official ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' manga have indulged in this a few times, since Gensokyo is a FantasticNatureReserve. ''[[Manga/TouhouSuzunaanForbiddenScrollery Forbidden Scrollery]]'' had a chapter where [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Remilia]]'s missing pet turns out to be a chupacabra, while ''[[Manga/TouhouIbarakasenWildAndHornedHermit Wild and Horned Hermit]]'' had a chapter where Reimu discovered a mysterious puffball that was eventually identified as a keseran-paseran.

[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'' uses either stock monsters (vampires, werewolves, mummies, etc.) or original ones, the sole exception being ''The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena''.
* In the short story "The Convenient Monster", Literature/TheSaint uncovers a murder that looks like the work of the Loch Ness Monster. At the end of the story, [[spoiler: the murderer is killed by the actual Loch Ness Monster]].
* ''High Rhulain'', one of the Literature/{{Redwall}} books, contains the Slothunog, an obvious Loch Ness Monster expy. It's notable for being the only instance in the entire series where Brian Jacques deviated from his rule of only using real animals.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The ''Series/{{Bones}}'' episode focusing on the Chupacabra cryptid uses it as a way to explore the difference in worldviews between rational, scientific female lead and her more open-minded male partner.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', the Doctor has met up with Yeti in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E2TheAbominableSnowmen The Abominable Snowmen]]" and the Loch Ness Monster in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS13E1TerrorOfTheZygons Terror of the Zygons]]".
* In one episode of ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'', TheGreys are hiding in Hazzard County.
* One episode of ''Series/TheGreatestAmericanHero'' has Ralph wanting to use the supersuit to hunt for a legendary sea serpent, but soon getting diverted into dealing with some human villains. Similar to the X-Files example below, the serpent puts in an appearance ([[SpecialEffectsFailure of sorts]]) [[RealAfterAll at the very end of the episode, seen only by the viewer]].
* ''Series/{{Heartbeat}}'' had one episode with the cops searching for some legendary big cats that were killing sheep on the Yorkshire moors. Turned out to be incompetent sheep rustlers instead.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' had a "cock-a-mouse," part cockroach, part mouse, capable of flight.
** Also one cut to 2029 references this in a BackgroundGag, with an older, balding Marshall standing in front of a newspaper clipping reading "NYC Lawyer Captures Nessie".
* ''Series/ICarly'' has an episode centering around the hunt for Bigfoot.
* ''Series/TheInvisibleMan'' (the Sci-Fi/USA TV series) did a Big Foot episode. Big Foot turns out to be naturally invisible. And a female.
* ''Series/MacGyver1985'' encounters Bigfoot in the thrid season episode "Ghost Ship".
* A [[LaterInstallmentWeirdness latter-season]] episode of ''Series/MiamiVice'' has one of the characters being kidnapped while investigating a cult and the rest of the cast rushing to find her, only to find out that they have run into an honest-to-God AlienAbduction plot with honest-to-God aliens (the leader of which [[WhatTheHellCastingAgency is played by]] ''Music/JamesBrown''). A good example of the "BizarroEpisode" variant.
* Neal on ''Series/TheNewsroom'' would occasionally try to submit a story about Bigfoot being real. [[ThisIsReality For obvious reasons,]] he was never taken seriously.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' season 2 episode "[[Recap/SherlockS02E02TheHoundsOfBaskerville The Hounds of Baskerville]]" centers around a mysterious "hound" that apparently killed the client's father in his childhood, near the Baskerville military installation. Sherlock and John chase this strange creature for the majority of the episode until it's realized [[spoiler:they were suffering under the effects of a powerful hallucinogenic vapor that was being disseminated in a nearby wooded area. The client's father was killed because [[HeKnowsTooMuch he figured out]] what was happening in that area and a researcher working on the project, a man he thought was his friend, had to silence him]].
* The infamous ''Series/TheSixMillionDollarMan'' episode where Steve Austin fights with Bigfoot.
** Spoofed on ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', where the [[CaptainErsatz show's version of Steve Austin]] is living with Bigfoot [[spoiler:as ''lovers'']].
* Interestingly enough, ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' completely averts it: in the course of six-and-a-third seasons, the main characters have encountered [[FantasyKitchenSink angels, zombies and everything in between]], but [[RunningGag any hunter worth his rock salt knows that Bigfoot is a hoax]].
** The Wendigo was still played straight though.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' had enough cryptid episodes to stuff the Berlin Zoo full with them. And often subverted (and double subverted) them. A rampaging lake monster turns out to be a killer alligator [[spoiler: while [[RealAfterAll at the end the lake monster surfaces, unseen by anyone]]]] and a group of greys walking down a hill at an environmental spill turn out to be misidentification of men in hazmat suits.
* While most of the creatures in ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' weren't connected to any real-life mythology, occasionally one would turn out to be the source of a legendary creature or cryptid. The most notable examples were the ''Dracorex'' (a dinosaur mistaken for a dragon), the "[[OurMermaidsAreDifferent Mer-creatures]]", the gremlin-like "camouflage creatures", and the ''Pristichampsus'' (implied to be the inspiration for the Egyptian monster Ammut).

[[folder: Video Game ]]

* Cryptid-related sidequests show up fairly often in ''Franchise/MetalGear'':
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2Substance'''s "Snake Tale E - External Gazer" is a story about Snake being sent by Otacon to photograph a weird sea monster that's been spotted in New York. Otacon is curious about what this means for the sciences, Mei Ling wants it in a zoo, and Snake doesn't believe it exists (and has to fight it, obviously). The sea monster is a giant version of the {{Mook}} soldiers you fight in the main game with a fin on its head, though this is never mentioned in the plot.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'', it is possible to capture the Japanese cryptid the tsuchinoko, which causes Zero to order you not to eat it and to bring it back home. If you successfully return it you get the rank 'tsuchinoko' and stealth camouflage to use. (If you eat it, it tastes delicious.) Only one exist in the game.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'' contains a chunk of ''Franchise/MonsterHunter''-pastiche missions where the player gets to fight and harvest meat from dinosaur-like monsters referred to in-universe as UMAs, including Gear Rex (a non-"metal" version of Metal Gear REX). It also contains ghost photography missions where you must detect and photograph ghost guards.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidGroundZeroes'' has a mode where you play as Raiden to fight aliens.
* ''VideoGame/NelsonTethersPuzzleAgent'', in the second episode Nelson encounters [[spoiler:Bigfoot]] who helps in destroying the lunacy machine.


[[folder: Puppet Shows ]]

* An episode of Gerry Anderson's ''Series/{{Stingray 1964}}'' has the submarine and crew shipped to Scotland to find the Loch Ness Monster.


[[folder: Radio ]]

* The ''Radio/HamishAndDougal'' episode "The Monster in the Loch" has the characters accidentally burn the log that gullible tourists mistake for a monster, and then learn that it's RealAfterAll.
* One episode of ''Radio/TheNavyLark'' has the Troutbridge crew reassigned to find the Loch Ness Monster.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Par for the course in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' So far the characters have met Dragons, Unicorns, Bigfeet, and the Loch Ness Monster.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''Literature/SuperpowerEmpireChina1912'' deals with AlternateHistory but one of the episodes involves chasing a bigfoot in the Mongolian steppe.
* ''WebVideo/BedtimeStoriesYoutubeChannel'' has an episode entirely about the Mothman, a WingedHumanoid-type cryptid that terrorized people in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, in the mid-1960s.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* A MonsterOfTheWeek in ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong'' was TheJerseyDevil.
* In one episode, ''WesternAnimation/AngelaAnaconda'' and her friends go looking for a yet- erm, [[InsistentTerminology sasquatch]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAngryBeavers'', Dagget meets "Big Byoo-tocks".
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Chowder}}'' has Chowder searching for [[PunnyName Bigfood]].
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog'' involved Bigfoot. A subplot involves Eustace capturing said Bigfoot for a reward.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'' "Canada", Dan and Chris run afoul of a yeti [[spoiler:who is descended from Chris' great-grandfather, meaning him and Chris are related.]]
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' featured [[BigfootSasquatchAndYeti Bigfoot]] while another used the {{Chupacabra}}.
* ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim'' had an episode, "Trout!" where Jim drags Peter on a road trip after seeing a (obviously faked) postcard of a 'Giant Fur-bearin' Trout'. At the same time, Queen Slug-For-A-Butt is on earth searching for said fish, as, for some bizarre reason, Professor Monkey-For-A-Head's newest weapon is powered by fish-hair. Jim almost gives up after going to the maker of said postcard who admitted it was a fake, but is drawn by a vision which actually does lead him to the Giant Fur-bearin' Trout, which he must protect from the queen.
* In the ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' episode "Spanish Fry", Fry goes to look for Bigfoot, who appears at the end to act as a DeusExMachina.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'' has Jon looking for Bigfeets.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' featured a visit to Loch Ness during the Avalon World Tour. Of course within the series, the Gargoyles themselves are technically cryptids too.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'', the creature he is fighting turns out not to be an EVO but is instead a (perfectly natural) chupacabra.
* In ''WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries'', Godzilla fights the Loch Ness Monster.
* The [[StockNessMonster Lake Nose Monster]] and the {{Chupacabra}} from ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb''.
* The "Little Bigfoot" episode of ''WesternAnimation/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'' has Sam trying to rescue a young Bigfoot working as a busboy and return him to the wild. [[spoiler:It turns out he wasn't a Bigfoot, just the son of a sideshow freak.]]
* Interestingly, the ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' franchise usually makes up its own monsters from scratch. When [[YouMeddlingKids Those Meddling Kids]] ''do'' encounter a famous cryptid such as Nessie or the Chupacabra, it tends to happen in a feature-length story rather than a routine episode.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'', the discovery of the legendary Hodag turns out to be a hoax as usual, [[spoiler: but it's perpetrated BY the meddling kids and they get away with it]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretSaturdays'' are about a family that both hunt and protect various cryptids, making the entire series an extended Cryptid Episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In an attempt to become the world's most lovable billionaire, Mr. Burns goes to Loch Ness to capture Nessie.
** A sort-of example is the episode where Homer gets lost in the woods and is mistaken for Bigfoot.
* The ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episodes "Jakavosaurs" and "Jewpacabra".
** And UsefulNotes/AlGore ''thinks'' it's the premise of "Manbearpig", but it really isn't.
-->"No one takes me cereal!"
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSpooktacularNewAdventuresOfCasper'', Dr. Harvey and the Ghostly Trio went on a camping trip and Bigfoot scared them away. It turns out [[spoiler:Bigfoot was actually WesternAnimation/BabyHuey]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' inflicted the Big Butt upon its viewing audience. It was the one furry creature Elmyra wanted nothing to do with.
* According to a short from ''WesternAnimation/TheTomAndJerryShow,'' Bigfoot tracks are actually left by a diminutive hillbilly hermit who lives all alone because he's tired of people making fun of his giant feet.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'' encounter Bigfoot in episode "Camping Out", whilst ''WesternAnimation/ExtremeGhostbusters'' face the Jersey Devil in the eponymous episode.