troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Multi-Part Episode
aka: Two Partepisode
Sometimes, an episode is so long that it has to split into multiple episodes via a Story Arc. Long Story Arcs are usually the perfect reason multiple parts would work. The episodes' titles are the same, except the phrases "Part 1" and "Part 2" will be added after them. For example:

  • "Episode Title: Part 1"
  • "Episode Title: Part 2"

Also, at the end (probably a Cliffhanger) of the first part, a message reading "To Be Continued" will appear on the screen. This means the rest of the story is saved for the second part. And the second part will always begin with a Previously On montage that contains footage from the first part.

Type 1: The episode is split into two parts.

Type 2: The episode is split into more than two parts.

A multi-part episode is used when a given plot development is, quite simply, too big for one time slot. It commonly shows up in the Pilot Episode because that has to establish the entire setting, and the Season Finale because producers like to make a given year go out with a bang to help secure financing for another year.

See also To Be Continued and Five-Episode Pilot.

Examples (Type 1):

Anime & Manga

Fan Fic
  • Script Fic Calvin & Hobbes: The Series has at least two per season. In order:
    • Season 1 has "The Black Turning Funnel" and "The Yellowstone Monster".
    • Season 2 has "The Transmitter Conspiracy", "The Falling Sky", and "The Insane Road Trip".
    • Season 3 has "Dr. BrainChill", "Electronic Invasion", and "Attack of the Monsters".
    • Season 4 has "Camping Trip" and "Our Solemn Hour".
    • Season 5 has "Alien Nation" and "Dark Laughter".

Live-Action TV
  • Athough both parts had different names (as opposed to 'part 1' and 'part 2'), the I Love Lucy episodes about Cousin Ernie coming to New York and the Hollywood episodes about Lucy stealing John Wayne's footprints could be considered two parters. Additionally one of the first hour long episodes is written in this format - the first half hour deals with Lucy meeting and trying to make a good impression on New neighbor Talula Bankhead, the second half hour Lucy tries to get her to appear for a school function.
  • All episodes of Smallville has One Word Titles, except for Absolute Justice and Finale, both of which are two-parted.
  • NCIS has quite a few of these for season finales, i.e. "Hiatus", "Kill Ari", etc.
  • Case in point, although rarely dubbed "Part 1 & 2", the only two-or-more-parters in The X-Files were the ones that dealt with the Myth Arc. In fact, after season 1, standalone mythology episodes became very rare.
  • The Six Million Dollar Man and its related shows loved this trope and wanted to have its children.
    • The Six Million Dollar Man. Of its 96 episodes, 20 were two-parters: "The Bionic Woman", "The Return of the Bionic Woman", "The Secret of Bigfoot", "The Return of Bigfoot", "Death Probe", "Sharks", "Deadly Countdown", "Dark Side of the Moon", "Return of the Death Probe" and "Date With Danger".
    • The Bionic Woman (1976-78). Of its 58 episodes, 14 were two parters: "Kill Oscar" parts 1 and 3 (part 2 was an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man), "Jaime's Shield", "Doomsday is Tomorrow", "Deadly Ringer", "The Bionic Dog", "Fembots in Las Vegas", "Welcome Home, Jaime"
  • Battlestar Galactica (1970's). Of its 24 episodes, 8 were two-parters: "Lost Planet of the Gods", "Gun on Ice Planet Zero", "The Living Legend" and "War of the Gods".
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation liked to do two-parters as season-ending Cliffhangers: "The Best of Both Worlds" (seasons 3/4), "Redemption" (seasons 4/5), "Time's Arrow" {seasons 5/6) and "Descent" (seasons 6/7). It also had the two-parters "Unification" in Season 5, "Chain of Command" and "Birthright" in season 6 and "Gambit" in season 7.
  • The most critically-acclaimed season finale of House was actually two episodes: "House's Head" and "Wilson's Heart."
  • An interesting example is the two Epitaphs from Dollhouse. They were conceived and produced separately, but together form a continuous two-part story.
  • The second season finale of Community was split into two parts.
  • "Calderone's Return Part 1/2", "Golden Triangle Part 1/2" and "Down For The Count Part 1/2" from Miami Vice. 2 of the 3 two-parters ("Calderone's Return" and "Down For The Count") feature the death of the series' Big Bad (up to that point in the story) and a major supporting character, respectively.
  • The CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise LIVES on this trope for its season finales. The later seasons have nearly all ended on a dramatic note that audiences must wait until the next season to see resolved. Probably the most notable example were season 7 and 8's "Living Doll/Dead Doll" and season 9 and 10's "For Gedda/For Warrick" pairing. The original series has also had at least two notable season finale two parters, season 5's "Grave Danger 1 and 2", as well as the season 6 finale "A Bullet Runs Through It". Season 7 then opened with the two part "Built To Kill". Season 10 had Grissom's departure in "19 Down"/"One to Go". Catherine's departure in season 12 had "Ms.Willows Regrets"/"Willows In The Wind".
  • Merlin had four: 'Beauty and the Beast' 1 and 2,'The Tears of Uther Pendragon' 1 and 2, 'The Coming of Arthur' 1 and 2 and 'The Sword In The Stone' 1 and 2. The last two were the season 3 and 4 finales.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had "What's My Line" 1 and 2, "Bargaining" 1 and 2, "Becoming" 1 and 2, and "Graduation Day" 1 and 2.
  • Highlander 'Counterfeit 1 and 2', 'Unholy Alliance 1 and 2' and 'Finale 1 and 2'. Two other sets also qualify, though they were not a 1 and 2 case. The eps were 'Comes a Horseman' and 'Revelation 6:8' and the series finale, 'To Be' and 'Not To Be'.
  • This was frequent in The Lone Ranger, usually ending with "Will the Lone Ranger triumph as he fights on for justice, law and order? Tune in next week when General Mills brings you another exciting episode of 'The Lone Ranger' "
  • Tracker Fever Of The Hunt 1 and 2.
  • The Golden Girls had a few, including 'We're Outta Here' 'the Very Special Episode 'Sick and Tired',and the series finale, 'One Flew Out Of The Cuckoo's Nest'.
  • The Middle's third- and fourth-season premieres: "Forced Family Fun (Parts 1 and 2)" and "Last Whiff of Summer (Parts 1 and 2)", respectively.
  • MythQuest's 9th and 10th episode were called "Isis and Osiris Part 1" and "Isis and Osiris Part 2", respectively.
  • Scrubs also has a few, including the (fake) series finale. The 2-part episodes are usually reserved for the more serious/tearjerker episodes, with both parts having different episode titles. "My Soul On Fire" parts 1 and 2 is an exception to both.
  • The earliest examples of this phenomenon in television history date back to the dramatic anthology series which were a staple of the medium in its infancy. Classical plays adopted by these various series would oftentimes have to be spread across two or three parts to accommodate the length of the production. One of the earliest, if not the earliest, examples of a two-part epiosde in a series featuring continuing characters and format came with the 1954 Dragnet episode "The Big Gangster".
  • Supernatural had the finale to the second season, "All Hell Breaks Loose" parts 1 and 2.
  • Monk had three:
    • The series premiere, "Mr. Monk and the Candidate". However, the DVD release combines two parts and presents it as a single 78 minute episode.
    • Season 6's finale, "Mr. Monk Is on the Run"
    • The series finale,"Mr. Monk and the End"
Web Animation
  • Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse dedicated a two-part episode to Barbie, Ken, and Barbie's sisters struggling to survive a city-wide glitter shortage.

Western Animation
  • South Park has "Cartoon Wars", "Pandemic", "Go God Go," and, to a lesser extent, "200" and "201"
  • American Dad!: "Stan of Arabia".
  • Justice League consisted almost entirely of these to allow for more epic and expansive plots. In fact, until Unlimited, there was exactly one standalone episode produced.
  • Major world-shaking villains got two-parters in both Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic began with a two-part episode ("Friendship is Magic") about the ponies becoming friends and saving the world from eternal darkness. The second season began with another two-parter ("The Return of Harmony") involving a new villain, Discord, and ended with a two-part Season Finale ("A Canterlot Wedding"). The third season also began with a two-parter ("The Crystal Empire"). The fourth season is beginning with a two-parter ("Princess Twilight Sparkle"), and ending with one ( "Twilight's Kingdom") as well.
  • Pingu had a rather odd example of this. The two episodes that aired after the pilot episode, "Pingu Helps With Incubating" and "Pinga is Born", revolved around an egg (which, when it hatches, turns out to be Pingu's sister Pinga). But unlike the other examples in this trope, they both focused on different subjects, thus they were not advertised as a multi-part episode and instead given separate titles and production numbers, even though they were part of the same story.
  • ''Captain Planet and the Planeteers' had a few of these over its run.
  • Jem had "The Music Awards" and "The Jem Jam" in the first season, "The Talent Search" and "Hollywood Jem" in the second season, and "The Stingers Hit Town" in the third season,
  • To date, The Simpsons has only had one two-parter, "Who Shot Mr. Burns?", which was split over the end of Season 6 and the start of Season 7.
  • Garfield and Friends had four: Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarfs, Grape Expectations, Egg Over Easy, and The Horror Hostess.
  • Darkwing Duck had the 2-part "Just Us Justice Ducks" where Darkwing reluctantly joins up with a team of heroes to stop Negaduck's Five-Bad Band.
  • Talespin had the episodes "A Bad Reflection On You" and "For Whom the Bell Klaangs".
  • Freakazoid! has a unique example with its 2-part Origin Story episode, "The Chip". The first part was a full, 22 minute episode, while the second was only a traditional 7-minute short, with another unrelated story filling up the rest of the episode's runtime.

Examples (Type 2):

Western Animation
  • The Grand Finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Sozin's Comet, is split up into four parts.
  • Beast Machines featured a trio of three-part episodes, which all had individual subtitles in addition to their "Part" titles (e.g. "Revelations, Part I: Discovery", "Sparkwar Part III: The Siege").
  • The Grand Finale of 101 Dalmatians: The Series, "Dalmatian Vacation", was issued as a movie on Video CD in the U.S., VHS in the U.K., and on Laserdisc in Japan, but was split up into three episodes for TV- "Road Warriors", "Cross-Country Calamity", and "Dearly Beloved".
  • The Pinky and the Brain episode "Brainwashed" is split into three parts, with each part titled "Brain, Brain, Go Away", "I Am Not a Hat" and "Wash Harder".
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) had a few multi-part stories in addition to its Five-Episode Pilot. There was the 4-part "Eye of Sarnath" story early in season two, the 3-part "Return of the Technodrome" story that concluded season 3, and a 3-part "Return of Shredder and Krang" story in its final season. With the exception of this last one, none of these actually ended on a "to be continued," even with one episode of the "Technodrome returns" story ending on a clear cliffhanger (Part 2, "The Big Break-In", ends with the Technodrome ready to resurface and attack the Turtles and April again, but the very last shot of the episode is them driving off happily).

Examples (Types 1 and 2):

Anime & Manga
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has the 6-part "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya", two-part "Remote Island Syndrome", 8-part "Endless Eight", and five-part "The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya".

Fan Fic
  • The New Look Series has the 7-parter "Naruto's New Look" while both "Sonic's New Look", and "Link's New Look" has two parts to their stories.

Live-Action TV
  • Law & Order had a two-part episode titled "The Torrents of Greed" in its first season and a three-part episode in season 7 ("D-Girl", "Turnaround", and "Showtime"), but otherwise avoided this trope.
  • Before the 2005 revival, Doctor Who didn't have episodes, it had serials, mostly four- and six-parters. After the revival, it's had several two- and one three-parter, though so far, only The End of Time has used Part 1 and 2 naming.
  • Stargate SG-1, especially on season transitions: The first two parts of a three-parter at the end of one season and the last part at the start of the next.
  • Married... with Children has several two-parters (some memorable ones include "Poppy's By the Tree"note , "Route 666"note , "You Better Shop Around"note  and "The Desperate Half Hour"note ), as well as 2 three-parters ("The England Show"note  and "Breaking Up is Easy to Do," a final season episode where Al and Peg break up after going to marriage counseling).
  • The last season of Star Trek: Enterprise had no less than three three-parters, along with four two-parters and four stand-alone episodes.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel had frequent arcs that were essentially one very long episode, each one picking up where the previous one left off.
  • Highlander For more than two parts, there's the season 5 ending and season 6 opener, the Archangel-Armageddon-Avatar arc
  • CSI NY had a three part arc at the end of season 7 with Peter Fonda as Mac's first partner.
  • The original Hawaii 5-0 had a few multi-part episodes. The most notable was the several part "V for Vachon" arc.
  • Power Rangers made use of both types whenever a major game changer came about. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers alone had many with "Green With Evil", the first appearance of Tommy, coming in with a whopping five parts. It should also be noted that six crossover episodes were two-parters, though one could consider the crossover between Power Rangers Lost Galaxy and Power Rangers in Space to be a three parter due to the episode afterwards picking up on a plot point.
  • Batman was made up of nothing but two-parters for the first two seasons, with season two even getting a couple three-parters.

Western Animation
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes has several. Two-part episodes include "Breakout Part 1/Breakout Part 2" (sixth and seventh episodes chronologically), "Gamma World Part 1/Gamma World Part 2" (episodes 12 and 13), "Ultron-5/The Ultron Imperative" (episodes 22 and 23), "Code Red/Winter Soldier" (episodes 46 and 47), and "Operation Gactic Storm/Live Kree and Die" (episodes 50 and 51).Episodes with more than two parts include "The Man Who Stole Tomorrow/Come the Conqueror/The Kang Dynasty" (episodes 16-18 chronologically) and "This Hostage Earth/The Fall of Asgard/A Day Unlike Any Other" (episodes 24-26).
    • "Prisoner of War/Infiltration/Secret Invasion" (episodes 36-38) provide an arguable example.
  • Defenders of the Earth had two 2-parter episodes ("The Mind Raiders"note  and "The Golden Queen") as well as a five-part episode in the middle of the series featuring Ming's son rising to power.
  • DuckTales had a five-part series premiere and two five-parters to open its second season. Season 1 also featured a four-part story entitled "Catch as Cash Can" and the series concluded with a two-part Grand Finale.
  • G.I. Joe, in addition to having two Five-Episode Pilots, had five-episode miniseries to start each of three seasons, five two-parters in season 1, and five more two-parters in the DiC seasons.
  • The original My Little Pony And Friends was primarily made up of these, with most episodes serving as either 2 or 4 part serials.
  • The Transformers featured two three-parters in the first season (including Three-Episode Pilot "More Than Meets The Eye"), several two-parters in the second season, a five-parter to open the post-movie season 3, a two-parter to close that season, and a three-parter to serve as the series-ending season 4.
  • Most of Beast Wars' mutli-part episodes were two-parters, except for season 2's "The Agenda", which was a three-parter.
  • Transformers Prime started with a five-parter ("Darkness Rising"), ended season 1 with a three-parter ("One Shall Rise"), started season 2 with a three-parter ("Orion Pax"), and followed that up right away with a two-parter ("Operation Bumblebee"). Of course, given that this series is very Story Arc-oriented, there are several other episodes that could be considered multi-part, even though they're separately titled ("Sick Mind"/"Out Of His Head"; "T.M.I."/"Stronger, Faster"; "One Shall Fall" leading right into "One Shall Rise", and that's just the first season).
  • Teen Titans season finales tend to be two parters. The exceptions are season 4, which had a three-parter, and season 5, which was only one part (though it was more of a coda following the conclusion of the season's Story Arc, which was a two-parter).
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) featured several multi-part stories of varying length throughout the show's run.
  • The Smurfs episodes "Smurf On The Wild Side", a two-parter which introduced Wild Smurf, "The Smurfs That Time Forgot", which originally was a three-part episode, and "Smurfquest", which was a four-part episode.
  • Kim Possible had the three-parter "A Sitch In Time" and the two-part series finale "Graduation".
  • All of Rocky and Bullwinkle's story arcs consisted of at least four 10-minute shorts, two per episode. The pilot arc, "Jet Fuel Formula", was by far the longest, running for 40 shorts(20 episodes).

MOSScript SpeakPrecap
Missing EpisodeEpisodesNo Dialogue Episode

alternative title(s): Two Part Episode
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
47745
29