It is a nice summer day, a group of friends decide to go on a picnic, where they pack up a basket full of food consisting of sandwiches
, cookies, lemonade, potato chips, pies, cakes, etc. and head out, usually to the outdoors, whether a garden, a park, countryside, or even into the wild.
When they get their picnic all set up, most of the time, you can expect them to face setbacks such as ants
that want to steal the food or bad weather in the midst of it.
- In Snoopy Come Home, Peppermint Patty mentions to Snoopy that they will have a picnic on the beach. However, the picnic does not come to fruition the next day, because Snoopy got thrown off the beach, due to a rule about there being no dogs allowed.
- Help! - while "Ticket to Ride" plays, the Beatles are briefly seen having a picnic in the snow.
- Look, Listen, Live, a driver's education film produced by Union Pacific in the mid-1940s with an emphasis on safety around railroads, sets one of the stories to a family picnic outing. It does not end well – all five members of the family, due to the driver foolishly insisting that there are no trains expected at the crossing, are killed when their car is struck by an oncoming train. The narrator grimly reminds the viewers that there was no picnic that day, nor will there ever be for anyone in that family.
- A weeklong story arc of Garfield strips had Jon and Garfield go on a picnic, that was immediately spoiled by strong winds, ants that ate Jon's cherry pie, and to top it off in the end, a rainstorm.
- Similarly, a 2007 strip had Jon and Liz about to have a picnic, which immediately became non-existent when they realized that Garfield stowed away and ate all of the food in the basket before Jon even left the driveway. Needless to say, both Jon and Liz were not very happy when they were forced to go to a dorky drive-thru restaurant instead.
- The classic children's book Picnic was Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- In Ian Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Pott family flies to the Godwin Sands in the English Channel for a picnic. Unfortunately they fall asleep and the tide comes in. It's a good thing the title car can change into a hoverdraft.
- In the Berenstein Bears book The Bears' Picnic, the bears set out to find "the perfect picnic spot". Place after place proves unsatisfactory, and then a thunderstorm comes up. They finally just eat their picnic at the kitchen table.
- The Wind in the Willows - when Mole first meets Rat, they get acquainted over a picnic on the river bank.
- Jane Austen's Emma has two picnic chapters. First, characters go to an al fresco party at Donwell to pick strawberries, but Mr Knightley insists on eating indoors. In the following chapter, the party spends the day exploring Box Hill, and this one is a true picnic. However, the weather is too hot and the day is not very joyous.
- Little House on the Prairie: Several episodes had picnic stories in them. The most famous one was Season 6's "May We Make Them Proud," which is how that episode began; it peaks with a massive house fire and the deaths of Alice Garvey and baby Adam Kendall Jr.
- The As Time Goes By episode "The Picnic".
- Diff'rent Strokes: The episode "The Hitchhikers," included a picnic element, with the episode's villain, Bill, trying to get hostage Kimberly to cooperate and go along with him on his picnic at his apartment. He even spreads a picnic blanket and has a basket ready for his vision of an intimate atmosphere.
- In Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, the characters often enjoyed their meals outdoors, for example after Sunday masses in the meadow near the church.
- Cirque du Soleil's Mystere has a segment featuring a romantic, candlelit picnic for Brian Le Petit and a woman in the audience...whose date is imprisoned in a crate. Because Brian tricked him into it. It doesn't really go wrong until the wandering Red Bird steals a loaf of bread...
- There was a game on CartoonNetwork.com that had a bunch of the characters at a picnic, and the player, as an ant, had to collect as many crumbs as possible while avoiding obstacles.
- Yogi Bear: Virtually every one of the classic Hanna-Barbera shorts involving Yogi and his pal, Boo Boo, has the buddy bears stealing pic-a-nic baskets and disrupting pic-a-nics at Jellystone Park.
- A few Classic Disney Shorts involved Mickey and friends having a picnic.
- The Taz-Mania episode "It's No Picnic" has Taz and his family go on a picnic, unaware that Bull Gator and Axl are trying to capture them.
- Garfield and Friends:
- "Rip Van Catnap", which involved Garfield taking a nap and having a Dream Sequence while he, Jon, Odie, and Nermal are having a picnic.
- The episode "Crime And Nourishment" involved Garfield trying to take back the picnic basket full of lasagna from a group of green Smurf-like creatures.
- "The Multiple Choice Cartoon" had Garfield, Jon, and Odie on a picnic all the while that Garfield gives out a multiple choice test throughout the episode.
- The episode "The Picnic Panic" combined this with Musical Episode. Jon and Garfield sang about the misfortune that befell them during the picnic, due to a colony of ants that kept stealing their food. The ants even got their own Ear Worm chorus during the song.
- The Looney Tunes short, Porky's Picnic. Porky Pig, his girlfriend Petunia and baby nephew Pinky go on a picnic. They don't actually get to eat anything because Pinky wanders off to the zoo and gets in trouble.
- Tom and Jerry episode "Pup on a Picnic". Spike and Tyke go on a picnic with Tom and Jerry as uninvited guests.
- In Tom And Jerry Kids, Spike and Tyke try to have a picnic but get attacked by army ants that are trying to steal their food.
- One Oggy and the Cockroaches episode has Oggy, Olivia and Jack go on a picnic, and when the cockroaches become aware of it, Hilarity Ensues.
- The Pink Panther episode "Sprinkle Me Pink". The panther goes on a picnic, but a cloud pours rain on him every time he opens his picnic basket.
- The Ant and the Aardvark. In the first episode, Charlie Ant tries to get food from the Aardvark's picnic.
- In the Pac-Man episode "Picnic in Pacland", the Ghost Monsters try to disrupt the Pac-Family's picnic.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Lesson Zero", Twilight and company go out for a picnic halfway through the episode. Twilight ends up panicking and being more unhinged about not sending a letter to Princess Celestia, albeit every one else has a fine time.
- The first act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Bogus In Wilderland" had the Anybody family and Bogus and Brattus on a picnic, only for their picnic to come to a halt due to trouble involving ants, birds, bees, and a bear.
- In the 3-2-1 Penguins! episode "Lazy Daze", the Rockhopper crew, save for Fidgel and Michelle, goes on a picnic on Rigel 13. And then giant ants come and ruin it.
- SpongeBob SquarePants has the episode "Company Picnic" where Mr. Krabs takes his employees on a nice—if not very cheap—picnic.