In the sixth season of 24, the mysterious "Denver Incident" follows Mike Doyle like a stray cat. In a break from the norm for the show, there is no Infodump explaining exactly what happened.
3rd Rock from the Sun in the episode "A Nightmare on Dick Street", in an opening scene, Judith walks in with Mary and we get the tail end of the conversation that ends with "And when they found him, his body had been devoured by woodland creatures.."
On an episode of 8 Simple Rules, Paul takes Kerry to see L'amour est l'eau de coeur, since her boyfriend didn't want to go. It includes the "very European" waterbottle scene. We don't actually see it, but the sound makes it quite clear that this is not the sort of thing Kerry or Paul would want to watch with their father or teenage daughter, respectively.
They're usually as a result of Murdock and his fixations.
Face: You're not professor Nuttybutty again are you? Rex the wonderdog?!
Murdock: Oh come on BA, everything turned out okay. And look, look see? I'm off, I'm off that Mac Murdock kick for good I mean at least I think I am. It was just another passing phase I was going through, like, like that time I thought I was a plaid jacket named Willie?
How did Face get that '53 Cadillac convertible in the jungles of 'Nam? Professional secret.
The pilot of Action features a reference to Bruce Willis doing something unpleasant to a cat at a party.
As part of Alf's backstory, you hear about his home planet of Melmac being destroyed in a "nuclear holocaust" without ever getting the exact details.
One episode said it involved all the inhabitants of Melmac using their hair dryers all at one time.
In the TV movie Project: ALF, which took up the story from its unresolved ending in the sitcom, the fate of the Tanner family is a noodle incident involving relocation through the witness relocation program.
In 'Allo 'Allo! a running noodle-incident gag relates to Yvette is responsible for entertaining the German officers, upstairs at the café with the wet celery and the flying helmet and sometimes an egg whisk. It is never revealed exactly what happens, but the offer is always good for extra paraffin.
Near the end of the series, Spike misunderstands Illyria's archaic use of the word "intimate" and alleges that he is safe because he and Angel have never been intimate, but then adds "Except that one..." Enter drooling slashers...
Also from Angel season 5: "El Diablo Robótico".
In Are You Being Served?, Mr. Humphries sometimes refers to an incident with a vicar (or possibly several incidents with different vicars). There are dozens more examples you could name as this show thrived on noodle incidences.
In the 1000th episode of Attack of the Show!, Kevin makes a reference to the first time he drove a backhoe, the first time he needed stitches, and the first time he caused 25,000 dollars in property damage. When Olivia points out that that sounds like one massive incident, Kevin replies by saying "Don't dig trenches drunk, kids!"
The episode "A Distant Star" has the following exchange:
Sheridan: Well there was that one time you took leave on Mars, and that dancer as I recall... Maynard: Captain Sheridan? Sheridan: Yes, Captain Maynard? Maynard: July 12th, 2253? Sheridan: Forget I said anything.
There was also a carbon copy of that exchange going the other way before the end of the scene.
There was also the story about the ship's cat that Sheridan told Delenn over dinner... all we hear is that there was a lot of mess involved.
Throughout the series, we hear about the Dilgar War and Earth-Minbari war. The latter is shown in the movie "In the Beginning" (made way after the series), the former wasn't shown (as of yet).
There's also the canonical explanation for Garibaldi's baldness after the beginning of the fourth season. (In Real-life, Jerry Doyle shaved his head because he'd been balding throughout filming). It seemed to have involved some illicit substance smuggled onto the station by a smuggler who later became deathly afraid of Garibaldi.
G'Kar's encounter with the Walkers of Sigma-957. We don't know what or when it happened, only that he considers humans and Narns to be like ants when compared to the Walkers and that he knew exactly what would happen if Cathrine Sakai went there (and sent a rescue party).
In A Voice In the Wilderness Part 2, Londo describes himself as the man who led the Battle of Phallos 12. No details are given, though the way Londo says it gives the impression that it was a major battle of some sort that he expected the non-Centauri he was speaking with to instantly recognize. Of course, that could just be Londo's overinflated sense of self-worth, too.
"I'm not going paintballing. Not again. Not after last time."
When Hal and his friends are preparing to move in with Annie, Leo provides Annie with a list of rules to makes Hal's stay comfortable, including keep him away from budgies (there was an incident once which required Hal to send a letter of apology to the circus), and don't let him drink Kia-Ora (for reasons his friends aren't willing to discuss).
The last one turns into a running noodle gag. Just about every time Hal is unusually cheerful, hyperactive or skittish, you can bet someone will ask if he's been on the Kia-Ora again.
Baldrick: Stranger things have happened... That horse becoming Pope.
Edmund: For one.
"So, presumably, you won't be needing the unicorn tonight?"
In Black Books, the characters return from a disastrous (unseen) holiday and allude to several unfortunate things that befell them. At a mention of sacrificing monkeys, Bernard cries "You said we wouldn't talk about Canada!"
In the episode "The Man in the Fall Out Shelter", Dr. Brennan warns Zack and Hodgins not to spike the eggnog at the Christmas party because of the 4th of July incident.
Inverted in the episode "The Man In The Morgue" where the event is known to the audience, but not half of the cast. Bones fails spectacularly in reassuring them due to treating it as a Noodle Incident.
Angela: Or better still, you could forget the whole thing and come home. Bones:(over the phone) Don't worry. I made bail. Zack: Bail? Angela:" Bail? For what? Bones: I told you, don't worry. The murder charge won't stick. Hodgins: Whoa, murder charge? Angela: Okay, Brennan, the next plane. The next plane or I'm coming down there to get you myself. Bones: Everything is fine. I'm healing up satisfactorily. Bye for now.
"The Woman In The Car" had a State Department agent questioning members of the Jeffersonian to ascertain their security clearance. At one point they questioned Brennan about a trip she is supposed to have made to Cuba:
Pickering: When you were in Cuba, did you meet with a man named Juan Guzman? (Brennan stares in shock. She holds a finger up, picks up the phone, and dials while Pickering looks on in confusion.) Brennan: Hello. It's Dr. Brennan from the Jeffersonian. You told me to call you if anyone asked about...you know. Him. (pauses) Someone from the state department named Samantha Pickering. (gives phone to Pickering) Pickering: Pickering. (pauses) Yes, sir. Yes, I'll wait-I'll wait here. (gives phone back to Brennan, who hangs up) Brennan: Any more questions? Pickering: No. Uh, no, in fact, the entire review is suspended. I'm to wait here until someone comes to destroy my notes.
In the Season 7 opener "The Memories in the Shallow Grave", there's a reference to an embarrassing moment for Booth:
Angela: Is it true that you were crying at the crime scene? Bones: Booth took a picture. But since I have a picture of him cooking an omelet naked, he agreed never to show it to anyone. Angela: I'm sorry. Naked? Wow. Okay, listen, I am your best friend, so I think I should take a peek at that.
On the show Brothers and Sisters Nora was reminiscing about all the times she had to take her children to the hospital. After two perfectly normal examples (broken bones and asthma) she mentioned "Kevin and Sara with the superglue incident."
Willow and Xander have these sometimes, having grown up together:
Xander: Cordelia, man, she does love titles! Willow: Oh, God! Remember in sixth grade with the field trip? Xander: Right! Right! The guy with the antlers on his belt! Willow: "Be my deputy!" Xander: And remember the, the hat? Willow: Oh God! The hat! Buffy: Gee, it's fun that we're speaking in tongues.
Not to mention the fate of Miss Kitty Fantastico, which apparently involved an errant crossbow....
There's also Xander's stripper experience...
Xander: Basically, I got as far as Oxnard and the engine fell out of my car, and that was literally. So I ended up washing dishes at the fabulous "Ladies Night" club for about a month and a half while I tried to pay for the repairs. Nobody really bothered me, or even spoke to me, until one night, when one of the male strippers called in sick, and no power on this earth will make me tell you the rest of that story. Suffice to say, I traded my car in for one that wasn't entirely made of rust, came trundling back home to the loving arms of my parents, where everything is exactly as it was, except I sleep in the basement and I have to pay rent. How's college? Buffy: Male strippers? Xander: No power on this earth!
The Kindergarten incident Xander mentions to Dark Willow to calm her down, about how she cried her eyes out after breaking a yellow crayon. This was lampshaded later in the Season 7 episode "The Killer In Me". When Willow falls victim to a curse that makes her look like psycho-bad-guy Warren, and she has to convince Buffy, Xander, and the gang that she really is Will and not Warren or The First.
Willow/Warren: I'm Willow. Xander: Are you sure? Willow/Warren: (pissed) There are other stories from kindergarten. Non-yellow-crayon stories in which you don't come out in such a good light. An incident involving Aquaman underoos, for example - want me to start talkin'? Xander: (hurriedly) Hey, it's Willow!
In the very first episode Xander asks Buffy if she's ever decapitated anyone and she brings up an incident where there was a Varsity quarterback with a really thick neck and all she had was a teeny tiny x-acto knife. This is probably a reference to a confusing incident in the movie where Buffy leaps onto the shoulders of a vampire who matches that description and the audience never see what she actually does to him.
In "All the Way", Dawn meets a creepy old man who proves to be a harmless designer of toys (although a few of the toys could fit in the Wednesday Addams Signature Collection). He was forced to retire when "that thing happened. One little mistake, and they took it all away from me."
In "The Zeppo", Angel almost died, Giles did the bravest thing Buffy had ever seen and Willow saw the Hellmouth beast's "real" face. Too bad the viewer had to watch Xander stop a bombing instead.
The story of how Joyce ended up on her first date with Buffy's dad even though he brought another date is a much funnier story (than the date itself) that Buffy will never get to hear.
"Seeing Red", when a now super-strong Warren seeks revenge on a high school bully of his and refreshes his memory.
Warren: You and your jock buddies used to give me such a hard time. That thing with the underwear? God, I thought I'd never stop crying!
Buffy burning down the gym at her previous school. This is a reference to Joss' original script for the movie, before Executive Meddling kicked in.
In "Angel", Darla reminiscences with Angel about their fling in Budapest.
In their debut episode, Dru complains to Spike that she's hungry, and that she misses Prague. Spike points out that she nearly died in Prague; "Idiot mob." This was expanded on in the comics, where a flashback shows Drusilla being captured by an "Inquisitor" and thrown into a Prague jail. Spike didn't fare much better, as he got tossed into a lake by an angry mob.
Another Burn Notice one is whatever happened to cause Michael and Sam to have to leave Uzbekistan in a hurry after a mission there.
Or that "perfectly legitimate arms deal" involving Sam, Fiona, the IRA, and the Libyan border.
The title character of the Canadian comedy series Butch Patterson: Private Dick occasionally had to deal with people who recognized him as "that guy from the petting zoo," expressing sympathy for "that poor llama." Exactly what happened is never fully explained, but one hint comes when Butch admits that he spent two years less a day in prison for indecent exposure over the incident... and it's probably better for all concerned that we don't get any more details than that.
Richard Castle has a tendency to cheerfully launch into tangential stories about how something mildly similar to his current surroundings or vaguely related to the case at hand either occurred to him or in one of his novels ("There was this one time..."), only to hastily wrap it up ("That'sneitherherenorthere.") when someone — usually Detective Beckett — glares at him to shut up. Usually because he's doing so at a crime scene or in the middle of an interrogation Beckett's trying to conduct.
In "Under The Gun", though, Beckett gets one herself:
Beckett: Ok, fine. But if you tell him about the karaoke stakeout, I'm gonna tell him what happened with the monkey.
Mike Royce: My lips are sealed.
In "The Lives of Others", Beckett is investigating the murder of an IRS agent while Castle is laid up with a broken leg from a skiing accident, but apart from a few moments where she mentions the case, including a Eureka Moment where she figures out who the killer is, we don't get any details, largely due to the story focusing on Castle's obsession with a possible murder in an apartment across the street.
Parodied in a cold open on Cheers. Frasier and Lilith asked Woody to baby sit Frederick and Woody replied he like babysitting, at least before... The Incident. Then Rebecca asked Woody to look after her pet and Woody replied that he loves animals, in fact he always used to look after pets for his friends, at least before... The Incident. Rebecca was naturally worried by this and decided to ask someone else. After she left, bar regular Paul congratulated Woody on this trick to get out of looking after the pet, Woody agreed that it was a great trick, he only wished that he had thought of it before... The Incident.
Precisely what happened that ended Woody's bowling career. All he would say is he maimed a man in a bowling accident. (Woody is full of Noodle Incidents.)
Whatever incident got Rebecca her old college nickname, "Back Seat Becky." She's later heard telling a story (involving a fire evacuation, a firefighter, and of course, a back seat) that was apparently made up for her by Carla. (Carla also made up a $20 version, but Rebecca only opted for the $10 version; after seeing her tell Sam, Carla remarked that the $20 one might have killed him.)
The episode "Paradigms of Human Memory" is filled with nothing but "noodle incidents". It's a Clip Show showing flashbacks to adventures the study group was on that were never actually shown previously like trips to a western Ghost Town, a Haunted House, a camping trip, singing in glee club, running into drugrunners in Mexico, being locked in a padded cell after ingesting mercury, etc.
Ditto for "Curriculum Unavailable", the third season's Clip Show episode.
Lampshaded in the episode "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" when Abed keeps obliquely referring to something Annie did with his noodles.
Also lampshaded in an earlier episode when Leonard knows about Jeff eating all the macaroni.
In the season 2 finale of the UK version of Coupling, when Susan tells the girls about pretending to be French, Jane gets all excited recalling when she pretended to be someone else:
Jane: I once went on holiday and pretended to be twins. It was amazing fun. I invented this mad, glamorous sister and went around really annoying everybody. And d'you know, I could get away with anything when I was my crazy twin Jane.
The episode "Middle Man" has a small one involving Garcia and just how she got funding for new technology for the team:
Hotch:(after Garcia hands out new tablets) Garcia, not that I don't appreciate your efforts, but just where did the funding for these come from?
Garcia:(pause) I did a thing.
Hotch: A thing?
Garcia: Let's not talk about the thing.
Hotch: We'll talk about the thing later.
In The Crystal Maze, Series 4, Episode 10, when the team of the week is in the Medieval Zone, the host Richard O'Brien relates some anecdotes, as asides, about his "relatives" whose portraits adorn the walls. Whilst the team try to solve the Queens Puzzle, he tells us about "Uncle Carstairs", who "disappeared under a cloud of suspicion":
"Least said, soonest mended, but, I have to say that the incident with the debutante, the chocolate eclair and the Irish wolfhound was blown out of all proportion..."
CSI NY "Brooklyn 'Til I Die" has Mac and his old friend/late partner's sister/ future wife Christine talking over coffee. Christine asks Mac if he remembers a time while they were on vacation, when 'the beers were flowing'. Mac acknowledges it, but won't talk about it.
In UK sitcom The Detectives there is a running joke about an incident involving the Bishop of Durham. Whenever it is mentioned both Briggs and Louis usually immediately protest that it wasn't their fault.
In the third episode of the first season of Dirk Gently, Dirk browses his university file, which is full of noodle incidents.
Used bizarrely and non-humorously in Dollhouse. Echo is trapped in the Attic with Dominic, and points out surreal snippets of her past life, including a tree from one of her childhood homes... and a man in a white suit, a mustache, and glasses, surrounded by wicker chairs, holding a rabbit, with his head swiveling disturbingly. She describes that as a "long story" and it's not brought up again.
The only thing we're told about "The Pinecone Incident" is "That squirrel had it coming!"
Also, the first time that Josh met Helen after making Crazy Steve quit.
Helen: You made Crazy Steve quit?
Josh:You hired a guy named Crazy Steve?
Helen: Had to; long story, not pretty.
Josh interrupted Drake while he was telling a very ludicrous story.
Drake: So my foot's totally stuck in there, right? I'm freaking out, the dogs having a seizure, and I still have half a pie left.
An episode of Ed And Ouchos Excellent Inventions has Ed declare they can make anything. Oucho then starts mentioning to Ed a couple of inventions they weren't actually able to build (in his tongue of Cactinese so the audience doesn't hear what they are). On the second one Ed cuts Oucho off saying they don't talk about it because of the "police investigation".
Eureka has one that's easy to miss: After a time jump, Jack looks at his new car and comments that he misses his old Jeep. Allison replies, "Well, maybe next time you won't ignore the 'Tornado Crossing' sign."
Rowley Birkin QC speaks in nothing but noodle incidents, rambling incoherently before occasionally spouting out phrases such as "one girl was very badly burned" or "her husband had been entombed in ice", before always concluding with "I'm afraid I was very, very drunk."
Also Patrick Nice, whose various outlandish statements are frequently not put into any kind of context.
And so they named the hospital after me. Which was nice.
Dougal's exile to Craggy Island following the "Blackrock Incident", never explained but involving "irreparably damaged" nuns.
An incident on a SeaLink ferry possibly involving Dougal playing with the ferry's controls
Jack's exile to the island following a never-described but presumably disastrous wedding he performed in Athlone.
For a while, there was "but [the money] was just resting in my account." Bishop Brennon explained that one in one episode; that's why Ted's on the island.
Bishop Brennon: You shut up Crilly! You're not going back until all that money's accounted for. You were living it up in Vegas, while that girl should have been in Lourdes!
Also subverted, when describing a strange off-screen incident in all its ludicrous detail:
Father Ted: Dougal, Dougal, do you remember Sister Assumpta? Father Dougal: Er, no. Ted: She was here last year! And then we stayed with her in the convent, back in Kildare. Do you remember it? Ah, you do! And then you were hit by the car when you went down to the shops for the paper. You must remember all that? And then you won a hundred pounds with your lottery card? Ah, you must remember it, Dougal! (Dougal shakes his head) Sister Assumpta: And weren't you accidentally arrested for shoplifting? I remember we had to go down to the police station to get you!... And the police station went on fire? And you had to be rescued by helicopter? Ted: Do you remember? You can't remember any of that? The helicopter! When you fell out of the helicopter! Over the zoo! Do you remember the tigers? (Dougal shakes his head some more) Ted: You don't remember? You were wearing your blue jumper. Dougal:(sudden flood of recognition) Ah, Sister Assumpta!
A rare visual Noodle Incident (we see the aftermath, albeit not the incident itself):
Ted: You let Dougal do a funeral?!
Not to mention the numerous references to a mysterious "Father Bigley". And "those fires..."
Father Jack being: "First priest to denounce the Beatles - he could see what they were up to."
Another example, after Ted has offended some Chinese people by putting a lampshade on his head and stretching his eyes, and asks Dougal if he thinks he offended the Chinese community (who, unbeknowst to him, have arrived on Craggy Island in such numbers that they've actually formed a Chinatown):
Dougal: I dunno Ted. It's like that time, when we did the talent show, and you did that impression of Stephen Hawking.
Ted: Well, he was the last person you'd expect to turn up! God, he can fairly move that wheelchair when he's angry.
The finest one refers to Jack's teaching days in St Column's seminary:
Ted: A friend of mine had him. Father Jimmy Ranaville studied under him for couple of years, and he told me once, he said no-one no-one had as big an influence on him as Father Jack. Dougal: Father Jimmy Ranaville. Sure, whatever happened to him? Ted: Do you remember the Drumshanbo Massacre? Dougal: Yeah. Ted: That was him.
Early: You know, with the exception of one deadly and unpredictable midget, this girl is the smallest cargo I've ever had to transport, yet by far the most troublesome. Does that seem right to you? Simon: What'd he do? Early: Who? Simon: The midget. Early: Arson. Little man looooved fire.
Also seen in the pilot, where an incident involving Patience is mentioned.
Zoe: Sir, we don't want to deal with Patience again. Mal: Why not? Zoe: She shot you. Mal: Well, yeah, she did a bit... (Later in the same episode) Mal: Did you send word to Patience? Wash: Ain't heard back yet. Didn't she shoot you one time? Mal: Everybody's makin' a fuss.
And later still:
Patience: I have to say I didn't look to be hearin' from you anytime soon. Mal: Well, we may not've parted on the best of terms. Certain words were exchanged. Also certain... bullets...Patience and Mal, minus Mal's first-hand knowledge of what to expect from Patience.
Inara: Explain to me again why Zoe wasn't in the dress? Mal: Tactics, woman! Needed her in the back. Besides, I like those cotton dresses. There's a whole...airflow. Inara: And you would know this how? Mal: You can't just open the book of my life and jump in the middle. Like woman, I am a mystery. Inara: Let's keep it that way. I withdraw the question.
The series' reputation for hilarity ensuing had one episode opening with dinner guests and the chef storming out of Frasier's apartment in disgust, Frasier attempting to save it by pretending to have Tourette's Syndrome, Martin entering the room dressed as an Italian Count, a flaming toupee in the middle of the room, and goats throwing up in the kitchen.
In the episode "Author Author", Martin recalls a painful family fishing incident in which a young Frasier and Niles were supposedly "at it tooth and nail". He gets so distracted trying to remember the name of the lake that he never actually gets round to telling the story.
In another episode Kenny says, "I know it seems like a monkey could do my job, but it couldn't. True story."
Daphne once asks Frasier if he has any idea how uncomfortable a strapless bra is. "Well, thanks to my fraternity days, I do!"
Frasier's Trekkie workmate Noel Shempsky has a restraining order against him, taken out by William Shatner, for some unspecified incident in the past.
When Daphne asks a gay theater director if Peter O'Toole will be at his party, he responds: "No... and he knows why!"
A favored tool of the writers was a sort of faux Noodle Incident, the first scene showing the bizarre results, the rest of the episode slowly building up events to spring into the bizarre outcome. It always seemed to be funnier than if it was done chronologically.
Monica: That was not an incident! I was gesturing and the plate... slipped out of my hand.
In another episode Phoebe references the time a peacock bit Chandler in the zoo. This is actually mentioned in two separate episodes in the first season, suggesting that the writers were planning on making it a Running Gag, but then decided against it.
Another has Ross and Chandler getting ready for a night out with their college buddy Gandalf. Ross states that he has Canadian money, a snakebite kit and an extra pair of socks. Chandler warns him that it won't be exactly the same as last time.
"Vomit tux! VOMIT TUX!"
The time Phoebe stabbed a cop.
Phoebe: What, he stabbed me first!!
Phoebe's brother laments the various misfortunes in his life, including the time he got arrested for stealing those birds and "that punctured lung thing."
Rachel finds out from Phoebe that Chandler owns a jewelry box when the pair are racing against the clock to find a missing earring. Due to lack of time, Phoebe refuses to explain the story of why Chandler owns one... or how she knows about it.
On the Vegas trip, when Phoebe is told that being married in Vegas is as binding as being married anywhere else she says, "Oh my god. Oh My God! OH MY GOD! Meh..." (Word of God is that the audience is supposed to think she got married on some prior trip to Vegas.)
Phoebe appears to have a lot of these in her past. She once said, "There's so much you don't know about me."
In "TOW Where Phoebe Runs", what "guy problem" did Chandler have and why did it need medication?
A running gag is Vic constantly bringing up his life back in Cuba. In one episode, George just asks him to skip to the end of a story, which is "The chicken was okay, but she had to wear an eye patch for the rest of her life" and the next story ends with "You know what, it was the same chicken".
Also, when George confronted Benny about not visiting him in jail.
Benny: I didn't want to be framed for some thirty-year-old crime in El Paso that might have been committed with my fingerprints.
George: We were on the run that Summer? There's no game called "gas-station peel-out"!
Get Smart - one of Max's catch phrases - "That's the second biggest [unlikely big item] I ever saw!"
The main character quits the Chicago police department and moves to Florida after getting shot. In the pilot he explains that he was shot by his old police captain who thought that he was sleeping with the captain's wife. Conversations later in the episode and in the following episodes, however, indicate that there is much more to that story since the simple version does not make sense in the context of those conversations.
The events of the pilot itself are quickly becoming an in-universe Noodle Incident with the supporting characters referring to them to illustrate to others how insufferable the main character is.
In one episode, Sophia makes a reference to a Noodle Incident, when trying to get an annoying girl to leave Rose alone.
Sophia:"Excuse me Abby, I would like to inject some candor here. I would also like to inject a tranquilizer dart into your backside, but my dart gun was confiscated after the incident with the trick-or-treaters. In my defense, it was dark and I was unaware of this Ninja Turtle craze."
Rose usually is all too happy to tell an entire story, no matter how little anyone wants to hear it; but one instance simply is too painful to talk about. The titular girls are on the patio grilling and she simply says, "We never had a barbecue in St. Olaf after the tragedy." After questioning, she says she doesn't want to talk about it but will say it involved "barbecuing elk, a big fire, and someone who lost his balance."
Rose says it's impossible to paint St. Olaf in the fall after the "falling leaf incident". According to Rose, the story has a surprise ending... "Splat!"
There's yet another episode where we continually hear people mentioning increasingly more ludicrous things that are occuring, and Blanche's response is simply to say "I got arrested for that once in Chattanooga," without further explanation. It leads to this great exchange:
A fairly creepy example. Teen psychopath Luke, when asked about his powers, tells Sylar that he should "See what it does to pacemakers" the implication being that he spends his time killing people with heart conditions. Yeah, the kid's got problems.
Danko was mentioned by Angela Petrelli (as well as a case file) to have been involved in something known as the Angolan Incident. Exactly how he was involved or even what the incident was was never explained.
In Home Improvement, there's mention of an incident the last time the boys tried to share anything. It's pretty self-explanatory, but it's never elaborated on.
Jill: Did you forget what happened the time you guys tried to share that Nutty Buddy Bar?
Randy: [grinning] Oh yeah...the famous Bloody Nutty Buddy Bar Incident.
Wilson: Every time I go to one of your parties, I end up embarrassing myself in some new and unexpected way. House: That whole thing with the duck was hardly unexpected.
Used once again in the episode "Known Unknowns", in which Wilson repeatedly makes negative references to some past occasion on which he apparently gave House an advance copy of a medical conference address for proofreading. The incident is never explained or elaborated on.
The "Pineapple Incident." In a way, it subverts the trope, as there's a whole episode explaining how the incident occurred. It does, however, have one detail missing: How the pineapple got onto the bedtable.
Another episode has the Story of the Goat. The first time it's mentioned, Ted gets almost to the point of the story, before mentioning a detail that causes him to realize that it must have happened later than he thought. The story is concluded a year later. The goat beat Ted up.
We also don't know if Marshall was mugged by the monkey or not.
There's also a (likely) temporary one from a recent episode where Barney and Lily have a fight. Future!Ted flashes forward to when they make up, and in comes Ted wearing a dress and shouting "Now we're even!", which Future!Ted says he will explain when the time comes.
There's also quite a few more temporary ones peppered throughout the seventh season, which haven't been revealed yet: Marshall and Barney wind up in a casino full of Chinese businessmen, where Marshall is winning loads of money, completely smashed, and wearing a t-shirt reading "Marshall + Steph 4-eva", and Barney is wearing the ducky tie again and receiving a shocking phone call. No context whatsoever is given, but Future!Ted says it's a few months after the events of "The Naked Truth".
A brief flashforward to Lily giving birth to her baby has her screaming "where the hell is Marshall?" We have no idea where he is, but Future!Ted promises it's a crazy story.
You could say the entire seventh season is a slow explanation of the Noodle Incident that made up the last scene of the season six finale. We know that somehow, Barney winds up getting married and Ted meets the Mother at said wedding, which has something to do with a yellow umbrella and the fact that Ted accidentally went into her Econ class three years ago. The only thing we know for sure is that Lily's no longer pregnant by the time it happens.
There's also the time that Robin was briefly a bullfighter. Future Ted promises he'll get to that sometime, which he seems to say a lot these days. It's pretty understandable though: while the stories mainly take place in the present, the actual show takes place in the year 2030, so from his perspective, there's nothing wrong with making comments about events that happened after our out-of-universe present day.
In "Blitzgiving," Ted misses a night out with the rest of the cast. Most of it is explained, but why they keep throwing top hats on people's heads and yelling "The Gentleman!" or where the traffic cones and parking meter that were in the apartment in the opening are never explained.
Human Target has a lot of these, usually referencing Chance's previous jobs.
Allyson: What's the plan? Please tell me it doesn't involve driving the ambulance right through the front of the building.
Chance: Ever try that? Trust me; it's not something you want to do twice.
Averted in the episode "iRocked the Vote". Spencer claims he's a bad liar, and Carly begins to tell a story about a time Spencer lied very badly. Spencer yells, "Don't tell the story!" - but then Carly stands up after a moment and declares that she will tell the story, and does so. The story is about how Carly and Spencer wanted to take the day off to go to an amusement park. Spencer shows up to her class, tells the teacher Carly has to go to the doctor. The teacher asks what doctor. Spencer says Doctor Rollercoaster.
What did the goat do to Carly on her last birthday? How did T-bo's sister fall off a ladder while helping Spencer?
Gibby's "Texas Wedgies", we see the end result but we never know the details. Makes him one of few examples to happen to the same person twice.
Gibby has an on-screen noodle incident, when he goes into the bathroom of the Groovy Smoothie, at least twice, a semi-elderly asian man runs out with a look of horror on his face.
Most of Sam's life is composed of multiple examples of Noodle Incident, like the time she had to knock out a truck driver with a carton of milk and most of her visits to juvie. Even her birth was a Noodle Incident. We also don't find out much about the lives of her family, we never do find out why most of them are in prison. Then there's what happened to Sam's grandpa referring to his "heart like a bull":
Carly: That's what they said about Sam's granddad.
Sam: And then he died.
Spencer: Heart attack?
Sam: No, wrestling a bull.
Sam's mother is another matter entirely. Like what was that thing on her back she'd been squeezing since Christmas, the time Carly ended up helping Sam rub lotion on her when she got chicken pox. And her love life is a mystery to everyone.
Spencer is a frequent source of these. Reference is often made to incidents that Spencer just doesn't want to talk about, like when Gibby got sent home from summer camp for being too old (see quote below). May have been a Brick Joke, as later on Spencer tells Freddie about how people at the camp told him it was naked day, and he got a severe rash. That spread to places.
Spencer: That reminds me of the time I got kicked out of camp.
Mac:Nothing personal, but that last meat loaf you made was nasty.
Harm:Are you dogging Harm's special meatless meat loaf?
Mac:Let's put it this way: if you were to make the Harmon Special on this ship, they'd have to unload it with the toxic waste.
Another one, Harm and some other officers are discussing the various aircraft he's flown, including a 747. Harm says, "They roll better than you think they would." We never did find out why he had occasion to roll a 747.
In Jeeves and Wooster, after the title characters jump off a cruise ship to evade several irate people, we suddenly find them arriving home at their London flat, looking travel-worn, bearing heavy facial hair, and Wooster is carrying a spear. They never really tell the story, but the Panama Canal, the Great Barrier Reef and a badly-made compass are all mentioned. And then, one takes into account that they had to be swimming at least part of that...
In L.A. Law, several members of the law firm pass around the secret to a sexual technique known as the Venus Butterfly. Exactly what is involved is never revealed except that it leaves the woman exhausted and very satisfied, and requires access to room service.
They include what Nate did at the Russian border (Word of God says that he "may have technically hijacked a train") and lots of the unexplained cons, like the "Apple Pie," which is a "Cherry Pie" but with lifeguards.
In another episode, the team has been apart for a while and discusses what they were doing during that time.
Hardison: I hacked the White House email, 'cause I was bored. No buzz. Although we are up to some hinky stuff in Pakistan. Hinky, man.
Sophie: See? (To Eliot) Look, what were you doing?
Eliot: I was in Pakistan.
A flashback shows Eliot being dragged down a dark hallway while men yell at him "where's the monkey?" It's brought up again in a later episode, but we never find out what was going on.
Parker's introductory flashback involves her blowing up a house because the man in it took away her stuffed bunny when she was a little girl. Word of God has it that the man was her foster father, but how she blew up the house and whether he was inside at the time is left up to our imaginations.
We're still waiting on an explanation for how Elliot ended up fighting someone with a Nerf sword in Damascus, 2002.
"Cal? Promise me you'll never go back to Vegas?" In "Fold Equity", we get a little more of an explanation. Apparently after hustling one too many people at poker and doing something with a casino owner's wife, Cal's banned from Vegas.
There was also some really shady business in Northern Ireland that has been repeatedly referred to but never explained thoroughly— Cal is former MI6 and worked in (among other places) Ireland and Bosnia as an interrogation expert.
Apparently, Cal once tricked his way into the White House, all the way through security. Why or how is unknown.
Especially worthy of note is the literal Noodle Incident mentioned by Loker.
Gillian:"Initiation for you MIT mathletes was pretty hard-core, huh?"
Eli:"You know, you make fun, but you try waking up in a shower stall with a killer hang over and a quart of macaroni salad shoved up your—"
Life On Mars: Whatever it is Mrs Luckhurst does that's "illegal in some parts of Wales," although subsequent dialogue might provide a hint for the suitably creative-minded:
Ray: Guv! Mrs. Luckhurst.
Gene: I don't wanna talk about her. All right, all I will say is this: you know that bloke in the Bible who wanted to stuff a camel through the eye of a needle?
Sam: That would be Jesus.
Gene: Yeah. Well, he had nothing on Mrs Luckhurst.
LOST has several such incidents, but due to the nature of the show (flashbacks and time travel), some of them end up being shown to the viewer later on:
The most notable is the creatively named "Incident" that resulted in the need to push a button every 108 minutes in the hatch. The event is described vaguely in the season 2 finale, and shown onscreen due to time travel in the season 5 finale, which, of course, is called "The Incident."
The event that resulted in Locke being paralyzed before the crash. Eventually shown onscreen in season 3 (Locke's father pushed him out a skyscraper window).
The "Tampa job" is mentioned by a one-off character in season 1, regarding Sawyer. The event has never been mentioned again, but some fans believe it is of pivotal importance to Sawyer's character. The season 2 episode "Adrift" was originally going to feature Sawyer flashbacks to the Tampa Job, but the scenes were cut and replaced with Michael flashbacks.
Hibbs: That makes us even for the Tampa job.
Sawyer: What could possibly make us even for the Tampa job?
Juliet mentions a "Basra incident" regarding Sayid in season 3. Due to the name and the way Juliet introduces it, this is almost certainly the writers screwing with the "Tampa Job" theorists.
This bit from season one episode "Raised By Another" :
Hurley: My name isn't Hurley! It's Hugo Reyes. Hurley's just a nickname I got. Why? I ain't telling.
Malcolm in the Middle was very fond of this trope in regards to hinting at the horrible things the family has done ("Algebra Pills", "The Johnson's Fire", "The Rat-Baby Farm", "10-items or less aisle") some of the more memorable ones include:
An episode has Reese being punished for a horrendous prank which the audience never really hears about. The only thing we learn about it is that it involved multiple cats (although it's not clear what they were for), Malcolm asked if an evacuation was required, and that Reese could name third world countries where it regularly happens. And produces an epic fit of spastic angrish from Hal.
In "Malcolm vs. Reese", Hal and Dewey are charged with taking care of Craig's cat Jellybean, who runs off and cannot be found, but evidently stops by the house when they aren't there. In an attempt to make Jellybean stay put, they accidentally drug up all of the neighborhood cats and a opossum, but Jellybean is still not to be found. At this point they finally call Lois for help. Cut to the charred remains of the house, and Hal commenting that she sure made those cats get out in a hurry.
There is also an episode where Hal is put in charge of the living will of a neighbor who is in a persistent vegetative state. After hearing the man's relatives debate furiously as to whether or not he should be kept alive, Hal makes a decision that we are never shown. At the end of the episode, Lois tells Hal that he did a great job because he realized that there were more than just the two choices of life and death. Hal remarks that it was easy because, once he found out that the man was a bird lover, everything he needed was at the electronics store down the street, except for the hat. He then tells Lois that he would like to never discuss it ever again.
"This is worse than the time I left Dewey in Mexico!"
The first episode had Malcolm telling the viewer that his older brother Francis has been sent to military school due to his bad behavior. The scene then cuts to Francis giving a lengthy apology in front of the results of three of his hi-jinks, including being brought to the front door by a police officer, a naked girl in his parents bed and finally in front of a flaming car. The only comment Malcolm has to make is "I don't know why they were so mad, it wasn't even our car".
The Cold Open of the first season finale had Hal bursting into the room, offering the boys money to take the blame for some terrible thing he had done. We never find out what it was, all we hear is Lois screaming "Oh my God!" in an increasingly angry tone from offscreen.
Cats ate her face.
Whatever it was that Francis had done to (or possibly, with) "mom's friends Jenny", it was apparently bad enough that it equaled Malcolm, Reese and Dewey convincing Lois that she had cancer.
After setting off a mass of fireworks: "This might even top Homecoming '98!" "I dunno, that float smoldered for a week!"
Another cold opening has Hal and Lois in bed, not wanting to deal with whatever the boys were doing. We hear a lot of discussions, things falling and breaking, Reese telling the others to "forget about the squirrel and bring the fire extinguisher" and Dewey mentioning blood tastes weird.
In the episode where Steve and Marcy end up homeless and Kelly has a slumber party, there's a Noodle Incident where Al tells Kelly that she can't have another slumber party because of the one she had when she was eight. It's not clear what happened, but Al said "The judge wanted to try you [Kelly] as an adult" and in Al's promise letter, it mentioned that Al was shaved bald.
When Officer Dan (the black cop) becomes Al's friend in the later episodes after Officer Dan promised never to report Al for an unnamed incident that happened at a strip club.
Another episode, Kelly is acting in a music video for a punk rock band, and in one scene, is chained to a fence with handcuffs. Al comes onstage and starts an argument with the lead singer, and eventually, the two take the conversation backstage, ignoring Kelly. She's irked, saying that this is the second time this week someone has chained her to a fence and left her behind. (She doesn't elaborate on the first time.)
M*A*S*H: Hawkeye relates to B.J. a joke that he considers the funniest ever told. This is shown onscreen, and ends with B.J. chuckling wryly, apparently only considering the joke passable. Throughout the rest of the episode, Hawkeye finds himself unable to go anywhere in camp without encountering fellow officers who are all still in hysterics after hearing B.J.'s version of the joke, which is never shown.
The joke itself is told in full, as it's the old "Is that all you do—bird imitations?" joke. But we never hear B.J.'s version, only that he apparently tells it with more panache.
In The Mentalist, in the episode where Patrick Jane's brother-in-law asks for his help, Jane goes to his old Carnie-buddies in order to track his BIL down. He and Lisbon meet this burly weightlifter guy, who is delighted to see Jane after such a long time. When he takes Jane and Lisbon back to his trailer, his wife opens the door. Jane is about to hug her when she slaps his face - HARD. He wails: "What the hell's that for?!" and she just says: "Detroit.". Jane responds: "Fair enough."
When Wendy asks Lacey if she can keep a secret on The Middleman, Lacey points out that she's never told anybody about "that thing with the blueberry pudding pops and the elliptical machine."
The episode "Mr. Monk Goes to an Asylum" lampshaded this trope during the tour of the asylum with Monk's roommate.
John Wurster: This is the Monkey Room. Funny story about how it got its name.
Monk: What is it?
Wurster: We don't know. We just know there's a funny story.
The first scene with Monk and Natalie in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert" begins with this:
Natalie Teeger: Captain.
Monk: Captain, for the record, this was all her idea. I mean, I wouldn't be here if I couldn't drive or had anything else to do.
Captain Stottlemeyer: OK, I give up. What is it? [Natalie produces a check]
Natalie: It's a $34 dry cleaning bill to clean the shirt and jacket that Mr. Monk ruined when he ran through the poultry farm to recover the ransom money in the Jimmy Creskow kidnapping case. What are you gonna do about it?
Captain Stottlemeyer: Try to ignore it.
Natalie: No-no-no-no! We've already submitted this twice! It is a work-related expense, and we are entitled to compensation!
In that same episode, Natalie mentions having studied the Spanish Inquisition when Monk likens a port-a-potty to a medieval torture device.
And in "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," when asked by Monk and Natalie how Stottlemeyer's girlfriend could go from her house to a crime scene in 20 minutes, this:
Natalie: Maybe she had a jetpack, like in those James Bond movies.
Lt. Disher: There's no such thing as a working jetpack. Don't ask me how I know.
In "Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra," Stottlemeyer tells Monk about an incident that happened in Atlanta, where he got in a cab and recognized the driver as the man who was formerly in charge of the FBI Atlanta field office until he accused the wrong guy in the 1996 Olympic Park bombing, which apparently ruined his career. It is relevant because the case Monk and Stottlemeyer are working involves a suspect who officially has been dead for six years, and Stottlemeyer does not want to suffer the possible consequences if he goes public and then gets proven wrong.
Eric Idle: "And your lines from 'frig the vicar' to 'bouncing up and down on the bed with a melon'...all out."
Mork and Mindy accidentally join a fat farm. There is a scene where they are all coming in from a hard-core jog, which is never shown in progress. As they settle down for group therapy, the leader announces that everyone should "try not to think about what happened" to a now absent member. It is never explained what did happen.
The title character of Murphy Brown did something at the 1980 Republican convention that not only got her banned from all future ones but is still being mentioned way into the 90's.
My Family, with Ben and Susan going over why Ben hates Christmas:
Susan: We all had a lovely time. Ben: You did. I got beaten up by carol singers. [...] Ben: Before that was the Year of the Turkey... Susan: OK, so it needed to be in for a bit longer. Ben: Susan, it was still alive. Before that was the Year of the Puppy. Susan: Ooh, the puppy...yes, that was sad, wasn't it?
In the episode "Silver War", Tony and Ziva reference a specific page of a fictional men's magazine, with Ziva saying that "it works every time", which culminated in this line later in the episode:
Ziva: You were thinking that you want to "page 57" me right now.
Ducky does this pretty much every time he rambles. It's usually because he gets interrupted, though sometimes he just doesn't elaborate. From the episode "Hiatus, Part 1":
Palmer: Who would sit on an explosive? Ducky: ... I did it myself once— no, twice. The first time, I was young; second time foolish. Palmer: Why were you sitting on an explosive, doctor? Ducky: I just told you: I was young and foolish. Haven't you been listening?
And the season five episode "Family," when Tony has just discovered that a dead petty officer has been moonlighting as an exotic dancer:
Tony: I'm going with stripper. Ducky: This is not an uncommon way for young servicemen to complement their incomes. In fact, when I was young, I used to... Tony: Used to what? Ducky: Oh, my.
And there's the time Ducky pushed a French police officer off a cliff. In his defense, there was water at the bottom. In the same episode as this is mentioned ("Smoked"), the man who found the body of the week tells Gibbs that this is the first time he's found a human in a chimney, though he's used to finding all sorts of animals in there, including cats and birds "and once even a St. Bernard!"
There's also a bachelor party that Gibbs would really rather that Palmer would not know about.
Abby has one from "Ships in the Night" when she is downing her twentieth Caff-Pow during a multi-day all-nighter.
Agent Borin: Is this a record? Abby: No. We don't talk about the record. It got ugly.
In the season seven episode "Code of Conduct", Gibbs wants to know why Abby doesn't have a costume for Halloween this year:
Abby: After last year's Jonas Brothers debacle, Vance banned costumes. McGee? Skinny jeans? Didn't work.
The king of all NCIS Noodle Incidents is a Crowning Moment Of Funny. In "Truth or Consequences," Tony, in a daze with Ziva gone, hears Gibbs say this.
Gibbs: Some idiot smuggled a koala onto a submarine. Grab your gear.
Moze: This is your worst idea ever! (Beat) No, wait. Cheese pants was your worst idea ever, but this is close.
Harry's mentally-unstable father on Night Court, played by John Astin, often mentioned incidents that kept him the mental institution, like "the Mister Potato Head" and "that little setback with the Cheez Whiz". But, as he always said afterward with Astin's trademarked smile, he's feeling much better now!
He even accidentally discovers a few he has no coherent memory of, such as where he spent a mysterious block of time in the past that he could never account for...until the photo of him with Mao turned up.
The Not Going Out episode with the art exhibition has Tim berating Lee:
Lee: It's not my fault! Tim: Oh yeah. When my grandmother ended up in a ditch, it wasn't your fault. When my aunt could only eat soft fruit for a week, it wasn't your fault!
On an episode of the American version of The Office, the character Dwight remarks that his cousin Mose has had nightmares "ever since the storm".
In the British version of The Office, David Brent is invited by to speak at some seminars. The seminar representatives mention having had Brent recommended to them by a guy named Andy Hitchcock...
Brent: Oh my God...Cockles. Cocky. The Big Cock. Hey, do me a favor: next time you see him, ask if he got the grass stains out of his trousers. But not in front of his wife because...(looks at the camera then immediately goes into an awkward silence)
A running noodle-incident gag in On the Buses was Arthur's operation.
The whole series is full of hints at Ben and Karen's wacky antics - for example, a reference to the fact that Google Maps' aerial photographs of the family's house show Ben on the roof.
8-year-old Ben asks why they can't have the same babysitter as last time; "You know why," his dad says darkly. Later Ben's little sister says that the last babysitter "went home to Poland, where children are nice."
There are dozens and dozens of these, that apply to every member of the family, and the family as a whole. The episode they went on the outing to the farm resulted in about 4 references to outings that went worse than that one, and the same applied to the holiday episode.
Happens in-universe in Parks and Recreation. In "The Bubble", Tom and Chris are moved to a small room on the 4th floor, which is where divorce filings and drug tests happen. Some guy asks if it's Mark Jansen's office, walks in, pours all the coffee out of the coffee pot, breaks said coffee pot, then says, "Tell Mort I said, your move."
What exactly did Li'l Sebastian do that made him such a cultural icon in Pawnee?
In one episode, Sophie returning from Bristol after a few weeks, and spent her time there under the assumption Mark was having an affair. When he probes after revealing the girl in question was mentally unstable, she only says of her time in Bristol: "it was complicated...nothing happened, really".
Mark and Jeremy also make reference to a friend of theirs named Pej who had his houseboat confiscated by the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Sophie's brother Jamie isn't allowed a gun on family hunting trips.
Mark: Don't ask why. Don't ask, don't tell.
"We promised not to do the funny voices any more! Not after that week."
In one episode, Fusco is sent on his own to guard a PoI. The exact details are never disclosed, save that he ended up in a gunfight with the Romanian mob and managed to get a kiss from a supermodel who had originally maced him.
Referenced in another episode after a rather unlikely event.
John: A drug smuggler shot a spear gun at me last night.
Finch: Was that the first time that's happened to you?
John: I wish I could say yes.
Power Rangers has the great war 10,000 years ago and a lesser, likewise unnamed war 3,000 years ago. Numerous unrelated characters in numerous unrelated seasons make reference to signifiant wars occurring on those two "dates", but no flashback or explanation is ever given for either.
Power Rangers Megaforce gives us the reasoning why Jake's Legendary Ranger form is green instead of black. He asks Gosei about this, Gosei says that there's a simple explanation for it... then the base is rocked with explosions and we never find out what it is.
Press Gang had several people making comments in its first episode about Spike's "incident at the school dance."
Pilot episode, Gus isn't going into anything blindly with Shawn again.
Gus: I learned that at the Mexican border. Twice.
In the first season (episode fourteen, "Poker? I Barely Know Her"), the chief tries to dissuade Juliet O'Hara from throwing a surprise birthday party for her partner, Carlton Lassiter, because he doesn't like surprises. Further explanation includes the mention of a "Secret Santa Debacle of 2005."
In a later episode, Chief Vick cites the "Prosthetic Nose Debacle of 2005" as the reason why Detective Lassiter won't be going undercover for the present case.
There was that time Lassiter made Shawn and Gus duck when they were snooping around the chief's desk when a woman passed by.
Lassiter: I made out with her on the company picnic. Duck! (a long-haired man walks by)
Shawn: That was a dude.
Gus: Must have been a hell of a picnic.
From "Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead", the Season 2 finale:
Shawn: This isn't my first time alone in a coffin.
And in Season 5, episode 11, "In Plain Fright", Shawn has this exchange with Juliet when talking about telling Gus that the two of them are dating.
Shawn: If I don't handle this delicately, he's bound to go on another caramel binge.
Juliet: He went on one before?
Shawn: Yes. Hot and cold.
QI had Stephen Fry mentioning something about fanmail he'd received.
Stephen: We'd finally get some [fanmail], other than that one... *looks at audience* Well, you know who you are. And I tried it, and it was a disaster.
QuantumLeap occasionally talks of The Starbright Project, which was apparently the first major scientific project Dr. Beckett worked on and is where he first met Al and his future wife Donna Elisi.
On Raising Hope, Sabrina asks Maw Maw how she lost her virginity. We don't get to hear the whole story, but it includes a lot of weird faces and gesturing, and ends with:
Maw Maw: ...and then, the four of us put our clothes back on, put the horse back in the stable, and agreed never to speak of it again. It's probably my favorite Christmas memory.
On Reba, it's hinted that Lori Ann, Reba's friend, and Brock, Reba's ex-husband, actually dated each other before. Brock never mentions it, and Lori Ann reacts defensively when Reba even tries to refer to it once. And then there's this verbal exchange between Reba and her son, with regard to Reba's "dating", while they are at the front porch:
Jake: Mom, am I going to have a new daddy?
Reba: Jake, can you keep a secret?
Jake: Sure, what is it?
Reba: I'm not even seeing anybody. I just pretended to go out on dates to get away from the loony bin.
Jake: I hear ya. Dad and I didn't really join the scouts.
Reba: So what have you two been doing all these Saturday afternoons?
Jake: Hey, are we keeping secrets or not? (walks into the house)
Subverted with the Gazpacho Soup Incident which tormented Arnold Rimmer, who blamed it for stalling his career and ruining his chances of promotion to such an extent that his last words were "Gazpacho soup!" It turned out to be merely an incident where Rimmer, sitting at the captain's table at a formal luncheon, sent a bowl of Gazpacho soup back to the kitchen to be warmed up because he didn't know it was supposed to be served cold. Of course, the reality didn't live up to the imagination, but that was the point; both that it was an extremely minor embarrassment that the insecure Rimmer blew up to insane proportions, and that it was just yet another example of him blaming something else for his own screw-ups and failed life.
A straight example occurs in the first episode when Captain Hollister, in reference to smuggling animals on board spaceships, makes angry reference to what happened "on board the Oregon with the rabbits".
One other instance of a noodle incident occurs when Lister, believing that his crew members have seen his thighs, describes an evening with another crew member, Peterson, in which he got so drunk that he got a tattoo proclaiming his love for Peterson.
Another possible incident is referred to in "Emohawk: Polymorph 2" when Lister is trying to avoid getting marrying a GELF bride so the crew can get a part for the Starbug. Rimmer tries to convince him to go marry the yeti creature because "you've dated worse." Lister angrily retorts "Only due to bad disco lighting!"
Only The Good ended the series on a downer with everyone about to be killed off. After the show's revival, the final episode of season X includes the characters disagreeing over who gets to claim the credit for saving them, which turns into a heated argument and gets shushed before they actually get to explaining how they were saved.
On an episode of Richard Hammond's Blast Lab, we are told that You Don't Want To Know what the catapults from the game were originally designed for, but "Suffice it to say, the cats were not pleased."
Sabrina the Teenage Witch, in the episode Teenager Years. The characters have been waiting in line to meet the Violent Femmes band, only to be told by a security guard that the band are no longer accepting visitors. The following conversation ensues:
Harvey: You have to let us in. I mean- talk about Violent Femmes? (points at the group) If they don't meet the band, they will be four extremely violent femmes. And I'm the one who has to drive them all back to Westbridge, along with one lovesick dude. Do not make me do that. You know what I'm saying, you've been there, right?
In the Zack Galifanakas episode, there was a skit in which Galifanakas and Kristen Wiig had a strange fixation with a hotel bidet. At the end of the sketch, they gave the bellboy a tip of wet dollar bills. They explain "It had something to do with the bidet."
Also frequently used as the opening gag in the Celebrity Jeopardy sketches, with Alex Trebek apologizing for "what happened before the commercial..."
"I would like to apologize now to all blind people and children."
"I would like to apologize, and assure our viewers that all our contestants are now wearing pants."
"I would like to apologize, and remind our contestants to please refrain from using ethnic slurs."
On the Ben Stiller episode from season 37, Stefon (Bill Hader's Camp Gay city correspondent character) returns to Weekend Update. Seth Meyers mentions that the two had a bizarre summer together. When Stefon asks Meyers how his back is doing, Meyers dodges the question completely. Subverted in that Meyers' vacation with Stefon actually was set up at the end of the Justin Timberlake episode from season 36 (making the mention of it in season 37 the punchline to a Brick Joke), but what happened after that is never mentioned any further (or ever again, though given the Running Gag of Stefon hitting on Seth Meyers, it was probably something sexual and of dubious consent).
The famous "What the hell is that?" sketch with Steve Martin and Bill Murray. We never do find out what the hell that was.
In Saved by the Bell, every time Zack says "Screech, I have a great idea!", Screech replies with something like "Gee, I dunno, Zack. The last time you had a great idea, I ended up (in a very odd and improbable situation)". Examples include "naked in a jar of jelly beans" and "with my tongue stuck to a moving airplane". Of course, none of these scenarios are shown on the show, or discussed ever again.
The episode "My Absence" is seen from another POV and when the regular hero (only heard on phone throughout the whole episode) goes through one of his visions, he only says about it "And that's why you should never trust a camel".
There's an earlier one in the third-season episode "My Self-Examination," in the scene wherein J.D. and Elliot are getting ready to attend Turk and Carla's wedding rehearsal dinner, and the latter remarks to the former that she cannot recall the last time she had seen him in the suit he was wearing.
J.D.: How can you not remember that time we were with those—
Elliot: Oh, God! With the two guys!
J.D.: —the two guys, and their mom was trying to sing that song!
Elliot:(laughs) It was so funny!
J.D.: So funny. (Elliot imitates the song and laughs) Till they had to...put their horse down.
Elliot: Oh, yeah...
Together: Poor Cinnamon.
Elliot: He could run like the wind, but his tail couldn't put out that fire.
There's also the story of how the game "Play-Doh Pants" became all about the money...
There was that time Sherlock came home, covered in blood and carrying a harpoon. Apparently, it had something to do with dead pigs, and was very "tedious." note Not explained in the series, but presumably he's just solved the Black Peter case, which in the original books provides a perfectly rational explanation.
Sherlock's many experiments would probably also apply. We know they are experiments because Sherlock says so, but what sorts of experiments require you to put human eyes in the microwave, or store thumbs in a plastic bag in the fridge?
When explaining why there is absolutely no talking at the Diogenes Club (with "three quarters of the diplomatic services and half of the government front bench"), Mycroft leaves it at "They don't want a repeat of 1972."
Sherlock's getting a special discount on his rent — because he helped his landlady's husband get executed.And that's all we ever find out.
Sherlock's speech at John's wedding in "The Sign of Three" included mentions to several cases he worked on, among them The Elephant in The Room... which was an actual elephant in a room... Later he regrets the case he chose to talk about and mentions "I should have told you about the Elephant in the Room".
The online material has several. None of the links on "Science of Deduction" to Sherlock's pre-"Study in Pink" cases work, but all have intriguing titles (including Mythology Gag references to Noodle Incidents from The Canon). Similarly, on John's blog he's taken down the entry "Tilly Briggs Cruise of Terror" for legal reasons; this is a reference to the Matilda Briggs and the Giant Rat of Sumatra, "a story for which the world is not yet prepared".
Ronnie's love life; it's implied that he is very much clumsy when it comes to women. His work in an undercover sting targeting strippers that moonlighted as prostitutes went badly (with him going on a tangent about golf mid-lap dance due to nervousness). We are never shown it but we see the aftermath as Shane and Lem give him hell for it.
Vic Mackey once implied that Shane Vendrell has engaged in date rape, when Shane claimed ignorance about how roofies work.
The main characters in Sliders frequently mention Earths they've slid to that were never seen onscreen.
Future Lois:Blue? Red? Not green? Please tell me it's not the black. Because that was a disaster.
Sons of Anarchy featured one. When one character is captured by Bounty Hunters, he finds out he's been grabbed for a warrant involving 'Indecent Exposure in a Livestock Conveyance'.
In the first season of Spaced we constantly hear about "The Deal" between Brian and Marsha, and at least once per episode Tim and Mike start to go into a childhood flashback about an incident involving them and a tree (utilising music reminiscent of the flashback themes in Final Fantasy VII) before being interrupted. However, both get fully explained at the end of the season (Brian paid Marsha her rent in the form of sexual favours when his benefits were late and Tim encouraged Mike to jump from a high tree branch, resulting in his retinas detaching, preventing him from fulfilling his life's ambition of joining the army).
In Special Unit 2, Nick mentions a job he had waiting tables... until the pastrami incident, which got him banned from Rhode Island and a very limited number of neighboring states.
Sports Night references one when Casey's son Charlie visits:
Vala's entire past is made up of Noodle Incidents. It probably doesn't help that it's difficult to tell when she's lying, especially in her earlier episodes. Later on, it's mostly that she rambles and over-exaggerates:
Mitchell: How many times have you been married? Vala: Legally? Hmm... well, it's hard to keep track. Let's see. The first one was a part of a band of traveling entertainers. He was a good cook, too. Couldn't make pie though...
A smaller incident in the episode "Emancipation":
Jack O'Neill: Remember that time on P3X-595, and you drank that stuff that made you take off.... Samantha Carter: We won't get into that right now.
Before the start of "Window of Opportunity", Daniel asked Jack a question, and we hear the tail end of the question every time the timeline resets. Only problem is, Jack wasn't listening to the question the first time around.
Or the Earth-Romulan War! That conflict is the ultimate Noodle Incident of the Trekverse.
Nor do we learn the details of the Tomed Incident, a disaster which made the Federation decide to ban the use of cloaking devices and caused the Romulans to become quite isolationist for 50 years until they reappeared in TNG. (The Lost Era novel Serpents Among the Ruins explores it in detail, though.)
In the pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", after Gary Mitchell is zapped by the mysterious energy field on the edge of the galaxy and sent to sick bay, Kirk visits him, where they share this exchange: note No further references to the incident, the girl, or just what Gary meant when he said "nova" (or after-effects, for that matter) are made. Later on in the scene, Gary admits to having secretly set Kirk up with "a little blonde lab assistant," and "planning her whole campaign." Shocked, Kirk declares he almost married that woman. Though certain revelations from Star Trek movies have led to speculation that this blonde was Carol Marcus, nothing is ever concluded.
Gary: Hello Jim! Hey, you look worried. Kirk: I've been worried about you ever since that night on Deneb IV. Gary: (laughs) Yeah, she was nova that one. Not nearly as many after-effects this time...
In "Wolf in the Fold", Kirk on several occasions mentions that he knows a cafe on Argelius "where the women are so-" before someone cuts him off. We never do find out what is so amazing about these women.
There were several references to a "Cardassian Neck Trick" that Odo could perform, but tantalizing hints of how amazing it is to see and a vague suggestion of what it might be are all the audience ever gets.
Almost as tantalizing as the many mentions of bar patron Morn being quite the talker whenever a camera isn't on him.
Being over 350 years old, having lived eight lives, and a particularly naughty and fun seeking mind in each of them, Dax is somewhat of a grand master of Noodle Incidents. Having raised nine children, mastered countless skills, and done lots of really stupid just for the fun, she always has an amusing story for any situation. Even if people don't want to hear it. And sometimes especially if people don't want to hear it.
Lots of them are about something that happened with Curzon Dax & Sisko. Usually involving a woman & liquor on some planet or space station. Like that time Curzon burned down that bar...
Jadzia: He kinda burned it down. Lenara: Kinda? Jadzia: Ok, he burned it down. But it wasn't on purpose! It was part of a dare. But that's another story.
There's also the incident which lampshaded the sudden change in Klingons' appearance between the original series and the later series. Worf just says, "We don't talk about it with outsiders." This was (unfortunately) resolved in a 4th season episode of "Enterprise" where the change was due to the Klingons experimenting with genetic enhancements which nearly wiped them all out.
Perhaps a Noodle Object; we never learned what a self-sealing stem-bolt is. Presumably a stem-bolt that seals itself, but what it's used for is never made clear.
A much more serious example (not sure if this belongs here) is Garak's reason for being exiled. We never get to hear why, though his stated reasons (all lies, of course) include failing to pay his taxes. We eventually find out he "betrayed" Enabran Tain—his father, and the head of the Obsidian Order. When confronted with this, Garak claims "I never betrayed you! At least... not in my heart!" We never find out what the "betrayal" actually entailed. Cue Wild Mass Guessing.
Andrew Robinson actually wrote a detailed history for Garak to help him stay in character, and thus explaining many of his noodle incidents. The show's producers were impressed and (apart from some bits that went against established Cardassian history) incorporated much of his history in the show. Andrew Robinson later incorporated his Garak notes in an Expanded Universe novel, A Stitch in Time.
In several episodes, we hear mention of a Federation-Cardassian war (Cpt. Maxwell is supposed to take revenge because of it), but in terms of details all we get is O'Brien's story how he accidentally killed a Cardassian soldier by overpowered phaser.
During "Tin Man", the telepath reveals that in an earlier mission (which became known as the "Gorushda Disaster" due to having resulted in several deaths, including two of Riker's friends) he "was completely attentive, and if the captain had listened to me, it would have been fine".
In "The Big Goodbye", the viewer never learns exactly what horrible thing(s) the insectoid Jarada did to a visiting Federation ship that inadvertently offended the overly-strict Jaradan sense of diplomatic protocol. Even though Data is ready and willing to share.
During "Relics," Scotty tries telling stories of his days on the original Enterprise to various people, all of whom treat them as uninteresting Noodle Incidents. Too bad he never tried telling them to Riker, who might have been both interested and have heard of some of them before.
In "Data's Day", Dr. Crusher explains to Data why she wants her dancing skills kept quiet about: "I don't want to be known as 'The Dancing Doctor'...again."
In an episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody where Jesse McCartney guest stared, London is forbidden by her father from seeing him because 'he doesn't want a repeat of the Orlando Bloom Incident.'
Donna: June third, 1997. Louis: That day means nothing to me. Donna: Doesn't it? Louis: *beat* Who told you? Donna: Is the important thing how I know, or that I know? Louis: Does Harvey know? Donna: He can. Louis: ... I was not here.
There's also the thing that Harvey and Donna do whenever Harvey has court. All we know is that it involves a can opener.
Jessica and Harvey did something in her office that was comparable to smoking pot. It was excusable because they were celebrating.
In an episode of Superhuman Cyber Squad, three of the protagonists kidnap their friend via stuffing him in a sack and hauling him off when they believe he is in love with an ugly substitute teacher. His response?
Amps: Help! I'm being abducted by aliens again! Someone call the air force!
It's now generally assumed that the waitress in Tampa referred to below was the "truck stop waitress with the bizarre rash" Dean refers to in the Season 4 episode "Yellow Fever".
Sam: This is the dumbest thing you've ever done.
Dean: I don't know about that. Remember that waitress in Tampa?
Another example shows up in "When the Levee Breaks" when Bobby receives a phone call from Rufus:
Bobby: Suck dirt and die, Rufus. You call me again and I'll kill you. [hangs up phone]
Dean: What's up with Rufus?
Bobby: He knows.
On a somewhat more serious note, whatever happened to Martin in Albuquerque that landed him in a mental ward for the next several years, and that time Bobby got someone killed that Rufus has never forgiven him for.
Apparently Garth's first case ended in him killing The Tooth Fairy.
In the terriblyedited twenty second season of Survivor, there were a couple that were referenced but not aired:
The plan to throw a challenge to get rid of Russell. Whose idea was that? Nope, it actually wasn't Steve - it was Sarita.
Jeff Probst says that Dave is good at challenges, but we don't know from the editing.
Steve hitting Phillip's Berserk Button off-screen, making it seem like he had just exploded onto Steve for almost no good reason.
It takes until the series finale to find out how Fez ended up naked in that episode of That '70s Show, although he keeps trying to tell the story. It was revealed that Red Foreman did in fact put his foot in someone's ass, once in Iwo Jima. Red does not want to go any further details.
Several references in The Thin Blue Line are made to Gladstone's marriage, including his objecting at his own ceremony.
On the Today show of May 27, 2013, Kathie Lee Gifford tells Hoda Kotb that she has been banned from returning to Santori Island, Greece, and claims there is a big photo of her at the airport with the caption, "Do not admit." Kathie claims the reason why is because of a plumbing problem. When Hoda asks her what plumbing problem, she says, "I'll tell you at the commercial break."
In one episode of Top Gear, the second part of The Stig's introduction mentions a super injunction to prevent them from mentioning an incident that is mostly blanked out but involves "an enormous goat".
In the Too Close for Comfort episode "Don't Shoot the Piano Movers", Monroe suggests that they use butter to get a piano unstuck from the back stairs, saying that is how he got his toe out of a bowling ball, leading to this exchange:
The episode "A Weekend in Bangkok with Two Olympic Gymnasts" gives us this exchange in one episode after Alan cripples himself falling off a ladder:
Alan: Do me a favor and call Judith and tell her not to bring Jake over.
Charlie: How come?
Alan: Look at me, Charlie! I have abrasions, contusions, a severely sprained neck, two fractured fingers, and I'm hopped up on pain pills. Does that spell "weekend dad" to you?
Charlie: Well, actually, to me it spells "weekend in Bangkok with two Olympic gymnasts". But that's a whole other story.
Another one involving Bangkok in the episode "A Pudding-Filled Cactus", where Charlie finds Alan cheating on his girlfriend distasteful:
Alan: Oh, this you find distasteful? The man who was asked to leave Bangkok for moral turpitude finds this distasteful?
Charlie: That was a misunderstanding. I had no idea it was an endangered species.
Alan: Well, nothing I'm doing requires a ten day quarantine and a series of rabies shots.
Ugly Betty has an episode where Daniel nearly kisses Molly in the Mode closet. Marc manages to acquire CCTV footage of the incident and tells Wilhelmina that she does not want to know what he did to get it. He then decides to start telling but Wilhelmina tells him to shush.
Veronica Mars has a series in a row in the Season 2 episode "Rat Saw God":
Veronica: Cliff, come on, you owe me.
Cliff: I owe you? Who un-confiscated all your fake college I Ds?
Veronica: Who got the Lincoln out of your ex's name?
Cliff: Well, who helped put that lien against Lee's Walk-In Donut?
Veronica: And who proved that stripper was color-blind?
Cliff: Okay, who am I calling and what am I giving them?
Pete was a drunkard at some point in the past. Many of the details remain shrouded in mystery, though it was revealed that it got him divorced. The only thing known in full detail is what made him quit, revealed in season 4's seventeenth episode, "What Matters Most": he got into a car accident while driving drunk, and it resulted in his close friend breaking both of his legs. Pete was horrified that he almost killed him, and hasn't had so much as a virgin daiquiri since that night.
The Distant Finale reveals that the future Warehouse has identified a basketball belonging to Barack Obama and an entire ship (presumed to be the Titanic) as artifacts, but being that this is the finale, we are given no explanation as to what either one does or how something as large as a boat was neutralized and brought in.
Sam is repeatedly told by other characters to 'stay in the boat this time' or 'hang onto a rope' when he has plans to spend his weekend off sailing. We can infer he had an incident the last time he went sailing, but nothing more is said about it.
In the fourth season episode "Guns Not Butter", Donna mentions some things that Josh has had her do over the years. It's all stuff we've either seen or are aware of... until she mentions a time he made her dress as an East German cocktail waitress.
In "The Crackpots and These Women", Sam refers to having enough problems with Mrs. Bartlett and her Ouija board, though we never get any further details.
This show gives us the Antioch manuscripts, first mentioned in the Season 1 episode "Vital Signs." Neal clarifies in Season 2 that the pigeons carried codes, not the manuscripts themselves, but everything else remains a mystery.
Neal: Remember the Antioch manuscripts?
Peter: You took those? How?
Neal: Carrier pigeons! Think about it.
Mozzie was kicked out of Boy Scouts. Pinewood derby, magnets, it was a whole...thing.
Brian: Relax. I will take care of everything. Trust me. Joe: Brian, the last time you said, "Trust me," I wound up naked on I-95 trying to flag down oncoming traffic. Brian: But who pulled over for you? (...) Brian: I'm gonna make you my personal project. Joe: No. No. No. Not again. The last time you had a project, I had to go to court. Brian: Oh, yeah. Thanks a lot, Mr. Witness for the Prosecution. (...) Brian: Lowell, tell us your deepest, most darkest secret. Lowell: Once, when I was out of underwear... [Everyone in the airport protests] Brian: Lowell, what is your fondest memory? Lowell: Once, when I was out of underwear... (...) Budd Bronski, Lowell's replacement after Thomas Haden Church left the series, once mentioned "The Incident" in which he was involved while in the military. He wasn't allowed to divulge specifics, but did say that as a result two Senators and a Congressman had to hit the silk, and there's no longer a town called Taterville in Kentucky...
In The Wire, we never get any specifics on a certain misdeed that Daniels committed early in his career. It only matters to the story as something to blackmail him with at the end, when he refuses to play ball with the politicians after becoming police commissioner.
The episode "Saving Wiz Tech Part I", Justin is being mocked by Dean for being a teenager wearing a suit without any special reason —he thinks. Justin then replies that he could tell people he was going to advocate him, for what Dean happily answers:
"Would you do that?! Great! Now we just have to prove I couldn't throw that thing so far..."
There was the time Alex accidentally sucked the substation into a black hole.
Alex: What's the worst that could happen if we're not chaperoned for four minutes?
Teresa: Oh, I don't know. A magic black hole could open up and suck the substation down into it.
Alex: That doesn't happen twice, Mother.
In The Movie, we never do find out what it was Giselle did that caused her to be turned into a parrot.
In a 2006 X-Play episode, we learned that they've made fun of Adam Sessler since "The Tommy Tallarico Incident", which apparently happened on April 19, 2003. Blair Butler still has rayon burns.