pidget_spinner on Sep 10th 2018 at 4:43:01 PM
Last Edited By:
pidget_spinner on Sep 13th 2018 at 7:13:38 PM
Page Type: trope
In a long-running series, sooner or later there's bound to be a few bad eggs. These are the scrappy episodes, episodes that for some reason rub wrong with the fan-base to the point where often even the creators admit to hating it. Common elements include:
- Being the Day in the Limelight for The Scrappy
- Bearing little to no plot significance
- Disrupting the pacing of the series
- Torture Porn
- Repeating the same gag over and over again
- Characters acting out of character
- Babylon 5: "Grey 17 Is Missing". JMS admits to writing it while sick and basically drunk on cold medicine. Interestingly, while the A-Plot the episode is named after is a Bizarro Episode about Garibaldi dealing with a cult on a "missing" level of the station who want to achieve enlightenment and then be killed by the Universe's most perfect predator (a stunt guy in a bad rubber suit), the B-Plot is a Myth Arc important story about Delenn taking command of the Rangers and Marcus fighting off her challenger for the role. Had it been called "Denn-sha" instead, it would likely be remebered as just an episode with a weak B-Plot, instead of a Scrappy Episode.
- "Stranger in a Strange Land" from Lost was infamous for its main plot not advancing the story much and its flashback plot creating an Actor-Inspired Element that never mattered before and never matters again, leading to it being considered by the fans and creators alike as the low point of the whole series.
- Early Stargate SG-1 episodes "Emancipation" and "Hathor" are widely disliked to the point of being Canon Discontinuity. "Hathor" is only referenced in later episodes in Broad Strokes, "Emancipation" is never referenced at all ("Emancipation" was penned by the same person responsible the similarly bad Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Code Of Honor").
- The season two episode "The Lost Sister" in Stranger Things is largely hated by fans, though not for anything actually in it so much the fact that it disrupted the pacing the season and contained little plot relevance.
- Supernatural, being a Long Runner, has more than a few generally disliked episodes, but one that particularly stands out is "Bugs", mainly for the Ass Pull conclusion - the characters are attacked by a swarm of bugs, and try to escape into a house, only for the bugs to follow them, leaving them huddled and defenseless... when suddenly the sun rises and everything's okay. Even though just previously, it had barely been evening. When the main characters in a later season encounter the writer of a book series that seems to cover the events of the show, he winces. "I mean, Hell is one thing, but bad writing..."
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the most commonly cited worst episode is "The Great Divide", due to its lack of relevance to the broader plot, one-dimensional characters, and Family-Unfriendly Aesop. This was referenced later in the show when the characters watched a play about their adventures - when the crew arrive at the canyon, they pause for a moment, and then agree: "...let's keep flying."
- The It's a Wonderful Plot episode "It's a Wishful Life" in Fairly OddParents consists of Timmy seeing what things would be like if he was never born and discovers that his friends, family, and society as a whole are all better off. It end with Timmy un-doing the wish, and he's the only person who's happier as a result. The episode was mostly panned due to its unusually mean-spirited attitude towards Timmy (which even the episode's creators admitted went a little too far) and Esoteric Happy Ending.
- The Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode, "Everybody Knows It's Bendy" is one of, if not the most hated episode of the series. Throughout the episode, Bendy, a new imaginary friend does bad things and blames them on Bloo, Wilt, Coco, and Eduardo, and Frankie and Mr. Herriman believe him the entire time. Adding to it is that Frankie and Mr. Herriman act out of character towards the imaginary friends. While they might believe that Bloo did the bad things due to his reputation as a troublemaker, Wilt, Coco, and Eduardo know all the house rules and obey them. Bloo sets up a trap to expose Bendy as the fraud that he is, flooding the house as a result. Bloo admits that he set up the trap as his plan to expose Bendy, as a result, getting him blamed and Bendy still getting off scot-free. Many fans hated the episode, and so did Lauren Faust, who wrote it. This was also why Bendy was not seen again after this episode.
- The infamous "Arnold Betrays Iggy" in Hey Arnold! is this so much that even the creator hated it. Reasons for the enormous amount of hate include Arnold suffering despite not truly doing anything wrong, the plot being unrealistic and contrived, and people acting out of character.
- The Loud House: The episode "No Such Luck" is deemed the fans' most hated due to the plot of Lincoln's family treating him cruelly, including kicking him out of the house, because of a lie.
- One episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic which often pops up on "worst episode" lists is "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well". In this episode, Rainbow Dash, after pulling off several heroic acts in a single day, suffers from a case of inflated ego. When more trouble arises, she focuses more on showing off than actually rescuing those who need her, only to be upstaged each time by the titular character of the episode. At the end, it's revealed that Mare-Do-Well is actually the rest of the main cast taking turns wearing a disguise in order to teach her a lesson in humility. Rainbow Dash's fans dislike how she comes across as an egocentric jerk who fails to understand the lesson Mare-Do-Well was trying to teach her until it was explicitly spelled out for her, and other fans dislike how her friends fail to simply tell her upfront about these issues (one of her friends, Applejack, is known for her Brutal Honesty and would have no problem saying these things).
- The Simpsons:
- "The Principal and the Pauper" is one of the most notorious episodes in the series due to the revelation that Principal Skinner is actually an impostor named Armin Tamzarian, which essentially threw nine seasons' worth of character development out the window. It was later made fun of in at least a couple of further episodes. The episode is commonly cited to be the moment when the show Jumped the Shark.
- "Homer vs. Dignity" was criticized for the scene where Homer is apparently raped by a panda, which fans saw as the point where the show resorted to South Park-style shock humor to stay relevant.
- "The Boys of Bummer" is hated by fans due to its morbid plot involving literally all of Springfield harassing a 10-year-old boy for losing a baseball game, even after he tried to commit suicide because of it.
- While South Park has always been a dark show, the ending of "Stanley's Cup" was too dark even for the fans tastes. The episode sets up Stan becoming a Pee Wee hockey team coach and pushed into a situation where he has to win a vital game to ensure a terminal player has the hope to recover. Eventually this ends up with Stan setting up young children against professional adult players, the Pee Wee team not only losing but brutally hurt during gameplay and the sick player passing away due to despair.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: There are many post-2005 episodes that fans consider the terrible, but "One Coarse Meal" and "A Pal for Gary" are the ones most frequently cited due to dark themes and characters acting needlessly cruel.
- In Steven Universe, the episode "Rocknaldo" is this for several reasons, the biggest of which being that it focuses on Ronaldo, The Scrappy, deciding to become a Crystal Gem. Additionally, marketing for this episode featured a bloodstone, leading fans to speculate that the episode would introduce a new Gem, but they were disappointed to find out that it was mostly just Filler revolving around one of the least popular characters in the series, with no new Gems introduced.
Feedback: 87 replies