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Bizarro Episode / Live-Action TV

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The episodes of live-action TV shows that are so weird you wonder what you just saw.


  • Over its last two seasons it became clear that Day 6 of 24 was a Big Lipped Alligator Season. Events like the detonation of a nuclear device in an American city by foreign terrorists and the attack and incapacitation of an American president while in the White House — both of which happened within hours of each other and would have deeply impacted the country's history and internal and international policies — are never mentioned or even alluded at in the following seasons. Matter of fact, President Wayne Palmer was effectively "brother Chucked" without as much as a throwaway line to explain what ultimately became of him. Howard Gordon has stated he lived, but a prop newspaper from the made-for-TV movie Redemption mentions his death, thus leaving his fate unknown. Day 7 has its couple of bizarro episodes in which an African tin pot dictator and his five - six at most - bodyguards take the White House and everyone inside hostage - with some help from (what else in 24?) moles on the inside. Jack Bauer resolves the entire situation in two hours of "Real Time" and the entire situation does not impact the rest of the season — the second half of it — in any significant way. With the exception of killing off Bill Buchanan, who by that point was one of the show's main characters. Although the immediate fallout for that is something of a Big-Lipped Arc itself (Jack is framed for trying to avenge his death and is wanted dead or alive in the cliffhanger of the following episode, only to have his name cleared at the very beginning of the episode following that, leaving those events to quickly be forgotten), it does later provide a motivating factor for Chloe when she returns and discovers what's happened.
  • Angel:
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    • Some viewers consider "The Girl in Question" to be this — in the middle of a tense, tragic story arc leading up to the heavily depressing series finale, we get an episode revolving around Spike and Angel gallivanting off to Italy to have wacky, hoyay-tastic adventures while trying to rescue Buffy from the mistake of dating an unseen, vampiric sexual predator with whom they apparently have a never-before-mentioned complex history; this unapologetically farcical storyline is played against a bitter, tragic Los Angeles subplot in which Illyria assumes Fred's form in order to deceive her parents into believing that their daughter is alive and well, a state of affairs which nearly breaks Wesley and is difficult to watch even for the viewers.
    • It also doesn't help that the B-plot indicates that Wesley didn't carry out Fred's final wish that he inform her parents of her death. And that from what we hear, Buffy has turned into The Ditz, having an affair with the evil Immortal, making it come off as a rather petty Take That! after Sarah Michelle Gellar refused to appear in the show's 100th episode. Whedon later made an Author's Saving Throw in the Buffy comics, revealing that it was actually one of several Slayers around the world who are impersonating Buffy to confuse the bad guys.
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    • "Soul Purpose" is a better example, which mostly consists of Angel having bizarre hallucinations.
  • Atlanta is a pretty off-beat show to begin with, but "B.A.N" is strange even by the show's standards. It lacks any sort of plot and is essentially just a series of satirical sketches, with Parody Commercials and segments of a Show Within a Show entitled Montague that satirize issues relating to gender and race identity.
    • In season 2, after the first 5 episodes being relatively realistic (at least by that show's standards), the sixth episode, "Teddy Perkins" is totally off the wall. In this one, Darius spends the entire episode in the home of a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Michael Jackson (the titular Teddy Perkins), who has a brother, Benny, that also was formerly a famous musician. The episode ends with Benny killing Teddy in a murder-suicide. The episode itself also feels much more like a psychological horror than a comedy, with the humor greatly downplayed for the most part.
  • Babylon 5: "Grey 17 is Missing" is viewed as this by much of the audience, with no future mention of any of the primary plot ever again (although the secondary plot is fondly remembered and represents an essential link in Neroon's character development). J Michael Straczynski has offered to personally apologise to every fan who complains directly to him about the episode, citing it as the bastard offspring of an unholy trinity of Author Brainfart, Executive Meddling, and Ran Out Of Time & Money.
  • From Battlestar Galactica:
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    • The episode "Black Market". Oh, where to begin? We find that Apollo has been seeing a single-mom hooker and her child regularly on Cloud Nine. This was never mentioned before or ever again. He is seeing and helping out her and her kid due to guilt over leaving his former pregnant girlfriend shortly before the Cylons attacked. This was never mentioned before or ever again. He winds up killing the black market's ringleader in a totally out-of-character manner. THEN he declares that the black market can continue because it's necessary or something. And we never hear anything more about it. It's saved from being a complete Bizarro Episode by dint of two factors: 1) Commander Fisk's murder in this episode starts a chain reaction of events that eventually puts Lee in command of Pegasus, and 2) the head of the black market is played by Bill Duke. Ron Moore later discussed Black Market very frankly both on his blog and in the episode's commentary, admitting that it was completely nonsensical and explaining the logic that went into making it that everyone thought made sense at the time, only to realize with growing horror that it just didn't work.
    • "Black Market" has a third point of relevance: it's the episode where Baltar decides to run for President when Roslin realizes he could be a thorn in her side and tries to convince him to resign. Obviously though, the scene where this happens has nothing to do with the plot of the episode.
    • "The Woman King" came along one season later and stole "Black Market"'s crown. This episode involves a well-liked but insanely racist doctor who sets about killing citizens of the "poorer" Colonies under the guise of a free clinic he's operating right on Galactica. Helo's tasked by a woman (named King) to put a stop to the Mad Doctor and avenge her son (whom the doc allegedly killed). Helo spends much of the episode on a Cassandra Truth wild goose chase because no one believes him, what with the better half of the cast coming down with a sudden case of 24-hour Fantastic Racism Disease. Everyone acts Out of Character, the episode just goes in circles, and everyone forgets it even happened by the next episode.
      • It doesn't help that the episode is one of the few remnants of a subplot about the Sagittarons on New Caprica that was soon abandoned (the only other really noticeable one is Baltar's mysterious whisper that causes Gaeta to try to kill him, which was eventually repurposed for another subplot in a webisode series), and scenes in earlier episodes that would have helped explain everyone's refusal to believe Helo were all cut.
  • Bones:
    • The fourth-season finale features Booth as a nightclub owner, Brennan as his wife, Hodgins as a hard-drinking novelist, Cam as a detective, etc. Of course, it's all in Booth's head as he's actually in a coma, recovering from the removal of a brain tumor. The dream is "inspired" by a story Brennan is writing, which she is reading aloud to Booth as she sits in vigil by his bedside—and then deletes!
    • The 200th episode moves all the characters to the 1950's, Booth is a jewel thief and Bones is a detective who faces gender discrimination, and her father is the chief of the L.A.P.D.
  • Breaking Bad has "Fly", where Walt becomes obsessed with killing a fly that has somehow gotten into the meth lab. There are a few moments of legitimate character development and overall series value to this episode, but for the most part, it's a big steaming pile of BLAM. It's also considered one of the best episodes of the entire series.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The Musical Episode "Once More With Feeling" is a bizarre case of a bizarro episode that is based on an utterly ridiculous premise, is important to the season's major story arcs and remains one of the most loved episodes of the entire series, like a Bizarro Episode and WHAM Episode mixed together.
    • The season 4 finale, "Restless", starts like this. Eventually what's going on is clarified, as well as the fact that it contains large amounts of foreshadowing.
    • "Superstar". Jonathan, a recurring Butt-Monkey who'd been the butt of jokes for the past four seasons, rewrites reality to make himself a Black Hole Sue who even takes over the opening credits.
    • Also, "The Zeppo" can be seen as this, diverting from the building plot threads of that season to tell a completely zany, full-out self-parody of every Buffy trope in the book.
    • "Normal Again" aka the episode that implies that the series may or may not be the hallucinations of a mental patient.
    • All of these just go to show that Tropes Are Not Bad in the hands of a skilled writer.
  • Columbo's episode "Last Salute to the Commodore" definitely qualifies. Not only is it a who-done-it, it also has the weirdest performance by Peter Falk ever. He just walks through without any emotions completely hamming it up. He seems high as a kite. In the bizarre ending, Columbo goes around showing everyone a watch saying 'Commodore's watch' until someone eventually says 'T'isnt,' thus proving he is the killer.
  • Community:
    • "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" is a musical Christmas episode done in stop motion and set inside Abed's mind. The characters end up journeying into outer space to find the true meaning of Christmas, and Chang is a talking snowman for some reason.
    • "GI Jeff" was mostly animated and centres around G.I. Joe versions of the characters. It, too, is in a character's mind, but this time it's Jeff's.
    • "Epidemiology", in which most of the students become zombies. This is the only confirmed supernatural event in the series, though there are some other instances of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane.
    • "App Development and Condiments" has an app beta test turn the school into a '70s sci-fi-movie-esque dystopia, in which people with 5 "MeowMeowBeenz" rule the school and people with only 1 get exiled to the Outlands.
    • "Regional Holiday Music", a Glee parody with characters constantly bursting into song.
  • The Cosby Show:
    • One episode featured the cast as fairy-tale characters, clothed in costumes made to look like crayon drawings. The in-universe justification: Rudy was telling the story, which she'd written, to her parents. Interestingly, it ends on a genuine Tear Jerker, as Cliff and Clair watch news reports of various weapons testings/violent activities and urge Rudy to make the world better, as she did in her fantasy.
    • A later episode had Cosby's character eating a big hoagie/hero/sub before going to bed, and then dreaming that all of the male cast members were pregnant after spores were launched from a volcano. It gets even weirder when the men go into labor and end up giving birth to things that they've "always wanted," like a toy sports car, toy boat, or, in Cliff's case, an enormous sandwich complete with bottle of soda.
    • Still later, Cosby has another big sandwich before going to bed. The above episode is actually mentioned. This time, the dream is more of a Random Events Plot crossed with And You Were There, as all of the family members have different roles: Vanessa is a jazz musician, Clair is dangling from a window and needs rescuing, Denise is a firefighter sent to save the day, Theo is Cliff's Navy superior, Olivia is a genius doctor in the late nineteenth century, and Rudy is a nurse at the hospital. And that's all before you add the element of The Muppets, who appear to take the dream into fully insane territory. The best part? The episode ends with Cliff opening the fridge and seeing more Muppet food talking to him. To say that this episode makes no sense is an understatement.
    • Then there's "A Nightmare on Stigwood Avenue". It has elements of a Musical Episode, as Vanessa, Pam, and Charmaine serve as a Greek chorus who narrate the events in song: after Olivia and Rudy fight during the day, and Olivia escapes punishment, Rudy dreams that the younger girl takes control of everyone in the family with her cuteness, while Rudy herself is completely ignored (even on her own birthday). It does end awesomely, though: after Olivia gives Cliff and Clair yet another command, Rudy enters the room and compels them to stop. She then tells the bratty Olivia "It's my dream" and turns the tables. As the Greek Chorus sings, "There's payback in the Huxtable house tonight!"
  • Crime Story was stylishly moody and gritty...then there was the 2nd season episode "Pauli Taglia's Dream". It did show how mobster Ray Luca and his goofus flunky Pauli had earlier survived a nuclear bomb test, but through Pauli's point of view — complete with cartoon sound effects, Three Stooges slapstick, and cuts of him lipsynching Bobby Fuller's "I Fought the Law" wearing impossibly high rockabilly hair and a radiation suit.
  • There's a Diagnosis: Murder episode where the killer is a vampire. Yes, as in the actual mythological creature.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Chase". A story where each episode takes the characters to a new location at a time where this was not the norm. There is a cameo from The Beatles. An obnoxious Eaglelander tourist spends half an episode laughing at a Dalek, and the actor playing him comes back playing a companion (!!) later in the story. They have a Journey to the Center of the Mind which turns out to be a horror theme park, in which the Comic Trio Daleks fight Dracula (and lose). The Daleks make an Evil Knockoff of the Doctor said to be indistinguishable and treated as such by the characters, and he looks nothing like him. A Dalek falls off a boat for no reason. Giant killer mushrooms are involved. Robots with flamethrowers try to put Barbara in a robot zoo. It's the sort of thing that could only get made in 1965 — love it or hate it, they will never make a story like this again.
    • "The Feast of Steven", episode 7 of "The Daleks' Master Plan". Our heroes have a chase through Hollywood in the 1920s, get arrested by police in the 1960s, and end up Breaking the Fourth Wall. This was deliberate, as it aired on Christmas Day and, because it was the '60s, the showrunners thought that very few people would tune in, so they wrote something that had no relevance to the rest of the serial.
    • "The Mind Robber", in which the TARDIS materialises outside reality and then explodes, and the characters find themselves randomly interacting with fictional characters.
    • "Heaven Sent" has been pretty much described as this by the producers themselves: an episode with (for all intents and purposes), a single speaking role, the Doctor, with Peter Capaldi being tasked with keeping an episode moving and interesting virtually all on his own. Amazingly, it works and, while "bizarro episodes" tend to be head-scratchers that rarely add anything to the overall story, "Heaven Sent" ended up being one of the most dramatic episodes in the show's history, and of vital importance to the Doctor's Character Development (as well as being the middle chapter of a trilogy, though stylistically it resembles neither of the episodes on either side, which is remarkable when one considers the same writer and director created the third episode).
  • The Drew Carey Show has its annual April Fools' Day episode, in which blatant, bizarre goofs are deliberately inserted into the episode, and the sharp-eyed viewer who spotted the most won a prize. Other times the episode was a live Crossover with Whose Line Is It Anyway?. The episode "DrugCo" is especially odd, with an insect man on a toilet, and a Monkeypotamus.
  • At first glance, Farscape seems to have a few interesting examples:
    • "Crackers Don't Matter" had the entire crew trying to kill each other over some crackers, while "Won't Get Fooled Again" was... Well, The Dragon was wearing bright red pumps at one point. However, even these Farscape episodes have a bearing on the overall story arc, proving that a sure way to avoid Bizarro Episodes is to make the entire series bizarre.
    • There is also the episode where D'Argo accidentally knocks Crichton out, causing him to hallucinate a series of Looney Tunes-type cartoons... the only plot point of which is to get D'Argo and Crichton to stop falling out over trifles. According to the directors' commentary, they were desperate to do a blend of animation and live-action, but it took a long, long time to do and many of the sequences were made before they had worked out how they were going to tie them in to the main plot. The guys' feud is set up in the previous few episodes, but there's never any real reason for it. Crichton says at one point that he doesn't know why they were arguing in the first place.
    • Another episode has the crew spending time on shore leave on a "pleasure planet". It ends up involving heavy drug use, criminal cartels, and human trafficking while the camerawork and editing are quite a bit different than the norm. The ending reveals it's a story an inebriated Crichton is telling Pilot about what happened, which pilot doesn't believe a word of; it's never revealed if any of it really happened, and none of it ever comes up again.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:
    • Hex and the single guy has a witch doctor getting angry with Will and putting a hex on him. And when a series of misfortunes happen to the Banks family, Will is forced by Aunt Viv leave the house. He decides to go back to the witch doctor. But he's now just a regular guy, who has no memory of meeting Will and believes that he's insane. Then it turns out that all of this was just a nightmare, except that it seems like the whole plot is about to repeat itself all over again after Will wakes up... But this one at least has the excuse of being a Halloween episode, so it's not that strange that it's spooky and weird.
    • In Reality Bites, Will ends up in a fight with this guy dressed up as the children's show character Dougie the Whale. It just so happens that Will's little cousin Nicky still believes that Dougie is real, so he gets very upset with Will after he beat up his "hero". Will decides to explain to Nicky that Dougie is just a fictional character, and that is when the weird part comes into play: Will gets an random off-season visit from Santa Claus, who asks him to not ruin Nicky's innocence too quickly.
    • Fresh Prince: The Movie has Will and Carlton tell Jazz a story about how Will testified against a ruthless murderer, so he and the Banks family had to go into a witness protection program. They had to leave Bel Air and live among hillbillies in the middle of nowhere. Will had to get engaged to a pregnant girl, who accuses him (falsely) of being her baby's father. All of this is lies, of course. But the episode ends with Jazz somehow finding and wearing this mask, which looks exactly like the murderer from the story.
  • Similarly, many of the events of Friday Night Lights Season Two aren't referenced in later seasons, the most egregious of which would be Landry KILLING a man to protect Tyra, and even confessing to it. Other stuff happened that season, too (Matt and Grandma Saracen's nurse, Buddy raising a ward named Santiago), but the only major event to happen that season with any significant impact on future seasons is Jason Street getting a woman pregnant.
  • Friends had a "what if?" episode that explored the possible consequences of Joey becoming a star with Chandler as his personal assistant, Monica staying fat, Ross's Closeted Gay wife staying in the closet and keeping their marriage going, Rachel having gone through with her marriage (thus never meeting any of the friends) and Phoebe somehow becoming a stock broker.
  • The Fringe episode "Brown Betty", from season two. Walter Bishop smokes some special dope, and then entertains Olivia's niece Ella by telling her a story in which Olivia is a hard-boiled private detective in a world of Anachronism Stew. Walter's story has obvious resonances to the main plot, but the whole episode boils down to him doing some child-minding. Made all the more jarring by coming right after some serious, dramatic episodes about Walter's relationship with his son Peter.
  • Grace and Frankie, "The Retreat": Grace gets a surprise visit from the spirit of Frankie's friend Babe, who died a few seasons back. Babe imparts some advice, takes a swig of Grace's moonshine, reveals that she and Frankie are in regular contact, and vanishes back into the aether.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
    • The 4th season episode "... And Fancy Free", in which Hercules enters a dance competition. Nothing rests on this competition other than his partner's self esteem, and a nice trophy. The town magistrate finds this competition important enough that he spends most of the episode sending assassins after Hercules and his partner to stop them from winning. No other motivation is given, he just wants his daughter to win. It guest stars Michael Hurst in drag as the dance instructor.
    • "Stranger in a Strange World", which is referred to as a "Bizarro World episode" by the writer in the interviews feature on the DVD. This episode features an alternate universe with Hercules an evil tyrant marrying Aphrodite, the Xena cast in different roles, and a battle using a wedding cake. And Iolaus as a jester.
    • There is a later episode featuring the same characters in struggle over fashion...which is about as pointless as "...And Fancy Free". Also no explanation is given as to why the town magistrate has apparently given up his duties to go into the world of ancient Greek fashion.
    • The episode set in the present day which is all about Kevin Sorbo having gone missing, and features the memorable and hysterical restroom whistling scene.
    • There was another one where the cast goes on a teamwork-building retreat hosted by Sunny Day (played by Renee O'Connor; normal role Gabrielle). It leads to a Scooby Doo ending where Sunny is revealed to be B.S. Hollinsfoffer (played by Robert Trebor, normal role Salmoneus), who is 1. a lot taller than Sunny, 2. at least a hundred pounds heavier, and 3. male, and concludes with Ares revealing himself to the cast. On top of that, most of them aren't even all that surprised to learn that Greek god of war is real; one of them even claims "I find the thought rather comforting myself."
  • Heroes:
    • The two-part episode "The Eclipse", in which an eclipse randomly and inexplicably removes all the characters' powers. We never found out how or why this happened, and none of the events of those episodes were ever mentioned again.
    • And this is just the most notorious example. Heroes has a lot of Bizarro episodes. If you watch the previous seasons, keep track of how many new characters and storylines are introduced vs. how many are still acknowledged in newer episodes.
  • The Honey, I Shrunk the Kids episode "Honey, I'm Spooked". It involves the spirit of a pint-sized clown showing up and weird things happening to the Szalinskis, such as turning Nick into a ficus and Diane regressing into childhood. The episode is also heavy on the horror, seeing as part of it has a malevolent spirit take over Amy and cause her to talk in Evil Sounds Deep while flashing a Slasher Smile.
  • The B-plot of the How I Met Your Mother episode "The Mermaid Theory", in which Future!Ted's usually impressive memory breaks down while telling his kids about a fight Lily and Barney once had, and he starts describing things that make no sense, like a motorcycle roaring through McLarens, Barney magically levitating a beer bottle, or Barney and Lily switching personalities; then going "Wait, wait, that's not right" and starting the whole story over again. This causes an unusually high degree of Medium Awareness on the parts of "Barney" and "Lily", who are shown referring to the topic of their fight in-dialogue as "something" ("I'm still mad at you because of something!") because Ted can't remember what they were upset about, and at one point they wind up suspended in limbo, casting glares at the screen and checking their watches impatiently while Future!Ted mutters "um...hang on...let me see..." to himself.
  • "iSpace Out" from iCarly has a BLAM subplot, with a random little girl wandering into the apartment when Spencer is there, and not doing anything until she walks out again; it takes up half the time of the episode and literally nothing happens or is resolved. "iMake Sam Girlier"'s entire plot was Sam wanting to get a boyfriend; she tries to act more girly, but in the end Be Yourself wins out. The guy vanishes and is never spoken of again, not even to explain why. Another Spencer B-Plot (to use the term loosely) just has Spencer wandering around the house doing nothing in between other scenes.
  • iCarly and Victorious each aired an April Fools' Day episode back to back. Both were utterly nonsensical episodes. Nothing made sense, and it was completely random. There was No Fourth Wall.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has "The Gang Does a Clip Show", which starts off as an ordinary Clip Show but then things get weirder with a second Charlie and the gang as the cast of Seinfeld.
  • Kamen Rider is something of a tradition for a couple of episodes around episode 30 of each series to be a bit...different.
    • Kamen Rider Blade had a two-parter where an amnesiac Hajime gets mistaken for an Identical Stranger and gets involved in the Romeo and Juliet-esque feud between their families...over takoyaki and taiyaki. The guy whose life Hajime "stole" ends up teaming up with the rival family and entering a Cooking Duel while wearing an electric suit of Powered Armor, and helps him fight the Monster of the Week by smacking her in the face with a burning-hot taiyaki pan. This actually got acknowledged in the Playstation 2 Blade game, which has the "Taiyaki Master Ultimate Form" as a Joke Character.
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto had the Dark Kitchen arc, featuring cooking duels and food that can manipulate emotions, and very little actual Kamen Rider action (just one or two obligatory action scenes disconnected from the plot).
    • Kamen Rider Double had the Nightmare Dopant two-parter, where the Monster of the Week has power over dreams. Akiko gets a dream where the entire cast (minus Shotaro) is Osakan and she gets to be Double, while Shotaro has to fall asleep while transformed into Double (in the middle of a soccer pitch for some reason) to pursue it, ending up in a Jidai Geki story because of the samurai TV series Akiko had recently gotten him into. And that's just the first part!
    • Kamen Rider OOO had 2 episodes celebrating the 999th and 1000th episodes of the franchise, which got insanely Meta. Mr. Kougami announces that he's going to celebrate the 1000th episode of Kamen Rider by making a movie with Eiji as the star, Ankh as the villain and Date as the director, but things get derailed when a former Shocker Combatman contracts with Kazari to get revenge for all the monsters and Mooks who've been defeated by the Riders over the decades.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim had three separate episodes where the plot was put on hold so Toei could advertise an upcoming movie. The first had Kouta and friends meet the Resha Sentai ToQGers as a prelude to Heisei Rider Vs Showa Rider Kamen Rider Wars Featuring Super Sentai, the second advertised Kikaider REBOOT by having Jiro wander into Zawame City with amnesia and briefly get adopted by Kouta and Akiranote , and the third advertised Gaim's own Summer movie by having Kaito stumble into a parallel universe where the Armored Riders play soccer and two real-life soccer players help fight a monster...by kicking a flaming soccer ball at it. Needless to say, Gen Urobuchi had nothing to do with these episodes and most Gaim fans who recommend the show to friends will advise them to skip these episodes outright.
  • The Kids in the Hall episode "Chalet 2000" was one long Buddy Cole sketch (with its own credit sequence), and to top it off, Queen Elizabeth appears and ends up sleeping with a talking beaver.
  • Lexx:
    • Part of the charm of the series is that the normal status quo is what would be a Bizarro Episode in most shows, but it still has a few Bizarro episodes by its own standards. The most obvious is the fourth-season episode A Midsummer's Nightmare, where the crew is trapped in the fairie kingdom by Oberon, who seeks a new bride to replace Titania. Oberon is gay, Titania is a male midget crossdresser, Puck is Camp Gay, Kai ends up turning into a tree while dancing and singing, Stanley nearly marries Oberon and gets as far as putting on the wedding dress... Oberon even admits that he has zero understanding of the show's cosmology, lampshading how the batshit insanity everyone is going through just plain doesn't fit into it.
    • Icing on the cake in A Midsummer's Nightmare is that the episode was relocated from New Age hub Glastonbury to Battersea Power Station, due to a real life outbreak of foot and mouth disease
    • In the fourth-season episode "Prime Ridge", the crew (having been unable to find the Lexx's key for several episodes) decide that they have nothing to do, and so they buy a house in a small-town neighbourhood (which is being sold by Britt Ekland). 790 hacks an ATM. The crew live in it for several days. Stanley sleeps on the lawn for some unexplained reason, and then gets hit on by said real estate agent and her daughter. Xev gets a job as a stress counsellor (despite having no resume or references) and the whole episode culminates in a giant firefight between the FBI and a pair of stoned teenagers wielding machine guns. Xev, Stan and Kai get in a car and drive away, and never mention the incident again for the rest of the series.
  • Lizzie McGuire has the episode where Lizzie and Matt switch bodies.
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show had an episode where each of the major male characters imagined what it would be like if they were married to Mary.
  • Miami Vice: "Missing Hours," in which Trudy is abducted by an alien played by James Brown while two government agents try to cover up his existence.
  • "The Cycling Tour" episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Not only does it have the same plot throughout, whereas most episodes were a series of sketches, but it does not begin with the usual theme music and animation.
  • The Muppet Show had a few episodes where both the skits and main plot had the same theme (the Vincent Price and Alice Cooper episodes were both themed around spooky things, for instance), but those weren't nearly as bizarre as episodes where the plot and skits revolved around the Muppets acting out a story as different characters, such as the Liza Minnelli (a murder mystery with Kermit as a detective, Liza as his romantic interest, Fozzie as Patrol Bear, most of the Muppet cast as murder victims, and Statler and Waldorf as the murderers), Brooke Shields (a re-telling of Alice in Wonderland), and Lynn Redgrave (a re-telling of Robin Hood) episodes. Especially weird about the first and last is that the plot continues to play out backstage, when nobody in the Muppet Theater's audience could see what was going on.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • A sixth season episode featuring Last of the Wild Horses has the first segment take place in a Mirror Universe where Frank and Dr. Forrester are the test subjects.
    • Quest of the Delta Knights had Pearl in the theater quipping with the bots while Mike hung out with Observer and Bobo on the planet below. A subversion, since neither changed their personalities.
    • Prince of Space in a big way: Mike and the Bots end up in a wormhole. Shape-shifting, time displacement and general insanity ensue.
  • Naturally, Sadie: The Halloween Episode "Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun" has Hal's new girlfriend distributing bracelets that turn most of the regular cast (and the school) into zombies, only for the day to saved by Extraverted Nerd Ron Yuma, who apparently has a secret second life as a monster hunter (based on his extensive knowledge of zombie films). A radical departure for a 'slice of life' teen comedy, its events are never referenced again. It feels like it should have been an All Just a Dream episode.
  • NewsRadio had two special episodes that were set out of continuity: one featuring the staff of a radio station in space, and another where they run a radio station on the Titanic.
  • The final episode of Shaun Micallef's news parody Newstopia was a full episode of "Inspector Herring" the black and white, Russian language show within a show, about a Soviet Police inspector that happens to be a fish. The plot revolved around a plan to assassinate Andre Rieu, which succeeds.
  • The Odd Couple had a flashback episode that parodied the James Bond films and featured Felix and Oscar's fathers.
  • Even Police Stop! isn't immune to this. The episode Police Stop! 3 has subjects that are never mentioned again for the rest of the series and doesn't mention the United Kingdom very much. The same can be said for Police Stop! 4, its sequel that followed in 1995, which had no idents between episodes. This is surprisingly rare for a documentary to do such things. However, your opinion will differ on this. If you do wish to see the series, watch it on ITV4, it's nearly always shown as reruns.
  • Power Rangers:
  • The Prisoner (1967):
    • Significantly, it did this twice, in the episodes "Living In Harmony" and "The Girl Who Was Death" — both of which massively change the entire format of the show just to fuck with The Protagonist and the audience. "Girl Who Was Death" wasn't even devised as a Prisoner episode but was based upon a leftover script for the predecessor series Danger Man (for which it would have been a bizarro episode, too). The episode, however, isn't completely bizarro as it was simply No. 6 telling a group of Village children a bedtime story. However, the presence of children in the Village (hitherto and afterwards never referenced) makes the episode a bizarro in another way.
    • There was also "Do Not Forsake Me Oh my Darling", which Patrick McGoohan isn't even in, where the Powers That Be basically put Number 6's brain in some other guy and send him on an errand outside of The Village for them. This was sort of a Real Life Writes the Plot episode; Patrick McGoohan was off making Ice Station Zebra when this episode was filmed.
  • Roseanne had some of these, to the point where it may not even count anymore. To set out a brief list, there were a few Halloween Episodes that seemingly broke reality, a few episodes that were All Just a Dream, and toward the end of the series, plenty of them, such as episodes where Roseanne posed for Playboy, won Miss Universe, and, well actually the entire final season was this after they won the lottery. Which is actually explained in the finale as a series of stories written by Roseanne as a way to deal with her grief over losing Dan to his heart attack earlier in the series.
  • seaQuest DSV "Knight of Shadows". It's a Halloween episode, and does at least try to give the OOC characters some excuses. But still, it was a low point for the otherwise shining season 1.
  • Seinfeld:
    • Virtually the trope-namer: the season eight episode "The Bizarro Jerry" posited an alternative world where the show's male characters are re-imagined as sensitive, enlightened and supportive.
    • "The Chinese Restaurant" and "The Parking Garage", which place the central characters in an unfamiliar setting from which they spend the full 22 minutes struggling to free themselves.
    • "The Opposite", where George takes a vow to suppress all his usual instincts and finds that his life is transformed into an unqualified success. To redress the cosmic balance, Elaine, whose life had always been somewhat successful is suddenly beset by a sequence of failures. She soon realises, "I've become George!"
    • "The Chicken Roaster", where Jerry and Kramer switch apartments and, as a result, temporarily develop each others' personality traits.
    • "The Butter Shave", where all three main male characters begin the episode with incongruous mustaches.
    • "The Merv Griffin Show", where Kramer installs the set from the eponymous talk show in his apartment. As a result, the show's discussion scenes, which usually take place in Jerry's apartment or the coffee shop, follow the formula of a talk show with Kramer as the host.
    • "The Betrayal" (also known as "The Backwards Episode"), in which the episode's scenes are played in reverse order.
    • And, of course, "The Finale", in which many of the show's past characters are summoned to court to testify against the main group. At the end of the episode, the typical "coffee shop" conversation takes place in a prison lock-up. In the final credits, the show's characteristic "stand-up" set now takes place in a prison rec-room (with a VERY hostile audience).
  • Sesame Street also enters this territory when the main plots are about characters starring in a story. At least two or three episodes from the '90s framed these as the Muppets and humans putting on a play.
  • One of the defining traits of The Shield was its relentless forward momentum... except in "Co-Pilot", a flashback episode which not only stalled out the momentum of Season Two, but also makes no sense, as it tries to explain how all the characters became who they are in a single day. Apparently the Strike Team became corrupt, Dutch and Claudette became friends, and Aceveda developed his political ambition all on the same day, and that day *also* happens to be the first day The Barn is in operation. It's totally unnecessary, and the specific explanations of why everyone is who they are only detract from the show. It's best disregarded as canon, skipped on first watch, and only viewed as a curiosity later.
  • Smallville: "Hex" and "Fortune", both episodes involving, essentially, Zatanna screwing with the main cast; the first time is at least largely unintentional and just trying to make them happier. The second, she's flat out trolling them. Both are rather insane, running on Rule of Fun, and provide a great deal of hilarity. "Fortune" does, however, write out Chloe, marrying her to Oliver, so it does connect to the season's plot. Given how important Chloe is to the show previously, it also counts as a WHAM Episode.
  • Episode 200 of Stargate SG-1, which Word of God states is out of continuity. "Window of Opportunity" also counts. Golfing through the Stargate, resigning to kiss someone of a lower rank, cycling through the tunnels of the base with a bicycle bell...
  • Star Trek:
    • The Mirror Universe episodes, where most of the characters are downright evil or entirely different than what is expected. Just to add to this, there is no Federation; instead, the Terran Empire exists in its place — up until Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, that is, when the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance defeats them and conquers Earth (Though they aren't much better).
    • Enterprise's "In a Mirror, Darkly" two-partner is an excellent example. While the other episodes crossover between the two universes, this one was set entirely in the Mirror Universe. Except for the Defiant that had somehow ended up in the Mirror Universe. That's the Defiant from TOS episode "The Tholian Web", not the one from Deep Space Nine. The Enterprise production team went balls-to-the-wall and combined this trope with a Breather Episode full of Fanservice and soft-core Continuity Porn, plus the entire cast in Large Ham mode and obviously having tremendous fun.
    • Also, three episodes (one in TOS, one in TNG and another in ENT) involve a Negative Space Wedgie that causes the crew to do the Mushroom Samba.
    • The TOS episode "Plato's Stepchildren" is just so freakin' weird that were it not for the interracial kiss, most fans would probably consider it a Let Us Never Speak of This Again episode. Notable plot points involve alien Mind Rape, Spock in a toga singing, and Kirk being ridden by a dwarf.
    • Certainly a number of first-season episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation would count as this trope.
      • In "Hide and Q", Q gives Riker the powers of the Q continuum, who grants the characters wishes, and teenage Wesley Crusher wishes to be 10 or so years older. Then suddenly, BAAM he's transformed into a strapping, tall and exceptionally hunky man. We then cut to Geordi LaForge leering at the new Wesley and saying, "Hey, Wes. Not bad." It has been noted by several sources that LaForge was originally supposed to be gay, but this is the only time it appears to be shown on screen, in this season one episode. Thereafter, it is NEVER EVER EVER EVER mentioned again, and the LaForge character eventually falls in love with a holodeck character then eventually an actual woman, and they live happily ever after. BLAM.
      • Similarly to "Plato's Stepchildren" mentioned above, this is averted in the case of "The Naked Now". Although it fully appears as though this is a Let Us Never Speak of This Again episode, the fact that Data and Tasha Yar were "intimate" together and implied to have had sex is mentioned in later episodes, notably in "The Measure Of A Man" where it is used to help establish Data's sentience. It even gets a Call-Back much, much later in Star Trek: First Contact with Data telling the Borg Queen that he is "fully functional" in the sex department.
      • "Justice". The crew of the Enterprise is schmoozing with what appears to be a pre-warp culture, when Wesley knocks over an outdoor decoration and is sentenced to death. And even though the Prime Directive didn't prevent them from making contact with this planet, all of a sudden it prevents Picard from saving Wesley. For no plot-relevant reason whatsoever, the inhabitants of this planet all dress in barely-there loincloths and have a preoccupation with sex. Rumor has it that Gene Roddenberry added this to the plot after they changed the planet from a floating military fortress housing incredibly xenophobic aliens to an idyllic paradise. Because naturally Paradise means Everyone Has Lots of Sex.
      • "Conspiracy" is another TNG example of this. Starfleet command has apparently been infiltrated by parasitic slugs that inhabit the brain of the host creature. This is obviously an event of considerable political magnitude, but it is never again referenced. However, it was foreshadowed several episodes earlier, making it a kind of Aborted Arc.note  It is explored a little further in the Expanded Universe.
      • The season 7 episode "Genesis". Everyone except Picard and Data de-evolved into prehistoric creatures, Troi was amphibious, Worf was almost like a rhino-Klingon and considered her his mate, Riker was a caveman, Barclay was a human-spider hybrid, Nurse Ogawa was an ape, and, perhaps the most Fridge Logic-y of all, Spot the cat de-evolved into an iguana.
    • The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Threshold". So Tom Paris breaks the "transwarp barrier", right? And this results in being in every location in the universe at once. Somehow this makes him evolve into a higher order of being... which turns out to be a Mudkip-like lizard thing who can't breathe air. He kidnaps The Captain and they run away in said transwarp barrier-breaking ship. They are discovered within range and the crew find them on a beach together having just had a small litter of Mudkip babies. (Repeat: Paris had children with Cap'n Janeway. While they were both Mudkips.) The babies are still out there presumably but everything else is reset with "antimatter injections." Got all that? Okay, because this is the one episode out of all the Star Trek episodes ever made that is considered Canon Discontinuity, to the point that in "Timeless", Tom Paris himself mentions that he has never traveled in transwarp before. Never.
      The Agony Booth:: Chakotay says, "I don't know how I'm going to enter this into the log." Preferably, by pounding your head against the console.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine went off the rails a few times late in the series, producing such bizarro episodes as "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", where Sisko drags the DS9 crew into a holodeck baseball game, and "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang", the Ocean's Eleven knockoff where the main cast pull off a heist to save the holodeck lounge singer Vic Fontaine from a gangster. (No, it doesn't make sense in context.)
    • Star Trek: Enterprise has one of the rare examples of this trope churning out a great episode: over dinner, T'Pol regales Archer and Trip with the tale of an ancestor of hers who lived on Earth over a century before First Contact.
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody has had a few over the years. In one episode, the twins travel to a parallel dimension where their parents never divorced. Oddly, this does not have an "All Just a Dream" ending. Another episode involves time-travel to a distant future on a cruise ship in space. This episode turned out to be a story Zack made up to explain why he didn't do his homework, but for some reason, clips from this episode comprise most of the final season's Title Sequence, making the show appear to be a sci-fi series.
  • Supernatural:
    • Once or twice a season the series will include a comedy episode, with a ridiculous plot which is just an excuse to use situations like 'Sam and Dean are suddenly trapped on the set of this weird TV show called Supernatural, and we are now going to spend 40 minutes making fun of our own premise, crew, actors, and viewing figures'.
    • The Poorly Disguised Pilot "Bloodlines" for a cancelled spinoff stands out. For starter, Sam and Dean barely appear in the episode and are uncharacteristically useless. The plot is about the rivalry between five monster families that are secretly running Chicago's underbelly along with an impossible romance between a male shapeshifter and a female werewolf. The portrayal of those monsters is drastically divergent with the show’s canon (for example: the shapeshifters can change their appearance without having to shed their skins. Only the Alpha shapeshifter had this ability). Because of the cancellation, all plotlines are Left Hanging and the fact that Chicago is secretly run by monsters is never mentioned again.
    • Season 13 gives us an episode crossover with Scooby-Doo of all things. This one however was well received.
  • Super Sentai has this for its Samurai Sentai Shinkenger iteration in the form of its Direct to DVD movie. Released after the end of the series run, it talks of the team 'returning,' since they part at the end. The team is together for the whole movie, and then there's the content itself. There's also the now-traditional DVD shorts that both Sentai and its block-mate Kamen Rider give out yearly in Telebi-kun Magazine. A lot of these are very nonsensical even compared to other filler episodes within the series.
  • Taken: "Acid Tests" is unusual in that it focuses most of its attention on Sam Crawford uncovering the existence of another Half-Human Hybrid named Lester in Alaska, which is only tangentially connected to the series' main story arc. Perhaps in recognition of this, none of the Alaska scenes feature narration from Allie Keys. Furthermore, it is the only episode to exclude one of the three families, namely the Clarkes. However, Tom Clarke does play an important off-screen role as he ruins Owen Crawford's career by making him think that the aliens created the Crop Circles.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles had a surreal, cyborg-free episode where Sarah is in a sleep clinic and is haunted by nightmares which are actually real, while the clinic is a hallucination caused by a one-off villain probing her mind.
  • True Jackson, VP: The episode "True Fear," features Amanda hiring a new male model from Transylvania that Lulu and Ryan believe is an actual vampire. The episode ends with True, Lulu, Ryan, Oscar and Amanda going through Ryan's photo history book and finding people who look a lot like the model at events such as The Civil War, Iwo Jima and The 1934 World Series, before Amanda laughs it off as silly, while the other four are terrified as a seemingly turned Mr. Madigan and Kopleman approach from behind her, with Amanda letting out an ear piercing scream in horror, before cutting to black, leaving the groups fate unknown.
  • The Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps episode "When Janet Killed Jonny" is one of these. It is an episode set outside of the main continuity, and is a "horror special", featuring many parodies of the horror genre (although it does contain many moments of terror, in a deviation from the show's usual formula). The episode features the cast breaking into the deserted Archer pub to drink the leftover beer, only to fall victim to the previously unmentioned "pub curse", which causes them to be "killed by the thing they love the most". As a result, the entire cast is killed off in an assortment of highly gruesome ways, only to later return as zombies.
  • UFO's episode "Mindbender" had Straker hallucinate that he was an actor in a TV series about UFOs. One memorable scene had him wandering around the actual UFO soundstage, showing the HQ and moonbase sets.
  • Ultra Series examples. All of these are directed by the late Akio Jissoji, well-known in the fanbase for his unorthodox style, raging from merely subversive to outright surrealist.
    • His work on the original Ultraman included such oddities as Episode 15, "Terror of the Cosmic Rays" (in which the Monster of the Week is a living drawing, prompting one of the most self-aware scenes ever when Ide asks why they simply don't find and erase the picture, only to be chided for suggesting an anticlimactic strategy) and Episode 34, "Gift from the Sky" (a borderline self-parody, in which Science Patrol and Ultraman are faced against a monster so heavy it cannot be moved away from Tokyo).
    • In Ultraseven, Jissoji gave us Episode 43 "Nightmare of Planet 4", in which the Monster of the Week is not a giant monster or a giant alien, but the android dictator of a world with a Nazi Germany-like society in which machines repress humans.
    • Episodes 37 "Flower" and 40 "Dream" of Ultraman Tiga feature surreal monsters (the kabuki-based alien Manon and the Living Dream Bakugon), nonsensical imagery, dream-like camerawork, and inspiration from Japanese poetry and theater, with one scene in the former episode featuring a brief shot where Tiga and Manon are fighting on a theater stage before switching back to the usual set.
    • From Tiga's Sequel Series Ultraman Dyna is "Monster Drama", in which an insane playwright brings a giant monster from his script to life using alchemy. The result is some incredible Mind Screw, including several backgrounds suddenly becoming manga art and a fight that can only be described as "What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?"
    • Episode 22 of Ultraman Max "The Butterfly's Dream", in which a writer for Ultraman Max is having a recurring dream where he is Kaito and keeps encountering a strange woman who creates a kaiju that will defeat Max — an amorphous egg-like entity called Madeus. Reality soon starts falling apart for both Kaito and the writer, with imagery of butterfly puppets and weird audio cues like train noises happening everywhere. It must be seen to be believed.
  • The 1980s War of the Worlds episode "Candle In The Night". This is a show that thrived on an overarching conspiracy by aliens to overthrow the Earth, interpersonal conflict between the cast and gratuitous violence that pushed the limits of what syndicated television could show...and someone decided that an entire episode should be focused on a supporting character having a birthday party. The plot follows one of the team members, Debi, who sneaks out of the Blackwood Project's headquarters to have a birthday party with a bunch of random kids she meets. There's no real tension or drama in the episode, and none of the characters or events are mentioned again.
  • Wolf Lake did this in the episode "Leader of the Pack", in which an incident is presented as narrated to a team of investigators by Graham Greene's character Sherman Blackstone. To say that he's an Unreliable Narrator is an understatement; the episode is hilarious and basically told from first-looney's point of view, with Blackstone admitting to telling the investigators the kind of story he would find fun to hear. Random daydreams and Fanservice are inserted into the story, and salacious elements such as a married pair of gay bank robbers who also happen to be brothers are included. Elements that would actually be pertinent to the story are glossed over, such as brushing off murders with comments such as "drinking problem".
    Interviewer: According to my notes, he swallowed two ounces of sulphuric acid, mixed into a White Russian.
    Blackstone: That's the worst thing you can do to someone with a drinking problem.
  • Similarly, Charlie Drake's Brit Com The Worker ended its original black and white run with an episode in which Drake is confused to discover that he's actually a comedian in a Brit Com. Drake seemingly liked this ending so much he used a variation of it a few years later when the show was revived in colour. There's another episode in which Drake's character gets hit on the head by a boomerang (a deliberate aversion of Drake's song "My Boomerang Won't Come Back") and suffers some weird hallucinations, ending with a trial in which he is the judge, jury, barrister and defendant.
  • The fifth season episode of Xena entitled "Married With Fishsticks" which mostly forgets about the story arc going on at the time to do a pointless filler episode where the feuding Aphrodite and Discord accidentally send Gabrielle into this alternate world where she's a mermaid, and is entirely populated with mer people. The whole thing is weird even by this show's standards, and ends with it apparently being All Just a Dream as Gabrielle wakes up back with Xena. The people behind the show were well aware that this one wasn't their finest moment, and even did some micromanaging of the schedule to make sure it didn't get the distinction of being the show's 100th episode.
  • The X-Files did this a few times, most notably in its "Rashomon"-Style episodes "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" and "Bad Blood". Then there's "Post-Modern Prometheus", which is filmed entirely in black and white and ends with a song-and-dance number featuring a Cher lookalike (after Mulder had effectively broken the fourth wall because he decided the original ending sucked). And Jerry Springer was in it, too.
  • The Young Ones could be considered to consist of little else. There are indeed plotlines within episodes, but they don't connect to other episodes, and are often derailed partway through. Sometimes they are not even resolved.


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