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Episode Gush / Western Animation

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NOTE: Due to the sizable nature of the page, and the fact that it will keep growing, please try to keep them in alphabetical order by series on this page so it doesn't delve into chaos and confusion.

  • Adventure Time's "I Remember You". It's soul-crushing, but it's also a beautifully crafted episode filled with emotion and realistic character interaction, as well as adding new dimensions to some major characters. And all this from such a seemingly silly, trippy show.
    • The Sequel Episode to "I Remember You", "Simon and Marcy". The setting is dark, and it doesn't try to hide the grimness of the world they currently live in, but Simon and Younger Marceline's love for each other is so heartwarming, their interaction is so perfect and believable, not to mention the beginning where Jake questions why they invited Ice King. Her answer? 'Because I love him.' Plus, theres something that just strikes me as sweet about Finn and Jake playing basketball with Simon on friendly terms, no animosity.
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  • Angelina Ballerina: "Angelina's Surprise" is a great episode. Angelina does do a bit of her moping, but doesn't just lie down and admit defeat when she thinks her lie has backfired, she actually tries to think of plans to deal with it in creative and funny ways. It also does the "misunderstanding" plot very well and has a good definition of the difference between lies vs. exaggerations.
  • Arthur has "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", where Binky is embarrassed about holding his mother's hand. It ends up with him standing up to the Tough Customers, but they don't think it's a big deal and Molly even holds her own mother's hand. Plus, there's the hilarious subplot of George thinking he's not allowed to talk.
  • I could gush about almost all the episodes from Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra here, as they are tied for my favorite show of all time, but the crowner for both of them has to go to "Day of the Colossus"/"The Last Stand", the 2-part Grand Finale of Korra. With Varrick and Zhu Li getting married, the sob-worthy death and redemption of Hiroshi, Wu being perfect, the absolutely brutal smack-down between Korra and Kuvira with intense trumpet music backing it, Mako finally redeeming himself from the first two seasons by being willing to sacrifice himself to blow up the Spirit Core, Korra finally reaching the peak of her character development and Energybending a spirit blast big enough to rip open a whole new spirit portal, Korra and Asami becoming an Official Couple, and the fact that the episode centers around Team Avatar fighting a GIANT ROBOT, it was a near-perfect finale that reduced me to a sobbing wreck.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • "Heart of Ice": The first truly great episode of the series, it moved Mister Freeze from joke villain to tragic Anti-Villain. Beautiful and heartbreaking.
    • "Beware the Gray Ghost": A loving tribute to past heroes, with a brilliant guest turn from Adam West as a actor famous for playing a superhero. Two generations of Batman teaming up? Oh, hell yes.
    • "Almost Got 'Im": A great little story focusing on the villains with a great twist. Killer Croc's moment is hilarious.
  • Bojack Horseman: Ones of Bojack's greatest episodes is "Free Churro". The entire episode is just Bojack delivery the eulogy at his mother's funeral, but since the dialogue is so well done, you barely notice the time go by. The eulogy really explores more of Bojack's dysfunctional relationship he had with his parents, while also exploring his own character.
  • One of Family Guy's most infamous Meg-centered episodes, "Dial Meg for Murder", had me with my eyes open as Meg finally dishes out what everyone has been giving her for years. She curb stomps Peter, beats up the popular kids for picking on her, and at the end, there's a Pet the Dog and a CMOH with Meg and Brian with Brian telling Meg that she is "far sweeter and kinder than the typical American girl." Everything then goes back to normal. Awwww.
    • "New Kidney in Town". It's full of soft, funny and heartwarming moments. Chris with his crotch on fire, Brian willing to die to let Peter live, Stewie blowing snot bubbles crying his eyes out and a heartwarming ending with Chris and Meg. All capped off with Barack Obama singing "Honestly Sincere", this is one of the best post-cancellation shows ever.
    • "Life of Brian". I can't even begin to put my love for this episode into words To me, it's the single best episode Family Guy ever has done and ever will do. Yes, it's tragic, but so beautifully so! Everything about it was PERFECT. The late November airdate, the time-travel lead in, Stewie destroying the one way of saving Brian, Brian's death, his funeral (with everyone appearing), the new dog Vinny, even the buildup to it throughout 2013 (I mean, think about it: 1) episode title "Life of Brian" released back in January; 2) main character confirmed to be killed off; 3) family confirmed to get a new dog; 4) "the unthinkable" said to happen in the official summary!) Oh, and the fact that it was the very last episode in Brian's then-unbroken run of appearing in ''every single episode'', which was immediately shattered in the following episode! Oh my god, "Life of Brian" will always be the Series Finale for me, no matter how long the series goes on for. Brian is my absolute favorite character on Family Guy and him dying was the most tragic and emotionally effecting things I think the show could do. But it did it so perfectly that this isn't just my all-time favorite Family Guy episode, but quite possibly one of the greatest pieces of animation ever made. Ever!
      • This troper finds your opinion... interesting, considering how much the Life of Brian fiasco is hated by even loyal fans of the show. (Doesn't mean you can't like it.)
  • Futurama: "Jurassic Bark". One of the most heartbreaking episodes of a cartoon ever.
  • From Generation O!, we have...
    • "Damp Sheets". It's an episode about bed wetting, but it still manages to send a very powerful message. Molly is asked to sing "Favourite Son" to let everyone know that she approves of this guy, but the only trouble is, she doesn't because he's mean to his dog. He tells her that if she doesn't sing the song, he'll tell everyone her secret about having wet the bed once. So, she decides that she will tell everyone, at the same time revealing the dude's bad actions. She then sings a song about how she wet the bed, but it's not a big deal and they should get over it. There's also this hilarious moment.
      Mrs. O!: "You'll be surprised at who else has wet the bed!" (construction workers look embarrassed)
    • "Girls Rule, Boys Drool" is another episode with a powerful message. It's so rare these days to get an episode that supports girl power, but also acknowledges that boys and men are not inferior to girls and women. Molly, annoyed at her brother, writes a song about how "girls rule and boys drool", but that causes backlash with both her dad and her best friend (who's a boy). Eventually, the episode is resolved with a message that both sexes are equal. Much like "Damp Sheets", it regains its humour despite its powerful message (there are gags about Chadd actually drooling).
  • The Goof Troop episode, "O, R-V, I N-V U." PJ-centered episodes are always very good, and this one is no exception. However, three things in particular made this one stand out among the others: 1. It was the only episode that actively played with Pete and Max's Not So Different dynamic. That was even the major point of conflict, since it led to a Why Are You Not My Son? situation. 2. It contains one of the most heartwarming moments in the entire series, Goofy giving PJ a heart-to-heart and essentially telling him he's better than he thinks he is. And 3. Aside from the talk, he also got to save the day by excelling at the very thing Pete was heaping praise upon Max for. Talk about a nice meaty bone!
  • "Dark Harvest" is my favourite Invader Zim episode ever. Not only does the episode have some of the best and funniest moments on the show, but it's also genuinely unsettling and disturbing in the best way. One of these alone would make a great episode, but how the episode manages to combine excellent horror and excellent comedy without one overshadowing the other, makes this not only my favourite Invader Zim episode, but one of the best TV episodes ever.
  • The Jetsons: While "Elroy Meets Orbitty" does have the Jealous Pet and Tropey, Come Home cliches, it does a good job at portraying Pet Baby, Wild Animal in a new light— Orbitty doesn't cause trouble; in fact he fixes machines, and he actually gets to stay at the end. Besides, he's so cute.
  • Justice League: "Only a Dream." This has two major reasons why I love it. One - and I don't mean to give the Draco in Leather Pants-ers or Misaimed Fandom any fuel - Dr. Destiny, aka John Dee. This guy is a super-cool, super-loathsome villain. His powers afford a fascinating look into the psyches of the superheroes. And that brings me to my second reason, and that's Superman. The series seemed to delight in emphasizing (or maybe even creating) dark aspects of the Man of Steel, and I enjoyed the ability to see him as his old Ideal Hero self, being completely devastated by his worst fear - losing control and having to watch as he unintentionally kills the people he would give his life for.
  • Little Princess:
    • "I Want to Whistle" is a hilarious episode, especially with Princess's list of reasons why she wants to whistle, everyone discovering their skill (armpit farts, whistling, ear wiggling, etc), and when she shouts, "But most importantly, I can't whistle!"
    • "I Don't Want to Miss It" is another hilarious episode. Princess desperately wants to see something funny or exciting happening but keeps missing them by a whisker and some of them are genuinely funny (for instance, the Prime Minister being blown away by a kite).
  • From The Loud House:
    • "Friend or Faux?". Initially, Lisa doesn't see the point of friendship, but it leads to an adorable moment where Darcy gives a sulking Lisa a cookie despite Lisa having offended her earlier because "that's what friends do" and Lisa finally understands the point of friends— they make you feel better.
    • "11 Louds a-Leapin'" manages to have emotional moments (Mr. Grouse misses his family and the Louds help cheer him up), but still plenty of humour (Lori tries not to open presents, Leni makes dresses from curtains and decorations, Luna tries to write a song, Luan makes the Twelve Puns of Christmas, Lucy tries to contact the Ghost of Christmas Past, and Lana tries to catch a reindeer). Also, it isn't too sad as missing his family isn't the sole reason Mr. Grouse is a Grumpy Old Man, but rather why he hates Christmas.
    • "Head Poet's Anxiety" has some nice Character Development for Lucy (in "Sleuth or Consequences?", she had self esteem issues, in this episode she loses them) with help from Luan, who acts like a cool big sister. And even though she's jealous of Lucy for getting to perform in the theatre before her, she tries very hard to be happy for her and tells her not to give up just because she's jealous. At the end, Lucy writes a heartwarming poem about Luan.
    • "Project Loud House" is another episode with lots of humour (Luan's bucket pranks, baby Lily taking her clothes off, the girls' different breakfasts, etc) and an emotional message (Lincoln's life is chaos but it's all Worth It).
    • "Shop Girl"! I thought I was going to hate it because I thought it would be another 'nice guys (or in Leni's case, girls) finish last' plot, but I was proven dead wrong when Leni actually wins by being nice! So good to see a positive message like that for a change, and in a comedy to boot.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "Twilight's Kingdom". In my opinion, best MLP episode. It has perhaps the best animation of whole show, Character Development for Twilight and, surprisingly, Discord. Tirek is a badass Big Bad, has nice songs and is very soulcrashing, but that just makes the ending more more satisfying. Oh, and did I mention an awesome fight between Tirek and Twilight?!. Show for little girls my butt.
    • "The Crystal Empire". The score is amazing, and the animation is beautiful, especially the The Crystal Forms, and the climax is a thing to behold.
    • The Perfect Pear" is easily among the best the show has ever produced. Many were pushed to tears by the story, which amazingly condenses a life-long romance into a 22 minutes long narrative, all the while also showing how it affects the Apple Siblings, who act as Audience Surrogate throughout the episode. The musical number and the amazing visuals and attention to detail all add for what's considered by some to be the very, very best episode in the entirety of the show.
    • "A Dog and Pony Show". Rarity gets kidnapped, but isn't a stereotypical Damsel in Distress and actually uses her whining to exploit the dogs who kidnapped her (because they hate how it sounds and would do anything to stop the whining). It's also hilarious when she starts to whine.
      Dog 1: "Enough with your whining! It hurts!"
      Rarity: "Whining?! I am not whining! I am complaining! Do you want to hear whining? (whiny voice) This is whining! Oh, this harness is too tight! It's going to stain! Can't you loosen it?! Oh, it hurts and it's so mucky! Why didn't you clean it first?! It's gonna leave a stain! The wagon's too heavy! Why do I have to pull it?!!"
      Dog 2: "Ah! Make it stop!"
      Dog 1: "Stop whining!"
      Rarity: (still whining) "But I thought you wanted whining!"
  • Peg + Cat has "The Roxanne Problem": Cat feels shy around this cat called Roxanne because he wants her to think he's smart and thinks she knows a lot more than him. Pretty standard, right? You'd think so, but the way they do it is not standard at all. First of all, due to a mix-up, Peg has to say the words while Cat lip-synchs, which is just so funny, and it ends with a really cool song with a message both kids and adults can take home about how "you can learn". Plus, Roxanne, despite being an Implied Love Interest, actually has a personality, unlike some poorly-written Love Interests.
  • Phineas and Ferb's "Summer Belongs to You". It is the obligatory beloved episode for a reason. Not only is the concept itself of going around the world in only a day just great, but it's filled to the brim with character development, humor, and the usual catchy songs. I could go on forever about why it's nearly perfect, but there's only so much room on this page. It's bigger than a normal episode without feeling padded, and knows who needs a big arc, and who needs just a small one, and has a fantastic message and ending song ontop of that. It's really as good as fans say it is.
  • Ready Jet Go!: "Holidays in Boxwood Terrace", the show's very first Christmas Episode. It's a very heartwarming episode from beginning to end. I'm quite fond of plots relating to theatre, so I found the main plot of Jet directing a Christmas play with his friends to be highly interesting. Some of the dialogue here is some of the funniest in the show's history. But at the same time, however, Jet has been informed by his comrades of an elusive entity known as the Spirit of Christmas. Enter Mitchell, who Jet hires to find it for him while he directs the play. If you're familiar with the show, Mitchell is known to be a Jerk every now and again. But this episode reveals the reason why - he's lonely. He always acts like he hates Jet and his friends, but all he wants to do is make friends with them. Since he has No Social Skills, he doesn't know how to ask. When it comes time for the pageant, Sean arrives on stage to sing his highly-anticipated finale song.... and gets Performance Anxiety. Mitchell, who was sulking behind the stage, starts singing the song, and is pulled on stage. As he's singing (about The Power of Friendship / the True Meaning of Christmas, no less), he is joined by Jet, Sydney, and Mindy ( and later Sean). He discovers, that, in real time, he's being invited in. The pageant is a huge success, and at the end of the episode, Mitchell confesses that he wanted to be part of the show, but didn't know how to ask. The rest of the kids reassure him that he can always be part of whatever they're doing. Then, the cast gathers around to watch the snow gently fall, and Jet announces that he has finally learned the Spirit of Christmas - friendship.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: "Wacky Delly". One of the funniest television cartoons ever. It has to be seen to be believed.
  • One of the most famous episodes of The Simpsons from its Golden Age, "Cape Feare". Almost universally agreed as the best Sideshow Bob episode, it's the first time he goes after Bart directly and easily one of the funniest. Additionally, it was one of the first Simpsons episodes to have the entire plot as a movie parody. Finally, it gave us classic gags such as "The Bart, The", "Bart, you wanna see my chainsaw and hockey mask?" and the rake scene.
    • Another classic episode is "Marge vs. the Monorail". The opening parody of The Flintstones is hilarious and things only get better from there. Lyle Lanley is a perfect villain with a catchy tune to convince the town to buy the monorail, which eventually breaks down and endangers everyone on board. The jokes all work and Leonard Nimoy's cameo is perfect. Since the episode was written by Conan O'Brien, it was bound to be a fan favorite.
    • And you just can't hate "Homer's Enemy".
      • Actually, this episode is a massive Broken Base. Either you absolutely love it, or downright hate it. This troper is in the middle, but can see how people could be in either camp.
    • "22 Short Films about Springfield" is an entire episode dedicated to the side characters that we know and love as they all get a minute long episode. Such as Apu wanting to go to a party, but can only be there for 5 minutes, Skinner and Chalmers having lunch together where Skinner accidently burns his house down and Dr. Nick at the risk of being fired unless he can perfom some surgery where he dosen't kill someone. It's a simple episode that just kinda shoots the shit for a while.
  • South Park:
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: "Graveyard Shift", because it's perfect for Halloween without getting campy.
  • Can I talk about "Rise of the Old Masters", Episode 3 of Star Wars Rebels first season? Because it's epic.
    • The Grand Inquisitor is easily the epitome of Evil Is Cool in the show's first season, and his debut in ROTOM is AMAZING. His Big Entrance alone makes it one of the show's best episodes, but then they go and top it off with a saber duel between him and Kanan, then end by having him chase the Rebels off Stygeon Prime.
    • Kanan goes through some serious Character Development in this episode, learning the true meaning of Yoda's There Is No Try, and how to become a good teacher to Ezra.
  • Steven Universe's "When It Rains". I absolutely loved Steven and Peridot's interaction in Catch and Release; it was adorable, funny, and really sweet. (And did I mention how adorable little Peridot is?) But then "When it Rains" came out, and that was even better! Steven explaining rain to calm Peridot's fears, Peridot experiencing rain for the first time (the look on her face is precious), Peridot feeling like she can trust Steven (especially with how scared she was in Catch and Release)...just, it really hit me in the feels, ya know? I can't wait to see more of these two!
  • For Star vs. the Forces of Evil, one of my favorite episodes is "Into the Wand" from season 2. It's the episode that not only answers some questions about the world's lore, but also brings up new mysteries, and it does it in a way that feels very natural. It explains how Toffee lost his finger and the conflict between Moon and Toffee while also setting up Eclipsa as an important character in the series. There is also more explanation about the wand, disturbing but interesting narwhals in the beginning of the episode, the Fairytale Motifs of Little Red Riding Hood, alternate timelines, and past memories. For all of these reasons, this makes for a very good, memorable episode.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine has multiple great episodes, but one great episode is "Henry's Hero" from the CGI era. The usual formula for stories on this show that involve two characters is that one character is right and one character is wrong. The wrong character gets their karma and the right character is the hero. Here, Henry and Hiro are both flawed protagonists. They both are given the job of taking a heavy train up a hill, but they take on bad coal, causing their funnels to billow black smoke. Hiro wants to get the job done in spite of the bad coal, but Henry fears for his health and wants to stay behind. The episode first has you see Hiro as being in the right and Henry as being in the wrong, but Hiro faces the consequences of the bad coal. Despite Henry staying behind, he is also in the right for being cautious about his health. The story is simple but the writing and characterizations are quite complex, as you can see both characters' perspectives, and in the end, Henry and Hiro both learn something from each other, all while having a great moral about determination.
  • Total Drama gives us the season six episode, "Scarlett Fever". In this one, contestant Scarlett turns out be Evil All Along and it's up to the rest of the characters to stop her from blowing up the island. I loved this one was because for the first time in the series, it feel like there was real stakes. In most episodes, the highest the stakes were raised was who would win a challenge. In this one, the remaining contestants were fitting for the right to live. And that's just the main plot. Between Jasmine and Shawn finally kissing, Shawn curbstomping a bunch of Chris robots and Max proving he can be clever, this is one for the history books.


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