Follow TV Tropes


Camping Episode

Go To

Spending time outdoors, walking, breathing fresh air, making food on a portable stove, sleeping under the sky—all in order to relax or have fun. Camping is interpreted widely here. Sleeping outdoors definitely counts, even in a garden, but a full-day hike also qualifies, especially if one prepares food and cooks outdoors. Tents aren't required either, boats can also qualify, or going to austere cabins.

In fiction, it can be used to provide an easy change of tempo or environment, and it also gives a strong backdrop for interpersonal dynamics, as the characters have to work together more closely in an often unfamiliar way. The goal of the characters to have fun or relax also makes it easy to set up and knock down expectations.

A Camping Episode is used to keep the story and the characters fresh by changing the circumstances for the characters, and having an excuse for them to grow. Other types of isolated stories within a work like single issues in a comic or a movie sequel that has the characters leave their usual setting to go camping would also be Camping Episodes. Because of the nature of this trope, you'll generally only see a work use a Camping Episode once or twice.

If just about everything goes wrong, it is a Horrible Camping Trip. See also Road Trip Plot, Vacation Episode, Beach Episode. A common way to set up a Macho Disaster Expedition or Lots of Luggage (the latter of which usually shows up in Fancy Camping).

Might include a Bonfire Dance scene as well.

Has nothing to do with "Camp" (the exaggerated theatrical style) but you can have a campy camping episode.


    open/close all folders 

  • In Claude the Cat, one PSA is about not using gas in a caravan and another is about not using gas in a tent.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The episode Back To Nature serves as one for Adventures of the Little Koala. Ruebear, Floppy, and Nick manage to convince the girls to abandon their tennis game in favor of a bit of wilderness survival. Proves to be much harder than the kids thought, especially when the eschew all modern convenience in favor of making their own shelter, fire, tools, and even flatware. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Episode 34 of Boruto has the children deciding to go on camping before graduating. During the campfire, they talk about how much they changed since they entered the Ninja Academy and how far they have come, Iwabee shows that he has some talent for cooking, while Chocho laments about how she didn't change at all.
  • Episode 5 in Charlotte "The Sound Once Heard" when Yuu and the others camp out to find the flying kid.
  • Cipher Academy: Happens in Chapter 17, where all the students take a break from code-solving to make cakes. At Rokaku's insistence, they do it from "square one", by harvesting all of the ingredients, from wheat to milk, from the Academy's farmland. The chapter ends with everyone enjoying cake in the woods around a campfire.
  • In Episode 18 of Futari wa Pretty Cure MaX Heart, Nagisa, Honoka, and Hikari go out camping with Nagisa's family.
  • Discussed several times in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War with the student council debating whether they should take a group trip to either the mountains or the beach, though they never actually end up going on either one. The manga even ends with this same discussion coming up once again.
  • This was the focus of Episode 4 of the Little Lulu anime, where Lulu and Tubby and the rest of their friends are on a camping trip, where they are to take part in an endurance test.
  • Episode 22 of Sonic X (Summer Vacation Chao Observation Diary or if you go by the 4Kids version Little Chao Lost) Involves the main cast of the show (Bar Sonic who thought Camp didn't sound exciting to him) going on a camping trip to watch wildlife in which they end up discovering a Chao Garden that also catches Dr Eggman's interest.
  • Zombie Land Saga: In episode 10, "No Zombie No Idol Saga", Kotaro sends the girls on a camping expedition in the mountains a few weeks before the show at Arpino because having a big team-building exercise before a climactic event is just what's done.

    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 10 of Happy Heroes, the Supermen and Doctor H. see an advertisement for a hotel and decide they want to go there. When they arrive, they discover the supposed "hotel" is just a tent, the advertisement was from the cheapskate Mr. Lightbulb, and that the whole vacation is a simple camping trip. Nevertheless, the group spends the night at the camping site while Big M. and Little M. try to find food.
  • Mechamato: "Block World" features the boys of the main gang on a camping trip in the woods, where they find King Boxel's bizarrely blocky home after chasing a monkey that finished their food.
  • Episode 4 of the Mole's World animated series is about the main characters going out and camping outside.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episode 11 has the goats going on a camping trip. While there, Mr. Slowy gives Paddi some distress signal pants he can use to call the other goats if he needs help.

    Comic Books 
  • Impulse: Bart goes on a camping trip with Max that taxes his incredibly limited patience and attention span, while irritating Max who wonders if Bart listens to anything he says. Bart later goes on another camping trip with a couple of friends and their attempt to tell ghost stories around the campfire is interrupted by actual ghosts.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: In "The Legend of Rainbow and Stardust!" Diana and the Heyday triplets visit Etta Candy on her family's Texas ranch and have a camp out, during which they roast marshmallows and tell stories over the campfire before their trip is interrupted by rustlers.
  • Young Justice: The team goes on a camping trip, where Robin proves to be ridiculously prepared for Truth or Dare by having worn a mask under his mask, and Superboy shows signs of just how unhappy he is that he's not aging despite usually doing his best to be Totally Radical Fun Personified.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes usually had Calvin's family go on a camping trip every summer. Calvin never cared for these trips, though his father thought they were a great way to "build character." In the early years of the comic, Calvin would occasionally go on camping trips with a boy scout troop. Bill Watterson discontinued those (and replaced them with the family camping trip storylines) when he realized that Calvin would never willingly join the scouts.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

  • Angela Nicely: “The Tidiest Tent!” focuses on Angela and several other girls her age in a scout group going camping.
  • Roys Bedoys: In “Let’s Go Camping, Roys Bedoys!”, Roys learns a lesson about being prepared while on a camping trip with his friends, parents, and Loys.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the aptly-titled Are You Being Served? episode "Camping In," a transport strike forced the staff to stay overnight in the store using tents from the camping department.
  • In a first season episode of Barney & Friends, the group went on a camping trip in the woods, complete with scary stores and snacks by the campfire.
  • The B Plot of an episode of The Big Bang Theory had Howard, Leonard, and Raj camping out with the intent of seeing a meteor shower. Howard and Raj also had the intent on scoring women. The women they find were older, ex-hippies that gave them cookies which had a certain illegal substance baked into them unbeknownst to the guys. Intoxication and hilarity ensued.
  • The Brady Bunch:
    • The Bradys camp out in the season 1 episode "A Camping We Will Go'," where the girls have little camping experience, and the boys essentially spend the whole time mocking them.
    • When camping in the Grand Canyon in season 3, Bobby and Cindy get lost in the canyon; they're found by a resident Native American boy they befriended.
    • In season 5's "Out of This World," Bobby and Cindy camp out in the backyard hoping to see an alien.
  • 18 to Life: In "If a Bellow Falls in the Forest," nature is never the same when the families roll onto the campground in an immense RV. Tom and Jessie escape from their parents only to get lost in the woods.
  • An episode of Eureka has the men all go on a camping trip. This being Eureka, there are tents with AIs, gadgets to start fires, and they wind up being chased by a robotic spider. All in all, an average day in Eureka.
  • In the Family Matters episode "A-Camping We Will Go" Urkel tags along with Carl, Eddie, and Waldo on a camping trip and Carl refuses the whole way to take his advice, sure enough regretting it by the end.
  • Father Ted has "Hell," where the camping holiday slowly turns truly crappy.
  • The plot of the Ghosts (UK) episode "The Woodworm Man": Button House is being fumigated for woodworm, so Mike and Alison try their hand at camping outside on their premises for the night.
  • Season 1 Hannah Montana episode, "Ooh, Ooh, Itchy Woman." Miley, Lilly and Oliver go on a school camping trip. Miley and Lilly have to share a tent with Amber and Ashley, while Oliver has to share a tent with mean boys.
  • Home Improvement: In "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (s1e18), Tim is coerced by Mr. Binford into taking his family camping on Valentine's weekend, when he had planned a romantic getaway with Jill.
  • LazyTown: in the episode "Cry Dinosaur" Stephanie and her friends have a camp-out where they talk about their fears. Ziggy remarks that he is scared of dinosaurs but has to overcome his fear after he sees one appear in town.
  • Murdoch Mysteries:
    • "Murdoch of the Klondike" begins this way. Murdoch has left Toronto after releasing murder Ava Moon from jail having given up his urban police career to pan for gold. His appearance and even speech patterns are more those of a scruffy cowboy than an articulate urban man. He camps near his claim and goes to town with the other miners, where he learns of the arrest of a hotel owner for murder.
    • The investigation in "All That Glitters" leads to one of these, with Murdoch easily returning to his lumberjack and miner garb (to Crabtree's astonishment), while Crabtree is the urban Fish out of Water, bringing his own pillow from home and overreacting to the sounds of wildlife in the night.
  • The Noddy Shop has "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Goblins," where the characters plan a camp-out at the shop, only for it to be spoiled by the goblins. Meanwhile, the toys plan their own campout, but Planet Pup must face his fear of the dark.
  • Oobi: "Camp Out!", which was the first full-length episode.
  • Parks and Recreation: In the episode "Camping", the entire department goes on a camping trip to come up with new ideas after their major success with the Harvest Festival.
  • The Partridge Family has "H-e-l-l-l-l-l-p!!!" in which Shirley and Laurie go camping, and Reuben, Keith, and Danny follow them in case they get hurt. The girls handle themselves well, but the guys end up starving.
  • Power Rangers Dino Fury had the episode "Cut Off" had the Rangers go camping in the woods, Ollie bringing along various gadgets. They turn out to be very needed Chekhov's Gun.
  • An episode of Project Runway had the contestants go "glamping" in the woods (in other words, the prissy clothing designer version of camping).
  • The Season Five finale of Sanford and Son has Fred and Lamont camping up in the mountains, which Lamont hopes will bond him and Fred before he gets married and leaves home.
  • Shining Time Station has the episode, "Schemer Goes Camping." Stacy, Kara, Becky, and Mr. Conductor set up a tent in the station to spend the night. At the same time, Schemer takes Schemee and Dan on a scout camping trip in the woods, with disastrous results.
  • Silver Spoons: Ricky and his father and grandfather all go hunting (which is essentially "camping but with guns") as a bonding experience. Ricky enjoys it until he has to shoot a deer. Even after that, he says that he liked all the rest of it and that is what he'll remember. It is the first time we see the father & grandfather get along and enjoy each other's company.
  • This is the plot of the Small Wonder first-season episode "Babes in the Woods." The episode's Working Title was "Camping Trip."
  • Starsky & Hutch has "Satan's Witches," in which a quiet fishing trip in the woods is interrupted by virgin-sacrificing Satanists.
  • In That '70s Show, the gang all decide to go camping before graduation. Their hijinks during the trip causes them to actually miss graduation.
  • That's So Raven has one in season 2 called "Skunk'd."

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 


    Western Animation 
  • American Dragon: Jake Long has "The Long Weekend" in which he and his friends go camping in New Jersey with his father Jonathan. At that time, the menacing "Jersey Devil" terrorizes a tribe of woodland sprites. In the episode's subplot, Susan and Haley's spa weekend goes awry when they were later sent to Military School instead.
  • Arthur:
    • "Arthur Goes to Camp": When Arthur goes to a summer camp, it is boys against girls, until they must band together when it becomes camp against camp.
    • Arthur and Buster camp out for one night in Arthur's backyard. Buster hopes to see an alien.
    • In "D.W.'s Deer Friend", D.W. suggests the family go camping for the weekend, after D.W. has gotten hooked on the Great Outdoors Channel (GO), and wanted to see wild animals up close.
    • In "Cast Away", D.W. is forced to tag along on Arthur and his dad's camping and fishing trip.
    • In "Fernfern & the Secret of Moose Mountain" Fern and Francine disobey the orders of their scout master on a camping trip and try to find a legendary mountain in the woods all by themselves.
    • In "Home Sweet Home", Buster does not want to attend summer camp when none of his friends are going.
  • Atomic Puppet has "Survival of the Feltest", in which Joey and his dad go out on a father-son weekend outdoor experience, leaving AP at the cabin to do his own thing. Despite no villains appearing, Joey and AP still have to turn into Atomic Puppet when a pack of wolves attempts to eat Mr. Felt.
  • Beverly Hills Teens has two such episodes. The first time, Bianca brings Lots of Luggage, the second time... she gets to the camp site on a helicopter and brings in tents with air conditioning as well.
  • In the animated TV version of Clifford the Big Red Dog Emily Elizabeth's dad takes her and her friends camping and Jetta brings along all the comforts of home, like a tent that looks like her house, and a lot of electronics. Emily and her friends need to encourage Jetta that there is plenty of fun to have on a camping trip and she does not need homely possessions.
  • "The Teachings of Don Jake" centers on Daria Morgendorfer's family going camping due to patriarch Jake's high stress levels. Things quickly go awry when their poor woodland skills cause everyone except Daria to eat psychotropic berries and go a bit cuckoo.
  • Denis and Me: In the episode "Camping Cat", Denis brings Sir Meows-A-Lot on a camping trip to help him hone his survival skills. Sir Meows-A-Lot apparently doesn't enjoy it.
  • The Dr. Dimensionpants episode "Dr. Dimensionpants Camp" has Kyle and his dad going on a father-son camping trip, where they run into Kyle's enemy Glass Skull (who is also on a camping trip, with his daughter).
  • The Fairly Oddparents have had a few camping episodes revolving around Timmy and his Squirelly Scouts Troop. In "Squirrely Puffs" Timmy's Dad takes him and his friends camping while Mom takes the girls and the whole episode is an attempt by the groups to outdo each other. In "Dinklescouts" Timmy wishes that Mr. Dinkleberg was the group's scout master instead of his dad. In "Dimmsdale Tales" Timmy and the group must tell scary stories to pass the time as Dad has to find camping supplies. In "Girly Squirrelly" Chloe takes over the duty of improving the Squirelly Scouts by becoming the first girl member.
  • The Garfield TV special Garfield in the Rough had Garfield, Jon, and Odie go on a camping trip, only to be attacked by a panther that had escaped from a zoo.
  • Hey Arnold!: In the episode Roughin it Arnold's Grandpa takes Arnold and Gerald on a weekend camping trip, to bond and to teach basic survival. At the site they find Helga, Pheobe and Helga's dad, who are also roughing it in a high-tech RV. When everyone goes hiking on a mountain trail, they get lost in the woods, and Arnold and Gerald have to use the survival skills Arnold's Grandpa taught them to help everyone else find their way back to camp.
  • Hilda: Episode 11, the Sparrow Scouts hold their annual end of the year camping trip, in which Hilda and David participate.
  • In a The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius episode, Hugh decides to take Jimmy and the boys camping on a trip that it totally devoid of technology, that is until Jimmy sets up a high-tech camp with all the comforts of home. After destroying the camp the group is forced to use natural instincts to find their way home.
  • Kaeloo: "Let's Play Treasure Hunt", where the main four go on a camping trip and play a game of treasure hunt. The trip is disastrous; Stumpy unpacked all their supplies before they left so he would have room for all his comic books, and Mr. Cat ruins the treasure hunt.
  • Les Sisters: "Les Sisters L'Ermite", where Wendy and Marine, fearing punishment from their parents for breaking a vase which the parents actually hated and were glad to be rid of, decide to camp out in the forest until their parents calm down.
  • The Little Rascals has "Grin and Bear It", in which the Rascals go camping, without adult supervision, and Porky is abducted by the fearsome Phantom Lumberjack.
  • The Mickey Mouse (2013) short "Roughin' It" has Mickey trying to rough it out in nature, while Donald and Goofy prefer satisfy their creature comforts in Donald's large RV.
  • In the Milo Murphy's Law episode "Perchance to Sleepwalk", the Power Trio goes camping, and Hilarity Ensues when Zack and Melissa have to chase down a sleepwalking Milo.
  • Molly of Denali: Molly and Walter embark on their yearly camping trip in "Cry Wolf," where they happen to run into the Kratt Brothers.
  • Mr. Bogus:
    • The episode "Bogus In Wilderland" had Bogus and Brattus accompany Tommy Anybody and his parents on a camping trip in the wilderness.
    • The episode "Kung Fu Campout" had Bogus and Brattus out in the wilderness again, this time, as part of a karate theme.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • First there's Sleepless In Ponyville, wherein they tell scary camp stories that keep Scootaloo up at night, partly because she's afraid to admit they scared her.
    • There's also "Campfire Tales", where the CMC and their sisters/figures have a campout in the Everfree Forest which gets threatened by flyders, and they use that time to tell stories of three historical figures.
    • And then there's the infamous "The Mean 6". The mane ponies plus Starlight go on a camping retreat in the Everfree Forest to take some time off from the School of Friendship. It eventually turns into a Horrible Camping Trip when their mean clones intertwine in various situations, causing a fierce argument amongst the ponies when they meet up.
  • In the The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode, "There's No Camp Like Home", Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet go camping in the woods. Tigger goes off in search of firewood, and lands in a large woodpile. Unknown to Tigger, he has landed in and knocked over a house that belongs to a family of Heffalumps.
  • The Patrick Star Show: "Survivoring" sees Patrick, Squidina, and Cecil all taking a trip into the forest to "tough it out". Squidina pits Patrick and Cecil in various survival competitions, but when they lose track of her, Patrick and Cecil have to fend for themselves.
  • In the PAW Patrol episode "Pups Save a Camping Trip", Rocky, Skye, Mayor Goodway, and Chickaletta go on a camping trip to earn Pup Scout badges.
  • ''Pocoyo has "Let's Go Camping!" and "We're Going Camping".
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Earth Camping", Mr. Peterson and Mitchell go camping with Carrot and Jet. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Rosie's Rules: In "Rosie Goes Camping," Rosie and Iggy go on their first camping trip.
  • In the Rugrats (1991) episode "The Legend of Satchmo", Grandpa Lou and the children camp out in the Pickles' backyard. Stu, who had a bad camping experience as a kid, worries about them the entire time.
  • Shaun the Sheep: The flock deal with an obnoxious camper in "Camping Chaos". In the end, it turns out to be a Horrible Camping Trip for him.
  • The Simpsons has "Boy Scouts N the Hood", where Bart ends up joining the Junior Campers after going on a sugar bender at the Kwik-E-Mart. Bart brings Homer on a father-son rafting trip where they share a raft with Ned and Todd Flanders. The same episode has a Show Within a Show example; the The Itchy & Scratchy Show episode that Bart watches, "Aaahhh! Wilderness!" has Itchy and Scratchy camp in the woods. When it starts raining, Itchy decides to build a shelter by turning Scratchy into a makeshift tent.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Camping Episode" had SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward camping out in the backyard, and Squidward winds up getting attacked by a sea bear.
  • Transformers: Animated Season 1 episode, "Nature Calls", where the nature-loving Prowl is annoyed with humanity's lack of regard for nature and how nature is beautiful, with Bumblebee and Sari being obsessed with using their tech gadgets instead. Something strange happens in the woods, causing Prowl and Bumblebee to investigate, with Sari going along with them to teach them about camping. Naturally, since Sari has no idea how to camp and Bumblebee has been spoiled by technology while Prowl enjoys the wilderness (not to mention that it's winter time), they're miserable. Things take a turn for the worse when it turns out the problem-of-the-week is mutated space barnacles.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: "Campout Confusion" centers on the wombats going camping with the crab kids, but things don't go well because Zadie didn't make a plan.
  • An episode of X-Men: Evolution had the main characters going on a survival weekend camping trip where they competed against The Brotherhood. The X-Men had the option of staying home and doing survival training with Wolverine, and gleefully jumped at the (inevitably less painful) camping option.


The Camping Episode

SpongeBob and Patrick camp out in the front yard, and even Squidward joins in.

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / CampingEpisode

Media sources: