Follow TV Tropes


Courtroom Episode

Go To
OBJECTION! I intend to prove his innocence beyond a shadow of a Dot!

This is an episode that's structured around a court case, in a series not normally focused on litigation. In other words, it's an Out-of-Genre Experience where the genre being shifted into is "Law Procedural."

Because lawyers get to have all the fun in court, you can expect a major character to be incongruously forced into playing one. They'll almost always succeed in arguing their case despite not actually having a law degree, or indeed starting the episode with any clue about what they're doing.

You should also expect a boatload of Courtroom Antics, for reasons reminiscent of the Second Law of Metafictional Thermodynamics: since the writers don't normally have the opportunity to write such things, they'll feel obligated to cram in all their favorite ones.

Compare Jury Duty and Rogue Juror. See also Prison Episode, which this sometimes doubles as. (Or is sometimes followed by.)



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the second season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Togusa is accused of Police Brutality after repeatedly shooting a heavily cybernetic gunman.
  • Done in an episode of Panty And Stocking With Garter Belt, and just as insane as the rest of the series. The Anarchy Sisters are defended by a monkey lawyer.
  • Parodied in Ranma ½, with the case of the...missing takoyaki. Serious Business. Turns out everyone had one.
  • One episode of Space Dandy involves Dandy being put on trial for murder. Dandy manages to sleep through his own murder trial, not waking until the trial has ended.
  • One episode of Magi: Labyrinth of Magic sees Sinbad accused of sexually assaulting Ren Kougyoku while drunk, forcing the cast to hold an impromptu trial. In reality, it's a frame-up; Ka Kobun put them in bed together in the hopes of forcing Sinbad to marry Kougyoku.
  • Episode 8 of Little Witch Academia (2017) had the heroines in a courtroom in one of Sucy's dreams.
  • On two occasions in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Kaguya has had mental battles in her subconscious that are visualized as court cases, with her Superego as the prosecutor, her Id as the defense, and her Ego as the judge. Chapter 53 has her agonizing over whether to give Shirogane a birthday cake, and chapter 141 has her trying to figure out what her relationship with him is after giving him a french kiss during the culture festival.
  • The Whole Episode Flashback The Merchant of London in Moriarty the Patriot is set almost entirely in a courtroom or revolving around the events and contract that led to William and Louis suing a member of the aristocracy as young children (with a nice Framing Device).

    Asian Animation 
  • The Simple Samosa episode "Samosa Mama" is about Samosa being accused by none other than his rival Cham Cham of kidnapping Garlic, Mushroom, and Green Pepper and testifying in court for it. His friends help him to prove he's innocent of the kidnapping.

     Comic Books 
  • The classic Legion of Super-Heroes story "The Legionnaire Who Killed" (originally printed in Adventure Comics #342), in which Star Boy kills an outlaw in self defense, violating the Legion's code against killing.
  • The 1990 DC Star Trek series had "The Trial of James T. Kirk," written by Peter David. It had a lot of Call-Back to the original series with tragic, amusing and noble followups to Kirk's "violations" of the Prime Directive.
  • Two issues of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) focused on trials stemming from major developments. The first was Sonic's trial after the "Mecha Madness" incident and the second was Geoffrey St. John's after Naugus' ascension as king.
  • The Spider-Man storyline, "The Trial of Peter Parker", which was part of The Clone Saga, dealt with trying to obtain Peter's innocence due to the fact that he was being blamed for murders perpetrated by Kaine due to the wonders of cloning.
  • In the 1980's The Flash had an extended storyline where Flash (Barry Allen) is put on trial for manslaughter after killing arch enemy Reverse Flash while stopping him from killing Barry Allen's fiance Fiona Webb just as he'd previously killed Barry's wife Iris years earlier. He actually hurt his own case, when his lawyer tried to reveal is Secret Identity to prove justifiable homicide. However, he'd had his face altered with Magic Plastic Surgery so Barry Allen wouldn't be sent to prison, just the Flash.
  • The Superman storyline The Trial of Superman had the Man of Steel captured by an intergalactic tribunal who seek to punish Superman for his ancestor Kem-El's role in the eradication of the Kryptonian race via the Eradicator device. Superman is ultimately found innocent and the one who sent the tribunal after Superman, the Cyborg Superman, is instead found guilty of his role in the destruction of Coast City.
  • In the Paperinik New Adventures issue "Fragments of Autumn" Lyla Lay, an android employed by the Time Police, is put on trial for shooting a colleague, and her close friend Paperinik is brought in as a witness. Normally, Lyla would just be immediately terminated, being a droid, but the UN had just given droids equal rights - and responsibilities. Gottfresh, the man who organized the trial, is strongly against droids, and hopes to use Lyla to prove they're untrustworthy. PK eventually finds evidence that Gottfresh had orchestrated the shooting in the first place, though that is far from the only mystery he stumbles into during the trial.

    Fan Works 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: The Series has "A Day at The Office", which has Calvin defend a man after his father gets knocked out by a skunk.
  • Don't Keep Your Distance has a scene where protagonist Paint and her friend (and Dr. Eggman's robot) Star are on trial for threatening her village's safety after she brings it home. It almost ends in her banishment and its execution until they are defended by the testimonies of their other friends.
  • In Chapter 10 of My Choices: Twisted Tales Through Time, Blue Star has to convince Equestria's Royal Court that her reforms are, despite Lady Blueblood's claims, actually beneficial to Equestria.
  • Turnabout Storm is essentially a huge one for the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic side of the cast, as it would be expected from the other side being from Ace Attorney.
  • After the events of Lost in the Woods, the Star Trek sections of its sequel No Good Deed focus on Picard on trial for violating the Prime Directive and committing genocide against the Reavers.
  • Time Fixers: Nicktoons of the Future has the episode "The Great Zappy Case" where Tammy and Tommy are put on trial in Fairy World and Darry acts as their lawyer to Clear Their Name.
  • Interlude 16 of My Family and Other Equestrians has Trixie being put on trial for, among other things, her usage of the Alicorn Amulet. She gets acquitted of everything but that, getting a two-year sentence.
  • Chapter 16 of Herding Cats revolves around Nepeta being tried for the attempted murder of Eridan. It's a Decoy Trial designed to get the two hooked up.
  • Chapter 57 of Moon Daughter: The judge and prosecutor are on the jury, and the prosecutor goes to jail after the defendant is found innocent.
  • Luigi has to go through this in Can a Boo Be Friends with a Human? upon the charge of destroying the Star Temple and killing a Power Star in the process, turning it into a Dark Star.
  • The Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "The Other Smurfette" turned into one in the latter half of the story, where Hogatha as the female Smurf named Wonderette accuses Empath of raping her to have him framed and vilified among the Smurfs, with the only evidence being the dress Wonderette wore that she swore Empath had torn. However, in a Deus ex Machina moment where a mysterious Attorney Smurf appears and makes Hogatha confess who she really was in the disguise and that she was the one who raped Empath, Papa Smurf declared the court case a mistrial and that Empath was innocent of all charges against him.
  • Chapters 5 and 6 of Jackie Chan Adventures: Olympian Journey have Prometheus, Captain Black, and Jade versus Eris and Origami in a Humanity on Trial situation overseen by several minor deities tied to Athena's essence, to determine whether Hestia should aide the heroes or Eris in the quest for the godly essences. The case is officially unresolved due to the Pocket Dimension it takes place in dissolving before a verdict can be reached, but Hestia still offers her help to the heroes anyway.
  • Chapter 14 of For the Glory of Irk features Lor being put on trial for treason by the other Syndicate crew members after the real traitor frames him. Dib and the others crash it in order to use Q's psychic powers to expose the actual spy.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Chapter 25 of the sequel Picking Up the Pieces revolves around the trial/hearing of Captain-General Gentle Step after Internal Affairs' Commissioner has brought charges against her. It quickly descends into Courtroom Antics when the claimant starts demanding they ignore evidence and just charge her.
  • The Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Fifth Path side story "Turnabout Desserts" centers around Ingrid being forced into the role of a defense attorney in an Ace Attorney style court case in order to get Sylvain acquitted of... stealing and eating Lysithea's cake.

    Films – Live Action 
  • In The People vs. Dr. Kildare, the eighth film in the Dr. Kildare series, Dr. Kildare is the defendant in a malpractice suit.
  • The Three Stooges episode Disorder In The Court has the stooges as witnesses to a murder trial, where they attempt to prove the innocence of Ms. Gail Tempest through Courtroom Antics. Idiots Deluxe was another courtroom episode, where Larry and Curly accuse Moe of attempted murder, and Moe tells the judge about a hunting trip that went horribly wrong, leading to his attempt on their lives.

  • The ConSentiency series largely focuses on the exploits of a Secret Agent/Bureaucrat Jorj X. McKie. However:
    • A good portion of the novel The Dosadi Experiment focuses on the courtroom drama of the Gowachin, which is much more interesting than its human equivalent.
    • The short story "The Tactful Saboteur" also features a Courtroom chapter. However, except for a few additions, the courtroom is rather orthodox.
  • A few of these in the Deryni works:
    • In the short story "Trial", Morgan visits a court conducted by Ralf Tolliver, Bishop of Corwyn. Morgan helps discover the real culprits in a rape and murder case.
    • Morgan is tried for treason and heresy early in Deryni Rising, and Kelson gets to engage in Courtroom Antics to get him off the hook.
    • After a drumhead court-martial, Kelson has Ithel of Meara and Brice Baron Trurill hanged.
    • On his entrance into Laas, Kelson collaborates with Archbishop Cardiel and Bishop Duncan McLain in a very quick trial of Loris and Gorony. Cardiel surrenders them to secular judgement, and Kelson has them hanged right there in the hall.
    • An ecclesiastical hearing is held to decide whether Duncan and Maryse Macardry were legitimately married (which would mean their son Dhugal is Duncan's legitimate heir for the Duchy of Cassan). Bishop Denis Arilan gets to show off his scholarship with an unanswerable argument likening the Presence light and the Host to the Jews' Ark of the Covenant: in other words, God Himself witnessed their vows.
  • The Concrete Blonde from Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series tells the story of when Harry is sued over the Dollmaker case, in which he shot a serial killer who he believed was reaching for a weapon. As the case begins another body turns up.
  • Most of the Icelandic Sagas contain at least one, with plenty of fancy speeches and occasional bouts of Off on a Technicality.
  • The Accusers, the 15th installment in the Marcus Didius Falco series, focuses on the Roman legal system, with Falco even trying his hand at prosecution himself.
  • The first few chapters of the Sector General book The Genocidal Healer are framed by a misconduct trial for the book's protagonist, though they mainly consist of a recounting of the events that led to the trial in the first place.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The X-Wing Series has The Krytos Trap, in which the person suspected of killing a main character to cover his tracks is put on trial. The trial quickly ends when the person he is suspected of killing shows up. In his defense.
  • War Crimes features the bad guy from ''Mists of Pandaria'' being put on trial. Poisoning and escape attempts included.
  • Similarly to the Icelandic sagas, The Long Ships contains a major arc detailing the events of the Thing at Kraka-stone.
  • The Overstory has two of them. The first is when Patricia Westerford, a scientist who studies the ecology of trees and forests, is asked to testify before a court about the effects of deforestation. The second comes near the end of the book when another of the main characters, Adam Appich, is tried for his Eco-Terrorist actions decades ago.
  • Isaac Asimov
    • Foundation Series' Foundation (1951):
      • "The Merchant Princes": Secretary Jorane Sutt puts Master Trader Hober Mallow on trial for murder because he knowingly allowed a priest of the Foundation to be taken by a mob who were clearly ready to kill the priest. After three off-screen days of the trial, taking place in a large forum called the council chambers, Mallow agreed to making it public, so not only is it crowded with everyone who could fit, the trial is also being broadcast to every planet under Foundation control. Today is Mallow's first opportunity to refute/rebut the prosecution's case, which he does by revealing the so-called priest was actually a Korellian agent pretending to be a Foundation priest, to justify the destruction of Mallow, his ship, and his crew. The crowd grows wild, and Mallow takes advantage of popular opinion to get himself elected Mayor of Terminus, making him the highest-ranked political figure in the Foundation.
      • "The Psychohistorians": Chapter 6: For three days, the prosecution, represented by the Commission's Advocate, harshly questioned Dr Seldon. It's implied that other evidence was given (explicit that Gaal Dornick provides almost zero information as a witness), and for all three days the courtroom is restricted to a select group who would all be hostile to the famed psychohistorian. When Dr Seldon, through charisma alone, intimidates the Advocate into briefly believing psychohistory's prediction of ruin, a recess is called.
      • "The Psychohistorians": Chapter 7: After yesterday's disruption of the courtroom, Dr Seldon and Gaal are in a room alone with the five judges from the trial. They insist that there is no trial, and offer cigarettes to demonstrate a friendly atmosphere. Make no mistake, though, Chief Commissioner Linge Chen is the one who dictates policy through a Puppet Emperor. Chen and Seldon come to a mutual understanding; Hari Seldon accepts exile for himself and his project, and they don't execute anyone.
    • "Galley Slave": Professor Ninheimer, of Northeastern University, is attempting to sue US Robotics (represented by Dr Calvin, Director Lanning, and CEO Robertson). The judge for the case, Justice Shane, has allowed for a closed-door trial, without a jury. United States Robots and Mechanical Men is being sued for causing damage to Ninheimer's reputation.

    Live Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks: "Trial by Jury" sees Miss Brooks defend herself in court for "speeding, going through a red light, reckless driving, driving on the sidewalk and hitting a fruit stand." The episode was a remake of "Reckless Driving" which played on the radio.
  • The Addams Family had the episode "The Addams Family in Court", where Grandmama is taken to court for illegally telling people's fortunes.
  • The 10th Kingdom has one when Wolf is accused of killing livestock and murdering shepherdess Sally Peep, with Virginia attempting to act as his defence until Tony finds evidence that proves Sally was really killed by her grandfather.
  • An episode of 24 from late in the second season, 4:00am to 5:00am, has President Palmer's cabinet vote on whether to remove him from office under the 25th Amendment. It takes place in a conference room, rather than a courtroom, but they call surprise witnesses, debate the spirit versus the letter of the law, and have impassioned closing arguments. The President himself even declares it "the trial of David Palmer."
  • Both Adam-12 and Dragnet have had courtroom-based episodes, featuring on the roles police officers play in the judicial process and problems that invariably arise. For instance, the Adam-12 episode "Courtroom" centered around the importance of obtaining a search warrant when the defendant (standing trial on drug charges) claims that Reed had failed to obtain one. Another was a Poorly Disguised Pilot for a show about the DA's office...good luck finding that show's pilot to see the conclusion.
  • All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place: The long-running sitcom featuring Archie Bunker as the central character had courtroom episodes which bookended the series:
    • The ninth episode in the first season of All in the Family was "Edith Has Jury Duty". This Rogue Juror story sees Edith hold out for a Hispanic man's innocence in a capital murder trial, wearing on everyone's patience — Edith's roommate as the jury is sequestered (due to racial sensitivities and extensive media interest), and at home ... a lazy Archie. At home, Archie isn't even that grateful for his wife's sacrifice.
    • The Archie Bunker's Place show was "Small Claims Court," the second-to-last originally aired episode. Here, Archie's longtime friendship with best bud Barney Hefner is on the line when he blames him for damaging a television set during its installation at the bar.
  • In the rebooted Battlestar Galactica:
    • Most of "Crossroads" (the season 3 finale) is taken up by Baltar's trial for treason. Apollo ends up playing lawyer; Adama is randomly selected to be one of the judges.
    • The first season episode "Litmus" revolves heavily around a military tribunal created in the wake of a suicide bombing.
    • The Original Series had an episode where Starbuck is on trial for murdering another pilot.
  • The Big Bang Theory: The episode "The Excelsior Acquisition" has Sheldon going to court to fight a red light camera ticket from when he drove an injured Penny to the hospital in a previous episode on the same day he is supposed to meet Stan Lee, only to commit contempt of court and is sent to jail for one hour until he apologizes to the judge.
  • Blackadder:
  • Episodes of Bones usually end with apprehending the killer, but occasionally the court case is included as well. Also, sometimes the killer is already in custody and the episode centers around finding evidence and presenting it in court.
  • The Brady Bunch: The 1972 episode "The Fender Benders", where a money-seeking man named Harry Duggan (Jackie Coogan) files a lawsuit against Carol by claiming their minor, non-injury fender-bender in a parking lot resulted in severe whiplash. Carol disputes the charges and just when it appears that the judge will rule in favor of Mr. Duggan Mike exposes Duggan as a fraud.
  • The episode "Testimony of a Traitor" in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century has Buck accused of treason.
  • CBS Schoolbreak Special: The 1985 episode "Student Court" focused on the workings of a high school student court students who assist the administration with conflict resolution and interpretation of school policy. This student court takes on another dimension: determining what punishment, if any, a teenage girl accused of shoplifting should face.
  • The Charmed episode "Crimes and Witch-Demeanors" has the Charmed Ones arguing for Darryl's life before a tribunal that's charged to keep magic secret, and has manipulated reality to frame him for murder in order to do so.
  • The final episode in Chernobyl is the trial of Bryukhanov, Dyatlov, and Fomin, where the lead-up to the explosion (and the critical error in the RMBK design that allowed it to happen) is finally discussed and shown.
  • Chespirito did a few of these in several of his programs, the most memorable being one in El Chavo del ocho, where the cast holds a trial in Quico and Doña Florinda's house against El Chavo for killing Quico's cat with a bicycle. Profesor Jirafales was the judge, Don Ramón the defense attorney and Doña Florinda the prosecutor. In the end el Chavo is declared Not Guilty when he explains that he ran over the cat to avoid hitting a man who was "standing like an idiot in the middle of the street watching a pretty lady". That man was Profesor Jirafales himself.
  • The City Guys episode "Presumed Innocent" has this as a plot device by way of the school starting an "Introduction to Law" class. Jamal accuses a student named Lewis Brown of being a skinhead (based on his shaved head, tattoos and style of dress similar to those of the white supremacist group). After getting into a fight with each other after Jamal's locker is defaced with the word "jerk" in spray paint, the issue is taken into a court case as part of the class class and leads to the revelation that Louis is not a skinhead but suffers from cancer.
  • While Community loves to gleefully jump into whatever genre catches its fancy, having an ex-lawyer as the main character means that this comes up rather often. Considering one took place in a pool, another was about a squashed yam and the last had a main character being possessed by an evil self from an alternate universe (or just having a mental breakdown), none were exactly "normal".
  • Criminal Minds: "Tabula Rasa," in which a killer previously tracked down by the BAU is put on trial after awakening from a coma...with total retrograde amnesia.
  • CSI: "Invisible Evidence," where the court threw out evidence due to a warrant problem and 'Eleven Angry Jurors,' which crossed this trope with Forensic Drama when a juror died.
  • CSI: NY had "Comes Around," where Mac had to prove he didn't kill Clay Dobson when Dobson jumped off a roof in handcuffs.
  • Doctor Who: Season 23 of the classic series, The Trial of a Time Lord, was all about the Doctor facing a Kangaroo Court.
  • Doogie Howser, M.D. had "Eleven Angry People…and Vinnie" where in a take on 12 Angry Men, the defendant is a young man accused of assaulting his employer. Vinnie's not convinced of his guilt.
  • Drake & Josh: "Honor Council" has Drake being framed for somehow getting the English teacher, Mrs. Hayfer's car inside her classroom. So Josh defends Drake and have him attend an honor council in order to exonerate the latter. However, Mindy Crenshaw, Josh's rival, becomes the opponent to find whatever dirt she could use to convince the jury that Drake is guilty. She almost wins, until Josh shows her a copy of her report card showing that she got a B in Mrs. Hayfer's class, thus causing Mindy to retaliate by putting Mrs. Hayfer's car in the classroom and framing Drake for the crime, all for terminating her perfect 4.0 grade point average.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: "Coltrane vs. Duke" saw Rosco, frustrated after years of being the Wile E. Coyote in his usual cat-and-mouse game with the Duke boys, stepping things up another notch by faking serious injuries and suing the Dukes for $50,000, the amount of their mortgage. Boss and Rosco rehearse the case, with Boss calling on his corrupt friend Dr. Crandall to testify as to the extent of Rosco's "injuries." Of course, in the end, Rosco is exposed and his case is thrown out of court but not after plenty of Courtroom Antics, Rosco calling on Boss to be his butler (including a hilarious reading of Jack and the Beanstalk) and some high drama as — when the case appears lost — Jesse has his niece and nephews pack up the furniture and he sadly concedes defeat to his longtime enemy.
  • Elementary episode Tremors centers around Joan and Sherlock's hearing about their credibility as consultants for the NYPD and after a series of events that lead to Marcus to get shot due to Sherlock's abrasiveness.
  • Face The Facts, a short-lived CBS game show from 1961, had two actors, respectively playing plaintiff and defendant, re-enacting small claims court cases. Four contestants wager points on who they think will win the case.
  • Family Matters:
    • In Season 3's "Citizen's Court": When Carl squashes Urkel's rare Peruvian beetle and after Urkel complains reasons that "it was just a stupid beetle," the nerd becomes determined to see if a judge agrees, going to the local TV courtroom show "Citizens Court" (an obvious parody of that show). The usual hijinks ensue, with Waldo admitting that Urkel coached him on his testimony and Eddie claiming that his father is an ill-tempered madman (and Urkel trying to get Harriette to admit the same), before Urkel and Carl agree to settle. The opening of the show is directly copied from The People's Court, and takes a humorous dig at litigants of shows similar to Wapner's courtroom show: "These are ticked off people who are unable to settle the cases themselves!"
    • Season 5's "Presumed Urkel," where Urkel is accused of causing an explosion in a chemistry classroom at Vanderbilt High while working on his science project. Laura who was at this point in the series still annoyed by the nerd's plays for love agrees to defend Urkel's honor when she senses that an academic rival named Dexter Thornhill seems very eager to have him expelled. The matter is held in Vanderbilt's student court. In the end, Laura exposes Thornhill as the real culprit using a blacklight to determine that he tampered with Urkel's science project with explosive chemicals; when exposed, Thornhill admits that he did it because he believed that Urkel didn't deserve to win first prize at the science fair. Steve is cleared of all charges and Thornhill instead gets expelled.
    • Season 8's "The Jury," where Urkel and Carl ended up serving on the same jury for David Hayes, a janitor at a jewelry store accused of stealing the store's merchandise. It seems the video footage has Hayes dead to rights and everyone seems to think he is guilty, but Urkel believes he is innocent and helps reveal the real criminal: the jewelry store's head of security, Joey Bozelli, who doctored and edited the footage to make it look like Hayes committed the crime, but didn't count on anyone taking a closer look at the footage, which shows his reflection in a mirror.
  • The Farscape episode "Dream A Little Dream" has Zhaan framed for murder on a planet whose hat is that 90% of them are lawyers. Rygel and Chiana have to defend her.
  • Frasier has the episode "Crane Vs. Crane," where Frasier and Niles are expert witnesses on opposite sides of a court case.
  • Get Smart: "The Day Smart Turned Chicken." Smart is a witness in the court against KAOS, and they decide to frame him. Then he calls additional witnesses in his defense.
  • The Golden Girls had a had Dorothy caught up in allegations about an apartment building Stan owned.
  • An episode of Happy Days had Howard suing Fonzie for damage to his roof after putting a birdhouse up on it.
  • I Love Lucy: One of the earliest courtroom-based episodes sees the Ricardos and Mertzes feud over a damaged television set. The Ricardos had purchased a TV set for the Mertzes, but when the picture tube blows out, Fred claiming that Ricky knowingly gave him a defective set goes to the Ricardos' apartment and kicks their TV. Both are even-steven after a judge hears the bickering couples fight it out. At the end, the Judge manages to blow out his own TV and then kick in the screen.
  • The first season of JAG featured onscreen courtroom scenes (as in American UCMJ proceedings) in only one episode: "Defensive Action." Onscreen courtroom scenes became much more frequent in the seasons that would follow.
  • Leverage has two of these:
    • In "The Juror #5 Job," Parker is a juror in a wrongful-death suit, and Hardison has to pretend to be a high-powered lawyer in order to stall the case until the rest of the team can finish the con.
    • In "The Lost Heir Job," the team takes on a client who's entangled in a probate case; Nate ends up playing a Large Ham shyster from Vegas.
  • Little House on the Prairie had two. The first was "Barn Burner," where town bigot Mr. Larabee is accused of burning down the Garvey Barn. The second is "Blind Justice," where a man is put on trial after being accused of swindling the citizens of Walnut Grove in a land scandal.
  • The flashforwards in the Lost episode "Eggtown."
  • MacGyver (1985): "The Spoilers" spends much time on MacGyver and the Phoenix Foundation building a case against the villains.
  • Married... with Children has a few examples.
    • In one, Al/Peggy/Steve/Marcy sue a motel for videotaping their exploits.
    • The Bundys also went to court because of a car crash. They thought they'd win because Marcy was testifying for them but it turned out she was biased against anyone who owned Mercedes cars because her ex-husband had one.
    • Another happens when Bud is caught "relieving some tension" at the school library.
    • At one point Al is sued by the guy that tried to rob him.
  • Courts-martial (or preliminary hearings for them, at least) figure in several M*A*S*H episodes:
    • In "The Trial of Henry Blake", the titular C.O. is accused of giving aid and comfort to the enemy after Majors Burns and Houlihan file a complaint about the lack of discipline under his command.
    • In "The Novocaine Mutiny," Hawkeye is tried for mutiny after temporary commander Major Burns is accidentally knocked unconscious during an argument between the two men in the O.R. This leads to the two men providing widely conflicting versions of the same events in their testimony.
    • In "Snappier Judgment," the second installment in a two-part episode, Klinger is tried after circumstantial evidence pins him to a rash of thefts at the 4077th.
  • Midsomer Murders: Much of "Last Year's Model," takes place in a courtroom during the trial of woman who was arrested for murder the year before, as Barnaby starts to have serious doubts regarding her guilt.
  • Murder, She Wrote had one where Jessica was called as a witness (amusingly, this one actually lampshades her status as a Mystery Magnet, as a cross-examining lawyer casts aspersions on her and her family for being involved in so many murder cases) and another one where she had Jury Duty and realized that a different man than the accused killed the victim.
  • The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring Agent for H.A.R.M. has Mike Nelson being put on trial destroying three planets. Courtroom Antics and Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg has an episode where Angus placed in a trial for a crime he was framed, he has to defend himself while taking advice from a fairy who is secretly acting as his lawyer. Thing clear out when Ivar brings in the real culprit and Angus is let off.
  • MythQuest: Episode 11, "Blodeuwedd," has Cleo on trial as Blodeuwedd for supposedly murdering her husband, the king. An odd example, in that it takes place in pre-Arthurian Wales.
  • The Odd Couple (1970) did a number of these:
    • In "The Dog Story," Felix is arrested for kidnapping a performing dog mistreated by its agent. He insists on defending himself in court, in his hilariously pompous and arrogant Large Ham manner.
    • "Murray the Fink": Oscar rides Murray about being a bad cop to the point where Murray raids the weekly poker game. Oscar tries to accuse Murray; Felix tries to defend him, and chaos ensues.
    • A Whole Episode Flashback episode in which Felix refuses to let Hugh Hefner publish a nude photo he took of his girlfriend Gloria.
    • One of the show's many origin episodes explaining how Felix and Oscar first met, in this case as jurors on a murder trial.
    • And perhaps the most famous one — Felix is accused of trying to scalp an extra theater ticket.
    Felix: ...when we ASSUME —- we make an ASS out of U and ME!
  • Pair of Kings: Brady and Boomer were taken to court for blowing up the royal castle. (They were innocent.)
  • Parks and Recreation has a comedic version of this in "The Trial of Leslie Knope," where Leslie is put through an ethics hearing by Chris and must prove that her relationship with Ben never presented any conflicts of interest.
  • Private Practice had "War," in which Violet and Pete go head-to-head for custody of their son Lucas. The episode is extremely divisive episode among fans, with some finding it a breath of fresh air for the lackluster third season, but others finding it just as bleak and mean-spirited as all the other episodes for which the season was being criticized. Either way, it was a one-time deal, with the anticipated episode about Pete's trial never happening due to his death.
  • The Professionals. In "The Rack", a court of enquiry is held when a suspect dies in CI5 custody after being punched by Doyle. A firebrand civil rights lawyer uses the opportunity to hold a trial-by-media over the existence of what is a Secret Police in all but name.
  • The Red Dwarf episode "Justice" puts Rimmer on trial for the murder of the Red Dwarf crew.
  • Several Seinfeld episodes, most notably the finale.
  • 7th Heaven had an episode "Twelve Angry People," where Rev. Camden is (in an inversion of the usual) the lone juror for a guilty verdict.
  • Sister, Sister: When Tia accuses twin sister Tamera of distributing copies of her diary to fellow classmates, she takes her to Student Court. But the episode soon focuses on two yuksters who fail to take the concept seriously and turn the matter into one big joke. It isn't long before those two students are exposed as the culprits ... and the principal has a long, stern talk with them about the judicial process and why matters heard in Student Court aren't fun and games.
  • The Smart Guy episode "Trial & Error" has Mo involved in a mock court case held at T.J.'s (who serves as Mo's "attorney") insistence to Principal Whitfield, to clear Mo's name when he's blamed for a fire in the chemistry lab taught by his nemesis teacher Mr. Bringleman (it also serves as an audition for T.J. to prove he's fit to play in the school's production of Inherit the Wind). When the testimony of Marcus, Vice Principal Militich and Bringleman practically incriminates Mo, T.J. decides to break into the school to do a chemical runthrough of the basketball playbook Mo left in the classroom, which reveals that Bringleman falsely accused Mo to cover up the fact that he accidentally started the fire by leaving a still-lit cigarette that he smoked lying in the chemistry lab.
  • The Society: Episode five has Dewey tried for murder.
  • The Stargate-verse has had several:
    • Stargate SG-1:
      • "Cor-Ai" has Teal'c being put on trial for a murder he committed before his Heel–Face Turn, and Jack (primarily, but the others do help) has to defend him. The twist is that, according to the rules of the Cor-Ai, the accuser is also the judge. Jack finds the idea ridiculous, although Daniel finds historical precedent and points out that, in a certain way, it makes sense. While the son of the victim ends up finding Teal'c guilty and sentences him to die at midday, a Goa'uld attack and Teal'c heroism in defending the villagers convinces the guy that Teal'c is a different person now, and that the man who murdered his father is dead.
      • "Pretense" consists of a trial (well, a "triad") to determine whether Skaara or the Goa'uld inhabiting his body has a right to it. Daniel and Jack share lawyering duty. This is the first an only time we see a Goa'uld acting as a defense attorney... and doing a decent job of it, despite his Polynesian outfit.
      • Vala is put on trial by a planet of people she ruled over while host to the Goa'uld Qetesh in "The Powers That Be." Initially, the villagers wanted to execute her immediately when she confessed to not actually being a god, but her teammates convinced them to give her a trial. She was then sentenced to life imprisonment, but this was changed when she saved the lives of several of the villagers.
      • Another case almost happens in "Collateral Damage" when Mitchell is apparently responsible for killing someone, but avoids an actual court case since the charges were quickly glossed over under the pretense of Mitchell having diplomatic immunity. Instead the point of the episode is to prove Mitchell's innocence. The murderer used a memory-transference machine to convince Mitchell that he is the killer, but a detailed analysis spotted "artifacts" in the false memory.
    • The Stargate Atlantis episode "Inquisition", which doubles as a Clip Show and features a Joker Jury, has the main Atlantis team put on trial by the Coalition of Planets (which consists of the various weakling civilizations in Pegasus who were brutalized by the Wraith) for their numerous Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moments throughout the series. The episode ended with them bribing one of the judges to vote in their favor, his vote being the swing vote.
    • The Stargate Universe episode "Justice" is centered around an investigation and informal trial about the death—eventually shown to be suicide—of Sergeant Spencer.
  • Star Trek does this quite a bit:
    • In Star Trek: The Original Series:
      • "The Menagerie" prominently features Spock being court-martialed for stealing the Enterprise. He did it, but apparently he has Hero Insurance.
      • "Court Martial": Captain Kirk is accused of negligently causing the death of a crewman and perjury.
      • "Wolf in the Fold." Scotty is accused of multiple acts of murder and Captain Kirk effectively acts as his defense attorney. The start of Denny Crane's career, no doubt.
      • And the first half of the second act of Star Trek VI happens in a Klingon courtroom.
    • In Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • Already in the pilot the crew of the Enterprise stands trial on behalf of all of humanity. And the final episode makes it clear that this trial is never over.
      • In "The Measure of a Man", Picard tries to establish the precedent that Data is legally human, with Riker forced by the Starfleet legal system into arguing against him.
      • "Sins of the Father" is a Klingon version of this, as Worf learns that his deceased father Mogh is being falsely accused of treason and fights to clear Mogh's name and restore his house's honor.
      • "The Drumhead" is centered around a court-martial about sabotage aboard the Enterprise, eventually devolving to a witch-hunt for supposed traitors (while the "sabotage" was merely faulty equipment).
      • "Devil's Due." Picard must prove that an alien being is not the Devil. Data acts as the arbitrator in charge of hearing the case.
      • "A Matter of Perspective." Riker is accused of murdering an alien scientist. His trial includes holographic re-creations of events based on witness testimony.
      • "The First Duty" centers around an investigative hearing into the death of a Starfleet Academy cadet while training as a member of the academy's precision flying team. The team leader attempts to cover up the circumstances of his death, leaving Wesley, who is also on the team, forced to choose between his loyalty to his teammates and his responsibility to the truth.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • "Dax" looks like it's going to center around the question of whether Jadzia and Curzon Dax are considered the same person under Bajoran law, much as "The Measure of a Man" centers around the question of whether Data is considered human under Federation law. In the end, Curzon gets exonerated, so it doesn't matter.
      • "Tribunal", in which O'Brien is tried as a terrorist on Cardassia, is more of a Kangaroo Courtroom Episode.
      • "Rules of Engagement" is about an attempt to extradite Worf to the Klingon empire; Sisko defends him.
    • Star Trek: Voyager: "Death Wish" focuses on a trial deciding whether to grant asylum to a member of the Q Continuum.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise: "Judgment" is about a trial featuring a "Rashomon"-Style retelling of a battle between Enterprise and a Klingon battlecruiser.
  • The Steve Harvey Show had two:
    • The first one had Lovita suing Steve after the TV she bought from him stopped working and he refused to give Lovita her money back. Lovita even tried to sway the jury by using the closing argument speech from A Time to Kill. The judge turned out to be a woman who was a backup dancer during Steve's Hi-Top days.
    • The second one had Lydia, Romeo, and Bullethead suing Steve and Regina on the real-life court show Judge Mathis over a confiscated thingamigjig that got broken. Steve and Regina lost the case when it was revealed that Regina broke the kids' computer/pager/PDA/whatever by putting Lovita's awful casserole (that bubbled while COLD) on top of it.
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun had "Sensitive Dick", where Dick gets put on "university court" after several student complaints of insensitivity. All the witnesses are people Dick had made Butt Monkeys throughout the series. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Wayans Bros. had one where Marlon sued Shawn because he broke his leg and missed out on a dance competition due to slipping on some coffee that Shawn spilled. Much Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Workaholics, the guys buy a hovercraft from Montez and use it in their swimming pool. Not unexpectedly, it bounces out of the pool and charges at their neighbour's, breaking it and the fence. When their neighbour asks for compensation, they decide to try getting the money back by suing Montez in small claims court. They have petty squabbles, use rhetoric heard in movies and in one scene, Blake throws a dead dog at the ceiling fan then blood sprays everywhere.
  • The series finale of The X-Files, "The Truth", was literally an instance of putting the truth on trial. Mulder was already found guilty on a murder charge before the trial began.
  • The Arrowverse:
  • The second series of Horatio Hornblower, titled "Mutiny" and Retribution", is told as a series of flashbacks intercut with Horatio and the other lieutenants of HMS Renown being court-martialed for removing the mentally unstable Captain Sawyer from command. The flashbacks occur as various characters are called to testify and we are repeatedly reminded that the penalty for mutiny is hanging. (This is an expansion from the book, where they only faced a board of inquiry—a preliminary hearing to determine if the full trial was needed—which was largely an excuse to brush the whole matter of Sawyer's insanity under the rug.)
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • While the original 1964 version of "I, Robot" involves a robot named Adam being tried for the murder of his creator Dr. Link, the 1995 remake involves a capacity hearing to determine whether Adam deserves a trial or should be simply dismantled.
    • The Season Three episode "Bodies of Evidence" takes place in 2037 and involves Captain William Clark being put on trial for the murder of three other members of the crew of the space station Meridian. He is defended by his ex-wife Robin Dysart.
    • The Season Six finale "Final Appeal" (which was originally intended as the Series Finale) takes place in 2076 in a world that has banned technology in the aftermath of a devastating nuclear war in June 2059 which killed 80% of the world's population (6.8 billion people). It features Dr. Theresa Givens (a returning character from Season Two's "A Stitch in Time") appealing her death sentence for using her time machine before the United States Supreme Court.
    • The Season Seven episode "Rule of Law" involves Judge Joshua Finch, newly arrived on the colony planet Daedalus, presiding over the trial of a Medusan who is accused of the murder of three humans.
  • Welcome Freshmen: "The People Vs. Walter", Walter is accused by Principal Lippman of vandalizing the portrait of him. He holds a trial with the other students serving as the various roles with Walter's Love Interest Erin as his defense attorney. Through her efforts, she not only proves Walter innocent, but also proves he was one of the few people not involved as Principal Lippman is so hated that almost the entire student body and faculty took part in vandalizing the portrait.
  • The Brittas Empire has "The Trial". Said episode has Gordon Brittas put on trial for the procession of drugs, the murder of seven gangsters, and the grievous bodily harm of three old women, with flashbacks being used to show How We Got Here.
  • Odd Squad:
    • The Season 1 episode "Disorder in the Court" revolves around Olive being falsely accused of committing the odd crime of shrinking the town museum by Odd Todd, with her fighting to prove her innocence and prevent her from being fired from Odd Squad.
    • Downplayed in the first part of the Season 2 finale, "Who is Agent Otis?" At the climax of the episode, Otis is put on trial due to the fact that the X's believe that he is still a villain.

  • Battle Beast's "King for a Day" is a four-minute protest song about political corruption, with the video showing the band members deposing the king and putting him on trial.
  • The video for Billy Joel's "Keeping The Faith" has him on trial in Music Court.
  • "The Trial" from Pink Floyd's classic, The Wall.
  • Dee D. Jackson's disco Concept Album Cosmic Curves follows an unnamed Earthling travelling the galaxy in search of emotional connection. Eventually she is put on trial for treason for spreading her dangerous notion of "love", and the Title Track is a mini courtroom drama in which characters from previous songs testify against her. She is ultimately found guilty and cast into a black hole for her crimes.
  • N.W.A’s "Fuck Tha Police" portrays itself as the NWA trying the police department, with Dr. Dre as the judge, and Ice Cube, Eazy E, and M.C. REN as witnesses.

    Professional Wrestling 

  • Our Miss Brooks: In "Reckless Driving" Miss Brooks defend herself in court for "speeding, going through a red light, reckless driving, driving on the sidewalk and hitting a fruit stand." The episode was remade as "Trial by Jury" on television.
  • The Archers did several for the trial of Tom Archer, including an episode focusing entirely on the jury's deliberations, which was heavily publicised on its gimmick value as the only episode in the show's history not to feature any of the regular characters.
  • The "Get Off With Life The Burkiss Way" episode of The Burkiss Way, in which the show is prosecuted on three charges of "being funny", thus contravening the BBC charter. The judge? Mr Justice Biggles, whose first action is to bomb the jury because he thought they might have been Hitler.
  • "The Trial" by Pigmeat Markham deals with a litigant on trial for nudity, parading the streets with no pants on. When the gent testifies, he's asked if he'd been married and if he had any children. He had been married three years and had nine children, so the judge dismisses his case. When the prosecutor protests the dismissal, the judge explains that "this man hasn't had time to put his pants on!"


    Video Games 
  • Several BioWare games (Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect 2, Neverwinter Nights, and Neverwinter Nights 2) have sidequests where you either act as an attorney for a quest-giver, or are accused of something and have to defend yourself. Usually they involve all of collecting evidence, interviewing people, and making the right statements at court.
  • Chrono Trigger pulls an early one on the party-after returning from the past and heading to the castle, the Evil Chancellor immediately calls Chrono a terrorist and puts you on trial. Unlike the Bioware examples, success here is dependent on actions you took in the fair (return the kitty to her owner, don't eat the old guy's lunch, and let the Princess take all the time she wants at the candy booth). You're still slated for execution regardless of actions, but at least you get some items if you're found not guilty.
  • Crossovers involving Ace Attorney tend to be this for the other franchises involved:
  • Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love has a scene taking place in an informal outdoor court where Shinjiro is representing the Harlemites who oppose Steam Frontier's attempted gentrification of their neighborhood, with the company being represented by none other than his own teammate, famed lawyer Sagitta/Cheiron.

    Visual Novels 
  • Daughter for Dessert contains a climactic trial where the protagonist is charged with breaking and entering.

    Web Animation 
  • The Pimp Lando series mostly focuses on parodies and zany comedy. The last episode, "The Pimp, the Whole Pimp, and Nothing but the Pimp," has less zaniness and more courtroom antics.
  • Battle for BFDI's 22nd episode's challenge is to find out who stole Donut's diary. The challenge is set in a courtroom, with Four as the judge.

    Web Comics 
  • Our Little Adventure has a storyline revolving around one for Thomas Stratus. Thomas Stratus gets brought into court for the mass murder he was framed for. There don't seem to be any real courtroom officials here, just powerful mages pretending to be them.

    Web Original 
  • The Annoying Orange: "Food Court". Liam the Leprechaun decides Orange is more annoying that the law will allow, so he sends him to the Food Court. Of course, Liam is the Judge.
  • The Sonic Amigos has Retard Court starring Homer Simpson, a sub-series dedicated to these.
  • In The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles, a game of Canadian football escalates into complete absurdity. Chapter 4 sees the ball wind up in the possession of the city of Ottawa, and then the Canadian Parliament. The Argonauts and the REDBLACKS both appear before Parliament to argue why they should get possession of the ball.
  • Sanders Sides: The bulk of the episode "Selfishness v. Selflessness" takes place in a courtroom scenario created by Deceit, putting Thomas on trial for wanting to lie to his friends for his own personal gain. The whole scenario examines the ethics of putting your wants before someone else's, lying to further your own goals, and lying to someone to protect their feelings. Deceit acts as prosecution, Patton acts as defense, Roman is the judge, and Virgil is the sole juror. This being Deceit, the entire thing is a total Kangaroo Court, though he does bring up some valid points.
  • The Shipwrecked Comedy/Tin Can Bros crossover event ended with the two sides in an arbitration. Even though it wasn't an actual trial, everyone except the arbitrator treated it as a dramatic Courtroom Episode, invoking every Courtroom Antic they could think of.
  • The Scott The Woz episode "The Trial" has Scott representing his friends who were murdered in the Halloween Episode "The Great Mysteries of Gaming" a year prior (except for Wendy's Employee, who instead took up Jury Duty even though he was also murdered) in an attempt to sue the murderer. Courtroom Antics ensue.
  • Outside Xbox has the episode "Court in the Act", in which Corazón and Dob are hurled into a Kangaroo Court after being framed as high-ranking Mafiosos. Their public defender is an admittedly gifted ten-year-old. The eventual trial includes Dob mooning the courtroom to show off his new unicorn tramp stamp, the judge being murdered by the Mob when he suggests acquitting, and an escape predicated on replacing the ropes for the hanging with udon noodles.
    Prudence: We put the whole damn system on trial. That's plan 1. Whole damn system on trial. Plan 2, we sabotage the gallows and escape in the explosive chaos.

    Western Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series: "Twelve Angry Pups"
  • The Animaniacs episode "La La Law", where Dr. Scratchandsniff wants to just pay a parking ticket and get it over with, but the Warners insist on fighting the injustice.
  • American Dad! has "The People vs. Martin Sugar" in which Stan goes to jury duty to witness the prosecutor being one of Roger's personas being accused of running an illegal counterfeit handbag manufacturing service.
  • Arthur:
    • The episode, "Sick As a Dog" features a trial in Arthur's tree house when Arthur accuses D.W. of making Pal sick. note  The Brain is the judge, and Francine is D.W.'s lawyer. Since the jury consists of both Arthur and Buster, D.W. is found guilty despite her lack of evidence, though Arthur does apologize to her at the end of the episode.
    • In the episode, "Read and Flumberghast", D.W. pretends to be a lawyer after David makes an office for her out of the box the Read Family's new refrigerator was shipped in. Her first case occurs when Bud accuses the Tibble Twins of eating his cupcake. Ladonna shows them a Leagle Beagle comic, which inspires D.W. to convince Arthur to stage a trial in his backyard. In this trial, Buster is the judge, Binky is the Baliff, Arthur and his friends are the jury, Bud is the plaintiff, and the Tibble Twins are the defendants.
  • Episode "Between Friends" of Babar has Celeste and Zephir suing each other after a car accident and both faking their injuries in order to win the case. With Babar as the judge, Cornelius as Celeste's lawyer and Pompadour as Zephir's.
  • Bad Dog has two courtroom episodes.
    • "Burden Of The Woof" is about Lester Johnson having Berkeley prosecuted for harassing him and his cat.
    • "Dog House Arrest" is about Berkeley being placed under house arrest after injuring a woman at a supermarket. However, the woman was actually faking her injury to squeeze as much money as she could out of the Potanskis.
  • Batman: The Animated Series has the fittingly named "Trial", where the inmates of Arkham Asylum capture both Batman and new district attorney Janet van Dorn and put the former on trial (with The Joker as judge), with the latter acting as defense. Ms. van Dorn was an outspoken critic of the Dark Knight, being prevented from putting inmates in prison for life due to their being apprehended by a vigilante, and had made claims that Batman was directly responsible for creating all the supervillain scum of Gotham — now, in the Kangaroo Court set up at Arkham, she is tasked with defending Batman from those very claims. She succeeds in proving that each and every villain would've become who they were even without Batman's existence, both changing her tune on the Caped Crusader's role in society and actually convincing the inmates to find him Not Guilty. Unfortunately, being that they are such crooks, they don't want to pass up the opportunity to off them anyway — but since Ms. van Dorn did her job, it becomes time for Batman to do his...
  • Beavis and Butt-Head: "The Trial," "Sexual Harassment," "Snitchers"
  • Bob's Burgers: "A Few 'Gurt Men" starts out with Tina, Gene and Louise doing a mock-trial based on the fairy tale "Snow White" before it turns into a real trial when Mr. Frond is accused of stealing Mr. Ambrose's yogurt from the teacher's lounge.
  • The Boondocks episode "The Trial of R. Kelly", which satirized R. Kelly's acquittal from statutory rape charges.
  • Capitol Critters had one episode where two characters were taken to the cockroaches' courtroom. One of the defendants complained about being treated like a human being.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers:
  • One of the classic shorts of Casper the Friendly Ghost has him standing trial from the ghosts for not scaring people. The judge condemn him to lose his ghostly powers until he scares someone which is a problem as, at that point, Casper is well loved by most humans but his lack of powers cause him to fail in helping others. At the end Casper manages to scare other ghost be impersonating a ghost exterminator, getting his powers back.
  • Episode 4 of Clerks: The Animated Series revolved around Jay pursuing a Frivolous Lawsuit against Dante for slipping on a puddle of spilled soda.
  • Cyberchase has the episode "Sensible Flats". After Hacker is arrested for renting out a bigger parcel of land than Judge Trudy, the land's resident ruler, he is put on trial and the kids show that his land is actually the same size as that of the Judge. His land was just in an odd shape instead of a perfect quadrilateral.
  • The Dan Vs. episode "Dan vs Jury Duty". Antics include Chris being mistaken for an expert witness, Dan being disappointed that courtroom cases aren't as exciting as they are on TV, and Dan trying to prove the defendant's innocence after siding with him. It turns out that Dan is the one who committed the crime the defendant was accused of, although Dan didn't remember that because his memory was erased by aliens.
  • In the Dennis the Menace episode, "Trial and Error", Margaret accuses Ruff of chewing her diary, but Dennis doesn't believe he did it, so he holds a trial in his backyard. Jay is the judge, Margaret is the plaintiff, and Dennis is the defendant. In the end, it is revealed that a bulldog named Spike was the one who chewed up Margaret's diary and framed Ruff.
  • The Dick Tracy Show: In "Court Jester," Stooge Viller and Mumbles are on trial for forgery, but Stooge has taken it on the lam. Without Stooge to translate Mumbles' mumbling, the prosecution can't get a conviction because nobody else can tell if he's pleading guilty or not. Tracy sends Go-Go Gomez to recapture Stooge and bring him to court.
  • Dinosaucers: In "The Scales of Justice", the Tyrannos try to convince a judge to deport the Dinosaucers back to their home planet.
  • Duck Dodgers episode "The Trial of Duck Dodgers"
  • The Fairly OddParents special "Timmy's Secret Wish!" has Timmy put on trial for being the worst godkid ever. This eventually leads to the revelation that Timmy made a secret wish fifty years ago that everyone would stop aging so his fairies would never have to leave him.
  • Several Futurama episodes, as well as a significant part of the last movie.
    Bender: Court's kind of fun when it's not my ass on the line.
  • Garfield and Friends episodes: "Binky Goes Bad", "Trial & Error"
  • The non-canon Gargoyles episode "And Justice For All" sees Goliath being framed for a jewelry heist and then willingly undergoing the judicial process in order to set a precedent for gargoyles being accepted as equals under human law. What follows is him engaging in unlawful antics that would see his case being damaged even further in real life. Notably, series creator Greg Wesiman originally intended for the episode to be centered on the Manhattan Clan being tried on the basis of their very sentience, but when Disney took control for season 3, it was slashed and chopped into the mockery that eventually aired.
  • The second part of the Grand Finale of Gravity Falls, "Weirdmageddon Part 2 - Escape from Reality", has it's climax happening on a courtroom.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: "Keeper of the Reaper." Fred Fredburger, yes!
  • Hey Arnold! had "False Alarm" where Eugene was on trial for pulling the fire alarm. The episode contained several references to 12 Angry Men, including Arnold stabbing a pencil into the table. Curly confesses he is the real culprit, having framed Eugene. His motive? Revenge after Eugene borrowed his Wanky Land pencil, chewed on it and sharpened it down to the eraser.
  • Johnny Bravo had several:
    • In "The Day the Earth Didn't Move Around Very Much", Johnny is put on trial for numerous petty crimes during a period of Contrived Coincidences where he believed time stood still, and no time would mean no rules, from stealing candy to eating at a restaurant without paying to scoring a free hotel room. The judge lets Johnny off the hook after he explains he thought he was in a time freeze himself, as well.
    • "Jailbird Johnny" also serves as a Prison Episode, where Johnny is put on trial for littering and mistakenly sent to a women's prison, and as expected, during his time in lockup, he doesn't want to leave. At the end of the episode, Little Suzy and Bunny manage to prove he is innocent, thanks to an ATM camera.
    • "Shnook of the North" sees Johnny being brought to family court and placed with a foster family after getting separated from his mother at the mall.
    • In "One Angry Bravo", Johnny is picked for Jury Duty over a parking ticket, only to find the defendant was a hot babe, making him stall the trial for eight months and refuse to convict until the judge finally stripped the sequestered jurors of some privilege, after which he promptly convicted her of the offense. The defendant got an $80 fine, but Johnny's behavior in court finally got him sent to jail.
  • Justice League has one episode where Green Lantern stands trial for blowing up a planet. Flash is his lawyer. Hilarity Ensues.
    Flash: If the ring wasn't lit, you must acquit!
  • Kaeloo:
    • The episode "Let's Play Courtroom Drama", where Mr. Cat is taken to court for attacking Quack Quack with a chainsaw. Kaeloo acts as Quack Quack's lawyer, and Stumpy is the judge. Kaeloo pulls off a Wounded Gazelle Gambit to get Mr. Cat to confess that it was him.
    • Episode 113 has Kaeloo take Stumpy to court for "mistreating" objects, with Quack Quack as the judge and Mr. Cat as Stumpy's lawyer. Mr. Cat hoists Kaeloo by her own petard and Stumpy wins.
    • In Episode 179, a pair of manipulative Amoral Attorneys convince Quack Quack and Stumpy to sue Kaeloo for "mistreating" them, which is really just her doing innocuous things like telling Quack Quack to put trash in the trashcan instead of leaving it on the floor, and threaten to have her sent to prison if she doesn't give them 2 billion bucks. This time, Mr. Cat acts as Kaeloo's lawyer and convinces Stumpy and Quack Quack to drop their lawsuit against Kaeloo.
  • The Magic School Bus had the episode "Gets Swamped". In this episode Ms. Frizzle's class are among the members on a city council deciding whether or not to build a mall on the site of a wetland on the outskirts of the city. Sure enough, Arnold's cousin Janet is the one arguing in favor of the mall, and the class must find several reasons why the yucky swamp should remain in place.
  • Martha Speaks had the episode "Martha the Witness", where Martha the dog is taken to court because Mrs. Demson needs a witness after her lawn furniture is wrecked in a car crash.
  • The OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes episode "Soda Genie" revolves around KO, Rad, and Enid being put on trial in Magic Court after a genie trapped in a soda bottle tricks them into breaking their friendship apart.
  • There's an episode of Peter Pan & the Pirates wherein Peter sneaks on board the Jolly Roger to play with Captain Hook's harpsichord. When the pirates capture him, Wendy convinces Captain Hook to give Peter a trial. Hijinks ensue.
  • "Assault and Flattery," a 1950s Popeye cartoon has Bluto taking Popeye to court for assault and battery charges. (Of course, Bluto is faking his injuries).
  • The Pound Puppies (2010) episode "The Pupple's Court", where Lucky is put on trial by Miss Stiffwhiskers for not following procedure while matching dogs with their owners. It's up to Niblet, Strudel, Cookie, and Squirt to defend their friend and keep him from getting kicked out of the Pound Puppies.
  • Quick Draw McGraw once had to protect a key witness (Baba Looey) for a trial.
  • Recess: "The Trial" is the best example, but other episodes include "The Story of Whomps" and "The Biggest Trouble Ever".
  • Rocko's Modern Life had two:
    • The first of which was "Fly Burgers". Rocko tries to cook some burgers, which attract a hungry fly named Flecko. When Rocko tries to shoo Flecko away, Flecko feigns an injury and sues Rocko, resulting in Judge Sockner sentencing Rocko to 30 days as a fly as punishment. While Flecko is dining at a restaurant after the lawsuit, Sockner happens to be dining at the same restaurant with a friend and discovers that Flecko faked his injuries, at which point he finds Rocko and reverses the spell, minus the removal of his fly wings.
    • The second one occurs in "Dumbells", when a ding-dong-ditch pranking spree lands Rocko in hot water along with Gladys the Hippo Lady. The original perpetrators, Heffer and Filburt, learn their friend is about to take the blame for their wrongdoing and confess, clearing Rocko and Gladys of all charges, later to take up another prank: prank phone calling, even roping the judge into it.
  • Rugrats
    • Happens in the episode "The Trial" when the babies do this to find out who broke Tommy's favorite clown lamp with Tommy being the judge and Angelica being the persecutor (prosecutor). They soon realize it was Angelica who broke the lamp and she even admits it, because she hated it and gloats loud enough that the adults hear her.
    • In another episode "Pickles vs. Pickles", Angelica sues her parents for divorce after they force her to eat broccoli. The whole court is on Angelica's side and the judge even allows her to bring up her toys as witnesses. Luckily for Drew, it turns out it was All Just a Dream.
    • "Tricycle Thief" presents a trial of sorts, as Angelica is suspected of stealing Susie's tricycle. Angelica's doll Cynthia is tied to Susie's mylar balloon while testimony is presented. While Angelica claims she was innocent, evidence seem to be against her (literally caught redhandednote  and Chuckie overhearing Angelica quietly telling Susie she'll be sorry).
  • The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin: One of the plots of "Uncle Grubby" was Tweeg being taken to M.A.V.O. court to answer for his failures.
  • Several episodes of The Simpsons; among them are "Bart Gets Hit by a Car", "The Boy Who Knew Too Much", and "The D'Oh-cial Network."
  • The Smurfs (1981) episode "The Smurfy Verdict" has Clumsy put on trail for his supposed negligence of watching over Baby Smurf.
  • Snagglepuss becomes the fill-in judge in a court case on an outlaw. When he accidentally tells the outlaw to leave his court for disrupting it, Snagglepuss has to act as both judge and defendant and gives himself 99 years in jail.
  • In the Sonic Boom episode, "Don't Judge Me", Dr. Eggman attempts to sue Sonic over an (obviously fake) injury. To make sure everything goes in his favor, Burnbot is the judge, T.W. Barker is Dr. Eggman's lawyer, and Dr. Eggman shows a sepiatone film of him playing with Orbot and Cubot in unconvincing disguises in an attempt to show his softer side.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: "Krabs vs. Plankton."
  • Steven Universe: "The Trial" is about Steven being put on trial by Homeworld for shattering Pink Diamond. Technically it's his mother Rose that's on trial, but as he has her gemstone and is her reincarnation, most gems perceive them as the same person. Complicating matters is that Steven thinks he's guilty (so to speak), but can't give an actual account of things because he wasn't there. He's also given a lawyer who's motivated to help him because she'll be killed if he's found guilty.
  • In the Teen Titans Go! episode, "A Farce", Brother Blood and The Brain take the Titans to court for their careless and reckless destruction of Jump City, with the sentence being execution if the Titans are found guilty. The Titans are indeed found guilty at the end of the episode.
  • "Sidewalk Soiler" episode of Tripping the Rift has Chode going under trial in a planet where the smallest form of polluting is punished by death. The episode also serves as a parody of Judge Judy, Police Procedural dramas and Game Shows.
  • The Unikitty! episode "Kitty Court" features Master Frown, injured from being hit by Unikitty's car, taking the princess to court. However, since the accident was in the Unikingdom, it involves the wacky justice system of the kingdom, which treats it like a party, with literal recess on a playground, fruit smoothies, and a roulette wheel to choose the judge (which ends up Puppycorn for that trial). Brock was supposed to be Master Frown's lawyer, but he gave up to play video games, so Unikitty stepped in to defend Master Frown and persecute...herself. It's only when Master Frown outs himself as having planned to get hit just to make Unikitty miserable that he is declared guilty.
  • The Venture Bros. episode "Trial of the Monarch" has the Monarch as the defendant, acting as his own lawyer. He doesn't care for having the jury described as his "peers."
  • A good deal of Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa episode "Bulls of a Feather" was about Sheriff Terribull being taken to courtroom to be tried for the crimes of his criminal alter ego The Masked Bull.
  • In the Zeroman episode, "Disorder In The Court", Mayor Todd McWadd is put on trial for the murder of his opponent in the mayoral election. It turns out that he was actually set up by the judge in a bid for the judge to become the next mayor.


Video Example(s):


Disorder in the Court

Chelsea and Raven appear on Judge Giovanni to settle a disagreement with Chelsea's ex-husband Garrett.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / CourtroomEpisode

Media sources: