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Different in Every Episode

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This doesn't even begin to cover the weird things that you will frequently see on the Middleton High sign.

If a Couch Gag is where something different shows up every time in the opening sequence, this is where something from the episode itself is always different. Not just the obvious story telling devices like characters, plot, and settings, (though it can play into them,) but rather more mundane things that are different just because they can be.

A subtrope of Running Gag.

May often overlap with Unlimited Wardrobe if most characters in the series are usually subjected to Limited Wardrobe, and one is different just because they can be.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Asobi Asobase, Olivia's hairstyle changes in every episode, contrasting with the other characters who stick to one hairstyle.
  • In the anime adaptation of Is This A Zombie?, Ayumu's fantasies of Eucliwood are voiced by a different voice actor (frequently well known, but less commonly heard from nowadays) each episode. There is even a scrolling text placed onscreen saying who the voice actor is this week. This running gag is held up in the English dub as well, featuring and appropriately crediting such actresses like Alexis Tipton, Tia Ballard, Luci Christian, Leah Clark, Kara Edwards, Jamie Marchi, and Carli Mosier, to name a few.
  • In Pani Poni Dash! and Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, the writing on the blackboard in the classroom, and a lot of writing seen elsewhere, will change in every shot, mid-conversation.

    Comic Strips 
  • Weird Pete's Games Pit in Knights of the Dinner Table has different signs (and occasionally graffiti) at each appearance. Some of the messages relate to the current plotline; others are stand-alone jokes.

  • Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus will change her dress in every book to reflect the subject being covered.
  • Someone or something with the name "Shuttleworth" appears in nearly every Aunt Dimity book. Occasionally, it will be attached to a minor character with actual lines, such as Rev. and Mrs. Shutttleworth of Penford Harbour in Aunt Dimity and the Duke. It was also the name of an inn in Salisbury that Lori had once visited, and which she used as part of her cover story for Simon's visit to the hospital in Aunt Dimity Takes a Holiday. Most often, it is someone no longer on the scene due to death, or someone never seen yet referenced because they perform some plot function. Two of the references are from Finch (and possibly the same person), a Miss Shuttleworth once ran the village tea room, and Dimity names a Patricia Shuttleworth whose dog's unlikely victory in the local dog show caused a "kerfluffle". The same Shuttleworth (an art teacher in the nearby market town of Upper Deeping) is mentioned in Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree and 'Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch''. The name also appears on the tombstones of a family that died in an epidemic in Bluebird, Colorado; as one of Bill's clients whose demands keep him in London; as the pseudonym Sir Percy Pelham used to scout out Erinskil before his purchase of his island castle; and Mr. Barlow's Whitby informant on Prunella Hooper and Peggy Kitchen's secret son.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Black Books had a blackboard in the book shop that always had different rules for the shop. Most of which were basically different ways of saying "Don't Do Anything" (or even just the word "NO" scrawled over half erased words in one particular instance).
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend had "Other Rebecca" say a different thing at the end of the opening credits in each episode of the fourth season.
  • Friends: The Magna Doodle in Chandler and Joey's apartment has a different picture each time.
  • The picture on Murphy Brown's Dartboard of Hate.
  • The funny message on Frank's trucker cap on 30 Rock.
  • The number on the whiteboard in Battlestar Galactica is a more-serious-than-usual example. It counts the population of the fleet and ticks down over the course of the series.
  • Police Squad! had a few:
    • Once an episode, Inspector Frank Drebin would visit Johnny the Shoeshine Guy for "the word on the street". After getting oddly detailed information from Johnny, Frank would leave and someone else would come, asking for (and receiving) advice specific to their line of work. This second person was different every episode—a heart surgeon, a theologian, Dick Clark, etc.
    • Any time Frank Drebin parked his car, he would hit another car or some garbage cans. With every episode, the number of garbage cans he hit at once would increase.
    • The opening credits of every episode would feature a different guest star. Who would invariably die before the credits ended.
    • The first episode parodied the practice of playing the end credits over a freeze frame, by leaving the cameras rolling while the actors just stand really still. Every subsequent episode introduces a different variation on this gag: the actors all freeze while a chimpanzee trashes up the office in the background; an arrested criminal notices that everyone else is frozen and tries to escape; the actors continue pouring a cup of coffee during the credits until the coffee mug overflows, etc.
  • The Price Is Right: Several pricing games during the Drew Carey-era have had these:
    • Cover Up: After Drew mentioned that the base "incorrect" price that had been shown at the start of the game didn't really have anything to do with gameplay, he began having the spaces used for running gags or something nonsensical. The first of these were pictures of Carey in different poses used for the portrait space on the $25,000 bill prop (used in Punch-A-Bunch); these have changed every time.
    • Punch-A-Bunch: After about 2009, Drew's portrait on the $25,000 dollar bill prop had him making funny faces and all sorts of other expressions, replacing the formal shot that had been seen previously.
  • One episode of The West Wing has CJ given a goldfish as a pet. It doesn't appear in every subsequent episode, but if Gail's bowl does make it into a shot it will include an ornament referencing that episode's plot.
  • In the same vein, there's the ornament in Dorothy's goldfish bowl in Elmo's World.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: The warning on Chad's shirt changes in every episode in which he appears.
  • The Grand Tour: The "Conversation Street" segment starts out in the first episode with the three presenters in silhouette chatting to each other. In each subsequent episode, the intro changes. Sometimes it's subtle ("Wait... is Clarkson wearing high-heels?"), sometimes it's more obvious ("Why is May holding a live owl?")
  • Wheel of Fortune: Every episode (of which there's over 4000) would see Vanna White in a different outfit. Every. Single. Episode.
  • The Chuck Lorre Productions logo uses different vanity cards per episode they produced. They would sometimes run their 111th card, which explains its purpose as a placeholder in case Chuck has nothing on tap. Even then, the last sentence is different every time it is shown so far (the sentence immediately before being about having "freedom from the obsessive and relentless need to end each vanity card on a joke"):
    • In the Two and a Half Men episode "The Last Thing You Want to Do Is Wind Up with a Hump", the last sentence is "Governor Schwarzenegger."
    • In the Two and a Half Men episode "A Kosher Slaughterhouse Out in Fontana", the last sentence is "The Electoral College."
    • In the The Big Bang Theory episode "The Guitarist Amplification", the last sentence is "Glenn Beck is sober." (The only one so far to actually feature a predicate.)
    • In the Mom episode "Loathing and Tube Socks", the last sentence is "Ted Cruz."
  • Johnny Crawfish always tells a different joke whenever it's his turn to appear in The Noddy Shop.
  • Whenever the titular character of Bear in the Big Blue House sniffs the viewer, he will compare their smell to a different object every episode. In some episodes, he sings about it instead.
  • Superstore: Amy has a different name tag in every episode — sometimes multiple if the episode takes place over multiple days.


    Web Original 
  • The Spoony Experiment: Spoony does most of his reviews just sitting in a green chair while you can see posters hanging on the walls in the room corner directly behind him. In pretty much every review he does, he changes those posters to reflect something relevant to the review itself, usually a movie poster or wallscroll of the movie or game he's reviewing. If it's anything Highlander related, it'll usually be a poster of that movie. Anything Japanese game related, expect to see wallscrolls of the game or of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie.
  • Similarly, The Angry Video Game Nerd would often switch up his background posters hoping people would spot the references.
  • The Cinema Snob is fond of doing this as well, though he tends to keep his Caligula poster at all times.
  • Qwerpline has the sponsorships and tourism slogans, the latter of which often invoke corpsing.
  • On Kinda Funny's Games Daily show, Andrea Rene prides herself on never repeating the same outfit. To date, she's only done it once!
  • Drew Gooden: Every episode has unique Paint-Art he puts in the background, each drawn specifically to poke fun at the subject of the day's episode.
  • Game Grumps: In the Ten Minute Power Hour spinoff, Arin clears the toy dinosaurs and pencil holder off the desk in a different way at the start of every episode, such as pushing them off, having someone else take them away, or more bizarre takes, such as the dinosaurs walking away themselves or a bunch of tiny army figurines carrying everything away.

    Western Animation 
  • As seen by the trope image, the sign outside Middleton High on Kim Possible.
  • The sign outside Charles Darwin Middle School in My Gym Partner's a Monkey. Lampshaded when it says "This sign changes a lot."
  • The sign outside Peach Creek Jr. High in Ed, Edd n Eddy. The first time the school was shown (the Valentine's Day Episode) it referred to the school as Peach Creek High. That was probably an animation error, though.
  • Big Mouth: The sign outside Brigdeton Middle School says something different every episode, usually a Call-Back to an earlier joke.
  • The sign outside the pet shop in Fish Hooks.
  • The sign at the First Church of Springfield in The Simpsons, whenever it appears.
  • The Weekenders:
  • The chief of The Secret Show is only known as "Changed Daily" because his name changes daily for security reasons.
  • Kimiko from Xiaolin Showdown has an Unlimited Wardrobe where she's always wearing a different outfit (and often hairstyle and sometimes color) in each episode the moment they leave the temple simply because she can. Everyone else in the show is subject to a Limited Wardrobe, with a few special occasions as the plot of the episode demands. (Like the other Monks, she has her own variation on the standard outfit which appears in every episode)
  • Bob's Burgers: In addition to the show's Couch Gag, the Burger of the Day that is posted on the wall changes every episode. It will also change during episodes that take place over multiple days.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, Perry has a different entrance to his lair in nearly every episode. However, some episodes don't show the entrance, and the entrance from the first episode was re-used twice (the first reappearance, Perry couldn't get in due to having a cone on his head, and the second time was in the series finale).
  • In Squidbillies, Early Cuyler's hat says something different in every episode.
  • Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus wears a different dress and jewelry every episode, according to the episode's subject. The spin-off The Magic School Bus Rides Again does the same with her sister Fiona Frizzle, who wears different skirts and necklaces according to the theme.
  • If the vet is involved, the animals that come and go in Martha Speaks
  • In Gravity Falls, Mabel wears a different sweater every episode, more if the episode takes place over several days.
  • In The Emperor's New School, something different happens every time Kronk is asked to pull the lever to the secret lab. Hilariously lampshaded in one episode:
    Yzma: Okay, let's see. "To the secret lab." "Pull the lever, Kronk." Something goes wrong. Then the wall spins."
  • The Marquee from Milo Murphy's Law.
  • At the start of most episodes of Mighty Magiswords, the narrator starts by bombastically announcing the setting that the story begins with, followed by a random quip.
    At Warriors For Hire headquarters, OH YEAH!
    At the Rhyboflavin Bazaar, BOOM SHAKALAKA!
    At Ralphio's House of Swords, BLAM!
    At Old Man Oldman's old home, OLD!
  • Muppet Babies (2018) has Miss Nanny wear different tights in each episode, reflecting the theme of the story. For example in the first episode "Sir Kermit the Brave", they have a dragon pattern.
  • Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum: In every episode, the gang accesses the Secret Museum in a specific way. There are six variants:
    • Through a portrait.
    • Through a tornado.
    • Through an Egyptian wall.
    • Through a grandfather clock.
    • Through a dinosaur exhibit.
    • Through a Chinese throne.
  • Let's Go Luna!: The circus visits a different country in every episode. Usually, one country is used for two consecutive episode pairs.
  • In The Bee-Bees, when Berry summons Blu to deliver the episode's Aesop, the latter is usually shown doing a recreational activity or relaxing. Examples from specific episodes are:
    • "The Tree": Picking a fruit.
    • "A Poor Lonely Note": Sleeping on a cloud.
    • "The Kite": Holding and blowing a dandelion.
    • "The Special Star": Brushing his teeth.
    • "The Shadow": Walking a dog.
    • "Crushing Evidence": Sunbathing with a drink.
    • "The Cyclamen": Painting a rainbow.


Video Example(s):


Conversation Street (Series 1)

Every time The Grand Tour begins the "Conversation Street" segment (courtesy of a segue from Richard Hammond announcing it with flowery prose), a video clip of presenters Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson, and James May, all in silhouette against a white background, plays with something odd or unusual going on. Since the combined length of all the intro clips are just a bit too long for TV Tropes (by about fifteen seconds), they've all been divided up into smaller compilations for each series. Here are all the "Conversation Street" intro clips from series one.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / DifferentInEveryEpisode

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