An index of tropes regarding different episodes of any television series, or chapters of any book.
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Episodes focusing on specific character(s), or on their personality traits.
- Ageless Birthday Episode: Same as below, except without any visible increase in age.
- Birthday Episode: Where a character's birthday is celebrated.
- The Bus Came Back: A long gone character comes back.
- A Day in the Limelight: A secondary character shifts into the narrative focus for one episode.
- Embarrassment Plot: A character deals with being embarrassed.
- Gender-Separated Ensemble Episode: The ensemble cast is split by gender for one episode, with their separate plots.
- Girls' Night Out Episode: The female characters shift into exclusive spotlight for one episode. May be related to the above.
- How Dad Met Mom: The backstory of how two parents first met.
- Lower-Deck Episode: Minor supporting characters shift into spotlight for one episode.
- Origins Episode: The origin of a previously introduced character is explained.
- Villain Episode: The antagonists shift into the spotlight.
- "Walk on the Wild Side" Episode: The responsible character becomes wild and spontaneous.
- Welcome Episode: The POV character is introduced to an established character group.
- "What Do They Fear?" Episode: The characters try to discover each other's deepest fears.
- With a Foot on the Bus: It looks like a character might leave, but they don't.
Episodes where the main cast participates in sports or other kinds of games and contests.
- Baseball Episode: The characters train for and participate in a baseball game.
- Bowling for Ratings: The characters go bowling or join a bowling league.
- The Boxing Episode: The characters train for, participate in, or attend a boxing match.
- Evasive Fight-Thread Episode: The characters compete in some discipline but the outcome is never revealed.
- Mini-Golf Episode: The characters visit a mini-golf course- competition ensues.
- The Olympics: The characters partake in the Olympics, whether a local version or the real deal.
- Paintball Episode: The characters train for and participate in a paintball game.
- RPG Episode: The characters play a role-playing game for most of the episode.
- Town Contest Episode: The characters participate in a town-wide contest in some discipline.
Genre Shift Episode
The show switches genres for one episode, but keeps the main cast.
- Alternate Reality Episode: The actors play different characters in an alternate universe.
- Cowboy Episode: The characters visit the historical American frontier (or any vaguely similar setting).
- Fairy Tale Episode: The characters reenact a (parody of a) famous fairy tale.
- Noir Episode: Episode shot in the style of film noir. Black-and-white visuals and first-person narrations are usually mandatory.
- Parody Episode: Comedic episode parodying something.
- Rhyming Episode: The characters are cast in a story where they rhyme all the time.
- Sitcom Homage Episode: Episode spoofing a classic situation comedy show.
- Storybook Episode: The characters are cast as fairy tale archetypes.
- Superhero Episode: The characters gain superpowers (or at least fancy costumes) and fight crime for an episode.
Episodes where members of the main cast fall ill or are injured.
- Amnesia Episode: Someone loses their memory. Hilarity may or may not ensue.
- Contamination Situation: Characters are exposed to a potentially deadly pathogen that infects them.
- The Dentist Episode: A character has to visit the dentist.
- Fever Dream Episode: A character is sick and has bad trips the entire episode.
- Injured Limb Episode: A character injures their limb.
- Lost Voice Plot: A character loses their voice (whether by disease, magic, or just straining it), and they must get it back.
- Sick Episode: One or more characters fall ill and the others tend to them.
- Single-Episode Handicap: A character is handicapped for an episode.
- The Tonsillitis Episode: A character has tonsillitis.
Episodes important (or completely irrelevant) to the show's overall continuity.
- Bizarro Episode: Episode without any connection to the prior or following continuity.
- Breather Episode: Light-hearted episode wedged in-between emotionally taxing ones.
- Crossover: Episode that mixes in characters and settings from another series.
- Dénouement Episode: Series finale episode that cleans up loose ends after the main story arc is concluded.
- Failed Pilot Episode: An index for pilots that were never made into full shows.
- Filler: Standalone episode produced solely to postpone advancing the main story arc. Adaptations may use it to avoid running out of source material.
- Grand Finale: The epicly definitive conclusion of a whole series.
- Innocuously Important Episode: Episode that subtly sets up the future story arc.
- Mid-Season Twist: A Wham Episode that happens midway through the season.
- Non-Indicative First Episode: First episode whose contents don't reflect the rest of the show adequately.
- Pilot: An episode or (short) film made to launch a new series; a prototype of a series premiere.
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: An episode introducing new characters or a storyline for a potential spin off series.
- Premiere: The first official episode of a series, which may or may not overlap with the pilot episode.
- Recap Episode: Episode that sums up previous story developments.
- Season Finale: The last episode of a season, and (usually) of a seasonal story arc.
- Sequel Episode: Episode that continues the storyline of a much earlier one.
- Series Fauxnale: Episode produced as a grand finale for the series that didn't end after it.
- Standalone Episode: Episode that can be enjoyed without any prior knowledge of the series.
- Stock Series Finales: Common plots often used in final episodes of shows.
- Stock Sitcom Grand Finale: Common plots for ending a situation comedy series.
- Synchronous Episodes: Several consecutively broadcast episodes take place at the same time in-story.
- Unexpectedly Dark Episode: Episode that is dark for a light-hearted show, but doesn't leave an impact on the show.
- Very Special Episode: Episode in an otherwise lighthearted series in which the characters deal with serious real-life issues.
- Wham Episode: Episode produced to surprise or shock the viewers.
- Whole Episode Flashback: Episode consisting mainly of one long flashback.
Production Trivia Episode
Episodes notable for unusual format or production details.
- Banned Episode: An episode that was removed from the air, whether by the TV networks or national censors.
- Bonus Episode: Episode that never aired but was added to the retail version.
- Bottle Episode: Low-budget episode to preserve production expenses for later.
- Clip Show: Episode (usually a form of Recap Episode) that is largely made up of actual clips from earlier episodes.
- Episode 0: The Beginning: Episode with a zero in the title to show it's a prequel.
- Extra Long Episode: Episode that is longer than usual for the show, season, or format.
- In Memoriam: Episode dedicated to a person who passed away recently in real life.
- Live Episode: Episode that is shot and broadcast in real time.
- Missing Episode: An episode which is missing from most broadcasts and retail versions.
- Multi-Part Episode: Episode split into several parts for broadcast.
- No-Dialogue Episode: Episode without any spoken lines.
- One-Paragraph Chapter: A chapter with only one paragraph.
- Three-Dimensional Episode: Episode produced to be watched with 3-D glasses on.
- Title Drop Chapter: A chapter that drops the title of the overall work.
- Unfinished Episode: An episode that never gets finished or made.
- Un Installment: The series skips a number in its episode/installment progression.
- Vignette Episode: Episode composed of several vignettes.
- Webisode: Episode only available on the internet.
Significant Date Episode
Episodes that revolve around what the characters do (or not) to celebrate culturally significant dates, especially holidays.
- April Fools' Plot: It's April Fools Day and everyone is having fun.
- Christmas Episode: It's Christmas Eve and everyone is having fun. May feature Yet Another Christmas Carol.
- Crappy Holidays: It's holiday season but nobody is having fun.
- Election Day Episode: It's an election day, and someone is involved in a campaign for office.
- Festival Episode: It's festival season and the Japanese are having fun.
- Halloween Episode: It's Halloween and everybody is terrified.
- Out of Holiday Episode: It's a significant date episode but transmitted in a different date.
- Thanksgiving Episode: It's Thanksgiving and the relatives are arguing.
- Valentine's Day Episodes: It's Valentine's Day and everybody is lovesick.
Unusual Activity Episode
Episodes where members of the main cast engage in unusual (for them) activities.
- Amateur Film-Making Plot: The cast takes up amateur film-making.
- Ballet Episode: One or more characters either try their hand at ballet or go to the ballet.
- Door-to-Door Episode: The characters go on a fundraising drive.
- Dress-Up Episode: The modern protagonists of the work in question suddenly and inexplicably need to dress as if it's the Victorian Era.
- First Day of School Episode: A character starts to attend a new year of school.
- Fundraiser Carnival: The characters organize a fundraiser carnival.
- Guinness Episode: The characters attempt to break a world record (or several); usually, Hilarity Ensues.
- Musical Episode: The characters prepare and perform a musical.
- Pest Episode: The main characters spend the episode trying to catch a pest, such as a mouse.
- Pro Wrestling Episode: The characters train for, participate in, or attend a wrestling match.
- School Play: The characters prepare for and/or perform a play for class.
Unusual Location Episode
Episode where the main cast goes to places they don't usually hang out at.
- Beach Episode: The characters go to a beach.
- Boot Camp Episode: The characters receive military training.
- Camping Episode: The characters go camping.
- Casino Episode: The characters go to a casino.
- Circus Episode: The characters get involved with a circus for an episode.
- Courtroom Episode: The characters are involved in a court case.
- Detention Episode: The characters go to a detention room in school.
- Episode on a Plane: The characters take a plane to somewhere and spend most of the episode on board.
- Grocery Store Episode: The characters go shopping for food and other goods.
- Hot Springs Episode: The characters go to the hot springs.
- Movie Theater Episode: The characters go watch a film at the local cinema.
- Picnic Episode: The characters go on a picnic.
- Prison Episode: The characters go to prison.
- Real World Episode: The characters come from their fictional world to the "real" one for an episode.
- Road Trip Plot: The characters go on a road trip. AKA "Road Trip Episode".
- The Show Goes Hollywood: The characters go to Hollywood.
- Space Episode: The characters go to outer space.
- Vacation Episode: The characters go on a vacation.
- Viva Las Vegas!: The characters go to Vegas for an episode.
Unusual Situation Episode
Episodes where the main cast is placed into unusual situations.
- Alien Episode: The characters encounter extraterrestrial beings visiting Earth, whether hostile or friendly.
- Baby Morph Episode: One or more characters is transformed into a baby and the others must take care of them.
- Babysitting Episode: The characters have to babysit someone.
- Big Storm Episode: There's a big storm. The characters have to work around it.
- Broke Episode: The characters are broke and must make ends meet somehow.
- Cryptid Episode: The characters go and search for some kind of mysterious mythical creature.
- Diet Episode: The characters start dieting for one episode.
- Documentary Episode: A journalist makes a documentary about the characters and their occupation.
- The Doll Episode: Creepy episode revolving around dolls and their owners and makers.
- Episode of the Dead: The characters struggle against a temporary Zombie Apocalypse.
- Feud Episode: The characters spend the episode feuding against each other.
- Insomnia Episode: A character is unable to sleep for unknown reasons for one episode.
- New Job Episode: A character changes jobs for an episode.
- Paranormal Episode: The characters find themselves dealing with a paranormal/supernatural situation in an otherwise mundane setting.
- Parents for a Day: A baby or something like it is raised, who leaves by the end of the episode.
- "Rear Window" Homage: A character forced to sit around in their bedroom ends up recreating the plot of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window.
- Restaurant-Owning Episode: A character operates an eatery for an episode.
- Second Episode Morning: A character has to deal with the strange events that happened in the first episode.
- Society-on-Edge Episode: The characters have to deal with how volatile and unstable the setting has recently become.
- Strike Episode: The characters go on strike.
- Superstition Episode: A character does something considered unlucky and has bad luck for the rest of the episode.
- "Stuck at the Airport" Plot: The airport is Snowed-In and the flight's been cancelled. Or was it some kind of terrorist attack?
- Time Travel Episode: The characters go back and/or forth through time.
- Toilet Training Plot: The characters attempt to toilet-train another character (usually a small child).
- Torture Chamber Episode: A character spends the episode being tortured.
- Trainwreck Episode: The characters are involved in or have to deal with a major disaster.
- Treasure Hunt Episode: The characters look for treasure.
- Vampire Episode: The characters encounter undead bloodsuckers.
- Vegetarian for a Day: Characters go vegetarian for the episode and then go back to their normal eating habits by the end.