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.
- Wedding Day: A couple make a pact to spend their lives together.
- 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.
- Fishing Episode: The characters go fishing of course.
- 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.
- Ruptured Appendix: A character develops appendicitis and, usually, requires emergency surgery.
- 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.
- Vacation Crossover: Crossover where characters meet because one or both parties are on vacation; otherwise, the run-in is unlikely due to them living in vastly different places.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Concert Episode: The characters see a (usually rock) concert together.
- 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.
- Flea Episode: A character has fleas. Itchiness ensues.
- 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.