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Movie-Theater Episode

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If you want your series to have a Show Within a Show, one way to achieve this is by having an episode where the characters go to a movie theater. Often, they will go through many mishaps. They may have trouble getting tickets, finding good seats, buying snacks (or bringing their own), and more. They might also have to put up with a very disruptive movie patron, who does such things as talk during the movie, eat or drink loudly, kick the seat in front of them, or block the view of the patron behind them.

This also includes cases where the characters go to a Drive-In Theater, where they may have troubles such as finding a place to park.

Compare Circus Episode and Casino Episode, other tropes about episodes in which characters go to places of entertainment.


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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War:
    • Chapter 3 follows Kaguya and Shirogane as they go to the movies (itself a followup to the events of chapter 1). They end up having a Battle of Wits where they try sit side by side without asking where the other is sitting (and failing miserably). Chapter 2 of spin-off series We Want to Talk About Kaguya showed the events from Karen's perspective.
    • Chapter 159 returns to that same movie theater, where Kaguya and Shirogane have their first official date post-Relationship Upgrade.

    Asian Animation 
  • The Lamput episode "Martial Art" takes place in a movie theater. In it, Fat Doc and Slim Doc encounter Lamput in the theater while he's watching a martial arts film. When the two docs start to disturb Lamput, he fights them off in the same style as in the film he's trying to watch.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Happy, Happy, Bang! Bang! episode 38, the goats go to a theater to watch a movie called Dao Yang Kong Jian. Wolffy uses this as an opportunity to catch the goats.

    Comedy 
  • One skit by Cheech And Chong has their characters Pablo De Paco and Man visit a drive-in theater, while smuggling some extra dudes in the trunk. Being hopeless stoners, nothing about their visit goes smoothly.
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    Comic Strips 
  • Curtis and his little brother Barry routinely take in a feature in the neighborhood movie theater. Curtis has a fondness for the horror genre, and a knack for smuggling in foodstuffs unavailable at the concessionary.

    Fan Works 
  • Tommy Pickles: The Terrible Twos is a fanfic set one year after the events of Rugrats. In the chapter, "Tommy Talks", the Finster and Deville families take their children, as well as Tommy and Dil to see a Goober the Gopher movie. Not wanting to see the movie due to his dislike of Goober, Tommy sneaks out to see a Reptar movie. When Kira finds Tommy, Tommy tells her that he wants to see the Reptar movie, and when she refuses to let him see it, he throws a tantrum that results in the Finster and Deville families having to leave the theater early.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Two different short films from the studio era, A Night at the Movies and Movie Pests, deal with going to the movies and suffering from the annoying people there. In the first, Robert Benchley annoys other moviegoers by the way he awkwardly moves down the aisle, and is annoyed in turn by a weird kid that stares at him. The second features three irritating people, including a man who carelessly sticks his foot out in the aisle and trips another moviegoer, and a woman who wears a big hat that obstructs the view of the man behind her.

    Literature 
  • Weenies: The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies had a story in which a kid sneaks into a movie theater to watch a horror movie. But when he learns there's a new feature that lets the audience feel the same physical pain as the characters in the movie, he gets more than he bargained for.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In a "Courtney" sketch on The Amanda Show, Courtney sits next to a patron at the movie theater and annoys him to no end to get him to leave so that she and her date can watch the movie together.note 
  • Episode 991 of Baal Veer is about Manav, Meher, and Ballu going to a movie theater to watch The Angry Birds Movie. The Angry Birds help Baal Veer to deal with Tauba-Tauba when he brings them into the real world.
  • The Big Bang Theory has several:
  • In the Full House episode, "Sisters in Crime", D.J. has to babysit her sisters, Stephanie and Michelle, and takes them to the movie theater when Steve drops by unexpectedly. When Stephanie and Michelle spend all the money on snacks, they don't have enough money to pay for the tickets. D.J. convinces Kimmy, who works at the theater, to sneak them in, but they are caught by the manager.
  • The B-Plot of the Good Luck Charlie episode, "Blankie Go Bye-Bye" involves Gabe taking Bob and Amy to the movie theater to see Star Exploders 2: Kickin' Asteroids for their anniversary while Teddy and P.J. throw them a Moroccan feast and Teddy searches for Charlie's missing blanket. Gabe and Bob are more interested in seeing Star Exploders 2, while Amy is more interested in seeing The Willow Weeps Tomorrow.
  • Kenan & Kel: In "Three Girls, a Guy, and a Cineplex", Kenan arranges a date at the movie theater with Caitlin, but must do a make-up movie date with Sharla at the same night and same place. Kenan gets trapped another movie date orchestrated by Kel, so now he must prevent all three dates from knowing each other.
  • The Middle had an episode where the Hecks realize they've never taken Brick to the movies.
  • An episode of Mr. Bean has him and his girlfriend go to a theatre to watch a horror flick. He brings a big bucket of popcorn only for himself and a rubber knife in attempt to scare his girlfriend. Hijinks ensue when the movie starts, and he Screams Like a Little Girl at every Scare Chord. He tries to bail out, but the others watching the movie prevents him from doing so; he tries to cover his head with a sweater, which promptly scares his girlfriend; then he uses the bucket that he emptied from the constant shaking, which succeeds from scaring him out while his girlfriend and the others did so. After the movie, both he and his girlfriend were scared out of their wits when he thought that there was no hand from her jacket.
  • Seinfeld brought us "The Movie", probably most (in)famous for introducing the world to Rochelle, Rochelle, "A young girl's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk".
  • On one episode of That '70s Show, the gang to a drive-in on the last night before it closes.
  • An early episode of That's So Raven features Raven sneaking back-and-forth watching a sappy romantic movie with her mother, and watching a movie with her date at the same time. Meanwhile, Cory has to watch a lame G-rated movie with his father, and the two complain about it the entire time.
  • In one early episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, Alex Russo makes friends with one of her older brother Justin's friends and tries to get into a theater with them that's showing a horror movie, Night of the Halloween Sorority Party Disaster 2, even though she is too young for it. Tired of being treated young by her parents and Justin, she accidentally uses her magical powers to transport herself into the movie itself, forcing Justin to save her.
  • Yes, Dear:
    • In "Walk Like a Man", Greg tries to prove to Sammy that he can be a Papa Wolf so that Sammy will see him more as a manly father than his wimpy older brother. At one point, the Warner and Hughes families go to the movie theater, where Greg gets into a scuffle with a talkative and much larger man and is apprehensive about fighting it out. When Greg sees Sammy about to eat a candy bar with peanuts in it, Greg punches the man to rush over to his son, knowing that Sammy is allergic to peanuts. In The Stinger, it is revealed that Sammy was fully aware of what was going on, and deliberately tried to eat the candy bar so that Greg would see what was happening, man up, and score a win.
    • In "Natural Born Delinquents", the Warner and Hughes families go to the movie theater, when Dominic and Logan fight over a bag of Cheetos and spill them all over Greg's car. While Kim, Jimmy, Christine, Sammy, and Emily go see the movie and go to the arcade afterwards, Greg stays behind to discipline Dominic and Logan, telling them they can't see the movie until after they pick up the Cheetos. Dominic and Logan miss the movie and the arcade, but find much more enjoyment in torturing Greg.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street:
    • In an Ernie and Bert sketch, Ernie makes some loud noises while he eats his popcorn and drinks his soda at the movie theater. Bert loses his temper and shouts at Ernie to be quiet, at which point the usher enters and throws Bert out.
    • In another Ernie and Bert sketch, A lady with a very tall hat sits in front of Ernie, blocking his view of the movie. Under Bert's advice, Ernie asks the lady to take off her hat. The lady does so, sitting it down in the seat in front of Bert and blocking his view of the movie.
    • In yet another Ernie and Bert sketch, Ernie gets emotional during a movie: first he's sad, then scared, then happy. His reactions bother the other moviegoers, and the scene ends in chaos.
    • In yet another Ernie and Bert sketch, Ernie and Bert go to the movies to see a silent movie, "The Picnic," starring Charlie Chaplin and his date.
    • In Episode 2040, Big Bird invites Snuffy (then still believed by the adults to be his imaginary friend) to join him, Bob, and David to see a movie at the movie theater. During the movie, Snuffy devours all of David's popcorn, blows his snuffle loudly during the sad part of the movie, and leaves in the middle of the movie to see his mother, causing Big Bird to get into a noisy argument with Bob and David.
    • In Episode 3093, Elmo, Big Bird, Snuffy, Savion, and Gina go to the movie theater to see Honey, I Shrunk the Snuffleupagus. When they arrive at the theater, they block the view of the couple behind them, Elmo, Big Bird, and Snuffy become impatient waiting for the movie to start, and when it finally does, Snuffy leaves the theater when he becomes terrified at the idea of a snuffleupagus getting smaller.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • YouTuber Crispy Toast has a series called "Rights and Wrongs", which shows the right and wrong ways to behave in certain situations. "The Rights and Wrongs of Movie Etiquette" is about Red and a HALO character going to a movie theater and being polite and rude, respectively.
  • Minilife TV: "A Dark Night" is about Chris, Ian, Snowball, Archie, and Michael catching the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.
  • SMG4's Mario Bloopers has "A Theatre Mario", where all the main characters go to a theatre to watch different movies. Mario gets bored and sneaks around to see what everyone is watching.
  • Strong Bad Email: In "the movies", Strong Bad recounts a typical trip to the theater, and complains about the many types of annoying theatergoers, including Coach Z as the guy who blurts out the answers to the film trivia slides show before the movie, and Strong Sad as the guy who keeps rattling off the filmographies of the actors in the movie. The trip ends with Strong Bad getting fed up with Homestar (who's been making small talk with the movie characters), attacking him with a bazooka, and getting banned from the theater for life.

    Web Videos 
  • The Hobo Bros "Hobo Theatre" series has "Captain Falcon Watches the Bee Movie", where, as the title implies, Captain Falcon goes to a movie theater and watches Bee Movie.
  • SuperMarioLogan:
    • In "Bowser Goes to the Movies!", Chef Pee Pee takes Bowser to the movie theater to see Charleyyy and Friends: The Movie. Bowser is very disruptive in the movie theater; talking throughout the movie, tossing his food around, and blaming his actions on the other customers.
    • In "Bowser Junior Sneaks into a Movie!", Bowser Junior, Joseph, and Cody see a trailer for an R-rated horror movie called Hide and Seek: The Movie!. When Chef Pee Pee refuses to let them see it, they decide to sneak into the movie theater themselves. Along the way, Cody sees Happy Pony 4.
    • In "Jeffy Sneaks Out!", Bowser Junior asks Jeffy if he can go to the movies with him. Jeffy asks Mario for his permission, and when Mario tells him "Not today", Jeffy has a swearing fit that results in Mario grounding him for two weeks. Jeffy creates a clone of himself out of his Play-Doh (It Makes Sense in Context) to take his place while he and Junior sneak out to go to the movie theater. While Play-Doh Jeffy causes havoc at Mario's house, Junior and Jeffy see Hot Dog Man at the movie theater.
    • In "The Movie Date!", Brooklyn T. Guy knocks Mr. Goodman unconscious and borrows his lamborghini long enough to pass himself off as a rich man and go on a movie date with Sparkle. While in the movie theater, Brooklyn and Sparkle watch a much more mature version of Incredibles 2.

    Western Animation 
  • In the 101 Dalmatians: The Series episode "Film Fatale", the main pups want to go see the Thunderbolt movie at Cruella's movie theater, the Cruellaplex, but can't because the theater won't allow dogs. As a result, they try to sneak into the movie theater without Cruella or her henchmen finding them.
  • Animaniacs: In "Potty Emergency", Wakko has a Potty Emergency while watching a movie with his siblings. He leaves the theater as he frantically looks for a bathroom. In the end, he goes back to the theater and into the movie screen to use the bathroom there.
  • In The Boondocks episode "...Or Die Trying", Robert takes Huey, Riley, and Jazmine to the local cinema to watch Soul Plane 2: The Blackjacking (a fictitious in-universe sequel to Soul Plane). However, because Robert is a miserly cheapskate, he and the kids sneak into the theater without paying for the tickets. Naturally, problems arise due to Robert's illegal actions, and how he's throwing childish temper-tantrums over popcorn; Jazmine feeling intense guilt by association, due to being an accomplice to 'theft'; and Huey only going along reluctantly, and not actually wanting to see the movie in the first place.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: M.O.V.I.E.", Numbuh 4 is sick of having to see the Rainbow Monkeys double feature, so he tries to sneak into an R-rated movie called Violence: The Movie. When he finally does, he finds out that R-rated movies are really places for top secret supervillain meetings.
  • In the Count Duckula episode, "The Lost Valley", Duckula, Igor, and Nanny go to the Roxy Cinema to see the titular film. Duckula takes the film very seriously, and casts a spell to go into the film to find the diamond mountain within it. After having made it through the film, Duckula, Igor, and Nanny now get trapped in a series of commercials.
  • In one episode of Jean-Luc & Dondoozat, the two are watching a movie, and Dondoozat is making a lot of noise eating his movie snack, much to Jean-Luc's annoyance. It turns out to be a dream Dondoozat was having. He woke up screaming from Jean-Luc hitting him.
  • At the start of "Wash and Werewolf", the second-season opener of The Little Rascals, the boys have dragged Darla to a 3D horror film, even though she wanted to watch a romantic film at a different theater. After they take their seats, Alfalfa plays a prank that scares Darla badly enough that she leaves the theater before the feature begins. During the movie, Alfalfa remarks that it seems so real that he actually feels wet. Spanky replies that it's because Alfalfa spilled his soda in his lap.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Box Office Bunny", a multiplex is built over Bugs' burrow, and he has to evade usher Elmer Fudd, who thinks he's sneaked into the theater, along with Daffy Duck, who did sneak in.
    • "Stage Door Cartoon": In a theater Elmer is being arrested by a southern sheriff for indecent exposure when a Bugs Bunny cartoon suddenly appears on the screen. The sheriff stops the arrest so he can watch it.
    • "She Was An Acrobat's Daughter," "Porky the Film Fan" and "Bacall To Arms" are other prime Warner examples of this.
  • Scrappy Mouse goes to a theater to watch vintage Terrytoons Mighty Mouse cartoons in the 1988 Bakshi episode "Scrappy's Playhouse." His constant commentary becomes very disruptive to another young patron.
  • The Powerpuff Girls go to a theater to watch a silent movie and wind up getting involved within it in "Silent Treatment."
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Popcorn Pandemonium", Rocko and Heffer treat Mr. Bighead's big-screen TV like a drive-in. After they inadvertently destroy the TV, they go to another theater, where every movie playing is Lethal Odor IX. Along the way, they try to find a good viewing room, and watch trailers for upcoming movies, including The Little Poots, Garbage Strike: The Musical, and Dracula: Done to Death.
  • In the Rugrats episode "At the Movies", the parents take the kids to see The Dummi Bears in the Land Without Smiles. While the adults are engaged in the movie (save for Grandpa, who hates the movie's saccharine tone), the babies wander off to see a Reptar movie, making a mess of the snack bar and the projection room along the way.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Colonel Homer" begins with the Simpson family going to the movie theater. While in the theater, Homer constantly interrupts a movie he and Marge are seeing by choking on food, loudly asking questions, and spoiling the ending. Marge eventually has enough and chews out Homer in front of the audience, humiliating him and creating a fracture in their relationship.
    Marge: Homer, if it makes you feel any better, most of what they threw at you splattered on me.
    • In "Jaws Wired Shut", the Simpson family go to the movie theater to escape a Gay Pride parade marching by their house. Homer becomes impatient waiting for the movie to start due to the cheesy trailers and useless trivia, and leads the theater audience into a riot, prompting the employees to chase him out with oversized candy.
    • In "Steal This Episode", the Simpson family go to the movie theater to see Radioactive Man Re-Rises. Homer puts up with various annoyances in the theater, prompting him to screen pirated movies in his backyard so he won't have to deal with them.
    Homer: You're shushing me?! This guy's on his cellphone, she's texting, he's sexting, and that guy brought a baby to a 9:00 movie!
    Moviegoer with baby: That's negative, man..
  • In the Sniz and Fondue episode "Celluloid Sins", when the two title characters go to the movie theater, Sniz takes up "plexing", wherein he sees movies without paying or being caught, even going as far as to become a superhero called the "Multi-Plexer". Fondue unwillingly takes the blame for Sniz's actions, until Sniz sees a movie that shows him the error of his ways.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • The climax of "F.U.N." has SpongeBob go to the movie theater with Plankton, after the two spent a friendly day out together the previous day. While in the theater, Mr. Krabs interrupts the movie to tell SpongeBob that Plankton is only pretending to be his friend to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula. When SpongeBob discovers that Mr. Krabs is right, Plankton attempts to escape with a stolen Krabby Patty through the movie projection screen, but his plan is foiled by the solid concrete behind it.
    • In "Something Smells", SpongeBob and Patrick go to the movie theater to see a movie in celebration of the former getting over his supposed ugliness (actually just rancid breath driving everyone away). Once SpongeBob gets upset about it again after some of the moviegoers react in disgust to being around him (and smelling his breath), Patrick becomes furious and holds SpongeBob in front of the viewers of every auditorium to force them to look at him, who all evacuate once he speaks and his breath is spread.
    • In "Wigstruck", SpongeBob finds a giant wig that he thinks is amazing despite everyone laughing or mocking him, and decides to wear it. At one point, he goes to the movie theater to see a movie with Sandy. SpongeBob's wig is so tall that it blocks the projector and prevents anything from showing up on screen. The audience starts a riot in response and chases SpongeBob out of the theater.
    • In "Don't Look Now", SpongeBob and Patrick go to the movie theater to see a horror movie called Fisherman 4: Attack of the Hook. The movie frightens them to the point where they miss the ending due to shutting their eyes out of fear, and they are convinced that the movie's villain, the Fisherman, is after them. Squidward takes advantage of this fear by disguising himself as the Fisherman.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In the episode "Cinemaniacs!", Buster and Babs visit the ACME Cinema, where they see three movie spoofs: SuperBabs, Duck Trek, and Pasadena Jones. Along the way, Montana Max, who is working as a movie usher, tries to stop them from "theater-hopping" (which consists of them literally hopping through the halls from theater to theater).
    • In the second half of the short, "My Dinner With Elmyra" (part of "Love Disconnection"), Montana Max takes Elmyra to the movie theater to see Death Lords. To his surprise, Elmyra has already paid for the movie tickets, but much to his ire, the tickets are for The Adventures of Fido and Mew-Mew.
    • In The Movie, Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, Shirley and Fowlmouth's subplot culminates with them seeing Skunknophobia in the theater. Fowlmouth is rude and annoying at every step of the way, and eventually ticks off the other theater-goers so much that they throw him into the movie screen, where the cast of Skunknophobia tell him off for talking during the movie.
  • The Tom and Jerry cartoon "Cruise Cat" has Tom chase Jerry aboard a luxury cruise ship. The ship has a theater, so the cat and mouse scurry into it, where they stop to watch a clip from the cartoon "Texas Tom", which is an earlier Tom and Jerry short.
    • A 1960s cartoon, "Matinee Mouse", has Tom and Jerry calling a truce to go to the movie theater and watch another of their earlier shorts.
  • We Bare Bears had "Shush Ninjas", where the bears go to a movie theater and end up getting tasked to keep the audience in each room quiet.

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