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Picnic Episode

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It is a nice summer day, a group of friends decide to go on a picnic, where they pack up a basket full of food consisting of sandwiches, cookies, lemonade, potato chips, pies, cakes, etc. and head out, usually to the outdoors, whether a garden, a park, countryside, or even into the Wild Wilderness.

The episode may gloss over the actual preparation of the picnic basket by starting with the basket already being packed. Alternatively, the making of the picnic lunch may be a significant "first act" of the story. The characters' struggle to find the perfect ingredients or make the perfect sandwich might be shown.

When they get their picnic all set up, most of the time, you can expect them to face setbacks such as ants that want to steal the food or bad weather (typically a thunderstorm or wind, but glaring hot sun is also used) in the midst of it. In the case of the latter, they might have to plan their picnic indoors, to which one of the characters will complain that they can't do anything fun indoors, and the other characters will have to show them the fun things that can be done indoors.

If a couple go on a picnic, it may get romantic, so there may be some Romantic Spoonfeeding.

If the picnic is on the beach, may overlap with Beach Episode.

A darker variation, less common, is to have the picnic interrupted by robbers or other bad guys.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Asteroid in Love, the Earth Sciences Club has annual barbecues to welcome new members. The club also uses the chance to showcase their activities in astronomy, geology, and eventually meteorology. These are animated in the second and tenth episodes.
  • Crayon Shin-chan has a few of these. One notable episode has Shin-Chan's dad, Hiroshi, needing to call off a family picnic due to going out with a client for a game of golf (being a Henpecked Husband as usual, Hiroshi ends up having the snot beaten out of him by a furious Misae who reprimands him for being Married to the Job) before Misae decide to bring Shin-Chan and Himawari by herself. But hijinks ensues along the way when they inevitably ends up getting lost.... before finally arriving to have their picnic on the same golf course Hiroshi and his client are having a swing.
    Client: [after hitting his golf ball a distance away] I think that's a family having a picnic over there.
    Hiroshi: That's funny. What kind of idiot would hold a picnic on a golf course... [suddenly realize that's his own family]
  • Throughout the entire Endless Eight in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the five get together at the pool and eat Mikuru's picnic lunch in the middle of each episode.
  • In Sonic X's 5th Episode, Chris Thorndyke, Tails, and Amy have a picnic, searching for a supposedly sighted Chaos Emerald. It's interrupted when Eggman snatches them and a duel between Sonic and Knuckles ensues, with Knuckles having been convinced by Eggman that Sonic intentionally trapped him and everyone else in the real world for his own selfish intentions.
  • The Toradora! OVA "The True Meaning of Bento" ends with the main characters and their classmates eating a picnic outside (and Taiga pushed into Romantic Spoonfeeding with Ryuji).

  • The work Happy Summer Days by Terry Ananny depicts eleven children that have set up a table and chairs at the riverside to enjoy watermelon slices.

    Comic Books 
  • The Punisher: Once there was a Vietnam War veteran named Frank Castle who decided to take his family out for a nice picnic at Central Park. It didn't end well...
  • Robin: Tim and some of his friends bring a couple of blankets and make a picnic of it when they go to see some Shakespeare in the park for extra credit. Tim ends up not enjoying much of the picnic since he's trying to deal with the gun wielding gangsters he happened across in a wooded area of the park.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield:
    • A weeklong story arc of strips has Jon and Garfield go on a picnic, that was immediately spoiled by strong winds, ants that ate Jon's cherry pie, and to top it off in the end, a rainstorm.
    • Similarly, a 2007 strip had Jon and Liz about to have a picnic, which immediately became non-existent when they realized that Garfield stowed away and ate all of the food in the basket before Jon even left the driveway. Needless to say, both Jon and Liz were not very happy when they were forced to go to a dorky drive-thru restaurant instead.

    Fan Works 
  • Naru-Hina Chronicles: For his first date with Hinata, Naruto decides to have a picnic with her. However, it doesn't go so well, culminating with rain that forces them to go to Ichiraku instead.

    Films — Animation 
  • Peanuts: In Snoopy, Come Home, Peppermint Patty mentions to Snoopy that they will have a picnic on the beach. However, the picnic does not come to fruition the next day, because Snoopy got thrown off the beach, due to a rule about there being no dogs allowed.
  • During the opening montage of Shrek 2, Shrek and Fiona have a picnic on the beach with a basket left behind their gingerbread house by a frightened Little Red Riding Hood. Shrek and Fiona begin making out when the tide takes Fiona in and leaves a mermaid in her place. Fiona reappears and has the mermaid violently tossed back into the ocean.
  • Lotso's backstory in Toy Story 3 has him being accidentally left behind at a picnic by his owner, Daisy, with her other toys. The search concludes with Lotso discovering Daisy had replaced him. He begins his Start of Darkness almost at the same time that his heart breaks, and selfishly drags his toy companions with him, regardless of the fact that Daisy only replaced him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Help!: While "Ticket to Ride" plays, the Beatles are briefly seen having a picnic in the snow.
  • Look Listen Live, a driver's education film produced by Union Pacific in the mid-1940s with an emphasis on safety around railroads, sets one of the stories to a family picnic outing. It does not end well � all five members of the family, due to the driver foolishly insisting that there are no trains expected at the crossing, are killed when their car is struck by an oncoming train. The narrator grimly reminds the viewers that there was no picnic that day, nor will there ever be for anyone in that family.

  • In The Berenstain Bears book The Bears' Picnic, the bears set out to find "the perfect picnic spot". Place after place proves unsatisfactory, and then a thunderstorm comes up. They finally just eat their picnic at the kitchen table.
  • In Ian Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Pott family flies to the Godwin Sands in the English Channel for a picnic. Unfortunately they fall asleep and the tide comes in. It's a good thing the title car can change into a hoverdraft.
  • Jane Austen's Emma has two picnic chapters.
    • First, characters go to an al fresco party at Donwell to pick strawberries and they eat some of them, but Mr Knightley, who is the host, insists on eating indoors.
    • In the following chapter, the party spends the day exploring Box Hill, and this one is a true picnic. However, the weather is too hot and the day is not very joyous.
  • The final chapter of the FUDGE series book, Superfudge, has Fudge's older brother Peter and his friend Alex going on a picnic by a lake to watch the Princeton rowing team practice on it. Fudge, upset that he is not allowed to go, rides bikes with his friend Daniel to a local bakery without telling anyone to try to prove that he's old enough to go to the lake. That worries the parents of both younger boys and Fudge and Daniel are punished by having their bikes taken away.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Diff'rent Strokes: The episode "The Hitchhikers," included a picnic element, with the episode's villain, Bill, trying to get hostage Kimberly to cooperate and go along with him on his picnic at his apartment. He even spreads a picnic blanket and has a basket ready for his vision of an intimate atmosphere.
  • In Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, the characters often enjoyed their meals outdoors, for example after Sunday masses in the meadow near the church.
  • Little House on the Prairie: Several episodes had picnic stories in them. The most famous one was Season 6's "May We Make Them Proud," which is how that episode began; it peaks with a massive house fire and the deaths of Alice Garvey and baby Adam Kendall Jr.
  • Mr. Bean tried to go on a picnic in the park, only for a fly to take an interest in his cupcake. Not being the one to hurt a fly, he has to come up with a different way to deal with it.
  • Our Miss Brooks has three picnic episodes, each of them ending with picnic basket mishaps:
    • The fourth season television episode "Burnt Picnic Basket" sees the picnic baskets thrown into the incinerator by mistake. And it rains!
    • The radio episode "Head of the Board", has Miss Brooks and company take Mr. Boynton's car to their before-school-year picnic. Unfortunately, the picnic basket had been left in Miss Brooks' car!
    • Finally, in "Winter Outing", Madison High School is set to enjoy the annual mid-winter picnic started by Madison High's esteemed founder, Yodar Kritch. Unfortunately, this time the food for the picnic is send to the laundry. Meanwhile, the faculty and students of Madison have a unappetizing lunch of dirty football uniforms.
  • Parks and Recreation: Leslie needs to come up with a cover photo for the park catalog, so she sets up a picnic with the four living former or current Parks Department directors. The picnic falls apart when it turns out they are all jerks, and she instead gets a picture of her assistants, Andy and April, for the cover.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Allegra's Window: "Sticky Situation" features Allegra all set to go on a picnic with Lindi, Miss Melody, and Riff, only to end up getting trapped in her room when the door gets stuck.
  • Bear in the Big Blue House: In "Eat, Drink Juice, and Be Merry", Bear and his friends prepare for a picnic by the otter pond. They have to decide each of the foods they want to bring; clams for Pip and Pop, cheese sandwiches for Tutter, muffins for Ojo, bananas for Treelo, and corn fritters with honey, string beans, and triple berry pie for Bear. However, Bear runs into a few complications; he finds that Tutter has eaten the food he wanted to eat (since mice can't live on cheese alone), when he tries to convince Treelo to try new foods, Treelo treats them like his friends, and by the time the picnic is ready, it starts to rain. Ojo and Tutter suggest that they spend their picnic inside the Big Blue House's kitchen, which Bear settles on, especially since he won't have to deal with ants that way.
  • Sesame Street:
    • In Episode 3084, Bob plans a picnic for the kids, as well as Alice, Telly, and Herry in the park. However, when rain spoils plans for an outdoor picnic, Herry is upset, so Bob decides to host the picnic in his apartment. While Bob, the kids, Alice, and Telly have a lot of fun at their indoor picnic, Herry complains that an indoor picnic isn't the same as an outdoor one, and doesn't want to partake in the games his friends play, eventually leaving and going home. He comes back at the end to color with his friends, having nothing to do at home.
    • In Episode 3895, Big Bird and Snuffy prepare for a picnic in the park together. However, they find out from a weatherman on the radio that it's going to rain, much to their dismay. Over the course of the episode, their friends tell them all the good things rain can do, and although Big Bird and Snuffy have a better appreciation for it as a result, they still wish they can have their picnic, so Alan suggests that they have a picnic inside Hooper's Store.
  • In the The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss episode, "The Cat in the Hat's Indoor Picnic", rain spoils plans for an outdoor picnic, much to the dismay of Terrence McBird, who was looking forward to playing in the sandbox. The Cat in the Hat and the Little Cats improvise by spending their picnic in the Cat's Playhouse, and making a sandbox for Terrence with his birdbath and dried corn. In the Wubbulous World, Princess Tizz imagines where the most special picnic spot could be.

  • Carousel has a "A Real Nice Clambake", a scene and a song set at a picnic on the beach.
  • Cirque du Soleil's Mystère has a segment featuring a romantic, candlelit picnic for Brian Le Petit and a woman in the audience...whose date is imprisoned in a crate. Because Brian tricked him into it. It doesn't really go wrong until the wandering Red Bird steals a loaf of bread...
  • A major plot point in Oklahoma! involves an auction where men bid on picnic baskets packed by young women, with the implication that the winner of each basket will sit and eat with the girl who packed it.
  • In Porgy and Bess, Porgy is physically unable to board the boat to Kittiwah Island for a church picnic but urges Bess to go without him. Both are unaware that her former partner Crown is on the island and wants her back.

    Video Games 
  • Elite Beat Agents has a mission where you must help a newscaster blow away storm clouds with a fan to the song "September", so that she and her son can go on a picnic that weekend, in which reports read to be storming all over the country, eventually getting help from her fellow news team, the Air Force, and even exotic wildlife. Upon completing the goal, she and her son embark on the picnic, having the double cheeseburgers she made that her son absolutely loves.
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins starts off with Arthur and Princess Prin-Prin having a picnic in the graveyard right before Satan grabs her and takes her to the underworld.
  • Shrek Treasure Hunt has the premise of Shrek and Fiona going on a picnic when the Three Blind Mice misplace all their supplies, so Shrek must go through several stages searching for said supplies.

    Visual Novels 
  • At one point in Double Homework, Johanna takes the protagonist to a picnic to take his mind off things.

    Web Animation 
  • AstroLOLogy: "Taurus Makes a Yummy Treat" is about Taurus having a picnic, but having to defend his food from some animals that want to eat it as much as he does.
  • There was a game on that had a bunch of the characters at a picnic, and the player, as an ant, had to collect as many crumbs as possible while avoiding obstacles.

    Web Comics 
  • In Cestla Vie, Mona Montrois, an expatriot Frenchwoman in Los Angeles runs into a different hazard. She is affronted to the depths of her French soul to be very nearly arrested on her picnic in a park in LA (possibly the most atmospherically polluted city in the USA, as she points out) by park wardens who caution her that Californian law permits neither drinking wine nor smoking in public outdoor areas. As she is French, this, in her opinion, takes 90% of the pelasure out of the experience. With a glass of wine in one hand and a cigarette in the other, she is a swig and a smoke away from arrest for misdemeanour.
  • In Our Little Adventure, a celestial family finds theirs interrupted by a planeshift spell. Confirming Died Happily Ever After.

    Western Animation 
  • A Grand Day Out is this trope on the moon.
  • In the American Dad! episode, "The American Dad After School Special", Steve Smith and his goth girlfriend, Debbie, go on a picnic at a cemetery during a funeral proceeding after Steve finally confesses, pressured by the time bomb his dad strapped to him, which could only be disabled by finally asking her out.
  • The Ant and the Aardvark:
    • In the first episode, Charlie Ant tries to get food from the Aardvark's picnic.
    • The Aardvark sets a picnic up as bait for the Ant in "Fumbo Jumbo":
      Aardvark: If I say so myself, I do set out a very appetizing picnic. Now all I gotta do is wait for the food to arrive!
  • One episode of Beany and Cecil is about two robots from Venus who come to Earth for a picnic, complete with robot ants (brought along in a jar).
  • The Caillou episode "All You Can Eat" has Caillou and his mommy having a picnic lunch with Clementime and her mommy at the park.
  • A few Classic Disney Shorts involved Mickey and friends having a picnic.
  • Garfield and Friends:
    • "Rip Van Catnap", which involved Garfield taking a nap and having a Dream Sequence while he, Jon, Odie, and Nermal are having a picnic.
    • The episode "Crime And Nourishment" involved Garfield trying to take back the picnic basket full of lasagna from a group of green Smurf-like creatures.
    • "The Multiple Choice Cartoon" had Garfield, Jon, and Odie on a picnic all the while that Garfield gives out a multiple choice test throughout the episode.
    • The episode "The Picnic Panic" (pictured above) combined this with Musical Episode. Jon and Garfield sang about the misfortune that befell them during the picnic, due to a colony of ants that kept stealing their food. The ants even got their own chorus during the song.
  • Jean-Luc & Dondoozat has one in which Jean-Luc is using a net to catch frogs. Jean-Luc put a frog he caught in a sandwich, which Dondoozat took umbridge to.
  • Little Bear has some of these:
    • In "Duck, Baby Sitter", Emily goes on a picnic to meet Little Bear's friends. Duck has brought her mischievous ducklings, especially when they cause havoc during a croquet game. But when one of her ducklings Little Peep goes missing, they form a search party to look for him.
    • In "Moon Picnic", Little Bear and his friends go on a pretend trip to the moon and Mother Bear joins them for a picnic there.
    • In "The Blueberry Picnic", Little Bear and his friends put on a play to celebrate the blueberry harvest.
    • "Picnic on Pudding Hill" has the snake No Feet hitching a ride onto Emily's hat as the gang heads to Pudding Hill for a picnic and he surprises Little Bear by popping out of his sandwich.
    • "Little Bear's Sweet Tooth" has Little Bear, his family, and friends throwing a Harvest Day picnic party in the forest where he finds out that he has a sweet tooth. As everyone else plays some picnic games, Little Bear can't help but try some tasty desserts on the table. But just as the pie eating contest is about to begin, he ends up getting a tummy ache and has to go rest in bed at home, thus missing the rest of the Harvest Day picnic.
  • The Looney Tunes short "Porky's Picnic". Porky Pig, his girlfriend Petunia and baby nephew Pinky go on a picnic. They don't actually get to eat anything because Pinky wanders off to the zoo and gets in trouble.
  • The Magic Roundabout:
    • The original series features an episode, "Picnic", where Mr. Rusty, Florence, and Zebedee all prepare for a picnic in the Magic Garden. They meet up with Dougal, Brian, Ermintrude, Dylan, and Mr. McHenry. All throughout the episode, the characters remind each other to make sure they haven't forgot anything. Mr. Rusty brings a corkscrew, Brian brings salt-and-pepper shakers, Ermintrude brings glasses, Dylan brings cushions, and Mr. McHenry brings the eating utensils. However, at the end, they all realize that they have forgotten to bring any food.
    • The CGI episode "A Nice Day Out" also has Ermintrude inviting Dylan, Brian, Florence and a grumpy Dougal for a day out in the countryside to try and satisfy Dougal who was bored in the beginning of the episode. When they are having their picnic, the ants steal all their food. While waiting for Train to bring more food, everyone plays a game of cricket. The ball hits Dougal, prompting a switch over to hide-and-seek, where Dougal decides to run off. He does come back to the picnic when he returns the cricket ball to everyone after they hit it in the bushes. After that, Dougal is genuinely satisfied with the day out.
  • The first act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Bogus in Wilderland" had the Anybody family and Bogus and Brattus on a picnic, only for their picnic to come to a halt due to trouble involving ants, birds, bees, and a bear.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode "Lesson Zero", Twilight and company go out for a picnic halfway through the episode. Twilight ends up panicking and being more unhinged about not sending a letter to Princess Celestia, albeit every one else has a fine time.
  • In the Nature Cat episode "Ants Revolution", the titular character, Hal, and Daisy throw a surprise picnic for Squeeks when a colony of ants spoil it by stealing Squeeks' cheesecake and dragging it down the anthill.
  • One Oggy and the Cockroaches episode has Oggy, Olivia and Jack go on a picnic, and when the cockroaches become aware of it, Hilarity Ensues.
  • In the Pac-Man episode "Picnic in Pacland", the Ghost Monsters try to disrupt the Pac-Family's picnic.
  • Phineas and Ferb episode "It's No Picnic" sees Isabella trying to invoke this. The other members of the Five-Man Band, Ferb included, all have other plans, giving her the chance for time alone with Phineas, and she's eager to make her move by setting up a picnic for the two of them. Naturally, things don't quite go according to plan. Thanks to Doofenshmirtz's latest 'inator going off amidst his face-off with Perry the Platypus, things eventually start to go Isabella's way once more.
  • The Pink Panther episode "Sprinkle Me Pink". The panther goes on a picnic, but a cloud pours rain on him every time he opens his picnic basket.
  • Pocoyo has "Picnic Puzzle" and "Picnic".
  • In the Rugrats (1991) episode, "Grandpa's Teeth", a veteran's picnic is held. When Grandpa Lou's false teeth go missing after he takes them out to eat some potato salad, Tommy and Chuckie go on an adventure to find them in time for the brass band Lou is participating in, as he can't play his trumpet without his false teeth.
  • Salty's Lighthouse: In "Some Guys Have All the Luck", Salty and his friends want to have a picnic on the beach, but when rain spoils their plans, Aunt Chovy suggests they spend their picnic in the lighthouse.
  • The Simpsons "S20E17: The Good, The Sad and the Drugly" has Bart taking a Retirement Castle volunteer out on a picnic, where they eat Bart's PB&J sandwiches (his secret recipe: "No PB, Double J"). During said picnic, they attempt to ignore Homer being "mugged" by his own reflection in the pond water.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants has the episode "Company Picnic" where Mr. Krabs takes his employees on a nice—if not very cheap—picnic. But things get chaotic when Plankton hosts his own picnic on the same day.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Super Show: The episode "Flatbush Koopa" has Princess Toadstool and Toad out on a picnic, embracing the peace of the Mushroom Kingdom now that King Koopa had been defeated and driven out for good, but Toad is the first to mention how much they miss Mario and Luigi, now that they've gone back to Brooklyn, and how boring it is without anymore world traveling or Koopa Troopas to fight.
  • The Taz-Mania episode "It's No Picnic" has Taz and his family go on a picnic, unaware that Bull Gator and Axl are trying to capture them.
  • The Thing: "Picnic Panic" had Benjy and friends on a picnic that the Yancy Street Gang tried to ruin.
  • In the 3-2-1 Penguins! episode "Lazy Daze", the Rockhopper crew, save for Fidgel and Michelle, goes on a picnic on Rigel 13. And then giant ants come and ruin it.
  • Tom and Jerry:
    • The short "Pup on a Picnic". Spike and Tyke go on a picnic with Tom and Jerry as uninvited guests.
    • In Tom & Jerry Kids, Spike and Tyke try to have a picnic but get attacked by army ants that are trying to steal their food.
  • Yogi Bear: Virtually every one of the classic Hanna-Barbera shorts involving Yogi and his pal, Boo Boo, has the buddy bears stealing pic-a-nic baskets and disrupting pic-a-nics at Jellystone Park.