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Pirate Episode

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How do you keep the mood light but still have the cast go on a grand adventure on the high seas, seaching for treasure and booty (the gold coins-in-a-treasure chest type!)? Pirate episode!

This is an episode of a show where the characters decide to become pirates. This is often the result of them finding a Treasure Map or learning of the existence of buried treasure. Often, the main goal of the pirate crew is to find the hidden treasure and be rich, meaning this often overlaps with Treasure Hunt Episode. To fit the theme, the cast usually will dress the part in Pirate costumes. To extend the episode, they will almost always find that the treasure is behind a Booby Trap, there are sea monsters about (usually Kraken and Leviathan), or there is an enemy crew (often led by an enemy of the main character and his crew).

In video games, this trope applies to an installment of a series that isn't normally about pirates when said installment has the entire game focused around pirates, rather than just a single level. When a single level of a video game is focused around pirates rather than the whole game, then the trope that best applies to it is Gangplank Galleon.

Will often contain a Pirate Song. Compare The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything for works featuring real pirates who never actually do anything piratical like steal and kill people.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Amagi Brilliant Park: The episode "Not Enough Pool Safety!" has the cast of the park performing a water show, including Sento and the fairies dressed up as sexy pirates, only to be interrupted by an actual pirate crew from Maple Land who invade the park and take many of the cast and customers hostage (with Tiramie immediately betraying the park and joining them for the prospect of acquiring female slaves). The rest of the cast have to figure out how to defeat the pirates without the customers realizing that isn't all just part of the show.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In Joys of Seasons episode 42, Weslie, Paddi, and Sparky find a pirate ship that has arrived in the Green Green Grassland and wonder what it would be like to live as a pirate. They then ask the pirates on the ship if they can assist them, to which they assign the goats some lesser jobs on the ship before they all go around terrorizing innocent people, which the goats understandably don't like.

    Audio Play 

    Fan Works 
  • Family Guy Fanon has the same episode as the real show "Long John Peter" (see below). Though compared to the real show where it lasted the first third of the episode, the main plot's devoted to it. And the reason for Peter getting invested is different, with him (and Francis) getting hooked into the pirate life after going to a pirate dinner show with the family for Brian's birthday. It's expanded to have the two need to save their wives Lois and Thelma after they piss off Shelly Boothbishop and he steals them for ransom (alongside Chris' date Anna by accident).

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Smugglers", the First Doctor and his new travelling companions Ben and Polly arrive on the coast of seventeenth-century Cornwall. Pirates led by Captain Samuel Pike and his henchman Cherub are searching for a hidden treasure, while a smuggling ring masterminded by the local squire Edwards is trying to off-load contraband.
    • In "The Curse of the Black Spot", the Eleventh Doctor, Amy, and Rory land on board a pirate ship in the 17th century, with the ship being terrorized by a Siren-like creature.
  • Married... with Children: The episode "Peggy and the Pirates" has Peggy telling a bedtime story to Seven, which shows the cast as pirates and Marcy's ex-husband Steve Rhoades as the main villain.
  • Seinfeld:
    • Subverted in the episode, "The Puffy Shirt", were Jerry unwittingly agrees to wear an overambitious fashion designer's latest idea, the titular Regency Era-inspired shirt, on a talk show. Just about every person who sees him in it bemusedly observes that he looks like a pirate. Jerry himself, however, absolutely hates it.
    Kramer: This is gonna be the new look for the Nineties! You're gonna be the first pirate!
    Jerry: But I don't wanna be a pirate!
    • Downplayed later in "The Scofflaw" when Kramer sees a cop with an Eyepatch of Power and decides he wants one too. After he dons one, his subplot of the episode subsequently begins to draw parallels to the sailing novel Moby-Dick.
    Jerry: You look like a pirate.
  • The reality TV show Viva La Bam features the episode "Mutiny on the Bam", where Bam's family and friends rent a large pirate ship for a pleasure cruise. Given the CKY crew's general prankish and hell-raising nature, they stage a mutiny on the ship, build a tiki bar on a small island, then blow up said bar with the ship's cannons.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Lazytown: "Rottenbeard", where Stephanie and the kids of Lazytown go on a treasure hunt with Rottenbeard to find the lost treasure of Lazytown, while Sportacus helps out.
  • The Muppet Show: In Glenda Jackson's guest episode, the acclaimed actress reveals her true colors at the dread Captain Black Jackson, who transforms the Muppet Theatre into a ship and sets sail in search of buried treasure. According to head writer Jerry Juhl, Glenda Jackson was the rare guest star who had no suggestions or requests for what she wanted to do in her episode, so the writers took advantage of their creative freedom by running with this wild concept.
  • Sesame Street: In one episode, a group of Bookworm pirates called the "Bookaneers" visit Sesame Street, and Elmo, despite being three years old and illiterate, wants to join them.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is set in the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy, and naturally the game's biggest gimmick is owning a pirate ship that can be sailed from place to place.
  • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest does this with its villains. King K. Rool becomes Kaptain K. Rool and he and his henchmen, the Kremlings, all don pirate attire as they capture Donkey Kong. The Kremlings also carry weapons like cannons and cutlasses around, and the game's worlds include pirate ships, swamps, ghost-infested structures, and a castle.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Occurs whenever Sora, Donald, and Goofy go to worlds based on Pirates of the Caribbean. When Sora first meets Captain Jack Sparrow in Port Royal, he is excited at the idea of being a pirate. When the party goes to The Caribbean, Sora is happy to return since he gets to be a pirate again, with Goofy even commenting on it.
  • Nikolai's Adventures: In Nikolai's Pirates, Nikolai and Neow-Neow sail the seas in search of the missing pieces of Captain Blood's treasure map. They head to different locations and meet its inhabitants, and there are different mini-games such as jigsaw puzzles, a matching game, dominoes, Pirate Pursuit (which involves shooting at enemy pirate ships), and Buried Treasure (which is a multi-level digging game). The player can also view information about the infamous pirates, as well as a timeline dating back to hundreds of years ago.
  • Chapter Five in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door takes Mario and pals on an adventure to an island in the southern seas in search of the Sapphire Crystal Star, which also happens to be inhabited by the feared Ghost Pirate Cortez and his ghost crew who guards his treasure within a cave. Though once they meet up with Cortez, he turns out to be not such a bad guy and even offers up his ship for Mario to use for the rest of the game.
  • In Sonic Rush Adventure, the sequel to Sonic Rush, Sonic and Tails are teleported to an alternate dimension after the Tornado is struck by lightning and crashes. There, they seek the help of Blaze the Cat from Rush and Marine the Racoon, the latter of whom is the captain of her own pirate ship, while battling a band of robot pirates led by Captain Whisker who is later revealed to be created by Dr. Eggman and Eggman Nega. The game's worlds include tropical islands, ghostly pirate ships, crystal-filled caverns, and the Pirates' town.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is set in an oceanic setting, the Great Sea. The pirate crew led by Tetra are among the primary cast of characters and as Link traverses the Great Sea to rescue his sister, he encounters a range of pirate themed locations and even engages in cannon exchanges with enemy boats when the situation calls for it.

    Web Animation 

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: In "Blackbot the Pirate", the first part of the four-part "Quest For the Chaos Emeralds" saga, Dr. Robotnik forces Professor Caninestein to build him a time machine so he can go back in time and steal the four Chaos Emeralds of Invisibility, Invincibility, Immortality, and the Power of Life. Robotnik's first destination is Captain Blackbeard's pirate ship, where he turns Blackbeard into Blackbot to help him seek out the Emerald of Invisibility. Professor Caninestein invents a pair of Atomic Relativity Boots for Sonic so he can travel back in time and stop Robotnik's plans.
  • Adventure Time: "Ring of Fire" has Tree Trunks reminiscing on her life story. For a large part of it she was a pirate, but she eventually abandoned the life after breaking up with Daniel, her second husband, whom she met as a pirate.
  • Angry Birds Blues: E27 features the Blues dressing up as pirates, and the Hatchlings accidentally defeating them in battle.
  • Several episodes of The Backyardigans have the cast become pirates. In fact, the series premiere was "Pirate Treasure", where Uniqua/Austin and Tyrone/Pablo compete against each other to get the buried treasure.
  • Camp Lakebottom: In "Pirates of Ickygloomy", while playing Pirates on a shipwreck. the Bottom Dwellers must battle the Ghost Pirate Spitbeard the Pirate, who is determined to win back his ship.
  • Curious George: in the episode "Curious George Sinks the Pirates", Hundley falls asleep and dreams that he was the captain of a pirate ship.
  • Danny Phantom: The villains Ember and Youngblood lead a pirate crew (with ship) in an episode.
  • Darkwing Duck: The episode "Darkwing Doubloon" is set three centuries in the past featuring the main cast's inexplicably identical-looking ancestors. The similarities even go straight down to Darkwing Doubloon having the same friends and adopted daughter while Negaduck has his gang of the "Fearsome Pirates".
  • Elinor Wonders Why: The events of "Pirate Treasure" arise from Ari forgetting where he hid a treasure while playing pirates with Elinor and Olive.
  • Family Guy: In the first third of "Long John Peter", Peter steals a parrot from an animal clinic's waiting room, and ultimately takes on the role of a modern day pirate, with the parrot naturally perched on his shoulder.
  • Garfield's Halloween Adventure combines this trope with Halloween Special; on Halloween Night, Garfield dresses like a pirate to trick-or-treat and gets Odie to come along with him for the sole purpose of getting twice as much candy. The two come to a haunted house inhabited by an old man who was the cabin boy of a band of pirates in his youth. The old man tells them that the ghosts of the pirates are expected to arrive for their treasure at any minute, and flees from them in Garfield's rowboat, leaving Garfield and Odie to face them alone. With help from Odie, Garfield safely makes it back home, and Garfield rewards Odie for saving him by giving him his rightful share of the candy.
  • Grojband: In "On the Air and Out to Sea", Grojband starts a pirate radio station and somehow ends up as part of a pirate crew ransacking the town.
  • Kim Possible: In "Cap'n Drakken", Drakken stumbles across a treasure chest at his underwater lair and gets possessed by the ghost of Blackeye Brown. Meanwhile, Kim and Ron are on a school trip to a colonial-era living-history village, adding to the period ambience.
  • Let's Go Luna!: "Longbeak the Pirate" features the gang learning about pirates in Port Royal, Jamaica. They also learn how to separate fiction from reality, as real-life pirates were much different than the fictional ones.
  • Both Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Mickey Mouse Funhouse have entire specials dedicated to the cast becoming pirates and going on a treasure hunt. Funhouse on the other hand has more standardized episodes taking place in the pirate world.
  • Mr. Benn: In the episode "Pirate", Mr. Benn puts on a pirate costume and helps the crew of a pirate ship try to turn their Captain into an honest man, as well as see to it that he gets a very different sort of treasure for his island: trees from a crew of gardeners whose ship the pirates' rescue (although they pretend to steal it at first) during a storm.
  • In The Owl House season 2 premiere "Separate Tides", Luz joins a ship's crew in order to earn a large sum of money to help Eda, who has fallen on hard times. That said, the only one who engages in an actual act of piracy is Eda, as the crew are basically acting as government sanctioned whalers.
  • Phineas and Ferb: "The Ballad of Badbeard" has the kids all dress as pirates and sail to find the hidden treasure of Badbeard.
  • Ready Jet Go!: In "Treasure Map", Jet learns about pirates after Mitchell tells him about Treasure Island. Since Mitchell himself is looking for buried treasure, Jet decides to make a treasure chest and map to make him happy. Jet even dons a pirate hat towards the end.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: In "Sailing the 7 Zzzs", Ed unlocks a childhood trauma related to pirates, then has a handful of sleepwalking stints wherein he dreams that he is one and that Rocko and friends are a rival crew.
  • Rugrats (1991):
    • In "Sand Ho!", the babies pretend to be pirates after Grandpa Lou reads them a pirate story. They search for treasure, and once they find it, Angelica duels Tommy for it.
    • In "The Pirate Light", when Stu tells Didi that the pilot light is out, the babies mishear it as "Pirate Light" and think it's a light meant to keep pirates away. They also believe that the repairman that Stu hires to fix the pilot light is a pirate coming to raid Tommy's house (especially since he wears a spotted bandana and a single hoop earring) and that the schematic is a treasure map.
  • Rugrats (2021): "Bottles Away" involves the babies pretending to be pirates to get Tommy's bottle back after it gets washed away by a wave. Along the way, they try unsuccessfully to get Tommy to start drinking from a sippy cup by sharing the stories of when they gave up their bottles. Tommy eventually gets into a battle with a sea monster (really Stu's octopus-shaped kite), and when he finally gets his bottle back from it, he realizes that he was brave enough to fight the sea monster without it, so he decides to hand it down to his new baby brother.
  • South Park: "Fatbeard" stars Cartman misunderstanding the return of piracy and so leading a small group of kids (Ike, Butters, Kevin, and Clyde) into becoming pirates in an attempt to become rich. Their plan fails, as the land is barren and poor. The episode makes a point about how tragic and unglamorous piracy actually is, with a Somali pirate giving the boys a lesson about how he and others resort to the extremely dangerous life of piracy because they are desperate and can't feed their families otherwise.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: A few different episodes invoke this:
    • "Arrgh!" features SpongeBob and Patrick joining Mr. Krabs on a pirate treasure hunt after the latter plays a pirate board game so much he starts believing the game's treasure map is real. It turns out the treasure is real, but Krabs doesn't get any due to his attempt to betray his crew.
    • "Grandpappy the Pirate" has Krabs's grandfather Redbeard, who is actually a pirate, visit, and so he tries to convince Redbeard he really is a pirate by constructing a poorly made pirate ship and pretend to be sailing the seas.
    • "Pull Up a Barrel" has Krabs retell a story to SpongeBob and Squidward about his old days in the navy, with him being locked up for serving edible food, being attacked by a pirate crew, and their attempts to fend them off.
  • Time Squad: In Black Beard, Warm Heart, the squad travels back to the 1700's to try to fix Blackbeard the pirate, who instead of being interested in pillaging and plundering he's now an environmentalist. Buck, Larry, and Otto are forced to dress up as pirates and participate in Blackbeard's shenanigans, all the while try to persuade Blackbeard that he can still be a ruthless criminal and attempt to save the world at the same time.
  • Winnie the Pooh, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: In the episode "Rabbit Marks the Spot", Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Gopher start playing pirates, and have even constructed a decent-sized pirate ship on wheels.


Video Example(s):



Fatbeard is the pirate episode from South Park, and because we can't put the whole episode on here we will put the song from it.

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