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Three-Dimensional Episode

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You did save the glasses from last time, right?

"Can we please agree on one form of 3-D? I'm just getting tired of having to get a new pair of glasses every time there's a new 3-D gimmick."

Occasionally, a network will get the brilliant idea to film an episode in 3-D, thus forcing the public to go on a search for the special 3-D glasses that work for this episode alone which are either given out by a store or inserted in a magazine. It's more of a novelty act than anything else. Definitely known for having "cheap 3-D tricks" in which all kinds of weird items (explosions, snakes, guns, anything flying through the air) will shoot out at the viewer. Also a guarantee of Incredibly Bad Writing ensuing as entire plots have to screech to a halt to indulge in the network's gimmickry.

As seen below, the 3-D episodes only take place around either sweeps weeks or event programming like after the Super Bowl.

Disney theme parks do a lot of these, including Captain EO, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, Muppet*Vision 3D and It's Tough to Be a Bug!. See also 3-D Movie, Paddleball Shot.


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    Comic Books 
  • Superman Beyond 3D, a miniseries by Grant Morrison as part of the Final Crisis crossover, in which the 3D effects represented the Bleed between universes.
  • The Blazing World as depicted in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is in 3D. It's implied to be like this in-universe as well, as visitors are regularly shown wearing what looks like 3D glasses while native beings have different color irises to similar effect (in Prospero's case also possibly a Shout-Out to Spider Jerusalem).

    Live-Action TV 

  • David Bowie: The original release of 'hours...' features a lenticular print that provides a 3D effect with the two Bowies and the hallway that they're posing in. Later editions replace this with standard print work due to cost concerns.
  • Electric Light Orchestra: The deluxe edition CD release of Alone in the Universe features a lenticular print on the cover that provides a 3D effect with the artwork of a boy watching the ELO UFO flying in the sky.
  • When KISS toured behind their reunion album, Psycho Circus, several songs featured images shown on the overhead screen in 3-D. An on-screen graphic would tell the audience when to put on and take off their 3-D glasses.
  • Prince: The original release of Diamonds and Pearls features a holographic photo of Prince posing with Lori Werner and Robia LaMorte. Later editions of the album remove the holographic effect due to cost concerns.
  • The Rolling Stones: The original release of Their Satanic Majesties Request features a lenticular 3D image of the band against a sky backdrop; the image was meant to occupy the whole cover, but was shrunken down to save money. Most re-releases of the album omit the lenticular effect, including most CD reissues (save for a Japan-exclusive SHM-CD release).

  • The halftime show for Super Bowl XXIII, titled "Bebop Bamboozled"note  was a show produced in 3-D. Here's a clip of the intro (a Diet Coke commercial produced in 3-D for this game was removed from this clip) with NBC pregame host Bob Costas.


    Web Original 
  • Far Lands Or Bust did this for the 100th episode, and true to the trope it was generally regarded as a bad decision afterwards by everyone involved.
  • The whole 5th season of The Jace Hall Show, though the focus on the effect was lowered in the latter episodes of the season.
  • The Cinema Snob's review of Friday the 13th Part III. Full of gratuitous Paddleball Shots.

    Western Animation 
  • Nickelodeon ran a Noggle-vision event in 1997. It used the ChromaDepth method and required special glasses. Sequences from certain episodes were made in 3-D and later redone for 2-D rebroadcasts. The programs involved:
  • Nickelodeon did it again in 1999 with "Smell-O-Vision" episodes of Spongebob Squarepants and other shows (a combination of 3D effects and special scratch-and-sniff cards).
  • Similar to Noggle-Vision, Cartoon Network did a week of shows in 3-D in 2007.
  • Parodied in a sequence in the Futurama episode "Law and Oracle", complete with Shout Outs to Avatar and gratuitous Paddleball Shots. It ends with a caption saying "PUT ON 3-D GLASSES ONE MINUTE AGO".
  • The short-lived Yo Yogi! had as its most noteworthy gimmick the use of 3-D effects in certain scenes (which would usually be signaled by Yogi spinning his hat as a reminder to the kids to put their 3-D glasses on).