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Things that happened Once per Episode in live-action TV.

  • Game shows:
    • Family Feud: During the Steve Harvey era, utterance of a part of the male and/or female anatomy or a bodily function. Invariably, a question will be written to elict such a response, with most of the "humor" coming from Harvey's reaction and claiming that it won't be long before the show is canceled for its off-color humor.
    • Match Game: The show that set the standard for double-entendre and utterance of anatomical parts, most commonly "boobs" (or other euphemisms for the word "breast").
      • Also, nearly every episode she appeared in (which was most of them) seemed to see Brett Somers taking a lengthy thought pause after a question and then announcing "Oh, I get it!!" before decisively writing an answer - which, to her credit, was usually pretty good.
      • During its 1979-82 daily syndicated run, a mixed-face ticket plug would be shown after the second commercial break.
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    • Jeopardy!: In addition to the general knowledge categories, there is always at least one category per game themed on words and vocabulary, most commonly either wordplay or words and phrases with something in common.

  • On the New Zealand show 7 Days they make a string of jokes about this with Married... with Children star David Faustino.
    Ben: My favourite episode was the one where Bud was gonna have sex with a really hot girl and then it didn't work out in the end.
    David: I think that was episode... 50, 75, 80...
    Will: I really missed that episode because I was watching that episode of House where they couldn't figure out what the disease was.
    David: I was watching the episode of Three's Company where they thought they heard something different.
    Ben: I'm on the episode of McLeod's Daughters where a handsome stranger comes to town.
    Jesse: (some time later) I'm just trying to think of another one.
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  • 666 Park Avenue: A resident of the Drake makes a Deal with the Devil, and eventually pays for it.
  • Every episode of Alarm für Cobra 11 has at least three chase scenes: one as (or shortly after) the Cold Opening, one in the middle, and one at the end. If a Chase Scene involves motor vehicles, expect a lot of Stuff Blowing Up.
  • 'Allo 'Allo! is more or less a collection of once an episode jokes and situations glued together with a thin film of plot. By later series, there were so many that they wouldn't all fit into every single episode... Examples include, but are by no means limited to:
    • Crabtree entering and saying 'Good moaning' (after season 2), prefaced by someone (usually Yvette) saying something along the lines of "'Ere comes zat English idiot 'oo sinks 'e can speak French."
    • Leclerc entering in a terrible Paper-Thin Disguise, and revealing himself either by lifting his specs or ripping off his fake 'stache to reveal his real one, with the line "It is I, Leclerc."
    • Michelle of ze Resistance entering, telling the cast to "Listen very carefully, I shall say zis only once."
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    • Gruber hitting on Rene.
    • Rene hitting on the waitresses.
    • Rene getting caught by his wife whilst hitting on the waitresses, and coming up with a paper-thin excuse which she (usually) buys entirely. Always prefaced with "You stupid woman!"
    • Cross-dressing of one sort or another, usually in the form of Paper Thin Disguises which are usually damn near impenetrable.
    • The British airmen popping out from wherever they've been hidden this time, and saying "Hello!" in a strong English accent, and being incomprehensible to the French characters.
    • Mme. Fanny being lifted up in her bed to reach the radio. After season one, this scene would inevitably also include ze flashing bedknobs.
      'Allo, 'Allo, zis is Night'awk/Mrs Night'awk/Night'awk's muzzer-in-law.
    • Some form of Benny Hill-esque chase sequence, usually closing out the episode.
    • Someone mentioning the painting of ze Fallen Madonna wiz ze Big Boobies by Van Clomp.
    • The elaboration of a near-incomprehensible plan/retelling of the plot so far, involving multiple copies of multiple paintings to be kept by multiple people to sell after the war, various hidden secrets and affairs, and lots of innuendo.
  • All That: Stage manager Kevin's Catchphrase: "Five minutes! Five minutes until the show starts!" And then, Kevin getting abused somehow.
  • Every episode of The Amanda Show on Nickelodeon starts with Amanda Bynes coming on stage to introduce the show, but something bizarre always goes wrong in the studio and she has to apologise and say they'll sort it in a few minutes, cutting to pre-filmed items or commercials.
  • On The A-Team the construction montage (in which the team builds a makeshift vehicle/weapon out of stuff they find lying around) would qualify.
    • Or a car flipping over.
    • Mr. T: "I pity the fool".
    • Similarly, Hannibal: "I love it when a plan comes together" + obligatory cigar.
  • Bewitched: A mortal (usually Mrs. Kravitz or Larry Tate) will discover some magical shenanigans connected to Sam and her family, and it will be passed off as one of Darren's advertising campaigns.
  • The avalanche of ping-pong balls on Captain Kangaroo.
  • In the Brit Com Chance in a Million the coincidence-prone title character Tom Chance (Simon Callow) drinks an entire pint of lager in one go, usually in mid-sentence. Sometimes this happens more than once per episode, on at least one occasion twice in rapid succession, and once together with a guest cast member. (Actually they used trick glasses holding much less than a full pint).
  • Cheers — "Norm!" Followed by a friendly greeting from whoever was tending bar, followed by a wisecrack from Norm. When Diane was on the show she always greeted Norm a beat after everyone else with "Norman." In one episode the guys from Cheers are shocked to find out that their rival bar Gary's Olde Towne Tavern also calls out "NORM!" whenever Norm comes in.
  • The Danish Christmas calendar series Christmas on Vesterbro has several of these:
  • The Closer:
    • Brenda loses her battle with sugar and manages to offend somebody.
    • Also, having figured out who the guilty part is, Brenda convinces them that there's no need for a lawyer to be present, and then cheerfully lies and/or manipulates the perp into slipping up. Then she drops the cheerful act. There are exceptions, of course, but this is generally what happens.
  • Criminal Minds: Every episode (except the second parts of two-parters) begins with a quote delivered in voiceover, and most end with one as well. Also, every episode has the team deliver the profile of the offender to whichever group of police/other FBI agents they're working with, although this is averted in "True Night", which focuses so heavily on the killer that the briefing is missed by the audience, though it does occur (as can be seen by the details on the whiteboard when the killer is brought in).
  • The entire CSI franchise has Red Herrings every single episode, as well as evidence-processing montages.
  • On CSI the original, DB will mention his wife. And he'll either call her or she'll call him.
  • CSI: Miami: Horatio Crane puts on his Cool Shades, does the Quip to Black and bam, we get the Metal Scream by The Who.
  • CSI: NY:
    • Danny will say "Boom!" and/or Adam will say "What up!"
    • Det. Flack and/or Danny will chase a suspect on foot.
    • Mac will make a military reference, and/or a US flag will be shown in addition to the one in his office.
  • In every episode of the first season of Danger 5:
    • The Danger 5 team gets a mission briefing from the Colonel, who gratuitously insults Claire.
    • Ilsa gets brainwashed by the enemy and attacks at least one of the good guys.
    • Hitler escapes from the team by leaping through a glass window.
  • The Dead Files:
    • Amy Allen's "Yes, that's what I saw" or some variant thereof, when the sketch artist asks if their work is accurate.
    • In the early seasons, the show opened with Steve Di Schavi on his way to meet with the client and making some remark about the show's "separate investigations" premise.
  • Dinner for Five was a roundtable discussion over dinner hosted by Jon Favreau featuring a constantly changing collection of people affiliated with the film industry. Every episode the discussion would inevitably go to Favreau discussing his movie Swingers at some point—especially aggriegious because of Director Displacement. When Kevin Smith (an earlier guest) hosted a single episode, he mocked this repeatedly.
  • ‘’Diver Dan’’ combines this with The Exact Words. Trigger calls Baron Barracuda “Boss”, eliciting an angry “I told you to call me ‘Baron’, (epithet)!” “Okay, Baron (Epithet).”
  • Doctor Who:
    • Do you guys remember that episode where some alien is trying to end The World/The Universe/Time Itself was coming to an end when the Doctor saves them all just in time?
    • There was this one episode with running, a ridiculous amount of running. One time he pretended to know someone he either hadn't met yet or couldn't remember by referencing how they ran.
      Donna: He saves planets, rescues civilizations, defeats terrible creatures... and runs a lot. Seriously, there is an outrageous amount of running involved.
    • Every other episode, Amy and Rory are horribly traumatized by something terrible happening, up to and including their own deaths and resurrections.
    • The Twelfth Doctor's run has a specific and unusual case: it seems almost mandatory that there has to be at least one Call-Back or Continuity Nod to the Tenth Doctor's era per episode.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard always has a car chase that ended with the General Lee jumping over a conveniently placed ramp to escape pursuit.
  • Someone will call Ed 'The Bowling Alley Lawyer'.
    • In nearly every episode, Ed and Mike will make some ludicrous $10 bet.
  • In the final act of each week's mystery on Ellery Queen, Ellery will turn to the camera and directly say "I know who did it. Do you?" and run down the suspects. That's followed by Ellery getting all the suspects into one room as he details who the killer is and how it was done.
    • Notable is Ellery pointing out to the viewer that "if you've been paying attention, you'd have seen the clues." As he promised, the clues to the crime were always right there for viewers to figure it out.
  • Eric Andre going on a rampage and destroying the set.
    • Eric tackling the house band drummer, and proceeding to beat the stuffing out of him.
  • Ever Decreasing Circles: Martin turning the phone around.
  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Ty would inevitably get out his megaphone and start yelling through it at the workers to hurry up.
  • Fawlty Towers: The sign outside the titular hotel has the letters rearranged in most, if not every, episode.
  • Neatly riffed on in Friends, where they are watching Three's Company and Chandler remarks dryly that "this is that episode of Three's Company where there's some kind of misunderstanding". Phoebe frowns, "Then I've already seen this one" and switches the TV off.
  • In Fringe, there are two prominent occurrences:
    • The Observer, his appearances are often Freeze Frame Bonuses.
    • There's always a specific phrase, or object, background prop, etc that foreshadows something in the next episode. Sometimes they are so specific that the hint only gets clear after watching the next episode.
    • Walter will inexplicably become obsessed with a random food in the course of investigating that week's mystery, and will find some way to eat it while on the job.
  • Funky Squad: The Australian series parodied this trope — inevitably, there would be a brief zooming shot of the Funky Squad as they turned to face the camera, and most (if not all) episodes reminded the viewer that Ponch (apparently played by an actor who couldn't speak English — in reality Tom Gleisner, who speaks it fluently) couldn't speak as he had "taken a bullet to the tongue."
  • Ghost Hunters: Jason starting a reveal with "Well, you know what we did, we came in..." Also, Jason's end-of-episode fist bump to Grant (now Steve).
  • A failed escape attempt in Gilligan's Island.
  • A similar conversation occurred on Gilmore Girls, where Rory had to tear Jess away from an episode of I Dream of Jeannie. She assured him that "Jeannie is going to get Major Healey out of whatever scrape he's in."
  • Each episode of the third season of The Good Fight (so far) has an animated musical sequence explaining a real life issue related to the episode.
  • The Hard Times of RJ Berger has an animated sequence in nearly every episode, the majority of them being flashbacks.
  • Harry Hill's TV Burp: "Now, I like (x), and I also like (y). But which is better? There's only one way to find out.... Fiiiight!"
  • Highlander ended each episode, for the first several seasons anyway, with a climactic sword fight, decapitation, and lightning storm. Reaching this scene was often the whole point of the show — after all, it was the only way an Immortal villain could be stopped. But the writers deserve credit for including it no matter what, even in the occasional Very Special Episode that tackled real-world problems like sexual harassment.
    • Also, if you pick any three episodes, chances are that at least two of them will have an immortal whose name begins with a K sound. Sometimes it's the last name, sometimes the first name, sometimes it's a Q.
    • For the first season, each episode usually had Duncan mentioning the Gathering somewhere along the line.
    • Duncan almost always had a flashback to whenever he last encountered the immortal of the week.
    • In season one you could pretty much count on Duncan and Tessa having at least one cuddling or kissing scene.
  • Hill Street Blues would open every episode with the daily briefing by the Desk Sergeant, inevitably closed with him telling the officers, "...and hey! Let's be careful out there!" (Esterhaus) or "Let's do it to them before they do it to us!" (Jablonski).
  • Ronnie Barker's now-lost series His Lordship Entertains: A physical comedy sequence would take place outside on film with no dialogue.
  • Home Improvement episodes often had Wilson imparting some words of wisdom to Tim, who then tries to repeat it to another character but mangles it into complete nonsense in the process. Some later episodes would have the other character respond along the lines of, "You've been talking to Wilson, haven't you?"
  • Every episode of Homicide: Life on the Street involves the detectives lying to a suspect or witness to get them to confess/roll over on an accomplice/provide some pertinent information. This tactic is almost uniformly successful, leading to several characters to comment over the course of the series that "crime makes you stupid."
  • Horrible Histories has an Educational Song every episode.
  • House
    • Once per episode, the team is given a case that completely stumps them. As the victim is nearing death, House will have a "Eureka!" Moment, signified by his stopping a conversation about something unrelated to the case (that conversation usually being with Wilson), staring out into space as the pieces to the puzzle all fall into place, then making a bee-line for the patient's room or his colleagues to deliver the life-saving diagnosis.
    • The medical team somehow manages to suspect lupus in every case. In the first season 4 episode, where House didn't have a team (at the end of Season 3, one was fired and the other two quit), a nearby janitor still managed to suggest a diagnosis of lupus, commenting after a brief stunned silence that his grandmother had it.
    • In Season 3 House pulled some hidden Vicodin out of a hollowed out lupus text. When his team looks shocked House responds "Come on! It's never lupus." Even funnier was that in one episode, it turned out it was lupus.
    House: I finally have a case of Lupus!
  • The same thing happened on Hunter with the title character's Tag Line "works for me."
  • I Love Lucy: Desi Arnaz's singing.
  • Almost every episode of iCarly has the group doing the webshow at least once. Only two episodes have not. iBeat the Heat and iLove You.
  • The "Brainstorming" song shows up at least once an episode on Imagination Movers.
  • Twice per episode of The Incredible Hulk (1977), David Banner would transform into, er, The Incredible Hulk. It always happened about twenty minutes in, and then again right near the end of the episode.
  • Every episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia will at some point have one of the gang deliver an exasperated "Goddamn it!"
  • In iZombie, every episode has a montage of Liv preparing brain food - ie, containing the brain of the Victim of the Week.
  • In Kamen Rider Kabuto, Tendou Souji has to spout an allegedly wise quote from his grandmother once every episode.
  • Kenan & Kel:
  • Kitchen Nightmares:
  • The audience expected every Knight Rider episode to have a scene where the car would jump after Michael Knight used the Turbo Boost. Regrettably, and to the disappointment of many a child, not every episode actually featured this (probably due to shortages of Pontiac Firebird bodies to trash...), but the great majority did. Some episodes even featured more than one turbo boost (presumably when they had a few spares available).
  • On Laverne & Shirley, David Lander (Squiggy) got so sick of having to say 'Hello' over and over that he refused to say it anymore. The producers reached a deal with him in which the writers were only allowed to have him say it once per episode.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: The detectives will use a Batman Gambit to push the murderer into having a Villainous Breakdown.
  • LazyTown: Stephanie always sings "Bing Bang Song" near the end.
  • Lost has about every episode someone claim that "he/she/they/we/it is/are/were lost" (with the occasional "have you lost your mind?". They also steal the "bad feeling about this" line from time to time, most notably when Karl says this about ten seconds before he dies.
    • Sawyer exclaims "Son of a bitch!" at least once in almost, if not literally, every episode he appears in.
    • Also, Ben gets beat up to such an extent that Michael Emerson's answer to "how many times has Ben been beaten up?" was "how many episodes have I been in?"
  • Made in Canada (syndicated globally as The Industry) would have one of the main characters making an aside statement of "I think that went well" or "This is not good" to end every show. Every. Last. Show. For five seasons.
  • Klinger's attempts to get a section 8 on M*A*S*H. Despite this being a warzone, Klinger had a new dress/frilly female outfit every week. Jamie Farr once recalled the bizarre feeling it gave him walking into the wardrobe department. All of the costumes were on racks assigned to specific actors. Walk past Mike Farrell's rack, there's an army uniform. Walk past Alan Alda's rack, there's a uniform, bathrobe, and maybe a Hawaiian shirt. Get to Jamie's rack(s) and there are just endless frocks, dresses, skirts and bonnets. He maintained the tartan plaid skirt was the most comfortable of them all.
    • Alan Alda had it written into his contract as Executive Producer that every episode had to have at least one scene in the OR. As a strong anti-war advocate he never wanted the comedy to overshadow the fact it was set in a war and for the viewers to forget that.
  • Merlin saves Arthur's life. On the episodes he doesn't, we have episodes where he does so multiple times to make up for it. And he only gets the credit for it Once a Season.
  • The Mighty Boosh
    • A character mistakes Vince for a woman.
    • In the first series, each episode featured at least one character that had part of their costume shaped like a polo mint.
    • The subject of conversation turns to Vince's hair at least once an episode, and in every episode Howard utters the line "... I'm Howard Moon."
    • Rich Fulcher's characters often hit on Vince, and/or proclaim, "A little to the left!" While dying horribly.
    • Bollo frequently "Has a bad feeling about this."
    • Various characters often ask Vince or Howard, "_____? What is _____?"
    Spirit of Jazz: Yorkshire? What is Yorkshire? (or...)
    Mutant: Freedom? What is freedom?
  • The message self-destructing after being played at the start of every mission on Mission: Impossible.
    • Except on occasions when Jim is instructed to dispose of it himself "in the usual manner" (and, of course, those episodes where it was personal, which didn't have any messages at all).
  • Monk does a The Summation every episode, often including the phrase "If I'm right... which... I am" and always including the phrase "Here's what happened" to the point that other characters state their desire to say "Here's what happened."
    • Subverted when a garbage strike had driven Monk (more) insane. He proceeded to rattle off an explanation of why Alice Cooper killed the mayor to steal his high backed chair, based solely on Cooper sitting in a high back chair in a poster and him being a "dirty hippy", done in the same black and white footage as the usual real events. Everyone just looks at him in stunned silence, until Randy asks "Should I be writing this down?"
    • Nearly every episode of Monk features a character (not always Monk) saying the words "I don't think so." This is a prominent line in the theme song and it's so common that it can't just be a coincidence. Once you notice it, you'll notice it in every episode.
    • Petrocelli had this too. In every episode, his client was wrongly accused on the grounds of seemingly conclusive proof. Once in court, the accusation would narrate the supposed events and then (and only then) he would offer his own version of what had happened. Invariably, this was the truth, and his client was declared not guilty.
    • Also in Petrocelli, someone will always pronounce his surname wrong ("Petroselli") and he will correct them instantly: "It's Petročelli". The mispronouncer is always a bad guy.
  • Mork & Mindy
    • "Mork, what Earth concept have you misunderstood this week?" (an actual Lampshade Hanging from the show.)
    • "Mork calling Orson! Come in, Orson!" Often followed by Mork insulting Orson's girth.
  • Murdoch Mysteries:
    • Murdoch nearly always pulls aside his jacket to reveal his badge pinned to his vest when identifying himself as a member of the Toronto Constabulary. Sometimes, he'll ask someone a question and when they want to know why he's asking (no doubt because they think he's just a nosy parker civilian), cue the badge flash. At other times, flashing the badge while announcing himself is his opening move when meeting someone. In "All That Glitters", he starts to do this when asking questions of a hotel clerk in a small frontier town, seeming to have forgotten he's not wearing the badge (or his city suit, for that matter). In "This One Goes to Eleven" and "Stairway to Heaven", the badge peeps out from under his jacket while he's doing something else that requires he move or raise his arms; this may be because in those stories, no authority-invoking introduction is really needed (he was on a security detail for a Rembrandt painting in one case, and he was recognized when he entered by his colleague Dr. Grace in the other).
    • At a crucial point during the episode, Murdoch will have an Imagine Spot that shows him "witnessing" the crime as it's taking place. In "The Murdoch Identity", he dreams one of these while having a nap on Anna Fulford's sofa as well as having small ones rather like fragments of memory in part since he's suffering the after-effects of a brain injury. Jasper Linney, Brackenreid and Dr. Ogden have each shared the Imagine Spot with him once, Brackenreid and Murdoch each have their own (solving the same case by different routes) in "Murdoch at the Opera", and in the Season 7 finale Brackenreid takes Murdoch's place in the Imagine Spot while solving the B-plot case.
  • My Name Is Earl "Son of a bitch" is said in pretty much every episode, usually by Earl or Joy.
    • In the vast majority of episodes Earl sets out thinking he will solve a single minor problem and usually ends up with multiple big problems. On rare occasions they don't have a solution and he has to just accept it. He normally learns a lesson about life whichever way it goes.
  • MythBusters:
    • The Hard-Work Montage.
    • Something will be destroyed. Ranges from "having a frozen turkey dropped on it" to "hit with a car" to "scattered across a two hundred metre radius" to "requires the FBI's supervision, a truck full of TNT and a one-mile radius clearance around the blast zone".
  • Once Upon a Time: In the second half of Season 5, up until "Last Rites", with the exception of the episodes " Labor of Love" and " Our Decay", each episode features a character in the underworld being damned to hell. Blacktooth in "Souls of the Departed", Milah in "The Devil's Due", Captain Silver in "The Brothers Jones", Gaston in "Her Handsome Hero", Auntie Em in "Ruby Slippers", Prince James in "Sisters", and Peter Pan in "Firebird". One could also argue that, In "Last Rites", Hades went straight to hell on death since the writers confirmed he had been lying about the Olympian Crystal erasing its victims' souls.
  • Painkiller Jane: Jane takes damage which would be fatal to normal people on this frequency.
  • Police Squad!: So much so that the series would have surely collapsed under them if it had been on for longer. Dreben parks his car and knocks over some trash cans (one more each episode); Al, who's too tall to fit in the frame gives Drebin and the Chief some information and they remark on some oddity of his appearance; Drebin bribes Johnny the shoeshine guy for information, who then gets bribed by a B-list celebrity; the elevator stops at some odd places, and a multitude of Catch Phrases ("Cigarette?" "Yes, I know." "Well.")
    • The written and verbal reading of the title being completely different to each episode.
    • The literal freeze at the end of the episode.
    • The villain of the week joining all the criminals caught in the previous episodes in jail. And each of them will be named.
  • Power Rangers — except on the somewhat rare occasions when the Rangers use their own Finishing Move, the monster gets city-sized, and the rangers have to use their zords to defeat it. Interestingly, it never seems to matter how badly the monster gets beaten/shot/exploded/melted/punctured/vaporised/redecorated when it's human sized, it will always become perfectly healthy again when it's bigger. It was generally in the earliest seasons where a human-sized monster would be defeated, such as when they killed the Minotaur with the power blaster.
    • That's one of the things that changes each season... some seasons the Big Bad makes the monster grow when he/she desires, or the monster does it itself, but in some seasons, the customary reaction to the human-sized monster's total destruction is to reassemble it into giant form (this is more common in the magic-based series.) Still, you get instances like Kilobyte, a Dragon in Power Rangers RPM: we see him blown into Ludicrous (Robot) Gibs... and immediately cut to him falling on the ground intact, standing up, and angrily saying the growth command.
    • It was lampshaded in one episode of Power Rangers Ninja Storm. When one of the members of the Terrible Trio asked the Big Bad what should they do, he answers something among the lines of: "Make him grow up, of course! How many times have we done that? Didn't you catch it up yet? The rangers destroy the monster, we make the monster grow!"
    • Another time:
    Marah: "What's the worst that could happen? They blow him up, we grow him big again, they blow him up again, we grow him big again, and they blow him and we grow him, and...
    Lothor: "I know the formula!"
    • Power Rangers Samurai made it so their monsters explicitly had "two lives" — first they're beaten human-sized, and then they have to beat them city-sized, as if to lampshade the formulaic nature of all Power Ranger series.
  • In Psych, just about every episode features a pineapple, to the point where the advertisements for some episodes advertise a sweepstakes: Find the pineapple.
    • Also, almost every single episode starts with a flashback to the late '80s (nowadays, it's to the early '90s), showing Shawn as a child either having an experience that is materially or thematically related to the episode at hand (present!Shawn usually recalls this incident during the episode's events), or being taught a lesson (a bit of advice, a technique, a trick, etc) by Henry that, in the present day, explains where Shawn got the know-how to solve the episode's featured case. Sometimes subverted: for example, in "Shawn Takes a Shot In the Dark", the flashbacks are interspliced with the present-day story, guiding the audience so that we figure out Shawn's thought process along with the characters tracking him; and in "Shawn Rescues Darth Vader", the flashback comes at the very end of the episode to explain how Shawn beat the polygraph test earlier on, because if it had been shown at the beginning, all the suspense of the moment would have been killed.
  • The Riddlers has a song in every episode.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: Luke and Sarah Jane are separated by some force beyond their control, and this will piss Sarah Jane off. Sometime in the last ten minutes, they will be reunited with a hug, and Sarah Jane will tell whoever tried to mess with him something along the lines of "Go to Hell before I send you there myself."note 
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"
    • The Weekend Update segment.
    • There are exceptions to this. Season 7 episodes (1981-82) either began at the opening credits, or with a short cold opening that had no segue into the opening credits. Temporary Don Pardo replacement Mel Brandt would announce "And now, from New York, the most dangerous city in the world, it's Saturday Night Live!" Other exceptions include the 1984 Eddie Murphy episode (where the cold open ended on Alfalfa's stunned expression), and the 1985 George Wendt/Francis Ford Coppola episode which did away with most SNL conventions. The Kristen Stewart episode used it twice: once by Mikey Day's depiction of Steve Bannon during the cold opening, and a second from Melissa McCarthy's Ax-Crazy depiction of Sean Spicer. The second time, a journalist pointed out it'd already been said before Spicer promptly attacked him with the podium.
  • Scandal: Character Filibuster occurs in this frequency at least.
  • Schitt's Creek always has a scene with the four members of the Rose family talking about what has happened if it is at the end of the episode or what will happen if the scene occurs at the beginning of the episode. This even happened when Moira was in Bosnia, and she called Johnny while Alexis, David, and Stevie were in the room.
  • Every episode of Scrubs has some variation of the line, "And there it is."
  • Seinfeld:
    • Just about every single episode contains at least one reference to Superman.
    • They lampshaded this trope once:
      Jerry: Y'know, this is like that Twilight Zone where the guy wakes up, and he's the same, and everybody else is different!
      Kramer: Which one?
      Jerry: They were all like that.
  • Every episode of Shameless (US) has one (sometimes two) of the characters complaining to the camera on "here's what you missed last week" and insulting them for skipping the show.
  • Someone dies at the beginning of every episode of Six Feet Under.
  • One or more of the main characters puking on another or themselves in Skins.
  • Remember that episode of Smallville where Clark goes in to save the day, only to be inadvertently foiled by kryptonite?
    • With everyone randomly carrying around spare pieces of green rocks, it's amazing that Clark is ever able to use his abilities, let alone save the day.
    • Remember the episode where Clark can't find the bad guy until some missed clue shows itself and Clark rushes in and saves the day in under a minute and the remaining 9 minutes of the episode is devoted to different characters arguing about philosophy?
      • I think that was every episode of the 1950s Adventures of Superman, too...
    • Especially in the first season, the show seems particularly fond of having car crashes/accidents each episode. Actually, it is a rare episode without some Stuff Blowing Up.
    • Also how people are conveniently unconscious when he had to use his powers. Like that time when the whole purpose of getting Chloe knocked out is so that Clark could catch her after she is thrown off a dam. Those who are not unconscious, however, usually gets killed or thrown into the psycho prison very quickly.
    • During season five to seven, Clark would frequently Super Speed to find Chloe in her dormitory or at the Daily Planet for help, invariably sending papers flying once per episode even after she asked him to stop that multiple times. How could no one notice him super speeding into the Daily Planet office, which is always packed with people? It is justified for the dormitory because he always stops after being safely inside her room, but not that.
    • And of course, Chloe/Clark Ship Tease may border on this level during middle seasons.
    • And the (in)famous "Kick The Chloe" game that reached its peak around season eight.
  • Pick three episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series. Now watch them. The odds are pretty good that in two out of those three, Kirk's shirt will be utterly destroyed... and with good reason.
  • The vast majority of Strong Medicine episodes began with Lu (one of the doctors) hosting a rap room, discussing health and social issues with some of her patients.
  • Lampshaded by Dean in Supernatural when something strange happens. "Must be Thursday."
    • Remember that episode of Supernatural where one of the brothers is literally on the point of death (or is, indeed, dead) and the other saves him?
    • What about the episode where there is a hot girl who is somehow connected to the Monster of the Week. Okay okay, started fizzling out in the third season, and almost never happened in the finale's or other "complex" episode, but basically every "stand alone" episode in season one or two had one, and it didn't completely fizzle out after season three.
  • That '70s Show: Red threatens to put his foot up someone's ass, Eric and his friends have a Circle in the basement.
  • Top Gear:
    • Crazy ideas with the precursor, "How hard can it be?". Afterwards: "That's not gone well".
    • Jeremy Clarkson ending every episode with "...and on that bombshell..." As well as some variation of "The most powerful/fastest/biggest etc... in the world.
    • The "Some say" build-up whenever the Stig is about to appear. "Some say all his potted plants are called Steve, and he knows two facts about ducks — both of which are wrong."
  • Torchwood: Try to find an episode in which Jack does not flirt with someone, most likely someone (or something) completely inappropriate.
  • Tracker had the typical end-of-episode life force collection as Cole defeated another fugitive.
  • In the Ultra Series, you can expect 90 percent of its episodes to have the following scenes, which has been the norm since the past 50 years... and counting.
    • A kaiju/alien invasion kicking off the episode.
    • The local Earth Defense Force sending their planes into action, only to have them uselessly blasted out of the sky.
    • The kaiju or alien invader somehow escapes, or retreats. There's still like 15 minutes left before the credits, after all.
    • The Ultra host attempting to convince his superiors about when or where the kaiju or alien will strike next, only to have his superiors refusing to believe him, which the Ultra host cannot prove his theory due to his Secret Identity.
    • The third act is kicked off by the kaiju / alien invasion.
    • During the climax, the hero gets separated from other members of the Defense Force or civilains, allowing him to transform into Ultraman without being noticed.
    • Ultraman battling the kaiju / alien in the last 5 minutes of the episode, and winning with a Finishing Move. Most likely the Specium Ray.
  • Similarly in VR Troopers, the way battles ended would be very formulaic, especially with JB who would summon his laser lance, impale the monster (who would then surrender), then finish him off anyway.
    JB: Laser Lance Command, NOW!
    *Monster charges*
    JB: Hi YA! *extends the laser lance to impale the monster, said monster throws its arms up in surrender*
    JB: Hiyaaaa! *walks up, ignores the surrender, takes the laser lance and slashes the monster until it falls over in defeat and explodes*
  • The uncle jokes from Welcome Back, Kotter.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Drew's Catchphrase, "Everything is made up and the points don't matter," followed by a statement (usually a Take That!) that shows how worthless the points are.
    • "Everything is made up and the points don't matter. That's right, the points are like notability on TV Tropes."
    • "Everything is made up and the points don't matter. That's right, the points are like all the hours you spent on TV Tropes."
  • Twice per episode, Wonderbug features a variation of the following exchange:
    Barry: I have an idea! First, we need a bunch of Noodle Implements, and then we...
    Susan: Wait, why don't we just do this other more sensible thing?
    Barry: There's no time for that, Susan! Wait, I have a better idea! Why don't we just do this other more sensible thing?
    C. C.: Brilliant, Barry, my man!
    Susan: [eyeroll]
    • The second time is usually a variation (for example, in one episode, Barry and Susan's roles were reversed, in another, it was Barry's identical cousin Larry who took Barry's part while Barry was kidnapped).
  • Every episode of Without a Trace concluded with a Public Service Announcement about a Real Life missing persons case (episodes that aired in foreign countries included blurbs on their own citizens). Over the duration of the show, five people were found.
  • David Mitchell will launch into a Character Filibuster on Would I Lie to You? (more often than not with the provocation of Lee Mack).
  • The X-Files:
    • Scully and Mulder-centric episodes feature Mulder suggesting something supernatural is going on, Scully responding with Arbitrary Skepticism, and proving it's absurd "scientifically". Mulder is almost always right. Scully never admits it. Mulder actually lampshades this in season 6's "Field Trip".
    • Mulder doing/saying something that makes Scully feel uncomfortable.
    • Mulder asking Scully to do something and her responding with "What are you going to do?"
    • Especially from season five onward, somebody making the assumption that Mulder and Scully are romantically involved.
  • Yes, Minister:
  • The inevitable sliming of — and dumping water on — at least one cast member of You Can't Do That on Television, as well as the Opposites series of sketches and the Barth's Diner's Catchphrase "What (or Who) do you think's in the burger?", followed by Barth's traditional reply "I heard that!" (The vomiting that the question derived was only once every other episode, usually.)