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Playing With / Bottle Episode

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Basic Trope: To save money, an episode is done that involves fewer (or lower-quality) props, costumes, and set.

  • Straight: An episode of Upper-Class Twit takes place entirely on The Couch.
  • Exaggerated:
    • A whole arc or even a whole series does this.
    • The episode consists of nothing but Talking Heads.
    • The characters move from a well-kept mansion to a run-down studio apartment.
    • It's a Clip Show.
    • The show's traditional furniture is distinctly not on the set for one episode. Not a single character bats an eyelash at its absence, nor at its equally unexplained return for the next episode.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: An episode of Dom Com (which is usually produced dirt-cheap) has Alice and Bob staying at the beautiful vacation home of a better-off friend.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob announces that they'll be going to Hawaii and staying at a fancy resort.
    • The episode is filmed in Paris.
  • Double Subverted:
    • The family's travel plans get fouled up, and they end up staying in a cramped little beach shack, or at a cheap-ass motel miles from the beach.
    • Paris, Texas, that is, not Paris, France.
  • Parodied: The show's "producers" appear on the screen and are shown paying for the episode in play money.
  • Zig Zagged: Episodes take place in different locations.
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  • Averted: The same set, costumes, and props are always used.
  • Enforced: Budgeting problems behind the scenes. (By definition, this is the reason for the trope. If cheaper props are used for any other reason, it isn't an example.)
  • Lampshaded:
    • "I miss our mansion. This apartment sucks."
    • The on-screen action is notably cheaper than usual, but main characters have multiple Offscreen Moments of Awesome far beyond the show's normal fare.
  • Invoked: Bob makes a bad investment, and his family loses everything. Thanks to his close circle of friends, he gets back on his feet by the end of the episode.
  • Exploited: Danny ransacks the town while Bob (one of a very few half-decent police officers in the town) is stuck elsewhere.
  • Defied: Bob calls his wealthy sister Carla, and the family gets to stay in Carla's (much nicer) mansion.
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  • Discussed: "Do you think rich people ever go camping?" "Probably, but I don't think it's anything like camping as we know it."
  • Conversed: "This episode only has a few people in one room the whole time!" "Show must be running low on funds."

This link to Bottle Episode was a cheaper one than normal, we needed to save cash.