Television Plot Lines

Are you thinking of writing scripts for a new TV show. You have the characters and setting but can't think of plot lines. Do you write scipts for a TV show but are running out of ideas. Below are some plot lines. As you can see they can be used for any genre or setting.

     NOTE: Indicates the last episode of the series.

. Ten Little Indians.
This is an episode set in an isolated area and the characters keep getting killed off or disappearing.

Voyage to the Bottom of the sea: The Death Ship
Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
The Facts of Life Seven Little Indians Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea The Death Ship Gilligan's Island And Then There Were None
Remington Steele Steele Trap The Avengers The Superlative Seven Rawhide The House of the Hunter
Lost in Space Space Creature Get Smart Hoo Done It    
Laverne & Shirley Haunted House The Monkees Monkee See, Monkee Die    

. The 6 mile high episode. This is where the episode take place mostly on an airliner.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
It Takes a Thief Project "X" Castle In Plane Sight Laverne & Shirley Airport '59 I Love Lucy Return Home from Europe
The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. The High and the Deadly Affair Get Smart Closely Watched Planes Green Acres Economy Flight to Washington
The Sixth Sense Coffin, Coffin in the Sky

. The Train Episode

Series Episode Series Episode
Quantum Leap Honeymoon Express: April 27, 1960 The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Adriatic Express Affair

. The Manhunt

Get
Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Get Smart Island of the Darned The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Deadly Quest Affair Logan's Run Capture
The Time Tunnel Kill Two by Two I Spy The Name of the Game Lost in Space Hunter's Moon
Gilligan's Island The Hunter Criminal Minds Open Season

. STRIKE!
Another out of vogue, put popular in 1960s television, involved union troubles.

Get Smart: Strike While the Agent is Hot
Series Episode Series Episode
Get Smart Strike While the Agent is Hot Battlestar Galactica (2005) Dirty Hands
Designing Women Curtains Babylon 5 By Any Means Necessary
Taxi Shut It Down

. Fight the Nazis!
Regardless of the setting many TV shows manage to have an episode where the cast fights against the Nazis:

Star Trek: Patterns of Force
Series Episode Series Episode
Star Trek Patterns of Force Star Trek Voyager The Killing Game Part 1 & 2
Designing Women I'll Be Seeing You Galactica 1980 Galactica Discovers Earth (3)
The Name of the Game The Inquiry Mission Impossible The Legend
Angel Why We Fight Sanford & Son Sergeant Gork
The Time Tunnel Invasion The Lone Gunmen Eine Kleine Frohike
Highlander Return of Amanda The Simpsons The Curse of the Flying Hellfish
Time Cop Rocket Science Get Smart The Not-so-Great-Escape
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Death from the Past McHale's Navy McHale and His Schweinhunds*
It Takes a Thief The Suzie Simone Caper The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Deadly Game Affair
       
* McHale's Navy Changed its setting to Italy in its last season. However in this episode the PT73 and its crew were in the South Pacific.

. mYou're in the Army Now.
An episode where at least one of the main characters is in the military, or pretends they are in the military.

Jeannie is in the Air Force in this episode
Series Episode Series Episode
It Takes A Thief Hans Across The Border (Parts 1 & 2) Dinosaurs Nuts to War (Parts 1 & 2)
The Second Hundred Years San Juan Hill Married With Children T*R*A*S*H
Malcom in the Middle Reeese Joins the Army Laverene and Shirley You're in the Army, Now
I Dream of Jeannie G.I. Jeannie The Name of the Game The Prisoner Within
The Dick van Dyke Show Body and Sol The Simpsons Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song
Happy Days ROTC The Six Million Dollar Man The Deadly Test
The Avengers Esprit De Corps Mork & Mindy The Mork Syndrone
Charlie's Angels Bullseye Here's Lucy Lucy Joins the Air Force Academy (Pt 1 & 2)
21 Jump Street Honor Bound Get Smart Temporarily Out of Control

. Paintball Episode

There is the episode where there is mock combat. Paintball is currently the most popular form but there are other variations of it.
Series Episode Series Episode
The Big Bang Theory The Cushion Saturation The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. The Petit Prix Affair
Clownfish Paintball

. Gothic Episode.
!Many shows manage to have an episode with a vampire, werewolf, or other gothic character.

Get Smart: Weekend Vampire
Series Episode Character Series Episode Character
Barney Miller Werewolf Werewolf Star Trek: The Next Generation Sub Rosa Vampire
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Space Vampire Vampire Star Trek A Wolf in the Fold Jack the Ripper
Babylon 5 Comes the Inquisitor Jack the Ripper Benson Ghost Story Ghost
The Time Tunnel The Ghost of Nero Ghost Batwoman Drink Me Vampire
The Parkers Mummy's the Word The Mummy Dinosaurs Little Boy Boo Werewolf
Family Guy Death is a Bitch The Grim Reaper Highlander The Vampire Vampire
Futurama The Honking Werwolf The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Very Important Zombie Affair Zombies
Lost in Space The Space Croppers Werwolf Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea The Brand of the Beast Werewolf
Son of the Beach Hamm Stroker's Suck My Bloat Vampire Smallville Thirst Vampire
The Adventures of Superman The Ghost Wolf Werwolf The Monkees I was a Teenage Monster Frankenstein
F-Troop Visit From a Vampire Vampire Green Acres The Ballad of Molly Turgis Ghost
Diagnosis Murder The Blair Nurse Project Ghost The Love Boat Chubs Ghost
Gilligan's Island Ghost a Go-Go Ghost

. The Pirate Episode
This is the episode that involves pirates, ala Pirates of the Caribbean.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Daniel Boone The Grand Alliance Married With Children Peggy and the Pirates Lost in Space The Sky Pirate The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Shark Affair

. Prophesy Episode
This is the episode that involve predictions that come true.

Series Episode Series Episode
The Adventures of Superman Mystery in Wax The Name of the Game Tarot
Taxi Jim Joins the Network

. Paranormal Episode
There is an episode that deals with other paranormal activities.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Ironside Ring of Prayer The Simpsons What to Expect When Bart's Expecting Get Smart The Spirit Is Willing Green Acres The Blue Feather
12 O'Clock High The Lorelei Gilligan's Island Voodoo Something to Me McHale's Navy Who Do the Voodoo The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Bat Cave Affair
Car 54, Where Are You? The Gypsy Curse Lost in Space Ghost in Space Designing Women The Slumber Party

. Cross Dressing Episode
Picture one of the characters dressing up as a member of the opposite sex then write an episode around it.

Series Episode Series Episode
Dinosaurs Nuts to War, Part 2 The Lucy Show Lucy Plays Cleopatra
The Critic Sherman of Arabia The Honeymooners Halloween Party
The Simpsons Whacking Day Designing Women The Lying Game
Young Blades Invincible Sword Gilligan's Island Gilligan, the Goddess
The Persuaders! A Death in the Family The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. The U.N.C.L.E. Samurai Affair
That 70s Show Battle of the Sexists    

. There is the Vacation Episode:

Series Episode Vacation Spot Series Episode Vacation Spot Series Episode Vacation Spot
Star Trek Shore Leave An "uninhabited" Planet MacGyver Last Stand An Airport Bewitched Witch or Wife Paris
Married With Children Poppy's By the Tree (1 & 2) Dump Water, Florida Futurama A Flight to Remember A Space Cruise Full House Sea Cruise A Cruise Ship
Laverne & Shirley Honeymoon Hotel An upscale hotel Murder She Wrote The Celtic Riddle Ireland Malcolm in the Middle Casino A Hotel
Happy Days Hollywood California I Dream of Jeannie Greatest Con Artist in the World Hawaii The Adventures of Superman The Evil Three  
It Takes a Thief Guess Who's Coming to Rio Rio de Janeiro Taxi Vienna Waits Europe      

. The Defiant Ones.
There is the episode where two characters that don't like each other are trapped together.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Night Court The Blizzard Benson Cold Storage Babylon 5 Convictions
Dinosaurs Driving Miss Ethyl All in the Family The Elevator Story
Planet of the Apes The Trap Diff'rent Strokes The Photo Club
The Orville Command Performance Star Trek Voyager Paturition

. A Variation is the Stuck in a cave episode.
This is where a main character is stuck in together without the Defiant Ones nexus.

Series Episode Series Episode
The Six Million Dollar Man Doomesday and Counting The Adventures of Superman Rescue
The Mod Squad The Cave Designing Women Reservations for Eight
The Mary Tyler Moore Show Not a Christmas Story

. Another Variation is where one or more characters are stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Series Episode Series Episode
The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. The Paradise Lost Affair Taxi The Call of the Mild
One Day at a Time Girl Talk

. mm The Body Double.
This is the episode where there is someone who looks just like a main character impersonates that character, or the other way around.

series episode series episode series episode
Bensen The President's Double I Dream of Jeannie Too Many Tonys Star Trek The Next Generation Datalore
The Dukes of Hazzard Baa, Baa, White Sheep The Brady Bunch Two Petes In A Pod
The Wild Wild West The Night of the Big Blast The Six Million Dollar Man Look Alike The Incredible Hulk Broken Image
Bewitched Which Witch is Which? Star Trek The Enemy Within
The Time Tunnel The Lesser of Two Evils Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea The Cyborg
Batman Hi Diddle Riddle Highlander Counterfeit (2) *
McHale's Navy The Great Impersonation
Alies Search & Rescue Futurama Benderama
The Outer Limits (Original) The Duplicate Man The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The Double Affair
I Spy Will the Real Good Guys Please Stand Up?
* The character being doubled, Tessa Noel, was a regular killed off earlier in the series.

. A variation on this is a relative or ancestor who is a dead ringer for a main character.

Series Episode Past/Present
Married With Children Lez Be Friends Present

. Personality Swap Episode
This is where a main character or characters has a personality swap with another person.

Series Episode
The Outer Limits The Human Factor

. The visiting foreign dignitary episode.

Series Episode Series Episode
Car 54, Where Are You? Toody & Muldoon Meet the Russians The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Four-Steps Affair

. The visiting domestic VIP episode.

Series Episode VIP Series Episode VIP
Car 54 Where are You? Hail to the Chief The President That 70s Show Streaking The President
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Candidate's Wife Affair Spouse of Presidential Candidate

. k There is always the episode involving space aliens. The aliens can be real or fake.

Series Episode Aliens Series Episode Aliens
Logan's Run The Collectors Real Married With Children Married ... with Aliens Real
Saved by the Bell Close Encounters Of The Nerd Kind Fake Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea The Sky is Falling Real
Batman The Joker's Flying Saucer Fake The Dick Van Dyke Show UHNYUFTS Dream
The Green Hornet Invasion From Outer Space Fake Welcome Back, Kotter Class Encounters of the Carvelli Kind  
The Beverly Hillbillies The Flying Saucer Fake Green Acres The Saucer Season
The Dukes of Hazzard Strange Visitor to Hazzard Fake
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Take Me To Your Leader Affair Fake
The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. The U.F.O. Affair Fake
The Adventures of Superman Mr. Zero Real The Six Million Dollar Man Straight on 'til Morning Real
The Brady Bunch Out of this World  

. P There is the camping trip episode.

Series Episode Series Episode
Knight Rider Good Day at White Rock Nanny and the Professor Back to Nature
The Simpsons The Call of the Simpsons Dallas The Dove Hunt
Married With Children The Camping Show Alf On the Road Again
That 70s Show Hunting The Persuaders Chain of Events
King of the Hill The Order of the Straight Arrow Highlander Mountain Men
I Love Lucy The Camping Trip Benson Snowbound
Get a Life Camping 2000 Futurama Spanish Fry
Lost in Space The Hungry Sea Moesha Road Trip
The Brady Bunch A-camping We Will Go Three's Company A Camping We Will Go

. There is the Casino episode

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Malcolm in the Middle Casino Designing Women High Rollers

. Pick another TV series and make an episode out of it.

Series Episode Other series Series Episode Other series
The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XIV "Reaper Madness" Benny Hill Get Smart Run, Robot, Run The Avengers
ALF Somewhere Over the Rerun (a.k.a.) The Ballad of Gilligan's Island Gilligan's Island Green Acres The Beverly Hillbillies The Beverly Hillbillies
Family Guy North by North Quahog  
George Lopez Leave it to Lopez  
Here's Lucy Lucy's Impossible Mission Mission Impossible
Futurama A Bicyclops Built for Two Married With Children
Star Trek: The Next Generation The Naked Now Star Trek

. TThe Christmas Special. A familiar plot line is a takeoff on a Christmas Classic.

Show Episode Plot Line Show Episode Plot Line
Dallas Conundrum It's a Wonderful Life Family Guy Don't Be A Dickens At Christmas A Christmas Carol
The Simpsons Tis the Fifteenth Season The Grinch Who Stole Christmas The Six Million Dollar Man A Bionic Christmas Carol A Christmas Carol
Highlander To Be & Not To Be (2 episodes) It's a Wonderful Life
Moonlighting It's a Wonderful Job It's a Wonderful Life
Mork and Mindy It's a Wonderful Mork It's a Wonderful Life
The Odd Couple Scrooge Gets an Oscar A Christmas Carol
Highway to Heaven Another Song for Christmas A Christmas Carol

. TThere are also episodes that use Christmas Themes but aren't complete rip-offs.

Show Episode Christmas Nexus Show Episode Christmas Nexus
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Long Live the King Kris Kringle type character who appears and disappears mysteriously Green Acres An Old-Fashioned Christmas Quest for a real Christmas tree.
Modern Family Express Christmas The Family decides to have a rush Christmas celebration before Christmas
That 70s Show The Best Christmas Ever Plot revolves around a Christmas party
The Brady Bunch The Voice of Christmas Carol is scheduled to sing at the church for
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Jingle Bells Affair An Eastern European leader is taken to a school for Santa Clauses.
Gilligan's Island Birds Gotta Fly, Fish Gotta Talk It's Christmas and morale is bad. Santa Claus pays a visit.
McHale's Navy The Day They Captured Santa The crew is going to celebrate Christmas at an orphanage when the Japanese capture them.
Designing Women I'll Be Home for Christmas Child doesn't believe in Santa Clause

. There is the Holiday Besides Christmas episode.
The Simpsons started out as a Christmas Special but is now famous for its annual Halloween Special.

Series Holiday Episode Series Holiday Episode
Galactica 1980 Halloween The Night The Cylons Landed The Donna Reed Show Thanksgiving Guest in the House
Angel Halloween Life of the Party That 70's Show Thanksgiving Thanksgiving
Full House Thanksgiving The Miracle of Thanksgiving All in the Family St. Patrick's Day Too Good Edith
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. New Year's Eve The Adriatic Express Affair Married With Children Labor Day Hot off the Grill
Designing Women New Year's Eve New Year's Daze Babylon 5 New Year's Eve Crystalis
Knight Rider Halloween Halloween Knight

. The Phoney Holiday Episode
You aren't done with holidays yet. There is always the episode about a holiday that doesn't exist.

Series Holiday
Dinosaurs Hurling Day - The day dinosaurs get to throw their mother-in-laws into the tar pits.
McHale's Navy Little Red Riding Doctor - Town's Anniversary Festival
The Beverly Hillbillies Hair-Raising Holiday - Possum Day

. There is the Birthday Episode.

Series Episode
That 70s Show Eric's Birthday
Car 54, Where Are You? Lucille is Forty

. There is the Tradition episode.
This is an episode that involves some kind of a tradition within the cast's universe.

Series Episode
Dinosaurs The Howling

. 6The Out of Time Episode
There is the episode we the characters are in a different time than the normal setting.

Series Episode Time Period Series Episode Time Period
Highway to Heaven Going Home, Going Home   Futurama Roswell That Ends Well 1947
The Name of the Game Los Angeles 2017 2017 (45 years in the future)
I Dream of Jeannie My Hero The time of the Arabian Knights
The Adventures of Superman Through the Time Barrier Stone Age
Star Trek: The Next Generation The Big Goodbye 1940 USA
Moonlighting The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice 1946
The Avengers Pandora 1915
Murder She Wrote The Last Free Man Ante-Bellum South
Magnum P.I. Flashback 1930

. ESometimes it's an out of time setting, but not necessarily. The Wild West episode is very popular.

Series Episode Present Time Series Episode Present Time Series Episode Present Time
Get Smart Washington 4, Indians 3 Yes Battlestar Galactica (1978) The Lost Warrior Yes
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. The Furnace Flats Affair Yes The Name of the Game The Showdown No
Star Trek Spectre Of The Gun No The Name of the Game The Showdown No Knight Rider Not a Drop to Drink Yes
Adventures of Superman The Bully of Dry Gulch No The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Indian Affairs Affair Yes

. BThe Homecoming Episode
This is the episode where a main character returns to their childhood home.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
The Time Tunnel The Day the Sky Fell In The Name of the Game A Love to Remember I Spy Home to Judgement
Taxi High School Reunion Lost in Space Return From Outer Space Futurama Leela's Homeworld

. The When We First Met Episode
This is when the some of the main characters flash back to when they first met, or when they got married, or some other turning point before the series' started.

Series Episode
All in the Family Flashback: Mike Meets Archie
The Simpsons The Way We Was

. @The Clip Show
You should have enough now to make a show that involves using clips from previous episodes.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Star Trek: The Next Generation Shades of Gray Buck Rogers in the 25th Century A Blast for Buck Lost in Space The Prisoners of Space
Married With Children Best of Bundy Alf Try to Remember (Part 1 & 2)
The Simpsons So It Has Come To This: The Simpsons Clip Show Ugly Betty The Beautiful World of Ugly Betty
Dinosaurs The Clip Show Dancing With the Stars 100th Episode
Malcolm in the Middle Clip Show

. The it was all a dream episode
This is an expisode where strange things happen and ends when a character wakes. Probably the most famous/infamous of this is Dallas that made an entire season a dream.

Series Episode
The Adventures of Superman The Wedding of Superman

.The Afterlife
There is always the episode that shows a view of the afterlife.

Series Episode Series Episode
Lost in Space A Visit To Hades*
* It wasn't really an afterlife but the character thought it was.

. The Robot episode

There is always the episode that has a robot
Series Episode Series Episode
Logan's Run The Innocent Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea The Indestructable Man
Mork and Mindy Dr. Morkenstein The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Sort of Do-It-Yourself Dreadful Affair
Wonder Woman The Return of Wonder Woman Gilligan's Island Gilligan's Living Doll
Batman The Joker's Last Laugh/The Joker's Epitaph

. Here Come The Judge
This is the episode where the cast hold a mock court.

Series Episode
Diff'rent Strokes The Trial
Saved by the Bell Practical Jokes
The Brady Bunch Kitty Karry-all is Missing

. There is the trial episode
This is the episode where a cast member is on trial

Series Episode
Star Trek Voyager Ex Post Facto
Rawhide Incident Of The Devil And His Due
M*A*S*H The Trial Of Henry Blake

. There is the courtrooom episode
This is the episode where the cast members are in court but aren't accused of anything.

Series Episode Series Episode
All in the Family Edith Has Jury Duty Green Acres The Rains Came

. There is the lawsuit episode
This is the episode where a cast member is suing or bring sued.

Series Episode
Archie Bunker's Place Small Claims Court
The Beverly Hillbillies The Clampetts in Court

. pMurder most foul
There is the episode where a major character is accused of murder or attempted murder.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Seinfeld The Trip Star Trek Deep Space Nine Dax Battlestar Galactica (1978) Murder on the Rising Star
The Six Million Dollar Man Steve Austin, Fugitive The Invaders The Trial

. The Godfather episode
This episode plot predates The Godfather.

Series Episode Series Episode
The Monkees Monkees a'La Carte Green Acres Never Taky Your Wife to a Convention
Star Trek A Piece of the Action Archie Bunker's Place A Small Mafia Favor
Get Smart The Secret of Sam Vittorio

. The Gladiator episode
There is the episode that revolves around a gladitorial type combat. It need not be to the death or in a Roman venue.

Series Episode
Planet of the Apes The Gladiators
McHale's Navy Binghamton, at 20 Paces
Lost in Space The Deadly Games of Gamma 6

. The Boxing Ring episode.
It could be a wrestling ring or any other type of martial arts contest.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Highway to Heaven The Return of the Masked Rider The Adventures of Superman No Holds Barred Futurama Raging Bender
Batman Ring Around the Riddler Mission Impossible The Fighter Babylon 5 TKO
The Abbott and Costello Show The Wrestling Story Lost in Space The Deadly Games of Gamma 6 The Six Million Dollar Man The Infiltrators

. The Movie Rip-off episode
With so many movies this is fertile ground.
For a while the Get Smart series had one in almost every episode.

Series Episode Movie(s) Series Episode Movie(s)
That 70s show Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die Parodied the Hitchcock thrillers: North by Northwest, Vertigo, Rear Window, The Birds
Highlander: The Raven Dead On Arrival Similar plot line to the movie Dead on Arrival
Get Smart Classification: Dead Similar plot line to the movie Dead on Arrival
It Takes a Thief Saturday Night in Venice Similar plot line to the movie Dead on Arrival

. The Amnesia Episode
This is the episode where a main character forgets who they are. It's usually cured by a blow to the head. Please don't try this at home.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
The Six Million Dollar Man Stranger in Broken Fork Gilligan's Island Forget me not Green Acres Who's Lisa
Charlie's Angels Angel on my Mind Star Trek The Paradise Syndrome The Time Tunnel The Death Merchant
Smallville Fortune The Adventures of Superman The Secret of Superman
It Takes a Thief The King of Thieves The Rifleman Outlaws's Shoes
The Simpsons The Yellow Badge of Cowardge Get Smart Where-what-how-who Am I?
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Nowhere Affair Logan's Run Carousel

. The Gun Grief Episode
This is the episode where someone who doesn't have a gun gets one. Their acquisition proves to be a mistake.

Series Episode Series Episode
Married With Children But I Didn't Shoot the Deputy
The Simpsons The Cartridge Family
Roc Terence Got Hit Gun
American Dad Stannie Ger Your Gun
Sanford and Son The Shootout

. Visiting Relative Episode
The is the episode where a relative, who is not a regular, comes by for a visit. It's usually unexpected.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Smallville Prodigal The Monkees The Success Story I Love Lucy Lucy's Mother-in-Law
McHale's Navy The Mothers of PT-73 Taxi Mama Gravas The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary's Aunt
The Facts of Life Overachieving Highlander Family Tree
That 70's Show Sunday, Bloody Sunday Full House The Return of Grandma
Angel Lineage All in the Family The Return of Stephanie's Father
Get Smart My Nephew the Spy The Facts of Life From Russia With Love
All in the Family The Brother Lost in Space Curse of Cousin Smith
The Honeymooners Hello Mom Battlestar Galactica (1978) The Man with Nine Lives

. The kidnaping episode
This is where a character gets kidnapped.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
The Adventures of Superman Night of Terror The Six Million Dollar Man Dr. Wells is Missing The Rebel The Actress
Highlander: The Raven War and Peace The Monkees Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers Gunsmoke The Jailer
The Time Tunnel The Kidnappers Green Acres Star Witness Gilligan's Island The Kidnapper
Married With Children The Desperate Half-Hour Nanny Fransom The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Deadly Quest Affair
The Name of the Game Pineapple Rose

. Death in the Family Episode
It doesn't have to be a real relative.

Series Episode Series Episode
Star Trek: The Next Generation Skin of Evil That 70s Show Grandma's Dead
The Mary Tyler Moore Show Chuckles Bites the Dust

. The sort of death of a main character.
This is where a main character dies but gets better.

Series Episode
The Simpsons Bart Gets Hit by a Car

. The face death episode.
This is where a main character faces the belief they will soon die.

Series Episode Series Episode
Star Trek For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky F Troop Corporal Agarn's Farewell To The Troops

. The old age episode
There is the episode when the main characters are made up to look elderly.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Star Trek The Next Generation Unnatural Selection Gilligan's Island Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow Get Smart Age Before Duty
Gilligan's Island Meet the Meteor Lost in Space A Change of Space
Bosom Buddies Not The Last Picture Show

. The sickness episode

This episode revolves around a contageous illness. It is common in the Science Fiction genre but works in other venues as well.
Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Welcome Back, Kotter One Flu Over the Cukoo's Nest The Rifleman Quiet Night, Deadly Night Battlestar Galactica (1978) Lost Planet of the Gods: Part 2
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Planet of the Slave Girls Babylon 5 Infection V The Wildcats

. FThe spinoff episode
By now you should be thinking of a spin off. This is an opportunity for another episode. Introduce a new character, or showcase a support character. The idea is to see if the character highlighted is popular enough to have a show of their own. The best and, arguably, worst example of this is Highlander: The Series. In its final season there were plans for a spin off. The question was who would star in the spin off. They showcased four characters in four episodes to see which one would be the spin off character. None were chosen. The spin off series, Highlander: The Raven, lasted a year.

Original Series episode New Series Success of new series
Diff'rent Strokes The Girls School (a.k.a.) Garrett's Girls Facts of Life 209 episodes
Green Acres The Ex-Secretary Unknown Series never adopted.
Star Trek Assignment: Earth Unknown Series never adopted
The Brady Bunch Kelly's Kids Kelly's Kids Series never adopted

. The Welcome back episode.
This is where a regular who was on the show but left is brought back. This doesn't include the Good-Bye episode where characters are brought back for the series ending show.

Series Episode Character Actor
Charlie's Angels Angel Come Home Jill Monroe Farrah Fawcett

. The Election
There is the episode where a main character either runs for office or becomes politically active during an election campaign.

Series Episode Series Episode
Gilligan's Island President Gilligan Bonanza The Last Vote
The Simpsons Two Cars in Every Garage, Three Eyes on Every Fish Saved by the Bell The Election
The Honeymooners The Deciding Vote The Brady Bunch Vote for Brady
The Phil Silvers Show Bilko Enters Politics I Love Lucy The Club Election
Batman Hizzoner The Penguin Car 54, Where Are You? The Presidential Itch
Welcome Back, Kotter The Election Designing Women The Candidate

. The Wedding
One of the most versitile episodes is the wedding episode. This is where someone is supposed to get married. There are numerous options as to what actually happens.

Series Episode What happened Series Episode What happened
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Escape from Wedded Bliss No wedding took place Green Acres Oh, Promise Me They had a legal wedding this time
Star Trek: The Next Generation Haven No wedding took place Get Smart With Love and Twitches The co-stars married each other
Sanford and Son When Johnny Comes Marching Home No wedding took place Taxi The Wedding of Latka and Simka A main cast and support cast member get married
Smallville Finale   The Mary Tyler Moore Show Ted's Wedding Two support cast members get married
Route 66 Where There's a Will, There's a Way. Wedding took place
I Dream of Jeannie The Wedding Major Nelson and Jeannie get married.
The Adventures of Superman Superman's Wife The marriage was faked
F Troop Here Comes The Tribe No wedding took place
Laverne & Shirley Falter at the Altar No wedding took place
The Love Boat Expedition 1 & 2  

. The 1960s throwback episode.
There seems to be a love affair with the 1960s. Shows started doing this throwback since before it was a throwback. During the 1960s television series often had an episode involving hippies.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
All in the Family Mike's Hippie Friends Come to Visit The Rockford Files Quickie Nirvana The Name of the Game Love-In at Ground Zero
Star Trek The Way to Eden Get Smart The Groovy Guru Green Acres Uncle Ollie
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Pop Art Affair

. The Surfs Up episode.
This is an episode that revolves around surfers.

Series Episode Series Episode
Batman Surf's Up! Joker's Under!
Gilligan's Island Big Man on Little Stick

. The gone evil episode.
This is the episode where one of the main characters becomes evil.

Series Episode
Star Trek The Enemy Within
Time Cop Alternate World

. ``The in jail episode.
This is the episode where one or more of the main characters ends up in jail.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Lost in Space Fugitives in Space Get Smart The Whole Tooth and... The Mary Tyler Moore Show Will Mary Richards Go to Jail?
The Facts of Life The New Girl (Part 2) Taxi Crime and Punishment
Dinosaurs Georgie Must Die Designing Women And Justice for Paul

. The He Said, She Said episode.
This is an episode done with flashback showing the same incident from different characters' point of view. It isn't necessarily the point of view of a man and a woman.

Series Episode
All in the Family Everybody Tells the Truth

. The Fall From Grace episode.
This is where a main character's life takes a bad turn. Usually it's lost job.

Series Episode Series Episode
The Honeymooners Brother Ralph Get Smart The Day They Raided the Knights
It Takes a Thief Beyond a Treasonable Doubt

. The You're Not the First episode.
This is the episode where a main character believes, or the audience has reason to believe, is the first, isn't.

Series Episode
Knight Rider Trust Doesn't Rust

. Loses job.
There is the episode where a main character looses his or her job. Rest assured the'll get it back at the end of the episode, or the next one if it's a two parter.

Series Episode Series Episode
The Simpsons Homer's Odyssey American Dad Clean Up On Aisle "Butter"

. The awards episode.
This the episode where a character gets an award.

Series Episode
The Facts of Life Cousin Geri

. The Spy episode.
This is the episodes that involves a 007 type plot.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Castle Pandora The Monkees The Spy Who Came in from the Cool Star Trek: Deep Space 9 Our Man Bashir
Gilligan's Island The Invasion The Flintstones Dr. Sinister Mainly Millicent James Bond
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Don't Tug on Superman's Cape

. Cause of the Week episode. Some shows make a series out of this.
Whatever is the latest political cause, environment, free wherever, etc. makes for an episode.

Series Episode Cause
Galactica 1980 The Super Scouts Pollution
It Takes A Thief Project "X" F Pollution

. The Drugs Episode
There is the episode that deals with drugs.

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
The Facts of Life Dope The Name of the Game So Long, Baby, and Amen The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary's Insomnia
Rawhide Incident At The Top Of The World Babylon 5 Interludes and Examinations

. The circus episode.
This is the episode that involves a circus.

Series Episode Series Episode
The Adventures of Superman Three in one It Takes A Thief An Evening With Alister Mundy
The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. The Romany Lie Affair Get Smart The Greatest Spy On Earth
Lost in Space Space Circus    

. The God Squad episode.
This is the episode where a person or group of persons act weird in the name of Christ.

Series Episode
One Day at a Time J.C. and Julie: Parts 1 & 2

. The Magician episode.
This is the episode that involved a magician.

Series Episode Series Episode
The Avengers Box of Tricks Wonder Woman Diana's Disappearing Act
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Fox and the Hound Affair It Takes a Thief The Bill Is in Committee

. The Unknown Relative episode
This is the episode where a major cast member finds about a relative they didn't know existed.

Series Episode Relation
MacGuiver The Stringer Son
The Simpsons Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? half-brother
Star Trek: The Next Generations Bloodlines Son

. The Change of venue episode
This is good if the series is on the way out. Changing the venue can buy another season.

Series From Where to Where Venue Change Life
McHale's Navy The South Pacific to Italy 1 season
It's About Time The Stone Age to The Space Age 1/2 a season

. New Players Episode
This is where new players are introduced. These new players add another dimension to what the main characters are doing.

Series Introduction Episode Character
Married With Children Magnificent Seven Seven

. The having a baby episode
This is where someone has a baby.

Series Episode
I Love Lucy Lucy Goes to the Hospital
The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary Midwife

. The Olympics. Either the Olympics or some ficticious sports event that is of similar magnitude.

Series Episode Series Episode
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Olympiad The Six Million Dollar Man The Cross-Country Kidnap
. The messed up vet episode
This is an episode where a veteran, usually from the Vietnam Conflict had their life ruined because of their time in combat.
Series Episode
Highlander Innocent Man
. The video game episode
This is an episode where a video game fits into the plot.
Series Episode
Highlander Black Tower
. The Beauty Contest Episode
This episode revolves around a beauty pageant.
Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
The Facts of Life Rough Housing Rhoda Brenda, The Bank Girl Gilligan's Island Beauty is As Beauty Does
Lost in Space Space Beauty
It Takes a Thief 38-24-36 Get Smart The Girls from KAOS
Charlie's Angels Pretty Angels All in a Row Xena: Warrior Princess Here She Comes ... Miss Amphipolis
. The Plane Crash Episode
Airplane crashes are rare occurances in real life, but they happen very often on television series.
Series Episode
The Six Million Dollar Man Survival of the Fittest
. The Sword Fight Episode
While television series set in earlier times such as Zorro are expected to have sword fights. Such fights break out in just about every genre and setting.
Series Episode
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. The Atlantis Affair

. The costume episode
This is where a main character or characters appear in costume. It's usually a halloween episode, but not necessarily.

Series Episode
Get Smart The Day Smart Turned Chicken

. The animated episode
This is where live action characters appear as animated characters. It can also be done from animated to live action. A halloween episode of The Simpsons had Homer land in the 3-D, live action world.

Series Episode Transition
Angel Smile Time Live action to puppet
Eureka Do You See What I See Live action to animated

. Survivalist episode
This is where one of the main characters becomes, or meets, a survivalist.

Series Episode Series Episode
Highlander Mountain Men Taxi I Wanna Be Around
. The temporary alliance episode
This is where enemies have to work together to oppose a more powerful opposing force.
Series Episode
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Flight of the War Witch

. Finds Religion
This is the episode where a cast member become religious.

Series Episode
Taxi Louis Sees the Light

. The Prophet
This is the episode that involves a false prophet.

Series Episode
The Invaders The Prophet

. Famous Person Episode
This is the episode where a famous person, usually from the past, makes an appearance.

Series Episode Person
Archie Bunker's Place The Return of Sammy Sammy Davis Jr.
. Old Flame Episode
Series Episode
The Honeymooners A Man's Pride

. Your Cheating Heart Episode
This is the episode where a cast member, or members, get an opportunity to cheat on their partner.

Series Episode
The Mary Tyler Moore Show Ted's Temptation
. It's your baby Episode
This is where a main character is accused of having fathered a child they don't know about.
Series Episode
Highlander Line of Fire
. A Variation is where someone claims to be a cast member's father.
. Back to School Episode
This is where a character has to go back to school or training.
Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Get Smart School Days The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Survival School Affair Married With Children Peggy Made a Little Lamb Green Acres School Days
I Spy Tag, You're It Futurama Mars University

. The Returning Cast Member Episode
This is where a former cast member makes an appearance. Former cast members can still make an appearance even if their character was killed off.

Series Episode Cast Member Circumstance
Highlander Counterfeit Alexandra Vandernoot Character made to look like dead character
Taxi Bobby Doesn't Live Here Anymore Jeff Conaway Character left for Hollywood returns
. On the Beat Episode
This is the episode where a cast member gets to wear the uniform of someone in law enforcement.
Series Episode
Highway to Heaven Bless the Boys in Blue
. Spoiled Brat Episode
It's an out of vogue episode but it is where the cast has to deal with someone who is use to having people follow their every order.
Series Episode
It Takes A thief A Sour Note
. Royalty Episode
This is the episode that revolves around character who is part of a Royal family.
Series Episode Series Episode
The Monkees Royal Flush Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Long Live the King
. Love and Death Episode
This is the episode where a main cast member finds someone to love. The person they find doesn't live long.
Series Episode
The Invaders The Mutation

. Mind Control Episode
This is the episode where where someone uses mind control to make people do their will.

Series Episode
Gilligan's Island Ring Around Gilligan
. The Diet Episode
This is the episode where a cast member goes on a crash diet.
Series Episode
The Facts of Life Dieting
. The Pretend You're Someone you're not Episode
This is the episode where a cast member, who is embarassed to let a person or person know their station in life, decides to pretend they are a more successful person.
. The Natural Disaster Episode.
Series Episode Disaster
Wanted Dead or Alive The Looters Tornado

. The Nun Episode
This episode involves a Catholic Nun. The nun needs to wear traditional nun's clothing.

. You're The Leader Episode
This is where the cast meets a group of people who wants to make one of the cast members their leader.

Series Episode Series Episode
Lost in Space His Majesty Smith Futurama My Three Suns

. The Birth Episode.
This episode involves a woman who is going into labor.

Series Episode
Get Smart And Baby Makes Four: Parts 1 & 2

. The Time Capsule Episode
This episode involves the contents of a time capsule, either one being buried or one being dug up.

. The tax episode
This involves trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Series Episode
The Odd Couple The Audit Couple
The Mary Tyler Moore Show Ted's Tax Refund

. The Mad Scientist Episode

. The Reporter Episode

Series Episode Series Episode Series Episode
Battlestar Galactica (2005) Final Cut Stargate SG-1 Heroes Green Acres You Ought to Be in Pictures
Babylon 5 And Now for a Word

. The Biker Gang Episode

Series Episode
Knight Rider Short Notice
. The Good-Bye Episode.
This is the series ending episode. If your show runs long enough to have all the above plot lines you will almost certainly be allowed the series ending episode.
Series Episode How it ends
The Mary Tyler Moore Show The Last Show All but one of the cast gets fired.
. One Last Show
If your show is successful you can put on at least one more show some time after your last show is aired. These are called the reunion show. Keep in mind the show doesn't have to be a success in its initial run. A successful syndication also qualifies it as a success for reunion purposes.
Series Episode Years after last show Series Episode Years after last show
The Monkees Hey, Hey It's the Monkees 28 Lou Grant The Lou Grant Show 30 Year Reunion 30
Highlander Reunion 5
Married With Children Married With Children Reunion Special 6
Full House America's Funniest Home Videos Reunion - It was actually an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos that had Full House cast members on as guests 2
Father Knows Best The Father Knows Best Reunion Show 17

Now if you recycle the above ideas that will give you well over 200 episodes worth of plots. You don't think you can get away with it? These shows did:

10 Little Indians Episode

Series Episodes
Highlander 10 Little Indians † Unusual Suspects

Vacation Episode

Series Episodes
Green Acres A Pin in a Poke † Hawaii Honeymoon
The Simpsons Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington † The Regina Monologues (England)

The Death in the Family Episode

Series Episodes
Malcolm in the Middle Funeral † Hal Grieves

The Body Double Episode

Series Episodes Series Episode
The Girl From U.N.C.L.E The Carpathian Caper Affair † The Prisoner of Zalamar Affair Lost in Space The Anti-matter Man † Attack of the Monster Plants † The Anti-Matter Man
The Avengers They Keep Killing Steed † Man With Two Shadows The Adventures of Superman The Face and the Voice † King for a Day
The Six Million Dollar Man Day of the Robot † Return of the Robot Maker † Look Alike Gilligan's Island Will The Real Mr. Howell Please Stand Up? † All About Eva † Gilligan vs. Gilligan
Get Smart Too Many Chiefs † To Sire With Love (1&2) † And Only Two Ninety-Nine † The Spy Who Met Himself
F Troop Wilton The Kid † Only One Russian is Coming! Only One Russian is Coming!

The Gothic Episode

Series Episode Series Episode
The Adventures of Superman The Tomb of Zahara (Mummy) † The Ghost Wolf (Werewolf)
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Terrible Leprechaun (Leprechaun) † Werewolf (Werewolf) Get Smart Weekend Vampire (Vampire) † House of Max Parts 1 & 2 (Jack the Ripper)
Gilligan's Island Up at Bat (Vampire) † Ghost A Go-go? (Ghost)

The Robot Episode

Series Episode
The Adventures of Superman The Gentle Monster † The Runaway Robot
Get Smart Back to the Old Drawing Board † Anatomy of a Lover † It Takes One to Know One † When Good Fellows Get Together † The Worst Best Man

The Clip Show

Series Episode
Charlie's Angles Let Our Angel Live † Angels Remembered
All in the Family The Best of All in the Family † The 200th Episode Celebration of All in the Family
The Outer Limits A Special Edition † Final Verdict

The Kidnap Episode

Series Episode
The Six Million Dollar Man Dr. Wells is Missing † Run Steve Run
Get Smart Satan Place † A Spy for a Spy

The Aliens Episode

Series Episode Series Episode
The Time Tunnel Town of Terror † Raiders from Outer Space † Visitors from Beyond the Stars Logan's Run The Collectors † Stargate
Wonder Woman The Starships Are Coming † Mind Stealers From Outer Space

The Gladiator Episode

Series Episodes
Star Trek The Gamesters of Triskelion † Bread And Circuses † Arena † Amok Time

The Hippie Episode

Series Episodes
Lost in Space The Promised Planet † Collision Of The Planets

The Out of Time Episode

Series Episode
Star Trek Assignment: Earth † Tomorrow is Yesterday † The City on the Edge of Forever
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Time Lock † No Way Back
Lost in Space The Astral Traveler &38224; Visit to a Hostile Planet † Time Merchant
Green Acres The Good Old Days † The Vulgar Ring Story

The Pirate Episode

Series Episodes
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Dead Men's Doubloons † The Return of Blackbeard

The Election Episode

Series Episodes
Modern Family Little Bo Bleep † Election Day

The Trial Episode

Series Episodes
Star Trek The Menagerie (Part 1 & 2) † Court Martial

The Cross Dressing Episode

Series Episodes
The Monkees Some Like it Lukewarm † The Chaperone

The Welcome Back Episode

Series Episodes
Married With Children Steve Rhoades: The Egg and I † Peggy and the Pirates † Get the Dodge Out of Hell † Radio Free Trumaine

You're in the Army

Series Episodes
Futurama When Aliens Attack † War is the H-Word

The Christmas Episode

Series Episodes
Futurama Xmas Story † A Tale of Two Santas

The Wedding

Series Episodes
McHale's Navy War Italian Style † Operation Wedding Party

The Afterlife

Series Episode
Futureama Hell Is Other Robots † Ghost in the Machines

The Homecoming

Series Episodes
The Name of the Game A Love to Remember † The Enemy Before Us

The Beauty Contest

Series Episodes
Designing Women The Beauty Contest † Half an Air Bubble Off

Cause of the Week

Series Episodes (Cause)
Designing Women Killing All the Right People (AIDS) † Hard Hats and Lovers (Sexual Harassment)

Visiting Relative

Series Episodes (Cause)
Green Acres Furniture, Furniture, Who's Got the Furnature? † Lisa the Helpmate † It's So Peaceful in the Country

Fight the Nazis

Series Episodes
Green Acres Wings Over Hooterville † Das Lumpen

Casino Episode

Series Episodes Series Episodes
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Fiddlesticks Affair *#8224; The THRUSH Roulette Affair Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Vegas in Space

Holiday Besides Christmas

Series Holidays & Episodes
The Beverly Hillbillies Halloween - Trick or Treat † Thanksgiving - Turkey Day

The Mind Control Episode

Series Episodes
Batman Fine Finny Fiends/Batman Makes the Scenes † The Spell of Tut/Tut's Case Is Shut † Marsha, Queen of Diamonds/Marsha's Scheme of Diamonds † That Darn Catwoman/Scat! Darn Catwoman
* Most of the Batman episodes were 2 part shows.

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