Particular episodes are at all times a hit-and-miss. Typically, they’re the best factor on Earth, at the very least for about half-hour to an hour. Bear in mind when Archer bought a job at Bob’s Burgers? Yeah, that’s the type of stuff I personal a TV for. Different instances, nonetheless, particular episodes get very particular, and even when they’re simply 9 years previous, viewers are tempted to throw their TV units out the window simply to eliminate all that holier-than-thou rhetoric. However there’s a type of particular episode that by no means fails to entertain: the animated particular. Even when the story will not be that nice, it’s at all times a pleasure to see your favourite TV characters reimagined in cartoon or stop-motion type. It doesn’t even need to be all the factor: simply watching characters like Fringe’s Walter Bishop (John Noble) and Broad Metropolis’s Abbi (Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana (Ilana Glazer) take a break from live-action for a couple of minutes lengthy animated drug journey is commonly sufficient to place a smile on viewers faces. From psychedelic journeys to Christmas specials to surprising crossovers, let’s check out 10 nice examples of live-action reveals that took the animation route for a couple of minutes and made our TV-watching expertise significantly better than it already was.
Abed’s (Danny Pudi) relationship with media has at all times been a core aspect of Group. The true coronary heart of the present, there was little Abed beloved greater than films and tv, however his ardour for the vacation season was definitely up there. Or, extra particularly, his ardour for Christmas. Subsequently, nothing extra applicable than to offer our expensive Abed Nadir his very personal Christmas particular within the fashion of traditional Rankin Bass movies, resembling Rudolph the Pink-Nosed Reindeer. With a plot loosely impressed by Robert Zemeckis‘ The Polar Specific, “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” has the research group remodeled into toys for a enjoyable, heartwarming claymation romp that isn’t solely one of many best Group episodes ever, but additionally a vacation must-watch.
Not like Abed, Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase) was by no means precisely a beloved member of the Group crew. On display screen, his blatant racism and sexism had been often the butt of the joke. Behind the scenes, Chase’s frequent fights together with his forged members made him persona non grata in a present wherein he had a starring position. However none of because of this a Pierce-centric episode can’t be enjoyable — particularly an animated one. In “Digital Property Planning,” the oldest member of the research group faces the wrath of his deceased father when he and his mates are compelled to play a online game that has the presidency of the Hawthorne enterprises as its last prize. Crammed with Hawthorne Senior’s many prejudices, which handle to be much more old school and aggressive than his son’s, the sport was made in response to Pierce’s Nineteen Eighties request to take a position firm cash in video video games. In stylized 8-bit animation, “Digital Property Planning” is an especially enjoyable episode that additionally reveals quite a bit in regards to the members of the research group.
8/10 “Jacuzzi” (PEN15, Season 2, Episode 8)
No TV collection captures the horrors of being a middle-schooler fairly like Anna Konkle’s, Maya Erskine’s, and Sam Zvibleman’s PEN15. The Hulu cringe comedy paints a painfully humorous and practical portrait of what life was like for a 12-year-old within the early 2000s, from the terrors that include a primary crush to the very time delicate woes of ready in your brother to get off of AOL, so you may chat along with your finest buddy on the telephone. Arguably, the episode that finest encapsulates the overall vibe of the present is its Season 2 animated particular, “Jacuzzi.” In it, Maya (Erskine) and Anna (Konkle) make a journey to Florida with Anna’s father. Unable to go to the seaside, they take a stroll close to the resort and spend all their cash on a caricature artist. The standard exaggerated options of the caricature artwork type do an actual quantity on the women’ heads, and, by way of hand drawn animation, we get to expertise the true world by way of the vanity missing eyes of Anna and Maya. As is common for PEN15, “Jacuzzi” is entertaining and gut-wrenching on the identical time, with simply the illusion of a contented ending to maintain issues a bit lighter.
7/10 Walter’s LSD journey (Fringe, Season 5, Episode 9, “Black Blotter”)
Walter Bishop’s experiences with psychedelic medicine served as an excuse for a couple of animated sequence in Fringe. His most memorable LSD journey might be the one depicted within the aptly titled “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide,” Season 3’s rotoscope-like nineteenth episode. Nevertheless, being well-remembered isn’t the identical as being the perfect. In Season 5’s “Black Blotter,” Walter takes a very heavy type of LSD in an try to recollect a plan so secret that he hid it deep inside his mind. His lysergic seek for the plan takes the type of Nineteen Sixties Terry Gilliam/Monty Python-inspired animated sequence that would not be extra befitting for a hippie wannabe mad scientist from the times of MKUltra. The picture of Walter being picked up by a human hand and brought on a literal journey world wide earlier than being dropped on the again of a cow is really one that may comply with you thru your personal experiences with medicine — for higher or for worse.
6/10 Abbi and Ilana’s mushroom journey (Broad Metropolis, Season 4, Episode 4, “Mushrooms”)
Talking of drug-fueled journeys and drug-inspired animations… Whereas Walter Bishop’s poison of alternative was LSD, Broad Metropolis’s Abbi and Ilana had no drawback experimenting with totally different substances. In Season 4, Episode 4, as an illustration, the women take some ‘shrooms and are instantly transported to an animated model of New York Metropolis stuffed with wacky animals, colourful partitions, and spooky tunnels. Created by Mike Perry, who was additionally the person behind the present’s animated intros, the traditional hand-drawn animation of “Mushrooms” blends the Cal-Arts fashion of cartoons like Steven Universe and Gravity Falls with the trippy vibes of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. Walter Bishop would really feel proper at dwelling in Abbi and Ilana’s fungal experience, and, truthfully, so do the viewers.
5/10 “Dream of a Thousand Cats” (The Sandman, Season 1, Episode 11, “Dream of a Thousand Cats/Calliope”)
Based mostly on the work of Neil Gaiman, The Sandman is a present stuffed with equally wondrous and terrifying issues. The 2 tales introduced within the present’s bonus episode give us a great style of each features of the collection. Whereas “Calliope” tells the story of a muse held in captivity and repeatedly raped for her presents, “Dream of a Thousand Cats” has dozens of felines flocking to listen to the phrases of an elder that guarantees them a world wherein they shall be free from the cruelty of people. All they need to do is dream it, all on the identical time. The animation mixes oil work with 3D to create a world very related, however not fairly like our personal. The result’s an episode that appears caught proper between actuality and the Dream.
4/10 The story of Glenoxi (Intercourse Schooling, Season 3, Episode 7)
Few love tales on this universe are extra attractive and exquisitely raunchy than that of Glenoxi and Starlanza. Written by fan favourite weirdo Lily Iglehart (Tanya Reynolds) over the course of three seasons of Intercourse Schooling, the story of Glenoxi represents a wierd younger woman searching for somebody who accepts her for who she is and is keen to partake in her alien-filled sexual fantasies. Lily finds her soulmate within the type of Ola (Patricia Allison), who’s rapidly added to the world of Glenoxi within the type of the Starlanza. The primary encounter between the 2 alien entities is depicted on the very first scene of Intercourse Schooling Season 3, Episode 7, and although Lily’s fantasies had already appeared in numerous types all through the present, followers by no means noticed her imaginative and prescient fairly like this. It’s a superbly animated sequence, paying homage to traditional ’70s and ’80s anime, and of anime-based works, resembling Interstella 555.
3/10 “Yabba Dabba Do Me” (Lucifer, Season 6, Episode 3)
Ever since Lucifer first got here out in 2016, followers have been delighted with the present’s contemporary tackle the satan as an enthralling nightclub proprietor. However no take was more energizing than the cartoon model of the Lord of Hell (Tom Ellis) introduced in Season 6’s “Yabba Dabba Do Me”. The story has Lucifer and Chloe (Lauren German) trapped in a loop in a cartoon world with the appears to be like and vibes of recent Looney Tunes — minus the animals, after all. Stuffed with jokes about cartoon logic and our notion of the Satan, in addition to quips that solely lifelong followers of the collection can really recognize, the “Yabba Dabba Do Me” was a hell — pun meant — of a farewell reward from the showrunners, as, seven episodes later, Lucifer would meet its finish.
2/10 “Scoobynatural” (Supernatural, Season 13 Episode 16)
Again when Supernatural was one of many largest reveals on tv — if not the largest, interval — the Winchesters teamed up with everybody’s favourite faux-paranormal investigation squad for a totally surprising crossover. In “Scoobynatural,” brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) are sucked into their TV set and dropped proper of at cartoon world. There, they run into the Thriller Machine crew, and it is as much as Velma (Kate Micucci), Daphne (Gray Griffin), Fred (Frank Welker), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), and Scooby (additionally Welker) to assist the brothers work out what’s happening. Truthfully, it is a crossover that has no proper working in addition to it does. Even in case you had been by no means fairly into Supernatural, so long as Scooby-Doo has a spot in your coronary heart, “Scoobynatural” is certainly value trying out.
1/10 “The Lacking Christmas Mustache” (Ted Lasso, 2021 Christmas Particular)
Since we started this listing with a Christmas episode, there’s nothing extra applicable than wrapping it up with one other pleasant vacation particular. Popping out in 2020, Ted Lasso was a type of reveals that helped individuals keep sane throughout the top of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its model of healthful humor and earnest strategy to the hardships of life captivated many TV followers for whom the world was beginning to appear a bit too bleak. Thus, there are few reveals extra in step with the Christmas spirit than Ted Lasso. On this 2021 four-minute particular, football-coach-turned-soccer-coach Ted (Jason Sudeikis) loses his trademark mustache and has to rely on his mates to get it again. Like “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas,” “The Lacking Christmas Mustache” is shot in traditional Rankin Bass claymation fashion. It’s a enjoyable and wonderful journey for old-time followers and newcomers alike. In case you need to test it out, the entire thing is out there on YouTube.