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James Lipton: In that picture.. Kelly's grandfather invites the entire gang to Hawaii for summer holiday.
Dustin Diamond: Yes! The thing about that-
James Lipton: [ interrupting ] They expect a marvelous time at the beach, sans Mr. Belding. They arrive.. and discover Mr. Bedling is there as well, don't they?
Dustin Diamond: Yes! Yes, he is! [cracking up] They didn't think he was gonna be there, but he is! That's the twist part! [laughs]

Saturday Night Live sketch "Inside The Actor's Studio - Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style"

In an ongoing series that normally takes place in a few fixed locations, the Vacation Episode is a one-off episode where the characters leave their familiar grounds for a well-deserved rest. The vacation will invariably be set in a faraway and exotic location for maximum impact; given the higher costs of shooting on location, the episode will often be longer than usual, to make best use of the budget. A Special Guest or three might also be included.

May overlap with other types of episodes depending on the destination; for instance, a Vacation Episode to Hawaii will inevitably also be a Beach Episode. It may also turn out to be a Busman's Holiday.

Also see Tourist Trap, Christmas Episode, Beach Episode, Hot Springs Episode, Road Trip Episode, and the Episodes index. Parent trope to Aloha Hawaii and Viva Las Vegas.

Examples of Vacation Episode include:

Anime and Manga

Fan Works

  • Book 2 of Sterate Baboogeddon.

Live Action TV

  • After the first few seasons, Friends began a pattern of making every season finale a two-parter vacation episode.
    • Although with the exception of the London episode(s), most of these were filled with California Doubling.
  • Season 4 of The Brady Bunch started with a three-part family trip to Hawaii, where the kids toured the local beaches, got involved with a cursed tiki, and ran into Don Ho and Vincent Price.
    • The Season 3 premiere was a three-part trip to the Grand Canyon, with gold mining, ghost towns, and Jim Backus as a crazed prospector.
      • In the final season, one episode almost entirely took place at an amusement park in Ohio.
  • I Love Lucy had an entire vacation Story Arc that ate most of the fourth season and leaked into the fifth. It pretty much inflated every aspect of this trope to fit—especially, since it was a trip to Hollywood, the Special Guest part.
    • Also later in the fifth season, the tour through Europe.
  • Family Ties has the TV movie Family Ties Vacation where the Keatons went to England.[1]
  • Subverted on Malcolm in the Middle: an entire episode was built around the family stuck in a traffic jam on their way to the vacation.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch had a two or three part season finale in some sort of beach resort.
  • Married... with Children had three episodes (actually, a three-part episode) in England (ironically, the series wasn't running on British TV at the time!).
    • And the two-parter in picturesque Dumpwater FL.
  • Blossom kicked off a season with a five-episode storyline (basically a TV movie, which was how it was originally shown) in Paris.
  • The Movies of certian seventies Brit Coms, for instance Are You Being Served (Spain), Holiday On the Buses (holiday camp) and Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads (caravanning). A more recent example is the Harry Enfield and Chums movie Kevin And Perry Go Large (Ibiza).
  • The Teen Nick shows tend to have one every year.
  • Hannah Montana also has one every year.
  • Full House had episodes of the family going to Hawaii and Walt Disney World.
  • Modern Family also had a Hawaii episode.
  • Head of the Class had the class go to Moscow, the first American show to film there.
  • Sesame Street had a series of episodes where the characters went to Puerto Rico to visit Maria's family. Also, there were one-hour specials like Big Bird in China and Big Bird in Japan.
  • Roseanne had an episode where Dan and Roseanne go to Vegas, featuring nonstop gambling and a visit with Wayne Newton (and a Wayne Newton impersonator). Another episode featured a trip to Walt Disney World.
  • The Jeffersons went to Hawaii in a four-part episode arc.
  • The series finale of Saved by the Bell has Zack and Kelly married in Las Vegas.
    • An earlier episode has Kelly's grandpa inviting everyone to his hotel in Hawaii for summer vacation.
  • Jon and Kate Plus Eight went to Hawaii to renew their wedding vows.
  • Season 3 of My Wife and Kids started with a three-part episode in Hawaii, with stops in New York, Chicago, Denver and other cities before they arrived (two days later).
  • The Spanish dramedy Aqui No Hay Quien Viva had one that doubles as both a Beach Episode and a Pool Episode.
  • In season 3 of Boy Meets World, Topanga wins a trip to Disney World. Cory follows her to make up with her.
  • Step by Step had two of these: one in Hawaii and one at Disney World.
  • The Monkees episode "The Monkees in Paris" where the guys walk off the set tired of the same old scripts and go to Paris.
  • Gossip Girl season four sees Blair and Serena enjoy their summer vacation in Paris.
  • Subverted in a first season episode of Criminal Minds. It starts with the team getting time off and Elle and Morgan going to Jamaica (?). They promptly discover a dead body and the rest of the team is called in.
  • Home Improvement had two, one where the Taylor family goes to a lake house, and one where Tim, Jill, Al, Heidi and Wilson go on a rafting trip for Tim's birthday.
  • The Late Late Show spent a week in Paris, with Craig Ferguson and Kristen Bell visiting popular tourist destinations and eating dinner with Jean Reno.
  • Late Show With David Letterman spent a week in London (which also marked the only time the series has seen the light of British terrestrial television - BBC2 aired those episodes). Johnny Carson and Bill Maher also had UK jaunts.
  • Steve and the kids win a trip to Universal Studios Orlando on The Steve Harvey Show. Regina tags along because she's always wanted to ride The Hulk rollercoaster, and Cedric uses the trip to give Lovita a honeymoon.

Web Original

  • Episode 3 of Llamas with Hats: Carl enjoys himself rather more than Paul does...
  • Word of God has said that after the first one, the commercial specials are done whenever The Nostalgia Critic is in need of a break from proper reviewing.

Western Animation

  • The Ni Hao Kai Lan episode, "Ni Hao's Trip to China" is a textbook example. It's a double-length episode where everyone visits Kai-lan's great-aunt in China, tries various new things, and meet a newborn baby panda.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures How I Spent My Vacation, where all the Tiny Toon Adventures characters leave Acme Looniversity for various vacation-related hijinx.
  • Before The Simpsons had gone everywhere on the planet they had a Vacation episode where they went to the beach for a week, using Flanders's beach house.[1]
    • Early in the first season, they rented an RV and went camping. It crashed down a cliff at the end of act one, leaving the Simpsons stranded in the woods.
  • An episode of Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends deconstructs the "packing up and getting to the airport" part of a vacation, much to the dismay of those who were expecting "Foster's Goes To Europe" to, well, go to Europe.
    • Other CN subversions include Chowder 's "The Vacation" (which occupies its time with Chowder getting stuck in Mung Daal Catering's bathroom and the others trying to get him out), and that ep of Cow and Chicken that spends its entire runtime on a plane... that turns out hasn't even taken off yet.
  • One "Thunder Lizards" segment on Eek! The Cat was about Bill and Scooter actually inventing the concept of a vacation.
  • The Rugrats did a couple vacation episodes, as well as a vacation movie.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long: Jake Long will always have some magical emergency even during what would otherwise be vacation episodes.
    • "The Long Weekend": His Dad took him into a camping trip, where Jake ended up having to save a village of sprites.
    • "Feeding Frenzy": The Longs were visiting relatives in Florida and a gang of magical sharks caused mayhem.
    • "The Hong Kong Longs": The Longs went to Hong Kong for a two-week vacation. It was also the time for all dragons on Earth to meet at Victoria Peak and the Dark Dragon captured Lao Shi to force Jake to slip a mind-controlling potion to control all dragons. This was also the only episode of the series to have no scene in America.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants did a whole series of vacation episodes recently.
  • Animaniacs had a song called "I'm Mad!" where they go on a car trip.
  • The children's channel Noggin had a song called "Are We There Yet?", about how exciting a vacation can be.
  1. (the movie has not, apparently, been shown in the UK due to Channel 4 not running the entire series)