Tropes Are Good: The Recap Episode

This could pass as a Recap Header Image, so I used it like that

Do you remember, in any TV series, Western Cartoon or Anime, one episode that is made from snippets of other episodes?

That is called [WARNING, TVTROPES LINK] a Recap Episode.

A Recap Episode is “An episode that sums up a season or storyline by showing clips of significant events - essentially, a Previously On that lasts for a whole episode”. In this age of streaming and binge, a Recap Episode is a relic from a past era, where a (thankfully single) episode was ‘wasted’ in ‘remembering’ what happened before.


It was not (always) bad in itself; usually, on comedy shows, it was a ‘The Best of [Comedy Show]’ compilation, before Youtube was full of these, so it was good.

On long-running plot-heavy series (like Anime) was a nice way to summarize plot points from months ago (for a weekly series), and also useful in case the knowledge of something (or someone) is important for the next episodes.


We cannot hide the fact, however, that Recap Episodes serve a more mundane goal: to pad (fill in) the length of a series by creating a low-effort episode.

Of course, “low effort” is relative, since Recap Episodes have to make sense internally: They cannot be made from future episodes and the referenced episodes have to be in chronological order. And even some recaps still use ‘new animation/shots’ in order to create a ‘frame’ for the past episodes (e.g. Sokka: “Hey Katara, remember whey we got lost in the desert?” Katara: “Yes, of course!” *Cue waving air and fade in of the actual old episode*)


In a future article, we’ll talk about Self-Demonstrating Articles

This post is part of the Sixtay Days of Writting Challenge. Post Count: 18

Share This Story

Get our newsletter