15 Times Beloved Shows Switched Genres For One Episode

15 Times Beloved Shows Switched Genres For One Episode

NBC, Debmar-Mercury

Do you love over-the-top crime dramas? How about cutesy animated short films? Or perhaps you’re more of a fan of heartwarming family comedies. Whether it’s a comedy show dipping its toes into drama, or a procedural incorporating elements of horror, genre crossovers provide a fresh perspective on familiar material. 

From comedies like 30 Rock and Modern Family to a sci-fi drama like Battlestar Galactica, there is probably something for everyone on this list. These are episodes that deviate from the regular format of the show in order to try something new and different. In many cases, these experiments are pretty successful and offer a refreshing change of pace for both the characters and viewers alike.

Whatever your taste, there’s probably an episode on this list for yo. From "A Fistful Of Paintballs" to "Take Me Out To The Holosuite," we’ve pretty much got something for everyone. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Just another day in Sunnydale, California... until the vampire slayers and demons start breaking out into song.

Genre-Switching Episodes Buffy the Vampire Slayer Once More, with Feeling This is an episode in which the characters randomly start singing. Joss Whedon, the writer, director, and composer of the episode, makes use of production numbers and cast member's own vocals to create this effect. CRACKED

20th Television

Buffyverse Wiki

A show within a show in 'Stargate SG-1'

Genre-Switching Episodes 200 Stargate SG-1 SG-1 must help Martin Lloyd with the TV adaptation of Wormhole X-Treme! and celebrate Mitchell's 200th trip through a Stargate. The episode is full of in-jokes for fans. CRACKED

MGM Television


'COPS' but make it 'The X-Files.'

Genre-Switching Episodes ELES COUNTY The X-Files HERIFF X-Cops This was written to look like an episode of COPS, with Mulder and Scully as the main focus. It is one of two episodes presented in real time, with events occurring the same time the audience experiences them. CRACKED

20th Television

The X-Files Wiki

'Community' goes Wild West in the Season 2 finale.

Genre-Switching Episodes Community A Fistful Of Paintballs The Season 2 finale is a two-parter that ties into the previous year's paintball competition. The Wild West theme creates a dangerous world for the students of Greendale, with Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) at the center. CRACKED



If you thought the Vulcan death grip was strong, wait until you see their curveballs.

Genre-Switching Episodes NINER VERS ER Star Trek: IN ER Deep Space Nine Take Me Out to the Holosuite Captain Benjamin Sisko and his senior staff play a game of baseball against their Vulcan foes in order to win a bet. The episode is an ode to baseball as well as a celebration of teamwork. CRACKED

Paramount Pictures


Christa Miller got her kids-friendly episode of 'Scrubs'

Genre-Switching Episodes Scrubs My Princess Actress Christa Miller wanted an episode that her kids could watch. Show creator Bill Lawrence, then ordered a fairy-tale episode. CRACKED


Scrubs Wiki

In "A Day in the Life," we get an intimate, slice-of-life-type look into Xena and Gabrielle’s lives.

Genre-Switching Episodes Xena: Warrior Princess A Day in the Life Xena and Gabrielle battle a warlord who plans to loot a village and save another village from being destroyed by a giant. We learn about how they use the bathroom, make decisions, cook an eel when their frying pan is broken, and if there is a romantic relationship between them. CRACKED

Renaissance Pictures

Hercules and Xena Wiki

The Winchesters are back, and this time they’re facing ghosts on reality TV.

Genre-Switching Episodes Supernatural Ghostfacers Sam and Dean Winchester take a break from hunting ghosts to star in a reality show about the paranormal. The team goes to an abandoned estate which becomes one of the most haunted places in America one night every four years, but realize they are in over their heads. CRACKED

The CW

Supernatural Wiki

Just another day in ‘30 Rock’ life.

Genre-Switching Episodes 30 Rock Queen of Jordan 2: The Mystery of the Phantom Pooper The episode is set entirely inside a reality show, and follows Jack and Diana as they try to keep their relationship a secret from Avery. Meanwhile, Liz tries to babysit Virginia, who has already mastered the job of reality TV character. CRACKED



'Modern Family' pokes fun at the soap-opera approach to season finales.

Genre-Switching Episodes Modern Family Baby On Board This season finale pokes fun at the soap-opera approach to season finales by having Mitchell and Cam's adoption fall through because of secrets and scandals of the Latino family from whom they were getting the baby. Though this strays into fantasy, it's still an amusing episode that ends with Gloria revealing she is pregnant. CRACKED


The A.V. Club

This post-apocalyptic thriller in ‘Dollhouse’ features character’s unreliable memories as flashbacks.

Genre-Switching Episodes Dollhouse Epitaph One This post-apocalyptic thriller was written as a standalone episode and not as the season finale. It features flashbacks of the main cast, but Joss Whedon has said that these memories may be unreliable. CRACKED

20th Television

Dollhouse Wiki

The Doctor becomes embroiled in old west-style shootouts.

Genre-Switching Episodes Doctor Who The Gunfighters The story follows the Doctor and his companions as they become mixed up in a series of Shootout at the О.К. Corral-esque events. Dodo is largely absent from the serial, and Jackie Lane fakes playing piano hilariously throughout. CRACKED


The Avocado

After a heavy episode of 'Battlestar Galactica,' Ronald D. Moore lightens the mood.

Genre-Switching Episodes Battlestar Galactica Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down Creator Ronald D. Moore decided to follow up a very dark and heavy episode with one lighter in tone. Не thought it would be a good test to see if the show could handle something different, like a comedy episode. CRACKED


Battlestar Wiki

Tune in to "Revenging Angel" for a Looney Tunes-style ‘Farscape’ episode.

Genre-Switching Episodes Farscape Revenging Angel The mile-a-minute energy that Looney Tunes is known for is notably absent in this episode which tries to recreate the classic cartoon shorts. While Wayne Pygram and Claudia Black are successful in recapturing their characters, the overall execution falls flat. CRACKED


The A.V. Club

‘Stargate Atlantis’ riffs on popular crime television shows.

Genre-Switching Episodes uno Stargate Atlantis Vegas With a working title of CSI: Atlantis, this episode is styled after popular crime television shows that use similar flashback sequences. CRACKED

MGM Television


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