Sometimes, when the budgets run low, it’s necessary to stretch things out with limited sets and no guest-stars…  Why not have a bottle episode?  Not only do they contain things to keep from having to spend more money, they often give you the chance to delve into character interactions in ways that an episode with heavy action sequences or a lot of guests wouldn’t.  Remember when everybody on the Enterprise was suddenly drunk and Sulu took off his shirt?  Earl Holliman wandering around in the pilot of ‘The Twilight Zone?’  That ‘Night Court’ episode where…  Actually, *every* Night Court episode?  All bottle shows, leading us to today’s minimalist query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is torn between The Monkees ‘Fairy Tale’, with it’s cardboard sets and Mike in costume as the Princess and the ‘Community’ ep with Dungeons & Dragons, asking: What’s the best Bottle Episode of all time?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Intersections in Real Time from the 4th season of Babylon 5 was a great one. The entire episode takes place in an interrogation cell where an interrogator from the corrupt Earth Alliance is trying to get Captain Sheridan to sign a forced confession.

    Kind of like that episode of TNG where Captain Picard is being interrogated by the Cardassians, but without any B or C plots or even appearances by any other characters from the show.

  2. Lemmy Caution (@_Lemmy_Caution) on

    I like that Voyager episode with Michael McKean because it reminds me of the “The Twilight Zone” ep called Five Characters in Search of an Exit, which I adore for its simplicity.

  3. More of a play on words, but ‘Elementary, my dear Data’ is one of my favorites.

    Back to the original question, it’s not an episode, but a movie. ’12 Angry Men’.

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