The Blank Slate. In this episode one, or all, of the main characters develop some sort of amnesia.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Tabula Rasa.
In this episode, one, or all, of the main characters end up in a prison. There is a chute for food to be delivered, which is guarded by a force field when not in use. It will either be underground, on a space ship, or in a secret location, and there will not be any cells. All of the other inmates will have home-made weapons and a physical advantage, but the main characters will prevail in a fight.
My favorite: Stargate SG1 – Prisoners.
In this episode, one, or all, of the main characters suddenly find themselves with a superpower (Heroes, of course, built an entire series on this.) The first episode I experienced with this was Star Trek episode Where No Man Has Gone Before.
My favorite: Stargate SG1 – Upgrades.
In this episode, one, or all, of the main characters get a second chance to do something right à la Groundhog Day. The X-Files did an excellent episode on this theme (Monday), and a good twist on this is Star Trek – The Next Generation – Clues. It’s my 2nd favorite. My favorite is another SG-1 episode – Window of Opportunity.
In this episode, one, or all, of the main characters become the Manchurian Candidate or slaves. My favorite, though, is the Fringe episode, Olivia, where they brainwash her to believe she is an alternate Olivia.
What’s your favorite episode trope?