In a Bottle

In TV production, a "bottle episode" is a script that has a single setting and no characters outside the main core of the cast. It's done to save money or time - if a season is running over budget or a script idea fails outright and another must be produced quickly, the occasional bottle episode will make the difference.

Like This, But WAY Less Elaborate

Friends made "The One Where No One's Ready" and it was a huge hit, becoming one of the all-time fan favorites. "Duet" from Star Trek Deep Space Nine is another well-loved example, as is "The Chinese Restaurant" from Seinfeld. Cooperative Calligraphy from Community self-refers its bottly essence, perhaps hoping to catch some of that same glow.

Many series do one every season just in case they happen to catch similar lightning in, well, a bottle. Sometimes a blog does one, also.

This article was updated on May 9, 2023

David F