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ONTD Original: 5 Very Special "Very Special Episodes"

A Very Special Episode is when a show (usually a sitcom) will focus on something more serious, usually something that involves children or adolescents. Subjects will often include things that teenagers go through like drug addiction and eating disorders, or sometimes focus on social issues like racism and homophobia. The following is a list of Very Special Episodes that have stood the test of time.

1
One Tree Hill, "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept" (S3, E16)
Subject: School shooting
Synopsis: In the previous episode, a time capsule is released prematurely in which Lucas's (Chad Michael Murray) estranged friend Jimmy Edwards badmouths everybody in the school. After everybody bullied him because of it, he shows up to school with a gun and holds a group of fellow students hostage.


That's So Raven, "True Colors" (S3, E10)
Subject: Racism
Synopsis: Raven and Chelsea apply for jobs at a store. Raven shows off her fashion knowledge and does very well, while Chelsea is absolutely clueless about working in retail. The next day, Chelsea gets the job and Raven does not. Confused, Raven has a vision of the manager saying she does not hire black people. Later, Raven and her friends then team up to try and make the vision come true and expose the manager for who she is.


Saved by the Bell, "Jessie's Song" (S2, E9)
Subject: Caffeine pills
Synopsis: Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley) is stressed about her upcoming algebra midterm, and so to help her study she begins using caffeine pills. She quickly becomes addicted, and her friends worry about her constantly being full of energy. Zach (Mark Paul Gosselaar) comes to her house and finds her taking the pills in which she has a breakdown.

3
Full House, "Silence is Not Golden" (S6, E17)
Subject: Child abuse
Synopsis: The teacher assigns Stephanie to work with a classmate named Charles, whom she dislikes. When he comes to her house, she learns that his father beats him, but he does not want her to tell anybody. He is absent the following day for "falling down the stairs", and Stephanie almost tells the teacher but chickens out. She eventually tells Jesse (John Stamos), and he alerts the authorities. At the end, Jesse tells her that Charles was placed into a foster home.

4
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, "Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse" (S4, E24)
Subject: Absentee fathers
Synopsis: Will's father, Lou, shows up after a 14 year absence, and tries to lure Will back into his life. At first Will is happy to finally see his dad again, despite his Uncle Phil thinking that Lou might leave him again. When he does, Will has a break down and realizes that he doesn't need Lou in his life.


What are some of your favourite "Very Special Episodes", ONTD?
Tags: 1990s, 2000s, nostalgia, television, will smith
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