Hey. Y'know what really grinds my gears? Episodes of shows where the characters play other characters in some story that didn't happen and doesn't serve to further any plot or character development. I'm talking about episodes where they contrive some reason for one of the characters to tell a story (like the power going out), and then they proceed to read some fairy tale where each of the characters from the actual show are reimagined as the fairy tale characters in a one-off story that serves no purpose. This could be a re-telling of some well-known fairy tale, or a trio of Bible stories or some crap like that, or a completely original and meaningless story. I know you know what I'm talking about, but just drill the point down, this might be, for instance, a fairy tale about Twilor of Sparkleton and her companions Rainbow Hood of Loxley and Gandlepie the Pink, who set off on a quest through the Forest of Darkness to retrieve the Crystal of Who-Gives-a-Sh*t from the mountains of Who-Give-a-F*ck.
I HATE these sorts of episodes. I mean, some are better than others--A Hearth Warming Tail was okay--but every time they do one of these episodes in a show, I just feel like it's wasted time. I just think, oh great, ~23 minutes of garbage that didn't happen when we could be using that valuable time to actually further the plot. It basically just means one less episode in the season is how I see it. It's especially heinous in a short season when there's barely enough time to wrap up the real story as it is. Now, Hearth's Warming Eve was different because that actually happened, both in the sense that the play was actually historical fact in Equestria, and in the sense that the mane 6 actually acted in the play for real, so that was good. But most of these sorts of episodes really irritate me.
I guess the only exceptions would be the Family Guy Star Wars specials, but that feels like a totally different ball game. Those were hilarious mini-movie parodies. I'm talking more about episodes of more serious shows that aren't even meant to be funny, and the fairy tale episodes aren't even amusing, but just a colossal waste of time. I recently watched X-Men: The Animated Series on Disney+, and that's definitely not a comedy in any sense, and it does one of those fairly tale episodes. Jubilee tells a story to a bunch of school-children in which the X-Men are reimagined as fantasy fairy tale characters just like I described, and it was a garbage waste of time in a short final season that already didn't have enough time to wrap up the series properly. I HATE episodes like that.