It’s fun to study the history of the memes that pop up in anime. Every time you watch an onsen episode, where the characters suddenly head off to the mountains for a fanservice-heavy dip in the hot springs, or a baseball episode, or a school festival episode, or anything involving shimapan, you’re taking part in the evolution of these fun “units of popular culture” which are seeded by anime creators and fed by feedback from the fanbase. One of the biggest anime memes around is the ubiquitous “beach episode” in which the plot grinds to a halt so everyone can go to the beach (usually Okinawa, though sometimes it’s the local pool) to show off the female characters in swimsuits and provide fanservice for viewers. Some of these memes may fade — back in the 80s there was a running gag with anime series that reenacted the final scene from the film The Graduate, with a character banging on a glass window to stop a wedding — but other memes will always rise to take their place.
The “beach episode” is a staple meme of anime today.