History Main / ReciprocalFictionParadox

8th Feb '14 3:11:53 PM SeptimusHeap
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[[quoteright:307:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/phpcbozucpmmm5.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:307:Top: In ''Series/DoctorWho'', the Tenth Doctor watches ''EastEnders''. Bottom: in ''[=EastEnders=]'', Bradley and Stacey attend a ''Doctor Who'' convention.]]

The Reciprocal Fiction Paradox occurs when two different works reciprocate actions which establish each other as being fiction within their own respective '{{verse}}s. Characters might discuss a work, make a ShoutOut or TakeThat, or the work is shown as a piece of fiction in the show and then the other work does the same. The logic- and consistency-prone viewer may go "But if that A is shown in B and A has watched B then A has watched B watching A and...oh no, I've gone cross-eyed. How can this be?"

The answer is: [[FictionIdentityPostulate Because it's not real!]]

In reality, it's not hard to see how this happens. A writer may include mention of another work because they write with the same sensibilities, share a connection to the production or are just also the writer for that work. These reasons also make a reason for the other work to mention the first. You could rationalize it by saying that the fictional versions of works A and B within works B and A respectively are not exactly the same as their real life counterparts, in ways that probably include not referring to events in the outer work as fictional.

A related paradox is the CelebrityParadox which involves actors shared between works and an awareness of the other works.
Also compare with MutuallyFictional which is very similar but an actual crossover takes place as opposed to a throwaway joke.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* A ShowWithinAShow example: Many characters in ''MartianSuccessorNadesico'' are fans of ''Gekiganger 3''. The RecapEpisode showed that, in turn, the main characters of ''Gekiganger 3'' are fans of ''Nadesico''.
** [[MindScrew To make it even stranger]], each [[{{Defictionalization}} defictionalized]] something from the other in-verse. Done mutually with [[spoiler:the Gekigan flare]].
* ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' featured a kid who drew forged key frames from the show ''Anime/PuniPuniPoemi''. The show was {{Defictionalized}}, and in ''Puni Puni Poemi'', a math problem in school involves the number of cels used in each episode of ''Excel Saga''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* TerraObscura. Their science heroes are the stars of comic books in ComicBook/TomStrong's world, and vice versa.
* JimmyOlsen in ''{{Superman}}'' comics is a fan of the Spin Doctors, a band with a ''Superman''-inspired album and a song about Jimmy Olsen.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Played with in M. [=McGregor=]'s "[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-16694-62/MMcGregor+The+Wonderland+Subject.htm The Wonderland Subject]]", a dimension-hopping ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' / UltimateMarvel crossover in which each universe has fiction based on the other one. Xander and Jean Grey spend quite a while [[TheKnightsWhoSaySquee being fannish at each other]].
* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', characters make several references to ''LuckyStar'' -- which, in turn, contains many references to ''SuzumiyaHaruhi''.
** It has been [[WildMassGuessing theorised]] that in the fanfic's universe, ''LuckyStar'' references "the JustForFun/TropeTan [[ShowWithinAShow anime]]" instead of ''SuzumiyaHaruhi''.
* Within Series/{{Sherlock}} BBC fanfiction, Series/{{DoctorWho}} has been both fictional (e.g. John Watson's a whovian) and real (e.g. John is the son of Captain Jack Harkness, a character on Doctor Who), depending on what universe the fanfiction author is writing in. Additionally, some Whovian fanfiction features the Sherlock characters as real people, or claims that the Doctor is a fan of the original Conan-Doyle figure. *Cue Rift crack*
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In the first scene of ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}'', the film ''Film/{{Halloween 1978}}'' is the subject of one of the questions the killer asks, and later ''Halloween'' is shown at a party (with one character [[GenreSavvy loudly protesting at the mistakes Laurie Strode is making]]). Likewise, in the ''Franchise/{{Halloween}}'' sequel, ''Film/HalloweenH20TwentyYearsLater'', a couple of characters are watching ''Film/{{Scream 2}}'' in one scene.
* Also, in ''Film/JayAndSilentBobStrikeBack'', the duo stumbles upon the the filming of a ''Franchise/{{Scream}}'' movie. The first movie in the series had a poster for ''Film/{{Clerks}}'', a movie in [[TheViewAskewniverse the same continuity]] as ''Jay and Silent Bob''.
** Though it's not explicitly stated to be a ''Scream'' film, it could have been a ''[[ShowWithinAShow Stab]]'' movie, as some fans think.
** Made more complicated when Jay and Silent Bob make a cameo in ''Film/{{Scream 3}}''.
* In ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet3DreamWarriors'', the TV-obsessed patient is seen watching an early scene from the movie ''{{Critters}}''. Later, ''Critters 2'' had one of its alien doppelgangers attempt to imitate a cardboard Freddy Kruegar standee at a video store.
** In the first ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984'', ''The Franchise/EvilDead'' is seen on a TV, a ShoutOut to a poster for WesCraven's earlier film ''Film/TheHillsHaveEyes'' appearing in ''The Franchise/EvilDead'' (which was itself a ShoutOut to a poster for ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' appearing in ''Film/TheHillsHaveEyes''). Then in ''Franchise/EvilDead 2'', Freddy Krueger's glove is seen in the shed where Ash creates his chainsaw-hand. Confused yet?
*** Averted in [[Comicbook/FreddyVsJasonVsAsh the comics]], there was an UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny between Freddy, Ash, and [[Franchise/FridayThe13th Jason]].
* In ''Film/IndependenceDay'' a character makes a passing reference to ''Series/TheXFiles'', conversely, in [[Film/TheXFilesFightTheFuture the first X-Files movie]] we see Mulder urinating in front of an ''Independence Day'' movie poster.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Scots author Quintin Jardine has written two long-running series: ''Skinner'', about a high-ranking Edinburgh police detective, and ''Oz Blackstone'', a private detective and part-time actor. In at least one Blackstone novel he is involved in making a film based on the Skinner books, while the Blackstone novels themselves appear in Skinner's world.
* The ''{{Goosebumps}}'' series had a ''recursive'' fiction paradox. For example, a couple of the main books and ''a lot'' of the ChooseYourOwnAdventure books mention the main character having read about something like their situation in a Goosebumps book. In a good deal of the Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure books, you need to know about the book being referenced to get a good ending!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''MadAboutYou'' there is an episode where Paul visits an old apartment of his. That apartment happens to be Jerry Seinfeld's and he runs into and has a rather poignant conversation with Kramer. But in a later episode of ''{{Seinfeld}}'' George is forced to suffer watching an episode of ''Mad About You'' with his fiancee Susan.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' is fictional in ''EastEnders'', they have a character who is a fan (Bradley) who even goes to a Doctor Who convention at one point. ''[=EastEnders=]'' is also fictional in ''Doctor Who'' wherein Jackie Tyler is a fan, and ''[=EastEnders=]'' appears ShowWithinAShow style in "Army of Ghosts". The Doctor also references it in "The Satan Pit". There was a crossover between them in 1993 for ''ChildrenInNeed''. In "Dimensions In Time", neither show acknowledges the other's fictionality in it and it isn't considered in continuity for either (one explanation touted by ''Doctor Who'' Spin Off Media is that it was AllJustADream of the Seventh Doctor).
** In fairness, DoctorWho is implied to be fictional ''within itself''. A Seventh Doctor episode had him visit 1963 London, where a TV announcer was cut off half-way through introducing the first episode of a new BBC sci-fi series with the first syllable "Doc-"
* References to characters watching ''{{Passions}}'' started showing up during season four of ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}''. Shortly afterward, ''Passions'' characters started watching ''Buffy''.
** Also, characters in Buffy have talked about {{Xena}}, whereas, while they clearly can't have a television show on Xena, there is a play called 'Buffus the Bacchae Slayer'. Of course, as Xena is both told by a [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis literary agent]] and [[NoFourthWall fictional within itself]], it's anyone's guess as to what is actually going on.
* Sort-of real life example - the series ''{{Bones}}'' is inspired by the work of author Kathy Reichs. In the series, the heroine is an author who writes novels about a character named Kathy Reichs.
** The novel character seems very close to the author in personality, though the events of each plot, per Reichs' afterwords, are only based on the broadest strokes of real-life cases. The television character is almost completely different from the novel character. It's really just the names.
** Dr. Temperance Brennan gets a honorable cameo appearance in Fforde's Literature/ThursdayNext series, which ''runs'' on recursive fictionality.
* A tricky one: ''GreenAcres'' coexists with ''Series/PetticoatJunction'', and ''Series/PetticoatJunction'' coexists with ''BeverlyHillbillies'', but Beverly Hillbillies is fictional on Green Acres (and is Eb's favorite show).
** In one episode of "GreenAcres" Eb even watches an episode of "Series/PetticoatJunction"
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' and ''{{Psych}}'' are both mentioned as TV shows in each other's universes, but unfortunately, that leads to a WhatCouldHaveBeen, because if ''Psych'' hadn't made ''Leverage'' fictional in their universe, WordOfGod says that ''Leverage'''s [[{{Crossover}} Eliot would've had an uncle named Henry]].
* A difficult case occurs with the 60's series ''Series/{{Batman}}'' and ''Franchise/TheGreenHornet''. An episode of ''The Green Hornet'' establishes that ''Batman'' is a (presumably fictional) television show in his universe, but then the Hornet and Kato appear in an episode of ''Batman'' and help him with a case.
** Also, in the ''Batman'' episode "The Impractical Joker," Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Alfred are watching a news program about how Batman and Robin were made helpless by a new Joker device earlier in the day. In disgust, Bruce asks to change the channel, noting that ''The Green Hornet'' is about to come on. We don't get to see any of that, as Joker breaks into the TV channel's signal to gloat and taunt Batman over the airwaves.
* In ''Series/TheXFiles'', a character is seen watching an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Fortunately, it's not the episode where David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson appeared as Mulder and Scully. In Comic Book Guy's shop, one can see a poster to the ''X-Files'' movie.
* ''WesternAnimation/EekTheCat'' did an ''X-Files'' parody, and was also shown in an ''X-Files'' episode "Eve" where one of the little murderous clones watched the animation.
* [[Series/{{House}} Dr. House]] watches ''GossipGirl'' and Blair Waldorf watches ''House''. Leighton Meester, the actress who plays Blair, also guest-starred on an episode of ''House'' as a teenager in love with the titular character. In the 2011 movie ''The Oranges'' Hugh Laurie plays a man who falls in love with a friend's daughter... played by Meester.
* In ''Series/{{Community}}'' Abed's favorite TV show is ''CougarTown'' and in one episode he talks about guest starring on it. In one episode of ''CougarTown'' Laurie and Travis watch the first season of ''Series/{{Community}}'' on DVD. This eventually came full circle with Laurie and Travis as bit characters in the season finale of ''Series/{{Community}}'' and Abed as a bit character on the season finale of ''CougarTown''. A later episode of ''Series/{{Community}}'' had Abed, MetaGuy that he is, explaining the MindScrew the whole thing had been for him.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', Jack O'Neill makes several references to ''TheSimpsons'', Richard Dean Anderson himself, being a huge fan. In season eight, ''DanCastellaneta'' makes a guest appearence (even agreeing with Jack that Mr Burns is the perfect analogy for the Goa'uld). Just to make it more confusing, Anderson once appeared as himself in an episode of ''The Simpsons'' and, oh yes, they mention his work in ''Stargate SG-1''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''TheWayOfTheMetagamer'' and ''The Way Of The Metagamer 2: InNameOnly''. ''In Name Only'' makes the occasional cameo in the original, and it's [[WordOfGod been stated that]] the original exists within the world of ''In Name Only''. Interesting in that ''In Name Only'' does not exist.
* ''{{Homestuck}}'' takes this trope to its [[MindScrew Mind-Screw extreme]] with the events of the main story and the Midnight Crew. In the world of the main characters of ''{{Homestuck}}'' the Midnight Crew are from the latest ''MSPaintAdventures'' series, and the reverse is true for the actual members of the Midnight Crew in ''their'' world. However, WordOfGod along with recent events in the story claim that the the Midnight Crew ''exist within the same canon as {{Homestuck}}!'' In other words, it's not a ShowWithinAShow, it's a [[YourHeadAsplode Show Within]] ''[[YourHeadAsplode Itself!]]''
** To elaborate on the "exist within the same canon", the world of the Midnight Crew is the same world as those of the Trolls, who also exist in (or at least communicate with) the kids in the {{Homestuck}} world, but are from an alternate universe.
*** And, to take things even further, the art style and some of the universe mechanics for Midnight Crew suggest that it ''also'' takes place in the same universe as the previous ''MS Paint Adventures'' comic, ''ProblemSleuth''.
*** Also, Problem Sleuth was apparently in the same universe as [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=4&p=001555 Jailbreak]] and [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=4&p=001577 Bard Quest]], and John in Homestuck [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=001931 has video games of all three of these.]] [[SerialEscalation There are probably even more tie-ins than that.]]
*** Like the time Jade read a panel of ''Homestuck'', even being pretty true to what John had been doing at that point.
** The paradox is explained by the AuthorAvatar, who is likely sending different comics to different universes.
* A really subtle one with QuestionableContent and Webcomic/{{xkcd}}. Marigold wears an xkcd shirt [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1625 here]], and [[http://xkcd.com/574/ this]] xkcd comic shows one of Hannelore's Twitter posts.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''TheSimpsons'' and ''{{Futurama}}'' play with this in the TV show, with MattGroening's cameos on each being the creator of the other.
** Also, in the ''Simpsons'' episode ''Mayored to the Mob'', Üter wears a ''Futurama'' shirt (this was long before anyone had heard anything about ''Futurama'' in the real world.) In an episode of ''Futurama'', Bender eats the shorts off of a Bart Simpsons doll.
** Also, thanks in part to certain [[ManateeGag trope]]-[[TropeNamer naming]] episodes of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', and innumerable references to each other, ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', ''FamilyGuy'', and ''TheSimpsons'' are all fictional within each other's Universes.
** In one episode of the first season of ''LoisAndClark'', LexLuthor made a mention about watching Simpsons reruns. In one ''Simpsons'' episode, Comic Book Guy saw some problem and said it was a job for, [[BaitAndSwitchComment some heroes he mentioned]]. Then somebody asked about {{Superman}}.
* For additional mindwarping, ''TheSimpsons'' is a cartoon in ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'' - and then Jay Sherman visits the Simpsons family. Gah!
* This trope even occurs within a single show: ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' and ''[[ShowWithinAShow Terrance and Phillip]]'' have watched each other's television shows. This gets a bit muddled as Terrance and Phillip are "real" actors in the South Park universe with a television show the South Park kids watch, but the characters (one assumes) Terrance and Phillip play have watched ''South Park''. Do what now?
* In ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', Danny can be see playing a ''Crash Nebula'' arcade game. In the ''Crash Nebula'' PoorlyDisguisedPilot episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', Crash has a ''Danny Phantom'' comic book.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' ended with Peter and Cleveland appearing, but another one had Steve and Roger watch a WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy DVD.
[[/folder]]
----

to:

[[quoteright:307:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/phpcbozucpmmm5.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:307:Top: In ''Series/DoctorWho'', the Tenth Doctor watches ''EastEnders''. Bottom: in ''[=EastEnders=]'', Bradley and Stacey attend a ''Doctor Who'' convention.]]

The Reciprocal Fiction Paradox occurs when two different works reciprocate actions which establish each other as being fiction within their own respective '{{verse}}s. Characters might discuss a work, make a ShoutOut or TakeThat, or the work is shown as a piece of fiction in the show and then the other work does the same. The logic- and consistency-prone viewer may go "But if that A is shown in B and A has watched B then A has watched B watching A and...oh no, I've gone cross-eyed. How can this be?"

The answer is: [[FictionIdentityPostulate Because it's not real!]]

In reality, it's not hard to see how this happens. A writer may include mention of another work because they write with the same sensibilities, share a connection to the production or are just also the writer for that work. These reasons also make a reason for the other work to mention the first. You could rationalize it by saying that the fictional versions of works A and B within works B and A respectively are not exactly the same as their real life counterparts, in ways that probably include not referring to events in the outer work as fictional.

A related paradox is the CelebrityParadox which involves actors shared between works and an awareness of the other works.
Also compare with MutuallyFictional which is very similar but an actual crossover takes place as opposed to a throwaway joke.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* A ShowWithinAShow example: Many characters in ''MartianSuccessorNadesico'' are fans of ''Gekiganger 3''. The RecapEpisode showed that, in turn, the main characters of ''Gekiganger 3'' are fans of ''Nadesico''.
** [[MindScrew To make it even stranger]], each [[{{Defictionalization}} defictionalized]] something from the other in-verse. Done mutually with [[spoiler:the Gekigan flare]].
* ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' featured a kid who drew forged key frames from the show ''Anime/PuniPuniPoemi''. The show was {{Defictionalized}}, and in ''Puni Puni Poemi'', a math problem in school involves the number of cels used in each episode of ''Excel Saga''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* TerraObscura. Their science heroes are the stars of comic books in ComicBook/TomStrong's world, and vice versa.
* JimmyOlsen in ''{{Superman}}'' comics is a fan of the Spin Doctors, a band with a ''Superman''-inspired album and a song about Jimmy Olsen.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Played with in M. [=McGregor=]'s "[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-16694-62/MMcGregor+The+Wonderland+Subject.htm The Wonderland Subject]]", a dimension-hopping ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' / UltimateMarvel crossover in which each universe has fiction based on the other one. Xander and Jean Grey spend quite a while [[TheKnightsWhoSaySquee being fannish at each other]].
* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', characters make several references to ''LuckyStar'' -- which, in turn, contains many references to ''SuzumiyaHaruhi''.
** It has been [[WildMassGuessing theorised]] that in the fanfic's universe, ''LuckyStar'' references "the JustForFun/TropeTan [[ShowWithinAShow anime]]" instead of ''SuzumiyaHaruhi''.
* Within Series/{{Sherlock}} BBC fanfiction, Series/{{DoctorWho}} has been both fictional (e.g. John Watson's a whovian) and real (e.g. John is the son of Captain Jack Harkness, a character on Doctor Who), depending on what universe the fanfiction author is writing in. Additionally, some Whovian fanfiction features the Sherlock characters as real people, or claims that the Doctor is a fan of the original Conan-Doyle figure. *Cue Rift crack*
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In the first scene of ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}'', the film ''Film/{{Halloween 1978}}'' is the subject of one of the questions the killer asks, and later ''Halloween'' is shown at a party (with one character [[GenreSavvy loudly protesting at the mistakes Laurie Strode is making]]). Likewise, in the ''Franchise/{{Halloween}}'' sequel, ''Film/HalloweenH20TwentyYearsLater'', a couple of characters are watching ''Film/{{Scream 2}}'' in one scene.
* Also, in ''Film/JayAndSilentBobStrikeBack'', the duo stumbles upon the the filming of a ''Franchise/{{Scream}}'' movie. The first movie in the series had a poster for ''Film/{{Clerks}}'', a movie in [[TheViewAskewniverse the same continuity]] as ''Jay and Silent Bob''.
** Though it's not explicitly stated to be a ''Scream'' film, it could have been a ''[[ShowWithinAShow Stab]]'' movie, as some fans think.
** Made more complicated when Jay and Silent Bob make a cameo in ''Film/{{Scream 3}}''.
* In ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet3DreamWarriors'', the TV-obsessed patient is seen watching an early scene from the movie ''{{Critters}}''. Later, ''Critters 2'' had one of its alien doppelgangers attempt to imitate a cardboard Freddy Kruegar standee at a video store.
** In the first ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984'', ''The Franchise/EvilDead'' is seen on a TV, a ShoutOut to a poster for WesCraven's earlier film ''Film/TheHillsHaveEyes'' appearing in ''The Franchise/EvilDead'' (which was itself a ShoutOut to a poster for ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' appearing in ''Film/TheHillsHaveEyes''). Then in ''Franchise/EvilDead 2'', Freddy Krueger's glove is seen in the shed where Ash creates his chainsaw-hand. Confused yet?
*** Averted in [[Comicbook/FreddyVsJasonVsAsh the comics]], there was an UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny between Freddy, Ash, and [[Franchise/FridayThe13th Jason]].
* In ''Film/IndependenceDay'' a character makes a passing reference to ''Series/TheXFiles'', conversely, in [[Film/TheXFilesFightTheFuture the first X-Files movie]] we see Mulder urinating in front of an ''Independence Day'' movie poster.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Scots author Quintin Jardine has written two long-running series: ''Skinner'', about a high-ranking Edinburgh police detective, and ''Oz Blackstone'', a private detective and part-time actor. In at least one Blackstone novel he is involved in making a film based on the Skinner books, while the Blackstone novels themselves appear in Skinner's world.
* The ''{{Goosebumps}}'' series had a ''recursive'' fiction paradox. For example, a couple of the main books and ''a lot'' of the ChooseYourOwnAdventure books mention the main character having read about something like their situation in a Goosebumps book. In a good deal of the Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure books, you need to know about the book being referenced to get a good ending!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''MadAboutYou'' there is an episode where Paul visits an old apartment of his. That apartment happens to be Jerry Seinfeld's and he runs into and has a rather poignant conversation with Kramer. But in a later episode of ''{{Seinfeld}}'' George is forced to suffer watching an episode of ''Mad About You'' with his fiancee Susan.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' is fictional in ''EastEnders'', they have a character who is a fan (Bradley) who even goes to a Doctor Who convention at one point. ''[=EastEnders=]'' is also fictional in ''Doctor Who'' wherein Jackie Tyler is a fan, and ''[=EastEnders=]'' appears ShowWithinAShow style in "Army of Ghosts". The Doctor also references it in "The Satan Pit". There was a crossover between them in 1993 for ''ChildrenInNeed''. In "Dimensions In Time", neither show acknowledges the other's fictionality in it and it isn't considered in continuity for either (one explanation touted by ''Doctor Who'' Spin Off Media is that it was AllJustADream of the Seventh Doctor).
** In fairness, DoctorWho is implied to be fictional ''within itself''. A Seventh Doctor episode had him visit 1963 London, where a TV announcer was cut off half-way through introducing the first episode of a new BBC sci-fi series with the first syllable "Doc-"
* References to characters watching ''{{Passions}}'' started showing up during season four of ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}''. Shortly afterward, ''Passions'' characters started watching ''Buffy''.
** Also, characters in Buffy have talked about {{Xena}}, whereas, while they clearly can't have a television show on Xena, there is a play called 'Buffus the Bacchae Slayer'. Of course, as Xena is both told by a [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis literary agent]] and [[NoFourthWall fictional within itself]], it's anyone's guess as to what is actually going on.
* Sort-of real life example - the series ''{{Bones}}'' is inspired by the work of author Kathy Reichs. In the series, the heroine is an author who writes novels about a character named Kathy Reichs.
** The novel character seems very close to the author in personality, though the events of each plot, per Reichs' afterwords, are only based on the broadest strokes of real-life cases. The television character is almost completely different from the novel character. It's really just the names.
** Dr. Temperance Brennan gets a honorable cameo appearance in Fforde's Literature/ThursdayNext series, which ''runs'' on recursive fictionality.
* A tricky one: ''GreenAcres'' coexists with ''Series/PetticoatJunction'', and ''Series/PetticoatJunction'' coexists with ''BeverlyHillbillies'', but Beverly Hillbillies is fictional on Green Acres (and is Eb's favorite show).
** In one episode of "GreenAcres" Eb even watches an episode of "Series/PetticoatJunction"
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' and ''{{Psych}}'' are both mentioned as TV shows in each other's universes, but unfortunately, that leads to a WhatCouldHaveBeen, because if ''Psych'' hadn't made ''Leverage'' fictional in their universe, WordOfGod says that ''Leverage'''s [[{{Crossover}} Eliot would've had an uncle named Henry]].
* A difficult case occurs with the 60's series ''Series/{{Batman}}'' and ''Franchise/TheGreenHornet''. An episode of ''The Green Hornet'' establishes that ''Batman'' is a (presumably fictional) television show in his universe, but then the Hornet and Kato appear in an episode of ''Batman'' and help him with a case.
** Also, in the ''Batman'' episode "The Impractical Joker," Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Alfred are watching a news program about how Batman and Robin were made helpless by a new Joker device earlier in the day. In disgust, Bruce asks to change the channel, noting that ''The Green Hornet'' is about to come on. We don't get to see any of that, as Joker breaks into the TV channel's signal to gloat and taunt Batman over the airwaves.
* In ''Series/TheXFiles'', a character is seen watching an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Fortunately, it's not the episode where David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson appeared as Mulder and Scully. In Comic Book Guy's shop, one can see a poster to the ''X-Files'' movie.
* ''WesternAnimation/EekTheCat'' did an ''X-Files'' parody, and was also shown in an ''X-Files'' episode "Eve" where one of the little murderous clones watched the animation.
* [[Series/{{House}} Dr. House]] watches ''GossipGirl'' and Blair Waldorf watches ''House''. Leighton Meester, the actress who plays Blair, also guest-starred on an episode of ''House'' as a teenager in love with the titular character. In the 2011 movie ''The Oranges'' Hugh Laurie plays a man who falls in love with a friend's daughter... played by Meester.
* In ''Series/{{Community}}'' Abed's favorite TV show is ''CougarTown'' and in one episode he talks about guest starring on it. In one episode of ''CougarTown'' Laurie and Travis watch the first season of ''Series/{{Community}}'' on DVD. This eventually came full circle with Laurie and Travis as bit characters in the season finale of ''Series/{{Community}}'' and Abed as a bit character on the season finale of ''CougarTown''. A later episode of ''Series/{{Community}}'' had Abed, MetaGuy that he is, explaining the MindScrew the whole thing had been for him.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', Jack O'Neill makes several references to ''TheSimpsons'', Richard Dean Anderson himself, being a huge fan. In season eight, ''DanCastellaneta'' makes a guest appearence (even agreeing with Jack that Mr Burns is the perfect analogy for the Goa'uld). Just to make it more confusing, Anderson once appeared as himself in an episode of ''The Simpsons'' and, oh yes, they mention his work in ''Stargate SG-1''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''TheWayOfTheMetagamer'' and ''The Way Of The Metagamer 2: InNameOnly''. ''In Name Only'' makes the occasional cameo in the original, and it's [[WordOfGod been stated that]] the original exists within the world of ''In Name Only''. Interesting in that ''In Name Only'' does not exist.
* ''{{Homestuck}}'' takes this trope to its [[MindScrew Mind-Screw extreme]] with the events of the main story and the Midnight Crew. In the world of the main characters of ''{{Homestuck}}'' the Midnight Crew are from the latest ''MSPaintAdventures'' series, and the reverse is true for the actual members of the Midnight Crew in ''their'' world. However, WordOfGod along with recent events in the story claim that the the Midnight Crew ''exist within the same canon as {{Homestuck}}!'' In other words, it's not a ShowWithinAShow, it's a [[YourHeadAsplode Show Within]] ''[[YourHeadAsplode Itself!]]''
** To elaborate on the "exist within the same canon", the world of the Midnight Crew is the same world as those of the Trolls, who also exist in (or at least communicate with) the kids in the {{Homestuck}} world, but are from an alternate universe.
*** And, to take things even further, the art style and some of the universe mechanics for Midnight Crew suggest that it ''also'' takes place in the same universe as the previous ''MS Paint Adventures'' comic, ''ProblemSleuth''.
*** Also, Problem Sleuth was apparently in the same universe as [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=4&p=001555 Jailbreak]] and [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=4&p=001577 Bard Quest]], and John in Homestuck [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=001931 has video games of all three of these.]] [[SerialEscalation There are probably even more tie-ins than that.]]
*** Like the time Jade read a panel of ''Homestuck'', even being pretty true to what John had been doing at that point.
** The paradox is explained by the AuthorAvatar, who is likely sending different comics to different universes.
* A really subtle one with QuestionableContent and Webcomic/{{xkcd}}. Marigold wears an xkcd shirt [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1625 here]], and [[http://xkcd.com/574/ this]] xkcd comic shows one of Hannelore's Twitter posts.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''TheSimpsons'' and ''{{Futurama}}'' play with this in the TV show, with MattGroening's cameos on each being the creator of the other.
** Also, in the ''Simpsons'' episode ''Mayored to the Mob'', Üter wears a ''Futurama'' shirt (this was long before anyone had heard anything about ''Futurama'' in the real world.) In an episode of ''Futurama'', Bender eats the shorts off of a Bart Simpsons doll.
** Also, thanks in part to certain [[ManateeGag trope]]-[[TropeNamer naming]] episodes of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', and innumerable references to each other, ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', ''FamilyGuy'', and ''TheSimpsons'' are all fictional within each other's Universes.
** In one episode of the first season of ''LoisAndClark'', LexLuthor made a mention about watching Simpsons reruns. In one ''Simpsons'' episode, Comic Book Guy saw some problem and said it was a job for, [[BaitAndSwitchComment some heroes he mentioned]]. Then somebody asked about {{Superman}}.
* For additional mindwarping, ''TheSimpsons'' is a cartoon in ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'' - and then Jay Sherman visits the Simpsons family. Gah!
* This trope even occurs within a single show: ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' and ''[[ShowWithinAShow Terrance and Phillip]]'' have watched each other's television shows. This gets a bit muddled as Terrance and Phillip are "real" actors in the South Park universe with a television show the South Park kids watch, but the characters (one assumes) Terrance and Phillip play have watched ''South Park''. Do what now?
* In ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', Danny can be see playing a ''Crash Nebula'' arcade game. In the ''Crash Nebula'' PoorlyDisguisedPilot episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', Crash has a ''Danny Phantom'' comic book.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' ended with Peter and Cleveland appearing, but another one had Steve and Roger watch a WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy DVD.
[[/folder]]
----
[[redirect:MutuallyFictional]]
5th Feb '14 3:03:48 PM COFFEENEBULA
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** ''[=EastEnders=]'' and ''Doctor Who'' are so popular and iconic, though, that any program predominantly set in 21st century Britain is bound to reference one or the other eventually.
5th Feb '14 3:02:03 PM COFFEENEBULA
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** There's a lot of crossover fanfiction for Doctor Who and Literature/HarryPotter- despite the latter being fictional in the Whoinverse, to the point where 'expelliarmus' was actually a plot point in one episode.
19th Oct '13 7:36:10 PM nombretomado
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* An episode of AmericanDad ended with Peter and Cleveland appearing, but another one had Steve and Roger watch a WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy DVD.

to:

* An episode of AmericanDad ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' ended with Peter and Cleveland appearing, but another one had Steve and Roger watch a WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy DVD.
27th Sep '13 8:04:05 PM TVRulezAgain
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The ReciprocalFictionParadox occurs when two different works reciprocate actions which establish each other as being fiction within their own respective '{{verse}}s. Characters might discuss a work, make a ShoutOut or TakeThat, or the work is shown as a piece of fiction in the show and then the other work does the same. The logic- and consistency-prone viewer may go "But if that A is shown in B and A has watched B then A has watched B watching A and...oh no, I've gone cross-eyed. How can this be?"

to:

The ReciprocalFictionParadox Reciprocal Fiction Paradox occurs when two different works reciprocate actions which establish each other as being fiction within their own respective '{{verse}}s. Characters might discuss a work, make a ShoutOut or TakeThat, or the work is shown as a piece of fiction in the show and then the other work does the same. The logic- and consistency-prone viewer may go "But if that A is shown in B and A has watched B then A has watched B watching A and...oh no, I've gone cross-eyed. How can this be?"



* In ''DannyPhantom'', Danny can be see playing a ''Crash Nebula'' arcade game. In the ''Crash Nebula'' PoorlyDisguisedPilot episode of ''TheFairlyOddParents'', Crash has a ''Danny Phantom'' comic book.
* An episode of AmericanDad ended with Peter and Cleveland appearing, but another one had Steve and Roger watch a FamilyGuy DVD.

to:

* In ''DannyPhantom'', ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', Danny can be see playing a ''Crash Nebula'' arcade game. In the ''Crash Nebula'' PoorlyDisguisedPilot episode of ''TheFairlyOddParents'', ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', Crash has a ''Danny Phantom'' comic book.
* An episode of AmericanDad ended with Peter and Cleveland appearing, but another one had Steve and Roger watch a FamilyGuy WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy DVD.
24th Sep '13 5:20:41 AM ricjac
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* In ''StargateSG1'', Jack O'Neill makes several references to ''TheSimpsons'', Richard Dean Anderson himself, being a huge fan. In season eight, ''DanCastellaneta'' makes a guest appearence (even agreeing with Jack that Mr Burns is the perfect analogy for the Goa'uld). Just to make it more confusing, Anderson once appeared as himself in an episode of The Simpsons and, oh yes, they mention his work in Stargate.

to:

* In ''StargateSG1'', ''Series/StargateSG1'', Jack O'Neill makes several references to ''TheSimpsons'', Richard Dean Anderson himself, being a huge fan. In season eight, ''DanCastellaneta'' makes a guest appearence (even agreeing with Jack that Mr Burns is the perfect analogy for the Goa'uld). Just to make it more confusing, Anderson once appeared as himself in an episode of The Simpsons ''The Simpsons'' and, oh yes, they mention his work in Stargate.''Stargate SG-1''.
19th Sep '13 9:01:22 PM EarlOfSandvich
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** It has been [[WildMassGuessing theorised]] that in the fanfic's universe, ''LuckyStar'' references "the TropeTan [[ShowWithinAShow anime]]" instead of ''SuzumiyaHaruhi''.

to:

** It has been [[WildMassGuessing theorised]] that in the fanfic's universe, ''LuckyStar'' references "the TropeTan JustForFun/TropeTan [[ShowWithinAShow anime]]" instead of ''SuzumiyaHaruhi''.
11th Sep '13 2:44:08 PM XFllo
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* In ''Film/IndependenceDay'' a character makes a passing reference to ''TheXFiles'', conversely, in [[Film/TheXFiles the first X-Files movie]] we see Mulder urinating in front of an ''Independence Day'' movie poster.

to:

* In ''Film/IndependenceDay'' a character makes a passing reference to ''TheXFiles'', ''Series/TheXFiles'', conversely, in [[Film/TheXFiles [[Film/TheXFilesFightTheFuture the first X-Files movie]] we see Mulder urinating in front of an ''Independence Day'' movie poster.



* In ''TheXFiles'', a character is seen watching an episode of ''TheSimpsons''. Fortunately, it's not the episode where David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson appeared as Mulder and Scully. Note that it does not seem the fictionality is both ways, so it may not count. Or didn't until Comic Book Guy said his CatchPhrase "Worst. Episode. Ever." in regard to an episode of ''The X-Files'', but now it does.
** ''EekTheCat'' also did an ''X-Files'' parody, and was also shown in an ''X-Files'' episode.

to:

* In ''TheXFiles'', ''Series/TheXFiles'', a character is seen watching an episode of ''TheSimpsons''.''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Fortunately, it's not the episode where David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson appeared as Mulder and Scully. Note that it does not seem the fictionality is both ways, so it may not count. Or didn't until In Comic Book Guy said his CatchPhrase "Worst. Episode. Ever." in regard Guy's shop, one can see a poster to an episode of ''The X-Files'', but now it does.
** ''EekTheCat'' also
the ''X-Files'' movie.
* ''WesternAnimation/EekTheCat''
did an ''X-Files'' parody, and was also shown in an ''X-Files'' episode.episode "Eve" where one of the little murderous clones watched the animation.
13th Aug '13 4:19:47 PM johnnye
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The ReciprocalFictionParadox occurs when two different works reciprocate actions which establish each other as being fiction within their own respective '{{verse}}s. Characters might discuss a work, make a ShoutOut or TakeThat, or the work is shown as a piece of fiction in the show and then the other work does the same. The logic and consistency prone viewer may go "But if that A is shown in B and A has watched B then A has watched B watching A and...oh no, I've gone cross-eyed. How can this be?"

to:

The ReciprocalFictionParadox occurs when two different works reciprocate actions which establish each other as being fiction within their own respective '{{verse}}s. Characters might discuss a work, make a ShoutOut or TakeThat, or the work is shown as a piece of fiction in the show and then the other work does the same. The logic logic- and consistency prone consistency-prone viewer may go "But if that A is shown in B and A has watched B then A has watched B watching A and...oh no, I've gone cross-eyed. How can this be?"
2nd Aug '13 6:40:12 PM SickBoy
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* In an episode of ''Series/SixFeetUnder'', David and Keith are shown enjoying a gay sex scene from ''Series/{{Oz}}''.
This list shows the last 10 events of 74. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ReciprocalFictionParadox