->'''Sam:''' Remember when we used to just... hunt Wendigos? How simple things were?
->'''Dean:''' Not really.
-->-- ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''

ContinuityCreep is the tendency of a TV show or comic book that starts off with an episodic {{Sitcom}}, [[AdventureTowns Adventure Town]] or MonsterOfTheWeek format, which then begins to accumulate more and more {{Continuity Nod}}s and ongoing storylines. Or if it starts off with each episode containing a single self-contained story, and ends up with sprawling plots that span multiple episodes, it has undergone continuity creep.

In a comedy show, this trope is often a symptom of CerebusSyndrome, but it can occur independently. In a dramatic or action-adventure show, it's often a sign of GrowingTheBeard. ArcWelding is this trope applied retroactively. "Too much" may result in ContinuityPorn. See also KudzuPlot, when instead of a series sprouting references to past events, it sprouts open-ended mysteries for use in future events. Often more noticeable in a LongRunner. Generally averts AesopAmnesia and StatusQuoIsGod.

%%Do not remove the folders, they are the standard.
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''WitchHunterRobin'' starts off as a fairly dull MonsterOfTheWeek affair; however, about halfway through, it suddenly develops an ongoing plot.
** Same with ''Anime/TheBigO''.
* The ''Manga/YuGiOh'' manga was about Yugi playing a Game of Shadows in every chapter until the author switched focus to the card game, at which point it gained an actual overarching plot.
* ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'' has a plot involving Athena, Mikado Sanzenin and Nagi's mother, the pendants, and Wataru's mother.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' did something similar to this for a while. For the first dozen or so chapters, it was a light horror-comedy with "[[MonsterOfTheWeek Hollow of the week]]" stories and some of Ichigo's friends getting attacked or empowered every so often, before becoming a straight action saga.
* ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'' started off as a GirlOfTheWeek story with Keima making a different conquest in each arc. After awhile, some of the girls become recurring characters, and once the Goddess arc begins, a few of the previous girls become major characters.
* ''RurouniKenshin'' was about Kenshin having sword fights and such in the Meiji era. Then the plot went further into his backstory, and while the series had never been lighthearted, it got a lot darker, including the death of his first wife [[spoiler:and the faked death of Kaoru]]..
* ''{{Trigun}}'' began as a progression through a series of AdventureTowns before the MythArc (only barely hinted at previously) kicked in around halfway through.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* JhonenVasquez does this quite a bit.
** ''JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac'' began as a series of random, one-off strips. After a while, the comic evolved so that each issue told a longer story, and a full-fledged Myth Arc was in place by the end. This was deliberate.
** ''ComicBook/{{Squee}}!'' was intended as a return to one-off silliness, but ended up with an ongoing plot in the end.
* The comic version of ''Comicbook/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' started with one-off stories because Tania del Rio (the writer) had orders from her editor to do the stories ''{{Archie}}'' style. However, she slipped in some continuity slowly over each issue. By the time she got a new editor (who also happens to run the ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog'' comic), the "Four Blades" plot was already underway.
* {{Lampshaded}} in the between the chapter meta panels in ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}}''.
-->''But in the course of these throwaway "stories"... He says I developed a, quote, "personality"... and a boyfriend... and a nice set of body-image issues, thank you very much... and, well, voila... this goofy mess somehow wound up morphing into a, quote, "real comic". A "real comic" in which, you'll notice, I still seem to get tied up a lot. That's not my idea of a "real comic", but whatevs.''
* In Neil Gaiman's ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', this is intentional from the start, but it's still rather odd to find out that a small event from the fourth comic ends up being important for the climax of the series.
* Creator/GarthEnnis's run in ''Comicbook/ThePunisherMAX.'' The CIA's disastrous attempts to recruit him in "In The Beginning" is brought up in "Mother Russia," and a couple of characters have very important roles in "Up is Down and Black is White", "Man of Stone" and "Long Cold Dark". Yorkie from "Kitchen Irish" crops up again in "Man of Stone" and "Long Cold Dark". "Mother Russia" is a crucial part of later stories "Up is Down and Black is White", "Man of Stone", "Long Cold Dark" and "Valley Forge Valley Forge." The events of "The Slavers" has a bearing on "Widowmaker."
* DC and Marvel superheroes can be considered this in general. Back in the SilverAge, every story was a self-contained plot. Over the years, comics added more and more continuity until the modern soap-opera style of storytelling resulted.
** This, of course, led to a large amount of ContinuitySnarl, more-so on DC's end than Marvel's, due to DC being an amalgam of characters from a myriad of authors and bought-out companies (most notably Charlton Comics), while nearly all of Marvel's A-list names spawned from the mind of StanLee (i.e. it was easier for the Generalisimo to recall and/or retcon stuff he himself had written than it was for DC authors who may have had to research character that DC themselves may have not created, like [[{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]).
* For the first several issues the ''SonicTheHedgehog'' parts of ''SonicTheComic'' were mainly just full one-shots that never really related to one each other. Issue 8 started a sense of plot but it took several more issues of on and off one-shots until it came into full effect.
* Creator/BrianAzzarello's ''[[Comicbook/OneHundredBullets 100 Bullets]]'' starts off as a fairly straightforward VictimOfTheWeek series about a shady government agent named Agent Graves, who offers wronged people a chance at taking consequence-free revenge with a handgun and 100 untraceable rounds of ammunition. Initially, Azzarello just uses unrelated standalone stories to examine the moral dilemmas inherent in the concept of revenge, with Graves as the only reappearing character. As the series goes on, though, some of the previous [[VictimOfTheWeek Victims of the Week]] return to become recurring characters, and a sprawling MythArc gradually becomes apparent as the characters figure out their connections to one another and work to uncover Agent Graves' motivations for seeking them out.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Marvel/DC After Hours'' ([=AKA=] ''ImAMarvelAndImADC''), an online video series, started out as a simple parody of the "Buy a Mac" ads with {{Spider-Man}} and {{Superman}} discussing the relatively sorry state of movies based on DC characters compared to Marvel's. Gradually more characters were introduced until it completely morphed into a story-driven and occasionally quite moving piece of work, all while keeping the comic-based humor intact as various characters continue to praise or lament their latest films.
* FanFic/AGrowingAffection starts each book with a series of shorter arcs which lead into a longer arc at the end. The exception is book 3, which is a set of four medium length arcs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* This is true to a certain extent in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. The first few books introduce us to the various factions and old friends of Harry whom we've never met before; but it gets to the point that they can play off each other, and you can have complex stories with multiple enemy factions each seeking something and getting in each other's way.
* The first two ''Literature/HarryPotter'' books were standalones. The third one seemed to follow this, but then [[spoiler:Pettigrew escaped]] at the end, forming a SequelHook. From that point on, each book followed an ongoing StoryArc which only concluded with the end of the series.
** But the books were planned as a seven-book arc from the beginning, which meant that many events in the first two books integrated seamlessly into the overall MythArc (the biggest one being Tom Riddle's Diary was actually [[spoiler:a Horcrux]].
** The first two books being almost stand-alones are more because not enough of the background had been established for the over-arching plot Rowling had intended from the beginning. It wasn't until ''Prizoner of Azkaban'' that enough had happened that the plot that had been developing since chapter one of ''The Philosopher's Stone'' could show itself.
* The first few books of ''ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' were narratively and geographically discrete, and had only a handful of recurring characters; then ''The Austere Academy'' introduced the Quagmires and VFD and sent everything in a significantly more arcish direction.
** The first few books were later retconned into the story arc by the Unauthorized Autobiography.
** Initially the series was only supposed to be four books, but when Snicket decided to extend the series he needed a larger story arc to connect the books. Enter VFD.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''. In the first few books, Ankh-Morpork was a generic fantasy city that Creator/TerryPratchett could burn down for the sake of a gag, and Bad Ass was "a village in the Ramtops" with no suggestion of any further society. Now it's impossible to set a book in Ankh without worrying about the Watch, the ''Times'', the wizards and CMOT Dibbler, and the Kingdom of Lancre is just as narratively dense, if still more sparsely populated.
** The wizards are a specific example. In the early books the UU had a different Archchancellor every time we visited, and the faculty were just whatever random characters the plot required (and the Librarian). Then he introduced Ridcully, and with him the Bursar, the Dean, the Senior Wrangler, the Lecturer in Recent Runes, and Ponder Stibbons. Paradoxically, this stability means that the UU has changed ''more'' in the later books, since it's got a fixed point to develop ''from''.
*** A (common) moment of genius on the part of Pratchett though - in the earlier books the wizards all had names, and consequently died. Then he introduced the usual suspects, didn't give them names, and they became recurring characters. The only exceptions - Ponder Stibbons (Who's too smart and cowardly to die), Ridcully (Who's too stubborn to die) and Rincewind (Who's too fast to die, and in any case isn't so much a wizard as a wizzard) all, in some way, behave very differently from the standard Discworld wizards.
* The Vlad Taltos novels, set in {{Dragaera}}, were originally supposed to be able to stand alone, and aren't written in chronological order. Author Steven Brust admitted that this becomes less realistic as he continues to develop the series.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''{{Smallville}}'''s first season is mostly made up of [[MonsterOfTheWeek freak of the week]] episodes, and generally becomes more arc-based.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' has generally gone for a HalfArcSeason format, but as it went on, the arc episodes became more numerous, and the standalone episodes got rarer and rarer. The Anubis arc was a particularly notable example, as it lasted for two entire seasons.
* ''{{Friends}}'' started off as a series of one-off episodes that didn't really affect each other. As it went on, continuity became more important, partly with Monica and Chandler's evolving relationship but especially Ross and Rachel's.
* ''BoyMeetsWorld'' went through a similar evolution.
* A typical ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' season starts off with MonsterOfTheWeek episodes and gradually builds up to the finale Boss Battle. Ensuing seasons were increasingly storyline-based -- the final season was notably DarkerAndEdgier, with barely any standalone episodes.
* Its spinoff ''Series/{{Angel}}'' went through the same evolution, ultimately having a giant epic storyline that lasted 3 seasons(!). ''Angel'' then proceeded to devolve back into the much lighter monster of the week episodes in season 5 (including one which turned Angel into a puppet), before going back to an overreaching storyline about half way through.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' had this happen progressively over its run, starting out with mostly standalone episodes with a few arcs in the background and getting more and more serialized over time.
** ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' had this happen too, but more suddenly: its almost completely standalone format was abruptly changed to a serialized year-long story arc for its third season. The fourth season dialed it back down to HalfArcSeason levels, but at the same time kept the serial nature of the show by making most of the standalone stories into two- or three-episode "mini-arcs".
* ''Dollhouse'' had a similar evolution to the two Joss Whedon shows above, starting with generally stand alone episodes and not really delving into the series long BigBad until the last two episodes of the first season. One might wonder if this is Joss's preferred method of story building.
* ''Series/{{Reaper}}'' started off as a [[MonsterOfTheWeek Soul of the Week]] show, but about halfway through season one it started with the demon rebellion arc and examining the thorny questions of who Sam's dad is [[spoiler:most likely candidate is The Devil himself]]. Simultaneously GrowingTheBeard and developing CerebusSyndrome.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' started off with a MonsterOfTheWeek format, but gradually built up a myth arc starting in season 2 with a three-part episode about Scully being abducted.
** The myth arc was there from the beginning. A quarter of the episodes in the first season, including the pilot, were part of it.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' fits this trope perfectly, as nearly the entire first season was a series of stand-alone, FishOutOfWater stories focusing on John fitting in with the crew with an extremely loose over-arching story that almost never came into play. This changed drastically in ''Nerve'' the 19th episode, which introduced [[BigBad Scorpius]] and got the actual story moving. The continuity began to creep in more and more in Season 2 and eventually took over in Season 3 where every episode helped forward the overall story. Sadly, this ended up being the death of ''Farscape'' as the show developed ContinuityLockOut and failed to bring in any new viewers between Seasons 3 and 4, causing the network to cancel them.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' began as a series of isolated stories set in various AdventureTowns in time and space. (Though the characters did evolve throughout the season.) However, the second season saw its first major reference to the past in the form of the return of the Daleks, after they had all died, with the HandWave explanation that this adventure took place ''before'' their destruction. This and future seasons saw an increasing number of recurring elements and characters. It wasn't until the seventies that the narratives started to become definitely interconnected, and in the eighties this turned into ContinuityLockOut and ContinuityPorn. The new series, while still containing series and multi-series long arcs (with a few stand-alones) has dialed back on the ContinuityLockOut, if not completely.
** That is until Creator/StevenMoffat took over New Who in season 5. Since then, all of the seasons have been connected by a long over-arching story about the identity of The Doctor and new orders and secret organizations seeing him as a threat.
** The Spinoff ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' is a much straighter example, starting off with MonsterOfTheWeek style for 2 seasons. Season 4 is the longest single story in the entire Whovian universe. Think about that.
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' began as a very episodic show, with the only continuing plot of note in [[Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers the first season]] being the [[SixthRanger Green Ranger]] arcs. Season 6, ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'', brought the ContinuityCreep in alongside a year-long CrisisCrossover. Every season of the show since then, while self-contained and having brand new casts yearly, continues to focus on hefty plots.
** It really started earlier, right around season 3, which featured very few standalone episodes, almost every plot being multi-parters that each also connect into overarching plots. For example, in the arc that introduced Katherine, she helps Rita and Zedd capture Ninjor, the Falconzord, and Kimberly's pink power coin. While the power coin plot was resolved by the end of that arc, the other two aren't resolved until the later "Master Vile and the Metallic Armor" arc. And one stand-alone after that, the season saw the Alien Rangers arc, which helped to really shake things up.
* ''ThePretender'' did start out teasing some over-arching mysteries (Jarod's origins and who killed Miss Parker's mother), but early episodes were largely episodic - focusing on Jarod's pretends and Miss Parker's pursuit. By Season 2, these and newer storylines started to gain prominence alongside the existing formula. By the last season, most episodes featured something that would be relevant to another or hint at something larger in store for viewers.
* ''TheSarahConnorChronicles'', starting about halfway through its second season, when it starts to transition away from [[MonsterOfTheWeek Terminator of the Week]] format.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' was originally a pure MonsterOfTheWeek with enough ongoing storyline to tie it together, but with each season that storyline has mutated more and more into an increasingly complex MythArc, to the point where everything in the protagonists' lives has been part of a greater celestial plan (which are in turn part of even greater plans, which are in turn part of even ''greater'' plans... Because destiny).
* ''Series/{{Journeyman}}'' was [[http://www.aintitcool.com/node/37863 headed this way]] before it was axed.
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' started off as a MonsterOfTheWeek show, but then introduced Fulcrum as the season enemy in the second season. This trope really kicked in during the last third of the second season and has kept up since then.
* Despite its roots as a spinoff of ''Series/{{Dallas}}'', ''KnotsLanding'''s first season was largely episodic, with more of a family/neighborhood drama than a soap. In fact the first season of ''Dallas'' was episodic, as well.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The first ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda'' games had so little of a connecting storyline, that most fans thought it was just the same story, retold over and over and over (a misconception still held by some today). Then came ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', which had an implicit connection to ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast's'' Imprisoning War (later confirmed in the 25th anniversary encyclopedia ''[[AllThereInTheManual Hyrule Historia]]'' to be the result of [[AlternateTimeline one of three possible aftermaths]] of ''Ocarina''s story where Link is defeated). ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker Wind Waker]]'' also had a direct connection to ''Ocarina'', the first game to explicitly confirm a timeline with more than one Link, with two sequels, ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass Phantom Hourglass]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks Spirit Tracks]]'' clearly following this story too. ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'', though mostly only seen through hints in-story, was confirmed by WordOfGod and ''Hyrule Historia'' to follow the "child" AlternateTimeline at the end of ''Ocarina'' (a different one to the one ''Link to the Past'' follows).
* ''SonicTheHedgehog'': The games went from being almost completely separated to being connected all over the place to point where it no longer makes sense sometimes.
* The ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' series almost never has a storyline to speak of. The ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' series, especially later on, tend to have self-contained plots with a ContinuityNod here and there and CharacterDevelopment. The ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' series quite clearly continue one from the other, with major references to the previous games, the series' own convoluted backstory, a couple to the X series and a nod or two to points from the Classic series. Between the two ''MegaManZX'' games there's a pretty significant TimeSkip, but both games are also heavy on nods to all the past series. ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' and ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'', being {{RPG}}s, naturally are more story-heavy to begin with.
* The ''Franchise/TombRaider'' series initially had little or no connection between the games, but since Crystal Dynamics took over things have gotten more unified and focused.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}''. The first few games had no continuity, to the point that no one is entirely certain whether the sixth is a ContinuityReboot or not. The next few included characters from and references to earlier games, but it still didn't amount to much. Then we got some serious attempts at world building around the time of the tenth game, and the plots of the games have been increasingly linked since.
* In a way, the "Zenithia trilogy" of ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' (games IV - VI). Despite large differences in the world maps of the games, the lack of connections between the games' plots, and there being very few ties between IV and V and almost none between VI and the other two, fans did argue that there were faint clues that the three games took place in the same continuity (like the Loto/Erdrick trilogy that comprises the first three games). This was even after [[WordofGod series creator Yuji Horii said in an interview that]] the three games were intended to only be linked by the recurring appearance of a heavenly location named Zenithia. However, with the DS remakes, it's now official that the three games do take place in the same continuity, especially with [[spoiler: a bonus quest in VI spelling it out that IV and then V take place in the future after VI]].
* ''KingsQuest'' wound up with this. The first two or four (depending on your point of view) games were pretty episodic. But then you have KingsQuestV, where the BigBad is motivated by revenge for events from KingsQuestIII, and the ending of KingsQuestV directly leads to KingsQuestVI, which makes a ''lot'' of references to KingsQuestIII, and includes anm incriminating letter linking three of the series villains to the same secret society. KingsQuestVII hits, and the plot of that game directly ties back to KingsQuestIV...And it all resets to NegativeContinuity with ''Mask of Eternity'', but few even consider that to be a KingsQuest game.
* ''SpaceQuest'' had the same progression. The first three games were quite episodic, but the fourth game? The villain from the second game is now a VirtualGhost and a little ticked off about being killed by a janitor. TimeTravel gets involved, and soon Roger is up to his eyeballs, going back to the first game and getting asked about the slot machine he broke, going to his future and getting punished for something he technically hadn't done yet, and finding out about his KidFromTheFuture and future wife. Well, that leads into the fifth game where he tries to better himself by going to the space academy, and meets said future wife. If she dies, it's a NonstandardGameOver for Roger due to temporal paradox. The sixth game mostly stands alone, but Roger is shown to have a collection of inventory items from previous games.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' started off with just the gang being in a typical D&D dungeon, which became a simple storyline about defeating a BigBad, and has since branched off into multiple long-running, complex storylines to the extent that individual strips are all but incomprehensible unless one reads the [[ArchiveBinge whole archive]]. (The book collection even added more strips at the beginning to make the story fit together more smoothly.)
* ''[[CtrlAltDel Ctrl+Alt+Del]]'' began as a gag-a-day strip, but soon developed into a series of multi-month-long stories divided by one-off gags.
* Honestly, this trope describes whatever the hell happened with ''BobAndGeorge'' about a thousand times better than CerebusSyndrome.
* Sort of example: ''{{minus}}'' was usually standalone strips that occasionally had pieces stretching over multiple strips. However [[http://www.kiwisbybeat.com/minus106.html this strip]] started a series of events that [[spoiler:caused the death of everyone on Earth]] and went on for 25 strips until the end of the entire comic!
* ''UnicornJelly'' started as a simple, cute fantasy tale of a witch and the transgender blob who loved her. It has hit major CerebusSyndrome, and spawned not just a universe with its own well-defined but very alien physics and BizarreAlienBiology, but a [[TheMultiverse Multiverse]] of AlternateContinuity and several spinoffs.
* Starting well before most webcomics did, ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' could be the UrExample.
** It has some stories that last ''months''. And a collection of looser storylines that run parallel to each other, alternating from the sidelines to the foreground but never completely ending, for '' ''' years.''' '' And this is talking about a webcomic that updates daily with barely a single interruption. The ArchivePanic is heart attack-inducing.
* ''Webcomic/DresdenCodak'' and the Hob storyline.
* The first three story arcs of ''TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' (that is, the first three ''years''' worth of stories from the strip's heyday as a weekly printed strip at Penn State) have negligible continuity with each other. It's only in the fourth story arc that the various threads start intermingling into an elaborate world full of space empires, dragons, and artificial life forms.
* ''IrregularWebcomic'' originally had unrelated gags in each theme, then an ongoing story in each theme, and is eventually had a massive ongoing story involving almost every theme. Mentioned in the rerun commentary:
-->Continuity tends to grow as works of fiction mature and get more of a history behind them.
-->Maybe I should start a new webcomic which ''begins'' with a rich story-based tapestry with a detailed background, and then devolves into disconnected gags with no ongoing story or continuity.
* Sort of [[InvokedTrope invoked]] in ''SkinHorse'', which was pretty continuity heavy from the start, but nonetheless took the time to [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] it (the "simple" beginnings they refer to, in addition to not being that simple, are actually only the first ''week'' of strips):
-->'''Shaenonn''': Remember when this was a simple strip about transvestites psychoanalysing lions?
-->'''Jeff''': I go where the muse takes me.
* ''{{Sinfest}}'' had little to no regard to continuity in its earlier years. But extended story arcs began taking shape before so long. And old throw-away gags from earlier days have also been brought back and expanded upon, including Squigley's ability to [[WrongContextMagic fly his couch while high]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* According to WordOfGod, the WhateleyUniverse started out like this. Six authors writing inter-related short stories about their characters. It evolved into over a dozen {{Canon}} authors and ongoing arcs.
* Ostensibly, one of the reasons Rooster Teeth ended ''RedVsBlue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles'' at Episode 100 was to put an end to the ContinuityCreep and continue writing for the series from a point where newcomers could enjoy the show without ContinuityLockout. While they succeeded, the series from that point forth became [[CerebusSyndrome much more plot based]], and a good number of the [[CallBack Call Backs]] still require familiarity with all the older episodes (as opposed to just episodes from the most recent trilogy, ''Recollection'').
* TheSlenderManMythos initially just consisted of a few blogs and Website/YouTube series that were all independent of each other as far as continuity went. The only links were Slender Man's appearance and his attributes, [[DependingOnTheWriter and the latter tended to be somewhat subjective]]. But with the accumulated references to previously made blogs and the development of the Core Theory, the continuity of the Mythos now is quite impressive. [[ContinuityLockout Newcomers may actually feel overwhelmed by how much they have to keep up with]].
* Wiki/SCPFoundation started off just with pages on the various, isolated [=SCP=]s, but the site has developed stronger continuity thanks to stories about the Foundation members themselves and, especially, thanks to later [=SCP=]s being used, collected and/or produced by various anti-Foundation organizations such as the cult of the Serpent's Hand, rich people club Marshall, Carter, and Dark Ltd., and AlternateUniverse institute Alexylva University.
* The ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' began as just one guy telling stories about a single group of superheroes. Granted, the backdrop for these stories was a well-conceived and constructed world filled with dynamic characters that allowed huge changes to occur. Skip ahead fifteen years and there's close to thirty story-tellers all adding to the mythology of the series through the actions of nearly three hundred characters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''InvaderZim'' became more and more self-referential after the episode "Tak, the Hideous New Girl" (especially since [[spoiler:Dib got a spaceship]] at the end which he would later try to continually replace). If it wasn't cancelled, it would have developed a MythArc about Operation Impending Doom 2 failing at the hands of the [[LaResistance Resisty]], and the story would have culminated in a movie.
* ''JusticeLeague'' initially had two- and three-part episodes which didn't really affect each other (except for the recurring villains). Then they started throwing in short arcs that built on the plot of previous {{DCAU}} series, such as the season two premiere, which was a follow-up to ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'''s finale. And then, even the completely standalone episodes would still have brief moments suggesting continuity: the slow buildup of {{UST}} between John Stewart and Hawkgirl, and the very subtle bits of foreshadowing pointing towards the season two GrandFinale. Then ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' went all-out and used overarching plots that took half the season to resolve--CADMUS in the first two seasons, then the Secret Society in season three. It's generally agreed that the growth in continuity was concurrent with [[GrowingTheBeard an upswing in quality]].
** In their defense, they on purpose chose to wait until near the end of that line of show's run to get that heavy. No doubt knowing they would lose the portion of the audience due to ContinuityLockout and BrokenBase of why people like super heroes. The last season aims to smooth this with what is essentially a much larger Challenge of the SuperFriends. But here we see their problems, with certain characters off limits and a whole slew of good and bad guys never actually named on screen, which while amazing nerd candy, isn't really going to inspire many new fans if that's all they had to go on. At least not to the extent the old Super Friends cartoon that really helped bring some of the rouges galleries of the other heros much more brand value.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' also started off as a series of done-in-one stories (with the occasional two-parter). Then in the second season, the [[ExecutiveMeddling toy company demanded]] an [[MerchandiseDriven arc concerning Starro]], which was told through the [[ColdOpen Cold Openings]] before being resolved as a two-part episode.
** To a lesser extent, the final season does this with Equinox, who was supposedly killed in the first season, but returned to seek vengeance on Batman and the [[JusticeLeagueInternational JLI]].
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', once enough episodes were in circulation for viewers to know what the hell was going on. It actually started with an unexplained OneWePreparedEarlier opening.
* ''{{Transformers}}'' continuity became substantially stronger after the animated movie. ''Headmasters'' continued this trend with episodes that, while for the most part self-contained, were intended to be shown in a particular order. ''Masterforce'' then had a full-on MythArc.
** ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' started out episodic, but after the first season final it developed continuous {{Story Arc}}s.
** ''TransformersAnimated'' began with almost entirely self-contained episode, and while it has yet to get a continuous StoryArc, [[HalfArcSeason more and more episodes became continuations of previous ones]]. Story editor Marty Isenberg says this is his preferred form of writing.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' started off random adventures parodying Johnny Quest by Season II it all became interlocking and connecting stories, some of which purposely aired out of order.
* ''{{Daria}}'' was completely episodic in its first three seasons, with only an occasional ContinuityNod. Then the season three finale saw Jane get a steady boyfriend, and the remaining two seasons and two movies turned into an occasionally quite moving examination of this change to the status quo as well as Quinn showing some HiddenDepths.
* ''TheFairlyOddParents'' did this in later seasons, when they had enough previous material to do so. One of the antagonists or one of Timmy's previous wishes gone wrong returns for revenge on occasion. This is especially prevelant in the episode concerning Unwish Island.
* If the first few episodes of the third season are any indication, ''PhineasAndFerb'' has finally become a show all about referencing itself.
* ''ReBoot'' was episodic until ABC canceled it. The move to another network allowed the writing staff far more freedom, and this trope followed suit.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' starts going in this direction after second season finale, which gave the series a good case of CerebusSyndrome. As of season 5, the series has a long list of {{sequel episode}}s.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' started off as mainly just self-contained episode sans a 4-5 episode StoryArc but around the 3rd or 4th season references to events in past seasons started to be made. Culminating in the final season becoming almost completely serialized.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has experienced an increased level of continuity in season 3. While {{Continuity Nod}}s were common in previous seasons, and were able to make nods to very small details, several season 3 episodes have plots that act as outright continuations of of previous episodes, such as "Magic Duel" to "Boast Busters" and "Keep Calm and Flutter On" to "The Return of Harmony".
** Continued in season 4 with the season premier being a direct sequel to the previous season finale, and the Equestrian Games mentioned in "Games Ponies Play" coming back as a plot point in "Flight to the Finish".
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