->''"It starts with an innocent game of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cake_Mania Cake Mania]], and soon you've bought a [[NintendoDS DS]], and before you know it, BAM! You're out on the street corner, teeth chattering, waiting in line for Burning Crusades."''
-->-- ''ExtraCredits'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8ZVZRsy8N8 Video Games and the Female Audience]], a [[FanNickname Pre-Escapist]] Episode. [[note]] Daniel Floyd actually uses the term, "Gateway Drug" proir to the quote.[[/note]]

A Gateway Series is a series that introduces a significant niche of viewers to a genre that is new to them, and that is a positive enough introduction for them to hunt down other examples of the genre.

{{Trope Namer|s}}: In the drug world, a ''gateway drug'' is a drug that entices you or makes it easier to try other drugs. This name is mostly used by anti-drug programs, so there is debate about whether gateway drugs are real. But ''gateway series,'' series that makes you start watching new genres you never used to watch, are definitely real.

If you don't grow too passionate about the genre after watching a GatewaySeries, after a few years you'll still end up with a vast knowledge about it and maybe a big pile of [=DVDs=]. If you do become passionate, then your room may be devoted to your new addiction. It all depends on how strongly you embrace your new tastes.

Someone's personal Gateway Series will be granted immunity from criticism thanks to the NostalgiaFilter.

Gateway series often have some things in common, mostly anything that causes a good first impression, both from the series and the entire genre. Each genre has a certain pattern, so to enjoy it you have to grow accustomed to those unique quirks. Thus, many Gateway Series blend styles or cross genres together; you [[ComeForTheXStayForTheY are attracted to the series by quirks you already have and so get used to the new ones that way.]] Thus, Japanese Anime that has Western-style storytelling makes for good gates.

Maturity level also matters. In genres with [[AnimationAgeGhetto age ghettos,]] a Gateway Series will likely double as WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids Or have many {{Parental Bonus}}es.

Deep, intricate storylines or massive loads of action are common, as well as being weird in a fun and upbeat way. Those things help you realize that this genre can have a lot of good and different stuff to offer.

Gateway Series must be good in some sense, and must not have much more squick than normally comes with the genre. Otherwise, you would be [[AudienceAlienatingPremise turned off.]]

Compare BreakthroughHit, the gateway to a creator; StarMakingRole, the gateway to an actor; and KillerApp, the gateway to a console. Contrast ItsPopularNowItSucks. Not to be confused with the ''Literature/{{Gateway}}'' series or its [[VideoGame/{{Gateway}} video game adaptation]]. See also TvTropesAsAGatewayDrug.
----
!!Examples:

Important Note: The classifying of anything as being a 'gateway something' does not in any way imply that it is less good than the less accessible material it leads on to. All that we're saying is that for a lot of people, these examples lead on to discovering and enjoying other things. Its not a value judgement, just an observation of how fans tend to start from common points.

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime]]
* For the oldest American fans, ''Anime/AstroBoy'' was their gateway series.
* ''Anime/SpeedRacer'' '''defined''' {{Anime}} for a couple generations.
* Virtually anything aired on {{Toonami}} and/or Creator/AdultSwim has been a gateway anime for many viewers. Of course, Creator/CartoonNetwork seems to have been pretty careful about selecting shows with mainstream appeal -- and clearly they've been successful. This makes it even more alarming that both daytime CN and Adult Swim have drastically decreased their amount of anime programming [[{{Uncancelled}} up until recently.]] Many have pointed at Cartoon Network's... [[NetworkDecay controversial changes]] [[ScrewedByTheNetwork as the reason why]].
** ''Anime/DragonballZ'' is a big one, serving as a common gateway into anime, {{shonen}}, and FightingSeries, in order of specificity.
** ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. A ''lot'' of {{otaku}} became interested in anime after they watched it, and also got quite a few into the mecha genre as well. (On the other hand, it had the ''opposite'' effect on a lot of people too...) A whole new generation of ''Eva'' fans has arisen ever since the series was broadcast on -- you guessed it -- Creator/AdultSwim.
*** Actually ''Eva'' was first aired in the US by KTEH, a ''Creator/{{PBS}} affiliate'' in San Jose, uncensored in Japanese!
*** One would think that the ways in which the series extensively plays with -- and subverts -- anime tropes, the notoriously confusing plot, the highly divisive characters, and the all-around weirdness of the show would make it less than ideal viewing for someone unfamiliar with the medium. It's like some personal variant of UnbuiltTrope.
** The pilot anime for Creator/AdultSwim was ''Anime/CowboyBebop'', a series great for getting people interested in the medium.
** ''Manga/DeathNote'' was a gateway series for many into anime period, though for most it was a gateway series into a specific genre (not necessarily bound to anime either) containing darker themes, intense character interactions, strong dubbing, avoidance of the more obvious anime cliches and a decidedly VillainProtagonist, leading many people to search for more "gray-area" genre series like the aforementioned ''Anime/CodeGeass''.
** ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' is another common gateway series, based on the mix of action and humor, and the particularly memorable characters. This, along with the aforementioned ''Cowboy Bebop'' was one of the first anime to premier on Adult Swim and one of the first to get a strong fanbase.
** Before ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' or ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'', Toonami brought viewers ''Manga/OutlawStar'', the first of the SpaceWestern Anime Trinity. It mixes a lot of the best elements from both east and west that would help new western viewers adjust to the anime style, has a very diverse cast of extremely entertaining and likeable characters, and could almost be considered a gateway to the other two space western anime, considering it's (relatively) lighter in tone.
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'' was one of the first anime to be shown on Creator/CartoonNetwork that dealt with RealLife politics, in a stark contrast to the more fantastical and superpowered plots of ''RoninWarriors'' and ''Manga/DragonBall Z''. It was the success of the late night "uncut" showings that helped start Creator/AdultSwim, and the combination of giant robot action and handsome male leads introduced many young boys and girls to anime in general and HumongousMecha in particular. Unfortunately, Bandai ended up killing the momentum ''Wing'' started by following it up with the 20-year-old original ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', which while an undisputed classic of anime, didn't appeal to young American viewers. For years, fans have debated that had they followed up with the more contemporary shows like ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'' or ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]'', the franchise might have held on longer.
*** Both ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'' and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'', aired a few years after Wing, are generally acknowledged to be the two most recent gateway series into the Franchise/{{Gundam}} universe, at least in the west. In Japan, on the other hand, the original ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' was popular enough to be a gateway in and of itself to the Universal Century.
*** Gundam Seed itself was made to be this. Its primary purpose was to bring Gundam to a new audience.
*** [[http://werememberlovespecials.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/finding-your-gateway-gundam/ Here]] is a quiz that can help you find your Gateway to the [[LongRunner huge]] Gundam franchise.
** ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' could be considered the the third Big Boom of modern anime watchers (the first being ''Manga/DragonBall'' and {{Toonami}} and the second being Creator/AdultSwim).
*** Also, ''Naruto'' and ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' have introduced many anime fans into the FanSub industry.
** Know someone who likes shows like ''Series/{{CSI}}'' and ''Series/LawAndOrder'', and who thinks of anime as [[AnimationAgeGhetto "kid's stuff"]]? Show them ''GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex''. It seems to work quite well.
*** Similarly, the original ''GhostInTheShell'' movie was one of the first anime to get attention from mainstream critics, and counter the stereotype that [[AllAnimeIsNaughtyTentacles all anime was senseless sex and violence.]]
** ''Anime/TheBigO'' is heavily influenced by American fiction, having been called Franchise/{{Batman}} with robots, so it's easy for Americans to follow. For a time Creator/AdultSwim showed it on weeknights just after Family Guy and Futurama, and it got a large enough following in the U.S. that they were able to finance a second season, showing new episodes at the front of their Sunday night lineup.
** ''Anime/SailorMoon''. Best said [[http://movies.ign.com/articles/103/1036651p4.html here:]]
-->One also has to recognize Sailor Moon's massive impact on American anime fandom. Hers was the first show that managed to draw in a measurable audience of real, live girls, who became genuinely hardcore fans thanks to shows like ''Anime/RurouniKenshin'' and Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena. Which led, by a long and twisted trail, to a number of fanboys unexpectedly finding a way to lose their virginities at conventions some years down the line. They may not quite know it, but they owe you one, Sailor Moon.
* Anime reached France en masse at the end of the 70s, and for a good part of the '80s, almost the most programs on children's television were anime. Also, due to AnimationAgeGhetto syndrome, some totally non-suitable for kids series were broadcasted. It backfired spectacularly in the late '90s (until Manga/CardcaptorSakura then Anime/{{Pokemon}} made their way). Let's just list the biggest ones: ''[[Anime/UFORoboGrendizer Goldorak]]'', ''[[Anime/MagicalPrincessMinkyMomo Gigi]]'', ''[[Anime/CaptainHarlock Albator]]'' (this one being extremely well-beloved. [[Anime/{{Interstella 5555}} Did you wonder how]] Music/DaftPunk knew Creator/LeijiMatsumoto?), ''Manga/SpaceAdventureCobra'' (which main character was explicitly modeled after a French actor), ''Manga/{{Candy|Candy}}'', ''[[Manga/RoseOfVersailles Lady Oscar]]'' (there even was a movie by a famous French director), the furry version of ''Sherlock Holmes'', ''Manga/CatsEye'', ''Manga/DragonBall'' and ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' of course, ''[[Manga/SaintSeiya Les Chevaliers du Zodiaque]]'', ''Anime/MagicalAngelCreamyMami'', ''[[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar Ken le Survivant]]'' (Sadly, not kidding. The dub deliberately {{Macekre}}-d and {{Gag Dub}}bed it to tone down the violence.), ''[[Manga/MaisonIkkoku Juliette je t'aime]]'', ''Manga/CityHunter'', ''[[Manga/KimagureOrangeRoad Max et Cie]]''. And so on.
** ''Anime/TheMysteriousCitiesOfGold'' and ''Anime/{{Ulysses 31}}'' weren't seen as anime series, since they are [[InternationalCoproduction french-japanese]] shows.
** In short, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manga_outside_Japan#France French really LOVE anime and manga]]. Many series featured below in Latin America were broadcasted a little bit earlier or simultaneously in France.
* In Spain, the love for anime and manga followed up its boom in France quite quickly (as a matter of fact, at first many series were translated from the French version, instead of the English or Japanese). Although shows like ''MazingerZ'' and some StudioGhibli productions prepared the terrain during the late 70s and early 80s, the whole thing exploded in the late 80s and early 90s with two shows: ''DragonBall'' and ''CaptainTsubasa''. A whole generation of Spaniard kids became obsessed with anime and manga, and nowadays it's impossible to understand Spanish pop culture without taking this medium into account. Other shows that became big getaways in the following decades were ''SaintSeiya'' (Known as "Los caballeros del Zodiaco" or "The Zodiac Knights"), ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', ''RanmaOneHalf'', ''{{Doraemon}}'', ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', ''RurouniKenshin'', ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', ''LoveHina'' (more the manga than the anime, though), ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', ''Manga/OnePiece'', ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', ''{{Manga/Bleach}}'' and ''InazumaEleven''.
* Latin America had gateway anime quite sooner than the US, with series such as ''MazingerZ'', ''SaintSeiya'', ''SpacePirateCaptainHarlock'', ''Space Adventure Cobra'' (!!!), ''KotetsuJeeg'', ''Space Dragon Gaiking'', ''Magnet Robot Gakeen'', ''CandyCandy'', ''[[Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman Gatchaman]]'', ''Anime/AstroBoy'' and many more being shown regularly after school and on the weekends.
** Not to mention ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', ''Manga/DragonBall'' (and Dragonball Z), and ''{{Cyborg 009}}'' among others like ''Anime/{{Pokemon}} / Franchise/{{Digimon}}''.
*** Those are quite new compared to the other mentioned. Dragonball and Pokemon were first shown around 1997-98, while Candy for example appeared around 1980.
* To a lesser extent, ''Anime/{{Hamtaro}}'' for the little kids.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', which boasts good animation, fabulous story-telling, great characters and a pinch of dark themes. Even those who don't even like anime love it.
** Though somewhat more divisive now for its being a loose (and generally darker) adaptation of the manga, the first anime of ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' served as one of the gateways during the early 2000's anime and manga boom, and even led fans who watched it to discover the manga it was based off of, and begin to follow it subsequently. The equally impressive animation effort by BONES, who would later work on the straighter ''Brotherhood'' adaptation, most certainly helped.
* You wouldn't think it, but stories abound of guys and gals who got into anime thanks to watching ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' on Toonami.
* One of the first well-dubbed series imported into the United States was ''[[RanmaOneHalf Ranma 1/2]]''.
** Having a good dub helped, but the manga was a breakout hit too. Pretty much any RumikoTakahashi series functions as a gateway series, thanks to her impeccable skills of characterization that transcend cultural boundaries. Just look at how many people in more recent years got hooked on anime after watching ''Manga/InuYasha'' on Creator/AdultSwim.
* The films of ''StudioGhibli'', especially those helmed by Creator/HayaoMiyazaki, and ''especially'' those that were given wide theatrical release and a celebrity-filled dub by Creator/{{Disney}}. Major films include ''Anime/MyNeighborTotoro'', ''Anime/PrincessMononoke'', and especially ''Anime/SpiritedAway'', which gained exposure and a lot of new converts when it won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
* Genres inside a medium do it too. ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'', ''TheMelancholyOfHaruhiSuzumiya'', ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'', and ''VisualNovel/{{AIR}}'' have converted many a [[{{shojo}} shoujo]] fan to the {{seinen}} series they once dismissed as {{fanservice}}y junk.
* ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' is widely credited with introducing the anime feature film to the West in the late 1980s. Alas, Manga Entertainment capitalised on this by releasing a tide of unmitigated pap straight to video which left the general impression that all anime was ''Legend of the Overfiend'' and ''Violence Jack''.
** The tide of pap had some examples of its own, though. ''[[{{Guyver}} The Guyver: Bio Booster Armor]]'', ''NinjaScroll'', the ''StreetFighter'' stuff, and ''CyberCityOedo808'' all helped to get people interested in the medium.
** The manga was also one of the first to get localized in America, by MarvelComics no less.
* An early "gateway movie" for many early otaku was the ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' [[TheMovie movie]] ''Project Eden''. Many came to it through Adam Warren's Amerimanga adaption of the characters, and it was frequently fansubbed.
* Another early "wave" of anime fans came from ''{{Robotech}}'', ''StarBlazers'', or ''{{Voltron}}''.
* ''BattleOfThePlanets'' caused many fans to look into anime when they discovered, to their surprise, that the show they had enjoyed as a child was actually Japanese (and heavily edited).
* ''InitialD'' is something of a Gateway Series for car guys to get into manga and anime.
** The games too are like this. If you've never played arcade racers competitively before, ''VideoGame/InitialDArcadeStage'' will help you break yourself in.
* ''KannazukiNoMiko'' could be considered a Gateway Series for [[GirlsLove Yuri]], or an attempted one, for mixing robots and the standard young male robot pilot that could get the girl...but really leading into {{Seinen}} about SchoolgirlLesbians.
** ''LightNovel/MariaSamaGaMiteru'' is probably ''the'' GirlsLove gateway series.
* For several people, ''Manga/{{ARIA}}'' is gateway series to SliceOfLife anime.
** For others, the gateway into this genre was ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'' or ''LuckyStar''.
* ''GaoGaiGar'' (or ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' for a more recent example) is an excellent way to introduce someone to the SuperRobot / HumongousMecha genre.
* ''NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater'' managed to convert many Japanese proto-fans when it aired in 1990.
* Sci-fi Channel's initial "Japanimation Week", back in the early 1990's, consisting of ''RobotHunterCasshan, [[EighthMan 8-Man After]], [[ProjectAKo Project A-ko: The Vs. Battles]], DemonCityShinjuku, Lily C.A.T.,'' ''GalaxyExpress999,'' and ''RobotCarnival'' stretched across the whole week. These and a few other movies subsequently went into the channel's "Saturday Anime" rotation. And let's not forget TBS' late-night showings of heavily edited anime such as ''VampireHunterD''.
** ''NinjaScroll'' spawned a generation of anime fans.
** ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', as mentioned above.
** ''Anime/{{Monster}}'' is set in Germany and drawn in an extremely realistic style which some people find atypical for manga and anime. It uses very few JapaneseMediaTropes, favoring classic detective and crime tropes instead.
* ''TenchiMuyo'' or ''LoveHina'' as gateways to the HaremGenre.
* Inverted with ''{{Eyeshield 21}}'', where the series instead is a gateway to get anime nerds into football.
* ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'' is considered by many to be one of the best magical girl series of all time, not only because of its own merits, but because it was a gateway series into the MagicalGirl genre or anime itself.
* The first Yu-Gi-Oh series. A lot of younger tropers probably grew up with it before even knowing what anime was.
** Heck, this is perhaps [[FourKidsEntertainment 4Kids']] sole redeeming grace, via their dubs of the Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh anime. It helps that both franchises were wildly successful as well.
* ''VisionOfEscaflowne'' aired on Fox for a while, then got cancelled. Whether it was this or Bandai releasing the VHS tapes two years before its broadcast, no one knows how exactly, but this anime introduced a lot of fans to anime in general, and many cite it as their personal favorite because they were surprised at how different it looked from other shows. It took risks, it looked great, it had compelling characters, and it was basically unlike anything they've ever seen.
* Over the years, ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro'' has been used by anime fans as a jumping-on point for the ''Franchise/LupinIII'' franchise, as well as anime in general. This can get very ironic considering the titular character's actions and personality [[CasanovaWannabe in the movie]] don't quite match up with [[HandsomeLech any of his other incarnations]]. Creator/AdultSwim chose to air ''Anime/LupinIIIRedJacket'' episodes, which provided another surge of popularity for the franchise. Experienced fans have been able to note differences on Lupin opinions based on what another fan's gateway to the franchise was.
* At the start of TheNewTens, two shows, thanks to immense critical acclaim, became arguably the biggest catalysts for a revived interest in anime.
** ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' is arguably the first GatewaySeries for the audience in TheNewTens, [[http://wiki.puella-magi.net/Spa_Weekly!_2011-07-19 as its sheer popularity means its fans are often noted intellectuals]]. The problem is it's definitely [[DeconReconSwitch not a good representation]] [[MagicalGirl for its genre]]. Compare the ''{{Evangelion}}'' [[UnbuiltTrope example]], above.
** ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' has brought a resurgence in anime interest to levels almost at the same level as in the early 2000s, etching itself into the forefront of entertainment culture in TheNewTens. Stellar animation, visually distinctive action sequences, a gripping story, and [[AnyoneCanDie a dark premise]] on par with series like ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' and ''Series/GameOfThrones'' have quickly won over a devoted fanbase all over the world. It definitely helps that the series brings a mainstream appeal with its Western setting and characters while eschewing and subverting many of the tropes that outsiders find annoying about anime. [[Memes/AttackOnTitan Not to mention the memes.]]
* Manga/FruitsBasket introduced many people to shojo.
* Anime is notorious for getting a lot of Western fans [[OccidentalOtaku really interested in Japanese culture in general]], up to and including learning the Japanese language.
* As with the Western comics and superhero movies example below, a lot of anime fans get into the manga, light novel and visual novel series their favorite shows are based on. It doesn't hurt that there's already a lot of overlap between manga and anime fandom as it is.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Asian Animation]]
* ''DoolyTheLittleDinosaur'' for Korean animation.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Pick any comic book that has been [[TheMovie adapted to Hollywood blockbuster format]]. Or, pick any comic book that has an AnimatedAdaptation you used to watch when you were a child. Familiarity plays a ''very'' important role here.
* Or the other way around, a TV show that has been adapted into a comic book such as ''ComicBook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''.
* ''ComicBook/TheSandman''
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}''
* ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}''
* ''ElfQuest''
* ''ComicBook/{{Maus}}''
* ''{{Persepolis}}''
* ''{{Preacher}}'' to Vertigo Comic Books.
* There have been reports of people - not just bronies - getting into comics ''period'' thanks to ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW''. The first issue was one of top 100 best selling comics in 2012. An all-ages comic doing this is good news for the industry!
** The first issue also does a good job of introducing the main characters and tone of [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic ''Friendship is Magic'']] for anyone who hasn't actually watched the show, though you might still wonder what a "cutie mark" is.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' is a gateway to many people's love of newspaper comics, and sometimes even to the newspaper comics that infuenced it.
* Ironically, one of the above's influences, ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'', likewise serves as an ideal gateway series for fans of newspaper comics.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' was a gateway to science fiction for many people when it first came out.
* ''Film/CrouchingTigerHiddenDragon'' was many people's gateway to {{Wuxia}}, or Asian cinema in general.
** ''{{Rashomon}}'' was among of the first Asian films to gain critical acclaim or widespread release in the United States, and was many people's (including many future filmmakers) first introduction to Japanese (and indeed, Asian) filming and story techniques and the works of Creator/AkiraKurosawa.
* ''Film/BatmanBegins'' set a standard of believability in ComicBook movies that eclipsed all previous attempts. This was successfully recreated in the ''Film/IronMan'' film and the standard was set once again with ''Film/TheDarkKnight''.
* ''{{Casablanca}}'' or ''Film/CitizenKane'' for classic films
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' has gotten plenty of people into {{B movie}}s and the SoBadItsGood aesthetic in general.
* The 2007 ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movie got a lot of people into the franchise. It is currently enjoying success it hasn't had in nearly 25 years. The toys had original shipping numbers based on the previous line (''Anime/TransformersCybertron''), only to find empty shelves for weeks while they scrambled to meet demands.
** ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' was a less-drastic but still notable example of the same thing. It goes to show that a good production will [[MerchandiseDriven sell more toys]] than a [[ProductPlacement movie designed to sell toys.]]
* The myriad of PhilipKDick adaptations (''Scanner Darkly'',''Total Recall'',''Paycheck'', ''Blade Runner'', ''Minority Report'') and also the WilliamGibson adaptation/basis of movies like ''Film/JohnnyMnemonic'' or ''Film/StrangeDays'' as an introduction into sci-fi beyond laser beams and space ships.
* While it was much less popular than ''Franchise/StarWars'', and had much less of an effect overall, ''Film/ChildrenOfMen'' apparently served as a gateway to science fiction. For some reason, it wasn't subjected to the SciFiGhetto itself, and its lack of self-conscious "coolness" allowed it to stand as an example of science fiction in general rather than an example of cool action-style sci-fi like ''Film/TheMatrix'' or ''TheTerminator''.
* The ''Franchise/{{Scream}}'' series did a lot to introduce young people in TheNineties to all the older horror movies that it referenced/parodied, to the point where it's credited with singlehandedly [[PopularityPolynomial reviving the genre]] after having been DeaderThanDisco for the better part of the decade.
** And [[TheFifties decades]] [[TheSixties before]] [[TheSeventies that]], late night showings of old Franchise/UniversalHorror movies by TV stations did the same for the baby boomers. To an extent, they still serve as great gateways for younger or more squeamish viewers, since UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode meant that the violence and sex was often minimal.
* Creator/TheCriterionCollection for art house and foreign films.
* In the [[LongRunner long running]] film review series, ''Series/SiskelAndEbert'', critics GeneSiskel and RogerEbert managed to convince at least a few of their viewers to give the [[{{Documentary}} documentaries]], small independent and foreign language films they praised a try.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Food and Drink]]
* Starbucks has gotten a lot of Americans into gourmet coffee, even if hipsters still scoff at them.
* Sushi is a gateway into Japanese cuisine for most Westerners.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: FurryFandom]]
As one of the larger general media fandoms, furs do have their own share of gateway series for many members of the fandom for varying reasons. Some of the main gateways are animated television series such as:
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' (the Minerva Mink shorts)
* ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers''
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes''
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' (though applies across '''all''' media)
* ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats''
* ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures''
* ''StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries'' -- Lt. M'Ress in particular
* ''JosieAndThePussycats'' from the early [[TheSeventies 70s]]

Then there are feature films that act as gateways.
* ''Disney/RobinHood''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH''
* ''Disney/TheLionKing''
* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda''

And literature:
* ''Literature/TheAnimalsOfFarthingWood''
* ''Literature/{{Redwall}}''
* ''Literature/WatershipDown''

And a few video games:
* ''SonicTheHedgehog''
* ''StarFox''
* ''SlyCooper''
* ''BanjoKazooie''
* ''ConkersBadFurDay''
* The ''SuperMarioBros'' franchise, mainly for the anthropomorphic characters like Bowser, Yoshi, etc.
* ''{{Pokemon}}''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* {{Fantasy}}:
** ''Literature/HarryPotter'' is a big gateway to fantasy novels, especially UrbanFantasy. It has also famously served as a gateway to ''books in general'' for people (children, teenagers and adults) who wouldn't normally read. Some MoralGuardians also think it's a [[EveryoneIsSatanInHell gateway series to witchcraft]], an idea that was spoofed in ''Website/TheOnion'' in an article that [[PoesLaw was sometimes cited by those that didn't get the joke.]]
** ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'': For HighFantasy.
** ''Literature/ChroniclesOfNarnia''
** ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''
** The ''{{Belgariad}}''
*** The drug metaphor is doubly apt as its own (now sadly deceased) author described it as "the literary equivalent of peddling dope."
** The ''[[Literature/TheWheelOfTime Wheel of Time]]'' was the gateway into the fantasy genre for a lot of nineties teens.
** Many people see the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' and ''TheLegendOfDrizzt'' novels as gateways to bigger and better things.
* ScienceFiction:
** ''Literature/{{Dune}}''
** ''Literature/{{Hyperion}}''
** ''Literature/{{Foundation}}''
** ''Literature/EndersGame''
** SandyMitchell's ''Literature/CiaphasCain'' and Creator/DanAbnett's ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' novels are good introductions to the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' Universe; being not quite as {{GRIMDARK}} as the rest, but introducing the concepts and names via genre mixing.
** While still a new series, ''Literature/TheHungerGames'' trilogy has been a gateway series for Dystopian Fiction. Before that, it was ''Literature/{{Nineteeneightyfour}}''.
** ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', also a gateway into British humor along with Creator/MontyPython.
* {{Romance}}:
** ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice''
** ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' does serve as a Gateway Series for many young readers to VampireFiction or even reading in general.
** ''FiftyShadesOfGrey'' is quickly becoming a GatewaySeries for erotica, and even getting people into BDSM in RealLife.
* {{Horror}}
** ''Literature/TheShining'' or ''Literature/{{It}}''
** In the 90s, ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'' got many kids into reading in general.
* Getting kids into reading in general is the reason SchoolStudyMedia exists.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' can be a gateway series for non-Brits to introduce them to British Telly, British sci-fi, or British culture in general. They may then move on to ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'' or something similar. Generally anything shown on PBS stations.
** As a sub-example, the Eight Doctor was intended as a gateway for American sci-fi fans to get into Doctor Who without a massive ArchivePanic, but the Ninth Doctor proved to be a much better and more popular entry point.
* Similarly, ''Series/DowntonAbbey'' might be to British Costume Drama what ''Doctor Who'' is to British Sci-Fi. ''Downton'' has become something of a surprise sleeper hit on American PBS stations. While ''Doctor Who'' might lead people to ''BeingHuman'' and ''{{Merlin}}'', ''Downton'' might lead them to the new ''UpstairsDownstairs'' and ''Series/TheHour.''
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' is an excellent show for getting people into sci-fi shows, with it involving modern day soldiers in a variety of settings and starting off with more of an action feel, before going deeper into the sci-fi.
** To a lesser extent, ''Series/StargateUniverse'' has attracted people previously uninterested in the Franchise/{{Stargate|Verse}} mythos to the franchise. Tycho of ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/2010/9/29/ wrote something to the effect of]] "I really didn't know much about Stargate other than that there are gates and they somehow involved stars but I like this show and am now interested."
* ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'' is a gateway series for those who entered Sentai fandom earlier than [[Series/JukenSentaiGekiranger Gekiranger]].
** This is because ''Deka'' was the first ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' series to be subbed in its entirety.
** And if it wasn't ''Deka'' it was ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger,'' since it came along right around the time most fans though that ''Power Rangers'' was going to be cancelled for good, and started looking elsewhere. ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' did this as well, especially because of the sheer awesomeness.
** Also, ''Series/HikoninSentaiAkibaranger'' is this for those growing up on just Anime and/or Franchise/PowerRangers.
* Your average western [[{{tokusatsu}} toku]] fan's story goes a little something like this: "Gee, I sure did like Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers when I was little! So wait, it's actually an adaptation of [[Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger a Japanese show]]? I think I'll check it out- wow, this sure is a good show!" And it goes on from there.
* A popular gateway series to ''Franchise/KamenRider'' is ''Series/KamenRiderDenO''. Only ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'' and ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' are like ''Den-O'' so it's not especially representative of ''Kamen Rider''.
** A more representative example for ''Franchise/KamenRider'' would be ''Series/KamenRiderRyuki'', as many of the trends and tropes used in modern Rider series were first used in Ryuki.
** Meanwhile, ''Series/KamenRiderV3'' can easily qualify as one to the various Showa-era series, due to being the only entry to get a legitimate R1 release.
* If it weren't for ''Franchise/StarTrek'' there probably wouldn't be half as many sci fi nerds as there are now. In fact, there probably wouldn't be as many people in the space industry.
* ''Series/{{Skins}}'' was also a gateway series to British Shows like ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' and ''TheInbetweeners''.
* ''IronChef'' was a gateway series on two levels, one for the CookingShow genre and two, for Japanese Game Shows in general.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' can be this for those who don't know or didn't pay any attention to JossWhedon, particularly those who were a little too young to be into ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' in its heyday and/or are turned off from the whole vampire thing by [[Literature/{{Twilight}} other franchises]].
* ''Series/{{Rescue 911}}'' has been this to Crime, Survival, and rescue shows. Not to mention, a couple people who watched the show in TheNineties were inspired in part by this show to become Police officers, firefighters, emergency dispatchers, and paramedics.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' seemed to attract a certain segment of viewers who weren't otherwise sci-fi fans.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'' is a combination of a MilitaryAndWarfareTelevision and LawProcedural, so it could be argued that it may serve as a gateway to either genre.
* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', ''Series/MrBean'', ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' and ''Series/FawltyTowers'' to British comedy in general.
* ''Series/{{QI}}'' frequently serves as an introduction to the concept of the British PanelShow for non-Brits, being one of the most popular and acclaimed of the genre.
* In the 90's, Nickelodeon dived heavily into GenreRoulette, with an incredibly diverse and varied collection of live-action programming that spanned almost every conceivable genre. For kids who grew up during that time, something on Nickelodeon probably served as a kid-friendly gateway to your genre of choice, ranging from sitcoms (''Series/ClarissaExplainsItAll'', ''Series/TheAdventuresOfPeteAndPete'',) sketch comedy (''Series/YouCantDoThatOnTelevision'',) mystery (''Series/TheMysteryFilesOfShelbyWoo'',) sci-fi (''Series/TheTomorrowPeople,'' ''Series/SpaceCases'',) even horror (''Series/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark'')
* ''Series/BoysBeforeFlowers'' is known for being one of the most popular {{Korean Drama}}s and introducing many western fans to the genre.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* With the help of Website/YouTube, Straight No Chaser and their [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28GUU1YbP_E humorous renditon of "The 12 Days of Christmas"]] make a nice gateway into ''a cappella'' groups such as the Clef Hangers.
** Not to mention Rockapella's appearances on ''Series/WhereInTheWorldIsCarmenSandiego'', probably the first exposure many had to ''a cappella'' groups in the 90s.
** Since Woodstock and through much of the 80's, Sha Na Na occupied the same position as gateway group to ''a cappella'' singing, sharing it with The Manhattan Transfer. Which group was your gateway primarily depended on your age and whether your preferred musical style was doo-wop rock-and-roll or swing/jazz.
** In the 60's and early 70's it was The Swingle Singers.
* The music composed for shows such as ''Series/DoctorWho'' or ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' can be a gateway for more classical music and famous composers.
* For many, Music/DaftPunk have been a gateway into the world of House Electronic music.
** Similarly, Music/AphexTwin is one of the most well-known electronica artists in the world, and is often the first one people listen to before exploring others.
** Music/{{Skrillex}} has become arguably the biggest electronic music gateway artist '''ever.'''
** {{deadmau5}} and other more experimental [=EDM=] artists can sometimes attract more rock-oriented fans not only because of their elclectic sound, but also just because of ''[[NiceGuy how damn nice]]'' they are.
* GreenDay, Music/{{Nirvana}}, [=AgainstMe=]! and NOFX are all punk bands who, though derided for going "mainstream" often act as Gateways to real underground and DIY punk rock.
** Same with TheOffspring
* Some of the more mainstream [[NuMetal nu-metal]] bands like LinkinPark, {{Slipknot}}, and Music/Korn, while not particularly heavy (though heavy enough to be metal), have served as good Gateways to much heavier and varied subgenres of the heavy metal musical umbrella.
** And on that note, bands like Music/{{Metallica}}, Music/{{Megadeth}}, Music/{{Slayer}}, Music/{{Anthrax}} Music/BlackSabbath, Music/JudasPriest, Music/IronMaiden and Music/DreamTheater tend to be common gateway bands into more obscure or specific subgenres of metal. A lot of people tend to get into metal through Music/AliceInChains, too.
** SystemOfADown are a gateway band in metal, especially for people getting into death metal, noise metal, folk metal, and punk metal.
*** With the [[BreakthroughHit Toxicity]] album, the band could also be credited with making many of the more conservative metal fans less sceptic about alternative/nu-metal.
** Some songs of Music/{{Nightwish}} and WithinTemptation making it into the pop music charts made and make some people interested in SymphonicMetal, if not Metal in general.
** Music/OzzyOsbourne's solo career acted as gateway to Music/BlackSabbath and to metal in general in the early 2000s, when other (proper) metal had a hard stand in the world of music.
* Pendulum is this for Drum'n'Bass. Although before them, there was Music/{{Goldie}}.
* TheProdigy brought an audience of [[AlternativeRock alties]] in TheNineties to electronic dance music in general, thanks to being just harsh enough to appeal to them while maintaining their electronic roots.
* ''AceCombat Zero: The Belkan War'''s usage of Hispanic-styled music has led many to look into the style.
* {{Enya}} serves a gateway to both Celtic music and New Age music.
* Music/{{Nirvana}}, and to a lesser extent Music/PearlJam, serve as a gateway to grunge at first, and then to alternative music in general. Sometimes this also leads to non-mainstream music of other genres in general.
* Music/JoyDivision often serves as a gateway to all manner of 70s and 80s punk, post-punk and goth bands.
* Music/PinkFloyd have become this for ProgressiveRock, due to their relative accessibility compared with most prog bands. Music/{{Yes}}, Music/{{Genesis}} and Music/{{Rush}} are also common gateways for the same reason.
* RedHotChiliPeppers are a gateway into funk for many people.
* BobMarley&TheWailers are the usual gateway into reggae and dub. Also, they've covered many songs from the mento, calypso, soul, doo wop, funk and African genres which means that hearing the originals can often attract people to those genres as well.
* Music/TheClash are a gateway into many genres such as punk, rock and roll, reggae and dub.
* Jamiroquai's early work in the acid jazz style is a gateway into latin jazz.
* Many rap musicians who sample from groove and jazz records find this, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Grand Puba, Digable Planets and A Tribe Called Quest for instance all sample from Funk and Jazz records which often leads to people finding the origins of the samples.
* Chances are, if someone was born and raised in America and is a fan of any or all metal from Germany, {{Rammstein}} is responsible.
** Unless you were around in TheEighties; in which case, it was probably {{Accept}} or TheScorpions.
* Music/{{Japan}} (the band) and their solo work are known for introducing people to piano music such as Erik Satie as well as Japanese music such as Music/YellowMagicOrchestra. Sylvian's solo work also is a gateway into the ambient and new age genres.
* Outside of Japan, ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'' could be considered a gateway series for the music of ThePillows, and Japanese alternative and indie rock music as a whole.
* Due to the band's brief American pop radio success in the mid-2000's, ModestMouse were a gateway band into the world of indie rock for many future fans of the genre.
* For listeners who don't remember the 1960s (for reasons other than drugs), Music/TheBeatles can function as a gateway band for music of that decade and "oldies" in general.
* Any time a song is used in a movie/TV show/game/etc., it gets people into that song or band.
* Mumford & Sons is a gateway to the British Folk genre, and in turn indie music. Coldplay can also be considered a gateway into indie music.
** Perhaps the best example of the last DECADE is Kids by MGMT. Without that, songs like 1901 by Phoenix and Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People would not become popular. Both this and the above example of Mumford led to Adele having a worldwide smash and Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know hitting number one for weeks and weeks.
* MilesDavis for {{jazz}} in general, and ''Kind of Blue'' in particular, but also, due to his many [[GenreShift Genre Shifts]] and his enormous fame, for a number of jazz subgenres, including cool jazz, hard bop, post-bop, and fusion.
** By virtue of the ''{{Peanuts}}'' specials, especially ''ACharlieBrownChristmas'', there is the music of Music/VinceGuaraldi.
* For many in the '90s, ScatmanJohn was a gateway to [[{{Scatting}} scat singing]].
* Music/{{Radiohead}}, thanks to their incredibly successful fusion of icy post-modern electronica and grungy alternative rock, can be a gateway to BoardsOfCanada, Music/AphexTwin, {{Autechre}}, and other electronic artists for fans of ThreeChordsAndTheTruth who might have otherwise written off electronic music as 'fake' or boring.
* Music/{{Eminem}} for rap music in a way. Being the most successful rapper, and an abnormality due to people's preconceptions of skin color with rap music, probably has something to do with it.
** KanyeWest as well, thanks to the critical acclaim he's garnered.
** Long before either of them, though, there was Music/PublicEnemy and Music/{{NWA}}.
** In the eighties, it was probably Music/RunDMC or the Music/BeastieBoys.
* 3oh!3 is the most successful crunkcore artist for better or worse, so naturally it's safe to assume they're a gateway...
* Chances are Miku Hatsune will be your first experience with {{Vocaloid}}.
* Music/TheBeatles and Music/TheBeachBoys for [[TheSixties '60s]] pop.
* Music/TheBeachBoys' ''Music/PetSounds'' album for BaroquePop.
* If you're a rock fan who got into country, Gram Parsons is most likely responsible.
** Alternatively, Music/JohnnyCash, thanks to the ''American Recordings'' albums.
* Music/BBKing, as the still-reigning King of the Blues.
* Music/JustinBieber has created a massive resurgence of teen pop. While many Bieberesque singers and boy bands started their careers after his took off, only one such act has had comparable success to Bieber: Music/OneDirection.
* Music/NineInchNails for IndustrialMetal.
[[/folder]]


[[folder:New Media]]
* [[Wiki/TVTropes Look no further than the very website which you happen to be browsing]] at this [[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife (probably) late hour.]] How many books, TV shows, etc. were ''you'' blissfully unaware of before coming here but [[TVTropesAsAGatewayDrug now have a sudden unrequited urge to experience?]]
* WebAnimation/YouTubePoop introduces many younger people who weren't able to watch them when they first aired to cartoon adaptations of popular video games such as ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'', to the ''Philips CD-i'' as well as ''Volvic'' mineral water, ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' and since the rise of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwoOWTABYbk #71519 fad]] to ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic''.
* [[FanVid AMVs and fanvids]] in general.
* [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment The Spoony One]], and his review of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' in particular, introduced a lot of people who came in late to internet reviewers, and specifically the critics on Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses. (Given the amount the reviewers cameo in each other's videos, someone who starts with one will soon be aware of most of the main cast.)
* If you didn't get into TheSlenderManMythos through MarbleHornets, you probably got into it through Creepypasta or the PC game.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* If you're a wrestling fan under 30, with very few exceptions, you started out watching [[Wrestling/{{WWE}} WWF]] or {{WCW}}. As well, chances are you still watch WWE.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* The hobby of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortwave_listening shortwave listening]] can eventually lead to the hobby of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio ham radio operating.]] It can work the other way around, too.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Software]]
* Mandriva Linux and Ubuntu are meant to be easy-to-set-up, easy-to-use gateways into the world of Linux, as reflected in Ubuntu's slogan, "Linux for human beings", and with people often switching to more complex distros such as Red Hat, Fedora or [=openSUSE=], and some of them later graduating to technical distros such as Debian, Gentoo, Slackware, Arch, or even leaving Linux and switching to [=BSD=] or [=OpenSolaris=].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' Fourth Edition in particular has been rather successful at being friendly to new players.
** New editions of ''D&D'' in general seem to do this. Much the same thing happened when 3rd Edition came out, and the gaming scene in general saw a big boost in the wake of the open-content d20 System.
*** With a few exceptions; Jonny-Come-Latelies joining at the height of 3.5 (Or now since 4th edition groups are rather rare) would probably find themselves ''swarmed'' with dozens upon ''dozens'' (if not even a hundred or more) of the various kinds of books, including but not limited to the player's handbook, monster manual, magical items, expansion books, class-detail books (Like ''Complete Divine''), update books, and more.
** Has also been used [[ItsPopularNowItSucks negatively]] by gamers in reference to D&D. Some gamers, for instance, feel that ''D&D'' is a shallower and less "worthy" part of the tabletop gaming industry and that it's so popular ''only'' because it's so easy to get into.
* ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' of the ''OldWorldOfDarkness'' has been a more recent gateway game.
** Particularly its simplicity compared to ''D&D'' and its modern horror setting has meant that its attractive to a lot of people who otherwise might not be interested in role playing. It also is pretty much focused on letting the players be anti-heros (or outright bad guys) which is definitely more attractive to the angsty teens.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}}'' is often a gateway to TabletopGames as a whole. You start with 40k after coming across it as a teen, then after a few years you might move along and start playing spin-off game or even ''WarhammerFantasy''. If you play at a multi-gaming club, you'll probably end up at the very least being interested in those systems as well and there's no telling just how many you might get into.
* Board games such as ''[=HeroQuest=]'', or the ''Fighting Fantasy'' and ''Lone Wolf'' books often serve as a gateway to Tabletop RPG gaming.
* ''Tunnels And Trolls'' was explicitly designed as a simpler, easier-to-play clone of ''D&D'', in an attempt to bring in new gamers. It never did achieve the popularity of ''D&D'', but there is a sizable group of tabletop gamers that cut their teeth on ''T&T''.
* Western Computer [=RPGs=], like ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' or ''VideoGame/StarWarsKnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', particularly ones based on an existing system like ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' or ''TheDarkEye'', often result in players making the leap from video games to tabletop games.
* The ''Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure'' and ''FightingFantasy'' books were a gateway for many roleplayers of the 80s.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Pokemon}}'' and ''[[Tabletopgame/YuGiOh Yu-Gi-Oh!]]'' card game led eventually to ''MagicTheGathering'' for lots of players. Helped by the fact that a lot of sanctioned tournaments of the former shared venues with tournaments for the latter. Also, the huge media presence (straddling many years) and child-friendly image of both ''Pokémon'' and ''Yu-Gi-Oh'' practically guarantees that these will be the first CCGs people get into.
** And, in turn, a number of ''Magic'' pros who become accustomed to making high-stakes probabilistic decisions end up transitioning to poker (most notably David Williams).
** ''Duels of the Planeswalkers'' is another avenue for new players; specifically those in the video game world.
* ''TheDarkEye'' is the Gateway system in German-speaking countries, despite beeing the deepest system around.
* ''SettlersOfCatan'' is well known for getting people who thought they outgrew board games back into them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* ''{{RENT}}'', ''Theatre/LesMiserables'', ''Theatre/AvenueQ'', and ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'' for [[TheMusical musicals]].
* Creator/CirqueDuSoleil's various shows have introduced a lot of people, particularly in North America, to the contemporary circus genre.
* Mozart's Singspiel ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute'' because it is often performed in the local language, has dialogue in addition to singing, a fairytale-like story and wonderful music. If you ever saw an opera as a child, odds are high that it was ''The Magic Flute''. Also, to a lesser extent, ''Theatre/TheMarriageOfFigaro''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* After TheGreatVideoGameCrashOf1983, people thought gaming was dead... but then enters ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' bundled with the [=NES=]...
** Related to it, practically everyone got into {{Platform Game}}s due to ''Mario'' and ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog''.
** For PC gamers, ''VideoGame/CommanderKeen'' or ''VideoGame/JillOfTheJungle'' is likely to take this role.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' was a gateway {{RPG}} for a lot of players -- to the detriment of the genre, some might argue. And it doubled as a bit of a gateway introduction to anime as well.
** It was also a gateway to [=PlayStation=] games in general.
** The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series as a whole can be considered a gateway to [=RPGs=].
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'' is a a very good introductory RPG too.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyMysticQuest'' was deliberately designed to be a gateway to [=RPGs=], simplifying the gameplay dramatically. Unforunately, not only did it fail to attract the mainstream as expected, but RPG fans derided the game [[ItsEasySoItSucks for being extremely easy]] [[ClicheStorm and formulaic.]]
** Tim Schafer's ''VideoGame/CostumeQuest'' is extremely short and easy because it was meant to introduce very young children to [=RPGs=].
* The ''BaldursGate'' series, the ''Fanchise/MassEffect'' series, and the ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series frequently serve as gateways to the Western Computer RPG genre.
* Not only can ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' count as a gateway to anime, it's also a gateway to the {{Mons}} genre and to some extent to [=RPGs=] and hardcore gaming in general.
* Many games designed by Creator/{{Nintendo}} for the DS, Wii, and [=WiiU=] were intended to be gateway videogames for people who never tried them before -- like ''WiiSports'', ''Nintendogs'', ''VideoGame/EliteBeatAgents'', ''VideoGame/NintendoLand'', and so on.
** Nintendo has the reputation of being the video game company that makes games to introduce people to video games who never played them before, something that the company openly states being their goal. Of course, some people don't [[AccentuateTheNegative say it like that]].
** In fact, let's just say [[CasualVideoGame Casual Games]] in general, though there can also be Gateway Games for certain ''types'' of Casual Games as well (e.g. ''Videogame/DinerDash'' for time management games).
* The ''Tony Hawk'' games are a two-way gateway -- they've gotten a lot of skaters into gaming, but it's when they get gamers into skateboarding that HilarityEnsues.
* The ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros.'' series has a wide variety of Nintendo characters, and some players might become more interested in the individual series if they see a character they'd never heard of before. [[MarthDebutedInSmashBros The appearance of Marth and Roy in Melee for example]], led to the introduction of the ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' series to the US.
** ''Brawl'' even has demos of several of the characters' starring games.
** The Smash series as a whole serves as a gateway for the fighting games, specifically the MascotFighter genre due to its easy controls.
* This is the intention behind the [[{{Kirby}} Kirby]] series. The games are easy enough that someone who has never played an [[ActionGame action]] [[PlatformGame platformer]] before can get through the main game and see the ending, but at the same time offer extra challenges for older gamers seeking [[{{HundredPercentCompletion}} 100% Completion]]. Many of these fans then go on to play other games in the genre.
* A variation of this trope: a lot of people become regular readers of GameFAQs after getting stuck in GuideDangIt moments.
* New instalments of long-time series such as ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' -- espeically ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' -- tend to be gateways for modern players into the world of retro gaming, especially those curious about references to characters from previous games.
** If not into the world of retro gaming, then certainly the world of metroidvanias.
* "People who don't like video games like ''{{Myst}}''."
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' is the most infamously addictive MMORPG out there nowadays, but those who have played it and quit often try to seek out other MMO's afterward.
** Related: For some kids, ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' has acted as a gateway to ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' for Multi-player [[FirstPersonShooter FPS]]. (Arguably before then, it was ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'') Being a launch title for the Xbox, many gamers who did not play [[FirstPersonShooter FPS]]s before played it. It's argued that ''Halo'' was the killer app that allowed the Xbox to compete in its early days against the wildly successful Playstation 2. So that's gotta count for something.
** ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Counter-Strike}}'' would like to contest this claim as well.
*** As of recent, ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' and ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' have become recent popular examples of gateway multiplayer FPS's.
* ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'', a stealth simulator, was marketed as a big new twist on the overinflated FirstPersonShooter genre. It got quite a few action gamers interested in stealth games.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' served an almost identical function to ''Thief'' on an entirely different system. Also, due to its slow-paced gameplay, its focus on storytelling and the ability of the player to [[TalkingIsAFreeAction pause the action to talk to the other characters about trivial things]], it also makes a great gateway series for people raised on {{JRPG}}s trying to break into {{Action Game}}s.
** Though it's rather complex for someone who has never touched a controller before, ''MGS'' has also been promoted as a counterargument to people who believe in the Video Game Ghetto--IE, that the terms "video game" and "true art" are mutually exclusive.
* If you stick around the ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' community long enough, you may come to try out other {{Rhythm Game}}s -- up until the release of ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'', this would be things like ''{{beatmania}} IIDX'' and ''Dance [=ManiaX=]''.
** Although for a lot of people it now works the other way around, with ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'' or ''VideoGame/RockBand'' being the gateway game that leads them to discover ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution''.
*** This can also work across media -- ''Guitar Hero'' and ''Rock Band'' inspire people to buy and get into music from the games.
*** These two games can also turn people on to real instruments. HilarityEnsues when they realize a real guitar's nothing like the plastic controller.
** Of course, neither of these games would have been possible if ''VideoGame/ParappaTheRapper'' hadn't opened up the world of rhythm gaming to start.
*** For people who play RhythmGames without the hand for ''Guitar Hero'' or ''Rock Band'', ''Parappa the Rapper'' and ''VideoGame/RhythmHeaven'' are both known to turn people into rhythm fanatics less on the instrument/physical side, and more on the technical/mental side.
* ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' does this for 2D fighting games. The series is relatively user friendly and easy to pick up and play, leading many in more complicated games like ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear''.
** Tekken3 was extremely influential on the popularity of 3D fighting games, and SoulCalibur was this for weapon-based games.
* Play one addictive puzzle game, and you're bound to wind up hunting for more. ''VideoGame/{{Peggle}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}'' are good examples.
* Many gamers' first RealTimeStrategy game was ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} II'', and for good reason, too. The graphics are nice to look at, the mechanics are fairly simple compared to other RTS games, and most importantly, it's a lot of fun (including against your friends, even if they do kick your butt in 95% of the games you play with them).
** If your first RTS wasn't ''Warcraft II'', then it was probably ''{{Starcraft}}''.
** ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianDawn'' and ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'' are also common gateways.
** As is ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII''.
* The ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' series can potentially be a good GatewaySeries for many GiantRobot {{Anime}}, considering that the plot for each game basically takes the plot of every series involved in the MassiveMultiplayerCrossover and shoves them all together.
* Nintendo games almost always serve this trope, but this console generation aiming for this has basically become their entire marketing strategy. The self-proclaimed "hardcore" gamers may lament that women and old people are getting in on their hobby, but it's hard to fault Nintendo when they're clearly getting results -- games and systems, Nintendo and otherwise, are selling better than they ever have even in the economic recession.
* The HumongousEntertainment games were designed to be like this.
* Although ''VideoGame/{{Rogue}}'' was, by definition, the first {{Roguelike}}, many fans of the genre get their start with the TropeCodifier, ''VideoGame/NetHack'', leading into more difficult games like ''VideoGame/{{Angband}}'', and a greater acceptance for ASCII games in general.
** ''VideoGames/{{Powder}}'' and ''ShirenTheWanderer'' are good gateway roguelikes for those discouraged by the complexity (and ASCII-ness) of NetHack and company.
** For people who are newer to the rogue-like genre, ''VideoGame/DungeonsOfDredmor'' and 'VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac'' have eased people into the generally rather NintendoHard genre of rogue-likes, due to the inclusion of full graphics (that is, it's not text- or ASCII-based).
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' has introduced many a gamer to the wonderful world of BulletHell shmups.
** For some people, ''[[VideoGame/DonPachi DoDonPachi]]'', ''Batsgun'' or ''VideoGame/BattleGaregga'', especially if they play arcade games a lot.
*** Actually, ''Do Don Pachi'' is the TropeCodifier for BulletHell, while ''Batsgun'' is the TropeMaker.
* Although two games predate it (in America, at least), ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' was the GatewaySeries to ''Franchise/TalesSeries'' for a lot of Western fans. It being one of the better [=RPGs=] on the [=GameCube=] meant that it drew a lot of attention from people who had previously dismissed the previous games in the series. Also, ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' to an extent, purely because it was for the [=PS2=].
* Quite a few people have been introduced to either the First-Person Shooter genre, PC gaming, or both by way of ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''.
** Thanks to [=TF2=] being Creator/{{Valve|Software}}'s top-selling and most successful product, it has also gotten countless people who hadn't played Valve's other games into those games. ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' has done the same.
* Sakevisual, the artist of REAlistair, wants her game [[http://sakevisual.blogspot.com/2010/06/eight-reasons-why-you-should-plug-re.html to become a gateway series]] for fans who don't yet know about [[RomanceGame otome games]].
* InteractiveFiction started the AdventureGame genre, but many felt it to be too inaccessible. The move to graphic adventures was fairly rapid, but despite some awesome games like ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'' and ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion'' they remained a niche genre for several years. Then LucasArts (at the time still a strict part of Lucasfilm) went and made a game called ''VideoGame/{{Loom}}'', one of the most accessible adventure games ever created. This created a veritable explosion in the PC adventure game market, which ended almost a decade later. And for those who were not yet fully convinced, Lucas Arts followed the left punch with the right soon thereafter, giving us the most famous PC Adventure Game ever created, ''VideoGame/TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' are good start for those interested in the Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei series, seeing how they're generally considered the most accessible of SMT games (except for ''Persona 3'', whose PS2 versions were very rare for a while, until it was brought to PSN). In fact, the original ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'' was designed to be an easier SMT in hopes of getting more teenagers interested in the main series.
* VideoGame/TheSims, with its broad market appeal, was many people's gateway to videogaming in general.
* {{VideoGame/Kingdom Hearts}} got a lot of people who had not yet played FinalFantasy into the series, as well as garnering interest in any Disney film the player might not have seen yet.
* ''VideoGame/PokerNightAtTheInventory'' got a lot of ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' fans into ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'' and ''Webcomic/PennyArcade''.
** ''VideoGame/PokerNight2'' seems to be doing the same for ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' and ''Franchise/EvilDead''.
* ''VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy'' was basically a ton of video game worlds mashed together into one giant NintendoHard experience. While the areas and bosses are generally well known (except for the final boss, an original character) some of the music is a little more obscure, like the Castle of the Guy theme being from ''Monty on the Run'' and the theme for the Final Tower of the Guy and the final boss's first form being from ''EvoSearchForEden.'' This game opened games like those up to more players.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'' series is a frequent gateway to the strategy genre, particularly the TurnBasedStrategy and FourX subgenres.
* The ''VideoGame/SegaSuperstars[=/=]All-Stars'' series has helped gain new fans for old Sega franchises.
* ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend'' introduced younger gaming audiences to a plethora of music they might not have known or shown interest in before, leading newcomers to the genre of HeavyMetal.
* ''VideoGame/{{Braid}}'' served as a gateway into independent {{Art Game}}s.
* The VideoGame/PurpleMoon games were actually designed to be gateway series. Three related series (well, two series with multiple instalments plus one StillbornFranchise) sharing the same characters but different genres, they were produced after extensive market research to attract girls ages 8-12 to games -- and thus to computers -- and keep them from abandoning science and technology.
* Part of the reason ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' is so hated by many fans of the older ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' games is that this was an EnforcedTrope for it. Bethesda made little secret of the fact that it wasn't making it for longtime fans, but instead wanted something to bring new people into the world of ''Fallout''.
* VideoGame/{{Minecraft}} has gotten a lot of people into {{indie game}}s.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* A main gateway series to {{Visual Novel}}s is arguably ''{{Tsukihime}}'', and in a broader sense, the ''MeltyBlood'' fighting game series. While some eroge can surely bring with them a great story and be classified as PornWithPlot, it usually isn't [[FetishFuel marketed]] or [[PornWithoutPlot seen that way]] in the West. Many a Visual Novel has been consumed since then, and since something as broad as Visual Novels is rather variated, rather guiding newcomers to ''{{Planetarian}}'', and from there:
* Those that may be averse to 18+ material to ''{{Ever17}}'' or ''VisualNovel/KiraKira'' (the all ages version)
* Those with a unique taste to [[VisualNovel/GSenjouNoMaou anything by]] [[VisualNovel/SharinNoKuni Looseboy]], [[VisualNovel/SayaNoUta Urobuchi Gen]], [[{{Tsukihime}} Kinoko]] [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight Nasu]], or [[KanaLittleSister Ro]][[FamilyProject meo]] [[CrossChannel Tanaka]]
* And those looking for gameplay or humor (or both) to ''VideoGame/GalaxyAngel'' or the ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' series.
* KatawaShoujo is one partly because it is English Language {{Freeware}}, partly because its relation to [[ImageBoards 4chan]] and its concept as a DisabledLoveInterest HGame made it [[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity somewhat famous]], and partly because it is well made.
** KatawaShoujo is such a GatewaySeries that it made the '''front page''' of GameFaqs as the top of the list of 10 Most Wanted Faqs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' in general is a Gateway Drug, since [[ColbertBump many of the things that Tycho links to in his blog end up getting hit by a surge of readers/viewers]]. This happened with ''[[WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog Doctor Horrible]]'', ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'', and ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo''.
** ''MegaTokyo'' itself is often a GatewaySeries to webcomics for anime fans.
* {{Webcomic/xkcd}} is also a common entry point into the world of webcomics.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Disney Animation, and perhaps WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes serve as a gateway into the widely varied world of animation.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' serves as an introduction into the DCAU, and to the overall Batman mythos.
** As with the film adaptations, animated TV adaptations of comic books in general often introduce many people to the characters and the setting.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has undoubtedly opened the minds of many to the ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' franchise, and it seems to have opened the door for young adults, both male and female, to watch shows for little girls.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'' introduced a lot of people to the Spider-Man mythos in the nineties.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'' introduced many to the metal genre, similar to the ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend'' example above (which may have been why Eddie Riggs met Dethklok in a crossover commercial).
[[/folder]]
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