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Franchise: DCLAU
The Disney Channel Live-Action Universe.

That's So Raven was Disney's most popular show since Lizzie McGuire. This directly led to the creation of more Standard—WITH A TWIST! Disney Kid Coms, including The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (it and then-newcomer Hannah Montana would be the most renewednote  shows in all of Disney Channel History). As That's So Raven ended (and its spin-off Cory in the House, came onto the air), a gap was made in Disney's live-action entertainment and thus, with the popularity of High School Musical, further live-action Kid Coms were punched out.

The Verse in which the shows exist was first established with 2006's That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana, followed by 2007's and 2009's Wish Gone Amiss Weekend and Wizards On Deck with Hannah Montana, respectively. I'm In The Band episode "Weasels On Deck" placed it into the DCLAU, and showed that Disney XD shows could be in the DCLAU as well. With Zeke and Luther's crossover with Peter Punk, the DCLAU now expands to internationally produced series, and with Jessie's crossover with Ultimate Spider-Man it can even be linked to animated series (specifically the Marvel Universe).

Compare Disney Channel Animated Universe for Disney's animated equivalent and Nick Verse for Nickelodeon's equivalent. Not to be confused with the DCAU.

Series confirmed to be in the Disney Channel Live-Action Universe:

The Disney Channel Live-Action Universe links:

Shows which may be in the Disney Channel Live-Action Universe but have yet to be confirmed:

Shows linked to the DCLAU through Recursive Canon only:
  • Sonny With A Chance (and by extension, So Random!) - The shows in the DCLAU are consistently referred to as fictional.
  • High School Musical - Suite Life of Zack and Cody confirm it exists as a fictional movie series only within the DCLAU; their school puts on High School Musical as their actual high school musical, and Maddie refers to HSM star Ashley Tisdale:
    Maddie: Some people even say I look like Ashley Tisdale!
    Zack: I don't see it!
  • Madison High (an unaired pilot starring Dog With a Blog's G. Hannelius) explicitly exists in the High School Musical universe and thus would have been fictional in the main DCLAU as well.

Shows which are not in the DCLAU (aka Disney Channel independents):
  • Lizzie McGuire - The spiritual predecessor to the DCLAU, it has not been referenced in modern shows and was produced in a different format (a one camera setup as opposed to multi-camera) than the majority of DCLAU shows.
  • Even Stevens - Like Lizzie McGuire, it has not been referenced and has a different format.
  • Phil of the Future - Same as Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens.
  • JONAS - In the series, the main trio is known as the Lucas Brothers and portray only expies of their real-world selves. This is in contrast to their appearance on Hannah Montana, where the explicitly named Jonas Brothers act as they would in real life.
  • My Babysitter's a Vampire - Though it airs on the same channel, it is a Canadian import, not produced by Disney.
  • Mr Young - Another Canadian import made by a non-Disney house.
  • It's generally accepted that any Canadian production or co-production on Disney Channel and Disney XD thus far exists in a completely separate canon from the DCLAU.
  • Thus far, no series produced prior to That's So Raven have been connected to the DCLAU. Likewise, no DCOMs which aren't directly adapted from DCLAU shows have been included in the universe (and it's possible even some of the DCLAU-adapted DCOMs might exist only on a quasi-canon status, or even in a complete non-canon status including the Wizards of Waverly Place movie).

Tropes constant across the DCLAU

  • All There in the Manual: While not necessary to enjoy the shows, the information hosted on Disney Channel's website fills in a lot of the backstory behind the plots and characters. Is useful if you're dropping into the middle of something both plot- and continuity-heavy like Wizards.
  • Alternate History: Apparently, President Martinez takes the place of George W. Bush in the DCLAU, since by the Hannah Montana episode "Hannah Montana to the Principal's Office", Barack Obama is president.
  • Bigger Bad: Almost all DCLAU Show's have a Big Bad, but on Wizard of Waverly Place, Gorog seems to be the devil of the universe.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Done in kind of a weird manner in that often the characters will deliver a punch line and look directly at the camera while doing so, but not quite acknowledging that there is a fourth wall. It's just very weird.
  • California Doubling: Averted with surprising frequency in that a few of the series actually take place in California, but outside of The Movie filming virtually never leaves a Burbank soundstage.
  • Canon Welding: The three main founding shows of the universe (That's So Raven, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Hannah Montana) were initially not connected at all. However, when Disney Channel got the idea for That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana, the shows were connected to be in the same universe (which itself had then been immediately established). As of this writing, Disney Channel continues to use this tactic to connect more shows to the universe.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Subverted. Alyson Stoner and Ashley Tisdale all coexist with their characters in the DCLAU.
    • Played with as well. In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Cody tells Max that she's a better dancer than the girl in the Missy Eliot video; both are portrayed by Alyson Stoner. Also in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Maddie believe that she looks exactly like Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay, to which everyone else replies with "I don't see it."
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Pretty common in most Disney Channel live action comedies, actually, though some shows have more of it than others. On the more sociopathic side of the scale you have Wizards of Waverly Place and A.N.T. Farm, and on the other you have Good Luck Charlie.
  • Cowboy Be Bop At His Computer: As children's programming has always been a hot topic, there will be frequent "experts" who have much to opine without actually having basic knowledge of the shows they're talking about. Take these two articles - whatever the validity of their argument, their points are not helped with some very basic factual errors. Misspelling series names (iCarly is simply Carly, JESSIE is JESSE - and to boot, a screenshot from that show is attributed to Wizards of Waverly Place), much attention has been given over to shows that have been canceled, etc. Much of this would have been avoided if only they visited the shows' IMDb pages.
  • Crossover: The series' in the DCLAU constantly crossover with each other, usually placing a new series into the DCLAU. "Take This Job and Love It!" was a crossover between Hannah Montana and Cory in the House and "Weasels On Deck" was a crossover between I'm In The Band and The Suite Life on Deck.
    • Crisis Crossover: The specials That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana and Wizards On Deck with Hannah Montana.
    • Red Skies Crossover/Cross Through: The Wish Gone Amiss Weekend, in which, rather than interact, three shows were impacted by the same event (a magic shooting star). There were also the Lunar Eclipse episodes of Kickin' It ("Invasion of the Ghost Pirates"), Lab Rats ("Principal from Another Planet") and Mighty Med ("Night of the Living Nightmare"), which all aired on the night of an actual lunar eclipse and featured paranormal occurrences thanks to the eclipse.
    • Common Crossover:
  • Continuity Overlap: The single episodes in each series' that are a part of the Crisis Crossovers usually have an impact on other episodes in the crossovers, so much that it becomes downright confusing if you miss part of a crossover. Examples of this are Raven missing her flight in "Checkin' Out", causing her to stay in Boston in "That's So Suite Life Of Hannah Montana", and Bailey and Alex cheating in the Hannah Montana tug-of-war challenge in "Cast-Away (To Another Show)", which leads to Bailey trying to find another way to get concert tickets in "Double-Crossed".
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: A solid Disney tradition given how many shows promote musical talent, though there are notable exceptions (both Suite Life series and Shake it Up being some of the most prominent subversions, though the latter's is still sung by Selena Gomez).
  • Executive Meddling: Most prominently and visibly, when all of the shows are mandated to have a common theme or plotline to promote said common theme (a "mystery weekend" where all of the shows have plots centered around solving a mystery or a "vacation getaway weekend" where all of the shows focus on the main characters getting away on a vacation). Don't be surprised if at least one of the shows puts a serious Lampshade Hanging on how ridiculous or out of place such a contrived plotline seems, if not a more blatant Take That (the Scooby-Doo ShoutOuts on "Whodunnit Up?" being a borderline example for the latter).
    • The various Crossovers being another example of Disney Channel Executive Meddling in practice.
    • So Random!! an example of an entire show being created/ReTooled half because of Executive Meddling (the other half due to the departure of Sonny With A Chance star Demi Lovato - really, the executives were just trying their best to salvage the situation)
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: With few exceptions (presently only That's So Raven and Wizards), every series has ended at about 65-75 episodes. Hannah Montana did come very close, though.
    • Good Luck Charlie has been renewed for a fourth (and likely final) season (now the third series to likely reach 100 episodes), potentially indicating that 100 episodes may be the new benchmark.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: It's almost a proud tradition.
  • High Concept: With only one real exception (Good Luck Charlie), all of the shows in the DCLAU have followed the high concept formula, and a few (That's So Raven, Wizards of Waverly Place, Dog With A Blog, Lab Rats, Crash & Bernstein, and Mighty Med) are all completely fantastical.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Obviously for the DCLAU as a whole (and regarding the combined rosters of crossover events), but many individual shows in the DCLAU tend to have large casts as well at least when including recurring roles.
  • Laugh Track
  • The Movie: Wizards, Suite Life on Deck and Good Luck Charlie all got a television movie. A Jessie movie has been approved. Good Luck Charlie also got two hour-long specials and so did A.N.T. Farm. Shake it Up: Made in Japan is somewhere in between with a 90-minute air time; although not promoted as such, it's effectively a television movie too. And in at least one case (Hannah Montana), The Movie was an actual theatrical release.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: President Martinez, to fit into the standard sitcom mold, is both a President Personable and a President Buffoon.
  • Recursive Canon: Guest appearances and shout outs confirm that every show in the DCLAU is a fictional show in Sonny With A Chance.
    • Guest Appearances shouldn't mean anything. After all, Maddie Fitzpatrick and Ashley Tisdale apparently both exist in the DCLAU (and apparently, only Maddie herself ever noticed any resemblance between herself and the High School Musical star).
  • Running Gag: Offering fruit juice sweetened cupcakes (mostly in the more recent shows).
    • Running Gags in general: after all (and excluding the crossovers), running gags are what link the universe together in the first place. And of course each show will have its own set of running gags.
  • Secret Identity: For the Wizards, the Lab Rats, Raven and Hannah/Miley.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: For the most part played straight in most series, but many shows (Wizards of Waverly Place, Shake it Up, the second season of Austin & Ally), the school setting actually features very prominently if not factoring into the plot in some fashion roughly Once an Episode. A.N.T. Farm is the most notable and largest Aversion as the high school and its social dynamics are the main focus.
  • Sliding Scale of Beauty: (In-Universe). The most of Protagonists are considered Common beauty or Special average, because usually they are cute and losers.
  • Studio Audience
  • The Wiki Rule: Truly without exception, all of the shows have comprehensive Wikia communities.
    • The DCLAU (and Disney Channel) itself has a Wiki, though it's infrequently updated and for the most part defers to the more narrowly-focused Wikis.
  • You Look Familiar: Due to Disney's practice of rehiring actors, Gwen, Mikayla and Alex Russo were all played by Selena Gomez, and Larry and Justin Russo were both played by David Henrie. Amber and London Tipton were both played by Brenda Song, Rico and Max's conscience were both played by Moises Arias, Samantha Samuels , Demonica Dixon and Liza the photographer were all played by Lisa Arch, Principal Stuckerman and Herman Spatz were both played by Steve Hytner, Olivia Cabot and Jenny Majorheely were both played by Gilland Jones, the director in "That's What Friends Are For?" and Ash Tyler were both played by Stephen Full, Mr. Corelli and Burger Pitt were both played by Greg Baker, Archie and Derek Jupiter were both played by Steve Valentine, Leah and the Cracker were both played by Jaelin Palmer, Betty Jane and Nia were both played by Giovonnie Samuels, Max and Ally Parker were both played by Alyson Stoner, and Carly and Agnes were both played by Allie Grant. I could go on, but you probably get the point.
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alternative title(s): DCLAU; Disney Live Action Universe
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