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Continuity Cameo
What happens when a Mythology Gag and a Cameo decide they love each other and have a baby.

A Continuity Cameo sticks a character from another continuity (usually the manga, comic, original game, novel, etc.) in as a wink to the fans. Sometimes this is done as an apology to the fans for leaving their favorite character out. Most of the time you either have to know it's there or know what to look for, as they sometimes go by so fast that you'll literally miss them if you blink.

This trope is mostly used in Japanese Media and Western Comic Books, with their often vast and overlapping continuities. This can have originally have been a Chekhov's Gunman that wasn't able to be followed through due to cancellation of the series or the result of an Aborted Arc.

Compare with the Early-Bird Cameo, where a character who appears late in the original appears earlier in a cameo in the adaptation, and Remake Cameo, where people involved with an original work make a cameo in its remake. Contrast Ascended Extra. See also Last Episode New Character.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Ryo Akiyama's appearances in the second Digimon Adventure film and Digimon Adventure 02 fall under this, although he becomes a full-fledged Canon Immigrant in Tamers. Particularly confusing to Western audiences, as the video games in which he stars were never released here.
    • Ryo is clearly an example of "don't think about it too much or you'll get a headache," 'cause he and his Digimon work under slightly different rules than the other Tamers, what with being from a completely different universe and all...
    • Another example would be the Autumn Leaf Fair in Frontier; the background characters are all Digimon that appeared in the first three series.
  • In the Air movie, Kano, Minagi and Michiru make cameos during the festival. They're the other heroines in the original game and anime series, but the movie is a Misuzu exclusive storyline.
    • In the TV series, Ayu, Nayuki and Makoto from Kanon appear at Misuzu's school. Kyoto Animation would eventually animate that series as well.
  • Kareha's sister Tsubomi in SHUFFLE! shows up in the last episode. As an added joke, she's reading Asa's character novel.
  • Arika shows up very briefly at the very end of both the Mai-Hime anime series and manga, and Nina can be spotted in front of Tate in episode 2. They're the main characters in the Else World (?)  sequel Mai-Otome.
  • In the Fate/stay night anime series, Zoken Matou shows up very briefly, and we just see the bottom half of his face. He is major character in a route the series doesn't follow.
  • It won't be until (or really, when) a third season comes out that we'll know if Kirakisho's appearance at the very end of the second season of Rozen Maiden was one of these or a Chekhov's Gunman.
    • As it turns out, it's one of these, as the third season's in a different continuity.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch did this in reverse: When the anime came out and added Kura-chan, a new mascot character, the mangaka decided to put him in one panel as a nod.
  • The Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi anime series manga character Ochi-san shows up very briefly in the last episode.
  • Beri Shirayuki makes an appearance in the last volume of the original Tokyo Mew Mew.
  • CLAMP loves to do this with their works using The Multiverse, but a few with the same characters also occur:
    • In Xxx HO Li C Watanuki goes to the Legal Drug store and sees the two leads of that manga, and later the said two leads end up at the wish store in their own series as well.
      • He also finds Sakura' staff in Yuko's storeroom in the first volume of the story. Except it's less a continuity cameo and more of a massive Chekhov's Gun.
    • Fujimoto from Kobato is also seen working at the Legal Drug store promoting cough medicine.
    • Though they aren't actually seen, Yuuko also mentions Subaru and Hokuto, characters from Tokyo Babylon and X1999 and says that she's known them since they were children.
    • And in X1999, older versions of Nokoru, Suoh and Akira, the three lead characters from CLAMP School Detectives, now run the CLAMP Campus.
  • Oddly enough, Rebuild of Evangelion has a Continuity Cameo in Kaworu, in that he appears to have full memory of the events of the original series.
  • Kaede, Satsuki and Aoi from the Shinji Ikari Raising Project video game make a cameo appearance in Campus Apocalypse as nuns at Shinji's school.
  • Inverted by Love Hina, Naru's sister was originally made for the anime adaptation, but Ken Akamatsu loved the character so much that he included her in the Love Hina manga in the final chapter.
    • ...and then used her again in Mahou Sensei Negima!, making many fans wonder if they're not both the same girl and if the two series have a shared continuity.
    • Negima has a number of cameos from Love Hina. Motoko seems to appear in one of Setsuna's flashbacks, and Word of God confirmed that the inn the group stayed at during one of the Beach Episodes is the same as the one at which Naru and Keitaro stayed. Then there's the fact that Motoko and Setsuna are both practitioners of the same sword style...
      • In chapter 256 Motoko's family is mentioned by name, and one the techniques Motoko used in Love Hina seems to be somewhat plot-relevant in Negima.
      • And Tsukuyomi uses the Hina Blade from Love Hina.
  • Ogiue appeared at the very end of the credits of the last episode of the first season of Genshiken — she wouldn't appear for real until the OVA.
  • Ittou Asanuma, a minor (but still important enough to know the Senshi's secret identities) recurring character from the Sailor Moon manga appears briefly in one episode of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars where he calls on Mamoru when he misses a get together of the members of a PC Network. When Mamoru doesn't appear to be home he leaves. We only know it's him because of the credits.
  • The 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist includes a cameo shot of Ling Yao, a character solely from the manga, as a state alchemist participating in the Ishvalan genocide. He also happens to be wearing sunglasses in the same style as Greed's, in reference to Ling becoming the second Greed.
    • And late in Brotherhood, there's a shot of an elderly couple — the female looks exactly like old Dante.
  • Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro had cameo shots of Ai and Miyasako Mutsuki with her grandfather. The credits also had shots of Shizuka Todoroki and Tateo Mochizuki.
  • Pokémon:
    • In three of the anime movies, Brendan (the male playable character from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald) briefly shows up during the opening narration sequences, though never in-focus. Several other characters from the games make similar cameos in the other movies and OVAs .
    • Outside of the movies, Red (not Ash) Isamu Akai (the other character based on Red, who is nicknamed Red), his obnoxious talking "Blockhead Clefairy", and Pikachu, stars of the Pocket Monsters gag manga makes a cameo in a movie the main cast goes out of their way to get to be shown to an out-of-the-way village (oddly enough, the manga then had a chapter about Clefairy making his first appearance in the anime).
    • Chapter 7 of The Electric Tale of Pikachu doesn't actually adapt any specific episode of the Pokémon anime, instead having a collection of cameos of characters and allusions to events from over half a dozen different episodes.
    • Lucas, Todd Snap, and Ethan and Silver.
  • In Code Geass, the Lancelot powersuit from Alternate Continuity manga Suzaku of the Counterattack makes a brief appearance in one episode. Additionally, the Visual Novel spinoff Lost Colors has references to the Nintendo DS game and Nightmare of Nunnally, another of the manga. Not only that, Rai, the protagonist of Lost Colors, eventually makes a cameo in an episode of the second season.
  • Kaitou Kid starts making several appearances in Detective Conan after Gosho's work on the earlier Magic Kaito series was halted. They're arguably in the exact same world, although Magic Kaitou contained more supernatural situations.
  • Frederica Bernkastel from Umineko no Naku Koro ni appeared at the end of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai. We also hear her voice at the end of each first season episode; She's the girl in the previews. Yes, that wasn't Rika grown up. But technically, Bernkastel is Rika, or at least, all of the dead Rikas combined in one entity.
    • Becomes pretty significant, considering the possible relationship between Miyoko Tanashi and Lambdadelta, as well as Bernkastel becoming a Fallen Hero.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Goku's father Bardock first appeared on a TV special, but Toriyama liked him so much he gave Bardock a small (two panels) appearance in the manga.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has an episode where female characters from various Studio Gainax productions ranging from Neon Genesis Evangelion and DieBuster to Mahoromatic can be seen as employees at a bathhouse the protagonists visit.
  • Several characters from Neon Genesis Evangelion cameo as toys in an episode of Hanamaru Kindergarten, another Studio Gainax TV series.
  • Akuma makes a "blink and you miss it" cameo appearance in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, where he can be seen during the Calcutta scene before the Dhalsim and Honda fight.
    • In the Street Fighter II V television series, Akuma can also be seen during various crowd scenes throughout the series.
    • A much less prominent example, the second version of the Street Fighter II V opening intro has Balrog wearing his boxing gear from the game (which he never does in the actual show), as well as a brief glimpses of T. Hawk getting hurricane kicked to the face by Ken. Apparently T. Hawk was supposed to be on the show alongside Dee-Jay, Blanka and E. Honda, but the anime was canceled before they could get to their episodes.
  • In Shin Getter Robo Vs Neo Getter Robo, Michiru Saotome, Genki Saotome and Benkei Kuruma all show up in the credits of the final episode (the Saotomes were absent throughout the series and Benkei never showed up due to Getter Robo G getting averted).
  • Probably the biggest one is in Mobile Fighter G Gundam, where virtually every major Mobile Suit of the Universal Century, as well as a number of non-Gundam mecha such as L Gaim and Zambot3, show up to battle the Devil Gundam at the very end. Also important as there was the first appearance of a certain transforming, Buster Rifle-using Gundam.
  • In the Fist of the North Star movie Legend of Kenshiro, the fifth installment of the Legends of the True Savior series, Ryuga and Juza are among the spirits of fallen warriors who are attending Kenshiro and Yuria's wedding. They were the only characters in that scene up to that point who were absent from the movies (although Ryuga technically did appear as a child in Legend of Yuria, as well as spirit in Legend of Raoh: Chapter of Fierce Fight).
  • Issac and Miria from Baccano! make a cameo in The Climax of Durarara!!. This could also be considered a Continuity Nod, seeing as the two series are set in the same universe.
  • In the anime version of the Loguetown arc in One Piece, Crescent Moon Galley, the villain from the first version of Romance Dawn, makes a minor appearance.
    • It doesn't exactly fit the description, but Vice Admiral Jonathan, the Worthy Adversary antagonist of the G-8 Arc, the most popular filler arc, makes a quick appearance during the marine forces' gathering just before Marineford.
  • Disregarding Plue, various Rave Master characters will pop up in crowd scenes in Fairy Tail.
  • Trigun Maximum had one scene early on in the 12th volume where Vash flashes back to everyone he's met in the past—- including characters who had previously only appeared in the anime, such as Loose Ruth (a rogue bounty hunter from the first episode) and Marianne (an undercover agent Vash has a crush on in the anime's second episode)
  • Blue Exorcist: The Movie features a brief cameo from Renzo Shima's older brothers, Juzo and Kinzo, who were introduced in the Kyoto arc of the manga. (The anime's Gecko Ending split off before the series reached that point.)

    Comic Book 
  • The Mega Man comic had a cameo of Neige from Mega Man Zero in the first issue, which took place during the first game in the Classic series.
  • Many supporting and background characters from the show cameo in first issue of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) including Big McIntosh, Zecora, Cheerilee, Silver Spoon, Screwball, and Snowflake.
  • Besides Applejack's supporting role, Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy also appear towards the end of My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #2 . Scootaloo, Spitfire, Big McIntosh, Derpy, Lyra Heartstrings, Berry Punch, and some other background ponies also make brief appearances throughout the comic.
  • All of the Mane Six & Spike show up in My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #3. In addition to some supporting/background ponies, we get a surprise appearance from Trixie during the after-party.
    • Filthy Rich (Diamond Tiara's father) is pictured on a billboard overlooking Wheat and Flax's farm.
    • Flim and Flam are mentioned as the unseen antagonists in the story.
    • Derpy Hooves appears as the mailmare the hippie ponies talked about. She's promptly creeped at the hippies (plus Rarity's) anxious looks and passes by without making her habitual stop.
    • Fleur Dis Lee, Photo Finish, and Hoity Toity all show up at the fashion show in Canterlot.

    Fan Fic 

    Film 
  • Johnny Fontane and (especially) Lucy Mancini in The Godfather. In the novel they both get big storylines nearly the equal of the main storyline with Michael. In the film Johnny has a very small part and Lucy, basically one short scene confirming her as Sonny's mistress.
  • The X-Men movies feature these in spades with minor characters (some of whom are only identified in the credits), with Beast making a hairless appearance in X2: X-Men United and three of the Stepford Cuckoos appearing in the background during the third movie.
    • Even more subtle than a brief cameo, in the second movie the real names of several mutants, including Gambit, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, were briefly seen on a computer screen as being some of the prisoners in a mutant prison. Only three, Gambit, Banshee and Quicksilver, wound up appearing later (or rather, earlier) in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
    • The Sentinel in X-Men: The Last Stand. Or rather, its head.
    • X-Men: First Class has Mystique trying to seduce Magneto. He tells her, "Maybe in a few years". She then shapeshifts to Rebecca Romijn, who plays her in the original trilogy.
    • The Wolverine:

      Magneto and Xavier in the Stinger, which also shows an in-universe advertisement for Trask Industries for X-Men: Days of Future Past.

      Also Wolverine's classic costume makes a brief appearance in the alternate ending. When Yukio and Logan board the plane, Yukio hands him a large flat box. He opens it to find himself staring at a familiar yellow face mask, with other spandex pieces. All he can do is give Yukio a "Really?" look.
  • The Spider-Man films use Dr. Connors a.k.a. the Lizard as a minor character. He did not become a villain, and until the Continuity Reboot (where he was the main villain), never got do so. Which is a shame as the actor who originally played Doc Connors has said he'd really like to take on that role.
    • John Jameson, a.k.a "Man-Wolf" is seen in Spider-Man 2.
  • There are lots of tiny ones in the Lord of the Rings films, some of which are blown up into full appearances in the extended versions.
  • In Batman & Robin, the man who turns Pamela Isley into Poison Ivy is Jason Woodrue, who in the comics is the Floronic Man, an enemy of the Atom.
  • Pixar loves this trope. Outside of their love of Early-Bird Cameo entries, there's a few other instances of these:
    • When Sully and Boo return to her room at the end of Monsters, Inc., she has a toy Jessie.
    • The mobile home that Mike and Sully send Randall to appeared in A Bug's Life.
    • At the end of Cars the characters watch scenes from several older Pixar movies (with the characters replaced with cars of course).
    • The Pizza Planet delivery truck appears in all of their films to date except The Incredibles. According to Pixar regular Lee Unkrich, there is actually no Pizza Planet in The Incredibles.
    • In the dentist's waiting room, you can see a Buzz Lightyear toy and a Mr. Incredible comic book.
  • In Star Trek: First Contact, the USS Bozeman, the other ship in the "Groundhog Day" Loop episode "Cause and Effect", a time displaced ship that was never given any actual closure, is a part of the Earth defense fleet.
    • The Bozeman was also mentioned in Star Trek: Generations — it had to make a course correction due to the destruction of a star. And since Bozeman, Montana is Brannon Braga's hometown it's a Running Gag on that level too.
  • Troy features one that only Latin nerds are going to pick up on, in a nod to the Roman lovechild of the The Iliad and The Odyssey: The Aeneid, which follows the Trojan survivors of the sack of Troy. At the end of the film, Paris hands off the sword of Troy to a young man who gives his name, when prompted, as "Aeneas". Paris tells him to find a new home for their people, which, presumably, film!Aeneas does, after seven years of gallivanting about.
  • The deleted opening of The Incredible Hulk (2008) has a cameo appearance by Captain America, teasing at Captain America: The First Avenger. Blink and you'll miss it. Pause it just right, and you might just make him out; but he is there, under the ice.
    • Later disproven when the Captain America movie reveals that Cap was locked in the ice... inside a huge airship, which the Hulk movie doesn't show. This doesn't mean that the Hulk movie wasn't teasing, only that in retrospect we are forced to assume that was some other guy frozen in the ice.
  • Land of the Dead has Blades from Dawn of the Dead reappearing when the zombies break into Fiddler's Green. Also it retroactively includes the main character from Survival of the Dead as one of the military guys at the check point.
  • The third Silverwing book, Firewing, features small appearances by both Goth's former toady Throbb and by the former Silverwing colony elder Frieda, both of whom are dead at that point.
  • In the opening of Disney's Mary Poppins, Bert sings to Miss Lark with her dog Andrew, Mrs. Corry with her tall daughters, and Miss Persimmon. These are all supporting characters from the Mary Poppins books who were otherwise completely eliminated from the movie version.
  • The Harry Potter movies also have some of these which are only identifiable through the credits. For example, a tall, prim-looking woman with a pointed hat appears in the background of several scenes in the second film. The credits reveal that she is Madam Pince, the Hogwarts librarian in the books.
  • The Duke brothers from the Eddie Murphy film Trading Places appear in another Murphy film, Coming to America, homeless and broke after their fall in the other film.
  • Lana Lang and Steve Lombard are in Man of Steel but have smaller roles than others of Superman's supporting cast.

    Multi 
  • From the To Heart series:
    • In the final episode of To Heart: Remember My Memories, Sango Himeyuri from To Heart 2 makes a cameo by submitting what is presumably HMX-17 Ilfa's operating system to Nagase in person. Her sister Ruri Himeyuri calls her in the background, saying that they're gonna be late for a movie. The episode aired three days before the entire To Heart 2 franchise began with the release of the PS2 game.
    • Additionally, Konomi Yuzuhara, also from To Heart 2, makes a cameo in the sixth omake of Remember My Memories as Akari's opponent. The match results were never revealed though.
    • The To Heart 2 Gaiden Game Another Days returned the favor by sneaking Multi and Serio in a background (look on the left); apparently, by that time in the To Heart universe, their obsolescence reduced them to working at fast food restaurants.
  • From Noob, whose different media cover different periods of time but end up with a Broad Strokes connection to each other:
    • Dark Avenger, recurring in the webseries and comics, is mentionned a total of twice in the novels. His apprentice Précieux sahres his second cameo.
    • Characters with a more or less important role in the novels but no actor casted to play them in the webseries sometimes get mentionned in conversation.

    Pinball 

    Table Top Games 

    Toys 
  • LEGO loves doing this. Just check out their animations and video games, and you will notice how frequently their Star Wars and Indiana Jones universes tend to collide. When talking strictly about the sets, fans are generally delighted to see older pieces reappear in other lines (usually in new colors or with new uses).

    Video Games 
  • Mega Man Battle Network sort of is this. Turns out, this series is pretty much the others as an RPG. All of the characters return.
    • Later on, they play it straight in the One Game for the Price of Two Battle Network 5: Team Colonel and Team Protoman. When the team leaders are brainwashed by the big bad, the leader of the other team shows up to save them. If Colonel is brainwashed, Protoman comes to save him, and vice versa. When asked if they would join the cause, they say they have more important things to attend to.
    • Also, scattered about the Battle Network series are references to the actual X and Legends series, not just the Alternate Continuity versions that show up as Net Navis. Servbot dolls, references to the Tron Bonne show, and badass posters of Vile and Zero at Hisgsby's shop are a few examples of this.
    • What's more, Shaun/Sean, who was a fairly important character in the games but was committed from the Anime, is briefly seen in a crowd scene in the anime's movie.
  • In the PlayStation version of Mega Man X 3, Volt Catfish's anime intro has a quick background cameo of Auto from the Classic series.
  • The Tales Series often insert quite a bit of Namco cameos and Continuity Nods. Probably the best part, however, is being able to battle the past heroes of the series, usually in the arena. These battles are often the Crowning Moment Of Awesome Video Games of the games so far as fun and difficulty goes.
  • Epona, the merchant elf from Tears to Tiara shows up at one point in Tears To Tiara 2.
  • Final Fantasy started a tradition in Final Fantasy VIII of having Goldfish Poop Gang boss Gilgamesh (of Final Fantasy V fame) appearing in other games in the series. Because of how he arrives in the game's universe and how he departed the plot in Final Fantasy V, it can be safely assumed that he is the only cameo character that is canonically the same person. He even had some retcons in remakes to place him within Final Fantasy VI and the original Final Fantasy. In Final Fantasy IX, he goes by the name "Alleyway Jack" but eventually reveals Gilgamesh as his true name. His other appearances in the series imply that he is aware of the other games and their heroes and in Final Fantasy XII, he comes with a pair of boss fights and wields replicas the defining weapons of many main characters in the series. He also has a dog named Enkidu that shows up in some of his appearances, but not all of them. He is often searching for the sword Excalibur, but frequently mistakes it with Excalipoor, and his attacks will often reflect this distinction - Excalibur is extremely powerful, whereas Excalipoor does 1HP of damage. His Summon in Dissidia reflects this, in that his summon will either triple the caster's BP or reduce it to 1.
  • In Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, Eric Sparrow, the primary villain of the Tony Hawk's Underground sub-series reappears (though just as "Eric") in the Pro story path as an antagonist.
  • Fire Emblem: The Sword of Flame (the first game in the series released internationally), being a direct prequel to the previous game (the Japan-only Fire Emblem: The Sword of Seal), features several cameos from that game, most notably Prince Zephiel, who grows up to be antagonist of The Sword of Seal. In fact, the game appears to end on a cliffhanger to players unaware that the scene depicting this was merely filling in the time gap between the two games.
    • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, the DS remake of The Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light, features several cameos from the original game's sequel, Mystery of the Emblem.
  • Super Mario 64 had a cameo for Yoshi, and you'd have to look for him, too, and would only get to where he is after you'd get all the stars.
  • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the Japanese games have continuity cameos for the anime characters Butler and Diane of the sixth movie and Hitomi (Rebecca) of the seventh movie. However the game's translation team missed this, instead calling them Felix, Dana and Jamie respectively.
    • In Heartgold and Soulsilver, you can find Crasher Wake, one of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl gym leaders, in the Celadon City department store, and Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire champion Steven. He'll tell you about either Latias (Heartgold) or Latios (Soulsilver) roaming around. Then, after you beat Red, the protagonist from the first games, you can get one of the Hoenn starters from him, and also trade him a Forretress for his Beldum. And in Diamond, Pearl and Platinum, you can also find Jasmine from Gold and Silver at the beach in Sunyshore City.
    • Cynthia from Diamond/Pearl/Platinum does this twice. She's at the Ruins of Alph/Sinjoh ruins if you take Arceus there, and she's the Bonus Boss in Pokémon Black and White and their sequels.
    • Pokemon Yellow had Team Rocket's Jessie and James as recurring bosses, along with Meowth (though he never speaks) and their Arbok and Weezing.
    • Red and Blue from the first games both appear in Gold And Silver.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the PWT in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, where every single gym leader from every region and their champion make a cameo. And yes, this counts Red as well.
  • The Mad Gear gang from Final Fight makes an appearance in Sodom's ending in the first Street Fighter Alpha, as well as spectators on the background of Guy's home stage in Alpha 2 and Alpha 3. Rolento and Cody, who only had cameos in the first and second Alpha games respectively, both became playable fighters in the succeeding installments.
    • A billboard promoting a wrestling match between Hugo (from 2nd Impact) and an unknown challenger can be seen on Cody's home stage in Alpha 3.
    • Balrog and Vega both appear in Sagat's endings in the first two Alpha games before they became playable characters in Alpha 3.
  • Metal Gear: Ghost Babel is an alternate sequel to Metal Gear, and contains at least one main character based on a rejected concept for a main character in Metal Gear Solid, but Roy Campbell and Mei Ling both appear, and a reference is made to Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (which hadn't been released at that time), along with Big Boss, Gray Fox, and Meryl Silverburgh.
  • The Breath of Fire series is rife with cameos from previous installments, usually from the former main party. In some cases, the translator misses them and changes their names, obscuring the connection.
  • In the intro to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, the unnamed character who "saves" (they are essentially selling them into indentured servitude) the player character in the introduction matches the description (notably, he is the only character with red hair in the entire game) of the character Redrick from Roadside Picnic, one of the game's main influences.
  • Solatorobo features random cameos of Waffle Ryebread, Princess Terria, Cyan, and the Black Cats Gang from Tail Concerto, which it is a Spiritual Successor to. Mamoru and his father from Mamoru-kun also make appearances.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its update Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 feature cameos from numerous Marvel and Capcom characters in the in-game endings. Nick Fury shows up in Crimson Viper's ending as a nod to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, June Lin Milliam appears as a member of the new West Coast Avengers, Luke Cage and Batsu Ichimonji can be seen as part of the new Heroes For Hire, Black Panther pops up, ect.
  • In the ending of Super Robot Wars UX, elder god Kurou and Al-Azif show up to watch over their non elder god selves and talk about how they can leave Kuzaku to them (once again referencing Kishinhishou).
  • Li Long was the only main character from Soul Edge not to appear in Soul Calibur or its sequel Soul Calibur II. He was replaced by Maxi, who has a similar but more fluid fighting style. However, fans asked about Li Long so much that he appeared as a guest character in Soul Calibur III. In this game he is not implemented like a normal character and simply has Maxi's moves, and is canonically retired.

     Western Animation 
  • The '90s X-Men cartoon was full of these ranging from well known comic characters displayed prominently, such as Morph (himself based on long-unseen comics character Changeling) changing into Deadpool to fight Wolverine, or War Machine and Nick Fury watching a broadcast together on the Hellacarrier. Others are more obscure like Beast wearing a Howard the Duck T-shirt or Domino appearing on a TV in the background.
  • Fantastic Four was also notable for the sheer number of superhero cameos, ranging from Rage and The Avengers to Scarlet Spider and the New Warriors.
  • DCAUS
    • In the first Justice League season finale "The Savage Time," young versions of Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon (making out), as well as Tim Drake and Cassandra Cain showed up in uncredited cameos in Batman's La Résistance in a dystopian timeline.
    • Puppy-Krypto in "Last Son of Krypton."
    • During the Green Lantern episode of Superman: The Animated Seriesfeatured Kyle Rayner as the Green Lantern, but Hal Jordan's name appearing on the side of an aircraft. In the same episode, Guy Gardner (the Green Lantern before John Stewart) cameos as a purse-snatcher that gets beaten up by Kyle.
    • Hal's actual appearance is also of this variety, replacing John Stewart for a couple minutes due to time travel-related ripple effects. He's up to speed as to what's going on, picks up where John left off, and John shows right back up.
  • The second season finale of W.I.T.C.H. had a scene where it shows a man in a car named Scylla looking at the "cartoon" the finale battle looked like to everyone, and the last scene was the girls being introduced to him as their new teacher. This was originally supposed to be a Chekhov's Gunman as he was a character from the next arc of the comics, but was reduced to this as the animated series wasn't renewed for another season.
  • The Three Episode Premiere of Transformers Animated has Spike, Carly, and Daniel — that is, the original human protagonist from Generation 1, his love interest, and their son — as prominent background characters. They all show up again later with speaking roles, albeit the parents separately from Daniel.
    • Then you see Sparkplug, Spike's dad, working on a construction site with the trademark hardhat on two separate occasions.
    • One Whole Episode Flashback showed Sentinel talking to red bot that looks a lot like (and Derrick Wyatt has confirm is supposed to be) Cliffjumper. They have stated that he was originally that one that Shockwave would frame for being a spy, but Executive Meddling ruled against it. He actually reappears later as a Recurring Character in season three, and even speaks!
    • We also see Mainframe operating a computer in a scene during the season three premiere. Like the Action Master he's based on, he doesn't transform.
    • A rather large example are the bust of the Cyber-Ninja Corps that appear in "Five Servos of Doom", which includes so many that Derrick Wyatt had to say what half of them were on Twitter (details on this page).
    • Yet another example: In "Human Error, Part 1" we see Cancer and Hydra from Transformers Super God Masterforce sitting at a table with series story editor Marty Isenberg.
    • The ultimate fate of Blackarachnia and Waspinator? Transwarped to a primitive world, where the first things they meet are a gorilla, a cheetah, a rhino, and an oversized rat. Hmmm...
    • It's bigger than all of that: every single Transformer seen in the series (including crowd-scene extras and portraits on the menu at restaurants) is a version of a character from a previous franchise, including production glitches and Brazil-only knockoffs; see the Transformers wiki for details. Heck, the producers have even said that one of the humans' limos was actually a character from "Go-Bots".
  • The Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Day of the Dark Knight" begins with a prison break at Iron Heights; among the escapees are numerous Adam West Batman villains including King Tut, Egghead, the Bookworm and Louie the Lilac among others. In addition, the Clock King's face is revealed in the same episode to be modeled after Walter Slezak, his actor in the 1960's series.
    • King Tut actually shows up in a later Batman Cold Open so it changed him from this to the Canon Immigrant.
    • Several episodes feature a bar populated by D-list supervillains. It's almost impossible to name every baddie who makes an appearance there without consulting Wikipedia.
    • Flex Mentallo and Dorothy Spinner appear on circus posters in "The Last Patrol".
  • Legion of Super Heroes has a few:
    • Booster Gold and Skeets are cleaning the Superman Museum.
    • A dead ringer for Lobo gets his hoverbike stolen.
    • A whole mob of Superman's Phantom Zone villains shows up, but they don't say a word or even do anything but be mysterious and threatening.
    • Legionnaires that never get a speaking role still appear on viewscreens during member induction ceremonies or in the gigantic Season Finale battles.
  • Several characters from Aladdin: the Series could be seen as guests at Aladdin and Jasmine's wedding in Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
  • Ankama does this to the point of notoriety in Wakfu, an animation taking place in the same universe as the MMORPG of the same name and its predecessor, Dofus. Many characters and creatures from the Dofus game and comics make appearances, be them as background flavour or as full secondary characters.
  • Duck Dodgers did a crossover with the characters of Green Lantern once. Several GL characters have significant roles (Sinestro, Hal Jordan, Katma Tui, Ch'p, Killowog), but the initial battle between the Corps and the robots also contains quite a few Blink-And-You'll-Miss-It appearances from characters only readers of the comics would recognize. Examples include Salaak, Boodika, Tomar Re, and Guy Gardner.
  • In the American Street Fighter animated series, the new characters from the first Street Fighter Alpha game appears as participants in an underground fighting tournament (namely Adon, Birdie, Guy, Sodom, Rose and a weird rendition of Dan in his Player 2 colors) in the episode "The Medium is the Message". Everyone except Dan and Adon went on to have focus episodes in Season 2. Notably absent in the tournament was Charlie. This is because the cartoon followed the decision of making Blanka and Charlie into the same character and instead he gets a flashback of when he used to be Charlie (wearing the same clothes as his Alpha self) before mutating into Blanka.
    • In the same episode, the cast of Final Fight can be seen among the crowd, including Carlos and Maki from the SNES sequel. Final Fight would get its own episode in Season 2.
    • In "Keeping the Peace", Guile's opponent in the first scene is Bred, also from Final Fight.
  • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers opens with the trio being saved by the original musketeers, who gives Mickey his Nice Hat and autographs it.
  • The design for the businessmen from Adventure Time is very similar to a businessman costume that an adventurer wore in an episode of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Also, the adventurer costume that the businessman wore in the Flapjack episode greatly resembles Billy from Adventure Time if he were human. Considering Pendleton Ward storyboarded the Flapjack episode, it makes sense.
  • In The Problem Solverz, the dog from the original Problem Solvers YouTube videos makes background appearances in some episodes.
  • In ThunderCats (2011) there are a few cameos from the original.
    • Fans will immediately recognize Lynx-O as the tower sentry who alerts Thundera to the Lizard invasion force.
    • In "Legacy", SilverHawks Big Bad Mon*Star and a race of TigerSharks appear in flashback, as a form of Canon Welding.
    • One of the background figures in the town during "The Duelist and the Drifter" wears a samurai helmet, as a nod to the original series' Hachiman. Whether it is Hachiman is a coin toss.
    • Not to mention that Lion-O's father, King Claudius, was voiced by the same voice actor who voiced the original Lion-O from the '80s.
  • In Teen Titans the fifth season basically made up of these, especially towards the end with people like Argent, Jericho and even two instances of Wonder Girl making an appearance.
  • Young Justice is full of these. Various DC heroes like Magog, Stephanie Brown, and Blue Devil make cameo appearances throughout the show, and a few of these (Barbara Gordon, Bumblebee, and Mal Duncan) ended up becoming cases of Chekhov's Gunman and Early Bird Cameos.
  • Crops up a lot in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, particularly in regards to to background ponies, as the producers are well aware of how much the Brony community pay attention to those. For example, in "Hearts and Hooves Day" Caramel and Sassafrass are seen having a special moment (and Scootaloo points out that they appear to be in a relationship) while in "Magical Mystery Cure" they can be seen glaring and sniping at each other due to the general bad mood in town. Also, several of Rarity's gala dresses have been seen at Fluttershy's cottage, along with Pinkie Pie's imaginary-friend-pile-of-rocks from "Party of One" and a large number of animals last seen in the Canterlot Royal Gardens. (Yes, there's a fanon theory that Fluttershy is a kleptomaniac.)

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