Unlike a regular television crossover, the Crossover Punchline is a brief gag. The Crossover is not vital to the storyline, it's just there for the fun of it. Used for laughs, it generally also uses the tropes All Just a Dream or Alternate Universe.
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Anime & Manga
- Project A-ko features a blink-and-you'll-miss-it gag at the end of the original OAV, where A-Ko's mother is seen sewing something that looked suspiciously like Superman's costume. The gag (that A-Ko is Superman and Wonder Woman's daughter) is made far more explicit in the Antarctic Press adaptation, where her parents refer to each other as "Clark" and "Diana".
- At one point in The Big O, Roger Smith (who's a noted Batman Expy) is approached by a pair of reporters that look exactly like Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.
- There's a one shot manga by Osamu Tezuka about a company testing a robot Salary Man, who proceeds to go native and become a union leader, while at the same time seducing every woman on the staff. After his creators have him assassinated it's revealed all the women in the company have (somehow) had his babies, which confuses the hell out of his best friend, who wonders "What does a robot baby look like, anyways?" Cut to a delivery room full of baby Astro Boys.
- One episode of Cowboy Bebop ends with Spike ejecting a fridge with some kind of... thing inside. In episode 8 of Space Dandy, Meow finds the fridge and eats the whatever-it-is.
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei's "Seven-year punchline", which started back in Katteni Kaizo when a character is sealed behind a wall and doesn't appear again until Zetsubou, when she busts out and introduces herself.
- An issue of the Darkwing Duck comic had Launchpad lament the lack of openings for pilot/sidekicks. We then cut to him insisting he can fly the Rescue Rangers' plane. While holding it in his hand.
Gadget: No. No, you cannot.
- Didn't happen at the end, but the entire point for a Star Trek: The Original Series/X-Men crossover seemed to revolve around Nurse Chapel asking for Dr. McCoy, to which both Bones and Beast turn and say "Yes?", then react with mutual surprise.
- One Marvel comic book featured DC's Death of the Endless at a party, saying she should leave before "that creep Thanos" shows up.
- During Walt Simonson's classic Thor run, when Thor was in his civilian identity he stumbled into two familiar-looking reporters named Clark and Lois. The joke here is that Thor has just lost his ability to transform into his mortal form Don Blake, and has just asked Nick Fury to give him a new civilian identity. Concerned that he could not hide those muscles, Fury gave him a pair of glasses, since "they always worked for that other guy!" As Thor goes out wondering if they would work, cue the abovementioned meeting. And as he leaves the pair, a curious Clark looks back at him and wonders....
Clark: "Gee, that looked like... I could have sworn... naaaah."
- Similarly, when Voodoo and Spartan of the Wild CATs were vacationing, they were noticed by familiar-looking honeymooners named Scott and Jean. Helping the gag is the fact that Jim Lee drew X-Men for years.
- An issue of Superman ended with Mr. Mxyzptlk transporting himself to another dimension. He looks about himself, realises where he is and transforms himself into the form he normally wears in this universe; which looks suspiciously like Fantastic Four foe the Impossible Man. To clinch the gag, four very familiar sets of legs are seen walking away from him.
- Dragon comic strips:
- Annual #5 had all the artists on the regular comics switch places: Dork Tower by Phil Foglio ended with the reveal that Bill was actually a disguised Dixie of What's New? with Phil and Dixie, while Nodwick by John Kovalic ended with the reveal that it was a Deep-Immersion Gaming session by the cast of Dork Tower (with Igor as a decidedly OOC Nodwick). (What's New? by Aaron Williams was a more conventional Nodwick crossover.)
- A later issue had a Nodwick story called "Epic For A Day", in which a mysterious helmet makes Yeagar temporarily epic-level ... until a portal opens and Phil removes the helmet, takes his derby from beneath it, and gives Yeagar a Dope Slap.
- The October 31, 2010 strip for B.C. has The Fat Broad running a pumpkin pie stand. The Cute Chick asks her where she found enough pumpkins to make the pies. The Fat Broad says that she just found one really big pumpkin. Cut to Linus, Sally, and Charlie Brown in a pumpkin patch with Charlie Brown saying "I don't think he's coming, dude."
- One of Garfield's "I hate Mondays" gags was prompted by seeing Snoopy's reflection in the mirror.
- References to Family Circus characters are a Running Gag in Pearls Before Swine.
- 1997 was the year of the Great April Fools' Day Comics Switcheroonie, in which a number of comic strip writers and artists handled each other's strips as a massive practical joke. In several cases characters from different strips met, such as Garfield and Jon having their house painted and leaving to visit the Bumsteads.
- A The Wizard of Id strip features the Snowman character mauled by vicious snowmen. His reaction?
Snowman: How did Calvin get in here?
- The strip for October 30, 2015 shows the eponymous wizard conjuring up a spell involving the use of pumpkin DNA. When asked what he's doing, the wizard replies that he's "making a dream come true for a special little boy". Cut to Linus running for his life out of the pumpkin patch away from "The Great Pumpkin" (er, a giant monster pumpkin).
- An arc in Peanuts had Charlie Brown hallucinating that the sun was a baseball. Eventually, after seeking increasingly bizarre forms of therapy, he checks to see whether his cure was successful… only for the sun to appear as the face of Alfred E. Neuman.
- Despite already being a crossover, Double Rainboom has one of these: At the end of the video, where Rainbow Dash is writing her letter to Princess Celestia about why you should not take things that don't belong to you, Pinkie Pie asks "What will I do with this then?", pulling out Bloo from hammerspace. The Foster's theme tune then plays as the video fades to the ending credits.
- This Ed, Edd n Eddy fancomic features a surprise appearance of Denzel Crocker in the last panel, giving an F like he always does.
- Considering the loops allow for cross-overs with almost everything, this is a favorite tactic by a lot of The Infinite Loops writers, though there are some who make a conscious effort to not over abuse this.
- At one moment in Tsum Tsum meets My Little Pony we get a zoom in to the inside of Apple Bloom's mind, and sure enough, Inside Out characters are seen.
- The short fan film "Chasing Jason" details a girl named Karen's failed relationship with Jason Voorhees. At the end, she mentions that she's got a date with a new guy. Turns out it's Pinhead.
- An episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series featured Ghost Nappa from Dragon Ball Z Abridged appearing in the middle and the Stinger. A special episode revealed that Kaiba was a robot built by Freiza and Mokuba's real father is Ghost Nappa.
- Naruto The Abridged Series:
- An episode ends with the Hokage's funeral, and one of the character telling Konohamaru that he's in a better place. We then see him crash-landing in front of King Yemma.
- Seems the Hokage wasn't the only outer Abridged Series character to be judged Yemma... Go and ask Abdul... On second thought, don't.
- The episode of Dragon Ball Z Abridged that abridged the entire first season of the abridged series (Yikes!) features Yami Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series watching the episode and pondering "This has... how many subscribers?"
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- At the very end of the 1944 Bob Hope film The Princess and the Pirate Bob thinks he's won the girl, only for her to rush past him and into the arms of his Road Picture co-star Bing Crosby, who had not been in the picture heretofore.
- At the end of My Favorite Brunette, Bob Hope's character is given a last-minute reprieve from execution; Crosby plays the very disappointed prison guard who was going to throw the switch on the electric chair.
- Wayne's World. "Have you seen this boy?"
- In The Stinger for Guardians of the Galaxy, we are given a look of The Collector's ruined museum, with Cosmo the Dog licking the Collector's hand. Suddenly, a voice says, "Dude, why do you let it lick you like that? Gross!" It's Howard the Duck.
- Iron Man 3's Stinger reveals that Tony had been telling the movie's story to fellow Avenger Bruce Banner as a sort of therapy session; only to find he had fallen asleep for most of it. Paraphrased:
- The epilogue of the series finale of Newhart had Bob Newhart waking up in bed on the set of The Bob Newhart Show, next to his wife of the latter series, Suzanne Pleshette, explaining about his nightmare of being an innkeeper.
- The final show of Noels House Party ended with Noel waking up on the set of his earlier show Swap Shop.
- An episode of Caroline in the City ends with Niles and Daphne of Frasier arguing over whether or not the most recent strip is funny.
- The Seinfeld episode "The Keys" ends with Kramer appearing on Murphy Brown.
- After the credits of one episode of Mr. Show, a comic is seen talking to Dr. Katz. Especially weird just because Mr Show is live-action.
- One Halloween episode of Boy Meets World had a witch who wanted to sacrifice the guys in an occult ritual. At the end of the episode, they discuss the incident with another girl: Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
- A Halloween episode of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place revealed the killer that had been going around offing the cast to be... Mimi from The Drew Carey Show, who said she wanted her own time slot.
- An episode of The Lucy Show had Lucy mistakenly drafted into the marines, driving her drill sergeant insane. When she finally is able to leave, the sergeant is relieved he'll never have to deal with someone as nutty as her ever again. Enter her replacement...Gomer Pyle.
- In an episode of Family Matters, Richie has a friend over that says Carl "does look like the Dad from Fresh Prince!" During the credits, an outtake of this scene was shown. When Richie's friend says line this time, James Avery enters to everyone's amusement (both series were produced by Warner Bros.).
- In the final episode of Coach, Hayden and Christine find that Larry, Darryl, and Darryl from Newhart have been watching their cabin after they left for Orlando (not actually living inside the cabin, just watching it while they slept under it). This also doubles as an in-joke, because both shows were created by the same person (Barry Kemp).
- In an episode of Chuck, Big Mike turns out to be a cousin of Sgt. Al Powell.
- Drake once walked into the iCarly kitchen and mistook Carly for his sister Megan.
- The Simpsons Game has one of the last boss fights against Matt Groening — who attacks you with the main cast of Futurama.
- Most of the endings of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its Ultimate re-release features the Marvel characters interacting with Capcom characters (whether they appeared as playable characters or not) and vice-versa. Highlights include Viewtiful Joe working on a film directed by Mojo and Spiral, Hulk storming the mansion setting of Resident Evil with Chris (and manhandling Nemesis) and Mr. Fantastic recruiting Frank West to help infiltrate the Marvel Zombies universe, among many others.
- In episode 8 of Inanimate Insanity II, once the contests reach Meeple headquarters they hear a voice (at the moment unknown to them) belonging to Steve Cobs. When they try to see who the voice belongs to, we see Gamey, the host of Object Overload (another popular object show), who points them towards Cobs.
- One of the six non-canon endings of the last episode of Red vs. Blue showed that the whole series was just an overly long Halo 2 multiplayer match.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
- The epilogue of the episode "My Fair Mandy", wherein Mandy enters a child beauty pageant in order to show up her arch-rival Mindy, and is coached that she would win if she would simply smile. With great effort, Mandy begins to smile, and reality shatters, placing Billy, Mandy and Grim in Townsville as distorted Powerpuff Girls. There are also several cameos from Hector Con Carne, of the show they shared a Three Shorts show with, once saying, "I'm not even supposed to be on this stupid show anymore!"
- They once had a Dream Within a Dream within a dream within a dream within Wilt's head.
- In The Movie Billy and Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure, when they ask who's going to be the Grim Reaper now that Grim's job as reaper has been revoked, Numbuh 3 shows up wielding the scythe, and her hoodie is now gray. The two shows did eventually crossover as The Grim Adventures of the Kids Next Door.
- Speaking of the crossover episode, when Billy wore his dad's "lucky" pants that kicked off the entire episode and nearly destroyed all civilization as a result, the KND weren't even the first call he made. No, he called Ed, Edd n Eddy first, who then directed him to the Kids Next Door. And then when they show up at his door, he exclaims, "Hey, you're not The Powerpuff Girls!"
- The ending of the Sealab 2021 episode "Murphy Murph and the Feng Shui Bunch" revealed that the events of the episode were part of a video game being played by Meatwad and Master Shake of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. ("You hang windchimes for an hour, and then you fight? I don't get it.") The "Bebop Cola" episode ends to reveal the entire cartoon was a proposed cola commercial being pitched to the company execs (one played by Murphy's voice actor, the late Harry Goz) by a pair of live-action salesmen.
- Family Guy:
- The ending of the episode "Da Boom" has it be All Just a Dream by Pam Ewing of Dallas, who finds her husband Bobby in the shower, in a parody of the famous reveal.
- In the fourth season, the main plot of one episode is a parody of Poltergeist, which has Peter replicating the scene where he pulls the skin off his face while looking in the mirror, but when it all comes off, he has turned into Hank Hill:
Peter/Hank: Hah Hah. Propane.
- On the fifth season finale "Meet The Quagmires", after Peter apparently fixes every problem from his screwing with the time-line, Roger the Alien from American Dad! suddenly appears.
- Then in "Lois Kills Stewie" (which was just a simulation) Stewie breaks into the CIA and is confronted by Bullock and Stan who Stewie mistakenly calls "Joe", lampshading how Stan looks like Joe Swanson with black hair.
- During a Police Squad! spoof you get a "Jaws" First-Person Perspective of Stewie running down Homer Simpson as he parks in the garage.
Peter (looks down at Homer): Who the hell is that?
- There's also an episode that has a miniature Marge appear at the bottom of the screen and at first, it seems like one of Fox's advertisements... until a miniature Quagmire attempts to rape her.
- In the episode "The Splendid Source", Peter and his friends are going around the country questioning people about where they heard a particular joke. At one point we see them asking "Bender from Futurama".
- In one episode, the normally far left leaning Brian finds himself being swayed to the right wing views of guest star Rush Limbaugh, we switch to Ultra Conservative Stan Smith watching the episode saying "Good for you, Brian! Good for you!"
- At the end of the Spies Like Us parody episode a rocket wipes out Cleveland's new home sending Cleveland in his bathtub crashing to the ground, a Family Guy running joke. Cue Tim the Bear to walk out a second later.
Tim: I don't get it!
- In "The Unbrave One", Francine takes several online pregnancy tests from a shady gynecologist named Dr. Vadgers, most of which involve naked close-ups. The Stinger of the episode reveals that "Dr. Vadgers" is actually Quagmire.
- In the episode "The Simpsons Guy" (itself a crossover with The Simpsons), the judge in the second half of the episode is Fred Flintstone.
- Later in the same episode, when Kang and Kronos are watching Homer and Peter fight each other, Roger the Alien suddenly appears on their spaceship... right before Peter and Homer crash into it.
- Homer Simpson appeared at the end of one episode of Duckman.
- The Simpsons has several examples:
- The cameo appearance of the King of the Hill cast in the episode "Bart Star": after a football game ends, Hank shows up and proceeds to complain about it not being worth driving 2000 miles for and, if you look closely, Dale and Boomhauer can be seen in the stands as well.
- As might the throwaway gag of the Archie gang throwing Homer out of a van and warning him to "stay out of Riverdale". He is later seen reading an Archie comic and muttering under his breath about "stuckup Riverdale punks"
- In a Treehouse of Horror episode, Homer makes multiple clones of himself. Peter Griffin can be seen amongst the clones.
- Similarly, in one episode the police have photos of several criminals wanted in Italy. Two of them are Peter Griffin (for plagiarism) and Stan Smith (for plagiarism of plagiarism).
- In another episode, Futuredrama, Bender from Futurama appears next to Bart and Homer after they travel through a time tunnel. Homer quickly proceeds to tell him to "get lost" and chucks him out of a moving vehicle.
- Philip J. Fry also appears briefly in a couch gag.
- In one Treehouse of Horror wherein Homer travels through time, Kang and Kodos turn into Mr. Peabody and Sherman from Rocky and Bullwinkle after saying that the Puny Earthling was unprepared for the effects of time travel. Doubles as a Brick Joke because they were seen near the beginning of the short correcting Homer saying he was the first non-Brazilian person to travel through time.
- In one episode set in an insane asylum we see a number of the inmates... including Jay Sherman.
Jay Sherman: It stinks! It stinks! It stinks! It stinks!
Asylum Attendendant: That's right, Mr Sherman. Everything stinks.
- One episode of Chowder has a character waiting for a blind date. In walks Sara Bellum from The Powerpuff Girls — but she's not his date.
- American Dad!:
- An episode features Stan name his top ten favorite fictional dogs. The #1 spot belongs to Brian from Family Guy who appears and doesn't know who Stan is.
- In another episode Francine took an online pregnancy test from "Dr. Vadgers" which was considered a scam. The end of the episode shows Dr. Vadgers computer screen when he is then shown and revealed to be Quagmire.
- And, yet again, after the family's house is washed away in a hurricane it arrives next door to Cleveland's. At which point Peter Griffin appears and the three are armed with guns at each other. Then Stan accidentally shoots Francine:
Peter: Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh. Classic American Dad.
- An episode of Time Squad had Buck and Larry abandon Otto after a fight and try out several replacement orphans... including Dexter, who protests he's not an orphan.
- House of Mouse had one in one of its episodes. With Pepper Ann of all shows! But considering it's a Massive Multiplayer Crossover, nine-tenths of the jokes are going to be this.
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends:
- A quick joke in an episode shows Mandy returning an imaginary friend, saying it was too happy. To make it funnier, said scene is just in Bloo's imagination.
- The pilot also has an imaginary friend who is Mojo Jojo; according to Wilt this is pretty common since "some kids aren't that creative, so they just copy what they see on TV."
- Animaniacs would occasionally cross the characters of its various shorts for a quick gag. A couple times, the Warners would be at a loss for how to deal with their current problem and eventually resort to recruiting another character: they took care of Elmyra by heading for Mindy and Buttons' neighborhood and letting her fill Buttons' usual Badly Battered Babysitter duties; and for a lady with Karmic Protection as a genuine (if overbearingly) Nice Girl they hired Slappy Squirrel, who had no such scruples. In yet another short, it was revealed that the dragon they just beat was actually a machine controlled by Pinky and the Brain.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man, the Living Laser is thrown into a dimensional rift, and comes out in the world of The Super Hero Squad Show, getting promptly beaten up by SHS-Thor.
- An episode of Road Rovers had the villain being incarcerated in an insane asylum for megalomaniacs. The inmates end up yelling at each other from their cells, arguing about about who is going to rule the world, until at the end a familiar voice is heard...
The Brain: No, it is I who shall rule the world! YES! [the closing theme of Pinky and the Brain is heard as the episode fades to credits]
- In an episode of Ben 10: Omniverse about a store that shifted between dimensions, when Ben first enters the store it's populated by alien versions of Cow and Chicken.
- One episode of Oggy and the Cockroaches has Oggy and the cockroaches falling into acid and turned into slime, and they enter a washing machine, which turns them into clothing, animals, then aliens... except that the "aliens" are clearly the titular characters of Space Goofs (both of which were produced by France's Gaumont studio).
- In the Looney Tunes short "Dog Pounded", after a long string of unsuccessful attempts at retrieving Tweety Bird from a dog pound, Sylvester gets the idea to disguise himself as a skunk and catch Tweety. Unfortunately, on his way out Pepe le Pew appears out of nowhere and starts hitting on Sylvester.
- An extremely subtle example comes from, of all things, Rick and Morty and Gravity Falls. In "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind", Rick opens up various portals to throw off the alternate Ricks pursuing him. A pad, pencil and coffee mug randomly drop out of one portal. In the Gravity Falls episode "Society of the Blind Eye" when Grunkle Stan is fiddling with the portal, those exact items get sucked in. The coffee mug even has a question mark on it in both shows.
- In the Freakazoid! episode "Quantum Freak", Freakazoid "prevents World War II"note by preventing the japanese assault on Pearl Harbor, then goes back to the present time to see what changes it brought. Similar to the episode's beginning, Air Force One is in peril, only this time the president is The Brain, and Pinky's flying Air Force One.
- The George Pal Puppetoon "Jasper Goes Hunting" has Jasper and Scarecrow encountering an ink-and-paint Bugs Bunny, who is ushered in the scene with an ersatz rendition of the Merrie Melodies theme. Bugs soon realizes he's in the wrong picture and dives back into his hole.
- The Dexter's Laboratory episode "Dad is Disturbed" had Mom interrupting Dad's golf game by talking on the phone with "Betty". Dad gets her to stop by going to the other end, revealing that Mom was talking with a modern version of Betty Rubble from The Flintstones. At the episode's end, he goes back to the same house to watch the game with Barney.