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That's So Raven was Disney Channel's most popular show since Lizzie McGuire. This directly led to the creation of more Standard-WITH A TWIST! Disney Channel 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.

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The 'Verse in which the shows exist was first established with 2006's crossover event 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. The 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 the Zeke and Luther crossover with Peter Punk, the DCLAU now extends 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). When Girl Meets World officially crossed over with Austin & Ally and Best Friends Whenever during Monstober 2015, the universe gained connections with Boy Meets World and the TGIF Shared Universe.

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It used to be that major crossover events (crossovers where each participating show got its own episode) received both a title referring to the event itself and titles for each individual episodes. For example, the event that started it all, "That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana" is broken down into "Checkin' Out" (the That's So Raven episode), the Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode (also titled "That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana") and "On the Road Again?" (the Hannah Montana episode). All three parts were produced and aired (consecutively) as separate episodes, with each part being written and produced by the production staff of the show that episode respectively belongs to, and are aired both consecutively or completely separately in syndication (apparently at the whim of the network, though they're typically aired consecutively as part of the Disney Replay block). This is likewise true for the next major crossover event, "Wizards On Deck With Hannah Montana" (consisting of Wizards's "Cast Away (To Another Show)", On Deck's "Double-Crossed" and Hannah's "Super(stitious) Girl"). This practice ended with the last major crossover event to follow this convention, "Austin & Jessie & Ally's All Star New Year" (with Austin & Allys "Big Dreams and Big Apples" and Jessie's "Nanny in Miami" which so far has always been aired as a single episode in syndication).

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With the Jessie/Good Luck Charlie crossover event "Good Luck Jessie: NYC Christmas" both halves for each series were still produced separately by each series' production staff (with the credits for the second half running halfway through the episode during the obvious transition), but the entire event is considered a single episode, and listed as such in its entirety as the single episode "Good Luck Jessie: NYC Christmas" simultaneously for the production orders for Jessie and Good Luck Charlie (i.e., there are no separately-titled parts making up the whole). Future major crossover events will likely follow this new convention. Also note that smaller crossover episodes where characters from one show crossover into a single episode of another show count as being an episode for the host show only (i.e., the Good Luck Charlie/Shake it Up crossover "Charlie Shakes it Up" is just a standard-length Good Luck Charlie episode with Shake it Up characters guest-starring, and likewise the Jessie episode "Aloha Holidays With Parker and Joey" is just a Jessie one-hour special with Liv and Maddie characters guest-starring).

A particularly notable crossover event happened in October 2015 for Disney Channel's "Monstober" event where virtually all of the network's shows had a crossover with each other, almost thoroughly connecting the entire network and creating an almost completely comprehensive shared universe while finally connecting the DCLAU to the larger shared universe of Boy Meets World as noted above. While being a massive inter-connected event, the episodes of each show featured guest stars from other shows so as to remain stand-alone as opposed to having interwoven plotlines.

For those keeping score, Jessie is the most "connected" series within the DCLAU itself by far, with no less than ten connecting events including five direct crossovers (six if you consider Mr. Moseby's appearance to be a "crossover" event).

Compare Disney Channel Animated Universe for Disney Channel's animated equivalent and Nick Verse for Nickelodeon's equivalent. Not to be confused with the DCAU, the DC Animated Universe. An article examining the DCLAU can also be found here. The Soy Luna wiki also has an article that goes into some more detail on the crossovers that happen with the Latin American productions here.


NOTE: Examples are confined to shows featured on Disney Channel! TGIF shows can be found on that page.

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


Please note that there are other shows that may be linked to the DCLAU beyond Disney Channel, but listing them will cause the page to overflow! Remember the main focus of this page is the Disney Channel Live-Action Unvierse!

The Disney Channel Live-Action Universe links:

  • That's So Raven (2003-2007):
    • A direct Crossover with The Suite Life of Zack and Cody in the episode "Checkin' Out", part of the larger "That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana" crossover event shared with these two shows and Hannah Montana (this is in fact the event that gave birth to the shared universe in the first place).
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (2005-2008):
  • Hannah Montana (2006-2011):
  • Cory in the House (2007-2008):
  • Phineas and Ferb (2007-2015):
    • As a crossover episode links Phineas and Ferb with the Marvel Universe, Phineas and Ferb is also logically linked to the DCLAU through the Ultimate Spider-Man / Jessie crossover. (note that this episode explicitly exists within the canon of both Phineas and Ferb and Marvel Universe, as opposed to the Star Wars crossover special which is explicitly stated to be non-canon for both series.)
  • Wizards of Waverly Place (2007-2012):
  • The Suite Life on Deck (2008-2011):
  • Zeke and Luther (2009-2012):
  • I'm in the Band (2009-2011):
    • A direct Crossover with The Suite Life on Deck in the episode "Weasels on Deck".
    • In "Road Tripp", Burger nearly runs someone over, yelling "Skateboard on the sidewalk, Zeke!".
  • Good Luck Charlie (2010-2014):
    • A direct Crossover with Shake it Up in the episode "Charlie Shakes It Up".
    • A direct crossover with Jessie in the special "Good Luck Jessie: NYC Christmas".
    • The social networking site Buddy Page from "Alley Oops" is also seen in the Jessie episode "One Day Wonders".
    • Similarly, the iPad parody myTab featured in "Battle of the Bands" is also used in the Austin & Ally episode "myTab and My Pet".
    • The Hero Rising video game from Aaron Stone appears in the episode "Let's Potty".
  • Pair of Kings (2010-2013):
  • Shake it Up (2010-2013):
  • Cuando toca la Campana (2011-2012):
    • A direct crossover with Peter Punk during season 2.
  • Peter Punk (2011-2013):
  • A.N.T. Farm (2011-2014):
    • The Hashimoto soda brand from the The Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode "Trouble in Tokyo" is featured in the episode "independANTs", and Mr. Hashimoto himself shows up in a recurring role, played by the same actor as in The Suite Life On Deck.
    • A poster for Tears of Blood, a band from Wizards of Waverly Place, is seen in the background of the episode "PerformANTs"
    • Z-Tech, maker of technology referenced in several other shows (such as the Z-Phone and the Z-Cube) is the setting for Season 3.
  • Kickin' It (2011-2015):
    • The aforementioned Red Skies Crossover event with Zeke and Luther and Pair of Kings, described above.
    • Another Red Skies Crossover event with Lab Rats and Mighty Med, in which a lunar eclipse causes several (supposedly) paranormal events to occur in each show.
    • The aforementioned myTab appears.
    • Revenge of the Hemogoblin from A.N.T. Farm appears in "Wazombie Warriors".
  • Jessie (2011-2015):
    • A direct Crossover with Austin & Ally in the episode "Nanny in Miami" (the second half of the special "Austin & Jessie & Ally All Star New Year").
    • A direct crossover with Good Luck Charlie in the special "Good Luck Jessie: NYC Christmas".
    • "Tempest In A Teacup" features a billboard advertising "Tipton Tea".
    • The same Humidity on the Hudson posters from Wizards of Waverly Place show up on some outdoor scenes including the Central Park playset area in early episodes.
    • Arturo Vitalli, London Tipton's favorite designer, is referenced in "Trashin' Fashion" and "Say Yes To The Messy Dress".
    • A direct Crossover with Ultimate Spider-Man in October 2014, marking the first time a live-action Disney Channel series has officially crossed over with an animated Disney XD series and tying in animated series into the DCLAU.
    • A direct Crossover with Liv and Maddie premiered in December 2014, albeit only having the brothers as opposed to the twin sisters.
    • An appearance by Mr. Moseby from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and The Suite Life on Deck in the episode "Karate Kid-astrophe".
    • Logan and Delia from I Didn't Do It appear in the Halloween episode "The Ghostest with the Mostest", while Emma and Zuri appear in the K.C. Undercover Halloween episode "All Howl's Eve".
  • Austin & Ally (2011-2016):
    • A direct Crossover with Jessie in the episode "Big Dreams & Big Apples" (the first half of the special "Austin & Jessie & Ally All Star New Year").
    • Austin and Ally are celebrity judges on America's Top Talent in the episode "Moon Week and Mentors", the same show that Hannah Montana guest-judged in "Judge Me Tender".
    • Ernie and Judy from K.C. Undercover appear in the Halloween episode "Scary Spirits & Spooky Stories", while Austin and Ally appear in the Girl Meets World Halloween episode "Girl Meets World of Terror 2" and Trish and Dez appear in the I Didn't Do It Halloween episode "Bite Club".
  • Lab Rats (2012-2016):
  • Violetta (2012-2015):
    • Rock Bones from Peter Punk are recurring characters throughout the series.
    • DJ from Cuando toca la campana has a minor role in season 2.
  • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja (2012-2015):
    • An episode of Best Friends Whenever, which is from the same creators, featured Greg's Gamehole in the background.
  • Crash & Bernstein (2012-2014):
    • The Hero Rising video game from Aaron Stone can be spotted in the background of Iconic Arcade in multiple episodes.
    • In "Release the Crashen", Mel makes a reference to the movie High School Musical in a flashback, confirming that it exists as a movie just as it does in the rest of the DCLAU, and therefore implementing Crash & Bernstein into the universe.
  • Dog with a Blog (2012-2015):
    • At the end of the episode "Guess Who's a Cheater", Stan says "Good Luck, Charlie", just as Teddy Duncan does on that show. It's still yet to be confirmed if this means that DWAB is linked to the DCLAU solely through Recursive Canon or not. Beyond that, there have been almost no other references made to other shows or other shows referencing it throughout its entire run (a rarity for a Disney Channel live-action multi-cam show since the DCLAU became established, especially for a show to run through three full seasons).
    • In the episode "Cat with a Blog", the band Metal Wolf from I'm in the Band is referenced.
  • Liv and Maddie (2013-2017):
  • Mighty Med (2013-2015):
    • A Red Skies Crossover event with Lab Rats and Kickin' It described above.
    • And another one again with Lab Rats with Kirby Buckets
    • A direct crossover with Lab Rats in "Lab Rats vs. Mighty Med".
  • I Didn't Do It (2014-2015):
    • The same Obama impersonator in Austin and Ally and Hannah Montana appeared in the episode where the kids took a school trip to Washington D.C.
    • Trish and Dez from Austin & Ally appear in the Halloween episode "Bite Club", while Logan and Delia appear in the Jessie Halloween episode "The Ghostest with the Mostest".
  • Girl Meets World (2014-2017):
    • Austin and Ally from Austin & Ally appear in the Halloween episode "Girl Meets World of Terror 2", while Riley and Lucas appear in the Best Friends Whenever Halloween episode "Cyd and Shelby in the Haunted Escape". Ironic enough both pairs in said crossovers were ships (Auslly on the former and Rucas on the latter).
    • This means that the parent show Boy Meets World is also in the Disney Channel Live Action Universe, bringing with it the many shows it crossed over with while it was airing (see separate category below)
  • Kirby Buckets (2014-2017):
    • Laughy Cat, who is shown to be an internet celebrity on both Lab Rats and Mighty Med, appears on this show, which also serves as a Red Skies Cross Through.
  • K.C. Undercover (2015-2018):
    • Emma and Zuri from Jessie appear in the Halloween episode "All Howl's Eve", while Ernie and Judy appear in the Austin & Ally Halloween episode "Scary Spirits & Spooky Stories".
  • Best Friends Whenever (2015-2016):
    • Riley and Lucas from Girl Meets World appear in the Halloween episode "Cyd and Shelby in the Haunted Escape", while Cyd and Shelby appear in the Liv and Maddie Halloween episode "Haunt-A-Rooney".
  • Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything (2015-2017):
    • Clutch, who is shown to be an Olympian and Oliver's hero on Lab Rats: Elite Force appears as a video game character.
  • Descendants (2015):
    • The first DCOM to be implicated in the DCLAU, With the Hero Rising video game from Aaron Stone appearing once again this time being played by Carlos and Jay.
  • Bunk'd (2015-Present):
    • A direct Spin-Off of Jessie starring half of the main cast of the previous show.
    • A direct crossover with Raven's Home in Raven About Bunk'd
  • Lab Rats: Elite Force (2016):
  • Soy Luna (2016-2018):
    • Olga from Violetta appears in Season 1 Episode 55.
    • Gary López from Juacas appears in season 2. He would go on to become part of this show's main cast the following season.
    • Gary's son Sebastián appears in Season 3 Episode 7.
  • Milo Murphy's Law (2016-2019):
    • Created by the same men who created Phineas and Ferb. Both shows are set in Danville, Tri-State Area. Multiple P&F Easter eggs are scattered throughout season one, including Love Händel, Football X7, and Ducky Momo.
    • Doofenshmirtz appears in the season one finale, and the season two premiere is a direct crossover between the shows. The consequences of the premiere see Doofenshmirtz temporarily move in with the Murphys, thus joining the main cast.
  • O11CE (2017-2019):
    • A direct crossover with Soy Luna in Season 4 Episode 40.
  • Juacas (2017-2019):
    • Ámbar from Soy Luna appears in Season 2 Episode 17.
  • Raven's Home (2017-2021):
  • Marvel Universe (as in the programming block, not to be confused with Marvel Universe, the primary body of Marvel's comics):
    • One of the shows, Ultimate Spider-Man, has a direct crossover with Jessie, thus implicating it in the DCLAU.
    • The voice actors and designs of the above-mentioned USM and Avengers, Assemble! are utilized in a crossover with Phineas and Ferb.
    • Note that the incorporation of these shows imply profound Continuity Snarls: After USM's run ended, another Spider-series, Marvel's Spider-Man took its place, and there seems to be no connection between the two shows. However, despite the heroes of Assemble and USM interacting during that latter's run, as the new series airs, the Assemble characters interact with the new Spider-Man and make no mention of the past series.
  • Just Roll With It (2019-2021):
    • An appearance from Jackson Stewart from Hannah Montana as seen above. He makes several direct references to events in the show and Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana herself.
  • BIA (2019-Present):
    • Jazmín and Delfi from Soy Luna are recurring characters.
    • Alex has a framed jersey of the Golden Hawks from O11CE in his room.

Franchises which seem to be linked to the Disney Channel Live-Action Universe but also may contain some Recursive Canon:

  • Star Wars
    • Signs of being a part of the Disney Channel Live-Action Universe:
      • Kickin' It has the episode "Seaford Hustle" where the Force seems to be implied as being real.
      • In the first episode of Jessie Morgan Ross gets a real lightsaber, and possibly a real ewok.

    • Possible inconsistencies of it being a part of the Disney Channel Live-Action Universe:
      • ''A.N.T Farm has the episode "ScavANTger hunt" where it seems to be implied that the Star Wars movies were made (though it's never stated as to whether the films are fiction or not), and not helping matters C-3PO mentions Darth Vader and Admiral Ackbar as having jobs in the Skywalker Ranch, even though this would be impossible for the real ones considering that by this time they would have been dead long ago.

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
    • Signs of being a part of the Disney Channel Live-Action Universe:
      • Would be connected to the universe if Star Wars is due to Asogians (E.T's species) having a recurring cameo in the franchise.

    • Possible inconsistencies of it being a part of the Disney Channel Live-Action Universe:
      • In one episode of Jessie it seems to imply that E.T's movie was made (though like with Star Wars it's never stated as to whether or not the film's fiction In-Universe).

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

Please list only shows that have aired on Disney Channel or related networks (NOT ABC!)

  • Ugly Betty: If so, would be the only series in the DCLAU not associated with any other show through actual production even if the TGIF/St. Elsewhere universe is included (though still airing on Disney sister network ABC); apparently, some of the characters of Ugly Betty follow London Tipton's Yay Me! vlog.
  • Other, non-Disney Channel shows: Since Girl Meets World is confirmed to be in the same universe as the rest of the DCLAU (and consequently Boy Meets World) other shows of the St. Elsewhere-verse may be an official or unofficial part of the universe as well (see notes above).
  • The Muppets: Appeared in an episode of Good Luck Charlie and got a few mentions on other DCLAU-linked shows. Since the Charlie appearance was mostly through fantasy it remains to be seen if the "real" Muppets exist in the DCLAU.
  • Shaun of the Dead: The main characters Shaun and Ed show up in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Night of the Living Pharmacists" but it's unknown if this should be treated as canon or as just a cameo.
  • Stuck in the Middle: Has yet to establish any connection, having premiered at the beginning of 2016.
  • Bizaardvark: Same as Stuck in the Middle.
  • Mech-X4: Same as Stuck in the Middle and Bizaardvark.
  • Andi Mack: Same as Stuck in the Middle, Bizaardvark, and Mech-X4 but a single-camera Spiritual Successor to Lizzie McGuire.
  • Coop & Cami Ask the World: Same as Stuck, Mech-X4, Bizaardvark, and Andi.
  • Sydney to the Max: Same as the above.
  • Gabby Duran & the Unsittables: Same as the above.

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 confirms 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.
  • Backstage: Same as Mr Young, also it's a tween drama.
  • It's generally accepted that any Canadian production or co-production on Disney Channel and Disney XD, as well as other foreign imports such as H₂O: Just Add Water, 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.
  • Although animated shows are now free game to be included into the DCLAU, it's generally accepted that animated shows are either in the Disney Channel Animated Universe, in the canon of their parent material only (as is specifically the case of TRON: Uprising and Star Wars Rebels) or are completely standalone unless established otherwise.


Tropes constant across the Disney Channel Live-Action Universe:

  • 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.
  • An Aesop: Being children's programming first and foremost, it stands to reason many of these will aim to teach life lessons.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The type of acting common to these shows implies a strange variant. Often, after a joke is told, the characters will pause and let the Laugh Track run its course, often while looking at the camera. However, they stop just short of actually acknowledging the fourth wall.
    • Exactly how breakable the fourth wall is will vary based on the show. Usually, characters will make references to it, but stop just short of actually mentioning that they're on a TV show. Other cases, fourth wall breaks are common fuel for gags, especially in the animated shows.
  • Bumbling Dad: Several.
  • 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 video of "Work It" by Missy Elliot; both are portrayed by Alyson Stoner. Also in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Maddie believes that she looks exactly like Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay, to which everyone else replies with "I don't see it."
    • There's an interesting case with the Latin American shows. On Soy Luna, Tini, who played the titular character of Violetta, made a guest appearance halfway through the second season. However, The Movie for Violetta ended with the character deciding to start going under a childhood nickname, "Tini." As Luna already had a crossover with Violetta the season prior, fans are confused as to whether or not the Tini who appeared is supposed to be the person or the character.
  • 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 side you have Good Luck Charlie.
  • 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".
  • Cowboy BeBop 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, namely too much corruption and Demographically Inappropriate Humour, 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 cross over 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.
    • The "Monster Spooktacular" Halloween event of 2015 is one of the largest Crisis Crossovers in the DCLAU, as all of the major shows in the universe at the time are crossed over with each other and many characters are attending the same Halloween Party within the same few hours.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Almost all DCLAU shows have a Big Bad, but in Wizards of Waverly Place, Gorog seems to be the devil of the universe.
  • High Concept: With only a few exceptions (Good Luck Charlie, Liv and Maddie, I Didn't Do It, and Girl Meets World), all of the shows in the DCLAU have followed the high concept formula, and a few (That's So Raven, Raven's Home, Wizards of Waverly Place, Dog With A Blog, Lab Rats, Crash & Bernstein, Mighty Med, Lab Rats: Elite Force, Best Friends Whenever, and the final season of Kirby Buckets) are completely fantastical.
  • Hollywood Dress Code: Everyone's always well-styled in bright, new clothes that fit well even though they're growing kids. Stuff that's too big, washed-out, or half-outgrown is conspicuously absent. An Enforced Trope for the girl protagonists—Disney markets character-wardrobe-based clothes—but even supposedly-nerdy boys look like they put a lot of effort into dressing the way they do (maybe even more than the "cool" guys, since that clothing would be easier to find in stores).
  • Hollywood Nerd: Every series has its designated nerd main character; while an Urkel-like Extraverted Nerd has long been favored, the nearly Always Male characters seem to be getting toned down. Compare post- Girl Meets Yearbook Farkle with Season 1 Farkle; Barry from Best Friends Whenever is the first character conceived the "new" way from the start.
  • Laugh Track: A sitcom trademark that's even present on the Latin American Cuando toca la campana.
  • 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.
  • The Movie: Wizards, The Suite Life on Deck, and Good Luck Charlie all got a television movie. Good Luck Charlie also got two hour-long specials, as did A.N.T. Farm. Lab Rats got several special episodes. Phineas and Ferb received a television movie, another movie on Disney+, and several special episodes. I'm in the Band, Crash & Bernstein, and Zeke & Luther got one each. 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. BIA is getting a special episode that is essentially a movie. And in two cases (Hannah Montana and Violetta), The Movie was an actual theatrical release.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: President Martinez in Cory in the House, to fit into the standard sitcom mold, is both a President Personable and a President Buffoon. He is presumably meant to take the place of George W. Bush in the timeline.
    • He was succeeded by an Expy of Barack Obama, according to Hannah Montana and Austin & Ally.
      • Who the president is (and consequently overall continuity) is somewhat complicated. As mentioned above most of the shows other than Cory in the House have someone who at least is an obvious physical Expy of Obama without being explicitly named so. Jessie on the other hand actually has First Lady Michelle Obama (not an actress playing the role, the actual, real First Lady Michelle Obama playing herself ala iCarly, including referencing her daughters and pets). K.C. Undercover however introduces yet a different president (indirectly through his daughter, who in the show is old enough to go to college), as the presumable stand-in for Donald Trump.
  • Nuclear Family: Most of the characters come from these. More aversions pop up as time goes on, however, such as the blended Flynn-Fletchers, Dooley-Davenports, and James-Jennings; Happily Adopted Rosses and Valentes; the Amicably Divorced Martins, Joneses, Bernsteins, Dawsons, and, in the sequel series, Raven Baxter and Chelsea Grayson are both divorced mothers. In Violetta, the main character's mother died some time before where the story starts off.
  • The Power of Friendship: A common lesson for many Kid Coms, including several in this universe.
  • 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).
  • Retool: Almost any show that makes it to a fourth season will usually get a new title and just enough changes to be considered a "different show" as defined by union contracts.
  • 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.
  • Santa Claus: It's implied that the Santa Claus of the Disney Channel Live-Action Universe is a shapeshifter, due to the fact that he has been played by several different actors yet is still the same person. When he appeared on That's So Raven he bore a remarkable resemblance to one of her teachers, while the Santa of Bunk'd was African-American. This could be somewhat justified, as even in the real world, different cultures perceive Santa in different ways and have many different names for him.
  • Secret Identity: For the Wizards, K.C. and her family, the Lab Rats, Raven, Hannah/Miley, almost everyone in Mighty Med, Violetta (two separate occasions), Germán, Angie, Nina/Felicity For Now, and Perry (the Platypus, not the Principal).
  • 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, Lab Rats, Kirby Buckets, Soy Luna), the school setting actually features very prominently, if not factoring into the plot in some fashion roughly Once an Episode. The main character of Violetta is homeschooled and is shown studying with her tutor/aunt, especially in the first season. A.N.T. Farm is the most notable and largest Aversion, as the high school and its social dynamics are the main focus.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Kids with common parents invariably butt heads on most of the shows, though the intensity varies, going from fairly mild (i.e. Miley and Jackson, K.C. and Ernie) to borderline Cain and Abel territory (i.e. Justin and Alex, Kirby and Dawn). Most do tend to be somewhere in between, though.
  • Sliding Scale of Beauty: (In-Universe). Most of the protagonists are considered common beauty or special average, because usually they are cute and losers.
  • Studio Audience: The Kid Coms filmed in Los Angeles, despite their usage of laugh tracks, are in fact filmed in front of audiences. Raven's Home opens with a narration stating so.
  • Thicker Than Water: Common in shows where most of the main characters are related. Even families that would be undeniably dysfunctional in Real Life are always portrayed as being genuinely loving towards each other at the end of the day.
  • Vacation Crossover:
    • Wizards On Deck With Hannah Montana has Justin and Alex from Wizards win a competition to board the ship from On Deck, while Hannah Montana also boards it on her way to a concert in Honolulu.
    • The Good Luck Charlie episode "Charlie Shakes It Up" has Charlie, Teddy and Amy visit their great aunt in Chicago, only to be taken to the Shake It Up studio when they are mistaken for a dance duo.
    • Austin & Jessie & Ally has Jessie on the way to the New York Ball Drop when she runs into Austin and Ally stuck in traffic, who are set to perform there themselves.
    • In the I'm in the Band episode "Weasels On Deck", the Weasels go vacationing on the Tipton cruise ship and end up running into Zack and Cody.
    • This isn't limited to just their English-language shows. In the Peter Punk episode "El Duel (Con Zeke y Luther)", Zeke and Luther travel to Argentina on vacation, and subsequently draw the attention of Peter's love interest Evelyn. Jealous, Peter challenges them to a skateboard duel, despite not knowing how to skate.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: As the kids and teens are the show's heroes, parents are often reduced to comic relief roles. That said, Good Parents do exist, and many of them are just as wacky as the Bumbling Dads and smothering moms.

Alternative Title(s): DCLAU

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