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Canon Welding

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"They were independent, separate stories. But now... the stories are combining, that's why the worlds are becoming one."

When an author or creator takes two previously unrelated works and puts them into a single, shared continuity.

Sci-fi and fantasy authors don't always write all their novels in the same continuity. A budding new author's first published book might be about space pirates in the 27th century, while his sophomore effort might instead be about 21st century scientists reverse-engineering a flying saucer. In response to popular demand, he might end up writing a sequel to one, or even both of these novels.

Some years later, the author decides that all their works were set in one contiguous world (or something between "country" and "universe"), perhaps in different times or places, perhaps close enough for the characters to meet. Maybe their storytelling ambitions have grown to expand their work into a grand tapestry of fictional history. Maybe connecting the franchises in a bigger one will be a lucrative prospect for them or their works' later owners. Maybe they're creatively spent and bashing their old works together will wring out a few more releases?

Many long-lived genre authors tend to resort to Canon Welding, usually at a later point in their career. They combine two or more distinct series they've created into a single continuity. This isn't just a one-off Crossover; for series with radically different premises, the foundations of one or both stories can be altered forever.

By combining the two series together, the author can introduce fans of one series to characters they may not be familiar with, inducing them to go out and buy the works in that series, and hopefully attract high sales from fans of both storylines. When done well, it can add a more epic feel to the tale, explore aspects of the two storylines not previously delved into, and make lots of money for the author and his publisher (and there are many examples of this, perhaps most famously The Lord of the Rings). When done poorly, especially with stories with radically different settings or styles, it looks and feels like a shallow money-grab and can potentially be a shark-jumping moment for both series.

Modular Franchise is when it's done at a corporate level. When this is done by fans, it becomes either a Patchwork Fic if all of the components are part of a single Franchise or one variety of Fusion Fic if they are not. Crossover Relatives is often used as part of the weld, both at the individual level, by creating a familial relationship between notable characters, and at the group level, such as by establishing similar fantasy or alien species from the fused works as descending from each other or from a common root stock. Compare Shared Universe, which can be created through Canon Welding if it wasn't shared from the beginning. See also Character Overlap.

Supertrope to Public Domain Canon Welding, which is for when at least one of the works is Public Domain. For the fanon equivalent of this trope, see Fanon Welding. Not to be confused with welding artillery.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Manga creator Go Nagai does this often with his various works, although Mazinger Z and UFO Robo Grendizer were already part of one continuity from Grendizer's get-go.
    • Shin Mazinger is quickly reaching a critical level of this, with a woman from Violence Jack turning out to be Kouji Kabuto's mother.
    • Violence Jack has incorporated Devilman and later Devilman Lady as taking place in one Universe that resets itself and all main characters are really incarnations of Akira Fudou. And because the series is also Deconstructor Fleet for all other Go Nagai's manga, there are many theories incorporating them into it in all incarnations, which is possible thanks to the nature of this world. Cameos and crossovers between his works are so often it's pretty easy. Then there's Devilman Grimoire, where Jun Fudo and Aoi Kurosaki from Devilman Lady are shown to be teachers at Akira and Miki's school. They are also lovers. Alphonse and Himura, from the 1970s Devilman anime series, also feature.
  • Gosho Aoyama's three main works Case Closed, Magic Kaito, and Yaiba!, have the tendency to merge into one universe. Magic Kaito was more or less put on hold in favor of Case Closed, but its characters occur so frequently in Case Closed to be the latter's recurring characters. Although, Aoyama also drew the line: Case Closed does not deal with Magic Kaito characters in their civvies.
  • The Gundam franchise started off with only the Universal Century timeline under the auspices of creator Yoshiyuki Tomino. When he stepped away from the franchise in 1993, Sunrise introduced the concept of Alternate Universes to allow new creators to explore their vision of Gundam without creating a Continuity Snarl, resulting in the Future Century, After Colony, and After War timelines. Then Tomino returned for the 20th anniversary and created ∀ Gundam, set in the Correct Century timeline, which was eventually revealed to be the Distant Finale of all of Gundam, including the AUs, although this involves a lot of Continuity Snarl regarding the timelines. Tomino's latest work, Gundam: Reconguista in G, takes place in the Regild Century timeline, which is explicitly stated in-series as being the era that came after the end of the Universal Century. Additionally, the non-canon manga Gundam vs. Ideon: Counterattack of Gigantis reveals that the Universal Century timeline was the new universe created after the destruction of the previous universe at the end of Space Runaway Ideon, another Tomino series.
  • The mangaka group CLAMP has been known for self-crossovers for many years, but their twin series Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- and ×××HOLiC are meant to tie all their works—both present-day and fantasy—into a single continuity.
  • Pretty Cure All Stars. 14 magical girls from 4 different continuities save the day. Awesome.
    • The second All Stars-movie features 17 magical girls from 5 different continuities. From the previews it seems to feature some of the different baddies, too.
      • All Stars DX 3 ups the number to 21 from 6 continuities and the brand-new New Stage brings it to a grand total of 28 from 7. It overlaps with Remember the New Guy? as a lot of Cures that show up in one movie weren't in the movie before that.
      • All Stars New Stage delivers a Retcon of sorts now stating that 23 magical girls from 6 different continuities saved the day. Then 5 more from the 7th hopped in and it was madness.
    • Interestingly, it seems that Smile PreCure! is attempting a bit of a Canon Weld experiment themselves - an episode midway through reveals that Yayoi's mother works for Fairy Drop, the store owned by Erika Kurumi's mother. And said mother is mentioned, at least by last name.
  • Eiichiro Oda re-used Ryuuma, a character from his one-shot manga Monsters, as a (zombified) villain in One Piece and his home country was mentioned to be part of the New World (the second half of the Grand Line). He later confirmed that Monsters was incorporated into the backstory of the setting.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi reveals that all of Ken Akamatsu's major works exist in the same universe. The ties between Negima and Love Hina are obvious with Setsuna being a Shinmeiryuu swordswoman, which is lead by the Aoyama family from Love Hina; the reference to A.I. Love You is found in a single panel, although it's kinda important, as the protagonist of that series is implied to have written the code that enables Chachamaru to have a soul.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Before he gave the world Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama's first popular series was a comedy called Doctor Slump, about a robot girl and the slob scientist who created her causing havoc in a weird place called Penguin Village. About a year into the Dragon Ball series, Toriyama had Goku visit Penguin Village and meet most of the Slump cast, thus joining the two series into one universe. This was mostly done as an attempt to use Dr. Slump's popularity to help increase readership of Dragon Ball, as it wasn't the huge hit it would eventually become yet. In contrast, the crossover has had the opposite effect in later years: many fans, especially outside of Japan, only know the Dr. Slump cast because of their guest spot on Dragon Ball. It's gotten to the point that Arale's made it into at least three Dragon Ball video games as a playable character! Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Dragon Ball Origins and Revenge of King Piccolo, to be precise. The first one also caused a good amount of rejoicing for those who knew her.
    • The Akira Toriyama manga Pola and Roid, Tomato, Girl Detective and Wonder Island connect to Dr. Slump through cameos. The manga Dub and Peter 1, Escape, Go! Go! Ackman, Kajika, Kintoki, Nekomajin/Nekomajin Z, and Sand Land might all take place in the Dragon Ball universe (Galactic Patrol of Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, Jiya and Sachie-chan Guu!! fame is confirmed to take place due to its ending).
    • Dragon Ball Super is an odd example, since while it's specifically meant to be a sequel to the original Dragon Ball manga rather than the anime, various anime-only Filler moments get directly referenced. Gregory, an anime-only character, is present, Android 18 gets pissed when 17 accidentally calls Marron "Maron", Krillin's girlfriend from the Garlic Jr. filler arc of Dragon Ball Z, and when Krillin is surrounded by ghosts of the various villains they've fought over the series, Captain Ginyu in Bulma's body also appears, something that also never happened in the manga. On the other hand, Gohan at one point talks to a group of bus hijackers he stopped in the manga, but not the anime, and various continuity errors, such as the different depictions of hell in the Z anime and Super exist if one tries to connect them directly.
      • That is probably not Ginyu in Bulma’s body. Krillin commented that he finds Bulma scarier than Frieza.
  • Leiji Matsumoto is notorious for this, with Galaxy Express 999, Captain Harlock, Queen Millennia, and Space Battleship Yamato crossing over to various degrees, not always following a consistent continuity.
  • Endings of Getter Robo Armageddon and New Getter Robo in which Armageddon versions of Ryoma, Hayato and Benkei and New version of Ryoma ends in Warrior Heaven, alongside countless Getters, fighting unknown monsters has hinted that all Getter's separated continuities (two mentioned above, Ken Ishikawa's manga continuity, Getter Robo DASH manga and anime Getter Robo Go and Shin Getter Robo Vs Neo Getter Robo) might exist in the same Multiverse.
  • Madhouse Studios anime adaptations of four Marvel Comics' titles - X-Men, Iron Man, Wolverine and Blade - are set in one Universe, confirmed both by Word of God from Marvel and the same Wolverine appearing in all four anime.
  • GaoGaiGar FINAL has blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameos of characters from Betterman, establishing those two series takes place in one Universe.
  • REDLINE does this by making main characters from two different anime - Miki and Todoroki from Mole Brothers and Trava and Shinkai from Trava First Planet - participating in the eponymous race.
  • Several years ago, Hidenori Kusaka and Satoshi Yamamoto worked on a short Pokémon Ranger manga that was only released online. As it turns out in the Platinum arc of Pokémon Adventures, the events that occured in that online comic are indeed canonical. The Ranger story was later included in an Adventures art book.
  • Time Bokan:
    • Yatterman Night has the cast encountering characters (or in some case, blatant Expies) from various other shows produced by Tatsunoko Production. One episode even has Galina and Alouette driving the Mach 5!
    • This seems to be tradition for Yatterman: the original and 2008 series crossed over with several Tatsunoko shows, and even placed them in a "Tatsunoko Kingdom" where all Tatsunoko characters appeared to reside in during one OVA.
  • Makoto Shinkai's films The Garden of Words, Your Name, and Weathering With You have been confirmed to exist in the same timeline thanks to various character crossovers. Yukari Yukino shows up as the English teacher at Itomori High School in Your Name while Taki, Mitsuha , Saya, Teshi, and Yotsuha have cameos in Weathering With You.
  • Eiji Ohtsuka has demonstrated that his horror manga MPD Psycho and The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service share a continuity thanks to the character Sasayama, who appears as a police officer in the former and as a social worker, at a later stage of his life, in the latter.
  • Before High School D×D, Ishibumi wrote the first iteration of SLASHDØG which flopped and never went past the first volume. However, he did bring in Tobio Ikuse first as a Canon Immigrant in Volume 15 in 2013, a year later he went and rewrote SLASHDØG and properly placed it in the same universe as DxD, bringing along Grauzauberer and Akeno's extended family and properly developed it into The 'Verse by adding a character from his first and most obscure work, Denpachi.
  • City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes confirms that the series exists in the same universe as Cat's Eye, with the three Kisugi sisters turning out to be the true owners of the cafe that Umibozu and Miki run.
  • Tohru Fujisawa, best known for Great Teacher Onizuka, confirmed several of his other series, Kamen Teacher and Animal Joe, exist in the same universe as GTO, with the main characters making cameos in GTO: Paradise Lost. He also wrote a crossover between Kamen Teacher and Ino-Head Gargoyle, a spinoff of GTO.
  • The original Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed mangas are said to be set in the same timeline but don't reference any of each other's characters or events. About the only thing they share is some of the Space Filling Empires, notably that North America is now dominated by the Divided States of America after several more world wars.
  • Ayakashi Triangle eventually established Yamato Gensouki (Kentaro Yabuki's first serialization) as events that occurred in the distant past, at least in Broad Strokes. A flashback uses the same design for Empress Iyo, who is Suzu and the ayakashi medium's earliest past life. It has elements of Fully Absorbed Finale, partially resolving the plotline Cut Short in Yamato Gensouki: Iyo's power came from being a human incarnation of the goddess Amaterasu. The Onmyoren, the story's villainous organization, failed to conquer Japan but still exists as the Gogyosen, who founded and have authority over the Exorcist Ninja Association.

    Comic Books 
  • The DC and Marvel universes were born from this trope; originally, the titles published by each company did not overlap, but over time, cameos, Crossovers, and inside references combined to form the comic books into one big, interconnected web. That's not even counting the Amalgam universe. Since DC vs. Marvel in 1996, it's revealed all crossovers were canonical — more or less. note 
    • Mind you, Marvel started this with the first issue of Spider-Man. And even before that, Marvel started this 21 years earlier in the Timely Comics era, when Human Torch faced off against Namor the Sub-Mariner for the first time. They teamed a few more times over the next few years, and some of the less prominent characters occasionally got involved. Then, in 1946, Timely launched the All-Winners Squad, teaming up existing characters like Captain America, the Human Torch, and the Sub-Mariner (among others).
    • DC started it in All-Star Comics #3 with the Justice Society's first meeting. To this day, it's generally accepted that the Justice Society is the first-ever example of a super hero team lasting longer than a single issue in comics history.
    • DC has also historically made a habit of assimilating the characters of other comics companies into their multiverse - Quality Comics (Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, Plastic Man, Blackhawk), Fawcett Comics (Shazam, Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family), Charlton Comics (Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, The Question), Wild Storm (The Authority, Wild CATS Wild Storm), Milestone Comics (Icon, Hardware, Static) and Archie Comics' Red Circle superhero characters. Generally, these characters start off in alternate universes, and then some sort of universal crisis reboots the DC Universe yet again, merging the universes. That said, sometimes the welding isn't permanent, as with the Red Circle characters, who eventually returned to Archie.
    • DC Rebirth saw the welding of Watchmen and the DC multiverse.
    • Interestingly, it's suggested that they are all interconnected through... X-Men: The Animated Series. The final issue to the 1996 comic series X-Men Adventures, which is set in that animated universe, revealed that universe was the universe that gave way to the main Marvel Universe (thus making Galactus a Canon Immigrant retroactively). Even more, the Living Tribunal is shown watching the creation of this world, temporarily holding back the brothers who would cause the aforementioned DC vs. Marvel event and even mentions needing to talk to his his hooded spectorial counterpart.
  • Shazam! and Kid Eternity are a particularly interesting example. DC acquired the rights to both from separate comic companies. Eventually, they realized that Shazam's Freddy Freeman and the nameless Kid had remarkably similar back stories—both were raised by a grandfather who died in a boating accident caused by Nazis, which also resulted in the grandson getting superpowers activated by saying a magic phrase. As a result, Freddy and "Kit Freeman" were revealed to be brothers.
  • Jack Kirby's The Eternals clearly took place in a separate continuity at first, but later writers integrated the characters (most notably the Celestials) into the wider Marvel Universe.
  • Image Comics is an interesting case.
    • Originally, all of its titles took place in a shared universe. Over time, the original Image partners focused on their own corners of the Image Universe, causing the continuity to split into several distinct sub-continuities. The Shattered Image crossover made the split official. But Image partners still occasionally "borrowed" each others' characters, so the sub-universes still interacted. As new, non-partner creators become more prominent in Image Comics, they started building universes of their own, and they occasionally used the Image partners' characters. For example:
    • Characters from Jay Faerber's creator-owned series (Noble Causes, Venture, Firebirds, and Dynamo5) appear in each other's books all the time, creating a loose-knit "Faerberverse".
    • Robert Kirkman's characters occasionally cross over in a similar fashion (and sometimes become supporting cast - especially in Invincible). The Kirkmanverse and Faerberverse intersect at a number of points, especially The Pact mini-series. Other Image characters, such as Savage Dragon and Shadowhawk, often pop up. Spawn didn't make an appearance until Image United, which brought together characters of all of the current Image partners (Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Robert Kirkman, and Jim Valentino), as well as Whilce Portacio and several other creators.
    • Angela from the Spawn universe jumped ship to the Marvel Universe at the close of Age of Ultron.
  • Eclipse Comics' four-part crossover mini-series Total Eclipse brought together virtually all company-owned and creator-owned characters that the company published.
  • 2000 AD:
    • The Harlem Heroes strip (about a basketball team with jetpacks in 2050) appeared to be totally unconnected to the 22nd centuy of the Judge Dredd universe until the son of one of the Heroes (John "Giant" Clay) joined the Judges (as Judge Giant).
    • The Judge Dredd story "Hammerstein" suggested ABC Warriors was also set in the past of the Dreddverse, but later ABC Warriors stories contradicted this.
    • Judge Dredd has also had crossovers with other 2000 AD strips whenever the writers felt like it, most notably Strontium Dog and the story Helter Skelter (where Garth Ennis basically crossed ALL his favourite strips over with Dredd).
    • Meanwhile, 2000 AD stalwart Pat Mills has crossed over everything he's ever written for 2000 AD with each other. Invasion!/Savage, Flesh, Ro-Busters, ABC Warriors, and Nemesis the Warlock all slot together.
    • Ian Edginton does the same thing with his 2000 AD strips: both Stickleback and The Red Seas share a secret organisation, little mentions and character cameos abound, and the same brand of monster appears in Stickleback, Ampney Crucis Investigates, and Detonator X.
    • Even more Edginton crossovers: Sir William Ashbless, immortal designer of the titular ship in Leviathan made a cameo appearance in Stickleback and his shipping company, White Hart Line, got name dropped in Ampney Crucis Investigates. Also a few locations have been repeated across the various strips at different periods in history.
    • John Smith did a similar thing from the start in order to make his stories stand out: all his initial Future Shocks linked in to an organisation called Indigo Prime, and a couple of Indigo Prime agents also appeared in Tyranny Rex. Indigo Prime then got its own series, and eventually crossed over with Smith's Vertigo Comics series, Scarab.
  • Alan Moore:
    • He, as time has gone on, has turned The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen into this, making vague references to the source material for Ozymandias and The Black Freighter. Oh, sure, it's only references to the inspirations for them, and Moore would probably rather have his skin boiled than actually go further than that, but this is Alan Moore. There are no coincidences. As an aside, Moore is a close friend to Moorcock, close enough that Moorcock has allowed Moore to put in some Moorcock characters into the League series free of charge.
    • Back in the day, Alan Moore sketched out a unified Warrior timeline, the most notable aspect of which was that, in an Alternate Universe where Micky Moran never regained his memories and powers, Emil Gargunza went on to build Fate, Norsefire's supercomputer. The timeline also established when all the "centuries in the future" strips happened in relation to each other, and introduced the Chronarchs, who Moore calls "Earth-2 Time Lords", and who seem to be based at least partly on his own version of Gallifrey in the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip. Then Moore quit Warrior and the book collapsed before any of this could actually appear.
    • Moore's Providence is an attempt to do this for all of H. P. Lovecraft's stories, or at least the different cycles. Much like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Moore is using Lovecraft's fiction to merge different stories and events into a single coherent verse. This includes "Cool Air", "The Horror at Red Hook", "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", "The Dunwich Horror", "The Colour Out of Space", "The Dreams in the Witch House", "The Thing on the Doorstep".
  • Frank Miller's Batman stories: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Strikes Again, and All-Star Batman and Robin were originally supposed to be in separate universes, with only Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again having any clear continuity with each other.
  • This article suggests that all of Mark Millar's later Marvel works (1985, Fantastic Four, Kick-Ass, and Old Man Logan) is all interconnected. (Three of those are automatically canonical to each other anyway, of course, but Kick-Ass is more of a surprise.) Even earlier Millar established connections between three comics published by different companies - Wanted, Chosen and The Unfunnies. The reason why at the end of Chosen the media doesn't report the Antichrist's miracles is that they're controlled by supervillains from Wanted. And Troy Hicks from Unfunnies helped Satan rape the Antichrist. Never published Run! was supposed to be set in that world too.
  • Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman and DC One Million seemed to be tied in the same continuity.
    • Of course, Grant Morrison is one of the architects of Hypertime (the other being Mark Waid) which posits that it is all true. Under this concept, the events of DC vs. Marvel exist somewhere in continuity.
    • Almost all of Morrison's DC works are tied to each other, as well to the real world, forming a big "Morrisonverse". Here's how it goes: In All-Star Superman Superman creates the infant universe Qwewq. In JLA we see the heroes discover (a version of) Qwewq. Both in ASS and in JLA: Confidential we see that Qwewq actually contains "our" Earth, i.e. a realistic Earth with no superheroes. The final Morrison-penned issues of Doom Patrol and Animal Man take place in a realistic world with no superheroes (and they both share the same colour scheme, meaning it's the same world in both), which is presumably Qwewq, i.e. "our" world. In Seven Soldiers we find out the ultimate fate of Qwewq (or at least one version of it). Final Crisis (which takes place in the same universe as JLA) refers to Bleed (the "sea" that separates different universes in the DC multiverse) as "ultramenstruum", and the same term is used is The Invisibles, implying that the Invisibles universe is a part of the larger DC multiverse. If we accept that Qwewq is "our" universe, this means our universe exists inside a larger universe populated by superheroes. Both Flex Mentallo and The Filth feature the "real" world to which superheroes from outside this world burst in; thus, the real world in both these comics could be (a version of) Qwewq. And then a huge chunk of the Damian Wayne stories written by Morrison that take place in the not too distant future were revealed to be set in the past of DC One Million and ends with Damian training Terry McGinnis from Batman Beyond to become his successor. Lastly it also seems that DC One Million takes place in the future of All Star Superman as Solaris and Kal Kent appear and happens to be the story of how Superman ended up having to fix the sun. To sum it up, almost all of Morrison's major works for DC are welded together, though admittedly some of the links between them are vague.
  • When Semic Comics, a French comic publisher, decided to revive the characters it inherited from defunct Editions Lug, editor Jean-Marc Lofficier set out to link over 2000 largely unrelated characters from just about every comic book genre into a single continuity. Some characters had to be revamped fairly drastically to fit in, and a few had to be revamped to avoid duplication.
  • In Non Sequitur, Wiley frequently used four separate sets of recurring, originally nameless, characters: a silent Everyman who'd observe some of the comics' less absurdist strips, a Leisure Suit Larry-ish barfly, a snarky Bratty Half-Pint girl and the Sunday-only diner owner "Offshore" Flo (and her tall-tale telling patron, Eddie). Gradually, the characters started interacting: the Everyman and the barfly were seen hanging out at the bar, the girl and Flo would occasionally be seen reacting to something from the Everyman's radio talk show. Eventually, Wiley brought all these elements together to form a central core: Joe (the everyman) and Bob (the barfly) are brothers, Danae (the little girl) and her little sister are Joe's daughters and Flo is Joe and Bob's mother. Eddie remains "just" Eddie.
  • In one Super Special Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Sonic finds himself universe hopping to the Sonic Underground universe. In the 25 Years Later storyline, he names his children after his counterpart's siblings.
  • Asterix: The villain of Asterix and the Magic Carpet briefly refers to his cousin Iznogoud.
  • One issue of PS238 reveals that it and Nodwick are set in the same world, though taking place in different "Heroic Ages".
  • 2017's The Scream and Misty Special did this in a couple of strips. Maxine in The Return of Black Max passes by the Sentinels from The Return of the Sentinels, and the title character of Death-Man encounters aged versions of classic Fleetway characters Leopard from Lime Steet, Pete's Pocket Army, Deathwish, Steel Commando, Paddy McGinty's Goat, Doctor von Hoffman, the Iron Major, and The Dwarf, as well as the successors of Doctor Sin and Thunderbolt the Avenger.
  • This is the crux of the plot for RoboCop Versus The Terminator: the technology that turned Alex Murphy into RoboCop leads to Skynet gaining sentience and the creation of the Terminators.
  • Street Fighter vs. Darkstalkers establishes that the cast of both series shares the same continuity. For instance, Kolin is revealed to have gained her powers after slaying an ice werewolf.
  • Garth Ennis' characters seem to coexist in a single unified verse, with characters from Hitman (1993) being referenced in The Punisher MAX or Cassidy from Preacher showing up in The Boys.
    • His run on The Punisher can be divided into two 'verses: the Marvel Knights one set after the "Angel Punisher" Audience-Alienating Era where superheroes exist and regularly get in Frank's way, and the MAX universe that's basically our world but crappier (superheroes don't seem to exist and Nick Fury is an operative who started in WW 2 with no explanation for why he never ages). However, characters from the first verse (Jen Cooke, Yorkie Mitchell and the Russian) made appearances in the MAX continuity.
  • IDW Publishing's GoBots miniseries ends with heavy implications that the GoBots are actually precursors to Transformers. In particular, Road Ranger talks of creating an heir who is an "optimized" version of himself and encourages Bug Bite to do the same, which implies that they are the creators of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. The two also decide to recycle Leader-1 and Cy-Kill's remains to create a new GoBot, who is seen undergoing construction in the form of a jet plane similar to the alt mode of the Decepticon Starscream.
  • Radiant Black launched in 2021 as its own title that occasionally had its lead characters, who are comic book fans, make reference to C.O.W.L., another comic by Kyle Higgins. However, it was made clear that other superpowered beings did not exist in the universe, as the characters have nobody for guidance in relation to their powers. Later on, Supermassive officially launched the universe, the Massive-Verse, introducing characters Rogue Sun and Inferno Girl Red. Despite this being its official launch, the events of C.O.W.L. were retroactively incorporated into the universe as well.

    Fan Works 
  • Haunted Mansion and the Hatbox Ghost: The fanverse includes several properties (fanmade and official alike) welded together into a single continuity, even when no continuity was intended from the authors.
  • Marooned in Madagascar: Subverted. The movies, The Penguins of Madagascar and All Hail King Julien are shown to be in the same universe but represent alternate timelines, with the latter being the most disconnected from the rest, as this King Julien has no intentions of abandoning his kingdom and is gobsmacked that any version of himself would do it. The Penguins of Madagascar is shown to be canon with the first two movies, but it and the third one represent branching timelines, where in the former, Julien, Maurice, and Mort sailed to New York on their own, while in the latter, they joined the Zoosters on their trip to Europe.
  • "Of Powers and Pie" combines Pushing Daisies with Heroes by making Ned’s ability one of the many superpowers manifested in the show; later in the fic, Ned learns that he can use his ability to also heal the injured, healing Elle of serious injuries when she’s crushed by a collapsed ceiling and mending Mohinder’s broken leg. As well as Ned, Olive realises that she can create force-fields when she is attacked by Sylar before Peter Petrelli saves her.
  • The fanfic Spider-Ninja specifically states that it's story takes place in a part of the Spider-Verse where a Gender Flipped Peter Parker was adopted by Master Splinter after her birth family was killed. The story technically does this trope to both franchises, as Petra Parker (while getting her powers the same way Peter Parker did) lives a completely different life from most Spider-Man incarnations. Similarly, the story welds together the 2003 series (using the same locations and characterizations) and the 1987 series (Splinter is the mutated Hamato Yoshi and April is a reporter).
    • Also, Dr. Curt Connors went to college with Doctors Baxter Stockman and Otto Octavius.
  • Ice Fury specifically states that the events of this crossover were set in motion when Elsa's eternal winter caused the events of the Dragons: Riders of Berk episode "Frozen" (when Berk experienced such an intense winter that the ocean froze and they were attacked by the grounded Speed Stingers). When Elsa meets Valka, it is explained that the archipelago where Berk and the other depicted islands exists is isolated from the wider world, justifying the continued existence of Vikings when Frozen was implied to be set in the 1800s.
  • The Slayer Prophecy has a few of these, mostly explaining how the Buffy cast can be part of the wider DC Universe and still have spent so long acting alone;
    • It is explicitly stated that the Hellmouth deflects external interest, which is why none of the major superheroes of the DC Universe have visited the city before.
    • Rack apparently fought Doctor Fate in the past before Rack and Fate disappeared from the public view.
    • Spike observes that Dala and the Monk were members of the Order of Aurelius, with the Monk just a little bit younger than the Master was at the time of his death.
  • In Harry Potter and the Mystic Force, it is established that Harry Potter and Power Rangers exist in the same universe (and in a reality where the Rangers battled Ivan Ooze as well as apparently all other televised continuity still being valid); no reference is made to other Hogwarts students being aware of past Rangers, but this can be attributed to the wizarding world’s stereotypical ignorance of muggle activities.
  • In Tara Sheppard, after Tara McClay meets her half-brother John Sheppard and learns about his work with the SGC, after analysis of Tara's DNA provides the means for the Asgard to cure their genetic degradation, Thor provides a full history of how demons fit into what the SGC know of Earth’s history.
  • Finmonster's The Marvelous World Of DC and its sequel, Harry Potter and the Guardian's Light has an abundance of this;
    • Krypton is destroyed by Galactus, and Kal-El's landing is investigated by the Men In Black (to the point that Agents D and K are regarded by Clark as uncles, though moreso D than K).
    • Thor is sent to Earth to be raised in an amnesic state on Themyscira, which hides his true heritage until the time is right, to the extent that he considers Diana his sister as a child. That said, it is implied that Diana think of him as more than that.
    • Hellboy comes to Earth on the same night that Captain America 'dies', and it is later established that his father is Trigon the Terrible (with Raven, his half-sister, being raised as his daughter when she is born a few decades later).
    • The BPRD now includes Zatanna, John Constantine, Jason Blood/Etrigan, Detective Chimp, and Stanley Ipkiss/The Mask (the Mask itself being a creation of Thor's brother Loki). In later books, they are joined by Frankenstein's Monster(the DC version from Seven Soldiers of Victory) and Jack Russell, the Werewolf by Night.
    • The Nova Corps are basically a 'spin-off' of the Green Lantern Corps (Sinestro compared them to second-stringers, but considering his nature anything he says must be taken with a grain of salt).
    • The Ghost Rider is now an agent of the Spectre (who went mad at some point prior to the series, and started persecuting magic-users, which is why the Statute of Secrecy was put in place).
    • The Sentinels of Magic include Albus Dumbledore, Doctor Fate, Doctor Strange, Madame Xanadu, the Enchantress, Shazam, and Agatha Harkness.
    • Peter Parker, Jimmy Olsen, Garfield Logan, Virgil Hawkins, Johnny Storm and Victor Stone were all at high school together before most of them received their powers (or had to get their 'powers' in Vic's case) in the same accident (caused by Jack Napier , Eel O'Brian, and Flint Marko under the orders of Lex Luthor and The Kingpin, while the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Doctor Doom, Captain Atom and Firestorm were created in another event orchestrated by Rasputin the Mad Monk.
    • Raven and Wanda Maximoff attend Hogwarts with Harry (and Constantine and Zatanna are also Hogwarts alumni).
  • Infinity Crisis does this a lot, especially since the original story had expanded into a full-on MassiveMultiplayerCrossover:
  • It happens often in Maribat AU fics, considering the nature of the stories:
    • Some stories take advantage of the fact that one of the previous holders of the Ladybug Miraculous was Hippolyta in order to introduce Wonder Woman into the story.
    • Alfred is often made a former Peacock Miraculous holder before it was mysteriously lost, a distant relative/family friend of the Dupain-Chengs, or both.
    • There are a few fics where Marinette and Jason Todd met before Jason becomes Red Hood and Marinette becomes Ladybug which is used as another way to establish their sibling bond.
  • Child of the Storm is a Mega Crossover, and the author created a completely different canon by combining all the source material canons together.
    • The magic system is a mixture, with 'Wanded' (Harry Potter) and 'Wandless' (The Dresden Files) wizards. The differences are explained by a different relationship to the same magic - Wanded magic is Boring, but Practical, easy to master, more precise, with millennia of perfected spells to learn, and practitioners are buffered from more dangerous energies by use of wands. Wandless magic is Difficult, but Awesome, being harder to master and more vulnerable to Sanity Slippage via accidental Black Magic, but granting double the lifespan, a deeper connection to magical energy, no need for wands, and a more personalised approach to magic. It's treated like being left or right handed - some people are magically ambidextrous, and the difference can be overcome with training.
    • The Marvel Cinematic Universe is followed up to The Avengers (not including movies prequels), but the events of Captain America: The First Avenger are combined with his comic book adventures and his brief cameo in X-Men: Evolution, on top of a period spent in Hogwarts mid-war when dealing with an alliance between HYDRA and Grindelwald. So in the end there's no way of telling the exact details of his life before he became "capsicle".
    • Characters from several different canons end up being related to each other (something engineered by Doctor Strange as part of The Plan to defeat Thanos), which got so complex it led to this fic being one of the only works of any kind to have their own page for Tangled Family Tree. Highlights include Harry Potter being Thor's son via an early attempt at the whole humility thing (the basis of this fic) and a cousin of Jean Grey and Maddie Pryor on his mother's side, and Clint Barton being related to Superman (by adoption) and Minerva McGonagall and Bucky Barnes (biologically). In Harry's case, at least, it gets lampshaded in chapter 52 of the sequel, by Carol Danvers: "I swear, your fucking family..."
    • The X-Men are a mixture of the Films (particularly X-Men: First Class), X-Men: Evolution, and the comics, along with a bunch of Noodle Incidents:
      • Magneto was rescued from Auschwitz by Steve and spent some time at Hogwarts as it was assumed he was a wandless wizard.
      • The original team was the team from First Class, also coordinated by Peggy Carter and with Alison, her daughter via Steve as another member.
      • Jean, Scott (here, Alex Summers' grandson), and Warren are all contemporaries, the former two being teenagers at the start of the story.
      • Wolverine joined at some point in the early 1990s, and Xavier dealt with the Weapons Plus/Weapon X program, and he acts as a teacher at the Institute along with Storm, as in Evolution.
    • Jor-El arranged his son to end up with the Kents via his connections to S.H.I.E.L.D., and at one point he fought against the Red Room alongside Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Charles Xavier, Mar-Vell, and Teal'c and Bra'tac.
    • Wanda Maximoff is once again the daughter of Magneto, but not Quicksilver's twin, being in her mid-40s when the story starts. She was assumed stillborn by her father, after he fought Voldemort on the slopes of Mount Wundagore, and raised by her maternal relatives, before her magic and mutation came out and she was nearly executed by The White Council as a threat, with Magneto taking her to Xavier, Dumbledore, and Howard Stark for help, before Strange intervened and trained her as his successor. She would later become a member of the Order of the Phoenix, had a relationship and a child, Hermione Granger with John Constantine (naturally, an ex-Slytherin, also an Order Member), and became the godmother of Harry Potter.
    • Zatanna Zatara's parents were also members of the Order of the Phoenix, and invented a blending of Wandless and Wanded Magic before being killed, which Zatanna mastered.
    • Several intra-franchise conflicts occurred in the past, such as Alan Scott as SHIELD's counter to Magneto, Apocalypse having originally fought a collection of enemies including Black Adam and Doctor Fate, or Doctor Strange eliminating some god-like enhancements Grindelwald had acquired from a Deal with the Devil (several even) from the likes of Mephisto and Dormammu, before leaving him to Dumbledore.
    • The existence of the Spider Totems is known to the magical community and even gets mentioned in Harry's DADA class.
    • The vampires follow The Dresden Files system, replacing the Harry Potter ones, with an addition of the Grey Court to fit Marvel-verse vampires.
    • Some characters are blended together into one, such as Peter Wisdom being Regulus Black and Dudley Dursley becoming the Blob.
    • The Phoenix Force is now also Destruction from The Sandman (1989) and the source of Harry's protection via a deal with Lily Potter.
  • The Friends and the High Council WMG is an attempt to do this with every Disney-owned property.
  • Blood Sisters basically operates on the premise that The Twilight Saga is part of the wider mythology established in Lost Girl, with the Cullens and Quillettes part of the wider fae community, although they are considered pariahs among the fae as they make an active effort to live among humans (and in the Cullens' case, are generally looked down on due to them having started as humans rather than being born fae). It’s also noted that wolf-shifters such as Dyson are basically intended to be the same species as the Quillettes, although this required a few changes to be made to bring the two species together; the most significant change so far is that Dyson is now capable of imprinting, with Bo being his imprint.
  • In Gargoyles And Turtles Unsung Defenders, when Splinter first meets the gargoyles, he observes that he heard of gargoyles from tales told by his father of how feudal gargoyles would defend their territory alongside feudal samurai.
  • Of Gemstones and Watches welds the Prime Ben 10 universe and the 2016 Reboot together- multiple concepts from the 2016 show have popped up in universe, such as the original aliens, certain plot points and villains.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger establishes that the Brother Gods in RWBY are actually Celestials and Remnant is located within the Unknown Regions of the Star Wars galaxy. Additionally, both Aura and the magic on Remnant are revealed to be extensions of the Force.
  • The Firefly fic “Just Folk Now” does a weld where Mal was Caleb from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Zoe was Jasmine and Jayne was Adam, both from Angel and Inara was Adria from StargateSG1. As the title says, they’re all just normal humans now, living in the ‘verse. Fans actually weld Whedonverse canons quite often in fanfiction.
  • In Digimon United, the events of Adventure, 02, and Tamers are all comfirmed to take place on the same Earth.
  • Inky Future turns the future world of Splatoon into the future of Mega Man (Classic), due to the former's apocalypse happening before Mega Man X was woken up. This results in X himself awakening in a world where humans went extinct and were replaced by human-like cephalopods (aka Inklings and Octarians). It also links together Mega Man as the future of another Capcom franchise, specifically Street Fighter, due to Dr. Light having learned Ansatsuken, with his teacher implied to have been Ken Masters.
  • The world of The New Age Of Monsters is an amalgamation of the entire Godzilla franchise. As a result, the backstory of many characters and events from the other franchises have been changed to fit in this new continuity
    • The Symphogears were created with Mothra's help and are powered by her song
    • The drift technology was developed by studying Saegusa Miki's brain
    • Jet Jaguar is an AI-controlled Jaeger
    • The creator of the Pacific Rim kaijus is the long-lost civilization of Mu
    • Doctor Ver and Finé are now eco-terrorists who want humanity to stop fighting and give earth back to the kaiju
    • The Evangelions are created by giving Godzilla's blood to humans
    • Several of the Evangelion angels appear as Breachers
    • The Autoscorers are Hotua that have been exiled for misusing Mothra's gift of alchemy
    • Shem-Ha is the last survivor of the martian civilization that was eradicated by King Gidorah

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 

    Myths & Religion 
  • Robin Hood went through several rounds of this, along with Adaptation Displacement. Maid Marion (or "Marian"), Friar Tuck, and Alan-a-Dale were all characters from separate folk tales, and it was only later that Robin Hood stories had anything to do with Richard the Lionheart or Prince John.
  • The Equivicatio Romana by which each of the gods and goddesses of the other pantheons the Romans encountered was said to be another name for the nearest equivalent in their pantheon—sometimes by a great deal of squinting.
  • Euhemerism which postulates that the pagan gods and goddesses were actually great heroes and heroines who lived long ago and whose reputations snowballed until they became gods.
    • Herodotus one-ups Euhemeris by trying to equate Egyptian mythology and Greek mythology.
  • The two Classical Mythology stories that bring together large numbers of Greek heroes likely have their origins in Canon Welding: the Voyage of the Argo and the Calydonian Boar Hunt both feature characters like Herakles, Theseus, Bellerophon and so on.
  • Historia Regum Britanniae weaves The Aeneid, The Iliad and The Odyssey into Arthurian Legend by having Brutus of Troy sail to pre-Roman Britain and found a new empire with New Troy (aka London) as the capital which sets the stage for Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
  • A lot of theological ink has been spilt over two millenia in attempting to draw out a coherent welding of the often contradictory themes of the Old and New Testaments of The Bible, with insertions and foreshadowing of the mission of Jesus Christ drawn (often very tenuously) from the older religious texts. The Old Testament is effectively being retconned to include Jesus and to give the whole a greater coherence. All this began with the earliest Christian writers like Paul of Tarsus, who asserted Jesus had been predicted by Old Testament prophecies, in interpretations the Jews rejected. The main problem with linking the Testaments comes from later Jews not wanting anything to do with Jesus, and Gentile Christians not wanting Jesus "tainted" by Judaism, and both groups misunderstanding one another. Given how many times the New Testament references the Old Testament, the thematic links between the two (a promised land, a chosen people, God's blessing and kingship, etc.), and the professed Judaism of many of the authors, it's clear the New Testament authors meant the two testaments to be read together.


  • The hosts of Mom Can't Cook! often indulge in this between different films that, ostensibly, have nothing to do with each other. Most notably, they declare "reindeer flu" from 'Twas the Night and "the Spanish rice problem" from Hounded to be one and the same, and then when Spanish rice is brought up in Stuck in the Suburbs as being "too spicy" for Brittany's dad, they declare he's inadvertently saved her from this disease. References to Agent Simms from First Kid keep appearing in subsequent episodes as well.
  • Pokémon World Tour: United establishes in its first episode that the series takes place twenty years after the events of the Pokémon Red and Blue video games, with Red being a Pallet Town hero and Blue being the first Gym Leader Rose and Cobalt face. However, the end of act one reveals that the new regime of Team Rocket is led by characters from Pokémon: The Series specifically Jesse and James. Further, other characters from the anime, Butch and Cassidy, are aligned with a separate faction of Team Rocket that's A Lighter Shade of Black. Later, when exploring the old Rocket hideout in the Celadon City Game Center, Cobalt uncovers a document describing the new regime's rise in power, which includes mentions of Ash and his frequent battles with grunts Jesse and James and their talking Meowth. This all amounts to show that, in this version of the Pokémon universe, the events of the game and the events of the anime both occurred.

  • The Green Hornet was the son of The Lone Ranger's nephew back when the two were on the radio. However due to legal issues between those who currently own the two franchises, the connection isn't used at all anymore.
  • When The Last Chance Detectives were adapted to radio, their premiere episode included an appearance by Jason Whittaker of Adventures in Odyssey, welding the two previously unrelated Focus on the Family franchises.


    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: Michael A. Stackpole has revealed in a 2002 German interview that Wolf's Dragoons unintentionally became an advance recon force for the Clans while the writers were planning out the Clan Invasion. Specifically, during a convention in 1988, Stackpole and Battletech co-creator Jordan Weisman were speculating about Natasha Kerensky's connection with Alexandr Kerensky when Stackpole noted the coincidence of Wolf's Dragoons and one of their planned Clans sharing a name. Since the Dragoons already had a mysterious past, the writers were able to cleanly connect them to the Clans.
  • Delta Green has a complicated one between Robert W. Chambers' "The Maker of Moons", Colin Wilson's "The Return of the Lloigor", The Cruel Empire of Tsan-Chan (a monograph for Call Of Cthulhu roleplaying game which expands on Lovecraft's The Shadow Out of Time) and Lovecraft's short story The Call of Cthulhu. The Kuen-Yuin, a cabal of Chinese sorcerers from "The Maker of Moons", are described as descendants of the Priest-Kings of Mu servants of the Lloigor (which are equated with the Xin from "The Maker of Moons"), the “deathless ones in the mountains of China” that control the worldwide cult of Cthulhu in "The Call of Cthulhu", and the small cadre of immortal sorcerers who rule over the Cruel Empire of Tsan-Chan (mentioned in a line of "The Shadow Out Of Time"), which will arise 5000 years in the future, after Cthulhu woke and humans went insane ("Dreamers"), finally casting good and evil aside and becoming like the Great Old Ones: shouting and reveling in a holocaust of ecstasy. Some material even suggest this future is incompatible and competing with the Yithian's plan to wipe out mankind as seen in "The Shadow Out Of Time".
  • An odd version of this exists in Dungeons & Dragons. Gods cross over from one campaign setting to another, spells exist under different names, and so on. Initially the settings were welded only by implication, mostly mythological crossovers (shared gods) and in the names of spells (Bigby's grasping hand, Mordenkainen's hound) indicating that divine beings and powerful wizards COULD travel between them, but providing no actual explanation. Later, the Planescape and Spelljammer meta-settings provided two (amusingly contradictory) explanations: in Planescape a stock-fantasy multiverse exists, with the added benefit of explaining where all the more biologically impossible elemental and evolutionarily improbable critters come from. Spelljammer is based on medieval cosmology, and adventurers can sail between the various crystal spheres in mighty magical craft riding currents in the luminiferous aether.
    • There was also the World Serpent Inn, which even links campaign settings which are explicitly not part of the Planescape/Spelljammer cosmology, such as Eberron.
    • Ravenloft is, itself, a product of Canon Welding, as its Patchwork Map incorporates several domains that were inspired, copied, and/or outright stolen from other AD&D campaign worlds. Literally stolen, in some cases.
    • The "legendary" settings of the various AD&D Historical Reference books were eventually revealed in the Chronomancer appendix to be the past of Gothic Earth from Ravenloft's Masque of the Red Death ...which in turn may be the past of one of the magical d20 Modern settings — probably Shadow Chasers (the Red Death gets mentioned in the Menace Manual).
    • In D&D 4th Edition, there was a policy to enforce uniformity across the gameline by inserting setting elements from the core material into all official D&D settings, and retcons and setting-shaping disasters were applied wherever necessary to make it so. For example, the cosmology of the Forgotten Realms had to allow for such things as the Primordials and the Feywild because those were part of the Nentir Vale cosmology. However Dark Sun in 4e was largely able to maintain its independence from such core elements, either by slapping new names on old Athasian material (and often ignoring them afterwards) or by rejecting them entirely if they couldn't. (This is in part helped by Dark Sun's traditional independence from the rest of the D&D line; crossovers were firmly discouraged even at the height of the TSR and Planescape days.)
    • The D&D 5th edition supplements Plane Shift: Innistrad and Plane Shift: Zendikar enable campaigns to be set in the Magic: The Gathering multiverse.
  • The Old World of Darkness started off as a set of tabletop RPGs each designed as a stand-alone, but since they shared the same basic gameplay and theme, crossovers were an obvious possibility. White Wolf acknowledged this by grouping them together, but they don't all fit that well. Vampire: The Masquerade has a Biblical origin story, while Werewolf: The Apocalypse has a pagan backstory. Vampires and mages are both supposed to have secret societies manipulating human history for centuries at least, with directly conflicting goals, yet there's only one case in canon of them fighting each other. And several games have a metaplot pointing to the forthcoming end of the world, but all have a different scenario for it. When it came to mechanics, mages can curbstomp any of the other supernatural beings unless caught unaware (especially vampires, since the best way to counter mages' magic is to be alive).
    • From the very first edition of Vampire, it was implied that the Tremere vampire clan were connected to House Tremere in the earlier Ars Magica game (which shared some design staff with Vampire). This was later dropped, as the rights to Ars Magica shifted publishers, and the later Vampire: The Dark Ages setting explicitly took place in the same time period as Ars Magica, but told a very different version of the story.
    • The New World of Darkness is made with the possibility of such crossovers explicitly in mind, at the same time keeping each group generally out of each others' way. For example, the Supernal Realms of Mage: The Awakening and the Shadow World of Werewolf: The Forsaken have little to do with each other, but equally don't step on each other's cosmological toes.
    • Exalted was an inversion. The original concept for the game was for it to be set in the forgotten, mythical prehistory of the Old World of Darkness... but it was ultimately decided not to make this an absolute of the setting, and reduce the connections to common setting elements and parallels that hint at the possibility. The tagline "Before there was a world of darkness..." is The Artifact of the original concept.
  • Rifts:
    • Want Robotech mecha to fight the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles alongside unicorn-riding cyborgs, only to have them all ambushed by eldritch abominations? Have at it! Palladium Books specifically published conversion books for incorporating their other franchises into Rifts rules.
    • The Rifts Chaos Earth RPG (which takes place during The Great Cataclysm) explicitly state that Rifts is the future of the Beyond the Supernatural setting. This had previously been Kevin Siembieda's headcanon, but he hadn't wanted to firmly state it because Rifts was also supposed to be our Earth's future.
  • The Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 universes used to be linked, although the linking statements were made by mad characters. The whole saga/background is told through an Unreliable Narrator anyway. Games Workshop has stated that the link is now done away with, since it was mostly silly anyway. The world of Warhammer used to be a planet in the 40k universe, surrounded by warp storms that made it inaccessible for the rest of the galaxy. Nowadays, they exist in separate universes, but there appears to be a small link between them in the form of the Warp (the Chaos Gods are the same in each universe, and some people in Warhammer's world have gotten visions of Chaos in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. For example, in Liber Chaotica: Book of Khorne, it's all but outright stated the author is having visions of Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade. Also the Old Ones in Warhammer appear to be the same as the ones in 40k, and a fan theory suggests they escaped from the 40k universe to the Warhammer one after the War in Heaven, or that the opposite happened and they were forced to abandon it to fight in the War in Heaven). There is no real interaction between the two universes, however, unless you count some daemon characters popping up in both universes and a few magic items that have a suspicious resemblance to 40k technology. It also used to be fairly heavily implied that Sigmar (the fantasy Empire's messiah figure and founder) was one of the missing Primarchs (genetically enhanced superhuman offspring of 40k's Emperor). Warhammer 40,000 was later considered to be simply the Spiritual Successor where everything is an expy of the original Warhammer Fantasy. Nowadays they are implied to share the warp and it's left at that, with the Sigmar is a lost Primarch angle explicitly dropped and as aforementioned the Old Ones are implied to be the same in both universes.
  • The GURPS Infinite Worlds setting ties together every alternate universe they ever came up with and every licensed work ever adapted to GURPS from Uplift to Discworld to Hellboy.

    Theme Parks 
  • In Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast at Universal Studios, all of the Nicktoons are shown as existing together in a large multiverse, with the soundstages acting as portals between their worlds.
  • In Disneyland Paris, the story of the town of Thunder Mesa (the park's version of Frontierland) ties together Big Thunder Mountain and Phantom Manor in a tragic tale of a haunted bride
  • The Society of Explorers and Adventurers storyline at the Disney Parks grew from a backstory for Tokyo Disney Sea's Fortress Explorations into a shared universe incorporating that same park's Tower of Terror, Hong Kong Disneyland's Mystic Manor, the extinct Pleasure Island and its Adventurers Club, the unbuilt Discovery Bay and its affiliated films, the Jungle Cruise and the Indiana Jones films (which themselves were previously connected to the Jungle Cruise by backstory for the Indiana Jones Adventure).

    Web Animation 
  • Everything Is Broken: Parts 1 – 3 were originally titled Luna Game In A Nutshell and parts 4 – 6 Amnesia In A Nutshell. They were their own separated series until their titles were changed to HTF + Luna Game and HTF + Amnesia, with the two being formally connected in HTF + Amnesia (Part 3)/HTF + Luna Game (Part 4).

  • The MS Paint Adventures series Problem Sleuth ties into the two comics that predate it:
    • Jailbreak ties into it when Zombie Ace Dick and his whale crashed into the jail where Jailbreak was set. Indeed, a dead whale was part of an early Jailbreak puzzle, and ZAD and the Completely Sane Man were revealed to be the skeletons in one of the cells. Another Ace Dick comes across the forest where two of the jail's prisoners escaped to, as well as the tree stump where they died.
    • The events of Bard Quest appear to end at around the same time Ace Dick plays his Game of Life session, as the swamp he trudges through during the Oregon Trail segment is shown to be Bard Quest's Swamp of Mystery. The Bard's party is stuck in the same poses as one of its last panels.
  • Homestuck's Comic Within A Comic Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff predates Homestuck. It was originally written as a parody of another Webcomic called Higher Technology, and was written into Homestuck as a Webcomic run by Dave Strider.
    • In a semi-canonical donation extra the Problem Sleuth characters did battle with the Midnight Crew. That gang would later become extremely plot important in Homestuck. Even though both Problem Sleuth and the Midnight Crew exist as fictional works in the Homestuck universe — in fact, instead of Homestuck, in-universe the adventure following Problem Sleuth was based on The Midnight Crew. To confuse the issue further, an Easter Egg in Homestuck implies that Problem Sleuth starred a group of the natives of Prospit, making Problem Sleuth (and technically the rest of MS Paint Adventures, as seen in its own section) canonical to the Homestuck multiverse, though where it fits was never hinted at.
      • In Homestuck^2, Problem Sleuth actually ends up being involved with the events of the story, helping Dad Crocker and Diamonds Droog while the former is in Midnight City.
  • In Starslip Crisis, the character of Vore is all but explicitly stated to be in fact Vaporware from the author's previous comic, Checkerboard Nightmare. However, this can be considered only to be a partial example, since said strip's events are never mentioned in Starslip and Vore himself seems to have lost his memory up to that point, causing a bit of a personality change (yes, Vaporware also expressed desires to exterminate mankind, but Vore's a lot more proactive about it), so for all intents and purposes Vore can be considered a separate character. Eventually he did regain his old memories and personality, and started calling himself Vaporware again...right before he was killed off for real. But records of the past (or Real Life, 21st Century Earth) seem to be extremely sketchy, as evidenced by the Show Within a Show "Concrete Universe," where covered wagons exist at the same time as cloning.
  • Crossover Wars and The Crossoverlord established many webcomics as part of the same multiverse with rules more akin to Westphall's mind. The Realitease page done by Crossoverlord creators contains interesting informations about which webcomics happens in the same universe with lists of proofs and explanations:
  • Heroes Unite did it with a horrifying amount of Super Hero webcomics, hosted on Drunk Duck. First it established that Energize, Bombshell, and an alternate counterpart of Acrobat share an universe, and then a bunch of other superheroes joined in. Some writers even took an advantage of it to make their webcomics more popular. The creators of Energize and Dasien did a short (currently on hiatus) crossover between their characters, while the former used a new Shared Universe to bring back his other webcomics - Fearless, SHELL teamed up with The Blonde Marvel and Bombshell and gets his ass kicked by one of Hero Force members before joining HU, and Vora, Princess Of The Skies, appeared a few times in HU before getting her own adventures. And it's all one reality in The Multiverse of the webcomics. Having kickstarted the whole superhero crossover thing on Drunk Duck, Heroes Unite is now set in its own self-contained universe, but the crossover goodness continues in the spinoff Heroes Alliance with the characters from Karabear Comics Unlimited and even involved Jenny Everywhere and golden age characters like Madame Fatal.
  • T Campbell has done this with various webcomics he's written or co-authored, both played straight and using alternate versions of characters.
    • Penny and Aggie, Cool Cat Studio and Sketchies are set in the same universe. However, the SF and supernatural elements in Cool Cat Studio are absent from the other two comics. Campbell once explained this on the P&A forum by stating that such elements exist on the periphery of the comics' shared universe, so not all its inhabitants experience, nor are even aware of, such things.
    • This is in contrast to the Fans! universe (and its alternate versions of P&A's characters), where, particularly after the Revival, paranormal occurrences are so frequent and prominent that the entire world is aware of them. Also, alternate versions of characters from Penny and Aggie and Fans! appear in each other's universes every so often.
  • Barry T. Smith's Ink Tank appeared to be in an entirely new universe from the previous strips...until a story arc which ended with the Author Avatar having a nervous breakdown was resolved by Dante from Angst Technology turning up and treating him to a coffee.
  • Artist Ursula Vernon's Digger, an anthro adventure about a mildly cynical wombat and a statue of the god Ganesh, has this if you start reading her other work. An awful lot of everything she's done seems to have characters in common with the Gearworld, her vaguely-steampunk clockwork-labyrinth art-and-fiction setting. It's only vaguely hinted at in Digger itself.
  • Sugar Bits might have done it when one of the villains summoned Red and The Big Bad Wolf from Ever After to fight protagonists. However, given the nature of the Sugar Bits world and Bleedman's own words, those two comics may or may not share an universe and this will remain unresolved until Endling, creator of Ever After, will confirm it.
  • Shaenon Garrity's Narbonic and Skin Horse were officially confirmed to take place in the same continuity with the introduction of Artie Narbon to Tip Wilkin. Garrity had previously revealed in Narbonic Director's Cut that the main Narbonic characters, Dave, Helen, and Mell, came from three different comics she had drawn in high school and college. Mell also gets her own Spinoff Babies comic, Li'l Mell, and a character introduced in that comic has now shown up in Skin Horse. Garrity's lesser-known Smithson may fit into the same continuity as well; minor character Queensbury Joe appears to be the older version of Homeschool Joe from Li'l Mell.
    • Mel has also appeared twice in Everyday Heroes - once in a brief flashback where Mr. Mighty thwarts one of Helen's capers and again where she appears as Dr. Unpleasant's lawyer.
  • Eli Parker created several different web projects, including Too Far (a comedy space opera webcomic), Powerup Comics (a Stealth Parody of Two Gamers on a Couch webcomics), and These Web Comics Are So Bad (another Stealth Parody, this time of webcomic review blogs). Then Parker created Unwinder's Tall Comics, which included cameos from all of the above, establishing that they (or at least their fictitious authors) all exist in some sort of continuity.
  • There was earlier hints about Bob and George and its fancomics/subcomics taking place in the same multiverse. Ridiculous amount of cameos got finally an explanation, when Rick O'Shay and Chick-Bot appeared in the main comic to tell the true nature of White Space. It was a demi-plane that connected all the universes together. It was later abused by sending all the Mega Mans and other characters into one universe, to fight Bob.
  • Glorianna and Sparky of Lady Spectra & Sparky shared an adventure when Glorianna was briefly transported to the 21st century (while Lady Spectra ended up in Glorianna's era).
  • Anna/Susan from Sire showed up in Evil Plan, where it was revealed that they are the cousin of Hero Antagonist Kevin Kolton. Characters from Evil Plan and Mortifer have shown up in each others' works, and Agent/Andrew Cross shows up in both Evil Plan and morphE.
  • In Spinnerette there are a few arcs centered around Hell and its inhabitants, where we meet Minerva's friends Tom, Kia, Lucretia, and Guinness, all hailing from Krakow. Whether the Marilith duology and Charliehorse are also part of The 'Verse is unknown.
  • Played with in the various Alternate Universe comics for Darths & Droids, where sources that aren't extensive franchises are sometimes "planned" to be continued with other works (either thematic or from the same creator) according to their FAQs. Of course, all of these comics are one-shots, and how these instances of canon welding could actually play out is left to the readers' imaginations. Now for the complete list of proposed merged canons...
  • Two of Doctor Glasgow's previous comics were folded into Ennui GO!:
  • Characters from SgtCrisis' earlier projects make appearances in their comic, Big Break (2019). For example, two characters, Brett and Mira, were part of aGundam fan-project called "Gundam Attrition", where the former was a pilot and the latter an engineer. They were also a couple in that story. In Big Break, they both have been given more mundane jobs (i.e. Brett now owns an indoor pool business while Mira owns a gym.) and, while originally stated to be a married couple, the creators retconned their status as never having met in the comic proper.
  • Harry Bogosian's Demon's Mirror and A BETTER PLACE are welded together in the former's ongoing rerelease. The rerelease's captions, which are its new content, are centered around firmly welding the two continuities together. It's unlikely that the latter was originally intended as a proper Stealth Prequel, because the captions do a lot of welding, and it's all still a little hard to buy.
  • A arc of PS238 revealed that the author's previous work, Nodwick was actually set in PS238's distant past when time travel results in the protagonists from both settings encountering each other.

    Web Original 
  • The (In)Famous David Gonterman, Ed Wood of the World Wide Web and the Internet's Most Dangerous Cartoonist; reuses characters, concepts and names so often that it more or less seems that every single thing he's ever written or drawn are all set in the same vague universe/multiverse. This may be partially intentional, but, well...
  • The Fear Mythos incorporates The Slender Man Mythos into their canon, as well as the Black Dog from folklores of the British Isles, and later incorporated the Smiling Man from The Jeanette Experience as a Canon Immigrant. The Cthulhu Mythos is a part of it too, with the blog Mephi, having many of Lovecraft's creatures being a major part of the story. The Fear Mythos and Sleeper Mythos are also an example of this, while the Fear Mythos and The Arkn Mythos are an inversion (depending on who you ask, as the exact history of the latter is disputed and unclear). The Fear Mythos as a whole was created from several separate Slender Man Mythos spinoffs, then separated into countless canons as the authors of each story see fit.

    Web Videos 
  • Dream SMP has done this on multiple occasions, most notably when Jschlatt confirmed that the older server SMPLive is at least partially canon, and when Nihachu confirmed that her character travels between Dream SMP and the otherwise unrelated Bear SMP.
  • A YouTuber named PopularMMOs has a series called The Crafting Dead. In the third season, he puts Dr. Trayaurus of TheDiamondMinecart fame into the series. Before him, he puts Captain Cookie, from Epic Proportions, another series by the YouTuber, became part of the story.
  • Channel Awesome likes this trope, finally creating an official merging of every TGWTG-involved character during the huge anniversary brawl, and again during Kickassia, Suburban Knights and To Boldly Flee, plus the millions of crossovers between producers. The Nostalgia Critic took this a step further and incorporated Doug himself into the mix, crossing over with his vlogs.
  • This is a frequent occurrence for SMPLive retroactively, due to the creators moving on to new projects over the years and tending to enjoy connecting them.
    • Schlatt retroactively confirms that SMPLive is at least partially canon to Dream SMP in an episode of Tales from the SMP. This indirectly connects it to Bear SMP as well, and Minecraft Championship, both of which are canonical to Dream SMP.
    • It is also implied at some points during Epic SMP Season 2 that it's canon to that server as well.
    • In SMPEarth, it is noted that Wilbur's character wants to reform from his "dirty crime boy" ways on SMPLive, adding yet another layer.

    Western Animation 
  • Disney, if you can believe it, did this.
  • Hanna-Barbera hit this trope super heavy to the point regardless of Continuity Snarl most people assume HB as a whole has a Shared Universe.
  • In the South Park episode "Super Best Friends", there is a brief scene of the cast of That's My Bush! in the White House, indicating that the two series (both created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker) take place in the same universe (which is particularly silly, since That's My Bush! is a live-action show). Another Comedy Central show, Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, was also included in a brief bit from a season 2 episode with Mr. Garrison going for therapy (Dr. Katz ultimately gets killed by the giant firework snake).
  • There were reportedly plans to weld the canons of Exo Squad and Robotech back when the former was produced. Considering that their primary motivation seemed to be that both shows were Merchandise-Driven, your mileage may vary on whether it's a good or bad thing that this never happened. It went beyond just planning; there were figures of Robotech mecha sold in Exo Squad-branded packaging.
  • In a crossover episode, Stan and Bullock from American Dad! try to stop Family Guy's Stewie plan to take over the world, with Stewie mistaking Stan for Joe. Of course, this takes place in a virtual reality simulation, so it's debatable whether it's canonical or not. There have been a few other smaller cameos.
    • There is a deliberate lack of crossovers between Family Guy and American Dad!, but they're considered to be part of the same universe. However at the end of the American Dad! episode "Hurricane!", the houses of Cleveland and Peter end up on the sides of Stan's house, resulting in them going into a stand-off that ends with Francine accidentally being shot by Stan. It's never addressed in later episodes of any of the shows.
    • Thanks to the Family Guy episode "The Simpsons Guy", it can now be said that The Simpsons takes place in the same universe as the aforementioned Seth MacFarlane cartoons.
  • Thunder Cats 2011, as of the episode "Legacy" features new versions of characters from SilverHawks and TigerSharks, all of which were action cartoon shows produced by Rankin/Bass in the '80s, sharing the same art style, writers, and voice actors. While the shows were incredibly similar and could easily be mistaken for being part of the same universe, it's only official now after twenty plus years.
  • The Venture Brothers attempted to weld itself onto the Jonny Quest canon, even going as far as to feature Race Bannon as a character in one episode, but after Warner Bros. withheld the characters in anticipation of an unreleased live-action movie, all references to Jonny Quest were quietly replaced with Lawyer-Friendly Cameo versions.
  • Rankin/Bass Productions is also famous for its adaptations of Christmas stories, and eventually welded many of them together in a movie called Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July. Naturally there were a lot of elements that did not quite fit together — Santa Claus, for example, had a subtly different appearance and personality in each previous special—so decisions and adjustments were made. Likewise some scenes from Rudolph and Frosty's lives were shown that differed from their own specials, but kept the basic facts the same.
  • Originally Static Shock referenced Superman as a fictional character but this was retconned allowing the show to be welded into the DC Animated Universe.
  • The Critic's Jay Sherman once showed up to judge the The Simpsons' Springfield Film Festival, though Matt Groening was so against the idea that he took his name off the opening credits for that episode. The welding is a bit awkward, since it's established that The Simpsons are a cartoon in Jay's world, but he appears twice more in Springfield.
    Jay: [in a straightjacket] It stinks! It stinks! It stinks!
    Springfield psychiatrist: Yes, Mr. Sherman. Everything stinks.
  • The Transformers:
    • In the '80s, it was broadly hinted that the original cartoon shared a universe with the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero cartoon, and not-quite-as-broadly that the same was true for Jem and Inhumanoidsnote . This has been taken much further in the 21st century, where not only were the previous hints confirmed, but now every Hasbro cartoon from the time period has been stated to be part of the same universe, and every other Hasbro property exists within the Transformers multiverse.
    • Thanks to Hasbro acquiring the IP to the characters the Go-Bots, one of the Transformers franchise's most infamous rivals, are now part of the TF multiverse. Further, the official fan club's long-running comic storyline and some new toys mean that Hasbro has retconned the Go-Bots into being just another Transformers show, with the Go-Bots having their own universal designation (something reserved for actual TF series) and Gobotron being retroactively declared as an alternate form of Primus.
  • Space Ghost has become a recurring character in the [adult swim] Universe currently consisting of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show, Perfect Hair Forever, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, 12 oz. Mouse, and possibly Sealab 2021.
  • Steven Universe crossed over with Uncle Grandpa; UG himself declared it to be a non-canonical, April Fools' ep. And at the end, he pulls out a checklist revealing he's visited Dexter and Dee-Dee, Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup, the Eds, Billy and Mandy, Mac, Juniper Lee, the SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron (!), Flapjack, and Finn, with Clarence next up. (SWAT Kats being included was kinda surprising, considering it debuted in 1993, before the Cartoon Cartoons, and wasn't originally for CN, but rather for sister station TBS back when they aired cartoons.)
  • Word of God places The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Wolverine and the X-Men (2009), Hulk Vs., and Thor: Tales of Asgard in the same universe. We have Wolverine appearing as a member of both the Howling Commandos and New Avengers and the Mutant Response Division imprisoning Whirlwind, as well as one Wolverine episode being a direct sequel to Hulk Vs.. (However, contradictions do exist, mainly in the portrayal of the Hulk and which eye Fury's eyepatch is on.)
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) episode "Trans-Dimensional Turtles", it's revealed that the 87 Krang is actually part of the Kraang gathering. He was kicked out for being an idiot. When Krang and the Sub-Prime meet, Krang is referred to as the Sub-Prime's cousin.
  • The Simpsons and Futurama started out as Mutually Fictional, but then "Simpsorama" happened. The later Simpsons episode "Cue Detective" establishes that Bender is still on The Slow Path in the Simpsons' basement. Coincidentally, Simpsons episodes "Holidays of Future Passed" and "Days of Future Future" exhibited more traits of Futurama's depiction of the future (e.g. aliens living with humans on Earth) than in previous episodes depicting the Simpsons' lives in the future. There's still no explanation behind the differences in skin colors between shows, however.
  • Owing to how Rick and Morty deals with infinite timelines and infinite universes, theoretically any work could exist in the same canon. A few works have taken advantage of this for a good cameo:
    • There's more than a few cameos in Rick And Morty that show it takes place in the same continuity as Gravity Falls. Rick and Morty has the mug and notepad Grunkle Stan lost in a portal popping out of one of Rick's, Bill Cipher popping up on a computer screen, and Bill's ally 8-Ball dead in the Detoxifier, while Gravity Falls: Journal 3 contained a silhouette of a Plumbus and a Zigerionon, as well as an encoded message left by Rick.
    • A couch gag in The Simpsons featured Rick and Morty burst into The Simpson's home, thus proving that they exist in the same multiverse. It culminates in an Overly-Long Gag involving the death of The Simpsons and them being brought back, very poorly, via cloning while Rick robs their house.
      Bart: No more guest animators, man!!!
    • Even My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic isn't safe from these two. Pony Rick and Pony Morty appear in the background of Grannies Gone Wild where, unlike their cameo in The Simpsons, they thankfully didn't kill anyone this time. We hope.
  • The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) takes place in a continuity that includes all of Batman's prior film appearances.
    Alfred: Sir, I've seen you go through similar phases in 2016, and 2012, and 2008, and 2005, and 1997, and 1995, and 1992, and 1989, and that weird one in 1966.
    Batman: I have aged phenomenally.
  • Word of God stated that Milo Murphy's Law was in the same universe as Phineas and Ferb from the beginning, but the shows have become more closely joined as the former goes on, with the eventual reveal that Doofensmirtz is destined to invent the Time Travel technology that Cavendish and Dakota use.
  • Ben 10 has one with The Secret Saturdays with the Ben 10: Omniverse episode titled TGIS where it was shown that Ben and Zak happen to be the same age. Previous hints had been dropped due to references made (mostly on Secret Saturdays) such as some of Ben's villains appearing in a criminal database in Secret Saturdays or Dr. Beaman frequently using the expression "Great Galvan Prime". Another episode of Ommiverse has expies of Cow and Chicken appearing as customers of an interdimensional Mr. Smoothie. Charlie Adler reprised both roles.
  • Jellystone!: In addition to the many characters established as part of Hanna-Barbera's Funny Animal universe, characters like Jonny Quest and Shazzan, who were not originally comedy characters, reside in Jellystone as well.
  • Young Justice
    • The fourth season had one with Green Lantern: The Animated Series In the episode "Encounter Upon the Razor's Edge!", Razer makes his return weilding the Blue Lantern Ring that came to him at the series finale. At the end of the episode, Razer combines both his Blue ring and his old Red ring into a new form where he wields the powers of both Rage and Hope before returning to his quest to find Aya.
    • The tie-in comic "Young Justice: Target" shows that the short DC Showcase: Green Arrow, written by Greg Weisman as Young Justice was, had occurred in Earth-16.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Inevitable Crossover, The Moorcock Effect


Kingpin in Hawkeye

Netflix's Wilson "Kingpin" Fisk as played by Vincent D'Onofrio, makes his leap from the Marvel Netflix universe, into the the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper. Though it's currently unknown if the events from his previous appearances remain Canon aswell.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / CanonWelding

Media sources: