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Continuity Overlap

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Events in one series also impact continuity in another series. This is an element that may go into defining a 'Verse.

Immensely common in American comic books, to the point where some series essentially merged into one during the '90s.

See also Crossover, Intercontinuity Crossover, and Massive Multiplayer Crossover.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Digimon, after the events of Anode Tamer and Cathode Tamer for the Wonderswan - sorry, No Export for You - Ryo Akiyama dimension-hops to the Adventure universe. He witnesses the battle with Diablomon from the second movie and meets with Ken Ichijouji. Ryo and Ken defeated Milleniummon in Tag Tamers and Ken is infected with a Dark Spore, setting events in motion for Adventure 02 and confusing the hell out of anyone who had to take Ken's flashbacks to those events at face value with no knowledge of the games. Later in Brave Tamer, his partner Monodramon merges with Milleniummon resulting in Cyberdramon. Ryo then appears in Tamers, a universe separate from Adventure, and he has Cyberdramon with him who is aggressive and uncontrollable due to Milleniummon's half of his being. So this is basically three (or more) very separate continuities all connected through Ryo.
    • It should be noted that Ryo's movie and 02 scenes go unnoticed by American viewers because he resembles Wonderswan Ryo far more than Tamers Ryo because of the art style (even once Tamers Ryo leaves the Digital World and gets the shirt he has in Anode/Cathode.) Once you know what he looks like, there's no mistaking his movie and 02 flashback appearances for anyone else.
  • All of Ken Akamatsu's manga series seem to have this, especially Love Hina and Negima! Magister Negi Magi. Specifically, both series have identical characters named Mei, who appear to be the same person, Word of God states that the inn that Keitaro and Naru stayed at in Love Hina was the same inn that several characters from Negima stayed at, and the Shinmeiryu sword school is used by characters in both series. In one Negima chapter, Motoko's family name was explicitly mentioned in relation to Shinmeiryu techniques, and a specific technique ("Zanmaken: Ni No Tachi") used in Love Hina has minor plot relevance in Negima.
    • Negima also has a shout out to his first manga, A.I. Love You, when the subject of sentient A.I. comes up; it's hinted that part of Chachamaru's programming may have been written by A.I. Love You's protagonist.
    • Akamatsu himself has confirmed that the Nitta-sensei from A.I. Love You and the Nitta-sensei from Negima are the same person, as well as the fact that Love Hina's Motoko Aoyama and Negima's Eishun are related somehow.
  • ×××HOLiC:
    • Yuuko who is often represented by a butterfly, which symbolizes change and how she changes her customers, including the main characters. It also symbolizes life and death, to reflect her undead nature and fate.
    • Watanuki is often represented by Foxes and/or birds. However, he selects the bird to be his signature, which is representative of his connection to Tsubasa, as well as his being Yuuko's successor (because birds can go farther than butterflies) and Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- both merge at numerous times, and characters in one series are often seen in another. The anime for both series, due to unfortunate copyright issues, don't cross over as much.
  • Kiyohiko Azuma's original series (Azumanga Daioh, Yotsuba&!, and Wallaby) all appear to take place in the same continuity, but aren't quite a 'verse because there's little direct overlap other than minor nods; given that they're all Slice of Life series, there are no major events that impact each series' storyline.
    • Kokoro Kousaka, the main protagonist of Wallaby, appears as a cameo in one scene of Azumanga Daioh, visiting the stuffed animal café at the school festival; in the manga, she has the eponymous Wallaby in her pocket, but not in the anime. In turn, the last chapter of Wallaby sets up this cameo by having Kokoro tell Wallaby about a school festival she's planning to visit. (Due to Wallaby's early cancelation and relative obscurity, it hasn't crossed over with Yotsuba&!.)
    • Since no characters from one series have directly appeared in the other, the overlap between Azumanga and Yotsuba&! is mostly limited to other aspects, such as merchandise of Chiyo-chichi (the "father cat") and Nekokoneko stuffed dolls. In one chapter of Yotsuba&!, a girl is seen wearing Azumanga's distinctive high school uniform, while in the 10th anniversary chapters of Azumanga, Tomo is seen wearing the same "Kodomo Usagi" shirt that Yotsuba normally does.

    Comic Books 
  • Clearly the Marvel Universe, which includes characters from the Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Ghost Rider, The X-Men, The Punisher and many more.
  • DC Comics has done this as well, like with Batman and Superman.
    • At one time this was the exception rather than the rule... each story was set in its own continuity and it was rare for one costumed hero to even be aware that others existed. It wasn't until the Justice Society of America title in 1940 that heroes interacted with each other on a regular basis, and it proved so popular that DC eventually attempted to weave pretty much all its titles into a single overarching continuity (things that couldn't be made to conform were assigned to alternate universes in the "multiverse" concept, and it was possible to cross even those over if a writer really wanted to... the first such crossover involved Barry Allen and Jay Garrick (both "The Flash" in different universes).
  • It's not uncommon for a main character in one Sin City story to play a minor role or even a cameo in a different story. Many stories have also been shown to happen at the same time, such as Hard Goodbye and A Dame To Kill For.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the very rare movie examples; while all movies are self-contained, there are lots and lots of references to the other ones.
    • Nick Fury has appeared in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, while Tony Stark made an appearance at the end of The Incredible Hulk. In The Avengers, the main characters from all the mentioned movies join forces.
    • And now, of course, we have The Avengers tying it together, along with the TV Series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which tends to reference every movie that has occurred in the MCU, including movies that only came out a week before the episode containing the reference aired.
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier had a huge impact on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., far moreso than any other movie in the verse, given that the big reveal of Winter Soldier concerns HYDRA's infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • While there’s no interaction between the characters in the Netflix shows and the MCU movies, the aftereffects of the Battle of New York factor into the plots.
  • Behind-the-scenes pictures of some of the maintenance panels on the X-Jet in X2: X-Men United reveal that some systems were built by Stark Enterprises (and that there were no user serviceable parts inside!), but they're far too small to be seen onscreen. An intercontinuity/multiverse nod?
  • The events of both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame started many of the plot lines for Films and TV Shows in Phases 4 & 5 of the MCU: Namely:
    • The repercussions of Thanos wiping out half of the Universe's population out for 5 years, and the sudden return of those said individuals.
    • Different characters being affected by the deaths of Tony, Natasha, Gamora, Vision, Loki and Heimdall.
    • The Avengers causing ripples in the timeline, and leading to alternate versions of Gamora and Loki, with the latter affecting the multiverse.
    • Steve Rogers retiring as Captain America, and Sam Wilson being chosen as the intended succesor.

  • DC Extended Universe:
    • The arrival of Kryptonians and destructions in Metropolis in Man of Steel directly impact Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, triggering both polarized public opinions and Bruce Wayne/Batman's anger.
    • The death of Superman in Batman v Superman is the reason behind the creation of Task Force X in Suicide Squad.
    • Wonder Woman is very much a standalone story by comparison, but it stills ties in with Batman v Superman via the 1918 group photo, and to Justice League via the death of the old gods and a Mother Box in the home video stinger.
    • Superman's death also facilitates Steppenwolf's arrival on Earth in Justice League, and the eponymous Super Team is formed in response.
  • The View Askewniverse, The 'Verse in which Kevin Smith has set 6 films, several comic books, and an Animated Adaptation. Several characters will be heard about in one movie, only to be seen in a later film.

  • In the Honorverse the novels Ashes of Victory/Mission of Honor, Crown of Slaves/Torch of Freedom and Shadow of Saganami/Storm from the Shadows all take place concurrently, so we get three different looks at the same sequence of events, and often have entire chapters duplicated across books.
  • In the Dragonriders of Pern novels, the events of Dragonquest, the second Lessa novel, affect the events of Dragonsinger, the second Menolly novel. Also many other cases, since all the Pern novels are explicitly set in the same universe and it's very common for the main characters in one novel to be minor characters in another and for there to be considerable chronological overlap (Dragonquest and Dragonsinger cover roughly the same time period as experienced by two different people). This is complicated even more by the (somewhat risky) draconic ability to time travel.
  • All of Brandon Sanderson's adult fantasy novels (Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker and The Stormlight Archive so far, with others forthcoming) are set in the same universe, with at least one character (Hoid) appearing or being referenced in every one, and hints of a broader Myth Arc on the horizon.
  • Almost all of David Walliams' children's novels take place in the same universe, and in fact in the same town, but the only crossover character is Raj the newsagent. The only exception so far takes place about a hundred years ago.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek did this as well with the 24th century-era shows, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, along with the TNG films were all running at the same time.
    • Miles O'Brien passed over from the Enterprise on TNG to the titular Deep Space Nine in its pilot episode. After the destruction of the Enterprise in the Generations movie, Worf joined the station as well. The Deep Space Nine crew changed uniforms after First Contact.
    • This also meant that Worf's presence in the movies following Generations had to be continuously Hand Waved, as he was not assigned to the Enterprise-E. In First Contact, Worf was commanding the Defiant during the battle against the Borg when the Enterprise arrives and saves them.
    • In season 7 of TNG, a demilitarized zone between the Federation and the Cardassians was created; then in the concurrent season 2 of DS9 the Maquis was formed in response to that; and then back on TNG a recurring character joined the Maquis.
      • It should be noted that the Maquis were originally written into DS9 specifically to be used as a setup for Voyager, but barring a couple later episodes, Voyager forgot about the mixed crew dynamic after about the 3rd episode and DS9 ended up using the Maquis more than Voyager.
    • The season 2 Voyager episode "Projections" has the Doctor seeing Reginald Barclay, who was first introduced on TNG, who tells the Doctor that he's really Starfleet holo-programmer Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, and that all of his adventures in space have been a holoprogram testing the effects of long-term space exploration.
    • The season 4 Voyager episode "Message In A Bottle" overlaps with mid-Season Six of Deep Space Nine, as the Doctor gets transmitted to a Starfleet ship in the Alpha Quadrant and learns that the Federation is currently embroiled in the Dominion War. As the Alpha Quadrant scenes are taking place in the post-First Contact era, this episode also marks the first appearance of the new black-and-gray uniforms on Voyager. After the Doctor successfully stops Romulans trying to take over the ship he was aboard, the USS Prometheus, with the help of the Prometheus's own EMH, the Doctor tells Starfleet that his own ship and crew are alive and well.
    • In "Hunters" also from season 4 of Voyager, the Doctor's successful mission means Voyager gets messages from home for the first time since getting stranded in the Delta Quadrant. Thus, the former Maquis crewmembers find out about the destruction of the Maquis by the Dominion/Cardassian alliance during Deep Space Nine. The season 5 Voyager episode "Extreme Risk" has B'Elanna struggling with depression from losing her friends in the Maquis.
    • The season 6 Voyager episode "Pathfinder", Barclay returns, this time heading a project aimed at establishing a permanent means of interstellar communication with Voyager. During one scene, Barclay speaks with TNG's Deanna Troi.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel interacted so much during their respective fourth and first seasons that watching them in concert is almost a necessity to understand what's going on in either. This would continue to a lesser degree in later seasons; in particular season four of Angel had several hints about the events of Buffy's seventh (and final) season.
  • There is Continuity Overlap between the last seasons of Stargate SG-1 and the start of Stargate Atlantis, as well as between the end of the fourth season of Stargate Atlantis and the Stargate: Continuum movie.
  • The new series of Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood have the occasional continuation between them. For example, the Sontaran invasion in Doctor Who leads to a stranded Sontaran soldier in The Sarah Jane Adventures.
  • Bryan Fuller's works — Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls — are all apparently set in the same universe. Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls share a character (a one-timer) and Pushing Daisies also refers to Happy Time Temp Agency, which is where George worked in Dead Like Me.
  • Friends, Mad About You and Caroline in the City are all in the same universe, although they don't have a major impact on one another, just cameos by characters in each work.
    • Seinfeld also exists in this universe (Paul Buchman was the original owner of Kramer's apartment), which is weird because George's fiancee, Susan, enjoys watching Mad About You.
  • CSI hosted the Poorly Disguised Pilot of CSI: Miami, which in turn launched CSI: NY, so the teams exist in the same universe, and even a killer that was featured first in Miami was caught in the NY show. Later, Langston followed a trail from Vegas to Miami to New York and back home before he found who he was looking for. In New York's final season, Mac goes to Vegas to surprise his girlfriend, only to discover she's been kidnapped. He and DB end up searching for her back in NYC.
  • Similarly, JAG spawned NCIS which spawned NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans.
    • JAG had the fewest crossovers into the other series; other than the Poorly Disguised Pilot, there was one minor cross-over of a JAG lawyer appearing on NCIS.
    • NCIS: New Orleans seems to invite a lot of crossovers, with no fewer than five major NCIS characters appearing in the first three episodes alone.
    • Abby Sciuto and Tony DiNozzo are the only characters to appear on all four shows.
  • The entire Law & Order universe, with guest appearances by many actors on other shows.
  • The Syfy Channel's played this game, with crossovers between Eureka, Warehouse 13, and Alphas.
    • This requires some mental gymnastics for the latter two, as they have vaguely similar premises of 'find weird things happening, investigate weird things, deal with weird things', only one had the weird things caused by objects and the other by people. Fridge Logic kicks in when you realize that the cause of the weirdness is not always (or even usually) immediately apparent, so by all rights the two casts should run into each other on a semi-weekly basis.
  • When Bobby Ewing was killed off on Dallas, it was mentioned in Spin-Off Knots Landing, and Gary Ewing named his newborn son after his late brother. After the infamous All Just a Dream Reset Button that brought Bobby back, Knots Landing stopped referencing its parent show.
  • The Arrowverse brings up a few of these. Crossovers between the shows are paired (Arrow characters show up on The Flash the same week that Flash characters show up on Arrow), and as such the first crossover tends to lead into the second. There is also a notable case with Deathbolt, a Villain of the Week on Arrow who was locked up in Star Labs: a later episode of Flash made heavy use of him, with no explanation of where he came from.
    • After Barry's meddling with the timeline at the beginning of The Flash's third season, he visited Felicity to explain himself and inform her that Diggle and Lyla's sohn John Jr had replaced their child in the previous timeline, Sara. But this happens on an episode of The Flash, so Arrow viewers wouldn't know why Diggle and Lyla have a different baby. Eventually the couple themselves find out during the later crossover event, technically still in an episode of The Flash, but at least during a time where Arrow viewers are probably tuning in.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • For most of his Ring of Honor career, Chris Sabin did very little in the company itself and was most significant for his feuds with AJ Styles in NWA-TNA. Similarly, his conspiracy with Alex Shelley against the Knights Of The Rising Dawn and boasts that they innovated the junior heavyweight style make little sense in the context of ROH itself, as it doesn't even have weight classes but makes perfect sense in the context of their New Japan run. Despite Sabin's betrayal of them in ROH, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian hated The Young Bucks more over an event two years ago in Pro Wrestling Guerilla. In turn, most of Erik Stevens's run in Full Impact Pro would be uneventful if not for his FIP title defenses in ROH and War Machine received a shot at the GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Killer Elite Squad based on their ROH exploits rather than anything they ever did in NOAH.
  • Vanessa Kraven had never interacted with Jessicka Havok in SHINE prior to show 28 but called her out in the lead up over a year's past encounter in SHIMMER. Cherry Bomb was the first wrestler in SHIMMER to lose to Candice LeRae but volume 80 revealed Bomb was more upset about the collar bone LeRae had broken at a WSU event.

    Video Games 
  • All of Volition's games take place in the same continuity, where the Saints Row series serves as a prequel to the Red Faction series, taking place 20 Minutes into the Future. Volition no longer have the rights to the FreeSpace series, but a "Subach Industries" shows up in Saints Row, referencing the Subach-Innes corporation from the former.
  • Valve's Half-Life and Portal videogame series canonically exist in the same universe.
    • Portal was introduced in the "Orange Box" compilation as a Gaiden Game borrowing elements of the Half-Life universe — specifically, it mentions Black Mesa as a competitor to Aperture Science for government funding, and Word of God says that GLaDOS awakening and subsequently going berserk coincided with the Combine invasion of Earth, preventing the scientists from getting help.
    • Half-Life 2: Episode 2, for its part, introduces a ship called the Borealis as a major plot element; said ship was built by Aperture as part of an early teleportation experiment and "vanished, along with part of the dry-dock".
    • Portal 2 continues the gag with an Easter Egg where you actually find the other part of the dry-dock, complete with a life preserver labeled "Borealis", and Cave Johnson directly mentions Black Mesa in the pre-recorded messages you find in Old Aperture.
  • Street Fighter, Final Fight, and Rival Schools are all in the same universe. Several characters from Final Fight have become a regular part of Street Fighter, most notably Cody, Guy, and Rolento, and Sakura was playable in the first Rival Schools. Since Saturday Night Slam Masters is in the Final Fight timeline (Haggar is in the cast, and canonically it's what he did before he became mayor), that puts it in the same setting as well.

  • Megatokyo's Junpei has shown up in Applegeeks, and they cross over from time to time. Mostly though, they stay apart, mainly because one set of characters in in Japan and the other is in America. Plus, time passes much slower in Megatokyo than in Applegeeks.

    Web Original 
  • Almost all of the Whateley Universe stories take place among a small group of kids who go to Whateley Academy together, so there's phenomenal amounts of Continuity Overlap, to the point that it looks like the authors have to coordinate character schedules down to the day.

    Western Animation 
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars was part of a multimedia project, now part of Star Wars Legends, depicting events following Attack of the Clones. Much like what would later be done in the film Rogue One, its third and final season was made to lead straight into Revenge of the Sith, featuring events which formed that movie's Opening Scroll. This was eventually overwritten by Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
  • Following the cancellation of The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels started off five years prior to A New Hope and caught up with characters from the former series, calling back to events which were to be shown in the then unproduced series finale. Rogue One, which aired in the middle of the third season of Rebels, led straight into A New Hope timeline-wise, and even included a character who originated in The Clone Wars, confirmed the continuing presence of the show's Cool Ship and two of its main characters. Ultimately, the fourth and final season, while coming to a close before Rogue One, provided some Call Forwards to that movie, most notably the return of the aforementioned character from The Clone Wars. In addition, a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue caught up with the surviving protagonists following Return of the Jedi, while setting up a search for one who went missing.
  • Star Wars Resistance starts off some six months prior to The Force Awakens, catching up by the time of its first season finale. The Force Awakens was followed immediately by The Last Jedi timeline-wise, and so the heroes of Resistance come across the aftermath of the battle which opened the latter movie early on in their second and final season. Finally, The Rise of Skywalker, released prior to the series finale of Resistance which of course ended with the gang living to fight another day, confirms that their ships joined in The Cavalry for the Battle of Exegol, with the novelization counting their characters amongst the comm chatter.
  • Having been Un-Cancelled after some years, The Clone Wars was granted a final season which at last shown the battle which had been mentioned in Rebels. In addition, it featured cameos from a couple of Rebels characters, plus a villain from the film Solo.
  • Both the final arc of The Clone Wars and the opening of Sequel Series Star Wars: The Bad Batch take place concurrently to the galaxy-shaking events of Revenge of the Sith, most notably Order 66.