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The TARDIS has materialized everywhere from the Planet of the Apes to Fawlty Towers, even onto the set of Wheel of Fortune.
Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (Chapter 5: "Scribbling in the Margins: Fan Readers/Fan Writers")

The classic crossover started itself off as a good way to make the best of what you've got — so if you have two shows on your roster, it's a no-brainer to have the shows and characters cross over every once in a while, especially if one of the shows is less popular than its sibling.

The popular way of doing this is the "true" crossover, in which a storyline will begin in one series and cross over into the next one, encouraging viewers to tune into a show that may be thematically similar but which they do not usually watch.

For example, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a handful of episodes where the characters head off at the end, only to turn up in Angel straight after. This also works the other way, with a magic amulet in Angel turning out to be vitally important for the last-ever episode of Buffy. This also highlights one of the dangers of crossovers; if you or a fan watched only Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but not Angel, this particular amulet appeared to come totally out of nowhere to save the day... (See Red Skies Crossover.)


Sometimes this is done to provide the lead-in for a spin-off show, as happened with both of the CSI spin-offs.

Alternatively, a single popular character can cross over from one show into an other for a brief guest appearance; this has the effect of attracting that character's fans from the other show without requiring the writing teams to sync up or creating DVD- and arc-unfriendly episodes. This is very common in comic books, in which most characters are part of a larger universe, such as the Marvel Universe or The DCU. It happens less often in TV and movie properties based on comic books, since they are often made by different production companies.

Not to be confused with station wagons made taller for ease of acces- sorry, because ADVENTURE!, nor with the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine mirror universe episode.


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Alternative Title(s): Crossover Index, Crossover Tropes


PlayStation Move Heroes

Ratchet, Clank, Jak, Daxter, Sly Cooper and Bentley are all ripped from their respective worlds to compete in a series of games.

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