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Crossover Punchline

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Stitch: Yoo-hoo! Cinderella! Your prince is here...
Cinderella: [Gasp!] You're not my prince! Bye!
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Unlike a regular television crossover, the Crossover Punchline is a brief gag. The Crossover is not vital to the storyline, it's just there for the fun of it. Used for laughs, it generally also uses the tropes All Just a Dream or Alternate Universe.

If the two works are owned by the same company, it doubles as Company Cross References. If owned by different companies, it can be a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Ayakashi Triangle, Shirogane once attempted to track down Suzu's Doppelgänger by scent. All he could find was a cardboard standee of Kyoko from To Love Ru.
  • There's a one-shot manga by Osamu Tezuka about a company testing a robot Salary Man, who proceeds to go native and become a union leader, while at the same time seducing every woman on the staff. After his creators have him assassinated it's revealed all the women in the company have (somehow) had his babies, which confuses the hell out of his best friend, who wonders "What does a robot baby look like, anyways?" Cut to a delivery room full of baby Astro Boys.
  • Project A-ko features a blink-and-you'll-miss-it gag at the end of the original OVA, where A-Ko's mother is seen sewing something that looked suspiciously like Superman's costume. The gag (that A-Ko is Superman and Wonder Woman's daughter) is made far more explicit in the Antarctic Press adaptation, where her parents refer to each other as "Clark" and "Diana", and actually do look like their respective heroes.
  • One episode of Cowboy Bebop ends with Spike ejecting a fridge with some kind of... thing inside. In episode 8 of Space Dandy, Meow finds the fridge and eats the whatever-it-is.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei's "Seven-year punchline", which started back in Katte Ni Kaizo when a character is sealed behind a wall and doesn't appear again until Zetsubou, when she busts out and introduces herself.
  • Season 3 of Space Patrol Luluco features references to previous Studio TRIGGER works for four episodes in a row, each one more blatant than the last. Episode 7 confirms the existence of Life Fibers in the universe, features a planet named KLK-X, plays "Before my Body is Dry", and even has an alien that looks like Guts, but Kill la Kill is not even mentioned once in the episode. Episode 8 takes place on the world of Little Witch Academia and features an extended cameo from Sucy Manbavaran. The first half of episode 9 is for all intents and purposes a sequel to SEX and VIOLENCE with MACHSPEED, with Luluco shoved into the background. Finally, episode 10 reveals that Inferno Cop is a member of the Space Patrol. All of this leads up to The Reveal of Luluco being one of the three mascots of Studio Trigger, Trigger-chan.

    Comic Books 
  • An issue of the Darkwing Duck comic had Launchpad lament the lack of openings for pilot/sidekicks. We then cut to him insisting he can fly the Rescue Rangers' plane. While holding it in his hand.
    Gadget: No. No, you cannot.
  • During Walt Simonson's classic Thor run, when Thor was in his civilian identity he stumbled into two familiar-looking reporters named Clark and Lois. The joke here is that Thor has just lost his ability to transform into his mortal form Don Blake, and has just asked Nick Fury to give him a new civilian identity. Concerned that he could not hide those muscles, Fury gave him a pair of glasses, since "they always worked for that other guy!" As Thor goes out wondering if they would work, cue the abovementioned meeting. And as he leaves the pair, a curious Clark looks back at him and wonders....
    Clark: "Gee, that looked like... I could have sworn... naaaah."
  • Similarly, when Voodoo and Spartan of the Wild C.A.T.s (WildStorm) were vacationing, they were noticed by familiar-looking honeymooners named Scott and Jean. Helping the gag is the fact that Jim Lee drew X-Men for years.
  • An issue of Superman ended with Mr. Mxyzptlk transporting himself to another dimension. He looks about himself, realises where he is and transforms himself into the form he normally wears in this universe; which looks suspiciously like Fantastic Four foe the Impossible Man. To clinch the gag, four very familiar sets of legs are seen walking away from him.
    • In the 700th issue of the series, which has Supes walking across America to get to know the common man more, he stops at a local diner for lunch. Outside is a reporter very heavily implied to be Peter Parker sent to do a report on him, in which he complains on his cellphone to someone name "J.J" about how mundane the story is.
  • A more serious than usual example - the final (so far) arc of Alex di Campi's anthology series Grindhouse is a pastiche of 1960s/70s European SF porn comics that ends with a few panels revealing that the story was All Just a Dream of a female convict being transported to what is heavily implied to be the space prison in Bitch Planet.
  • In the early numbers of her own series Power Girl and her friend (the second) Terra are in a movie theater as their civilian identities, when they run into Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj. Howard tries to hit on the girls with no success.
  • Played for very dark laughs in Wanted. After Mr. Rictus decides to drop The Masquerade and just go back to being a normal supervillain, the first people he murders are "the detective", as well as his youthful ward. He drops them in a vat of acid for added faithfulness to the source material.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dragon comic strips:
    • Annual #5 had all the artists on the regular comics switch places: Dork Tower by Phil Foglio ended with the reveal that Bill was actually a disguised Dixie of What's New? with Phil and Dixie, while Nodwick by John Kovalic ended with the reveal that it was a Deep-Immersion Gaming session by the cast of Dork Tower (with Igor as a decidedly OOC Nodwick). (What's New? by Aaron Williams was a more conventional Nodwick crossover.)
    • A later issue had a Nodwick story called "Epic For A Day", in which a mysterious helmet makes Yeagar temporarily epic-level ... until a portal opens and Phil removes the helmet, takes his derby from beneath it, and gives Yeagar a Dope Slap.
  • The October 31, 2010 strip for B.C. has The Fat Broad running a pumpkin pie stand. The Cute Chick asks her where she found enough pumpkins to make the pies. The Fat Broad says that she just found one really big pumpkin. Cut to Linus, Sally, and Charlie Brown in a pumpkin patch with Charlie Brown saying "I don't think he's coming, dude."
  • One of Garfield's "I hate Mondays" gags was prompted by seeing Snoopy's reflection in the mirror.
  • References to The Family Circus characters are a Running Gag in Pearls Before Swine.
  • 1997 was the year of the Great April Fools' Day Comics Switcheroonie, in which a number of comic strip writers and artists handled each other's strips as a massive practical joke. In several cases characters from different strips met, such as Garfield and Jon having their house painted and leaving to visit the Bumsteads.
  • A The Wizard of Id strip features the Snowman character mauled by vicious snowmen. His reaction?
    Snowman: How did Calvin get in here?
    • The strip for October 30, 2015 shows the eponymous wizard conjuring up a spell involving the use of pumpkin DNA. When asked what he's doing, the wizard replies that he's "making a dream come true for a special little boy". Cut to Linus running for his life out of the pumpkin patch away from "The Great Pumpkin" (er, a giant monster pumpkin).
  • An arc in Peanuts had Charlie Brown seeing baseballs everywhere, from the rising sun to a weird rash he develops on the back of his head. After taking a trip to summer camp to get his mind off baseball, Charlie Brown's rash clears up one morning. He rushes to check the rising sun and see whether he was fully cured... only for the sun to appear as the face of Alfred E. Neuman.
  • While it occasionally occurred in the original series, Berke Breathed has started using this trope a lot in the 2015 reboot of Bloom County. Usually the guest is another comic strip character (most commonly Garfield or Snoopy), but then you have strips like this and this.
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    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • The second novel in Robert Rankin's Armageddon trilogy concludes with multiple Gainax Endings, the second-to-last of which features Poole and Omalley from the same author's Brentford trilogy. Poole says that their books never ended with this kind of nonsense, and Omalley replies that yes, actually, they did.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Marty Feldman episode of The Muppet Show was a series of sketches based on Arabian Nights, the final story being Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The final number had characters from Sesame Street show for one last joke on "Open Sesame!". And in The Stinger...
    Waldorf: How should we know how to get to Sesame Street?
    Statler: We don't even know how to get out of this stupid theater box!
  • The epilogue of the series finale of Newhart had Bob Newhart waking up in bed on the set of The Bob Newhart Show, next to his wife of the latter series, Suzanne Pleshette, explaining about his nightmare of being an innkeeper.
  • The final show of Noels House Party ended with Noel waking up on the set of his earlier show Swap Shop.
  • An episode of Caroline in the City ends with Niles and Daphne of Frasier arguing over whether or not the most recent strip is funny.
  • The Seinfeld episode "The Keys" ends with Kramer appearing on Murphy Brown.
  • After the credits of one episode of Mr. Show, a comic is seen talking to Dr. Katz. Especially weird just because Mr Show is live-action.
  • One Halloween episode of Boy Meets World had a witch who wanted to sacrifice the guys in an occult ritual. At the end of the episode, they discuss the incident with another girl: Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
  • A Halloween episode of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place revealed the killer that had been going around offing the cast to be... Mimi from The Drew Carey Show, who said she wanted her own time slot.
  • An episode of The Lucy Show had Lucy mistakenly drafted into the marines, driving her drill sergeant insane. When she finally is able to leave, the sergeant is relieved he'll never have to deal with someone as nutty as her ever again. Enter her replacement...Gomer Pyle.
  • In an episode of Family Matters, Richie has a friend over that says Carl "does look like the Dad from Fresh Prince!" During the credits, an outtake of this scene was shown. When Richie's friend says line this time, James Avery enters to everyone's amusement (both series were produced by Warner Bros.).
  • In the final episode of Coach, Hayden and Christine find that Larry, Darryl, and Darryl from Newhart have been watching their cabin after they left for Orlando (not actually living inside the cabin, just watching it while they slept under it). This also doubles as an in-joke, because both shows were created by the same person (Barry Kemp).
  • In an episode of Chuck, Big Mike turns out to be a cousin of Sgt. Al Powell.
  • Drake once walked into the iCarly kitchen and mistook Carly for his sister Megan.
  • The Adam West Batman show often featured a scene where Batman and Robin were climbing up a building with a guest star coming out of the window. On three occasions, a fictional character came out instead. They were Lurch from The Addams Family, Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes and The Green Hornet. The Green Hornet was the only one who was later featured in an entire episode.

    Music 
  • The video for "Moonshine" from Caravan Palace ends with the protagonist reaching the edge of the world, breaking through... and ending up in the strip club from "Lone Digger". For bonus points, he's implied to be the donkey.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Black Rose cheering on her former WWC client Bronco #1, "as a fan" while she was contracted to WWC's main rival IWA Puerto Rico, or perhaps Austin Aries continuing to show up in Ring of Honor, "as a fan", while contracted to TNA.
  • Sami Callihan's stalking of Daizee Haze in the International Wrestling Cartel included attacking students of the ROH Dojo, which Haze was head trainer of alongside Delirious, and leaving cameras/switchblades in its facilities.
  • Before making an official return to CMLL, Dr. Wagner Jr made brief appearances threatening revenge against Ultimo Guerrero and Atlantis. These were little nods to independent promotion Lucha Liga Elite, which was featuring Wagner on television, something CMLL lacked at the time.

    Video Games 
  • Resident Evil 4: Leon can save a dog greatly resembling Hewie from Haunting Ground (One of the many prototypes for RE4, along with Devil May Cry) from a bear trap. If he does so, the same dog will distract El Gigante later on. Leon will also draw attention to it with the narmy line, "Hey...it's that dog!" Interestingly, saving the dog from the bear trap by shooting it with your gun will free him as well, but he won't appear to help you later (The dog is trapped by its leg, and Hewie was shot in the leg by the main antagonist in Haunting Ground. Not surprising it wouldn't like the reminder).
  • The Simpsons Game has the penultimate boss fight against Matt Groening — who attacks you with copies of Bender and Zoidberg from Futurama.
  • Most of the endings of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its Ultimate re-release features the Marvel characters interacting with Capcom characters (whether they appeared as playable characters or not) and vice-versa. Highlights include Viewtiful Joe working on a film directed by Mojo and Spiral, Hulk storming the mansion setting of Resident Evil with Chris (and manhandling Nemesis), Arthur attacking Fin Fang Foom, who is trying to do his best to tolerate the weaker opponent, and Mr. Fantastic recruiting Frank West to help infiltrate the Marvel Zombies universe, among many others.
  • Skate 2 has an extremely rare voice line spoken by two police officers discussing arresting a man for a DUI and how his ID says he's from Tri-City Bay, the fictional city in Need for Speed Undercover

    Web Animation 
  • Despite already being a crossover, Double Rainboom has one of these: At the end of the video, where Rainbow Dash is writing her letter to Princess Celestia about why you should not take things that don't belong to you, Pinkie Pie asks "What will I do with this then?", pulling out Bloo from hammerspace. The Foster's theme tune then plays as the video fades to the ending credits.
  • In episode 8 of Inanimate Insanity II, once the contests reach Meeple headquarters they hear a voice (at the moment unknown to them) belonging to Steve Cobs. When they try to see who the voice belongs to, we see Gamey, the host of Object Overload (another popular object show), who points them towards Cobs.
  • My Little Pony Meets:
    • At one moment in Tsum Tsum Meets My Little Pony we get a zoom in to the inside of Apple Bloom's mind, and sure enough, Inside Out characters are seen.
    • Godzilla Meets My Little Pony begins with a scene involving Bambi characters, ending with Bambi getting crushed by Godzilla. This may seem like a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment, but then you remember Bambi Meets Godzilla is a thing that exists...
    • Sailor Moon Meets My Little Pony has a gag where Discord begs Tirek for mercy, while claiming he has a child. When Tirek points out he doesn't, Discord responds by reaching into an alternate universe and snatching up Screwball, his daughter from the Bride of Discord verse, before that universe's Discord comes and takes his daughter back.
  • One of the six non-canon endings of the last episode of Red vs. Blue showed that the whole series was just an overly long Halo 2 multiplayer match.
  • Pokémon Ralphie ends with Ralphie in jail and declaring he's going to change himself for the better. Then it turns out this coincides with the Season 3 premiere of Pokémon Rusty, and Ralphie gets killed by the jailbreak.
  • An episode of Freeman's Mind had Freeman see Mike and Dave from Civil Protection on their lunch break, excitedly proclaiming they were going to get tacos.

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The Warner siblings criticize every painting they see except for one with a familiar face.

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