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Required Spinoff Crossover

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"If it isn't my old friends from Springfield, the Simpsons! What brings you folks to New Orleans?"
Chief Wiggum, The Simpsons, "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase"

So, the Spin-Off has launched. All the requisite cast members have jumped ship, and you've got enough stylistic elements to draw at least a loose connection between the new series and its parent. But why stop there? Why not have recurring visits from members of the old series, who are just stopping in to say hi? Hell, why not have crossover events?

A Required Spinoff Crossover is what happens when a spun-off series decides to showcase its connection to the original series frequently and with great vigor. Sometimes it will happen when a character from the first series stops by to follow up on a plot in the second series. Other times, there will be a full-on crossover, where both series get together to follow one plot. Either way, the show is going to remind you of its pedigree as loudly as it can. Note that this is not a character from the first series moving to the second series, but rather a periodic reminder, usually through guest appearance and crossover, of the connection between the two shows.

See also Poorly Disguised Pilot, an episode of the original series that's used to test the waters for a spinoff, Spinoff Send Off, a crossover in the pilot of the spinoff to establish the connection with the previous series. Contrast Late Spinoff Transplant, where a character joins the cast permanently after the series has debuted


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The first season of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX easily bears the closest resemblance to the original Yu-Gi-Oh! and even contains Shout Outs like Sho fantasizing that he and Judai are reincarnations of an Egyptian pharoah and high priest. Pegasus and Kaiba appear with a fair amount of frequency as well, Sugoroku (Grandpa Muto) is featured briefly when the gang visit Domino City, and an early episode focuses on Judai dueling against someone who stole Yugi's old deck and is pretending to be him. Yugi himself also appears, albeit shadowed, in the first and the penultimate episode, sending Judai back in time to duel the past Yugi when he still had Atem with him, to establish a fairly ridiculous time loop.
  • Episode 60 of Yu-Gi-Oh! SEVENS has the protagonist of Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! making a cameo appearance.
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun's spin-off protagonist Mikoto Misaka will (most of the time) run into the series protagonist Touma Kamijou. And most of the time, Mikoto WILL challenge Touma because of his Right hand cancelling her Railgun. And they'll tie. Inevitable, considering the two series run in the same timeline and several arcs connect to each other, such as the Sister's Arc.
    • The anime also threw in cameos of other Index characters, such as Aisa or Komoe.
  • Aoi Shiro has the appearance of Asama Sakuya from Akai Ito, who turns out to be Aoi-sensei's drinking buddy. The manga makes Wakasugi Tsudura and her group The Cavalry, with Hatou Kei's blood required to thwart Ba Rouryuu's plan.
  • To celebrate the franchise's 15th anniversary, several episodes of HuGtto! Pretty Cure feature characters from the previous 14 seasons, but the most frequent characters to appear are Cure Black and Cure White from Futari wa Pretty Cure. Notably, the last of these episodes sees all fifty five Cures fight and defeat one of the show’s villains.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Law & Order:
    • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had Briscoe and Green from Law & Order investigating a case that tied into Benson and Stabler's in "...Or Just Look Like One", and Abbie Carmichael served as the ADA in charge of SVU cases until they got their own ADA (first a minor character played by Reiko Aylesworth, then Alex Cabot). Furthermore, there was a crossover episode with the mothership, "Entitled", where SVU investigated the case in one episode and the DA's office prosecuted it in the next.
    • Also inverted in one Law & Order episode which had Benson and Stabler showing up, given that the murder case bore considerable similarities to a series of rapes they'd been investigating and they suspected (correctly) that their prime suspect in the rapes was responsible for the recent killings.
    • Law & Order: Criminal Intent followed the same pattern, with Briscoe and Green called upon to leak info of a serial poisoner by Goren and Eames in one episode, Van Buren asked about a suspect that formerly served under her in another episode, and Skoda called in for a psychiatric opinion in yet another episode. And before L&O: CI launched, there were plans for a "mega crossover" between the three series centered around a terrorist attack...but then 9/11 happened.
    • The short lived Law & Order: Trial by Jury also did this, once with a follow-up on a case that had been closed on SVU, and once with the prosecution of the guy who shot Det. Green on the original series. It's also noteworthy that Fred Thompson appeared on both Trial by Jury and the original Law & Order as a series regular on both shows simultaneously, a remarkably unusual occurrence in television history.
    • Averted with Law & Order: UK, possibly because this was simply another show in the franchise rather than an explicit spin-off.
  • Angel:
    • Oz and Spike showed up in "In the Dark" to follow up on plot from Buffy's "The Harsh Light Of Day".
    • Buffy showed up in "I Will Remember You".
    • Faith fled to LA after the events of "This Year's Girl/Who Are You?" with Buffy pursuing in "Five By Five/Sanctuary".
    • Willow also showed up in "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb" to deliver news about Buffy, and again later when the AI team needed her to perform a spell in "Orpheus".
      • Willow was the crossover once again in the Season 9 comic series, appearing on the last page of Angel & Faith #10.
      • Before the license went back to Dark Horse Comics Willow even managed to cross over between publishing companies to appear in IDW's Angel spinoff, Spike.
    • There was also a special crossover "event" between the Buffy episode "Fool For Love" and the Angel episode "Darla", in which several flashback scenes are seen from Spike's perspective in the Buffy episode and then again from Darla's perspective in the Angel episode which originally aired immediately afterward.
    • Season 6 and season 3 were the exceptions. Buffy changed networks in its sixth season and Angel's third and crossovers were banned. The reunion of Buffy and Angel after Buffy's resurrection was only visualized in comic book form. Fortunately, the networks changed the rules the next season.
  • Consciously averted with Joey, the spin-off of Friends, if only because it didn't last long enough for them to try. The character moved from New York to L.A. so that the writers wouldn't have to explain why his best friends never visited him — not that that worked for Frasier...
  • Doctor Who occasionally does this in reverse, with Capt. Jack returning and revealing his connection to Torchwood in the last three episodes of Series 3, and Torchwood and Sarah Jane getting caught up in the Series 4 finale. The producers went on record to say that the Doctor would never appear in Torchwood, as that would encourage Who's younger fans to watch a show which, given its Darker and Edgier and Hotter and Sexier nature, isn't exactly aimed at them.
  • The Brigadier appears in the second season finale of the Doctor Who spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures.
    • The Tenth Doctor appears in series three ("The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith"). The Eleventh shows up in series four (Death of the Doctor), alongside another Classic Who companion, Jo Grant.
    • It also features a Sontaran, the Slitheen and a Graske as recurring enemies, with the Sontaran's story being a direct continuation of what the Doctor did on his show.
  • In Torchwood, Doctor Who companion and Jack Harkness' ally Martha Jones appears in a few series 2 episodes.
    • The episode "Cyberwoman" features a partially converted Cyberman from the aftermath of the Doctor Who series 2 finale.
  • The pilot of Mork & Mindy had a "flashback" (filmed for the show) where Mork pays a visit to the Fonz in the 1950s again. They even bring in Laverne from Laverne & Shirley.
    • Lampshaded by Mork himself as he reports to Orson after appearing as the new material holding together a "Happy Days" clip show later on in the season.
    Mork: Mork calling Orson....come in Orson....
    Orson: Mork! This is not your usual day for reporting back to me!
    Mork: Ah, quite true your Immenseness! But see, I did a spin-on to pay back for my spin-off.
    • Of course, Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley had several crossovers themselves when both shows were set in Milwaukee.
  • The second season premiere of The Ropers featured a visit by Jack, Janet and Crissy. A later episode would have Larry Dallas dropping by.
    Stanley Roper: Larry! I'm glad to see you!
    Larry: You never were this glad to see me when I was your tenant.
    Stanley Roper: I was when you paid your rent on time!
  • Star Trek, in addition to the Spinoff Send Off in every series save the first:
    • Jonathan Frakes appeared in multiple spin-off series (as William Riker in Voyager and Enterprise and as Thomas Riker in Deep Space Nine). He and Marina Sirtis have also appeared in Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • One episode focused on Sarek, Spock's father. A later two parter featured Spock himself and a single episode had a visit from Scotty. McCoy had a cameo in the pilot.
      • The show crossed over with Deep Space Nine for the "Birthright" two-parter, featuring Dr. Bashir in the first part.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • The first season leaned heavily on this trope to woo loyal TNG fans. Beyond turning Miles O'Brien and his wife Keiko (and later Worf) into regulars, episodes after the pilot featured Lwaxanna Troi, Q, Vash, Lursa and B'etor. Later seasons brought Gowron, Admiral Nechayev, Kurn, Alexander Rozhenko, and even Kor, Kang, and Koloth from the original series.
    • Star Trek: Voyager:
      • Voyager character Tuvok appeared in one of Deep Space Nine's Mirror Universe episodes since the differences in the timeline meant that there was no reason for the Mirror version of the character to be trapped in the Delta Quadrant like the main universe version.
      • Both Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: The Next Generation featured season arcs revolving around the Maquis, which was created intentionally to serve as a plot device for Voyager's mission that resulted in it being stranded in the Delta Quadrant as well as its unusual crew dynamics.
      • Deanna Troi and Reg Barclay from The Next Generation both had recurring roles on Star Trek: Voyager.
      • One alternate future timeline featured TNG character Geordi LaForge as a captain.
      • Voyager's Captain Janeway got to make an appearance in Star Trek: Nemesis, which was a Next Generation movie. A torch passed back.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise:
      • This is the entire premise behind the polarizing final episode "These Are the Voyages", which features not just Will Riker and Deanna Troi (and Data's voice) from Star Trek: The Next Generation (i.e. an entirely different series within the same franchise), but by reusing some old sets and footage from TNG and focusing the episode around a dilemma that Riker was facing in a TNG episode ("The Pegasus") that he decided to work through by reliving some scenes from the Enterprise era on the Enterprise-D holodeck.
    • Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) appears in Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness.
  • Frasier eventually had all his old friends (except Rebecca Howe) from Cheers visit him at least once. Also, his ex-wife Lilith became a Recurring Character.
    • The creators have said that they chose Seattle specifically because it was on the other end of the country from Boston. A few thousand miles was enough to stop the higher-ups from pestering them all the time about when the Cheers gang was going to show up. It's not like Cafe Nervosa is on Cliff's mail route or anything...
    • The earlier (and much more obscure) Cheers spinoff The Tortellis had an episode where Cliff and Norm just happen to show Las Vegas, where the show was set.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. featured Leo G. Carroll playing U.N.C.L.E. chief Alexander Waverly in both series. In addition, Robert Vaughn appeared as Napoleon Solo in the The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Mother Muffin Affair", while Noel Harrison appeared as Mark Slate in the third season The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Galatea Affair". The episodes were broadcast on the same week on NBC.
  • The shows in Susan Harris' Miami sitcom universe (The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, Nurses) all featured these. There were two specific ones, specifically where events that began in The Golden Girls were brought to a close in the other two. A hurricane and a full moon began some chaos that would be fixed in the hospital where Harry Westen of Empty Nest and the Nurses worked. Might make it a Crisis Crossover.
  • Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life had a number of these early in the latter show's run.
    • Meanwhile, a "connection" between Diff'rent Strokes and Hello Larry was contrived after the fact (having Mr. Drummond buy Larry's radio station) for the express purpose of setting up crossovers to try and help the latter show's popularity. It didn't work.
  • A Different World featured many of these during the show's first season, usually via Denise calling home to talk to her parents. They dropped off considerably once she left the show, but a few instances still occurred throughout the series—Clair coming to Hillman for alumni weekends and/or to take Vanessa on a tour. To the point where the final season had Charmaine (introduced to The Cosby Show as one of Pam's friends) as one of the incoming freshmen.
  • Just about the entire The Mary Tyler Moore Show cast turns up in Rhoda for the title character's wedding, eight episodes or so into the first season. This is sweet, but a bit awkward...maybe WJM's ratings were so low, no one would notice if the news took a day off.
    • Hard to believe, but those who work in the news are allowed to have a day off. There is indeed a "weekend" crew at almost every local news outlet.
    • Lou Grant averted it, however. Only one other MTM character aside from Lou himself ever appeared and she wasn't a major character. This was likely to prevent tonal dissonance, given the series' more dramatic tone.
  • Stargate Atlantis has featured each member of the original cast of parent series Stargate SG-1 in at least one episode each, often to contrast their spinoff counterpart. The producers made a deliberate effort to tie Atlantis back into SG-1, too - the original series got an episode set in the spinoff's location.
    • Stargate Universe has SG-1 characters turn up often (minus Teal'c who is Demoted to Extra, for some reason). O'Neill in particular is around more now than he was in the final seasons of his own series. The first season finale, involving SG-1 bad guys trying to reach the Destiny, is set to be as much an episode of SG-1 as SGU, if the episode that serves as prelude is any indication.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles, which got its start on a Poorly Disguised Pilot on the regular NCIS, featured the DC team's Abby coming out to L.A. to investigate a serial murder case. The episode pretty much revolved around her.
    • Similarly, Bud Roberts from JAG appears on an early episode of NCIS.
    • Lee Wuan Kai, a Korean assassin, had a history with Leon Vance, director of NCIS. So, naturally, her first stop was Los Angeles not long after they get established, causing Leon to fly out to deal with things personally. Then she followed him back home.
    • Since Abby's two-episode arc, however, NCIS: LA has managed to avoid appearances by NCIS regulars other than Director Vance. It took all of two episodes for NCIS: New Orleans to exceed this count, with Ducky appearing in the first episode and both Abby and Tony appearing in the second. Gibbs himself appeared in the third episode and recurring character Tobias Fornell appeared in the fifth. (Director Vance also appeared in three of those episodes, but as the head of NCIS, he has reason to be in contact with the head of the branch office on a regular basis.).
    • Seasons 2 and 3 of NCISNOLA also had two-part episodes that began on its parent show.
  • Episode 18 of NCIS Hawaii has agentd Torres and Knight travel to the island, while Parker and Kasie have cameos.
  • Averted with All in the Family and The Jeffersons. Neither Archie or Edith ever actually dropped by to visit George and Louise at their dee-luxe apartment in the sky. (Although they did turn up in "flashback" as part of a Clip Show on the latter series.)
    • The Bunkers never appeared on Maude, either, although they did turn up in the backdoor pilot for that show that aired on AITF itself.
      • Nor did any Maude characters ever show up on that show's own spinoff, Good Times.
    • Speaking of backdoor pilots, an Archie Bunker's Place episode was intended as one of these for Gloria, but CBS rejected it. When Gloria was picked up, it debuted with a completely re-written pilot. (The original was eventually included in the syndication package for Archie Bunker's Place, however. Confused enough yet?)
  • Hercules and Xena frequently crossed over into each other's shows, as did several characters of varying importance (from gods to comic relief).
  • Barney Miller's Dietrich stopped by to visit Fish in the latter's spinoff show.
  • CSI has had several, aside from the pseudo-crossover Poorly Disguised Pilots.
    • Ray Langston visited both other series during CSI's 9th season.
    • In CSI: NY's second season, Mac Taylor went down to Miami and then returned to New York with Horatio Caine as they tried to catch a suspect together.
    • The original and CSI: NY crossed over when Mac went to Las Vegas to surprise his girlfriend/future fiance and discovered she'd been kidnapped. When he and DB Russell realized she'd never left New York and was being held there, Mac returned to NY with DB in tow to find her before it was too late.
    • Incidentally, other than Miami's PDP, the original never crossed with the spinoffs until after William Petersen's departure, because he was against the spinoffs from the start, believing it watered down the writer pool on the original. New York's PDP launched from Miami.
  • Just after the premiere of the Bones spinoff The Finder, Lance Sweets appeared on an episode. Jack Hodgins also subsequently appeared in another The Finder episode.
  • Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, the first Power Rangers season to be a spin-off rather than a direct continuation, had the main cast and characters from previous series, Power Rangers in Space teaming up to fight revived Psycho Rangers. Not only that but Kendrix died and Karone, better known as former In Space villain Astronema, replaced her as the Pink Galaxy Ranger. Since then it became tradition (though one not always held to) for new Power Rangers series to have a crossover with previous one.
    • Anniversary seasons (Wild Force, Operation Overdrive, Megaforce) often celebrate by bringing back Rangers from previous series for a special episode.
    • Besides the in Space teamup described above, Lost Galaxy also had established connections to in Space by having Bulk, Skull and Professor Phenomenous appear in the first episode and Alpha 6 and the Astro Megaship in the second one.
    • Power Rangers: Dino Thunder: During Mesogog's first attack, he expected people to believe that last season's villain, Lothor, was responsible despite it not being the same town Lothor used to attack. Later on, a two-part episode featured Lothor and the Ninja Storm rangers.
      • Also, Tommy was the Dino Thunder Rangers' mentor.
    • Power Rangers S.P.D. had two crossovers with Power Rangers: Dino Thunder, with each team getting to visit the setting of the other's show.
    • Power Rangers Mystic Force had Piggy making an appearance and making a Call-Forward to events from the SPD series. It also stated that one minor character, Mystic Mother, was a redeemed Rita Repulsa.
    • Power Rangers Samurai's crossover with Power Rangers RPM only barely qualifies, though - only one RPM Ranger shows up, and he was a Fake Shemp to boot.
  • Notably averted in Boston Legal, where none of the regulars on The Practice stopped by for guest spots (likely attributed to the spinoff characters having been introduced as stars of the latter's final season). This can alarm some viewers who notice that guest stars on The Practice like John Larroquette and Rene Auberjonois ended up starring on Boston Legal as completely different characters.
    • Bill Smitrovich, who portrayed Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Walsh in The Practice, portrayed another prosecutor in Boston Legal. Smitrovich's character in the spinoff worked in a state where death penalty was an option.
    • The law firm of Young, Frutt and Berlutti was once mentioned in Boston Legal.
  • Sam & Cat has the Robbie character from Victorious show up in Episode 4.
  • Arrowverse shows frequently cross over with one another. Arrow characters will come to visit The Flash (2014) and vice-versa a few times a season; and characters from both shows have appeared in Legends of Tomorrow (where half the cast originated in Arrow or Flash to begin with), Vixen, and Supergirl (2015). It's also become a tradition to have a big multi-show Crisis Crossover every year.
  • The main field cops of Tokkei Winspector returned for a three-part episode of Tokkyuu Shirei Solbrain. It was only some episodes later one of them became a regular in Solbrain.
  • The pilot of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland featured Once Upon a Time's Cinderella and Grumpy, as well as Emma's car. Maleficent, Robin Hood, and Cora all put in appearances later in the season.
  • This used to happen all the time in the Kamen Rider series starting with Kamen Rider V3. With V3, Ichigo and Nigo helped turned Shiro into the titular Rider before they were supposedly killed. Then they came back to help him and Riderman. Then, every series through the Showa era would have every previous Rider return to help the current Rider save the day.
    • Kamen Rider's Heisei era developed a tradition of these starting with Decade. Rider A's standalone movie (which occurs late in its run), will have Rider B (star of the upcoming series) make an Early-Bird Cameo, usually appearing from nowhere to help Rider A battle some powerful enemy. Then shortly into Rider B's run, there will be a crossover film (dubbed "Movie Wars") where A and B each get their own mini-movie segment, and it all ends with the two heroes joining forces to fight the film's Big Bad. These crossovers are apparently Canon, at least to each other, since when the characters meet up for the second time they'll reference the events of their first encounter.
      • Super Sentai has also adopted this format, though due to the difference in the timing of new season launches between them and Kamen Rider, the Early-Bird Cameo Rangers usually show up in the crossover feature, not the standalone one.
  • Port Charles was a Spin-Off of General Hospital and occasionally, characters from either show would show up on the other.
  • The Punisher (2017) was greenlit after the praise for Jon Bernthal's portrayal of Frank Castle in season 2 of Daredevil (2015). The Punisher therefore also features appearances from Karen Page, who had been Frank's most vocal advocate and supporter during the second part of Frank's Daredevil story arc.
  • Three episodes of the first season of Knots Landing feature regular characters from its parent series Dallas: Bobby appeared in "Pilot", J.R. appeared in "Community Spirit" and Lucy appeared in "Home is for Healing". There were four such episodes in Season Two: Kristin Shepard appeared in "Kristin" ( coming less than month after it was revealed that she shot J.R., her appearance was no doubt designed to capitalise on the record breaking ratings experienced by Dallas), J.R. appeared in both "A Family Matter" and "Designs" and Bobby appeared in "The Loudest Word". There were none in Season Three but it happened twice more in Season Four, which was the last time that any Dallas character appeared in Knots Landing: J.R. appeared in "Daniel" and both he and Bobby appeared in "New Beginnings", the second part of a two-part crossover with Dallas and the only Knots Landing episode to feature all three of Jock and Miss Ellie's sons.
  • Epically subverted in one episode of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., where Gomer goes back home to Mayberry on leave, only for Andy, Opie, and Goober to be on vacation. After the episode's plot is all wrapped up and Gomer's back on the bus going back to the Marines, the three get back from vacation and the episode ends with Gomer frantically banging on the bus windows to try and get them to notice him.
    • However, this trope was also played straight, with both Andy and Opie, Goober, and Aunt Bee appearing in three separate episodes.
  • From The Goldbergs, Beverly Goldberg makes cameos in the Poorly Disguised Pilot "1990-Something", which then became Schooled, which also featured a cameo by Beverly in the first episode.
  • The angels from Touched by an Angel occasionally showed up on its Spin-Off "Promised Land".
  • Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior spun-off of Criminal Minds in a Poorly Disguised Pilot and went on to share a character: Penelope Garcia was the technical analyst for both teams. There were no other explicit crossovers between the two shows, but there were references. In Criminal Minds, JJ encourages Prentiss to make a move on Mick Rawson from the Suspect Behavior team (which she decides against), and an episode of Suspect Behavior features a picture of JJ on Garcia's desk after she was forced off the team, which serves as the only hint they might still be in contact.
    • When Criminal Minds got a second spin-off, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, they got their own technical analyst, Monty, but Garcia shows up anyway to accuse him of stealing her octopus mug even though he doesn't drink coffeenote .
  • Melrose Place: In the first three episodes, Kelly, Steve, David, and Donna from the progenitor series Beverly Hills, 90210 appear because Kelly is initially dating one of the MP main characters, Jake. They cease to make appearances after Kelly and Jake break off their relationship.
    • Jo and Jake also appear in the spin-off of MP, Models Inc. That show ended after one season.
  • Lab Rats: Elite Force starred Bree and Chase from the original series, but brought back various other prominent characters from its parent series throughout its run, namely Donald, Douglas, Perry, Tasha, and Bob, but because the show was cancelled after its first season, never got to the long-anticipated returns of Leo and Adam. But that's still a lot more than can be said about Mighty Med, in which nobody came back except for Kaz, Oliver, and Skylar.
  • The Book of Boba Fett has Fett and his Number Two Fennec Shand agree that they need some more muscle, so they decide to reach out to an acquaintance known as "The Mandalorian". The next episode kicks off a three-part crossover between the two shows, each part of which even lists the Mandalorian's actor as the third-most important cast member in the end credits (behind the respective actors of Boba and Fennec). Notably, the crossover both resolves the main threat in The Book of Boba Fett, and prepares Mando's clan for their own show's third season, through plot points not completely recapped in The Mandalorian.
  • 9-1-1: Lone Star has Buck, Hen, and Eddie of the 118 crew from the original series show up to help fight a massive wildfire, where they work with the crew of the 126.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • While Toryumon was notorious for its isolation, IWRG wrestlers did still appear in the Mexican branch from time to time. Similarly, while EVOLVE largely showcased the non Dragon Gate regulars of DG USA, Dragon Gate wrestlers and their titles did still appear.
  • Ring of Honor naturally featured wrestlers and continued angles from Full Impact Pro and SHIMMER, although the latter isn't a spinoff per se and savagely parodied the concept on its own shows, where it would put the ROH and FIP (male) wrestlers in comedy dark matches. However, SHIMMER itself played this straight for SHINE Wrestling's first ten shows(it being another all women's promotion).

    Puppet Shows 
  • The first season of The Furchester Hotel avoided this, with the only Sesame Street characters appearing being Elmo and Cookie Monster, who are regulars. The second season included a Big Bird episode, a Count episode and a Yip-Yip Martians episode, and then had Big Bird and the Count return in the Christmas Episode.
  • Characters from Sesame Street made one-off appearances on The Muppet Show:
    • Bert and Ernie appeared in the second episode with Connie Stevens, where Bert sings "Some Enchanted Evening" and dances with Stevens.
    • Big Bird made a prominent appearance with Leslie Uggams. At one point, Big Bird talks to Miss Piggy, who derisively calls Sesame Street "that cute little children's show with puppets", and Big Bird laughs at the thought of her being in love with Kermit, and nearly misses a karate chop from her.
    • The entire cast made a cameo in the Marty Feldman episode that parodies One Thousand and One Nights, in the "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" skit, when Fozzie says "Open Sesame!", the cast comes out and sings the Sesame Street theme (sadly this is missing from the version on Disney+). At the end, Feldman brings Cookie Monster on stage because they have similar eyes.
  • An interesting example of this happens in The Noddy Shop's second season. Unlike other shows utilizing Importation Expansion, Noddy, the star of the show the series is a framing device for, would frequently interact with the puppet and human characters created for the series.
  • Although Mrs. C (Chica's mother) made occasional appearances on The Sunny Side Up Show prior to The Chica Show, she and Mr. C still made guest appearances on the block.
  • King Friday, a character from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood's Neighborhood of Make Believe, is a recurring character in Donkey Hodie.


    Video Games 
  • Inverted with Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2!. For a limited time in 2007, Japanese gamers could go to download stations and download the Elite Beat Agents as playable characters.
  • In the very first Wario Land, a statue of Princess Peach is the game's MacGuffin. Mario himself appears at the end of the game to take the statue away from Wario.
  • Angry Birds has it both ways. The spinoff Bad Piggies features a cameo from the Blues in the episode "When Pigs Fly", and the birds themselves can be found sleeping in "Flight in the Night". Meanwhile, Angry Birds itself debuted a new episode entitled "Bad Piggies", which features the same setting and characters as the game it is named after.
  • Is there a song that's popular on just one BEMANI game (i.e. beatmania, jubeat. DanceDanceRevolution)? Expect to see it on every other sister game during the next cycle of releases. The most infamously wide-spread examples of this have included "Rin to shite saku hana no gotoku" (a.k.a. "Nadeshiko Rock") and "FLOWER"; the latter even made it onto Gitadora too, in the form of a one-to-one rock remix, and also SOUND VOLTEX in the form of a REDALiCE remix (until the advent of SOUND VOLTEX II's POLICY BREAK event, Konami orignials were not allowed in the game). Just to milk "FLOWER" even further, the song is also included whenever Konami does a crossover event with other companies' music games, and as such the song also appears in maimai, Groove Coaster, Taiko no Tatsujin, Synchronica, and CHUNITHM.
    • Many other rhythm games also do crossovers with each other, sharing songs between them. This leads to some songs ending up in a lot of games, with conflict by Siromaru & Cranky taking the crown by appearing in 22 rhythm games.
  • One Kingdom of Loathing Challenge Path is an avatar of West of Loathing, a sister game to KOL with a parodic Weird West setting rather than a parodic high fantasy one. The three classes you can play as in the path are the same three in that game.
  • Um Jammer Lammy: If the main setting isn't any indication, one of Lammy's bandmates is Katy Kat, who is recognized from Parappa The Rapper. After beating the game, the player will unlock Parappa, having him being played through the same stages in this game, albeit with a different music style to accommodate his rapping style.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 had Aika from Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation appear sporadically throughout the Earth Arc to close some lingering plot holes regarding the connection between the anime's plot and the game. Later story arcs had a few more character appearances from the show, such as Rina appearing in the Omega arc as a reference to the show and later all three main characters from the show reuniting in the final arc for a battle sequence.


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    Western Animation 
  • As the page quote indicates, The Simpsons mocks this idea in the Chief Wiggum, P.I. segment of "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase".
    • There's also The Lovematic Grampa from the same episode, where Homer stops by Moe's Tavern, and Abe calls his son out on the manner in which he buried his corporeal body ("You buried me naked and sold my suit to buy a ping-pong table!"). Homer responds by unplugging the love tester in which his father's soul resides and telling Moe, "Call me when you get a karaoke machine."
      "That's the second time he's pulled the plug on me."
  • The Zeta Project had an episode featuring the second Batman; likewise, near the end of Batman Beyond, Zeta crossed back over.
  • He-Man would often show up on She-Ra: Princess of Power.
  • In The Cleveland Show, one one-off gag features Chris appearing in Cleveland's house for no reason. ("Go back to Quahog!") Another episode features the death of Cleveland's ex-wife as an important plot point, giving an excuse for Quagmire and Peter to show up. Cleveland and his family also reappeared in a Family Guy episode. And following the cancelation of their own show, Cleveland and his family moved back to his old place in Quahog.
  • Done frequently with Dora the Explorer and its spin off Go, Diego, Go!.
  • In The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, there was a scene where the Hooded Claw asked Penelope if she was expecting Dick Dastardly.
  • Averted with Beavis and Butt-Head and Daria. While there were plans to do a crossover, it quickly became apparent that the drastically different tones of the two shows meant there was little audience overlap, and thus not much to gain from doing one. Nowadays, many people don't even realize that the shows are related — the only reference to B&B in Daria is from the first episode, when Helen mentions that they moved to Lawndale from Highland, the fictional Texas town where B&B took place. Even Flashbacks to Daria's childhood don't make the connection.
  • After its second season began with a crossover episode between the two, Milo Murphy's Law would have Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb make regular appearances. Meanwhile, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz would become a full-on transplant, even moving into the main character's home.
  • Blue's Clues & You! makes Steve and Joe, the hosts of the original series, recurring characters.
  • Arthur, D.W. and other regular Arthur characters would appear time to time on Postcards from Buster, usually by phone, due to the premise of the show being that Buster is traveling across the world.
  • The Casagrandes has had Lincoln make cameos several times throughout the show. Most notably, "Cursed!" involved the Casagrandes visiting the Loud family.
  • SpongeBob and Squidward occasionally show up on The Patrick Star Show. SpongeBob is younger, although mostly the same; he's still Patrick's friend, still has Gary, still likes watching Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy... the only difference is that it's unclear if he has a job (this is contradicted a few times). Squidward is a "neighborhood rando" (as identified by Patrick in "Pat-a-thon") who tries to collect money from Patrick's family as a newspaper deliveryman. As of "Super Sitters", they have four appearances each. Other main series characters like Mrs. Puff, Plankton, Mr. Krabs, and Pearl have each shown up once or twice.
  • In The Wisdom of the Gnomes, a follow-up series to The World of David the Gnome, both David and Lisa appear in the series finale in a flashback as David tends to the injuries of Judge Klaus's wife, Agnes. Sadly, this was a life David wasn't able to save as she was too badly wounded. Pit, Pat, Pot and Holler also occasionally make appearances, still causing trouble for the gnomes.
  • Rubble & Crew has had appearances from Rubble's other teammates Marshall and Chase. Meanwhile, Charger has appeared in two episodes of PAW Patrol.


Video Example(s):


Laverne & Shirley: The Fonz

Fonzie "drops in" on his girl Laverne's show.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / RequiredSpinoffCrossover

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