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Spinoff Sendoff

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On the pilot of a new spinoff, characters and settings from the original series will show up to give the new series a sendoff. Doing this has multiple advantages. For one, it provides the connection between the two shows making the second one canon to the first. For another, it increases the viewership from the original series as they tune in to see their favourite characters. In addition, doing so gives it some legitimacy in the eyes of the audience.


Compare Poorly Disguised Pilot, where the new characters start off being introduced on the original series, and Required Spinoff Crossover, in which characters from the original series continue making appearances on the new series through the first season and beyond.

See also: Passing the Torch.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Since Happiness Charge Pretty Cure, the Pretty Cure series has borrowed a trick used in Super Sentai in which during a post-credits segment in the final episode (in lieu of the usual next-episode preview), the lead Pink Cure of the now-finished series thanks the viewers for watching the past season, and in an inversion of this trope, meets and introduces the next Pink Cure. Prior to this, they just showed a "Thank You" sketch. Presumably for the 10th anniversary of the franchise that HaCha marked, they wanted to do something new.
    • The final episode of Happiness Charge as a result saw Cure Lovely thank viewers for watching the ending season, introduce Cure Flora of Go! Princess Pretty Cure and wish the viewers will keep watching the series.
    • The process was repeated again a year later for Cure Miracle of Maho Girls PreCure. Things get more elaborate this time with Cure Miracle casting a spell.
    • For the transition to Kirakira★PreCure a la Mode, they went with the Timeranger formula described below. An epilogue episode set a few years later after the final battle saw the Maho Cures get help from a super-powered white-and-pink-clad bunny-eared girl. After the end credits, as Cure Miracle was thanking the viewers for watching, that same bunny girl smashes into her. Only then can Cure Whip, the next lead Cure, properly intoduce herself to who she just helped out.
  • In the first episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Jaden literally bumps into a now-adult Yugi Muto from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! series, almost knocking him down. Yugi forestalls Jaden's awed reaction by simply giving Jaden a card as his blessing. Yugi's face is not shown, nor is he explicitly named, but the clothing, telltale long jagged spikes of blond hair, and theme music leave no doubt as to his identity. Especially poignant in that his adult voice sounds like Yami Yugi's voice, though with a sweeter tone, and he gives Jaden a classic Yami thumbs-up.
  • The last episode of the Naruto anime has a post-credits sequence where Naruto hands his son Boruto his old headband as they walk past each other, heralding the start of the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime.
  • While most The iDOLM@STER adaptations have characters cameo throughout their Shared Universe, THE iDOLM@STER: SideM manages to do a direct baton pass by simply flipping perspectives. The prequel, Episode of Jupiter, caps off Jupiter's transition phase between 961 and 315 during The iDOLM@STER MOVIE by showing their run-in with Haruka from that film. They see 765 Pro's first arena concert, come out from it with a stronger resolve to make time for their fans, and head towards their new start with higher hopes.
  • Humorously lampshaded and subverted in this mini-comic by Hiro Mashima, where Natsu attempts to pass the baton to Shiki...only for Shiki to snap it in half and give one piece back to Natsu as they race off together with smiles. This is meant to show that Fairy Tail would still be continuing alongside Edens Zero through the anime's final season and an official sequel manga supervised by Mashima.

  • For Beneath the Planet of the Apes Charlton Heston was only in it as a favor to the director. He wanted to die in the first reel, but they compromised; he disappeared in the first reel and died in the last reel.
  • Star Trek (2009) gets one of these with Leonard Nimoy showing up to guide everything into place.
  • Star Trek: Generations acts as a bridge between TOS and TNG (although the movie came out a few months after TNG ended it's run).

  • Several Star Trek novel series, just like the various TV series.
    • Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-E feature heavily in the first Starfleet Corps of Engineers novella; Geordi La Forge hangs around for a few stories more, until the new characters are established enough to carry the series.
    • Picard and co are also heavily involved in the first Star Trek: New Frontier novel.
    • Kirk and company play this role in the first Star Trek: Vanguard novel.
    • Sort of done in Star Trek Ship Of The Line. The novel starts with the USS Bozeman encountering the USS Enterprise-A, with both Captain Bateson admiring the legendary flagship and Admiral Kirk admiring Bateson's old-fashioned border cutter. Then, after a battle with a Klingon cruiser results in the Bozeman passing through a Negative Space Wedgie to the 24th century (see TNG episode "Cause and Effect"), the crew of the Bozeman is stuck in their future. After a Time Skip to post-Generations, Bateson is in charge of the construction of the USS Enterprise-E, maneuvering himself to be named her first captain. It's not until the end of the events that Bateson realizes that Picard is the true captain of the Enterprise, handing over the reigns.

    Live Action TV 
  • Each of the Star Trek spinoff series has one.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation's pilot episode, "Encounter at Farpoint" has a visit from The Original Series' Dr. Admiral McCoy, who inspects the Enterprise-D and gives it his blessing.
      Treat her like a lady, and she'll always bring you home.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's pilot episode "Emissary" starts with the Enterprise-D docked with the eponymous station. Captain Picard appears and the new Commander Sisko promptly tells him how much he hates him. Sisko has some epiphanies, makes peace with Picard, and Picard gives him his blessing.
      • It literally happens to TNG semi-regular Chief O'Brien, when he's sent to DS9 by Picard himself, who wishes him well on his new assignment.
    • Star Trek: Voyager's pilot episode "Caretaker" starts docked at Deep Space Nine, with Quark trying to con Harry Kim.
    • Subverted by Star Trek: Enterprise, as it is not sent off by the previous series (due to being a prequel set 100 years before even TOS), but rather by one of The Next Generation's movies, Star Trek: First Contact, with a recorded message from Zefram Cochrane. The show also ends with Riker participating in the events of the Grand Finale in a holodeck recreation.
    • Averted with Star Trek: Discovery, as another prequel series, albeit taking place 10 years before TOS. The season 1 ending has the Discovery coming nose-to-nose with the Enterprise (under Pike's command) as the original theme is playing.
  • Stargate Atlantis starts with a visit to the arctic expedition by SG-1's Jack O'Neill and Daniel Jackson.
    • A variation: Teal'c shows up in Sam's first Atlantis episode to wish her well.
    • Stargate Universe - O'Neill picks up Eli, Jackson's on the info discs and Carter shows up commanding the Hammond.
  • Connor McLeod on the pilot of Highlander: The Series.
  • It wasn't during the pilot of NCIS: Los Angeles, but somewhere early in Season 1 Abby from NCIS dropped in on the Los Angeles team.
    • Abby was also in an ad for NCIS LA before it first aired: "Are you guys following me?"
    • Director Vance also made several appearances in the first season. Which is understandable, as he IS the Director of all NCIS.
    • Bud Roberts from JAG was also in a first season episode of NCIS.
  • The Jeffersons: In the backdoor pilot on All in the Family as Louise is packing in the kitchen, Edith Bunker comes over from next door to wish them luck in their new place.
    • Years later The Jeffersons would produce its own short-lived spinoff, Checking In featuring Florence as the main character. George drops by to wish his ex maid good luck in her new job as executive housekeeper for a hotel (and to make sure she gives his dry cleaner the hotel's cleaning business).
  • In the second The Muppet Show pilot, "Sex and Violence", Kermit (who was not the host in this version) appears briefly in the "At the Dance" skit, asking his dance partner if she'd like to break into children's television. In the second episode of the series proper, Bert and Ernie show up to perform a skit, where Bert worries that their little kid's show comedy wouldn't cut it on the new show meant for older audiences.
  • Prison-based Brit Com Porridge was followed by Going Straight; in the first episode the protagonist Fletcher, freshly paroled from the original series' eponymous jail sentence, is escorted home on the train by prison warder McKay who had been a Porridge regular since the pilot episode.
  • Inverted when Benson left Soap for his own show; he came back to help Billy escape from the Sunnies. Jessica made him a going-away cake, they shared some tears, and he left.
  • The pilot episode of The Flash shows Barry Allen meeting with Oliver Queen, with Oliver giving Barry some helpful advice.
    Barry Allen: What if I'm not a hero? What if I'm some guy who was struck by lightning?
    Oliver Queen: I don't think that bolt of lightning struck you, Barry. I think it chose you.
    Barry Allen: I'm just not sure I'm like you, Oliver. I don't know if I can be some... vigilante.
    Oliver Queen: You can be better, because you can inspire people in a way that I never could, watching over your city like a guardian angel... making a difference... saving people... in a flash. Take your own advice: Wear a mask.
  • The Super Sentai franchise has been doing this since Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger with the Red Ranger of the previous series meeting the Red Ranger of the new series after the credits of the final episode.
    • It wasn't the very first, however, it's just the first season where it starts become an annual thing per season. A special episode of Mirai Sentai Timeranger features the Timerangers traversing through the history of Super Sentai, and eventually came up to their successor, Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger, and the Timerangers wished the Gaorangers good luck after the former's time.
  • The first episode of Doctor Who spinoff Class features an appearance by the Twelfth Doctor, giving the main characters some advice on defending Earth from alien invaders.
  • Kamen Rider has an inversion of this where characters from the incoming series will appear in the current show. Starting with Kamen Rider Decade, almost every seriesnote  has had the incoming Rider pull a Big Damn Heroes moment during the summer movie and help his predecessor fight a strong opponent.
    • Sometimes it's played straighter; the final episode of Kamen Rider OOO has a scene where Hina passes by Kengo and Yuki on their way to their respective schools. Likewise, the last episode of Fourze has Shun's attempt to propose to Miu get derailed because she sees Haruto flashing his Ring of Power.
    • Starting with Kamen Rider Wizard, several shows have actually ended their main stories early so the last episode or two can be dedicated to an actual crossover with the incumbent Rider; again, Gaim is the exceptionnote .
    • A more direct version of this occurs at the end of Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Ghost & Drive: Super Movie War Genesis, where the Ghost cast attends the wedding of Drive's protagonist Shinnosuke, who tells Takeru "I'll leave the Ganma to you." Though this is also a practical move, since Drive's gear was sealed away after the battle with the movie's villains.
    • The franchise almost played it completely straight, as Toei filmed a literal baton-passing sequence for Kamen Rider Faiz and Kamen Rider Blade, with the two shows' stars meeting face-to-face. However, the sequence went unaired and fans only found out about it years later when still photos of it were published in a magazine.
  • In the pilot of Knots Landing, Dallas character Bobby Ewing helped his brother Gary and sister-in-law Valene settle into the cul-de-sac.

    Video Game 
  • The Walking Dead: Both Glenn and Hershel show up in Episode 1.
  • The second trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda invokes this with a recorded message from Commander Shepard, the protagonist of the original Mass Effect trilogy, bidding farewell to the explorers heading for the Andromeda galaxy.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied and Lampshaded on The Simpsons on the "Spinoff Showcase" episode. For Wiggum's spinoff, Troy McClure hints some familiar faces might drop by to wish Wiggum luck. In the episode, The Simpsons appear in Mardi-Gras costumes and lampshade tropes going into the parody spinoff.
    • In same episode, the one with Abe Simpson as the Lovematic Grandpa has Homer drop into the bar - at which point Abe furiously berates him for how outrageously cheap Homer was in providing for Abe's funeral. This ends when point Homer pulls Abe's plug out (again) and leaves.
    Grandpa: That's the second time he pulled the plug on me...
  • The pilot episode of The Cleveland Show starts in Quahog as Cleveland tells his friends about his troubles and he decides to move away.
  • She-Ra began with He-Man journeying to Etheria to find Adora and give her the Sword of Protection allowing her to become She-Ra and do a Heel–Face Turn going from a Force Captain of the Horde to leader of the Great Rebellion.
  • The first episode of The Legend of Korra features an appearance by an elderly Katara as one of Korra's trainers. She encourages Korra in her plan to run off to Republic City, helping set the series in motion.


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