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Spinoff Sendoff

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"Well this is a new ship. But she's got the right name. You treat her like a lady, she'll always bring you home."

A Spin-Off Sendoff is when characters and settings from one series is used to transition to those of a Spin-Off show or next installment of a Series Franchise. This is usually done by having the first episode of the new series feature these characters in one final appearance, though it can also come in the form of the new characters showing up in The Stinger of the original show's final episode.

Doing this has the advantage of guaranteeing a built-in audience: it not only raises interest by establishing the new show as being in the same universe or continuity as one the audience is already fond of, but the former case also entices viewership by promising the return of their favourite characters for one last time.

Compare Poorly-Disguised Pilot, where an episode of the original series suddenly shifts focus to a new set of characters, and Required Spinoff Crossover, in which characters from the original series regularly make appearances on the new series.

See also: Passing the Torch.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Since HappinessCharge 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, though Suite Pretty Cure ♪ did have three endcards where the casts posed together with the Smile Pretty Cure! characters in the episodes prior to the Grand Finale. Presumably for the 10th anniversary of the franchise that HaCha marked, they wanted to do something new.
    • The final episode of Happiness Charge saw Cure Lovely thank viewers for watching the ending season, introduce Cure Flora of Go! Princess Pretty Cure and wishing the viewers will keep watching the series.
    • The process was repeated again a year later for Cure Miracle of Maho Girls Pretty Cure!. Things get more elaborate this time with Cure Miracle casting a spell.
    • For the transition to KiraKira★Pretty Cure à 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 introduce herself to who she just helped out. Ever since then, the further seasons' final episodes have done the exact same thing.
    • Starting with the transition from HuGtto! Pretty Cure to Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure, the new Pink Cure is given a special version of the next season's MacGuffin themed around the previous season to promote similar toys that were either being given away through campaigns from purchasing the Transformation Trinket during the first week or being sold in toy stores. While this sort of item being released has been a tradition since the Go! Princess Pretty Cure to Maho Girls Pretty Cure! baton pass, it wasn't really incorportated into the show until the period mentioned above.
  • 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.
  • An interesting variant with Space Patrol Luluco. The show up to that point functioned as the production studio's Milestone Celebration, with shout-outs to and cameos of their previous works. As such, the final scene was naturally used to announce their next show, with Luluco and Akko high-fiving as they fly past each other.
  • During the final episode of Sally the Witch in December 1968, Sally introduced the viewers to Akko as a "friend" of hers and invited viewers to tune in to her show, Himitsu no Akko-chan.
  • The prologue of K-On! Shuffle retcons that two of its lead Power Trio had a brief off-screen presence during the original series, spectating Houkago Tea Time's performance of "Fuwa Fuwa Time" at the first Sakuragaoka School Festival. This inspires them to join their school's light music group, setting their series into motion.

    Film — Live-Action 

  • 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 
  • 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.
  • Arrowverse:
    • The pilot episode of The Flash shows Barry Allen meeting with Oliver Queen, with Oliver giving Barry some helpful advice. Downplayed since Oliver still has a long adventure ahead of him (to the tune of six seasons) and would cross paths with Barry several times after this, so it's more of a Required Spinoff Crossover.
      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.
    • In addition to Oliver, the pilot episode of Legends of Tomorrow features Laurel Lance gifting her sister, Sara, the White Canary costume.
  • Henry Danger ended with Ray and Schwoz opening S.W.A.G. and the four kids they recruited for a Super Team check out their classroom, which marks the transition to Danger Force.
  • Connor McLeod on the pilot of Highlander: The Series.
  • The final scene of the iCarly has Sam leaving Seattle on her motorcycle, which leads into the events of Sam & Cat.
  • 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).
  • 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; exceptions include Gaimnote , Kamen Rider Build which instead has its baton-passing moment in the first two episodes of Crisis Crossover Kamen Rider Zi-O, Zi-O itself and Zero-One.
    • 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.
  • The final scene of Lab Rats had the team split up, with Leo and Adam returning to the academy and Chase and Bree about to go on a new adventure with Donald, leading into the spinoff/merger with Mighty Med, Lab Rats: Elite Force.
  • The pilot of Mork & Mindy has an appearance from Fonzie of Happy Days.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stargate:
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's pilot episode "Emissary", Sisko arrives at his new posting to find the Enterprise already docked there, which becomes a problem since Sisko lost his wife at Wolf 359 and has difficulty separating Picard from the figurehead of that attack. At the end of the episode 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.
    • An early scene in Star Trek: Voyager's pilot episode "Caretaker" has the eponymous ship docked at Deep Space Nine, and Tom Paris intervening to stop Quark from conning 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.
  • Super Sentai:
    • The franchise has been doing this since Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger with the Red Ranger of the concluded series meeting the Red Ranger of the new series after the credits of the finale.
    • It wasn't the very first, however, it's just the first season where it starts become an annual thing. A special franchise Recap 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, wishing them good luck.
    • GoGo Sentai Boukenger, being the 30th anniversary season, ended most of its episodes with looks back at the franchise's history. For the penultimate episode, they instead looked ahead and showed off Juken Sentai Gekiranger.
    • A two-way one occurs with Mashin Sentai Kiramager and 45th anniversary season Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger. The Kiramager finale ends with Juru drawing a portrait of the Zenkaigers; in turn, the Zenkaiger pilot opens with a Downer Beginning of the Kiramager universe - and every other Super Sentai world in The Multiverse - getting captured by The Empire and trapped inside small gears in their headquarters.
    • The annual Crossover film between the current show and previous one could even be considered this as they usually involve the previous team having to come back into action a while after their final victory and it usually ends with the narrator thanking the previous team for their actions and telling the current team to keep protecting the world in their stead. On the other hand these movies are typically done right as the current show is wrapping up and the current team is about to be replaced themselves.
  • Private Practice opens with Addison officially resigning from the surgical department of Grey's Anatomy's Seattle Grace Hospital so she can join her med school friends Naomi and Sam's private practice, Oceanside Wellness Group, with her saying her farewell, and sharing a warm hug, with Chief of Surgery Richard before moving to LA.
  • The first episode of the Desmond's spin-off Porkpie opens with Porkpie giving his condolences to Desmond's widow outside the barbershop, thereby establishing that The Character Died with Him.
  • Both spin-offs from the nineties adaptaton of The Worst Witch: In the first episode of Weirdsister College, about Mildred at university, she has a vision of Miss Hardbroom warning her off a certain course of action. The first episode of The New Worst Witch opens with Mildred taking her younger cousin to her first day at Cackle's Academy.

    Puppet Shows 
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • 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 
  • The pilot episode of The Cleveland Show starts in Quahog as Cleveland tells his friends about his troubles and he decides to move away.
  • The final issue of Spaced Out, the last piece of media made for the first incarnation of the DC Super Hero Girls franchise, has their Zatanna show their main cast an alternate universe which turns out to be their 2019 incarnations. Amusingly, their versions of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are a little put off that they're villains in the new continuity.
  • The final episode of Dora the Explorer, "Let's Go To Music School", features the Explorer Girls, who appear as main characters in the sequel Dora and Friends: Into the City!. Unfortunately, in most parts of the world, this episode aired after that series had premiered. Not only that, but in the United States, the episode aired long after said sequel series had already been cancelled.
  • 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.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power 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 from a Force Captain of the Horde to leader of the Great Rebellion.
  • 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.
    • Abe Simpson's 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...


Video Example(s):


Lab Rats final scene

The last scene of Lab Rats has the team splitting up and Donald asking Chase and Bree if they're ready for a new adventure, setting up the events of the spin-off, Lab Rats: Elite Force.

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