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Working the Same Case

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The first team is investigating a man found shot dead downtown. In the B-plot, the second team is examining a woman found strangled dead in her bathroom. Turns out they both had the same hairdresser, who is revealed to be the killer. Both teams were Working the Same Case.

This is a useful technique to add a minor twist to help shows with two concurrent cases feel a little less formulaic/disjointed. Used at least once a season in CSI. Can also sometimes be used between two normally separate works for a Crossover.

A variant is for the senior officer, fed up of the Cowboy Cop's attitude, to tell him he won't be involved in the big murder case and will be investigating a break-in at a laundromat the night before. The Cowboy Cop will soon realise, possibly in a "Eureka!" Moment, that it's the same case. He will be careful not to let anyone else in on this, assuring his superiors (truthfully) that he's still following up that laundromat robbery.

See also "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder, Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot, Hyperlink Story.


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    Comic Books 
  • In The Simping Detective, Jack discovers that he and Galen Demarco are working the same case. Jack is investigating the deaths of several mob underbosses, while Galen is looking into the disappearances of alien prostitutes. Galen wants Jack to back off, until Dredd suggests they work together. Turns out, Bob, the bartender at The High Dive, is drugging the girls with a chemical which reacts violently with semen, causing massive explosions.
    • The whole point of the "Trifecta" crossover is that halfway through it turns out that Jack, Dirty Frank and Dredd are all working the same case.
  • Said word for word by Black Widow in the "Death of the Dream" storyline in Captain America. She, The Falcon and Agent 13 are all looking for the Winter Soldier, but for vastly different reasons.
  • Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do: Spider-Man is investigating the death of Donald Phillips, a student who seemingly died from a drug overdose but with no evidence as to how the drugs got into his system. Meanwhile, the Black Cat, Spider-Man's ally and former romantic partner, is searching for her friend Tricia Lane who was last seen with Hunter Todd, Spider-Man's only lead in his own case. When they realize the connection between their two cases, Spider-Man and the Black Cat team up to solve them together.
  • One arc of Gotham Central goes back and forth between two different sets of detectives investigating separate crimes. One is investigating a string of arsons committed by somebody who's gotten ahold of Firebug's old supervillain costume, while the other is investigating the murder of a local teenager. It turns out these are the same case; the guy who bought the Firebug costume and was using it to commit crimes is the one who killed the teenager. She was his son's babysitter and discovered his villain gear while snooping around his house one night, causing him to panic and kill her for knowing too much.
    Films — Live-Action 
  • In L.A. Confidential it turns out that all three of the good cops (or anyway, the not so bad cops) are working different angles of the same case.
  • James Bond:
    • Die Another Day: After being rescued by Bond, the mysterious Jinx reveals that she's an NSA agent—in a slight subversion, Bond has already realized that she's one of the good guys—and that they're both pursuing the same villain.
    • In Casino Royale (2006), Felix Leiter introduces himself to Bond this way during the poker game. After Bond loses his money, Leiter agrees to stake Bond back into the game under the condition that the CIA be the ones to take Le Chiffre into custody.
    • Bond and Felix also find themselves unintentionally working the same case in The Living Daylights.
  • Happens in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, in that Harmony's sister hired Perry to investigate what ended up being a murder. Subverted in that Harmony's sister actually committed suicide
    • Harry Lockhart realises that Perry's surveillance job (and the murder that occurred during it) and the disappearance of his friend's sister are connected because the same plot device was regularly used in a pulp fiction series that is significant to several of the characters involved.
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Lois Lane is investigating a massacre in Africa that Superman is being blamed for, Batman is tracking down the "White Portuguese", a criminal who is planning to bring a dirty bomb into Gotham or so he tells Alfred, Bruce is really attempting to track down Kryptonite to use against Superman and Diana is attempting to track down an old photo that Lex Luthor has stolen as it shows her as alive, and an active hero, during World War One. All three cases are linked to Lex's conspiracy against Superman, and the secret files he has on a bunch of metahumans.
  • Mystery Road: Jay eventually realizes that the murder of the Aboriginal girl he is investigating is tied in with the drug case the rest of the department is working on. Unlike most examples of this trope, this doesn't inspire quick or easy cooperation between them, due to Jay's concerns about a Dirty Cop.
  • Older Than Television: This trope has been around a while. In almost every Hardy Boys book, the boys and their Great Detective father were Working The Same Case.
    • Not just with their father. During the 80s and the Present, Frank and Joe have been frequently crossing over with Nancy Drew in two different series both titled The Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Supermysteries. While a certain number of the cases had them know they were working together outright, more than a few involved them arriving at the same location for different cases, finding out the other is there, meeting up to pick each other's brains, and revealing their cases are somehow threaded together.
    • In at least one of the crossover books, they're working the same case, but from opposing sides—Nancy is trying to prove a man's innocence, while the guys are trying to prove his guilt, and every bit of information or evidence found is interpreted respectively by each person.
    • This is actually averted in the very first book when the boys think that Nancy's bad guy might be theirs as well, but he isn't.
  • And in Nancy Drew's own series, this often happens with Nancy and her father (a lawyer).
  • Harry Dresden in The Dresden Files will often end up working separate cases that turn out to be related, though in later books his problems are just as often unrelated.
  • In the Robin Cook novel Blindsight (not to be confused with the Peter Watts novel of the same name), Laurie gets into repeated arguments with her police friend about which is more important: a string of cocaine overdoses among previously upstanding rich kids, and a series of gangland murders. It turns out that a recently blinded mob boss is a bit impatient for his cornea transplant and is working on both ends of the problem. In order to make sure that the organ donors were in an acceptable condition, he had them die of a forcible cocaine overdose, followed by being stuffed in the refrigerator until the police arrived. As for the waiting line of patients, it didn't particularly matter how they died.
  • In the Modesty Blaise novel A Taste for Death, Modesty is asked by Sir Gerald to look into a problem a friend of his is having, only for the friend to turn up dead. Meanwhile, Willie is away on holiday, where he stumbles across and foils a kidnapping. Both problems turn out to be the work of the same group of criminals as part of the same plot.
  • Thud! - whilst most of the Watch are trying to find out who killed a dwarf rabble-rouser, Fred and Nobby decide to investigate an art theft, with the specific intent of staying very far away from rioting dwarfs. It doesn't work out that way, because it turns out that the dwarves who killed him also stole said painting because they believed it would help lead them to the dwarf and troll corpses beneath Koom Valley.
  • Happens occasionally to Stephanie Plum and Joe Morelli. Tends to lead to her winding up in dangerous situations and/or blowing his case because he never tells her things she needs to know.
  • A common occurrence in the Retrieval Artist series, when Miles Flint, the retrieval artist working outside the law, is investigating the same affair that the Armstrong lunar police force has been tasked with, for his own purposes.
  • Shows up in Elizabeth Honey's Remote Man. Kate is outraged by the disappearance of a rare native python and begins investigating the man she believes responsible, an American tourist nicknamed the Cowboy. She attempts to get her cousin Ned, currently staying in Massachusetts, but he and his friend are sidetracked when the bear they had been searching for in the forest is killed and her cubs are stolen. About halfway through the book, we learn that the Cowboy is responsible for the bears and several other poaching jobs worldwide.
  • Anita Blake: Back when the books still had plots, whoever tried to hire Anita to raise a zombie in the first chapter would somehow be involved in the main mystery of the book.
  • In The Fourth Bear, Jack gets taken off the Gingerbreadman escape case and has to work on the murder of Goldilocks instead. The Gingerbreadman keeps showing up at sites Jack's investigating anyway, causing Jack to be reprimanded repeatedly for secretly trying to work on the case. It turns out that the man who created and released the Gingerbreadman also killed Goldilocks.
  • The Grass Widow's Tale by Ellis Peters: While DI George Felse is away on an investigation, his wife Bunty stumbles upon a man trying to hide a dead body. When she figures out the truth about the murder, it turns out to be connected to her husband's investigation.
  • In Rule 34 by Charles Stross, DI Liz Kavanagh is called off her caseload of tracking down illegal 3D printers when she gets roped into a murder investigation because she spotted a similarity to a case in Germany. Her German counterpart was investigating why cybercrime is down when he realised many of the victims were spammers. In the subplots, the local 3D printer crime boss is investigating who's killing his potential recruits, an ex-con turned Ruritanian honorary consul is trying to find out what his supposedly legit job actually is and Liz's casual girlfriend is worried her own investigation into the aforementioned Ruritania's financial affairs has got her targeted by someone. By the end of Part One, it's clear to the reader that it's all the same case.
    Live-Action TV 
  • This happens a lot of times in Monk, both the TV series and the tie-in novels.
    • The pilot, "Mr. Monk And The Candidate" included Monk being called in on two unrelated cases, in fact by two different jurisdictions, only to later discover that the same man committed both murders.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man", where Monk is called in to a homicide at a toll plaza. Later, to a strangling at a movie theater. The connection: sequential $10 bills at the crime scenes.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Buried Treasure", this is the case, with Monk and Natalie accompanying Dr. Kroger's son and his pals into the hills following a supposed treasure map, which is actually tied to a bank robbery that Stottlemeyer and Disher are investigating. The Two Lines, No Waiting trope is clearly present since, in the first half, Stottlemeyer's and Monk's investigations are intercut.
    • A common episode formula is one where the police are overlooking a particular case, only for it to turn out to be directly related to another crime.
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife", Stottlemeyer neglects a bank robbery case because he's so fixated on finding the sniper who shot two truck drivers, and in the case of his first shooting, indirectly put Stottlemeyer's wife Karen in the hospital. The perp is the same in both, having shot the tow truck driver that hit Karen so he could recover from his repossessed car a gun that connected him to the robbery.
      • In "Mr. Monk Gets Fired", the police commissioner is furious that Stottlemeyer and Disher are focused on solving an arson-murder at a wig shop instead of a headline-grabbing dismemberment case, and the commissioner is also dealing with someone stealing his nice fedoras. Paul Harley burned down the wig shop while destroying evidence that would've connected him to the death of his mistress, the dismemberment victim. He then began going after the Commissioner's hats because he found out that his mistress's hair had been made into the Commissioner's toupee.
      • In "Mr. Monk Stays in Bed", Natalie feels personally invested in solving the murder of a pizza deliveryman who died en route to her house, but the police are too busy looking for a missing judge. It's when Natalie breaks into the house of the man she identifies as the killer in her case, and stumbles upon evidence that ties him to the judge's disappearance, that the two cases end up connected: the judge's lover killed her with a baseball bat during a heated fight in his house, and then killed the pizza boy when he tried to intervene.
      • In "Mr. Monk and the Really Really Dead Guy", Monk and co. are investigating the death of a woman at a gas station who got killed in a lover's quarrel, only to be pulled away by the case of a dead street musician who seems to be the first victim of a serial killer who threatens to kill every 36 hours. It ultimately turns out that the second victim was a distraction thrown by the killer of the first victim so that evidence that would link him to the first murder would be destroyed.
    • In "Mr. Monk in Outer Space", Monk is brought in to investigate the death of Burgerville CEO Brandon Lorber, whose shooting death he quickly realizes was actually a heart attack - and the shooter passed off the death as a murder. The next day, he is brought in to consult on an apparently unrelated incident, the shooting of Beyond Earth creator Conrad Stipe at a convention. The day after that, a cab driver named Phil Bisson is shot and killed in what Monk deduces as being a staged robbery. It is this third murder that causes Monk to deduce that Lorber and Stipe were shot by the same person - he finds a piece of chewing gum that is the same brand as a piece that Stipe was chewing before he was killed, and a wrapper from a coffee candy in Lorber's office. The shooter was a hired hitman. Bisson was the cab driver who drove the hitman away after he shot Lorber's body. During the ride to the airport, the hitman lost his Blackberry, which had incriminating messages between him and his employer and information on Lorber. Stipe answered it when the hitman called it from an airport payphone. The hitman killed Stipe and the cabby as he couldn't risk that either of them had browsed his messages.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop", the murders of two men, Paul Braddock and Bill Peschel are being investigated by different parties: Lt. Disher to Braddock's death, and Monk and Natalie to Peschel's death. Monk eventually finds evidence that both were killed by the same person.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse", Monk and Natalie stop by a North Beach firehouse to investigate the death of Sparky, a beloved firehouse dalmatian bludgeoned with a pickaxe during an apparent break-in. They also stop by a nearby house fire in which a 64-year-old woman, Esther Stoval, was killed. Monk deduces that Esther's death was actually a Fiery Cover-Up. Her house, we learn, was one of several scheduled for demolition for a new condo complex. When Monk, Natalie, and Stottlemeyer question Lucas Breen, the developer, Monk immediately pegs him as Esther's killer. After Monk and Natalie requestion a dog-loving witness who saw a man dressed as a firefighter leaving the firehouse after Sparky was killed, Monk deduces that Breen also killed Sparky. Breen left his overcoat at Esther's house. He went to the firehouse to get a coat and helmet so he could sneak into the fire and recover it without emergency crews noticing him. He didn't expect Sparky the dog, and had to take him out in self-defense.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants", Monk, Natalie, and Sharona look into a beating death that Sharona's husband has been framed for. When Monk and Natalie go back to San Francisco, they find themselves investigating a staged alligator attack. Monk finds evidence that ties both deaths together.
    • Averted and subverted in "Mr. Monk on the Couch": Natalie helps Monk investigate a number of knifings happening in her own neighborhood. However, her own case involving a man who died of natural causes with a fake identity is not connected to it.
    • Subverted. When a BART engineer named Stuart Hewson is shot and killed in his house, Monk deduces that it is tied to three knifings committed by an ex-con in the same neighborhood, because Hewson's house had a view into the bedroom of the ex-con's second victim, Mark Costa. However, Monk also concludes that Hewson's killers are some crime scene cleaners who he has been around the past week. Hewson had spotted the crime scene cleaners discovering the ex-con's fortune of diamonds in Costa's house. They killed him when he tried to blackmail them into providing him a cut. To catch the ex-con, Natalie and Devlin fake the death of one of the crime scene cleaners and scare one of the others, Corinne, into confessing. Then Devlin poses as Corinne and makes feigned efforts to fence the diamonds, to get the word out to the ex-con and lure him out of hiding.
  • Veronica Mars has a habit of cleverly combining Veronica and her dad's cases, sometimes pulling dismissed plot threads into one cohesive reveal of the season's Big Mystery.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent:
    • In the episode "Purgatory", Eames gets a temporary partner to investigate the shooting of a dealer and two tourists. Meanwhile, a suspended Goren is working undercover as an enforcer for the big dealer suspected of ordering the hit.
  • In one episode of The Mentalist, Bosco's team makes entry into a vacant house connected to their kidnapping-for-ransom case only to find that Lisbon's team is already there, having been called in to investigate a dead body reported in the house. When the body is subsequently identified as a man who was the victim in a past kidnapping case very similar to Bosco's case, it's immediately apparent to everyone involved that the two cases must be connected.
  • Chicago P.D.: In Seven Indictments, the Intelligence Unit investigates a home explosion that killed two people, one burned beyond recognition. A subplot involves Platt helping a homeless man looking for his dog. When owner and pet are reunited, he blabbers on about how "Jupiter" and another person stole his dog and took her to a house with a red door. Said house with the red door was the destroyed house Team Voight was investigating. "Jupiter" was shot by the other person who stole the dog.
  • CSI had an interesting subversion in that two twins who were Separated at Birth were killed within an hour of each other. The causes of their death have nothing to do with one another and in fact, it seems that there are two separate murder victims, both of whom are the result of very separate lifestyles. Then it's revealed that the twins both used the same dry cleaner. Turns out that the one murder suspect was found out by one of the twins to be photoshopping war photos and he decided to meet her when she picked up the dry cleaning, killing the first twin (the one who wasn't his target). He then went to the real targets house to eliminate the proof of his forgery only to be walked in on the second twin (the intended target). In his justified panic, he kills her as well. Gil calls it as both, seeing as how one case was with a motive and the other was a case of "wrong time, wrong place", but they were both killed by one man.
  • CSI: Miami will often have cops working two seemingly unrelated cases only to have them surprisingly intersect.
    • One episode has what appears to be three completely random deaths at Spring Break, all under different circumstances. But while investigating, the team soon discover that the victims were all former classmates and it leads to them finding out they were all killed by the former "fat girl" they'd bullied at an earlier Spring Break.
    • While investigating a murder at a race track, Caine finds a missing boy who has Ryan's phone number on a card. Ryan finds the boy's father attacked by a mobster and helps him out. It's soon revealed that the mobster is connected to the original murder.
  • Despite having two detective teams, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit avoids this, as generally one team works with the direct suspects and the other handles either the evidence or tries to get info from more obscure places.
  • Castle:
    • In the episode "Double Down", Castle and Beckett have a bet with Those Two Guys about who can solve their murder first. Each team finds a suspect, but they both have alibis for their respective murder. The teams call off the bet and join forces when forensic evidence is found linking the victims. Ultimately it turns out to be a "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder.
  • Easily half the episodes of The Good Guys rely heavily on this trope.
    • Dan and Jack are intentionally sequestered in the career dead-end of small property crimes, yet as Jack attempts to do his job properly and Dan whines that they ought to be "out there bustin' punks," they inevitably stumble across a much bigger crime in progress, often the ongoing major case their lieutenant specifically barred them from pursuing.
    • When Dan is framed for a kidnapping, Jack ignores the theft case he is assigned to and instead pursues the kidnapping case against orders. In the end, it is discovered that the kidnappers committed the theft as well so Jack is in the clear.
  • Person of Interest:
    • In the episode "Matsya Nyaya" Fusco is working undercover with HR while Reese is working the case of an irrelevant number who stole platinum from an armored truck. The two cases intersect when its revealed the irrelevant number was supposed to deliver the platinum to HR, but he ran off with it instead.
    • In the episode "Razgovor" Team Machine was protecting a ten year old girl that the Machine identified as an irrelevant number. Meanwhile, Carter was tracking HR's operations. Then it was revealed that the girl was in danger because she obtained evidence of HR's operations.
    • In the episode "Mors Praematura" Finch and Reese are protecting an irrelevant number who has been targeted by terrorists because he got too close to their plan to kill his brother. Meanwhile, Shaw and Root are trying to rescue a prisoner being held illegally by the CIA. It turned out that the CIA prisoner was the irrelevant number's brother.
    • In the third-season episode "Last Call", Fusco helps a rookie cop with a murder investigation while Finch and Reese are busy trying to solve a kidnapping. It turns out that the kidnapping was committed in order to coerce someone into helping cover up the murder.
  • Murdoch Mysteries:
    • In the episode "Buffalo Shuffle", Murdoch and Dr. Ogden are investigating the death of a child patient at Julia's hospital in Buffalo, NY. They go to the home of a nurse who may know something about the boy's death, where they are surprised by a local Buffalo police detective investigating the death of the same nurse (her body having washed ashore).
    • In the episode "Murdoch on the Corner", Inspector Brackenreid is investigating the death of a pastor who was beaten to death with a blunt instrument, while Murdoch is trying to find a "sequential killer" who dispatches their victims with a single gunshot. It eventually becomes clear the same killer is responsible, and the deviation from the pattern in the pastor's case is a clue as to the motive.
    • A 2013 episode has Brackenreid investigating the death of a prisoner who apparently hung himself in his cell, while Murdoch and Constable Crabtree are investigating a brutal robbery in which a shop owner was murdered. They eventually realize that both cases are related.
    • "The Murdoch Appreciation Society" starts with Murdoch investigating a murder victim found in a park, while Crabtree is on another case, the theft of a cadaver at a medical institute. The victim and the corpse end up being one and the same.
    • In "Jagged Little Pill", Murdoch is investigating the poisoning of a man named McInnis, while the B-plot has Miss James unofficially looking into the death of her schoolmate Sarah. At the halfway point, Miss James finds McInnis's address in Sarah's locker.
    • An unusual version in "Pirates of the Great Lakes", where Brakenreid doesn't even have an investigation; he's had a bit of a breakdown and fallen in with some sailors who turn out to be involved in the crime.
    • The main plot of "Porcelein Lady" is Higgins roping in Watts because in his second job as a courier he's managed to lose a McGuffin that could convinct a murderer, the B-plot is Murdoch and Brakenreid investigating a completely different murder. After a couple of Missed Him by That Much moments between the two teams, it becomes apparent that there's some kind of connection, and eventually Higgins sees a photo of the dead man in the second case, and realises that it's the very man who hired him under an alias.
  • NCIS: New Orleans: In "Means to an End", Pride pulls his team off the seemingly minor case they were working on - a missing petty officer - to investigate an attack on his daughter. It turns out the two cases are connected, and the attack on his daughter was actually arranged to distract NCIS from the missing petty officer.
  • The Defenders (2017): The four Defenders first meet up in Midland Circle while investigating the same mystery surrounding The Hand, eventually stumbling upon one another in the middle of a huge fight. Danny Rand goes there after learning that Midland Circle is where the Hand moved a lot of money they were laundering through Rand Enterprises. Luke Cage is led there after finding a Midland Circle valet ticket in Cole's belongings, wrapped up in a roll of cash from Cole's off-the-books job. Jessica Jones is led there thanks to following up a lead on the suicide of an architect who was stockpiling explosives and learning that Midland Circle is one of the architect's projects. And Matt Murdock is led there because he's following Jessica, having been tasked by Foggy Nelson to keep an eye on her.
  • Daredevil (2015): For the most part, the protagonist plotlines focus on Matt Murdock and Karen Page, resulting in this happening.
    • Throughout the first part of Season 1, Matt and Karen turn out to both be pursuing Wilson Fisk without the other knowing it. Matt is pursuing Fisk head-on through his nighttime activities as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, while Karen is pursuing Fisk through following the Union Allied money trail with help from Ben Urich at the New York Bulletin. It isn't until the eighth episode of Season 1 that Matt realizes from conversing with Ben that Karen's investigation is also linked to Fisk. So subsequently, Matt finds himself being able to take on Fisk by day as Nelson & Murdock in addition to his nighttime work as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen.
    • All three of Nelson & Murdock's first cases turn out to be in some form tied to Wilson Fisk: first is Karen's case, after being framed up for murder and almost killed. Then in "Rabbit in a Snowstorm," James Wesley hires Nelson & Murdock to defend one of Fisk's assassins who botched an assassination meant to curry favor with the Ranskahovs, the Russian gang Matt is combating in Hell's Kitchen. Then in "World on Fire", Nelson & Murdock gets hired by Elena Cardenas, an elderly friend of Sgt. Brett Mahoney's mom, on a tenancy dispute with her landlord, the sleazy Armund Tully, who turns out to be another lackey of Fisk's. In Season 3, Fisk even uses these ties to spin a false tale to Ray Nadeem about Matt being an accomplice to him.
    • Through the first part of Season 2, all three members of Nelson & Murdock are invested in the manhunt for Frank Castle and know that. But a case of this trope happens in "Penny and Dime", as Matt and Karen both find out about Frank's family at the same time and under different circumstances: Matt learns it as Frank talks to him about his family's demise in the cemetery while waiting for the police to arrive, while Karen learns it from breaking into Frank's house.
    • There's a variant of this in Season 3. Matt spends most of the time relatively isolated from Karen and Foggy, and while all three of them are once again investigating Fisk, they're all working from different angles and uncovering different leads.
  • The Punisher (2017): The A-plot revolves around Frank Castle seeking to find the people who had his family killed because they thought he leaked a videotape of him executing an Afghan cop who caught other members of Frank's unit committing war crimes. The B-plot revolves around Dinah Madani trying to get justice for said Afghan cop, who was a former partner of hers.
  • The Expanse does this with Season 1, as Miller is investigating the disappearance of Julie Mao and finds out that she was part of the crew of the Scopuli, the same ship used as bait for the destruction of the Canterbury, the motive behind which Holden and the other survivors of the Cant are determined to uncover. These two plotlines run pretty much in tandem but separately for the remainder of the season, until Miller and Holden run into each other at the end of the third to last episode of the season. Oh, and meanwhile, Avasarala is back on Earth, dealing with the political fallout from the above situation and trying to uncover the mastermind behind it all.
  • Stranger Things: In the first season, three distinct groups of people (the kids; Hopper and Joyce; and Jonathan and Nancy) all run around independently trying to figure out what is going on until converging for the finale. Each group ends up 'specializing' in a certain area of the investigation. The kids do the most research into the science and idea of The Upside-Down while also befriending Eleven. Nancy and Jonathan are mostly dealing with understanding and fighting the Demogorgon. Joyce and Hopper are largely dealing with Eleven's origins (i.e. the Government Conspiracy that is Hawkins National Laboratory).
  • Bosch: Happens in Season 2, when Bosch's murder investigation and George Irving's undercover investigation into a ring of corrupt cops have the same Big Bad running the show of both events.
  • Motive: In "The Amateurs", Flynn, Vega, and Lucas begin investigating three separate homicides. However, forensic evidence soon shows that the three cases are linked. The question then becomes: how?
  • NYPD Blue introduced Detective Danny Sorenson with a particularly snarled one. On his first day, he catches a case. A report comes in of a second crime which since it's related to the first becomes part of Danny's case. Yet another body is found and it may also get folded into Danny's. This is made worse in that he is taking the cases away from Diane Russell, whose husband recently died and whose place on the squad Sorenson has taken.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Face of the Enemy" Troi was kidnapped and forced to impersonate a Romulan in order to help a high-ranking Romulan politician defect. Meanwhile, Spock sent a message to the Enterprise, instructing Captain Picard to pick up the defector. Neither knew of the other's involvement until the end of the episode.
  • In the Supergirl episode "Menagerie", J'onn and Kara are investigating a missing pro-alien politician, while the D.E.O. is tracking down an alien killer. The politician turns out to be one of the killer's victims.
  • The Wire: At the start of Season 2, McNulty finds a dead floater in the water, and uses some careful detective work to ensure that Homicide has to take it as a means of getting back at Rawls for dumping him in the Marine unit. A day later, 13 dead sex workers are found in a shipping container at the docks, and once again, McNulty finds a way to force Rawls to take that investigation. While this is going on, Major Valchek wants an investigation into the dockworkers' union president Frank Sobotka for petty reasons, and gets Burrell to create a detail headed by Daniels to find out where Sobotka is getting his money. This detail is working independent of Bunk and Lester's investigation into the dead girls. Once it becomes apparent that the dead girls were part of a smuggling operation that's bribing Sobotka's union for dock access, Rawls pressures Daniels into taking on the murder investigation.
  • In the Jonathan Creek episode "Mother Redcap," Jonathan investigates the stabbing of a heavily-guarded judge while Maddy investigates a borderline-Extremely Cold Case which appears to involve a serial Fright Deathtrap. Turns out all the deaths, new and old, were perpetrated via electricity; the judge's killer got the idea after visiting the site of the original murders and speaking to an elderly vagrant who happened to have inside knowledge about them.
  • In the two-part Homicide: Life on the Street episode "Hostage", Bayliss spends both episodes looking for a man suspected of having murdered his mother, while most of the other characters are dealing with a siege at a middle school where a Spree Killer is holding a class of kids hostage. At the end of the second part, it's revealed that the Spree Killer is Bayliss's matricide perp.
    Video Games 
  • In Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle, Morgane's father wants her to advance the treasure-hunting expedition that Briscoe is paying them for, but Morgane also wants to try to look for the missing Uncle Eduardo, too. It turns out that Uncle Eduardo has a vital clue for Briscoe's mission, so solving one mystery is necessary for pursuing the other.
  • Pulp Adventures starts with the action jumping back and forth between several protagonists investigating several cases. Indiana Jones and the Shadow halt a heist in a museum. The Green Hornet and Kato investigate mysterious (and seemingly random) kidnappings. Doc Savage has mysterious villains raiding his personal asylum to free some of the brainwashed criminals being reformed inside. The Avenger and the Spider raid a warehouse used by criminals to send kidnapped people to Africa. All of this is revealed to be part of a single villainous plot.
    Visual Novels 
  • Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past has the case "As Time Goes By", where Jake begins the case accepting an offer to investigate the theft of a painting from a family nearby. His assistant Yulia, meanwhile, encounters a lost little boy outside of the office and agrees to help him find his mother, who went missing recently. They both find out the cases are related after encountering one another at an antique shop.
  • Ace Attorney has many examples of this trope:
    • The fifth case of the first game starts with a murder in the garage of the Prosecutor's Office. Then you find out there was another murder that same day, in the Police Station's Evidence Room. Turns out they are the same murder, with the one seen in the garage being a Frame-Up. And it is related to another murder that happened previously, where forged evidence was used and therefore the real killer was yet unknown. Also, there was an assault incident that happened in the Evidence Room at the same time the aforementioned frame-up happened, and it is also related to all these events.
    • The second case of Trials and Tribulations starts as a larceny case. Phoenix manages to get his client acquitted by proving he was elsewhere when the theft happened... except at that very same place, at the very same time as the theft, there was a murder, meaning his client is once again arrested as the alibi Phoenix gave him for the theft now places him at the scene of the murder. And the murderer was the detective that was supposed to protect the stolen object.
    • The second case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney begins with Apollo being tasked with three different cases: find the owner of the car who hit Phoenix the previous night, find the person who stole a noodle cart, and the person that stole Trucy's Magic Panties. Then he finds out a murder happened at around the same time all those events happened... and, naturally for the series, they are all related: the owner of the car was a doctor that was in a hurry, trying to go to his clinic. There, he attacked a former nurse and believed he killed her. He tried to dispose her body by putting her into his car and then throw her into a nearby river. However, the car didn't work because Trucy's Magic Panties were put into its tailpipe as the thief tried to hide from Trucy. Desperate, the doctor used a nearby noodle cart to transport the body instead, but ended up being killed by the person he thought was dead.
  • Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind begins with the protagonist and Det. Utsugi investigating the murder of a schoolgirl, but Utsugi is quickly called away to assist with a case from 15 years beforehand that is about to hit the statute of limitations. Naturally, the protagonist's case turns out to be directly linked to the earlier one, and indeed the detectives do share information and compare notes as they progress.
    Web Comics 
  • In Forest Hill A social services worker named Karmen Defay learns from Flora that Benni was being forced to work as a prostitute by his abusive father and made to have sex with other children while she is also investigating Hunter being sexually assaulted by Talitha, who is one of the kids Benni was forced to rape, without being aware of the connection between Benni and Talitha.
    Western Animation 
  • Gargoyles:
    • During the World Tour arc, the Avalon travelers team up with the Guatemala gargoyles to fight Jackal and Hyena. Jackal sends Hyena to destroy the artifact that keeps the Guatemala gargoyles from turning to stone during the day. Hyena is thwarted by Broadway and Lexington, who had no idea that they had just saved their friends' lives.
    • When Angela saw the gangster the Avalon travelers fought in Prague attacking a train, the gargoyles intervened, not realizing that Elisa had already infiltrated his gang on an undercover assignment.