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"So many heroes from so many dimensions! This is pretty cool!"

A Crossover that involves characters from more than two shows or more than two fictons.

More often than not, this is a mash up of series which do not have a strict sense of continuity or a clear Universe Bible. To lessen Canon-faulting, especially with series that do have strict continuity, a new 'neutral' setting is made that offers equal footing for all the characters.

This rarely occurs in live action shows, unless a production company can be formed that holds copyrights to everything. Thus, this is much more common in animated series -- although you can generally expect The BBC to pull one out of somewhere when Children in Need or Comic Relief rolls around.

It also becomes more viable the farther you get from Canon, such as one-time TV specials and especially video games (Kingdom Hearts, Jump Super Stars, Super Robot Wars, etc.)

As Story Arcs have become more prevalent, this practice has somewhat lessened, with shifts to strict Verse building and explicit references.

This trope has become increasingly common in video games, especially those involving both licensed and original properties. These games, depending on how far or how deep they mine, can have interesting effects on the fiction chosen. Many long-gone and/or forgotten Humongous Mecha shows, for example, often get a new lease on life, or even a brand-new sequel or remake, after making an appearance or two in a Super Robot Wars game. Similarly, the Fire Emblem series was finally brought over to the US to great success after two of its characters made an appearance as unlockable fighters in Super Smash Bros Melee.

In spite of its recently emerging prevalence, this trope is Older Than Feudalism. The Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodius (3rd century BCE) features nearly every ancient Greek mythical hero all going on a quest to find the Golden Fleece.

Sub Tropes:

See also Power Creep, Power Seep and Story-Breaker Team-Up.

Examples of Massive Multiplayer Crossover include:


Anime and Manga Edit


Comic Books Edit


Commercials Edit

  • A recent MasterCard commercial featured several food mascots (from Count Chocula to the Pillsbury Doughboy) eating dinner -- with Mr. Clean doing the dishes.
  • USA Network's commercials play this for laughs, having various combinations of characters from their shows (Burn Notice, Monk, Psych, others) encounter each other and make idle conversation.
  • UK example: The Greatest Minds In Advertising Join Forces in a 2009 viral for Comic Relief.


Film Edit


Literature Edit

  • Science Fiction author Philip José Farmer's Wold-Newton universe includes scores of public domain characters as well as many characters popular from early Radio Drama and film, such as The Shadow and Tarzan, who are not quite out of copyright. Fans have added many modern TV characters to the list.
  • Philip José Farmer's Riverworld series does this with actual people from history.
  • Kim Newman once wrote a short story about Terry and Bob of the British sitcom The Likely Lads fighting in the Vietnam war with William of Richmal Crompton's old Just William stories and other fictional characters.
  • Silverlock by John Myers Myers, in which the protagonist A. Clarence Shandon is shipwrecked in the Commonwealth of Letters, where everywhere he goes and everyone he meets is a literary, mythical and/or historical reference.
    • A fairly extensive list of specific references can be found here.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's The Number of the Beast features a Time Travel device that does double duty as a portal into The Multiverse, allowing his characters to visit every fictional universe ever, including all of Heinlein's own novels. They coin the term "World as Myth" to describe the Recursive Canon necessary to make this work, and wind up hosting a convention for just about every Science Fiction character ever.
  • Spider Robinson's Callahans Crosstime Saloon series - including Callahan's Lady - contains cameos from characters created by crime writer Donald E. Westlake, SF legend Robert Heinlein, and even classic British humourist PG Wodehouse, all interacting with each other. (Most likely inspired by Heinlein's The Number of the Beast, mentioned above.)
  • Simon R. Green's Nightside take place in a secret city under London that's a giant crossoverfest. John Taylor, Green's protagonist, has met characters from all manner of books, movies, television shows, and other assorted places though they are largely referred to in vague, shadowy terms so he doesn't violate the copyrights too badly. There's everything from a Traveling Doctor who had a trick with celery to having to exorcise Kandarian demons from his answering machine to giant 'bears of little brain' that work for the auction house.
    • For even more fun, representatives from most of Green's other series (the Deathstalker novels, the Darkwood books, etc) show up, waiting around to speak to Father Time.
  • While Neil Gaiman's short story A Study in Emerald is primarily a crossover between the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur Conan Doyle, it contains subtle hints that characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll also exist in the same universe.
  • A Night in the Lonesome October features Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, Frankenstein, Rasputin, The Wolf Man, and many others in a complex game determining whether or not Cthulhu and the other elder gods return to Earth. Interestingly, Jack is the hero...
  • And again in Roger Zelazny's book "Roadmarks" where Red runs across a short man with a small mustache whom Red refers to as "Adolph" driving a battered black Volkswagen, and later on in the book he makes a call to someone he calls "Doc", who is described as "A big golden-eyed guy with one hell of a suntan, wearing a torn shirt, and driving a hot little 1920's roadster" which could only have been Doc Savage.
    • Doc Savage villain John Sunlight also makes an appearance.
  • Zelazny was a comic book reader and fan. In _Blood of Amber_ Merlin has dinner at Bloody (Last Deceased Owner's Name)'s place--Boody Andy's at the time--while a gent (with a pronounced scar through his eye) eats at a neighboring table and warns Merlin to show a blade so the local roughs get no ideas. "Old John" was clearly John Ostrander and Tim Truman's mercenary John Gaunt (aka Grinner, Grim Jack) from Cynosure, a cross-dimensional city in a multiverse adjacent to Amber. The two roughs did not last the night.
  • The works of Dr. Seuss were combined into a Broadway musical called Seussical, which mainly takes its story from Horton Hears a Who, Horton Hatches the Egg, and The One Feather Tail of Miss Gertrude McFuzz, but contains elements and characters from I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, The Butter Battle Book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and more. And of course, they have The Cat in the Hat to move the plot around.
    • Jim Henson's The Wubbulous World of Dr Seuss did something similar, with Yertle the Turtle as a recurring villain.
  • Stephen King's The Dark Tower series spans across the majority of his prior works.
  • The Harold Shea series of short stories are about Harold and company visiting various settings taken from mythology and public domain fiction, usually one per story.
  • Brazilian author Monteiro Lobato took this trope to insane levels in his kid's books set in the Yellow Woodpecker Farm. The eponymous farm is an interdimensional nexus to, essentially, every fantasy and adventure fiction character ever written, including but not limited to the Greek Gods, Sherlock Holmes, the Neverland people, the Arabian Nights, the fables from Aesop, Grimm, Andersen, The Three Musketeers, medieval Knighs etc etc etc ad infinitum. He even managed to throw in some characters copyright laws didn't allow him to. To top if off, characters native to the series' own universe are not few in number.
  • Jasper Fforde's like this trope a lot. Pretty much every Bookworld character in the Thursday Next series comes from another book. According to the rules of its universe every book crosses over with it. Including itself. Many of the characters from the Nursery Crimes series are right out of nursery rhymes.
  • Peter David wrote two novels where X-Men characters appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation universe.
  • L. Frank Baum did this in the fourth book of the Oz series, The Road to Oz, by inviting characters from his other books to attend Princess Ozma's birthday party, hoping to get his Oz readers interested in those other non-Oz stories. This included everybody up to and including Santa Claus (as in The Life and Adventures of). The implication, of course, is that every book Baum ever wrote takes place in the same universe as the Oz books.
  • James A. Owen's Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica does this with pretty much every major work of fantasy, history, and real life. It's awesome.


Live Action TV Edit

  • The "Night of Elizabeth Taylor", broadcast on CBS around 1995-96, saw a diamond necklace lost by Elizabeth Taylor became a common plot element linking four SitComs -- The Nanny, Cant Hurry Love, Murphy Brown and High Society -- in one massive crossover. It was intended as an embedded advertisement for Taylor's new perfume, Black Pearls.
  • Disney did a triple-episode MMC with three of its shows. The show was entitled That's So Suite Life Of Hannah Montana, with one classed as a Suite Life episode, one as a Raven episode, and one as a Hannah Montana episode, where Hannah and Raven visited the hotel the twins live in.
    • Likewise, there's the Wish Gone Amiss triple-episode, except it is more loosely tied together. It all involves the title characters from Cory in The House, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Hannah Montana making a wish on apparently the same shooting star. Each episode has its own method of returning to the Status Quo -- Cory gets a literal Reset Button, Zack and Cody's wish was all just Zack's dream, and Hannah returns her life to normal when Jackson unwittingly wishes that the world did not know Hannah's double life.
    • There's also the Wizards On Deck with Hannah Montana that goes by the same formula that the That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montanna did, except with the stars visiting the hotel's ship instead of the hotel itself.
  • Kamen Rider Decade is this in regards to the Heisei era Kamen Rider shows. The main character dimension jumps into alternate universes based on the 9 previous Kamen Rider series of the last 10 years (as well as the canonical universe of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger). Plus, the first movie features every main Rider created before Decade, even ones that only had appeared in one-shot movies previously.
    • The second movie, a Grand Finale, even includes some Post Modernism commentary on the "interesting effects on the fiction chosen" mentionned in the opening paragraphs. To quote the original universe Wataru: "The tales of the Riders were something that would be eventually lost to time. But because of Decade's battles, they will remain fresh in people's minds..."
  • Similarly to Kamen Rider Decade, Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger is a crossover series. But compared to Decade, in which the main character could only be Riders of the last decade, the Gokaigers can transform into any of the Sentai from the past 34 teams (barring Sixth Rangers - that is, until their own Sixth Ranger joined up). Additionally, while Decade established that every past Kamen Rider was its own universe, Gokaiger establishes that all Super Sentai took place in a single universe.
  • The Children's Party at the Palace, a British production broadcast live from Buckingham Palace on June 25, 2006, celebrated Queen Elizabeth II's 80th birthday with a wild romp featuring dozens of literary and TV characters including (among many others) Cruella DeVille, Peter Pan and Captain Hook, Sir Topham Hatt from Thomas the Tank Engine, Wallace and Gromit, the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, Enid Blyton's The Famous Five, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter movies, and starred the Queen as herself.
  • The Sabrina the Teenage Witch episode "Inna-Gadda-Sabrina" extended its story through the following three shows that night: Boy Meets World, You Wish, and Teen Angel. Each show was set in a different time period in going with the theme.
    • It wasn't the first time - in fact, quite a few crossovers spanned the entire TGIF lineup from time to time, and even an occasional though less involving tie-in for all ABC weekly sitcoms during this period.
    • There was also one that was linked by Steve Urkel. He ends one episode of Family Matters by blasting through the Winslow's roof in a jet pack, and he crashes into the Lambert's roof at the beginning of the an episode of Step by Step where the plot centers around him. I forget if any other shows were connected as well.
  • A very simple one, but the iStart A Fan War episode of ICarly included characters from Drake and Josh and Zoey 101, helping to fill out the Nick Verse.
  • A Muppet Family Christmas included characters from all Muppet-related programmes: The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and even Muppet Babies.
  • In Doctor Who, the climax of the Second Doctor serial The Mind Robber. D'Artagnan vs. Cyrano de Bergerac! Blackbeard vs. Sir Lancelot! Plus Gulliver and Rapunzel on the sidelines.
  • Law and Order crossed over with Homicide: Life On the Street a few times, until they eventually just decided they were set in the same continuity altogether, to the point of having John Munch, who originated in the latter show, permanently set up shop in the former.
  • The Tommy Westphall Hypothesis states that dozens if not hundreds of television series have all happened within the mind of a young autistic boy living in Baltimore.
    • John Munch is a central figure in this Hypothesis.
  • The Earth Day Special, which aired on ABC in 1990, was a huge crossover featuring just about every pop culture icon from The Eighties in a very bizarre, thoroughly nonsensical plot.
    • Also in 1990, Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, the ultimate Very Special Episode combining well over a dozen Eighties cartoon characters. Aired once and only once, it's full of Narm yet also bizarrely entertaining. Rumor has it that it's never been aired since because Jim Davis claimed he hadn't authorized Garfield's inclusion in the show.
  • In the CSI-verse, the original series crossed over with the Miami series in 2002 to serve as the pilot for the latter; the Miami series then crossed over with the New York series in 2004 to serve as that series' pilot, and the series crossed over again in a two-hour storyline in 2005. The original series also crossed over with Without a Trace in 2007 a two-hour storyline across both series. Following the departure of William Petersen (who opposed the spinoffs and did not appear in any scenes featuring the Miami team in "Cross Jurisdictions"), CBS put together a massive crossover in 2009 spanning all three series that involved the Las Vegas series' Raymond Langston going to Miami and New York while investigating a human trafficking organisation.
  • The 2009 Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Comic Relief special, which brought in characters from BBC Three's other sitcoms Grown Ups and Coming of Age. And yes, Sheridan Smith was Acting for Two.
  • The second western MMC took place a year after the first on what seemed to be an ordinary episode of Maverick called "Hadley's Hunters"; during the course of that hour he ran into people from 5 other shows: Lawman, Cheyenne, Bronco, Sugarfoot, and he stops by the office from Colt 45 but nobody was home (a reference to the show being recently canceled).
    • Strangely he also ran into the parking lot attendant from 77 Sunset Strip which was set in the 1960s -- I guess he had an ancestor who lived in the old west.
  • The final western MMC took place over 30 years later in the made for tv movie The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, where the title character crosses over with 10 different series. During the course of the film The Gambler meets people from Bat Masterson, The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp, Maverick, Cheyenne, Kung Fu, The Rifleman, The Westerner, The Virginian, and Rawhide, plus the main game was in honor of the main character from Have Gun Will Travel.


Mythology and Religion Edit

  • The Argonautica (a.k.a. Jason and the Argonauts) by Apollonius of Rhodes (3rd century BCE) is one of the very first Massive Multiplayer Crossovers, arranged in what would become a fairly classic method -- basically throwing one or two dozen heroes from various separate Greek myth cycles together on a boat with a common mission. This of course makes the Massive Multiplayer Crossover Older Than Feudalism.
    • Many of the same characters also appear in the story of the Kalydonian Boar Hunt - which, Depending On the Author, may occur before or after The Argonautica.
  • According to some religious studies texts, this has also gone on in many, many other myths: the most notable involve various saints meeting each other. This goes on even today.


New Media Edit

  • Weezer's Pork And Beans music video. It's got almost everything that ever appeared on Youtube short of OK Go and The Angry Video Game Nerd.
  • The Machinima "Beans". Firstly, it crosses over characters from three different series and is made by three different machinima directors, then the storyline involves various internet memes... Oh. And it's made on Super Smash Bros. Making it a crossover on a crossover.


Stand Up Comedy Edit

  • There's a Star Trek-related comedy routine in which Mr. Spock, the HAL 9000 computer, and Obi-Wan Kenobi all appear on Jeopardy, in a mental variant of an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny. Kenobi is declared the winner, but only because he uses the Jedi Mind Trick on Alex Trebek.
  • Stand-up comedy troupes sometimes feature a series of comedians who usually headline their own shows:
    • The Original Kings of Comedy
    • The Blue Collar Comedy Tour
    • The Comedians of Comedy


Tabletop Games Edit


Video Games Edit

Theater Edit

  • Seussical has characters from several of Dr. Seuss' books


Webcomics Edit

  • There have been at least two webcomic Massive Multiplayer Crossovers: The Framed!!! Great Escape and the recently ended Crossover Wars
  • Though it never crossed over with both at the same time, Its Walky! had crossovers with both Melonpool and Fans! that established both as part of its universe (or multiverse in the latter case) and which ended up having a lasting impact on its storyline.
  • Kevin and Kell and General Protection Fault had an arc where two GPF characters wandered into K&K's Domain world. The artists managed to work the events into both their storylines that were running at the time, and apparently drew a strip each day--both had two-strip days where the storyline advanced.
  • Starslip Crisis: Alterverse War is a mashup of a large number of science fiction webcomics, and had just started as of October 2007.
  • The webcomics Queen of Wands and Something Positive had a couple of crossover stories. Later, after QOW ended its run, Kestrel showed up as a semi-regular on S*P.
    • Choo-Choo Bear hired the Pet Professional from the webcomic of the same name to kill his homicidal cousin Twitchy-Hug.
    • And recently Davan from S*P has been seen texting with Candy from Girls with Slingshots after running into her at the wedding of Jameson and Maureen.
    • Choo-Choo Bear later had kittens with Sprinkles of Girls with Slingshots, one of whom Davan gave to Roz of Shortpacked!, and another is by Hazel to her cousin Robyn from All New Issues.
  • Questionable Content has crossed over with Diesel Sweeties, which has itself crossed over with Scary Go Round. Questionable Content has also crossed over with Applegeeks, which, having crossed over with Ctrl+Alt+Del, would turn the whole group into one quasi-incestuous ball of webcomics. I'm reasonably certain that PvP has been referenced in at least one of these, probably Diesel Sweeties, and since the former has crossed over with Penny Arcade more than once, it's completely cross-eyed insane over there.
    • And the Author of Ctrl+Alt+Del exists as a person in the Penny Arcade universe, so that means, if you follow the little red thread of universal strings, that he exists in the same plane of existence as his characters..
    • Don't forget that Applegeeks had a major crossover (well, on its end) with Megatokyo at one point. Which chains the whole thing to a specific date, making things even crazier.
    • It gets better. Questionable Content is now having background extras as characters from other comics like Girls with Slingshots, Octopus Pie, Anders Loves Maria and Overcompensating. Since Overcompensating features the author and most people known in the webcomic industry, it means all these characters now exist in the same universe as their creators.
    • The cast of Shortpacked has visited the Coffee of Doom coffee house from QC on occasion, including once when both artists did a take on the same scene. Combine that with the S*P Intercontinuity Crossover Nexus mentioned above, along with all their respective crossovers, and we have a massive webcomic universe that could give Marvel a run for its money.
  • Sluggy Freelance hosted one of these during the Filler Arc "Sluggy Freelance: Where Are You?" When all of Sluggy's actors are kidnapped (a.k.a. Pete Abrams decides to take some time off) characters from several other webcomics are hired to fill in for them and/or find the kidnappers.
  • Several members of the Webcomics Inc. social networking site collaborated on a crossover comic, where they made all their characters teen-aged and put them into high school together. The result, WCI High, merged characters from Good Times, Mikey's Life, Everyday Heroes, and Big Sandy Gilmore.
  • Least I Could Do recently finished the Ultimate Final Civil War Invasion Crisis Thing, which featured the gaming webcomic characters trying to kill the slice-of-life comic characters. (Order of the Stick, meet Xkcd.)
  • Ménage à 3 and Sore Thumbs crossed over at some point and are implied to be in the same universe, and Ménage à 3 crossed over with School Bites. If this keeps up we'll wind up with every webcomic crossing over to one another.
  • The writer of No Rest For The Wicked footnotes her comics so you can get all the fairy tales she's using characters from.
  • Final Blasphemy has characters from Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Mario, and several other gaming universes.
  • Troops of Doom has G.I. Joe/Cobra and Star Wars Empire characters, as well as other random characters and an alien race called Legonians.


Web Original Edit

 Ask That Guy: (speaking to the various reviewers present) In fact, I think there's a lot of you who want to do crossovers, aren't there? Because everybody really eats that shit up.

Everybody: Yeah!


Western Animation Edit

Notes

  1. SNK vs. Capcom SVC Chaos doesn't count, it was made by SNK