Tag Archives: Buffy

Crossover Chaos: Types of crossovers

Television crossovers are the most analyzed, but other media have a tendency to take things even farther.

Using the broadest definition of crossover (and still excluding fanfic, obviously), there are surprisingly few separate groups of things that are in crossovers within small groups; depending on your definitions, everything that has a crossover at all can be connected to nearly every other crossover.

Other media can be more complicated about it than television tends to be, so before getting into comic books and video games let’s divide crossovers into categories:

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Crossover Chaos Part 1: Tommy Westphall

Much has been written about the surprisingly high proportion of live-action television that can be connected together if you assume that crossovers automatically mean a shared universe, and the interesting implications of the fact that that so many shows can be connected to St. Elsewhere. If you don’t know what I mean by that, here is what Poobala.com, a site about television crossovers, says about St. Elsewhere.

   An addendum to all St. Elsewhere entries: The final episode of St. Elsewhere revealed the entire series to be the daydream of an autistic child (man did this show have balls!). Given this, an argument could be made that all the crossovers with St. Elsewhere are invalid. That all the crossovers were merely part of the kid’s dream. Like he watched Cheers on TV and worked it into his little fantasy and thus the shows don’t really exist as part of the same reality. I count the crossovers as valid however. When all these crossovers were aired it was with the idea they were real. No one new the whole show was supposed to be a kids dream. So, since they were intended as real, I say they’re legit. I actually like the idea that the kid dreamed ALL the shows connected to St. Elsewhere. In that case if you check all the pertinent crossovers you’ll discover that the show Newhart was the dream of Bob Newhart’s character from the Bob Newhart show who was in turn only a character in an autistic kid’s head. Don’t think about that too long or your head will explode.

Here (“Group 2”) is Poobala’s conservative list of the shows in the Tommy Westphall universe.

This grid has looser standards, but hasn’t been updated in years.

crossoversscaled

And here’s the largest list of possibly connected shows.

The largest list, that is, if we limit ourselves to live action television. I’m going to try going beyond that, but probably not until tomorrow.

For this post, let’s just think about facts like “faster-than-light travel is possible in the universe Firefly takes place in”, “Mulder and Scully could have met Mork and/or Alf”, “Full House takes place in a universe that has vampires, alien abduction, and giant monsters”, and “Batman and Superman are both on the grid but nowhere near each other”.