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Characters in one series Crossover to another series. A technique used to help define a 'Verse.

Examples of Character Overlap include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Obscure 1980s black-and-white comic Tales from the Aniverse featured a cat bounty hunter named Miss Chevious. Cartoonist Randy Zimmerman carried the character over into her own series, which runs in Flint Comix & Entertianment over 20 years later.


  • Although the Discworld is technically one series, readers tend to group the books according to which recurring protagonist is the focus, and certain said protagonists cross over briefly into other books.
  • One of Bret Easton Ellis's signature techniques: Clay, the protagonist of Less Than Zero, is a minor character in The Rules of Attraction; Patrick Bateman, a minor character in The Rules of Attraction, is the protagonist of American Psycho, and so on.
  • Agatha Christie does this a fair bit. For example, Inspector Japp of the Poirot series appears in the first Tommy and Tuppence book.
  • Banjo Paterson's poem "The Man from Snowy River" namedrops the title character of another of his works, "Clancy of the Overflow." Clancy is also given a prominent role in the movie adaptation.
    • And "Harrison, who made his pile when Pardon won the cup" is presumably the narrator and placer of the victorious bet in Paterson's "Pardon, the Son of Reprieve".
  • Stephen King will often make brief references to characters and events from previous books, especially if those books took place in Castle Rock, Maine.
  • The character Hoid appears in all of the works of Brandon Sanderson set in the Cosmere (Mistborn, Elantris, The Stormlight Archive and Warbreaker) to serve various roles, such as a begger or a storyteller.

Live Action TV

  • Boston Public, Ally McBeal and The Practice had a crossover.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 begat Melrose Place which begat Models Inc. Characters like Jake from Melrose Place appeared on 90210 before Melrose Place began. Later Melrose Place characters appeared on Models Inc. (Amanda Woodward's mother and half-brother ran Models Inc.). Later, some of the original 90210 cast members returned for the reboot of 90210 and some of the original cast of Melrose Place returned for the reboot of that show as well.
  • Steve Urkel of Family Matters fame has appeared in both Full House and Step by Step.
  • The characters in Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer inhabit the same universe and cross-over regularly.
    • Rumor has it, if Firefly had continued, at some point, the crew would have been passing a bar, one of the characters in a long black coat would have said, "Nothing ever bloody changes," before turning around to reveal himself as Spike.
  • Thanks to a whole mess of anarchy, same thing went between Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. Considering that Xena was originally a villain character from Hercules who ended up getting her own show, it was frankly inevitable.
  • Characters from Cheers, including Norm, Cliff, Rebecca, and Frasier appeared on Wings, and later on the spin-off Frasier.
    • Carla, Norm and Cliff were also in an episode of St. Elsewhere titled, amusingly enough, "Cheers". Carla has also appeared on the short lived Cheers spin-off The Tortellis which revolved around her ex-husband Nick, their brood of children and Nick's new wife Loretta most of which were recurring characters on Cheers.
  • Dr. Roxanne Turner from St. Elsewhere showed up on an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street. Dr. Victor Ehrlich from St. Elsewhere appeared in the Homicide movie.
  • Richard Belzer has played Baltimore (later NY) PD detective John Munch on approximately a dozen different TV series.
    • In addition to Belzer's example, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had Angie Harmon from the parent series consulting in the first series before they got their own, dedicated prosecutor. Who ever is playing District Attorney from the parent series will also occasionally have an appearance.
  • Characters from Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis regularly crossover.
    • Several characters from Stargate SG-1 have also appeared on Stargate Universe more than once.
    • McKay and Woolsey were both introduced as one-off antagonists in Stargate SG-1 before becoming regular characters on Stargate Atlantis. They both appeared in the Stargate Universe Season 2 episode "Seizure" to boot, making them the only Atlantis regulars bar Samantha Carter to appear in Universe.
  • Characters from Friends and Mad About You have crossed over. Mostly it's been Phoebe and Ursula Buffet, identical twins both played by Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow originally appeared as Ursula on Mad About You, and when she was cast as Phoebe on Friends, the two characters were made into twins to explain their identical appearance.
  • The Disney Channel did this with a triple crossover of some of their most popular shows, a mishmash called That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana.
    • They performed another hodgepodge later, with Wizards on Deck With Hannah Montana.
  • Rare Panel Game example; before the final axing of its third part, Have I Got Buzzcocks All Over was an irregular Children in Need occurrence.
  • Jack Harkness debuted in Doctor Who then got spun off into his own show, Torchwood. Similarly, Sarah Jane Smith originated on Doctor Who back in the '70s and then returned in the mid '00s before receiving her own spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures, taking K-9 along with her. Both of them returned for the fourth series finale of Doctor Who which also brought along two other characters from their own shows (Mr. Smith and Luke from SJA and Gwen and Ianto from Torchwood). Earlier Martha Jones had appeared on Torchwood for a story arc and later the Tenth Doctor visited Sarah Jane on SJA. Both characters then later reappeared for the Tenth Doctor's last story along with several other characters who had appeared throughout his tenure. The Eleventh Doctor appeared on SJA bringing along Jo Grant who was a companion to the Third Doctor just before Sarah Jane.
  • In the Cold Open of the episode "Seminar" from The Office (US version), Michael Scott runs into David Brent, his counterpart from the original British series. David appears again in the season 7 finale "Search Committee" as one of the people auditioning to replace Michael as manager.
  • The character Director Leon Vance appears in both NCIS and, it's spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles, being that he is the director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in CBS's NCIS franchise.
    • A very subtle version happens in on of the early seasons of NCIS when a minor character from JAG appears as to consult on one of her old cases.
  • The character Penelope Garcia is the technical analyst in both Criminal Minds and, it's spin-off, Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior.
  • The second season finale of Cougar Town features appearances by Ted Buckland and Abed.
    • The second season finale of 'Community' also features a brief blink and you miss it cameo of two characters from Cougar Town. Also Abed references his being an extra on Cougar Town in Community.
  • Naturally, the different iterations of Star Trek feature cameos from different characters, and share recurring nemeses like Q and The Borg. Worf is particularly notable for being a main character on both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. O'Brien also counts; he started out as a nameless extra in TNG's pilot episode, becoming one of the most recurring characters on the show before being pormoted to series regular on DSN.
  • Mr. Drucker appeared on both Green Acres and Petticoat Junction, as his grocery store was frequented by both show's characters. The two shows often had characters visit each other regularly in the early seasons.

Newspaper Comics

  • Bloom County cartoonist Berke Breathed carried over two characters from The Academia Waltz, a strip he did for his college's newspaper: Steve Dallas and Cutter John (then known as Saigon John).

Video Games

Western Animation