Fictional crossover

A fictional crossover occurs when otherwise separated fictional characters, stories, settings, universes, or media meet and interact with each other. For a company, crossovers may exist as a gimmick, a marketing tool, a joke or gag, or to play out a "what if" scenario.

Crossovers of multiple characters owned by one company or published by one publisher, have been used to set an established continuity, where characters can frequently meet within one setting. This is especially true of comic book publishers, as different characters in various Marvel or DC comic books frequently interact with one another.

Crossovers may also be advertised as a guest appearance or cameo appearance, often to promote another work of fiction, sometimes with little contextual or rational explanation.

A crossover story may try to explain its own reason for the crossover, such as "they live next door" (one example being the casts from Golden Girls and Empty Nest) or "a dimensional rift brought them together." Some crossovers are not explained at all. Some are absurd or simply impossible within the fictional setting, and have to be ignored by the series' respective continuities.


General crossovers

Most of these crossovers can be assumed to be in continuity for one or both of the characters or universes involved, although the events of the crossover may not be mentioned afterwards by either party. See fictional universe for more closely linked crossovers. Many spinoffs cross over with their parent series or originated as a one-time crossover.

Explicitly outside continuity

These are crossovers that exist of their own setting, as an alternate universe or a "what if" scenario. Non-continuity crossovers may still borrow or resolve plots from their respective series, but have no evidence to support their occurrence officially in either setting.

Dream sequence

A character comes into contact with another character through imagery, dreams, visions, etc. The crossover itself does not occur, but the idea of the crossover might occur.

Celebrity guest appearance

A real life celebrity or figure appears within a fictional setting (Does not have to be portrayed by the actual person).

Gag cameo

A character appears only briefly in another setting, mainly for joke purposes.

Note: Many comedies and animated television series, such as Family Guy and The Simpsons, have numerous gag-based "crossovers."

Crossover, concepts or ideas

Appearance of items, materials, or objects that appear in another setting. Often used as a non-sequitur or anachronistic gag.

Crossover, fan made

A vast amount of fan fiction and fan art feature characters from multiple stories or settings crossing over with one another. Almost any two given popular universes, characters or stories can be assumed to have crossed over in some fan-made fiction, even when the basic idea of such a crossover would seem to run contrary to the style or themes of the source material.

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