Crossover episodes are nothing new. Some are done as part of sweeps week, some are done in an attempt to boost ratings, but what the people writing these episodes probably don’t realize is that they’re helping to connect the entire television universe. Over the years, people including a comic book and television writer named Dwayne McDuffie, have spent far too much time finding the links between shows, proving that, basically, everything is connected. 10.
Homicide to The Wire
Let’s start out with two of the most gritty, realistic crime dramas ever written. Both were penned by David Simon, so it’s not really shocking that they would crossover at some point, particularly since they’re both about Baltimore cops. They only cross over briefly in a late episode of The Wire, with a cameo by actor Richard Belzer, portraying his character of Detective John Munch. Munch is based on real-life cop Jay Landsman, who not only has a character named after him on the show, but plays a completely different character of his own, a cop named Dennis Mello.
Homicide to Law and Order
Right here is where we begin to realize that John Munch is one of the two most important characters in this unifying television universe theory popularized by McDuffie. We aren’t even going to get into the time Munch popped up on Arrested Development, tying that world with all of the rest. Anyway, in what was a then unprecedented move, when Homicide ended, the character of John Munch was brought into the cast of Law and Order: SVU. He had also appeared, alongside a few of his fellow Baltimore detectives, on a couple episodes of the original Law and Order. Of course this is already making things a little wonky in terms of continuity, considering virtually everyone in the cast of The Wire made an appearance on Law and Order as either a suspect, a victim, or a lawyer at some point.
Homicide to X-Files
But you know what’s even weirder than the fact that everyone in The Wire was also someone else in the Law and Order universe, despite both characters existing simultaneously? The fact that, apparently, they also existed in the same universe as The X-Files. That’s because in the fifth season of that show, Detective Munch pops up to interrogate the conspiracy theorists who often helped out Mulder and Scully, known as the Lone Gunmen. They later got their own spinoff show, and characters from The X-Files also popped up on the show Millenium, meaning all kinds of weird stuff was going on in this giant TV universe. But it’s about to get even weirder.
X-Files to The Simpsons
And that’s because the characters of Mulder and Scully popped up in an episode of The Simpsons, meaning that, apparently in this grand, interconnected television universe, people can slip between live action and animation pretty easily. Which actually holds with Simpsons canon since Homer found himself in a live action world during one Halloween episode. The Simpsons can also be connected to the show Family Guy, and thanks to the unofficial crossover with South Park called Cartoon Wars, that means that Eric Cartman lives in the same universe as Dana Scully. And also, it turns out, Cliff Claven.
The Simpsons to Cheers
In another episode of The Simpsons, Homer is searching out a new bar after having been banned from Moe’s Tavern. He tests out a few different gin joints before finding himself in the place where everybody knows your name, with the actual cast of Cheers voicing their respective animated characters. Of course then you take into account the fact that Frasier alums Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, and John Mahoney all voiced characters on The Simpsons and the connections get even better. Oh, and by the way, it’s David Hyde Pierce who helps connect Cheers to, eventually, Seinfeld.