Best TV Crossover Episodes of All Time, Ranked

For years, ABC ran Scandal spirit How to Get Away with Murder in the same time block. Fans could go straight from a political thriller centered in Washington, DC to a thrilling legal drama about a criminal defense attorney and her students. And at some point, the millions of people watching had to wonder, “What would it be like if Olivia Pope and Annalize Keating joined forces?” Two of the fiercest fictional characters from similar programs, together in one episode – it’s a recipe for success. A creation as such could wind up being so memorable, it could be one of the best episodes of the series. Plus, it could potentially bring in more viewers and the idea is just plain enjoyable. And thus comes double the characters, double the ratings, and double the fun in what is otherwise known as the crossover episode.

TV crossover episodes feature main characters from one show fraternizing with those of another program. With fans of both shows eager to see the newest installment, crossovers can easily spell out a win for everyone. Those who like one show could grow a new fondness for the characters they were once unfamiliar with, and, of course, those who love each show in question just benefit from the simple fact of seeing their favorites all in the same place. Some shows just place one character into the opposite show and others go as far as to have entire episode arcs with storylines for all. Here are some of the best TV crossover episodes of all time.

9 The Fairly Oddparents / Jimmy Neutron

The boy genius titular character to Nickelodeon’s sci-fi cartoon The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius was Jimmy Neutron, while the channel’s fantasy comedy, The Fairly Oddparents, centered on Timmy Turner. Being two ten-year-old stars of admired kids’ cartoons was one thing, but names that rhyme? It was only a matter of time before Nick declared their shows needed to merge. For the first time, viewers were able to see what Timmy Turner would look like in, as he called it “bulgy” 3D animation, as well as how Jimmy would appear in the traditional 2D that Timmy was often seen in. The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour premiered in 2004, and it spawned two sequels in 2006.

Related: Jimmy Neutron: Best Characters in the Animated Franchise, Ranked

8 That’s So Raven / The Suite Life of Zack and Cody / Hannah Montana

Raven Baxter, Zack and Cody, and Miley Stewart aka the Hannah Montana already had a massive chokehold on ten-year-olds in 2006, so when Disney brought them together for a three-part episode, everyone who was anyone was tuning into Disney Channel on July 28 at 8 / 7c. The episodes saw Raven checking into the Tipton Hotel and using Zack and Cody as her models for a photoshoot, all while Miley makes friends with Maddie, the Tipton’s candy counter girl in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. That’s So Suite Life of Hannah Montana accumulated around 7 million viewers during its initial run and garnered its own DVD with bonus episodes and trivia games. Years after That’s So Raven ended, Hannah Montana and the Martin twins on their new series The Suite Life on Deck had another crossover episode with Wizards of Waverly Place.

7 Family Matters / Full House

With giant glasses, high waters held up by suspenders, and, most prominently, his high-pitched voice, Jaleel White could effortlessly transform himself into the nerd next door, Steve Urkel. But stealing the show on Family Matters was not enough, and in 1991, ABC brought him to an episode of Full House titled “Stephanie Gets Framed.” The episode sees the middle Tanner child in a panic after being prescribed to wear glasses. Fearing she might look like a geek, Urkel, the cousin of DJ’s friend Julie, steps in to assure her that wearing glasses is not the end of the world. His exact words to her: “Hold your head up high… otherwise those suckers will slide right off your nose.”

6 iCarly / Victorious

Dan Schneider was the name behind tens of Nickelodeon sitcoms back in the day. Two of his most popular were undoubtedly the 2007 web show-themed series iCarly spirit Victorious, centering on a creative arts school in Hollywood. In 2011, Carly Shay discovered that her new boyfriend, the love of her life and apple of her eye, was seeing another girl behind her back. The girl in question – Tori Vega of Victorious. Carly and her friends travel to California to confront him and once Tori’s in on his lie, she joins in on the sabotage and the gang exposes him on the internet in front of millions. The episode ends with a mashup of the two theme songs, “Leave it All to Me” and “Make it Shine,” and also has a guest appearance from Kenan Thompson.

5 Supernatural / Scooby-Doo

Crossover episodes might be a common thing, but it’s not every day that shows mush together a live-action series with a cartoon. But this was the case for the season 13 episode of Supernatural titled “Scoobynatural.” Here, Sam and Dean Winchester find themselves sucked into the latter’s favorite episode of Scooby-Doo, Where are You!. Once discovering a murderous ghost, the Winchesters and Mystery Incorporated join together to trap it before returning to the real world. The episode received much praise from critics for how well it blended the two shows.

Related: The Best Scooby-Doo Movies, Ranked

4 Mad About You / Friends

Before landing a lead role on FriendsLisa Kudrow was known for playing the ditzy waitress Usula on the NBC series Mad About You. Once Friends was picked up, per Biography, the network decided on a way for audiences to understand why the same actress was appearing in two different shows on one channel, and so the unpleasant Ursula became the twin to the friendly Phoebe Buffay. In the season one episode, “The One with Two Parts,” Joey and Chandler meet Ursula in the Central Perk of Mad About You – a restaurant called Riff’s. But that was only the beginning of Ursula’s many appearances on the show. Fran and Jamie also guest starred on Friends and mistook Phoebe for Ursula. Given that Ursula is known for being an awful waitress, after Phoebe does not take their order, Fran and Jamie conclude that that’s “definitely her.”

3 Family Guy / The Simpsons

“The Simpsons Guy” is the first episode of Family Guy‘s 13th season, where two of the most notable families in television history come together for an episode that drew over 8 million viewers. Once the Griffins’ car is stolen, they meet the Simpsons and agree to stay with them. But while each Family Guy character seems to get along with their The Simpsons counterpart, it is not long before Peter and Homer butt heads. The episode was written by Patrick Meighan, a Family Guy staff writer, so while it does have the Simpsons characters, it lacks the humor typically seen in the show about the yellow family. Still, the episode works especially for those who just want to kick back and see their favorite families assemble (and their favorite animated TV dads knock the wind out of each other).

2 Phineas and Ferb / The Avengers

The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel in 2009, but it was not until 2013 that it had its first Disney / Marvel animated crossover. Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel brought together the inventive stepbrothers of Danville and members of Earth’s mightiest heroes, the Avengers. After the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz renders them powerless, Red Skull, Whiplash, MODOK and Venom are able to take over. But thanks to the help of our main characters, these superheros regain powers, albeit each other’s powers rather than their own. Along with Phineas and Ferb’s secret agent platypus Perry, the heroes are able to defeat the evil, the way they always do, and save the day.

1 How to Get Away with Murder / Scandal

As two series created by producer and author Shonda Rhimes, it’s no wonder ABC aired a How to Get Away with Murder spirit Scandal crossover special. Scandal aired “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself” while How to Get Away with Murder debuted “Lahey vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ”in this two-part special. The crossover saw Annalize and Olivia working together on a case about the incarceration of Black people in the United States. The combination of live viewing and DVR, per Deadline, earned the two-parter around 7 million views upon its initial airing.

Give a Comment