Weirdest TV crossover episodes of all time

When it comes to popular media, crossovers are king. Everybody loves to see their favorite characters from one TV show, movie, or comic get mixed up with their favorite characters in another, particularly if it results in fiery conflicts. If you ever have any doubt about this fact, just take a look at the insane success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or that time Abbott and Costello met Frankenstein, to say nothing of those reoccurring bouts between Godzilla and King Kong. Nothing gets fans more excited.

That said, while some crossovers feel like they were planned from the outset, others seem ... less so. Sometimes, particularly on television, the writers and producers get some really off-kilter ideas about which shows should cross paths, leading to exceptionally bizarre results that have to be seen to be understood. Good idea, bad idea? You be the judge, but all of these TV crossovers were definitely on the quirky side.

Star Trek smells what the Rock is cooking

Star Trek has always been about exploring new worlds, with strange creatures and even stranger customs. Perhaps the oddest pit stop that the Federation ever made, though, was that time when they got tangled up with ... uh, the World Wrestling Federation? 

No, that's not a joke. Not a goofy meme. This craziness happened in a 2000 episode of Star Trek: Voyager titled "Tsunkatse," according to People Magazine, largely because Voyager and WWF Smackdown both brought in huge ratings for UPN, which probably led to some network exec asking "Hey, what if we combined them?"

Anyhow, "Tsunkatse" features Seven of Nine being captured, imprisoned, and forced to fight in an arena against the Rock, AKA Dwayne Johnson. Now, to be clear, the episode does decorate Johnson's head with forehead bumps and calls him a "Pendari," to prevent the Star Trek timeline from getting torn asunder, but Johnson is definitely doing his Rock act, down to the raised eyebrow and his "rock bottom" move. Weird as this episode was, SyFy points out it did mark one of the first times that Johnson acted outside of the usual wrestling wheelhouse, a full year before The Mummy Returns made him a star, and his swagger was a clear sign that bigger roles were ahead. Because of the Rock's performance here, according to ComicBook.com, Star Trek producer Rick Berman looks back on "Tsunkatse" far more fondly than you might think. 

The Supernatural bros chill out with the Scooby gang

Some crossovers make no sense at all. Some are totally forced. On the other hand, there are crossovers that might seem impossible, but end up being a match made in heaven. For example, take Supernatural, a show about two brothers who hunt demons, ghosts, and other monsters. Then, there's Scooby Doo, a show about a gang of teenagers and their talking dog who ... well, hunt demons, ghosts, and other monsters (albeit, fake ones). The problem? Supernatural is a live action, adult-themed series, and Scooby Doo is a cartoon aimed at kids. Womp womp.

That didn't stop the Supernatural crew from launching themselves at this problem full throttle, and making the impossible dream into a solid reality. After years of development, according to Variety, a 2019 episode of Supernatural featured the Winchester brothers getting sucked into a television and turned into cartoons, so they could team up with the Scooby gang to solve a dastardly mystery. Zoinks!

This crazy crossover hits all the beats you could hope for. There's one of those "running through a hallway of doors" sequences, Dean pounds down ridiculous sandwiches with Shaggy, and the episode carefully never betrays the original cartoon's childlike, lighthearted tone. As executive producer Andrew Dabb told USA Today, "While this is a slightly more adult version of Scooby-Doo, we didn't want to make it this grim and gritty Dark Knight Returns [take] where Shaggy's got one eye and Velma smokes a cigarette." Mission accomplished!

Mad About You solved a crucial Seinfeld mystery

Of the New York City sitcoms that NBC ran in the nineties, Mad About You often fades into the background when compared to famous siblings like Seinfeld and Friends. Yet, on closer examination, Mad About You was the glue that pulled everything together. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 1992 episode "The Apartment," which centers around an argument between romantic lead characters Paul and Jamie, when the latter discovers that her husband has never let the lease expire on his old bachelor pad: basically, he's been subletting it for years, just in case the relationship fails and he needs to move back into it. Big mistake, Paul. Luckily, by the end of the episode, Paul decides to give up the apartment to its current subletter. To confirm this, he pays the old place a visit, knocks on the door ... and hey, what do you know, out comes Cosmo Kramer, played by Michael Richards. Whoa! 

This twist finally explains how Kramer was able to keep his apartment all those years, despite his perpetual joblessness and weird friends, to say nothing of the many bizarre modifications (a hot tub, the Merv Griffin set, et cetera) he installed over the years. As cool as this crossover was, though, Mental Floss points out that NBC killed the fun by over-hyping it in a slew of promotions, not only ruining the surprise, but also setting expectations way too high for what amounted to a short scene.

NBC's Hurricane Saturday caused a ripple effect

Back in the early nineties, NBC was airing three totally separate sitcoms that were all set in Florida: Golden Girls, Empty Nest, and Nurse. So, on November 9th, 1991, the powers-that-be decided to have all three shows become linked by what would prove to be the Marvel Cinematic Universe-type crossover of the sitcom world: "Hurricane Saturday," a two-hour TV event wherein the characters of each series had to survive the brute trauma of two fictional hurricanes hitting at once, according to Entertainment Weekly, dubbed Hurricane Gil and Hurricane Heidi. Some of the characters crossed over, and Newsweek joked that the Golden Girls episode, in particular, gave a solid blueprint of what not to do during a hurricane, though co-executive producer Tony Thomas was quoted as saying that Empty Nest "bore the brunt of the wetness."

Hurricane Saturday was a big success, so NBC tried it again in 1994 with another disaster event called Blackout Thursday, according to Esquire. This time, Jamie Buchanan on Mad About You accidentally causes a blackout across all of New York City, impacting the characters of Friends (remember Chandler getting stuck in an ATM booth?), Madman of the People, and ... well, not Seinfeld, since Larry David and crew opted out. Anyhow, this stunt was replicated a third time in 2011, when the Fox event "Night of the Hurricane" crossed over Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show.

The Flintstones meet the Jetsons, and predictable jokes ensue

The Flintstones premiered in 1960. The Jetsons hit the tube only two years later. Somehow, it took almost three decades for the clunky prehistoric family of the past to trade barbs with the far-out family of the future, but it finally happened in the 1987 TV movie The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, wherein Elroy and crew are embroiled in a time machine malfunction that accidentally brings them back to the Flintstones era past, instead of the even more distant future they were intending to go to. Mishaps aside, the two families become buddies, though there are squabbles involving jobs, life, how different the past and future are ... you get the idea. Predictable stuff. 

Less predictable? The strange fan conspiracy theory that this TV special set into motion, according to Cracked, based on the notion that maybe the family's time machine didn't malfunction: in other words, what if the Flintstones don't actually live in the past, but rather, a post-apocalyptic future? If this were the case, it would re-frame all the primitive animal technology that the Flintstones employs as not a funny precursor to contemporary life, but rather, the result of a blighted civilization trying to recreate what it once had with limited tools. Chilling stuff, but hey, it's just a theory.

When The X-Files became an episode of Cops

These days, The X-Files has become such a cultural institution that it's easy to forget just how weird and innovative it really was. One of the best examples of this, as explained by Vulture, can be seen in the episode "X-Cops" which was a crossover with ... uh, Cops. Yes, Cops, AKA the nineties reality show that followed police officers busting narcotics rings, arresting men in wifebeaters, and so on. This episode was a passion project for creator Vince Gilligan (who went on to create Breaking Bad, if you didn't know), and it pulls no punches in its efforts to present itself as being an ordinary, regular episode Cops, down to using the Cops theme song, emulating its documentary style, and employing those flashing police bumper lights every time a commercial break hits. The key difference, of course, is that the LAPD officers here are fictionalized, and they're being assisted by Scully and Mulder, who are pursuing a werewolf. 

Postmodern? You bet. By all rights, a bizarre mashup like this shouldn't work, but thanks to Gilligan's deft touch, it became a fan-favorite episode.

Mr. Robot meets ... uh, ALF?

Mr. Robot is a sharp, politically-charged TV series about a rebellious computer programmer named Elliot (Rami Malek) who works as a cybersecurity engineer during the day, then uses his genius tech skills to attack corporate overlords at night. It's deeply relevant stuff. Extremely contemporary. Not the sort of environment where you'd expect to see ... you know, a furry alien dude that loves to eat cats.

But yes, it's true, ALF appeared on Mr. Robot in 2016, according to the A.V. Club, and the sequence was as bizarre as it sounds. To be fair, the whole shebang is basically a hallucination that takes place in Elliot's mind — after all, they aren't going to bulldoze the whole show's continuity just for a cute cameo — but that doesn't render it any less surreal to see ALF running over Gideon, going shopping, and even saying his trademark quote of "No problem!" in a contemporary TV show, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The crossover between Batman and Hogan's Heroes was ... strange

Okay, so here's the deal. Back in the sixties, two of the most popular (and unconventional) comedy shows on TV were the classic Adam West/Burt Ward Batman series, and Hogan's Heroes, a sitcom about the "wacky" hi-jinks of a group of U.S. soldiers in WWII, stuck in a POW camp run by incompetent Nazis. The lead villain of the latter series was the Nazi Colonel Wilhelm Klink, who was played by Jewish actor Werner Klemperer, according to the Daily Beast, in a deliberate effort to skewer Nazis.  

Anyhow, if you've watched enough old Batman episodes, you'll recognize the running joke wherein any time that Batman and Robin were rappelling up a wall, a window would open, revealing a surprise guest star. According to LiveAbout.com, these would often be celebrities like Sammy Davis Jr. or Jerry Lewis. Sometimes, fictional characters would appear, like Lurch (from The Addams Family) or Santa Claus. And surely enough, on one occasion, out popped Colonel Klink. Whoops! 

The sequence was short and lighthearted, as all such Batman cameos were, but on further reflection, it raises troubling questions about Batman's moral code. Namely, why is a Nazi war criminal living in Gotham City, two decades after WWII, safe and sound? Sure, he's incompetent, but he's still a Nazi. Furthermore, why is Batman being so chatty with this guy, instead of phoning up Commissioner Gordon? Creepy stuff, the more you think about it.

Are two Jim Carrey characters (who aren't Jim Carrey anymore) better than one?

Quick, everybody, name your favorite Jim Carrey character!

Most likely, two of the names that flashed through your head were the Mask and Ace Ventura, right? And believe it or not, while a supernatural vigilante and a goofy animal detective don't have much in common, other than the rubber-faced actor who played them, these two characters actually once traded quips in cartoon form. The first part happened in an episode of The Mask: The Animated Series titled "The Aceman Cometh," and it was swiftly followed in the Ace Ventura: Pet Detective episode "Have Mask, Will Travel."  

In theory, the concept of Jim Carrey bouncing off an alternate Jim Carrey sounds deliriously fun, but this animated crossover was missing a key ingredient: namely, Jim Carrey. The star himself had little to do with his cartoon counterparts, with Ventura being performed by Michael Daingerfield, while Rob Paulsen voiced the Mask. As a result, this epic crossover mainly involved two voice actors bouncing their best Jim Carrey impersonations off one another. Still, this two-parter is a fun novelty, if you accept it for what it is.

A popular Friends character only exists because of Mad About You

Ask any diehard Friends fan if quirky musician Phoebe Buffay has any siblings, and they'll tell you all about her sinister twin sister, Ursula, known for hiding their mother's suicide note and ditching their grandmother's funeral to go to a concert. Here's the thing about Ursula, though: she existed as a fictional character before Phoebe did, and the series she came from wasn't Friends, but rather, Mad About You.

See, as Comedy Central explains, Mad About You actually premiered a few years before Friends came around, and Lisa Kudrow nabbed the role of Ursula having no idea that Friends would exist, much less be a smash hit. Once Friends became big, though, everyone realized that having Kudrow play two different roles on two different NBC sitcoms — which, by the way, aired back-to-back — was going to feel weird to the audience. So, the writers simply rewrote Phoebe and Ursula as twins, thereby also linking the Friends and Mad About You universes together. Voila!

Amusingly enough, this connection means that Ursula is the one Friends character whose future has been foretold, as pointed out by Nick Riccardo, since the series finale of Mad About You flashes forward to the year 2021, to reveal that Ursula has been elected the governor of New York. Wonder how Phoebe feels about that?  

It's morphin' time, in a half-shell!

That's right, kids, the crossover of a lifetime happened in 1998, and you didn't even know about it. This episode, titled "Shell Shocked," features the Power Rangers and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kicking butt together, in live action, to defeat the evil Astronema. Sound like a childhood dream come true? Think again. For one, this is the boring "Power Rangers in Space" version of the team, not the Mighty Morphin' ones you know and love, so there's no Kimberly Hart or Tommy Oliver to be found. Bummer. To make matters worse, the Turtles featured here are from the failed (and mostly forgotten) live action series Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. So, essentially, this means that both the Rangers and the Turtles featured in this episode are the most subpar versions imaginable. To make matters worse, according to Den of Geek, the storyline of "Shell Shocked" is so nonsensical that by the time you reach the ending, which involves the Turtles surfing through space, your childhood has been thoroughly ruined. Ugh. 

Disappointing as this whole thing might be, BOOM! Studios announced in 2019 that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers would be teaming up again, this time in comic book form. Thankfully, according to Comic Book Resources, this new crossover will involve the classic versions of both teams. Cowabunga, dudes!

When two 'Offices' collide

Michael Scott, the awkward dude played by Steve Carrell in the American version of The Office, is not a good boss. Neither is David Brent, his equally awkward equivalent in the original British program, played by Ricky Gervais. A meeting between both men could only be ... well, awkward, and that's exactly how it played out when they had an elevator encounter in a 2011 episode. That said, rather than taking the predictable path of having Scott and Brent feud over something petty, their brief crossover stands out for being surprisingly upbeat: they laugh, they trade stories, and they even bond over a "That's what she said" joke. This surreal encounter was something fans had fantasized about years. While it's a shame that, as NPR reports, Gervais' surprise appearance was leaked before the episode aired, the scene itself couldn't be more perfect.

That said, as Movieline's Mike Ryan points out, this proof that Scott and Brent occupy the same universe raises some weird continuity questions about the pilot episodes of both shows. Namely, the events of the U.S. pilot of The Office deliberately mirror those of the English one — sometimes down to the dialogue! — to the point where it's awfully weird that both men, alongside their eerily parallel coworkers, would experience such insanely similar days, at different times and places, while being filmed for different documentaries. Talk about a cosmic coincidence, that's for sure.