Somewhere out there, right at this very moment, a ravenous fan is concocting some wild theory that relates one TV universe to another. Sometimes it's a character that travels from one TV series into another, while other times there are subtle plot points that lead viewers to believe two or more shows are connected. Often times, these little connections are created by the showrunners or the writers, maybe they worked on a show in the past and want to bring pieces of it into their new TV world. There are times when it's simply a nod to one of the star's previous shows or an homage to a show that was influential.
There are so many different connections that exist out there that we've had to cut out many, sticking only to some of the best ones. We've tried gathering a mixture. We have connections that TV-heads know well; we have some that people have forgotten about and others that few really knew about in the first place. That being said, the connections that made this list have occupied TV forums for years and aggravated the nay-sayers for just as long. Whether they make sense or not is for you to decide, but they're certainly interesting. We'll give them that.
The rules as to what justifies a connection have not been made. We've gone through and selected the ones that make the most sense to us, the connections that seem pretty conclusive. Some of them exist within the fictional worlds of the show, while others are simply associations behind-the-scenes. One thing we should mention is that most of these are not the super obvious connections. We know that the spin-offs and the remakes are related to the originals and so do you. We're only interested in the subtler connective tissues. So here they are, 15 pairs of TV shows that you had no idea were connected to each other in some way.
15 Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead
14 Breaking Bad and The X-Files
13 Twin Peaks and Fringe
12 Psych and Twin Peaks
11 Battlestar Galactica and Firefly
10 Mad About You and Seinfeld
9 Friends and Mad About You
8 Last Man Standing and Home Improvement
7 Cougar Town and Scrubs
6 Arrested Development and Happy Days
5 Daredevil and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
4 Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles
3 The Power Rangers and Doctor Who and Stars Wars
2 Lone Ranger and Green Hornet
1 Tommy Westphall Universe
If, by chance, you haven’t heard of the Tommy Westphall Universe, prepare to have your mind blown. If you have, you'll understand why this comes in at number one on the list of TV show connections, even if it is pretty famous. Tommy Westphall is a character from the TV show St. Elsewhere. The universe was born on May 25, 1988, the final episode of St. Elsewhere, the day when everything changed. Instead of ending normally, by panning out from the hospital, the scene changed to show Tommy Westphall, a minor character with autism. Tommy is looking at a snow globe which has the hospital in it. This ending led people to assume that all the events in St. Elsewhere took place only in Tommy's mind (though this has been disputed). From there, the St. Elsewhere characters Dr. Roxanne Turner (Alfre Woodard) and Dr. Victor Ehrlich (Ed Begley, Jr.) appeared on Homicide: Life on the Street, which means that show too could have existed in Tommy's mind. In addition to Homicide: Life on the Street, Det. John Munch (Richard Belzer) appeared on several shows including The X-Files and the entire Law & Order franchise. From there it continues on to a silly extent. We'll let Tom Fontana, a writer for St. Elsewhere sum it up: "Someone did the math once... and something like 90 percent of all [American] television took place in Tommy Westphall's mind. God love him."
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