The Big Picture: Worlds Within Worlds

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So basically any show that has ever had a crossover with another show or contained a reference implying a fictional person or company exists in both shows ultimately ties in with all the others, due to such crossovers and references being like potato chips: no show can have just one.

EDIT: Actually, come to think of it, even comic books aren't as rigid with their continuity as Moviebob was suggesting here. There have been plenty of crossovers with outside franchises that couldn't possibly all be part of the DC or Marvel universes. Atop the Fourth Wall jokes about this from time to time in reviews of crossover comics. Heck, there's probably been at least one property that's crossed over with both DC and Marvel at some point, and you know what that would have to mean...

Of course, it's well worth pointing out that comics are perfectly capable of saying, particularly with regard to "WTF endings", "Y'know what? That s@#$ never happened. No one's ever going to bring it up again, okay?"

See a lot of references to the "Amalgam" universe lately?

In all seriousness, the point Bob was trying to make (I believe) simply was that McDuffy had a relevant viewpoint on fiction. Hence, the parallel with "St.Elsewhere".

Look what's happening with, I dunno, BATMAN... I've read only a few Batman stories, and while it's nice to connect the dots once in a while, you lose track of continuity fast enough.

I now think more in "story arcs" and "character". You can quote -or not- other stories; however if it becomes absolutely necessary to check out the facts and whether or not they turn out... I think it stops being fun/meaningful.

When a story becomes impossible to track -however well recorded it is- you end up with a "what if?" or a "Crisis" or whatever reboot/alternate unisverse somebody comes up with in a desperate attempt to tie loose ends. It's not necessary. We're dealing with archetypes now.

To be fair, once you put The Simpsons in the Tommy Westfall universe isn't it kind of game over? The Simpsons have done just about everything that ever was or will be by now.

wow that was wheres the No Prize for piecing THIS continuity monstrosity together lol?

Daaang... although I'm sure there are still some shows untouched by this revelation, it's still interesting to see just how many referances and small interlinkings there are in mainstream TV.

Suddenly that Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover makes a lot more sense (as do all crossovers everywhere)

On the subject of Star Trek crossovers, didn't they once meet up with the X-Men? Which means the Marvel universe is within the Westphall universe, as is DC through Amalgam linking them to Marvel

One of the best big picture episodes so far.

seriously what does this have to do with anything? it's not like any tv show is going to do anything with all this information and "linked universes" i bet they just figured nobody would give a damn and re-used a few actors here and there or used these references just for easter eggs.

Too bad there is a fatal flaw in the concept, namely that the end of St Elsewhere is subject to interpretation. Just because the events and characters involved with St Elsewhere "appear" to take place inside the mind of an autistic child, this may not be the case. Since Tommy's father appears both in Tommy's reality and his imagination, this indicates that Tommy is capable of imagining characters and events based on real world persons and situations.

In this case, Tommy is drawing real world persons into his imagination and assigning them roles. This is equally as likely a case for crossover characters pulled into the "imaginary" St Elsewhere space.

Additionally, it is never explicit that St Elsewhere isn't a real space location (in relation to Tommy). This could very well be the hospital Tommy is treated at with him projecting subtle alterations over it in his imagination.

Since there isn't enough observable information available about Tommy's real space we can't infer that St Elsewhere or the rest of the TV continuities are solely a product of Tommy's imagination.

Universal continuity is over rated anyway. Does anyone feel less enjoyment from a game/movie/book because its non-canon?

If you want a perfect example of great story telling without worrying about canon, look at Greek mythology. There is no official canon or version of the popular myths, and many ancient playwrights used the characters as they wanted rather than according to a single specific version.

Suddenly that Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover makes a lot more sense (as do all crossovers everywhere)

On the subject of Star Trek crossovers, didn't they once meet up with the X-Men? Which means the Marvel universe is within the Westphall universe, as is DC through Amalgam linking them to Marvel

yeah but as far as i knew they were in comics only, which i am not sure counts for this...but if it does, oh christ....

that would also mean Archie doesn't exist because they did a crossover with the Punisher (yes really), AND Archie did one with the Teenage mutant ninja turtles so bye bye them..

Also Doctor Who canon has also been rather flexible and iffy but there was a crossover with a show called EastEnders (from UK) so that doesn't exist either (depending if Who-Fans count that horrible PoS Dimensions in Time canon or not)

WOW this is getting really fun to do now =D

*Me at the beginning of the video*
Ok Bob, I doubt you'll blow my mind that hard, I've seen a lot of stuff on the internet...

*Me after video*

Mind was indeed blown, also, Seinfeld didn't exist?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

I immediately thought about how Kathy Griffin is canonically Peter Griffin's cousin on Family Guy. That means Tommy Westphall is responsible for "My Life on the D List." He must be stopped!!!

The cool thing is, I read about this in Uncle John's Tunes into TV Bathroom Reader about a week ago...
So, if all of TV is in the mind of Tommy Westphall, could this theory explain why Chuck Cunningham vanished?

Not sure about mind blown but my head certainly hurts :p

Also have fun to whoever would want to reboot all that.

Now we just need an Infinite Crisis for EVERYTHING.

Which reminds me of this:

I am sorry. I have to call bullshit on this; I wrote this two weeks ago as a supposed topic (The Escapist crashed and I lost all my work; Call me a liar if you will, but I typed this up and never saved it to word document) about bad writing, and now MOVIEBOB shows up with this?

I know, free market and all that, but that's a tad eerie by my tastes.

OT: I still don't want to believe it, just because the idea just sounds like a bad writing exercise for a television show that might have been good. I've never seen St. Elsewhere in my life, but I have heard of the Westphall Universe hypothesis. To me, it feels like a copout answer then it does anything legit.

If M. Night Shyamalan can't make Plants killing people seem like a good idea without everybody saying it's a 'jump the shark' point of his career, how can the same thing be said of St. Elsewhere? To me, that's just bad writing. It's different than Sid and a Mog or Chocobo appearing in nearly every Final Fantasy game because it's all kept in one similar universe.

and imagine if we apply this to video games, could anyone imagine how rediculous a Nolan North Universe Hypothesis would be? Nolan North is Ezio Auditore, which is based off something said by Nathan Drake as he imagines himself as some random passerby in Mafia 2? Doesn't that sound a bit ridiculous?

Also: Moviebob probably wasn't going to mention this, but it is the least I can do. I actually looked up this universe because of the Vanity Plates for it. I present to you all the Vanity Plate for St. Elsewhere during its run:

Cute, huh? Now look what the final episode's Vanity Plate was, and tell me how much money in drugs it would take for people to think this was a good idea:


My only 2 questions (other than WHY?) is how did you jump from Alien/Predator to Firefly? And any of the direct cross overs in the Original 'St. Elsewhere' would be explainable if the kid had simply seen the shows on tv and put them in there, right?

Am I a bad person if that didn't really blow my mind? It's not too surprising that you can link loads of TV programmes together via actors and pop culture references.

I think you missed the whole point of it. He was explaining how comic book fans always insist that any character appearing in another character's comic means that the two comics MUST share the same continuity, and that said logic breaks down when you apply it to other mediums, using TV as the example.

As entertaining as it is, the connections get a little... flawed... after a while.

I mean, you might as well say that St. Elsewhere takes place in Boston, therefore any show, book, or media that includes Boston is part of Tommy Westphall's imagination.

Well, obviously we could take it to that level if we wanted, though I think the point of the St Elsewhere thing was to link fictional characters/companies. Still, I think you already know how valid the whole thing is, otherwise you wouldn't have posted such a blatant exaggeration to try and disprove it. Still, the point is a bit too simple to have to try and look for flaws by over-analyzing the after-math. All that McDuffy was saying is that comic continuity needs to get a little more lax; Character A appearing in Character B's comic doesn't mean that their comics need to share continuity suddenly, because applying the same logic to any other medium would result in the kind of things like what this video talked about.

Firstly this mainly effects American shows and some British ones. The majority of TV shows haven't been effected.

Secondly if relies on the assumption that Tommy Westphall has created all these characters. However if Tommy was adding real world characters to his fictional universe then all the problems with the "Tommy Westphall Universe" immediately collapse.

Thirdly if comics only made references to other characters then it wouldn't be a problem but for crossovers to be possible all characters have to be in the same universe.

Also who else thought the snow globe ending was something someone on deviant art made up as a bad ending for Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.


There is a flaw in the entire theory though. What if Tommy was incorporating stuff into St. Elsewhere from people and places that really existed in his world, not just his imagined world.

Hmmmmmmm, that's a point too. What if all the shows that St. Elsewhere ever did crossovers with were also TV shows in Tommy's world and thus Tommy watched them and incorporated them into the world of St. Elsewhere. Suddenly Tommy's imaginary world shrinks back down to just being St. Elsewhere.

More likely, it stops at Det. Munch. :)

All of netweork TV is the delusion of an austitic kid? Explains so much. The really scarry part is Star Trek's done crossovers with the X-men and the Leigon of Superheroes, bringing both Marval and DC into the same mess at the same time.

Of course there are rational explainations for all this: from the kid draws from the real world or other established series for his own dream, to just being not anal enough to count obvious gag cameos and re-used company names to connect the dots. Still, it's kind of fun. As it applies to continuity however, it makes things look messier than they really are. Yes there are trekkies that go batshit when someone gives a bad star date, but most of us are rational and even if we note incongruities, look over them for the bigger picture if they are small enough. We'd probably have a coronary if someone still had Spider-Man dating Gwen Stacey, or writing Robin as Dick Grayson in the main continuities. In the age of wikipedia and e-mail, some things are hard to overlook.

The theory also provides an escape continuity benefit: if it's a dream, it doens't have to make perfect continuital sense. Hence you now have an escape clause for continuity errors like the characters in MASH (set 1951 - 1953) refrenceing Godzilla (premiere 1954), or the Jeffersons existing as both a show and characters in Fresh Prince. It can also cover chuck cunnigham syndrome and other foibles of TV.

At least now I get that one Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends joke now. :p

Holy... fucking... shit....

Well, Bob, you didn't lie. My mind... has been blown.

Here's a creepy thought: The Mythbusters did a cameo on an episode of CSI. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman are real people. Ergo, we are also imaginary.

I knew it! I just knew that we were nothing more than figments of our own imaginations within the imagination of another imaginary universe!

This pretty much sums up the nerd community doesn't it...

McDuffy: 'This is why interconnected continuity in comic is insane. Don't take it this far.'

Nerd Community: 'Hey, how far could we actually take this?'

I had a thought after watching this video, as I'm sure everyone did, about the connecting shows and one thing struck me.

In Red Dwarf they talk about The Flinstones briefly in an episode... which if you stretch that out far enough with the mmount of crossovers... the entierity of hanna-barbera is in there!

Yes moviebob you were right, this episode did blow my mind, but in a fascinating way

So basically, by proxy, the entire universe exists in a fictional autistic character's imagination. Mind-bending.

Also, bob gets an E-cookie for referencing ALF. I have the first two seasons on DVD. Shit, that show might just be older than I am. I remember watching it as an infant.

Wandering fool's image almost made me fall out of my chair laughing. well played sir or maam, well played.

GOD, super hero continuity is dumb. Interesting show today, but all it really did is remind me how I felt trying to read Fifty Two, tearing my hair out over the parallell universe characters and the amount of weird characters in general.
Imagining the Tv shows where all the characters mentioned in today's show get together and have a big event... I'm so happy this continuity crap is stuck in not only comic form, but only the super hero genre. With any luck they stop making Marvel movies soon before that gets all messed up, too.

Here's a creepy thought: The Mythbusters did a cameo on an episode of CSI. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman are real people. Ergo, we are also imaginary.

Barrack Obama had two cameos on Mythbusters, does this make him imaginary as well?

I hope St Elsewhere didn't mention any news channels or this means everything on the news isn't real.

Wait...did I miss something here? Is the whole universe suddenly even stupider than before?

Seriously...I once dreamt I had a new computer with win7 on it. Does that mean Microsoft is also only fiction? Just because someone appeared in the imagination of somebody doesn't mean he doesn't exist.

Mind officially unblown.

We are all in Westphall's mind!!

Or! Since it all happened in some kid's mind... That kid adopted things he'd heard and seen into his own little world.

It's kinda like when my Transformers used to fight my Battletech mechs when I was younger. The confines of that cross over only happened in my mind, making use of two existing franchises.

Because we're dealing with a kid's imagination, all those things can still be things without being affected by some kid's day dreams.

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