Movie Connections Within a TV Series' Own Episodes?

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Back when I first started updating IMDb data, the rules prohibited the "references" movie connection between episodes of the same TV series. I think there were a few exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking, this wasn't allowed and wasn't accepted.

I'm now starting to see a lot of these movie connections popping up. Loads of them exist on the Rick and Morty page, for example, where a character might refer to something happening in a past episode. I'm also seeing a lot of them popping up on The Simpsons, which is usually full of background references to previous episodes.

Have the rules been changed? Is IMDb now happy to accept references from one episode of a show to another episode of that show?
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cyber_turnip

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Posted 2 years ago

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gromit82, Champion

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CT: I hadn't heard of a change in this policy. But in case IMDb is considering allowing "references" connections within the same TV series, I would prefer that they didn't do so, and I would recommend that any existing intra-series "references" connections be removed.
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ACT_1

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Back when I first started updating IMDb data,
the rules prohibited the "references" movie connection
between episodes of the same TV series
Loads of them exist on the Rick and Morty page, for example

by cyber_turnip
- - -

... and I would recommend that any existing intra-series "references" connections be removed.
by gromit82, Champion


"Rick and Morty" (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2861424/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2861424/reference
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2861424/trivia

Could these movie connections be listed on the eps trivia page instead ??

(Edited)
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Adrian, Champion

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I would disagree with this, at least in some cases. Many series will use footage from a previous episode which causes all kinds of questions in IMDb. Do you credit the characters in the edited footage in the current episode? It seems better to have a connection as "edited into" or whatever that connection is instead of trying to figure out how to credit the characters in those clips.
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Adrian, Champion

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Of course, in titles like Ricky and Morty, it is even more pertinent when they make singular callbacks to previous episodes. Why would you want to delete those and not have them present?
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gromit82, Champion

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Adrian: I haven't said that "features" connections within the same series should be prohibited; I am only focused on "references" connections here, which I disagree with including.

Not being familiar with the "Rick and Morty" series, I can't comment on how rare or common, or how significant, the intra-series references may be.
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Adrian, Champion

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There are many self-aware, self-referential series out there. I'm not sure what the harm is in listing those references in IMDb.
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cyber_turnip

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Whilst I can see the appeal of including these references, ultimately, I'd say that it's a bad idea.

It makes more sense for shows with stand-alone storylines in each episode, but most serialised shows reference almost every episode that preceeded them in one form or another because the plot is developing based on what's already happened.

Last time I checked, if a sequel references the film that it's a sequel to, that shouldn't be included on IMDb, because almost every sequel references the film before it - usually just in the title. Surely, the same logic should extend to episodes of a TV series?

On the other hand, it'd be nice to have a way to include, for example, the statue of Xtapolapocetl that appears in the background of the basement in several episodes of The Simpsons, in reference to Mr. Burns buying it for them at the end of an early episod or instances where a character reminds another who Sideshow Bob is (he framed Krusty the clown, etc, referring to past episodes). The problem is, where do you draw the line with this? Almost every episode of Breaking Bad refers back to almost every episode that came before it in one form or another.
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cyber_turnip

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And in case people need examples of what I'm talking about, look at the connections for The Simpsons' episode "Treehouse of Horror": http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0701278/movieconnections

It has the following 'referenced in' connections:
The Simpsons: Adventures in Baby-Getting (2012) (TV Episode)
Milhouse says the meeting at the treehouse has become a treehouse of horrors.
The Simpsons: The Man Who Came to Be Dinner (2015) (TV Episode)
Homer says "it's not Halloween" to the appearance of Kang and Kodos.

Both instances break the fourth wall, which is perhaps, a distinction to be made here? I've seen a lot of these sorts of connections lately, though.
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Michelle, Official Rep

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Hi cyber-turnip -

I have reached out to our editorial staff for further clarification on our policy and to confirm what should and shouldn't be allowed in this regard to Trivia verses Movie Connections.  Once I hear back I will post the information here.
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Michelle, Official Rep

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Hi cyber-turnip -

I'm just following up here to confirm that in the past we didn't allow these type of references in the Movie Connections section for TV series and episode titles, however, when within reason, our policy is now flexible in accepting these references to other episodes of the same series as Movie Connections.  With that being said, we wouldn't want to list references to immediate predecessing or following episodes. 

I hope this helps clarify our stance!
(Edited)
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cyber_turnip

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Thanks for this, Michelle!