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Every Law & Order: SVU Crossover Ranked Worst To Best

The Fall 2022 "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" premiere represented a milestone for Dick Wolf's courtroom procedural franchise. For the first time, all three currently airing "Law & Order" series joined forces in an epic crossover. The premiere featured both new faces and fan favorites from all three shows, including DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston), Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), and Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni). It was a huge moment for fans of the "Law & Order" franchise, but this wasn't the first time that "SVU" has crossed over with another series.

Throughout its more than twenty years on the air, the popular series has lent its characters to several other parts of the "Law & Order" extended universe. In addition, "SVU" has also hosted characters from almost every other "Law & Order" spin-off. These crossover events unite fans from different series and allow their beloved characters to use their talents in new ways. All of the best "SVU" crossovers enjoy high ratings on IMDb, but some stand out more than others. We've ranked the lot from worst to best. Spoilers ahead.


The first-ever "Law & Order" crossover with "SVU" brought together some of the franchise's most likable characters. Olivia Benson heads up an investigation into a salesman's murder in the Season 1 episode "Entitled." Along the way, she and her team uncover details that suggest a link to an unsolved case once handled by Detective Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach). This link ties into the original "Law & Order" and introduces the popular Briscoe to the "SVU" world. "Entitled" has a rating of 7.8 on IMDb and is a solid example of why Season 1 of "SVU" was so successful.

The "Entitled" story concludes in the original "Law & Order" Season 10 episode, which is also called "Entitled." In this episode, Detective Benson and her team help Detective Briscoe and his partner Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin) unravel a longstanding cover-up and finally solve the case. The perpetrator's identity was a bit of a surprise to Briscoe, but the "SVU" team's new perspective on the case finally helped him close it. The second half of the "Entitled" crossover has an IMDb rating of 7.4. The storyline isn't quite as strong as its "SVU" counterpart, but watching some of the early titans of the franchise work together is a satisfying experience for "Law & Order" fans.

Comic Perversion

"Chicago P.D." quickly amassed a loyal following after its 2014 premiere and has so far enjoyed a nine-season run. One of the best episodes in its first season was part of an "SVU" crossover. "Conventions," the sixth episode of the season, is the conclusion of a two-part crossover. "SVU" detectives Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Odafin Tutuola (Ice-T) join the Chicago team to help solve a series of heinous crimes that are similar to several recent murders in New York. IMDb reviewers rate "Conventions" at 8.1, and the well-structured plot of this episode more than deserves such a solid rating.

Unfortunately, the first half of the crossover is not quite as strong as the conclusion, but it does serve as a springboard to the partnership between the two teams. The "SVU" Season 15 episode "Comic Perversion" has a rating of 7.5 on IMDb. The episode provides critical commentary on society's attitude towards sexual assault, and the plot flows smoothly. However, this entry is more of a lead-in than a true crossover, because the Chicago team makes only a brief appearance in the final scene. Most "SVU" crossovers are a little more successful at intertwining the teams across both episodes. That being said, this first "Chicago P.D." team-up still tells a very compelling story.

Return of the Prodigal Son

Detective Elliot Stabler has grown into one of the most successful "SVU" characters, with a solid enough fan base to warrant the creation of a whole new spin-off. "Law & Order: Organized Crime" features fan-favorite Stabler as an undercover detective, taking down crime syndicates in New York City. In the "SVU" Season 22 episode "Return of the Prodigal Son," Stabler rejoins the team after ten seasons, but under terrible circumstances. His wife, Kathy Stabler, dies in a car-bombing incident that seems aimed at Stabler himself. IMDb reviewers rate this episode 8.3 due to Stabler's exciting, long-awaited return.

The crossover concludes in the series premiere of "Organized Crime," "What Happens in Puglia." Detective Benson appears alongside Detective Stabler as he takes on his new role in the Organized Crime Bureau while still grieving his wife's death. He quickly finds himself face to face with a crime family that he suspects has a connection to the car bombing and commits himself to taking them down. The series premiere earned an IMDb rating of 7.9, and the series is still going strong. Benson and Stabler shared many memorable moments on "SVU," and their relationship is growing in the "Organized Crime" world. Since his wife's death, Detective Benson has become an even more essential support system to Stabler, and fans are excited to watch this connection unfold in future seasons.

Acceptable Loss

Detective Alexandra Eames (Kathryn Erbe) was a fan favorite on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," but she was briefly given new life on "SVU." In the Season 14 episode "Acceptable Loss," Eames lends her services to the somewhat reluctant SVU detectives as they try to dismantle a sex trafficking operation. This episode is the only crossover that "Criminal Intent" has with any other "Law & Order" series, and it occurred a year after the popular spin-off's series finale aired in 2011. In the interest of continuity, audiences are told that Detective Eames has officially quit the Major Case Squad and currently works with Homeland Security. Immigration is a factor in this "SVU" case, and that issue is what brings Eames into their world. 

This crossover combined two of the strongest women in the "Law & Order" universe, and audiences enjoyed the combination. Although Eames initially butts heads with Olivia Benson and the rest of the "SVU" team, the two detectives build a friendly rapport by the end of the episode. The final scene features Benson and Eames enjoying a drink together after successfully solving the case, which is a respectful nod to the strength of both characters. "SVU" fans gave "Acceptable Loss" an 8.0 rating on IMDb. Unfortunately, after this episode, Detective Eames never makes another appearance on "SVU" — or any other "Law & Order" series.


"Law & Order: Trial by Jury" is a spin-off that offers a very different take on the traditional "Law & Order" formula. Instead of focusing on the law enforcement side of justice, "Trial by Jury" hones in on the criminal trial proceedings and shows audiences how lawyers on both sides prepare their cases. The series includes a handful of familiar characters from the original "Law & Order" and often features cameos from well-known Hollywood actors. Towards the end of its single-season run, the series also featured a two-part crossover event with "SVU."

The crossover began on "SVU" with the Season 6 episode "Night." Benson and Stabler investigate a brutal murder, which leads them to a lawyer named Jason Whitaker, played by Bradley Cooper. He represents a wealthy family whose matriarch, Elanor Duvall (Angela Lansbury), tries to draw attention away from the detectives' prime suspect — her son. IMDb reviewers gave this episode an 8.5, and its complex storyline is a perfect lead-in to the "Trial by Jury" episode "Day." True to form, the series covers the whirlwind trial that unfolds after the "SVU" detectives make their arrest. "Day" has an 8.2 rating, with the young Bradley Cooper's performance representing a major high point for fans.

Did You Believe in Miracles?

Detectives Benson and Stabler have one of the most extended professional relationships in "Law & Order" franchise history, and it is still very active on "Organized Crime." In Season 2, the pair cross paths again in another two-part crossover. However, viewers watching "SVU" on streaming may not have even known that this crossover occurred. The Season 23 episode "Did You Believe in Miracles?" has an IMDb rating of 7.7 and includes a massive milestone for Benson and Stabler. In the broadcast version of the episode, Stabler finally meets Benson's adopted son Noah. This scene is the all-important introduction to this crossover, but it's completely missing from the streaming version of this episode. "We're hearing that the editing could have happened as a result of fitting the episodes to the streaming format, as well as to avoid potential 'SVU' viewers' confusion regarding Benson mentioning a cop/case that wouldn't be resolved on that show," TVLine said.

Conversely, the crossover is alive and well in the "Organized Crime" Season 2 episode "Lost One." The case Stabler and Benson discuss at the end of "Did You Believe in Miracles?" unfolds rapidly in this episode, and the two detectives must work together to solve it. A nine-year-old girl becomes a kidnapping victim, and Stabler quickly discovers that she is the daughter of a member of The Brotherhood — a police gang that Stabler infiltrated while undercover. "Lost One" has a rating of 8.2 on IMDb and is arguably the best "Organized Crime" crossover with "SVU" so far. Seeing Benson and Stabler work together again on this case is a great nostalgia moment for long-time "SVU" fans.

Nationwide Manhunt

Some of the best "Law & Order" franchise crossovers focus on hunting a truly evil criminal, and that is the case in this "Chicago P.D." Season 3 crossover with "SVU." The crossover kicks off in "Nationwide Manhunt," the fourteenth episode of "SVU" Season 17. It has an 8.2 rating on IMDb and features a criminal that longtime fans will no doubt immediately recognize, the infamous Gregory Yates (Dallas Roberts). This episode isn't the first time Yates appears in "SVU," and it isn't the first time he is the main focus of a crossover. "Nationwide Manhunt" occurs after Yates already serves time for prior crimes. However, he escapes from prison, and the "SVU" team calls upon the "Chicago P.D." team for help catching him.

The crossover continues in the "Chicago P.D." Season 3 episode "The Song of Gregory Yates." IMDb reviewers rate this episode at 8.2, and it deserves this high score — the episode features excellent chemistry between the teams as they work tirelessly to bring Yates to justice once again. Detective Benson and Detective Tutuola work with Detective Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush) to track Yates after he flees to Chicago. Although they successfully find him, Yates never sees the inside of a jail cell again. Why? Detective Lindsay shoots him in self-defense and Yates dies from his wounds.


The "Law & Order" universe has displayed some impressive feats of continuity in the past, both in terms of crossovers and in keeping some popular characters' storylines going. One example of the latter is the "SVU" Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March), who joins the series in the Season 2 episode "Wrong is Right." With Detective Stabler and Detective Monique Jeffries (Michelle Hurd) under department investigation and a murder to solve, Cabot arrives at the perfect time. District Attorney Jack McCoy hand-picked Cabot for her ambition and tenacity, both of which make her an excellent addition to the "SVU" team.

However, her character is not a permanent fixture in "SVU." The 2006 series "Conviction" was a short-lived part of the "Law & Order" franchise, but it is instrumental in developing Cabot's character when she crosses over from "SVU." Cabot is one of several young ADAs featured in the series and serves as Bureau Chief. After "Conviction" completed its single-season run, Cabot returned to "SVU" in the Season 10 episode "Lead." This "SVU" episode has a fantastic IMDb rating of 8.2 and features Cabot at her best. The crossover between "Conviction" and "SVU" is a little more informal than most, but it's a great example of seamless continuity in the "Law & Order" extended universe.

Chicago Crossover

The latest "Law & Order" crossover isn't a new phenomenon for "SVU," which previously participated in three-part crossovers with "Chicago One." The first of these kicks off with the "Chicago Fire" Season 3 episode "Nobody Touches Anything." In this episode, firefighters discover disturbing images of children while responding to an apartment fire. They decide to bring in the "Chicago P.D." team to investigate, and Detective Lindsay discovers a link between the photos and a New York database of missing children. With this information in hand, she brings in the "SVU" team. "Nobody Touches Anything" is rated 8.2 on IMDb and provides a satisfying setup for the crossover.

The action continues on "SVU" with the aptly named Season 16 episode "Chicago Crossover." As the middle episode, it bears the burden of telling the bulk of the story and tying the whole crossover together. Its success in this venture earned "Chicago Crossover" an 8.2 on IMDb. "Chicago P.D." and "SVU" join forces to investigate the source of a website exploiting children and tensions are high. Even though Detective Benson and Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) butt heads, the two teams successfully make headway on this challenging case. The crossover concludes in the "Chicago P.D." Season 2 episode "They'll Have to Go Through Me." The united teams track down a crime syndicate targeting children, arresting its leader and dismantling the whole operation. This satisfying conclusion to the crossover has an excellent rating of 8.4 on IMDb and is a must-see for "SVU" fans.

Gimme Shelter

The Season 24 premiere of "SVU," "Gimme Shelter," is part of the first-ever crossover between all three currently airing "Law & Order" series. This crossover starts on "Organized Crime" and ends on "Law & Order," and all three episodes have the same title. The "Organized Crime" portion of the crossover has a rating of 8.1 on IMDb and gets the story off to a solid start. "Law & Order" detective Frank Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) witnesses the murder of a young girl in broad daylight, and the case soon connects to a longstanding "Organized Crime" operation. Although the cast of "Organized Crime" isn't featured as heavily as "Law & Order," the episode does an excellent job of establishing the complex case that unfolds throughout the rest of the crossover.

The "SVU" portion of the crossover is rated 8.1 on IMDb and covers most of the case's development. It is arguably the most action-packed portion of the crossover and features Benson doing what she does best: Helping young victims get a fresh start. Unfortunately, the crossover's conclusion on "Law & Order" is a bit of a letdown compared to the other two, with an IMDb rating of 7.4. It primarily covers the court proceedings post-investigation, but the chemistry between the prosecutors is not as strong as many fans had hoped. Nevertheless, it does bring the crossover to a satisfying conclusion. Overall, this crossover is an exciting jumping-off point for the newest season of all three series.


The "Design Flaw" crossover is one of the most entertaining of all the "SVU" crossovers so far because both episodes really pull their weight. Each crossover part makes an excellent standalone episode, and they are even better together. This crossover details a complex case and features terrific chemistry between the "Law & Order" and "SVU" detectives. It begins with the "SVU" Season 7 episode "Design," which has a whopping rating of 8.7 on IMDb, and it totally deserves it. This episode is the stronger of the two crossover parts and has plenty of twists and turns to keep audiences engaged. "Design" lays out the story of a woman who claims to be a victim but is actually a cunning perpetrator whose own mother assists in her crimes.

Ultimately, the case goes unsolved despite Detective Benson's best efforts. However, the "Law & Order" Season 16 episode "Flaw" picks up the story uniquely: Investigators find Detective Benson's business card among a homicide victim's belongings. After learning that the victim's death relates to her cold case, Benson partners with Detective Ed Green and his partner, Detective Joe Fontana (Dennis Farina). The conclusion of this crossover is just as enthralling and unpredictable as its partner episode. IMDb reviewers give "Flaw" a rating of 8.1, which is still a score to be proud of.

Daydream Believer

After the success of the first "One Chicago" crossover, "SVU" participated in a three-part event that revolved around the story of serial killer Gregory Yates. The saga starts on the "Chicago Fire" Season 3 episode "We Called Her Jellybean." The Chicago team enlists Detective Benson's help with an arson case connected to another attempted murder. The case appears very similar to an unsolved New York case, and this link sends the combined teams on a chase. "We Called Her Jellybean" bagged a solid rating of 8.1 from IMDb reviewers. Detective Benson then shows up in the "Chicago P.D." Season 2 episode "The Number of Rats."

"The Number of Rats" (which has a very impressive 8.6 IMDb rating) features Benson along with Detective Tutuola and Detective Nick Amaro (Danny Pino). Actor Dallas Roberts gives an excellent performance as the slippery killer Gregory Yates, one of this episode's biggest strengths. The crossover ends on the "SVU" Season 16 episode "Daydream Believer" as the combined teams chase Yates to New York. IMDb reviewers have awarded this episode an 8.4 rating. It features the capture and trial of Gregory Yates, and comes to a very satisfying conclusion when Yates finally receives the prison sentence he deserves. This "SVU" crossover is by far the most successful because it makes excellent use of all three teams and features an evil, well-developed criminal with a compelling story.