Created By: EmperorSteele on March 21, 2012 Last Edited By: morenohijazo on September 10, 2015

Significantly Delayed Title Sequence

The opening credits to a show are usually in the begining or just after a small opening teaser. This one waits till much later!

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Trope
NOTE: I don't know if this happens enough to even be a trope yet, but maybe some other editors know of some other examples.

Almost all shows have a Title Sequence. And it's almost always in the beginning. However, sometimes the pacing would get too thrown off, the mood would be ruined, or the plot is just a minute too big for a standard sized episode, so... the Title Sequence is kicked to the middle or even the end of the episode. Sometimes it can be shortened, too, as a result. Perhaps the opening song and credits will play over the action in the show. This is likely only to happen during very significant episodes, but this isn't a requirement.

Very strong correlation with Prolonged Prologue: some examples have the title sequence appear well after the prologue is done though. Compare Cold Opening (that's the existence of content before the title sequence) and Close on Title, which is taking this to such an extreme that there is nothing after the title sequence, and therefore the title of the work (and by extension the "opening" credits) doesn't apppear until the end. This is when the title sequence is notably delayed compared to normal.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In an episode of Haruhi Suzumiya, which also happens to be a major turning points in the plot (Episode 6 where Kyon finally realizes what Haruhi is capable of first-hand and saves the world... the OP appears 5 minutes before the end of the episode, is significantly cut while the music plays over the end-of-episode exposition. There ends up being no end credits.)
  • For some bizarre reason, the third season of Minami-ke had the opening one third into the episode. Even weirder, they inverted this by having the ending two thirds in!
  • The first episode of Saikano didn't have any title sequence as the makers didn't want to give anything away about the plot and establish the story as just another high school romance.

Comic Books
  • The famous "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" story in The Amazing Spider-Man didn't show its title, artist and story credit until its shocking second-to-last page.
  • In the comic books Mortadelo y Filemón, if the title of the comic is not pictured in its first page, expect it to be said in large, distinctive font by a major character soon after. (The author will sometimes appear saying that he keeps forgetting to put the title on the first page.)
  • Lampshaded in the Darkwing Duck comic story "Turnabout is F.O.W.L. Play", in which, after a significantly long sequence establishing the premise and a How We Got Here scenario, Steelbeak treats the title page as a Page Turn Surprise.

Eastern European Animation
  • The "small opening teaser" in Nu, Pogodi! usually takes up about a quarter of the episode (e.g. 2:40 out of 9:30 in episode 3).

Film

Live-Action TV
  • Happens a few times in Monty Python's Flying Circus - IIRC the "Scott of the Sahara" episode doesn't have its opening titles until halfway through.
  • Castle credits seem to happen almost ten minutes into the episode.
  • An episode of Supernatural done in the style of a Reality Show didn't roll its credits until the end.
  • Alias: Between the Previously On and The Teaser before the title it can appear up to 15 minutes into the show.
  • The Flash episode 2 "Fastest Man Alive" has its opening title sequence 11 minutes in (or roughly a quarter of the way through the episode).

Radio
  • In the late '70s The Burkiss Way also did this on radio - there was one episode that "started at the wrong end", so it began with the end credits and ended with the opening.
  • British radio and TV comedy shows tend to use this trope. As well as examples quoted above, the radio show Son of Cliché was good at this.

Video Games
  • In the Electronic Arts created James Bond video games, the game opened with the tutorial level and upon completion showed the opening credits and then finally the title screen, in an attempt to mirror the opening action scenes of Bond films.
  • The opening credits of Metal Gear Solid 3 do not play until the Virtuous mission is complete, this can take 1-2 hours.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine: The game's title and logo only appear after you complete the intro mission, where your character jumps out of transport onto an enemy spaceship, kills the crew, and destroys the ship by turning its main weapon against it.

Web Animation
  • Ultra Fast Pony:
    • The episode "Stay Tuned" runs a "Previously On" clip show before the title card and theme music. The episode is five minutes long, and the "Previously On" segment lasts over four minutes.
    • In "Forgettershy", the characters just forget to run the title sequence, and they only remember when the episode is almost over.
  • The opening title sequence to episode 1 of Battle for Dream Island Again occurs near the end of the episode. Two minutes pass between the opening sequence and the end of the episode.

Western Animation
  • Done with the episode "Joshua" from Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
  • The Tex Avery MGM Cartoon "Batty Baseball" begins with just the title card, and about 30 seconds in a character notices and complains, so the cartoon begins again with the proper intro.
Community Feedback Replies: 49
  • March 21, 2012
    LeeM
    • Happens a few times in Monty Pythons Flying Circus - IIRC the "Scott of the Sahara" episode doesn't have its opening titles until halfway through.
    • In the late '70s The Burkiss Way also did this on radio - there was one episode that "started at the wrong end", so it began with the end credits and ended with the opening.
  • March 22, 2012
    TheChainMan
    For some bizarre reason, the third season of Minami Ke had the opening one third into the episode. Even weirder, they inverted this by having the ending two thirds in!
  • March 22, 2012
    TheNinth
    Castle credits seem to happen almost ten minutes into the episode.
  • March 22, 2012
    Folamh3
    • The title sequence for The Departed takes place about twenty minutes into the film.
  • March 22, 2012
    HiddenFacedMatt
    IIRC The Nostalgia Chick once said something to this effect about the intro to the Disney adaptation of Pocahontas. I will see if I can find it later on, as I think it would make a good page quotation.
  • March 22, 2012
    NESBoy
    Done with the episode "Joshua" from Space Ghost Coast To Coast.
  • March 23, 2012
    Cakatarn
    You mention almost all shows, which makes me wonder if there is a show that doesn't have an intro and if there is a trope for that. Aside from that I am pretty sure there was a long introduction for Heroes on one episode.
  • March 23, 2012
    HaggisMcCrablice
    An episode of Supernatural done in the style of a Reality TV Show didn't roll its credits until the end.

    The famous "Death of Gwen Stacy" story in Amazing Spider-Man didn't show its title, artist and story credit until its shocking second-to-last page.
  • March 23, 2012
    morenohijazo
    In the comic books Mortadelo Y Filemon, if the title of the comic is not pictured in its first page, expect it to be said in large, distinctive font by a major character soon after. (The author will sometimes appear saying that he keeps forgetting to put the title on the first page.)

  • March 23, 2012
    deuxhero
    In the Electronic Arts created James Bond video games, the game opened with the tutorial level and upon completion showed the opening credits and then finally the title screen, in an attempt to mirror the opening action scenes of Bond films.
  • March 23, 2012
    Cakatarn
    The first episode of Saikano didn't have any title sequence as the makers didn't want to give anything away about the plot and establish the story as just another high school romance.
  • March 23, 2012
    NESBoy
  • March 24, 2012
    Lawman592
    Is this proposed trope just concerned with TV shows? If not, I was going to point out the credits for The Good The Bad And The Ugly aren't shown until about 15 minutes (I could be wrong about that) in.
  • March 24, 2012
    EmperorSteele
    Lawman592: OP here- That wasn't my intention much, as in a series, the credits are usually in the beginning, but then ONE episode or two will throw a curveball and put the opening credits in the middle or end of the episode. Your example is a movie... however, most people would expect ANY movie's credits to be in the beginning, so i'd call it even =)
  • July 16, 2012
    EccentRick
    As another movie example: the title card for Howto Train Your Dragon is the LAST shot of the movie before the credits roll.
  • July 16, 2012
    randomsurfer
    See the ykttw Title At the End where the title of the work (and by extension the "opening" credits) doesn't apppear until the end.

    ETA @Xtifr below: Yeah, you right. I was actually looking for Close On Title but I didn't find it, only found the Title At the End ykttw.
  • July 16, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^ that one looks suspiciously like Close On Title.
  • July 16, 2012
    Arutema
    The opening credits of Metal Gear Solid 3 do not play until the Virtuous mission is complete, this can take 1-2 hours.
  • July 16, 2012
    triassicranger
    (please forget what I wrote here, it probably wasn't far into the programme enough)
  • July 17, 2012
    JanuaryFirstOfMay
    I'm not sure if it's this trope, but the "small opening teaser" in Nu Pogodi usually takes up about a quarter of the episode (e.g. 2:40 out of 9:30 in episode 3).
  • July 17, 2012
    TonyG
    The Tex Avery MGM Cartoon "Batty Baseball" begins with just the title card, and about 30 seconds in a character notices and complains, so the cartoon begins again with the proper intro.
  • July 17, 2012
    AgProv
    British radio and TV comedy shows tend to use this trope. As well as examples quoted above, the radio show Son Of Cliche was good at this.
  • August 26, 2013
    DAN004
    So how much should count as "significantly delayed"?
  • August 26, 2013
    henke37
    Very strong correlation with Prolonged Prologue.

  • September 9, 2013
    JonnyB
    Pacific Rim waits until the end of the first kaiju battle before giving the title.
  • November 9, 2013
    HermioneP
    Added example for The Two Towers
  • November 9, 2013
    KantonKage
    Isn't this a Cold Opening?
  • November 9, 2013
    MetaFour
    Web Animation:
    • The Ultra Fast Pony episode "Stay Tuned" runs a "Previously On" clip show before the title card and theme music. The episode is five minutes long, and the "Previously On" segment lasts over four minutes.
  • November 9, 2013
    henke37
    A Cold Opening is the existence of content before the title sequence. This is when the title sequence is notably delayed compared to normal. Close On Title is taking this to such an extreme that there is nothing after the title sequence.
  • November 9, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    I'm pretty sure one of the Jetix shows does this. (Alpha Teens On Machines being my best guess) If that case, the opening credits don't appear until right before/after the first commercial break.
  • May 5, 2015
    eroock
    Film:
  • May 5, 2015
    eroock
    I guess the reason for this one being abandoned is the huge overlap with Prolonged Prologue. Motion to discard.
  • May 5, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ some examples have the title sequence appear well after the prologue is done though. The Gwen Stacy one appears right after the climax for one.
  • June 22, 2015
    eroock
    Later than usual but significant enough?

    Film:
    • Layer Cake's title sequence starts nine minutes into the movie.
  • June 23, 2015
    Chabal2
    Warhammer 40000 Space Marine: the game's title and logo only appear after you complete the intro mission, where your character jumps out of transport onto an enemy spaceship, kills the crew, and destroys the ship by turning its main weapon against it.
  • June 23, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Alias: Between the Previously On and The Teaser before the title it can appear up to 15 minutes into the show.
  • June 27, 2015
    Tuckerscreator
  • June 28, 2015
    Snicka
    The statement about The Two Towers is not true: the title card appears after Frodo wakes up from a nightmare where he sees Gandalf fight the balrog, and but before they capture and tame Gollum. It's at most five minutes rather than fifty, which is not very prolonged for a 170-minute movie. The rest of the cast only shows up afterwards.

    However, another film of Peter Jackson's Middle Earth movies fits the bill:
  • June 28, 2015
    randomsurfer
    ^And how long is that?
  • Film
    • Friday The13th 2009. The main titles didn't appear on screen until twenty-five minutes into the movie.
  • June 29, 2015
    iClaudius
    Anime example:

  • June 29, 2015
    randomsurfer
  • June 29, 2015
    iClaudius
    Darn, you're right. Maybe there should be a "Not to be confused with".
  • July 13, 2015
    TheJovian
    The Flash episode 2 "Fastest Man Alive" has its opening title sequence 11 minutes in (or roughly a quarter of the way through the episode).
  • July 13, 2015
    Snicka
    @randomsurfer: The opening scene of The Hobbit The Battle Of The Five Armies, before the title card, is somewhere between ten and fifteen minutes, which is at least significant for a 140 minutes long movie.
  • September 2, 2015
    FalconPain
    The first episode of Megas XLR has its title appear after a third of the episode, at the end of the scenes taking place in the future. That way the first thing we see after the titles is Coop and Jamie.
  • September 8, 2015
    SamCurt
    Anime example: In the first episode of Kotoura San, the opening sequence only appeared after a 10 minute, 38 seconds long Downer Beginning. This is applied to avoid Soundtrack Dissonance; the bright and cheerful opening theme is better put at a time when The Protagonist's breakage begins to end.
  • September 10, 2015
    SvartiKotturinn
    • In the first episode of the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime, the opening sequence comes at the end of the episode.
  • September 10, 2015
    InfiniteBirb
    Assassin's Creed Unity reminds you what you're playing twice. The second reminder comes after you've cleared the first mission, which takes a while.

    (If I remember correctly, that is...)

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