Many [[SpyDrama spy]], {{thriller}}, and {{speculative fiction}} novels follow a specific formula in their titles;

# The...
# Noun or person's name, often something esoteric and classical that sounds like it could be code for something (often GratuitousGreek).
# Noun with political or [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic symbolic]] undertones.

This creates a feeling of conspiracy, like the reader has just glimpsed the title on a sealed manila folder and now needs to dig through the secrets of powerful men to discover... just what ''is'' The Antigone Cypher?

Compare TheCrimeJob and TheCaseOf.

A random title generator following this formula is [[http://www.koveras.org/thriller/ here]].
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!!Examples

* Creator/RobertLudlum did this almost exclusively:
** ''{{Literature/The Bourne|Series}}...''
*** Identity
*** Supremacy
*** Ultimatum
*** Not written by Ludlum:
**** Legacy
**** Betrayal
**** Sanction
**** Deception
**** Objective
**** Dominion
**** Imperative
** The Parsifal Mosaic
** The Hades Factor
** The Janson Directive
** The Sigma Protocol
** The Aquitaine Progression
** The Prometheus Deception
** The Icarus Agenda
** The Holcroft Covenant
** The Scarlatti Inheritance
*** Parodied in ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode 405 ("Being from Another Planet"). During the film a bookshelf is shown, and Joel and the 'Bots begin rattling off a LongList of fictional titles from "the Ludlum library".
*** Ludlum also parodied it himself, by having one character write bestselling thrillers which always have a single-word title connected to the action like "TANK!" or "SHARK!" -- other characters comment on how predictable he is for it.
*** Also parodied in Series 4 Episode 6 of ''ArmandoIannuccisCharmOffensive'', which had a round called "The Bourne Ulti-Ludlum" whereby panel members drew [the] + [normal noun] + [exotic noun] from hats to create titles like "The Byzantium Potato". "Who thinks ''potato'' is an exotic noun?"
* ''TheMiddleMan'' (along with ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'') does this [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming for EVERY EPISODE]]:
** The Pilot Episode Sanction
** The Accidental Occidental Conception
** The Sino-Mexican Revelation
** The Manicoid Teleportation Conundrum
** The Flying Fish Zombification
** The Boy Band Superfan Interrogation
** The Cursed Tuba Contingency
** The Ectoplasmic Pan-Hellenic Investigation
** The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown
** The Vampiric Puppet Lamentation
** The Clotharian Contamination Protocol
** The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome
* [[Creator/EllestonTrevor Adam Hall]] relied on this formula for his ''Literature/{{Quiller}}'' spy novels -- ''The Quiller Memorandum'', ''The Tango Briefing'', ''The Cobra Manifesto'', etc, until ''The Peking Target''. Then after that it was ''Quiller Northlight'', ''Quiller Barracuda'', ''Quiller's Run'' and so on.
* From the ''Literature/ModestyBlaise'' series we have:
** The Xanadu Talisman
** The Impossible Virgin
** The Silver Mistress
* The Gun Seller (something of a parody of thriller novels in general, written by Hugh Laurie)
* The Secret Agent
* The Secret Pilgrim
* The Secret Servant
* The Damascus Cover
* The Ambler Warning
* The Chinese Paymaster
* Film/TheIpcressFile
* Literature/TheLookingGlassWars
* The Parsifal Mosaic
* The Unlikely Spy
* The Incongruous Spy
* [[Literature/JamesBond The Moneypenny Diaries]]
* The Human Factor
* The Holcroft Covenant
* The Killing Zone
* Film/TheRussiaHouse
* ThePelicanBrief
* TheHudsuckerProxy--which is odd, seeing as it's a screwball comedy.
* ThePhantomMenace
* TheChinaSyndrome
* TheFrenchConnection
* The Eiger Sanction
* The Cobra Event
* ''{{Tintin}}'': ''The Calculus Affair'', and a few others.
* Parodied in the Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', where a humorous aside notes how any self-improving book you bring along for [[AirportFantasy beach reading]] seems to transform into a conspiracy thriller with at least [[GratuitousGreek one Greek letter]] in the title, like ''The Gamma Imperative'' or ''The Mu Kau Pi Caper''.
* Tom Clancy's Powerplay series, 'Bio-Strike'
* Whether [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries live]] or [[WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries animated]], classic ''Franchise/StarTrek'' liked these titles, with examples such as "The Corbomite Maneuver", "The Alternative Factor", "The Enterprise Incident", "The Lorelei Signal", "The Ambergris Element", and many more.
** ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Next Generation]]'' continued to carry the tradition, although a bit less enthusiastically: "The Icarus Factor" and "The Vengeance Factor" are perhaps the only inarguable examples, with others, like "The Naked Now," as borderline cases. ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' also got into the act, with "The Omega Directive," "The Voyager Conspiracy," and "The Killing Game."
* [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2003/05/26/ This]] PennyArcade comic pokes fun at a similar theme among espionage video games.
* DanBrown's ''TheDaVinciCode'' and ''TheLostSymbol''.
* Peter F. Hamilton's sci-fi trilogy ''NightsDawn'' has a different name for the series, but the individual novels are:
** ''The Reality Dysfunction''
** ''The Neutronium Alchemist''
** ''The Naked God''
* ''[[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective]]''
* ''TheSantaClause''
* MichaelCrichton liked this one:
** Literature/TheAndromedaStrain
** Literature/TheVenomBusiness
** Literature/TheTerminalMan
* ''Most'' books about Literature/ArtemisFowl (not [[TheOriginalSeries the original one of course]]):
** The Arctic Incident
** The Eternity Code
** The Opal Deception
** The Atlantis Complex
** The Graphic Novel... oh, wait. Coincidence? [[ThereAreNoCoincidences I think not...]]
* Every episode title from ''TheBigBangTheory'', although it's played for laughs ("The Fuzzy Boots Corollary", "The Hamburger Postulate", etc.). It should be noted that these are intended to sound scientific, rather than thrilling.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** "The Macra Terror"
** "The Sontaran Experiment"
** "The Shakespeare Code" - a deliberate pastiche of this title type
** "The Sontaran Stratagem"
** The ExpandedUniverse Telos Novella ''The Dalek Factor''.
* RealLife example: [[IsraelisWithInfraredMissiles Israel's]] nuclear strategy is called "[[TakingYouWithMe The Samson Option.]]" Note that this isn't the official name. There ''is'' no official name, since [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial there is no official status of Israel's nuclear capability]].
* Creator/JoWalton has [[http://papersky.livejournal.com/483153.html said]] that, [[WhatCouldHaveBeen if she hadn't been sticking to theme naming]] for her "Literature/SmallChange" series, ''Ha'Penny'' would have been called ''The Hamlet Bomb''.
* The original US edition of ''[[LordPeterWimsey Unnatural Death]]'' by Dorothy Sayers was titled ''The Dawson Pedigree'', though later editions have reverted to Sayers' title.
* In ''{{Warehouse 13}}'', [[PlayfulHacker Claudia Donovan]] tries to hack into the Warehouse computer and finds out that this was anticipated, and she's activated something called the "Donovan Contingency". Her reaction: "Cool! I'm the star of a Ludlum novel."
* Parodied in a Saturday Night Live segment for fictional author Harlan Kane's new novel, ''The Abacus Conundrum''. Other books by the author [[LongList include]] The Medici Codex, The Genghis Rubicon, The Harlequin Protocol, The Ichabod Formula, The Pinochet Sudoku, the Nostradamus Mechanism, The Godiva Gyroscope, The Pokemon Directive, The Vespucci Containment, The Fuddrucker Ultimatum, The Marmaduke Betrayal, The Brenda Effect, The Picasso Embrogio, and [[OddNameOut Mac For Dummies]].
* Film/ThePoughkeepsieTapes.
* Every episode of the WesternAnimation/MenInBlack cartoon was titled in this style as "The (Insert Subject Here) Syndrome''.
* TheLaundrySeries is entirely named “The (Something) (Document(s))”:
** ''The Atrocity Archive''
** ''The Jennifer Morgue''
** ''The Fuller Memorandum''
** ''The Apocalypse Codex''
** [[{{Lost}} The Dharma Initiative]]
* Novelist SalmanRushdie amuses himself by making up Mad Lib Thriller Titles for [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare]] plays. [[http://www.artsjournal.com/aboutlastnight/2007/08/caaf_lucky_jim_unlucky_ron_oth.html Some of Rushdie's inventions]]:
** [[Theatre/{{Macbeth}} The Dunsinane Deforestation]]
** [[{{Hamlet}} The Elsinore Vacillation]]
** [[Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice The Rialto Forfeit]]
** [[RomeoAndJuliet The Capulet Infatuation]]
** [[Theatre/{{Othello}} The Kerchief Implication]]
** [[AMidsummerNightsDream The Solstice Entrancement]]
* Strangely enough of all of Creator/IanFleming's works, only a single ''Literature/JamesBond'' short-story actually fits this pattern and its story and title were never used for a movie: "[[Literature/ForYourEyesOnly The Hildebrand Rarity]]"
* Webcomic/{{xkcd}}: ''[[http://xkcd.com/962/ The Corliss Resolution]]'' (to ''The UsefulNotes/FermiParadox'')
* S.S. Van Dyne (the penname used by Willard Huntington Wright) had a strict format for his Philo Vance novels: "The" (six letter noun) "Murder Case". He only broke the format once, for "The Gracie Allen Murder Case".
* An animal which seemingly disappears from the fossil record only to reappear at a later point is known as a "Lazarus taxon".
* In, ''VideoGame/GoneHome'', Katie's father was a writer of novels with titles like these, such as ''The Accidental Pariah'' and ''The Accidental Savior''. [[spoiler:Later, you discover he's in the process of writing ''The Accidental Human''.]]
* When he isn't using TheXOfY, Creator/DavidEddings does this, as in ''The Elenium'' and ''The Tamuli''
** Elenium:
*** The Diamond Throne
*** The Ruby Knight
*** The Sapphire Rose
** Tamuli (the first book, ''Domes of Fire'' belongs [[TheXofY elsewhere]])
*** The Shining Ones
*** The Hidden City
* The Xanthos Obelisk, The Letoon Trilingual, The Pyrgi Tablets... what do you mean, they're all just [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilingual_inscription bilingual inscriptions]]?
* TheCaineMutiny. It's not a thriller, but the title fits, and is ominous enough.
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A few trope names have a MadLibThrillerTitle as well. Coming soon to a wiki near you:
* TheBechdelTest
* TheBlofeldPloy
* TheDulcineaEffect
* TheFireflyEffect
* TheForeignSubtitle
* TheGreatCrash
* TheMeadowRun
* TheMoscowCriterion
* [[ScarpiaUltimatum The Scarpia Ultimatum]]
* TheSchizophreniaConspiracy
* The ScunthorpeProblem
* TheTetrisEffect
* TheWorfEffect
* XanatosGambit (Missing the crucial "the", but fit the "pseudo-classical name + exotic noun" formula too well to omit as does LysistrataGambit)
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