->'''Meg:''' You wrote an article about me?
->'''Brian:''' They wanted a story about a typical teenage girl.
->'''Meg:''' ''(opens magazine)'' Is it ''A Fistful of Bacne: Tale of a Teenage Loser''?
->'''Brian:''' Yeah, they make the title.
-->--''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', "Dial Meg for Murder"

When the title of a work is [[ExecutiveMeddling chosen by the publisher or someone else who is not the author]], and the author may not even ''like'' the title. See also MarketBasedTitle.



[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* The title of ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'' supposedly came down from the publishers, and gave Moore and Lloyd a new impetus in crafting the graphic novel.
* Archie Goodwin, a higher-up at DC Comics, came up with the title ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween'' for the classic Batman miniseries.


[[folder: Film ]]

* The title of ''Film/FieldOfDreams'' was changed from the original book's title "''Shoeless Joe''". Ironically, as director Phillip Alden Robinson found out, "Shoeless Joe" in itself was the publisher's title for [[Creator/WPKinsella Bill Kinsella's]] novel. His title: [[HilariousInHindsight "Dream Field."]]
* The title of ''Film/OctoberSky'' was chosen by a producer who came up with it by making anagrams of the book's original title "Rocket Boys". Homer Hickam doesn't seem to have minded too much, as he let the book be marketed as "October Sky" after the film was released.
* When filming the 1986 version of Thomas Harris' ''Film/RedDragon'', Michael Mann changed the title to ''Film/{{Manhunter}}''. His reason was that because the original title might lead potential audiences to think this was a [[MartialArtsMovie Kung Fu Movie]].


[[folder: Literature ]]

* The names of the volumes of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' were not chosen by Tolkien. Tolkien never even wanted it to be a trilogy. It was originally envisioned as a six book series. Supposedly the book was broken up into three volumes because in the early 1950s, Britain had not sufficiently recovered from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII paper rationing to publish the whole thing at once. Thus LOTR being the TropeMaker for the whole modern idea of a "trilogy" is entirely accidental.
** That is why which Two Towers are referred to (Orthanc, Barad-dûr, Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul, Minas Tirith - pick two) is never specified by Tolkien himself. He also rejected the name ''Return of the King'' because it... kinda spoiled the aforementioned fact, preferring ''War of the Ring'' instead.
*** Subverted in the Icelandic translation ''Hilmir snýr heim,'' which does indeed mean ''King comes home'' but in such an antiquated fashion that most first time readers don't make the connection.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov:
** ''Literature/IRobot'': The collection's title was not a name he picked or wanted, since it belonged to a short story by a different author.
** Many of Asimov's Literature/BlackWidowers stories got their titles changed on their initial magazine publication. His compilations generally change them back -- with the occasional AscendedFanon.
*** "Literature/TheAcquisitiveChuckle": Dr Asimov originally titled this story simply "The Chuckle", but the magazine editors who bought the story renamed it, and Asimov liked the change enough to keep the new name when he inevitably reprinted the story.
*** "Literature/PhAsInPhony": The magazine changed the title to "The Phony Ph.D." because Dr Asimov's title was too similar to a series of stories written by Creator/LawrenceTreat. For his own collection, however, he prefers his title, and apologizes to Mr Treat in the ''Literature/TalesOfTheBlackWidowers'' afterword.
** His own opinion for 'worst publisher title change' though is the short story 'Strikebreaker'. Originally published with the publisher-chosen title of 'Male Strikebreaker'. (Swapping random character's genders would in no way affect the story.)
* Donald Wollheim of Ace Books was notorious for changing titles he didn't think were "science fictional" enough, usually into something really pulpy and juvenile. A joke usually attributed to Terry Carr was that if Ace under Wollheim were ever to put out a copy of the Bible, it would be a double-sided cover called "War God of Israel" [[note]]Or possibly "Master of Chaos"[[/note]] and "The Thing with Three Souls."
* Creator/FrederikPohl, then the editor of ''Galaxy Science Fiction'' magazine, thought that most of Creator/CordwainerSmith's original titles were bland. His solution was to take new titles from the text, e.g. "Think Blue, Count Two". The technique worked very well, and Smith didn't change any of the titles back.
* And then, of course, there's ''Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'', a CulturalTranslation for the American market - it has the original name, ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'', in most of the rest of the world. Supposedly the idea was more "American children would be scared off by the term 'philosophy'" than "Americans wouldn't understand what the title meant." However, it's not like Rowling expected children to get the alchemical reference, as it's clearly spelled out in the text.
* David Eddings wasn't thrilled with his publisher putting a ChessMotif in the titles of the ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}''. If he'd had his way, the last book would have gotten the title ''In the Tomb of the One-Eyed King'' instead of ''Enchanter's Endgame''.
* When Creator/CJCherryh's publisher asked her for the title of the third book in her Literature/ChanurNovels series, she jokingly replied "The Kif Strike Back". The publisher took her seriously, and the title stuck.
* Creator/PhilipKDick is an odd case; for the most part, the titles of his stories remained untouched, but the names were often changed when they were adapted; for example, the short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" became the film ''Film/{{Total Recall|1990}}'', while "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" became ''Film/BladeRunner''. He admitted, though, that even he didn't think the original titles were very good.
** Dick is perhaps a very strong aversion of this, given his oft-noted penchant for seemingly-[[WordSaladTitle Word Salad Titles]] that tell one [[NonIndicativeName nothing about the story itself]].
* The first Literature/RepairmanJack novel by F. Paul Wilson was called ''The Tomb'' by the publisher who wanted people to think it was a sequel to his earlier horror book, ''The Keep''. No actual tomb appears in the story. (Ironically, Wilson later decided to [[CanonWelding retrospectively link]] the two books as sharing a continuity.)
* Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheShining'' should have been ''The Shine'', but the publisher told him that "shine" was also a slang term for a Negro ("shoe shine boy"), and that, since a moderately important secondary character in the book was an African American, it could have had some UnfortunateImplications.
* Stephenie Meyer's original name for ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' was ''Forks''. Her agent made her change it, and most people would probably agree with her that ''Forks'' is not a great name for a paranormal romance.
* The sixth book in the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' subseries ''Power of Three'' was originally going to be called ''Cruel Season'', but the publishers thought it was [[MoralGuardians too depressing]] and changed it to ''Sunrise''. They never seem to complain about the actual ''[[FamilyUnfriendlyViolence content]]'' of any of the books, though...
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' titles were all publisher chosen.
* Creator/BarryEisler found himself stuck with various rain-pun titles in his series about hitman John Rain. Then the books had titles based around the word 'assassin' whether or not they fit what was in the book. He's now had them re-released with his own titles.


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* ''TabletopGame/TheDarkEye'' was supposed to be called Aventuria, after the world it is set in. The publisher Schmidt Spiele changed the title to ''The Dark Eye'' and [[TheLordOfTheRings Palanthir]] like artifacts were quickly added to account for the title.


[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' was named by the syndicate. Charles M. Schulz ''hated'' the name.
** Given that his choice was "Li'l Folks", the Syndicate clearly did him a favor, even if he didn't appreciate it.
** "Peanuts" is a WordSaladTitle (despite being only one word). Someone at the syndicate was under the impression that it was another word for "kids", because of the term "peanut gallery".
* ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'' was descended from a similarly warped gag comic called ''Nature's Way''. Gary Larson didn't mind the change at all - "They could have called it ''[[WordSaladTitle Revenge of the Zucchini People]]'' for all I cared".
* Newspaper publisher Joseph Patterson was famous for his "hands-on" management of comic strips, including choosing the titles such as ''ComicStrip/DickTracy'' and ''Terry and the Pirates''. One story is that Milton Caniff was a bit baffled when Patterson chose this latter for the title of his new comic strip, because initially he hadn't planned to include any character named "Terry", and also hadn't planned to include any pirates.


[[folder: Music ]]

* Russian classical music example: In the beginning of the 19th century, composer Mikhail Glinka wrote his famous opera "Ivan Susanin", about the eponymous Russian hero who sacrificed his life to save Russia from Polish invasion. But censors forced Glinka to change the opera's name to "Life for the Tsar". In the Soviet times, the originally intended name was restored.
* The albums Paranoid and Vol 4 by Music/BlackSabbath were originally called War Pigs and Snowblind respectively. The record company changed the name of both before releasing them, the first to avoid offending people involved in the Vietnam War and to capitalise on the single's popularity, and the second because of the drug reference.
* Music/{{Megadeth}}'s ''The System Has Failed'' was intended as a Dave Mustaine solo album but the label put the name Megadeth on there instead of his name because they thought it would sell more copies. They were right.
** Understandable, considering that [[IAmTheBand all Megadeth albums are essentially Dave Mustaine solo albums to start with]].
* Singer-songwriter Music/VanessaCarlton faced this with her debut single. She wanted to name the song "Interlude," as it had appeared on her demo tape. However, the president of her record label at the time, who also produced the song, refused to release it under that name due to its [[NonAppearingTitle Non Appearing Title]]. His nephew suggested a new title: "A Thousand Miles." The result? A #1 hit on the pop and adult contemporary charts, a platinum-certified debut album, and the single becoming of the biggest radio hits of the 2000's.
* Music/WeirdAlYankovic was forced by lawyers to name his ''Series/TheBeverlyHillbillies''-themed "[[Music/DireStraits Money for Nothing]]" parody "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*", exactly as written (slash and asterisk included), a decision Al has expressed his ''extreme'' displeasure with. (For that matter, this also applies to the movie the parody was written for, ''Film/{{UHF}}'', which had the title ''The Vidiot from UHF'' forced on it for certain international markets. Al wasn't happy about that one, either.)
* ''Tenement Symphony'', the title of Marc Almond's 1991 album, was chosen by his then current record company, who also chose the overall look of the album. At the time, Marc was physically and emotionally exhausted following difficulties during the recording of his previous album, ''Enchanted'', and did not raise any objections, though he did later say he felt like "a guest on his own record".


[[folder: Other ]]

* This is general practice in news magazines. The writer writes the text, but has absolutely no control over the article's actual title, or the pictures that accompany it and their placement, which are all decided by the editor. This leads to the occasional instance where an editor who is CompletelyMissingThePoint gives an article a misleading, inappropriate title or images which completely undermine the actual writing. {{Website/Cracked}} is often guilty of this, and nearly every article that does this will have it pointed out.


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* Creator/AynRand titled her first play ''Penthouse Legend'', but producers first renamed it ''Woman on Trial'' and then ''Night of January 16th''.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Creator/{{Bungie}} originally intended their first UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}} FirstPersonShooter to have the OneWordTitle ''Franchise/{{Halo}}''. However, marketers at Microsoft felt that "Halo" alone was not sufficient to convey the game's military theme, so they added a subtitle and the game was ultimately released as ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved''.
* Daishi Odashima said he intended to name ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soulcalibur V]] '' "''Soul Edge II''". However, Namco wouldn't have it and insisted he continue using the ''Soulcalibur'' name.
** With ''Calibur''[='s=] [[SequelDisplacement widespread recognition eclipsing the popularity of the original game]], calling the sixth installment of [[VideoGameLongRunners the series]] that without the subtitle of "''Soulcalibur V''" would've been somewhat silly.
* ''VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies'' and ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'' (both titles chosen by their Japanese developer Namco) were re-dubbed "Ace Combat: Distant Thunder" and "Ace Combat: Squadron Leader" in the PAL regions. The numbers were filed off to conceal the existence of ''VideoGame/AceCombat3Electrosphere'' (it wasn't shipped to Europe).