Also known as a Cold Opening or "Cold Open." A one to five minute mini-act at the beginning of the show, sometimes before the [[TitleSequence opening credits]], that is used to set up the episode and catch the audience's attention.

In a MonsterOfTheWeek show such as ''Series/TheXFiles,'' the teaser usually contains the first RedShirt of the episode. In a CrimeAndPunishmentSeries, it usually contains the first murder or the body of a victim being discovered. It has become something of a fashion, particularly on crime shows, to end the cold open with a QuipToBlack.

Though it technically does not really set up the plot, as there is usually no lengthy continuous plot, the first sketch right before the opening credits in sketch comedy shows like ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' and ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' is also called a cold opening. (The show ''Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip'' actually had an episode titled "Cold Open" in which the writing of such a sketch is a plot element.) Non-sketch entertainment programming often also uses a comedy sketch as a Cold Open.

The teaser has been used by many series since the 1950s. Today, nearly every American show has a teaser (to get viewers hooked before they can consider changing channels). Many British shows still don't use the technique (what's more, until the 1980s TheBBC would actually re-edit most American shows to put the teaser ''after'' the opening titles), but it is increasing in prominence.

When US shows are broadcast on British commercial channels the first commercial break is not usually placed after the opening title but about 8-12 minutes in. However, some more recent series like ''Series/{{Lost}}'' have such long teasers that the commercial does immediately follow the title (or, more rarely, actually precedes it).

Although the term is usually reserved for television, the practice is now prevalent in comic books, having crept into the medium in the mid-80s and grown popular through the 90s. While older comics tend to have the title and credits on the first page, most modern comics now wait until three-to-five pages in, for a suitably dramatic moment. Some comics vary this by introducing the title at the ''end'' of this issue (eg. "Shoot", a lost issue of ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'') or sometimes square in the middle.



Subtropes:

* ActionPrologue: also known as a BondOpeningSequence.
* BatmanColdOpen
* DangerRoomColdOpen
* DramaticChaseOpening
* TeaserOnlyCharacter

If the teaser depicts events that come at the end of the show, it can set up a HowWeGotHere or OnceMoreWithClarity. Contrast TheStinger, which is shown ''after'' the show, not ''before'' it.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime]]
* Special case: ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'' opened its episodes with an avant-title that relates to the plot, then the opening titles, then a short scene before the title card. When 4Kids dubbed it for America, they cut out the avant-title and used the short scene before the title card as the ColdOpening instead. Sometimes, they cut out the short scene entirely, meaning that in those episodes, the show starts with the opening titles.
* The ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime dub did this starting in the second Johto season. In Diamond and Pearl(when the Japanese version started doing this), sometimes clips from later in the episode would play before the opening (which, in the dub, would actually sometimes replace other scenes).
** The movies also do this.
* ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'' used cold openings, the most effective being at the start of each arc; a clip would be shown of the [[spoiler:usually rather gory]] climax of that particular arc. Coupled with the cheerful tone of the early parts of each arc, it was also a good use of MoodDissonance.
* Since ''Shippuuden'', ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' started using these. They kinda overused it in the very first episode, which began with a foreshadowing of episode 30 or so, a crucial moment to the plot.
* ''Anime/{{Kaiba}}'' had brief recap/prologues in front of episodes for the first few episodes before switching to more standard cold openings, often setting up new locations.
* All of the episodes of ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' open with barely-animated charcoal drawings on the screen while a female narrator grimly tells a fairytale that's somehow related to the episode. After a dramatic music swell, the gentle opening theme starts up.
* ''Manga/{{Pretear}}'' starts off every episode with a cold opening that sets up the plot, or occasionally provides a recap of the end of the last episode--except for the last two episodes, which [[TitleOnlyOpening don't have an opening at all]].
* ''[[VideoGame/HarukanaruTokiNoNakaDe Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou]]'' has Fuji-hime's OpeningNarration in the first few episodes, after which it switches to regular cold openings, with the first scene placed before the theme song.
* ''Manga/ElfenLied'''s first episode puts a pretty original spin on this. Naked girl killing everyone in sight -- ROLL OPENING -- Guy moving into house. And then they put it all together!
* Both ''Anime/GhostInTheShell'' films have a brief scene culminating in [[ActionPrologue an intense action sequence]] before breaking into an opening credits sequence with [[OminousLatinChanting Ominous Japanese Chanting]]. They leave a pretty strong impression.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' is using cold opens more and more lately. More often than not, said clips are from the actual episode.
* The [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003 anime version]] of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' uses cold opens for all but the last episode, and for TheMovie as well. ''[[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood]]'' occasionally uses cold opens, but more often does not.
* The second season of ''Manga/GunslingerGirl'' uses cold openings.
* Every episode of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' begins with its ominous OpeningNarration, usually followed by a recap of the previous episode.
* ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' uses cold openings
* Two of the four Director's Cut episodes of ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' feature cold openings (while one of them cuts out the opening credits entirely). What makes this odd is that these are never used in any other part of the show.
* ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'' does this in one episode of the anime focusing on the [[Characters/GintamaShinsengumi Shinsengumi]], when the story eventually comes around to Gintoki he complains that the TitleSequence hasn't even rolled. Then the entire opening plays, ''in the middle of the episode.''
* ''Anime/MekakucityActors'':
** Several episodes open on Shintaro and Ayano sitting in a world full of clockwork gears, talking vaguely about how he's 'forgotten it all again' and how she will 'tell him the story, one more time'. The cold open in this case works so well in part [[MindScrew because of how confusing it is.]]
** Episodes 6 and 7 (which are primarily {{Flashback}}s) open with [[spoiler:Takane/Ene running through the city as it is destroyed]] and [[spoiler:Takane finally reaching the hospital to see if Haruka is alright]], respectively.
** Any Episode that opens with an InsertSong counts too.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''{{Preacher}}'' would sometimes spend half an issue on a cold opening, or even wait until the last page to introduce the title and credits. Mostly, however, it stuck to a three-to-four page intro, then title.
* A classic issue of {{Spider-Man}}, promoted as the issue in which [[TonightSomeoneDies someone would die]], didn't have its title section until the very end: "The Night Gwen Stacy Died''.
** Except that if you look closely at the cover of said comic, there appears to be a spotlight on Gwen's face, practically revealing that she's gonna die.
* In chapter five of ''{{Fables}}: Legends in Exile'' there's a monologue by Bigby before the credits, title and the "InWhichATropeIsDescribed".
* ''ComicBook/GlobalFrequency'' would usually end each issue with the title in a "closing credits" fashion.
* While not framed as a teaser, each episode of ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' starts InMediasRes, and the chapter title only appears as an [[{{Epigraph}} intertitle]] several pages in.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* The ''Film/JamesBond'' movies almost always start with an introductory sequence before the episode itself.
* The title card of ''Film/IronMan1'' is preceded by Tony Stark's capture by Afghan rebels [[spoiler: using weapons he developed himself]]. The movie then backtracks 36 hours to show a story-within-a-story recap of Tony's life and an introduction to his playboy ways.
* ''Film/TheDeparted'' also had no opening credits. When the title finally appeared ''18 and a half minutes later'', you wonder why they even bothered.
* ''Film/GingerSnaps'' opens with the murder of a neighborhood dog, and an introduction to the characters of Ginger and Brigitte before launching into the title credits.
* The opening credits of ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'' are roughly 15 minutes into the movie.
* The film ''Film/RaisingArizona'' goes through a 10:43 [=cold open=], setting up the story and introducing us to (nearly) all the characters.
* ''Film/{{Serenity}}'' has a four-part chain of opening sequences, before finally getting to a title card - that fades into the insignia on the titular vessel's side.
* ''[[Film/OneHundredAndTwentySevenHours 127 Hours]]'' does not display its title card until roughly 20 minutes into the film, immediately after Aron's arm gets pinned by a rock.
* The opening of ''Film/MysteryTeam'' shows the eponymous trio harassing a comatose man, suspecting him of murder.
* ''Disney/TheLionKing'''s title card follows a majestic scene of Simba's parents presenting him to their subjects. In the DVD commentary, the directors recall they feared audiences would not read the simplistic title card after enjoying such an epic song.
** Some animated Disney movies actually begin this way, starting with ''Disney/TheRescuers''. Others include ''Disney/TheBlackCauldron'', ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective'', ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'', ''The Rescuers Down Under'', ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'', ''{{Pocahontas}}'', ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'', ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'', ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove'', ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'', ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'', ''Disney/ChickenLittle'', ''Disney/{{Bolt}}'', ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'', and ''Disney/{{Tangled}}''.
** Pixar examples include the first ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' film, ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'', ''TheIncredibles'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}}'' ''WesternAnimation/WallE'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'', and ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}} 2''.
** Non-animated canon examples include ''DougsFirstMovie'' and ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut''.
* Each of ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' film runs the main title immediately following the VanityPlate, but the instalment title follows a prologue. The first one gave a few thousand years' worth of {{backstory}}, the other two were more standard {{flashback}}s. The director deliberately wanted to emulate a James Bond teaser for the first film, which resulted in an epic battle scene that would be called back to in the climaxes of parts two and three.
** Ditto with ''[[Film/TheHobbitAnUnexpectedJourney The Hobbit]]'''s first installment, with an epic backstory opening.
* In ''Film/PulpFiction'', the scene where "Pumpkin" and "Honeybunny" have a conversation at a diner goes on for over four minutes before the opening credits come up.
* HORSE the Band's 10.5 hour 'Earth Tour' epic drops the title sequence directly following a character commenting that "the real tour starts here." This occurs ''two hours'' in.
* ''Film/TropicThunder'' treats it a little differently, featuring an adverisement and a series of trailers before the movie that establish four of the characters (Alpa Chino, Tugg Speedman, Kirk Lazarus, and Jeff Portnoy) and the current state of their careers.
* ''Film/FightClub'' opens with a close up (cellular level) of how the human body sweats before zooming out to show Edward Norton with a gun between his teeth with a voice over saying "People are always asking me if I known Tyler Durden". The rest of the film from then on is a recap of the last year or so of his life to how he ended up in that position.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Just like in TV's CrimeAndPunishmentSeries, any number of [[MysteryFiction Mystery Novels]] open with a murder (depicted so as to conceal the murderer), before the narrative centering on the detective starts.
* Books 1, 4, 6, and 7 of ''Literature/HarryPotter'' start with such a chapter. In fact, the sixth double-stacks.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Bonanza}}'': From episode 1 until the Season 13 finale in 1972, episodes began with a teaser opening act, which always set up the main plot of the show, prior to the opening credits. The final season switched these two, i.e., they began with the opening credits before going to the teaser.
* Every episode of ''Series/{{Alias}}'' has a 15 minute teaser, so that they can not only recap the story (PreviouslyOn), but also have a prologue.
** ''Series/{{Alias}}'', with its tongue very firmly in its cheek, decided to take advantage of having the Superbowl as LeadIn in "Phase One".
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' has one every episode, generally setting up the plot and whatnot (some can be a bit deceiving, though). The only episode that lacks one is the season four finale, "Restless", mostly due to the episode being ''that'' MindScrew-y.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' had one in every episode, either to set up the plot or theme of the episode, or, sometimes, just to have a joke at the characters' expense. Each one would always end with the crew being attacked, captured, or put in some other form of distress, causing the music to turn into the opening of the ThemeSong.
* The teasers on ''TheLWord'' are usually set anywhere from a year to several decades in the past, featuring characters we've never met before, but they always end up tying in with what goes on in the episode.
* All the ''Franchise/LawAndOrder'' shows use a cold open, with a stock opening title card and narration. The action is either the crime itself or the discovery of a body, and thirty seconds of the detectives opening the investigation. While Jerry Orbach was still with us, almost always ended on a Lenny Briscoe OneLiner.
* Similar to ''Series/LawAndOrder'', ''Series/{{CSI}}'' does this, often showing a bystanders view of the murder or the (attempted) [[DisposingOfABody disposal of the body]] or someone finding said body. Like Lenny Briscoe, [[QuipToBlack Gil Grissom (or D.B. Russel after season 11)]] almost always gets to say the OneLiner before the opening credits. The spinoffs are the same way.
* ''{{NCIS}}'' does the same. It works well with crime shows as the introduction of the episode's case usually fits right into the opening segment. (Beware, however, when the cold opening actually shows the main characters or the [[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs home base]] - it means that the case will directly involve them, as seen in ''BĂȘte noire''.)
** The very same formula was also used in ''Series/{{JAG}}''.
* ''Series/SapphireAndSteel'' actually delivered its teaser in the ''middle'' of the TitleSequence: a short sequence showing the title and stars was shown, followed by TheTeaser, after which the rest of the sequence (with the ThemeTune and OpeningNarration) was shown. Such a style of opening (title both before and after the cold open) is more common these days. "Pure" teasers only appeared in the first episode of each story, with later episodes reprising the events leading up to the previous episode's cliffhanger.
* ''Series/TheTomorrowPeople'' did something similar.
* The US version of ''TheOffice'' always has a short, one scene gag before the opening scene.
* ''{{ER}}'s'' cold openers generally focus on interpersonal ties (more than the hustle and bustle of the meat of the show could, anyway). A 12th season episode, "The Gallant Hero & the Tragic Victor", actually kills off a main character in the teaser.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'' always has a few minutes-long opening scene before the credits that can vary greatly in style from episode to episode. Most often, it is a set-up of one or more of the headaches the characters will have to deal with. Other times, it is a self-contained scene that is only loosely attached to the plotline; a humorous episode-related clip that ends on a gag of some kind; or simply a shortened extra act.
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' was well-known for its cold opens that were completely unrelated to the episode's plot. Unfortunately, they are usually cut out in reruns.
* ''TheWayansBros'' had a cold open unrelated to the plot every episode.
* ''DrakeAndJosh'' has one every episode.
* ''Series/ICarly'' will in most episodes, feature either a random segment from the webshow, or set up the plot using the webshow.
* The first season (at least) of ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'' was a rare live-action primetime non-reality show that did ''not'' use a ColdOpening.
* Both ''Series/TheApprentice'' and ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' did not use a cold open to begin with, but they adopted this practice later (''Apprentice'' started this practice around season 4, with ''Survivor'' doing this with the Fiji season).
* Nearly every episode of ''Series/{{House}}'' starts with a cold open showing [[MysteryOfTheWeek the new patient getting sick]].
** The writers often try to make the patient unexpected by having someone show signs of illness before the ''real'' patient collapses. For example, at the beginning of one episode, Cuddy takes a drink of water and starts to cough; but in the background, another character suddenly ''falls off a roof''.
** ''House'' even plays with double {{Red Herring}}s, such as the opening that follows a young girl diving off a high dive, who is motionless underwater for some time, and then resurfaces to see that someone else has collapsed. Then it's revealed that ''she'' wasn't the RedHerring, the other guy was: something is wrong with the diver after all.
* ''Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip'' devoted its second episode to showcase the main characters working against the clock to create an effective cold open, eventually settling on a fourth-wall breaking rendition of "A Modern Major General" from ''ThePiratesOfPenzance''.
* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' has the title sequence start after a man walked up to the screen and said "It's...". This was usually only a few seconds but was sometimes stretched out long enough to be considered a ColdOpening. It also must have set the record for the longest one ever in "Scott of the Antarctic" where the man and the title sequence didn't show up until ''halfway through the episode''. Or perhaps not: In other episodes they waited until the ''very end'' to show the opening credits, and occasionally left them out altogether. Which could technically mean that the title credits in the ''next'' episode mark the end of the cold open...
* ''HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'' would sometimes start with a standard cold opening in which the detectives start their investigation or some other plot point is introduced, but some would just be like sitcom openings - little sketches unrelated to the actual story.
* ''TheWire'' usually has cold openings that are not related to the main story as such, but instead work as metaphors or thematic commentaries on the episode or the characters themselves.
* Each episode of ''Series/SixFeetUnder'' begins with the death of someone that the family will be working on in that episode, with a card displaying their name and dates of birth and death.
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' got a bit carried away with 'em sometimes: a teaser could be up to five minutes long.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''. Teasers could run as long as over six minutes ("Ship in a Bottle") to as short as under 20 seconds ("Impulse", "Scorpion").
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' frequently opened with scenes that had nothing to do with the main plot, just some interaction between some characters before they get called to the bridge and the teaser ends with the ''real'' plotline of that episode. ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' and ''[[Series/StarTrekVoyager Voyager]]'' did this to a lesser extent, but ''[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Enterprise]]'' gave up on that practice entirely and featured teasers that were unusually short.
** The TNG Episode "Cause and Effect" is ''particularly'' notable for having one of the most shocking teasers of all time- it opens with the ''Enterprise'' critically damaged, causing it to explode with all hands aboard 45 seconds into the episode. [[spoiler:The episode is about the ship being stuck in a GroundhogDayLoop which they eventually escape from alive.]]
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' had one from Turbo to Time Force. It was dropped starting with Wild Force, but has returned in Samurai.
* The first episode of ''PushingDaisies'' has a cold opening of ''13'' minutes.
* Every episode of ''Series/{{Bones}}'' has a cold open where the characters discover the body. This is usually done in a dark comedic fashion. (Ex. A teenage couple getting naked in a mud spring where a corpse lies beneath.)
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'' usually begins with the murder being committed.
* ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' often starts with something going wrong. And then goes on for a good period of time after. Probably about ten minutes.
* The teasers on ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' kept getting larger and larger as time went on, to the point where they consistently ended up as long as any of the other acts of the show.
* ''InPlainSight'' shows the Witsec client of the week and how they ended up having to join Witsec in the first place in the teasers.
* ''Series/StargateSG1''and ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' feature these.
* ''TheDrewCareyShow'' often used its teasers for bizarre stand-alone skits apart from the show's continuity, such as having a guest appearance by [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Daffy Duck]] or Drew battling invading aliens. The best known of these are the various dance sequences, two of which ended up being used for the opening theme.
* Early episodes of ''Series/MacGyver'' started with an unrelated short adventure. This practice was dropped pretty quickly.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' always begins with a teaser that establishes the episode's central character, often going into the first flashback/forward before the title card. Some teasers have been over ten minutes, such as "Exodus, Part 2".
* ''{{Cheers}}'' always had a teaser unrelated to the main plot of the episode.
* Every episode of ''Series/{{Castle}}'' opens with an extreme close up of a dead body before it is discovered or investigated.
* All forms of UK ''BigBrother'' [[SpinOff Spin Offs]] had some cold open element- notably in the case of ''Big Mouth'' where that episode's guests would usually be introduced in some nonsensical-[[OnceAnEpisode but-consistent]] fashion.
* The GuestHost series of ''NeverMindTheBuzzcocks'' featured a cold open for most episodes, introducing this week's guest.
* In ''{{Primeval}}'' it goes like this: RedShirt appears, [[TimePortal Anomaly appears]], MonsterOfTheWeek appears, Standard RedShirt Fate, [[ThemeSong Theme Music]].
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' did it for ''Stoke Me a Clipper''.
* The short-lived UPN show ''Series/SpecialUnit2'' always began with a short scene of the MonsterOfTheWeek's handiwork.
* ''{{Psych}}'' normally begins with a clip of a young Shawn getting yelled at by his dad.
* ''BandOfBrothers'' mostly avoids the cold opening, except for one or two episodes that start with the interviews of the RealLife veterans. In most other episodes these interviews came immediately after the TitleSequence.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has used it in the show since the second episode of the revival "The End of the World", often with someone getting killed by a monster before the cliffhanger "scream" of the theme music. It appeared only five times before 2005- "The Ambassadors of Death" (which also debuted the electronic scream sound the show's theme music is famous for including), "Castrovalva", "The Five Doctors", "Time and the Rani" and "Remembrance of the Daleks"; instead, the original run of ''Doctor Who'' used the first episodes of a serial to fulfill the same function as a cold open.
** It isn't the coldest opening because BBC guidelines require their logo to be placed at the beginning of every episode.
** Cold opens are only omitted in the revived series when a new main companion is introduced- in "Rose", "Smith and Jones" and "Partners in Crime". This practice stopped after Russell T Davies left the show.
* Creator/{{Nickelodeon}}'s ''[[Series/DoubleDare1986 Double Dare]]'' was perhaps the only game show to use a cold open; every episode began with the contestants [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyMcTFg963w performing a "Physical Challenge"]], followed by the show's introduction.
** So did ''Series/RemoteControl'', ''Series/SingledOut'' and possibly ''Series/{{Trashed}}''.
* ''{{Lexx}}'' only used these in the fourth season.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' always uses this to show the murder that the Winchesters will investigate in the episode. Even arc-related episodes have Teasers. Occasionally the Teaser is simply a recap of previous events before cutting away to the title card.
* 16 out of the first 17 episodes of ''LeaveItToBeaver'' had an opening narration to set up the episode done by Hugh Beaumont. The shortest one, from the episode "New Neighbors", went: "To a growing boy boy there are some emotions you can take in your stride. Love. Anger. But fear can play havoc with your little imagination. And that's our story tonight on Leave It To Beaver."
* The first season of ''Series/ThreeTwoOneContact''.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' features a literal [[IncrediblyLamePun Cold]] [[ColdOpen Open]] in its pilot, showing three Night's Watchmen encountering the White Walkers. It's also the only episode of the show to have a teaser; all others begin with the "PreviouslyOn" and TitleSequence.
** The fourth season premiere begins with a "PreviouslyOn" which ended on Ned Stark's execution in S1 by his own sword Ice which leads into a cold open with Tywin Lannister having the blade melted down and made into two and then throwing the scabbard into a fire, symbolizing the Lannister's victory over the Starks.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'' used these to great effect in multiple ways besides as the continuation of the previous episode's cliffhanger. The first two seasons mostly use straight cold opens (though one is a music video about Walt's Heisenberg persona) but seasons 3, 4, and 5 frequently featured flashbacks that feature a dead character, added depth to the series' world, shed light on certain themes of that episode, or [[FlashForward showed[=/=]alluded to an event that occurred later in the episode]] but without context to make the viewers guess what happened and how it got to the point.
* The 1966 ''Series/{{Batman}}'' series alternates between this and PreviouslyOn.
* ''{{UFO}}'' uses a variation in which the opening theme tune montage plays ''without titles''. This is then followed by the opening scene, which ends with the title logo appearing as an animated overlay. The cast and production credits appear as captions in act one. One reason for this may have been the show's rotating cast, meaning that they couldn't use credits with a fixed cast list.
* ''Series/GetSmart'' had one every episode. Several ended with {{Title Drop}}s.
* ''TheCosbyShow'' had only one for "Same Time, Next Year" where Olivia came into Cliff's bedroom wearing a Bart Simpson mask (a TakeThat to the show's ratings battle with ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' on Thursday nights).
* ''BoyMeetsWorld'' used this once, in Season 5's "No Guts, No Cory" by playing the opening titles after the setting had shifted from 1997 to December 9, 1941 & Mr Feeny had made the anouncement that Pearl Harbour had been bombed. The episode itself was part of a crossover between the TGIF shows in which ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'''s Salem had swallowed a ball that sent the to a different time period, and proceeded to run amok by heading to the other shows in the line-up.
* The Russian mini-series ''Wolf Messing: Seeing through time'' starts the pilot with the titular character's performance in Moscow and a disturbing vision about the death of JosefStalin's son in a plane crash. He informs Stalin about this, who promises that the crash will not happen. Later, Messing finds out that the crash still happened, but Stalin's son wasn't on the flight. The HeroicBSOD flows into a flashback of how he got to this point, starting with his childhood in a Polish village.
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' started to use cold opens as opposed to Jerry's stand-up routines around season 8.
* ''TheGeorgeLopezShow'' had some epically long teasers, to the point where you would get to what would seem like a logical point for the first act break, only for the show to cut to the title sequence.
* ''{{Series/Merlin}}'' always opened with a teaser.
* American daytime soap operas began using teasers in the 1960s to resolve (or sometimes extend) the previous episode's cliffhanger or set up the storylines for the day. Since the mid-1970s, all soaps have used teasers, with the exception of ABC soaps from 1998 to 2003.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* For a while ''TheFundayPawpetShow'' used thirty second cold openings featuring people such as ''TroutFishingInAmerica'', Ben Franklin, and the cast of ''Series/BetweenTheLions'' saying variations of "Hi, I'm/We're ____ and your wasting your time watching ''TheFundayPawpetShow''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* ''Call Me Madam'' preceded the OpeningChorus with a brief scene showing Mrs. Sally Adams being sworn in as ambassador to Lichtenburg.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/DeusExTheFall'' opens up with the tutorial mission through the Mafia hideout and Ben's defection from the Tyrants before the title sequence.
* The episodic series of ''SamAndMax'' featured two episodes with cutscenes as cold openings in its first season. In Season 2, every episode but one had a playable cold opening.
** The TV series and original LucasArts game also featured cold openings, before the "Pleasantly Understated Credit Sequence".
* LucasArts likes this one, they've done similar things in several of their point and click adventure games, such as ''VideoGame/IndianaJonesAndTheFateOfAtlantis''.
** Also, ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland'', developed by [=LucasArts=] and TelltaleGames, is the first game in the ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' series to have playable cold openings in five chapters... sort of. Chapter 1, for example, has a playable intro that can be accomplished with help from instructions before the main title starts. Chapter 3 has a VERY long playable cold opening consisting of a few tasks and an "Answer the question" minigame before the chapter's title starts. Chapter 4, on the other hand, only has the shortest playable cold opening, where you only have to select a topic before the chapter's title starts.
* Most of the games in the ''FinalFantasy'' series open with an action sequence or other story based sequence before the opening credits and logo come up.
** The original has a Cold Open with a plot remarkably similar to some entire games: "Oh, good, the heroes are here. The princess has been kidnapped. Take care of that, would you?" The plot only gets going ''after'' you rescue Her Majesty and acquire the Lute.
** So does ''KingdomHearts'', but that doesn't happen until ''4 to 5 hours into the game.''
*** Only ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', though.
*** After the first KingdomHearts the games all following have had a short montage that recapped what happened, and then a scene afterwards that doesn't make much sense unless you know certain things...sometimes you won't discover secrets until you've played different games in the series, and not just the main ones.
** [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII KH2]] has [[BigBad Xemnas]] and [[DecoyProtagonist Roxas']] cryptic conversation on the Dark Beach. [[spoiler: Xemnas tells Roxas that he went to see "him". Him is Sora, the main protagonist of the series. Roxas is the Nobody of Sora. Xemnas fights Sora as a bonus boss in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, available to Japan only, so the cutscene wouldn't make sense unless you know about the bonus boss.]]
** Birth By Sleep shows [[BigBad Xehanort]] standing at Destiny Islands, commenting that it was "too small". [[spoiler: whenever this happens, it was after the events of Birth By Sleep, because Xehanort's younger self is not even created until Master Xehanort takes over Terra's body.]] However, that Birth by Sleep has three stories.
** 358/2 Days begins with Saix's quote from Kingdom Hearts II about the Heartless while panning through Where Nothing Gathers, showing every single member of the Organization before settling on Roxas, then cutting to a scene of he and Axel wondering if he really doesn't have heart and playing the themesong...an odd subversion is that instead of a recap montage of Sora and co., they instead do a countdown of the Organization. [[spoiler: Axel is wondering if Roxas has a heart because he seems to genuinely feel emotion. A playthrough of Birth By Sleep will reveal that Roxas inherited the heart of Ventus through Sora because had Ventus' heart as well as his own, and when he became a Heartless, creating Roxas, Ventus' heart became a part of Roxas as well, which is why Roxas looks like him and can wield light despite being a denizen of darkness.]]
** Birth By Sleep is a prequel. It features no recap, but a montage of what they will go through...at one point, Terra's eyes randomly become amber in color...[[spoiler: that was an oh so subtle hint that at the end of this game he was going to go from [[http://cosplaymagiccom.x-shops.com/images/T/863-01.gif this]], [[http://images.wikia.com/kingdomhearts/images/3/3c/Terra_becoming_xehanort.png to]] [[http://images.wikia.com/kingdomhearts/images/7/74/Terranort_%26_Guardian.PNG this]], and then finally [[http://images.wikia.com/kingdomhearts/images/4/4d/Ansem_Render_%28Action%29_KHI.png this.]]]]
** Going through all of the games' teasers would take a very, very, long time. And ''that's not even getting into the Heart Station Tutorials.''
* BioWare has been moving in this direction lately. ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' has the Normandy SR-1 attacked & destroyed by an unidentified ship, with the opening title coming up after Shepard has been sent floating away from the wreckage & losing oxygen; and both ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' and ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' ran the tutorial sequence before the opening titles.
* The ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' games start off with Snake performing an infiltration and then cut to a credit sequence between 5-20 minutes into the game, as a [[SatireParodyPastiche pastiche]] of the ''Film/JamesBond'' movies which spawned the whole idea of them. In more detail:
** In the first ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' you have to wait around in a dock area while the credits play, superimposed on the screen. When they're done you're free to enter the elevator to the next area, where Snake removes his mask and the logo comes up on screen as we see his face for the first time.
** ''MetalGearSolid2'' was more circumspect about it. The opening titles roll before the main menu comes up, and you play a mission on a Tanker (where, again, the title pops up as soon as we see Snake's face for the first time). It led many people into thinking it was the proper game - but it was a prologue, and the main meat of the game was later on, with a different main character.
*** However, if you chose a specific option before starting the game, the game would skip the Tanker prologue & start with Raiden, the character who replaces Snake as the main character, going through a similar infiltration to the prior game, and the title appearing on the same cue.
** ''MetalGearSolid3'' was the most blatant. There was a very short, fifteen or twenty minute gameplay segment before the game started for real, heralded by a lengthy {{Cutscene}}, an offer to save, and the unlocking of the fantastic opening title movie, which played then and there and would now play every time the game was booted. The style of the opening sequence combined with the ColdWar setting and the timing clearly marked it out as a homage to Bond's delayed starts.
* Incredibly, the small-time web RPG ''VideoGame/{{Sonny}} 2'' pulls this off quite dramatically. After beginning the game ''in the [[InMediasRes middle of a battle]]'', it then proceeds with an opening cinematic and [[TitleSequence title card]] 5 minutes in.
* The original ''[[VideoGame/WildArms1 Wild ARMs]]'' game has the main characters go through their introductory stories and mutant powers roll call, travel abroad, get forced into working together, the death of one character's father, the end of the world, and then, mid processional, we get a short animatic of the father's funeral procession while credits roll.
* ''GearsOfWar 2'' has a playable section teaching players the ropes and "working out the ginks" before the TitleSequence.
* ''Lock & Key'', an award-winning InteractiveFiction game by Adam Cadre, uses one of these to establish its premise. What exactly happens is best experienced by playing it yourself.
* ''VagrantStory'' begins with a suspenseful infiltration and several battles; only after this does the title appear, with the sunrise in the background.
* Similarly, ''FinalFantasyTactics'' begins by asking you to pick your character's name and birthdate, followed by a beautiful SceneryPorn introduction, with the title appearing midway through the FMV sequence.
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' begins with a prologue narrated by Rin. After this, the main game begins with Shirou as narrator. Some scenes are even repeated from his perspective.
* In ''Franchise/{{X-Men}} 2'' on the SegaGenesis, the gameplay starts ''as soon as you power on the system.'' Only after clearing the first stage do the Sega logo and the title screen show up.
* The first mission and the following cutscenes until the 'ST-Voyager'-intro in ''[[VideoGame/StarTrekEliteForce Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force]]''.
* The video game adaption of ''Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'', ''VideoGame/EscapeFromButcherBay'' has a lengthy prologue/dream sequence with introduces you to the gameplay style before Riddick actually enters the prison with the title sequence.
* HeavyRain gives you about an hour before the title sequence rolls in.
* SeikenDensetsu3 has a normal title screen, but when you actually start the game, you play through your main character's prologue. At the climax of the prologue, your character hops on a boat to set off for adventure, and the credits roll over a tour of the entire world map.
* First three ''Franchise/SlyCooper'' games feature some sort of "heist" prior to the first cutscene.
* Not counting [[spoiler: the whole Desmond recap and setting up a new Animus machine]], Assassin's Creed II goes through Ezio's birth, then cuts to when he was 17 and is in the middle of a big street brawl. Then he and his brother go around town (it's the tutorial) before having a race to see who can climb to the roof of the church fastest, before ending with a touching scene of them both looking out towards Firenze as Ezio's theme plays and the title drops. It's a potential TearJerker.
* Grand Theft Auto V is notable for being the first game in the series to feature a playable teaser showing some plot critical events that occur nine years prior to the game's main story. The title and credits only appear once the player finishes the opening level.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* An issue of ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' presented the title on page 46 -- right before the Doctor's [[SpoofAesop final thoughts]].
* [[http://www.cowshell.com/cleopatra/ Cleopatra in Spaaace!]]: Chapter one and part of chapter two.
* Every chapter of ''Webcomic/ToddAllisonAndThePetuniaViolet'' has a scene of some sort or another before the chapter's title page.
* The 4 page prologue of [[{{Webcomic/morphe}} morphE]] features a pair of characters, running from a woman with a bloody knife, discovering an entire cavern full of humans in crates. After the title card the story switches to the protagonists and the pair are not seen again. [[http://morphe.thewebcomic.com/comics/1790280/chapter-2-page-19-sweet-dreams/ Until a flashback.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* "A Call To Arms", Chapter 1 of ''WebVideo/LG15TheResistance'' used the original prologue trailer video as a cold opening, before fading to the OpeningNarration.
* The TVTropes original webseries ''WebVideo/EchoChamber'' usually uses [[TheTeaser cold opens]].
* Many [[YouTubePoop YouTube Poops]] provide an opening sketch, often unrelated to the rest of the video, as an appetizer before the main Poop begins.
* SFDebris uses cold openings in about 50% of his episodes. About 50% of those are also lead-ins to his CatchPhrase.
* Ice hockey podcast ''Podcast/MarekVsWyshynski'' takes The Teaser UpToEleven, as the hour-long show runs anywhere from seven to ''twenty five'' minutes before the title opening of the show is finally played.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' had these, the length of it varying depending on the episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' generally has its first fight before the opening theme, as a way to kick off an episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' usually does not use a cold opening, except sometimes for Halloween specials, they do, however, often use a LeadIn.
** "The Day the Earth Stood Cool" jumps straight from the show's logo to the beginning of the episode.
* Several episodes in the first season of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' have a cold opening. They more or less disappeared in the second, though there were sporadic pre-opening theme joke adverts for futuristic products. So does "The Prisioner of Benda", one of the episode after the series was {{uncancelled}}.
-->'''Linda:''' Tonight, at 11:00.\\
'''Morbo:''' {{Doom|yDoomsOfDoom}}!
* Many of the early episodes of ''TheLifeAndTimesOfJuniperLee'' had teasers that didn't relate much to the plot, except for maybe one mention of where the main part of the story starts. One episode, "It Takes a Pillage", had a teaser which appeared to be setting up the MonsterOfTheWeek by showing him and having him monologue, but right at the point the monster's supposed to say his name, June conks him with a stone.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' sometimes has one of these before the TitleSequence, with frequency in usage increasing as the series went on.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'' frequently started with a FlashForward.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' has started every episode with one of these so far. One has been an actual LeadIn ("Terror on Dinosaur Island" has Plastic Man in both segments), but as often as not they seem to be used to have fun or introduce a hero we may see in a later episode. The other exception is "[[http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/animation/watch/v192822022sc45ehc Mayhem of the Music Meister!]]", which devoted all of the show's time to the main story.
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''. Mostly fight scenes that usually end in jokes, but there are a few times where it foreshadows the upcoming plot.
* Except for episodes that were only 11 minutes long, ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' had these as well, most of them being [[BatmanColdOpen Batman Cold Openings]].
* ''WesternAnimation/SpaceGhostCoastToCoast'' does this almost every episode. In one particular case, the episode "Joshua" is a super long cold opening promoting "Space Ghost 2000". The actual episode consists of the winners of the "Haikuin' for Space Ghost" contest reading their haikus, and that's about it. "Gallagher"'s cold opening consisted solely of Space Ghost shouting "They've invented the telephone?!", with no lead-up or follow-through, and with no relation to anything in the episode.
* Done quite well in early episodes of ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', in which the ColdOpen would transition seamlessly into the TitleSequence.
* ''TheSecretSaturdays'' have this in every episode, to let the viewer know the current situation of the characters.
* The first season of ''AllGrownUp'' had cold opens, but dropped them from the second season onwards.
* The 2nd season of ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Witch}} W.I.T.C.H.]]'' added a cold open.
* The series ''{{Olivia}}'' does a comedic one.
* ''WhatsNewScoobyDoo'' and ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' were the first two Scooby shows to use a cold open.
* A large majority of ''[[ComicStrip/TheBoondocks Boondocks]]'' episodes open this way.
* A few 1970 and 1971 cartoons used cold opens: ''[[WesternAnimation/TheArchieShow Archie's Funhouse]]'', ''SabrinaAndTheGroovieGoolies'', ''JosieAndThePussycats ''and ''Will The Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down?'' were the 1970s entries; the debut episode of 1971's ''[[TheHairBearBunch Help! It's The Hair Bear Bunch!]]'' ("Keep Your Keeper") was the only ep to use a cold open during its CBS run. All sixteen episodes were re-edited for cable/satellite to have cold opens.
** In the 1980s, NBC's cartoon shows had teasers.
* Several prime-time cartoons from 1960s have cold openings. These include ''TheFlintstones'', ''TopCat'', ''CalvinAndTheColonel'', and ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest''.
** Those were actually teasers, although a couple of Flintstones episodes (most notably the episode that introduced Bamm-Bamm) has a cold open.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' uses cold opens in every episode. In some episodes, they don't even show the opening sequence, though, so it doesn't exactly count. In season one, at least, the ColdOpen would always be drawn in wide screen while the rest of the episode was in full screen.
* ''NuPogodi'' uses these for every episode. Each of these ends with Wolf delivering his CatchPhrase ("Just you wait, hare!") just before the opening titles blare.
* Here's a rare theatrical example: a lot of late 1950s widescreen [=CinemaScope=] shorts from Terrytoons have a teaser before the credits. This was dropped after a while, although the final Heckle & Jeckle cartoon ''Messed Up Movie Makers'' (released in 1966) has a teaser, too.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' uses cold open in every episode.
** As does WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012, another Hub show.
* ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'' used cold openings featuring Dr. Weird, who would create experiments that would wreck havoc for the Aqua Teens in the show. This lasted three episodes, until Dr. Weird became a nonsensical opening. He was later replaced by Spacecataz. The Dr. Weird openings are set to return, however.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' always begins with a teaser that's about a minute long, usually with Arthur talking directly to the viewers, followed by a title card.
* As did ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'', five years earlier.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'' uses a cold open in every episode, although it usually does involve the episode's plot.
* ''WesternAnimation/UglyAmericans'' almost always starts with a cold open that looks like part of a horror film, then turns out to be something fairly mundane (for [[MundaneFantastic that universe]]). Usually used to introduce the Department of Integration's [[MonsterOfTheWeek client of the week]]. Case in point, [[http://www.comedycentral.com/video-clips/a9dcet/ugly-americans-the-demon-chick the pilot.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SecretMountainFortAwesome'' does this to explain the plot of each episode, before surging into the TitleOnlyOpening.
* Being a parody of Western TV shows, the Gene Deitch ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' short "Tall in the Trap" had a teaser play before the credits.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'' has teasers. Early in the series, it showed a scene directly from the episode itself, though some of them, particularly in later seasons, show either a one-off gag or use a LeadIn.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsons'' had them in its original run. However, most current TV/DVD prints remove their teasers, though "The Coming of Astro" has its teaser intact.
[[/folder]]

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