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Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Western Animation

  • Every episode of The Amazing World of Gumball is "The [noun]", the noun being whatever the episode is about. The only exceptions are the Halloween and Christmas episodes, which are simply titled "Halloween" and "Christmas", respectively.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force's second season had two naming themes (and some in the middle that didn't match either). It started with "Super" ("Super Birthday Snake", "Super Hero", "Super Bowl"...) and ended with "The" ("The Cubing", "The Clowning", "The Dressing"... including an episode named just "The". The season ended with "The Last One", which was purportedly short for "The Last [Expletive Deleted] One of 2003")
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, each season is called a book and is named after one of the four elements (Example: Book One, Water), and each episode is called a chapter.
    • However, this trope is averted for the actual episode titles, all of which have something to do with the episode itself, though a very large amount of them are "The X".
    • The sequel, The Legend of Korra, continued the season titling with its first season, "Air." After that, since all four elements were been covered, the season are titled "Spirits", "Change", and "Balance".
  • In Batman: The Animated Series one episode is called "Night of the Ninja," a latter follow up episode with the same villain is titled "Day of the Samurai."
  • The Beatles episode titles were all titles of Beatles songs. Each cartoon co-related to the title in some fashion and the title song for each cartoon was performed.
  • Every episode of Clone High had two names, separated by colons, such as "Escape to Beer Mountain: A Rope of Sand" or "Film Fest: Tears of a Clone". This was subverted in the second episode title, "Episode Two: Election Blu-Galoo". Supposedly this was a joke based around the theme of clones within the show.
  • Every episode of Codename: Kids Next Door has a title of the form "Operation: ______", where the ______ is always an acronym that both fits the theme of the episode and expands to a phrase that fits the theme.
  • Both Batman: The Brave and the Bold and The Raccoons give their episodes titles ending with exclamation points.
  • The majority of the episode titles for Charlie and Lola are essentially statements from Lola, often in a humorously protracted fashion. Examples are "I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato", "We Do Promise Honestly We Can Look After Your Dog" and "I Do Not Ever, Never Want My Wobbly Tooth to Fall Out".
  • The episodes of Clerks had descriptive and increasingly lengthy titles (apart from the last episode, entitled simply "The Last Episode Ever"). The longest was that of the second-to-last episode, "Dante and Randal and Jay and Silent Bob and a Bunch of New Characters and Lando, Take Part in a Whole Bunch of Movie Parodies Including But Not Exclusive To, The Bad News Bears, The Last Starfighter, Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom, Plus a High School Reunion".
  • Eleven of the sixteen episodes of Clue Club were titled "The ______ Caper."
  • Dan Vs. has every episode named "Dan vs ___" with the blank being whatever is the object of Dan's anger in that episode.
  • Most episodes of Darkwing Duck had pun-laden titles. One pun was usually enough, and by and large they were simple variations on stock phrases, like "Slime Okay, You're Okay", "Whirled History", and "Water Way to Go" or well-known movie titles, like "Dry Hard", "Planet of the Capes", and "Steerminator". A few, like the two-part episodes "Darkly Dawns the Duck" and "Just Us Justice Ducks" were not puns, but were still obviously wordplay, while some, such as "Smarter than a Speeding Bullet" fit the variation on stock phrases form, without being puns.
  • Every episode of Doug had "Doug" or "Doug's" as the first word of the title.
    • Every Nickelodeon episode did, yes. When it became Brand Spanking New Doug (i.e. the Disney era) this continued for the most part - but Patti got one while Judy had two, and every Quailman episode had a title beginning with his name.
  • Every title of an Ed, Edd n Eddy episode is based on an aphorism or pop-culture reference with "Ed" inserted into it somewhere ("One of Those Eds", "X Marks the Ed", "The Day the Ed Stood Still", etc.).
    • Another example is "Boom Boom! Out Goes the Ed", which is a play on Pat Traver's song "Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)".
  • Family Guy was supposed to have this. Each episode was supposed to have a Film Noir-ish death-themed title that had nothing to do with the plot of the episode. The practice was quickly abandoned when it became difficult to tell which episode was which during the production process. The first four episodes retain these names: "Death Has a Shadow", "I Never Met the Dead Man" (both of which were originally titles for episodes of the classic '40s Radio Drama Suspense), "Chitty Chitty Death Bang", and "Mind Over Murder."
    • More recent trends include titles ending with "Guy" such as "German Guy," "Amish Guy," "Business Guy," and "Ratings Guy" and Self-Deprecation on part of the series' name as typified by the duo of "Family Gay" and "Family Goy" which perhaps non-coincidentally rank as two of the most controversial episodes in the show's history.
    • There's also the "Road to X" episodes which all involve Brian and Stewie embarking on some kind of crazy adventure. The naming scheme is a shout out to Bing Crosby and Bob Hope's series of Road to... comedy films.
    • Conan O Brien's Talk Show Conan has fake titles similar to Family Guy's: "Baa Baa Blackmail," "Murder, She Tweeted").
  • With only a couple exceptions, all episodes of Futurama are Punny Names taken from Science Fiction or popular culture that are simultaneously relevant to the plot. "I, Roomate" is taken from Isaac Asimov's I Robot and the episode inolves Bender, a robot, becoming the main character's roommate. "Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?" is taken from the 1950s hit song "Teenager in Love" and deals with Zoidberg, an anthropomorphic crab, in biological mating season.
  • Another DFE series, The Houndcats, used titles of the form "The ________ Mission".
  • Justice League used a combination of this trope and a Mythology Gag by using various DC comic series as titles, most being sub-lines of Justice League titles. "Secret Origins," "In Darkest Night," "The Brave and the Bold," "Wild West Stories".
  • Kid vs. Kat has episodes that feature the name of main character, Coop, or a word that explains the plot added to existing phrases. For example "Coop D'Etat," "The Incredible Shrinking Coop," and "Kat to the Future."
  • Every episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series is named after the episode's featured experiment, except for the Filler episodes "The Asteroid" note  and "Bad Stitch" note . There's also "Rufus" note , and "Mrs. Hasagawa's Cats" note .
  • Each episode title of The Little Prince is an asteroid number followed by "Planet of __".
  • All Maisy titles are one-word, describing something featured in the episode: "Bath," "Rabbit," "Train," etc, or at most two words, i.e. "Christmas Tree."
  • Every episode in the first series of Max Steel had titles beginning with the letter S. Possibly, if Greg Weisman had been kept on as developer, this would have carried on for the rest of the show.
  • Every episode of Men In Black: The Series was named "The _____ Syndrome".
  • Each episode of Mission Hill had an Either/Or Title—a normal title that describes the plot, which would be printed in TV listings, and a racy one containing a vulgar pun. Example: "Andy Joins the PTA (or Great Sexpectations)".
  • Nearly every episode of Mr. Bogus have episode titles that have the word "Bogus" or "Bogie" in them. Examples would be "Meet Mr. Bogus", "Class Clown Bogus", "Beach Blanket Bogus", etc.
  • Every episode of The Mr. Men Show has a title that is what the episode is about. For example, the episode "Books" is about books.
  • About half of The Mysteries Of Alfred Hedgehog episodes has a title of which the form "The ______ Mystery" or "The Mysterious ______" is utilized.
  • Every Nudnik short has the title character's name in the title ("Here's Nudnik", "Nudnik on the Beach", etc.).
  • Sav! The World's series Ōban Star-Racers names most of its episodes in the form "X Like Y", where Y is the name of the Monster of the Week. X is always an adjective that begins with the same letter or sound as the antagonist's name — "Playful Like Para-Dice", "Agile Like Aikka", et cetera. Unfortunately, this meant they were forced to use the word "Cruel" twice.
    • Probably related is Viz Video's practice of giving its Ranma Ż releases — first on videotape and later on DVD — names that were puns or parodies of the titles of other works well known at the time in North America. For example, the theatrical film Ranma 1/2: Kessen T˘genky˘! Hanayome o torimodose!! (literally, Ranma 1/2: Battle at Togenkyo! Get Back the Brides!) was released as Nihao My Concubine (referring to the 1993 Chinese film distributed in the United States as Farewell My Concubine). Other such titles included Like Water For Ranma, Smells Like Evil Spirit, One Grew Over The Kuno's Nest, and Big Trouble in Nekonron, China.
  • Most episodes of PAW Patrol are titled "Pups Save X", i.e., "Pups Save a School Day."
  • Every Peanuts movie and television special had Charlie Brown's name in it, except the second movie, "Snoopy Come Home", the musical Snoopy: The Musical!, and the lesser-known 1991 television special "Snoopy's Reunion."
    • Many Peanuts specials began with either "You're" (You're in Love, Charlie Brown, You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, etc.) or "It"/"It's" (It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown) in the title. One special (It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown) even had both at the beginning of their titles.
    • Most Peanuts specials have Charlie Brown's name at the end of the title.
  • Peg + Cat's episodes are all titled "The (Noun) Problem".
  • Every episode of Peter Rabbit is called "The Tale of..." something, in the style of the original storybooks.
  • Every Pink Panther short made in the 1960s and 1970s has the word "Pink" in the title. Similarly, every short in DFE's The Inspector series, with the exception of "Transylvania Mania", has some French wordplay in the title.
  • Obscure 1960s cartoon Q.T. Hush named each story arc "The ________ Caper". The names of the chapters for most arcs also followed the naming format. For example, all 10 chapters of "The Doomsday Caper" was named the "____ of Doom" (ie: "Quicksand of Doom", "Flash of Doom", etc.). "The Carnival Caper" had all of its chapters start with the word "Carnival" (e:g., "Carnival Chaos").
  • Robot Chicken finds a new idiosyncracy almost every season:
    • Most of the S1 episode titles were rejected names for the series ("Junk in the Trunk", "Toy Meets Girl", "Atta Toy")
    • The titles of the first half of Season 4's episodes form a letter written by someone trapped in a DVD factory who's missing his thumbs:
    Help me. I'm trapped in a DVD factory. They took my thumbs. Two weeks without food. Tell my mom I love her, but not in that way. Love, Maurice PS: Yes, in that way.
    • And the titles of the second half form the DVD factory's response:
    Dear Consumer: We are a humble factory. Maurice was caught unionizing our labor. President Hu forbids it. Due to constraints of time and budget, the ramblings of Maurice cannot be erased, so sorry. Please do not notify our contractors, especially the animal Keith Crawford.
    • Season 5 episode titles are movie title mash-ups, i.e. Saving Private Gigli, Schindler's Bucket List, and Catch Me If You Kangaroo Jack.
    • Season 6 titles apparently come from a list of ways to die: "Disemboweled by an Orphan", "Crushed by a Steamroller on My 53rd Birthday", "Collateral Damage in Gang Turf War", etc.
    • Season 7's titles are mostly the names of movies, TV shows or other things combined with something else, usually the name of an establishment chain, i.e "Batman Forever 21".
  • Every episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle had two titles: One very punny, and one alliterative.
  • Samurai Jack would use some form of "Jack and the..." or "Samurai versus..." (or "Jack versus..." and "Samurai and the..."), making it idiosyncratic and effectively descriptive of the episode.
    • This was due to each episode being considered a 'chapter' in the story. The DVD menus, for example, don't list the episode titles but rather, the number (i.e., Jack and the Scotsman is XI).
  • On The Schnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show, the Pith Possum segments all had titles with the words "dark", "darkness", "black", or "night" in the title, with Department of Redundancy Department in full effect. e.g. "The Phantom Mask of the Dark Black Darkness of Black".
  • The second and third seasons of Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo note  made liberal use of using a noun or phrase, then immediately using Scooby's name, thereafter: "Lighthouse Keeper Scooby", "Dog Tag Scooby", "Way Out Scooby", and "Punk Rock Scooby" are among some of the many examples.
  • The Simpsons name a lot of episodes like "X vs Y". "Homer vs. Patty and Selma", "Bart vs Thanksgiving", "Homer vs. Lisa and the Eighth Commandment", "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy", "Bart vs. Australia", "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment", "The City of New York vs. Homer", etc, etc.
    • There's also a large number of "X The Y", ranging from "Homer the Smithers" and "Homer the Moe" to "Lisa the Iconoclast" and "Bart the Lover".
    • There are also lots of titles built around puns on Homer's catchphrase, both in its standard form ("D'oh-in in the Wind") and the way it's designated in the show's scripts ("I, [Annoyed Grunt]-Bot"). The current count is D'oh: 8, (Annoyed Grunt): 4.
    • Also notable are "Bart Gets an F", "Bart's Dog Gets an F", "Lisa Gets an A", "Bart Gets a Z".
    • For some reason the writers are fond of titles punning on the Mona Lisa: "Moaning Lisa", "Moe 'n' a Lisa", "Mona Leaves-a"...
  • Skunk Fu! uses "The Art of ____". There was even an episode where they did "The Art of Art".
  • Almost every episode of the first season of Sonic Sat AM had the word 'Sonic' in it, despite how little it would have to do with the actual plot. This was discarded in season 2.
  • The first four episodes of the fourth season of South Park all had "2000" appended to their titles, making fun of its overuse at the start of the new millennium: "The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000", "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000", "Timmy 2000" and "Quintuplets 2000".
  • The title of every Special Agent Oso short is a play on the title of a James Bond film.
  • Originally every episode of Sponge Bob Square Pants in which Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy made an appearance was entitled "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy," followed by a Roman numeral (even when the characters only appeared for about a minute as in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III"). This theme naming ended with "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy VI" and episodes starring the two characters now have more original titles.
  • Street Sharks was nothing but constant in squeezing the word "Shark" into every title, from "Card Sharks" to "Shark Father" "Shark-Apocalyse Now".
  • The Hanna-Barbera series The Super Globetrotters had every episode titled "The Super Globetrotters Versus [Villian of the Week]".
  • Episodes of Teen Titans Go! usually have a title that either describes the plot of the episode ("Legendary Sandwich", "Staring at the Future", "Friendship") or refers to a gag or piece of dialogue that has little to no impact on the plot ("Dog Hand", "Breakfast Cheese", "Caramel Apples").
  • The first Terrytoons from 1929-1930 had their titles based on a food from whatever country the short focused on, such as "Scotch Highball", "Indian Pudding" and "Hungarian Goulash". The first two were simply titled "Caviar" and "Pretzels".
  • Most episodes of the cartoon The Tick had titles of the form "The Tick vs. ______" — for example, "The Tick vs. Science" or "The Tick vs. Reno, Nevada".
  • Tickety Toc uses the pattern of "_____ Time" to reference the characters living in a clock.
  • Timon & Pumbaa used titles containing the names of countries or destinations: "Boara Boara," "Never Everglades," "Swiss Missed," "Oregon Astray" (with the wrong pronunciation), "Maine-iacs." When the series resumed on the Disney Channel with different producers, the gimmick was dropped.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures has a few of these examples:
    • Episodes with "Day" at the end of the title - "Psychic Fun-omenon Day", "Best O' Plucky Duck Day", "Viewer Mail Day", "New Character Day", "Henny Youngman Day", "New Class Day", "Music Day", "Best of Buster Day".
    • Episodes with "Toon" in the title - "Sawdust and Toonsil", "Career Oppor-Toon-ities", "Tiny Toons Music Television", "No Toon Is An Island", "High Toon", "Playtime Toons", "Toon Physics", "What Makes Toons Tick", "Toons Take Over", "Toons From the Crypt", "Washingtoon", "Toon TV", "It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special", "Tiny Toon Spring Break Special", "Tiny Toons' Night Ghoulery".
    • Episodes with "Acme" in the title - "Journey to the Center of Acme Acres", "The Acme Acres Zone", "Spring in Acme Acres", "The Acme Bowl", "Dating, Acme Acres Style", "The Return of the Acme Acres Zone", "The Acme Home Shopping Show", "K-Acme TV", "Acme Cable TV".
  • Total Drama had nearly all the first season episodes being a pun or a spin on a common saying such as "If You Can't Take the Heat", or "Not So Happy Campers". Most, like "Dodgebrawl" and "Hide and be Sneaky" also gave clues to the challenges.
    • In Total Drama Action, each episode had a title that both fit with the movie genre and parodied a famous movie title: ("Dial M for Merger", "Crouching Courtney, Hidden Owen", and "Top Dog". The only exceptions are the Aftermaths, which used the contestant that had the main focus in the title, as in "O-win or lose".
  • Totally Spies! went through a phase in the third season where most episodes had titles ending in the word "Much?" (e.g. "Head Shrinker Much?"), reflecting the Valley Girl-esque way Clover sometimes speaks.
  • Transformers: Beast Wars had a Story Arc featuring the characters coming into contact with mysterious aliens. These arc episodes were the only Beast Wars episodes with idiosyncratic names: "Other Voices" Parts 1 and 2, "Other Visits" Parts 1 and 2, and "Other Victories".
  • The second season of Transformers Prime has a set of four Synchronous Episodes with the names "Tunnel Vision," "Triangulation," "Triage," and "Toxicity." The third season has "Plus One" and "Minus One," which bear no particular connection except for similar titles.
  • Like Supah Ninjas (see the Live-Action TV folder), almost every episode of the Super Secret Secret Squirrel segment of Two Stupid Dogs is named after that installment's villain; e.g., "Queen Bee" and "Greg".
  • Wander over Yonder uses episodes under "The _______" pattern.
  • The 26 episodes of the second season of W.I.T.C.H. were all named in the form "(letter) is for (word starting with that letter)", and in their proper sequence run from "A Is for Anonymous" to "Z is for Zenith", without repeating or dropping any letters.

Video GamesIdiosyncratic Episode Naming    

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