When the demonym for the United States of America
is used as a naming convention.
There is a certain hard-to-describe quality in the idea of something being "American". Depending on how you look at it, it could connote Truth, Justice
, wholesome family values, apple pies, and soda shops
; or it can imply a wild, free-spirited nature unbound by Old World traditions. So it's only natural that some American works will put "American" in their title as a way to signify the feelings they wish to invoke.
But, as some people would notice later, there are some Unfortunate Implications
in including the word "American" as some sort of superlative; thus, much like Eagleland
, this trope has a dark underbelly. It is just as likely that you'll see an American Title in an ironic fashion, subverting the original meanings, or revealing the darker undersides of the bright ideology. This is often done in reference to the USA's dark past and/or the more controversial aspects of American culture and politics.
It's also possible that the term "American" refers only to the subject's place of origin and not any larger message. Generally, it's easy to tell by the context of the work which flavor they're going for.
Compare It Came from Beverly Hills
Contrast Eagle Land
- this trope refers to titles that try to induce that American idea...in America
Not to be confused with Market-Based Title
open/close all folders
Of the wholesome or free-spirited variety
- The American Embassy (which was set in London - ironically, the series was never screened on British television)
- The American Girls (about two correspondents for a newsmagazine called The American Report - this series aired in the UK as Have Girls, Will Travel)
- Love American Style
- Margaret Cho's short-lived sitcom All-American Girl was mostly Column A, though its comedic elements touched on Column B at times.
- American Beauty (album by The Grateful Dead)
- Don McLean's "American Pie" (Song and LP)
- American Spirit
- American Recordings (Record label)
- "American Secrets", a song off of the Parachute album The Way it Was
- "American Girls", a single off of the Counting Crows album Hard Candy
- "American Honey" by Lady Antebellum
- "American Heart" by Faith Hill
- Recording group Jay and the Americans.
- "American" by Lana Del Rey.
- "American Bad Ass" by Kid Rock
- The Post-Rock band The American Dollar
- Two songs from Book Of Mormon: "All-American Prophet" (the actual story of Mormon origins) and "Joseph Smith: American Moses" (the horribly-off version by the Ugandans based on Elder Cunningham's improvised teachings). Both can be considered straight examples since the Ugandans do believe in the latter's optimism, even if it includes "magical fuck frogs" curing AIDS and clit-faces.
- "American Beautiful" by The Henningsens, from the compilation album "American Heartland" - both this and describing nationality (the Heartland being American).
- American Greetings - a greeting card company.
- American Beauty - a hybrid rose species, and usually the first image people conjure when they think of roses.
- American Express - a credit card company.
Of the subversive variety
Examples where the name only describes a nationality
- American Gothic, a painting named after the architectural style American Gothic, which is the style of the house featured.
- American Virgin, in the later issues
- A Cafe Americano is espresso watered down to approximate drip-brewed coffee. This could theoretically be read as a put-down at Americans not being able to "handle" espresso, but anyone except the most sneering European coffee snob can tell that it's just an indication that drip-brew-strength is the usual American method of consuming coffee.
- "American cheese" refers to processed cheese designed to melt easily, rather than the various types of real cheese that originated in the US, such as cream cheese or Monterey Jack.