Artifact Title

"Side note: TV is a place where the title of a show means nothing. You donít have to be an actual housewife to be on The Real Housewives of Whatever and you donít have to be actually married to be on Divorce Court."
Michael K. "Hot Slut of the Day: Wu-Tang Clan groupie whose boyfriend accused her of doing them all during an episode of Divorce Court."

A series title that made perfect sense when it began, but after a number of changes to the premise, no longer makes sense to people who don't go back to the beginning. Sometimes a new element is put in to justify the title.

This usually happens when a movie named after a specific MacGuffin suddenly gets a sequel, and changing the title to something else might throw people off that this is a sequel. One of the ways to avert this is through a Franchise-Driven Retitling, downgrading the original to a subtitle with the main title being something more consistent. They couldn't very well have called the Indiana Jones sequel Raiders of the Lost Ark 2, could they?

See also The Artifact. Often a direct result of Nothing Is the Same Anymore and Early Installment Weirdness. Sometimes results in New Season, New Name. Happens often in poorly devised Alternate Universe Fan Fiction. Eventually this could turn a title into a Nonindicative Name. This can also happen on a larger scale with Network Decay. Compare Trivial Title.

Not to be confused with MacGuffin Title.


Alternative Title(s): Artefact Title