Character Action Title

A frequent stylistic Title Trope which essentially delivers the premise of the story before it even starts rolling, and therefore often is synonymous with a show's High Concept.

The character in question must be a person, in one sense or another. Whether he, she or it is featured in the story, or is just related to it in one way or another - be it only metaphorically (like, say, the Devil) - isn't important. Objects only count if they are anthropomorphised properly in-story.

The action taken, on the other hand, can be anything under the sun. What counts is that it is an action thats being described ("Bob Eats Bread" or "Bob Eats"), rather than, say, merely (and explicitly - see below) describing a state or condition ("Bob Is A Breadophile" or "Bob Has A Bread-Fancy") or describing the character in a relative clause ("The Bob Who Ate Bread"). Tense, aspect, mood and voice all make no difference for the purposes of this trope, so it can just as easily be "Bob Ate Bread" "Bob Will Eat Bread", "Bob Is Eating Bread", "Bob Would Eat Bread" or even "Bob Was Eaten". The idea is that the title is a complete sentence (subject + verb) is more or less a given. The 'action' can even be an idiom or metaphor for something completely different, even a state or condition ("Bob Eats The Bread That Is Jesus" or "Bob Has Eaten His Last Slice of Bread").

This includes explicit actions such as "to do," "to meet someone," or "to go somewhere," and it also includes intransitive verbs such as "to return," "to begin," or "to die."

This otherwise very simplistic naming convention tends to follow some particular trends:
  • It's used in children's programmes (to spark the young audience's interest in the upcoming subject matter without making things too complicated).
  • It's used in titles meant to reproduce the brevity of news messages and headlines, often (ironically) about otherwise important and momentous events.
  • For Crossovers, the title formula "Character from Franchise A does something to Character from Franchise B" can be used, "Meets" being the most common variant.
  • Particularly variations like "Returns", "Rides Again" and "Strikes Back" are popular with sequel movies, as they bring across the message and deliver a little emotional velocity and creativity into the title at the same time. The "Strikes Back" title in particular also heavily overlaps with Revenge of the Sequel.
  • It's used in humorous works, where any of the above is Played for Laughs. Examples of the "Goes To X" variation, for one, often riff on Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

The most frequent variations involve the character doing something new and/or exciting, such as going to a place or being thrown into an unlikely situation.

Very often part of Idiosyncratic Episode Naming within series.

Compare Role Called, Job Title, Adjective Noun Fred, In Which a Trope Is Described and The Noun Who Verbed. Also compare Versus Title, which is also common for Crossovers but lacks the action verb. Not to be confused with X Meets Y, which is a Just for Fun page for describing works as combinations of other works.
    open/close all folders 

    The Character Goes Somewhere 
Film - Animated

Film - Live Action

Live-Action TV
  • Blackadder Goes Forth
  • In Monk, a good portion of episodes follow this convention, such Mr Monk Goes To The Asylum.

Music

Web Original

Western Animation

    The Character Returns 

    The Character Meets Someone or Something 
Comic Books

Film - Animated

Film - Live Action

Music
  • Duke Ellington had a collaboration with Coleman Hawkins titled Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins, and a collaboration with Count Basie titled First Time! The Count Meets The Duke.
  • Bags Meets Wes—referring to the nicknames of the two primary musicians, Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery.

Video Games

Western Animation

    The Character Rides Again 

    The Character Saves Something or Someone 
Film

Live-Action TV

Video Games

Web Original

    The Character 'Does' Something or Someone 
Film
  • Beavis And Butthead Do America
  • The infamous porn film Debbie Does Dallas in which the girl next door earns a spot in the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading squad, but doesn't have money to travel from her home town to Cowboy stadium. She improvises.

Web Original

    The Character Takes Something 

    The Character Strikes Back 
Film - Live Action

Video Games

    The Character Kills Someone or Something 
Comic Books

Film - Live Action

Live-Action TV
  • Mary Kills People

    The Character Investigates Something 

Literature

Live-Action TV

Web Original

Western Animation

    The Character Performs Other or Multiple Actions 
Comic Books

Fan Works

Film - Animated

Film - Live Action

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • The German crime series Graf Yoster gibt sich die Ehre (Loosely translated as Count Yoster has the Honour, but more literally as, Count Yoster Gives Himself The Honour)

Music
  • Back to Back: Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges Play the Blues.
  • The Danish soft rock band Michael Learns to Rock
  • She Loves Me Not (either the Papa Roach song or the t.A.T.u. song)
  • Though the official title is just Illinois, the front cover stylizes it as Sufjan Stevens Invites You to: Come On Feel the Illinoise!

Video Games

Web Original

Western Animation
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CharacterActionTitle