aka: Title Character
The Character Title is one of the easiest ways to name a work of fiction. Just take the name of a character and use it for the name of the series. The eponymous character is usually, but not always, the protagonist. A possible downfall of this trope is that if the show is a live-action, should the actor playing the title character decides to quit, it could spell the end of the show.
See also Protagonist Title
, Antagonist Title
, Secondary Character Title
, and Role Called
, which takes it further, inserting the character's title
too. Another variation is Character Name and the Noun Phrase
. If two people are in there, see Name and Name
. If the eponymous character doesn't appear until the end, this character is The Namesake
are especially prone to this for obvious reasons, often in the form of Mononymous Biopic Title
Compare Job Title
, which is where the work is named after a character's occupation; and The Place
, in which it is named after a location. It may change over time due to Spotlight-Stealing Title
. Contrast I Am Not Shazam
, where people assume the series' name is the character's name. See the Protagonist Title Fallacy
for the false assumption that only protagonists' names are used in Character Titles. In literary circles this is called an eponym, a term also used to refer to The Namesake
. Also note that you won't see Cowboy Bebop at His Computer
Examples (by original medium):
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Anime and Manga
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- A Certain Magical Index A Secondary Character Title because she was Demoted to Extra
- Agnes Grey
- Allan Quatermain
- Aimee: A Secondary Character Title, the main character isn't named until the last chapter.
- Artemis Fowl
- Billy Bathgate
- Boris Godunov
- Colas Breugnon
- Daisy Miller
- Dolores Claiborne
- Domitor Leo, (which is the main character's nickname and title.) It's a light novel series.
- Don Quixote
- Erast Fandorin
- Ethan Frome
- Eugene Onegin
- "Ezekiel", the 2011 short story by Desmond Warzel.
- Firebird (Tyers)
- Halvgudene: is a weird example as it's named after the main characters' race(demigods) rather than their name.
- The Hardy Boys
- Harry Potter
- Also includes Prisoner of Azkaban and Half-Blood Prince.
- Haruhi Suzumiya
- The Hereward Trilogy
- The much parodied I, Claudius
- Jade Green
- Jane Eyre
- Jennifer Government
- King of the Water Roads - Though the character is never seen and the general populace usually only knows him by that name.
- The Lord of the Rings - Antagonist title. The Lord of the Rings is Sauron.
- Mary Poppins
- The Monk
- Mort in the Discworld series.
- Nancy Drew
- Nicholas Nickleby
- A number of Redwall books.
- Robin Hood
- RoTeO - the spinoff Crimson is the one which fits the trope. The former of the two is an amalgamation of letters from the main trio's names.
- Sabriel and Lirael, the first two books of the Old Kingdom trilogy. (The third book, Abhorsen, is a Job Title.)
- Septimus Heap
- Sherlock Holmes
- Actually a subversion, as none of the book titles ever begin with his name. Only the short story anthologies have his name in the titles at all: The Adventures of, The Memoirs of, The Return of, and Casebook of. His Last Bow is the exception to the rule.
- Silas Marner
- From The Demonata, we have Lord Loss and Bec. Demon Thief also counts.
- Most of the Tales from Dimwood Forest books: Poppy, Poppy And Rye, Ragweed.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Live Action TV
- Ally McBeal
- In-universe example with the television series Cordy, which Cordelia would have starred in if she hadn't bumped into Angel at a Hollywood party.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Barney Miller
- Blake's 7
- This series actually fits into both this trope and Artifact Title, as the titular character (Blake) disappears at the end of the second season, is absent for the third, and only reappears in the very last episode of the fourth (and final) season—thus only appearing in just over half of the series.
- Bones Well, sort of.
- Doctor Who (debatably)
- Dona Barbara
- Dong Yi
- Eli Stone
- Hancock (no, not that one - last TV season of Hancock's Half Hour)
- Hannah Montana
- Horatio Hornblower
- Isis (at least at first)
- The Jerry Springer Show
- Joan of Arcadia
- John Adams
- John Doe
- Kolchak: The Night Stalker
- Kyle XY
- Lou Grant
- Malcolm in the Middle
- Mr. Bean
- Mr. Belvedere
- Mrs. Columbo
- My Name Is Earl
- Neds Declassified School Survival Guide
- The New Adventures of Old Christine
- The New Adventures Of Robin Hood
- New Amsterdam
- Nurse Jackie
- The Osbournes
- The Parkers
- Punky Brewster
- Robin Hood
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch
- Sherlock Holmes
- Skippy The Bush Kangaroo
- Sledge Hammer!!
- Some episode titles in Smallville: Ryan, Lucy, Cyborg, Zod, Bizarro, Kara, Lara, Plastique, Doomsday, Metallo, Supergirl, Isis, Luthor, Kent, Booster
- The Sopranos
- Spartacus: Blood and Sand
- Sort-of example: Stargate SG-1, where SG-1 refers to the team that's composed of the main characters.
- Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye
- Series/Taggart (The series was named after its original main character, Jim Taggart, who was killed off due to the death of Mark Mc Manus, who portrayed him. Rather surprisingly, the show carried on longer without him than it did when he was alive.)
- Ugly Betty
- Valerie: a strange case, as the eponymous character left early in the show's run. It was later retitled to Valerie's Family and then The Hogan Family.
- Veronica Mars: Also prominently features the Mars family as opposed to putting the father in the background.
- Near-miss: Rising Damp was originally going to be called Rigsby.
- Played with in Remington Steele. There is no character named Remington Steele, who is an in-universe fictional male boss of private detective Laura Holt. But since she can't prove that Pierce Brosnan's character isn't the real Remington Steele without giving away the charade, she's forced to work with him anyway.
- Xena: Warrior Princess.
When bands do this with their albums, it's a Self-Titled Album
Songs titled after the person they are about: