A lesser form of Idiosyncratic Episode Naming
, when two related episodes of a series reference each other in their episode titles. Sequel Episodes
often use these, but other times the titles might be the only explicit link between the episodes.
If the two titles fit together to make a phrase, that's Compound Title
Also used across different members of a Series Franchise
Anime and Manga
- Neon Genesis Evangelion has two early episodes about Emotionless Girl Rei Ayanami called "Rei Beyond Her Heart" and "Rei II". Much later in the series we get an episode called "Rei III". Because the 3rd clone is pulled out of the jar in that episode.
- Eureka Seven had four episodes with the word 'acperience' in the title: "Acperience 1", "Acperience 2", "Acperience 3" and "Acperience 4".
- In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 4, any chapter featuring Yoshikage Kira as the focal point will have his name in it: for example, the first chapter with him is called "Yoshikage Kira Wants A Normal Life" and the chapter where Stray Cat is introduced is called "A Cat Likes Yoshikage Kira".
- The first and last issues of The Filth were called "Us vs Them" and "Them vs Us", respectively.
- The Invisibles featured two separate storylines in which King Mob's cell infiltrated the same military installation in Dulce, New Mexico: "Black Science" and "Black Science II".
- Lucifer began as a miniseries called The Morningstar Option. One of the last issues of the main series was called "The Gaudium Option".
- One of the Fables story arcs is called "The Good Prince". The spin-off, Jack Of Fables, had a story arc called "The Bad Prince".
- Sergio Aragonés' Actions Speak and Louder Than Words.
- The first chapter of The Hobbit, the prelude to The Lord of the Rings, is titled "An Unexpected Party." The first chapter of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book in The Lord of the Rings proper, is titled "A Long-Expected Party." Other cross-referencing chapter titles in the trilogy include 'Many Meetings' with 'Many Partings' and 'The Black Gate is Closed' with 'The Black Gate Opens'.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the first chapter is called "Owl Post", the last is called "Owl Post Again."
- Rex Stout wrote three Nero Wolfe novels called Too Many Cooks, Too Many Women and Too Many Clients. And a short story called "Too Many Detectives".
- Hence the Lord Darcy Wolfe pastiche being Too Many Magicians.
- Three Doctor Who New Adventures novels by Andrew Cartmel, which followed their own Twenty Minutes into the Future storyline: Warhead, Warlock and Warchild.
- Michael Moorcock: The Corum series: The Knight of the Swords, The Queen of the Swords and The King of the Swords, followed by The Bull and the Spear, The Oak and the Ram and The Sword and the Stallion.
- Then there is the Pyat Quartet - Byzantium Endures, The Laughter of Carthage, Jerusalem Commands, The Vengeance of Rome. The four titles together can be read as a sentence.
- Gilmore Girls used these several times: The episode recounting Rory's first day of high school is titled "The Lorelais' First Day At Chilton", and the one about her first day of college is titled "The Lorelais' First Day At Yale". An episode titled "Tick Tick Boom" was followed by "Afterboom".
- Lexx featured a mystery episode titled "The Net", followed by its solution, titled "The Web". (The episodes are so similar that in syndication, "The Net" is usually omitted.)
- Stargate SG-1 is fond of these. The original Time Travel episode was titled "1969," for the year it took place. Later, an episode set in an alternative future, in which the characters used the same form of Time Travel, was titled "2010", for the year it took place. When the events described as leading to that future started to occur in the present (but were eventually stopped, of course), the episode was titled "2001" — which was the year the episode was made and aired, making it the year it took place.
- Adding yet another layer of meaning, in "2010", an plan going on in the background involves converting Jupiter into a star (a major element of the Arthur C. Clarke novel 2010), while the main alien plot has some similarities to another Clarke novel, Childhood's End; and of course "2001" refers to the most famous Clarke novel (to which 2010 is a sequel), 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- This, itself, may be a reference to the fact that the term "Star Gate" appears in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- And possibly related, in the later seasons, the crew most frequently travels on a ship named, of course, The Odyssey.
- Perhaps the cleverest example involved the SG-1 episode "Grace", in which a concussed Samantha Carter hallucinates a young girl named Grace. Stargate Atlantis would later feature an episode titled "Grace Under Pressure", in which a concussed McKay hallucinates Samantha Carter—at the bottom of the ocean, where the water pressure is a problem.
- Similarly, the Atlantis episode "38 Minutes" is in part a recapitulation of the SG-1 episode "48 Hours" — both involve people who are stuck dematerialized inside a stargate, and the title of the episode is the length of time everyone else has to figure out how to get them out.
- Three of the Replicator centred episodes are titled "Nemesis", "Enemies" and "Menace", which all have similar meanings as well as phonetic structure.
- Star Trek: Many of the cross-franchise stories played on this:
- Star Trek: The Next Generation's first season featured "The Naked Now", in which the Enterprise crew faced the same virus that had afflicted Kirk's Enterprise in "The Naked Time".
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine visited the original series' episode "The Trouble With Tribbles" in its "Trials and Tribble-ations"
- Star Trek: Enterprise visited the mirror universe of TOS's "Mirror, Mirror" with "In a Mirror, Darkly". Several episodes of Deep Space Nine also featured the same alternate universe, and also had the word "mirror" in their titles).
- Deep Space Nine also had episodes titled "Profit and Lace" (referring back to its earlier episode "Profit and Loss") and "Who Mourns for Morn?" (referring back to the TOS episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?").
- Other examples from Deep Space 9 include:
- "In the Hands of the Prophets" (season 2 finale) and Tears of the Prophets (season 6 finale)
- "Duet" (season 2) and "Waltz" (season 6)
- "Children of Time" (season 5) and Time's Orphan (season 6)
- "Defiant" (season 3) and "Valiant" (season 6) (both episodes share the name of Defiant-class starships)
- There were also the occasional unintended echoes: the Voyager episode "Blink of an Eye" was originally titled "Wink of an Eye", until someone realized there'd been an unrelated (but unfortunately not dissimilar) TOS episode with that title.
- Don't forget about the episodes guest-starring Q, which usually had some form of Q-related pun in the title. ("Qpid," "Q and the Grey," etc.)
- Cross-season teamup episodes of Power Rangers often cross-reference the title of the previous season, such as the Lightspeed Rescue/Time Force teamup, "Time For Lightspeed", or the Ninja Storm/Dino Thunder teamup, "Thunderstorm". Also, the first episode of Power Rangers Dino Thunder, which reintroduced a character from the franchise's first season, was titled "Day of the Dino", a reference to the series premiere, "Day of the Dumpster".
- Within single seasons, Lightspeed Rescue's premiere was "Operation Lightspeed" and its finale was "The Fate of Lightspeed"; and SPD did the same with "Beginnings" and "Endings".
- LOST did this quite often.
- Season 2 episode "One of Them" and Season 3 "One of Us", both dealing with individuals who may or may not be affiliated with the Others.
- "White Rabbit" and "Through the Looking Glass" invoked Jack's Alice in Wonderland motif, while "The Man Behind the Curtain" and "There's No Place Like Home" invoked Ben's Wizard of Oz motif.
- Season 4 had "The Constant." An episode in season 5 is titled "The Variable".
- "What Kate Did" from Season 2 and "What Kate Does" from Season 6.
- "House of the Rising Sun" from season 1 and "Sundown" from season 6.
- "Everybody Hates Hugo" from season 2 and "Everybody Loves Hugo" from season 6.
- The premiere of the fourth season — the first episode after the end date was set — was "The Beginning of the End". The series finale was "The End".
- Episodes of The X-Files and Millennium featuring Charles Nelson Reilly as the same character were titled "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" and "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense," respectively.
- Episodes of Scrubs featuring the Inner Monologue of characters other than J.D. comprise "His Story", "His Story II", "Her Story", "Her Story II", "His Story III", "His Story IV", "Their Story" and "Their Story II".
- NewsRadio writers, when pressed for episode titles at the end of Season Two, named nine episodes in a row after Led Zeppelin albums. "In Through The Out Door," "The Song Remains The Same," "Zoso," "Houses Of The Holy," "Physical Graffiti," "Led Zeppelin," "Presence," "Coda," and "Led Zeppelin II" have little in common besides their titles. A later episode in Season Three is titled "Led Zeppelin Boxed Set."
- The Golden Girls had three episodes with "Ebb Tide" in the name. "Ebb Tide" and "Ebbtide's Revenge" were somewhat related, about the deaths of Blanche's father and Sophia's son/Dorothy's brother, respectively. The third, "Ebbtide VI: The Wrath of Stan" is not related. This editor still wonders what the heck was going on with that.
- On all three of Aaron Sorkin's series, the first-season finale has been called "What Kind of Day Has It Been".
- The first episode of Frasier, in which he agreed to look after his dad, was titled "The Good Son". A later episode, where he considered putting him in a retirement home, was of course "The Bad Son".
- The Buffy-verse went across shows and episodes. The episode where Angel sleeps with Buffy and turns into Angelus on Buffy is called "Surprise." On Angel, when Angel once again sleeps with someone and we *think* he is \going to turn into Angelus, but he doesnt, the episode is called "Reprise," calling back to the Buffy episode two years previous.
- Also, the Season 3 episode "Bad Girls" where Faith tries to get Buffy to enjoy her slaying but ends up accidentally killing the mayor's aide, and the Season 7 episode "Dirty Girls" where Faith returns from L.A. to help with the fight against the First Evil.
- The episodes "Smashed", "Wrecked" and "Gone", all of which dealt with both Willow's addiction and Buffy's destructive relationship with Spike, were so named because they were all euphemisms for "drunk" or "high".
- Third Watch's first episode was called "Welcome to Camelot", its Grand Finale was called "Goodbye to Camelot".
- Mash had the season 10 episodes "Snap Judgment" and "Snappier Judgment".
- "Mail Call" (season 2), "Mail Call, Again" (season 4), and "Mail Call Three" (season 6).
- Not forgetting the various "letter home" episodes, which were usually titled "Dear .....".
- The Grey's Anatomy two parter with the bomb in the patient. The first ep is named "It's the End of the World". The second? "As We Know It".
- NCIS did this with the season 6 episodes "Cloak" and "Dagger".
- Done again in Season 8 with "Enemies Foreign" and "Enemies Domestic".
- NCIS: Los Angeles has the season 1 episodes "Missing" and "Found".
- The last two episodes of Season 4 of House are titled "House's Head" and "Wilson's Heart."
- Criminal Minds has "The Fox" and "Outfoxed"; "To Hell..." and "...And Back"
- Night Court had a series of episodes all hinging on the conceit that the docket must be cleared by midnight: "A Day in the Life," "Another Day in the Life," "Yet Another Day in the Life," and "Still Another Day in the Life."
- The Bob Newhart Show had a trio of season 3 episodes titled, respectively, "Bob Hits the Ceiling", "Emily Hits the Ceiling", and "The Ceiling Hits Bob".
- Charmed's first episode was called "Something Wicca This Way Comes". The seventh season finalé, which looked for some time as if it would be a series finalé, was called "Something Wicca This Way Goes".
- The 1960s Batman series did this all the time, as most of their episodes were two parters. These would usually take the form of a rhyming couplet. Some were clever, ("Hizzoner, the Penguin"/"Dizzonner the Penguin"; "An Egg Grows in Gotham"/"The Yegg Foes in Gotham") and some were not ("That Darn Catwoman"/"Scat! Darn Catwoman!"; "Batman's Anniversary"/"A Riddling Controversy").
- The two parts of Community's Paintball Episode are titled "A Fistful of Paintballs" and "For A Few Paintballs More"
- Breaking Bad's second season has four episodes that each start with a mysterious black and white Cold Open. Upon connecting the titles of the episodes, it reveals a major event in the season finale: 737/Down/Over/ABQ.
- Other Breaking Bad examples: The Season One episodes: "The Cat's In The Bag" "...And The Bag's In The River"
- The Season 3 episodes: "Half-Measures" and "Full Measure"
- The Season 3 episode "Fly" and the Season 4 episode "Bug".
- The Season 2 episode "Peekaboo" and the Season 3 episode "I See You"
- The Season 3 premiere, "No Mas," has Walter leaving the meth game behind after seeing the wreckage. The episode where he decides he wants to get back in the game? "Mas."
- Cheers had a series of episodes revolving around the gang's feud with rival bar Gary's Old Towne Tavern. The first one was Bar Wars (season 6). Then came Bar Wars II: The Woodman Strikes Back (Season 7), Bar Wars III: The Return of Tecumseh (season 8), Bar Wars V: The Final Judgment (season 10), Bar Wars VI: This Time It's For Real (season 10) and Bar Wars VII: The Naked Prey (season 11). (for some odd reason there was no episode titled Bar Wars IV).
- Parks and Recreation did an episode in season 2 entitled "Ron and Tammy" which involves Ron sleeping with his evil second ex-wife named Tammy (his first wife and mother are also named Tammy). Tammy Two returns in season 3 in "Ron and Tammy: Part Two" where they briefly remarry. Tammy Two, the much scarier ex-wife Tammy One and Ron's mother Tammy show up in the season 4 episode "Ron and Tammys".
- The first episode of Kamen Rider OOO is "Medals, Underwear, and a Mysterious Arm". The last episode is "Tomorrow's Medals, Underwear, and Arms Held".
- The season two finale of Game of Thrones is titled "Valar Morghulis". The season three opener is called "Valar Dohaeris". "Valar Morghulis" has since been translated as "all men must die"; "Valar Dohaeris" is apparently the traditional response (Melisandre and Thoros use it at their meeting), but has not yet been translated. The season one premiere is entitled "Winter is Coming", the house words of the Starks. The season one finale is "Fire and Blood", the house words of the Targaryens. And two episodes in season three are "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" and "The Rains of Castamere"; these are the two most popular songs in Westeros and both have been sung on-screen.
- The first part of a Castle two-parter is called "Tick, Tick, Tick..." and ends with a bomb going off in Beckett's apartment. The second part is fittingly titled "Boom!"
- Also most of the episodes concerning Beckett's mother from season 2 to the first episode of season 4 have a fighting motif: "Suckerpunch", "Knockdown", "Knockout", and finally "Rise".
- Friends always have episodes that begin with "The One with..." or "The One Where...". The end-of-series Clip Show was called "The One with All the Other Ones", while the Grand Finale was called "The Last One".
- Doctor Who; the show's tenth anniversary story was called "The Three Doctors" while its twentieth anniversary story was called "The Five Doctors". There was also an arc during Colin Baker's run called "The Two Doctors".
- "The Doctor's Daughter" and "The Doctor's Wife", although not thematically similar, share similar titles.
- Newton Faulkner's two albums thus far have been "Hand-built by Robots" and "Rebuilt by Humans".
- Live albums are often titled by a play on the title of a previous album or song. Deep Purple did this twice, with Made in Japan and Made in Europe, and later Perfect Strangers and Nobody's Perfect. Blue Oyster Cult named Extraterrestrial Live after their song "E.T.I.". Motorhead's No Sleep 'til Hammersmith was followed by No Sleep at All.
- Gorillaz songs "Dirty Harry" and "Clint Eastwood".
- Pond's "You're Not An Astronaut" and "My Dog Is An Astronaut, Though". They aren't directly connected, but both deal with space travel and are on the same album.
- Lambchop's simultaneously-released albums Aw C'mon and No, You C'mon.
- The Rush instrumental "Where's My Thing", which on a live album was paired with a drum solo called "Here It Is!"
TV Tropes Wiki
- Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas are fond of this, usually to indicate a series of linked stories such as the Excelis trilogy (Excelis Dawns, Excelis Rises and Excelis Decays) but also sometimes apparently for the heck of it, such as the two largely unconnected Eighth Doctor audios set on Martian moons that have become holiday destinations called Phobos and Demios.
- Arguably this applies to the Halloween episodes of The Simpsons. The first involved a series of "scary" stories exchanged in Bart's treehouse, and was named "Treehouse of Horror". Subsequent entries were named "Treehouse of Horror II", "Treehouse of Horror III", etc., despite the fact that the rest don't even have a passing reference to a treehouse.
- "Lisa Gets an A," "Bart Gets an F," "Bart's Dog Gets an F," "Bart Gets a Z".
- "Marge vs. the Monorail," "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment," "Bart vs. Lisa vs. the 3rd Grade", etc.
- "Moaning Lisa" and the much later episode "Moe and-a Lisa"
- "Bart the Genius", "Lisa the Greek", "Homer the Smithers", etc.
- There are two episodes almost 20 years apart both about Moe trying to improve the fortunes of his bar, season 3's "Flaming Moe's" in which Homer invents (and Moe steals) a massively popular flaming cocktail, and season 22's "Flaming Moe" in which Moe and Smithers reinvent the bar with a completely different use of the word "Flaming" in mind.
- "Mypods and Boomsticks" and "Rednecks and Broomsticks" both deal with Islam and Wicca respectively.
- Transformers: Beast Wars featured Other Voices (parts 1 and 2), Other Visits (parts 1 and 2), and Other Victories (single episode). All revolved around a mysterious alien race and their interference in the Beast Wars.
- Transformers Prime has "Operation: Breakdown", about Breakdown being captured by MECH to be dissected, and "Operation: Bumblebee", a two-part episode about MECH stealing the part Bumblebee needs to transform.
- South Park:
- The show had a two part episode, the first called "Do The Handicapped Go To Hell?" and the second titled simply "Probably."
- And the same season started with four episodes, the titles of which all ended with the number "2000"; they were the first episodes of the year 2000 and satirised the way everything had "2000" slapped on it at the time.
- There were also "200" and "201".
- Also "Go god go" and its sequel "Go God Go XIII". Word of God (amusingly), said that this was to make it sound serieslike, where all this stuff had happened and we'd missed it".
- "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut." "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut."
- American Dad! had Season 2's "Four Little Words", where Stan goes to extreme lengths to avoid hearing his wife say "I told you so", and Season 4's "One Little Word", where Stan goes to extreme lengths to avoid telling his boss "No".
- The Family Guy episode "Foreign Affairs" has Bonnie planning to cheat on Joe in France because their marriage is on the rocks. The next season's "Internal Affairs" has Peter and Quagmire convincing Joe to cheat on Bonnie to return the favor.