A common way to name works:
- Pick some reasonably apropos quote from something famous. William Shakespeare and The Bible are as always the most common.
- Either use that as your title, or take some reasonably indicative noun phrase from it.
- Optionally, mess with the phrasing slightly to make it work better as a title or fit the setting.
- If all this sounds like too much work, pick any three or four consecutive words from William Butler Yeats' poem "The Second Coming".
- Bonus points if a character quotes the title in the work itself.
Despite the name, the quote need not come from literature per se
. Common non-literary sources for titles include political speeches and songs (but see Titled After the Song
for examples of the latter). Many of these quotes will be Stock Quotes
. A subtrope of Shout Out
, and often accompanied by an Inspiration Nod
. Also see Stock Episode Titles
open/close all folders
- The Sandman
- More than Rubies, multi-issue arc (Proverbs 31:10)
- "The Judge of All the Earth," Chapter 3 (Genesis 18:25)
- "A Brother to Dragons," Chapter 7 (Job 30:29)
- Kingdom Come, mini-series by Mark Waid and Alex Ross (Matthew 6:10 or Luke 11:2)
- Uncanny X-Men #100, "Greater Love Hath No X-Man" (from John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this...")
- Astro City #17, "The Voice of the Turtle" (Song of Solomon 2:12)
- The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman. The first line in the movie is even someone quoting the Bible passage where the phrase is mentioned. (Revelation 8:1)
- Through a Glass Darkly (Sĺsom i en Spegel - 1961) Bergman (1 Corinthians 13:12)
- The 6th Day (Genesis 1:31)
- Joyful Noise (Psalms 66:1, 81:1, 95:1, 95:2, 98:4, 98:6, and 100:1)
- Stephen Vincent Benét
- By the Waters of Babylon (Psalm 137)
- Agatha Christie
- The Pale Horse (Revelation 6:8)
- Eugenio Corti:
- The novel The Red Horse (Revelation 6:4), with its three parts, "The Red Horse", "The Pale Horse" (Revelation 6:8) and "The Tree of Life" (Revelation 2:7)
- Philip K Dick
- William Faulkner
- Absalom, Absalom! (2 Samuel 18:33)
- The Wild Palms (If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem) (Psalm 137:5)
- Ernest Hemingway
- The Sun Also Rises (Ecclesiastes 1:5)
- Graham Greene
- Robert A. Heinlein:
- Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
- In A Glass Darkly (short story collection) (1 Corinthians 13:12)
- Pat Frank
- Madeleine L'Engle:
- Alexander McArthur and H. Kingsley Long
- No Mean City (novel) (Acts 21:39)
- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
- The Mote in God's Eye (play on Luke 6:41-42 or Matthew 7:3-5)
- Baroness Orczy
- Vengeance Is Mine! (Romans 12:19)
- Terry Pratchett, Discworld
- Spider Robinson, Callahans Crosstime Saloon
- A Voice Is Heard In Ramah (Jeremiah 31:15)
- Dorothy L Sayers, Lord Peter Wimsey series
- Clouds Of Witness (Hebrews 12:1)
- Thrones, Dominations (Colossians 1:16)
- Irwin Shaw
- The Young Lions (Nahum 2:13)
- John Steinbeck
- George R. Stewart
- Roger Zelazny
- The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth (Job 41:14 + 19)
- Doctor Who New Adventures
- Timewyrm: Genesys
- Timewyrm: Exodus
- Timewyrm: Revelation
- Octavia Butler:
- Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23)
- Its sequel, Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 19:12-27)
- Babylon 5
- In The Beginning (movie made from the pilot) (Genesis 1:1 or John 1:1)
- "Passing Through Gethsemane" (allusion to Matthew 26:36 or Mark 14:32)
- Battlestar Galactica (reboot)
- "Valley of Darkness" (Psalms 23:4)
- "Rapture" (1 Thessalonians 4:17 via some confusing etymology)
- "He That Believeth In Me" (John 7:38)
- "The Left Hand" (Matthew 6:3)
- Due South
- "An Eye for an Eye" (Exodus 21:24)
- "My Brother's Keeper" (Genesis 4:9)
- "Thy Will Be Done" (Matthew 6:13)
- "Our Father" (Matthew 6:9 or Luke 11:2)
- "Brother's Keeper" (Genesis 4:9)
- "Upon This Rock" (Matthew 16:18)
- "The 23rd Psalm"
- "Stranger in a Strange Land" (Exodus 2:22)
- Possibly "316" in reference to the passage John 3:16
- Possibly "Numbers"
- "Powers, Principalities, Thrones, and Dominions" (Colossians 1:16)
- "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me" (Playing off of "Get thee behind me, Satan" in Luke 4:8)
- "The Fourth Horseman" (Revelation 6:7)
- "Through a Glass Darkly" (1 Corinthians 13:13)
- Northern Exposure
- "All Is Vanity" (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
- "Heal Thyself" (Luke 4:23)
- Power Rangers RPM
- "Brother's Keeper" (Genesis 4:9)
- Quantum Leap
- "The Right Hand of God'' (multiple occurrences including Psalms 63:6 and Mark 16:19)
- "Thou Shalt Not" (Exodus 20 or Deuteronomy 5)
- "Deliver Us From Evil" (Matthew 6:13)
- Red Dwarf
- Star Trek
- "Sins of the Father" (TNG) (Exodus 20:5 or Deuteronomy 5:9)
- "...Nor The Battle To The Strong" (DS9) (Ecclesiastes 9:11)
- "Let He Who Is Without Sin" (DS9) (John 8:7)
- "Eye of the Needle" (Voyager) (Matthew 19:24)
- "Good Shepherd" (Voyager) (John 10:11 or John 10:14)
- "In A Mirror, Darkly" (Enterprise) (1 Corinthians 13:12)
- Stargate SG-1
- "The Fourth Horseman" (Revelation 6:7)
- "In The Beginning" (Genesis 1:1 or John 1:1)
- "No Rest For The Wicked" (Isaiah 48:22)
- War of the Worlds TV series
- "The Walls of Jericho" (Hebrews 11:30)
- "Thy Kingdom Come" (Matthew 6:10 or Luke 11:2)
- "A Multitude of Idols" (Ezekiel 14:4)
- "Eye for an Eye" (Exodus 21:24)
- "The Second Seal" (Revelation 6:3)
- "The Good Samaritan" (Luke 10)
- "Among the Philistines" (2 Chronicles 26:6)
- "He Feedeth Among the Lilies" (Song of Solomon 2:16)
- "The Prodigal Son" (Luke 15)
- "The Meek Shall Inherit" (Matthew 5:5)
- "Unto Us A Child Is Born" (Isaiah 9:6)
- "Vengeance Is Mine" (Romans 12:19)
- "So Shall Ye Reap" (Galatians 6:7)
- The West Wing episodes:
- "Evidence of Things Not Seen" (Hebrews 11:1)
- "In Excelsis Deo" (Luke 2:14)
- "Isaac and Ishmael" (Genesis 17:20-21)
- "Shibboleth" (Judges 12:6)
- "Take This Sabbath Day" (Deuteronomy 5:12)
- White Stripes album "Get Behind Me Satan" (Matthew 16:23)
- The Fiery Furnaces get their name from Daniel 3:6.
- The song "Straight Street" references the "Street Called Straight" (Acts 9:10-19).
- "All Is Vanity" (Ecclesiastes 1:2), a song by the Manic Street Preachers, from "Journal For Plague Lovers"
- Nick Cave album "Kicking Against the Pricks" (Acts 26:14)
- In an interesting example, the band Avenged Sevenfold actually takes their name from Genesis 4:15, and lampshades that with the song "Chapter 4."
- The Scottish rock band Nazereth had an album called "No Mean City" (Acts 21:39, but probably more directly from the Alexander McArthur and H. Kingsley Long novel above). (Their name isn't a direct Biblical allusion either; it's after Nazareth, PA, mentioned in "The Weight" by The Band.)
- "No Mean City" by Maggie Bell (better known as "Theme from Taggart"), as above.
- Balm in Gilead, play by Lanford Wilson (Jeremiah 8:22)
- The Little Foxes, play by Lillian Hellman (Song of Solomon 2:15)
- The Voice of the Turtle, play by John van Druten (Song of Solomon 2:12)
- Zerg mission 8: Eye for an Eye (Exodus 21:24)
- Ultimate Doom
- Thy Flesh Consumed (Proverbs 5:11)
- E4 M1: Hell Beneath (Proverbs 15:24)
- E4 M2: Perfect Hatred (Psalm 139:22)
- E4 M3: Sever The Wicked (Matthew 13:49)
- E4 M4: Unruly Evil (James 3:8)
- E4 M5: They Will Repent (Luke 16:30)
- E4 M6: Against Thee Wickedly (Psalm 139:20)
- E4 M7: And Hell Followed (Revelation 6:8)
- E4 M8: Unto The Cruel (Proverbs 5:9)
- Gears of War chapter 5-3 "Pale Horse" (Revelation 6:8)
- Mass Effect mission titles, particularly in the sequel:
- "The Prodigal" (Luke 15:11-32)
- "A House Divided" (Luke 11:17)
- More of a Literary Allusion Name, but the character Legion is named after a part of Mark 5:9 ("My name is Legion: for we are many.").
- The Sburb album of Homestuck has most of its track titles based either on biblical books (Genesis, Exodus, Chronicles, Revelations) or on biblical phrases and ideas (Eden, The Meek, Rapture, Creation).
- The Meek (Matthew 5:5)
- No Rest for the Wicked (Isaiah 48:22 or Isaiah 57:21)
- Whateley Universe: the origin novel for Phase has five chapters, titled: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy
- "Sins of the Father", episode of The New Batman Adventures (Exodus 20:5 or Deuteronomy 5:9)
- "She of Little Faith", episode of The Simpsons ("O ye of little faith," repeated phrase in Matthew)
- "My Brother's Keeper", episode of Danny Phantom (Genesis 4:9)
- The Sandman
- "Sound and Fury" (Macbeth V.i)
- "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
- "The Tempest"
- The above two are directly related to the plays mentioned, even including text from them.
- Stephen Ambrose
- Christopher L. Bennet
- Ray Bradbury
- Robert Browning
- "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came", poem (King Lear III.iv)
- Agatha Christie
- Dorothy Dunnett
- William Faulkner
- Jasper Fforde
- Something Rotten, novel (Hamlet I.iv)
- Frederick Forsyth
- Robert Frost
- Georgette Heyer
- Aldous Huxley
- Mercedes Lackey
- Elizabeth Longford, The Pebbled Shore (Sonnet 60)
- Seanan McGuire. All the novels in her October Daye series have titles taken from Shakespeare's plays. So far these include:
- Jeff Mariotte
- Richard Matheson
- Malcolm Muggeridge, Chronicles of Wasted Time (Sonnet 106)
- Vladimir Nabokov
- Ogden Nash
- "Very Like A Whale", poem (Hamlet III.ii)
- Larry Niven
- "When Birnam Wood", one of the chapters in The Integral Trees.
- Robert B. Parker
- Barbara Paul
- First Gravedigger, novel (minor character in Hamlet)
- Terry Pratchett
- Marcel Proust
- Remembrance of Things Past (Sonnet 30), English translation of the novel A la recherche du temps perdu. Proust actually objected to the Shakespeare reference in the title, which his publisher insisted on in order to boost sales. Nowadays the title is usually translated literally: "In Search Of Lost Time".
- John Ringo
- Unto The Breach, novel (Henry V III.i)
- We Few, novel (Henry V, IV.iii)
- Dorothy L Sayers
- John Steinbeck
- The Winter Of Our Discontent, novel (Richard III I.i)
- The Moon Is Down, novella (Macbeth II.i)
- Mary Stewart
- Kurt Vonnegut
- "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow", short story (Macbeth V.i)
- David Foster Wallace
- Kate Wilhelm
- Philip K Dick
- "Time Out Of Joint", novel (Hamlet, I.v)
- The Fault in Our Stars, novel by John Green (Julius Ceasar)
- "This Vortal Coil", Half-Life 2 Episode 2 (play on "this mortal coil" from Hamlet III.i)
- Star Trek: Judgment Rites's last two episodes are titled "Though this be Madness" and "Yet There's Method In It" (Hamlet II.ii)
- Doctor Who audio plays
- "Pomp and Circumstance Marches", classical music by Edward Elgar (Othello III.iii)
- ... Nothing Like the Sun, double album by Sting (Sonnet 130)
- "The Dogs of War", song by Pink Floyd (Julius Caesar III.i)
- Also from that play, Iron Maiden's "The Evil That Men Do".
- Darwins Soldiers story Card of Ten (The Taming of the Shrew, II.i)
- "Absolute Power", (letter to Mandell Creighton)
John Quincy Adams
- "Prometheus Unbound", (title of play)
Hans Christian Andersen
- "Men of Good Fortune", The Sandman issue (Rhetoric, treatise)
- "One Small Step" and "One Giant Leap", episodes of Eureka
- "One Giant Leap", episode of Heroes (sentence said upon landing on the moon)
- "One Small Step", episode of Star Trek: Voyager (sentence said upon landing on the moon)
- The titles of In Memory Yet Green and In Joy Still Felt - a two-volume autobiography - were drawn by the author from a poem by Asimov. It's something of a Zig Zag, though, since it's Asimov's autobiography.
- The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "I Robot, You Jane." This doubles as an allusion to Tarzan.
- Brief Lives, multi-issue The Sandman arc and subsequent single-volume collection (title of biography collection)
Stephen Vincent Benét
- Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, study of Native American life in the late 19th century by Dee Brown ("American Names," poem)
- "Bury My Shell at Wounded Knee", Locomotive Level of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time
- "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee", song by Buffy Sainte-Marie.
- "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee", song by Indigo Girls.
- "Bury My Knee at Wounded Heart", Judge Dredd story.
- "Bury My Knee at Wounded Heart", Tank Girl story.
- Doom of Battle, the third novel in Marcus Pitcaithly's Hereward trilogy.
The Bhagavad Gita
Otto von Bismarck
- Blood and Iron, novel by Elizabeth Bear (1862 speech). Otto himself was quoting Quintilian, but a Title Drop in the book makes it clear that the Bismarck reference is the intended one.
- Blood and Iron, novel (first of the American Empire trilogy) by Harry Turtledove
- (Non-Fiction): Gold and Iron: Bismarck, Bleichröder, and the Building of the German Empire, a double biography of Bismarck and his banker, Gerson Bleichröder, by Fritz Stern.
- The Art of the Impossible, Star Trek: The Lost Era novel (play on "Politics is the art of the possible", from an 1867 interview)
- Western Animation
- "Tiger! Tiger!", a Jungle Book story by Rudyard Kipling ("The Tyger", poem)
- Tiger! Tiger!, original title of The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
- "Tyger! Tyger!", episode of Batman: The Animated Series
- Tyger Tyger, book by Kersten Hamilton
- Burning Bright, novel by John Steinbeck ("The Tyger", poem)
- In the Forests of the Night, a vampire novel by then-teenaged Amelia Atwater-Rhodes; the villain even quotes the poem. This has become a recurring theme with her book titles; see the rest of the page for more examples. ("The Tyger", poem)
- What Dread Hand, short story collection by Christianna Brand ("The Tyger", poem)
- "What Dread Hand", episode of Sky
- "Fearful Symmetry" - The X-Files episode ("The Tyger", poem)
- Fearful Symmetry, a Daniel Amos album
- "Fearful Symmetry", Watchmen, Chapter 5
- Fearful Symmetry: Kraven's Last Hunt - a Spider-Man six-part arc from 1987, which also quotes the poem in the first and last installment.
- "Fearful Symmetry", a Justice League Unlimited episode
- Bonus Points: also a deliberate double reference to the Watchmen chapter. The JLU episode co-stars The Question, while the Watchman chapter focuses on Rorschach, Moore's Captain Ersatz for The Question.
- Her Fearful Symmetry, novel by Audrey Niffenegger
- "Little Girl Lost", an episode of Castle (title of poem)
- "Little Girl Lost", episode of The Twilight Zone
- Forests of the Night and Fearful Symmetries(:The Return of Nohar Rajasthan), two novels from S. Andrew Swann's Moreau Series, both of which have the same main character who's a sentient tiger...
- Seize the Fire, a Star Trek: Typhon Pact novel ("The Tyger", poem)
The Book of Common Prayer
- "Ashes to Ashes", song by David Bowie (Burial Rites 1 and 2)
- "Ashes to Ashes", Blind Guardian song.
- "Ashes to Ashes", episode of Star Trek: Voyager
- "The Burial of the Dead", the title of the first part of T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land," comes from the title of the funeral service
- "Dust to Dust", Babylon 5 episode (Burial Rites 1 and 2)
- "Dust to Dust", War of the Worlds episode
- An Excellent Mystery, Brother Cadfael novel by Ellis Peters (The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony)
- "Dust to Dust", album by Heavenly (which also contains a song called "Ashes to Ashes...")
- "Dust to Dust", the last level of Modern Warfare 3
- Fahrenheit 9/11 - The Michael Moore documentary about the presidency of George W. Bush, referencing Bradbury's classic Fahrenheit 451. Mr. Bradbury accused Mr. Moore of "stealing" his title, though he himself has invoked this several times in his career.
Anne Dudley Bradstreet
- In Ashes Lie, novel by Marie Brennan ("Verses on the Burning of our House, July 18, 1666", poem)
- "O Little Town...", Eureka episode ("O Little Town of Bethlehem", Christmas carol)
- The Silent Stars Go By, a science fiction novel by James White, 1991.
- The Silent Stars Go By, a Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel by Dan Abnett, 2010.
- The Dark Tower series by Stephen King ("Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came", poem)
- Grow Old Along With Me, the original title of Pebble In The Sky by Isaac Asimov ("Rabbi Ben Ezra", poem)
- "Wolf in the Fold", Star Trek episode ("The Destruction of Sennacherib", poem)
- "She Walks in Beauty", Bonanza episode (title of poem)
- "And the Moon Be Still as Bright", chapter in The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury ("So We'll Go No More A-Roving")
- "The Die Is Cast", Star Trek: Deep Space 9 episode (remark attributed to Caesar in Suetonius's Divus Julius and Plutarch's Life of Pompey)
Marcus Tullius Cicero
- "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges", Star Trek: Deep Space 9 episode (Pro Milone)
- "A Stronger Loving World," Watchmen, Chapter 12 ("Sanities", song)
W. B. Cannon
- "Fight or Flight", episode of Heroes (Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage: An Account of Recent Researches into the Function of Emotional Excitement, scientific paper)
- "Through the Looking Glass", Angel episode (title of book)
- "Through the Looking Glass", Star Trek: Deep Space 9 episode
- "Through the Looking Glass", Farscape episode
- LOST episodes:
- "White Rabbit", song by Jefferson Airplane.
- Into the Looking Glass series, by John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor
- "Mimsy Were The Borogoves", a short story by Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore).
- The Last Mimzy, a movie inspired by the Lewis Padgett story.
- "The Folsom Prison Blues", Supernatural episode (title of song)
Child Ballads / folk songs
- "And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place", episode of Babylon 5 ("Oh, Sinner Man", traditional spiritual)
- No Hiding Place, 1960s UK Police Procedural (same song)
- Strong Poison by Dorothy L Sayers ("Lord Randall", Child Ballad #12)
- "When the Bough Breaks", episode of Castle ("Rockabye Baby", traditional lullaby)
- When the Wind Blows, graphic novel by Raymond Briggs (same lullaby)
- Manly Wade Wellman did this often with his "Silver John" stories: "In the Pines" (same song), "The Desrick On Yandro" (He's Gone Away), "Little Black Train" (same song).
- All of the titles of the Bedlam's Bard series by Mercedes Lackey are taken from the lyrics of Tom O'Bedlam, such as Music to My Sorrow and Knight of Ghosts and Shadows.
- Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off, play by Liz Lochead (traditional children's rhyme)
- Preludes and Nocturnes, one-volume collection of The Sandman issues (characteristic, frequently collected musical forms)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- "Hell Hath No Fury", episode of Castle (The Mourning Bride, play)
- "Hell Hath No Fury", episode of Charmed
Constitution of the United States of America
- The JAG episode "We the People" (preamble)
- "He Shall, from Time to Time...", The West Wing episode (Article II, Section 3)
- Protect and Defend, Richard North Patterson legal/political thriller (Article II, Section 1)
- Persistence of Memory, novel by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (title of painting)
- "The Persistence of Memory", episode of Cosmos
- Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom, non-fiction book by Sean B. Carroll (On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, non-fiction book note )
- The Origin of PC's, the prequel to The Order of the Stick (On The Origin of Species, non-fiction book)
- Almost Like A Whale: The Origin of Species Updated, non-fiction book by Steve Jones (On The Origin of Species, non fiction booknote )
Philip K. Dick
- Fringe episode "Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?" from the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (which was adapted into a little movie called Blade Runner).
- A Japanese Pokémon episode is "Do Magnemite Dream of Electric Mice" (in English, "Sparks Fly From the Magnemite")
- "A Tale of Two Cities", The Sandman issue (title of novel)
- "A Tale of Two Cities", LOST episode
- "A Tale of Two Pretties", book in The Clique series
- "A Tale of Two Springfields", episode of The Simpsons
- "A Tale of Two Kitties", Merrie Melodies cartoon marking the debut of Tweety.
- "The Mystery of the Old Curio Shop", Northern Exposure episode (an allusion to Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop)
- He Do The Time Police In Different Voices, collection of David Langford's parody work (alluding to the line "he do the Police in different voices" in Our Mutual Friend)
- "A Christmas Carol", Doctor Who episode (A Christmas Carol, novel. Appropriate as the entire episode was Yet Another Christmas Carol)
- "Grape Expectations", U.S. Acres segment of Garfield and Friends (Great Expectations, novel)
- Gone with the Wind, novel by Margaret Mitchell ("Non Sum Qualis eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae", poem)
- Arguably the song "Always True To You In My Fashion" from Kiss Me Kate (paraphrased line from "Non Sum Qualis eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae", poem)
- Days of Wine and Roses, a 1962 film ("Vitae Summa Brevis Nos Spem Incohare Longam", poem)
- "Days of Wine and Doh'ses, episode of The Simpsons
- For Whom the Bell Tolls, novel by Ernest Hemingway (Meditation XVII, prose poem) Many of the following are more likely to be references to the novel.
- "For Whom the Bell Tolls", episode of Andromeda
- For Whom the Bell Tolls, Metallica song
- "For Whom the Bell Trolls", episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
- To Your Scattered Bodies Go, novel by Philip Jose Farmer (Holy Sonnet VII)
- Death Be Not Proud, memoir by John J. Gunther (Holy Sonnet X)
- "Marge Be Not Proud", episode of The Simpsons
- Valediction, Spenser novel by Robert B. Parker (who featured many allusive titles in the 1980s) (shortened title of "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning", poem)
- "Catch a Falling Star", episode of Quantum Leap ("Song", poem)
Arthur Conan Doyle
- "Watchmaker," Watchmen, Chapter 4 (apocryphal remark "If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker")
- Circumference of Darkness, novel by Jack Henderson (attributed remark "As the circle of light increases, so does the circumference of darkness around it")
- God's Dice, novel by S. Andrew Swann (1924 letter to Max Born)
- "God's Dice," Pearl Jam song
- Subtle is the Lord, Einstein biography by Abraham Pais (1921 remark to Oscar Veblen at Princeton University)
T. S. Eliot
- Novels by Iain Banks:
- Consider Phlebas (The Waste Land, poem)
- Look to Windward (The Waste Land, poem)
- Doctor Who novel "The Hollow Men" (The Waste Land, poem)
- "The Hollow Men", episode of Dollhouse
- Stephen King's The Waste Lands (part 3 of The Dark Tower; Eliot's The Waste Land is quoted in the epigraph)
- This is the Way the World Ends, novel by James Morrow.
- Time to Murder and Create, novel by Lawrence Block ("The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", poem)
- Wire in the Blood (Four Quartets, poem), and a few of its episodes:
- "The Mermaids Singing" (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, poem)
- "Time to Murder and Create" (same)
- All of Val McDermid's Tony Hill books (the inspiration for Wire in the Blood) are named after one or two lines in one of his poems with the part written in the beginning of the book.
- The Mermaids Singing (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)
- Wire in the Blood (Burnt Norton, Four Quartets)
- The Last Temptation (Murder in the Cathedral)
- The Torment of Others (The Dry Salvages, Four Quartets)
- Beneath the Bleeding (East Coker, Four Quartets)
- Fever of the Bone (Whispers of Immortality)
- "Whom Gods Destroy", Star Trek episode ("Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad", epigram)
- "Old Ghosts," Watchmen, Chapter 8 ("Hallowe'en", poem)
- "Before I Sleep", Stargate Atlantis episode ("Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening", poem)
- "Miles to Go Before I Sleep", song recorded by Celine Dion ("Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening", poem)
- Perish Twice, novel by Robert B. Parker ("Fire and Ice", poem)
- "Road Less Traveled", Battlestar Galactica episode ("The Road Not Taken", poem)
- "Road Not Taken", Stargate SG-1 episode ("The Road Not Taken", poem)
- "Road Not Taken", MacGyver episode ("The Road Not Taken", poem)
- Two Roads Diverge, graphic novel by Richard Kelly ("The Road Not Taken", poem)
- Miles To Go was the name of Miley Cyrus' 2009 memoir, and a play on her first name.
W. S. Gilbert
Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- Far From the Madding Crowd, novel by Thomas Hardy ("Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard", poem)
- Matchbox 20 also has an album named "Far From the Madding Crowd", though it's unclear which is the source.
- "Goodbye to All That", Northern Exposure episode (Good-Bye to All That, autobiography)
- "Goodbye to All That", Millennium episode
- "Goodbye to All That", Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode
- "Goodbye to All That", song from 1946 musical Park Avenue
- "The Grift of the Magi", episode of The Simpsons ("The Gift of the Magi", short story)
Henry IV of France
- "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish", episode of The Simpsons ("a wagon in each barn and a chicken in every pot", attributed).
- "Is There In Truth No Beauty?", Star Trek episode ("Jordan (I)", poem)
- Steppenwolf, band (title of novel)
- "Steppenwolf", song by Hawkwind
- "The Baby Vanishes", Rugrats episode
- "The Lady Vanishes", Wings episode
- "The Lady Vanishes" Dallas episode
- "The Lady Vanishes" The Commish episode
- "The Lady Vanishes" Sexton Blake episode
- Season 6 of 2point4 Children had a run of episodes called "The Lady Vanishes", "Vertigo", "The Trouble With Harry" and "The Man Who Knew Too Much".
- "The Money Vanishes" ''Ducktales episode.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
- "Eris Quod Sum", episode of Heroes (Odes, collection of lyric poems)
- The Remorseful Day, the title of the last Inspector Morse novel. (Last line of More Poems XVI, "How clear, how lovely bright")
Julia Ward Howe
- The Grapes of Wrath, novel by John Steinbeck ("The Battle Hymn of the Republic", song)
- "The Crepes of Wrath", episode of The Simpsons
- The Grapes of Death is the direct translation of the French title Les Raisins de la Mort, a zombie film. Presumably refers to the Steinbeck novel.
Margaret Wolfe Hungerford
Lyndon B. Johnson
- "Hearts and Minds", episode of LOST (1965 speech)
- "Hearts and Minds", episode of V
- "Hearts and Minds", episode of Justice League
- Thomas Ligotti short story "Drink to Me Only with Labyrinthine Eyes", from the opening line of "Song: To Celia" ("Drink to me only with thine eyes...")
- The Persona spin off series from Shin Megami Tensei.
- "The Darkness of Mere Being," Watchmen, Chapter 9 (Memories, Dreams, Reflections, book)
- "The Last Temptation of Homer" and "The Last Temptation of Krust", episodes of The Simpsons ("The Last Temptation of Christ", novel)
- Also possibly "Lisa the Greek" ("Zorba the Greek", novel)
John F. Kennedy
Francis Scott Key
- Twilight's Last Gleaming, 1971 novel and 1977 film ("The Star-Spangled Banner")
- "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming", episode of The Simpsons
- "Proof Through The Night", episode of "Airwolf" ("The Star-Spangled Banner")
- "No Refuge Could Save", Isaac Asimov short story ("The Star-Spangled Banner")
- From Here to Eternity, novel by James Jones ("Gentlemen-Rankers", poem)
- The Thin Red Line, novel by James Jones ("Tommy", poem)
- "Thin RED Line", Arakune's theme music in the videogame BlazBlue
- Although, as "Tommy" lampshades, "thin red line" was an older phrase used in the newspapers etc. at least since the Crimean War.
- Insurance: The White Man's Burden, a Goon Show episode. ("The White Man's Burden", poem)
- White Mans Burden, motion picture starring John Travolta and Harry Belefonte
- The Monstrous Regiment, novel by Storm Constantine ("The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women", tract)
- Monstrous Regiment, Discworld novel
C. S. Lewis
- "The Bug, the Witch, and the Robot", Sluggy Freelance arc (play on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, novel)
- "The Toad, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", X-Men: Evolution episode
- "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe", Doctor Who episode
- "The Lyin', the Watch, and the Wardrobe", Ugly Betty episode
- "The Lying Old Witch in the Wardrobe", Doctor Who Expanded Universe short story
- "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe", 2point4 Children episode
- "The Great Divorce", a short story by Kelly Link (title of an allegory)
- Sixpence None the Richer, American pop/rock band (title taken from Mere Christianity)
- The Problem of Susan, a short story by Neil Gaiman ("The Problem of Pain", essay)
- For Us, The Living, novel by Robert A. Heinlein (Gettysburg Address, speech)
- The title of Ayn Rand's first novel, We the Living, may also have been alluding to this
- The Last Full Measure, novel by Jeff Shaara, third in the Civil War Trilogy (Gettysburg Address, speech)
- "The Stormy Present", episode of The West Wing (1862 annual speech to Congress)
- "A House Divided", episode of ER (1858 speech accepting senatorial nomination)
- "House Divided", episode of House
- "A Milhouse Divided", episode of The Simpsons.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- The Childrens Hour, play by Lillian Hellman (title of poem)
- The Children's Hour, novelette and later novel from the Man-Kzin Wars series, by Jerry Pournelle and SM Stirling
- When Saturday Comes, film (title of magazine)
- "When Saturday Comes", 2point4 Children episode (title of magazine)
- When Friday Comes: Football, War and the Middle East, non-fiction book by James Montague (based on title of magazine)
- A Thousand Ships, first trade paperback for the Age of Bronze comic book series by Eric Shanower (Doctor Faustus V.i, play)
- Midnight Never Come, novel by Marie Brennan (Doctor Faustus V.i, play)
- A Fine and Private Place, novel by Peter S. Beagle ("To His Coy Mistress", poem)
- Fine and Private Place, novel by Ellery Queen
- "Vaster Than Empires and More Slow", short story by Ursula K. Le Guin ("To His Coy Mistress", poem)
- World Enough and Time, novel by Robert Penn Warren ("To His Coy Mistress", poem)
- "World Enough and Time", Star Trek: New Voyages
- Worlds Enough and Time, science fiction novel by Joe Haldeman
The Marx Brothers
- "There Ain't No Sanity Clause", song by The Damned (A Night at the Opera, film)
- A Night At The Opera and A Day At The Races were Queen albums from 1975 and 1976, respectively.
- In a somewhat related note, Elton John got the title to his 1973 Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player album, when his friend Groucho Marx kidded him that his stage name should be "John Elton". Elton raised his hand as if in a hold-up and jokily exclaimed what would be the title of the album. Elton put a Go West movie poster in the album artwork as a tribute to the Marx Brothers.
- Appointment in Samarra, novel by John O'Hara (Sheppey, play)
- "Appointment in Samarra", episode of Supernatural
John Mc Crae
- "When Flanders Failed", episode of The Simpsons ("In Flanders Fields", poem)
- The Man Who Wasn't There, film ("Antigonish", poem)
- The Light Fantastic, Discworld novel ("L'Allegro", poem)
- Tripping the Light Fantastic, album by The Enid
- Tripping the Live Fantastic, live double album by Paul McCartney
- To Reign in Hell, novel by Steven Brust (Paradise Lost, epic poem)
- His Dark Materials (Paradise Lost, epic poem) The Working Title of the trilogy, The Golden Compasses, as well. The American title of the first book, The Golden Compass, comes from this, although the "compasses" Milton referred to were the drawing instrument, not the navigational tool which the alethiometer superficially resembles. (Paradise Lost, epic poem)
- In Dubious Battle, novel by John Steinbeck (Paradise Lost, epic poem)
- "Paradise Lost", Justice League episode
- Prospero Lost and Prospero Regained by L. Jagi Lamplighter, in her Prospero's Daughter trilogy. (Though the middle work is not included.)
- "Paradise Lost", subtitle of Mega Man X8 (Paradise Lost, epic poem)
Edward R. Murrow
- Brightness Falls From the Air, novel by James Tiptree ("A Litany in Time of Plague", poem)
The New England Primer
- "My Soul to Keep", episode of War of the Worlds
- The novels in Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series all use either quotes from or variations on the "My Soul to Keep" verse. They are:
- My Soul to Take
- My Soul to Save
- My Soul to Keep
- "My Soul to Lose" (the prequel novella)
- The forthcoming (as of March 2011) If I Die.
- A Star Shall Fall, novel by Marie Brennan (unpublished alchemical notes)
The Nicene Creed
- Man and Superman, play by George Bernard Shaw (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, book)
- "The Abyss Gazes Also," Watchmen, Chapter 6 (Beyond Good and Evil, book)
- Beyond Good & Evil, video game (title of book)
- Every single chapter of the Xenosaga series.
- Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht (recurring phrase most common in Beyond Good and Evil)
- Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse (title of book—in English, Beyond Good and Evil)
- Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra (title of book—in English, Thus Spoke Zarathustra)
- Also Sprach Zarathustra, orchestral work by Richard Strauss
- Too Human, video game (title of book—Human, All Too Human)
- "Long Day's Journey", episode of ER (Long Day's Journey Into Night, play)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone
- Two Worlds, a German developed action RPG that apparently draws its name from Plato's concept of the worlds of Form and Things.
Edgar Allan Poe
- Novels by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes:
- Demon in my View ("Alone", poem)
- Token of Darkness (paraphrase of "The Raven", poem)
- "Tattletale Heart", episode of Recess ("The Telltale Heart", short story)
- "The Telltale Head", episode of The Simpsons ("The Telltale Heart", short story)
- "Murders in the Rue Morgue", Iron Maiden song (title of short story)
- El Dorado has been used for both a Western starring John Wayne and a pinball machine. Both feature the search for a mythical lost city of gold.
- "Sleep of the Just", issue of The Sandman (Abrégé de l'histoire de Port Royal, book)
- The Last Argument of Kings, novel by Joe Abercrombie (English translation of Latin motto "Ultima ratio regum" inscribed on cannons)
Franklin D. Roosevelt
- "Known Unknowns", episode of House (2002 White House press briefing)
- Stuff Happens, play by David Hare (2003 speech note )
- "Objects in Space", Firefly episode (Being and Nothingness, book)
- "Other People", short story by Neil Gaiman (No Exit, play)
- "No Exit", episode of The West Wing (title of play)
- "No Exit", episode of The 4400
- No Exit, album by Australian band The Angels/Angel City
- Huis Clos chapter from "Ayla and the Mad Scientist"
Friedrich von Schiller
- The Gods Themselves, novel by Isaac Asimov ("Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain", line from Die Jungfrau von Orléans)
Sir Walter Scott
- Sons of the White Dragon, the first novel in Marcus Pitcaithly's Hereward trilogy. The quotation comes from Ulrica's Death Song in Ivanhoe.
- Oh, the Things I Know!, advice/humor book by Al Franken (Oh, the Places You'll Go!, picture book)
- "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish", episode of The Simpsons (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, picture book)
George Bernard Shaw
Percy Bysshe Shelley
- "Who Mourns for Adonais?", Star Trek episode ("Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats", poem)
- "Look on My Works, Ye Mighty...," Watchmen, Chapter 11 ("Ozymandias", poem)
- The Prisoner: Shattered Visage, graphic novel ("Ozymandias", poem)
- "The Lone And Level Sands", Andromeda episode ("Ozymandias", poem)
- "Prometheus Unbound", Stargate SG-1 episode (title of play; also a reference to Aeschylus)
- "Prometheus Unbound", Beast Machines episode
- Peace like a River, novel by Leif Enger ("It Is Well Within My Soul", hymn)
A Star Is Born
Robert Louis Stevenson
- The Black Adder, first season of Blackadder (The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses, novel)
Robert E. Stripling
- "Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been", episode of Angel (repeated question in the 1947 House Committee on Un-American Activities hearing that lead to the Hollywood blacklist, in which Stripling was the chief investigator)
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
- The Mirror Crack'd, novel by Agatha Christie ("The Lady of Shalott", poem)
- Sick of Shadows, novel by Sharyn McCrumb ("The Lady of Shalott", poem)
- Tooth and Claw, novel by Jo Walton ("In Memoriam A.H.H.", poem)
- To Sail Beyond the Sunset, novel by Robert A. Heinlein ("Ulysses", poem)
- The Crimson Petal and the White, novel by Michael Faber ("The Princess", poem)
- Live Action TV
- Video Games
- Real Life
- The World Wonders, a meaningless phrase - intended to make messages harder to decode - that was mistaken for part of a real transmission during the Battle of Leyte Gulf (Charge of the Light Brigade)
- "Dying of the Light", episode of Heroes ("Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night", villanelle)
- Dying of the Light, novel by George RR Martin
- "Into That Good Night", episode of ER ("Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night", villanelle)
- Millennium episode "Loin Like a Hunting Flame" ("The Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait", poem)
Alexis de Tocqueville
- Live Action TV
- "The War Prayer", episode of Babylon 5 ("The War Prayer", essay)
- "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics", episode of The West Wing ("Chapters from My Autobiography", essay)
- Western Animation
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
- "Ice 9", Joe Satriani song (Cat's Cradle, novel)
- "The Sirens of Titan", Al Stewart song (The Sirens of Titan, novel)
- Welcome to the Monkey House, Dandy Warhols album (Welcome to the Monkey House, short story anthology)
- World Domination In Retrospect, a Web Serial Novel in the form of blogfic (Armageddon In Retrospect, short story in an anthology of the same name)
David Foster Wallace
- "A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again", episode of The Simpsons ("A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again," essay, and also title of a collection of essays)
- "Gliding Over All", episode of Breaking Bad which features a copy of the poetry collection Leaves of Grass as a major plot point.
- Leaves of Grass, 2010 film starring Edward Norton.
- Skin Horse, webcomic by Shaenon Garrity and Jeffrey Channing Wells (The Velveteen Rabbit, children's book)
The Wizard of Oz
- Live Action TV
- "Over the Rainbow", episode of Angel
- "The Man Behind the Curtain" and "There's No Place Like Home," episodes of LOST
- Western Animation
Carter Godwin Woodson
- "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill", album (play off the title of The Miseducation of the Negro, book)
- Splendor in the Grass, 1961 film ("Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood", poem)
William Butler Yeats
Practically all of these are from his poem "The Second Coming", which is a rather... popular
source of titles. The National Lampoon once compiled a fake bestseller list consisting entirely of books whose titles come from "The Second Coming".
- Things Fall Apart, novel by Chinua Achebe
- "Things Fall Apart", episode of The West Wing
- Slouching Towards Bethlehem, essay collection by Joan Didion
- "Slouching Towards Bethlehem", song by Joni Mitchell (although, the song is quite literally a rendering of Yeats' poem to music).
- "Slouching Towards Bethlehem", episode of Angel
- Slouching Toward Gomorrah by Robert H. Bork and its subsequent rebuttal, Skipping Toward Gomorrah by Dan Savage.
- "Stumbling to Bethlehem", a song by Patti Scialfa.
- Ceremony and The Widening Gyre, novels by Robert B. Parker
- Episodes of Andromeda:
- "The Widening Gyre"
- "Its Hour Come Round At Last"
- "Pitiless As The Sun"
- "The Second Coming", episode of Heroes
- The Center Cannot Hold, second book in the American Empire trilogy by Harry Turtledove
- The PC game Ceremony Of Innocence
- Slouching Towards Bedlam, Interactive Fiction by Daniel Ravipinto and Star Foster
- Kevin Smith's Batman: The Widening Gyre.
- Blood Dimmed Tides, Tabletop RPG supplement for the Old World of Darkness line.
- "Turning and Turning" and "The Widening Gyre", episodes from the third season of Sons Of Anarchy
- The Star Trek Novel Verse sequence Star Trek: Mere Anarchy, and all six books within the series (Things Fall Apart; The Centre Cannot Hold; Shadows of the Indignant; The Darkness Drops Again; The Blood-Dimmed Tide; and Its Hour Come Round).
From other works: