"The first challenge one confronts with Face/Off is the curious, I might even say
misplaced, 'forward slash' in the title. Are 'Face' and 'Off' separate talents on the title's resume?
—Mike Nelson Movie Megacheese
There are many ways to name something, but if you're looking to add a bit of variety, why not throw some symbols into it in place of letters? This comes in two varieties. The first kind, extremely present in anime
and the songs within it, is adding meaningless symbols into the title. These symbols can give the show its own identity, but since you can't exactly pronounce
a symbol, they just end up being there for decoration. Hearts and stars are especially common, much like the marshmallows in a bowl of Lucky Charms. These usually end up being removed when the title is brought over to the West. One is tempted to count in tildes (~), which are ridiculously common in Japanese titles, but these actually serve a function - the same function that a dash or colon would serve in a Western title (and as such tildes are often simply changed to colons for the Western release).
The first variety, unless you're the sort that compulsively downloads character sets, may end up looking very, very strange when it pops up in a Web browser that doesn't fully support Unicode. Extreme examples can render the title impossible to search for online.
The second variety is common in the West. Instead of writing actual letters, replace them with numbers
. Of course, this practice is just as common as part of "1337-speak"
on the Internet, so the implications of it may vary, from looking cool to just looking silly. It can sometimes be used to make a political point, especially by using $ in place of S; examples of this are best left as an exer¢i$e for the reader.
May include a Heart Symbol
. Apply this to speech, and you get Say It with Hearts
. Letters 2 Numbers
and The Backwards R
are sister tropes. Compare to Xtreme Kool Letterz
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Anime and Manga
- Black★Rock Shooter
- Written らき☆すた (Raki☆Suta) in the original title.
- Only translations have an ampersand, and you can pronounce it. Specifically, in Japanese, it's "Yotsubato!"
- Kujibiki♥Unbalance. The remake series does this to distinguish itself from the original. It's given as "Kujibiki Heart Unbalance" by the Genshiken characters.
- UG♥Ultimate Girls
- Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star
- Penguin Musume♥Heart
- ×××HOLiC The 'xxx' is silent, being replaced by whatever addiction the current episode is about. Whether you pronounce it correctly as "Holic" or more clearly as "Triple X-holic" or "Ex-Ex-Ex-Holic" is your choice.
- Hunter × Hunter. as in Xxx HO Li C, the X is silent; it's just "Hunter Hunter".
- .hack, which is pronounced "dot-hack", invoking "dot-com". Most media has the word dot written inside it to make it clear this is how it's pronounced. Reinforced by the party in the first set of games being called "The Dot Hackers" in the meta-series. The // applied to each title are never pronounced.
- Blue Dragon RalΩGrad
- GUN×SWORD, as in Xxx HO Li C, has a silent X.
- Lovely★Complex, which is the full name of the official title, Love★Com.
- Rosario + Vampire, where the "+" is actually the word "and".
- ∀ Gundam, usually pronounced "Turn A Gundam". The ∀ is a mathematical symbol meaning "Applies to all".
- s-CRY-ed. There does not seem to be any reason why the dashes are there. This leads to some pronouncing it "ess-cry-ed". However, the Japanese is simply "Sukuraido"
- Parodied by Renkin 3-kyuu Magical?Pokaan, where the question mark is supposed to be a symbol that failed to render properly.
- Kamen Rider AgitΩ The Omega is pronounced like an "O".
- Princess Princess + which is pronounced as "Princess Princess Plus".
- One Piece, as pictured. An early volume's Q&A segment features a Japanese reader referring to the series as "NE PECE," which the author said was very common at the time.
- Ojamajo Doremi # is generally pronounced "Ojamajo Doremi Sharp"
- Hidamari Sketch has reached a new level. Its third season is titled Hidamari Sketch x☆☆☆, pronounced "Hoshimittsu" or "Three Stars".
- +Anima is actually pronounced Plus-Anima.
- Black☆Star from Soul Eater always has his name with a star in it. It doesn't help that his seiyuu is the first of the Excel♥Girls (mentioned below). The title of the show also has Soul's logo between "Soul" and "Eater."
- Blood+ is just Blood Plus. However, when it was first airing, one person wrote in asking how to pronounce it, and [adult swim] suggested it's actually pronounced "Bleud Pleux".
- Romeo X Juliet. The "X" is silent.
- Onegai☆Teacher and Onegai☆Twins. The English versions lost the stars but picked up exclamation points, becoming Please Teacher!! and Please Twins!! respectively.
- Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica
- Tokimeki ☆ Mononoke Jogakkou
- In Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, the Public Media Guys consider making a Show Within a Show called "πrates of the Caribbean".
- The Idolmaster, has an @ instead of an "a" and is often written in all caps except for the "i", making it look like The iDOLM@STER. It's pronounced normally though.
- φBrain - Phi Brain
- Di[e]ce is stylised Di[e]ce, but our coding doesn't like it.
- The second season of the Yuru-Yuri anime is "Yuru-Yuri ♪♪".
- Chounouryokusha Saiki Kusuo no Ψ Nan
- Naruto writes his family name Uzumaki as a spiral, since that's what it means.
- Similarly, in Samurai Champloo, when Mugen learns how to read, he signs his name as an infinity sign.
- A lot of (but not all) logos used in the Dragon Ball franchise use a one star Dragon Ball in the place of the letter O.
- The title for Booster Gold was written as "Boo$ter Gold" early on. Post-52, the comic title became "B∞ster Gold" (using the infinity symbol), but it's always been pronounced "Booster."
- $crooge McDuck comics.
- And then there's Ri¢hie Ri¢h.
- The Flash once fought a computer intelligence called "Killg%re." Although the writer intended it to be pronounced "Killgore," a fan wrote a letter (published in a subsequent issue) that argued the "%" carried no sound and, thus, the name was properly pronounced "Kill-gree."
- All books of the comic Achille Talon are actually titled "Ach!lle Talon". The titular character comments once, when asked to check the page he's appearing on, that "the I is on its dot, as it should be".
- The slash in Face/Off was added to make sure moviegoers didn't think the movie was about hockey.
- The first theatrical release from The Asylum is titled #Holdyourbreath. So is it Hold Your Breath or Hash Hold Your Breath? But then again, what did you expect from The Asylum?
- $la$er$ is about contestants surviving Ax-Crazy serial killers for fabulous cash and prizes! Appropriate, since in-universe the game show is Japanese.
- Jim Henson's Muppet★Vision 3D.
- The Walt Disney World Explorer program from The Nineties used the name Jim Henson's Muppet★Vision 3D 4D with 3D struckout with a red slant (which can't be typed here for several reasons). This is because the film has 4D effects.
- The period abbreviating “Mr.” in Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a bowtie.
- Transformers is an odd case. In some cases it is spelled Trans * Formers, where the * is either faction's symbol. Then there was the Japanese-only Headmasters, whose full title is Transformers: The★Headmasters (or, rather, トランスフォーマー ザ★ヘッドマスターズ)
- The movie I ♥ Huckabees. Public consensus quickly settled on pronouncing it "I Heart Huckabees"
- The movie William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet.
- $ is a film starring Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn. It is popularly pronounced "Dollars," and in the UK is called The Heist.
- The Marty Feldman vehicle In God We Tru$t
- How to Beat the High Co$t of Living
- Posters and other promotional material for The Omega Man rendered the title as The Ωmega Man, which would sort of make it "The Omegamega Man".
- In Snow Crash, the hacker named Da5id.
- In The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester, several characters spell their names with symbols. Examples: Dr. Wyg& (pronounced Wygand), @kins.
- The seminal Cyber Punk novel Neuromancer gave us Lady 3Jane, a clone daughter of the founding fathers of the artificial satellite that the story takes place on.
- Gahan Wilson's short story in the Again, Dangerous Visions anthology has no title - it's identified by a black blob. (It's about a black blob, illustrated in the story itself, that grows and grows until...)
- The novel Vampire$ by John Steakley. The film adaptation, John Carpenter's Vampires, eliminates the dollar sign and therefore misses the entire point.
- Sadly, recent editions of the book itself have followed suit, dropping the $ to tie in better with the movie, even thought the company the book is named after is still unchanged. Very sad.
- My Name Is Sus5an Smith. The 5 Is Silent is a Young Adult novel by Louise Plummer about a young artist desperate to be different.
- Friends has the logo of F·R·I·E·N·D·S
- Numbers Never* Lie.
- In Japan, The Big Bang Theory is called ビッグバン★セオリー, or "Big Bang★Theory". Market-Based Title much? They even add a subtitle that basically means "The romance laws of our geekiness".
- The logo for the first and second seasons of TJ Hooker replaced the second 'o' with a cross-hairs target.
- The Japanese version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is titled "Quiz $ Millionaire" (クイズ$ミリオネア)
- Greek is rendered as GRΣΣK.
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding did the same thing.
- Otterbein College (Westerville, Ohio) has a sorority called Sigma Alpha Tau, which makes the letters ΣAT. Since the sorority was founded in 1910, it's hard to say whether the founders were aware of the now-obvious double entendre.
- The "A"s in "Stargate" are always rendered in the show's titles as the Ancient symbol "At" (A symbol resembling the Greek letter Λ; crowned by a small circle).
- Until the first one changes back to a plain ol' A.
- Commercials for the TV show "Dirt" render the title as D!rt
- The $treet
- The 1970s series Vega$
- The 1990s series Arli$$
- $#!+ My Dad Says
- The Golden Girls episode "Ro$e Love$ Mile$"
- $The Price Is Right (the $ is silent) has pricing games named "Lucky $even", "Pocket ¢hange", and "$uper $aver" (the latter one is now retired).
- Super Password had a special round called the Ca$hword.
- The short-lived game shows Amne$ia, $how Me the Money, and $et For Life
- The Sci Fi Channel Game Show Cha$e.
- Ca$h Cab. Though only in the American version.
- Is the British version £oot £orry?
- The multi-national Game Show $ale of the Century did this everywhere except the United Kingdom after Reg Grundy acquired the format. The original NBC daytime series, with Jack Kelly and later Joe Garagiola, rendered its title $ale of the ¢entury.
- Parodied in The Middleman with the super-addictive !!!!. Yes the drink is called !!!!. It is pronounced by stamping your foot and doing jazz hands.
- There's a LOST episode called "?" This refers to something specific in the plot, but was also so named in tribute to the episode's intended director, Darren Aronofsky, who directed the movie π (that's π, of course). Aronofsky had to bow out of the episode, but the title remained.
- The Bachelor The Bachelorette, with a wedding ring where the o would be.
- The new Doctor Who logo (2010-present) features a TARDIS in the shape of "DW".
- The Comedy Central Panel Game @Midnight
- From the 80s onward, the opening credits of As the World Turns had a depiction of the Earth. Guess which letter got the honor.
- Science fiction magazine Analog was for some time officially known as Analog Science Fiction [symbol] Science Fact. The symbol, resembling a right-pointing arrow superimposed on an inverted U, was invented by editor John W. Campbell to represent "Analogous to".
- Let's just say that the Japanese music industry is extremely fond of this trope...
- 80s J-pop band TOM☆CAT
- Hello! Project examples:
- Athena & Robbikerottsu: Honkimekimeki♡Tokimekimeki, Yuugure☆Sherbert.
- Buono!: Renai♥Rider, Muteki no ∞ Power.
- Berryz Koubou: Sakura→Nyuugakushiki.
- ℃-ute: Tsuugaku Vector ☂, ★Akogare My STAR★, Suiiitsu→→→Live.
- Country: Onna no Ko no Torishirabe Time♥.
- GAM: Icha♡Icha Summer.
- Heike Michiyo: L♡M→Baby, Star★Man.
- Kirarin☆Revolution: Happy☆Happy Sunday, Happy☆彡, Hatten×Joy, Love da yo☆Darling, Koi☆ka na, group Kira☆Pika, Kirarin☆Land, ☆☆☆.
- Matsuura Aya: ♡Momoiro Kataomoi♡, Zettai Tokeru Mondai X = ♡, ○○ -Joshikousei no Shuchou-, ×3
- Minimoni: Gyutto Dakishimete <FOREVER>.
- Morning Musume: The☆Peace!, Yuki / Ai x Anata ≥ Suki, Hare Ame Nochi Suki♡, Tomodachi(♀)ga Ki ni Haitteiru Otoko kara no Dengon, "Suki da yo...", "Suggoi Nakama", "Sugoku Suki na no ni.. ne".
- Odoru♡11, Happy♡7.
- Satoda Mai to Fujioka Fujimaki: Ojisamatte Daisuki!♪
- Viyuden: Issai Gassai Anata ni∮A?ge?ru♪, Koisuru♡Angel♡Heart.
- Producer Tsunku's name is written as つんく♂.
- The band ¡Forward, Russia!. Even stranger is the other way of writing their name, ¡FФЯWДЯD, RUSSIД!, which might be transliterated as "¡FFYAWDYAD, RUSSID!"
- Godspeed You! Black Emperor's debut album is titled F♯A♯∞ (usually pronounced as "F sharp A sharp Infinity")
- Canadian electronic artist Grimes is very fond of those. Her two latest albums contain song titles like:
- Infinite ♡ Without Fulfillment
- Hed PE, is often rendered with a schwa, a letter used in the International Phonetic Alphabet, as (həd) p.e.
- Which would, according to the IPA, actually be pronounced "hud".
- Also, the artist Ryutaro Nakahara goes by Ryu☆
- The band !!!. Yes, that's the whole band name. It can be pronounced by saying any sound three times, though the usual rendering is "chk chk chk".
- French house group Justice has an album titled †. (It's pronounced "cross".)
- The group Hear'Say. Another reason to hate these talent competition reality shows...
- American indie-rockers stellastarr*
- Sunn O))) — they named themselves after the logo of their preferred brand of amps. (On the logo the O))) looks more like a circle with soundwaves coming from it.)
- Strictly speaking, they chose their name and amps based off of the favored amps of the band Earth, whose song and album titles, unfortunately, simply tend towards True Art Is Incomprehensible.
- ACϟDC (AC/DC).
- →↑→ or "Tich Tich Tich" were an Australian Underground group of the late 1970s that used this.
- Irish girl group B* Witched.
- Likewise, A* Teens and R* Angels.
- Japanese pop/rock band High and Mighty Color entitled their debut album G∞VER. After some confusion as to how to translate that (Pandora typed it out as "Goover" at one point,) The Other Wiki stepped in and stated that it's supposed to be "Go Over." Songs on the album include the title track (G∞VER) and RUN☆RUN☆RUN.
- Irish band Therapy? - the ? was added to the name to make it span across the cover of the homemade demo after an alignment error. Although this could be inaccurate depending on who you ask.
- Similarly, the Christian band Delirious?.
- Japanese Electropunk types Mad Capsule Markets have a song called "Pulse" that is properly spelt with a square waveform in the title also.
- Recently, the singer Kesha. That's pronounced "Keh-sha", by the way.
- Lampshaded by Todd in the Shadows, who pronounces her name "Kuh dollar sign hah."
- Lampshaded in Glee as well, as the principal introduces the glee club performing "the hit single Tik and also Tok, by rapper Keh-dollar sign-ha."
- Also, the Fake AP Stylebook suggests "for an international audience," you spell her name as "KeUSDha."
- Humorously, searching for "Ke$ha" on YouTube brings "ke ha" as a search suggestion, since "$" is a special characternote . Additionally, some mp3 parsers don't even replace it with a space, leading to the interesting title "keha".
- Panic! At The Disco eventually lost the ! on their second album, Pretty. Odd., citing "too much punctuation".
- Only to find it again after members Ryan Ross and Jon Walker left to form The Young Veins.
- ? and the Mysterians, a band famous for its one-hit "96 Tears". Their lead singer does in fact just go by ?.
- Nearly every band in the genre known most commonly as Witch-House. Names include: ℑ⊇≥◊≤⊆ℜ, Gr†LLGR†LL, †‡†, dir†ypride, 8:*), ///▲▲▲\\\, PWIN ▲▲ TEAKS, ▲, twYlY<ght>Zo Ne, ✝NO VIRGIN✝, Δressed Up Like Δogs, μnłıłĿΞΔ, and more.
- Rick Ro$$, on his album covers.
- Similarly, Ma$e on his album covers.
- Pre-dating them both in the rap world: Too $hort.
- The Japanese Boy Band D☆DATE.
- British dance-punk band Hadouken!
- All-female Visual Kei band Exist Trace. (The cross is silent.)
- It's sort of a trend in Visual Kei: another band is called †я i ￠к.
- The British indie rock band ∆, whose name is pronounced "Alt-J", due to the keyboard command that produces the symbol on a Mac.
- B* Witched.
- The singer P!nk. Her breakout album also had it, along with Xtreme Kool Letterz: M!ssundaztood.
- Blue Oyster Cult
- Prince, during his "Artist Formerly Known As.." period.
- Black★Rock Shooter, a character seen in a Vocaloid music video, sung by Hatsune Miku, which spawned a franchise of the same name.
- ?uestlove of The Roots. It's pronounced "Questlove."
- A certain British synth-pop band of the 80s originally was named with an unpronounceable symbol comprised of a spiral leading into an undulating line and ending in a loop. When their label complained about their unpronounceable name, they offered the name Freur. Other than this, they are most famous for including Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, later to become famous in the 90s as Underworld.
- Similarly, Part 4 of the "Something at the Bottom of the Sea" suite by the band Quantum Jump is given a squiggly line in lieu of a name for a title.
- Delirious is stylized as Deliriou5? on their first few albums.
- Excel♥Girls, the seiyuu duo of Yumiko Kobayashi and Mikako Takahashi.
- British Industrial group Zoviet France is usually written as :zoviet*france: (with a crescent moon under the asterisk) or during their first years as :$oviet:france:. Occasionally they would actually use made up symbols to spell out their name◊.
- **NSYNC stylizes their name in all caps with the asterisk (or an apostrophe in their early days), but they're also willing to accept people spelling it without the punctuation. It's the improper location of the asterisk that gets them.
- Swedish music producer Thomas G:son.
- Technically, the title for No Good Gofers is "No Good GoLfers", but the "L" in the logo is smashed to pieces by (one would assume) a stray golf ball.
Songs and Albums
- The OP and ED songs for the Ballad of a Shinigami anime were provided by a singer called K○Y.
- Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star OP — "Makasete★Splash☆Star★"
- The ending theme for Yes! Pretty Cure 5 Go Go! has some ☆s in its lyrics, as Karen and Kurumi are so kindly demonstrating for us up at the top.
- In Fresh Pretty Cure!, the lyrics for the second ending have some (^^)s thrown in, as does a song from the first Vocal Album.
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Rena's Image Song, "Egao Happy Peace♪"
- Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome have this in spades. Both series' first opening theme has a star in it ("Shining☆Days" and "Dream☆Wing", respectively), and these titles are shared by the final episodes. In fact, the working title for Mai-Otome (舞-乙HiME) was 舞☆MAiD.
- The title 舞-乙HiME counts too, since 乙HiME is meant to be pronounced "otome," which would normally be spelled 乙女.
- The opening theme for Tokyo Mew Mew has the ☆ as part of its kanji lyrics.
- The opening theme for Lucky Star has a ♥ in it.
- One Piece: Usopp's first Image Song is titled "Usopp☆Drop".
- The second opening to Hayate the Combat Butler is called Shichiten Hakki ☆ Shijōshugi!
- And it has a (O_O;) in its kanji lyrics!
- Groove☆Master, Sumomo's Image Song from Chobits (ft. Shinbo).
- In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Minako has song (both in and out of universe) called Kiss2 Bang 2. Much like the lyrics state it's meant to be pronounced "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"
- The opening theme of Nanatsuiro★Drops is called "Shining Stars Bless☆."
- The OP single for Kanamemo has a second song titled Wake Me Up (^_-)b!
Music of Asia
- We Love Katamari's "DISCO★PRINCE".
- The Dance Dance Revolution series has one song whose instrumental version is called "Candy☆", and whose vocal version is titled "Candy♥".
- Konami has a lot of fun with this elsewhere in the Bemani series: "Happy☆Angel", "Sweet Sweet ♥ Magic", "Love ♥ Shine", "♥ Love2 Sugar → ♥", "Stars★★★"... Need I mention "Magic Door (Theme of SPACE(Saturn)MACO"?
- In The Groove songs "Utopia," "Destiny," "Delirium," and "Xuxa," among others, are credited to ☺. Pronounced "smiley." There is also a song entitled "!" pronounced "bang."
- Fictional Example: In K-On!, the two names Mio suggests for their band are "Chocolate ☆ Melody" and "Pure ☆ Pure". (Curiously, she suggested them purely vocally, so one might wonder if she just said "hoshi" or "suta" in a way that made it clear that she intended the symbol rather than the word... or just accept that it's manga, so if it can be printed, you just pretend that they can say it somehow.)
Music of the Western World
- Be For U has a song titled Peace (^^)v
- Japanese experimental noise rock band Boredoms is somewhat known for their odd song titles, but on Vision Creation Newsun all of the songs are the following symbols: ◯ ☆ ♡ Ҩ 〜 ◎ ↑ Ω and finally ずっと
- Some songs by I've Sound have this kind of title, for example "Otomegokoro + √Nekomimi = ∞".
- Japanese speedcore duo DJ Sharpnel's albums UG☆Psyclone and Running★★★All Night!!
- The latter album also features a Lucky Star remix titled LITTLE GOD CH@NNEL.
- Japanese singer Maki Ohguro's latest original album includes a song titled "君は✈☠☢☻☈". On top of that, no website other than her own even parses these characters out, and they won't show up on iPods, so this song has to be written as "君は■■■■■" or "君は○○○○○". The song's name is actualy read as "君はテロリスト", translated as "You Are a Terrorist".
- One song by J-pop group Plus-Tech Squeeze Box is simply titled "☆".
- Gravure idol Yuka Kosaka's debut mini-album is titled Ero♥Puri★Trance ~Yuka-chin Mahou wo Kakechauzo~.
- Citizen/Soldier by 3 Doors Down (although, being about the U.S. National Guard, it is appropriate).
- Some Autechre songs, such as "90101-5|-|" (pipe dash pipe?) and "O=0"
- Richard D. James has, among his repertoire, a song which is simply referred to as "a mathematical equation," due to the difficulty of actually pronouncing the title.
- And Bass Hunter has an album titled LOL <(^^,)>
- Will.i.am's #willpower, possibly the first album to be named with a twitter hashtag.
- Another example of recent pop music evoking hashtags is the song "#Beautiful" by Mariah Carey featuring Miguel.
- The Godspeed You! Black Emperor album F♯A♯∞. This is actually meaningful, as on the LP version side one begins with an FF♯ chord, side two begins with an A♯ chord, and the last track ends with a locked groove that will continue for infinity if you let it.
- Bob Dylan's song "Love - 0 / No Limit". The title is meant to be expressed as a mathematical problem, pronounced "Love minus zero divided by no limit". The quotient, according to Dylan, is "absolutely unlimited love".
- This title confused some fans, who thought the track was a medley of two songs called "Love Minus Zero" and "No Limit," although it is clearly only one song. Many cover versions list the title as just "Love Minus Zero."
- Hero/Heroine by Boys Like Girls.
- BT's THЭSЭ HOPЭFUL MACHINЭS album.
- There exists a rare Devin Townsend EP named C:enter:### (See colon, enter colon, pound pound pound).
- †††, a side project of Deftones' Chino Moreno (not to be confused with the already mentioned †‡†). It's pronounced "crosses". Also, they have a tendency to replace all T's in their song titles with cross symbols, as in "†his Is A †rick", and even have a song simply titled "†".
- Depeche Mode put out a pair of Greatest Hits Albums called The Singles 86>98 and The Singles 81>85. Which, if you read too much into their choice of symbol, makes it look like the band themselves are saying that their early singles are "greater than" their later ones.
- Fall Out Boy's live concert CD/DVD, * * * * : Live in Phoenix. The band stated that you pronounce * * * * by replacing it with any other four letter word you'd prefer.
- The band Five Knuckle has a song entitled '.'
- "* * * * (Jungle Law)" by Love & Rockets. Oddly enough, there sort of is a title drop in the lyrics - "And it shows four stars where the name oughta be". Additionally, even the album version of the song bleeps out a certain word, and said word is in fact represented by four asterisks in the lyric sheet.
- **NSYNC, a trend Justin Timberlake would continue upon going solo with his album FutureSex/LoveSounds and its title track (which drops the plural).
- One of German industrial band KMFDM's albums has a title consisting of a burst, a skull-and-crossbones, a bomb, a spiral, and a banging fist. It's universally called Symbols.
- One Fan Nickname for it is "Curse", as it resembles a bleeped swear word. Or you could call it "Bitch", as the cover art shows a man bitchslapping a woman.
- Their latest album, Blitz, has a track with a modified Uranus symbol for it title. In the song, it's pronounced "Up Ur Anus"
- Led Zeppelin's fourth album. The cover has No Title, and the label has four symbols where the title would be, one representing each band member. Since no one can actually pronounce or write those symbols (apart from Jimmy Page's which resembles "Zoso"), it's mostly called Led Zeppelin IV—although some people, misled by Page's symbol, call it "Zoso."
- Marco V has a song entitled "C:\del * .mp3".
- METZ has a song entitled "—-))-–"
- Melvins' Mangled Demos From 1983 has several songs with symbols for titles, such as "☘". Presumably, the band either forgot the titles of these early songs, or they had just never agreed on proper titles for them to begin with.
- Ministry's album Psalm 69 actually has a blank front cover and ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ written on the spine. The ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ part is actually the Greek word for "head" (κεφαλη, "kefali" spelled in Greek allcaps), combined with the Greek numerals for "69" (ΞΘ). "Head" in itself doesn't mean anything in Greek, but in English Al is making a Shout-Out to Aleister Crowley's The Book of Lies: chapter 69 of the book has Crowley use "the way to succeed and the way to suck eggs" (geddit?), and Crowley actually called the chapter itself ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ (HEAD69). Essentially, the album's title is the most pointlessly convoluted and reference-tastic Incredibly Lame Pun about 69ing.
- Orbital has a song on The Middle of Nowhere called "Way Out —>", named after a London Underground station.
- One Porno Graffitti song is entitled World☆Saturday Graffitti. The album version is World☆Saturday Graffitti (★★★).
- Prince's album and film Sign '☮' the Times.
- And his old name.
- Also, starting with LoveSexy, his song titles replace the word "I" with an icon of an eye.
- Sasha's Invol2ver mix compilation.
- Shudder To Think's "Gang Of $". It's a Non-Appearing Title, but apparently it's supposed to be pronounced "Gang Of Money'.
- The Icelandic group Sigur Rós has an album entitled ( ), usually referred to as the Bracket Album, the Parenthesis Album or the Untitled Album, although it has no official pronunciation. In Icelandic, the band members sometimes call it Svigaplatan.
- Thurston Moore's 1995 solo album is usually referred to as Psychic Hearts, but the album artwork actually renders the title as Psychic ♥♥♥.
- Stan Freberg's "Green Chri$tma$." ("Christmas has two S's in it, and they're both dollar signs!")
- Talking Heads have "Love → Building on Fire".
- There's a Thelma Aoyama B-side called I☆You - pronounced in the lyrics as "I Star You".
- The Alternity and d20 Modern campaign settings Dark•Matter and Star*Drive
- Magic: The Gathering does this a few times. Mostly it's the A-E ligature, such as Æther Storm or Æther Flash. Originally this wasn't possible to print, so Ærathi Berserker is rathi Berserker instead. During the Tempest block, they were also fond of gratuitous use of the italics, such as the en-Kor or the il-Vec.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has the card Magi Magi ☆ Magician Gal.
- Deus Ex: HumΔn Revolution. (Deus Ex: HumΔn Revolution on some browsers)
- The Champion and Turbo editions of Street Fighter II are written as Street Fighter II', pronounced "Street Fighter II Dash" in Japanese.
- The Xbox version of Guilty Gear X2 was called Guilty Gear X2 #Reload, pronounced "Sharp Reload." It had a sequel called Λ Core.
- The revisions to Guilty Gear XX generally had strange names: Guilty Gear XX ♯Reload (pronounced "Sharp Reload"), Guilty Gear XX/ ("Slash"), and Guilty Gear XX Λ Core ("Accent Core"), with Accent Core itself receiving a Plus and Plus R update (that's six iterations of XX including the vanilla version, for those who haven't kept count). Even the "XX" part of the title is actually pronounced "igzex" (continuing off of Guilty Gear X, which is pronounced "Guilty Gear Zex").
- Made even worse by the newest game in the franchise, Guilty Gear Xrd, which is either pronounced (ex-ard),(ex-ird), or (zird) depending on who in the fan base you ask.
- One of the Tokimeki Memorial games, Tokimeki no Houkago ~Nee★Quiz shiyo♥~
- Hλlf-Life The symbol is a "lambda", which is the scientific symbol for a substance's
half-life decay constant. Pronouncing the original Greek letter would yield "Hllf-life." Once again, Rule of Cool trumps the rules of spelling.
- We ♥ Katamari, in which the heart is pronounced "love".
- Not to mention that the game includes a song titled "DISCO ☆ PRINCE".
- Metal Gear Ac!d. The sequel was Metal Gear Ac!d2.
- Quite a few Pokémon have non-alphabethic symbols for names.
- Nidoran♂ and Nidoran♀. the gender symbols are canonically part of their names because they were introduced in the original games, back when Pokémon didn't have their genders displayed, but they were still intended to be each other's Single Gender Species counterpart.
- Farfetch'd; the apostrophe is part of the name. In case it's not obvious, it's supposed to be a mispronunciation of far fetched, since it carries a stick for attacking.
- Porygon2, Porygon's evolution. Called so because Porygon is supposed to be a living computer program, of which the evolution is just an "upgrade".
- Porygon-Z; the hyphen is part of the name. It is the evolution of the above, and intended to be an unauthorized upgrade. The Z was also used because it looks like a 2. It seems that the hyphen was added specifically to invoke this trope, too.
- Ho-Oh had a hyphen in its name two generations before Porygon-Z and was introduced in the same generation as Porygon2, though it isn't artificial like the Porygon line. (It's also a palindrome, but that's unrelated to this trope.) Possibly because a houou is a mythical Japanese bird akin to a phoenix, and it's difficult for non-Japanese speakers to pronounce "Hoou", which would be the literal Romanization.
- The star spirit Geno in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. When asked for his name answers "♥♪!?" but tells you to call him Geno after the doll he is possessing, stating that his real name is hard to pronounce.
- There's a Doujin Soft shmup called ∀kashicverse: Malicious Wake. The Harder Than Hard alternate web version released as a standalone game was called ∀kashicverse ∀lternative ∀rguments.
- Silent Hill 2's iconic Pyramid Head's name in the original Japanese is rendered ▲-head. Don't ask how it's pronounced.
- Capcom insists that the title of Street Fighter X Tekken is pronounced "Street Fighter Cross Tekken," making the character between "Fighter" and "Tekken" a symbol for the word "cross" rather than the letter X and, hence, an example of this trope.
- Uta no☆Prince-sama♪.
- Cross Channel, the source material for the Flash game Nanaca Crash.
- Nanatsuiro Drops is technically Nanatsuiro★Drops.
- Chaos;Head — the first a also sports umlauts in the series logo.
- The ";" also applies for the later visual-novels made by Nitroplus, namely Steins;Gate and Robotic;Notes.
- Fate/stay night
- φnal Approach (Final Approach - the Greek letter is a phi)
- Ace Attorney:
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations features the Phantom Thief Mask☆DeMasque. The fandom has come to a consensus that the star is "pronounced" by pausing and making a "jazz hands" gesture.
- Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney has the following exchange:
Trucy: When I sign my name, I always put in a little diamond! "Trucy ♦ Wright" See? Cute, don'tcha think?
Apollo: It's a little confusing. Won't people think your middle name is diamond?
Trucy: Hey! You could write your name like "Apollo = Justice"!
Apollo: I do like justice, but that's taking it a bit far.
- The Italian version has Trucy suggesting "Apollo @ Justice", and Apollo remarking it would look like his e-mail address.
- The now-defunct British satellite channel L!ve TV.
- Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni and Umineko No Naku Koro Ni officially are written with a red "Na". The official dub of Higurashi calls it When They Cry, with a red "C."
- Higurashi Daybreak by Tasogare Frontier: The b is officially off-color, although the color depends on the material - if the rest of the text is white, the b is normally black, but if the rest of the text is black, the b is red. Spelled in Japanese, the "bu" (ブ) is treated the same way.