Pull the Plug on the Title
Need a cool and eye-catching way to display the title of your animated series? How about... a big neon sign! Oh, that doesn't work so well when drawn, does it? Well, never fear! Just send some sparks flying by having one of the characters Pull the Plug on Awesome! Instant special effect zappy-ness! Now everyone will notice your sign! Bonus points if the character shown to be holding the plug is a villain and/or twirling the plug while whistling. Compare Cut the Juice.
- The title sequence for Not Going Out shows the words as big multiple-lightbulb signs held up by Lee, Tim and Kate. The lights go out when Barbara unplugs them (in later series it's Daisy, Tim's girlfriend, who unplugs them instead).
- The short-lived 1975 ABC (US) series Hot L Baltimore had the name Hotel Baltimore as the neon sign on the building, then had the 'E' burn out.
- The opening credits of Jak II: Renegade are shown as street signs. Daxter plugs in the final one, a huge neon sign of the game's title.
- High Voltage Software, a video game developing company, used this with its logo in the late 1990s.
- Dexter's Laboratory is probably the best-known example (though as an inversion). Dee Dee puts the plug in at the last minute, causing the sign to short out from Dexter repeatedly pushing the remote button to get it working (presumably in a hurry before the theme song ends).
- And in one episode, it's Mandark who puts the plug in, creating the title "Mandark's Laboratory". The title is changed back into the usual one in the third cartoon.
- Dilbert the TV Series had the theme song end with the title shorting out and then cutting to Dogbert twirling the plug while standing beside an outlet.
- My Dad The Rock Star inverted this: The sign fails to work, and the main character has to plug it in.
- In a related event, the opening titles of Futurama end at a huge video screen displaying the producers' names, before the Planet Express ship crashes into it.
- The opening of Johnny Test.