[[quoteright:259:[[WesternAnimation/WolverineAndTheXMen http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/WolverineAndTheXmen.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:259:Your eyes are not deceiving you; the rest of the X-Men ''actually'' got [[Series/GilligansIsland the "Professor and Mary Anne"]] [[AndTheRest treatment]].]]

So you've got a TV series, cartoon, comic book or other publication in the works, and of course you want it to succeed. What do you do to get it to catch the reader/viewers' attention? Make use of the character who has the most PopularityPower or is played by the most popular star by promoting them to the series title, kind of like WolverinePublicity but for the team he's already a part of.

This has various scales, somewhat like the PoorMansSubstitute. First, the character's name is appended to the end (CharacterTitle and Friend). Then it takes the lead (Friend and CharacterTitle), and finally it's just their name (Friend Title).

This alone is not an indicator of AdaptationDecay, but generally raises a warning flag to potential viewers. Then again, if SugarWiki/AndTheFandomRejoiced is involved then it's just a mere marketing trick rather than a sign of decay.

Compare BillingDisplacement. ProtagonistAndFriends is a form of this. See also FaceOfTheBand. When the ''creator'' is the main draw, a related title trope is InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt. Can also be a MarketBasedTitle if it appeals to the popularity of a character or actor in a particular market.

!!Example of title changes:


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The original anime adaptation of ''Manga/DoctorSlump'' was officially titled ''Dr. Slump Arale-chan''. Justified by the fact that the manga itself focused more on the android girl Arale than her inventor Senbei Norimaki, the titular bumbling scientist.
* ''Manga/HatsuneMix'' is a manga focusing on [[Music/{{Vocaloid}} Miku Hatsune]] [[AndTheRest and the other 4 Crypton Vocaloids at the time]][[note]]assuming that the Manga started before Luka Megurine was created. Although she did appear in one chapter[[/note]]. But is named after ...[[FaceOfTheBand gue]][[SpotlightStealingSquad ss]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In Brazil, O Pato Donald (DonaldDuck) #434 introduced Zé Carioca. The stories became popular enough that Issue #479 Was titled "O Pato Donald apresenta Zé Carioca" (Or Donald Duck presents Joe Carioca), and the series continued to take that title every other issue (So even numbers were Donald Duck and odd numbers were Joe Carioca). Donald's face was removed from the Zé Carioca title logo after issue #527, the words "O Pato Donald apresenta" were shrunk down after issue #539, and removed completely from the title after issue #981 until eventually, this trope was reversed when Zé Carioca split off from Donald Duck, becoming its own individual series after issue #1751. This treatment was quite generous to the character, because even for a while after the split, an issue of Zé Carioca wasn't necessarily entirely Zé Carioca stories.
* From issue 135 to 145, Marvel's ''[[ComicBook/GIJoeARealAmericanHeroMarvel G.I. Joe]]'' comic series was retitled ''G.I. Joe: Starring Snake-Eyes'', with the "Snake-Eyes" portion consuming most of the cover.
* ''ComicBook/SonicTheComic'' originally featured comics of various Creator/{{Sega}} games at the time. You wouldn't know it from the title though.
* ''ComicBook/TwoThousandAD'' spinoff title ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd Megazine'' has gone back and forth on this over it's run. While Dredd is certainly the headline act, the comic contains many other strips, some from the Dredd Universe, some from other 2000AD regulars and some completely original. The logo on the front has changed a few times to reflect this: when [[Film/JudgeDredd the 1995 movie]] came out, "Judge Dredd" was much more prominent, around the millennium the name was shrunk drastically to give more emphasis to "Megazine" and then a few years ago this was reversed back to having Judge Dredd take up a whole third of the front page, and the rest of the logo frequently obscured by the cover art.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Another Brazilian example: when Mauricio de Sousa started making his comic strips, they revolved around Blu and Franklin, and while other characters were added in, their strips were mostly self-contained. Then, in one of Jimmy Five's strips, he got beat up by a chubby, bucktoothed, short-tempered girl whose name ended up becoming the umbrella title for all the other strips (and the comic books, when they made the jump in 1970): ''ComicBook/MonicasGang''.
* Starting in the late '60s, the ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' SundayStrip had the subtitle "Featuring Good ol' Charlie Brown" for much of its run.
** This is because the author feared that [[IAmNotShazam readers would think "Peanuts" was the main character's name]]. Plus, he [[ExecutiveMeddling despised the name "Peanuts".]]
* When the character of ''ComicStrip/SnuffySmith'' became popular in the ''Barney Google'' strip, it was renamed ''Barney Google and Snuffy Smith'', and continued to be called that long after the focus shifted almost exclusively to Snuffy, with "Barney Google and" being reduced to small print in the title.
* E.C. Segar's ''Thimble Theatre'' was a well-regarded strip recounting the adventures of one Castor Oyl, his family, and his best friend Ham Gravy, until one day they needed to hire a sailor to captain a ship for them. The sailor, like most of the strip's cast, was intended to be a throw-away character, never to return after the story arc ended, but fan response was so overwhelmingly positive that he joined the main cast, and eventually the strip was re-named after him. You might have read it; it's called ''ComicStrip/{{Popeye}}''.
* ''Robotman'' became ''ComicStrip/RobotmanAndMonty'', then finally just ''Monty,'' reflecting the process of the former main character being DemotedToExtra.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/PitchBlack'' later became ''The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black'' after executives decided they wanted to spin off Vin Diesel's character.
* ''Film/MadeasFamilyReunion'' and ''A Madea Christmas'' feature Madea in the title, despite the fact that she's a [[WolverinePublicity fairly minor character]] in both films.
* The [[LiveActionAdaptation Live-Action Adaptations]] of ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}} the Gaul'' and ''Asterix and Cleopatra'' were titled ''Asterix & Obelix Take on Caesar'' and ''Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra''. Might have something to do with the big-boned warrior being played by Creator/GerardDepardieu.
* The Japanese live-action movie adaptation of ''Manga/DeathNote'' covered the anime/manga storyline (sort of) in two movies, ''Film/{{Death Note|2006}}'' and ''Film/DeathNoteTheLastName'', then added a sequel following the clear focus shift to killer Light's rival, the detective L, that occurred in movie #2. Movie #3 is ''Film/LChangeTheWorld''.
* The ''Franchise/IndianaJones Trilogy'' DVD boxed set retitled ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'' to ''Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark''. Sadly, the fourth bonus disc was simply titled ''Indiana Jones Bonus Material'', not ''[[CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase Indiana Jones and the Bonus Material]]''.
* The ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}'' movies are, in order, ''Film/FirstBlood'', ''Film/RamboFirstBloodPartII'', ''Film/RamboIII'', and ''Film/{{Rambo|IV}}''.

* In the Franchise/CthulhuMythos, Cthulhu is only a minor character of only passing significance and few appearances. Almost all stories in which the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods play a role are about the less well known Yog-Sothoth and Dagon, or even Nyarlathotep. While "The Call of Cthulhu" is one of the best known titles, it's actually a rather short story in which not much happens and Cthulhu only has a short cameo at the very end.
* Parodied in Creator/OgdenNash's poem "The Self-Effacement of Electra Thorne":
-->As for egocentricity, good heavens!\\
What's egocentric about wanting the marquee to read
---->'''ELECTRA THORNE'''\\

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* When ''Franchise/TheGreenHornet'' was shown in Hong Kong, they retitled it ''The Kato Show'' due to Creator/BruceLee's popularity.
* The ShowWithinAShow on ''Series/ThirtyRock'' goes from ''The Girlie Show'' to ''[=TGS=] with Tracy Jordan''.
* Star Ron Howard and creator Gary Marshall threatening to walk stopped ABC from their "brilliant" idea of renaming their hit show to ''Fonzie's Series/HappyDays''. But it didn't stop Creator/HenryWinkler's [[BreakoutCharacter ascension from credited at the end of the episode to top-billing star]] and the animated series ended up being called ''WesternAnimation/TheFonzAndTheHappyDaysGang''.
* ''Series/TheDailyShow'' became ''The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'', mostly to distinguish itself from the earlier seasons, which were hosted by Craig Kilborn.
* Averted on ''Series/TheManFromUNCLE'' EnsembleDarkhorse and fan favorite Illya Kuryakin was promoted to co-star status, so the show was really about two men from U.N.C.L.E. from mid-Season 1 onward, but the singular title was never changed, and there was no question that Napoleon Solo was the man to whom it referred.
** However, the French title was ''Des Agents Très Spéciaux'', meaning ''Very Special Agent'''s'''''.
* A moderately obscure one: 1980s [=BBC=] Children's show ''Lift Off'' (not to be confused with the [=ITV=] show of a decade earlier) became ''Lift Off with Coppers & Co.'' and then just ''Coppers & Co'' (though to be fair, they ''did'' drop the lift gimmick, so it was either that or leave it as an ArtifactTitle).

* "The Miami Sound Machine" eventually became "Music/GloriaEstefan And Miami Sound Machine," before becoming just Gloria Estefan.
** ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' ran a parody of the above situation with the rise and fall of a starlet in a church choir. At first, it's "The Fellows" with just her head sticking out of the row of singers, then it's "The Fellows and Melanie", "Melanie and the Fellows", before apexing at "M" with a closeup of her face. From there it spirals down the way it came, with her a sad, nameless member of the choir again.
** MAD #79 had a similar "Rise and Fall" feature, with the starlet starting as a nameless member of a vocal group, advancing from "The Euclid Phlomm Chorale with Patricia Blousen" to "Patricia Blousen and the Euclid Phlomm Chorale," reaching the peak of her career with an album cover showing "Patti" and a closeup of her face, then gradually declining until once again becoming a nameless member of the Euclid Phlomm Chorale.
* During his tenure with the Faces, the groups' billing changed from "Faces" to "Faces featuring Rod Stewart" and finally "Rod Stewart and Faces" before Ronnie Lane quit and the group essentially just [[IAmTheBand became Stewart's backing band]].
* Similarly: Red Rider => Tom Cochrane and Red Rider => Tom Cochrane, with his first "solo" album heavily featuring people brought into Red Rider during the middle part of that chain. (Most people outside Canada will only know the last part of that chain, but Red Rider had quite a following in their home country long before Cochrane went solo.)
* Music/TheSupremes became Diana Ross and the Supremes because of her popularity and diva behavior.
** And because some have argued that Ross's involvement with Motown boss Berry Gordy caused him to favour her in the first place.
* Even [[VirtualCelebrity cartoon bands]] are not immune to this. "David Seville and the Chipmunks" had their names simplified to "The Chipmunks" before they officially became "Franchise/AlvinAndTheChipmunks".
** This was less from fame and more from the fact that creator Ross Bagdasarian's stage name was David Seville. After his death, his son, Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., inherited the Chipmunks, but did not do much with them for a few years; when he did, followed in his father's footsteps, taking the stage name 'Alvin Chipmunk' and also doing all of the voices of the characters using the same methods as his father. Thus the change in name over the years from David Seville to Alvin.
* During TheEighties, radio [=DJs=] would often announce Music/{{Genesis}} songs as "[[FaceOfTheBand Phil Collins and Genesis]]", as though Genesis were merely Collins's backing band.
** The cover art for the 2006 reissuing of their very first single, "The Silent Sun", credited the group as "Peter Gabriel and Genesis". This might have been for clarity, since by 2006, Phil Collins had long since established himself as the new frontman.
* Music/TheStooges became Iggy & the Stooges for quite some time because of Iggy Pop's popularity. Eventually it became just the Stooges again.
* The song "Careless Whisper" was credited as a George Michael solo effort initially in the UK but became Wham! featuring George Michael internationally.
* Initially conceived as a Tony Iommi solo record, "Seventh Star" eventually became Music/BlackSabbath featuring Tony Iommi.
* Rainbow's 1975 debut album was titled ''Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow'', even though Music/RonnieJamesDio was clearly the FaceOfTheBand.
* [[FaceOfTheBand Selena Gomez's band]] was (at Gomez's own request) originally just "The Scene" , but to capitalize on Selena's fanbase and name-recognition, it became Creator/SelenaGomez & The Scene.
* ''The Final Cut'' is credited to "[[IAmTheBand Roger Waters]], with Music/PinkFloyd''.
* Marc Bolan AND T-Rex
* Music/TheRiseAndFallOfZiggyStardustAndTheSpidersFromMars was this for Music/DavidBowie during his Ziggy period, and he even went so far as to write a song about it.
* Before one live performance, Music/TheDoors were introduced as "Jim Morrison and The Doors." However, Jim Morrison refused to go onstage afterwards and [[DefiedTrope insisted that they be introduced as just "The Doors."]]

* Creator/AAMilne[='=]s stage adaptation of ''Literature/TheWindInTheWillows'' was called ''Toad of Toad Hall''. Ratty, Mole and Badger are in it too, not that you'd notice.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''VideoGame/NicktoonsUnite'' series eventually got to the point where it was billed as "WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants featuring Nicktoons" rather than just "Nicktoons." Considering that the series had been slowly becoming a SpotlightStealingCrossover, the title is actually fitting.
** In Europe, the series was entitled "[=SpongeBob SquarePants=] and Friends" since the beginning.
* While the Franchise/MarvelUniverse VideoGame/LEGOAdaptationGame is appropriately titled ''LEGO Marvel Super Heroes'', the [[Franchise/TheDCU DC Universe]] equivalent remains to be [[{{Pun}} under the wing]] of the ''LEGO Franchise/{{Batman}}'' label, even in its third installment, which is primarily about Superman's villain Brainiac and the various Lantern corps.
** Averted with the fourth game, which is titled ''Lego DC Super-Villains'' and thus no longer has Batman's name in the title.
* The [=PlayStation=] port of ''Addiction Pinball'' was renamed ''VideoGame/{{Worms}} Pinball''.
* The 360/[=PS3=] "sequel" to the ''Sega Genesis Collection'' is entitled ''[[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Sonic]]'s Ultimate Genesis Collection'' in America but ''Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection'' in Europe.
* ''[[UsefulNotes/GameBoy GB]] VideoGame/{{Bomberman}}'' was retitled ''[[DolledUpInstallment Wario Blast: featuring Bomberman]]'' outside Japan, even though it was Wario being shoehorned into a Bomberman game rather than the other way around.
* The [=MSX2=] sequel to the original ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' was titled ''VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake'', with the "Solid Snake" portion spelled in bigger letters (some official sources even go as far to call the game ''Solid Snake: Metal Gear 2'', much like the ''Rambo'' example above). However, the series subverted this with the third game, ''Metal Gear Solid'' for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation. While "Solid" is indeed part of Solid Snake's codename, the word also has some significance besides the main character (mainly that it's the third ''Metal Gear'' and [[VideoGame3DLeap the first one in 3D]]).
* An inversion: in Japan, the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series is known as ''Akumajou Dracula'' ("Demon Castle Dracula") and with a few exceptions (particularly ''Vampire Killer'' for the Mega Drive, the Japanese version of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaBloodlines''), all of the games in the series have been released under the ''Akumajou Dracula'' name until [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDissonance the second GBA game]], in which Creator/{{Konami}} attempted to adapt the overseas title of ''Castlevania'' for the Japanese versions due to [[ArtifactTitle Dracula's downplayed role in the newer games]]. It didn't quite work out and after fan backlash, the series went back to being called ''Akumajou Dracula'' in Japan.
** In Japan, ''Castlevania'' never had a consistent title up until later games. [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest The second Famicom game]] was titled ''Dracula II'', [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse the third one]] was ''Akumajou Densetsu'' (Legend of the Devil's Castle), the first two Game Boy games were known as ''Dracula Densetsu'' (Legend of Dracula) and the Mega Drive was called ''Vampire Killer''. It wasn't until ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood Chi no Rondo]]'' for the PC Engine that the full ''Akumajo Dracula'' name started to be used more frequently in sequels.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManZero''. Despite popular belief, the "title" character is '''''not''''' a "Mega Man", it's VideoGame/MegaManX's friend Zero.
* Inversion: the sequels to ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' downplayed the "Phoenix Wright" portion of the title after the localization staff realized that the fourth installment would feature a new protagonist, which ended up being released as ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney''.
* ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxter'' turned into ''Jak II'' with the second game. Of course, since it went DarkerAndEdgier with that game, [[ShooOutTheClowns removing the comic relief sidekick from the title]] made sense.
** Arguable since Daxter ironically seemed to [[TookALevelInBadass gain more involvement as the series progressed]]. ''Jak & Daxter'' is one of the few games he isn't playable in some sense.
* ''[[VideoGame/SegaSuperstars Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing]]''. To be fair, over a third of the characters are from the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' franchise.
** The sequel takes it up a notch, removing "Creator/{{SEGA}}" out of the title and simply calling it ''Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed''. To be fair in this case, the game has a number of characters [[GuestFighter who aren't from Sega properties]].
* The Data East beat 'em up ''Dragon Ninja'' became ''Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja'' when it was released in North America to simply ''VideoGame/BadDudes'' when it was ported to the NES. A JustifiedTrope, since [[AntagonistTitle the titular "Dragon Ninja" was actually the main bad guy]].
* Not quite a character, but a similar idea: ''Final Fantasy Chronicles'' for the [=PlayStation=] is a CompilationRerelease... but only one of the games is a ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' title (''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV''). The other is ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''.
* ''Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon'' is a curious example. On the SNES, a game from the ''VideoGame/GanbareGoemon'' series was released in English as ''Legend of the Mystical Ninja''. It seems that ''Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon'' was an attempt to keep the Mystical Ninja name for the franchise in the US whilst also having the main character's name in the title. In the European release's logo, the words "Starring Goemon" are much bigger than "Mystical Ninja." So, in a sense, Goemon is stealing the spotlight from himself.
** It's also worth mentioning that the ''Ganbare Goemon'' game featured in the English ''Konami GB Collection Vol. 3'', which uses the same logo, is simply called ''Starring Goemon'' in the game itself.
* The classic arcade BeatEmUp ''VideoGame/CaptainAmericaAndTheAvengers'' had Captain America as only one of a team of four playable characters. A voice clip exclaiming "Comicbook/TheAvengers!" supports the notion that Captain America was shoehorned into the game's title.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Skylanders}}: Spyro's Adventure'', VideoGame/SpyroTheDragon is only one character out of 32, and within the game itself has no more prominence than any of the others, other than being one of the three packaged with the game.[[note]]Not only that, it has no connection whatsoever to the Franchise/SpyroTheDragon series that was originally created by Creator/InsomniacGames (better known these days for Franchise/RatchetAndClank).[[/note]] Furthermore, the sequel is titled ''Skylanders: Giants'', taking Spyro out of the spotlight completely.
* ''Pokémon + Nobunaga's Ambition'' was retitled ''VideoGame/PokemonConquest'' for North America, most likely because ''VideoGame/NobunagasAmbition'' is a fairly obscure series in America.
* InUniverse example in ''VideoGame/SonicMania''. If you beat the [[spoiler:& Knuckles Mode]] as Knuckles, you get a special ending in which [[spoiler:it's revealed that the whole Knuckles & Knuckles playthrough was just a retelling of the game by Knuckles called ''Sonic Mania & Knuckles''.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''Franchise/WinnieThePooh'' spun off ''My Friends Tigger And Pooh''
* The latest ''ComicBook/XMen'' AnimatedAdaptation was ''WesternAnimation/WolverineAndTheXMen''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'' to ''Slimer! and The Real Ghostbusters''
* ''Rocky and His Friends'' featured ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle'' cliffhanger shorts. After a while, the name of the overall show became ''The Bullwinkle Show''.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' to ''Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles''
** Which are no longer considered to be canonical by the author, and were ignored for the sequel comic book series, other than the one episode which he worked on.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'', whereas the original action figure line and comic books were simply called ''Franchise/MastersOfTheUniverse''.
* By the same token, the Mattel toyline "Wheeled Warriors" was adapted into ''WesternAnimation/JayceAndTheWheeledWarriors''.
** Which, it should be noted, originally had no such things as plot or characters. Those were all supplied by the show.
* The pilot of ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' has gone by many subtitles. While most names are general, one of them is "Firefly's Adventure"; Firefly is the most prominent Pony in the pilot.
* The Disney WartimeCartoon ''Donald Duck in Nutzi Land'' was retitled ''Disney/DerFuehrersFace'' when the song from the cartoon became a hit.
* The opening for ''[[Franchise/{{Peanuts}} The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show]]'' shows Charlie Brown painting his name on a blank sign as part of the show title, then Snoopy cuts in to paint ''his'' name on the sign to finish it off.