The word "the" is among the most common of all the words in all of the English language, the result of which is often the placement of "the" in the title of a work or in the name of a group regardless of the wishes of the people or the person who made it. (This also happens with definite articles in other languages: "le" in French or "der" in German, for instance.)

The "The" Title Confusion is when nobody seems to be quite sure whether or not a "the" is required in a title. As a result, merchandise or advertising can sometimes make it seem as if the title is constantly changing, or if there might even be multiple works/groups with the same title. Often WordOfGod is required to make a final decision on the matter.

Further confusion surrounds the question of whether something which doesn't include a 'the' in the title officially should be supplied with one when grammatically appropriate. The 'United States of America' doesn't have a 'the' in the title, but you'd never use it in a sentence without one; by contrast, several bands which don't include articles [[BerserkButton get very upset]] when one is used. There are times when a 'the' would clash with another article, in which case it's generally accepted that you drop the one in the name; it's "a Strokes song", not "a Music/TheStrokes song".

And then there's the question: if one is organizing titles in alphabetical order, should a title starting with "The" be listed under 'T', or the first letter of the next word?

Compare SpellMyNameWithAThe and TheTheTitle, when the use of a "the" is ''insisted''.

Oh yeah, if you're looking for ''Film/AttackOfTheTheEyeCreatures'', it's thataway.


[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
* (''The'') ''{{Slayers}}''.
* From ''Anime/CowboyBebop'', (Yoko Kanno and) (The) Seat Belts. (Also some ambiguity as to whether "Seat Belts" should be one word or two.)

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Whether anyone refers to Franchise/{{Batman}} as "The Batman" depends on the era of comic books, with the "the" especially ignored during the LighterAndSofter era of the 1960s.
* [[TheVision (The) Vision]]

* Tim Robbins' film ''Film/CradleWillRock'' is about the production of and controversy around a Depression-era play called '''''The''' Cradle Will Rock''.
* Due to a printing oversight, we get one in the middle of ''AttackOfTheTheEyeCreatures''.
* ''(The) Film/BadLieutenantPortOfCallNewOrleans''
* In the film ''Body Slam'' about a combiation of Rock and Wrestling there's a band called "Kicks." A reviewer talking to their manager casually refers to them as "The Kicks," but the manager is quite insistent that it's just "Kicks," saying that using "The" in a band name is passe.
* Averted with the ''TheFastAndTheFurious'' franchise, where ''The Fast and the Furious'' is the name of the first movie, while ''Fast and Furious'' is the name of the fourth movie.
** Not averted with the localizations: The first movie (and with it, the whole franchise) is known as ''Fast and Furious'' in France.
*** The same happened to ''Film/TheMatrix''.
*** Or ''Film/TheShining''.
*** Or quite a lot of movie localizations, actually. It seems like a tacit "rule" that movie titles that are not translated in France lose their "the", especially if it can shorten it to a single word, such as ''[[Film/TheAvengers Avengers]]''
* Similarly averted with ''FinalDestination'', where any confusion over whether or not it needed a "the" was cleared away (or possibly enhanced) by the title of the fourth installment, ''The Final Destination''.
%%* (''The'') ''Film/GangsOfNewYork''
* ''Film/LastActionHero'' was usually called ''The Last Action Hero'' until its release ''sans'' "The."
* In the credits for ''Film/TheManWithTheIronFists'' RZA is credited as "The RZA" for the screenplay for some reason, even though he is simply credited as "RZA" when listed as the film's star, director, and composer.
* The film ''Film/MinorityReport'' is based on a story titled ''The Minority Report'' by Philip K. Dick. A short story collection by Dick was released around the same time as the movie bearing the name ''Minority Report'' like the movie, not the original story.
* The credits to the American version of ''Film/WarOfTheGargantuas'' has a ''The'' before the title which is not included when the title is displayed on advertising or home video packaging.
* 2012 movie ''Film/SalmonFishingInTheYemen'' puts a "the" in front of the name of the country of [[ Yemen]] for no obvious reason.
** This used to be the correct form of the country's name in English (another common example is 'the Ukraine') and is still used by many older people.
* ''Film/SchoolOfRock'' was originally called "The School of Rock," as seen in its title sequence.
* [[Film/WarOfTheWorlds The 2005 Spielberg adaptation]] of ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' dropped the "The" from the title.
* The original treatment for ''Franchise/StarWars'' was subtitled ''The Star Wars''.
* In-universe, there's [[ConversationalTroping a conversation]] in ''Film/MickeyBlueEyes'' about whether a restaurant is called ''"La Trattoria"'' or "The ''La Trattoria"''. Apparently it's the latter, despite being owned by Italians.
* All sequels of ''Film/TheOmen'' drop the article (''Damien: Omen II'' and ''Omen III: The Final Conflict'' - which at times drops the "Omen" part as well).

* Despite commonly being abbreviated "[=LotR=]", Creator/JRRTolkien's fantasy epic is called ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.
** Also happens in-story: when Radagast talks about a land he's heard of called Shire, Gandalf tells him it's ''The'' Shire.
* The third series of ''Literature/WarriorCats'' is called ''Power of Three''. Officially, there is no "the"; however, fans usually add the "the", giving this story arc the FanNickname "Teapot" (The Power of Three = [=TPoT=] = Teapot.)
* One entry in Lois [=McMaster=] Bujold's ''Miles Vorkosigan'' series is a short story called ''The Borders of Infinity''. It and several other short stories in the same series were later collected in an anthology called just ''Borders of Infinity''.
* Literature/SherlockHolmes novel ''Literature/TheSignOfTheFour'' was originally serialized under that title. When it was later published in book form, it was titled ''The Sign of Four'', omitting the second "the". To this day, different publishers will use different titles.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In-Universe example: In the ''{{Firefly}}'' episode Bushwhacked, an Alliance officer asks Inara how long she's been on "the ''Serenity''", prompting her to correct him that it's "just ''Serenity''".
** Which is correct for ''all'' ships. See the RealLife section below.
* ''Series/HappyDays'': Arthur Fonzerelli, aka "Fonzie" or "The Fonz."
* Meta-example: Creator/StephenColbert refers to ''USA Today'' as "the ''The USA Today''".
* A bit of an odd one: Creator/BenElton insists on referring to a popular show as [[{{Series/Blackadder}} "The Black Adder."]] Actually, that's only the title of the first season - i.e., the only season that Ben Elton ''didn't'' write for; none of his seasons or one-off episodes have a definite article in them. [[note]]All right, "Blackadder the Third" ''does'', but you know what we mean.[[/note]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' has this with [[MonsterOfTheWeek The Gnarl]], who corrects the main characters by saying his name is actually just Gnarl.
* ''[[TheWeakestLink Weakest Link]]''. It was ''The Weakest Link'' in the very early days, but that didn't last long.
* On ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'', falling victim to this (adding an initial "the" to a title that doesn't have one or dropping it from one that does) generally doesn't make a response wrong unless it changes the title to refer to something else (e.g., ''Literature/InvisibleMan'' vs. ''Literature/TheInvisibleMan'').
* I uses a different article, but the TV series ''Series/GameOfThrones'' draws its title from the book ''Literature/AGameOfThrones''.

* In general, the rule of thumb seems to be if a band's name is (the) (noun) you always say "the" (i.e TheBeatles, TheCure) whereas if the name is (the) (adjective) (noun) (i.e SpiceGirls) The is either never used or is optional
* Pete Wentz's new band BlackCards are often called "The Black Cards".
* Music/{{Eagles}} and Music/{{Carpenters}} both commonly get a "the" slapped in front of their names. Ditto Music/{{Faces}}.
* (The) [[Music/TheMagneticFields Magnetic Fields]]
* Music/TheOffspring released their second album under the name ''"Offspring"''.
* (The) Music/PetShopBoys typically insist upon having no "the," but where it makes more grammatical sense, it can pop up.
* (The) [[Music/ThePixies Pixies]]
* Conversely, it was definitely ''The'' Music/PinkFloyd, at least until Syd Barrett got kicked out. Also, their breakthrough album is named ''Music/TheDarkSideOfTheMoon'', despite often being referred to without the article.
* (The) Strawbs
* (The) [[Music/TheSmashingPumpkins Smashing Pumpkins]], originally (they added the "The" later on).
* The band Music/TalkingHeads were often erroneously referred to as "The Talking Heads"; they responded by naming one of their live albums ''The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads''. (Not helped by the fact that, in the film ''Film/StopMakingSense'', one of the band members refers to them as "The Talking Heads".)
* Deliberately [[InvokedTrope invoked]] by the band "Music/TheThe".
** Leading to the following joke. A guy in a record store is asked to file all the albums in alphabetical order. He starts by filing them all under 'T': 'The Beatles', 'The Rolling Stones', etc. "No," says his boss. "Ignore the 'the'." Then he gets to 'The The'.
* (The) Music/JonasBrothers
* (The) Music/BarenakedLadies
* (The) Music/{{Newsboys}}
* (The) Music/DavidCrowderBand. Crowder once joked that the "The" wasn't necessary, but that he reserved the right to add it should another band also named "David Crowder Band" ever form, to assert that they were the ''definitive'' David Crowder Band.
* (The) Diablo Swing Orchestra. Their third album, ''Pandora's Piñata'', even has "The" on the front cover--while their prior two albums didn't.
* (The) BuffaloSpringfield
* (The) Music/ElectricLightOrchestra
* (The) Music/{{Melvins}}. They played with this on the artwork for ''A Senile Animal'', which actually does put a parenthetical "the" in front of the band name, and similarly renders the album title as "(A) Senile Animal". Their collaborative works with [[Music/DeadKennedys Jello Biafra]] are officially billed as Jello Biafra And ''The'' Melvins, probably just because that flows better as a name.
* (The) Music/{{Eels}}. Although the only time a "the" has appeared before the band name in anything official was the GreatestHitsAlbum ''Meet The Eels'' - presumably ''Meet Eels'' would sound strange and mess with the clearly intended ShoutOut to Music/TheBeatles.
* (The) Music/{{Eurythmics}}
* (The) Music/{{Pretenders}} - originally no "The", then gained one with the forced change of line-up for their third album, but dropped it again a couple of albums later.
* (The) Music/{{Buzzcocks}}
* (The) [[Music/TheVerve Verve]] - Up until the release of their first album, they were officially Verve, but they had to add a "The" to their name due to legal difficulties with jazz label Verve Records.
* (The) [[Music/TheProdigy Prodigy]]. The cover art to ''The Fat Of The Land'' used a logo that dropped the definitive article from their name, as did artwork for singles taken from that album, but otherwise they've always officially been The Prodigy. Some further confusion is possible because of [[NamesTheSame a rapper known as Prodigy]], who is best known for being half of the duo Mobb Deep.
* Generally, any band whose name is, or seems to be, a plural noun, will get this. However, there are aversions: Darts, Wings and Steps are three bands who seem largely immune to it.
** NineInchNails generally avoids getting an unnecessary "the," but that might also be thanks to [[IAmTheBand that name being largely associated with just Trent Reznor.]]
* (The) Music/CapitolSteps
* Julie Ruin was the [[OneBookAuthor one album solo project]] of Music/BikiniKill's Kathleen Hanna. ''The'' Julie Ruin are a full band that she would form over ten years later.
* See the entry for this trope under Music/ScreamingFemales. Call them "''the'' Screaming Females" in their presence, and they ''will'' jerk you around to their hearts' content.
* Italian horror-movie soundtrack composers Goblin were inexplicably credited as "The Goblins" on at least ''three'' films: ''Film/{{Suspiria}},'' ''Film/DawnOfTheDead,'' and ''Beyond the Darkness.''
* If you want to piss off the fans, insist on calling it "The Music/{{Gorillaz}} "

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Many wrestlers from the Wrestling/NationalWrestlingAlliance and the [[Wrestling/{{WWE}} World Wrestling Federation]] had a hard time breaking the habit of using "the" when they were in Wrestling/{{WCW}}. Wrestling/BretHart in particular was notorious for this.
** Likewise when the World Wrestling Federation changed their name to World Wrestling Entertainment, many wrestlers continued to refer to it as "the Wrestling/{{WWE}}," as do many instances on this site.
** [[Wrestling/TooColdScorpio 2 Cold Scorpio]], having been temporarily PutOnABus down to Wrestling/{{ECW}} in 1998 after a year-and-a-half of primarily {{Jobb|er}}ing in WWE as Flash Funk, once referred to the promotion, where had been a regular from 1994-1996, as "the ECW."

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TableTopGames/{{Pathfinder}}'', the herald of the god [[ Gozreh]] is called [[ Personification of Fury]]. Fury doesn't like being accidentally called "''The'' Personification of Fury" by accident (or being refered to with gendered pronouns, [[HairTriggerTemper or as "it"]]).
* After the original 1E version, a large number of uses of ''TheTempleOfElementalEvil'' don't include the "the". The sequel, ''Return To The Temple Of Elemental Evil'', is one of the few exceptions, and it uses the "the" but only because the title doesn't work without it.

* Non-English example: Leoncavallo's popular short opera ''Pagliacci'' is NOT ''I Pagliacci''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''[[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda (The) Legend Of Zelda]]''. This sometimes pops up in abbreviations: is it just [=LoZ=] or is it [=TLoZ=]?
** The same goes for a few of the games' subtitles, namely ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast (A) Link to the Past]]'', ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker (The) Wind Waker]]'', ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap (The) Minish Cap]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds (A) Link Between Worlds]]''. [[note]]Possibly ''[[VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink (The) Adventure of Link]]'' as well, but it's usually known as simply ''Zelda II''.[[/note]]
* When referring to ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'', the ''The'' tends to be dropped by many (i.e. ''King of Fighters''), although the eponymous tournament is usually missing the article as well or just goes by KOF for short. Ditto goes for ''VideoGame/TheLastBlade''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Langrisser}}'' and ''Der Langrisser'' are two different games; the latter is a remake of ''Langrisser II''.
* The NumberedSequels to ''VideoGame/TheLastNinja'' omit the definite article.
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' game in the Windows series is titled "the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil".[[note]]Or more accurately "''Touhou Land of the Scarlet Devil'' ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil", with the italicised portion originally in Japanese. Fans typically refer to the games by the part in their native language.[[/note]] Seeing anyone include a "the" when discussing the game is rare, and seeing it with the original capitalisation is rarer still.
** The series itself can't seem to decide whether it's called "Touhou", "Touhou Project" or "The Touhou Project".
* ''The Legendary Axe II'' features the definite article on the title screen, but "Legendary Axe II" is used everywhere else.

* ''ThePerryBibleFellowship'' apparently used to run into this confusion, as Nick Gurewitch addressed the question [[ in an old version of the FAQ page]].
-->Q: "The Perry Bible Fellowship", or "Perry Bible Fellowship"?
-->A: ''The'' PBF. Treat it like a rock band though. For instance: "I own a White Stripes album", not "I own a The White Stripes album".

[[folder:Web Original]]
* (The) [[WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd Angry Video Game Nerd]]
* On TheOtherWiki, battles have sometimes raged over whether to use the "the" in an article title. ''Series/TheAvengers'' (the TV series) has it but ''Comicbook/TheAvengers'' (the comic book) doesn't. The official ManualOfStyle says:
-->Do not use A, An, or The as the first word (Economy of the Second Empire, not The Economy of the Second Empire), unless by convention it is an inseparable part of a name (The Hague) or it is part of the title of a work (''A Clockwork Orange'', ''The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien'').
* As anyone who's seen ''Film/TheSocialNetwork'' knows, Website/{{Facebook}} started out with a "the" in front of its name.
* ThisVeryWiki has run into this a few times; "The" is usually omitted from a name unless it is a character type (TheDragon, ThePollyanna) or part of a set phrase (TheBlindLeadingTheBlind). Back when character names were accepted as trope titles, "The" was used to distinguish, say, The Ralph Wiggum ([[TheDitz a humorously stupid person]]) from Ralph Wiggum (the ''Simpsons'' character). Pages' search-engine descriptions take such forms as "The '''TheStarscream''' trope as used in popular culture, with a list of examples from all media." Or better yet, for this page, "The '''[[OverusedRunningGag The The Title Confusion]]''' trope as used in popular culture, with a list of examples from all media."

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'' makes a point of keeping the "the" when talking about him.
* ([[WesternAnimation/TheFamilyGuy The]]) ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''. This confusion was referenced in "Bobba-Dee Babba-Dee".
** This mistake appeared (seemingly by accident) in a ''WesternAnimation/{{Scrubs}}'' episode featuring a cameo appearance from Stewie.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsons'' has a full-length feature titled ''Jetsons: The Movie'', to which fans sometimes refer as ''The Jetsons Movie''.
* In-show example on ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' - Dr. Girlfriend insists to The Monarch that the guy from DepecheMode is straight--"I saw a whole thing about it on the VH-1!"
* ''[[Franchise/{{Transformers}} The Transformers]]'' or just ''Transformers''? Post [[Film/{{Transformers}} movies]] it seems to have stuck without the "the".

[[folder:Real Life]]
* ''The'' Gambia
* Ukraine (no "The")
* Sudan (no "The"... though the error is less common now that both Sudan and South Sudan exist).
* ''Both'' of the Congos (the Democratic Republic of the Congo, née Belgian Congo, and the Republic of the Congo, née French Congo) suffer from this; neither includes a "the" in the name, but they're usually preceded by one in a sentence.
* UsefulNotes/UnitedNations (no "The")
* Skydome, in Toronto, before the name change to Rogers Centre (which still, for the most part, doesn't use "The").
* Ships are variously referred to both with and without "the" prior to their names. For the most obvious example see the ''Titanic'', but it is not incorrect to omit "the", leading ships such as the ''USS Juneau'' to be referred to as both "''Juneau''" and "the ''Juneau''". To add to the confusion, some ships, such as USS ''The Sullivans'', have "the" as part of their actual name.
* There is considerable disagreement over whether UsefulNotes/{{Arizona}}'s most famous geological feature should be called "Grand Canyon" or "the Grand Canyon".
* Back after it was built, part of the scandal surrounding the ''Los Angeles Times''' handling of the opening of Staples Center, was that people from Staples and the Lakers were calling the shots on coverage surrounding it up to mandating that it never be called ''the'' Staples Center.
* The moon always has "the" (at least when referring to Earth's moon), because, contrary to what ''Series/{{QI}}'' will have you believe, there is definitely only one. The convention is a bit more shaky for (the) earth.