I mean, how cocky do you have to be to literally call your first movie THE FIRST MOVIE? It's like they knew they were gonna have a bajillion sequels so they decided to call it the FIRST movie just to make it easy for us. That's like naming the first Lord of the Rings movie, "Lord of the Rings: Don't Worry, We're Gonna Have a SHIT Load of Sequels."Most franchises with Numbered Sequels are like this: The first ever made has a title and the sequels just add numbers and/or subtitles in front of the title, like this → "Title", "Title 2", "Title 3", and if it's a prequel, sometimes it's "Title 0". But a rare case is when the first one it's literally numbered the first, like "Title 1", or "Title One", or "Title I", or "Title: Part 1/One/I" or "Title: The First"; obviously, this is often a sign that sequels are planned, or in development or even ready, thus avoiding Sequelitis. And of course, the worst part of this trope is, that's right, when a sequel is never made and the first one keeps as the only one. Sometimes we're talking about a work Divided for Publication; if it has a "Part 1/One/I" in the title because they want to divide a single story in parts to make it easier to follow or fit in the time schedule, keep that clear. There are also cases of when the title didn't have it originally, and then it was added as a Retronym; when adding examples, keep clear which titles were always called like this and which ones were renamed after the fact. A subtrope of Title by Number. See also The Original Series. It's a common practice in Fan Nicknames, but they don't count here.
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Films — Animated
- Pokémon: The First Movie, the first one of a series of over 15 movies and still counting. Notably, it did not have the "First" in its title in Japan; the decision to include it in the North American release was a safe one, though, since the sequel had been released in Japan months before the first movie came to America, and the third movie was already in development.
- Doug's 1st Movie, which is also Doug's last movie.
- Gumby: The Movie was alternatively called "Gumby 1" on the screen, but no sequels were ever made.
Films — Live-Action
- History of the World Part I: One example of when a sequel was never made; a sequel is even teased at the end, but it's okay since it was only a joke and the producers never intended to make a sequel anyway.
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, a different kind of this trope because it's actually the fourth movie made, but the first one chronologically.
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is another variation on the trope, the first film in a franchise being given a number to set it up for prequels rather than sequels. Note that this is a retroactive example: it premiered in 1977 as Star Wars, and only got the subtitle Episode IV: A New Hope in 1981, a year after the first sequel The Empire Strikes Back came out.
- Kill Bill: Volume 1, being one half of a Divided for Publication movie.
- The Human Centipede: First Sequence.
- Che: Part One, another movie divided in two parts, part two was made.
- Atlas Shrugged: Part I. Despite the movie failing both on the critical reception and box office, Part II was made with a new cast, and, after a small time in Development Hell after that also failed, was joined by Part III (again with a different cast to the previous instalments), completing the planned trilogy.
- Rambo's first movie and first novel are called First Blood, the second movie is called Rambo: First Blood Part II, but "First Blood" is a term used in duels, and it's unclear if it means that it's the first one in the series and if sequels were planned. Remember that Rambo dies in the original novel.
- The Rocky spoof Ricky 1, which never got a sequel.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. As per the seventh film installment in the Harry Potter franchise.
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. Splitting the last book is becoming popular.
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Very popular trend, indeed.
- Loaded Weapon 1. They did plan for a sequel but it was considered a failure so the plan was scrapped.
- The awful Italian horror film "Evil Clutch" was originally titled "Il bosco 1", but it is not known if they ever wanted to make a Part 2.
- Kamen Rider: The First - not the first installment of the whole franchise, but a re-telling of the first generation and the first in a series of movies in that universe.
- Fox announced a channel named Fox Sports 1. With a number like that, sports fans must wonder if Fox can launch Fox Sports 2. Yes, Fox later announced Fox Sports 2, and both networks launched on the same day in 2013. (Naming the channel Fox Sports 1 gives it precedence above the regional Fox Sports channels.) They took the idea from sister company Sky, which labels its' sports nets as Sky Sports (number), including channels 1-5; the special F1 channel, and Sky Sports News (HQ) are excluded.
- Sky itself was simply called "Sky Channel", but became Sky One in 1989; although there was Sky News and Sky Movies at the time, it would be seven years before there was a Sky Two.
- Canadian channel Sportsnet launched a national spin-off channel called Sportsnet One.
- The first novel of Melisa Michaels' Skyrider series was published as Skyrider 1: Skirmish. Amusingly, none of the sequels had numbers.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events has 13 books, the first is called The Bad Beginning, with Book the First written on the cover.
- The Stephanie Plum novels all have a number as part of their title, starting with One for the Money, then Two For The Dough and Three To Get Deadly and so forth.
- "A" Is for Alibi of the Kinsey Millhone series, while the title doesn't have a number, each book of the series starts with a letter in the title and they are ordered by the alphabet.
- Big Star - #1 Record
- Colosseum - Chapter 1: Delirium
- Flo Rida - Only One Flo, Part One. Even stranger that the intended sequel, Only One Rida, Part Two had its name changed to Wild Ones.
- Hurt - Vol. I
- The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 was titled that as a joke, because it was intended as a one-off project, and they assumed there wouldn't be any sequels. When they defied their own expectations and made a second album, they called it Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3.
- Johnny Winter - First Winter
- ZZ Top - ZZ Top's First Album
- Michael Jackson - HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, Book II was never made, but there was Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix.
- The Sisters Of Mercy - Greatest Hits Volume 1: A Slight Case of Overbombing, the last album they released.
- George Michael - Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1, no Vol. 2 ever made.
- The OC Supertones - Live, Vol. 1. They meant to record at least one followup live album, but have yet to do so.
- Shakira - Fijación Oral Vol. 1, followed by Oral Fixation Vol. 2.
- Madness had The Dangermen Sessions, Volume One. There has been no Volume Two yet, but if they ever do another covers album it's quite likely they'll return to the title.
- David Bowie had 1. Outside. It was to have been the first in a series of concept albums, but he lost interest in the project.
- Barenaked Ladies - Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits 1991-2001.
- Eluveitie's Evocation I - The Arcane Dominion, their first acoustic album. They announced the sequel in 2012 but stopped talking about it the following year; they've since made other non-acoustic albums, but the fans are still waiting for Evocation II.
- Daniel Amos: ˇAlarma!: The Alarma Chronicles Volume 1. They planned from the beginning for The Alarma Chronicles to be a four-album series—and they actually did follow through with it.
- Diana Rising: Episode 1 ~Boppatsu~ Earthquake Reconstruction Charity - Day 1. There was never a "rising" episode two, but episode 1 did last 8 days. Diana Dojo Show on the other hand exceeded 40, though they weren't consistently numbered.
- Zork I, the first third of a game that was Divided for Publication.
- Star Ocean: First Departure, a remake of the first Star Ocean which didn't have that subtitle originally.
- The original PlayStation was re-released and the new version was called PSone, the Retronym being the result of the PlayStation 2 having already been released.
- Tales of Game's Presents Chef Boyardee's Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa, a sequel is in the works.
- Pryzm Chapter One: The Dark Unicorn, thanks to low sales, a Chapter Two was never made.
- Nightshade Part 1: The Claws of Sutekh, no Part 2 ever made.
- Half-Life 2: Episode One, a weird example because there is a game called just Half-Life 2, it's the first game of the episodic sequels to HL2, Half-Life 2: Episode Two was made, Half-Life 2: Episode Three however...
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, another episodic example, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II was made but Sega doesn't have plans to make an Episode III.
- Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic, once again a sequel was never made, but there was a Spiritual Successor.
- The Legend of Zelda was originally released in Japan as a Famicom Disk game under the title of Zelda no Densetsu: The Hyrule Fantasy. When the game was reissued in cartridge format in 1993, it was retitled Zelda no Densetsu 1. Strangely enough, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was known as The Legend of Zelda 2: Link no Bouken in Japan (instead of being called Zelda no Densetsu 2) and none of the other Zelda sequels were numbered.
- Tobal No. 1. A sequel was made, but released only in Japan.
- J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: Volume 1 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was to be the first in a series of adaptations of the books in video game form. The first installment bombed, so there was never a Volume 2.
- escapeVektor: Chapter 1 for the WiiWare, Chapter 2 was never released, instead, just escapeVektor was released for the 3DS eShop with all the chapters.
- Math Blaster Episode I: In Search of Spot for SNES, Sega Genesis and PC, followed by Math Blaster Episode II: Secret of the Lost City, only for PC, and also many more Blaster Learning System titles, the Episode I wasn't even the first in the series.
- Rap Jam: Volume One, a basketball game for the SNES featuring famous rappers as players, Volume Two was never made.
- The Journey Down: Chapter One, another episodic game, only the Chapter One was made by far but more chapters should come soon.
- Telltale Games, a company specialized in episodic video games, has many, many examples:
- Sam & Max Save the World - Episode 1: Culture Shock - Also, the first Sam & Max episodic game was originally called Sam & Max: Season One.
- Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space - Episode 1: Ice Station Santa
- Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 1: The Penal Zone
- Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People - Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner
- Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures - Episode 1: Fright of the Bumblebees
- Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 1 - Launch of the Screaming Narwhal
- Hector: Badge of Carnage - Episode 1: We Negotiate with Terrorists
- Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 1: It's About Time
- Jurassic Park: The Game - Episode 1: The Intruder
- Law & Order: Legacies - Episode 1: Revenge
- The Walking Dead - Episode 1: A New Day
- The Wolf Among Us - Episode 1: Faith
- Examples from flash games:
- The Several Journeys of Reemus: Chapter 1
- Talesworth Adventure Ep. 1
- Raider: Episode 1
- Swords & Sandals 1: Gladiator
- Flagstaff: Chapter One
- Understanding Games: Episode 1
- MARDEK RPG: Chapter 1
- Hood Episode 1
- Myosotis Chapter 1
- Now Boarding: Episode 1
- Belial: Chapter 1
- Path of Honor: Chapter 1
- Draw a Stickman - Episode 1
- Murloc RPG 2: Episode 1
- Darkness Episode 1
- Covert Front episode 1
- Alice is Dead - Ep 1
- Wasted Youth, Part 1
- The original Final Fight was ported to the GBA under the title of Final Fight One.
- The flight simulator "Strike Fighters Gold" was originally released as "Strike Fighters: Project 1" in 2002. It was renamed "Strike Fighters Gold" in 2004, and fixed many of the problems present with the game's initial release. The developers later made a sequel in 2008 under the title "Strike Fighters 2".
- A few 2-in-1 videogame compilations often follow a "Title 1 & 2" format, even if the original game itself is very rarely mentioned with the "1" in its official title
- Dragon Quest I & II, released for the Super Famicom and Game Boy Color.
- Dragon Quest I, II & III, released for the Wii.
- Final Fantasy I & II, released for the Famicom.
- Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls for the Game Boy Advance.
- MOTHER 1+2, released for the Game Boy Advance
- Ryu Ga Gotoku 1+2 for the PS3 and Wii U.
- Danganronpa 1x2 RELOAD for the PlayStation Vita.
- Madou Monogatari 1-2-3 for the MSX2 and PC-98. This was actually the original release, though Madou Monogatari I also was ported and remade for more systems than either of its two sequels were.
- Dragon Quest I & II, released for the Super Famicom and Game Boy Color.
- Inverted with the Xbox One, which is the successor to the Xbox 360, not another name for the original Xbox.
- Also inverted with Battlefield 1, which is not another name for the original Battlefield, but is actually a Battlefield title set in an Alternate History World War 1, the first game of the series was called Battlefield 1942.
- Insecticide Part 1, was the first portion of a PC game that was divided for publication. However, Part 2 was canceled due to the publisher GameCock being purchased by SouthPeak Games. A scaled-down version was released for the DS simply titled Insecticide, that includes most of the content that was planned for Part 2, but lacks the voice acting of the original PC version and the cinematics are just slideshows. To make up for this, the developers uploaded the cutscenes they made for the PC version on YouTube.
- The PlayStation and Nintendo DS ports of the original Front Mission were released under title of Front Mission 1st.
- ESPN Extreme Games for the original PlayStation was re-released as 1Xtreme after Sony's license to use the ESPN branding expired. At the time, the game already had a sequel titled 2Xtreme released without any ESPN branding.
- Inspector Gadget: Mission 1 – Global Terror! for PC, which never had a sequel.
- Buriki One: World Grapple Tournament '99 in Tokyo
- Metal Slug: 1st Mission and Fatal Fury: 1st Contact were both Neo Geo Pocket games, but only the former got a sequel.
- Shenmue in Japan was called Shenmū Isshō: Yokosuka, which translates to Shenmue Chapter 1: Yokosuka, the game was followed with a sequel, but many more titles were planned and cancelled due to the sales not covering the enormous budget, and the second game ended on a cliffhanger.
- In June 2015, Shenmue 3 was announced along with a Kickstarter campaing, that raised the triple than its initial target.
- Star Gladiator Episode I: Final Contact. The sequel was titled Star Gladiator 2, but only in Japan.
- Lagaf': Les Aventures de Moktar - Vol 1: La Zoubida, better known as Titus The Fox. A little explanation: Lagaf' is a French comedian who became a One-Hit Wonder with his song La Zoubida, starring the titular girl and a guy named Moktar. Titus Software made a game about the song expecting Lagaf' to continue Moktar's story, but the man abandoned musical comedy so a "Vol. 2" was never made.
- Invoked by necessity on a number of TV Tropes pages. When a page exists for a first game of a series of the same name, the page's title may be "Namespace.Series Installment 1" (or roman number "I", in some rare cases).
- Family Guy episode "Viewer Mail #1," which was the last episode before it was cancelled the first time. It would be ten years before there was a "Viewer Mail #2."
- Futurama has "Anthology of Interest 1" in season 2 in anticipation of yearly instalments; the series only got to 2 (in season 3 out of the original 4-season run). (The general idea of an annual triplet of non-canonical stories like the original A.O.I.s came back in the four Comedy Central half-seasons, almost always before a hiatus, but didn't use the same title scheme or framing device.)
- World War I: it got this name when World War II came by, but some people called it the "The First World War" before. However, this can also be interpreted as "There have been many wars, but this is the first world war." The War of the Spanish Succession had also been called "the first world war" before the big one.
- Almost all monarchs and rulers don't get to become "the First" until there's at least a second. Pope John Paul I, however, did use "the First" in his title, and actually signed his name Ioannes Paulus Primus. In contrast, Pope Francis, the only other pope in a thousand years with an original papal name, won't be Pope Francis I until there's a Francis II.