A Title Sequence
composed primarily of clips from the series, sometimes intercut with artistic elements
. Probably the most common form of Title Sequence
for American shows, particularly sitcoms
, but relatively rare in British series.
The content of a Title Montage
is similar to that of Previously On
, but is closer in format to a Blipvert
Often, the montage will be updated from time to time with new material, making them Evolving Credits
. In an Action Series
, it is traditional for the sequence to end with a Power Walk
(This usage is sometimes called a "Hero Shot").
Sister trope to Credits Montage
. Compare Placeholder Titles
, which are similar in execution, but done because the real opening isn't ready.
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Anime and Manga
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex had one for its first two episodes (on their first Japanese airing), then switched to an original CGI sequence.
- The dub openings of Pokémon mix the Japanese openings (which are all original animation) with clips from episodes from that season.
- In Bokurano, almost every scene in the opening credits is an actual scene in the anime, though often redrawn from another point of view or to hide certain details.
Live Action Television
- Some shows use a different style of Title Sequence for their first season (or first episode), then switch to a Title Montage later as they accumulate a stockpile of footage to use. Examples: Gilmore Girls, Family Ties, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids:The Series.
- The A-Team
- The Tomorrow People (1990s version) and Battlestar Galactica (both the original and the 2005 version) are unusual in that the montages consist of clips from the upcoming episode. The latter was inspired as an homage to Space: 1999, which opened each episode in the same manner.
- Thunderbirds (probably the earliest example of this type) also uses only clips from the upcoming episode, apart from the Supermarionation credit, which appears over an exploding industrial complex. This shot is not present in any episode, and was made just for the montage. It is worth noting that both Thunderbirds and Space: 1999 were made by Gerry Anderson.
- Justice League Unlimited featured in the openings of its first several episodes clips from that episode. As the series progressed most of the title sequence was composed of the same clips from early episodes, but each episode had a few clips from that episode.
- This technique was also used for the original incarnation of Mission: Impossible.
- Space Precinct (another Gerry Anderson series) mixed this with the standard Title Montage (with a caption reading THIS EPISODE appearing before the clips from that episode, the this episode caption was also used in Space: 1999).
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer does this. It updated each season to incorporate the new season's footage as well as to bump or demote characters in the introduction. Although it uses mostly new footage, some favorite shots show up consistently throughout the new seasons (most notably Buffy holding the hell-axe from season 3 pilot is used as a Hero Shot, and Giles wielding a chainsaw, from season 4. This shot is so popular it remains even after Giles left the show and is removed from the lead character profiles.
- Also used in Angel, although slightly confusing in the pilot where the final shot of the teaser is also the final shot of the Title Montage.
- Top Gear: From the eighth series onwards, the title sequence consists of the three main presenters appearing in silhouette over clips from previous episodes. These are usually updated between series.
- Red Dwarf from Series III onwards.
- The Bill moved to doing this in its second series (with the clips interspersed with a seizure-inducing flashing blue police light) and continued to use variations of it for the following 12 years.
- The Goodies
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 mixes titles-specific footage that sets up the premise of the show with clips from the episodes proper.
- Stargate SG-1 (except for seasons 4-5 and the beginning of season 9). Starting with season 6, the sequence ended with a Power Walk into the SGC's Stargate.
- And Stargate Atlantis.
- Charmed not only updated the Title Sequence for each season (common practice as is), but also edited the individual Title Sequences for each episode so that it would only show and credit characters that appeared in that episode.
- Mork and Mindy
- Malcolm in the Middle had a mixture of clips from the show and clips of random Public Domain material like footage of a boxing referee getting accidentally knocked out and a skier spontaneously catching fire, Special Effects Failure in kung-fu and sci-fi B-movies, and egregious violence and explosions in various kid's cartoons, all run through a static-y color-warped filter.
- Band of Brothers
- The BBC's 2006 Robin Hood series, from the 2nd series onward, had a new title sequence that featured quick montages of the assorted characters inbetween shots of forest scenery. In the third series, the cast was constantly changing to the point that only episodes 3 & 4 and 8 & 9 kept the same credits for two episodes running, as the actors' names had to be removed or added and the montages changed accordingly to represent the cast for that week.
- Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
- The Hawaii Five-O opening (1968 original) was a "travelogue" of scenes from around Hawaii. Most of it was shot just for the opening, with only a few short clips (e.g. the "Zulu as Kono" freeze-frame) lifted from the pilot or one of the early first-season episodes.
- Although this montage was changed with other shots of cast members (and other clips, such as the welder and the exploding car) as the series went on, some shots stayed for the duration - most obviously Jack Lord's.
- The Monkees
- Most of Quinn Martin's shows adjusted the opening of each episode depending on who the guest stars were (complete with announcer); even when clips of the guests weren't included (on latter-day QM Productions like Most Wanted and A Man Called Sloane) their names still were.
- 3-2-1 Contact
- Power Rangers series update their montages throughout the season to showcase new characters and equipment.
- JAG, NCIS & NCIS: Los Angeles
- New Tricks.
- MythQuest had two, both with footage from all 13 episodes, which resulted in a minor Spoiler Opening.
- GuidingLight used clip montages in its opening sequences from 1981-1997 and 2003-2006. Somewhat subverted in the 1990s when the clips were presented as part of an elaborate lighthouse beacon sequence.
- Kim Possible updated post The Movie for Season 4 including The Sealed with a Kiss.
- South Park started doing this in the second half of the fourth season. It was updated for the sixth season, and starting with the seventh season, it's updated every half-season with clips of the previous half-season.
- Select series of Scooby-Doo feature the Montage. And when not using this, different opening sequences will feature a montage of different Monsters of the Week.
- Garfield and Friends switched to having one of these in its third season. (Prior to that, the original title sequence was an animated sequence of Garfield and the U.S. Acres characters fighting for the spotlight.) The first title montage would notably be the only theme song the show used in syndication. The show got a different title montage in season 6, and then another one when the theme song itself changed in season 7 (though it's replaced by the season 6 intro on the DVDs).
- The Ren & Stimpy Show is not only one of the only Nicktoons to have one of these, every clip in the opening comes from one episode, the pilot "Big House Blues."
- Transformers Animated
- Averted with the Japanese opening, however, since it instead used completely original animation.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes does this in the second season.
- Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, after its 3D gags. Also Evolving Credits.
- Rupert intercut some episode scenes with original animation.
- 101 Dalmatians: The Series did a unique spin on this and had the main characters running through a spotted background (Six variants were used with purple, blue, red, teal, orange, and magenta backgrounds) with TVs showing clips from various episodes. The episodes used (Not every episode was used in each variant) were "Dough The Right Thing", "Love 'Em and Flea 'Em", "An Officer and a Gentledog", "The Dogs of DeVil", "You Slipped a Disk", "Chow About That?", "Tic Track Toe", "Lucky All-Star", "Shake, Rattle, and Woof", "Cadpig Behind Bars", "Leisure Lawsuit", "You Say It's Your Birthday", "Two Faces of Anita", "Lucky to be Alone", "Four Stories Up", "It's a Swamp Thing", "Roll Out the Pork Barrel", "Prima Doggy", and "Frisky Business".
- ChalkZone had two. The first one (which was used for the first two seasons) included clips from most of the original Oh Yeah! Cartoons shorts (which were included in the first season): "ChalkZone" (which was retitled "Rudy's First Adventure" and written as a Whole Episode Flashback in the show), "The Amazin' River" (which was retitled "French Fry Falls" and also written as a Whole Episode Flashback), "Rudy's Date", "Snap Out Of Water", "Chalk Rain" (which was not repackaged as an episode of the show), "Secret Passages", and "Rapunzel". The only parts of the theme song not part of an episode were clips of Snap, Penny, and Reggie saying, "Rudy's got the chalk!".
- The third and fourth seasons replaced the clips (with the exception of the ones made for the theme) from Oh Yeah! Cartoons with clips from various episodes from the second and third seasons (plus one episode of season three that didn't air until season four): "Hole In The Wall", "The Terrible 2 1/2s", "Superhero Snap", "Portable Portal", "Snap On Tour", "Waste Mountain", "The Heist", "Battle of the Hands", "Chocolate Brunch", "The Smooch", "Pumpkin Love", "Chip Of Fools", "Chalk Queen", "Snap's Wishy Washout", "Follow the Bouncing Bag", "Asleep at the Chalk", "Water Water Everywhere", and "No Place Like Home".
- While The Powerpuff Girls averts this in the US, the Japanese dub of the show uses this trope, along with using different theme songs:
- The episodes with the theme "It's Up To You" uses "Imaginary Fiend", "Child Fearing", "Too Poofed To Puff", "Birthday Bashed", "Daylight Savings", "Beat Your Greens", "Los Dos Mojos", "Abracadaver", "Mo Job", "Supper Villain", "Uh Oh Dynamo", "Ice Sore", "Pet Fued", and "The Bare Facts"
- "Creampuff Shuffle" would use "Power Lunch", "Three Girls and a Monster", "Meet the Beat-Alls", "All Chalked Up", "Hot Air Buffoon", "Monkey See, Doggy Do", "Mime For a Change", "The Bare Facts", "Slave the Day", "Mommy Fearest", and "Cat Man Do".