When a series, especially a TV drama series, has episode titles, but those titles never appear on the screen
. It's generally assumed that everyone has access to an interactive program guide
, so this former courtesy has long been waylaid.
There's a good chance that during localization, dubbing studios take note of the missing information and choose to re-edit the translated episode title into the video footage, somewhere between the opening or intro credits. Especially noteworthy if the title is written in a different font than the credits.
- Bleach. There is a title screen for each episode, but it only shows the number of the episode in a style unique to that episode.
- Nana episodes show custom-styled screens with episode numbers, but no titles.
- Some of the anime 4Kids localized, like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Ultimate Muscle, suffered from this.
- The Amazing Race derives its titles from contestants' quotes, so to those without a program guide, an episode's Title Drop may not be recognized by viewers.
- The Aquabats! Super Show!
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with the sole exceptions being "Once More With Feeling", "Conversations With Dead People" and "Bargaining".
- Battlestar Galactica (2003)
- The Big Bang Theory
- CSI franchise
- Criminal Minds
- Friends doesn't show the names of its episodes, however, since the titles all start with 'the one where...' they usually aren't too hard to guess. General rule of thumb is that the title refers to either the most important, interesting or funny thing in the episode.
- A pretty clever idea, as even when the titles are shown, fans generally refer to episodes of a programme in this fashion anyway.
- Taken to an extreme in Hex, where individual episode titles announced only in listings magazines were used for the TV broadcast, but the packaging of the home video releases of both seasons only used episode numbers.
- Kamen Rider did this from 2001-2004 and 2006. Kamen Rider Agito, Kamen Rider Ryuki, Kamen Rider Faiz, Kamen Rider Blade and Kamen Rider Kabuto all did not list episode titles on screen, but the titles were given on the official Web site.
- The 2008-09 Revival of Knight Rider, though the original series showed its episode titles.
- Law & Order originally had episode titles displayed, but stopped doing so shortly into the second season.
- Millennium averted the trope in season two, but played it straight in seasons one and three.
- The Pinkertons
- The Red Green Show
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch
- Survivor often does the same thing as the above example with The Amazing Race, using quotes from contestants for the titles, but regardless of whether they do or not, these titles are never seen on-screen.
- Saved by the Bell
- That '70s Show
- 3rd Rock from the Sun took advantage of this by making nearly every episode title a vulgar pun on the name of main character Dick.
- Torchwood: Miracle Day
- The X-Files:
- The writers considered showing the titles in a subtle way, such as using them as the titles of case files, but decided that not mentioning them added to the mystery.
- The German dub avoided this and spoilt the fun by replacing (almost) every instance of "THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE" from the opening with the actual episode title.
- Most live-action shows on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel do this.
- The Order of the Stick : no title is displayed on the comic pages. The only way to know a specific comic's title is to look it's number up in the archives (also, the last comic's name is displayed in the side bar). The names of each Story Arc aren't included anywhere in the online comic, only the print editions. Which, fortunately, also display the title of the individual strips at the bottom of every page.
- Kim Possible
- Hanna-Barbera's version of Richie Rich had segments of four different lengths: "Gems", "Riches", "Treasure Chest" and "Zillion-Dollar Adventures". Beyond those generic titles, the segments were not identified on screen.
- The Simpsons had about four exceptions, one of which was a gag where "Bart Gets Hit by a Car" showed up, right before Bart got hit by a car. According to the episode commentary, the animators put this in so that viewers would wonder whether the show had always been giving the titles and they'd just missed it somehow.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars, even though they could easily have slipped the titles in instead of the fortune cookie lines shown after the title sequence.
- All three of Seth MacFarlane's cartoons: Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show
- The Three Shorts episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures not only have titles for the shorts themselves, but the episode as a whole as well. However, only the shorts get the Episode Title Cards.
- Gravity Falls
- Sid the Science Kid is actually a somewhat rare example of preschool / young children's animated series that does this. The only thing that's shown at the beginning of the episodes is a small amount of crew, such as executive producers. No episode titles are given.
- The Jetsons subverted this. The original 1962 season did not display the titles, at least when aired in syndication. But when seasons 2 and 3 were produced in the '80s with title cards, the first season was retrofitted with title cards to match.