This is the musical equivalent of a TitleDrop; when the Title Screen theme for a game is played in a certain context within the game itself. This tends to lend significance to these scenes in a fashion similar to that of a TitleDrop.

When the theme in question is a remix or re-used melody, this trope overlaps with {{Leitmotif}} or RecurringRiff.

Also compare ThemeTuneCameo, where the tune makes an appearance in-universe. In fact, compare very carefully, because it is very easy to confuse these two tropes and they often have overlap.

This is typically a video game trope, but it may also appear in other media. LastEpisodeThemeReprise is a SubTrope of this. This trope may be combined with ThemeMusicPowerUp.

Please note that games will be listed first, followed by all other media.


* In ''VideoGame/CaveStory'', the title music plays in an area toward the end of the game (the plantation), just before you ascend to fight the BigBad.

* In ''[[VideoGame/ChzoMythos 7 Days A Skeptic]]'', the title theme returns at the start of the final day, where you are [[spoiler:hiding in the maintenance shaft, the rest of the crew murdered save for the ship's doctor who on the previous day was all set to butcher you for body parts]]. It continues to play over [[spoiler:the ensuing conversation between you and William]], echoing the opening segment of the game.

* All of the video games based on ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987'' are full of this, ranging from occasional quoting of the "heroes in a half-shell" riff to remixing the entire theme song.

* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'' is particularly of note due to its theme (which contains Latin lyrics) being used for half of the game's original songs that weren't from other games.
** Not to mention the fact that the ''Brawl'' theme plays at the end of the game and also displays the translated lyrics as it does so.
** Additionally, and perhaps better fitting the trope, the actual theme plays [[spoiler:during the cutscene where the Subspace Gunship is destroyed.]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' fighting games use this even more often than the main shoot-em-ups. The new title melody is used in the final battle intro in ''Immaterial and Missing Power'' and in all battle intros in ''Scarlet Weather Rhapsody'' and in both in ''Hopeless Masquerade'', and all three in ''Unthinkable Natural Law'' are remixes of [[PlayingWithATrope different parts of its title theme]].
** The [[PlayingWithATrope credits themes]] rather than the endings as in the main series are also remixes of the title themes, though in its [[PlayingWithATrope usual offbeat manner]], ''Unthinkable Natural Law'' uses a part of its title theme not used in any battle intro theme.
* ''VideoGame/KirbyTripleDeluxe bonus game Kirby Fighters Deluxe'' uses the title theme, a remix of Triple Deluxe's boss theme itself, during King Dedede's return to final boss glory.

* In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'', the final boss plays a fast remix of the title theme. These are also the only two places you ever get to hear the main Metroid theme in the game.
** In ''Metroid Prime 2: Echoes'', the title theme appears fleetingly as the intro for the [[spoiler:Mutated Emperor Ing]]'s theme.

* An inverse example in ''DynastyWarriors'', in that every sequel between 3 and 7 uses a remix of resident MemeticBadass Lu Bu's theme over the opening movie, even if he never appears in it. Meanwhile, 7 only half breaks the combo; the opening them "Crush 'Em All" makes a cameo in the [=BGM=] of the ultimate stage.

[[AC: Miscellaneous Games]]
* In David Crane's ''VideoGame/{{Ghostbusters 1984}}'', Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" theme song plays throughout the game. The title screen in most versions has a FollowTheBouncingBall sequence displaying the lyrics of the song while it plays.

* ''VideoGame/{{La-Mulana}}'' plays its title screen theme [[spoiler: in the hub village]] when the last Guardian has been defeated and the way to the final battle is open.
* The ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' [[GameMod ROM hack]] ''Rockman no Constancy'' uses its title screen theme for the final stage.
** In the actual ''VideoGame/MegaMan II'' for the GameBoy, the title song plays during the final stage too.
* Both ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 games]] had their title screen music play during the FinalBoss battle.
** Most ''Sonic'' games beyond those do this as well. Heck, it's one of the few redeeming qualities of ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006''.
** Most of the early ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' games used their title screen themes as their invincibility themes.
** Get an E-rank in ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'', and the title theme music is played...[[StylisticSuck very badly]]. It is hilarious.
* [[VideoGame/{{Klonoa}} Klonoa: Door to Phantomile]] has its world map theme dropped during the [[TearJerker final cutscene.]] [[spoiler: It's the Song Of Rebirth.]]
* In the first ''VideoGame/SpyroTheDragon'' game, the theme tune was remixed into several different songs that played throughout four or five different levels.
* In ''VideoGame/SmurfRescueInGargamelsCastle'' for the UsefulNotes/{{Atari 2600}}, ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' theme tune plays when you first turn on the game and right when your game ends.
** Infogrames' ''VideoGame/TheSmurfs1994'' uses the theme tune as part of its soundtrack in various levels of the game.

* Every ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' game has a version of the main theme in the last stage.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', the theme heard on the "load game" screen shows up the first time an Aeon is summoned.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyMysticQuest'' plays the title screen music after you defeat the final boss and the mysterious old man shows up. Appropriate when you consider those are the only two scenes in the game to show [[spoiler:the crystal of light]].
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'', the BootstrappedTheme Prelude plays during the title screen and while at crystal rooms. In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', this overlaps with {{Leitmotif}}.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' has a big scene near the end boss where the ''actual'' theme Prologue plays.
** Happens properly in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' once you reach Oeilvert.
* In ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'', the title theme plays when the player visits Arvahn and discovers the origin of the King of Shadows.
** If installed, ''Mask of The Betrayer'' changes the title theme to one eventually played in the lead-up to its final battle.
* In ''VideoGame/LiveALive'', the title theme plays for every normal battle in the final chapter.
* In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum]]'', a remix of the title screen music plays in the Hall of Origin.
** In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Black/White]]'', the Pokémon main theme plays when facing a Gym Leader's final Pokémon. [[spoiler:It also plays when the Gym Leaders confront Team Plasma in the ending of the main storyline.]]
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' plays the haunting menu music as Shepard encounters [[VirtualGhost Vigil]], and learns how the Prothean's HeroicSacrifice allows a chance to stop the Reapers.
** Similarly in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''. During the final stretch of gameplay before the final boss, [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic "Suicide Mission"]] blares.
** And again in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', where the title theme "We Face Our Enemy Together" is the soundtrack for Shepard's final speech.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' uses this device fairly often with its title theme, "Dearly Beloved", although it generally uses alternative arrangements such as "Friends in My Heart". The only cases where the title screen's arrangement is actually used is in ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth By Sleep]]''[='s=] ending, and in KingdomHearts3D as the solution to a musical problem, which also makes it a ThemeTuneCameo.
* The parody game ''VideoGame/BarkleyShutUpAndJamGaiden'' uses its title theme for the first phase of the final battle.
* ''VideoGame/LastScenario'' uses its title theme as the BGM for [[spoiler:[[DiscOneFinalDungeon the Temple of Gaia]]]] (and some time before in the lecture room of the Geo-Science Station).
* This is done during pivotal (usually uplifting) moments in ''VideoGame/TheReconstruction'', often as a ThemeMusicPowerup of sorts.
** Though not quite the trope, the {{Leitmotif}} of the story's {{Mysterious Informant}}s sounds very similar to the title theme as well.
* Interestingly, though ''VideoGame/{{MARDEK}}'' never does this directly, ''quoting'' the main theme in individual pieces is very common.
* ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'':
** "Testament of a Hero" plays when the last stage of the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Lao-Shan Lung]] battle is reached, which is coincidentally the only place where you [[PlotArmor can actually kill the thing.]]
** When [[GiantEnemyCrab Shen Gaoren]] reaches the final area of the same place where Lao-Shan Lung is fought, the main theme of of ''Monster Hunter 2'' plays.
** In ''Monster Hunter Tri'', "Testament of a Hero" plays after you hit the Jhen Mohran with a Dragonator in the second phase. The same applies to Dah'ren Mohran in ''Monster Hunter 4''.
** In ''Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate'', "Testament of a Hero" also plays when landing a successful Demolisher hit on Gogmazios in the second phase of the battle.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' the title theme plays when [[spoiler:you heal the dying tree Yggdrasil in the past, preventing it from being dead in the present/future and allowing you to use magic in the rest of the game]].
** It's common in the series for a remix of the game's main theme to be used during pivotal scenes or important fights. Example include the one-on-one rival fight in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' and the final boss in ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2''.
* "Nerevar Rising", the main theme of ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', is also one of the tracks that plays when you're exploring Vvardenfell.

* The ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' doujin game ''[=MegaMari=]'' uses its title screen theme for the final battle.
** The main Videogame/{{Touhou}} series itself has its title theme in the ending themes for ''Embodiment of Scarlet Devil'', ''Imperishable Night'', ''Undefined Fantastic Object'' and ''Ten Desires''.
*** It's also used in the Bamboo Forest of the Lost in ''Imperishable Night'', based off the version from that game's title screen.
**** When the player returns to the forest in ''Double Dealing Character'', an all-new version plays.
*** That theme is ''not'', as many think, a remix of an unused track from ''Highly Responsive to Prayers''. It was not in the game, even unused, and was remixed from the ''Imperishable Night'' version as a bonus track for the remixed ''Akyu's Untouched Score''.
**** However, there ''is'' an actual unused track in ''[=HRtP=]'' that didn't make it into Akyu's Untouched Score: [[ Shrine of the Wind]].
** Some games have an additional unique melody added to their title themes, and the one in ''Mountain of Faith'' was used in its ending in place of the main theme, as was that in ''Double Dealing Character'' in the [[PlayingWithATrope credits]].
** See the FightingGames section for examples from the fighters.
* ''VideoGame/{{Recca}}''[='=]s Hard Mode Area 7 music is the title theme.
* The unreleased arcade game ''ChimeraBeast'' had the title theme as the ''final boss'' theme. Justified, as the final boss is a larger, meaner version of your [[HordeOfAlienLocusts eater]] [[VillainProtagonist character]].
* ''TwistedMetal Black'' drops the first few notes of "Paint it Black" in the Prison level's ambient (non-battle) music track.

* The AceCombat games tend to play their intro theme right during the climactic battle.

* In a bizarre example, Snake Eater, the Title Theme for ''VideoGame/{{Metal Gear Solid 3|Snake Eater}}'', randomly starts playing when the player ascends a particularly long ladder.
** It's also played straight - a slightly rearranged version plays during the final boss fight. When it ends, it's game over.

* In the final scenario of ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsCompact'', Fight for Tomorrow, the music for the title screen, is the BGM.
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', the finale chapter [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig Zags]] this. The music is called Id ~Purpose~, meaning it's a variant of Robin's theme. The fact that it starts playing after [[spoiler:Naga heals and blesses the party]] means this counts as a ThemeMusicPowerUp. It counts as this trope because a variant of Id is what plays on the Main Menu, when selecting a new game and such (which can make any time Id or one of its variants appears a TitleThemeDrop, most notably with the variant exclusive to the bosses in the future past DLC). It sounds the furthest removed from Id (for reasons such as having latin lyrics), however, and you might need the name to tip you off that yes, this is Robin's theme, so it might be a [[SubvertedTrope Subversion.]] But if you let the song go on long enough, you'll begin to easily recognize the music, though not as Id, but rather the theme of the entire series that's always used on the title theme. This also counts it as a ThemeTuneCameo, especially since there's no trace of it being based on Awakening's particular version of the title theme, but rather the more common version across the series. The lyrics are also the same ones that were made up for ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBrothers Super Smash Brothers Brawl]]''

[[AC:{{Visual Novel}}s]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Ever17}}'', "Karma" (the menu music) plays during most [[TearJerker Tear Jerking]] moments and {{Downer Ending}}s.
** Same for ''VisualNovel/{{Remember11}}''. A version of main theme/menu music "All or None" plays during most bad ends.
* In ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', "Into the Night" starts playing during the boss battle in ''Fate'' route, and also during the [[IKnowYouAreInThereSomewhereFight final encounter]] with [[spoiler:Dark Sakura]] in ''Heaven's Feel''.
* In ''VisualNovel/LifesignsSurgicalUnit'', the main theme plays over the ending of the first episode if the player manages to TakeAThirdOption during the episode's climax. It's also remixed into the ending themes.

!!Non-video game examples:

[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' plays "Sorairo Days" on two key moments: first [[spoiler:during Simon and Nia's return after their battle against Lordgenome]], and second [[spoiler:during the final moments of the battle with the Anti-Spiral King]].
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' plays a couple of lines remixed from its opening theme near the end of the first season [[spoiler:When the major is captive during a body transfer, and the Laughing Man transfers his memories to her]].
* ''Anime/FinalFantasyUnlimited'' did this with both its opening theme and its closing theme. In an interesting twist, "Vivid" the closing theme for Episodes 1-13 was featured in Episode 15. "Over the Fantasy," the opening theme was played during a montage, with additional lyrics not heard when it was played in the show's opening sequence.
* [[AutobotsRockOut JOINT]], the first opening of season 2 of ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana'', makes a return in the battle against [[ImplacableMan Sabrac]] towards the end of the season.
* ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'' used the opening theme heavily in episodes 11 and 12 as background music to drive home how similar [[spoiler:Shiori]] is to the main character (who the song appears to be about).
* The final episode of ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}} Evolution-R'' uses "Give a Reason" (the OP song from earlier series ''Slayers NEXT'') as background music during the [[spoiler:battle against Shabranigdu]].
* During the final battle against Queen Beryl in the last episode of the Dark Kingdom arc of ''Anime/SailorMoon'', the main theme, "Moonlight Densetsu" plays.
** Excerpts of the ending themes often turn up - for example, in the R series a slowed-down instrumental excerpt from "Otome No Policy" often appeared as background music (albeit in E major rather than Eb major).
** In the very last episode, "Sailor Star Song", the theme for the season, plays during the final battle
* This occurs many times in ''Manga/FruitsBasket'', especially during [[TearJerker sad moments.]]
* Happens in episode 13 of ''Manga/WeddingPeach''.
* The opening theme of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', "Innocent Starter", receives a NostalgicMusicBox remix that appears in ''TheMovie First'' remake. It serves as background music for the quiet moment after Nanoha and Fate's second battle, where Nanoha finally resolves to reach out to Fate and find out why her eyes seem so lonely while Fate prepares to meet [[AbusiveParents her mother]].
* Happens a lot in the PrettyCure series.
* In SoraNoWoto, Rio gets absolutely plastered and sings an off-key rendition of the show's [[ theme song]].
* ''Manga/KimiNiTodoke'': In episodes 12 and 13.
* ''Manga/MakaiOuji'': The theme song plays in the climax of episode 12.
* In ''Manga/TheWorldIsStillBeautiful'', the opening theme plays in Episode 12 as the gang return to the Sun Kingdom... and it abruptly stops when they find out that the castle's overridden with women and Livius goes berserk at Bardouin.

* The instrumental versions of the themes from ''Film/JamesBond'' movies ''[[ From Russia With Love]], [[ Goldfinger]], [[ Thunderball]], [[ You Only Live Twice]], Film/DiamondsAreForever, [[ Live and Let Die]], [[ The Man with the Golden Gun]], The Spy Who Loved Me, [[ Moonraker]], [[ For your eyes only]], [[ Octopussy]] [[ A View To A Kill]], [[ The Living Daylights]], [[ Tomorrow Never Dies]], [[ The World Is Not Enough]],[[ Casino Royale]]'' and ''[[ Quantum of Solace]]'' can be listened during their films (just click on the movies' names to hear samples from the soundtrack).
* In ''Film/StarTrekInsurrection'', Worf bats a pursuing robot drone out of the air with his out-of-charge phaser rifle. The music for that action is a phrase of the original Klingon theme from ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture''. It turns up in ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'' as well, Jerry Goldsmith composed all three movies, and he used his Klingon theme as a leitmotif for Worf. He also composed ''Film/StarTrekNemesis'', though this theme may not have appeared in that film.
** ''Film/StarTrek'' ends with a remix of the original series' theme.
* The ''Film/SpeedRacer'' movie uses parts of the old show's theme tune throughout the movie. His ThemeMusicPowerUp was to the part that went "Go Speed Racer, Go Speed Racer, Go Speed Racer, Go!"
** Hell, the ''entire score'' is just remixes of various themes from the show!
* In the ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' films ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'' and ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull'' briefly feature the ominous Ark of the Covenant leitmotif from the first film, when the Ark is depicted in a crypt in ''Last Crusade'' and when we glimpse the Ark itself in the warehouse in ''Crystal Skull''.
* In ''Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial'' when Elliot and ET go out on Halloween, ET(under a ghost sheet) is drawn to a child dressed as Yoda and says "Home! Home!" as a bit of Yoda's theme from ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' plays. Both films were scored by John Williams.
* In ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King]]'', the refrain of the credits song ''Into the West'' has the melody of the Grey Havens theme (which also plays as Gandalf and Pippin talk about what's after death, and as Sam carries Frodo.) In a similar vein, the credits song for ''Film/TheHobbitAnUnexpectedJourney'' is based on the Misty Mountains song sung by the Dwarves, which is also used as a leitmotif.

[[AC:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* The main theme from ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' is used at the end of the Season 1 finale "Prophecy Girl," when Buffy, Angel and Xander are on their way to fight the villain. Probably doesn't qualify as a a {{Leitmotif}} because the theme isn't generally used in the show to signify any particular character or anything else.
* The finale of season four of ''Series/{{House}}'' played a cover of "Teardrop" by José González
* ''Franchise/KamenRider'' tend to pull this sort of thing from time to time. The most memorable would be ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'', which played the main theme ''four'' times. One when Double and Accel take on the Weather Dopant, another when [[spoiler: Shotaro faces the Utopia Dopant all by himself]], another in the finale [[spoiler: when Shotaro and Phillip fight together once again]], and finally in TheMovie, when [[spoiler: Double becomes Cyclone Joker Gold Xtreme and defeats Kamen Rider Eternal]].
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' is more fond of this. Some memorable examples include:
** ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger'' pulled this in the very first episode. The song plays and instead of the usual opening, it's Shinkenred fighting the Nanashi as the theme music plays. Go-Busters also pulls this off.
** ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' does a variation. During a tribute episode, whenever they transform into the focused team, said teams theme music played. There are only three times when this wasn't done, and the reasons are because TheyJustDidntCare, to avert MoodWhiplash and because of popularity over the actual opening, respectively.
** ''Series/ZyudenSentaiKyoryuger'' had this be a plot point. Throughout the series, there is something called "Earth's Melody" that the hero and his father hear. In the end, the cast sans said hero sing it. No points for guessing what the melody is.
* Similarly, ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' does this quite often when the MonsterOfTheWeek is defeated, especially the [[Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers original series]].
* Used to great effect in ''Series/{{Rome}}'', when [[HeteroSexualLifePartners Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo]] [[spoiler: rescue Lucius' children from slavery]]. While it's a great moment in itself, the music launches it into SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome territory.
* ''Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon'' played an instrumental version of the theme tune during certain important battles, and the full version with vocals for ''really'' important ones (and notable transformations).
* The incidental music during SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome near the end of most ''Series/InspectorRex'' episodes (at least in the first series) incorporates the piano motive from the theme song (this is separate from the end credits, which also use the title theme).
* In the pilot for Series/TwinPeaks, the theme song is played by a band performing at the Road House.

* The AttractMode theme for ''Pinball/{{Monopoly}}'' also plays during multiball.

* In the '80s ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' cartoon, the main action theme that played while the Turtles kicked butt is actually a countermelody to the title theme and is actually present in that song as a harmony line.
* The title theme from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' gets dropped during the show when something epic happens - usually Aang going into the Avatar state.
** As for Aang, so for the Avatar period. It is used for e.g when Roku bends all four elements during The Avatar and the Fire Lord, when it looks impressive ''anyway'' but in context is even more effective. The whole episode covers his history with Sozin, and so all that led to the opening monologue to which the theme belongs (which also has Roku bending all four elements).
* ''Literature/{{Babar}}'' regularly used both its opening and closing themes as background music.
* In the ''[[Disney/OneHundredAndOneDalmatians 101 Dalmatians: The Series]]'' episode, "Mall Pups", the main theme plays (without the singing) when the pups are running away from Lt. Pug in the mall.
* In the first episode (and pilot) of ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', the theme song plays as the kids are working together to break T.J. out of detention.
* ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'' does this '''all the time''', with the main riff being remixed and played in various ways to fit the goings on of the show.
** At one point, Rex learns that he played the accordion [[spoiler:pre-Nanite Event]]. Cue the theme song--on an accordion!
* GarfieldAndFriends does this in every episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'' occasionally uses its theme song in chase scenes.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', the theme song can often be heard in the background music, sometimes in clever ways (such as just using the basic chords).