When you are creating a work in which two clearly distinct entities are in conflict or compete against each other, a common way to name your work is to identify the two entities and insert a word or symbol indicating the conflict.
These most frequently take the form of X Versus Y
(or X vs Y
). Titles of this form were particularly common for older B Movies
, and is now something of a Dead Horse Trope
within that field, though often used straight in homages. They continue to be frequently used in names of episodes of Western Animations
and Live-Action TV shows
Another variant, replacing "Versus" with a simple X, as in Alice X Bob
, is particularly common in Video Games
developed in Japan. Where it is a crossover, it may take the form of X Meets Y
, although these are relatively rare.
May involve an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny
or Cool Versus Awesome
. Where both entities are antagonists, this may be an Antagonist Title
. Similar to The Noun and the Noun
and Name and Name
. Often mirrors Character Name and the Noun Phrase
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Anime and Manga
Live Action TV
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Hulk Versus the World".
- The Batman vs. Dracula.
- Dan Vs. is an interesting case, where the Episode Finishes the Title, such as the first episode, New Mexico, intended to be read as Dan Vs. New Mexico.
- Eek! The Cat episode "Eek vs. the Flying Saucers" (a play on Earth vs. the Flying Saucers).
- Samurai Jack episodes "Jack Versus Demongo, the Soul Collector", "Jack Versus Mad Jack", "Samurai Versus Ninja", "Samurai Versus Samurai", "Jack Versus Aku", and "Robo-Samurai Versus Mondo Bot".
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode "Raphael Versus the Volcano".
- The Simpsons has a number of episodes like this, such as Homer Vs Dignity and Marge Vs The Monorail.
- The Tick uses this as its Idiosyncratic Episode Naming.
- Voltron: Defender of the Universe episode "Voltron Versus Voltron"
- It is standard in civil court cases in many western countries to be named in the form Plaintiff v. Defendant.
- Do keep in mind when both sides of the v. are the same (such as a family feud), it's not a Mirror Match.
- Partially averted in Commonwealth countries, where the v. is read as and.
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