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Definite Article Title

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Works usually have titles prefaced by a definite article, like "The" in English or "Das" in German, which, in combination with the noun following it, refers to a specific, individual instance of that noun, in contrast to indefinite articles, like "A" and "An", which usually refer to an abstract concept of a noun, like "The Table" vs. "A Table".

And so, "The" item being referred to is singled out as important.

These names are often things like (to take examples from the popular Animorphs series): 'The Experiment', 'The Escape', and so on. If an author uses this trope to excess, expect the names to get a little odd (The Happening), confusing (The Unexpected) or downright unhelpful (The Attack, The Threat). The author may also get really carried away with the "The" count and "The" the title until it makes little grammatical sense.


See also Spell My Name with a "The". Inconsistent use causes The "The" Title Confusion, where it's unclear whether or not something begins with a "the".

The Titling is a Sub-Trope for when the word after the "The" is a gerund, i.e. "The [verb]ing", referring to the occurrence of an action, a.k.a an Event Title.

The Noun Who Verbed and The Title Saga are tropes that likely have this occur in tandem, but not always.

The Case Of, however, is a Sub-Trope of this, as "A case of" just doesn't work.


The Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    The Anime and the Manga 
  • Stitch!: Eight episodes are titled like this in the English dub.
    • Season 1 has "The Good Deed Counter", "The Surprise Party", and "The Twin Caverns".
    • Season 2, ~The Mischievous Alien's Great Adventure~, expands on this by having three episodes use "The Return of" in their titles to refer to experiments who return from Lilo & Stitch: The Series; "The Return of Amnesio", "The Return of 627", and "The Return of Ploot". There's also "The Blue Panther" from this season.
    • Season 3, ~Best Friends Forever~, has "The Petite Queen".
  • Hellsing: The chapter known as, "The Screamer".

    The Asian Animations 
  • The Autobots, a Chinese knock-off of Cars.
  • Two of the official English Happy Heroes episode titles follow this naming convention.
    • Season 8 episode 3, "The Transformer".
    • Season 8 episode 29, "The Pretender".
  • Stitch & Ai: "The Scroll", "The Lock", and "The Phoenix".

    The Comic Books 
  • The 99: Title by Number, because that's the count of the superheroes the story's about.
  • The Arrival: It's An Immigrant's Tale, so the title is presumably referring to that immigrant, as they are someone that arrives.
  • The Authority: The Authority is a superhero team.
  • The Badger: The Badger, otherwise known as Norbert Sykes, is a Vietnam war veteran and vigilante with multiple personalities.
  • The Banshee: The Banshee is a man who becomes a superhero after the murder of his father-in-law.
  • Ang Barbaro ("Ang" being the Tagalog for "The"; in English it reads "The Barbarian").
  • The Boys: The Boys are a CIA sponsored team of Empowered Badass Normals which monitors, polices and terminates corrupt superhumans.
  • The Crow: The Crow is a spiritual entity in the form of a crow who guides a man named after he comes back from the dead to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against his murderers.
  • The Crusader: The Crusader is a detective hero.
  • The DNAgents: The DN Agents are a team of five genetically-engineered superhumans.
  • The Field: The Field is where an amnesiac man woke up.
  • The Fuse: The Fuse is an orbiting solar-power-generation space station.
  • The Hypernaturals: The Hypernaturals are superheroes who defend human space in a far distant future where humanity has colonized most of the known universe.
  • The Marksman: The Marksman is John Courage, who uses his markmanship to fight evil and never misses.
  • The Marquis: The Marquis is a man named Vol de Galle, who is granted the mantle of Marquis, and with it the ability to see the damned souls possessing the people of Venisalle.
  • The Mask: The mask is an Evil Mask that turns people into Ax-Crazy Reality Warpers.
  • The Maxx: The Maxx is a homeless man who wants to be a superhero.
  • The Mighty: The Mighty is Alpha One, a superhero.
  • The Perhapanauts: The Perhapanauts are a team of cryptids, supernaturals and other otherworldlies.
  • The Pride: The Pride are a superhero team, made up exclusively of gay and lesbian heroes.
  • The Ravagers: The Ravagers are a team of teen superheroes.
  • The Sandman: The Sandman rules over the dreaming world that mortals enter when they sleep.
  • Le Scorpion: The Scorpion is a holy relics dealer whose adventures lead him to the treasure of the Templars.
  • The Scrameustache: The Scrameustache is a highly intelligent, genetically engineered animal with the features of both a cat and a monkey.
  • The Surrogates: The Surrogates are life-like replacements for human bodies in the year 2054.
  • The Terrifics: The Terrifics are a team of superhero explorers.
  • The Tick: The Tick is a Cloudcuckoolander superhero.
  • The Unfunnies: The Unfunnies are Black Comedy horror comic books.
  • The Uniques: The Uniques are people with superpowers in a world where superpowers are commonplace.
  • The Warlord: The Warlord is a hero who fights villains in an underground world.
  • The Wasp (Lev Gleason): The Wasp is a superhero whose outfit's cape resembles insect wings.
  • The Woods: The Woods is on an alien moon, where a group of teenagers have to battle various obstacles while trying to find a way home.
  • The Wraith: The Wraith is a young cop who is murdered and then resurrected as a ghost and fights evil.

    The Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side collections with indexes feature sections for each letter of the alphabet. However, every letter but "T" is blank, as each comic is identified as "The one with the [x]".

    The Fan Works 

    The Animated Films 
  • The Aristocats: The Aristocats are a group of high-society pet cats.
  • The BFG: The BFG is a big, friendly giant who befriends a human girl.
  • The Boxtrolls: The Boxtrolls are an underground cavern-dwelling community of quirky and lovable oddballs
  • The Breadwinner: The breadwinner is a girl who disguises herself as a boy to earn money for her family after her father is arrested by the Taliban.
  • The Condor: The Condor is a skateboarding superhero.
  • The Croods: The Croods are a family of cavemen.
  • The Grinch (2018): The Grinch is an unpleasant cave-dwelling creature who hates Christmas.
  • The Hobbit: The Hobbit is Bilbo Baggins, a small person half the size of a human.
  • The Illusionauts: The Illusionauts are a group of twelve-year-old kids are sent into the imagination of France's worst science fiction author, Jean Visogneaux, to set his sci-fi stories straight.
  • The Illusionist: The Illusionist is an illusionist who tries to find work in a world where the stage is slowly giving way to the silver screen.
  • The Incredibles: The Incredibles are a family with superpowers.
  • The Lorax: The Lorax, who speaks for the trees, tried to save them from destruction by a capitalist.
  • The Pagemaster: The Pagemaster is the god and guardian of the world of books.
  • The Painting: The painting is an unfinished painting where the characters are divided into classes based on their level of completeness.
  • The Prophet: The Prophet is an activist and poet.
  • The Rescuers: The Rescuers are the all-mouse Rescue Aid Society.
  • The Scarecrow: The Scarecrow is a scarecrow who comes to life and is enchanted by a witch to look human so that he can free a girl from a workhouse.
  • The Star: The Star is the star of Bethlehem at the Nativity.
  • The Tune: The Tune is a song a songwriter must write so that he doesn't get fired.
  • The Wild: The Wild refers to the African wild that a young lion ran away to after an argument with his father.

    The Live-Action Films 

    The Literature Stories 

    The Live-Action TV Shows 

    The Music 
  • Many operas: The Marriage of Figaro, The Thieving Magpie, The Cloak, etc. An aversion: Tosca is the opera; The Tosca is the play on which it is based.
  • The title of every song on The Agonist's album Five (except the bonus track, a cover of "Take Me To Church").
  • On Gileah & the Ghost Train's self-titled album, every song title begins with The. Their order on the album is also alphabetical order. At least one song apparently had its name changed to fit the theme: "The Shadow"'s demo version was originally called "All I Need".
  • The Hu. "Hu" is in Mongolian language root word for "human".
  • Many of Iron Maiden's song titles feature this naming theme, i.e. "The Nomad," "The Alchemist," "The Fugitive," etc.
  • Linkin Park's concept album A Thousand Suns is bookended by two sets of these. "The Requiem" and "The Radiance" at the beginning, and "The Catalyst" and "The Messenger" at the end.
  • Every song on Nits' album Les Nuits (except the title track, and that's just the same thing in French).
  • Tears for Fears:
    • "The Prisoner"
    • "The Conflict"
    • "The Marauders"
    • "The Working Hour"
    • "The Big Chair"
    • "The Body Wah"
    • "The Devil"
  • There was a band in The '80s (and intermittently since) that was actually called The The.

    The Podcasts 

    The Radio 

    The Sports 
  • It's been said that Cleveland is the Butt-Monkey town of American sports for how many of their inglorious losses can be summed with a "The *":The Catch, The Drive, The Decision, The Move, The Shot... To the point the eventual championship in 2016 with the Cavaliers became "The Comeback" (the Cavs overcame a 3-1 series deficit, the only time that's happened in an NBA Finals), or "The Block" (LeBron James' block of a shot attempt in the dying minutes of the game to preserve the Cavs' lead), or simply "The End".
  • Ice hockey has not one but two blockbuster trades starting with "The". In keeping with Canadian language policy, one is in English et on est en français:
    • "The Trade" is the Edmonton Oilers trading Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988 just days after the Oilers won their fourth Stanley Cup championship in five years, the Oilers facing dire financial straits and unable to continue paying all their stars' salaries being the proximate cause. This one was so impactful there were calls in the Canadian Parliament to block it.
    • "Le Trade" is the Montreal Canadiens sending Patrick Roy to the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 after months of friction between Roy and Canadiens coach Mario Tremblay came to blows after Tremblay left Roy in the game during an 11-1 rout by the Detroit Red Wings. Roy would help lead the Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup championship mere months after the team moved into Colorado from Quebec City.

    The Tabletop Games 

    The Theatre 

    The Video Games 

    The Web Animations 

    The Webcomics 

    The Web Videos 

    The Western Animations 

Alternative Title(s): The The Title


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