A title convention. The show's name is the first half of a sentence, and is completed by whatever is featured in the episode. For example, "The Troper's Guide to... Random Trope".
These titles frequently use ellipsis (but not dramatic ones) or colons.
A subtrope of/related to Idiosyncratic Episode Naming. Contrast Character Name and the Noun Phrase, where there might be some overlap.
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- There was a UK campaign for the soft drink Tizer which was a variation on this trope. Each commercial would always end with an enigmatic word, e.g. "Hypno", "Bap", or "Trauma". The key to these ads was that all the words could be suffixed with the word "Tizer" to make a longer word. note
Anime and Manga
- Each chapter of Yotsuba&! is called "Yotsuba & [whatever]".
- Is This A Zombie? has every episode title answer that question. Such as "No, I'm a Vampire Ninja", etc.
- The episodes of the Monster Musume anime are always called "Daily Life With [theme of the episode]". The last one is a Title Drop.
- The full title of every one of Alan Moore's D.R. & Quinch stories for 2000 AD follows this trend with such tales as "D.R. & Quinch Have Fun on Earth", "D.R. & Quinch Get Drafted", "D.R. & Quinch Go to Hollywood", etc.
- Marvel's What If? series, although late in the run of Volume 2 this changed.
- Most English Asterix titles are Asterix and X or Asterix in [country] (or on three occasions Asterix the..; ...Gaul, Gladiator and Legionary). The exceptions are Mansions of the Gods and Obelix and Co. The French titles often do this as well, but have a lot more exceptions.
- Shows up in many Do-It-Yourself book series, like:
- The Complete Idiot's Guide To...
- ... For Dummies (which actually goes the other way)
- Which later joined forces as The Complete Idoit's Guide for Dumies (sic.)
- Also fairly common in children's book series. For example, The Berenstain Bears, which have title like The Barenstein Bears Count their Blessings or ...and Too Much TV.
- The quintessential series in France that fits the trope is Martine.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide To... was a series of travel books for those relying on the transport of strangers. While seeing Europe this way, Douglas Adams imagined extending the book a very long way out.
- Similarly, So You Want To Be A Wizard (and the in-universe book of the same name) takes its title from the So You Want To Be A... series of career guides.
- Other such travel guide titles include ... on x Dollars A Day (also mentioned in HGTTG) and The Rough Guide To...
- Inverted in Through the Looking-Glass. Chapter 3 ends with an incomplete sentence, "She came upon two little fat men ... feeling sure that they must be" and the sentence is completed by the title of Chapter 4, "Tweedledum and Tweedledee".
- Many of the stories that claim to be "the shortest short story ever written" use this trick, technically making the "story" shorter by putting part of it in the title. For example, Forrest J. Ackerman wrote what may be the shortest science fiction story ever, titled Cosmic Report Card: Earth. The actual story was one letter long, "F". It was actually published in the science fiction magazine "Vertex", and he was apparently paid $100 for writing it.
Live Action TV
- The Food Network show "The Secret Life of..."
- Two episodes of Lost are called "...In Translation" and "...And Found".
- In Search Of...
- Inverted by the first episode of Angel, named "City of..."
- The Australian talk show, A Quiet Word — sample episode "A Quiet Word with Bill Bailey".
- A series of sketches on A Bit of Fry and Laurie parodied talk shows with titles like this. Instances include "Trying to Borrow a Fiver Off ...", "Introducing My Grandfather To ...", "Realising I've Given the Wrong Directions To ...", "Photocopying My Genitals With ...", and "Flying a Light Aeroplane Without Having Had Any Formal Instruction With ..."
- Every episode of Bottom has a title that can be prefixed with "Bottom": "Smells", "Gas", "Apocalypse", "'s Up", "Accident", "Digger", "Burglary", "Culture", "Holy", "'s Out", "Hole", "Terror", "Break", "Dough", "Finger" and "Carnival".
- Each episode of Chuck is titled "...vs. [something]".
- 2 Broke Girls starts each of its episode titles with "And...".
- The title of each episode of Everybody Hates Chris starts off with the phrase "Everybody Hates".
- The Funny Side Of..., a BBC show in which Clive Anderson looks at bloopers and funny moments in a different TV genre.
- The Monk episodes were always titled Mr. Monk and the ... or Mr. Monk goes to ... and so on. The books follow this trend.
- Eric Sykes' BBC sitcom, Sykes and...
- The miniseries spinoff to Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels was called Lock, Stock..., and the episodes were titled "...And [number] [MacGuffins]".
- The Animal Planet show "Growing Up...", which showed animals growing from babies to adolescence/adulthood, had different species of animals featured in each episode, and so the narrator would refer to the episode as "Growing Up Rhino/Penguin/Polar Bear/whatever the animal of the episode was".
- Every episode of The Librarians 2014 begins "And the...", turning the whole thing into Character Name and the Noun Phrase.
- World's Dumbest... does this, with the episode title indicating what kind of idiots are featured (Criminals, Drivers, Partiers, etc.).
- Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything all use the formula "The (noun)", which focuses on what the "Gamer's Guide" is relating to in that episode.
- Each episode of Never Have I Ever completes the titular phrase, e.g. "...gotten drunk with the popular kids" or "...started a nuclear war".
- Album titles from Me First And The Gimme Gimmes start with a verb.
- D:Ream's albums On Vol.1 and World.
- Relient K named their cover album Is For Karaoke.
- Frank Muir Goes Into..., where Frank Muir looked at humorous quotes and archive clips on a given subject.
- Dwarf Fortress creates this sort of title through Procedural Generation for books written during worldgen.
- Zombie And Mummy has all its titles in the format of "ZOMBIE & MUMMY [do stuff]".
- The print books of Housepets!: Are Naked All the Time; Hope They Don't Get Eaten; Can be Real Ladykillers; Are Gonna Sniff Everybody; Don't Criticise Your Lovelife; Will Do It For Free; Don't Ask Questions; Let Instincts Do Their Thing; Don't Know How Stuff Works; Can't Always Get What They Want; Feel Strangely Exotic; Rock the Bottomless Look; and Want To Speak To Management.
- Technically Let's Plays are a genre, but this shows up often enough to get a mention. Most LPers follow the convention of naming their LPs "Let's Play: Something"; for example, "Let's Play: The TV Tropes Wiki Drinking Game."
- Brad Jones has a series called "Brad Tries...," wherein Brad drinks various unsettling things. The episodes names go, "Brad Tries Cocaine," etc.
- You Know, That Thing Where...
- The So You Want To namespace on This Very Wiki.
- Most of the episodes of The Magic School Bus form a complete sentence with the show title. Mostly of the "[verb]s [object]" form, like "Plays Ball" or "Spins a Web," but many others still form a descriptive phrase: "Inside Ralphie," "Wet All Over." In the case of "Cold Feet" an apostrophe would have to be added to make it fit, as a possessive. Only one episode fully deviated from this pattern: "The Busasaurus."
- Dan Vs., obviously, names each episode after whatever it is that's ticked off Dan in that episode, like "Canada" or "The Dentist".
- Wonder Pets!. Usually "The Wonder Pets Save the [Animal in Trouble]".
- All the Nickelodeon episodes of Doug have titles beginning with Master Funnie's first name, as do most of the Disney-produced ones. The title cards normally feature the show's logo, while exceptions ("Judy, Judy, Judy," "Judy's Big Admission," "Patti's Dad Dilemma" and the Quailman episodes) have it altered accordingly.
- Episodes of The Tick almost always follow the naming formula "vs. (insert villain, inconvenience, or random plot point here)". The DVD releases have followed this pattern by naming the sets "vs. Season (number)"
- Teen Titans has the Origins Episode "Go!". "Teen Titans Go!" is their Battle Cry.
- Most episodes of Tigtone follow a Character Name and the Noun Phrase format
- The drinking game "Never Have I Ever"
- The non-drinking game "Would You Rather"