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This is the unsettling habit of giving something a title which is a pun on the lead character's name — particularly if the character's name reflects the work's premise, theme or both. For example, in a TV series named Swift Justice you can pretty much bet that our hero will be named something like "Jane Justice" or "John Swift" (or, Heaven help us, Federal District Court Judge "Justice Alice Swift").

The most common name to appear in this context is probably "Grace."

On television, this is most common in the United Kingdom, but still happens elsewhere. In the United States, puns are more popular for titles of individual episodes, as in Knight Rider, Airwolf and Remington Steele.

See Punny Name for characters; also compare Justified Title. A subtrope of Character Title and Pun-Based Title. If a work's name is a pun on anything other than a character's name, it should go to Pun-Based Title or its subtrope Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title. See also The Law Firm of Pun, Pun, and Wordplay.

Also compare with Steven Ulysses Perhero, when the character's name or surname equals with his role.

Straight examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bakusou Kyoudai! Let's & Go!! obviously plays off the Gratuitous English phrase, "Let's go!", but it's about two brothers named Retsu and Go.
  • Darker than Black, given that the name of the Anti-Hero, Hei, is Chinese for "black".
  • The Japanese for Hayate the Combat Butler, Hayate No Gotoku, literally means Just Like the Hurricane!—but, well, the hero's name is Hayate Ayasaki, and the first name just means that.
  • Heroic Age: the main character is named Age, and he is heroic. Simultaneously a reference to the "heroic age" of Greek Mythology, which the series references heavily.
  • Hokuto no Ken, the Japanese title of Fist of the North Star, can be interpreted as a reference to either: the protagonist Kenshiro, whose name is commonly shortened to Ken (making the title "Ken of Hokuto"), or the martial arts style he practices, Hokuto Shin Ken (or the Divine Fist of Hokuto). The keyword here is "Ken", which translates to "Fist".
  • Kagome Kagome, a manga by Toshiki Yui, has two characters named Kagome; its title is also the name of a Japanese children's game.
  • Mach GoGoGo!, the Japanese version of Speed Racer, is named after the vehicle the main character drives, the Mach-Go. The "Go" is a Japanese suffix to indicate a vehicle's name, but it also happens to be the Japanese pronunciation of the number 5, which is why the car has a number 5 painted on both doors and how the car ultimately ended up being named the Mach 5 in the English dub. Go also happens to be Speed Racer's original name, which was Go Mifune (Go Hibiki in the 1997 remake).
  • Maria†Holic. In this case, "Maria" refers to the Virgin Mary and therefore its Catholic girls' school setting, but sounds very similar to Mariya, the name of one of the show's central characters and the Creepy Crossdresser, on whom the heroine has a crush.
  • Saint Seiya, since sei is in both seiza (星座 "constellation") and seidou (青銅 "bronze"), and seiya (星屋) can also mean "star person". Seiya (written with the kanjis for "star" and "arrow" 星矢) is also the most important of the five main characters.
  • The main character of Squid Girl is called Ika Musume, or Ika-channote , or Ika-nee-channote . Every mini-episode (of which there are three per full episode) has a title written in the negative interrogativenote , which, in Japanese, causes the title to end in "nai ka", just for the porpoise of having "i-ka" in it.
  • StrikerS Sound Stage X. The X that initially appeared to just be a way to differentiate this from the standard Lyrical Nanoha Sound Stages (which are numbered 1-4 and are simply side-stories to the current season, unlike X which is a completely new Story Arc) turned out to also refer to the Mysterious Waif named Ix, whose name is transcribed to romaji in the CD booklet as X.
  • Detective School Q is about the "Qualified" (Q) class of a school for detectives. The main character just happens to be named Kyu.
  • The title of Tenchi Muyo! comes from a Japanese idiom equivalent to the saying "This Way Up". When interpreted literally, it means "No Need for Tenchi" or "No Need for Heaven and Earth".
  • Hajime no Ippo means "The first step", but the main character is also called Ippo, and the title can equally mean "Ippo's beginning".
  • Hitoribocchi no OO Seikatsu is translated as "The *** Lifestyle of Being Alone," referring to the main character's crippling social anxiety. It can also be read as "Hitori Bocchi's *** Lifestyle," with Hitori Bocchi being the main character, which means, "all alone."

  • In The '80s, there were two very prominent Double Acts with "Sparrow & Nightingale" type names; The BBC had Little & Large, and ITV had Cannon & Ball.

    Comic Books 
  • Semi-examples of this are somewhat common for early comics. Because they were almost all anthology titles, or had one primary story and one back-up story that would change intermittently, the titles are generally just supposed to be dynamic and interesting sounding, and sometimes reflecting their given genre; as such, some writers would just borrow their name from the title they were going to write for when coming up with the character.
    • Strange Tales was a pre-existing book, but after Doctor Strange debuted there, he eventually took over the series.
    • When Gardner Fox got an assignment for Flash Comics, he created the first incarnation of super-speedster The Flash.
  • The short-lived Beckett Comics group gave us Fade From Grace, a tragic romance miniseries about a superhero named Fade and his wife, Grace.
  • Hack/Slash follows horror victim Cassie Hack as she strikes back at the monsters who prey upon teenagers. These monsters are known as "slashers".
  • Leave It To Chance features the adventures of Chance Falconer, the 14-year-old daughter of famed paranormal investigator Lucas Falconer, and her pet dragon, St. George.
  • Pryde & Wisdom, a series about Kitty Pryde and Pete Wisdom.
  • Rogue Trooper is about a trooper who goes rogue. Who happens to be named Rogue.
  • The original Runaways' mini-series was titled "Pride and Joy". Doubles as a Antagonist Title since it revolves around the children of The Pride, a supervillain group.
  • Truth, Justin and the American Way: Justin Cannell is a slacker - or achievement challenged - mail room clerk at Drummond Investments. Before his wedding, to fiance Bailey Smithers, he is headed from zero to hero courtesy of an alien suit.

    Comic Strips 
  • Clare In The Community, about a social worker called Clare.note  Also a radio sitcom based on the comic.
  • FoxTrot is about the lives of the Fox family.
  • Heart of the City is about a girl named Heart who lives in Center City, Philadelphia.
  • Both of the Sally Forth comics. The Wally Wood comics are a better example, since they involve the characters setting out on adventures (sallying forth), while the pun in the Greg Howard comics is probably meant to be ironic.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In (500) Days of Summer, Summer is the first name of the female lead.
  • Condo Painting, a documentary about the painter named George Condo.
  • Good Deeds, Tyler Perry film about Wesley Deeds, who learns to be good.
  • Good Will Hunting, in which the main character is named Will Hunting. Though the aforementioned main character himself is anything but good.
  • Grosse Pointe Blank, a comedy about Martin Blank, a hitman who returns to his home town of Grosse Pointe for his high school reunion.
  • The Disney bio-film about Vince Papale, who persevered in his dream of becoming a Philadelphia Eagle, is called Invincible.
  • Iron Will hangs a lampshade on this with its young protagonist, who refuses to quit while trying to win a sled dog race. The race's announcer declares that the boy has an iron will, only to be promptly told (to his surprise) that the boy's name is Will.
  • Jason's Lyric: About a man named Jason who falls in love with a woman named Lyric.
  • Strangely averted in Knight and Day. The title combined with the plotline suggest that at some point in development the Action Hero male protagonist and Action Survivor female protagonist were named Knight and Day, but they don't have those surnames in the actual film. (Though the male's true surname is Knight.)
  • Life After Beth stars a zombie named Beth.
  • Major Payne
  • Murphys Law, about a L.A. cop named Jack Murphy.
  • My Days of Mercy: Mercy is one of the two main characters, though it's also a pun given the film's subject matter.
  • There was a movie in the '90s called Poetic Justice, about a girl named Justice who writes poetry.
  • Saving Grace: About a widow gardener who becomes a drug dealer to solve her financial problems.
  • Stone Cold, in regards of the main character John Huff's alias, John Stone.
  • The Straight Story is about an oldtimer named Alvin Straight.
  • All of the sequels to Trancers, the adventures of time-travelling cop Jack Deth, barring Trancers III, which has no subtitle: Trancers 2: Deth Lives, Trancers 4: Jack of Swords, Trancers 5: Sudden Deth, Trancers 6: Life After Deth.
  • American Justice stars a cop named Jack Justice.
  • Twin Falls Idaho is about a pair of Conjoined Twins named Falls.

  • Ancillary Justice and its two sequels Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy all have this type of title. The protagonist is an "ancillary" (a human body controlled by a spaceship AI) while Justice, Sword and Mercy are classes of spaceship. In particular, the protagonist's ship is called Justice of Toren.
  • The second book in Helen Cresswell's The Bagthorpe Saga, Absolute Zero'', is a pun on Jack's dog Zero.
  • One of the main characters in Tom Sharpe's Blott on the Landscape is a gardener called Blott.
  • Blue Valentine: The title pairs the protagonist's last name with blue, a color associated with sadness and melancholy, profane language, loyalty, and socially prohibited sexuality, all of which could be associated with the character, as well.
  • One of Art Buchwald's books is called The Buchwald Stops Here.
  • The Cybil War by Betsy Byars is about a Love Triangle involving two boys and a girl named Cybil.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey is named after the male lead Christian Grey, but it's also a reference to his mysterious life and personality (as in, "different shades") that Ana Steele is quick to uncover.
  • The German book Glennkill is about a shepherd named Glenn, who is killed.
  • The even-numbered books in the Honor Harrington series: The Honor of the Queen, Field of Dishonor, Honor Among Enemies, Echoes of Honor, War of Honor, Mission of Honor, and Uncompromising Honor.
  • The first four novels about hitman John Rain had Publisher Chosen Titles based on rain-related puns. Then the books had titles based around the word 'assassin' whether or not they fit what was in the book. However, author Barry Eisler has since re-released the books with new names.
  • All of the intended books in the Mediochre Q Seth Series have had their titles released. They are: The Good, the Bad and the Mediochre; Black, White and Shades of Mediochre; Caught Mediochre-Handed; Sent Into Mediochre Drive; and Mediochrity. The title character is named after the shade of red (medi-ochre), and his name is pronounced the same as 'mediocre'.
  • Lois McMaster Bujold claims that several of her Miles Vorkosigan books have had Miles to Go as a working title, but she's always come up with something better before publication.
  • Every book in Robert Asprin's Phule's Company series is a pun on the main character's surname, which is Phule. Hence Phule's Paradise, A Phule And His Money, Phule's Errand...
  • The German Selb trilogy by the author of The Reader: Selbs Justiz (=self justice), Selbs Betrug (=self-deception), Selbs Mord (=suicide).
  • In The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North, the protagonist is naturally named Hope. Since nobody can ever remember her when they're not looking at her, she frequently seems to appear suddenly from everyone else's perspective.
  • There Is No Epic Loot Here, Only Puns: Given the pun-based nature of the story, this occurs, for example, the ninth chapter, "Quizzing the Dungeon", whose protagonist is named Quiss.
  • The novels on which A Touch of Frost were based are also titled this way: as well as A Touch of Frost, there was Winter Frost, Night Frost, Hard Frost, Frost at Christmas and A Killing Frost and the three newly published prequel novels chronicling Frost's early days as a Detective Sergeant follow this pattern, the third and second novels were entitled respectively : Fatal Frost and Morning Frost and naturally the first prequel novel was entitled First Frost.
  • The Warrior Cats novella Tree's Roots shows the backstory of the character Tree, including meeting his father Root.
  • This was a pattern in the titles for the second arc of Wings of Fire books, each referencing the name of their respective protagonists - Moon Rising for Moonwatcher/Moon, Winter Turning for Winter, and Escaping Peril for Peril. The pattern is broken as of Talons of Power, presumably because the name Turtle doesn't work with this title theme.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bachelors Walk is a variant in that the pun is on a specifically named place rather than a specifically named person: It's a dramedy about three unmarried men living on an oddly named Dublin street, Bachelor's Walk.
  • BAD Boyes was about a High-School Hustler called Brian Arthur Derek Boyes.
  • Better Off Ted, a sitcom about a man named Ted who works in research and development at an unscrupulous corporation.
  • Black Books, about misanthropic bookshop owner Bernard Black (whose shop itself is also called "Black Books").
  • Blackes Magic: Magician Detective Alexander Blacke solves mysteries with some help from his Con Man father Leonard.
  • Blunt Talk is a Metafictional Title as In Unvierse Blunt Talk is te name of the talk show hosted by dysfunctional actor Walter Blunt.
  • Bones: About forensic anthropologist Temperance "Bones" Brennan.
  • Breeze Block: About the Breeze family, who live in a tower block in Newcastle. note 
  • The Brittas Empire: About a pompous but well-meaning oaf called Gordon Brittas who runs a leisure centre.
  • Chance in a Million was a Sitcom about a man named Tom Chance who was frequently the victim of incredibly unlikely circumstances. He was the man to whom the proverbial 'chance in a million" would always happen.
  • Crazy Like a Fox: About Harry Fox, a free-spirited Private Detective who lived by his wits.
  • Crossing Jordan: About a forensic pathologist named Jordan Cavanaugh.
  • Distant Shores: About a family named the Shores, who move out to a remote fishing village.
  • Doc Martin, about Dr. Martin Ellingham. Acknowledged in-show, as the locals nickname him "Doc Martin" to his considerable displeasure.
  • Faith In The Future: About a middle-aged divorcee named Faith.
  • The Fearing Mind: An obscure horror anthology/domcom hybrid about a horror writer named Bill Fearing and the stories he writes. They'd previously pitched it as Masters of Horror and Suspense with the main character being named Will Masters.
  • Fawlty Towers: About incompetent hotelier Basil Fawlty.
  • Get Smart, featuring the inept secret agent Maxwell Smart.
  • A man whose last name is Chance dies and turns into a ghost. Yes, it's a short-lived sitcom named Ghost Of A Chance.
  • Goode Behavior, a Sherman Helmsley vehicle from the first seasons of the UPN network. The title character was a con man named Willie B. Goode, who moves in with his estranged son — a college professor and successful, honest man — after making parole.
  • The Good Life is a British series bout a couple named Tom and Barbara Good, who quit the rat race and start a farm in their garden to simplify their lives. This was shown as Good Neighbors in the United States, preserving the pun.
  • Grace & Favour, a revival of Are You Being Served?, is about the owners/employees of "Grace Manor." Incidentally, the original Are You Being Served? probably stands as the only show to ever feature a major character called Grace and not make a punny title out of it).
  • Grace Under Fire, sitcom about a woman named Grace Kelly, surviving "under fire" from the hassles of being a single mother, a recovering alcoholic and blue collar in modern America.
  • Grey's Anatomy, a medical drama named after the main character Doctor Meredith Grey and after a classic mid-19th-century medical book, Gray's Anatomy.
  • Hart of Dixie - She's Zoe Hart, and she's a heart surgeon!
  • Hart to Hart, about Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, a CEO and freelance photographer, respectively. They solve crimes!
  • Hope & Faith, about two sisters by those names.
  • I Dream of Jeannie, which doubles as a Literary Allusion Title. It's about Jeannie, who's a genie.
  • Joan of Arcadia, about a girl named Joan who lives in the town of Arcadia and talks to God.
  • Judging Amy - She's called Amy, and she's a judge...
  • King of Kensington, 70s Canadian sitcom about a man from Toronto's Kensington Market neighborhood named Larry King (no, not him).
  • Lie to Me sounds similar to the lead character's name (Lightman), who, ironically enough, uncovers lies for a living.
  • Lois & Clark, about Lois Lane and Clark Kent, two investigative reporters for a major metropolitan newspaper; the title puns on 19th-century explorers Lewis and Clark.
  • Life of Riley, about a Dysfunctional Family called Riley.
  • The short-lived, early-'90s show Mann & Machine featured a futuristic detective named Mann and his robot partner (played by Yancy Butler).
  • Marshall Law, an Australian series about lawyers, two of whom have the surname Marshall.
  • Martial Law, a cop drama about a Chinese police officer and martial arts expert named Sammo Law.
  • Masters of Sex, which not only sounds cheesy but actually seems to marginalize the importance of Virginia Johnson of Masters & Johnson.
  • Met Meus en Vork is a Belgian cooking show presented by Jeroen Meus. The title is a play on words on Met mes en vork which is Dutch for "With knife and fork."
  • Moon and Son, about a professional "psychic" called Gladys Moon and her genuinely psychic son Trevor.
  • Murphy's Law - He's an insurance-fraud investigator named Daedelus Patrick Murphy.
  • Murphy's Law (yes, another one): About undercover policeman Tommy Murphy.
  • My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox (Korean). Nine-tailed fox = gumiho. In Korean, there would be no indefinite article, so the title is literally My Girlfiend is Gumiho. The main character is called Gu Mi Ho for most of the drama.
  • Nelsons Column, a 1990s show about a newspaper columnist called Gavin Nelson.
  • New Amsterdam (2008): The hero, detective John Amsterdam, named himself after the city, is secretly immortal and has been living in New York since it was the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam.
  • The short-lived series Payne, itself a remake of Fawlty Towers, renamed the hotelier "Royal Payne" to make the pun work again.
  • A Prince Among Men, about an arrogant ex-footballer called Gary Prince.
  • Probe's "Metamorphic Anthropoidic Prototype Over You": The title refers to an English idiom, "going ape over you", meaning that someone is extremely excited or enthusiastic about someone. The ape, or "Metamorphic Anthropoidic Prototype", is the primary focus of the episode, and in love with Austin.
  • Raising Hope is about raising a baby named Hope.
  • Robins Nest: In the sequel series to Man About the House (the original British inspiration for Three's Company), newly-qualified chef Robin Tripp moves into his own place with his girlfriend, and starts a business with her father.
  • Romans Empire: About a businessman called Roman.
  • Rosemary & Thyme: About a pair of gardeners and amateur sleuths named Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme. This one was a bit much even for the British, and was widely mocked.
  • The Royal Family, a Dom Com starring comedian Redd Foxx as Alfonso Royal, the patriarch of the titular family. Short lived owing to Foxx's death after filming seven episodes of the show.
  • The Royle Family: about a Mancunian family called the Royles.
  • Running Wilde is about a guy named Wilde who runs an eponymous oil business.
  • Saving Grace is about a woman named Grace who gets a "last chance angel" (named Earl) who's trying to save her from going to hell because she drinks and boinks a lot.
  • Scott & Bailey is an example of this trope purely for its own sake - the show has precisely nothing to do with Motte and Bailey castles, but is in fact a dramatic Buddy Cop Show about DC Janet Scott and DC Rachel Bailey. Unless it's a really obscure homage to Castle?
  • Sonny with a Chance was once known as Welcome to Mollywood and starred a girl named Molly. Then it became Welcome to Holliwood, about a girl named...Holli. Eventually her name was changed to Sonny and the show got its final title.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation gave punny names to most of the episodes featuring Q, including "Déjà Q," "Qpid," and "True Q." This was followed up in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ("Q-Less") and Star Trek: Voyager ("The Q and the Gray").
    • Besides Star Trek: Picard, the only Q episodes without a punning title are "Encounter at Farpoint," "Tapestry," "All Good Things...", "Death Wish" (VOY), and Q's brief cameo in "Veritas" (Lower Decks).
  • Stark Raving Mad, a sitcom about a book editor working for author Ian Stark.
  • State of Grace, a Fox Family show about the friendship of 12-year-olds Hannah (who is Jewish) and Grace (who is Christian).
  • The German TV series Stocker und Stein (related to "sticks and stones").
  • Stilgoe's On was a children's magazine show presented by Richard Stilgoe. In the first episode he claimed that the only reason they hired him was that his name fitted the title.
  • Strange: About a supernatural investigator named John Strange.
  • A blissfully short-lived series called Sunday In Paris. Sunday was the main character, and Paris was the one in Texas.
  • Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye: She's an F.B.I. agent who is very adept at reading lips because she happens to be deaf.
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun did the episode-title variation. Since the main character's name was Dick, double entendres ensue. For instance, an episode in which Dick attempts to be a comedian is called "Dick Jokes." This is one of the tamer examples.
  • Toast of London, about an actor named Stephen Toast who isn't quite the celebrity the title implies.
  • A Touch of Cloth, a spoof cop show show whose title is a riff on A Touch of Frost combined with some Toilet Humour. The protagonist is Detective Inspector Jack Cloth.
  • A Touch of Frost: About Detective Inspector William 'Jack' Frost.
  • Tru Calling, a drama about Tru Davies, who receives the "calling," an injunction to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • Tyler Perry's House of Payne, a sitcom about an Atlanta family named Payne.
  • Whites: The title refers to chefs' uniforms, but also the main character's surname. As his restaurant also bears his name, this could be seen as an In-Universe case.
  • The Wright Way: About an anally-retentive health and safety manager called Gerald Wright.
  • Year Of The Rabbit about the misadventures of Detective Inspector Rabbit.
  • You Are Beautiful - The title in Korean is "Mi-nam-i shi-ne-yo," which can be translated to He's/She's/You're Beautiful or He's/She's/You're Mi Nam because there is no pronoun. The main character is also pretending to be "Mi Nam," or rather, she is Mi Nam.

  • The Pete Best album Best of The Beatles.
  • The Greg Kihn Band regularly did this, with album titles like Kihntinued, Kihnspiracy and Kihntagious.
  • When The Beatles recorded their first album, George Martin at first thought of calling it "Off the Beatle Track" before going for Please Please Me. He later used the title for his own album of orchestral covers of Beatles songs.
  • One of Herbie Mann's albums was called Our Mann Flute, which was a play on Our Man Flint.
  • Singer-songwriter Judi Pulver released an album in 1973 called Pulver Rising.
  • George Strait has done this several times: Strait Country, Strait from the Heart, Merry Christmas Strait to You!, Ten Strait Hits, Strait from the Box, and Latest Greatest Straitest Hits.
  • Tenpole Tudor's first album Eddie, Old Bob, Dick & Gary name-checks the band members with a variation on the slang term, "Any old Tom, Dick & Harry".

  • Young Again is a BBC Radio 4 show about what celebrites would say to their younger selves. Hosted by Kirsty Young.

  • City of Angels covers one of Donna's exits with a two-bar musical cue titled "Donna À Baiser."
  • The Importance of Being Earnest is thematically concerned with the boundaries of honesty (i.e., earnestness) and literally concerned with whether or not either of the main characters is named Ernest. (Which is, indeed, important.)
  • Oh, Kay!, a 1926 Broadway musical whose title song had the punny refrain: "Oh, Kay! We're O.K. with Kay!"
  • Perfectly Frank, a retrospective revue of songwriter Frank Loesser. It only played Broadway for a few weeks, but its punny title was convenient for the Forbidden Broadway version of "Ya Got Trouble," which parodied the line, "I'd like to be perfectly frank," as, "You all hated Perfectly Frank."
  • Purlie Victorious, where the hero's full name is Purlie Victorious Judson.
  • Tomfoolery, a revue based on the comic songs of Tom Lehrer.
  • Too Many Cooks, a farce by Frank Craven featuring an extended family of Obnoxious In-Laws named Cook.
  • William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is also known as What You Will, which is a play not on the character names but on the playwright's.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Aquarium: AQUARIUM is based on Aqua Minato's name.

    Web Comics 
  • CharCole, which is about a guy named Cole who gets turned into a Charmander.
  • Kevin & Kell is an anthropomorphic animal comedy about the Dewclaw family, the main characters being husband and wife Kevin (a rabbit) and Kell (a wolf). The title puns on "heaven and hell".
  • Sequential Art is a work of, er, Sequential Art featuring a guy called Art.
  • Wilde Life is about the life of a man named Oscar Wilde (not the famous author) whose life takes a turn for the bizzare.
  • Wright as Rayne is about Alex Rayne, a vigilante who gets forced into the body of a teenager named Dorothy Wright.

    Web Original 
  • Abroad In Japan is a YouTube channel created by Chris Broad about his experiences living and working in Japan (A Broad in Japan).
  • Feng Ling Yu Xiu's protagonists are named Feng Ling'er and Bai Yuxiu.
  • KateModern, about an artist named Kate (a pun on the Tate Modern art gallery).
  • Whateley Universe: There's a few:
    • Silent Nacht, a pun with the song Silent Night, and featuring a character named Nacht, which means Night in English.
    • The Merry stories, with titles such as: The More the Merrier, Merry Descent into Madness, Eat, Drink and be Merry, To Be Merry and Escape From It All, and Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10, about Ben Tennyson, who is 10 years old and acquiring a Clingy MacGuffin that allows him to turn any of into 10 different aliens (though he eventually gets more). The Hebrew dub of the show keeps the title, which literally means: Ben is 10 years old. Later installments of the franchise have him as a teenager that can use dozens of different aliens, leaving the only pun remaining being the one with his last name.
  • Bob's Burgers frequently had punny episode titles, such as "Tina-Rannosaurus Wrecks", "Linda-pendant Woman", and "Stand By Gene".
  • Eek! The Cat, about a purple cat named Eek!
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: The founder and caretaker of the foster home, are (respectively) the elderly Madame Foster and her granddaughter Frankie Foster.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: The cartoon is a "grim" comedy filled with wacky adventures that has The Grim Reaper as one of the main characters, forced to be the playmate of Billy and Mandy after losing a limbo contest in the pilot episode.
  • Justin Time is a Canadian cartoon starring a boy named Justin and his imaginary (and educational) adventures throughout various locations and time periods.
  • King of the Hill is about Hank Hill and his family. To keep the pun intact, the Latin American dub is called Los Reyes de la colina, and Hank Hill was renamed Héctor Reyes.
  • The Loud House refers to the family name, Loud, and the frequent cacophony that often precipitates in the family home.
  • Milo Murphy's Law. The show stars Milo Murphy, a descendant of Edward A. Murphy Jr., the namesake of Murphy's Law. In the show, Murphy's Law is an actual genetic disorder that Milo suffers from.
  • Pryde of the X-Men, a 1989 animated pilot (unrelated to the later animated series from the early '90s) featuring, naturally, Kitty Pryde.
  • Rocket Power refers to Otto and Reggie's surname and their love for extreme sports, hence the "power" part of the title.
  • The Roman Holidays, a 1972 Saturday morning cartoon set in ancient Rome, about a family with the surname(!?) Holiday.
  • Yet another Cartoon Network show: The Secret Saturdays. The main characters are a family with the surname "Saturday", and they work as part of a secret agency. As part of this agency, their particular specialty was in dealing with cryptids.
  • A few episode titles of The Simpsons are epunymous, for instance "Burns, Baby Burns", "A Milhouse Divided", "Moaning Lisa", "Monty Can't Buy Me Love", "Much Apu about Nothing", "Pygmoelian", "Sideshow Bob Roberts", "Simpson and Delilah", "A Star Is Burns", "Stark Raving Dad" (the dad in question being Homer Simpson), "This Little Wiggy", "When Flanders Failed" (a play on "In Flanders Fields"), and "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken".
  • Taz-Mania - The main character is Taz and the show is set on Tasmania.
  • These Are The Days, a 1974 Saturday morning cartoon about a Waltons-like family with the surname Day.
  • Wallykazam - the main character is named Wally Trollman. "Wallykazam!" is the magic spell he uses on the show in place of "alakazam" when casting magic from his magic stick.

Parodies and In-Universe examples:

  • Parodied in a series of fake previews by satellite channel UK Gold to publicise its new American imports: one involved a pair of British coppers named Alan Tea and George Biscuits going over to work in the States with the obvious Fish out of Water gags - the series, naturally, was called "Tea and Biscuits".

     Comic Books 
  • In the Hanna-Barbera Beyond version of The Ruff & Reddy Show, Ruff and Reddy are "Celanimate" stand-up comedians who are initally partnered with a mouse named Tumbl (Ruff and Tumbl) and a parrot named Willing (Reddy and Willing). After Willing fires Reddy he gets a new partner called Abel, and Ruff briefly teams up with a Jessica Rabbit lookalike to form (sigh) Ruff/Sexx. Another cat-and-dog double act who steals their act is called Down and Dirty.
  • MAD once had an article consisting of deliberately goofy premises for Buddy Cop Shows with punny titles, including Cash & Carry (who specialize in convenience store robberies), Dead & Buried (who work in the police morgue), Surf & Turf (whose beat is the boardwalk in a coastal town) and Black & Decker ("they can't carry weapons as it would blow their cover, so they are armed with household tools").

     Films — Live Action 

  • The Now Show Book of Records has a list of the Worst TV Sitcom Premises. Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones is about Eddie Sticks and Brian Stones, who work the bone-crusher in an abattoir. There's No Smoke Without Fire is about Eddie Smoke, who goes on holiday without his friend Brian Fire, only for Brian to track him down. Rhythm is a Dancer is about Maggie Rhythm, who is a dancer.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Parodied on 30 Rock:
    • Kenneth describes his ideas for TV shows:
      "I have an idea for a show about a teacher named 'Art'. I call that one Art School. And one about a Jewish guy who opens an ice cream parlor. That one's called Ice Cream Cohen. And a drama about two cops: one named 'Cash' and one named 'Carry'. I don't have a title for that one."
    • There's also Jenna's old role in a Police Procedural: "It was called Good Looking, and I played Alexis Goodlooking, who was also good-looking, and my special ability was being good at looking for clues."
  • On Arrested Development, the actor Judge Reinhold is the host of a courtroom-based reality TV show, and it's called... Mock Trial with J. Reinhold. (Featuring house band William Hung and his Hung Jury.)
  • On Castle, several of Rick Castle's books in the Derek Storm series were in this pattern — Gathering Storm, Storm Season, Storm Rising, Storm Warning, Storm's Break, Storm Fall — and he continues to do the same for his new character, Nikki Heat — Heat Wave, Summer Heat, In Heat, etc.
  • On Friends, Joey Tribbiani stars in the abortive buddy cop/robot show Mac & C.H.E.E.S.E.. There's some Lampshade Hanging about the Contrived Coincidence of the robot's full title abbreviating so well...
  • Appears on I'm Alan Partridge as a desperate program idea to save Alan's career: A Partridge Amongst The Pigeons. "At this stage it's just a title".
  • One episode of Married... with Children saw a network making a TV show based on the Bundy family; the show was titled "Pease in a Pod". No points for guessing the family's name.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • One episode includes a fake talk show called It's A. Tree, hosted by Arthur Tree. Who's a talking tree.
    • A sketch where one person keeps saying "no time to lose" turns into a Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec sketch titled "No-Time Toulouse."
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 parodies this when the title of the short film "Body Care & Grooming" appears on screen:
    Tom Servo: Body Care! And Grooming! They're cops!
  • Saturday Night Live had a sketch featuring a game show parody called "What is Burn Notice?" The contestants had no idea, and one of the wrong answers was a guess that it was "about the detective team of Michael Burn and Chet Notice."
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look had a sketch featuring rival comedy duos called "Fish and Chipp" and "Pin and Cushion". Chipp and Pin leave to form their own duo (Chip & PIN being a then-new form of credit card payment); to their chagrin, Fish & Cushion are far more successful. ("That doesn't even mean anything!") To add insult to injury, Fish & Cushion went on to star in the ads for the Chip & PIN system...
  • Parodied heavily in This Morning With Richard Not Judy which described shows such as Chalk and Cheese (Ian Chalk and Ian Cheese are two men. They are very different. However, they eventually become friends and realise they are not so different after all. With hilarious consequences), Fruit and Nuts (Ian Fruit and Ian Nuts are roommates. Ian Fruit is allergic to nuts and Ian Nuts is allergic to fruit. Ian Nuts is a homicidal maniac. Consequently, he's always trying to sneak fruit and nuts into everything they eat. With fatal consequences.) and Bent Coppers (Ian and Iain Bent are brothers who are policemen. One is corrupt and the other is homosexual. They both suffer from curvature of the spine, and they're made of copper - they're robots in the future. With hilarious consequences.)

    Similarly, a list of potential sitcom titles consists of just strained puns such as A. Bird in the Hand (Anthony Bird is manager of the Hand pub), Anne R. in The Month (Anne R. is manager of The Month Pub) and by the end of the list coming up with There Are More Things In Heaven and Earth Than Are Dreamt of in Your Philosophy (About how Ian Thing is joined by his relatives at the Heaven and Earth Than Are Dreamt of in Your Philosophy pub).

  • Season 9 of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme features an early 20th century double act called Midnight and Noone. Very much an invoked trope, since it's neither of their real names - Susanna Clark took Noone as the name of her imaginary husband, and Gallie Nightingale took the name Midnight to match.

    Web Original 
  • The Encyclopedia of Hypothetical Police Procedurals tumblr lists several examples of this, including Wheels on the Bus ("Detective Lester Wheels is DCPD’s one-man Bus Crime department, ensuring that the city’s millions of commuters board and exit safely.") and Trial By Jury (featuring cop Steve Jury, lawyer Martin Trial, and judge Monica By). Trial By Jury eventually gets a spinoff, Judge, Jury, And, Executioner (in which Steve Jury returns, joined by judge Mortimer Judge, executioner Alexandra Executioner, and Apple Store employee Andrea And) as well as a porn parody called Hung Jury.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of Clone High when George Washington Carver (as Leon Black) and Gandhi (as Tandoori Jones) become the cops "Black and Tan".
  • On The Simpsons, Troy McClure has a sitcom. "My new show is called ‘Handle with Care.’ I play Jack Handle, a retired cop who shares an apartment with a retired criminal. We’re the original Odd Couple!"