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Initialism Title

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"I've given it lots of thought, and think the most fun job in the world must be coming up with the acronyms for Kids Next Door episode titles."

A title which is solely an initialism — uses big letters, optionally also dots.

Historically, while the practice of shortening words has been around for a long time (think "SPQR"), it has become very common among companies since the late 19th century; thus, such titles tend to be set in the modern era, and often have a vague suggestion of some powerful organization or government involved somewhere.

This appears to be especially popular for video games.

If such a title has a subtitle, more often than not it will be simply an expansion of the initialism in question.

Note that acronyms written as one normally capitalized word, such as "Scuba" or "Gestapo", do not count as example of this trope. Titles that simply include an initialism (Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) don't fit in here either.

Often overlaps with Team Title or Vehicle Title. Sometimes also with Fun with Acronyms, though usually it's because the initialism in the title is already the name of something within the work itself.

This is so common for names of companies, organizations, software and industry products that there's no point in listing them, apart from when they're repurposed as names of works.


    open/close all folders 
    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Film — Animated 
  • TMNT: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • WALL•E: Waste Allocation Load Lifter — Earth-class

    Film — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 
  • Used in-universe for 30 Rock with T.G.S. (which was formerly known as The Girly Show until Tracey Jordan was brought on).
  • ALF: Alien Life Form
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • CSI: NY (see page image above)
  • Cucumber: Children's Underground Club of United Moose and Beaver for Enthusiastic Reporters
  • FBI
  • The F.B.I.
  • M*A*S*H, as well as the film on which it was based, as well as the novel on which that was based. All of which stand for the Army term "Mobile Army Surgical Hospital".
  • M.A.N.T.I.S.
  • JAG, its successor NCIS, and that show's spinoff NCIS: LA (another double initialism!)
  • NTSF:SD:SUV:: ("National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle"; a parody of the Police Procedural genre)
  • P.J.
  • Q.E.D. (a short-lived 80s adventure series)
  • RBT (a reality show about motorist stopped for a Random Breath Test)
  • RPA (a reality show set at the Royal Prince Albert Hospital in Sydney)
  • Skithouse parodied this with commercials for RSVP ("If you're gonna watch it, make sure you let us know!") and BYO.
  • S.W.A.T. (1975)
  • S.W.A.T. (2017)

  • Arguably the crowning example is MfG ("mit freundlichen Grüßen" = "with kind greetings") by German rap group Die Fantastischen Vier. Not only is the title an acronym, but also its two verses consist almost exclusively of acronyms.
  • "EMI" (the music label) by Sex Pistols, which immediately leads to Public Image Limited, often known as PIL.
  • Front 242's "W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G."
  • The Finnish band HIM (formerly known as "His Infernal Majesty")
  • Korean Pop Music has a Girl Group called I.O.I which stands for "Ideal Of Idol"
  • Kelela has "LMK", which, as the lyrics reveal, stands for "Let Me Know".
  • Mark Klem's song "GNA".
  • Madonna's MDNA
  • Korn's "A.D.I.D.A.S. (All Day I Dream About Sex)"
  • Suprême NTM ("Nique Ta Mère")
  • "T.S.O.P." (The Sound of Philadelphia) by MFSB (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother)
  • WASP
  • Wu-Tang Clan's "C.R.E.A.M." (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)
  • "D.I.V.O.R.C.E." (country song made famous by Tammy Wynette)

    Newspaper Comics 

    Professional Wrestling 
Professional Wrestling is all over this trope. Nearly every company uses its initials as part of its branding and advertising.

  • AEW: All Elite Wrestling
  • AJPW: All Japan Pro Wrestling
  • AWA: American Wrestling Association
  • JCP: Jim Crockett Promotions
  • NJPW: New Japan Pro Wrestling
  • NWA: National Wrestling Alliance
  • UWF: Universal Wrestling Federation
  • WCCW: World Class Championship Wrestling
  • WCW: World Championship Wrestling
  • WWWF, then WWF, then WWE: World Wide Wrestling Federation, then World Wrestling Federation, then World Wrestling Entertainment, then WWE, Inc.

    Tabletop Games 


    Video Games 

    Visual Media 
  • THD by Ian Miller

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: The story is about a team of four girls and the title is the name their headmaster gives their team. Team names are always acronyms formed from the first letter of the names of the team-members (either personal name or family name). The first letter is always the name of the team leader. RWBY stands for Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang.
  • TP: The short is about a living roll of toilet paper.

  • DDG (Drop Dead Gorgeous)
  • UC the authors are keeping it a secret what UC stands for, for now.
  • xkcd does not stand for anything, but since anyone's first question is "What does xkcd stand for", one can let go this aversion.

    Western Animation 
  • C.L.Y.D.E.
  • C.O.P.S. (Animated Series)
  • Every single episode of Codename: Kids Next Door has one of these titles.
  • M.A.S.K.
  • M-U-S-H, an Animated Parody of M*A*S*H with an all-animal cast. MUSH stands for Mangy Unwanted Shabby Heroes.
  • Parodied on The Wrong Coast with S.W.A.T.A.W.A.T.A.T.A.A. (Special Weapons And Tactics As Well As The Ability To Appraise Antiques), a cross between S.W.A.T. and Antiques Roadshow.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • "F.U.N.". As per the song SpongeBob sings, F is for friends who do stuff together, U is for U and me, and N is for N-ywhere and anytime at all (down here in the deep blue sea!)
    • "C.H.U.M.S" revolves around Plankton coming across a group of sentient chum beings who let him rule them. The group calls themselves C.H.U.M., or Collective Hive Under Master.