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"Mastropiero, as it was the habit, named his madrigal after the first verse of the poem, calling it Ye Beautiful and Graceful Maiden Went to Do Her Laundry but the lengthiness of this title seemed inadequate, so he renamed his madrigal as Ye Beautiful and Graceful Maiden Went To Do Her Laundry, She Clean'd In Ye Creek, And Wash'd As She Sang, Rubb'd Against A Rock, Hang'd It From A Birch and Les Luthiers has the pleasure to play tonight Johann Sebastian Mastropiero's Ye Beautiful and Graceful Maiden... mumble ...Hang'd It From a Birch."
Les Luthiers in La Bella y Graciosa Moza Routine

Aka: That Trope Where Shows, Books, Films, Video Games, or Songs Have Ridiculously Long and Generally Unwieldy Titles Which in Modern Times Is Usually Used for Comic Effect, Although Occasionally This Trope Is Instead Employed to Instead Mock Media Which Is Already Perceived to Have an Overly Long Title, Though in the Case of This, Trope Is Being Used in an Ironic Self-Describing Way.

Exactly What It Says on the Tin: something with a very long title.

Differs from In Which a Trope Is Described by being only about names; differs from Exactly What It Says on the Tin by not being required to be accurate. Sometimes uses colons extensively (but see also Short Title: Long, Elaborate Subtitle). See Overly Long Name for when this applies to characters.

It is worth noting that in the 18th and 19th centuries, titles were used to interest people in a particular book, in the same way back-side blurbs are today. A work with an Either/Or Title, even if was created after that time period, is highly likely to be this as well, as Either/Or Title was a commonly used trope in such 18th- and 19th-century titles, and its usage these days is often an element of a deliberate throwback to such titles. Japanese Light Novels employ this for the same reason today; many originated as web novels on a Japanese publishing website called Shōsetsuka ni Narō, and in order to stand out from the deluge of new titles being published every day, authors enticed fickle readers by explaining exactly what the gimmick of their series is at the earliest opportunity.


The diametric opposite of One-Word Title (even when it is a word like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious) and No Title. See Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card! and Overly Long Name for when this applies to characters. Speaking of characters, Multi-Character Title has some overlap with this when there's enough of them and/or they use full names in the title. And similar things happen with Character Name and the Noun Phrase. See also Colon Cancer, because the phrases on both sides of the colons are likely longer than 2 words.

Not to be confused with Short Titles.


Examples of long titles that reside on their own pages and can be reached via the following links:

An incomplete but ever-expanding listing of instances where this title trope has been applied in various media, as relentlessly compiled by The Contributors to TV Tropes:

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    Art: Or, visual media made in either two- or three-dimensional form, intended to evoke myriad emotions in its viewers, raging from calm, to awe, to intrigue or confusion 
  • Some of Salvador Dalí's paintings have ridiculously specific (but precisely accurate) titles: Apparition of a Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach, Face of Mae West Which May Be Used as an Apartment, Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire, Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln, One Second Before Awakening from a Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate...
  • An artwork by Marcel Duchamp: The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (in the original French, La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même). It's most often called "The Large Glass" ("Le Grand Verre").
  • Rembrandt van Rijn's renowned Multi-Character Title: The Shooting Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburch Preparing to March Out. But you probably know it as The Night Watch.
  • J.M.W. Turner painted in 1840 "Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhon Coming On)". It's better known now as simply "The Slave Ship". At the time, Punch Magazine lampooned the title with one of their own: "A Typhoon, Bursting A Simmoon, Over A Whirlpool Maelstrom, Norway, A Ship on Fire, An Eclipse, With the Effect of a Lunar Rainbow".
  • Jan van Huysum's "Arcadian Landscape with Saints Peter and John Healing the Lame Man".
  • Herman van Vollenhoven's "The Painter in His Studio Painting the Portrait of a Married Couple".
  • Joseph Wright of Derby's painting A Philosopher giving a Lecture on the Orrery in which a lamp is put in place of the Sun.
  • Eustache Le Sueur's "Caligula Depositing the Ashes of his Mother and Brother in the Tomb of his Ancestors".

    Asian Animation: Or, works made in the medium of animation that originate from any country located in the continent of Asia that isn't Japan, since that country's anime is prominent enough to have a separate folder 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Some of the film titles, particularly if they have the name of the series added at the beginning.
    • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf - Desert Trek: The Adventure of the Lost Totemnote 
    • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf - Moon Castle: The Space Adventure
    • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf - Mission Incredible: Adventures on the Dragon's Trail
    • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf - The Mythical Ark: Adventures in Love & Happiness

    Audio Plays: Or, dramatic productions produced entirely using recorded sound waves stored upon a physical medium such as vinyl or plastic or magnetic tape, which use a wide variety of auditory tricks to make the listener think he's hearing real events as they actually occurred. 
  • The comedy troupe The Firesign Theater has a couple of albums with comically-long titles, including How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All, and Don't Crush that Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers.

    Comic Books: Or, Short stories printed on paper told through a mixture of sequential images and bubbles containing text, indicating what the characters are saying, thinking, and occasionally doing. 

    Cook Books: Or, Written instructions on preparing comestibles, potables — that is, food and drink — for human consumption. 
  • How to Mix Drinks: Or, The Bon-vivant's Companion, Containing Clear and Reliable Directions for Mixing All the Beverages Used in the United States, Together with the Most Popular British, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish Recipes, Embracing Punches, Juleps, Cobblers, Etc., Etc., Etc., in Endless Variety by Jerry Thomas, the first manual on how to make cocktails—including the Blue Blazer, the first Flaming Cocktail.
  • The first truly American cookbook (i.e., containing original American recipes, in contrast to earlier cookbooks which, though published in the United States, were either reprints or adapted versions of European cookbooks), published in 1796, was titled American Cookery, or the Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry, and Vegetables, and the Best Modes of Making Pastes, Puffs, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards, and Preserves, and All Kinds of Cakes, from the Imperial Plumb to Plain Cake. Adapted to This Country, and All Grades of Life. By Amelia Simmons, An American Orphan.
  • "The Practical Distiller: or an introduction to making Whiskey, Gin, Brandy, Spirits, &c. &c. of better quality, and in larger quantities, than produced by the present mode of distilling, from the produce of the United States: such as Rye, Corn, Buckwheat, Apples, Peaches, Potatoes, Pumpions[sic] and Turnips. With directions how to conduct and improve the practical part of distilling in all its branches. Together with directions for purifying, clearing and colouring Whiskey, making Spirits similar to French Brandy, &c. from the Spirits of Rye, Corn, Apples, Potatoes &c. &c. and sundry extracts of approved receipts for making Cider, domestic Wines, and Beer." By Samuel McHarry, of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania (1809) is notable for not only being immensely long, but also including '&c.' (etc.) in its title. Meaning it is in some ways an abbreviation.
  • A Kindle-published title; Coffee Beans: How to buy coffee beans and then use the best coffee beans from green coffee beans to gourmet coffee beans including chocolate covered coffee beans. It's a mouthful in more ways than one.
  • The Fanny Farmer Cookbook has been continuously in print (with 13 editions and revisions) since being first printed in 1896. The full title of the first edition is The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook by Fannie Merritt Farmer, Principal of the Boston Cooking-School. It wasn't until the 1965 edition that the title was officially shortened to "The Fannie Farmer Cookbook".

    Fan Works: Or, works and stories involving characters and settings from previously existing intellectual properties created by fans of said intellectual properties instead of their respective creators 

In General:

  • The fanfic title template Five Times [Character X] [verb phrase, most likely involving romance with Character Y] (And One Time (S)he Didn't). Depending on the verb phrase, of course, some may be lengthier than others.


By Other Works:

    Light Novels: Or, Works of prose, originating from the aforementioned State of Japan, which are written in an easily read style in order to target audiences comprising teenaged or young adult persons 


Individual Works

    Machinima: Or, Web videos that have the use of real-time computer graphics to create a cinematic production, using software similar to that designed for making video and computer games 

    Pinball: Or, Indoor bagatelle games descended from the success of David Gottlieb's "Baffle Ball" pin game featuring skillful manipulation of metal balls using electro-mechanical paddle-like devices to properly strike targets to score inflated points 

    Professional Wrestling: Or, Men and/or sometimes women who compete in staged athletic competitions with predetermined endings and take part in planned storylines as a career. 
  • CHIKARA has held shows with the following titles:
    • If the Airplane is Snowed in, Put Your Bloody Skis on and Get Going!
    • Retribution Rumble of Revenge and Rumble to Remember
    • Beware of Barely Badd Blasts and/or Blood Brawls on the Beach
    • The International Invasion of the International Invaders
      • Later led to Son of... and Return of the Son of...
    • Laying in the Gutter, Looking at the Stars
  • The 12/04/2009 show featured what was called a "Memorial Comical WAVE - Lumberjack, Slow Motion, Wild Speed, No Megaphone, No Milk, No Knee, No Elbow Comical Death Match" in the main event.
  • The February 2011 Sportiva Entertainment Friday Pro Last Minute Shopping Before Imaike Pro Dayo Zeninshugo!! event.
  • DDT Who's Gonna Top? 2013 ~DDT48 General Election Last Polling Day~
  • July 19th, 2015. Aka 2CW We Booked This Show Because It Was Literally The Only Available Date For The Young Bucks. (the Bucks being the tag team champions, for context)
  • Pro Wrestling ZERO1 held an event called Cho Hanabi Fighting Winter Garden 2015 ~ Barbed Wire Electric Current Blast Bat Death Match.

    Radio: Or, The spoken word of the human voice transmitted miraculously upon the aether by the appropriate application of wireless emissions of suitable wavelength, to be received across great distances by a carefully calibrated apparatus 
  • Although the actual title is given as Punt and Dennis: It's Been A Bad Week, that comedy current-affairs show is often referred to by the title of its prize - The Worst Week of the Week Award, Awarded Weekly on a Week-by-Week Basis. Which is mentioned at the end of every round.
  • One episode of BBC radio comedy The Burkiss Way is usually referred to as "Lesson 45: Write Extremely Long Titles The Burkiss Way". The full title, given in the Radio Times, was "Lesson 45: Write Extremely Long Titles With Lots And Lots Of Words In, Like This, So That The Radio Times Will Have To Allot More Space Than The Measly Half A Centimetre Of Billing Space We Usually Get And At Least It'll Look A Bit More Prominent On The Page, Although Still Nowhere Near The 50 Column Inches They Give To The Hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy The Burkiss Way".
  • One episode of Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation is usually referred to as "How to be Better". The full title is "How to be Better Theologically, Socially, Nationally and in Terms of One's Own Personal Development, Responsibility and Interaction with the Fellow Humans with Whom We Share this Fragile Planet, and Ting".
  • The title of every episode of Were You Raised by Wolves? includes the topics of that given episode. For example, the topics of the episode "Eating Bananas Properly, Sipping With Straws, Spraying Colognes on Buses, and More" includes those three subjects.

    Tabletop Games: Or, Games involving the manipulation of tangible objects such as paper cards, miniatures and dice, usually played atop a table by several persons (though the floor may be used if there is no table offering enough area) 
  • The grand-daddy of miniature wargaming, H. G. Wells's Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books..
  • In 2004, Wizards of the Coast released a satirical Magic: The Gathering expansion called Unhinged that included the card: Our Market Research Shows That Players Like Really Long Card Names So We Made This Card to Have the Absolute Longest Card Name Ever Elemental, or OMRSTPLRLCNSWMTCTHTALCNEE for short.
    • A couple of cards have flavour text attributed to Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar, the Underworld Cookbook.
  • Though the Magic card mentioned above is part of a Humor expansion, the Mythos CCG had a card called "The Thirty-Five Abominable Adulations of the Bloated One". Since Mythos referred to the Cthulhu Mythos, long names seem appropriate.
  • Advanced Dimensional Green Ninja-Educational Preparatory Super-Elementary Fortress 555 is an RPG by Windmill Games where you play a bunch of superpowered elementary school students at the school of the same name.

    Theatre: Or, Works written with the intention of live performance in front of an audience upon the theatrical stage 
  • The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade. In the original German, Die Verfolgung und Ermordung Jean Paul Marats dargestellt durch die Schauspielgruppe des Hospizes zu Charenton unter Anleitung des Herrn de Sade, is a bit shorter. It's a play and a film, and it's pretty much Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Publicists and playbill designers shortened this to Marat/Sade.
  • Perhaps not so long as most of these but still worthy of mention: The tragical history of the damned life and deserved death of Doctor Johanus Faustus.
    • And the one man show telling the same story, "An Apology for the Course and Outcome of Certain Events Delivered by Doctor John Faustus on This His Final Evening".
  • Arthur Kopit's Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad.
  • Most of William Shakespeare's works had really long titles in folio, octavo and quarto editions, which summarised most of the plot (and often ruined the ending).
    • We have a classic victim of Iconic Character, Forgotten Title: The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.
    • The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Containing his Death: and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift. [sic] (Henry IV Part Two)
    • The First part of the Contention betwixt the two famous houses of Yorke and Lancaster, with the death of the good Duke Humphrey, And the banishment and death of the Duke of Suffolke, and the Tragicall end of the proud Cardinal of VVinchester, vvith the notable rebellion of Iacke Cade, And the Duke of Yorkes first claim vnto the Crowne. (Henry VI Part Two)
    • The True Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, and the death of good King Henrie the Sixth, with the Whole Contention betweene the two Houses Lancaster and Yorke; it was the earliest printed version of Henry VI Part 3.
  • The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel, which was also made into a movie. The play's title comes from the title of the protagonist's Science Fair project.
  • The History of Two Valiant Knights, Sir Clyomon Knight of the Golden Shield, Son to the King of Denmark, and Clamydes the White Knight, Son to the King of Suavia, a romantic comedy produced in London by the King's Men in 1577.
  • for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange (1974).
  • Not as long as others on here, but A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is still a mouthful.
  • Just about any of the Farndale Avenue plays; a stand-out is They Came From Mars and Landed Outside the Farndale Avenue Church Hall in Time for the Townswomen’s Guild’s Coffee Morning.
  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, whose title song only includes the first three words.
  • Jackie Sibblies Drury's (deep breath) We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915.
  • Road House: The Stage Version Of The Cinema Classic That Starred Patrick Swayze, Except This One Stars Taimak From The 80’s Cult Classic "The Last Dragon" Wearing A Blonde Mullet Wig.
  • Comus: The full title is actually A Mask presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634: on Michelmas night, before the Rt Hon. Iohn Earl of Bridgewater, Viscount Brackly, Lord President of Wales, and one of His Maiesties most honorable privie councill (spelling is correct), but is more commonly called by the One-Word Title.
  • Jerker, or The Helping Hand: A Pornographic Elegy with Redeeming Social Value and a Hymn to the Queer Men of San Francisco in Twenty Telephone Calls, Many of Them Dirty commonly referred to just as Jerker.

    Theme Parks: Or, Places that exist in certain parts of the world that have a bunch of unique one-of-a-kind experiences; such as roller coasters, live shows, 3-D shows, dark rides, water flumes, walk-throughs, and plenty more 

    Visual Novels: Or, Somewhat Slow-paced Electronic Stories using the narrative style of Literature, but adding in Interactive Video Game-esque elements, which means the medium does not conformably fit into either definition and so as a result has to be sorted it into one of its own. 

    Webcomics: Or, Stories available on the internet told through a mixture of sequential images and bubbles containing text, indicating what the characters are saying, thinking, and occasionally doing, much like a comic book but without commission. 
  • A Beginner's Guide to the End of the Universe
  • Chimneyspeak: for the attention of: Bludgers, Cracksmen, Nobblers, Dippers, Skippers, Lushingtons, Flimps, Duffers and Coopered Ladybirds; courtesy of the gentleman Jack Cayless. At least, according to the logo.
  • Parodied in one strip of Ennui GO! where Noah talks about his annoyance with this trend in manga, mentioning one whose name is the entire plot synopsis (including spoilers) which was so long that "they had to print the book extra-long to fit it all on there." Full Title (NSFW) 
  • Even In The Deepest Heart Of Chaos A Glimmer Of Order Can Be Found
  • In El Goonish Shive, some of the early filler comics had these. Also a few story comics as well. These are usually played for laughs but at least one was played for drama.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court, Chapter 10: "Doctor Disaster Versus the Creepy Space Aliens from Outer Space". So long the recap page's URL uses the short form, "Doctor Disaster", instead of the full title.
  • Heroes Inc. "#0420 - Hey man? You ever think that the universe is just like, one atom of some even bigger universe we can't even imagine? Woah... My hands can touch anything but themselves..." uses this to comedic effect, referencing the page's numerical identifier, and its significance to drug culture.
  • A troll in Homestuck explains that in his planet, billions of years in the future, every short title has been used up, and so the titles are more descriptive.
    EB: wait...
    EB: this is the title?
    • When you finally get a look on carcinoGeneticist's/Karkat Vantas room, you can see the associated movie posters.
  • The Incredible and Awe-Inspiring Serial Adventures of the Amazing Plasma-Man
  • I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space
  • The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal
  • The Pokémon webcomic POKETTO MONSUTAA SPECIAL SUPER EX ADVENTURE XXXVX THE CHRONICLES OF RED BLUE GREEN AND A BUNCH OF OTHER KIDS WITH COLORS FOR NAMES; doubly so for negecting punctuation and being written in all-caps.
  • Prequel -or- Making A Cat Cry: The Adventure, The Adventures Of Katia Managan.
  • Smashing Pumpkins into Small Piles of Putrid Debris

    Web Original: Or, Various pieces of fiction falling under a variety of descriptions distinguished by their initial appearance on a network previously established to better facilitate the sharing of information between computers. 

    Other: Or, Honorable mentions arising from miscellaneous aesthetic productions that somehow elude veracious insertion underneath any of the aforementioned categorical heading 
  • Although it's only mentioned on the "about" page, David Chess's blog is titled The Curvature of the Earth Is Overwhelmed by Local Noise.
  • A blog post at [1] has a new version of the bible called "New and Revised Standard Edition Version 13.75 for angsty and rebellious emo faggots who have nothing better to do than blindly take shots at things that they're too stupid to understand and too anal-retentive to actually notice the point of the message." or the NRSEv13.75fAaREFwhNBtdtBTSaTtttStUatA-RtANtPotM for short.
  • The instruction manual for the Kymera Remote Control Wand, which admittedly looks and performs like a real magic wand, and thus has this thematically-inspired reference.
  • For a time during the 19th century, The Economist's full title was The Economist, Weekly Commercial Times, Bankers' Gazette, and Railway Monitor. A Political, Literary and General Newspaper.
  • Many scientific articles have long and highly-detailed titles to ensure that peers parsing the articles and later archives can locate relevant material easily.
    • This is especially true for articles dealing with focused case studies where the specific details of the case can increase title length greatly. For example: "Cluster randomized controlled trial of a psycho-educational intervention for people with a family history of depression for use in general practice".
    • There are many quite charming ones from the 19th century. "Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Samarang, during the years 1843–46; emplyed surverying the islands of the Eastern Archipelago; accompanied by a brief vocabulary of the prinicipal languages … With notes on the natural history of the islands by Arthur Adams." and "Narrative of the surveying voyage of H.M.S. Fly, commanded by Captain F.P. Blackwood, R.N. in Torres Strait, New Guinea, and other Islands of the Eastern Archipelago, during the years 1842-1846: together with an excursion into the interior of the eastern part of Java.". Riveting stuff.
    • Special mention goes to the paper "Cneoridium dumosum (Nuttall) Hooker F. Collected March 26, 1960, at an Elevation of about 1450 Meters on Cerro Quemazón, 15 Miles South of Bahía de Los Angeles, Baja California, México, Apparently for a Southeastward Range Extension of Some 140 Miles", of which the actual text (minus acknowledgments) is only 5 words: "I got it there then (8068)."
  • The school of the noble and worthy science of defense. Being the first of any Englishman's invention, which professed the said science; so plainly described , that any man may quickly come to the true knowledge of their weapons, with small pains and little practice.
  • The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America.
  • David Cross' Stand-Up Comedy album It's Not Funny has long track titles that have absolutely nothing to do with the content of the joke, being just mockeries of Stock Shticks (i.e. "Although Indigent, Rural Families Have Little to Say in the Matter, Third Rate Public Education Has Kept Them Ignorant and Thus, Great Sources of Ridicule!" and "When It Comes to Jews, Behavior One Might Perceive as Obnoxious and Annoying I Present as 'Quirky' but It's Okay to Joke About It Because I, Myself, Am Jewish!").


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Overly Long Title


Super Ultra Dead Rising 3'...

...Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + Alpha!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / LongTitle

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