So you're trying to come up with a name for your book or series? Well, if you already have a name for its first part, why not also use it for the work as a whole?
If that segment serves as an introduction to the main character, setting, or idea of the work, then its name usually reflects the work as a whole pretty well. In the case of TV shows, the first episode might have started as the Pilot for the whole series, so it's natural that it bears the series name.
In all cases involving a single work and its components, instead of a series, the first installment is also a Title Drop Chapter.
May be a result of Numbered Sequels, where the first installment has no number, the second has a "2" on the end of it, etc. In this case, the obvious name of the series is the name of the first entry, since that's what ties the titles together. When dealing with such a series, this wiki usually lists the first entry as Namespace/SeriesName1.
Title 1 may occur in cases where the franchise is not titled exactly the same as the first installment.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming of every entry being Character Name and the Noun Phrase and the series title being said character name, does not count, as the installments' titles are instead a play on the series title, instead of this specific version of the other way around, with the series name clearly being planned from the start.
Please list entries on this page under the series as a whole, not the first installment of the series. When doing so:
- State what the title is,
- Mention if it's a variation on the title of the first installment, and
- Explain why the title fits the collection.
- A Certain Magical Index: The series is named after the character Index, who served as the focus of the first arc back when the author, Kazuma Kamachi, first wrote it as a one-shot. This is despite her being rather Out of Focus in later novels. When his publisher later decided to adapt it into a full series, he chose to just keep the original title so as to avoid confusion. Then it received manga spinoffs that focused on different characters and the Science Fiction elements, so those spinoffs reused the A Certain portion in their titles.
- Cute High Earth Defense Club originally started with Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, with the title being a spoof of those of conventional Magical Girl Warrior series. When it came time for a second installment in the same universe, the Cute High portion was kept as the main title while the subtitle became what referred to that season's theme.
- The first short film that kickstarted the Little Witch Academia franchise was simply titled Little Witch Academia.
- The Pretty Cure series began with Futari wa Pretty Cure, with "Pretty Cure" as the group name of the initial two heroines that shared the powers. Over time, "Pretty Cure" was generalized to anyone who had the powers, and the teams themselves got larger, so the "Pretty Cure" part of the title was incorporated as a descriptor in later installments.
- Sword Art Online is named after the first arc, which took place in the titular Deadly Game. While the rest of the arcs and spin-offs take place in other games and virtual worlds, the effects of the time spent in Sword Art Online and the technology that built it linger throughout the series.
- Both the manga and anime adaptations of the Haruhi Suzumiya series are named after the first novel, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Spinoffs, however, are just given similar titling to the Idiosyncratic Episode Naming of the novels.
- Dungeon Keeper Ami: The first chapter is called "Dungeon Keeper Ami (DARK)," with the "(DARK)" just being a content warning — but the name does fit the series, as it's a Role Called-type Protagonist Title.
- Enslaved: Verbed Title it shares with its first chapter. This refers to the story concept, as summarized on Fanfiction Dot Net:
A triumphant war party returns with an exotic slave, a gift for the ruling house.
- The Mountain and the Wolf: In the first chapter, the Wolf kills the Mountain (corresponding to the episode titled The Mountain And The Viper). As the story goes on, he kills quite a lot more than just the Mountain, until he's demanding the armies of all Westeros come to fight him.
- The Petriculture Cycle: Named after the first entry in the series, "Petriculture." The question of "What is petriculture / rockfarming?" is the point of divergence of the fanfic from the original work.
- Story Shuffle: Named after the first entry in the anthology series, "Story Shuffle." It's a series of anthologies based on a card game, which involves shuffling.
- Sunsplit Saga: Named after the first entry in the series, "Sunsplit." It's about the connection between Sunburst and Sunset, the point of divergence of the fanfic from the original work.
- The first three films in the Star Wars trilogy were titled Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. The first film was later retitled Star Wars: A New Hope, with the moniker "Star Wars" elevated to a blanket term for the nine films of the Skywalker Saga, plus spin-off productions such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian.
- The Thin Man: The title refers to a murder victim whose murder is solved in that series. All sequels included the term "Thin Man" in them even though the plots had nothing to do with that character or another thin man.
- Final Destination is a pun themed after the plane crash the main characters avoided, referring to a "final destination" for a flight route and death being the "final destination" of life. The Numbered Sequels that made up its film series had the initial death the cast avoids involve accidents other than planes, with the title honing in on the second meaning instead. Its original meaning returns in Final Destination 5, if only because it was a Stealth Prequel to the first and ended on the Flight 180 crash that started the series (thus making it also the final destination of the film).
- Artemis Fowl: The first book is called Artemis Fowl, and then the rest are Character Name and the Noun Phrase-type Idiosyncratic Episode Naming, so the series name is a Protagonist Title.
- The Black Company: A group Protagonist Title is used for the series and first book.
- Cal Leandros is named in Japanese after the first novel, Nightlife.
- The Foundation Series is an odd case. The first installment of the series was originally published as a short story under the title "Foundation". When it and the next three short stories in the series were collected into a novel, the title of "Foundation" was used for the book as a whole, and the original story (which became the second section of the book) was renamed to "The Encyclopedists". The titles of later books in the same series also contain the word "Foundation" in them, even though some of them occur before the founding of the titular Foundation in internal chronology. (Asimov's Robot and Empire series canonically take place in the same timeline, and the titles of those books, and the "welding" books set between the three series to link them together, do not usually follow this naming convention).
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: After the eponymous first book, the rest of the note trilogy comprises The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe and Everything, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, and Mostly Harmless.
- How to Train Your Dragon: The series and first book are named due to dragon training being important to the series and story.
- The Hunger Games: The series and first book are titled for an important event repeatedly happening in-series.
- The Indexing series, referencing the AarneThompson Index that plays a big part in the series.
- Inverted by the Inheritance Cycle, which takes the title of the fourth and last book of the series. The first book series is titled Eragon.
- Keeper of the Lost Cities: The first book takes the title of the series, thus presumably being a Protagonist Title.
- The Maze Runner: Protagonist Title-type series and first book.
- Moribito: The series is named after the last word in the original Japanese title of the first novel, Guardian of the Spirit.
- My Babysitter Is a Vampire: The series and the first book share the same title, whose subject is the name's concept.
- New Amsterdam Books: The first book is called New Amsterdam, but "New Amsterdam" is only tangentially relevant to the other books. Aside from being their name for New York City, given that it's an Alternate History of the setting, there's minimal connection here.
- Redwall: The first book in the series is Redwall, with the series itself being about Redwall Abbey.
- Rivers of London: Both the first book and the series itself are named Rivers of London (the series is sometimes called The Peter Grant Series, but that's less common) after the Genius Loci who make up a large part of Peter's connections to Magic London.
- The School for Good and Evil: The series and first book are named for The Place that is central to the plots.
- Shadowmarch: A four-volume book series, with the first being called "Shadowmarch." It's an example of The Place, as the title references the location for the book, Shadowmarch Castle.
- The Six Of Crows Duology: The first book is Six of Crows; the series and book are named for the protagonist group.
- Stardoc: A ten volume book series where the first book is just called Stardoc. It's about doctors in space and can be described as a fusion of Medical Drama and Space Opera.
- Very early in the original run of Doctor Who, each individual episode in a story got a title. Three seasons in, this stopped, and the stories were named instead. Five of these stories were later named after the first installment in the story, including An Unearthly Child, the very first story on the show. Inverted Trope with The Keys of Marinus, which was named after the last episode.
- Moribito: The series is named in Japanese after Season 1 Guardian of the Spirit.
- The Star Trek franchise had its first work, Star Trek: The Original Series, originally named simply Star Trek, which is now the name that all the different series are grouped under.
- Subsequent entries in Kamen Rider are given a subtitle to differentiate themselves from the original.
- The first game in the Assassin's Creed series is simply titled Assassin's Creed (aside from its TV Tropes page title: Assassin's Creed I, which is used here to distinguish it from the franchise).
- The BioShock series: Numbered Sequels style. It started with BioShock, and its entries all involve biological enhancement superpowers.
- The Borderlands series does Numbered Sequels, us calling the first game, Borderlands 1, for differentiation, but it was released as "Borderlands". The series is so named because it takes place on the borderlands of galactic exploration.
- The Cute Knight series focuses on raising an older teenage girl who's looking for a goal in life. The titles of the series are Alliterative Titles, and the games are Animesque in a Medieval European Fantasy style world, so the series title proves informative.
- The Epic Battle Fantasy series:
- The main series works on Numbered Sequels, with the first game given a "1" by us, for disambiguation purposes, and it's called Epic Battle Fantasy because it's about epic combat in a fantasy world.
- The spin-off series, Bullet Heaven doesn't have its own series page, but works on Numbered Sequels as well, with its first entry as "Bullet Heaven" and the second as "Bullet Heaven 2", named because they're Bullet Hell games.
- Final Fantasy was so named because Squaresoft originally wanted to call it Fighting Fantasy, but couldn't due to copyright issues. So they changed the first word and published it. According to Hironobu Sakaguchi (who also influenced the title), it was intended to be his "final" game before leaving the industry, but subsequent games in the series kept the name despite having nothing to do with the story of other games in the series, eventually becoming the Squaresoft flagship series.
- GemCraft: The first game is called just "GemCraft" in its distributions, only adding "Chapter 1" on the internal title screens. And it's the name of the series, because they all involve making gems from magic.
- Kirby is a Character Title franchise overseas, but it's known as the Hoshi no Kirby series in its native region, having been named after the Japanese title of Kirby's Dream Land.
- The Legend of Zelda: The first game was simply titled The Legend of Zelda.note The second game, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, included Zelda in the title, but using The Legend of Zelda as the series title was firmly established beginning with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
- Lonely Wolf Treat: A game series that started with the first game, Lonely Wolf Treat. The titular character Treat plays a part in most of the other games in the series.
- The Lufia series: the first game, Lufia & The Fortress of Doom, is named after the very plot-important character Lufia. She doesn't appear in any of the other games in the series under the name Lufia, but they're all still named after her: Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals and Lufia: The Legend Returns.
- Mortal Kombat: The original game was just titled Mortal Kombat with all future sequels either using the name along with a number or subtitle, the title named is based on the Mortal Kombat tournaments important to the franchise, especially in the first game.
- In its home of Japan, the Mother series was titled after the first game in the trilogy. This would have been true of its overseas counterparts as well (where it would have been named Earth Bound), but due to never being exported until 2015, its overseas title is named after the second installment instead.
- Panel de Pon's various games are named after the self-titled Super Famicom game; all others have the "de Panepon" suffix added, with "Panepon" being the Officially Shortened Title for the series. The western releases are a different story, as they've gone through multiple different name changes over the years.
- The Paper Mario series is named after its first installment, Paper Mario 64. Played with in Japan, where the same game was titled Mario Story, while the series gained the Paper Mario moniker starting with Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (there known as Paper Mario RPG).
- Prehistorik: The name of the second game is named in Numbered Sequels-style to the first. Here, the series name refers to the game's time period, Prehistoria.
- The Princess Maker series, which focuses on raising a girl for eight years, from ages 10 to 18. The best game outcomes normally involve her becoming a queen.
- Resident Evil was so named because the Japanese name, Biohazard, was unavailable in the US due to copyright issues. The series retained the Biohazard name in Japan, but used Resident Evil everywhere else. There was a push since the sixth game to reintroduce the Biohazard name in the US, with the Steam releases being dual titled, but updates eventually reverted back to Resident Evil, and the seventh game in the series fully embraced it.
- While several fans call it the Jedi Knight Series, the Dark Forces Saga gets its name from the first game in the series. It was first called it, though, two years after the release of the final game in the series, in an RPG article statting out vehicles and characters from the series.
- The Shin Megami Tensei series Devil Summoner originated from a side game titled Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner and is named after the games subtitle.
- Will Wright's SimCity and The Sims games both had their first installments become the name for each respective series as a whole. SimCity refers to the simulated cities featured in the games, and The Sims to the simulated people who would live in said cities. The Sims is sometimes retroactively referred to as The Sims 1 to differentiate it from the series as a whole, since the rest uses Numbered Sequels.
- Super Robot Wars: Because that's what's happening in the first game, and every other game after. Mechas fighting each other.
- The Ace Attorney series is named after the subtitle of the first game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. It got a little convoluted in the sequels, which are technically called Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice For All and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations. Starting with the fourth game, "Phoenix Wright" was dropped, and "Ace Attorney" became the proper series title (due to Phoenix stepping aside for new attorney Apollo Justice).
- The Japanese games avoided this entirely, being called Turnabout Trials.
- The Fate Series is titled after the visual novel that began it, Fate/stay night. When other stories were released to expand on the universe, the Fate/ part of the title stayed as a prefix, while the text after the slash indicated its theme.
- Originally, Mystery Skulls Animated's title was to help differentiate its adaptation of "Ghost" from the live-action music video that came out earlier, similar to how fan animations of clips from a series get an "[X] Animated" title (i.e. Game Grumps Animated or the various "Reanimated" Multi-Animator Projects). When it became a full series, the title stuck.
- The pilot episode of The Loud House was originally titled "The Loud House." In reruns, it was renamed "Bathroom Break."
Plays on this trope, sorted by the series which gets named:
- The The Dark is Rising series is named after the second book in the series. The first book was written as a children's adventure novel; after it was done, the author went back and expanded on the mythology, so the second book is the first one intended to be part of a series.
- The Love Series novelizations of Confession Executive Committee are named after the first installment, Confession Rehearsal, itself named after the first song in the franchise's viewing order.note
- While the series starting with Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain doesn't use the whole title of the first installment, the overall title came about in much the same way. The second book was initially going to be titled At Least I Didn't Blow Up OUR Moon, but it was changed to Please Don't Tell My Parents I Blew Up the Moon so it would be more easily recognized as part of the same series. The rest of the series follows the same Please Don't Tell My Parents... naming convention.
- Game of Thrones: It's named after the first book of its source A Game of Thrones, which is part of the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire.
- Moribito: The live-action drama is named in Japanese after the first book of its source Guardian of the Spirit, which is part of the book series of the same English title.
- The Saga of Darren Shan had a weird variant on this:
- In the US, the name of the series was changed to "Cirque du Freak" (the title of the first book) but the first book itself was also renamed "A Living Nightmare." Since Darren only remains with the Cirque for the first two books (out of twelve), this quickly turns into an Artifact Title.
- The movie adaptation is titled "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant," combining the names of the first two books. Despite this, it leaves out the plot of the second book in favor of adding original storylines and random elements from later books.
- MS Paint Adventures was named after the thread title Jailbreak went under when it was first played on the Gangbunch forums. While the title changed to its current incarnation after a few threads, the name stuck when Andrew Hussie decided to compile the results onto a website.
- Lotus Cobra Is Evil: The first comic, "Lotus Cobra Is Evil"◊, about "master of evil" Lucifer, wanting to be represented by said Lotus Cobra.