Follow TV Tropes


Placeholder Titles

Go To

Your show has finally made it on the air! The episode's got everything it needs...except a Title Sequence. What to do? This is where placeholder titles come in. Similar to the Title Montage in execution, but the reason is that the actual title sequence isn't complete. Eventually, the titles may be replaced with the proper version, but in the most extreme cases, they may not appear until the DVDs.

Abbreviated versions of openings don't quite fit under here.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Studio Shaft is notorious for this trope in general, as they have a tough time meeting their schedule, e.g.:
  • Rosario + Vampire had this for the opening and ending, officially replacing them at episode four.
  • They Are My Noble Masters
  • Bamboo Blade, with the proper titles not appearing until the DVDs were released.
  • Hyakko, which had in its first couple of episodes nothing but clips from the first episode standing in for the opening. It's not until episode nine that the opening could finally be said to have animation of its own.
  • Dagashi Kashi ended its first two episodes with a static shot of Kokonotsu watching clips from the episode on the shop's TV.
  • Black Bullet featured a Title Montage for its first few episodes, before the OP debuted about halfway through the series. This could actually be a subversion similar to Puella Magi Madoka Magica, however, as the OP would have spoiled certain details (such as Rentaro's bionic parts) had it been used right from Episode 1.
  • Gargoyle of the Yoshinagas did this with its ending for the first two episodes.
  • Penguin Musume Heart had placeholder Evolving Credits. It was never the same OP twice, but starting with episode eight, the OP did finally stabilize.
  • BlazBlue: Alter Memory featured a Title Montage for the first two or three episodes, with the actual opening debuting in Episode 4.
  • Parodied in the Lucky Star Spin-Off Miyakawa Ke No Kuufuku. The ending sequence of the first few episodes would cut out partway through, with the older sister claiming that due to their Perpetual Poverty, she hadn't been able to play the animators to make the whole sequence (though the younger sister claims it just wasn't ready in time). More and more of the ending is played every episode until in Episode 5 we finally get to see the whole thing, much to the sisters' delight.
  • Tentai Senshi Sunred, whose placeholder opening was noticeable because of the still frames. More scenes and more motion were added come episode seven.
  • Kimikiss pure rouge. The first version of the opening, mostly consisting of static images, was replaced with a more animated one halfway through.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex featured a Title Montage for the first two episodes when it first aired in Japan before the CGI opening was finished.
  • Likewise, the first two episodes of The Big O featured a short clip of Big O's face hardening out of a pool of molten metal with a booming voiceover reciting the quasi Catchphrase "Cast in the name of God, ye not guilty."
  • Basquash!, but only for episodes 2 and 3. The actual opening came into place rather quickly. Though the process repeated again for the second OP.
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys has a strange cause for its first episode's ending being this— one member of the band Jinkaku Radio committed a Role-Ending Misdemeanor of making disparaging remarks about Yui Horie, and eventually the band dissociated themselves from the anime. Sunrise needed time to find a replacement.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: The first few episodes used clips from the show itself for the segment showcasing the Gundams, with the proper animation showing up later. The process was repeated with the second opening. The US DVD release, however, used the detailed opening from the start.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Episodes of Round the Twist would all begin with the opening credits followed by a very short sequence with no dialogue (sometimes plot-relevant, but sometimes just surreal) over which the episode's title is superimposed — with the exception of the very first episode, "Skeleton on the Dunny", which has no opening credits at all and starts off with a handheld camera shot of approaching the outside toilet to reveal the titular skeleton.
  • The opening two episodes for Power Rangers Zeo, for its first airing, had an opening which showed the Zeo Crystal shapes being etched by a laser, and didn't show any cast credits for the Rangers, so as to not spoil anything and to keep the suspense from the previous season's Cliffhanger.
  • The second episode of Stargate Atlantis, had the title and credits appear on a plain watery blue background as the main series opening contained many shots which would have been spoilers for the coming episode (prominently, the city dramatically surfacing to save them all from drowning).
  • The creepy, floating letters in the title sequence of Lost were only meant as a placeholder. The producers ended up keeping this sequence for the entire series.
  • The music over the end credits of WKRP in Cincinnati was written but didn't have any lyrics yet, so the singer just scatted over the music as an example (partly in parody of the supposed unintelligibility of rock music, the first episode involving a jarring switch in format for the radio station from easy listening to rock). The producers liked the effect so the scatting stayed.
  • The pilot for The Greatest American Hero could not use the theme song, "Believe It or Not", not because it wasn't ready but because its lyrics react to events that take place midway through the episode. (The theme then appears over Ralph's first attempts at flying.) The opening titles in the pilot are superimposed over B-roll footage and preliminary action, movie-of-the-week style.
  • The double-length pilot for Lois & Clark features bare names coming up (at length) over the waving red cape animation used for the end credits. The signature Title Montage credits come into play starting with the next episode.
  • Likewise, the Title Montage credits for Smallville only appear with the first episode after the movie-length pilot, which has its credits as simple text over the action—and these only appear after an eight-and-a-half-minute prologue. A billboard reading "Smallville, Kansas—Creamed Corn Capital of the World" near the start is the only concession to the idea of giving viewers some idea of what they're watching.

    Western Animation