Follow TV Tropes


Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title

Go To
Whaddaya mean, "that sounds familiar?"

Judy: Yeah, that's right... Dr. Gary was gonna take my braces off. Have you seen the movie Face/Off? Well, this rhymes with that. This was Brace/Off.
Crispin: Yes! My favorite kind of story is one that rhymes with another, unrelated story.

A Sub-Trope of Pun-Based Title which applies to individual episode titles, where the pun is based upon some element of popular culture, such as the title of a film, book or song. Catchphrases, song lyrics, adages and colloquialisms can also be riffed on.

Also a sub-trope of Idiosyncratic Episode Naming. This trope also highly overlaps with Shout-Out. Related to Literary Allusion Title and can sometimes overlap.

Often a sign of a Whole-Plot Reference; indeed, many of the subtropes listed on that page (like Charlie and the Chocolate Parody) are examples themselves.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Most episodes of the English dub of Pokémon: The Series (the first ones had quite expository titles). Including one that includes a pun based on the Japanese name of a character. (Barry's Busting Out All Over)

    Asian Animation 


    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 


    Live-Action TV 
  • Adventures in Wonderland had a lot of punny titles. Such as "From Hare to Eternity" (From Here to Eternity), "Through the Looking Glasses" (Through the Looking Glass), "The Grape juice of Wrath" (The Grapes of Wrath) to name a few.
  • Workaholics does this frequently, usually combining a normal phrase with something else. For example "The Business Trip", in which Ders goes on a business trip with Alice, and then they all trip on acid. "Temp-tress", when the guys are tempted by an attractive office temp, "Model Kombat", "True Dromance" and plenty more.
  • Diagnosis: Murder episode name "Write, She Murdered" is a play on the series title Murder, She Wrote.
  • Many episodes of the Syfy series Eureka, especially in the third season. ("Bad to the Drone," "Show Me the Mummy," "Best in Faux.")
  • Farscape did it a lot also, such as "John Quixote," "I Shrink Therefore I Am" and "Bringing Home The Beacon".
  • The Foreign Affairs (1966) episode, "One of Our Islands is Missing" is a play on the film One of Our Aircraft Is Missing.
  • Gossip Girl except for the pilot and the finale which is "New York, I Love You XOXO", every episode title is a pun based on a movie name.
  • CSI-verse:
    • CSI has episodes entitled "Scuba Doobie-Doo," "Fur and Loathing," "Grissom vs. the Volcano," and "Eleven Angry Jurors," just to name a few.
    • CSI: Miami has "Freaks and Tweaks" and "Not Landing" for starters, plus a few to their own show and theme song: "Miami, We Have a Problem," "CSI: My Nanny," and "Won't Get Fueled Again."
    • Not to be outdone, CSI: NY gives us "Oedipus Hex," "A Daze of Wine and Roaches," "One Wedding and a Funeral," and "Blood Actually," among others.
    • CSI: Cyber gets in on the act with "URL, Interrupted" and "Gone in 6 Seconds."
  • The X-Files:
    • "The Unnatural" is a reference to The Natural.
    • "Post-Modern Prometheus" is a reference to Frankenstein's subtitle "The Modern Prometheus".
  • Quantum Leap (2022) has an episode called Ben, Interrupted, a reference to Girl, Interrupted.
  • Shine a Light:

    Video Games 


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • A lot of the episode titles in Ready Jet Go!, especially those in Season 2, are references to vintage popular culture. Just some of them are "My Fair Jet", "From Pluto With Love", "Magnet, PI", "Pet Sounds", etc.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle made use of pop culture pun titles with their episode titles. Among them were "Visit to a Small Panic" (the movie "Visit to a Small Planet"), "This Goon For Higher" ("This Gun For Hire"), "Pantomime Quisling" (TV show "Pantomime Quiz") and "Mourning Becomes Electra-cuted" (the book "Mourning Becomes Electra").
  • Every episode of Special Agent Oso is a pun on a James Bond movie.
  • A large number of The Simpsons are puns on other works of fiction, often ones completely irrelevant to the episode's plot. Often they'll play on Homer's catchphrase "d'oh", but in keeping with the writers having originally called it an "annoyed grunt," it sometimes intimated thus — hence "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious," "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)" and "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-bot."
  • South Park:
  • Uncle Grandpa has the episode "Big in Japan", whose title comes from a Alphaville song.
  • Gravity Falls has a few, including "The Hand that Rocks the Mabel" (The Hand that Rocks the Cradle), "The Time Traveler's Pig" (The Time Traveler's Wife), "Soos and the Real Girl" (Lars and the Real Girl), "Little Gift Shop of Horrors" (Little Shop of Horrors), and "The Stanchurian Candidate" (The Manchurian Candidate).
  • Nearly every episode outside the half-hour specials of The Loud House has this, though it has become less common in later seasons. Some specific examples include "Pulp Friction" and "Breaking Dad".
  • Too many to list with Rick and Morty, it usually involves titles of movies or some other media and forcing in Rick and Morty into the title.
  • Let's Go Luna!: The episode "The Kabaddi Kid" has a title referencing The Karate Kid.
  • Wunschpunsch has an episode named "Car Wars".


Video Example(s):



The title is a pun of Face/Off, which Judy lampshades and does a Title Drop when explaining to her friend.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / PopCulturePunEpisodeTitle

Media sources: