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Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title

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Whaddaya mean, "that sounds familiar?"

A subtype 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. Catch Phrases, song lyrics, adages and colloquialisms can also be riffed on.

Also a subtrope 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.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Most episodes of the English dub of Pokémon (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)
  • Many episodes from the English dub of the various Digimon series.
  • The Funimation dub of Sgt. Frog does this a lot.
  • As does its dub of Crayon Shin-chan.
  • Strawberry Marshmallow does this kind of rarely: "Violent Night", "The Hat's Meow"...
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt does this with every episode, referencing famous movies: "Catfight Club", "Pulp Addiction", etc...
  • Kangoku Gakuen does this with several chapter titles, like Taxi Driver (Chapter includes a character talking to himself in the mirror) and other big films.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 


    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    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.
  • 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."
  • A few episodes of 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).


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