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Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title

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A subtype of Pun-Based Title which applies to individual episode titles, and not the fact that 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. 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 and 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.

    Fan Works 


     Live Action Television 

     Video Games 

     Web Comic 

     Western Animation 
  • A few Looney Tunes shorts made after the "Golden Age" have these, such as "Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers" or "The Whizzard of Ow".
  • A few episodes of South Park.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy has a number of episodes like this, such as "The Day the Ed Stood Still".
  • The Simpsons achieves many of these puns, in fact, almost absolutely no episode have a original title, only few from earlier seasons, up to 16, all episodes have it, even when it have nothing to do with the episode itself, and even is repeated more than once.
    • 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."
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum had episode titles such as "The Janitor Strikes Back" and "Little Glop of Horrors". One episode was not only named "A Bopwork Orange" but also parodied the classic film.
  • Every other episode of Futurama.
  • Many recent episodes of The Fairly OddParents! have this type of title, such as "Two and a Half Babies", "The Bored Identity", "Cosmonopoly", and "Finding Emo".
  • Pelswick had a few, such as "Invasion of the Buddy Snatchers".
  • Phineas and Ferb has several. For example, It's a Mud, Mud, Mud, Mud World, Night of the Living Pharmacists, Journey to the Center of Candace, Meapless in Seattle, etc.
  • Uncle Grandpa has the episode "Big in Japan", whose title comes from a Alphaville song.
  • Several episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, starting with "Boast Busters."
    • There's also the episode "Spice Up Your Life", whose title comes directly from a Spice Girls song. Up to season 4 there are no longer original titles.
  • Many episodes of the Beetlejuice cartoon have these, usually as a Whole Plot Reference. Often they're punny or gross versions of movie titles, such as The Unnatural, The Wizard of Ooze, and It's a Wonderful Afterlife.
  • 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.


Example of: