Retronyming is the concept of modifying an object's name because the original name has changed its meaning.
When applied to a movie, TV show, video game, etc., it usually consists of adding a "1" after the title of the first part of a series (in the case of Numbered Sequels), or something akin. In Real Life, this often applies to technology that has branched out from a single product. For example, the term "landline phone" didn't need to exist in 1985; there were home phones, work phones, and pay phones, but there was no need to specify that it was a hard-wired connection, because almost nobody knew of any other kind.
Happens frequently when Title: The Adaptation is involved. Things designated as "Classic", "Original" or "1/I" are very often examples. The Original Series is a subtrope. Franchise-Driven Retitling is another subtrope.
- The Japanese subtitle of the first Dragon Ball Z feature film, Ora no Gohan o Kaese! ("Gimme Back My Gohan!"), wasn't used until the film's home video release.
- Many of Toei's initial film versions of their popular tokusatsu and anime franchises often got new titles when further film versions of the same franchises were made.
- In-Universe, Super Saiyan 2 wasn't named until chapter 474 of the manga, 64 chapters after it first debuted and 109 Chapters after the concept was first mentioned. Until then, it was generally referred to as "beyond Super Saiyan", which didn't do much to distinguish it from the "jacked up" form of Super Saiyan 1, Ascended Super Saiyan.
- The fighting style of Kenshiro's old nemesis Shin in Fist of the North Star was originally named Nanto Seiken. Subsequent stories published after Shin was killed off introduced various branch styles of Nanto Seiken (Nanto Suichoken, Nanto Kokakuken, Nanto Hakuroken and Nanto Ho-oken), turning "Nanto Seiken" into an umbrella term for all these martial arts. When the Hokuto no Ken Special reference guide was published in 1986, Shin's style was officially declared to be "Nanto Koshuken" to distinguish it from the general term.
- In the U.S., the Great Teacher Onizuka series became a huge hit for Tokyopop, the company distributing it. As GTO was a Sequel Series following one of the main characters from a previous manga, Shonan Junai Gumi, when Tokyo Pop translated the original, it was marketed as "GTO The Early Years: Shonan Junai Gumi". When Tokyo Pop declared bankruptcy, Vertical picked up where they left off, but dropping the SJG part of the title entirely.
- The first season of Sailor Moon was simply called Sailor Moon, while every following season got a letter or subtitle (Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S, Sailor Moon SuperS, and Sailor Moon Sailor Stars). Season 1 is usually referred to as Sailor Moon Classic to distinguish it from the rest. In addition, the entire original anime series is now sometimes called Sailor Moon Classic following the premiere of the Sailor Moon Crystal reboot.
- WORKING!! was spun off from a webcomic with a different cast. When it came time to remaster the webcomic in tankoubons, it was retitled Web-ban WORKING!! and later WWW.WORKING!! to differentiate the two series.
- The very first Sin City story was titled just that... Sin City. The series caught on, resulting in future stories containing secondary titles (i.e. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For). Even when the original story was first collected in a trade paperback format, it retained its original title. Word of God gave it the nickname The Hard Goodbye and that's what Fanon called it when discussing this particular story. When the movie came out, the collected editions added this title. Likewise, this particular sequence in the movie shares the same title. It resulted in a slightly awkward line, however. Every story name drops its own title but this one never contained the line "the hard goodbye" since that wasn't its original name. The line was added to the dialogue in the movie.
- The first Star Wars film was originally known as just that; the subtitle Episode IV: A New Hope was inserted into prints for the 1981 re-release (the first after The Empire Strikes Back). The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi have always had their respective subtitles and episode numbers in the opening plot summary. However, the original film was marketed as simply Star Wars, and the two sequels solely by their subtitles (as opposed to their episode numbers) until the release of the Prequel Trilogy. Even the 1997 Special Editions retained the old style.
- Before the release of the Prequel Trilogy, the Original Trilogy was known simply as the "The Star Wars Trilogy".
- Similarly, the home media releases of Raiders of the Lost Ark retroactively retitled it "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark" on their packaging, in line with the titles of the sequels. The title at the start on the movie was left unchanged though.
- When Disney brought TRON and The Muppet Movie to Blu-Ray, the cases of both flicks had the subtitle "The Original Classic," so people could distinguish them from TRON: Legacy and the 2011 The Muppets movie.
- Pitch Black had the "Chronicles of Riddick" moniker attached to subsequent rereleases, after the the sequel and the Escape from Butcher Bay video game established it as the series's umbrella title.
- TV broadcast prints of State Fair started using the title It Happened One Summer when the 1960s remake came out. Eventually, the critical and financial failures of the remake lessened the chances of mistaking the older movie for it, so this retronym became discarded.
- Starship Troopers has Rico's narration call military sailors on the ocean "wet navy", to disambiguate them from the Space Navy that operates the starships; other SF authors have used this as well. No term is established for what ordinary ground soldiers are called to separate them from mobile infantry. "Sitting ducks" comes to mind.
- Warrior Cats:
- The first series was called simply Warriors (or Warrior Cats, depending on where you live). After several other subseries came out, all under the same series name (e.g. "Warriors: The New Prophecy"), fans started calling the first series "The Original Series" or "The First Arc". It was later officially rebranded as The Prophecies Begin, though the fan-nicknames are used just as often.
- The manga trilogy featuring Graystripe originally didn't have a trilogy name (such as "Ravenpaw's Path", etc) like the others - the volumes were just titled "Warriors: The Lost Warrior" and so forth, which caused a lot of confusion. The boxed set of the three, and later the full-color re-release, named the trilogy Graystripe's Adventure.
- In-universe example: it is a plot point in one Encyclopedia Brown mystery that the First Battle of Bull Run would not have been called such until after the second.
- In-universe inversion: in A Song of Ice and Fire, reigning monarchs in Westeros not named after an ancestor are optimistically styled "the First of His Name" (as in, "King Robert Baratheon, the First of His Name") under the assumption that their dynasty will both continue to rule and name future monarchs after them. It's not looking good for either Robert or his "sons," Kings Joffrey and Tommen of the Houses Lannister and Baratheon, the First of Their Respective Names, to be commemorated this way.
- Later reruns of Good Morning Miss Bliss were renamed Saved By The Bell: The Junior High Years after the success of Saved by the Bell.
- Star Trek: The Original Series
- In the first Kamen Rider TV series, Takeshi Hongō was not known as Kamen Rider No. 1 until Kamen Rider No. 2 (Hayato Ichimonji) was introduced.
- The 1979 series, simply titled Kamen Rider (as was the main hero Hiroshi Tsukaba) was originally going to be a Continuity Reboot; after that plan was scrapped, the previous Kamen Riders showed up to help out and they gave Hiroshi the sobriquet "Skyrider". The show itself kept its name for the initial TV run, but reruns and home releases renamed it New Kamen Rider. This title was changed again to Kamen Rider Skyrider to avoid confusion with the movie Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue (the Japanese word for "new" is also "Shin"). As for Hiroshi himself, these days he tends to just be called "Skyrider", as opposed to "Kamen Rider Skyrider" or anything like that.
- The earlier TV shows in the franchise became known as the "Showa Kamen Rider Series" in 2001 when Kamen Rider Kuuga kicked off a new series of shows dubbed the "Heisei Kamen Rider Series".
- The original Megazord from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers later became known as the "Dino Megazord" to distinguish it from its successors, although the name was mainly used for the 2010 reissue of the toy.
- The Ultrabeing from Return of Ultraman was given several nicknames to distinguish him from the original Ultraman until he was officially called "Ultraman Jack" in the Ultraman Zoffy movie.
- This is quite common when it comes to reality TV shows getting more seasons, usually this is just done by putting a '1' on the end (like The Amazing Race), but certain shows have done differently to match later season themes, usually by adding the place onto the end where the show was filmed.
- Doctor Who episodes from 1963-1989 are now frequently referred to as "classic" Doctor Who, to differentiate from the new episodes since 2005.
- After it became clear that future seasons would follow an anthology format (meaning that every year would focus on a new cast in new situations), the first season of American Horror Story was given the subtitle of Murder House to differentiate it from Season 2 (titled Asylum), Season 3 (Coven) and subsequent seasons.
- The designs and characters from the original Batman TV series are now officially marketed under the Batman '66 brand.
- In his 1975 book about TV game shows, Norm Blumenthal (the producer of the original Concentration) joshingly billed the original NBC version of The Match Game as Match Game '62 (as the reboot used an abbreviated year in their title).
- When Hasbro created the Transformers: Generation 2 line in 1993, fans started to refer to pre-1993 era as Generation 1. Eventually, Hasbro began to use it as an official name as well.
- The original Toa from BIONICLE were called just that, but after several doses of Novelty Decay, they were the only major group of Toa not to have had a team-name of their own. Fans have been calling them "Toa Olda" or "Toa Mata" for years, and in 2007, the latter of those became canon.
- Akalabeth: World of Doom was titled Ultima 0: Akalabeth in the Ultima Collection.
- Colossal Cave Adventure — originally just called "Adventure"; called what it is now so as not to be confused with other games, including the Atari 2600 classic.
- The first Battletoads game for the Game Boy was not a port of the NES original, but an entirely new game. When the NES game was later ported to the Game Boy, it was retitled Battletoads in Ragnarok's World.
- The original Command & Conquer was given the subtitle "Tiberian Dawn" after the release of Tiberian Sun, to help differentiate them from the Red Alert sub-series — though some of the documents on the official disc already referred to Tiberian Dawn, suggesting it may have been an internal project name that got 'promoted' to subtitle later on.
- The canceled first version of Resident Evil 2 was retitled Resident Evil 1.5 to distinguish it from the actually released game.
- Mission: Thunderbolt was rereleased as JauntTrooper: Mission Thunderbolt.
- The PSP version of Star Ocean is known as Star Ocean 1: First Departure.
- The original The Legend of Zelda was re-released in Japan under the title of Zelda no Densetsu 1.
- Sierra's 1990 Updated Rereleases of the first King's Quest and Space Quest games were referred to as King's Quest I and Space Quest I, respectively.
- The first King's Quest was titled King's Quest and King's Quest: Quest for the Crown. The VGA remake was titled King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown.
- The VGA remake of Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards was titled Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards.
- The first Quest for Glory, after changing its title from Hero's Quest, was titled Quest for Glory I: So You Want to Be a Hero in both EGA and VGA versions.
- The first Space Quest was released with the subtitle Chapter I The Sarien Encounter. The VGA remake was titled Space Quest I: Roger Wilco in the Sarien Encounter.
- The episodic videogames Sam & Max Save the World and Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space were originally called Sam & Max: Season One and Sam & Max: Season Two.
- EarthBound (Mother 2) was the first game in the MOTHER series to get an American release; when American fans learned of the existence of an unreleased localization of the first game, which was to be retitled "Earth Bound" (note the space), they nicknamed it EarthBound Zero. It was eventually released as EarthBound Beginnings on the Wii U Virtual Console.
- Final Fantasy:
- The original game was initially called just Final Fantasy, but remakes of it change the title to Final Fantasy I.
- Final Fantasy Adventure was remade for the Game Boy Advance under the title Sword of Mana in order to fit with the other World of Mana games. Over a decade after that, it received another Updated Re-release on iOS, Android and PlayStation Vita, this time bearing the title Adventures of Mana.
- The original beatmania IIDX was called just beatmania IIDX, but starting in beatmania IIDX 9th Style, the first game to have song folders by, among other things, debut versions, its folder is labeled "1st Style".
- Atari's very first console was originally sold as the Atari Video Computer System or VCS. It was only after they launched their succeeding console, the Atari 5200, that they rebranded their original platform as the Atari 2600 (based on the product code they used for the console, CX-2600).
- An inversion: the original PlayStation was once commonly referred by the print media as the PSX, a holdover from its development days back when it was called the "PlayStation eXperiment". Sony later used the PSX name for a Japan-only DVR device that also played original PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games, much to the confusion of people who still used the PSX abbreviation when referring to the original PlayStation, which is nowadays commonly referred to as the PS1 (or just PS in official Sony documentations).
- The second Game Boy Advance game in the Fire Emblem series was the first to be released outside Japan. Those releases simply called the game "Fire Emblem" with no subtitle, but more recent Western marketing materials covering the history of the series give it the subtitle of "The Blazing Blade", which is a translation of the original Japanese title (Rekka no Ken).
- The first Ultima was titled Ultima, and later titled Ultima 1 - The Original, and Ultima I - The First Age of Darkness.
- Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5 was renamed to Maximum Tune 5 (no "Wangan Midnight" part) for the North American release. Within the game, prior Maximum Tune games are renamed in the same format (as shown in soundtrack labels) despite having been released in the region with the Wangan Midnight parts of their respective titles intact, and Wangan Midnight R gets renamed to just Midnight R.
- The base game of Shovel Knight continued to keep the base moniker, even as additional expansions staring other characters started to come out. When Yacht Club Games announced the Treasure Trove, they also announced the renaming of the base game as Shovel of Hope.
- One of Cracked columnist Winston Rowntree's The 4 Reasons We Fall in Love With a Piece of Pop Culture is that it's "porn", which he defines as any cultural work "that you seek out to animalistically fill a specific need." He runs through a bunch of things jokingly called porn, coining the retronym "Sex Porn" in the process.
- Lampshaded in one of The Simpsons's Halloween specials. The story takes place in the 1930s depression era, where Grandpa Simpson states that times haven't been this bad since World War I. This leads Lenny to remark why he keeps calling it that, followed by his response "Oh, you'll see!"
- The Return of Jafar, the Pilot Movie for Aladdin: The Series, came to DVD with a case adding Aladdin's name at the beginning of the title.
- The Powerpuff Girls goes by The Powerpuff Girls Classic at Hulu, to distinguish it from the 2016 reboot.
- DuckTales (1987), to compare to the 2017 reboot.
Art and Humanities
- Digital art and traditional art.
- Between egg tempera in 15th century and the usage of acrylic in the mid-20th century, paintings using an oil medium were simply called paintings.
- Acoustic instruments, only called such after the corresponding electric instrument (guitar, bass, violin etc.) was invented.
- Describing an album as being available "on vinyl" has come into use since CDs became the mainstream music medium. Presumably some slang term will soon exist for music available on hard copy over the counter rather than being downloaded.
- Before the introduction of mini skirts, everything knee-length or below were simply called skirts. Now hemlines below mini skirts are called midi- or maxi skirts.
- Any food with "original flavor" included on the label.
- After the failure of New Coke, the original soft drink was brought back as "Coca-Cola Classic".
- The Napoleonic Wars - known as 'The Great War' in its own time, that title was taken by World War I.
- World War I was known as "The Great War", "The World War", or "The War to End All War" until the sequel came out. Perhaps ironically, it was still occasionally called "The First World War" before the second world war happened, because it was truly the first war of its like in history at that time, not because anyone was sure there'd be a second. (Though given what Ferdinand Foch said about the Treaty of Versailles, at least a few people were sure there would be a second.)
- The regnal numbers of kings, queens and popes tend to follow this convention officially. Elizabeth I of England, for instance, only became Elizabeth I in 1953 when there was an Elizabeth II, while Stephen, John, Jane Grey, Anne and Victoria still have no regnal numbers. The current (as of 2013) Pope is, likewise, just Francis, and will not become Francis I until another Pope takes up that name.
- Virtually all the classical Roman Emperors used several regnal names, and almost never used regnal numbers. Until well into the Byzantine era, the giving of a single name (and regnal number if necessary) was almost always retrospective.
- The first two Super Bowls were known at the time as the AFL-NFL Championship Game. The catchier name came about when one of the team owners saw his child playing with a rubber toy called a Super Ball.
- Corded phone and landline.
- Terrestrial radio (which would've been an oxymoron if "satellite radio" hadn't been invented).
- Analog broadcasting (only called such after digital broadcasting became conceivable).
- Similarly, there's black-and-white television (compared to color), broadcast TV (compared to cable/satellite), and standard definition (compared to High Definition).
- Still photography ("still" wasn't necessary until video cameras became common in American homes).
- Snail mail (once e-mailing was invented).
- "Internal combustion engine" appears to be a near-future example. The term is creeping up in technical conversations as electric cars, hybrid drives, and alternative fuels become more common. Internal combustion was on the other side of this when it was the new technology; up until then all "engines" in common use were external combustion steam engines.
- Incandescent light bulbs. Technically, that's always been their proper name, but no one ever called them that because there weren't any other kinds available.
- The iPod was originally called just that. While other models branched out, the core iPod line was still called iPod, until the arrival of the Video iPod. Then, when the iPod Touch came out, the Video iPod was renamed to iPod Classic (likely because other models can play videos now).
- Manual anything, when a power/electric/automatic/etc version is introduced.
- CRTnote computer monitors were simply "monitors" until LCD monitors became widespread.
- Composite cables were simply marketed as AV cables until enhanced-definition televisions were launched to the consumer market during the late '90s with component video inputs.
- Local (or offline) multiplayer after online gaming was popularized.
- Dial-up internet access after the rise of DSL and cable-based internet services.