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Some works of fiction are named after professional terms. The terms used may have only tangential relation to the actual content of the work and be there courtesy of Rule of Cool, or be major plot points. This type of title tells the audience that the makers of the film know what they're talking about (whether or not this is actually the case).

Compare Mad Lib Thriller Title, which often invokes the same effect, and Literary Allusion Title, which takes another approach to sounding intelligent. Ominous Legal Phrase Title is a law-based subtrope.



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    Fan Works 
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum'' by A.A. Pessimal is named for the medical term describing morning sickness in pregnant women. Several examples of the Action Mom discover they have an interesting nine months ahead of them.
  • The Elemental Chess Trilogy, a series of Fullmetal Alchemist fics, runs on this trope. Each major installment and its chapters follow a titling theme of this nature, and each chapter opens with a definition of the title. Some are just used because they sound neat, but others actually have some connection to the action of the chapter in question.
    • Flowers of Antimony: A compound used in paints and flameproofing; also formerly used as an expectorant and emetic. Also called antimony oxide.
    • Brilliancy: A spectacular and beautiful game of chess, generally featuring sacrificial attacks and unexpected moves.
    • The Game of Three Generals: A variant of shoginote  in which each player has three Generals, which command different sections of the 'army.'
    • Triumvirate: A group of three people who work together, especially when they are in charge of something.
    • Chronology: The science of measuring time.

    Film — Animated 
  • SubZero: Means "beneath zero". As such, it is usually used for negative numbers, especially with regards to temperature.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Black Hole: A region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape.
  • Boiler Room: Financial-services industry term for a brokerage firm that specializes in defrauding unwitting customers.
  • Chill Factor: The felt air temperature on exposed skin due to wind.
  • Drop Zone: The area above and around a location where a parachutist jumps and expects to land.
  • Event Horizon: A boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer.
  • π: A mathematical constant whose value is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter in the Euclidean plane.
  • Extreme Prejudice: Supposedly CIA code completing "to be terminated with ..." indicating that said person is to be killed.
  • Full Metal Jacket: A shell of a harder material around the lead in a bullet.
  • Irreconcilable Differences: A reason cited to dissolve a legally formalized relationship (usually a marriage, but in the film a parent-child relationship).
  • Intolerable Cruelty is another term denoting specific grounds for divorce.
  • Rollover: Reinvesting profits from an investment into another one instead of taking them.
  • Pitch Perfect: Sensitive to or having exactly the right tone or style.
  • Terminal Velocity: The maximum speed a falling object can attain.
  • The Theory of Everything: A putative theory of theoretical physics that fully explains and links together all known physical phenomena, and predicts the outcome of any experiment that could be carried out in principle.
  • Supernova: A stellar explosion that is more energetic than a nova, primarily because it is the death of a massive star.
  • Source Code: Text written in computer programming language.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrested Development: An inability to mature, physically or mentally/emotionally.note 
  • The Big Bang Theory: The theory of the start of the universe.
  • Game of Thrones: In-universe term for a power struggle between certain groups or/and individuals for a very powerful position.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: H2O is the scientific representation of water molecules.
  • Quantum Leap: Atomic electron transition or similar transitions between quantum states, which are scientific phenomena.
  • Star Trek: Voyager episodes:
    • "Persistence of Vision": The phenomenon by which an image is retained on the human retina for approximately 1/24th of a second after we see it (which makes movies possible).
    • "Coda": The concluding passage of a piece of music, typically forming an addition to the basic structure.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes:
    • "Probable Cause": What law enforcement in the U.S. must demonstrate to legally search something under most circumstances, per the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
    • "Rules of Engagement": The conditions under which military forces may use force towards the enemy, and what degree of force they may use.

  • The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd: Refers literally to the hemisphere of the Moon that is not currently lit by the sun, or figuratively to the "far side": the hemisphere that is permanently turned away from Earth.
  • Albedo 0.39: Percentage of light the Earth reflects into space.
  • Synchronicity by The Police: In Jungian psychoanalysis, the possibility that two apparently coincident contemporaneous occurrences can hold some deeper meaning.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Eclipse Phase: The period between when a virus enters a cell, and when the cell is completely taken over by the virus.
  • Shadowrun adventure Total Eclipse: An astronomical event that occurs when a celestial object is temporarily obscured, either by passing into the shadow of another body or by having another body pass between it and the viewer.

    Video Games 
  • Code 7 is not itself a terminology title, instead being named after something in the game. However, the titles of the episodes do follow this trope, since they're all terms used in computing: Allocation, Threading, Memory, Backdoor and Permutation.
  • Dead Space: Air that is inhaled by the body in breathing, but does not take part in gas exchange.
  • Fallout: The residual radiation hazard from a nuclear explosion.
  • Half-Life: The amount of time it takes for half of a given substance with a limited lifespan to decay (typically used for radioactive decay).
    The original Half-Life 1 also uses this for its expansions specifically with physics related terms, although it does manage to make a Multiple Reference Pun out of them sometimes;
    • Blue Shift: Both a reference to the effect the Doppler shift has on light being emitted from objects approaching you, and the name of the work shift that falls under Barney's duties.
    • Opposing Force is a two-fer: a reference to Newton's laws, and to an "opposing force" used in military simulations.
    • Half-Life 2's soundtrack titles also contain a few instances: "CP Violation" (also a reference to the in-game Civil Protection police force), "Calabi-Yau Model", "Broken Symmetry", "Kaon", "LG Orbifold", "Dark Energy".
  • Mass Effect. Though the scientific term is fictional, the tone is unmistakable, especially since said term is named after a real though largely unrelated one ("mass defect", the incredibly small loss of mass lost when a process converts some of a mass to energy).
  • Singularity: A point at which a given mathematical object is not defined or not well-behaved, for example infinite or not differentiable.
  • Grand Theft Auto: The legal term for the theft of a motor vehicle in some jurisdictions (also used as a film title).

    Real Life 
  • Several brands of cars are named after scientific terms: the Laser, the Proton, Nissan Pulsar etc.