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The "The" Title

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It may be a stylistic choice, it may just be laziness, but for whatever reason a series, or just a very large and noticeable number of works by the same author, have titles prefaced by the word 'The'. These names are often things like (to take examples from the popular Animorphs series): 'The Experiment', 'The Escape', and so on. If an author uses this trope to excess, expect the names to get a little odd (The Happening), confusing (The Unexpected), or downright unhelpful (The Attack, The Threat). The author may also get really carried away with the 'The' count and 'The' the title until it makes little grammatical sense.

See also: Idiosyncratic Episode Naming. Not to be confused with The "The" Title Confusion, where it's unclear whether or not something begins with a "the". Also not to be confused with the band The The.


Not named for the the Movie called Attack of the The Eye Creatures.

The Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    The Comic Books 

    The Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side collections with indexes feature sections for each letter of the alphabet. However, every letter but "T" is blank, as each comic is identified as "The one with the [x]".

    The Fan Works 

    The Films — Live-Action 

    The Literature 
  • The Animorphs series is a well-known example. Every single one of the regular Animorphs books (not all of the Megamorphs books do this) was prefaced by the word The. This series provided many of the title examples above.
    K.A. Applegate: I wanted all the book titles to start with the word "Cheese," but Scholastic has no respect for my opinions.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events has this for all books in the series, followed by a pair of alliterative words for all but the last one.
  • Five of the twelve books in Galaxy of Fear. It's odd in light of how Clones and Spore are One Word Titles, but there is also The Hunger, The Brain Spiders, The Swarm, The Doomsday Ship...
  • H.P. Lovecraft was really found of The The Titles. Maybe two thirds of the titles in his fiction bibliography belongs to this category.
  • So is John Grisham.
  • The Order of Melkizedek, by Nick Joaquin
  • This is not exclusive to English texts: Portuguese epic Os Lusíadas (literally the Lusiad) is always written with its article in the title, with a beginning capital. So what do we do when we need to use another article before it? We contract it. (n'Os Lusíadas).
  • Oksa Pollock did this with the French original titles, whose articles are 'La', 'Le' and 'Les', contracted to 'L'', and the English translations of them. The only exception is the English name of the fourth book, Tainted Bonds:
    • French:
      • L'Inespérée (2007)
      • La forêt des égarés (2010)
      • Le coeur des deux mondes (2011)
      • Les liens maudits (2012)
      • Le règne des félons (2012)
      • La dernière étoile (2013)
    • English:
      • The Last Hope (2013)
      • The Forest of Lost Souls (2014)
      • The Heart of Two Worlds (2015)
  • The Lord of the Rings and all the books in the series have "The" prefacing the title: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King. Then of course, there's also The Hobbit and The Silmarillion.
  • Most of James Fenimore Cooper's novels have titles conforming to this pattern, starting with The Spy (1821) and ending with The Ways of the Hour (1850). Of those that don't, many have a secondary title that does, such as Lionel Lincoln: or The Leaguer of Boston, Homeward Bound: or The Chase: A Tale of the Sea, and Wyandotte: or The Hutted Knoll.
  • The Ring
  • The Golem by Gustav Meyrink. However, each chapter has a One-Word Title, which are all just one syllable long (in the original German). This includes "Schlaf", "Tag", "I", "Prag" etc.

    The Live-Action TV 
  • The Sparticle Mystery has a plethora of The's.
  • In the Second Doctor era of Doctor Who, only Fury from the Deep did not start with "The", and its working title was The Colony of Devils.
  • Friends, nearly every episode is titled "The One with the..." or "The One Where...".
  • Seinfeld, nearly every episode has a title that begins with "The." This was actually done as a way to avoid wasting time thinking of a good title for each episode, since they thought no one would ever see the titles anyway (what with them not showing it and the internet not existing yet).
  • Every episode title of The Class starts with "The Class..."
  • Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything: All episodes begin with "the" as if to finish the "Gamer's Guide to..." subject. The pilot was the only exception.

    The Music 
  • On Gileah & the Ghost Train's self-titled album, every song title begins with The. Their order on the album is also alphabetical order. At least one song apparently had its name changed to fit the theme: "The Shadow"'s demo version was originally called "All I Need".
  • There was a band in The '80s that was actually called The The.
  • Every song on Nits' album Les Nuits (except the title track, and that's just the same thing in French).
  • Many operas: The Marriage of Figaro, The Thieving Magpie, The Cloak, etc. An aversion: Tosca is the opera; The Tosca is the play on which it is based.
  • Many of Iron Maiden's song titles feature this naming theme, i.e. "The Nomad," "The Alchemist," "The Fugitive," etc.
  • The title of every song on The Agonist's album Five (except the bonus track, a cover of "Take Me To Church").

    The Sports 

    The Theater 

    The Video Games 

    The Web Comics 

    The Web Original 

    The Web Videos 
  • LoadingReadyRun has named every single one of their Crap Shots (literally hundreds by now and still counting) starting with "the". Some of their normal sketches fell under this, too, but it's a deliberate tradition for the Crap Shots.

    The Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender, similar to the Animorphs example but to a lesser extreme. About 80-90% of episode titles are pretty much "The 'Noun'". The noun generally refers to either the primary setting, a character of the week, or a MacGuffin.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball episode titles are all "The (single-word noun)" except "Halloween" and "Christmas". Word of God said they simply picked this because they figured it would make things easier to remember.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force had a string of episodes in season 2 that started with "The" (including an episode just called "The", or sometimes "The The"), and the season finale was "The Last Fucking One of 2003" (also known as "The Last (Expletive Deleted) One of 2003" or simply "The Last One").
  • George and Martha had each episode title begin with the word "the". However, there are quite a few exceptions, which include...
    • A Day at the Beach
    • Split Pea Soup
    • Baby Doll
    • Happy Palms' Finest
    • Martha's Cousin
    • My Stars!
    • Life and Breath
    • Funny Business
    • Temper Temper
  • Almost every Recess episode, though there are many exceptions.
  • Wander over Yonder has episodes that all begin with "The". Most are simply a "The (noun)", but others may include adjectives ("The Epic Quest of Unfathomable Difficulty", "The Nice Guy") or subtitles ("The Gift II: The Giftening"). The sole exception is the Season 2 half-hour Musical Episode "My Fair Hatey".

Alternative Title(s): The The The, The The The The