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Title Montage

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I remember these scenes, they were all in the pilot!note 
A Title Sequence composed primarily of clips from the series, sometimes intercut with artistic elements. Probably the most common form of Title Sequence for American shows, particularly sitcoms, but relatively rare in British series.

The content of a Title Montage is similar to that of Previously on…, but is closer in format to a Blipvert.

Often, the montage will be updated from time to time with new material, making them Evolving Credits. In an Action Series, it is traditional for the sequence to end with a Team Power Walk (This usage is sometimes called a "Hero Shot").

Sister trope to Credits Montage, which involves doing something similar for the closing credits. Compare Placeholder Titles, which are similar in execution, but done because the real opening isn't ready. If the opening titles montage a bunch of cast interactions that aren't clips from the show but were specially filmed for the titles, that's an Opening Credits Cast Party.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex had one for its first two episodes (on their first Japanese airing), then switched to an original CGI sequence.
  • The dub openings of Pokémon: The Series mix the Japanese openings (which are all original animation) with clips from episodes from that season.
  • In Bokurano, almost every scene in the opening credits is an actual scene in the anime, though often redrawn from another point of view or to hide certain details.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion did this, but with animation frames that appear too fast for the viewer to decipher them all.
  • The 4Kids dub of Sonic X combined scenes from the original Japanese intro with a variety of clips from the series itself.
  • The international edit of Stitch! (which includes the English dub) uses this with theme music composed by the edit's composer Thorsten Laewe instead of the original opening theme sequences tied to pop songs made for the show from the Japanese original (although one of those sequences is reused for the international end credits of season two as background). The sequences of the first two seasons—the ones animated by Madhouse—are mostly identical, using the same half-minute-long theme music with only a few scenes changed for season two to show a couple of new characters that were introduced that season. The sequence of the third season—the one animated by Shin-Ei Animation—uses a different minute-long theme (sung by kids, no less) and uses a mixture of scenes from that season (plus the scene of Stitch drumming from the first season at the very beginning, only retinted) and a few animations from that season's Japanese themes.
  • The Girl I Like Forgot Her Glasses has an intro that's mostly original footage, but with a few Blipverts of clips from the show mixed in.

    Asian Animation 
  • Noonbory and the Super 7 uses this, with the exception of some unique animation where the characters introduce themselves, and at the end during the "YEAH!" Shot.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf zig-zags this trope; certain seasons feature intros that use multiple clips from the episodes themselves while others are entirely animation made specifically for the opening.
  • The footage for Simple Samosa's theme song is all from episodes of the show.
  • Stitch & Ai's opening sequence uses this trope, taking inspiration from the opening sequences of Lilo & Stitch: The Series. The side strips from the Western series featuring characters running or walking in them return, only with said strips now taking the appearance of scrolls with depictions of the Huangshan mountains this time.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The credits for Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 featured stills from the previous film(s) intercut with the 3D spider-web motif, which functioned effectively as a Previously on…. In Spider-Man 2 especially, an effort was made to make all of the Peter-related stills look like graphic-novel-style artwork.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Some shows use a different style of Title Sequence for their first season (or first episode), then switch to a Title Montage later as they accumulate a stockpile of footage to use.
    • Straight examples of this include Gilmore Girls, Family Ties, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The Series.
    • Lois & Clark: the pilot's opening titles just had captions over the flapping cape, as the closing credits continued to feature throughout the show. The first regular episode had a title montage featuring clips from the pilot and a couple of other very early episodes. These were updated for each season.
  • Certain creators, especially Gerry Anderson, favored intercutting past footage with preview clips of the upcoming episode in each week's titles:
    • Space: 1999 famously had "This Episode" scenes cut into the credits every week, along with a montage of the original disaster that sent the Moon hurtling away from Earth.
    • Space Precinct (another Gerry Anderson series) used a similar juxtaposition of past shots and "This Episode" preview clips.
    • The montages for The Tomorrow People (1990s version) and Battlestar Galactica (both the original and the 2005 version) also featured clips from the upcoming episode. The latter was inspired as an homage to Space: 1999.
    • The "scenes from this episode" technique is also used for the original 1966 incarnation of Mission: Impossible. The 1988 revival maintained instead a static montage of past scenes.
  • Series with memorable montages featuring key scenes from past episodes, updated each season, include: The A-Team; Mork & Mindy; Band of Brothers; The Monkees; 3-2-1 Contact; Smallville; JAG, NCIS, and NCIS: Los Angeles; New Tricks; ER; Tropical Heat; Garth Marenghis Darkplace.
  • The season of Everybody Loves Raymond that used the Steve Miller Band's Jungle Love as theme music used a montage of clips from prior seasons set to the music.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer updated each season's opening titles to incorporate the new season's footage as well as to bump or demote characters in the introduction. Although it uses mostly new footage, some favorite shots show up consistently throughout the new seasons (most notably Buffy holding the hell-axe from season 3 pilot is used as a Hero Shot, and Giles wielding a chainsaw, from season 4. This shot is so popular it remains even after Giles left the show and is removed from the lead character profiles.
    • Also used in Angel, although slightly confusing in the pilot where the final shot of the teaser (Angel walking away down an alley with his Badass Longcoat flapping) is also the final shot of the Title Montage.
  • Top Gear: From the eighth series onwards, the title sequence consists of the three main presenters appearing in silhouette over clips from previous episodes. These are usually updated between series.
  • Red Dwarf from Series III onwards. Fans who preferred the original opening titles - reminiscent of a "straight" sci-fi drama - suspected the change was made to make the series more saleable to the American market.
  • The opening credits for ChuckleVision featured the Chuckle Grothers dragging the letters of the logo into place while various clips from the series played behind them.
  • The Bill moved to using a title montage in its second series (with the clips interspersed with a seizure-inducing flashing blue police light) and continued to use variations of it for the following 12 years.
  • The Goodies always opened with clips from previous shows, themed to the signature theme song.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 mixed titles-specific footage that sets up the premise of the show with clips from the episodes proper.
  • Stargate SG-1 (except for seasons 4-5 and the beginning of season 9). Starting with season 6, the sequence ends with a Team Power Walk into the SGC's Stargate. Likewise Stargate Atlantis.
  • Charmed not only updated the Title Sequence for each season (common practice as is), but also edited the individual Title Sequences for each episode so that it would only show and credit characters that appeared in that episode.
  • Malcolm in the Middle had a mixture of clips from the show and clips of random Public Domain material like footage of a boxing referee getting accidentally knocked out and a skier spontaneously catching fire, Special Effects Failure in kung-fu and sci-fi B-movies, and egregious violence and explosions in various kid's cartoons, all run through a static-y color-warped filter.
  • The BBC's 2006 Robin Hood series, from the 2nd series onward, had a new title sequence that featured quick montages of the assorted characters in between shots of forest scenery. In the third series, the cast was constantly changing to the point that only episodes 3 and 4 and 8 and 9 kept the same credits for two episodes running, as the actors' names had to be removed or added and the montages changed accordingly to represent the cast for that week.
  • The Hawaii Five-O opening (1968 original) was a "travelogue" of scenes from around Hawaii. Most of it was shot just for the opening, with only a few short clips (e.g. the "Zulu as Kono" freeze-frame) lifted from the pilot or one of the early first-season episodes. Although this montage was changed with other shots of cast members (and other clips, such as the welder and the exploding car) as the series went on, some shots stayed for the duration — most obviously Jack Lord's.
  • Most of Quinn Martin's shows adjusted the opening of each episode depending on who the guest stars were (complete with announcer); even when clips of the guests weren't included (on latter-day QM Productions like Most Wanted and A Man Called Sloane) their names still were.
  • Power Rangers series update their montages throughout the season to showcase new characters and equipment.
  • MythQuest had two, both with footage from all 13 episodes, which resulted in a minor Spoiler Opening.
  • Guiding Light used clip montages in its opening sequences from 1981-1997 and 2003-2006. Somewhat subverted in the 1990s when the clips were presented as part of an elaborate lighthouse beacon sequence.
  • Degrassi: The Next Generation used a longer title sequence for the first five seasons, but during seasons 6 and 7 changed it to a montage of the main characters looking to the camera while posing and clips of their most notable moments played behind them. They went back to the original longer style for the next several seasons before reducing it to a much shorter sequence for seasons 13 and 14, where clips of the show scroll by sideways as the title is overlaid before zooming out.
  • The Drew Carey Show had three different music video credits sequences based around "Moon Over Parma", "Five O'Clock World", and "Cleveland Rocks"; in later seasons montage credits were used instead, deliberately featuring the wackiest, most nonsensical clips they could slam together.
  • One Day at a Time (1975) transitioned from a backstory-style, specially-filmed rendition of the family's post-divorce move from house to apartment (season 1 and the start of season 2) to montages of clips from the show illustrating typical interactions (seasons 2 through 9). At first they segued the clips (cast member A, cast member A interacts with cast member B, cast member B), but by the end the cast was too large and each cast member just got two clips each. Exception: the initial season 5 credits showed shifting still photos of each cast member inset over helicopter shots of various Indianapolis landmarks, before they reverted to using clips from the show again later that season.
  • The opening title sequence of Yellowjackets, "No Return," is largely a montage of clips from the show. By the sixth episode, most of the clips have been seen on the series, though viewers are still left to puzzle over certain clips and the significance of certain ones.
  • The credits for My Hero (2000) featured clips of some of the show's stranger moments.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Thunderbirds (probably the earliest example of this type) also uses only clips from the upcoming episode, apart from the Supermarionation credit, which appears over an exploding industrial complex. This shot is not present in any episode, and was made just for the montage. It is worth noting that both Thunderbirds and Space: 1999 were made by Gerry Anderson.

  • The Brewing Network's The Session starts out with a series of clips from previous episodes, along with a voice over that gives a basic description of what the show is about. The clips have been changed several times to give some variety.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series did a unique spin on this and had the main characters running through a spotted background (Six variants were used with purple, blue, red, teal, orange, and magenta backgrounds) with TVs showing clips from various episodes. The episodes used (Not every episode was used in each variant) were "Dough The Right Thing", "Love 'Em and Flea 'Em", "An Officer and a Gentledog", "The Dogs of DeVil", "You Slipped a Disk", "Chow About That?", "Tic Track Toe", "Lucky All-Star", "Shake, Rattle, and Woof", "Cadpig Behind Bars", "Leisure Lawsuit", "You Say It's Your Birthday", "Two Faces of Anita", "Lucky to be Alone", "Four Stories Up", "It's a Swamp Thing", "Roll Out the Pork Barrel", "Prima Doggy", and "Frisky Business".
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes does this in the second season.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, after its 3D gags. Also Evolving Credits.
  • Most, if not all, of the opening of Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot was this. Its sequel series Care Bearsand Cousins also fulfilled this trope, and so was the 2019 series Care Bears: Unlock the Magic.
  • While a number of CBeebies avert this trope, some shows do utilize this type of intro.
    • While Series 1 of Kerwhizz used the standard take on this trope, Series 2 used an alternate take on this. The "Pod Mod" scene always depicts one of the mods used in the respective episode and which team obtained it, while one of the clips will be replaced with a scene from the respective episode as well.
    • Other CBeebies shows that filfill this trope include Nina and the Neurons, Andy's Wild Adventures, The Large Family, and Let's Go for a Walk.
  • ChalkZone had two. The first one (which was used for the first two seasons) included clips from most of the original Oh Yeah Cartoons shorts (which were included in the first season): "ChalkZone" (which was retitled "Rudy's First Adventure" and written as a Whole Episode Flashback in the show), "The Amazin' River" (which was retitled "French Fry Falls" and also written as a Whole Episode Flashback), "Rudy's Date", "Snap Out Of Water", "Chalk Rain" (which was not repackaged as an episode of the show), "Secret Passages", and "Rapunzel". The only parts of the theme song not part of an episode were clips of Snap, Penny, and Reggie saying, "Rudy's got the chalk!".
    • The third and fourth seasons replaced the clips (with the exception of the ones made for the theme) from Oh Yeah! Cartoons with clips from various episodes from the second and third seasons (plus one episode of season three that didn't air until season four): "Hole In The Wall", "The Terrible 2 1/2s", "Superhero Snap", "Portable Portal", "Snap On Tour", "Waste Mountain", "The Heist", "Battle of the Hands", "Chocolate Brunch", "The Smooch", "Pumpkin Love", "Chip Of Fools", "Chalk Queen", "Snap's Wishy Washout", "Follow the Bouncing Bag", "Asleep at the Chalk", "Water Water Everywhere", and "No Place Like Home".
  • DIC Entertainment loved using this trope in their cartoons during their later years.
  • In the shows of The Disney Afternoon many of the clips in the opening come from the series itself:
  • Franklin used this. Because Otter moved away a couple of episodes in, the opening was edited for the second season with an entirely new set of clips, none with Otter. The same set continued to be used for the remainder of the show's six-season run, despite significant changes that included the addition of Franklin's sister Harriet.
  • Garfield and Friends switched to having one of these in its third season. (Prior to that, the original title sequence was an animated sequence of Garfield and the U.S. Acres characters fighting for the spotlight.) The first title montage would notably be the only theme song the show used in syndication. The show got a different title montage in season 6, and then another one when the theme song itself changed in season 7 (though it's replaced by the season 6 intro on the DVDs).
  • Zig-zagged with the Get Ace title sequence. It features scenes from the show as well as a few original sequences, but a few of the former scenes are newly animated and as a result depict events differently than in the actual shownote .
  • Justice League Unlimited features in the openings of its first several episodes clips from that episode. As the series progressed most of the title sequence was composed of the same clips from early episodes, but each episode had a few clips from that episode.
  • Kim Possible updated post-The Movie for Season 4 including The Sealed with a Kiss.
  • Most of Lilo & Stitch: The Series's opening sequence, particularly from the moment when Jump5 starts singing "Aloha, e Komo Mai" up to just before Stitch sings his Tantalog call and response bridge, uses clips taken from the show's episodes and even (in one variant of the sequence) its Pilot Movie Stitch! The Movie. These are joined by tropical-themed colored bars featuring stylized depictions of the experiments (their icons from Jumba's computer and the experiment pod container that Gantu took after the pilot with added animation) along the sides that usually show Lilo, Stitch, Jumba, and/or Pleakley chasing down said experiments with Stitch popping up during these clips for transitions, including an Eat the Camera fake-out transition.
  • Almost the entire opening sequence of Mona the Vampire consisted of clips from the show, showcasing Mona getting up to her usual hijinx.
  • While The Powerpuff Girls averts this in the US, the Japanese dub of the show uses this trope, along with using different theme songs:
    • The episodes with the theme "It's Up To You" uses "Imaginary Fiend", "Child Fearing", "Too Pooped To Puff", "Birthday Bashed", "Daylight Savings", "Beat Your Greens", "Los Dos Mojos", "Abracadaver", "Mo Job", "Supper Villain", "Uh Oh Dynamo", "Ice Sore", "Pet Fued", and "The Bare Facts"
    • "Creampuff Shuffle" would use "Power Lunch", "Three Girls and a Monster", "Meet the Beat-Alls", "All Chalked Up", "Hot Air Buffoon", "Monkey See, Doggy Do", "Mime For a Change", "The Bare Facts", "Slave the Day", "Mommy Fearest", and "Cat Man Do".
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show is not only one of the only Nicktoons to have one of these, every clip in the opening comes from one episode, the pilot "Big House Blues."
  • Rick and Morty subverts it by updating it every season, but having several clips that are fake and created solely for the intro.
  • Rupert intercut some episode scenes with original animation.
  • Shimmer and Shine did this for its first season with the exception of the first episode. This was dropped as of Season 2.
  • Select series of Scooby-Doo feature the Montage. And when not using this, different opening sequences will feature a montage of different Monsters of the Week.
  • Sofia the First does this with every season. The first consists of scenes from the Pilot Movie "Once Upon a Princess" and the episode "Just One of the Princes". Season 2 adds a few Season 2 clips with the addition of a few Season 1 clips as well. Season 3 begins using clips from said season as well as the crossover special "Elena and the Secret of Avalor", while Season 4 uses clips that generally involve the Mystic Isles and Sofia's Protector training.
  • South Park started doing this in the second half of the fourth season. It was updated for the sixth season, and starting with the seventh season, it's updated every half-season with clips of the previous half-season.



The opening sequence for the first season of Jackass, with the series' theme song being "Corona" by Minutemen.

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