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Title, Please!

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When a series, especially a TV drama series, has episode titles, but those titles never appear on the screen. It's generally assumed that everyone has access to an interactive program guide, so this former courtesy has long been waylaid.

There's a good chance that during localization, dubbing studios take note of the missing information and choose to re-edit the translated episode title into the video footage, somewhere between the opening or intro credits. Especially noteworthy if the title is written in a different font than the credits.


Although the majority of modern scripted programs omit episode title cards, this isn't a new innovation, as sitcoms since the start of network TV have only rarely shown on-screen episode titles, and even in the 1950s and 1960s some drama TV series did not show titles, such as Mission: Impossible.


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  • Bleach. There is a title screen for each episode, but it only shows the number of the episode in a style unique to that episode.
  • Nana episodes show custom-styled screens with episode numbers, but no titles.
  • Some of the anime 4Kids localized, like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Ultimate Muscle, suffered from this.

    Live-Action TV 


    Web Comics 

  • In The Order of the Stick, no title is displayed on the comic pages. The only way to know a specific comic's title is to look its number up in the archives (also, the last comic's name is displayed in the side bar). The names of each Story Arc aren't included anywhere in the online comic, only the print editions. Which, fortunately, also display the title of the individual strips at the bottom of every page.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 

  • Archer
  • Batman: The Animated Series has a variant: The episodes have title cards, but the show itself doesn't. Word of God is that they forgot to actually put it in.
  • Big Hero 6: The Series
  • Bob's Burgers
  • A common trope in early DiC Entertainment series. While Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats had title cards because of its Two Shorts format, the company didn't start using them consistently until The Real Ghostbusters in 1986, leaving shows like Inspector Gadget, M.A.S.K., and Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors without onscreen titles.
  • Doc McStuffins does this starting with the 5th season, Pet Rescue.
  • Fancy Nancy lists the writer, storyboarders, and directors at the beginning of the episodes, but not the title of the episode, though Nancy announces such.
  • Futurama
  • Gravity Falls
  • The Jetsons subverted this. The original 1962 season did not display the titles, at least when aired in syndication. But when seasons 2 and 3 were produced in the '80s with Episode Title Cards, the first season was retrofitted with title cards to match.
  • Kim Possible
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series plays with this. The episode titles never show up on screen, but because of the show's simplistic Idiosyncratic Episode Naming (each episode being named after the subject of the episode, almost all of which are the experiments featured in them) and a character (usually Lilo) giving them their names in the episode (making them a subtle Title Drop), it's not necessary. This was even exploited by the show's producers for the episode "Yapper" in order to throw off kids of the time the show was produced using TV Guide from figuring out the new experiment early.note  That said, there as been at least one instance where the experiment's new name is never mentioned by anyone ("Holio").
  • Puppy Dog Pals had title cards in the first season, but in the second season, it was dropped completely.
  • Hanna-Barbera's version of Richie Rich (1980) had segments of four different lengths: "Gems", "Riches", "Treasure Chest" and "Zillion-Dollar Adventures". Beyond those generic titles, the segments were not identified on screen.
  • During their initial run on ABC, the 1976 episodes of Scooby-Doo did not display titles. They were added in 1977 when they were replayed with new episodes that did have titles.
  • The Simpsons had about four exceptions, one of which was a gag where "Bart Gets Hit by a Car" showed up, right before Bart got hit by a car. According to the episode commentary, the animators put this in so that viewers would wonder whether the show had always been giving the titles and they'd just missed it somehow.
    • Averted with the German dub, where the episode titles are shown during the Couch Gag.
    • Played straight by "Treehouse of Horror XXVI". While most Treehouses of Horror episodes display the episode's title, guest animator John Kricfalusi didn't include one in his opening sequence.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars, even though they could easily have slipped the titles in instead of the fortune cookie lines shown after the title sequence.
  • All three of Seth MacFarlane's cartoons: Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show
  • Shimmer and Shine for its first season. Starting in Season 2, title cards were used.
  • Sid the Science Kid is actually a somewhat rare example of preschool/young children's animated series that does this. The only thing that's shown at the beginning of the episodes is a small amount of crew, such as executive producers. No episode titles are given.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil shows the credits for the episode, but not the name of the episode itself.
  • Tangled: The Series
  • The Three Shorts episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures not only have titles for the shorts themselves, but the episode as a whole as well. However, only the shorts get the Episode Title Cards.
  • None of the episodes of the Garbage Pail Kids Cartoon have visible titles, presumably because of the show having never aired on television and only being made available by receiving a DVD release nearly two decades after the show was produced.


Example of: