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.
- Most live-action shows produced by Filmation, the exception being Jason of Star Command.
- Most live-action shows on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel do this.
- 3rd Rock from the Sun took advantage of this by making nearly every episode title a vulgar pun on the name of main character Dick.
- The Amazing Race (starting in Season 2) derives its titles from contestants' quotes, so to those without a program guide, an episode's Title Drop may not be recognized by viewers.
- The Aquabats! Super Show!
- The Arrowverse, with one exception by technicality: an episode of Legends of Tomorrow is titled "Guest Starring John Noble", and indeed credits John Noble as a guest star.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with the sole exceptions being "Once More With Feeling", "Conversations With Dead People" and "Bargaining".
- Friends doesn't show the names of its episodes; however, since the titles all start with 'the one where...' they usually aren't too hard to guess. General rule of thumb is that the title refers to either the most important, interesting or funny thing in the episode.
- The Good Place has episode title cards, but they don't actually show the title, just the episode (or as they put it, "Chapter") number.
- Taken to an extreme in Hex, where individual episode titles announced only in listings magazines were used for the TV broadcast, but the packaging of the home video releases of both seasons only used episode numbers.
- Kamen Rider did this from 2001-2004 and 2006. Kamen Rider Agito, Kamen Rider Ryuki, Kamen Rider Faiz, Kamen Rider Blade and Kamen Rider Kabuto all did not list episode titles on screen, but the titles were given on the official Web site.
- The 2008-09 Revival of Knight Rider, though the original series showed its episode titles.
- Law & Order originally had episode titles displayed, but stopped doing so shortly into the second season.
- Seinfeld episodes were given simple titles because it was assumed that nobody would ever see them.
- Star Trek: Discovery is the first series in 50+ years of franchise history to employ this trope.
- Star Trek: Picard also lacks an Episode Title Card, so this seems to be the new standard for the franchise.
- Survivor often does the same thing as the above example with The Amazing Race, using quotes from contestants for the titles, but regardless of whether they do or not, these titles are never seen on-screen.
- That '70s Show
- Torchwood: Miracle Day. Interestingly, the Universe Concordance Ahistory ignores these in favour of simply "Episode 1" etc, on the basis that using episode titles that never appeared on screen would just confuse things (and there is after all, precedence in the Whoniverse for not using individual episode titles for a serial even when they do appear on screen).
- In Tweenies, the characters announce the title rather than it appearing on screen as an image from the upcoming episode is shown on screen.
- Wonder Woman: None of the episodes displayed the title in the opening credits. (At least, not until later in its run.)
- The X-Files:
- The writers considered showing the titles in a subtle way, such as using them as the titles of case files, but decided that not mentioning them added to the mystery.
- The German dub avoided this and spoilt the fun by replacing (almost) every instance of "THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE" from the opening with the actual episode title.
- In The Order of the Stick, until a 2020 redesign of the website, no title was displayed on the comic pages. The only way to know a specific comic's title was 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. The redesign added this to the online versions.
- In an odd inversion, TGWTG reviewer Phelous doesn't have a title for his series. Occasionally Lampshaded in the videos, either by creating a Word Salad Title or lifting one from IMDb (the most frequent being Phelous and the Movies).
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged has episode titles (usually involving a Shout-Out or Call-Back) but are never shown in either the episode or the actual video title.
- A common trope in early DiC Entertainment series. While Heathcliff & 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.
- Played with in their Pole Position series. While it doesn't have on-screen title cards, Wheelsnote (one of the two cars' on-board computers) does give the episodes' titles as he narrates the "on today's episode" segments.
- All three of Seth MacFarlane's cartoons: Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show.
- Batman: The Animated Series has a variant: The episodes have title cards, but the show itself doesn't. The creators admit they forgot to put it in.
- Blue's Clues for its first four seasons. Since Joe became the host, title cards were put in use.
- The Five-Episode Pilot of Challenge of the GoBots, in contrast to the other 60 episodes, did not use title cards and instead had the titles revealed by a voice-over.
- Cleopatra in Space does this, but an interesting case in particular as the only way to find out what the episode titles were, before the show was released on Peacock, was to translate the official Korean titles used in TV guides.
- Since Summer 2018, any show that airs on Disney Channel's Disney Junior block now does this for some reason, though one (or more) of the characters still announces the name of the episode as if the title still shows up on screen.
- Dora the Explorer and its spinoffs don't have the titles appear onscreen, but they do appear in the end credits.
- Hero Elementary does the same thing.
- Unlike with other Hanna-Barbera shows, which either had title cards or added them retroactively, The Flintstones never had title cards, even in reruns. This isn't the case with any of the spin-off shows, however.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 has been a few instance where the experiment's new name is never mentioned by anyone, such as "Holio" and "Amnesio", the latter because Lilo and Stitch lost the experiment to Gantu before they could get a chance to name him.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil shows the credits for the episode, but not the name of the episode itself.
- 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. The long-delayed seventh season, however, chose to emulate the two already-completed follow-up series and have its episodes Close on Title instead.
- Transformers: Prime was the first western Transformers series to not feature the title of the episode on-screen. The creators said they could never agree on a way to display the titles so they just decided not to. This ended up creating some issues in late Season 1 when episodes 21-23 aired early in Canada, since nobody knew what to call the episodes. TFWiki.net went with calling them Transformers: Prime episode 21 and so forth until the episodes were listed on Zap2It a week later.
- 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.
- The 4Kids release of Winx Club did not have episode title cards unlike its other releases.