Follow TV Tropes


Translation Matchmaking

Go To

This is when two or more works that have little or nothing to do with each other are given translated titles that imply a connection. Sometimes to capitalize on the first work's fame, but often just because it's funny, which may be an overlap with Pun-Based Title.

This is only for titles that have been translated. When it affects the content of the original work, it's a Dolled-Up Installment, or just Dub Text.


Subtrope of Completely Different Title. See also Similarly Named Works and In Name Only. Parallel Porn Titles may also arise from this trope.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ninja Resurrection wasn't a sequel to Ninja Scroll, but you could be forgiven if the box text and the distributor misled you. The only similarity was the main character's name, Jubei. Ninja Scroll's protagonist is an homage to Yagyu Jubei, one of the most famous ninja and folk heroes in Japanese history. Ninja Resurrection, based on the novel Makai Tensho, actually uses Yagyu Jubei as its protagonist.
  • The yaoi manga Sense and Sexuality (whose Japanese title translates to Advancement of the Infamous), which has nothing at all to do with Sense and Sensibility.
  • Kogareru Yubisaki by You Higashino was called Gay's Anatomy in English, Just for Pun and to disguise the fact that it's actually a sequel to a previous series that wasn't translated.
  • Although part of Neo-Tokyo was directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, it's not related to AKIRA, and its original title is Meikyuu Monogatari (Labyrinth Tales), also known as Manie-Manie.
  • When Media Blasters released Amaenaide yo!, they retitled it Ah My Buddha, even though it's not related to Ah! My Goddess.
  • In Portugal, Kochikame bears the subtitle "Police Academy". However, this is also the title of a completely unrelated film; the only thing that connects the two films is the fact that they both involve the police.
  • Fandom example. The No Export for You Digimon V-Tamer 01 is alternatively known as Digimon Adventure: V-Tamer 01 and Digimon V-Tamers after two works that were released outside of Japan.
  • Interviews with Monster Girls has it twice, the title being the combination of Interview with the Vampire and Everyday Life with Monster Girls. Kodansha translated the term Demi-chan (Demi-girls) into "Monster Girls" just to make a connection with the latter; it wouldn't even be a politically correct translation in-universe, since Demi-humans are humans, not monsters, despite having some monster traits.
  • Kitty Media released the hentai Hitozuma♪Kasumi-san in English under the Parallel Porn Title The Hills Have Size.
  • Cells at Work! CODE BLACK is a Spin-Off of Cells at Work! that involves overworked cells in an unhealthy body. It's only tangentially related to Code Black, about a chronically overworked and understaffed emergency department. It was originally titled just Hataraku Saibou BLACK.
  • While the original Kinnikuman manga and anime were never adapted to English, the tie-in rubber figure toyline by Bandai were imported to the U.S. by Mattel under the name of M.U.S.C.L.E., which stood for "Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere". When 4Kids and Viz picked up the rights to the Kinnikuman sequel series, Kinnikuman Nisei, they went with the name Ultimate Muscle to invoke a connection with Mattel's toyline, although the "Muscle" in Ultimate Muscle is just a word and not an acronym for anything. Mattel stills holds the rights to the M.U.S.C.L.E. trademark, but now produces rubber figures based on other properties, such as He-Man and Street Sharks.
  • ITC, the UK television company that distributed Thunderbirds, dubbed the similarly-premised Scientific Rescue Team Techno Voyager as Thunderbirds 2086.
  • Hana no Keiji is translated in Italy as Keiji il magnifico (Keiji the Magnificent), which is very similar to Ken il Guerriero (Ken the Warrior), the Italian title of Tetsuo Hara's other hit manga Fist of the North Star.

    Film — Animated 
  • The Chinese name for Enchanted is 魔法奇緣. And then Tangled became 魔髮奇緣. The Hong Kong version for Frozen is 魔雪奇緣 (mainland and Taiwan has the slightly less similar 冰雪奇緣). Roughly, these are Magic Enchantment Romance, Magic Hair Romance, and Magic Snow Romance. Suffice to say Chinese translators love this trope to death.
  • When Free Birds was released in Italy, it was renamed "Tacchini in Fuga" ("Turkeys on the Run"), in hope to somehow relate it to "Galline in Fuga" ("Chickens on the Run"—Chicken Run).
  • The Boss Baby is titled O Poderoso Chefinho ("The Powerful Little Boss") in Brazil, associating itself with The Godfather (O Poderoso Chefão, "The Powerful Big Boss").
    • The first Happily N'Ever After movie was translated as Deu a Louca na Cinderela ("Cinderella's Gone Crazy") and the sequel became Deu a Louca na Branca de Neve ("Snow White's Gone Crazy"), to fit the way Hoodwinked! was translated, Deu a Louca na Chapeuzinho ("Little Red Riding Hood's Gone Crazy").
  • When Oliver & Company was released in Japan, it was retitled オリバー ニューヨーク子猫ものがたり ("Oliver: A New York Kitten's Story"), apparently associating itself with local hit The Adventures of Milo and Otis (子猫物語, "A Kitten's Story").

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In France, The Hangover was released under the "translated" title of Very Bad Trip, apparently due to the similarity to the movie Very Bad Things. Likewise, The Other Guys was rechristened Very Bad Cops and Visioneers became Very Big Stress.
  • When Airplane! was released in France, the title was changed to Y a-t-il un pilote dans l'avion? (Is there a pilot onboard?). Most of the movies produced by the ZAZ trio afterwards were renamed so they'd begin the same way.
    • Ruthless People became Y a-t-il quelqu'un pour tuer ma femme? (Is there someone who could kill my wife?).
    • The Naked Gun movies all begin with Y a-t-il un flic pour sauver...? (Is there a cop who can save (insert noun here)?).
    • 2001: A Space Travesty was renamed Y a-t-il un flic pour sauver l'humanité? (Is there a cop who can save humanity?) although it's not part of the Naked Gun series.
    • One of the French titles for Wrongfully Accused was Y a-t-il un fugitif à bord? (Is there a fugitive on board?)
    • In Finland, Airplane! is known as ''Hei, me lennetään' (Hey, we're flying). The titles of the following ZAZ movies have had similar translations. The title format has since then spread to other parody movies and everywhere else to the point of Memetic Mutation.
    • In México, Airplane! is titled ¿Y donde esta el piloto? (So where's the pilot?) and subsequent ZAZ movies have been titled accordingly, for instance the Naked Gun movies are titled ¿Y donde esta el policia? (So where's the cop?), and White Chicks was titled ¿Y dónde están las rubias? (So where are the blondes?). Similarly, Police Academy movies were called Loca Academia de Policia (Insane Police Academy), and the Hot Shots! movies were therefore titled Loca Academia de Pilotos (Insane Pilot Academy).
      • Even Repossessed was retroactively renamed ¿Y donde está el exorcista? (So where's the Exorcist?)
    • In Germany, Airplane was called Die unglaubliche Reise in einem verrückten Flugzeug (The Incredible Journey in a Crazy Airplane). Subsequently, Ruthless People was renamed Die unglaubliche Entführung der verrückten Mrs Stone (The Incredible Kidnapping of the Crazy Mrs Stone). The titles of the Naked Gun movies were translated literally; however, the TV show Police Squad!, which came to Germany after the movies, was renamed Die nackte Pistole (The Naked Pistol). Also, S.P.Q.R. 2000 e 1/2 anni fa, a completely unrelated Italian movie that had Leslie Nielsen in it, was retitled Die römische Kanone (The Roman Gun).
    • In Spain, Airplane! was renamed Aterriza como puedas (Land as you can), The Naked Gun became Agárralo como puedas (Catch [him] the way you can), and Spy Hard was Espia como puedas (Spy as you can). In fact, most comedies with Leslie Nielsen follow the "X como puedas" and even some unrelated ones: Jane Austen's Mafia!, for instance, became Mafia, estafa como puedas ("Mafia, Con [someone] The Way You Can". One explanation might be that Mafia! features Nielsen's Airplane! co-star Lloyd Bridges).
    • In Israel, Leslie Nielsen's comedies received the same treatment. The Naked Gun was named The Gun Died Laughing, and its sequels were named appropriately. Since then, other films would be translated as "The [something] Died Laughing"—Spy Hard was named The Spy Died Laughing, Wrongfully Accused, a parody of The Fugitive, was named The Fugitive Died Laughing, and 2001: A Space Travesty was named Space Died Laughing.
    • This became even worse when later on spoof comedies that didn't star Leslie Nielsen got the same treatment - for example, George of the Jungle was named The Jungle Died Laughing, despite the fact that the cartoon was actually known and quite popular there at the time.
    • Leslie Nielsen's movies also had this happen in Japan. The Naked Gun was known as The Man With the Naked Gun, a parody of the Bond movie title in Japanese as well as in English. Wrongfully Accused became The Fugitive With the Naked Gun, Men with Brooms (a curling movie) was The Man With the Naked Stone, and even his earlier movies were renamed on video, so that 1990’s Repossessed became The Man With the Naked Crucifix!
    • 2001: A Space Travesty was retitled in Italy 2001: Un'astronave spuntata nello spazio (literally: "A dull spaceship in space") in order to follow the Italian title of the Naked Gun movies, Una pallottola spuntata (literally: "A dull bullet").
    • Translators of comedy titles into Latin American Spanish are obsessed with the concept of "Loco" (Insane). The Police Academy case is well-known, but Mel Brooks movies are frequent victims of this: History of the World Part I was changed to La loca historia del mundo ("The Insane History of the World"), Spaceballs turned into La loca historia de las galaxias ("The Insane Story of the Galaxies"), Silent Movie was known as La última locura ("The Last Insanity"), and Robin Hood: Men in Tights was changed to Las locas, locas aventuras de Robin Hood ("The Insane, Insane Adventures of Robin Hood"). The last one may derive from the fact that "loca" (crazy lady) is a common way to refer to a flamboyant gay man in Latin American Spanish (similar to the use of "queer" in English), making it also a Pun-Based Title.
  • Seltzer and Friedberg movies in Latin America are put through the Una Loca Película De X (An Insane X Movie) formula. Vampires Suck is Una Loca Película de Vampiros, Meet the Spartans is Una Loca Película de Esparta, and Epic Movie is Una Loca Película Épica.
    • Delta Farce is Una Loca Película de Guerra (A Crazy War Movie), The Cannonball Rally was changed to Los Locos de Cannonball (The Insane/Crazy People of Cannonball), and Talladega Nights turned into Locos por la Velocidad (Insane from Speed).
  • Dance Flick was released in France as Dance Movie.
  • Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th was retitled in Sweden to Scary Video, an obvious nod to Scary Movie.
  • After Home Alone became a hit in Spain under the title Solo en casa, Macaulay Culkin's earlier movie Uncle Buck was released there with the title Solos con nuestro tío ("Alone with our uncle") to suggest a connection.
  • In the same spirit, another film of Macaulay Culkin, Richie Rich, was released in Czechia with the title Sám doma a bohatý ("Home Alone and Rich").
  • Return of the Dragon was originally called Way of the Dragon when it was produced in Hong Kong. Enter the Dragon was actually Bruce Lee's last complete film, but the retitling of Way of the Dragon was a means of capitalizing on Bruce Lee's fame and releasing the earlier film to a wider audience. All this despite the obviously higher budget of Enter the Dragon (being a Hollywood/Hong Kong joint studio venture), not to mention the fact that Lee's characters in the two films are obviously not the same person (in name OR in personality), and thus neither film was actually a sequel to the other.
  • Fist of Fury, another Bruce Lee film, was retitled The Chinese Connection (after The French Connection). The title (Chinese Connection) was actually intended for The Big Boss (since the plot of that film involved drug trafficking), but the American distributor messed up and ended up switching the titles for both films by mistake.
  • Sweden had an odd tradition of this with regards to specific people.
  • The movie Outlander is bizarrely titled in Mexico La Tierra Media y El Tesoro del Dragon Solitario (Middle Earth and the Treasure of the Lonely Dragon), which is inexplicable unless it is meant as a preemptive case of this trope regarding the The Hobbit movie.
  • In Japan, Napoleon Dynamite is known as Bus Man in a blatant attempt to ride on the coattails of Train Man, though it was later reverted to its original English name after the backlash that ensued.
  • Gamera vs. Viras was released in the U.S. by AIP-TV as Destroy All Planets, in obvious imitation of Destroy All Monsters.
  • The Soviet film Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession was translated as Ivan Vasilevich: Back to the Future. Back to the Future and Ivan Vasilevich are mainly related in that they have to do with time traveling.
  • In France, Stranger Than Fiction is titled L'incroyable destin de Harold Crick, which imitates the original French title of Amélie, Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain.
  • The Soviet-Finnish film Sampo was released in the US as The Day the Earth Froze, coming after not only The Day the Earth Stood Still but also The Day the Earth Caught Fire.
  • The Dutch action film Vet Hard was released in the US as "Too Fat Too Furious", an obvious nod to The Fast and the Furious. The only similarity is that both are action films that have car crashes. note 
  • In Norwegian, a whole ton of completely unrelated movies start with the words "Hjelp, vi" ("Help, we"), followed by whatever the main characters in the movie are doing.
    • Airplane - "Help, We're Flying"
    • Airplane II: The Sequel - "Help, We're Flying Again"
    • This Is Spın̈al Tap - "Help, We're in the Pop Industry"
    • National Lampoon's Vacation - "Help, We Have to Take a Vacation"
    • National Lampoon's European Vacation - "Help, We Have to Take a Vacation in Europe"
    • Loose Shoes - "Help, We're Making a Movie"
    • Nativity! - "Help, We're Arranging a Christmas Show"
    • L'homme orchestre - "Help, I've Become a Father"
    • This in addition to a decent amount of Norwegian-produced movies where this style is used as the original title. It's treated as a running gag nowadays.
  • In Italy, High Noon was renamed "Mezzogiorno di fuoco" ("Fiery Noon"); some time later, Blazing Saddles was renamed with a similar title, "Mezzogiorno e mezzo di fuoco", literally "Fiery Noon and a Half".
  • A similar but more nonsensical thing happened with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), renamed by Italian distributors "Non aprite quella porta" ("Don't Open That Door"). Much later, kiddie horror film The Gate was renamed "Non aprite quel cancello" ("Don't Open That Gate"), despite having absolutely nothing to do with the earlier horror movie.
  • For reasons unclear, *batteries not included was renamed "Miracolo sull'8° strada" ("Miracle on 8th Street"), which sounds just like Miracle on 34th Street. In Latin America it also received the name "Milagro en la calle 8", probably for the same reason.
  • After Rumble in the Bronx was released, a movie from 1973 originally titled 女警察 (The Policewoman) was reissued on home video under the new title of Rumble in Hong Kong (among others), with a misleading cover that suggests that Jackie Chan was the leading actor (he actually played a supporting character with not much screentime).
  • Inverted with the French titles for Die Hard: The first three titles (Piège de Cristalnote , 58 Minutes pour Vivrenote  and Une Journée en Enfernote ) showed no signs of a series... and then played half-straight with Live Free or Die Hard, billed Die Hard 4: Retour en Enfer.note 
  • The fourth movie of the Rambo series, Rambo IV, was billed John Rambo in several countries to mimick Rocky Balboa.
  • In Czech, the film Very Bad Things was translated as Six Funerals and a Wedding.
  • Also in Czech, That Man from Rio (in Czech: Muž z Ria = The Man from Rio) was followed by The Man from Hong Kong (Chinese Adventures in China a.k.a. Up to His Ears) and The Man from Acapulco (Magnificient One a.k.a. How to Destroy the Reputation of the Greatest Secret Agent), and always air on TV as a series. (The movies have otherwise no connection, except the names of the director Philippe de Broca and the actor Jean-Paul Belmondo.)
  • Shark Tale was translated into Russian as "Underwater Gang" (using "gang" in the criminal sense). This makes some sense, as the sharks do behave like Italian mobsters. Then there's Over the Hedge, which has nothing to do with organized crime, which was translated as "Forest Gang", obviously implying a connection between the two films.
  • In Mexico, the Danny DeVito's film Screwed was translated as Y tu Abuelita Tambien (And Your Granny Too) after the Mexican film Y tu mamá también.
  • Torque is Fury on Two Wheels in Argentina and Torque - The Fastest Law in Portugal, implying it to be part of the The Fast and the Furious franchise. One bootleg is called 3 Fast 3 Furious.
  • In Germany, Death Wish 1974 became Ein Mann sieht Rot ("A Man Sees Red"). Subsequently Lipstick became Eine Frau sieht Rot ("A Woman Sees Red") and The Star Chamber became Ein Richter sieht Rot ("A Judge Sees Red").
  • Brazil has a few:
  • El Ratón Pérez, a 2006 Argentine 3D-animated film about a mythical mouse from Spanish folklore similar to the Tooth fairy, was renamed in Poland to "Stefan Malutki" (Stephen Little) to mimick Stuart Little.
  • The Japanese release of To Kill a Mockingbird became "The Alabama Story", almost definitely patterned off of The Philadelphia Story.
  • The Finnish release of the Farrelly Brothers' The Three Stooges tries to make it sound like a sequel to the Dumb and Dumber movies.
  • The Japanese release of Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers is known as Lady Jason, implying that it's a spinoff of the Friday the 13th film series starring a Distaff Counterpart of Jason Voorhees. The promotional material in Japan emphasized this by using a still in which Angela (the killer) is wearing a hockey mask, even though she only wears it in one scene.
  • The straight-to-video movie Interview With A Hitman is known as Hitman Reloaded in Japan and Australia, despite being unrelated to the 2007's film adaptation of the Hitman videogame series.
  • After History of the World Part I was released in France as La Folle Histoire du Monde ("The mad history of the world"), Mel Brooks's next movie Spaceballs was released as La Folle Histoire de l'Espace ("The mad (hi)story of space").
  • Speaking of Spaceballs, in Italy the sci-fi comedy "Martians Go Home" was released as "Balle Spaziali 2: la vendetta" (Spaceballs 2: The Revenge). It goes without saying that these movies are totally unrelated.
  • After the Scary Movie series of horror spoofs, Italy renamed other genre parodies with "(Something) Movie" titles, for example Stan Helsing became "Horror Movie" and A Haunted House became "Ghost Movie".
  • Spanish dubs of The Good Son gave it the title El Ángel Malvado (The Evil Angel), as a direct allusion to Macaulay Culkin's earlier Home Alone films, known over there as Mi Pobre Angelito (My Poor Little Angel).
  • The Spanish spoof film Spanish Movie (yes the title is the same in Spanish) is clearly an allusion to the Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer spoof movies even when there is no relationship other than the fact that the movie is a parody of Spanish cinema. Another difference is that the film was actually very well received and critically acclaimed, unlike Friedberg and Seltzer's work.
  • A few countries made sure to point out how Rat Race is a Spiritual Successor to It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: Latin America had "The World Is Mad Mad" in Spanish and "Everybody's Gone Mad" in Brazil, while Portugal was "Everything's Mad!" and Greece, "Mad Treasure Hunt".
  • Team America: World Police in Poland had the subtitle Policjanci z jajami, meaning "Cops with balls" but pronounced similarly to Policjanci z Miami ("Cops from Miami"), the Polish title of Miami Vice.
  • In Russian, The Hangover was renamed to A Stag Party in Vegas. The unrelated films Get Him to the Greek and Bridesmaids were renamed to Escape from Vegas and A Hen Party in Vegas respectively.
  • In Nepal, Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe was billed as the 9th film in the Zombie series, despite not even having any zombies in it.
  • In Slovenia, Keoma was billed as a sequel to Django.
  • Black Sunday was billed as The Hour When Dracula Comes in the German-speaking world, despite Dracula having nothing to do with it.
  • In the Brazilian theatrical run of The Devil Bat, it was called The Return of Dracula, presumably because it stars Bela Lugosi.
  • Enemy of the State is Public Enemy of The Country (国家公敌) in China, and Public Enemy of All People (全民公敵) in Taiwan. I, Robot is called Robotic Public Enemies (機械公敵) in Taiwan, because of Will Smith starring in both films.
  • Stone Cold was retitled in connection to Marvel character The Punisher in Brazil.
  • In Italy the Fat Albert movie was renamed Il mio grosso grasso amico Albert, or "My Big Fat Friend Albert", a clear pun on My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The only relation the two films have is that they share the director. To put it in perspective, the original cartoon was retitled in Italy "Albertone", or "Big Albert".
  • The Spanish horror-comedy Lobos de Arga was retitled Game of Werewolves for the US release, presumably to make viewers think it had something to do with Game of Thrones.
  • Do yourself a favor and do not, under any circumstances, play a drinking game of how many comedy films have been retitled in Latin America as "Crazy" something (ex. Police Academy as "Crazy Police Academy" and RV as "Crazy Vacation on Wheels"). You will drop dead.
  • The Japanese version of Big Trouble in Little China was retitled Ghost Hunters, no doubt hoping to capitalize on the success of Ghostbusters.
  • Dumb and Dumber was retitled Jim Carrey wa Mr. Dumber (Jim Carrey is Mr. Dumber) in Japan, which is likely a reference to Mr. Mom, with the only connection between two being the fact that they both feature Jeff Daniels. Trial & Error, another unrelated movie with Jeff Daniels, was later released as Mr. Dumber 2 1/2.
    • The Italian dub of Trial & Error is also called Ancora più scemo (Even dumber).
  • The Resurrected, a film adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward received in German-speaking markets the title Evil Dead: The Seeds of Evil, which even reused the cover art from Evil Dead 2.
  • Django became a sequel to A Fistful of Dollars in Japan, and, interestingly enough, Red Dead Redemption in Taiwan.
  • Bride of the Monster became Dracula's Bride in Greece.
  • Frostbiter: Wrath of the Wendigo became Another Evil Dead Chapter: Frostbiter in Japan.
  • The Vampire became Dracula: Always at Nightfall in Germany.
  • Mars Attacks! became Star Wars Destroyer in Taiwan.
  • Reefer Madness became Zombi 24: Undead Pothead Maniacs in Cameroon.
  • Cemetery Man became Demons '95 in Japan.
  • Tombs of the Blind Dead was listed as the fourth Mark of the Devil movie in some American releases.
  • A Bay of Blood became The Last House on the Left, Part II in some American releases.
  • Demolition Man became Rambo the Destroyer in Kuwait.
  • Deep Red became Suspiria Part 2 in Japan.
  • One Man's Justice was listed as a sequel to Stone Cold in Portugal and Spain.
  • Cannibal Ferox became a sequel to The Man from Deep River in Australia.
  • Every Which Way but Loose became Dirty Fighter in Japan, a reference to Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry film franchise. Its sequel, Any Which Way You Can becase Dirty Fighter: Moeyo Tekken.
  • Absurd became Anthropophagus 2 in Russia.

  • The Swedish translation of The Wheel of Time is called Sagan om Drakens återkomst ("The Story of the Return of the Dragon"), which is similar to Sagan om konungens återkomst ("The Story of the Return of the King"), the name of the old translation of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Swedish title of Married... with Children was Våra värsta år ("Our Worst Years"), modelled on Våra bästa år ("Our Best Years"), the translated title of Days of Our Lives.
  • In Spain, Bewitched was titled Embrujada and Charmed was Embrujadas. Note the extra "s". And neither was 100% accurate (But acceptable, this trope aside).
    • Same in Mexico. Bewitched is know as "Hechizada" and Charmed as "Hechiceras".
    • In Finland Bewitched is known as Vaimoni on noita ("My Wife Is a Witch") and Charmed as Siskoni on noita ("My Sister Is a Witch").
  • Hungarian translators love to lampshade a slightly ripped-off concept's origin:
    • Relic Hunter was transated as Raiders of the Lost Relics (Elveszett Ereklyek Fosztogatoi)
    • Blackbeard the mini-series became Blackbeard and the Pirates of the Carribean (Feketeszakall es a Karib tenger Kalozai)
    • Multiple examples based around My Big Fat ____ Wedding
    • Another Hungarian variation would be the "_ Pie" title translations for teen movies after American Pie came out.
    • And you wouldn't believe what else can be retitled "Something helyszínelők" after the CSI ("Helyszínelők") series became popular.
      • Probably the oddest was a rerun of Mysterious Ways retitlednote  as "Rejtélyek helyszínelői" (Mystery CSI).
    • Also actor specifically: if a movie was about dancing and(or?) Patrick Swayze acted in it it would inevitably get a title with Dirty or Dancing in it but preferably both. Or The Pagemaster got "Reszkessetek, nem hagyom magam!" and Macaulay Culkin was the sole reason for it (Home Alone came out as "Reszkessetek betörők").
  • In France, Hikari Sentai Maskman and Choujuu Sentai Liveman became Bioman 2: Maskman and Bioman 3: Liveman respectively, due to the fact that Choudenshi Bioman was the first Super Sentai series to air there. While they're technically part of the same franchise, none of them are actually set in the same universe (later crossover appearances notwithstanding). Same with the Philippines (Albeit in the commercials only), excluding Liveman, since that never aired there.
  • In Argentina, Street Hawk became The Fantastic Motorcycle, Knight Rider became The Fantastic Car and Air Wolf became The Fantastic Helicopter, implying a connection between three very different series.
  • In Brazil, the Metal Heroes series Jikuu Senshi Spielban became Jaspion 2, trying to pass up as a sequel to a previous Metal Hero who was really popular there.
  • Welcome Back, Kotter didn't air in Italy until the success of Saturday Night Fever, starring Kotter's breakthrough star John Travolta. When it did, it's title was changed to Saturday Night Guys (I ragazzi del sabato sera). Particularly nonsensical, considering it's a show about a high school.
  • In Finland, ER is known as Teho-osasto or intensive care unit. Scrubs in turn became Tuho-osasto or loosely translated destructive care unit.
    • Similar thing happened in Italy: ER got the subtitle Medici in prima linea, or Medics on the frontline, while Scrubs is subtitled Medici ai primi ferri, which means Rookie medics.
  • When Toei had the rights to make a Japanese tokusatsu version of the Captain Future pulp novels, they were forced to change the title to Captain Ultra since the network that aired the show only picked it up as a filler series after Ultraman ended while Tsuburaya was still preparing for the third proper installment in the Ultra Series titled Ultraseven.
  • Also a case of Similarly Named Works - both Ultraman and Superman are translated to exactly 超人 in Chinese.
    • In general, since the Chinese terms for "superhuman" and "superhero" are very clunky for titles, there is a strong tendency to translate everything to 超人 (literally "super man") even if it has no connection to Superman.
  • In Spain, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is known as Mystery In Space (Misterio En El Espacio), in an attempt to tie it into Lost in Space which is known as Perdidos En El Espacio. It went so far as Spanish commercials claiming that Joel was the long lost member of The Robinsons.
  • In Japan The Man from U.N.C.L.E. aired under the title of 0011: Napoleon Solo, emphasizing 007 creator Ian Fleming's involvement in the show's conception. The later spinoff show, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., was subtitled 0022.
  • In Italy Eerie, Indiana was renamed Gli Acchiappamostri, which sounds almost like Ghostbusters' Italian subtitle, Acchiappafantasmi (something like "Ghost Catchers").
  • In Israel, Cybergirl apparenly became The Bionic Girl.


    Video Games 
  • Bomber King: Scenario 2 was published as part of the Blaster Master series, as Blaster Master Boy in North America and Blaster Master Jr. in Europe.
  • The three SaGa games for the Game Boy were retitled Final Fantasy Legend for the USA, probably to capitalize on FF's fame (...before Final Fantasy VII, yes. Don't laugh...).
    • Subverted with the original Seiken Densetsu, which was given the title Final Fantasy Adventure overseas. This may seem like an invention of the localization department, but in reality the full title of the original Game Boy game in Japan was Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden and the game has a few Final Fantasy references (notably the presence of Chocobos).
  • In order to tie it in with the Devil May Cry series, the first installment of the Sengoku Basara series was dubbed Devil Kings for its overseas conversion, along with many other changes.
  • Sunsoft, who produced the NES port of the original Spy Hunter, later developed Battle Formula, which was retitled Super Spy Hunter in the US.
  • The Capcom arcade game Chiki Chiki Boys was localized as Mega Twins, giving the impression that it's some sort of Mega Man spinoff. It helps that the two protagonists somewhat resemble Mega Man himself and his brother Proto Man. However, the Genesis port kept the original title for its overseas release.
  • While technically an American-developed game, Secret of Evermore got its title to cash-in on the success of Secret of Mana (Seiken Densetsu 2 in Japan). The Working Title was originally "Evermore" and the game was never meant to have any ties to Secret of Mana.
  • Beyond Oasis (a.k.a. The Story of Thor) has nothing to do with the earlier Game Gear game Defenders of Oasis (originally titled Shadam Crusader in Japan) other than they were both RPGs published by Sega.
  • The original Super Famicom version of Panel de Pon was released overseas in a heavily altered form (with characters from Yoshi's Island) as Tetris Attack. Later installments dropped the Tetris name altogether and were released under the "Puzzle League" name.
    • Said name, of course, being an adaptation from the name of the Nintendo 64 version: Pokémon Puzzle League.
  • When Konami released the arcade version of Jackal in the U.S., they changed the title to Top Gunner and slapped on a few American flags, possibly to identify it with Top Gun. Konami would go on to make actual Top Gun game for the NES, which resulted in ditching the Top Gunner name for the NES version.
  • Fire Shark, a World War II-themed shoot-'em-up by Toaplan, was released in Japan under the title of Same! Same! Same! (lit. "Shark! Shark! Shark!"), a play on the 1970 war movie Tora! Tora! Tora!.
  • The NES game Contra Force was actually a localized version of a canceled Famicom game titled Arc Hound. The game has no actual ties with the rest of the Contra series, although the people in charge of localizing Contra III: The Alien Wars, which was released a few months earlier on the SNES, would try to fix this around by claiming that the ruined post-apocalyptic city in the beginning of the game, which is unnamed in the Japanese version, was actually Neocity, the setting of Contra Force.
  • Dynasty Wars and Dynasty Warriors are both based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms to some extent, but their original Japanese titles (Tenchi o Kurau and Sangoku Musou) are not quite so similar.
  • Tsuukai GanGan Koushinkyoku became Aggressors of Dark Kombat because Mortal Kombat was popular (and also for the clever initialism), though they had little in common aside from being Fighting Games with Finishing Moves. (Ironically, Aggressors of Dark Kombat removed the blood that was in the Japanese version.)
  • Illusion of Gaia was originally titled Gaia Gensouki (or "The Gaia Fantasy Chronicle") in Japan. While the American title is a rough approximation of the Japanese original, when Nintendo of America picked up the publishing rights from Enix's US division, they also redesigned the logo and boxart to resemble the one used for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Specifically they both have the same stylized font and layout, with the names "Zelda" and "Gaia" spelled in larger letters below the rest of the title and an object (Link's shield or the Earth itself) behind the first letter.
    • In a more conventional example of this trope, the English version of Illusion of Gaia was originally planned to be released in the US as a sequel to SoulBlazer before switching publishers from Enix to Nintendo. While they were developed by the same company (Quintet), the two games are vaguely connected at best, with the most obvious connection being the first boss of Soul Blazer making a cameo appearance as the Bonus Boss of Illusion of Gaia.
    • At one point Nintendo also planned to localize Tenchi Sozo, the unofficial third game in the Soul Blazer "series", under the title of Illusion of Gaia 2. The name was dropped before release and the game ended up being localized only in PAL territories under the name Terranigma, although the unused English title is still referenced in the game (despite the fact that the PAL version of Illusion of Gaia was titled Illusion of Time).
  • Psikyo's Gunbird came to the US and Europe as Mobile Light Force. Alfa System's Castle of Shikigami came to the US as Mobile Light Force 2, and to PAL regions as MLF2. The games have no relation to each other, though XS Games' strongly implied they were part of a series of budget-priced Charlie's Angels knockoffs.
  • Hokuto Musou was released as Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage outside Japan in lieu of the usual Warriors moniker that Koei uses to localize Musou titles (e.g. Samurai Warriors, Hyrule Warriors, Pirate Warriors) due to the French and Italian titles of the anime (Ken le survivant and Ken il guerriero). Since Koei was forced to use the English title for all the foreign releases of the game, they put Ken's name on the subtitle in order to help European fans of the anime make the connection who otherwise wouldn't recognize the Fist of the North Star brand.
  • Commando and Bionic Commando were originally two unrelated arcade games titled Senjō no Ōkami (literally "Wolf of the Battlefield") and Top Secret respectively in Japan. Capcom USA would try to justify the connection between the two by claiming that the protagonist in the latter was Super Joe after being given a bionic arm, which was really just a grappling hook attached to his regular arm. The later NES version of Bionic Commando would try to solidify the connection between the two games by having the actual Super Joe around as a supporting character helping out new protagonist Rad Spencer. Ironically, Mercs, which was the actual sequel to Commando (the Japanese title is Senjō no Ōkami II), was mainly treated as a different IP overseas and it wasn't until recent years that Capcom would try to tie Mercs into the Bionic Commando series by claiming that Super Joe was really just a codename for Joseph Gibson, the Player 1 character in Mercs, and even adding the subtitle "Wolf of the Battlefield" to the Wii Virtual Console release of the Genesis port of Mercs.
  • Toshinden S was released internationally as Battle Arena Toshinden Remix. Both titles indicate a "remixed" Sega Saturn version of the original PlayStation game, though the international title seems to have taken after another 3D Fighting Game for the Saturn, Virtua Fighter Remix.
  • The Japanese console release of Mortal Kombat I and II were subtitled Shinken Kōrin (Ascension of the Divine Fist) and Kyūkyoku Shinken (Ultimate Divine Fist), the latter being the localized term for the game's finishing moves or Fatalities. The Shinken part could be seen as an allusion to Hokuto Shinken, the titular martial art in the manga Fist of the North Star, a fictional style which allows its practitioners to finish an opponent off with a well delivered blow, often resulting in a gory death much like the Fatalities in Mortal Kombat.
  • The newer Kunio-kun games have been localized under the River City branding (e.g. River City Soccer Hooligans, River City Sports Challenge) in the west since the Nintendo DS entries, despite the series no longer receiving the same Americanization treatment that the original River City Ransom received during its localization. Likewise, the Canadian-produced sequel River City Ransom: Underground became Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari Underground for its Japanese localization.
    • The Game Boy Advance game Bakunetsu Dodgeball Fighters was a spiritual sequel to the arcade/Famicom game Nekketsu High School Dodgeball Club starring expies of the Downtown Nekketsu cast, since the developers didn't have the rights to the Kunio-kun IP at the time. When the game was localized in North America, it was retitled Super Dodge Ball Advance (after the U.S. version of its predecessor) with most of the same character names used for the prior localization of the NES version (e.g. Rajiv, Boris, Sam).
  • The 1996 PlayStation beat-'em-up Perfect Weapon by American Softworks Corporation was localized as Body Hazard in Japan, no doubt hoping to capitalize on the success of Bio Hazard released during the same year.
  • Downplayed with River King. It is known as Harvest Fishing in Europe in order to connect it to the more popular Harvest Moon. River King and Harvest Moon are sister series that share a universe.
  • Karate Dō and Spartan X, two unrelated martial arts-themed arcade games made by different developers (Technos and IREM respectively), were distributed by Data East under the rather similar titles of Karate Champ and Kung Fu Master respectively.
  • The title for The Evil Within was chosen no doubt to invoke director Shinji Mikami's past involvement with the Resident Evil franchise. In Japan, the two franchises are titled Psycho Break and Biohazard respectively, making the connection between them less obvious.
  • After Pop'n TwinBee on the Super NES turned out to be a success in Europe, Konami brought over the earlier Game Boy entry TwinBee Da! ("It's TwinBee") under the same name and even used the same boxart from the SNES game, despite the fact that the game features a different set of (unseen) protagonists from Light and Pastel. Likewise, TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventure, a side-scrolling platform game spinoff released a bit later, was renamed Pop'n TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventures for its PAL release.

     Western Animation 
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Band Geeks" is called "Hör mal wer da spielt" (Listen, who's playing) in Germany, a pun on Home Improvement's German title Hör mal wer da hämmert (Listen, who's hammering). Which in itself seems to have been an attempt in cashing in on the (literally) translated title of Look who's talking which spawned a lot of similarly themed names.
  • American Dad!:
    • American Dad is dubbed in Latin America under the title of Un agente de familia (An Agent of the Family). This is a play off Seth MacFarlane's other animated show Family Guy, which is dubbed in the same region under the title Padre de familia (Father of the Family)
    • Spain follows the trope in a slightly different way. Family Guy is still known as Padre de familia, while +American Dad is Padre "Made in USA" ("Father 'Made in USA'", notice the English). In a stroke of luck, adding the padre part to the title of the first series actually helped them connect it to the second series.
    • In Italy, Family Guy is called I Griffin (The Griffins) to match the title with The Simpsons and also with The Cosby Show (which is called I Robinson in Italy).
  • Cartoon series starring Macaulay Culkin Wish Kid was translated in Latin America as Mi Pobre Angelito (My Poor Little Angel), which is the title given there to the Home Alone movies, thereby making it seem as if the series was a continuation of the movies even though (save obviously for the presence of Culkin) they're entirely unrelated. It was also called Perdido nas Estrelas (Lost in the Stars) in Brazil, which could also be seen as a Home Alone allusion.
  • In Russia, Monkey Dust is known as 38 Monkeys.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: