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A simple way to name a work is to put basic information about it in the title. The information can be the work's genre, target audience, medium, author, length, or just an affirmation that the work tells a story/tale/saga/whatever. While it's sometimes used to signal that a work is Meta Fiction and/or to make the title of a parody sound bland and uninspired, it's also a nice way to let the audience know what they can expect from the work. Unless you're a Trolling Creator who's trying to mislead the audience, of course. Adaptations in a different medium can also render such a title inaccurate.

Alternatively, the information in a work title belongs to a different work — usually a plot-important Show Within a Show, but it could also be a random song that's forgotten immediately after it's played once in Episode 2. Sometimes, nothing resembling the work described in the title appears at all, which may lead to fans speculating about what the title is supposed to refer to, and whether it's supposed to be interpreted literally or metaphorically. In this case, the title may fall under Never Trust a Title, but it still fits this trope.

Both types are common in fantasy, as a fantasy title may contain words like "Song" or "Tale". Heavy Meta songs often have the discussed genre in their titles. Also fairly common for Simulation Games, which may have "Simulator" or just "Sim" in the title. A Greatest Hits Album may have "Greatest Hits" or something similar in its title.

Very common in Light Novels, which often have extremely long titles that serve to summarise the plot or at least the premise. This trend partly started because a lot of them began life as Web Serial Novels on the hosting website Shousetsuka ni Narou, and in order to get the reader's attention and draw in the crowd it's written for among thousands of other works, the title has to double as a blurb.

Reference works like dictionaries tend to have really straight-forward titles like "Fast Eddie's Dictionary" because such works don't need to use creative titles to catch the attention of buyers — if you're looking for a dictionary, a book with "Dictionary" in the title is a natural choice, and if you're not in need of one, a cool title won't convince you to buy one anyway. Similarly, wikis almost always have "Wiki" in their names. Such examples are pretty uninteresting, so please don't fill the Literature and Web Original sections with them.


Compare Brand X, A Dog Named "Dog" and [Trope Name]. Can overlap with Exactly What It Says on the Tin and Shaped Like Itself, and in extreme cases Captain Obvious.

Note: If a title contains a word that can refer to both a genre and something else, please make sure it's actually referring to the genre. A movie titled "Romantic Comedy" or "Love Movie" is an example. A movie titled "Romance of Alice and Bob" probably isn't.

Examples where the title describes the work itself (or the original work if it's an adaptation):

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     Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 

     Comic Books 

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 


  • The Bible. Its name comes from a Koine Greek phrase meaning "the books". Most books within the Bible are formally referred to as "Book of ___", "Gospel According to ___" or "Epistle to ___".
  • The Book of Mormon

  • The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's Production of Macbeth, and several of its sequels (... Production of A Christmas Carol, ... Production of The Mikado, and ... Murder Mystery).
  • An In-Universe example in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream: the plays ready to be performed for Theseus all feature these, perhaps poking fun at some of the elaborately long titles many printed texts of the day had. The plays include:
    • "The battle with the Centaurs sung by an Athenian eunuch to the harp"
    • "The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals, tearing the Thracian singer in their rage"
    • "The thrice three Muses mourning for the death of Learning, late deceased in beggary"
    • And of course the one that actually gets picked: "A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus and his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth" which is commonly shortened to just "Pyramus and Thisbe."

    Video Games 

  • The Doghouse Diaries
  • Vegan Artbook. The comics have been published in books.
  • Parodied in-universe in Homestuck. According to Karkat, trolls have created so many movies that the only original titles left are the ones that describe every event in the movie, and take up the entirety of the movie poster.


    Western Animation 

Examples where the title decribes something else than the work itself:

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Future Diary, the main characters have diaries that can predict the future.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • High School Musical, which is about high school students trying to get the lead parts in their high school musical. Fittingly, HSM itself is a musical.
  • Teen Beach Movie, whose title describes the film-within-a-film the characters get sucked into.
  • Zack and Miri Make a Porno. It's about exactly what the title suggests.


  • "Love You Like a Love Song" by Selena Gomez is about a person who's just like a catchy love song which gets stuck in your head.

  • The Book of Mormon. It pokes fun at organized religion, and is not an adaptation of the actual religious text.

    Video Games 
  • Yume Nikki. The title means "dream diary", and refers to the protagonist's diary.

    Web Video