Follow TV Tropes


Pun Based Title / Live-Action TV

Go To

  • A short-lived Australian TV series titled Above the Law was set in an apartment complex situated above a police station.
  • Alien Nation.
  • Arrested Development
    • The show's title has several layers - the overall plot is about the head of a development company who's been arrested, the characters themselves are in various states of arrested development, and (initially at least) the company's development work is pretty much on hold ("arrested," one might say), because of the arrests.
    • Advertisement:
    • Almost all the episode titles are pun-based, eg. "Key Decisions", "Pier Pressure", "Marta Complex", "Shock and Aww".
  • Batman (1966): Several episode titles contain puns. For example, "Ice Spy" ("I spy"; the episode features Mr. Freeze) and "The Purr-fect Crime" ("the perfect crime"; the episode features Catwoman).
  • The fourth Blackadder series is called - what else? - Blackadder Goes Forth.
  • Blind Justice- a reference to the principle of objectivity in law and the incredibly hard to guess disability of the lead character, Det. Jim Dunbar.
  • Boy Meets World is a pun on the expression "Boy Meets Girl". Also, several episodes have this type of title, such as "No Guts, No Cory".
  • The Breaking Bad episode "Face Off", in which the season antagonist literally gets his face blown off.
  • Changing Rooms: turn the adjective into a verb, and you've got yourself a home makeover show.
    • A documentary about dead bodies being exhumed to be moved to a new graveyard was titled Changing Tombs, punning on what was already a pun to begin with.
  • Advertisement:
  • Most episode titles of Charmed are puns, especially puns that involve the words "witch", "charmed", etc., or the names of the characters.
  • Chuck's Idiosyncratic Episode Naming occasionally veered into puns and Double Meaning Titles (most often the latter).
  • Some 90% of Corner Gas episodes are titled with puns combining two or more of the episode's storylines. (I.e. "American Resolution", which focuses on New Year's resolutions and a character fighting a perceived American identity.)
  • CSI and spinoffs have had a few, including one called "Organ Grinder", which had nothing to do with that type of musician and everything to do with bodily organs being ground up; for once, the killer wasn't the one doing it; the Medical Examiner had to as part of an experiment.
  • Doc Martin: After the British footwear brand Dr. Martens, commonly referred to as "Doc Martens".
  • Advertisement:
  • Doctor Who: "Arachnids in the UK" riffs on the famous Sex Pistols song "Anarchy in the UK".
  • The second episode of Documentary Now! parodies Nanook of the North with its own mockumentary, "Kunuk Uncovered". Both are set in the Canadian Arctic. "Kunuk" is pronounced almost the same as "Canuck", a derogatory term for Canadians.
  • Elementary's episode titles include "Corpse de Ballet".
  • Fáilte Towers: portmanteau of Fawlty Towers and the Irish word "fáilte", meaning "welcome".
  • Lots of episodes of Frasier. A particularly contrived example is the one where Roz works in a retirement home and is traumatised when two of the residents drop dead right in front of her, titled "Roz's Krantz and Gouldenstein are Dead".
    • Shrink Rap
    • Chess Pains
    • Where There's Smoke There's Fired
    • Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven
    • Dad Loves Sherry, The Boys Just Whine
    • A Tsar is Born
    • Whine Club
    • Mary Christmas
    • Hooping Cranes
    • It Takes Two To Tangle
    • The Wizard And Roz
    • Bla-Z-Boy
    • Mother Load
    • War Of The Words
    • Frasier Has Spokane
    • Star Mitzvah
    • Bristle While You Work
    • No Sex Please, We Are Skittish
    • Guns N' Neuroses
    • Freudian Sleep
  • Get Smart was quite fond of these, especially late in the series when the title was shown in the opening credits, giving us the likes of "Widow Often Annie", "How Green was my Valet", "Smartacus"...
  • The miniseries Glue has a title that refers to the ties binding the main characters together - and to what horses end up as.
  • Every episode of Gossip Girl is titled with a pun on a movie title (eg. "Pret-A-Poor J", "The Serena Also Rises", "The Goodbye Gossip Girl"...).
  • Titles of Hannah Montana episodes (usually) contain puns on the titles of popular songs ("You Are So Sue-able To Me"; "I Want You To Want Me...To Go To Florida").
  • A lot Home Improvement episodes have this type of title. Many of them are Epunymous Titles, such as "It Was the Best of Tims, It Was the Worst of Tims" and "Al's Fair in Love and War".
  • The How I Met Your Mother episode "The Broken Code", which refers to how Ted supposedly broke The Bro Code by holding hands with Robin (who was engaged to Barney at this point of the series).
  • Ideal: About a drug dealer.
  • The I-Land = The Island.
  • In the Name of the Fada: comedian Des Bishop learns to speak Irish, "fada" is an orthographic term. "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit" is a Christian blessing.
  • The IT Crowd: Combing the phrase "the it crowd", as in a group of cool people, and IT, professionals in information technology.
  • Referenced in an episode of Jonathan Creek, "Ghosts Forge", in which a book called The Grave Digger turns out to be about a serious-minded Australian.
  • A Law & Order episode about a break-in and murder at a fertility clinic (and resulting legal battle over preserved embryos and eggs) has the rather dark Stealth Pun title of "Scrambled". As in, scrambled eggs.
  • The first episode of season three of Legends of Tomorrow is called "Aruba-Con". It's set in Aruba and features a large gathering of people ("con" as in "convention"), it continues from the last episode of the previous season which was called "Aruba", and it features Julius Caesar, who compares a decision Sara must make to his own decision to take control of Rome ("a Rubicon").
  • Lois & Clark, about Superman's Lois Lane and Clark Kent and also a play on the explorers Lewis and Clark.
  • Several Lost episodes have pun-based titles, such as "Lockdown", which features John Locke pinned under a blast door. Michael Giacchino's score is riddled with groan-worthy puns, such as "Thinking Clairely", "Keamy Away From Him", and many, many more.
  • Mann & Machine is an Androids and Detectives show with the human partner named Bobby Mann.
  • Miss Match, the short-lived show about Kate Fox — divorce attorney by day, matchmaker by night.
  • The Moone Boy episode "Godfellas" is about altar boys (the "God" part) who act like gangsters (a la Goodfellas). Futurama had previously used the exact same pun for an episode that had much to do with God but not much with gangsters.
  • Off Beat Cinema: "midnight movie" show which is hosted by beatniks and covers "offbeat" B-movies.
  • The Australian TV series Packed to the Rafters is about the Rafter family, whose house is "packed" (after all the parents' adult children moved back in with them).
  • Pointless: Quiz show in which the aim is to score lower than your opponents.
  • Rules of Engagement (Note: this only applies to the TV show, not the unrelated movie or three unrelated novels, all of which refer to the more standard definition of the term.)
  • A Scare at Bedtime — it's title is a parody of A Prayer at Bedtime, a religious programme shown at night on sister channel RTÉ One that is about as far away as possible in content to this one.
  • Schitt's Creek: The name of the town in an In-Universe joke as well, since Johnny Rose bought the town as a joke fo his son because of the name.
  • One of the cutaways on Scrubs featured the resident lawyer and janitor teaming up to take care of a young boy, portraying the situation as a TV sitcom called "Legal Custodians" (get it?).
  • Seacht is Irish for 'seven', referring to the fact that it has seven main characters, but also sounds like the English word 'shocked'.
  • Sex & Sensibility: about the history of sex in Ireland; puns on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.
  • Sherlock has puns on the Sherlock Holmes stories, such as "The Geek Interpreter" instead of "The Greek Interpreter".
  • Small Wonder: Besides the series' own title, episode titles included:
    • DisHonor Student
    • Victor/V.I.C.I. (a play on Victor/Victoria)
    • The Bad Seedling
    • Breakfast of Criminals (a play on Wheaties, the Breakfast of Champions)
    • Home Sweet Sale
    • I Dream of Vicki (a play on I Dream of Jeannie)
    • More About L.E.S.
  • Sonny with a Chance is a pun on a weather report ("sunny with a chance of rain") and the title character Sonny Munroe having a chance to succeed in Hollywood.
  • Star Trek episode titles usually don't go here, but of twelve episodes featuring Q, eight make a pun on "Q". Star Trek: Deep Space Nine also has groaner of an episode title with "Trials and Tribble-ations". And then there's TNG's "Ménage à Troi".
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody is about Zack and Cody's sweet life living in a hotel suite. A number of episodes of both the show and its spinoff The Suite Life on Deck also have pun-based titles.
  • The Not-Pictionary-honest game show Win, Lose or Draw. The Gaelic-language version was given the Completely Different Title De Tha Seo ("What's This?").
  • The Wizards of Waverly Place episode "Future Harper" features a number of books by "H.J. Darling", one of which is "Charmed and Dangerous".
  • You're a Star: It picked a Eurovision Song Contest contestant; the name suggests "Euro Star".


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: