"The Acquisitive Chuckle": Either version of the title would work, but Anderson's description of Jackson's chuckle after closing the case lends some emotional weight to the title's meaning, especially with the focus on it being the acquisitive chuckle.
"Northwestward": When Mr Wayne restates his butler's intentions, he refers to the northwestward direction. Cecil, however, had said "northwest", as in the airline company.
"Blind Alley": In scene IV, the leader of the non-Humans uses the concept of a blind alley, one where you're closed off on three sides and the only way out is back the way you came, as an analogy for their current psychological condition. So they've decided to stop reproducing. A similar colloquialism is "dead end".
"The Mayors": This story was originally published under the name "Bridle and Saddle". Mayor Hardin tells Prince Regent Wienis a Beast Fable about a man, a horse, and a wolf. The wolf is an enemy of both the horse and the man, but to cooperate, the man asks if he can place a bridle and saddle on the horse. The bridle and saddle represent the Scam Religion that Mayor Hardin created, which has given Terminus control over the Four Kingdoms.
Foundation and Empire: The Prologue provides basic setting details, including the primary conflict of the next story; the battle of Foundation (along the Periphery) and Empire (still in control of the centre, with three-quarters of the galactic population loyal to the emperor).
"Search by the Mule": The climactic confrontation between the Mule and the First Speaker ends with the Mule seeing he's been outmaneuvered, and the First Speaker agreeing, citing the original title, "Now you see it".
The Gods Themselves: The title of the book and the titles of each of the three parts are said by the first part's main character in one quote ("Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain," first said by the German playwright Friedrich Schiller).
"Good Taste" is a Subverted Trope, ending with the main character, who is right, but exiled from his planet nonetheless, hearing form his mother that "what you did was in..." then the shuttle doors close, muffling out the last words of a common idiom, which would be completed with the story's title.
It was Breckenridge who, with cool efficiency, was handling the details of preparation. There had been a kind of confidence in the way he said, "Let's get together and we'll lick Them." Let's get together. It came to Lynn so quietly that anyone watching Lynn at that moment might have seen his eyes blink slowly twice-but surely nothing more.
"My Son, the Physicist": The title is said early in the story by the title character; she's looking for her son because he invited her to visit at his work that day.
The woman smiled. "I'm looking for my son, the physicist." "Your son, the-" "He's a communications engineer, really. Senior Physicist Gerard Cremona."
"Catch That Rabbit": Powell reminds Donovan that the first step in cooking rabbit stew is catching the rabbit. This is an analogy, that they first must figure out what is going wrong before they can solve the problem.
"Mirror Image": The title is used to refer to the way both Dr Humboldt and Dr Sabbat tell the same story, but with the names of each involved reversed.
"Mother Earth": The title refers to Earth's position as the homeland of humanity, the source of sapient life in the galaxy. Three times the title is used; twice the Outer Worlds are separating themselves from Earth as homeworld. The third use of "Mother Earth" is by an Earthman to say that it will lead a Galactic Empire.
The Caves of Steel: The title is a nickname for Earth's enclosed, mostly underground metropolises, in which the entire population lives. Spacers speak of these Cities derogatorily.
The Naked Sun: Multiple times, referring to Baley's fear of the outdoors. The sun, with the way it moves and unexpectedly goes behind clouds and comes out again, especially bothers him.
"Spell My Name with an "S"": Dr Sebatinsky doesn't really believe in the "prediction" made by the numerologist, but is satisfied with the results anyway. After telling people to spell his name with an 'S' for so long, he'd find it inconvenient to change back to being Dr Zebatinsky.
Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg's The Ugly Little Boy (1991): The title's description of Timmie is first used when Nurse Fellowes realizes that everything that Stasis will be providing for Timmie is present only at her behest; Dr Hoskins, CEO of Stasis, has set things up so that she is the only one in charge of the neanderthal project, and supplies will be not be provided unless there is a demand from her. Even Timmie seems to have intuited this in the early moments of their first meeting.
Bleak Seasons is a phrase used in that book and the next one, Soldiers Live, as a metaphor for anguish felt at loss of loved ones in wartime.
She is the Darkness is repeated again and again by the wizard Smoke in regard to the series' most prominent female characters, referring to the current arc's Big Bad goddess Kina, whom Smoke sees in every powerful woman.
Water Sleeps comes from the graffiti that spread over the city of Taglios, itself shorthand for the expression, "Even water sleeps, but enemy never rests."
Soldiers Live is short for "Soldiers live, and wonder why," a metaphor Croaker uses to explain his survivor's guilt over all the Company men and women he outlives.
In Tom Holt's Blonde Bombshell, Lucy turns out to be a very literal example of the idiom: she is the missing Mk. I bomb.
In Brave New World, John the Savage replies to Bernard's invitation for him to come and live in the "civilized" world by quoting Miranda's words from the final scene of Shakespeare's Tempest, pausing when he comes to the title drop. He later recites the same words (and title drop) as an Ironic Echo, after his disillusionment with the values of said "civilized" world.
Brewster's Millions: At some point in the original book, when Montgomery Brewster was quite close to receiving "Sedgwick's Millions", he said they'd soon become "Brewster's Millions".
Bring Up the Bodies, the second book in a trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, is named after the phrase used in court to summon the guilty for their sentencing. It's spoken after the trial of the men Cromwell selected to accuse of adultery and treason with Anne Boleyn.
A Brother's Price: Jerin Whistler, the oldest son in his family, is approaching the age of marriage, when he is to be sold for his brother's price, a custom very like a bride price. His family strikes a deal to buy a shop with the money they get from him, and he's very conscious that he has to sell high so they don't have to renege on that deal and pay a penalty.
In an interesting twist, Ted Dekker names the titles of the first three books of The Circle Series in the form of the last names of three serial killers in some later books. Showdown has Marsuvees Black, Skin has Sterling Red, and House has Barsidious White.
A rather clever example in the original novel A Clockwork Orange; it's the title of one of Frank Alexander's manuscripts, and Alex, upon seeing it, remarks on what a stupid title it is. Later, after being "rehabilitated", he suddenly blurts it out.
The Color Purple does it towards the end of the book. It is somewhere in the middle of a long list of small things to be grateful for and enjoy. This philosophical/religious discussion would be unremarkable without the title drop.
In John C. Wright's Count to a Trillion, Blackie starts making plans at once for a far future danger, on the grounds that even if a man does not have the patience to count to a trillion, still the number exists.
The Crying of Lot 49 plays with this. The title is the final line of text, and deliberately makes absolutely no sense until then. It turns out that the 49th lot (property) at an auction is maybe relevant to the mystery, and Oedipa is waiting for that lot to be cried (sold). The book ends just before the crying starts, because Thomas Pynchon likes doing that sort of thing, so we never find out what happens.
Iain M. Banks does this at times in his Culture series, probably most notably in Use of Weapons, and also in Look to Windward and Matter.
Damnatio Memoriae by Laura Giebfried has the Latin teacher, Albertson, explain that "Damnatio Memoriae" means "condemnation of memory", which becomes ingrained in Enim's thoughts as an explanation as to why no one else seems to notice the disappearances of numerous girls on the island.
One passage in Danganronpa IF contains one for the franchise title, but it only works in Japanese: as a group of Monokumas shoot at a fully turned Mukuro Ikusaba, the narration explains she's able to parry the bulletsnote "Dangan Ronpa" is parsed as "Bullet Refutal" in Japanese, with "refutal" in this case used to describe deflecting with ease.
The Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol aren't souls in the religious sense, they're not immediately mentioned, and it takes even longer for us to learn what's the real purpose of the protagonist buying them up.
Every version of Stephen King's The Dead Zone has featured the phrase "the dead zone". However, oddly enough each version ascribes the phrase a different meaning. In the original novel it referred to parts of Johnny's brain which had died during his coma, which became important when he had a crucial vision of the future — some elements of which he couldn't make out because they were in "the dead zone."
Gene Wolfe's story "The Death of Dr. Island". It doubles as a Red Herring; the title doesn't mean what you think it does.
Dr. Island: [...] by dying she made someone else, someone very important, well. Her prognosis was bad; she really wanted only death, and this was the death I chose for her. You could call it the death of Dr. Island, a death that would help someone else.
A Deepness in the Sky: "I have students who are sure most of the stars are just like our sun, only much much younger, and many with worlds just like ours. You want a deepness that endures, a deepness that Spiderkind can depend on? Pedure, there is a deepness in the sky, and it extends forever."
Anthony Horowitz's Diamond Brothers books all have Puns as their titles, and each one gets title dropped, from "I Know Who You Killed Last Wednesday" to "South by Southeast".
Digitesque: In Zeroth Law, the most fundamental law of the gods is "The zeroth law, in full, was defined as follows: Do not harm humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm."
Painted on a wall near the end of Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!The food-addicted title character confesses to doing this in desperation for the attention of her neglectful mother.
The Fifth Elephant is an Uberwaldian expression, based on the legend that there were once five elements instead of four that held up the Disc, but one fell off and crashed into earth, creating the fat deposits that are in the center of the plot.
"A lie can run around the world before The Truth has got its boots on."
Dora Wilk Series: No Innocents At War has Bruno state the title after a short, but nasty fight:
Bruno: There are no innocents at war, they're either with you or against you.
The Dreamside Road: The Dreamside Road is frequently named in-story. This is to be expected, as finding the Dreamside Road is the main motivation of almost all of the major characters.
Played with in Paul Murray's novel An Evening Of Long Goodbyes. About halfway through the book, the narrator character decides to write a play based on the events happening around him. He says he has chosen the title: six words which perfectly capture the sad mood of the situation. The next chapter is the playscript itself, titled There's Bosnians In My Attic! The trope is played straight elsewhere, where "An Evening of Long Goodbyes" is the name of a racing greyhound.
Everyone Poops ends with the line "All living things eat, so everyone poops!"
"I wonder if no warning/or joke or anything/can distract her/from stealing/then selling/Every Shiny Thing."
the drug cache in the possession of the defendants at the time of the arrest was enough to kill an entire platoon of United States Marines and gentlemen, I use the word kill with all due respect for the fear and loathing I'm sure it provokes in every one of you
Used incessantly in Fifty Shades of Grey, Ana regularly drops variants of the title into her narrative, talking about herself as being so many shades of confused, a situation being many shades darker, and so on. She also refers to Christian Grey as "Fifty Shades", "her own personal Fifty Shades", etc.
In Fortunately, the Milk, a man pops out to buy milk for his family's breakfast, and returns after an exceptionally long absence with a single carton of milk and a wild tale about how he was abducted by aliens on the way home and forced to go on an action-packed time travel adventure. At several points in his story, usually after something particularly active has happened, he adds in an aside that fortunately, the milk was safe in his pocket/because he'd kept a tight grip on it/etc.
The Gate Of Ivory is set on the planet of Ivory, but gets a more proper title drop when Theodora references the classic belief that false dreams come through the Gate of Ivory and true dreams from the Gate of Horn, and how she so often gets things backwards.
In Golden Dawn, Herald does this whilst trying to discover if the angel has another name after finding out how long her name really is "Midwinter Sunrise When The Sun's Rays Touch The Snow-covered Mountains And Reflect The Pale, Golden Light".
In Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O'Hara uses the title phrase when she wonders to herself if her home on a plantation called "Tara" is still standing or if it is "gone with the wind which had swept through Georgia." (part 3, chapter 24).
Goodbye, Mr. Chips is about a teacher named Mr Chipping, known familiarly as "Chips". The title phrase appears at two significant points: the first time, as a familiar joke from his fiancée on the night before their wedding, and the second time, near the end of the story, from a new student who hasn't yet grasped that "Chips" is just a nickname. The second time is also significant as the last time anyone says goodbye to him before he dies.
The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed. And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quicklime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.
The Great Ringtail Garbage Caper serves as both the title of the book AND the name of the plan the local raccoons develop to get first dibs on Gull Island's garbage supply.
From the moment King Solomon starts referring to the Hand of Mercy, it's clear that Helen and Clem aren't just reassembling some old angel bones.
Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating: The story's title is given to a document Hani and Ishu draw up to help them fake a relationship, with a number of rules. Over time, they break them all.
The protagonist of Heavy Metal and You by Christopher Krovatin drops the title as the only two things he has.
"As one of the survivors of the lone southern strongpoint would say later, the defense of Isabelle had been Hell In A Very Small Place."
In The Heroes of Olympus series, Hera/Juno does it while speaking with Jason about his destiny in the last chapter of The Lost Hero.
House of Leaves is the title of a book Navidson brings with him on a journey into the labyrinth. It also occurs in one of the supplementary appendices which are connected with the main narrative, as part of a poem.
There's a belated, sort-of Title Drop in The Hunger Games trilogy: "hunger games" and "mockingjay" appear all throughout the trilogy, but in Mockingjay, Katniss proclaims that "fire is catching". Catching Fire was the previous book.
I Am the Cheese: The title drop is the first person narrator's comment on the last line ("The cheese stands alone") of the Ironic Nursery Tune he has been humming to himself throughout the novel.
In Philip Friedman's trial novel, Inadmissible Evidence, the main character tries to get some witness testimony admitted. After judge throws it out, and the trial is about to start, we get this nice little passage:
The morning papers gave him even less space, mostly playing the story as an implausible allegation properly kept out of court. They seemed more willing to show their bias in favor of [the defendant] now that the trial was about to begin. Only one treated [the witness's] story as seriously as Estrada thought it deserved. The front page headline in Noticias Diarias said simply, PRUEBAS PROHIBITAS. Inadmissible Evidence.
At the end of the first book, Forge of Darkness, Caladan Brood claims that by the blood surrendered from both the goddess Mother Dark and her children, 'Darkness is forged'.
In Forge of Darkness there are also two on one page for the third book, Walk in Shadow. When Rise Herat contemplates the flooded city and likens Dorssan Ryl's bridges to 'where dwelt equity, hope and cherished lives', when he sees people being swept by water through the shadows of said bridges, the narration says: 'Such shadows could not be walked.' And later, when he imagines flinging himself from the Citadel's tower, his thoughts are:
Rise Herat:Of all the falls promised me by this vantage, I will take the river. Each and every time, I will take the river. And perhaps, one day, I will walk in shadows.
Addie says, "My Grandpa always said, people like me in the past might not have been the most sociable. Or the chattiest. But while everyone else was around the fireplace gossiping, we were out finding electricity. That's what my autism is. It's A Kind of Spark."
In Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig, Molina recreates movie plots to his cell mate Valentin to pass the time. The first one is about a panther-woman who kills every man who kisses her. Later in the book, after both prisoners start having an affair and Molina is set free, Molina asks Valentin why he hasn't kissed him yet. He answers jokingly that he was afraid he'll became a panther and kill him, like the panther-woman movie, to which Molina replies that he is not a panther-woman. Valentine then says to him: "You are the spider-woman, who catches the men in her web" and Molina says that he likes that. At the end of the book, when Valentin starts having a death dream, the title is dropped again reinforced with the image of the spider-woman when he is talking with Marta.
"The unicorn made no reply, and Schmendrick said, "She is the last. She is The Last Unicorn in the world."
The first book in the Left Behind series gives a title drop in advance, as the characters excitedly discuss the formation of a "Tribulation Force".
Lilies of the Field has the protagonist quote scripture to try to get the stingy, English-deficient mother superior to pay him for his work.
Near the end of Return of the King Frodo reveals that he's written The Fall of the Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King.
When Frodo also first sees his friends after waking up in Rivendell, Pippin cheers for him and calls him "Frodo, Lord of the Ring!" Gandalf promptly scolds him.
The Lord Peter Wimsey short story "The Article in Question" does it twice in ten pages, combining title drop with Chekhov's Boomerang. The title is dropped for the first time already in the preamble, where "the article in question" refers to a diamond necklace. The story proper deals with two French jewel thieves. The article in question turns out to be the French definite article, which has different form for male and female. One of the thieves, while impersonating a maid, slips up and uses the male form about himself, which leads to lord Peter solving the case.
The Lotterys More or Less: At the end of the book, when PopCorn asks Sumac if she enjoyed their holidays, even a little bit, she replies "More or less".
"These were The Lovely Bones that had grown around my absence: the connections-sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent-that happened after I was gone."
Shelena from Loyal Enemies drops the title of the book on its last pages, in a mocking fashion:
What did you think, that we'd just tell each other something cliché, like "Goodbye, my loyal enemy, I'll miss you" (...)?
The Madness Season is the portion of the Tyr life cycle where the Raayat drones gain a sense of individuality apart from the Hive Mind as they prepare to mate with the queen.
Especially in the last book, The Crippled God, there are many mentions of a Book of the Fallen, but at one point both the series' and the book's titles are dropped in one sentence:
In that Malazan Book of the Fallen, the historians will write of our suffering, and they will speak of it as the suffering of those who served the Crippled God.
The last book also includes excerpts from a poem titled The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Fisher kel Tath, a poet famed in-universe.
In the same book, the Crippled God himself resolves in his thoughts to write down the sacrifices the Malazans made to free him from his suffering, entitling the work Malazan Book of the Fallen.
In the third book, Memories of Ice, the phrase "memories of ice" is said by Tool during a discussion of the ancient war between the Jaghut and the T'lan Imass. The text is also peppered with it as a descriptive metaphor, indicating a sort of melancholia.
Besides, there is a point when the unfortunate and the infamous are associated and confused in a word, a mortal word, les misérables; whose fault is it? And then, when the fall is furthest, is that not when charity should be greatest?
In Teresa Frohock's Miserere: An Autumn Tale, one character says "Miserere" — have mercy — as a plea for mercy for himself, and another sends a letter instructing John that a lost sheep is returning, and concludes with it Miserere.
In My Dark Vanessa, Strane shows Vanessa a passage from Pale Fire: "Come and be worshiped, come and be caressed/My dark Vanessa, crimson-barred, my blest "
My Sister's Keeper. While the title initially seems to refer to Anna's role as (involuntary) organ donour to her sister Kate, the actual title drop is done by Jesse, responding to a question about Anna's whereabouts with "Am I my sister's keeper?"
My Swordhand Is Singing contains two title drops. The first: "No, Milosh. I am not hurt," he said. "I am dying. But my swordhand is singing. I will take the sword into the village, and put an end to it." And the second: "Yes, Father. My swordhand is singing.
The title drop in The Name of the Rose is intentionally opaque, showing up only in an untranslated Latin epitaph in the last line in the novel: Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus. This translates roughly to "the ancient rose continues to exist through its name, yet its name is all that remains to us," a line that touches on several of the book's themes. Umberto Eco went on to say that, as a semiologist (a specialist in metaphors and symbols) he'd found that the Rose was the most used of symbols, to the point that it could be used as a symbol of almost *anything*. Meaning that it has become too charged with subtitles to actually mean anything any more. He deliberately chose the title to be the most portentous ever, but to not portent anything in particular. It is a semiotic joke, mister Moreau.
The Neverending Story: "The Neverending Story" is, of course, the name of the book Bastian is reading, but within the book the phrase is first used by Gmork:
"What are you creatures of Fantastica? Dreams, poetic inventions, characters in a neverending story."
Early on in Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, Nicholas Higgins remarks, "And yet, yo' see, North and South has both met and made kind o' friends in this big smoky place".
Number the Stars has its title drop during the fake funeral: Peter reads from Psalm 147, which describes God as "He Who numbers the stars one by one." The protagonist Annemarie looks out the window as he says this, wondering how this is possible considering how many stars she could see.
"Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to One Hundred Years of Solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth."
Greg Egan's Orthogonal trilogy is full of title drops for both the trilogy and each book, with the exception of The Clockwork Rocket (the first book), which is never stated in those words.
The Eternal Flame (the second book) is a hypothetical inexhaustible energy source that could be used to fuel a Perpetual Motion Machine.
Any given object has an "arrow of time" (the third book, though the actual title is The Arrows of Time), a four-dimensional vector that describes its path through spacetime.
The trilogy's title is dropped far more frequently than any of the individual book titles; Orthogonal, which is basically a fancy word for "perpendicular", is constantly used to refer to situations where something is traveling orthogonally through spacetime with respect to something else — "something else" usually being the Doomed Home Planet. note In other words, if two space rocks have arrows of time that are perpendicular to each other (each one's movement through space is perceived as movement through time by the other, and vice versa), they are said to be orthogonal to each other. The phrase "orthogonal matter", which is this universe's equivalent to Antimatter, is by far the most frequently used title drop.
Lord Maccon: It looks like you managed to build your own pack, anyway, my dear. A parasol protectorate, perhaps one might say.
The Pendragon Adventure gets a lot of usage out of this trope, with the title usually relating to the turning point of the territory that has to be saved. It begins in the very first book, The Merchant of Death. Eccentric tradesman Figgis reveals himself to be selling tak, a deadly explosive. The Milago people are constructing it into a bomb as part of La Résistance. Cue title drop.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: In The Last Olympian, the final book, the goddess Hestia tells Percy that as the guardian of the hearth, she is the last Olympian.
Qube was an official Prophecy Approved Companion to one of the three possible saviours of the world.
The Quantum Gravity series has three. The first two, Keeping It Real and Selling Out, come in the second book, in talking about what it means to be a demon: Keeping it real and never selling out. The title drop for the series as a whole finally makes sense of the series title.
The ghost glow was gone, but she had been Jone's ship and real enough before her capture by the Fleet's massive quantum gravity, so she hadn't fallen apart yet[.]
In the first of Jack Chalker's Quintara Marathon trilogy, The Demons at the Rainbow Bridge, one character says: "Three highly trained teams are about to set out on a racecourse blindfolded, where they will attempt to murder one another in their quest to catch creatures that will certainly eat the winners! Yes, indeed, beings of all races! Don't dare miss—The Quintara Marathon!" To which the character's telepathic parasite responds with Shut up, Jimmy! All the individual books also include a title drop.
The Reynard Cycle: The titles of the series all refer directly to Reynard, and all of them get significantly dropped close to the end of each novel.
The events in the fantasy novel, Satyrday take place over the course of the week. Guess which day the climax falls on. No, really.
Matthew (a satyr): I think today is Satyrday.
A Scanner Darkly has this line: "Does a passive infrared scanner...see into me-into us-clearly or darkly?"
The title of the first book, The Darkness that Comes Before, is a phrase that comes up several times when Kellhus describes the Logos. It is all the involuntary forces outside of oneself that drive one's actions. Only a "self-moving soul" can avoid becoming a slave to the darkness that comes before action.
The title of the first trilogy, Prince of Nothing, is dropped by Cnaiür. He calls Kellhus "a prince of nothing" in The Darkness that Comes Before, when the latter decides to pose as a prince from Atrithau, a place so far north nobody would know more than its name.
Sharpe: The last two words of every book except the last two are the title, which often requires some slightly clumsy prose.
The last five words of the novel The Silence of the Lambs are "the silence of the lambs", in reference to an intense conversation Clarice had earlier on with Lecter about witnessing lambs being slaughtered as a child.
Our world is mostly civilized these days, mostly tamed: but I knew there was wildness and weirdness out there. Where? Hither or thither or somewhere or somewhither: In elfland or outer space or beyond the walls of the world.
A Song of Ice and Fire, both with the series name and the individual books A Game of Thrones, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. In the second book, Daenerys sees a vision of her dead brother Rhaegar in the House of the Undying, in which he says of his baby son Aegon "He is the Prince Who Was Promised, and his song is the song of ice and fire". Dany later discusses it with Ser Jorah, but they can't figure out what it means. note While the title has been briefly mentioned, as of book 4 it is still not known what it actually is, though a popular theory has been pieced together from context and evidence. Rhaegar Targaryen believed that "the song of ice and fire" was something to do with the Prince Who Was Promised. At first, he thought that the Prince was his son Aegon, but later concluded that he'd been mistaken. This is what led him to seduce Lyanna Stark (Targaryen = fire, Stark = ice), presumably in the hope of fathering a Stark/Targaryen child who would be the Prince Who Was Promised. Since the role of the Prince Who Was Promised is to fight the Others, the title song is the cyclical/prophetic saga of a hero battling against the Others to save mankind. Important detail about the Rhaegar and Lyanna theory: a lot of fans are convinced that not only did Rhaegar and Lyanna have a child together but that that child was Jon Snow.
A short story describes the Pact of Ice and Fire- an alliance between the Starks and Targaryens.
The title drop for A Game of Thrones most famously occurs in one of Ned's chapters in which he confronts Cersei, and is the first title drop in the live action adaption. Cersei famously counters with the phrase, "In the game of thrones, you win or you die." The phrase "game of thrones" is used several times afterwards throughout the rest of the series. The first title drop is by Ser Jorah, of all people, in response to Dany's claim that the common people are praying for Viserys's return to the throne. Interestingly, while all other title drop in the thousands-of-pages-long series indicates the importance of the situation, the very first one belittles the entire thing.
"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends," Ser Jorah told her. "It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace." He gave a shrug. "They never are."
In A Feast for Crows the title drop occurs in Asha's first chapter, although it's not a literal one: "We had one king, then five. Now all I see are crows, squabbling over the corpse of Westeros."
In A Dance with Dragons one character says, "Not all men were meant to dance with dragons" about Quentyn Martell after his death.
"Annihilation" is one of the trigger phrases used by the psychologist to activate post-hypnotic suggestions in the expedition members. It's supposed to force the listener to immediately commit suicide.
"Authority" is part of another code phrase, "consolidation of authority", which forces the listener to obey.
An interesting variation: one of the books delivers a title drop for one of the films, when Admiral Pellaeon says: "Although you may win the occasional battle against us, Vorrik, the Empire will always strike back."
Matthew Stover's novelization of Revenge of the Sith tells us that "The Clone Wars have always been, in and of themselves, from their very inception, the revenge of the Sith. [...] By fighting at all, the Jedi lost."
In Labyrinth of Evil, Yoda uses the titular phrase to describe the state of the Clone Wars.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer Smith approaches the second variety of Title Drop, using it on the next-to-last page.
Stranger And Stranger has its title dropped when Ainslee infers what Oren must think of her in chapter fifteen.
Happens in every single book of the Sword of Truth series, except for Soul of the Fire (a title which, incidentally, can't really refer to anything in the book. There is a fire spirit, but it's explicitly described as not having a soul). It gets slightly varied, as the Blood of the Fold of the third book were first mentioned in the second, and the last title, Confessor, as it's the title of one of the main characters, had been in common usage in the books since the first one.
In-universe, The Tenets of Futilism is a book outlining the Futilistic cult authored by its leaders, which are the parents of one of the protagonists.
The title of the series Terra Ignota is dropped by Vivien Ancelet at the beginning of book three, The Will to Battle. Ancelet tells Ockham Saneer to plead terra ignota in the upcoming trial because what the O.S. did was, while morally questionable and murder by most Hive's laws, strictly speaking for the protection of the Humanist Hive. Pleading terra ignota means saying "I did the deed, but I do not myself know whether it was a crime. Arm thyself well for this trial, young polylaw; here at the law's wild borders there be dragons."
That Hideous Strength has this: "No power that is merely earthly," he continued at last, "will serve against the Hideous Strength."
In These Words Are True and Faithful, the pastor quotes these words from the Book of Revelation during Saul Overton's funeral. Just about everything that the pastor says is anything but.
A great one happens in the short novel/novella They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, where the title is used in the last chapter as an explanation for why the main character shot his depressed girlfriend who couldn't kill herself—he had to put her out of her misery. (Don't worry, not a spoiler, it's the first thing in the book.)
Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis, waits until the final chapter to mention the title, making its meaning clear by context.
The book's Working Title was actually "Bareface" (the main character goes veiled through most of the book). His editor objected that people would think the book was a western. (Lewis observed that he didn't think that would hurt sales.) So the title was pulled from that line in the last chapter.
Time Scout: The first and third books don't count, as the first, Time Scout names the profession that is the focus of the series and the third, Ripping Time names the period of time that is the focus of the last two books. The third, Wagers of Sin is only dropped in the description on the back cover. The last one, The House That Jack Built is dropped in the epilogue in a rather gratuitous fashion.
To Kill a Mockingbird: Heard in a tale Atticus relates over dinner. If it weren't for the use of the title drop, his tale would seem unimportant at the time, but it turns out to be a metaphor for one of the major themes.
Tortall Universe: Most of the that are spoken in the text are nothing out of the ordinary, but some do have thematic significance.
Song of the Lioness: The third book, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, is a title that the Bazhir give former Sweet Polly Oliver Alanna when she becomes their shaman. She takes exception and says that women and men aren't all that different—men just have more ego.
Protector of the Small: The individual books have Exactly What It Says on the Tin titles, but throughout the quartet we see Kel helping and protecting various defenseless people or animals. In the final book, she's finally called "the Protector of the Small" by a seer who foretold her coming to Scanra to save refugee children. Kel finds it a bit of an Embarrassing Nickname.
Beka Cooper: Every book is titled after a breed of dog, which the Provost's Guard is nicknamed after. Beka, the protagonist, ends up nicknamed as each of them "Terrier" for not letting go of cases nobody expected to solve, "Bloodhound" for following the trail of counterfeit cash relentlessly, and finally "Mastiff" for hunting down the abducted prince and the traitors who plotted to kill him.
Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books do this in every single book, making the whole series' titles into an Anvilicious metaphor for Bella's life: i.e. When she meets Edward, her life descends into twilight; when he leaves her, her world becomes dark in New Moon; The Volturi/fear eclipse everything else in Eclipse; and Breaking Dawn is when everything is working out all right. In the Swedish editions the title drops are inevitable, since the Swedish title of every book in the series is a quote from said book. The Short Life of Bree Tanner is the only exception; it was translated without any changes.
The title drop in Eclipse is more blatant. Bella calls Jacob her personal sun, balancing out the clouds of her depression, but says that she's choosing Edward. Jacob replies that he can handle the clouds, but that he can't fight an Eclipse.
In the companion book to the Uglies series, Bogus to Bubbly, which explained many things that were left out of the series, Word of God states that the last word of each book was the name of the next book. Scott Westerfeld says that the first two were unintentional, though.
The first two? There are only three books in the series, so the last words of the first two would be the only relevant ones. Unless you're including Extras...
More specifically, the last word of "Uglies" is "pretty", the last word of "Pretties" is "special", and the last word of "Specials" is "ugly". Considering Tally's Character Development, these could be considered Arc Words.
The last word of "Extras" is "cake." Make of that what you will.
Warbreaker: The Returned are people who have died and have been resurrected, and are worshiped as gods by the Hallandrens. They are given names by the priests, which are supposed to be prophetic. Names include Lightsong the Bold, Blushweaver the Beautiful, and Peacegiver the Merciful. At the very end of the book, it's revealed that Vasher's first name was Warbreaker the Peaceful.
In the prologue for the fifth book of Power of Three, Rock makes a reference to "the power of three". In Sign of the Moon, which isn't even in the Power of Three series, when Jayfeather realizes that Lion's Roar and Dove's Wing are past incarnations of Lionblaze and Dovewing, he says that the "Power of Three" (capitalized like a title) has begun.
In Omen of the Stars, Yellowfang mentions "an Omen of the Stars" (also capitalized like a title) in the prologue of the very first book.
There are no less than three echo related metaphors used in Fading Echoes.
The Last Hope takes the cake. It gets dropped at least five times in the book, two of them from the prologue alone.
In The Place of No Stars, since the title of the book is the name of a location where a lot of the action takes place, the book's title comes up several times.
Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series takes each of its titles from the text of the book, usually from dialog between characters but occasionally from description; there is also quite often an excerpt from the Prophecies of the Dragon at the beginning or end of the book that does a title drop. The individual chapters within the books follow the same trend, though more loosely, often referring to an event or location which is not described in the exact phrasing as the chapter title. The ninth book, Winter's Heart, is in many ways a crux to the entire series, and this is foreshadowed in that the title phrase appears somewhere in almost every book in the series.
The title question in Agatha Christie's Why Didn't They Ask Evans? is the last thing spoken by the murder victim. The significant title drop doesn't come until near the end, however, when the heroine finds herself asking the very same question.
The Seymours' estate Wolf Hall is mentioned a few times towards the end of Wolf Hall, its name being a metaphor for the Tudor court as a whole as well as an indication of what will happen in the sequel.
The stolen documents that Bond and Precious chase after in Hurricane Gold are referred to as such by El Huracán. In his words, hurricane gold was what Mayans called treasure that brought misfortune to anyone possessing it.
In By Royal Command, Bond comes across two little girls in a predicament, as their shuttlecock flew into a tree. He helps them out, and later learns that they were actually the two daughters of the Duke of York, much to his associate Dandy O'Keefe's amusement, who quips how Bond is now "by Royal Command".
In Zero History by William Gibson, Defence Criminal Investigative Service agent Winnie Tung Whittaker is telling Milgrim how little of a trail he has left over the years: "Zero history as far as Choice Point is concerned. Means you haven't even had a credit card for ten years."
In Zomboy, a video of Imre lifting and carrying a school bus into a parking lot was posted on the net. The video was titled "Zomboy Lifts Bus".