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Titus (TV sitcom)

  • Crazy Awesome: Despite Juanita's schizophrenic episodes, violent behavior, drug abuse, and poor choice in men, she was a beauty contest winner (even qualifying for Miss California back in The '60s), a great cook, a talented piano player, and spoke four different languages.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The show played hopscotch with the line right from the start:
    (from the pilot "Dad Is Dead," with the characters believing Ken killed himself)
    Erin: (crying) What a waste... He was only fifty-four! (everyone hangs their head)
    Dave: (beat) Who won the pool?
    (another beat, then they all reach for their wallets for their pool entries)
    Dave: Who had fifty-four?
    Titus: Dad did!
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Ken "Papa" Titus was near-universally loved by audiences for being such a Magnificent Bastard and because Stacy Keach could turn even the driest of lines into a hilarious punch line by simply altering his delivery (On paper Ken would be a monster but Keach makes him a laugh riot). Christopher Titus was reportedly jealous of how Keach could turn the audience to Ken's side when they were actually supposed to be sympathetic towards the fictional Christopher.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In-Universe, "Episode 11" has Titus play a prank on his father when he lies about having suffered a heart attack. Gloating about the prank then leads to Ken having an actual heart attack.
    • The episodes that center on trouble in Titus's relationship with Erin ("The Break-Up," "The Perfect Thanksgiving," and "Deprogramming Erin" to name a few) and his line in the first episode about how Erin was so much better than the 5'1", 100 lb. Jewish girl who wouldn't stop beating him up rings hollow now that Titus divorced Erin, and the comedy special "Love is Evol" revealed that Erin was worse than the deranged women he's been with before. Erin cheated on Titus with two men, stole money from him and her children so she could get plastic surgery for herself, tried to attack Titus with a knife, goaded him to kill himself, and committed perjury to side-step California's "no-fault" divorce laws (which only allow one spouse to have everything if he or she claims abuse) by telling the judge that Titus beat her ever since they got married and has been abusive to the kids since they were born. The good news is the jury didn't believe Erin, but that was after five years of court hearings and roughly $2 million in alimony and legal fees.
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    • "The Test" is particularly bad, with Erin spending the entire episode saying that she will never leave Christopher and would die for him.
      • Similarly, "The Last Noelle" had Erin jokingly threaten to punch Titus in the face if he didn't go up to his abusive ex-girlfriend's casket. At the time, it was Played for Laughs.
    • Titus's line in "Shannon's Song" about he and Shannon going to Heaven and Shannon getting the better Heaven than Titus (with Titus's inner midget consoling him that he'll end up in Hell) is wince-worthy since Titus's sister Shannon committed suicide in real life. In addition, "Tommy's Crush" had Shannon get back together with her husband, despite the emotional abuse he inflicted on her and it was Played for Laughs that Christopher stood up for her and she ignored his advice. The real Shannon committed suicide because her boyfriend kept breaking up with her and getting back together with her so often that it drove her mad.
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    • Titus's line on "Houseboat" about teaching his dad that heart attacks are not like women ("You just can't keep having them") next Christmas isn't funny now that his father really did die of a heart attack.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Titus's later stand-up comedy routines, such as "Love is Evol", reveal that he and his wife (upon whom the character Titus and his wife Erin are based) have divorced, and it was not an easy break up. It makes watching both episodes of them being heartwarming and episodes where they've broken up a little more difficult.
  • Iron Woobie: How in the holy blue hell does Erin manage to retain some degree of cheerfulness with a family that screwed up (both parents are bitter, physically abusive Irish drunks, her sister is a mom who's too high to care for her own daughter, her brother is a career criminal, and her niece has been neglected and abused both physically and sexually)? You just know her childhood had to be a psychiatrist's wet dream beyond what the episodes show. Sadly, the real Erin Carden (Titus's first wife) became just as messed-up as the rest of her family, as mentioned in "Love is Evol."
  • Refuge in Audacity: Part of why Ken Titus was the Ensemble Dark Horse, especially when it came to dealing with police.
    • After getting pulled over, he quickly swaps seats with his then-tween son so he won't get busted for DWI - the cop wasn't buying it at all.
    • Another instance had him get pulled over for speeding.
      Ken: 126[mph]? No way! This ol' gal shimmies at 95! Here, I'll show ya - hold my beer. (Hands officer his beer and speeds off for the State line two miles away... leaving his peeing son behind)
  • Retroactive Recognition: Riki Lindhome has a brief role in "Errr" as Amy's girlfriend.
    • The cop from "Dave Moves Out" and "Episode 11" would later star in Dog with a Blog, with Cynthia Watros (Erin) even appearing in an episode.
    • Octavia Spencer was a social worker in a season three episode (she was known for playing bit parts as annoyed government employees).
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Most of "The Last Noelle", as the show delves into his abusive relationship with his ex-girlfriend - whose funeral he only attended to make sure she was dead. The Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male does not exist on this show, and Titus showcases it brilliantly with the Wham Line on the main page.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: The audience is supposed to take Christopher's side in his conflict with Ken, but Stacy Keach made the character and his distasteful actions and behavior so funny and charming that the opposite happened.
  • The Woobie: Titus. Especially heart-breaking is that most of what happened to him on the show happened to his actor, Christopher Titus. That he hasn't gone on a serial-killing rage or committed suicide like his mom and sister did speaks volumes about how strong people can be despite their upbringing. Keep in mind the show was before his wife turned out to be maybe the most psychopathic person in his life.

Titus (1999 movie)

  • Awesome Music:
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The movie is brimming with them. Some prime examples are the dance of the carnival performers who present Titus with the severed heads of his sons (and his own severed hand), Lavinia's rape flashback (which involves heavy metal music and gratuitous tigers), most of the orgy scenes, and the bit where Chiron dances on a pool table wearing enough leather to start his own BDSM colony.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Harry Lennix is one of the lesser-known actors in the film, but as Aaron, he manages to steal every scene he's in.
  • Foe Yay: Played for Laughs when Tamora dresses up as the spirit of Revenge and Titus gives her a prolonged kiss on the lips out of gratitude, much to the awkward stares of her disguised sons because Titus knows well that's Tamora and is only biding his time playing up his insanity and freaking her out.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Lavinia spitting blood when her uncle finds her.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: The movie is best described as the original abusing LSD and a time machine.


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