Annual Title

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When a show's title incorporates the year it was released—more or less. Forward-dating shows by using next year is somewhat common, especially if the release is late in the year. Back-dating is less heard of, since it implies the show is falling behind the times; usually annual titles get incremented in case production slips behind schedule.

Affixing a contemporary year to the title of a familiar story often implies a Setting Update, though not necessarily.

Fans will often do this with Similarly Named Works and Recycled Titles. Since those are Retronyms rather than official, they may or may not have their place here.

Compare Title by Number and Trope 2000.

Examples of Annual Title include:

Comic Books


Live Action TV

  • The 1960s revival of Dragnet: Dragnet 1967, Dragnet 1968, Dragnet 1969 and Dragnet 1970. However, the Pilot Movie Dragnet 1966 was not broadcast until 1969.
  • The infamous Galactica 1980.
  • Match Game '73, '74, etc.


  • The song "Freedom '90" by George Michael, named this way to differentiate it from the (otherwise completely unrelated) song "Freedom" which he made in 1984.

Tabletop Games

  • Magic: The Gathering core sets are all named after their year (forward-dated), a trend that began with 2009's Magic: The Gathering 2010 Core Set, or Magic 2010 for short.


  • The Trope Maker in musical theatre was the Ziegfeld Follies, whose first edition was titled Follies of 1907. It set the standard for titling musical revues to the extent that many revues which never would created a series used annual titles, and most series of revues were referred to with annual titles whether they used them or not. Initially it produced new editions every year, but it and all its imitators stopped coming out yearly by the late 1920s.

Video Games

  • Time Pilot '84
  • Galaga '88, also known as Galaga '90 on its American TurboGrafx-16 release and as Galaga '91 on the Game Gear.
  • Bomberman '93 & '94
  • Hector '87
  • Madden NFL. Every year, it comes out with the next year's year in the title.
    • And the FIFA Soccer/NHLHockey games. The Madden bit was parodied by one webcomic by having the changes for a sequel consist of updating the number... and that's it.
  • Colin McRae Rally 04 was actually released in September 2003.
  • The King of Fighters did this every year from The King of Fighters '94 to The King of Fighters 2003. Since the next game was not released in 2004, the main series stopped using this, though it didn't stop King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2 from being retitled The King of Fighters 2006 in the U.S.
  • Most 2K Sports games, with 2Kn as an abbreviation for (2000 + n). They are usually released in the preceding year, though.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon is a variant; the year it was released was a Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac.


  • Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000. Microsoft Office, too (95, 97, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013).