Double Meaning Title
A game name like Just Cause is absolute gold for the reviewer, since it can mean both "(a) just cause", a righteous agenda, or the phrase "just (be)cause", a dismissive explanation of whimsical or reckless behavior. The opportunity for puns is obvious: why would you steal a passenger jet and fly it directly up the bumhole of a sun-bathing prostitute? Just 'cause! Praise and large quantities of gamer pussy will swiftly follow. However, this pun is so obvious that every game journalist and their cat and their cat's squeaky toy will have used it, so you may have to postmodernly draw attention to that fact at the start of your review so everyone assumes you're using the joke ironically. Remember: the ironic gamer pussy is just as soft and lovely as the regular kind.—Yahtzee, Zero Punctuation
Some works have titles with multiple meanings that all refer to the content of the work in different and independent ways. The authors are probably very proud of themselves.
They are often hard or impossible to translate literally to another language, so translations will frequently use a Completely Different Title.
Compare: Pun-Based Title, where the titles only sound like other things that refer to the content of the work, Justified Title, where a title that refers to the format of the work also refers to the content in some way, and Multiple Reference Pun, where similar forms of wordplay appear in other facets of the work. Subtrope of Double Meaning.
Anime and Manga
- My-HiME is a quintuple pun, meaning "Mai the HiMe", "My HiMe", "My princess", "Mai the princess" and "Maihime" (a kind of dance).
- Tenchi Muyo! can mean "No Need For Tenchi!", "No Need For Heaven and Earth!", or "This Way Up!", depending on the interpretation.
- In B Gata H Kei, (B type, H style), B stands for the main character's B blood type, and B cup breast size. It also stands for "second base", in the Japanese equivalent of our baseball metaphors. (Coincidentally, by our classification, she is also a B Type Tsundere.)
- Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu: the title of the series is a rather elaborate pun that can be read several different ways, due to different readings of some of the words:
- In the Jungle was Always Hare but then came Guu
- The Jungle was Always Nice, Then Came Guu
- The Jungle Is Always Sunny or Hungry
- And the most obscure, a pun on a common phrase in Japanese weather forecasts:
- The Jungle Is Always Clear, With A Chance of Showers
- The Jungle is Always Clear, With Scattered Guu
- The font of the kanji "魔法" (mahou, magic) in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (Magical Girl Madoka Magica) logo text is heavily stylized, and could be read instead as "廃怯" (hai-kyou, cowardice, hesitation). The title could reasonably be read as "廃怯少女 まどか☆マギカ" (Hai-Kyou Shoujo Madoka Magika), or Wavering Girl Madoka Magica in English. This is, if anything, a more accurate description of the series.
- Another view is this: as Kyubey mentioned 魔法少女 (Magical Girl) are immature witches (魔女), 廃怯少女 can be construed as immature 廃女 (abolish-girl), or girl that abolishes—so what did Madoka do in the end?
- Similarly in the romanized title Puella Magi is known to be incorrect Gratuitous Latin for Magical Girl however Magi is masculine as opposed the correct Latin for magical girl Puella Maga. However "magi" is actually a noun with many meaning in Latin among them "wise man" or "deceiver" meanwhile Puella while it could be used as a translation of girl is usually used in the context of child slaves. In other words the romanized title could be considered Deciever's slave: Madoka Magica highlighting the manipulative nature of Kyubey and the magical girl sytem.
- Another view is this: as Kyubey mentioned 魔法少女 (Magical Girl) are immature witches (魔女), 廃怯少女 can be construed as immature 廃女 (abolish-girl), or girl that abolishes—so what did Madoka do in the end?
- The last story arc of The Sandman is The Wake, which has three relevant meanings. The titles of the three chapters make them explicit: "Which Occurs in the Wake of What Has Gone Before", "In Which a Wake Is Held", and "In Which We Wake".
- Watchmen. The phrase "Who watches the watchmen?" can be translated from the original Latin ("Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?") as "who guards the guards?" implying that the superheroes themselves are under attack. But it can also refer to those who watch, implying that someone else is watching them. It's also suggested to mean "Who watches over them?", since they're virtually all horribly broken individuals. Alternately, it can be interpreted as "who polices the police?", referring to the fact that the "heroes" aren't really as heroic as they should be.
- It also has an entirely different set of layered meanings - Dr. Manhattan was originally a watchmaker, and his ability to see the future implies that everyone and everything in the universe is simply an unwinding clockwork mechanism - a world of mechanical watch-men.
- The Invader Zim fanfic "In Short Supply" deals with the Irkens' height-based class system, with both a lack of medium-sized Irkens and Zim's own shortness central to the story.
- With Strings Attached has four different meanings in the context of the book.
- And the subtitle, The Big Pink Job, has five.
- The French film Metisse (derived from mixticius, meaning mixed) was called Cafe Au Lait in the US as a reference to the mixed race characters, mix of the characters races and the french style coffees they all drank.
- The film Camp is about a summer camp for ("campy") musical theatre performers.
- Adaptation is about how orchids are adapted to their environment, how a book is adapted into a screenplay, and how people adapt themselves to a new situation.
- Enemy Mine refers both to the Enemy Mine situation the main characters find themselves in, as well an actual mine owned by the villains. This is, however, a case of a forced double meaning—the mine did not exist in the original story that became the film, but was added at the insistence of studio executives who felt that audiences would not understand that "enemy mine" means "my enemy".
- La Historia Oficial, the title of a film about Argentina's "Dirty War", can mean both "The Official Story" and "The Official History."
- The Straight Story is about a man named Straight, and is also the only non-Mind Screwy, "played-straight" film made by David Lynch.
- Daddy Day Care was translated into Hebrew as "Aba Ba Lagan", which literally means "Daddy came to kindergarten". However, "Balagan" is also a slang word for a mess, making the title "Messy Daddy".
- Also, Species was translated as "Min Mesukan" (literally "Dangerous Species"). The word "Min" also means "Sex", making the title "Dangerous Sex".
- PCU could stand for "Port Chester University" or "Politically Correct University".
- The King's Speech could refer to the publicly important speech that King George delivers at the end or his speech as in his way of speaking.
- Severance, a post-Hostel horror film set on a corporate retreat. "Severance" is termination of employment, and it's dismemberment, which actually occurs a lot more than anybody getting fired in the movie.
- United 93 is about United Flight 93, and how the passengers united against their aggressors.
- Primer has time machines which, because of the way they work, must be "primed" for several hours before they can be used. Later in the movie, it's revealed that the first part of the movie happens after Aaron will have traveled back to the beginning of the movie, bringing a recording of everything he did up to that point. He uses this information as a primer/self-prompter, to make sure he does all the right things to keep the timeline consistent until he reaches the part he wants to change.
- Trading Places refers to how Louis Winthorpe and Billy Ray Valentine are switched around in terms of social status, but also to the financial trading they both deal with.
- Easy A is a pun on the common school slang term for a course that doesn't require much studying, a Shout-Out to The Scarlet Letter, and a reference to Olive's supposedly loose morals.
- The first book of The Baroque Cycle is called Quicksilver. Two of the recurring topics of the series are the element mercury (i.e., quicksilver) in chemistry and alchemy, and the birth of the modern economic system in which money (i.e., silver) can flow quickly from place to place.
- The Baroque Cycle as a whole is not only set in the Baroque era but also exceedingly complex.
- The Confusion is not only about the confusion of metals (in the alchemical sense) and the confusion of messages (in the cryptography sense), or even a certain amount of confusion in the modern "what's going on?" sense, but the Author's Note explains that the book's structure (alternate chapters of parallel narratives) is an alchemical confusion as well.
- The novel (and musical) Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow takes place during the heyday of ragtime music, and one of the lead characters is a ragtime performer; but the title also refers to the persistent poverty among the underprivileged classes of that era?it was "rag time".
- In the poem "The Collar" by George Herbert, the title can be taken to refer to either a priest's collar or a slave's collar. Since the text poem consists of someone crying out (i.e., they're a caller) in anger (i.e., choler), it's also a Pun-Based Title.
- The title of Soul Music refers to both the actual genre of music and the fact that, in the book, the music literally gets into people's souls.
- The Fifth Elephant refers to an old legend about a fifth elephant that used to support the Disc, but which slipped off and crashed down on the flat world in the distant past. It's also an Überwaldian expression that can variously mean "that which does not exist," "that which is not what it seems," and "that which while unseen controls events." All of these interpretations come into play over the course of the novel.
- The title of Thud! refers to both the chesslike game played in the series and the opening line—onomatopoeia for being hit by a club. Both are important plot points and arguably the opposite of each other, representing the violent and peaceful solutions for the Fantastic Racism between dwarves and trolls.
- Going Postal refers both to going insane and delivering mail.
- Making Money refers to producing currency and to getting rich.
- Ian McEwan's Enduring Love could just mean a love that lasts (most people just assume this is the meaning), but it has a second meaning: tolerating love or putting up with love.
- Ciem: Vigilante Centipede has a planned sequel dubbed Nuclear Crisis, which both refers to Capp Aard stealing a radioactive blue rock called the Ming-Yo from China; and to Candi's struggles with keeping her growing family safe. Especially since she's pregnant and has the flu, her new husband has cancer, her sister is pregnant and engaged to a treasure hunter, and her sister is on the run from spies and a Government Conspiracy. And she plans to adopt a 3-year-old.
- Ian Rankin has a lot of these. Fleshmarket Close, for instance, starts out in the Edinburgh street of the same name (so called because it used to be a butcher's market), but goes on to be about two different "fleshmarkets"; prostitution and trade in illegal immigrants.
- Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" could refer to either the contest of pitting hunter vs. hunter or the hunting of humans. (The trope named after it is explicitly about hunting humans.)
- Clarifying: "game" not only means "sport", but also the animal being hunted. Man's advanced intelligence makes him the most dangerous animal to hunt.
- The title High Fidelity refers both to record albums and to commitment in romantic relationships.
- A play inverted by REO Speedwagon's Hi Infidelity.
- Timothy Zahn likes these.
- The Thrawn Trilogy: Heir to the Empire could refer to the New Republic which has risen as the Empire fell or to Grand Admiral Thrawn, who has returned from a long absence to take up the Empire's remains. Or to C'baoth. Dark Force Rising may be the Katana fleet, the Dark Side of The Force, or Thrawn's Empire. The Last Command might be Palpatine's final command to his Hand, or another reference to Thrawn.
- Hand of Thrawn duology: "Hand of Thrawn" itself could be the influence he has even after his death, the dissidents impersonating him, and the various things related to that fortress on Niruan. Specter of the Past is, obviously, referring to Thrawn, but also to the pasts of the other characters that affect them still, and on a meta note, Zahn's unhappiness about what other authors did to his characters. Vision of the Future is more straightforward, but you could make a case for it being Luke's vision, the things the Empire of the Hand are preparing for, and the future of the Star Wars Expanded Universe itself.
- "Mist Encounter" can be seen as the meeting of the exiled Thrawn and Imperial forces on the misty world of his exile, or the pun "Missed encounter" - the Imperial forces are there to chase Booster Terrick, who took cover and were ignored for the events transpiring around him. "Command Decision" can be the decision made by the ranking officer - Thrawn - or the decision his suboordinates, not understanding his rather unorthodox and possibly traitorous orders, come to regarding whether he is fit for command. "Judge's Call" can be about how Luke clearly felt called to arbitrate, or about how he called for that private time with his wife.
- Just in general, a number of Star Wars EU books have titles like this.
- Rogue Squadron refers to both the name of the New Republic's best starfighter squadron and their unpredictable, not-by-the-book attitude. Wedge's Gamble encompasses the missions that Wedge and the Rogues head off on and the absolute, unwavering trust he has for possible Manchurian Agent Tycho Celchu. The Krytos Trap? That's the two ways that the Krytos plague "traps" the New Republic; killing nonhumans and being part of a ploy to turn them against the human members. Solo Command is the taskforce under the command of General Solo and Wraith Squadron coming under the command of Face Loran.
- In the Coruscant Nights Trilogy, one book is Patterns of Force. In that title, Force means what it usually means in Star Wars as well as what it means pretty much everywhere else.
- A storm does approach in The Approaching Storm, which also refers to the enemies who attack and, conceivably, the slight wrongness of Anakin Skywalker.
- All of The Dresden Files novels, notably Grave Peril, Summer Knight, Blood Rites, White Night, and Dead Beat. (Well, except Changes, which, as a Wham! Episode, is Exactly What It Says on the Tin) Dead Beat in particular is a triple-loaded title: a deadbeat, as in a poor guy, dead beat, as in very tired, a dead beat, as in a cop's beat that is either slow or deadly, and a dead beat, as in the rhythm that the dead move to
- Orson Scott Card's Children of the Mind in the Enderverse. Ender joins the Catholic religious order known as the Filhos da Mente de Cristo in Portuguese - in English, it's the Children of the Mind of Christ. But two of the other main characters in that book, Peter and Val Wiggin, were accidentally created from Ender's memories when he went outside the universe - they're the Children of the Mind of Ender.
- The Star Trek short story "Empathy", featuring the Mirror Universe versions of the Titan crew. The title refers to the gestalt between the lifeforms of Lru-Irr, which the Alliance wants to exploit. It also refers to Ian Troi and Tuvok's determination to save the Irriol from the Alliance and Bajoran scientist Jaza Najem's own incresing empathy for the Irriol, combined with the love he shares with Terran slave Christine Vale. Perhaps more of a stretch, one of Troi's crew, the sociopathic William Riker, notably lacks any sort of empathy, possibly because he never met his captain's daughter.
- Another Star Trek example: The Diane Duane TOS novel Doctor's Orders, in which Dr. McCoy is left in command of the Enterprise, the double meaning being that McCoy is a doctor and in command (thus giving orders), and the phrase "doctor's orders" which describes a doctor's instructions to his patients.
- The Star Trek: Typhon Pact novel Zero Sum Game refers not only to the obvious meaning but also to a cold war scenario and to the Breen civilization, who are famed for liking the cold. The novel revolves around a cat-and-mouse game between Starfleet and the Breen while Breen scientists try to reverse-engineer stolen Federation technology.
- The Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations novel Watching the Clock refers both to the DTI's role in protecting and monitoring the timeline, and to the mundane nature of its agents, who are most certainly not Starfleet-style adventurers. The DTI know that if they're having an adventure, they've already screwed up, and it's going to pay hell with the paperwork. No, they're 9-to-5 government employees, and like to keep things as unchaotic and, ideally, dull, as possible.
- Not Star Trek, but Star Trek-related: A book of poetry and prose written by an Assistant Director while working on Star Trek Voyager and Enterprise is named Poetry and Prose from the Director's Ass. Given a lot of the jobs an Assistant Director does, the title is fitting...
- Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel His Last Command has multiple Title Drops to both meanings: "the last unit he commanded" and "the last order he gave."
- Long for This World refers both to Immortality and the desire for it.
- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious Character -- Richard Feynman was a curious character in two senses of the term—a rather strange character, who was curious about everything.
- Every book in the Arkady Renko series of mystery novels, written by Martin Cruz Smith, beginning with Gorky Park, have titles that first clearly reference one thing, then towards the climax of the book are revealed to refer to something much more important. Titles include Gorky Park, Polar Star, Red Square, Havana Bay, and Wolves Eat Dogs.
- The Man Who Fell to Earth refers to both the Alien Among Us hero's physical arrival on Earth and his metaphorical falling to the vices and treacheries of humanity.
- All Quiet on the Western Front's German title, Im Westen nichts Neues, means "Nothing New in the West". Like the English translation, this is the report given by the papers and military on the day the protagonist dies, but it also refers to the constant cycle and futile nature of war.
- Michael Chabon came up with a particularly dark one when he wrote a novella about an 80-something Sherlock Holmes helping a young boy. It was effectively a spiritual successor to Doyle's story The Final Problem, with the added detail that the boy was a Jewish Holocaust escapee. The title: The Final Solution.
- The A to Z Mysteries book The Orange Outlaw has the meanings "the outlaw that has orange hair" and "the outlaw who stole oranges". The outlaw is a trained monkey who steals a painting and leaves a big mess of orange peels because of its enormous appetite.
Live Action TV
- The Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man" (based on a short story by Damon Night). The title can mean either "to perform a service for humanity" or "to serve the meat of a human as food." Given the show, guess which one they're talking about here.
- Arrested Development is about a land developer who is arrested, and whose children suffer, in some way or another, from arrested development in the psychological sense. They also live in the demo house of a housing development that has been put on hold - arrested, as it were.
- Scrubs, a Work Com that sometimes dips into Dramedy territory about medical interns ("scrubs" referring to the clothing doctors wear on the job, as well as a slang term for new and inexperienced people).
- Just Shoot Me, a sitcom about a woman who ends up with a miserable job at a fashion magazine ('shoot' being a synonym for 'taking a picture').
- The Green Green Grass: City Mouse moved to the countryside for his own protection after informing (or 'grassing') on some criminals.
- Grass: Identical to the above, right down to the pun. But funnier.
- Press Gang: About a group of children who run a school newspaper, some of whom have been forced into doing the job as punishment for misbehaviour. The original treatment played on the pun even more, with two warring school gangs being forced to work together. However, this was toned down to two occasionally-sparring characters for the final show.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit usually has episode titles with double or even triple meanings. Which is sort of impressive, when you consider that all episodes since the second season have had one-word titles.
- The Leverage episode "The Bottle Job" is a Bottle Episode. They also describe the con they're running as "The Wire in a bottle". Finally, it's the episode where Nate falls Off the Wagon.
- Weeds is a sitcom about a marijuana dealing widowed soccer mom in the suburbs. "Weed" is a slang term for marijuana, can also refer to suburban housing developments springing up like weeds, and also refers to "widow's weeds".
- A number of Lost episode titles employ this. For instance, "Recon" could be short for "reconnaissance," or it could mean "con again." Also, the title of the series refers to the characters being spiritually as well as literally lost.
- A meta-example is found in the Stargate Atlantis episode "Grace Under Pressure." The obvious meaning of the title refers to McKay staying focused and calm while under both the literal pressure of the water over his submerged jumper and the mental pressure of figuring a way out his situation. The title is also a reference to the Stargate SG-1 episode "Grace" where an alone and concussed Sam Carter hallucinates other characters to help her out of a dangerous situation. Guess who McKay hallucinates...
- The Eureka episode "Crossing Over" is about objects crossing over from one time to another. It's also a Crossover with Warehouse 13.
- The Sandbaggers: The title of "A Special Relationship", the season 1 finale, refers both to the "special relationship" between the American and British intelligence services and the growing relationship between Neal Burnside and Laura Dickens.
- Castle: The episode "3xK", is about a serial killer called the "Triple Killer." The killer gets his name because he usually kills three women at a time. The title can also refer to the the fact that there are three people involved in the murders.
- In the season six Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, who is "Seeing Red"?
- Is it Tara, who's back together with her red-headed girlfriend?
- Is it Warren, who's so angry at Buffy that he shoots her with a gun?
- At the end of the episode we find out that it's Willow, who is so full of rage and magic that her eyes literally turn red.
- Home Improvement, a sitcom about family man who hosts a home improvement show, refers to both the physical improvement of houses and the improvement of one's family life.
- The Caitlin's Way episode "Caitlin's Trust" refers to both Caitlin questioning whether or not she can trust the Lowes after learning they were receiving government checks for letting her live with them and the trust fund they opened in her name, which they've been depositing those checks in.
- Fifteen Love: The perfect title for a show about teens at a tennis-focused private school.
- The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "It's Only A Paper Moon". Nog becomes a Shell-Shocked Veteran and refuses to leave the holosuite, running the Vic Fontaine program constantly. The episode title is one of the swing standards sung by Vic, but also reflects Nog retreating into an unreal world.
- The Japanese Super Sentai series Rescue Sentai Go Go Five might be one of the most multi-layered titles ever. It's official name in Japanese is KyuuKyuu Sentai GoGo 5. KyuuKyuu is Japanese for "Rescue" (they were a team of rescue workers), however Kyuu is also the number 9, making it "99" (the year is was made.) At the same time, "Go" is the number 5, making GoGo Five "555," which is the number for emergency aid (similar to 911.)
- The "Mad" in Mad Men can be a pun on ad men, which is what the main characters are; short for Madison Avenue, where the show takes place; or it may refer to the madcap existence of the cast.
- The Doctor Who Series 6 episode "The God Complex" could refer to the mysterious hotel that was constructed as a prison for a minotaur alien that was once worshiped as a deity or the Doctor's Chronic Hero Syndrome.
- The Twin Dilemma: Anyone who has watched it will think of Romulus and Remus when hearing the title, but anyone who knows it as "the first Sixth Doctor episode" will think of regeneration and his moodswings.
- Brave Saint Saturn's album Anti-Meridian. The "Anti-" references Antimatter, as the discovery of a cheap means of manufacturing the stuff is a major plot point. It also represents "ante meridian", representing the dawn of a new era, caused by the aforementioned antimatter.
- The Genesis song "Snowbound" from And Then There Were Three.... The title refers to being snowbound (as in, trapped inside by snow) and... well, hiding a dismembered body inside a snowman, which is what the song is actually about.
- Christian supergroup Lost Dogs released an album in 2001 called Real Men Cry. The title track is ostensibly about a failing romantic relationship, but the album was the first released since the death of founding member Gene "Eugene" Andrusco. Furthermore, as the band went from four members to three, the song "Three-Legged Dog", ostensibly about a hunting dog missing a leg whose owner keeps him out of love and affection, counts for this as well.
- Phil Dunlap's Ink Pen takes place around a talent agency for cartoon/comics characters - an 'ink pen' of sorts.
- Follies, by Stephen Sondheim, takes place at a reunion of former showgirls from a fictional equivalent of the Ziegfeld Follies, and shows how their lives have been affected by the foolish choices they've made in their lives since then—i.e., their follies.
- Pacific Overtures, also by Sondheim, is a musical about the opening of Japan to Western trade—hence, "Pacific Overtures", since Japan is in the Pacific Ocean and an overture is a piece of music (ironically, Pacific Overtures lacks an actual overture). But the title also means 'peaceful initiatives', and was supposedly Commodore Perry's actual description of the American's efforts to persuade the Japanese to open up to trade with them.
- Rent deals with characters who are trying to get out of paying their rent, and whose lives are torn apart—i.e., rent—by poverty and disease.
- La Bohème, on which Rent is based, has a similar duality; taken literally, it refers to "The Bohemian (woman)" - i.e. Mimi - and figuratively it refers to "The Bohemian Lifestyle" (referenced in Rent with the song "La Vie Bohème")
- The Musical of Musicals: The Musical uses this trope for two of its five segments. The Rodgers and Hammerstein parody is entitled "Corn!", because it takes place among the cornfields of Kansas and because of its old-fashioned, hokey, corny sentimentality. The Stephen Sondheim parody is called "A Little Complex", achieving a rare triple meaning: it takes place in a little apartment complex, everyone has a little psychological complex, and the music itself is a little complex (i.e., complicated).
- Much Ado About Nothing follows the standard Shakespearean comedy convention of having a self-deprecating title. Additionally, in Shakespeare's day, "nothing" was a double-entendre for female genitalia, and a major part of the plot deals with Hero's virginity. (It's also—and separately—a Pun-Based Title, as "nothing" and "noting" were homonyms to Shakespeare.)
- No Strings has a title song which uses the metaphorical meaning. The orchestration applies a more literal meaning: not counting a guitar, a contrabass and a harp, there is no string section.
- The title of Der Kuhhandel, an unfinished operetta by Kurt Weill, is a German idiomatic expression for shady business. However, the literal meaning, "cow trading," also happens to be accurate.
- The name Deus Ex is both a commentary on typically weakly-structured FPS plots that often employed Deus Ex Machina, and also refers to the literal meaning of the phrase "god from the machine", since the story deals with Deus Est Machina.
- A Just Cause? Just (Be)Cause? YOU MAKE THE CALL!
- It's even a triple meaning; the games deal with freeing countries from oppressive dictatorships, and the US invasion of Panama in the late 1980s was codenamed "Operation Just Cause".
- The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess: The title can refer to both Zelda, the princess of a realm which has been overtaken by Twilight, and Midna, whose actual royal title is Twilight Princess.
- In The Legend of Zelda the Minish Cap, the title either refers to Ezlo, a Minish who became a cap or the magical cap created by Ezlo.
- Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story refers to how Mario and Luigi can go inside Bowser and how the plot focuses more on Bowser than it does the Bros.
- Mass Effect refers to the eponymous phenomenon, the "Mass Effect," harnessed by humanity and other advanced civilizations to alter mass and the incredible technologies based upon it. It also refers to your decisions and actions, which have a mass effect on the galaxy.
- A "solid" in geometrical terms refers to a three-dimensional figure. The original Metal Gear Solid happens to be the third Metal Gear game and the first one in 3D.
- Okami. The name (assuming long o) can mean "great god". It can also mean "wolf". Your character, naturally, is both.
- Kami by itself means both god and paper, and one of the game's mechanics involves using a Celestial Brush on "Celestial" Paper.
- The title of Rockman Mega World, the Japanese version of Mega Man: The Wily Wars (a compilation of the first three Mega Man games for the Mega Drive), can be considered as an allusion to the Mega Drive itself, as well as the title character's name in the English versions (Mega Man). It can also be seen as a nod to the Rockman World games for the Game Boy, which were pseudo-compilations of the original Famicom games.
- Touhou - Shoot the Bullet refers both to the game's Shoot'Em Up origins (in which characters fire bullets at enemies) and its main gameplay gimmick (in which you photograph bullets for higher scores and to clear them from the screen).
- Double Spoiler, on the other hand... Well, the "Double" can refer to either it being the second Shoot The Bullet, or the inclusion of a second playable character.
- The first episode in Telltale's Back to The Future series is titled "It's About Time". The game is about time travel, and the phrase was also the fan reaction to the announcement. It's also Marty's reaction to seeing Doc again.
- The saying it also a tagline in the trailer for Part II (the movie) - itself coming 4 years after the original.
- The subtitle of Dragon Quest VIII is "Journey of the Cursed King". This obviously refers to King Trode, who has been transformed into a troll-like creature because of a curse. But it also refers to the main character, as it can eventually be revealed that he has been cursed since he was a child, and is the rightful heir to a kingdom.
- The level "Manifest Destiny" in L.A. Noire, which has two meanings. The most obvious is that it's a stock phrase about claiming the west, and the game takes place in Los Angeles. The double meaning is that many, many characters are murdered because their names are on the shipping manifest of the Army ship that was robbed prior to the game's events.
- The case "Rise from the Ashes" from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. The title of the episode could be referring to the fact that Edgeworth rises up from his past, and the fact that a Phoenix is said in legend to be reborn from ashes, which is a metaphor for how Phoenix Wright comes back from a hopeless trial.
- Also done with "Bridge to the Turnabout". Not only is it referring to the literal bridge that plays a big part in the case but it also refers to the fact that the case "bridges" all of the games plot lines and how the events are a "bridge" that leads to the end turnabout. It could also be referring to the fact that it "bridges" Mia's trial with Phoenix's giving them an overall resolution.
- The case title "Turnabout Goodbyes" also has several meaning. It refers to both the fact that von Karma is saying "goodbye" to the DL-6 Incident (due to the statute of limitations) as well as how it refers to how Phoenix has to say goodbye to Maya at the end of the case. It could also refer to how Edgeworth is saying goodbye in way to his past perfectionist self.
- "Farewell, My Turnabout". It refers to both how Phoenix's client is guilty yet he is forced to defend him so it's like he is saying goodbye to him having a turnabout and how Phoenix feels he does not deserve to be a lawyer anymore because he is defending a murderer.
- Concentration Room: Card matching to help reduce the "concentration" of a neurotoxin in the characters' bloodstreams.
- The title during development was an even sicker pun: Concentration Camp, where characters could win their freedom by demonstrating to the camp guards that they weren't mentally defective.
- The El Goonish Shive arc "New and Old Flames" seems to refer both to past and present love interests, as well as fire-based enemies.
- The cast of Winters in Lavelle will probably end up spending a winter or two in Lavelle; but the title also refers to two of the main characters, Aiden and Kari Winters, who are themselves "Winters" in Lavelle.
- Irregular Webcomic is a bizarre case; the title was supposed to mean that it would update irregularly, but it soon began having extremely regular daily updates. Conveniently, the title fit with the comic's numerous separate irregularly-updated storylines...until the comic ended, and the website switched to hosting weekly blog posts, which the author lampshaded as making it neither irregular nor a webcomic.
- Webcomic/Homestuck has Titles for players that grant them certain powers. The titles have non-literal meanings to them (Prince effectively means Destroyer, Light mainly means Chance), and your main power is linked to Sburb's interpretation of the Title. However, if a Title can have a literal meaning, Sburb has a chance of granting you that too (a Seer of Mind can see imaginary friends) or giving you a fate that literally interprets your Title (the Thief of Light blinded someone).
- The Comic Strip was a US syndicated first run animated series. In broadcasting terms, to show episodes of the same series five days a week is called stripping a show.
- In Hong Kong, South Park was retitled as Nanfang Sijianke, or South Park's Four Slackers; it also sounds an awful lot like The Four Musketeers.
- Speaking of South Park, the title of two-part episode "Cartoon Wars" can refer to the rivalry among South Park, The Simpsons and Family Guy, and to the protests sparked by the Danish newspaper cartoons about Muhammad. Of course, both themes are touched in the episode.
- In 6teen, the show's title refers to the six teenagers that make up the show's True Companions and the fact that they're all 16 years old.