Exactly What It Says on the Tin

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Maybe it's a light romantic comedy?

"Moviegoers who knowingly buy a ticket for 'The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor' are going to get exactly what they expect: There is a mummy, a tomb, a dragon and an emperor. And the movie about them is all that it could be."

A title should tell you what a movie, show, or episode of a show is about. Sometimes, though, the premise or plot of the story is all right there in the title. That's when you can say that the story is Exactly What It Says On The Tin. Thus, this trope.

The names of action shows designed for children tend to have this as a distinguishing feature, as do most pornographic films, but it certainly doesn't stop there.

Also shows up in naming; an object or organization that does more or less what its name suggests falls into this trope through sheer power of doing Exactly What It Says In Its Name.

Direct opposite of (but, strangely enough, not necessarily mutually exclusive with) Word Salad Title. Direct opposite of and mutually exclusive with Non-Indicative Name.

See also In Which a Trope Is Described, a Victorian version of this trope. Character Title and The Place are subtropes of this. Excited Episode Titles usually feature this. The characters might point out the thing with a Title Drop.

The title comes from the long-running "Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin" TV advertising campaign for Ronseal Quick Drying Woodstain, a British product for staining wood, which is known to dry quickly (and other Ronseal products, but the woodstain was first). More on which may be found at That Other Wiki. The word "Tin" is British English for "can".

When adding examples to this page, there are some notes to keep in mind:

  • Just because it may be obvious to you doesn't mean it's obvious to everyone. That next door neighbor you never talk to? Tell her the title and see if she can give a one sentence description of the plot. If not, then the title is not Exactly What It Says On The Tin.
    • This also means that if you feel the need to explain it, it probably isn't this trope.
  • A simple Spoiler Title isn't enough to qualify. An episode entitled "Bob Dies" or "Dramatic Entrance! Mary Appears!" doesn't mean that the episode is Exactly What It Says On The Tin unless it tells you how Bob dies or Mary appears (or unless those things are totally irrelevant to the story) -- the title needs to tell you absolutely everything you need to know about the contents to qualify.
  • Similarly, it isn't enough for the title to just be relevant or accurate -- everything meaningful has to be conveyed in the title. Sure, Speed Racer is about a speedy racer and Death Note is about a deadly notebook, but you couldn't convey the entire series with those two words the way you can with Snakes on a Plane; they're not Exactly What It Says On The Tin.
  • In short, the title must tell you EVERYTHING you need to know by itself. As such, many examples on this page actually do not qualify and we are in the process of slowly cleaning it up. Please help us by removing examples that don't fit when you see them.
    • To put it another way, this trope is NOT "Contains what it says on the tin and a whole bunch of other things", it's "Exactly what it says on the tin", meaning there is either literally or almost nothing else.
  • Make sure you add title examples to "title examples", and in-universe examples to "in-universe examples".

Contrast In Name Only, Word Salad Title, Artifact Title, Non-Indicative Name. Compare Meaningful Name. When is applied to a trope name, you get the Index of Exact Trope Titles.

No real life examples, please; we already know that People Sit on Chairs, so there's no need to list examples.

Examples of Exactly What It Says on the Tin include:

Title Examples


  • Ronseal Quick Drying Woodstain: Trope Namer, as its advertisement claimed it did literally what its name was - it dried quickly and was a woodstain.
  • Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes (as the box indicates, the full name is even more Exactly What It Says On The Tin: they're Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes Of Corn used to be this at least in the USA and Canada, but the word "sugar" was dropped in the 1980s making it less of an example. In an aversion outside the USA & Canada they are commonly known as "Frosties" anyway.
  • TFK has a perfume named "Scent in a Bottle".

Anime and Manga

  • More than a few anime (Naruto is a good example) have episode titles that are a little too indicative of what will happen, and these titles are often mentioned in the already rather obvious previews of the next episode.
    • The Japanese version of Dragon Ball Z is particularly bad, with episodes such as "Here comes Satan's Army! Mr. Satan Gets Beat in one hit..." in which Mr. Satan tries to fight Cell, only to get beat in one hit, or "Pitiful Frieza Cannot Stop Shaking." in which pitiful Frieza cannot stop shaking. This is probably because, due to fillers, very little happens in some episodes, and in addition, the Japanese episode titles are all really long, so it's fairly common for the episode title to describe exactly what happens in the episode. It could also be due to the fact that it is assumed that all the viewers has already read the manga so they just explicitly state when something will happen for example "Transformed At Last!! Son Goku, the Legendary Super Saiyan".
  • Some episodes of the Duel Masters dub use this as a joke. Like the one where Shobu duels Hakuo, which is entitled "The One Where Shobu Duels Hakuo".
  • Baccano! does this as well with its episode titles, usually revealing the plot of each in one sentence. "Ladd Russo Enjoys Talking a Lot and Slaughtering a Lot" indeed.
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a tale about Princess Kaguya. The entire film is a tale about Princess Kaguya, and there's nothing in the film but tales about Princess Kaguya and people around her. In fact, the only thing the film is filled with is tales of the Princess Kaguya. This, we can conclude that The Tale of the Princess Kaguya features a tale about the Princess Kaguya. You probably get the point by now.


"Artist's Shit
Contents 30 gr net
Freshly preserved
Produced and tinned
in May 1961"
  • You can't get more literal than that.

Comic Books

  • The Bad Art Collection.
  • Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow.
  • The Marvel Comics solicitation for the Space Punisher miniseries reads: "THIS BOOK IS EXACTLY WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE!"

Fan Works


  • Enforced Trope in Snakes on a Plane. It was originally only a working title. They eventually decided on 'Pacific Air Flight 121.' Contrary to popular belief, Samuel L. Jackson did not threaten to pull out if they didn't change it back, but he did strongly suggest they do so.
  • The Japanese porn Lolita Confinement Lesbian was Exactly What It Says on the Tin; woe befell the viewer who didn't read the tin.
  • Godzilla films are generally titled with Godzilla's name and who he is fighting. Considering who the movies are aimed at, that's all the relevant information there is.
    • King Kong vs. Godzilla
    • Mothra vs. Godzilla
    • Godzilla vs. Monster Zero
    • Godzilla versus the Sea Monster
    • Godzilla vs. Hedorah (a.k.a. Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster)
    • Godzilla vs. Gigan
    • Godzilla vs. Megalon
    • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
    • Godzilla vs. Biollante
    • Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
    • Godzilla vs. Mothra (not the same movie as Mothra vs. Godzilla)
    • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II
    • Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla
    • Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
    • Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
    • Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (because they were running out of titles)
  • Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Harvey Weinstein reportedly greenlighted it just by its title. However, the name is technically incorrect.
  • Hobo with a Shotgun. A fake trailer in the Grindhouse double feature (although seemingly limited to Canadian theatrical releases, for some illogical reason), you get exactly that. And about two minutes of sheer awesome ensues.
    • There's also Rob Zombie's contribution, Werewolf Women of the S.S..
    • Plus Machete, which is about a man called Machete who uses more than one machete.
    • Both the Hobo with a Shotgun and Machete trailers eventually inspired actual films.
  • Pop-culture auteur Andy Warhol was notorious for making films which nothing more than pointing a camera at the title subject for several minutes or even hours, including one of the most famous Take That moments in film, a 70 minute magnum opus named Taylor Mead's Ass. Others including Blow Job (35 minutes watching the facial expressions of a man receiving oral sex), and Sleep (five hours of watching John Giorno sleeping).
  • Originally, the film The Longest Most Meaningless Movie in the World was an example of this: it's 48 hours of random stock footage. However, since then, even longer movies were made.
  • Watch The K Foundation Burn a Million Quid: A documentary of the guys from The KLF, also known as the K Foundation, which documents them burning a million pounds in banknotes.
  • The very first copyrighted film Fred Ott's Sneeze is, indeed, a five second shot of Fred Ott, sneezing.
  • Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, a short film about Werner Herzog eating a shoe. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • The DVD of Sunshine (the Danny Boyle SF film) includes a short film called Mole Hills, which is seven minutes of...well...mole hills.
  • Lair of the White Worm is not an example (the title would need to explain more about what happens), although Roger Ebert seems to disagree:

"It provides you with exactly what you would expect from a movie named 'The Lair of the White Worm.' It has a lair, it has a worm, the worm is white and there is a sufficient number of screaming victims to be dragged down into the lair by the worm."

  • I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney.
  • The long-running Finnish movie franchise Uuno Turhapuro almost always had titles like these. For example, the movie where the titular character Uuno Turhapuro joins the Army is called Uuno Turhapuro in the Ranks of the Army, the one where he moves to the countryside is called Uuno Turhapuro Moves to the Countryside, and so on. The prize, however, goes to Uuno Turhapuro Loses His Memory, and its sequel, Uuno Turhapuro's Memory Returns Bit by Bit.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Honey, I Blew Up the Baby and Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves are all about a hapless scientist who keeps accidentally altering the sizes of his family members.
  • Cowboys and Aliens - no further explanation necessary.


  • Some of the wonderfully long eighteenth century titles like Baron Munchhausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, and so on and so forth.
  • Older Than Radio: Moll Flanders. The full title is The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, Etc. Who was born in Newgate, and during a life of continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest and died a Penitent.
  • Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships is the official name of Gulliver's Travels.
  • Robinson Crusoe was originally known as The Life and strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, where-in all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by Pyrates. Written by Himself. That last part was a bit of a lie. In reality it was written by Daniel Defoe who also wrote Moll Flanders. Apparently he had a thing for tin titles.
    • Other Defoe novels include Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress Or, a History of the Life and Vast Variety of Fortunes of Mademoiselle de Beleau, Afterwards Called the Countess de Wintselsheim and A Journal of the Plague Year: Being Observations or Memorials of the Most Remarkable Occurrences, as well Public as Private, Which happened in London During the last Great Visitation in 1665.
  • Kidnapped: Being memoirs of the adventures of DAVID BALFOUR in the year 1751; how he was kidnapped and cast away; his sufferings in a desert isle; his journey in the Wild Highlands; his acquaintance with ALAN BRECK STEWART and other notorious Highland Jacobites; with all that he suffered at the hands of his uncle, EBENEZER BALFOUR OF SHAWS, falsely so-called; written by himself, and now set forth by ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON. (In reality, this was written in the 19th century by Robert Louis Stevenson, and is the official title of Kidnapped. It is sometimes cataloged under the name of its protagonist David Balfour rather than that of its author.)
  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. (Later adapted into a film by the same name.)
  • The title of An Almanac of Complete World Knowledge Compiled with Instructive Annotation and Arranged in Useful Order by Me, John Hodgman, a Professional Writer, in The Areas of My Expertise, which Include: Matters Historical; Matters Literary; Matters Cryptozoological; Hobo Matters; Food, Drink, & Cheese (a Kind of Food); Squirrels & Lobsters & Eels; Haircuts; Utopia; What Will Happen in the Future; and Most Other Subjects; Illustrated with a Reasonable Number of Tables and Figures, and Featuring the Best of "Were You Aware of It?", John Hodgman's Long-Running Newspaper Novelty Column of Strange Facts and Oddities of the Bizarre gives you a pretty good idea of what you're in for.
    • There's also For your Consideration, The Firms of Dutton Riverhead Books of New York City, Publishers of Ken Follett, Darin Strauss, David Rees, and the RZA, Present in the English Language: A Further Compendium of Complete World Knowledge in "The Areas Of My Expertise" Assembled and Illumined by Me, John Hodgman, A Famous Minor Television Personality* , Offering More Information Than You Require On subjects as Diverse As: The Past (As There Is Always More of it), The Future (As There is Still Some Left), All of the Presidents of the United States, The Secrets of Hollywood, Gambling, The Sport of the Asthmatic Man (Including Hermit-Crab Racing), Strange Encounters with Aliens, How to Buy a Computer, How to Cook an Owl, And Most Other Subjects, Plus: Answers To Your Questions Posed via Electronic Mail, And: 700 Mole-Man Names, Including Their Occupations. * Formerly a Former Professional Literary Agent and Professional Writer, AKA "The Deranged Millionaire". That's right, this book has a footnote in the title.
  • The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers includes "A very short chapter in which not much is going to happen".
  • In a similar vein, there's Conjuring: Being a Definitive Account of the Venerable Arts of Sorcery, Prestidigitation, Wizardry, Deception, & Chicanery and of the Mountebanks & Scoundrels Who Have Perpetrated These Subterfuges on a Bewildered Public, by James Randi Esq., a Contrite Rascal Once Dedicated to these Wicked Practices but Now Almost Totally Reformed.
  • On a different kind of arcane subject, Joel on Software: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity.
  • On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life by Charles Darwin
  • 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth
  • The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, by Mad Artist Henry Darger.
  • Travels through Italy containing new and curious observations on that country; particularly the Grand Duchy of Tuscany; the Ecclesiastical State or the Dominions of the Pope; the Kingdom of Naples; the Republics of Venice and Genoa; and other Italian states. Wherein the present state of those countries is accurately described, as to their different kinds of government, situation, extent, revenue, power, trade, manners, and customs; but more especially their ANTIQUITIES as temples, triumphal arches, pillars, baths, amphitheatres, aqueducts, catacombs, ruins, and public ways; as also their MODERN CURIOSITIES, churches, convents, palaces, villas, castles, forts, bridges and public roads. With the most authentic account yet published of capital pieces in PAINTING, SCULPTURE, & ARCHITECTURE that are to be seen in Italy: Including remarks on the ANCIENT and PRESENT STATE of ITALY, of the ARTS AND SCIENCES which have flourished the re, and of TASTE in PAINTING; with the characters of the principal painters, and other artists. By John Northall, Esq. Captain in his Britannic Majesty's Royal Regiment of Artillery. Illustrated with A Map of Italy, a route of this Tour, and several copperplates, engraved from drawings taken on the spot. (London: S. Hooper and S. Bladon, 1766)
  • Children's authors seem to be quite fond of this trope: an eight-year-old student submitted the following review of The Boy Whose Mother Was A Pirate - 'It's about a boy and his mum and the boy's a boy and the mum's a pirate.'
  • David Drake's short story collection Men Hunting Things and its sequel Things Hunting Men.
  • Loren Estleman's pastiche Sherlock Holmes Versus Dracula.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory takes it to a whole new level, to the point that MANY of the parts had a title that basically spoils the entire chapter. "Augustus Gloop goes up a tube" and "Mike Teavee is sent by television" are just examples, and not the worst ones.
  • The Book of Useless Information. It's a book.. which contains useless information.
  • Death Star. A number of Star Wars Expanded Universe examples exist, and while they usually require a little context - knowing what the Death Star is, for instance - mostly they don't need a lot.
  • The illustrated Japanese translation of Twilight was called The Boy Whom I Love Is A Vampire.
  • The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg. Yes, he was both a major league catcher and a spy—sometimes at the same time.
  • Neil Gaiman wrote a poem called A hundred words to talk of death.
  • My Teacher Is an Alien. That's right, he sure is.
  • Latawnya the Naughty Horse Learns to Say No to Drugs is indeed about a wayward equine who gets the Drugs Are Bad anvil dropped on her.
  • How to Make Love to Adrian Colesberry by Adrian Colesberry.
  • One of the supplementary books for the Deltora Quest series is The Deltora Book of Monsters, an illustrated book about Deltora's (and the Shadowlands) many monsters.
  • In the Dragonlance Saga, many times there is this weapon mentioned called a 'Dragonlance.' A character by the name of Fizban tries to explain all he knows about this great mystical weapon by relaying, "It was a weapon similar to - no, it wasn't. Actually it was - no, it wasn't that either. It was closer to... almost a... rather it was, sort of a - lance, that's it! A lance!" He nodded earnestly. "And it was quite good against dragons."
    • The leader of the original Companions was Tanis Half-Elven, named so because the elves that raised him didn't know the name of his human father, and they would be damned if they were going to give him the family name of their leader. Lampshaded when one of his new companions asked him why he wasn't named "Half-Human"?
  • The Word "Fuck" Written Seventeen Times and then an Ampersand. Quite possibly inspired by our Haiku Wiki entry for Cluster F Bomb, although we can't take credit for the ampersand.
  • Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada by Pablo Neruda is exactly twenty love poems and one despairing song.
  • Australian children's author Paul Jennings has a book named "How Hedley Hopkins Did A Dare, Robbed A Grave, Made a New Friend Who Might Not Have Really Been There at All, and While He Was at It Committed a Terrible Sin Which Everyone Was Doing Even Though He Didn't Know It" which, unsurprisingly, is about how Hedley Hopkins did a dare, robbed a grave, made a new friend who might not have really been there at all, and while he was at it committed a terrible sin which everyone was doing even though he didn't know it
  • A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates. 400 pages of random digits with 50 rows of 50 digits per page and after that, 200 pages of normal deviates, in 50 rows of 10 per page. Although there's also an introduction with the history of the book and statistical analysis on the random figures.
  • How to Avoid Huge Ships.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms has this in its chapters. Take the one called "Xiahou Dun Plucks Out and Swallows His Wounded Eye". Guess what happens in this chapter.
  • The titles of some books in The Bible leave no doubt as to their contents—in particular, Proverbs, Psalms, and Lamentations.

Live-Action TV

  • Friends: All but two episodes follow the basic formula of "The One With... /Where/In X", eg. The One With the Hypnosis Tape, The One in Vegas, The One Where They're up all night. Even the three that don't are called "The Pilot", "The One Hundreth", and "The Last One" respectively.
  • Frasier. Whenever a singular character from Cheers shows up, the episode title is "The Show Where [Lilith/Sam/Diane/Woody] Shows Up".
  • An episode of Father Ted was called "Kicking Bishop Brennon up the arse". Ted has to kick Bishop Brennon up the arse.
  • Some non-fiction programs with genuine titles such as The Man Whose Arms Exploded.
  • Used to hilarious effect in Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia with the episode titles. For example, the cold open will be Frank hatching a dangerous scheme, but claiming that no one will get hurt. Cue the episode title, "Frank Sets Sweet Dee on Fire."
  • The first-ever produced episode of I Love Lucy was entitled "Lucy Thinks Ricky is Trying to Murder Her." Bet you can't guess the plot.
    • Most of the I Love Lucy titles are like that. Most likely back then, the writers figured no one but themselves would care about titles in a medium that a great many people still considered a passing fad. Why bother with clever titles?
  • Many Happy Days episode titles follow this similar style. i.e. "Fonzie Moves In," "Fonzie Moves Out" (who saw that one coming?), or "The Fonz Is Allergic to Girls." And who could forget the ever-so-blunt tragic spoilers like "Fonzie Gets Shot" or "Richie Almost Dies." (is there no sympathy?)
  • Leverage - each episode is "The ____ Job" - "The 12-Step Job", "The Wedding Job", "The Juror #6 Job" (featuring cons involving a 12-step program, a wedding, and a trial, respectively). We're still waiting on a "Train Job".
  • Most of Cartoon Network's "CN Real" block, most notably Destroy Build Destroy.
  • The iCarly episode iStart A Fan War.
    • The overly long titles of the iCarly skits. For titles like "Pathetic Plays: (insert long title)", "The prisoner who wanted some soup and the man who refused to give him some" and "The cowboy with a mustache and the idiot farm girl who thought the mustache was a squirrel", guess what the looping plot line of each skit is.
  • Name That Tune. It's a game show where the contestants have to give the name of the tune that plays when given only a few notes. Most of the content is thus right there in the title.
  • The Mysterious Island of Beautiful Women. It's exactly the barely adequate movie-of-the-week material it sounds like.
  • Guess what One Thousand Ways to Die is about.
  • Some episodes of Psych (known for having bizarre and quirky episode titles) fall under this category, eg: "Gus's Dad May Have Killed An Old Guy."
  • The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret is about .. the increasingly poor decisions of Todd Margaret. With absurdly long episode titles like "In Which Brent Wilts Arrives and Things Take a Turn for the Worse", it really couldn't be spelled out more.
  • Several if not many episodes of Doctor Who, as well as a few of the gadgets. Helpfully Lampshaded in one instance by Jack, using the exact name of the trope to describe the defabricator.


  • Parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic's song, "This Song Is Just Six Words Long"... do the math. Which word was the bonus seventh word?
    • For Weird Al himself, the Dare To Be Stupid LP is inscribed with the phrase "More Songs About Television And Food".
    • Another song of his that fits this trope is "Truck Drivin' Song".
  • Anal Cunt's "88 Song EP" it's an EP with 88 songs in it. Their "5643 Song EP" it's an EP with tons of songs mixed together.
  • The Nail's "88 Lines About 44 Women" is... 88 lines about 44 women.
  • The Magnetic Fields' triple album "69 Love Songs". Per Stephen Merritt himself: "69 Love Songs is not remotely an album about love. It's an album about love songs, which are very far away from anything to do with love."
  • NOFX: "45 or 46 Songs That Weren't Good Enough to Go on Our Other Records". Fortunately the song Fuck The Kids wasn't meant literally.
    • The weird thing is there's actually 47 songs.
  • The compilation album Short Music for Short People. The album features 101 songs by 101 artists, with an average song length of around 30 seconds.
    • Said compilation includes the tune "Mike Booted Our First Song, So We Recorded This One Instead" by Mad Caddies.
  • Much of the soundtrack to The Proposition consists of songs with titles like "Sad Violin Thing".
  • A few of Tom Lehrer's songs fit this trope.
    • Obviously "The Masochism Tango".
    • His aptly titled Christmas song "A Christmas Carol".
    • "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park"
    • "I Hold Your Hand in Mine"
    • "The Elements" - every chemical element known at the time, set to the tune of "The Major-General's Song". Speaking of which....
  • Dream Theater - a band who had one commercially successful single and then returned to the underground - released a "best of" album called Dream Theater's Greatest Hit and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs.
  • Pink Floyd's "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict" is several species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave and grooving with a Pict.
    • Pink Floyd once planned to release an album called 'Household Objects' consisting of music played entirely on household objects.
    • And of course, there's always Soundtrack from the Film More, which is the band's soundtrack to the film More.
  • Stephen Colbert's "Another Christmas Song", which is very similar in tone to "A Christmas Carol" above.
  • Classical music in general loved this trope. Pachelbel's Canon is, in full, Canon and Gigue in D major for three Violins and Basso Continuo. Beethoven's works most commonly called the Eroica Variations (for their use in the Eroica Symphony) were in full Variations and Fugue for Piano in E flat major, Op. 35, while his Opus 20 was Septet for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello, and contrabass in E-flat major. It's no wonder many classical works are simply referred to by composer, opus, and number.
  • Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs consists of "Layla" and...other assorted love songs.
  • Cinematic Sunrise's album comes with a coloring book. It's titled A Coloring Storybook and Long Playing Record.
  • Shel Silverstein's "26 Second Song".
  • Country singer Kenny Price recorded "The Shortest Song in the World," which was 11 seconds long and consisted of a two-measure intro, followed by Price singing "This is the shortest song in the world." Believe it or not, it was the B side of a single.
    • Ironically enough, it isn't the shortest song in the world: this is.
  • Likewise, one of Peter Sellers's albums has a track called "Peter Sellers Sings George Gershwin", which consists of... Peter Sellers singing the words "George Gershwin".
  • The state song of Maine is titled "State Song of Maine."
  • Public Image Ltd once recorded an album that is simply named Album. Depending on the format, the same album is also called Cassette or Compact Disc.
    • The band liked using this trope a fair amount. For example, the band's first album was aptly named First Issue.
    • The band's second album, originally packaged in metal film canisters, was named Metal Box. After this initial run, the album was reconfigured and renamed Second Edition.
  • Possibly inspired by the aforementioned Public Image Ltd album, the British record label Metalheadz released a compilation called Metalheadz Limited Edition CD Metal Box Set, which is a limited edition CD that comes in, you guessed it, a metal box.
  • Almost any album named Greatest Hits Album, especially if it's "[name of artist]'s Greatest Hits". Played with a bit in cases such as Greatest Hits Plus and Greatest Hits...and Then Some (two albums with this name), which include previously unreleased songs.
    • There have been at least four different "Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits" or "Best of Fleetwood Mac" albums, which, depending on which Fleetwood Mac you're a fan of, are either examples of this trope or quite the reverse. To avoid any such problem, the full title of one of them was "Green Shadows: The Best of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac" .
  • Similar to Greatest Hits compilations, almost any live album falls under this trope. (e.g. Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison, The Who's Live at Leeds, Cheap Trick's At Budokan, etc.)
  • The Kentucky Headhunters released an album of soul music. What did they call it? Soul.
  • "Three Minute Positive Not-Too-Country Up-Tempo Love Song" by Alan Jackson.
  • The David Frizzell & Shelly West Album. Guess which two artists contributed to it.
  • Apocalyptica's debut album, Plays Metallica By Four Cellos, which has the band, at the time a quartet of cellos, playing Metallica covers.
  • KISS' "Rock and Roll all Nite" is a song about rocking and rolling all night.
  • "Eleven Four" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet (actually by its saxophonist Paul Desmond) is in 11/4 time.
  • "The Really Terrible Orchestra" in Edinburgh is a no-audition orchestra of really terrible musicians. When one of the player bios says the person is "too able" for the orchestra...
  • The Birthday Massacre have an example of this. When they were called Imagica, they had a song called... The Birthday Massacre. Which was, in fact, about a massacre on someone's birthday. (The song's now called Happy Birthday, for the record).
  • Rihanna's "Russian Roulette" is not a metaphor about relationships, according to the songwriters.
  • The sound production company known as Epic Score. Basically, they are the guys that make trailers sound, well, epic. (I strongly recommend a low volume setting before following that link.)
  • The song "Heroin" by Velvet Underground is explicitly about, well, using heroin.
  • "4 Minutes" by Madonna is 4 minutes long, and even starts out with Timbaland rapping about how he's out of time and he's only got four minutes. He keeps on repeating the phrase for about 30 seconds.
  • Megadeth's "Headcrusher". It is about a device that crushes heads.
  • Rammstein's "Ein Lied", translated to English, becomes "A Song".
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young) consists of the members (surprise) David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young.
  • The post-punk band Fugazi liked to use this trope to a certain extent:
    • 13 Songs is a compilation of the band's first two E Ps which contains 13 songs.
    • 3 Songs is an EP which contains 3 songs. This was also later appended to their album Repeater, which was then renamed, fittingly, Repeater + 3 Songs
    • Instrument Soundtrack is the soundtrack to the band documentary Instrument.
  • Hardcore band Minor Threat has a couple of these to their name, with the compilation Complete Discography and the album First Demo Tape.
  • Nilsson Sings Newman, in which singer Harry Nilsson sings songs written by Randy Newman.
  • Bjork's Debut, which is her solo debut album. (Well, as long as you don't count her self-titled album that was released when she was 11.)
  • The Fiery Furnaces' EP, which is an EP.
  • Aphex Twin plays with this trope on a couple of his releases (such as his Selected Ambient Works albums), but never is it more apparent than on his remix compilation 26 Mixes for Cash.
  • Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson (lit. The Story of Melody Nelson), an album about the eponymous character.
  • "The Song With the Slow Part" by Portraits of Past is a bit of a subversion. It has a slow part, but so do so many other of their songs, so it's not exactly THE song with the slow part.
  • "The Song That Never Ends" pretty much doesn't, since the lyrics are recursive.
  • "Yeah" by Kyuss. The "song" is simply a brief recording of their singer saying "yeah."
  • Teenage Fanclub have a best of called Four Thousand Seven Hundred And Sixty-Six Seconds, which 4766 seconds long.
  • Leonard Cohen's album Songs of Leonard Cohen, consisting entirely of songs written and performed by Leonard Cohen. There's also Recent Songs and 10 New Songs... Well, they were "recent" and "new" in 1979 and 2001, respectively.
  • The Flaming Lips have made an album called "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots". On the album, there is a song called "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" about, guess what? A young girl, named Yoshimi who is a blackbelt in karate, doing what? Battling robots.
    • They also have a song called "Guy Who Got a Headache and Accidentally Saves the World." Guess what it's about.
  • The Divine Comedy released an album called A Short Album About Love. It's not very long and all the songs are about love.
  • The Arrogant Worms' "Song Inside My Head" involves someone who is being driven crazy by a song inside his head.
    • They also have a song called "Canada Is Really Big" about how big Canada is.
  • Bruce Springsteen's "Wreck On The Highway" is about a guy who sees a bad car accident on the highway one night.
  • Squarepusher's New Sound Album, "Solo Electric Bass 1." All the songs were played on an electric bass guitar without any other instruments, unlike the his trademark mishmash style of jungle, drum and bass, acid jazz, IDM, and experimental electronic music.
  • Big Black's album, Songs About Fucking.
  • F.O.D. has a song called "Synthesizer Tanzmusik" which is a very danceable tune, played on a synthesizer.
  • Several songs from Fridge's Happiness album. Can you guess what instruments were used to make the songs Cut Up Piano & Xylophone, Tone Guitar & Drum Noise, or Melodica & Trombone?
  • Fantomas Melvins Big Band were the members of Fantomas and The Melvins joining together to play songs from their respective catalogs live. About the only way that this wasn't Exactly What It Says on the Tin is that they weren't that kind of Big Band, just a rock band with a larger number of people on stage at the same time than is usual.
  • Jon Lajoie's "2 Girls 1 Cup Song" is, well, a song about the video 2 Girls 1 Cup.
    • Also, in "WTF Collective" and "WTF Collective 2" most of the MCs are this, for example, MC Confusing spouts lyrics that purposefully don't make any sense, MC Lethal Weapon 1, 2, and 3 liked all of the Lethal Weapon movies but the fourth, MC Homophobic F***ing ***hole, is, you guessed it, a homophobe, and by now I'm sure you can guess what The Guy Who Sings The Chorus does...
  • Pomplamoose's The Album You Bought at Our Show (thanks for that) is an album that's only available at their concerts.
  • Adebisi Shank's three releases are called This is the EP of a band called Adebisi Shank, This is the Album of a band called Adebisi Shank, and This is the Second Album of a band called Adebisi Shank.
  • Wing, a singer from New Zealand, has albums such as... Wing Sings ACDC, The Beatles Classics by Wing, Wing Sings the Carpenters, and Wing Sings Elvis Presley. To top it all off, she guest stars in an episode of South Park, named after herself.
  • Brad Paisley's album and song "This Is Country Music". Guess what genre he sings.
  • Lampshaded in Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald: "A legend they have from the the Chipawa on down, of the big lake they call Gitchie Gummie(Big Water in Chipawa), Superior{Big in English)they say never gives up her dead when the winds of November come early." Or in other words the Chipawa have a legend about a lake they call "Big Lake", and Anglos also call "Big Lake" because it is, well, a big lake.
    • Actually "Superior" may have originally meant "upper" referring to being upstream of Huron. But there were probably quite a few that thought it meant big anyway.
  • Songs I Wrote with Amy is a collection of Ed Sheeran songs written with singer Amy Wadge.
  • The Earl Sweatshirt album Some Rap Songs.
  • Fleetwood Mac's 2013 release is titled Extended Play. It's an extended play (EP) disc, not a full album.

Professional Wrestling

  • Steel Cage match, a match inside a steel cage.
  • Ring of Fire, a match that takes place in a ring of fire... a form of the inferno match but a win can only be done via pin fall or submission.
  • A "table", "ladder", and "chair" match is where said objects are used.
  • "I Quit", the goal is to get the opponent to say the words for the win.
  • Flag Match. This was spoken on January 20, 2012 when the roulette wheel what type of match Ted DiBiase (American) and Hunico (American of Mexican decent) would take part:

Michael Cole: The rules are simple right. You gotta climb the pole, grab the flag, and you win... right?
Booker Y: You just told them the rules


Recorded and Stand Up Comedy

  • Some of Dimitri Martin's gags involve this. For example, his book is simply titled "This is a Book", and his album is titled "These are Jokes".

Tabletop Games

  • GURPS stands for "Generic Universal Role-Playing System." This is a system to govern roleplaying games, in any genre, in any setting, and dealing with any subject matter. According to the creator, Steve Jackson, he intended to replace the term (originally a placeholder) with a more imaginative title and just couldn't think of anything (although he did change "Great Unnamed" to "Generic Universal").


  • Waiting for Godot. That's pretty much it.
    • Samuel Beckett, in general: among his other works are 'Act Without Words I' (an act without any spoken words), 'Act without Words II' (another act without any spoken words), Breath (a play just featuring the sound of someone breathing), 'Play' (a play), and 'Film' (you get the idea).
  • One of Eugene Ionesco's plays was originally titled English Without Toil. You guessed it, the whole thing is based on dialogues from foreign language textbooks. Judging by the above two examples, must be a thing in the Theatre of the Absurd.
  • "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade" Yes all that is the play's title.
  • There's a very off-off-off-broadway show called Naked Boys Singing. Yep. That's pretty much it.
  • A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking: A description that could fit more than a few TV shows, as well.
  • Old Jews Telling Jokes. Yep, it's five Cool Old Jewish Guys (and one Cool Old Jewish Lady) with old - but timeless - jokes.

Video Games

  • Early NES games, particularly sports or arcade titles such as Pinball, Golf and Ice Hockey tended to be this.
    • Even now, sports games almost invariably have titles in the format of [franchise] [sport] [year].
  • You Have to Burn The Rope is a very short game whose goal, and essentially only gameplay (besides jumping) is stated in the title.
  • The "Neverending Boss Battle" game on Neopets.
  • The parody game Smashing Pumpkins Into Small Piles Of Putrid Debris. Guess what the point of the game is.
  • The IF game Pick Up the Phone Booth And Die.
  • Crosswords DS is a game for the Nintendo DS where you solve crossword puzzles. It's that simple.
  • Awesome Possum Kicks Dr. Machino's Butt - And the ending is spoiled.
  • SimCity simulates a city.
    • Sim Tower, Sim Earth, Sim Ant... actually in that one there's more than one ant.
  • The PlayStation Network game "Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars"...I'll give you two guesses what it's about.
  • Robot Dinosaurs That Shoot Beams When They Roar - other than the fact that they fly (which is not stated in the title), it's about what it says it is, and indeed they do shoot beams when they roar, that being their method of attack.
  • Burn! Zombie! Burn: You have to burn the zombie.
  • Razing Storm: "Complete Destruction Machine Gun Game". Couldn't have said it any better.
  • Color a Dinosaur for the NES. Guess what you have to do in it? In fact, guess what's the ONLY thing you can do in it?
  • The PSP minis game A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks! It's a Shoot'Em Up, and it only costs $1.99 U.S.
  • The Killing Game Show.
  • Duck Hunt. You hunt down ducks. And that's it. That's all you do. Well, unless you play the "clay pigeon" round, which is separate.
    • Turkey Shoot for the Wii. It's so simple it got terrible reviews for its severely limited gameplay. ALL you do, is shoot turkeys.
  • A Bat Triggered The Sensor That Activates The Defense Systems And Has To Use The Arrow Keys To Escape.
  • Shoot Many Robots is a shooter involving shooting down constant waves of robots, and doing little else.
  • Cow Clicker

Web Original

Western Animation

In-Universe Examples

Anime and Manga

Grandpa Mouto I activate Ancient City!
Joey: What is that?
Grandpa: As the name implies, it's an Ancient City.

Comic Books

  • Parodied in Evan Dorkin's Bill and Teds Excellent Comic Book: When Bill and Ted take Death to see Planet of the Apes, he asks "What's this movie about?" "Dude," answers Bill; "it's about a planet of apes!"
  • The best example from DC comics would probably be Dogwelder. He welds puppies to people.
    • A fair number of DC's villains, as well. Captain Boomerang uses boomerangs, the Fiddler plays a violin, the Toymaker makes (high-explosive) toys.
  • Lampshaded with Speed from Marvel's Young Avengers:

Patriot: I'm sorry: "Speed"?
Speed: Nice fit, don't you think?
Hawkeye: What's wrong with "Speed"? It tells you everything you need to know in one syllable.

  • Marvel loves this trope,
    • Dead-Girl: She's a dead girl.
    • Flat-Man: He's a flat man.
    • Giant-Man: He's a giant man.
    • Gorilla-Man: He's a man who is now a gorilla.
    • Invisible Woman: She's an invisible woman, though the name doesn't mention her forcefield powers. However, it was the full extent of her powers when first created and named, the forcefields came later.
    • Sand-Man: He's a man made of sand.
    • Speed: He has speed powers.
    • |Strong Guy is a strong guy.
    • Two-Gun Kid: He was a kid with two guns. Now, he's a young adult...with two guns.
    • Human Torch: is on fire. Averted with the original who was a robot.
    • Silver Surfer: He's silver, and he rides on a surf board.
  • And from DC:
  • The Legion of Super-Heroes members Lightning Lad, Bouncing Boy, and Matter-Eating Lad.
  • One of the supporting characters in the Grimjack comic went by the name Goddess. It was eventually shown that she was indeed one, specifically from one of the African myths.
  • No prizes for guessing what animal Alexander Lemming from The Beano is. Also from The Beano Roger the Dodger who as the name suggests tries to dodge things mainly work.
  • Doom Patrol has had a few of these: The Chief is the leader of the team, Robotman is a man who became a robot, Danny the Street is a sentient street called Danny, and Beard Hunter is a guy who hunts for... Well, take a guess.


  • The following conversation from Snatch shows that sometimes a nickname can be exactly what they say on the tin.

Tony: Boris?!! As in Boris the Blade? As in Boris the Bullet Dodger?
Avi: Why do they call him the Bullet Dodger?
Tony: (pauses, gives Avi a look) Because he dodges bullets, Avi.


  • Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds) Most of the other Captain Underpants books also qualify or come close; for example, Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants.
  • Parodied by Terry Pratchett, who in his Discworld novels mentions a book How To Kille Insects. This is a big and heavy book, used for hitting insects with...

Hix: A lot of really interesting stuff happened under the Evil Emperor.
Glenda: Evil stuff.
Hix: Yes, that was rather the point. Evil Emperor. Evil Empire. It did what it said on the iron maiden.

    • In Snuff, it's invoked again when describing the troll Detritus' converted siege weapon crossbow, the Piecemaker, "which could, as it were, do what it said on the box."
  • The Ashenden spy stories by Sommerset Maughan featured a character called 'The Hairless Mexican'

"Because he's hairless and because he's a Mexican"

Live-Action TV

  • Said word-for-word in a first season episode of the new Doctor Who by Captain Harkness

Captain Harkness: Okay, "Defabricator." Does exactly what it says on the tin.

Drew: If you were a Ukranian action film director, what would the name of your action film be?
Someone in audience: Action in the Ukraine!

  • Babylon 5 has the "pain givers".
  • Lampshaded in The Kids in The Hall sketch about an Ex-Girlfriends Relocation Program. "It's complicated, so allow me to explain. The Ex-Girlfriends Relocation Program is a program that relocates ex-girlfriends. ...Gee, I guess it wasn't that complicated."
  • In the second episode of Arrested Development, Michael discovers a bag in the fridge labeled "Dead Dove: Do Not Eat". After looking in the bag he delivers his classic response: "I don't know what I was expecting."
    • Also, Tobias is a "nevernude", and when Michael finds this out, he asks, "Is that exactly what it sounds like?"
  • Also this happened on Wizards of Waverly Place, where they even outright stated, "In the Wizarding worlds people name their children what they want them to grow up to be." This episode included a tutor named Tutor. This didn't always work, though.
  • In Blackadder one hopes for Prince George's sake that Blackadder's play "Thick Jack Clot Sits In The Stocks And Gets Pelted With Rancid Tomatoes" isn't an example of this trope, since Blackadder wants him to play the title role.
  • In an episode of Seinfeld, Elaine is at a video store trying to find something to rent and picks one up called "The Pain and the Yearning". She turns it over to read the synopsis on the back: "An old woman experiences pain and yearning."
  • The Bill Nye the Science Guy episode about heat had a few clips featuring a big sweaty guy called Big Sweaty Guy. The show itself could be seen as an example of the trope, since it was presented by Bill Nye and about science.
  • In Todd and the Book of Pure Evil there is a book that is called "The Book of Pure Evil". Guess what it does. This is lampshaded many times after everything goes wrong and someone has to ask something along the lines of, "What did you think would happen when reading from something called "The Book of Pure Evil?""
  • Spoofed in the Gerry Anderson pilot Space Police (which was later reworked as Space Precinct): the villain, Mr. Big, is based out of a nightclub called "Mr. Big's Secret Hideout" which is covered with neon signs and arrows indicating same.


  • Parodied: An early Saturday Night Live hung a lampshade on this trope by having Frank Sinatra (played by Joe Piscopo) trying to update his image by recording an album with tunes that the young people would enjoy. The title of the album? Frank Sings Tunes The Young People Will Enjoy.

Newspaper Comics

Recorded and Stand Up Comedy

  • Invoked by comedian Ed Byrne as an introduction to a series of jokes about religion and homosexuality: 'Let me explain what God Hates Fags are about, for those of you who didn't know what to expect from Snakes on a Plane. "Hmm, I haven't been this mystified by the title of a film since The Mummy Returns!"'

Tabletop Games

  • For every Dungeons & Dragons monster with an obscure or entirely nonsensical name, there's another one or two monsters that's exactly what it says on the tin—take a wild guess what Blooddrinker Oozes, Invisible Stalkers, or Flame Snakes do.
    • Owlbears. They're...bears...with owl heads. You can't get more tinny than that.
    • Many demons and devils - especially ones like the chain devil and arrow demon.
    • The infamous "Brain-In-A-Jar"?
    • Same goes for prestige classes: for every Initiate Of The Sevenfold Veil and Green Star Adept, there's a Frost Mage or Exotic Weapon Master.
    • This can get particularly amusing when players, upon encountering a strange monster for the first time, start referring to it by a name that turns out to be what it's actually called in the Monster Manual.
    • In 4.0, many of the Magic Items are this. Cloak of Invisibility, Vicious Weapon, Supremely Vicious Weapon, Horned Helm, just to mention a few, are exactly what they sound like.
    • The standard Ring of Invisibility allowed its wearer to become invisible. The joke Invisible Ring, on the other hand, was itself invisible.
    • Likewise, in 3.0, there was an item called "Ring of Death Immunity". It's a magic ring that makes the wearer immune to Death. Not Death Effects. Death. Also qualifies as a Game-Breaking Powerup.
  • Plenty of Magic the Gathering cards follow this trope, some of the more notable examples include Counterspell and various creature names (i.e. Elf Warrior).

Video Games

  • Brutal Legend features a special attack called Face Melter. It causes enemy's faces to melt.
  • Jagex is apparently fond of this trope, given some of the quest and area names in RuneScape. The Goblin Village is a village... with goblins. Dragon Slayer is a slaying quest that involves, yep, a dragon. Black Knight Fortress... eh, you get the idea.
    • In the new skill Dungeoneering, when you mouse over the list of end of dungeon awards, you get information about that award. If you were unfortunate enough to get "Most deaths" and them mouse over it, the trope name appears.
    • The trope name appears on another item, fungicide. Examining the item gives this: "Does exactly what it says on the tin (kills fungi)".
  • In Diablo 2 if you click on a shrine labeled "exploding shrine", it... explodes. Same with poison shrines are poisonous.
  • The powers from Prototype. Claw gives Alex Wolverine Claws. Hammerfist turns his fists into "hammers" to pummel things with. Whipfist gives him a whip-ish long reach. Blade is a Big Fucking Blade Below the Shoulder. Musclemass boosts the size of his muscles. Shield gives him a Shield. Armour gives him Instant Armor. Disguise allows him to disguise as consumed victims.
  • Guild Wars has quite a few skills that fall under this trope. Just guess what "Heal Party", "Heal Other", and "Can't Touch This" do.
  • A character in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is called Deid Mann. Guess what?
    • In Phoenix Wright:Ace Attorney:Justice For All, after finding out that a murder has just occurred, the titular character talks to someone over a two way who calls them self, "De Killer"...he's the murderer.
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time -

Toadsworth: "I've dubbed this the Bros. Ball. Why, you ask? Because you are bros. And you form a ball."

  • Many spell names in the older English Dragon Quest ( pre-VIII) localizations. Heal heals some HP. You can probably guess what Healmore and Healall do. Sleep puts an enemy group to sleep. The first game is especially Egregious, calling your offensive spells Hurt and Hurtmore (later games changed these to Blaze and Blazemore).
  • Quake: The Ogre Citadel is full of Ogres. The Underearth is mostly underground. The Sewers is a Down the Drain level. Azure Agony uses mostly blue textures.

Web Animation

  • Banana Nana Ninja
  • The Demented Cartoon Movie has a lot of these: the Auto Romeo Maker, the Kamikaze Watermelon, the Make-The-World-Blow-Up Button, Mr. Large Generic Blunt Object, the Crash-Yourself-Into-A-Brick-Wall Race, etc.
  • The Pointless Button in the Asdfmovie series is completely pointless.

Web Comics

Bill: I never thought I'd have to use this.
Dr. Mongfish (reformed): Ocean in a bottle"? What's that?
Bill: Truth in packaging.

Teacher: I didn't expect you to be an actual owl...

  • Questionable Content, while not an example in itself, has a few:
    • The Filler Strips character Yelling Bird, whose only purpose is to yell obscenities at the author.
    • Hannelore's father (who lives in space) owns a spaceship named Spaceship, and a space station named Station. Station explains that Hannelore went through an "overly descriptive phase," and the names stuck.

Hannelore: I called my dad "Science Daddy" until I was seventeen.

  • In The Way of the Metagamer, there's a town called "Townwithanequipmentstoreaplacewithmapsandatavernofcourse". Guess which three things are located in said town.
  • In Homestuck, troll movies are apparently named this way, due to the troll civilization being so old that all the good movie titles are taken.

EB: wait...
EB: this is the title?

Web Original

  • Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog has the Evil League of Evil, led by Bad Horse. He's bad. And literally a horse. Also, the title perfectly describes the Framing Story of the show.
  • The Dutch Gamesite named Gamekings once had an item named: A look into the kitchen of Rockstar (which besides the literal meaning means something like: A look behind the scenes of Rockstar) Little did viewers know that they indeed showed the kitchen of the Rockstar studios.
  • In A Very Potter Musical, the incantations for most spells are like this. For example, the spell to produce an indian burn is "Indian Burn Hex!"
  • The Dangeresque trilogy from Homestar Runner features a henchman called Killingyouguy, whose task is to kill you. Incidentally, he's a guy.
  • Parodied by The Cinema Snob, when he comments on a film titled Death Bed: The Bed That Eats, that he and everybody else in the world should pretty much know what to expect. Turns out it's an artsploitation flick with pretensions of seriousness and relatively minimal gore. It does have a bed that eats, at least.
  • One episode of Agents of Cracked has Swaim being asked to make a Facebook for the site, and he assumes this trope is in effect. The result screams, faintly, in its bloody box. They end up having an intern make "the other kind" of Facebook instead.
  • Subverting this is something of a meme on 4chan, where users will deliberately misname images as a joke (e.g. a .gif of Jackie Chan punching a guy will be labeled as "Bruce Lee Practices a rider kick," and the like).
  • In Cracked.com:
  • Clients From Hell delivers this gem: somebody claims to be surprised that a "non-refundable deposit" is not going to be refunded.

Western Animation

Karl: Hey, I heard we're goin' to Ape Island.
Lenny: Yeah, to capture a giant ape.
Carl: I wish we were going to Candy Apple Island.
Charlie: Candy Apple Island? What do they got there?
Carl: Apes. But they're not so big.

  • Almost every "operation" is named this way:
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century", Dodgers has a disintegrating pistol. He pulls the trigger, and the gun crumbles into powder. "Well, what do you know... it disintegrated."
    • In the same cartoon, he smugly says that Marvin the Martian can shoot him with a disintegrator since he's wearing a disintegration-proof vest. The vest does not disintegrate. Duck Dodgers does.
  • In one episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, a troll challenges Buster to face three trials. In the second trial, the troll says he must fight the "Three Guys who Charge at You With Spears and Fall Off a Cliff". Guess what happens next.
  • The entire cast of The Mr. Men Show can be defined by their names: Mr. Happy, Mr. Strong, Miss Helpful, etc.
  • The Smurfs are a good example of this. Each smurf's name reflects their personality. Grouchy Smurf is grouchy, Handy Smurf is handy, Papa Smurf is their, well, papa.
  • Minoriteam had a villain named "Racist Frankenstein." He dressed like a WASP but is in all other ways exactly what you'd expect. Also featured Dirty Cop, a living pile of grime on the police force, Loophole, a scurrulous rope tied into a loop, the Corporate Ladder, a business-minded ladder, and White Rapper, a white rapper.
  • Some examples from Phineas and Ferb:
    • ALL of Dr. Doofenshmirtz's '-inators' minus his first, which was simply called the 'Inator'. Lampshaded in one episode when he mentions that he hasn't quite figured out the name for his new machine and goes through various obvious names (The 'Who's-laughing-now-inator!) and mentions it'll be something with the 'inator' suffix.
    • "The Wrapped-Up-In-a-Nice-Little-Bow-inator! I bet you're wondering what it does?"
    • Lampshaded heavily in this song
  • The Tick (animation) has the Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight. Guess what he does and when?
  • The Museum of Dangerous Books and Papers from The Amazing Screw-On Head
  • An episode of Yin Yang Yo! features toy glasses with toothed metallic "jaws" called "Eyebiters." They bite the wearer's eyes.
  • From Beetlejuice, the Monster Across the Street is a... monster who lives across the street from Beetlejuice. In "It's a Wonderful Afterlife", which has an altered reality, he becomes The Monster Down the Street instead.
  1. That is, not cooking dogs
  2. It's about two and a quarter minutes.