Michael: The American male is stuck in a perpetual state of adolescence...of arrested development.
If a line of dialogue is the title of the episode, movie, or book, it obviously must have some great significance. If it sounds completely random, that just means the true meaning of the title has yet to be revealed. So when a character is heard using the title in dialogue, the audience sits up and takes notice, because the scriptwriter has just planted a neon sign that flashes THIS CONVERSATION IS IMPORTANT.
Note: If a series is named after a central character, setting, group, etc., it does not count as a Title Drop, unless they are usually called by another name. Hence, Transformers, The West Wing, House, and things like that don't qualify. Often, the Title Drop will finally explain why the episode/book/etc is called that way to begin with. If this explanation comes by showing instead of by telling (i.e. it is not actually spoken aloud by any of the characters), then it's The Namesake.
A second variety of Title Drop occurs when the title of a work is used as the last line spoken. Here, it's not nearly as big and flashy and important as the first variety, but it still explains things to the audience a bit more. You can probably find these mainly in thriller works, where it makes you sit up and think (and adds a bit of drama to the ending). It's also common in plays that were written during the Victorian era.
Title Drops aren't always deliberate or premeditated (i.e. the writer takes the title and inserts it for effect). Sometimes the creative process runs the other way, and a phrase from the body of the work will be picked out and used as the title (sometimes the title is the last thing to be nailed down).
Compare with Justified Title, Title Theme Tune. See also Arc Words, Appropriated Appellation, Title Scream, Singer Namedrop, and Album Title Drop. Often combined with a Literary Allusion Title. The exact opposite of this trope is Non-Appearing Title.
See a video collection of Title Drops here.
- Anime and Manga
- Comic Books
- Fairy Tales
- Fan Works
- Live-Action TV
- Newspaper Comics
- Theme Parks
- Video Games
- Web Animation
- Web Comics
- Web Original
- Western Animation