What is a Title Drop?

According to wikipedia, a Title drop (titular line), is a line of dialogue in a film, television series, book or other media containing the title.

Let’s look at some examples.

Rear Window (1954)

I’m not much on rear window ethics.

- Lisa Fremont

Shining (1980)

I guess you could say the Overlook Hotel here has something about it that’s like shining.

- Dick Hallorann

Back to the Future (1985)

Marty - you’ve gotta come with me - back to the future!

- Dr. Emmett Brown

Don't Look Up (2021)


- Almost everyone

That’s only 4 movies. Can we do more?

The IMDB Oscar-Winning Movies Dataset

The list of the movies is taken from the IMDB's list of Oscar-Winning movies.

It contains total of 1,272 movies in 33 languages and 18 genres. Only main language/genre is considered.

Visualization below shows distribution of the genre/language and yearly counts.

Showing all movies

The list includes 1,107 movies with English as the main language. To simplify and acurrately check correctness of results, only English movies are considered.

Search is performed over English subtitles downloaded from opensubtitles.org. Not all subtitles are available for download, which brings the count down to 868.

Following heuristics were applied:

  • For movies containing the colon :, such as Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, search for The Fellowship of the Ring
  • For movies starting with The, such as The Father, search for Father

Significant amount of subtitles start or end with the Title Drop, however it is not always part of the script. Such lines were ignored.

Title drops

  • Out of 868 movies, 424 did title drop and 444 did not
  • The only year with no title drop was 1928
  • All the movies in 1927 and 1929 did title drop. Those are the only years when it happened.
  • First movie to title drop was Underworld (1927) with 1 title drop
  • Last movie to title drop is The Father (2020) with 5 title drops

Top N

Movies with the most of title drops

Movies with the longest titles that did title drop

Genres with the most of title drops

  • Biography with 61.3% of its movies that did title drop
  • Action with 54.3%
  • Comedy with 45%

Directors with the most of title drops

Is there a trend in time?

That seems to be just a random noise.


Is there a preferred time during the movie?

Following is a visualization of the most common times during the movie when the titles are dropped.

Dropping the title at the end of the movie is the most popular choice amongst all Title Drops in Movies.