vulture compendiums

168 American ______–Titled Films, TV Shows, Books, and Songs

Photo: Maya Robinson

Imagine if American Hustle were just titled The Big Hustle or Abscammed: Sure, it would have got at the big con at the center of the true-ish Abscam story, but adding the word “American” adds some time-honored significance: This isn’t just a historic tale of cops and crooks teaming up to nab politicians, it also points out something inherently corrupt and greedy about our country. Countless artists have used the word “American” in a movie, book, or song title for such satiric, wistful, or political purposes, implying that the bad behavior, disillusionment, or tragedy to follow is endemic to our culture, be it from Bret Easton Ellis’s psycho, Green Day’s idiot, or Jason Biggs’s pie. (American Hustle was originally titled American Bullshit, a bit too on-the-nose.) Of course, sometimes using “American” in a title is a patriotic gesture intended with little irony: This is the best our country has to offer, whether it’s PBS’s Masters or the Discovery Channel’s Choppers! Either way, it’s one of the most commonly used words in all of titledom. Here is a selected list of 168 things that have been called “American” in TV, movie, song, and book titles. If you’re planning an American movie, you’d better hurry up; there aren’t many things left un-Americanized.

Amnesiac (Book)

Anthem (Movie)

Apocalypse Wastelands


Bad Ass




Beauty Rose

Body Shop








Central Dust

Character (Book)

Chica (Book)

Child (Music)

Children (Music)

Chopper (TV)

Cowboy (Music)

Crow (Book)

Crude (Movie)

Courtesans (Movie)

Cowslip (Movie)

Cutie (Music)

Cyborg (Movie)

Dad! (TV)

Decameron (Book)

Degenerate (TV)

Dervish (Book)

Doll Posse (Music)

Dragon (TV)

Dream (Movie)

Dream (Music)

Dreamer (Music)

Dreamin’ (Music)

Dreams (Book)

Dreams (Music)

Dreams (TV)

Dreamz (Movie)

Elsewhere (Book)

Farmer (Music)

Flyers (Movie)

Fool (Music)

Gangster (Movie)

Garage (Music)

Ghost (Book)

Gigolo (Movie)

Girl (Music)

Girl (Movie)

Girls (Movie)

Gladiators (TV)

Gods (Book)

Goldwing (Music)

Gong (Music)

Gothic (Music)

Graffiti (Movie)

Grindhouse (Movie)

Gumbo (Music)

Gun (Movie)

Guns (TV)

Hardcore (Music)

Heart (Movie)

High School (Movie)

History X (Movie)

Hoggers (TV)

Horror House (TV)

Horror Story: Murder House (TV)

Horror Story: Asylum (TV)

Horror Story: Coven (TV)

Hot Wax (Movie)

Hustle (Movie)

Idiot (Music)

Idle (Music)

Idol (TV)

Journey (Music)

Jungle (TV)

Kickboxer (Movie)

Kid (Music)

Knees (Book)

Life (Music)

Loser (Movie)

Made Music to Strip By (Music)

Man (Music)

Masculine (Book)

Masters (TV)

Me (Movie)

Milkshake (Movie)

Movie (Movie)

Music (Music)

Myth (Music)

Night (Music)

Ninja (Movie)

Ninja 2: The Confrontation (Movie)

Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (Movie)

Ninja 4: The Annihilation (Movie)

Ninja V (Movie)

Noise (Music)

Nudist (Movie)

Odyssey (Music)

Outlaws (Movie)

Pastime (Movie)

Pastoral (Book)

Pickers (TV)

Perfekt (Movie)

Pie (Book)

Pie (Music)

Pie (Movie)

Pie 2 (Movie)

Pie: Band Camp (Movie)

Pie: The Book of Love (Movie)

Pie: The Naked Mile (Movie)

Pimp (Movie)

Playhouse (TV)

Play Parties (Music)

Poet (Music)

Pop (Movie)

Pride (Music)

Psycho (Music)

Psycho (Book)

Psycho II: All American Girl (Movie)

Purgatorio (Book)

Restoration (TV)

Reunion (Movie)

Risciò (Movie)

Ride (Music)

Rust (Book)

Saturday Night (Music)

Salvage (Book)

Savior (Book)

Sharks (Music)

Skin (Music)

Slang (Music)

Sphinx Face (Music)

Squirm (Music)

Soldier (Music)

Soldiers (Movie)

Son (Music)

Son (Movie)

Soul Man (Music)

Spirit (Book)

Splendor (2003)

Star (Book)

Stars ‘N Bars (Music)

Style (Music)

Subversive (Book)

Summer (Music)

Tabloid (Book)

Teen (Movie)

Thighs (Music)

Trilogy (Music)

Tropic (Book)

Tune (Music)

Twilight (Music)

Underdog (Music)

Underworld (TV)

Vampire (Book)

Violet (TV)

Virgin (Movie)

Warships (Movie)

Wife (Book)

Woman (Music)

Wedding (Movie)

168 American ______–Titled Films, Books, Music