Created By: SonofRojBlake on January 18, 2012 Last Edited By: SonofRojBlake on February 25, 2012

Sounds like a Pseudonym

Actor, musician or character has a real name that sounds made up

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Audiences are used to the idea that people who have an Unusable Real Name will change it to something that is easier to pronounce, less ethnic-sounding(link to Jew?Me?), or just cooler.

Some people, however, are lucky enough to be given cool names at birth, names so cool that it's actually a surprise when you find out they're not pseudonyms.

Subtrope of Awesome Mc Coolname, in that it must be their real birth name - no nicknames or similar - and sound so awesome that any reasonable person would think that they must have made it up.


Anime and Manga

  • Mikado Ryuugamine from Durarara!! translates as "Emperor of the Dragon Peak." People often comment that his name sounds like it belongs to a manga character.

  • Zack and Miri Make a Porno
    Zack: What's your name?
    Lester: Lester... Lester the Molester Cockenschtuff.
    Zack: Wow. That's a great porn name.
    Lester: I get to pick a porn name?... Then I want to be called... Pete Jones.


  • Prince, born Prince Roger Nelson
  • Madonna, born Madonna Louise Ciccone
  • The lead singer of Paul Revere and the raiders really was born Paul Revere

Real Life

  • Powers Boothe
  • Poker player Chris Moneymaker
  • Staff Sgt. Max Fightmaster
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for playing Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock.
  • Moon Bloodgood dropped her first name, Korinna. Still pretty cool either way.
  • Ethan Hawke
  • Lamborghini test driver Max Venturi
  • January Jones
  • Billy Zane
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Lex Shrapnel
  • Wolf Blitzer
Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • January 18, 2012
    Rip Torn. Rip isn't his real first name, but it's a nickname that's been used for men in his family for generations.
  • January 18, 2012
  • January 18, 2012
    • Paul Revere and the Raiders. Yes, the singer of that band was born Paul Revere.
    • Poker player Chris Moneymaker.
  • January 18, 2012
    • Truth In Television: A family acquaintance was named Venus Valentine. People often were surprised to hear she was an elementary school teacher.
  • January 18, 2012
    ^ Is that from your family? That would have gone on Troper Tales, which was axed. We don't do personal anecdotes.
  • January 19, 2012
    Hey, isn't Madonna actually Maria Louise Ciccone?
  • January 19, 2012
    Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for playing Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock.
  • January 19, 2012
    ^^ re:Madonna: No.
  • January 19, 2012
    Real Life: This troper knows a real life local politician named Jazz Lewis.
  • January 19, 2012
    Why does Angelina Jolie sound like a pseudonym?
  • January 19, 2012
    "Jolie" is French for "beautiful."
  • January 19, 2012
    Although of course her birth name was Angelina Jolie Voight.
  • January 19, 2012
    • Wolf Blitzer. As SNL-era Waynes World asserted, "He made that up for the Gulf War!"

  • January 19, 2012
  • January 19, 2012
    Biggus Dickus, anyone?
  • January 20, 2012
    Wouldn't examples of this be all of the real life examples of Unfortunate Names or Awesome Mc Coolname- which is to say that we sort of already have this, just under more than one trope.
  • January 20, 2012
    Going along with Jordan's comment, I think that Real Joke Name would cover some of this YKTTW too.
  • January 20, 2012
    The Simpsons: Springfield has a resident named Guy Incognito who looks exactly like Homer but with a moustache.
  • January 20, 2012
    • The Simpsons: Bart made a prank call to Moe's asking for "Jacques Strap". He was quite surprised when Mr. Strap accepted the call.
  • January 20, 2012
    In the film Juno, the title character goes to an abortion clinic and gives her full name (Juno MacGuff) to the receptionist, who gives her a suspicious look. Juno's narration comments that the receptionist thinks she's given a false name.
  • January 21, 2012
    • Esben Storm, TV producer/actor best known for playing Mr Snapper in Round The Twist
    • Bunney Brooke, best known for playing Nell on the same show.
  • January 22, 2012
    Dwight Schrute of The Office (US) uses a fake dentist appointment as an excuse for being late to work and says his dentist's last name is "Krentist."
  • January 22, 2012
  • January 24, 2012
    I don't think Smith sounds like a cool name.

    And I have no idea what the US Office example is about. It doesn't seem to fit the given trope description at all - the idea is someone's REAL NAME sounds like something that has been made up, where "Krentist" is being made up as the name of a non-existent person.
  • February 25, 2012
    Michelle Mc Cool should definitely be in there as well.