Embarrassing Last Name
A character with a last name that he finds to be embarrassing.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-06-03 17:31:14 sponsor: CaveCat (last reply: 2013-11-18 08:54:41)

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Gruntilda: Prepare to join your buddy Bottles! You'll wish you'd never taken on the mighty Gruntilda Winkybunion!
Kazooie: Winkybunion? Is that your last name then?
Gruntilda: Err...um, no. Of course not. But don't you go telling anyone or I'll sue you...
Banjo: Whatever you say, Winky!
Gruntilda: Now die!

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While the Embarrassing First Name deals with the character not liking his first name and the Embarrassing Middle Name with the middle name, the Embarrassing Last Name is where a character has a last name that sounds embarrassing to the public. It may be a sign of Unfortunate Name or Unfortunate Implications.

Sub-Trope of Shed the Family Name. Also see First Name Basis or Only Known by Their Nickname.

Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples, Is This Tropeable?


Examples:

Anime & Manga

Comic Books
  • Watchmen: The Silk Spectre, originally a Polish immigrant, romanized her name to Sally Jupiter. Her daughter/successor, Laurie, is not much of a fan of said name as well as being forced into the role, and prefers to keep her original last name.

Film
  • In the novel and film Hannibal, Lecter needles Italian police inspector Pazzi about his surname, which has an unpleasant history in Florence. He implies that Pazzi's career may have been hindered by his family's historical reputation.

Literature
  • In the Discworld novel Feet of Clay, Watch commander Sam Vimes interviews a new police recruit: a Dwarf called Cheery. As this first name is straight out of Walt Disney, this is embarrassing enough. More is to follow. The dwarf's second name is Littlebottom. and Cheery Littlebottom has an even more embarrassing secret yet...
    • There's also Agnes Nitt, who imagines an alternate personality named Perdita X Dream. When she needs to give her identity in Maskerade, she goes with Perdita X Nitt... and is told they need to do something about the Nitt.
  • There is a running joke in the Waxahachie Smith novels by J.T. Edson regarding how embarrassing the surname Ramsbottom is. Smith even adopts it as his Go-to Alias on the grounds that nobody would pick it as an assumed name.
  • The protagonist of Donald E. Westlake's novel Help I am Being Held Prisoner has the extremely unfortunate last name of Kunt (pronounced Koont, and he insists on the umlauts, or little dots above the u). This would be bad enough under ordinary circumstances, but when he goes to prison it threatens to become completely intolerable.
  • Walk Two Moons has a family called the Winterbottoms (one of the characters mocks this by drawing a cartoon of someone surnamed "Ice-Bottom"), and a mysterious woman named Mrs Cadaver (which a character points out is another word for "corpse").

Live-Action TV
  • Several episodes of Hill Street Blues featured a character who was a struggling comic who was stuck with the unfortunate name of Vic Hitler.
  • In The New Adventures Of Beans Baxter, the Big Bad was the unfortunately named Mr. Sue.
  • In an episode of Inspector George Gently one of the suspects is a retired wrestler who still goes by his stage name. He is made to admit his actual name, and reveals his last name is Fairy.
  • In the episode of ALF where he was JUST about ready to head back to Melmac (not the series finale, but the one taking place around Brian's birthday), Alf reveals his full Melmacian name to be Gordon Shumway (which causes plenty of laughs from the family and embarrassment to him).

Web Comics
  • Jassart LeBlanc's real last name in Snow By Night is Charbonnier. It's embarrassing to him because it means "son of a charcoaler," which is more or less the most looked-down-upon occupation in Saronnean society.

Western Animation
  • In Family Guy Carter forced his wife to change her last name because it was Jewish so that they could get into certain establishments.
  • Alejandro from Total Drama has his last name revealed by Chris to everyone in All Stars. Chris gets a good laugh at learning that his name is "Alejandro Burros Muertos" (Dead Donkey.) This gets lampshaded further into the episode.

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