Insistent Appellation
A character keeps addressing another in a specific manner, despite alternative suggestions.


(permanent link) added: 2013-11-25 07:54:24 sponsor: Koveras (last reply: 2014-07-16 12:23:18)

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When a character insists on addressing another person in a specific manner, even though the other character would have preferred to be addressed differently. The exact nature of the appellation depends on the nature of the relationship between two characters and is indeed often used to establish that relationship.

A subtrope of Insistent Terminology, and may overlap with First Name Basis, Last Name Basis, and Full-Name Basis. If the addressee does not care for being addressed by their given name, it also overlaps with Do Not Call Me Paul. Compare/contrast also Appropriated Appellation. May involve Don't Call Me Sir. See also The Nicknamer.

Examples:

Film
  • In Soldier Todd, the eponymous soldier, has been trained since birth to call all his superiors "Sir," which extends to civilian females.

Live-Action TV
  • Happy Days: Mrs. Cunningham is the only one who gets away with calling Fonzie "Arthur."
  • There used to be a TV show called Live with Regis and Kathie Lee hosted by Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford. David Letterman called the show Live with Regis Lee and Kathie Lee and called Regis "Regis Lee." Even after Kathie Lee (and eventually Regis) left the show, he continues to refer to Regis as Regis Lee and all Live with... hosts as "Blank Lee;" as of this writing, it's Kelly Lee Ripa and Michael Lee Strahan.
  • In (at least) one episode of Deal or No Deal where the briefcases were held by special guest hunky male NYFD firefighters, host Howie Mandel continued to call them by the models' names because it was easier than learning 25 new names just for the one show.

Literature
  • In Reflections of Eterna, Marshal Roque Alva keeps referring to Aldo Rakan (who usurped the throne of Talig) as "the gentleman in white pants" to demonstrate that he has not consider him a rightful monarch even for a second. That he does so even during his own Kangaroo Court, presided over by Aldo himself, only adds to the latter's frustration.
  • In the Redwall novel Mattimeo, Stryk Redkite keeps calling Sister May "Sissismay", presumably because he has trouble pronouncing it. She at one point sounds it out to him but he disregards it. In the epilogue he and his mate turn up with a chick that he wants to name after her, but Sister May advises him to truncate it to "May".
  • One of Animorphs' Running Gags is that Ax, a member of a Proud Warrior Race, invariably addresses the team's de facto leader Jake as "Prince Jake". Initially it's Ax's military training (Prince is a mid-level Andalite officer rank), but later on Ax apparently does it because he finds messing with Jake amusing. It usually goes something like this:
    Ax: ... Prince Jake.
    Jake: Don't call me Prince.
    Ax: Yes, Prince Jake.

Professional Wrestling
  • WWE: During a feud between The Miz & John Morrison vs Carlito Colón and his brother Primo, Miz & Morrison insisted on pronouncing thier opponents' last name as "CO-lon" rather than "co-LON."

Video Games
  • In BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea, Elizabeth refuses Booker's proposal to address him on First Name Basis, instead sticking with "Mr. DeWitt". That's because you are not playing as a Booker DeWitt who has redeemed himself before Elizabeth, but as a Father Comstock whom she plans to have killed.
  • In The King of Fighters, Ash keeps calling Elizabeth "Betty". She's always annoyed by this.

Western Animation
  • In Batman Beyond, aging Bruce Wayne keeps calling Superman "Clark", even though Supes has long left his human identity behind—ostensibly to remind him of his humanity. Ironically, Bruce himself still calls himself "Batman" in his head, even though he has long left that identity behind, as well.
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar, the penguins meet an alley cat named Max, but since they think they've traveled to the moon, Skipper calls him Mooncat. Even during Max's next appearance, Skipper insists on calling him Mooncat because "the name just fits."

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