Created By: Koveras on November 25, 2013 Last Edited By: Koveras on February 10, 2015
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Insistent Appellation

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

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Launch on Tuesday unless somebody objects until then

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 and You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious. May involve Don't Call Me Sir. See also The Nicknamer.

Examples:

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    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Soldier, Todd, the eponymous soldier, has been trained since birth to call all his superiors "Sir," which extends to civilian females.
  • In the original Star Wars trilogy, Han Solo keeps addressing Princess Leia with fake pompous titles he makes up on the spot, despite her wishes for him to just call her Leia. Being a bit of a Tsundere, she is annoyed by Han's habit. They kinda have a Slap-Slap-Kiss relationship.

    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.
  • The Arrested Development episode "Best Man For the Gob" featured the one-shot character Ira Gilligan, the Bluth Company's accountant. The Bluths repeatedly refer to him as Gilligan to his annoyed insistence to be addressed as Ira.

    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."

Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • November 25, 2013
    DAN004
  • November 25, 2013
    DAN004
    • In King Of Fighters, Ash keeps calling Elizabeth "Betty". She's always annoyed by this.
  • November 25, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • Marvel Comics: Spider Man and Fantastic Four villain the Trapster can never quite shake off his first supervillain name, "Paste Pot Pete."
    • Happy Days: Mrs. Cunningham is the only one who gets away with calling Fonzie "Arthur."
  • November 26, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ I'm not sure about the Trapster example, since you don't specify who exactly calls him that and what their relationship is...
  • November 26, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^Spider-Man and Johnny Storm mostly. And any other hero going up against the Trapster, if they know his backstory and want to mess with him.

    • Doctor Who:
      • The Fourth Doctor calls Romanadvoratrelundar "Romana" instead of her full name or her preferred nickname.
        The Doctor: ...One more thing. Your name.
        Romana: What about my name?
        The Doctor: It's too long. By the time I've called out, "Look out..." What's your name?
        Romana: Romanadvoratrelundar.
        The Doctor: By the time I've called that out, you could be dead. I'll call you "Romana".
        Romana: I don't like "Romana."
        The Doctor: It's either "Romana" or "Fred."
        Romana: All right, call me "Fred."
        The Doctor: Good. Come on, Romana.
      • In "The Armageddon Factor" an old friend of the Doctor's from when they were in school together calls him "Theta Sigma," his nickname from [the Time Lord equivalent of] college, despite the Doctor requesting that he call him Doctor.
  • November 26, 2013
    dalek955
    I think this is covered by the My Name Is Not Durwood tropes.
  • November 26, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ Actually, I think the only entry that comes close to my proposal is Malicious Misnaming, which is basically this, with added malicious intent.
  • January 14, 2014
    DAN004
  • January 14, 2014
    randomsurfer
    WWE: During a feud between The Miz & John Morrison vs Carlito Colon and his brother Primo, Miz & Morrison insisted on pronouncing thier opponents' last name as "CO-lon" rather than "co-LON."
  • January 14, 2014
    StarSword
    May involve Dont Call Me Sir.

    Literature:
    • 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.
  • January 14, 2014
    randomsurfer
    • 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.
    • In Soldier Todd, the eponymous soldier, has been trained since birth to call all his superiors "Sir," which extends to civilian females.
  • July 14, 2014
    Koveras
  • July 14, 2014
    DAN004
    See also The Nicknamer
  • July 14, 2014
    bitemytail
    In Naruto, Naruto refers to his mentor, the sage Jiraiya, as Ero-Sennin or Perverted Sage. He refers to another Sage (and the leader of his village) as Grandma Tsunade, although she is old enough to not be particularly offended.
  • July 14, 2014
    Koveras
    ^ And how does that establish their respective relationships with each other?
  • July 14, 2014
    SKJAM
    The 1950s Superman TV show had cub reporter Jimmy Olsen repeatedly call editor in chief Perry White "chief", and Mr. White insisting "Don't call me 'Chief!'" This bled over into the Superman comics of the period as well.
  • July 14, 2014
    Koveras
    ^ That's Dont Call Me Sir unless Jimmy does it on purpose to irritate White (which is OOC for him, as far as I know my comics).
  • July 15, 2014
    TonyG
    In The Penguins Of Madagascar, the penguins meet an alley cat named Max, but since they think they've travelled to the moon, Skipper calls him Mooncat. Even during Max's next appearance, Skipper insists on calling him Mooncat because "the name just fits."
  • July 15, 2014
    bitemytail
    ^^^^ (@Koveras)

    Jiraiya is Naruto's mentor as well as his godfather (although Naruto didn't know the second part when he made the nickname for Jiraiya).

    If I put on my symbolism pants...

    Naruto calls Jiraiya Perverted Sage because:

    1. One of the first things Jiraiya did after meeting Naruto was go Outdoor Bath Peeking.

    2. Naruto was an immature brat.

    3. Jiraiya is a Bunny Ears Lawyer. Writes porn novels, peeks at hot springs (research!) and saves the world.

    Not sure what you wanted by establishes relationship. Naruto thanks the legendary sage for training him by calling him a pervert. Sage deserves said title. Training Ensues.
  • July 16, 2014
    Koveras
    ^ Does Jiraiya at least try to get Naruto to call him something else?
  • July 16, 2014
    bitemytail
    ^ He complains about it at first, but it doesn't carry-on into a running gag.

    Sakura yelled at Naruto for it in one episode, and then later started using it herself when she realized how deserved it was (he left them in-town to go screw around at a bar).
  • July 16, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    Yes. He says Naruto is disrespectful for calling him that, and tells the boy he is called the Toad Sage. Naruto insists on calling him "Pervy Sage" anyway. (and questions how much he should respect a pervy sage)
  • February 9, 2015
    DAN004
    Compare Self Applied Nickname in ykttw
  • February 9, 2015
    Koveras
    ^ I'll add it once that trope gets launched.
  • February 9, 2015
    Skylite
  • February 9, 2015
    aurora369
    In the Star Wars original episodes, Han Solo keeps addressing Princess Leia with fake pompous titles he makes up on the spot.
  • February 9, 2015
    Koveras
    ^ Could you elaborate on that example? Like, what her reaction to this is, and what she wants him to call her, etc.
  • February 9, 2015
    DAN004
    • Inverted in Steins Gate: Okabe likes to call Kurisu anything but her real name, such as Christina, Zombie, Celeb Seventeen and other things. She looks fine with that, though.
  • February 9, 2015
    BKelly95
    Live Action Television
    • The Arrested Development episode "Best Man For the Gob" featured the one-shot character Ira Gilligan, the Bluth Company's accountant. The Bluths repeatedly refer to him as Gilligan to his annoyed insistence to be addressed as Ira.
  • February 10, 2015
    aurora369
    Koveras: Leia wants Han to just call her Leia. Being a bit of a Tsundere, she is annoyed by Han's habit. They have a kinda Slap Slap Kiss relationship.
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