Created By: SonicLover on June 17, 2011 Last Edited By: SilentShout on August 18, 2011
Nuked

Reginald The Third

When someone's name ends in 'the Xth', X usually equals 3.

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Page Type:
Trope
Do We Have This One?? Needs a Better Name. Needs a Better Description. Rolling Updates. Might go Up for Grabs later.

When you want a fancy name, possibly an Overly Long Name, tack "III" or "the third" at the end to represent that the person being identified is the third in their lineage with that name. You will almost never meet the second or the fourth.

Obviously, the likeliness of meeting someone who's actually the third to bear the name is realistically fairly low. It's most likely prevalent mainly because of the Rule of Three.

Examples

Anime and Manga

Video Games

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 67
  • June 17, 2011
    JonnyB
  • June 17, 2011
    peccantis
    to represent that the person being identified is the third with the same name in their lineage. to be exact. With non-regent names the full name has to be identical, including any and all middle names.
  • June 17, 2011
    genewitch
    This is probably because they're so awesome that having the potential nickname of "Junior" would be awkward, and anything greater than III makes them sound like royalty.
    • I am almost positive that Kilgor, in the Sten series of novels is a III
  • June 17, 2011
    YouKeepUsingThatWord
    Why would I meet Jimmy Smith the First? He's just Jimmy Smith, isn't he?
  • June 17, 2011
    LobsterMagnus
    Charles Tucker III from Star Trek Enterprise, mostly called by the nickname "Trip", which is short for "Triple".
  • June 17, 2011
    Damr1990
    maybe the name should be {{TropeR the third}}
  • June 18, 2011
    Arivne
    Live Action TV
  • June 18, 2011
    PaulA
    A few cherry-picked from IM Db's character search:

  • June 18, 2011
    SonicLover
    ...I'm not going to end up listing every single Third in fiction, am I?
  • June 18, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • June 18, 2011
    EternalSeptember
    Is this about tropes that are the third? If not, then don't use it as a meaningless placeholder word.
  • June 18, 2011
    LobsterMagnus
    @ Sonic Lover: I thought that was the point? Else you'll have to specify which Thirds count and which not.
  • June 18, 2011
    JoshCaleb12
    As a possible arguement against this trope, there's Braniac 5 of the Legion of Super Heroes, supposedly the fifth in the line of Braniacs... But, the trope is still largely valid, because of all the examples I've seen listed above.
  • June 18, 2011
    SonicLover
    Basically, if you meet the third but never the second or fourth or anybody else in the line, it's this trope.
  • June 19, 2011
    insub002
    Total Drama: Harold Norbert Cheever Doris Mc Grady the Fifth.
  • June 19, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • At one point Vash from Tri Gun gives this name as an alias: Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobella Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andrt Charton-Haymoss Ivanovicci Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser the third. (Don't hesitate to call!)
  • June 19, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    I gather that it's the use of the full name with "the Third" as an obvious class status indicator. It's supposed to indicate old money or long-held status, as opposed to just ordinary folk naming their kids for their immediate ancestors.
  • June 19, 2011
    randomsurfer
    On WKRP In Cincinnati Herb is officially Herbert R. Tarlek Jr.; his rarely seen son is III.
  • June 20, 2011
    JonnyB
    Agree with Damr, change name to Troper the Third.
  • June 20, 2011
    Medinoc
    Buffy The Vampire Slayer has mayor Richard Wilkins III (actually the I too)
  • June 20, 2011
    SonofRojBlake
    Subverted at first in The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, where Zaphod Beeblebrox is in fact, Zaphod Beeblebrox the Nothingth. This is made clear by the ghost of his great grandfather, Zaphod Beeblebrox the Third... and there you go. It's explained that his grandfather was Zaphod Beeblebrox the Second and his father was Zaphod Beeblebrox the First. "There was an accident with a contraceptive and a time machine".
  • June 20, 2011
    PaulA
    ^ No, his great-grandfather is the Fourth, grandfather is the Third, father is the Second, and Zaphod himself is the First (according to himself) or the Nothingth (according to his ghostly ancestor, who doesn't think much of him).

    And it's the Fourth, not the Third, who appears in the series, so if we're sticking to Characters Who Are The Third it doesn't count.
  • June 20, 2011
    jaytee
    Remove "Trope" from the title. Do not replace with "Troper".

    These are words with a specific meaning and they are not to be used as generic placeholders.
  • June 20, 2011
    Discovery
    What about Awesome Mccoolname The Third to go along with Awesome Mccoolname? I also sort of like Sir Awesome Mccoolname The Third, but I don't know whether the sir part seems relevant.
  • June 22, 2011
    SonofRojBlake
    You are, of course, right about Beeblebrox. Rats. Nevertheless I'd contend he's worthy of inclusion himself, being a subversion in that he's either the first, or the nothingth, depending on who you listen to, and notable for being the first despite being the fourth, if you see what I mean.
  • June 22, 2011
    goodtimesfreegrog
  • June 22, 2011
    Aielyn
    For the trope name, how about making use of Everythings Better With Bob, and go with Bob The Third? Alternatively, perhaps Rule Of Thirds?
  • June 22, 2011
    randomsurfer
    One of Jackie Gleason's stock characters was named Reggie van Gleason III.
  • June 23, 2011
    JonnyB
    Bob the third is good.
  • June 23, 2011
    peccantis
    Although Bob The Thirs lacks the surname and makes it look like a king's name. How about Bob Bobbington The Third?
  • June 23, 2011
    Aielyn
    Well, the trope is about using "the Third" to make the name sound fancy, and you can't get much fancier than a king's name.

    If you were going to try to make it sound really stuffy, then you'd have to go with, say, Robert Bobbington The Third... which then loses its Bob-ness.

    Also:
  • June 23, 2011
    ZarbiNerada
    Garfield once made up a story premise about a philanthropist J. Worthington III, found face-down in his tomato soup.
    Garfield: Was it natural causes? Or was he about to write J. Worthington IV out of his will?
  • June 23, 2011
    lars_h
    Isn't the reason we rarely hear of "John Doe II" that he'd be called "John Doe Jr."? (Unless in the case of royalty.) Hence picking "the third" is not so much a matter of preference for the number 3, as it being the first numeric title in this sequence.
  • June 23, 2011
    peccantis
    There's still a clear preference over Robert Bobbington IV and Robert Bobbington Jr. Might be partly because Any Name Jr could easily be called just Junior, which isn't the most refined name imaginable.
  • June 23, 2011
    c0ry
    Why is this tropeable?
  • June 23, 2011
    peccantis
    ^I gather that it's the use of the full name with "the Third" as an obvious class status indicator. It's supposed to indicate old money or long-held status, as opposed to just ordinary folk naming their kids for their immediate ancestors. as posted way above.
  • June 23, 2011
    Duckay
    Jim from the Trixie Belden series' full name is "James Winthrop Frayne II". That did always strike me as odd, because normally the construction would be "James Winthrop Frayne Jr".
  • June 23, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^"II" is used instead of "Jr." when the person being named after isn't the father - maybe he's the grandfather, for example. I'm not familiar with the Trixie Belden series so I don't know whether that's a helpful comment or not. I hope it is.

    EDIT: According to this he's named after his great-uncle.
  • June 23, 2011
    YouKeepUsingThatWord
    If it's about using "the third" to indicate old money, there's no reason to fixate on it being "the third" rather than "the fourth" or whatever.
  • June 23, 2011
    PaulA
    ^ The reason for fixating on it being the Third is that in fiction it almost always is.
  • June 27, 2011
    SonofRojBlake
    In Dallas, when it was revealed that Sue Ellen had successfully delivered J.R. a son, her father-in-law's happy but rather presumptuous first words were "John Ross Ewing the third!". I am truly ashamed that I still remember that after having seen it once on its original UK airing.
  • June 27, 2011
    SonofRojBlake
    Also, I like J. Robert Bobbington the Third.

    Blackadder is a possible inclusion. The original series was called "The Black Adder". The second was simply "Blackadder 2". The third was "Blackadder THE THIRD", and the fourth was "Goes Forth".
  • June 28, 2011
    originalhobbit
    What about

    Robert Bobbington, Esquire?

    It gets the point across.

  • June 28, 2011
    peccantis
    ^but has nothing to do with "the third".
  • June 28, 2011
    originalhobbit
    Why does it specifically have to be "the third" I realize that it's the most common, but what'll stop people from making "the fourth" or "the second"? There's no reason for it to just be "the third". The point of the trope is giving off the impression that you are from old money, correct? If so, then I think any other number could work just as well, or even "Esquire". Robert Bobbington IV would work just as well, as would Robert Bobbington, Esquire.

    I don't think this is tropable if "the third" is a requirement.
  • June 28, 2011
    Aielyn
    The whole point of the trope is that, when people want to add it, it's almost always "The Third". Just "adding a number to a name" isn't a trope, it's People Sit On Chairs, since lots of people have numbers appended to their names. But the abnormally high frequency of "The Third" is significant and not People Sit On Chairs, and so it's a trope.

    The trope isn't about giving the impression of a person being from "old money", it's about giving them a fancy name. Consider, for instance, the case of Barclay from STTNG (Reginald Endicott Barclay III) - he's not from "old money" in any sense. He was given "the Third" purely to make his name sound fancy. But when people do this, it's always The Third.

    Instances of higher numbers would be subversions, though.
  • June 28, 2011
    genewitch
    Esquire means attorney at law or something. at least that's what my friends with J.D. degrees call themselves.
  • June 28, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^It does mean that in the US, but it's not the only thing it means.
  • July 1, 2011
    JonnyB
    The vampire hunter in the famous steampunk performance troupe "The League of S.T.E.A.M" is named Sir Conrad Wright III.
  • July 2, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    This sort of thing does tend to happen more frequently in wealthy families, specifically families who've had their money for some time. "The Third" gets us past the awkward possibility of "Junior" (which sounds a bit infantilizing), and it could be taken to measure about how long the family (or particular members of it) have had wealth or prominence. It could also simply mean that a particular combination of first-middle-last names (like Barclay's) caught on within the family, because of how it sounds or because of an illustrious ancestor, or both.
  • July 2, 2011
    Darthcaliber
    Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fanna Bobeska the third -or just Dot for short (call her Dotty and you die)
  • July 2, 2011
    PaulA
    ^ Examples are no help if you don't say where they're from. This one's from Animaniacs.
  • July 2, 2011
    Darthcaliber
    I kinda assumed it was well known enough

  • July 2, 2011
    PaulA
    ^ It's one of the rules of the wiki that nothing is "well known enough" -- there will always be somebody who's never heard of it.
  • July 3, 2011
    SonicLover
    I think it's best I put this Up For Grabs. I'm not sure I want to mess with it anymore.
  • July 15, 2011
    JonnyB
    In this trailer for a proposed Terry Gilliam steampunk adventure, the American hero is named General Buzz Adenoid Beanburger III.
  • July 16, 2011
    Xtifr
    The reason "the third" is the most common (in real life as well as fiction) is that the chance of breaking the chain is multiplied at each step. The most common is really "jr.", because the chance that two generations in a row will decide to re-use the name is much lower than the chance that just one will. But "jr." isn't numeric. So it's nothing to do with the Rule Of Three; it's simple statistics (and in fiction, it's simply Truth In Television).
  • July 16, 2011
    AgProv
    Warning: this is also common rhyming slang in Britain where a "Richard the Third" or simply a Richard is shorthand for a great big reeking piece of solid excrement. By extention, a "richard" is therefore any more than usually disagreeable, nasty, boorish or useless person whose presence is as welcome as a great big stinking turd. The construction means something slightly different over here and any article might need a footnote to this extent.
  • August 15, 2011
    PaulA
  • August 15, 2011
    peccantis
    ^^^ but don't forget that writers are free to choose whatever number they want to -- to name their character Robert Bobbington XVIII, all they'll have to do is to decide that their character's had 17 great grand fathers on his paternal line all the way from the original Robert Bobbington to the father or grandfather Robert Bobbington XVII.

    Ok it'd sound weird because in real life, what are the chances? But the writer could do it just like that. I myself created an upper class twit type of character once, and decided between III and IV, ending up with III because I liked the sound more, not because it's more likely.
  • August 15, 2011
    FastEddie
    Don't name it for a character. Pretentious Name would cover it.
  • August 15, 2011
    AmyJade
    Myles Leland III in Sue Thomas FB Eye.
  • August 15, 2011
    MrInitialMan
    Real Life: This is common practice in some areas of the United States. For example, the William Franklin Grahams. The famous pastor Billy Graham is William Franklin Graham Jr. His eldest son (who runs Samaritan's Purse) is William Franklin Graham III. His eldest son is William Franklin Graham IV--who is the father of William Franklin Graham V. William Franklin Graham Sr. died in 1962.
  • August 15, 2011
    elwoz
    The Newspaper Comic Kudzu named a character "Nasal T. Lardbottom III" to imply that not only is he a pathetic loser but he comes from a long and honorable line of pathetic losers.
  • August 18, 2011
    AmyJade
    Would a rename to Pretentious Name work, with a mention that "Pretentious Name III" is a common way of achieving this?

    Also, Hamilton Whitney III in Just Cause.
  • August 18, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Odd example (Subversion?):

    Anime and Manga:
    • Armitage III. It turns out that the III in the title isn't because Niomi Armitage is named Niomi Armitage III, the "III" stands for "third" as in a third generation of Ridiculously Human Robots.
  • August 18, 2011
    peccantis
    ^subversion if it's played as a pretentious upper class name at first
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=p1ovn26e217cd20ijsi8hwr2&trope=DiscardedYKTTW