Created By: CaveCat on January 23, 2013 Last Edited By: CaveCat on June 3, 2013
Troped

Long John Shoutout

The name Long John is used to indicate a character is a pirate.

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Page Type:
Trope
Is This Tropeable?

Exactly What It Says on the Tin, anytime you find a pirate in fiction or media, expect him to always have "Long John" in his name, as a Shout-Out to "Long John Silver" from Treasure Island, but not a direct Whole Plot Reference to Treasure Island.

Compare: Captain Colorbeard


Examples

Comic Books
  • In issue #16 of Cartoon Cartoons, a Courage the Cowardly Dog story featured a ghost pirate visiting the Bagge farm, whose name was Captain Long John Longjohns.

Literature

Video Games

Web Comics
  • In Freefall, when Helix was excited about the idea of him and Sam becoming space pirates, he started to call himself "Long John Aluminium".

Western Animation
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh:
    • Tigger imagines himself as the pirate 'Long John Tigger', during a fantasy in the episode "Babysitter Blues".
    • In the episode "Rabbit Marks The Spot", Rabbit claims that a false treasure map that he created belonged to his rabbit pirate ancestor Long John Cottontail. At the end of the episode, the real Long John Cottontail shows up, scaring Pooh and the others away, much to his confusion.
  • The Garfield and Friends episode "The Legend Of Long Jon" featured Jon's pirate ancestor, Long Jon Arbuckle, who was hated by all the people that lived in the village, until the end, where it was discovered that he was actually a benevolent agent for George Washington.
  • Long John Scarechrome, one of Prime Evil's Mooks from Filmation's Ghostbusters.
  • The novelisation of the Puff the Magic Dragon animated movie had a pirate called Very Long John Black and Bluebeard Kidd.

Real Life
  • Although not a character per se, "Long John Silver's" restaurant is obviously a shout-out to the infamous Stevenson character.

Needs More Examples
Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • January 23, 2013
    lexicon
    That's not a very descriptive description and all you have is Treasure Island and imitations of it. I could take this more seriously if you had something more serious then Winnie The Pooh and Garfield.
  • January 23, 2013
    CaveCat
    ^Everyone's a critic. Those were the only examples I could think of. Cut me some slack.

    EDIT: For the record, the Winnie The Pooh and Garfield examples are not imitations of Treasure Island.
  • January 23, 2013
    lexicon
    Maybe I was mistaken. How do you know that the Winnie The Pooh and Garfield examples are not imitations of Treasure Island?
  • January 23, 2013
    aurora369
    In Freefall, when Helix was excited about the idea of him and Sam becoming space pirates, he started to call himself "Long John Aluminium".
  • January 24, 2013
    oztrickster
    Probably better off as examples on Names The Same or Shout Out for the current examples.
  • January 24, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Last I heard, Names The Same wasn't actually a trope.
  • January 24, 2013
    justanotherrandomlurker
    Comic Book
    • In issue #16 of Cartoon Cartoons, a Courage The Cowardly Dog story featured a ghost pirate visiting the Bagge farm, whose name was Captain Long John Longjohns.
  • January 25, 2013
    lexicon
    "as a reference to "Long John Silver" from Treasure Island, but not a direct Shout Out to Treasure Island." Is that supposed to make sense? If this is really tropable then tell me more about it. What are some other tropes it relates to?
  • January 26, 2013
    CaveCat
    ^What I am trying to say is that while a pirate may have "Long John" in his name, it may not always be a reference to Treasure Island. Just like the Winnie The Pooh and Garfield examples are not borderline parodies of Treasure Island.
  • January 26, 2013
    Xtifr
    I can't imagine an example that isn't intended as a Shout Out. Not borrowing the storyline doesn't mean it's not a shout-out. In fact, it makes it a shout-out instead of Recycled In or Whole Plot Reference.
  • January 26, 2013
    Megaptera
    Long John isn't the only one of these that relates to pirates. Blackbeard gets parodied all the time in the form of Insertcolourbeard. There must be a trope that describes this phenomenon of name parodies in general, not just relating to pirates.
  • January 26, 2013
    CaveCat
    ^Well duh, why do you think I added Captain Colorbeard as a comparison to this trope?
  • January 27, 2013
    Megaptera
    Right, sorry, you did, and that exists. Hm. I wonder if they could be rolled into one trope.
  • January 27, 2013
    lexicon
    Captain Colorbeard and this can't be rolled into one trope because Captain Colorbeard is any time a pirate is named for how he looks. It's not necessarily about color or beard. The page says that even Hook counts. Apparently a Shout Out can be a trope as there is a list of Stock Shout Outs.
  • February 6, 2013
    peccantis
  • February 6, 2013
    CaveCat
    Okay, changed it to Long John Shoutout.
  • February 7, 2013
    thewriter
  • February 9, 2013
    MaxWest
    Long John Scarechrome, one of Prime Evil's Mooks from Filmations Ghostbusters.
  • February 12, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Early in The Beatles' career they called themselves "Long John and the Silvermen." Does That Count?
  • February 13, 2013
    CaveCat
    ^Not an example.
  • February 22, 2013
    IsaacSapphire
    I don't think we do porn tropes anymore, but I should at least mention that there are multiple porn stars with names that are variations on Long John.
  • February 22, 2013
    CaveCat
    ^Well, this is not a porn trope.
  • February 23, 2013
    Ironeye
    If this isn't too specific, the trope here would not be

    "A pirate has 'Long John' in his name."

    but rather

    "The name 'Long John' is used to indicate a character is a pirate."

    Treasure Island popularized many of the pirate tropes to the point that people use them without being familiar with their source. I suspect "'Long John' means pirate" is one of them.

    And, no, we definitely don't trope porn. It's against the Content Policy.
  • February 25, 2013
    Rupa
    Would the fast food chain 'Long John Silver's' count?
  • February 25, 2013
    lexicon
    What Ironeye says is good. "The name 'Long John' is used to indicate a character is a pirate." It's a fast food restaurant, not a pirate, so it doesn't count.
  • February 26, 2013
    troacctid
    Don't they have a pirate for a mascot though?
  • February 28, 2013
    Rupa
    The restaurant has a nautical theme and pirate/seafaring motifs everywhere in their restaurants and such, so maybe...?
  • March 4, 2013
    m8e
    Long John Silver's have used a pirate mascot, so that mascot count.

    [1] [2] [3] [4]

    By the way, I don't see how this can be limited to pirates and be Exactly What It Says On The Tin with this title at the same time.
  • March 6, 2013
    Antonymous
    This is too narrowly defined (a single name), so it's not nearly as common as the other Stock Shout Outs. It's not Too Rare To Trope, but it's not special enough to deserve a page.

    But what about the supertrope of any Meaningful Name that gets its meaning from a Shout Out -- Characterization By Shout Out? (Call By Reference? :p) This is a more common. When it's done to many characters at once, it's Shout Out Theme Naming, but we don't have a trope that allows a single character.

    Should we have a trope for Shout Out Name (where the name need not be meaningful)? Or remove the real-world restriction from Named After Somebody Famous?
  • March 20, 2013
    GKaiser
    We have Captain Colorbeard already; this seems like a sister trope and just as valid.
  • April 1, 2013
    JonnyB
    Although not a character per se, "Long John Silver's" restaurant is obviously a shout-out to the infamous Stevenson character, so yes, it should count.
  • April 7, 2013
    MorganWick
    Would Long Tom Short from Irregular Webcomic count?
  • April 8, 2013
    CaveCat
    ^I don't think so.
  • May 22, 2013
    Omeganian
    Short John Mithril from World Of Warcraft.
  • May 24, 2013
    DaibhidC

    (I'm specifying the novelisation because I've read it, and haven't seen the film, and the Wikipedia entry just calls him Very Long.)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=qxleo93rlbscdzfwfrwyjsx1&trope=LongJohnShoutout