Exactly What It Says on the Tin
: When a character is referred to pretty much exclusively by where he comes from.
This is Truth in Television
, if you look in historical documents, you will find that many people were distinguished by where they came from (other common identifiers included trade or profession
and distinguishing features). When surnames became common, towns of origin were often assigned as family names.
of Only Known by Their Nickname
- El Dorado: Mississippi, born on the river, and mostly called that because of his Overly Long Name.
- Kasuga Ayumu in Azumanga Daioh is only known as Osaka.
- Lois calling Clark "Smallville" in Superman: The Animated Series.
- Followed by her doing the same thing in Smallville
- The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.: Brisco goes undercover using the name "Kansas Wily Stafford" ("Kansas" for short). Then the real Kansas Wily Stafford shows up...
- Brisco, however, is an inversion. People keep assuming Brisco County is where he's from, a point which he has to clarify not to be the case.
- Yosemite Sam, possibly.
- Indiana Jones is at first assumed to be this, until the third movie, where we learn he took his name from his dog.
- Nevada Smith, an Indy parody, in Apogee Software's Pharaoh's Tomb.
- Medicine Man, Dr. Rae Crane is known as Bronx.
- Almost every character in Zombieland. At first it's just something that Tallahassee insists on to avoid emotional ties with other survivors, but through the course of the movie, almost every character ends up only being referred to by where they are from (or, in the Flash Back, by their apartment numbers), with the only exceptions being The Cameo and, at the end of the movie, Wichita.
- The old TV show, The Virginian.
- Subverted in Forrest Gump.
"There was Dallas, from Phoenix; Cleveland - he was from Detroit; and Tex... well, I don't remember where Tex come from." (Played straight there, Tex was from Texas.)
- Played with in Gunhed with the character "Brooklyn" who's Japanese...and wears a Dodgers baseball shirt. He doesn't get it because by that time the team was in L.A.
- Hudson Hawk. The title character's real first name is Eddie, he grew up in a town called Hoboken on the Hudson River in New Jersey.
- Coyote Ugly - When Violet first takes a job at the bar she's know as Jersey, her home state.
- Superted - The Big Bad Texas Pete.
- Santiago of Twilight is from Santiago. Given her age, not only does no one call her by her given name, almost no one knows it.
- Doc Pseudopolis is a high ranking member of Ankh-Morkpork's guild of gamblers on Terry Pratchett Disc World. He makes a living of people whose fathers never warned them not to gamble with a man named Doc or anyone named after a city.
- CSI: New York: Danny calls Lindsay "Montana". Only a partial example as he seems to be the only one on the show to call her that.