Created By: NESBoy on August 5, 2011 Last Edited By: Paycheckgurl on September 4, 2014

Name-Tag Superhero

When being Brought To You By The Letter S is not enough.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

Tags: Needs a Better Description, Rolling Updates, Should We Have This?, Up for Grabs

Let's say you're a Muggle within the superhero community. For some reason, you have a hard time recalling the names of the local heroes. You witness a woman fly by, and you see on the front of her uniform an atomic symbol. You know her name had something to do with that symbol, but you can't remember what. Then a guy leaps by with the initials "BB" written on his chest. Nothing clicks in your mind as to what his moniker is.

And then, this guy shows up.

Written on his uniform, clear as crystal, is "Captain Charlie". You sigh in relief, knowing that this kind of superhero uniform respects your memory problems, unlike the others, who — you later remember (with Charlie's help) — are named "Atomic Alice and Bounding Bob".

You have just met the Name-Tag Superhero.

As this trope goes at least as far back as The Silver Age of Comic Books, expect most of the examples here to come from this era.

Compare Expo Label, which is about objects with labels identifying them.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad of the Legion of Super-Heroes all debuted with their names printed on their costumes, as seen above. By their next appearance, they have new outfits without any names on them.
  • Superman:
  • Herbie's superhero alter ego, the Fat Fury, wore a shirt upon which "Fat Fury" was proudly emblazoned.
  • In the One Shot Comic Book Spider-Man versus Wolverine Peter Parker is in West Germany on assignment with the Daily Bugle and without his Spider-Man suit. Wolverine tracks him down by scent and conscripts him for a job. Parker goes to a costume rental place to see if they have a black body suit. The costumer doesn't; all he has is a knockoff of Spidey's red-and-blue suit that his son was planning to use for a costume party, which has "Die Spinne" written on the back.
  • In the comic series Cage, Luke Cage had the letters C-A-G-E emblazoned on four gold rings, so his last name was visible when he made a fist.
  • In Empowered, a number of superheroes and villains have their names across their chests. Somewhat subverting this, Ninjette's supranym is written across her butt.
  • While not a superhero, Sgt. Rock is a comic book headliner, and occasionally fell prey to this trope on cover illustrations. Particularly if Rock was shown from behind, as in this example, he might have his last name written on the back of his uniform in big white letters.

Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games
  • In Champions, the minor supervillain Bulldozer has his name tattooed in big letters going down his arm so he can show it off while introducing himself.

Toys
  • Hero Factory: the 2.0 and 3.0 upgrades had the Heroes' names on a piece of their armor.

Western Animation

Real Life
  • This is common with store bought Halloween costumes. For instance, Halloween Batman feels the need to tell you he's Batman.
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • August 5, 2011
    JonnyB
    If I recall correctly, isn't there an Evil Dead ep. where Ash is wearing his S-Mart name tag? (The end of the last film, I think?)
  • August 5, 2011
    suedenim
    Hmm, this is pretty good. I think it might be more or less limited to Weisinger-edited Silver Age DC Comics, though (i.e., the Superman family of titles.) Nothing else immediately comes to mind outside those, though maybe some of the off-brand Silver Age superheroes might qualify, come to think of it.

    There's a common Real Life example, though: Halloween costumes! For instance, Halloween Batman feels the need to tell you he's Batman.
  • August 5, 2011
    MarqFJA
    "(...) knowing that this kind of superhero uniform respects your intelligence (...)". What does intelligence have to do with memory?
  • August 5, 2011
    NESBoy
    Good catch. Fixed.
  • August 5, 2011
    TonyG
    Non-superhero example: I.R. Baboon from I Am Weasel has his name written on his shirt. Upside down, because he was wearing it when he wrote it.
  • August 5, 2011
    MarqFJA
    ^^ Still doesn't look right; "respect your memory" is usually used in the context of "you"'s subject being dead. I suggest making it something like "respects your inherently-limited memorization ability" (though not necessarily in those exact words).
  • August 6, 2011
    randomsurfer
    @seudenim: your Real Life example comes up in a Halloween Episode of The Simpsons where Milhouse is showing off his costume to Lisa.
    Milhouse: Check it out Lisa! I'm Radioactive Man!
    Lisa: I don't think the real Radioactive Man wears a plastic smock with a picture of himself on it.
    Milhouse: He would on Halloween!
  • August 6, 2011
    foxley
    Captain Nice from the 1967 live action TV show of the same name.
  • August 7, 2011
    suedenim
    Herbie's superhero alter ego, the Fat Fury, wore a shirt upon which "Fat Fury" was proudly emblazoned.
  • August 27, 2011
    suedenim
    I found another example, from Superman himself, here.
  • August 27, 2011
    SKJAM
    In Champions, the minor supervillain Bulldozer has his name tattooed in big letters going down his arm so he can show it off while introducing himself.
  • August 27, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • In the One Shot Comic Book Spider Man versus Wolverine Peter Parker is in West Germany on assignment with the Daily Bugle and without his Spider-Man suit. Wolverine tracks him down by scent and conscripts him for a job. Parker goes to a costume rental place to see if they have a black body suit. The costumer doesn't; all he has is a knockoff of Spidey's red-and-blue suit that his son was planning to use for a costume party, which has "Die Spinne"[[hottip:*:"The Spider" in German]] written on the back.

    Less detailed version, if preferred:
    • In Spider Man versus Wolverine Spider-Man ends up in West Germany wearing a knockoff of his own spandex uniform which has "Die Spinne" [[hottip:*:"The Spider" in German]] written on the back.
  • August 28, 2011
    SKJAM
    Looks like an example, but isn't: the Golden Age Of Comics Mr. Terrific has a chest emblem with the words "Fair Play" emblazoned on it. Somehow, no one ever assumes his name is 'Fair Play.'
  • August 28, 2011
    KingZeal
    • The Modern Mr. Terrific has the same words emblazoned on his jacket. Same deal applies.
    • In at least one series, Luke Cage had the letters C-A-G-E emblazoned on four gold rings, so his last name was visible when he made a fist.
  • August 28, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^That'd be Cage.
  • August 28, 2011
    Lysythe
    In Empowered, a number of superheroes and villains have their names across their chests. Somewhat subverting this, Ninjette's supranym is written across her butt.
  • September 16, 2011
    suedenim
    While not a superhero, Sgt Rock is a comic book headliner, and occasionally fell prey to this trope on cover illustrations. Particularly if Rock was shown from behind, as in this example, he might have his last name written on the back of his uniform in big white letters.
  • September 16, 2011
    suedenim
    Occasionally showed up on Who Wants To Be A Superhero, most notably with Rotiart, who had his name written across his chest. (Read it backwards to learn his secret!)
  • September 16, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The Blue Beetle from The Electric Company had "Blue Beetle" on his t-shirt.
  • March 25, 2012
    suedenim
    Thoughts on this? Is it ready to launch?
  • October 22, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    Bump.
  • October 22, 2013
    Snicka
    You have to add the examples before launch.
  • October 23, 2013
    Arivne
    Compare Expo Label, which is about objects with labels identifying them.
  • October 23, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    I removed the hat this was given. A draft needs at least three examples before launch. Usually the amount is a lot bigger but there's sure in hell no sense in launching this with only two examples.
  • October 23, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    ^ There's certainly enough examples in the replies, someone just needs to add them to the draft.

    EDIT: Done.
  • October 23, 2013
    KZN02
    Hero Factory: the 2.0 and 3.0 upgrades had the Heroes' names on a piece of their armor.
  • October 24, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    Should be indexed as Superhero Tropes and Costume Tropes
  • October 25, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    Bump. Ready for some hats?
  • September 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Well...?
  • September 4, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Subverted by DC Comics' Mister Terrific, who has "Fair Play" emblazoned on his chest.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=txsmhmph2aod9jq55xkl12th