* Possibly ur-example: Literature/{{Frankenstein}} is ''not'' the name of [[FrankensteinsMonster the monster]], but the last name of his creator. The monster does lay claim to it towards the end of the book though, considering himself the Doctor's son more or less.
* ''The Inferno'' is the first (and most famous) part of Dante Alighieri's epic poem ''Literature/TheDivineComedy''. This part of the poem and in particular its images of Hell is often referred to as "Dante's ''Inferno''", but people often take this to mean that the whole poem is titled ''Dante's Inferno'', assuming Dante to be a character or other part of the narrative, rather than the writer.
** Well, Dante ''is'' the main character of Inferno (as well as Purgatorio and Paradiso). It's just a different Dante. Well sort of. It's up to interpretation. The point is that the title is not ''Dante's Inferno''
* Subverted in ''MaximumRide'' - despite sounding like something else, Maximum Ride is in fact the narrator and main protagonist's name.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is Sauron, the BigBad, not any of the heroes in the series. This misunderstanding is already cleared up in the book: Pippin at one point calls Frodo the "Lord of the Ring", only to be hastily corrected by Gandalf -- the One Ring serves only one master and bends all others to his will. Frodo later titles the Red Book of Westmarch as ''The Downfall of the Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King''. The popular [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings live-action film version]] also pointed this out ("There is only one Lord of the Rings, and he does not share power"), so there's probably less confusion on this one nowadays.
* Referenced in the book ''Are You A Geek?'', where one of the things that gets you points is "You get annoyed when people assume that the name of the film is also the name of the main character, shouting things like 'Come on, Film/DieHard!' and 'Get 'em, Film/TotalRecall1990!'"
* Moby Dick is the whale; ''Literature/MobyDick'' (with a hyphen) is the book.
* Many people who have not read ''{{Rebecca}}'', or who do not remember it very well, refer to the narrator by that name. It is actually the name of her husband's first wife, who is dead before the story begins. The narrator's name [[NoNameGiven never comes up]].
** Parodied in a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YptTtb4VPA Mitchell and Webb sketch]]. Hitchcock's FilmOfTheBook is being made, but ExecutiveMeddling demands that if it's named Rebecca, it has to be about Rebecca. They don't change the names, though, they just replace all instances of "first wife" with "second wife" and vice versa.
* A variation of this would be the fact ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird'' is not an instruction manual for mockingbird hunters. There weren't even any mockingbirds. It's a reference to a metaphor used throughout the story. There was even a TitleDrop in which mockingbirds were referenced directly, and they're a symbol for one of the growing-up lessons Scout learns.
--> '''Atticus:''' Shoot all the jays you want, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. ... They don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy.
** At the end, when Scout agrees not to reveal [[spoiler: Boo Radley's heroism]]:
--> '''Scout:''' Well, it'd be sort of like shooting a mockingbird, wouldn't it?
** This is referenced in ''Film/FailureToLaunch'', when Creator/ZooeyDeschanel's character is annoyed by a mockingbird outside her window. She goes to a gun shop and wants to buy one to kill a mockingbird. The clerk tells her she can't do it, and references the book. Having never heard about it, she assumes that it's an instruction manual.
* The main character in ''JohnnyGotHisGun'', a fairly [[AndIMustScream horrific]] story about a World War I soldier waking up in a hospital, is often mistakenly referred to as "Johnny;" his actual name is Joe. The title's a LiteraryAllusionTitle to the patriotic pro-war song "Song/OverThere" (which begins with the words ''Johnny, get your gun'').
** The video for the Music/{{Metallica}} song "One" was inspired by the film version of this novel. In an interview following the video, Lars Ulrich informs the audience that he had been deeply moved by the story of poor ''Johnny''.
* Spoofed in ''1066AndAllThat'', which makes ''Theatre/HenryIV'' Parts I and II separate characters. Recently referenced by RichardDawkins in TheGodDelusion: "'Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought', as Henry IV Part II said to his son."
* [[http://verydemotivational.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/129128425142078155.jpg Hello my name is]] ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' and I am a ''{{Dracula}}''. Two for one!
* ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers''. The world may never know that there were, in fact, ''four'' of them. Though many adaptations have D'Artagnan not become a musketeer himself until the end, in the original book he becomes a Musketeer about halfway through. Actually, he's made a musketeer twice. It's seems that due to the vagaries of serialized fiction, Dumas forgot he ended a chapter with D'Artagnan being made one. Several chapters later, he's made one permanently.
** SlumdogMillionaire cleverly exploits this misconception. The climactic question is "The Three Musketeers are Athos, Porthos, and who else?" Since "everyone knows" that D'Artagnan is one of the Three Musketeers, a lot of viewers think that "D'Artagnan" is the right answer and "Aramis" is the wrong answer.
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in case of ''Literature/RainbowSix''. Rainbow Six is the codename of the leader, the team is simply called Rainbow.
* The monster in Lewis Carroll's poem "Literature/{{Jabberwocky}}" is only called the Jabberwock; the title is just one more piece of nonsense verse.
** He may have intended "Jabberwocky" to mean "the story of the Jabberwock", in the same way that ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' is the story of Odysseus.
** This is forgotten in some translations, where the name of the poem is identical to the name of the creature (e.g. in Dina Orlovskaya's Russian translation, both the creature and the poem are called "Barmaglot"; however, in Vladimir Orel's translation, the poem is called "Umzara-Zum", while the creature is just "Umzar").
* Many of the books in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' have titles with very little if anything to do with what actually goes on in the series. A few come from prophecies and sayings in universe (only in the openings to the books where the author always sticks one of these). The biggest offender is definitely Book 6, Lord of Chaos, a phrase that the reader never actually finds out the meaning of. It's ''probably'' one of [[IHaveManyNames many titles]] either of the hero or the BigBad, but it's never made explicit.
* James Joyce's ''Literature/{{Ulysses}}'' does not literally star any character with the same name.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': It is "The Marauder's Map"; not "The Marauders' Map". The four people who designed it shouldn't be referred to as "the Marauders"; that name is for anyone in possession of and using the map.
** It doesn't help that even some of the characters sometimes refer to the makers of the map as "the Marauders".
* L. Neil Smith's book ''The Forge of the Elders'' has an in-universe example: the giant nautiloids that sponsored the expedition (back) to Earth all have four-syllable names. The first two syllables of the expedition leader's name are pronounced "miss" and "terr", so the Americans that meet him and his agents assume that half of his name is a title ("Mister").
* In "A Visit From Saint Nicholas" (aka "Twas the Night Before Christmas"), the reindeer are listed as Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, ''Donder'' and Blitzen. No Donner. Although 'Donner und Blitzen' would be German for 'Thunder and Lightning', which might be a more logical name pairing.
* The protagonist in ''Literature/GoAskAlice'' is Carla, not Alice.
* ''{{Literature/Beowulf}}'', a murderous monster that terrorizes the land? No, the monster is called "Grendel". Beowulf is the hero who destroys Grendel.
* The protagonist of ''FlowersForAlgernon'' is Charlie Gordon. Algernon is his pet mouse.
* The four protagonists of the ''Literature/BookOfDaniel'' are Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who are then given the Babylonian names Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, respectively. However, only Daniel gets referred to popularly by his Hebrew name, while the other three are more commonly referred to by their Babylonian names, even though these names represent their captivity and forced assimilation.
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