[[quoteright:300:[[ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/DontCallMeSir_3434.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:To be clear, [[AccidentalMisnaming they're both girls.]]]]

->''"Don't call me Sir. Call me Rocko."''
-->-- '''Rocko''', ''WesternAnimation/ThePebbleAndThePenguin''
%% One quote is enough, please put any new one in the Quotes tab.

A character is in a position of high authority or status, and as a part of this, is owed respect and even obeisance from those considered beneath him.

However, this person refuses to take advantage of the situation. He insists that he be addressed by name rather than title, he stops people who try to bow to him, he corrects people who try to avert their eyes. While still being cognizant and proud of his position, he tries to minimize the social distance between himself and members of other classes.

The reasons for this vary considerably and tend to be complex. He may hate to see others degrading themselves before him. He may be from humble origins and find the signs of respect mocking, or doubt his own worth to receive them. He may be trying to endear himself to the lower classes in a deliberate gambit to seem personable. Or he may simply find it impractical and say something to the effect of "Formalities are a waste of time."

If this character is very powerful, such as a king, he will often try to change the behaviours of those around him or abolish denigrating practices. Whether this works generally depends on the kindness of the setting.

This trope also pops up in works that involve the military whenever a non-commissioned officer (usually a [[DrillSergeantNasty Sergeant]]) is referred to as "sir" as the title is typically reserved for commissioned officers. The stock response from the NCO is "Don't call me Sir, [[TakeThat I work for a living]]." Roughly 90% of the time this pops up it's when DrillSergeantNasty is introducing the [[NewMeat fresh-off-the-street recruits]] to their [[TrainingFromHell basic training]].

A common way to play with this trope is to have one character [[FriendlyAddressPrivileges insist on being called by name]], but another character, usually a servant or similar role, agrees and continues using the title anyway, in the basic form of: "Don't call me Sir." "Yes, Sir." The two characters may argue about this throughout the story, and the eventual use of the first name by the subordinate character can be used so show the development of their relationship. (The OldRetainer hates it.)

This is a SuperTrope of the second variant of TheyCallMeMisterTibbs, where a character insists upon FirstNameBasis in order to be more jovial.

Compare/contrast InsistentTerminology, FirstNameBasis, LastNameBasis, FriendlyAddressPrivileges, JustTheFirstCitizen. See also NiceToTheWaiter.
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Youko, the main character and eventual queen in ''Anime/TheTwelveKingdoms'', can't stand to see her courtiers and peasantry prostrate themselves before her, partly because it offends her sense of equality and because she fears the ministers are scowling while their faces are hidden. At the end of the series, she issues a proclamation that abolishes the custom.
* In ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'', after Reinhard and Hilde [[spoiler:[[UnequalPairing get married]]]], Reinhard tells her she can stop calling him "Kaiser" like everyone else and call him [[FirstNameBasis by his first name]], with mixed results.
* In ''Manga/{{Bakuman}}'', Mashiro, during his first real conversation with his assistant Takahama, gets him to call him "Mashiro-san" rather than "sensei".
* The third [[AudioAdaptation Megami Sound Stage]] reveals that Hayate has been trying to get [[spoiler:Agito]], who recently joined her family, to call her by [[FirstNameBasis her first name]] rather than "Commander/Lieutenant Colonel [[LastNameBasis Yagami]]". [[spoiler:Agito]] is initially unable to do so, but eventually starts calling her "Meister Hayate."
* In a flashback of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Yoruichi suggests that Soifon call her "Yoruichi-san" rather than "Commander," but Soifon suggests "Yoruichi-sama" instead.
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'', [[RebelliousPrincess Relena Peacecraft]] asks [[MagnificentBitch Dorothy Catalonia]] not to call her "Relena-sama", presumably because they're the same age (in fact, Dorothy's a year older). Dorothy keeps calling her that anyway, which seems to be [[WithDueRespect subtly mocking]].
* [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Yuuri]] of ''LightNovel/KyoKaraMaoh'' repeatedly asks characters, especially Conrad, to address him as Yuuri rather than the kingly title of 'Your Majesty'.
* ''PrincessPrincess'': Sakamoto Akira is called "Sakamoto-sama" by practically all other students (even his upperclassmen), who also bow to him. He's uncomfortable with this, since he believes he only gets that respected for being the previous Sakamoto-sama's younger brother. The only two students he actually had the courage to ask to call him by his name without the sama were two of the school "Princesses", who, in return, (and as a joke) asked him to call them by their names without honorifics as well. Not realizing they were joking, he granted their request.
* ''NogizakaHarukaNoHimitsu'': [[TheOjou Nogizaka Haruka]]'s fans became upset that she allowed [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Ayase Yuuto]] to call her by her given name ''and'' without honorifics.
* ''TsubasaReservoirChronicle'': Princess Sakura has been trying to talk Syaoran out of calling her "Your Highness" (and using {{Keigo}} in general) ever since they were little kids - to no avail.
* Lieutenant Filicia Heideman of ''SoraNoWoto'' runs her small military unit as if it were a family and she were the mother. Adressing each other by ranks isn't necessary.
* In ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'', during the last chapter of ''Little Army'', Miho tells one of the students at her mother's tankery school that she doesn't need to address her formally, since the student is older. The student then tells Miho that since Miho is the instructor's daughter, age doesn't matter.
* Used by Touka in a ''{{Manga/Saki}}'' side chapter, when Hajime, one of her teammates and a maid at her house, refers to her and her cousin Koromo as "Touka-[[JapaneseHonorifics sama]] and Koromo-sama," Touka reminds her that formal speech is not allowed when her father is not present, prompting Hajime to reply, "I'm sorry, Touka".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/{{Cyclops}} of the ComicBook/{{X-Men}} just can't call Professor Xavier anything other than his title and surname, even when the Professor asks him to call him "Charles".
* [[CanonImmigrant Originating]] from [[Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperman the first television show]], this trope is a standard of Silver Age ComicBook/{{Superman}} comics, with Jimmy Olsen calling Perry White "Chief," prompting Perry to say, "Don't call me 'Chief!'"
** And in a few versions, Clark has asked Jimmy not to call him "Mr. Kent".
* In the lead-up promotional comic for the Engineer Update in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', the BLU Engineer's real name is revealed in such a conversation.
-->'''BLU Engineer:''' [[spoiler:Mr. Conagher]] is my father. Call me [[spoiler:Dell]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* The TropeNamer comes from ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}''. Peppermint Patty hates it when Marcie calls her "Sir". Of course, that's probably due more to the "gender confusion" angle than the "unwanted deference" one. And since Marcie has OpaqueNerdGlasses as she's otherwise pretty much blind, it's understandable for her to be confused by the {{Tomboy}} Patty. At least, for a while. Later Marcie's pretty certain what gender Patty is; she just keeps doing it, likely from a combo of deference, habit, and orneriness.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''Anime/MaiHime'' fanfic ''Windows of the Soul'', Natsuki tries to get Hideko, one of Shizuru's maids, to call her by her first name instead of "Kuga-sama," but Hideko refuses, calling her "Kuga-san" as a compromise.
* In ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', Dumbledore tells Harry that Headmaster is too formal; he can call him "Heh" for short. He is both surprised and pleased when Harry does.
* In ''Fanfic/LillyEpilogueFamilyMatters'', Mr. Satou insists on not being called "sir," but as [[JerkAss his actions]] indicate, this is clearly not out of a desire to be friendly.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Naruto}}'' fanfic ''Fanfic/WhiteRain'', Rock Lee insists that everyone in the village, including Naruto's former teammates and his pals in the Rookie Nine, refer to Naruto exclusively as "Hokage" or "Lord Hokage" to the extent that he lectures Tenten on addressing him by name. Naruto doesn't really care either way.
* In ''FanFic/DiariesOfAMadman'', Navarone hates titles and constantly has to ask others not to call him sir, or by any of the other titles he's obtained. This is probably one of the reasons why Celestia awards him a particularly prestigious title (along with a [[RainbowPimpGear really gaudy suit of armour]]) as a punishment.
* Captain Kanril Eleya of ''Fanfic/BaitAndSwitchSTO'' prefers "ma'am", despite Starfleet protocol being "sir". She'll also answer to "Captain", "Skipper", or FirstNameBasis (though only a couple of her command staff members are willing to do the last one, and her first officer only when ''not'' speaking as first officer).
* In the omake for the ''{{Manga/Saki}}'' doujin, ''[[http://dynasty-scans.com/chapters/neutral_position#32 Neutral Position]]'' '''(Doujin is not safe for work, although the omake is)''', Mairu Shirouzu tries to get her best friend Himeko Tsuruta (who calls her by her position as ClubPresident) to call her something less formal. Himeko tries "[[LastNameBasis Shirouzu]]-[[SenpaiKohai senpai]]", which Mairu says is "too stiff," and then "[[FirstNameBasis Mairu]]-[[JapaneseHonorifics san]]", prompting Mairu to say "don't use -san". Himeko then blushes and stammers before saying Mairu's first name without honorifics, which Mairu finds cute.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''MonstersInc'', the easygoing Sulley has a brief moment telling ThoseTwoGuys not to call him Mr. Sullivan.
* Professor Selesnev of ''Animation/TheMysteryOfTheThirdPlanet'' prefers to be called "Professor" rather than "Captain" and corrects people several times over it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/MasterAndCommander'', Captain Aubrey wants to pose his warship as an unarmed whaler, and tells his lieutenants that there is to be no more 'Sirs' or saluting. Their response? "Aye Sir."
* {{God}} himself does this in ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail''. Apparently he just finds the behaviour annoying.
* In ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'' and ''Film/StarTrekVTheFinalFrontier'', Kirk asks Spock to call him "Jim". His particular reason is that he and Spock are HeterosexualLifePartners.
* In ''Film/{{Stripes}}'', Sergeant Hulka uses the "Don't call me sir, I work for a living!" line on a new-recruit.
* In ''Film/ForrestGump'', Forrest's platoon leader in Vietnam immediately forbids him to salute him or show any forms of respect in the field because the enemy snipers would specifically target the commanding officers. TruthInTelevision: a salute on the battlefield is called a "Sniper Check" in military jargon. This is now official policy for deployed U.S. military forces in some areas.
* ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan'' also mentions the "sniper check" - Upham is told that he draws fire every time he salutes Captain Miller.
* The "I work for a living" part is also in ''Film/GoodMorningVietnam'', followed by a line meant to set up another one-liner from Creator/RobinWilliams.
* In ''Film/TheAmericanPresident'', President Andrew Shepherd tells his Chief of Staff, A.J., that he can call him by his first name when they're alone together. A.J. replies, "Whatever you say, Mister President."
* The US Intelligence representative from ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon'' is ''obsessive'' about not being called "ma'am".
* In the 1986 movie ''Saving Grace'' the new Pope Leo XIV wants his closest aides to ''please'' call him something other than 'Your Holiness' all the time. Though he does say 'Your Not-So-Muchness' is "Too long."
* In one of the ''Film/{{Porkys}}'' movies, Coach Brackett asks the other characters to quit calling him "Coach" and address him as Roy. "I'm only twenty-three, for Christ's sake."
* ColonelKilgore in ''Film/ApocalypseNow''.
-->'''Kilgore:''' You can cut out the "sir" crap, Lance. I'm Bill Kilgore, I'm a [[SurferDude goofy foot]].
* ''Film/{{Oscar}}'': Sylvester Stalone's character Angelo 'Snaps' Provolone, honoring his father's wish to turn from a life of being a prohibition gangster, is flanked all day by his men who constantly call him 'boss' to his growing annoyance.
* ''Film/GIJane'' has one of the [[DrillSergeantNasty trainers]] during the TrainingFromHell yell this (along with "I work for a living!") to the prospective Navy Seals.
* ''Film/OutCold'' has John Majors (played by [[TheDanza Lee Majors]], who insists that Rick not call him Mr. Majors.
-->'''John Majors''': I'm not Mr. Majors - my daddy was Mr. Majors! Actually, his last name was Mankowitz, but that's beside the point.
* In the american version of ''Film/ScentOfAWoman'', Frank Slade ''hates'' to be called Sir. Charlie, being the polite naive guy that he is, calls him Sir out of reflex. The answer: ''Just call me Frank. Call me Mister Slade. Call me... Colonel, if you want; just don't call me Sir''
* Towards the beginning of ''Film/MenInBlack'', as Agent Kay [[BavarianFireDrill takes charge over a border check]], INS agent Janus tries to take control again, but Kay bluntly tells him "Don't 'Sir' me, young man. You have no idea [[TheMenInBlack who you are dealing with]].", also serving as an EstablishingCharacterMoment.
* ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods''. [[ThoseTwoBadGuys Hadley and Sitterson]] are checked into the [[ElaborateUndergroundBase Facility]] by a security officer [[AudienceSurrogate who's just been posted there]].
-->'''Hadley:''' What's your name?
-->'''Truman:''' Daniel Truman, sir.
-->'''Hadley:''' This isn't the military, Truman -- you can drop the "sir". But Sitterson does like to be called "ma'am".
-->'''Sitterson:''' Or "Honey Toes".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Each of the three main male characters in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', being from a small village, are immensely weirded out when fate hands them a set of nice clothes and suddenly everyone is bowing and saying "my lord." They handle it quite differently: Perrin struggles with the ethics of lordhood whilst tentatively allowing the practice to continue; Rand gets an inflated head and decides it's all his due (not helped by everyone proclaiming him the ChosenOne of every prophecy out there it seems); and Mat continues to struggle in vain to make it stop.
* In ''Sanctuary'' (book three of the ''Literature/DragonJousters'' series by Creator/MercedesLackey), Kaleth has to scold the Tian priests at least twice for prostrating themselves to him. Not that you can really blame them, as each time Kaleth had been possessed by one of the Altan/Tian pantheon to pass messages on ....
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** Played with (like everything else), with King Verence II and Queen Magrat. Verence had been a member of the Guild of Fools and Joculators, which is firmly established as the bottom of the social ladder, and Magrat is simply "a bit wet", and most of the country (which is tiny) has known her all her life. They both hate being deferred to this way, Magrat because she feels like marrying someone she loves should have nothing to do with how people she's known forever treat her, and Verence because he feels it's inexpedient and has even gone so far as to set up a parliament. The people they rule, however, are a bit old-fashioned, and don't hold with Verence's style of ruling, since what is the point if they have to rule themselves? After all, it's "got to be done proper."
** In ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'', the modern-educated protagonist, after being made the Pharaoh, tries to be the kind of affable modern ruler who shakes people by the hand and shows an interest in their work, instead of the kind who's always look down at the tops of grovelling heads. It doesn't really work out, because he's pushing against the weight of centuries-long tradition (and parts of it are actively pushing back).
** Sam Vimes acts like a variant of this trope after being knighted -- he hates being treated like a nobleman in any way, since he is disgusted by the usual behavior of Ankh-Morpork's nobles, and he also still completely feels like a "normal" citizen. Eventually he becomes comfortable enough with it that most people who don't know him call him Sir Samuel. Admittedly, he's a ''Duke'' by this point, and he objects to "your Grace". He does permit a select few to call him "Mr. Vimes", as he believes they respect him for things that actually deserve respect, not his rank.
** Corporal Strappi has the "I'm not a sir, I'm a bloody corporal!" version in ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment''. In his case it's because he'll take any excuse to bully the recruits. (On the other hand, [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Private Maladict]] radiates aristocracy to such an extent that when he signs up, Sergeant Jackrum has to stop himself calling him "sir".)
** In ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' one of the first edicts Cohen the Barbarian makes when he becomes Emperor is to stop people Kowtowing and giving long-winded, overly flattering titles as he thinks it is a disgrace that ordinary people are compelled to do that (he does also say if they want to show respect they can give him money, though).
* Jake from ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''. Ax is [[RunningGag always]] calling him Prince (a rank, rather than royal title). Leading to:
-->'''Ax:''' ... Prince Jake.\\
'''Jake:''' Don't call me Prince.\\
'''Ax:''' Yes, Prince Jake.
** Amusingly enough, when Ax first is getting used to living with the rest of the crew, he does this because military command and structure is drilled into the entirety of Andalite society, but as time progresses, it's hinted that he keeps doing it because he knows it annoys Jake, and finds it funny.
* Sandor Clegane of ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' doesn't technically have the rank anyway, but he functions as a knight in everything but name, and as such, other knights and courtiers often address him as "ser". [[BerserkButton He hates it]]. Direct use of the trope name occurs when Sansa makes this mistake and he snaps, "Don't call me ''ser''."
** To be specific, he thinks knightly pretensions are hypocrisy, as a knight is just a thug with a sword, horse and armour. This has a lot to do with his brother, Ser Gregor Clegane, TheDreaded PsychoForHire for Lord Tywin Lannister.
** Davos Seaworth, a lowborn smuggler who was knighted for smuggling food to a castle under siege, is told off for doing this by his sons, who are well aware that the other knights look down on their House. "If you don't remember it, Father, why should they?"
* In his autobiography ''About Face'', David Hackworth mentions how he reluctantly accepted a FieldPromotion up to officer rank during the Korean War. He gets into a truck and is addressed as "sir" by the driver.
-->'''Hackworth:''' Don't call me sir. I was a sergeant until a few minutes ago.\\
'''Driver:''' Yes sir.
* ''{{Belgariad}}'': Belgarion, having been raised as a {{farmboy}}, is naturally unnerved when he is unexpectedly named as the Rivan King and suddenly everyone is bowing to him. He gets used to it after a while.
* In ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'', Percy can tell Blackjack not to call him boss, and get the response of sure, boss, whatever you say boss -- cheerfully, not ironically.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington''
** From ''Crown of Slaves'', [[spoiler: Berry Zilwicki, upon becoming queen of Torch]] finds the formalities associated with monarchy to be tremendously awkward, and comments that she foresees establishing the most informal monarchy in history. She prefers to be on a first name basis with people, which is convenient given that many of her future subjects [[spoiler: are from the Audubon Ballroom, and thus have no last names.]]
** Being quite small, she suggests "Your Mousety" as an honorific.
** Jeremy also winces a bit at being addressed as "Mister X."
** The title heroine of the series has enough titles to stock a bookstore (seriously, [[Characters/HonorHarrington see 'em here]]), but she doggedly tries to get her Grayson armsmen to call her "Honor." It rarely happens.
** Calling superior officers "Sir" is also taboo in the navy of the [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny People's Republic of Haven]], particularly soon after the initial coup and purge, though for more sinister reasons. The use of such titles is considered unacceptably elitist, and the use of the kludgy "Citizen [Rank]" is prescribed instead, under threat of [[DisproportionateRetribution severe punishment.]] Many Havenite crews ignore this requirement, depending on the attitudes of their [[PoliticalOfficer Citizen Commissioners]].
* Kurtz in Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{Dreamcatcher}}'' very much dislikes the word "sir." He's ruthless and rather scary (unusual for this trope) and characters avoid the word "sir" out of fear of his reaction, although because they're obviously not comfortable around him "sir"s will often slip out. "Boss" is much more effective and doesn't put you on the lunatic's bad side. Kurtz eschews the use of the word "sir" -- as well as the use of ranks, rank insignia, rates, ''[[GratuitousLatin et cetera]]'' -- because the nature of the operation he's commanding requires that he and his subordinates do so. If the military personnel involved in the "cleanup" were to be identified as such, they would be in direct violation of federal law -- specifically, the ''Posse Comitatus'' Act of 1878 (18 U.S.C. §1385), which forbids the United States military from carrying out operations against civilians within the United States. It's more [[LoopholeAbuse exploiting a legal loophole]] than a personal preference.
* Arises between Bunter and LordPeterWimsey in Jill Paton Walsh's ''The Attenbury Emeralds''. After [[spoiler: Lord Peter's elder brother the Duke of Denver dies without surviving issue]], Bunter uses Wimsey's newly-inherited form of address, and Wimsey tries to get him to use his first name, at least in connection with their investigation work. [[OldRetainer Bunter settles for returning to "My Lord"/"Your Lordship"]], which he'd been using for years. Despite Wimsey's and Harriet's efforts to the contrary, Bunter generally tries to resist the more egalitarian spirit of post-WWII Britain, even discouraging his son Peter Bunter ("PB") from seeing himself the equal of his schoolmate Bredon Wimsey.
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'', in the miserable mill. The boss insists that everyone call him Sir, to the point where neither we nor the protagonists know his name.
** PlayedForLaughs in book the thirteenth. The leader of the island, [[Literature/MobyDick Ishmael, asks everyone to "call me Ish."]]
-->'''[[SecretDiary Ishmael's Diary]]''': P.S. Why won't anyone call me Ish?

* Michael from the ''Literature/KnightAndRogueSeries'' insists Fisk just call him by his name, while Fisk only refers to him as Sir or Noble Sir (though he does use Sir Michael in monologue). Michael admits to the audience that he'd be willing, at least for a while, to just settle for Sir, since Fisk means Noble Sir as an insult. Of course, when Fisk starts calling Michael "Mike" on occasion that isn't appreciated either.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter''
** An inversion occurs during Harry's Occlumency lessons in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'': Snape insists on being called "Sir" or "Professor" at all times.
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince'', Snape again insists on being called "sir" and he chastises Harry for not doing so. This leads to Harry's famous riposte "There's no need to call me 'sir', Professor."
* In ''Literature/NativeSon'', Bigger is so used to saying "yessuh" and "yessum" to white people that he finds it hard to break after Jan objects to it.
* In ''[[TheEnchantedForestChronicles Searching for Dragons]]'', Mendabar's EstablishingCharacterMoment is him arguing with his aide, Willin, to stop referring to him by various "stuffy" titles (among other things). Willin, who feels that the king ought to adhere more with traditions, firmly refuses.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Inverted by new captain Victoria "Iron" Gates on ''Series/{{Castle}}''. She insists on being called "sir" over "[[MaamShock Ma'am]]".
* On ''{{CSI NY}}'', Danny uses this to play a joke on his (unknown to them at the time of course)future wife in her first episode. On Lindsay's first day on the job, Danny tells her Mac likes to be called "sir". She proceeds to do so, and then Mac tells her not to call him "sir".
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** The Doctor. It's usually a sign of great distress when he doesn't mind people calling him "sir". The [[TheNthDoctor Tenth Doctor]] also dislikes being saluted. The only reason he lets the UNIT commander of the episode do it is because they seem to get a buzz out of it.
** Rose tries to convince the members of UNIT to stop saluting her during "Turn Left".
* Sandor Clegane of ''Series/GameOfThrones'' doesn't like being called "ser". Unlike many examples, it's actually incorrect, as he is not a knight (though many assume he is, what with being the personal bodyguard of the Crown Prince). Beyond that, Sandor doesn't think much of knights - after all, his [[CainAndAbel brother]] is one.
* In ''TheAdventuresOfSuperman'', Perry White hates it when Jimmy Olsen calls him "Chief", but he can't get him to remember.
* ''Series/LoisAndClark'': In "The Phoenix", SelfDemonstrating/LexLuthor told Nigel not to call him "Sir" anymore since he no longer had a façade to keep.
** Also, when {{Superman}} reclaimed his birthright as "Lord Kal-El" and became the ruler of New Krypton to prevent Lord Nor from ruling it and using its power to take over and enslave the human race, there was a scene where several Kryptonians were bowing to him and he told them it would no longer be needed.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}''
** Gibbs (a former Marine Gunnery Sergeant) insists upon being called "Boss" instead. Abby, being Abby, played with it. She is the ''only'' person in the entire show who can get away with this kind of thing and not get [[DopeSlap Gibbs slapped]] for it.
-->'''Abby:'''Thank you, sir!\\
'''Gibbs:''' Don't call me sir.\\
'''Abby:'''Thank you, ma'am!\\
''(amused reaction from Gibbs)''
** And if you call Ziva "ma'am"... whoops.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'':
** In the 1st season episode ("''Sightings''") a former enlisted service member takes offense being called sir by Harm.
** Another example is in "''Dog Rober: Part 1''" when Harm goes to Admiral Boone’s place to inform him that the [=SecNav=] wants to have him as his troubleshooter.
-->'''Boone''': Don't sir me. I'm retired.
* ''Series/ThePalace'' is all about a fictional BritishRoyalFamily, and the main characters are all comfortable being called by their titles. However, this trope is briefly PlayedForDrama in the first episode, shortly after King James's sudden death. His eldest son, Richard, enters a room where his immediate family is gathered, and his mother and sisters begin to curtsy and greet him with "Your Majesty." The new king immediately stops them, disturbed.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
** Captain Janeway of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' mentions in a conversation early in the pilot episode "Caretaker" that standard Starfleet protocol is to call superior officers "sir" regardless of gender, but she herself prefers "Captain". "Ma'am" will do in a crunch (and Paris does so throughout the series in crunch time). (Starting with ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', Starfleet officers of superior rank are addressed as "sir" regardless of their gender. Presumably the idea is that the patriarchal meaning of the word had changed over the centuries to become gender-neutral, although male characters will occasionally "sir" female characters who are being especially authoritative with just enough extra inflection to indicate that the gender-specific overtones are not quite dead.
*** Of course, when it came her turn to play with Q, she had to invoke ARareSentence:
----> '''Janeway:''' Please don't call me "madam Captain".
** ''Next Gen'' also used the "I work(ed) for a living" variation, when someone "sirs" Worf's adoptive father, a retired Starfleet CPO.
** Inverted by Troi: she is promoted to the rank of Commander while Data is off-ship, and when Data returns, she jokes that he has to call her "Sir" now.
** Chief O'Brien on ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' is like this as well; in fact, in one episode, a dying ensign notes that his situation has to be getting worse because O'Brien didn't correct him about calling him "sir". That said, O'Brien is not a Starfleet Officer, he's an enlisted man. Which leads to the fact that following the strict chain of command, Nog, who is a cadet with a battlefield promotion to Ensign, outranks him. He follows the standard tradition of using ranks as titles though, and he's laid back enough about it to claim that he did so so he wouldn't have to wear fancy uniforms and go to boring meetings.
--> '''O'Brien:''' You know, I just realized, when he gets back from the academy, I'm going to have to call him "sir".
** It's also played with in the episode "The Storyteller," when [[WideEyedIdealist Julian]] [[EnsignNewbie Bashir]] tells Miles not only to not call him sir, but to [[FirstNameBasis call him Julian]]. Miles has [[GenreSavvy been in Starfleet too long]] to be impressed by this, and he looks a bit smug when Julian mutters that the formal address will do fine at the end of the episode. They eventually end up best friends using FirstNameBasis anyway, at least when off duty.
** "In the Hands of the Prophets" has [[CommandingCoolness Commander Sisko]] use a variation when [[SinisterMinister Vedek Winn]] first addresses him as "Emissary":
--> '''Sisko:''' I wish you wouldn't call me that. I'm "Commander Sisko," or "Benjamin," if you'd like.
** In the ''StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' [[GrandFinale finale episode]] "All Good Things", Geordi addresses the (now retired) Picard as "Captain" and asks if he would prefer "Ambassador" or perhaps "[[TheyCallMeMisterTibbs Mr. Picard]]". Picard replies that he now prefers just "[[FirstNameBasis Jean-Luc]]".
* In JohnCleese's "The Strange Case of the End of Civilization As We Know It", the President, a Gerald Ford expy, keeps demanding that his CIA aides "Don't call me Sir, call me Mr. President", with the usual "Mr. President Sir" gags. A cut seen takes this UpToEleven, where the NEXT president is told "Your predecessor also said to call him Mr.President, sir." "Mr. President, MR. PRESIDENT!" "Yes, Mr. President Mr. President." And so on, and on.
* Played a bit for laughs in ''Series/TheWestWing'' with Donna Moss and incoming First Lady Helen Santos.
-->'''Helen:''' Did you just "ma'am" me???\\
'''Donna''': I seem to have, yes.\\
'''Helen''': ''(cheerfully)'' Yeah, don't do that again.
** Josh had to repeatedly tell Charlie not to call him "sir", as only the President is addressed that way in the White House. He also had to remind him ''not'' to call the President's youngest daughter "Madam".
* KingArthur in ''Series/{{Kaamelott}}'', Livre V: "''Don't call me sire.''" He is no longer the king of Britain, after all. Of course, being SurroundedByIdiots, they keep forgetting.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* Literature/TheBible: When Saul was chosen to be king, nobody could find him. He was eventually found in the coatroom, being one of the Bible's many examples of extremely humble people. Though he did a FaceHeelTurn once David came on the scene.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* A prank call from frequent ''[[TheBobAndTomShow Bob and Tom]]'' guest Joel Lindley has him insist that he be called "El Conquistador"...which proved to be the problem for the gentleman on the other end of the line, who kept calling him "sir".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Played with in the Role Aides game supplement ''Dragons'', which features a character class of dragon-mounted warriors. Among humans of the Dragonlands, they're to be addressed as "Dragonlord" and treated with extreme deference. In front of actual dragons, who are ''really'' the ones in charge, they can only be called "Riders", '''never''' "Dragonlords", and it's the dragons who must be accorded every respect.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* At the end of ''Theatre/TheKingAndI'', when the king's son ascends the throne, the very first thing he does is start telling people to stand up and look him in the eye.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Robo in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' initially refers to Marle and Lucca by honorific, presumably because he's programmed to do so, then reverts to FirstNameBasis at their insistence.
* ''VideoGame/JediAcademy'': Kyle Katarn insists that both [[PlayerCharacter Jaden]] and Rosh call him Kyle instead of Master, as he says that titles "make my skin crawl." Rosh tries to adapt to this and starts acting so relaxed he's soon found literally leaning on Kyle, which he doesn't appreciate either. [[SarcasmMode There's just no pleasing some people.]] Whereas Jaden seems to have trouble calling him just Kyle right until the end of the game, which is supposed to take place over several years (however long it takes to go from being an Initiate to a Jedi Knight). By the ''Literature/FateOfTheJedi'' books taking place decades later, Kyle actually insists on being called "Master Katarn". This may be related to the fact that he's on the Jedi Council...
* This conversation from ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank'':
-->'''Clank:''' Please, return your appendages to the steering mechanism, sir.\\
'''Ratchet:''' Oh, sorry. By the way, you can stop calling me 'sir'. The name's Ratchet.\\
'''Clank:''' Pleased to make your acquaintance, sir.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''
** Kal'Reegar calls Tali (who, being in charge of the research project on Haestrom, is considered his superior) "ma'am". When she tells him to call her by her name, he replies, "I'll work on that, ma'am."
** Shepard can choose to encourage this kind of mentality among the crew of the ''Normandy''.
** If you didn't make one jealous of the other, when Tali and Ash see each other again before the mission on the dreadnought in the first game, Tali calls Ashley by her rank and last name, like she did in the first game, but at Ashley's suggestion (potentially by pointing out that [[spoiler:Tali is now an ''Admiral'']]), prompting them to switch to FirstNameBasis.
* Big Boss gains his title at the end of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater''. However, due to how he gained it, he refuses to let anyone else refer to him as such until the end of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPortableOps'', six years later. He's not even comfortable with it then. It's only at the end of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'', a full decade after ''Snake Eater'', that he truly embraces the title. And then comes ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'', where, after losing everything to Cipher and XOF, he casts the name off again in favor of [[MeaningfulName Punished Snake]].
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty 3'', Dixon insists on the squad not calling him Sergeant after he's promoted to the rank.
* Early on in ''VideoGame/KingsQuestV'', [[TheScrappy Cedric]] addresses [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething King Graham]] as "your majesty." Graham tells him to drop the "your majesty" part, as it is much too formal.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog''
** Sonic dislikes being referred-to formally or being given titles. Examples include insisting that Shahra call him by his name instead of "Master", stopping the Knights of the Round Table bowing to him once it is revealed [[spoiler: that he is the genuine King Arthur]] and stopping people such as [[{{Moe}} Cream]] and [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Elise]] calling him Mr.
** Also, Blaze the Cat dislikes being called Highness. She tolerates "Princess Blaze".
* DrillSergeantNasty Sergeant Dornan in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' explodes when the Chosen One addresses him as "sir."
-->'''Sergeant Dornan:''' I AM NOT A SIR! I ''work'' for a living, you ''moron''!
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' universe, Tyrande to Shandris around the time she becomes High Priestess.
-->'''Shandris:''' I'll follow you for the rest of my life, my lady!\\
'''Tyrande:''' Don't call me that, I'm still Tyrande.\\
'''Shandris:''' Yes, my lady.
* Used in the opening of ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany'':
-->'''Srgt. Redford:''' And cut out the "Sir, yes sir" crap! I'm a sergeant, not the goddamned President!
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', Zevran may once refer to [[spoiler:Loghain]] by title, prompting him to point out that [[spoiler:since joining the Gray Wardens]], he relinquished his old titles, and should not be addressed any differently than the others.
* Archmage Savos Aren in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim''.
-->'''Archmage:''' We haven't been formally introduced, have we?\\
'''Dragonborn:''' No, sir.\\
'''Archmage:''' "Sir?" How quaint.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', Galuf [[spoiler:is a king, but he has amnesia when he meets the most of the rest of the game's party and it isn't until much later in the game that they all find out he's a king. Once he officially reassumes his position, Bartz says they'll have to call him "King," but he says that he doesn't like titles, so they should just call him Galuf. He also extends this to fellow king Xezat, who along with him was one of the Warriors of Dawn.]]
* [[AffablyEvil Vayne]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' prefers to be addressed simply as "Vayne" rather than "Lord Consul" or "Your Highness." He justifies this by explaining that though he is the son of the emperor, he is not royalty, as leaders in his country are elected democractically. Furthermore, he insists on being treated as just another citizen of Rabanastre, rather than the newly appointed leader that he is.
** Similarly, his brother Larsa, though young, is nevertheless of noble blood and is properly addressed is Lord, but amongst the party he just goes by Larsa.
* In ''[[VideoGame/AtelierMeruruTheApprenticeOfArland Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland]]'', the main character is Princess Merurulince, but she normally just goes by "Meruru" and doesn't want anyone to bow to her or speak to her formally or anything like that. In her own words, she's never been much of a princess.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': The supplementary comic "Loose Canon" shows that the Engineer prefers to be called "Dell" rather than "Mr. Conagher", as befitting his characterization as a soft-spoken, friendly sort of fellow (compared to his teammates, that is; the very same comic also shows that the Engineer isn't an ExtremeDoormat, since he also threatens to break the geriatric Blutarch in half if he doesn't "take your goddamn hands off me").
* ''[[VideoGame/DeadOrAlive Dead or Alive: Dimensions]]'' features one such moment between Ayane and her mother, Ayame, in which the latter manages to call the former back from the DespairEventHorizon:
-->'''Ayane''': "My Lady..."\\
'''Ayame''': "Please, you ''don't'' have to call me that. I am your mother."
* In ''{{VideoGame/Phantasmagoria}}'', when Adrienne calls Malcom "sir", he tells her he doesn't like being called that, because it makes him feel old (he's over a hundred), and asks to be called by his name.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'', Shiki tries to get the twin {{Meido}} to stop calling him [[JapaneseHonorifics "sama"]]. Kohaku complies, Hisui doesn't.
* Shirou of ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' tells Saber not to call him "master", and she complies.
* In ''KatawaShoujo'', Sae doesn't like being called "[[MaamShock Mrs. Saionji]]", and prefers a FirstNameBasis.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/ButImACatPerson'''s Bianca doesn't like to think of her ownership of Patrick as anything but a technicality. He insists on calling her "Master" anyway.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Roy says this to Vaarsuvius at least once.
* In ''Webcomic/SabrinaOnline'', Zig Zag insists that ALL of her employees call her by name, not "Ma'am" or "Miss".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' inverts with one of its main characters, Yang, specifically demanding to be called 'sir'.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'' has [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-662 SCP 662]], a bell that summons a butler named Mr. Deeds. Mr. Deeds calls everyone sir, often leading to this trope. Unlike most examples, however, he promptly ceases this [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/662-l1 when asked politely]].
* In ''Literature/LovelaceOneTwo'', Mr. Stone, Andi's mentor, has apparently told her this repeatedly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Sgt. Torres delivers "I work for a living" line in ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'', when an group of exoscouts she just rescued tries to address her with "Ma'am".
* Ratchet in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'':
-->'''Ratchet:''' What's your name, soldier?\\
'''Arcee:''' Ar... Arcee, sir.\\
'''Ratchet:''' Don't call me sir. I work for a living.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', Megatron, the BigBad, is constantly referred to by Inferno, a soldier with a worker ant beast mode, as "The ''Queen''". Megatron is suitably angry with this term, and attempts to force Inferno to stop using it. Eventually Inferno settles on "The Royalty".
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' Both princesses Luna and Mi Amore Cadenza ask not to be referred to by title, with the latter preferring the more condensed "Cadence".
** This also occurs in "Princess Twilight Sparkle" where Twilight reveals that while she can understand other ponies of Equestria calling her "Princess Twilight", she prefers her friends not to.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines'' episode "Operation: Anvil", Dastardly orders Zilly to not call him "D.D." as he had in the episode.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In RealLife, at first the President of the United States was addressed as "Excellency", with the full style being "His High Mightiness, the President of the United States and Protector of Their Liberties". (One wonders how that would go over today.) UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington had this changed, at the insistence of UsefulNotes/JamesMadison, to the simple "Mr. President". This custom has persisted to the present day, whereas in a few other countries presidents are addressed as "Excellency" but the U.S. President is just "Mr. President".
** What a woman in the office of US president will be called is still a bit unsettled -- "Miss/Mrs. President", "Ms. President", and "Madam President" (as most international presidents would be called) were all batted about during Hillary Clinton's campaign. Probably it will all come down to the personal preference of the first woman actually elected.
** Most presidents are addressed as Mr. President -- "Monsieur le President" in French, "Herr Präsident" in German, "Panie Prezydencie" in Polish, etc. Your Excellency, however, is the diplomatic style of most republican heads of state. So, the first page of a treaty will list the President of the United States as "His Excellency, the President of the United States of America".
* In many English-speaking military organizations, sergeants and petty officers will take offense at being called "sir" (the title being reserved for commissioned officers. "Don't call me 'sir'! I work for a living!" is the common sergeant's rebuff). An exception is the United States Air Force, where airmen call anyone who outranks them "sir" ([[InterserviceRivalry and leads to jokes from the other branches about how no-one in the Air Force actually works anyway]].)
** Despite this being a [[TheOldestOnesInTheBook Stock Trope]] of military training, there will ''always'' be at least one flustered, if not one maddeningly GenreBlind recruit who [[TruthInTelevision will fall afoul of it]].
** A '''very''' general rule for civilians: Army, Air Force, and Marines you're safe with "Sergeant" for any NCO. For the Navy, "Petty Officer" for anybody without an arch over their stripes (called a "rocker"), and "Chief" for anybody with the rocker.
* Irish musician Tommy Makem used to reply "my father's not here" whenever anyone called him "Mr. Makem" instead of "Tommy".
* WaltDisney hated being called "Mr. Disney". Occasionally when he was referred to as such, he'd say something along the lines of "Please, call me Walt. The only Mr. at the Disney Studios is our lawyer, Mr. Lessing."
* Even after he was ''knighted'', Creator/LaurenceOlivier hated to be addressed as "sir" or "Sir Laurence", insisting on only being addressed as "Larry".
* This is also a cultural thing. In Europe it seems that further east you go, the more likely you are to offend someone by calling them by an honourific that would be considered polite elsewhere.
* College professors are often very informal when dealing with their students, which can be very jarring for people used to calling their teachers "Mr.", "Mrs.", and so on in grade school.
** This is especially a problem at community colleges, where, due to duel credit programs in many states, it's not at all unusual for some of the students to be 15 or 16.
[[/folder]]
----