[[quoteright:350: [[Film/YoungFrankenstein http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/youngfrankenstein2_6413.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Just when you thought [[NothingIsScarier it couldn't get any scarier...]]]]

->'''Dr. Frank-N-Furter:''' Go on, Dr. Scott... or should I say, ''Dr. '''Von''' Scott?!''
->'''Brad:''' Just what exactly are you implying?
-->-- ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow''

Want to give an ambiguous character that extra bit of onomastic intrigue? Tack a "Von" on to their last name.

Technically, ''von'' is merely a German preposition which approximately means ''of'' or ''from'' which appears mostly in names of families that belong (or once belonged) to the nobility. To set themselves off from commoners with "von" in their names, German-speaking noble persons sometimes prefer the abbreviation "v.". The nobility was abolished as a privileged estate in 1918, since then "von" and titles of nobility like "Graf" (count) or "Ritter" (knight) are treated as mere parts of the name. Note that the capitalization ''Von'' is a non-German, mostly English usage. Before the 20th century, it was quite common to translate "von" as "de" in French texts and German-speaking diplomats would sign that way under treaties (which explains why even today it's not uncommon to see Germanic names preceded by that particular Latin preposition).

Some German-speaking noble families have more elaborate particles before their name such as "von dem" (shortened form: "vom") or "von der" (both mean "of the"), others have "zu" or "zum" (roughly "at", which usually indicates the actual or former place of residence), some have "vom und zum". There are also both noble families which have "SURNAME von OTHER NAME" or "SURNAME zu PLACE NAME" (as usual, there are exceptions, such as names of the pattern "Meyer zu PLACE NAME" and e. g. the poet August Hoffmann von Fallersleben, who added "von Fallersleben" after his birthplace to distinguish himself from other writers called Hoffmann). And there are ones that combine "von" with "nobility indicators" from other languages such as with many surnames containing the slavic suffix "-ski" or "-sky" or Franco-German combinations as the noble Huguenot family ''von Arnauld de la Perière''.

At its most basic level, "von" merely exists as a marker of Germanic origin, high origin or both. However, character namers have seen fit to use the syllable to make two main branches of the Von Trope Family tree.

# Darker Von Trope: Often the Von implies sternness, skill at intrigue, [[AristocratsAreEvil power, autocracy, villainy, sadism]] or any of the other tropes that {{Those Wacky Nazi|s}} [[NaziNobleman Noblemen]] tend to inspire -- ironically, as the old nobility largely despised the Nazis as ''parvenus''. Less dark variations may include the particularly Gothic or militaristic {{Badass}}, especially those that are a riff on Otto von Bismarck (a classic MagnificentBastard) or Baron Manfred von Richthofen, The RedBaron. Sometimes the characters with the name do not have a Germanic origin at all.
# Lighter Von Trope: It is also used as more of a StockForeignName for a Germanic FunnyForeigner (especially {{Mad Scientist}}s), or for goofy characters for whom the aristocratic bearing of the name seems incongruous.

Naturally, there may be crossover between these two subsets.

When [[RealityEnsues the character just happens to have that as part of their family name]], with no particular cultural significance meant to be attached (though in countries with a long history of democracy, the elitist overtones of the prefix often cause it to be dropped), it's not this trope or any other one.

The Dutch equivalent, "van", may be used to imply the same categories, if more rarely, and usually more of the latter two. In America, a Dutch PreppyName is often a better shorthand to signify old money and "[[WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant WASPiness]]" than an actual Anglo-Saxon one would be.

A common misconception is that "von" should be pronounced with an English V. But "V" is in most cases pronounced as "F" in German, so it is actually pronounced "fon".

----

[[foldercontrol]]

!!Darker Von Trope Examples:

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* Isaak Fernand von Kämpfer from ''LightNovel/TrinityBlood'' invented the [[NebulousEvilOrganisation Rosenkreuz Order]].
* Bermuda Von Vichtenstein from ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn''. Not exactly evil, but he's still a [[KnightTemplar Vendice]] afterall.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, the leader of Hydra in the Marvel Universe.
* [[SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom Doctor Victor Von Doom]]. Franchise/MarvelUniverse, [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Reed Richards']] archenemy. Though he's actually UsefulNotes/{{Romani}} rather than German.
* Baroness Paula Von Gunther, antagonist of ''Franchise/WonderWoman''. One of the few comic villains to make the leap to the TV show, in fact.
* Von Bach of DC's ''ComicBook/KingdomCome''. He's some kind of dictator and only speaks German.
* Baron von Blitzschlag, a Nazi scientist who's a kind of villainous NewOldFlame - had offscreen run ins with ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica'' and other heroes. Currently acting as a scientific adviser to ''The Initiative'', working on such catastrophes as Cyborg Thor and [[CloningBlues repeatedly cloning a deceased member]].
* MadScientist Simon von Simon (and his unseen rival Sigmund von Sigmund) in ''Little Gloomy''.
* Hans von Hammer, protagonist of the DCComics feature ''ComicBook/EnemyAce''. He's portrayed more as a WorthyOpponent RedBaron kind of person, though.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' mentions an old villain named [[AristocratsAreEvil Baron]] Von [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Ruthless]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Live Action]]
* Hunter Van Pelt, the EvilPoacher of ''Film/{{Jumanji}}''. While a real name in Dutch, it's an obvious pun on "Pelt".
* [[Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow Go ahead, Dr. Scott...Or should I say Dr. VON Scott?]] The line is indeed used in the stage version to reveal an unaccented Scott's Germanic, likely Nazi history. However, it makes much less sense in the movie where, from the start, he has a ThoseWackyNazis accent.
* One of the CorruptCorporateExecutive types seen in an early scene in ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' is named Van Leuwen.
* The von Krolock family, of ''Film/TheFearlessVampireKillers'' and ''Theatre/TanzDerVampire''.
* The name of Frankenstein is {{Retcon}}ned into von Frankenstein in Universal's third ''Frankenstein'' film, ''Film/SonOfFrankenstein''.
* General von Pinck, the German assassin in ''The Assassination Bureau''.
* Velvet von Ragnar, the CreepyCrossdresser played by Gene Simmons in ''Never Too Young to Die''.
* Captain Friedrich von Hecht - and his superior General von Kleber - in ''Film/HornetsNest''.
* Captain von Schoenvorts in ''TheLandThatTimeForgot''.
* Major von Hapen in ''Film/WhereEaglesDare''.
* Colonel von Luger in ''Film/TheGreatEscape''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* Von Bork, the German spy whom Franchise/SherlockHolmes captures in ''His Last Bow''.
* Eric and Karl Von Shrakenberg from S.M. Stirling's ''Literature/TheDraka'' series.
* Sepp von [[LouisCypher Theofels]] from an ''Literature/ErastFandorin'' spinoff series.
* In the ''Literature/JamesBond'' books, we have the Nazi war criminals Graf Hugo von der Drache (aka Hugo Drax) from ''Literature/{{Moonraker}}'', von Richter from ''Literature/ColonelSun'', von Hammerstein from the short story "Literature/ForYourEyesOnly", Count von Glöda from ''Literature/{{Icebreaker}}'' and the Hitler-wannabe Max von Tarn from ''Literature/SeaFire''.
* Vladimir Von Dread in ''[[Literature/RachelGriffin The Unexpected Enlightement of Rachel Griffin]]'', Prince of Bavaria, [[AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil President of the Knights of Walpurgis dueling club]].
* Baron Friedrich von Schoenvorts in ''TheLandThatTimeForgot''.
* Captain von Brauchitsch in ''Film/WhereEaglesDare''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}} Goes Forth'': George's idea for finding the German spy at the field hospital was to look for the guy whose name began with "Von".
* Series/{{House}} refers to the man who ratted him out at college for cheating as "Dr. Von Lieberman" although the man's real surname is "Webber", because it "sounds much eviller". (Ironically, translated back into English the name comes out as "Goodman"...)
* Major-General Erich von Klinkerhoffen of ''Series/AlloAllo'' certainly falls on the sterner side of ThoseWackyNazis, while Colonel Kurt von Strohn is more jovial. (Which says something when you can say that about someone who threatens to have people shot.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Professional wrestlers Baron Von Raschke and [[Wrestling/VonErichFamily Fritz Von Erich]], serve as classic examples of the ForeignWrestlingHeel type. [[CharacterizationMarchesOn The Von Erich Family eventually lost the Teutonic/Nazi gimmick]]. Fritz's sons were the top {{Face}}s of World Class Championship Wrestling (and Kerry would continue the pure face act in the [[Wrestling/{{WWE}} WWF]]). Kerry's daughter, Lacey, played a {{Heel}} in Wrestling/{{TNA}}, though without the Nazi overtones; she's blonde, but otherwise not "Germanic." Instead, she was a member of the Beautiful People, a team of {{Alpha Bitch}}es who thought they were better looking than everyone else.
* Hans Von Doring, an evil German who worked in New Star Wrestling and WWC in his efforts to prove the inferiority of the Caribbean people.
* Jim Crockett Promotions Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling brought us Nazi Diane von Hoffman. She would even go on tour ''in Germany'', though like the Von Erichs the Nazi part was phased out later in her career.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Erich and Karl Von Shrakenberg from ''TabletopGame/TechInfantry'', named as a ShoutOut to Stirling's characters.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''
** Used quite often for characters - especially nobles - from The Empire, which is unsurprising given that The Empire is based heavily on the Holy Roman Empire. Examples include Valmir von Raukov, Elector Count of Ostland, Isabella von Liebewitz, Elector Countess of Wissenland, and the mad engineer Hermann von Meinkopt, who invented the repeater handgun (getting in a bit of the "crazy German inventor" there too).
** A prominent bloodline of [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Vampires]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' are the Von Carsteins, modelled on the {{Dracula}} archetype and living in [[NoCommunitiesWereHarmed an analogue for]] the Black Forest.
** Van examples would include the Chaos Sorcerer Egrimm van Horstmann and the infamous Witch Hunter Johann Van Hal (and his equally infamous ancestors). Van is also used in some Marienburger names to give them a more Dutch feel than the rest of the Empire's German, given that Marienburg is a mercantile free city on the Empire's Northwestern coast very reminiscent of the medieval Netherlands.
* TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} is home to Strahd von Zarovich, D&D's most infamous vampire, as well as other examples such as Dr. Rudolph van Richten and Urik von Kharkov.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Von Kaiser of ''VideoGame/PunchOut'', a stereotypical UsefulNotes/WorldWarI-era German aristocrat and apparently a military academy boxing instructor. This still doesn't change the fact that after years of fighting, he has only made it to or has just dropped down to the number two place in the WVBA Minor Circuit. With a record of 23-13. One suspects he's 23-1 against Glass Joe and 0-12 against anyone else.
* Von Bolt from ''Advance Wars''. The series has a habit of the BigBad having a German name (his predecessor being 'Sturm').
* Ludwig von Koopa from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' and later games. He even has [[EinsteinHair Beethoven Hair]].
** And Magnus Von Grapple from the second ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' game.
* Werner Von Croy of the ''Franchise/TombRaider'' series (the old-school games, at least).
* Chancellor Cole from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'' is known as Minister Von Glaiss in German localisations of the game. Should be easy why he belongs here, he kills Princess Zelda and revives the demon king Malladus using her body.
* Elzam von Branstein, and probably his father Maier von Branstein, from ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars''. (Both are written as V. Branstein, but Elzam at least is confirmed to be "von".) They're merely {{Anti Villain}}s, so they don't possess all the dark traits of this trope, but it allows Elzam to be an {{Expy}} of both the Red Baron and the [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Red Comet]]. Raidiese F. Branstein ditched the "von" to distance himself from his family.
* Baron von [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Doomkill]] from ''VideoGame/{{MARDEK}}'' combines DoomyDoomsOfDoom with LargeHam in the best way possible. Though, at one time in the past he ''was'' a serious threat to the world.
* Victor von Gerdenheim from ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}''.
* Hans von Groebel and his brother Kurt/Walther of VideoGame/CodenamePanzers apply as darker Von Tropes, if only because they're in [[ThoseWackyNazis German uniforms]] and the setting is WWII.
* Von Frog II from the ''VideoGame/{{Something}}'' series. He's a MadScientist who is the guardian of the Chateau du Eau and attacks the Mountain Bear village in Something Else.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Visual Novels]]
* The German-born Manfred von Karma of the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series, a ruthless AmoralAttorney (a prosecutor, in this case). His daughter, Franziska von Karma (whose name means "free of bad karma"), has less of the evil, but certainly the name seems to fit the stern lady with a [[WhipItGood whip]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''
** Von Pinn. First encountered as nanny to the children on Castle Wulfenbach, then later revealed to be an ancient construct created specifically to protect the Heterodyne heirs and "keep them safe". She's TheBaroness to anyone who threatens her charges.
** The Wulfenbach family never uses "von" in canon, but a lot of fans seem to use it for them outside the comic, largely due to the existence of this trope. The fact that they ''don't'' use it is likely related to the contempt the Baron has for the nobility's "rules". [[note]] The Wulfenbachs were a low-ranking family, and The Baron was, technically, ineligible to inherit the title according to those rules.[[/note]]
* When creating a villain for ''[[Webcomic/{{Starslip}} Starslip Crisis]]'' Kris Straub stated he was trying to come up with the most evil-sounding name imaginable. A reader pointed out that "Archcount Obdrath Lucifuge" could benefit from this trope, Straub publicly announced "why didn't I think of that?", and the name was immediately changed ([[{{Retcon}} retroactively]] to Obdrath von Lucifuge's first appearance).
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Website/GaiaOnline's Von Helson family, an aristocratic family that happens to consist entirely of vampires. Vladmir (and later Zhivago) are both major antagonists throughout the storyline. The Von Helson were also villainous for a while, but have undergone some VillainDecay in recent years (lampshaded in a recent mini comic). Ian and Louie are subversions. Ian is a lovable goofball who runs a costume shop with his talking cat, and Louie is a nice guy who just happens to be King of the Vampires, [[IHateYouVampireDad hates his dad]], and works at the local Formalwear shop.
* Houses Von Jeggett, Von Kruger, and Von Hastur from ''[[Literature/TheTaleOfGavenMorren The Tale Of The Exile]]''.
[[/folder]]

----

!!Lighter Von Trope Examples:

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* The Ten Noble Families in the anime ''LightNovel/KyoKaraMaoh'' all have 'von' in their names even if the rest of the name isn't Germanic at all. ''Von'' Bielefeld, ''Von'' Wincott, etc. etc. This is probably because Shin Makoku was heavily European based.
* Oktavia von Seckendorff, [[spoiler: Sayaka's witch form,]] in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''.
* Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach in ''Manga/FromEroicaWithLove''.
* In the "Junk Car" episode of ''Anime/SpeedRacer'' dub, the race is held by a Baron Von Vondevon... who has a long-lost daughter Yvonne Von Vondevon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' featured the Van Pelt siblings, Lucy, Linus and Rerun. (There's no evident relationship to Van Pelt from ''Film/{{Jumanji}}'', or Scott Van Pelt of Creator/{{ESPN}}.) ''Peanuts'' creator Charles Schulz was from Minnesota, a U.S. state that has always had large German-American and Dutch-American populations. So Linus and Lucy's last name is probably just meant to mark them as "typical Midwesterners."
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Animated]]
* Victor Van Dort from ''WesternAnimation/CorpseBride''.
* Vanellope Von Schweetz, a ''Sugar Rush'' would-be racer, from ''Disney/WreckItRalph''. [[spoiler: Doubles as {{Foreshadowing}}, as she's secretly the princess of that game's world.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* In ''Film/YoungFrankenstein'', Frederick's great-grandfather (whose son Victor originally created the Creature) was named Baron Beaufort Von Frankenstein.
* Lily Von [[YiddishAsASecondLanguage Shtupp]], in ''Film/BlazingSaddles''.
* In ''Film/AKnightsTale'', William competes under the name of Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein, which contrasts not a bit with his bearing.
* In ''Film/BackToTheFuture III'', Doc Brown mentions that his ancestors before World War I were the von Brauns.
* Eric Von Zipper, the comical BadassBiker character from the '60s ''Beach Party'' movies.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Jokes]]
* Long ago, a man approaches a Hollywood agent wanting to break into show business. He can sing. He can dance. He tells jokes. He's fabulous! "Fantastic!" says the agent. "What's your name, kid?" "Penis Van Lesbian," replies the young talent. "That's a terrible name!" exclaims the agent. We'll have to change it. How about we call you, 'Dick Van Dyke'?"
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* As a RunningGag, many residents of Uberwald in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' have the Von as part of their names, including Moist Von Lipwig, the werewolves Angua and Wolfgang Von Uberwald, and vampire photographer Otto Von Chriek. Justified in that these names are all denominators of origin.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''VideoGame/DiscworldNoir'', where the name "Count von Uberwald" ''isn't enough to identify someone'', except as "probably a vampire".
* Ralph von Wau Wau, a talking German Shepherd from Spider Robinson's ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'' stories. The character is originally from the works of Creator/PhilipJoseFarmer including "A Scarlet in Study" and "The Doge Whose Barque Was Worse Than His Bight".
* Evra Von from ''[[Literature/TheSagaofDarrenShan Cirque Du Freak]]''. He often corrects people that it's just Von.
* Literature/ErastFandorin's family name is a Russified version of "Von Dorn". Most of Boris Akunin's other novels feature characters who are [[TheVerse somehow connected to the same Von Dorn family]] and have names that are similarly descended from their name (Van Doren, De Dorn, Darnowski, etc.)
* The von Ulrichs, an [[JustifiedTrope aristocratic German]] family in Ken Follett's novel ''[[Literature/TheCenturyTrilogy Fall of Giants]]''. Although the story takes place during WorldWarOne, Walter von Ulrich, being [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters one of the]] main protagonists, is portrayed in a quite personable way. Walter (working at that point in time as diplomat in [[LondonTown London]]) points out that the Brits always erroneously capitalize the ''von'', when sending him letters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Count Von Count, ''Series/SesameStreet'''s numerically-obsessed vampire.
* Baron Von Butcher was the head of the evil organization C.H.U.M.P. on ''Series/LancelotLinkSecretChimp''.
* Nina Van Horn on ''Series/JustShootMe''. It's not her real name (that would be Claire Noodleman); her agent got the last name from a porn star in his building.
* When [[Series/DoctorWho The Doctor]] goes to Germany, he usually presents identification that says he is 'Doctor von Wer', literally, 'Doctor of Who'. And no, it makes no more sense in German than it would in English. Pretty much ''any'' native speaker would immediately notice and wonder if this was supposed to be some kind of joke. (Germany does feature two or three places called ''Wehr'' he could hypothetically claim to be from, but the word isn't particularly related to "wer" and so the pun wouldn't work quite so easily anymore except perhaps as a GeniusBonus.)
* Serena van der Woodsen in ''Literature/GossipGirl'', whose family runs a Dutch shipping company dating back to the 18th century.
* ''TheTwoRonnies'' gave us Otto van Dancer. Pronounce the v with a German f and you get the joke.
* The eponymous protagonist of obscure British-made PoliceProcedural ''Van der Valk'' is quite difficult to place in this list, as while the series spent a lot of time dealing with the less salubrious side of FreestateAmsterdam, Van der Valk himself was unambiguously LawfulGood.
* Grace Van Pelt on ''Series/TheMentalist''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Musicals]]
* Velma Von Tussle from ''Film/{{Hairspray}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/RobVanDam got his name from wrestler Ron Slinker, because of his resemblance to actor Jean-Claude Van Damme.
* Wrestling/ChristinaVonEerie's name has no "foreign" elements (to [[Wrestling/{{AAA}} many]] [[Wrestling/{{CMLL}} viewers]]), as she is billed from [[PartsUnknown "Spook City, USA."]]
* Incongruous would go some way to describing Leah Von Dutch, who does have aspirations, or possibly delusions of nobility, but has a long way to go to get there. And she's Canadian so wrong nationality.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Radio]]
* In ''Radio/TheJackBennyProgram'', Jack Benny's valet is Rochester Van Jones.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Ebenezer von Clutch of ''[[Franchise/CrashBandicoot Crash Tag Team Racing]]''.
* [[OverlyLongName Almaz Von Almadine Adamant]] from ''VideoGame/Disgaea3AbsenceOfJustice''.
* In the InteractiveFiction game ''Enlisted'', the player character's last name is Van Dussen.
* The [=VanSalad=] family from ''VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland'', who are described as even homelier than the [[ThemeNaming Goodsoups]]. Also, Reginald Van Winslow from ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland''.
* Deiter Von Heinrichzimmerschneit from ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' is a NatureDocumentary director who hires the Vault Hunter to carry out his tasks while he sits back and provides director's commentary as it happens. Most of his tasks are for his own personal gain or amusement. Also, Heinrichzimmerschneit isn't his actual name. You would starve to death before you could finish pronouncing his true name.
* Germanic princess Hildegard von Krone from the ''SoulSeries''.
* Edward Chris von Muir from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV''.
* Luke fon Fabre and his family from "VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss", one of the rare times this was used correctly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Visual Novels]]
* Ilyasviel von Einzbern in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' starts off as a villain but turns out to be slightly nicer than she looks. The rest of her family, however, may qualify...
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* The title character of the webcomic ''Webcomic/VanVonHunter''.
* Joey Von Krause from [[http://mortifer.smackjeeves.com Mortifer.]] [[spoiler: Except it turns out not to be his real name...]]
* Despite his [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast scary name]], [[Webcomic/GirlGenius Moloch Von Zinzer]] is a pretty normal guy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Ludwig Von Drake, WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck's uncle, and a goofy MadScientist. In German he becomes Primus von Quack.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has Melvin Van Horne, or Sideshow Mel, and Milhouse Van Houten.
* Scrooge [=McDuck=] is known in Danish as Joakim von And and in Swedish as Joakim von Anka, both meaning Joakim von Duck. We guess the translators weren't fluent in German, because it means that he is a duck from Duck. Hm... but then, "[=McDuck=]" would mean "son of Duck", so his original name isn't that much better.
* Velvet von Black from ''TheHauntedWorldofElSuperbeasto'', though it's unclear whether or not this is a stagename being that she's a stripper and all.
* The friendly-bully on ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' is named Buford Van Stomm.
* [[TheAhnold Jorgen Von Strangle]], in ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents''.
* Professor Dinglehopper Von Schlemer, from ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog''.
* Dr. Ludwig von Scientist from ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes''.
* Dr. Otto von Scratchansniff from ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}''
[[/folder]]

----

[[folder: Real Life]]
* The trope name is a pun on the von Trapp family, of ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic'' fame.
* Karl-Theodor ([[OverlyLongName Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester]]) Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg, a politican who was the German Defence Minister until 2011. He used to have a [[HerrDoktor doctorate in law]] (making his name [[UpToEleven even longer]]), until someone found out that he had almost completely plagiarised his thesis.
* Creator/DickVanDyke
* And Dick Van Patten, of ''Series/EightIsEnough'' fame.
* Professor Sebastian Van Strien at Warwick University. Aside from being TheUnintelligible and setting [[NintendoHard impossible exams]], he's not exactly ''evil''.
* [[UsefulNotes/UngernSternberg Roman Ungern von Sternberg]], crazy tinpot dictator extraordinaire.
* Erich von Stroheim, an actor who specialized in Evil German roles.
* [[AncientAstronauts Erich von Däniken]]
* Dita Von Teese, burlesque model and former fiancee of Music/MarilynManson's, presumably chose her stage name for its darker exotic qualities.
* The famous Dutch football (soccer) player, Marco van Basten, regarded as one of the all-time best forwards in the game.
* Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, director of the movies ''Film/TheLivesOfOthers'' and ''Film/TheTourist''.
* Architect Maria Ludwig Michael Mies, to seem more impressive, appended his mother's surname, "van der Rohe."
* Wernher von Braun is a combination of the light and dark. Member of the Nazi party, inventor of the V2 rocket, one of the principal brains (if not '''the''' principal brain) behind the American side of the Space Race. (There is still some controversy as to whether he was a ''willing'' Nazi collaborator.)
* Creator/LudwigVanBeethoven - But wait, why does a German man have a Dutch surname, you ask? It's just so happens Beethoven was of Belgian descent. His birth name was actually "Lodewijk".
* [[Music/GreyDelisle Erin Van Oosbree]]
* UsefulNotes/MartinVanBuren, eighth President of the United States, came from a Dutch family. In fact, he was one of the few Presidents to be naturally bilingual.
* Mario Van Peebles
** and his father, Melvin Van Peebles.
* Jean-Claude Van Damme
* JamesVanDerBeek
* Actor Casper Van Dien played the character Brom Van Brunt in ''Film/SleepyHollow''. The Van Diens are reportedly distant relatives of the real-life Van Brunt clan, making a bit of ActorAllusion.
* Steven Van Zandt, [[Music/BruceSpringsteen E Street Band]] guitarist and portrayer of [[Series/TheSopranos Sil Dante]].
* Also cult country-folk singer Townes Van Zandt (no relation).C
* The Van Zant brothers, Ronnie (from Music/LynyrdSkynyrd), Johnny (who replaced Ronnie after the latter's death in a plane crash), and Donnie (from .38 Special).
* As well as the Music/VanHalen family: Eddie, Alex, and Wolfgang.
* And country musician Ricky Van Shelton.
* NFL Hall of Fame [=QBs=] Steve Van Buren and Norm Van Brocklin. Other notable [=NFLers=]: Bruce Van Dyke, Alex van Dyke, Bob Van Duyne, Billy Van Heusen, Doug Van Horn, Keith Van Horne, Jeff Van Note, Brad Van Pelt, Bradlee Van Pelt (son of Brad Van Pelt,) Alex Van Pelt, Dick Van Raaphorst, and Art Van Tone.
* Colonel Hans von Luck, a protege of [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany Heinz Guderian]] and ErwinRommel. His autobiography ''Panzer Commander'' provides great insight into Nazi Germany's tank operations. When he was captured by the Soviets, the aristocratic connotation of his named decidedly did not work in his favor, and he spent over a decade in a gulag.
* Invoked with Creator/LarsVonTrier. The "von" part was a nickname he got in film school. He ultimately decided to keep the nickname to pay homage to Erich von Stroheim and Josef von Sternberg, who also added their "von" later in life.
* The world-famous RedBaron was, in fact, a baron -- and his real name was Manfred von Richthofen.
* Longtime baseball announcers Dave Van Horne (Montreal Expos/Florida Marlins) and Pete Van Wieren (Atlanta Braves).
* NBA coach turned TV anaylst Jeff Van Gundy, as well as his brother Stan.
* Classical music conductor Herbert von Karajan.
* Dutch physicist Johannes Diderik van der Waals.
* Filmmaker Gus Van Sant (''Film/GoodWillHunting'', ''Film/{{Milk}}'', etc.)

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