* ''[[Literature/{{Alatriste}} The Adventures of Captain Alatriste]]'' - The titular character Diego Alatriste is not a military Captain -nor even an officer- but in the story, he's working as a sword-for-hire under the monniker of "Captain" Alatriste. [[spoiler:He is later recruited and promoted.]]
* The ''Analects of Confucius'' aren't analects, and the Master's name wasn't really Creator/{{Confucius}} either.
* In ''Literature/AnansiBoys'', Fat Charlie is not, nor was ever fat. Between ages ten and fourteen he was a pudgy kid, but that was it. Unfortunately, while he lost weight, he could never shake the nickname because his father, Anansi, gave it to him.
* Flann O'Brien loved doing this: The tiny Shannon River islet of Swim-two-Birds is mentioned exactly once in passing in "Literature/AtSwimTwoBirds".
* The novel ''Breaking Smith's Quarterhorse'' would seem, from the title, to mostly revolve around a man named Smith, who has a quarterhorse in need of breaking. Smith is referred to in one line; the horse doesn't even get that. The book is actually about... not much, really.
* The EldritchAbomination Cthulhu only appears in one of the Creator/HPLovecraft stories that make up the original CthulhuMythos, and only a small handful of the stories even acknowledge him. Though Cthulhu is definitely [[EnsembleDarkhorse the most iconic character in the mythos]], the vast majority of the stories in it don't feature him at all. Technically, "The Great Old Ones Mythos" would be a more accurate title.
* In HarryHarrison's ''{{Deathworld}} 3'', the planet Felicity (meaning "bliss" or "happiness") does indeed contain rich mineral resources (if that is your idea of bliss), but it was named before the galactic community realized that it's full of hordes of nomadic barbarians who absolutely hate permanent structures and will kill anyone who isn't a nomad. That also includes mining equipment.
** Also, the title of ''Return fo Deathworld'' (co-authored by Ant Skalandis and never published in English) is misleading in that no one has actually left Deathworld to return to it.
* In the Literature/{{Discworld}} book ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'', mention is made of the Carter family, who named their daughters after virtues and their sons after vices. They turned out to be non-indicative: Charity Carter grew up to be greedy and Prudence Carter wound up the mother of fourteen kids, while Anger Carter is known for being even-tempered and Bestiality Carter is known for being kind to animals.
* Dante's ''Literature/DivineComedy'', the old definition of "comedy" is being used, namely a story with a happy ending, since at the end of the story Dante visits Heaven and meets God. The word "Divine" is a straight example, being a comment meaning inspired by God on the merit of the work. Dante originally just called it ''Comedy,'' and Creator/{{Boccaccio}} added the adjective.
* In the {{Dragaera}} series, the titles of "Lord of the Keys" and "Lady of the Chairs" do not change based on the gender of the titleholder.
* A halfway example in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' with the Corpsetaker, who while as a necromancer could be considered someone who takes corpses, is mostly known for body swapping. However her Latin name of Capiocorpus would be more accurately translated as ''body'' taker. Between that and Harry's command of Latin, it's possible he just translated it wrong and no one bothered to correct him.
* In Creator/FrankHerbert's ''Literature/{{Dune}}'', the Water of Life is a deadly poison to most people, its use resulting in something horrible. Even more, it is made by drowning a baby sandworm, which then regurgitates the substance. The only way to use it is to have a Bene Gesserit drink some and convert it to a safe narcotic substance.
** The Butler family are in no way servants to anyone, as [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by Quentin Butler (who married into the name).
** The Butlerian Jihad has nothing to do with any Muslims or any spiritual journey. The actual Buddislamics wanted nothing to do with the war. It was declared by people worshiping the ''Orange Catholic'' Bible.
** Sand trout are tiny slugs that do not even remotely resemble a fish.
** A no-ship ''is'' very positively a ship. Same goes for a no-chamber.
*** The idea is that they exist in "no-space," where the Guild can't see them with their powers. So, it's circuitous, but it does make sense.
* The eponymous planet of Stanislaw Lem's novel, ''Eden'', was named from how it looked from a distance. It proved to be a distinctly IronicName, after the heroes make an emergency landing on it.
* ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''
** The Perfectly Normal Beast in ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy1'': it is actually fairly normal, except that it only appears on the planet Lamuella in a stampede from one invisible space warp to another. It was named to reassure residents, but Trillian at least finds the name suspicious instantly.
** For the longest time, the series itself was called "a trilogy in 5 parts", with ''Literature/MostlyHarmless'' further lampshading this by calling itself "the fifth book in the increasingly inaccurately-named Hitchhiker's Trilogy." And ''Literature/AndAnotherThing'' is billed as "Part Six of Three" on its cover.
* In-universe example in Literature/JurassicPark: it's noted by at least one character that the dinosaurs in the park aren't from the Jurassic. Evidently the park's creators went for "sounds good" rather than "accurate".
* ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird'' has nothing to do with killing mockingbirds or hunting at all. There is, however, a TitleDrop.
* The opening sentence of Salman Rushdie's ''Luka and the Fire of Life'' reads: "There was once, in the city of Kahani, in the land of Alifbay, a boy named Luka who had two pets, a bear named Dog and a dog named Bear, which meant that whenever he called out, "Dog!" the bear waddled up amiably on his hind legs, and when he shouted, "Bear!" the dog bounded toward him, wagging his tail."
* ''Literature/MobyDick'': No-one ever explains how the whale got that name.
* ''Creator/MontyPython's Big Red Book'' has a blue cover.
* People joke that ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'' has an ending, but the title actually describes mankind's imagination.
* In SergeyLukyanenko's ''[[Literature/NightWatch The Last Watch]]'', Merlin's ultimate artifact is called the Crown of All. It's not a crown or anything even remotely close.
* In the OddThomas series by DeanKoontz, Little Ozzie is larger than his father, Big Ozzie.
** In ''Odd Hours'', Odd mentions how the streets in Magic Beach all have non-indicative names. Jacaranda Avenue has no jacaranda trees, Sterling Heights is the town's poorest neighborhood, Ocean Avenue is the farthest street from the ocean, Memorial Park Avenue doesn't have a memorial park on it, and so on.
** There is an old riddle that inquires who is largest among Mr. Mrs. Bigger and their child. Answer: The child, because [[spoiler:he is a little Bigger]].
** This is TruthInTelevision in some cultures. Little would be an equivalent of Junior.
* In ''Literature/ThePhantomTollbooth'':
** Tock is a watchdog who could only go "tick." His brother, named Tick, could only go "tock." It's a sensitive subject in their family.
** The Giant, the Midget, the Fat Man and the Thin Man are really one ordinary guy holding four jobs. He justifies this as follows:
-->''You see, to tall men I'm a midget, and to short men I'm a giant; to the skinny ones I'm a fat man, and to the fat ones I'm a thin man. That way I can hold four jobs at once.''
* Arthur Phillips' 2003 novel ''Prague'' takes place entirely in Budapest (the characters think everything is happening in Prague, and talk about it but never go there).
* ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'' isn't technically a princess; Buttercup was the daughter of a dairy farmer, but as she was almost inhumanly beautiful, Prince Humperdinck had insisted on her being his bride. His advisors, troubled by the idea of him marrying a non-royal, quietly arranged for her to be known as the Princess of Hammersmith (a tiny portion of the realm) and shipped her off to royalty school for training. (The film version makes no attempt to hide the fact that she was born a commoner.)
* Literature/{{Redwall}} has a clever one: Nobody seems to know what a "Walking Stone" is. [[spoiler:Turns out, it's a ''tortoise''.]]
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': In ''The Baron of Maleperduys'', a mercenary company called The Seventy Seven Shields turns out to be made up of one hundred and thirteen people.
* In TheRiftwarCycle, not only is Macros the Black Sorcerer not a villain, but he wears ''brown'' robes, in contrast to most other wizards in the series. Justified as his name was part of a series of tales designed to keep people from approaching his island home base (which he could deal with but would be a hassle), and for that matter most Midkemian magicians didn't wear black so it was more unique. The Great Ones of Kelewan did however.
* ''Creator/CharlesStross'''s ''Literature/SaturnsChildren'' doesn't have any scenes on Saturn or its moons, despite using many other locations in the solar system. Nor are there any children, in the literal sense.
* The Incredibly Deadly Viper in ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents is one of the least deadly creatures in the animal kingdom (and not even an actual ''viper'' either, being described as something similar to an even more laid-back Burmese python). Uncle Monty named it that to play a joke on the Herpetological Society.
* The Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse is as big of an offender as the movies. Among those mentioned already under the movies, there's also the Sun Crusher, which doesn't crush suns, instead causing them to go supernova and rip apart in a violent explosion.
* ''AStreetcarNamedDesire'' has very little to do with streetcars named Desire other than the fact that one of the main characters arrives on a streetcar named Desire.
* ''SwordOfTruth''
** A "death spell" makes people think someone is dead.
** The "maternity" spell creates one-way {{synchronization}} between the caster and the target, essentially making them a hostage to the caster's well being.
** To a degree the Confessors, who brainwash people into being their slaves. They're called that because they're supposed to use the ability to make people confess to their crimes. But in the series it's mostly just used to enslave people's minds.
* L. M. Montogomery's ''Literature/ATangledWeb'' featured Little Peter and Big Peter. Unfortunately, they were named when children, and Little Peter is the younger by ten years. Now that he is a foot taller, the names are stuck.
** A similar example occurs in ''ASongOfIceAndFire'' with Big Walder and Little Walder.
** In Essos Jorah Mormont is nicknamed Jorah the Andal. But Jorah is from the North, which makes him descended from the First Men not the Andals.
* TennesseeWilliams was from Mississippi.
* ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers'' is somewhat of a misleading title, as it refers to Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, who are actually co-stars to d'Artagnan, the true protagonist.
* ''First Among Sequels'' in the Literature/ThursdayNext series is the third among sequels in numeration, the fourth book. Well, the fourth sequel, but the [[UnInstallment internal]] third sequel [[RetGone never existed]] [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis because of the events of]] the fourth book.
* In the alternate timeline detailed in HarryTurtledove's {{Timeline-191}} series, America gets involved in a conflict called The Second Mexican War in the 1880s. Despite its name, the war wasn't fought against Mexico (unlike the First Mexican War) and only part of it took place South of the Mexican border. The war was fought between the United States and the Confederate States, and the part of Mexico where the fighting took place was technically part of the Confederacy at the time.
* ''The Wakefields of Sweet Valley'', a prologue novel to the ''SweetValleyHigh'' series, is about a family of women not named Wakefield who do not live in Sweet Valley.
* One of Creator/IsaacAsimov's earliest published stories was titled ''The Weapon Too Dreadful To Use''. As you've no doubt already guessed, the weapon is in fact used. Asimov later noted that having this disconnect pointed out to him soured him on using grandiose titles.
* Lampshaded in the very first line of ''TheWestingGame''. Sunset Towers is an apartment building that faces east (sunrise), not west-- and has no towers.
* [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique Balefire]] in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' which not only kills a person, but [[RetGone burns them and their recent actions out of reality itself]] does not look anything like fire.
* In Stephen Baxter's XeeleeSequence, a government known as the "Interim Coalition Of Governance" rules humanity. It stands for an "interim" period of ''roughly 20,000 years''.
* In the Author's Note at the beginning of ''Literature/ZenAndTheArtOfMotorcycleMaintenance'', Pirsig tells the reader, "However, [this book] should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."
----