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I Am Not Shazam: Live-Action TV
Not to be confused with I Am Not Spock, of course.

  • You'd be amazed by how many people think (or thought, during the year or two when the show was somewhere near the public consciousness) Zev is named Lexx.
  • Technically, the car itself doesn't have a name, but the name of the AI inside Michael Knight's black Trans Am is KITT, not "Knight Rider". The title Knight Rider doesn't refer to the car at all, but rather, to the man. Note that this is made pretty obvious in the Opening Narration. Additionally, the hero's name wasn't Knight Rider, it was Michael Long. His operative name, Michael Knight, is taken from the company that hired him, Knight Industries.
  • The main character of Doctor Who is "The Doctor", not "Doctor Who". There are, however, a few jokes in which the Doctor obliquely refers to himself as Doctor Who in a variety of ways. The character is also occasionally credited as "Doctor Who" depending on the season. Of course, since the Doctor's true name has yet to be revealed in a canonical work, it might very be "Who" after all.
  • Highlander refers to Connor (and later Duncan) MacLeod's origins as a Scottish Highlander, not to the race of Immortals that he turns out to be belong to.
  • In an episode of Modern Family, Phil is shown mistakenly referring to the protagonist of The Blind Side as "Blindside."
  • Farscape is the name of the program that gave birth to Crichton's experimental shuttle (the FarScape One), not the living ship that becomes his home (Moya).
  • In one episode of Just Shoot Me!, a character is berated for thinking that Die Hard is the name of Bruce Willis's character, John McClane. A nearly identical gag was used in Brother's Keeper.
    • In The Simpsons, Bart makes the same exact mistake during the scene where "Die Hard" jumps barefoot through a window.
      • Also in the scene where "Wall Street" gets arrested.
  • The '80s British police drama Juliet Bravo was about a police station under the leadership of a female inspector. Many viewers thought that the lead character was named Juliet Bravo, but in fact that was her radio call sign. The first three seasons starred Stephanie Turner playing Inspector Jean Darblay; seasons 4-6 starred Anna Carteret as Inspector Kate Longton.
  • "SG-1" in Stargate SG-1 refers to the team, to distinguish it from other SG teams (from SG-2 to at least SG-25), and not to the Stargate (which is referred to as just that: "the Stargate").
    • Individual episode titles are prone to such misunderstandings as well. For example, the title of the pilot episode, "Children of the Gods", refers to the Goa'uld (that's what their name literally means in their language).
    • And in Stargate Atlantis, the episode title "The Defiant One" refers to John Sheppard (Wraith: "I will savor the taste of your defiance!"), not the Wraith.
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series, the episode title "The Galileo Seven" is often assumed to be the name of the featured shuttlecraft, when actually it refers to the seven passengers aboard the shuttle Galileo. The title is ambiguous because the shuttle's registry is NCC-1701/7.
    • Even worse, the German translation is "Notlandung auf Galileo VII" - "Emergency landing on Galileo VII".
  • Monty Python is the group, not any individual. Even as the name of the group it's kind of a Sure, Why Not? example of this; when they originally came up with the title Monty Python's Flying Circus, "Monty Python" was supposed to be the fictional proprietor of the fictional circus, just a funny name designed to sound like a sleazy salesman type; it wasn't like they formed a group called Monty Python and then named the show after that. But inevitably it came to be heard that way and now not only is the group Monty Python, but the members are Pythons.
  • In The Cosby Show, the main character's name is Cliff Huxtable. Some people mistakenly thought Bill Cosby was using The Danza.
    • Well, who could blame them, seeing that the series could just have easily been titled something like Cliffhanger or Over a Cliff?
    • In fact his first name was "Heathcliff," leading to more confusion.
      • Except in the pilot when he was "Clifford" on the sign to his office.
    • It's not uncommon to hear The Cosby Show called The Bill Cosby Show, but that was actually the title of an earlier (1969-71) sitcom, where Cosby played a character named Chet Kincaid.
      • And later he was in a series called Cosby.
    • Ditto The Dick Van Dyke Show (Rob Petrie) and The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Mary Richards).
    • The protagonist of The Andy Griffith Show was named Andy Taylor.
    • Same with The Bob Newhart Show.
    • And Newhart, not to mention Bob.
    • The Phil Silvers Show: Sergeant Bilko
  • In an opposite effect, Chelsea Handler complains several times on her show that her name is not Chelsea Lately, the name of her show. She has, however, accidentally referred to herself as Chelsea Lately, which doesn't help.
  • The Frankenstein issue was lampshaded in Bones, when Booth calls the monster by the eponymous name and Brennan corrects him, saying it was the creator. Booth's response? "Yeah, cause THAT would make sense." Also, the show itself is kind of an example—Brennan is called Bones by Booth but it's just a nickname...one she doesn't even like at first. A Season 5 episode shows that she grew not only to accept but actually like the nickname.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "Prince of Space," Mike and the 'bots repeatedly refer to the film's villain, Phantom of Krankor, as "Krankor" (the name of his home planet). When Krankor makes a "guest appearance" in a host segment of Invasion of the Neptune Men, they initially call him by his correct name, but then switch back to Krankor. (He doesn't seem to mind.)
  • The protagonist of the series Kung Fu was named Kwai Chang Caine, which was both his Chinese and American family-names combined. However his Chinese name was often mistaken as being Kung Fu. Even worse, however, is that "kung fu" is often mistaken solely for the name of his style of martial arts, rather than the entire philosophy by which he lived and found peace in a violent world — while likewise teaching others through example, with each episode featuring Caine resolving a conflict peacefully (by Old West standards) through the wisdom of his kung fu masters.
    • This confusion predates the series. Legend has it that early European explorers who first witnessed a martial arts exercise in China asked what it was called, and were told "kung ku." Kung fu loosely translates as "excellence" or "mastery," so the explorers were being told they were witnessing masters in action, not that the martial art was called kung fu.
  • Firefly:
    • The ship is called "Serenity". It is, however, of the Firefly class.
    • Somewhat averted in the movie, which is aptly titled "Serenity."
    • At least one person on This Very Wiki thought that "Sheppard" was Book's first name. "Shepherd" is his title as a preacher, akin to "Pastor" (which is actually the Latin word for "shepherd").
  • Smallville is the town in Kansas where Clark Kent grows up. Though Lois sometimes calls him Smallville.
  • Jon Stewart of The Daily Show is ocasionally mistakenly called "Jon Daily" and the show's title has been called "The Jon Daily Show". Naturally they've used this several times for laughs on the show itself.
  • Dark Angel is not a name used by its protagonist, Max.
  • In Whose Line Is It Anyway?, a mistake in a skit between Colin and Ryan became a running gag.
    Ryan (As one of Charlie's Angels): What will we do now, Charlie?
    Colin (As Bosley): I'm Bosley!
    • Also, Africa is a continent, not a country.
  • Human Target: Featuring Chris Chance as the eponymous "Hugh Mantarget"
  • In Community episode "Epidemiology" Troy claims his costume is a "sexy Dracula," and doesn't get why Abed insists he means "sexy vampire."
    Troy: I don't need to know which Dracula I am to know I'm a Dracula. Nerd.
  • From the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Darmok", the Tamarian captain who Picard deals with is called Dathon, not Darmok. Darmok is a figure from Tamarian culture, as noted in their saying "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra".
    • There's an in-universe (sort of) example in the Voyager episode Initiations, where a Kazon calls the Voyager crew with the monicker "Federation" in a derogatory sense, prompting the following exchange:
      Kar: You won't stop me from earning my name, Federation.
      Chakotay: Not Federation! Chakotay. That's my name.
      • Technically, Chakotay isn't Federation—he's Maquis.
  • The host of the Food Network cooking show Barefoot Contessa isn't actually named Contessa, but rather Ina Garten. Yes, really.
    • She occasionally refers to herself as THE Barefoot Contessa, though, suggesting that "Barefoot Contessa" is a title rather than a name.
  • In Game of Thrones the character Daenerys Targaryen is married to the khal of a Dothraki khalasar (Mongolian like nomadic horse people) giving her the title of Khaleesi. Since most characters refer to her by her title alone many people confuse the title to be her name.
  • This troper has heard several people refer to the lead character of Bewitched as if her name was actually Bewitched, not Samantha. "I was watching that episode where Bewitched's mother turned Darrin into a goat..."
  • Maddigan's Quest is not a story about a girl named Maddigan, it's about a girl called Garland Maddigan who belongs to a circus called Maddigan's Fantasia. The confusion is understandable considering Margaret Mahy's original book was called Maddigan's Fantasia (after the circus) only for the television show to go with "Quest" so as not to impinge on any Disney copyrights, making the "Maddigan" of the title sound like an individual instead of a group of people.
  • Stephen Yan, the host of Canadian Cooking Show Wok With Yan often complained in the show about viewers writing in and calling him "Mr. Wok". He would then remind the viewer than his name was Yan and that the pot he cooked with was the wok
  • Duck Dynasty is the name of a business, not the main character.
  • The protagonists of Rake and its American remake have different names, neither of which are Rake. In the context of the title, rake is a term for an immoral man.
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