Alice Andrews in the books becomes Alice Allen in The Movie
then Annie Adams in The Series
This is when a character or group has a name change between adaptations.
The Name Change of The Character can be their first name, last name or both that also includes super alter egos.
The key to this trope is that between adaptations, the character must clearly be the same. If they are a Suspiciously Similar Substitute
or a Composite Character
, then this trope does not apply.
This is very common in foreign adaptations, where names are changed to either reflect the local culture, or to give the show its own identity. It may also accompany a Race Lift
, with a character's name reflecting his or her new ethnicity.
This trope only applies when the adaptation is in the same language as the original. When a character's name changes in a translation, that's Dub Name Change
. If a character didn't originally have any name then they're Named By The Adaptation
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Anime and Manga
- In the first anime of Berserk, Dante and Errol are renamed Dan and Earl.
- The Rebuild of Neon Genesis Evangelion introduces some name changes. Asuka's family name is changed from Soryu to Shikinami, for example, and it turns out that with Yui Ikari her maiden name was actually Ayanami, unlike in the first series where it was Ikari and Gendo was the one who changed his name.
- As the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT has a more mundane setting than the rest of the Nanoha series, various formerly Artificial Human characters with Only One Name were given family names.
- The Wolkenritter and Reinforce Eins now bear the Yagami family name.
- Stern, Levi, and Dearche from the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha As Portable games are now known as Stern Starks, Levi Russell, and Dearche K. Claudia.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist the true identity of Fuhrer King Bradley is Wrath. In the 2003 anime, he is Pride instead.
- In Kick-Ass:
- John Genovese is renamed Frank D'Amico.
- Red Mist's civilian identity, Chris Genovese, is renamed Chris D'Amico.
- Eddie Lomas is renamed Rasul.
- Barbara Gordon receives a name change to Barbara Wilson in Batman & Robin as she is now Alfred's niece instead of Jim Gordon's daughter.
- Mr. Bobo in Coraline is renamed Alexander Sergei Bobinsky (and is made a Fake Russian).
- In Transformers Spike Witwicky is renamed Sam Witwicky. His father Sparkplug, is renamed Ron. The reason why was given by the writers that the movie versions don't share the same backgrounds as mechanics/oil rig workers as their original counterparts.
- Roland Daggett is renamed John Daggett in The Dark Knight Rises.
- In American Psycho, Paul Owen and Timothy Price in the novel become Paul Allen and Timothy Bryce in the film.
- In Double Indemnity, the novel's Walter Huff becomes Walter Neff in the film, for some reason. Also, Mr. and Mrs. Dietrichson were Mr. and Mrs. Nirdlinger in the novel; the latter choice was specifically because Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder (the film's screenwriters) thought that Nirdlinger was too silly a name for such a serious story.
- At least one film adaptation of Swallows And Amazons changed Titty's name to Kitty. It's not hard to see why.
- In the 1934 film adaptation of JB Priestley's Dangerous Corner, the Caplan family became the Chatfield family and Olwen Peel became Ann Beale.
- In Mystic River, Jimmy Marcus becomes Jimmy Markum.
- In the film version of Gone Baby Gone, Remy Broussard becomes Remy Bressant.
- In the various film adaptations of The Island of Doctor Moreau, Edward Prendick has been named Edward Parker (Island Of Lost Souls 1933), Andrew Braddock (The Island Of Doctor Moreau 1977) and Edward Douglas (The Island Of Doctor Moreau, 1996).
- Capt. Stein becomes Capt. Staros in Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line.
- In the film adaptation of Confessions Of Georgia Nicolson, Ellen was to have been renamed to Namita, but they changed it back after fan demand.
- In The Relic, Dr. Gregory Kawakita gets renamed into Greg Lee.
- Bride And Prejudice did this with the characters due to the Setting Update and change of location to India.
- Then Bennets are now the Bakshis. Elizabeth Bennet is Lalita Bakshi. Jane, Mary and Lydia Bennet become Jaya, Maya and Lakhi.
- Fitzwilliam Darcy is just plain Will Darcy. His sister Georgiana is renamed Georgina and is nicknamed Georgie.
- Mr. Bingley and Caroline Bingley are now Mr. Balraj and Kiran Balraj.
- Mr. Collins is Mr. Kohli.
- Charlotte Lucas is Chandra Lamba.
- And, for absolutely no reason, George Wickham is renamed Johnny Wickham.
- The movie adaptation of Beaches changed quite a few character names:
- Cecilia "Cee Cee" Bloom became Cecilia Carol Bloom, with her nickname ("C.C.") now coming from both her first and middle names. Still a minor change compared to the rest of the cast.
- Roberta "Bertie" White was renamed to Hillary Whitney, with "Hil" being used as an occasional nickname.
- Bertie's daughter was named "Nina Rose Barron" in the original novel, but the film gives her the name of "Victoria Cecile Essex".
- In the case of minor characters, Cee Cee's love interest John Perry was renamed John Pierce. Bertie's ex-husband also changed from Michael Barron to Michael Essex, and her Aunt Neet note became Aunt Vesta.
- Sandy Dumbrowski became Sandy Olsen, in part due to Olivia Newton-John being cast in the role (and the character being changed to Australian)
- Roger was renamed Putzie
- Miss Lynch was changed from a teacher to a principal, thus becoming known as Principal McGee
- Eugene Florcyzk had his surname changed to Felsnic
- Lucas Corso of The Club Dumas becomes Dean Corso in the film adaptation, The Ninth Gate.
- Gunnery Sergeant Hartman of Full Metal Jacket was named Gerheim in the original novel The Short-Timers.
Live Action TV
- Nia Vardalos's character in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was named Toula, but renamed to Nia for the TV series in order to match the actress.
- The TV adaptation of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit changed Jeanette's name to Jessica, possibly to detract from the autobiographical elements of the story.
- Game of Thrones:
- Asha Greyjoy becomes Yara Greyjoy to avoid confusion with the similarly-named Osha.
- Robert Arryn also becomes Robin Arryn to avoid confusion with King Robert, whom he's in fact named after in the books. He's also called "Sweetrobin" in the books as a nickname.
- The Others are exclusively called the White Walkers (both names are used in the novels), presumably to avoid confusion with the similarly titled characters in LOST.
- In the TV series Arrow, based on Green Arrow, Dinah Laurel Lance goes by Laurel Lance, her dad Detective Larry Lance is Detective Quentin Lance, and Star City itself is Starling City. Oliver Queen is never actually called Green Arrow, just "the vigilante" or sometimes "the hood", and Arthur King/Merlyn the Archer is Malcom Merlyn/the Dark Archer.
- The short-lived Flash Gordon series has the titular character's real name be Stephen with "Flash" being a nickname he got from his father for being a fast runner. Additionally, Ming the Merciless is now Ming the Benevolent Father, although he's still quietly called "the Merciless" behind his back.
- In fact, Flash's real name becomes a plot point in the pilot, when his mother is mind-controlled to call him and ask him to come home, calling him "Flash" in the process. He realizes something's wrong, as his mother always calls him by his real name.
- In The Musical version of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Princess Joanna has been renamed "Princess Mary." (On the cast album, she is "Sarah.")
- When Grease went from Chicago to Broadway, Danny's second-in-command went from being called "Miller" to "Kenickie" (while the original greaser that had the latter name was cut). This change stuck with all later adaptations, to the point where the original "Kenickie" was in turn renamed "Miller" with 40th anniversary revival of the Chicago version.
- Darths & Droids renames Luke Skywalker to Adam Lars. Obi Wan then told him his real name was Luke Amidala. He now goes by the pseudonym Luke Starkiller. He may still take on Anakin's surname eventually.
- The black-vested smuggler who's partners with Chewbacca is, of course, called Greedo. The green-skinned alien is called Han Solo and owns the Millenium Falcon until Greedo shoots him. So Greedo shot first, only Greedo was actually the character Star Wars fans know as Han... (And, as above, "Greedo" then claims to be Han [who, conveniently, is a shapeshifter] in order to claim the Falcon.)
- Leia isn't a princess, she's named Princess Organa. Like Adam/Luke, her real name is still Leia, but it was changed to stop Anakin/Vader finding her.
- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries does this due to it being a Setting Update of Pride And Prejudice.
- For starters, Elizabeth Bennet is now exclusively Lizzie, although she is given a name with "Elizabeth Bennet" on it at one point.
- Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is now just William Darcy.
- Mr. Charles Bingley became Bing Lee and his sister became Caroline Lee. They both got a Race Lift to boot.
- Charlotte Lucas became Charlotte Lu and also got a Race Lift.
- Mr. Collins is now Ricky Collins
- Georgiana Darcy is Gigi Darcy, although her full name is still Georgiana.
- Colonel Fitzwilliam is now Fitz Williams, also going hand-in-hand with a Race Lift.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series:
- The Sinister Six was called the Insidious Six. Fox Kids censors felt that the word sinister sounded too menacing for a children's program (even though another Fox Kids program, X-Men, had Mister Sinister as a villain).
- Electro was renamed because the producers did not want to interfere with the continuity of James Cameron's proposed Spider-Man movie, in which the Sandman and Electro were supposed to be the villains. Although Sandman remained unseen in the series when Cameron's film fell through, Electro was belatedly introduced in the series' fifth season. Electro appears in the "Six Forgotten Warriors" storyline of season five; here his name is Rheinholt Schmidt (He's Red Skull's son in this series) instead of Max Dillon.
- The Spectacular Spider Man
- Molten Man's civilian identity, Mark Raxton, is renamed Mark Allan (because he and Liz Allan are full siblings instead of stepsiblings).
- Ned Leeds is Asian in the series, and is therefore renamed Ned Lee.
- Kenny "King Kong" McFarlane from Ultimate Spider-Man is also Asian, and named Kenny Kong.
- In Young Justice, the Secret Society of Super Villains was called "The Light." In "Revelation", Batman refers to it as "a secret society of supervillains" when he deduces the group's existence but doesn't know what it's called.
- Paula Crock is given a Race Lift, changing her maiden name from "Brooks" to "Nguyen."
- Captain Atom is renamed from "Nathaniel Adam" to "Nathaniel Adams" (note the "s") in Justice League Unlimited, Batman The Brave And The Bold and Young Justice. Greg Weisman, original co-writer of the "Nathaniel Adam" version of the character and partially responsible for both of those last two examples, notes that the "correct" version always felt artificial.
- In ThunderCats (2011) Jackalman and Monkian are renamed Kaynar and Addicus, since the former are now their species names.
- Mr. and Mrs. Dearly from The Hundred and One Dalmatians were changed to Roger and Anita Radcliffe for Disney's 101 Dalmatians. Later adaptations give them the given names from the movie and the surname from the book. Also, Saul Badun becomes Horace, and Lt. Tib becomes Sgt. Tibbs (with that particular cat also getting a sex change in the process).
- In X-Men: Evolution, Toad's real name was changed from Mortimer Toynbee to Todd Tolensky and Avalanche's was changed from Dominic Petros to Lance Alvers.
- Ms. Frisby to Ms. Brisby in The Secretof Nimh, due to the frisbee (the toy)'s name being copyrighted.
- The Koopalings in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. In this case, when the former of the two shows aired, Nintendo of America hadn't yet given them official names.
- Morton=Big Mouth
- Wendy=Kootie Pie
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic toyline has become somewhat infamous for using different names for some of the minor characters in the show (among other problems).
- The storybook version of the show's pilot calls Princess Luna "Selena". This was her name in the development but changed for legal reasons. Lauren Faust suspected the storybook writer didn't get the memo.
- One of the show's first antagonists, Trixie, got a toy in the blind bag series... named Lulamoon. Most fans ignored this outside of a few jokes, but later toys updated her name to be Trixie Lulamoon.
- There's a background pony who's been called twice on screen as Rose and has a toy named Roseluck. The name "Roseluck" hasn't been used in the show yet, but its easy to believe Rose is short for that.
- One of Rose's friends is named Daisy in the show. She has a toy named Flower Wishes. The jury is still out on that one.
- And then there's Bon Bon. The toyline makes her most official name Sweetie Drops, despite the previously-released Gameloft game calling her Bon Bon in text and even voiced dialogue.
- The cartoon series adaptation of Watership Down changed Hyzenthlay's name to Primrose. The show was aimed at a much younger audience than the book, so presumably they wanted characters' names to be easier to remember and pronounce. It's also possible that they just wanted a girlier sounding name.
- In Quest for Camelot, based very loosely on Vera Chapman's retelling of the legend of Lynette and Gareth, The King's Damosel, Lynette becomes Kayley and the composite of Gareth and Chapman's Original Character Lucius becomes Garrett.
- Iron Man: Armored Adventures: Madame Masque's civilian name was changed to Whitney Frost to Whitney Stane as a result of becoming Obadiah Stane's daughter in this series.
- The Swan Lake adaptation The Swan Princess replaces Prince Siegfried with Prince Derek, and Odile with Bridget.