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
or Gender Flip
, with a character's name reflecting his or her new ethnicity or gender (usually
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
. If it's Based on a True Story
, see Roman à Clef
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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 A's 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, as the manga version of Pride had not yet been revealed and Wrath in that version was a character created specifically for the anime.
- The title character in Mach Go Go Go is named Go Mifune, but the '97 remake refers to him as Go Hibiki. Of course, the English version is a whole other different story.
Film - Animated
Film - Live Action
- In American Psycho, Paul Owen and Timothy Price in the novel become Paul Allen and Timothy Bryce in the film.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In the film adaptation of Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Ellen was to have been renamed to Namita to match the ethnicity of her actress; but they changed it back after fan demand.
- In The Last Man on Earth, the first adaptation of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend, Vincent Price's character's surname was changed from Neville to Morgan.
- In the 1934 film adaptation of JB Priestley's Dangerous Corner, the Caplan family became the Chatfield family and Olwen Peel became Ann Beale.
- Roland Daggett is renamed John Daggett in The Dark Knight Rises.
- 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.
- In Universal's classic Frankenstein, Dr. Victor Frankenstein is renamed Dr. Henry Frankenstein. This is a bit confusing since there is a different character in the film named Victor.
- Gunnery Sergeant Hartman of Full Metal Jacket was named Gerheim in the original novel The Short-Timers.
- In the film version of Gone Baby Gone, Remy Broussard becomes Remy Bressant.
- 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
- The Burger Palace Boys become The T-Birds.
- 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).
- 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.
- In Kick-Ass 2, Colonel Stars is renamed Colonel Stars and Stripes, since he's a Composite Character and there is no Lieutenant Stripes. His dog is also renamed from Sophia to Eisenhower.
- In The Lord of the Rings, a minor character at Bilbo's farewell party is named Everard Proudfoot. In the books, he is named Odo Proudfoot. (Also in the books, the character named Everard was a Took - and a young hobbit, while Odo is an old hobbit. Everard Took does not appear in the film.)
- In Mystic River, Jimmy Marcus becomes Jimmy Markum.
- Lucas Corso of The Club Dumas becomes Dean Corso in the film adaptation, The Ninth Gate.
- Kamen Rider The First changes Hayato Ichimonji/Kamen Rider-2's real name to Katsuhiko Yano. "Hayato Ichimonji" is simply the alias he uses after being brought Back from the Dead by Shocker.
- In The Relic, Dr. Gregory Kawakita gets renamed into Greg Lee.
- At least one film adaptation of Swallows and Amazons changed Titty's name to Kitty. It's not hard to see why.
- Capt. Stein becomes Capt. Staros in Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line.
- 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.
- There are also inconsistencies regarding some robot names across media. The tank-Decepticon called Devastator from the first movie was named Brawl in the toy-line, since Devastator was really his working name. From the third film, Mirage and Wheeljack are renamed to Dino and Que respectively.
- In X2: X-Men United, Pyro's name is changed from Saint-John Allerdyce to the Americanized John Allerdyce.
- In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Silver Fox has her name changed to the more Canadian-sounding "Kayla Silverfox". She was also apparently given a Race Lift, as she's played by the very light-skinned Lynn Collins, who claims to have distant Native ancestry but otherwise looks nothing like Silver Fox.
- In The Wolverine, Mariko's fiance has his name changed from "Noburo Hideki" to "Noburo Mori," possibly because, although an actual Japanese name, Hideki is a given name, not a family one.
- In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Quicksilver's real name is changed from "Pietro Maximoff" to the more Americanized "Peter Maximoff". Presumably, this is due to the fact that the film version of Quicksilver was raised in the U.S., while his comic counterpart grew up in Eastern Europe. A supplementary website, 25 Moments, still refers to him as Pietro, however. Averted in the Italian dub. The name "Pietro" is kept there.
- Although it may never be said onscreen in this one, the same thing happened to Colossus in this franchise. Originally Piotr Rasputin, changed to Peter Rasputin. Of course, he's called Peter in the comics by most people anyway. "Peter" is the Anglicized version of their names in any case.
- The evil armored bear, Iofur Raknison, had his name changed to Ragnar Sturlusson in The Golden Compass because it sounded too similar to the hero bear, Iorek Byrnison.
- In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Infinity Gems are known as the Infinity Stones.
- In The Big Sleep, Terrence "Rusty" Regan" is renamed Sean Regan.
- In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Beetee is given the last name of "Latier".
- In Superman and Superman II, the character Faora from the comic books is renamed to Ursa. In Man of Steel, the character's name is changed back to Faora.
- In Planet of the Apes (1968) Ulysse becomes Taylor.
- In Blue Is The Warmest Colour Clémentine becomes Adèle.
- In RoboCop (2014), Omni Consumer Products was changed to "OmniCorp". In the end, it's later revealed that it's part of OCP. Some characters also got their names changed.
- Alex Murphy's wife and son are changed from Ellen and Jimmy to Clara and David.
- Bob Morton, the man in change of the RoboCop project was changed to Dennett Norton.
- Anne Lewis has become an African-American man named Jack Lewis.
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.
- The iconic TV adaptation of The Incredible Hulk had the title character's alter ego changed from Bruce Banner to David Banner. This was due to the network thinking Bruce sounded "too gay", as well as the head writer wanting to ditch the "comic booky" Alliterative Name trope.
- 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) and the similarly named Robb Stark. He's also called "Sweetrobin" in the books as a nickname.
- Robb Stark's Love Interest Jeyne Westerling is renamed as Talisa Maegyr.
- 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.
- In Season 2, Nyssa Raatko is introduced as Nyssa al Ghul.
- Gotham changes Poison Ivy's real name from "Pamela Isley" to "Ivy Pepper."
- 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.
- The TV adaptation of The Cousins War Series renames Elizabeth Shore (as she is called in the novel) to Jane, the name she used in real life and is better known by as a historical figure.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch had several of these after the TV movie was turned into a full-length series. Sabrina Sawyer's name was changed to Sabrina Spellman, Marnie became Jenny and Katy LaMore became Libby Chessler.
- When The Dresden Files was adapted into a TV series, Lt. Karrin Murphy was changed to Connie Murphy, as there was an actual Karen Murphy in the Chicago Police Department.
- Similar to the 2014 remake, RoboCop: The Series saw a number of characters from the original film trilogy get their names changed outside of Alex Murphy/RoboCop himself and his son Jimmy.
- Anne Lewis became Lisa Madigan
- Sgt. Reed became Sgt. Stan Parks
- Alex's former wife and Jimmy's mother, Ellen, had her first name changed to Nancy.
- The Old Man became the OCP Chairman.
- Spartacus Series:
- The real name of the first seasons's Big Bad, Quintus Lentulus Batiatus, is Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Batiatus.
- The real life son of the final Big Bad Marcus Licinius Crassus was named after him. The show renamed him Tiberius to avoid the One Steve Limit.
- Subverted with Agron. At first it seemed that he is the German Rebel Leader Castus with a different name, but Castus appeared as a Sixth Ranger in the final season, thus making them a Decomposite Character instead.
- The Walking Dead:
- Caucasian Thomas Richards was Race Lifted into a Hispanic , thus became Tomas. Oddly, his new last name isn't revealed.
- The Chalmers family became the Chambler family.
- The Marauders became the Claimers, though it may or may not be a case of Named by the Adaptation whom the members played straight.
- Some unconfirmed but likely examples include Julie (Tyreese's daughter) becoming Sasha (Tyreese's sister), The Hunters becoming Terminus, and the Hunters' leader Chris becoming Terminus' leader Gareth.
- Gottlieb's Stargate pinball renames Sha'uri, daughter of the chieftain Kasuf, to "Sari".
- 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.
- Merrily We Roll Along: Along with the Setting Update, every character from the original play had his or her name changed for the musical, though much of the original characterizations remained.
- La Traviata, adapted from La dame aux camelias (itself a Roman à Clef), changes the name of every character, though occasionally productions will change them back.
- The play adapted from Darkness at Noon changes the name of Arlova (Rubashov's doomed secretary) to Luba Loschenko.
- The Most Happy Fella has an odd example in the heroine, who is called Rosabella until the final scene, when she reveals that her real name is Amy. In the original play, They Knew What They Wanted, Amy was never renamed Rosabella or anything else.
- In the play adapted from Native Son, Bigger's girlfriend Bessie is renamed Clara, and the circumstances of her death are changed.
- In the opera Billy Budd, the HMS Bellipotent of the book becomes the Indomitable, which was its name in the novel's early drafts.
- In Jekyll & Hyde, Jekyll's fiancee was originally named Lisa Carew, but then renamed to Emma Carew. There have been so many changes and updates made to the show that new productions alternate between the two names depending on which version they're following.
- Starlight Express re-named Hashamoto to Nintendo for the "new" West End production in 1994. In the 2012 UK tour, Ashley the Smoking Car was renamed to Duvay the Sleeper because smoking cars are no longer common on trains. Apart from a slight change of lyrics to reflect her new function, the character is the same.
- 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.
- Emma Approved:
- George Knightley's first name was changed to Alex, perhaps to avoid confusion with George Wickham from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries produced by the same team.
- Miss Hetty Bates became Maddie Bates
- Most characters from TOME had their names changed from the original TTA.
- Kirbopher15 became Kirbopher.
- Nailock became Nylocke.
- White Queen became Whyti.
- Grounder became Granda.
- Racoon became Rockoon.
- Bling Bling became Doubling.
- Tamerlisa became Anneva.
- Ruri became Kizuna.
- Tormentros became Thorment.
- Hamstar became Hyprelynx.
- Thunder256 became Elescope.
- And lastly, Voltarius became Tigerlilly. (Although since Voltarius and Tigerlilly also have different roles, it is debatable if this counts as a name change or a new character altogether.
- 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.
- Silver Sable is Sable Manfredi instead of Silver Sablinova since she's Silvermane's daughter.
- 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."
- A minor one: Lian Harper becomes Lian Nguyen-Harper, using both parents' surnames.
- Though they never appeared on the show due to having their cameos cut, Word of God claims that Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. would've been known as "Sergeant Marvel" and "Lieutenant Marvel".
- 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 Beware the Batman, Magpie's real name is "Margaret Sorrow" rather than "Margaret Pye", likely to avoid the corniness of the original Meaningful Name.
- 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 the Spawn animated series, Chapel from Youngblood was renamed "Jess Chapel". In the comics, his real name is Bruce Stinson, with Chapel serving as his superhero Code Name.
- 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.
- 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 people in charge of names in the toyline seem to be in love with the word "Dazzle" since it seems to be added to a number of show characters who received toys. Such as Mrs. Cup "Dazzle" Cake, Diamond "Dazzle" Tiara and most nonsensically, Daring "Dazzle" Do.
- 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.
- For some reason (probably Critical Research Failure on the writers' part), Robotnik's first name was changed from Ivo to Julian in Dic's second Sonic cartoon.
- In the comics, it's "Julian Kintobor, from the House of Ivo." "Julian" in the cartoon comes from the "back in time" episode, which took place before he became Dr. Robotnik.
- Slade in the Teen Titans cartoon was changed from "Deathstroke" due to their inability to allow the word "death" to be used. In the comics his real name has always been Slade Wilson, but he's hardly ever referred to as such.
- As with The Series and the 2014 film, RoboCop: Alpha Commando sees Murphy's family renamed again with Ellen's first name being changed to Susan and Jimmy's to Richie. The same series also sees Sgt. Reed's first name (which, depending on the movie, is either John or Warren) changed to Joe.