Brought to You by the Letter "S"
Superheroes are in many ways much like athletes. Both frequently perform amazing physical feats we envy; both often collect themselves into teams with fancy names; both wear colorful, form-fitting uniforms.
And both have a tendency to adorn those uniforms with single letters of the alphabet. Stumped for a Chest Insignia
? Just style up the first letter of your Code Name
in sufficiently distinctive typeface
, and have at it!
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Anime and Manga
- Ichi of Ichi The Killer wears a big "1" on his back, since his name means "one" in Japanese.
- Similarly, Ah! My Goddess's Keiichi, when he took part in the drag bike race, wore a jacket with "K-1" on the back. In the manga, he frequently signs his notes that way, as shorthand.
- Mazinger Z: Although the original series avoided this, in later retellings and spin-offs Mazinger-Z wore a big "Z" letter in such the chest, the Hover Pilder or the Jet Scrander.
- The big red R for Rocket of Team Rocket, general bad guys of the Pokémon series. Of course, there's also Teams Magma, Aqua, and Galactic - these three use a font style that's a bit more original, but there's still the 'M', 'A', and 'G'.
- Team Rocket had a form of Lampshade Hanging of this in an episode. They set up a fake Pokemon Center by covering part of the letter 'R' painted on the wall with a piece of paper, making it look like the 'P' associated with Pokemon Centers.
- Gai Shishioh from GaoGaiGar wears a large "G" on the right side of his chest.
- "G" is for the entire Gutsy Galaxy Guard. "J", likewise, is for the J-Ark Fleet, manned by Soldat J cyborgs. In both cases, the letter appears inside their Power Crystals (the G-Stone and the J-Jewel) when they get a powerup.
- "G" is for... Speed Racer, because his name in the original anime is Go Mifune (he also wears an "M" on his helmet to represent Mifune Racing). His girlfriend Trixie has an "M" on her blouse, for Michi Shimura.
- The late 80's comic version of Speed Racer by NOW Comics claimed that the "G" stood for Greg, which was Speed's real name in the comic (making him Greg Racer).
- Chargeman Ken has a large letter "K" on his orange sweater.
- Bleach's Ichigo Kurosaki has a 15 on his room's door. It becomes kind of a pun if you realize "Ichi" is 1 and "Go" is 5. Plus he's 15.
- His sister refers to him as 'Ichi-nii', which, while short for 'Ichigo-niisan' (big brother Ichigo), is also similar-sounding to ichi-ni, which translates as "1-2". Ichi-niisan itself sounds a lot like ichi-ni-san, which is "1-2-3".
- The Straw Hat Pirates of One Piece periodically wear shirts featuring numbers significant to them:
- Luffy wears a '01' because he is captain or a '56' which reads 'go-mu'.
- Zoro, next in command wears '02'
- Nami wears a '03' as well as '73' (Na-mi)
- Usopp wears a '04'
- Sanji sports a '05' as well as '32' (San-ji) and '56' (Ko-kuu/kokku)
- Dr. Minami in Heroman has an M on his shirt. Wonder why.
- In Future GPX Cyber Formula, all the cars have numbers throughout the series.
- The "S" in later Asurada models stands for "Sugo", the racing team the main character, Hayato is in. Shoemacher/Osamu in 11, also has the letter "S" in his racing suit. And Kaga's racing suit has the letter "Z" in it, as he belonged to Aoi ZIP formula.
- Some of the team logos also has letters in it, like the "S" for Sugo and "Z" for Aoi ZIP.
- "A" is for Action Kamen, though it's on his belt only. The Spanish dub completely ignored it and called him "Ultrahéroe".
- In The Incredibles:
- "i" — distinctly lowercase with a prominent dot — is for Mr. Incredible, and later his whole family.
- "EG" is for Elasti-Girl; she dropped this after the intro of the movie, for plot-explained reasons.
- "S" is for Syndrome.
- "G" is for G-Girl, from My Super Ex-Girlfriend. G-Girl was notable for not having just one costume but (being a hip New Yorker) a whole closetful, each distinguished only by a "G" motif.
- Interestingly, she never explains what the G stands for.
- "1" in an "engraved" style similar to that on the one dollar bill for U.S. Bill of The Specials.
- "M" is for both Megamind and Metro Man. After Metro Man faked his death he chose to change his name to "Music Man" and pursue a career as a singer.
- "G" is for Grabowski in Cat City.
- Inverted in Man of Steel, when Lois asks Superman:
Lois: What does the "S" stand for?
Superman: It's not an "S." On my planet, it's the symbol for "Hope."
Lois: Well, here on Earth, it's an "S".
Live Action TV
- In Smallville, when Lois Lane is briefly the superhero "Stiletto", she mentioned wanting to sew an "S" on her chest but thinks it is too tacky.
- Clark wears a black-and-silver version in season nine.
- "?" is used by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors in Doctor Who, possibly related to the fact that his signature contains a question mark.
- The Cybermen of series 2 and the 2008 Christmas Special feature a 'C' on their chests, standing for Cybus Industries, the organization that created them. The Doctor lampshades this, saying that they have been 'franchised'. The Cybermen that appeared in "The Pandorica Opens" still used this design, despite being the original Mondas Cybermen, due to budget issues.
- "CH" is for Chapulin Colorado.
- "G" is for Super Grover.
- "V" is for Major Victory, a season 1 contestant on Who Wants to Be a Superhero??.
- From Kamen Rider:
- "V3" is for Kamen Rider V3 (the 3 is tiny on his belt buckle, but it's there)
- "X" is for Kamen Rider X
- "S" is for Kamen Rider Stronger, with "T" used in sidekick Tackle's breast designs.
- "RX" is for Kamen Rider Black RX
- In a non-Latin example, Greek letters are used for the Riders (and Riotroopers) in Kamen Rider Faiz: "Phi" for Faiz himself, "Chi" for Kaixa, "Delta" for Delta, "Rho" for Riotrooper, "Psi" for Psyga, and "Omega" for Orga.
- Kamen Rider Decade, celebrating the 10th year of the show's Heisei era, sports an "X" for 10.
- "W" is for Kamen Rider Double (the Japanese often use the letter "W" as a shorthand for the word "double"). All the show's Riders and Monsters of the Week fall under this trope, as their Transformation Trinkets bear a letter made from a stylized representation of whatever power they possess.
- "A" is for Accel, Anomalocaris, and Arms.
- "B" is for Bird, Beast, Bomb, Bean, and Bat.
- "C" is for Cyclone, Claydoll, Cockroach, and Commander.
- "D" is for Death and Dummy. In the case of these two, bearing the same letters is actually a plotpoint.
- "E" is for Eternal, Engine, Edge, Energy, and Eyes.
- "F" is for Fang.
- "G" is for Gene.
- "H" is for Heat and Hopper.
- "I" is for Ice Age and Invisible.
- "J" is for Joker, Jewel, and Jazz.
- "K" is for Key.
- "L" is for Luna, Liar
- "M" is for Metal, Masquerade, Magma, Money, and Memory.
- "N" is for Nasca and Nightmare.
- "O" is for Old and Ocean.
- "P" is for Prism and Puppeteer.
- "Q" is for Quetzalcoatlus and Queen.
- "R" is for Rocket.
- "S" is for Skull, Smilidon, Sweets, and Shinigami Hakase.
- "T" is for Trigger, Trial, Terror, Taboo, T-Rex, and Triceratops.
- "U" is for Utopia and Unicorn.
- "V" is for Virus and Violence.
- "W", besides Double, is for Weather.
- "X" is for Xtreme.
- "Y" is for Yesterday.
- "Z" is for Zone.
- Non-superhero example: In Laverne and Shirley, "L" is for Laverne DeFazio. She has a cursive "L" on every blouse, shirt and sweater she owns. This was carried over to her military uniform in the Animated Adaptation.
- She even allowed Lenny to have one of her stylized "L"'s to replace the missing one on his jacket, making it say "Lone Wolf" rather than "One Wolf."
- In the 1970s PBS children's series The Electric Company, a recurring cartoon feature, "The Adventures of Letterman", had the eponymous hero sporting a different letter on his "varsity sweater" each episode; his power was the ability to change one object into another by replacing a letter in its spelling. When his arch-enemy, the Spellbinder, fired a dart at him, Letterman replaced the 'd' with a 't', turning it into a tart, which he then ate.
- The Ambiguously Gay Duo have G for Gary and A for Ace. Unsurprisingly, there happened to be times when they had to stand next to something large and Y-shaped.
- Betty Suarez of Ugly Betty wears an identical "B" necklace.
- From Super Sentai and Power Rangers:
- The members of Goranger all wear belt buckles shaped like a "5" (as in "Go" for five), while each of their helmets are individually numbered from 1 through 5.
- The four main members of J.A.K.Q. wear belt buckles shaped like a "J", as well as individualized helmets and badges engraved with the first letter of their respective "rank" (Jack, Ace, King and Queen). Big One wears a belt buckle shaped like a "B1" and a helmet with a "1" engraved on it.
- "BF" is for Battle Fever on the chest of the Battle Fever Robo. The individual members of the team have the first letters of their respective countries/codenames engraved on their belt buckles as well: Battle Japan, Miss America, Battle Kenya, Battle France and Battle Cossack (who represents the Soviet Union).
- "D" is for Denziman, with the letters on the belts for "I [color]" (i.e. Denzi Red has "IR", Denzi Blue has "IB", ect.). The "I" is actually the left half of the letter "D" that forms the main emblem on their badges.
- Sun Vulcan has a general "V" design that stands for "Vulcan". The Sand Vulcan jeep is also adorned with the letters "SV" as well.
- The members of Goggle-V all wear a badge with a "V" symbol (a roman numeral five), as well as belt buckles with "GV" engraved.
- "D" is for Dynaman on their badges, plus a roman numeral and "D[letter]" for Dyna[color] on their helmets.
- "CM" is for Changeman on their belt buckles and gloves.
- "FM" is for Flashman on their belt buckles.
- Subverted by the "5" in Hikari Sentai Maskman, which doesn't stand for anything despite appearing prominently on the chest of each member (it was an artifact from when the show was going to be titled "The Fiveman").
- "LM" is for Liveman on the waist of the Live Robo.
- Another general costume design resembles "T" for Turboranger. We also have on their belt buckles: GT (for Grand Tourer) on Red, T (for Truck) on Black, J (for Jeep) on Blue, B (for Buggy) on Yellow and W (for Wagon) on Pink.
- Another team with "V" costume designs can take it as the roman numeral for Fiveman. The symbols on their helmets are related to the Hoshikawa siblings' day jobs as school teachers: Five Red (a science teacher) has an atomic symbol, Five Blue (a gym teacher) has a figure of a running man, Five Black (a Japanese language teacher) has the kanji for 'language', Five Pink's symbol (who is a math teacher) is a combination of several mathematical signs (specifically of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), and Five Yellow (a music teacher) has a quaver (or eighth note).
- "Z" is for Zyuranger; not on the Ranger suits but on the backside of the belt buckles (visible on the civilian outfits) and on the mecha. When it shows up in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (Season 1), it can be implied to mean "Zordon".
- Additionally, "M" on the ZyuMammoth stands for "Mammoth"; in Power Rangers it presumably stands for "Mastodon"... or "Megazord".
- "D" is for Dairanger. Its counterpart, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 2, dropped this but added a villainous version with "Z" for Zedd.
- "N" is for Ninjaman (in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger) and Ninjor (in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 3). Oddly, when Ninjaman powers up into Samuraiman he changes his emblem, yet it still resembles an "N" instead of an "S". (Power Rangers doesn't have this problem because Ninjor keeps his name in both forms.)
- King Ranger had 王, the kanji for "king", on the face of his helmet and on his staff. It provides a Bilingual Bonus in Power Rangers Zeo.
- "C" is for Carranger. (Power Rangers Turbo ignores this completely and it's just a generic logo.) Also (in both shows), "S" is for Signalman and Blue Senturion.
- "M" is for Megaranger (again, just a generic logo in Power Rangers in Space). This also shows up on the mecha in non-logo forms, though the later ones' "MV" and "MW" (Mega Voyager and Mega Winger) do apply to Power Rangers as those names weren't changed. In addition, "N" is for Negiranger, but this also is ignored in the US as we call them the Psycho Rangers instead.
- "H" is for Hurricaneger or, probably more accurately, Hayate Ninja Academy. (Once again, it doesn't stand for anything in Power Rangers Ninja Storm.)
- "SPD" is for Special Police Dekaranger or Space Patrol Delta. They also have numbers on their chests, "1" to "5" for the main team and "100" and "VI" (6) for the extra members. One Shot Characters also show up with other numbers: "M" for 1000, which some also take in a roundabout way as 7 (M -> IVI -> VII); "X" for 10 (Dekaranger only); and 0 (SPD only - and appropriately enough for a wannabe). One temporary Ranger, DekaSwan/Cat Ranger, has no blatant number; but the design on her chest can be interpreted as "8", "白" (the kanji for "white" - which resembles 百, the kanji for a "hundred" minus one stroke, making her 99), or a heptagon representing seven.
- Also in SPD, the Yellow Ranger has a necklace with "Z" for... Z (short for Elizabeth).
- "M" is for Magiranger and Mystic Force. In the same series, "W" is for Wolzard and Knight Wolf and "S" is for MagiShine and Solaris Knight.
- AkaRed, the living embodiment of every red ranger in history, originally wore a badge engraved with the number "30" during his first appearance in Gogo Sentai Boukenger vs. Super Sentai (which commemorated Sentai's 30th anniversary). This was updated to "35" when AkaRed returned as a semi-recurring character in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (the 35th Super Sentai show).
- The main Go-Ongers and RPM Rangers also have numbers 1-5 on their chests. There's also a "G" for Go-Onger in various places (including on the chests of the Sixth Rangers in place of a number), but it's another that's stylized enough to serve as a generic logo in RPM.
- The Shinkengers and Samurai Rangers wear the appropriate Japanese kanji (火 fire, 水 water, 木 wood/forest, 土 earth, 天 sky, and 光 light) on the visors of their helmets.
- "B" is for Basco in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger.
- "GB" is for Go-Busters.
- The Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger logo is a combination of the letter A for "Akibaranger" and the kanji 非, which means "non-" and is the first character in hikonin ("unofficial"), so it's sort of a bilingual example.
- Seiun Kamen Machineman has "M" for the titular character, in both his superhero form and his Cool Car-Cool Plane vehicle.
- "H" is for Hurricane, former resident superhero of the WWE. "R" is for Rosey, his boy (well, 300-pound Samoan who acts like a boy) sidekick.
- Scott Steiner used the Superman S — actually the full Superman logo, until the expected legal action forced a change to an S in an ellipse.
- In another non-superheroic example, during his WWE tenure, the number "13" was for Tazz. According to Tazz, the "13" represented the bad luck his opponents must have had to have drawn him as their opponent for the evening.
- Some of Kurt Angle's singlets featured an "A" inside a Superman-esque shield, obviously standing for Angle. In his typical smartass fashion, The Rock came up with his own vulgar ideas of what the "A" stood for.
- Yu-Gi-Oh: H is for Elemental Hero, but D is for Destiny Hero and N is for Neo-Spacian (although just to be confusing, one Elemental Hero works with all Neo-Spacians). Not to mention that each of the letters of the word 'Hero' has its own card. Since one of them gets any Elemental Hero from the deck to your hand, and another Special Summons an Elemental Hero from the Graveyard, this could be a literal case of Brought To You By The Letter S (or in this case, E/O).
- Akuma from Street Fighter has a winpose where the kanji for "heavenly sky" shines on his back, usually done after defeating an opponent with his Raging Demon super. It's pronounced "ten", by the way.
- "M" is for Mario, "L" is for Luigi, "W" is for Wario, and logically enough, "Γ" (capital Gamma) is for Waluigi. All these symbols appear on characters' hats, rather than on their chests.
- City of Heroes' ridiculously extensive costume creator gives you a choice of the entire uppercase Latin alphabet and figures 0–9. After six months of subscription, players get to access all letters of the Greek alphabet, uppercase and lowercase.
- Although ironically for a superhero game, not many players follow this trope.
- Klavier Gavin (Kyouya Garyuu in the Japanese version) in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney has a G pendant.
- DK! Donkey Kong! On his tie, uniquely enough, but it's also his only piece of clothing.
- In Mega Man Zero, Copy-X wears a jacket that crosses over his chest like an X (as do his four Guardians) and Cyber-Elf X looks like a ball with a rainbow X around it, foreshadowing his identity. In Mega Man X 8, X's earpieces have X-shaped lights.
- Marisa Kirisame's design in the 12th Touhou game, Undefined Fantastic Object, gives her an apron with a large "M" on it.
- Hina Kagiyama, a curse/misfortune goddess, has a stylized kanji 厄 (yaku) on her dress, meaning "misfortune".
- In Space Channel 5 Part 2, "P" stands for Purge.
- Twilight Heroes features the "letter shirt" for its superheroes, which can be customized to show any capitalized letter in the English alphabet.
- Porky Minch from EarthBound wears an M on his shirt, for "Minch". His clay model artwork shows a P on the shirt instead, probably for "Porky".
- In Homestar Runner, "M" is for Strong Mad. Coach Z wears a medallion with a stylized letter "Z" on it.
- "TH" is for Bubs' alter ego, the Thnikkaman.
- In PS238, a Batman-like hero called The Revenant wears a stylized letter "R" on his chest.
- Mister Mighty, of Everyday Heroes, of course wears a gold "M" in an oval.
- His teammate, Dot Dash, wears a dot-and-dash on her chest; Morse code for the letter "A". This is one of the most convoluted Punny Name references ever: The dot is for her first name Dorothea, the dash is for her super-speed, the "A" is for her maiden name of Axel, and Morse code for her married name of Morse.
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, after Bob very briefly becomes a Super Hero and then loses his powers, he says his one real regret is that he used a permanent laundry marker to make the "B" logo on his shirt.
- Evan from The Wotch always wears a shirt with a capital "E" on it. Lilly wears a dress with a lil' 'e' on it instead.
- "50", as found on the back of America's jacket, stands for the 50 states, natch. This detail was removed in the anime.
- Homestuck: When Kanaya imagines a troll version of Rose, she wears a dress with her initials, RL.
- The actual trolls themselves are this as well, in a strange and roundabout way. The symbols the trolls wear on their shirts are twelve out of thousands which just so happen to coincide with our own zodiac symbols. Each color acknowledged by the hemospectrum has a library of hundreds of symbols associated with it; every troll is assigned one after they pupate, and they must wear it somewhere upon their person their entire lives. This symbol acts as a single-character signature for them and they may, in fact, sign documents with it.
- 'P' for Phase, in "Boston Brawl II" of the Whateley Universe. Since Phase is a density changer like the Vision, the 'P' starts out dense at the top and fades away at the bottom. Phase hates it.
- 'C' is for C the speed-of-light-octogenarian in Legion Of Nothing.
- 'J' for Jock, a super-athlete with heightened reflexes from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe.
- 'E' for Embrace, a stretchable supervillain. Also for Echo, a superhero with ultrasonic powers.
- 'A' for Apex.
- 'V' for Velocity.
- There's even one villain with a number: '8' for Eight-Ball.
- 'S' for Simon of the Yogscast in real life: He wears a distinctive blue Superman hoody. For a time in 2011, Simon's character Honeydew in the Yogscast Minecraft Series had a metallic S symbol over his chest, which Simon claimed was for Simon AND Superman.
- In Neopets, most Aishas have collars with the letter 'A' on them. The Darigan-colored one has a 'D' instead, and the Snot-'colored' one has an 'S'.
- "A" is for Alvin, as in Alvin and the Chipmunks.
- "R" is for Richie Rich, at least as Hanna-Barbera animated him.
- "M" is for Marvin White, the aspiring superhero in the first season of Superfriends.
- "J" and "Z" are for Jayna and Zan, the Wonder Twins.
- In the classic Bugs Bunny short "Super-Rabbit", "S" stands for Super too.
- All Canadians on South Park have either the first letter of their name (T for Terrence, P for Phillip, etc.) or their position (f for fans at a football game) on their shirt.
- I.R. Baboon from I Am Weasel has an upside-down "IR" scribbled on his shirt.
- After fiddling around with casual outfits for José Carioca's comic book series, they eventually settled on a T-Shirt with a "Z" on it, for "Zé".
- "8" is for Manic 8-Ball, a one-shot villain from The Venture Brothers
- "DP" is for Danny Phantom (the "P" is inside the "D").
- "F!" is for Freakazoid.
- "H" (inside a male symbol) is for Captain Hero of Drawn Together. It's actually his real name, though (Leslie Hero).
- "A?" is for a Canadian superhero appearing extremely briefly in an episode of Eek! The Cat.
- "A" is for Atom Ant.
- "C" is for Coil Man of the Impossibles and for Curly Howard of the Robonic Stooges.
- "CR" is for Captain Rescue.
- "D" is for Dynomutt.
- "DM" is for Danger Mouse.
- "F" is for Fluid Man of the Impossibles, for his namesake of the Super Globetrotters, for Frankenstein Jr. and for Blue Falcon.
- "G" is for Gizmo Man of the Super Globetrotters; Inspector Gadget also has a few of these, most notably on his Gadget-mobile.
- "L" is for Larry Fine of the Robonic Stooges (and "M" is for Moe and "C" is for Curly, of course(.
- "M" is for Multiple Man of the Impossibles, for his namesake of the Super Globetrotters and for Moe Howard of the Robonic Stooges.
- "Q" was (briefly) for Quiverwing Quack; Darkwing Duck's daughter really wants in on the family business.
- "SD" is for Scooby-Doo (on his engraved dog-tag).
- "SG" for Super Goof as he appeared on House of Mouse and in the comics.
- "U" is for Underdog.
- "N" is for Captain N: The Game Master. It's actually a Varsity letter on a Letterman jacket, so In-Universe, it's more of a convenience that his school's name and the company that produced his favored console (and the fact that Videoland is populated pretty exclusively by characters from or inspired by that company's games) share an initial letter.
- "KP" is for "Kim Possible". She doesn't wear the insignia, but it does appear on the screen of her Kimmunicator.
- "M" is for the so-called Mysterious Mare Do Well of the alike-titled My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode, whose full-body costume includes a cloak clasp bearing the letter.
- "B" is for Burners, as of Motorcity. The Burners wear a stylized B somewhere on their attire, save for Julie, to hide it from her father, Abraham Kane.
- Anne Boleyn famously had a necklace with the letter B.
- Many sports teams use this, particularly Major League Baseball. As of the 2012 season, only 4 teams do not have letters on their caps (Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians) and all of those four at one point did but have since changed it.
- The Minnesota Twins sport "TC" on their caps, standing for "Twin Cities."