"Having perhaps the most unfortunate middle name that someone who dedicated his life to interacting with children could possibly have, it's no surprise that Fred McFeely Rogers was known to all of us by his more formal title: Mister Rogers."
No matter the genre, some characters have a tendency to have one or more middle names they keep a deep, dark secret from everybody.
Also can apply when a newlywed woman appends her husband's name to her own, creating a funny combination.
Often comes out when a character's mother, wife, or other significant figure launches into a Full Name Ultimatum
. It can also be used as a retort to Metaphor Is My Middle Name
Similar to, but easier to hide than, the Embarrassing First Name
and the Embarrassing Last Name
. Could be a component of an Unfortunate Name
. See also Tomboyish Name
Once the name is revealed, another character often repeats it immediately after. Usually in a humorously questioning tone.
There are examples of this in Real Life
— some cultures believe that to publicly reveal the name of their newborn child will curse them (or attract unwanted infernal attention); their solution is to give the child a 'placeholder' name that is purely humorous or inappropriate
, and allow them to take their 'real' name when they reach a certain age.
It's also common in some cultures for infants to be named in honor of ancestors (typically grandparents) or as part of a multi-generational naming tradition. This can result in embarrassment as names become unfashionable or strongly associated with a certain gender
over time (e.g., Meredith, Hilary, Ashley). May also lead to a Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?
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Anime & Manga
- Mephisto Marley in Sara's Girl's Foundations. In his archaic pureblooded family, it's tradition that the second child gets the mother's first name as their middle name. Mephisto is the second child. His mother's name is Florence. At one point, Harry calls him "Flo" as revenge for him calling Harry "Wonder Boy" all the time.
- DARCUS TAYLOR YAGAMI! Also Light Melville Yagami.
- Maya Fey of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Idiot universe is taunted for her middle name "Gilligan" every time she appears in court. Her responses vary wildly throughout the series dependent on how many burgers she's eaten, or whether her voice actor was a man or a woman that day.
- Sirius ''Valentine'' Black.
- Iron Cross recipient Waffen-SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Joachim Wilbur Hoch from the Uplifted series made known in the third story.
- Three examples in the Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning: Lark's middle name is revealed to be Asphodel (which his mother apparently thought sounded manly at the time). Vale's middle name is Chastity, while Obsidian's is Agamemnon. (The latter is actually inverted, in that Obsidian doesn't seem to understand why Vale thinks his middle name ought to embarrass him at all. He does find her middle name pretty snicker-worthy, though.)
- In the film/play/now a film again The Producers, Adolf Hitler's middle name is revealed to be Elizabeth. ("Not many people know it, but ze Fuhrer vass descended from a long line of English kveens.") Coincidentally, director and English (drag)queen Roger DeBris in the same movie shares this middle name.
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, you learn Dumbledore's full name, all of which are Meaningful Names: Albus ("white") Percival (a knight of the Round Table) Wulfric (a famous healer in the 11th century) Brian ("exalted; high-minded") Dumbledore (Old English for "bumblebee"). In the movie, he proudly rattles off his name until "Brian" comes up, which he mutters, picking up the volume for his surname.
- Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella does this with the entire royal family, giving them each an embarrassing (or rather, disarmingly prosaic) antepenultimate name. For example, the crown prince is "Christopher Rupert Windemere Vladimir Carl Alexander Francois Reginald Lancelot Herman Gregory James."
- Which makes one wonder...who would torture a child with a middle name like Windemere?
- His parents have "Sidney" and "Maisie" as their respective embarrassing names. The king actually refers to the queen as "Maisie" when they are alone, despite the fact that it's unusual, likely as a term of endearment.
- Mel Brooks' character in High Anxiety is renowned psychologist Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke. The "H" stands for "Harpo."
- In House Party, Kid asks Sydney what her middle name is. She says it's LaToya, obviously not liking the name much. Kid then says, "'Sydney'... that's a nice name."
- In Meet the Parents, Pam's middle name is Martha, which was fine until she got engaged to Gaylord Focker.
- In Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest, Roger Thornhill's middle initial is O, making his initials R.O.T. Doesn't stop him from having his matchbooks monogrammed, though.
- A subversion, actually, as Roger explains that the O doesn't stand for anything, he just added it so it looked like he had a middle name.
- In 18 Again!, Jack, who has switched bodies with his 18-year-old grandson David, boasts in a college lecture hall that he knows the true story behind Harry S. Truman claiming to have no real middle name (in reality, Truman's parents chose "S" as his middle initial to please both of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young. The "S" did not stand for anything, a common practice among the Scots-Irish). Jack, who knew Truman personally, says Truman told him the embarrassing truth: that he was named after a Russian uncle, Sergei, but due to anti-Russian sentiment in the U.S.A. at the time, he cooked up the "two grandfathers" story on the spot.
- A different take on this trope is in Edge of Tomorrow. William Cage tells Rita Vrataski her middle name which he got in a past "Groundhog Day" Loop. Rita is a hardcore Action Girl who refuses to connect with anyone because (having been stuck in her own time-loop in the past) she knows the pain of having a friend die on you again and again. She tells Cage he got it wrong, and suggests she told him the wrong name just to shut him up. Later as Rita dies yet again in his arms, she tells Cage her actual middle name is Rose.
- In the Discworld novel Carpe Jugulum, thanks to the naming being performed by a flustered and absent-minded Omnian priest, Magrat's daughter is accidentally named Esmerelda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre. (Her mother was trying to make sure he said "Margaret" rather than "Magrat".)
- The same novel had a passing reference to a former ruler of Lancre called King My He's Heavy the First, and a man called James What The Hell's That Cow Doing In Here Poorchick (or Moocow Poorchick to his friends). The culture has a rule that whatever is actually said at the naming ceremony must become their permanent, official name, with no allowance for error or provision to change it.
- There's also One Man Bucket, or to give him his full name, One Man Throwing A Bucket Of Water Over Two Dogs. His tribe names children after the first thing the mother sees when she looks out of the tent after the birth. Apparently his twin, born a few minutes earlier, 'would have given his right arm to have been called Two Dogs Fighting' (an oblique reference to an ancient and very non-PC American joke.)
- Also, Miss Dearheart's full name is Adora Belle Dearheart. Really, it's little wonder that her fiance calls her 'Spike'.
- Lord Peter Wimsey's middle name is Death, though he doesn't seem particularly embarrassed by it; in Murder Must Advertise, he even uses it as an alias.
- Death from de'Ath (Ath is a town in Belgium).
- Not necessarily - it could come from playing Death in nativity plays (like Angel or Life), or an old word for a leatherworker.
- Incidentally, "Death" is a quite genuine surname, though most people afflicted with it understandably prefer to spell it like the town in Belgium.
- In the McGurk mystery series by author E. W. Hildick, the character Jack P. McGurk's middle name is outed as being Perseverance.
- In Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, Eddie Dean's middle name is Cantor. He asks Jake not to spread it around.
- In Species Imperative: Survival, the main character typically goes by "Mac". When dealing with an alien species that places honor on long names, she is forced to intro herself fully as "Mackenzie Winifred Elizabeth Wright Connor" — in front of her best friend, who nearly bursts out laughing.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was stuck with a slew of these in the original Oz novels, as he explains to Princess Ozma in this quotation from "Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz":
"That is true," answered the little Wizard; "therefore it will give me pleasure to explain my connection with your country. In the first place, I must tell you that I was born in Omaha, and my father, who was a politician, named me Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs, Diggs being the last name because he could think of no more to go before it. Taken altogether, it was a dreadfully long name to weigh down a poor innocent child, and one of the hardest lessons I ever learned was to remember my own name. When I grew up I just called myself O. Z., because the other initials were P-I-N-H-E-A-D; and that spelled 'pinhead,' which was a reflection on my intelligence."
- Polly in The Old-Girl Network has the middle name Esther, which doesn't sound embarrassing... until you find out that Polly's father gave her that middle name after a hippie friend named his daughter Silke, and you try saying Polly's name fast.
- Good Omens gave us a young girl named Pippin Galadriel Moonchild, who is perfectly happy to flatten anyone who doesn't call her Pepper.
- P. G. Wodehouse was very fond of embarrassing names, first, middle, or otherwise.
- Bertie Wooster's middle name was Wilberforce (his father won money on a horse named Wilberforce), which seemed to cause him varying levels of discomfort depending on his mood.
- Lemuel Gengulphus Trotter.
- The protagonist of The Fools in Town Are On Our Side by Ross Thomas hates his middle name of Clarence. So much that he actually prefers (barely) his first name: Lucifer.
- In The Sherwood Ring, Peaceable Sherwood.
- Nymphadora Tonks from the Harry Potter novels doesn't like it when people use her first name, and is thus only called "Tonks". When a fan asked J.K. Rowling why Tonks doesn't use her middle name instead of her first, the author revealed that Tonks' middle name is "Vulpecula", in keeping with the Black family tradition of naming children after constellations, stars, and other heavenly phenomena.
- Nita Callahan of the Young Wizards series inexplicably hates her middle name, Louise. Carmela, on the other hand, doesn't mind her own middle name ("Emeda") at all, despite the incredibly weird story behind it.
- In the YA novel Soul Beach by Kate Harrison, the main character's middle name is Florence because her parents conceived her in an Italian hotel on their wedding anniversary. It's not as bad as her older sister's middle name, which is London. It could've been worse, though, because her elder sister's middle name was supposed to be 'Shepherd's Bush', but apparently her "mother knew that would be a step too far."
- Discussed in Septimus Heap, where Merrin Meredith takes on a pseudonym because he's embarrassed of the "Meredith" part in his name.
- In Patricia A. McKillip's "The Kelpie", Emma and Ned, discussing how to know each other better, confide their middle names to each other.
- Tunnel in the Sky has Dr. Jesse Evelyn Ramsbotham, saddled with a complete Gender-Blender Name package of an Embarrassing First Name and an Embarrassing Middle Name. The text speculates he may have been an athlete rather then a scientist had he a pair of masculine names.
- It's not presented as being necessarily embarrassing, since she does admit to it without pause, but in The Babysitters Club, Dawn's middle name is Read. Absolutely no explanation for where here parents came up with that one is ever offered.
- Nelson Demille's Deadpan Snarker cop John Corey is embarrassed by his middle name: Aloysius, insisting that it is, in fact: "Danger."
Live Action TV
- On The Dick Van Dyke Show, Ritchie's middle name is revealed to be, for convoluted reasons, Rosebud.
- Technically it was R.O.S.E.B.U.D. for Robert Oscar Sam Edward Benjamin Ulysses David
- Friends: Chandler's middle name is Muriel. This is revealed after eight years of the show establishing that Chandler suffers from having both an Embarrassing First Name and an embarrassing surname. There was a reason he went around telling everyone who asked that the 'M' was a letter that stood for nothing.
Ross: "Chandler Muriel Bing. Boy, your parents never even gave you a chance, did they?"
- The Class: Richard Brittany Velch
- Twice on Laverne and Shirley, Shirley Feeny was embarrassed to reveal that her middle name was Willamina.
- Leonard Hofstadter from The Big Bang Theory has the middle name Leakey, after famous archaeologist Louis Leakey. It's not related to his history of bedwetting, as Sheldon is eager to note.
- Arnold J. Rimmer in Red Dwarf claims his middle name is Jonathan; it is actually Judas. Kryten the android also considers his own middle name (2X4B) to be a "jerky" middle name, although he claims to know a "poor sucker" with an even worse one: 2Q4B.
- Austin Moon's middle name on Austin&Ally is Monica.
- Drew Carey's middle name in The Drew Carey Show is Allison. (Also the actor's real middle name)
- Mimi: "Wow, all three of your names are girls' names!"
- Geoffrey, the butler on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has the unfortunate middle name of Barbara.
- The characters from UK Sitcom Bottom have embarrassing names as it is - Richie Richard and Eddie Hitler - but in a possible nod to The Producers, Eddie's full name is Edward Elizabeth Hitler. (Also a subversion, in that he finds his middle name more embarrassing.)
- Kurt from Glee once signed his name "Kurt Elizabeth Hummel" though it's unclear whether or not this is a legit embarrassing middle name, or just one he's taken on himself and actually likes.
- On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander's middle name is Lavelle. As if he wasn't the Buttmonkey without that.
- Sean Garrity's middle name on Rescue Me is Leslie.
- On Grey's Anatomy, Callie's middle name is Iphigenia.
- And her first name is really Calliope. At least her parents were consistent in their love for classic, mythological Greek names.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000's Dr. Forrester's full name was Clayton Deborah Susan Forrester. Of course, his mother had really wanted him to be a girl...
- Only Fools and Horses:
- Rodney Charlton Trotter. At his wedding, the audience can't stop laughing at it so it ends up being omitted from Cassandra's vows. Made all the more embarrassing by the fact that, despite Rodney's insistence that his middle name was inspired by Charlton Heston, it actually came about because his mother Joannie was a fan of Charlton Athletic F.C.
- Boycie's middle name is revealed to be Aubrey, and he says that his father always used to call him by it. For some reason, in the spin off, it's treated as though it were his first name (although this is rather inconsistant).
- Damien's middle name is Derek, making his initials DDT, the same as a well-known insecticide. Subverted, since Uncle Albert points out straight away the effect this would have on Damien's initials, but Del and Raquel don't care about it.
Del Boy: Well, there'll be no flies on him, then, will there?
- On 8 Simple Rules, Cate's middle initial of S was revealed by her father not to stand for "Stacey," but "Stinky."
- James Tiberius Kirk from Star Trek.
- Though in the second pilot, Kirk's middle initial is given as 'R'. One might speculate that his birthname is so embarrassing that he changed it to "Tiberius". The "Tiberius" enters the Canon from the animated series. This actually started as a joke during the Q & A at a convention. (Dammit, Jim, I was THERE.) When asked, "What does the T stand for?", Majel Barrett wisecracked "Tiberius", and when we all groaned, retorted, "Would you prefer Theobald?"
- Lampshaded in the pre-boot.
George: What're we gonna call him?
Winona: We could name him after your father.
George: Tiberius? You kiddin' me? No, that's the worst!
- Will Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation hates his middle name. In a bit of a subversion though he has the rather conventional middle name of "Thomas."
- Deep Space 9 - Captain Sisko's father reveals his son's full name to be Benjamin Lafayette Sisko in one episode, and the retired head of Cardassian intelligence reveals Julian Bashir's middle name to be Subatoi.
- In a weird related Real Life semi-example, Russell Davies didn't have a middle name, but he decided to take an middle initial as to avoid being confused for another Russell Davies in television. It was only after he started becoming established that people kept going "Oh! Like James T Kirk!" Then he became embarrassed.
- In Degrassi: The Next Generation, J.T. Yorke's full name is James Tiberius Yorke.
- The reveal of Ted's on How I Met Your Mother, via Full Name Ultimatum, is Double Subverted. Barney calls him "Ted Vivian Mosby!", but is quickly told that's not his name. When his mother calls him later, though, her first words are "Ted Evelyn Mosby!"
- Robin Charles Scherbatsky, Jr. Her father wanted her to be a boy and named her after himself.
- Marvin Wait-for-it Eriksen.
- Hey, that one's not embarrassing- IT'S AWESOME!
- In Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?, Terry goes to church in order to eavesdrop on his best friend Bob's embarrassing middle name, which he'd been trying to learn since he was a child. The middle name turns out to be Scarborough, after where he was conceived.
- Leading Terry to wonder how Bob's parents could be so sure of this. "Did they only have it away on their holidays, then?"
- Polly from Major Dad, whose middle name turned out to be Esther. (Fine by itself, but Polly Esther...)
- Emma Winifred Keane from The Bill.
- Pierce's full name is revealed to be "Piercinald Anastasia Hawthorne" via a Full Name Ultimatum by his father Cornelius in Community.
- Albert Ladysmith Steptoe of Steptoe And Son is a bit of a subversion on the grounds that it isn't the most embarrassing bit of data - or lack thereof - on his birth certificate... "Father ['s details]: I don't believe it... UNKNOWN! My father's a bast...!"
- He was named after a battle in the Boer War.
- He also lied about his age, even to his close family.
- Doctor Who Expanded Universe character Bernice Surprise Summerfield. So named by her parents because her conception was, erm, a surprise.
- On The Honeymooners, Ralph's best buddy is Edward Lilywhite Norton.
- Out of This World: Troy Garland, alien visitor from Antareus, has the same middle name as his daughter: Ethel. (Though this may just be a riff on Donna's use of the Full Name Ultimatum as a Catch Phrase)
- On 3rd Rock From The Sun, Don, trying to convince Sally of something, declared "I'm Don Leslie Orville... and, okay, telling you my middle name probably did not really help my case."
- On That '70s Show, Jackie Burkhart's middle name is Beulah, which she tries to keep in secret.
- In the wedding episode of Dharma and Greg (to be more precise, the second wedding episode, as they were actually married on their first date in episode 1), it is revealed at the altar that Dharma Finklestein's middle name is "Freedom". This fits her hippie parents and she does not find it embarrassing. Gregory Clifford Montgomery, however, is mortified, and his own wife can't stifle a giggle.
- This leads to a funny scene later when they flee their own wedding reception, eventually collapsing in a heap together with Greg sighing "Oh, Freedom!" and Dharma snickering "Oh, Clifford".
- Scrubs has several.
- Percival Ulysses Cox.
- While we're at it, Sam Perry Gilligan Dorian.
- Turk's middle name is Duncan. It's embarrassing only because JD keeps telling people it's because his dad loved donuts.
- Special mention must go to Geraldine Granger, the titular character of the British sitcom The Vicar of Dibley, who has revealed her full name in two episodes, and qualified for both of these tropes. First she confessed that her real first name was Boadicea. In the final episode, this was ignored and her full name was given as Geraldine Julie Andrews Dick Van Dyke Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Chim Chiminey Chim Chiminey Chim Chim Cher-ee Granger. Her mother was both a big Mary Poppins fan, and quite insane.
- On an episode of Family Matters, Waldo amuses himself throughout the whole episode imagining funny names for (then) Ivana Trump, ending up with her divorcing Donald Trump and marrying, in order, Neil Diamond, Jack Nicklaus, and Ron Darling, coming to the conclusion her name would then be Ivana Diamond Nicklaus Darling.
- A contender for embarrassing middle name himself, Waldo's full name is Waldo Geraldo Faldo.
- Or Carl Otis Winslow.
- Subverted right in the middle of a The Two Ronnies sketch about people with embarrassing names:
Ronnie B: I knew a girl named Virginia Randy once. Dreadful business. She married a chap named Henry Drawers, so now she's -
Ronnie C: Don't tell me... I can see it coming.
Ronnie B: Lady Fosgrove.
Ronnie C: Oh.
- On an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Tony Slattery was assigned "angry about his middle name" as his problem for the Bartender game and remarked, "I am, actually, it's Declan."
- In an episode of the US version, one of the lines from Scenes From A Hat was "Embarrassing Secrets About Our Host, Drew Carey". Ryan Styles walks on and says "What kind of a middle name is 'Alison'?" As noted above and below, this really is Drew's middle name.
- In one episode of The Nanny, Fran and Maxwell are talking about Andrew Lloyd Webber:
Fran: Mr. Sheffield, the only thing that Andrew Lloyd Webber has that you don't is a middle name.
Maxwell: I've got a middle name.
Fran: Well, there you are! What is it?
Fran: Moving on...
- Dwayne Florenz Schneider, of One Day At A Time.
- In an episode of Hey Dude, Ted's middle name is revealed to be Aloysius.
- In Frasier, Frasier's son is Frederick Gaylord Crane.
- Pat from Saturday Night Live has an embarrassing middle name. It's O'Neil!
- Dr. Guy Valerie Secretan from Green Wing.
- On 30 Rock, Kenneth Parcel's middle name is Ellen. A feminine middle name is one of the things Jack notes they share (his happens to be Francis)
- In Zoey 101, Chase is embarrassed that his middle name is "Bartholemew".
Chase: Hey, 'normal' is my middle name. Actually, it's Bartholemew. Don't tell people.
- Bones has Angela Pearly-Gates Montenegro; for added embarrassment, her middle name is revealed in the middle of a wedding that doesn't quite go off.
- And then, during her next wedding, it's revealed that this isn't her real name—actually it's even more embarrassing.
- Pearly-Gates is also the name of the favorite guitar of Billy Gibbons, Angela's father.
- According to the official website,: Raymond Milton Carling.
- On A Different World Dwayne Wayne's middle name is Cleophus, to his regret and Whitley Gilbert-Wayne's amusement.
- A M*A*S*H episode has Hawkeye and Trapper crack up when they learn Frank Burns' is "Marion".
- "Frank" is actually short for "Franklin" - to this day a few unfortunate boys are still named after the Giant Rodent.
- Stargate Atlantis subverts this. Rodney McKay chooses to go by his middle name, rather than use his Embarrassing First Name, Meredith.
- "Eurydice Colette Clytemnestra Dido Bathsheba Rabelais Patricia Cocteau ...Stone" is Patsy's full name in Absolutely Fabulous
- Hannah Montana: Jackson Rod Stewart. Who, of course, is the show's Butt Monkey.
- Myka O. Bering of Warehouse 13 has a middle name so embarrassing that the initial is revealed considerably before the full name. It's Ophelia.
Pete: Can Ophelia boobies?
- Better Off Ted has Theodore Margaret Crisp. He's very insistent that it's pronounced "Mar-Ja-RAY".
- In NCIS, Leroy Jethro Gibbs... I dare you to make fun of it to his face, though.
- In Boy Meets World, Topanga's middle name is apparently so embarrassing she won't even reveal it. As another character points out, "Your first name is Topanga! How bad could your middle name be?" But she still won't tell.
- Woody's middle name is Tiberius.
- Carla's mother insists that Carla follow an old family tradition of naming one of her sons with her father's first name and her mother's maiden name - which in Carla's case would be Benito Mussolini Tortelli. Her son Gino agrees to change his name legally but keeps "Gino" as his commonly used name.
- In Happy Days, the Fonz's full name is Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli. If Potsie sniggers at your middle name, it must be pretty bad.
- On Fringe, Lincoln Lee's middle name is Tyrone (in honor of his grandfather), and he hides it from Olivia. Olivia finds it out by asking Lincoln's Alternate Universe counterpart, who doesn't think it's a big deal.
- On F Troop, Trooper Dobbs full name was Hannibal Shirley Dobbs.
- On Coronation Street, Liam Connor's middle name was 'Barrington'
- Night Court's own live-in lecher Dan Fielding kept his name secret until an episode in which he helped deliver a baby. The grateful mother named her son with Fielding's middle name: Reinhold. Likely a playful dig at someone. When Judge Stone leaves his chambers, he quietly says, "Reinhold!" and tries not to laugh. Cue producer Reinhold Weege's name coming up immediately as the credits roll.
- Benson has Clayton Runnymede Endicott III, who is sensitive about his middle name because when he was in school, a bully called him "Runnynose".
- In one episode of Rizzoli & Isles, we find out that Jane Rizzoli's middle name is 'Clementine'.
- Suburgatory has Dahlia Oprah Royce. Her mother was in an all-black sorority.
- In CSI: NY, we learn in the episode "Near Death" that Mac Taylor's middle name is 'Llewellyn'. One of his old partners used to rib him about it incessantly.
- John Hamish Watson in Sherlock is embarrassed by his middle name and it takes Sherlock several guesses before he eventually looks up John's birth certificate to find it. It becomes a plot point when a client knows his middle name.
- John Reginald Kennex in Almost Human is so-named because his dad was a big fan of Elton John. He reveals it to a hostage as a way of providing her with moral support, but is overheard by Dorian, who naturally proceeds to take the utter piss.
- The Nashville episode "That's Me Without You" reveals that Scarlett O'Connor's middle name is Blue Sky. Figures.
- In Bloom County, Steve Dallas' middle name is revealed to be Milhouse, the same as former president Richard Nixon. However, he was called "Steven R. Dallas" at other points in the strip.
- In Hancock's Half Hour we find Anthony Aloysius St. John [pr. Sinjen] Hancock; William Montmorency Beaumont Kerr; and Sidney Balmoral James. All named after their respective actors, but the middle names are fake.
- In Hello Cheeky, Barry Cryer explains that his parents had a difference of opinion regarding his middle name, so they wrote their suggestions down and picked it out of a hat. As such, his full name is Barry Seven-And-Three-Eights Cryer.
- To which John responds by saying that his full name is John "Glug, glug" Junkin. "The vicar fell in the font."
- There's a popular bit of Les Misérables fanon that insists that Inspector Javert's full name is "Shnookums Q. Javert".
- British comedian Alexei Sayle had a joke that his name in full is Alexei Lenin Molotov Sputnik Grain Harvest Glorious Five Year Plan Sayle. It's not, but his parents really were?
- According to a contest circa 1998, the middle name of Cracked magazine's mascot Sylvester P. Smythe was "Phooey."
- Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
For women with embarrassing married names
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- Hunted Tribes: After Wolverine Mechwarrior Geoffrey Cale gets his girlfriend Cally Henderson pregnant and announces his intent to marry her, Mechwarrior Cale's CO goes ballistic, asking, among other things, how he is going to deal with giving his wife a pornstar name. Mechwarrior Cale offers to smack his CO around in a Circle of Equals for insulting his fianceé, and says she decided to go by her full name, Calandra, after their wedding, which sounds a lot more classy.
- In Meet the Parents, Pamela Martha Byrnes (Teri Polo) marries Greg Focker (Ben Stiller), and her parents realize this would make her Pamela Martha Focker.
- Also Greg isn't his real name, it's Gaylord.
- Subversion: in Dumb & Dumber, the female lead's first name is Mary, and the male lead's last name is Christmas, but they don't end up getting married.
- Carry On Cleo - Senna was a nice name, until she married someone called Pod.
- The Wedding Singer - Drew Barrymore's character, had she gone through with her intended marriage, would've been Julia Guglia (pronounced Goo-lia) during a scene in which she's practicing greeting her wedding guests in front of a mirror, she says the full name aloud and nearly bursts into tears.
- This is a shout out to Jerry Hall being engaged to Bryan Ferry in the 80s. She didn't go through with it either.
Live Action TV
- Married... with Children had next door neighbor Marcy (post-divorce) get married to Jefferson D'Arcy in an impulsive fit. She spent an episode lamenting the fact that she was now "Marcy D'Arcy."
- Grey's Anatomy: "Dude. She's Callie O'Malley."
- Murphy Brown — Corky Sherwood marries into the Forrest family, and hyphenates it to Corky Sherwood-Forrest.
- In one episode of The West Wing, Sam reveals that before he joined the Bartlet campaign, he was engaged to a woman named Lisa Sherbourne. CJ asks if the reason they didn't get married was because her name would've been Seaborn-Sherbourne.
- Subverted and lampshaded in The Office (US). From the beginning of the series to partway into it, Pam is engaged to Roy Anderson. When she eventually breaks up with him, she notes how close she came to becoming Pamela Anderson.
- Discussed in What I Like About You, as one of Holly's reasons for not being interested in a guy; his last name is "Wood", which would make her married name "Holly Wood".
- Inverted with Jill Casey in Royal Pains. Her maiden name is McGillicuddy, which she finds embarrassing, so she keeps her ex-husband's last name.
- One memorable Garfield strip had Garfield watching a TV show where a woman named Philomena Scott Aphat decides not to marry a man named Thaddeus Ramsbottom, because her name would become "Philomena Scott Aphat Ramsbottom".note
- Gruntilda Winkybunion from Banjo-Kazooie is an (apparently) unusual case of an embarrassing, unmarried last name.
- In Questionable Content, Raven is an inversion and a subversion. Her first name is Blodwyn (her parents are Welsh), which she avoids like the plague, so she uses her middle name instead. The subversion comes into play since she was originally introduced as an emo goth (before she became a Perky Goth), and Faye makes fun of her for naming herself after "a disease-carrying avian," unaware it is one of her birth names.
- The Simpsons — not exactly the same, but Selma has quite a name going at this point: Selma Bouvier Terwilliger Hutz McClure Stu. She cited this as her reason for refusing to marry Apu, saying that the last thing she needed was to add "Nahasapeemapetiwhatever" to the mix.
- At that point, Selma was only Selma Bouvier Terwilliger Hutz McClure. Selma's current name is... Drum Roll... forgive me, it's probably not in order... Selma (Middle Name) Bouvier Terwilliger Hutz McClure Leonard Hombre Itchy Stu Terwilliger Simpson... thank you, thank you.
- The Disco Stu Marriage was annulled – therefore no effective marriage took place.
- Also, Stu´s real surname is ...wait for it...Discotheque. Stuart Discotheque. So, when she was married to him, it went as following: Selma Bouvier Terwilliger Hutz McClure Discotheque.
- An aversion in Phineas and Ferb. One would think that Charlene Doofenshmirtz would consider her married name embarrassing, but she fully embraces it, going so far as to keep the name even after getting a divorce.
- In The Mighty B!, Bessie's middle name is Kajolica, which she's kept hidden from the world not because it sounds ridiculous, but because merely saying it causes random acts of chaos to occur.