"The idea, as I understood it, was to give a kid a nickname appropriate to his appearance or eccentricity of behavior, the crueler the better. A kid with warts, for example, might be known as 'Toad' or 'Frog' or simply 'Warty'. In the course of time, the warts might vanish, but the nickname would remain, continuing its work of warping the kid's personality and kicking holes in his psyche. Nicknames were fun."It may be a nickname with a horribly embarrassing story behind it or something family members or lovers use only when they're alone (in which case it overlaps with Affectionate Nickname). It often describes a character's appearance or lack of ability in one area or another. Sexual prowess (or endowment) is a common one. Because it is embarrassing it can be a Berserk Button. This is not always a comedy trope; the backstory behind the nickname can also apply to a harrowing event from the character's past like a tragic mistake they made - they simply need to be ashamed of the nickname they are now burdened with. Sub-Trope of In-Series Nickname. Appropriated Appellation is this trope defied. May overlap with Do Not Call Me "Paul". See also Accidental Misnaming, Atrocious Alias, Malicious Misnaming, Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!, Embarrassing First Name, Insistent Terminology.
— Patrick McManus, "The Last Flight of Homer Pidgin"
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- One of the "switching to GEICO" radio ads has a tough biker guy informing the announcer that he thinks "Fuzzy Bunny" will be a good bikers' moniker for him from now on. The announcer then begins to protest that he really doesn't want to be called—
Biker: Too late! The name's already stuck... Fuzzy!
Anime & Manga
- Dirty Pair: Kei and Yuri are officially codenamed the Lovely Angels. However, due to their unfortunate and accidental tendency to leave a place much worse then it was when they arrived, they've earned their infamous and much-better-known nickname: the "Dirty Pair".
- In Transformers Energon, the Alpha Quintesson is called "Alpha Q" for short. Say it out loud a few times...
- Code Geass:
- Early in the first season, Lelouch uses his Geass on Knight Jeremiah Gottwald, making him do very dishonorable things and then calling him "Orange", just to throw the investigators off track. The nickname sticks, however, and nearly drives Jeremiah mad later, but he learns to not give a damn by the second season, shortly before ascending to godhood of Undying Loyalty.
- As for Lelouch, his friends at Ashford frequently call him "Loulou"... though he doesn't seem to be bothered by this.
- Kyohei Kadota is given the nickname "Dotachin" by Izaya, whom he despises as well as the nickname. His friend Erika will occasional refer to him as Dotachin, getting a mix of responses back.
- Call Shizuo Heiwajima "Shizu-chan". We dare you.
- In Slayers, Lina Inverse's closely guarded secret is that her official nickname is "Pink Sorceress". It is actually supposed to be a magical title akin to Red Baron, but she is extremely embarrassed about the "pink" part.
- Lina has lots of others that go with her awful reputation. Among them are "Bandit Killer" and "Dragon Spooker". Call her by any of them and you can consider yourself dead.
- Nana Mizuha in Cahe Detective Club is named the "Demon Lord of Guttony" because of her Big Eater habits.
- Fushigi Yuugi's Tamahome was called "Obake-chan"/"Little Ghost" in childhood thanks to the character on his forehead. When Tasuki figured that out and used it to refer to Tamahome, he got sent to orbit. No, really.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!:
- The K in Evangeline A.K. McDowell's name stands for Katherine, but Albireo Imma shortens it to "Kitty". She doesn't like it at all. In the sequel UQ Holder!, this is actually used to show how dangerous Dana is since she calls her Kitty and she doesn't get angry. Quite the opposite, actually. The only person who was ever given permission to call her that was her adopted son Touta (although there were time travel shenanigans involved).
- And Rakan refers to her by the even more embarrassing Loli Grandma. Her next spell comes close to "accidentally" killing him.
- Allen Walker in D.Gray-Man is, if you ask Kanda, named "Moyashi" ("Beansprout," in English). He does not appreciate this, and the nickname is one of the reasons Kanda is one of the only people in existence Allen can't get along with. Not that he cannot hit it back to Kanda by calling him by the first name.
- If a character meets Yachiru, they'll usually end up with an Embarrassing Nickname. Orihime is "Jiggles", Rangiku is "Boobs", Uryuu is "Pencil", and Ikkaku is "Pachinko-Head". Aramaki is variously called Maki-Maki or Whiskers, and doesn't like either.
- Hitsugaya hates being called "Shirou-chan" by Hinamori, but has the grace not to retaliate with the nickname he used to give when they were younger, which was "Bedwetter Momo".
- Mashiro calls Ichigo "Berry-tan".
- Kyon from Haruhi Suzumiya hates it when people don't call him by his real name, but he can't be bothered to change that. He never does mention his real name either way, throughout the 9 novels, and the preview of the 10th novel. And the anime, the songs, CD, games, etc. In the 9th novel, Sasaki points this out rather blatantly, and teases the readers with Kyon, by claiming it's a royal and imposing name.
- Dawn in Pokémon hates to be called "Dee Dee", a reference to an unfortunate childhood incident with a Plusle & Minun. Once we find this out, Kenny looks less playful and more cruel, both by the fact that he hung the Embarrassing Nickname on her in the first place, and that he keeps using it. Under her original Japanese name, Hikari, the nickname was "Pikari" because of how the shock made her hair sparkle. But in the dub, she's called "Dee Dee" because the sparkles looked like "Diamond Dandruff".
- There are a couple of examples from the football manga Area no Kishi:
- In I'm Gonna Be an Angel! Mikael totally hates when people misspell his name, calling him 'Kaeru-san' (Mr Frog) and he always tries to correct them. His teacher, Raphael on the other, doesn't seem to mind at all being called 'Haeru-san' (Mr Growing Out)
- In Zoids: New Century Bit Cloud starts calling the Tigers/Saberfangs Team "Fuzzy Pandas". Somehow, the nickname sticks whenever Bit and the Blitz Team run into them, and the team itself goes on an emotional roller coaster ride best described as comic relief for the rest of the series. In a Crowning Moment of Funny, towards the end, the Saberfangs face off one more time against two members of Blitz Team...and the Judge Bot refers to the Saberfangs as the "Fuzzy Pandas Team". All the Saberfang Zoids Face Fault as one and are KO'd as a result.
- Jiraiya from Naruto is at first annoyed when Naruto calls him Ero-sennin ("Pervy Sage" in the English dub), but almost immediately thereafter, allows him to do it when they are alone. But he still gets annoyed when Naruto does it in front of others.
- In Eyeshield 21, Agon's nickname for Unsui is "Unko-chan", which can mean "Little Shit" or "Girly Little Un".
- It's part of the series title, but Barnaby really doesn't like being referred to as "Bunny"/"L'il Bunny"/"Bunny-chan" by his crime-fighting partner Kotetsu in Tiger & Bunny. He eventually chooses to give up on complaining about it but he never accepts it completely. Its embarrassingness is so extreme it can apparently restore Barnaby's memories of Kotetsu after they'd been forcibly wiped by the series Big Bad via a NEXT power Hilariously, though, it seems the name has caught on, enough for the mechanic who maintains Barnaby's hi-tech suit to add a rabbit-shaped logo onto it.
- In anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, a girl named Naruko Anjou is nicknamed "Anaru" as a child, a contraction and shuffling of her first and last names. As a teenager, she's incredibly embarrassed by it. Why, you ask? Remember, in Japanese, there's no difference between a "l" and a "r"...note
- One minor character in Kyou Kara Ore wa!! got the nickname of "Perizoma Mask" due to an unluckily placed bandage he received as part of Mitsuhashi's realization he could stand up to bullies (not that Mitsuhashi remembers how he realized that or that he ruined Perizoma Mask's life).
- In HeartCatch Pretty Cure!, Tsubomi is given the derogatory title "The Weakest Precure in History", due to the fact that, when she first transforms, she spent the entire moment just running and flailing.
- Yutaka Itazu in Eden of the East got his nickname of "Panties" due to him becoming a total recluse who walks around only in a shirt and underwear after losing his only pair of pants.
- In Beyond the Boundary, Hiromi calls Akihito "Akkey". He gets embarrassed by that, mainly because it sounds like a nickname of a washed-up idol to him.
- In Saki Shinohayu -dawn of age-, Kousuke, Shino's uncle, hates it when a pawn shop clerk calls him "Richardson," since he's no longer in that band.
- In High School D×D, the Heavenly Dragons Ddraig and Albion get nicknamed "Breast Dragon Emperor" and "Butt Dragon Emperor" since their hosts Issei Hyoudou and Vali Lucifer have fetishes for breasts and butts respectively. Both dragons are so embarrassed by this that they go into a Heroic B.S.O.D. whenever it is mentioned.
- Miki from School-Live! doesn't really like Yuki referring to her as "Mii-kun".
- Earning one is what inspires Masamune-kun's Revenge. Aki is well-known for giving these to her suitors as a way of rejecting them. As a child, he was called "Pig's Foot" when he tries to confess to Aki (he was chubby as a child), and decided to dedicate his life to getting in shape so he can make Aki fall in love with him, just so he can reject her.
- City Hunter:
- Umibozu (a kind of sea monster) was supposed to have the codename 'Falcon', but Ryo nicknamed him Umibozu and it supplanted the nickname. As retaliation, Ryo was nicknamed 'The Stallion of Shinjuku' (it didn't stuck, and Ryo has a better sense of humor than Umi).
- According to Ryo, the cop duo of Saeko and Hideyuki (former police officer) was known as 'The Beauty and the Beast of Tokyo Police' due their close partnership, great ability and looks.
- Kasumi Asou alias Theif n°305 was nicknamed 'Flying Little Butt' by Ryo due what he first saw of her. When she reappeared, Ryo remembered the nickname first.
- In one of the X-Wing Series comics, we see that Wedge Antilles' childhood nickname was Veggies. He doesn't seem to mind◊ when his childhood friend Mirax calls him that, although she tells him not to use her childhood nickname, Myra.
- Deliberately invoked in Strikeforce: Morituri by Pilar "Scaredycat" Lisieux and William "Scatterbrain" Deguchi; they gave each other embarrassing code names as part of a dare.
- In Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja , Dr. Yagyu calls John "Peachy", after Momotaro the Peach Boy. John himself teases the Soviet Colonel Novikova by calling her "Novi-cakes."
- A version of the McGregor story told in the "Folklore" section below occurs in an Issue #14. A rather sad-looking guide talks about all the things he helped to build inside a building...and then someone calls out, "Hey! Bill Chimpfucker!"
- Then there's the first President seen in the series: known only as "The Beast" (as in we never learn his real name unlike his successor, Gary "The Smiler" Callahan). The name was given by Spider Jerusalem as an apt description of his attitude, and it apparently stuck too well, as the man himself laments: "Because of you, everyone calls me 'The Beast' now. The press, my staff, my own fucking children."
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- Played with a bit: Sonic, Knuckles and the Chaotix are introduced to Knux's baby brother. However, once they realize that the kid's gonna be nicknamed "Kneecaps", it's Knuckles who flips out after Sonic and the Chaotix (including Knuckles' girlfriend) burst out laughing.
- In the All There in the Manual "The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia", it reveals that the Acorn lineage had nicknames for its kings. Of them, three of them had nicknames connected to bad choices. Those were Theodore the Bereaved (he lost his first son due to an accidental shooting), George the Foolish (nearly eradicated his own army in a foolish attack) and Maximilian the Cursed (getting hit with bad moments after bad moments after Robotnik exiled him in his coup.)
- Captain Mar-Vell would often insist he be called by his actual name and not "Captain Marvel". (Despite the fact that it was the title of his own comic.)
- Matt Murdock intensely disliked being called "Daredevil" as a child (he was perceived as a bookworm by his classmates, and they called him that to be sarcastic), but through the logic of comicbooks chose to call himself just that after gaining superpowers...
- The name "Doctor Octopus" was actually originally a derogatory name that Otto Octavius' co-workers called him behind his back, a pun on his actual name inspired by the four-armed apparatus; he knew about it, but barely cared. After the accident that bonded the invention to him and granted him mental control over it, he adapted the insult as his nom de guerre as a way of showing contempt towards them.
- Batman: The Penguin's nom de guerre also began as an insult. He was teased as a child because he was fat, short, and had a big nose, not to mention that his mother insisted he always carry an umbrella, because his father died of pneumonia after being caught in the rain without one. "Penguin" was a common insult. After his mother died and her long illness cost him so much that the bank foreclosed on their store, he tried to turn to crime, only to be laughed at by a gang of thugs who used the same insult. Fed up with it all, he decided to embrace the insult; he dressed like a penguin, customized his ever-present umbrella into a high-caliber firearm, went back to the gang, gunned down their leader, and took over, completing his Start of Darkness.
- She-Hulk is usually flattered by people who call her The Jade Giantess or The Glorious Green Glamazon. However, calling her "Shulkie" is a good way to get a fat lip (or worse).
- X-Men: X-Man Fabio Medina got saddled with the nickname "Goldballs" due to his power to create the same. He begged his teammates to stop using it or it'd stick. He eventually claimed it as his X-Men codename.
- A mutant named Hachiman was sent after the Geraci crime family at the time when The Punisher became their don. Because he uses an axe alongside with his mutant powers, he has gained the nickname "Hatchetman", which he resents.
- In Uncanny Avengers, Daken tells Sunfire that in Japan he's seen as an embarrassment and they gave him an appropriate nickname, "Hot Sake". This is particularly insulting because only low quality Sake is served hot; the heat helps conceal the flaws.
- Spider-Man: Eugene Thompson's nickname "Flash" was changed into one in one of the sillier retcons during Brand New Day. Originally it had been used in reference to his prowess on the football field, now it became a reference to a case of premature ejaculation on a high-school date.
- Jon Arbuckle's brother "Doc Boy"note in Garfield. He does, however, prefer that to "Iguana Gums", another nickname he used to have.
- In Peanuts, Sally's nickname for Linus was "Sweet Babboo"... and he didn't like it one bit.
- In Retail, Cooper frequently refers to his boss, Stuart, as "Zucchini Head".
- In the Harry Potter/Dragonriders of Pern crossover The Queen Who Fell to Earth the dragons like to give non-riders descriptive nicknames. Until she became a rider, Hermione's nickname was "Fuzzy One," while Sirius' is "Smelly Dog."
- In the short "Beyond the Impossible", Pilot Jorge Strauss got his nickname "Dropper" because he accidentally dropped his weapons shortly after take-off in a training flight in his A-10 Warthog, while trying to retract his landing gear.
- Paper Mario X: Meta Knight does not like to be called Mettie.
- Prison Island Break: Knuckles is nicknamed "Fuckles" (though no one other than Shadow says that to his face) while Silver is nicknamed "Preacher".
- Calvin and Hobbes: The Series has Socrates refer to Stupendous Man as "Stupey".
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan fiction Our True Colors, Pinkie Pie gives Scootaloo the nickname "Loo-Loo". Scootaloo is not amused.
- In the Transformers/My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic crossover Applebloom: Transform and Roll Out!, Applebloom reveals that Scootaloo's mother calls her "her little pumpkin-doodlebug" while trying to convince Scootaloo that she's really Applebloom (Applebloom having just found out she's a Shapeshifting Robot Girl).
- In Frozen Hearts, Heinrik, one of Hans' brothers, has the nickname, "Heinie," while Johan Jorgen, a pirate, has the nickname "Jo-Jo". The latter responds to the former calling him by his nickname by threatening to respond in kind.
- In the Saki doujin, Joint Training Camp, Himeko Tsuruta gets annoyed at Awai calling her "Tsuru-hime", a reference to her name and her Combination Attack with her best friend and Club President Mairu. After telling Awai to stop, Himeko reluctantly accepts Awai calling her "Himeko".
- In Sly Wits Paradise, because of Celestia's heroic act of jumping down the mountain ridge to save a pegasus foal without any wings, the pegasi started to call her 'Pink Plummet'. Celestia didn't like that one bit.
- Though, she later used that nickname to bruise the pegasi's pride for not stepping up to the challenge of being chased by her.
- In My Family and Other Equestrians, the protagonist is given the nickname of Bones by his father, which he obviously hates. Soon, even Princess Celestia is using this nickname to mock him.
- In Faith No More, Faith refers to her Watcher, Diana Dormer, as DD. More than once a character has noted her nickname doesn't refer to her initials.
- In Repairs, Retrofits and Upgrades, a The Legend of Korra fanfiction, Asami is dubbed "noodles" by Iroh due to an odd metaphor regarding the development of international relations and technology, and her place in it.
- In Pacific: World War II U.S. Navy Shipgirls, Phoenix has the really funny-sounding nickname of "Phoo-bird", something she doesn't like being called in public.
- Pittan from Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy hates to be called "Pit".
- Cycles Upon Cycles: "Shepard's Strikers," the name that the media gives Shepard's crew in this Mass Effect / StarCraft crossover. Shepard himself doesn't care for it and Emperor Valerian is dubious, though everyone else seems to like it.
- In Souls Abound a goblin who soiled himself during a dragon handling class becomes known as "Crappy".
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series: Marik from the Abridged Series calls Bakura either "Fluffy", "Florence", or on one occasion "Kitty".
- In The Devil Is a Part-Timer Abridged, at the end of the fight against Lucifer, Satan demotes him to "Lucy".
- In Sword Art Online Abridged, Klein had the misfortune of getting stuck in the titular game while playing his test character, whom he named "BallsDeep69." He's had to correct people about his name so often that his guildmates think "My name is Klein!" is how he says hello, while Kirito (usually) calls him "Balls" or "Ballsy."
- Defied by Agil, who goes by "Tiffany" in this story but doesn't seem the least bit embarrassed by it, and it's the only point against him qualifying as the Only Sane Man in the game. No explanation has been offered for his choice of online handle, so it's unknown whether he got saddled with it because he logged in under his wife's account, or he chose it because it amused him.
- In Say It Thrice, Lydia discovers that, because of the events of the movie, she's known by various ghosts as "The Mortal Bride." She doesn't like it, although by the end of the story she's willing to make use of the implied threat it carries.
- Tim Drake, after surrendering the Robin mantle to Damian Wayne sometime between Angel of the Bat and Times of Heresy has been using "Red Robin" as a Permanent Placeholder ever since. By his own admission, he hates the title, and Connor Hawke and Stephanie Brown both lovingly crack jokes about him sharing his title with a burger restaurant.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- In Bugsy, the title character hates being called Bugsy, which refers to his temper. The Real Life Bugsy Siegel did not like the name either.
- "Babyface" Nelson in O Brother, Where Art Thou? hates being called Babyface, as the real man did.
- In cut scenes of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Luke is called "Wormy" by his friends on Tatooine. You can see why he dropped it later.
- The Blind Side: Both in the film and in Real Life, Michael Oher hates being called "Big Mike", because he originally wanted to be a basketball star and basketball stars aren't supposed to be that big.
- Inverted in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; Indiana Jones, aka Henry Jones Jr., hates being called "Junior" by his father, Henry Jones Sr. His father, in turn, can't understand why his son likes being nicknamed after the family dog.
- Buford 'Mad Dog' Tannen from Back to the Future Part III. In fact, calling him 'Mad Dog' is a Berserk Button with him.
- In Inglourious Basterds, Smithson Utivitch was rather disappointed to learn that the while the Nazis know his squadmates as Aldo the Apache and the Bear Jew, he is known as "The Little Man" amongst his enemies.
- In Notting Hill, when William Thacker takes his new girlfriend, film mega-star Anna Scott, to a dinner party with some of his friends, the friends make sure that Scott knows that William's nickname in college was "Floppy", and that the situation was not pretty.
- In Basic Instinct, Nick is called "Shooter" by a lot of people. It refers to a previous incident in which he accidentally shot and killed a bunch of tourists, which he is still haunted by.
- In Alienł, Aaron is called "85" by the inmates. It refers to his IQ score, which they found out when they took a look at his personnel file.
- We're the Millers: Boner Garage (although she doesn't think it's embarrassing).
- In Men in Black 3, the main villain Boris instantly gets pissed off if he is called "Boris the Animal".
Boris: It's. Just. Boris!
- In Hot Fuzz, "Cousin Sissy" is revealed by Angel to be one for Simon Skinner, though it turns out Everybody Knew Already.
- In Big Game, Morris keeps on calling Oskari "Small Shoes", much to boy's displeasure, as small footprints are the first thing he notices about him while tracking him.
- In The World's End, Oliver Chamberlain earned the nickname "O-Man" due to his birthmark being shaped like a 6. He got so annoyed that, as an adult, he had it removed via laser surgery. When Oliver is replaced by a blank, which uses an unaltered copy of his DNA, he is spotted due to the mark returning.
- In the Norwegian film Turn Me On Dammit, Artur pokes Alma in the leg with his erect penis, earning her the nickname "Pikk-Alma" ("Dick-Alma").
- In Hero and the Terror, Chuck Norris' character is lauded as "Hero" by the press for catching the Serial Killer known as "The Terror". He hates the nickname because he only caught the Terror through dumb luck after nearly getting himself killed and still suffers from post-traumatic stress.
- In Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man calls in his secret weapon, Spider-Man, by calling him "Underoos."
- A young man is walking through a small village one day and decides to stop by a bar and have a beer. He walks into a bar, and sees a grizzled old man, crying into his beer. Curious, the young man sits down and says, "Hey old timer, why the long face?" The old man looks at him and points out the window, "See that dock out there? I built that dock with my own two hands, plank by plank, nail by nail, but do they call me McGregor the dockbuilder? No, no." The old man continued, "And see that ship out there? I've been fishing these waters for my village for 35 years! But do they call me McGregor the fisherman? No, no." The old man continued, "And see all the crops in the farms out there? I planted and have been farming those crops for my village for nearly 45 years! But do they call me McGregor the farmer? No, no." The old man starts to cry again, "But you screw one goat..."
- In The Adventures of Pinocchio, Gepetto is also known as "Polentina" (because his Dodgy Toupee makes him look like he's wearing a plate of polenta, a sort of cornmeal pudding, on his head). He really doesn't like that name.
- In Lord of the Flies, one main character - a fat, socially awkward boy - is known only by his nickname, Piggy, which he hates.
- Milkman from Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon is called this his entire life after a neighbor caught his mother breastfeeding him long after he was too old to be breastfed.
- In Anansi Boys, friends and family keep calling the main character "Fat Charlie," even after he's lost weight. But that can happen when your father is a Trickster god who sang the world into existence. His nicknames tend to stick.
- Mrs. Weasley from Harry Potter is forced to admit that her husband calls her "Mollywobbles" when they are alone, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
- In the same book, Lavender refers to then-boyfriend Ron as "Won-Won." His friends' reactions are predictable.
- In the stories of P. G. Wodehouse, many members of the Drones Club have nicknames of this sort. In some cases, however, the real names they have replaced are even worse.
- In the Blandings Castle novel Heavy Weather, Lord Tilbury is annoyed when Galahad Threepwood, who knew him in his youth, calls him on his old nickname, "Stinker".
- In The Baby-Sitters Club, there is Boontsie (Stacey), Sunshine (Dawn) and Shannie (Shannon).
- In Black Legion, Lheor hates being called "Firefist". Unfortunately for him, people calling him like that is a Running Gag in the first book. It turns out he got the nickname when a malfunctioning plasma cannon exploded in his hands during the most traumatic event of his life.
- In the X-Wing Series novels, Wedge's first astromech has the designation "Mynock".
"Are you called Mynock because you draw a lot of power?"
Urgent whistles and tweets were translated to a scrolling line of text at the very top of the screen. "A pilot once said I screamed like a mynock when we were in combat. A slander, Commander."
"I can understand that. No one likes to be thought of as a space rat."
- In a later book, Wedge finds out that his screaming in battle is indeed distracting, and has his mind wiped.
- In The Emigrants the reason why Arvid moves to America is to escape the rumors that he had sex with a cow, and the nickname the rumor earned him — the Bull at Nybacken.
- Several characters in The Pale King have unusual nicknames, like ‘Irrelevant’ Chris Fogle, Ms. 'Iranian Crisis' Neti-Neti, David 'The Young Man Carbuncular' Wallace, and Diablo the Left-Handed Surrealist.
- Half Moon Investigations is named for the small-for-his-age protagonist's Embarrassing Nickname, Fletcher "Half" Moon.
- Touchstone in Sabriel. Mogget gives him the name, and Touchstone finds it quite annoying, (it's a fool's name) — yet he can't argue with it.
- Knight and Rogue Series: Fisk's oldest sister calls him Nonny in "Rogue's Home".
- The Rifter: John has been transported from Earth to the world of Basawar. In the Basawar language, John sounds rather like Jahn, which is a word for an animal with a tawny coat, a name for a pet; John is blond, and when he says his name, people take it to be a contemptuous nickname; he is repeatedly sneered at for that. John is willing to put up with it because of his habit of extreme self-effacement. Eventually, after John becomes part of a Fai’daum fighting unit, the commander insists that he has to have a more dignified name, and settles on Jathibaye. It's a symbol of how much more humanely the Fai'daum behave than most of the rest of society.
- In The Dresden Files, names have power, so Harry enjoys giving silly nicknames to powerful entities. The more imposing the adversary the sillier the nickname - the Knights of the Blackened Denarius, a group of people possessed by fallen angels, become "the Nickelheads," and the skinwalker so powerful and so fundamentally wrong that looking at it with magical sight sent Harry into hysterics became "Shagnasty." This habit nearly gets him killed when he tries to nickname Archangel Uriel "Uri," since the "el" in his name refers to God. (However, Uriel is fine with being called "Mr. Sunshine," as it doesn't involve warping his actual name. This implies that Angels in the setting are particularly vulnerable to manipulation of True Names, which is one of the characteristic Magics of the setting. Dresden really should have known better.)
- A Song of Ice and Fire is rife with nicknames that are badass out of universe, but are hideously embarrassing In-Universe:
- Tyrion Lannister has been scorned his entire life for being a dwarf, and does not like to be called The Imp.
- Meanwhile, his brother Jaime has never lived down being The Kingslayer.
- Poor Brienne. "Brienne the Beauty" is a cruel nickname given to her because she's so homely.
- Rumour has it it's best not to call Oberyn Martell "The Red Viper" within his hearing.
- Aerys II Targaryen's thoughts on being given the entirely accurate nickname of The Mad King have gone unrecorded, however...
- Lord Walder Frey is called the Late Lord Frey because of showing up to a battle when it was almost over, assuring the winning side that, of course, he had intended to help them the whole time. It's also appropriate in light of his refusal to die, his heir having died of old age waiting.
- Sam's first nickname is the Lord of the Flies-esque Ser Piggy. His second nickname, on the other hand, is Slayer (though the poor guy's managed to convince himself it's an Ironic Nickname).
- Conversed in Letters to His Son. Lord Chesterfield warned, well, his son never to do anything which mimicsnote would use to give him one. That's why he regarded perfect manners, style etc. as so important.
- In Bernard Glemser's The P.R. Girls, Sue, who is the head of the department of public relations for a major Hong Kong hotel, is woefully called upon by a Chinese girl who keeps saying, "Oh, Miss Sue!" This causes people to give her the nickname "Missue" which she hates.
- The titular Artemis Fowl hates being called "Artie". He allows his mother and Juliet to call him that. And later on, Holly calls him by it, which causes him some confusion.
- Horatio Hornblower's wife Maria calls him "Horry." Hornblower doesn't like his first name anyway, so when Maria starts calling him that he's rather mortified. (Not that he says anything about it.)
- Honor Harrington isn't overly fond of being called The Salamander. And then in the Beginnings short story "A Call to Arms'', we meet Lieutenant Travis Uriah Long, whose nickname progressed from Travis Oolong (U. Long) to Travis Tea, until it reached it's current form: Travesty.
- On her first night, Beka of the Provost's Dog trilogy gets nicknamed "Fishpuppy" because she gets tripped headlong into a pile of fish offal. The whole neighborhood finds it hilarious and the baker even makes her a couple of fish-shaped loaves, to her mortification. (Though she still takes the bread.) Later she's embarrassed to be called the complimentary "Terrier," but she grows to like it so much that Pounce accuses her of preening. She's also not fond of "Bloodhound" at first because of the exhaustion and emotion she went through.
- Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.:
- The title character is actually named Dan Chambeaux, and hates his nickname because it makes him sound like a decrepit, rotting "shambler", not the well-preserved specimen of walking dead he is.
- Inverted by the weather wizard Thunder Dick, who actually chose to be called that. He's perfectly happy with his nickname, but everyone else finds it understandably embarrassing.
- In Flashman and the Redskins, Flashman is adopted by an Apache tribe and, due to his horseback skills, is named White-Rider-Goes-So-Fast-He-Destroys-The-Wind-With-His-Speed. Unfortunately for convenience it's shorted to He-Who-Breaks-The-Wind or Wind Breaker. Given how Flashman farted his way down the Valley of Death at Balaclava you could say it's appropriate.
- In The First Law series, the Northern "Named Men" get their names based on some distinguishing feature or act, and those names aren't always badass:
- In the original trilogy, the Cowardly Lion of the group is accurately if insensitively dubbed Forely "The Weakest".
- Caul Shivers got his name because in his early days as a warrior, he got up during the night to urinate and fell into an icy stream. He later jokes/claims that the name was given becaue his enemies shiver at the sight of him, which ironically, eventually turns out to be true, given the later trajectory of Shivers' life.
- In his POV, the Old Soldier Curnden Craw initially connects his nickname to the fact that things always stuck in his craw when he was younger. However, later on, it is revealed that the name derives from the fact that after surviving his first battle, he almost died at the feast after after choking on a chicken bone.
- In Don't Call Me Ishmael!, bullies transform the protagonist's name from 'Ishmael Leseur' into 'Stalepiss Manure'.
- Journey to Chaos: Tiza's apprentice mentor, Sathel, calls her "cocoon" because she is not a full fledged mercenary. This never fails to provoke a blush and a protest from her.
- Shaman Blues: Konstancja calls her daughter "baby chick". When Witkacy uses it, he's told to never ever say this again, and that Konstancja is only allowed to do that because she's Wiktoria's mother.
- In Void City, the vampire Veruca is nicknamed "Froggy" because the only animal she can shapeshift into is a frog. Her real name is no better, meaning "wart".
- In The Witchlands:
- When they were both kids, Safi used to call Leopold "Polly". When they meet at a ball, years later, she calls him Polly again and he's horribly embarrassed, being as he is now a young adult and the heir to an empire. So, obviously, she keeps calling him that in publi.
- Esme dislikes the title "the Puppeteer", as she considers it too childlish, but everyone who's heard of her uses the nickname, including her boss.
- Pinead (In reference to Clive Barker's own dislike of the nickname that became synonymous with Doug Bradely's portrayal of the character) has become this to the said Cenobite in The Scarlet Gospels. Saying it to his face is the last mistake the truly foolish tend to make.
- Angel: Wesley was "Head Boy" at Academy. He seems blissfully unaware of the connotations - which is understandable, as Head Boy (and Head Girl) is an extremely normal title in British schools.
- The A-Team, "Lease With an Option to Die". B.A.'s mom still calls him "Scooter" because of his fondness for scooting a toy truck across the carpet when he was little. Murdock keeps bringing it up throughout the episode.
- Game of Thrones:
- Petyr Baelish grimaces slightly when Arya asks why people call him "Littlefinger."
- Tyrion dislikes being called "the Imp," but owns it regardless. He even takes some pride in the sobriquet "Halfman" given to him by the mountain clans. He only takes real offense to being called a "twisted demon monkey."
- Jaime detests being called "Kingslayer," particularly when it comes from men like Ned and Robert whom he views as hypocrites since they fought a rebellion against said king.
- Jon seethes at the name "Lord Snow," until Tyrion tips him on how to deal with it.
- Theon plans a Last Stand to avoid being remembered as "The Greyjoy Who Ran," but the ensuing events culminate in him becoming "Reek."
- Lord Karstark declares that Robb should be called "The King Who Lost The North."
- Walder "the Late Lord" Frey earned his moniker for his tardiness at the Battle of the Trident.
- In Smallville, Lois sometimes calls Clark "Clarky" when she is annoyed. It gets even funnier when Tess picked it up.
- Desperate Housewives: Danielle is known as Little Miss Van de Tramp at school. She came up with the nickname herself, but only because it was nicer than what people were calling her.
- In Frasier, Niles begins to tease Daphne about her childhood nickname "Dappy" and is about to tell Martin when Martin responds "Is it worse than 'Piles'?"
- On Cheers, the gang finds out that Rebecca's college nickname was "Back Seat Becky".
- "Foxhole Norman" from Band of Brothers, which says all you need to know about his combat competence. Bill Guarnere is occasionally referred to as "Gonorrhea" (but mostly as "Wild Bill").
- Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide is made of this trope.
Mose: Hey Coconut Head, would you mind not calling me Mose?
Coconut Head: Sure, Jennifer. And hey, would you mind not calling me Coconut Head?
Mose: Get a decent haircut and we'll talk.
- Freaks and Geeks:
- In the pilot episode, Bill's mom writes a love note on the outside of his lunch bag in which she refers to him as "Little Man."
- In one episode, Sam gets nicknamed "Dr. Love" after he's unable to identify any parts of the female reproductive system in health class.
- Michael from Salute Your Shorts was forced to admit his grandparents called him Moosh-Moosh.
- And the counselor, Mr. Lee, was called "Ugh", as in "Ugh Lee" ("Ugly"), but all the campers only call him "Ugh," probably to keep him from getting too mad.
- On Cousin Skeeter, it was revealed that Skeeter's horrifically embarrassing elementary school nickname was "Sugar Booger."
- The Big Bang Theory:
- Howard's mother and eventually Bernadette call Howard "tushie-face," something which Leonard immediately posts to Twitter upon hearing.
- When he was picked to fly to the International Space Station, Howard wanted a macho nickname among the astronaut group so he programmed Elton John's Rocket Man as his cellphone ringtone and had Raj call him while he was in a teleconference with real-life astronaut Mike Massimino. Unfortunately his mother chose that moment to tell him to come and eat his Froot Loops. Guess what his nickname turned out to be?
- Sheldon was mortified when Penny found out that his "Meemaw" (Grandma) called him "Moonpie."
- How I Met Your Mother:
- Two words: Robin Sparkles!
- Or just try the episode where a coffee barista writes down Barney's name as "Swarley" and everyone calls him that for the rest of the episode. They also call him Swarles, Swarlos, Swarles Barkely, Bob Swarley, mon, Swarhili, Swar-lay, and Swar-wait for it-ley.
- In Charmed, after making out with a guy under the bleachers in high school, poor Phoebe ended up with the nickname "Freebie."
- In Friends Chandler's old girlfriend calls him "skidmark". He also was called "Sir-Limps-A-Lot" for a year after getting the tip of his toe cut off in an accident during one Thanksgiving.
- Monica was also called "big fat goalie" when she played field hockey.
- Julia Roberts' character in one episode was called "Suzie Underpants" up until High School as a result of Chandler lifting up her skirt during an assembly when they were both kids. When she encounters him again as an adult, she concocts a revenge scheme to get even with him.
- Skins: "Nips," Tony's less-than-flattering nickname for his girlfriend.
Michelle: Stop calling me "Nips", Tony.
Tony: It's a funny name! I've seen a few nipples, Nips, and yours are fucking hilarious.
- Veronica Mars:
- Cassidy "Beaver" Casablancas. A nickname so loathed, protesting against it was one of the last things he did before killing himself. Presumably nicknamed as such because his father and older brother were both nicknamed Dick and liked to torment him.
- The Principal's son, Vincent, is nicknamed Butters by his peers. And he isn't bitter about it at all.
- Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan. The origin of the nickname is explained in the original novel and film: she gets it after a sexual tryst between her and Frank Burns (during which she implores Burns to "kiss my hot lips") is broadcast to the rest of the camp over the P.A. system. Weirdly, in the series some of Margaret's old flames are familiar with this nickname, suggesting that she may have earned the same nickname independently of the 4077 in some unreferenced and unrelated Noodle Incident.
- Burns himself is frequently referred to as "Ferret Face", a name that apparently originated with his own brother.
- Also from the novel/film there is "Spearchucker" Jones, whose nickname has a very embarrassing backstory (and it's not the one he gives, either). However, he seems to accept it in good humor.
- That '70s Show:
- In the episode "Magic Bus", to Hyde's horror, the gang learns that Jackie (his girlfriend) calls him "Puddin' Pop".
- Then, of course, there's Eric's "Dr. Pee Pee."
- Eric also gets called "Foreskin" from time to time (his last name is Foreman). In one episode, it's revealed that Donna started that one, not knowing how much it would stick.
- Also, "Tater Nuts" for Kelso.
- Rick Castle's ex-wife refers to him as "kitten". Then Beckett overheard.
Castle: I definitely saved your life. And you know what that means, don't you? It means you owe me.
Beckett: Owe you WHAT?
Castle: Whatever I want. And you know exactly what I want, don't you? You know what I really, really want you to do... never, EVER, call me kitten.
- In another episode, Castle jokingly answers the phone by saying, "No-Hassle Castle." We only hear his side of the conversation, but apparently Beckett threatens to start calling him that.
- Detective Ryan is sometimes called "Honey Milk" after his revelation of the drink his girlfriend sometimes makes him at night.
- Rick Castle's ex-wife refers to him as "kitten". Then Beckett overheard.
- Mr. Rumbold on Are You Being Served? had the rather unflattering nickname of "Jug Ears".
- Arthur "Two-Sheds" Jackson in Monty Python's Flying Circus. He's a composer who once told his friends that he's thinking about buying a second garden shed, so they started calling him "Two-Sheds". To his dismay, everyone asks him about the sheds.
- "Fat" Neil.
- "Tinkle Town", Jeff's nickname from when he was a boy.
- Hornblower: Horatio's fellow midshipman of a bully calls him "Snotty" and his wife Maria "Horry". The first one is clearly meant to be offensive, but Maria genuinely doesn't know that he dislikes it.
- Lord Flintshire, a.k.a. Shrimpie, from Downton Abbey. He's a perfectly dignified sixtyish British aristocrat. Apparently his siblings also had sealife-themed nicknames, but he got stuck with the really bad one.
- On CSI: NY, Danny's nickname for Lindsay, "Montana," started as one of these. Lindsay disliked the constant reference to the fact that, unlike the rest of the team, she hadn't grown up in New York, and considered equivalent to calling her a hick. When Danny realized how much it bothered her, he stopped for a while. Eventually, as the two of them got closer, it became an Affectionate Nickname.
- On The West Wing, CJ's Secret Service code name is "Flamingo," which is presumably a reference to how tall and thin she is. Some of the men try to reassure her that a flamingo is a beautiful bird, but she always replies, "No, it's a ridiculous-looking bird!"
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- When introduced, the vampire Spike was said to have been known as "William the Bloody", which seems to be one of those Names to Run Away from Really Fast. A few seasons later, we learn that it was given to him when he was an effete, meek, mama's boy due to his "bloody awful" poetry.
- The Anointed One's nickname "The Annoying One," courtesy of Spike.
- Anne gave herself the name Chantarelle to sound more mysterious. She later gets extremely embarrassed after discovering that "Chantarelle" is a type of fungus.
- In NCIS, Tony DiNozzo comes up with a new nickname for his fellow agent Timothy McGee almost every episode. None of them are very flattering. McGee is particularly ashamed of "Elf Lord" (his online gaming name).
- In one episode of The Brady Bunch, Mike reluctantly tells Carol that his was "Hot Lips" in high school.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation gives us Reginald Endicott "Broccoli" Barclay. Captain Picard orders everyone to knock it off with the nickname — right before calling him that. In front of the bridge crew.
- Warehouse 13: Steve 'Jinksy' Jinks also picks up the nickname 'Poopypants' due to being a bit more serious and less prone to goofing off than his fellow Warehouse agents. He loosens up over time, but never manages to lose the nickname.
- Another Period: Newly-hired maid Celine is promptly (and arbitrarily) dubbed "Chair" by family matriarch Dodo Bellacourt. In a later episode, head butler Peepers threatens to re-dub her "Water Closet" if she doesn't toe the line.
- In Luke Cage, Cornell Stokes absolutely hates being called "Cottonmouth" to his face. Doesn't stop his own men from using the name behind his back. Mariah Dillard also doesn't like being called "Black Mariah" either.
- In Daredevil, Foggy Nelson's girlfriend Marci Stahl has given him the nickname of "Foggy Bear".
- Iron Fist (2017): Danny gave Jeri Hogarth the nickname "J-Money" when she interned on Rand Enterprise's legal team.
- In The Wire, Bubbles occasionally has given Jimmy McNulty the nickname "McNutty".
- Agent Melinda May of Agents Of Shield hates her nickname of "The Cavalry", because the mission she got the nickname on ended with her being forced to kill an insane superpowered child.
Myths & Religion
- A Dark Ages viking king whose Northern English fief was located in York was called Ivar the Boneless. No-one knows why: it has been suggested that he was really limber, or that he had cartilage instead of bones, or that he was legless, or maybe he had erectile difficulties. He was renowned for wisdom, as well as for being a berserker on the battlefield. One of the theories is that he had brittle bone disease, like Samuel L. Jackson's character in Unbreakable and Joker in Mass Effect.
- According to Eric Bogle's "Introduction Song", the members of the band's nicknames are 'Wee Short-Arse' (Eric), 'Garbage Guts' (Brent) and 'Old Dogs Balls' (Andy).
- When Rammstein drummer Christoph Schneider went to register with the German copyright agency he found there already was a musician registered by the same name. Guitarist Paul Landers suggested Schneider to register using the nickname "Doom" because they liked the video game of the same name. In later interviews Schneider has stated that if he had known the name would be printed in every booklet of every CD he ever played on, he would have picked a different one.
- "Nugget" for Owen Hart, thanks to Shawn Michaels.
- Chris Jericho once referred to Crash Holly as "Elroy Jetson", and fans began chanting "El-Roy" at Crash, much to his dismay. He eventually came to embrace it later on.
- To anyone who didn't know the context, that he had gone an entire year without anyone in Ring of Honor kicking out of it. "Mr. Small Package" was such for Bryan Danielson.
- This happened once where CM Punk called Daniel Bryan "Goat Face" in regards to his massive beard. This went on to become the number #1 trend worldwide and now it's stuck amongst the fans. Bryan... hasn't been taking it well.
- Cheeseburger used to be an anonymous member of the ROH ring crew until he Rhett Titus and Charlie Haas designated him such as out of belief he needed to eat one. It quickly caught on with the fans, who started chanting at him whenever he appeared, and he used to hate it, until Cheeseburger T Shirts became a top seller not just for ROH but also New Japan.
- Doug Berman, the producer of Car Talk, has many. And Ray lists most or all of them during the credits of the show:
Ray: Our esteemed producer is Doug "The Subway Fugitive" "Not-a-Slave-to-Fashion" "Bongo Boy" "Frog-Man" "Punkin Lips" "Cute-Cute-Cute" Berman.
- Li'l Bit and Uncle Peck from How I Learned to Drive.
Li'l Bit: In my family, if we call someone Big Papa, it's not because he's tall. In my family, folks tend to get nicknamed for their genitalia.
- Backyard Sports: "Why does everyone call me Fella?"
- Dungeon Keeper: The Horned Reaper tends to get called "Horny" a lot... but never to his face.
- Luka, as the personal Butt-Monkey of Bayonetta, get the nickname "Cheshire" bequeathed upon him. It's better than most, but he still hates it.
- In Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, a smitten Courtney Gears gives Dr. Nefarious (yes, the one and only) the nickname of "Snookie Wookums." Yes, he hates it.
- Ōkamiden's main character, Chibiterasu, is a magnet for these. He gets one each time he meets a new partner. They are, in order: Mutt, Squiddy, Pooch, dude/boy and Pork Chop. His reaction to each one is priceless.
- In BlazBlue, while she mostly doesn't mind, the nickname "Boobie Lady" does unsettle Litchi a bit.
- On the other hand, Noel does not appreciate Tao calling her "Lacking Lady".
- Taokaka also calls Valkenhayn "Butter Boy" and Bullet "Butt Lady".
- In a non-Taokaka case, Tsubaki once gave Jin the nickname "Jinny the Kisaragi", which gave him some manner of irritation. Kagura caught on and started calling him "Jinny" as well, much to his consternation.
- In Modern Warfare, John MacTavish is nicknamed "Soap". Given how nicknames are given in Real Life, it must make people wonder how he got that nickname. Also, after being promoted into Captain in part 2, he never mentions his nickname, and thus after being addressed by Captain Price (his senior in part 1) as "Soap" after saving him from the gulag, MacTavish's subordinates could be heard asking "Who's Soap?" Captain Price even lampshades this trope by asking in the first game "What the hell kind of name is Soap anyway?" It's a British nickname, meaning he was straightedge, never got in trouble. Squeaky Clean.
- In Kid Icarus: Uprising, Palutena refers to Pit's Mirror of Truth counterpart Dark Pit as "Pittoo"note , in order to tell them apart. Dark Pit is obviously annoyed by this, especially when Pit starts doing it on a regular basis.
- In Disgaea, Vyers has the "Mid-boss" nickname given to him by Laharlnote , in yet another example of No Fourth Wall on that series. It doesn't help that, from that point on, everyone in the game start calling him by that name, and his name on the dialogue box changes as well.
- In Tales of Graces Hubert is granted the affectionate title of "Little Bro" by Pascal. Probably doubly sucks as Hubert has a raging crush on her.
- Persona 4: Arena gives the Persona 4 characters a series of embarrassing taglines for the fighting tournament, like "Sister Complex Kingpin of Steel" for Yu, or "The Carnivore Who Discarded Womanhood" for Chie.
- Undertale has two:
- There's Burgerpants, an MTT Brand Burger Emporium employee who got his nickname from an embarrassing mishap involving him trying to smuggle burgers out of the building in his pants.
- Asgore is also known to Gerson as "Lord Fluffybuns". When you first meet him, he can't remember why, but promises it'll come back to him eventually. In the Playable Epilogue, he finally remembers that it came from Toriel having a case of Is This Thing Still On?.
- In Darkstalkers, Morrigan affectionately(?) refers to Demitri Maximoff as "Demi-Demi". He used to get furious about it (since he's trying to kill her and achieve complete rule over their realm of Makai), but games like Project X Zone reveal that he's gotten used to it and protests her use of it more out of habit than actual outrage.
- EVE Online has a 'live with the consequences of your choices' policy, and thus won't change a character's name for any reason, even if it is embarrassing; one fan-created wiki tells the story of a fearsome pirate that chose his character's name poorly, and was stuck for eternity with the name 'Buttpipe'.
- Duncan Wu from Shadowrun Hong Kong has a bad history with this. In his youth his rather pudgy physique earned him the moniker "Duncan Donut" and his inability to hold his liquor and tendency to run his mouth when drunk got him the name "Drunkan Dump". When forced into the shadows, he recieves the handle "Gun Show" for his (admittedly rather impressive) collection of hardware. He hates the name, but resigns himself to it.
- In Shikkoku No Sharnoth Charlotte calls Mary Kitty once or twice, resulting in this. Later, M starts calling her Kitty as well right before the minigames involving monsters chasing her start, prompting her to yell at him for calling her such a thing.
- Little Busters!:
- Komari starts calling Kurugaya Yui-chan. Not only is she horrified with this nickname, she doesn't even realize she's been referred to at first because no one ever calls her by her first name.
- The combat system rests on the fact that winners are supposed to give embarrassing nicknames to the losers. As the only way to get rid of a nickname is to reach the top of the battle rankings, this gives the impetus to keep fighting.
- In Katawa Shoujo, Hisao comments early on that he's never liked the nickname "Hicchan", which Misha typically uses when referring to him, and his parents once use on a note, but never objects to it after that.
- In Something*Positive, PeeJee's full name is Penelope Jennifer. Her father later reveals he chose this name just so he could call her Penny-Jenny. Needless to say she loathes it.
- Subverted in The Cyantian Chronicles, in which one character goes by the nickname Twinky, which most sane people would consider embarrassing. The fact that his legal name is Clive S. Lewis may or may not have something to do with it.
- In Looking for Group, Richard hates being called "Dick". Although it seems to be growing on him...
- In Impure Blood, given that Roan is called the Abomination, Dara assumes it, and asks for his real name. Dara tells Mac to call him by his real name even though Mac is an innocent Fangirl who doesn't realize it's a problem — with glowing red eyes to underscore.
- Resident Cloudcuckoolander David of Bittersweet Candy Bowl calls his history teacher "Mr. Poodle of Noodles."
- Eerie Cuties: For Ace, this crosses over into Dude, Where's My Respect? territory, since Nina and her sister, Layla refuse to call him by his name. Nina insists on referring to him as "Puppy" despite knowing how it upsets him. While her sister refers to him as either "mongrel", or more commonly, "the mutt".
- A fairly early Nodwick story arc involves several people Yeagar had bullied as a kid forming an organization to seek revenge. The "injustice" suffered by the leader, Borthomew MacForte was being given the nickname "Fart-Foot McPoot" in reference to his embarrassing foot odor.
- Air Force Blues follows Air Force tradition in saddling pilot characters with embarrassing callsigns, with the main character Capt. Ken Dahl being called "Barbie," which he thinks is just a joke about his name but actually comes from an incident where he sang "Barbie Girl" over the radio to an entire air base.
- In Sunstone, Lisa is yet to enjoy any of her older brother Mike's names for her. The ones we hear are Betty, short for Elizabeth, which is not Lisa's name, and Lassie in reference to her BDSM collar (which, if it wasn't for Mike's ignorance to the collar's significance would be down right offensive).
- In El Goonish Shive, Diane's nickname is Barbie. She used to like it... when she was six.
- In Homestuck, Latula gives Porrim Maryam the nicknames "Pomary" and "Popo Merrygamz". Porrim suggests a better moniker, so Latula comes up with a third one: " Pornstar". Porrim wisely goes with the second option.
- Saitama, the eponymous One-Punch Man, doesn't react well to being called "Baldy". Which apparently is part of his given Hero Name - "Caped Baldy."
- Dilvan "Teapot" Ceylon in Anna Galactic.
- The Custodian of If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device is called Little Kitten by his fellow Custodes, even after they find out that he's their Captain-General. As he has No Name Given, "Kitten" turned into his Fan Nickname as well and even Alfabusa uses it out of videos.
- Homestar Runner: Strong Bad hasa whole host of embarrassing nicknames for his put-upon kid brother Strong Sad, including "Dairy Queen" ("I already told you I don't wanna be called that anymore. I made a mistake!"), "Trundle Bed", and "Frog Eggs" ("I don't even get that one.").
- In Brains, the protagonist Alison sees "Al" as this, since it's a holdover from the days of fighting off the zombie hordes; shorter names meant quicker reaction times. And now her crush continues to call her that, out of sheer habit.
- In Dream High School, Corliss, The Ditz, calls you G-dow (you joked that your name was Grok, Destroyer of Worlds. She believed you and calls you by those initials) and calls Gavin Gav-Gav.
- Daphne Diller, the indestructible private eye in Metro City Chronicles, does not like it when people call her "Daffodil".
- Tobuscus has a pal, Gabe, who shows up in several of his videos. Toby has dubbed him Gabebuscus, which unfortunately sounds a lot like Gaybuscus. The face Gabe makes when Toby calls him this indicates that he, unlike Toby, is not amused.
- Ghost from True Capitalist Radio hates being called a "hambone". It's ironic since Ghost initially used the term to make fun of people who he deemed to be fat, lazy moochers who contributed nothing to society. He encouraged his listeners to use the term in public whenever they saw a "fat, jelly ass", but the trolls who call into his show during the Radio Graffiti segment began to use the insult against him.
- In his Super Paper Mario Let's Play, Chuggaaconroy reveals that his mother used to call him Mimikins when he was young. Went back to bite him at the end of the LP.
- In Worm, the superhero Lady Photon is usually referred to by the media as Photon Mom, which she loathes.
- In We Are Our Avatars, Marcia Shyneet believes that Slacker Magician is an embarrassing nickname, since it gives anyone the idea that Marcia's a slacker. However, Seth and Kohaku thought it was interesting and gave Marcia a pep-talk.
- Fairy Tale Friday's version of Thumbelina was nicknamed "Cockchafer" in college.
- During the Phantom Blood shorts in Vaguely Recalling JoJo, Jonathan calls Dio Debu note during his attempt at coming up for a nickname for Dio. Dio finds it embarrassing because he does not like being called fat and suggests that Jonathan should call him Chanel instead.
- Calfreezy's online name had quite a snowclone effect with many of his fans calling him a number of things like "Calsqueezy", "Caltripod", "Calfrozen", and "Calpringles". It got so far that he made a video asking people to stop.
- Peter in Lovely Little Losers. His nickname, "Pedro," doesn't sound embarrassing—but he hates when anyone calls him that. The implication is that it reminds him of his huge screw-up at the end of the prequel, Nothing Much To Do.
- Seen here on Overheard in New York.
- The title character of Danny Phantom's many very disturbing/embarrassing nicknames include Fenturd, Fentoad, and Fentoenail. And those aren't half as bad as nicknames like Invis'o-Bill, the one he hates the most. There's also "Froot Loops" for the resident Big Bad Villain with Good Publicity.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Zuko is clearly embarrassed whenever his sister, Azula, addresses him as "Zuzu".
- Flashbacks in The Legend of Korra show that Toph was still calling Aang "Twinkle-Toes" when he was 40, despite his protests.
- The Weekenders:
- One episode concerns Tino picking up the nickname "Pumpkin Pie" as its B-plot (which tied into the A plot of Tish's name being used as a colloquialism).
- In the second season episode "Vengeance", Carver is given the nickname "Pickle Toes" as the result of a prank, much to the delight of Lor.
- The Simpsons:
- In the episode, "Homer's Enemy", Homer gave Frank Grimes the nickname "Grimey", which he hated. Eventually, he was buried under that name.
- In another episode, Lisa pretends to be a boy and is given the nickname "Toilet".
- In "The Crepes of Wrath," Principal Seymour Skinner is called 'Spanky' by his mother, prompting laughter from all the school children.
- On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Lucius really hates being called "Lucy".
- In Robot Chicken, the G.I. Joe team gives their new sniper recruit Calvin the nickname of "Fumbles" and humiliating him because of his clumsiness when introduced to the team. He responds by defecting to Cobra, shooting them all in the head, (except Duke, who he leaves alive, when Duke starts pleading to be killed too, saying "No. No, you live with it.") and saying Who's Laughing Now?.
- In one episode of The Critic where Doris threatens to reveal why Duke's nickname in college was "Puddles".
- Sylvia in Wander over Yonder is nicknamed 'The Time Bomb' in the episode of the same name due to her competitiveness and "explosive" temper costing her the race all the previous times she's entered the Galactic Conjunction 6000.
- Luke Cage, in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, hates getting called "Power Man".
- Stanley: In his youth, Dennis the goldfish, being small for his age, was nicknamed "Dinky".
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- In "Sonic Rainboom" and "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", three male Jerk Jock Pegasi call Rainbow Dash "Rainbow Crash" and Fluttershy "Klutzershy".
- In "Newbie Dash", Rainbow Dash gets a chance to fly with the Wonderbolts, but after an accident on her first day gets stuck with the nickname "Rainbow Crash" (again). She spends the rest of the episode trying to erase her bad first impression, but then learns all the other Wonderbolts have embarrassing nicknames from when they were first starting out: Soarin is known as "Clipper" from clipping his wing on a flagpole, Fleetfoot is known as "Flatfoot" for stepping on Spitfire's hoof, Misty Fly is "Daisy", Surprise is "Slowpoke", High Winds is "Hoof-in-Mouth", and Spitfire tells Rainbow "you don't want to know what they call me" before whispering it in her ear.
- Pound Puppies (2010): In the episode "The K9 Kid", police academy dog Sarge refers to Squirt as "Pizza Breath", a nickname he gained by eating out of a pizzeria dumpster while living on the street.
- Archer: the title character's codename is the less-than-manly "Duchess". His spy-boss mother claims it was randomly generated, and the fact it was also the name of her beloved dog is purely coincidental.
- In W.I.T.C.H., when the girls learn the story of the team before them, Hay Lin begins to scribble down their names (Cassidy, Halinor, Yan Lin, Kadma and Nerissa) and use their first initials to come up with C.H.Y.K.N. (pronounced "chicken"). She can't help but wince at that.
- An aversion in Gravity Falls where the main character prefers to go by his nickname "Dipper" rather than his fairly normal birth name Mason.
- In the Kaeloo episode "Let's Play Air Pockets", Mr. Cat refers to Kaeloo as "Priscilla", for whatever reason, which she finds embarrassing.
Kaeloo: My name is not Priscilla!
- Many famous mobsters hated their nicknames.
- Bank robber George Nelson hated to be called "Baby Face." Bit of a Berserk Button, actually. He tried to get people to call him "Big George" Nelson, but, seeing as how he was only 5'4", that never really caught on.
- "Bugsy" Siegel and "Bugs" Moran. Their nicknames referred to their tendency to "bug out."
- Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd.
- "Scarface" Al Capone. He liked to claim that his scars were war wounds, but he really got them in a knife fight as a kid.
- James "Whitey" Bulger really hates being called his more famous moniker since it was given to him by the police because of his platinum blond hair, and always instructed those close to him to call him "Jim" or "Jimmy." Since being caught, convicted and put in prison he's apparently changed his mind and now asks that fellow inmates call him Whitey, presumably for the celebrity factor. Also one of many reasons Howie Carr has his unending hatred is that he continually calls him Whitey purely to piss him off.
- Some Italian-American mobsters really hated their nicknames. Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo (because of his short height), Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso (because he liked to bludgeon his victims to death with a pipe) and Joseph "Joey Bananas" Bonanno (a journalistic corruption of his last name and that it implied he was crazy) were good examples.
- Caligula was the childhood nickname of Roman emperor Gaius Caesar, (it means something like "little boot" referring to how he'd been made a small Legionnaire's uniform for when he went on campaigns with his father as a child that including a tiny set of boots) which he reportedly disliked.
- Some time later, there was an emperor who had the nickname "Caracalla" after a type of cloak he was fond of wearing. Though he didn't care for the nickname it was probably for the best; if his nickname had reflected his personality in any more profound way, we'd be talking about the Edict of Paranoid Fratricidal Tyrant.
- People with Italian last names that begin or end with "cucci" can end up being called that by people who aren't familiar with the slang term it sounds like. Embarrassing indeed.
- Along the same vein, Yonah and Yonatan are common Jewish names (the Hebrew versions of Jonah and Jonathan respectively). Boys with these names often end up with the nickname Yoni.
- Elvis Presley hated when people called him "the King", believe it or not. Raised a Christian, he would tell anyone who did that there was only one true King.
- Military pilot callsigns are usually this, either based on an embarrassing incident for the pilot or a pun on their name. If a nickname sounds great at first, there's usually a story behind it that will make the pilot blush. The more heroic or impressive callsigns people think of when they think of fighter pilots are reserved for people who have earned their fellows' respect.
- In the Air Force, 'Slag' sounds like a pretty bad-ass name... until you realize why nobody wants it: It's an acronym that stands for Screams Like A Girl.
- In Britain it also means dirty whore.
- And in metallurgy terms it refers to the waste byproducts of the smelting process that you throw away.
- Sometimes inverted if the person has an embarrassing name. 'Pink Floyd' was Commander Pink; 'Big Man' was Commander Chubb, the CO, who did not get to choose his own name so chose to fit the name.
- F-16.net has a sizable collection of pilot callsigns and the demeaning meanings behind them.
- One RCAF pilot got stuck with the callsign "Bobbitt" after he accidentally sheared off his CF-18's phallic refueling probe during an excercise. He was given the tip to forever remind him of what happened.
- "Mangler" sounds great, until you learn it's not based off his combat prowess, but off an incident involving a hot tub, alcohol, a good-looking woman, and the zipper of his shorts.
- Since the US astronaut corps was originally all-military, it shouldn't surprise anyone that astronaut nicknames/call signs follow this pattern.
- In the Air Force, 'Slag' sounds like a pretty bad-ass name... until you realize why nobody wants it: It's an acronym that stands for Screams Like A Girl.
- Brian Davison, drummer from the proto-prog group The Nice, somehow acquired the nickname "Blinky", which he wasn't too fond of.
- Silent film comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle disliked his nickname and discouraged anyone from calling him as "Fatty" off-screen.
- Fraternities are known to do this. It can vary from friendly ribbing to nigh-on hazing depending on the fraternity and chapter.
- Much like in the Band of Brothers example, if someone has earned a derogatory or embarrassing nickname while serving in the military, they probably have done something to deserve it. This is more prominent outside of the Air Force, where nicknames are less common and epithets are usually earned.
- The Hash Names of members of the Hash House Harriers are usually chosen to fit this trope.
- Professional snowboarder Shaun White has sometimes been referred to as "The Flying Tomato" because of his long red hair. Reportedly, he hates the nickname.
- Swedish king Erik Eriksson, who reigned in the mid-13th century, and is widely regarded both by modern and contemporary sources to have been a very good king, and whose reign was marked by peace, law reform and prosperity, never managed to live down his birth defects, and went to history as Erik the Lisp and Lame.
- Michael Jackson loathed the nickname "Wacko Jacko" with a passion, as the tabloids named him that while finding newsworthy stories about his life. If you wanted to be affectionate, calling him "Mike" was better.
- Donnie Dunagan, who provided the voice for the young version of the title character in Bambi, joined the Marines when he was 18, and, conscious of the prevalence of this trope in the military, concealed his voice acting past from his comrades for fear that if they knew, he would be forever known as "Bambi" Dunagan. (He said in an interview years later that, given how much the film has meant to so many people, he wished he had had the courage to tell them anyway and just put up with the inevitable nickname.)