Friendly Address Privileges

Dominic Greene: My friends call me Dominic.
James Bond: I'm sure they do.

When a character wants to make things a little less formal, perhaps to show how amicable and gracious he is, or just because he's laid back and being friendly, he might decide to drop the formalities and invite others to use his first name, or even a nickname.

A common subversion is for the other character to then pointedly abstain from using the more casual name, or for the first character to specify that while his friends call him that, the character they are talking to shouldn't.

A subtrope of Don't Call Me Sir. When subverted, often overlaps with They Call Me Mr Tibbs. Compare First Name Basis.


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     Comic Books  

  • Gambit plays with this a little in Uncanny Xmen
    To my friends, de name's Remy LeBeau. To my enemies, it's Gambit! You can go on ahead an' forget dat first name right about now.
  • In the comics continuation of Gargoyles, an English gargoyle called Staghart insists that his friends call him "Amp". Lexington is the only one who does. Perhaps they're meant to be more than just friends?
  • Strangers in Paradise; Katchoo insisted that David call her Katina once after a fierce argument; "Only my friends call me 'Katchoo'!"


  • Played with in Blazing Saddles.
    Sheriff Bart: What's your name?
    The Waco Kid: Well, my name is Jim, but most people call me... Jim.
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off:
    Criminal Kid: You didn't tell me your name.
    Jeannie: It's Jean, but a lot of guys call me Shauna.
    Criminal Kid: Okay, Jean.
  • From The Return of Jafar:
    Aladdin: My friends call me Al. You can call me Aladdin.
  • From Disney's Hercules:
    Megara: Megara. My friends call me Meg. At least they would if I had any friends.
  • Invoked and promptly averted in Raising Arizona.
    Lenny: Leonard Smalls. My friends call me Lenny... but I ain't got no friends.
  • RoboCop 3 has another variation His friends call him Murphy, but the OCP executive can call him RoboCop.
  • Quantum of Solace included the quote above. Greene trying to act gracious, while Bond is being pretty blunt with the fact that he doesn't like him.
  • From Zardoz, when Zed sees that Arthur Frayn aka Zardoz is Not Quite Dead:
    Frayn: My Brutal friends call me Zardoz.
    [Frayn stabs Zed with a collapsible knife]
  • From Die Hard:
    Hans Gruber: Touching, Cowboy, touching. Or should I call you, Mr. McClane? Mr. Officer John McClane of the New York Police Department?
    John McClane: Sister Teresa called me Mr. McClane in the third grade. My friends call me John, and you're neither, shithead.
  • Inverted in Real Genius. However, Chris, Hathaway's star pupil, does have these privileges, much to Kent's chagrin.
    Kent: Hello, Jerry!
    Dr. Hathaway: I told you before, Kent: you don't get to use my first name.
  • Muppet Treasure Island:
    • Early on, when recruiting Jim:
      Jim: But we're just cabin boys, Mr. Silver.
      Long John: Long John, to his friends.
    • Which gets a Call Back near the end:
      Long John: I could never kill you, lad. You're honest and brave and true. You didn't learn any of that from me.
      Jim: I learned it from my friends, Mr. Silver.
  • The American President combines this with Everybody Calls Him Barkeep and Don't Call Me Sir to produce a Defied Trope. Even President Shepherd's lifelong friend (and Chief of Staff) A.J. refuses to address him as anything except "Mr. President" and "Sir", as an ongoing theme of the movie is the question of where Andrew Shepherd ends and the President of the United States begins.
  • The King's Speech Is zig-zagged over the entire film. Lionel keeps insisting on first names to create a relaxed atmosphere where the Prince keeps trying to keep things formal. Later, at the end does Lionel give a formal address.
  • From Fun and Fancy Free
    Jiminy Cricket: The name's Cricket. J. Cricket You could call me Jiminy.


  • Commander Vimes from Discworld allows those he really, really likes to just call him "Mister Vimes".
    • Also:
      Vimes: This is Mr. A.E. Pessimal, plain A.E. if he ever makes friends.
    • Discworld in general has a lot of fun with this.
  • From the Doctor Who New Adventures novels, the Doctor's latest companion meets the Master for the first time: "Summerfield. Bernice Summerfield. My friends call me Benny, but you can call me Professor Summerfield."
  • The Dresden Files:
    • The trope is subverted pretty often. Harry constantly corrects people (most often, Nicodemus Archleone and John Marcone) trying to call him by his first name, insisting that they would never be his friends. He also does it himself all the time to grind people's gears, continuing to use first names after being explicitly told not to. Though referring to the Archangel Uriel as just "Uri" earns him a sharp rebuke, since (as Harry quickly recalls) "El" is Hebrew for "of God", something very important to an angel — not to mention what happened to the guy who willingly dropped the "El" from his own name.
    • From Dead Beat, Harry and Warden Ramirez are riding around a necromantic hurricane on the back of a re-animated t-rex, and Harry refers to him as Ramirez.
      Ramirez: Everyone else who lets me ride on their dinosaur calls me Carlos.
  • In The Fight for Truth, part of Jedi Apprentice, the heroes visit a world where everyone has only one name, but women prefix theirs with O- while men prefix theirs with V-. People who are friends or otherwise working closely together can give each other permission to drop the prefix. This shows in the narration, too. When V-Davi tells Obi-Wan and Siri that they can call him Davi, both dialogue and narration refer to him as Davi.
  • In the medieval fantasy The Painter Knight, Her Most Regal and Sacred Majesty Kassandra the Sixth (aged five) allows favorites to call her "Kasey." Or "Sparky." Her father Marsellus prefers "Leary" when he's out drinking.
  • In a Fabulous Five novel, Jana tries to befriend a homeless girl, who responds by saying, "Call me 'Liz'. Only my friends call me 'Lizzie'."

     Live Action TV  

  • From the Criminal Minds episode, "Riding the Lightning."
    [JJ enters the room where Hotch is speaking with convicted serial killer Jacob]
    Jacob: Oooh! Who are you?
    JJ: My friends call me JJ...
    Jacob: Well... hello, JJ!
    JJ: You're not my friend. You can call me Jennifer.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: Boss Hogg uses his Speed Trap to stop any famous singers passing through. The fine is six months in jail or one song at the Boar's Nest. Tammy Wynette gets stopped, and sings for her freedom. After the song the Dukes go up to her and congratulate her, each calling her Miss Wynette, to which she replies "you can call me Tammy." Then Boss Hogg steps up.
    Boss Hogg: That fine performance of yours squares the fine on this speeding ticket, Tammy.
    Tammy: You can call me Miss Wynette.
  • In Saturday Night Live's "Hogwart's Academy" sketch in Lindsay Lohan's episode, when Snape briefly gets distracted by Hermione's breasts, he tells her to call him Severus. Then he snaps out of it and says to call him Professor Snape.
  • I, Claudius: Castor, the nickname by which Drusus Julius Caesar is commonly known, invokes this with Sejanus.
    Sejanus: Ah, Castor, how nice to see you.
    Castor: I'm Castor to my friends, Sejanus.
  • Played for Laughs in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air where Phil throws a party and one of the high class guests obliviously asks that both Will and Phil call him what his friends call him: "Whitey". Because of his white hair. Naturally, they awkwardly refuse.
  • Oddly played in Stargate SG-1. Upon meeting for the first time in the show (Daniel talking to a severely injured and possibly unconscious Cam in the hospital before that probably doesn't count), Daniel and Cam invite each other to use their first names. For the rest of the show and through the two direct-to-DVD movies, they call each other exclusively "Jackson" and "(Colonel) Mitchell."
    • Daniel also, at first, refers to him as "New Guy" (being a civilian, he's not technically under Mitchell's command; plus, Daniel has vastly more experience in the area).
  • In an early episode of Law & Order, a jailhouse lawyer who had a vendetta against DA Ben Stone for getting him convicted for murder was able to overturn his own conviction, but Stone later proved that he forced a witness to lie on the stand and then killed that witness to keep him from telling anyone. At the end of the episode, the killer contemptuously addressed him as "Ben", prompting Stone to deliver a blistering Shut Up, Hannibal!;
    Stone: In polite society, Sir, you don't call people by their first name unless they ask you to. I didn't do that. You're not a friend, and you're certainly not a colleague.
  • On The West Wing, very few people call President Josiah Bartlet "Jed" (other than his wife). When they do it usually overlaps with You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious.
  • On One Life to Live, a sleazy loan shark tries to chat with the wife of a man in debt to him. He tells her, "Call me Jimmy. All my friends call me Jimmy." She responds by very coldly and pointedly calling him "Mr. Glover" and telling him to leave her and her husband alone.
  • Want to know how to identify a bad guy in Supernatural? See if they refer to Sam as Sammy. Only Dean is allowed to call him Sammy.


  • Singer Eric Bogle traditionally introduces himself in song at the start of a concert. One of the introduction songs goes:
    My name is Eric, some folk call me Eck,
    Call me Ricky and I'll break your neck,
    If you're feeling formal, Mr Bogle will do,
    But to my friends it's Eric, and I hope that means you.

     Video Games  

  • From Deadly Premonition:
    York: FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan. Please, just call me York. That's what everyone calls me.
  • Averted in the introductory level of Hitman: Blood Money, when the guard at the amusement park gate asks for 47's name.
    47: Names are for friends, so I don't need one.
  • From Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Ventus is constantly saying
    Ventus: Call me Ven!
  • In Hakuōki, Chizuru politely calls all of the Shinsengumi captains by their family names and with appropriate honorifics, but Toudou Heisuke almost immediately encourages her to call him by his given name since they're nearly the same age.

     Western Animation  

  • From Phineas and Ferb Across the Second Dimension:
    Dr. Doofenshmirtz: I'm Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, but my friends call me... (trails off, sighs) I just got in such a funk.
  • Rudolph's Shiny New Year:
    I'm 1776, but my friends call me Sev. Will you be my friend?
  • The Simpsons, when Homer and Flanders first meet:
    Ned Flanders: The handle says Flanders, but my friends call me Ned!
    Homer Simpson: [bored] Hi, Flanders.
  • South Park, in the episode Damien.
    Pip: My name is Philip, but the kids call me Pip because they hate me.
    Damien: Then I shall call you Pip.
    Pip: Right-o.
  • From a conversation in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes between Tony Stark and Captain America:
    Captain America: And please, call me Steve.
  • Parodied in Futurama, where Bender tries to get closer to Calculon by disguising his name as Boiler. When Calculon congratulates him on working, he replied "Call me Bender".

     Real Life  

  • Comes up from time to time in organizations with fairly rigid hierarchies, such as the armed forces. Depending on the organization, this is often officially prohibited in order to maintain discipline between the ranks.
    • This also becomes a subject of some Interservice Rivalry related ribbing, as different branches of the same service (such as the United States Army and the Air Force) may have different cultural attitudes towards this sort of thing.note 
    • Overheard on a WWII submarine: "Attention, this is the Captain. The Admiral will arrive for inspection in five minutes. Please don't call me Jack while he's around."
    • For many veterans groups, they wear whatever nicknames they had gained during military service with pride even if the moniker is derogatory or part of an in-joke. It is not uncommon to refer to the officers with their ranks as well, a memory of having served under their command. This inverts Don't Call Me Sir since practically no one else refers to them by these names or titles anymore.
  • Some people may use friendly address (calling someone else by their first name or nickname) without having the privilege to do so, as a way of implying that they want or expect this privilege. Telemarketers are very fond of this, since they'd like you to consider them a close friend who only have your best interests at heart. Obviously, it tends to backfire horribly.
  • One Japanese version is dropping the honorific when addressing someone-it's only done if the speaker knows the person they're addressing well. Although some tolerance is given for tourists, who often don't do it in their own culture.
  • During the french presidential elections in 1988, a public debate opposed socialist President (and candidate to his own succession) François Mitterand and his right-wing Prime Minister Jacques Chirac. Early in the debate, Chirac started by: "Here, you are not President, and I am not Prime Minister. We are two equal candidates. You will allow that I call you Mr Mitterrand". Mitterrand replied: "You are absolutely right, Mr Prime Minister".