His Name Really Is Barkeep

"Wait, your last name is Reaper? Why did I always think it was Snugglebottom?"

As the Everyone Calls Him Barkeep trope says, some characters have the misfortune of being known only by their job title. This trope is about those rare times where Everyone Calls Him Barkeep because "Barkeep" is the guy's actual name. May happen as a result of Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?. Alternatively, maybe the guy had his name legally changed to "Barkeep" because he likes that name better than his given name.

Milder examples can include a nickname that turns out to actually be the character's name. For a full comedy incarnation of this trope, the given name will be the full job description.

May involve Spell My Name with a "The".

Patronymic can be considered a subtrope. Closely related to A Dog Named Dog, when something is named for its species. See also Verber Creature for when a creature is named for something they are notable to do.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • L in Death Note is an example of the nickname version. It is assumed to be a nickname but is revealed to be his actual first name in external material.
  • The two titles held by King Bradley of Fullmetal Alchemist are usually translated as "Führer" and "President". "King"? That's his actual first name. Justified, in that he was part of a breeding program to create the ideal ruler for Amestris; his name was a fabrication, chosen to reinforce his image as a ruler.
  • In the manga Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, this trope applies to the entire cast. Everyone's name comes from their role in the story. When somebody assumes a new role, they get a new name.
  • Speed Racer's parents: Speed's own name is a little occupation appropriate, but his mom and dad are literally named Mom and Pops Racer, though Pops used to be known as "Dragon Racer" back when he was a professional wrestler. In the original Japanese version, Speed and his entire family had real Japanese names (though with the Japanese love of bilingual puns, Speed's name of Go was undoubtedly chosen because of its English meaning). Worth noting that this trope is averted according to old Speed Racer comic books published in America in the seventies, which claim that his real first name is Greg, and "Speed" is a nickname. Also worth noting that every other version of the character, translation or not, has quietly ignored "Greg" in favor of assuming "Speed" is his actual name.
  • The main character in Umineko: When They Cry is named Battler in a case of Gratuitous English meets Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?. The character himself even lampshades it multiple times.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Index herself. Though she presumably was called something different when she was born, the name that appears on all her official identification, and the only name she remembers for herself, is "Index Librorum Prohibitorum".
    • Similarly, Accelerator. He admits that he once had a real, normal name, but he's long since forgotten what it was, and no one else seems to remember him from back then. Therefore, his name is "Accelerator".
  • The milder version occurs in Ghost Hunt. One of the characters goes under a fake Japanese name (Shibuya Kazuya). The characters all call him by a nickname they make up, "Naru" (short for narcissist). When he first hears it, this shocks him, because "Naru" is the Japanese pronunciation of his real (English) nickname, "Noll," which is short for his real English name "Oliver." Phew.)
  • The section chief in You're Under Arrest!. He's mostly referred to by his title, which in Japanese is "Kachou"; at one point it's revealed that this is also his real name (though written with different kanji).
  • In Excel Saga, there's a mysterious person known as That Man. Turns out his name really is That Man.
  • In Tamako Market, Mochizou can be read to mean "mochi maker", though the way it's spelled it could also be read as 'he who has mochi' or 'mochi warehouse' — the "mochi" part is left without kanji and the part that would have meant "maker" is written with the kanji for "possession/ownership".
  • The High School A.U. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT has Dearche K. Claudia, the leader of the Dark Materials who is often referred to by the title of "king" (in Japanese) by her peers. Her card then reveals that the K in her name stands for "Kings" (in English).
  • The recurring doctor character in Combat Mecha Xabungle is actually called Medick.
  • In Space Dandy, the eponymous "dandy guy in space" seems to actually be named Space Dandy. When he received a letter, it was addressed to "Mr. Space Dandy".
  • The title character of Soul Eater did make up the "Eater" part as a code name, but his first name really is "Soul".

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics 1960s counter-culture character Prez Rickard grew up to become President of the United States. "Prez" is, of course, short for "President".
  • The Golden Age Mr Terrific's butler, at least in Michael Chabon's version: "His name really is Butler. That's how long they've been doing it in his family."
  • The Beano claimed, in response to a fan letter published on its letters page, that Dennis the Menace's father was actually named "Dennis's Dad" at birth. When he met a girl named "Dennis's Mum", he knew they were destined to be together.
    • Teacher from The Bash Street Kids is another example. It's actually his surname.
  • Planetary has The Drummer. First name The, last name Drummer.
  • Nero: In the first album Het Geheim van Matsuoka ("The Secret of Matsuoka") the titular character is a man named Heiremans who merely thinks he is emperor Nero, because he drank an insanity poison. At the end of the story he is cured and wants to be called Heiremans again. Strange enough in the next albums Nero is still referred to as Nero, even though he doesn't think he is the Roman emperor anymore. Even his wife is called Madame Nero by everyone. It appears to be a nickname, but on the other hand it can even be read on his house nameplate.

    Fan Works 

  • In Kill Bill, Bill constantly refers to the Bride as "kiddo". It sounds like a patronizing nickname until we find out her name is actually Beatrix Kiddo.
  • In The Villain, the heroic handsome stranger's name really is Handsome Stranger. Justified in the work as he explains "[He] was named after [his] father."
  • In Megamind, Minion's name is actually Minion.
    • A similar joke appears in Spy Kids, with Floop's minion, Alexander Minion.
  • In Austin Powers, Number Two's name is actually Number Two.
  • In Spaceballs, there is an extended joke based on this (from Wikiquote:)
    Dark Helmet: [to Sandurz] Who is he?
    Colonel Sandurz: He's an Asshole, sir.
    Dark Helmet: I know that! What's his name?
    Colonel Sandurz: That is his name, sir. Asshole, Major Asshole.
    Dark Helmet: ... And his cousin?
    Colonel Sandurz: He's an Asshole too, sir. Gunner's mate, First Class, Philip Asshole.
    Dark Helmet: How many Assholes have we got on this ship, anyhow?
    [The entire bridge crew, except for one person, stands up and raises a hand.]
    Assholes: Yo!
    Dark Helmet: I knew it, I'm surrounded by Assholes... [Closes helmet] Keep firing, Assholes!
  • The protagonist of Machete is known by everyone simply as 'Machete'. His real name is... Machete Cortez.
  • The Wackiest Ship in the Army (WWII movie semi-spoof from 1960) has a navy radio operator named A.J. Sparks; "Sparks" is the traditional nickname for a WWII era radio operator.
  • Farmer the farmer, the main character of In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. Subverted in that the original blurb for the film claimed his name was Damon. However, even his wife and the man who raised him call him Farmer. His real name is Camden Conreid, the rightful heir to the throne of Ehb.
    • When asked by his son, he claims that he believes that everyone should be called by their profession.
  • In The Astronaut Farmer a NASA astronaut returns to his family farm to save it but never gives up his dream of being an astronaut. His name: Charles Farmer. And his son is named Shepperd Farmer.
  • In Zack and Miri Make a Porno:
    Zack: What's your name?
    Lester: Lester. Lester the Molester Cockenschtuff.
    Zack: Wow. That's a great porn name.
    Lester: I get to pick a porn name?
  • In the Russian film The Cuckoo, the protagonist meets up with a Russian man and, unable to understand his language, calls him "Ivan" out of stereotype. His guess turns out to be correct—the Russian man really is named Ivan.
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle: After Harold and Kumar steal the Extreme Sports Punks' SUV, Cole, the leader, addresses a fellow punk as "Extreme Sports Punk #1" as they watch them drive away.

  • A man is wandering around Beijing, unable to find his way back to the hotel. He finds a random person to ask for directions and shouts, ‘Hey you!’ The man turns around in shock and asks, ‘How did you know my name?!’

  • In A Brother's Price, the oldest sister in a family seems to be actually called "Eldest", as while we get to know the actual names of women who have taken on the title of "Eldest" because the eldest sister died, the first-born girl of a family is never called anything other than "Eldest." Apparently, when she (or one of her sisters) has her first child, she takes on the title of "Mother Elder" to avoid confusion. (Note that regardless of who actually gave birth to the child in question, all members of the birth mother's group of sisters are considered a mother of the child.)
  • Mama, Papa, Brother, and Sister Bear from The Berenstain Bears. Lampshaded when another girl makes fun of Sister's name.
    • Oddly enough, in the early stories before Sister was born, Brother's name was "Little Bear", meaning that all his life he's been called Barkeep and his name was changed at one point to reflect his change in job.
  • In Artemis Fowl, there's the Butler-family, who have served as butlers (of the 'battle' variety) to the Fowl-family for generations. According to the first book, there is some dispute about whether the Butler-family changed their name to suit their role, at some point in antiquity - or if the term 'Butler' was actually derived from the famously faithful and competent Butler-family.
  • In Catch-22, you've got Captain Major (whose first and middle names are also Major, making his full name Major Major Major), being promoted... to Major. Thus making him Major Major Major Major. Any further attempts to promote or demote him are blocked by ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen, who finds the whole situation hilarious.
  • Farmer Farmer in The Fox Busters by Dick King-Smith.
  • In a variant from the world of Shadowrun, an employer who hire shadowrunners is colloquially referred to as "Mr. Johnson", regardless of gender, to ensure anonymity. One of them self-Lampshades this trope in one of the Shadowrun novels, remarking on the irony that her name really is Johnson.
  • In The Nanny Diaries, the main character's name is... Nanny.
  • In The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Nanny Cook and Nanny Butler decide to become a cook and butler because of their names. (The only problem is, the family then has to stop calling Nanny Butler by her surname, because you just can't call a butler Butler.)
  • Holes: Mr Sir's last name really is Sir. His first name on the other hand... It's implied in the sequel that "Mr Sir" is a pseudonym he uses to hide from the police. Supported by the film, in which he is identified at the end as Marion Sevillo, and he is arrested on a parole violation.
  • In the Known Space series, until an individual Kzin does something heroic and notable to "earn" a name, they are known only by their profession, so you get a lot of Kzin named things like "Pilot", "Navigator", "Gunner", "Student-of-Chemistry", and "Speaker-to-Animals". The last, by the way, is what a lower-ranking ambassador to an alien species is named.
  • Subverted and parodied in the Discworld novel Lords and Ladies, which has characters called Carter (a baker), Weaver (a thatcher), Carpenter (a tailor), Baker (a weaver), Thatcher (a carter), Tailor (also a weaver) and Tinker (actually a tinker). (The entire book is a Deconstructive Parody of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which the trope is played straight, listed in Theatre Below).
    • Doubly subverted in the case of Carter, whose first, and extremely Nonindicative Name is "Bestiality", owing to parents who were confused about what to name a boy after having girls named Faith, Hope, Chastity, and Temperance.
  • The protagonist of Wizard of the Pigeons is a wizard named Wizard. He took the name when he took up the profession, and no longer remembers what his name was before.
  • In Wing Commander: The Price Of Freedom, the trope is discussed when Colonel Blair is momentarily confused as to whether or not the ship's chief mechanic is actually named "Pliers" (He's not.)
  • In the Hand of Thrawn duology, one of the members of the Cavrilhu Pirates is referred to only as "Control." Given that most of the time, he's speaking over a radio, you'd think this is addressing his occupation (i.e. as in, "Mission Control"). Then when he shows up in person, it turns out that his name really is Control.
  • In the Weird West Steampunk novel Seven Cities of Old by Mike Wild, Marsh Marshal is a federal lawman. He tries not to mention what that makes his title, but everyone works it out pretty quickly.

    Live Action TV 
  • In the Polish series Kapitan Bomba, there is a character named Starfleet Admiral. He's an admiral in Starfleet.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: The Russos dad once hired a tutor named Tutor to help Max prepare for a wizarding test. Alex later explains that it's normal for wizards in the wizarding world to name their children after the jobs they hope they'll have when they grow up. She then explains that it doesn't always work out, and that their dad once had a dentist named Butcher.
  • Pilot, from Farscape, who is named after his function aboard Moya. This trope even extends to the rest of his species. It is never revealed if he even has a personal name, but presumably his own kind have some way of differentiating each other. It's revealed that Pilot language is so fantastically dense and complex that translator microbes just give up on it until they simplify their sentences. It would thus be nothing for them to address each other with full descriptions that left little doubt who they were talking to, similar to someone saying "I am doing fine, Caucasian male in a charcoal gray suit with thin purple tie who works in my department and is currently standing to the left of the water cooler." and not having it take forever or be awkward.
  • Lieutenant Murtagh of Family Matters told Carl that he had his first name legally changed to "Lieutenant." When he told Carl this, Carl asked what his name was before that. Lieutenant's reply was that before that time it was "Sergeant."
  • Top Gear has The Stig, their faceless, genderless 'tamed racing driver'. He even has a passport.
  • Invoked on Arrested Development when actor Judge Reinhold starts a reality courtroom show a la Judge Judy with himself as the judge. He then calls it Mock Trial with J. Reinhold. It eventually spawns an imitator show starring Bud Cort.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager the Emergency Medical Hologram was called simply "The Doctor" and never got a proper name. Though since he was a piece of software and not a human, he didn't really need a name.
    • It didn't take many seasons for him to need a proper name (being left running for longer than intended led to him developing an actual identity, and the Doctor knew full well that should mean having a proper name). The problem was that he didn't manage to decide what that proper name should be, so he stayed as 'The Doctor' or 'the Voyager EMH Mark I' for the duration.
      • He did settle on the name 'Schweitzer' in one episode, but dropped the name as too emotionally painful (without having told anyone in the crew about it) after an unpleasant outcome of a holodeck adventure.
  • Geoffrey the Butler from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has his full name revealed as Geoffrey Butler, a fact Will is quick to point out.
  • In an episode of NewsRadio, Bill McNeal calls a sound editor "guy," a fact Dave Nelson is quick to point out as rude for not calling the man by his name, until the sound editor looks up from his work to say, "My name IS Guy!"
  • Early episodes of Oz occasionally had appearances from a poetically-inclined convict who was only shown delivering his verses in the canteen, and credited in the cast list as "poet". When he was later developed into a more significant character, it was decided that "Poet" was his actual street name.
  • In Greek, "Wade" is both one of the Kappa Tau brother's nickname (he can't swim) and his real name.
  • Mr. Bean, upon being specifically asked what his first name is, he simply replies "mister". This is later subverted in Mr. Bean's Holiday, where it shows on his passport that his first name is actually "Rowan", changing it into an Actor Allusion to Mr. Bean's real-life actor, Rowan Atkinson.
  • Italian comedy sketch show "Mai Dire Gol" had among its recurring characters Ingegner Cane, the engineer (ingegnere = engineer) who supervised the feasibility studies for the Strait of Messina Bridge. He was shown to be incredibly incompetent and absent-minted (to the point of almost being unable to count), until it was revealed that "Ingegner Cane" were his given name and surname, and he didn't even have higher education!
  • While not a name, on How I Met Your Mother, when asked where he works, Barney replies "please..." in a dismissive manner. A later episode reveals that the department he works in is called P.L.E.A.S.E. - "Provide Legal Exculpation And Sign Everything." It's basically paying him millions per year to be their legal scapegoat.
  • In Dinosaurs, when the Sinclair family decides it's time for their youngest son (addressed informally as "Baby", "Junior", or "Buster") to get an official name, the Chief Elder dies in the midst of the ceremony, saddling the baby with the unfortunate name of "Agh Agh I'm Dying You Idiot" (his last words). The family gets frustrated trying to come to terms with it, so they ask the replacement elder for a second opinion, and he opts for the much simpler "Baby", a name that stuck with him for the rest of the series.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In JumpStart, Doctor Appleby is a young child whose given name is Doctor. His parents dress him in scrubs, and expect him to grow up to be a doctor.
    • The trope is then taken Up to Eleven when he meets a girl named Notary Public.
  • A recurring minor character in Dick Tracy is a police officer called Dennis O'Copper.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The Ultimate Warrior's real name was James Hellwig. However, he legally changed his name to Warrior to cash off the name's fame and legacy.
    • It was also so that he could keep the identity he was best known as, since the WWE owned the Ultimate Warrior name. Considering what happened with the likes of the Dudleys when they left the WWE & were forced to drop the names they had become known by throughout the industry, he's been Vindicated by History.


  • There are plenty of gods whose names simply mean "deity", most notably, perhaps, God or Allah.

  • The last names of the "Pyramus and Thisbe" actors in A Midsummer Night's Dream correspond to their professions. For example, Nick Bottom is a weaver—and the "bottom" was a tool used in weaving.
  • In The Drowsy Chaperone, Mrs. Tottendale's servant is apparently named Underling.

    Video Games 
  • The Bard from the most recent version of The Bard's Tale.
  • In the Catacomb Fantasy Trilogy, the player character's Arch-Enemy and general enemy to all that is good is called Nemesis.
  • Ehrgeiz's Quest Mode introduces us to Sommeleeay the sommelier.
  • In the Dragon Age world, the qunari are adherents to a particular religious structure that defines what ones job is to be. That job is then the name the qunari is called. One of the companions in Origins is a qunari named Sten, which really only means he's warrior of a higher rank. Their general is called Arishok, but that's just the qunari word for general. Any personal name they have is not revealed because it's more of a social security number for record-keeping purposes.
    • In the Dragon Age: Redemption web series, Felicia Day's character's name is Tallis. However, the first episode reveals that she has been demoted to a menial position after a Noodle Incident, and her current name is never revealed. Her qunari superior shows up to tell her she is Tallis again and gives her a mission.
  • The Postal Dude, Jr. is really named that.
  • A recurring major character in the WarCraft universe is Thrall (who was raised in slavery). His name literally is "Thrall," and he does not change it even after he escapes and ceases to be a thrall. Although when Thrall finally returns to Nagrand in the Burning Crusade expansion, we finally learn the name his parents gave him. It's Go'el (Hebrew for "He Who Would Bring Salvation"). Orcs don't formally name their children until they go through a special ceremony, and Thrall's parents were killed before this happened. After stepping down from being Warchief, he leaves Durotar to live with a tribe of brown Orcs (their original color prior to demonic influence) and even finds a mate. At which point he starts to resent when people call him Thrall, even when his closest friend Jaina Proudmoore does it.
  • In Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories, Adell's Mom and Dad. The adoptive ones.
  • A cut line from Borderlands 2 has Captain Flynt stating that not only is he the brother of Baron Flynt from the first game, but Captain and Baron are their actual first names. He states that their parents were douchebags.
    • From Tiny Tina's Assault On Dragon Keep, we learn Mr. Torgue's first name is "Mister Torgue".
      Lilith: Wait, your first name is "Mister Torgue"? [Beat] What's your last name, then?
      Mr. Torgue: FLEXINGTON.
    • The Guardian Angel's real name is Angel.
    • In another DLC we learn that Torgue has the nickname/middle name "High Five", which is due to his family's tradition. Said tradition is giving him a middle name that is his grandpa's first name. This means that Torgue's full name is Mister Torgue High Five Flexington, and his grandpa was just High Five Flexington.
  • The doctor in one of the Harvest Moon is known as... Dr. Doctor.
  • STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl features a shining example of this trope. The given name (and since everyone in the Zone seems to be operating under an pseudonym of some sort, effectively his real name) of the bartender at the 100 Rads Bar in Rostok is...Barkeep.
  • In OFF, the character you play as is called the Batter.
  • The entire cast of Card City Nights. This helps differentiate them from the cards, which are all named after the actual video game characters drawn on them.
  • In Hatred, the name of the Villain Protagonist is really...Not Important.
  • Minor characters Koakuma and Daiyousei in Touhou, whose names mean Little Devil and Great Fairy respectively. This started out as Fanon, but ZUN decided that since he had never actually named those unique youkai, Koakuma and Daiyousei worked fine.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney case 1-3 an angry janitor not letting Phoenix and Maya inside the studio ends up with an "Oldbag" byname, even called so in her speech bubbles. Then she is called in court as a witness for it to be revealed that it's her actual surname. The lawyers take an awkward pause to bring themselves to address her.

    Web Comics 
  • Dr. McNinja is a doctor who is also a ninja. Lampshaded in the opening of Meet The Doctor And His Friendly Staff.
  • Red Mage, Black Mage, Thief and Fighter from 8-Bit Theater. Confirmed as this after their class change. Except for Thief. His real name is Prince Elf.
    • They have last names, but those fare little better, with Fighter McWarrior, Black Mage Evilwizardington, and Red Mage Statkowski.
    • Also there's White Mage, Black Belt, Lich, Ranger, Berserker, Rogue, Cleric, all their given names. The only one that's actually a case of Everyone Calls Him Barkeep is Dragoon, whose name is implied to be Sebastian.
  • In Goblins, every goblin is given a name at birth which is prophetic of his future - sometimes, this includes their future role or station in life. The most notable example is Chief, who became the village Chief (this one was eventually revealed to be cheating to avoid a fight when the old chief died).
  • Homestuck: The carapace people are addressed by two-word titles like "Aimless Renegade" or "Parcel Mistress".
    • Notably, their titles change with their roles but keep the same acronyms; "Warweary Villein" becomes "Wizardly Vassal" becomes "Wayward Vagabond," "Parcel Mistress" becomes "Peregrine Mendicant," etc.
    • Problem Sleuth does this too.
  • In The Order of the Stick, this strip reveals that minor characters literally have names like "Goblin Cleric #2" and "Hobgoblin Warrior from Strip #433, Panel 3".
    • It's worth noting that this is a universe where otherwise unimportant side characters have invoked the Mauve Shirt trope to survive near-death experiences by revealing their names, so perhaps that's not so surprising.
  • In PvP, Jace's butler's name is Butler.
    • Cole also once chastised him for calling his maid "Sweet Cans", but it turned out that, yes, her name really was Suitecannes.
  • In Romantically Apocalyptic, The Captain's nickname for Sniper is Mr. Snippy. As it turns out, Sniper's real name is Charles Snippy.
  • Scary Go Round: After going without a name for a long time, it turned out that the Mayor of Tackleford really was named "Mr Mayor"; James Mayor, in fact.
  • Cecania's mother in Sore Thumbs was "Mother Greensworthington" even as an undergraduate, so apparently 'Mother' is her given name.
  • In Wiglaf and Mordred, Wiglaf is initially addressed as "Lackey" by Mordred, and when the chauffeur is called "Driver", he assumes that it's simply Mordred's habit to call people by their job... but her name is actually Ainsley Driver.
  • All gnomes in Guilded Age use their profession as their first name. Bandit Keynes used to be Carrier Keynes before she became a thief, because it was her job to carry ore from the mines to the smelters.
  • The Aliens in It's Walky! really are beings from the planet "Alien".
  • In El Goonish Shive, there is a physics professor actually called "Dr. Physics Professor".
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, Mary calls an NPC by his/her function, so when she calls the bishop that, Walter then remembers his name actually is Bishop.
  • In Shortpacked!, Robin initially never actually learned the name of the character she refers to as "my lesbian". When Ethan uncomfortably addresses her as "Hey, um, lesbian", she replies "My name is Leslie". It eventually transpires her full name is Leslie Bean.
  • According to the writer of Oglaf, The Mistress's name really is Mistress.
  • Merchant in Strange School. He sells stuff.
  • The administrator of the school in Brutus is named Dean President.

    Web Original 
  • Similar to the Catch 22 example above, Red vs. Blue has Sargent Sargent S. Sarge III. Also known as S-Dog.
  • One plot on Neopets included a supporting character who was known only as "the scout" until the very end, when she was asked about her name and revealed that it was, in fact, Scout.
  • In Naruto The Abridged Comedy Fandub Spoof Series Show, the Hokage's name is Joe Hokage.
  • Homestar Runner
    • Coach Z is never referred to as anything else other than "Coach." It is unknown what the Z stands for.
    • Inverted by Bubs, owner and operator of Bubs' Concession Stand. His ID lists his full name as "Bubs C. Stand," implying that his 'job' is named after 'him.'
  • This is what happens to Drone Jeffs at ranks of Officer or higher in the Worm Jeff Saga; their name is what they do followed by the first name they had when they were human.
  • Used in various That Guy with the Glasses videos, where the titles that the characters have (Ask That Guy with the Glasses, The Nostalgia Critic, etc.) are the characters' names and not just their titles.
  • In Ricesnot's videos, Bones's therapist is named actually named Therapist.
  • In a sight gag during the Justice mini-arc of Vaguely Recalling JoJo, the Runaway Girl's name in the guestbook is Runaway Girl.
  • Discussed between Igno and Yin in We Are Our Avatars
    Yin: Oh, okay. He truly is a rather unusual human-person, then. I do wonder who he is shouting to, though. He must be rather far away.
    Igno: I'm pretty sure Eureka isn't a name.
    Yin: Hmmm. I did not know that you can't be named "Eureka". I did meet an old man named Old Man before, though, so the standard for names that I'm aware of is fairly lax.
  • In Mighty Magiswords, the Warriors for Hire, Prohyas and Vambre, actually have "Warrior" as their surname.
  • In RWBY, Ozpin refers to Ruby's uncle as "a dusty old crow" to which Ruby responds, "That's my Uncle Qrow!"

    Western Animation 
  • The Mayor from The Powerpuff Girls is actually named Mayor. His campaign slogan is, "Vote for Mayor for mayor!", and when he lost his job, he became ex-mayor Mayor. Although in one episode, his wife calls him Barney.
  • The Secret Show had Professor Professor and Doctor Doctor. Professor Professor's brother Maestro later joined the trope when he became a Maestro. Also their mother is known as Frau Frau.
  • Sheep in the Big City: Farmer John. John is his last name, by the way. His first name is Far, and his middle name is Mer.
  • In The Simpsons the rich Texan character's full name is Richard Texan. But you can call him "Rich".
    • "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" Part 2 implies that Groundskeeper Willie's first name really is Groundskeeper, as at one point Lisa refers to him as "grounds-tender Groundskeeper Willie", though a more recent episode revealed that his full name is William MacDougal.
    • Just plain old Barry Duffman.
  • Sheriff Bronson Stone of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, whose first name actually is "Sheriff", because that's what his mother always wanted him to be.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In a flashback from when he was a kid, Billy's Dad had a shirt with "Billy's Dad" written on it. It's odd, since the series had already established Billy's Dad's name as "Harold".
  • Coach from Moville Mysteries.
  • The Daffy Duck short Deduce, You Say ends with the revelation that the criminal Dorlock Holmes and Watkins are chasing is actually named Shropshire Slasher.
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!: The Pirate Captain's name is indeed Pirate Captain, as we see when he signs his name as such on an entry form.
    • Lampshaded when he meets Queen Victoria.
      Victoria: Do you have a name, Pirate Captain?
      Pirate Captain: Yes! They call me... The Pirate Captain.
  • Phineas and Ferb episode "Moon Farm" featured a disembodied reggae space voice whose name really was "Disembodied Reggae Space Voice".
  • Turned on his head in Clerks: The Animated Series where actor Judge Reinhold is an actual judge.
  • On Adventure Time Lady Rainicorn doesn't have a title; "Lady" is just her first name.
    • Played With; Doctor Princess is not actually a princess, but that is her surname.
    • For that matter, all the actual princesses but Bubblegum (real name "Bonnibel Bubblegum") are referred to as "X Princess" (Flame Princess, Hot Dog Princess, Lumpy Space Princess), and it is unclear if these are their names and not just titles. It later turned out Flame Princess's first name was Phoebe, and she initially refused to reveal this.
  • In the Archer episode "A Going Concern" we learn that Doctor Kreiger isn't a medical doctor ("And not even the other kind, technically.") In "Jeu Monegasque", his 401k lists his first name as "Doctor" (though later episodes claim his real first name is "Algernop").
  • ¡Mucha Lucha!: The founder of the school the three mascaritas attend is named Founder. In fact, he found, rather than founded, the school from Hammerspace to smash an adversary.
  • Kim Possible: Jack Hench is the go-to guy for hiring well-trained henchmen (as opposed to the inept mooks we occasionally see working for Dr. Drakken).
  • On Young Justice this seems to be the case with the Reach: of its three main agents, two are known only as the Ambassador and the Scientist. The third is called the Warrior, though oddly, his colleagues sometimes call him Black Beetle, a name we first hear applied to him by Wonder Girl because of his resemblance to Blue Beetle. Apparently either she guessed well or he just decided to run with.
  • Arnold's grandpa in Hey Arnold! always called him "short man" as a nickname. According to Word of God, Arnold's last name actually is "Shortman".
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Good Ol' Whatshisname episode, Squidward thought the name of a fish called What Zit Tooya was an excuse to avoid giving out his real name until he finally gets Tooya's ID card that reveals that's HIS NAME!.
  • Subverted in Bob's Burgers, where long time customer Teddy believes restaurant owner Bob Belcher's name is "Bob Burgers". He's completely stunned by this revelation.
  • Uncle Grandpa's main character is "everyone's uncle and grandpa", and his name is Uncle Grandpa. Likewise the photo cutout of a tiger is actually named Giant Realistic Flying Tiger (GRFT for short).
  • Enforced in The Amazing World of Gumball: when Gumball finds out his real name is Zach, he develops a Split Personality that only goes away when he legally makes his nickname his actual first name.
  • Enforced in Over the Garden Wall—all the people in the tavern have titles like the Tavern Keeper, the Tailor, The Highwayman, etc. They seem uncomprehending when Wirt tries to introduce himself and Greg, and attempt to apply a similar label to him: first "the Lover," when they misunderstand his search for Adelaide to be romantic, and later "the Pilgrim" after he gets them to realize he and Greg are on a quest.
  • In the first part of the second season finale of Ben 10: Alien Force, Kevin's middle name is revealed to be Ethan, causing Ben to say, "Wait, your name is 'Kevin E. Levin? You just lost all remaining pretense of 'cool,'" alluding to his nickname, Kevin Eleven, from the Original Series.

    Real Life 
  • Where do you think surnames like "Smith" or "Fisher" came from? Though in English these are converted into patronyms ("Smith('s)son") less often than in some other languages. It's more obvious in Scandinavia, where the name would be "Smithsson".
    • Speaking of which, many Scandinavian names originated back when conscription was invented. Commanders sick of a platoon full of guys all named Eriksson would simply rename them after their function or temperament, which is how they ended up with family names translated as "Grenade", "Gun", "Spear", "Keep" or "Brave."
      • Oddly enough, the more literal reading of this trope (IE, being named for a job which one also happens to have) is unusually uncommon in Sweden and some other Scandinavian regions - job-surnames are oddly rare, almost unheard of, so the chances of both having such a surname and having the same job approaches zero.
      • Sweden is noted for having a paucity of surnames and given names. This is not helped by it being against Swedish law to have a name not approved by the government, either given at birth or changed to later. While it is possible to change your name (first or last) in Sweden, first names are required to be approved Swedish first names, and last names must always be something which the person has a prior connection to (like a place of residence, profession, or prominent and unusual possession) and also be Swedish. This led one motorcycle enthusiast to be prohibited from changing his last name to Harley-Davidson (which is not Swedish, but Danish, in form) and having to settle for Harley-Davidsen (which is Swedish in form). Though that might be an Urban Legend, since it's almost the other way around (-sen names are Danish, -sson names are Swedish. Davidson is Anglophone is form, as Swedish would have it as Davidsson). More likely alternative spellings (and non-Swedish names, at least if you have a prior connection, like being descended from immigrants) are permitted, while changing to a registered trademark is less acceptable.
  • Most German names are derived from a profession, and the likelihood of someone being named their actual profession is a bit higher than in Sweden, though still small, as the surnames originated at a time when there were a lot more farmers, smiths, tailors and weavers around, and no library assistants and car mechanics.