His Name Really Is Barkeep
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"
can be considered a subtrope. Closely related to A Dog Named Dog
, when something is named for its species.
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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. In the original Japanese version, Speed and his entire family had real Japanese names.
- The main character in Umineko no Naku Koro ni 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 "posession/ownership."
- The High School AU 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).
- 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.
- Planetary has The Drummer. First name The, last name Drummer.
- In Calvin At Camp, one character is always referred to as "The Bear." Turns out, that's his real name, complete with the "The."
- The Hunter in With Strings Attached. His real name is Jim Hunter.
- In one of the spinoff stories to You Got HaruhiRolled!, the real name of Kyon's sister is revealed to actually be Imouto (Japanese for "little sister"). She Wangsts over it in therapy.
- Zany To The Max: Subverted with Coach Nurse. She's not a coach, and she's not a nurse! Yakko doesn't even understand why she was given that name in the first place.
- Turnabout Storm: The Judge's name really is Judge. Twilight is a bit uncomfortable with this, saying I'd be like other ponies just called her "Unicorn".
- Turnabout Substitution: Like in the previous example, the Judge's name is actually Judge. Judge Chambers, to be exact.
- Empath: The Luckiest Smurf averts the normal case of Everybody Calls Him Barkeep in The Smurfs since, with certain exceptions, every Smurf's real name is based on either a profession or a personality, including its main character Empath.
- 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.]
Entire Bridge Crew: 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?
- 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.)
- In the Scandinavian 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.
- 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).
- 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.
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.
- Jeffrey the Butler from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has his full name revealed as Jeffrey 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 Jump Start, 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.
- 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.
- Bob & Ray's sketch where Bob interviews Mr. G.L. Hummerbeck who is running as a write in candidate for President Of The United States.
Hummerbeck: "It's not "Mister" G.L. Hummerbeck, it's "The Right Honorable" G.L. Hummerbeck."
Bob: "Oh, you're assuming the full title of presidency already."
Hummerbeck: "No, no, that's my first name. "Right Honorable."...I'm part Winabago Indian, and when a child is born they give it a name after the first thing it sees right after it is born. And in my case it was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Right Honorable Charles Evans Hughes."
Bob: "That's a very interesting story."
Hummelbeck: "I think it'd be a more interesting story if I knew what the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was doing on the reservation in our tent on the day I was born, but nobody seems to remember that."
- There are plenty of gods whose names simply mean "deity", most notably, perhaps, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Go'el" is Hebrew for "He Who Would Bring Salvation".
- Technically, Orcs don't 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".
: Wait, your first name is "Mister Torgue"? [Beat
] What's your last
Mr. Torgue: FLEXINGTON.
- The doctor in one of the Harvest Moon is known as... Dr. Doctor.
- 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 Eight 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 "Post 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 Pv P, 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".
- 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 Cinema Snob, 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.
- 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. Or is "Mayor" only what he calls himself? 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 Larry 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.
- In Sealab 2021, Quinn ends up teaching a class in one episode and finds out that it's not just an insult, one of his students really is named Fatass McBlobbicus.
- On Adventure Time Lady Rainicorn doesn't have a title; "Lady" is just her first name.
- Doctor Princess isn't a princess, either; her surname is 'Princess'. She is a doctor, though.
- For that matter, all the actual princesses but Bubblegum are referred to as "X Princess" (Flame Princess, Hot Dog Princess, Lumpy Space Princess), and it seems these are their names and not just titles.
- 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" we see that his first name is Doctor.
- ¡Mucha Lucha!: The founder of the school the three mascaritas attend. In fact, he 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".
- Sponge Bob Square Pants: 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!.
- 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).