A form of unintentional title confusion
that occurs when a story's naming conventions
confuse the audience about what the characters' names are, or who certain titles refer to
. Most frequently, people will assume that the title of the work is the name of the main character.
Technically, this can be somewhat justified in that a person will often be referred to by their Title of Office (the respectfulness or disrespectfulness of this is quite variable and could depend on other words surrounding it, President vs. Mr. President, for example).
This confusion is especially likely when one actor's name is billed alone above a title that sounds like it might be the name of his character, when it actually refers to, say, his racehorse.
Can lead to things like Cowboy Bebop at His Computer
when people don't do research
on the subject. Depending on the circumstances, it may also become a fandom berserk button
. Not to be confused with I Am Not Spock
, though it would be funny. Refrain from Assuming
sometimes is related to this.
This trope's title originated with the character Captain Marvel, whose comic was originally published under the same name by Fawcett Comics. Following a lawsuit which alleged that Captain Marvel infringed upon the copyrights of Superman, Fawcett went out of the comics business and their trademarks lapsed. Twenty years later, DC Comics
revived Captain Marvel (which is ironic, since they were the ones who killed Fawcett Comics in the first place), but Marvel Comics
had already created a new character
and publication titled Captain Marvel
. Due to issues with copyright and trademark law, the character could continue to be called Captain Marvel, but any magazines or merchandise would be titled Shazam!
After the 2011/2012 relaunch of DC
, Captain Marvel is now officially named "Shazam" because of this.
Contrast Iconic Character, Forgotten Title
and Protagonist Title Fallacy
. See also Refrain from Assuming
and Brand Name Takeover