I Am Not Shazam

See this guy? He is Captain Marvel. He is not Shazam. Except when he is.

"Frankenstein was the creator, not the monster. It's a common misconception held by all truly stupid people."
Kryten, Red Dwarf

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.


Examples:

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Lucha Libre Internacional was a Mexican based promotion whose title matches were sanctioned by the the Universal Wrestling Association. Since all the belts were known as the UWA ___, most foreign observers would see the visiting champion defending one of them and conclude he wrestled for the UWA directly.
  • Los Perros Del Mal is a Card-Carrying Villain Power Stable that has ran through several Mexican promotions, such as CMLL and AAA. Perros Del Mal Producciones is a promotion owned by said power stable.

Alternative Title(s):

Blondie Is A Band, My Name Is Not Shazam, The Monster Is Not Frankenstein