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Metaphor Is My Middle Name
Jamie: Trouble is my middle name.
Kari: Really? I thought it was Earl.
MythBusters note 

A difficult situation presents itself, or the protagonists find themselves in a bad situation. One of them says something about how the situation, like how dangerous it is. And then another character, showing how tough they are, takes that description and says it's their middle name.

On the lighter side of this trope, it may be when a character states that they're up to a task, and to prove it, that the nature of the task just happens to be part of their name.

Often played with these days, such as having another character then say they thought their middle name was something else (almost invariably embarrassing), or pointing out how silly it would be if that was really part of their name. Or that they have Only One Name, so can't have a middle. Or, conversely, having it actually being their real middle name.

A Stock Phrase.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Joey Wheeler once claimed that Risk is his middle name. A later episode had him claim that Careful was his middle name.

    Audio Drama 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who story 1963: Fanfare for the Common Men, when the drummer of the not-the-Beatles group offers to let Nyssa sleep in his bed and he'll sleep on the floor.
    Nyssa: I can't make you do that.
    James: You can't make him not. Chivalry's his middle name.
    Mark: Generosity's his first name. That's why we call him Corky. "Generosity Chivalry Goldsmith", bit of a gobful.

    Comic Books 
  • Garfield, who declares that Halloween is his middle name, and then realizes it doesn't work very well: "Gar-Halloween-field." In another storyline, Jon is boasting that Garfield can't hide forever. "You may be sneaky, but I'm sneakier. Sneaky is my middle name." While Garfield is walking around with the sofa, in which Jon is sitting, on his back.
  • Lampshaded by the second Kraven in a Marvel Comic.
    Deathlok: Don't fly, it attracts trouble.
    Kraven: Trouble's my middle name!
    Pause while Deathlok, Gravity, Medusa, Firebird, Hank Pym, Wasp and Hood stare at him
    Kraven: Okay I don't have a middle name but if I did wouldn't trouble be cool? Alyosha Trouble Kravinoff. It almost makes up for Alyosha.
  • In The Ren & Stimpy Show comic of "The Maltese Stimpy", Ren as Sam Spayed narrates, "Danger's my middle name! (I blame Mom for that one.)"
  • In the Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog's volume 0, Sonic says, "Ha! 'Speed' is my middle name! Actually, it's 'Maurice', but don't tell anyone, OK?", in response to Princess Sally asking him if he could keep up with her.
  • In one Fairly OddParents comic printed in Nickelodeon Magazine:
    Cosmo: "Answer" is my middle name!
    Wanda: Your middle name is Julius.
    Cosmo: Close enough!

    Fan Works 
  • Earth and Sky: Danger is Pipsqueak's middle name, or would be if "me uncle Algy hadn't taken precedence."
  • Hoofstuck: Pinkie Pie claims in this page that Pink would be her middle name if it wasn't already her first name.
    • A bit earlier, in this page, Pinkie claims that hysterical is her middle name, though she quickly says it isn't.
  • Paper Mario X 2: In chapter 32, Sonic states that extreme is his middle name. Spike then asks if it isn't "the".
    • Sonic's middle name actually is "the", according to Sonic himself:
    Bobbery: It's still a rather suspicious building…wouldn't you say, old boy? Do be careful, eh?
    Kirby: Psh, careful is our middle name!
    Sonic: Actually, my middle name is "the"…
    Kirby: You're ruining my point!
  • Turnabout Storm: Rarity claims that multitasking is her middle name. According to Pinkie, it apparently is Tabitha, the name of her voice actress in the actual show.
  • A Future of Friendship, A History of Hate: When Raindrops calls out Rainbow Dash for pulling a dangerous stunt to clear up a thunderstorm in Episode 3, Dash replies that danger is her middle name. Another pegasus watching the conversation points out that Dash's middle name is actually Miriam.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live Action 
  • Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
    Ed: If Rocko finds out you're a cop, you might end up dead!
    Frank: "You might end up dead" is my middle name.
    Ed: What about Jane?
    Frank: ...I don't know her middle name.
  • Austin Powers — his name really is Austin Danger Powers. In this case the trope is played with: Some paperwork mistakenly identifies him as "Danger Powers". He protests:
    Austin: No, no, no, no, no... Danger's my middle name.
  • The Goonies — Mouth.
    Mrs. Walsh: You are so fluent in Spanish. That was so nice of you.
    Mouth: "Nice" is my middle name, Mrs. Walsh.
  • The Last Boy Scout:
    Jimmy: Danger's my middle name.
    Joe: Mine's Cornelius. You tell anybody, I'll kill you.
  • In Lethal Weapon, Murtaugh says that "thin" is his middle name; Riggs uses it as an opportunity to insult his wife's cooking.
  • Rocket Man - "Fun" isn't actually his middle name, it's the middle name of his Chinese neighbor.
  • In Back to the Future, both in 1985 and 1955, there's an election van driving around telling everyone to re-elect the mayor because progress is his middle name. Mayor Goldie Wilson uses the slogan in 1985, presumably having picked it up from Mayor Red Thomas in 1955.
  • In the second Scooby Doo live-action film:
    Shaggy: Then again, "creepy" is my middle name.

    Literature 
  • As with many other tropes, it shows up for its turn(s) at being skewered in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.
    • From Interesting Times:
      "Luck is my middle name," said Rincewind, indistinctly. "Mind you, my first name is Bad."
    • Detritus also prefaced a question with "I know 'thick' is my middle name-" to which Vimes responded "I didn't know you had a first name."
    • From Soul Music:
      Glod: "I'm a dwarf. We know about money. Knowing about money is practically my middle name."
      Lias: "That's a long middle name."
    • From Hogfather: If I had a first name, 'Duty' would be my middle name.
  • Artemis Fowl had one character who went a step further and had his first name legally changed to "Trouble".
    • Mind you, said character is an acknowledged Bad Ass, despite the fact that he gets hardly any notice.
  • In her first appearance in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, Benny tells the Doctor "Surprise is my middle name. Bernice Surprise Summerfield. My poor Mum wanted to hammer the point home." A subversion, since later books make it clear this is, in fact, the case.

    Live-Action TV 
  • MythBusters does this often enough that the Discovery Channel even sells "DANGER IS MY MIDDLE NAME" t-shirts.
    • Tory uses a rare variation at one point:
      Tory: I think Grant should do it, 'cause he just had his middle name legally changed to Danger.
      Grant: Danger Imahara... I like the sound of that.
    • Also, reversed in the MacGyver special when Adam has to handle sodium, and Tory tells him to be careful.
      Narrator: Hey, careful is Adam's middle name! Then again, his last name is...note  Well, let's get on with it.
  • Friends, with Chandler.
    "Handle is my middle name. Actually, it's the middle part of my first name."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • In the episode "Teacher's Pet":
      Xander: Forgiveness is my middle name. Well, actually it's Lavelle, and I'd appreciate it if you guard that secret with your life.
    • In a later episode:
      Willow: Danger is my middle name. Or at least it would have been if my parents hadn't settled on Danielle.
  • Crossing Jordan:
    Nigel: Woody, Woody, Woody… I promise that I will keep an open mind, okay? And anyway, "sensitivity" is my middle name. [opens the door] SWEET MARY IN THE MANGER!
  • Family Matters: Urkel says his middle name is "Danger", but then immediately admits that it's actually "Quincy".
  • The Monkees
    Micky: Don't worry, my middle name is Danger. [Werewolf howls outside.] Of course, my last name is chicken!
  • In the NCIS episode "Iceman", Tony admits that tardiness is his middle name while chiding Ziva for being late.
  • Paradise Hotel: Charla claims that "pinky swear" is her middle name.
  • There's a brilliant episode of UK panel show Would I Lie To You? where Reginald D Hunter tries to claim that his middle initial stands for delicious, because his impoverished black ancestors thought it would bring him prosperity. No one is buying it, despite his poker face: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpTnwzt9kUc
    Reginald D Hunter: It was the late 60s when I was born - 1969. There were a lot of black men at that time around my age being given names like Reginald, and Winston, and Delicious. Because at that time in America Affirmative Action has just started, so black women saw an opportunity for their children to get more jobs, so what they did was give them a name that was recognisable yet dignified to potential employers.
    Fern Britton: And "Delicious" is dignified?
    Reginald D Hunter: Well, er, you have to understand how... It's very different in the black community to your white world! So... um... the name Delicious commands great respect in the ghetto. You probably don't listen to much rap music, do you Fern?
  • Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: Kelsey says that "crazy" is her middle name.
  • Home Improvement, though they spoof it like the Discworld example:
    Tim: My middle name is "Subtle".
    Jill: Yeah. And your first name is "Not".
  • There's an adaptation of an Agatha Christie story on Mystery! in which a man says "Dorian Gray's my middle name." (He probably meant that he looks younger than he is.)
  • Averted by Eddie Izzard: "Danger could be my middle name. But it's John."
  • The West Wing
    Sam: Done! The draft is done, and done on time. Cathy, I'm having my middle name legally changed to "On Time."
    Cathy: What was it before?
    Sam: Norman.
  • Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory. "'Trouble' is my middle name, Leonard. Actually, it's 'Lee', but I prefer 'Trouble'."
  • In the "Shoe Shop" sketch of A Bit of Fry and Laurie, a very strange shopkeeper promises: "'Discretion' is my middle letter."
  • An early teaser for Chuck in the UK involved Chuck saying to the audience, "Hi, I'm Chuck Bartowski, and danger is my middle name. (beat) Actually, it's not..."
  • She Spies has:
    Cassie: Careful is my middle name. Changed it from Lillian.
    Shane: Good thinking.
  • In an episode of the American Office, Dwight gets a concussion and Michael has to fill in the hospital admission form.
    Michael: Dwight... Schrute... and what's your middle name?
    Dwight: [groggy] ...Danger...
  • From the Dinosaurs episode, "George Must Die".
    Earl: Sorry Roy, it's just too dangerous.
    Roy: Hey, "Danger" is my middle name. Ahh... originally it was my mother's maiden name, and they gave it to me to keep it in the family. Of course, it never really came in handy until tonight.
  • My Wife and Kids has a variation where Honest is Tony's real first name while Tony is actually his middle name.
  • Diff'rent Strokes: Blair says Beauty is her middle name. Natalie says hers is Latisha.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Back To Reality", when Kryten describes the Cat as "mind-meltingly shallow", the Cat cheerfully agrees "Superficial is my middle name!"

    Music 
  • One of Bonnie Raitt's songs is "The Road Is My Middle Name".
  • "Nasty" by Janet Privacy Control. Miss Jackson if you're nasty.

    Video Games 
  • Battlefield: Bad Company: Haggard says, "My middle name's 'Not Safe'. Well, actually it's Gordon..."
  • Afterlife ("Helpful is my middle name" "I thought it was "Herbert")
  • Hotel Dusk: Room 215 has Kyle claiming that "moderation" is his middle name.
  • Starcraft II gives us this gem:
    Matt Horner: Sir, parts of the facility seems to be scan shielded... our signals are breaking up left and right. Be careful in there.
    Jim Raynor: Hey, careful's my middle name.
    Horner: Thought it was Eugene.
    Raynor: Shut it, Matt.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    Smuggler: "Amply rewarded" is my middle name.
    Doctor Vernan: Your parents must have been fascinating people.
  • Rob from Knytt Underground apparently was given the middle name "Party" just so he could invoke this trope. However, he isn't fond of parties at all.

    Web Animation 
  • Bonus Stage
    Elly: Clever is my middle name...no really, it is. I had terrible parents.
  • Homestar Runner
    • In the short "2 Part Episode: Part 2":
      Blue Laser Commander: "Evil scheme" is quite literally my middle name! It's Slovenian.
    • Senor Cardgage puts a bizarre twist on the trope in "Senorial Day":
      Strong Bad: Yes, excuse me, sir. Can I have some tremendous savings? And your autograph?
      Senor Cardgage: My left name is "tremendous savings", Miss America.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama, when Bender declares that "Bending" is his middle name. As it so happens, that actually is his middle name, and remains so for the rest of the series. His full name is Bender Bending Rodriguez.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, of the "I thought your name was" variety.
  • The Tick laments some recent acts with the line "Helping people used to be my middle name: The Helping People Tick"
  • In 101 Dalmatians: The Series, Spot claims that "Mystery" is his middle name as part of a spoof Private Eye Monologue.
  • American Dragon Jake Long: In "Shapeshifter", Jake's grandfather insists that he take the mission seriously, and he says that "serious" is his middle name.
  • Transformers: Beast Machines has:
    Blackarachnia: Three mindless drones. Shouldn't be a problem.
    Jetstorm: Only three errors in your little theory, Maximal. One, we're not drones. Two, we're not mindless. Three, problem's my middle name!
  • In Muppet Babies, Gonzo says "weird" is his middle name.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures
    Babs Bunny: From now on, self-control is my middle name!
    (beat)
    Plucky Duck: I thought it was Ann.
  • Aladdin: The Series. Lampshaded.
    Genie: Adventure is his middle name...If he had a last name!
  • In one Ed, Edd n Eddy episode, Ed randomly remarks "Service is my middle toe!" In another episode, he says "Pronto's my middle name! No, wait, it's Horace."
  • 321Penguins!
    Zedgil: Adventure is my middle name! Well no, actually its Lloyd.
  • From the Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures episode, "The Berry Best You Can Bee":
    Katie: What do you know about nice?
    Sadie: Uh, "nice" is my middle name.
    Katie: No it isn't!
    Sadie: Yuh-huh, is!
    Katie: Is not!
    Sadie: Okay, what is my middle name, then?
    Katie: Ladybird! Your name's Sadiebug Ladybird Berrybeetle.
    Sadie: *gasp* How did you know that?!
    Katie: 'Cause maybe I've known you all my life and I'm your twin sister.
  • In one episode of Planet Sheen, Sheen not only makes several claims of what his middle name is, he produces several (presumably fake) birth certificates to prove it.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Pinkie Pie claiming that Responsibility is her middle name in "Baby Cakes": "Pinkie Responsibility Pie!" According to a flashback in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" her actual middle name is Diane.
    • "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" has "Danger is my middle name: Rainbow Danger Dash!"
    • In "Flight to the Finish", Dash became "Rainbow Professionalism Dash".
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, a man working at the License Bureau refuses to help people until he finishes his crossword puzzle. When the clue asks for Franklin Roosevelt’s middle name, he guesses "Excitement."
  • Teamo Supremo:
    Skate Lad: Don't worry, Governor Kevin! My middle name is Speed!
    Rope Girl: I thought it was Felipé.
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012), episode "Blythe's Crush":
    Penny Ling: Ooh! It sounds dangerous.
    Esteban: Haha! Danger is my middle nombre! Danger is also my last name. And... my nickname.
    Vinnie: So, your friends call you Esteban Danger "Danger" Danger?
    Esteban: Si.
    • At the beginning of the episode, he introduces himself as "Esteban Banderas", and by the ending we learn that his middle name is "Marion".
    • In "Frenemies", they pull this out twice, confusing Penny Ling both times:
    Vinnie: You're gonna need some entertainment. And "Entertainment" is my middle name.
    Penny Ling: I thought you told me your middle name was "Alfonso".
    Vinnie: Eh never mind that.

    Zoe: I'm game if she is.
    Pepper: "Game" is my middle name!
    Penny Ling: I thought you told me your middle name was "Mildred".
  • Parodied in the Ben 10: Omniverse episode "Rad", wherein the eponymous claims his middle name first to be "Trouble", then "Danger", then finally "Profit". Naturally, Ben doesn't buy any of this, until Rook looks up some information on the guy and discovers that his full name really is "Captain Rad Profit Danger Trouble Dudesman".
  • In Kick Buttowski:
    Gunther: It seems a little too extreme.
    Kick: "Extreme" is my middle name.
    Gunther: I thought your middle name was Francis.
  • In an early episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, Spongebob tries to impress Sandy by telling her that he can breathe oxygen like she can.
    Spongebob: "Air" is my middle name!
  • Tina does this in an episode of Bob's Burgers followed by her revealing her actual middle name.
    Tina: "Danger" is my middle name, but I spell it R-U-T-H.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "Scary Poppins"
    Billy: Be careful, Grim.
    Grim: "Careful" is my middle name. I never forgave my mother.

     Real Life 
  • American naval officer Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of the War of 1812.
  • Penn Jillette gave his firstborn daughter the middle name "Crimefighter" in the hope she could invoke this trope later in her life.
  • While not her actual middle name, Amanda Palmer is also known as "Amanda Fucking Palmer."
  • Long-time Red Sox fans will refer to Yankees Russell Earl "Bucky" Dent and Aaron John Boone as "Bucky Fucking Dent" or "Aaron Fucking Boone" for their key home runs against them.
  • Billie Joe Armstrong's son, Jakob Danger Armstrong. Like Austin Powers, Danger is quite literally his middle name.
  • On Master Chef, Monti's son Danger gets mentioned a few times— in the audition episode, Ramsey thinks she's giving the judges a schtick for the show, but her son apparently actually is named Danger.

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alternative title(s): Danger Is My Middle Name; Word You Just Said Is My Middle Name; X Is My Middle Name
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