Jamie: Trouble is my middle name.
Kari: Really? I thought it was Earl.A difficult situation presents itself, or the protagonists find themselves in a bad situation. One of them says something about 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.
— MythBusters note
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- An Old Spice commercial has a man who claims "impeccably smooth and great-smelling hair" is his middle name. It really is, and it gets him in trouble with customs officials.
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.
- 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.
- 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. Garfield plays it for laughs after Liz scolds him for eating popcorn meant for everyone. "And "everyone" is my middle name, baby!"
- 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 himKraven: 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!
- In Justice League America #56, Guy Gardner declares that trouble is his middle name. The Martian Manhunter replies "I've seen your records, Guy — Your middle name is Darrin."
- Earth and Sky: When getting ready to test Twilight Sparkle's flight harness for the first time, Pip Squeak assures Twilight "Danger would be my middle name, 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".
Bobbery: It's still a rather suspicious building... wouldn't you say, old boy? Do be careful, eh?
- Sonic's middle name actually is "the", according to Sonic himself:
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.
- Played with in The Snow Has Stopped The Rain; Rukia continued to look at the little group, trying to figure out why Ichigo 'what's subtlety?' Kurosaki would be trying the legal route to get her out.
- In the Steven Universe fic Henry Garnet Universe, they once get into a situation where Garnet is needed, and is unavailable. While commenting on it, ASBusinessMagnet has this to say:
Disappointingly, Henry does not make a corny remark like “If you need Garnet, baby, I’m right here. Garnet is my middle name.”
- In the Dragon Age: Inquisition story All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird, Victoria's middle name is Hope, as revealed by the court herald at Halamshiral. It later overlaps with Literal Metaphor, when her Love Interest comments on the fact that she gives him hope and she invokes this trope to make him laugh.
Film — Animated
- In Aloha, Scooby-Doo!, Fred says Danger is his middle name. Velma reminds him that it's actually Herman.
- In Gnomeo and Juliet, Gnomeo confidently says that Juliet's father can't possibly find him, because "Stealth" is his middle name.
- Rugrats in Paris:
Stu: I'll have it working in no time. "Mechanical Expertise" is my middle name.Coco LaBouche: Then your first name should be "I Have No".
Z: Well, Trouble is my middle name. Actually, my middle name is Marion, but I don't want you spreading that around.
- Flushed Away:
Whitey: Are you sure about this, Spike? These things are dangerous.
Spike: Danger is my middle name!
Whitey: I thought it was Lesley.
- Cars right before the final race;
Lightning McQueen: Mack, thanks for being my pit crew today.
Mack: Ah, don't worry about it, kid. It's the least I could do. After all, "Gas Can" is my middle name.
Lightning McQueen: It is?
Mack: Ah, not really.
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.
- Romancing the Stone: When Joan asks Jack T. Colton what the T stands for, he replies seriously, "Trustworthy."
- 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.
- From Interesting Times:
- Artemis Fowl had one character who went a step further and had his first name legally changed to "Trouble". He's tough enough to live up to it most of the time.
- In her first appearance in the Doctor Who New Adventures, Benny tells the Doctor "Surprise is my middle name. Bernice Surprise Summerfield. My poor Mum wanted to hammer the point home." Later books make it clear this is, in fact, the case.
- Pinkie Pie and the Rockin' Ponypalooza Party! gives us Pinkie Serious Pie.
- A very early use in the Purgatory section of Dante's The Divine Comedy: as the Pilgrim and Virgil ascend the mountain, they come across a group of shades lounging in the shade of a boulder. Dante singles out a particularly exhausted-looking sinner and tells his guide, "See that man? Lazier he could not look, not even if 'Lazy' were his middle name."
- The preview for the fourth book in the Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain series reveals that this is literal truth. Penelope's middle name actually is Justice, which she lampshades. Crosses over into Embarrassing Middle Name, of course.
- 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.
- Tory uses a rare variation at one point:
- 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.
- In the episode "Teacher's Pet":
- 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?
- If you're curious the D really stands for Darnell.
- 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!"
- Doctor Who. At the end of "The God Complex", the Doctor drops off his companions on Earth.
"You haven't seen the last of me. Bad Penny is my middle name. Seriously, the looks I get when I fill in a form..."
- Rizzoli & Isles: In "Two Shots: Move Forward", Korsak tells Jane to be careful. Jane replies "My middle name is Caution". Korsk's response id "I know your middle name. I wish it was Careful".
- One of Bonnie Raitt's songs is "The Road Is My Middle Name".
- "Nasty" by Janet Privacy Control. Miss Jackson if you're nasty.
- Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons" gives us this lovely gem: “IIIIII was born one mornin’, it was drizzle and rain / Fightin’ and trouble are my middle name…”
- Adventure is Giles Wemmbley-Hogg's middle name!
Well, between St. John and Leonard.
- 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")
- Played for Laughs in the second Galaxy On Fire:
Keith T. Maxwell: "Dangerous" is my second middle name.Thomas Boyle: Oh, and what's your first then?Keith T. Maxwell: T.
- Hotel Dusk: Room 215 has Kyle claiming that "moderation" is his middle name.
- 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.
- 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.
- Happens in Tokyo Beat Down:
Crime Lord: You cops don’t have any evidence on me!
Lewis Cannon: "Have" is my middle name!
Crime Lord: [clueless] Um, what?
- In Wildstar Agent Lex brags that efficiency is his middle name. As in, it is his actual middle name (his full being Lethality Efficiency eXperiment).
- 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.
- In the short "2 Part Episode: Part 2":
- Irregular Webcomic! uses this trope in this MythBusters-themed comic.
Adam: Danger is my middle name.
Jamie: It is? Really?
Adam: There was a mysterious explosion right in the middle of my christening.
- Bug: "My middle name is 'Cautionary Discretion'."
- Nedroid: Reginald's full name: Reginald Danger Safety.
- When it looks like Baloo's plane is going to be flown by a robot in TaleSpin, Rebecca tells Baloo to be nice to the robot and its inventor. Baloo replies that "nice is my middle name," and proceeds to cause the inventor to humiliate himself.
- 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 three things wrong with that little theory: one, we're not drones; two, we're not mindless; and three, problem's my middle name!
- In Muppet Babies, Gonzo says "weird" is his middle name.
- From the Tiny Toon Adventures episode in which Babs is temporarily made Queen of Wackyland:
Babs Bunny: From now on, self-control is my middle name!
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."
- 3-2-1 Penguins!
Zidgel: Adventure is my middle name! Well no, actually it's 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:
- "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" has "Danger is my middle name: Rainbow Danger Dash!"
- "Baby Cakes" has Pinkie Pie claiming that Responsibility is her middle name: "Pinkie Responsibility Pie!" According to a flashback in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" her actual middle name is Diane.
- 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.
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".
- 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:
- 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.
- VeggieTales in the House
Petunia: We should go on a hike tomorrow.
Larry: Sure! Physical outdoor cardiovascular activity is my middle name!
Petunia: That's unfortunate.
Larry: Eh, it's not so bad.
- Code Lyoko's Jeremie says that Odd's middle name should be "Braggart," for all the times he had bragged.
- Done in Sonic Boom by the eponymous character.
Sonic: Capable is my middle name.Knuckles: I thought your middle name was The.
- On Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, according the "Tigey the Adventure Tiger"'s theme song, Adventure is Tigey's middle name.
- Steven Universe
Garnet: [...] you seem to attract a lot of danger.Steven: Well, danger is my middle name.Garnet: That's a lie. Your middle name is cutie pie. *boops Steven's nose*
- His middle name is actually Quartz.
- Parodied on The Ruff & Reddy Show
Ruff: Professor Gizmo's in some kind of trouble, Reddy.Reddy: Well, let's go. "Trouble" is my maiden name.
Revvit: Are you ready, Ton-Ton?
Ton-Ton: Ready is my middle name!
Skya: "Ton Ready Ton"?
Ton-Ton: It sounded cooler in my head...
- Milo Murphy's Law
- In LEGO Star Wars Droid Tales, R2-D2 apparently says this, with C-3PO immediately objecting.
C-3PO: Danger is not your middle name! Your middle name is "hyphen"!
- In the Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero episode Be My Ghost, when cautioned by Rippen, Larry comments that Careful is his middle name. He then immediately makes a beeline for a rickety elevator that plummets to the ground the second he enters it.
Larry: Don't worry! "Miraculously Unharmed" is my mother's middle name.
- 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 MasterChef, 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.