One Mario Limit
Don't lie; when you read that trope name, you thought of this Mario, right?

"It's a-me. Mario!"
Mario Auditore, Assassin's Creed II

In Real Life, the popularity of names goes up and down over time. One factor that affects this is the emergence of celebrities with a particular name; if there is some highly successful and well-loved pop star called Mario, then expect the number of babies called Mario to rise significantly.

In fiction, however, the effect can be reversed. If one character becomes sufficiently iconic, they can come to "own" their first or last name so that whenever a person hears that name, they immediately think of that character (especially if it's an uncommon name or spelling of a name). This can cause problems for similarly-named characters who will often be forgotten or assumed to be inferior copies (this can also extend to animals, objects or even concepts), and so other writers avoid using the name outside of deliberate shout outs to the original. Avoiding potential legal issues might be a reason as well.

The ability of characters to cause this effect is to some extent a function of the existing popularity of their name; for a character to really achieve this distinction, their name must be sufficiently obscure enough to be distinctive but common enough that other writers would have used it. Indiana Jones provides a prime example of a highly iconic character who doesn't count — the name "Indiana" is so obscure that it would probably never have been used again even if Raiders of the Lost Ark was a total flop (although part of that may have something to do with one of the United States of America sharing that name — note that any Lawyer-Friendly Cameo will probably be named Oklahoma, Montana, or similar), while his surname is too common to have any attachments to one specific individual, similar to Agent Smith. A good way to determine if a character counts as this is to search for their name on Google or Wikipedia. If said character dominates the results, then it's highly probable that they hold the one name limit.

Compare One Steve Limit, which is the principle of having only one character with each name within a work to avoid confusion. Contrast Name's the Same, where by coincidence, two unrelated works have characters with the same name, and the Baby Names section of The Red Stapler, for when fictional characters or celebrities popularize a certain name. See Named Like My Name for when an ordinary name becomes famous by association with a particular celebrity.


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    Video Games 
  • The Trope Namer is, of course, Mario. Outside of the Mario series, you would be hard-pressed to find a single video game use of the name that isn't a Shout-Out or a licensed game using the name of a real person/character from another medium. Luigi isn't that common either.
    • Assassin's Creed II features Mario Auditore, but lampshades the fact with his introduction — "Don't you recognize me? It's-a me, Mario!"
    • As does Just Cause 3 when it introduces its character Mario Frigo. They try to be subtle about it; the line reading goes out of its way not to sound like the OG Mario's catchphrase.
    Mario: Rico? Is that you?
    Rico: Si, it's me. [short pause] Mario?
    • Looking up just "Mario" on The Other Wiki goes to the article for the Mario. Even his brother shares this distinction.
    • And now, Masashi Kishimoto, author of Naruto, has the audacity to name his one-shot manga about the Mafia Mario. He seems to be aware of the connection to the plumber but doesn't care, as in that issue's Author's Notes, he jokes about making a sequel called Luigi.
    • Mario's popularity is enough to have other Real Life Marios reference him through a "Super Mario" nickname. There's the NFL wide receiver Mario Manningham, Mario Lemieux of NHL fame (who, interestingly, got his own game on the Sega Genesis of all platforms, leading to some confusion about a Mario hockey game on a Sega system), footballers Mario Balotelli, Mario Gómez and Mario Suárez (only the former is Italian, though), former Prime Minister of Italy Mario Monti and Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank. To be fair, both Mario and Luiginote  are very common names in Italy as well as the entire Europe, the plumbers' fame having never really influenced their diffusion in any way.
    • Even Princess Peach gets this to a degree. "Peach" is an uncommon girl's name that's probably not gonna be used for another videogame character. It's still a fairly common surname that... won't show up in games that much either (again thanks to the character).
    • From the same series, we have the cosmic princess "Rosalina" from Super Mario Galaxy, but because the name is one of the several variants of "Rosalie/Rosalind", this is not a big loss.
    • "Yoshi" is not a rare Japanese name, but people outside Japan will probably think of Mario's green dinosaur sidekick before anything else (this does not include names that start with "Yoshi" though, like "Yoshimaru" or "Yoshida" — or "Yoshimitsu" which is always going to be associated with Namco's ninja/samurai character).note  Also, just like Mario and Luigi, Yoshi will have his article brought up by The Other Wiki if "Yoshi" is searched, regardless of disambiguations.
    • "Bowser" itself is not an actual name, but it is a surname (not a common one, but also not that obscure either), however, both instances are likely to be avoided in fiction to avoid comparisons with King Koopa himself.
      • A case of this trope's occasional effects in Real Life was shown when Nintendo of America hired former EA employee Doug Bowser, which caused jokes to pop up left and right among fans and the company alike because of that surname. His Twitter handle, for example, is @thetruebowser.
      • Though some Mario fans of a certain age might look at King Koopa's English name and think of Bowzer.
  • Although the name had existed long before video games (let alone the franchise), Zelda will probably never be a prominent character in a video game ever again. For that matter, neither will Link — sorry, guys named Lincoln.
  • There are no other video game characters called Kirby (except for a minor NPC from Bully, but he gets away with it exactly for being a minor NPC). The only other relatively notable fictional characters who share the same name are a vacuum cleaner from The Brave Little Toasternote  and a private detective, but both predate the pink marshmallow blob.
    • And in real life, Kirby shares name recognition with Jack Kirby. And yes, jokes have been made, which is natural when two recognizable figures share the same name.
    • A Trainer in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl is named Kirby. His Pokemon of choice is Cleffa, a Pokemon that more or less resembles the pink puffball. They're both highly associated with stars as well.
  • Samus is also not going to be used by any other character in a video game, much less in fiction, or even real life. While there are doubts on whether the name is real or not, it is a pretty simple name that sounds a lot like a variant of "Seamus" or "Samuel", so it wouldn't have been surprising if a writer had came up with if the character never existed.
  • Thanks to Halo, if you ever play a game where naval ranks are present, you're not likely to ever see anyone with the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer ever again.
    • It's an odd rank for the protagonist of an FPS game to have anyway. Given what FPS player characters normally do, the voice on the radio giving them orders is far more likely to be an E-9 (actually, even that's a little far down on the org chart for an E-9) than the PC is.
  • Believe it or not, Ness was a rare given name meaning "from the headland" (as well as an anagram for the SNES console; Earthbound is funny like that). After EarthBound was released, though, it has become even rarer due to this character, even if he debuted in Smash Bros. for most.
  • You won't be seeing too many characters named Booker after Bioshock Infinite. Unless there's a "T" afterwards (which is exclusively associated with Mr. Washington and the wrestler, and maybe the leader of the M.G.'s).
  • Assassins's Creed II probably made the name "Ezio" unlikely to be used for a videogame character ever again.
  • The name "Lara" is going to remain forever associated with the protagonist of Tomb Raider. And the surname "Croft" even more so.
  • In the Japanese version of Fire Emblem Fates, the Avatar's butler goes by the name "Joker". However, this was changed in the localized version, possibly due to the name "Joker" being heavily associated with Batman's arch-nemesis in the US.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV killed the chances of another video game character called "Niko" existing.
  • Both Jak and Daxter have names that are unlikely to be reused for other characters, even though they're just variants of Jack and Dexter, respectively.
  • Code Name example: people are more likely to associate the word "Ocelot" with Revolver Ocelot from the Metal Gear series than with the animal his name is based on (probably because they might not know what an Ocelot is).
  • How many characters with the surname Edgeworth do you know out there aside from the cravat-wearing prosecutor from the Ace Attorney series?
  • Sonic, a word referring to sound or sound waves, now refers to the eponymous blue hedgehog in Sonic the Hedgehog, or the same video game series itself. Seriously, searching "sonic" with almost any word always brings up Sonic the Hedgehog. Tails, Knuckles, and Eggman (unless it's a Beatles reference)note  may have suffered this trope too. Other characters, such as Shadow, largely averts this.
    • Since Sonic Drive In, a fast food restaurant, exists, "sonic" refers to that in conversations between people who barely know the blue hedgehog. This has been joked about with Sonic fans.
    • Subverted with Blaze the Cat. She does appear a lot if an image search for "Blaze" is done, but there are many famous characters called Blaze.
  • "Peppy" is that grey rabbit guy that tells you to Do a Barrel Roll in Star Fox.
  • Geralt from The Witcher series. Had he been just a Gerald instead, he probably wouldn't be in this page, which shows how a single letter swap can do wonders for recognition (even if the name is not pronounced the same as Gerald).
  • Without question, the most famous fictional character named Heihachi is Heihachi Mishima from Tekken. The same can essentially be said for his son Kazuya.
  • Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn didn't need much to own her name for the rest of eternity.
  • Street Fighter
    • In a strange example, the name "Ryu" is overused to the point that there's a whole trope about it. However, it is clear that the Street Fighter Series Mascot is the most popular bearer of the name and perhaps the only prevalent one in global pop culture. Asking anyone on the street about the name "Ryu" will probably result in a bunch of Hadouken/Shoryuken references.
    • "Cammy" is that British soldier chick who is known for her ass.
    • Guile is an actual English word that means "cunning". However, those who are unfamiliar with the English lexicon will probably think of the American soldier.
  • After the release and acclaim of The Last of Us, you won't be seeing another video game character named "Ellie" anytime soon. The other characters (including the actual protagonist, Joel) likely avert this since they have incredibly common (and bland) names. The only other famous Ellie anywhere in pop culture is Ellie Goulding. Fans of The Beverly Hillbillies might be reminded of Elly Mae Clampett, though.
  • The name Cid tends to be highly associated with the Final Fantasy series, as every entry having a character with that name is a series tradition. The most popular of them is probably Cid Highwind from Final Fantasy VII.
  • Negative example: you'd need to have balls of steel to name a character Bubsy nowadays.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the spring of 2006, Haruhi Suzumiya and Ouran High School Host Club both received anime adaptations that were quite popular. In order to differentiate the two series' lead females, both called Haruhi, Fujioka Haruhi of Ouran was given the Fan Nickname "The Other Haruhi" because her name isn't in her show's title. Hilariously, come fall of 2006, Happiness! aired, and its heroine was quickly dubbed The Third Haruhi... for about five minutes before her show fell into obscurity, only remembered not for her but for a Wholesome Crossdresser side character who became insanely popular. There's also Haruhi from W~Wish, predating all the ones mentioned above by two years, but that series is not popular at all.
  • One Piece:
    • During the planning stages, the ship's cook was originally going to be called Naruto, because his most distinguishing feature was his spiral eyebrow and "naruto" is a food with a spiral pattern on it. Obviously, he was renamed "Sanji" due to a certain manga about ninjas turning up in Shonen Jump.
    • This is possibly the reason Zoro had his name changed to "Zolo" in the Viz release, in order to avoid comparisons with Zorro.
  • The aforementioned Naruto Uzumaki is by far the most famous bearer of both his first and last names.
    • Sasuke Uchiha is easily the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name "Sasuke", despite being one of the many characters named after the folkloric Sarutobi Sasuke. He's definitely the most famous of the references, though. His clan is indeed the dominant image of "Uchiha" in popular culture.
    • Sakura is probably too prevalent of a name to count, being one of the most well-known Japanese female names worldwide (see also Cherry Blossom Girl), but she at least gets to own the surname Haruno.
    • Itachi means "weasel" in Japanese, but don't be surprised if someone ends up thinking on Sasuke's infamous brother.
  • Often, the leads of Bleach and Tokyo Mew Mew are differentiated by the names "Shounen Ichigo" and "Shoujo Ichigo". While the latter eventually stepped away from this thanks to the Fleeting Demographic Rule (once kids forgot about Momomiya, we got Amano, and once kids forgot about her, Hoshimiya), there's still only one girly Ichigo at a time, and Mr. Kurosaki still holds down the boys' fort by himself.
  • There are only 2 Kaminas in anime: Ayoto Kamina from RahXephon and Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. It can be a girl's name as well (spelled with different kanji). Kamina also just happens to be a name in Hindi-Urdu, meaning "rascal". It also is a town in the Congo, which is the first page you're sent to if you look for it on The Other Wiki.
  • It may be a real Japanese name, but you're not likely to see many Nanohas after the inception of the Lyrical one.
  • Even though Asuka is one of the most common female names in Japan, for years after Neon Genesis Evangelion first aired, you could not use that name for a character without it being automatically classified as a Shout-Out. (Or worse a Possession Sue.) Fortunately, Asuka Kazama and Asuka the wrestler have changed this.
  • Good luck finding another Jotaro or Josuke except for all of the protagonists named some variant thereof in the various JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series.
  • Fist of the North Star: There have been people actually named Kenshiro in real life who predate Fist Of The North Star, but there aren't a lot of other characters who use the name nowadays.
    • Kenshiro Tatara is a character from the manga Nurse Hitomi's Monster Infirmary, however the appearances of him as a young boy have plenty of little references to the other Kenshiro.
  • Because of Pokémon, the surname Ketchum can never be used ever again in America. "Ash" is on the border because it's a fairly common nickname of The Evil Dead and Ash Crimson, but tends to be instantly be associated with Mr. Ketchum. The name "Misty", on the other hand is forever tied to the Pokémon character, and the only other "Brocks" that can compete with the Brock from Pewter City are Lesnar and possibly Samson. That being said, it will be difficult to name any subsequent video game character "Ash" ever again without people thinking of the Pokémon character, especially if this Ash is a player character.
    • By extension, all the species names are OML'd as they are mostly made-up, but Durant has to share its name with basketball star Kevin Durant.
  • There is only one other Arale/Arare in the world of manga, the protagonist of the yuri manga Tokimeki Mononoke Jogakkou.
  • While the word "Natsu" (Japanese for "summer") is not uncommon in series titles such as Ano Natsu De Matteru (Waiting in the Summer), you probably won't see many characters with the name "Natsu" beyond Natsu Dragneel from Fairy Tail (other than maybe the character from Soulcalibur V). And while "Ezra" is fine, "Erza" is not.
  • Thanks to Doraemon, there will probably never be another "Nobita" again, be it in real life or in fiction.
  • The names "Eren" and "Mikasa" has become so associated with the characters from Attack on Titan that you probably won't see any character in fiction with the same names for a while. "Armin", however, is fine, largely because it's a common Armenian name.
  • Dragon Ball: Goku (especially without a "Son" preceding it). In Japan, the name is already pretty associated with the character even if it's not particularly unique (Sun Wukong is called the same thing there after all. "Goku" is a direct transliteration of his Chinese name) . Now imagine in the West...
    • The Namekian will almost always be the first thing that comes to mind when people hear "Piccolo", even more than the flute he was named after.
  • Yugi follows a similar example from Goku above. The card duelist will probably be the first that will pop in your mind once you hear the name, especially outside Japan.
  • Satsuki is a name shared by characters from Ghost Stories, Strawberry 100%, and Kuroko no Basuke, and Ryuko is a term that can translate to "Tiger Versus Dragon". Good luck trying to find someone who knows those two terms by those meanings, let alone something besides the names of the protagonists of Kill la Kill.
  • Conan has also been associated with two people: Conan the Barbarian and Conan O'Brien. Because of their preeminence, Detective Conan had to be renamed Case Closed in North America, even though the name is actually a Shout-Out to Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle.

     Comic Books 
  • Superman: No one will be using the name "Clark" or "Kent" anytime soon, let alone Clark Kent. Other than his popularity, the fact that he is possibly more Clark Kent than any other superhero helps. For example, Bruce Wayne has much less influence in Batman.
    • Two-Face's name was originally Harvey Kent, but was changed to Dent to enforce this trope.
      • An even later retcon stated that "Harvey Kent" was the Two-Face of Earth-2 (where the Golden Age incarnations of DC's heroes hang out), but zig-zagged it by establishing that this Harvey was actually distantly related to Superman's Kents.
    • There's also "Lex". If you want a nickname for an Alexander character, then you better stick with "Alex", "Al", or "Xander" — unless it's a direct homage to him, as in Lex Luger. "Luthor" may also count.
    • If people hear the name "Lois", they will probably think of Lois Lane, Superman's eternal love interest. If not, Lois Griffin from Family Guy, or maybe the mom from Malcolm in the Middle.
  • Oddly enough, averted with The Joker, despite being a unique alias; Mass Effect has a fairly prominent character that everyone calls Joker. The main viewpoint character in Full Metal Jacket is nicknamed Joker as well. Worth noting, however, that you'll be hard-pressed to find another character called The Joker.
  • Harley Quinn has more likely than not taken ownership of both "Harley" and "Quinn". Older pro wrestling fans might think of Harley Race, who predates Quinn, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles are also well-known.
  • DC Comics has a character named Deathstroke the Terminator who first appeared in 1980. He was normally referred to as just "Terminator" — until The Terminator came out in 1984. Thenceforth, he was known more commonly just as Deathstroke, or by his civilian name Slade Wilson.
    • "Slade" itself counts thanks to his portrayal in the Teen Titans cartoon, with the only competition being the band of same name.
  • Generally applies in-universe to superhero and -villain identities. If two characters ever do use the same heroic or villainous monicker, one of the two will almost always be a Legacy Character or an impostor — nobody ever just duplicates somebody else's "super-name" purely by accident.
    • An exception would be "Starfire". Originally the name of a Soviet Superhero, now it belongs to a certain alien girl from Teen Titans. The original would be later renamed to "Red Star".
  • X-Men:
    • "Jean Grey" is a distinct case of a name combination being off limits. "Jean" is a quite common girl's name (it's even more common as a boy's name too) and the surname "Grey" is also very normal to have, so, by proportion, there should be a decent number of Jean Greys out there (regardless of gender), but this isn't the case thanks to the character. As one of the few superheroes out there who doesn't go by a hero name (not counting her Superpowered Evil Side and the relatively obscure "Marvel Girl"), her relatively mundane full name ends up being iconic itself.
    • "Xavier" as a surname is also unlikely to be used by another comic book character. As a first name,'s a much different story.
    • The Wolverine is definitely more recognizable than the animal he was named after, similar to the Revolver Ocelot example. Must be all that publicity. While there are several characters in different media themed after bats, spiders, snakes, etc., there's probably just one wolverine-based guy.
  • This was one reason The DCU changed Captain Marvel's name to Shazam in the New 52 reboot, in order to avoid confusion with their main rival Marvel Comics and Marvel's own superheroine Captain Marvel (formerly the original Ms. Marvel, and successor to the Marvel Universe's first Captain Marvel a.k.a. Mar-Vell). The fact that "Shazam" was easily mistaken to be The DCU hero's actual name probably helped too.
    • The existence of Captain Mar-Vell is an aversion of this trope: the first Captain Marvel title (the Shazam one) had been cancelled by its original publisher Fawcett Comics following copyright issues, and Marvel Comics took the opportunity to create their own hero named "Captain Marvel" for obvious reasons. There was actually also yet another Captain Marvel created a year earlier than Mar-Vell, by comic publisher M.F. Enterprises (featured on the Detachment Combat page).
  • "Calvin" is usually associated with a six-year-old boy with a stuffed tiger.
    • Hobbes the stuffed tiger is probably as well known as the man he was named after (Thomas "Hobbes Was Right" Hobbes), if not more.
  • "Charlie" and "Brown" can definitely be used individually, but not together unless it's for a bald boy with a yellow shirt with a black stripe. An obscure Batman villian known as Kite Man is named "Chuck Brown" and is a deliberate shout out to Charlie Brown.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Good luck naming an Original Character Ebony without being accused of making a reference to My Immortal.
    • Willow, though not quite as off limits, will also have this effect within the Harry Potter fandom. You might be able to pass it off as a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference anywhere else (if not using the actual Buffy character in the work), but the infamy of My Immortal killed the name within the Potterverse fandom.
  • No fanfiction writer would name their character Mary Sue unless they are joking or are oblivious to the meaning of the name.

    Film — Animation 
  • The name Arlo is was never a common name to begin with, but most likely there won't any other characters called that for some time thanks to The Good Dinosaur.
  • Thanks to The Little Mermaid, "Ariel" is probably going to forever remain associated with the eponymous mermaid (she composes 99% of the results for searching the name on Google Images). Also, you don't see too many Ursulas anymore, especially with the negative connotations. It means "little she-bear". Exceptions include:
  • Aladdin:
    • In Arabic-speaking countries, "Aladdin" (or, rather, its un-Anglicized form, Alā ad-Dīn, and its variants) seems to be largely unaffected by this trope. In English-speaking countries, however, it's almost always understood as a reference to the story (and, by extension, the Disney film).
    • "Abu" is a West African name meaning "little monkey", hence why Disney named Aladdin's monkey sidekick Abu. Any children of African immigrants who happen to be unfortunate enough to have that name will have a tough time getting through middle school unscathed.
    • You're unlikely to find a "Jafar" who isn't an Evil Vizier, though that isn't entirely Disney's fault — blame One Thousand and One Nights. Which makes learning about the Muslim explorer Ibn Abu Jafar much more amusing.
    • Originally Iago was most associated with the character in Shakespeare's Othello, but the parrot has since taken control of the name.
    • Princess Jasmine is a downplayed example. She's easily the most famous fictional character named "Jasmine", but the name is common enough in Real Life that other characters can probably get away with using it without people instantly thinking of Mrs. Aladdin.
  • "Nemo" is an interesting example. Latin for "no one", the name has been held by various people and places. In fiction, there's the comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland, and the even better-known Captain Nemo in the novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, after whom the title fish in Pixar's Finding Nemo is probably named as a Shout-Out Note . In February 2013, a large blizzard was dubbed "Nemo" by the Weather Channel, and, because it affected the area still recovering from Hurricane Sandy (which also just happened to be the most heavily populated area of the country), got the most heavy media attention of all the year's blizzards, and the consequent jokes on Twitter made it clear that the clownfish is now the Nemo. One journalist for wrote:
    I find it a little sad that few people seem to have any pre-Disney knowledge of name Nemo. Doesn’t anyone remember Captain Nemo of “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” and “The Mysterious Island,” by Jules Verne (the latter book was the basis for the 2012 movie “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island")? Note 
  • From Frozen:
    • Elsa is by far now the most well-known character with the name. Same deal with Olaf; it was previously most associated with Count Olaf, the Big Bad of the Lemony Snicket books or the berserk champion from League of Legends, but the snowman replaced both of them overnight. "Anna" isn't an example, but her unique pronunciation of her name may be.
    • The Other Wiki lists 44 songs and 10 albums named "Let It Go." Even though world-famous musicians like Prince and Def Leppard have made songs called "Let It Go," odds are the first song that pops into your head with that name is the song from Frozen. James Bay had a hit called "Let It Go" about a year after the Frozen song; but even then it had a hard time living down the fact that it shared its name with the song.
  • Good luck finding anyone named Bambi or Faline apart from the Young Prince and his mate. Bambi is actually popular among strippers, or was at some point.
  • There are few characters named "Aurora" anymore besides the Sleeping Beauty character. This was even forced upon with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Starlight Glimmer was supposed to be named "Aurora Glimmer", however Disney wrote an angry letter causing Hasbro to change her name.
  • As his song goes, no one can be as Gaston as Gaston, name included.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Star Wars
    • Luke in science fiction is rare due to the massive success of the franchise.
    • Leia too. The disambiguation page in The Other Wiki pretty much puts the princess before other Leias, fictional or not.
    • Very much the case for Vader. Although wrestling fans may think of Big Van Vader.
    • And to round out the trio, there's Han. In the western world (the name is pretty common in China and Korea), it refers only to the lovable smuggler.
    • The only thing standing in Rey's way from taking the name for herself is Rey Mysterio Jr.. Finn has at least two other people standing in his way, Adventure Time's Finn and Finn Bálor.
  • Bond. James Bond, and no-one-else Bond. Amusingly, he was named after a real ornithologist, and the name was picked to be inconspicuous.
    • And in real life, the name is pretty common, to the point a David Letterman Top Ten List had a James Bond saying advantages of the name.
    • There was once a St. James-Bond United Church on Avenue Rd. in Toronto, until it was demolished in 2005. It had been formed by the merger of St. James' Square Presbyterian Church and Bond Street Congregational Church.
    • "The Rajah's Emerald", a short story by mystery writer Agatha Christie published in a collection called "The Listerdale Mystery" in 1934, featured a protagonist named 'James Bond'.
  • The use of the term "matrix" for things computer-related also dropped off since The Matrix, though at least a few franchises predating the movie (like Gargoyles, ReBoot, and Shadowrun) continue to use it. Transformers used it prior as the Matrix of Leadership, but dropped it in favor of "Allspark" as the Macguffin of choice. With The Matrix fading out of public consciousness with time, recent Transformers incarnations are reinstating the Matrix of Leadership as the primary Macguffin.
  • After the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the character Roger Roderick Rabbit in the comic Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! was much more frequently referred to in-story and out by his middle name than his first.
  • "Jason" is a very common name in real life, but horror fans will immediately think of Jason Voorhees. In fact, the name is so iconic that (as James Rolfe once pointed out) most people wouldn't even know who you were talking about if you bothered to give the full name, but will understand when you limit it to the first name. "Jason Voorhees? Who's that?" "You know, Jason." "OHHHH!! Jason! Right, hockey mask, machete." Try to find another slasher villain named Jason who didn't predate him and isn't a parody of him. (The last name Voorhees is probably even more so an example).
  • In A Fish Called Wanda, this trope (or the reaction to its aversion) is one of the many examples of Otto's stupidity. When he hears that Archie's daughter is named Portia (a homophone of "Porsche"), he asks why on earth Archie would name her after a car.
    • Porsche's name recognition is so great, in fact, that even some people who know that "Portia" is a name (and not just in English; it dates back to ancient Rome) assume that it's spelled the same way as the car.
    • So great, in fact, that some people have named their daughters "Porscha", nearly bringing us full circle.
    • To say nothing about (the legitimate name) Mercedes — the car was named after a girl with that name.
  • In Braveheart, William Wallace's wife's name got changed from Marian to Murron, as an attempt to avert confusion with Robin Hood's love interest Maid Marian.
  • Mary Poppins: The surname Poppins is a practically perfect One Mario unless you count Chelsea Poppens, forward for the Iowa State Cyclones.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind hangs a lampshade on this trope: when Clementine and Joel first meet, she asks him to not make any jokes about her name, but he still does by singing "Oh, my darling Clementine".
  • "Ferris" was never popular as a first name to begin with, but Ferris Bueller's Day Off effectively killed whatever usability it may once have had, both in film and in real life.note  Younger audiences however, would probably connect it to "Ferris wheel" rather than a name.

    Interactive Fiction 

  • Sherlock may never have been common enough to count, but it's rare to see a fictional character called Holmes that isn't making an obvious reference. Same goes for Watson, but definitely not John.
  • Vladimir Nabokov once said in an interview, "I am probably responsible for the odd fact that people don't seem to name their daughters Lolita any more." But "Lolita" is the protagonist's pet name for the character Dolores, and there were tons of Doloreses around (at least until Sadist Teacher/Evil Teacher Dolores Umbridge of Harry Potter). Still, Lolita might have diminished the use of this nickname, and the town of Lolita, Texas almost changed its name because of this.
  • Astrid Lindgren's Emil was re-christened "Michel" in Germany due to there being another popular Emil in children's literature, the titular Emil from Erich Kästner's Emil and the Detectives.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The name Hermione was once fairly obscure, but not unheard of. There were two famous actresses in the 50s and 60s named Hermione: Hermione Gingold and Hermione Baddeley (the former you would know as the mayor's wife in The Music Man, the latter you would know as Ellen the maid in Mary Poppins). Before Harry Potter, it was most associated with a Shakespeare character, which was where J. K. Rowling got it from. Now you probably can't hear the name without immediately thinking about Emma Watson. (Ironically however, the actress Hermione Norris, best known for Cold Feet, Spooks and Wire in the Blood, became famous at almost exactly the same time the first Harry Potter novel was published.) Harry and Ron are, however, common enough that they don't make you think of the series unless you hear them together or by their full names. Still, the name Harry is not likely to show up in another fantasy series any time soon.
      • Which makes referencing the Hermione in Romeo X Juliet tricky, as (obviously enough) she's based on the Shakespearean Hermione.
      • Jessie Cave, who played Hermione's romantic rival in Half-Blood Prince, later played a character named "Hermione" on Sadie J, funnily enough.
    • Harry Dresden will do at least one joke per book about being the wizard named Harry. Particularly amusing, since he's actually named after Harry Houdini.
    • "Potter" is now similarly blackballed, despite Lionel Barrymore's character in the film It's a Wonderful Life.
      • Which must be really annoying for a barrister named Harry Potter who recently presented a series on BBC 4 on the history of the English legal system.
      • What about the horror film Troll, that features not one but two Harry Potters (Sr. and Jr.)?
      • Or the chatterbox wife from Carry On Camping called Harriet Potter?
    • Bellatrix is a Latin word meaning "female warrior". An all-women's Professional Wrestling promotion named themselves Bellatrix after this. Of course many fans simply thought the promoters were massive Harry Potter fans. One promoter Saraya Knight is just as Ax-Crazy as Bellatrix Lestrange. (Bellatrix is also the name of a star, Gamma Orionis, which the Harry Potter character was named after in keeping with the astronomical Theme Naming of the Black family.)
    • Neville Longbottom is probably the only Neville we will be seeing in the near future. Unless you count Adrian Neville.
    • Hedwig is most likely associated with the series as well. Many people forget Hedwig is a female name because it doesn't sound feminine and the owl's gender isn't exactly obvious.
    • And then there's "Draco". The name literally can only refer to Harry's rival (tropers also probably envision him wearing leather pants due to a certain well-known trope he named). An Athenian legislator? Who the hell are you talking about?
    • Ginny Weasley is certainly the best known "Ginny" out there.
    • While it's not a name, referring to someone as "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" or "You-Know-Who" is begging for reference to Lord Voldemort. So much so that searching for the two terms on Google automatically brings up Voldemort's Wikipedia page.
    • Lucius Malfoy would probably be the One-Lucius Limit if not for Lucius Fox making it a Two-Lucius Limit. note 
  • Despite "Isabella" being the most popular girls' name in the US (at least partly due to The Red Stapler effect), its short form, "Bella," has become almost irrevocably tied to Bella Swan, the protagonist of the Twilight saga. This makes it Hilarious in Hindsight that the Harry Potter character Bellatrix Lestrange is nicknamed "Bella". (Incidentally, Bellatrix got the "Bella" nickname two years before the first Twilight book came out.) Among wrestling fans, it's a Two-Mario Limit (technically three) with Brie and Nikki Bella.
    • Though somehow Isabela is still occasionally abbreviated as 'Bela online, usually in the form "good old 'Bela".
    • Edward Cullen is the name of a Real Life individual who was involved in the first ever production of Inherit the Wind.
      • Speaking of "Inherit The Wind", one of the writers' names was Robert E. Lee.
    • It happened with the last name Cullen, too. Pre-Twilight, people with the name could expect to be mistaken for Cohen or Collins by every restaurant where they made reservations. Now, it's impossible to mention the name anywhere without hearing "You mean like EDWARD????"
  • The word Middle-earth (translated from Midgard) was an old name for our world to distinguish it from the other eight worlds in Norse cosmology. This was why Tolkien named his constructed world "Middle-earth" — he drew a lot of inspiration from Norse mythology and he wanted to establish that a relationship exists between his Middle-earth and our own. Thanks to that, though, no one can use "middle-earth" for its original use anymore without accidentally invoking Tolkien and his legendarium. Other works that reference Norse Mythology tend to use "Midgard" instead.
  • Both Franklin and Arthur are sufficiently iconic that you almost never see characters in either children's picture books or animated shows with these names anymore, despite them both still being fairly popular male names. Averted, however, with Little Bear. Despite the extreme popularity of the series, the name is apparently considered generic enough that to this day it's still used for any of a number of other young bear characters, such as this one here.
    • Most of the character's names in Arthur are tied exclusively to the show. So don't expect to hear the names D.W., Francine, Muffy, Binky, Prunella, Sue Ellen (both names are fine separately), or Ratburn anywhere else. Arthur himself seems to be a subversion in that he is the most prominent fictional "Arthur", but not famous enough that he unofficially owns the name (Arthur Weasley is another prominent Arthur for example and then there is real life King Arthur).
    • It's a good thing that D.W. (short for "Dora Winifred") goes by her initials, because a certain explorer took that name years later.
  • Ebenezer and/or Scrooge:
    • It's very likely that the name derived from the main character in A Christmas Carol, especially the latter, since Scrooge isn't a real name — Charles Dickens got the name from misreading a tombstone (the actual man was named Scroggie).
    • Perhaps the oddest victim of this was the well-known hymn "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing", which originally contained the line "Here I raise my Ebenezer" — a reference to the monument erected by Samuel in the Old Testament which all Ebenezers are ultimately named after. In 1973, a new version of this two-hundred-year-old hymn was written that replaces four lines and completely removes this reference.
  • Dorothy was a top-10 name for girls in the early 20th century. Nowadays, it is almost exclusively associated with the character from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Though Dorothy Zbornak might make it a Two-Mario Limit.
  • "Katniss" is another name for the Sagittaria plant. Nowadays, the name conjures up only one image.
  • "Waldo" is an actual name but it is associated with Where's Waldo? in North America. Averted with his names in other countries, as names such as "Charlie", "Walter", and "Wally" are perfectly common in both real life and fiction.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Veruca Salt is obviously the first thing people will think of when they hear the name "Veruca". Averted with the other kids' names, especially Charlie and Mike. "Willy" isn't an example, but "Wonka" is.
  • Try naming a character "Winnie" without being reminded of Winnie-the-Pooh, even though he is almost exclusively referred to as simply "Pooh" in conversations. The other characters' names don't qualify due to either being made-up (Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga), a case of A Dog Named "Dog" (Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Gopher, Roo), or too common (Christopher Robin).
  • Most of the names in A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones aren't even real names, so they don't really count. Some of them, however, do exist, like "Arya", which refers to the Aryan Race, but due to the negative connotations of that definition, people try to associated it only with the character. "Stark" tends to be only associated, outside of their family, with Tony.

    Live Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: The surname Kirk is unlikely to be used in sci-fi again anytime soon. (Apart from joking references to Star Trek, obviously.)
    • Nor will any ship in sci-fi ever be named Enterprise. Expect loads of shout outs and ships being almost named Enterprise, though.
      • That is exactly why the first Space Shuttle was named "Enterprise", after a nation-wide letter-writing campaign by Trekkies.
      • And this is also why the first Spaceship Two being sold to Richard Branson is being named "Enterprise" (and the second is apparently "Voyager").
    • As of 2013, the US Navy does have a Captain James Kirk, though his middle name isn't Tiberius. The Captain of the USS Zumwalt is used to the Starfleet jokes. There are already jokes calling for him to be given command of the next USS ''Enterprise" when it enters service around 2025.
  • There won't be much use of the surname House either... maybe a casino reference, but that's it.
  • The Muppets made Kermit synonymous with a talking frog. In real life, Teddy Roosevelt's son, born in 1889, was named Kermit Roosevelt. The name caught on and there's a long line of Kermit Roosevelt Jr., etc. Kermit Roosevelt III, born in 1971, named his daughter Rana. Which is Spanish (and Latin) for "frog."
  • Grover, Elmo, Bert, and Ernie are residents of Sesame Street, and no other place in the universe.
    • Bert & Ernie have the same names as characters who appear together in It's a Wonderful Life, causing a lot of Sesame Street jokes (and subsequently, gay jokes).
    • The names are semi-uncommon enough that one gets accustomed to hearing other characters by the names as one gets older, but to a little kid, it's incredibly jarring to discover anyone not from the Street bearing those names.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The likelihood of TV characters having the name Buffy has gone down dramatically. Or at least ones that deal with vampires.
    • Andi Mack features a Buffy among the regular cast, though they get the obligatory joke out of the way in the pilot - the character's young enough that she might very well be named for the fictional vampire slayer in-universe.
  • When most people hear the name "Lassie", they will probably think of the Heroic Dog rather than what Scots might call a girl.
  • Where else have you heard the name Moesha before?
  • Red Dwarf: When Rob Grant and Doug Naylor adapted their radio sketch series Dave Hollins: Space Cadet for television, they decided to change the main character’s last name to Lister, as a football player by the name of Dave Hollins had become famous.
  • Seinfeld: You can get away with giving a character the last name Kramer, but only if they're on a First-Name Basis. Saying "Hey Kramer!" is just begging for all the meaning to go out of a scene like air out of a balloon as the unintended Shout-Out rears its head.
  • The name "Barney" has a history. Probably the most prominent period of the history of "Barney" was when it was highly associated with the purple dinosaur of that name. But before the purple dinosaur, the name Barney would easily remind people of Barney Rubble (surely more so than his contemporary second-runner-up Barney Fife). The name "Barney" is still fairly highly associated with the dinosaur, but there is good evidence that the effect is fading (partially due to the dinosaur becoming Deader Than Disco): No one seems to be bothered by the associations when this name was given to a major character on How I Met Your Mother, who is characterized as something of a Magnificent Bastard who no one would compare to that mawkish dinosaur. This trope is lampshaded in an early episode, where Barney Stinson is in a children's classroom and written on the board is "Barney (Not the dinosaur)."
  • There aren't that many people named "Maeby" out there.
  • The name Mallory is still very much associated with Family Ties.
  • Chandler as a last name is perfectly acceptable. As a first name, it's still tied to Chandler Bing from Friends.
  • The name "Fraser" (alternately spelled "Frasier" and "Frazier") is common as a surname and still okay to use as such. As a first name, especially if it's the second spelling, it is reserved only for Dr. Frasier Crane. His brother, Niles, also qualifies.

  • All Elvises (Elvii?) are direct shout outs to The King. The ones who are not are forced to use their full names.
    • Elvis Costello named himself in reference to Presley. And he sometimes released music under the pseudonym "The Imposters".
    • Merengue singer Elvis Crespo (of "Suavemente" fame) was named after THE Elvis.
    • Folk singer Elvis Perkins was named after The Elvis by his father, actor Anthony Perkins.
    • A Swedish series of children's books by Maria Gripe features a young protagonist named Elvis by his Presley-loving mother. (Swedish children are NEVER named Elvis unless it's a tribute to The King.note ) After The King dies, his mom starts calling him Edwin or Edmund.
    • There is an Elvis in Quantum of Solace and it's played straight, and without making a Presley joke or impression anywhere. This was done on purpose.
    • In the French version of Harry Potter, Voldemort's middle name (and presumably his grandfather's name) is Elvis. This is so the "I am Lord Voldemort" anagram translates.
  • All controversies aside, don't expect to be hearing of any pop singers named Britney in the future. Britney Spears owns the name. The name "Britney" in general is this, as it's even a redirect to her page on Wikipedia ("Brittany" and "Brittney" haven't been hit as hard).
  • When Madonna Ciccone's given name is that uncommon and that strongly associated with one person, many people assume "Madonna" must be a stage name.
  • In Office Space, one of the protagonist's buddies is named... Michael Bolton, complete with Lampshade Hanging:
    Samir: Why don't you just go by Mike?
    Michael: No way. Why should I change my name? He's the one who sucks...
  • Reba McEntire is at the point in her career where, there are so few other Rebas anywhere, she named her own sitcom Reba and is usually listed as just "Reba" on the music charts. It's actually a very uncommon diminutive form of "Rebecca".
  • When Garth Brooks entered the country music scene in 1989, another singer whose real name was Douglas Jackson Brooks went by Doug Stone so as to avoid confusion. On the other hand, Brooks & Dunn had no problem.
  • Macarena was once a reasonably common girl's name, particularly in Spain. Nowadays, Macarena immediately calls the song and/or dance to mind. In fact, the song was about a woman named Macarena.
  • Niall has been a popular name in Ireland for a long time; it has been used since the 5th century and was the name of two Irish kings. However, in the United States (and everywhere outside Ireland), it is almost solely associated with one person: Niall Horan from One Direction.
    • Zayn is a much more extreme case of this. While the name remains normal in Muslim countries, it has become tied to Zayn Malik everywhere else outside of the professional wrestling fandom. The fact that he has since gone solo and goes solely by Zayn only further ties the association with him. "Harry", "Liam", and "Louis", on the other hand, are fully unaffected.
    • For last names, "Horan" is probably the most prominent example. "Tomlinson" would be if not for LaDainian and "Styles" is mostly associated with Harry outside of professional wrestling. "Payne" and "Malik", on the other hand, avoid this.
    • It's safe to say we won't be seeing the acronym "1D" be reused any time soon.
  • As the documentary "Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears" mentions, around 1989 the most well-known "Kurt" on the Seattle grunge scene was Kurt Danielson of TAD. The 'other' Kurt was the singer of a relatively obscure band called Nirvana. Nowadays, of course, everything has flipped. And then there's Kurt Angle, though he's only known to wrestling fans.
  • The first thing to come to anyone's mind now with mention of the last name of Bieber is Justin Bieber. The last name has become tied to a single person as much as Obama, and just having the last name, regardless of whether or not the bearer's first name is Justin, has been known to haunt people for most of their lives. It isn't common, at least in the United States, but it isn't that rare either.
    • This is true with the name Justin, but to a lesser degree. Anyone with the name "Justin" has invariably been called "Justin Bieber" as an insult, but it's not solely associated with Bieber like his last name is. This is likely due to Justin being a common name, as well as a certain other famous (and much less hated) Justin that helps defuse the association (although his last name is an example as well).
  • Adele isn't that rare of a name, but now it is mostly associated with the British singer, especially after her international breakthrough in 2011. She's the reason that Adele Sandé goes by her middle name Emeli. In fact, her article on That Other Wiki is at simply "Adele."
  • The Russian singer Valeria. It's a stage name; her real first name is Alla. No, there cannot be another Alla on the Russian pop scene.
  • The chances of someone else named Beyoncé existing aren't high, but them getting a music career is impossible.
  • Country duo Maddie Marlow and Taylor Dye have the latter go by Tae because there's only room for one Taylor in country music. This, despite the fact that Ms. Swift has become a pure pop singer now.
    • Even more so is the last name "Swift".
  • Selena, depending on what age you are and background you have, will almost immediately make you think of either one of two people: Selena, the late tejano legend or Selena Gomez, Disney actress turned pop singer. Unless it's spelled Selina.
  • Good luck to any aspiring singer named Ariana. After Ariana Grande become popular on Victorious and especially upon her explosion in popularity as a singer, she practically took ownership of the name.
  • There is only one Rihanna. Her success pretty much killed off any chances of a comeback from a UK R&B singer named Rhianna.
  • The name Miley is associated with Destiny Hope Cyrus and no one else.
  • In America, "Calum" is most closely tied to Calum Hood of 5 Seconds of Summer. Or to a lesser extent, actor Calum Worthy of Austin & Ally fame. It's considerably more common in Hood's native Australia and the UK.
  • "Shinoda" is a rather unremarkable surname in Japan. In the west however, it is solely associated with Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park.
  • The lesser-known word evanescence means to "disappear" or "fade away". However, since 2003, the word is solely associated with the female-fronted rock band Evanescence. Even The Other Wiki directs you to the rock band. Thus, most writers avoid using the word to avoid making an inadvertent reference to the band, assuming they remember that it is a word.
  • There are many famous Johns, Pauls, and Georges, but there is only one Ringo.
    • Likewise, the word "Beetle" is off-limits to most musicians, let alone "Beatle".
  • You won't be seeing too many Drakes popping up after the meteoric rise of Canadian rap star Aubrey "Drake" Graham. The only other famous Drake is Drake Bell, who starred in Drake & Josh, and he more or less disappeared from the mainstream after the series ended.
  • "Kanye" is also really unlikely to show up again.
  • Bruno isn't that rare of a European name, but nowadays you'll be hard-pressed to to find someone who won't immediately associate the name with Bruno Mars. Thanks to Sammartino, it becomes a two-Mario limit to wrestling fans like "Lana", "Kurt" and "Zayn".
  • While Cassidy is a popular name, Cassadee refers strictly to former HeyMonday singer and The Voice winner Cassadee Pope.
  • Iggy...Pop or Azalea? Take your pick — or you could go with the Koopa (named after Pop), but other than that, you're not likely to hear anyone else.
  • Kendrick is a very common last name, but as a first name is almost universally tied to Kendrick Lamar.
  • You will have a tough time finding a musician called Alvin that is not a cartoon chipmunk (Simon and Theodore are fine, however). The fact that a character shouts this name at least Once an Episode in pretty much every animated adaptation further cements this.
    • Most British readers of a certain age will immediately think of Alvin Stardust, though of course he was really Shane Fenton.
  • Lemmy Kilmister is still the most popular and well-known "Lemmy" out there even after his death (the only rival being the Koopa named after him). So much that you can get his page on The Other Wiki by just searching "Lemmy".
  • Even people who are remotely familiar with Beethoven probably know that his first name is Ludwig, and he's probably the only Ludwig they know. Outside Germany and other countries with heavy German influence like Austria or Poland, the name is not that common, so people are more likely to associate it with the classical musician. Obviously, it's still not as attached to him as "Beethoven" is.
  • Nicki Minaj has probably taken unofficial ownership of all "Nick" diminutives there is (though not "Nick" itself). This also probably extends to her real name (Onika), and certainly to both her real (Maraj) and fake last names.
  • Arguably, the name Axel is still safe to use. Just make sure not to go with an "Axl" spelling (unless it's a deliberate homage like the Guilty Gear fighter or the Megaman X character). "Rose", however, is perfectly fine.
  • "Diddy" either refers to rapper and record producer Sean Combs (a.k.a Puff Daddy and P. Diddy) or Diddy Kong.
  • As common of a name as it is, you're probably going have a hard time as a singer if your last name is Jackson (Though Alan seems to be doing pretty well, but he's a white country singer, so this probably only applies to black singers). "Michael" isn't an example, but "Janet" is.
  • The word "gaga" is hardly used anymore unless it's referring to a certain Lady.
  • All Katherines who want to be known as "Katy" must go with "Katie" instead, thanks to Ms. Perry. No wonder Katy Tiz's career never went anywhere.
    • There is a popular singer in the UK named Katy B, but her popularity is almost non-existent stateside. Perhaps the name might have something to do with it.
  • There is only one Mariah, Mariah Carey.
  • "Whitney" will always be most associated with Whitney Houston.
  • The last name "Jonas" is pretty much tied to a certain band of brothers.
  • The reason people don't call blimps zeppelins anymore is because the word was "led" away from that association in the '70s.
  • A nickelback is an obscure position in American football, and the fact that it's now tied to a certain rock band certainly hasn't helped.
  • People are far more likely to associate "Bowie" with David than the Bowie knife nowadays.
  • The name "Marley" is now mostly associated with Bob and his family.
  • "Dylan" is another last name exclusively tied to a singer named Bob, though it's very much not an example as a first name.
  • To most people, the word "slipknot" is far more synonymous with a metal band than an actual kind of knot tied with a rope.
    • There's also an obscure DC Comics villain introduced in the '80s that's named Slipknot, but his obscurity could also be attributed by the fact that it's harder to search for him when typing in his name brings up the band.

     Professional Wrestling 
  • Bad News Allen used the Red Baron "The Ultimate Warrior" prior to coming to WWE as Bad News Brown. However, the name "The Ultimate Warrior" conjures up one image, and it's not a Badass black guy from Harlem, NY, or even a 1975 Yul Brynner movie. It's the wrestler whose birth name was Jim Hellwig.
  • The Iron Sheik took his ring name because Ed Farhat already had the name "The Sheik".
  • Prior to his WCW days, Stevie Ray (of Harlem Heat fame) used the name "Kane" when wrestling. To most fans, there is only one Kane in pro wrestling, and his brother is NOT Booker T, but the Undertaker.
  • Averted with the Red Baron "The Nature Boy", which has been used by Buddy Rogers and Ric Flair (indeed, Flair took the look, the attitude, and the finishing maneuver as well as the Red Baron from Rogers' persona.)
  • Despite the popularity of AJ Styles, the name AJ is now probably more associated with AJ Lee, given that unlike Styles she is almost always called by her first name and was more established with casual fans due to Styles wrestling on smaller stages. However, since Lee retired on bad terms with WWE trying to scrub her from history and Styles' finally signed with WWE, subsequently becoming a top star, Styles will likely end up OML'ing Lee in the future. "Styles" is a Two-Mario Limit shared with Harry (although it's probably not as bad as with "Zayn"). (Sorry, Joey.), but Lee is too common to own.
  • Likewise is the case with "Vince." There are two major figures named Vince in the wrestling world, McMahon and Russo; but "Vince" alone typically refers to McMahon, whereas Russo is usually called by his last name. Ditto with "Jeff," which when used alone usually refers to Hardy and not Jarrett. "Hardy" however, is safely secured by Jeff and his brother Matt.
  • The wrestling McMahons are easily the most famous people to bear the surname in the world.
  • There is, was, and will only ever be one "Bret" in professional wrestling. The same can be said with "Owen". Anyone outside his family won't be allowed to use "Hart" either, with Jimmy Hart being the sole exception.
  • Kevin Steen takes sole ownership both "Steen" and "Owens", although definitely not "Kevin".
  • In addition to their desire to owning trademarks for wrestler names, WWE will also change a wrestlers name to support this. For example, outside WWE, The Hurricane/Hurricane Helms/Gregory Helms goes by the name Shane Helms. Shane is also the name of Vince McMahon's son who was a major part of WWE programming for a time, so Helms could not use it in WWE.
  • It's highly unlikely there's ever going to be another Bray in professional wrestling, and certainly we won't be hearing "Wyatt" again either (outside of the name of the stable he leads).
  • John Cena is undoubtedly the most well known bearer of his family name in the world. It's also his real name, and not a ring name created for his gimmick.
  • Not too many people can name any Lesnars whose first name isn't "Brock". Likewise, "Brock" is completely unusable by anyone else in the industry nowadays.
  • Ted DiBiase is also unquestionably the single most famous "DiBiase" in the world.
  • While "Ziegler" is pretty common, the extremely rare variant "Ziggler" is associated only with Dolph.
  • The Undertaker has taken complete ownership of the word "undertaker", which means mortician. The word has been used increasingly less often as the wrestler became more prominent.
  • The name "Roman" has practically become synonymous with Roman Reigns, unless you're a comic book fan, then you might think of lesser known Batman villain Roman "Black Mask" Sionis. "Reigns" has too, despite Luther Reigns.
  • There are two well known Randys in professional wrestling, Savage and Orton. So while it averted the One Mario Limit, it's unlikely to go past the Two Mario Limit. Their last names can qualify as well, with the possible exception of Orton's father Bob (outside the wrestling world, definitely not).
  • While it was never likely there'd be another Benoit in wrestling, the murder-suicide made it all but certain the name will never be seen again in the industry.
  • Seamus is an extremely common name in Ireland, but not particularly well known in the U.S. (Seamus Finnigan is probably the best known bearer of the name over there). However, "Sheamus", an extremely rare variant of the name, is associated almost exclusively with the Irish professional wrestler. He's actually been doing it to not just his variant but the entire "Seamus" name family.
  • Any wrestler named "Rick" will have to keep the "k" at the end, because "Ric" is tied to Mr. Flair and nobody else.
  • While "Foley" is a common last name, it's practically unusable in the wrestling world if your name isn't Mick. "Mick" is an example too, and overall is a Two-Mario limit shared with Jagger.
  • The name "Hogan" will probably be forever associated with Hulk to both fans and non-fans alike. However, the first name is a Two-Mario Limit shared with The Incredible Hulk.
  • It's unlikely that there will be another Goldberg in wrestling. There almost was when UFC commentator Mike Goldberg nearly signed with WWE, but they wanted him to change his name due to this trope, so it didn't pan out. Bill probably owns the name outside of wrestling as well. While "Goldberg" is a fairly common last name and there are at least two other famous Goldbergs (Whoopi and Rube), as well as a TV sitcom family, the former hasn't been relevant in years outside of hosting The View and the latter is more known for the device named after him, and most people nowadays wouldn't know it by name.
  • There is room for only one André in the professional wrestling industry.
  • Austin is a very common first and last name in the real world, but it's become OML'd in the industry in both ways.
  • Despite being a common name, there have not been very many notable Christians in the wrestling business besides the mononymous wrestler.
  • The world "edge" is completely off limits for wrestling stage names nowadays.
  • Shawn is another very common name that is almost exclusively associated in the wrestling world with one person. The S-E-A-N spelling is available though ("Shaun" is probably not, though). "Michaels" is probably this as well.
  • "Brian" is perfectly fine to use as long as it has an "i" in it. Only one wrestler is allowed to use "Bryan" both as a first and last name. While "Daniel" isn't an example (though most other wrestlers tend to use "Dan" or "Danny"), "Danielson" is.
  • CM Punk has assured that "Punk" won't be appearing in another wrestler's stage name anytime soon. As part of a nickname, it's OK.
  • There are several Eddies in the industry, but the name will always be first and foremost associated with Eddie Guerrero. Likewise, "Guerrero" is exclusively tied to his family, though similarly-named Juventud Guerrera got a pass.
  • Trish Stratus is easily the most famous "Trish" in the world. The same can be said for her rival Lita.
  • Jericho is the name of an ancient city in what is now Palestine. Nowadays when people mention it, it's impossible not to think of Chris Jericho.
  • While she's not quite at the level of Trish and Lita Melina Perez has likely taken ownership of the name "Melina". So much so that a One Steve Limit was created when WWE hired similarly named Milena Roucka (aka. Rosa Mendes). There is a frequently cited backstage rumor that Melina cheated on her boyfriend John Morrison with Dave Batista, when it was actually Milena that Dave was seeing at the time.
  • The Four Horsewomen: Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks have ensured that there will never be any more "Charlottes", "Beckys" or "Sashas" around anytime soon. "Flair" is shared with Charlotte's daddy. "Lynch" is probably OML'd too (aside from Claire of TNA infamy). "Banks" is too common for anyone to take ownership of, though it'll likely be reserved for male wrestlers. "Bailey" is an acceptable name to use (although not as a mononym), but not the rare spelling "Bayley".
  • Saraya-Jade Bevis has made sure that the name "Paige" won't be used again in wrestling (especially in light of her...unfortunate incidents behind-the-scenes), mononym or not. The alternate spelling "Page" is likewise owned by Diamond Dallas. Then there's her former name "Britani Knight". "Britani" (at least with that spelling) is probably this too, though "Knight" definitely isn't. "Saraya", meanwhile, is OML'd by her mother.
  • Any wrestlers commonly known by their initials (i.e. DDP, RVD, JBL, MVP, JR take sole ownership of them).
  • Alberto is associated exclusively with Alberto Del Rio and nobody else. "Del Rio" too.
  • Aside from "Zayn", as mentioned above in the Music folder, Sami Zayn has exclusive ownership to "Sami". Otherwise you have to go by Sammy or Sam.
  • Barbie Blank aka. Kelly Kelly has ensured that the name "Kelly" won't be used as a first or last name in wrestling again. The one exception is former WWE and Ring of Honor announcer Kevin Kelly, and he only gets away with it because he used it long before Barbie got into wrestling.
  • "Curt" and "Kurt", two spellings of the same name, have been OML'd by Hennig and Angle, respectively. Although the latter still competes with Cobain, who remains popular to this day.
  • Kofi Kingston has practically complete ownership of his first name — his only competition being Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the UN.
  • Kevin Nash is easily the most famous bearer of the surname "Nash" (rivaled only by Charlie and Graham). If people don't think of him when they hear "Nash", then they're probably thinking of "Nashville".
  • Is your last name "Rhodes?" Do you want to be a wrestler? Too bad, you'll have to change it thanks to the legendary Rhodes family. The head of said family, "Dusty", has OML'd his first name as well. "Dustin" (though not "Goldust") and "Cody" are safe to use, though.
    • And even if you're not interested in Wrestling, you will still have to deal with James "Rhodey" Rhodes, a.k.a War Machine.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura has OML'd both of his names, at least in non-Japanese markets (especially "Shinsuke" since the name "Nakamura" occasionally pops up in American fiction, but the name "Shinsuke" was probably unheard of before the King of Strong Style became notable).
  • Leah Van Dale has OML'd the name "Carmella". Previously there was Carmella DeCesare, the widely disliked runner-up of the 2004 Diva Search, but she has since faded into obscurity.
  • The obscure French name "Maryse" will always be associated with Maryse Mizanin.
  • This trope actually seems to be the norm rather than the exception when it comes to women in wrestling. Whenever a female wrestler, manager, valet, etc. gains even a shred of national attention, their names end up becoming exclusive to them and aren't typically used by anyone else in the industry, present or future. It doesn't help that women tend to take on more distinctive sounding names than males do (at least when it comes to actual names rather than monikers) and since WWE tend to make most of their acquired talents change their ring names to a WWE given one (with a few exceptions) it's almost like they're trying to enforce it. For example, there are dozens of Ricks, Scotts and Johns in wrestling but significantly fewer Marias, Michelles and Beths.

  • When you mention the name "Kobe", you almost always get former basketball star Kobe Bryant instead of the Japanese city or the meat.
  • "Shakeel" is an uncommon Arabic name meaning "handsome". However, the spelling "Shaquille", and by extension the nickname "Shaq", is OML'd by Mr. O'Neal.
  • "Lebron" is an uncommon Spanish surname, but basketball star LeBron James has made that name completely unusable.
  • Stephen Curry is pretty much the only man who can use the nickname "Steph", as it's otherwise exclusively reserved as a shorthand for the female name Stephanie. "Curry" is likely going in this direction as well, even if the Indian dish of same name remains popular.
  • Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic trademarked his first name, ensuring that he would be the primary owner of that name.
  • "Cristiano" is the Portuguese form of the common first name "Christian". However, the name is almost exclusively associated with Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
    • Because of the Brazilian footballer Ronaldo, that name has a three-Mario limit with CR7 and Ronaldinho.
  • There are no other Beckhams but David Beckham, English footballer.
  • Good luck finding any other person with the surname Maradona that is not the Argentinian footballer or related to him.
  • Lionel Messi has definitely taken ownership of his last name. His first name, meanwhile, is definitely this in the football world, though it's common enough to be used elsewhere.
  • You'll never find another Tyson in Boxing, regardless if it's name or surname (arguably, the simple "Mike" is also risky). Even a similar sounding name is off-limits as Balrog of Street Fighter can attest to (originally known as "Mike Bison", he had his name swapped around with two other characters' [the third name in the wheel being "Vega"] exactly to prevent potential legal troubles with Tyson).
  • Jamaican track runner Usain Bolt is the sole owner of "Usain" (and maybe "Bolt" as well).
  • You're going to have a hard time becoming a football star if your last name is "Montana" (Joe).

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • Ricky Gervais invokes this trope in one of his shows; There are not many "Adolfs" around these days, although there are many Robbies and Kylies.

  • Most of William Shakespeare's more famous characters are strictly off limits, and no one uses their names unless they intentionally mean to evoke those plays, Romeo being the worst offender.
    • Hamlet, Lear, Othello, Ophelia, Iago, Macbeth, Shylock, Romeo, etc. are hardly ever seen, except as shout outs, like the Iago in Aladdin or the Ofelia in Pan's Labyrinth. Though nowadays, if you mention "Iago" (a variant of "Jacob" in Spanish and Welsh), people are going to think of the parrot thanks to Disney's ubiquitousness.
      • Some of these names were unpopular, considered exotic or even unheard of before Shakespeare, though. "Shylock" seems to be completely made up, "Iago" was the Spanish form of a common enough name (James/Jacob). On the other hand, some names became popularized by Shakespeare — for instance Cordelia, Imogen (Shakespeare's misspelling of "Innogen"), Horatio, Portia, Jessica (misspelling of "Iscah" from The Bible), and Miranda (invented for "The Tempest"). There is also another Ophelia, Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Trading Places; "Ophelia" also seems to be a 16th century poetic invention, though not by Shakespeare, but by Jacopo Sannazzaro. "Rosalind" got a big boost from being used by Shakespeare and Spenser.
      • Surprisingly, the name "Juliette"/"Juliet" is pretty common, even when there's yet another book with the name on the title.
    • "Othello" is also a common name for the board game "Reversi."
      • Pressman marketed the game under that name so that they could trademark it.
  • Oedipus, with all its psychological infamy. Although in Brazil, Édipo is still used as a name.

  • A fictional universe example: in the web comic Jack, it's said that the titular character gave such a... specially strong... impression (being a genocidal dictator surely helps), that no one has had that name since his death, because everyone grew sick of that name and no one likes the connotations. And it was implied that it had happened several centuries since, so...
  • dolan pls. Otherwise, he's a cardinal from New York City.

    Web Original 
  • Parodied in the "Asakura Hour" segment of Negima The Abridged Series: almost every time the name "Asakura" is mentioned, the OP for Shaman King starts playing, much to the enragement of the host.

    Western Animation 
  • There aren't many cartoon characters called Mickey. Or Minnie. Or Donald. (Outside of cartoons there's plenty of Mickeys and Donalds.) But the spelling "Mickie" is associated only with Mickie James.
    • Friends lampshaded this in episode 102, The One With the Sonogram:
      Ross: How about the baby's name?
      Carol: "Marlon" if it's a boy, "Minnie" if it's a girl.
      Ross: in, "Mouse"?
      Carol: As in, my grandmother.
      Ross: Still, you say "Minnie", you hear "Mouse".
  • The Simpsons: No one will ever be able to call a character Homer or Bart again.
    Principal Skinner: There are no other Barts! (Which is ironic, since he doesn't know who El Barto is.)
    • In an attempt to keep Homer Simpson away, one treehouse group (and later The Stonecutters) use this trope in Homer the Great:
    Girl points to "NO HOMERS CLUB" sign.
    Homer: But you let in Homer Glumplet!
    Girl: It says "NO HOMERS." We're allowed to have one.
    • A superhero called Bart Allen (aka The Flash) made his debut in 1995, at the height of the Simpsons' popularity. It probably helps that superheroes are more often known by their superhero names than by their birth names.
      • Xenogears got away with having a Bart, probably because the show is not as culturally significant over in Japan. Final Fantasy V also had a Bartz.
    • Even though the main character in October Sky was named Homer. They got away with it because 1. it took place in the 1950s. and 2. it was based on a true story and the guy's real name was Homer. Even by the 1980s, it was considered an old-fashioned name.
      • In fact, the name "Homer" is nowadays more associated with the character from "The Simpsons" than with Homer Plessey, of Plessey vs Ferguson fame, or with the ancient poet whose name is just Homer. The show even makes a joke about the poet when they do a recreation of "Homer's Odyssey", which Homer briefly assumes is a story about an SUV he once rented...
      • Simpsons-watching readers of Nathaniel West's novel The Day of the Locust will be surprised to find a character named Homer Simpson that pre-dates the TV Homer.
      • An in-universe example. Homer is watching the pilot for a new TV series called "Police-Cops" in which one of the Police-Cops is named Homer Simpson. Adding to the fact that this character is popular and badass, Homer flaunts his name around, even telling people that they named and based the character after him. Though the very next episode the character was retooled into a fat bumbling idiot with annoying catchphrases. Which in turn inspired Homer to temporarily change his name.
    • At this point, "Marge" also seems to be associated solely with Ms. Simpson herself, though "Margaret" is safe. "Lisa" and "Maggie" are still safe, though.
    • In India, you could probably get away with naming your kid Apu. But if you're an immigrant family wanting to give your child a traditional name, then you can forget about it, unless you want your kid taunted mercilessly for the rest of his life. Though a common name in India, no one trying to name an Indian character will even touch that name, because of the rampant "Thank you, come again!" jokes.
    • Several secondary characters with distinctive surnames and who are often referred by them probably count at this point: (Ned) Flanders, (Joe) Quimby, (Charles Montgomery) Burns, (Clancy/Ralph) Wiggum...
    • The surname "Simpson", despite being fairly common in real life, has this effect on non-anglophone countries, where it's pretty much exclusively associated with the cartoon family. This might be the case in the U.S. as well, with Family Guy hanging a lampshade in an episode featuring controversial American Footballer O.J. Simpson.
  • Beavis And Butthead: Beavis may not be a real first name, but Bevis apparently is.
    • Bevis was, however, the name of the Lumberjack in Monty Python's Lumberjack Song.
    Carol Cleveland: Oh, Bevis! And I thought you were so rugged!
    • It's also used as John Cleese's name in a sketch in How To Irritate People. Suffice to say, the Pythons are as delighted by "Bevis" as they are by "Figgis".
    • And Beavis is a real last name. In fact, Mike Judge got the name from a kid he knew named "Bobby Beavis".
  • There aren't many animated Daria's running around, either. This might have something to do with WWE Developmental star Daria Berenato changing her name to Sonya DeVille. That or the fact that WWE likes to own a wrestler's entire name and character.
  • The Nostalgia Critic has remarked that he suffered a lot of teasing in school because he was named Doug.
  • Garfield. Either a fat cat, or the good old 20th president of the USA.
  • Good luck with having the name Rudolph in real life, let alone in any fictional media.
    • Though at least one real-life Rudolph family takes this and runs with it: They're Jewish, but seem to have a large collection of Rudolph-themed items, including serving plates and drinking glasses (also hand towels). They also have golf balls with the image… and an entire country club in two states returns them, or used to do that…
    • Many people still use that name, they just use the shortened form "Rudy"
  • Scooby-Doo: "Fred" is far too common to OML, but Velma, Daphne, and Shaggy are now synonymous with the other three meddling kids.
    • The name "Shaggy", aside of the Scooby-Doo character, has only been associated with that well-known reggae singer.
  • Pity the Caspers of the world. Casper was actually one of the Three Wise Men (also spelled Gaspar). It's a really nice name, but if you name your child Casper, you better be prepared for the therapy bills.
  • The name "Thomas" is very common in real life, but in children's telvision, it will forever be linked to a certain blue tank locomotive.
    • You can get away with naming a charater "Tom", but probably not "Jerry".
  • Similar to the Thomas example above, do not expect other "Doras" to pop out. "Diego" is this although not to the extent.
  • And similar to the Thomas and Dora examples, there's only one "Peppa", an adorable little pig girl.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "Rainbow" was already an rather uncommon name for fictional characters, and it's pretty much going to become even less common thanks to Ms. Dash.
    • "Applejack" is pretty much done as a name in fiction as well, as it usually refers to the popular pony character, or if not, the Kellogg's brand cereal. The same deal with "Pinkie," unless of course it is spelled with a "y" and followed immediately by the words "and the Brain."
    • Don't expect to see many more "Twilights" in fiction either, since it's either the sparkling pony, some sparkling vampires, or The Twilight Zone.
    • It's probably going to be a very long time before we see any characters named "Celestia" again (Luna strangely enough is perfectly okay, as it is probably the closest thing we have to a common name in this entry). This may have been averted 5 years after Friendship Is Magic's debut with the anime Re:CREATORS, in which a main character might have a given name of "Celestia," or not, considering there are at least five different ways to spell her name and the most popular translations avoid that spelling.
    • "Rarity", "Fluttershy", and "Discord" are totally out-of-left-park names, that they're very much going to be the only ones to be known as. However since then there's the very popular Discord gaming software created in 2015, pretty much erasing "Discord" from all naming conventions in the near future.
  • Mordecai and Rigby have such old-school names that it's not exactly surprising that they would become this to a younger generation.
  • Marceline, the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time, is most likely the only Marceline you'll be seeing in a cartoon for a while.
  • Ever heard of any other Dippers before? Also the case with the last name Pines, and to a lesser extent, "Mabel". And you're probably never going to hear a great uncle referred to as "Grunkle" anywhere else, although there are plenty of Stans.
  • Patrick Star's more than unflattering portrayals have probably prevented the name "Patrick" from becoming more popular both in real life and in fiction. After all, no one wants to be exposed to jokes comparing them with a stupid, fat, pink starfish.
    • The names "Sandy" and "Eugene" are also associated with a squirrelnote  and a crab, respectively. "SpongeBob" and "Squidward" on the other hand, aren't real names at all, so you'll obviously never hear them anywhere else.
  • The surnames "Griffin" and especially "Quagmire" are forever associated with the show Family Guy. For first names, "Stewie" is the only one that's really an example.
  • Eustace and Muriel, the former in particular due to its rarity as a given name nowadays.
  • The name Crocker is almost always associated with a deranged fairy-obsessed schoolteacher.
  • When people hear the name "Helga", they probably think of the Tsundere, Loving Bully Deuteragonist of Hey Arnold! (or maybe Ms. Hufflepuff). However, Arnold himself is OML'd by a certain former governator.

  • There has been exactly one King John of England (Norman French: Jean). It's considered a cursed name. King John's grandson, Edward I, named his firstborn son John, but the child died young. Edward II in turn named his own younger son John, and Edward III named one of his sons John (the famous 'John of Gaunt' of Shakespeare and Chaucer). John was a common name for English princes for centuries; it just so happened that none of the plethora of Johns inherited the throne (thus showing that non-Britons who learned all they "know" about King John from Robin Hood are quite wrong when they assume that John was so reviled that no future king would give his son that name).
    • One probably could also have expected that after Mary I of England ("Bloody Mary") and the ill-fated Mary Queen of Scots they would avoid the name Mary, but they still kept naming princesses that, and thus the penultimate Stuart ruler of the England and Scotland was Mary II. This is probably because of the existence of another, more important "Queen" (so to speak) named Mary...
    • The name John was actually avoided by Scottish royalty before the Union, ever since John Balliol, also known as Toom Tabard ('Empty Coat') after his public humiliation at the hands of Edward I. (The arms of Scotland were formally torn from John's surcoat by Edward, hence the name.) It's debatable whether he was a weak king or just unlucky, but he gained such hatred for his perceived caving in to Edward that the name was considered unlucky; Robert III actually changed his name from John to Robert to avoid having another King John.
      • You find that the number of Johns in the English royal family really started to peter out in the 16th century. As respects the Tudors this is unsurprising, as they didn't have very many kids in the first place (that was the whole trouble), but among the rather more fecund Stuarts, one suspects that the Scottish tradition respecting John Balliol is what drove any avoidance they might have had to the name (they were Kings of Scotland before taking the English throne).
      • The current Windsor tradition of avoiding the name "John" is even more stringent than the tradition regarding the name "Albert"; whereas the latter is actually very popular in the family as a personal name, the former is just never used. It's not for the reason that you might think, either.note  George V and Queen Mary of Teck had a younger son named John. When this John died young, the King, who normally was every stereotype about the British aristocracy that you have ever heard, was emotionally crushed, and essentially banned the name within the family. Flash forward to 1980 or so, and Princess Di (who wanted to name her firstborn son after her own dead brother named John) found out that the rule stuck.
  • If your parents hope you'll be King Arthur II, they'll probably be disappointed, as shown by:
    • Arthur, Duke of Brittany, who Richard the Lion-Hearted designated as his heir. He was disappeared by the aforementioned Prince John.
    • Prince Arthur Tudor, the son of Henry VII. He died of an illness in his teens; his younger brother Henry succeeded to the throne instead, and married his widow (with a special Papal dispensation).
  • There has also only been one King Stephen (Étienne) of England. This may or may not have been due to the civil war known as the Anarchy.
    • Or maybe due to the fact that Stephen's family, the house of Blois, had different naming traditions from the Norman kings and the Plantagenet. Had his heir not died before him, Stephen could have been followed by King Eustace (Eustache).
    • Not likely to see any new Stephen Kings, either.
  • There's not been any Queen Matildas since that time either, although to be fair, half the women in England then seemed to share the name and maybe overkill led to its falling from popularity thereafter...?! And of course, there haven't been a whole heap of women ascending the throne in total since, either. That said, there haven't been any kings married to a Matilda since then, either; a Queen Consort named Matilda would still be called "Queen Matilda".
    • Matilda was an extremely popular name in Western Europe around the time of the Crusades, after which it fell into disuse, not just in England, but also in France and Germany.
    • Not just "Matilda" fell from grace, though. With the accession of the Plantagenets, the hitherto popular name "William" fell into complete disuse for centuries until it was finally reintroduced to the English throne by another conquering William, William III, who came from the "William" (or "Willem" or "Wilhelm")-obsessed House of Orange.
  • The Anglo-Saxon King Alfred The Great remains evidently so very great that, 1100 years after his reign, no-one else has yet dared appropriate the name Alfred for monarchical use.
    • One of George III's sons was called Alfred, but he died as a child (born 1780, died 1782).
  • When Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, became king in 1901, he took the regnal name Edward VII so that the name Albert would only be associated with his father, the late Prince Consort. He did this in defiance of his mother Queen Victoria's wishes that all future kings would assume the name Albert [Something] upon taking the throne. Later, after the abdication of his grandson Edward VIII, the latter's brother Albert adopted the regnal name George VI in order to continue his grandfather's tradition of not using the title King Albert.
    • A similar-though-not-identical situation: though Edward VIII used his first baptismal name (Edward) as his regnal name, he was known within the family as "David," his last baptismal name, to avoid confusion with his grandfather.
  • Prince Harry was baptized Henry Charles Albert David; were he to become King he'd be faced with a weird choice:
    1. Become Henry IX. This is bad for association with Henry VIII; although the comparison is somewhat apropos, it's still not a great choice.
    2. Become Charles III or IV. Herein lies the problem: Prince Charles himself has stated that he doesn't much care to become King Charles III (considering who Charles I and II were), preferring if feasible to become George VII (probably establishing a Two-Mario Limit on Charleses for Britain). It's unlikely that Harry would disrespect his father's choice—although if his father decides to be Charles III, the taboo would presumably be broken.
    3. Become King Albert. As noted above, this is a huge House of Windsor no-no; the name Albert would be limited to Victoria's Prince Consort and Victoria's Prince Consort alone.
    4. Become King David III. This one presents several problems: first the fact that he'd well, be King David, leading to all kinds of opportunities for stupid jokes; second, the family's association of "David" with Ed VIII; and finally, the fact that by House policy, he'd have to be David III despite no David having previously been King of England. There having been two Kings of Scots named "David" (one in the 12th century, the othernote in the 14th), the next David of the United Kingdom would be David III.
    5. Just pick a new regnal name, which he's entitled to do. Legally, his regnal name doesn't have to be one of the names he currently has. Maybe King Bradley.
    • As a result, he's probably very happy he's probably going to be a "spare" and live out his life without succeeding to the throne (more likely now that big brother William is married and has two children).
      • Of those four names, Charles is easily the least likely to be used; those kings had actually challenged the constitutional system, which Henry VIII never did, but that said, if the present Prince of Wales' considered decision is to go by the name he has always gone by, nobody will stand in the way of future Charleses. David is also out, because of the Scottish connotations; even with the very real possibility of Scotland leaving the UK by the time William or Harry become King, it would almost certainly maintain the monarchy. Henry and Albert are more likely, especially since this couldn't really occur until after HM Liz and Prince Charles are dead; bear in mind that Prince Albert died during Palmerston's government,note  and Charles is probably of the last generation of the family to care at all, if even he does (though admittedly one should never underestimate the traditionalism of the British monarchy). As for "King Henry IX", overall opinions of Henry VIII are mixed and not at the overall low level of John; if anything, the British public and media would likely just be amused by the connotations.

    Real Life 
  • You'd have a hard time running into somebody with the name of Walt these days.
    • This isn't the case with "Walter", though.
    • You're not likely to ever find a fictional character with the surname Disney, either. Though there may be other reasons for that...
  • Happens all the time in real life whenever a tyrant makes big. Not too many Adolfs around these days, are there? Admittedly, part of the reason is usually that the name was uncommon to begin with, thus strengthening the connection with the dictator. After all, the name "Iosif" or its equivalent forms "Joseph" and "Josef" have not been particularly associated with Stalin, Goebbels, or Mengele, nor very common German names like Heinrich and Hermann, let alone Reinhard, or even the Spanish name "Francisco" (Franco).
    • Actually Adolf was a fairly common (if not overwhelmingly so) name in Germany and Adolfo is still found in Spanish speaking countries. It was particularly popular in Protestant areas of Germany due to Gustav II Adolph, the best known bearer of the name prior to Hitler. Though as evidenced by the founder of Adidas (Adolf Dassler), the name was not used much even by those so named after 1945.
    • Actually, there's one literal example of the one Mario limit.
    • "Napoleon" doesn't seem to have been hit quite as hard as the above examples, but it is still a rare name and still intensely associated with Napoleon Bonaparte.
      • However after Napoleon Dynamite was released, people mainly associate that name with the title character rather than Bonaparte.
  • How many people named Nobunaga can you see walking the earth this day?
  • In Norway, the proportion of newborns named "Anders" has significantly decreased since the attacks in July 2011.
  • No Pope assumes the name Peter, primarily out of deference to the apostle Peter, generally considered the first Pope. The apocryphal Prophecy of Malachy also claims that Peter II will be the last pope before the end of times (or the collapse of the Catholic Church). Presumably, none of them want to tempt fate.
    • Although in all likelihood, it's an accidental fact that none of the early popes after Peter was christened Peter (the practice of taking one's name on the assumption of the papacy was first mentioned in the 6th century). The "Prophecy of Malachy" (first mentioned in the 16th century, ascribed to a 12th century monk) provides a list of 112 popes, the last of which is called Peter the Roman, so it would not have been a reason not to choose a man called Peter as pope or for a pope not to take the name Peter on accession if he would not have been No. 112 on a list of popes starting with the first one mentioned in the "prophecy".
      • They chose the 112th pope since the first one mentioned in the "prophecy" in 2013. His birth name was Jorge Mario Bergoglio (no "Peter" there) and chose the regnal name "Francis" (new—the first entirely new regnal name in a thousand years—but not "Peter"). Although of Italian ancestry, he traces his roots to Genoa and the Piedmont and was born in Buenos Aires. Signs of the Apocalypse or of the collapse of the Church during his reign have been lacking.
    • Note that this doesn't hold for Antipopes, people claiming to be the true pope without the support of the Vatican. Several of them have declared themselves Peter II. Also, plenty of Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs have been named Peter.
    • After the original Pope John XXIII was deposed at the beginning of the 15th century, popes avoided that name. That is, until Cardinal Roncalli chose the same name and number in the 20th century.
  • This is the most likely reason nobody outside Spain and Latin America names children Jesus. Likely the only reason it's acceptable in those countries is that "Jesús" is the proper rendering of "Joshua" as well, meaning that there are multiple famous Jesuses in the Spanish Bible — hence, the name by itself is considered nothing too special. To distinguish the Son of God in Spanish, one refers to Jesucristo (Jesus Christ). The tradition of using Latin in the Catholic church is likely to blame for Jesus himself not simply being known as Joshua elsewhere.
    • Nor is it unheard of for Muslim men to be named Isa (the Arabic form of Joshua/Jesus) or Mohammad (and all the many variant spellings). It's not a big deal because neither Jesus nor Mohammad is considered divine, as Islam doesn't allow for anyone except Allah being divine. But Mohammad's prominence in the Qur'an is equal to that of Jesus in the New Testament. In fact, Mohammed is the most common name in the world.
  • Interestingly enough, for that same reason, the name Maria was not used in Poland until the 17th century. In fact, variants of "Mary" were actually not common anywhere in the Christian world until about the 12th century, since the name was considered too holy for normal use. Which is ironic, since it was common among first century Jews, and once people started using it again, it basically became the most common girl's name ever (that's part of why the name was used to help name Mary Sue; it was originally meant to be an ordinary, generic name).
    • Ireland had an unusual case; you can name your girl Máire, but you can't name your girl Muire (used exclusively for the Virgin Mary)
  • In English, this happened to the first name of Jesus's betrayer, Judas Iscariot. He was named after a prominent Old Testament leader, Yehudahnote . That name was, and is, very popular for Jewish boys (indeed, Jesus had two apostles with that name). In English, however, the one-Mario limit is enforced by the ways the name is transliterated. People named after the Old Testament figure are invariably called "Judah," and the good apostle and people named after him are always called "Jude"; the Greek-influenced rendering "Judas" is used only for the betrayer. (This doesn't apply in most other languages.)
  • Not too common to see anyone named Cain either (at least, not without the letter K somewhere in it). And even then, it's often spelled "Caine".
  • Similar to Judas, despite the names Michael, Gabriel, etc. etc. being quite common, Lucifer is not, for some mysterious reason. The name itself is fine — it sounds nice, means "Lightbringer"/"Morning Star", can be shortened to Lucy or Luke — but just because it's associated with this one chap...
    • He's not the only archangel whose name didn't catch on. Not many Uriels are around either, outside of The Elder Scrolls or the Ultramarines novels.
    • Not many Remiels, Sandalphons, or Camiels either (except in Evangelion for the first two). Worth noting that "Lucifer" was a title, not the name of the (Fallen) Angel, which was apparently "Samael" (Possibly... the names of angels were all titles of one type or another, usually meaning "The [Adjective/Noun] of God" in the original Hebrew, and so the same "name" could be used to describe different angels depending on the author of the text, with very few uniquely referring to a single alleged individual).
  • If you meet a woman from China named Suzie Wong, odds are she was born before 1957. Ever since the novel The World of Suzie Wong was published on that year, the name Suzie has been taboo for daughters of families named Wong. (The title character was a prostitute, and in Chinese culture, being associated with one, even if she has a heart of gold, is unwise.)
  • The names of many other evil Biblical figures, such as Ahab (except in Moby-Dick), Jezebel, Zimri, Haman, Lot, Onan, Herod, Herodias, and Caiaphas, are likewise avoided.
    • Salome is a subversion. While the name is generally avoided in English, in other languages such as German, French, and Spanish, Salome is not unheard of. This is due to a second Salome - a woman who witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus. Needless to say, more people will recognize the evil Salome than the good one.
    • Another subversion is the naming convention used in ninteenth-century Russia for last names. This was the time when everyone, not just the nobility, was mandatorily assigned surnames, and one of the places where one could be bestowed on you was an Orthodox Christian seminary. The best students of such seminaries were given surnames based on holy figures and Christian virtues, and the dunces were stuck with last names like Cainov, Herodov or Judin.
  • The name Cleopatra, while common in ancient times, is very rare today due to being associated with the queen Cleopatra VII (the Shakespearean connotations only hinder the name). In Romance-influenced countries like Italy, the name is outright avoided.
  • Two Japanese emperors having the same name is rare, three is completely unheard of. In Japan, the Emperor is never referred to by his name when alive; he is always, "His Majesty the Emperor". Once he is dead, he gets another name (as is customary in Buddhism), and the time of his reign is known as his era. The emperor before the current one is known to the rest of the world as Hirohito, but when alive in Japan, he was simply "The Emperor" and is now known as Emperor Shōwa; consequently, his reign (1926 to 1989) is the Shōwa era.
  • You're unlikely to see very many people named Oprah who aren't a homage to the overly influential talk show host. Her name is actually a misspelling of the biblical figure Orpah, which isn't a common name either.
  • The creator of Woods For The Trees is named Thom Jones. He has mentioned that he's been pulled over by officers who thought he was lying when he gave his name. He could easily just say "Thomas Jones" in those situations and most people wouldn't even make the connection right away, but his response to such a suggestion would be the same as Office Spaces Michael Bolton above.
  • It's been many decades since the death of Marilyn Monroe, and the name "Marilyn" is still associated with almost nobody else (Marilyn Manson, of course, took the first half of its name from her screen name).
  • The name Oscar fell out of favor for a very long time once the famous dandy Oscar Wilde was sentenced to two years of hard labor for being a homosexual, though most people nowadays associate the name "Oscar" with "Oscar the Grouch" and the Academy Awards (in Brazil, there's also a basketballer and a footballer). And hot dogs.
    • Oscar or Oskar is actually a quite popular name in Sweden since Napoleon named the future King of Sweden Oscar I, which spread the popularity of the name among the populace.
    • You will find a few Oscars in Italy as well. It's by no means a common name, but it's not hated or otherwise purposefully avoided either.
    • Viewers of Canadian sitcoms would associate the name Oscar with Brent's curmudgeonly old father in Corner Gas.
    • Not to mention an animated fish.
  • Benedict Arnold was a traitor to the colonies in The American Revolution. No one in America names their son Benedict, unless they're Catholic, and naming him after Saint Benedict. It's still perfectly acceptable in the U.K. (we're looking at you, Mr. Cumberbatch)
    • The Spanish version of the name, Benito, also may be avoided outside of Spanish-speaking countries due to a certain Benito Mussolini (who, ironically, was named after Benito Juarez of Mexico).
  • A handful of hurricane names are retired every year if the storms are bad enough. Hence, there will never be another Hurricane Katrina or Sandy.
  • There is another race car driver called Mario who isn't Mario Andretti; Mario Dominguez.
  • Inverted in the case of Michael J. Fox, one doesn't think another Michael Fox would be popular, but he added the J because of 50s actor Michael Fox.
  • The patronymic Ilyich (son of Ilya) was associated exclusively with Vladimir Lenin in the Soviet Union. When there appeared another leader with that patronymic (Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev), it inevitably drew comparisons, cementing Brezhnev as "the other Ilyich" in the mass conscious.
  • There will probably never be another Snooki.
  • There can only be one Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook, and the site has terminated the accounts of others sharing the same name. Other Mark Zuckerbergs have to use their middle initial or a nickname to distinguish themselves.
  • In 2014, "Isis" went from being a moderately popular baby name to as tarnished as "Adolf" upon the emergence of the terrorist group.
    • Archer had the unfortunate luck to name the spy organisation the characters work for "ISIS." This led to them ditching the name in Season 6 by having the characters become CIA subcontractors, and it also left FX with a ton of unsellable merchandise.
  • Since the mid-2010s, the name Ronda has been solely associated with one Ronda Rousey. Her surname is this as well.
  • The name "Siri" is associated with Apple's digital assistant and nothing else.
  • Hideo is a common name in Japan, but in the western world it is solely associated with game designer Hideo Kojima or baseball player Hideo Nomo, who was one of the first Japanese players to play in America.
  • The name "Hillary" without qualifiers is, at least in the United States, almost exclusively associated with Hillary Rodham Clinton, former First Lady, former Senator, and former Secretary of State. If you're naming your daughter Hillary, there's a 90% chance it's in tribute to her, unless it's spelled with one "l".
  • Quentin Tarantino has done this to both his first and last names. He also did it to the term "pulp fiction", and names like Marsellus, Winnfield, Kiddo, and Landa.
  • Among members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, the founder Bill Wilson is this. They tend to refer to him simply as "Bill," or "Bill W." if that's still a little unclear.
  • The name "Bernie" is pretty much universally tied to Bernie Sanders nowadays. Before Sanders' presidential campaign, it was most likely to be associated with Bernie Madoff. The same can essentially be said for "Sanders" (rivaled pretty much only by the Colonel).
  • "Trump" is nowadays pretty much synonymous with Donald Trump. While it hasn't happened to "Donald" yet, since it's common enough to also be attached to several other famous people and fictional characters (most famously an iconic Disney duck), it has happened to the first names of some of his other family members, like Melania and Ivanka.
  • "Dolph" is not a common name and is almost universally associated with Mr. Lundgren...unless you're a wrestling fan, then it's pretty much tied to the aforementioned Ziggler.
  • "Batista" without a "u" is associated exclusively with two people: Cuban president Fulgencio, and the WWE icon.
  • You wanna be nicknamed "Sting"? Too bad, there's only room for Gordon Sumner and Steve Borden.
  • You want a nickname for Victoria? "Vicki" and "Tori" are the only usable ones nowadays, as "Vicky" is associated with an evil redhead babysitter, "Vickie" with one of the most notorious authority figures in WWE and "Torrie" with WWE's former blond sexpot from the Ruthless Aggression Era.
  • "Demi", a short version of "Demetria", is associated with two people and nobody else.
  • While he's better known by his former ring name "The Rock", Dwayne Johnson has probably made the name "Dwayne" unusable to any future entertainers. "Rock" for the most part can't be used in the wrestling world again, but it's too common to OML elsewhere, although he does reserve "The Rock" all to himself.

  • The Portuguese explorer João Fernandes Lavrador gave his name to a region in Canada called Labrador, where a certain breed of Retriever dog was first bred. For most people, "Labrador" is the dog, not the place (in Canada, or Australia, or the Philippines) or the surname (held by an Idaho representative, among others).
  • Many Tropes had to be renamed because they failed the one Mario limit. See Renamed Tropes for the list.
  • Lukas/Lucas/Luca are insanely common names in the German speaking countries. But everybody who hears them will make jokes about a train operator from the Michael Ende books or the even more popular Augsburger Puppenkiste movies. Good luck trying to create a fictional character of that name in any way associated with trains or islands with two mountains.
  • Good luck trying to find any fictional character with the surname "McDonald" (never mind another business, even if it's completely unrelated and just using the "Mc" prefix. The fast-food chain became infamous for starting Frivolous Lawsuits over those). The Adventures of Dr. McNinja actually played with this one in its very first story.
  • Barbie is a doll and that's it. No way around this one. The Barbaras of the world are recommended to be more creative with their nicknames or just stick with Barbara.
  • Androcles isn't seen all that much, either.
  • Portland, Oregon came very close to averting this trope. It was named for a rather small ocean city in Maine after one of its co-founders won a coin flip against the other co-founder. The other name in contention? Boston.
  • There are quite a few cities in the U.S. named Dallas, but to most people it's the one in Texas that matters.

Alternative Title(s): One Mario Rule, Only One Mario