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Only Known by Their Nickname
"Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not "Mr. Lebowski". You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing."
The Dude (so that's what you call him), The Big Lebowski

This is a character who is primarily, or even only, known by their In-Series Nickname.

Related to Everyone Calls Him Barkeep, but that is about people being referred to exclusively by their jobs or what they're best known for doing. Also related to Stage Names. Does not include Fan Nicknames, secret identities, or explicit pseudonyms. Also doesn't include people who give themselves new names following an act of self-reinvention, and stop responding to their old name (e.g. Voldemort). Exceptionally badass examples of this trope fall into the Red Baron. Obvious and common contractions, i.e. someone's full name being William but introducing themselves as Bill, don't really count either.

Usually, Dramatis Personae will give the full name of such a character first, though the actual script will use the nickname almost exclusively even in the unspoken directions.

If the character insists on the nickname, it's Do Not Call Me Paul. If the nickname is actually his real name, it's His Name Really Is Barkeep.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Gyro Zeppeli from Steel Ball Run. His real name is Julius Caeser Zeppeli.
  • Kyon and his sister in Haruhi Suzumiya - their real names will likely never be revealed. "Kyon" is just an irritating nickname his aunt once gave him and that his sister spread, that ended up sticking despite all his efforts to discourage it. His sister doesn't even get that much; everyone just calls her "little sister".
  • Ayumu 'Osaka' Kasuga from Azumanga Daioh - her teachers, friends, fans... she's the only person who uses her real name.
    • On the class listings for the second year, she initially thinks she is not in Yukari's class, but then sees that her name is listed as "Osaka".
    • To a lesser extent is Koyomi "Yomi" Mizuhara.
    • Minamo "Nyamo" Kurosawa is a small example too. Early on in the series, everyone of the main cast switches from referring to her by her last name to referring to her by "Nyamo".
  • Mitsune 'Kitsune' Konno from Love Hina.
  • The top eight members of Ragnarok in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple have codenames based in Norse Mythology. Only three of them have their full names revealed during the story in which they appear. The three others who join the Shinpaku Alliance don't have their names revealed for another hundred or so chapters.
  • Shien Mushanokoji, the quarterback of the Seibu Wild Gunmen in Eyeshield 21, is only called "The Kid" for several volumes before his name is revealed.
    • Monta's real name is Raimon Taro, but due to a misunderstanding when he first introduced himself to Sena he's been called "Monta" by everyone but his mother ever since. Even his locker says "Monta" on it.
    • Additionally, when Sena and Monta set out on the trail of the mysterious third founding Devil Bat, literally all they know about him is his nickname, Musashi, causing them to think he's Jerk Ass soccer player Muro Satoshi. Musashi turns out to be a guy named Gen Takekura; the nickname is never directly explained, although "Takekura" and "Musashi" are two different ways to read the same kanji (武蔵).
    • "Buffalo" Ujishima of the Seibu Wild Gunmen. Not that it can be helped, since his actual given name, "Baharou", is pronounced identically to "Buffalo" in Japanese.
    • Patrick "Panther" Spencer is never called Patrick (or any permutation thereof) by anyone; his name is only mentioned as an answer to a "Devil Bat Spy" question.
  • We never find out L's real name in Death Note until the 13th, non-story book that explains everything in detail, which only came out well after the main story was over.
    • Ditto for Matt, although both Mello's (Mihael Kheel) and Near's (Nate River) are revealed late in the story. In fact, many people go by nicknames in the series, since Kira knowing your real name is... problematic, to say the least. L even goes by multiple layers of nicknames.
  • Madlax is only known by her Code Name (which has its own sinister backstory), even to her liaisons, the closest thing she has to family. In fact, she doesn't have any "real" name at all, since she isn't that real herself, in the first place.
  • The villain in GUN×SWORD is known only as the Claw, sometimes called "Comrade" by his allies. He rejected his real name long ago and it is never revealed.
    • Super Robot Wars K has confirmed The Claw Man's real name to be Koo Krying Kroo and he's William Woo's father.
  • In Monster, there is the mafia boss named The Baby. His real name is given The Unreveal treatment.
  • Ryo Marufuji, the Kaiser, of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX
  • C.C. (pronounced "C-Two") in Code Geass is only known by these initials. The only time her real name was spoken out loud the viewer is only treated with the speaker's vague lip-movements. Supposedly, it had originally been planned that her true identity would have some relevance in the second season. But since Executive Meddling significantly altered season 2, that plan got dropped.
  • The Gaba Thieves in Doki Doki Densetsu Mahoujin Guru Guru make a deliberate point of only ever using nicknames to protect their identities. When Nike and Kukuri briefly join them, the leader Sly immediately gives them codenames. This is taken a step further with Sly himself, who everyone calls "Ookashira", essentially meaning "Boss".
  • The dub of Digimon Adventure does this to justify the changes in names despite not trying to hide that most of the characters normally live in Japan; the first episode introduces the main cast listing both their full names and the nicknames derived from them (to varying degrees of plausibility) which the characters are referred to thereafter. It becomes strange when their parents use these nicknames for them, especially "Izzy", which is a of shortening the characters last name. The other series don't bother with such a thing.
  • The famed criminal Mister in Coyote Ragtime Show is so called because he has as many aliases and false identities as there are stars in the sky and nobody knows what his real name actually is.
  • Code:Breaker: The head of Re:Code is only ever called "The One Being Sought", which is fine for Ogami who is also his brother but sounds a bit odd coming other members of Re:Code ("'The One Being Sought', what are our plans?").
    • I think this is a problem in the translation. Though seen in hindsight, he could've just been called "Seeker" (see the translation note for chapter 81).
  • Nobody in GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class calls Miyabi Oomichi "Miyabi". She's mainly referred by the main cast as "Professor," while Namiko calls her by the Alternate Character Reading "Masa," and the Faceless Masses calls her "Oomichi-san".
  • Kasanoda from Ouran High School Host Club. We're given his first name (which is Ritsu), but he's almost always referred to as Kasanoda or some mispronunciation of his name.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Accelerator notes that he used to have a real name. A normal name. He even tells how many characters were in it (3?) but doesn't reveal what it was. He's only called Accelerator now.
    • Index too. Presumably she wasn't named Index when she was born, but probably after she was forced to memorize an entire library of knowledge and had the rest of her memory wiped. Whatever the case, "Index Librorum Prohibitorum" is apparently her actual legal name now, as it appears on any form of ID she carries.
    • Aogami Piercenote  presumably has a real name as well. To us, though, he's just the blue-haired guy with piercings.
  • The hero of Darker Than Black is only known by his Code Name, Hei ("black" in Chinese) The Black Reaper, BK-201 (his Messier number), and "Li Shengshun" (or some variation) as his Nice Guy civilian alias. Whatever his real name was we'll probably never know, as he gave it up a long time ago.
  • Tokidoki from Amatsuki is almost always known as Toki both inside and outside the story, mainly because his full name is described as "too weird". (It's Japanese for 'sometimes,' and while the Japanese do sometimes use words for names, just like any other language, that isn't one of them.)
  • Everyone (both in the show and in Real Life) calls the main erm... "heroine"... of Elfen Lied "Lucy". The tail end of the manga reveals her actual name is Kaede.
  • All the Zoanoids, some Zoalords, and even Lost Numbers are never given names in Manga/Guyver. Some just have their model number type as a nickname. Some Zoalords seem to rename themselves after famous figures or fictional literary characters.
  • Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist gets known as... well... "Scar" due the one he has on the face. He said he abandoned his name, which is never revealed. The main antagonist is usually known as "Father" or "the Eastern Sage", though his "true name" is Homunculus. More or less. His own 'father' calls him "Dwarf in the Flask".
  • Nodame from Nodame Cantabile rarely gets called by her real name, Megumi Noda.
  • V. T. from Cowboy Bebop runs a pool for people guessing her name. Her real name is Victoria Terpsichore.
  • Several members of Black Lagoon's cast are commonly referred to only by nicknames. The only one of the cast who has a name we actually know is real (and not just a nickname or an alias) is Rokuro Okajima, the main character, whom everyone just calls "Rock". Amongst other examples, "Revy" is a nickname (first name "Rebecca", nothing else known), "Dutch" is a nickname, "Balalaika" is a nickname, and "Hansel and Gretel" are nicknames (but they have no real names anyway).
    • Balalaika is later given a full name: Sofiya Irininskaya Pavlovena.
  • Takeshi Goda in Doraemon is commonly known as Gian. Some of the characters such as Shizuka and Gian's mother still call him Takeshi.
  • Everybody in the Section 9 in Ghost in the Shell save for Chief Aramaki and Togusa, who has a family, only uses a code name or alias; in the Stand Alone Complex episode where their names are shown as suspects to an attempted armed coup their real names have been obscured or corrupted, showing only the familiar aliases.
  • Kazuya Shibuya from Ghost Hunt. If you have seen the show but can't recall who that is, it may be because everyone calls him "Naru" for the entire show.
    • And Kazuya Shibuya is not his real name either. It's Oliver Davies
    • There's also Takigawa, who everyone just calls "Bou-san."
  • The Oracion Seis of Fairy Tail all have codenames. Hoteye mentions that his real name is Richard,though.
    • Cobra later tells Kinana that his name is Erik but unlike Hoteye, he continues to use his codename afterward.
  • In Naruto, Yamato's real name is unknown and since his introduction he has just gone by the Code Name Tsunade gave him even after the mission he was given it for ended. Apparently he likes "Yamato" better than his real name, whatever it might be. Readers often confuse "Tenzo" to be his real name, but it's actually just the Code Name he used he worked with Kakashi.
    • Given the more recently-revealed details of his background, it's entirely possible Yamato has no idea what his real name is and simply prefers to go by whatever his current code-name is for convenience's sake.
    • We eventually find out A and Killer Bee don't go by their real names, but rather nicknames that have been used by the Raikage and his partner through their village's history.
  • Kafuka Fura of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is using a false name derived from that of Franz Kafka. At one point there's a flashback to Nami's kindergarten class, and one of Nami's classmates, who looks like a younger Kafuka, is identified by the name An. It seems to be implied that Kafuka's real name is An Akagi, the Japanese title for Anne of Green Gables, in reference to Kafuka's ultra-optimistic personality. The name/book title literally means "Red Anne", but is also a pun on "red end" in Engrish, and in both cases, refers to what Kafuka is likely to ultimately do to her classmates.
  • From the Gundam franchise, Char Aznable (at one time, Quattro Bajeena), Zechs Marquise, and even The Hero Setsuna F. Seiei. (Real names: Casval rem Deikun, Milliardo Peacecraft, Soran Ibrahim)
    • G Gundam has a twofer with "Touhou Fuhai" (Undefeated of the East), AKA Master Asia (which is arguably just a pragmatic short-hand for the former). Quite often, Domon will refer to him by both titles in quick succession ("Touhou Fuhai Master Asia!") The manga G Gundam: Fight 7th gives his original name as Shuji Kurosu.
  • The title character of Beelzebub is simply called Beel, or Baby Beel, by everyone. Justified, as his real name, Kaiser de Emperana Beelzebub IV would be a mouthful... and Oga doesn't remember his full name anyway.
  • Boss from Mazinger Z and the various spin-offs/sequels thereof. He's claimed that even the author doesn't know his real name.
    Boss: Kabuto's close friend Boss. Even the author doesn't know my real name.
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys:
    • Sanada East's Student Council President is only known as "Ringo-chan."
    • The Literature Girl or "Yassan." Her real name was never released.
  • One Piece: Franky's real name is Cutty Flam. "Franky" was a name given to him by Iceburg.
    • Hachi is rarely ever called by his real name "Hatchan", since it sounds very cute.
    • Edward Newgate and Marshall D. Teach are known almost exclusively as "Whitebeard" and "Blackbeard", respectively.
    • Most people refer to the Admirals of the Navy by their color-coded alias, and rarely know or use their real names.
  • Since most of ½ Prince takes place in a game world a lot of the characters only know one another's screen names. This is most blatant with Prince, who goes well out of his way to keep anyone from learning he's really a female player, the student of his biggest fan, close friend of his kohai, and cousin of his first kiss.
  • Sangatsu no Lion
    • Hinata is primarily referred to by her shortened name, Hina or Hina-chan.
    • "Smith" is revealed to be a nickname long after his introduction, when the manga unceremoniously reveals that his real name is Tatsuyuki Misumi.
  • The title character of Haiyore! Nyarko-san introduces herself as Nyarlahotep the Crawling Chaos, adding "People call me Nyarko, but I have a real name". Later novels reveal that her true name is The Unpronounceable, and even being able to comprehend it is quite a feat.
  • In-Universe in Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu. After Daiya nicknamed the Crab Bunker "Kani Tank", it is only referred to as its real name during the most serious of moments... and by Puria all the time.
  • Accel World gives us Kuroyukihime, leader of Nega Nebulus and the main character's love interest. Even her digital ID, supposed to reveal a person's real information and is impossible to hack in-universe, displays her name as Kuroyukihime. One of her friends refers to her as Sa-chan, which is the closest hint it gives us to her real name.
  • In Pandora Hearts, legal contractors are often nicknamed after their Chain, such as Raven, who turns out to be Gilbert post-Time Skip, or Hatter, aka Xerxes Break. That name is also an alias: his birth name is Kevin Regnard. And then there is Charlotte Baskerville, whom everyone started calling "Lottie" after Jack came up with the nickname.

    Comic Books 
  • James Buchanan Barnes, current Captain America is almost always referred to as Bucky, or Bucky-Cap. Only his girlfriend refers to him by his first name.
  • Jughead Jones in Archie Comics. His real name is Forsythe.
    • Similarly, his sister Jellybean Jones. Real name is Forsythia.
    • Wow, so the nickname's actually an improvement.
    • Pretty much everyone in the comics goes by a nickname, which usually are just shortened versions of their names. Only Veronica gets called by her name often, and even then you'll see it as "Ronnie" just as much.
  • In Death: The Time of Your Life, Foxglove's assistant goes by Boris, but Death calls him by his given name, Endymion. ("I really do prefer Boris, if you don't mind," he tells her.)
    • Foxglove herself: she's rareley called by her real name, Donna Cavanagh. Even closest people call her Foxglove, or Fox.
  • Katchoo of Strangers in Paradise. Her real name is Katina Choovanski, but those close to her only call her that when they're angry with her or in a very serious mood.
    • Not just Katchoo: her two half-sisters, the Baker twins, are called Tambi and Bambi, and they're never referred to as anything else. It's not until the two sisters are together on-panel for the first time (many, many issues in) that we find out their real names: Mary Beth and Sara, respectively.
  • In most Batman stories, regardless of medium, The Joker's given name is unknown, even in most stories expounding or referencing his secret origin. One of the few exception is in the 1989 Tim Burton film, and a subsequent episode of Batman: The Animated Series, his pre-accident name is Jack Napier; in the more recent comic book arcs "Hush Returns" and "Lovers and Madmen," only the first name "Jack" appears.
    • In one story his autistic cousin Melvin refers to him as Cousin Ja... but he is interrupted and the Joker tells him "That's not my name anymore, call me Cousin Joker".
    • Melvin's last name is Reipan, Napier spelled backwards.
  • Richard Grayson (Robin I/Nightwing) only goes by Dick. If someone actually calls him Richard there's something seriously wrong.
  • In Transmetropolitan, the first president in the series is known only as The Beast. Even his kids call him that. There's also the ever-lovable Bill Chimpfucker. He only did it once, though.
  • The first time we see Apollo and the Midnighter of The Authority, it is as their civilian names and identities are being erased. (How literally and to what extent this erasure works has been interpreted very differently by different writers: under one writer the Midnighter refers to something his father 'used to say', under another he has no memory of anything before he became a post-human.) When the Midnighter, in his own series, uncovers his old name, it turns out to be fake. He keeps it anyway.
  • Pretty much every member of GI Joe and Cobra alike in G.I. Joe, to the point that even after Grunt had left the service to go to college he was uncomfortable being called by his real name and self-identified as "Grunt".
  • Private Hank the Yank in Adventures in the Rifle Brigade is listed in official documents as "Private the Yank"; this may have something to do with his apparent inability to articulate himself in words other than "GAWD DAMMIT!"
    • Lieutenant Milk is also solely referred to by his nickname, "Doubtful", by Captain Darcy.
  • Agent 355 from Y: The Last Man. She served as the titular protagonist's bodyguard for years before she was comfortable enough to share her old name with him. And she whispered it, so the reader never finds out what it was.
    • Fitting, as no one knows the real Agent 355's name either.
  • Disney's Brer Rabbit comics seem to imply that all the animals have actual names, but everyone seems to just refer to everyone as "Brer <Species Name>".
  • V in V for Vendetta.
  • Alexander "Lex" Luthor.
    • This serves to distinguish him from the heroic Luthor of Earth-3, who went by Alexander. As did his son.
  • The four main Flashes are known almost exclusively by shorthand versions of their full names, to the point where most fans and writers aren't aware that those names are in fact nicknames.
    • Especially Barry Allen, who actually has the same full name as his grandson (Bartholomew).
  • Green Lantern Hal Jordan, whose real name is "Harold" but is never addressed as such, ever.
    • His friend Tom Kalmaku once had the nickname "Pieface", and he was referred to as such constantly. Political correctness wasn't a big thing at the time.
  • For the first two decades of her published existence, Rogue of the X-Men was known just as "Rogue", even to her nearest and dearest (which according to at least one version of her origin published before 2001 was shown to be her nickname before she discovered her powers). Only after the makers of the first movie decided to saddle her with "Marie" did that eventually bleed over into the comics, Chris Claremont eventually naming her Anna Marie Raven. (The surname is almost certainly an assumed name; it's identical to the the first name of her adoptive mother, Raven Darkhölme aka Mystique).
  • The Daredevil villain Bullseye, is only known by that name and when asked for his name, "Bullseye" is what he always responds with. His legal name is "Benjamin Poindexter", but this is likely a false identity. Turns out his first name is Lester. again with the nickname being an improvement.
  • Many characters in Empowered. We learn the real name of the heroine as late as in volume #3. The real name of her boyfriend Thugboy is still unknown.
  • In Youngblood: Judgment Day, Bryce Barstow, formerly the Fisherman, calls his former sidekick Toby King by his old hero name, Skipper - despite being his adoptive father. Toby's a little irritated, but settles the matter by saying he'd prefer his real name in this situation.
  • The real names of the main characters of Mingamanga are Korbinian, Mustafa, Vinh Ngoc and Daniel. They're almost always called Bini, Staffie, Vinnie and Bo.
  • Sonic from his comic only went by his nickname, he was given the embarrassing middle name of Maurice, and Wordof God claimed his first name to be Oglivie.
  • In Sonic the Comic Shorty the Squirrel was known by his nickname of Shortfuse the Cybernik, and of course Tails excepted in the Nameless Zone, in the Nameless Zone he is known by his real name Miles Prower also Oscar the Pig is known by his nickname Porker Lewis.
  • For a while in X-Men, Magneto had no known name. Then in a flashback story he's referred to as "Magnus", though it was ambiguous as to whether that was his first name, his last name, or an alias. Eventually, his real name was revealed to be "Eric Lensherr". Then later on, it was decided THAT was an alias, then for a while it was "Maybe it's his real name, maybe it isn't". Now a more recent story seems to pretty firmly establish his real-real name as "Max Eisenstadt", but who knows how long that will last.
  • Grunge of Gen 13. Especially notable in that the team's members usually refer to each other by their first names. Of course, Grunge's first name is Percival.
  • Zigfried is a secondary character of Paperinik New Adventures. Everybody from friends to his sister to his employers call him Ziggy. He even call himself that when meeting new people.
  • Most of the members of Tomahawk's Rangers in Tomahawk.

     Fan Works 

    Film 
  • The Blind Side: Michael, at first anyway. After he reveals to Leigh Anne that he doesn't like to be called "Big Mike", she thereafter always calls him "Michael" instead.
  • The title character of Indiana Jones. Real name Henry Waltonnote  Jones, Jr.
  • The Little Tramp in the Charlie Chaplin movies. Other languages call him Charlot or Carlitos.
    • Chaplin himself referred to the character as "The Little Fellow".
  • Lampshade hung, of course, in Last Action Hero, where a one-note character named Skeezie is actually named just Skeezie; he even gives that as his full name on a police report.
  • Nose Noseworthy in Shorts - apparently not his actual given name (we assume it comes from his last name), yet he is listed as "Nose" Noseworthy on his episode card and Toby says he's 'a kid that everyone calls Nose', completely avoiding stating his real name. Even his father never calls him by name - or nickname, for that matter - the closest we get is 'son'.
  • In Purple Rain, Prince's character is referred to "The Kid" even in the credits. He's never referred to by name, even by his parents. He's still just "The Kid" in the pseudo-sequel Graffiti Bridge.
  • The bartender with Tourettes Shitcock Syndrome in The Boondock Saints is just called "Fuck-Ass", since he says it all the time. He doesn't seem to mind the nickname.
  • All characters in the thriller Exam are referred to by hair colour, ethnicity, or job title, with the exception of the mystical CEO.
  • Although the main character of Falling Down is named William Foster, he is rarely referred to as such, and credited as the name on his vanity license plate, "D-FENS".
  • "The Kid" in Dick Tracy, though at the end he's given a name: Dick Tracy, Jr.
  • "Captain" in The King and the Clown. Might be considered an example of Everyone Calls Him Barkeep, except he gets the nickname of Captain before he gets leadership of the performing troupe.
  • In The Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising, the GM's name is Kevin Lodge, but almost everyone calls him Lodge. The newbie player addresses him by his first name, and the rest of the gaming group expresses astonishment at Lodge having a first name.
    Joanna: Thanks, Kevin. I'll look it over. * leaves*
    Mark: Kevin? Who the hell is Kevin?
    Lodge: I'm Kevin!
    Mark: Dude, you have a first name?
  • The Shawshank Redemption has Red, who is never referred to by full name in the movie.
    • The book also has him as an Irishman with red hair, giving him two reasons for the nickname. but the movie version has Morgan Freeman playing the role. Morgan Freeman's version hangs a lampshade on it when asked why he's called Red: "Maybe it's 'cause I'm Irish".
    • You've got to pity poor Fatass from The Shawshank Redemption, who is not only beaten to death his first night in prison, but is stuck with that name in the credits.
  • Dog Soldiers has "Spoon" Witherspoon. His first name is never revealed.
  • GraveRobber, GraveRobber, sometimes I wonder why I even bother...
  • The title character in Hudson Hawk, who is called that by everyone except his best friend Tommy Five-Tone. Tommy calls him his real name: Eddie.
  • Penny Lane in Almost Famous. Her real name is Lady Goodman.
  • Landfill is pretty much only referred to by that name in Beerfest.
    • Including his wife... while having sex with his twin brother, who becomes known as Landfill II or just Landfill.
  • Jeff Lebowski is "The Dude" throughout The Big Lebowski. Mainly because the name Jeff Lebowski is a plot point.
    • Of course it's lampshaded throughout whenever he gets angry at someone calling him by his real name rather than simply "The Dude".
  • The Great Kanaka, Starcat, Provoloney and Yo-Yo from Psycho Beach Party.
  • "The Tramp" from Lady and the Tramp. Subverted, since that becomes his name, minus "The", once he's adopted.
    • This is also an example of Everyone Calls Him Barkeep, because one of his old flames wrote a song about him called "He's a Tramp," and the name stuck.
  • The Man With No Name in the Dollars Trilogy gets a different nickname in each installment of the trilogy (in order "Joe," "Manco," and "Blondie"). His real name is — obviously — never given.
  • The main characters of Zombieland use the place of their destination in place of their real names to avoid personal attachment. Needless to say it doesn't work.
  • The Bride in Kill Bill is this with respect to the audience—up to a certain point, any references to her by her actual name (Beatrix Kiddo) are censored out.
  • U-571 has Trigger, Rabbit, and Chief, among others. Chief is referred to as such because he's Chief of the Boat, but the others are nicknames.
  • In Ocean's Eleven there is "The Amazing Yen" and Basher Tarr.
  • Thank You For Smoking Nick Naylor's boss, BR. He even has that name on his office door.
    "The name, 'BR', came from his tour in Vietnam. The people who know its meaning are all dead."
  • Most people in the Star Wars universe refer to him as Jabba the Hutt, probably completely unaware of his full name: Jabba Desilijic Tiure. This is never mentioned in the movies, but does appear in the Expanded Universe.
    • The EU shows this happens to pretty much every major Hutt crime lord (and there are a lot).
  • The five protagonists of Sucker Punch are referred to only by the nicknames the antagonist, Blue, gives them: Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, Rocket, Amber, and Blondie. Even Sweet Pea and Rocket, who are sisters, don't call each other by their real names.
  • Goose in Top Gun. Everyone, even his own wife, just calls him that. His real name, which was seen on a box, was Nick Bradshaw.
    • This seems to be based on some kind of fact. In the credits about a dozen technical advisors are listed as "<First Name> <Nickname> <Last Name>"
  • In the various incarnations of RoboCop, if you run Omni Consumer Products, then chances are very good your name won't be revealed. The head of OCP in the first two movies, the guy who ran it in the third movie, the man who ran it in RoboCop: The Series, and the woman in charge of it for the first two episodes of RoboCop: Prime Directives are only referred to the respective nicknames "The Old Man", "The CEO", "the OCP Chairman", and "the Old Woman".
  • In Apocalypse Now, with the exception of Lance and Willard, all the main characters are primarily referred to by a nickname fitting their characters: Chief, Chef, and Clean. Interestingly enough, it's the only two men not referred to by a nickname who make it out of the film alive.
  • In Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Blackbeard's real name is mentioned only once near the beginning of the film, and from that point on he's referred to as either Blackbeard or Captain. Probably a case of Truth in Television -A lot more people know the real-life pirate as Blackbeard than Edward Teach.
  • In the film adaptation of La Reine Margot, the titular character is only called Marguerite during her wedding ceremony. At all other times, people call her by the pet name Margot.
  • In Camp Nowhere, 12-year-old Morris Himmel goes by the nickname "Mud." The only people who call him by his actual first name are his father and his love interest.
  • In the Japanese horror film House, the seven girls are referred only by their nicknames, even by family; namely, they're Gorgeous, Fantasy, Prof, Kung Fu, Melody, Sweet, and Mac (that's short for "stomach"). This is the first real clue that these girls are meant to be thought of as more archetypes than actual characters.
  • The Lion King: Scar. Word of God has it his real name was 'Taka', although a name that means "trash" isn't exactly much better...
  • Mouth to Mouth: Dog, Tiger, Mad Axe, Manson, and more.
  • Inglourious Basterds. While it's likely the Nazis know the Basterds' real names, they are mostly called by their nicknames: The Bear Jew, Aldo the Apache, etc.
  • E.T. from ET The Extra Terrestrial. In the cancelled sequel his real name was going to be revealed to be Zrek.
  • Every human character in The Matrix is known by their hacker handle (Neo, Trinity, Morpheus) rather than their birth name. Only Neo had his name revealed (to the point that Arch-Enemy Smith calls him "Mr. Anderson").
  • The Tet from Oblivion (2013) is named after its shape and it never gives us its actual classification other than "God," that is.
  • Spider from Elysium.
  • The whole cast of Celebrity Impersonators in Mister Lonely.
  • Ivan Ivanych Naydenov in White Tiger is a patient with no memory and no documents in a Russian military hospital. He is called Ivan Ivanych (like John Johnson) for want of anything better, and is given the surname. Naydenov (meaning "found") because he was found in a tank.
  • Like his comic book counterpart, Leech's been referred to as simply "Jimmy" with no surname given in X-Men: The Last Stand.

    Literature 
  • Curious George's friend, the "man with the yellow hat", wasn't named until the animation.
  • Foxface from The Hunger Games trilogy. Katniss gives her the name on the basis that she looks like a fox, and we never learn what her real name is. More than half the tributes are never named.
    • In the script of the movie, her name was given as Marissa. Unknown whether Suzanne Collins considers this canon.
  • Andrew "Ender" Wiggin from Ender’s Game, to the point where he can go around inconspicuously as Andrew Wiggin in Speaker for the Dead. (Granted, that is 3,000 years in the future due to relativistic time travel, but still...). People do occasionally recognize his name as being the same as "the Xenocide's" (a banker even accuses him of using a false ID when he sees it), but because it is so far in the future no one makes the connection.
    • Also in the later books of the Ender’s Game saga many of the characters are from Lusitania, where long Portuguese names are the norm, and just about everyone goes my a nickname. These may be ordinary short forms of their names ("Liberdade Graças a Deus Figueira de Medici" becomes "Libo"), translations ("Estevão Rei Ribeira von Hesse" becomes "Quim," pronounced "king") or unrelated and based off of personal characteristics (Lauro Suleimão Ribeira von Hesse" is called "Olhado" due to his cybernetic eyes.) The full names are usually mentioned once or twice, and then ignored.
    • Then there's Julian "Bean" Delphiki, Jr. However, this is justified because he grew up on the streets and didn't have a name. Due to his size and perceived worthlessness, another street urchin told him that he isn't "worth a bean". Given that he's a result of a genetic experiment, whose "brothers and sisters" were "terminated" by the Mad Scientist when he was discovered by the authorities. At the end of Ender's Shadow, Bean discovers his biological parents and brother (his best friend from Battle School).
  • The Phantom of the Opera (real name was Erik)
  • In The Raven Cycle, the main character Blue's Disappeared Dad is almost always referred to as "Butternut" by the rest of her family.
    • In the second book, we are introduced to The Gray Man. As a hitman, he understandably likes to keep his real name a secret.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Even though the Calvarians snicker at the concept, and know Reynard's real name, they consistently call him "The Fox" when referring to him.
  • There are several cases of this in the Inkheart books: We are told that "Capricorn" is a name he gave himself, but we never know what his real name is. The same with Orpheus (who gets it double since Farid calls him only "Cheeseface"). The Magpie's real name is Mortola, but she is very rarely refered to that way. "The Adderhead" and "the Laughing Prince/Prince of Sighs" are names given to them by their subjects. Also the Barn Owl, Nettle, Firefox, Sootbird, the Piper, Flatnose, Cockerell, Cloud-Dancer, and the Black Prince.
    • Even though it's never mentioned that he might have another name, Dustfinger could easily be an example of this. Since his world is full of regular names like Roxanne, Basta, and Minerva, it's probably safe to assume that this is a nickname rather than what his parents named him.
    • Mortimer is an interesting case of this. While everyone else calls him by his proper name, Dustfinger, Capricorn, and the other characters from Inkheart refuse to call him anything but "Silvertongue", which he doesn't like. He is also known only by a nickname to his daughter, Meggie, who "had never called her father anything but 'Mo'."
  • Winnie the Pooh - Edward Bear.
  • Sacré Bleu features The Colorman, who tells people that his first name is "The". You find out later that he was born in 38,000 BC and his name was Two Grunts and a Shrug, which translates to "Poop on a Stick". You can't really blame him.
  • In The Once and Future King, the Kid Hero of the first part of the story is known as the Wart. That's what he's called and nobody ever uses his name. Until he becomes king Arthur.
  • Neil Gaiman's short story October in the Chair features a boy who was bullied by his twin older brothers. They had nicknamed him the Runt and everyone called him this.
  • In Zen and the Art of Faking It, San falls in love with a girl named Woody, and only realizes that this isn't her real name when an adult refers to her as Emily halfway through the book.
    • This could also fall under Meaningful Rename since she chose the name herself and rejected the name her mother gave her. This happens again toward the end and reverses the first when she starts going by her real name again.
  • Flick in Jean Shepherd's short stories, of which A Christmas Story is the most famous adaption. He was based on a real-life childhood friend of Shepherd's whose last name was Flickinger.
  • The title character of Encyclopedia Brown. Real name was Leroy.
  • Peekay in The Power of One has some typical English name, but it's never used.
  • Many of Bertie Wooster's cronies go exclusively by nicknames; in Thank You, Jeeves, he is amused to finally learn that the first name of his long-time friend "Chuffy" Chuffnell is Marmaduke.
  • Redwall's vermin are often named with uncomplimentary descriptions of their physical features (possibly reaching its peak in Triss with the briefly-mentioned "Fatty" and "Stinky"). In Loamhedge the fan assumption that these were nicknames was made explicit, as the adolescent Redd is told he will soon receive his "proper vermin name".
    • Urgan Nagru says that he took his official name from the wolf Urgan, whom he claims to have killed and whose pelt he wears. His original name is never revealed. Played with in the Official Fanfiction University, when his wife Silvamord threatens to tell the students what his real name is.
  • From the Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Several characters in the X-Wing Series. Rogue Squadron has Hobbie Klivian, whose real name is Derek, but no one ever uses it. Wraith Squadron has the most examples — their full names are in the Dramatis Personae and usually get mentioned the first time they're introduced, but you wouldn't know that Face, Grinder, Piggy, and Runt had any other names, otherwise.
    • Mitth'raw'nuruodo, aka Thrawn. He went with the short version to make it easier, and it stuck. In his culture, core names are only suposed to be used by friends and family, but he doesn't seem to mind; presumably the over-familiarity is preferable to people continually mangling the pronunciation. One particular mangling comes from Vicelord Siv Kav in the form of "Mitthrawdo", no matter how many times he's corrected. Then again, Siv Kav really doesn't like Thrawn, so this is likely intentional.
  • Discworld:
    • Despite being Heterosexual Life-Partners with him for decades, Fred Colon of fame apparently had no idea Nobby Nobbs's real name is 'Cecil Wormsborough St John Nobbs', or even just his real first name until they went undercover in Jingo. Others may know his name (it presumably appears in the Watch pay accounts) but no one ever calls him it, even city nobles knew him as Nobby.
    • Discworld also features "Cut Me Own Throat" Dibbler, a purveyor of sausages in a bun of questionable nature, is only ever referred to by his catchphrase, or CMOT, or "Throat", if in a hurry. Eventually, however, in Making Money, we learn that CMOT are the initials of his actual name and probably (apart from being told the phrase by a time-travelling Vimes) the in-universe reason why he adopted the nickname in the first place.
    • The strangely familiar road-warrior dwarf in The Last Continent:
      "Most people call me Mad."
      "Just 'Mad'? That's an ... unusual name."
      "It ain't a name."
  • One of the main characters in Lord of the Flies is known only as Piggy, a nickname he hates. His real name is never revealed.
  • Prince Kheldar is referred to as "Silk" throughout The Belgariad, except by those who don't know him well or want to tease him. Garion and Durnik both call Polgara "Pol" almost exclusively, and Garion thinks of Belgarath only as "Mister Wolf" until well into the third book.
  • Jebe, the Arrow, in Bones of the Hills. His real name is Zurgadai, but in only known as Jebe because of his great skill with a bow.
  • Author Mil Millington says that no-one's called him by his real name since he was small, and when he thinks about, it's slightly odd that his children only know him by a nickname.
  • Cameron "Buck" Williams from Left Behind. This may be because he corrects anyone who tries to use his actual name. One character's insistence on using his real name rather than "Buck, because he bucks against journalistic conventions" is used as evidence of her unsympathetic nature.
    • Legit versions of this trope in that series include Albie (who is named for his hometown Al Basrah) and Razor.
  • In Daniel Pinkwater's Young Adult Novel, the protagonist goes by his nom de guerre, Charles the Cat, and the other Wild Dada Ducks do likewise.
  • Until the 7th book, JP in The Princess Diaries series was known only as The Guy Who Hates It When They Put Corn In The Chili.
  • Ginevra "Ginny" Weasley from the Harry Potter series — when she was taken into the Chamber of Secrets, even the professors referred to her as "Ginny Weasley". For years, fans assumed that "Ginny" was short for "Virginia", but Word of God later revealed that her real name was "Ginevra". The only person to ever call her this was an elderly relative in the last book.
    • This is common with the Weasleys, although most of the time it's pretty easy to guess their full names, as the rest all have traditional English names.
    • Similarly Voldemort is almost always called "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" by those who fear him, or "The Dark Lord" by those who follow him. Those who neither fear him or follow him call him Voldemort... which isn't his real name anyway. It was exactly the desired effect, as Voldemort wanted is real name to be forgotten. Dumbledore and Harry refer to him as Voldemort, but use his real name in front of him to upset him. Dumbledore is the only person to call him Tom. Harry calls him Riddle during their final showdown.
    • Alastor Moody is known as "Mad-Eye" Moody to most people. When Harry first hears Dumbledore call him Alastor in a crowded room, it takes Harry a few seconds to realize who he was speaking to.
    • The Hogwarts ghosts: Nearly Headless Nick (his real name is Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington), Moaning Myrtle (whose first name is Myrtle but last name is unknown), Fat Friar, Grey Lady (her real name is Helena Ravenclaw) and Bloody Baron.
  • In S.E.Hinton's Rumble Fish the Motorcycle Boy is only known by this nickname and even his teachers use it. His younger brother is one of the few in the neighborhood that even knows his, unstated, real name.
    • Ditto Two-Bit Matthews in Hinton's The Outsiders, whose real name is known, but only mentioned once by the narrator when introducing him into the story and never again.
  • Almost every character in Glen Cook's The Black Company novels is covered either by this trope or Everyone Calls Him Barkeep. Justified in-universe as the narration focuses on Company Brothers, who take a new name (usually given by existing Brothers) when they join to symbolically leave their past life behind. In addition, this is Serious Business for wizards, as a sorcerer can lose all his powers by someone invoking his True Name, motivating the most powerful Evil Sorcerors to kill everyone who knows them by anything but their nickname. This happening to The Lady and The White Rose is even the climax of the third book.
    • Certain characters in the series take this to extremes.
      • When Croaker is asked for his real name to be put on his Commission as General, it takes him a few minutes to remember it. He specifically avoids mentioning it in the Annals (his narration).
      • "Stormshadow," is a nickname used to cover a different nickname that she was known by in the North before faking her death.
      • Tobo and the Daughter of Night don't have real names, only nicknames, owing to the peculiar circumstances surrounding their births and childhoods. "Tobo" is explicitly stated to be a nickname given by his mother until she could reunite with his father and they could agree on a real name. By the time that happens, the boy is a teenager. The Daughter of Night was kidnapped at birth and raised as The Antichrist; her parents never had the opportunity to name her (though her father favors "Chana," her mother argues that it sounds too much like "Kina," the name of the Goddess that the Daughter serves) and her captors have no use for an identity beyond The Daughter of Night. Though the Company does eventually start calling her "Booboo," mostly as a joke.
  • Pumpkin in Memoirs of a Geisha. Chiyo/Sayuri gave her the nickname within a week of meeting her, never mentions her given name, and goes on to mention that it continues to stick even after she takes a new name as a geisha. Which must really suck for Pumpkin, because she spends the latter portion of the book hating Sayuri's guts and deliberately sabotaging her chance with the man of her dreams, since she and Chiyo were forced rivals as girls and Pumpkin's life became very dismal as a result.
  • Son of the Shadows: Known as the Painted Man to most, Chief to his men, he has forgotten his own name, until Liadan (the only one to give him an actual name) reminds him.
  • In Daughter of the Forest, the other way around - Everyone knows the male protagonist as Hugh of Harrowfield, except for those closest to him, who call him Red. More straightforward in the sequel, when he has moved to Ireland: everyone calls him Iubdan ('the little man'), so that hardly anyone remembers that he's actually a Briton called Hugh.
  • Fudge in the Judy Blume books is actually named "Farley Drexel Hatcher". At one point, his mother even insists on his brother calling him nothing but "Fudge". His first kindergarten teacher insists on calling him either by one of his legal names or his initials, resulting in Fudge refusing to co-operate with her and having to be transferred to another class. His baby sister Tamara Roxanne is more commonly called "Tootsie" and they only mention her real name in her introduction.
  • Not really a nickname, but Reuven Malter in Chaim Potok's books seems to use his Hebrew name almost exclusively; his "real" first name is Robert, but he's only seen using a few times, and only when dealing with people who aren't Jewish.
  • In the classic children's novel The Machine Gunners the son of the cemetery keeper is known only as "Cem." (A throwaway line in one of the sequels reveals that he inherited his father's position and was still known as "Cem" a good thirty years later.)
  • Swan and Sister in Swan Song; Swan's real name is Sue Wanda, but Sister doesn't actually remember her real name.
  • Jude's eldest child in Jude The Obscure: his mother didn't bother to christen him and simply called him "Little Father Time." Jude and Sue more or less do the same thing.
  • Sticky Washington in The Mysterious Benedict Society series. His real name is "George," so he insists on people referring to him only by the nickname because he doesn't feel that he can live up to the name of "George Washington." However, none of the officials at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened will use the nickname, because they feel that "if it isn't official, then it can't be real."
  • Yo-less, Wobbler and Bigmac in the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy. When Johnny talks to Bigmac's social worker, it takes him a minute to remember that she'd know him as Simon.
  • The main protagonist in American Gods is called Shadow, a nickname he earned when he was young by quietly following adults at the hospital where he spent most of his time. Even in his thirties, he mostly goes by this nickname, occasionally uses an alias, and not once in the entire book is his true name revealed. Toward the end, after he dies but before his afterlife is decided, he takes an opportunity to learn his role in the grand scheme, and has to pay admission with his own name. When the personification of Easter brings him back to life, he remembers what he learned, and remembers having to trade something for that knowledge, but doesn't remember the cost, implying that he no longer realizes Shadow is just his nickname.
    • Though, if any of you really are curious, a follow up short story reveals that his real name is Balder. Which, really, we should've seen coming.
    • His wife Laura's full name is given early in the book; if she took his surname, it implies that it's Moon.
  • Beezus from the Ramona Quimby series isn't actually named Beezus, she's named Beatrice. Many of the books don't even tell you that! She's named after their mother's younger sister, whom both girls adore.
    • One of the books mentions that she got this nickname from Ramona's toddler mispronunciation of Beatrice. She seems to be fine with being called so, although there was one episode in another book where some boys at the park took advantage of the fact that it rhymes with "Jesus".
  • Many characters in the Mistborn trilogy appear to be examples of this trope, but occasionally do go by their real names. Two characters that are examples are Clubs, who is named for his leg injury, and his nephew Spook, a secondary character in the first book. As he develops both as a character and a member of the thieving crew, he's given the name "Spook" because it's easier to say than his real name, "Lestibournes." He eventually stops using his given name in favor of the one he has earned.
    • It's revealed that Lestibournes is a nickname itself, meaning something like unwanted child in his slang.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth:
    • Dwarves in The Lord of the Rings don't tell their names to outsiders (their real names are in the Dwarvish language, which is itself secret). Instead, they all go by use-names borrowed from the nearby humans — like "Thorin" or "Gimli".
    • Ents: Entish being what it is, an Ent's full name is essentially the story of their entire life, described in detail — and since Ents are The Ageless, that makes for long and rambling names. Most Ents use fragments of their name rendered into other languages for dealing with "hasty" people — i.e. "Treebeard" and "Skinbark."
    • In Bree, Aragorn is known exclusively as "Strider." Not that he wants his true identity shouted from the rooftops, but this nickname ain't exactly flattering. Nonetheless he adopts it (translated into High Elven as Telcontar) for his dynastic name... for some reason.
    • Túrin in The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin spent his whole life fruitlessly trying to escape the curse Morgoth put on his whole family. He figured avoiding his real name would help, so every time he fled from his ruined life to go live someplace new, he introduced himself only with some unpleasant nickname he'd just made up on the spot: Neithan ("the Wronged"), Gorthol ("Dread Helm"), Agarwaen ("Bloodstained"), Wild Man of the Woods, and finally Turambar ("Master of Doom"). The Elves in Nargothrond, unsurprisingly not liking Agarwaen, nicknamed him the more flattering Adanedhel ("Elf-Man"), Thurin ("the Secret"), and Mormegil ("Black-Sword") instead. But to his eternal irritation, his real name wasn't so secret after all.
  • Most people refer to Percy Jackson as Percy, not his full name Perseus.
  • In Honor Harrington, Prescott David Tremaine apparently started to be called "Scotty" on his first day at Saganami Island, and twenty two years and innumerable adventures later he's still never referred any other way.
  • Ranger in the Stephanie Plum books. His full name is Ricardo Carlos Manoso.
  • Y.T. in Snow Crash. At first you might assume that they're her initials, but they're actually short for Yours Truly.
  • This is the default state for elves in the Quantum Gravity 'Verse. True Names are very powerful, and so an elf will be known by the last part (usually one-syllable) of his or her name to absolutely everyone except close friends, who will use the first half. This is subtle foreshadowing of the fact that Sarasilien is not the elf's real name—even though he only has a business relationship with most of his coworkers, he still tells all of them his "real" name.
  • In the Russian Death Zone series, most characters and anyone else living in the Five Zones goes by a nickname. Occasionally, their real first name may be revealed, but the full name will usually stay hidden. For example, the leader of the Order is known by all as Commander Hunter, which is a nickname (in English, in fact) given to him by a neo-Nazi gang shortly before the Catastrophe. Only his closest advisors know that his real first name is Savva. On the other hand, all members of the rival organization known as the Ark are required to adopt a German name by their leader Heinrich Hister, the former head of the above-mentioned gang. Another interesting case is Titanium Vine, whose name is Darling. She was found in a Human Popsicle tank with no memory of her identity but a tattoo with "DRG" on her shoulder, hence the name.
  • The Finn from William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy.
  • There are a few of these in the Chalet School books, the earliest example being (the) Robin (aka Cecilia Marya Humphries). Later on there's Bifauxnen Tom Gay (real name Lucinda Muriel, and given that she's an extreme Tomboy, it's understandable why she hates her real name) and Polly Heriot (real name Hildegard).
  • In the Sci-Fi novel Malevil, La Menou's actual name is never stated and she goes by her nickname which means "tiny".
  • "Mullet Fingers" from Carl Hiaasen's Hoot. He doesn't have egregious amounts of 80s hair growing from his knuckles or anything. He got his nickname by being a Friend to All Living Things and having reflexes fast enough to catch a mullet fish with his bare hands.
  • Arcie in Villains by Necessity, though it isn't until the last chapter that the party learns that Arcie isn't his name, it's his initials, R.C., for Reinheart Corallis MacRory.
  • Almost all of Anne and Gilbert's children in L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series are known exclusively by their nicknames. Their first child, Joyce, is called "Joy" during her short life. The next child, James, is known as "Jem". Younger twins Anne and Diana go by "Nan" and "Di", for obvious reasons. Youngest child Bertha Marilla goes exclusively by "Rilla".
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen: Most professional soldiers in the series are known only by their nicknames, typically assigned during basic training. Examples include Whiskeyjack, Fiddler, Hedge, Bottle, Stormy, Halfpeck, Iron Bars and many more.
  • Candlewick (a.k.a. Lampwick in other versions) the troublesome boy Pinocchio befriends from The Adventures of Pinocchio, in his introduction it is revealed his real name is Romeo and he got the aforementioned nickname because he was so tall and thin.
  • The Agent Z books give us a minor character who ended up known as "The Incredible Hulk," as he was overheard slowly reading the words "I... am... The Incredible Hulk" from a comic whilst newly arrived with his family from India and still teaching himself English. What he thought about this nickname is not discussed, but it suck because nobody could pronounce his given name.
  • Almost everyone in The Gift, is known by a nickname, usually based on their regular name: Johanna Josephine "JoJo", Louisa Lively "L.L.", and William "B-4" Bates the Fourth, Guinevere Elizabeth "Lizzi" Bates, William "Bill" Bates the Third, Catherine "Cathy" and Amelia "Amy" Rockford, Lilian "Lily" Huysmann, et al. Only Paul and Dawn Ryan don't, likely because they already have one-syllable names.
  • Kantorka (means: daughter of the cantor) in Krabat. Fortunately, because I Know Your True Name also applies (the villain is an evil wizard).
  • In C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces, the princesses' Greek tutor is known only as the Fox, due to his red hair (which goes completely gray early on in the story). Only once does a character refer to him by his given name, Lysias.
  • The Left Behind book series character Albie, a Middle Eastern black market arms dealer who is only known by the nickname he acquired from his own hometown of Al Basrah.
  • In John Steinbeck's novel Sweet Thursday, a brothel keeper named Flora is known only as "Fauna".
  • The magicians in The Bartimaeus Trilogy all use nicknames, because they can't control the demons if they know their true name. The demons would prefer their names not to be known either (so they can't be summoned), but use them nonetheless.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, the Tribe of Rushing Water cats all have long names in a Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom style, so they go by the first word of their name - "Bird Who Rides The Wind" is "Bird", for example, and "Jagged Rock Where Heron Sits" is "Jag". There are a couple Tribe of Endless Hunting ancestors named Fall and Slant that are mentioned in Sign of the Moon whose full name isn't mentioned, so even fans only know them by their nicknames.
  • Princess Candacis in White as Snow is almost always called Coira, a name her nurse gave her, to the point that her maids instruct a doctor to call her Coira because she won't know who he's talking to if he calls her Candacis.
  • Nearly everyone in Haunted 2005.
  • In The Thirteenth Tale, John-the-dig's legal name is John Digence, but Vida insists that if you really knew him, you knew that John-the-dig was his real name.
  • Many of the characters in I, Claudius are only known by their nicknames (for example, "Caligula" and "Castor"). Roman naming customs were very unimaginative, so several people might have identical or almost-identical names; nicknames make it much easier than trying to figure out which of the eight or nine "Drusus"es someone might be talking about.note  In the books, the narrator will usually mention the real name before telling you that that guy will just be known as "Castor" from then on; in the TV series, they generally didn't even do that.
  • Many characters in A Song of Ice and Fire have nicknames, some of which are self-styled and others less so. Peasants generally don't care about the real names of other peasants, which leads to some people being known exclusively by their nicknames, such as Lommy Greenhands, a mook named Shitmouth, and most famously Hot Pie, among others. Arya becomes this once when traveling to Braavos. She would have invented a new identity at this point, but everyone just called her "Salty", so she went with it.
    • In Tales of Dunk and Egg, we have the inversion of Dunk of Flea Bottom. His young squire Egg(short for Prince Aegon) asks if his name is short for Ser Duncan. Dunk briefly thinks that he's been called Dunk for so long he's not sure if it's a shorter version of his name or his true name itself. Nevertheless he decides to style himself, Ser Duncan the Tall.
  • Many of the characters in Someone Else's War, most prominently Lieutenant Panga and Lazy.
  • Kill time or die trying has many of these. Talk-Shout, Indy, Kevin and even the main character who is addressed only as Brad within the club.
  • Tris and Four from Divergent - Beatrice and Tobias are their real names, respectively.
  • In the Indian novel The White Tiger: Vitiligo-Lips and the landlords.
  • In the Skyrider series by Melisa Michaels, Skyrider considers this a problem. She thinks it's a cheesy, Embarrassing Nickname, but few people actually know her real name.
  • In Ark Angel of the Alex Rider series. Alex encounters 4 thugs which he nicknames "Combat Jacket", "Silver Tooth", "Spectacle" and "Steel Watch".
  • Song at Dawn: Estela is not the first musician to hide behind a 'songstress's name'. Even after she's publiclly married as 'Roxane de Montburn' she still goes by 'Estela'.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club:
    • Stacey, treasurer of the club. It wasn't until she moved away that the rest of the club even found out that Stacey was a nickname for Anastasia.
    • Also Jessi and her siblings. Not too bad for Jessi (Jessica) and Becca (Rebecca), but their poor little brother Squirt; even the ghostwriters rarely remembered that his real name was John Phillip Ramsey Jr.(for example, when Jessi adressed a letter to her parents 'Mr. and Mrs. Alex Ramsey').
    • Kristy, Abby, and many minor characters.
  • Amelia Peabody's son Ramses. No, a Victorian Age English couple did not name their son after an Egyptian Pharaoh, but you could be forgiven for thinking they did, given how rarely his real name (Walter) is mentioned in the books.
  • Forever Gate:
    • 'Hoodwink' is a nickname he earned as a teenage thief.
    • 'Leader' is the name of The Leader of the Users. His real name is never given.
  • Code Name Verity plays this straight with its main character Queenie, who doesn't reveal her name until the end. However, when the narrative shifts to her best friend Maddie, Maddie only ever refers to her by her actual name (Julie).
    • Queenie claims she never knew the name of her superior, who she only ever refers to as the Machiavellian Intelligence Officer. Maddie reveals this to be false, although she doesn't reveal the man's name either, referring to him as John Balliol, the name of the Scottish king Julie's ancestor William Wallace lost his life defending
  • Flight To The Lonesome Place has Anna Maria Rosalita, Luis Black, and Marlowe refer to Ronnie by his stage name, The Blue Boy. Anna Maria Rosalita calls him Boy Blue while Luis Black sometimes refers to him as brother Blue.
  • The Orange Man in Venus Prime is never given a real name.
  • Fade from Razorland Trilogy - his given first name is revealed midway through the first book, but his family name is never given. He refuses to respond to his given name after being taken in by the College enclave.
  • Agatha Christie:
    • Tuppence Beresford (nee Cowley) fromTommy and Tuppence. Her real first name is Prudence, but no-one ever uses it.
    • Bunch Harmon, Miss Marple's goddaughter in A Murder is Announced, who was "christened Diana by optimistic parents".
    • Bundle Brent (real name Lady Eileen Brent) in The Secret of Chimneys and The Seven Dials Mystery. Seven Dials also has the minor characters Rupert Bateman, who "had been nicknamed Pongo for no earthly reason whatever" at school and is still addressed as such by his schoolfriends, and Vera Daventry, who everyone calls Socks.
  • Seth's friend H from More Than This. His real name is presumably "Harold", but it comes up exactly once and H promptly reminds the speaker not to call him Harold.
  • Boots’ real name is only mentioned in Gregor the Overlander, and the crawlers refer to her exclusively as "the princess".
  • In The Southern Reach Trilogy, all of the characters are initially unnamed. While most of their names are revealed over the course of the trilogy, the biologist's is not; she instead goes by the nickname "Ghost Bird".
  • A minor character in the Discworld novel Jingo is a gang leader called The Artful Nudger ... except to Captain Carrot who calls him William. The Nudger has no idea how Carrot knows his real name - his mother probably wouldn't have known his real name, if he knew who she was - and anyone else using it would be in serious trouble, but Carrot's ... Carrot.

    Live Action TV 
  • Lincoln Heights: ALL of the main characters are referred to by abbreviated nicknames of their actual names. Edward-Eddie, Jennifer-Jenn, Cassandra-Cassie, Elizabeth-Lizzie, Taylor-Tay. It's a wonder they didn't just give them those names in the first place.
  • On The A-Team, we have Templeton "Faceman" Peck, and John "Hannibal" Smith (interesting in that he almost always introduces himself as "Hannibal Smith", as if it's his actual name).
    • Also, "Howlin' Mad" Murdock. The team referred to him Howlin' Mad pretty consistently in the very first episode, but quickly switched to calling him Murdock for the rest of the series.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Oz's full name, Daniel Osbourne, is only mentioned once in the entire series, after he has left town.
    • Angel's name was Liam before he became a vampire; he went by Angelus ("The one with the angelic face") from then on. After he regained his soul he became Angel.
    • Xander's short for Alexander.
    • Adam. No one remembers his real name.
    • Violet is only known as Vi, in the TV series. In the comics they made her full name Violet and had her go by that, because comics are written in all caps and they didn't want readers thinking her name was "6".
    • We've never found out Anne's actual name.
  • Angel:
    • Fred, short for Winifred.
    • Justified for Lorne: "Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan" isn't a very appealing name for a nightclub owner. Previously they called him "The Host", so he has two layers of nicknames.
    • Angel. He is almost never called Liam. Lilah once called it a "wussy name".
  • Subverted in Roseanne; Jackie is a nickname, but even she herself wasn't aware of that fact until Bev casually brought it up in conversation. Her real name is either Marjorie or Mary-Jane; Bev can't remember which. Roseanne, as a child, was unable to say the original name and it came out as "My Jackie", which led to her just being called Jackie.
    • Also used for DJ
    "We've been working so much, I feel like we hardly know our kids. I'm starting to forget what 'DJ' stands for."
    • It's "David Jacob", though it almost never comes up after David Healy is introduced (who's also an example, as his name is actually Kevin).
  • Turtle on Entourage. His first name (Sal) was not revealed until season five.
  • Benjamin 'Hawkeye' Pierce, Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly and 'Trapper' John MacIntyre from Mash. Averted with BJ - everyone assumes it's a nickname at first, but he apparently is really named BJ, after his parents Bea and Jay. Maybe. Hawkeye refuses to accept that explanation and demands to know what it really stands for. Instead of standing by his answer, BJ gives the same enigmatic reply from earlier, "Anything you like."
  • In the 1988 TV miniseries version of The Bourne Identity, the bespectacled leader of the Swiss assassins is simply called "Gold Glasses."
  • On Arrested Development
    • George Oscar Bluth the Second is exclusively called "GOB" (pronounced like Job in the Bible.)
    • His niece Mae is referred to by everyone as "Maeby"
    • Neither of them are ever called by their full, real names.
  • .* In Robert Ludlum's original novel his nickname is "the owl." (Or it is implied when a subordinate tells Carlos "the owl is dead."
  • Hoban Washburn (Wash) and Kaywinnit Lee Frye (Kaylee) of Firefly. Even Wash's own wife never calls him Hoban.
  • Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys. His real name his never given on the show (and one episode confirms that Bubbles is a nickname given to him in childhood). It's especially comical when he's arrested or in court and they still only call him Bubbles.
    • There's also Shitty Bill, who's never given a last name (like almost all the characters on the show sans the Leahey clan), and mostly goes by Shitty.
  • Coach in Cheers.
    • Somewhat parodied when Coach answers the phone, and when the person on the other end asks for Ernie Pantusso, he asks where that person is. Sam Malone says "That's you, Coach," at which point Coach gets back on the phone and says "Speaking!"
  • Dorothy 'Ace' McShane in Doctor Who; Thomas Hector 'Hex' Schofield and Fitzgerald 'Fitz' Kreiner (to the point a regular character said she'd thought "Fitz" was his surname for a long time, having never heard his full name) in the Expanded Universe.
    • Hell, the Doctor himself. Consider how unlikely it is that "The Doctor" is written on his birth certificate.
    • Even the surname McShane comes from the Expanded Universe; in the series Ace admits her real name is Dorothy when she's introduced, and is just "Ace" from then on.
    • There's also "Dodo" Dorothea Chaplet, Romanadvoratrelundar, who's only ever called "Romana" once she's introduced herself fully in her first scene, and "Peri" Perpugilliam Brown.
    • The Doctor Who Expanded Universe also gives us Isabelle "Izzy" Sinclair, Roslyn "Roz" Forrester, Samantha "Sam" Jones, Beatrice "Trix" Macmillan, Destriianatos (Destrii) and Erimemushinteperem (Erimem). (Bernice "Benny" Surprise Summerfield and Charlotte "Charley" Pollard are arguable cases, since both have their original names used with some regularity.)
    • Subverted with the character of Bannakaffalatta from Voyage of the Damned: he vehemently rejects any attempt to give him a more manageable nickname and insists everyone says the whole thing.
    • Also the Master and most of the other renegade Time Lords.
    • And Amelia 'Amy' Pond.
    • "A Good Man Goes to War" features the Thin One and the Fat One, an Anglican married couple, as part of the episode's Church Militant enemy. "We're the thin, fat, gay, married, Anglican marines. Why would we need names as well?"
    • "River Song" is actually the nickname of Melody Pond, (translated into the language of the Gamma Forest). Even after this is discovered, everyone still refers to her as River. Including Amy and Rory, her parents..
    • Captain Jack Harkness. Stole his name in the 1940's on the grounds that it sounded cool. Even he might not remember his real name. Certainly, no one else does. Except possibly for Gray.
  • Hugo "Hurley" Reyes and James "Sawyer" Ford in LOST.
    • Locke, Ben and Juliet are the only ones who call them by their real names.
    • In later seasons, Sawyer is almost exclusively called James or Jim, when he's working for DHARMA in the 1970's. The fact that he doesn't use the name "Sawyer" there plays into a scene in "He's Our You".
  • Screech was almost never referred to as Samuel Powers on Saved by the Bell, even by teachers.
  • In House, everyone refers to the female in the team as "Thirteen". Her real name was shrouded in mystery, until later episodes when her name was revealed to be Remy Hadley.
    Cuddy: Dr. Hadley!
    House: See? She doesn't even know your name.
  • One Dharma and Greg episode introduced Greg's regular poker buddies, including one who had only ever been referred to by generic nicknames for years because everyone had forgotten his name. If they ever knew it in the first place.
  • Cappie (and many other Kappa Taus) in Greek. Beaver's real name is Walter and the series finale reveals Cappie's full name is Captain John Paul Jones.
  • One-shot character One-nad from Oliver Beene. Real name was Walter.
  • Cory in Boy Meets World. Nobody, not even his wife, knows his real name is Cornelius.
    • Also, the recurring tough-guy character named Harley is revealed in one episode to be really named Harvey.
  • Some say that he couldn't believe we hadn't mentioned him yet, so he wrote this himself, and that if his real name were known, we'd be able to uncover the secrets of the universe. All we know is, he's called The Stig.
    • Some say his first name really is 'The'....
  • The Cat in Red Dwarf is only known as "Cat", but as Lister admitted, he doesn't have a name (or he has one he never bothered to divulge).
    • In the novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, it's explained that the Cat can't grasp the concept of needing a name; everyone should just know who he is.
  • General Hospital: Lucas Lorenzo "Lucky" Spencer, Jr. Mainly to differentiate him from his more famous father, the male half of the original Super Couple.
  • A famous one would be Commander Montgomery Scott on Star Trek: The Original Series. Everybody just calls him "Scotty". Also Dr. Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy.
  • John "J.D." Dorian in Scrubs. Only his brother and (late) father call him "Johnny". The Janitor, whose name we still don't know, although that's more because every time he reveals it, the audience is quickly led to believe he was lying. Turk arguably gets it worse than J.D. (Being called girls' names not withstanding), since only his biological family & his superiors in surgery call him Chris or Christopher, but Dr. Kelso got drunk at his wedding to Carla (Who still calls him by his last name after the wedding) & subsequently thought his name was Turk Turkleton & called him that for the rest of the series, with some people picking up on it & calling him by that name on occasion.
  • In Arrested Development, the real first names of Gob Bluth, Buster Bluth, and Maeby Funke are given all of once in the entire series, during the pilot (George Oscar, Byron, and Mae, respectively). Most viewers probably forget that the latter two are nicknames, to the point that in season 4 when Michael finds a note from "George" his mother reminds him (and therefore the audience) that this is Gob's real name.
  • Mr. Big on Sex and the City. We don't learn his first name until the last shot of the series, or his full name until The Movie. John James Preston.
  • That '70s Show: "Hello, my name is Fez." Also Reginald "Red" Forman.
    • That would be "Fes", for foreign exchanhe student.
  • Detective Constable Alfred "Tosh" Lines in The Bill. After his first two or three episodes, nearly everybody just refered to him as "Tosh".
  • Seymour of Burn Notice has a henchman whom he only ever refers to as "Jackass."
  • Ned in Pushing Daisies, although as that's the only name we're given for him besides "the pie maker", it's possible that it's actually his birth name rather than an abbreviation.
  • Even in the credits of Mythbusters, Tory's name is given as "Tory Belleci". His real first name is Salvatore.
    • According to That Other Wiki, Jamie Hyneman is "James" on his birth certificate.
  • Hancock's Half Hour featured a story called The Reunion of Hancock's old army buddies, "Ginger" Johnson, "Chalky" White, "Smudger" Smith and "Kippers" Hancock. Smith arrives first.
    Smith: I'd rather you didn't call me "Smudger", it's not the sort of name I'd like to get known at the bank.
    Hancock: But...it's your name! You haven't got another one, have you?
    Smith: Erm, yes...Clarence.
    Sid James: (Characteristic cackle) Clarence!
  • Many characters in The Sopranos are referred to by nicknames (Big Pussy, Junior, etc.).
  • Alluded: We don't know Kramer's first name until season six of Seinfeld. It's Cosmo. Also, in the episode when Elaine finds the "Bizarro Jerry", Bizarro Jerry introduces one of his friends by saying, "And this guy, we just call Feldman."
  • In Punky Brewster, the title character's real name is Penelope.
  • An episode of Small Wonder revealed that Vicki's legal name was Victoria. (The Lawsons probably had to fudge some papers fast.)
  • Neds Declassified School Survival Guide has Coconut Head, Backpack Boy, and Crony, who never have real names given. Billy Loomer and Lisa Zemo are usually referred to by their last names (though that changes for Lisa in the 3rd season). Tracey and Stacey are referred to simply as the Oboe Twins (they both play the oboe), until they get their A Day in the Limelight episode. And of course, there's Moze (Jennifer Mosely) and Cookie (Simon Nelson Cook).
  • On Leverage, Sophie is this, Sophie Devereaux isn't her real name it is merely her favorite of her many assumed identities. Parker also uses the name Alice White fairly often and is known by this name to Peggy, her only friend outside the team.
  • Nicknames occasionally crop up in reality shows like Survivor, and people who choose to go by these (like Survivor's "Dreamz", "Coach", and "Johnny Fairplay") are usually at least a little full of themselves. (We'll give a pass to "Flight Time" and "Big Easy" on The Amazing Race, though, as those are essentially their stage names on their day jobs with the Harlem Globetrotters.)
    • In Survivor: Nicaragua, one of the contestants (Judd) was promptly nicknamed "Fabio", eventually getting "Judd" replaced with "Fabio" in the captions and opening credits. If you missed the first episode, you might never know it wasn't his real name.
  • iCarly: Sam never gets called by her real name Samantha, Freddie never gets called by his real name Fredward except by his mother, and Sam when she wants to insult him, and Carly is possibly a nickname/short version of Carlotta, Caroline or some other similar, longer name.
    • Their principal falls into this too, as he goes by Teddy instead of Tedward.
    • In the iCarly movie iDate A Bad Boy, there's a scene where Sam enters the Shays' house and calls for Carly. She says, "Carly? Carly? Carlotta?" So Carly's real name is Carlotta.
  • In Gossip Girl, everyone calls Nate Archibald's father The Captain... Including Nate.
  • DJ Tanner on Full House. Her real name is Donna Jo.
  • The Fonz, occasionally "Fonzie", on Happy Days is only seldom referred to by his real name, Arthur Fonzarelli.
    • Another Happy Days example: Potsie. He is virtually never referred to by his given name, Warren.
    • Starting in the second season, "Arnold's" was owned by Matsuo Takahashi (played by Pat Morita). Everyone calls him "Arnold", however; he jokes that it was easier and cheaper to answer to "Arnold" than to buy the letter signs to rename the Malt Shop "Takahashi's".
  • Starburns, one of the other students in Señor Chang's Spanish class from Community. His sideburns are shaped like stars.
  • Alf's real name is Gordon Shumway. Not that anyone on Earth calls him that.
  • C.J. Cregg of The West Wing is only rarely called by her full name, which is Claudia Jean. And Percy 'Fitz' Fitzwallace.
    • Not precisely this trope, but it's interesting to note that almost every single West Wing character is called by either a diminutive or a nickname: 'Jed' is short for Josiah Edward, Leo for Leopold, Toby for Tobias, Josh for Joshua, Sam for Samuel, Donna for Donnatella, Charlie for Charles, Abbey for Abigail, Will for William, Joey for Josephine, Amy for Amelia, Andi for Andrea, Danny for Daniel, Ellie for Eleanor, Mandy for Madeline, Debbie for Deborah, Ed and Larry for Edward and Lawrence, Cliff for Clifford, Matt for Matthew...the list goes on.
  • In one episode of Seven Days, Frank runs into a former associate who's referred to only by nickname (can't remember what it is, Bear or something to that effect). At one point when Olga refers to him by his first name, Frank responds by saying that even the character's mother calls him by his nickname.
  • Just about every ProfessionalWrestler ever. Has a trope named after the two Pauls, Triple H and The Big Show, who only go by their ring names.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • It's not entirely certain whether the Wraith even have names. They certainly don't use them around humans, who wind up calling recurring Wraiths things like "Michael", "Todd", and "Kenny". Strangely, the Wraith sometimes use the human-bestowed names in each other's presence as well.
      • The Expanded Universe says that Wraith have names based on how their minds "feel" to each other, which kind of makes sense for a telepathic race. Amusingly, they're under the mistaken impression that human names have a similar meaning.
    • Puddle Jumpers. After Sheppard christened it in the pilot, (in reference to a light aircraft and the event horizon of the Stargate), everyone refers to them by that name. The Ancients actually referred to them as "Gate-Ships". Which is what Mc Kay initially called them as well, with no knowledge of the Ancients' name, because they're ships that go through the gate, but Sheppard vetoed this for not being cool enough.
  • Leave It to Beaver has Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver.
  • The Greek, a crime boss on The Wire, whose real name is never revealed. And he's not even Greek.
    • There are also a number of characters more commonly known by a street name than by their real name, such as Bodie (real name Preston Broadus), Poot (Malik Carr), Snoop (Felicia Pearson), and Bird (Marquis Hilton). Oddly averted by Marlo Stanfield, the Big Bad of the final two seasons; in his first appearance, he's said to have the street handle "Black", but no one ever actually calls him that.
    • In one notable instance, this actually obscures a fairly important bit of characterization: East Side gangbanger Calvin "Cheese" Wagstaff is only ever referred to by his street name, which helps obscure the fact that he's actually Randy Wagstaff's absent biological father (a fact not otherwise made clear).
  • Following Navy tradition, most of the characters on Sea Patrol are referred to by their nicknames - Bomber, Spider, Swain. Some of these make sense in context; RO is the Radio Operator, for example. Some, not so much.
  • On Gilligan's Island, Gilligan, Skipper and The Professor were their names during the run of the show, while Skipper and The Professor had real names which were only said once on the pilot, Captain Jonas Grumby for Skipper and Roy Hinkley for The Professor, while Gilligan didn't even have a name. Sherwood Schwartz has said it's Willy Gilligan while Bob Denver has said it's Gil Egan
  • On The Nanny, C.C. Babcock is known only by her initials, as is practically her entire family (like G.G. and D.D., and mother B.B.). In the finale, her name is finally revealed to be Chastity Claire Babcock.
  • On Criminal Minds, Jennifer Jareau is known exclusively as J.J., and Team Mom Aaron Hotchner is almost always called "Hotch" by his teammates.
  • On Corner Gas the Mayor is "Fitzy" Fitzgerald.
  • In Star Trek: Enterprise, everyone who is on first-name basis with Commander Tucker calls him Trip. His real name is Charles Tucker the Third, the "third" part being where the nickname originated. The Expanded Universe novels indicate that even his parents generally use it, which makes sense given that his father had a prior claim to "Charlie" and three generations of Charles Tucker at the same Thanksgiving dinner table would get confusing. Trip also has a younger brother called Bart, which it's reasonable to suppose is short for something or other.
  • NCIS has Ducky. He occasionally goes by Dr. Mallard or Doctor by those who don't know him (or Palmer, out of respect) but for the most part it's simply Ducky. That's because his full name is Dr. Donald Mallard, by the way. The Mallard is also a species of wild duck.
  • In the Teen Wolf series, Stiles's real first name is unknown, and allegedly very hard to pronounce. "Stiles" is derived from his last name, Stilinski.
  • One The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode involved Will and his grandmother sneaking out of the house and meeting up with an unseen character known only as The Captain who would then drive them to a Heavy D concert.
  • In Tin Man, the Dorothy expy is known only by her initials "DG." It's implied in the third act that the "D" really does stand for "Dorothy" as she was named for her great-grandmother, Dorothy Gale.
  • The Shadow Line has Gatehouse. Glickman calls him James, but other than that he's universally referred to as Gatehouse — even by his allies and employers.
  • Staff Sergeant Phillip "Hippy" Roper in Red Cap. Everyone calls him Hippy, including his superiors, thanks to his unruly hair.
  • In Have Gun — Will Travel, Paladin isn't the main character's real name. Even people who'd known him since before the Civil War only used that name!
  • Bulk and Skull from early Power Rangers seasons. With full names like Farkus Bulkmeier and Eugene Skullovich, you can't blame them much. Power Rangers Samurai introduces Skull's son, "Spike", but it isn't clear if that's his real name or a nickname.
  • Bobby Singer, on Supernatural—a perfectly ordinary nickname, to be sure, but a man in his sixties being referred to by it more or less exclusively is still worth noting. No 'Bob' or 'Rob,' let alone 'Robert' except when someone or something is going 'Robert Singer, I've heard of you,' or similar sentiments.
  • From Glee there's Noah "Puck" Puckerman, who has only been addressed by his first name by his mother, and Rachel sometimes. Santana Lopez is from Lima Heights and didn't know her name wasn't "Garbage Face" until she was five.
  • Bitchin' Kitchen's Yehezkel "The Spice Agent" Mizrahi, only because no-one knows how to pronounce his actual name.
  • Charlotte "Charlie" Duncan from Good Luck Charlie.
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: D.B. Russell-for obvious reasons, no one calls him Diebenkorn. Except maybe Finn, to tease him once in a while.
  • Similarly, Mac Taylor's full name has never been used on CSI NY. Everyone just calls him Mac. Word of God says it's [McCanna]
  • Highlander Duncan 'Mac' [MacLeod]and Hugh "Fitz" Fitzcairn.
  • Adam-12 has Sgt. "Mac" Macdonald, the guys' superior.
  • Spike and Wordy are almost exclusively referred to by their nicknames on Flashpoint rather than as Michaelangelo and Kevin. Plus Juliana is always Jules.
  • Peep Show has Super Hans (an eccentric wannabe musician and drug addict), Big Suze (a tall, posh woman) and Dobby (a proud female geek).
  • JAG: Up until the season 4 episode "War Stories", none of the other main characters knew that the full name of their boss, Rear Admiral A.J. Chegwidden, is Albert Jethro.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has Mac, whose real name is revealed to be Ronald McDonald.
  • Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined)
    • Most of the pilots (basically all who are not part of the main cast) are only referred to by their callsigns.
    • Anastasia "Dee" Dualla's first name is only revealed in a short caption when she gives an interview in the episode "Final Cut".
    • Callandra "Cally" Henderson Tyrol's full name is only revealed during her funeral service in season four.
  • My Mad Fat Diary: Chop (real name Arnold Peters) and Danny Two Hats.
    • Possibly Tix as well - as we don't know if this is her real name or a nickname.
  • We still don't know the full real name of Sarah Walker from Chuck. In one episode she admitted her first name was Sam, and in another episode that her middle name was Lisa, but her true surname was never revealed. Even after her marriage to Chuck, he still called her Sarah Walker.
  • White Collar has Neal's partner in crime, "Mozzie". It's not until season five that we learn his real name: Teddy Winters.
  • On Workaholics, there is Ders, short for Anders.
  • In Hey Dad..!, Nudge's real name is Gerald Noritis, but probably even he doesn't remember.
  • In London's Burning, many of the firefighters are invariably referred to by their nicknames (such as Vaseline, Bayleaf, Sicknote, etc).
  • Many of Kelly's boyfriends on Married... with Children.
  • On Coach there's Micheal "Dauber" Daubinsky. If you refer to him by his given name in the presence of his boss, Hayden will have no idea who you're talking about.
  • In the BBC Historical Farm Series "Tales from the Green Valley", archaelogogist and presenter Peter Ginn is called by his real name in the first episode. After that, everyone - including the narrator - refers to him as "Fonz" or "Fonzy".

    Multiple Media 
  • Due to Noob happening mostly inside the game the characters are playing, this is the case of a large majority of the cast. The real names so far known are those of Fantöm (Max Middle), Arthéon (Stanislas Chatelain), Gaea (Gabrielle Jolivet), Omega Zell (Morgan Lavande), Sparadrap (Kevin Lepape), Golgotha (Catherine Mourru), Ystos (Thomas Lepape), Saphir (Penelope), Couette (Angélique Fleur), Ivy (Fanny Blanchet) and Judge Dead (Théodore Saquebien). The game creator is the only character only called by his real name.

    Music 
  • The main character of Savatage's Streets: A Rock Opera is known only by his drug dealer nickname "DT Jesus". The "DT" stands for both "de-tox" and "downtown". The All There in the Manual story provides another nickname unused in the lyrics, "the Savior on Avenue D".
  • Ace Frehley, formerly of Kiss. Virtually no one addresses him by his real first name, Paul.
  • Korn's bass player, Fieldy. Most people don't know his real name is Reginald Arvizu.
    • To a lesser extent, Korn's guitarists James "Munky" Shaffer and Brian "Head" Welch.
  • Evelyn Evelyn is a performance art duo supposedly made up of Conjoined Twins, both named Evelyn. Their official names are Eva and Lyn Neville, but during their Hilariously Abusive Childhood nobody ever bothered to remember which one was which, so the twins themselves can't remember either.
  • Canadian Synth Rock band The Birthday Massacre have stage nicknames; while some members just use their real names (Owen, formerly O-en Falcore and Nate) some band members' real names are not public knowledge (Rainbow and Chibi, as well as former members Aslan and Dank).
  • When asked about his name in an interview, Christian Lorenz, keyboardist of Rammstein, responded that his nickname Flake is his proper name.
  • Angel guitarist (and the inspiration for Frank Zappa's song, "Punky's Whips) Punky Meadows. Sounds a lot better than his real first name of Edwin.
  • The White Album is the name people usually use to refer to the album "The Beatles" (1968).
  • MTV Unplugged In New York is generally referred to as "Unplugged In New York".

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Pig-Pen from Peanuts. Nobody knows his real name; at his first appearance, he actually says: "I haven't got a name... People just call me things... Real insulting things."
    • In one strip, Pig-Pen says that everyone calls his dad "Pig-Pen Sr."
    • Also from Peanuts, Rerun Van Pelt. When he is introducing himself to his kindergarten class he reveals that he doesn't even know what his real name is.
    • As well: Patricia "Peppermint Patty" Reichardt.
  • In The Broons, the three youngest kids are called "the twins" and "the bairn". Maybe their parents got tired of naming kids.
  • Thimble Theatre: Scooner Seawell Georgia Washenting Christiffer Columbia Daniel Boom, usually called Swee'pea
    • Popeye, upon finding his long-lost father, asks him what their real names are. Pappy doesn't remember.
  • Doc Boy from Garfield hates being called by his nickname, especially by his older brother Jon, but ironically has no known name.
    • Actually, his first few appearances said his name is Doc.

    Radio 

    Roleplay 
  • The Whisperer in Enigma. Very few even know what he looks like (or what manner of feline he is), let alone his actual name.

    Theater 
  • Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, called that because nobody bets higher. In the few moments between "My Time Of Day" and "I've Never Been In Love Before," Sky reveals to Sarah his real name, Obediah Masterson, and says she's the first person he ever told it to.
  • Little Buttercup in Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore. Her real name, Mrs. Cripps, appears only in the Dramatis Personae.
  • In The Most Happy Fella, Tony addresses his love letters to "Rosabella" because he doesn't know her name. Nobody in the play calls her anything else, until the final scene where she reveals that her real name is (or was) Amy. (In the original straight play, They Knew What They Wanted, Amy is never called Rosabella.)
  • "Yank", the protagonist of The Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neill. In one of the later scenes, he gives his name as Bob Smith, "but I been just Yank for so long."

    Video Games 
  • N from Pokémon Black and White. His real name is actually Natural Harmonia Gropius, but he is only referred to as N in the games.
    • Also Looker, a reoccurring International Police agent who first appeared in Pokémon Platinum, who is only known by his codename.
  • Tails in Sonic the Hedgehog. His real name, Miles Prower, usually isn't mentioned in the games at all.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 did, and was the only game to call him "Tails", the quotes representing the fact that it's not his real name.
    • This was a plot point in one of the cartoons. Some two-tailed foxes show up claiming to be Tails' parents, and Sonic realizes later they must be fake because they called him "Tails" right off the bat instead of "Miles", when that was a nickname that Sonic gave him.
    • Dr. Robotnik gets dubbed by the rest of the Sonic Adventure cast as "Dr. Eggman" (which is actually what his name is over in Japan). It's supposed to be an insult (and Robotnik doesn't like it) but by Sonic Adventure 2, he doesn't seem to care. In fact, he refers to himself as "Dr. Eggman" and has ever since, which earns him a spot on this trope.
  • The Ace Attorney series does this a lot, though in all cases, the character's real name is eventually revealed, or in some cases, revealed first. For example: Apollo Justice in the fourth game is continually referred to as " Herr Forehead" by the prosecution, much to his dismay.
    • They have fun with this in the first game, where a screechy old lady is known only as "old bag" the first few times you speak with her. When she's finally called in to court, she introduces herself as Wendy Oldbag.
    • The Judge, his brother, Sister Bikini and Valant Gramarye's real names are never revealed.
  • The Postal Dude in Postal has no other name. When he pays a traffic ticket in the second game, the cop tells him, "And let that be a lesson to you, Mr.... The Dude."
    • The game seems to hint at his full name really being The Postal Dude, Jr.. Same with his dad - his grave is labeled "T. Dude Sr."
  • Most of the cast of The World Ends with You has this to varying degrees.
    • One character, Beat, will be sent into a rage if anyone actually refers to him by his real name.
      • Except in Another Day, where he tries to introduce himself by his real name but changes his mind, presumably because it's too complicated to pronounce.
    • Nearly every major character has a nickname; notable exceptions include Shiki, and usually Sanae Hanekoma ('Coffee Dude' and 'Mr. H') Some characters are referred to by title, such as The Composer or The Conductor, but usually only before you find out who they are. Even Shiki's stuffed cat, Mr. Mew, is given a nickname of sorts by the main character - 'Piggy'
  • The street fighter (no, not that Street Fighter) Shen Woo from The King of Fighters 2003 has an unknown real name; "Shen Woo" (roughly translated, it means God of Fighting) is a nickname he picked up while growing up in Shanghai.
    • Likewise, if K' (pronounced K-dash) ever had a name other than that before the experiments, it's never come up.
  • Double H from Beyond Good & Evil is only ever known by his code name. In one cutscene, he does get addressed as "Hub," but for all we know, that could just be another nickname.
  • "Soap" MacTavish, the British playable character from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is never given a real name, and all of his squadmates refer to him exclusively by his nickname. Captain Price even points it out in the training mission, remarking, "What kind of a name is 'Soap', anyway?" Presumably, being a Silent Protagonist, Soap wasn't able to correct him. In the sequel he's just Captain MacTavish, but Modern Warfare 3 confirms that Soap's first name is John.
    • Price still calls him Soap. Which confuses the hell out of the TF141 Red Shirt in the room when you break him out.
      Worm: Who the hell's Soap?
  • Wilhelmina "Billie" Church from Clive Barker's Jericho. She despises her birth name, as her father, who, amongst other things, raped her, was the only person to use it.
  • Nikolai "Sledge" Slidjonovich from Quake IV. Pretty much every character, except for Strauss, refer to him exclusively by his nickname.
  • In Halo, John-117 and Thel 'Vadam are better known by their rank/titles: the Master Chief and the Arbiter.
    • The Master Chief is sometimes referred to by his designation number in-game, and Cortana calls him John at the end of Halo 3 and 4. Other than that, information pertaining to either of their names is found only in supplemental material.
    • The protagonists of Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach are respectively referred to in-game only as "The Rookie" and "Noble Six"; while ODST's website reveals that the former has the initials "J.D.", the latter is simply known as "SPARTAN-B312".
  • Lady in Devil May Cry 3 is only called her real name, Mary, by her father Arkham on three occasions. By the end of the game, she's abandoned her name altogether.
  • Lady in Shadow Hearts: From The New World is actually Grace Garland, Johnny's sister. Killer, from the same game, would probably be closer to Everyone Calls Him Barkeep.
  • Shadow in Final Fantasy VI. His real name is Clyde, with most people believing his last name is "Arrowny", but it's never used outside of flashbacks.
  • The ninja in Final Fantasy IV goes by Edge utterly and exclusively. Considering his real name is Edward Geraldine, one can't really blame him.
  • When you first recruit him in Final Fantasy VII, Red XIII more or less tells you to call him whatever the hell you want. It's not until later on that he tells you his real name is Nanaki, but even afterward he's still called whatever you named him.
  • Similarly to Red XIII's case, Garnet in Final Fantasy IX is introduced by her given name, but once she goes incognito, the player chooses a new one, by which she is called almost exclusively for the rest of the game, even long after she's come out of hiding.
    • This trope is zigzagged by the fandom; many players keep the name "Garnet" when she goes incognito because they think it's a much better name than "Dagger," which is her stock alias. Later, however, you find out that this still counts; Garnet isn't her real name either. It's Sarah.
  • There's also Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII, her real name is revealed late game to be Claire Farron.
  • Due to Hello, Insert Name Here, the commentators in Backyard Sports only refer to custom players by their nicknames.
  • Likewise, the protagonists of The Elder Scrolls games are only known by their Red Baron nicknames in the subsequent games: the Eternal Champion in Arena, the Agent in Daggerfall, the Nerevarine in Morrowind, the Champion of Cyrodiil in Oblivion, and Dovahkiin in Skyrim.
  • Jethro "Jet" Bradley in Tron 2.0. In the spin-off comic, he even insists the psychiatrist call him "Jet."
  • In Mega Man Battle Network, MegaMan.exe's real name is Hub Hikari. Mega Man NT Warrior excised this part of his character.
  • Both Brooklyn Luckfield and Ricarla Borgnine of Super Robot Wars are only ever addressed as "Bullet" and "Carla", respectively. In the case of the former, Bullet prefers people address him as such; for Carla, it's perhaps a case of "it's easier to say your name that way".
  • An unnamed tavern/sauna owner in Little Big Adventure 2 is known in the fan community as "Masher". This is because when the player attempts to enter the women's sauna, one woman yells out "Masher!", which is a little known slang word a sexual pervert.
  • Four of the seven playable characters in Chrono Trigger— Marle, Frog, Robo, and Magus— go by pseudonyms (unless the player gives them their real names instead. They are, respectively, Princess Nadia Guardia, Sir Glenn, R-66Y a.k.a. Prometheus, and Prince Janus Zeal.
  • Virtually every character in the Metal Gear Solid series uses a pseudonym, often a code name chosen by the character or a superior. This phenomenon is referenced explicitly in the first game when Meryl asks Solid Snake his name, and he answers that, after a week on the battlefield, "no one has a name". Several characters' real names have been revealed, but they may also be pseudonyms, such as Big Boss's supposed real name John Doe. Snake in particular is only referred to by his real name of David twice in the whole series.
  • Lord Roth from Infinite Space, whose title is bestowed upon him for his accomplishments. His aide Nele calls him "Hartwig" on multiple occasions, but it is never known whether it is part of his real name or just another nickname.
  • La Volpe (The Fox) from Assassin's Creed II. The novelisation Renaissance gives him the name Gilberto, but this has not made it to game-level canon.
  • Ratohnhaké:ton from Assassin's Creed III is known to everyone as Connor, as his name is difficult to pronounce. This has been lampshaded by no less than two people in game.
  • Lots and lots of these guys in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.. To name a few from across the series (retrieved from the STALKER wiki), namely those from Call of Pripyat; Barge, Beard, Grose, Grizzly, Black, Hatchet, Hawaiian, Hook, Jackal, Joker, Knuckles, Skull, Sledgehammer, Ridge, Scout, Owl, Nimble, Nitro, Mace, Splinter, Snag, Bonesetter, Spartacus, Spirit, Sultan, Trapper and Tuna. And that's just one of the so far three games.
  • Very many people in Alpha Protocol. For one, Mike Thorton is stated to be a nickname/alias, and the main character's true name is never revealed. Albatross, Sis and SIE are some other examples.
  • Tales of the Abyss has a few
    • Tear: Mysterica
    • Guy: Gailardia
    • Van: Vandelseca
    • Three of the God-Generals
      • Dist: Saphir
      • Legretta: Giselle
      • Largo: Badaq
  • The Force Unleashed has its protagonist referred to only as "Starkiller", his codename. This is a plot point in the novelization, as not even Starkiller himself knows his real name until late in the story, where it is revealed as Galen Marek.
  • Tex Murphy, given his nickname as a kid due to the shape of a hole he left in the ceiling after being ejected off a malfunctioning hobby horse. We never do find out his real first name.
  • In Dragon Age, apparently neither Isabela nor Anders are known by their real name. Word of God states that Anders is apparently called that because he is from the Anderfels, while Isabela's real name, and the reason she goes by "Isabela", is simply unknown. Fenris from Dragon Age II is only known by a nickname for the bulk of the game; his real name (Leto) is revealed in his personal quest in Act 3, and he subsequently orders everyone not to call him that, because "Fenris" is the only life he can remember.
    • "Those Who Speak" recently revealed Isabela's birth-name to have been "Naishe", but she stopped going by it after her mother sold her into slavery when she refused to join her in converting to the Qun. As such, Isabela considers "Naishe" to have died a long time ago.
  • Mass Effect 2 has the head of Cerberus, an elusive and secretive figure only known as "The Illusive Man".
    • The tie-in comic series Mass Effect: Evolution reveals that his name is Jack Harper.
    • To the people of Omega, Garrus Vakarian is known only as Archangel.
  • The main characters in Payday The Heist are only known by their on-the-job aliases: Chains, Hoxton, Dallas and Wolf. Due to their line of work, this combines with Do Not Call Me Paul in order to maintain their anonymity.
    • Due to various - mostly out-of-game - reasons, the people portraying Chains and Hoxton didn't reprise their roles in the sequel. Even though this necessitated the (unchanged) masks being inherited by new members to the team - such as Hoxton now being an American - the four aliases don't change.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Starlow's name is mentioned maybe three times: the prologue, the ending, and when she runs into Peach almost exactly halfway between. By the time you hear it again, you're probably long into the habit of just calling her "Chippy".
  • All Fallout protagonists are known by a specific nickname given to them, since the player picks their actual name. Fallout 1 had the Vault Dweller, Fallout 2 had The Chosen One, Fallout 3 had the Lone Wanderer and Fallout: New Vegas had the Courier.
    • It's more common then you'd expect in Fallout games, actually. Fallout: New Vegas has Rose of Sharon Cassidy, better known as Cass, Edward Sallow, aka Caesar, most of Caesar's Legion does this, with Joshua Graham being one of the few exceptions.
  • In Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, the main character is only ever known as "Stranger", with his real name never being revealed. This is probably intentional on Stranger's part as he's a Steef (a centaur-like creature), and does everything he can to keep it a secret. This includes running around with two legs bound together, and being prepared to undergo (most likely complicated and unanesthetized) surgery.
  • From Wing Commander IV comes a pilot by the callsign of "Seether". His record was blanked by Confed, and the only person who recognized him by his Mine shockwave riding trick couldn't remember his real name, so his callsign is the only identifier.
  • The protagonist of the American campaign in Battle Zone 1998 is referred to only by his call sign, (Cmdr) Grizzly One, while all the other characters are named. The protagonist in the Soviet campaign is only ever called "Comrade". The sequel, Battlezone II: Combat Commander averts this, naming the new protagonist - Lt. John Cooke.
  • B.B., one of Max's two contacts after he goes undercover in the first Max Payne game. Max lampshades it when he meets him in person for the first time in the third act:
    Max: Right, what's it stand for anyway? Backstabbing Bastard?
  • A fair sum of Punch-Out!! characters are only known by their stage names while the others have short versions of their names (for example "Joe" is rarely someone's full name).
  • In South Park: The Stick of Truth, the main character is always referred to as Douchebag by the boys, no matter what you put down as his name. Later on, he can upgrade this to Sir Douchebag or Commander Douchebag.
  • The title character of Azure Striker Gunvolt is only referred to by his codename.

    Visual Novels 
  • All the Servants in Fate/stay night continue using only their class names long after their true identities are revealed. It can be a bit awkward to refer to an apparently teenaged girl by the term 'Saber.' The only one who is commonly referred to by name is Gilgamesh, who is often called Archer by Saber.
  • M in Shikkoku No Sharnoth is never called anything but that. He claims not to actually have a name. If he had a name, it would be James.
  • Ciel in Tsukihime. Her real name is Elesia, which is referenced roughly equally relating to her as to her Nightmare in Kagetsu Tohya: One scene.
  • The servants in Umineko no Naku Koro ni are all referred to by names ending with the character for "sound" (pronounced "on", "non" or "ne"). Shannon's actual name is Sayo, and Kanon's is Yoshiya. And then there's the servant who is only known as Yasu. His/her full name is confirmed in the manga to be Sayo Yasuda, further establishing that Shannon and Yasu are the same person.

    Webcomics 
  • Redcloak from The Order of the Stick. He gives himself and his one-eyed brother Righteye easy-to-remember nicknames after witnessing their soon-to-be-partner Xykon murdering a lizardman for having an Unpronounceable Overly Long Name. Sort of evolves into a Meaningful Rename over time.
  • "Fox" Maharassa of Friendly Hostility reacts with violence to being called by his real name — "Kailen". Word of God is that this is due to years of having to listen to people mispronounce it (it's supposed to be something like "Ka-ee-len", not "Kay-len".)
  • Riff from Sluggy Freelance is actually named "Riffington." No one except his mother has ever actually called him that, except to tease him.
  • Syrus "The Virus" Zuviel in Exterminatus Now is generally only referred to as Virus, unless the person referring to him is either far lower-ranking or far higher-ranking.
    • Ryoushi Nekittou ("Rogue") is only called Ryoushi by other Daemon Hunters.
  • Smic from Jayden and Crusader is known to all, including his girlfriend, as Smic, which is an abbreviation, apparently, of Strange Man in Cupboard. His real name is Sir Reginald Vladimir Gregory Maximillian Augustus Posthumus Alexander Nicholas Derby, the third Earl of Derbyshire. Apprerently the name Smic was adopted for convenience.
  • Path To Greater Good - the mannequin-like creature which apparently saved Tobi writes "3" as its answer to any question... so that's what Tobi calls it.
  • In So Damn Bright, Anxiety's name is actually Ana Cortez, but "only relatives are allowed to call [her] that."
  • "Crowbar" Benson. His real first name is unknown to readers, due to the fact that he is only ever referred to by his nickname.
  • K from Blip. Her full name is unknown to the readers, and even to her boyfriend.
  • PeeJee from Something Positive, whose real name is Penelope Jennifer Shou. Aubrey and Jason's daughter, Pamela Joycelyn Chorde, is called PamJee or "Little PeeJee" after her.
  • Vauxhall from A Tale Of Fiction is known only as 'Room' to his roommate Harper for a very long time.
  • In General Protection Fault, Jason "Fooker" Barker is initially known only by his nickname to Ki until she interviews at GPF.
  • Vulture of My Life At War (at least we think that isn't his given name) and to a lesser extent Big Al.
  • Used as a major plot point when Teddy Weddy becomes a character in 1/0, as speaking his real name will awaken him from the dead. He finally comes alive when Zadok realizes his real name was Theodore.
  • A variation in Homestuck. Jade's penpal ( Jake English) was only known by his initial, J. After his full name was revealed, J itself turned out to be a nickname for him from one of his friends. Similarly, other characters referred to Roxy Lalonde and Dirk Strider by their last names, their initials, Ro-Lal for Roxy and Di-Stri and Bro for Dirk before their proper introductions. This is lampshaded by the narration.
    • As revealed on this page, "Doc Scratch" is only a nickname.
    • "Lord English" is likewise pointed out to just be a title, and is what the character was known as for the majority of the comic. His true name is eventually revealed to be Caliborn.
  • Shroomy is the only Electric Wonderland character whose real name doesn't show up in the official bios.
  • In Commander Kitty, the title character is only known by his nickname. He once tried to reveal his real one on Twitter, only to run out of space.
  • In Life, the male lead is not actually named Edward — but Felicia, and everyone who knows him through Felicia, calls him that.
  • Shadowpalm in L's Empire is an example played for laughs. When your 1709 year old brother, who has known you his entire life, doesn't even know your real name, you qualify.
  • There is a minor villain in Roommates, who introduced herself as "Odile", when she debuted in an arc based heavily on Swan Lake (and Inception) so this isn't her name, it was her part. She kept the name for convenience later so it's more this trope nowadays.
  • Karin-dou 4koma: Inukai Suzume is almost exclusively known by her punny nickname, Catherine ("Fire-bird-dog" —> "Ka-Tori-Inu" —> "Catherine")
  • Precocious: Buddy Champ Oven...sorta. That's actually his full name. Blame his dad Joseph.
  • Amical, Curio, Adrestia and Flux from morphE are only known by their Mage names.
  • In Go Get a Roomie! Roomie and WOC have not had their real names revealed to date.
  • Ménage à 3 has some minor examples:
    • Zii notes in an early strip that her real name is Suzi, but nobody ever calls her that. Strictly speaking, "Zii" is just a contraction of her real name, but it's unusual enough to count.
    • Everybody calls DiDi solely by that nickname — except Sandra, who usually calls her Desirée. Again, "DiDi" is a sort of contraction of her real name, but it's both slightly unusual and highly descriptive.
    • A one-character-only version; Gary was originally referred to by Yuki solely as "Violator-San". However, after he gave her flowers (made out of Mushrooms and drum sticks), she started calling him by his real name. Or not.
  • Zig Zag from Sabrina Online has only got angry a few times, one of which was when Sabrina addressed her as 'Miss Zumbrowski'. She very firmly established that her name is Zig Zag, and that Zumbrowski was just the name she gave the IRS.
    • She seems to have got it changed by deed poll. Later in a courtroom a lawyer questions the fact that they're calling her Zig Zag and she states she "...has the paperwork and everything".
  • In The Dragon Doctors, "Sarin" was a nickname given to a poisonous bully of a child at an orphanage — and although Sarin learned better than to continue being that person, she never actually told anyone her birth name until she proposed to Mori (and she still goes by 'Sarin').
  • In The Silver Eye, Melete Dolan is referred to as "Blue" or "Blue Dolan" by everyone except Bhatair.

    Web Original 
  • In Echo Chamber, Porn Girl is always "Porn Girl". For that matter, Mr. Administrator seems to be the only one of the main cast who isn't The Danza.
  • Sarge of Red vs. Blue. (Although this later turns out to be a case of His Name Really Is Barkeep.) Also Doc, Sister, and all of the Freelancers.
  • In the CYS story-game Eternal, your abusive teacher is initially known only as Mistress. Even after her real name is revealed, she is still often referred to as Mistress.
  • The Red Panda is never referred to by his real name, even in his secret identity.
  • Does Captain Hammer have a civilian name? Who knows?
  • In The Guild, most of the characters prefer to be addressed by the names they use in the game they all play. We, the audience, still don't know the real name of Tinkerballa, a.k.a. Tink.
    • Spoiler! As of season 5, we do. It's April Lou, which is why she hid it.
  • Several Protectors of the Plot Continuum agents work this way, picking whatever sounds cool. Agents adopted from badfics also tend to have to change their names. Within Real Life this is because of copyright issues in case the badfic author sees it and gets annoyed, and within the canon the characters tend not to want to be reminded of their badfic-related pasts.
  • Everyone in The Binder of Shame is known by a Meaningful Nickname, to protect their real-life identities.
  • Calling Yahtzee "Ben" is good way to piss him off.
  • In Philthon Jones, it's always "Jones", never James.
  • The Let's Players of Tipping Forties have all taken to using their real names rather than online handles with the exception of Micheal aka bandunk, who is generally referred to as bandunk with the exception to the Once an Episode greeting.
    • Conversely, the Freelance Astronauts all call each other by their respected handles (Maxwell Adams, Evek, Ferr, and pipes!!). Of course, every once in a while, they'll slip up (either in a moment of Is This Thing Still On?? for Evek or Angrish for pipes!!), and that's when their U Stream erupts in chatter.
  • Epic Meal Time's Muscles Glasses.
  • Abused in the MSF High Forum, with NPCs of Mitchell. There's a good reason, though. He's terrible with names!
    • Examples include Snuggles, the hug-happy Kappa; Apprentice, the apprentice demonslayer; and The Mysterious Deviling, a Deviling cowgirl.
  • The Mallers from We're Alive seem fond of this. Latch, Scratch, Bricks, and Puck are all nicknames or may be nicknames. The Colony also has Gatekeeper who names himself after whatever job he has at the time.
  • On the game music podcast Nitro Game Injection, co-host Suraida never goes by her real name on the air.
  • Odd example in Something Awful's Spring/Summer(/Fall/Winter 2011) Ghost Story Thread: The "Site Kilo-29" (finished on SA) and "Cursed Snoopy" (after the pictures; apparently abandoned?) epics by users 50 Foot Ant andOneWhiteWhisker. Because these eerie stories are framed as actual events, they're always referred to as Fifty or Sgt. Ant and Whisker (son of Mr. and Mrs. White) by characters within the story but only as covers for their real names. Which makes the time when Sgt. Ant actually shouts "I AM THE FIFTY FOOT ANT!" extra hilarious ("Sgt. Ant, are you calling yourself an ant?").
  • In the Web Serial Novel The Graystone Saga, Lady Gray is almost never addressed as anything else, except the occasional derivative (e.g. "Your Ladyship"). Her surly companion Sabastian is possibly the only person in the world who is aware that she has any other name, at least until narrator Tobiah overhears him use it.
  • The protagonist of Lovelace One Two is named Andrea Gannett-Moore, but everyone — students and teachers alike — calls her Andi.
  • Bunny is, well, referred to as, well, Bunny but, according to her profile, her real name is Ethelinda Berniece Rabbitwright. However, her real name or rather shorter forms of her name have been mentioned in some stories. Naturally, people merely refer to her as "Bunny" or, as Toki or Doki calls her, Usagi.

    Western Animation 
  • Krusty, Sideshow Mel and Sideshow Bob of The Simpsons might be borderline examples of this; while they do have full names (Krusty's is Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yerucham Krustofski, Mel's is Melvin Van Horne and Bob's is Robert Underdunk Terwilliger), they're rarely used on the show (and as far as I know Krusty's full name is never used; the most we hear is Herschel Krustofski).
    • We're forgetting the most important one: Bartholomew "Bart" Simpson.
    • Margaret "Maggie" Simpson and Marjorie "Marge" Simpson.
    • Comic Book Guy was given the canon name Jeff Albertson in "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass", but you'd be forgiven for not knowing it. The subtitles for the 20[superscript:th] season DVD box set label him simply "Jeff". Interestingly, voice actor Hank Azaria has stated that the person upon whom he based Comic Book Guy's voice was a college dorm mate that everyone knew as "F".
  • El Toro in Jackie Chan Adventures. "El Toro Fuerte" is the full name, though this may not be his real name. While we're on subject, how about Uncle?
  • In a couple of Disney examples, there are many characters who are never given real names, even in their originally fairy tale format. Snow White, was she given that name at birth or was it given to her because of her beauty as she aged? Cinderella's name was given to her by her step-sisters (she was the cinder girl). On the surface, Scar appears to be named after his scar, but in the novel series, it shows his given name was Taka, though that isn't much better, as it's Swahili for dirt/trash. His parents obviously loved him. Not!
    • On the subject of Snow White, the originally printed fairy tale had her mother bleeding three drops of blood onto the snow right about the time of/as conception, and named her thus.
    • Some authors attribute Cinderella the name "Ella", but most usually continue to call her Cinderella regardless.
    • Tramp's name seems rather strange. He is a homeless stray though, so he probably named himself, since no human named him.
    • Dumbo's name is actually Jumbo Jr. He doesn't seem to mind the cruel nickname he spends most of the movie with, but his mother certainly does.
  • "That Guy" from the Futurama episode "Futurestock". Word of God says his real name is Steve Castle.
    • There's also Nibbler. Who, for brevity's sake, goes by Nibbler because, as he puts it, "In the time it would take to pronounce one letter of my true name, a trillion cosmoses would flair into existence and sink into eternal night."
    • Bender Bending Rodríguez a.k.a. Bending Unit 22
    • "Clamps" is revealed in "Silence of the Clamps" as Francis X. Clampazzo. It would be interesting if the X is for Xavier, to make him named after the founder of the Jesuits.
  • Frankie (Francis Foster) and Bloo (Blooregard Q. Kazoo) from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends are almost always referred to by their respective nicknames by everyone. This is generally self-imposed though, due to their silly names.
    • And justified at least in Bloo's case, since he was made up and given that name by Mac, when latter was three years old. Nobody would stick to a name a very little kid gave him.
    • Notably, Mister Herriman does not abide by this, and calls them "Miss Francis" and "Master Blooregard," respectively.
  • Double D (Eddward) from Ed, Edd n Eddy is referred to that way by everyone bar his parents, due to being best friends with two guys with incredibly similar names.
    • Also Eddy's brother is only referred to as such, even in the credits for The Movie. Despite rumors, the creators haven't really given him a name as of now.
    • Both Ed and Eddy count too, for the same reason as Double D - they're all named "Ed(d)ward".
  • Pickles in Metalocalypse
    • At least we assume it's a nickname. In a world where Murderface's last name REALLY IS Murderface, it's possible that's his birth name (his parents and brother have been in the show several times and have only called him that).
  • Shaggy (Norville Rogers) in Scooby-Doo
    • Scooby as well. In at least some incarnations it's short for Scoobert.
  • Combustion Man in Avatar: The Last Airbender, whose name Sokka made up. He has a real name, but it is never revealed. Zuko knows it, but doesn't divulge it; when Sokka calls him Combustion Man, Zuko replies, "Well, that's not his name, but—" before getting interrupted.
    • A lot of the people in Jet's gang (The Duke, Pipsqueak, Longshot, Sneers).
  • In Transformers Animated, apparently everyone in the Autobot military goes by a nickname given to them by their drill sergeant. For example, one bot was shown to be good with stingers (small, electric weapons), he was named "Wasp", and when a certain yellow bot fails to show him up with the same weapon, he's considered a bumbler, and from that he gets the name "Bumblebee".
    • Most of the Transformers in Beast Wars are assumed to be going by nicknames they made up based on their alt-modes (Rattrap, Cheetor, Scorponok, etc). This got somewhat confusing when comics were made about them before they gained their alt-modes, which took pains to avoid mentioning their in-series names (at least, for characters who chose their new names onscreen).
  • Teen Titans: Unlike on Justice League, the heroes never call each other by their civilian names as seen in the comics (which has led to much debate among fans as to which of the many boys who have filled the role of Robin is the Robin on Teen Titans). The only exceptions (unless you count Cyborg using his last name, "Stone", as an alias while going undercover in season 3) are Beast Boy and Starfire, both called their real names by relatives. If you're wondering, their names are Garfield Logan and Koriand'r, respectively. Raven, well, that's actually her given name.
    • Although one could probably speculate that because Larry, the Robin fanboy from another dimension, has a real name of Nosyarg Kcid (Dick Grayson backwards), and he and Robin share DNA...
    • It's actually a little creepy that they never use their real names. Starfire's a translation and B.B. appears to be fleeing the onus of Garfield, but this would imply Dick doesn't trust the rest of the team enough for them to know his real name and Cyborg has emotionally distanced himself from "Victor Stone".
  • Similarly, Batman in Batman: The Brave and the Bold is only seen and referred to by his superhero identity. However, this only applies to him; all of the other superheroes are often seen as their secret identities and called by their real names. This is even reflected in the credits, as everyone else is credited as "Superhero name/Secret Identity" (e.g. Jaime Reyes/The Blue Beetle) but he's just credited as "Batman".
    • That is until "Chill of the Night!" when Bats confronts Joe Chill, and declares, "I...am Bruce Wayne!"
  • In Arthur, everyone refers to the title character's sister as D.W., when her real name is Dora Winifred (after her grandmother). This is lampshaded in a later episode when she goes missing in the White House.
    Dad Her name is D.W.
    White House Guard That's it? Initials? You didn't give the kid a full name?
    • Also, there's the Brain. His real name is Alan. His classmates are often confused when he is called this.
    • There's also Mary Alice "Muffy" Crosswire and Shelley "Binky" Barnes.
  • TJ from Recess. The T is for Theodore; the J apparently stands for an Embarrassing Middle Name.
    • It's Jasper.
    • Spinelli is known by her last name, but that's because her first name is Ashley and in the Recess world, the Ashleys are a group of shallow Valley Girls, and Spinelli is a tomboy who hates girly things.
  • Ferb from Phineas and Ferb. It's short for—oh, there's that thing I was looking for.
    • Given a Continuity Nod later when his sister admits she doesn't know.
  • Presto from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series. His nickname precedes the kids' journey into the Realm.
  • Megan, Christopher and Stewart in Family Guy.
    • Meg's been called Megan a few times, mostly early on. Then again, "A Fistful of Meg" implied her real name was Megatron after Peter wrote it on her birth certificate.
  • South Park has Leopold "Butters" Stotch. Kenneth 'Kenny' Mc Cormick, Stanley 'Stan' Marsh, and Eric Cartman (who is only ever called Eric by his mother, various teachers, Butters and sometimes Kenny) count too.
  • King of the Hill has Elroy "Lucky" Kleinschmidt. Lucky got his nickname from an incident at Costco when he'd injured himself tripping on pee-pee in the restroom. He sued the store and received a $53,000 cash settlement.
  • Race Bannon of Jonny Quest fame. In the Real Adventures episode "Race against Danger" he tells Jonny his real name, and Jonny's understandably flabbergasted. "Roger?!"
    • The name "Roger" had been used in the classic series.
  • Kick, Mouth and Emo Kid in Kick Buttowski.
    • Pantsy is presumable not the given name of Mouth's older brother, either. Maybe it's a family thing.
  • Moose (Margaret Rose) Pearson from Pepper Ann.
  • Robin and Superboy in Young Justice, unlike the rest of the team. Robin because Batman insists that his identity is kept secret and Superboy because he doesn't have any other name. Artemis is a special case where her real name is Artemis, but the others (except possibly Robin, who goes to her school) don't know that.
    • Rob's actually a double example: except for Wally, the team only knows him as "Robin," and his civilian friends and family only call him "Dick." This is something fanfic writers seem to get wrong: they constantly refer to him as "Richard" (he's even listed as "Richard G." on Fan Fiction.Net's character select drop-down), but the only time canon he's ever referenced his given name is during his back story flashback in the tie-in comics.
    • When Superboy starts school, he takes the name "Conner Kent."
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes has Jamie "Peep" Two-Squirrels.
    • This caused Heloise to get her hopes up when she started recieving love notes from a secret admirer with the initials "J.2.S."...
  • "Piff" from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Billy calls him this because he refuses to speak on account of his high-pitched voice.
  • Diane "Didi" Pickles from Rugrats. The babies also all fit. Dylan "Dill" Pickles, Phillip "Phil" Deville, Lillian "Lill" Deville, Charles "Chuckie" Finster, Susanna "Susie" Carmichael, and Thomas "Tommy" Pickles.
  • A character from Combo Ninos is known as "Old Head". It's revealed in one episode that his real name is Bernie.
  • Pinkamena Diane Pie of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Better known to everyone as Pinkie Pie
    • In G3, the character we know as Spike had the full name of Kenbroth Gilspotten Heathspike, though everyone still just called him Spike.
  • Steven Anita Smith from American Dad!.
  • On Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins, everyone refers to the titular character as "Doc," even her parents. Her real name, Dottie, was only mentioned during the series' first episode.
  • Belphegor, from the series of the same name. He's well known under the name "Belphegor" and everyone, himself included, always refers to him as such. He also goes to great lengths to prevent people from seeing his face or finding out his real name. Understandable, since he's a wanted criminal.
  • Dipper from Gravity Falls, after his Big Dipper-shaped birthmark on his forehead. His birth name is unknown. Also Soos, which according to storyboards is short for Jesús (hay-SOOS).
  • The title characters of the animated series This One and That One about two twin anthropomorphic cats are called this because when they were really young and running around the house, their Dad said to their Mom "You get this one, and I'll get that one!" The names stuck.
  • The unknown masked man seeking revenge on Mike Chilton in Motorcity, whose identity was never revealed is nicknamed "Red" by Texas.
  • On Daria practically everyone calls Michael Jackson Mackenzie "Mack" or (to his annoyance) "Mack-Daddy;" the one exception is his girlfriend, Jodie. Likewise, Charles Ruttheimer III is "Chuck" to himself and his cousins but "Upchuck" to everyone else.
  • On COPS, both the Cops and the Crooks are virtually never referred to by their real names, only their code names and aliases. This is especially notable in the case of PJ "Longarm" O'Malley; his father and son are both recurring characters, and even they only ever call him Longarm. Only Bulletproof has his real name, Baldwin P. Vess, mentioned more than once.
  • The Venture Bros.: Nobody ever calls Dr. Venture "Thaddeus." It's always "Rusty" (his childhood nickname) or "Doc," which is funny since he never actually finished college. (He has an honorary doctorate from a university in Tijuana, Mexico.) There are several others whose real name we know, but who go by their nickname 99.9% of the time: the Monarch (Malcolm,) Dr. Girlfriend/Dr. Mrs. the Monarch (Sheila,) Phantom Limb (Hamilton,) and Sgt. Hatred (Courtney.) Henchman #21 also counts, though he has spent more time going by his real name (Gary) than any of the previously listed characters have.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: The eponymous character is only referred to as Gumball, but it's only in "The Promise" that it's stated to be a nickname. In "The Name" his full name is revealed (to both the audience and himself) to be Zach Tristopher Watterson but by the end of the episode "Gumball" has legally become his actual name.
  • Megas XLR: The main hero, Coop, is only ever called that, even by his own mother. His last name is shown to be Cooplowski, but no first name is given.

    Real Life 
  • Charlie Chaplin: His official name is Charles Spencer Chaplin, but everyone - even serious encyclopaedia- refer to him as "Charlie" Chaplin.
  • Chuck Jones: Nobody refers to him as "Charles M. Jones".
  • Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath; their real first names are John, Frank and Terence, respectively.
  • George Orson Welles. Even he didn't know his first name was "George" until he was in elementary school.
  • George Herman "Babe" Ruth.
  • Lawrence "Yogi" Berra
  • Denton True "Cy" Young. "Cy" was short for "Cyclone", because he threw real hard.
  • Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jr.
  • Serial killer Donald H. Gaskins Jr. was called "Pee Wee" or "Junior Parrot" so often that he was a teenager when he first heard his real name.
  • Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. Later took the name by deed poll.
  • Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom.
    • Other astronaut examples include Charles "Pete" Conrad and Harrison "Jack" Schmitt.
    • Donald Kent "Deke" Slayton.
  • Eldrick "Tiger" Woods.
  • Michael "Flea" Balzary of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  • James "Big Cat" Williams
  • Ron "Pigpen" McKernan of the Grateful Dead.
  • Orenthal James "OJ" Simpson.
  • Rudolph "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone.
  • German football player (soccer that is) and contestant for "most gruesome foul of all time" Harald "Toni" Schuhmacher.
  • Adam "Pac Man" Jones. He tried to tell media to stop using it, but no one listened.
  • An interesting case: In many historical cultures it has been custom to call certain things (most especially animals) by euphemism (the Greeks referring to the Erinyes as Eumenides or "The Kindly Ones" is one such example, The Fair Folk is another) to avoid their attention. A particularly interesting case is the word "bear" (and it's variations in other Germanic languages) that is precisely such a euphemism. Only, we have no idea what the original name was. Bears are literally only known by their nicknames.
    • Swedish has another case: The Swedish word for Wolf is Varg which originally meant "murderer", and was used as a euphemism for ulv (which is the same word as "wolf") nowadays ulv is a dead word while Varg is the one commonly used to describe the species.
  • Thomas "Fats" Waller. Not to mention Antoine "Fats" Domino.
  • Salvatore "Sonny" Bono.
  • Paul "Bono" Hewson and Dave "The Edge" Evans of U2.
  • William "Smokey" Robinson.
  • Gordon "Sting" Sumner.
  • John Simon Ritchie Sid Vicious - His death certificate had Simon and John around the wrong way.
  • Saul "Slash" Hudson
  • Lauren Keyana "Keke" Palmer. American actress and singer.
  • Alvis "Buck" Owens.
  • Charles Hardin Holley aka "Buddy Holly". Without the e.
  • Early Soviet leaders used this quite often:
    • Vladimir Ilych "Lenin" Ulyanov
    • Joseph Vissarionovich "Stalin" Djugashvili
    • Lev "Trotsky" Bronstein
    • Vyacheslav "Molotov" Skriabin
  • Subcomandante Marcos, the leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (a Mexican rebel movement fighting for the rights of the indigenous people) is only known by his Nom de Guerre.
  • Several racehorse trainers have been known to fans only by nicknames, including Grover "Buddy" Delp, Claude "Shug" McGaughey III, and Hubert "Sonny" Hine.
  • There are also several German politicians which are regularly referred to by their nickname instead of their first name, like the governor former first burgomaster of Hamburg "Ole" von Beust and former Minister of Foreign Affairs "Joschka" Fischer. Former German chancellor Willy Brandt was born Herbert Frahm, but exclusively used the name of his undercover identity as a resistance fighter when he returned to Germany after WW2.
  • A couple of Latin American examples: Luiz Inácio da Silva is always known as Lula - to the point of adding it to his actual legal name - and Ernesto Guevara is much more famous as Che. And one norteamericano example: when was the last time you heard someone refer to President William Clinton?
    • The best Presidential example is James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. He was the first President to officially sign documents with his nickname rather than his full name. Back during his days there were even official news agencies and TV channels who refused to name him "Jimmy" Carter, because it sounded so childish.
    • Averted, though (at least in his political career) by Barack "Once Called Himself Barry" Obama.
  • One of the most famous Spanish guerrilla leaders of the war against Napoleon was Don Juan Martin Diaz, known as el Empecinado. After the war he got royal permission to use his nickname instead of "Diaz".
  • "Destiny Hope Cyrus", who later officially changed her name to "Miley Ray Cyrus".
  • All of the characters in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, since people were known to each other by their courtesy names, and their real names were only used by family members.
  • Spike Milligan (real first name Terrence).
  • Rappers too numerous to mention.
  • Happen a lot on MMORPGs unless the person happens to use their real name. Many times no or little effort is made to learn real names.
    • Also happens with certain subcultures, including online ones, where someone can be known for years just by one's "handle" or "con name."
  • Stefani Joanne Angelina "Lady Gaga" Germanotta
  • Some Christian saints are known by their "nicknames", for instance the apostles (Simon called) Peter, Andrew and Thomas (Greek words meaning "the Rock", "the Manly" and "the Twin"), and St. Francis of Asisi (real name: Giovanni Battista Bernardone, his nickname Francesco means "Frenchy").
  • A number of old families have two names, an older one and another they acquired later (which can be a simplified form of the former), these can be linked by the word "called" (dit in French, genannt in German). Examples are Napoleon's marshal Claude Victor-Perrin dit Victor and the Prussian liaison in Wellington's HQ during the Waterloo campaign, general Karl von Müffling genannt Weiss.
  • Some Minnesänger and mastersingers are known primarily or only known by their nicknames, most famously Tannhäuser (i. e. "the man from Tannhausen").
  • Famous painters: Sandro Botticelli (Alessandro die Mariano Filipepi, named after the goldsmith to whom he had been apprenticed), Canaletto (Antonio da Canal), the other Canaletto (Bernardo Bellotto), El Greco (Dominikos "the Greek" Theotokopoulos), three male artists called Tintoretto ("the little dyer", a nickname of the family, whose original name is Robusti) and a female one from the same family called "la Tintoretta".
  • Too many Brazilian football players to list are known only by their noms-de-foot, to name just three: Pelé (Edson Arantes do Nascimento), Tostão (Eduardo Gonzalves de Andrade), and Zico (Arthur Antunes Coimbra). Many may be self-chosen, though. A few enter First Name Basis (Ronaldo Luiz Nazário de Lima and Marta Vieira da Silva).
  • In most Polish video game magazines, all the editors sign themselves, and refer to each other with nothing but nicknames. There are many long-time readers who don't know the names of their favorite writers.
  • Many Black Metal artists' pseudonyms become more well-known than their real names: more people are probably familiar with original Mayhem guitarist's pseudonym "Euronymous" than his real name, Oystein Aarseth.
  • Edward Michael 'Bear' Grylls
  • Dr. John Henry "Doc" Holliday
  • Norman "Boomer" Esiason
  • Most of the cast of Jersey Shore, especially Snooki (Nicole Polizzi) and The Situation (Mike Sorrentino).
  • Barack Obama's daughter Sasha's real name is Natasha.
  • Genghis Khan's given name was Temujin Borjigin.
  • Banksy
  • The Ferrett (note spelling), a writer who is currently is best known for his Magic: The Gathering articles and for having been an editor of the popular Magic strategy site Star City Games.com, does indeed go by "Ferrett" in real life.
  • Mistress Matisse. "Her real name--as in the name that she really uses with all her kink, prodom, and kink-writing activities--is really Mistress Matisse. The only reason to want her legal name is because you're a creep."
  • Tre Cool (Frank Edwin Wright III) and Mike Dirnt (Michael Pritchard) of Green Day. Averted by Billie Joe Armstrong, whose name really is Billie Joe.
  • Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, who hated his nickname.
  • Alecia Moore, better known as P!nk.
  • And Henry Ross Perot had this happen to him three times. He usually goes by "H. Ross Perot," but this was soon shortened to "Ross Perot." By the time of the 1992 presidential election, he was so famous that most people confidently referred to him simply as "Perot."
  • Louis Feinberg, Moses Horwitz, and Jerome Horwitz...better known as Larry, Moe and Curley.
    • Even though some people don't count him, Samuel "Shemp" Horwitz.
  • The Marx Brothers: Leonard (Chico), Arthur (Harpo), Julius (Groucho), Milton (Gummo) and Herbert (Zeppo).
  • Matthew "Monk" Lewis.
  • From UK politics, the former Liberal Democrat leader (1988-99) Jeremy John Durham "Paddy" Ashdown.
  • Lawrence Jones, recently-retired third baseman for the Atlanta Braves, is more familiarly known as "Chipper."
  • Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. and Prince Michael Jackson II, better known as "Prince" and "Blanket" respectively. Yes, it's confusing.
  • Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar who is better known as El Cid Campeador.
  • Justin Louis "Joba" Chamberlain
  • Austin "Chumlee" Russell
  • The inventor of the sack, David D. "Deacon" Jones
  • Early NASCAR star Edward Glenn "Fireball" Roberts.
  • Attila (the Hun) is known by the name ("little father") that the Goths gave him. His real name is lost to history.
  • Markus "Notch" Persson, of Minecraft fame.
  • Jun'ya "ZUN" Oota.
  • Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, whose real names are Mario Girotti and Carlo Pedersoli respectively
  • Johnny Galecki once told Conan O'Brien that this trope was in full effect with his circle of friends in Chicago, which included someone called Shorty Bighead (who was short and had a big head). Johnny's nickname? Bitchfingers.


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alternative title(s): Nick Name Basis; Known Only By Their Nickname; Only Known By His Nickname; Only Known By Her Nickname
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