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."
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
). Exceptionally badass examples of this trope fall into the Red Baron
. Obvious and common contractions, ie 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
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Anime & Manga
- 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. It was a more ignorant 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 is identical with 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.
- MAX Bullseye's real name is Shelton Pendergrass, but since the Noodle Incident that turned him from an army lawyer into a Psycho for Hire, he won't answer to anything but Bullseye.
- 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.
- 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 Robo Cop Prime Driectives 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 E.T. 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
"We've been working so much, I feel like we hardly know our kids. I'm starting to forget what 'DJ' stands for."
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Ned's 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.
- To be fair, Leo and Toby appear to be their actual names, if the names that they give on in the subpoenas in season 3 are correct. CJ just calls them that.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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).
- 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 Jenny, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- N from the 5th generation of Pokemon. His real name is actually Natural Harmonia Gropius, but he is only referred to as N in the games.
- Tails in Sonic the Hedgehog. His real name, Miles Prower, usually isn't mentioned in the games at all.
- Sonic 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 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.
- 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.
- John-117 and Thel 'Vadam are better known by their rank/titles: Master Chief and the Arbiter.
- The Master Chief does refers to himself as "Spartan-117" at the end of Halo 2, and Cortana calls him John at the end of Halo 3. 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 the former is at least also known by 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."
- Hub "Megaman" 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 it's protagonist referred to only as "Starkiller", his code-name. 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: Bowsers 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 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 second act:
- 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. He/she mentions that the last name given to him/her at the Fukuin house is "Yasuda", but his/her given name is unknown.
- 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 Lifeat 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, reffered 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.
- 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
- 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 WW 2.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Paul "Ace" Frehley from Kiss. Only his wife called him "Paul".
- 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