Only Known by Their Nickname
aka: Known Only By Their Nickname

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"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:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • Azumanga Daioh:
    • Ayumu 'Osaka' Kasuga- 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bungou Stray Dogs has Yumeno "Q" Kyuusaku (whose real name is never spoken aloud) and Oda "Odasaku" Sakunosuke. Also possibly the case with Mori, as Elise calls him Rintarou, which was the real name of the real-life Mori Ougai, which might imply that it's his real name as well.
  • 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.
  • City Hunter: Umibozu's real name of Hayato Ijuin is only said once by Ryo and another by the daughter of his old commander, everyone else call him either Falcon (his codename as a mercenary) or Umibozu (a mocking nickname that Ryo gave him and stuck). Even Umibozu himself prefers being called with his nicknames.
  • 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.
  • V. T. from Cowboy Bebop runs a pool for people guessing her name. Her real name is Victoria Terpsichore. Vicious, the show's main antagonist, never reveals his true name either.
  • 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.
  • The protagonist of Daily Life with Monster Girl is rarely referred to by his real name, Kimihito Kurusu. The girls around him tend to use various nicknames for him, generally some variation of "Darling", "Master" or "Husband".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Death Note:
    • We never find out L's real name 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.
  • Nearly everyone on the main cast of Denki-gai no Honya-san is known only by their nickname, e.g. Fu Girl, Director, Sensei, Sommelier, and Kameko.
  • 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 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".
  • Takeshi Goda in Doraemon is commonly known as Gian. Some of the characters such as Shizuka and Gian's mother still call him Takeshi.
  • 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.
  • In ERASED, the kids all call Jun Shiratori "Yuuki," meaning "courage," since he's always telling them to face their fears and speak their minds.
  • Eyeshield 21:
    • Shien Mushanokoji, the quarterback of the Seibu Wild Gunmen , 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.
  • 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.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Scar 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".
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • Ghost Hunt:
    • Kazuya Shibuya. 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." (Mr. Monk)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All the Zoanoids, some Zoalords, and even Lost Numbers are never given names in Guyver. Some just have their model number type as a nickname. Some Zoalords seem to rename themselves after famous figures or fictional literary characters.
  • 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.
  • Since most of ˝ 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.
  • 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".
    • In "The Disappearence of Haruhi Suzumiya", an alternate dimension Haruhi asks Kyon for his name. After wondering whether to give his nickname (which this Haruhi wouldn't know) or his real name (which not even the Haruhi from his dimension would know), he ends up giving the obviously fake name this Haruhi might remember him by: John Smith. She then goes on to call him John.
    Kyon: When you say John, are you referring to me?
    Haruhi: Why go with Kyon when John's a much cooler name?
  • Hajime's younger brother in I Can't Understand What My Husband is Saying is almost exclusively referred to by his pen name, Mayotama. Only his mother calls him Youta.
  • Gyro Zeppeli from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Steel Ball Run. His real name is Julius Caeser Zeppeli.
  • 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.
  • Mitsune 'Kitsune' Konno from Love Hina.
  • 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.
  • Mazinger Z:
  • Emperor Sōun from the shōjo manga Mikado no Shihō is only known as "Shiki" to almost everyone else except his mother.
  • Quetzalcoatl from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is almost always referred to by the shortened name "Lucoa", probably because her full name would be quite a mouthful for a Japanese speaker.
  • In Monster, there is the mafia boss named The Baby. His real name is given The Unreveal treatment.
  • 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.
  • Nodame from Nodame Cantabile rarely gets called by her real name, Megumi Noda.
  • 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 Marines by their color-coded alias, and rarely know or use their real names.
    • During the Paramount War in Marineford, a flashback shows the Pirate King complaining to Whitebeard because everyone's started calling him "Gold Roger" when his real name is Gol D. Roger. By the present day hardly anyone refers to him using that name. The world knows him as the Pirate King Gold Roger.
    • Many members of the Donquixote family are only known by their given codenames. The four family executives are codenamed for the four card suits; thus, Donquixote Rocinante is almost exclusively referred to as "Corazon", and we never learn Trebol's, Diamante's, or Pica's real names. Some of the underlings are the same way; we are explicitly told that "Buffalo" and "Baby 5" are codenames, but we never learn their real ones.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We don't know the full names of the cast of Please Tell Me! Galko-chan. The names used are merely based on their character archetypes: Galko, Otako, Ojou, and so on.
  • Ash Ketchum in Pokémon is a downplayed example of this. Team Rocket always refer to him as "the Twerp." They almost never refer to him by his real name and you can probably count the number of times they've ever done so to his face on one hand.
  • Due to a Dub Name Change X and Y are this in translations of Pokémon Adventures. Their names are short for "Xavier" and "Yvonne", though in the original version their names are literally "X" and "Y".
  • 3-gatsu 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.
  • 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.
  • School-Live!:
    • Sensei-chan Sakura Megumi is only ever referred to as "Megu-nee" by the characters, though she wishes they would refer to her as "Sakura-sensei".
    • Yuuri is referred to as "Rii" more often than her full name.
    • Rii's sister is exclusively known as "Ruu".
  • Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu has the protagonist Yotaro who doesn't even mention his own name, not even when first speaking to his rakugo idol Yakumo. Yotaro is a nickname given to him by Yakumo, and it means "fool" in rakugo slang. Less than halfway through the first episode of the anime, we get a guy from Yotaro's past and only then is this trope averted - his real name is Kyoji.
  • Oshizu in To Love-Ru. Her real name is Shizu Murasame, but she likes to be called Oshizu better.
  • In Yo-kai Watch we have Barnaby "Bear" Bernstein (Gorouta "Kuma" Kumashina in Japan) who is never referred to by his proper name. To a lesser extent other characters often have shortened versions of their names, like "Eddie" and "Katie". Even Nathan's parents only call him "Nate".
  • The Pharaoh in the English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!. His real name is unknown and is a plot point in the last season, so the only thing his friends can call him is by his title, which they use in lieu of a name, rather than as a respectful gesture or as a title as Ishizu and Shadi would use it.
  • Ryo Marufuji, the Kaiser, of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. There is a time when people call him Hell Kaiser until they call him only Kaiser again.
  • Only a few characters call Shark from Yu Gi Oh Zexal by his name Ryoga Kamishiro.

    Comic Books 
  • James Buchanan Barnes is almost always referred to as Bucky, or Bucky-Cap (when serving as Captain America). Only his girlfriend Black Widow refers to him by his first name.
  • Archie Comics:
    • Jughead Jones'real name is Forsythe.
    • Similarly, his sister Jellybean Jones. Real name is Forsythia.
    • Pretty much everyone in the comics goes by a nickname, which usually are just shortened versions of their names (Archie is named Archibald, Betty is named Elizabeth, Moose is named Marmaduke, etc) Only Veronica gets called by her name often, and even then you'll see it as "Ronnie" or "Ron" 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.
    • Jay Garrick is actually Jaeon Garrick. But many just assume he shares a name with Homer Simpson.
    • Especially the case with Barry Allen, who actually has the same full name as his grandson, Bartholomew. (In the Silver Age, it was "Barrence"; this was quietly retconned in the '90s.)
    • Wally's full name is Wallace West.
  • 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 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 Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog only went by his nickname. He was given the embarrassing middle name of Maurice, and Word of God claimed his first name to be Oglivie.
  • Sonic the Comic:
    • Shorty the Squirrel was known by his nickname of Shortfuse the Cybernik.
    • Tails is never called by his name, except in the Nameless Zone. In the Nameless Zone he is known by his real name "Miles Prower".
    • Oscar the Pig is better known by his nickname of 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 Eisenhardt", but who knows how long that will last.
  • Grunge of Genął. 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.
  • For a decade, The Punisher was never referred to by his real name, even when he stood trial in The Spectacular Spider-Man. It took until 1985 for his actual name to be established as Frank Castle (born Castiglione).
  • Tintin. His name fits the familiar Francophone nicknaming pattern of reduplicating a name's syllable, as in "Loulou'' for Louis(e) (first syllable of given name), "Nana" for Anna (second syllable of given name), or "Bébel" for Jean-Paul Belmondo (first syllable of surname). "Tintin" could e. g. be based on Martin, Constantin or Célestin.
  • Strontium Dog:
    • Very few people know Johnny Alpha's real last name, since both he and his family have very compelling reasons to keep their relationship secret.
    • "Middenface" McNulty's given name is Archibald, though you'd have to read the comic quite carefully to figure it out. The only ones to ever refer to him as anything other than "Middenface" are his gran (who calls him Archie) and the good kind of "Wanted"-posters (which refer to him as "The Tartan Terror".)
  • Aquila: Aquila, the main character's gladiator name, is just Latin for "eagle". His 'brother', another warrior who serves the same hungry goddess, is known simply as The Spartan from his area of origin.
  • The Mickey Mouse Comic Universe has Eega Beeva, with most people (and readers) not even knowing that Eega Beeva is actually a nickname. There's a very good reason: Eega's real name, rarely used outside his debut, is Pittisborum Psercy Pystachi Pseter Psersimmon Plummer-Push (with a giant spit on the "Push"), long enough that Eega got winded after saying it twice in a row, at which point Mickey came up with the nickname.
  • The eponymous Golden Eyes of "Golden Eyes" And Her Hero "Bill" - if she's got a real name, the author never reveals it.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts:
    • Pig-Pen. 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."
    • Rerun Van Pelt. When he is introducing himself to his kindergarten class, he reveals that even he doesn't 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. His first few appearances said his name is Doc.
  • Apparently a characteristic of Pluggers according to this strip.
  • In Luann, only two of the main character's fellow students in junior college have been identified — and they are known only as Mr. Jock and Mr. Goth.

    Fan Works 
  • The Immortal Game has Sir Unimpressive and his Arch-Enemy the Cadet.
  • The Horseshoes and Hand Grenades sidestory Month of Sundays has the Rainbow Serpent. She later reveals her name, Ayida-weddo, but the story and the other characters (minus Mari) still refer to her as Rainbow Serpent.
  • CIA Agents has the Leader. The agents call him �Piero� and his code name is Grandell.
  • Fan stories of The Lord of the Rings
  • In Mega Man Reawakened, Roll's full name is Rebecca Light, but everyone calls her Roll.
  • Played for Laughs with Flynn in the Frozen fanfic A Date With The Drum Major:
    Flynn: *to Anna* My name's Eugene�
    Rest of the room: *in near-unison* Who's Eugene?
    Flynn: �but everyone here calls me Flynn.
    Rest of the room: *over-dramatically* Ohhhhhhhh.
  • Jacob Arrow from A New World, A New Way sidestory Swarm prefers to be referred to by X. Also counts as a One-Letter Name.
  • In We Are All Pokémon Trainers, about 80% of the cast goes by a nickname of some sort, either due to personal preference or to protect their identities.
  • Commander Tess Phohl's real first name "Tesjha" is only rarely used in Bait and Switch. "The Universe Doesn't Cheat" reveals that "Tesjha Phohl" is itself a shortened form of "Siritesjha sh'Phohlhi".
  • Hilariously done in A Black Comedy. Until The Reveal near the end of the story, the mysterious wizard constantly interfering with Voldemort's plans is only known by the name Voldemort gives him: That Fucker.
  • Ranger Fink of The Hamsterball Show. Her real name is Rachel Fink. Only Mr. Raptis calls her by this name.
    • Another nickname of Ranger Fink's is simply "the Fink," which is used interchangeably with "Ranger Fink" by the narrator.
  • According to Kill la Kill AU, Ryuuko is mostly called "Ryuu" by mostly everyone she knows and "Repeat Offender" by the cops. Likewise, we have Seiji, who's real name is "Shinseiji" and her nickname tends to be used more than Ryuuko's. According to Meaningful Name, not very many people know Sukuyo's real name and she is mostly called by a childhood nickname of "Turtle".
  • From the Gensokyo 20XX series, we have An Yakumo, whose real name is Anohana and the similar occurs for Yume Ni, with her being mostly called "Yu" or "Yu-Ni". Likewise, the same occurs for Maribel and Renko, who are mostly called Merry and Wren.
    • For a while, Reimu's mother wasn't called by her name; she was called "Mikosan" or, as Yukari called her, "the Slattern". We eventually find out, from Word of God, that her name is Reiko.
  • In Soul Eater: Troubled Souls, the real name of Kilik Lung is Kirikou, but everyone calls him Kilik instead. The writer probably did this to acknowledge both the original and the dub name of the character.
  • In the Stargate Atlantis fanfic I See the Stars, leisians usually have short names; so when Earth-born, half-leisian Adelaide Weir starts to integrate into the society, she has to find some way to shorten her name. She chooses her old nickname "Ada" and is known as Ada Weir to the point it becomes part of her identity.
  • Annie Stelman from the Criminal Minds fanfic "To live again" is actually named Annelise Stelman but nobody ever calls her that.
  • In one chapter of The Racket-Rotter Chronicles, Annette finds medication prescribed to "Dennis Racket Jr." Better known as Shark.
  • The Contractually Obligated Chaos series has the original characters of the Fairy Godfather and Lady Delphine. These are almost certainly not their real names - the second story more or less says as much for Delphine - but no one has any idea what their real names might be. Among the canon cast members, it's not widely known that Donny's real first name is actually Dobsonfly.
  • 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.

    Film — Animated 
  • In a couple of Disney Animated Canon examples, there are many characters who are never given real names:
    • On the surface, The Lion King's Scar appears to be named after his scar, but in a semi-canon 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!
    • Tramp from Lady and the Tramp has a rather strange name. He is a homeless stray though, so he probably named himself, since no human named him. Later it's 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.
    • 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.
    • When it comes to the members of Big Hero 6, Hiro and Fred are normal names, and Baymax is a robot name. But Wasabi, GoGo Tomago, and Honey Lemon? They're nicknames given to them by Fred. Adaptation Name Change is in play for Wasabi and GoGo, given in the original comics it was "Wasabi No-Ginger" and it was unclear it was if that was a nickname and Jamie Chung (GoGo's voice actress) the latter's real name is Ethel instead of "Leiko Tanaka" and given like the other two, Honey Lemon was Race Lifted, it's unlikely "Aiko Miyazaki" is her real name, either.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Played for Drama in About Elly - when Elly disappears, a police officer is incredulous that her "friends" know so little of Elly that they don't even know her first name.
  • Penny Lane in Almost Famous. Her real name is Lady Goodman.
  • The titular "Amazing" from Amazing Grace and Chuck. One character he meets says it's kind of awkward calling him that and asks whether he has a real name. Amazing just smiles and says it's "worse".
  • 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.
  • 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. This is 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 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.
  • Blondie from Blondie Johnson is never called by her actual name, Virginia.
  • The bartender with Hollywood Tourette's in The Boondock Saints is just called "Fuck-Ass", since he says it all the time. He doesn't seem to mind the nickname.
  • 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.
  • Camp X-Ray: Much like the "Dollars Trilogy" example below, Private Amy Cole is referred to as "Blondie" by Ali for the majority of the film, despite being played by obvious brunette Kristen Stewart.
  • 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".
  • "The Kid" in Dick Tracy, though at the end he's given a name: Dick Tracy, Jr.
  • Dog Soldiers has "Spoon" Witherspoon. His first name is never revealed.
  • 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.
  • Spider from Elysium.
  • E.T. from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. In the cancelled sequel his real name was going to be revealed to be Zrek.
  • 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 named sailors in Follow the Fleet are known only by their nicknames. The male leads are "Bake" Baker and "Bilge" Smith, and there's another crewman known as Dopey.
  • In Gambit, Harry Deane's friend, the art forger, is never referred to as anything other than "the Major".
  • In The Gamers: 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?
  • Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed: Ghost is only ever referred to as "Ghost". Apparently her grandmother started calling her that when she was 7 as a way to subconsciously stop her from making sudden noises.
  • 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 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.
  • The Hunger Games: Prim's full name is Primrose, but everyone calls her Prim.
  • The title character of Indiana Jones. His real name is Henry Waltonnote  Jones, Jr.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "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 Kingsman: The Secret Service, although the audience does learn that Eggsy’s given name is Gary, he introduces himself to the other Kingsman candidates as Eggsy, and is exclusively referred to as Eggsy by the other characters in the film.
  • 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.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Bucky Barnes is only referred to as "James" about three times throughout the entire franchise. The same exhibition that refers to Steve as "Steven" calls him Bucky. When an interrogator calls him James, he (somewhat petulantly) informs him that "my name is Bucky." Basically, any time the character appears or is referenced outside of a HYDRA or generic assassination context he will almost certainly be referred to as "Bucky", "Barnes" (possibly prefixed by "Sergeant") or "Bucky Barnes", and thanks to seventy years of brainwashing it's entirely possible that not even the man himself thinks of Bucky as "James Buchanan Barnes" at this point.
  • 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").
  • Benji from the last three Mission Impossible movies. Even CIA director Hunley refers to him at one point as "Benji Dunn" instead of "Benjamin Dunn", even though the two of them don't have a particular good relationship and Hunley thinks that Benji has gone rogue at that time.
  • The whole cast of Celebrity Impersonators in Mister Lonely.
  • Mouth to Mouth: Dog, Tiger, Mad Axe, Manson, and more.
  • The Tet from Oblivion (2013) is named after its shape and it never gives us its actual classification other than "God", that is.
  • In Ocean's Eleven there is "The Amazing Yen" and Basher Tarr.
  • 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.
  • The Great Kanaka, Starcat, Provoloney and Yo-Yo from Psycho Beach Party.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera: "GraveRobber, GraveRobber, sometimes I wonder why I even bother..."
  • 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 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" and "the Old Woman". The guy who ran it in the third movie and the man who ran it in RoboCop: The Series, however, fall under Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" as they're referred to their respective job titles of "the CEO" and "the Chairman".
  • Rock Star : Kirk Cuddy refers to all women as "Tottie".
  • The Shawshank Redemption has Red, whose real name is Ellis Redding. It is first said when the prison guards are calling out names for outdoor detail. First time or unobservant viewers will only recognise this when he is directly referred to by real name at the end of 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.
  • 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'.
  • Star Wars:
    • Most people in the galaxy 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).
    • It's implied this may be the case with Rey from The Force Awakens, due to her name being very similar to the last name of a long-dead Rebel pilot whose helmet she owns, "Ræh", which is visible written on the helmet during the scene where she's wearing it while eating.
    • Another Sequel Trilogy lead, Finn, as a former First Order stormtrooper, only had a serial number, so a nickname is an improvement.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Goose in Top Gun. Everyone, even his own wife, just calls him that. His real name, which is seen on a box, is 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>".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Who's Singing Over There?: Most characters are only known by their description (the Singer, the Hunter, the Bride et cetera). Not very surprising, since they all meet on a bus and don't know each other.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Ororo Munroe is regularly referred to as Storm.
    • Everyone calls Rogue by her code name. Marie is only used twice in the entire franchise.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Like his comic book counterpart, Leech is referred to as simply "Jimmy" with no surname given.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Psylocke and Angel are only called by their code names. Jubilation Lee goes by her nickname Jubilee in promotional materials.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Adam-12 has Sgt. "Mac" Macdonald, the guys' superior.
  • Alf's real name is Gordon Shumway. Not that anyone on Earth calls him that.
  • On Arrested Development:
    • George Oscar Bluth II is exclusively called "GOB" (pronounced like Job in the Bible) to differentiate him from his father George Sr.
    • GOB's youngest brother, whose given name is Byron, is exclusively called "Buster".
    • Their niece Mae is referred to by everyone as "Maeby".
    • None of them are ever called by their full, real names - all three names appear briefly on screen in each character's introductory scene in the pilot, but have never even been spoken aloud on the show, an impressive feat of taking this trope to its logical conclusion.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003)
    • 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.
  • Detective Constable Alfred "Tosh" Lines in The Bill. After his first two or three episodes, nearly everybody just refered to him as "Tosh".
  • Bitchin' Kitchen's Yehezkel "The Spice Agent" Mizrahi, only because no-one knows how to pronounce his actual name.
  • In Bonanza Ben Cartwright's second oldest son Hoss' real name is Eric, this is mentioned on a few occasions and he only goes by his real name during formal events.
  • 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."
  • Cory in Boy Meets World. Apart from his parents, 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.
  • Buffyverse:
    • 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. In one episode everyone gets Laser-Guided Amnesia and, having only his driver's license to go on, is temporarily "Alex".
      • Adam, who is made up of human and demons parts stitched together. In one episode Buffy sees his human self in a psychic dream; she asks him what his name is, and dream!Adam replies that no one on Earth remembers.
      • Spike's name is William. "William the Bloody" is one of his old nicknames, but other than that it's hardly mentioned.
      • 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".
      • "Anne" is a young woman who has drifted between different cults or similar groups over her life and keeps changing her name. We never learn what she was called originally (though according to an original draft of a script, it was supposed to be Joan).
    • 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".
  • Seymour of Burn Notice has a henchman whom he only ever refers to as "Jackass".
  • 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!" While he got his nickname for the obvious reason (he was Sam's coach during his baseball days), he always believed he got it because he always traveled cheap.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Starburns, one of the other students in Señor Chang's Spanish class from Community. His sideburns are shaped like stars.
  • On Corner Gas the Mayor is "Fitzy" Fitzgerald.
  • On Criminal Minds, Jennifer Jareau is known exclusively as J.J., and Team Mom Aaron Hotchner is almost always called "Hotch" by his teammates.
  • CSI: 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.
  • One Dharma & 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.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor, of course. The new series has confirmed he has a real name, but only he (and River Song, when she was around) knows what it is, and that's exactly how he likes it.
    • The Doctor's granddaughter is only referred to as "Susan Foreman", the identity she assumed at Cole Hill School, even though "Foreman" is a punning alias and "Susan" seems a very unlikely name for a Gallifreyan.
    • The other renegade Time Lords seen, most prominently the Master and the Raninote , also fall under this trope.
    • Among the companions, there are Dorothea "Dodo" Chaplet, Romanadvoratrelundar, who's only ever called "Romana" once she's introduced herself fully in her first scene, Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown and Dorothy "Ace" McShane.
      • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • "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.
    • "Forest of the Dead": Donna's husband inside the computer is called Lee McAvoy. The fact that he wasn't named that in real life is one of the reasons why she ends up missing him when everyone is freed from the computer, the other being his severe stutter.
    • Amelia "Amy" Pond, who stopped going by her full name after the Doctor told her it was "a bit fairytale".
    • "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?"
    • Series 10 companion Billie "Bill" Potts, to the point her full first name can only be found via Freeze-Frame Bonus in her first episode.
    • The Doctor Who Expanded Universe also gives us Isabelle "Izzy" Sinclair, Roslyn "Roz" Forrester, Samantha "Sam" Jones, Beatrice "Trix" Macmillan, Thomas Hector "Hex" Schofield, Fitzgerald "Fitz" Kreiner, 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.)
      • A regular character once told Fitz, upon hearing his full name, that he'd thought "Fitz" was his last name.
  • Turtle on Entourage. His first name (Sal) was not revealed until season five.
  • Hoban Washburn (Wash) and Kaywinnit Lee Frye (Kaylee) of Firefly. Even Wash's own wife never calls him Hoban.
  • Spike and Wordy are almost exclusively referred to by their nicknames on Flashpoint rather than as Michaelangelo and Kevin. Plus Juliana is always Jules.
  • 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.
  • DJ Tanner on Full House (and later, Fuller House). Her real name is Donna Jo.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Hot Pie. We never learn his real name.
    • The Tickler is not known as anything else. The nickname is enough for Jaqen H'ghar, however.
    • From House Stark, Lord Eddard, Lady Catelyn, and Prince Brandon are mostly referred to as Ned, Cat, and Bran respectively.
    • Hodor is the Stark's stableboy whose only word is "Hodor". No one knows his real name until in Season 6 where his real name is Wylis (Walder in the books) and it turns out that Bran Stark warged into his young Wylis during his greenseer dreams while Meera was yelling "Hold the door!" as she and Bran escaped from the White Walkers. As a result, Wylis started to have seizures and yelled "Hold the door!" repeatedly until he said "Hodor!" which led to his mental regression. The show writers confirmed that Hodor's name origin from George R. R. Martin himself.
    • Old Nan's real name is never revealed on the show, she's merely known as 'Old Nan'.
  • General Hospital: Lucas Lorenzo "Lucky" Spencer, Jr. Mainly to differentiate him from his more famous father, the male half of the original Super Couple. His father himself is only known as "Luke". His nephew Lucas, also named after him, is the only one of the three to avert this. Luke also slightly inverts this, being the only one in town to call the women in his life by their real names rather than the nicknames everyone else uses — sister Bobbie ("Barbara"), niece Carly ("Caroline"), friend Alexis ("Natasha"), and daughter Lulu ("Lesley Lu") — and was the only person on the show to do so.
  • 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.
  • Rory Gilmore's full name on Gilmore Girls is Lorelai Leigh Gilmore. Her mother named her after herself, and she babbles in the pilot to a cute boy:
    Rory: It's my mother's name, too. She named me after herself. She was lying in the hospital thinking about how men name boys after themselves all the time, you know, so why couldn't women? She says her feminism just kind of took over. Though personally I think a lot of Demerol also went into that decision.
  • 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.
    • Mike Chang, despite actually having a name, is known both in-universe and out almost exclusively as "Other Asian." Not anymore. Since he and Tina got together in the second season, he's been given more screen time and more character development.
  • On Good Girls Revolt, Patti is never called Patricia, and her name is only seen once, in the tenth episode, on a list of signatures.
  • Charlotte "Charlie" Duncan from Good Luck Charlie.
  • In Gossip Girl, everyone calls Nate Archibald's father "The Captain"... including Nate.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • The Fonz, or "Fonzie", on Happy Days is only seldom referred to by his real name, Arthur Fonzarelli. Richie's mother is the only person allowed to call him Arthur.
    • 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".
  • 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!
  • For the longest time in Heroes, Noah Bennet's mysterious associate was known simply as "The Haitian." Claire later reveals that his real name is René. Earlier, Bennet himself was only known among the fans as HRG, which stands for "Horned-Rim Glasses", his signature eyewear. His first name wasn't revealed until much later.
  • In Hey Dad..!, Nudge's real name is Gerald Noritis, but probably even he doesn't remember.
  • Highlander: Duncan 'Mac' [MacLeod]and Hugh "Fitz" Fitzcairn.
  • 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.
  • 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).
    • 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 unless "Carlotta" is the nickname.
    • Their principal falls into this too, as he goes by Teddy instead of Tedward.
    • Gibby's name is Orenthal Cornelius Hayes Gibson. His friends didn't know his real name until "iStill Psycho". Even his mother calls him Gibby.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has Mac, whose real name is revealed to be Ronald McDonald.
  • 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.
  • Leave It to Beaver has Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In London's Burning, many of the firefighters are invariably referred to by their nicknames (such as Vaseline, Bayleaf, Sicknote, etc).
  • 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".
  • Many of Kelly's boyfriends on Married... with Children.
  • 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."
  • Howie from Max And Shred is actually named Jill. Alvin "Shred" nicknamed her when she was younger and kept asking him 'how?'
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • On The Nanny, C.C. Babcock is known only by her initials, as is practically her entire family (like her sisters G.G. and D.D., and mother B.B.). In the finale, her name is finally revealed to be Chastity Claire Babcock.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • One-shot character One-nad from Oliver Beene. Real name was Walter.
  • Crispo in One Hundred Things To Do Before High School. His name is an acronym of his first and last names, Christian Powers.
  • Our Miss Brooks: "Stretch" (Fabian) Snodgrass, and his brother "Bones" (Winston).
  • Peep Show has Super Hans (an eccentric wannabe musician and drug addict), Big Suze (a tall, posh woman) and Dobby (a proud female geek). Though we know Dobby and Super Hans' real names by the end of the series, Big Suze's remains a mystery.
  • 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.
  • In Punky Brewster, the title character's real name is Penelope.
  • 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.
  • Staff Sergeant Phillip "Hippy" Roper in Red Cap. Everyone calls him Hippy, including his superiors, thanks to his unruly hair.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Screech was almost never referred to as Samuel Powers on Saved by the Bell, even by teachers.
  • 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 and calling him by that name on occasion.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • An episode of Small Wonder revealed that Vicki's legal name was Victoria. (The Lawsons probably had to fudge some papers fast.)
  • Many characters in The Sopranos are referred to by nicknames (Big Pussy, Junior, etc.).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the BBC Historical Farm Series Tales from the Green Valley, archaeologist 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".
  • 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.
  • That '70s Show: "Hello, my name is Fez." It's not really his name, it's just short for "foreign exchange student". Also Reginald "Red" Forman.
  • 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.
  • 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'....
  • 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.
  • 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 (OK, the "Leopold" appears to be a joke by CJ, considering it's only used once and Leo gives his name in a Congressional hearing as Leo), 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.
  • White Collar has Neal's partner in crime, "Mozzie". It's not until season five that we learn his real name: Teddy Winters.
  • Very common in The Wire, considering many of the characters are criminals who only go by their street names. Lampshaded by Omar during this exchange at Bird's murder trial:
    ASA Ilene Nathan: And do you see the gunman who killed Mr. Gant anywhere in the courtroom today?
    Omar Little: (calling out) Ay, yo, what up Bird?
    Nathan: For the record, you are identifying the defendant, Marquis Hilton.
    Omar: He just Bird, to me.
    • 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).
  • On Workaholics, there is Ders, short for Anders.

    Music — Work 

    Music — Musicians 
  • Ace Frehley, formerly of Kiss. Only his wife 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.
  • Ian "Lemmy" Kilmeister of Motörhead.
  • Johnny Guitar Watson: The word "Johnny" and the word "guitar" in his name, derived from the film Johnny Guitar, are practically the official way of referring to him in the press.
  • 1920s Blues singer Robert Hicks also worked as a cook at a Georgia barbecue restaurant, so his record label combined this with Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" and billed him as Barbecue Bob.
  • Alecia Moore, better known as P!nk.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stefani Joanne Angelina "Lady Gaga" Germanotta.
  • Rappers too numerous to mention.
  • "Destiny Hope Cyrus", who later officially changed her name to "Miley Ray Cyrus."
  • Charles Hardin Holley aka "Buddy Holly". Without the e.
  • Gordon "Sting" Sumner.
  • John Simon Ritchie Sid Vicious — His death certificate had Simon and John around the wrong way.
  • Saul "Slash" Hudson.
  • Ron "Pigpen" McKernan of the Grateful Dead.
  • Michael "Flea" Balzary of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  • Ringo Starr: Richard Starkey is the only Beatle not known under his real name. James Paul McCartney used his middle name "Paul" to distinguish himself from his father.
  • Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath; their real first names are John, Frank and Terence, respectively.
  • Thomas "Fats" Waller. Not to mention Antoine "Fats" Domino.
  • Salvatore "Sonny" Bono. Politician as well as singer.
  • Paul "Bono" Hewson and Dave "The Edge" Evans of U2.
  • William "Smokey" Robinson.
  • Lauren Keyana "Keke" Palmer. American actress and singer.
  • Alvis "Buck" Owens.

    Pinballs 

    Professional Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street:
    • Snuffy's real name is Aloysius Snuffleupagus. Even though almost everyone on the series refers to him by his nickname, his mother usually refers to him by his real name.
    • Cookie Monster, whose real name was eventually revealed to be Sid.

    Radio 

    Theatre 
  • In Both Your Houses, Girl Friday Hypercompetent Sidekick secretary Greta Nilsson is only ever referred to as "Bus". And the play never explains why.
  • In The Girl Of The Golden West, the title character is known as "the Girl" even in the play's Dramatis Personae; only very rarely is her real name, Minnie, mentioned in dialogue. The opera averts this and has her called Minnie all the time.
  • 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.
  • "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."
  • 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. (This is averted in They Knew What They Wanted, where Amy is never called Rosabella.)
  • The Wreck in My Sister Eileen and The Musical Wonderful Town. His name is Ted Loomis, but nobody calls him Ted.
    Eileen: Is there anything I can do for you, Mr. Loomis?
    The Wreck: Leave out the mister—call me Wreck.
    Eileen: Wreck?
    The Wreck: That's what they called me at Georgia Tech. I'd have made All American, only I was expelled.
  • Perfect Pie: The protagonist Patsy's real name (Patricia) is mentioned only once in the entire play, and is very easy to miss completely.

    Toys 
  • Barbie:
    • No one ever calls Barbie by her full name, Barbara.
    • Her oldest younger sibling seems to have a name, but she's only called "Skipper".

    Video Games 
  • Pokémon:
    • 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.
    • Looker, a reoccurring International Police agent who first appeared in Pokémon Platinum, who is only known by his codename.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Tail's 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. As of Sonic Generations, nobody calls him Dr. Robotnik anymore.
  • 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.
    • Sister Bikini and Valant Gramarye's names are just self-imposed nicknames. The real ones 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. In fact, it took until the very end of Halo 3 for Chief to be called by his real name in the games; even afterward, he's still mostly called some form of "Master Chief".
    • In fact, all of the Spartans are legally known only by serial number (Master Chief is "SPARTAN-117"). Their previous identities were erased upon their conscription, and they only use their original first names among very close friends (in other words: each other and Dr. Halsey), with Cortana eventually growing close enough to Chief to use his real name too.
    • 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.
  • Tokyo Xtreme Racer plays up this trope with every rival you face in every of its installment; their nicknames are generally first shown up as B.A.D. (Battle Ability Decision) names when you decide to race them. However, if you have defeated them and go to check their profiles, their real names have been listed there, thus averting this trope afterwards.
  • In Dragon Age, 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.
    • Played with in Dragon Age: Inquisition with The Iron Bull. While you learn his real name/title during his personal mission, no one except his fellow Qunari call him Hissrad, especially not if he becomes Tal-Vashoth. He claims that nicknames are pretty common under the Qun, since everyone's "real" names are strings of numbers used for breeding purposes, or titles given to them to signify their job and rank. Further played with by the fact that almost everyone (except Cole) ends up shortening his name to just "Bull" when they address him.
      • The Iron Bull's mercenary company, the Chargers, are also only known by nicknames - Krem, Dalish, Stitches, Grim, Skinner, and Rocky. Krem, who is the second-in-command, signs formal documents as Cremisius Aclassi, but is never actually called anything but Krem by other characters.
  • 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 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.
  • "Five Nights at Freddy's": The security guard who sends you pre-recorded messages over the phone is nameless, but has been given the nickname "Phone Guy" by the fanbase. The sequel features a character named Fritz Smith, and gives conflicting evidence as to whether or not he is Phone Guy.
  • It's probably easier to count the number of characters in both Hotline Miami and its sequel who aren't only known by their nicknames, or go by names that could easily be psuedonyms (such as the Fans in Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, some of which wear the same type of masks as Jacket did in the first game and just so happen to go by the same names).
  • In Night in the Woods, Germ's real name might be Jeremy, but nobody actually knows for certain. He just showed up one day, really.
    • Among the main characters, no-one refers to Mae as Margaret, and Gregg and Bea are seldom called Greggory and Beatrice.
  • The Kid from Bastion is only ever referred to as such, even when everyone else gets a name. Rucks even lampshades how he hadn't even asked him for his name before sending him out on the main quest of the game.
  • In the forensics portion of Trauma Team, your partner character introduces himself as FBI Special Investigator Navel, which is heavily implied by Naomi's dialogue to be an alias. She never calls him by it, and throughout the rest of the game, she only ever refers to him by her own nickname for him, Little Guy.
  • Unless you read his database profile, you'd never know that Far Cry 3 Buck's name was actually Bambi Hughes. Not that it makes him any less horrifying of a person by a long shot.
  • Ratchet & Clank: "Clank" is just a nickname Ratchet came up with early in the first game. Clank's real name is eventually revealed in A Crack In Time, but few characters ever refer to him by it.
  • Several of the hunters in Evolve, for various reasons.
    • Hyde's real name was classified when he enlisted as a Chemtrooper, though Word of God has revealed that it's Eugene Walters.
    • Đorđe Živković just goes by Lazarus. His specific motives are unexplained, but it's likely out of professional pride as the last Lazarus Man.
    • The pilot of the ship and resident robot is named 1Z27FHV047FBPQ40-a. Since no one wants to bother saying that he's gone by one nickname or another since his activation. Currently he calls himself Bucket but he used to be RR-40a.
    • Slim himself doesn't know his own name due to repressing his memories, but a line of dialogue points to it being Alex.
  • Sleeping Dogs: All over the place: You have Sun On Yee leaders "Big Smile" Lee, "Two Chin" Tsao, "Broken Nose" Jiang, "Pockmark" Cheuk and "Uncle" Po, the exceptions being Winston Chu and "Dogeyes" Lin, who is occasionally referred to by his birth name (Samuel). Outside the Sun On Yee, there's the Big Bad of the Nightmare At North Point DLC, known as "Smiley Cat" (much to his chagrin, as he'd much rather be known as "Big Scar" Wu), the aging freelance hitman "Old Salty Crab", the two drugs wholesalers "Four Finger" Wu and "Popstar", street racers Ace and Hotshot, the 18K snitch "Naz" Singh and the all-round slimeballs "Ponytail" and "Johnny Ratface".
  • Shadowrun Returns:
    • In Dead Man's Switch: Party members Coyote and Dodger, bartender Cherry Bomb and janitor Johnny Clean.
    • In Dragonfall: Party members Glory, Eiger and Blitz, BTL addict Simmy Kim, drug dealer Zaak Flash, "Mr. Johnson" Green Winters and information broker Alice.
    • In Shadowrun Hong Kong: Party members Gaichu, Is0bel and Racter, rigger-turned-street-doc "Ten-armed Ambrose" Rokatansky, underworld hard-asses "Kindly" Cheng and "Strangler" Bao, tech whiz "Maximum Law", Whampoa elder Magpie, weaponsmith "Spider" Shen and street mage "Crafty" Xu.
  • A lot of the main cast of Overwatch are mainly referred to by their nickname or codenames:
    • Tracer - Lena Oxton
    • Soldier: 76 - Jack Morrison
    • Reaper - Gabriel Reyes
    • Pharah - Fareeha Amari
    • Widowmaker - Amélie Lacroix
    • Mercy - Angela Ziegler
    • D.va - Hana Song
    • Junkrat - Jamison Fawkes
    • Roadhog - Mako Rutledge
    • Symmetra - Satya Vaswani
    • Sombra's real name is currently unknown.

    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.
  • Everyone except Junpei is eligible for this trope in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. The nine players of the Nonary Game decide to create nicknames for themselves based on their bracelet numbers; and then there's Zero, their kidnapper, whose name is also fake; and a couple more characters who also receive nicknames temporarily for the sake of explaining their deaths until the others figure out their real ones. Ultimately, we get to know all the real names except for Seven and Lotus.

    It should be noted that Junpei's companions make a Double Subversion out of this trope: Junpei gives them arbitrary nicknames in his head, and then they proceed to say their names... The code names based on their bracelet numbers. On the other hand, Clover zig-zags this trope by subverting it three times: her real name really is Clover.
  • 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: When They Cry 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.
  • Zen and 707's real names (Hyun Ryu and Luciel Choi, respectively) in Mystic Messenger are mentioned in the prologue, but V (himself an example of this trope) is nearly the only one to use them. There's also a double-nested example with 707: a player who does the Casual Story first will probably assume that Luciel is his real name, but the Deep Story reveals that Luciel is actually his baptismal name and Saeyoung is his true birth name.

    Web Comics 
  • Redcloak from The Order of the Stick. He gives himself and his one-eyed brother Right-Eye 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.
  • Exterminatus Now:
    • Syrus "The Virus" Zuviel 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. Apparently 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.
  • Something*Positive:
    • PeeJee, whose real name is Penelope Jennifer Shou. Aubrey and Jason's daughter, Pamela Joycelyn Chorde, is called PamJee or "Little PeeJee" after her.
    • Shazam Wil-Wheaton Dowden-Patel's name is usually shortened either some variant of his first name (usually by his father) or middle name (by his mother).
  • 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")
  • Buddy Champ Oven from Precocious...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. Also, Asia Ellis didn't choose a Shadow name with the others because Asia is not her birth name and so cannot be magically used against her.
  • In Go Get a Roomie! Roomie and WOC have not had their real names revealed to date.
  • Ménage ŕ 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.
  • The villain of the "Identity" arc in El Goonish Shive is only known by his forum handle. He actually tries to announce his real name several times, but no-one cares. Even when other characters who know his real name arrive, they never actually use it.
  • The Dreaming Dome teachers in Alice and the Nightmare do give their names at the beginning of the lesson, but after that, both them, other characters and the narrative refer to them as Dee and Dum.
  • Assistant in Gloomverse.
  • Cog Kleinschmidt from Clockwork goes exclusively by the nickname his sister gave him as a baby, as it has more meaning attached to it than his real name for him after his father and sister calling him it.
  • The Super Soldiers from Manly Guys Doing Manly Things don't have "real" names so much as serial numbers, so they mostly go by self-selected monikers. For example, the main character's serial number is "D37-9E-B52", so he called himself Rock Lobster (it was both more humble and more accurate than "Love Shack"), and his siblings/batchmembers/squadmates are "D37-9E-A53" (Ace), "D37-9E-J37" (Jet) and "D37-9E-C47" (Cat). Jet is Happily Married to V47-KR-A43 (Angel). However, Rock Lobster is very rarely referred to by either name or serial number. Most people adress him by as "Commander" or, more fully "Commander Badass".

    Web Original 
  • The Whisperer in Enigma. Very few even know what he looks like (or what manner of feline he is), let alone his actual name.
  • Vex and Vax in Critical Role don't usually get called by their full names (Vex'ahlia and Vax'ildan) unless they're being officially addressed, and Percival Frederickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III just goes by Percy. Gilmore is also this, by way of Last Name Basis.
  • 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".) Most fans probably don't remember Doc's real name (DuFresne), since it was only mentioned once or twice. Sister's name (Kaikaina) is only revealed in external materials. Most of the Freelancers are likewise known only by their codenames, though several of the more important ones do get revealed (Tex is Alison, Washington is David, and Wyoming is Reginald).
  • 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.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device: The Custodes that the Emperor has chosen as his confidante is only known to the other Custodes as... little Kitten.
  • 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?").
  • The protagonist of Lovelace ˝ 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. Her little sister's name is Madgeline and she is generally known as Madgie.
    • We also have this with Jinx and Spin, to which Amoridere states their real names are Jinxers and Spinner respectively.
    • Toki-Doki Rose [1] is mostly called "Rose", even by her mother. However, that could be because the "Toki-Doki" part isn't really apart of her name any more than it probably is a title or an optional extension, which is something that, apparently, doesn't have to be apart of her name.
  • If certain comments are to be believed, a rather large number of JackSepticEye's subscribers don't seem to realize his real first name is Sean.
  • YouTube-based sword enthusiast Björn Kronisch is almost always referred to as either Skallagrim or Skall.
  • 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 (Elena Penelope Gonagal), 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 identity of the player behind a given avatar is a regular source of plot twists.
  • From Killerbunnies we have: Computer Virus, her real name is Cassandra Vanessa.
    • There is also Visceraline and that is only because her full real name is too long or hard to say.
    • Remilia is an interesting case in that she was actually born Fraulein Petersen and "Remilia" was actually name given to her by he adoptive father, taking the name Remilia Fraulein Petersen. However, her real name, "Fraulein" is also in question as per her updated profile
    • The Evans Triplets are mostly known by their nicknames being either Fern, Tommie, and Flori or their nicknames Scissors, Chainsaw, and Nails.
    • According to their profile, Kamu was originally named Kuma but for some reason decided to go by "Kamu" instead. It's never stated but it could have something to do with the fact that "Kuma" can be easily misspelled as "Kamu"
    • Hattie's real name is Harriotte.
    • According to her deviantArt description, Milo is generally known by various nicknames, one of which being Mahalo
    • Experiment XI0014101 is more often than not called "Marigold" and she prefers to be called that, over the aforementioned.
    • Oleander is normally called nicknames, more commonly Imogene, because, apparently, people can never seem to remember her real name.
    • Fae Chantrea's real name is Fleurdelice Belladonna Fae Chantrea Enderstone
    • Farahilde is typically called Fabienne or "Fabie"
    • We also have Experiment 0099-404 who tends to go by "Mikie" or, rather, "Michealenne"
    • Cerise's real name is Hyacinth Angelica Cerise Blumenthal
    • Ardith is typically called Ardie.
    • Xylona, Cybie, and Bria are actually named Absinthe, Cybele, and Briallen.
    • Rudolphina is usually called "Rudie" and her little sister often called "Frie-Rox"
    • Greasestain's real name is "Gunhilde"
    • Frankie is short for "Francinia"
    • Harlie is typically called "Gas" and you can see why
    • Racquel is called "Nia"
    • Second Liberator's real name is Saoirse Lizanne

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • Steven Anita Smith from American Dad!.
  • 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?
    • There's the Brain. His real name is Alan Powers. His classmates are often confused when he is called this.
    • There's also Mary Alice "Muffy" Crosswire and Shelley "Binky" Barnes. Binky is an interesting case in that he had forgotten his name was "Shelley", as he's been referred to exclusively as "Binky" most of his life.
  • As Told by Ginger:
    • Dodie and her little brother Hoodsey are only called "Deidre" and "Robert-Joseph" by their mother.
    • Mipsy is referred to by her nickname by everyone but her teachers.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Combustion Man, 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).
    • And of course, the Cabbage Man.
  • 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". The exception is in "Chill of the Night!" when Bats confronts Joe Chill, and declares, "I...am Bruce Wayne!"
  • 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.
  • Unlike Daedalus Boch never being called "Doodlebug", Junkyard Dog in Beware the Batman falls here, never being referred to by his real name, Tucker Long.
  • In Boo Boom! The Long Way Home has the titular main character, Boo-Boom. His real name is Filippo, but pretty much the entire series he is only known by his nickname Boo-Boom, which was given to him by his five animal companions since they don't know his real name he is unable to tell them due to having become The Speechless.
  • On C.O.P.S., 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.
  • A character from Combo Nińos is known as "Old Head". It's revealed in one episode that his real name is Bernie.
  • 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 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.
  • Presto from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series. His nickname precedes the kids' journey into the Realm.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • "Double D" (Eddward) is referred to that way by everyone bar his parents, due to being best friends with two guys both named Edward. As per the title of the show, he and others also write "Edd" as an alternate nickname.
    • Both Ed and Eddy count too, for the same reason as Double D - they're all named "Ed(d)ward".
    • Eddy's brother is only referred to as such, even in the credits for The Movie. Despite rumors, the creators never gave him an actual name.
  • 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.
  • Frankie (Frances Foster) and Bloo (Blooregard Q. Kazoo) from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends are almost always referred to by their respective nicknames by everyone. It's justified at least in Bloo's case, since he was made up and given that name by Mac, when the 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 Frances" and "Master Blooregard," respectively.
  • Futurama:
    • "That Guy" from the 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.
  • On Goldie & Bear, Golidlocks generally goes by "Goldie" and The Big Bad Wolf goes by "Big Bad" and has the real first name of Aloysius.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • It's revealed in the episode "Double Dipper" that Dipper is a nickname that comes from the Big Dipper-shaped birthmark on his forehead, which is usually hidden by his hair. His birth name continued to be unknown for the entire series, however. It was only revealed to be Mason in a book released months after the series ended, where he additionally notes that everyone has called him "Dipper" so much over the years that his real first name doesn't feel natural anymore.
    • Also Soos, which according to his driver's license, is short for Jesús (hay-SOOS).
  • "Piff" from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Billy calls him this because he refuses to speak on account of his high-pitched voice.
  • El Toro in Jackie Chan Adventures. "El Toro Fuerte" is the full name, though this is more likely to be his stage name than his real name.
    • While we're on subject, how about Uncle? Makes sense for his nephew Jackie and grand-niece Jade to call him that. Everyone else? Not so much.
  • All The Misfits and The Stingers from Jem go exclusively by their Stage Names. Pizzazz outright gets mad when called "Phyllis" and when visiting Philly Roxanne insists her old friends call her "Roxy." Stormer and Jetta don't dislike their names however won't allow family to use them around their bandmates. Out of The Stingers, only Riot's name is mentioned in-series (it's "Rory").
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes has Jamie "Peep" Two-Squirrels. This caused Heloise to get her hopes up when she started receiving love notes from a secret admirer with the initials "J.2.S."...
  • 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 Buttowski:
    • Kick, Mouth, and Emo Kid.
    • Pantsy is presumable not the given name of Mouth's older brother, either. Maybe it's a family thing.
  • 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 cash settlement.
  • In The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo, Quasi's real name is Jacques de Bernassac, but everyone calls him Quasimodo.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • The unknown masked man seeking revenge on Mike Chilton in Motorcity, whose identity was never revealed is nicknamed "Red" by Texas.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Pinkamena Diane Pie, better known to everyone as Pinkie Pie. She's the Odd Name Out when it comes to the main characters because "Pinkie" is a nickname instead of her full name.
    • Mi Amore Cadenza is always called "Cadance". Even Twilight, who she babysat as a teen and was good friends with, didn't realize the mare her brother was marrying was Cadance.
    • According to the episode "Rock Solid Friendship", Maud's full name is "Maudalina Daisy Pie". It matches her sister Pinkamena "Pinkie" Diane Pie's name, as their given names both end with "-ina" and their middle names begin with "D". This implies that their two other sisters most likely use nicknames as well.
  • In My Little Pony G3 Spike had the full name of "Kenbroth Gilspotten Heathspike", though everyone still just called him Spike.
  • Moose (Margaret Rose) Pearson from Pepper Ann.
  • 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. Dan Povenmire said he would reveal what Ferb is short for if someone guessed. It's "Ferbs."
  • The titular character of Rainbow Brite is only ever called by her real name, "Wisp", in her origin. Characters refer to her as either "Rainbow" or "Rainbow Brite". It's possible she gave up her name when she joined the Color Kids.
  • Recess:
    • TJ is this way. The T is for Theodore; the J stands for an Embarrassing Middle Name. It's eventually revealed to be 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.
  • Lots of characters from Rugrats fit this trope:
    • Adults — Andrew "Drew," Stuart "Stu" and Didila "Didi" Pickles, Elizabeth "Betty" De Ville, Charles "Chas" Finster, and Randall "Randy" and Lucille "Lucy" Carmichael.
    • Kids — Thomas "Tommy" and Dylan "Dil" Pickles, Charles "Chuckie" and Kimiko "Kimi" Finster, Phillip "Phil" and Lilian "Lil" De Ville, and Susanna "Susie" Carmichael.
      • It's averted for Charlotte and Angelica Pickles, Howard De Ville and Kira Finster. Although Betty does sometimes Howard "Howie" and Charlotte "Char," and in one episode, an adult referred to Angelica as "Angie."
      • About the only time Phil and Lil's full names get used are when Lil and Phil themselves (respectively) feel like mocking each other. "You're doing it wrong, Phil-lip." "No I'm not, Lil-li-an."
  • Jack of Samurai Jack. We never learn the true name of the Samurai Warrior. The only reason he earned the name Jack, was because he impressed some jive-talking bystanders immediately upon entering the future. Jack adopted the nickname.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Krusty, Sideshow Mel and Sideshow Bob 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 (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 20th 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".
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • Shaggy's name is "Norville Rogers".
    • Scooby as well. In at least some incarnations it's short for Scoobert.
    • The Hex Girls are a reoccuring band consisting of three women who use stage names. Only Thorn's real name ("Sally McKnight") has ever been revealed.
  • South Park has Leopold "Butters" Stotch. Kenneth 'Kenny' McCormick, Stanley 'Stan' Marsh, and Eric Cartman (who is only ever called Eric by his mother, various teachers, Butters and sometimes Jimmy) count too.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Unlike on Justice League or the source comics, 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 (many mistake her name for being "Rachel Roth" but that was an alias). It's actually a little unusual that they never use their real names considering they're best friends. Starfire's a direct 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".
    • 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...
  • In The Telebugs, Arcadia is so called because she always gets the high scores in video games. Her true name is never revealed.
  • 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.
  • In addition to Duck's example (see the Literature folder), Thomas the Tank Engine also gives us Gerald, better known as Gator, as his sloping water tanks make him look like an alligator.
  • Thunderbirds has resident Gadgeteer Genius "Brains", whose real name is only mentioned in one episode. (It's "Hiram Hackenbacker", by the way.) The reboot has Race Lifted him into a Bollywood Nerd, so presumably this is no longer canon.
  • Babs Bunny from Tiny Toon Adventures is in fact named Barbara Anne Bunny. Calling her by her full name is an easy way to get on her bad side.
  • Rock and Spud from Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race. While Rock could be his real name, Spud almost certainly isn't.
  • 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).
  • Both Blinky and Aaarrrgghh!!! from Trollhunters. The former's full name is Blinkous Galadrigal, and only Vendel ever calls him such, and the latter's is Argumont, only referred to by Aaarrrgghh's species' queen.
  • Under Grads: Parker "Nitz" Walsh, Gimpy and Mump. Nitz's real name is mentioned a few times over the series, with Nitz himself claiming in the pilot to have forgotten how and when he acquired that name. No elaboration is given for Gimpy or Mump, whose real names are not revealed.
  • 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.
  • 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."

    Real Life 
  • There are a lot of royals from the Antiquity until the 18th century who share similar first names like Henry, Charles, Edward, Philippe, Maria, Mary, Gustav, George, John. To keep them apart ancient historians came up with self-invented nicknames for these people that usually describe their characters (Ramses II the Great, Cyrus The Great, Alexander the Great, Pompey the Great, Philippe the Good, Charles the Bold, John the Fearless, Louis the Pious, Akbar the Great, Richard The Lion Heart, Suleiman the Magnificent, William the Conqueror, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Robert The Bruce, Frederick The Great, Vlad the Impaler,...), mental state (Johanna the Mad), race or ethnicity (Philippe the Arab, Shaka Zulu, Louis the German,...) or a notable physical appearance (Pippin the Short, Charles the Bald, Charles the Fat, Frederick Barbarossa (Red Beard)) or age (William Pitt The Elder, William Pitt The Younger, Louis the Child,...). These names were definitely not used during the royals own lifetime. In many cases the epithet the good or the bad is now contested by modern historians, because they were often applied to judgments and standards of people in later centuries. For instance, Mary Tudor, nicknamed Bloody Mary, may have executed a lot of people during her reign, but Elizabeth I, who was often called Good Queen Bess, didn't shy away from executing people either.
  • Caligula: Caligula was his nickname and literally means little boot.
  • Attila (the Hun) is known by the name ("little father") that the Goths gave him. His real name is lost to history.
  • Some historical characters are nicknamed after the place they were born or grew up in:
    • Eleanor Of Aquitaine was from Aquitaine, France.
    • Leonardo da Vinci was from Vinci, Italy.
    • Godfrey of Bouillon was from Bouillon, nowadays Belgium, but back then France.
    • Maria of Burgundy was from Burgundy, France.
  • Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar is better remembered as El Cid ("The Lord")
  • Arthur Wellesley is much better known as The Duke of Wellington.
  • 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."
  • Many outlaws of any kind can known by their nicknames instead of their real name as they gain notorierity.
    • Edward Teach was nicknamed Blackbeard and is still better known under this name.
    • Billy the Kid: Actually named William H. Bonney, but nicknamed Billy the Kid because he was a teenager when he went around committing his crimes.
    • Calamity Jane: Martha Jane Cannary was nicknamed Calamity Jane because of her tough image.
    • Dentist, gambler and gunslinger Dr. John Henry Holliday is primarily remembered by his nickname "Doc".
    • Jack the Ripper was nicknamed that way, because nobody ever knew his identity.
    • Serial killer Donald H. Gaskins Jr. was called "Pee Wee" or "Junior Parrott" so often that he was a teenager when he first heard his real name. "Pee Wee" or piss, referring to his shot stature which leads him to become bullying victim.
  • Buffalo Bill: William F. Cody lives on in the public consciousness as Buffalo Bill, a name derived from his talent for shooting bisons and buffaloes and exploited during his Wild West shows.
  • Many athletes can get nicknames because their feature and performance.
    • James "Big Cat" Williams.
    • Orenthal James "OJ" Simpson.
    • Rudolph "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone. Billiards player.
    • Adam "Pacman" Jones. He tried to tell media to stop using it, but no one listened.
    • 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. Basketball player.
    • Eldrick "Tiger" Woods. Golfer.
    • Lawrence Jones, recently-retired third baseman for the Atlanta Braves, is more familiarly known as "Chipper."
    • Early NASCAR star Edward Glenn "Fireball" Roberts.
    • German football player (soccer that is) and contestant for "most gruesome foul of all time" Harald "Toni" Schuhmacher.
    • Several racehorse trainers have been known to fans only by nicknames, including Grover "Buddy" Delp, Claude "Shug" McGaughey III, and Hubert "Sonny" Hine.
    • 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).
      • This isn't restricted to football in Brazil—many people in other sports are known by single names. To name just three examples, volleyball player Gilberto Amauri de Godoy Filhonote  is better known as Giba; women's basketball legend Hortência de Fátima Marcari entered First-Name Basis; and men's basketball player Maybyner Rodney Hilário became known as Nenê, and eventually adopted that as his full legal name.
      • Many Spanish football players also become known by just one name, such as Xavi (full name Xavier Hernández i Creus), Guti (José María Gutiérrez Hernández) and Raúl (full name Raúl González Blanco). A few players from other countries also become known by only one name, such as the Ivorian Gervinho (Gervais Yao Kouassi) and the Serbian-born American Preki (Predrag Radosavljević).
    • While most Mixed Martial Arts fighters have a nickname in addition to their actual name, many are billed with their nickname in place of part of their actual name. This is particularly common with Brazilian fighters.
      • Mirko Cro Cop instead of Mirko Filipovic. He was an actual Croatian anti-terrorism officer.
      • Renan Barão instead of Renan do Nascimento Mota Pegado. "Barão" means "Baron."
      • Cezar Mutante instead of Cezar Ferreira. "Mutante" means "mutant" and refers to the X-Men.
      • Rony Jason instead of Rony Mariano Bezerra. "Jason" refers to the villain of the Friday the 13th franchise.
    • Many well known boxers, such as James "Buster" Douglas, Rocco "Rocky" Marciano, James "Bonecrusher" Smith and Donovan "Razor" Ruddock are commonly referred to by their nickname.
  • George Orson Welles. Even he didn't know his first name was "George" until he was in elementary school.
  • Ali Hassan al-Majid, former holder of multiple defense — and intelligence-related offices under Saddam Hussein in Iraq, was nicknamed Chemical Ali by Iraqis for his use of chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels, a nickname that was picked up by media throughout the world, especially the U.S.
  • Muhammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, Saddam's information (read: propaganda) minister at the time of the Gulf War, was nicknamed Baghdad Bob in the American press and Comical Ali in the British press.

  • Many astronaut examples include:
    • Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom.
    • Charles "Pete" Conrad
    • and Harrison "Jack" Schmitt.
    • Donald Kent "Deke" Slayton.
    • Thomas Kenneth "Ken" Mattingly II.
    • Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. Later took the name by deed poll.
  • 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.
  • Early Soviet leaders used this quite often. In several cases, this started before the Soviets came to power, as an attempt to mask their true identities from the then-current authorities.
    • Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov - "Lenin" (probably from the River Lena).
    • Iosev Vissarionovich Djugashvili - "Josef Stalin" (from the Russian word for steel).
    • Lev Bronstein - "Leon Trotsky" (he supposedly took the last name of one of his jailors).
    • Vyacheslav Skriabin - "Molotov" (from the Russian word for hammer).
  • 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.
  • 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 World War II.
  • 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.
    • Not limited to presidents, either. When a certain young American-born Indian (South Asian, not Native American) named Piyush was growing up in Baton Rouge, he regularly watched reruns of The Brady Bunch after school, and strongly identified with the family's youngest son. He grew up to become a U.S. congressman, two-term governor of Louisiana, and Republican presidential hopeful. While his legal first name remains Piyush, everyone calls him Bobby Jindal.
  • 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".
  • In historical China, men (and sometimes women) received courtesy names at age 20. Elders could still use your birth name, but everyone else had to use this courtesy name. This means that many Chinese historical figures are only referred to by their nicknames - Laozi, most of the characters in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Chiang Kai-Shek, and Sun Yat-Sen for example. Confucius is a double-example: his birth-name was Kong Qiu, his courtesy name was Zhongni, and he is most often called Kong Fuzi ('Great Master Kong'), which Matteo Rici Latinised to 'Confucius.'
  • Spike Milligan (real first name Terrence).
  • 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." Some furries, for example, go to the extent of having alt Facebook accounts named under their fursonas and address themselves at meets under those names. If the name sounds human enough they may well not even be questioned.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Edward Michael "Bear" Grylls.
  • Norman "Boomer" Esiason.
  • Most of the cast of Jersey Shore.


Alternative Title(s): Nick Name Basis, Known Only By Their Nickname, Only Known By His Nickname, Only Known By Her Nickname

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OnlyKnownByTheirNickname?from=Main.KnownOnlyByTheirNickname