%% This list of examples has been alphabetized. Please add your example in the proper place. Thanks!

->''Bloober swims underwater with its children. It has a relative, the Scattering Bloober, whose children scatter in all directions.''
-->-- Description of an enemy, ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3''

->''Bloopers love laughing at other Bloopers' bloopers. No one wants to end up on the Blooper reel.''
-->-- Description of the exact same enemy, ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario''

It may be [[InconsistentDub a translator's mistake]], a [[ManualMisprint typo]], or the author [[FlipFlopOfGod might have had a better idea]], but sometimes, a specifically named character or concept introduced in a work of fiction can come to be called by a totally different name later on, often with no explanation at all, or even an implication that [[{{Retcon}} their name had]] ''[[{{Retcon}} always]]'' [[{{Retcon}} been that]]. Needless to say, this tends to confuse the audience (sometimes making them think the two names refer to two different things), and authors should try to avoid it.

SuperTrope of InconsistentDub (when it refers to characters). Related to RememberTheNewGuy.

Not to be confused with MeaningfulRename, when the change of name is justified in-universe.



[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/DragonBall'', Emperor Pilaf's dog henchman was originally named Soba when he debuted in the manga. His name was changed to Shuu in the anime, which then carried back to the manga after Akira Toriyama forgot that he'd previously named the character. He gets this treatment in the original English dub of the anime, being called "Shao" for roughly the first half of the dub, then switching to Shuu at some point with no explanation.
* [[RecurringExtra Maki]] from ''Manga/KaguyaSamaLoveIsWar'' initially had her last name listed as "Ichijo" on the list of test scores in chapter 31. When the chapter was released in tankobon format, it was changed to "Shijo". She introduces herself as the latter when she's properly introduced in chapter 98.
* ''Manga/KoreWaKoiNoHanashi'' initially had the characters go by their kanjis' way of reading the name for translation, resulting in our leads being Makuzu and Akio, with Hata as his editor. Then the furigana were shown and the names were appropriately changed to Shinichi, Haruka and Oogaki, respectively.
* The ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' series is pretty bad at settling in on the [[SpellMyNameWithAnS official English spellings]] of characters' names (made worse by the fact that after the second season, all characters technically speak [[AliensSpeakingEnglish a form of English adopted by]] the HumanAliens). In particular, the deuteragonist of ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaVivid'' went from her name being spelled as "Einhart", to "Einhalt", to "Einhald" in the ''official'' art, before finally settling on "Einhard" in the anime adaptation of the manga.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'': Translations from Japanese to Chinese to Malay in the first few chapters of the manga rendered Sasuke's name as Saju, which is odd since the anime had already been dubbed in Malaysia right before the dubbed manga release, and used Sasuke instead. Fixed in the later chapters though.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'':
** In the English dub of ''Anime/TheLegendOfThunder'', the characters Eusine and Jackson who had appeared in the anime previously were now named Eugene and Vincent.
** In an Orange Islands episode, video game character Lorelei of the Elite Four [[AdaptationNameChange was known]] [[DubNameChange as Prima]] because her canon name was too long to work with the LipLock.
** The protagonist Jimmy (based off the player character in ''Pokemon Gold/Silver'') had also previously been referred to as "Yoshi", while Marina (based off the female player character in ''Crystal'') was referred to as "Dani". Meanwhile, these days in the English game continuity, the character that Jimmy was based off of is known as "Ethan" (revealed in ''Heartgold and Soulsilver'') while Marina's is "Kris" (revealed on the box for ''Crystal'').
* ''Manga/RaveMaster'':
** A case of InconsistentDub occurs in the manga translation. In the first volume or so, Haru's sword is referred to by its Japanese name, the Ten Commandments. Every volume after instead calls it the Ten Powers.
** Done again when the translator changed, with the Mystic Realm/Makai World and Star/Stellar Memory.
* In the anime ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'', the main character's last name was incorrectly pronounced "Tenjuu" in the first few episodes of the English dub, and later corrected to "Tenjou". The dub also had other examples of mispronunciation and scripting errors in the first arc, which were settled after the production went on a hiatus before dubbing the rest.
* ''Manga/SailorMoon'':
** TheNineties English dub had Chibiusa's friend Momoko initially named "Melissa" when she appeared in the second season. However, when later seasons rolled around (and a switch in production companies and writers came), she was renamed "Melanie" ("Melly" for short).
** Motoki's girlfriend Reika was initially named "Rita Blake" in her first dub appearance, but had her original name retained in the dub of ''[=SuperS=]''.
* ''Franchise/YuGiOh'':
** The first appearance of Celtic Guardian in ''Anime/YuGiOh'' had him be referred as "Elf Swordsman." Curiously enough, Elf Swordsman was Celtic Guardian's Japanese name.
** In the [[Manga/YuGiOh manga]], Dark Necrofear was initially introduced as Dark Necro''philia'' in ''Weekly Shonen Jump'', but her name was changed after one issue.
* The titular character in ''Manga/{{Cyborg009}}'' originally had the civilian name of "Joe Muramatsu", but at some point Shotaro Ishinomori decided upon him being named "Joe Shimamura". Reprints of the manga had any early instance of "Muramatsu" corrected to "Shimamura", to fix that lapse in continuity.
* Occurs frequently in the English version of ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' thanks to being an InconsistentDub (and further hurt by SpellMyNameWithAnS {{Engrish}}); monsters often change from their dub name to their original Japanese name or vice-versa between installments. One of the better-known examples was a knight Digimon who was "Crusadermon" in ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'' and "[=LoadKnightmon=]" in ''[[Anime/DigimonSavers Digimon Data Squad]]'', which doesn't even make sense (better translations of it from Japanese would be "[=LordKnightmon=]" or "[=RhodoKnightmon=]"). Justified since each installment is its own universe and own continuity, but it's still jarring.
* For most of ''Manga/{{Yuureitou}}'' a character's name was thought to be "Rika" by fans. It wasn't until near the end that fan translations changed it to the correct "Reiko".

* ''Creator/ArchieComics'':
** Archie's mother was originally named "Mary"; however, in the 80s or 90s (before ''Literature/HarryPotter'') was renamed "Hermione".
** Josie changed surnames during the {{retool}} from ''She's Josie'' to ''ComicBook/JosieAndThePussycats'' Her surname was "[=McCoy=]" initially but was changed to "Jones".
* The original ComicBook/{{Batgirl}} had her alias written as two hyphenated words, "Bat-Girl;" as a result, fans still debate if she counts as the "first Batgirl" or not. Also, her name was Elizabeth 'Betty' Kane, but Post-Crisis the spelling was changed to "Bette."
* [[ComicBook/{{Batgirl2009}} Stephanie Brown]]'s mother was named "Agnes" when she originally appeared in Detective Comics, but her name was later changed to "Crystal." According to Scott Beatty (who was the first to rename her), he had asked DC editors about the name of the mother but no one could remember, leading to an accidental name change that stuck.
* The original ''ComicBook/BlackCanary'', Dinah Drake-Lance, was later referred to as ''Diana Drake'' by some writers (Chuck Dixon in particular), presumably to help differentiate her from her daughter Dinah Lance.
* In his Pre-Crisis appearances and early Post-Crisis stories, [[ComicBook/BlueBeetle Ted Kord]]'s full given name was Theodore. During Chuck Dixon's run on ''Comicbook/BirdsOfPrey'', his name was revealed to be Edward (with "Ted" as a nickname, like Ted Kennedy). Later writers would try to reconcile the differences by listing his name as "Theodore Edward Kord," but his most recent posthumous appearances had the name as "Theodore Stephen Kord."
* ''ComicBook/TheFlash'':
** Wally West's father was originally named Bob West in all of his Pre-Crisis appearances. Post-Crisis, he was suddenly renamed to Rudolph West. ''The Life Story of the Flash'' gives his full name as Robert Rudolph West.
** Iris West's father was introduced as T.H. West in ''Flash'' #134 (1963), but was Ira West from then on.
* In the ''ComicBook/GreenLantern'' comic book series, Carol Ferris's father was originally named Willard, but from his second appearance onward, he was renamed Carl.
* When Creator/StanLee forgot ComicBook/TheIncredibleHulk's alter-ego is named Bruce Banner and started calling him Bob Banner, it led to a retcon where his full name is "Robert [[MiddleNameBasis Bruce]] Banner." Lee also called [[Franchise/SpiderMan Peter Parker]] Peter ''Palmer'' a few times, but at least that was forgotten.
* In ''ComicBook/TheIncredibleHulk'' #294 Banner is up against a CorruptCorporateExecutive named Max Stryker. Then Hulk is conscripted into the ComicBook/SecretWars; when he comes back in issue #295 Stryker is now called Max Hammer.
* Early on in Comicbook/{{Thanos}}' history, it was established that his mother was a dark-haired woman named Sui-San. Due to an error on Creator/SteveGerber's part, ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'' #105 instead depicted her as a blonde named Kazantra. A few subsequent [[AllThereInTheManual handbooks]] have tried to reconcile the discrepancy by suggesting that Kazantra and Sui-San were [[DecompositeCharacter two different people]], but the inconsistency was never mentioned in-canon again.
* In ''ComicBook/JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac'' Devi's best friend was named "Tonja." In ''ComicBook/IFeelSick'' her name is "Tenna."
* Sometime after ''ComicBook/PlasticMan'''s son Luke became the hero Offspring in main DC continuity, some writers had slipped up and referred to him as "Ernie" (the name of the Offspring from ''The Kingdom'' continuity). This was later explained away as Ernie being his middle name.
* Skin from ''Comicbook/GenerationX'' was named Angelo Espinosa. When the character was KilledOffForReal some time later, it was stated that his name was Angelo Torres.
* Though it was some time from his introduction that ComicBook/ThePunisher's family were named, his daughter was originally named "Barbara". Later on, there were certain issues where she was referred to as "Christie" instead. Even later, during Garth Ennis' run, his daughter is named "Lisa". Strangely, this was never a problem with his son, who is always referred to as "Frank Jr". A tombstone partially glimpsed during the "Fraken-Castle" arc seems to show that her full name is "Lisa Barbara Castle".
* ComicBook/{{Shazam}}:
** Billy Batson's deceased parents were originally referred to as "Merrill" and "Jocelyn" in the Pre-Crisis days, but modern origins have his father named "Clarence Charles 'C.C.' Batson" (after Captain Marvel's creator, C.C. Beck) and his mother named "Marilyn".
** Kid Eternity originally had NoNameGiven, and was only ever referred to as "Kid." Eventually some {{Canon Welding}} with ''Shazam'' made him Freddy's brother, Christopher "Kit" Freeman.
* Chimera, a minor character in the "Team Titans" era of ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'', originally had her full name given as "Sanjeet Rey." However, a later card set by DC called her "Sanjeet Gupta". Even later in the title's (short) run, Chimera gave her name as "Sanjeet Bhatia".
* Trailbreaker of ''Comicbook/TransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'' starts going by "Trailcutter" between the 6th issue and the Annual issue. The real world explanation is that Hasbro could not use the original name for toys. The in-universe reason was not revealed until his Spotlight issue.
** Bluestreak's name was changed to "Silverstreak" and then back to "Bluestreak" for similar trademark reasons. This has not been given an in-universe reason.
** This is a fairly common phenomenon for Transformers in general due to having to work around trademarks.
* Kenny "King Kong" [=McFarlane=] in ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan'' was initially referred to as "Clifford Harlan", although his given name switched between Clifford and Kenny for a bit before Bendis finalized the name.
* ''ComicBook/{{Vixen}}'''s name was originally given as [="Marilyn MacCabe"=] in her 1978 mini-series, which had been scrapped and reprinted in an anthology titled ''"Cancelled Comic Calvacade"''. After her official debut in Action Comics, her name was revised to [="Mari Jiwe McCabe"=] and has stuck that way ever since.
* ''Franchise/WonderWoman'''s friend Etta Candy has had her middle name vary from being "Marie" to "Olive".
* The Post-Crisis ''ComicBook/{{Huntress}}'':
** In her first origin and early appearances, her full name was "Helena Janice Bertinelli". In her revised origin and later profiles, her name became "Helena '''Rosa''' Bertinelli".
** Huntress' parents were named Guido and Carmela in her original 1989 origin, but their names were later changed to Franco and Maria by the time of Greg Rucka's retelling in the ''Cry For Blood'' miniseries.
* In the DC weekly series ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo'', an Asian magic user by the name of "Terri Thirteen" appeared as part of the Croatoan detective society. Post-52 continuity would clarify that this was actually meant to be Traci Thirteen, a pre-existing character (and Doctor Thirteen's daughter). It appears there was some editorial oversight that lead to the name slip-up.
* ComicBook/TwoFace:
** Harvey Dent's wife is generally known as Gilda, but was renamed "Grace" in a 1989 ''ComicBook/SecretOrigins'' story and the name carried over to her animated counterpart in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''. All later comic appearances switched her name back to Gilda.
** Harvey himself was originally introduced as "Harvey Kent". They changed his name so there'd be no confusion with [[Franchise/{{Superman}} that other fellow.]]
* Also in the MarvelUniverse, Dr. Druid (who predates The ComicBook/FantasticFour) was originally called Dr. Droom. When he was reintroduced, his name was changed to avoid confusion with Doctor Doom but no 'in-universe' reason is given for the change.
* While Poison Ivy's civilian name was initially established as Pamela Isley, Gerry Conway inexplicably gave her the name of "Lillian Rose" when he wrote her origin in World's Finest #252. Post-Crisis, Neil Gaiman would re-establish the Pamela Isley name (along with overhauling her origin).
* In the Comicbook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse and related cartoons, the rarely-seen mother of Huey, Dewey and Louie was originally named "Dumbella." Since then she's mostly called "Della," though Carl Banks called her "Thelma." (Her relationship to [[WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck Donald]] has also switched from cousin to twin sister.)
* In ''Comicbook/PS238,'' [[CaptainPatriotic US Patriot Act]]'s real name seems to have switched from [[http://ps238.nodwick.com/comic/10012007/ Dillon]] to [[http://ps238.nodwick.com/comic/09042013/ Darnel]].

* Happens to two characters near the beginning of ''Fanfic/{{Austraeoh}}''. Ironhoof is first introduced as "Stonehoof", and another character's name vacillates between "Sun Plate" and "Iron Plate" before settling on "Gold Plate".
* In ''Fanfic/BoysUndSenshado'', Yakuin Takuma's nickname is "Yakuma" in Chapter 2, but "Yakota" in Chapter 7.
* In the infamous fanfic ''Fanfic/MyImmortal'', one character is called both "Professor Trevolry" and "Professor Sinister" interchangeably. In ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' Professors Trelawney and Sinistra are two separate characters, but in the fic it's clearly meant to be the same person.
* In ''[[FanFic/MyLittleUnicorn My Brave Pony: Star Fleet Magic II]]'', the newly militarized MLP cast is called the [[TheSomethingForce Friendship Force]]. In ''My Brave Pony: Star Fleet Magic III'', they are now called "Friendship is Magic"... at least until the Website/DeviantART rewrite, where they have always been called [=FiM=].
* ''[[Fanfic/WelcomeToTheWorldOfPokemon Red With Rage]]'' changes the name of Red's Kangaskhan to [[BillingualBonus Garura]] to avoid the naming clashes in the fight she was about to have with Giovanni's Kangaskhan.
* ''Fanfic/StarkitsProphecy'': At the end of Chatper Forr [=GayStripe=], Graystripe asks [=StarGleam=] who she picks. [=Starpaw=] doesn't get her warrior name until chapter 9.

[[folder:Film -- Animation]]
* In ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'', is the feather-duster's name Fifi (the name used in the second direct-to-video sequel) or Babette (the name used in the stage musical)?
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}'':
** A minor villain from ''Cars 2'' whose first name appears to be Fred alternates between the surnames "Fisbowski" and "Pacer."
** Similarly, Sal Machiani (a yellow three-wheeled truck seen in Italy) is referred as "Ape" in one of the film's promotional posters.
** Yet another minor villain, Petrov, alternates between the surnames "Trunkov" and "Oilski."
* In ''Disney/LadyAndTheTramp'', the title characters' four children [[NoNameGiven were not given names]] when they were introduced at the end of the movie. The official comics gave them the names "Scamp", "Fluffy", "Ruffy" and "Scooter". Fluffy and Ruffy were both female and named for an old girlfriend of Tramp's. [[TomboyAndGirlyGirl Fluffy generally took after her mother's personality and was never interested in Scamp's mischief while Ruffy was much more of a tomboy]]. Scooter, the last one to be named, was male and had a shy, sensitive personality. In the 2001 sequel, ''Disney/LadyAndTheTrampIIScampsAdventure'', Scamp retained his name while [[GenderFlip Scooter became female]] and he and his sisters were named "Annette", "Collette", and "Danielle".
* In some comics printed on ''Magazine/DisneyAdventures'' around ''Disney/LiloAndStitch''[='=]s release, the red-haired girl with glasses who mocks Lilo was called Jenny. She was named Mertle Edmonds in the film, however.
* ''Disney/TheLionKing'' combines this with a GenderFlip. Simba's and Nala's cub at the end of the movie is unnamed, though staff members called him "Fluffy". A [[Literature/TheLionKingSixNewAdventures series of books]] released shortly after the film was released made him into "Kopa". The direct-to-video sequel ''Disney/TheLionKingIISimbasPride'' made the cub into a female named "Kiara", though [[WhatCouldHaveBeen early in development]] she had a twin brother which could have explained the cub from the original. ''WesternAnimation/TheLionGuard'' reuses Kiara but she also has a younger (non-littermate) brother named "Kion", who is an {{expy}} of Kopa.
* In [[Creator/{{Disney}} Disney's]] ''Disney/TheJungleBook'', the little village girl that Mowgli meets at the end of the film wasn't referred to by her name at all, and [[NoNameGiven was credited as "The Girl"]] in the film's opening credits. Early spin-off material for the film, such as the "New Tales from The Jungle Book" stories in the Disneyland Magazines that were published in the 70s gave her the name "Sari". When [[AscendedExtra she became one of the main characters]] for the 2003 sequel, ''The Jungle Book 2'', she was given the name "Shanti", and that name has stuck ever since.
* The Coachman from ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}'' was referred as "Barker" in the film's subtitles when he finally brings several boys which he kidnapped (including Pinocchio himself) to Pleasure Island. However, the subtitles start to refer him as "Coachman" again when he and some gorilla-demon-looking-things start to round the now-transformed boys into crates headed for either the salt mines or the circus.
* With ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'' it's more like "Sudden Name ''Removal''". The evil queen's name was originally given as Grimhilde. Over the years, Disney has stopped using that name and only refers to her as "the evil queen" and other titles.

[[folder:Film -- Live Action]]
* "Jack" from ''Film/PitchBlack'' suddenly has a proper feminine name "Kyra" in ''Film/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'' and is only ever referred to as such after the initial clarification.
* Brawl from ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' is for some reason referred by the name "Devastator" in the actual movie, but by his real name in the merchandise. The ''real'' [[CombiningMecha Devastator]] doesn't appear until the climax of ''[[Film/TransformersRevengeoftheFallen Revenge of the Fallen]]''.
** Similarly, Wheeljack and Mirage from ''[[Film/TransformersDarkoftheMoon Dark of the Moon]]'' are both referred in-film as "Que" and "Dino", respectively.
* The teaser trailer for ''Film/NineteenFortyOne'' features Creator/JohnBelushi as Wild Wayne Kelso. In the film, he's Wild Bill Kelso.
* In their climatic fight in ''Film/ANewHope'' Obi-Wan calls Darth Vader just "Darth", implying it is his actual given name. Later films established "Darth" as a title given to all Sith Lords following Bane's Rule of Two, and that Vader's real name, [[ItWasHisSled of course,]] is Anakin Skywalker.

* Brother Bear from ''Literature/TheBerenstainBears'' used to be known as "Small Bear" before his younger sister, Sister, was born.
* In the New Testament of ''Literature/TheBible'', the Book of Acts mentions "Saul, who was also called Paul" right in the middle of a not-especially-remarkable episode in Saul's missionary journeys. The narrative then completely abandons the name Saul, and the apostle is exclusively called Paul for the rest of the book.
* During the ''{{Literature/Dinoverse}}'' book ''Raptor Without A Cause'', a noble Acrocanthosaurus is nicknamed Green Knight and called such. Early in the very next book, it's suddenly mentioned that he's called Green Knight or "G.K. for short" and the longer form doesn't come up once.
* Towards the end of the "Wyrmberg" segment of ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'', Liessa suddenly becomes Lianna. Given the Pernese influence of the Wyrmberg, it was suggested that this might be an intentional parody of the example below, but Creator/TerryPratchett says no, it's a mistake at the printers.
* In ''Dragonflight'', the first ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'' novel, the leader of the "old-timers" is T'ton, and Weyrwoman Kylora is Pridith's rider. In subsequent books, the names are T'ron, Kylara and Prideth.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' has a handful of examples. One of the vampire Bianca's girls is named as Paula in the first book, and alternately called Paula and Rachel in a later book. [[WordOfGod Word of Jim]] has been that one was a stage name, or that Harry just got the name wrong. The Merlin is also addressed by different names, Alfred once, and all later times as Arthur.
* There's a villainous goblin in the last [[Literature/TheEdgeChronicles Edge Chronicles]] book whose name is either Yellowtusk or Yellowtooth. At one point, it changes between the two ''mid-scene''.
* The third book of the ''Literature/PitDragonChronicles'' has cave people who go unnamed. In the fourth one, written [[SequelGap twenty-two years later]], the cave people are called "trogs" as if that's been their name all along. This is the least of a host of {{Series Continuity Error}}s.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Up until Literature/HarryPotter finds out the actual name of the creatures that guard Azkaban, a wizarding prison, everyone refers to them as "The Azkaban Guards." After he experience their happiness-draining power and is told their name, Dementors, in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban Prisoner of Azkaban]]'' no one refers to them as the Azkaban Guards ever again.
** This happens even more jarringly with the Death Eaters: for the first 3 books, they are simply referred to as "Voldemort's followers" and variants. Once the term and its definition is explained to Harry in ''Goblet of Fire'', no one calls Voldemort's men anything other than Death Eaters.
** ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire Goblet of Fire]]'' introduces a Death Eater named Augustus Rookwood. In the U.K. edition of the next book, his first name is "Algernon." The U.S. edition and all later books change it back.
** A meta example: WordOfGod statements had long established that Hermione's middle name was "Jane," which the fifth book also established as [[TyrantTakesTheHelm Umbridge]]'s middle name. Perhaps [[InvokedTrope invoking]] the OneSteveLimit, the final book makes Hermione's middle name "Jean" instead.
** In the first Hungarian edition of ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'', Cornelius Fudge's name was [[DubNameChange changed]] to "Cornelius Badarus". In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets'', where the character was introduced in person, his name got translated as "Cornelius Caramel". Later editions of the first book fixed the inconsistency and used the name "Caramel" consistently over the series.
** In the American editions, the head of the [[{{Magocracy}} magical government]] was called the Minister ''of'' Magic, while in the U.K. editions it was the Minister ''for'' Magic. The ''Theater/HarryPotterAndTheCursedChild'' script didn't bother to make the shift, confusing some American readers.
* In the Project Gutenberg text of ''The Haunted Hotel'' by Creator/WilkieCollins, Lord Montbarry's eldest daughter's name changes from Lucy to Marian between chapters. The same slip is present in the French edition.
* Chapter 3 of ''Literature/PinkiePieAndTheRockinPonypaloozaParty'' mentions Sweetie Drops, while one of the bonus activity pages lists Bon Bon. These are two formerly [[AdaptationNameChange separate]] official names of one pony, though she doesn't appear in the book herself. The [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic cartoon]] later established that [[spoiler:"Sweetie Drops" is her real name but her code name is "Bon Bon". Everypony knows her by the latter name]].
* Creator/PGWodehouse's character Literature/{{Psmith}} was called "Rupert Psmith" in his first appearance, but had his first name changed to Ronald in the last book, ''Leave It to Psmith''. (This was probably done to [[EnforcedTrope enforce]] the OneSteveLimit, as that book was a {{Crossover}} with Wodehouse's ''Literature/BlandingsCastle'' series, which already contained a character named Rupert Baxter.)
* Literature/SherlockHolmes character John H. Watson is randomly referred to as 'James' by his wife in one book. [[WildMassGuessing It's theoretically possible that this is supposed to be because his middle name is 'Hamish', the Scottish form of James, and his wife just uses it as a pet-name]]... but it's more likely that Arthur Conan Doyle just screwed up, as he similarly did with the location of Watson's bullet-wound and a few other details.
* Elwë Singollo in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion''. He's referred to as Elwë in his early chapters, then disappears for a couple thousand years, and then is called Thingol. Because characters in the Silmarillion weren't already hard enough to keep track of. A similar thing happens with Melkor/Morgoth, but there, at least, there's a fairly obvious renaming instance.
** Elwë's example makes sense, because while he was left behind building a kingdom in Doriath, the Elvish language mutated. The Elves in Valinor preserved Quenya, but the new language used by Elwë's subjects was Sindarin, and Elu Thingol is the Sindarin rendering of Elwë Singollo.
* In ''Literature/SwallowsAndAmazons'', the little sister of the Walkers is known as "Vicky" the entire first book. The sequels promptly change her name to "Bridget". The explanation given in-story is that baby Bridget looked like "Queen Victoria in old age" and was jokingly nicknamed "Vicky", but the resemblance and the nickname ceased when she grew older. (In real life, author Arthur Ransome was basing several of the characters on real children, and Bridget was the name of their younger sister--when she got old enough to comment on the first book, she disliked the fact that her name had been changed, and Ransome fixed things up for her.)
* Tom Turner in Creator/JulesVerne's ''Literature/RoburTheConqueror''. When he's mentioned again in the StealthSequel, [[spoiler:Literature/MasterOfTheWorld]], he's inexplicably ''John'' Turner.
* In the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series, there are a couple, all due to author error:
** Owlfeather of [=WindClan=]'s name mysteriously changes to Owlwhisker.
** The outcasts in Moonrise introduce themselves by their full names, two of them being "Rock Where Snow Gathers" and "Bird Who Rides The Wind". The full names are only mentioned once; they go by their nicknames "Rock" and "Bird" for the rest of the book. In the next book, their full names have changed to "Rock Beneath Still Water" and "Bird That Sings at Dusk". Bird appeared again in later books, and the authors attempted to fix their mistake; she is now "Bird That Rides The Wind".
** They considered doing this with Bluestar's mother in ''Bluestar's Prophecy''. She was mentioned with the name Moonflower in ''Secrets of the Clans'', but that was considered to be something of a mistake because the moon is significant to the Clans and they really wouldn't name a kit after it (it was a new author that had written said book). When working on ''Bluestar's Prophecy'' they intended to rename her Duskflower, even answering an "ask Erin" question on warriorcats.com using that name, but in the final book she appeared with her original name, Moonflower. Vicky later explained that at the time she answered it they were planning on changing the name, but they ultimately decided to keep the original name since it had already appeared in the books, and just have the "moon" name be a one-off thing.
* ''Literature/EverybodyLovesLargeChests'' has the God of Chaos, whom for simplicity's sake we will simply call "Bob". See, when it comes to Bob, this trope is ''enforced.'' Each and ''every'' time his name is invoked, his name, gender, and even title will change without warning (e.g. "Gertrude, the Goddess of Improbability"), whether within the narration or from within another character's own thoughts. Even the other gods aren't immune to this. And the thing is, whoever's hearing it will ''still'' know who is being referred to, assuming they know who Bob is at all. Some of Bob's followers consider it a good omen if they try to invoke his name and chance upon a particularly silly one.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'':
** Marty's Malt Shop, the restaurant across the street from Madison High School, goes by a different name in its first radio appearance ("The Model School Teacher"). Subsequent appearances have the local hangout go by the name "Marty's Malt Shop". This includes the television remake of "The Model School Teacher", simply entitled "The Model Teacher."
** Sherry's Department store has a similar backstory. In the store's first appearance, "Surprise Party", Madison's department store goes by a different name. In subsequent episodes, "Sherry's" prevails, including the television remake of "Surprise Party", "The Birthday Bag."
** In the third season, Madison High School's principal rival, "Clay City High School", is suddenly redubbed "Henry Clay High."
* ''Series/AreYouBeingServed'': in one episode it's revealed that Mr. Lucas' first name is Dick. In other episodes where it comes up, it's James.
* ''Series/{{Baywatch}}'':
** Eddie's real name was originally stated to be "Edgar Kramer," but he was called "Edward" in a later appearance.
** The governor is called Neil Dixon in his first appearance and George Dixon in his second.
* On ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'', Topanga states that her mother's name is Chloe in season one but in a later season her mother's name is Rhiannon.
* Happened on ''Series/{{CSI NY}}'', one of the recurring detectives was Jessica Angell at one point and Jennifer Angell at another.
* ''Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond'':
** The twin sons of Ray and Debra were called Gregory and Matthew in the pilot. In the series they became Geoffrey and Michael. Apparently Ray Romano didn't want the twins in the show to have exactly the same names as his real-life twins.
** Amy's brother was named Russel when he first appeared in a Season 4 episode, but when he returned in Season 7 ([[TheOtherDarrin with a new actor]]), he was now called Peter.
* The ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' character Lorna Lynley was suddenly renamed to Lana after her first appearance avoid referencing a real person.
* On ''Series/FullHouse'', Uncle Jesse's surname was originally Cochran in season 1; the name was changed later to Katsopolis to reflect Stamos's Greek heritage at his request.
* ''Series/TheGreatestAmericanHero'''s secret identity was initially "Ralph Hinkley," but then after a guy named Hinkley tried to shoot the president in real life, he was referred to as either "Ralph" or "Mr. H" and the nameplate on his office was shown as "Ralph Hanley."
* On ''{{Series/MASH}}'', recurring psychiatrist character Major Freedman is given the first name Milton in his first appearance before becoming Sidney from his second appearance onward.
* In the Psychiatrist Milkman sketch on ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', Mrs Ratbag's name changes to Mrs Pim with no notice. Which is to say, in the beginning of the sketch she's called Mrs Ratbag and later on she's called Mrs Pim, but it's the same character.
* On ''Series/TheOfficeUS'', Pam Beesly's surname was spelled in three different ways in the first two seasons; she also originally had the middle name Jean (seen when she shows the camera her wedding invitation), but later on, it was changed to Morgan (first heard when Jim fakes a proposal).
* ''Series/ThePriceIsRight'': A pricing game known as "Now and Then" (where one must guess whether the prices of grocery items are their current price or one from an old supermarket flyer, the titular "now" and "then" prices) had its title changed to "Now ''or'' Then", for almost no apparent reason.
* Two female monsters from ''Series/SesameStreet'' suffered from this. A female pink monster who was originally named Mooba was inexplicably renamed Google, and a female green monster who was originally named Google was inexplicably renamed Phoebe.
* In the [[Recap/StarTrekS1E3WhereNoManHasGoneBefore second pilot]] episode of ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' crewman Mitchell, possessed of near-omnipotent alien powers, fights Kirk and creates an open grave with a tombstone reading "James '''R.''' Kirk". This would normally be a minor matter but given how many times Kirk later introduces himself as "James '''T.''' Kirk" it's actually quite jarring.
* In two first-season episodes of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' Deanna Troi called William Riker "Bill", but eventually she joined everybody else in calling him "Will."
* In the pilot episode of ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' Jerry calls Michael Richard's character "Kessler", who we all know is called "Kramer" for the rest of the series. This is later given [[MythologyGag a nod]] in "The Betrayal" during a flashback to Jerry and Kramer's first meeting, where Jerry asks if the latter's name is "Kessler, right?" before being corrected.
* In ''Series/TwentyFour'' the villainous Cheng Zhi was originally called "Cheng Gao" in his first appearance. When he showed up again a few episodes later it was changed to "Cheng Zhi," and stayed that way for all of his future appearances.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* When Chic Young's ''ComicStrip/{{Blondie}}'' debuted, Blondie was a 1930s flapper with the cognomen Boopadoop. After marrying Dagwood Bumstead in 1933, she bore him two children: a son, Baby Dumpling, and a daughter, Cookie. Today, Baby Dumpling is called Alexander, and neighborhood brat Elmo fills the role of BrattyHalfPint.
* One of the more baffling continuity errors in ''ComicStrip/FunkyWinkerbean'' was when Pete Roberts inexplicably and abruptly had his surname retconned to "Reynolds." Notably, the official website's character sheet still uses his original name.

[[folder: Pro Wrestling]]
* Although name changes in ProfessionalWrestling occur often due to gimmick changes, sometimes names are changed for no apparent reason. Case in point, John Hennigan officially debuted on WWE Raw as [[Wrestling/JohnMorrison Johnny Blaze]], but was changed to Johnny Spade the very next week with no gimmick change. It would become Johnny Nitro just a few weeks later, but this name would eventually get a change in gimmick.
** The Blaze-to-Spade change could've been because of Creator/MarvelComics having a well-known Comicbook/GhostRider by the name Johnny Blaze.
* In August 2015, the WWE unveiled a trio of Divas that were originally given the team name Submission Sorority. Unbeknownst to them, anyone who Googled the name after the announcement wound up being directed to [[http://www.tmz.com/2015/08/06/wwe-divas-name-submission-sorority-porn-series-hazeher/ multiple video links from HazeHer]], a hardcore porn/fetish website controlled by pornsite operator [=BangBros=]! As a result, the group's name was [[http://www.tmz.com/2015/08/07/wwe-submission-sorority-change-name-porn-paige-charlotte-becky/ changed to the more generic PCB]] (the initials of the three wrestlers, Paige, Charlotte and Becky) within a week. Funnily enough, web traffic to [=BangBros=]' porn websites shot up 56% the night of the announcement, with a 35% increase in subscriptions.

* In the Creator/MarxBrothers' radio show ''Beagle, Shyster and Beagle'' Waldorf T. Beagle's name was changed to Waldorf T. Flywheel (and the show renamed ''Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel'') because a real lawyer named Beagle threatened to sue. InUniverse it was explained that Flywheel had gotten divorced and went back to his original name.

* [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] in a Creator/MontyPython stage sketch in which there's a bartender who's called (and answers to) different names by all of his customers.

* One of Franchise/{{Barbie}}'s sisters had her name changed from "Kelly" to "Chelsea" in 2010.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* In the 2009 ''VideoGame/BionicCommando'' game, Spencer has a move called "DeathFromAbove", where he descends from a great height and strikes the ground ''hard''. For some reason, it was renamed "Bionic Bomber" in ''Ultimate VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3''.
* In ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot2CortexStrikesBack'', Tiny Tiger's name is originally Taz Tiger. This can be seen in the NTSC version of the game where, in his boss fight, if you pause the game, you can see that name in the HUD.
* The Tutorial Pig from ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns'' got the much more memorable moniker Professor Chops in the sequel, ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryTropicalFreeze'' after Creator/RetroStudios realized that fans had reacted negatively to such a prominent character having a bland, plainly descriptive name. When he got a trophy in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'', the trophy's actual name ended up as Tutorial Pig, while the description refers to him as preferring the name Professor Chops.
* The heroes in the original arcade version of ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'' were known as Hammer and Spike, although the NES version later established their names to be Billy and Jimmy Lee. The manual for the UsefulNotes/SegaMasterSystem version tried to reconcile this difference by establishing that "Hammer" and "Spike" were actually Billy's and Jimmy's nicknames, but the nicknames were never used again in any subsequent game in the series.
** The manual for the Master System version also switched the names of Jeff and Willy for some reason.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}} & Double Dragon'', Machine Gun Willy was inexplicably renamed "Roper" (which was actually the name of one of the recurring mooks in the first game). The fact that Technos didn't develop this game most likely led to this inconsistency
* In the ''Compilation of VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', Aeris's name was changed to Aerith. (The Japanese name "エアリス" could properly be translated as either, but "Aerith" was the name intended by the developers.)
** Several ''Final Fantasy'' games that were localized for North America in the nineties would receive [[VideoGameRemake remakes]] and [[UpdatedRerelease updated ports]] that had several name changes for the monsters, items, places, magic spells, among other things. This resulted in more accurate translations and consistency with [[RecurringElement terms and elements used throughout the series]], starting with the localization of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' in 1999.
** ''Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions'' was hit with this trope hard, but it was definitely for the better. It is the updated [[UsefulNotes/PlaystationPortable PSP]] port of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation. The original ''Tactics'' had a bad translation, naturally followed by several mistranslated names. When ''The War of the Lions'' came around, it fixed ''everything''. Just look at [[http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Final_Fantasy_Tactics/Translations this list of names that were changed]].
* When ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' starting to be released worldwide, the NTSC site of ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Blazing Sword/"Fire Emblem"]]'' refer to [[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Celice]] (the accepted name at the time) as Serlis. While it is likely to avoid confusion with [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Celica]], he was called that in the Nintendo Power article (in the same article, they called Sigurd "Zigludo.") In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', he's now called Seliph.
* Mary's name was [[SpellMyNameWithAnS originally translated]] as "Maria" in ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon64'' but became "Mary" in ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonBackToNature''. "Mary" is the name used in every other appearance. Her Japanese name is [[DubNameChange Marie]].
* A character in ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxterThePrecursorLegacy'' is [[NoNameGiven referred to]] as Jak's uncle, but in all later released material is instead known as the explorer.
** Erol's name from ''[[VideoGame/JakIIRenegade Jak II]]'' changed to Errol in ''[[VideoGame/Jak3Wastelander Jak 3]]''. A {{fanon}} explanation is that the extra ''r'' refers to [[spoiler:"robot", reflecting his cybernetic 'enhancements']].
* In ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters XIV'' one of the new characters is a Brazilian ninja named "Banderas Hattori". Brazilian fans complained that "Banderas" is a Spanish name, so in later trailers the devs changed it slightly to "Bandeiras", which fits the Brazilian name more.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendaryStarfy'' was originally referred to by his Japanese name of "Stafy" in [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga two]] [[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros cameos]] he made prior to one of his games being brought over to the US.
* In ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'', the aquatic creatures that populate Hyrule are called "Zolas". They would become "Zoras" in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' and subsequent games (except for the strategy guide for ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'').
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** The "Jr Trainer ♀" became the "Picknicker" and the "Jr Trainer ♂" became the "Camper". Their Japanese names were also changed, but for copyright reasons. The "Girl Scout" became the "Picnic Girl" while the "Boy Scout" became the "Camp Boy".
** The "Cooltrainer" was renamed "Ace Trainer".
** ''VideoGame/PokemonStadium'' contains different Trainer Class names from the main games. For example, "Youngster" trainers are "Lad" trainers.
* In ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank2002'', when the titular duo uses Ratchet's ship to get off of Veldin, Clank begins telling Ratchet his "real name", a serial number that begins with "B5429671", although Ratchet jerked the ship before he could continue and gave him the nickname most people know him by. Years later, in ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankFutureACrackInTime'', Clank's father Orvus refers to him by a different number: "XJ-0461".
* In ''[[VideoGame/SilentHill4 Silent Hill 4: The Room]]'', the Hope House Orphanage (mentioned in [[VideoGame/SilentHill3 the previous game]]) is now a visitable location in-game…except it's called the "Wish House Orphanage" instead.
** The original article that mentioned it as the "Hope House" '''actually reappears''' in ''The Room'', [[{{Retcon}} with the changes to "Wish House" implemented]].
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** Dr. Eggman is always referred to as "Dr. Robotnik" in the US version of earlier games. However, later games changed this so he is now always referred to by his Japanese name, "Dr. Eggman". Lampshaded in ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'' [[spoiler:when Classic Tails refers to Classic Eggman as Robotnik and he comments how no one calls him that anymore.]] The official consensus is that "Robotnik" is his real name and "Eggman" is a nickname.
** Amy Rose was called Princess Sally in the American ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD'' manual as a feeble attempt at tying into [[WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM the cartoon]]. Needless to say, the very next game reverted it back to Amy. Incidentally, she first appeared in [[Manga/SonicTheHedgehog Shogakukan manga]] under the name "Eimy", and had the nickname "Rosy the Rascal" in the Japanese ''Sonic CD'' manual and ''VideoGame/SonicTheFighters'' before the idea was dropped.
** Similarly, Fang the Sniper's dub name, Nack the Weasel, was only used in [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogTripleTrouble his debut game's]] English localization. [[VideoGame/SonicDrift Subsequent]] [[VideoGame/TailsAdventure game]] [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogTripleTrouble appearances]] reverted it back to his Japanese name, possibly because he's actually supposed to be a wolf/jerboa hybrid.
** Mecha Sonic from ''VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles'' was given [[InconsistentDub many different and inconsistent dub names]], including [[CriticalResearchFailure Metal Sonic]]. When he was featured as part of DLC in ''VideoGame/LegoDimensions'', it was reverted to his Japanese name.
* The Biggy Man from ''VideoGame/{{Splatterhouse}}'' was originally known as the Piggy Man. A strategy guide misspelled his name and this variant of the name was popularized enough to made its way into the 2010 remake of the series.
* The setting of ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures'' is "Dinosaur Planet". The planet was later renamed "Sauria" in ''VideoGame/StarFoxAssault''.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** Creator/{{Nintendo}}'s own mascot character, Mario, was originally called the "Jumpman" in the instructions for the arcade version of ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'', although this was never meant to be a finalized name. The game's designer, Creator/ShigeruMiyamoto, was considering naming him "Mr. Video" for awhile until Nintendo of America suggested to call him "Mario" after Nintendo of America's landlord, Mario Segale and the name was officially used in ''Donkey Kong Junior''.
** The squid [[{{mook}} enemy]] from ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' was initially called "Bloober" until ''VideoGame/PaperMario''; since then, it has been called "Blooper".
** Princess Peach had been called Princess Toadstool in America, until ''VideoGame/YoshisSafari'', wherein she was given her original Japanese name. (Ted Woolsey seems to have overlooked this when translating ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'', however, and even generally shortened Princess Toadstool to simply Toadstool). Her original name has been retconned into her surname, making her "Peach Toadstool".
** Fawful from the ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi Mario & Luigi]]'' series was given ''three different names'', one for each game he appears in, in European Spanish (though not Latin American Spanish, which always uses Fawful). He starts out as "Esbirro Jijí" ("Minion Heehee"), similar to Cackletta's European Spanish name, which is "Bruja Jijí" (it translates to "Heehee Witch") in ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga Superstar Saga]]''. Then, he was given the North American name "Fawful" for ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime Partners In Time]]'', and finally, his name was changed to "Grácovitz" in ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory Bowser's Inside Story]]'', which is based off of "Gerakobits" (his name in Japan). This can give the impression that it's a different character in each game, as if there is an Esbirro Jijí ''species'' or these "[[SarcasmMode three characters]]" just happen to be InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals.
* ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'':
** Infamously, Ado from ''VideoGame/KirbysDreamLand3'' was renamed Adeleine in ''VideoGame/Kirby64TheCrystalShards''. This left fans split on whether or not they were the same character for ''nearly twenty years'', until [[https://twitter.com/roselii49/status/940478645268766720 design documents]] surfaced that ''finally'' confirmed the developers considered them as such.
** This has happened to other subjects fairly often throughout the series, but is most often the result of InconsistentDub over time.
* Between ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' and its expansion pack "The Frozen Throne" a year later, Furion Stormrage had his name expanded to Malfurion with no explanation. Other units gained different names as well; Owlbears were renamed Wildkin, while Ballistae, Catapults, Steam Tanks and Gyrocopters became Glaive Throwers, Demolishers, Siege Engines and Flying Machines respectively, with completely new models and attacks. The Steam Tank, Ballista and Gyrocopter were changed to distance them from the machines of the same name from ''TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasy'', and units like Owlbears and the Boots of Elvenkind (changed to Boots of Quel'thalas) were copyrighted by Wizards of the Coast, and thus had to be changed to avoid litigation.
* In the transition from RTS series ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' to MMORPG ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', other names were changed as well. The human nation of Azeroth became known as Stormwind, which was until then the name of its capital city[[note]]It was most likely done because Azeroth is also the name of the continent ''and'' the world where the plot takes place[[/note]]. Illidan's fortress the Black Citadel also became the Black Temple for no reason.

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* Webcomic/{{Mulberry}}'s DumbBlonde friend originally had the name, "Tiff". In 2012, Peter Paltridge changed her name to, "Taffeta Sparks", or, "Taffy" for short.
* In ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive,'' [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Davan]]'s ex-girlfriend who appears in the first strip was referred to by a different name which was later changed to "Gia." Previous strips were [[RetCon changed to match the new name]]. (Given that the early strips were based off the author's real life, it's possible the actual ex took offense.)
** [[DrivenToSuicide Scotty]]'s parents were [[http://somethingpositive.net/sp08222003.shtml originally]] named Tom and Lois. In a [[http://somethingpositive.net/sp01152015.shtml later strip]], they're Roger and Myra.
* George's original super hero name in ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'' was "Spark". It was later changed to "Blitz" with only a tiny bit of LampshadeHanging acknowledging the change.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Several ''Website/{{Neopets}}'' species changed names early on:
** Acara was originally called "Tigren'".
** Bruce started out as just an image of the celebrity Bruce Forsyth named "Bruce Forsyth". The name was shortened to "Bruce" due to legal issues and eventually they were redesigned into penguins.
** Buzz started out as a winged eye named "Fleye".
** Gelert was originally known as "Polypup".
** Jubjub was originally "Jibjib".
** Kacheek was originally "Badeek".
** Kau started out being named "Macy Gray". Similar to Bruce, they were humanoid and based off a real celebrity.
** Kyrii started out as the fuzzy and ball-like "Fuzio".
** Mynci started out as a human named "Mellish", based on a friend of the creators.
** Quiggle was originally named "Frogstomp".
* When WebVideo/ObscurusLupa reviewed ''Witchcraft 7: Judgement Day,'' she noticed how the first vampiric victim's name changed from "Sally" to "Rachel" at one point. As a result, she spends the review calling her "Sally-Rachel."
* Anna, one of the main characters in ''Blog/TheRaptureLogs'', was named Jane until about halfway through Act III, when "creative difficulties" with the person on whom the character was based necessitated the name change, which was [[{{Retcon}} applied retroactively]] through the archives.
* ''WebVideo/SailorMoonAbridged'' has fun with the [[MacGuffin Silver Imperial Moon crystal]], which is never called the same way twice, even by the people looking for it.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'':
** [[RetiredBadass Billy]]'s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4LlKiHlz3A song]] mentions him "cast[ing] [[OmnicidalManiac the Lich King]] down." However, ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' already had a villain with that name, so by the time this villain showed up, he was [[WritingAroundTrademarks simply called]] "[[OurLichesAreDifferent the Lich]]."
** There are [[http://adventuretime.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Renamed_Characters other examples]] of production changes; even [[KidHero Finn]] was originally called "[[{{Tuckerization}} Pen]]" in the pilot.
** Finn's DistaffCounterpart "Fionna" had her name originally written as "Fiona".
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'', Francine's cat Nemo was originally named "Mimo".
** Mrs. [=MacGrady=]'s first name had been established as "Sarah", but was renamed "Leah" in honor of writer Leah Ryan.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Flying Bison are later referred to as Sky Bison. It could be possible that both terms are correct, though, since many animals have multiple common names. Considering they are also referred to as Wind Buffalo by a Fire Nation tourist, that seems likely.
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'':
** A strange example; some late-1930s shorts featured a character called Egghead, occasionally portrayed as a recreational hunter. In one cartoon, ''A Feud There Was'', he was called "Elmer Fudd". Through the years, the character changed ''radically'', becoming the stuttering, bald, bumbling hunter we recognize today, known ''exclusively'' as Elmer Fudd--one character become another by way of an altered name.
** While not mentioned onscreen, Tweety was called "Orson" on his original model sheet for 1942's ''WesternAnimation/ATaleOfTwoKitties''. This came full circle in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSylvesterAndTweetyMysteries'', where Tweety meets a bird named Orson who looks just like his original naked design.
** Sylvester was unnamed in his first few appearances, then went by "Thomas" in ''WesternAnimation/TweetiePie''.
** In his first appearance in ''Odor-able Kitty'', WesternAnimation/PepeLePew was called "Henry" and wasn't actually French. And on his model sheet for the cartoon, he was called "Stinky".
** Beaky Buzzard was called "Killer" is his first two cartoons.
* The 2006 revival of ''WesternAnimation/BikerMiceFromMars'' had an inconsistency concerning the first name of the villain Dr. Catorkian. The Catatonian scientist refers to himself as Cantankerous Catorkian in "Manchurian Charley", while "Bringing Up Vinnie" has him give his full name as Phineas P. Catorkian.
* Three from ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'':
** Due to a translation mix-up, the supercomputer was originally called the "supercalculator" in the English dub. This was later corrected.
** The fictional band The Subsonics was changed to The Subdigitals when it turned out there was a ''real'' band called The Subsonics.
** Kankrelats were called "Roachsters" in the first season. They were latter given their original French name.
* The Red Guy from ''WesternAnimation/CowAndChicken'' has a different name in every episode, almost all of which refer to the fact that he doesn't wear pants (Lance Sackless, Ben Pantsed, C.D. Hiney, etc.).
** He was explicitly called The Devil in the pilot "No Smoking".
* Daisy Duck was actually referred as "Donna Duck" in her debut short, ''Don Donald''. It wasn't until her second short in which she was beginning to be referred to as her current name.
* In the first ''WesternAnimation/FelixTheCat'' short, ''WesternAnimation/FelineFollies'', Felix was named "Master Tom". He was also a PartiallyCivilizedAnimal instead of a FunnyAnimal.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}'':
** The character Mo-Ron was referred to as Bo-Ron after his first appearance, allegedly because network censors were concerned that use of the word "moron" was offensive. Lampshaded in the episode "Freak-a-Panel," where when Lord Bravery refers to him, he says "Mo-Ron or... Bo-Ron, whatever."
** Also, for some reason, Dexter's cat Mr. Chubbskins is renamed Mr. Chubbikins after [[OriginStory "The Chip."]]
* The second season of ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeExtreme'' changed Ballistic's name to Eagle Eye because of a law forbidding children's shows from using characters with firearm-themed names.
* WesternAnimation/{{Goofy}}'s original name was "Dippy Dawg". He also went through a period of being called "George Geef". It's possible that this was supposed to be his real full name, and 'Goofy' was a nickname, based off of its similarity to his surname. However, Disney tends to maintain these days that his full name is "Goofus D. Dawg" - which retroactively explains the Dippy Dawg thing, but makes 'George Geef' completely inexplicable. His full name has also been written as "Goofy Goof".
* For the 2015 revival of the 2008 ''WesternAnimation/GeorgeOfTheJungle'' series, Magnolia and Ursula's names were switched for no explicable reason.
* Mei Li, the pig princess from one episode of the ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPandaLegendsOfAwesomeness'', was known as "Pei Pei" in some promotional media.
* On WesternAnimation/{{MASK}}, this happened very often.
** The '57 Chevy shared by Hondo [=MacLean=] and Buddie Hawks was called either Hurricane or Night Stalker. (And no, these names were not exclusive to one or the other.)
** Buddie's mask was called either Penetrator or Vibrator. ([[UnfortunateNames Yeah,]] [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar I know.]])
** The driver of the Slingshot was named either Ace Riker or Ace Striker. His mask was called either Boomerang or Ricochet.
** Bruno Sheppard's vehicle is called either Stinger or Scorpion.
* In Season 1 of ''WesternAnimation/TheMrMenShow'', Miss Chatterbox's pet bird is called "Featherhead". In Season 2, it's "Featherbrain".
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** Pony Joe, a one-scene character from [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E26TheBestNightEver "The Best Night Ever"]], had his name out-of-nowhere revised to Donut Joe when he reappeared with a bigger role in [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E24MysteryOnTheFriendshipExpress "MMMystery on the Friendship Express"]]. Since both names were only used once each (he's called just "Joe" most of the time), it isn't clear which name is correct; "Donut Joe" is newer, but "Pony Joe" had also been used by [[OfficialFanSubmittedContent fan-designed]] licensed [[TheMerch merchandise]] beforehand.
** The character "Coco Pommel" had her name changed to "Miss Pommel" in 2015 starting with the merchandise. The first toy released for her was under the name Coco Pommel, but due to legal reasons and the Coco Chanel company, the toys from the 2016 Explore Equestria lineup had her name changed to Miss Pommel. She was also called Miss Pommel for the 2016 ''My Little Pony'' [=McDonalds=] Happy Meal promotion. Starting in [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS6E10TheSaddleRowReview the episode "The Saddle Row Review"]] she is called Miss Pommel in the show.
** Speaking of Coco Pommel, the character "Suri Polomare" is called Buttonbelle in the 2015 Cutie Mark Magic lineup, and was called that in the 2016 Happy Meal promotion.
* An interesting case is ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', where several minor characters have used different names on-screen than have been used in various off-screen canon.
** Homer's mother's name was supposed to be "Penelope Olsen" according to the ''Simpsons Family Album," but in her first on-screen appearance (where her real name was never explicitly stated) it was mentioned that Penelope Olsen was one of her many pseudonyms. In subsequent episodes she was always "Mona Simpson."
** Snake was apparently called "Jailbird" in scripts before characters started calling him by the name "Snake" in episodes. This has been lampshaded many times in subsequent episodes, including his home mailbox reading "Snake, aka Jailbird" or a flashback of his previous life as a successful archeologist where he refers to himself as "Professor Jailbird."
** In his first appearance, the real name of Fat Tony was stated to be William Williams, but in subsequent appearances it was changed to Anthony D'Amico.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheNewAdventuresOfSuperman''. In several early episodes (e.g. "The Deadly Dish") Lex Luthor's henchman was named Blinky. In the first season 3 episode "Luthor's Lethal Laser" the henchman's name was changed to Kinky, with no explanation.
* The Fleischer Studios produced ''ComicStrip/{{Popeye}}'' with the main antagonist named Bluto. When Larry Harmon Studios later revived the series, Popeye's chief antagonist is named Brutus. He's stlll the same top-heavy, bullying, {{jerkass}} hypotenuse as always.
* It's mentioned in the episode "Roughin' Up" of ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' that the triplets' surname is "Utonium". The [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls2016 reboot]] has Blossom refer to herself as "Blossom Powerpuff".
* In the original ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' pilot, Grandpa Lou Pickles was named Stu Pickles, Sr.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' is very inconsistent with names:
** Several of the parents changed names early on (for example, [[MyBelovedSmother Sheila]], [[OnlySaneWoman Sharon]] and [[AbusiveParents Linda]] were all "Carol" at one point), as well as various minor characters. The girls, being OutOfFocus for most of the series, are especially prone to this; for example, Red became "Rebecca" and "Bertha" at various points, then went back to "Red."
** Even more important characters have changing surnames--[[StandUpComedy Jimmy]] went from "Swanson" to "Valmer," [[TokenMinority Token]] went from "Williams" to "Black,"[[note]][[MeaningfulName Because why be subtle about it?]][[/note]] [[TheGenericGuy Clyde]] went from "Goodman" to "Donovan" to "Harris" and back to "Donovan," etc. [[StepfordSmiler Butters]] was also known as "Swanson" in his very earliest appearance (and before that, was intended to be named "Puff-Puff"); the "Swanson" can be heard in one episode, but without it being clear who is being addressed.
** {{Meta}} example: In the "Jesus vs. Frosty" short that ''South Park'' is ultimately based on, the proto-[[TokenEvilTeammate Cartman]] character was named "Kenny" and the others (including who would become [[CovertPervert Kenny]]) were [[NoNameGiven unnamed]].
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'', LongRunner that it is, has suffered from this on occasion - sometimes it's not terribly noticeable or important, such as the Invisible Boatmobile being called the Invisiboat for one episode, but sometimes they'll do something like call Sandy Cheeks "Sandy Squirrel."
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'':
** In the duo's first appearance in ''WesternAnimation/PussGetsTheBoot'', Tom was a NearlyNormalAnimal cat named "Jasper" while Jerry was unnamed.
** The little grey mouse that accompanies Jerry has been called both "Nibbles" and "Tuffy" over the years.
** Several shorts featured a trio of alley cats that served as Tom's rivals or friends. The black cat was normally called "Butch", while the orange cat was called "Lightning" in ''Old Rockin' Chair Tom''. The latest direct-to-video movies call them [[PunnyName Tin, Pan and Ali]].
* Shockwave from ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' was given the name "Chugway" in the subtitles for the episode "Autoboot Camp."
* When ''Polly and the Zhu Zhu Pets'' was renamed to ''WesternAnimation/TheZhuZhus'', the main character's name was changed from Polly to Frankie.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* A great many streets and highways will change their name as you drive down them for no apparent reason. This can be very confusing and cause you to get lost. The reason tends to be things like it used to be two streets that were combined or you crossed a state or county line, or in suburbia a normally main street is given a different name based on the flora that ostensibly grows there when it passes through a residential area.
** The same street can, of course, also be renamed following the death of a public figure or important event. In places with ethnic tension, this can become very political as power changes hands. A good example is Quebec, where many formerly English-named streets were gradually named for prominent francophone Québécois figures (e.g. in Montreal, Dorchester --> René-Lévesque; Maplewood --> Édouard-Montpetit) or official English versions disappeared (Mountain --> Montagne; St. Lawrence --> Saint-Laurent).
* Can happen to people, especially (but not always) when inheriting a new noble title -- [[Film/TheKingsSpeech Prince Albert, Duke of York]] becoming [[KingBobTheNth King George VI]] would be a well-known example.
** [[UsefulNotes/ThePope Popes]] also traditionally take a new name when elected.
** Monks and nuns often take a new name to use in their religious life.
** In many cultures, a person can change their legal name with (usually) little trouble.
** In fact, just watch the confusion when someone with a long-established [[EmbarrassingFirstName name]] or [[EmbarrassingNickname nickname]] decides they want to be called by a different one -- you might be "Rich" to your college friends, but you'll always be "Dickie" to your family.
* Countries change names regularly for various reasons, often because of a revolution, the redrawing of borders or the use of an endonym to replace an exonym. For example, Siam --> Thailand; Abyssinia --> Ethiopia; Persia --> Iran, etc.
* Wiki/ThisVeryWiki does it with changing names of trope pages all the time.