- The Brady Bunch: Season 2's "Our Son, the Man" sees Greg greet Mike and Carol by their first names one morning. Mike immediately raises his eyebrows and corrects his son: "Calling your parents by their first name may be the in-thing these days, but around here, we are still 'Mom' and 'Dad.'" Greg gets the hint.
- Welcome Back, Kotter: The Season 2 episode, "Sweathog, Nebraska Style," saw Gabe's teenaged sister-in-law, Jenny, stay with the Kotters, and she temporarily joins the Sweathogs. In class, Jenny is being obnoxious and calls Gabe by his first name when he tries to call the class to attention. He immediately reprimands her: "In class, I am Mr. Kotter." Nothing more is said of it.
- 227: Twisted and inverted in this mid-to-late 1980s African-American situation comedy starring Marla Gibbs. One episode saw Gibbs' character, Mary Jenkins, get after her teen-aged daughter, Brenda, after she refers to a neighbor — building floozy Sandra Clark (Jackee Harry) — by her first name. Even though "Mrs. Clark" freely allowed her teen-aged neighbors to call her by her first name ("Call me Sandra!"), Mary's rules were otherwise.
- Family Matters: In a Season 1 episode, "Man's Best Friend," aired not long after Urkel became a regular part of the cast, Carl is annoyed that the irksome nerd refers to him by first name all the time. "Shouldn't you be calling me Mr. Winslow? Carl asks. Urkel replies, "That's what my parents, Herb and Diane, say!" Interestingly, Urkel seems to be on a first-name basis with just about all of his teachers, including Principal Shimata.
- The Judge: This 1980s courtroom drama played it both ways, depending on the content. In one episode, Judge Franklin (the series' main protagonist) is being examined as a witness, a rare episode where he is not on the bench; he gives a minor slip when the presiding judge speaks, and in a friendly way the judge reminds him this is a formal court proceeding and that in this case, he is "your honor." They laugh about it, the mistake is never repeated again and things go on like normal. In a later episode, wherein a teenaged boy is seeking emancipation from his overbearing father, an Army colonel, the colonel is frustrated that the case is not going his way and — in addition to overstepping his authority — addresses Judge Franklin by his first name, Bob. Judge Franklin does not take too kindly to that, and after angrily reminding him that in the courtroom it is the judge who gives the orders, he is to be referred to as "Your Honor."
- In Smallville, everyone around Clark's age call his mother "Mrs. Kent", although she sometimes asks the closer ones to just call her Martha.
- A humorous one when Lois addressed Jor-El (who has always been addressed by that name, even by his son) as "Mr. El".
- Boston Legal had a fun subversion of the common type of this.
Nora (Alan Shore's secretary): Mrs. Schmidt...
Shirley Schmidt: My mother is Mrs. Schmidt; you can call me...Schmidt.
- Stargate SG-1
: Well, with all due respect
, doctor, I- Carter
: It is appropriate to refer to a person by their rank, not their salutation. You should call me Captain, not Doctor.
- And in a later episode:
Sen. Kinsey: Commander Thor, my name is—
Thor: Senator Kinsey. O'Neill suggested I send you to a distant planet for your actions here, but I am reasonably certain his statement was in jest.
Sen. Kinsey: [raises his finger] I'm sure it was, Commander—
Thor: [raises his finger] Supreme Commander.
- Star Trek: The Original Series
- The main characters play with this a lot, given their familiarity. Spock calls Kirk either "Jim" or "Captain" depending on the situation, just as Kirk calls him either "Mr." Spock or just "Spock". Dr. McCoy freely calls his friend "Jim" all the time; Kirk usually addresses the Doctor as "Bones". Similarly, even junior officers are permitted to call Lt. Cmdr. Scott simply "Scotty", and Kirk and McCoy both do so regularly. Ironically, Scotty himself always addresses his superiors by their title.
- In "Mirror, Mirror", Scotty does address to the captain as "Jim", when Kirk offers to stay behind to operate the transporter after its automatic timer has been disabled. This was a rare case where Scotty was stressing his personal concern for the captain.
- A more specific example: in the episode "Whom Gods Destroy", Kirk keeps calling (the insane) former Captain Garth, "Captain Garth". Garth insists on "Lord Garth".
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation the captain almost invariably refers to his officers as "Number One," "Dr. Crusher," "Mr. Data," etc. And Beverly is the only one who can get away with calling him "Jean-Luc" on anything like a regular basis. A deleted scene from Star Trek: Nemesis references this fact, with Riker playing a prank on his replacement and telling him to drop the formal titles with Captain Picard. It gets him a Death Glare.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has some fun with this. Dax calls Captain Sisko "Benjamin," sounding almost as if she were talking to a child. He calls her "Old Man", which is exactly what she was when they first met.
- In the pilot for Star Trek: Voyager, Ensign Kim calls Captain Janeway "sir" as per Starfleet protocols regarding addressing a superior officer regardless of gender. Janeway replies that she isn't comfortable being addressed as "sir", adding, "'Ma'am' will do in a crunch, otherwise I prefer 'Captain'." Later, when they're preparing to depart Kim calls her "Ma'am" and she answers, "It's not crunch time yet, Mr. Kim. I'll let you know when."
- On the other hand, Lt. Paris gets away with calling her Ma'am all the time. But then, considering how subversive he is, she's probably just glad he's using any kind of formal address.
- As they develop more of a rapport with each other, Chakotay starts calling her Kathryn, and even on some occasions even Kathy.
- Neelix generally refers to crewmembers by their title, even the ones he's reasonably friendly with. The only exception is Tuvok, whom he likes to call "Mr. Vulcan." It clearly annoys the hell out of Tuvok, even through his emotionless mask.
- On Enterprise, even Tucker calls his best buddy "Captain" Archer. Archer himself almost always addresses the crew by first name (or nickname, in Tucker's case).
- The West Wing did it in a Flashback, where a young Bartlet calls Mrs. Landingham, who was then his father's secretary, "Delores". She replies cheerfully, "Call me Mrs. Landingham, please." Later, when he's the President of the United States and she is his secretary, he still calls her Mrs. Landingham.
- Abby Bartlet, a well-regarded surgeon, has her own moment like this in season two when Sam refers to her as "Mrs. Bartlet." As her medical practices are being called into question, she insists that everyone refer to her as "Dr Bartlet." She rather ruefully notes that it's her own fault, though; during the campaign she had asked to be called "Mrs." to downplay her own accomplishments because voters were more comfortable with a wife who was not quite her husband's equal.
- President Bartlet often has this done for him by his staff - whenever someone calls him "Bartlet," they interject "It's President Bartlet". Jed also has a moment like that in the first season: when a retiring Supreme Court Justice he doesn't like calls him "Mr. Bartlet", he replies "It's 'Dr. Bartlet'." (Because he has a doctorate in economics, that is.)
- Though note that the staff has no problem referring to senators and congressmen they don't like by their last names alone.
- The second version also appears in the fifth season when Bob Russell is introduced. President Bartlet calls him "Robert Russell", and Russell replies "Bob - Robert Russell is my father."
- There's also a particularly poignant moment in the first season where Bartlett has to determine whether he'll give clemency to a man on death row. After calling in an old priest friend for guidance, the priest asks him whether to call him Jed or Mr. President. He insists on Mr. President, and then explains that, by being called the President, he's acting in the official capacity, whereas if he were called Jed, then the decisions he makes would be by a man, not by an office.
- The moment becomes even more powerful when, after learning the man has been killed, the priest turns to the President and says "Jed, would you like me to take your confession?"
- Similarly, to Leo, "That's the first time you've called me 'Jed' since the election."
- And then there's this exchange between Toby and the British Ambassador:
Toby: "I think we have to be careful how we use the word terrorist. Can I call you John?"
Lord Marbury: "I am John, Lord Marbury, Earl of Croix, Marquis of Needham and Dolby, Baronet of Brixton, England's ambassador to the United States. A terrorist is a terrorist even if he wears a green necktie and sings 'Danny Boy'. Yes, you can call me John."
- Marbury actually gets two. From his introductory episode:
Lord Marbury: It's "Your Lordship," as a matter of fact, but it couldn't possibly make the least difference.
- Interestingly, Sidney Poitier was Aaron Sorkin's first choice for Bartlet. Sadly, we missed the opportunity to hear "They call me Mister President."
- The second variant is parodied in a promo for The Sarah Silverman Program: An elementary school class greets Sarah as 'Mrs. Silverman', to which she responds, "Mrs. Silverman was my mother. She was a bitch."
- The 2003 Battlestar Galactica miniseries did this with Laura Roslin, former Secretary of Education and new President. Calling her "Madame President" was shown as the barometer of how the specific character felt about her - i.e. Billy, as her personal aide, using the term right off the bat; and Baltar using it in a politically calculated tone, only after she offers him a position as her adviser. Contrasting with those uses is Colonel Tigh, who repeatedly refers to her as "that woman," and Commander Adama, who calls her everything from "Miss Roslin" to her face to "that schoolteacher" behind her back. It is only after he realizes that she's right - they lost - and after she keeps the secret that he really doesn't know where Earth is that he addresses her deliberately as "Madame President".
- Roslin was originally going to be referred to as Mr. President, but the creators decided against it. Strange, considering they regularly refer to military women as Sir, and Roslin, as President, is technically commander-in-chief no matter what bargains she's made with Adama.
- Not necessarily; that's a trait of modern American politics (and some other countries). It might be her inexperience with such matters, but in dealing with Adama she arranges for him to handle certain concerns, herself to handle others, and (later) still other concerns to be tandem efforts of the military and civilian government. Her power over the military may be exclusive to deployment; that is to say, as soon as she authorizes military force, she steps back and lets the them handle it. Zarek claims Adama doesn't have such power, but as a longtime jailed revolutionary he may not be correct; the Colonies were only unified with the Cylon war, meaning the Colonial Military is the oldest, most visible and likely one of the strongest aspects of the Colonial System.
- Also, at one point Baltar gets angry about being called "Doc"note , and says that he should be addressed as "Doctor" or "Mr. Vice President".
- Later, when Commander Adama (on Galactica) is on the wireless, speaking directly to Admiral Cain (on Pegasus), they each refer to themselves as "Galactica Actual" and "Pegasus Actual."
- This is because they are identifying themselves as the CO of the ship as opposed to a subordinate radio operator. It occurs in modern radio protocol as well.
- Trailer Park Boys: Randy always refers to Jim Lahey as "Mr. Lahey" despite being in an intimate relationship with him for years.
- The second variant is parodied on an episode of My Name Is Earl:
Earl: Excuse me, Mr. Covington-
Mr. Covington: Mr. Covington was my father's name. You can call me "sir".
- In the episode "Some Assembly Required" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the stock phrase is used as a joke, when Jenny Calendar tells Rupert Giles, "Please call me Jenny. 'Ms. Calendar' is my father."
- On NUMB3RS, strict college dean Dr. Mildred Finch insists on being called Millie. Played for irony, since at the same time as she stresses this informality, she's coming down hard on her subordinates in other areas.
- Andrew Hartford deals with this in Power Rangers Operation Overdrive (and he's not helped by Cloud Cuckoolander Dax):
Hartford: Dax, can you please call me Andrew? Every time you say "Mr. Hartford," I look for my father.
Dax: Got it. You want us to think of you as someone young.
- Inversion: Are You Afraid of the Dark? had a recurring character, Sardo the magic shop owner. Whenever he was introduced, one of the main characters would call him "Mr. Sardo", which would trigger his Catch Phrase: "That's Sar-doh! No 'Mister', accent on the 'do'!"
- There was also the recurring character, the Mad Scientist Dr. Vink. "Vink's the name. Dr. Vink." (With a va-va-va. Also: he is NOT a nutbag.)
- The Drew Carey Show features an odd variant:
Drew: My father is Mr. Carey. I'm Mrs. Carey.
- On Criminal Minds, Gideon always insisted on introducing Reid as "Dr. Reid," going so far as to correct his fellow agents when whoever was doing the introducing left out Reid's title. This was more of an issue in the early seasons, when Reid was twenty-four and looked fifteen; now that he's approaching thirty, the team seems to have relaxed about this a bit.
- On 24, David Palmer does this twice. Late in Day 2, around the time when his cabinet is plotting to declare him incapacitated so they can move ahead with the military strike, Mike, who has known Palmer for a long time, calls him "David" while pleading with him to relent. He responds "I'm the President, Mike. You don't call me by my first name." Early on Day 3, he tells Wayne, "Wayne, right now, it's Mr. President,"; while Wayne calls him by name in private or on less official matters, in public or in more formal settings, he calls him with the same formality as any other American citizen. In Day 2, Sherry calls him "Mr. President" as a way of distancing herself from him when she is disappointed in his unfavorable response to one of her requests (despite having divorced him, they are still on a first-name basis).
- In Jeeves and Wooster, a butler frets about his employer calling him by his first name, but he doesn't know how to correct him politely.
- American audiences may not always catch the cultural background of this usage, even with the rise in popularity of Downton Abbey and its forerunner, the 2001 film Gosford Park. It was a custom that servants in high society British households had particular forms of address, depending upon their station. In their employer's house, butlers, valets and ladies' maids were addressed by their surnames without an honorific "Mr.", "Mrs." or "Miss"; when they traveled with their employer to another socialite's home, the staff in the home they were visiting referred to them by their employer's surname. House maids, footmen and kitchen staff were addressed by their first names. The housekeeper and the cook were addressed as "Mrs. X", whether they were married or not.
- Comes up a lot in Yes, Minister, particularly at the start when Hacker is not yet used to the obsequious and perfectionist politeness of the Civil Service. Bernard steadfastly refuses to call him anythign other than 'Minister'.
- Rumpole of the Bailey - Rumpole frequently inverts the second version with his clients, asking permission whether he can refer to them more formally, after he's been introduced to them by their first names.
- In a sendoff scene in season 7 of Red Dwarf, Lister acknowledges a title for Rimmer, 'First Officer', as a way of fondly bidding him farewell. The Cat and Kryten acknowledge it too (although they think it's his funeral).
- Blackadder plays with this too. At one point, he and the prince he's serving must pretend to be each other. This exchange occurs, and eventually Blackadder's own servant is roped into the name confusion:
Blackadder: You will, of course, have to call me "Your Highness", Your Highness.
Prince George: (nods) "Your Highness Your Highness".
Blackadder: No, just "Your Highness", Your Highness.
Prince George: (looking pleased with himself) That's what I said — "Your Highness Your Highness", Your Highness Your Highness.
- In the Horatio Hornblower movie, "The Wrong War", Hornblower greeted a newly arrived Army officer as "Major" Edrington. Edrington then told Hornblower that, as Edrington was of noble blood, the right form of address was 'My Lord'. At first, even though it was offhand, it seemed meant to identify Edrington as an annoying toff. But it comes off in a better light later, after Edrington turns out to be a Reasonable Authority Figure. In contrast to some of the other Lords running around France in the movie.
- Lady Heather in CSI has no formal claim to the title, but, as a professional dominatrix, nonetheless expects to be referred to as such by both her employees and her customers.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus
Doctor: Next please. Name?
Watson: Er, Watson.
Doctor: (writing it down) Mr Watson.
Watson: Ah, no, Doctor.
Doctor: Ah, Mr Doctor.
Watson: No, not Mr, Doctor.
Doctor: Oh, Doctor Doctor.
Watson: No, Doctor Watson.
Doctor: Oh, Doctor Watson Doctor.
Watson: Oh, just call me darling.
Doctor: Hello, Mr Darling.
Watson: No, Doctor.
Doctor: Hello Doctor Darling.
- Enforced roughly by a police officer while comforting a widower, whose wife was just eaten by an alien blancmange.
Officer: I think what's happened is terribly, terribly funny.. tragic! You must understand we have to catch the creature that ate your wife, and if you could just help us answer a few questions, we may be able to save lives.
Angus: Aye, I'll do my best, Seargent.
Officer: Detective Inspector!
- One opening Sketch from Saturday Night Live: Had Tom Hanks hosting for the fifth time (a big deal then) and being welcomed into the 'five timers club' by Paul Simon, Steve Martin and Elliott Gould. When Tom calls Paul "Mr. Simon", he does a Type B and says "Call me Paul", but with Steve Martin ...
Tom Hanks: Thanks a lot, Mr. Martin.
Steve Martin: Please, call me Mr. STEVE Martin.
- On The Dukes of Hazzard, when Tammy Wynette was performing at the Boar's Nest after being caught in Boss Hogg's Celebrity Speedtrap:
Boss Hogg: I'll just tear up this here speeding ticket, Tammy.
'Tammy: You can call me "Miss Wynette".
- Doctor Who:
- "Tooth and Claw": "The correct form of address is Your Majesty!"
- "The Invasion of Time": Leela is quite insistent that she is Leela and not "madame."
- Harriet Jones' character made a Catch Phrase out of giving her full political title every time she introduced herself, even if it was a re-introduction and often flashing her photo identification card at the same time. She continued to do this after she no longer held an office. It got to the point of being a Running Gag; even aliens didn't need the reminder in the end:
Harriet Jones: Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister.
Daleks: Yes, we know who you are.
- From the Expanded Universe, Sixth Doctor companion Frobisher, who fancies himself a noir-style detective, has a brief monologue in the audio The Maltese Penguin:
My friends call me Frobisher. My enemies call me Mr. Frobisher. And the junk mail department of the Galactic Reader's Digest calls me Mrs. F. R. Rubbisher when they say I may have already won 30,000 Mazumas.
- Degrassi: "It's Holly freakin' J."
- In the LOST episode "Dr. Linus," the flash-sideways version of Ben is a history teacher with a PhD. Whenever a character calls him "Mr. Linus," he grumbles, "It's Dr. Linus, actually." Sideways Alex seems to be the only one who addresses him properly.
- Gibbs, of NCIS, says this whenever someone calls him "sir" as opposed to "boss". Lawyer M. Allison Hart made it a point to refer to Gibbs as "Mister" Gibbs throughout Season 7. It was a sign of respect when she finally called him 'Special Agent Gibbs' in the season finale.
- A holdover from his days as an NCO (as opposed to an Officer). Officers are generally the ones addressed as "Sir."
- Also of note is that he never corrects military members he is speaking to in an official capacity as they're supposed to address law enforcement agents, civilian or military, as "Sir."
- JAG: In "Shadow", the villain Grover mandates that the naval personnel address him as either "Sir" or "Mr. Grover". He gleefully notices when Meg manages to do exactly that while making it sound as disrespectful as possible.
- In an episode of Law & Order: UK, the gangster Don Marsh expresses his contempt for the law by addressing DS Brooks by his Christian name. Brooks will have none of it, insisting:
Brooks: That's "Detective Sergeant Brooks" to you.
- In an early episode of Law & Order Phillip Swann, a man who EADA Ben Stone put away for murder, gets a retrial. During the whole process, he needles Stone by calling him "Ben". Stone finally has enough after Swann's case falls apart:
Stone: A lot of effort to wind up right back where you started. And in polite society, Sir, you don't call people by their first name unless they ask you to - I didn't do that. You're not a friend, and you're certainly not a colleague.
- Ben Stone even inverts this trope, tending to use the abovementioned term "Sir" to address men who he has contempt for.
- The Law & Order: UK episode based on this also inverts this trope when the man in question consistently refers to James Steele by his proper title rather than his first name in an effort to aggravate him by acting as though they're equals.
- The titular character of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman often needs to remind people to call her "Dr" instead of "Miss", several of whom deliberately call her "Miss" in an effort to rankle her and demonstrate their lack of respect.
- In the first episode of Season 4 of Castle Detective Beckett calls the new Captain "ma'am" leading to her responding: "My mother drops by, you can call her ma'am. Call me Sir or Captain.
- On One Life to Live, as Jerkass character nastily refers to a doctor who has had his licensed revoked (thanks to the Jerkass lying through his teeth during a malpractice suit) as "Mr." in an effort to taunt him.
- One of the many, many Running Gags that occurs in the Mexican sitcom El Chavo del ocho, usually with El Chavo referring to Profesor Jirafalesnote as "Maestro Longaniza" ("longaniza" is a kind of sausage).
Prof. Jirafales: "I'm not a maestro, and my name isn't Longaniza! I'm a longaniza and my name is Maestro...I mean, I'm a maestro, and my name is Jirafales!"
- One Dragnet episode had a perp who insisted on being addressed as Mister Daniel Loomis. Sergeant Joe Friday informs him that he is heading to a place where he will be a number, and not a Mister.
- Played for Laughs in Father Ted, as the housekeeper Mrs. Doyle is never referred to her first name:
[An officer phones Ted] Officer
: Do you know a Mrs. Doyle? First name: Mrs.— [the fire alarm is tested
] —Doyle? Father Ted
: Do I know a Mrs.— [plate smashes] —Doyle?
- Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: For all his warmth and friendliness, Mr. Rogers was still Mister Rogers to his young viewers. His grown-up neighbors freely called him "Fred," however.
- The Big Bang Theory
Leonard: "Call me Leonard, Dr. Hofstadter's my father. And my mother. And my sister. And our cat. Although, I'm pretty sure Dr. Boots Hofstadter's degree was honorary."
- Dr. Gablehauser, head of the Physics Department, reverses this, deliberately calling attention to Howard's lack of a doctorate;
Dr. Gablehauser: Dr. Hofstadter
Leonard: Dr. Gablehauser
Dr. Gablehauser: Dr. Cooper
Sheldon: Dr. Gablehauser
Dr. Gablehauser: Dr. Koothrappali
Raj: Dr. Gablehauser
Dr. Gablehauser: Mr. Wolowitz
Howard (dejectedly): Dr. Gablehauser
- Doc Martin: Invoked in the show and referenced in the show's title. The villagers endearingly call him "Doc Martin" though he prefers "Doctor Ellingham". Also, his London name was "Mister Ellingham" (British surgeons are doctors, but they traditionally prefer "Mr").
- In Breaking Bad, Jesse consistently refers to Walt as "Mr. White", what with Walt being his old chemistry teacher. Later on, when Hank and Steve bring Mike in for questioning, Hank does a faux amicability act, asking "Michael? Mike?"; Mike, annoyed, informs him that it's '"Mr. Ehrmentraut."
- Parodied in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring Space Mutiny
Dave Ryder: Listen, lady...!
Dave Ryder: Doctor.
Crow T. Robot: Doctor Lady!