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Names The Same: Real Life
Entries arranged in alphabetical order:
  • In general, many prominent families have several members with same names who came to prominence in similar lines of work, sometimes in periods not too far apart, which can cause confusion. Among others, there have been two John Adamses and two George Bushes who have been US presidents (the latter pair only 8 years apart), two British prime ministers named William Pitt, two American four-star admirals named John Mc Cain (and another who was a navy captain and a presidential candidate), a pair of army generals named George Patton (in addition to several other family members with the same name), a pair of German panzer generals named Heinz Guderian.
  • ABC, the U.S. commercial broadcast network owned by Disney, The ABC, Australia's public broadcaster, early ITV franchise holder the Associated British Corporation and ABC, the successful British band from The Eighties. "ABC" is also the title song to The Jackson 5's second album for Motown, and was once a British broadcaster and cinema chain.
    • There's also the Asahi Broadcasting Corporation in Japan, a member of a group of networks headed by TV Asahi.
  • Tony Abbott is the leader of the Liberal Party in Australia and the author of The Secrets of Droon series.
  • Robert Adam is either an 18th-century Scottish neoclassical architect or a currently active British neoclassical architect. Got that?
  • It's a generic name, but John Adams has done it all. He was the second President of the United States, and also the sixth, an obscure contestant from American Gladiators, a revered minimalist composer, a participant in the Mutiny on the Bounty, and has probably held many other interesting occupations.
  • Scott Adams is the name of either the cartoonist of Dilbert or a series of old text adventure games.
  • The American Hockey League has two teams named the Admirals - Norfolk and Milwaukee. They entered the AHL a year apart from each other (Norfolk was first). That's because the two teams were originally part of different leagues. Milwaukee came into the league from the International Hockey League when it folded, Norfolk moved up from the ECHL when its City Council threatened to revoke their lease if they didn't move to the highest level of minor pro hockey.
  • AFI stands for either American Film Institute, or a band called A Fire Inside, among other things.
    • The Australian Film Institute too.
  • Is Jason Alexander a comic actor or the guy whose marriage to Britney Spears got annulled in 55 hours?
  • Rick Allen is the drummer for Def Leppard famous for continuing to play even after losing an arm. Rick Allan was a DJ for Toronto's CHUM-FM. He left before the band made it big. However, he did become rather famous around the same time as the band as a comedic actor using his real name: Rick Moranis.
  • "AM" refers to at least two things: the Latin phrase "ante meridiem", which refers the time between midnight and noonnote  (as opposed to "post meridiem" or more commonly "PM"), and "amplitude modulation", the radio technique that predated frequency modulation (see later in the article).
  • Ian Anderson the lead singer/flautist in Jethro Tull, folk guitarist and editor of Roots magazine Ian A. Anderson, soccer player Ian Anderson, or Scottish extreme right-wing politician and National Front member Ian Anderson? (There was a small controversy when quotes from the third example were attributed to the first example)
  • Jamal Anderson was a 7th-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons; he was a running back whose solid career was cut short by knee injuries. Jamaal Anderson was a 1st-round draft pick of those same Falcons; he is a defensive lineman whose career never took off.
  • Another common name, but John Anderson has been a U.S. Presidential candidate, a country singer, a baseball player, an ESPN anchor, and a character actor.
    • And none of these should be confused with Yes lead singer Jon Anderson.
  • Paul Thomas Anderson is an American film director who mostly directs drama films, such as Magnolia and There Will Be Blood. Do not confuse him with Paul W. S. Anderson, a British film director who directs science fiction and action movies, such as the Resident Evil series.
  • There's Mark Antony the Roman statesman and general, and then there's Marc Anthony the American singer and songwriter.
    • And wrestling writer Marc "Fozzie Bear" Anthony of TJR Wrestling.com
  • Apple Corp versus Apple Inc. Since they were originally in totally different lines of business, this recycling of a trademark wasn't a problem — until Apple Inc. decided to move into computer music, whereupon the older Apple objected.
  • There are two association football teams named Arsenal F.C. The Argentine team is usually referred to as Arsenal de Sarandí to avoid confusion with the English team.
  • David Axelrod is the name of an an avant-garde jazz musician, the senior advisor to Barack Obama and a poet from Massachusetts.
  • Nicklas Bäckström is a Swedish forward currently playing for the Washington Capitals. Niklas Bäckström is a Finnish goaltender currently playing for the Minnesota Wild.
  • Does the name Francis Bacon make you think of Empiricism or creepy, but awesome, post WWII, British paintings?
    • They were in fact related.
  • And similar sports team naming kerfuffles erupted when, for instance, the CFL tried to name an expansion team the Baltimore Colts a decade after the NFL team by that name had fled to Indianapolis. The ensuing lawsuit caused the expansion team to literally play without a name for its inaugural season before gaining the Stallions moniker the next year, though they would move to Montreal and become the Alouettes the year after that.
  • James Baldwin was an early 20th century philosopher, a Vietnam War era general, a novelist, and a baseball player.
  • The Peter Banks of Eighties One-Hit Wonder "Der Kommissar" (the Engish-language version of the Falco hit) is not to be confused with the late founding Yes guitarist Peter Banks.
  • Tony Banks: Genesis keyboardist, former NFL quarterback, or a (late) British member of Parliament?
  • Which Trevor Bannister: The one from Are You Being Served? Or the one from Bad Boys Blue?
  • Tom Baker is the name of the actor best known as the fourth Doctor, and also the name of a mastering engineer who has worked on material by Nine Inch Nails amongst other bands. There are quite a few others as well, perhaps unsurprisingly, since both "Tom" and "Baker" are pretty common names.
  • Ashleigh Ball, the singer of Hey Ocean and the voice of Applejack and Rainbow Dash, shares her name with a British field hockey player.
  • Hank Bauer was the name of a right fielder for baseball's New York Yankees in the '50s, and a running back for football's San Diego Chargers in the '70s.
  • In a non-person-related example, there are two different off-price retail chains in the south both called Bealls (pronounced "bells"): one based in Texas and one based in Florida. The latter goes by Burke's in areas where their markets overlap.
  • Billy Beane is the former utility outfielder who became the general manager of the Oakland Athletics. Billy Bean is also a former journeyman outfielder who is one of two former Major League Baseball players to come out as gay (the late Glenn Burke is the other).
  • Paul Bearer & the Hearsemen, a 1960s band, and Paul Bearer, The Undertaker's manager.
  • There are two different British musicians named Andy Bell. One was a guitarist and singer for the band Ride, guitarist for the bands Hurricane #1 and Gay Dad, bassist (and occasionally guitarist) for Oasis, and currently guitarist for Beady Eye. The other is the singer from the band Erasure.
  • Kenny Bell somehow played wide receiver for both Nebraska's and Alabama's college football teams in 2013.
  • Joan Bennett: Glamorous movie star from the 1930's and 1940's (and aunt to Morton Downey, Jr.), or glamorous Playboy Playmate of the Month for January 1985?
  • William Bennett is an American conservative political commentator who landed in a heap of controversy when his gambling addiction became public knowledge, or a British musician noted as the chief driving force behind power electronics act Whitehouse (which, in turn, is named in "honour" of Moral Guardian Mary, as well as a British pornographic magazine of the same name, and not after the seat of the American presidency).
  • In another non-person example, Italy has multiple companies named Beretta, of which the most famous and largest are a weapon manufacturer and a manufacturer of salami, sausages, ham and similar foods.
  • Justin Bieber is a famous singer. Behold, Justin Bieber the 35 year old tech support specialist from Jacksonville, Florida.
    • Or, Justin (John) Bieber, 50 year old carpenter from Ohio. He does not like being associated with Justin Bieber.
  • Big Boi / Big Boy is:
  • Rebecca Black, when she's not lookin' forward to the weekend, is a bikini model.
  • Robert Blake was an actor who (allegedly) murdered his wife. Bob Blake was a 5-time Jeopardy! champion who was not only the first player to earn over $75,000 in regular competition (which was the then-winnings cap), but also won the 1990 Tournament of Champions. Neither seems to be related to Robert M. Blake, creator of the World of Fizz. Also bearing mention is retired NHL defenseman Rob Blake.
  • Steve Blum is a voice actor known for roles in (among others) Cowboy Bebop and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Steven Blum is an associate director of Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Neither seems to be related to Steve Bloom, a South African photographer and published author.
  • Bono: U2 Frontman or Melbourne-based noise trio?
    • Double-whammy in the case from the latter: While one of the members is named Kyle, makes Harsh Noise, and lives in Melbourne, he is not Kyle Dennis.
  • Daniel Boone has been the name of an American Pioneer, a baseball pitcher, a British singer, and a British Member of Parliament.
  • Cameron Boyce is both an Australian cricket player and the child actor who plays Luke Ross on Jessie.
  • Some episodes of Inspector Morse were written by a guy named Daniel Boyle. This is different from the Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle... who did direct some Morse episodes.
  • Michael Bradley, according to The Other Wiki there are more than 10 different Michael Bradleys. The most prominent ones being Michael Joseph Bradley (1897-1979), American congressman of Pennsylvania, and Michael John Bradley (1933-2010), British governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Tom Brady is the name of both a star NFL quarterback for the New England Patriots, and a movie director whose credits include The Comebacks and Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.
  • Did you know? Alton Brown pitched seven games for the Washington Senators in 1951, eleven years before he was born.
  • Chris Brown, controversial African-American singer; Dr. Chris Brown, Australian veterinarian/television star or Chris Brown, NHL player.
  • James Brown is: a.) the Godfather of Soul, b.) a legendary American football player, better known as "Jim", c.) an American sports announcer, formerly with Fox and now with CBS, d.) a music video director who frequently works with Tori Amos, e.) a journalist and former editor of loaded and f.) a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (although he goes by his middle name, Gordon), g.) a soccer striker for Hartlepool, h.) a former quarterback for the University of Texas and professional teams in several leagues and now an assistant coach at Lamar University.
  • VJ "Downtown" Julie Brown might have shown the video for singer/comedianne Julie Brown's The Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun. The latter eventually starred in an MTV show called Just Say Julie and billed herself as Miss Julie Brown to eliminate the confusion.
    • There's also an athlete named Julie Brown who was a long distance runner, as well as a completely different actress named Julie Caitlin Brown who appeared in Series/Babylon5.
  • Les Brown was a big band leader known for his "Band of Renown". Les Brown is also a famous motivational speaker. And Less Browne was a star defensive back in the Canadian Football League.
  • Marc Brown, the writer of the Arthur books. Not to be confused with Marc Brown, former anchorman for ABC 7 News.
  • Former Spice Girl Melanie Brown should not be confused with Canadian voice actress Melleny Brown.
  • Zac Brown, country singer; meet Zach Brown, Tennessee Titans linebacker.
  • James Buchanan: 15th President of the United States, or Nobel Prize-winning economist?
  • Is Tim Buckley a webcomic artist or a jazz and folk musician who fathered Jeff?
    • This caused at least one jazz-loving member of the Hatedom to do a double-take at his playlist.
  • In Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World, he tells a story of being picked up at an airport by a driver named William Buckley. The driver thought Carl had the same problem as he did, since Carl had the same name as "that science guy." (His response: "I am that science guy.")
  • Buffalo, Texas changed its name twice because of sports; both situations happened in a league championship game between a team from Dallas (the closest major city to Buffalo) and a certain city lying on Lake Erie: first to Blue Star, Texas when the Dallas Cowboys played the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl (twice), and later to Green Star, Texas when the Dallas Stars played the Buffalo Sabres for the Stanley Cup.
  • James Bulger the Liverpool infant who was murdered in 1993, is clearly not the same person as James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger the Bostonian mobster, who amongst other things is said to have committed or arranged several murders.
  • Burger King: Home of the Whopper and The Burger King, or an older restaurant in Mattoon, Illinois? This actually became the case of a lawsuit, which resulted in the nation-wide chain being unable to open a Burger King within 20 miles of Mattoon.
  • Does Richard Burton mean the actor who married Elizabeth Taylor twice or the translator, spy/explorer who translated The 1001 Nights, went to Mecca, and tried to find the source of the Nile? They even made a movie (Mountains of the Moon) about the explorer; it did not star the actor (he would have been too old).
  • Does Robert Burton refer to the author of The Anatomy of Melancholy or the British track star?
  • Kate Bush is a beautiful and amazingly talented but notoriously reclusive British singer with her own unique style. "Kate" is short for her birth name "Catherine". Which she shares with Catherine Bush, a successful novelist.
  • Brett Butler is the name of a former MLB center fielder (obviously male), a stand-up comedian and former star of the ABC sitcom Grace Under Fire (female), and a stage and voice actor known for playing Dr. Quinn on Sealab 2021 (male).
  • Laura Buxton meets Laura Buxton. Both each had a brown and orange guinea pig, a gray rabbit, and a black Labrador. Synchronicity, anyone?
  • There are three different writers called John Byrne, two of whom also illustrate their work. The best-known works in comic books and was responsible, amongst many other things, for the 1986 Superman reboot. The second wrote the TV series Tutti Frutti, while the third (who sometimes calls himself Johnny Byrne) wrote scripts for Gerry Anderson.
  • Cajus Julius Caesar, a politin in The Berlin Republic, and Gaius Julius Caesar, a politician in The Roman Republic. You want the latter for the controversies.
    • Neither of which have anything to do with Sir Julius Caesar, a 16th century English civil servant.
  • Bill Callahan is a singer/songwriter, a TV producer best known for Scrubs and the offensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Bruce Campbell is an actor, right? Or is he an American football offensive tackle who was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL Draft?
  • When you mention you're a fan of Erica Campbell, make sure you specify if you mean the gospel singer or the clothes-unfriendly model (picture SFW, don't worry). The latter gave it all up in 2008 and converted to Christianity, which might make it even more confusing.
  • Harry Carey (with an "e") was a popular silent-film actor, and his son, Harry Jr., was a popular character actor of the 1940s and 1950s. Harry Caray (with an "a") was a legendary baseball announcer with the Cardinals, White Sox, and Cubs.
  • Two Brazilian players share their names with singers: Roberto Carlos (FIFA World Cup champion who played in Spain for a long time) and Fábio Júnior.
  • John Carpenter: One is a film director famed for such works as Halloween (1978), Escape from New York, and The Thing (1982); the other is the first American winner on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
  • Madeleine Carroll: 1930s English actress or modern-day American actress?
  • Chris Carter, a creator of The X-Files. Or the Throbbing Gristle musician. Or Cris Carter, the American football wide receiver. Another Chris Carter is a producer and disc jockey who hosts the radio show Breakfast With The Beatles, and who used to play bass with alternative band Dramarama in The Eighties. Meanwhile, two Chris Carters played outfield in Major League Baseball in 2010, one in his final season, one in his first.
  • Admit it. You weren't the only one to think that Dixie Carter (of Designing Women fame) was the president of the TNA wrestling promotion.
  • The Houston Astros chose catcher Jason Castro with the tenth overall pick in the 2008 MLB draft, not even a month after a different Jason Castro was eliminated from season 7 of American Idol in fourth place.
  • Nick Cave, rock star/writer. Nick Cave, American artist/dancer.
  • In the state of Texas, judges are elected, but few voters care enough to become informed about or actually vote in judicial elections. Worse, the few that do have to go through candidates for an absurd number of seats on the bench. As a result, the "name game" plays a huge role in who gets elected. Ron Chapman got elected despite being a Democrat in a Republican-dominated year because he shares the name of a popular Texas radio DJ. And that's not just a theory; on a survey regarding politician name recognition, most people who claimed to be familiar with Chapman listed his public office as "DJ". Conversely, judicial candidates with difficult-to-spell (or pronounce) names, like Cathy Herasimchuk, find it difficult to get elected no matter how much partisan or financial support they get.
  • Jackie Chan, the well known Chinese martial artist and film actor, is not to be confused with Jacqui Chan, a Chinese-descended actress from Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Mark David Chapman is the man who shot and killed John Lennon. This was rather unfortunate for British actor Mark Lindsey Chapman when he auditioned for the role of Lennon in a biopic. (Needless to say, he didn't get the part. But he has gotten many others.)
  • Steve Chapman is a contemporary Christian musician who had his greatest popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. Another Steve Chapman entered the same industry in the late 1980s—but presumably in deference to the first Steve Chapman, he records under his full name of Steven Curtis Chapman (and has achieved even greater success).
  • Dave Chappelle was the star of Chappelle's Show. David LaChapelle is a prominent photographer.
  • Don Cherry is the name of an American jazz musician (father to Eagle-Eye and stepfather to Neneh), an American singer who had a few pop hits in the 1950s, and a Canadian NHL coach turned Hockey Night in Canada commentator.
  • Deepak Chopra the New Age guru and favourite of Oprah Winfrey? Or Deepak Chopra, president of Canada Post?
  • Winston Churchill was not happy to learn about Winston Churchill the American novelist. The British Churchill wrote only one novel, being better known for his popular histories and journalism. Both Churchills had political careers, and were both noted amateur painters. The British Churchill, upon becoming aware of the American Churchill's books, wrote to him suggesting that he would sign his own works "Winston S. Churchill", using his middle name (actually part of his surname), "Spencer", to differentiate them. This suggestion was accepted, with the comment that the American Churchill would have done the same, had he any middle names. Supposedly (it might just be a joke), the British one had first suggested the American change his name and was informed that since the American was born three years earlier, the American said the British one should be the one changing it.
    • There was also his grandson Winston Churchill - who was another British MP. For the same political party (Conservative).
  • There's Bob Clampett, the Looney Tunes animator and director and creator of Beany And Cecil. And then there's Bobby Clampett, a former PGA golfer.
  • British railway timetables used to include Clapham (London) and Clapham (Yorkshire). The two communities are linked because the aristocratic Claphams used to live in the Surrey village which, much later, got absorbed into London, then moved to Yorkshire and founded another village. The first of these has since been renamed Clapham High Street because it was too often confused (even by railway staff) with Clapham Junction — which is unconnected with either Clapham station; it's in Battersea, not Clapham.
    • Incidentally, this trope is a large reason for the tendency of Americans to apply London England Syndrome to city names. There are many cities in the US that share names with each other, many of them named after places or people in Europe. And at least a few had their names changed due to confusion caused on railways as with the Clapham communities.
  • John Clay, a news anchor for WTAJ of Altoona, Pennsylvania, a sportswriter for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky, or a running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
  • There are two famous musicians named Les Claypool. One is the singer and bassist for Primus. The other works in anime and video game sound recording, and has collaborated with director Steve Wang on a few of his projects.
  • John Cheese is a writer for Cracked and possibly the "John" in John Dies at the End by David Wong (wait — Dave and John fight monsters and save the world in an internet story that became a physical book? I've heard that before...); "John Cheese" would've been John Cleese's name if his dad hadn't changed it, to John's annoyance ("Everyone knows what a 'cheese' is but what on earth is a 'cleese'?").
  • George Clinton is either a funk musician, or Thomas Jefferson's second vice-president. The musician is black, while the politician was white.
  • Clinton, Michigan can be either Clinton Charter Township, which is northeast of Detroit, or the village southwest of Ann Arbor. (Most people drop the "Township" from Michigan's charter townships. The same is true of Harrison, Michigan, which can be either Harrison Charter Township (also northeast of Detroit), or Harrison, the city a few miles north of Mount Pleasant in the middle of the state.
  • Michael Collins led the 1916 Easter Rebellion in Ireland and flew to the moon.
  • Jerry Colonna is either a comedian/singer or a venture capitalist.
  • Director/producer Chris Columbus did not discover America. Christopher Columbusnote  really didn't, either, although he's traditionally credited with doing so. This was lampshaded when Chris Columbus named his production company 1492 pictures.
  • Coney Island: Either the famous beachfront amusement mecca on Long Island, NYC, or an equally venerable amusement park in Ohio (the latter originally called 'Ohio Grove' but nicknamed "Coney Island of The West" and eventually the name was borrowed entirely).
    • It's also a generic term for a casual diner-type restaurant in Michigan.
  • Angel Concepcion: A lightweight boxer, as well as an ex-gang member working with Chicago's "Cease Fire" violence-prevention gang.
  • Even countries can fall victim to this- the Democratic Republic of the Congo (a large, underdeveloped, rainforest nation in Africa) and the Republic of the Congo (another nation in Africa which is smaller, more developed, and just as rainforest-y) are NOT the same place.
    • Averted for a few years when the former country was named Zaire.
    • Don't mention the official name of the Republic of China to anyone from the People's Republic of China.
    • There's the Dominican republic known as Dominica, then there's the Dominican Republic. There's Guyana and Dutch Guyana, now known as Suriname, along with French Guiana and Venezuelan Guayana. There's Macedonia, along with the nameless former Yugoslav republic. There are Indians from India and Native American Indians. And worst of all, there's Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Papua New Guinea, along with the former Dutch New Guinea, Danish Guinea, Dutch Guinea, German Guinea (next to all the other guineas, as opposed to the German Guinea in modern Papua New Guinea), the Guinea region of Virginia, and as a cherry on top, the British Guinea, a coin in the old Imperial British monetary system (which in turn was borrowed for the Arabic name of the Egyptian currency—Gineh in Cairo dialect—because it was originally the same value, but which was then translated into English as "pound").
  • Quentin L. Cook: Mormon apostle, or the real name of Fatboy Slim?
  • Robin Cook is the name of both a (late) British MP and an American medical-thriller novelist.
  • Sam Cooke is a soul music legend. Be careful with the NSFW image searches since Sam(antha) Cooke is a British glamour model. And there's also Sam Koch (same pronunciation), a punter for the Baltimore Ravens.
  • Alice Cooper is also a scriptwriter, journalist and women's rugby correspondent in England. Although she prefers to be known as Alice D. Cooper and her Web presence stipulates "Alice D. Cooper (United Kingdom)"
  • Harry Corbett created the much-loved British puppet character Sooty. Harry H. Corbett starred in Steptoe and Son, and used his middle initial to avoid confusion. Rumour has it the Prime Minister Harold Wilson was still confused, so that both Harry Corbetts received MBEs after he initially offered the award to the wrong one.
  • Bill Cosby is a famous black comedian. William Cosby was Royal Governor of New Jersey in the 1730s and the antagonist of the Zenger case, which allowed freedom of the press.
  • Is Brian Cox a former keyboard player from the band D:Ream and current particle physicist working on the Large Hadron Collider or a Scottish actor known for his roles in Manhunter, X-Men 2 and The Long Kiss Goodnight??
  • San Francisco had two major sports-figures near the end of the 1980s in San Francisco Giants manager Roger Craig, who shared a name with the San Francisco 49ers star running back of the period.
  • David Crane. Is he a video game designer who co-founded Activision and created the Pitfall and A Boy and His Blob series, or is he a television producer who co-created Friends?
  • Cindy Crawford is an American supermodel who many want to have sex with, and an American (now retired) porn star who many have had sex with.
  • Coco Crisp is an American baseball player. Cocoa Krispies is an American breakfast food.
  • Veteran NFL defensive back Chris Crocker couldn't care less whether or not you leave Britney alone.
  • David Cross: the violinist for King Crimson, or the comedian?
  • Tom Cruise is the owner of the HoverRound company that helps elderly people with the need — the need for speed.
  • Colgate once tried to launch a toothpaste in France called "Cue". It was also the name of a French pornographic magazine. The toothpaste probably didn't sell very well.
    • "Cul" is French for "arse/ass", which sounds similar to the English word "cue".
  • Jim Cummings. The prolific voice actor shares his name with James Harvey "Mister Jim" Cummings (1890-1979), a long-serving member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. Mister Jim held his position from 1928 to 1972.
  • Stephen Curry is best known to Americans as a guard for the Golden State Warriors and to Australians as an actor/comedian.
  • The technical artist for Way Forward games is named Tim Curry. The serenades of "Sweet Transvestite" probably get old fast.
  • Meet Ben Curtis, professional golfer. That dude is certainly not getting a Dell.
  • Court TV once was showing a trial in which an FBI agent was testifying, and when he began his testimony he stated his name: Jeffrey Dahmer. He is not related to the Milwaukee humanitarian of the same name who died in prison after being convicted of killing and eating his victims.
  • If you visit the campus of the University of Southern California (USC), you might meet Elizabeth Daley. No, not Elizabeth Daily, who played Dottie in Pee-wee's Big Adventure; I'm talking about the current Dean of the School of Academic Arts. And if you'd been on the campus about 10 years ago, you might have bumped into Kristy Swanson. No, not the originator of the role of Buffy Summers; she was the receptionist for the USC Alumni Association office.
  • Richard Daley: Former Chicago mayor; his son, namesake, and another former Chicago mayor; or the bassist for the Reggae band Third World?
  • The BBC's season of programmes on Charles Darwin has featured programmes named What Darwin Didn't Know and Darwin's Dangerous Idea, which share their names with books of the same name. However, the former is a book that promotes Intelligent Design, the programme exactly the opposite. The latter chronicles nearly the same subject matter as the former (namely, the implications of Darwin's Theory of Evolution).
  • Keith David is an black US actor most recently known for voicing the cat in Coraline. Keith David is also the name of a black British rapper.
    • Let's not forget another noted character actor (and Patrick Swayze-lookalike), David Keith.
  • Sylvie Davidson: A black French singer, or a white American theatre actress and folk/country singer?
  • General Jefferson Davis (1828-1879) of the Union should not be confused with President Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) of the Confederacy. Both were active in The American Civil War. Jefferson Davis (1862-1913), Governor of Arkansas, was not related to either man. Though some of his voters reportedly mistook him for a son or nephew of the President. "A belief that Davis did nothing to discourage".
  • All three seem to have no relation to Jeff Davis.
  • Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, was not an animator on Fritz the Cat and The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat. The animator, who also went by James Davis, had a long career in animation, originally working for Warner Bros. and MGM animation. The book Forbidden Animation confused the two, as did IMDb for a time.
    • Another Jim Davis was famous for playing Jock Ewing on Dallas.
  • English actress Sammi Davis-Voss often joked about being confused with Sammy Davis Jr.,before adding her husband's name.Was cast in as his Swedish wife in a bio- film that was never made.
  • James Dean the actor has been dead since 1955. Jimmy Dean the country singer and sausage seller stayed around until 2010.
    • It doesn't help that the play/film Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean is about James Dean.
  • There are at least two musicians with the stage name Ricky Dee; the first wrote "Devil in His Heart" (which was covered by The Beatles as "Devil in Her Heart") and the second, a country singer, was born about four years after "Devil in His/Her Heart" was released. It is not known whether the first was the Ricky Dee who recorded "Disco Duck"; it wasn't the second, who would only have been about eight years old at the time.
  • John Deere was a blacksmith who invented the steel plow and founded the Deere & Company agricultural equipment corporation. John Dear is a Catholic priest who participated in the Plowshares disarmament movement, named for the "swords into plowshares" passage in the Book of Isaiah.
  • Jack Dempsey was a heavyweight boxing champion during The Twenties. Another Jack Dempsey, nicknamed "The Nonpareil", fought in the lightweight and middleweight classes in the 1880's.
  • Reginald Denny was the name of an old Hollywood character actor, as well as that of a truck driver who was attacked and beaten during the Rodney King riots in 1992.
  • Matt Dillon is known for writing many computer programs and for developing DragonFly BSD. There's also an actor with that name.
  • There are two hip hop artists named Doctor Dre. One is a DJ who worked with Ed Lover and the Beastie Boys; the other, who spells his name Dr. Dre, is a rapper who's worked with Snoop Dogg and Eminem.
  • Michael Keaton's real name? Michael Douglas.
  • Brian Drummond is best known for voicing Vegeta in the "Over 9000" scene from Dragon Ball Z. Ryan Drummond is best known as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog from 1998 to 2005.
  • Dublin and Blackpool are at the same latitude on opposite shores of the Irish Sea. Dubh linn is Gaelic for black pool.
    • Also of note is that Dublin has a suburb named Blackpool. As does Cork, Ireland's second city.
  • We have Amelia Earhart, the pilot who went missing, and Amelia Earhart, traffic reporter for NBC's Denver affiliate KUSA (she left for Los Angeles briefly in 2009). A promo from 2005 actually played off of this.
    • The traffic reporter Earhart thought they were related, but turned out they are not. It still inspired her to learn flying, quit her job, raise money via crowd sourcing, and embark on an around-the-world flight of her own following footsteps of the famed aviator.
  • A quip for hardcore soccer fans: "Actually I wanted Eto'o, but seems the president heard Edu." (Mike Büskens, trainer of German club Fürth)
  • John Edwards is an American politician of the Democratic Party, who unsucessfuly sought the presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008. John Edward (no s) is a professional psychic medium who has starred in two television shows. The latter's use of Cold Reading techniques lead to detractors calling him a Phony Psychic, but he obviously still has fans.
    • There is also Jedward, a pair of annoying hyperactive Irish popstar twins, who were initially known by their first names John and Edward.
  • Actor/comedian Albert Brooks' real name is Albert Einstein.
  • There are two notables with the name Greg Ellis - one, the guy who voiced Cait Sith; the other, a linebacker in the National Football League.
  • Terry Ellis, male, white, English former manager of Jethro Tull and co-founder of Chrysalis Records, or Terry Ellis the female African-American En Vogue singer?
  • Warren Ellis is the name of both a comic book guy and Nick Cave's violinist. The former even addresses this in his Twitter bio.
    • Oh, if only they would collaborate...
    • Suddenly the film credits for The Assassination of Jessie James by the Coward Robert Ford make sense!
  • Tony Esposito is an Italian musician and songwriter. Tony Esposito is also an NHL Hall of Fame goalie.
  • Chris Evans, Hollywood actor and Chris Evans, the bloke who was married to Billie Piper and took over from Terry Wogan.
    • The science fiction author is Christopher Evans on the book covers, but Ansible consistently calls him Chris...
  • Linda Evans: SF/F writer, star of Dynasty, or 1980s political radical?
  • "Falcăo", Portuguese for "falcon", can lead to this. The first exponent was retired Brazilian striker Paulo Roberto Falcăo, who inspired both the nickname of futsal player Alessandro Rosa Vieira and the name of Colombian striker Radamel Falcao García Zárate (notice the lack of accent). In Brazil there are also two singers with a Last Name Basis, rock singer Marcelo Falcăo and camp-fueled comedy singer Marcondes Falcăo.
  • Terry Farrell, actress who portrayed Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, has a similar name to Perry Farrell, lead singer of Janes Addiction. Not that people would get them confused, them being opposite genders and all.
  • There are at least three email services called Fastmail (not counting those whose name includes Fastmail); the Australian one which is now a subsidiary of Opera, the Canadian one (whose rep showed briefly on EmailDiscussions because his service was mistaken for the Australian one), and the Greek one.
  • Jon Favreau? The Barack Obama speechwriter or the director for the Iron Man movies?
  • When you hear the name "Fergie", who do you think of initially?
    • a) Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York;
    • b) Stacy Ferguson, former Kids Incorporated cast member, and current member of the Black Eyed Peas (who also has a solo career); or
    • c) Sir Alex Ferguson, Scottish former football manager?
  • Although many NFL players move on to professional wrestling once their football days are over, the Manny Fernandez who wrestled in the 1980s is not the same Manny Fernandez who played for the Miami Dolphins in the 1970s. Nor did he play goalie for the Minnesota Wild during the 2000s.
  • Rudy Fernandez: The late action star from the Philippines, or the basketball player from Spain. You choose.
  • In the past, there were two open-source programs named Firebird; a database server and a Web browser. To avoid confusion, the Web browser's name was changed to the more familiar Firefox. The database server is still called Firebird.
    • What's more, its name was changed to Firebird because its original name, Phoenix, is also the (trademarked) name of a company that develops BIOS software for PCs.
    • And then there's the Mozilla project's browser for Mac OS X only, Camino. It was originally called Chimera, but changed because several other pieces of software are also called Chimera (including a very old web browser for UNIX).
    • And Firebird is also a type of flashy Pontiac muscle car.
    • Another "Firebird" is a kind of Gibson electric guitar.
  • When you hear the name Carrie Fisher you think of Princess Leia, well there's another Carrie Fisher. You may know her by the name Carrie Underwood though. She is married to hockey player Mike Fisher and uses "Fisher" as her married name.
  • An actor named "Ian Fleming" once had a minor role on an episode of The Prisoner. He shared his name with the author of the James Bond series.
  • Brandon Flowers, the football player, is not the lead singer for The Killers.
  • FM: frequency modulation, a technique for broadcasting high-qualty audio; a misnomer for VHF Band 2 (because that's where the radio stations which use FM are); the Federal Republic of Micronesia; and Opera Software's former e-mail subsidiary (now once more independent), FastMail (who drew their self-chosen abbreviation, as well as their domain name, partly from Micronesia).
  • Harrison Ford shares a name with a silent film actor, who famously had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame long before him.
  • Coaching two different Atlantic Coast Conference teams (Clemson and Duke) simultaneously from 1974 to 1980 would've been one of the greatest feats in college basketball history, except it was actually two unrelated guys named Bill Foster.
  • Samantha Fox, the Page 3 model and pop singer, is not to be confused with adult film actress Samantha Fox.
  • Francis I was a 16th-century king of France from the Valois dynasty. In 2013, he was elected Pope before deciding to just go with Francis.
  • The guy who sings the German version of "Young Love Rock 'n Roll" is named Benjamin Franklin.
  • Brian Froud: Fantasy artist, or Canadian voice actor?
  • Robert Fuller: Pro wrestler who later became Col. Robert Parker, or Dr. Kelly Brackett on Emergency!?
  • Greg Gagne (pronounced "gon-yuh") was a professional wrestler in the American Wrestling Association. Greg Gagne (pronounced "gag-nee") was a shortstop for the Minnesota Twins.
  • The actors who used firearms in Terminator 2 were trained how to properly handle them by a man named Uzi Gal. As IMDB's page states, he is not the same man who designed the famous submachine gun.
  • There is a U.S. state called Georgia and a Caucasus country named Georgia. The American Georgia is named after King George II, while the country gets its name from the Persian-Arabic designation ďż˝ gurğ / ğurğ. They call themselves Kartvelebi and their country Sakartvelo.
    • Naturally, the hometown crowd in Atlanta, Georgia cheered for Georgia (the country) when they appeared at Parade of Nations at the opening ceremonies for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
    • This whole issue was played for laughs (and combined with a Ray Charles reference) in "Back In the USSR", by The Beatles.
    And Georgia's always on my my my my my my my my my mind.
    • Spoofed again in The Areas of My Expertise, when John Hodgman discusses Georgia's history as the site of many of Martin Luther King's great speeches. It would, however, take a thousand clones of Dr. King to erase Georgia's dark history as the birthplace of Josef Stalin.
    • Also spoofed in one of the Samurai Cat stories, when Stalin's clique from Georgia includes Miz Lillian Stalin and Billy Stalin. KGB chief Beria, also from Georgia, admits to being "Macon born and bred. Yee-hah!"
      • Similarly, the Doom Patrol's Flash Forward is surprised to find the prosthetics expert helping Robotman is Georgian. "Naw, see, my mama, she from Atlanta, and if you a cracker..."
    • In Community Troy is representing Georgia at a Model UN, and breaks out an outrageous Southern accent. It turns out he did research the right place, he just decided to do the accent anyway.
  • Joe Gibbs: Former Washington Redskins coach and a NASCAR team owner who won two Sprint Cup championships with Tony Stewart, or legendary Reggae producer?
  • Paul Gilbert was an actor in The Thirties. A different Paul Gilbert played guitar with pop-metal bands Racer X and Mr. Big.
  • The Gilbert Scott architectural family, starting with George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878). His son, George Gilbert Scott (1839-1897), was also an architect. With the result that working out who designed what has been a nightmare for some architectural historians.
    • The family also included architects John Oldrid Scott (1841-1913), Charles Marriott Oldrid Scott (1880-1952), Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960), Adrian Gilbert Scott (1882-1963), Elisabeth Scott (1898-1972), and Richard Gilbert Scott (1923-). Disambiguating their works can get tricky.
  • David Gilmore, an experimental jazz guitarist, should not be confused with David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.
  • John Glenn (two Ns) was the first American and third person to orbit the Earth. John Glen (one N) directed every official entry in the James Bond movie series in The Eighties: For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, and Licence to Kill. (He did not direct Never Say Never Again, which is not part of the official EON Productions series.)
  • The Glorious Revolution in 1688 Britain and the Glorious Revolution in 1868 Spain.
  • The Adam Goldberg who starred in The Hebrew Hammer is not the writer and producer Adam Goldberg whose life story is told on The Goldbergs.
  • Alberto Gonzales is a former US Attorney General. Alberto Gonzalez is the name of a baseball player for the Washington Nationals. A different Alberto Gonzalez composed music for Infogrames' video games, and has written some Crowning Music of Awesome for the entire Game Boy system. And none of these are to be confused with Albert Gonzalez, who hacked TJ Maxx' credit card processing system.
  • Alex Gonzalez and Alex Gonzalez. They play the same position as well (shortstop) but their careers had much more overlap. (Both even played for the Toronto Blue Jays, though not at the same time.)
  • Jose Gonzalez is a Swedish-Argentine singer-songwriter. Jose Gonzales is a Seattle-based Mexican-American stage actor.
  • Stephanie Gorin, casting director based in Toronto or local TV news reporter based in Plattsburgh, NY?
  • Dave Gorman. For those who don't know, Dave Gorman is a British comedian who started off by going through with a bet that "he couldn't get 50 Dave Gormans in the same room" (Paraphrased, may not have been 50). And he did. And later, he went around the world after being bet he couldn't "Meet 10 Googlewhacks in a row when the latest link in the chain is only allowed to find him two more Googlewhacks". The second link in one of the chains he checked out was one of the Dave Gorman's he met previously.
    • 54; and he didn't have to get them in the same room, just meet them. His Googlewhack show includes a great line from the other Dave Gorman; "Make yourself at home! You might as well, your name's on the mortgage..."
  • Michael Gough is the name of the actor who played Alfred in Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher's Batman movies. It's also the name of the voice actor who played Solaufein in Baldur's Gate 2 and Osmund Sadler in Resident Evil 4. Two different guys.
    • As well as Michael Gough, the retired English cricketer.
  • Novelist Heather Graham has complained about actress Heather Graham's willingness to do nude scenes.
  • Al Green is an American soul singer and a basketballer originally from the South Bronx who played for the Adelaide Bearcats in Australia's NBL in the 80s and 90s.
  • Seth Green: American (voice) actor or American fish farming pioneer who has had roads, parks and trails named after him? Don't confuse either with Bruce Seth Green, a retired television director who directed eight episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, some of which Seth Green (the actor) starred in.
  • Graham Greene is a late British novelist and playwright, as well as a Canadian First Nations character actor.
  • Andy Griffith is the actor of The Andy Griffith Show fame. Andy Griffiths (with an S) is a kids' book author.
  • Michael Griffin, the anti-abortionist or the former head of NASA? (Fortunately, the latter is usually just called Mike.)
    • Or do you mean the Tennessee Titans safety?
  • Gronk is the nickname for a Chicano performance artist, hockey player Jordan Staal, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, or a British diesel locomotive. Imagine the confusion when a Rail Enthusiast and a sports fan are in the same room....
  • A G.T.O. is either a series of super-rare Ferraris, or a Pontiac muscle car.
  • If you are talking about Christopher Guest are you talking about the American actor and filmmaker from This Is Spinal Tap and Best in Show, or are you talking about the one who was Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (which was the British equivalent of a Supreme Court Justice). The Other Wiki tried to clear up the confusion by referring to one of them as Baron Guest but is still a problem considering they both held the noble title of Baron. The actor has inherited the title of Baron Haden-Guest, while the judge held the life peerage title of Baron Guest.
  • An American commentator accused neurosurgeon/reporter Sanjay Gupta of having a supposed "conflict of interest" after discovering his name on a list of physicians working for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. It turns out that the doctor working for Pfizer was a different Sanjay Gupta entirely - not surprisingly, as "Sanjay Gupta" is almost as common among Indians as "John Smith" is among Americans.
  • Darrell Hammond (two "r's") is a former cast member of Saturday Night Live while Darell Hammond (one "r") is the founder of the organization "Kaboom". Coincidentally, "Kaboom" was featured in an eponymous episode of Parks and Recreation which stars Darrell Hammond's former SNL co-star Amy Poehler.
  • John Hancock the Founding Father, and John Hancock the film director.
    • And John Hancock, the African-American character actor.
  • Tom Hardy is an English actor who usually plays gangsters or action heroes, as seen in Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. Thomas Hardy is an English writer famous for Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd.
  • Ron Harper: Prolific television actor (Land of the Lost, Garrison's Gorillas), or member of the Chicago Bulls' second three-peat run in the 1990s?
  • Josh Harris is the name of one of the fisherman Phil Harris' sons, and the name of a DJ. Another one who gained notoriety for the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye". There is also Joshua Harris, better known as Christopher Ewing of Dallas.
  • Phil Harris was a singer, comedian, longtime bandleader on The Jack Benny Program, and frequent Disney voice actor...and also a late fishing boat captain featured on Deadliest Catch.
  • The Richard Harris who was in the Harry Potter movies was not the Richard Harris who co-created Man In A Suitcase.
  • Sam Harris: Atheist author, or Star Search winner and One-Hit Wonder ("Sugar Don't Bite")?
  • One George Harrison was the lead guitarist of The Beatles. Another George Harrison was vice president of marketing at Nintendo.
  • Harry Harrison is the name of a well-known science fiction writer, as well as a long-time radio DJ in New York.
  • Corey Hart is either the Canadian rock singer best remembered for the song "Sunglasses at Night", or the outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • If you're inquiring about Gary Hart, it's either the former Senator or the late pro wrestling manager.
  • Doug Harvey: Baseball Hall of Fame umpire, or Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman?
  • When you say Anne Hathaway, are you talking about the actress from The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada, or William Shakespeare's wife?
  • Is Richard Hatch the star of the original Battlestar Galactica (Classic), or the winner of the first season of Survivor?
  • Tony Hawks is an English comedian and author who once went around Ireland with a fridge. Tony Hawk is the pro skateboarder and video game star. A lot of people get them mixed up, and Hawks has reserved a section of his site for the e-mails he gets from skating fans, and the "slightly mischievous" replies he gives.
    E-mail: hi can you send me tips
    Answer: Yes. Here's two — don't stand downwind of flatulent people, and try not to get involved in leapfrogging unicorns.
  • Sean Hayes — Were you looking for the actor/producer known for Will and Grace, the American musician, or one of two deceased politicians from Ireland?
  • Fran Healy: A singer/guitarist and songwriter for the Scottish rock band Travis, and a former Major League Baseball catcher and current New York Mets announcer.
  • Do you expect Hershey's as a candy company or an ice cream company? They've even tried to claim the trademark from each other. It's especially confusing as the ice cream company provides hard ice cream to many of America's independent ice cream stands and parlors, and many customers simply assume that the ice cream comes from the candy company.
  • Martin Henderson is a New Zealand actor who got his start in the Australian soap Home and Away and is best known these days for The Ring and Smokin' Aces. He's also a British actor who was mostly unknown until he became the subject of many Google searches after Peter Dinklage mentioned him in his 2013 Golden Globes acceptance speech. The latter Henderson, a dwarf, was partially paralysed in a "dwarf tossing" incident.
  • Dan Hicks is an NBC sports announcer as well as a singer-songwriter who leads the group the Hot Licks.
  • Two people named Kelly Hildebrant married each other. Novelist Evelyn Waugh's first wife was also named Evelyn.
  • Andy Hillenburg is an American stock car driver from Indiana, and Andy Hillenburg is an American winged sprint car driver from Oklahoma. The former also raced non-winged sprint cars earlier in his career.
  • During World War II, there was a US soldier with the same name as Adolf Hitler. When asked about whether he would change his name, the soldier replied "let the other guy change his name."
  • Lampshaded in More Information Than You Require, when author John Hodgman (aka a PC) digs up an old ad for rainwear bearing his name, and, like him, advertising Mackintoshes.
  • A really old episode of Law & Order featured two actors who went by Phil Hoffman. One of them was Capote actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  • John Holmes, porn star with a massive wang. Jon Holmes, Radio 4 satirist, who is routinely introduced on The Now Show with some reference to his diminutive height.
    • The porn star's full name was John Curtis Holmes, and so often went by John C. Holmes...much to the amusement of undergraduates at Michigan State University, where one of the largest dorms on campus is called "John C. Holmes Hall"...after John Clough Holmes, the 19th-century activist who established the university.
  • Robert Holmes was a writer and former script editor for Doctor Who. Rather unfortunately, it is also the name of James Holmes' father.
  • Anthony Hopkins, who played a fictional cannibal and Roaring Rampage of Revenge-inclined ex-king; Anthony Hopkins, real-life AWOL Navy guy-turned-revival preacher who abused the children in his care and stuffed his dead wife in a freezer; Anthony Hopkins, member of the Politics faculty at the University of Birmingham, England.
    • None of whom should be confused with Antony (no "h") Hopkins, the composer and author of Understanding Music.
  • Lambeth Council in London (UK) owns two buildings called Hopton House; a block of flats in Brixton, and an office block in Streatham.
  • In Australia, John Howard is an actor... and a former Prime Minister. The actor has been hired to make the joke at least twice: once in The Games (hired within the show specifically to fool foreigners) and again in CNNNN (mistaken for the other one by the presenter).
  • Michael Howard the politician, and Sir Michael Howard, the historian. The two are actually conflated in the index to the first volume of Alan Clark's diaries, Howard being his MP at the time of writing and Sir Michael being a fellow scholar. George Osborne, the Coalition's Chancellor of the Exchequer, has a namesake in George Osborne, one of the protagonists of William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair. Also, there was an incident where David Davis MP, the former Conservative Shadow Home Secretary and agitator against 42-day detention policies was supposed to be invited to speak to an ethnic minority police association - but they invited David Davies MP instead and he ended up calling them racist for their organisation being part of an affirmative action campaign.
  • Steve Howe is the name of a rocker (in the bands Yes and Asia) and a deceased former baseball player.
    • In 1970s England, there was a story about a teenage girl called Michelle Booth who was attacked on a train. She had been on her way to visit her boyfriend, Steve Howe; not that Steve Howe.
      • So her boyfriend was the troubled former New York Yankees pitcher?
  • Glenn Hughes? Which one, the Village People guy or the erstwhile Deep Purple bassist?
  • A Hummer is a giant SUV. It's also a nickname for hummingbirds. Among other things.
  • Was Helen Hunt a 19th-century social novelist or a popular 1990s movie actress? (Okay, so the first one was actually Helen Hunt Jackson, but "Hunt" was the name of her first husband.)
  • Ian Hunter was a British actor whose movies included A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Adventures of Robin Hood. Ian Hunter was also a British singer whose songs included "All the Young Dudes" and "All the Way to Memphis".
  • John Hurt is an English actor, while Mississippi John Hurt was an American blues musician.
  • The Ancient Greeks called Iberia two places on each side of the Mediterranean world (the Iberian Peninsula and the Western Caucasus) for some reason. This coincidence led to the belief in Medieval times that the peoples of these regions were related. The kicker? Caucasian Iberia is nowadays known as Georgia, like the US state.
  • When you say iFanboy you're either talking about an overzealous Apple Inc. enthusiast or a really great comics discussion site with podcasts you can download off of Apple's iTunes player.
  • Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune. After his split from Capcom people thought he was doing a game named Overwhelming Game Infinite Souls. Turns out it was someone else with the same name. Notable for even affecting this wiki.
  • Daniel Ingram: Buddhist author, or songwriter for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic?
  • There are two John Irvings that are published writers - the Australian one being rather less well known, to the point that it's hard to find any information about him. There's also an historic Australian emancipationist of that name.
  • Playboy had two Playmates named Jennifer Jackson (Miss March 1965 and Miss April 1989, the former being the first African-American Playmate). They also had two Playmates named Susie Scott (Miss February 1960 and Miss May 1983); to further complicate matters, Miss August 1984 was Suzi Schott.
  • Joe Jackson: Record producer/abusive patriarch of The Jackson5ive, Motown's most famous musical family or English power pop/new wave star of the late '70s & early '80s?
    • Not to mention the "shoeless" baseball player who was banned from the game for life after helping throw the 1919 World Series.
  • Kate Jackson of Charlie's Angels fame should not be mistaken for Kate Jackson, lead singer of (now defunct) English rock band The Long Blondes.
  • There have been two NFL players named Keith Jackson (a tight end and a defensive tackle), and they're father and son. Neither is any relation to the Keith Jackson who spent decades calling college football for ABC. (The players are black; the sportscaster is white.)
  • There have been at least five sportsmen or coaches named Mark Jackson: An American footballer, an American football coach, an American basketball player (and now coach), an Australian Rules Football player and an English soccer player.
  • Michael Jackson. A Los Angeles radio talk show host, who is white, and has an English accent, is not related to a famous computer programmer who has written books on the subject, and both of them are not related to a famous singer and plastic-surgery addict, except that all three of them have the same name.
    • There's also an ex-head of Channel 4.
    • And an expert on Beer.
    • As well as the coach of the University of New Hampshire Women's Soccer team.
    • Also, a regular writer for Computer And Video Games.
    • Also a provost at USC.
    • Not to mention General Sir Michael Jackson, ex-Chief of the General Staff of the UK.
    • And General Michael Jackson, USAF, who was also a WWII fighter ace.
    • And Mick Jackson, an English singer-songwriter born Michael George Jackson who wrote "Blame It on the Boogie" (incidentally covered by The Jacksons).
    • After Michael Jackson, the pop star, died, people gathered at the Hollywood Walk of Fame star for Michael Jackson. Too bad they didn't fact check—the star they went to belonged to the radio host. The reason for this was that Michael Jackson the pop star's Walk of Fame star was covered by equipment used for the premiere of the movie Brüno. The fans eventually found out but didn't care, and Michael Jackson the radio host said, "I am willingly loaning it to him and, if it would bring him back, he can have it."
    • And according to The Other Wiki, there's even a bishop named Michael Jackson. Was he Catholic?
    • And an actor (he plays Trevor in Trailer Park Boys).
    • And a former singer for the heavy metal band Satan. Michael Jackson sang for Satan.
    • There have been at least two Michael Jacksons in the NFL during the Michael Jackson's career as an adult (one a linebacker, another a wide receiver).
    • And two major-league relief pitchers named Michael Jackson; one left-handed, one right-handed.
    • And an ABA player known for his Funny Afro.
  • Peter Jackson: The film director, the chain of men's formalwear stores, or the brand of cigarettes.
  • Reggie Jackson: 1970s baseball player with the New York Yankees or 2010s basketball player with the Oklahoma City Thunder?
  • Steve Jackson: The American role-playing game designer, or the British role-playing game designer? And it certainly doesn't help that the American one wrote three of the Fighting Fantasy game books — a series created by the British one.
    • Note: the American one runs a company called Steve Jackson Games. The British one is probably not pleased.
    • An early issue of White Dwarf magazine had a photo of the two of them together, each of them reading a book by the other. Not only do they have the same name, but they even look alike.
    • Stephen Jackson is a very good NFL running back.
    • Stephen "Captain Jack" Jackson is also a solid NBA shooting guard.
  • For viewers/listeners of The BBC, there are two men called David Jacobs: the British disc jockey/TV presenter, and the American writer-producer who created Dallas and Knots Landing (which were both shown in the UK on BBC1).
  • Jesse James: A Wild West gangster, or a chopper bike builder?
    • Or the Road Dogg Jesse James of D-Generation X and New Age Outlaws fame?
    • Jessie James is an American singer.
  • Kevin James was a porno actor in The Eighties. Then he died of cancer in 1990. After that, he starred in The King of Queens.
  • Jeff Jarrett, the Founder of TNA or some dude that died in Denver to which his friends pull off a Real Life Weekend at Bernie's scenario.
  • There are at least two hymns called Jerusalem; the one famously arranged by Emerson, Lake & Palmer is not the one associated with Britain's Women's Institute.
  • A guy was once hit by a car. His name? Lord Jesus Christ. He was named after Jesus, founding figure of Christianity.
  • Andrew Johnson was not only (1) the President who was impeached but also, among others, (2) a politician for the Prohibition Party in the 1940's, (3) an Asian actor, (4) an architect, (5) an English footballer, (6) a Welsh footballer, (7) a cross-country skier and (8) a Civil War soldier.
  • Calvin Johnson was the lead singer of Beat Happening and Dub Narcotic Sound System and co-frontman of The Halo Benders, as well as an NFL player.
  • Charles Johnson: Defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, former journeyman catcher in Major League Baseball, and still finds time to be a left-wing political blogger.
    • The University of Colorado also had two players on their 1990 football team named Charles Johnson. One was a wide receiver who later spent nine seasons in the NFL. The other was the quarterback who won the infamous "Fifth Down Game" against Missouri.
  • Eddie Johnson: Two former NBA players and near-contemporaries of one another. The older of the two is a guard who was banned from the league for drug-related offenses, now equally notable for his long criminal record and current life sentence for sex crimes against a 12-year-old girl. When he was arrested for this last offense, many publications ran the story with a picture of the other Eddie Johnson, a small forward whose only brushes with the law were minor traffic violations.
  • Jack Johnson is a controversial African-American boxer, a mellow mixed-race surfer/singer, or a patriotic Caucasian American hockey player.
    • John Jackson is an American bobsledder ... and an 18th Century English boxer.
    • John Johnson not only shares the name with a man in the same city as him, save middle initials, they share the same birth date. Unfortunately, one is a hardworking man the other is a registered sex offender and local bureaucracy is mixing the hardworking man with the other one. [[See News story here.
  • A Sports Illustrated article about NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson noted that it is hard for him get noticed (despite winning 58 Sprint Cup races and 5 straight championships) because A) he's very polite and not prone to flamboyant behavior and B) he's also got to contend with other sports figures with similar names: an NFL tight end, for one; Jimmy Johnson, Cowboys football coach and FOX sports commentator; Jimmy Johnson, Hall of Fame cornerback; Jimmy Johnson, Northwestern quarterback and Jim Johnson, defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles/relief pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles/East Carolina football coach, and a couple of hockey players. An anecdote from his childhood also notes that there's a Rick Johnson who Jimmie wished he was related to (he was a cool older cousin-type).
  • David Johnston? Wait, the geologist, the t-shirt artist, the Governor-General of Canada or one of these other guys?
  • May 11, 1999. New York Mets at Colorado Rockies. Both starting pitchers are named Bobby Jones.
    • Wasn't he also one of the all-time greatest golfers?
      • He was also the protagonist of Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, which starts with him playing golf (and flubbing a shot); this opening has a bit of fun with the fact that he's not the famous golfer, but just someone with a fairly common name which happens to be the same.
    • For bonus points, the Rockies traded their Bobby Jones the following year... to the Mets. One was substituted for the other in a game at least once.
  • Alex Jones: Notoriously outspoken American male conspiracy theorist or glamorous female Welsh television presenter.
  • Brad Jones: Internet reviewer better known as "The Cinema Snob", Green Bay Packers linebacker, or an Australian soccer goalkeeper.
  • Davy Jones is either a figure from nautical folklore, one of The Monkees, the squid-headed pursuer of Capt. Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, or a sports car racer. The third was inspired by the first, of course.
    • David Jones is also David Bowie's birth name. He took his stage name so as not to be confused with the Monkee.
  • Duncan Jones: Son of David Bowie and director of Moon and Source Code, or the Tekkit-savvy Yogscast member also known as "Lalna"?
  • Mick Jones: guitarist for Foreigner, or guitarist for The Clash?
  • John Paul Jones: American revolutionary who has not yet begun to fight, or Led Zeppelin bassist? (The latter's real name is John Baldwin, also the name of many people.)
    • A third John Paul Jones is the namesake of the main indoor sports arena at the University of Virginia. His son donated $35 million toward the arena's construction, which gave him the right to name it.
  • Randy Jones is either a baseball pitcher, an ice hockey player, or a singing cowboy.
  • Terry Jones, British comedic loony with great ideas. Terry Jones, American religious loony with just plain stupid ideas.
  • Tom Jones the singer. Tommy Lee Jones the actor.
    • Not to mention Tom Jones the lyricist for The Fantasticks and several lesser-known musicals.
  • According to the end credits for Return of the Jedi, one of the Ewoks is played by Trevor Jones. This is not the Trevor Jones who scored among others Cliffhanger, The Last of the Mohicans and Labyrinth (that's both the film and the miniseries).
  • An interesting subversion happened during the 1970s. When the NBA team named the Cincinnati Royals went and moved to Kansas City (and Omaha), the owners of the NBA Royals decided to change their name to the Kings so they don't get confused with the baseball team named the Kansas City Royals, even though the NBA team was around longer than the MLB team. When the Kings finally did move out of Kansas City in the middle of the 1980s, they decided to stick with their Kansas City name for Sacramento instead of renaming their team back to the Royals. Of course, for residents in California, there is some confusion when talking about the Kings (whether they mean the basketball team in Sacramento or the hockey team in Los Angeles).
    • If they seem upset, they're talking about the basketball team. Hey-o!
  • A few Continuity Snarl cases can happen with relocated\defunct\renamed teams.
    • New York Giants: the current NFL team or the baseball team now known as San Francisco Giants.
    • Colorado Rockies: the current MLB team or the hockey team now known as New Jersey Devils.
    • The Denver Nuggets and Baltimore Bullets (now known as Washington Wizards) are both named after previous teams in their cities.
    • Winnipeg Jets is a current NHL team. But it's not the one that previously played in the WHA, that one moved to Arizona in 1996 to become the Phoenix Coyotes (the current Jets in turn are a relocated Atlanta Thrashers).
    • The Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002. A new Charlotte team, the Bobcats, started play in 2004. The Hornets finally dropped the Artifact Title (related to Charlotte's nickname as "a hornet's nest") and got the more Louisiana name New Orleans Pelicans in 2013. The Bobcats then announced they would get the Hornets name back in 2014... and wound up getting the history of the original Charlotte Hornets back as well. Charlotte Hornets was also the name of a franchise in the short-lived World Football League in 1974-75.
  • William Joyce is either a much beloved children's book author from United States or a World War 2 era British traitor who broadcast propaganda from Berlin and came to be known derisively as Lord Haw-Haw.
  • Ted Kennedy was an American senator. Ted Kennedy was a Canadian hockey player. Eerily, both of them died in August 2009 with in 9 days of each other (RIP Teds).
    • When Ted died in the election to replace him the Libertarian candidate was named Joe Kennedy, but had no relation to the family. There were more than a few accusations that his name was deliberately used to confuse Democratic voters (but as Scott Brown won by 5% and Kennedy only got 1% of the vote, this would not have had any effect even if true).
  • Tom Kennedy: Game show host or character actor who specialized in Dumb Muscle roles?
  • The new ABA that started operations in 2000 tried to revive the Kentucky Colonels, an original ABA team, only to face opposition from a charitable organization founded in 1812, though they allowed the use of the name so long as it appeared next to a basketball. However, they eventually ended up renaming the team the Kentucky Retros in deference to the "real" Kentucky Colonels. This didn't stop them from establishing teams like the NYC Thunder, the Tri-City Suns, the West Virginia Blazers, who all share names with current NBA teams, the Florida Thundercats, who bear the name of beloved 1980s cartoon Thundercats, and The Music City and Kansas City Stars, who share a name not only with the NHL's Dallas Stars, but also each other.
  • There's a South Korean athlete saddled with the unfortunate name of Kim Jong-il. His name is often romanized as Kim Yong-il to avoid confusion with the North Korean dictator.
    • Which doesn't really help, as there is a member of the North Korean government named Kim Yong Il (unrelated to the dictator).
    • There is also South Korean economist named Kim Jong-Il who has co-written several important articles on economic development in East Asia. He usually goes by J. I. Kim apparently.
  • Larry King, legendary interviewer and murdered gay teenager.
  • Martin Luther King the American Civil Rights Movement leader is not to be confused with Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant Church. (King was, of course, named after Luther.)
  • At least two people have used the stage name "Nosmo King"; a 1940s comedian, and a 1970s singer.
  • Peter King, British wig maker to Middle Earth, American Congressman from New York and inveterate critic of (what he thinks is) Islam, and American sportswriter.
  • Andrei Kirilenko: Current NBA player, or deceased Soviet politician?
  • Kiwi the fruit (native of China but grown in New Zealand) and Kiwi the bird (endemic of New Zealand).
  • In Germany, one of the most successful bookstore chains is "Buchhandlung Walter Koenig", founded by an enterpreneur named Walter Koenig - who is unrelated to Pavel Chekov.
  • Evel Knievel, American daredevil and survivor of the "most bones broken in a lifetime" 433) according to Guinness World Records, should not be confused with Evil Knievil, a British stock market commentator (real name Simon Cawkwell)
  • The city of Kobe, fifth-largest city of Japan, has no direct connection to player Kobe Bryant. Reportedly the player's parents named him after Kobe beef, a Japanese restaraunt delicacy. Which happened to be named after the city.
    • There's also R'n'B singer Kobe Honeycutt, who records under the name "Kobe". He's made a song with Eminem
  • KK(&)K, a German company specializing in manufacturing turbochargers, or the Ku Klux Klan, a group of white supremacists in strange hats.
  • Is Haruka Kudou a voice actress best known for voicing Hagu in Honey and Clover, or the youngest member to ever join Morning Musume?
  • For heaven's sake, do not confuse Ryszard Kukliński a Polish colonel and Cold War spy, who passed top secret Warsaw Pact documents revealing Soviet military plans to the CIA, and Richard Kuklinski, an American contract killer, known as "Iceman".
  • There are two famous Romans named Titus Labienus. Gaius Julius Caesar's lieutenant who defected to Pompey the Great, or a first-century historian who committed suicide when his books were burned?
  • There were two Swedish authors named Stig Larsson. Rumour has it that they met, discussed the potential problem, and tossed a coin. The loser changed his name to Stieg - pronounced the same. Yes, that's the guy who wrote The Millennium Trilogy. Very little is known about the other Stig Larsson.
    • Even better, they were childhood friends, who just so happened to both go into writing. So the coin toss is entirely possible.
  • There is a Las Vegas in Nevada and another one in New Mexico. And a third one in Honduras. As the name literally means "The Meadows", it could apply to several locations.
  • Jason Scott Lee is an Asian-American actor known for starring in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and the Live-Action Adaptation of The Jungle Book. Jason Lee is a Caucasian actor known for appearing in many Kevin Smith films, and being the star of My Name Is Earl and the Live-Action Adaptation of Alvin and the Chipmunks. On some sites, the former is mistakenly credited for roles by the latter.
    • There is also a middle school in Vancouver, WA called Jason Lee Middle School
  • Robert E. Lee, the Confederate American Civil War general, is not to be confused with Robert E. Lee, the cowriter of the plays Inherit the Wind and Auntie Mame. Both should be glad that they are not Robert T. Lee, founder of the Society for the Practical Estabishment and Perpetuation of the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Sadly, that website seems to be serious, and promotes the most extremely vitriolic form of fundamentalism ever devised.
  • Will Lee: Bassist for the World's Most Dangerous Band or kindly old storekeeper?
  • Richard Lenski: A German-born, American-naturalized Lutheran scholar and author? Or an evolutionary biologist famous for pissing off Andrew Schlafy?
  • Ken Levine: Writer for TV shows such as M*A*S*H, Cheers and Frasier, or writer and creative director for games such as System Shock 2 and the BioShock series? This got especially confusing when a blog post of TV Ken's about Kickstarter went viral, and many commentators mis-attributed it to BioShock Ken. In another blog post, he goes over other Ken Levine's that he is not.
  • John Lewis, congressman from Georgia, did not found an eponymous British department store.
    • Nor did he play piano for the Modern Jazz Quartet.
  • There's Ray Lewis, a retired American Football linebacker who spent his entire career with the Baltimore Ravens, who won Super Bowls in 2001 and 2013 with the team. There's another Ray Lewis, a Canadian track and field athlete who won a bronze medal at the 1932 Summer Olympics. And then there's another Ray Lewis, a former singer for the R&B group The Drifters.
  • John Linnell is the name of the pianist/accordionist/saxophonist for They Might Be Giants. It is also the name of an 19th century English Romantic painter, specializing in landscapes.
  • John August List is an economics professor at the University of Chicago. John Emil List murdered his wife, mother, and three children, and at one point was suspected to be D.B. Cooper.
  • Peyton (often Peyton R. or Peyton Roi) List, born 1998, plays Emma Ross on Jessie; Peyton (always credited without a middle initial) List, born 1986, plays Nicole Kirby on FlashForward (2009).
  • Nick Lowe, the film critic for Interzone magazine and Trope Namer for Plot Coupon, is neither a Marvel Comics editor nor the singer of "Cruel to Be Kind".
  • Christopher Lloyd: One is the actor who played Jim Ignatowski and Doc Brown, the other is the executive producer for Frasier and Modern Family.
  • Huey Long (1893-1935) was a Governor of Louisiana (and later US Senate representative) known for his unconventional far-left populist politics, who was assassinated. Another Huey Long (1904-2009) was an African-American jazz musician and member of vocal group The Ink Spots, who lived to age 105.
  • Robert (often Bobby) Lopez is a composer/lyricist who cowrote Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon. Robert (always Robert) Lopez is an acclaimed novelist and professor. Both have lived in Brooklyn. (And Robert F. Lopez was a notable US Navy officer during the Spanish-American War.)
  • Jennifer Lopez. The famous musician shares the name with one of the meteorologists on The Weather Channel''.
    • There was a news story in January 2013 about a woman named Jennifer Lopez (not the singer) who had spent Ł10,000 having plastic surgery so her booty was a double of Jennifer Lopez (the singer)'s.
  • Is Lu Xun a Chinese general from the Three Kingdoms era or a Chinese writer from early 20th century?
    • There's also Liu Xun who happened to be; (1) an emperor of the Western Han Dynasty, (2) the son of Liu Zhang, a warlord from the late Eastern Han Dynasty, (3) the prefect of Lujiang, again, during the late Eastern Han Dynasty, and (5) a major general of Later Liang Dynasty.
  • Claire Luce, actress, and Clare Boothe Luce, playwright and Congresswoman.
  • Two people involved with the U.S. Black Metal project Panopticon are named Austin Lunn. They have adopted pseudonyms to avoid confusion. The first, Austin L. Lunn, who writes and performs most of the band's material, identifies himself as A. or A. Lundr (the Nordic form of his name), while the second, Austin P. Lunn, who engineered several recordings for the band, uses the name Skallehammeren. This is also not the only project both of them have been involved in; they are also both members of lesser-known Doom Metal band Agnosis.
  • David Lynch: Director of Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet, acoustic-guitar-playing singer/songwriter, former member of doo-wop group The Platters, wine expert, or prominent Neo-Nazi? The fact that more than one musician has the name is particularly confusing because David Lynch the director has written and performed music for his own films, has collaborated with other musicians like Sparklehorse, and now has his own solo album. David Lench, on the other hand, is a schoolteacher who received fifteen minutes of infamy after he was arrested for driving nails through his neighbor's fence in order to discourage dogs from entering his property.
  • Is Stephen Lynch a comedian and singer or a Congressman from Massachusetts?
  • During World War II, the United States used about five different firearms designated M1. This even continues into the modern day - both the current official sidearm and the standard rifle bayonet of the US military are given the name M9.
    • Chinese copies of both the SKS and the AK-47 were named the Type 56.
  • In computers: MAC is the name of one of the first high-level programming languages. Mac (formally Mackintosh, after an apple variety) is the name of a line of personal computers made by Apple Inc. Fortunately MAC is rarely heard of nowadays, so the scope for confusion is minimal.
  • Ralph Macchio is the name of both The Karate Kid and a prominent Marvel Comics writer/editor.
  • Kenneth MacDonald is either an English character actor who appeared on It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Only Fools and Horses, or an American character actor who appeared on several The Three Stooges shorts and Perry Mason episodes.
  • John Mackey: CEO of Whole Foods, NFL Hall of Fame tight end, or contemporary composer?
  • Same name, different spelling: John MacLean, the NHL star with a 20 year career, was not a badass cop with who walked barefoot on broken glass beforehand.
    • The player shares his name with John MacLean(1811-1895), a historian and genealogist of Cornwall. With John Patterson MacLean (1848-1939), an archaeologist. With John Maclean (1851-1928), a pastor who studied the cultures of Native Americans. And John Norman Maclean (1943-), a journalist who has written Non Fiction Books on natural disasters. All four were/are published authors of note.
  • Alison MacLeod is either a racecar driver or a Canadian author.
  • John Madden, a retired NHL player who helped the New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks win Stanley Cups, shares a name with the Hall of Fame NFL coach and former color commentator with his own brand of video games.
  • There are two Japanese VAs named Ai Maeda: One who voiced Shion Uzuki; and one who voiced Kino and played Shiori Kitano.
  • Josh Mandel, a game writer/designer who worked at Sierra On-Line and who has served as the voice of King Graham in official titles and fan remakes, is not the Josh Mandel who unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate in Ohio in 2012.
  • Gabriel Mann is Nolan Ross on Revenge, but he doesn't write TV scores when he isn't acting (Modern Family, Rectify), unlike the composer of the same name.
  • Roger Manning, California-based keyboardist for power-pop bands Jellyfish and Imperial Drag now goes under the moniker of Roger Joseph Manning Jr., to avoid confusion with another Roger Manning, alterna-folk singer/songwriter Roger Manning from New York. Both have recorded with BECK.
  • Bob Marley was more or less the face of reggae. Bob Marleyfull name  is frequently billed as Comedian Bob Marley for this very reason.
  • One Jim Marshall was an American professional photographer who took photographs of rock stars in The Sixties. Another English Jim Marshall was a jazz drummer turned music store owner who founded Marshall Amps. Interestingly enough, both worked with one James Marshall Hendrix.
    • Another Jim Marshall, who may or may not have been a Hendrix fan, was a member of the Minnesota Vikings' famed "Purple People Eaters" defense in the 1960's and 1970's.
  • Mike Marshall was a pitcher in the 1970's who is a leading authority on kinesiology. Another Mike Marshall played outfield in the 1980's and was married to Belinda Carlisle. Both men actually played for the Dodgers (albeit not together).
  • The frontman of Coldplay and a New Zealand cricketer (read: fast bowler)? Both named Chris Martin.
    • Also DJ Premier's real name is also Chris Martin.
  • Dean Martin: Rat Pack member or DJ on British retro station Gold?
  • George Martin who produced The Beatles is not to be confused with George Martin, the driver of the taxi in in which Eddie Cochran died. Nor George R.R. Martin, author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
  • Jessica Martin: A British actress who voiced Empyrea in Dragon Quest VIII, or a Seattle actress who voiced Samus in Metroid: Other M? Or a British model?
  • Just the most famous currently living man named Paul Martin is arguably the twenty-first Prime Minister of Canada.
  • We all know that Karl Marx was the creator of communism. However, there was another, far less well-known doctor of that name who lived in the nineteenth century, as well as a 20th Century German composer with the same name.
  • Matlab is the name of a programming language/software and an upazila of Bangladesh.
  • David Matranga is a voice actor known for his roles in CLANNAD, Angel Beats!, and Attack on Titan. Dave Matranga was a Minor League baseball player for 12 years, and a Major League one for seven games.
  • Yuki Matsuoka is either a Japanese voice actress known for her role as Orihime Inoue and Osaka or a Japanese idol singer.
  • Billy Mays, the famed infomercial man who died in June 2009, was the second Billy Mays. His father is Billy Mays Senior, and his son is known as Billy Mays III. During his televised memorial service, Billy Mays III said that he was giving serious thought to naming his first son Billy Mays IV.
    • Not to mention baseball great Willie Mays, and composer/arranger (and frequent Sinatra collaborator) Billy May.
  • Teresa May combines being a senior Conservative politician in Great Britain with a lucrative side-job as a porn actress.
  • Two men named Chuck McCann have worked in animation. One is a voice actor, and the other is a film editor.
  • In 1957 a radio announcer for baseball's Philadelphia Phillies, on being informed that Joe McCarthy had died, went into a long on-air eulogy for the former New York Yankees manager, listing all the highlights of his storied career. It wasn't until breaking for a commercial that the announcer learned that the Joe McCarthy in question was the notorious Red-baiting former senator from Wisconsin.
    • Bonus: The Phillies announcer in question was named Gene Kelly. No, not the dancer.
  • Two of the authors of the musical Rio Rita were named Joseph McCarthy and Fred Thompson. Neither should be confused with anyone who ever was a Republican senator, or appeared on Law & Order.note 
  • Frank McCourt - Former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Irish-American author who wrote Angela's Ashes?
  • Katie McGrath: Young Irish actress in Merlin or wife of J. J. Abrams?
  • Paul McGuigan ("Guigsy"), the first bassist of Oasis, shares his name with a film director. The director is credited with works such as Lucky Number Slevin and Push.
  • Kevin McHale: Former Boston Celtics player and current Houston Rockets coach, or actor on Glee?
  • John McLaughlin: Jazz guitarist or political talk show host?
  • Steve McQueen, deceased white American actor and living black British director.
  • There are two voice actresses with the same name, despise being from different countries: A Mexican VA named Romy Mendoza (who voiced Kagome's mother and Beehonie), and the Korean-Japanese one who voiced Edward Elric.
  • Russ Meyer was a pioneering director in the sexploitation genre. Russ Meyer was also a Major League Baseball pitcher nicknamed "The Mad Monk". Neither should be confused with Russell Meyers, creator of the comic strip Broom-Hilda.
  • Division I college sports has Miami University and the University of Miami. Since the word "University" is often left out when referring to teams (except for those that are known best by initials, in which case the "U" is included), and it would be easy to forget which one is which, they are usually referred to in print as Miami (OH) and Miami (FL), respectively. The University of Miami is located in Coral Gables, Florida (which is near Miami), and Miami University is located in the Miami Valley in Oxford, Ohio.
    • There's also Loyola University Chicago and Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. Plus the NCAA Division II school Loyola University New Orleans. Typically, the schools are called Loyola (Chicago), Loyola (MD), and Loyola (LA). There was once a Loyola University in Los Angeles as well, but that school went through a merger in The Seventies and became Loyola Marymount.
    • Plus St. Francis College in Brooklyn ("Saint" officially abbreviated) and Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania ("Saint" officially spelled out)—and, to make things better, both are even members of the same conference!note  In 2013, the Brooklyn school decided to try to avoid some of the confusion by changing its athletic brand to "St. Francis Brooklyn". The Pennsylvania school is usually described in print as "St. Francis (PA)".
    • And The University of Washington, a state-funded Division I school in Seattle. and Washington University, a private research institution with a Division III athletics program located in St Louis.
    • Indiana University in the state of Indiana should not be confused with Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
      • Another level of confusion: Indiana University is actually the formal name of the Indiana University system. The "Indiana" of Division I sports is the system's main campus in Bloomington, formally known as Indiana University Bloomington.note 
    • Neither should the University of California, Berkeley, usually referred to in print as "California", be confused with California University of Pennsylvania.
    • Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois is a small liberal arts college, founded in 1860, affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Its colors are blue and gold and the nickname is Vikings. Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is a small liberal arts college, founded in 1860, affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Its colors are blue and gold and the nickname is Vikings. The main distinction is that the South Dakota school is in NCAA Division II and Illinois is Division III.
  • George Michael was a sports broadcaster (The George Michael Sports Machine). The other George Michael sang lead in Wham! before venturing into a solo career in 1986.
  • Shawn Michaels is the pro wrestler (he's white). Sean Michaels is the porno actor (he's black).
  • Kate Middleton has been kicked off of Facebook — not that Kate Middleton, but another one. Ironically, the latter's boyfriend is Jonathan Ross — the namesake of a celebrity presenter — and he still has his Facebook account.
  • Larry Miller is a comedian-actor. The late Larry H. Miller was the auto dealer who owned the Utah Jazz.
  • Marvin Miller: Former baseball players' union boss or star of The Millionaire?
  • David Mitchell is either a novelist or the star of Peep Show who has decided to confuse the issue further by writing a novel.
  • Silas Weir Mitchell — actor , or physician/writer born in 1829? Both! They're apparently related.
  • Jose Molina, famed Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Dark Angel / Firefly / Castle screenwriter, shares a name with Jose Molina, a backup catcher for the New York Yankees and a former Spanish football player. In a delicious coincidence, Molina the writer recently wrote a baseball-themed episode of Castle.
  • There are two Joe Montanas. One's a famous NFL quarterback. The other's an actor in Britain who appeared briefly in an episode of Doctor Who.
  • Alan Moore: famous writer of comic books, or former drummer for Judas Priest?
  • NHL Hall of Famer Dickie Moore shares the same name as a former member of The Little Rascals.
  • Gary Moore was a blues-rock guitar great who was briefly a member of Thin Lizzy. Garry Moore hosted game shows and variety shows in the 1960's and 1970's.
  • Roger Moore. One of the James Bond actors, or a film critic for the Orlando Sentinel?
    • Or an early editor of Dragon Magazine, who once ran a letter praising his work in the James Bond films in the letters column of an April issue?
  • Ronald D. Moore, writer and producer of many Star Trek episodes throughout the nineties, should not be confused with Ronald B. Moore, Visual Effects Supervisor for the franchise during the same period. "B." has even joked about getting "D."'s first paycheck accidentally.
  • Natalie Morales: One is a host on NBC's Today Show the other you might know as either Wendy Watson from The Middleman or Lauren Cruz on White Collar. The latter gets confused for the former a lot on Twitter.
  • Major League Baseball had two well-known figures named Joe Morgan. One was a second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1960s and 1970s, and later a television analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball; the other was manager of the Boston Red Sox in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
  • Jim Morrison had a brief but remarkable career as the lead singer of The Doors. Another Jim Morrison had a long but unremarkable career as a utility infielder for several baseball teams in the 1970s and 1980s.
    • And neither of them is to be confused with British singer James Morrison— whose real name is actually James Morrison Catchpole.
  • A commentator on a British newspaper website moaned that dumbing down had reached such a stage that books by super models were appearing on school reading lists. Note to them; Kate Moss is a supermodel,Kate Mosse is a perfectly respectable writer.
  • Randy Moss. Recently retired American football player or horse racing analyst (who also works for the NFL Network)?
  • Robert Mueller (American), head of the FBI; and Robert Mueller (Australian), head and former co-owner of Opera Software Australia Pty., aka FastMail.FM.
  • Muhammad Ali: Ottoman military commander who became the viceroy of Egypt, or legendary American boxer?
  • Rapper Cage makes a point to specify that his abusive, drug-addicted father Bill Murray is not the actor. Cage does play with this in his song "Stripes":
    Fuck Bill Murray, not the actor, the deadbeat dad the smacked her, then left her with rats after he snapped her
    • There's also the British actor Billy Murray, no relation to either.
  • Eddie Murray: Long-time Baltimore Orioles first baseman, or long-time Detroit Lions kicker?
  • Yuuichi Nakamura is a voice actor known for playing Graham Aker and Alto Saotome. Yuichi Nakamura is a live-action actor known for playing Yuto Sakurai/Kamen Rider Zeronos. The two are apparently friends in real life.
    • And there's another, much older, voice actor named Yuuchi Nakamura too, but he only does foreign dubs.
  • Namgar is a Buryat-Mongolian folk-rock-fusion band from Russia, led by Namgar Lhasaranova. NAMGAR is the North American MG A Register, which keeps track of a classic English sports car.
  • Keiji Nazakawa: Renowned chef known for going against Iron Chef Japanese Masahara Morimoto? Or Hiroshima a-bomb survivor best known for his manga which tells his story?
  • This one is on a smaller scale, but you have Mike Nelson, MST3K and RiffTrax snarker, and Mike Nelson, weatherman for Denver's ABC affiliate KMGH. And politician Michael "Mike" Nelson, a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
    • Mike Nelson was also the name of Lloyd Bridges's character on Sea Hunt.
  • The New York Giants football team is actually officially named the New York Football Giants, because when the team was founded one of the city's baseball teams was the New York (now San Francisco) Giants.
    • Speaking of the Giants, neither one is to be confused with Japan's Yomiuri Giants, nor are the Detroit Tigers to be confused with the Hanshin Tigers. The first mistake happened in the second Major League movie, where the Indians' coach is at first happy to hear they've got a player coming in from "the Giants". Similarly, in The Order, during interviews with "Calamity" James Wa the interviewer repeatedly mistakes "the Tigers" that James' dad played with for the team in Detroit.
  • The All-America Football Conference had teams called the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s.
  • Ryan Newman: One's a teen actress known for her roles in Zeke and Luther and See Dad Run, but you probably know the (male) NASCAR driver who won the 2008 Daytona 500 much better.
  • Cam Newton has distinguished himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the National Football League. Another Cam Newton did little to distinguish himself as a journeyman goaltender in the World Hockey Association in The Seventies.
  • No Fear - an international retailer or a white supremacist group? (A chain letter has confused the two; eventually, the latter group had to change its name.)
  • Bill Nye — "Science Guy", nineteenth century humorist, or character in a Bret Harte poem?
    • None of whom, of course, are to be confused with Bill Nighy, whose name is pronounced, but not spelled, the same.
      • Wait, Bret Hart the Canadian professional wrestler?
    • Another Bill Nye, in Seattle no less, was the proprietor of an Outback Steakhouse.
  • Jim O'Brien coached basketball in Boston (at Boston College) before leaving in 1987 to coach college basketball in Ohio (Ohio State). Then in 1994 Jim O'Brien, who had previously coached college basketball in Ohio (for Dayton), became head coach of the Boston Celtics.
    • Or Jim O'Brien; the former Baltimorenote  Colts kicker remembered mainly for kicking the game-winning field goal in SuperBowl V.
  • Sean O'Neal is both a former child actor best known for playing Sam on Clarissa Explains It All and the news editor for The Onion's AV Club sister site. Many "Where Are They Now?" sites have incorrectly claimed that the actor O'Neal currently has the writer O'Neal's job. The latter O'Neal has often jokes about the confusion in his columns.
  • Paul O'Neill, former Secretary of the Treasury, Paul O'Neill, former Reds/Yankees outfielder, or Paul O'Neill, founder of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
  • Bill O'Reilly is a conservative American talk show host/political commentator and an Australian cricketer in the 1930s and 40s.
  • Terry O'Reilly, of Canada: former captain of the Boston Bruins, or adwriter and co-creator/writer/host of CBC Radio's The Age Of Persuasion?
    • And neither of them is Terry Riley, composer of minimalist classic In C.
  • John Oates teamed with Daryl Hall to form a popular singing duo, while Johnny Oates was a Major League Baseball player and manager.
  • The city Obama ("Little Beach") in Japan has no connection to Barack Obama.
  • One Nation - the infamous former anti-immigration Australian political party once headed by Pauline Hanson, or Sarah Palin's 2011 constitution-draped bus tour of America? Pretty much any politically knowledgeable Australian would accordingly find the implications of the name of Palin's tour either hilarious or disturbing (or both).
  • John Osborne was a groundbreaking British playwright in the 1950s. He should not be confused with John Osbourne, a groundbreaking heavy metal singer (and arguably the first heavy metal singer) in the 1970s. (Yes, "John" is Ozzy's real first name. He was named for his father, Jack, from whom Ozzy's son more directly takes his name.)
  • One David Palmer sang lead for Steely Dan on their first album, Can't Buy A Thrill. Another David Palmer was an orchestral arranger and keyboardist in Jethro Tull, who underwent a sex change operation, now going under the name of Dee Palmer. A jazz keyboardist, an American football player who played with the Minnesota Vikings, an English composer, a squash player and a baseball player who played with the Montreal Expos went under the name of David Palmer.
  • Robert Palmer, the guy who sang "Addicted To Love"? Or Robert Palmer, the music critic?
  • There's Dan Patrick, the sports talk show host, and Dan Patrick, the Texas politician. One TV station accidentally put a picture of Sports!Dan Patrick next to his name when covering a Republican runoff primary.
  • Prince Paul: Do you mean Prince Paul Karadordevic of Yugoslavia, or Prince Paul, a producer/rapper associated with De La Soul, Gravediggaz, Stetsasonic and Handsome Boy Modeling School?
  • There are two different actresses named Julie Payne, born in 1940 and 1946 respectively. The former's career was mostly in the 1950s and 1960s, while the latter has been active since the 1970s. Many reference books have conflated the two.
  • Amusingly, both Harvard and Yale have a Peabody Museum.
  • Steve Park - one's a US-Korean comedian. The other is a former NASCAR driver who was teammates with Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. from 2000 to 2003.
  • Nicole Parker: White comedian who formerly starred in Mad TV. Nicole Ari Parker: Black actress who's starred in Remember the Titans and Revolution. The latter is credited without her middle name in some of her earlier movies.
  • John Peel - a beloved DJ for the BBC almost entirely responsible for making British indie rock popular - and John Peel, a writer of science fiction novels (mostly Doctor Who and Star Trek books). And then there's also John Peel, a 19th century hunter and the namesake of a British folk song, and Sir John Peel, a 20th century British politician.
  • Because of this trope, David Harris (the author of Pegasus Mail) has repeatedly requested that it always be referred to as "Pegasus Mail" to distinguish it from other products and services called Pegasus.
  • Carlos Pena, the baseball player, is not the father of Carlos Pena, Jr., member of Big Time Rush. The two are unrelated.
  • Carla Pérez (with an accent) is an American actress who played Rita Repulsa in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers when they ran out of Stock Footage. Carla Perez (without an accent) is a Brazilian Dumb Blonde with a nice rear who rose to fame as a dancer in a genre mostly about her assets.
  • Anthony Perkins was an actor best known for his role as Norman Bates in Psycho. Anthony D. Perkins is a leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There is also a meteorologist named Tony Perkins, who should most definitely not be confused with the president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins.
  • David Perry from Northern Ireland, the developer of such classics as Earthworm Jim, is not to be confused with Dave Perry, who wrote for a number of British video game magazines. Or with David Perry, a notable filmaker and photographer from Australia.
  • Joe Perry, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back with the 49ers, and Joe Perry, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame guitarist with Aerosmith.
  • Katy Perry (of I Kissed A Girl fame) and Katie Perry (an Australian fashion designer), are, you will no doubt be surprised to learn, not to be confused.
    • Even better: Katy Perry's name is a pseudonym. Her real name is Katheryn Hudson. Not to be confused, of course, with the actress Kate Hudson.
  • Matthew Perry, the US Navy Commodore who helped open Japan to Western influence, did not star on SeriesFriends; he died well before TV was even invented.
  • There are two singers named Steve Perry. One used to sing lead for Journey. The other sings lead for the Cherry Poppin Daddies.
    • There's also the science fiction writer Steve Perry.
  • William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; and William "The Refrigerator" Perry, former NFL player.
  • William Petersen is an actor most famous for his starring roles in Manhunter and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Sir William Peterson (1856-1921) was a noted academic who served as principal of McGill University from 1895 to 1919.
  • There are two running backs in the NFL named Adrian Peterson. Adrian Lewis Peterson is a Pro Bowl and potential Hall of Fame halfback for the Minnesota Vikings, and Adrian Nicholas Peterson is a marginal role player who most recently played halfback for the Chicago Bears.
  • Scott Peterson: Do you mean the convicted murderer, the one who writes for Phineas and Ferb, or the comic writer/editor?
    • Scott Petersen was also the brand name of a popular hot dog in the Chicago area.
  • There were two Czech singers named Jana Petrů; in order to prevent confusion, the younger one started using the pseudonym Petra Janů.
  • One-time Contemporary Christian-turned-mainstream singer Leslie "Sam" Phillips is a doozy depending on which name is being mentioned. If using "Sam" (a childhood nickname that she has recorded under since starting her mainstream career), that name is shared with Sam Phillips, the model and actress and Sam Phillips, the early rock-and-roll producer who discovered, among others, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. More confusing, her birth name of Leslie Phillips (used during her CCM days) is shared with British actor Leslie Phillips.
  • This is going to happen to anyone with a very common surname, such as "Smith" or "Jones" (unless you have a REALLY unusual first name)
  • Lewis T. Powell was a conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Lewis F. Powell, Jr. was a Supreme Court justice from 1972 to 1987.
  • The Arkansas governor's race has a candidate named Elvis Presley. Elvis D. Presley to be specific, not the King of Rock and Roll. Made even more bizarre since the candidate is also an occasional Elvis Impersonator.
  • Rico E. Puno, the former Philippine interior and local government undersecretary, shouldn't be confused with a singer, Rico J. Puno, who's also Filipino.
  • David Prowse is the name of both an actor best known for being the physical actor for Darth Vader (but not providing his voice) and a member of the rock duo Japandroids. Jokes have been made about James Earl Jones subbing in for the Japandroids drummer / singer in studio.
  • There are two actresses named Patricia Quinn. One is British and played Magenta in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Nation McKinley in Shock Treatment, Livilla in I, Claudius, and even appeared in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. The other is American and appeared in Alices Restaurant and a few other things. There was quite a bit of confusion between the two on the internet for a while, with Alice's Restaurant appearing on the list of British Patricia's films. Many Rocky Horror fans have since then sorted things out.
    • And don't confuse either of them for Pat Quinn - whether it's the NHL Hall of Famer or the Governor of Illinois.
  • Manny Ramirez: Prodigious baseball slugger or NFL offensive lineman?
  • Anne Ramsey was an actress who played villainous mothers in Throw Momma from the Train and The Goonies. Anne Ramsay is the actress who played Jamie's sister on Mad About You.
  • Ed Randell played Upper-Class Twit Justin Finch-Fletchley in the Harry Potter film series, while Ed Rendell is the former governor of Pennsylvania.
  • Under the "Baseball Pitcher or Country Singer" category, there's Jerry Reed and ... Jerry Reed.
  • Jimmy Reid was a Scottish trade union activist famous for saving the Glasgow shipyards from closure in the 1970s. Jim Reid is the lead singer of The Jesus and Mary Chain. Jimmy Reed was an early electric blues singer.
  • Paul Revere, Revolutionary War hero and silversmith, should not be confused with the Paul Revere who founded the 1960s pop group Paul Revere And The Raiders. Surprisingly, the latter is an example of this trope because "Paul Revere" is his real name, not a stage name.
  • There are two actors with the name Ryan Reynolds: one is a male film actor, the other is a female voice actor.
    • There is also a Ryaan Reynolds, the female porn actress.
  • Kevin Richardson. Thr most notable of them are voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson, and Kevin Scott Richardson, member of the Backstreet Boys.
  • The great nephew of fighter pilot known as the Red Baron had the same name as his: Manfred Albert Freiherr von Richthofen. Though he only came to proeminence when his daughter Suzane arranged to get him killed.
  • ESPN the Magazine has a semi-regular feature called "Right Name, Wrong Number" where they briefly interview someone with the same name as a big figure in the world of sports — with questions only appropriate for the real deal. According to an article on the feature, it takes a couple of tries to get people who are willing to play along.
  • There's Johnny Ringo, a wild west outlaw and the modern writer John Ringo. The two are actually related, albeit somewhat distantly.
  • One Richard Riordan was the mayor of Los Angeles in 1990s. Another Richard Riordan, better known as Rick Riordan, is an author best known for a series of children's books.
  • Jonathan Roberts is either a professional dancer mostly known as a pro from Dancing with the Stars or for co-writing The Lion King
  • Robin Roberts: He was a Hall of Fame pitcher who played for the Phillies, Orioles, Astros and Cubs. She is a former ESPN reporter and current co-anchor of Good Morning America.
  • Just look at how many Craig Robinsons there are. The most notable being the actor Craig Phillip Robinson (1971-) of The Office (US); Craig Robinson (1972-) the fashion designer; and Craig Robinson (1962–), college basketball coach and brother of Michelle Obama.
  • Edward G. Robinson was a classic Hollywood actor. He shouldn't be confused with longtime Grambling State football coach Edward G. Robinson, who went by the name Eddie Robinson. When that Eddie Robinson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997, he joined Eddie Robinson, longtime Brown University coach, who'd been inducted in 1955.
  • Mike Rock: voice of Nero from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, or one of the designers of the Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle?
  • Joe Rogan has been a Taekwondo champion, stand-up comic, TV and movie actor, and UFC commentator, but he never pitched in the Negro Leagues; that was "Bullet" Joe Rogan.
  • As with the Adolf Hitler example (above), the US Navy had an Erwin Rommelnote . Erwin Rommel, USN, distinguished himself in the fighting for Guadalcanal by capturing a heavily defended strategic location. Some things evidently run in families.
  • Kenny Rogers the singer is no relation to Kenny Rogers the pitcher, though the latter's nickname "The Gambler" is a reference to the former.
  • Jimmy Rodgers was an African American banjo player in the 20s and 30s. Jimmy Rogers was a Caucasian pioneer of pop-rock in the late 50s/early 60s with songs like "Honeycomb" and "Uh-oh, I'm Falling In Love Again".
  • Romani: The Latin word for "Romans" (e.g. Romani ite domum!) which just happens to be the same word for gypsies. And the two words have no etymological connection.
  • Alex Ross: the artist for DC Comics, or the music critic for The New Yorker?
  • As the result of the merger between the two football unions in Canada which formed the league (and the fact that the teams were allowed to keep their previous names), from the mid 1950s to 1996, the Canadian Football League had both the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Ottawa Rough Riders. Thankfully averted when the "new" Ottawa franchise was named the Renegades. They met four times in the Grey Cup.
    • Theodore Roosevelt had a band of guys called the Rough Riders, too.
    • How can you forget the rap group Ruff Ryders?
  • Bill Russell: Boston Celtics great, or longtime Dodgers shortstop?
  • Lord Russell (that is, philosopher Bertrand Russell) and Lord Russell of Liverpool (that is, historian Edward Russell) were confused so often that they wrote a letter to The Times about it.
    TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES:
    Sir,—In order to discourage confusions that have been constantly occurring, we beg herewith to say that neither of us is the other.
    Yours, &c,
    RUSSELL (Bertram, Earl Russell)
    RUSSELL OF LIVERPOOL (Lord Russell of Liverpool)
    • What makes this even more confusing is that some Lords named Russell are in fact related to the Earl Russell (the 1st Earl was a younger son of the Duke of Bedford, and other junior lines of the Russell family have been elevated to the peerage, as well.)
  • The Cardinals NFL franchise originated in Chicago and is currently located in Arizona, but in between spent many years as the St. Louis Cardinals. Oddly enough, however, the team was never referred to as the "St. Louis Football Cardinals" very often, despite the presence of the better-known baseball franchise by that name.
  • A summer 2011 Reality Show Same Name is all about this. Celebrities and non celebrites with the same names switch lives for a week. First up: David Hasselhoff.
    • Briefly parodied on Jon Benjamin Has A Van. There's a preview for a supposed sketch in which two non-celebrities with the same celebrity name switch places for a day.
  • Adam Sandler: Actor and comedian who started out on Saturday Night Live and starred in such films as Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, or producer on The Price Is Right. Hilariously, the latter joined TPIR shortly after the release of Billy Madison, which had an appearance by (then-)host Bob Barker.
  • Jerry Sandusky is the former defensive coordinator for Penn State University, convicted of molesting at least eight young boys in the scandal that led to an entire housecleaning of the Penn State football program following the subsequent coverup by the head of University Police, even those who did report it and/or had no prior knowledge were dismissed due to Guilt By Association, but it reached further up, leading to the firing of AD Tim Curley and even including the resignation of longtime university president Graham Spanier. Gerry Sandusky is a Baltimore sportscaster and play-by-play voice for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens (who, on the first game he worked after the Penn State scandal, referenced the similarities of their names and emphasized that he was not the former Penn State assistant)
  • Carlos Santana: Guitar legend, or Cleveland Indians catcher?
  • Sav-On is an American drug store chain. Save-On is a Canadian grocery store chain. Not to mention tons of other businesses with identical or similar names.
  • Dan Schneider, the guy who wrote that cinematic masterpiece, Good Burger, or the controversial writer/poet/critic who Roger Ebert praised a few years back?
  • Max Schneider: a recent Nickelodeon star? Or the main character of Gravedale High?
  • Robert Schneider sings for The Apples In Stereo. Bob Schneider is an entirely different singer. And neither of them is to be confused with Adam Sandler's buddy Rob Schneider.
  • Gerhard Schröder, the Social Democratic former chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, should not be confused with the late Gerhard Schröder, Christian Democratic former foreign and defense minister. Or several other Gerhard Schröders.
  • Robert Schumann the German composer, and Robert Schuman the French foreign minister.
  • There's two American authors named Alvin Schwartz. One writes for DC Comics and the other wrote Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
  • Hillary Scott, as in the singer with Lady Antebellum, is very much not to be confused with Hillary Scott the porn actress (who came first - if you'll excuse the expression - since she was born three years before the singer).
  • R&B singer Jill Scott does not play for England in the Women's World Cup.
  • Tony Scott, director, had to apologize to Tony Scott, school superintendent, after filming disrupted classes.
  • It's easier to mix up Tomokazu Seki (the voice of Touji, Yzak Joule, and Gilgamesh) and Toshihiko Seki (voice of [[Anime/Trigun Legato]], [[Anime/Ranma Mousse]], and Senketsu) than you might think.
  • Jane Seymour: British actress or consort of Henry VIII?
  • Robert Shaw was an English actor who starred in such movies as The Sting and Jaws, as well as an American conductor of choral music.
  • Jean Shepherd was a humorist and radio personality best known for writing and narrating A Christmas Story, while Jean Shepard is a female country music singer.
  • Two famous Ukrainians by the name of Andriy Shevchenko, soccer player or politician?
  • During the SNK run of Psycho Soldier, Athena is voiced by a singer named Kaori Shimizu. Right now, there's also a seiyuu named Kaori Shimizu.
  • Luke Short (1854-1893) was a famous gunfighter and Dandy of The Wild West. Luke Short (born Frederick Dilley Glidden, 1908-1975) was a notable author of Western Literature.
  • Dan Shulman is a baseball and basketball announcer for ESPN. Daniel Shulman is a bassist who has recorded and toured with Garbage.
  • Lauren Silverman is a Manhattan socialite who became famous for having an extramarital affair (and a baby) with former American Idol judge Simon Cowell. She shouldn't be confused with Laura Silverman, a comedian and actress who's the older sister (and frequent costar) of Sarah Silverman.
  • Bill Simmons — the ESPN sports writer known as "The Sports Guy", or the former competitive eating champion known as "El Wingador"?
  • Gene Simmons was not the female lead in Stanley Kubrick's version of Spartacus. Likewise, Jean Simmons is not the long-tongued bass player for KISS.
    • A rockabilly singer from The Fifties went by the stage name of "Jumpin' Gene Simmons".
  • Paul Simon (the musician) and Paul Simon (the politician). When the latter was running for President in 1988 there was a Saturday Night Live skit in which both men appeared, each assuming he was the one who'd been invited on the show.
    • In the UK at least, there's also a chain of furniture stores called Paul Simon.
  • Is Craig Smart a Canadian musician or an Australian journalist?
  • One Dave Smith is the go-to archivist for The Walt Disney Company. Another is a synthesizer pioneer who founded Sequential Circuits (which created the Prophet-5 polysynth) and helmed the creation of MIDI.
  • Oddly enough, averted with Canadian wrestler (with British gimmick) Johnny Smith (in a world FULL of "John Smiths", you'd think there was a SECOND pro wrestler whose real name was John Smith, right?).
  • The actor announced to be the 11th Doctor on Doctor Who, Matt Smith, obviously has quite a few namesakes, and not just in the entertainment industry.
  • For more same-name, same-position goodness, check out Steve Smith. One's a Pro Bowl wide receiver for Carolina; the other's a Pro Bowl wide receiver for the New York Giants. When Wikipedia lists two players with same name, it usually distinguishes by either sport or position. These two guys are distinguished in their title pages by their birth year.
    • Non-American football example: Australian cricketer Steve Smith.
    • An NBA example: Steve Smith, former guard for the Miami Heat
    • And an NHL one: Steve Smith, longtime defenseman for the Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames.
    • Also the Canadian actor Steve Smith AKA Red Green.
    • And the American drummer Steve Smith, formerly of Journey.
  • Susan Smith: the 1981 Playboy Playmate of the Month who became an actress? The television scriptwriter, playwright, novelist and essayist? The geographer who helped founded Institute of Advanced Study? Or the infamous woman who drowned her two children in a lake?
  • Will Smith: Posh, British comedian who appears on Radio 4 Panel Games and has a Bergerac fixation, New Orleans Saints defensive end, or African-American rap artist and star of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Men In Black?
    • The comedian actually mentions this in some of his routines: "Obviously I'm not the actual Will Smith, but..."
    • Also, the former editor-in-chief of Maximum PC was a Will Smith.
  • SOCOM II: second game in a series about SEALs, or civilian version of the M14?
  • The first UK branch of Staples is at Staples Corner, near Brent Cross in London. Although this particular site may have been chosen because of the coincidence, it is a coincidence — both the store chain and the location were named long before they got together.
  • Kenneth W. Starr is a former American independent counsel who investigated Bill Clinton, and is currently president of Baylor University. Kenneth I. Starr is the alleged perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme that allegedly took advantage of celebrities like Annie Leibovitz and Ron Howard. Kenny Starr is a country singer. Kenn Starr is an American rapper.
  • Michael Steele — Bass player for The Bangles, or Chairman of the Republican National Committee?
  • Tyler Stentiford, teenage author from Florida or teenage actor from Ontario?
  • Is Howard Stern a shock jock or the sometime boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith? Howard Stern the shock jock apparently considered legally changing his name to "The Howard" to avoid confusion with Howard K. Stern.
  • Gary Stevens: The Other Wiki lists at least eight examples. Three of them are English football/soccer players, born respectively in 1954, 1962, and 1963 (the youngest of these is the best-known overall). Another well-known one is the American Hall of Fame jockey.
  • There's novelty singer Ray Stevens. And then there's pro wrestling great Ray "The Crippler" Stevens.
  • Sarah Stiles: A New York actress who played Kate Monster and Lucy in Avenue Q and Joanne in Vanities: The Musical, a Utah photographer, a Georgetown University professor, or a San Francisco composer?
  • Sting is either a Famous Musician or a Pro Wrestler. Also the name of Frodo's sword, a movie, a Japanese video game developer, and a music trope.
  • Firefighter and Emergency! actor Mike Stoker hasn't branched out into politics. That would be the *other* Mike Stoker, a Republican from California (who hasn't won thus far). This has created much confusion among fans of Firefighter Stoker and the Emergency! series.
  • George Strait: Country music singer or former ABC News correspondent?
  • Captain Dorothy Stratton (1899-2006) was the first director of the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve. Dorothy Stratten (1960-1980) was Playmate of the Year for 1980 and the victim of a murder case.
  • James Stuart, the name of more than one Scottish/English king, including the namesake of the city and the state of New York and the famous children's nursery rhyme (as the Duke of York); and James Stewart, the birth name of Stewart Granger, as well as long, tall Jimmy Stewart the actor, neither of whom was from New York.
  • Sun Studio ďż˝ The recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee, USA where did Elvis Presley record his hits, or a Scandinavian dubbing studio based in Denmark (with branches in Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Iceland, Poland, Russia, Czech Republic and Hungary) that was bought by SDI Media Group in September 2006 and absorbed by that company three years later?
  • Talk Talk are both a 1980s group, and a present-day British ISP, as well as a 1966 hit by the garage rock band The Music Machine.
  • Elizabeth Taylor the actress or Elizabeth Taylor the novelist?
  • One James Taylor is a jazz Hammond organ player. Another sang "Sweet Baby James" and "Fire And Rain". But not "Celebration" and "Ladies Night" — that was a third James Taylor.
  • Jeff Taylor: An American NBA player and his son, a Swedish NBA player. Slightly averted because the son often goes by his full first name of Jeffery.
  • Richard Taylor created some truly Visual Effects of Awesome: One for TRON and one for WETA (I'm pretty sure these were two different people because when one Richard was creating Tron in America the other was making puppets from things found while dumpster diving in New Zealand).
  • Roger Taylor of Queen did not play drums in Duran Duran. That was the other Roger Taylor.
  • Mark Teixeira the baseball player or Mark Texeira the comic book artist?
  • One of the writing staff on Scrubs is named Dave Tennant.
    • David Tennant's real name is David MacDonald. He uses "Tennant" as a screen name because the Actors' Union Equity already had a David MacDonald. "Tennant" was a homage to Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys.
    • Dave MacDonald was also an American race car driver in the 1960s who infamously crashed in a fireball at the 1964 Indy 500.
  • There is at least one other Osamu Tezuka. Apparently, he is/was a composer.
    • Director Osamu Dezaki is at risk for getting mixed up in it too, especially since he adapted some of Tezuka's creations.
  • Dave Thomas is the name of both the founder of the Wendy's restaurant and a Canadian actor (best known for the Bob and Doug McKenzie sketches with Rick Moranis). In terms of Real Life examples, this may be the closest two people with the same name are to being equally famous. It helps that "Dave Thomas" is a pretty generic name.
  • Rob Thomas. One is best known as the lead vocalist for Matchbox 20. The other is best known for Veronica Mars and the 1998 dramedy Cupid.
  • Jack Thompson, Australian Actor. Jack Thompson, who needs barely any introduction.
    • Another Jack Thompson was a former quarterback nicknamed the "Throwin' Samoan"; that was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1979note  only for incumbent starter Ken Anderson (batting injuries shortly before then) going on to the best seasons of his career afterward.
  • There are two athletes named Jim Thorpe. One is an African-American golfer. The other was a Native American Olympian and professional football and baseball player.
  • A subtle, non-English variety. Tonkin, Vietnam, and Tokyo, Japan (and historically, Kaifeng, China, when it was known as Dongjing). All these names are written the same way in Chinese characters, meaning "Eastern Capital" although pronounced differently in local languages.
  • Fringe star Anna Torv shares her name with Rupert Murdoch's second wife.
  • President Harry S. Truman, and Harry R. Truman, proprietor of the Spirit Lake Lodge, who was buried alive during the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.
  • Sophie Turner is either a British actress who plays Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones or an Australian model.
  • The Sporting News actually received a letter from someone asking if heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson was related to the former Cardinals and Cubs infielder with the same name. Their response: "Take a look at the two. They are obviously not related."
  • Ubuntu Linux version 10.10 is called Maverick Meerkat. Mac OS X 10.9 is called Mavericks. Google likes to get them mixed up, due to cases of Spell My Name with an S. Woe be upon you if you're searching for a solution to one of the problems you encountered on Apple's OS, since Google appears to be more happy to return results about the outdated version of Ubuntu's Linux distribution instead.
  • Veteran seiyuu Yuji Ueda and newcomer seiyuu Yoji Ueda have occasionally been subject to this trope since the latter's debut.
  • Karl Urban is either an actor from New Zealand known for his genre roles, or a World War I flying ace from Austria.
  • Usa, a town in Japan. Note that contrary to urban myth, the town was called Usa for at least a thousand years before the USA came into being; it was not named specifically so that goods made there could be misleadingly labelled "Made in Usa", and claims that the coincidence was abused for this purpose are disputed.
  • Theo van Gogh: One was a brother of Vincent van Gogh; the other was his great-grandson who was a film director later murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri.
  • Keith Van Horn was a forward who played 9 seasons in the NBA (mostly with the New Jersey Nets). Keith Van Horne was an offensive tackle who played 13 seasons in the NFL (all with the Chicago Bears).
  • Sid Vicious, bassist for the Sex Pistols or Sid Vicious, "The Man that Rules the World"?
  • Pancho Villa, legendary Mexican outlaw and revolutionary (real name: José Doroteo Arango Arámbula) or Pancho Villa, legendary Filipino flyweight champion of the world (real name: Francisco Guilledo)?
  • David Vincent: One is a Voice Actor who specializes in anime and Video Games, the other is lead singer of the Death Metal band Morbid Angel. Neither should be confused with the hero of the 1967 science fiction series The Invaders.
  • "Viz" is the name of an anime and manga distributor. It is also the name of a slightly raunchy magazine in the UK.
  • Alex Wade has been the name of an American architect, a British journalist, and a member of the Death Metal band Whitechapel.
  • Is Benjamin Wade a senator from Ohio, a major league baseball player, or "Coach," the Cloudcuckoolander of Survivor that nicknamed himself "The Dragon Slayer?"
  • Robert Wagner is the name of the male lead on Hart to Hart and a past president of South Dakota State University.
  • Mark Wahlberg is a rapper turned actor. Mark Walberg (no h) is a comedian and game show host.
  • There is an actor named Thomas G. Waites, who was in The Thing (1982). No relation to Tom Waits, although Kurt Russell lampshades this in the DVD commentary for the film.
    "Hey, it's Tom Waits!"
    • Interestingly, Waites' character in the film has trouble establishing any kind of transmission to the outside world, and is named Windows. Russel's character is an alcoholic loner who destroys his computer after it beats him at chess, and is named Mac. Neither operating system existed when the film came out.
  • Scott Walker is an American-born British singer who had success in the 1960s and 1970s, both with the Walker Brothers and as a solo act; and a Wisconsin governor who came under fire in 2011 over his plan to suspend collective bargaining rights for most of the state's public-sector employees; and a longtime NHL hockey player.
  • Chris Wallace: Mike Wallace's son? Or a legendary rapper from Brooklyn?
  • George Wallace was the name of a segregationist Alabama governor and Presidential candidate, as well as the name of a standup comic. A black standup comic.
  • Mike Wallace, promising young Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver. There's also Mike Wallace, longtime 60 Minutes reporter. Frequently lampshaded by Keith Olbermann on Football Night in America. Then there's Mike Wallace, brother of 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Rusty Wallace.
  • Joe Walsh is a rock guitarist, of Eagles fame, and a Congressman from Illinois, affiliated with the Tea Party. Notably, the musician Walsh played a fundraiser for the politician Walsh's opponent in her successful 2012 campaign against him.
  • There were two Chinese skaters in the 2010 Olympics named Wang Meng. Talk about confusing!
    • They share their name with Wang Meng (c.325-375), a politician of the Former Qin Dynasty. With Wang Meng (c 1308-1385), a notable painter of the Yuan Dynasty. And with Wang Meng (1934-), a modern novelist who served a term as Minister of Culture in Red China. The family name Wang is very common.
  • War of 1812 in United States (and Canada) was the invasion of the latter by the former. (Patriotic) War of 1812 in Russia was the invasion of that country by the French under Napoleon.
  • When Kurt Warner, the supermarket-stockboy-turned-big-time-NFL-quarterback, first showed up out of nowhere with the St. Louis Rams in the late 1990s, several sportswriters thought it was Curt Warner, a not-all-that-successful Seattle Seahawks running back from the 1980s, trying to make a comeback.
    • Probably didn't help that Curt Warner also played for the (then-Los Angeles) Rams at the end of his career.
  • George Washington (1732-1799) was the first President of the United States. His grandnephew George Corbin Washington (1789-1854) was a congessman, plantation owner, busnisessman, and diplomat. George Washington (1817-1905) was an African-American freeborn man and founder of Centralia, a town in Washington state.
  • There were two different baseball franchises called the Washington Senators. The first one moved to Minnesota in 1961 and became the Twins. The second one started play when the first one left, then moved to Texas in 1972 and became the Rangers. The team that currently plays in Washington was going to be called the Senators as well, but the city government vetoed that since the District of Columbia isn't actually represented in the Senate.
    • Interestingly, the current Washington Nationals are also the second baseball franchise of that name. The first Washington Senators, founded in 1901, changed their official name to "Nationals" in 1905. Despite this, the "Nationals" and "Senators" names were used interchangeably for the next 50 years; the team officially became the "Senators" again in 1956.
  • Auteur anime director Shinichiro Watanabe (of Cowboy Bebop, Macross Plus and Samurai Champloo fame) is not the same guy as auteur anime director Shinichi Watanabe, a.k.a. Nabeshin (known Excel♥Saga and Nerima Daikon Brothers), although you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Nabeshin himself has made jokes about this in his shows.
  • A recent episode of Pushing Daisies guest-starred an actor named Michael Weaver and was shot by a cinematographer named Michael Weaver.
  • Josh Weinstein is a former writer for The Simpsons. Another Josh Weinstein is a former cast member of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Cinematic Titanic and writer for Freaks and Geeks. Perhaps to clear up the confusion, the latter has taken to billing himself as J. Elvis Weinstein.
  • Bob Welch is either a former baseball pitcher for the Dodgers and A's, or a singer who used to be with Fleetwood Mac.
  • There's Raquel Welch the American actress, and then there's Raquel Welch the Australian artist. Who is doing an art show entitled "I Hate Your Guts", which is all about how she hates Robin Williams. ...Wait, the computer writer?
  • In the Ottawa neighbourhood of Westboro, there is a prominent baptist church that was, reasonably, called the Westboro Baptist Church for quite some time. Apparently being linked to the notoriously homophobic Kansas-based church of the same name got so tiresome (the bulk of the church's website was an explanation that there was no relation) that they eventually became the Parkdale Baptist Church - Westboro Campus.
  • WETA: Consistant creators of awesome visual effects (The Lord of the Rings,King Kong, District 9, Avatar) or Washington DC-based station who helped make Ken Burns' Baseball documentary?
    • Or a giant flightless cricket from New Zealand, which the former is named after.
  • In May 2010 Ann Curry, of NBC's Today show, gave a commencement address at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. During her speech she started rattling off names of distinguished Wheaton alumni such as Billy Graham and Wes Craven. Unfortunately, she was thinking of the other Wheaton College, in Illinois.
    • On the other hand, Curry probably knew that the Billy Graham who went to the latter Wheaton College is not the former AFL football player and professional wrestler "Superstar" Billy Graham. The wrestler's name was originally Wayne Coleman, and his name was a direct tribute to the evangelist.
  • Alan White of Yes did not play drums in Oasis. That was the other Alan White.
  • The Jesse White Tumblers were founded by the current Illinois Secretary of State - not by the guy who used to be the Maytag repairman.
  • T.H. White: Terence Hanbury was the English author who wrote the The Once and Future King novels about King Arthur which were the partial source for the musical Camelot. Theodore Harold was the American journalist who wrote the Life magazine article comparing John F. Kennedy's White House to Camelot.
  • Actor Bradley Whitford (of The West Wing fame) shares a moniker with the second guitarist of the famous American hard-rock band Aerosmith, though the latter simply goes by the first name "Brad".
  • Brian Williams, anchorman of NBC Nightly News, and Brian Williams, CTV sportscaster. Had a Lampshade Hanging-filled first meeting at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
    • There's also Bryan "Baby" Williams aka Birdman, co-founder of Cash Money Records.
    • Also, Brian Williams was the original name of NBA player Bison Dele, now equally famous for his disappearance and presumed death at sea in 2002.note 
  • Jayson Williams (black) played in the NBA from 1991 to 1999. Jason Williams (white) played in the NBA from 1999 to 2011. And when Duke star Jason Williams (also black) was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 2002, he changed his name to Jay Williams to avoid confusion with both players.
  • There are two musicians named John Williams. One's a film composer, one's a classical guitarist. Try not to confuse them.
    • Someone used this combined with Punny Name to write a short comic called "The Ballad of John and Yoko" starring John Williams and Yoko Kanno making soundtrack bliss.
    • John Williams was also a British character actor who had memorable supporting roles in a couple of Hitchcock films.
    • There were also two NBA players in the late 1980s/early 1990s named John Williams. One was known as "Hot Rod" Williams; the other was nicknamed "Hot Plate" due to his ample weight.
    • Sierra On-Line founder Ken Williams has a brother named John who was marketing director for about 20 years.
    • John Fielding, a Welsh soldier who enlisted under the name of John Williams and won the Victoria Cross for his role in the Battle of Rorke's Drift.
  • Michelle Williams: Either a blonde actress, or a former member of Destinys Child.
  • Mike Williams. He's an overrated NFL player who has largely eaten his way out of the league. Now, do you mean the Left Tackle from Texas or the Wide Receiver from USC?
    • And don't confuse them with the other Mike Williams, another wide receiver who's actually pretty good.
    • Or the last man killed by Wild Bill Hickok.
  • Paul Williams the diminutive actor, songwriter and frequent Match Game panelist who wrote "Just An Old Fashioned Love Song", "Evergreen", "The Rainbow Connection" and "Rainy Day And Mondays"? Paul Williams, singer with The Temptations who committed suicide in his car? Or Paul Williams, the late music journalist and publisher of Crawdaddy magazine? A boxer, architect, rugby union member, saxophonist and soccer player also share the name.
  • Robin Williams. The name is shared by a famous actor, and a (female) writer of computer-related books named . No relation.
    • There is also a painter and one half of a folk singing duo who share this name.
  • Roger Williams is either an early American settler and theologian, or the pianist known for "Autumn Leaves" and "Born Free".
  • By the end of the 2008 season, the Dallas Cowboys had two players named Roy Williams. Sadly, they never appeared on the field at the same time. Meanwhile, another Roy Williams is busy coaching a certain college basketball team.
    • Even better, one Roy Williams was a defensive back while one was a wide receiver. We could have had Roy Williams covering Roy Williams in practice.
  • Since "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is Texan, it is likely that he chose that name in reference to Stephen F. Austin, who led the first American settlers into Texas and after whom the state capital is named.
  • Ted Williams is the name of a late Hall of Fame baseball player and a homeless man turned announcer and Internet celebrity. In an interview on The Early Show the latter even made a joke about this, intoning in his announcer voice: "Now batting for the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams".
  • Vanessa Williams: Ex-Miss America, or Melrose Place actress? Both were born in 1963, both actresses, both in Soul Food (Miss America in the 1997 film, Melrose Place in the 2000 TV series).
  • Dave Willis is Meatwad and Carl. David Willis is a webcomic artist. Do not confuse the two.
  • Victor Willis was the original cop on the Village People in the 1970's. Victor (Vic) Willis was a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher for the Braves and Pirates in the early 1900's.
  • Brian Wilson: a former member of The Beach Boys, and a relief pitcher formerly with the San Francisco Giants and now the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys, shares his name with a Canadian music critic.
  • Fans of the Gap Band were momentarily shocked when they heard Charlie Wilson had died...until they learned that it turned out to be the congressman from Texas responsible for helping mujahideen rebels get the funding and weapons they needed to fight off the Soviets in Afghanistan
  • Joe Wilson is either a former ambassador and former CIA agent Valerie Plame's husband, who essentially called President George W. Bush a liar over the White House's role in outing his wife; or a US Congressman who called President Barack Obama a liar over his statements on what would be funded in the health care bill he was pushing through.
    • They share their name with Joe Wilson, bassist for the Sneaker Pimps.
  • Justin Wilson: English Indy Car driver or Cajun TV chef?
  • Nancy Wilson, the African-American jazz vocalist, shares a name with white singer/guitarist Nancy Wilson (of Heart fame).
    • Speaking of the latter, her sister and bandmate Ann Wilson should not be confused with Irish singer Ann Nolan (of the Sisters), who became Ann Wilson by marriage.
  • Is Patrick Wilson is the drummer of Weezer or Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny AKA Dan Dreiburg/Night Owl II?.
  • Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Wilson are both published authors. This has caused confusion to those trying to locate hard-to-find and out of print Illuminatus! series books. And for those trying to find Robert Wilson's mainstream mass-market novels.
  • Tony Wilson is either the now-deceased founder of Factory Records from Manchester, UK (and subject of the biopic 24 Hour Party People), or a radio dj and author of children's book from Melbourne, Australia.
  • Amazingly, there are two people named David Wise who have some connection to Battletoads. One of them is a Briton who composed the games' soundtracks; the other is an American who co-wrote the screenplay of the Battletoads cartoon pilot.
  • Thomas Wolfe was an author of the 1930s and 1940s who wrote such novels as Look Homeward, Angel and You Can't Go Home Again. Tom Wolfe was a "new school" journalist of the 1960s and 1970s who wrote such nonfiction books as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Right Stuff, then turned to satirical fiction in the 1980s and 1990s with such novels as The Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full.
  • The spelling is slightly different, but Virginia Woolf and Virginia Euwer Wolff are authors, but of vastly different literature (the former is an English modernist author, the latter is an American award winning author of books aimed at children and young adults). There also was a metal band named Virginia Wolf
  • Contemporary Canadian author Richard Wright always includes his middle initial "B." in his name to avoid confusion with African-American author and activist Richard Wright.
    • Richard Wright was also the keyboardist for Pink Floyd.
  • Wu Tang Is both a style of Chinese swordplay and the name of the world famous rap group, the Wu-Tang Clan. Not surprising, as a film about the former inspired the name of the latter.
  • Bill Wyman is either the former bassist for The Rolling Stones or a music journalist. Bill Wyman the musician once gave Bill Wyman the journalist a cease and desist, although the latter is now free to use the name he was born with (and was given before the other Bill Wyman chose it as a stage name). To be fair, there's more potential for confusion when Bill Wyman the journalist writes articles about The Rolling Stones, which he has done in the past.
  • Yale College is a world-renowned and prestigious former technote in Wrexham, North Wales. Yale College is also an obscure backwater educational institution in New England. This caused confusion and a lawsuit when the Welsh tech college was allowed to upgrade itself to a university. After legal intervention, the Welsh university had to adopt a different name to avoid confusion.note  and is now Prifysgol Owain Glyndwr/Glyndwr University. Amusingly, both were founded by the same man who emigrated to the USA from Wales.
    • Another former British polytechnic, this time Preston Poly, also pushed its new name to the legal wire: it called itself the University of Central Lancashire and abbreviated this to UCLAn, risking confusion with the UCLA in a nicer place with far better weather.
  • Yang Yang: While TheOtherWiki lists about nine examples, the most famous are two Chinese women's short-track speed skaters who first emerged on the international scene at the 1998 Winter Olympics—one born in August 1976, and the other born in September 1977. Originally, they were respectively called Yang Yang (L) and Yang Yang (S), for "large" and "small".note  However, "Large" objected to the designation, and chose instead to be called Yang Yang (A), a nod to her birth month. "A" became China's first Winter Olympic gold medalist in 2002.
    • Although the names of Yang Yang (A) and Yang Yang (S) are pronounced identically in Chinese, they are not the same in written Chinese. Both have the same family name but different given names.
  • Do not confuse (William Butler) Yeats with (Edmund) Yates. Or with a few other poets named Yates (cf Wiki). Or with John Keats, while you're at it.
  • Andrew Young: One is the former United Nations Ambassador & mayor of Atlanta, the other is the former aide to John Edwards who covered for him by claiming fatherhood of Edwards's illegitimate child with Rielle Hunter.
  • There's Neil Young the singer/songwriter, and Neil Young the guitarist for Kittens For Christian.
    • Neither of which is to be confused with Neil Young, the former Electronic Arts executive who's now working for ngmoco.
    • Or Young Neil.
    • Not to mention Neil Young, scorer of the winning goal for Manchester City in the 1969 FA Cup Final.
  • NFL quarterback Steve Young was known for his versatility in passing and running. Alas, he wasn't versatile enough to have also been the Steve Young who was a longtime CNN reporter, or the veteran singer-songwriter Steve Young who did the original version of "Seven Bridges Road", or the Steve Young who writes for The Late Show With David Letterman.
  • Hiroyuki Yoshino, a Japanese voice actor known for his roles as Allelujah Haptism and Solf J. Kimblee or a Japanese anime screenwriter known for his works such as Guilty Crown and Macross Frontier.
  • YTV: an older name for an ITV franchisee or the youth-focused Canadian broadcaster ?
  • Jerry Zucker, the director of such films as Airplane!, Top Secret!, Ruthless People, and Ghost, shares his name with an Israeli-born businessman. The other Jerry Zucker served as Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company.
  • Zhang Yi was a high-ranked general for Shu of the Three Kingdoms. Zhang Yi was a high-ranked general for Shu of the Three Kingdoms. Zhang Yi was a high-ranked general for Shu of the Three Kingdoms. To avoid mass confusion, Three Kingdoms buffs refer to them by their style names (Bogong, Junsi, and Boqi) and often use the alternate form Zhang Ni for the third one. And let's not get started on all the other Zhang Yis of the Three Kingdoms period...
  • There are two Hollywood producers named David Zucker. One co-produced such parodies as Airplane! along with his brother Jerry. The other co-produced NUMB3RS.


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