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Just For Fun / One-Mario Limit

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Don't lie; when you read that title, you thought of this Mario, right?

"It's-a me. Mario!"
Mario Auditore, Assassin's Creed II

In Real Life, the popularity of names goes up and down over time. One factor that affects this is the emergence of celebrities with a particular name; if there is some highly successful and well-loved pop star called Mario, then expect the number of babies named Mario to rise significantly.

In fiction, however, the effect can be reversed. If one character becomes sufficiently iconic, they can come to "own" their first or last name so that whenever a person hears that name, they immediately think of that character. This can cause problems for similarly-named characters who will often be forgotten or assumed to be inferior copies (this can also extend to animals, objects or even concepts), and so other writers avoid using the name outside of deliberate shout outs to the original. Avoiding potential legal issues might be a reason as well. A good way to determine if a character counts as this is to search for their name on Google or Wikipedia. If said character dominates the results, then it's highly probable that they hold the one name limit.

However, note that the ability of characters to cause this effect is to some extent a function of the existing popularity of their name; for a character to really achieve this distinction, their name must be rare enough to be distinctive but common enough that other writers probably would have used it otherwise. Indiana Jones provides a prime example of a highly iconic character who doesn't count: the name "Indiana" is so obscure that it would probably have never have been used again even if Raiders of the Lost Ark had been a Box Office Bomb, while his surname is too common to have any attachments to one specific individual. Completely made-up names, like "Daenerys", would never have been used by other writers anyway and thus don't count either.

This effect may vary depending on who you ask, and country and language barrier play a role in this. For example, "Mario" being an Italian name, is actually common among Italians but unheard of for other people not familiar with the country, making it a lesser One-Mario Limit in Italy (though it hasn't had no effect; on the other hand, the character's brother Luigi is way more common to the point of fully averting the effect in Italy).

Compare One-Steve Limit, which is the principle of having only one character with each name within a work to avoid confusion. See also Brand Name Takeover, a similar effect where a brand's name become synonymous with the product it provides. One-Word Title may sometimes also try to aim for this. Renamed to Avoid Association can happen if the creators want to avoid the OML and name their character some other thing that hasn't been monopolized. Contrast Baby Name Trend Starter, for when fictional characters or celebrities popularize a certain name. See Named Like My Name for when an ordinary name becomes famous by association with a particular celebrity. See also Baby Name Trend Killer, where Real Life people deliberately refuse to name their children such names due to this trope.

Note: Do not list aversions unless it's relevant to the example. It leads to Trope Decay.


    open/close all folders 

  • McDonald's
    • "McDonald" is an actual Irish and Scottish patronymic surname, but now most people can't hear the surname without immediately thinking about the fast-food chain.
    • People born as "Ronald" often go by "Ron" or "Ronnie", leaving public consciousness to associate "Ronald" primarily with McDonald's clown mascot Ronald McDonald, with the only Ronald that comes anywhere near tying with the clown in the public eye being President Ronald Reagan (who, like most other U.S. Presidents, is often referred to by just his last name).
    • This reached its logical conclusion as McDonald's attempted — unsuccessfully, for over two decades — to sue a restaurant opened in 1956 called "McDonald's Family Restaurant", whose owner is a person really named Ronald McDonald.
    Anime and Manga 
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto Uzumaki is by far the most famous bearer of his first name.
    • Sasuke Uchiha is easily the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name "Sasuke", despite being one of the many characters named after the folkloric Sarutobi Sasuke. He's definitely the most famous of the references, though. His clan is indeed the dominant image of "Uchiha" in popular culture.
    • It's virtually impossible for another "Kakashi" to ever exist. Much less with a "Hatake" family name.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: It may be a real Japanese name, but you're not likely to see many Nanohas after the inception of this series.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Good luck finding another Jotaro or Josuke except for all of the protagonists named some variant thereof in the various series. The nickname Jojo is also nigh-exlusively tied to the Joestar family in the manga scene.
    • People are also likely to think of the Dio in this series if anyone else named Dio ever appears.
  • Fist of the North Star: There have been people actually named Kenshiro in real life who predate Fist Of The North Star, but there aren't a lot of other characters who use the name nowadays.
    • Kenshiro Tatara is a character from the manga Nurse Hitomi's Monster Infirmary, however the appearances of him as a young boy have plenty of little references to the other Kenshiro.
  • The name "Eren" has become so associated with the characters from Attack on Titan that you probably won't see any character in fiction with the same name for a while.
  • The uncommon Japanese name Tomie is probably forever going to be associated (to Japanese and especially Western audiences) with the alluring and antagonistic regenerating woman starring in the horror manga of the same name.
  • No Light Novel writer and even manga artist would name their character "Kirito" since Kazuto Kirigaya already owns this name.
  • You can't find an anime character with the name Nobi or Nobita anymore, because this name is unavoidably associated with a lazy, wimpy and immature kid from Doraemon.
  • Son Goku is simply the Japanese reading of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King from Journey to the West. Outside of Japan, however, it's far more synonymous with the Super Saiyan warrior, owing to him being based directly on the Monkey King.
  • It's hard to think of anyone named Yugi without the card game enthusiast sharing a body with an Egyptian pharaoh first coming to mind.
  • Shinji may be a common Japanese name, but people will automatically think of the main character of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman:
    • If you want a nickname for a character named "Alexander", you better stick with "Alex", "Al", or "Xander", because the diminutive form "Lex" is exclusive to Lex Luthor — unless it's a direct homage to him, as in Lex Luger.
    • "Kent" as a surname belongs primarily to Clark Kent, a.k.a. Superman himself, and his family. "Kent" was so associated with Clark that Batman villain Two-Face, who debuted as Harvey Kent, had his last name changed from Kent to Dent after his early appearances in order to avoid the association.
  • X-Men: "Xavier" as a surname is also unlikely to be used by another comic book character.
  • Spider-Man:
    • When you hear the surname "Parker", most can't help but think of Peter Parker, Spidey himself.
    • The surname "Osborn" is completely tied to supervillain CEO Norman Osborn (a.k.a the Green Goblin) and his son Harry to a lesser extent. Just searching for "Osborn" on Google will bring up his profile over literally anyone else, be them real or fictional.
    • No lady will ever dare to address themselves as "MJ". That's Peter Parker's reoccurring love interest, MJ Watson. "Mary Jane" is even less likely since that's also slang for weed.
  • Marvel Comics: "Thanos" is actually a real Greek name, but since the rise in popularity of the character, it probably won't be used again until God knows when.
  • Thanks to Turma da Mônica (Monica's Gang), no Brazilian work can name their female characters "Monica" without associating them to a little girl with buckteeth and a stuffed rabbit doll.
    • Similarly, if any franchise happens to have the word "Turma" (Brazilian Portuguese for "Gang"), it's likely to sneak some "Turma da Mônica" content in search results. Just ask Turma do Bairronote .
  • "Averell" is an uncommon name in the Anglosphere and unheard of anywhere else... except in the world of Franco-Belgian Comics where it's cemented as the stupidest and nicest Dalton cousin from Lucky Luke. To a lesser extent, the surname "Dalton" for non-English Europeans is most likely going to be associated with the brothers, or their Real Life counterpart.
  • Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo are just as likely to be associated with four artists of the Italian Renaissance as they are with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (except, of course, Leonardo DiCaprio).

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • "Calvin" is usually associated with a six-year-old boy with a stuffed tiger.
    • Hobbes the stuffed tiger is probably as well known as the man he was named after (Thomas "Hobbes Was Right" Hobbes), if not more.
  • Peanuts:
    • "Charlie" and "Brown" can definitely be used individually, but not together unless it's for a bald boy with a yellow shirt with a black zigzag. (except Brazil, thanks to the band Charlie Brown Jr.) An obscure Batman villain known as Kite Man is named "Chuck Brown" and is a deliberate parody of Charlie Brown.
    • The name "Snoopy" is forever associated with the white beagle.
    • It's difficult to find other characters named "Linus", and if one is found at all, it's unlikely that they are as recognizable as Lucy's younger brother. Outside of fiction, only Linus Torvalds (creator of the Linux kernel) or Linus Sebastian can really contend with him. The latter even lampshades this in the intro to the Techquickie video "How Does CAPTCHA Work?".
  • Garfield. Either a fat cat, or the good old 20th president of the USA.
  • Dilbert is a disgruntled white-collar engineer and nothing else.
  • "Addams" is a real surname that Charles Addams took from his own to create The Addams Family, as a result, this surname is forever stuck with the oddly macabre family. Its more common spelling "Adams" is unaffected.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Thanks to The Little Mermaid, "Ariel" is probably going to forever remain associated with the eponymous li'l mermaid (she composes 99% of the results for searching the name on Google Images), unless you're familiar with laundry products. Ursula is forever associated with the villainous sea witch.
    • In Arabic-speaking countries, "Aladdin" (or, rather, its un-Anglicized form, Alā ad-Dīn, and its variants) seems to be largely unaffected by this trope. In English-speaking countries, however, it's almost always understood as a reference to the story (and, by extension, the Disney film).
    • Originally, Iago was most associated with the character in Shakespeare's Othello, but the parrot has since taken control of the name.
    • Outside of China, the name "Mulan" has been thoroughly seized by Disney despite the character being based on a real person, and numerous other people and places sharing the name.
    • Though the name used to be quite common in France at the era the movie takes place, "Gaston" will make most people think of the character from Beauty and the Beast. In France and Belgium however, the name is more associated with Gaston Lagaffe.
    • Good luck finding anyone named Bambi or Faline apart from the Young Prince and his mate. Bambi had been a popular name among strippers, but the closest you're probably going to come to the latter is a The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim character whose name is pronounced identically but is spelled "Faleen".
    • There are few characters in English-speaking media named "Aurora" anymore besides the Sleeping Beauty character. This was even enforced with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Starlight Glimmer was originally named "Aurora Glimmer", but Disney wrote an angry letter causing Hasbro to change her name.
    • The Lion King (1994): "Timon" is nowadays far more associated with meerkats than with historical figures or Shakespearean characters (Timon of Athens).
    • Elsa is now entirely associated with a certain snow queen in Disney's library.
  • An entire generation of people (specifically those born 1996 or later) only know the names "Melman" and "Kowalski" as talking zoo animals.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Bond. James Bond, and no-one-else Bond. Amusingly, he was named after a real ornithologist, and the name was picked to be inconspicuous. And in real life, the name is pretty common, to the point a David Letterman Top Ten List had a James Bond saying advantages of the name.
  • "Krueger" has a last name has been forever associated with the villain of A Nightmare on Elm Street (in the USA at least, in Europe not so muchnote ).
  • "Jason" is a very common name in real life, but horror fans will immediately think of Jason Voorhees. In fact, the name is so iconic that (as James Rolfe once pointed out) most people wouldn't even know who you were talking about if you bothered to give the full name, but will understand when you limit it to the first name. "Jason Voorhees? Who's that?" "You know, Jason." "OHHHH!! Jason! Right, hockey mask, machete." Try to find another slasher villain named Jason who didn't predate him and isn't a parody of him. (The last name Voorhees is probably even more of an example).
  • While there are many men named "Chuck", such as Chuck Jones or Chuck Norris, the variant "Chucky" is largely synonymous with the killer doll from Child's Play. Meanwhile, "Chuckie" spelled with an "ie" is mostly associated with Chuckie Finster from Rugrats.
  • Back to the Future:
    • While "Martin" is a common name, its pet form "Marty" will more often than not remind people of Marty McFly, his last name might also count since it's unusual in real life.
    • "Biff" was a common nickname for though guys (similar to "Butch") but is now synonymous with Barbaric Bully and Biff Tannen is to blame.
  • Pulp Fiction: Marsellus Wallace has the monopoly of his first name.
  • Mary Poppins: The surname Poppins is a practically perfect One Mario unless you count Chelsea Poppens, former college basketball player for the Iowa State Cyclones.
  • "Ferris" was never popular as a first name to begin with, but Ferris Bueller's Day Off effectively killed whatever usability it may once have had, both in film and in real life.note  Younger audiences however, would probably connect it to "Ferris wheel" rather than a name.
  • Saw:
    • "Kramer" is a pretty common surname around the world, but many people will quickly associate it with John Kramer. A similar situation can be given to "Hoffman" with Mark Hoffman, although it isn't as broadly known due to the existence of plenty of variations (such as "Hofmann", "Huffman", etc.).
    • Even if Peter Strahm isn't very well-known, the fact that "Strahm" is a real surname would be largely unbelievable, as very few people hold it nowadays and even historically.

  • The surname "Crusoe" is mostly associated with Robinson Crusoe (unless you're a fan of youtuber dogs). "Robinson" as a first name might also count since it has an entire genre named after it. As a last name, however, it's quite common.
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: The very obscure name "Ichabod" is synonymous with Ichabod Crane in popular culture.
  • "Ebenezer" is a quite rare given name, and the strong association with Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol doesn't help.
  • Sherlock Holmes, so much that the series Sherlock only needs his first name in the title.
  • Vladimir Nabokov once said in an interview, "I am probably responsible for the odd fact that people don't seem to name their daughters Lolita any more."note 
  • Harry Potter has many examples:
    • "Potter" is a very common British last name, but now anyone bearing it is likely to have been though at least one joke about wizards.
    • During World War II, there was a British SOE officer named Harry Potter who trained French operatives for missions in occupied France.
    • Despite being a side character, Dudley Dursley became popular enough that people will think of "Dudley" as the name of a bratty spoiled (and often fat) British kid.
    • The name "Hermione" was once fairly obscure, but not unheard of. Before Harry Potter, it was most associated with a Shakespeare character, which was where J. K. Rowling got it from, or the comically grand actress Hermione Gingold. Now you probably can't hear the name without immediately thinking about Emma Watson.
  • The name "Arsène" used to be common in France, but would now probably be forgotten it it wasn't for Mr. Lupin the Gentleman Thief.
  • Despite "Isabella" being a common girls' name in the US (at least partly due to The Red Stapler effect), its short form, "Bella," has become almost irrevocably tied to Bella Swan, the protagonist of The Twilight Saga.
  • "Waldo" is an actual name but it is associated with Where's Waldo? in North America.
  • Try naming a character "Winnie" without being reminded of Winnie the Pooh, even though he is almost exclusively referred to as simply "Pooh" in conversations. One exception is Tuck Everlasting, where the main character is named Winnie (short for Winifred).
  • You will never find a character named "Samara" that is not a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl. The same applies to her Japanese equivalent, "Sadako".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: The surname Kirk is unlikely to be used in sci-fi again anytime soon. (Apart from joking references to Star Trek, obviously.) It's also not likely to see a starship in any other sci-fi franchise called Enterprise.
  • There won't be much use of the surname House either.
  • The Muppets made Kermit synonymous with a talking frog. In real life, it was a real but uncommon name; Theodore Roosevelt's son, born in 1889, was named Kermit Roosevelt. Additionally, a man named Kermit Love was a long-time designer/builder with the Muppets, however, he only first met Jim Henson several years after Kermit the Frog had been created.
  • Grover, Elmo, Bert, and Ernie are residents of Sesame Street, and no other place in the universe.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The likelihood of TV characters having the name Buffy has gone down dramatically. Or at least ones that deal with vampires. Andi Mack features a Buffy among the regular cast, though they get the obligatory joke out of the way in the pilot - enough time has passed that she might very well be named for the Slayer in-universe.
  • Seinfeld: The surnames "Seinfeld" and "Costanza" obviously can't be used elsewhere without comparisons to Jerry and George being made.
  • Chandler as a last name is perfectly acceptable. As a first name, it's still tied to Chandler Bing from Friends.
  • iCarly: Carly Shay has monopolised the name "Carly", especially among millennials and Gen Zers.
  • Bewitched: Darrin and Tabitha Stephens hold the ownership on their first names, especially among Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.
  • "Sheldon" is a fairly popular name in both real life and fiction, but ever since The Big Bang Theory became a massive hit, it's almost impossible to not think of Dr. Sheldon Cooper upon hearing the name. Most other characters named "Sheldon" were created before The Big Bang Theory existed (and some are addressed primarily by their last names, such as Sheldon J. Plankton or Sheldon Dinkleberg). Google certainly doesn't disagree based on the search results from the name "Sheldon" and it's especially telling that the show's prequel spin-off is simply titled Young Sheldon as if everyone would know exactly which Sheldon is being referred to.
  • For most 2000s kids, the name "Esteban" comes to mind a silly Hispanic bellhop.
  • The popularity of The Amanda Show and its star Amanda Bynes caused the name Amanda to become rarely used in fictional works.
  • Dawson isn't a particularly popular name, but still most people will think of the main character from Dawson's Creek when hearing the name.
  • "Fox" is a fairly common surname, but as a given name it will always be associated with Agent Fox Mulder from The X-Files. Ironic, since he treats it as an Embarrassing First Name.

  • "Clementine" in the United-States will likely have people think of the song "Oh My Darling Clementine". In French-speaking countries, it's actually quite common.
  • Thanks to The Police, "Roxanne" has gained a significant reputation as the name of a French prostitute.
  • Though Miku is a real and common Japanese name, most people when hearing the name will immediately think of Hatsune Miku. The names Kaito and Meiko are also primarily associated with the Vocaloid characters.
  • "Macarena" is not that rare Hispanic name. But people from non-hispanophone countries can't hear the name without immediately thinking about a song of the same name.

    Myths and Religion 
  • While most names of religious origins have become very common, when hearing the name "Jesus", everyone will think of the original bearer. Note that despite his influence, most followers of the Christ won't name their children after him, the exceptions being Spain, Portugal and Latin America, where the form "Jesús" is actually common.
  • While the name David has become very common, there are next to no people named "Goliath" after David's famous opponent. The figure is mostly known for losing a battle and being a giant. As such, his name is mostly used to refer to animals of unusually large size such as Goliath spiders or beetles.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Ricky Gervais invokes this trope in one of his shows; there are not many "Adolfs" around these days, although there are many Robbies and Kylies.

  • Most of William Shakespeare's more famous characters are strictly off limits, and no one uses their names unless they intentionally mean to evoke those plays, Romeo being the worst offender (though Juliet has escaped this).
  • Oedipus, with all its psychological infamy. Although in Brazil, Édipo is still used as a name.

  • "Barbara" is a commonplace name in fiction. One of its diminutive forms, "Barbie", is not. Almost every character called "Barbie" is a reference to the iconic doll-line. It's to the point where many don't realize that Barbie's name is actually "Barbara" and most Barbaras either go by "Barb", "Babs" (and very few women even go by "Babs" anymore due to it sounding rather unflattering), "Bobbi" or just use their full name.

    Video Games 
  • The Trope Namer is, of course, Mario. Outside of the Mario series, you would be hard-pressed to find a single video game use of the name that isn't a Shout-Out or a Licensed Game using the name of a real person/character from another medium. Luigi isn't that common either.
    • Assassin's Creed II features Mario Auditore, but lampshades the fact with his introduction — "Don't you recognize me? It's-a me, Mario!"
    • As does Just Cause 3 when it introduces its character Mario Frigo. They try to be subtle about it; the line reading goes out of its way not to sound like the OG Mario's catchphrase.
      Mario: Rico? Is that you?
      Rico: Si, it's me. [short pause] Mario?
    • Looking up just "Mario" on The Other Wiki goes to the article for the Mario. Even his brother shares this distinction.
    • And now, Masashi Kishimoto, author of Naruto, has the audacity to name his one-shot manga about the Mafia Mario. He seems to be aware of the connection to the plumber but doesn't care, as in that issue's Author's Notes, he jokes about making a sequel called Luigi.
    • Mario's popularity is enough to have other Real Life Marios reference him through a "Super Mario" nickname. There's the NFL wide receiver Mario Manningham, Mario Lemieux of NHL fame (who, interestingly, got his own game on the Sega Genesis of all platforms, leading to some confusion about a Mario hockey game on a Sega system), footballers Mario Balotelli, Mario Gómez and Mario Suárez (only the former is Italian, though), the singer Mario (Dewar Barrett), former Prime Minister of Italy Mario Monti and Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank. To be fair, both Mario and Luiginote  are very common names in much of Europenote , the plumbers' fame having never really influenced their diffusion in any way.
    • It's same with onomatopoeia, for example, the onomatopoeic sound Thwomp which was used in comics at at the time, Is now the name of a recurring enemy of the Mario games, so whether searching the word on Google Images, Most of the results are images of those rock faces from the games, Some comics do use the sound effect in recent times, but not that often, It's also recurringly used in webcomics, sometimes, but not a lot.
    • "Bowser" is actually a real English surname, originating from French "beau sire" (handsome sir), but now the name is solely associated with Mario's enemy. One notable Real Life bearer of the name is Doug Bowser who happens to be the president of Nintendo of America; cue jokes around King Koopa taking over the company.
  • Although the name had existed long before video games (let alone the franchise), Zelda will probably never be a prominent character in a work of fiction again. It even extends to Real Life; the only prominent person named Zelda since has been Zelda Williams, and even she was named after the series (her father was a fan).
  • It's unlikely there will be any other characters called Kirby in gaming, despite it being a common name in real life. There are minor NPCs from Bully and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl named "Kirby", but the latter is in direct reference to the Kirby — he uses Cleffa, a Pokémon that resembles the pink sphere and is highly associated with stars.
  • Ness was a rare Scottish given name meaning "from the headland", as well as the name of the loch in Scotland, known for the legend regarding a monster supposedly living there. (it's also an anagram for the SNES console; EarthBound is funny like that). After EarthBound was released, though, it has become even rarer due to this character, even if he debuted in Smash Bros. for most.
  • Assassin's Creed II probably made the name "Ezio" unlikely to be used for a videogame character ever again.
  • The term "creeper", either meaning a plant growing on other surfaces, or more popularly, a person deemed creepy; has now become synonymous with a green four-legged exploding creature thanks to Minecraft.
  • The name "Lara" (a not-so-common variation of "Laura") is going to remain forever associated with the protagonist of Tomb Raider .
  • "Niko" (an uncommon variant of "Nicholas") is strongly associated with the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto IV.
  • Without question, the most famous fictional character named Heihachi is Heihachi Mishima from Tekken. The same can essentially be said for his son Kazuya, and for both the Mishima and Kazama last names. (Literature fans however tend to associate "Mishima" with Yukio Mishima rather than Heihachi or Kazuya.)
  • Final Fantasy: The name Cid tends to be highly associated with the series, as every entry having a character with that name is a series tradition. The most popular of them is probably Cid Highwind from Final Fantasy VII. The character CID from Saints Row IV is a parody of the tradition. Despite this, one Final Fantasy title - Final Fantasy XII - did contain two characters named Cid (Dr. Cidolfus Demen Bunansa, the game's "official" Cid, and the more comic-relief orientated Al-Cid Margrace).
  • Fate/stay night has pretty much laid claim to all future uses of the surnames "Emiya", "Tohsaka", and "Matou".note  The masculine name "Illya" is also unlikely to be used as a Gender-Blender Name any time soon, as it's the short form of Illyasviel here — either the master of Berserker or the young magical girl version of her from another universe.
  • Thanks to the popularity of the Kunio-kun games, the name Kunio will forever be associated with hotblooded tough guy delinquents.
  • “Belmont” is only synonymous to the Belmont clan of vampire hunters from the Castlevania series.
  • The French name "Shantae" is so obscure the only thing that ever comes up in searches is a half-genie hero.
  • "Phoenix" is a unisex name that sounds nothing odd for girls. But if Phoenix is a boy, people may likely to associate him with Ace Attorney.
  • Finding a character with the names “Nagito” or “Komaeda” that isn’t a white haired hope fanatic with a bizarre luck cycle is highly unlikely.
  • While there are many characters named Ryu, the one who will probably come to mind first is The Hero of Street Fighter.
  • The obscure Irish name Tawna will always be associated with Crash Bandicoot's girlfriend.

  • A fictional universe example: in the web comic Jack, it's said that the titular character gave such a... specially strong... impression (being a genocidal dictator surely helps), that no one has had that name since his death, because everyone grew sick of that name and no one likes the connotations. And it was implied that it had happened several centuries since, so...
  • dolan pls. Otherwise, he's a cardinal from New York City or a pair of vlogging twins named Ethan and Grayson.

    Web Animation 
  • You'd be pretty hard-pressed to find another animated character called Petunia. It doesn't really help that she's one of the only characters in the series to have a human name.
  • Ruby is a very common girl's name, but Weiss, Blake and Yang on the other hand will make anyone think of three-fourths of Team RWBY.

    Western Animation 
  • There aren't many cartoon characters called Mickey or Minnie. Minnie probably fits the One Mario Limit moreso than Mickey. Even though Mickey Mouse is easily the most famous bearer of the name, it is still sometimes used outside of cartoons, but very few characters in any media are named "Minnie" other than Minnie Mouse.
  • The Simpsons:
    • No one will ever be able to call a character Homer or Bart now, as they're near-universally associated with those characters. Homer Simpson has even supplanted the ancient Greek poet Homer in the public consciousness.
    • The surname "Simpson", despite being fairly common in real life, has this effect on non-anglophone countries, where it's pretty much exclusively associated with the cartoon family. This might be the case in the US as well, with Family Guy hanging a lampshade in an episode featuring controversial American football player O. J. Simpson.
    • "Nelson" as a first name is pretty much synonymous with a school bully thanks to Nelson Muntz. The only person rivaling him is Nelson Mandela who's the in-universe namesake of the character.
  • Phineas and Ferb: "Phineas" is such an old-fashioned name that most of the search results are for a certain triangle-headed kid. The only other fictional Phineas that comes close is a character in the School Study Media A Separate Peace. Even more extreme in the case of Ferb.
  • Scooby-Doo: Velma and Daphne are now synonymous with two meddling kids. Shaggy is as well, with the only other well-known Shaggy being the reggae singer who named himself after the character. To be fair, "Shaggy" is also Norville Rogers' in-universe nickname, but you're not likely to find too many other Norvilles, either.
  • Casper was actually one of the Three Wise Men (also spelled Gaspar). It's a really nice name, but if you name your child Casper, you better be prepared for constant comparisons to Casper the Friendly Ghost.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog has done this with Eustace and Muriel, the former in particular due to its rarity as a given name nowadays.
  • South Park: You can't have a character with the surname Cartman anymore, unless you want said character to forever be associated with a fat sociopathic kid. Also good luck trying to name a character Butters or Kenny (at least without references to being killed).
  • Looney Tunes: Elmer Fudd is who most people would think of when they hear the name "Elmer". Either him or Elmer's glue.
  • You will have a tough time finding a musician called Alvin that is not a cartoon chipmunk. The fact that a character shouts this name at least Once per Episode in pretty much every animated adaptation further cements this. Most British readers of a certain age will immediately think of Alvin Stardust, though of course he was really Shane Fenton.
  • The Loud House:
    • It might sound unbelievable, but "Loud" is not that rare of a surname in the US. Too bad if you attempt to use it for a character though, since there's a whole cartoon family of 13 people currently owning it.
    • Similarly, "Casagrande" is a quite recurring surname not only in the Latin American sphere (including Brazil), but also the US and certain European countries. However, it has pretty much been taken over by the Santiago-Casagrande family.
  • The name "Peppa" is going to remain forever associated with Peppa Pig.
  • "Stewie", a diminutive of the name "Stewart", will forever be associated with a highly intelligent Ambiguously Gay talking baby who constantly plots to kill his mother.
  • The name "Angelica" is mostly associated with the three-year-old Spoiled Brat from Rugrats.
  • While Eda is a somewhat common name, many people would immediately associate it with the Owl Lady of the Boiling Isles.
  • If you hear the name "Morty", which is a shortening of the given name "Mortimer", you're most likely going to be thinking of Morty Smith from Rick and Morty.

    Real Life 
  • An infamous person whose both first and last name are forever associated with is none other than Adolf Hitler, with the Hitler Ate Sugar effect being at play:
    • "Hitler" is a rare variation of the German surname "Hiedler". It wasn't common to begin with and in the aftermath of World War II, most bearers legally changed it.
    • "Adolf" (and variants Adolph and Adolphe)note  became an Embarrassing First Name for the creator of Adidas, Adolf Dassler, who exclusively went by "Adi". Harpo Marx's real name was "Adolph Marx" but he went by "Ahdie" and later changed it to "Arthur".
  • "Astolphe", the French form of German "Astolf" is a name that has only one notable bearer so far, French writer Astolphe de Custine. One can suspects that it sounding to close to the aforementioned "Adolph" may be to blame for the lack of resurgence of the name.
  • The Presidents of the United States have quite many examples among them:
    • The last names "Lincoln", "Kennedy" and "Nixon" are strongly associated with the American presidents bearing them. Then there's "Roosevelt" which is even more so the case as it's borne by two presidents, Theodore and Franklin.
    • When hearing the first name "Woodrow", most will think of Woodrow Wilson who kickstarted the popularity of the name.
    • The arabic name "Barack" is associated solely with president Barack Obama, and so is his last name for that matter.
    • "Donald" was for a long time synonymous with a cartoon duck, but is now strongly associated with president Donald Trump. It helps that it was already considered an Outdated Name with very few relevant bearers, most going by "Don" anyways.
  • Many leaders and other important figures of Russia have last names that are associated solely with them, some being nearly unique: This includes "Rasputin", "Gorbachev", "Yeltsin" and "Putin".
  • "Churchill" despite being not that rare of a British surname, is solely associated with Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The name "Winston", while not as strong of an association, has still gained the reputation of being fit for a Quintessential British Gentleman thanks to Churchill.
  • Disney is the name of the world-wide known biggest entertainment media company and nothing else. It is actually named after its founder Walt Disney but no writers would name their fictional character "Disney" by fear of copyrights among other reasons.
  • "Rudyard" is the forename of Rudyard Kipling and pretty much no one else.
  • There will only be one Napoléon. Well, technically, there was his nephew Napoleon III who was president of France and later became Emperor himself, for a longer time in fact, but pretty much stuck in the shadow of his uncle, whose historical impact is so big it would be hard to overshadow him.
  • "Einstein" is solely associated with Albert Einstein. In popular culture, this name is synonymous with "clever" just like "Sherlock" is synonymous with "insightful".
  • While technically there's no restriction against a Pope choosing the name Peter, no pontifex has deemed himself worthy of homaging Saint Peter, the apostle who founded the Catholic Church. There is even a prophecy that Peter II will be the last Pope for resonance.
  • Tom Hanks had a speech regarding actors who can be identified by a single part of their name, Denzel Washington standing out as in his case, it's his first name.
    Brando; Clift; Poitier; McQueen; Hoffman; Pacino; De Niro. Now the cliche "the list goes on-and-on" does not apply here–because it doesn't. The list is finite, the club is exclusive. A single name can define an artist who is a peer and equal with all of the greatest legends of our craft. If Washington doesn't ring loud enough, then let the first name carry all the weight. And that name is Denzel.
  • All Elvises are direct shout outs to The King. The ones who are not are forced to use their full names.
    • Elvis Costello named himself in reference to Presley. And he sometimes released music under the pseudonym "The Imposters". His last name competes only with Lou.
    • Merengue singer Elvis Crespo (of "Suavemente" fame) was named after THE Elvis.
    • Folk singer Elvis Perkins was named after The Elvis by his father, actor Anthony Perkins.
    • A Swedish series of children's books by Maria Gripe features a young protagonist named Elvis by his Presley-loving mother. (Swedish children are NEVER named Elvis unless it's a tribute to The King.note ) After The King dies, his mom starts calling him Edwin or Edmund.
  • Don't expect to be hearing of any pop singers named Britney in the future. Britney Spears owns the name. The name "Britney" in general is this, as it's even a redirect to her page on Wikipedia ("Brittany" and "Brittney" haven't been hit as hard, but they're not immune).
  • The name of multiple African origins "Kanye" is monopolized by rapper Kanye West, whom according to, his name fittingly means "the only one".
  • Shakira isn't a particularly common Hispanic name, but it's not rare either. That being said, pretty much everyone bearing the name has had to deal with the inevitable "Hips Don't Lie" jokes.
  • When Madonna Ciccone's given name is that uncommon and that strongly associated with one person, many people assume "Madonna" must be a stage name. Her name is only rivaled by the Virgin Mary.
  • Elton seems safely secure nowadays.note 
  • "Ozzy" is an alternate spelling of the real name "Ozzie" but is used mainly as the nickname of John Osbourne, with or without his last name alongside it.
  • Out of "respect" for the Queen of Soul, Aretha is fully off-limits.
  • Adele isn't that rare of a name, but now it is mostly associated with the British singer, especially after her international breakthrough in 2011. She's the reason that Adele Sandé goes by her middle name Emeli. In fact, her article on That Other Wiki is at simply "Adele."
  • Deliberately invoked by Tay Zonday. He said in an interview he picked the name because it was the first one he came up with that didn't show any other significant personages in a web search.
  • The Beatles: There are many people named John, Paul, and George, but there is only one Ringo. A Japanese name meaning "apple", but Starr's was actually a nickname due to the rings he wore. It's what most outside Japan know when hearing the name.
  • It's hard to think of a "Keanu" other than Mr. Reeves.
  • The uncommon name "Elon" is associated only with billionaire and founder of Space "X", Elon Musk.
  • Korean Pop Music
    • There is only one Boa.
    • The K-pop companies can't have any idol with the name "Jungkook" anymore, unless you expect him to forever be associated with BTS.
    • Although Hyuna (pronounce hyun-ah) is a real and common Korean name, in K-pop industry, the name is unsurprisingly associated with Hyun A.
    • "Jisoo" is a common unisex name in Korea, but everywhere else it refers almost exclusively to the BLACKPINK member. She’s not the only idol who goes by that name, but the others are far more obscure in the West. This is likely why the ITZY member uses the stage name "Lia" instead. On the flip side, though common Western names, "Jennie" and "Lisa" are unlikely to be used by any other K-pop idol without being associated with the Blackpink members.
    • TWICE being one of the most popular girl groups internationally, combined with none of the members using English names professionally, means that at least some members (particularly Nayeon, Jeongyeon, and Tzuyu) have had their names associated almost exclusively with them outside of Korea.note  Tzuyu has pretty much monopolized the Wade-Giles Romanization of the Chinese name Ziyu.
  • When you mention the name "Kobe", you almost always get former basketball star Kobe Bryant instead of the Japanese city, the meat, or League of Legends caster Sam "Kobe" Hartman-Kenzler.
  • Similarly, "Ichiro" nowadays has pretty much been taken over by former baseball star Ichiro Suzuki, whether you're in Japan or North America. His page on the Japanese Wikipedia is at "イチロー" (romanized as "Ichirõ") instead of his actual Japanese name of "鈴木 一朗" ("Suzuki Ichirõ").
  • Stephen Curry is pretty much the only man who can use the nickname "Steph", as it's otherwise exclusively reserved as a shorthand for the female name Stephanie. Even the pronunciation of his name ("Steffen" instead of "Steven") qualifies.
  • Usain is mostly associated with Usain Bolt, the Jamaican Olympic sprinter.
  • Outside of India, Jinder Mahal has OML'd the name "Jinder".
  • The last names "Dahmer", "Gacy" and "Bundy" have gained a murky reputation due to their most (in)famous bearers being American serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy.
  • If your name is "Alanis", chances are you're gonna be the butt of many jokes relating to that Canadian woman who doesn't know what irony is.
  • The surname "Hogan" is primarily associated with Hulk Hogan, despite it not being his real name and Colonel Robert Hogan predating him by decades.

Alternative Title(s): One Mario Rule, Only One Mario