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Currently drunk, always The Ditz.

Dean: Is your name Pumpkin?
Triana: No, it's Triana. Doesn't your dad have a nickname for you?
Dean: Well, I've heard him call me "Dave" or "Don" a few times, but I don't think they're nicknames…
The Venture Bros., "Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!"
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Alice is The Ditz, The Fool, a Cloudcuckoolander… the point is, she's an idiot. And since she's an idiot, she can't remember Bob's name, even though she's known him for ages. She can try, but it's unlikely that she'll ever hit upon the right name—unless things have just gotten real. Maybe she likes him and just has an odd way of showing it. She may be a normal person, but even normal people get mixed up with names sometimes. The outcome is the same—she can't pin the name down. This may be a Running Gag.

Better yet, maybe Bob is an alien, Super Hero, or an otherworldly creature in general, with a strange and/or long name—how could she know it?

Pronouncing My Name for You might occur if the accidental misnaming is a mispronunciation.

Malicious Misnaming is a Sister Trope in which using the wrong name on purpose is a bullying tactic.

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If the misnaming is a one-off incident in an emotional moment, it's Wrong Name Outburst. If The Fool genuinely thinks Person B is someone else, it's Thoroughly Mistaken Identity. If the name change is intentional, see Significant Name Shift. For out-of-universe examples, see Viewer Name Confusion.


Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Advertising 
  • In a FedEx commercial, a guy walks into a FedEx/Kinko's and sets down a package that he says needs to be shipped to Pahonicks. The rep claims they can ship anything anywhere, but he's never heard of Pahonicks. The customer gets exasperated and says it's the largest city in Arizona, to which another customer says, "You mean Phoenix?" Cue awkward laughter from stupid guy, as everyone looks on in pity.
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    Asian Animation 

    Comedy 
  • Ted Alexandro has a bit about how his neighbors called him by the wrong name once, and he deliberately never corrected them. It was years before they found out:
    Neighbor: "Dude, why didn't you just say something?"
    Ted: "I-I wanted to be Fred for you. I thought you needed me to be Fred."
    Neighbor: "Don't worry, we liked you as Fred, we'll like you as Tod."

    Comic Books 
  • In Alan Ford, volumes past 100 introduce the attorney Hal Hamburger. The same volume introduces a judge who, apparently, never gets his surname wrong and instead call him things like "Hot Dog", "Sandwich", "Hoagie" or "Bratwurst" before being promptly corrected.
  • In The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw Sandorst's unfamiliarity with human names leads him to call "Learoyd, Steven T. of the coalition forces" Learoyd-Steventy of Coalitia.
  • Bone: "Roque Ja. ROQUE JA. You're not rolling the R." note 
  • In the tenth chapter of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Scrooge just can't get the name of the Junior Woodchucks organization right. Over the course of the story, he calls them "Midget Gophers," "Runt Chipmunks," "Dwarf Voles" and "Microbe Moles," with everyone — including the Beagle Boys — constantly trying to correct him. On the last page, he finally gets it right, causing his sister Matilda to automatically start correcting him and then realize her error:
    Scrooge: Look! The Junior Woodchucks!
    Matilda: Woodchucks! Huh? Oh... sorry.
  • Invader Zim (Oni) has this as a Running Gag in several issues:
    • In Issue 16, Zim keeps referring to Gaz as "Gus". She doesn't seem to mind (at the very least, she never corrects him).
    • In Issue 28, the leader of the stranded Irken science team that Zim encounters is named Floog, but Zim keeps calling him "Flarg".
    • Throughout Issue 50, both Zim and Dib keep getting Chammy Wamboo's name wrong, calling her things like "Wammy", "Chimney", and "Chummy".
  • In the Italian comic Lupo Alberto, set in a World of Funny Animals, Enrico La Talpa, a mole, is memorably introduced emerging from the ground in front of a crawling Alberto shouting "Heilà Beppe!" and affectionately punching him in the nose, to which a spooked Alberto can only reply "I-I-I'm nononot Beppe...". Justified because Enrico is poorly sighted like a mole and mistook him for Beppe... But then Beppe would never appear and Enrico would continue calling Alberto with that name.
    • A later comic had Enrico call Alberto with the correct name, leading to Alberto to cry in happyness... Then Enrico grabbed his glasses, took a good look, and apologized for mistaking him for Alberto.
    • A more recent comic has him purposefully refer to the title character as "Lupo Alberto" (Alberto the Wolf), revealing that at some point he figured out the mistake and now Beppe is simply his nickname for him.
  • In Tintin, Bianca Castafiore just can't seem to get Captain Haddock's (or his butler, Nestor's) name quite right. The Captain gets his own back at one point ("Captain, er..." "Harrock, Madam. Captain Harrock'n'roll."). But what's funny is that she never gets it wrong the same way twice.
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye:
    • Rung is never correctly addressed by name when he is conscious or present. The other characters will either forget his name, mispronounce his name, or simply identify him based on his profession. However, characters do not seem to have this problem at all in prose stories or when he is not present.
    • When Tailgate is first brought on board the Lost Light, he hears Whirl called (appropriately enough) "Nutjob". 40+ issues later, Tailgate still seems to be under the impression that's his actual name. In a Franchise where characters have canonically been named "Dipstick", "Wideload", and "Windbreaker", it doesn't seem like such a stretch.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy: Lawson's Kree name is Mahr Vehl, and he has a rank of pluskomander, the analogous thing to a Captain. Everybody then calls him "Captain Marvel", except for Thor and Sam Wilson, the only ones who bothered to get the name right.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: Kingpin called Electro "Elektra". She also works for him, but not in this story yet.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Aristocats, Roquefort the mouse calls O'Malley "O'Toole", "O'Brien", and "O'Grady", prompting the cat's friends to think he's lying.
  • Cinderella III: A Twist in Time: When Jaq and Gus explain to Cinderella why the Prince suddenly doesn't recognize her, Gus says Anastasia's name as "Anesthesia". This is also why he calls Cinderella "Cinderellie".
  • Cars: Lightning once accidentally calls his coworker "Chuck".
    And my name is not Chuck!
  • In Coco, this establishes the title character's senility in the first few minutes of the movie:
    Coco: How are you, Julio?note 
    Heretofore Unnamed Narrator: Actually, my name is Miguel. Mamá Coco...has trouble remembering things.
  • In Coraline, people frequently misname the protagonist as "Caroline".
  • In Finding Nemo:
    • The absent-minded Dory can never remember the name of Marlin's eponymous son, calling him at various points Chico, Harpo, Elmo, Bingo, and Fabio. She eventually gets it right and recognizes him as Nemo near the end of the movie, much to her own delight. Also, Marlin gets accidentally called "Marty" by one of the other fathers and "Tuna" and "Trout" by Nigel.
    • The sequel, Finding Dory, on the other hand, almost completely averts this. In fact, Dory never got Nemo's name wrong at any point. The only time she slips up on somebody else's name is when she calls Hank as "Frank", and that's only once.
  • Flushed Away
    • When Toad's mooks capture Roddy along with Rita, he claims to be just an innocent bystander. They misunderstand this as his name being "Millicent Bystander", and refer to him as such for the rest of the film.
    • Oh, and Rita's senile grandmother constantly calls Roddy Tom Jones.
  • Frozen
    • Played for Laughs when Kai announces the Duke of Weselton as "the Duke of Weaseltown." Then invoked at the end when he deliberately refers to Weselton as "Weaseltown" as he announces the placement of a trade embargo.
    • There's a misunderstanding where Olaf the snowman believes that Kristoff is named Sven, the same as the reindeer. He proceeds to call Kristoff "Sven" for most of the film, until the scene where they meet his troll family.
    • Anna calls Kristoff "Christopher" the first time and is corrected.
    • Anna mistakenly thinks that "Of The Southern Isles" is Hans's last name, due to that being his title.
  • In The Great Mouse Detective Basil always gets Olivia Flaversham's last name wrong despite her (and later, the other characters') corrections. At the climax, he addresses her father by the proper name, so when he later messes up again when saying goodbye to Olivia, you know he's just being affectionate.
  • In Home (2015), Oh mimics Tip and refers to Lucy as "Mymom" (sometimes "your Mymom"), because the concepts of a mother and families are alien to him.
  • Igor: Brain, due to not being as smart as he thinks, wrote his own name as "Brian". While Scamper calls him Brian to spite him, the guy running the brainwashing centre calls him that by mistake.
  • The Incredibles: When Mr. Incredible meets Buddy, he calls him "Brody".
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack calls Santa Claus "Sandy Claws", and teaches the name to all of HalloweenTown before Santa ever meets him, let alone has a chance to correct him.
  • In Penguins of Madagascar, Skipper keeps forgetting Dave's name, calling him Doug, Darryl, and Debbie, among other names, until the end of the movie where he calls him Ramirez (and that doesn't even start with D). The end credits get in on it too, where they call him Debbie before correcting it.
  • At the beginning of Peter Pan, when Wendy and her father argue about the Peter Pan stories she's been telling.
    Mr. Darling: Wendy, haven't I warned you? Stuffing the boys' heads with a lot of silly stories!
    Wendy: Oh, but they're not.
    Mr. Darling: I say they are! Captain Crook, Peter Pirate...
    Wendy: Peter Pan, father.
    Mr. Darling: Pan, Pirate... Poppycock!!
  • Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe: Candace calls her guard "Mr. Toilet Shower", which is a rather more humiliating name than "Toilet Flower". (Granted, it's still pretty bad)
  • In The Rugrats Movie, the news reporter gets the kids' names wrong, calling Tommy "Tammy", Dil "Dale", Chuckie "Chunky", Phil "Bill", Lil "Jill", and Angelica "Amelia".
  • In Stitch! The Movie and the TV series that it served as a Pilot Movie for, Dr. Hämsterviel is frequently referred to as "Dr. Hamsterwheel", usually by the staff of the prison asteroid he's staying in during the latter.
  • Reggie Belafonte from Surf's Up does this; literally a second after being told our hero's name. Cody Maverick becomes Cody Mavencourt. Semi-justified, as the guy(?) cares pretty much zero about the clients he manages.
  • The Sword in the Stone: Lord Ector constantly calls Merlin "Marvin", no matter how many times the latter corrects him.
  • Wakko's Wish: Yakko, Wakko, and Dot repeatedly call King Salazar "King Saladbar".
  • The Frozen example is given a Shout-Out in Zootopia. Here, the guy's actually called Duke Weaselton (because he's a Wicked Weasel with Species Surname)...and Judy calls him Weselton.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Two examples occur in 1994 Baker Street: Sherlock Holmes Returns. When Holmes is confused or excited, her accidently calls Dr. Winslow 'Watson'. And Lefty seems to think that Sherlock's name is 'Shadrock' and continually calls him that.
  • A variation that's barely noticeable without subtitles occurs in Avatar. Jake Sully introduces himself to the Omaticaya Na'vi by his full name. While Neytiri continues calling him Jake, the rest all call him by his full name. However, it's subtitled as "Jakesully", and they often pronounce it as "Jake-sooly". Jake himself never corrects or calls them on it in the film itself.
  • In Being There, the hero coughs as he tells Eve his name. Eve mishears "Chance the Gardener" as "Chauncey Gardiner" which becomes the hero's new name.
  • A Running Gag of Blazing Saddles has villain Hedley Lamarr being called "Hedy". Hedy Lamarr even sued the studio afterwards.
  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Borat refers to the President of the United States as "McDonald Trump" throughout the film, mentions "Kenneth West" in the intro, and claims that his neighbor stole his "Michael the Mouse" pajamas.
  • In The Bucket List, Jack Nicholson's character, Edward Cole, has a habit of calling his subordinates whatever name(s) he prefers; the way he acts, you'd think it was accidental if it weren't shown clearly that he does know their real name (making this a subversion). It's not Malicious Misnaming because it's not a variation of their real name or meant as an insulting or bullying tactic. He basically acts as if their real name is immaterial.
    Ed: Do you know what a philistine is, Joe?
    Richard: Sir, it's Richard.
    Ed: That's right, Phil. Now, give 'em the spiel.
    • Later we find out he's done the same thing to his personal valet, Tommy (though Tommy might just be messing with Carter):
      Carter: Can I ask: Is it Tommy, or Thomas?
      Tommy: Actually, it's Matthew, but he finds that too Biblical.
  • In Captain America: Civil War, The Cameo of Stan Lee has him deliver a package to a "mister Tony 'Stank'".
  • The school principal in Carrie (1976) calls Carrie White "Cassie Wright" three times, even while Miss Collins is correcting him. This causes Carrie to telekinetically break his ashtray.
  • Cheaper by the Dozen: Tom gets Mark's name wrong twice throughout the film. Both times, Mark corrected him. The second time Tom corrects himself.
    Mark: Have you seen my frog, dad?
    Tom: No I haven't Charlie, Nigel, Kyle.
    Mark: It's Mark.
    Tom: I knew that.
  • In Dark Shadows, some hippies accidentally call Victoria "Veronica" and start mimicking her when she says, "It's Victoria".
  • In Die Hard with a Vengeance, John first hears Zeus's name when a local boy says "Hey, Zeus!" John consequently mistakes his name for Jesús, which sounds very similar. Zeus is angered and asks if he looks Mexican.
  • A Running Gag of DOA: Dead or Alive is people calling Weatherby "Wallaby" or something like that. At the end, his love interest Helena calls him by his name, which leads to him angrily trying to correct her before he realizes she got it right.
  • In The Double, Simon's boss keeps calling him "Stanley", despite the fact that Simon has worked for him for seven years.
  • A character in The Dukes of Hazzard movie misremembers Enos' name as "Anus". Family Guy did the same joke, and they're probably not the only ones.
  • In Final Destination 5, Dennis thinks Sam's name is 'Stan', and even tells him off for trying correct him. And he doesn't seem to know who Isaac is at all.
  • The Gallows: Being a Jerk Jock, Ryan obviously doesn't bother to learn the names of anyone outside of his elite social circle.
    Ryan: Hey, Brooke!
    Kelly: My name is Kelly!
  • How the young Vito Andolini from the town of Corleone, Sicily, became known as Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II—the immigration official at Ellis Island mistook his hometown for his surname, thus rechristening him with the new surname that eventually earns his family's reputation as the most powerful crime family in New York.
  • In Godzilla (1998) people had trouble with Nick Tatopoulos' surname.
  • Denise in Hell Night keeps calling her supposed romantic partner Seth "Wes", much to his annoyance.
  • In High Lifes and Low Lifes, while drunk, Frances calls her best friend Shannon 'Sharon'.
  • The hero in Idiocracy says "I'm not sure if..." to a machine, which proceeds to assume his name is literally 'Not Sure' and tattoo this name on his arm. Everyone calls him 'Not Sure' for the rest of the movie. The epilogue shows him becoming President Not Sure.
  • In John Carter, John introduces himself as "Captain John Carter of the Army of Virginia" to the Tharks. The Tharks assume his name is Virginia and never catch on to their mistake. John gets annoyed at first but rolls with it. He does correct his name to Dejah, but the Tharks eventually give him a new name Dotar Sojat (according to the film, not the book, it means "my right hands").
  • In Kiss Me Quick!, Sterliox keeps referring to Dr. Breedlove as 'Dr. Birdseed'.
  • In Living in Oblivion, Nicole mistakenly addresses Tito as Toto.
  • In The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Toby keeps referring to Melissa as 'Sarah'.
  • A Running Gag on Mean Girls is the characters mispronouncing Cady's name and calling her "Catty". This foreshadows her transformation into Alpha Bitch.
  • Men in Black II: In the Hilarious Outtakes, director Barry Sonnenfeld kept referring to the automatic pilot actor as "Derek", despite Will Smith trying to tell him he was getting it wrong ("Who the fuck is Derek?!").
  • In The More the Merrier, both Joe Carter and Benjamin Dingle engage in this trope. Another hilarious Running Gag to this Screwball Comedy.
  • When Napoléon gives his name to Pichegru in a Corsican accent, the latter mishears it as "Paille-au-nez" (straw-in-the-nose).
  • In Ramona and Beezus, Mr. Quimby calls Picky-Picky the cat "Icky-Sticky" and "Sticky-Picky".
  • In Shanghai Noon, Jackie Chan's character introduces himself as Chon Wang, but Roy and the other Wild West characters mistake this for John Wayne...and comment it's a stupid sounding name.
  • In Sheitan, Eve starts off thinking Bart's name is Marc, and introduces him to Joseph as 'Marc'. Bart corrects her, and she starts calling by his correct name, but it takes longer for it to sink in for Joseph who keeps calling him 'Marc' for sometime.
  • Short Cuts features two examples across its many subplots.
    • Howard Finnigan's father Paul has not seen him for thirty years by the time he shows up at the hospital where his eight-year-old son Casey has been taken after being hit by a car. Because this means he has never met either Howard's wife Ann or Casey himself, he accidentally refers to Casey as "Kevin" when he finds Howard and Ann, and has to be prompted every other time he tries to remember his grandson's name.
    • In the film's opening sequence, Ralph and Marian Wyman are sitting next to Stuart and Claire Kane at a concert. When Marian and Claire's amazement at seeing Alex Trebek in the audience gets them to talking and inspires Marian to invite the Kanes to dinner, Ralph points out that they are effectively total strangers. When the Kanes arrive for dinner in the film's final third, Ralph is still vague on their guests' details and initially addresses Stuart as "Steven".
  • In Scooby-Doo (2002), Fred keeps getting Emile Mondavarious's surname wrong. He only gets it right once.
  • In Skyfall, James Bond introduces M to Kincade, and Kincade thinks her name is "Emma". She shows a slight hint of annoyance before she decides to just let him think that.
  • The android in Slipstream (1989) recites "And Thou Art Dead, As Young And Fair", then states who wrote it: Byron. Being unfamiliar with poetry in an After the End world, Owens thinks he's introducing himself so refers to the android as Byron. The android never bothers to correct him, either because it never had a name, or prefers not to use the name his previous master gave him.
  • In Spider-Man 3, Jameson misnames Eddie Brock twice. Instead of calling him by his surname Brock like he does with Peter, he instead calls him Bruckner and Bernstein. Eddie corrects him the first time.
  • In Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, the detective investigating Ricky's disappearance keeps referring to him as Richie.
  • In Star Trek Beyond, Jaylah repeatedly addresses Montgomery Scott as "Montgomery Scotty". (In her defense, she's an alien who's unfamiliar with human naming conventions.)
  • In Transformers, Mikaela and Simmons each get Sam Witwicky's surname wrong when they try to say it. Mikaela says it as "Wilkicky" and Simmons says it as "Wickity", even after Sam's father Ron corrects him.
  • Violent Saturday: When drunk, Boyd seems incapable remembering any man's name, including his own. He never gets a woman's name wrong, however.
  • The Wedding Year: Mara repeatedly calls Ellie's husband by Ellie's ex-boyfriend's name.
  • In Young Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock first meets John Watson, sees that his name tag reads "J. Watson", and assumes Watson's first name is James.

    Music 
  • In the Flanders and Swann song "The Gasman Cometh", said gasman calls the singer "Mr. Sanderson". We don't know what the character's name is (although the real singer is Michael Flanders) but he notes that it "wasn't quite my name".
  • Ninja Sex Party: In "6969", Danny Sexbang, after having intercourse with a woman more than once, tells the woman that he will always love her, and then asks for her name. After learning that her name is "Kristen", and complimenting the name for its beauty, he soon after calls her "Katie" as he departs.
  • Straight Outta Oz: In "Papi", the woman keeps on calling Todrick "Trevor". She's more interested in his body than his actual character.

    Podcasts 
  • This is a favourite gag in several games of Cool Kids Table.
    • In Creepy Town, Will does this constantly. He calls Alli "Kelly" and Walter "Wilbur" immediately after meeting them.
    • In their Firefly game, Mickey constantly calls Todd "Tim".
    • In Here We Gooooo! Since Yoshi caught her letter with his tongue and accidentally wiped off several letters, he refers to Princess Caramel Seltzer as "Cammy Seller".
    • The player characters from The Fallen Gods will do this to everything and everyone, regardless to if they actually know the name or not, regardless to whether the person who told them the name of the person or thing is standing right beside them.
  • The Last Podcast on the Left: In part 3 of the show's series on Mormonism, Marcus describes how a man left the LDS Church because one of Joseph Smith's revelations, meant specifically for him, spelled his name wrong. He thought that, out of anything, God should be able to spell. Henry notes that the name's proper spelling was the non-intuitive "Symonds Ryder". Ben posits that, between this and His apparently not telling the Manson Family how to spell "Helter Skelter", perhaps God really can't spell.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • One of CM Punk's Running Gags during his stint as guest commentator on WWE NXT Season 3 was his inability to remember the names of the NXT Rookies.
    CM Punk:: I thought Francine was going to win.
    Josh Matthews: Maxine.
    CM Punk:: What did I say?
    Josh Matthews: Uh.. Someone else.
  • Mick Foley recounted that when he first met Vince McMahon, Vince referred to him as "Mike." note  Mick was too nervous to correct Vince, and just put up with it the rest of the meeting. Fortunately for Mick, by their second meeting someone had informed Vince of the mistake.
  • While doing ring introductions for WCW main events, Michael Buffer would occaisionally mess up a name, most infamously "Bret Clark."

    Puppet Shows 
  • Between the Lions has the unfortunately named Dr. Nitwhite, who is often mistakenly called "Dr. Nitwit", usually by his assistant, Watson. Naturally, he gets really ticked off whenever this happens.
  • In the Lamb Chop's Play-Along episode "Principal Swanson," Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy's school principal comes to visit Shari, and since none of the puppets are model students, they worry that they're in trouble. But it turns out he wants to tell Shari what great students they are. But then, as he leaves, he says "Goodbye Billy, Jane and Bobby." It's not made clear if he just got their names very wrong or (more likely) that he confused them with another trio of siblings at their school who really are great students.
  • Sesame Street
    • During the time that Mr. Hooper was alive, Big Bird almost never got Mr. Hooper's name right. Commonly, he would call him "Mr. Looper", even after he corrected him.
    • Similarly, when Mr. Handford appeared on the show, the other characters would call him "Mr. Handfoot", and he would have to correct them, seemingly to no avail.
    • In an episode in which Freddy Flapman, a real estate agent, tries to convince Big Bird to move to a new habitat, a Running Gag throughout that episode is Big Bird getting Freddy's last name wrong and Freddy having to correct him. Freddy ends up doing it to himself at the end of the episode (though that was Self-Deprecation instead of this trope).
    • In Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, featuring the Sesame Street Muppets, right before Santino Fontana takes the stage, Ernie pulls an "Adele Dazeem" and constantly misremembers his name, much to Bert's annoyance.
    • Several animated skits had a superhero who taught about teeth called "Captain Super Ultra Mega Smile Man". The boy Bobby kept forgetting his Overly Long Name and called him "Captain Mega Whatever", "Captain Mega Teeth Guy" and "Super-Duper Smiley Dude".
      Bobby: "You really need a shorter name."
  • A Running Gag in the The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss episode, "The Blag-Bludder Beast" has Yertle constantly mispronouncing the name of the titular beast. The villagers of Troomph would always correct him, but to no avail.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • A Running Gag in Curtis is that Gunther, the barber, always gets Curtis's name wrong.
  • Peppermint Patty, in Peanuts, insists on calling Charlie Brown "Chuck" and Lucy "Lucille." They've long since given up correcting her. (It's never made clear whether Lucille is Lucy's real name or not.) Meanwhile, the little red-haired girl calls Charlie Brown "Brownie Charles," although that one is his own fault; he introduced himself that way out of nerves and she just continued calling him that, even though it's very obviously not a real name.

    Radio 
  • When Steve Bregiere began writing, producing, and acting as a cohost for Glenn Beck, Glenn honestly forgot Steve's name and called him Stu, and for whatever reason Steve didn't correct Glenn for over a month. To this day nearly everyone refers to Steve as Stu. While he's used to it he does express some slight annoyance about it from time to time.
  • The Men from the Ministry:
  • The Unbelievable Truth: At the end of one episode, David Mitchell manages to call Frankie Boyle "Spanky". Much embarrassment and taunting follows as the time allows.
    David: And, at the end of that round, Spanky... er, at the end of that round, Frankie...
    [Frankie bursts into laughter]
    Holly Walsh / Sara Pascoe: [disbelievingly] Spanky?!
    Miles Jupp: Oh, David...
    Sara: Oh my God...
    Frankie: Not in public!
    Miles [over the panellists' laughter]: Save it 'till we're not here, David!
    Sara: "Spanky"...?
    Miles: God, this is so uncomfortable...
    [Several more seconds of now-hysterical laughter]
    David: I'm so sorry, Spanky, erm, Frankie... erm... right...
    Miles: The two of you, pretending you're dialling in from different places, it's pathetic!note 

    Sports 
  • During a 1940s football game broadcast, sportscaster Red Barber accidentally introduced his play-by-play partner Russ Hodges as "Russ Hughes". An amused (or perhaps miffed) Hodges responded, "Thank you, Red Baker."
  • A similar situation unfolded when Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker, talking about his new team in 2015, accidentally referred to superstar right fielder Bryce Harper as 'Royce'. Bryce later responded by saying, "That's okay, Rusty."

    Theatre 
  • The Book of Mormon: Elder Cunningham is simply incapable of remembering Nabulungi's name. He addresses her by a different name each time he greets her, some of which include Neutrogena (a brand of hair and skin products), Neosporin (an antibiotic cream), Necrophilia, and Nala. Some productions ad-lib other references—such as Nicki Minaj, Netflix-and-Chill, Nabisco, and Nesquik—and another uses John Travolta's "Adele Dazeem" flub.
    • The West End production has become increasingly fond of using political references (‘Nigel Farage’ and ‘No-Deal Brexit’, for example).
  • In Boston Marriage, it's a running gag that Anna and Claire both believe the maid's name is Bridey, or Mary, or something Irish like that, no matter how often she reminds them that her name is Catherine and she's Scottish.
  • In Fangirls, Harry does not endear himself to Edna when he addresses her as "Emma".
  • A quick way to add some humor in Hamlet is having characters confuse Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with each other. They are always together and are introduced as a pair, so a faulty gesture and the appropriate reaction from the named in question is all it takes.
  • In A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Mechanicals keep referring in Ninus's tomb as "Ninny's tomb", to Quince's increasing frustration.
  • In Les Misérables, Thénardier seems to have a lot of trouble remembering Cosette's name, calling her Colette (and possibly Courgette).
    • Which started out as a Throw It In when an actor said the wrong name during a performance.
  • The eponymous character in The Music Man goes by the name of Harold Hill, but the last time Marcellus saw him, he went by the name Gregory. As such, he calls him Greg for the rest of the show. Played with in that the "wrong" name is actually his real name.
  • In the Show Within a Show for Noises Off, Roger can never seem to get Mrs. Clackett's name right, calling her everything from Mrs. Crackett to Mrs. Splotchett.
  • In A Very Potter Sequel, Harry and Ron call Hermione everything from 'Hermy-One' to 'Hermononucleosis'.
  • Wicked:
    • G(a)linda often refers to Boq as "Biq," usually because she can't remember. He politely corrects her every time.
    • Similarly, Professor Dillamond repeatedly called Galinda "Glinda" which initially annoyed her. When Dillamond was dismissed from the Shiz faculty as part of the growing mistrust of intelligent animals in Oz, Galinda chose to change her name to "Glinda" out of respect to the professor.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney also seems to be a frequent victim of this (rival prosecutor Klavier Gavin always calls him "Herr Forehead"), and there's even a scene where Apollo keeps getting the names of other characters wrong, prompting Trucy to say his name wrongly in the same way (such as calling him "Apololo" when he refers to Alita Tiala as "Alita Tialita").
    • Morgan Fey keeps calling Detective Gumshoe "Gymshoe".
    • Gumshoe continually calls Phoenix "Harry Butz" throughout the first game, not only getting Larry's name wrong, but using it on the wrong person. Mia also misinterprets Larry's name as Harry.
  • In CLANNAD, when Tomoya first meets Nagisa's parents Akio and Sanae, they keep inventing bizarre names for him (e.g., "Cosmic-san"). They're not being mean, they're just rather cloudcuckoolanderish.
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair: Akane grew up in horrible circumstances, where people would die or disappear from her life so frequently that she saw little point in trying to remember anyone's names. This is what led to her forgetfulness and difficulty remembering people's names in the present day.
  • In Double Homework, a running gag, once the protagonist enrolls in the regular summer school program, is that he can never remember Marco’s name.
  • In The Labyrinth of Grisaia "Imouto" Robbie mangles the protagonist's name hopelessly and in The Eden of Grisaia he also alters the name Sakaki Yumiko into Sakuaki Jubico somehow. And this is the guy on Yuuji's squad that actually does speak Japanese.
  • In Little Busters!, every time Rin says Sasasegawa Sasami's name she manages to mess it up in some way, usually by saying something that sounds vaguely similar. The name is a mouthful, but only Rin, with a general lack of care about other people and Sasami in particular consistently gets it wrong.
  • No, Thank You!!!: Haru forgets many people's names, but he does it so consistently with Hiroyuki that it's easy to forget that his name's not actually Hiroshi.

    Web Animation 
  • Cálico Electrónico: Ardorín just doesn't seem to be able to pronounce any name correctly (with the odd exception of his uncle's Criminal Doppelgänger, Cálico Lúbrico).
  • In Doraleous & Associates, a Running Gag of the series is that no-one outside the the Associates can pronounce his name right, with "Doralingus" being the most popular pronunciation.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • When Strong Bad isn't doing Malicious Misnaming in Strong Bad Email, he's doing this. In "long pants", he misreads "Clancy" as "Clanky", and in "geddup noise" he reads "marc baroni AZ" as "Macaroni from A to Z".
      • Strong Bad has also been on the receiving end of these. One sender who asks for "cool ways to spell different words" addresses Strong Bad as "Stong Bad".
      Strong Bad: Oh, you mean like "strong = stong"? You seem to like that one. Or how about this? "matt = MATT!" (types "matt = DELETED!" and the computer flashes "MATT!!" as it deletes the email)
    • Homsar, being the king Cloud Cuckoo Lander he is, has a habit of calling people by anything but their real name, preferring to use something that rhymes with it (calling Bubs "Tubs") or just doesn't make sense at all (calling Strong Bad "Reggie").
    • Senor Cardgage also seems to be prone to this, as well as using the wrong pronouns.
      Strong Bad: So, uh, you're really cool.
      Senor Cardgage: Thank you, ma'am. Would you care for a slice of gum?
      Strong Bad: Yeah, totally, I'd be way into a slice of gum. (to himself) Man, so cool! (out loud) Uh, say something else.
      Senor Cardgage: I have to be going, Ethel. I've got some important lines to stand in.
    • Seen in one of the songs from Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits, "The Ladies In My Town All Know My Name"
      I am fairly great
      And the ladies in my town all know my name
      Except for this one girl
      She thinks my name's "Brian"!
    • The unfinished cartoon "Soap Box Doiby" has the following exchange between the King of Town and the Announcer.
      King of Town: Thank you, Walter. I must say, I'm very excited to eat some soap today.
      Announcer: Yes, yes, that's not my name and that's not what we're doing here.
  • In Melee's End, Marth constantly mixes up people's names because he's a complete ditz.
  • One of the main Running Gags in So This Is Basically... is that Jello, the narrator, consistently gets the names of every single character from all the different featured shows wrong. Highlights includes naming Bill Cipher, the Big Bad Eldritch Abomination from Gravity Falls, "Razzle-Dazzle Dorito" and Reaper, one of the principal Big Bads from Overwatch, "Little Timmy's First OC".
  • Superhero Intern: Mr. Merica called Tyler "Tyrone".
  • In the Translations Gone Wrong video for "This Day Aria", Cadance calls Twilight "Ann".

    Webcomics 
  • The Bedfellows: Considering Sheen's Hair-Trigger Temper, this is a very bad idea; the conversation below only proves it.
    Bauhaus: Now, Sheenie Beenie, tell me a little about how you have been feeling lately.
    Sheen: Wonderful, fabulous... I'm a ship sailing on calm seas... AND DON'T CALL ME THAT!!
  • Among the things that Cucumber Quest's Dream Oracle can't be bothered to do is remember Cucumber's name, calling him Zucchini (which could plausibly be the name of a previous Legendary Hero) or Camembert, which she calls him after being corrected.
  • In DM of the Rings, nobody could keep any of the names straight. Notable ones include Aragorn referring to Théoden as "King Crazypants", mixing up Sauron and Saruman, and forgetting the names of their own party members. Rivendell is Rivertown or Riverdale, Théoden is Theogan, and the Nazgûl are Margazoids.
    Aragorn: Hail to the king, baby! Aragorn, son of Andúril is back!
    DM: ... Andúril is the name of your sword, dumbass.
  • Drowtales has Zith, a cameo character who chronically mispronounces everyone's names, to the point that the page has an author's note on the bottom explaining all the misspellings were intentional. Her concept art features her calling Quain'tana "Quainana" much to the Ill'haress' disdain, but seems to be good enough at her job otherwise given Quain's intolerance for incompetence. Also something of a Fandom Nod since many members of the comic's forum have trouble spelling character's names.
  • El Goonish Shive: Bunnies (that is, EGS fans) do this sort of thing a lot on the forum. The most common seems to be calling Susan "Sarah" or Sarah "Susan".
    • In universe Diane calls Justin "Jason" at one point, but this is more of a reflection of her general view of men, and being gay Justin isn't any use to her. After she Took a Level in Kindness, she apologises for her previous comments, but still calls him Jason.
      Justin: Uh, hi? It's "Justin" actually.
      Diane: Oh God I'm the actual worst.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: The Conquering King calls Allison "Alice", which, as she says, is not quite her name. His confusion may be because UN is one of the names of the first-divided god and therefore a common prefix and suffix in the setting, leading him to believe she is Alice-Un.
  • Characters in Ménage à 3 fairly frequently mangle each others' names, usually as a sign that someone is or was drunk, has just met somebody else, or is just plain careless — sometimes all three. Notably:
  • Reginald from Nedroid takes this to the extreme when, at the end of an evening of romance, he accidentally calls his date Becky "Lord Voldemort".
  • In The Order of the Stick Xykon usually calls Roy Greenhilt by the names "Bluepommel", "Redblade", "Orangescabbard" or some variant thereof, if he even remembers who Roy is at all.
  • Questionable Content:
    • In the arc where Hannelore's mother sends her a personal assistant she doesn't want, she consistently calls them "Taffy" and ignores their quiet correction that "It's Tilly, ma'am." Given Hannelore's irritation at the situation, it seems like Malicious Misnaming at first, but when Marten points it out, she explains that "My mother called you 'Taffy' on the phone and now it's stuck in my head!" (Knowing Hannelore's mother, that could have been Malicious.)
    • Marten's one-night stand calls him by the wrong name when telling him that she's not interested in a relationship. He's insulted until he realizes he never even asked for her name.
  • Coriander Bialystock from Saffron And Sage has had his name butchered as Colander Pianosock, Choreographer Jollycock, Mr. Tamalespock, and others. Sage can't even seem to remember Coriander's name, simply referring to him as "You" at one point.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Reynir has trouble remembering names of the members of the crew on his first day, which causes him to mangle Lalli's name into "Lúlli" a couple of times in Chapter 7. The later chapters are vague on whether he actually gets any better at it, as he ends up befriending Lalli's cousin who accumulates the advantages of speaking his language and not hating his guts. Because of this, Lalli comes up mostly in conversations with her, where Reynir can dodge the bullet by simply referring to him as "your cousin". He gets the name of other characters right in later chapters.
  • Unsounded: As day slips into night and Duane's spirt into the khert he sometimes calls Sette by his daughter Mikaila's name. Sette reminds him of her, save for being an even bigger menace.
  • In Weak Hero, Ben isn't quite able to peg Rowan's name down after he first joins the group.
    Ben: Yo! Norman, how are ya?
    Rowan: It's Rowan, not Norman.
    Ben: Yeah, Mowan.
  • In Yokoka's Quest Azha slowly enunciates Yokoka and Yfa's names (saying "Yoko... kah and ee-fah, right?"), after which Yokoka compares his speech to a kid's note .
    • A form of All There in the Manual, as Azha provides the reader with a phonetic pronunciation guide due to the author repeatedly being asked how to pronounce Yfa (it's like Aoife).

    Web Original 
  • Aitor Molina plays a lot with that to the point you don't know if he's joking or not.
  • In Ask King Sombra, a Running Gag is that Sombra can never remember Coffee Talk's name, mangling it into things like Hockey Puck, Toffee Socks or Coughing Rock.
  • People mix up Vex'ahlia and Vax'ildan from Critical Role all the time, to the point where Liam and Laura had shirts made to distinguish them. Even Gilmore - who pretty obviously has a thing for Vax - addresses him as "Vax'ahlia" at one point.
    • Kashaw mangles "Tiberius Stormwind" multiple times over the Trial of the Take, and finally gets it correct when he says goodbye to the party. It's unclear whether this was Malicious Misnaming or if Kashaw just didn't give a crap.
  • In Decker, the titled character has a habit of calling Kington either "Klington" or "Kingston"
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Krillin keeps calling Dende "Little Green", almost making it a Catchphrase for Dende to say "My name is Dende." Dende ultimately gets so pissed off he tells Freeza about Earth because Krillin keeps calling him that. When Dende becomes Kami of Earth, Dende finally has enough of Krillin's BS and beats him to force him to say his name.
    • Speaking of Freeza, it's also something of a Catchphrase for him to reply "My name is Lord Freeza, yes." whenever someone gets his name wrong. This includes Goku calling him "Freezer" and Trunks calling him "Frieza" (pronounced "Fry-za")
  • Gilbert Gottfried often mangles the name of his own podcast, Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast, often leaving out words or getting words mixed up, or messing up the name of his co-host Frank Santopadre. He's even worse with their sideshow Gilbert and Frank's Amazing Colossal Obsessions, once saying "Coloshal podcast".
  • Jayuzumi meets people that pronounce his name wrong from time to time. In "Bad Violin Trolling", "cider dude", whilst raging, calls him "Micuzumay".
  • The MenDrinkin'Coffee often do this to themselves, calling themselves "the Coffeemen," "Coffedrinkers," "Men who also drink coffee," and "the three dumbasses," to name a few.
  • Despite her claims of knowing her name, Twilight in My Little Pony: The Mentally Advanced Series will always call Fluttershy something else like 'Thunder Thighs' and 'Triple Threat' and that's when she even bothers to recognize Fluttershy's existence.
  • In On Cinema, Tim regularly misreads the names of actors on his cue cards, leading to him crediting people such as Idris Elbow, John Semen, and Tom Diddleston
  • During ProtonJon's anniversary stream celebrating 10 years of The Runaway Guys, Stephen accidentally refers to Fozzie Bear as Fonzie.
  • In Sam & Mickey's Barbie videos, Barbie had so much trouble adjusting to Kelly's Sudden Name Change to Chelsea, that she often calls her other names as well.
  • In Smosh Games' "Mario Tennis Throwback Game Bang", Ian accidentally calls Anthony "Ian" when announcing the teams. The others immediately joked that this is because Ian wanted to be on Lasercorn's team.
  • StacheBros: In "Home Alone", Waluigi refers to Bowser Jr. as Nigel at one point. When Wario is confused by this, Waluigi explains he never bothered to learn the kid's name.
  • Happens a lot in Twisted Translations due to the bad translations:
    • In the "You're Welcome" video, Maui calls Moana "Cecilia".
    • In the "Mother Knows Best" video, Gothel calls Rapunzel "Lettuce".
  • Vannamelon:
    • In the Siri video, Siri calls Fluttershy "Flutter-shee".
    • In the Cleverbot video, Evie accuses Fluttershy of mistakenly calling her "Tom", even though Fluttershy did no such thing.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Marik Ishtar's evil half, Melvin, likes to do this. He consistently refers to Joey as Susan, and later tells the Pharaoh, 'I'm your boyfriend now, Nancy.'

    Web Videos 
  • Kitboga is a scambaiter popular on YouTube and Twitch. In the scambait "Do Not Cut the Cards," Kitboga's character, Dawn Dewitt ("Granny Edna") often forgets the name of the scammer, Kathleen. She calls her at least a dozen different incorrect names, including, but not limited to, Candice, Kristin, Kelly, Cindy, Catalina and Rachel. At one point, she even seems to think that she's received a call from "Krispy Kreme," possibly offering a promotion on donuts.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television for many people with siblings; it's quite common for parents to accidentally call one child by another child's name. Hilariously, it can sometimes extend to the animal members of the family, with parents calling one of the kids by the name of a family pet, especially if the kid's name and the pet's name start with the same letter.
  • A geographical example: The term "Yangtze" ("Yangzi" in Hanyu Pinyin) is used by Westerners to describe the whole river; historically, it only described the part of the river which is east of Nanjing. The misnaming arose from the fact that Europeans during the late-Ming and early-Qing eras who came by sea often passed through the Yangzi Ford.
  • Ulysses S. Grant was actually born Hiram Ulysses Grant, but the Congressman who nominated him for West Point got his name wrong on the application, mistaking his middle name for his given name and his mother's maiden name (Simpson) for a middle initial, and Grant decided to go with it since he'd never liked the implications of his initials.
  • Olympian Jesse Owens is one such case — his actual name is "James Cleveland Owens" and as a youth he went by "J.C." A coach of his misheard it as "Jesse," and Owens never had the heart to correct him and the name stuck.
  • The Ottoman Turkish admiral Baba Oruç's name sounded quite a bit like the Italian word "Barbarossa" (meaning redbeard), compounded by the fact that he really did have an impressive red beard. So he became known to his European adversaries as Hayreddin Barbarossa ("Hayreddin" being a title that had been bestowed on him by Suleiman the Magnificent), and he brought the nickname back to Turkey with him where it was translated to Turkish as Barbaros Hayreddin.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch seems to be famous for (among other things) the fact that almost no one is capable of spelling or saying his name right, leading to such joke names as "Beneficial Cucumberpatch."
  • Famed never captured or found plane robber D.B. Cooper. The mysterious hijacker signed his name as 'Dan Cooper' when he bought his ticket. But miscommunication with the media resulted in the famous moniker of D.B. Cooper sticking.
  • In a similar situation to Cooper, notorious Serial Killer, Jeffrey Dahmer actually went by Jeff Dahmer note  but upon his arrest, the media went with the longer form of his first name for some reason.
  • Anyone who's changed their name will have this happen to them occasionally with their old name.
    • Becomes a very sensitive issue if the name change has a significant reason, like gender reassignment or faith-related... and the other person still insists on using the old name.
  • As noted above, at the 2014 Oscars ceremony, John Travolta introduced Idina Menzel as "Adele Dazeem". He later apologized. Menzel lampshaded this at the 2015 Oscars by introducing him as "Glom Gazingo."
  • WPSD news anchor Brianna Clark mispronounced the name of Deidre Mengedoht, a Louisville police officer who died when a truck rammed into her cruiser, as "Deedee Megadoodoo".
  • The practice of referring to the first carrier of a new disease as "Patient Zero" came about from a misnaming. Courtesy of the suspected first carrier of AIDS, Gaetan Dugas. Dugas was listed as "Patient O", for "Out of California". But a misreading of his file caused the O to become a 0 when his name hit the media. And the term "Patient Zero" was born.
    • This also had the unfortunate side-effect of having the entire planet blame this one guy for the entire AIDS Epidemic note  (as if the poor guy hadn't suffered enough). In reality, AIDS was floating around in one form or another, undiscovered for decades. The true "Patient Zero" would have been some unnamed African in The '40s or The '50s who got bit by (or ate) an infected Chimpanzee (that person doesn't deserve hate, either).
  • The Talk Art podcast committed this when the hosts recalled eating dinner with Pedro Pascalnote  in New York. A jet-lagged Robert and a hungover Russell instead refer to their friend as, "Pedro Pastel", even after Robert corrects himself. Several months later, a Reaction Video of the podcast dumbfounding Pascal appeared on the Talk Art Instagram page.
  • The notorious Michael George MacDonald Kidson, who taught History at Eton College between 1960 and 1994, including to such worthies as David Cameron and Boris Johnson. He was the Trope Codifier for Cool Teacher (in the vein of Dead Poets Society and To Sir, with Love), but he was also a Bunny-Ears Lawyer who got up to all sorts of antics. He'd mis-name the boys (except for when attendance was taken), such that Baker became Cook, Black became White, Levesque became Priest, Rosewood became Roseweed... and they freely mis-named him to his face in the same manner: Kidson became Kidney. He facilitated the sort of things that would upset the Moral Guardians, and No OSHA Compliance was very much in effect, such that he'd throw blackboard erasers at pupils' heads to wake them up. His marginalia on pupils' returned homework/tests brought to mind Severus Snape, and yet the boys loved him because he let them get away with things that'd normally get them caned (such as gin for under-16's, or being caught at the racetrack).
  • A newspaper accidentally called German politician Björn Höcke "Bernd", perhaps because there is another prominent member of his party, the AFD, named Bernd Lucke. Höcke publicly made a fuss about it, and with him being a politician, and a right-wing extremist on top of that, the Heute Show and other satiricists started intentionally calling him "Bernd Höcke", to the point where a lot of serious media and even fellow politicians, even other AFD members, have begun calling him that.
  • Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu was subjected to this a lot in his early career. Some of the misnomers have even been affectionately adopted by fans. A flyer for an ice show he was in spelled his name "Yuzura Hanya". Some mispronunciations of his name are listed here, with the most egregious being "Yazanori Hanyu" by a commentator. Before he became a household name, note  Japanese media used to print hiragana next to his name as a pronunciation guide since his name is comprised entirely of kanji characters and can be read differently.
  • Following the South Carolina Gamecocks' victory in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship in 2022, sports journalist Holly Rowe attempted to personally introduce Aliyah Boston during the trophy presentation, only to accidentally call her Aliyah Edwards. This led to her saying the correct name repeatedly and apollogizing to her for the mistake.

 
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Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work

During a meeting at the beginning of the game, Silas Scruemall keeps calling Larry Laffer wrong names.

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