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Accidental Misnaming

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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!"

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?

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

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.



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  • 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.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: Kumawhat'shisname? It's Kumajirou, in case you wanted to know.
  • Azumanga Daioh: Everyone calls Osaka (real name Ayumu Kasuga), well, Osaka, due to her coming from there. Come the new class lists, she's crestfallen at not seeing her name on the board... until someone points out she's looking at the wrong board. The school records know her as Osaka (then again, with Yukari-sensei as her teacher...)
  • In Bakemonogatari, Hachikuji has a Running Gag of always mispronouncing Araragi's name in increasingly inventive ways, then claiming she "stuttered". It's implied she does this on purpose to tease him, rather than not remembering his name.
  • Bleach:
    • Ichigo does this a lot according to Tatsuki, though not too frequently onscreen — not only does he get names wrong, but he misread Uryu's name as a GIRL. He also manages to totally forget about a classmate who's been bugging him for years to join his club.
    • Ichigo, upon meeting Yasutora Sado, misreads his name card, and keeps calling him "Chad" despite being corrected. The nickname eventually sticks, and in the dub and English manga (in which the classmates typically use first names), his classmates, teachers and Ichigo's other friends call him "Chad", when in the original, they had called him "Sado" — only his grandfather calls him Yasutora.
    • Due to the difficulty of pronouncing his name and her being a cloudcuckoolander, Orihime always calls Shishigawara "Sushigawara".
    • At one point, Ichigo does a Big Damn Heroes moment and addresses everyone present by name. He draws a blank on Zennosuke Kurumadani, eventually going with "Imoyama". Zennosuke gets quite annoyed, saying "If you don't know, just say so! Don't try to guess people's names!!"
  • In A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun, Touma Kamijou has a lot of trouble remembering Mikoto Misaka's name, so he usually calls her Biri-Biri (Bug-Zapper in the English dub).
    • Mikoto is deeply offended about how "that guy" never uses her actual name, especially when he forgets about her entirely.
    • Mitsuko spends two chapters thinking that Mikoto's name was Mitsuki Unabara, though she never actually calls her with the wrong name.
  • CLANNAD: In the English dub of After Story, Tomoya Okazaki pronounces his daughter Ushio's name as Yu-sheo, everyone else pronounces it Oo-sheo.
  • In Club 9: Haruo Hattori has such a thick country accent that when she introduces herself to Tokyo club hostesses, they immediately start calling her "Hello-chan".
  • In the episode of Cowboy Bebop where the crew finds Ed's father, he has an assistant named MacIntyre. He never gets it right, always forgetting and at times calling him MacIntosh or something else beginning with "Mac". At least he's aware of the problem, at one point referring to his assistant as "MacInwhatever" when he was in a particular hurry and didn't have time to even attempt to get it right. (The assistant, naturally, yells a correction even as they hurry off.)
  • In Cross Ange, the titular character cannot get Salamandinay's name right. So much that she decides to call her "Salako" instead, after the failed attempts.
  • In Date A Live, Reine always calls Shido "Shin". He doesn't bother to correct her. Strangely this is only when Shido's present around her, otherwise she actually refers to Shido by name.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Inosuke Hashibira doesn't seem to be very good at remembering names since he frequently gets Tanjiro's, the protagonist, name wrong whenever he addresses him. Tanjiro's Taisho Secrets claims that at first he can only get someone's name right once every seven tries; however, much later in the series, Inosuke starts calling the names of his closest friends consistently right, showing off his development in this regard.
  • In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ Dr. Briefs keeps calling Jaco the galactic police officer Taco or Paco.
  • In Dragon Ball Super, Mr. Satan calls Beerus "Beebus".
  • Because of some initial confusion, all of the Deimon Devil Bats in Eyeshield 21 think Raimon Taro's name is "Monta." Sena misread the kanji for his name as "Kaminari Montarou"; Hiruma later uses this mistake to his advantage by claiming it's a nickname derived from football legend Joe Montana (and lies to Monta by saying he played the same position).
  • Gintama:
    • Katsura is constantly referred to as Zura (Which can mean "wig") by Gintoki and others, which almost always prompts him to say "It's not Zura, it's Katsura". He's so used to being called by the name he'll sometimes say the phrase even if those in the vicinity aren't actually talking about him.
    • The main character, Gintoki, is always referred to as Kintoki by one of his war comrades, Sakamoto Tatsuma, even when the former corrected him many times. Gintoki angrily points out that if his name is Kintoki, the title of the manga will be Kintama (literally translated to Golden Balls which means testicles in Japanese) instead.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka:
    • Onizuka frequently calls Principal Uchiyamada "Xavier", after monk Fransisco Xavier, because of Uchiyamada's bald head. He doesn't do it on purpose at all, he seems to just associate the two in his mind for some reason.
    • He also can't seem to remember Teshigawara's name at all. His attempts to recall it don't even come close. Just to give an example of how bad it gets, he once refers to him as "Toxic Socks Warrior", without any sign that he doesn't think it's his actual name.
  • Hamtaro: Jingle never seems to be able to remember Hamtaro's name. This leads to problems.
  • Assistant chief security maid Yashima Sanae in Hanaukyō Maid Tai La Vérité. In Japan, "Sanae" is normally a first name, so people often call her Sanae instead of Yashima even though they've known her for a long time. She always corrects them when they do so, telling them that Yashima is her first name and Sanae is her last name.
  • Goujin from Inazuma Eleven Ares no Tenbin tries to use Fire Tornado, but it never works because he always calls it Fire Lemonade, even when the others try to tell him the correct name. Subverted, since it turns out he wanted to learn a completely different hissatsu, which he describes as Fire Tornado combined with the explosive fizzle of a carbonated drink. After several failed attempts, he finally succeeds in episode 26.
    • Seems to be played straight with his father, though. Goujin got the idea to learn it after his father told him about a hissatsu he heard about from the mainland which he thinks is named "Fire Lemonade", but a hissatsu with this name didn't exist at that time.
  • In Is This a Zombie?, Orito always calls Yuki Yoshida "Tomonori" because the kanji for her name also translate to Tomonori. He continues to do it even after she corrects him. A few other characters pick up the habit from hearing Orito do it.
  • In the manga adaptation for Kingdom Hearts II, Donald and Goofy are referred to as Ronald and Zoofy by Yuffie.
  • Played for Laughs in a Lupin III (Red Jacket) Christmas Episode, with the police chief constantly getting Inspector Zenigata's name wrong: "Inspector Pennsylvania", "Inspector Epiglottis"...
  • Lyrical Nanoha
    • Vita in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's always screwed up Nanoha's name before they became allies. "Nantoka" actually means "something" and is used when someone refers to something that they do not know the name of. Also a bit of a pun, since the nano in her actual name is basically something you stick at the end of a sentence when you're not sure (which was the main aspect of the first season's Idiosyncratic Episode Naming).
    Vita: Takamachi Nantoka!
    Nanoha: It's Nanoha! NA! NO! HA!
  • When Seiya from Nurse Angel Ririka SOS finds a stray puppy he can tell by his tag what the name essentially reads. However he reads it as "Heebu" instead of "Herb". Even after being corrected he still calls Herb "Heebu", which annoys Herb's eventual owner Ririka.
  • Because Luffy of One Piece is a complete airhead, he always calls Boa Hancock "Hammock". He eventually starts to call her by her correct name, which she, due to being crazily in love with him, interprets as a proposal for marriage.
  • Pokémon:
    • This happens to Butch a lot in both the English and Japanese versions of the anime. He's been called Botch, Biff, Hutch, Bob, Butcher, and many others. In the original Japanese, his name is Kosaburo, but he always gets called Kosanji. Seems to happen so often that he immediately replies "It's Butch!" when spoken to. In an episode of the spinoff Pokémon Chronicles, Butch is actually called the correct name for a change, and he replies with "It's Bu-Oh, wait, that's what you said!" Another time, he called himself by the wrong name when attempting to correct someone when they got it right.
    • Also a Running Gag with Stephan in Best Wishes. It would get pronounced as "Steven" or "STEPH-an" and he was quick to correct it to "Steph-AN".
  • Main character Madoka in Rinne no Lagrange cannot for the life of her get Villagullio's name right and he eventually gave up on trying to get her to say it right. Eventually, so does Makoka and just calls him Guivi-nii, though she almost gets it when she tries again in the second season.
  • Quite a few of the dolls from the Rozen Maiden anime have trouble remembering fellow doll Kanaria's name.
  • Sailor Moon: Usagi does this in a "Sailor Stars" episode with the Victim of the Week, called Garayan, calling him Garapan, which means colourful men's underwear in Japanese. She just is that much of an airhead.
  • In Saki, Koromo tends to call Nodoka "Nonoka".
  • In Sakura Trick Mitsuki can remember that Yuzu's name is a citrus fruit, but not which one.
  • In ''Saturn Apartments people just can't seem to get Sohta's name right.
  • s-CRY-ed: Straight Cougar kept getting Mimori's name wrong because he honestly can't remember her name because he's always in a rush. He finally gets it right near the end of the series, but she's so used to correcting him that she does it then anyway out of habit.
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, Ban never gets Jericho's name right, calling her things like "Jaleco" or "Jenko".
  • SD Gundam Force: Nobody ever gets Bakunetsumaru's name right the first time around. Because it's difficult for people not native to Ark to remember it, they usually call him 'Baku'.
  • Toriko: Zonge, a wannabe gourmet hunter, is frequently mislabeled as Zombie or a varient by almost everyone except his two sidekicks- even the captions get it wrong. Later on, Master Chin never seems to get Toriko and Komatsu's names (or, apparently, everyone else but his wife names) right. The only time he does call Toriko with his proper name, the latter is not present.
  • Count Alses of Tytania always misremembers Fan Hyulick's name as "Fan Hyulen". He is corrected on a regular basis, but this only serves to irritate him.
  • Dita from Vandread is the Cloudcuckoolander version. Despite the fact that she's romantically interested in the male lead, she can't seem to remember his name and calls him "Uchuujin-san" ("Mr. Alien") instead.
  • In WORKING!!, Popura is such an airhead she cannot call her co-worker Souta Takanashi properly by his name, instead calling him "Katanashi", much to his frustration. Inami got confused with that until she found out that he only lets Popura call him that. Later, Popura meets three of his sisters at their home:
    Popura: You are all Katanashi-kun's family members!?
    Kazue, Kozue and Nazuna: It's Ta-ka-na-shi.
  • Bakusou Kyoudai! Lets and Go!! MAX involves a Running Gag where the Idiot Hero Gouki always misnames Marina "Mariko". She then never fails to try to correct him.
    Marina: My name is Marina! Ma-ri-na!
    Gouki: I got that already, Mariko!
  • A Running Gag in All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku TV. The protagonist Nuku-Nuku mispronounces the name of Rich Bitch Chieko Shirakaba at least once an episode.
  • In one episode of Sgt. Frog, Kogoro keeps forgetting Dororo's name and guessing wrong. He thinks he's called "Terere" in the original and either "Domomo", "Dimimi", or "Dolo" in the dub.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Rossiu, known by Kamina as "Dekosuke": "Forehead Boy."
  • My Hero Academia:
    • The first time that Ochaco addresses Izuku by name, she calls him "Deku," the insulting nickname that Bakugo had used for him earlier—an Alternate Character Reading of his name that means "weakling." He corrects her, but when she notes that she likes the name, which can also be read "never gives up," he instantly begins to see it as an Affectionate Nickname and adopts it as his superhero name.
    • Vigilante: My Hero Academia Illegals: Koichi wants to be known as "the Crawler," but is constantly misidentified as "the Cruller." This actually saves him several times, as people looking into the identity of the vigilante "Cruller" dismiss the nice guy publicly calling himself Crawler.
  • Dakara Miyoko Desu: Once per chapter, the titular character is mistakenly called "Myouko" and she corrects the person who makes the mistake.
  • A running joke in the episodes where Kyubi from Yo-Kai Watch tries to obtain Katie's heart is to be mistaken by her as "Kyuuri", which means "Cucumber". Nate also mistakes him as "Cutie".

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Bud, Not Buddy, Bud always introduces himself as "Bud, not Buddy" because of the Running Gag of people calling him Buddy for some inexplicable reason.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 tears... 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 Beppe is simply his nickname for him.

    Fan Works 
  • in A Game Comes to Equestria, this is Hermos' problem with his first appearance in the story, having his name mislabeled as "Hymie" when he entered the rodeo. It isn't until the end of the whole event (and the events that followed) that everypony else gets to know his actual name.
  • It happens once in a story of the Haunted Mansion and the Hatbox Ghost Fan Verse: when seeing the Ghost Host for the first time in "New at the Mansion", the ghost Purply Shroud mispronounces his name successively "Host Ghos" and "Spook Master", and then eventually gives up and decides to call him "Thing".
  • Examples from the Calvinverse:
    • Played with in Retro Chill: it first appears that Evil Calvin calls Susie "Marcie", but he then reveals he was actually talking to Moe. He then calls him "Mack" and "Ginger".
    • From Calvin and Hobbes: The Series:
      • In a Crossover with Batman, Calvin calls Alfred "Horus". Whether or not's it's intentional or not is unclear.
      • Brainstorm mistakes Socrates for "Caesar", the only thing he remembers being that "[it] was Roman".
      • When defending Jack Freewater, Calvin keeps forgetting his name until the end.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, while Ash never calls Butch and Cassidy by name (as they never introduce themselves and he can't reveal that he knows them without bringing up his time-travel experience), he continually thinks of Butch by a different name throughout their first battle, thinking of him by terms such as 'Not James', 'Bart' or 'Dutch'.
  • In Gensokyo's Heart, Cirno can't pronounce Patchouli's name right.
    Cirno: Not now, Path... Pac... Pactouli!
  • In A Marauder's Plan, Sirius has a hard time remembering the name of Fudge's assistant after some inadvertent Dementor exposure. He successively thinks of the man as Marty, Monty, Murphy and Murray.
  • Turnabout Storm:
    • Phoenix unintentionally misnames Fluttershy as Butshersty, Flutterscotch, and Firefly at 3 different times. The latter two just so happen to be names of ponies of previous generations of My Little Pony.note 
    • Lenora keeps referring to Twilight Sparkle as "Twilight Sparkler" for some reason. It gets on Twilight's nerves after a while, and she loses it after Rainbow gets acquitted.
  • It's mentioned early on in The New Retcons that John's fellow dentist Everett had to take out a full page ad in the local paper to tell him his name was not "Elliot".
  • In fan fiction of The Lord of the Rings:
    • The Awkward Adventures of Meghan Whimblesby include her not telling that she is from another world. So Meghan pretends to be from "Ravendill", her wrong name for Rivendell.
    • In Groundhog GDIME, Charlize from England wants to visit the "Bruinduin", a river in Middle-earth. She is misnaming the Bruinen or the Anduin. Charlize seems to get her own wish and find herself in the Bruinduin, "a small, unimportant river in some obscure part of Middle Earth".
    • Lothíriel by JunoMagic is about a woman from Germany. Many other Germans call her "Losíriel" because they can't say the English "th" sound.
    • Not as Planned has a fan who inserts herself into Middle-earth. This girl misnames almost everything because she is too stupid to know the correct names. "Like, it's not my fault you can't use English names right." She says "Riverdale", "Bramir", "Gamly", when the correct names are Rivendell, Boromir, Gimli.
  • In the The Trainer from a Far-Away Land, Satoshi can not pronounce N's name right, although it's due to the fact Kantonese has the same language limitations as Japanese, meaning he can't make the "N" sound. It happens so often that N gives up trying to correct Satoshi. Satoshi would pronounce N's name as Een-neh, Een-ne, Ennu or Enne.
  • The Hamsterball Show: Rachel Fink was accidentally called "Ranger Fink" by her younger sister Peepums once, and it stuck.
  • The Bridge:
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders constantly botch Destroyah's name, calling her "Destoroyana", "Desotroyah", etc. When they finally get her name right in chapter 23, she is very happy.
    • Sweetie Belle calls Xenilla "Zenallia" in one scene.
    • The ponies get confused by Ki Seong's name and call her "Tea Song" instead.
  • In the Meg's Family Series, Mayor Adam West always gets Maddie's name wrong, to the point where he calls her names that don't even sound remotely like her's.
  • A Scotsman in Egypt: Gordon of Edinburgh never gets his servant's name (Eoin) right. Of course, when Eoin accidentally calls him master George, he gets kicked out.
  • In the W.I.T.C.H. fanfic Ripples, it's revealed that Miranda's real name is Mimira. "Miranda" is just what Cedric called her because he couldn't be bothered to remember her actual name; being young and impressionable, she decided that if he was calling her that, it must be a better name, and so started going by it.
  • Similar to Vita in canon, Susanoo will never get Nanoha's name right in Infinity. He seems to have the general sound of it down, but tends to usually end up with something like 'Nanako', even when others directly point out to him he's got her name wrong.
  • In "Wayne Manor", part of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Hearts series, Martha Wayne initially appears to be a bubble-headed socialite who calls Alfred Pennyworth "Shillingsweight" and "Pennywork". An invoked instance, because she's a lot smarter than she chooses to appear, and once she decides to let him know it, she never gets his name wrong again.
  • Discussed in the Star Wars Legends fan fic series TIE Fighter in relation to Chiss names and the difficulty humans have pronouncing the full versions and why they prefer humans just not try. “Pronounced improperly, [Thelea’s] name can inadvertently sound like our language’s word for a small tunneling rodent that lives in the high snow pack on our world.”
  • In the Harry Potter fanfic Weasley Girl, after Colin and Hermione have mentioned the Sherlock Holmes books to Ronnie, she misremembers the name and makes the occasional reference to "that Muggle girl, Shirley Holes." The first time she mentions the name is when she's talking to Dobby, and he seems to get the idea that this is what she'd like to be called. Hence, whenever he appears in the fic afterwards, he always addresses her as "Miss Shirley Holes."
  • Forum of Thrones: Initially, Marak mishears Noelle when she mentions the name of her god, R'hllor. In the following, he calls the god "rollmop", much to her annoyance. He eventually seems to catch up on the real pronounciation, but continues to misname it on purpose, to annoy her even further.
  • In Claire the Kind, Claire has a habit of mispronouncing Jim's name before quickly correcting herself.
  • In Weight of the World, Canada has trouble remembering people's names, especially Pyrrha's. He calls her Pamela, Patricia, Penelope, and Pepper just to name a few. He eventually misnames her intentionally because it makes her smile. It's revealed Pyrrha likes it because his misnaming signified he and Alfred did not recognize her.
  • Harbinger (Finmonster) (Danny Phantom, ParaNorman): Neil calls Dipper and Mabel "Dropper and Maple", which even Tucker, who doesn't know them at all, can tell is wrong even before Wendy corrects the boy.
  • In The Simpsons fanfiction Must Love Ned Flanders, Homer accidentally calls Naomi "Natalie".
  • In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, Brave Scot Smurf Duncan McSmurf does not like being called Gutsy, a nickname that he got from Hefty for always having the guts to stand up to him. In "A Wild Winter Solstice", though, Papa Smurf accidentally refers to Duncan as Gutsy before realizing his mistake.
  • Warriors: The Days The Clans Died: When asked who the previous medicine cat was, Sandfreckles guesses it was someone called "Jayclaw". She never met Jayfeather because he died before she was apprenticed.

    Films — Animation 
  • 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 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack calls Santa Claus "Sandy Claws", and teaches the name to all of Halloween Town before Santa ever meets him, let alone has a chance to correct him.
  • 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.
  • In 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.
  • 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.
  • In Home, Oh mimics Tip and refers to Lucy as "Mymom," because the concepts of a mother and families are alien to him.
  • 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.
  • 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!!
  • 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".
  • Wakko's Wish: Yakko, Wakko, and Dot repeatedly call King Salazar "King Saladbar".
  • 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • 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'".
  • 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, Mike.
    Mark: It's Mark.
    Tom: I knew that.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Denise in Hell Night keeps calling her supposed romantic partner Seth "Wes", much to his annoyance.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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, 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 corrected 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.)
  • Violent Saturday: When drunk, Boyd seems incapable remembering any man's name, including his own. He never gets a woman's name wrong, however.

  • In Blood Rites, Trisha is a self-involved, superficial ditz who keeps getting Harry's name wrong on the set. This ends up saving Harry from arrest, as she gives the police the wrong name when she falsely accuses him of attacking her.
  • In Stephen King's Carrie, the high school principal is an out-of-touch nebbish. He first calls Carrie "Carrie Wright" instead of White, and then misremembers her first name as Cassie. Carrie, already severely stressed after the shower incident, does NOT take it well.
  • The early books in the Fearless series had a side character named Zolov, an old Russian chess player who repeatedly referred to Gaia as "Cindy", due to his Alzheimer's disease.
  • In Harry Potter, Professor Binns is always so caught up in his lecture that he barely notices his students are even there listening to it. On the very rare occasion that they stay awake in class long enough to ask him a question he always gets their names wrong.
    • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Malfoy calls Percy "Peter" and Ron (disguised as Malfoy's crony Crabbe) nearly blows his cover correcting him.
    • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Percy hero-worships his boss, Mr. Crouch, who always calls him "Weatherby" instead of "Weasley." Made a bit strange because he apparently knows Percy's father Arthur fairly well, though perhaps not well enough to know they're related?
    • In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Horace Slughorn considered Ron Weasley unimportant and therefore accidentally called him Rupert, Ralph, Weatherby, Wallenby, or Wenby on various occasions. In a pensieve scene in the same novel, the director at the orphanage where Tom Riddle grew up calls Dumbledore "Dumberton" and then "Dunderbore." (Though she had the excuse of having just downed several glasses of gin.)
  • In Hide Me Among the Graves, Johanna Crawford falls under the influence of an immortal inhuman vampiric being whose previous victims included her grandmother Josephine. It sometimes seems to have trouble remembering that they're two different people, and sometimes calls her by her grandmother's name.
  • Sir George, the hero of Dragon In Distress, gets Princess Florinara Tansimasa Qasilava Delagordune's name wrong. No surprise. However, he actually gets it right later.
  • The fourth Molly Moon book features Princess Fang, who keeps addressing Molly as 'Milly'. However, this may be intentional as she ignores every time Molly attempts to correct her. Also, Fang proves she is capable of getting Molly's name right when she orders Rocky to kill her, so she is probably getting Molly's name wrong on purpose.
  • Mr. D (Dionysus) Director of Camp Half-Blood has been known to get campers' names right - but so rarely they are startled and wary when it happens.
  • One of the stories in Real Quick Flash Fic has the narrator keep getting 'triceratops' wrong.
  • Waddington's inability to get other people's names right (he keeps calling Finch 'Winch' and 'Pinch') becomes an important plot point in The Small Bachelor by P. G. Wodehouse.
  • In Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations, Professor Vard refers to Dulmur as Agent Duller, Agent Dummer, and Agent Dombler, among others.
  • In Valkyrie Into The Heavens, Daniel Logan is hard to pronounce with a Japanese accent, as a result Michiko Hoshimoto ends up calling him Danii... The name sticks.
  • Early in Watership Down, there's a memorable scene where the Threarah accidentally refers to Hazel as "Walnut."
  • In Amber Brown Is On the Move, Amber's dance teacher (and later her Dad's girlfriend), Miss Isobel, is bad at remembering names and keeps calling her a different gem every time she sees her - "opal," "topaz," etc. Eventually, she remembers her names, but still calls her other gem names as a friendly joke. It's also never made entirely clear whether she actually knew Amber's name from the start and was joking the entire time.
  • A point throughout Career of Evil is that people often mistake the detective Cormoran Strike's name as "Cameron." This may have been inspired by the fact that this mistake sometimes shows up in reviews for the series online. Hilariously, Kirkus Reviews's review of the title gives the protagonist's name as "Cameron Strike."
  • In A Confederacy of Dunces, Miss Trixie, the senile octogenarian accountant at Levy Pants, always refers to Ignatius J. Reilly as "Gloria," confusing him with the stenographer who had been fired the day that Ignatius was hired (largely because Ignatius had been hired).
  • Journey to Chaos
    • Captain Ginger Hasina can't get anyone's name right. She's too focused on her latest Mad Scientist medicine to bother. She's called Eric "Derek", Redstreak "Breadbeck" and Jemas, her own Number Two, as "James".
    • Nunnal Enaz has a localized case of this trope; she can't remember the names of her employees. Instead she calls them "Letter Guy" as in "A Guy", "B Guy," "C Guy" etc. Annala asked Wiol, a goddess who is aware of every possible future, if this would ever change. The answer? "No."
  • In Orconomics, Gorm saves a Goblin from an adventurer and asks his name. The Goblin replied "Gleebek", which is what Gorm starts calling him. They don't understand one another, as Gorm doesn't speak Shadowtongue, and the Goblin doesn't speak Imperial. Eventually, they end up in an Orc town, where a bilingual Orc reveals that "gleebek" is Shadowtongue for "hello". A bit of Fridge Brilliance: "Gleebek" keeps saying his name every time some calls him by it. Why? Because he thinks people are saying "hello" to him, so he says "hello" back. Everyone else just assumes he's being cute, repeating his name back at them. The Goblin's actual name is Tib'rin. Gorm feels a little stupid for calling him "Gleebek" all this time.
  • In Matilda, Mr Wormwood cannot remember Miss Honey's name and calls her Miss Hawks and Miss Harris.
  • In Ratburger, people call Miss Midge the teacher "Miss Midget" because he's so short.
  • Tailchaser's Song:
    • In one scene, Stretchslow calls Hushpad "Squashpod" and then "Peachpit". He isn't interested in her or the fact she's gone missing.
    • Earpoint is an old cat who can't remember Tailchaser's (admittedly unusual) name. He calls him "Tailchewer" then gives up on remembering his name.
  • In the first Julius Zebra book, Cornelius and Milus called Julius, "Julia." Pliny and Lucia also called Julius "Julianne."
  • In Redshirts, Captain Abernathy seems to be unable to remember protagonist Andrew Dahl's name, usually addressing him as "Dill." The captain also refers to an injured Ensign Jacobs as "Jackson," so he may simply be having trouble keeping up with his crew's High Turnover Rate.
  • In the Warrior Cats book The Silent Thaw, Bramblestar calls Dewnose "Dewtail" and has to be corrected. It's one sign that it's not really Bramblestar currently in that body.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 13 Reasons Why: Invoked by Jessica and Hannah, where getting each other's names wrong was playful banter that helped them bond.
  • The 2014 Academy Awards had an infamous moment where, when John Travolta was introducing Idina Menzel for the performance of Best Original Song nominee "Let It Go" referred to her as "Adele Dazeem". Menzel made sure to exploit the joke. In Menzel's next play that year If/Then, the gaffe was introduced into the playbill, listing her as the star of Farfignugen and ''Nert. And it's become a running gag to claim it was "Adele Dazeem" singing when Idina doesn't hit every note in a song.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: In season 3, Skye starts going by her birth name, Daisy Johnson, after she finally discovers it (she was left at an orphanage as a baby, and her legal name, "Mary Sue Poots", is not to her tastes). Coulson, the one who initially recruited her to S.H.I.E.L.D., keeps slipping up and referring to her as Skye.
    Coulson: Hard to get used to, huh?
    Hunter: No.
    Mack: No, just you.
  • Barney Miller - Inspector Luger always called Sgt. Levitt 'Levine', right up to the final episode.
  • Blackadder
    • In the first series, King Richard IV can never manage to remember his son Edmund's name. When he finally gets it right in the finale...
      Edmund: Father, you called me "Edmund"!
      Richard: WHAT? OH, SORRY, EDGAR...
    • Combined with Throw It In! in season 3, as Hugh Laurie actually screwed up his line.
      Edmund: You can start by not calling me "Bladder".
  • A Running Gag in Brazilian soap Cheias de Charme. Laughably Evil villainess Chayene always misnamed one of the protagonists, Rosário, referring to her by many names which first syllable was "Ro-", except the correct one. Once she misnamed Rosário with two different names in the same sentence.
    Chayene: If it's war Rochelle wants, it's war Roxanne will get.
  • On Chuck, Carina always addresses Morgan as "Martin".
  • The Colbert Report. When interviewing Smaug from The Hobbit films, Colbert gets into an argument over whether its name is pronounced "Smaug" or "Smog". Eventually the irritated dragon says to just call him "Dude".
  • Death in Paradise: In "An Unhelpful Aid", Sergeant Young keeps calling Fidel "Freddie".
  • Doctor Who:
    • Before the Doctor really got to like Ian Chesterton, he would call him things like "Chesterfield", "Chatterton", "Chesserton", and so on. The story is that this began as Throw It In! of William Hartnell's line-hashings but was soon written into the character. After the Doctor gets to like him, he gets the name right, unless he's intentionally trying to upset him — except for a small and heartbreaking Character Check where he accidentally mangles it in by Thinking Out Loud at the end of "The Massacre" about how lonely he is, as if he's already forgetting what Ian's name really was.
    • In "The Web Planet", Insectoid Aliens the Menoptera struggle with human names, implicitly due to their very non-human intelligence and insect-like anatomy. Vrestin, the lead Menoptera in the story, mangles Ian's name into something like 'Hair-on'.
    • At the end of "The Myth Makers", the Doctor refers to Katarina as "Katrina".
    • In "The Gunfighters", the Doctor constantly calls Wyatt Earp "Mr. Werp" because no-one bothers to correct him.
    • Ace consistently calls the Doctor "Professor" and he consistently calls her Ace, an not Dorothy.
    • The Ninth Doctor keeps calling Mickey "Ricky" despite the constant corrections. Then it turns out that Mickey's Alternate Universe counterpart is really named Ricky.
    • In "World War Three", the Doctor hears the aliens refer to themselves as the Slitheen and starts calling them this. It's all fine until he calls them "the Slitheen race", resulting in a bit of confusion. They correct him that "Slitheen" is their family name. He's left to figure out their actual species on his own. They're Raxacoricofallapatorians. This doesn't stop the Doctor or Rose from calling all Raxacoricofallapatorians they meet "Slitheen" (it's easier to pronounce), which causes members of other families to annoyedly correct them.
    • "Deep Breath": The Twelfth Doctor, suffering from amnesia and delirium after his regeneration, constantly mixes up or forgets the names of the people he knows. He calls Strax "Grumpy" (after the dwarf), Clara "Handles", "the not-me one" and "the asking-questions one", and Vastra and Jenny "the green one" and "the not-green one" respectively. He also calls Strax "Clara" at one point, and when Clara angrily corrects him, he gets confused and asks them to start wearing nametags.
    • In a more deliberate example, Twelve keeps calling Danny "P.E.", despite both Danny and Clara constantly correcting him that he's a maths teacher. This is more of the Doctor's prejudice against the military, since Danny is a retired soldier. In the Doctor's mind, the only thing a soldier is good for is physical stuff. Danny eventually just rolls with it.
    • In "Arachnids in the UK", Jack Robertson keeps referring to Najia as "Nadia". This is not deliberate, he's just a Jerkass who can't be bothered learning the names of his staff.
  • Turns into a Running Gag in Drake & Josh, in which Drake often calls Eric "Craig", much to the latter's annoyance, and Eric constantly has to correct him.
  • In The Expanse season four, Amos apparently can't remember Murtry's last name, calling him "Murry", "Marty" and "Murphy".
  • Frasier: Niles Crane is often called "Miles" by those who don't know him well.
  • Friends: Phoebe accidentally calls her boyfriend David by the name of her ex-boyfriend Mike. She tries to cover by claiming Monica calls Chandler 'Richard' (her ex-boyfriend) all the time and it's totally normal. Of course Chandler gets worried and Monica is annoyed given she's never done anything of the sort.
    • Rachel's sister Amy misnames Emma for "Emily" and Phoebe for "Emma":
    Monica: Hey, Amy. Is this the first time you're seeing Emma?
    Amy: I think so. (to Phoebe) It's nice to meet you, Emma!
    Phoebe: "Phoebe".
    Amy: Oh, that's a funny noise.
    Amy: But I was thinking about changing her (Emma's) name. I'm just not really a big fan of "Emily".
    Ross: "Emma".
    Amy: (to Phoebe) Emma? Ross wants you.
    Phoebe: "PHOEBE!"
    Amy: (to Ross and Rachel) Why does she keep making that noise?
    • Bob, a co-worker of Chandler, constantly misnames him for "Toby". Chandler never corrects him, because he's afraid of how awkward it would be. Later on, Chandler's boss asks his opinion on adding Bob to his team, to which Chandler is negative. But, when Bob finds out some "Chandler Bing" blocked his promotion, he ventilates it to "Toby", putting him in an even more difficult situation. Hilarity Ensues at the end, when Bob destroys Chandler's office... and Chandler joins him when asked to help with it.
  • On Fringe Walter is incapable of calling Astrid by her correct name, except once when he was on drugs. When Over There Astrid visits the regular universe, however, he does get her name right, much to Over Here Astrid's confusion.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Hot Pie seems seems to think Arya is a Stark of "Winterhell".
    • Tormund calls Sandor "the Dog" rather than the Hound... possibly intentionally.
  • In The Good Life, 'Sir' seems convinced that Tom's name is 'Tim', and everyone is either too polite or too obsequious to correct him. The few attempts that are made to made to correct him just result in confusion, as 'Sir' asks who 'Tom' is.
  • In the Green Acres episode "The Candidate", Oliver attempts to air his grievances against state district representative Ben Hanks regarding the quality of the road (Hooterville only has the one). Hanks repeatedly gets his name wrong — calling him something different every time — and when Oliver pledges to run against him in the next election, his name is similarly misprinted in all the headlines.
  • In I Love Lucy, Mario, a Venice gondoleer, takes them up on their offer to visit "when he's in America." Mario is looking for his brother who was visiting the brother's friend. When Lucy asks the friend's name, Mario says, "Sam Franceska." Lucy thinks that he meant "San Francisco." After the Hilarity Ensues, Lucy and Ricky send Mario off to "San Francisco." Just as they return from the bus station, Mario's brother arrives at the apartment, saying he was visiting a sick friend "Sam Franceska."
  • In one scene of Kim's Convenience, Naya and Reshma (two Muslim women of the same age and height with veiled faces) come into the titular convenience store, and owner Mr. Kim greets them each by name. Another customer named Roger is curious about how he can tell them apart, and Mr. Kim mentions a few subtle differences between them that he has come to notice. After Mr. Kim goes into the back to get something, the two women good-naturedly tell Roger that he gets their names wrong about 50 percent of the time.
  • David Letterman turned this into a Running Gag, constantly calling members of his staff by the wrong name. For instance, director Hal Gurnee was often called "Hal Gertner", and band drummer Anton Fig was routinely introduced as "Anton Zipp".
  • Leverage: The Mark in "The Bank Shot Job" is an arrogant corrupt judge who rules the town. He keeps calling the bank manager 'Fred' when his name is actually Frank, and has seemingly been doing so for years. This comes back to bite him at the end of the episode.
  • On Lost Girl, in the episode "Mirror, Mirror", Bo is perpetually (and drunkenly) incapable of calling Baba Yaga by her correct name (calling her instead various things like "Baby Yoda").
  • On an episode of M*A*S*H, a visiting surgeon keeps getting BJ's name wrong. The only time he gets it right is when he's drunk.
  • In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 3, Rito Revolto had a terrible habit of calling Lord Zedd "Ed". This got to the point where, when Zedd arrived in the Command Center and Alpha called him "Ed" out of fear, Zedd erupted in anger over it.
  • On Monday Night Football during the late 70s and early 80s, Frank Gifford would often mispronounce then-Atlanta Falcons head coach Leeman Bennett's name as "Leeman Beeman"; the MNF crew would often hold bets on which quarter Gifford would make the flub.
  • The Monkees:
    • Every minor character seems incapable of pronouncing Mike Nesmith's last name. Among the variants: Nishwash, Nashmirth, Nipmop... Subverted in "Monkees in Texas," when the villains refer to Mike and his aunt as "Nesters"... he starts to correct them before his aunt explains that the word means "farmer" and that they were correct in their word choice.
    • In the Season 2 opening sequence, Peter gets increasingly upset when each of the others is mis-identified as him, then smiles once the credits get his name right.
    • In "Monkee vs. Machine," when Peter gets flustered in a job interview, the computer identifies him as "Notwhat" and "Nitwit."
  • In The Morecambe and Wise Show the duo would often get the name of the special guest wrong. The most famous example is Mr Andrew Preview (Andre Previn). And during The Beatles' appearance on the show, Eric kept referring to Ringo as "Bongo" (and whenever Ernie corrected him with "Ringo!", Eric replied, "'im too!").
  • In Mr. Belvedere, Heather's friend Angela constantly gets Mr. Belvedere's surname wrong, calling him "Mr. Bellybutton", "Mr. Bellpepper", et cetera. Angela never said the same (wrong) surname twice.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: In "The Murdoch Identity", Detective Slorach has real trouble remembering George Crabtree's name, and keeps calling him all kinds of wrong names.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000
    • The show had a Running Gag of the riffers giving nicknames to characters based on mishearing their names, like "Cornjob" (Kon-Chan) from Gamera vs. Guiron, "Big Stupid" (Bix Dugan) from The Girl in Lover's Lane, and "Rapid Bathroom" (Radford Baines) from The Killer Shrews.
    • Frank would routinely call Dr. Forrester "Steve" despite the latter's first name being Clayton. Although it's unclear if this was Frank's attempt at being passive-aggressive towards his Bad Boss, or just another example of him being The Ditz.
    • In the episode featuring Touch of Satan, a babysitter is charged with watching over Mike, the Bots, Brain Guy and Bobo. As she's naming off everyone, she calls Crow "Cow". This leads to him to passive aggressively say "And I'm Cow."
  • On one episode of The Nanny, a photographer refers to C.C. Babcock as "Miss Boobcock", which gets reprinted in several places and even on a billboard.
  • Trigger from Only Fools and Horses always calls Rodney "Dave". The show had endless fun with what one might think would be a repetitive gag by coming up with variations such as:
    Trigger: [Del might name his son] Rodney, after Dave over there.
  • Jerry from Parks and Recreation is actually named Gary; the director got his name wrong on the first day and he wasn't assertive enough to correct him.
  • Poirot: In "The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly", Mr. Waverly introduces Hercule Poirot to his wife (Mrs. Waverly) by calling him "Hercules Poirot". Poirot tells him that he should be called "Hercule Poirot", not "Hercules".
  • In QI, in the Series 7 episode "Gothic":
    Stephen: Alan, you're a zombie, you bite Jimmy (points to Jimmy Carr), Jimmy, you bite Jack (points to Jack Dee), Jack, you bite Mel. (points to Sue Perkins)
    Alan: [points to Sue] Sue.note 
    (Stephen facepalms himself)
    Sue: It's that warm personal touch you get when you're on this show.
    Stephen: I am so ashamed!
    Alan: No one noticed, Hugh.
  • Throughout the entire run of Raising Hope, Virginia pronounces Sabrina's name as "Sabriner".
  • An episode of Rookie Blue tries to make this a running gag in an episode by having Police Superintendent Peck calling Officer Chris Diaz "Craig". Lauren Holly as Peck wrecks the joke by calling Chris "Chris" the second time she calls him by name.
  • Scrubs: Amidst all of Dr. Cox's Malicious Misnaming of JD, Dr. Kelso genuinely thinks that Turk's last name is "Turkleton". Apparently the confusion results from Turk going primarily by his last name, since Kelso also thinks that "Turk" is Turk's first name, meaning that he thinks his full name is "Turk Turkleton".note 
    • JD mentioned in an episode that he and Turk are so inseparable that a local bartender thinks Turk's name is Turk Enjaedi (Turk and JD).
  • This happens to many of the Seinfeld characters, most often Jerry, who gets his last name butchered to "Steinfeld" or "Seinfield". On one occasion he was called "Gary Seinfield" by someone who had just been told his name literally one second ago.
  • Sherlock can't seem to remember Lestrade's first name. (It's Greg.) Then again, he is known to purposefully not learn or forget information he considers irrelevant.
    Greg Lestrade: Hello, John.
    John Watson: Greg.
    Sherlock Holmes: Is that why you're calling yourself "Greg"?
    John Watson: (incredulous) That's his name!
    Sherlock Holmes: Is it?
    Greg Lestrade: Yes... if you ever bothered to find out.
    • This may also be a nod at the original novels, where Lestrade's first name is never revealed (the initial is stated to be "G", though). This is why Elementary names him Gareth instead.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Lwaxana Troi regularly mispronounces Worf's name as "Woof".
    • In "Hollow Pursuits", Picard directs his officers to try to help Barclay overcome his social anxieties, and in particular to quit using the nickname "Broccoli". To his dismay, Picard himself accidentally uses the nickname right to Barclay's face.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, Tuvok says "I am Vulcan", meaning "I am from Planet Vulcan" or "I am of the Vulcan race", but Neelix thinks his name is Mr. Vulcan. This one evolves into more of a friendly nickname than a mistake. Neelix is soon perfectly aware of what Tuvok's real name is, but he keeps calling Tuvok "Mr. Vulcan" on several occasions anyway, even though Tuvok isn't the only Vulcan aboard (though Vorik is barely shown).
  • On Succession, this happens to Greg Hirsch twice in the first two episodes, belying his Beneath Notice nature; first, he's introduced to the family as Cousin Craig, and then he's listed on the Waystar employment records as Greg Roy, because nobody remembers his last name.
  • Supergirl: A Running Gag is Cat Grant's inability to get Kara Danvers' name right. Even in life or death situations, she'll always call her "Kyra" or some derivative. In a heartwarming moment, she finally gets her name right in the season 1 finale.
  • Utopia: A Running Gag in "Smart Cities" involves the conference organizers getting Tony's name wrong and referring to him as 'Tony Woodley' rather than 'Tony Woodford'. The final scene has him being announced as 'Tony Woodley' as he takes the stage to give the keynote address.
  • On The West Wing, the Genius Ditz Lord John Marbury almost always refers to Leo, the White House Chief of Staff, as "Gerald". He does get Leo's name right at least once, so it may be Obfuscating Stupidity on Marbury's part, but it's hard to say.
    • It is. After CJ becomes Chief of Staff, his response is that she must be the new Gerald.
    • Played with in the episode Privateers, when CJ refers to Marion Cotesworth-Haye of Marblehead as "Helena Hodworth Hooter-Tooter of Braintree"

  • Straight Outta Oz: In "Papi", the woman keeps on calling Todrick "Trevor". She's more interested in his body than his actual character.
  • 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.

  • 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.

    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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • A Running Gag with Gunther, the barber, in Curtis. He always gets Curtis's name wrong.


  • 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."

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

    Video Games 
  • Atelier Iris 2's Max addresses Felt by increasingly bizarre permutations of his name, at one point referring to him as "Klein" (the name of the protagonist from the previous Atelier Iris game). If corrected, he'll call him Felt for the remainder of the current conversation, so apparently he's just that bad with names.
  • Beyond Good & Evil
    • The heroine Jade first meets her sidekick Double H after freeing him from Electric Torture. His brain is... a little fried, and after hearing her mention the "IRIS" Network, he starts calling her "Miss Thyrus." (He also calls himself "Triple Z" at one point.)
    • Jade herself once refers to the suspicious "Mr. de Castellac" who hired her on a mission (which was actually a charade aiming at establishing a contact between her and the IRIS Network) as "de Cadillac".
  • In Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon, Emperor Meningitis mistakenly addresses Crypto as "Klepto", due to being senile.
    Meningitis: Pox? Is that you? What have you done with your body? And what's that with you? Oh, it's your little house boy, Klepto!
    Crypto: CRYP-TO.
    Meningitis: Whatever!
  • Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis: Flay refers to the Quirky Miniboss Squad as the "Mook Squad".
    Tony: Who are you calling a mook?!
  • Mega Man 7: In the opening scene, Dr. Wily is accidentally referred to as Dr. Willy with two L's instead of one:
    Narrator: In The Year Of 20XX AD... The world cheered Mega Man when at long last he captured and imprisoned Dr. Wily. But... Dr. Wily knew his schemes might end in failure and had planned for just such an occasion. Four robots had been hidden away and after six months without being contacted by Dr. Willy, they activate and begin searching for their master...
  • Ōkami proves that not even a God is immune to this trope. Most people you encounter find the name Amaterasu a bit too much of a mouthful to remember. The nicer ones will call you Ammy or (after a previous, respected alias) Shiranui. Less respectful ones settle for Furball.
    • In the sequel Ōkamiden, Amaterasu's son, Chibiterasu, gets it even worse. He has five companions over the course of the game, and each has their own terrible nickname for him: Mutt, Squiddy, Pooch, Dude, and Pork Chop.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Luigi is often the victim of this. So characters use names like "Mr. Green Mario Brother Guy" and "Loo...uh, some other guy!"
    • Bowser does this in the Mario & Luigi games. Bowser has fixated on Mario as his greatest enemy, and always forgets Luigi's name. So Bowser uses names like "Green 'Stache" to refer to Luigi. He finally gets it right at the end of Dream Team, showing that he now considers him a Worthy Opponent.
    • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Bowser himself gets this, as Broque Monsieur always refers to him as "Monsieur Turtle Bits".
    • Used repeatedly in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. The Puni elder thinks Mario's name is "Marty-o," the ancient mayor of Petalburg calls him "Murphy" due to his hearing problems, and the Yoshi who joins your party calls you "Gonzales." That last one is justified because said Yoshi is born in a fighting-club type place, the Glitz Pit, where Mario's stage name is "the Great Gonzales". (Mario didn't choose the name; his manager did.)
    • The clueless "detective" Pennington, who thinks Mario is Luigi. (In the sequence just before the final battle resumes, another character calls Mario by his proper name, and the detective is absolutely stunned at the notion of himself simply being wrong.)
    • And also Zess T. who keeps referring to Mario with names such as "Stompy" and "Sir Crush-A-Lot" after he accidentally steps on her contact lenses.
    • And Doopliss. After he replaces Vivian of the Shadow Sirens, Beldam starts calling him "Freak-in-Sheet".
      • Doopliss himself calls almost everyone "Slick."
    • In Super Paper Mario, O'Chunks mishears Tippi saying Mario's name, and proceeds to call him Maria.
    • In the Dragon Quest crossover Fortune Street, Bowser occasionally refers to the Dragonlord as "Lizardboss".
  • In Soul Nomad & the World Eaters, Danette refers to the eponymous World Eaters as "World... Thingies", due to her atrocious memory. She also never remembers Gig's name, much to his annoyance.
  • Levi the Slasher of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny, who becomes The Nicknamer because she has a hard time remembering people's name, even simple one's like "Fate", who she keeps mispronouncing as "Hate", before she decides to just call her "Original" since it's easier to remember for her.
  • In the Fallout: New Vegas DLC Old World Blues, Dr. 0 (Zero) is commonly referred to by the other scientists as "O" (the letter). By the time you meet him, he's still annoyed by it but doesn't care to correct it. You can suggest that he put a slash through the zero in order to alleviate the confusion. However, coming up with this solution requires at least 9 Intelligence (the maximum is 10), and all of the scientists will marvel at your astounding genius. You can also convince him to accept "O" as his name by likening it to the "Oh!" of scientific discovery.
  • In Tales of Lagoona 2: Peril at Poseidon Park scatterbrained Mayor Abraham Tobias Peabody kept calling the granddaughter of the park owners Linda, Lorraine and every other L-name except her actual name, Leona. At one point he asked his aide "Bubbles" (real name Vinny) "Who's this Leona I keep hearing about?"
  • Professor Hotchkiss, a recurring character from the Nancy Drew games Treasure in the Royal Tower and Legend of the Crystal Skull, calls Nancy by a different name every time, even in the same piece of dialogue. An expert on wood whom Nancy consults over the phone in Danger on Deception Island has the same problem.
  • In Super Robot Wars UX, Richard Kruger tends to call Joey Jonathan, which is a reference to a time when Jurota Kosugi voiced Jotaro Kujo.
  • A few examples in the Kingdom Hearts series.
    • In Kingdom Hearts II, Captain Jack Sparrow calls Sora "Zola" in one scene. Sora gets annoyed and corrects him. He also calls Sora by other names, namely "Nora" or "Dora", in the novel adaptation.
      • In the manga adaptation, Donald and Goofy were called "Ronald and Zoofy" by Yuffie. They didn't take that too well.
    • A running gag in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is everyone referring to Lea by his former name, Axel. He ends up giving in when Riku calls him by his former name after Lea saves Sora from Master Xehanort.
    • In Kingdom Hearts III during the visit to Monstropolis, Boo mistakenly addresses Donald as Mike Wazowski. Mike Wazowski himself takes umbrage. Justified by Boo's age.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, Inspector Hildibrand calls Gilgamesh "Gilligan". Gilgamesh tells him that if he can't get the whole name right, to just call him "Gil"; Hildibrand then starts referring to him as Greg. Gilgamesh ends up just going along with it. Later on, he meets Ultros, who calls him "Gulliver", prompting him to bemoan that no one in Eorzea can seem to remember his damn name properly.
  • In Borderlands 2, the player can find an ECHO recording of Handsome Jack when he was just a low-level Hyperion employee. His Jerkass boss Mr. Tassiter always calls him "John". However, after Jack takes over the company, he calls his own vice-president by the wrong name, which suggests that this is what was done to him as well. The Pre-Sequel shows that Tassiter knows that Jack's actual name is Jack, but always calls him John whenever he's pissed at him, which is pretty much always.
  • In The Wonderful 101, Prince Vorkken always calls Wonder Red "Blunder Red" as well as referring to Earth as "Dearth". Despite being a villain, this is just him being clueless rather than malicious since he gets Wonder Red's name right, but never really figures out the "Dearth" thing.
  • Fei Fong Wong, the hero of Xeno Gears is frequently referred to by alternate names, typically by people who've known past incarnations of him (example, Krellian calling him Lacan or Emeralda referring to him as Kim,) or by people who only know him by his Split Personality (Ramsus only ever refers to him as Id.) In addition, his mentor, Citan, is referred to as Hyuga by all his former comrades from Solaris.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura has this as a Running Gag: if you're playing a character with "dumb dialogue" (either actually having Intelligence of 4 or less, or using certain backgrounds), asking Virgil for advice will result in you failing to pronounce his name correctly, something that leads to hilarious reactions on his part. "Virgoo", "Virtigo", "Voratio", "Vortigoon", "Voghhkloorh"...
    Virgil: "I... don't even know what you just called me."
  • In Runefall the spoiled Princess of Silverdale keeps referring to local villager Hadrick as "Hatrack."
  • In Puyo Puyo specifically the first game, Arle ruins Satan's epic entrance by calling him "Santa."
  • The Neptunia franchise uses this quite a bit as a Running Gag.
  • Moshi Monsters has a Pirate named Bucky but he spells it Buck E. The reason being that when he met his first mate Lefty, Lefty thought that was how it was spelt and it stuck.
  • Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work: Silas Scruemall keeps calling Larry Laffer wrong names, like Larcher, Loafer, and Loaner.
  • Ensemble Stars!: Kaoru often refers to Adonis by the wrong name, claiming that since he has no interest in making friends with other guys he can't be bothered to learn his name properly. He does care deep down, however.

    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 Grisaia no Meikyuu "Imouto" Robbie mangles the protagonist's name hopelessly and in Grisaia no Rakuen 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.
  • In Melee's End, Marth constantly mixes up people's names because he's a complete ditz.
  • 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".
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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".

  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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!!
  • 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.
  • 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 cumulates 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.
  • In the Questionable Content arc where Hannerlore's mom sends her a personal assistant, Hanners consistently calls them Taffy, only for Tilly to say "It's Tilly, ma'am" very quietly and be ignored. At first it seems like this could be Malicious Misnaming, as Hanners expresses her irritation at being given a PA she doesn't want, until Martin points out the discrepency and she explains "My mother called you 'Taffy' on the phone and now it's stuck in my head!" (Knowing Hanners' mother, it's quite possible that was Malicious Misnaming.)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Web Original 
  • Aitor Molina plays a lot with that to the point you don't know if he's joking or not.
  • 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 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.
  • In Decker, the titled character has a habit of calling Kington either "Klington" or "Kingston"
  • 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.
  • Jayuzumi meets people that pronounce his name wrong from time to time. In "Bad Violin Trolling", "cider dude", whilst raging, calls him "Micuzumay".
  • 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
  • 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.'
  • 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.
  • 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 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".
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "Old Man Dexter", as Dexter is deemed too young to watch late-night TV, he scientifically ages himself... a little too much. As such, senility kicks in as he asks his sister to help him up on the living room couch.
    Dexter: A little help there, um... Dodo?
    Dee Dee: Dee Dee.
    Dexter: Daa Daa?
    Dee Dee: Dee Dee.
    Dexter: Doo Doo?
    Dee Dee: Dee Dee.
    Dexter: Yeah thanks, Billy.
    • The Ego Trip special plays with this trope and references the above episode. Dexter meets three older versions of himself. The oldest version is quite forgetful, but while he remembers the other two's names, he keeps calling his young adult counterpart "Billy."
  • Duckman constantly forgets the name of his son, Mambo, calling him by other unusual or ridiculous names like La Bamba and Mandingo. In one episode, he forgets Charles' name instead.
  • On The Fairly OddParents, several characters have forgotten Timmy's name. Trixie Tang is the one that comes to most fans' minds, but several others have forgotten at one point: Cosmo, his parents, Adam West, Jeff the Elf (in the Oh Yeah! Cartoons shorts), and Quddus (in the TRL interview).
    • During School's Out! The Musical's song "Floating With You," Cosmo has the line "I know that I'm forgetful," sung over a scene of him skywriting "I LOVE YOU RHONDA." Wanda just shrugs it off.
  • One House of Mouse animated short, "computer.don", was about Donald Duck buying a talking personal computer that can recognize people's names, but the computer misunderstands Donald's Speech Impediment and consistently refers to him as "Duo."
    • One episode had Donald gain control of the titular House while Mickey's away. He attempts to change the name to "House of Duck", but they keep naming of "House of [word rhyming with "Duck"]" before it ends at "House of Pancakes", which illicits a Face Palm from Donald.
  • "That's WIZARDHEIMER!!!"
  • In Total Drama, Lindsay constantly getting everyone's name wrong is a Running Gag. Although she can usually remember somebody's name if they're (at the moment) important to her. For example she remembers Heather's name throughout the whole TDI season; when she calls her "Hannah" in the special Heather is clearly shocked, because is means Lindsay is no longer her puppet. It's Played for Laughs much more in World Tour, where she just can't get her boyfriend's name right. She calls him Noah, a character she's had no on-screen interaction with. She can remember a name or a face, but never both!
  • Motorcity: Texas frequently calls Julie by other names, such as "Babs" or "Lisa." He does call her Julie every now and then.
  • In Widget the World Watcher, the male elder keeps forgetting and mispronounces Widget's name every time they meet.
  • In "The Greatest Story Never Told" of Justice League Unlimited, episode centerpiece Booster Gold is constantly referred to or otherwise mistaken for Green Lantern despite his gold-and-blue color scheme.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Billy gets a new friend (a parody of Hanna-Barbera characters) who introduces himself as "Wiggy Gee Jed". Billy calls him "Wiggy Jiggy Jed".
  • Characters often get Beavis And Butthead's names wrong, such as "Buffcoat and Beaver", "B and Butter", and "Buttbrain and Beatrice". This was inspired by a real-life accidental misnaming of the characters by U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings.
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar episode "Misfortune Cookie", Julien keeps getting Rico's name wrong and calling him "Chico" or "Freako".
  • A Running "Gag" in Hey Arnold! is that Helga's parents always call her by her older sister's name: Olga.
    • Arnold himself also gets misnamed at times, usually by characters that don't know him too well.
  • For some reason, a popular gag in western animation is to have grandparents misremember their grandchildren's name as "Billy". South Park and Dexter's Laboratory are two shows that have done this.
  • Daria's title character has this by way of Phrase Catcher—in early episodes people she didn't know had a tendency to always call her something else. In one later episode a substitute thinks she has a "hippie name" and insists on calling her "Darlene."
  • Rugrats:
    • The episode, "Aunt Miriam" had Grandpa Lou's cousin Miriam come to visit. The entire time, she kept calling Didi different names. When she leaves and Stu accidentally calls her a different name, she freaks out and shrieks "It's DIDI!"
    • This actually causes most of the problems in the episode, "Angelica Breaks A Leg". Angelica fakes a broken leg and is taken to the hospital to be examined; the doctor, who keeps calling the Pickles "Peaches", gets Angelica's x-rays mixed up with those of one "Antonio Peaches", a football player who really did break his leg.
    • In "The Bank Trick", a bank teller misreads Didi's surname on her shredded debit card as "Pridklers." Didi almost writes that name herself when subsequently filling out a form.
    • In the movie, Rex Pester the news reporter gets all the babies' names wrong: "Young Tammy, baby Dale, the twins Bill and Jill, little Chunky, and poor Amelia."
    • In "Daddy's Little Helpers", the moms get a shirt each that says "I am the goddess [their name]." Didi's says "I am the goddess Dodo", which makes her angry.
    • In "Rebel Without a Teddy Bear", Chuckie and Didi accidentally call Henry the stuffed lion "Herman".
  • In the What A Cartoon! Show short "Snoot's New Squat", Snoot's superior officer keeps getting his name wrong, calling him "Agent Squint" and the like.
  • In the Ben 10: Ultimate Alien episode "Couples Retreat", Charmacaster tells Darkstar that her real name is Hope. However, Darkstar doesn't remember it and starts calling her false names like Heather, Hermoine, Heidi, etc.
  • Adventure Time: Tree Trunks keeps referring to Lemongrab, Ice King, and NEPTR as "Ice Cream, Nectar, and Lemon Carb". This is not malicious, but more an indication of her borderline senility.
  • Mr. Maellard, owner of the park, on Regular Show messed up Benson's name constantly, however after Benson saves his life in "Benson Be Gone" he begins to say his name correctly.
  • The titular Mayor of Tom Goes to the Mayor never remembers Tom's name when he encounters him at the beginning of each episode. He usually rattles off some potential T names or words, until Tom corrects him. Further, Tom's name is almost never correctly spelled when written down, though it always phonetically correct.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode "Rebel Without a Fin", a Running Gag was that the turtles kept getting the villain Dr. Polidorius's name wrong (calling him names like Pollyanna, Polyester, Polly-Wolly-Doodle, Polyunsaturated, Polytechnic, Polyurethane, Polynesia, Parlez-vous).
  • The turtles consistently fail to remember Baxter Stockman's name in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012).note 
  • George of the Jungle would often get his mate Ursula's name wrong...but of course, he'd also often refer to her as a 'fella'.
    George: So long, Ingrid!
    Ursula: 'Ingrid'? It's Ursula, George, URSULA!
    George: Ursula to you too, Ingrid!
  • The Simpsons:
    • Mr. Burns always forgets Homer's name, which comes to a head in "Who Shot Mr. Burns, Part 1" making Homer go berserk, and making him a suspect while everybody else is a suspect for reasons related to the oil well Burns stole from Springfield Elementary School. In the middle of the episode, he actually runs into him and three other employees in an elevator, and addresses Lenny, Carl and Guillermo by name but fails to notice a nametag reading "Homer."
    • In "Lisa Gets an A", Ralph Wiggum greets Superintendent Chalmers as "Super Nintendo Chalmers".
  • In Camp Lazlo, Scoutmaster Lumpus seems to keep getting Edward's name wrong. Lumpus himself was liable to have this in the first few episodes.
  • In Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, Heidi usually calls Randy's name incorrectly. And they both know each other since forever.
  • In the Teen Titans episode "Employee of the Month", Beast Boy gets a job at a fast food place, and gets annoyed when the boss calls him a different name every time he talks to him. Eventually, the boss calls him "Tammy", causing Beast Boy to snap. "Dude, that's a girl's name!"
  • This trope is used for a Running Gag throughout the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Great Snail Race", in which everyone just can't get Squidward's last name right (Tentacles). A mailman accidentally calls him Squidward Tennisballs, Patrick accidentally calls him Squidward Tentpoles, and the trophy Squidward gets at the end of the episode is made out to Squidward Tortellini.
  • Totally Spies!:
    • When Sam gets her intelligence drained in the episode "Brain Drain", she calls Clover "Clovest" and Alex "Allegra".
    • In the 3 season 4 finale specials, when the Spies' moms learn about their "secret" identity (as much of a secret as three teenage girls in colorful catsuits chasing criminals on the street without EVER covering their face could have), they get to meet the Spies' boss, Jerry. Then there comes a short running gag of Sam's mother unable to remember Jerry's name for the life of her, and keep browsing around other similar-sounding ones like Gary, Harry, Larry, etc.
  • Leni form The Loud House mistakenly calls Lincoln "Landon" in the episode "Sound of Silence," and his best friend Clyde "Claude" and "Clark" in the episode "Overnight Success."
  • In the Sonic Boom episode "The Meteor", Sonic and Eggman switch bodies after simultaneously coming into contact with the titular meteor. Eggman-in-Sonic's-body has a hard time getting Knuckles' name right, calling him things like "Nuggets", "Nibbles", and "Noodles". This gag continues in later episodes of the series.
  • In Beast Wars, most of the characters pronounce the Autobot computer "Teletraan I" as "Teletron", particularly Blackarachnia who, holding the Ark's access codes in her on-board computer, likely has the most interaction with the ship's mainframe. As the series is concluding, Rattrap finally corrects her, with the spider responding with an exhausted "whatever!". The pronunciation as "Teletron" was not intentional and just came from the actors themselves, while the correction was written in as a response from fans. In-universe, it has been explained that much of the events of the Autobot-Decepticon war (as depicted in the 1984 cartoon) have become the stuff of myth and legend by the time of the future-era Maximals and Predacons, and thus some of the detail as well (this was previously also seen in "Possession" with the ghostly Starscream lying about the cause of his death).
  • In the Star Wars Rebels episode "Homecoming", Kanan is so nervous when meeting Hera's father that when he introduces the rest of the Ghost crew, he mixes up all their names (and forgets Chopper).
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn asks Poison Ivy if she's "that plant lady, Poison Oaky".
  • When Alan the balloon first makes an appearance in the episode "The Third" of The Amazing World of Gumball, Gumball the cat tries to be friends with him to make Darwin the goldfish jealous because he himself is jealous of Darwin being friends with Tobias the rainbow. He just can't remember his "new best friend's" name, though: he keeps calling him various non-Alan names, such as Alex, Adrian, Alfred, Arthur, Adam, Andrew, Alice.
    • This becomes a running gag between Gumball and Rob. Gumball just can't seem to get his nemesis' name right, calling him things like Rich, Ralph, Raj, Rolf, Rod, Ross, and Rose. This tends to anger Rob quite easily. This is dropped from "The Rerun" onwards.
  • In the Thomas the Tank Engine episode, "Dowager Hatt's Busy Day", Dowager Hatt takes over Sir Topham Hatt's job of running the railway when Sir Topham Hatt catches a cold. When Dowager Hatt addresses the engines, she calls Emily "Emiline", "Emerald", "Ermentrude", "Elma", and "Esmeralda", and Gordon "Geoffrey", "Gregory", "Gerald", and "Gavin".
  • In Martha Speaks, Mrs Demson cannot remember Martha's name and calls her Magda and Marla.
  • In the Where's Waldo? episode "Forest Women", this is a Running Gag from Queen Emeralda, who calls Waldo such names as Walnut, Walrus, Wallpaper, Wallbang and Pizza Dough. That last one is left unchanged in the British English dub, resulting in a rather hilarious Non Sequitur:
    Wally: You fellas wouldn't mind if I take the queen home, would you?
    Emeralda: Pizza dough!
    Wally: That's Wally!
    • The Narrator gets in on it by the end, calling out "Where is Wallab- er, Wally this time?"
  • In the Animaniacs cartoon "The Sound of Warners" Maria von Trapp Expy Prunella Vandergast is convinced that Dot's name is "Dit," Wakko is "Wikky," and Yakko is "Petey Pie."
  • In Phineas and Ferb, characters will occasionally mess up the pronunciation of Doofenshmirtz's name, which is odd because no one has a problem when addressing his brother. Best exemplified in "Ain't No Kiddie Ride", where the following exchange annoys him so much he decides his Evil Plan for the day is to burn his name into the atmosphere just to get people to remember it.
    Doofenshmirtz: I just called in a to-go order for Doofenshmirtz.
    Diner Lady: Hey Vick, you got an order for Doofyberg?
    Doofenshmirtz: No no, no, Doofenshmirtz! Heinz Doofenshmirtz! Surely you've heard of me!
    Lady: (Beat) Okay, order for Heinz Doofensmith? Is that right?
    Doofenshmirtz: No, Doofenshmirtz! Doofen- ah... my brother's the mayor?
    Lady: Roger Doofenshmirtz is your brother?
    Doofenshmirtz: Yes, Doofenshmirtz.
    Lady: And your name is?
    Doofenshmirtz: (smiling) Heinz Doofenshmirtz.
    (Beat, she turns back over the counter)
    Lady: Do we have an order for a Hans Doofenblast?
    • In a later episode, some punk hipster girls call Candace "Janice".
  • In the Danger Mouse relaunch, Colonel K will refer to Penfold by random words beginning with "P", when he remembers who Penfold is at all. While the Colonel is too genial and genuinely clueless for it to be considered malicious, it does reflect how important he considers Penfold to be, as illustrated in "Crouching Hamster, Hidden Wagon", when Penfold is suddenly revealed to be competent in a very specific area, and the Colonel not only gets his name right, but starts calling DM "Granger Louse".
  • Glimmer in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a bit of a magnet for this, getting referred to as things like Glitter or Shimmer. In particular, it takes most of "The Sea Gate" for Sea Hawk to get her name right, but it's pretty clearly not intended maliciously, because Sea Hawk is far too much of a good-natured idiot to be doing it deliberately.

    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.
  • 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 this 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.
  • Anyone who's changed their name will have this happen to them occasionally with their old name.
  • 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".


Video Example(s):


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.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / AccidentalMisnaming

Media sources:

Main / AccidentalMisnaming