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Accidentally Real Fake Address

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"Why did I have to say Market Street?!"
Bugs Bunny, The Looney Tunes Show, "Semper Lie"

For some reason or another, a character might need to give out some false information to hide their real identity, location, or employer. If the situation is immediate enough, they may have to make up their false information on the fly, perhaps sounding obviously false. But, it's possible they accidentally gave out a real name, address, or other piece of information that does correspond to someone or something else, albeit not them. Hilarity ensues as the unsuspecting recipients are suddenly questioned about events that have no relation to them. Another common variant is when a piece of fake information that isn't explicitly deceptive, like a pseudonym or nickname, ends up having the same effect.

Most commonly, this just serves to set up a brief Cutaway Gag, but it sometimes serves as a Brick Joke or Chekhov's Gun later on in the story.

A kind of Achievement In Ignorance. Similar to Accidental Truth, in that the information at least corresponds to something, if not what was hidden. Compare to I Am One of Those, Too, where a character makes up an aspect of their background and someone ends up having that exact aspect, and The Real Remington Steele, when a character is revealed to be using a fake alias, but later another person who is the real owner of the fake alias appears.

Due to just how many phone numbers and addresses are given in media, a decent amount of them are bound to end up being real (in fact, the 555 trope exists solely to prevent this). Due to this being a very real possibility for any fake address or phone number, No Real Life Examples, Please!


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    Fan Works 
  • In the RuneScape fan fiction Bono the Noobiest Noob in RuneScape, Kitedj raises an army of zombies to fight the main characters, only to find that said zombies aren't instantly willing to work for him after being resurrected. In an attempt to motivate them, he claims he will give out coupons, and, when asked for what store, he responds with an immediate "Fake Store That Doesn't Exist". This works because it somehow turns out to be a popular store that does exist. It becomes a Running Gag from then on, is visited directly later, and is also apparently a proud sponsor of the story.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Mr. Deeds: Babe Bennett provides the fictional town of "Winchestertonfieldville" as her hometown to Deeds and gives a description of the house she supposedly grew up in rather than an address. Not only does Deeds find an actual house in the actual town of Winchestertonfieldville, he then asks for Babe to provide a tour, causing her to stumble over aspects of a house she isn't familiar with while one of the residents, a young boy, innocently threatens to expose her lies.

  • Jumper: David Rice is on the receiving end of this. He's waiting for a scheduled phone call from his Missing Mom, and starts getting repeated calls from a man looking for a woman he met at a club who gave him "her" number (i.e. a fake one that happened to be David's). David tells him twice that he's got the wrong number, but the man doesn't get the hint. The third time the man calls, David affects a deep, drunken voice and tells him the woman is dead, which gets the calls to stop.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Golden Girls episode "Love, Rose" sees a lonely Rose put an ad in a personals column which gets no attention, which only makes her feel worse—until she gets a letter from a mystery man. Blanche tells Dorothy that she actually wrote the letter to cheer Rose up, and chose the first name that came into her head for an alias: Isaac Newton. Dorothy and Blanche have some fun penning letters as Isaac until Rose decides she wants to invite him to be her date for a charity event. The women quickly send a "last" letter saying that Isaac is moving away, but it's too late: as it turns out, there actually is an Isaac Q. Newton in Miami, and Rose has already given him a call!
  • One episode of I Love Lucy has Lucy take a magazine quiz about married life. She asks Ricky if he has any old girlfriends, so he invents a name on the spot—"Carlotta Romero"—to shoo her away. Then a singer comes to town...guess what her name is?
  • In Roseanne, the titular character exploits this trope when the family is trying to book airline tickets on a sold-out plane. She calls the airport using disguised voices and pretends to be various people with generic last names like "Miller" and "Smith," claiming that she needs to cancel her flight. It gets even stranger when the trick doesn't work and Roseanne instead suggests that they check under her maiden name, then makes a vague noise which she allows the receptionist to interpret at will ("Habib? Yes, Habib! No, we won't need to reschedule...praise Allah.").

    Puppet Shows 
  • In The Great Muppet Caper, Miss Piggy, posing as Lady Holiday, invites Kermit on a date. She fabricates an address by getting Kermit to guess ("right again, are you psychic?"), ending up at "17 Highbrow Street". This turns out to be a real address and Piggy has to sneak herself and Kermit in to keep up the charade. Surprisingly, the upper-class couple who own the place aren't as bothered by this as one would think.

    Video Games 
  • In Daxter, upon meeting Errol, a jumpsuit disguised Daxter tells him that he was called to the Palace to exterminate some Metal Bugs. Upon being pressed on who called, Daxter makes up the name, Ximon Rupertikjakmos.
    Erol: Nice try, that call didn't happen. Captain Rupertikjakmos is on leave this month, he couldn't have been the one.
  • In Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance, Christo introduces himself as the Overlord of "a certain giant Netherworld". Red Magnus interprets this as Christo being the Overlord of a Netherworld called "Certain Giant", and he just rolls with it. Do enough Netherworld Research and eventually, you will find a unique Netherworld named Certain Giant.
  • In Planescape: Torment, The Nameless One can claim that his name is Adahn when asked. Use this deception often enough, and eventually a character named Adahn shows up, who is looking for you.

  • In Sluggy Freelance, Sam supplies an Accidentally Real Accidentally Fake Address when he abbreviates "St. Paul, Michigan" as "St. Paul, MN". Consequently, the vampires monitoring his "private" Internet chat with hostile intent charge blindly into a vampire hunter convention.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: In "The Real You", Finn tries to become smarter by painting a face on his finger and using it to infiltrate a lecture at a worm college. He introduces himself as "Wormy McSquirmy", and it turns out there is someone by that name... but it turns out Wormy hasn't been attending classes, earning Finn the ire of the teacher and the rest of the class.
  • Centaurworld: In the season 2 premiere, Horse tries to get into the horsetaur fortress with the name "Horsatia Wighair Beansz", and much to her surprise that's an actual name on the guest list. We even see the real Horsatia Wighair Beansz on her way to the fortress at the end of the episode.
  • Family Guy: In "The Thin White Line (Part 1)", Peter comes up with a Line-of-Sight Alias by looking at a pea, then someone crying a single tear, and finally a gryphon flying by. He calls himself Peter Griffin, then has an Oh, Crap! moment when he realizes that he just gave his real name.
  • House of Mouse: In a "Pluto Gets the Paper" mini-short, Mortimer Mouse, who is running from Pluto after stealing Mickey's paper, jumps inside a cab and tells the driver "The other side of town, and step on it!". The cab only goes less than a block before stopping at the corner of The Other Side of Town St. and Step on It Blvd.
  • In The Looney Tunes Show episode "Semper Lie", Bugs keeps having to add to his lie of helping his (not real) sister move to avoid going to a Peach Festival with Porky. Unfortunately, he makes up Market Street, which Porky immediately says is a rough part of town.
  • Randy Cunningham: Ninth Grade Ninja: In "Swampy Seconds", Randy protects his identity as the Ninja from Catfish Booray by making up the name "Ranginald Bagel". In "Bring Me the Head of Ranginald Bagel!", Randy and the viewers learn there is a student named Ranginald Bagel.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode "Trilogy of Error" Marge accidentally cuts off Homer's thumb. When calling 911, she is instantly accused of attempted murder by Chief Wiggum, so, when asked her address, Marge claims it to be "123 Fake Street". Remarkably, this turns out to correspond to a decrepit building in Springfield where Bart and Milhouse are hiding fireworks in an unrelated plot, and the spontaneous appearance of the police there leads to Bart and Milhouse getting caught.
    • After angrily leaving Artie Ziff's party in "Half-Decent Proposal", Marge tells the cab driver to send the bill to "Baron Von Kiss-a-lot", referencing Artie's inappropriate advances towards her. However, the bill, instead of being sent to Artie, is shown in a Cutaway Gag to be sent to a literal baron of the same name with, naturally, Gag Lips.
    • Subverted in "Funeral for a Fiend", when Luigi mentions that Bart made a prank order for pizzas to be delivered at "888 Poopypants Lane". As it turns out, Poopypants Lane was real... but it ended at 700.
    • Additionally, in "Flaming Moe's" one of Bart's many prank calls to Moe was for a "Hugh Jass" (pronounced "huge ass")... and a man with that name happened to be at the bar when Bart called. Fortunately, the man wasn't upset with Bart and seemed to be fine with it.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: "One Krabs' Trash" sees Mr. Krabs trying to scare SpongeBob out of a priceless soda-drinking hat by posing as a ghost and telling him the hat is cursed and must be returned to its deceased owner "Smitty Werbenjägermanjensen". Approximately one nanosecond later, SpongeBob announces he's gone and put the thing in the actual Werbenjägermanjensen's grave.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Catfish," Gumball and Darwin pretend to be a woman named Muriel so their Grandpa Louie can have an Elmore Plus friend. After a while, Darwin decides they should tell the truth, and messages Louie as Muriel to meet "her" at the mall. Unfortunately, Granny Jojo (whose clinginess is the reason Louie can't see his friends) finds the messages, and things go From Bad to Worse when it's revealed that the picture Gumball used for Muriel is of a female mall employee. Cue Gumball and Darwin frantically trying to stop their grandmother from performing a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on a random, innocent woman.
  • Clarence: In "Clarence Wendle and the Eye of Coogan," Ms. Baker attempts to teach Clarence, Jeff, Belson, Amy, Nathan, and Malessica a lesson about paying attention in class by creating a fake treasure hunt supposedly left by an old student named "Coogan" (which is actually just the brand name of Ms. Baker's glasses). Unfortunately, the kids get too focused on getting the supposed treasure, and end up stealing the diamond eye of an old woman named Terry Cogan.


Video Example(s):


Pluto Gets the Paper: Mortimer

Mortimer Mouse sends Pluto away on a taxi, only for the taxi to stop nearby at the exact street names Mortimer said prior.

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