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Atrocious Alias

Go To might wanna pick a better name, bro. And a different costume color.

Yellowjacket: Do you think you can stop the future? You're just a thief!
Scott: No, I'm Ant-Man.
Yellowjacket: [speechless]
Scott: I know, wasn't my idea.
— Trailer dialogue for Ant-Man

All right, you've got the powers, got the costume, got the cool origin story, now you just need to pick the perfect superhero name. Maybe you go with something that describes your powers, or a grim n' gritty one-syllable name. Surely you're the next classic superhero, with an Awesome Mc Cool Name superhero name to go with it.

Wait, what's this? Why is everybody laughing? Surely evildoers would tremble at the mere utterance of your name! Or not. Sorry, pal. You need to get a better name if the Legion of Doom is going to take you as a serious threat. You've got yourself an Atrocious Alias.

Once you have committed this, there is no turning back. The name will catch on and that's how you will be known from here on. Your only hope is to become famous enough one day for everyone to not automatically think of something else when they hear it.

Many are the reasons for a character, superhero or otherwise, to have such a malodorous moniker: Maybe you were originally published in The Golden Age of Comic Books, when certain slang terms had different meanings, or the popular idea of a "cool" name wasn't exactly the same as nowadays. Maybe you're a Legacy Character, and the name wasn't of your own choosing. Maybe you're using a fairly standard Something Person naming convention and your powers don't exactly make for an intimidating name.

A specific type of Unfortunate Name. See also The Adjectival Superhero, Have a Gay Old Time (the cause for most names on this list), Giver of Lame Names. For codenames which are bad because they tried (and often failed) to be cool and/or intimidating, see Dark Age of Supernames. Contrast Awesome Mc Cool Name. For adaptations that try to stay away from those, see Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames.

Not to be confused with Lazy Alias.

Please note that this trope is only about embarrassing names that the character specifically chooses. If it's a name the person was born with, see Unfortunate Names. If it's an embarrassing nickname given by those who make fun of the nicknamed character, see Embarrassing Nickname.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the series CLANNAD, several alternative names for the protagonist were suggested in a scene, but were not actually relevant beyond characterizing the two new characters that were introduced.
  • One legendary Bully Hunter in Daily Lives of High School Boys is called "Rubber Shooter". While the Japanese themselves has no doubt as for what it meant — "Rubber" means rubber bands in Japanese — due to Separated by a Common Language, other from other parts would have issues understanding what he shot—for example, to the British, "a rubber" means an eraser; in North America, it refers to a condom.
  • Death Note - "Kira" (a corruption of "killer"), Light Yagami's worldwide alias, can mean "glittering" in Japanese. However, anyone who dares mock Lord Kira shall suffer a sudden inexplicable heart attack. Light notes early on that he wishes the masses called him something else (for both the "killer" and "sparkly" reasons), but as a vigilante protected only by his anonymity he has no choice but to roll with it.
  • Downplayed in Destroy All Humankind. They Can't Be Regenerated.. When Hajime tries to hide his identity from Emi by introducing himself to her as †Cloud† using the lowest voice he can muster, the regulars smirk and call him a middle school second grader.
  • When Son Gohan from Dragon Ball Z chose to become a superhero, picked the name "The Great Saiyaman," complete with ridiculous costume. He never seemed to notice the bystanders he just saved were staring at him incredulously. The one time he actually was called out for his ridiculous name, he started throwing a tantrum that terrified the wits out of the poor guys.
  • Gundam:
  • Kill la Kill has an organization called Nudist Beach. It Makes Sense in Context, but everybody who learns about it comments that it is the stupidest name ever. Not surprisingly, the same guy who named it that also named an invention of his the "Rending Scissors", something mocked by an opponent of his and said to be due to his habit of just naming things what they are, and gave his own daughter a name that can translate to "abandoned child" which is distressingly spot-on once we learn her backstory.
  • Ships in Martian Successor Nadesico are named after flowers. One of them has the unfortunate name of the Pansy. Predictably it gets its ass kicked.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Super names in this series tend to be either outrageously cool (All Might, Crimson Riot, Midnight, etc.) or astoundingly stupid (Can’t Stop Twinkling, Grape Juice, Cellophane, etc.), with very little middle ground. Notably, the latter category is largely made up of young rookies, while the former covers the adult, veteran heroes.
    • Izuku toes the line here when he decides his hero name should be 'Deku', which was Bakugou's insulting childhood nickname for him. He meant to make it an Appropriated Appellation, but he still gets some double-takes when he introduces himself with a name that doubles as a mild insult (roughly, 'useless'), though thankfully not one involving Toilet Humour.
    • Bakugo hasn't thought of a proper superhero name yet because he keeps coming up with villain names whenever he tries. Imagine being saved by a hero named "King Explosion Murder". The name he actually uses is even worse than his initial ideas and everyone but Mirio considers it tacky and disturbing. It's Great Explosion Murder God Dynamight. And yes, you have to say the whole thing every time.
  • One Piece: Upon putting on his Raid Suit, Sanji chooses to call himself "Soba Mask" (due to his cover identity as a noodle chef in Wano) instead of the proposed cooler-sounding name "Stealth Black", to everyone else's dismay. Sanji hates the name Stealth Black because of its associations with Germa 66, a background that he is ashamed of.
    Usopp: That's awful! Change your name!
    Franky: Give us the rights to name you!
  • One-Punch Man:
    • One ninja character calls himself "Speed of Sound Sonic". Saitama and Genos immediately make fun of it for being redundant. It's slightly less stupid in the original Japanese, because the "speed of sound" part is in Japanese but the "sonic" is Gratuitous English. Later on, the series introduces several more ninjas with similarly redundant names, like Flashy Flash, Hellfire Flame, and Gale Wind, suggesting a sort of Theme Naming.
    • Several members of the Hero Association are saddled with named they don't particularly like, in part because the press essentially gives them based on their impressions of the heroes. Saitama gets "Caped Baldy", which goes right up against his Berserk Button, but other heroes have even worse names like "Great Degenerate" or "Dr. Grumpy Pervert". It leads to the formation of a formal support group called the "Hero Name Victim Association".
  • Ranma ½ has Pantyhose Tarō, who initially is not an example since it's Happōsai's fault he's named that. He does cross into this with his idea of a better one: Handsome Tarō. In a later episode where Happōsai gets bothered into changing Tarō's name, he muses out-loud about worse suggestions for names, letting it slip that he was invoking the trope on purpose.
  • The titular Samurai Flamenco has his name mocked thusly, given that he's an Ascended Fanboy of Toku shows and it's quite obvious he picked the name himself.
  • Sentai parody Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman. The uniform colors of the eponymous hero team were selected based on their responses to the question "What is a good color for a superhero?" Unfortunately, since they were all office drones who had no idea they were being interviewed for spots on a Sentai team, most of them gave corporate-safe answers and ended up stuck introducing themselves as Shinesman Moss Green, Shinesman Gray, Shinesman Sepia, and Shinesman Salmon Pink. Only The Hero Hiroya has a decent color, thanks to remembering his Sentai-loving little brother saying that the Red Ranger is always the best.
  • In Tenchi Muyo! GXP due to the fact that every other "lucky" name was taken at the time, Seiryo is forced to christen his ship the Unko, which is supposed to mean "bringer of fortune", unfortunately for Seiryo, "Unko" also means, and is more commonly used to refer to, poop.
  • Back when he was in high school, Kotetsu from Tiger & Bunny spent quite a bit of effort on thinking of possible superhero names he would use in the future. He was not very good at it.
    Tomoe: Okay, let's see... "Fate Wanderer: The Destiny", "Fearful Body: The Muscle", and "The Prince of Fists, Mr. Punch". They all suck. You're terrible at this.
    Kotetsu: Y-You don't have to say it like that...
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX episode where Kagemaru appeared, after Manjoume challenged him using his nickname ("Manjoume Thunder")note , Fubuki tried to do the same, giving himself a cool nickname of his own. Unfortunately, the best he could come up with was "Blizzard Prince"; the look of embarrassment on his sister's face said it all.

    Comic Books 
  • The Spider-Man universe seems to revel in these kinds of heroes:
    • Pictured above is the Whizzer, who has been a walking joke since The Silver Age of Comic Books due to his snicker-inducing name evoking slang for urinating (at least in the USnote ). Most references to the Whizzer's name these days (e.g. Spidey asking about it in Spider-Man: The Animated Series) point out that he came up with his name a long time ago and it sounded better back then.note  Finally, his origin story was classic Golden Age — superpowers from mongoose blood! — and that presents a missed opportunity to just call him the Mongoose. None of this explains why he insisted on the yellow costume. Later comics made much reference to all of this:
      • As early as the 70s, a Fantastic Four Celebrity Roast comedy special showing the Whizzer drinking too much and dashing off to the men's room. His friends joke that this is the real reason for the nickname.
      • Another anniversary special suggests "Whizzer" was his college nickname. He thought they were calling him "Wizard". It took him a little too long to realize that they weren't.
      • Deadpool, who cannot resist snarking about everything, naturally couldn't resist the temptation.
      • In his appearance in Squadron Supreme, it's mentioned that his first choice of alias was the Boomer, which probably isn't much better.note 
    • The Shocker, already an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, also has to deal with an Atrocious Alias; not only is it a bit on-the-nose, it's also a more obscure reference to a sex act or obscene gesture. Spider-Man being who he is, he gives the Shocker no end of grief:
      • In Ultimate Spider-Man, when Spidey first meets the Shocker, he asks him, "Who are you supposed to be? The Vibrator?"
      • Spider-Man: The Movie, the video game adaptation of the first Spider-Man film, includes the Shocker as one of several comic book villains who didn't appear in the film. When they first meet, Spider-Man takes one look at his padded costume and tries to guess whether his name is "Padded Pete", "Mr. Triple-Ply", or "The Cushion".
      • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, his name is lampshaded by his own boss, the Vulture:
        Vulture: You're out there, wearing that goofy thing, lighting up cars, calling yourself the Shocker! I'm the Shocker, I shock people! What is this, pro wrestling?!
    • "The Trapster" originally went by "Paste-Pot Pete". He's quite mortified by his original choice of name, and bringing it up is his Berserk Button. Which explains why Spider-Man just can't resist, even after he changed it; it only had to be used once. The Trapster quickly became an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain but occasionally used his Beneath Suspicion status to surprise his enemies; at one point in The Unbelievable Gwenpool, he re-uses the "Paste-Pot Pete" name to intentionally invoke ridicule and distract the cops so that he can trap them.
    • Kraven the Hunter apparently forgot that "craven" means "cowardly". The writers attempt to justify it by revealing his full name to be "Sergei Kravinoff".
    • Jackson "Big Wheel" Wheele, evoking (at least in America) the Big Wheel brand of cheap plastic tricycle for young children.
    • Frederick "Big Man" Foswell, a vertically-challenged mobster who wore lifts as part of his disguise.
    • The Spider-Man story "Cliche" has Spidey going through a rough day against a barrage of superhero Cliches, including a new team of supervillains coming after him with names like this. Individually, they aren't too bad, but they're not great either (the Ogre, the Squid, Lightning Fist, Razorwire, Ms. Fortune), and their collective name is the "Wicked Brigade". He's far from impressed.
    • New Warriors has Night Thrasher, which Spidey thinks makes him sound like he has terrible nightmares. In one issue, Spidey teams up with Thrasher and The Punisher, both Darker and Edgier heroes, and doesn't get along with either of them; he grumbles about being lectured by "one guy who sounds like he has naughty dreams and another guy who sounds like he likes to spank people."
    • The Blue Shield, who once tried to apprehend Spider-Man for not registering with the Initiative. Spidey takes the time to question why his health insurance premiums had gone up so much, referencing Blue Shield the major U.S. insurance company.
    • The White Rabbit, hardly a name to inspire terror (it's a reference to her Lewis Carroll gimmick, much like DC's Mad Hatter). She's another Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, in any event. Her occasional partner in crime is even worse: he's "The Walrus", because he has "the proportional speed, strength, and agility of a walrus". Spidey bursts out laughing the moment he hears this, in part because, since walruses are larger then people, he just admitted to being weaker than his namesake.
    • During The Clone Saga, Ben Reilly is called "The Scarlet Spider", a name even he thinks is stupid. In his defense, he didn't come up with it; credit goes to Daily Bugle reporter Ken Ellis, who drew from Ben Reilly's costume being a brighter red version of the original Spidey's.
    • The Spider-Woman villain Clifford F. Michaels called himself Turner D. Century. He dressed up like someone from 1900 and hated everyone born after the turn of the century. His weapon was a horn that would kill anybody under the age of 65. One observer can only call it "corny... real corny."
    • In the Spider-Man 2 game, Mysterio introduces himself with prodigious ham, only for Spidey to compare his alias to a breakfast cereal.
    • Even Spider-Man himself is not immune, especially his nickname "Spidey". Peter Parker doesn't mind it too much, but in some continuities it wasn't really his first choice. His Ultimate Marvel universe counterpart Miles Morales, meanwhile, does not like "Spidey" at all.
  • Fantastic Four: Former member Sharon Ventura, previously known as the second Ms. Marvel, once got exposed to cosmic rays and mutated into a female version of Ben Grimm (The Thing)'s rocky orange form. Taking inspiration from his name while clearly not thinking it through, she took on the hilariously unfortunate moniker "She-Thing". Note: If you don't get why that's bad, consider the longstanding joke around the comic title "Giant Sized Man-Thing" and figure out what "She-Thing" could be interpreted to refer to.
  • Spider-Gwen:
    • Gwen used the codename Spider-Woman in the book itself... at least until her secret identity was revealed, and the media decided to nickname her Spider-Gwen for real. She was not happy about that. She uses the considerably-cooler name Ghost-Spider while in the 616 universe since Spider-Woman is taken there.
    • Earth-65 has an immortal assassin with retractable metal claws, who went by the name "Mr. Murderhands". Gwen instead offers him the name Wolverine after noting his similarity to Laura Kinney, which he takes a liking to.
  • When Die-Cut introduces himself to small-time hood Santa, the crook’s response is a sympathetic "Yeah… it's difficult to come up with a good name these days, ain't it?"
  • A Superman comic once featured a retired supervillain called the Molester. He kept explaining that when he chose the name (during The Golden Age of Comic Books), molest meant "to annoy" and that he was supposed to be a playful villain like the Prankster.
  • Golden Age superhero Doll Man. There was also the Silver Age Marvel villain Mr. Doll, whose gimmick was voodoo dolls. Supposedly, his original name was going to be the much-more-threatening "Mr. Pain", but the Comics Code Authority rejected that.
  • Daredevil villain Zebediah Killgrave is an amoral psychopath who uses mind-control powers for his own sick desires... while calling himself the Purple Man. It's no surprise that Jessica Jones ditched "Purple Man" entirely, making "Kilgrave" his nickname and changing his legal name to Kevin Thompson. Even then, "Kilgrave" is mocked as unnecessarily violent and stupid.
  • X-Factor:
    • In one issue, the heroes are confronted by a villain calling himself Number One Fan (with spinning blades as his main weapons), leading one member of X-Factor to comment that, "We must be just about tapped out of silly names to call ourselves." He winds up having an inglorious sendoff when he "upgrades" himself to replacing his hands with fan blades: he cannot even get out of his lair anymore because he can't press the button to open the door, and when he realizes this, he facepalms.
    • Strong Guy (a.k.a. Guido Carosella), who picked his name on the spot when a reporter saw his exaggerated musculature and said, "He must be the Strong Guy. Every super team has a Strong Guy." Needless to say, Guido wasn't taking things very seriously. He didn't even want to have a code name, seeing it as rather pointless for somebody whose unusual physique makes disguising himself for a civilian identity impossible. But Guido insisted on sticking with the name.
  • In X-Men, almost everyone needs a nickname, and not everyone has a good one:
    • "Negasonic Teenage Warhead". Kitty Pryde's first reaction was, "Wow, we really have run out of names." Hilariously, in Deadpool, Wade finds it the best name ever. Since the name comes from a Monster Magnet song, you can see the appeal to him.
    • Nightcrawler, for the demon-like teleporting mutant Kurt Wagner, could be a cool nickname — but it loses some of its appeal when you remember that a nightcrawler is technically a kind of earthworm.
    • Jubilee's full name is Jubilation Lee. Although her name is actually pretty cool, she considers her real name to be this and prefers to be called by her shortened name.
    • Supervillain Mister Sinister and his minions the Nasty Boys, although they're pretty much The Artifact. Chris Claremont's original plan was that Sinister was "aging over a lifespan of roughly a thousand years", meaning that despite looking like an 11-year-old, he was closer to 50. As such, the goofier aspects of the character — like his costume and naming sense — were the product of a child's perception of what a cool-looking and scary supervillain would be. However, Claremont's plan was never followed upon, so instead Sinister is a man from the 19th century with unimpressive naming sense, at least until Kieron Gillen and later Jonathan Hickman revamped Sinister into the sort of Large Ham Card-Carrying Villain who'd name himself that. The Nasty Boys, on the other hand, are simply immature enough to call themselves that, with no further explanation.
    • Another lackey of Mr. Sinister, Badass Native John Greycrow, spent the first decades of his existence going by the racist codename of "Scalphunter". However, in recent years, he ditched it and solely goes by his real name now.
  • Heroes Anonymous:
    • The first issue touches on it briefly. Former sidekick Attaboy finds his name inappropriate in adulthood, but he sticks with it, in part because "Attaman" doesn't have quite the same ring.
    • The second issue revolves around the struggles of a sheltered farmboy who takes up the mantle of the legendary Gay Avenger, totally unaware of how the word "gay" has shifted over the decades. But even after he discovers this, he keeps the name out of respect for the original Gay Avenger, his grandfather.
  • While he was alive, "Freedom Ring" got a lot of flack for having a pretty dumb alias. It was also invoked gay symbolism — "freedom rings" are rainbow-colored rings on a chain, a well-known gay signifier of the '90s. This was likely intentional; the character was an open homosexual, and prior to being killed by Iron Maniac (an evil alternate universe Tony Stark), Freedom Ring was the most prominent gay superhero in the Marvel Universe. Given that there were only four other homosexual heroes in the Universe, Creator Robert Kirkman regretted killing the character.
  • In Marvel UK’s Warheads, the protagonists’ Bad Boss, Mr Grant, was possessed and transformed into an extremely powerful superhuman. Given his history as a Corrupt Bureaucrat, he names himself “Audit, the Cosmic Accountant”.
  • Batman villains:
    • Mr. Polka-Dot, who even calls his name odd himself — but also finds it apt.
    • Tweedledee and Tweedledum, whose real names are Dumphrey Dumson and Deever Tweed.
    • Humpty Dumpty, who bears the unfortunate real name of Humphry Dumpler.
  • Blackhawk: During the period the team became superheroes (a period not fondly remembered), some of them got ridiculous names to go with their equally silly costumes. The already silly-named Chop-Chop became "Dr. Hands", and Chuck became "The Listener", complete with ear-covered costume.
  • Captain America:
    • D-list villain "Blistik" is more reminiscent of a brand of lip balm than a real threat. It was one of the many unfortunate byproducts of the Dark Age of Supernames.
    • John Walker, a.k.a. "Super-Patriot". He recruited a team of super-strong allies called the Bold Urban Commandos, also known as the "Buckies" after Cap's sidekick Bucky Barnes. When Walker replaced Steve Rogers as Captain America, the Buckies' leader Lemar Hoskins became the new Bucky. Only problem was that Hoskins was Black, and "buck" was an old 19th-century term for a male slave. They eventually realized this both out- and In-Universe; when Hoskins is informed of this, he changed his name to Battlestar and got promoted from Walker's sidekick to partner.
    • Invoked by Steve Englehart in the 1970s, when Captain America fights against an evil cabal using the name Campaign to Regain America's Principles. In addition to the obvious joke, it was also a reference to the then-recent Watergate scandal and the "Committee to Re-Elect the President", commonly abbreviated in the media as "CREEP".
  • New Warriors: Speedball, a brightly-coloured, bouncy comic relief character, who shares his name with a lethal drug cocktail that's polished off more entertainment careers than Celebrity Big Brother. Then he got seriously Darker and Edgier and changed his name to "the Penance", which is equally ridiculous without even needing to contextualize it.
  • The closest thing Howard the Duck had to an archenemy was a mad musician named Dr. Bong. Well, what else would you call a supervillain that had a giant bell on his head that could change reality?
  • Astro City:
    • The Otter, possibly the cutest supervillain name ever. Mind you, he does run around dressed as an otter, so the name clearly doesn't bother him. Maybe he should have called himself the furry old lobster instead.
    • Then there's Glue-Gun, an Expy of Marvel Comics' Paste-Pot Pete.
    • One issue has The Majordomo, who clearly intends to be an impressive rule-the-world villain. As another character dryly points out, it might have come off better if he hadn't named himself after a servant.
    • Before becoming a special effects artist, telekinetic Martha Sullivan had a very brief career as the superhero "Mind-Over-Mattie." Her only defense was "it was the sixties."
    • When Brian Kinney became the sidekick for the priestly Confessor, he received the codename "Altar Boy." He doesn't care for it, but doesn't get a vote in the matter.
      Confessor: Altar Boy or busboy. Your choice.
    • Before Reflex 6 settled on their name, Tearaway kept suggesting the name "Wildrogues". Everyone else hated it.
    • The Animal Superheroes team briefly considered calling themselves "Pet Dander".
    • A newly-created supervillain called himself "Lord Sovereign"; a person nearby lampshades how redundant that is.
    • Jerome Johnson, the son of the hero Jack-in-the-Box, tried at one point to fight crime under the name Jackie Justice, a career which was cut short on his first night out when he broke his leg. His father is shown to be in disbelief about many of his actions, not least of all that he went with "Jackie Justice" as a name.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes:
    • Matter-Eater Lad. He does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but it's still pretty ridiculous. Even The Simpsons comic made fun of it (Homer once dressed up as "Fatter-Eater Lad"). And in the Amalgam Universe, Matter-Eater Lad and Marvel semi-counterpart Paste-Pot Pete combined to become... Paste-Eater Pete.
    • Arm-Fall-Off Boy. Come on, you can do better than that. In the Zero Hour Continuity Reboot, he does receive the slightly more dignified name of "Splitter".
    • Radiator Roy, a member of the Recurring Legion of Supervillains. His name is indeed Roy, and he does have radiation powers, but it's still a little too on-the-nose. One of his teammates even mocks him for it, calling him just "Radiator" because he doesn't ally with losers.
    • Absorbency Lad. What's with all the "Boy" and "Lad" names? His reboot version is a Terran supremacist with the markedly improved name "Earth Man".
  • Empowered, being a Parody of the superhero genre, basically gives every character a ludicrous name: Sistah Spooky, dWARf, Phalik, Maidman, Baron Womb, Crowquet, you name it. Even the main super team is called the "Superhomies". Among the more explored names:
    • Glorph, a sapient Blob Monster. He's not too enamored with it and tries a Meaningful Rename to "Protean", only for a Mook to mistake it for "Protein" and laugh at him. Sistah Spooky suggests he go back to "Glorph", which may be stupid but at least won't confuse anyone.
    • A trio of British Captain Ethnic villains are named Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash. Rum ended up at Alcoholics Anonymous, Sodomy left after getting tired of insisting that his name only referred to heterosexual sodomy, and Lash is a ridiculous Fauxreigner who Did Not Do the Bloody Research.
    • Willy Pete, although his name is a Genius Bonus (spelled out In-Universe), as it's the military's nickname for the super-lethal flammable chemical white phosphorus, which burns at over 3000 degrees. Willy Pete himself is more than capable of living up to his namesake, so that one stops being funny and starts being scary real quick.
    • King Tyrant Lizard is a hulking, scaly mass of muscle and malice who would be more intimidating if he hadn't given himself such a stupid name. (Well, it is the literal translation of Tyrannosaurus Rex.) It would probably also help if he stopped wearing that stupid tiny crown his mom made for him.
    • Empowered herself has an oft-mocked name, partly for how clunky it sounds (a lot of people just shorten it to "Emp") and partly for how hard it clashes with her reputation as a Faux Action Girl who's been Bound and Gagged by every supervillain in the business.
  • Minor Iron Man foe Vibro's name is pretty weak as it is, but his real name is the utterly pathetic Vincent Vibreaux.
  • The Flash: Professor Zoom is perhaps the Flash's most feared and hated enemy. He's one of the most utterly evil characters in the DCU, having killed Flash's mother and systematically destroyed every happy moment in his timeline. It's almost enough to make you forget that his name is Professor Zoom.
  • Kick-Ass: Aside from Kick-Ass himself, Volume Two features Red Mist changing his name to "The Mother Fucker" and naming his gang "The Toxic Mega-Cunts".
  • Luke Cage, sometimes known as Power Man. Like Killgrave, this is very much a "why would you waste your perfectly awesome-sounding real name" situationnote . The "Power Man" name is rarely used these days, for a good reason. Namor hangs a lampshade on it in Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #31:
    Namor: (after No Selling a punch from Luke) That's it? THAT'S why they call you Power Man? I believe I'll just call you Luke.
  • Upon meeting Spider-Man in an intercompany crossover, Image hero Invincible makes fun of Spider-Man's heroic name, and Spidey does the same for Invincible. Then when meeting The Avengers, Invincible attempts to guess their names, using "Spider-Man" as a gauge, and comes up with "Robot-Man", "Claw-Man", "Flag Man", "Fabio-Man", "Bat-Woman", and "Black-Man". Spidey and Invincible then both admit that their names aren't the best; while "Invincible" sounds cool, calling yourself invincible is just asking for trouble.
  • Darker Image #1 gives us... Deathblow! A name so utterly trapped in its time of origin that even '90s Kid couldn't get past its stupidity. In a crossover, even Superman made fun of his name. Even funnier, the name itself was almost never used in the Deathblow series, or any other WildStorm comics — he usually just went by his given name Michael Cray.
  • Shazam!: Captain Marvel had a few Golden Age opponents with questionable names:
    • Mr. Banjo, whose gimmick that he could use his banjo to strum secret codes to a Japanese submarine.
    • Mr. Mind, the "World's Wickedest Worm". It doesn't make much sense.
    • Nippo, Japanese judo master and assassin — even for the standards of racist World War II-era cartoons (which had no shortage of anti-Japanese slurs), this one was a bit too direct to take seriously.
    • Captain Marvel Junior was a pretty stupid name to begin with, even before you realize that he has to say his superhero name to transform, so all those syllables suddenly become impractical. He tried going by "CM3" for a while, but it was so much dumber that he decided he'd rather deal with his Weaksauce Weakness.
    • Marvelman (or Miracleman) associated with some silly names of his own. In the 80s series by Alan Moore, when Miracleman describes his past as a superhero to his wife Liz, part of her inability to take it seriously is the fact that he had enemies with names like "Young Nastyman".
  • The Gay Ghost is one of the most infamous examples in comic history. For the record, in his later appearances (however few there have been), he's been known as the Grim Ghost — evidently the "Gay" moniker was something akin to an Ironic Nickname. Grant Morrison memorably lampshaded this, having Animal Man meet the Ghost in Comic-Book Limbo and having the Ghost beg not to be brought back.
  • The Champions comic books have the Galloping Galooper. As he's portrayed as an egotistical goofus, it's probably deliberate.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Prowl was a predabot and liked a good hug, then he had to change his name to Dent because there was another more important Prowl. All the good names were taken.
  • Spawn has the Clown, a demon in disguise as a Monster Clown, whose true form goes by the name of The Violator. At least it sounds kind of scary, and given what sort of character Clown/Violator is, it definitely fits.
  • Young Avengers: Billy Kaplan initially chose the name "Asgardian", which seems fine, since he's initially Norse-themed. Billy happens to be gay, however, and when it was pointed out to him what the media would do with a gay superhero named "Asgardian", namely opening himself up to endless "Ass-Guardian" jokes, he promptly changed his name to "Wiccan".
    • Loki (an actual pagan deity) would later point out that "Wiccan" is kind of religiously insensitive, considering Billy is Jewish.
    • In New Avengers, Power Man once again calls attention to this, saying that Wiccan calling himself thus without actually being one is a misrepresentation of actual Wiccans. Not long after, he decides to change his name to something he knows he will become in the future, namely a "Demiurge", thanks to a case of demonic possession. Afterward, he dumps the name and goes back to Wiccan after discussing it with his mother (a dedicated magick practitioner) and deciding to study Wicca.
  • Several of the Portmanteau hero names used in the Amalgam Universe (consisting of a merged version of the DC and Marvel universes where pretty much everyone's a Composite Character of at least one DC character and at least one Marvel character) are just plain ridiculous. Among the more egregious examples are "Mandarinestro", "Shatterstarfire" and "Dr. Bongface."
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Green Arrow is being picked on by Harley Quinn for the name of his lair, the Arrowcave. Harley then asks him why didn't he just call it "The Quiver" (a case for holding arrows), and Oliver...says that name is a lot better.
  • In the 2006 Freedom Fighters miniseries, the Ray III derides the Invisible Hood's codename, saying that it sounds like "an ultra-thin condom".
  • Strikeforce: Morituri: Deliberately combined with Embarrassing Nickname by Pilar "Scaredycat" Lisieux and William "Scatterbrain" Deguchi; they gave each other embarrassing names as part of a dare.
  • A Running Gag in Irredeemable spin-off Incorruptible was Max Damage's sidekicks having inappropriate codenames. One starts out as "Safeword", based on her Compelling Voice power, before reinventing herself as "Hate Crime" (chosen because "I hate crime"). The one going by "Jailbait" at least used the name intentionally with full knowledge of how it was in poor taste. The last one gets the name "Headcase", which isn't too bad in comparison.
  • Robin (1993): After Tim rounds up a bunch of villains following a breakout in Bludhaven, he reports a list of their codenames. One superpowered old woman in armor apparently called herself "Dr. Ruthless." Tommy Tinker interrupts this with a disbelieving, "Doctor Ruthless? Seriously?"
  • DC Comics Bombshells: When Mera joins the Bombshells, they give her the code name "Aquawoman". Mera thinks it is dumb, but accepts it because she can't think of any other name.
  • In Common Grounds, Man-Witch apparently never realised that his name was the same as a brand of canned sloppy joe mix (e.g. Futurama's Hermes' Trademark Favorite Food). When Mental Midget points this out to him, he says it explains all of the jokes he got in prison. Mental Midget's own name qualifies, since that term is a euphemism for "idiot".
  • The planned but never published 2020 relaunch of the New Warriors would have featured the original lineup reuniting to train a group of new heroes. Unfortunately, two of the heroes were named "Snowflake" and "Safespace", an attempt at Appropriated Appellation that basically the entire Internet denounced as a ridiculous "how do you do, fellow kids?" move.
  • In Young Justice (2019), Tim Drake ends up taking the uniform of his Earth-3 counterpart along with his codename, "Drake". While it's meant to continue to invoke the bird motif most of the other Robins carry, "Drake" is also his own last name. After about a year of fans mocking him (and Damian Wayne quitting being Robin in the intern), Tim takes back the Robin moniker, and Superboy and Impulse mock him over that name. It ends up that Batman completely disapproved of the costume and name and asked him to take back the Robin name and costume.
  • A fair number of the superheroes in The Boys have bafflingly ridiculous codenames, but the rather pathetic team Paralactic stands out: Trojan, Astroglide, Strap-On, Lady Arklite, Stopcock, and the Truncheon. It's clear they think their names sound like cool tech-y cyberpunk names befitting a gang of Nineties Anti Heroes, but mostly (and especially as a group) read more as things in the bedroom. Teenage Kix members Dogknott and Blarney Cock also stand out as having absurd codenames.
  • The fifth issue of Hitman (1993) has Natt remark that Nightfist sounds like the name of a porn star.
  • Zatanna: The Zatanna rogue Nimue Ravensong picked that name just because it "sounded Goth". This actually becomes a plot point in the Zatanna: Everyday Magic oneshot, as Zatanna realizes 'Nimue Ravensong' is such a lame name that it obviously isn't her birth name, meaning the previous magic oath she made by swearing under the name of 'Nimue" isn't valid, and she has tricked Zatanna.
  • Dr. Blink: Superhero Shrink:
    • The hellspawn born, brimstone-incarnate undead hero of vengeance (an obvious Expy of Spawn) needs a new super-name — he can't make the legions of Hell quake with his current name, "Spank."
    • Another superhero is named "Scarlet Guy Who Can Transmute Flesh To Metal Every Other Day Of Any Month Ending In A 'Y'". He gets a recommendation to a PR Firm.
  • Titans Scissors Paper Stone: Jama comes up with some pretty awful names for her teammates; Alec is "Captain Thug", Gabrielle is "Prosthetic Lass" and Hikarimono is "Dead Prettyboy". Alec/Batman repays her by naming her "Witchy-Poo".
  • In Unstoppable Doom Patrol, Robotman and Green Lantern Guy Gardner aren't impressed when a metahuman resulting from a Starro probe merging with its human host chooses to call himself "StarBro".

    Fan Works 
  • In Ask King Sombra, after Sombra is revived, he gets captured by the Crystal Wolves and thrown in a cell with a bunch of other ponies. In order to avoid them finding out who he really is, he hastily comes up with a pseudonym. Thus is born Kingsley Glittersmile Sparklefriend.
  • Froggy in The Lion King Adventures. Even he admits it.
    Simba: So what's your name?
    Froggy: Froggy. Not the most interesting of names, I'll give you that, but it's easy to remember.
  • In Bring Me All Your Elderly!, in order to avoid name confusion, the author commands the characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender to give their live-action counterparts nicknames. Some of the nicknames the movie characters get aren't really that bad (Awng, Eeroh, Katarola). Movie!Sokka, however, gets stuck with the name Sockson, much to his dismay.
  • In To Hell and Back (Arrowverse), this is how the three leads feel about their superhero names. Unfortunately, they're ideal for softening their public images when the Justice League forms.
  • Mastermind: Strategist for Hire: Izuku Midoriya (aka Mastermind) and Touya Todoroki (aka Dabi) jokingly suggest multiple to Shouto Todoroki whilst he is trying to choose a villain alias, including Daddy Issues, Ice Princess, Peppermint Boy, and Icythot.
  • Adjacency: Along with a Running Gag, with Rainbow Dash's "Firebug", which gets repeated comments of making her sound like an arsonist, which she created by spur of the moment thinking while not wanting to use her mother's name of Firefly.
  • The Pokémon Squad episode "HELP" has RM giving out all sorts of awful codenames to use on his campaign trail.
    RM: So you guys know, for security reasons, on this campaign trail we will be using code names. You can address me as "Rayquaza One". May, code name: "Been There Done That".
    May (angry and blushing): You never did me!
    RM: Dante is: "Currently Doing That"!
    MM: How about... no?
    RM: Delia is: "It Happened Once In A Dream".
    Delia (blushing and trying not to laugh): Th-that is highly inappropriate, RM!
    RM: Ash, codename: "If I Had To Pick A Dude".
    Ash: Yay!
    RM: June is... "Rayquaza Two"!
    June: Oh thank Satan...
  • In The DCU and Marvel Cinematic Universe crossover In Which Red Robin Is Done With Marvel's Shit, the titular Tim Drake, alias Red Robin, somehow gets thrown through a portal that lands him in the MCU, and pursued by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers as they try to discern who this new player in the superhero world is. When the Avengers finally catch up with him, they ask him for his name and he gives his alias instead, and they start making fun of it because it's identical to the name of an American restaurant chain, whose jingle is "Reeeeed Robin! Yummm." Tim's baffled.
  • The fake name Bruno went with in The Mouse in the Walls is "Ratón". Not only is it obviously fake, but it literally means "mouse".
  • In the Friday Night Funkin' mod known as The Blueballs Incident, Boyfriend is an agent of the Troll Containment Facility. What is his codename? The utterly embarrassing "Agent Blueballs". And depending on how you interpret him telling Legion to not call him "blueballs boy" ever again, he hates it.
  • Coby's Choice: Usopp's epithet after Enies Lobby is "Long Nose". Both Usopp and his father are upset about it.
  • In Where the Truth Lies (Animorphs), David makes fun of Melissa's alias, Kat Hendricks; he thinks that the first name is unoriginal, and thinks that her surname is a reference to Jimmy Hendrix until Tom tells him it's her dad's name.
  • In Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse, Captain Licorice kept with a candy theme by naming his crew the "Lolly Pirates". Mistaking them for the "Loli Pirates" is something of a Berserk Button for him.

    Films — Animated 
  • A deleted scene from Incredibles 2 has Mr. Incredible recall that he came up with the name "Gazerbeam", as Simon Paladino, who would go on to assume the name, had the best name he could come up with be "Viewpoint." As Bob puts it, "it sounds like a TV show nobody watches."
  • Justice League × RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen:
    • People like Jaune Arc and Yang Xiao Long mock Superman and Batman's names. The Flash agrees with them. There's a part where Superman proudly introduces himself, only for Yang to give a "No. Just… No" Reaction, causing him to be dejected and reveal his real name is Clark.
    • In Part 2, Yang has a similar reaction to hearing the names of several Flash villains.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • One of the biggest laughs of Boogie Nights comes when Eddie's chosen porn name is unveiled in lights: "Dirk Diggler." The presentation is as lame as the name.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • In Man of Steel, when one of General Swanwick's underlings tells him Superman is the name they're using to refer to the character, he gives him a look that basically says "that's a ridiculous name to call someone".
    • SHAZAM!: Freddy Freeman keeps coming up with ridiculous names for Billy Batson's superpowered alter-ego, like "Thundercrack" and "Captain Sparklefingers", which embarrasses Billy every time.
    • In The Suicide Squad, Rick Flag notes that he considers the term "Suicide Squad" degrading. In the same film, Rick and Harley Quinn poke fun at T.D.K.'s nickname (short for "The Detachable Kid")note .
  • Deadpool:
    • Wade Wilson utterly mocks Francis Freeman's alias, Ajax, saying he got it from the dish soap. Wade tried to call himself "Captain Deadpool" while brainstorming an alias. Weasel just stares at him blankly and convinces him to switch to just "Deadpool".
    • Subverted with Negasonic Teenage Warhead, which Deadpool exclaims is the coolest name ever!
  • Archie Benjamin, aka Horny the Clown from Drive-Thru.
  • Spoken by Reuben Soady about his brother Remnar in Escanaba in Da Moonlight: "Well, he turned out pretty much the way you'd expect for somebody goes by the name of Remnar."
  • The Green Hornet:
    • Britt Reid attempts to name his costumed alter-ego The Green Bee, but his news room staff say that sounds dumb. Kato then suggests The Green Hornet and everybody agrees that sounds better.
    • The criminal Benjamin Chudnofsky decides to become a costumed supervillain and names himself Bloodnofsky. One of his minions says that is the stupidest thing he has ever heard. In response, Bloodnofsky kills him and the others quickly fall in line.
  • Vernita Green of Kill Bill, AKA Copperhead. While being named after a venomous snake is pretty cool, Vernita hates her assassin name because she wanted another snake nickname, the Black Mamba. A title given instead to protagonist The Bride. The fact Vernita is the only African-American member of the DiVAs is a clear factor in her annoyance.
    Vernita: "Black Mamba. I shoulda been motherfuckin' Black Mamba."
  • Parodied in Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, when main villain Master Pain suddenly changes his name to Betty. The Chosen One then stands up and insults him by going "But, isn't Betty a woman's name?"
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, we have Taserface. Nobody takes his moniker seriously, and when a captured Rocket ridicules him, the rest of the mutineer Ravagers laugh at it. Even a normally calm and serious Sovereign bursts into laughter when she hears his name.
    • In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter is wearing a special covert ops suit so no one will catch on to his identity while abroad. Ned, a Bad Liar covering for him, claims he's a European Spider-Man ripoff named "Night Monkey". Unfortunately, the name sticks.
    • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings:
      • After footage of Shang-Chi fighting some Ten Rings goons on a bus goes viral, he winds up with the less-than-inspiring alias "Bus Boy".
      • Xu Wenwu, the man who actually runs the Ten Rings, reveals he considers the title "Mandarin" invented by Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3 to be a poor name, since it really isn't that impressive in Chinese. He does accept it as a title since he finds it Actually Pretty Funny that Killian managed to scare the American Government with a name taken from a type of orange.
  • Olsenbanden: During one of his heists, Egon Olsen pretends to be German and introduces himself as "Direktor von Arschloch"... Which happens to mean "Chairman von Asshole". Doubles as a Bilingual Bonus in that other characters don't explicitly call him out for that, juat get rather confused by his behaviour.
  • Reservoir Dogs. Some of the Caper Crew start griping about the color-coded aliases that Joe Cabot is handing out.
    Mr. Pink: Hey, why am I Mr. Pink?
    Joe: Because you're a faggot, alright?
    Mr. Pink: Why can't we pick our own colors?
    Joe: No way, no way. Tried it once, it doesn't work. You get four guys all fighting over who's gonna be Mr. Black, but they don't know each other, so nobody wants to back down. No way. I pick. You're Mr. Pink. Be thankful you're not Mr. Yellow.
    Mr. Brown: Yeah, but Mr. Brown, that's a little too close to Mr. Shit.
    Mr. Pink: Mr. Pink sounds like Mr. Pussy. How 'bout if I'm Mr. Purple? That sounds good to me. I'll be Mr. Purple.
    Joe: You're not Mr. Purple. Some guy on some other job is Mr. Purple. You’re Mr. PINK!
  • The Specials: To be fair, Small is at least a better name than Mr. Smart. But then, so is Captain C***face.
  • In Spider-Man, when Peter Parker joins an amateur wrestling match, he picks "The Human Spider" as his wrestler name. The ring announcer in his first match thinks the name is lame so he introduces Peter as "The Amazing Spider-Man".
  • Fogell, aka McLovin from Superbad. Of course, only two people really think it's horrible. Fogell himself, as well as everyone else, absolutely loves the name.
  • In the Live-Action Adaptation of Superlópez, when the eponymous superhero reveals himself to the world, the people of Spain, where the film takes place, wasted no time in voicing their opinion on how Superlopez is such a ridiculous superhero name.
  • Transformers (2007): Sam Witwicky's eBay username is "ladiesman217", which works to his embarrassment when the bad guys are looking for a MacGuffin he's sold. Since they don't know his real name, the Decepticons refer to him by his laughable eBay screenname.
  • Karl Berger, aka K. the Butcher Shitter from Violent Shit.

  • In the New Order Lone Wolf Gamebooks, the player is invited to make up a name for their character or roll two dice. This can lead to awesome names or to things like "Sword Sword."

  • In the story-within-a-story of Stolen from Gypsies, one character actually the hero's love interest in disguise is a rakish highwayman who took the name "the Dim Avenger". While the intended meaning of Dim was "dark", the character tends to get asked if their name means they are stupid.
  • And You Thought There Is Never a Girl Online?: Akane Segawa joins the online game Legendary Age and decides to name her character "Schwein". She didn't know what it meant and thought it sounded like an Awesome Mc Cool Name. She is promptly informed that "Schwein" is German for "Pig" and is incessantly mocked.
  • Henry Claremont from The Case Files of Jeweler Richard choses Enrique Wabisabi as a pseudonym for his music. He's British.
  • Damned: Madison Desert Flower Rosa Parks Coyote Trickster Spencer
  • In the first novel of the Evil Genius Trilogy, one character early on is a Jerk Jock who is trying to choose a sufficiently threatening villain name, but all of his choices lead the others to laugh at him (e.g. choosing the Decimator, and then having it pointed out that decimate literally means "kill 10%"). Of course, the Axis Institute's coursework slowly destroys this little habit- right before he loses control of his powers and incinerates himself.
  • The comedy book How to Be a Superhero has a section devoted to avoiding choices like this, e.g Mr AC/DC might not be a good choice even if you do have electrical powers. Then there's the poor guy who got his powers from and named himself "Purple Helmet".
  • Zits from Flight.
  • Good Omens' secondary set of Bikers of the Apocalypse, Grievous Bodily Harm, Cruelty to Animals, Really Cool People, and Treading In Dogshit (formerly All Foreigners Especially The French, formerly Things Not Working Properly Even When You've Given Them A Good Thumping, never actually No Alcohol Lager, briefly Embarrassing Personal Problems, and finally People Covered In Fish).
  • Wild Cards had Snotman, who was unable to make people forget his old name even after he has become the Reflector.
  • Discworld: In The Last Hero, when the Silver Horde disguised themselves as gods to infiltrate Dunmanifestin, two of their adopted cover-identities were the Muse of Bloody Swearing and the God of Being Sick Again. (The title of God of Being Sick had apparently already been taken.)
  • Jack Ryback of Mike Nelson's Death Rat! introduces a side character to Ponty just as he realizes he probably shouldn't be using Ponty's real name, so he quickly makes up "Earl Topperson" as a pseudonym, using his eyes to apologize for the terrible choice of name. It's also mentioned that they simply refer to the titular book as "the thing" after Jack bucked mightily at Ponty's suggestion that they call it by its radio initials "Delta Romeo".
  • Professor Pippy P. Poopypants from Captain Underpants. That book was about him wreaking havoc on the entire city because nobody would take him seriously because of his silly name. This in itself isn't an example of the trope; what makes it one is that at the end George and Harold suggest that he changes his name, and he picks his grandfather's name instead: Tippy T. Tinkletrousers. It's stated in his backstory that in his country of New Swissland, everyone has an idiotic name due to a reason that the book deemed too boring and stupid to explain.
  • In Hush, Hush, the Fallen Angel who stalks, harasses, terrifies, and almost murders Nora calls himself Patch. The author clearly intended this to be a cool and gangster-like name but seriously, what kind of fallen angel who remains borderline sociopathic even after being seemingly redeemed by love names himself Patch? A name that sounds much more apt for a dog.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: One of the main protagonists of the series adopts an assumed name so he can easily blend in with the locals when he visits an unremarkable backwater planet named Earth. The "minimal research" he did before deciding on his "nicely inconspicuous" moniker led him to settle on Ford Prefect.note 
  • Joy Hopewell from Flannery O'Connor's short story "Good Country People" changes her name to Hulga. She's glad that it's so very ugly.
  • The title character of the Mediochre Q Seth Series. He insists that he named himself after a shade of red (between pale ochre and deep ochre) but his name still sounds like 'mediocre', meaning 'of middling quality'. Also, Seth was one of the more vilified Egyptian deities, when Mediochre is (at least trying to be) a hero. Mediochre is a bit eccentric, however, so this might all be intentional.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain:
    • Penny gets the extremely bland codename of "Bad Penny." The person who gave it to her might have suspected it was her real name already (she definitely figured it out later) and dubbed her that as an intentional slight, but either way Penny just isn't impressed with it.
    • Claudia's codename is "Generic Girl" because she wears grey and never bothers to talk to anyone.
    • Please Don't Tell My Parents I've Got Henchmen introduces Surprisingly Dangerous Weevil Man, which everyone mocks. In fact, his name used to just be Weevil Man, and everyone thought it was so ridiculous that they immediately challenged him to fights. Guess why it was changed.
    • Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm Queen of the Dead: Avery's powers and Deep South origins temporarily get her dubbed "Redneckromancer," which she hates. Her friend with insect-control powers gets dubbed "That Bug Girl," but she doesn't seem to mind as much.
  • The first title character in Ellen Conford's The Revenge of the Incredible Dr. Rancid and his Youthful Assistant, Jeffrey. It probably didn't help any that "Dr. Rancid" was actually one of the heroes in Jeffrey's stories-within-the-story.
  • In The Tome of Bill, the leader of a vampire coven has the authority to impose certain rules. The leader of the Village Coven has it that all the vampires take a new name to distinguish themselves from their human far so good. Except that Jeff is a Psychopathic Manchild whose idea of a cool name is "Night Razor". Other gems include Rage Vector and Dr Death. The only halfway presentable name among them is "Sally Sunset". Bill dispenses with this policy immediately after killing Jeff.
  • In The Reckoners Trilogy David mentions that the ability to wield physics-defying powers does not correspond with the ability to choose a good name. Epics in the series choose their own names, resulting in monikers that range from pretty good, e.g. Steelheart and Nightwielder, to at least descriptive, e.g. Deathpoint (who kills anyone he points at), to awful, like Pink Pinkness, or El Bullish Brass Dude. Some of them also have a bit of fun with it, like an Irish epic with gun/explosion-related powers called Rick O'Shea.
  • Skyward: The pilots of Detritus get to choose their own callsigns, which mostly means they're either cool or at least not terrible (like Spin, Rig, or Ironsides). However when Jorgen's preferred callsign (Jaeger) is already in use, he ends up with "Jerkface", a nickname Spensa had given him when he's unable to come up with a new one. The leader of another flight, "Nose", indicates that he got his callsign in a similar way, and apparently one of the First Citizens was "Broken Wind," so it's not a new phenomenon.
  • Molly from Divergent nicknames herself "The Tank".
  • The 41 Supreme Beings of Nazerick in Overlord have some pretty out-there names, on account of being players of an in-universe MMORPG. Momonga (the name of a certain species of Japanese flying squirrel) didn't plan to get stuck with such a cute name (he promptly changes it to the more intimidating "Ainz Ooal Gown" after getting isekai'd, though for reasons completely unrelated to this trope). Touch Me was probably being an intentional jackass (although, being one of the tankiest and most powerful players in the game, his name could also be read as a challenge). Bukubukuchagama ([onomatopoeia for bubbling] Teapot) appears to have named herself after what she could see at the time, and while the name is appropriate for her gooey avatar, it has the unfortunate side-effect in the original language of being used to describe a fat person.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I've Got Henchmen: Charles still hasn't come up with a better name than "Sharky," despite promising he was working on it two books ago.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have a Nemesis: Air Conditioner Man. After he realized he was as bad at crime as coming up with an intimidating villain name, he retired.
  • Lampshaded in The Infected. The IPB has an unofficial but powerful system where the most photogenic operatives become the public face of the organization and have colorful costumes and heroic codenames vetted by PR experts. The most powerful Infected have short, descriptive names like Gravity or Stasis. The rest get vaguely derogatory names referencing their powers of appearance, like Goblin or Sparks.
  • Avengers of the Moon by Allen Steele is a reconstruction of 1930s Pulp Magazine hero Captain Future. The hero Curt Newton is given an alias to hide his identity from the Big Bad who murdered his parents years before. Unfortunately his compatriots pick the alias 'Captain Future', an imaginary Captain Superhero Curt pretended to be while playing games as a child. Everyone mocks Curt for this with the notable exception of criminal mastermind Ul Quorn, who uses the alias "The Magician of Mars". At the end of the novel it becomes an Appropriated Appellation for Curt — there are no superheroes in real life after all, so why not create one?
  • The protagonist of A.J. Markam's Ex-Superheroes can create and manipulate invisible forcefields with so much finesse and power that he qualifies (at least when he's at full strength) as a Person of Mass Destruction, and even when his powers are on the fritz he's a ruthless killer, cunning Combat Pragmatist and all-around supreme badass. Somehow he got stuck with the code name of... "Mr. Shield." He is not happy about this. It probably doesn't help that his civilian name, Hunter McNeil, is arguably much cooler.
  • In Ward, it's noted that The Lord of Loss could easily have become this. Fortunately for him, he was powerful enough and (more importantly) consistent enough that the media was never able to spin it into being about him losing, making this case a Defied Trope.
  • The Debt Inheritance series of dark romance novels have a crew of bikers named after gemstone terminology. Sounds fine until you start getting into the cut names, and notice that the writer seems to have no sense of irony about naming a rough, tough, manly biker "Cushion". The gang seems to have run out of members before they got to "Princess", though.
  • The Wheel of Time: Faile goes by "Mandarb", the Old Tongue's word for "blade", during her brief stint as a Hunter for the Horn, but hastily changes her monicker when Perrin introduces her to a horse with the same name.
  • In Homerooms & Hall Passes, a character finds himself trapped a Tabletop RPG universe which just happens to resemble a mundane American middle school. Still having access to the game books, he concocts an identity for himself using tables meant for generating NPCs. His randomly-rolled name is Armando Boort. Several other characters inform him that this sounds fake.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an old All That sketch, a Mayor is auditioning several superheroes for the city, though only encountering examples of generally sucky powers. The final one is basically a Flying Brick with no weakness whatsoever. He would be an automatic shoo-in were it not for his name of Superty-Duper Man. In the end, the Mayor resolves to save the city herself, strapping on a cape and flying away.
  • Angel: Inverted with The Groosalugg — Groosalugg means "brave and undefeated." That's right, his name advertises the fact that he never loses.
  • Arrowverse:
    • The Flash (2014): Cisco thinks Roy G Bivolo's preferred alias (which Caitlin thought up), Rainbow Raider, is stupid and prefers to call him Prism. (It's a little bit of Self-Deprecation poking fun at the source comics, where he did go by "Rainbow Raider".)
    • Parodied in the first season of Arrow. As a few people are discussing the appropriateness of the nickname "The Hood", Malcolm Merlyn suggests "Green Arrow", which Oliver Queen himself dismisses as "lame". Funnily enough, he'd end up actually adopting that nickname of his own volition a few years later.
    • Supergirl: In "Worlds Finest", when The Flash arrives in town, Cat Grant decides to name the new superhero The Streak or The Blur. Annoyed, Barry Allen tells her the superhero is called The Flash. Cat mocks it and says that "sounds like someone whose only superpower is jumping out of an alley in a trench coat." Barry's expression hints that he had never thought of it that way.
    • Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019): Cisco repeatedly derides Mobius' alias the Anti-Monitor as a terrible name. Even Oliver gets in on it later, muttering that it doesn't even sound like a real name.
    • In Stargirl the teenage characters tend to be unimpressed with many of the aliases selected by the previous generation of superheroes and villains. Courtney criticizes her stepfather's old name "Stripesy" as particularly terrible, and isn't much mollified when she learns it's an Artifact Title from when he was half of a crimefighting duo called "The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripsey".
  • In the first episode of the first series of The Black Adder, Edmund wants to settle on a new nickname, having become a Prince of the Realm. His initial suggestion is The Black Vegetable, before his (at the time) Hypercompetent Sidekick Baldrick persuades him otherwise.
  • Doctor Who: From "The Lodger", when the Doctor sees a patch of "dry rot" on the ceiling of Craig's flat:
    "I'm good with rot, call me the Rotmeister. No, I'm the Doctor, don't call me the Rotmeister."
  • Kamen Rider:
    • In Kamen Rider Gaim, Hase and Jonouchi are debuting as the latest Armored Riders. Hase gives himself the name "Kurokage" ("Black Shadow")... and introduces Jonouchi as "Gridon" ("donguri", meaning "acorn",note  with the syllables reversed). One fansub translated "Gridon" as "Ornac" to hammer home to the English audience how lame it is.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid's female lead is Poppy Pipopapo, a living video game character created by a computer supervirus. She disguises herself as a human nurse named Asuna Karino in order to pass unnoticed in the hospital and is upset when Hiiro points out that her chosen alias is a very obvious anagram of "kari no naasu" ("temp nurse").
  • MADtv has a sketch of a Mexican (or Argentinian, depending on the sketch) wrestler named "El Ass-o Wipe-o". He helpfully explains that in Spanish it means "The Asswiper". He has a compatriot named "Señor Bag of Crap".
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Daredevil (2015):
      • Matt's first alias is "The Devil of Hell's Kitchen", which, while it sounds dramatic, sometimes rubs people the wrong way. People like Frank Castle, for instance:
        Frank Castle: What the hell kind of name is the "Devil of Hell's Kitchen" anyway? I mean really?
        Matt Murdock: I didn't ask for that name.
        Frank Castle: I'm sorry. I don't see you running from it.
        Matt Murdock: I don't do this to hurt people.
        Frank Castle: Yeah, so what is that, just a job perk?
    • Jessica Jones (2015):
      • In a flashback, Trish suggests Jessica take up superheroism, perhaps using a nickname like "Jewel". Jessica refuses.
        Trish Walker: "Jewel" is a great superhero name!
        Jessica Jones: "Jewel" is a stripper's name, a really slutty stripper. And if I wear that thing, you're gonna have to call me Cameltoe.
      • People regularly mock Kilgrave for having such a ridiculous choice of name, the kind only a child could cook up. It's clearly an overcompensation for his real name being Kevin Thompson.
        Jessica Jones: Granted, it is a mundane name, but "Kilgrave"? Talk about obvious. Was "murdercorpse" already taken?
    • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: When Lemar Hoskins reveals his superhero name is "Battlestar", Bucky Barnes immediately pulls a Screw This, I'm Outta Here.
    • Ms. Marvel (2022): After Kamala (in costume) saves Zoe's life, some kids at school the next day pressed Zoe for the superhero's name. She comes up with "Night Light" on the spot, which Kamala isn't exactly thrilled about. Thanks to Zoe's social media presence, everyone latches onto the Night Light name.
    • She-Hulk: Attorney at Law: Jennifer Walters considers her alias "She-Hulk" to be this at first, since it was made up by a newscaster on the spot and makes her sound like a Distaff Counterpart of her cousin. Bruce finds it funny. Over the course of the series, she comes to embrace and eventually enjoy the name.
  • Prodigal Son: Dr. Martin Whitly is a Serial Killer known as "the Surgeon". As he admits late in the first season, he actually hates the moniker, which was given to him by the media.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch once turned herself into a boy to find out what her boyfriend talks about when there are no girls around. As the "man" of the house, Salem took it upon himself to help her avoid doing anything that would get her beaten up by macho dudebros, including picking a name. Sabrina's first thought was "Kirby".
    Salem: ...We're back to getting beaten up.
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch involved a group of B-grade superheroes, including Paul Reiser as a Batman-esque vigilante called Nightstalker. Seems cool enough, until another hero points out that Nightstalker shares an alias with an infamous serial killer/rapist-and then goes into detail of the other Nightstalker's crimes. The heroic Nightstalker proceeds to have a near breakdown.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017): Count Olaf goes through a series of obvious disguises, many of which have silly names, but the standouts are "Yessica Haircut" and "Doctor Medicalschool". He's not the only one. There's the VFD agent Larry Your-Waiter.
  • In a fantasy episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, the twins get superpowers from a comet. Cody gets super-intelligence, and calls himself "Brain Man", with the initials proudly displayed on his costume's chest. Only later is it pointed out to him that those initials are B.M.
  • In The Tick (2016), Arthur is trying to convince two police officers that he's an actual, licensed superhero. When they ask for his name, he accidentally gives his real one, leaving him stuck with his own first name as a codename when he becomes one for real.
  • Ultra Series:
    • Ultraman Orb's Ragtag Bunch of Misfits go by the name Something Search People. Their leader's mother, during her visit, is dismayed that her daughter, who she sent to college to learn English, didn't opt for the more grammatically correct "The Searchers of Something".
    • In Ultraman R/B, one of the villains is an Evil Knockoff of Ultraman Orb and declares his title as "Ultraman Orb Dark"... before ruining it by adding "Noir Black Schwarz". He thinks "Ultraman Orb Dark Noir Black Schwarz" sounds cool, but nobody else seems impressed by it. Isami in particular repeatedly gripes that the name is too long, and in one of the fourth-wall-breaking recap segments he mocks how the last half is just three foreign words for the same thing.
    Isami: What's dangerous about him? His name is way too long! You see, Noir is French, Black is English, and Schwarz is German. If translated, all of them mean black! That means, his name is literally Ultraman Orb Dark Black Black Black! He's just repeating the same words all over again! What's that? Is he an idiot?!
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Applies to the Superheroes game (but then that's What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? to start with) and also often the aliases adopted by the players for the Newscasters or Sports Commentators games.
    Greg Proops: I'm Rock Hard.
    Colin Mochrie: And I'm Peggy Lee. [over audience laughter] IT'S NOT FUNNY!
  • On an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, Zeke decides to give his wrestler persona the name "Lavas Sus Manos".
    Justin: That means "wash your hands".

    Pro Wrestling 
  • A lot of the time you can tell a bad gimmick by how stupid the character's name is. Characters such as Bastion Booger, Beaver Cleavage, Kerwin White and Isaac Yankem never had a chance. Ironically, Kerwin White was a cringe-worthy new character made for one of the most distinguished Mexican wrestlers on WWE's roster who didn't even need a new gimmick, while Isaac Yankem would find incredible success after being eventually repackaged as Kane.
  • The ultimate ECW Woobie "Mikey Whipwreck". There is also a "Mike Quackenbush".
  • A famous anecdote about "Stone Cold" Steve Austin recalls how, in his early days of WWF, he wanted to change his nickname to go with his cold and uncaring character and asked the creative team to come up with a name. They sent him five pages of names. While most were pretty good, like the Ice Dagger, there was an infamously ridiculous one called Chilly McFreeze. He chose Stone Cold and the rest is history. He jokingly stated in one interview that if they turned down Stone Cold, that he would be the best Baron Von Ruthless he could have been. Stone Cold wasn't even on the list - the story goes that while he was flipping through it, his then-wife (who was British by birth) told him, "Drink your tea before it gets stone cold."
  • Similarly, in her autobiography, Chyna mentioned several of the names that the WWE had thought up for her. Some were decent if cliched, such as Phalan, Sheera, Venus, and Tigress. One she singled out as particularly bad... Teeva Gweeve, which she thought sounded like a cartoon pig.
  • Raven's opinion one of his opponents, "Thumbtack Jack", in Westside Xtreme Wrestling, as well as Raven's old gimmicks, Johnny Polo and Scotty Flamingo.
  • Braden Walker, better known as TNA's Chris Harris, is best remembered for his horrible name. Well, that and introducing himself with a knock-knock joke. But mostly for his horrible name.
  • WWE generally likes to own the legal rights to wrestler's names these days. As a result, we have been given some truly stupid-sounding names, such as "Michael McGillicutty" for Joe Hennig, the son of Mr. Perfect. Although, after a gimmick change that played up his 3rd generation status he changed his name to Curtis Axel, an homage to his father Curt Hennig and his grandfather, Larry "The Axe" Hennig. "Dolph Ziggler" is pretty damn bad but has been overcome by the sheer work-rate of the performer (Nick Nemeth) saddled with it. So much so that it no longer matters, Dolph became World Heavyweight Champion!
  • A wrestling website has released the WWE Developmental Rookie Name Generator! It has a random selection of generic and "real but inherently funny" names, many Awesome McCoolnames taken directly from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Space Mutiny episode, and some deliberately failtastic last names like "Limpnoodle", "Softcheese", "Stephpet", "Floppysex", and "Turdwater". The generator will indeed come up with names like Rolls Floppysex and Mustachio Turdwater. If you get lucky you might end up with "Meat Strokeworthy!"
  • Northern Championship Wrestling in Quebec, Canada had a tag team called Those Guys, made up of This Guy and That Guy. Maybe it made more sense in French.
  • Robbie E once announced his tag team with Jessie Godderz is called "Bro Mans". James Storm laughed and pointed out it sounds like "Bromance".
  • This how many felt about Chikara's 'Intergalactic Luchador' Saturyne, herself included, though she had a supporter in WSU's Jennifer Cruz, who would be the type you'd expect to mock it the most.
  • On TNA Impact, EC3 announced that he felt this way about the name WWE chose for Guyanese wrestler Rycklon Stephens: Ezekiel Jackson.
  • The joke of ECW's Beulah McGillicutty was that she was a jaw-dropping sex bomb of a woman with the name of a 90-year old Irish grandmother.
  • African-American female wrestler "Bonesaw" Jessie Brooks calls her German Suplex finisher The Brooklyn Bridge. The problem is that "selling the Brooklyn Bridge" is an old scam. It led to the expression, "If you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you." Theatrics of Pain is also called "selling," and why would you name your finisher after something people talk about selling but never do?

    Tabletop Games 
  • Aberrant, being a deconstruction of superheroics, touches on this: the rise of superpowered Novas, many of whom think they're now required to don costumes and take up aliases, have spawned a budding fashion industry dedicated to not only making non-stupid costumes but also to come up with fitting and stylish names a Nova can use without feeling silly or raise Unfortunate Implications. A few sucky names still crop up, though.
  • This was said to be the main reason why Dude was rejected from the Dino Attack Team and forced to spend most of the war in Antarctica.
  • Champions is generally fairly good about avoiding this (the odd atrocious-to-native-speakers foreign language codename slips through sometimes, such as the odd example in the European Enemies supplement for 4th edition, but that's not really this trope so much). However, one example that may sound more unfortunate today than in the late 80s comes straight from the 4th edition Hero System Rulebook's sample NPC section, i.e. a page that everybody familiar with that system likely will have come across: a supervillainess with sonic powers stemming from an alien necklace she found, going by the name of...Howler. Knowing her backstory actually makes it worse: Howler started out as a fully trained highly capable opera singer, who in all likelihood sings rather than screams. In spite of that, she's kept showing up in villain roster books since then.

    Video Games 
  • In Elona, there is a random name generation system that allows you to pick an alias at the beginning and also applies to randomly generated magic items. This can lead to items being generated with names such as Sparkle Homo, Mustache Fortress, Pimp of Awesomeness, or, more likely, a name that is complete gibberish like Foreigner Kitty or Princess of Rebel-rouser
  • The roguelike Slash'EM Extended has the Courier role, who has to defeat a boss named Some Random Guy. His actual name is Benny but the game rarely addresses him with that name, instead referring to him as "some random guy" by default.
  • Darius:
  • The random Hersir name generator in Age of Mythology gives us such gems as Thorvald Eggscreamer, Gisli Unsightlywisher, and Bersi Cheesedrowner.
  • Superhero League of Hoboken, being a parody, has some deliberately awful superhero names such as Tropical Oil Man and Princess Glovebox.
  • In the first movie-licensed Spider-Man game, Spider-Man tries to guess the Shocker's villainous moniker. Basing it off the Shocker's padded costume he guesses Quilt Man, Padded Pete, Mr. Triple-Ply, and The Cushion.
  • Vector Thrust: AI players you face in Skirmish include the standard AXE, VIKING, BLADE, RIBBON, and others. Or, you'll be hounded upon by people like FAIL, GASSY, and JUICY.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has a minor NPC dragoon named Alaimbert who opted for the personal title "Of the Spiked Butt". He doesn't understand why the others in his unit keep laughing at him.
  • Undertale has King Asgore who's known for his terrible ability to name things and sprinkles Atrocious Aliases about the Underground like sprinkles. The original capital city of the Underground was called "Home", which isn't too bad... but when he moves the capital to a new location he calls the second capital "New Home". His best attempt at naming literally comes from combining his name with Toriel's to make "Asriel" for their child. It runs in the family as his son dubs himself "Flowey The Flower" after his resurrection, and later takes the moniker "Asriel the GOD of Hyperdeath".
  • Vyers, the Dark Adonis has all of 2-3 minutes of screentime in Disgaea before Laharl (and everyone else, including the game itself,) decides to start calling him Mid-Boss instead.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: The Moshae thinks this of her name; Moshae is an old angaran word for "teacher", reflecting her status among them. She tells Ryder she can't remember who it was that first gave her the name, but she does remember telling them to shut up. Sadly for her, several decades and several million adoring angara have meant the title has stuck.
  • Though it sounds perfectly badass to us, The Iron Bull of Dragon Age: Inquisition isn't super into his moniker. Especially because he had to take iron cause all the good metals (Steel, Veridium, and Silverite) were taken. It gets worse when Cole points out that his horns look more like dragon horns than bull horns. Meaning he lost out on The Iron Dragon.
    Bull: Oh! ...Shit. That would have been better.
  • In Fable and Fable II, the Hero can purchase various titles by which to be known, which range from the melodramatic to options like "Arseface" and "Nobhead". NPCs will use your title in background dialogue and might lampshade the stranger choices.
    Innkeeper: There's somethin' about the name Chicken Chaser... makes you sound like a cock.
  • Punch-Out!!: The first opponent you face in the first Arcade, NES and Wii games is called "Glass Joe", which has the combination of referring to how fragile glass is and being a play on "glass jaw", a term in boxing used to refer to vulnerability. Despite this, Joe seems rather proud of the nickname, even shouting it for the whole stadium to hear in the Wii version.
  • Psychonauts 2: In the PSI King's Sensorium, Raz can talk to Dr. Touch (an organ-playing musician with a hand for a head) about his unfortunate-sounding name. Dr. Touch suggests other names like "Organ Master", "Finger Fiend" and "Flesh Friend". Raz objects to every suggestion.
  • In Mutant Football League, a kickoff that Grim deems So OK, It's Average will cause Bricks to point out the kicker’s nickname is “Lukewarm.” He doesn’t seem to think it’s a bad thing to be known for, he even named his clothing line “Lukewarm Threads.” Their marketing team hates him!
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All, Maya suggests Phoenix go by a new name, inspired by the magician Maximillion Galactica. Her suggestion is "Naruhodo A. Wrighto", with the "A" standing for "Attorney." Phoenix immediately shoots down the idea. (Bonus points: "Naruhodo" is a modified version of his actual Japanese name.)
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura features an early-game thief called Lukan the Witless. Unsurprisingly, you can make fun of him for it, and he insists it means he has no sense of humor.
  • While it was always his name in the Japanese scripts, Dr. Eggman of Sonic the Hedgehog fame was known as Ivo Robotnik in the West. However, as time went on, the two scripts started to come together and Eggman was more of a mocking nickname given to him by Sonic... at first. Later, he started to take the whole "Eggman Empire" thing seriously, and even gloats about how he used Sonic's mockery of him to his advantage in the end, as recorded in Sonic Frontiers.
    Eggman: ...I'm not going to adopt "Baldy McNosehair", though; my... dignity has limits.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • The Cheat's commando name, "Firebert".
      Strong Bad: Uh, don't make me call you that... It's not a good commando name.
    • Then again, considering other members of the Cheat Commandos have included "Gunhaver", "Silent Rip", and "Reinforcements", it's probably just a tradition.
    • There's also Strong Bad's short-lived attempt to get people to start calling him "The Lege" (as in "the legend") until he realizes Homestar was right about it looking like it was pronounced "The Leg".
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal's sketch show had an episode about tryouts for a team of superheroes. One of the applicants exhibited an impressive array of powers that would have made him a shoo-in, if not for his chosen codename — Fetal Alcohero. (He got his powers because his mother drank while she was pregnant with him.)
  • Two superhero wannabes proudly introduce themselves as X-Ray & Vav, and get shocked when Hilda says that sounds stupid.
  • Red vs. Blue has a character who calls himself "Sharkface". Felix instantly makes fun of it. Later, when Caboose meets him for the first time and coincidentally calls him "Sharkface", Tucker says that is stupid. The name was actually a bit of Ascended Fanon: fans had called him that back when he was an Elite Mook with no lines before he was upgraded to a speaking character a few seasons later.
    Felix: What is he, a Batman villain?
  • Pokémon Ralphie: Detective Squirtle nicknames himself "Dick Squirts". It isn't until the final episode he realizes why such a nickname makes people uncomfortable.
  • Puffin Forest routinely runs into this problem with his players. One party calls themselves the Turtle Molesters, due to their turtle mascot and tendency to play dirty with touch-based spells, which is misheard by the audience as Turtle Fuckers due to a poorly placed censor bleep. They eventually rename themselves Turtle Friends because not even the saintly host of mount celestia is willing to say their name out loud to praise them. The next party (whom the old player Michele is still part of) call themselves the Warrior Of Really Shitty Timing, or W.O.R.S.T. for short.
    Bystander: Aren't those guys the guys who burned down the orphanage? Those guys are the worst!
    Michele: They know our name! We're famous.

    Web Comics 
  • Magellan has "Psi-Jector" - he thinks it's a great (and obvious) name: "I'm a tactile psychic... I project images of thoughts... PSI-JECTOR!" but everyone else just pays out on him - "Psi-Jerktor", "Re-Jector"...
  • The defunct Queer Nation (in which a pink meteor gives all homosexuals on the planet superpowers) had a gay, ditzy, male bartender with telepathic powers name himself "Cocktale", just because it was his favorite drink.
  • Grrl Power has the supervillain "For Whom the Death Tolls" (usually abbreviated to Death Toll).
    • Even his allies comment on the ludicrousness of that name, which he chose himself. He is also one of the few characters in the comic to wear a cape and a cowl, along with a skull mask and an obnoxious personality. However, it's highly likely this is all actually intentional on his part, as his superpower is to perfectly counter any attack made on him, therefore it is in his best interest to make himself as irritating as possible in order to provoke his opponents into attacking him before they realize that he can't do anything without being attacked first.
    • In the same fight where Death Toll emerged, Halo declares "Silver Age Rules." The villains have to introduce themselves or be assigned insulting nicknames. Most of them just shrug and go along with it. Made all the funnier by the heroes' HUD's displaying names like "Stick Girl" and "Lee Press-On-Claws" that are crossed out after the villains name themselves.
  • League of Super Redundant Heroes:
    • A jovial superhero who was frozen in the 40s is being coached to re-adapt to the 21st century. His name? The GAY BASHER! Curiously, he seems quite accepting that he needs to change his identity for linguistic reasons, only asking if he can still throw around his patented "Gaymakers".
    • Meanwhile, upon learning that her old friend from high school had gone into witchcraft and (rather ineffectual) supervillany to spice up her dull life as a homemaker, Eva gives Josie the supervillain name of The Desperate Housewitch.
  • Cornucopia: Hiccup chooses the alias “Yawn” when in Sugars.
  • Nine to Nine: Superfloofy-rawr-rawr and Sexyleathertigress69. Neither Jan (a lion) nor Jessie (a tigress) expected anybody to ever say aloud their website usernames.

    Web Original 
  • The Whateley Universe includes several mentions of them. The students are warned to be careful even with their nonfinal name since it can stick even if you change it. Examples include Power Pork, the Flying Bulldozer, Boom Job, and Quickie. Quickie is a well-endowed girl speedster, who didn't get why everyone thought her codename was so funny her freshman year. After finding out what it meant, she ended up changing it to Go-Go. Jinn Sinclair's first choice of a codename was 'Clothes Ghost'. Her teammates made her change it. Like they have a lot of room to talk since their team name is Team Kimba. Which, again, is Jade's fault. Traduce didn't know what her codename meant until after she got it finalized. It is very appropriate, though.
  • Legion of Nothing has Psy-Kick, a karate-wielding human stenograph whose choice of hero name is a source of great amusement to the protagonist (this gets him in trouble since Psy-kick is also a telepath).
  • Worm:
    • Taylor struggles with coming up with a name that doesn't sound terrible after she gets her powers. Finding a name related to her (bug-based) powers that doesn't sound terrible is tough, especially with how many of the good names have already been taken. She ends up being saddled with "Skitter," which she doesn't particularly like but eventually leans into.
    • Bitch, who chose her name both because it's appropriate to her power (she turns dogs into van-sized mutant killing machines) and because its vulgarity is a way to give a middle finger to human society in general. She hates it when the heroes try to give her a more PG alias, "Hellhound".
    • Clockblocker (he freezes objects in time), who very intentionally chose his superhero name to be a Double Entendre. He even went so far as to announce it during a live press conference so that the Protectorate wouldn't be able to make him change it.
    • On a much darker note are the Slaughterhouse Nine, whose names (eg, Jack Slash, Crawler, Mannequin) don't come across as particularly intimidating, contrary to many other villains in the series. This is deliberate- it makes them that much more terrifying when they prove just how deadly they are.
    • Ward has a play on this with "Lord of Loss". Victoria points out that it sounds like the kind of name an edgy teenager would come up with and really is extremely easy to make fun of, but the villain with that name is powerful, ruthless, and intimidating enough that he makes it work.
    • Dinah eventually becomes known by the name "Kid Cassandra", which she doesn't really like very much. Both because of the name invoking Cassandra Truth (nobody listened to Cassandra in myth) and because, by the time of Ward, she isn't a child anymore. It's eventually revealed that Tattletale was the one who came up with the name, mostly as a way to Troll Dinah.
  • The Fin, Fur, and Feather Bureau of Investigation has the Sandwich-Faced Daddy’s Boys, a group of gnu gangsters who have nothing to do with sandwiches and are led by a woman called “Ma”, not a dad. They are said to have only picked such a nonsensical name because literally every other name for a criminal gang had already been taken.
  • Curveball: Everybody thinks that "Doctor AEvil" sounds like something a kid would come up with as a name for their MMO character.
    Grant: I gotta believe the guy who got "Doctor Evil" laughs his ass off every time he hears your name.

    Web Videos 
  • Coyle Command: Coyle Commander's cyborg assistant has the cool moniker of Annihilator. Unfortunately, he's a parody of Destro, so it gets shortened to Anni.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventure Time episode "The Creeps", Finn and some of his friends get together for a masquerade party, and use various silly "mystery names". For example, Princess Bubblegum is "Lady Quietbottom" and Cinnamon Bun is "Guy Farting". Jake looks like he's about to leave after announcing his mystery name is "Randy Butternubs".
  • During his Adam Westing appearance on Archer, Kenny Loggins keeps trying to make "K-Log" catch on as his new nickname. No one likes it. Even his own bodyguard.
    Bodyguard: Yeah, I'm kinda with him [Archer] on that one.
  • Princess War Tickle from Atomic Puppet. However, she's still a very respected superhero in the show's universe, since she's the only superhero considered to be greater than Captain Atomic, which she has certainly demonstrated on several occasions.
  • Ben 23, an alternate universe version of Ben from Ben 10: Omniverse, has a habit of picking out super-obvious and lame names for his aliens. Such as Charcoal Man (Heatblast) Mr. Monkey (Spidermonkey) Vomit Man (Upchuck) and so on.
  • Carmen Sandiego: When Carmen meets a new V.I.L.E. agent, Spinkick, she quips, "Codename's kinda on the nose, isn't it?" Shortly after, she meets Spinkick's partner Flytrap.
    "So, all the good codenames finally got taken?"
  • Deliberately and appropriately true of the Toilenator from Codename: Kids Next Door.
  • On Danger Mouse, Penfold's code name is "Jigsaw." He gets that name because when he's faced with a crisis, he goes to pieces. (It is mentioned in the debut episode and never mentioned again since but has been used in the American comic book stories, from Marvel's Count Duckula run.)
  • In Danny Phantom, the titular hero has this problem throughout the first season. While he personally goes by the titular "Danny Phantom", it takes a while before he can make anyone beyond his friends and enemies aware of this. Until the events of "Reign Storm", the media and general public had their own alias for him, which he despised.
    Sam: "Inviso-Bill"?
    Tucker: You need a publicist.
  • An episode of Freakazoid! featured a hero originally named Lord Bravery having copyright issues and eventually ending up with the name "Lord Smoked Meats and Fishes." People then refused to get help from him. Not that the "Lord Bravery" name got him much more respect than that, mind you.
  • Played straight with The Mighty Heroes — the team consists of Strong Man, Diaper Man, Tornado Man, Cuckoo Man, and Rope Man.
  • Minoriteam had an entire episode devoted to Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain the Black Coq.
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2023): In "Run the Rink", Moon Girl faces off against a supervillain with Super-Speed who goes by the name Instantanegirl. She has to stop and explain that it's like instantaneous, but Lunella and Casey decide that it sounds way too awkward and just call her Speedy Girl instead.
  • Crawford in Teamo Supremo, after stealing the Mega Gauntlets to become a supervillain, first calls himself "Mr. Glove". After the Team mocks the name, he switches his alias to "the Gauntlet".
  • Regular Show: Rigby legally changed his name to Trash Boat, by taking advice from a rock star named The Urge. But The Urge later attacks Rigby because his stupid name overshadowed his fame.
  • In a G.I. Joe parody sketch on Robot Chicken a new member is inducted into the Joes. While trying to come up with a cool code-name he accidentally slips on a spilled drink and is summarily dubbed "Fumbles", much to his chagrin. He jumps over to Cobra to get revenge and is suggested an equally horrible code-name ("Trouser-Snake" because he's in Cobra and has cool pants) which he accepts resignedly. He turns out to be an incredibly badass Cold Sniper who single-handedly destroys the Joes (save for Duke, who he leaves alive), with Cobra Commander nervously congratulating him:
    Cobra Commander: Uh, Good job, Trouser-Snake.
    Fumbles: Fumbles. It was always Fumbles.
  • Changed Daily in The Secret Show gets a ridiculous name every day, much to the amusement of whoever hears it whenever it's announced.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Homer to the Max": Homer's proposed new names for himself are not only idiotic — "Rembrandt Q. Einstein" — but, except for one (Max Power!note ), misspelled on his name-change application.
    • In another episode Homer tries to imitate Bart's secret identity "El-Barto". He decides to call himself "El-Homo." All it took was a Hispanic gay man congratulating him on coming out for Homer to realize his mistake.
  • Brad Wright is part of the Skysurfer Strike Force. While his teammates have badass names like Crazy Stunts, Sliced Ice and Air Enforcer, he decides to pick Soar Loser. Yeah... very badass.
  • South Park:
    • Sea Man from the episode "Super Best Friends." And his sidekick is a fish named Swallow.
      Narrator: Meanwhile, in the ocean depths, Semen seeks out water to mix with the concrete.
      Sea Man: Sea Man! Look, Swallow, we should be able to divert the water with that pipe.
      Narrator: And so, Semen and Swallow get to... get to work. [laughs]
    • 'The Human Kite' is bad on its own, as are all the kid superhero names, but it being used by Kyle drives it into this trope due to it sounding like "kike," which is used as a slur against Jewish people. Naturally, Cartman is well aware of this.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: "Captain Pipsqueak" ends up being Plankton's supervillain name after he's inducted into E.V.I.L. Since it wasn't his idea, he questions if he'll get to change it later.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), the first time the Turtles meet the Shredder and he introduces himself, Raphael's first comment is "A kitchen utensil?"
    • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Raphael dubs the group the "Mad Dogs", which does not at all mesh with their overall appearance. Leonardo is quick to question this name, suggesting they should be called something akin to "Ninja Mutant Turtle Teens". Notably, no one ever refers to them as this, referring to them simply as "The Turtles". In the movie, they refer to themselves as the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", dropping Mad Dogs entirely.
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • Most supervillain names. Seriously, Phantom Limb? Doctor Girlfriend (later Doctor Mrs The Monarch)? Then you have names of minor villains, like "Intangible Fancy," "Girl Hitler," "White Noise," "Mr. Monday," and how about "Tigerrific?"
    • The OSI has a mess of these, as part of its G.I. Joe parody. One episode featured a group of agents named Shuttlecock, Slap Chop, Tank Top, and Bum Rush (and his partner Junk Dog). Another member is named "Afterburn", which is actually a pretty good name... except he's named that because of his massive disfiguring burn scars. The creators grumbled in the official artbook that it was surprisingly difficult to come up with a stupid codename that hadn't been used by an actual existing Joe.
    • Professor Impossible, upon becoming a supervillain, attempts to pull a villainous name change by declaring he's now going by "Professor Incorrigible." When Phantom Limb disapproves of the name, he starts coming up with increasingly lackluster menacing-sounding "in-" words, including "Professor Infamous", "Professor Indolent", "Professor Inscrutable", and "Professor Indochina"—Phantom Limb responds by calling them "a bit forced."
    • At one point, Dermott pretends to be a supervillain named Flying Sidekick. He claims the name is meant to reflect his martial arts skills, but it just causes him to be labeled as a henchman instead.
    • One superhero in the sixth season is a gritty urban detective killed by the mob and returned from the dead. His name? Night Dick. Everyone who hears it starts chuckling.
  • Played for Laughs in Young Justice: Outsiders, where Brion Markov jokingly suggest his codename to be "Hot Lava", to which his mentors laughs. After that, he gives his proper choice of "Geo-Force", which Artemis states is better than the stripper name he picked.


Video Example(s):


Rogues Gallery Vs. Grimm

The members of Batman and Flash's Rogues Gallery appear to help the heroes. They're even mad at Kilg%re because they find it embarrassing to team up with the heroes.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvilVersusOblivion

Media sources: