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Brought to You by the Letter "S"

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Kari: What does the 'S' stand for?
Syndrome: For, uh... sitter. Yeah, sitter. Originally I was gonna have initials for 'Baby Sitter' but then I would've been going around wearing a big 'BS!' And you understand why I couldn't go with that...

Superheroes and supervillains are, in many ways, much like athletes. Both frequently perform amazing physical feats envied by ordinary folk; both often collect themselves into teams with fancy names; both wear colorful, form-fitting uniforms.

And both have a tendency to adorn those uniforms with single letters of the alphabet. Stumped for a Chest Insignia? Just style up the first letter of your Code Name in sufficiently distinctive typeface, and have at it! It doesn't even have to be the first letter. It can be just your favorite letter, or it could be your full name!

See also Alphabet Architecture, where buildings are built in the shape of letters.


    open/close all folders 

  • The M&M's are distinguished by their "m" markings. This has been used a few times in reference to how an M&M isn't one without their "m".
  • Skittles feature an "S" marking on them.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ah! My Goddess's Keiichi, when he took part in the drag bike race, wore a jacket with "K-1" on the back. In the manga, he frequently signs his notes that way, as shorthand.
  • Bleach's Ichigo Kurosaki has a 15 on his room's door. It becomes kind of a pun if you realize "Ichi" is 1 and "Go" is 5. Plus he's 15.
    • His sister refers to him as 'Ichi-nii', which, while short for 'Ichigo-niisan' (big brother Ichigo), is also similar-sounding to ichi-ni, which translates as "1-2". Ichi-niisan itself sounds a lot like ichi-ni-san, which is "1-2-3".
  • In the early arcs of Captain Tsubasa, Genzo Wakabayashi often wears a cap with a stylized "W", though he later ditches it for one with the Adidas logo when he goes pro.
  • Chargeman Ken! has a large letter "K" on his orange sweater.
  • "A" is for Action Kamen from Crayon Shin-chan, though it's on his belt only. The Spanish dub completely ignored it and called him "Ultrahéroe".
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In her first appearance in Dragon Ball, Bulma is wearing her full name on the front of her shirt.
    • A kanji variant shows up in Dragon Ball Z, where during the Namek Saga, Goku wears 悟 (the kanji for the syllable "Go") on his gi (which previously sported the symbols representing Master Roshi and King Kai). Aside from the Non-Serial Movie The Tree of Might, Goku goes without symbols of any kind after Namek, until the "Go" kanji returns in Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Super.
    • Future Gohan wears 飯 (the kanji for the syllable "Han") on his gi, continuing what his father did. Present Gohan's gi is usually symboless, but he ends up wearing the 悟 emblem in Dragon Ball GT.
  • In Dr. Slump, Suppaman, an Affectionate Parody of Superman, wears a costume with the hiragana symbol "su".
  • In Future GPX Cyber Formula, all the cars have numbers throughout the series.
    • The "S" in later Asurada models stands for "Sugo", the racing team the main character, Hayato is in. Shoemacher/Osamu in 11, also has the letter "S" in his racing suit. And Kaga's racing suit has the letter "Z" in it, as he belonged to Aoi ZIP formula.
    • Some of the team logos also has letters in it, like the "S" for Sugo and "Z" for Aoi ZIP.
  • Gai Shishioh from GaoGaiGar wears a large "G" on the right side of his chest.
    • "G" is for the entire Gutsy Galaxy Guard. "J", likewise, is for the J-Ark Fleet, manned by Soldat J cyborgs. In both cases, the letter appears inside their Power Crystals (the G-Stone and the J-Jewel) when they get a powerup.
  • In the final episode of Gundam Build Fighters Try, Sekai Kamiki unveils the first Gunpla he built by himself (with some help from Shia), the Kamiki Burning Gundam. Its right shoulder armor has the kanji 神, meaning "god" and possessing a double meaning: Sekai’s own surname, and the God Gundam, an obvious inspiration in its design.
  • Dr. Minami in Heroman has an M on his shirt. Wonder why.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: "50", as found on the back of America's jacket, stands for the 50 states, natch. This detail was removed in the anime.
  • Ichi of Ichi the Killer wears a big "1" on his back, since his name means "one" in Japanese.
  • A minor gag in the manga of Kingdom Hearts II has Sora, Donald and Goofy mistaking the coincidental "A" pattern on Auron's armor for this, much to his chagrin.
  • Each of the Numbers in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS has a roman numeral on the neck of their Latex Space Suits representing their respective number. In a clever bit of Foreshadowing, Subaru's Barrier Jacket has a ring shaped zipper at the exact same location that gives the illusion of a zero, hinting at her status as a Type Zero cyborg.
  • Mazinger Z: Although the original series avoided this, in later retellings and spin-offs Mazinger-Z wore a big "Z" letter in such the chest, the Hover Pilder or the Jet Scrander.
    • It's a plot point for Mazinkaiser. When the jewel on Mazinkaiser's chest displays a Z, it means Kouji Kabuto is in control. When it turns into the kanji 魔 (Ma, meaning demon), Kaiser goes berserk. It also possesses a never-seen Super Mode when the symbol becomes the kanji 神 (Jin, meaning god).
  • The Robot Masters created by Dr. Light and Dr. Wily in Mega Man Megamix have their creator's letter on them. Notably, the Robot Masters made by Dr. Light (Dr. Right in Japan) have an R on them, even in English translations.
  • In Moldiver, the Machinegal Dolls's super suits and mecha have the "MG" initials on the front, while their suits have the initials of their names on it (i.e. "B" for Brooke).
  • The Straw Hat Pirates of One Piece periodically wear shirts featuring numbers significant to them:
    • Luffy wears a '01' because he is captain or a '56' which reads 'go-mu'.
    • Zoro, next in command, wears '02'.
    • Nami wears a '03' as well as '73' (Na-mi).
    • Usopp wears a '04'.
    • Sanji sports a '05' as well as '32' (San-ji) and '56' (Ko-kuu/kokku).
  • In Pecola, Pecola's shirt has a big "P" on it.
  • Birdman of Perman wears a shirt with a "B" on it.
  • The big red R for Rocket of Team Rocket, general bad guys of Pokémon: The Series.
    • Team Rocket had a form of Lampshade Hanging of this in an episode. They set up a fake Pokemon Center by covering part of the letter 'R' painted on the wall with a piece of paper, making it look like the 'P' associated with Pokemon Centers.
    • Eventually, Team Rocket's logo itself would be stylized in the anime, from the Best Wishes series onwards. The previous big R logo is still used, though, most notably on the grunts' uniforms.
  • In The Prince of Tennis, protagonist Ryoma Echizen is almost always seen wearing a white cap with the letter "R" on it.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: Gatchaman team members wear a large, red "G" on their belts.
  • "G" is for... Speed Racer, because his name in the original anime is Go Mifune (he also wears an "M" on his helmet to represent Mifune Racing). His girlfriend Trixie has an "M" on her blouse, for Michi Shimura. The mechanic Sparky has an "S" on his shirt, which stands for… Sabu.
    • The late 80's comic version of Speed Racer by NOW Comics claimed that the "G" stood for Greg, which was Speed's real name in the comic (making him Greg Racer).
  • Tamagotchi:

    Asian Animation 
  • Headmaster Tele, the heroes' school principal in Happy Heroes, wore a costume with a big "T" on the front when he was still a superhero.
  • In the Motu Patlu episode "Super Duper Man", Motu and Patlu become superheroes and don costumes that have the letters "M" and "P" on them, respectively.
  • YoYo Man : The eponymous character has some sort of natural growth on his head that looks like the letter "Y".

    Comic Books 
  • In All Fall Down, S is for Siphon and P is for Paradigm.
  • Archie Comics: Jughead Jones typically wears a sweater with the letter "S" on it (for Springdale). His crown is emblazoned with a J.
  • From Astro City:
    • "A" is for the All-American.
    • The Silver Adept has a brooch with a stylized "A" on it.
    • Beautie uses a stylized "B" for her accessories.
    • Appropriately for a fictional hero, the Crimson Cougar has a prominent double-CC logo.
    • "F" is for the First Family.
      • As an adult, Astra Furst has traded her "F" bodysuit... for a bodysuit with a massive "A" on it.
    • In a photo, the original Goldenglove is seen wearing a championship belt with a large "G" on it.
      • "GG" is for the C-rate villain Glue Gun, though it's only visible on his back-mounted glue canisters.
    • Honor Guard's logo is a large serif H with a smaller sans-serif G embedded inside.
    • "N" is for N-Forcer.
    • "Q" is for Quarrel.
    • Roustabout has a large cowboy belt with a double-R branding design.
    • Supersonic's costume has a full-torso logo that resembles a very stylized "S".
    • Winged Victory's emblem/Transformation Trinket is a capital "V" with a pair of outswept wings.
  • From Big Bang Comics:
    • The Badge has a yellow 'B' on the forehead of his cowl.
    • Ultiman (a Superman Substitute) has a large gold 'U' on the chest of his blue costume.
  • Black Hammer: Golden Gail's superhero costume has a big "G" on the chest, while Abraham Slam's costume has a stylized "S".
  • The revived Darkwing Duck comic books featured many Darkwings. If they were Darkwing versions of other heroes, they'd have a 'DW' or 'D' on them (such as the Incredibles version). One exception is a result of the entry under Western Animation; one of the infinite Darkwings took over Gosalyn's identity of Quiverwing Quack.
  • In The DCU:
    • "A" is for Aquaman (and Aqualad) and Animal Man. Anarky also wears this letter, though as part of the "Anarchy-is-order" Circle-A.
    • "C" (impaled by a carrot) is for Captain Carrot.
    • "E" is for Element Lad. Bronze Age and Retroboot Element Lad has an Interlac E.
    • "E" or "EM" is for the Elongated Man, depending on the costume.
    • "F over A" is for The First American from Alan Moore's Tomorrow Stories, published by America's Best Comics, a WildStorm imprint.
    • "G" is for Green Arrow — some artists draw his belt buckle with a noticeable "G" shape.
      • When his former sidekick, Speedy/Arsenal/"Red Arrow", adopted a red version of GA's costume, it included the "G"-shaped buckle at first. When the moniker "Red Arrow" became official, the belt buckle became a distinct "R".
    • "GG" is for Guy Gardner, during the period when he was operating as a superhero (using Sinestro's yellow ring) with no codename other than his own name.
      "Remember when Guy used to fly around with that big G on his jacket?"
      "Remember what he said it stood for?"
      "Yeah. 'Girl-magnet'."
    • "GF" is for Geo-Force.
    • "H" is for the Holliday Girls, who have a big red H on pretty much every shirt they own. And also for the second Hourman who briefly wore a red H with a clock in the middle, before switching to a version of his dad's costume.
    • "i" is for Invisible Kid.
    • "L" is for the Legion of Super-Heroes—many Legionnaires (in the post-Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! Reboot, all of them) have an L-logo belt buckle. The classic Legion flight ring also has an L. Un-boot Lightning Lad even has an L-logo tattoo.
    • "LL" is for Lex Luthor. Specifically, it was the logo on Lex Luthor II's Powered Armor.
      • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Supergirl's friend Lena wears a pendant with an "L" written on it.
      • In The Girl with the X-Ray Mind, Lex Luthor steals a super-hero costume and then he plasters two "L"s on the shirt's blank front side.
      • "Luthor Unleashed": After finding a weapon-satellite hovering over Metropolis and spotting the purple "L" emblazoned across its outer shell, Superman angrily states that Luthor did not need to sign his handwork as if he cannot recognize it when he sees it.
    • "M" is for 'Mazing Man; it was going to be "W" for Wonderful Man but the letter broke and flipped over on the helmet he found.
    • "MX" is for Madame Xanadu (Demon Knights version).
    • "P" is for Phantom Girl and Pig Iron. In the New 52 universe, Power Girl's costume had a "P"-shield for a while.
    • "Q" is for Quakemaster.
    • "R" is for Robin and Rubberduck. The resemblance of Robin's original "R" logo to the official "registered trademark" symbol is uncanny, and has been the source of some humor in the past.
      • 'Registered Sidekick — all rights reserved'...
    • "S" is for Superman (and "family": Supergirl, Superboy, even Steel...). He may possibly have been the Trope Codifier, since he is such a prominent example. Bizarro uses a reversed (twisted in the DCAU) "S".
      • Oddly enough, Superman's Jewish parody Shaloman uses the Hebrew letter shin, which is the initial letter of the word "Shalom." His bizarro-equivalent had the Hebrew letter sin, which in addition to being a shin-with-a-backwards-dot also made a pun on the word "sin."
      • "S(blank)" is for too many homages/parodies of Superman to count.
      • Originally the "S" obviously stood for Superman. Later, however, DC moved away from this in the comics and in film and TV adaptations. At first it became a family crest, an idea reflected in early TV and film versions. This also explained why cousin Supergirl's costume also has that symbol. In Pre-Crisis stories, such as Krypton No More, though, it was only a cool emblem.
      • Pre-Crisis story The Day the Cheering Stopped reveals Superman's "S"-symbol is actually very ancient. Jonathan Kent thought he came up with it in a weird dream, but in reality it is nearly as old as the universe itself.
      • In 52 Ralph Dibny reveals that the S is actually the Kryptonian symbol for the word "hope". This was carried forward in subsequent adaptations, notably Smallville and Man of Steel. Upside-down, it means "resurrection".
      • Superman once defeated a Proud Warrior Race Guy called Draaga in gladiatorial combat on Warworld. In the comics, Draaga wore a replica of Superman's costume, while on the Justice League cartoon he actually burned an "S" symbol onto his chest—in both cases this was so he wouldn't forget his failure.
      • Supergirl stopped wearing the S-shield during her brief Red Lantern stint in Red Daughter of Krypton arc, but she donned the S-emblem again after taking her Red Lantern Ring off.
      • In Superman: Brainiac, Supergirl's mother Alura wears one "S" on her belt buckle and one on the brooch that holds her toga on.
    • "T" is for Tasmanian Devil (of the Global Guardians and Justice League Europe) and Red Tornado. Michael Holt's Mr. Terrific has a T-shaped mask. Well, unless that's just facepaint.
    • "V" is for the Vigilante, who wears an all black costume with a "V" on his chest and forehead.
    • "W" is for Guy Gardner in his Guy Gardner: Warrior days.
    • "WW" (one on top of the other) is for Wonder Woman, when she's not using an eagle insignia. In a few continuities, like Kingdom Come, the two are combined: a stylized eagle that happens to resemble a W.
      • In some Latin American countries, it's an "M" or "MM" for "Mujer Maravilla".
      • In The Bronze Age of Comic Books, the WW was the logo of an in-universe charity called the Wonder Women Foundation, and Diana replaced the eagle with it at their request. In Real Life, it was designed by Milton Glaser, the same designer who gave us "I ♥️ NY".
    • "Z" is for General Zod—at least the Polkistanian and Post-Flashpoint versions.
      • In the Legion of Super Heroes "Z" is also for… well, the guy wearing it is named Drax, but considering Drax is a kid from the Phantom Zone, a safe guess would be "General Zod," presumably his father figure.
    • "?" is The Riddler.
    • "Ω" (Omega) is for Omega Effect, so Darkseid's modern costumes have a Greek letter Ω as a Chest Insignia.
    • "0" is for the evil alternate reality version of Kon-El who goes by Black Zero.
    • The Chinese character for the number "7" is for the Great Ten's Seven Deadly Brothers.
  • Exaggerated in Empowered where many heroes and villains have their entire name on their chest.
  • “G” is for Gaston Lagaffe; view this image here.
  • In Johnny Saturn, the Utopian, as an example, wears a stylized "U" on his chest. A variation of this would be Titanium Tom, who wears a patch on each shoulder with Ti— the symbol for titanium.
  • After fiddling around with casual outfits for José Carioca's comic book series, they eventually settled on a T-Shirt with a "Z" on it, for "Zé".
  • In the Marvel Universe:
    • "A" is for Captain America (on his head) and Apocalypse (on his belt buckle).note 
    • "CC" is for the Crimson Crusader, alter ego of teenager Rory Destine in ClanDestine.
    • "D" is for Demolition Man (sometimes just called "D-Man"). Two means Daredevil... though this gets a little complicated when you realize that Daredevil's original costume really did have the one "D", and is in fact the very same costume worn by D-Man (only with a Wolverine-like cowl).
    • "F" is for Flatman, a member of the less-than-astounding Great Lakes Avengers.
    • "G" is for Galactus (on his belt buckle in his first appearance). Joked with in a behind-the-scenes comic, which claims that Galactus was originally intended by Jack Kirby to be God, the ultimate opponent for the Fantastic Four. Thankfully, Stan Lee talked him out of it.
    • "H" is for Hawkeye. And Hardball.
    • "I" is for Mr Immortal, the Man Who Can't Die No Matter How Much He Really Wants To, and leader of the aforementioned Great Lakes Initiative. His 'I' is in multiple places, with 'Mr.' written inside the letter itself, since it's just a big rectangle anyway.
    • "M" was for Mandarin, in his original costume. Also Magneto, in his mid-80's outfit.
    • "N" is for Nomad.
    • "P" is for Puck (of Alpha Flight).
    • "S" is for Sentry (on his oversized belt).
    • "T" is for Thor (sometimes — it's on his belt buckle in the Silver Age) and, by extension, Thunderstrike.
      • These days, Thor's belt buckle is the rune ūruz (ᚢ), because the Uruz rune was traditionally used to represent the god Thor. It also represents strength and virility. In addition, "u" stands for "uru", from which Mjölnir is made.
      • Thor: The circles on Thor's chest have been used to create the thurisaz, the rune of Thor.
    • "W" is for Wonder Man (when he's not using Civvie Spandex) and for The Wasp (only on her debut costume, not on any later redesigns).
    • "X" is for the X-Men's "x-factor" or "extra factor" in their mutated genes.
    • The Omegans, who serve ClanDestine antagonist Alpha, each have a large Greek letter Omega (Ω) on their outfit's chest.
    • Not a letter, but each member of the Fantastic Four goes into battle with a large "4" emblazoned somewhere on their uniform.
  • "MM" is for Miracleman/Marvelman.
  • In PS238, a Batman-like hero called The Revenant wears a stylized letter "R" on his chest.
  • Scott Pilgrim plays with this in a more postmodern way, given the Mundane Fantastic setting. Also, given the numeric themes exemplified by The League of Evil Exes, numbers often appear instead of letters, with the possible exception of the letter X.
    • Scott himself has a t-shirt with the logo for the band The Smashing Pumpkins, which happens to be the letters S and P - Scott's initials. He also has a patch with the letter X sewn onto the shoulder of his jacket, and he explicitly says this is because he is a fan of the X-Men. During a scene in which he is increasingly afraid of Ramona's exes, he tears it off, and to differentiate himself from their numerical motifs, he wears a t-shirt with the word "zero" on it (an iconic shirt design worn by Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan).
    • Nemesis Gideon Gordon Graves uses, as his corporate logo, a stylized image of three Gs (also resembling an inverted Triforce because Gideon is evil).
    • Matthew Patel wears a jacket with the Greek letter Alpha on the shoulder, because Alpha is the first letter and he is Ramona Flowers' first evil ex.
    • Lucas Lee, the second evil ex, has the number 2 tattooed on his neck, on the side of his trailer, and on his car. His belt buckle is two Xs.
    • Todd Ingram, Ramona's third evil ex, is often seen wearing a big number 3 on his t-shirt.
    • After defeating the fourth evil ex, Roxy Richter, and worrying that he himself is "just another evil ex waiting to happen", Scott is seen wearing a t-shirt that says says "4 1/2" in the style of the Fantastic Four logo.
  • In Son o' God comics, Jesus wears spandex with a cape and a "JC" on his chest.
  • In Superman Smashes the Klan, this is invoked by Martha Kent. When Clark first decides to go out and use his powers in costume to help others, she sows the House of El's crest onto the front of his uniform. Although he's concerned that people will recognize the strange shield on his chest as something alien, she points out that it looks like an "S" and tells him to let the people think of it as such.

    Fan Works 
  • In Amazing Fantasy, the Prowler possesses the kanji for "danger" and "risk" emblazoned along the back of her Badass Longcoat as a sign of both her Thrill Seeker tendencies and how dangerous she is.
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series:
    • Holographic Retro has an "H" on his forehead.
    • Also, the Lightning Man has a giant "L" on his shirt.
  • Devil's Diary: How does Magneto know it was Xavier who sent five mutants against him? Well, since their uniforms are emblazoned with his initial...
    Does he think that he can send this force against me, and expect me not to know it is HIM?
    When he plasters his initial across their belt buckles in that black-and-yellow soldier's uniform, does he think I am stupid enough not to know his hand is in it, up to the shoulder?
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, everybody knows what "S" stands for Superman and Supergirl's chest emblems. When the Source wants to warn the New Gods that they'll need to recruit both cousins in order to triumph over Darkseid, it merely draws two twin "S" letters on the air. Izaya gets the message right away.
  • Reinforced in Kara of Rokyn. Kara wears the S-shield on her wrestling robe even after stopping being Supergirl (and in Pre-Crisis continuity, which this story is set in, it's not her family crest).
    Supergirl entered the wrestling ring in sandals and a robe of gold. The robe bore her proud "S" shield in red on the back.
  • The titular character in Kamen Rider Xtreme. There are Xs incorporated into Xtreme's design, his weapons, and even his bike.
  • Last Child of Krypton: On the chest of Shinji’s Superman costume is an “S” emblem. It is one of the first things Touji notices about him when Shinji saves him and his sister.
    Those hands belonged to a boy, a boy his own age in red and blue. The sun was behind him so that he shone, and his face was in shadow. On his chest was an emblem, like an English S, angular and stylized in a diamond-shaped red field on the expanse of his blue chest.
  • In The Last Daughter, Taylor incorporates the S-symbol into her suit after learning about her true origins.
  • In The MUSHU-Verse, SheZow's suit has a "S" Chest Insignia.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku's costume proudly bears the House of El's crest on his chest. He initially panics when asked about it, but he quickly calls himself an idiot when he realizes that everyone else simply sees it as an "S". He tries to explain that it means "hope", but it still gets dismissed as a stylized "S" by his peers.
    Itsuka: What’s it stand for, anyway? "Sensational"? "Spectacular"? Or maybe-
    Izuku: I-It actually doesn’t stand for anything because it’s not an "S". My dad… and I, we came up with, um, a secret language when I was a kid! Yeah, and this symbol means ‘Hope’ in that language. That we made up together. When I was a kid.
    Itsuka: It looks like an "S", though. That’s a sweet story and all, but I’m just saying that it does look like an "S".
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: When Asuka ditches her Power Girl identity and becomes Supergirl she makes a new costume with an “S” emblazoned on her chest and another on her cape. It is one of the first things Shinji notices about her when he sees her in chapter 9:
    Her tight blue shirt made her not inconsiderable curves very apparent, and the yellow and red shield emblem with the "S" inside it on her chest only served to draw the eye to that area.

    Film — Animated 
  • "2" is for Eugene Beady in Barnyard.
  • "G" is for Grabowski in Cat City.
  • In Happy Heroes: The Stones, the helmet Little M. wears has an "M" on its display by default. This is in contrast with the Happy Heroes series, where it does not usually display anything unless he's experiencing an emotion.
  • The Incredibles:
    • "i" — distinctly lowercase with a prominent dot — is for Mr. Incredible, and later his whole family.
    • "EG" is for Elasti-Girl; she dropped this after the intro of the movie, for plot-explained reasons, though the family logo does incorporate a stylized oval shape reminiscent of her EG logo combined with the i.
    • "S" is for Syndrome. In Jack-Jack Attack, he claims that it stands for "Sitter" (as in babysitter) while pretending to be the replacement as Jack-Jack's babysitter for a sleep-deprived Kari.
  • "M" is for both Megamind and Metro Man. After Metro Man faked his death he chose to change his name to "Music Man" and pursue a career as a singer; he picked the name specifically so he could "keep the logo". Meanwhile, Titan, or "Tighten," wears a shirt with a flaming "T."
  • In the Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf movie I Love Wolffy, Pi Zong, the antagonist, has the Chinese character "皮" ("pi") in the middle of his superhero outfit.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Felix's cap has the letters "FF" on it.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • In Man of Steel, Lois asks Superman about it.
      Lois Lane: What's the "S" stand for?
      Superman: It's not an "S". On my world, it means "Hope".
      Lois Lane: Well, here [Earth], it's an "S".
    • The upper part of Wonder Woman's armor as established in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice resembles one (or two superimposed) "W".
    • In Justice League, Superman tells some children that his symbol is "not an 'S', it is a river. Like hope, it comes and goes, but is always there".
    • Aquaman's belt buckle is shaped like an "A" (for "Atlantis" originally, though it also applies to him by coincidence).
    • In Zack Snyder's Justice League, the chest part of Darkseid's armor in present day is shaped like a reversed omega ("Ω", the 24th letter of the Greek alphabet). He had a similar symbole as a scar all over his chest several thousands years before when he was known as Uxas.
  • In The Goonies, when Sloth rips off his outer shirt, he reveals a Superman shirt with a single big "S", apparently standing for "Sloth".
  • In Hydrozagadka As is wearing a costume with a huge "A" on his chest. No cape, though.
  • In Minnal Murali, the titular super hero uses the Malayalam character "മ", which is phonetically similar to the letter M in English.
  • Sharkboy and Lavagirl: While in the real world, Linus inexplicably wears a purple shirt with a big white L in the center. In the dream world as Minus, it naturally becomes a white minus sign (-).
  • "G" is for G-Girl, from My Super Ex-Girlfriend. G-Girl was notable for not having just one costume but (being a hip New Yorker) a whole closetful, each distinguished only by a "G" motif. Interestingly, she never explains what the G stands for.
  • "1" in an "engraved" style similar to that on the one dollar bill for U.S. Bill of The Specials.
  • In Superman films the Superman name always comes after the S-shield, requiring the "S" to have a different explanation. These follow what had recently been established in the comics: first as a family crest, then as a pictographic symbol from the Kryptonian alphabet meaning "hope". In the 1978 film they make it clear that the reason for the S symbol is that traditional Kryptonian garb always included a chest insignia with a family seal on it, and the seal of Jor-El's clan (a serpent coiled inside a shield) just happened to look kind of like what we think of as the letter S. Other Kryptonians wore different symbols on their formal council uniforms, representing their families.
  • Vigilante Diaries: As part of her Cold-Blooded Torture, Torture Technician Raven uses a blowtorch to burn a 'V' into the Vigilante's chest. He later paints a white 'V' on the front of his body armour.

  • In Harry Potter, Mrs. Weasley gave her sons knitted sweaters with letters on them one Christmas. P for Percy (or "Prefect" if you ask Fred or George), F for Fred and G for George. On the other hand...
    'You haven't got a letter on yours [Ron],' George observed. 'I suppose she thinks you don't forget your name. But we're not stupid — we know we're called Gred and Forge.'
    • And in the movie at least, Ron gets one with "R" on it.
  • Roys Bedoys: In “Roys Bedoys Saves the Day”, Roys wears a shirt like his normal one but with an “S” on the front when playing superhero.
  • The eponymous letter in The Scarlet Letter. It's a red 'A', which is supposed to stand for "adulteress", but since Hester, the woman sentenced to wear it, is so helpful to the people in her community, they start to believe it stands for nicer things, such as "admirable".
  • In Superhuman, the Flying Brick Titan has one of these.
  • In Super Powereds, Dean Blaine's old Powered Armor has the number 0 on the helmet's forehead, representing his codename Zero.
  • In Sword of Truth, the official sigil for the House of Rahl is just the letter R. You'd expect a family of Sorcerous Overlords who keep trying to take over the world to have something a bit snazzier, but, well...
  • in Tales of an Mazing Girl has 'M for Amazing. Cause She's Amazing.
  • In a subversion, while Zorro is occasionally depicted with a Z on his outfit, he usually just runs around cutting Z's into other people's clothes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Discussed in Barney Miller, as "W" is not for Wojciehowicz. The detectives get bullet-proof vests, but Wojo doesn't want to wear his. He says it makes him feel "like some sort of supercop — like I should have a big W across here." If he feels invincible, he might forget, he says, that others around him are not.
  • "CH" is for El Chapulín Colorado.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "?" is used by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors, possibly related to the fact that his signature contains a question mark (though "Who" is not actually his name, except in the noncanonical Peter Cushing films). According to the Twelfth Doctor, he still wears them — on his underpants.
    • In "The Happiness Patrol", Big Bad Helen A has large capital letter A’s on the sleeves of her outfit.
    • The Cybermen of "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel" and "The Next Doctor" feature a "C" on their chests, standing for Cybus Industries, the organization that created them. The Doctor lampshades this, saying "Lumic's turned them into a brand". The Cybermen that appear in "The Pandorica Opens" still use this design, despite being the original Mondas Cybermen, due to budget issues.
  • In the PBS children's series The Electric Company (1971), a recurring cartoon feature, "The Adventures of Letterman", had the eponymous hero sporting a different letter on his "varsity sweater" each episode; his power was the ability to change one object into another by replacing a letter in its spelling. When his arch-enemy, the Spellbinder, fired a dart at him, Letterman replaced the 'd' with a 't', turning it into a tart, which he then ate.
  • In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the new redesign of the Captain America costume for John Walker turns the star into an "A" for America.
  • "Z" is used for Zubat, in Kaiketsu Zubat.
  • From Kamen Rider:
    • "V3" is for Kamen Rider V3 (the 3 is tiny on his belt buckle, but it's there).
    • "X" is for Kamen Rider X.
    • "S" is for Kamen Rider Stronger, and "T" is for his sidekick Tackle.
    • "RX" is for Kamen Rider BLACK RX.
    • In a non-Latin example, Greek letters are used for the Riders (and Riotroopers) in Kamen Rider 555: Φ (Phi) for Faiz, Χ (Kai) for Kaixa, Δ (Delta) for Delta, and Ο (Omicron) for the Riotrooper Mooks. Spinoffs get more Riders with additional letters:
      • In movies, Ψ (Psi) is for Psyga, Ω (Omega) is for Orga, and M (Mu) is for Muez.
      • In concept art, α (lowercase Alpha) is for Neo-Alpa, π (lowercase Pi) is for Pyron (who also has his name written in Chinese as 白龍 - Pái Lóng, or "White Dragon", on his leg), and either Θ or θ (upper- or lowercase Theta) is for Seeda.
  • In Kamen Rider Den-O:
    • Kamen Rider Zeronos's belt resembles different letters in his various forms: "A" for Altair, "V" for Vega, and "Z" for Zero. The former two also have their Finishing Moves take the shapes of those letters.
    • Most of the series' Imagin have their names incorporated into their body design somewhere, though it's usually subtle enough that you have to specifically look for it. As an example, Momotaros' armor pads have zigzag and diamond patterns arranged so that they look like "Momo". Sieg has "Swan" instead, in reference to the fact that he's based on Swan Lake.
  • "G" is for the Affectionate Parody Kamen Rider G.
  • Kamen Rider Decade, celebrating the 10th year of the show's Heisei era, sports an "X" for 10.
  • "W" is for Kamen Rider W (pronounced and sometimes romanized as just "Double"). All the show's Riders fall under this trope, as the series has a Letter Motif and the Riders have their letters incorporated into their design. (The Monsters of the Week also have associated letters, but don't sport them on their monster forms.)
    • "X" is for Xtreme, W's Super Mode.
    • "A" is for Accel, W's ally. His own Super Mode involves "T" for Trial.
    • "S" is for Skull, though the "S" is on his forehead and usually hidden under his hat.
    • "E" is for Eternal, but it's not immediately obvious since the E is sideways and serves as three horns pointing up on his helmet.
    • The Transformation Trinkets also have this. W has a Double Driver that's W-shaped when activated. There's also a Lost Driver used by Skull, Eternal, and sometimes Double himself that's effectively half a Double Driver, and the W shape is cut in half to be an "L".
  • Kamen Rider OOO has three circular slots for coins on his belt, resembling "OOO".
  • Two minor Riders in Kamen Rider Gaim have kanji on their helmets: in the 15th anniversary movie, Kamen Rider Fifteen has 十五 for "fifteen" as a crest on his forehead. And in the epilogue episode, Kamen Rider Jam has his visor shaped like 邪, which is "ja" like in his name and means "evil".
  • The Riders of Kamen Rider Drive all sport an "R" logo that's also angular enough to resemble a "K", but it doesn't appear to stand for anything in-universe; their enemies are the ones who came up with calling them "Kamen Riders" after the fact and nothing else seems to fit. Drive's various forms also have their own letter insignia displayed on his belt: Speed, Wild, Technique, Dead Heat, Formula, Next, and SPecial (Types Tridoron and Miracle are exceptions, having a color-inverted version of the regular "K/R" logo instead).
  • Kamen Rider Build has an "S"-like logo that gets used as a Chest Insignia with later powerups, but as with Drive there's nothing obvious that it could stand for. It's possible that it's not actually supposed to be an "S", it just resembles one by coincidence.
  • Kamen Rider Zi-O has this as a design theme, since "zi" is a homophone for the word for "written character":
    • All the Riders literally have "Kamen Rider" written on their faces in katakana, sharing the inscription カメン ("Kamen") on their foreheads and other places on their armor, while their visors are the word ライダー ("Rider"). When taking on the powers of previous Riders, their visors change to the name of that Rider. Their boots are labeled キック ("Kick") and their equipment is marked with names and modes. The exception is Geiz, who has the same katakana "Kamen" logo but otherwise sports hiragana script everywhere else, like らいだー on his visor and きっく on his boots.
    • The Monsters of the Week are Evil Knockoffs of previous Riders, and they have the original Rider's name and the year of their creation printed in English on their bodies somewhere. Again, there's an exception with a different script, as Another Shinobi's labels are written in kanji.
    • Zi-O's future self, Ōma Zi-O, has the kanji for "king", 王, as the pattern on his faceplate. Regular Zi-O gets a movie-exclusive Super Mode with this kanji on the sides of the helmet as decoration.
    • A one-off gag in a web video imagines Tsukuyomi as a Kamen Rider. While we never see what her armor would look like, the Transformation Trinket indicates that she too would have writing on her visor, saying "TSUKU" in English. She becomes a Kamen Rider for real in the finale, but her visor is the same katakana as everyone else has.
    • Kamen Rider Quiz has "O" and "X" marks on his chest armor, "?" as a decoration on his helmet, the shape of his eyepieces, and adorning his Quiz Driver, and "!" when using his finisher.
  • In Kamen Rider Zero-One, Kamen Rider Zero-Two (Zero-One's Super Mode) has some armor plates around his neck that resemble a Scarf of Asskicking and are also shaped to look like "02".
  • Kamen Rider Revice:
    • Kamen Rider Revi has a subtle "5" worked into his chestplate, and it's on the soles of his boots; and Kamen Rider Vice has the same with "0". Together, they make a "50" to honor the franchise's 50th anniversary.
    • In the tie-in movie, the Igarashi siblings Fusion Dance into Kamen Rider Igarashi. This form has shoulderpads that make "50" and a chestplate shaped like the kanji "嵐" ("arashi", meaning "storm"). Together, "50嵐" makes the siblings' surname "Igarashi"/"fifty storms".
  • Non-superhero example: In Laverne & Shirley, "L" is for Laverne DeFazio. She has a cursive "L" on every blouse, shirt and sweater she owns. This was carried over to her military uniform in the Animated Adaptation. She even allowed Lenny to have one of her stylized "L"'s to replace the missing one on his jacket, making it say "Lone Wolf" rather than "One Wolf".
  • On the British science fiction comedy Red Dwarf, holograms, such as Rimmer, are told apart from living humans by the "H" on their foreheads. The "H" changes size, color, and font every other season.
  • Saturday Night Live:
  • Seiun Kamen Machineman has "M" for the titular character, in both his superhero form and his Cool Car-Cool Plane vehicle.
  • As with feature films, in Superman TV adaptations the S-shield always exists before anyone thinks to call him Superman (despite the "S" obviously standing for Superman in the earliest original comics), and the explanations tend to follow recent thinking in the comic books.
    • In The Adventures of Superman, an early flashback showed that the S-shield was in the rocket along with the impervious blankets Martha used to make Superman's suit, with the implication that it represented Clark's Krytonian family and heritage. (How she cut and sewed the suit, or attached the shield, if the blankets were impervious was not explained.)
    • Lois & Clark followed suit. In this series, the S-shield is only on Clark's outfit in the first place due to a last-minute thought that it "needed something", an applique of the shield was apparently tucked into the baby blanket they'd found him in, and she correctly assumed it was a family crest.
      Martha. Your folks'd be proud of you. We sure are.
      • In one scene where Martha is talking to Lois while strangers are in earshot and needs to refer to Superman, she draws an "S" on her chest with her finger.
      • When Lois gets super powers, she calls herself Ultra Woman, and her outfit (again designed by Martha) has UW on the shield-shaped cape clasps. More specifically, Lois's costume has two clasps: the right-hand one has "U" in the shield, and the left-hand one "W", so that someone facing her sees U-W.
    • Smallville: In the episode where Clark meets Virgil Swann and discovers his Kryptonian heritage, it's made clear the "S" is the Kryptonian symbol for "hope" (see Comic Books above). When Clark finally starts using the shield for a calling card (as The Blur) in later seasons, and in season 9 starts wearing a silver version on a black uniform, it therefore sort of counts as Brought To You By The Letter Hope.
    • Supergirl: In addition to Supergirl and Superman's traditional symbols, one time, Mr. Mxyzptlk pretended to be a superhero. He wore a replica of Superman's costume, with the "S" replaced with an "M".
  • From Super Sentai and Power Rangers:
    • The members of Goranger all wear belt buckles shaped like a "5" (as in "Go" for five), while each of their helmets are individually numbered from 1 through 5. They also have 5's on the outer sides of boots.
    • The four main members of J.A.K.Q. wear belt buckles shaped like a "J", as well as individualized helmets and badges engraved with the first letter of their respective "rank" (Jack, Ace, King and Queen). Big One wears a belt buckle shaped like a "B1" and a helmet with a "1" engraved on it.
    • "BF" is for Battle Fever on the chest of the Battle Fever Robo. The individual members of the team have the first letters of their respective countries/codenames engraved on their belt buckles as well: Battle Japan, Miss America, Battle Kenya, Battle France and Battle Cossack (who represents the Soviet Union).
    • "D" is for Denziman, with the letters on the belts for "I [color]" (i.e. Denzi Red has "IR", Denzi Blue has "IB", ect.). The "I" is actually the left half of the letter "D" that forms the main emblem on their badges.
    • Sun Vulcan has a general "V" design that stands for "Vulcan". The Sand Vulcan jeep is also adorned with the letters "SV" as well.
    • The members of Goggle Five all wear a badge with a "V" symbol (a roman numeral five), as well as belt buckles with "GV" engraved.
    • "D" is for Dynaman on their badges, plus a roman numeral and "D[letter]" for Dyna[color] on their helmets.
    • "CM" is for Changeman on their belt buckles and gloves.
    • "FM" is for Flashman on their belt buckles.
    • Subverted by the "5" in Hikari Sentai Maskman, which doesn't stand for anything despite appearing prominently on the chest of each member (it was an artifact from when the show was going to be titled "The Fiveman").
    • "LM" is for Liveman on the waist of the Live Robo.
    • Another general costume design resembles "T" for Turboranger. We also have on their belt buckles: GT (for Grand Tourer) on Red, T (for Truck) on Black, J (for Jeep) on Blue, B (for Buggy) on Yellow and W (for Wagon) on Pink.
    • Another team with "V" costume designs can take it as the roman numeral for Fiveman.
      • For the individual Fivemen, 語 (language) is for the Japanese teacher FiveBlack, a combined +-×÷ symbol for the math teacher FivePink, and ♪ (the eighth note) for the music teacher FiveYellow.
    • "Z" is for Zyuranger; not on the Ranger suits but on the backside of the belt buckles (visible on the civilian outfits) and a couple places on the mecha (specifically on Dragon Caesar and combinations that include it). When it shows up in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (Season 1) on Dragon Caesar's counterpart the Dragonzord, it can be inferred to mean "Zordon".
      • With the exception of the Pteranodon/Pterodactyl, each of the Guardian Beasts/Dinozords bears a stylized initial: Tyrannosaurus has a yellow T on its chest, while the Saber-toothed Tiger wears a capital S and T on either side, the Mammoth does the same with M, and TRIceraToPs carries TRI and TP on the armor covering its treads.
    • "D" is for Dairanger. Its counterpart, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 2, dropped this but added a villainous version with "Z" for Zedd (as Lord Zedd had a staff with a Z on the end).
    • "N" is for Ninjaman (in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger) and Ninjor (in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 3). Oddly, when Ninjaman powers up into Samuraiman he changes his emblem, yet it still resembles an "N" instead of an "S". (Power Rangers doesn't have this problem because Ninjor keeps his name in both forms.)
    • King Ranger had 王, the kanji for "king", on the face of his helmet and on his staff. It provides a Bilingual Bonus in Power Rangers Zeo.
    • "C" is for Carranger. (Power Rangers Turbo ignores this completely and it's just a generic logo.) Also (in both shows), "S" is for Signalman and Blue Senturion.
    • "M" is for Megaranger (again, just a generic logo in Power Rangers in Space). This also shows up on the mecha in non-logo forms, though the later ones' "MV" and "MW" (Mega Voyager and Mega Winger) do apply to Power Rangers as those names weren't changed. In addition, "N" is for Negiranger, but this also is ignored in the US as we call them The Psycho Rangers instead.
    • "H" is for Hurricaneger or, probably more accurately, Hayate Ninja Academy. (Once again, it doesn't stand for anything in Power Rangers Ninja Storm.)
    • "SPD" is for Special Police Dekaranger or Space Patrol Delta. They also have numbers on their chests, "1" to "5" for the main team and "100" and "VI" (6) for the extra members. One Shot Characters also show up with other numbers: "M" for 1000, which some also take in a roundabout way as 7 (M -> IVI -> VII); "X" for 10 (Dekaranger only); and 0 (SPD only - and appropriately enough for a wannabe). One temporary Ranger, DekaSwan/Cat Ranger, has no blatant number; but the design on her chest can be interpreted as "8", "白" (the kanji for "white" - which resembles 百, the kanji for "one hundred" minus one stroke, making her 99), or a heptagon representing seven.
      • Also in SPD, the Yellow Ranger has a necklace with "Z" for... Z (short for Elizabeth).
    • "M" is for Magiranger and Mystic Force. In the same series, "W" is for Wolzard and Knight Wolf and "S" is for MagiShine and Solaris Knight.
    • AkaRed is a Milestone Celebration character and the living embodiment of every Red Ranger in history, and when he appears his badge and belt buckle reflect the milestone being celebrated. He first appeared in GoGo Sentai Boukenger vs. Super Sentai, which commemorated Sentai's 30th anniversary; and his badge was engraved with the number "30" and his belt had "XXX". The badge was updated to "35" and the belt added a "V" over the Xes (for "XXXV") when AkaRed returned as a semi-recurring character in the 35th Super Sentai show Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. For his appearance in a 40th anniversary special in Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger, the badge became "40" and the belt is now a single X with a chevron next to it to look like "XL". For the record, he also has a prominent "V" on his helmet and the badge, but that reflects the franchise logo and doesn't stand for anything.
    • The main Go-Ongers and RPM Rangers also have numbers 1-5 on their chests. There's also a "G" for Go-Onger in various places (including on the chests of the Sixth Rangers in place of a number), but it's another that's stylized enough to serve as a generic logo in RPM.
    • The Shinkengers and Samurai Rangers wear the appropriate Japanese kanji (火 fire, 水 water, 木 wood/forest, 土 earth, 天 sky, and 光 light) on the visors of their helmets. The vest used in their Super Mode is based on 真 (truth).
    • "B" is for Basco in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger.
    • The Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger logo is a combination of the letter A for "Akibaranger" and the kanji 非, which means "non-" and is the first character in hikonin ("unofficial"), so it's sort of a bilingual example.
    • "GB" is for Go-Busters and Grid Battleforce, the latter being the organization backing the Rangers in Power Rangers Beast Morphers.
    • "TQG" is for ToQger. They're also another team with individual numbers 1-6 (7 appears in the V-Cinema, they get weakened at one point to 0 and -100, and another 0 appears in a stage show), this time on their chests and helmets.
    • At first glance, the Shuriken Sentai Ninninger logo is a shuriken with lines representing wind around it. But the wind lines make it resemble 忍; meaning "shinobi" or "nin". Power Rangers Ninja Steel, yet again, considers it nothing more than a shuriken.
    • In Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger:
      • The Lupinrangers have a "V" insignia and the Patrangers have an "S". It's not revealed what they stand for, if anything, though out-of-universe "VS" represents the two rival teams being versus one another.
      • "X" is for Patren X and Lupin X, which are both names for the Sixth Ranger depending on which team he allies with. He has the X motif since "X" is used in Versus Titles the same way that "VS" is.
    • Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger is a Milestone Celebration celebrating the 45th Sentai season, and the characters have similar markings as the above-mentioned AkaRed. The Zenkaigers each have a crest with a different number on their forehead, with the number representing the previous Sentai season that the character is themed after and borrowing powers from (for example; Zenkaizer, representing Zenkaiger itself, wears a 45). They also have "V" belt buckles and Zenkaizer has additional Vs on his suit (in places like glove and boot cuffs), but as with AkaRed it's the franchise logo and doesn't stand for anything.
      • Late in the series, Zenkaizer gets a Super Mode based on Zyuranger's Dragon Caesar and is decorated with Zs just like the original; and in this case "Z" works equally well for both "Zyuranger" and "Zenkaiger".
    • The High School Heroes Each of the rangers have a large, stylized letter covering their visor that is the first letter of each of their names.
  • Betty Suarez of Ugly Betty wears an identical "B" necklace.
  • "V" is for Ultraman Victory, "X" is for Ultraman X and "Z" is for Ultraman Z. X can also equip armors that have additional initials on their gauntlets (for instance, the Gomora Armor has Gs).
  • "V" is for Major Victory, a season 1 contestant on Who Wants to Be a Superhero?

  • "JB" is for The Jonas Brothers.
  • Parodied in Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" when Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson quips to Lois Lane, "You need a man who's got finesse / and his whole name across his chest."

    Professional Wrestling 
  • "H" is for Hurricane, former resident superhero of the WWE. "R" is for Rosey, his boy (well, 300-pound Samoan who acts like a boy) sidekick.
    • "R" may have been Rosey's insignia once he graduated from sidekickery, but first he was a "Super Hero In Training" (S.H.I.T.).
    • Rosey's real-life brother, Roman Reigns, later took to wearing a mirrored "R" emblem on his vest, evoking his "superman" status on the roster. Reigns' former partners in The Shield also adopted emblems of their initials: Seth Rollins on his belt buckle, and Dean Ambrose on his entrance gear.
  • Scott Steiner used the Superman S — actually the full Superman logo, until the expected legal action forced a change to an S in an ellipse. Chris Hero parodied this by wearing the same logo with the "S" crossed out.
  • In another non-superheroic example, during his WWE tenure, the number "13" was for Tazz. According to Tazz, the "13" represented the bad luck his opponents must have had to have drawn him as their opponent for the evening.
  • Some of Kurt Angle's singlets featured an "A" inside a Superman-esque shield, obviously standing for Angle. In his typical smartass fashion, The Rock came up with his own vulgar ideas of what the "A" stood for.
  • T on the forehead of CMLL's Talismán, naturally.
  • Sassy Stephie wears an "S" and a backwards "S" to make a valentine symbol on her chest.
  • AJ Styles (The Phenomenal One) has a wide assortment of gear with emblems of either "AJ" or "P1."
  • Ivelisse Vélez has a set of kick pads with "PR" on them.
  • Kevin Owens, to capitalize on the abbreviation for "knockout."

    Puppet Shows 
  • One of Jeff Dunham's dummies is Melvin the Superhero Guy. One of the jokes is that his costume has a "D" on it. Since it got it on eBay, it pretty much came with the suit. But Melvin claims it stands for his theme song, which is "Da-dada-dah!", but Walter claims it stands for "Duh-duh-dumbass!".
  • "G" is for Super Grover on Sesame Street.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Mutants & Masterminds:
    • In the Freedom City universe, "R" is for Johnny Rocket and "KR" is for Kid Robot. And "omega" is for, well, Omega.
    • In Halt Evil Doer!, "A" is for Athena.
  • The Ultra Marines logo in Warhammer 40,000 is a stylized U that looks more like an upside down Greek letter Omega.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: H is for Elemental Hero, but D is for Destiny Hero and N is for Neo-Spacian (although just to be confusing, one Elemental Hero works with all Neo-Spacians). Not to mention that each of the letters of the word 'Hero' has its own card. Since one of them gets any Elemental Hero from the deck to your hand, and another Special Summons an Elemental Hero from the Graveyard, this could be a literal case of Brought To You By The Letter S (or in this case, E/O).

  • In LEGO Space, "B" is for Blacktron (Future Generation) and "M" is for M-Tron.

    Video Games 
  • Klavier Gavin (Kyouya Garyuu in the Japanese version) in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney has a G pendant.
  • Armikrog: Tommynaut has a large "T" on his chest.
  • City of Heroes' ridiculously extensive costume creator gives you a choice of the entire uppercase Latin alphabet and figures 0–9. After six months of subscription, players get to access all letters of the Greek alphabet, uppercase and lowercase.
    • Although ironically for a superhero game, not many players follow this trope.
  • Dr. Neo Cortex of Crash Bandicoot has a giant N on his forehead. His niece Nina has a lowercase "n" on hers. It's evidently a tradition from the Academy of Evil they attended, as the headmistress Madam Amberly in Crash Twinsanity has a giant A on her head.
  • DK! Donkey Kong! On his tie, uniquely enough, but it's also his only piece of clothing.
  • Picky Minch from EarthBound (1994) wears an M on his shirt, for "Minch". His clay model artwork shows a P on the shirt instead, probably for "Picky".
  • Ash, Big Bad of Galerians: Ash, sports an "A" on his chest.
  • "K" is for Konami Man.
  • In Mega Man Zero, Copy-X wears a jacket that crosses over his chest like an X (as do his four Guardians) and Cyber-Elf X looks like a ball with a rainbow X around it, foreshadowing his identity. In Mega Man X 8, X's earpieces have X-shaped lights and his new basic form in Command Mission has a stylized white X on his chest.
    • Zero in the X series also has the letter "Z" on his left shoulder plate. Early concept art had 零 (rei, the kanji for "zero") instead of the "Z" that was used instead, originally intended to be a kanji variant.
    • While it isn't shown on his in-game sprite, Gravity Man from Mega Man 5 has a letter "G" on his belt.
    • In Mega Man X DiVE, X, Zero and Axl gain new variants with the DiVE Armors, which project holographic energy wings from their backs (X and Axl's are positioned to form the letters "X" and "A" respectively, while Zero projects two Z-shaped wings).
  • The Pokémon series has this for most of its villainous teams.
    • The big red R for Rocket of Team Rocket, who drive the conflict Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon Gold and Silver. In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, an interspacial alliance of villainous teams and their leaders is headed by Giovanni, who rebrands his organization Team Rainbow Rocket; the R logo is changed to a multi-coloured one in reflection of his allies.
    • Team Magma and Team Aqua in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire started the trend of the emblem being less "obvious letter" and more "symbol of something the team fights for that happens to look like a letter". The logo of Team Magma, who seek land expansion through an Olympus Mon in a volcano, is an 'M' with a volcanic peak; Team Aqua, who are after ocean expansion, have a skull-and-bones-esque 'A'.
    • Team Galactic, of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, seek to remake the world with the gods of time and space; they get a 'G' with points vaguely reminiscent of a spiral galaxy.
    • Team Plasma, of Pokémon Black and White, paint themselves as knights of Pokémon salvation, and their logo is a 'P' upon a shield (over what might be an 'S' or a 'Z'). In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, they've rebranded themselves as pirates... but their logo hasn't changed.
    • Team Flare, of Pokémon X and Y, are all about their self-proclaimed style (that everyone In-Universe mocks). They get a flame that looks vaguely like an 'F' if you squint.
    • Team Skull, of Pokémon Sun and Moon, are really treated less as villains and more as hoodlums. Their (attempted) tough guy image is accentuated with a skull whose eye sockets are traced by an 'S'. The Aether Foundation, with whose president their boss is allied, is also a behind-the-scenes villainous organization, but their logo averts this so as to not give it away before The Reveal.
    • Team Yell, of Pokémon Sword and Shield, are Gym Challenge Hooligans cheering for the challenger Marnie. Marnie specializes in Dark-type Pokémon (which has claim to most of the unpleasant-looking Pokémon in the series), and so their logo is a 'Y' that looks like a claw. It also happens to be a rotation of the Spikemuth Stadium emblem; the Team Yell Grunts are in fact Gym Trainers from Spikemuth, which has fallen into disrepair due to a combination of bad luck for and self-deprecation by Gym Leader Piers, Marnie's brother. Also featured in Sword and Shield is Macro Cosmos, whose chairman Rose is a Well-Intentioned Extremist responsible for the climactic battle with Eternatus, a legendary Pokémon that arrived in Galar on a meteor; their logo is a 'C' with patterns resembling an orbital diagram.
    • Team Star, of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, are a group of Delinquents who cut class, harass other students of the academy into joining, and race around on ostentatious "Starmobiles". Their logo is a star but with a thunderbolt-like 'S' cut out of it, removing most of the inner pentagon of the star and the base of the lower-right point.
  • Pokémon Legends: Arceus introduces a pair of examples from Pokémon and not humans. Hisuian Qwilfish and it's evolution Overqwil, which respectively have a lowercase "q" and a capital "Q" on their tails.
  • The player character of Punch-Out!! spinoff Arm Wrestling has a V on his shirt; since he's nameless outside the initials you give him, it's unknown what it might stand for.
  • In Space Channel 5 Part 2, "P" stands for Purge.
  • Akuma from Street Fighter has a winpose where the kanji for "heavenly sky" shines on his back, usually done after defeating an opponent with his Raging Demon super. It's pronounced "ten", by the way.
  • Super Mario Bros.; "M" is for Mario, "L" is for Luigi, "W" is for Wario, and logically enough, "Γ" (capital Gamma) is for Waluigi. All these symbols appear on characters' hats, rather than on their chests.
  • Marisa Kirisame's design in the 12th Touhou Project game, Touhou Seirensen ~ Undefined Fantastic Object, gives her an apron with a large "M" on it.
    • Hina Kagiyama, a curse/misfortune goddess, has a stylized kanji 厄 (yaku) on her dress, meaning "misfortune".
  • Twilight Heroes features the "letter shirt" for its superheroes, which can be customized to show any capitalized letter in the English alphabet.

    Web Animation 
  • A few of examples in Animated Inanimate Battle. For one, Orange Food Dye and Yellow Food Dye have a "O" and "Y" on their logo respectively. Tivo also has a "T" below his screen.
  • In the episode "Fruit-vengers" from The Annoying Orange:
    • "O" is for Orange.
    • "M" is for Midget Apple.
    • "G" is for Grapefruit.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Knobs has 'U.S.S.' written on him. It’s... not clear what that means.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • "M" is for Strong Mad.
    • Coach Z wears a medallion with a stylized letter "Z" on it.
    • "TH" is for Bubs' alter ego, the Thnikkaman.
    • Homsar wears a shirt bearing his name. In his Slash costume in "3 Times Halloween Funjob", it said "Slash" instead.
  • X-Ray & Vav: X-Ray has an "X" made of green lightning bolts and Vav has a "V" with a hat and colored to resemble the British Flag. Before getting their spandex costumes, they just taped a piece of paper with the insignia printed on it to their shirt.

  • In the superhero arc of Arthur, King of Time and Space, Arthur Pendragon's identity as Kingman has a "K" on his chest.
  • Many of the companies in Consolers wear shirts featuring the first letter of their company name/logo, such as "N" for Nintendo, "S" for Sega, and "S-E" for Square Enix.
  • Mister Mighty, of Everyday Heroes, of course wears a gold "M" in an oval.
    • His teammate, Dot Dash, wears a dot-and-dash on her chest; Morse code for the letter "A". This is one of the most convoluted Punny Name references ever: The dot is for her first name Dorothea, the dash is for her super-speed, the "A" is for her maiden name of Axel, and Morse code for her married name of Morse.
  • Superheroes Valiant and Huge of Heroine Chic both have Chest Insignias featuring stylized letters. Valiant's is a "V" and Huge's is... the letter "Y." Because according to Huge, the name is pronounced "yuuuuuuuuge."
  • Homestuck: When Kanaya imagines a troll version of Rose, she wears a dress with her initials, RL.
    • The actual trolls themselves are this as well, in a strange and roundabout way. The symbols the trolls wear on their shirts are twelve out of thousands which just so happen to coincide with our own zodiac symbols. Each colour acknowledged by the hemospectrum has a library of hundreds of symbols associated with it; every troll is assigned one after they pupate, and they must wear it somewhere upon their person their entire lives. This symbol acts as a single-character signature for them and they may, in fact, sign documents with it.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, after Bob very briefly becomes a Super Hero and then loses his powers, he says his one real regret is that he used a permanent laundry marker to make the "B" logo on his shirt.
  • MoringMark - TOH Comics: Boscha Jr wears a shirt with the letter "B" on it as part of her causal outfit. Ironically, she's never actually addressed by name and usually goes by the nickname "Jay" instead.
  • When Redd's titular character gets her own official outfit, the chest features a big 'VR' (for 'Vicky Redd').
  • unOrdinary: While Remi was spending nights as the superhero X-Rei she wore a hoodie with a large black X marked across the front in tape.
  • Evan from The Wotch always wears a shirt with a capital "E" on it. Lilly wears a dress with a lil' 'e' on it instead.

    Web Original 
  • Justice Squad: Being a semi-satire of superheroes, it's quite prevalent on the team members.
  • 'C' is for C the speed-of-light-octogenarian in Legion of Nothing.
  • In Neopets, most Aishas have collars with the letter 'A' on them. The Darigan-colored one has a 'D' instead, and the Snot-'colored' one has an 'S'.
  • The Rybka Twins, Sam and Teagan, can often be seen wearing necklaces with the letters "S" and "T" respectively.
  • 'P' for Phase, in "Boston Brawl II" of the Whateley Universe. Since Phase is a density changer like the Vision, the 'P' starts out dense at the top and fades away at the bottom. Phase hates it.
  • 'S' for Simon Lane of the Yogscast in real life: He once wore a distinctive blue Superman hoody. For a time in 2011, Simon's character Honeydew in the Yogscast Minecraft Series had a metallic S symbol over his chest, which Simon claimed was for Simon AND Superman.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Anne Boleyn famously had a necklace with the letter B. Also one with an AB monogram. And her daughter Elizabeth is portrayed wearing an A pendant that she must have inherited from her mother.
  • Many sports teams use this, particularly Major League Baseball. As of the 2023 season, only 2 teams do not have letters on their home or away caps, those being the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles.note  The Orioles use letters on caps they wear with their alternate jerseys, while the Blue Jays did formerly use letters on their caps at one point in their history.
    • The Minnesota Twins sport "TC" on their caps, standing for "Twin Cities."
    • In sports with team captains, these will frequently be designated by a stylized letter C on the upper left or right of the front of the jersey. Alternate captains (typically used in ice hockey) will have an A.
  • In Denmark, each political party has a corresponding letter, used during the election, e.g. V for Liberals ("Venstre"), A for Social Democrats, F for Socialists…
  • Rwanda's flag from 1959 to 1968, was a vertical red, yellow and green line (the Pan-Africanist colors), but changed in 1968 since it was identical to the flag of Ghana. How did they change it? By adding a giant R in the middle, of course. After the Rwandan genocide, the flag was changed again to the current one in 2001.
  • The Eastern Roman Empire. Its flag, according to late medieval chronicles, armorials and maps was golden cross on a red field, with a golden letter B (beta) in each quarter, standing for Βασιλεὺς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλεύουσιν ("Ruler of Rulers, Reigning over Rulers"). The Serbian empire later adopted the flag with a modification (replacing the Greek B's with Cyrillic C's).
  • Rutgers University sells all sorts of merchandise with the letter "R" on them. So, Rutgers students can also get one step ahead of others in making Team Rocket cosplay.


Video Example(s):


Super Martin

Martin wakes up as a muscular caped superhero with the powers of flight and super-strength and his initial on the front of his red, yellow, and blue costume.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SupermanSubstitute

Media sources: