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Calling Parents by Their Name

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Marge: Marjorie... [Lisa] called me Marjorie...
Homer: So? Bart calls me Homer.
Marge: You know that's out of disrespect.
Homer: Disrespect? Is that a word?
Marge: Yes!
Homer: And there's this guy at work that calls me "Hoss". What's that all about?
The Simpsons, "How Lisa Got Her Marge Back"

Children, no matter their age, usually refer to their parents as "mom/mum and dad", "mommy/mummy and daddy", "mother and father", or the like. When they are on a First-Name Basis it usually means something significant about their family. It could be that mom and dad are Hippie Parents or Open Minded Parents. It could be that the child is bratty and rebellious. Maybe the parent in question didn't meet their child until adulthood or weren't the primary caregiver, or maybe their relationship just isn't very good. It could even be merely a case of You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious. This is a common way to tell a biological parent You're Not My Father.


Step-parents, and sometimes adopted parents, are usually (but not always) exempt from the "Don't call your parents by their name" rule, especially if they're relatively new.

Compare First-Name Basis and Parental Title Characterization. See New Parent Nomenclature Problem for the problem of what to call a step-parent or parental substitute.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Satsuki from Kill la Kill refers to her mother by her name, several times even on a Full-Name Basis. Her mother is physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive, along with being the Big Bad of the series. They have no familial bond and Satsuki literally backstabs her.
  • Rin from Bunny Drop has a parental figure in Daikichi however calls him by his name. She doesn't see him as a father, and in the manga at least this foreshadows how she eventually falls for Daikichi as a teen. Rin refers to her biological father as "Grandpa" because he was a senior, even though he's her dad. This also foreshadows in the manga that Rin isn't biologically Daikichi's grandfather's child.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, after finally meeting him face to face, Gon takes to calling his father by his name Ging. While he has a great deal of respect for Ging, he simply doesn't see him as a father-figure. To be fair, Ging doesn't see himself as such either.
  • In Stellvia of the Universe, Shima Katase only ever refers to her mother as "Chi-chan", indicating that there may be quite a bit of intergenerational rivalry going on. While it's never elaborated upon (it's not even clear whether Chi-chan is Shima's birth mother, or her father remarried), Shima's mom is a textbook example of a self-made woman, and Shima strives to be even more so, going as far as to effectively run away from home to enroll in a space university without telling her.
  • Bleach: Uryuu left home before he was fifteen and refuses to call his father by his first name. Ryuuken had anger issues with his own father, Souken, whom he felt was a thief; he also hated being a Quincy and could not tolerate Uryuu learning how to be one from Souken. Although Souken tried to tell Uryuu that Ryuuken had reasons for being so angry, Uryuu refused to listen. Souken stole Quincy technology from the Vandenreich when exiled for future use opposing Yhwach. When Yhwach murders Uryuu's mother with magical silver, Ryuuken forever destroys his desire to be a Quincy by secretly autopsying his own wife to collect the silver and forge the only weapon capable of neutralising Yhwach. Uryuu learns the truth when Ryuuken gives him the arrow to help Ichigo defeat Yhwach. The epilogue reveals Uryuu has reconciled with Ryuuken and is now a doctor at his father's hospital.
  • In Matoi the Sacred Slayer, Matoi calls her father Shingo by his first name. She doesn't do it out of disrespect, but after living away from him for so long, she finds it hard to refer to him as her father.
  • The titular Fullmetal Alchemist only ever refers to his estranged father as "Hohenheim". Unlike his younger brother, who still calls him "Dad", Ed never forgave him for abandoning their family and leaving them alone to deal with the death of their mother. However, towards the end of the manga he finally calls him "Dad" after Hohenheim offers to give up his own life so Ed can bring back Al's body and soul (Ed refuses).
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Vivio does this for her adoptive parents, but it's less a lack of respect and more for the sake of convenience since she Has Two Mommies and has to specify which one she's referring to in a conversation. It's also downplayed since she uses "mama" as an honorific and will occasionally just call Nanoha "mama" (Fate is exclusively "Fate-mama"). There is a single time where she just refers to them by name, but it was due to her suffering from Cloning Blues and feeling unworthy of having parents.
    • Erio and Caro call Fate, who's technically their adoptive mothernote , and whom they otherwise treat as such, "Fate-san."
    • In ViVid Strike!, Rinne briefly refers to her adoptive parents as "Dan-san and Lori-san" in her thoughts as she's considering parting ways with them and returning to the orphanage. It isn't out of disrespect, but a belief that she doesn't deserve to be with them, after brutally beating up her bullies and thus damaging her family's reputation.
  • In Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea Sosuke addresses his mother as Lisa. (In the English Dub he calls her Mom instead.) This may be a reflection of Lisa as a free spirit or cool mom, as they seem to have a very strong bond.
  • In Father and Son, Shou refers to his father, Youichi, as "You-san" instead of "Dad" or "Daddy". Other characters are shocked to learn this, which results in one of Shou's classmates telling him to not do that and one of Youichi's students feeling bad for him.
  • Done in an interesting way for Chibiusa from Sailor Moon in regards to her future mother Usagi. She exclusively refers to her mother, Neo Queen Serenity, as mommy, but often refers to Usagi, Serenity's younger self, by her first name. Likely this is done since Usagi hasn't given birth to Chibiusa yet, the former is only about 14-15 when she first meets Chibiusa and as such it would probably be pretty strange to see a five year old girl calling her mommy, and finally the two often act more like squabbling sisters then mother and daughter. Although at the end of R Chibiusa does call Usagi mommy before she returns to the future.
  • Hori from Horimiya always refers to her father by name because she has absolutely zero respect for him.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Future Trunks called his father by his first name in the Cell Arc. This is due to them not having much of a strong relationship and Vegeta's lack of respect for him.
  • In Comic Girls, Kaos once refers to her father by his given name when talking to her editor, explaining that he gave her the idea that chopping wood is manly. It's unclear whether she makes a habit out of this, though.
  • Death Note: At the end of the series, Light addresses his late father by his full name while declaring that in a world so rotten, idealists like Soichiro who fight for justice and died trying to stop Kira will always be made out to be fools unless Light can continue to rule.
    Matsuda: What was it all for then? What about your dad? What the hell did he did for?!
    Light: My dad? You mean Soichiro Yagami? That's right, Matsuda! In this world, all those earnest people like him who fight for justice... they always lose! You want a world where people like that are made to be fools?!
  • Cana of Fairy Tail for the most part refers to Gildarts by his given name, even though she spent a lot of the early part of the story trying to work up the courage to tell him that he was her father. Given her personality and the fact that once he learns the truth Gildarts turns into an Amazingly Embarrassing Parent who is constantly doting on her, it's not that surprising. During the Alvarez Empire arc, however, she does call him "Dad" when they're fighting together against August, and he seems on the verge of being killed trying to protect her, showing that she truly loves him as much as he loves her.

  • The comedian Daniel Sloss includes a frequent joke in his stand-up routines that goes (roughly):
    "One of my parents was devastated when I moved out. I'll let you guess - you have two options, obviously. There's my loving, devoted, wonderful mother, or... my stepdad. I'll give you a hint: he's not actually my stepdad. I just call him that to piss him off - "Call me Dad!" "Haha, fuck off, Martin!"

    Comic Books 
  • Family: Talia calls her father Gio by his first name as a sign of rebellion, despite his pleas for her to call him "dad". She finally does when Gio dies of a heart attack.
  • Deadpool has this with both of his daughters. Ellie used to refer to him as "dad" or "daddy", during volume 3, and early volume 4 of the series. Then issues 17, she starts calling him "Wade", saying that her therapist told her that she shouldn't consider him a father-figure. She does go back to calling him dad, given the recent chapter 32 of volume 4. But 2099 shows she eventually goes back to just referring to him by name, which he protests to no avail. She didn't meet Deadpool until she was around 8. Then even after that, she was Happily Adopted by a friend of Deadpool. Warda has deep issues with Wade, feeling that he favored and loved Ellie over her. She also hated inheriting his legacy which was the healing factor, with repulsive face scarring.
  • Soranik Natu refers to her father Sinestronote  in this manner, due to him being an Archnemesis Dad. She does sometimes refer to their relationship in conversations with others, but makes it clear she'd rather have nothing to do with him.
  • A storyline in Zits had Jeremy start calling his dad, Walt, by his first name; Walt was clearly bothered by this. He got Jeremy to stop by threatening to refer to him as his childhood nickname Mister Binky.
  • Robin Series: Tim usually calls his father dad when speaking to him but when talking about him to others it's more common for him to refer to him as Jack. It's likely due to the fact that his father wasn't around much when Tim was growing up and made no attempts to try and get to know his son until sometime after Tim turned sixteen.
  • In Thorgal, Thorgal and Aaricia's children Jolan and Louve both call their parents by their name. Only Louve occasionally calls Aaricia "mama". Oddly enough, no one ever comments on this.
  • In the Chick Tracts "Born Wild!", a little boy disrespectfully calls his mother "Connie". After meeting his grandpa and converting to Christanity, he proceeds to call her "mom".
  • Yoko Tsuno:
    • Khany finds out that her mom Synda survived and put herself in suspended animation. As a result Khany and Synda have the same biological age. Uncomfortable to be called "mother", Synda asks Khany to see her as her sister and call her by name.
    • Later, Yoko adopts a chinese orphan named Rosée du matin (Morning Dew) who keeps calling her "Yoko".

    Fan Works 
  • In Boys und Sensha-do!, Miho, after being disowned, once refers to her mother as Shiho when talking about her. It's unclear whether this is intended to be an intentional display of disrespect, since not only does Miho only do so once, but while Miho's relationship with her mother is fairly troubled, Miho is said to have long wanted her mother's approval.
  • To Hell and Back (Arrowverse): After Barry's presumed death, Iris and Joe became estranged; when Iris learned about Francine and Wally, she disowned him and moved to Keystone with them after high school. When the readers finally get a glimpse of their relationship in the present, Iris addresses him by his title, "Detective West". She only moves on to "Joe" after Barry returns to Central and convinces her to mend their relationship.
  • Jack O'Lantern: 14-year old Sarada calls her father "Sasuke" in an attempt at seeming more adult. At times she still lapses into "Papa".
  • RWBY: Scars: Yang's biological mother Raven abandoned her as a toddler. Yang didn't even know about her until her step-mother Summer died a few years afterwards. Yang usually refers to Raven by name. When using a title, she uses a cold "Mother".
  • In His History Revealed: A Dr. Robotnik Biography, Robotnik calls his emotionally abusive and neglectful father Harold by his name.
  • Invoked with Abusive Parent Scar in The Future Of Our Past. He refuses to let his daughter Zira call her "Dad".

    Films — Animation 
  • Subverted in Up, when Russell mentions being picked up from a soccer game by Phyllis. Carl tries to chew him out for calling his mother by her name. Russell states that Phyllis isn't his mother, at which point Carl decides to drop the subject.
  • In Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Mr. Peabody makes Sherman address him as "Mr. Peabody". It shows that he is somewhat emotionally distant, but only because he has difficulty expressing himself, as he genuinely likes to be called that.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Harry Stamper's daughter Grace in Armageddon refers to her dad as "Harry" as a mark of her disrespect towards him.
  • Inverted in Ben 10: Race Against Time. Ben's parents want him to refer to them by their names; however Ben uses "Mom" and "Dad" instead.
  • In Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Bill keeps accidentally calling his step mom Missy before correcting himself (though the first time she corrects him). In this case it's because Missy is only about three years older (she was a high school senior when Bill was a freshman), is his step-mother rather than his birth mother, and because he actually had the hots for her before she married his father.
  • Bird Box: The children call Malorie by her name, never mom, mama etc. She in turn simply calls them "boy" and "girl".
  • Christine: Christine calling her mother "Peg" instead of "Mom" is a sign of Christine's worsening depression.
  • In Curly Sue, she explains why she calls her father Bill: "Well...If I'm in a crowded place and I yell...'Dad!' 50 guys would turn around. If I yell 'Bill!' maybe two will turn around. It's a timesaver, really."
  • In the last two Die Hard movies, both Lucy in Live Free or Die Hard and John Jr. in A Good Day to Die Hard call their dad just "John". In both films it's clearly used to indicate the distant relationship they have with McClane, who's obviously better at saving the day than maintaining family relationships.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Ant-Man: Hope calls her father Hank throughout, stemming from her long-seated resentment toward him. She does, however, call him "Dad!" once after he gets shot, an event that happens after they've started working through what happened to Hope's mother (the cause of the rift between father and daughter), and in Ant-Man and the Wasp, she exclusively calls him "Dad."
    • After the events of Thor, Loki stops calling Odin his father and in the next three films (The Avengers,Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok) refers to him exclusively by name.
  • The Ring. Rachel Keller's son Aidan calls her Rachel. He's the product of a broken home (Rachel and her boyfriend broke up after having him), and things get stranger when he starts getting mental images from a ghost.
  • In Shadow of the Thin Man, little Nick Jr. calls his father "Nick". This is meant to show that Nick Charles is a "cool dad".
  • In The Spy Next Door, Bob notices that Farren calls Gillian by her first name instead of "mom". When he talks to Farren about this, she explains that it is because Gillian is not her birth mom, but her stepmom.
  • Tomorrow Is Forever: Elizabeth's sons call her "Liz", although it's friendly needling rather than a true lack of respect.
    Liz: Don't call me Liz!
  • Love Story: Jenny calls her father Phil, likely to emphasize what a close and loving relationship they have as opposed to Oliver's incredibly tense relationship with his father.

  • With each incarnation of Alvin and the Chipmunks, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore always refer to Dave by his name, though they much love and respect him as their father, and have even said a number of times that he's the best dad they could ever have. Maybe chipmunks just feel weird about calling a human "dad."
  • Lamb Chop's Play-Along: Lamb Chop, Hush Puppy, and Charlie Horse refer to Shari Lewis by her first name, while she refers to each of them as her kids.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are adopted by Splinter and consider him their father but refer to him as "Master Splinter" most of the time because he trains them to be ninja. Averted in some adaptations like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where they'll sometimes call him "dad" or "father". In the latter they almost always call him "dad", which signifies how they respect him less than usual (because he's both a Lazy Bum and an Overprotective Dad that refuses to really train them).

    Light Novel 
  • Bodacious Space Pirates: Main heroine Marika refers to her single mother as Ririka-san, without much explanation, only calling her proper variation of "mom" when announcing decision to pursue that sudden chance of being a space pirate that starts the main plot. To some other people The Ace-y Marika admits on-screen to have always been inspired by Ririka and avidly admiring her, all the while not excessively aware of Ririka's past career as a famed space pirate.
  • Strike the Blood has the Akatsuki sibling, protagonist Kojou and his younger sister Nagisa who refer to both their parents by their given names (with Akatsuki not bothering with honourifics, while Nagisa does). Nagisa doubles down by calling Kojou by his given name as well, rather than using one of the Japanese language's several terms for siblings. Kojou calling Nagisa by name doesn't count because that's normal.

  • In Blindsight Siri refers to his mother in the flashbacks as "Helen". In a large part because she ditched the real world for virtual reality. While he calls his father "Dad" sometimes and "Jim" other times.
  • Lily from The Secret Life of Bees refers to her abusive father as "T.Ray". The only time she doesn't is during the final chapter. He mistakes her for her deceased mother in a crazed state, tries to attack her, and Lily snaps him out of it by calling him "Daddy".
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout and her brother address their father as 'Atticus', to show that they have a fairly egalitarian relationship.
  • In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, during Lewis's Author Filibuster about how Eustace's upbringing made him an obnoxious brat, one of the points is that he calls his parents Harold and Alberta. Though that's likely not because he is a brat but because his parents told him to.
  • In the Ray Bradbury short story, "The Veldt", Peter and Wendy call their father by his first name when he turns off the nursery, signifying they contempt they feel for him.
  • In Warrior Cats, it's usually only young kits that might call their parent "Mama" or something to that effect. It's most common for characters to call their parents by their actual name, so it stands out and really emphasizes the family bond when they don't call them by their name. For instance, in Dawn, when a tree falls on Firestar, Squirrelpaw first cries his name, and then yowls "Father!".
  • In the Ink Heart trilogy by Cornelia Funke, protagonist Meggie calls her father "Mo", short for his actual name, Mortimer. They have a very good relationship, so it is likely he brought her up to call him that, or never bothered to get her to call him anything and she just picked up that he's "Mo" from her mother when she was little.
  • In the short story Meg and Dia wrote that was later adapted into their song "Monster", a boy with Abusive Parents is told to refer to his father and mother as "Sir" and "Hannah".
  • Kate's father in The Mysterious Benedict Society is revealed to be Milligan. Even after learning the fact, she still refers to him by his name.
  • In Bridge to Terabithia, Leslie calls her Hippie Parents by their first names, and it really bothers Jesse.
  • In The Migax Cycle, Leafsong and Moonwafer call their parents by their first names.
  • In Freak the Mighty, Freak always calls his mother "Gwen," or "the Fair Guinevere." This seems to be a common habit among children doomed to Death by Newbery Medal.
  • In the Maeve Binchy novel Evening Class, after discovering that her older sister is actually her mother, a girl continues to call her "Fran", presumably out of habit.
  • Bears in Seeker Bears usually refer to their mothers by their names past a certain age. Cubs switch between using "Mother" and their names depending on the context. Toklo calls his mother exclusively by his name after she abandons him as a cub. He goes back to using both "Mother" and her name after realizing she loved him after all.
  • Twilight: Bella is not very close to her father and always refers to him as "Charlie" when he's not around and when she's talking about him. When she speaks to him she tries to call him "Dad", but is very uncomfortable about it.
  • In P.S. Longer Letter Later, Tara calls her parents "Barb" and "Luke" (or, when she's mad at them, "Barbara" and "Lucas"). They were only seventeen when Tara was born and their youthfulness is highlighted by their informal relationship with her.
  • In the first book of The Lost Years of Merlin, although Branwen (a.k.a. Queen Elen of Fincayra) assures the amnesiac young Emrys that she's his mother, he doesn't believe her and only calls her "Branwen" – he feels sure that the many secrets she keeps from him include his real parentage. But as it turns out, she's telling the truth, and when Emrys learns this he breaks down in Tears of Remorse for having never called her "Mother."

    Live Action TV 
  • Subverted in The Brady Bunch episode "Our Son, the Man". As a high school freshman, Greg feels like an adult, and says good morning "Mike" and "Carol" to his parents at breakfast. Mike says that despite the fad, they are still to be addressed as "Mom" and "Dad".
  • In an episode of One Day at a Time where Ann's daughter Barbara is going to a local college, Ann surprises Barbara by signing up for the same class. When Barbara sees her, she calls her "Ann" instead of Mom and pretends they just know each other from school rather than let everyone else in class know that she's her mother. (It helps that, due to divorce, they have different last names.) Ann reluctantly goes along with it.
  • Stephanie on Full House befriends a girl who does this and generally acts unconventionally, which really irks her father.
    Danny: (the girl has just left saying she needs to help 'Sharon' with dinner) Sharon's her sister?
    Stephanie: Her mom.
    Danny: She calls her mother Sharon?
    Stephanie: (enthusiastically) Yeah, isn't that cool, Danny?
    Danny: (Death Glare)
    Stephanie:, Dad?
  • In the early seasons of Boy Meets World Topanga addresses her Hippie Parents by their first names. In later seasons they drop the hippie angle, and she simply refers to them as her mom and dad.
  • In one of the flashbacks in the Friends episode "The One With All The Thanksgivings", when Ross is back home from college and hears Rachel say she's tired of boys and wants to date men, he attempts to demonstrate his maturity by calling his parents Jack and Judy. The effect is spoiled by Monica's disbelieving "Call them Mom and Dad, you loser!"
  • In the episode "Papa's Got A Brand New Excuse" of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will calls his biological father Lou after he has a new excuse as to why he can't spend time with his son. The ending shows that Uncle Phil is probably the closest thing Will has to a father.
  • Meredith's awful son, Jake on The Office calls her "Meredith". Dwight says "that's so disrespectful", whereupon the boy embarrasses Dwight, by insulting him and calling him Mr. Poop, but Dwight humiliates Jake at the conclusion of the episode though.
  • In a Deleted Scene from Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray greets Marie by her name, much to her disdain; he tells her he's, "Just practicing," but she is not amused.
  • In the new version of Hawaii Five-0, Danno's daughter Grace address him by his nickname. He sees no problem with this since they do this a lot out of familial love.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures:
    • Inverted, where Sarah Jane tells her alien pretend adopted son Luke to call her Sarah Jane. When he does so, his friend Maria calls him on it and tells him to call her "Mum" instead, despite what she told him to do. Luke does, and she likes it.
    • Played straight with Sky, adopted in the last season. Despite being Happily Adopted, she never calls Sarah Jane "Mum." But then, Sky's also an alien and isn't quite used to Earth customs.
  • Saturday Night Live: Pat Riley refers to one of Pat's equally-ambiguous parents by first name, Frances (or Francis?). Justified in that since Pat's other parent Jean left the family for "that thing" Frances has had to act as both mother and father to Pat.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Dee and Dennis call Frank by his first name. Somewhat justified in that they only started after learning he's not their biological father.
  • Clarissa Explains It All: In one episode where Ferguson thinks he's a genius, he starts referring to his parents by name, Janet and Marshal. Janet is initially shocked, but Marshal quickly puts a stop to it.
    Marshal: I Dad, she Mom, you Ferguson.
  • Scott from the rebooted show Teen Wolf refers to his dad, Rafael, by his first name when he returns because he doesn't feel connected to him by anything other than blood. To the point where he also calls him a "gene donor". Ouch...
  • Dharma's parents from Dharma & Greg are classic Hippie Parents who raised her to call them by their first names, Larry and Abby.
  • In the first season of Finding Carter, Carter calls her birth mother Elizabeth to show that she still thinks of Lori, who abducted and raised her, as her mother.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Emma doesn't believe Mary Margaret and David are her parents for the entire first season, and it's not until the end of season 3 that she actually feels comfortable calling them Mom and Dad.
    • Henry initially calls his biological mother Emma by her first name (at Emma's request) since he didn't meet her until age 10. He then switches between "Emma" and "Mom" for a while before finally settling on "Mom." He also sometimes refers to his adopted mother as "Regina" when he's angry at her. By Season 4, he's happily calling them both "Mom."
  • In Coronation Street, David Platt refers to his mom by her name "Gail", a continuation from his teenage contempt towards her.
  • In the first season of Drake & Josh, Drake, Josh, and Megan had no problem calling their stepparents "Mom" and "Dad". But in later seasons, Drake and Megan usually refer to Walter by his first name. Walter sometimes asked when they started calling him "Walter".
  • In Kenan & Kel, Kenan starts to suspect he might be adopted and when he goes to find out, he says goodbye to "Roger" and "Sheryl". When Sheryl tells Kenan not to call them by their first names, Kenan responds with "Goodbye Mr. and Mrs. Rockmore."
  • Doctor Who: River Song always refers to her parents by their first names. Of course, since she met them years before she was born (in fact, she grew up with them) and couldn't hint at who she was for fear of damaging the timeline, this is understandable. She only calls them "Dad" and "Mother" once each; once when she is dying, and later when they are dying.
  • ER. When his estranged father resurfaces, Doug Ross continually calls him by his first name, "Ray", demonstrating their lack of a relationship and his lack of respect for him. The one time he calls him "Dad", it's in a very sarcastic manner that makes it clear that he's anything but that.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210. Brandon frequently referred to his parents as "Jim and Cindy", though never to their faces.
  • Schitt's Creek: Alexis Rose, when working on her father's motel's PR, calls him Johnny. He says he doesn't "love it" when she does that.
  • Supernatural: When Dean finds out that Mary is working with the Men of Letters who kidnapped and tortured Sam, he calls his mother "Mary" instead of "Mom" as he argues with her. For a person who has established over 12 seasons that family is the most important thing in life to him, the change speaks much louder than yelling ever could.
  • Scrubs: In one of his rants about his personal life, Dr. Perry Cox says that "I am in love with a woman that I hate and my two-year-old son calls me Pewwy".
  • In That '70s Show, the Foreman siblings refer to their parents by their names unless they're in front of them (or at least the parent they're talking about since they'll refer to Red by his name when talking to their mother).
  • Reba: Brock referred to his deceased Jerkass father as "John D.", his first name and middle initial.
  • Arrow: In Flash Forwards, William generally refers to his step-mother as "Felicity," even though he explicitly sees her as his mother. The fact that Blackstar also refers to her as "Felicity" is used to disguise the fact that she is actually Mia Smoak, Felicity's daughter and William's half-sister. After the reveal, they alternate between using "Felicity" and "mom," but when speaking to her they always use "mom."
  • The George Lopez Show: George does this with his father Manny. To be fair, the man abandoned George and his mother when George was just a child. George also does this to his mother Benny sometimes when she's at her worst.


  • In Bye Bye Birdie, Kim MacAfee calls her parents by their names, claiming it's the modern thing to do.
  • In State of the Union, Kay Thorndyke calls her dying father "Sam". Not that she doesn't care about him—she breaks down weeping after he kills himself. Calling him by his first name helps to emphasize the businesslike nature of their relationship; Mr. Thorndyke is a newspaper magnate and political kingmaker and Kay is his hard-as-nails heir.
  • Marie from Perfect Pie calls her father 'Erwin' to show how little she respects him due to his extreme Parental Neglect and enablement of her mother's physical abuse.

    Video Games 
  • In the Star Trek Online mission "Sphere of Influence" Captain Koren of the IKS Bortasqu' addresses her stepfather Worf by name rather than by calling him "Father". According to the game's Back Story Worf married her mother Grilka when Koren was about eleven.
  • Gerome in Fire Emblem Awakening has a tendency to do this, as he had preferred being a lone wolf and wanted to avoid too much contact with his parents, who died in his time.
    • In the scene in which Lucina reunites with her father in Chapter 12, shortly after her conversation with Chrom, her mother- The Female Avatar, Sumia, Maribelle, Sully or Olivia- will join her, initially not recognizing Lucina as her daughter. Lucina initially addresses Sumia and Sully by name (and uses "Milady" on the Female Avatar, Maribelle or Olivia), unsure of how they'd take being called "Mother," until her mother insists it's perfectly fine. After this point, Lucina exclusively uses "Mother" on her mother unless the Female Avatar is her mother, in which case, Lucina once says, "I am sorry, Avatar!" when threatening to kill her to save Chrom's life.
  • In Fire Emblem Fates, on the Birthright path, Corrin almost exclusively calls his/her father "King Garon" or just "Garon," since while Garon raised Corrin, Corrin realizes that Garon is responsible for many atrocities, from abducting Corrin as an infant to manipulating Corrin into inadvertently causing the death of his/her mother, Queen Mikoto, and has sworn to defeat Garon. Corrin even calls Garon "old man" after learning that Garon doesn't care about Elise and Xander's deaths.
  • In Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Sonya calls her father Jedah by his first name if she faces him in Act 4. This is understandable because Jedah offered the souls of her sisters to the Evil God Duma and Sonya resents him for this.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt:  Ciri always calls Geralt and Yennefer, her foster parents, by their names when speaking to them. Considering that Ciri had a tumultuous childhood with about a dozen parental figures, this is understandable. However, when speaking to others when they're not around, she always calls Geralt her father. In fact, she does it so much that the people of Velen seem to be under the impression that she is Geralt's biological daughter, even though this is impossible (witchers are sterile).
  • Fabulous: Angela's High School Reunion: Chloe does this to her mother, Janet Morgan, when confronting her about her real father, at the end of Level 44.
    Chloe: Who is my father, Janet? Tell me!
    Janet: "Janet"?! No, no, no! Chloe, this really isn't the right time to talk about this!
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Marin refers to her father, Tarin, by name.
  • Gladion from Pokémon Sun and Moon refers to his mother Lusamine by her name in order to emphasise his poor relationship with her.
  • In Persona 5, Futaba calls Sojiro, her adoptive father and a long-time friend of her mother's, by his given name. Late in Sojiro's Confidant, there is one exception- when some family court officials show up to investigate her living situation, she says how happy she is "living with (her) dad," although she tries to play it off when he later asks her about it.
  • Due to their rocky relationship, Rean from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel refers to his father as Giliath Osborne or just Chancellor Osborne without calling him father or dad. He finally calls him dad in their final conversation in Cold Steel IV as he finally understood why his father had to do the things he did throughout the series..

    Web Comics 
  • In Air Force Blues, during one conversation, Ken "Barbie" Dahl addresses his father as "Chief Dahl" before being told that "Dad is fine." Justified considering that they're both in the Air Force and have to keep things professional.
  • Erin of Dragon City initially referred to her mom as "Rachel", though she called Sam "Dad". Only after finally gaining some respect for her did she stop calling Rachel by name.
  • In Kevin & Kell, Lindesfarne starts calling her adoptive mother Angelique by name when temporarily staying with her, since Lindesfarne no longer considers Angelique her mother. Her feelings are justified, considering that Angelique never made any serious attempt to get close to Lindesfarne, and abandoned her and Kevin.
  • In Sandra and Woo, Larisa always address, and refers to, her parents by their names, Ivan and Jelena. It's just a small part of her Troubling Unchildlike Behavior.

    Web Original 
  • Furry Basketball Association: Rolf Korber, head coach of the Huntsville Mayors, made it seem like he wanted to pick his son Klaus Korber as a new player. However, he pulled a fast one on everyone, Klaus included, by making a more strategic pick. Not only didn't father and son talk for quite some time, but when Klaus's team, The Tallahassee Typhoons, defeated the Mayors, Klaus said he was very proud to have defeated "Mr. Korber's" team. This, more than losing to his son, apparently threw Rolf for a loop.
  • In the Game Grumps, Danny Sexbang has mentioned more than once that he calls his mother by her first name and his grandmother "Mom". The reason being was when he was a toddler first learning how to talk, he heard people around him calling his mom by her name and his mom calling his grandmother "Mom" so he assumed that's what he was supposed to call them.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • Bart frequently calls Homer by his given name, which shows how bratty and disrespectful he is towards him.
    • Parodied with Ned in "Bull-E".
      Tod: Uncle Homer's not nice to you.
      Rod: Your name's not "Stupid". It's "Ned".
      Ned: Woah, there, Roddy. Someone's getting a little too familiar.
      Rod: Sorry, Mr. Daddy.
    • As shown in the flashback episode "Lisa's First Word", both Bart and Lisa referred to Homer by his first name as infants, building up to the heartwarming final scene where Maggie calls him "Daddy", though out of earshot. However, unlike Bart, Lisa refers to him solely as "Dad" now.
    • In "How Lisa Got Her Marge Back", Marge is shocked when Lisa calls her "Marjorie" after a fight. Homer doesn't see what the big deal is since Bart always calls him by his first name, but Marge points out to him that it's only out of disrespect.
  • Family Guy:
    • The show has Stewie referring to his mother as "Lois". In earlier seasons this was a sign of his Enfante Terrible nature and disdain for his mother. Ironically, he hates Peter less, but calls him by the even more insulting "fat man". When his adult self does call them "mom and dad" he immediately and violently 'corrects' himself with "It's Lois and the fat man!"
    • In "Don't Make Me Over", it's a sign of her Acquired Situational Narcissism when Meg starts calling her mom "Lois"
  • Played with in The Powerpuff Girls. The girls almost always refer to Professor Utonium as "Professor" or "the Professor". However it's not a sign of any disrespect but more that they're not a "completely normal" family, as Professor is a scientist who accidentally created them in his lab. If anything their relationship is quite positive.
  • All throughout Hey Arnold!, Helga almost always refers to her parents by their first names — Bob and Miriam — as they often neglect her, and as such, she has little respect or emotional attachment to them; any instances where she does refer to them as "Dad" or "Mom' are incredibly rare. The times she does call her parents "Dad" or "Mom" are often times when her parents show care for her or show a skill, as a sign that she recognizes/respects it.
  • In Rocket Power, Otto and Reggie would occasionally call their dad by his name, Raymundo. This shows that he's a 'cool' laidback parent.
  • A new family who moves to town in King of the Hill features a girl with classic "cool parents" who want her to call them by their first names. Hank of course is appalled.
  • Carl from As Told by Ginger often refers to his mom Lois as "Lola" and more rarely just "Lois". Carl is eccentric and unusual but it's not meant to be disrespectful. He has a less than pleasant relationship with his absentee father and refers to him as his given name.
  • Adventure Time: When Finn first meets his Disappeared Dad, he calls him "Dad", but his father tells him to call him "Martin" instead, because he isn't comfortable being a father, right before he abandons him at the Citadel. The second time they meet, Finn calls him Martin most of the time, but uses "Dad" when he's saying something important or emotional.
  • Spike in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic always calls Twilight by her name, even though he acknowledges that he was raised by her and sees her as a parent in "Father Knows Beast".
  • Debbie does this in one episode of The Wild Thornberrys when she fills in for her mom to film their nature show. She starts acting like a Prima Donna Director and calls her father by his first name, something Nigel doesn't catch till later.
  • In Danny Phantom, the title hero always calls his parents by their first names when in superhero form (as to not reveal his identity). One episode had Danny secretly gushing over how cool it is to call his dad by his first name.
  • Zigzagged in BoJack Horseman. Hollyhock calls her biological father BoJack by his name after finding him. She explicitly states that she has no interest in forming a father-daughter bond with him and is only hanging around him so she can find her birth mother. This turn out to be a subversion, as it turns out that he is not her father but rather her much-older half-brother from when their father had an affair with his younger maid, and thus Hollyhock calling BoJack by his name is appropriate. However, when she actually does find her birth mother she refers to her as Henrietta while talking to BoJack, though more likely out of not knowing her well rather than not being interested in connecting, since she does mention that Henrietta seems nice.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Aspiring DJ Sour Cream has a somewhat strained relationship with his stepdad Yellowtail, who wants Sour Cream to follow in his footsteps and be a fisherman. Sour Cream even calls his dad by name a few times in "Drop Beat Dad", though after he helps salvage a rave that Sour Cream's biological father Marty bailed on, Sour Cream calls him "Yellowdad".
    • As time goes on, Steven starts to view his deceased mother more and more as a role he has has to fulfill. In "Steven vs. Amethyst", Steven refers to her as "Rose Quartz" instead of "Mom" as he usually does.
      Amethyst: I can't even be the one thing I'm supposed to be, you know?
      Steven: Of course I do. I'm...not Rose Quartz.
  • Rick and Morty: Morty always calls his grandfather, Rick, by his given name, mainly because Rick treats him more like a friend than a grandchild. Summer, Morty's sister, usually calls Rick "Grandpa" but will occasionally say his given name when angry or panicked.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: Keith calls his mother Krolia by her name due to not meeting her until he was eighteen. The first time he calls her "Mom" (at least on-screen) is when they're about to be parted again in "The Ruins". Naturally, it's quite a Tear Jerker.
  • Played straight in Winx Club when Bloom, after finding her biological parents, starts calling her adoptive parents by their first names, Mike and Vanessa.
  • In the OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes episode "Big Reveal", this is at first averted when K.O. learns the identity of his father, Laserblast (whom he believes to be dead), referring to him as "my daddy". Then he learns that Laserblast is actually still alive, and now living under the identity of Professor Venomous, a villain who's acted as K.O.'s enemy in prior episodes. After this, he still refers to him as "my dad" occasionally when speaking to others or in his own inner thoughts, but when directly addressing him, always continues to call him "Professor Venomous" or just "Professor", showing that, in spite of his efforts to form a relationship with him, K.O. is still very wary of and not completely comfortable around him.

    Real Life 
  • When children choose to estrange themselves from their parents, often because of abuse, they sometimes will refer to them by first name, rather than "Mom" or "Dad."
    • This is not necessarily the only reason children call parents by their first names. Some parents allow their children to call them by their first names, just because the children feel more comfortable with doing so, often with the point that "Parents call children by their first names, so why shouldn't we do the same to them?"
  • Frank Zappa raised his children (Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva) to address him and his wife by name rather than "Mom" or "Dad".
  • Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson said often that their father Joe forbade them from calling him "Dad".


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