Gabriel Gray: MY NAME IS SYLAR!
This person does not like his birth name; if you call him by it, he will either correct you or ignore you. This could be for a number of reasons. He might feel that you are assuming too much familiarity with him. He might find his real name embarrassing (though his alias is not always much better). He could want to reinvent himself. Or it might be that no one calls him by that name besides his parents. Extra points if even his parents use his nickname unless they're angry with him.
Unfortunately for him, it does not always stick; someone will always call him by his old name, much to his chagrin. This person is not only known by his nickname, despite his best efforts. The person who calls him by his real name might be trying to mock him or threaten him, or perhaps is unaware that he feels this way.
The name comes from the fact that the professional wrestlers Triple H (Paul Levesque) and The Big Show (Paul Wight) both have told fans who refer to them by their birth names that since all their friends and even their wives refer to them by their ring names, as far as they are concerned, those are their real names. This trope is hardly limited to people named Paul, however. Raven (Scott Levy) is well known for his insistence on being called Raven by everyone. As noted in one of his many shoot interviews, the only people who can call him Scotty are those who first knew him as Scotty the Body.
Also compare Embarrassing Nickname - someone dubbed him something insulting, and it stuck like a venereal disease. Named After Somebody Famous might invoke this response if there is a dissonance between the meaning/reputation of the name and the personality of the person in question (like a pacifist being named after a brutal conqueror). I Know Your True Name is like this but with magical ramifications though the effects can be equally powerful.
- Happens in Soul Eater when the Little Demon tried to call the title character by his given name, Soul Evans.
Soul: You know I don't go by that name anymore, Little Demon.
- The main character of Steins;Gate prefers Hououin Kyouma to Okabe Rintarou.
- In Princess Resurrection, the real name of Hime is Liliane, but she doesn't like to be called that. Two of her brothers, Emil and Severin, call her that, however. The latter did it under dramatic circumstances — a duel between him and Hime where we learn the background of the name:
Severin: Don't be so cold, Liliane! It's a good name. I gave you the name of the cat I used to own.
Hime (Liliane): The cat you were rough with and killed. Severin!
- Kato from Angel Sanctuary has a damn good reason to not be called by his first name Yue. The name was given to him by his abusive father and using it reminds him of the abuse.
- Annie from Cowboy Bebop; her full first name is Anastasia but she claims that only two people have the right to call her by that name — Spike, apparently, is not one of them, at least not since he "died".
- Misaki Yata in K - he thinks his Gender-Blender Name takes away from his tough-guy image. "Misaki" is written with kanji meaning "beautiful blossom", by the way. It's a Berserk Button that his Foe Yay former friend Saruhiko Fushimi loves to push to goad Misaki into a fight.
Saruhiko: Oh, what a dummy I am, I completely forgot, you hate being called by that name, don't you... Mi... sa...kiii?
- Mahou Sensei Negima!:
- Albireo Imma adopted the name "Ku:Nel Sanders" for the Mahora Budokai, and liked it so much that every appearance of his afterwards, he refused to reply to his real name. (In Japanese, "Ku-neru" is a combination verb for "eat" and "sleep," plus the added "Sanders" and every time his name is said in its entirety you see the KFC Guy...)
- Then there's Fate Averruncus, who apparently loathes his real name: "Tertium".
- Gai Daigoji Martian Successor Nadesico very much dislikes being addressed by his real name "Jiro Yamada" because he's thinks it's too boring.
Gai: Jiro Yamada is just the boring old name my mother gave me. Gai Daigoji is the name that belongs to my soul!!!
- Son Goku of Dragon Ball will always insist that his name is not Kakarot. While Kakarot is indeed his birth name, he was unaware of his Saiyan heritage until his mid 20s, so... He does eventually accept Vegeta calling him this, probably because he knows Vegeta is too stubborn to stop if asked. Indeed, Vegeta makes something of a point of always calling him "Kakarot", as he feels that Goku should be proud of his Saiyan heritage. If Vegeta refers to him by his Earth name, it's a sign that he's Not Himself. (This however only happens in dubs; he always calls him "Kakarotto" in Japanese.)
- The only canonical time when Goku denied his birth name was when he learned from his heritage from Raditz, his older brother he never heard about and he's absolutely terrified and disgusted by the viciousness of the Saiyan race he might have been belonging to. It's natural for Goku to reject his heritage at that point, since he didn't want anything to do with it. The non-canon movies, particularly movie 3 and movie 4 brought this up again, where Goku claimed to be an Earthling rather than a Saiyan and he kept telling Tullece that his name is Goku, not Kakarot.
- Dragon Ball Super: Broly marks the first time ever in the franchise Goku introduces himself as also Kakarot, Goku introduces himself to Broly once they start to form a friendship at the very end of the movie, this is such a big deal there's even a theme tune to put emphasis on Goku fully accepting his Saiyan name, as such name now carries the good legacy of his good Saiyan parents Bardock and Gine, not of a bloodthirsty race anymore. It's also a Mythology Gag to the non-canon Broly's tendency to only say "Kakarot" and nothing else.
- Yusaku Godai of Maison Ikkoku is only ever called by his first name by his parents and his grandmother in the original Japanese (some translations change this). The only time someone else used his first name, it was schoolgirl stalker, Ibuki Yagami (when he insisted she stop calling him Godai-sensei, since he wasn't her teacher any more, she says, "I understand, Yusaku-san.") Poor guy looked like it gave him hives.
- Played straight and inverted in Tekkaman Blade. At the beginning of the series, Blade claims to have forgotten his name, which leads to Noal nicknaming him D-Boy. About 20 episodes later, when the crew finds out his given name (Aiba Takaya), he insists that his name is D-boy (For about half an episode anyway before spilling the beans.) It becomes an inversion toward the end of the series when he "forgets that the Space Knights have nicknamed him "D-boy" and insists that they call him his given name". Played straight again when after defeating his brother, he sheds his birthname and nickname, claiming that he is Tekkaman Blade.
"D-boy and Aiba Takaya are dead. I am Tekkaman Blade!"
- Zera, the Litchi Hikari Club's self-proclaimed "Emperor of Ruin", becomes rather irate when addressed as Tsunegawa, his family name.
"Is my blood Tsunegawa? No. Is my flesh Tsunegawa? No. Tsunegawa is vague and intangible. According to the Hikari Club, I am designated as Zera."
- Yoshiko from Love Live! Sunshine insists on being called Yohane. As for why, well, she's the group's Chuunibyou.
- Papillion Mask from Busou Renkin proclaimed that the only person allowed to call him by his real name (Kousaku) is the protagonist Kazuki.
- Raizo Yamada in Valvrave the Liberator insists on being called "Sanda" ("Thunder"). Pretty much no one goes along with it, but he'll still "correct" people on it, at times like... in the middle of a mecha battle in space.
- Natsuno Yuuki from Shiki dislikes being called by his first name. He gives up trying to correct people after a certain point.
- Averted in Death Note where Villain Protagonist Light spends much of his time seeking the real names and faces of his enemies to be plugged into the titular Artifact of Death. Unfortunately for him, all of them seem to be Only Known by Their Nickname and never have this problem.
- SoltyRei: "My Name isn't "Dike" It's Solty Revant!
- Gou from Free! does not want people to be called by her first name (due to being a boy's name) and prefers to be called Kou, as it sounds more feminine. Apparently, she has taken this trope as her Catch-Phrase.
- Brynhildr in the Darkness: When Ryouta first meets Mako, the latter tells him not to call her by her codename "Valkyria".
- Angel Beats! has this as a Running Gag with Takeyama:
Takeyama: Call me Christ.
- Sapphire from Sound! Euphonium is embarrassed by her first name and insists on being referred to as "Midori" instead.
- In RDG: Red Data Girl, Miyuki actually hates his first name, which is why most people call him by his surname, Sagara. The exceptions are his father (the reason WHY Miyuki hates his name) and Izumiko, who didn't realize that he disliked it until he told her not to use it in front of other people. His friend Manatsu starts using an Affectionate Nickname, "Shinkou."
"It's not Gasco, it's Gascogne!"note
- Anime-Gataris: Once the Anime Club finds out Nakano's first name is Aurora, they refuse to call him anything else despite his demands to call him Kouji.
- Noragami: Mayu is repeatedly annoyed by the fact that Yato insists on referring to her as Tomone, the name he gave her when she served as his Regalia.
- Sword Art Online: Sugou Nobuyuki insists on being referred to as Oberon while in ALO. Kirito couldn't care less and continues to address him by his real-world name.
Sugou: I'd prefer you not use that name in this world. Call me His Highness, Fairy King Oberon!
- Rorschach from Watchmen, a.k.a. Walter Kovacs: "You keep calling me Walter. I don't like you." His therapist eventually starts writing "Rorschach" in his notes, a sign that his patient is getting to him.
- Archie Comics: "Jughead" Jones would prefer that you just call him "Jughead" and not "Forsythe".
- Inverted in Invincible, with Mark's friend William who doesn't want to be called by any nickname, but only by his full name, and has problems getting this done.
- Supergirl: In the beginning of Bizarrogirl, Kara doesn't want to go by her Kryptonian name, a reminder of her loss, and reiterates she is Linda Lang now.
Lana: Your choice, Kara, but you might ask yourself, what would your people want you want to do?
Linda: It's Linda.
- Kal-El would prefer Superman or Clark, thank you. Subverted in that his fellow superheroes often avoid calling him Clark, so may actually call him "Kal" to call him something like a normal name. Wonder Woman and Supergirl are more likely to do this.
- Last Son: Similarly, Clark and Lois Lane's adopted Kryptonian son, Chris Kent, tells his evil and abusive birth parents not to call him by his Kryptonian name, Lor-Zod.
- Inverted when Superman and Myxzptlk had a role reversal and Myx had to get Superman to say his name backwards. "Namrepus" didn't work but "Le-Lak" did.
- Incredible Hulk:
- Calling The Hulk "Bruce" is a good way to end up on the receiving end of the worst beat down of your life. Justified, though, as they really are separate personalities inhabiting the same body. And they do not like each other.
- Same goes for his Archfoe The Leader. He hates it when people refer to him by Samuel Sterns.
- Wanna piss of minor Spider-Man villain/Frightful Four member The Trapster? Just refer to his past as the laughably named "Paste-Pot Pete", and see what happens.
- The Fox McCloud of the Nintendo Power Star Fox comic does NOT like being called "Junior."
- Cassidy the vampire from Preacher really doesn't like his first name (Proinsias), and hasn't used it since 1916. He accidentally lets slip of it to Jesse, who ends up using it later to insult him after the two of them have a fall-out.
- Hilariously justified in Les Légendaires with Shaki; his real name, Little Cat Drinking his Bowl of Milk, is so ridiculous you can easily understand why he doesn't like it.
- Many Batman villains dislike being called by their real names, one example being Professor Crane in The Batman Adventures insisting his name is "Scarecrow".
- Envy Adams from Scott Pilgrim really hates being called Nat or Natalie.
- Garfield: Jon Arbuckle's brother hates being called "Doc Boy." Unfortunately, their Dad likes to call them and their mother "Jon Boy", "Mom Boy" and "Doc Boy".
- In Oh God Not Again!, only three people are allowed to call Tonks by her birth name Nymphadora. Two of them are Charlie and Cedric because she lost a bet to each of them (and doesn't make such bets anymore, no matter how often Harry asks). Remus can call her that as well, though the significance of it escapes him at first.
- Dr. Frank Brainstorm of Calvin and Hobbes: The Series really does not like people to refer to him by his first name. Unfortunately, most everyone does just that, and every time he shows up one can expect him to shout "IT'S DOCTOR BRAINSTORM!" at least twice. Like everything else in the fic, this is lampshaded:
Dr. Brainstorm: DOCTOR BRAINSTORM! WHY CAN'T YOU PEOPLE CALL ME THAT?
Calvin: Well, where's the humor in that?
- The possessed Ridiculously Human Robot Kiehl in Warriors of the World absolutely dislikes having people refer to him as Kiehl D-01. This is because he believes he's human enough to consider himself the son of his creator (the similarly-named Kiel Hyre) and so prefers to feel human. Unfortunately people tend to forget that, and Doppelganger doesn't help matters by maliciously misnaming the poor robot every time.
- Fanfic Author Meowth Rocket a.k.a. Meowth's Toon Dragon has this in a downplayed form. He's not that uneasy about people he knows and even strangers calling him by his real first name (at times)note But he's very secretive on what his last name is, not as much out of privacy but more out of embarrassment. People have asked him if the name in his email address is his full name and he's flat-out refused to answer, only telling his closest friends his full name. An old Fan Fiction Dot Net profile supposedly has his full name, but he's refused to tell if that's genuine or if it's an alias.
- Similar to the previous example, Fan Fic writer rcmero usually prefers to be known by his username, though he has provided his real name (well, the English version, anyway)note and usually is not upset about people using it (he himself has used it at the end of one of his videos). However, his actual real name has very rarely been released to the internet, and he absolutely refuses to use it. Not necessarily because he hates it, however, but because it would be hard for other people to say it due to him being foreign—can you pronounce a name with a tilde in it?
- In A Time for Changeling Mafalda Prewett greatly prefers her nickname, Jinx.
- In the Hunger Games fanfic Some Semblance of Meaning, after being traumatized by Vale's death and his own subsequent "victory", Obsidian lashes out at his caretakers who call him by his given name, instead telling them to call him Sid.
- In Resonance Days, witches are reborn with a new name and insist on being referred to by that name. Since they lose their memories upon becoming witches, the name is the alpha and omega of their identity, and being called by another name (even the name they held before their transformation) feels like a personal affront. This is of no small source of consternation for Kyouko, who finds Oktavia's refusal to answer to 'Sayaka' to be distressing.
- In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, ProtoMan hates being called by his birth name, Blues.
- Mirror's Image: Chrysalis gets angry when Princess Celestia calls her Starlight, her name when she was Celestia's pupil a thousand years ago, mainly because she believes Celestia abandoned her. It doesn't help that Celestia was Brainwashed and Crazy the last time she tried to contact her.
- In Blythe's Little Problem does Blythe Baxter turn into a cat and then gets adopted by her crush Josh Sharp, who names her Dina. After a while she starts asking her friends from the Littlest Pet Shop to start calling her by that name.
- In Symbiosis, Elle gets very upset when her grandmother calls her by her birth name Jessiebell, feeling that her grandmother has no regard for her change in identity after her childhood friend and fiancee James died.
- In The Hardships of Family Archibald Mimosa jinxes anyone who refuses to call him Archie.
- Luna from Friendship is Witchcraft is named "Princess Molestia" however while banished to space camp for one-thousand hours she decided "Luna" was her 'spirit name'.
- In Suzumiya Haruhi No Index, Vento of the Front adamantly demands to be called that instead of her real name, despite some of her friends commenting that her real name is pretty. The reader never sees her real name.
- In the Shadowchasers Series, Ace's real name is Alice, but she hates it, partly because she is a major tomboy and thinks Alice sounds like a sissy name. She also dislikes the Alice in Wonderland story. Only people really close to her get to call her Alice.
- In the Belle/Aurora Disney Princess fic To A Merry Christmas, Aurora reveals to Belle that she dislikes being called by that name after Belle finds her sitting by the library's fireplace one night drinking hard eggnog. She spent the first sixteen years of her life being called "Briar Rose", so her real name is foreign to her.
- Downplayed by Ty, full name Tyrus Boreale, in the RWBY fic So We're A Couple. In the flashback third chapter Ty insists on his nickname, because his parents conditioned him to equate his full name with incoming punishment.
Yang: "Royally, I imagine?"
- Whenever Harry in Scion of Sorcery referred to as "Harry Potter", he is quick to correct them, preferring the name "Harry Strange." He doesnt do this out of spite or anything, he just prefers to look forward and appreciate the parents that he has that aren't dead.
- The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Page Turner was given one name at birth (Lamella Armor the Tenth), and later given a new, pony-style name by Hush Tone. As far as she's concerned, she is Page Turner, and not Lamella.
- In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, a storyteller fom Hergen takes the thing about Irish Names Up to Eleven. Retelling ancient Hergenian myths to a rapt audience of children, she explains the one thing that could drive the great warrior hero CuChulain into a beserker rage: getting his name wrong. As he was Hergenian and was cursed with a hard-to-pronounce name, beserker rages happened a lot.
- In the Kim Possible fic Maternal Instinct, Shego hates her full name "Sheila Go Downe". Together it sounds embarrassing, plus she has a bad relationship with her family (and especially her parents).
- In Christopher Weston Chandler & Magi-chan's Stone, Chris identifies himself as Christian but is still legally named Christopher, meaning he has to tell everybody to call him Christian.
- In Break it down, Butterfly, Nino tries proposing the name "Madam Teacher" to Ms. Bustier, but she rejects it and insists on being called "Madam Buster."
- In White Devil of the Moon, Nanoha does not like it when she's called "Serenity". Despite being the reincarnation of Princess Serenity, the hard-working Nanoha completely hated her past self's slacking and lovelorn attitude once she learned of it. Mamoru calling her that on their disastrous only date only solidified how badly despised her past self.
- Fractures: Pink Diamond insists to Bismuth to call her Pink, reasoning that Rose Quartz died with her fellow Crystal Gems.
- Inverted in Karma In Retrograde. Touya hates being referred to by his future alias because it reminds him of all the terrible things he's done. He breaks down after Bakugou calls him Dabi one too many times when they were both reeling from Monoma losing control of Touya's Quirk and nearly killing them.
Touya: [to Bakugou] My name isnt Dabi! [digs his fingernails into his palms] Im not him! I dont want to be him! Im so fucking sick and tired of you calling me that. I know Im gonna go back to being that asshole, but Im not him now. Im not. I swear Im not like that. Im not him. Im not a villain. Im not-
- In re:Bound, Neopolitan hates being called that and insists on going by "Neo" instead.
- Inverted at first in The Very Secret Diary. Ginny doesn't dislike being called that, per se, but she wishes more people would call her "Virginia," as it's a little more elegant and sounds more grown-up, and is frustrated by her brother's comment that she has to "grow into" that name. Tom, however, obligingly calls her "Virginia." It's later played straight when Ginny finally catches on to what Tom really is. When he tries to sweet-talk her and call her "Virginia," she snaps, "My name is Ginny." The follow-up fic, Disenchanted, shows that her own name has been permanently poisoned in her ears as a result of Tom's abuse — when Dumbledore tries to address her as "Virginia," she makes it clear that it's "Ginny." Dumbledore quietly hopes she'll eventually heal enough to move past this someday.
- Despicable Me:
- "It's Vector. Victor was my nerd name."
- Also, Gru clearly hates his real name, Felonious. No one calls him that. Not even his daughters, his wife, or his mother (who calls him "Son").
- Buddy Pine/Syndrome from The Incredibles.
Syndrome: My name is not BUDDY! And it's not "IncrediBoy", either. That ship has sailed.
- Hal Stewart/Titan from Mega Mind
"It's TITAN, not Hal!"
- In The Wrestler, Randy "The Ram" Robinson gets rather upset when the name badge he's given at his day job has his given name, Robin, and not his ring name, which he usually uses.
- In Resident Evil: Extinction, a character is called "K-Mart" by the band of people who found her abandoned in a K-Mart because she does not like her given name.
- Agent Smith of The Matrix coolly tells our hero "Goodbye, Mr. Anderson" as he holds our hero in a headlock, in front of an arriving express train. As his ultimate gesture of rejecting his past as a slave, Thomas Anderson angrily growls "My name is Neo!!" and proceeds to kick the evil program's ass. Smith keeps calling him "Mr. Anderson" right up until the end. When he finally calls him "Neo", it's significant for several reasons and actually unnerves Smith himself.
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
- Indy hates being called "Junior" by his father. This is both because he hates the name and he doesn't want anyone to realize his birth name is actually Henry Jones Jr. It's not until the end that his father uses his preferred nickname to show that he's really serious.
Henry Jones, Sr.: We named the dog "Indiana."
Marcus Brody: May we go home, please?
Sallah: Dog? You are named after the dog?! (laughs)
Henry Jones, Jr.: I've got a lot of fond memories of that dog...
- The comments about a dog are a play on the fact that George Lucas named Indiana Jones for his dog, an Alaskan malamute that was also the inspiration of Chewbacca due to his size and the fact that he would sit upright in the passenger seat like a copilot.
- Though by the time of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, he's gotten used to being called Henry by his friends and peers.
- Indy hates being called "Junior" by his father. This is both because he hates the name and he doesn't want anyone to realize his birth name is actually Henry Jones Jr. It's not until the end that his father uses his preferred nickname to show that he's really serious.
- "Snake" Plissken in Escape from New York insists on being called "Snake". "Brain" also hates being called Harold, though Snake does it anyway.
- Hershe Las Palmas hates being called "Carjack" Malone in the sequel, Escape from L.A., and as before, Snake does it anyway.
- The Big Lebowski: "Look, let me explain something to you. I'm not Mr. Lebowski. You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. That or His Dudeness... Duder... or El Duderino, if, you know, you're not into the whole brevity thing."
- The Right Stuff.
Life Magazine publisher Henry Luce: Now, I want them all to meet my people who will write their true stories. Naturally these stories will appear in Life magazine under their own bylines: For example, "by Betty Grissom", or "by Virgil I. Grissom", or...
Gus Grissom: Gus!
Henry Luce: What was that?
Gus Grissom: Gus. Nobody calls me by... that other name.
Henry Luce: Gus? An astronaut named "Gus"? What's your middle name?
Gus Grissom: Ivan.
Henry Luce: Ivan... ahem... well. Maybe Gus isn't so bad. Might be something there... All right, all right. You can be Gus.
- In Mystery Men, Mr. Furious's name is Roy. He finally admits it to keep his new girlfriend from writing him off.
- In City of God, there is the Signature Scene when one of the main characters screams "The fuck I'm Dadinho! My fucking name is Zé Pequeno now!".
- The protagonist in Boogie Nights asks to be called his Stage Name, Dirk Diggler, off the set.
- Spoofed in You Don't Mess with the Zohan with The Phantom, born Fatush.
- In the fake rockumentary Hard Core Logo, the singer is Joe Dick (not Joe Mulgrew), the lead guitarist is Billy Tallent (not Bill Boise), and the drummer is Pipefitter (who may have forgotten his original name). The other member is John Oxenberger, who could never find a good nickname. In the credits, it is revealed that with his new band, John is known as "The Ox".
- Stripes: One of the soldiers introduces himself as nicknamed "Psycho". "If you call me Francis, I'll kill you." Sgt. Hulka responds by telling him to "Lighten up, Francis."
- Star Wars:
- Darth Vader initially plays this trope straight in Return of the Jedi. When Luke addresses him as "Anakin", he responds, "That name no longer has any meaning for me."
- Vader's grandson Kylo Ren has the same policy in The Force Awakens. Everyone calls him by that name until his father Han calls him by his real one, at which point he likewise disowns it. It's true that he would be a lot less imposing if he were still going by Ben Solo. But interestingly, he doesn't mind Rey addressing him by "Ben".
- X-Men Film Series:
- X-Men: The Last Stand: When an FBI investigator calls Mystique Raven Darkholme, she responds, "I don't answer to my slave name."
- X-Men: Days of Future Past: As Mystique is rescuing several of her fellow mutants (and former teammate Havok) in Saigon, Alex calls her Raven, and she declares "That's not my name."
- Deadpool (2016): Ajax's real name is Francis Freeman, but he clearly dislikes being called by that name, going out of his way to treat Wade more cruelly because the latter insists on calling him Francis instead of Ajax because of how much it pisses him off.
- One of the bullies in Hocus Pocus, Ice, hates being called "Ernie." This is presented as a fairly pathetic effort to seem cooler.
- In Bad Education (2004), Ignacio insists that Enrique call him "Ángel", his stage name. Although, Ignacio isn't his real name in the first place, since Ignacio is his dead brother's name.
- The Dark Knight Rises: Officer John Blake is encouraged to use his given name at the end of the film: Robin.
- Pacific Rim: Inverted with Newt: "Only my mother calls me 'Doctor.'"
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gaylord Focker in Meet the Parents prefers to be called Greg Focker. However, only his parents call him that. In fact, his father frequently shortens his name to "Gay".
- Karen from Jungle 2 Jungle. In a fit of rebelliousness, she tells her dad that her name isn't "Karen" anymore. It's "Oo-Koo-May," the tribal name Mimi-Siku gave her.
- The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: Transgender character Bernadette reacts violently when Adam (who she never got on well with anyway) refers to her by her (male) birth name.
- In Aliens, Newt refuses to be called by the name Rebecca Jordan because "only my brother calls me that."
- In Tower Heist, Slide's exact words are: "Call me Darnell one more time, I will beat you to death."
- Pretty much all the boys in Holes insist on being called by their nicknames, though Dr. Pendanski (who isn't really a doctor) always calls them by their given names. Except Zero, because nobody really likes him or knows his real name.
- An inversion in Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys: Fat Charlie wishes people would use his birth name.
- Harry Potter has a few examples:
- Tonks, first name Nymphadora. Her father calls her "Dora," as does her Love Interest, Remus, after they get together.
- Voldemort counts too. Dumbledore (and later Harry too) continues calling him by his real name of Tom Riddle to his face, though, as a refusal to fear him.
- Ginevra "Ginny" Weasley's full first name isn't even revealed in the books until Auntie Muriel is heard using it in the last booknote .
- In The Baby-Sitters Club, Stacey is not fond of being called Anastasia. Additionally, King, one of Logan's football teammates does NOT like it when people call him by his given name, Clarence.
- In Black Legion, both Khayon siblings have problems with this:
- Inverted by Sekhandur, who dislikes being called by the names of people he isn't, such as Zaraphiston (entirely different person, and a Seer at that) or Ygethmor (a title which belonged to several people).
- Played straight by Anamnesis, who refuses to acknowledge her birth name, Itzara, as she's now an amalgamation of several minds and feels little ties to her past life.
RuthNancy Blackett of Swallows and Amazons. She refuses to be called Ruth because she's an Amazon, and they're ruthless.
- Singe in the Dragon Below trilogy flinches and corrects them every time someone mentions his family name.
- Senna Wales in Everworld. Senna isn't her real name, though this isn't revealed to the reader until Inside the Illusion, the ninth book in the twelve-volume series. (Her real name is Senda, which means "Pathway." Her father mispronounced it when they first met, and it stuck.) During the "family reunion", Senna's mother calls her by her birth name, provoking Senna to politely correct her. Later in the conversation, she does it again, and Senna suddenly screams at her not to call her that.
- Agent Pendergast demands to be called by his last name only, or Special Agent, depending on the situation. His wife preferred her first.
Pendergast: I'd rather you didn't "sir" me, Jason. The name's Pendergast. And this is my wife, Helen. She prefers to be called by her first name, I by my last."
- Kit Kittredge from the American Girl series prefers to be called as such rather than by her birth name Margaret Mildred, as she finds the latter "flouncy" for a tomboy like her. She doesn't seem to mind her Aunt Millie addressing her by her real name, for some reason.
- In The Wheel of Time, all of the Forsaken got new names when they turned evil and generally get angry (sometimes threatening murder) when their birth name is used.
- Most notably Lanfear (born Mierin). Ishmael just gets a That Man Is Dead in the prologue of the first book when his birth name is used, and Asmodean voluntarily offers his birth name.
- In Rivers of London Tyburn insists on being called Lady Ty, leading to a minor CMOA when Peter Grant not only calls her Tyburn and uses a Precision F-Strike to do so, during a "World of Cardboard" Speech.
- Leslie Thomas' detective Dangerous Davies in The Last Detective. His actual first name is never revealed.
- Inverted in Dune. His name really is Paul, and he likes being called Paul, but all the Fremen call him Muad'Dib ... and Usul and Mahdi, while others call him Kwisatz Hadderach. The man has more names than stillsuits. As an act of reserving his identity as an Atreides as well as his acceptance into their culture, he requests to be called Paul-Muad'dib.
- In Anne of Avonlea, one of Anne's students introduces himself on the first day of school as "Jacob." Only later does Anne learn that he's actually named St. Clair, and his mother is very insistent that Anne call him by that name. Anne and her student soon reach a compromise: she, as his teacher, is allowed to call him St. Clair - but if any of his classmates uses the name, he'll beat them up.
- And in a Call-Back later in the series, by the time he grows up Jacob has managed to cast off the name "St. Clair" entirely, with even his mother coming round.
- In the book of Lark Rise to Candleford, this is mentioned regarding the Pratt sisters, Pearl (nee Prudence) and Ruby (nee Ruth). In the TV series, a whole episode was devoted to the way Dorcas Lane found this out, and was therefore able to deliver some letters from their father, which she had previously put to one side as undeliverable.
- In The Adventures of Peter Cottontail by Thornton W. Burgess, Peter Rabbit decides that his name is too lame, and tries to get everyone to call him "Peter Cottontail." He refuses to hear anyone using his old name. Eventually, he is taught a lesson, as various friends try to inform him that Reddy Fox is behind the bush up ahead.
- In Ender's Game, Ender doesn't like to be called Andrew.
- Of course, in the sequels, when the name Ender is right up there with Adolf (except worse), he has learned to just go by Andrew rather than draw unwanted attention by insisting on using his old nickname. He is so Only Known By His Nickname that when people hear his name is Andrew Wiggin, they point out that he has the same last name as Ender.
- In The Lost Colony, a demon warlord formerly known as N'Zall ('Little Horn' in demon language) now insists on being referred to as 'Leon Abbott', after a character in a human storybook he once read.
- In Twilight, Bella doesn't like to be called Isabella.
- Túrin in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin spent his whole life fruitlessly trying to escape the curse Morgoth put on his whole family. He figured avoiding his real name would help, so every time he fled from his ruined life to go live someplace new, he introduced himself only with some unpleasant nickname he'd just made up on the spot, such as Agarwaen son of Úmarth, ("Bloodstained son of Ill-fate") and Turambar ("Master of Doom"). But people kept discovering his real name and outing his secret identity. Not that hiding his name helped him escape the curse, or anything...
- In the Star Wars Legends novel Darth Plagueis we learn that Palpatine hated his father so much that he dropped his first name and was thereafter known only by his surname. He is strongly implied to have been born Cosinga Palpatine II. Unlike most examples of this trope, however, no one in the Star Wars universe seems to know him as anything other than simply "Palpatine" (or Darth Sidious). Averted by the new Star Wars Expanded Universe, where Sheev Palpatine has no stated dislike of his first name.
- In Venus Prime, Sparta hates it when Blake calls her Linda. In fairness, she's done a hell of a lot of work establishing her identity as "Ellen Troy".
- A inversion in Dragon In Distress: Princess Florinara Tansimasa Qasilava Delagordune insists that at all times she be called by her full name. Good luck with that.
- In Terry Pratchett's Dodger, the title character admits his real name ( Pip Stick) to a very few people, who respect the fact he hates it and continue to call him Dodger. At the end of the book he gets knighted as Sir Jack Dodger, and the name Pip Stick is forever banished.
- The title character of The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler frequently refers to "my real name, the one I hated" which is only used by one mildly Sadist Teacher, and isn't revealed in the text until the very end. It's Theodora, which is also the first time in the book we learn Tyke is a girl.
- Despite it being his parents' nickname for him, Fudge of Judy Blume's book series does NOT want to be called by his birth name Farley.
- Carr, from Fancy Apartments, dislikes his full name; Carolinus.
- In Vampire Academy, Rose does not like being called "Rosemarie" and Lissa does not like to be called "Vasilisa". Rose does not object however when her teacher Sonya Karp calls her by her first name. Nor does Lissa when Queen Tatiana Ivashkov insists on calling her by her first name.
- George "Sticky" Washington from The Mysterious Benedict Society doesn't feel his name fits him and prefers to go by his nickname.
- In Life of Pi, the title character is named Piscine Molitor, after a famous swimming pool. He doesn't actually mind this, except that "Piscine" sounds like "pissing," which people would maliciously or accidentally use. Eventually, on the first day of a new school year, he got his nickname by rushing to the chalkboard and drawing a pi symbol with the words "My name is Pi Patel" every time the teacher was about to call him for roll.
- Remnants is set 20 Minutes into the Future, where it's apparently become common for minors to either legally change their names or just pick weird nicknames (Jobs, Mo'Steel, Rodger-Dodger, etc.) Most characters don't mind their parents using their birth names, but "Miss Violet Blake," who's part of a clique of girly-girls who act like it's the 1800s, is annoyed that her career-focused mother continues to call her "Austin."
- In The Traitor Son Cycle, the Red Knight reacts with anger to being called by his given name, as for one, he's faked his death and is trying to hide that, and for other, the past he's left behind is still too painful to return to. With some Character Development, he eventually returns to using it.
- In The Girl from the Miracles District, Nikita reacts with anger when people try to call her by her birth name, Erynia, as it reminds her of her abusive dad.
- Gravity Falls: Journal 3 has Dipper reveal that a variant of this trope is part of the reason why he was only known by his nickname in the show proper: he's been called Dipper for so long by everyone in his family due to his Distinguishing Mark, that introducing himself as Mason or even being called as such just feels weird to him, even though his nickname is arguably more embarrassing.
- Despite her name, George from The Famous Five is a girl. She hates being called by her full name "Georgina".
"You're to call my George. Then I'll speak to you. But I shan't if you don't."
- Asian Saga: Paul Choy gets saddled with the nickname "Profitable" after stealing his father's chop to make a business deal which turned out to be immensely profitable but his father disapproved of. He complains and asks to be called Paul, but his father states that for going behind his back and stealing his property, he could have been killed there and then with no-one complaining, and that he is very lucky to get away with nothing more than an Embarrassing Nickname.
- Samson En Gert: Albert wants to be addressed as Alberto, which sounds more Italian, but Gert always calls him Albert, which is a Berserk Button for him.
- In Smallville, like in the comics, Clark does not like being called Kal-El.
- The second season of WMAC Masters introduced Tracy Swedom who always insisted on being called by his key symbol Tracer. Since he was a Jerk Ass, everyone called him Tracy; of course, his name was a Significant Anagram (Destroy WMAC).
- Recurring villain Ari Haswari from NCIS responds to "Haswari" (his Arab name), but not "Ari" (his Jewish name). So, of course, Gibbs calls him "Ari" just to piss him off.
- Star Trek: Voyager's Seven of Nine was born Annika Hansen, but resists being called that. Unless it's by her Aunt Irene.
- In Heroes, Sylar insists on being called by his new nickname, as opposed to his birth name Gabriel, which is part of his discarded, "normal" identity.
- In The X-Files, Agent Mulder prefers not to be addressed by his given name of Fox, claiming that even his parents call him Mulder, which they don't.
- In Happy Days, only Mrs. Cunningham can call the Fonz "Arthur."
- Subverted in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation when the crew travels back in time and meets Mark Twain, who insists on being called by his real name of Samuel Clemens.
- Walt Junior on Breaking Bad went through a period where he only respond to "Flynn". He gave up on this around the same time that Skyler (his mother) kicked Walt, Sr. out for that whole breaking bad thing. Once he started idealizing his father and resenting his mother, he went back to Walt Jr. In season five, he gets fed up with the way both parents refuse to tell him what's going on and switches back to Flynn.
- Andy from The Office tries this for about five minutes after returning from anger management with the new name "Drew" as part of a reinvention, but Jim continues to call him Andy to irritate him and he eventually gives up on it.
- Rodney McKay of Stargate Atlantis tried to hide the fact that his first name is actually Meredith...it only got out because of his sister, who persistently calls him by it. There's one episode where he meets an alternate version of himself known as Rod. McKay complains that he was never able to get anyone to call him Rod.
- In Stargate SG-1, despite being of the same species as the Goa'uld, their stark philosophical differences and preference for having a symbiotic relationship with their hosts, means that the Tok'ra do not take kindly to being referred to by the name of their megalomaniacal brethren.
Tok'ra: "Do not call us that! [Takes on the glowing eyes and deep voice the Big Bads are known for] We are not Goa'uld!"
- Adam Klaus in Jonathan Creek. The only person who ever uses the name Chester is his sister Kitty, and he really wishes she wouldn't. (Surprisingly, though, no-one else picks up on it to annoy him. Nor do they ask why Kitty's Scottish when he's supposed to be American.)
- Because Adam explains in that episode that she's his half sister, they have the same father, Adam's Mother was American, Kitty's was Scottish, Adam was raised in America.
- Bubbles, from Trailer Park Boys, insists that Ricky doesn't refer to his friend, 'Shitty Bill,' by that name, as he finds that nickname offensive. When the next scene cuts in, Bubbles addresses him with a pleasant, 'Can I do the gears, Shitty?'
- Adam (born Gracie) Torres from Degrassi is a typical example of a transgender person changing their birth name.
- Veronica Mars
- Cindy Mackenzie much prefers her nickname, Mac.
- Inverted with Cassidy Casablancas, who eventually gets fed up with people calling him "Beaver".
- In an episode of Doctor Who, one-year-old baby Alfie prefers the name Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All. Being a baby, he can't exactly tell his parents this; the Doctor finds this out because he speaks Baby.
- In the classic series, Ace. "That's how I knew they couldn't be my real mum and dad. My real mum and dad would never have given me a naff name like Dorothy."
- In a couple of the Big Finish audio stories, she even swears off "Ace" for a while, insisting that the Doctor call her "McShane" or Dorothy. However, since both of those instances are times where she's quite pissed off at the Doctor, she goes back to Ace once she gets over it.
- The Doctor has spent over 1200 years only going by his nickname, with only River (and Clara in an negated timeline) thus-far discovering his true name, which has not been revealed to the audience. Why he gave up his name and chose the name "The Doctor" has only been hinted as being because of some terrible secret. Also, "the Doctor" is more than just a name. It's a promise ("never cruel or cowardly; never give up, never give in").
- Clara makes an impassioned speech to the other Time Lords that "The Doctor" really is his name at this point, because he has always lived up to that promise.
- And inverted with the War Doctor, who renounced calling himself the Doctor because he felt by taking part in the Last Great Time War, he'd renounced the right to call himself that. Of note, however, he never seemed to come up with an alternative title. In his Big Finish audio dramas, calling him Doctor is a good way to get him properly angry.
- In the classic series, Ace. "That's how I knew they couldn't be my real mum and dad. My real mum and dad would never have given me a naff name like Dorothy."
- On The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane Smith is very clear that she prefers to go by "Sarah Jane". The Doctor gets away with calling her "Sarah," though.
- Benjamin "Coach" Wade on Survivor. "If anyone calls me Benjamin to my face, I'm gonna go nuts."
- The West Wing
- Josiah Edward Bartlet, better known as Jed to his best friend and his wife. To everyone else on planet Earth, he's "Mr. President".
- Claudia Jean Cregg is universally known as C.J.
- Home and Aways Brax is not called Darryl. He's Brax.
- One season of Hell's Kitchen had a contestant named Robert; when Chef Ramsay called him "Bobby" once, he got surprisingly angry. As he later explained in the Confession Cam (and to Ramsay after the service), Bobby was the name of his father, a cruel man who told Robert that he would never amount to anything, making it obvious why the name offended him. After hearing the explanation, Ramsay apologized and promised not to use that name anymore.
- Angela is like this. She renamed herself because she hated her birth name of Pookie Noodlin Pearly-Gates Gibbons. (Seriously.)
- In the episode "Mayhem On A Cross", members of various metal groups refuse to give either their birth name or another members birth name.
- Around the Las Vegas Crime Lab, no one calls Supervisor Russell Dienbenkorn, as he tells new old colleague Finn. It's D.B. Russell.
- Finn herself is actually Julie — D.B. is the one person who still calls her Julie, and her writing "Diebenkorn" on the envelope she left him was her way of getting back at him for it. She also objects to "Jules".
- On Magnum, P.I., Rick's best friends know his real name is Orville, but he threatens them if they say it around anyone else.
- In My Mad Fat Diary, Rae prefers this nickname rather than her full birth name, Rachel.
- In Walker, Texas Ranger, Francis Gage is usually referred to by his last name, with only his sister calling him by his first name. Although this is typical of male characters usually being called by their last names: Walker, Trivette, etc.
- Bishop Brennan from Father Ted hates it when anyone calls him by his first name, Len. Dougal, surprisingly enough, consistently does exactly that. This is a justified example though, as Brennan has a title (Bishop) and a correct form of address (Your Grace) and Dougal is his direct subordinate.
- On Gilmore Girls, Lorelai and Rory are eating lunch at the diner with Mia, the Benevolent Boss who helped Lorelai when she first ran away from home. When Luke comes to serve them, Mia addresses him as "Lucas," and Luke pointedly reminds the others that only she's allowed to call him that.
- On Person of Interest, Root insists that that's her real name and not Samantha Groves, although she's come to accept Finch calling her Miss Groves.
- On Supernatural, it's not wise to call the extremely powerful demon and King of Hell Crowley by his former human name, Fergus MacLeod. The only one who can get away with it is his mother, Rowena, and mostly because she was such a terrible mother that he has a lot of worse things to be mad at her for.
- NUMB3RS has recurring character Dr. Mildred Finch, who only wants to be called "Millie". She does not at all like the name "Mildred" (she tries to explain why once, but she's drunk at the time and can't stay on topic long enough to make sense), and she doesn't really like to use her professional title either, at least not with people she sees on a regular basis.
- Punky Brewster:
- The opening story features a custody hearing between Henry and Fenster Hall which takes place in a courtroom where the baliff announces Punky as "Penelope Brewster." She insists on being called Punky.
- In an inversion, Henry hates being called "Hank."
- Battlestar Galactica (2003): The Cylon model Number One was named "John" by his creator (possibly in reference to her late father, whom she made Number One in the image of). When she refers to him as such when they meet again, he reminds her that he doesn't like that name. He also uses "Cavil", but this is just an alias he was using while posing as a priest among the human fleet.
- During their time on Power Rangers Bulk and Skull did not like being called by their actual names, Farkas Bulkmeier and Eugene Skullovitch. They had to put up with it from teachers and other authority figures, though.
- Parodied in the Saturday Night Live "Celebrity Jeopardy" skits a few times.
- One time is when Burt Reynolds changes his name to "Turd Ferguson".
Alex Trebek: "This condiment is made from mustard seeds." (Reynolds buzzes in) Burt Reynolds?
Burt Reynolds: That's not my name.
Trebek: ("You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!" look) Okay...Turd Ferguson?
Reynolds: (chuckling) Yeah, whaddaya want?
Trebek: You buzzed in!
Reynolds: No, I didn't.
Trebek: Yes, you did!
Reynolds: Yeah, well, that's your opinion.
Trebek: (beat) I hate my job.
- Another one involves Anne Heche.
Trebek: Anne Heche, it's your board. (sees her not acknowledging him and sighs) Fine. It's your board, Celestia.
Heche: Neega ba "Batman or Robin" for $200.
Trebek: (sighs and shakes his head)
- One time is when Burt Reynolds changes his name to "Turd Ferguson".
- Kiss Me First: When Tess asks Tippi for her real name, she instead answers that their usernames are their "real" names (though she later gives her legal one, Tomiko Teshima, in the interview where she claims Leila is the leader of Red Pill).
- There's always the "Boy Named Sue", immortalized in song by Johnny Cash (and others). He still hates that name...
- Cash himself is an example. His parents named him simply J.R. Cash. When the Air Force insisted that he couldn't just use initials, he picked John as a first name.
- Paul Daniel Frehley, better known as the former guitarist for KISS Ace Frehley. He'd been known as Ace since before KISS but they decided to go with Ace because they didn't want two Pauls, so now even today everyone calls him Ace, in interviews.
- Interestingly, KISS vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley wasn't even a Paul to begin with - he was born Stanley Bert Eisen, and apart from those who knew him before Wicked Lester and KISS, it's hard to find someone who still refers to him as "Stan".
- And in an even more interesting note, another Paul - Paul Caravello - would join the band to replace Peter Criss as drummer. You probably know Mr. Caravello by his stage name, Eric Carr.
- Alice Cooper. There is an article about him where the interviewer called him Vincent, and Cooper replied "My mother calls me Vincent." Sorry Alice.
- Justified Trope. He legally changed his name to Alice Cooper in 1975. This was most likely done to ensure he could still use "Alice Cooper" for his solo project, despite it originally being the name of the band, which had just broken up at that time.
- Ozzy Osbourne has said that if someone calls him John (his real name) he'll ignore them. His first wife, Thelma, still refers to him by that name.
- Do NOT call Porcelain Black "Alaina".
- Bob Marley's birth name was Nesta Robert Marley. He was known as Robert or Bob at school. When his mother was helping him emigrate to the US, the immigration officers put his name down as Robert Nesta Marley, thus it became his business name. His mother and family friends always called him Nesta, and it also caught on amongst fans even though he's never been publicly known as it.
- Peter Tosh never had anyone call him Winston (his real name) nor did he like his full surname McIntosh, because he felt they were relics of British colonialism. He chose the name Peter after St Peter from the Bible.
- Bunny Wailer never uses his real name of Neville, always calling himself Bunny Livingston or Bunny Wailer.
- Peter Tosh never had anyone call him Winston (his real name) nor did he like his full surname McIntosh, because he felt they were relics of British colonialism. He chose the name Peter after St Peter from the Bible.
- Guitarist Buckethead didn't even allow Ozzy, the Prince of Fucking Darkness himself, to call him Brian, retorting that only his mother calls him Brian.
- Many members of Rammstein. Paul Landers' birth name is Heiko Paul Hiersche; he first decided to go by his middle name and then took his (now divorced) wife's surname, making an interesting case where you should call him Paul. Flake Lorenz doesn't like his given name, Christian, and has declared that Flake is his proper name. Christoph Schneider usually goes by either "Doom" or his last name. And Oliver Riedel just goes by Ollie.
- Prince changed his (legal) name to a symbol as part of a contract dispute with Warner Bros. When people settled on calling him "the artist formerly known as Prince," he decided he didn't like that, and changed it again to "The Artist". When the dust finally cleared, he went back to "Prince", which is his actual first name by birth.
- Bob Dylan sometimes gets annoyed when you call him Robert or Bob Zimmerman. It depends on his mood and how much he likes you. He once wrote a song with an entire stanza of variations on, "You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy..." Apparently Barack Obama is on the shortlist for people who can call him "Zimmy" to his face.
- In his memoir he admitted that when he first changed his name to Bob Dylan it took a while to get used to being called Bob. He'd spent his whole youth answering to "Bobby".
- It is highly recommended that you not address Lady Gaga as Stefani. Lady Gaga is Lady Gaga; Stefani sang for No Doubt.
- Yusuf Islam, far better known as (but no longer answering to) 'Cat Stevens'. Before that, born Steven Georgiou.
- Lights. You can use her last name and call her 'Lights Poxleitner', but whatever you do, you should NOT call her Valerie.
- Rock singer Meat Loaf strongly dislikes his birth name, "Marvin". He had his first name legally changed to "Michael" to avoid having to use it at all, has the songs he's written credited to "Meat Loaf Aday", and generally prefers just to be addressed as "Meat".
- A good way to prematurely end any interview with electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos is to refer to her as Walter.
- Don't call Tori Amos "Myra Ellen" if you want to be her friend. She makes an exception for her family, who call her Ellen.
- Five Iron Frenzy and Brave Saint Saturn's lead singer, Reese Roper's actual name is Michael Reese Roper. But as the lyrics of one of his songs, All the Hype, says: "My name is Reese, don't call me Mike".
- "Commander B. Hawkins", the keyboardist and songwriter for The Protomen, claims in interviews that even his mother calls him "Commander" these days. Given that the Protomen as a whole are prone to extreme flights of fancy, this may or may not actually be true.
- Trance DJ-producer Dirk Dierickx, known by the artist names Push, M.I.K.E., or DJ Mike, changed his legal name to Mike Dierickx in 2000.
- Sting hates it when you call him Gordon, to the point of simply pretending he was never named Gordon Sumner in the first place.
- Former Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett, later in life, would refuse to answer to "Syd", his nickname, instead preferring his birth name, "Roger".
- Emilie Autumn insists her legal name is "Emilie Autumn Liddel", despite fans buying merchandise and receiving them from "Emily Fritzges". On her website, the words "Emily" and "Fritzges" are filtered out and discussion of this name is grounds for a banning.
- Paul McCartney's first name is James, but he'd rather be called by his middle one - possibly because his father is also called James (and Paul gave a son this name as well).
- Bono from U2. Incidentally, his birth name is Paul (David Hewson). The Other Wiki states, however, that everyone - even his wife and the other band members - calls him "Bono". Also ironic is that he hated the nickname at first (it's short for "Bono Vox", Latin for "Good Voice"). The Edge, from the same band, was originally named David Howell Evens, but says that now even his close family call him Edge.
- Don't call Rogue of The Crüxshadows Virgil or Roger.
- His ex-wife Dita Von Teese has confirmed that no one other than his mother calls Marilyn Manson "Brian". His friends and bandmates are split as to whether they refer to him as Marilyn or Manson.
- Apparently very few people including her parents normally called Miley Cyrus "Destiny Hope Cyrus" since her childhood, with the occasional exception of her grandmother. Billy Ray and his wife took to calling her "Smiley" or "Smiley Miley" (referring to how often she laughed and smiled as a child), eventually shortening it to "Miley". Her name was legally changed to "Miley Ray Cyrus" in 2007 (although her co-writing credits on Meet Miley Cyrus are credited to "Destiny Hope Cyrus" in the CD jacket).
- Fergie is not to be called "Stacey". To seal the deal, she changed her legal name to Fergie Duhamel in August 2013.
- Don't call Cliff Richard "Harry". He says when he told his family his new stage name they all started using it.
- Since becoming a born-again Christian in 1994, '80s pop star and Prince protege Vanity has left the music business, refusing to be called by her stage name because it reminds her of her decadent past. In Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx's biography The Heroin Diaries, she is credited for quotes throughout the book as "Evangelist Denise Matthews".
- G-Eazy got his name from his old nickname "GE", because he thought "Gerald" was a dumb name. He admitted that his rap name was kind of dumb too, but it stuck.
- Inverted with Hollywood Undead, which are full of Awesome McCoolnames. Namely Charlie Scene, Johnny 3 Tears, J-Dog, Funny Man, and Da Kurlzz. Then there's Daniel Murillo, who's stage name is... Danny.
- Eddie Van Halen prefers to be called Edward Van Halen.
- The Bible:
- Saul of Tarsus is not the Trope Namer — he actually preferred to go by Paul, the Greek translation of his name, as he realized that his calling was to (Greek-speaking) gentiles.
- Also, many Jews and some Christian denominations believe God does not like to be called "God", preferring "The Lord". And many more Jews will get quite annoyed if you try to guess his real name and call him "Yahweh" or "Jehovah". (They take the commandment "Do not take the LORD's name in vain" extremely seriously and avoid using it at all.)
- Ironically, this is the exact opposite of Jehovah's Witnesses, who believe God DOES like to be called by name, whether that be "Yahweh" or "Jehovah", and are slightly annoyed by the overabundant use of "The Lord" and such.
- Chell from Sequinox doesn't like being called by her full name, Rachel. So of course her high-school nemesis Hannah calls her that whenever she wants to get a rise out of her.
- It is interesting to note that wrestling name conventions stick for a long time. For example, The Undertaker is always Undertaker or 'Taker. Unless, of course, you're Ric Flair, who met him during his 'Mean' Mark Callous days and, as such, calls him Mark. It extends on most of the time, though there are exceptions. Lance Storm, for example, refers to Shane Helms as The Hurricane, even though he met him during the Shane Helms days.
- Pro wrestling locker room etiquette demands that new wrestlers must introduce themselves to the older wrestlers, and then call them whatever the older wrestler introduces himself as.
- Despite what some smarks think, the names you hear on TV are what they are called in real life. This was spoofed on Celebrity Deathmatch where a demon mocked The Undertaker by calling him Mark. It was also alluded to during the Ministry of Darkness angle when Vince McMahon said that "Mark" had begun to think his gimmick was real. Averted in a non-Deadman angle with Undertaker in 2002 involving his wife and a woman who claimed to have had an affair with him (and later confessed to being paid off by nemesis Paul Heyman to tell that lie); both women referred to him as "Mark" throughout the storyline.
- Averted when Vince had a set collapse on him in the summer of 2008. Despite being an obvious storyline, as he was being helped from the rubble you clearly hear him say "Paul....Paul....I can't feel my legs!" referring to Triple H.
- As Sabu and Rob Van Dam can attest, The Sheik would never break character, going so far as refusing to answer the phone if someone called and asked to speak to "Ed" (his given name).
- Layla El and Kelly Kelly poked fun at this in an interview as Layla referred to Kelly as "Barbie" (her real name, believe it or not) and Kelly jokingly corrected her. Outside of Kayfabe, she's usually called "Barbie" by everyone.
- Edge once mentioned in an interview that the reason he didn't like to be called his real name by fans is that the fans only know Edge, the wrestling character. They aren't familiar with Adam Copeland, the person who portrays said character. He has since changed his attitude after retiring from wrestling, preferring his real name when it comes to things not directly involving wrestling, such as his acting career.
- CM Punk has said in an interview of his own that, since he's been called "Punk" from his early teens, "Phil Brooks" is not a desired name while in the wrestling business.
CM Punk: This isn't CM Punk talking to Triple H! This is Phil Brooks talking to Paul Levesque!
- Nonetheless, he name dropped "Phil Brooks" in a promo during 2011 with Triple H (who got name dropped as well).
- When he left the WWE and began his UFC career, he compromised and allowed the promotional material to bill him as "Phil 'CM Punk' Brooks".
- Notable that part-Trope Namer The Big Show actually did wrestle under his real name for a while when he made his WWF debut in 1999, before phasing it out. He also went to work under the ring name "Paul 'The Great' Wight" after leaving WWE for a time around 2007 before going back to "The Big Show" moniker upon his return.
- Triple H did as well, sort of. In WCW he was Jean-Paul Levesque.
- Inverted: As he left the WWE full-time in lieu of his movie career, Dwayne Johnson began to distance himself from the moniker of "The Rock" to form his movie identity, at the advice of his then-manager, which left a lot of fans feeling miffed at the gesture. It is probably not coincidental that, with superstar movie career firmly established, Johnson fired that manager and hired his ex-wife in his place around the same time he returned into the WWE fold; since his 2011 special appearance run, he has not been averse to being called The Rock outside of the ring, unlike before. However, arch-rivals John Cena and CM Punk still refer to him as "Dwayne" consistently in a mocking fashion.
- And again: in a TV interview not long after leaving WWE Rena Mero said, "I am not Sable. Sable is a character I played. My name is Rena Mero."
- The Ultimate Warrior actually legally changed his name to "Warrior" (a step up, to be sure, from "James Hellwig"). But this was by many accounts for trademark-related reasons and not personal ones. Other wrestlers have also changed their names to their wrestling names, such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (formerly Steve Williams) changing his name to "Steve Austin" in 2007, Diamond Dallas Page (formerly Page Falkenburg) changing his name to "Dallas Page" in 2003, and Chyna (born Joan Marie Laurer) legally changing her name to "Chyna" (for trademark reasons much like Warrior) in 2007.
- Andrew Martin, best known as Test, actually had his middle name changed legally to Test so he could continue to use the Test gimmick (which was owned by WWE). However, Stacy Keibler, among others, would at times on WWE TV address him as "Andrew."
- Similar to Test, Ryback (born Ryan Allen Reeves) legally changed his first name to Ryback so he can compete using that name outside of WWE. He doesn't appear to mind, however, that some people in the wrestling business who first knew him as Ryan refer to him as such.
- Rick Rude's real name was Richard Rood, so that wasn't much of a stretch.
- Used during a storyline where Eric Bischoff was being put on trial to see if he could remain RAW GM. "The Masterpiece" Chris Masters was called in to testify on behalf of Bischoff, but Vince was able to discredit his testimony by proving he committed perjury, as his name isn't really Chris Masters, but Chris Mordetzky. This was quickly forgotten and his real last name was never mentioned on TV again.
- In most of his professional life, Chris Jericho goes by his nickname. However, for one night on Dancing with the Stars, he subverted this by being announced by his real name Chris Irvine, as he was honoring his late mother by dancing to her favorite song. Aww. Jericho once made an appearance on Nickelodeon going by "Chris Irvine" as well.
- William Regal is an interesting case; he finds it rude to be addressed as "Regal" due to English customs; he's typically addressed backstage as Darren (his real name) or "Steve" (his longtime former ring name).
- "Delirious is not a character, Delirious is who I am!"
- When Cody Rhodes was wrestling as Stardust, he hated it when you called him by his birth name. Which is why fans chanted that name whenever he was in the ring.
- On the November 29, 2016 episode of SmackDown Live, Alexa Bliss called Becky Lynch out (in storyline) for referring to her as "Lexi". insisting that she should be called "Alexa". Her real name is Alexis "Lexi" Kaufman.
- One form of X-Pac Heat is to chant a wrestler's former ring name at them, especially if that wrestler is now embodying a worse gimmick than before (a good example of this is Matt Bloom's transition from being Albert/A-Train in the early and mid-2000s to his return to the company as Lord Tensai in 2012, where he got several "Albert" chants upon his debut). There's also an inversion of this: Bray Wyatt is sometimes referred to by smarks as his previous unsuccessful gimmick, "Husky Harris," leading to Wyatt suggesting that the disappearance of Harris is due to Wyatt using him as a vessel.
- In Devil May Cry, Lady's name is actually Mary, but she says that she "doesn't have a name" because she hates her father. She tells Dante to call her whatever he wants. His response? "Whatever, lady!" And she stuck with it.
"Mary died a long time ago. My name is Lady."
- In the Kingdom Hearts games, Squall Leonhart stops using his given name out of shame and guilt at not being able to save his world from The Heartless, answering instead to "Leon" and irritably correcting Yuffie when she calls him "Squall."
- Judge Gabranth from Final Fantasy XII feels he no longer has any right to be called by his birth name, Noah.
- Paper Mario: Lakilester wants to be called Spike, but guess how often that happens.
- In Bomberman 64: The Second Attack, Regulus refers to himself as Bulzeeb, seeing himself as a completely different warrior due to his dramatic increase in power since the last game. He goes back to being called Regulus by the end.
- Princess Sarisa in Final Fantasy V would much rather be called Faris, as she is far more comfortable as a pirate than she is as a princess.
- The World Ends with You: Beat hates being called Daisukenojo Bito. Several of the Reapers do it anyway, much to his chagrin.
- Tetra in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass inverts this trope. As the previous game, The Wind Waker, reveals, she would have been named "Zelda" if Hyrule hadn't been flooded. She, however, hates being called "Zelda".
- In Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines Velvet Velour's real name can be revealed if you play a Malkavian. She doesn't wish to be called Susan however, stating that that girl is dead.
- It may be easy to guess, but, just like the trope name, the Professor Layton series' first Big Bad Don Paolo was formerly a simple Paul. He hates being referred to as such.
- In L.A. Noire, only Captain Donnelly can call Rusty Galloway by his first name: Finbarr.
Rusty: I don't care if you were clocked in the head, Cole. You don't call me Finbarr.
- In inFAMOUS, Zeke mentions that his full name is Zeke Jedediah Dunbar.
Cole: Your middle name is Jedediah?
Zeke: Only my mama gets to call me Jedediah.
- Magoichi from Sengoku Basara was originally called Sayaka, but threw it away when she took on the name and title of her predecessor. No matter how many times she tells him this, Motochika still uses her old name.
- Cecilia of Rune Factory prefers to be called "Ceci". She never really says why. A possible reason is that it might be a bit difficult for a child like her to say. Averted in Rune Factory 2 as she says she's trying to stop asking people to call her Ceci.
- Bernie Crane in Grand Theft Auto IV doesn't like to be called by his old name, Florian Cravic.
- Team Fortress 2: According to the Engineer update comic, BLU Engineer prefers to be called Dell. Mr. Conagher is his father.
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: Even after receiving the codename Big Boss, Jack insists on being called Naked Snake. At least until the end of Peace Walker, where he accepted the title.
- Saints Row: The Third: Masked Luchador Killbane prefers that you address him as such and never call him by his real name, Eddie Pryor. Do it once and he'll ask you to stop. Keep doing it and he'll make you stop.
- Knights of the Old Republic: Your Character does this with certain dialogue options, rejecting your former identity of Darth Revan. Justified, since you only remember a few flashes of your previous life.
- In the sequels, it's implied that Revan doesn't reject their name, so much as being called Darth Revan.
- Leto from Dragon Age II used to be a slave in the Tevinter empire, earning the nickname "little wolf" (Fenris) from his master. He eventually managed to escape and made it to Kirkwall, going by his nickname; when his long-lost sister shows up for a warm, loving reunion in which she sells him out to Denarius and he may or may not kill her for it, he is not happy about being called his original name.
- Thrall/Go'el of World of Warcraft has a complicated relationship with this trope. He grew up as a slave under the name Thrall (literally "slave"), and even after gaining his freedom decided not to change it, so as to remember where he came from. He later learned his birth name was Go'el, but continued to use the name Thrall while his Love Interest Aggra calls him by his birth name. Thrall's eventual decision to set aside his office of Warchief, and then his slave name, reflect his Character Development in letting go of his bitterness towards the humans' Alliance that enslaved him to embrace his potential as a shaman who protects the entire world, not just the Horde.
- In The Witch and the Hundred Knight, Metallia always corrects whoever addresses her as "Lia", which is her original name. This becomes a running gag throughout THE ENTIRE GAME.
- In Mortal Kombat X, Scorpion, having been returned to life, sheds his old moniker and goes off on Quan Chi for calling him thusly before beating the piss out of him.
"My name is HANZO HASASHI!"
- Undertale in the true ending path has Toriel being called "Tori" by Asgore, her former husband. She coldly reminds him not to call her by that name due to her still resenting him for making his people suffer when he couldn't go through with his plan. Later on, another character calls her Dreemurr and she kindly asks them not to call her by that name since her ex-husband also uses it as his last name.
- In one of the round-start dialogues in Overwatch, Sombra will call Reaper "Gabe." It drives him up the wall.
- In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and its sequel, Dracula reacts furiously when anyone calls him by his former name, Gabriel Belmont.
- Moshi Monsters: The main villain is known as Dr Strangeglove because he is a university graduate and has a weird glove to compensate ffor his right hand. His real name is "Lavender Troggs", but he doesn't like being addressed as "Lavender".
- In Life Is Strange Max does not like being called her full name, Maxine. Only her mother seems to be able to get away with it.
- Anghel Higure is worried that uttering the forbidden name of Yoshio Akagi will unleash horrible evils into the world of Hatoful Boyfriend, and panics every time the heroine tries (she thinks it's a nice name). Anghel is kind of insane.
- In Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!, this is a Berserk Button for Angel.
- In Serendipity Next Door, the protagonist's upstairs neighbor Keiichi insists on being called "Byron," after the poet. The other residents of the building mostly seem to ignore this preference.
- Grisaia Series:
- By the time of Grisaia no Rakuen the minor supporting character of Robert Wallson from Meikyuu is officially dead and in hiding as Jimmy Okada, a foreigner who married a local restaurant owner's daughter. She's actually a CIA agent and no more Japanese than he is. He won't respond to Robbie when Yumiko tries calling him that at first.
- Both in Meikyuu and Rakuen Liutenant Justin Mikemeyer insits of being called "J", as he finds his own name somewhat embarassing. In reality, after being subjected to the horrors of war for soo long, he no longer truly believes in justice.
- Delacroix II in Code:Realize takes it poorly when Van Helsing calls him "Dracula," and demands that he not use that name. He's not fond of the nickname Impey coins for him, either, but nobody pays a lot of attention and "Delly" ends up sticking despite his protests.
- Higurashi: When They Cry: After learning that her mother has cheated on her husband, Reina cuts all ties with her and forms a new self with the name "Rena".
- In Steins;Gate the main character insists on being called Hououin Kyouma, his "true name". Despite this, many characters refer to him by his real name, Okabe Rintaro, much to his chagrin.
- Red vs. Blue:
- Church might technically be named Epsilon, but he much prefers to simply be called Church, as it's what he thinks of himself as. He gets rather upset when he finds out the Reds and Blues have been calling Wash "Church" while Church was trapped in the memory unit.
- Agent Washington is like this as well; take the following exchange as an example:
Director: I realize it has been awhile since we last spoke, David. May I call you David?
Agent Washington: No. You cannot. You gave me my new name. The least you could do is use it.
- Than from The Most Popular Girls in School gets angry if you call him by his real name, Jonathan Getslinhaumer.
- Vero, from M9 Girls!, insists on being called Golden by everyone.
- From El Goonish Shive, Tiffany Susan Pompoms ONLY goes by her middle name... she really, REALLY doesn't like her first name, mostly because it's a bit too "happy" for her image.
- That, and her father chose her first name.
- Venus Envy
- In Dumnestor's Heroes, the Dark Lordess Tyfnee explains that Tyfnee is her middle name; she never really liked "Atrocia".
- Sprite artist Akuma The Hedgehog at The Middle Ground comics recently revealed his age, name and picture for charity after ten years of complete anonymity. He still insists that you call him by his online name, however.
- In The Specialists, inverted by Baron Crossbones. Who submits to that ridiculous code name only in propaganda — his secretary must call him by his real title.
- At the end of the Multiplex parody of Watchmen, Kurt (who is dressed as Rorschach for the premiere) fills out his incident report about breaking a rude customer's finger in character. When his boss admonishes him for it, he quotes the movie.
Neil: Fill out a real incident report, Kurt.
Kurt: You keep calling me Kurt. I don't like you.
- Although Girl Genius's Tarvek doesn't make a big deal out of it, he still doesn't use the name he should be using. He's actually Aaronev Tarvek Sturmvoraus, son of Aaronev Wilhelm, and after his father dies he should have become Prince Aaronev VII, but he instead calls himself Prince Tarvek. Considering his father had made his life a misery, ruined his plans with his obsession over a dead megalomaniac, and killed Tarvek's sister in an attempt to revive said megalomaniac, he's actually very justified in his distaste for the family name.
- Inverted in L's Empire. Stafy's Berserk Button is being called by his dub name.
- Subverted in the prequel book to The Order of the Stick, On the Origin of PCs. Redcloak and Right-Eye promise to always call each other "Little brother" and "Big brother" instead of using the nicknames they gave themselves in order to avoid being killed. However, after Redcloack kills Right-Eye, Right-Eye only calls him Redcloak before dying.
- The Chess-centric YouTube channel agadmator is owned and operated by agadmator, all interaction online is with agadmator, and agadmator owns the cute dog in the background. He only acknowledges his real name, Antonio Radić, obliquely, and only then when showing how one of his own games went, as a mugshot caption.
- Shadow of the Templar's Jeremy Archer gets annoyed with Simon when the FBI agent jokingly calls him Jeremiah. Turns out Jeremy's birth name was Jeremiah Harbottle, a name he gave up when he gave up his life on the streets and became a high level thief.
- AJCO's Eglatine Wynne is far more commonly known by her nickname of Egg. It's partially because she hates her first name so much she hasn't even told anyone what it is, and partially because she no longer identifies with the girl who was called Eglatine, only the girl who became Egg during her time in the mob.
- Let's Player Roahm Mythril generally uses that instead of his real name. The reason being that he was named after a relative who committed suicide for an outlandishly stupid reason.
- Midget Apple from The Annoying Orange insists his name is "little apple", but he's almost never called that.
- Played with and played straight with Stone of the Global Guardians prefers to be called "Stone", to the point that he rarely tells people his first name and refuses to give it to people when asked. After he responded to the question with "Just Stone" one too many times, his teammates began telling other people his first name was "Just". While this annoyed him at first, eventually he started intentionally telling people that "Just" was his first name. His actual first name is "Wendell".
- Done by The Nostalgia Chick to punish Maven for annoying her when she's (the Chick) still not awake yet. Maven stops her in the hallway, calling her Lindsay and asking her to hold a toy duck. The Chick throws the duck at her and storms off, saying she hates being called Chick. Maven is understandably confused.
- In the Whateley Universe, Aqueous gets mad when Phase (in an attempt to be friendly) calls him by his real first name. Aqueous explains: he's a mutant who no longer looks human and he was named for his uncle... who hates mutants.
- Judge Dead from Noob seems to hate his real name, Théodore, prefering his Online Alias to it. A scene from the novels has his boss heavily imply that he considers doing this ridiculous when they are face-to-face in real life. The webseries had him insist on his real name not being used online while something much more urgent than the proper way to address him was going on and showed his father, Tenshirock, using it in late Season 5 episodes.
- Code Lyoko: The Alpha Bitch of the show hates her first name, Élisabeth, and prefers to be called by her nickname, Sissi.
- Codename: Kids Next Door:
- In one episode, Numbuh One is transported to a future where he has a son named Shirley who wants to be known as Vego. Nigel tells him to stick with Shirley.
- In another episode, we learn that Numbuh 86's real name is "Fanny", but, as Numbuh Two would put it, if you were smart, you'd call her Numbuh 86.
- Dexter's Laboratory: He may have been called "Mr. Astronomonov", but his parents named him "Susan." We know him by a different name: Mandark.
- Animaniacs: Recurring Character Charlton Woodchuck. If you call him Baynarts, he'll put your name on his list and make a point to not like you when he's famous.
- Matrix from ReBoot is the grown-up form of Enzo Matrix. Just don't call him "Enzo", anymore.... This comes in handy later on when Mainframe is rebooted, complete with a copy of young Enzo.
- Frankie from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends introduces herself to the main characters with "Whatever that bunny says is wrong. My name's not Frances, it's Frankie."
- Tails in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog expresses his dislike for his real name, Miles. Sonic sometimes takes advantage of this by blackmailing him out of a dangerous situation.
- There was a whole episode devoted to Spinelli's deep hatred of her first name, Ashley, in Recess. Although that episode was about how any girl with the first name Ashley has no choice but to join the clique of Alpha Bitches the Ashleys. Spinelli kept her first name hidden because she didn't want to be associated with them.
- Played with in Batman Beyond when Bruce Wayne started Hearing Voices as a result of Shriek. He later tells Terry that the reason he knew he wasn't going crazy was because the voice kept calling him "Bruce", which is not what he calls himself in his head.
- In Tiny Toon Adventures, Babs Bunny despises her whole name Barbara Ann. Buster calls her this twice, once in the show and the other in the straight-to-video film Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation. Her response: "Don't call me that!"
- Frankie Dutweiler, the bully in Wish Kid, would beat up anyone who called him Francis.
- On Rocket Power, Twister doesn't like to be called by his real name "Maurice." It embarrasses him...of course, other characters use that fact to their advantage several times in-series.
- Stunt Dawgs: Nothing enrages Richard P. Fungus more than being called "Dick".
- Several The Spectacular Spider-Man villains claim that That Man Is Dead, but Electro gets particularly nuts if people use his original name (Max Dillon).
- Michelanne Mazinsky from Mike, Lu & Og prefers to be called Mike.
- Arthur's little sister Dora Winifred would rather be known by her initials, Arthur sometimes calls her by her full name to infuriate her.
- In The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, Steven (a.k.a. the Sandman), insists he not be called "Steve".
- Total Drama:
- Harold hates being called his middle name "Doris".
- Samey wishes to be referred to by her real name "Sammy", but is always called "Samey".
- In Total Drama Action, Izzy does this several times, going from Kaleidoscope to E-Scope to Explosivo. In this case, it indicates that she's kind of insane and possibly possesses multiple personalities.
- All of The Misfits from Jem
- Pizzazz gets furious whenever people call her "Phyllis". Maybe she's trying to distance her from her past or whatever but she only lets her father call her that.
- Stormer and Jetta don't let their family members call them their given names, Mary and Sheila, around their bandmates.
- When Roxy meets old buddies of her she insists being called "Roxy" instead of "Roxanne".
- One episode of As Told by Ginger has Darren calling his older brother Will "Wilbert". This results in him angrily throwing Darren in a swimming pool.
- In the M.A.S.K. episode "Challenge of the Masters", Floyd Malloy gets angry at fellow V.E.N.O.M. operative Vanessa Warfield calling him "Floyd", insisting that she refer to him as "Birdman".
- It is established in the Bonkers episode "Toon for a Day" that Sergeant Grating hates being addressed as "Francis".
- Wander over Yonder: When Lord Dominator demands Bot 13 to display the coordinates to the planet where he met Wander, he tells her "I am Beep-Boop!", which is the 'name' Wander gave him after discovering him on said planet. Beep-Boop then immediately deletes the coordinates from his memory right in front of her and...is Thrown Out the Airlock in a Heroic Sacrifice
- Rick and Morty: After Rick designs the family dog, Snuffles, a special headgear that allows him to communicate with them, he eventually discovers the subjugation humanity has done to his species and then forms a dog uprising. One of the first things he does is have the family call him Snowball, because his fur is soft and white, and dismisses Snuffles as a "slave name".
- In A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Shaggy's parents refer to him by his real name, Norville, which he hates, and insists they call him by his nickname instead. This turns up again in The Scooby Doo Project when Fred and Daphne keep calling him Norville to tease him. Scooby joins in on the teasing as well.
- In DuckTales (2017), Louie Duck (of Huey, Dewey and Louie fame) got the Adaptation Name Change of Llewellyn. He's really embarrassed by it.
- Almost guaranteed with trans and nonbinary people. Usually theyll take on a feminine or masculine permutation of their birth names, but even people with gender neutral names may feel the need to change.
- Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little, a name he never took to. He changed his name to Detroit Red as a teenager, and finally to "Malcolm X" upon joining the Nation of Islam. Even after breaking ties with the church, he never looked back at his old name. (He changed it again to Malcolm Shabazz or Malik el-Shabazz, but "X" stuck in the minds of the public.)
X: My father didnt know his last name, my father got his name from his grandfather and he got it from his grandfather, who got it from the slave master. The real names of our ancestors were destroyed.
Interviewer: So you wont even tell me your fathers last name was—?
X: I never acknowledge it whatsoever.
- Likewise, when Cassius Clay converted to Islam and took the Muslim name Muhammad Ali, Ernie Terrell and Floyd Patterson continued to call him Cassius Clay to annoy him. In the ring, Ali taunted Terrell by shouting "What's my name?" en route to victory.
- Chuck D of Public Enemy refuses to answer to Carlton Ridenhour, calling it his "slave name".
- A production snafu with Reebok and UFC ended up creating several fighter jerseys going by the birth names of many fighters who normally go by other names personally and professionally, including Cub Swanson (who hasn't gone by "Kevin" since he was a young child) and Yoel Romero (he dropped his birth last name of Polacio as a young child similarly). These were taken off their website quickly and corrected, though supposedly a few were sold before the errors were caught.
- Legendary MMA fighter Tito Ortiz has never gone by his birth name of "Jacob," his parents have called him Tito since he was an infant. He will merely look at you blankly if you call him that.
- Interestingly, the UFC itself has a policy against letting fighters have stage names, and very few fighters are allowed to compete under nicknames only (IE, Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski is fine, but not "The Pitbull"), unless it's been a long established personal name they're widely known by. This includes Mirko Cro Cop (rumors are the UFC dropped his last name Filipović because it was too hard to say for American fans, despite him using it when he was in PRIDE) and Kimbo Slice (because no one is going to pay to see Kevin Furgeson fight).
- Toshiie Maeda, retainer of Oda Nobunaga, had the birth name "Inuchiyo"; his colleagues often teased him by calling him "Inu" (i.e., "Dog") even after he came of age.
- Jon Stewart, known for The Daily Show, was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz; he dropped his surname because of issues with his father. He has said that there are still people who "take great pleasure in calling me by my given name".
- Stan Lee. He wouldn't get mad if you call him Stanley Lieber, he just did his best to impress upon you that it wasn't not his name anymore.
- The same goes for Betty Jean Ward, who prefers to go by her initials professionally.
- Met fans liked to heckle former Atlanta Braves star Chipper Jones with his real name, Larry.
- Late baseball pitcher Roy Halladay never answered to his given name "Harry", instead using a nickname for his middle name of "Leroy".
- Comic Book writer Christopher Priest doesn't talk about why he changed his birth name of James Owsley. But we can. When he got divorced, the terms of the settlement were that his now-ex-wife was entitled to and would receive half the income "Jim Owsley" made. So Jim Owsley stopped working in comics, and Christopher Priest began.
- Benjamin "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation fame often has to remind fans not to call him Ben, since everybody in his personal life calls him Yahtzee except his parents. In Let's Drown Out he explained that he mostly stopped using his given name when he first moved to Australia, and local associates asked what he wanted to be called (Australian nicknaming conventions being what they are); he said that he associated being called 'Ben' with unhappy childhood memories and difficult family relationships, so to him the handle of 'Yahtzee' is associated with creative freedom and greater self-expression.
- Clive Staples Lewis, as a child, told his parents one day that he would only answer to 'Jack' - and stuck with that. He is now famous as C. S. Lewis, with most people having no idea what the 'CS' stands for.
- P. G. Wodehouse. His names are Pelham and Grenville, the surnames of two British prime ministers. His friends called him "Plum".
- Inverted by Vic Reeves, who goes from being Vic on set to Jim (Moir) off it and prefers people to call him that in Real Life (in reality, he's well enough known as Vic that many interviewers can't do it). Indeed, as Jim's father was also called Jim, he says that his family call him (his middle name) Rod, his friends call him Jim and his fans call him Vic. When he appeared with his wife on the UK version of I'm a Celebrity! Get Me Out of Here!, it was a bit odd for fans to hear her referring to him as Jim when the voting lines and show presenters all called him Vic. You can also very occasionally hear Bob Mortimer accidentally call him Jim when they're performing, although he will immediately corrects himself.
- Allegedly, Elvis Costello is also like this, preferring to be called his birth name (Declan McManus) by family or in a non-performance context.
- He's not the only "Elvis" to invert this: the Elvis, Elvis Presley, hated being called "The King" or "The King of Rock and Roll". You see, Elvis was a devout Christian and genuinely humble man, so to his mind "The King" was, well, the King of Kings, and "the King of Rock and Roll" was Fats Domino (he felt that he had only gotten the appellation because he was white and that Domino was a far better musician). To his friends and associates, if he wasn't Elvis, he was "E."
- The vast majority of Transgender people, for very good reasons.
- The writers of OAFEnet prefer to be called by the names they use on the site, and even call each other those names, despite having worked together for years.
- Furry performer Matthew Davis, aka 2 the Ranting Gryphon, says that even his own mom calls him 2.
- Sylvester Stallone, who prefers to be called Sly.
- Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope. There are several different stories as to why he changed it, but one can imagine that being called "Hopelessly" and "Hopeless" as a child had something to do with it.
- Glen Beaudin Kolbach, who played Malcolm Frink in Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad, prefers to be called G, and has even his first name written as G in his passport, as he says that being called Glen feels like his father is in his room or someone is trying to collect a bill.
- John, James, George and Richard... it doesn't have the same ring as John, Paul, George and Ringo, does it? Not to mention, Eddie Izzard's joke about Pope names wouldn't work.
- Papal names themselves began with another example of this trope — a sixth-century priest named Mercurius was elected Pope, and decided that a name honoring a pagan god was not appropriate for the leader of the Christian church. He reigned under the name "John II".
- Neurobiologist and science blogger P. Z. Myers is almost a literal invocation of this trope — P. Z. is short for Paul Zachary, but the only time anyone ever seems to call him "Paul" is when someone's slagging him on a creationist or evangelical site.
- Marilyn Manson is, in case you couldn't tell, not his real name. Yet, even his dad, who Manson has described as "more of a rock star than myself" calls him Manson. For those who are wondering, he was born Brian Hugh Warner, his middle name coming from his father's first name. Originally all of the members of the band took stage names that were combinations of (female) sex symbols and serial killers as a commentary on the two things they felt America obsessed over the most, but none of the others is so well known as Marilyn due to him changing the band's name from "Marilyn Manson and The Spooky Kids" to just "Marilyn Manson", so most people never caught on. (The one who gets closer is Twiggy Ramirez, but he still plays in other projects under birth name Jeordie White.)
- Inverted by Paul Muni, whose birth name was Meshilem Meier Weisenfreund. His friends and close associates called him "Muni", an Austrian diminutive of Meshilem, which he had been called since birth. Strangers called him Mr. Muni. Only those who were trying to act like they were close (such as meddling executives) called him Paul.
- Zigzagged with John Wayne. People either called him Duke or Marion (his birth name). If you called him "John", it took him a minute to figure out who the hell you were talking to.
- WABC-TV reporter N.J. Burkett has the full name Newton Jones Burkett, but prefers to be addressed by his nickname.
- Nobody — except their immediate birth family and their co-star Margaret Dumont — ever called Ahdie, Leo or Julie Marx by their birth names.note note
- David Silverman, lead animator for The Simpsons, was once greeted as "Mr. Silverman" by a young boy at a film festival - and his response was "Please, call me Dave. Mr. Silverman is my father."
- Teller was born under the name Raymond Joseph Teller, but has had it legally changed and now answers only to Teller. Of course, it isn't easy to get a man who never speaks note to "answer" to anything!
- Over the years some people have gone by their middle names instead of the first names, dropping their first names entirely when being referred to, such as Stephen Grover Cleveland, Clinton Richard Dawkins, Thomas Woodrow Wilson, and Willard Mitt Romney. No word on whether any of these examples get mad if referred to by their first or full names, but they still seem to prefer their middle ones.
- Then there is Hiram Ulysses Grant, who became Ulysses S. Grant due to an error made during his entry to West Point. Being called "US Grant" didn't hurt him any as a Presidential candidate.
- Patricia Rooney Mara even stated that "I never felt like a Tricia. And Rooney is more memorable.", adding that both her father and her brother go by the middle name as well.
- Inverted by Laurence Olivier. Even with his royal titles and knighthood, he apparently refused to carry on a conversation with anyone who wouldn't simply call him "Larry".
- Lynn "Buck" Compton of Band of Brothers fame. As a child, he gave himself the nickname that would follow him through his military and legal careers, and as a kid beat up any of the other kids that called him Lynn.
- Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz obviously used his given name professionally, but among friends and relatives he preferred to be called Sparky, the nickname he was first given by an uncle two days after he was born.
- YouTube Pretty Boy Jason Sansome only ever goes by either his first name, or VeeOneEye, the name of his channel. In the same vein, PJ Liguori (aka Kickthepj) hasn't told anyone what those initials stand for. Jason has since had his surname changed to Viohni, in keeping with his channel name.
- The children of sixties and seventies rock stars who were given, er, unique names tend either to accept them philosophically (Moon Unit Zappa, daughter of Frank, just grins and bears it) or else they change them at the very first opportunity. Call Duncan Jones "Zowie Bowie" and he might punch you. Similarly, Dandelion Pallenburg-Richards, daughter of Rolling Stone Keith and actress Anita, now expressly wishes to be called Angela (despite having had a Rolling Stones song written for her).
- Whenever Andy Griffith visited his friend and The Andy Griffith Show costar Don Knotts in his last days, he'd try to reach him by using his birth name Jesse, knowing how he'd disliked it.
- Cornelius Crane Chase was given the nickname Chevy (a play on the title of the folk song "The Ballad of Chevy Chase", about a battle in the Cheviot Hills on the English-Scottish border) by his grandmother when he was 2, and Chevy Chase is the name he's answered to pretty much his whole life.
- While his acting credit is always "William Shatner", he goes by Bill and will correct an interviewer or a new acquaintance promptly.
- Maurice Joseph Micklewhite was the birth name of Michael Caine.
- Seattle-based burlesque superstar Lily Verlaine does not answer to "Rachel Gourd", only "Lily" or "Ms. Verlaine". Likewise, fellow burlesque Seattleite Babette La Fave should not be addressed as "Paula".
- A large number of eSports athletes and shoutcasters commonly go by their on-stage handles. This is especially common for players and casters whose names are foreign and difficult or impossible to pronounce to English speaking fans, i.e. "Sjokz" for Eefje Depoortere or "Faker" for Lee Sang-Hyeok.
- Bulgarians tend to use nicknames for anyone that's been introduced in an informal environment. Anyone on a First-Name Basis using a person's full first name is either mad at them, trying to maintain a boundary (parents or teachers), or is passive-aggressive. For example, a person named Robert would be called Bob by his coworkers, Bobby by his friends and family, and Robert if he screws up.
- Tippi Hedren was born Nathalie Kay Hedren, but soon after her birth, her father started calling her Tippi (derived from a Swedish term for "sweetheart"), and she's always preferred that name.