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Embarrassing Initials

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"Natasha Elizabeth Riley-Dodd will not thank you."
The Greatest Baby Name Book Ever by Carol McD. Wallace

Rounding out the Embarrassing Names Sisters (the others being Embarrassing First Name, Embarrassing Middle Name, Embarrassing Last Name, and Embarrassing Nickname) is Embarrassing Initials—when this common method of abbreviating a name spells out something, well, embarassing.

Also a Sister Trope to Fun with Acronyms. Sub-Trope of Unfortunate Names.

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Examples:

People (Initials)

Comic Books

  • Gotham Academy professor Mr. Scarlett has the initials A.S.S., made rather obvious by the fact that his first and middle name are never given more than the initials and he's teaching a bunch of teenagers.

Film (Live Action)

Films (Animated)

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Literature

  • In the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid, we have Preston Mudd, shortened to P. Mudd. "It took everyone five seconds for everyone to figure it out." Later, we also have Peter Uteger, or P.U.
  • In The Heroes of Olympus, resident badass praetor Reyna's full name is revealed to be Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano...or RA-RA.
  • The Land of Oz book series has Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs, OZPINHEAD for short, which he abbreviates to Oz to get rid of the "Pinhead" part.
  • Stories For Nine Year Olds: In "What's in a Name?", the titular girl Rozanne "Roz" Andrianov Tompkin gets teased because her initials are R.A.T.

Live Action TV

  • All in the Family: Discussed during one of Mike & Archie's many arguments, which comes about when Mike & Gloria are going to have a baby and are deciding what to name it. Mike wants to name it Stanisalus Archie Stivic, after the two grandfathers: Mike's father Stanislaus and Gloria's father Archie.
    Archie: Well, how come you didn't think about it the other way around - Archie Stanislaus Stivic?
    Gloria: Oh, daddy, you wouldn't want your grandchild to have those initials.
    Mike: Well, it would fit the American grandfather.
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  • In the final ‘’CSI’’ episode, Grissom takes notice of D.B.’s initials when thry’re Introduced. DB is CSI shorthand for dead body.
  • The protagonist of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Reginald Iolanthe Perrin (his parents were Gilbert and Sullivan fans).
  • In Family Matters, Carl's full name was Carl Otis Winslow.
  • Blanche Elizabeth Hollingsworth from The Golden Girls got these after she got married and became Blanche Elizabeth Devoreaux. Her initials became more appropriate after her husband died and she started playing the field. Lampshaded in one episode.
Web Video
  • In Rémi le Radis, the heroes meet Monster of the Week Phillipe Queraldonote  and immediately make fun of his initials (PQ being a term for toilet paper) note . When he reveals that it annoyed him all his life, Rémi suggest him to legally change his name and the rest of the episode is about Obstructive Bureaucracy. Then he finally reveals his new name: Phillipe Deralquo. "PD" is the French equivalent of "faggot".note 

Western Animation

  • The Spacecats received their orders from a bodyless head known as the Disembodied Omnipotent Ruler of Cats. He's blissfully unaware that his name abbreviates to "DORC".

Real Life

  • In ''The Greatest Baby Name Book Ever," several reasons are given to avoid a name. The paragraph under "The initials spell something silly" gives us our page quote.
  • Ulysses Simpson Grant was born Hiram Ulysses Grant, but like many men of the time he went by his middle name, which the family friend who got him into West Point mistook for his first name and simply added Grant's mother's maiden name as his middle name (as was also very common). Grant tried to resist the change but eventually gave up and became U.S. Grant (also the common initials of the United States).

Organizations (Acronyms)

Film

Literature

  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, upon learning how much wizards mistreat house elves, Hermione creates an organization named "Society for Promoting Elfish Welfare", and creates badges for herself and her friends to wear. The others find wearing a badge that spells "SPEW" ridiculous.
  • In STINKBOMB, Yuri "Dr. Doom" Vilenemi plans to name his evil operation "Operation R.A.L.L.Y.", which stands for "Reak Almighty Lawsuits Lots, Yahoo!". Archie and Barney points out that, not only does the phrase not make sense, "Wreak" is spelled with a "W", so he's actually named the job "Operation W.A.L.L.Y."

Live-Action TV

  • Ann on Arrested Development belongs to the Church of the Holy Eternal Rapture. This spells the Bluth family's normal reaction to her being mentioned: "HER?"
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer "Gingerbread," Joyce founds an anti-witch group called "Mothers Opposed to the Occult."
    Buffy: Nice acronym, Mom.
  • In an episode of The John Larroquette Show the bus terminal's resident Angry Black Man complains about the NAACP to a co-worker, also black.
    Dexter: You know what the CP in N-Double A-CP stands for? Colored People. They should call it the National Association for the Advancement of African-Americans.
    Heavy Gene: "NAAAA?" ''(beat) Naah.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Polymorph", Rimmer's suggestion for dealing with the eponymous alien monster is to form a Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society. He acknowledges that the abbreviation is something of a drawback.

Video Games

  • In Grand Theft Auto III, a caller on Chatterbox states that she's put together a group to get telephones banned from Liberty City. The group is called Citizens Raging Against Phones. Lazlow is quick to point out this names the organization "CRAP".
  • The first boss of Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero is the Part Omni-Organic, Partially Titanic, Ocean-Optional Tinkerslug.
    Shantae: "P.O.O.P. T.O.O.T.?
    Risky: "Don't call it that!"

Web Original

  • The group of squirrels in The Petri Dish has initials that spell FART.

Western Animation

  • In The Fairly OddParents!, season 8, "When Losers Attack", when Mr. Crocker, Dark Laser, and Foop form an alliances to take down Timmy, they're trying to think of a name for their group and one of the names Foop cames up with is League Of Super Evil Revenge Seekers. They all agreed to the name being oblivious it spells "LOSERS" and even after getting T-shirts with the acronym on it and Timmy questioning their group name they're still oblivious.
  • On the Futurama episode "Bender Should Not Be Allowed On Television", Prof. Farnsworth forms a protest group against indecent content on television. The name of the group is Fathers Agaisnt Rude Television. It doesn't help that Farnsworth keeps using the acronym in dialogue without catching on.
    Prof. Farnsworth: And for what? A cheap laugh? That's not what F.A.R.T. is about!
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • When Dr. Doofenshmirtz names an organization of evil scientists "League Of Villainous Evildoers Maniacally United For Frightening Investments in Naughtiness", one of the scientists questions if they're seriously going to be called that.
      Dr. Bloodpudding: You want us to be called L.O.V.E.M.U.F.F.I.N.?
      Doofenshmirtz: Oh good grief!! It doesn't matter what we're called.
    • The group of Animal Superheros that oppose those scientists is called O.W.C.A., which no one finds embarrassing, just disappointing. It does, after all, stand for Organization Without a Cool Acronym.
  • Not an organization, but one rule for the Krusty Krab in Spongebob Squarepants is People Order Our Patties, which abbreviates to POOP.

Real Life

  • The Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party, or CCRAP. Switching "Reform" and "Conservative" was only marginally better.
  • The organization run by Richard Nixon in his 1972 re-election campaign was the Committee to Re-Elect the President, or CREEP. (Though the official Initialism was CRP).
  • The world governing body for taekwondo was named the World Taekwondo Federation until they re-branded by dropping the last word in 2017.
  • The Comitato Ricerche Associazione Pionieri, a committee dedicated to preserving a children's supplement of a historical Italian communist newspaper, has its initials in their speech bubble logo. Hilariously, CRAP also did insert said speech bubble above characters of the Atomino comic.
  • There's the Universal Technical Institute, or U.T.I.
  • Kotobukiya's Frame Arms Girl line of model kits and accessories, or F.A.G.
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