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Embarrassing Last Name

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Gruntilda: Prepare to join your buddy Bottles! You'll wish you'd never taken on the mighty Gruntilda Winkybunion!
Kazooie: Winkybunion? Is that your last name then?
Gruntilda:, no. Of course not. But don't you go telling anyone or I'll sue you...
Banjo: Whatever you say, Winky!
Gruntilda: Now die!

While the Embarrassing First Name deals with the character not liking their first name and the Embarrassing Middle Name with the middle name, the Embarrassing Last Name is where a character has a last name that sounds embarrassing to the public. It may be a sign of Unfortunate Name or Unfortunate Implications.

Sub-Trope of Shed the Family Name. Also see First-Name Basis or Only Known by Their Nickname.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Adachi and Shimamura, Shimamura dislikes her last name, since it reminds her too much of a fashion store, and wishes she was a Shimazaki.
  • Shimana Kameko from Dreamin' Sun hates her surname because it means "turtle girl".
  • In Kase-san, Yui Yamada finds her last name, which means "mountain field," embarrassing, since to her, it makes her sound like a potato. That said, she doesn't seem to have a problem with being called by that, since she feels awkward enough about her girlfriend Kase calling her "Yui" that she asks her to switch back to "Yamada."
  • New Game! Umiko Ahagon dislikes her last name and insists that the other employees call her by her first name. Most of the employees respect her wishes, but Kou occasionally calls her "Ahagon" to mess with her, despite using first names on everyone who doesn't outrank her.
  • Nononono: Kiyoshi Shiriya's surname is composed by the kanji "Shiri" (for "ass" or "butt") and "ya" ("shop"). As a result, he obviously reacts violently when people call him that way and demands they call him "Emperor".
  • Soul Eater: Soul doesn't like to be referred to by his last name "Evans", and adopted the Code Name "Soul Eater" when he came to the DWMA. This isn't because he resents the name—he actually thinks he doesn't live up to it.
  • In Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid, several characters tease Mamori Tokonome because "Tokonome" can be translated into "Virgin".

    Comic Books 
  • In Anya's Ghost, Anya, a Russian-American, expresses displeasure with her last name, Borzakovskaya, due to it being highly unusual and difficult for others to pronounce. Her embarrassment towards her name is one of many things about herself that she hates, and at one point she's seen trying to hide her head while her classmates chuckle at her last name.
  • Captain Cold, reoccurring nemesis of The Flash, was born Leonard Snart.
  • V for Vendetta: The Hitler-like dictator of Britain in V for Vendetta is named Adam Susan. No wonder they changed his name into Sutler in the movie.
  • Watchmen: The Silk Spectre, originally the daughter of a Polish immigrant, Romanized her name, Sally Juspeczyk, to Sally Jupiter. Her daughter/successor, Laurie, is not much of a fan of said name as well as being forced into the role, and prefers to keep her original last name.

     Fan Works 
  • Trixie Lulamoon of RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse absolutely hates her last name. She claims it's due to being teased by foals singing "Skip To My Lou" when she was younger, but it might also be due to being embarrassed by what her drunk Alternate Self (who does go by "Lulamoon"), gets up to when she comes out to play.

    Films — Animated 
  • From Lilo & Stitch we have ex-CIA agent and current social worker, Cobra Bubbles. He's intimidating enough that nobody ever makes fun of him for it.
    Nani: Mr... Bubbles. That's a strange—
    Bubbles: Yes, I know. Are you going to invite me inside?
  • Percy King, the mob boss villain from The Nut Job. What we think is his surname is actually his middle name. At the end of the movie, his real last name is revealed to be Dimpleweed.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Jame Lime is forced to rename himself "Jack Lame" after losing a bet against Ron on who will receive better ratings and isn't allowed any creative pronunciation. When Jack protests to this, Ron suggests even more embarrassing renames such "Jack Other", "Jack O'Lantern", and "Jack O'they" (again not being allowed any creative pronunciation).
  • In Free and Easy, Buster Keaton plays Elmer J. Butts, whose last name is a source of great amusement.
  • In the novel and film Hannibal, Lecter needles Italian police inspector Pazzi about his surname, which has an unpleasant history in Florence. He implies that Pazzi's career may have been hindered by his family's historical reputation.
  • The Focker Family from Meet the Parents and its sequels.
  • In Pitch Perfect 2, new freshman Emily Junk admits her mother's last name is weird, but it was better than using her dad's last name "Hardon".
  • Played with in Robin Hood: Men in Tights: Prince John's cook/witch is called Latrine. When asked about it she says that her family changed their name to Latrine. Used to be Shithouse.

  • In the American Girl book/short story Snickerdoodle, the main character is a girl named Kayla who is bullied at snowboarding camp because her last name is Bobsburger. She becomes the target of a mean-spirited prank; the bullies sneak into her cabin at night while she is asleep and cover her hair in ketchup, mustard, and pickles. Fortunately, a couple of camp councilors caught the bullies sneaking out of the cabin and are forced to confess the whole thing. The bullies are punished with shoveling snow and doing other chores all day and having their parents notified.
  • The Amy Virus: Both the protagonist Cynthia Butt (which is one of the reasons why she wants to change it to Cyan Beaut) and her friend Renate Silverdick.
  • Discworld
    • In the novel Feet of Clay, Watch commander Sam Vimes interviews a new police recruit: a Dwarf called Cheery. As this first name is straight out of Walt Disney, this is embarrassing enough. More is to follow. The dwarf's second name is Littlebottom. and Cheery Littlebottom has an even more embarrassing secret yet...
    • Agnes Nitt imagines an alternate personality named Perdita X Dream. When she needs to give her identity in Maskerade, she goes with Perdita X Nitt... and is told they need to do something about the Nitt.
  • The protagonist of Donald E. Westlake's novel Help I Am Being Held Prisoner has the extremely unfortunate last name of Künt (pronounced Koont, and he insists on the umlauts, or little dots above the unote ). This would be bad enough under ordinary circumstances, but when he goes to prison it threatens to become completely intolerable.
  • The Impossible Us: Nick considers "Belcher" to have enured him to bullying. Nicolas Belcher uses a pen name for most of his work, but Nick and Bee agree it's not much of an improvement.
  • In the short story "The Last of Sheila-Locke Holmes" by Laura Lippman, the protagonist is a young girl named Sheila Locke-Weiner. At one point she asks her mother if she can shorten it to just Sheila Locke, but her mother says that would be disrespectful to her father. Her mother goes on to say that if children tease her about it, she should point out that is actually pronounced 'Whiner'. Sheila's silent observation is that that is not very much better.
  • Les Misérables has an amusing tangent discussing the origins of the name of the Gorbeau House, where Valjean and Cosette end up living. It was originally the site of a law practice run by guys named Renard (Fox) and Corbeau (Crow), who were widely mocked for their last names due to the combination of those names, especially in combination forbiddingly suggesting that they were amoral attorneys, and because it suggests the fable of the Fox and the Crow, whose verse telling by Jean de La Fontaine is almost universally known in France. Eventually, the two petitioned the king for permission to change their names, and he agreed, decreeing new surnames for them. Corbeau was luckily renamed Gorbeau, but Renard was less luckily renamed Prenard ("taker"), a name suggesting someone greedy and/or a thief.
  • In The Nekropolis Archives, the bounty hunter Overkill's real name is Christina Butts, which is why she prefers to go by her alias.
  • To Shape a Dragon's Breath:
    • Anequs, after she enrolls in Kuiper's Academy, is given the patronymic surname Aponakwedottir — "Aponakwe's daughter." She rejects it nearly anytime she hears it, saying it's not her name.
    • Theod's last name, Knecht, means "jarl's servant". It's given to almost every boy that comes out of the orphanage he was raised in.
  • Three Act Tragedy: Sir Charles Cartwright's real name is Charles "Mugg", which sends his Love Interest into peals of laughter when he reveals this.
  • Walk Two Moons has a family called the Winterbottoms (one of the characters mocks this by drawing a cartoon of someone surnamed "Ice-Bottom"), and a mysterious woman named Mrs Cadaver (which a character points out is another word for "corpse").
  • There is a running joke in the Waxahachie Smith novels by J.T. Edson regarding how embarrassing the surname Ramsbottom is. Smith even adopts it as his Go-to Alias on the grounds that nobody would pick it as an assumed name.
  • In When My Heart Joins the Thousand, Stanley Finkel's last name rhymes with "tinkle," which got him teased in grade school.
  • In the Thora book The Green Sea-Unicorn, Thora and her family stay with Jerome Bidet and his daughter Louella, who hates having a last name that's French for "toilet." When she grows up, she plans to change it to her mother's maiden name, Rose.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the episode of ALF where he was JUST about ready to head back to Melmac (not the series finale, but the one taking place around Brian's birthday), Alf reveals his full Melmacian name to be Gordon Shumway (which causes plenty of laughs from the family and embarrassment to him).
  • The Brittas Empire: "Reviewing The Situation" reveals that Tim Whistler's true last name is actually Göebbels. Making matters worse, Tim is also revealed to have been born in East Germany. With this in mind, it's not hard to see why he illegally changed his surname out of shame.
  • On Friends, Rachel was taking Emma to pediatrician Dr. Wiener, making Joey laugh a lot. Phoebe in turn reveals she knows Sandy Poophack and Lana Titweiller.
    • Chandler Muriel Bing uses his first name is because it's the least embarrassing of his embarrassing names. When he learns that Monica never changed her last name after they got married he's briefly annoyed but then suggests they give their children her name "and let Bing die with me".
  • Girl Meets World: Not Maya's own name (Hart), but her ancestors': Clutterbucket. Lucas, whom Maya constantly mocks for his Texas heritage, is thrilled upon hearing this.
  • Several episodes of Hill Street Blues feature a character who is a struggling comic who is stuck with the unfortunate name of Vic Hitler.
  • In an episode of Inspector George Gently one of the suspects is a retired wrestler who still goes by his stage name. He is made to admit his actual name, and reveals his last name is Fairy.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Skye was raised under the name of Mary Sue Poots, which might explain why she unpersoned herself and created the identity of Skye. Of course, neither of these is her real name — that's Daisy Johnson.
    • WandaVision: The season finale reveals that the true identity of the fake Pietro is a random civilian Agatha possessed, and his real name is Ralph Bohner. Even the character himself makes fun of the last name (when he was still in his Pietro persona), muttering "Bohner" to himself and chuckling.
  • Murphy Brown: After Corky Sherwood gets married, her hyphenated surname is Sherwood-Forrest. You can see the moment of horrified realisation dawn on her face as she says it aloud on air for the first time.
  • Saturday Night Live has a skit rife with them due to an earthquake at the office to legally change one's name, such as Donald McRonald, Mark Peanus, Mario Pardi, Ty Neadik, Morgan Mindy (Nanu nanu!), Holden Tudiks, and one that the reporter won't say because it sounds racist — even if the person insists it's pronounced like 'cigar', a Black woman says it instead sounds like the N-word on a British accent. There's also one civilian who passed by to rescue people, Alan, asks for only an initial, and they used it in the wrong one (A. Hitler), and the show's host (Kumdungeon).
  • The security chief on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is named La'an Noonien-Singh. Her last name has always been a source of angst for her, as it marks her as a descendant of Khan Noonien-Singh, a genetically-engineered tyrant who brought about one of Earth's most devastating wars and the ensuing ban on genetic enhancements.
  • In The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, the Big Bad was the unfortunately named Mr. Sue.
  • Voyagers!: When Jeffrey originally points out Gompers, Bogg thinks he's just remarking on what a horrible last name he has and says Gompers can deal with his last name if Bogg can deal with his.
  • On Wings, Roy is in love with a woman named Barbara Farkachevsky. Antonio points out that she'd probably marry him in a heartbeat just so she could be rid of that horrible surname.

    Video Games 
  • Banjo-Tooie: As revealed in this game, Gruntilda's last name is "Winkybunion". Banjo wastes no time in mocking her for it, which comes across as a little surprising considering Banjo's usually the more kind and polite hero, with Kazooie doing most of the banter.
  • Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib-Qwib, from Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. This is the result of: 1) his culture taking their last names from the ship they are assigned to after completing their Coming of Age ritual ("Koris" is his family name), 2) his civilization buying/salvaging/taking any ship that can be of use to them, and 3) the fact that some ships have a galactic registry that makes simply renaming them extremely impractical. This is something of a sensitive topic for him, which Tali warns you of beforehand, but you are free to ignore this advice for the lulz. He states that he's hoping to get a ship with a proper Quarian name such as the Defranzh or the Iktomi... which would still lead to instances of this trope from the perspective of many humans (note that "vas" always prefaces the ship name).
  • The protagonist of Pizza Tower gets mocked by a tutorial NPC for having the full name "Peppino Spaghetti." Peppino is an uncommon but not unheard-of Italian given name, but an Italian with the surname Spaghetti slides past cliché and into the territory of deliberate parody of bad ethnically-inspired names.
  • Psychonauts: Crystal's last name is Snagrash, which Bobby and Benny make fun of via the camp bulletin boards.
  • In the third Time Crisis video game, while not considered embarrassing in-universe, some players love to snicker at Alan Dunaway's surname.

    Visual Novels 
  • A certain Sleazy Politician witness in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice calls himself Paul Atishon, but when asked to identify himself in court, he reveals that his full name is actually Paul Atishon-Wimperson. Athena says it's little wonder he decides to keep the latter half of his name out. In the original Japanese, the embarrassing part of his name related to one way of reading the characters that were used to write his name.

    Web Animation 

  • In this Close Your Eyes, Look At The Mountains strip, Rosie's last name is revealed to be Undertale.
  • Tiffany Susan Pompoms from El Goonish Shive strongly dislikes her last name, to the point where even her close friends can forget that it is her name.
  • Jassart LeBlanc's real last name in Snow By Night is Charbonnier. It's embarrassing to him because it means "son of a charcoaler," which is more or less the most looked-down-upon occupation in Saronnean society.
  • Cuntons of Vegan Artbook, whose name is a combination of the surname of someone Yerdian hates for wearing fur and… well, make a wild guess. Would it surprise you to learn she's a total Straw Man?

    Western Animation 
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Uncle", Ocho reveals that his real name is Harry Tootmorsel. According to him, "Tootmorsel" is a Flemish name meaning "hot wind from the south".
  • During The Backyardigans episode "Whodunnit?", Austin's surname was... Frothingslosh. You can stop laughing now.
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • The main characters are the Belcher family. In one episode, Sasha calls them "Belchers" and her aunt mistakes it for an insult.
    • The landlord in is named "Calvin Fishoedeor" (pronounced "fish odor").
  • In Family Guy Carter forced his wife to change her last name because it was Jewish so that they could get into certain establishments.
  • In the Pound Puppies (2010) episode "Olaf in Love", we learn the full name of Mr. McLeish's Beleaguered Assistant is Olaf Hugglesbjork.
  • Benson of Regular Show goes on a First-Name Basis because his full name is Benson Dunwoody.
  • In Rick and Morty the school headmaster's last name is Vagina.
  • Sit Down, Shut Up: Main character Larry Littlejunk, who prefers to just go by "Coach L" for this reason.
  • Alejandro from Total Drama has his last name revealed by Chris to everyone in All Stars. Chris gets a good laugh at learning that his name is "Alejandro Burros Muertos" (Dead Donkeys). This gets lampshaded further into the episode. This was previously revealed in a confessional in World Tour, though it was just "Burromuerto" (Dead Donkey) there, and the translation was not made clear to those who don’t know Spanish until All Stars.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: Omi is not amused when he finds out his last name is Crud after reuniting with his parents. Subverted, since his parents turn out to be fake.

    Real Life 
  • Mel Blanc's original last name was "Blank." Due to jokes about it, he changed the last letter to avoid having a name that amounted to being "Mel Empty".


Cornelius Colon

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