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Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep"

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Coach: Is there an Ernie Pantusso here?
Sam: That's you, Coach.
Coach: [into the phone] Speaking.

A Sub-Trope of No Name Given in which a character is not just a "victim" of Only One Name, but is only known by his job title or some other descriptive moniker, or an obscure or odd word that functions as an unusual nickname.

Different from Only Known by Their Nickname, in that it is actually describing what they do. If the character initiates it, it's Spell My Name with a "The". May be the result of a Nameless Narrative or Featureless Protagonist. For parents, see Unnamed Parent. Related to They Call Him "Sword" and Person with the Clothing. Compare/contrast Race-Name Basis when race is used for this and the character may or may not have a name and A Dog Named "Dog".

When it's not just a moniker but their actual name, it's the sub-trope His Name Really Is "Barkeep".

May have a Given Name Reveal at some point.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Asian Animation 
  • Season 8 of Happy Heroes features the king of the fantasy town within Xiao Haha's Portal Book A History of Magic as a major character. He's only ever referred to as "the King" and is never given an actual name.
  • Lamput's villains, Fat Doc and Slim Doc, are only known by their profession of being doctors.
  • Motu Patlu: Boxer, a recurring character, is only known by his affinity for boxing.

    Audio Plays 

    Comic Strips 
  • In B.C., the Fat Broad and the Cute Chick.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin's parents are never referred to by name, only as "Mom" and "Dad" by the titular characters. Calvin doesn't even have a surname, so they can't be Mr/Mrs either. As a result, the character of Uncle Max was short-lived in part because Bill Watterson realized it wouldn't make much sense for him to never refer to Calvin's parents by name (during his appearance, he referred to Calvin's dad as "bro").
  • The Katzenjammer Kids: The Captain and the Inspektor are only known by their titles.
  • De Rechter: None of the characters' real names are ever used. Aside from the Judge (who has a nickname used by his wife, "Beertje"), all of them are only known by their title or function.
  • The Wizard of Id: Much of the cast are referred to only by their title or job description: the King, the Wizard, the Duke, Turnkey, Lackey...

    Fairy Tales 

    Films — Animation 
  • Animals United: The Leopard and Hunter's names are never mentioned. Even stranger, one of the human characters refers to the Hunter as "Hunter" instead of his real name.
  • The Candlemaker from The Book of Life. He's the Candlemaker.
  • In The Swan Princess, Queen Uberta’s first footman, Sir Chamberlain, is either called "The Chamberlain" or "Chamberlain" for short.
  • In The Brave Little Toaster, all of the appliance characters are named after what they are, in a cross between this trope and A Dog Named "Dog". Kirby the vacuum cleaner is a downplayed example; Kirby is an actual name, but he's named that because he's a Kirby-brand vacuum. Also, the owner of the objects is only known as "the Master".note 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Sleeping Beauty: In Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams one of King Stefan’s servants, Lord Duke the Majordomo, is either referred to as "The Duke" in the credits or just "Duke" for short in the film. Similarly, another servant under Stefan’s royal court, Sir Minstrel, is either called "The Minstrel" or just "Minstrel".
    • Beauty and the Beast: The Beast is only ever called well, "the Beast" ("the" optional), except for his servants, who call him "the Master". His human form is Prince Adam, but this really only appears in supplemental material.
    • Aladdin:
      • Aladdin's genie is known only as Genie, or sometimes "The Genie". In the sequels and series this becomes particularly strange, as Jafar is also a genie and another named genie is introduced.
      • The Sultan of Agrabah has no name; he's "Father" or "Papa" to Jasmine and other people call him "Your Majesty" or variants to him and "the Sultan" when talking about him. A deleted scene referred to him as Hamed, but no name actually made it into the movies or series.
      • One episode of Aladdin: The Series also features a character that's only known as Wazir. It makes more sense than the genie example, as the king he works for is not only a child king, but moody and egocentric, i.e. not the type to be bothered with learning his wazir's name.
    • A bit of a Genius Bonus from Mulan is that if one cross-references the storyline with history and myth and accepts that the "Huns" in the film are actually the Xiongnu, the Big Bad is in fact never referred to by his name but by his title, as Shan Yu (alternatively spelled as "Chanyu") means "Majesty Sun of Heaven" and was the title used by the chief of the Xiongnu.
    • The Big Bad of Disney's Dinosaur for some reason, is always referred by everyone as "The Carnotaurus." Guess what dinosaur he actually is! (hint: it's not the one you expect) It's probably because, unlike the herbivores, the two Carnotaurs are unable to talk.
    • The Princess and the Frog:
      • Doctor Facilier, the main villain, is always referred by everyone in the film as "The Shadow Man", although no explanation is given as to why.
      • Also, according to Word of God, Evangeline (the Evening Star and Ray the firefly's love interest) is actually the Blue Fairy's real name.
  • The Prince and the Shapeshifter from Faeries (1999).
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, the villain's second-in-command is simply known as the Wolf Boss.
  • The Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas (though some of the merchandise gives him the name Hizzonor).
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists takes this trope to its extremes by applying it to the entire main cast. The Pirate Captain leads a crew consisting of The Albino Pirate, The Pirate With Gout, The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate, and various others. Assuming they have actual names, we never learn what they are. The only crew member with a revealed name is Polly, their pet Dodo. The Pirate Captain's second-in-command is referred as only Number Two in the movie, but the credits and a DVD special feature short call him "The Pirate With The Scarf."
  • In The Polar Express, the credits list the main characters as "Hero Boy" and "Hero Girl".
  • The blue-shelled Koopa General in The Super Mario Bros. Movie is never referred to by name, being referred to as simply "Koopa General" in the end credits.
  • Trolls: The Bergens' chef is only ever called Chef.
  • White Snake (2019): The Emperor and The General are both only referred to by said titles, and their names are never heard.
  • The Big Bad of Wolfwalkers is clearly intended to be a fictionalized version of Oliver Cromwell, but he's only referred to as "the Lord Protector" (the title Cromwell went under during his rule over England instead of "King") throughout the film. This was deliberate, since the directors mention in this interview that they wanted to avoid an Inglourious Basterds-style depiction of history.


    Myths & Religion 
  • Irish Mythology gives us Cuchulainn, which is actually a title for the character, meaning "Chulainn's Dog." It's more badass than his real name, Setanta.
  • Arthurian Legend:
    • The Lady of the Lake, sometimes, though she's also sometimes called Nimue or Vivienne. Le Morte d'Arthur reconciled various stories by having an unnamed one die before Nimue took her place as the "chief Lady of the Lake," implying that there are several at any one time.
    • From the same legends come the Burning Dragon Knight and The Green Knight.
  • In Christianity:
    • God, who goes by His title ("God" or "Lord") as opposed to His name ("Yahweh," "Jehovah," or the nearest transliteration depending on the alphabet) in most translations.
    • Jesus Christ: Christ isn't His last name, but a title meaning "The Chosen One", "the Anointed one" or "the Messiah".
    • In The Bible, a number of different Egyptian Pharaohs are referred to as "Pharaoh" rather than "the Pharaoh" and are titled "King of Egypt" as though Pharaoh is their name instead of their title. Some other "Kings of Egypt" are given actual names (such as Shishak in 1 Kings and So in 2 Kings), so this discrepancy may boil down to confusion.

  • Heist!: Although all of the protagonists have full names (which are shown at the start of the game), in-game messages always refer to them by their role (e.g., "Hacker has been arrested!").
  • In WHO dunnit (1995), Victoria's manservant is exclusively called "Butler", except in one suspect's remark that reveals his real name as Walter.

  • A literal example in the "Sparks Nevada" universe of The Thrilling Adventure Hour: the barkeep, a significant character, is addressed only as "Barkeep," which the protagonist comes to assume is actually his name. Hilariously subverted when it slips out that his full name is Mordecai Benmont Jiminy.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The man who was NWA Nigeria Welterweight Champion in 1993 was known simply as "Danger Bone Destroyer".
  • The Beer City Bruisers were a group who occasionally worked in the dark match during Ring of Honor's SBG era starting around 2013. When one of them showed up on television two years later he was simply called Beer City Bruiser.
  • Yoshimoto Women's Pro Wrestling Jd'\JD Star had The Bloody, so called because of what usually occurred during her matches.
  • WWC, New Wrestling Stars, New Generation Wrestling, IWA Puerto Rico and World Wrestling League wrestler Hammet is much better known by the name "Mr. 450," for his finishing move.
  • There were once these self proclaimed "thugs" who tried to kill Jay Lethal. One of them we know as Homicide.
  • Ultimate Pro Wrestling had a few cheerleaders, but there was only one they called Head Bitch In Charge.
  • Same with Hornswoggle. When Fit Finlay's leprechaun companion and son was first introduced in 2006, he did not have a name—but Michael Cole took to shouting "Look! It's that little bastard!" whenever he'd show up, so the nickname "Little Bastard" stuck. Nearly a year would pass before Finlay finally revealed that the leprechaun's "real" name was Hornswoggle.
  • WWC tends to refer to Mesias exclusively as "El Mega Campeon de AAA" or as he racked up more titles, "El Mega Triple Campeon." It makes commentary amusing, to say the least.
  • Miss Mongol of FMW was known as such not for being Mongolian, but for using a lot of Mongolian chops.
  • WWECW wrestler Kevin Thorne was referred to simply as "The Vampire," and had a couple of matches without any ring introduction that might give away a name, before his name was finally revealed. This may be because the writers simply hadn't figured out what to call him...or because "Kevin" is a really stupid name for a vampire, even if Thorne is a good one.

  • The radio crime drama series Mr. District Attourney never gave a name for its titular character other than "D.A." or "the Chief."
  • The Philadelpha Xperiment features a lobotomy patient (and WW2 veteran) known only as "Patient X."
  • The Professor in Old Harry's Game. His name is mentioned in the first episode and occasionally thereafter, but he is nearly always just called "the Professor".


    Tabletop Games 
  • One of the named (such as it is) characters in the Anima Tactics game is The Colonel, a man implied to be feared over and above others even in his own kingdom (which is made up of badasses and demons). In his description, it is stated that the number of people who know his actual name can be counted on one hand.
  • The Bounty Hunter from Battletech. As a Legacy Character some later Bounty Hunters have had actual names and identities, but the original Succession Wars Era one was only ever known as The Bounty Hunter.
  • For Dungeons & Dragons we have the Lady of Pain and the Raven Queen (Goddess of Death). Some demons try to learn the Raven Queen's true name to depose her of her power and attain godhood.
  • There is also the Scarlet Empress in Exalted, and both the Death Lords and the Abyssals are required to go by title and not name.
  • The Red Knight is the Forgotten Realms demigoddess of tactics and strategy. Only her superior Tempus knows her real name. Faiths & Pantheons states that if anyone else were to learn it, that person would be privy to all the plans and intrigues of everyone in the entire universe.
  • The Naga in Legend of the Five Rings use this trope in similar way to the Qunari: Their titles are their names. Their telepathy keeps it from getting confusing when a Naga's rank or job changes.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, the Emperor of Kamigawa is not allowed to reveal her name to anyone, and most people refer to her as "The Wanderer". She's a Planeswalker, and mechanically speaking, this means that none of her cards so far have a subtype, since that would reveal her name.
  • The name of The God-Emperor of Mankind from Warhammer 40,000 has never been revealed. He is always referred to as the Emperor. Ostensibly, The God-Emperor is a transcendent being who has had tens of thousands of lives (although Sigmar's origin story is very similar to the post-Age of Strife God-Emperor). His backstory is given as being the final reincarnation of thousands of amalgamated shamans 48,000 years before the main storyline: which would give him an innumerable quantity of possible names—and no need for any of them. It's heavily implied he was a lot of important historical figures, including Jesus.

  • All the characters are named except the maniac in Accidental Death of an Anarchist.
  • In Blood Wedding, only one character, Leonardo, has a name. Everybody else is referred to as "the bride", "the bridegroom", "the mother-in-law", etc.
  • The Arbiter from Chess has had a few names over the years—Constantine Stannos (Broadway), Jean Jacques Van Boren (Swedish), Kobe Obe (US tour). Most adaptations only refer to the character as "The Arbiter," and the ones that name him generally just call him by his title.
  • Many characters in The Drowsy Chaperone: The title character, The Man in Chair, the Gangsters, and Underling. And these are all main characters!
  • The Cardinal in The Duchess of Malfi.
  • Wallace Shawn's The Hotel Play had over 20 characters, all identified with names like "The Girl Who Broke the Bowl", "The Man Who Looks Like a Walrus", "The Hotel Clerk".
  • The Nurse in Hippolytus.
  • Most of the characters in Into the Woods are known by their profession (the Baker, the Steward), their relation to someone else (Jack's Mother, Cinderella's Prince), or their character archetype (the Witch, the Mysterious Man). This applies to just about every character apart from Cinderella, Jack, Rapunzel, Florinda, Lucinda, and Milky-White.
  • The Mayor in the Latibær plays is just called "Bæjarstjórinn" which means "The Mayor," "the" and all.
  • The Jester from Once Upon a Mattress.
  • In the musical The Phantom of the Opera, the title character (who also goes as "Opera Ghost") is never called "Erik" or by any other proper name.
  • The former Fillmore High basketball coach in That Championship Season is only ever referred to as Coach by both the other characters (four of his former players) and the script.
  • The Boy from Waiting for Godot.
  • A fair number of Shakespeare examples:
    • Although actually named Vincentio, in William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, The Duke is referred to exclusively by his title.
    • Claudius of Hamlet is just credited as King.
    • Escalus of Romeo and Juliet is just called Prince.
    • The Fool from King Lear.
    • The Duke from The Merchant of Venice.
    • In a somewhat meta example, Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream. His name is technically Robin Goodfellow (taken from folklore), but he's called "Puck" several times by Oberon and in many of the speech prefixes. Scripts of the time commonly used descriptive terms instead of names in the speech prefixes, so Puck is not necessarily his name, any more than, say, Feste's name is "Clown," or Shylock's name is "Jew." "Puck" was a word more in line with "pooka," or "sprite." So Puck is what he is, and Robin is his name. The one time he refers to himself as Puck is when he says, "As I am an honest Puck..."
  • In The Consul, the Secretary is only ever addressed by her title, which is oddly fitting for an Obstructive Bureaucrat with a poor memory for names.
  • The Bishop in Les Misérables is only ever called, well, the Bishop, although the script calls him "Bishop of Digne". His name from the novel (Charles-François-Bienvenu Myriel) is never mentioned in the show.
  • Miss Saigon has the pimp only ever referred to as "The Engineer," it is unclear if the name he takes up following reunification, "Tranh van Dinh," is his real name or an alias.
  • Due to Writing Around Trademarks, Twisted has The Sultan, The Princess, The Djinn, The Captain of the Guard, The Sea-Witch, Handsome Hero, Hook-handed Pirate, and others.

    Theme Parks 
  • Universal's Halloween Horror Nights has done this with several of their "Icon" characters, such as with "The Caretaker" (a Creepy Mortician and Mad Doctor), "The Director" (a Snuff Film director), "The Storyteller" (an old lady who reads twisted tales), and "The Usher" (a movie theater usher who brutally murders anyone that doesn't follow the rules).
  • The Dreamfinder from the original version of Epcot's Journey into Imagination is simply referred to as well, "Dreamfinder", with his real name never being revealed. Averted in the ride's Comic-Book Adaptation, Figment, which gives him the name "Blarion Mercurial" (or Blair for short).

  • Rock Raiders: The captain of the LMS Explorer is only ever referred to as "Chief".

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • The Judge. In Justice For All, he gives Phoenix a business card, but Phoenix is unable to make out the name on it.
    • This applies to every judge in the series, aside from Justine Courtney. Except for the original judge, they are differentiated in the fandom by monikers such as "the Labyrinthian judge" and "the judge's brother".
    • Likewise, the bellboy in the first game is always referred to as "the bellboy" or "that creepy bellboy."
    • Parodied with recurring character Wendy Oldbag. Although her name is very well known, the name that shows up over her speech boxes is always "Security Lady" (or, later, "Ex-Security Lady"). Games staring Edgeworth however, put her name down as Oldbag because he is painfully aware of her identity.
  • Parodied with Marco in Double Homework. Whenever he speaks, his name is just shown as “Nerd.” The protagonist can’t ever remember his name, despite the fact that Marco is the only one who is nice to him when he switches summer school classes.
  • In the Fate Series, the Servants are called by their character classes to disguise their true identities (and thus, their legendary weapons, abilities, and (most importantly) weaknesses) from their opponents. Unless the Servant is too arrogant to worry about such things, as in the cases of Gilgamesh and the Fate/Zero Rider, Iskander.
  • The Nurse in Katawa Shoujo.
  • In Marco & the Galaxy Dragon, the Mayor’s actual name is never revealed, and everyone just calls her "the Mayor".
  • In Misericorde, the nuns of Linbarrow Abbey only refer to the Mother Superior by her title (or in Margaret's case, by the less-than-respectful nickname "Soup"). Her name is revealed to be Mabel late in the game, when the bishop addresses her as such.
  • In Shining Song Starnova, the main characternote  is the producer for an idol group, and just about everyone he interacts with calls him "Mr. Producer" or "Producer-san". This may be a reference to The Idolmaster.

    Web Animation 
  • The only reason the titular characters in An Adventure of Sheep and Chicken call the antagonist "a hiker" is because they don't know his actual name and because he's a hiker. They never do find out what the hiker's real name is.
  • Slamacow Creations' Bartenderman is a Bartending enderman. He's also Santa.
  • The villain in Diary Of A Camper is called, indeed, [A]Camper.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Everyone calls Waterfall Girl 'WG', for short.
  • Fallout Lore: The Storyteller: The Storyteller does have a name, but he's almost always just referred to as "Storyteller" and when people do say his real name something keeps the viewers from hearing it.
  • In The Gentleman Pirate, the quartermaster is only referred to as "Quartermaster" throughout the film, even in the credits. When he's demoted to one-eighthmaster, he's referred to as such by the other characters and the Narrator.
  • Often used for comic effect in Homestar Runner.
  • The Leet World has The Producer, the mysterious owner of the Leet World Reality Show. Another example is the unnamed Mysterious Mercenary Pursuer, who the housemates call the Domination Guy after his apparent obsession with domination (no, not like that.)
  • Half the main cast of Lego Pirate Misadventures are referred to by their rank, not that rank means much to them. In Captain's case, at least, it's because of his Embarrassing Middle Name: Isaiah Jameson Clarabell Puddykins Gunnelsworth III.
  • The private detective in the 3D Movie Maker film-noir parody Pamela has the first name "Detective," giving him the name plus title of Detective Detective Joe Peterson. (So when another character calls him "Detective," he thinks she's on a first name basis with him.)
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Season 2 introduces a medic with the name DuFresne. It's decided by the other characters that his name is too hard to pronounce and he is christened "Doc" for the remainder of the series.
    • The Red Team Sergeant is an example for most of the series, known only as Sarge. However, it is eventually revealed his name actually is Sarge.
    • Sister is another example. Her real name is stated by the DVD profiles and season 15 to be Kaikaina (which is Hawaiian for "younger sibling of the same sex," which counts as a Stealth Insult to Grif), but all characters, including her older brother, only ever call her Sister.
    • The Freelancers have The Director (whose name is eventually revealed to be Leonard Church, but he's still rarely ever called by it), and The Counselor (whose name is eventually revealed as Aiden Price).
    • VIC; while "Vic" is a real name, it actually stands for Virtual Intelligence Computer. Similarly, though FILSS is often referred to as "Sheila" (thanks to a Stable Time Loop), her real name stands for Freelancer Integrated Logistics and Security System. In both cases, their "names" are more descriptors of what they do than a unique name.
  • Trick Moon: Both Prince and Mage are only ever referred to by their respective titles.

  • In Adorable Desolation, Shopclerk is only known as Shopclerk or sometimes The Shopclerk.
  • Security from The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred.
  • An initially nameless character in Bittersweet Candy Bowl was dubbed "Final Fantasy Cat" by fans. Although Word of God has since declared his name to be Augustus, the author still frequently refers to him as Final Fantasy Cat.
  • In the third chapter of Champions of Far'aus, the barkeep is only referred to as Barkeep.
  • The main villain of ConScrew has somehow kept the rest of the main cast from learning her real name, so they all just refer to her as 'Fangirl' after her always using 'Rabid Fangirl' as the name on her Con IDs.
  • The bartender in Corner Alley 13 is just called bartender. The supplemental material even acknowledges it:
    His real name is unknown, which kind of shows what his friends are worth.
  • The GM in Darths & Droids.
  • TC (Theater Clerk) in El Goonish Shive, though he calls himself "The Playah."
  • In Flaky Pastry, the main characters' neighbor, who is himself of the main supporting cast, is known simply as "the neighbor." Lampshaded in multiple strips. Darren calls him Father, given that's his relation to her. Sort of while while one version of her mother calls him Snowball. This is closest we've gotten to a name
  • Girl Genius has the assistant to Vanamonde von Mekkhan, who is never named, and is generally known by the fandom as The Assistant. This is even lampshaded by Van.
    Vanamonde: Who are you?
    Assistant: Oh, not this again.
  • Homestuck:
    • The Exiles: Wayward Vagabond, Peregrine Mendicant, Aimless Renegade and Windswept Questant. They are more commonly referred to using their initials (WV, PM, AR, WQ) both in and out of the comic. The Exiles collect potential meanings for these initials throughout the story: WV is also Warweary Villein, Wizardly Vassal and Wastelandic Vindicator; PM—Parcel Mistress, Prospitian Monarch; AR—Authority Regulator, Armaments Regent; WQ—White Queen.
    • The Guardians: John's Dad and Nanna, Rose's Mom, Dave's Bro, Jade's Grandpa. The only one with an actual name is Becquerel, and he's a near-omnipotent dog. In the B2 Universe the new SBURB players are named: Nanna is Jane, Rose's Mom is Roxy, Dave's Bro is Dirk, and Jade's Grandpa is Jake. John's/Jane's Dad is still just Dad in this universe though.
    • The troll's ancestors: only Redglare, Mindfang, Darkleer and Dualscar are given names; the Handmaid, the Summoner, the Helmsman, the Disciple, the Dolorosa, the Grand Highblood and the Condesce are all known by their titles. Then the Sufferer sort of has a name, Signless, but it's not used as often and isn't his original name (if he had one). Like the Universe B Guardians, the Ancestors are named when we meet their alternate versions in Act 6.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, although the Pirates of Ipecac, a married couple, do have names, they almost always address each other as "Captain" and "Technician."
  • All the Deaths in Irregular Webcomic! are referred to by what they are the death of ("Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs" is usually called that, although it's been shortened to just "Fireballs"). If they're assigned to be the death of something else, the Death's name changes, too.
  • Jayden and Crusader:
    • Third officially has no name. He is called Third because he was the Third Character. No one seems to think this is odd...
    • Perhaps a more fitting example of this trope is Cinema Guy, of the same webcomic. His real name has been revealed to be Kevin, but everyone calls him Cinema Guy much to his annoyance.
  • The barmaid in Jesus and Mo.
  • The Captain assigned to the central mystery in Kaspall.
  • Incubus from Kill Six Billion Demons is a Dream Walker who tempts people in their dreams, much like his namesake. It's implied that 'Incubus' is a title he gave himself and his real name, if any, is unknown: All of the other Seven have known him for centuries and none of them ever refer to him by that, or by any name for that matter.
  • Manly Guys Doing Manly Things: The main character is an artificially-created Super-Soldier labeled D37-9E-B52 and given the rank "Commander Badass." His family/squad mates from the future call him Rock Lobster, but people from the present mostly call him Commander.
    Jonesy: I basically treat that as his first name at this point.
  • Meta-example: Other than the title character and a handful of others no one in
  • Mias World: The characters are not given actual names, simply a word used to describe something about them. For instance, World is Mia’s uncle-in-law, and Enemie is the boy whom she nicknamed such after a miscommunicated attempt at brushing her off; he was also later revealed to have a crush on her. King is her sister’s fiancé whom she mistook for royalty upon meeting him. There's also the character Lyer, in many fan theories a ghost or demon of some kind, and canonically is the main antagonist, whose name was apparently a misspelling of the word liar. The only exceptions are Mia herself and her sister, '44, given a name in the side artwork ‘Mia’s Mates’ which was a drawing of all the characters together. although '44 was simply called Big Sister by Mia in the comic.
  • minus.: the protagonist's name is the same as the title of the comic, including being spelled in lowercase. Aside from her, characters have to be referred to by one of their aspects, such as "the green-haired girl."
  • Necropolis
    • As of when the comic stopped updating in mid-2020, the main character's name had never been said. She's generally known as Third Sword to fans, and usually called "Kid" by her mentor Lin. Word of God confirmed that she has a proper name, but the plan was to only use it very rarely.
    • Also, the married immortals that rule the land are only ever referred to, thus far, as "the Seer King" and "the Conquerer Queen". Narration from the start of the comic confirms that their actual names are long since lost to history and perhaps forbidden from ever being spoken or written down.
  • One of the apprentices in Never Satisfied is known only as Broom Girl.
  • Most of the characters from NEXT!!! Sound of the Future are androids who have codenames based on a unique string of letters and numbers that they are each assigned with. One exception to this, however, is a Mad Scientist android who asks to just be called "Doctor", with the other characters thusly referring to them as "Hakase" (which is Japanese for doctor).
  • No Rest for the Wicked features "the Boy," whose real name might be Jack, or maybe Hans. Most every lad back in his village is a Hans or a Jack.
  • Mistress in Oglaf. No one calls her by name. No one seems to know her name, and, frankly, no one would be brave enough to ask.
  • The kobold oracle of Tiamat in The Order of the Stick is only know as "The Oracle of Sunken Valley," or the Oracle for short.
  • Played in the straightest way possible in The Pigs Ear; the barkeep of the titular pub is, indeed, solely addressed as "Barkeep." It may well be his real name.
  • The bounty hunter in Plume is called the Hunter.
  • Most characters in ProblemSleuth. Hysterical Dame, Nervous Broad and Mobster Kingpin are the best examples.
  • The Queen and the Woodborn: Danica's husband is usually just referred to as "the king" or "your father" (when speaking with their son). She calls him "Peter" during her Freak Out after experiencing hallucinations of their son calling her, but it's pretty easy to miss.
  • In Roommates the Erlkönig (who is a powerful fae king) is not called anything else even by his own son, who by the way insists on First-Name Basis in the case of everybody else (if not outright giving them nicknames).
  • Hero from RPG World.
  • The Princess in Rusty and Co..
  • Scary Go Round has a character named "The Boy". His parents later appear as "The Father" and "The Mother," naturally. Eventually/retroactively he is revealed to be named 'Eustace Boyce', but a French exchange student mispronounced it as "Useless Boy" and it stuck. There is also an enigmatic character who has not properly been introduced to any of the cast or the public, whom the media have dubbed "The Child." One of the main characters remarks to The Boy that it's suspiciously similar to his name. Near the end of Scary Go Round, The Child was revealed to be named Poh.
  • Barkeep from Turn Signals on a Land Raider. Even when he conquers the Fantasy empire with the Land Raider he traded his tavern for, he becomes "Emperor Barkeep."
  • Van Von Hunter has an unnamed sidekick. She suffers from overlapping cases of amnesia and can never remember what her name is, so everyone calls her "Van's sidekick/associate/partner/whatever" or just don't call her anything.
  • Waterworks: The facility employees are referred to simply by their job titles. The protagonist herself is initially just a "concerned citizen" and doesn't get named until a few hundred pages in.
  • Every character of The Way of the Metagamer 2: In Name Only is named "The Occupation." Including "The Victim."
  • What's Normal Anyway?: Beef's given name is never revealed.
  • Almost everyone in The Whiteboard is known only by a nickname; "Doc," "Rainman," "Bandit," etc. The few characters with a "real" name don't have a last name; Jake, Sandy, Pirta, Gino, etc.
  • The Head Maid of White Dark Life is almost always referred to as such or under an alias of Ms. E even though she's really Devin from the first part of the comic. The RP supplementary material reveals that most people call her the Head Maid because she has a seething hatred for her past and will attack anyone who says her discarded name.
  • Zombie And Mummy are known only as, well, Zombie and Mummy.
  • 8-Bit Theater:
    • In, the main cast's ACTUAL NAMES are Fighter, Thief, Red Mage, Black Mage, White Mage and Black Belt.
    • The eventually-revealed surnames aren't any better: Fighter McWarrior and Black Mage Evilwizardington are given, and the author has apparently decided on Red Mage's being Statscowski. As for Thief, his other name is Prince Elf of clan Khee'bler.
    • They also technically subvert it by going through a class change and not changing their names to Blue Mage, Mime, Knight, and Ninja.
    • Secondary characters also face this like Dragoon, Onion Kid (an in-series newspaper suggested his named was "Rex Crockett," but Word of God suggested that's not really his name), Archer, or The Other Warriors: Cleric, Rogue, Berserker Axinhead, and last but not least Generic Half-Elven Dual-Class Ranger.note . Later on we learn that the onion kid's true name is Sarda.
  • Binary Stars: The crew of the Falconer are trying to get Anastasia to someone only known as The Broker, who apparently is opposed to Vidalia Blackford in some way.

    Web Original 
  • Kslnah Wryzyon in Chaos Fighters II-Cyberion Strike is called the representative because her name is hard to pronounce.
  • Gold Tongues has an entire cast of these. All of the characters, save for a small amount, are given nicknames that describe physical aspects of them or their personality.
  • The person interviewing Valentine in Last Mage is only ever referred to as "the Writer".
  • The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles is narrated by Tim Tebow. So if he doesn't know the name of an opponent, then his narrative just refers to them by their team's name: "REDBLACK" or "Other REDBLACK" or "Schooner".

    Web Videos 
  • Discussed in Allison Pregler's reviews of Charmed, when we meet a villain known only as "the Crone", who is a seer... despite there having previously been another villain specifically called "the Seer."
    "So the Seer seer was just the best seer in the world? Why does she get the Seer name? And if there's another seer or crone, are they just shit out of names? Are these their birth names, or like, nicknames they earned with their street cred?"
  • In Carmilla the Series, everyone calls the Dean just "the Dean". Of course, her real name Inanna is a closely-guarded secret, but she does have a legal name in her human guise, Lilita Morgan. She's only referred to as "Dean Morgan" on a couple of occasions, usually in an official or bureaucratic context, and the first name Lilita is never spoken aloud on-screen in all three seasons. Moreover, even after the protagonists learn of her true identity as Inanna, they continue to refer to her as "the Dean" most of the time (except, of course, for Carmilla, who calls her "Mother").
  • Discussed in Counter Monkey, "Dungeon Mastering a Great Game." Spoony is a big fan of roleplaying and doesn't like when players address each other by race and Everyone Calls Him Barkeep, "Elf, go identify that magic item" and "Thief, go pick that lock." He discusses causes for it and how you can avoid it in your Tabletop RPG session.
    • Some players have difficulty getting into character, or they find roleplaying uncomfortable, or they haven't loosened up around a group of strangers yet.
    • Players not taking an interest in other player's characters or, conversely, a player making a Flat Character not worth being interested in.
    • He recommends giving your character a memorable name, while warning against using an overly-long and hard to remember name. Why remember a name loaded with syllables that takes eight seconds to say when you can point and say "Hey, Thief"? He notes that elves are a frequent offender here.
    • He recommends giving your character an In-Game Nickname. It builds opportunities to build character and roleplay.
    • He also calls out the Trope Namer, Final Fantasy X-2, by saying that...
      "Nobody knows his name, so everyone calls him barkeep!"
      "Oh, that is a problem, here's a solution: ASK HIM HIS FUCKING NAME!"
  • The Cry of Mann has a character only known as "Ghost Lady".
  • Dad: Mom's real name, Cheryl, is only used once; all other times, she's referred to as "Mom". Similarly, though their real names are not mentioned, Dad, Daughter, and Neighbor are also only called by their title.
  • In the Dr Glaucomflecken series, the various doctors are almost always only referred to by their specialties (e.g. characters call the cardiologist "Cardiology" or "The Cardiologist.") So far, only Anesthesia's real name has been revealed.
  • In Echo Chamber, the Administrator of TV Tropes is referred to only as "Mr. Administrator". No one taking orders from him has any idea who he is.
  • The Hire centers on a character who is rarely referred to in the third person, and the few times he is, he is only The Driver.
  • The LoadingReadyRun sketch "Johny Four" had the titular Johny tell the story of how he went to the local bar called Bar where he ordered a Beer brand beer which was served to him by a bartender called Bartender. Johnny is an Unreliable Narrator so we are not sure if that is the guy's real name or just the name he uses at work to fit the bar's theme.
    • LRR also has the recurring character known only as Dave's Spokesman.
  • Ninja the Mission Force: Gordon's secretary is only knows as the Secretary.
  • The Nostalgia Chick. Apart from Nella, who calls her Lindsay, everybody calls her Chick.
  • The Nostalgia Critic's real name is "Doug" but everyone just calls him Critic. It makes Alternate Universe Fic where he doesn't review anything and is still called that slightly odd.
  • The three protagonists of Robot, Ninja, and Gay Guy call each other by those terms.
  • Slender Man, whose real name (if he has one) is unknown because that makes him scarier.
  • WitchCraft SMP: Discussed. With a statue of the late Supreme Witch in her house, Pris wonders if what the Supreme Witch's true name is, and if everyone around her simply referred to her by her title. Her true name is ultimately never revealed throughout the series, with Bertha simply referring to her as their sister.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, the name of Yugi's grandfather is Solomon Moto, but the characters simply refer to him as "Grandpa" or variations thereof. To the point where Yugi didn't even know he had a name.
    Rebecca: I'm looking for Solomon Moto.
    Yugi: Who the hell is Solomon Moto?
    Tea: Yugi, that's your grandpa.
    Yugi: He has a name?!

    Real Life 
  • Although he is not the only individual to hold that title, if you refer to Lord Byron (whose name was George Gordon), people generally know whom you mean. The same goes for the Marquis de Sade (Donatien Alphonse François) or Marquis de Lafayette (Gilbert du Motier).
  • The Dalai Lama is a title held by (so far) 14 people/incarnations of the same person. They are usually just called "The Dalai Lama".
  • Every pope changes their name as they rise to the papacy, and they are known by that name rather than their birth name essentially forever. Jorge Mario Bergoglio will be known throughout history as "Pope Francis", and even Benedict XVI, despite resigning as pope, will keep that name in perpetuity.
  • Dukes and earls in the UK commonly refer to each other by their title. For example, the Earl of Warwick (currently Guy Greville) would be simply addressed by his peers as "Warwick". Ditto for the Empire of Brazil. Both historians and contemporary accounts refer to people with noble rank by the rank. Duke of Caxias, for example, is almost never referred to by his actual name.
  • In the Canadian House of Commons, you're not allowed to refer to another MP by name. You must say "the Honourable Member for [District]" or "the Honourable Minister of [Portfolio]" or the like. This is a carryover from British tradition, when Parliamentarians referred to each other by their districts as a form of Loophole Abuse to keep royal agents from knowing Parliament was actually meeting.
  • In Japanese, it is considered disrespectful to refer to the Emperor by his name. The reigning emperor is called Tennō (天皇), "heavenly sovereign" (or longer versions of that title). After his reign ends, an emperor is referred to by the name of the imperial era — for example, the emperor named Hirohito reigned in the "Shōwa" era, so in Japan he’s referred to as the "Emperor Shōwa" (昭和天皇, Shōwa Tennō).
  • In Japan, it's also customary to refer to a barkeep as "master," out of respect.
  • In Korean, it is common and polite to refer to co-workers by their title or profession (teacher, doctor, etc.), especially if they are your boss (principal, chief-surgeon, etc.). Going just by their names could be considered odd.
  • In many families, people are expected to always refer to their parents as "mom" and "dad" or similar nicknames. Referring to your parents by name may be seen as disrespectful. Stepparents are often referred to by their first names, especially if the children knew them for a while before marrying their parent. In-laws can be another exception, and it can be uncomfortable deciding when and if one should make the transition into referring to them as mom and dad.
  • In most armed forces, it is standard for lower ranks to address their superiors by their rank, or occasionally by their function. Calling a superior by their surname, e.g. "Sergeant Smith" may net the answer "I know my own name." Unless, that is, you are addressing a group of sergeants, in which case just calling, "Sergeant" will get you a pack of "What kind of idiot are you?" looks because you weren't specific.
  • In the Wild West, people tended to be known by nicknames, often referring to their occupation. Just ask Doc Holliday — he was a dentist as well as a gunfighter.
  • It is customary in some parts of High Fantasy fandom to refer to J. R. R. Tolkien simply as "the Professor", both because it actually was his academic title and in recognition of his contributions to the genre.
  • Many common surnames refer to the trade of the original person, such as Smith, Miller, Baker and so forth. Many other languages have equivalents.
  • Once a historical figure becomes a legendary figure, sometimes within their own lifetime, they often end up going by a title. Some examples are Emperor Augustus, The Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Genghis Khan, and any Chinese philosopher whose name ends in "Tzu".
  • The President of the United States is addressed as Mr. President, a tradition started by George Washington in lieu of more grandiose styles of address. They are also often "President [Surname]" even after their tenure in office has ended.
  • Quite a few Middle Eastern historical figures are prone to this. Generally such-and-such "al-Din" would be a title or name adopted or given to a person later, as it refers to "the Faith", and people would take on such names as a result of exceptional piety or success at defending Islam. The Crusades tended to produce people known as things like Nur al-Din and Salah al-Din, neither of whom were born with those names.
  • Some figures' real names in the Biblical tales have never been recorded, so people know them only by a moniker: the Roman soldier who pierced Christ on the Cross is just "Longinus" ("the lancer"), while "Veronica" meant just "true image".
  • The Sun and the Moon. Every other moon we observe is given a name, but the Earth's moon is just called the Moon, and our solar system's sun is simply called the Sun. Technically their names are Sol and Luna when we have specific reason to differentiate them from other celestial bodies, but those names are simply "sun" and "moon" in Latin.
  • The man who killed the felon who fatally shot Patrolman Sammy Long requested that his name not be revealed. To this day, he is known only as "The Hunter" or "The Deer Hunter" for his use of a deer rifle in said shooting.

Alternative Title(s): Everybody Calls Him Barkeep, Everyone Calls Her Barkeep, Everybody Calls Her Barkeep, Everyone Calls Them Barkeep, Everybody Calls Them Barkeep