This is a name that is not merely common and unremarkable, but actively calls attention to how generic it is. In other words, the name is a word that means "generic," and is therefore a very uncommon name.
A suitable name for the Ridiculously Average Guy.
- The five component vehicles in Supercar Gattiger are given the uncreative names Center Machine, Left Machine, Right Machine, End Machine, and Up Machine.
- The All Guardsmen Party are formerly of the Generian 99th Medium Infantry regiment, which is registered in the Departmento Munitorum as records as "GENER IC."
- The Matrix: This is the reasoning behind Agent Smith's name. The other two in the first movie are Agents Brown and Jones.
- Given 22 Jump Street is a Deconstructor Fleet, one of the teams in a football game is "University of College Generals".
- This may have been the reason for Martin Blank's name in Grosse Pointe Blank... or it might just have been an excuse for the title.
- The Genre Savvy Red Shirt on Galaxy Quest is named Guy. This wouldn't be an example were it not for the fact that, to his great discomfort, nobody can remember his last name... so he's just "Guy".
- Grey Murphy of the Xanth series is initially portrayed as an extremely mediocre person, and his name is clearly a reflection on this. It's even justified in the circumstances of his birth: Grey was born shortly after his father Magician Murphy had been exiled to the boring world of Mundania, and so perhaps Murphy Sr. named his son after the fact that he would be growing up in this kind of "gray," mediocre world.
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo, which literally means "no one".
- The main character of Snow Crash is named Hiroki "Hiro" Protagonist.
- Jerri Blank and her family from Strangers with Candy. Her name arose from the creators' need for a placeholder, which they grew attached to and decided it was "just ugly enough."
- In the Pendragon tabletop RPG, the sample characters are all members of the "de Falt" family.
- The continent on which Dragon Age takes place is called "Thedas" which is an abbreviation of THE Dragon Age Setting that was used as a placeholder by the developers and then was kept as the name.
- F-Zero brings us the pilot John Tanaka, whose name is a combination of a generic Western male given name and a generic Japanese family name.
- In the PC adventure/RPG Quest for Glory I, should you decide not to name your hero, his name will be "Unknown Hero". This gets awkward if you bring the hero into later games, and NPCs address you by that name.
- Sunless Skies: The Office of Works can be found in London, among several departments with properly purpose-conveying names. Fittingly enough, what they actually do is unclear; it's explicitly stated no one outside it knows what the office's purpose or the "works" within it are, and the only contact you have with them is delivering Noodle Implements to fulfill work orders they have, which only raise further questions.
- In practically all articles on The Daily Mash, someone will be called "Tom Logan" - typically someone (not really) interviewed for the article in some relevant profession or context. Or occasionally, an Animate Inanimate Object such as a block of cheese.
- Also, they often draw from a small bank of generic names for other interviewees. In one article, two separate people in different contexts were identified as "Nikki Hollis".
- Bobby's World: Bobby's family are the "Generics". However, whenever someone pronounces it like the English word, a family member corrects them: it's pronounced "Jenn-er-ick".
- The Anybody family from Mr. Bogus.
- In one Family Guy episode, Brian moves to L.A. to try and make it in Hollywood. One of his co-workers at his crummy minimum wage job successfully sells a script with a protagonist named John Everyman.
- On The Simpsons, the top-hatted and moustachioed Identical Stranger who goes into Moe's immediately after Homer is banned gives his name as "Guy Incognito", and is immediately assumed to be Homer in a Paper-Thin Disguise. It's not.
- In the United States, when a legal case needs to name someone whose name is either not currently known or not wanted to be revealed, the name John Doe is used. If more than one, it can be John Doe #1, John Doe #2, etc. If female, it can be Jane Doe or Jane Roe. Which is why the famous abortion case is Roe vs. Wade, as the woman wished to remain anonymous. The Wade was Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade, representing the State of Texas.
- Also, "John Smith" and "John Citizen" are placeholder names. This often causes confusion, as the Name John Smith is actually quite common.