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His Name Really Is "Barkeep"

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"Wait, your last name is Reaper? Why did I always think it was Snugglebottom?"

As its supertrope, Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" trope says, some characters have the misfortune of being known only by their job title. This trope is about those rare times where Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" because "Barkeep" is the guy's actual name. This may happen as a result of Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?. Alternatively, maybe the guy had his name legally changed to "Barkeep" because he likes that name better than his given name.

Milder examples can include a nickname that turns out to actually be the character's name. For a full comedy incarnation of this trope, the given name will be the full job description.

In real life, this is one of the ways family names began, by an original ancestor actually having that profession, with such prominent examples like Keanu Reeves ("reeve" was a title for some government authorities in medieval England) or Michael Schumacher ("Schumacher" being German for "shoemaker"). Once such surnames started to become passed down to descendants whether they had that profession or not, it became more notable when people actually did have the profession they were named after.

This trope would be an example of an aptronym, when your name happens to truthfully describe something about you.

The trope is closely related to A Dog Named "Dog", when something is named for its species. See also Verber Creature for when a creature is named for something they are notable to do. May overlap with Real Joke Name. Subtrope of Meaningful Name.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Index herself. Though she presumably was called something different when she was born, the name that appears on all her official identification, and the only name she remembers for herself, is "Index Librorum Prohibitorum".
    • Similarly, Accelerator. He admits that he once had a real, normal name, but he's long since forgotten what it was, and no one else seems to remember him from back then. Therefore, his name is "Accelerator".
  • The recurring doctor character in Combat Mecha Xabungle is actually called Medick.
  • L in Death Note is an example of the nickname version. It is assumed to be a nickname but is revealed to be his actual first name in external material.
  • In The Demon Girl Next Door, the Asura Cafe's owner and manager, Shirosawa, has the last name "Misenaga" as stated on his credit card, written with the kanji 店長. The individual characters are pronounced mise (shop) and naga (boss) on their own, and as a compound have an Alternate Character Reading tenchou that means "manager".
  • While less obvious to those unfamiliar with Japanese or Chinese, Master Roshi of Dragon Ball, or Muten Rōshi in Japanese, is this. In one episode of Dragon Ball, Roshi is forced to provide his driver's license to prove his identity, showing his name plainly written on it. Rōshi is Japanese for "old master," meaning his name in English is "Master Old Master." Meanwhile, his name in Japanese translates roughly to "Old Heavenly Martial Arts Master."
  • EDENS ZERO has the Demon King's Four Shining Stars, a quartet of Robot Girls whose first names reflect the character roles and types they were built to be: Witch Regret, Sister Ivry, Hermit Mio, and Valkyrie Yuna. Their second, more ordinary-looking names are never used on their own, only when addressing them by their "full" names. Twisted a bit when Homura takes up Valkyrie's mantle, becoming "Valkyrie Homura", but is still called by her usual name.
  • In Excel♡Saga, there's a mysterious person known as That Man. Turns out his name really is That Man. And then it turns out he has five accomplices. Their names? That Man Over Here, That Man Over There, This Man, This Man Over Here, and This Man Over There.
  • The two titles held by King Bradley of Fullmetal Alchemist are usually translated as "Führer" and "President". "King"? That's his actual first name. Justified, in that he was part of a breeding program to create the ideal ruler for Amestris; his name was a fabrication, chosen to reinforce his image as a ruler.
  • The milder version occurs in Ghost Hunt. One of the characters goes by a fake name in Japanese (Shibuya Kazuya). The characters all call him by a nickname protagonist Mai comes up with, "Naru" (short for narcissist). When he first hears it, this shocks him, because "Naru" is the Japanese pronunciation of his actual (English) nickname, "Noll," which is short for his real name, the English "Oliver." Phew.)
    • This turns into Fridge Brilliance: a big reason Naru offers Mai a job in the first place is because she apparently plucks his real (nick)name out of thin air. It's a strange enough coincidence that he's convinced Mai is worth keeping an eye on for potential psychic powers.
  • The High School AU Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT has Dearche K. Claudia, the leader of the Dark Materials who is often referred to by the title of "king" (in Japanese) by her peers. Her card then reveals that the K in her name stands for "Kings" (in English).
  • Soul Eater:
    • The title character did make up the "Eater" part as a code name, but his first name really is "Soul". Though in his case, the Soul was meant as a musical allusionnote  rather than a supernatural one.
    • The immortal werewolf had never had a name in his life until he was sprung from prison with help from Medusa. He's basically told "He's free," and (being somewhat simple-minded) he ran with it, naming himself "Free".
    • Death the Kid's legal name really is Death the Kid. Although by the end of the manga Death dies, and Kid replaces him, so he might be known simply as Death later on.
  • In Space☆Dandy, the eponymous "dandy guy in space" seems to actually be named Space Dandy. When he received a letter, it was addressed to "Mr. Space Dandy".
  • Speed Racer's parents: Speed's own name is a little occupation appropriate, but his mom and dad are literally named Mom and Pops Racer, though Pops used to be known as "Dragon Racer" back when he was a professional wrestler. In the original Japanese version, Speed and his entire family had real Japanese names (though with the Japanese love of bilingual puns, Speed's name of Go was undoubtedly chosen because of its English meaning). Worth noting that this trope is averted according to old Speed Racer comic books published in America in the seventies, which claim that his real first name is Greg, and "Speed" is a nickname. Also worth noting that every other version of the character, translation or not, has quietly ignored "Greg" in favor of assuming "Speed" is his actual name.
  • In Tamako Market, Mochizou can be read to mean "mochi maker", though the way it's spelled it could also be read as 'he who has mochi' or 'mochi warehouse' — the "mochi" part is left without kanji and the part that would have meant "maker" is written with the kanji for "possession/ownership".
  • The main character in Umineko: When They Cry is named Battler in a case of Gratuitous English meets Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?. The character himself even lampshades it multiple times.
  • The section chief in You're Under Arrest!. He's mostly referred to by his title, which in Japanese is "Kachou"; at one point it's revealed that this is also his real name (though written with different kanji).

    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 29 of Happy Heroes, an alien girl lands on planet Xing Xing and, since she's forgotten what her name is, decides to call herself "Cockroach". At the end of the episode, Doctor H. finds a document from her ship revealing that her name really is Cockroach.

    Audio Play 
  • In the Doctor Who audio The Foe from the Future, the butler of Lord Jalnik is literally named 'Butler', although compared to the other names of people from his future this may just be an alias Butler adopted to enable him to better blend in with the time he was visiting.

    Comic Books 
  • The Beano claimed, in response to a fan letter published on its letters page, that Dennis the Menace's father was actually named "Dennis's Dad" at birth. When he met a girl named "Dennis's Mum", he knew they were destined to be together.
    • Teacher from The Bash Street Kids is another example. It's actually his surname.
  • The Golden Age Mr Terrific's butler, at least in Michael Chabon's version: "His name really is Butler. That's how long they've been doing it in his family."
  • Nero: In the first album Het Geheim van Matsuoka ("The Secret of Matsuoka") the titular character is a man named Heiremans who merely thinks he is emperor Nero, because he drank an insanity poison. At the end of the story he is cured and wants to be called Heiremans again. Strange enough in the next albums Nero is still referred to as Nero, even though he doesn't think he is the Roman emperor anymore. Even his wife is called Madame Nero by everyone. It appears to be a nickname, but on the other hand it can even be read on his house nameplate.
  • Planetary has The Drummer. First name The, last name Drummer.
  • In DC Comics 1970s counter-culture title Prez, Prez Rickard grew up to become President of the United States. "Prez" is, of course, short for "President"; apparently, his mother had a premonition. His main enemy is Boss Smiley, the embodiment of political corruption, whose office door and desk bear signs indicating that his first name really is "Boss".
  • In Saga, Prince Robot IV is the fourth prince of a planet of robots - and yes, "Prince Robot" is actually his name, though most characters call him IV.
  • In the Darkwing Duck comic, everyone keeps calling Dean Tightbill "Dean" even after he isn't the dean of St. Canard University anymore. Darkwing considers this weird until Bushroot reveals Dean is in fact Tightbill's actual first name, meaning that while he was dean of the university he was Dean Dean Tightbill.
  • Marvel Comics has a few examples.
    • Dr. Strange's full name really is "Stephen Vincent Strange", and he really is a (medical) doctor.
    • Doctor Doom's full name is "Victor Von Doom".
  • The Iron Queen from Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) is an interesting case, since her real name is "Regina Ferrum", which is literally Latin for "Iron Queen"
  • In the X-Men Storybook Episode "Kitty's Fairy Tale", the version of Wolverine in Kitty's story is known as The Fiend With No Name. He keeps telling people "I'm Mean!" but it's not until the end of the story that it turns out he's trying to tell them what his name is.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dick Tracy:
    • A recurring minor character is a police officer called Dennis O'Copper.
    • Tracy himself — Chester Gould named him "Dick" because it's slang for "detective."
  • In Jump Start, Doctor Appleby is a young child whose given name is Doctor. His parents dress him in scrubs, and expect him to grow up to be a doctor. There are numerous strips in which other kids come to him for medical treatment or advice.
    • In one short arc, he meets a girl named Notary Public. She is the daughter and granddaughter of notaries public and fully intends to keep up the family tradition, although she has a hard time explaining to her new friend what a notary public actually is. Ultimately:
      Notary Public: We stamp things.
      Doctor Appleby: COOL!
  • In Vater und Sohn the eponymous Vater (father) and Sohn (son). They even sign that way!

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • One bio for Sheriff from Cars says his name is in fact Sheriff. The same bio reveals his family has been involved in law enforcement for quite a long time.
  • In Megamind, Minion's name is actually Minion.
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists: The Pirate Captain's name is indeed Pirate Captain, as we see when he signs his name as such on an entry form. Lampshaded when he meets Queen Victoria.
    Victoria: Do you have a name, Pirate Captain?
    Pirate Captain: Yes! They call me... The Pirate Captain.
  • In Sing, the first name of Eddie's grandmother, Nana Noodleman, really is Nana.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Invoked in All About Eve
    Miss Casswell: Oh, waiter!
    Addison DeWitt: That is not a waiter, my dear, that is a butler.
    Miss Casswell: Well, I can't yell "Oh butler!" can I? Maybe somebody's name is Butler.
    Addison DeWitt: You have a point. An idiotic one, but a point.
    Miss Casswell: I don't want to make trouble. All I want is a drink.
  • In The Astronaut Farmer a NASA astronaut returns to his family farm to save it but never gives up his dream of being an astronaut. His name: Charles Farmer. And his son is named Shepperd Farmer.
  • In Austin Powers, Number Two's name is actually Number Two. However, in Goldmember it's shown to have started as his rank in the school grades, so it might be Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep".
  • Parodied in Avengers: Infinity War when Spider-Man meets Doctor Strange, who really is a physician whose real surname is Strange. Spidey introduces himself as "Peter", and Strange replies that he's "Dr. Strange". Peter doesn't realize that's his actual name and replies, "Oh, we're using our made-up names. I'm Spider-Man, then."
  • In the Russian film The Cuckoo, the protagonist meets up with a Russian man and, unable to understand his language, calls him "Ivan" out of stereotype. His guess turns out to be correct; the Russian man really is named Ivan.
  • Down Periscope had Nitro, full name and rank Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Michael K. Nitro. He is considering "Mike" as a potential nickname.
  • In the wuxia film 14 Blades, the protagonist is named Qing-long, or Green Dragon. Everyone assumes that was just a nickname, but as it turns out, being an assassin raised by the Imperial Court to be a killer since birth, that is real name.
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle: After Harold and Kumar steal the Extreme Sports Punks' SUV, Cole, the leader, addresses a fellow punk as "Extreme Sports Punk #1" as they watch them drive away.
  • Farmer the farmer, the main character of In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. Subverted in that the original blurb for the film claimed his name was Damon. However, even his wife and the man who raised him call him Farmer. His real name is Camden Conreid, the rightful heir to the throne of Ehb.
    • When asked by his son, he claims that he believes that everyone should be called by their profession.
  • In Kill Bill, Bill constantly refers to the Bride as "kiddo". It sounds like a patronizing nickname until we find out her name is actually Beatrix Kiddo.
  • Parodied in Last Action Hero. The nerdy freshman who shows up at the Slater's house is apparently nicknamed "Skeezie". We later find out that this is his name, since he's a bit character and the screenwriter for Jack Slater IV didn't bother to give him anything else; after the bad guys show up and the police are called, he can be heard giving "Skeezie" as his full name on a police report... and he's not entirely sure how it's supposed to be spelled, either.
  • The protagonist of Machete is known by everyone simply as 'Machete'. His real name is... Machete Cortez.
  • Played with in The Muppet Movie, when the car salesman introduces the gang to "my jack" and addresses the worker (a big Muppet monster) as "Jack" when speaking to him too. Kermit greets the worker with a friendly "Hi, Jack," only to be told, "Jack not name! Jack job!" The Muppet in question is actually named Sweetums.
  • In Spaceballs, almost the entirety of the Spaceball 1 bridge crew is an Asshole. Whenever the film is forced to be toned down for broadcast, "Asshole" is replaced with "Moron"; the joke still works that way.
    Dark Helmet: [to Sandurz] Who is he?
    Colonel Sandurz: He's an Asshole, sir.
    Dark Helmet: I know that! What's his name?
    Colonel Sandurz: That is his name, sir: Asshole, Major Asshole.
    Dark Helmet: And his cousin?
    Colonel Sandurz: He's an Asshole too, sir. Gunner's Mate First Class Philip Asshole.
    Dark Helmet: How many Assholes we got on this ship, anyhow?
    [The entire bridge crew, except for one person, stands up and raises a hand]
    Assholes: Yo!
    [Dark Helmet takes a look around him.]
    Dark Helmet: I knew it. I'm surrounded by Assholes... [closes helmet] Keep firing, Assholes!
    • The photograph of Vespa's original nose is labelled "Vespa, Princess."
  • Space Cop: Space Cop is a space cop who is always called "Space Cop." Around the halfway mark, his partner finally asks what his real name is, and he explains that all space cops change their name to Space Cop to protect their families. He ponders going back to his birth name: Holden Madickey.
  • In Spy Kids, Floop's minion is Alexander Minion.
  • Kommissar 00 Schneider in several Helge Schneider films, starting with Texas — Doc Snyder hält die Welt in Atem. It's indeed a pop culture parody, and it's easy to assume that it's a nickname In-Universe, but in 00 Schneider — Jagd auf Nihil Baxter, we find out that 00 is his real forename. Now, who names their kid after the standard room number for bathrooms and the name of a popular German bathroom cleaning agent?
  • Nobody in That Thing You Do! ever actually says the name of the bass player. You have to read the credits to find out that his name is "T. B. Player".
  • In The Villain, the heroic handsome stranger's name really is Handsome Stranger. Justified in the work as he explains, "[He] was named after [his] father."
  • The Wackiest Ship In The Army (WWII movie semi-spoof from 1960) has a navy radio operator named A.J. Sparks; "Sparks" is the traditional nickname for a WWII era radio operator.
  • In Zack and Miri Make a Porno:
    Zack: What's your name?
    Lester: Lester. Lester the Molester Cockenschtuff.
    Zack: Wow. That's a great porn name.
    Lester: I get to pick a porn name?

  • Animorphs:
    • In #26: The Attack, the Animorphs are on the planet of a Proud Merchant Race called the Ishkoort. While there, they hire a guide named Guide. His full name is Guide, Grub of Skin-Seller, Brother of Memory Wholesaler.
    • Early books implied that Yeerks didn't really have names, just numbered titles which changed along with their ranks; for example, the Yeerk in Jake's head brags about being Temrash 114, recently promoted from Temrash 252. Later books Retcon this, saying that Yeerks have a real name and a rank, though both include a number.
  • In Artemis Fowl, there's the Butler family, who have served as butlers (of the "battle" variety) to the Fowl family for generations. According to the first book, there is some dispute about whether the Butlers changed their name to suit their role at some point in antiquity, or if the term 'Butler' was actually derived from the famously faithful and competent family.
  • Mama, Papa, Brother, and Sister Bear from The Berenstain Bears. Lampshaded when another girl makes fun of Sister's name.
    • Oddly enough, in the early stories before Sister was born, Brother's name was "Little Bear", meaning that all his life he's been called Barkeep and his name was changed at one point to reflect his change in job.
  • In A Brother's Price, the oldest sister in a family seems to be actually called "Eldest", as while we get to know the actual names of women who have taken on the title of "Eldest" because the eldest sister died, the first-born girl of a family is never called anything other than "Eldest." Apparently, when she (or one of her sisters) has her first child, she takes on the title of "Mother Elder" to avoid confusion. (Note that regardless of who actually gave birth to the child in question, all members of the birth mother's group of sisters are considered a mother of the child.)
  • Chant is a title that replaces the name of any Chant that finishes their apprenticeship, including the protagonist of A Conspiracy of Truths, as part of "sinking their homeland beneath the sea."
  • Brother Cadfael: Most townsfolk use their profession as a last name, like Eric Flesher (butcher), John Miller (runs a watermill), or Walter Aurifaber (goldsmith).
  • In Catch-22, you've got Captain Major (whose first and middle names are also Major, making his full name Major Major Major), being promoted... to Major. Thus making him Major Major Major Major. Any further attempts to promote or demote him are blocked by ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen, who finds the whole situation hilarious.
  • In The Cloak Society, superpowered members of the eponymous group eventually drop their birth names and simply go by a supervillain name; for example, the protagonist's parents are "Shade" and "Volt." The only one whose name would double as a job would be the Tutor, who has Super-Intelligence and educates the Beta Team.
  • Subverted and parodied in the Discworld novel Lords and Ladies, which has characters called Carter (a baker), Weaver (a thatcher), Carpenter (a tailor), Baker (a weaver), Thatcher (a carter), Tailor (also a weaver) and Tinker (actually a tinker). (The entire book is a Deconstructive Parody of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which the trope is played straight, listed in Theatre below).
    • Doubly subverted in the case of Carter, whose first (and extremely nonindicative) name is "Bestiality", owing to parents who were confused about what to name a boy after having girls named after virtues like Faith, Hope, Chastity, and Temperance (who are backtabbers, depressive, a prostitute and a drunk respectively).
  • The Dresden Files has a character named Michael Carpenter. When he's not busy fighting fallen angels as the Fist of God, he works as a carpenter.
  • Farmer Farmer in The Fox Busters by Dick King-Smith; the novel even lampshades this, with the author stating "That was his name, just as there are bakers called Baker and butchers called Butcher".
  • In Good Omens, the Antichrist is supposed to name his hellhound, thereby giving him his personality and purpose in life. He's supposed to name him something terrifying, but Adam, who doesn't realize that he's the Antichrist, instead names him "Dog." This results in the beast becoming increasingly like a normal pet.
  • In the Hand of Thrawn duology, one of the members of the Cavrilhu Pirates is referred to only as "Control." Given that most of the time, he's speaking over a radio, you'd think this is addressing his occupation (i.e. as in, "Mission Control"). Then when he shows up in person, it turns out that his name really is Control.
  • Holes: Mr. Sir's last name really is Sir. His first name, on the other hand... It's implied in the sequel that "Mr. Sir" is a pseudonym he uses to hide from the police. Supported by the film, in which he is identified at the end as Marion Sevillo, and he is arrested on a parole violation.
  • In The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Nanny Cook and Nanny Butler decide to become a cook and butler because of their names. (The only problem is, the family then has to stop calling Nanny Butler by her surname, because you just can't call a butler "Butler.")
  • In the Known Space series, until an individual Kzin does something heroic and notable to "earn" a name, they are known only by their profession, so you get a lot of Kzin named things like "Pilot", "Navigator", "Gunner", "Student-of-Chemistry", and "Speaker-to-Animals". The last, by the way, is what a lower-ranking ambassador to an alien species is named.
  • In Becky Chambers' SF novel The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Dr. Chef, who is, duh, the doctor and the chef for the crew. (Technically, he took this name, as in his own alien language he was The Unpronouncable.)
  • The Marvelous Land of Oz reveals that the Tin Woodsman's name before he became the Tin Woodsman was Nick Chopper, and he worked as a wood chopper. In The Tin Woodsman of Oz, we're introduced to the Tin Soldier, who was previously a flesh and blood soldier named Captain Fyter.
  • In The Nanny Diaries, the main character's name is... Nanny.
  • In Romeo and/or Juliet, Juliet's nurse is named "Angelica Nurse".
  • In the Weird West Steampunk novel Seven Cities of Old by Mike Wild, Marsh Marshal is a federal lawman. He tries not to mention what that makes his title, but everyone works it out pretty quickly.
  • In a variant from the world of Shadowrun, an employer who hires shadowrunners is colloquially referred to as "Mr. Johnson", regardless of gender, to ensure anonymity. One of them self-Lampshades this trope in one of the Shadowrun novels, remarking on the irony that her name really is Johnson.
    • The London Falling adventure book also features a Johnson whose real name is apparently "Artholomew Johnson".
  • In Wing Commander: The Price Of Freedom, the trope is discussed when Colonel Blair is momentarily confused as to whether or not the ship's chief mechanic is actually named "Pliers" (He's not.)
  • The protagonist of Wizard of the Pigeons is a wizard named Wizard. He took the name when he took up the profession, and no longer remembers what his name was before.
  • Ravensong: From Chapter Fifteen: Stacey asks her Momma's name:
    "Momma," she whispered hoarsely into her mother's shoulder, “I don't know your name.” Momma bent double with laughter so suddenly Stacey resented it.
    "Momma is my name." She laughed so hard the words were hardly intelligible. She recovered enough to finish. “It was the first word your Gramma learned. She thought it was a name. Imagine having Momma for a name." Both broke into hysterics. “If I'd stayed in school, them nuns would have changed it.”

    Live-Action TV 
  • Invoked on Arrested Development when actor Judge Reinhold starts a reality courtroom show a la Judge Judy with himself as the judge. He then calls it Mock Trial with J. Reinhold. It eventually spawns an imitator show starring Bud Cort.
  • In one episode of El Chapulín Colorado, the title character is put on a trial and the prosecution asks for his full name. When he says that his name is, indeed, "Chapulín Colorado", he needs to clear up that his dad was called "Pantaleón Colorado y Roto", and that his godfather was an entomologist. He says he was lucky to get that one because the other name choices were "Gorgojo", note  "Escarabajo" note  and "Libélula". note 
  • In Dinosaurs, when the Sinclair family decides it's time for their youngest son (addressed informally as "Baby", "Junior", or "Buster") to get an official name, the Chief Elder dies in the midst of the ceremony, saddling the baby with the unfortunate name of "Agh Agh I'm Dying You Idiot" (his last words). The family gets frustrated trying to come to terms with it, so they ask the replacement elder for a second opinion, and he opts for the much simpler "Baby", a name that stuck with him for the rest of the series.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor's name truly is "the Doctor;" that's the name he chose as a boy on Gallifrey. He does have a True Name, but no one (except River Song and probably the Master) knows it. The Master, the Rani, the Corsair, and so on are also examples of this trope.
    • Spin-off media has revealed that the Doctor's true name has thirty-eight syllables and only one vowel, the First Doctor once stating that humans can't even pronounce the first syllable of it, with some sources suggesting that even the Doctor doesn't remember his name anymore.
  • Lieutenant Murtagh of Family Matters told Carl that he had his first name legally changed to "Lieutenant." When he told Carl this, Carl asked what his name was before that. Lieutenant's reply is that it was "Sergeant."
  • Pilot, from Farscape, who is named after his function aboard Moya. This trope even extends to the rest of his species. It is never revealed if he even has a personal name, but presumably his own kind have some way of differentiating each other. It's revealed that Pilot language is so fantastically dense and complex that translator microbes just give up on it until they simplify their sentences. It would thus be nothing for them to address each other with full descriptions that left little doubt who they were talking to, similar to someone saying "I am doing fine, Caucasian male in a charcoal gray suit with thin purple tie who works in my department and is currently standing to the left of the water cooler." and not having it take forever or be awkward.
  • Geoffrey the Butler from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has his full name revealed as Geoffrey Butler, a fact Will is quick to point out.
  • Principal Swift from Gabby Duran & the Unsittables. His first name literally is "Principal"!
  • In the last season of Glee, it's revealed that Principal Figgins' real first name is Principal because, according to his sister, he was firstborn.
  • In Greek, "Wade" is both the nickname of one of the Kappa Tau brothers (because he can't swim) and also his real name.
  • While not a name, on How I Met Your Mother, when asked where he works, Barney replies "please..." in a dismissive manner. A later episode reveals that the department he works in is called P.L.E.A.S.E. - "Provide Legal Exculpation And Sign Everything." It's basically paying him millions per year to be their legal scapegoat.
  • Jane the Virgin: Jane’s baby half-sister’s real name is actually Baby de la Vega Factor. It’s a play on the name of her (the baby’s) parents’ old reality show, The De La Vega Factor.
  • In the Polish series Kapitan Bomba, there is a character named Starfleet Admiral. He's an admiral in Starfleet.
  • Lost: The Other who kidnaps Walt at the end of Season 1 was nicknamed "Mr. Friendly" by writers and fans for his polite demeanour, and this nickname persisted after his real name was revealed to be Tom, until eventually the showrunners decided to just run with it and announced his full name was Tom Friendly.
  • Italian comedy sketch show Mai Dire Gol had among its recurring characters Ingegner Cane, the engineer (ingegnere = engineer) who supervised the feasibility studies for the Strait of Messina Bridge. He was shown to be incredibly incompetent and absent-minted (to the point of almost being unable to count), until it was revealed that "Ingegner Cane" were his given name and surname, and he didn't even have higher education!
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries has Phryne's butler, Tobias Butler. As a subtle clue, he's usually addressed as "Mr. Butler" rather than the usual no-honorific Last-Name Basis.
  • Mr. Bean, upon being specifically asked what his first name is, he simply replies "mister". This is later subverted in Mr. Bean's Holiday, where it shows on his passport that his first name is actually "Rowan", changing it into an Actor Allusion to Mr. Bean's real-life actor, Rowan Atkinson.
  • In an episode of NewsRadio, Bill McNeal calls a sound editor "guy," a fact Dave Nelson is quick to point out as rude for not calling the man by his name, until the sound editor looks up from his work to say, "My name IS Guy!"
  • Odd Squad:
    • On the show "Villains Always Win", when Gameshow Gary addresses the studio audience consisting of a single person. Said person happens to be named "Studio Audience".
    • In "First Day", Olympia and Otis have to rescue a businessman, a dentist and a crossing guard who have mysteriously started floating. Olympia and Otis keep referring to them by their occupation, leading to this exchange:
      Businessman: Does it bother anyone else that they never asked our names?
      Dentist: My name is "Dentist".
      Crossing Guard: Mine's Marie, but I pronounce it "Crossing Guard".
  • In one episode of Orphan Black, Donnie's awful mother-in-law/ Allison's awful mother keeps derisively referring to him as "Mr. Chubbs". At first it seems like she's being insulting to the somewhat plump Donny, but then it is revealed that Donnie's last name actually is Chubbs and that he took Allison's last-name, Hendrix, rather than vice versa- presumably a combination of getting rid of the Embarrassing Last Name and a symbol of Allison "wearing the pants" in the family.
  • Early episodes of Oz occasionally had appearances from a poetically-inclined convict who was only shown delivering his verses in the canteen, and credited in the cast list as "poet". When he was later developed into a more significant character, it was decided that "Poet" was his actual street name.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events has a character named Larry, who keeps taking jobs as a waiter in various restaurants and always introduces himself as "Larry, your waiter." In season 2, it's revealed his last name actually is Your-Waiter.
  • Star Trek: Picard: While the other four Emergency Holograms on La Sirena have names, the Hospitality Hologram is simply called "Mister Hospitality."
  • Star Trek: Voyager: The Emergency Medical Hologram was called simply "The Doctor" and never got a proper name. Since he was a piece of software and not a human, he didn't really need a name. It didn't take many seasons for him to need a proper name (being left running for longer than intended led to him developing an actual identity, and the Doctor knew full well that should mean having a proper name). The problem was that he didn't manage to decide what that proper name should be, so he stayed as "The Doctor" or "the Voyager EMH Mark I" for the duration. He did settle on the name "Schweitzer" in one episode, but dropped the name as too emotionally painful (without having told anyone in the crew about it) after an unpleasant outcome of a holodeck adventure.
  • Ted Lasso: While it's never stated on-screen, the credits reveal that the clubs kitman Will is named "Will Kitman".
  • Top Gear has The Stig, their faceless, genderless 'tamed racing driver'. He even has a passport.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: The Russos' dad once hired a tutor named Tutor to help Max prepare for a wizarding test. Alex later explains that it's normal for wizards to name their children after the jobs they hope they'll have when they grow up. She then adds that it doesn't always work out, and that their dad once had a dentist named Butcher.

  • From "Greensleeves" by Flanders and Swann:
    He sent for a playwright friend of his and he said to him "Look, kid..." (audience laughs) That was his name: Kyd.

    Myths & Religion 
  • There are plenty of gods whose names simply mean "deity", such as God, Allah, and Jupiter (a corruption of Deus Pater, Latin for God the Father). In the case of the Abrahamic god, this began as an actual religious prohibition on speaking any of his "true" names outside of appropriate rituals, and after a few thousand years of no-one being allowed to say YHWH and even most of the titles like "Adonai" being considered so sacred that once you wrote them they had to be preserved forever, Memetic Mutation caused even most of the Rabbinical traditions to start just using "God" as his name rather than a job description, and eventually considering that sacred enough to violate the rules against cursing with it or writing it on any disposable medium as well (certain Jewish sects write it now as G-d). Nobody actually knows what the real name is or how to pronounce it anymore since the vowels weren't written down; "Jehovah" and "Yahweh" are the most common guesses. So this doubles as a case of Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep".

  • The Adventure Zone has Captain Captain Bane. He's the captain of the Goldcliff Militia, and also his first name is Captain.
  • The mysterious man who bookends each episode of Hello, from the Magic Tavern is named Admiral Mysterious.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Ultimate Warrior's real name was James Hellwig. However, he legally changed his name to "Warrior" to cash off the name's fame and legacy.
    • It was also so that he could keep the identity he was best known as, since WWE owned the Ultimate Warrior name (hence why Hellwig's new name is just "Warrior" as opposed to "Ultimate Warrior"). Considering what happened with the likes of the Dudleys when they left WWE and were forced to drop the names they had become known by throughout the industry, he's been Vindicated by History.
  • Matt Riddle sounds like an obvious Stage Name, but his real name genuinely is "Matthew Riddle".


    Tabletop Games 
  • Shadowrun: Harlequin's real name is actually Harlequin. The only difference is that the original spelling is Har'lea'quinn.

  • In The Drowsy Chaperone, Mrs. Tottendale's servant is apparently named Underling. Janet also calls the Chaperone "Chaperone", which may invoke this trope (it's the only time she's called "Chaperone" vs. "the Chaperone", and her real name is never actually given).
  • The last names of the "Pyramus and Thisbe" actors in A Midsummer Night's Dream correspond to their professions. For example, Nick Bottom is a weaver—and the "bottom" was a tool used in weaving.

    Video Games 
  • While most of the playable characters in Apex Legends use Code Names, four legends play this straight: Ashleigh Reid, Margaret Kōhere (Mad Maggie), Makoa Gibraltar and Loba Andrade. Two others play with this by having code names related to their real names: Octavio Silva (Octane) and Ramya Parekh (Rampart).
  • The Bard from the most recent version of The Bard's Tale.
  • Borderlands 2:
    • A cut line has Captain Flynt stating that not only is he the brother of Baron Flynt from the first game, but Captain and Baron are their actual first names. He states that their parents were douchebags.
    • From Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, we learn Mr. Torgue's first name is "Mister Torgue".
      Lilith: Wait, your first name is "Mister Torgue"? [Beat] What's your last name, then?
      Mr. Torgue: FLEXINGTON.
    • The Guardian Angel's real name is Angel.
    • In another DLC we learn that Torgue has the nickname/middle name "High Five", which is due to his family's tradition. Said tradition is giving him a middle name that is his grandpa's first name. This means that Torgue's full name is Mister Torgue High Five Flexington, and his grandpa was just High Five Flexington.
  • The entire cast of Card City Nights. This helps differentiate them from the cards, which are all named after the actual video game characters drawn on them.
  • In the Catacomb Fantasy Trilogy, the player character's Arch-Enemy and general enemy to all that is good is called Nemesis.
  • In Conker's Bad Fur Day, Gregg the Grim Reaper learns that Conker's last name is "Squirrel" and his middle name is "The".
  • Disgaea:
  • For the Doom series, John Romero himself actually put the debate to rest on Doomguy's canon name. What is it? "Doom Guy". Yes, that is literally his legal name.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The Qunari are adherents to a particular religious structure that defines what ones job is to be. That job is then the name the Qunari is called. One of the companions in Origins is a Qunari named Sten, which really only means he's a warrior of a higher rank (roughly equivalent to a sergeant). Their general is called Arishok, but that's just the Qunari word for general. Any personal name they have is not revealed because it's more of a social security number for record-keeping purposes. Sten mentions that nicknames are common among friends, so a bunch of Stens aren't going to have to call each other Sten all the time.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Your Qunari party member typically goes by the nickname the Iron Bull (often just shortened to "Bull"), but his real name is Hissrad. He says it translates roughly as "weaver of illusion," fitting for a member of the Secret Police, but another Qunari bluntly says that it just means "liar."
      • The Rift Mage specialization trainer is Your Trainer. Who is she? She is Your Trainer. (Apparently she absorbed so much knowledge that keeping it all straight upstairs is difficult, and so she just clings to the fact she's supposed to train you.)
      • In the Emprise du Lion, the text for one of the landmarks consists of a proclamation by the mayor of the nearby town of Sahrnia. This individual's name is Mayor Mayer.
    • In the Dragon Age: Redemption web series, Felicia Day's character's name is Tallis. However, the first episode reveals that she has been demoted to a menial position after a Noodle Incident, and her current name is never revealed. Her Qunari superior shows up to tell her she is Tallis again and gives her a mission.
  • Ehrgeiz's Quest Mode introduces us to Sommeleeay the sommelier.
  • In Evolve, the E.M.E.T. drone that serves as the tier 5 medic is actually named Emet. It's a bit of a recursive case, as Jack called him Emet after reading the E.M.E.T. on his vest, which he then accepted as his name.
  • In Fallen London, the Dauntless Temperance Campaigner is actually named "Dauntless". Her grandson is Chuffy McAvoy-Dauntless. Granted, we don't know her personal name, but it's still a name.
  • The president of Shinra in Final Fantasy VII is named President Shinra. It's made more apparent in Japanese, where there is no ambiguity that his first name really is President.
  • The Al Bhed known as Brothernote  in Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 is actually named Brother.
  • The entire main family of Friday Night Funkin' is made up of characters actually named Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Daddy, and Mommy; they all fulfill the exact roles of the family you would expect them to.
  • In FusionFall, Princess Morbucks gets kidnapped by the Ice King. He is attracted to princesses; however, Princess is not a princess. She's just a rich girl named "Princess".
  • Gacha Life: The principal of Life Mode's school has the name Mr. Principal.
  • Gain Ground: The characters of "General" and "Professor".
    • General looks the part of a general, but at the same time, generals aren't exactly known for marching slowly into battle whilst wielding flamethrowers.
      • According to the game's story, which takes place in the distant future, humanity has entered an era of peace that has inadvertently taken away their survival instinct. So, the probability of their being an active military, let alone a "General" to lead them, sounds a bit questionable.
    • Professor wields a rifle and performs spin attacks that allow him to shoot left and right simultaneously, which isn't exactly what a real "Professor" does.
      • The manual says that the Gain Ground System went berserk, kidnapping the scientists who made it by locking them inside the computer's own virtual world. Would that make "Professor" one of these scientists? Sadly, it is never specified.
  • The skeleton from I Spy Spooky Mansion sign a puzzle with "skeleton" in the PC version of the game (both original and deluxe). This is averted in the Wii version where he's named "Skelly".
  • Kao The Kangaroo: Round 2: Everyone refers to the animal hunter as just "Hunter" with capital H. Considering that we can frequently see his "H" logo placed on various objects, and considering that the Polish version keeps his name as the English "Hunter", it's fair to say that this might very well be his actual name or surname.
  • In Love & Pies, Raj's dentist is named Dr. Lady Dentista.
  • Minecraft villagers are always named after whatever their occupation is.
  • This trope appears in Mystery Trackers and its Crisis Crossover spinoff Detectives United, . Most of the field agents in the Mystery Trackers use code names. However, the player character of most MT installments is eventually revealed to have the code name of Agent Amber, and her birth name is Amber Edevane. Her colleague Agent Brown, a minor MT character who is Promoted to Playable in the spinoff, really is named Dorian Brown. It's never explained why these two agents were permitted to use their actual names as their code names.
  • In OFF, the character you play as is called the Batter.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney case 1-3 an angry janitor not letting Phoenix and Maya inside the studio ends up with an "Oldbag" byname, even called so in her speech bubbles. Then she is called in court as a witness for it to be revealed that it's her actual surname. Her full name is Wendy Oldbag. The lawyers take an awkward pause to bring themselves to address her. At one point during the trial, Phoenix mistakenly calls her "old bag."
  • Crazy Dave from Plants vs. Zombies's full name is "Crazetopher David Blazing III".
  • NPCs in the Pokémon franchise tend to have a title and then a name (e.g. Youngster Joey), but the mooks from the various villain teams are just labeled "Team Rocket Grunt" unless they have plot relevance. In Pokémon Sun and Moon, you overhear a conversation between two of the female Team Skull grunts that reveals that their names literally are "Grunt." That's right, every single one is named Grunt.
  • The Postal Dude, Jr. is really named that. One of his errands is pissing on his dad's grave and it's marked as T. Dude, Sr. Another is going to the post office to pick up a package (a mail bomb) and the post office worker states it's for "Mr. The Dude". Yet another is getting his check from Vince Desi, which bears the name "P. Dude".
  • In Richman series, there is a ninja character whose official English name is just "Ninja".note 
  • In Sickness, Vincent and Violet get upset upon first meeting Suoh because of his name.
    Vincent: Sai, this is no fair! How come the new guy gets a code name and I don't!? You're with me on this, aren't you, Violet?
    Suoh: Uh...Suoh is actually—
    Violet: Like I care. You don't use your real name while working anyway, do you? I sure don't.
    Suoh: Look, Suoh is my real—
    Vincent: That's not the point! Sai gets a cool code name, Karasu gets a cool code name, and now we have a newbie being called "dragon"! It isn't fair!
  • The protagonist of Songs and Flowers is named Jazz Overstreet. Not Jasmine Overstreet, just Jazz. As she explains, her father planned on naming her after his favorite musician, only for said musician to be arrested days before she was born. He ultimately panicked and named her after a whole genre.
  • STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl features a shining example of this trope. The given name (and since everyone in the Zone seems to be operating under an pseudonym of some sort, effectively his real name) of the bartender at the 100 Rads Bar in Rostok is... Barkeep.
  • In Terraria, PC update 1.3.4 introduced the Tavernkeep NPC. As with any other NPC, he has many possible names. One of them is Barkeep.
  • Mid-stage bosses Koakuma and Daiyousei in Touhou Project, whose names mean Little Devil and Great Fairy respectively. This started out as Fanon, but ZUN decided that since he had never actually named those unique characters, Koakuma and Daiyousei worked fine.
  • When a radio caller in Two Point Hospital calls in to say that Sir Nigel Bickleworth isn't a Sir, He counters that his first name IS Sir. Nigel is his middle name.
  • Many Gargoyle names in the Ultima series are descriptions of the character's profession in Gargish, such as Inmanilem - "Make-Healing-One", or Healer.
  • Undertale has a minor NPC, a young monster, who is never named in-game and only referred to as "Monster Kid" in the credits. According to Word of God, Kid is actually their name.
  • A recurring major character in the Warcraft universe is Thrall (who was raised in slavery). His name literally is "Thrall," and he does not change it even after he escapes and ceases to be a thrall. Although when Thrall finally returns to Nagrand in the Burning Crusade expansion, we finally learn the name his parents gave him. It's Go'el (Hebrew for "He Who Would Bring Salvation"). Orcs don't formally name their children until they go through a special ceremony, and Thrall's parents were killed before this happened. After stepping down from being Warchief, he leaves Durotar to live with a tribe of brown Orcs (their original color prior to demonic influence) and even finds a mate. At this point, he starts to resent when people call him Thrall, even when his closest friend Jaina Proudmoore does it.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Nasuverse, the nineteen people that lead The Hashshashin threw away their names and were just called "Hassan-i Sabbah", literally "Old Man of the Mountain." Most have a nickname based on the specifics of their Noble Phantasm, with the exception of the original "Old Man of the Mountain," who is referred to by the shorthand "First Hassan," sometimes "King Hassan," or more affectionately, "Gramps."
    • In Fate/Grand Order, Servants summoned in a class other than their inital one usually have said class attached to their name in parentheses to indicate this change. Examples of this include Astolfo (Saber), Nitocris (Assassin) and Tamamo-no-mae (Lancer). This is not quite the case with Altria Caster, who is not only the Caster version of Altria Pendragon, she actually has Caster as her last name instead of Pendragon.

    Web Animation 
    • In "Ragna VS Sol Badguy", Wiz and Boomstick get into an argument over the name of the villain That Man, so much that Boomstick walks out in anger. After a moment, he comes back and apologizes after going on the Internet and realizing that, yes, the character's name is, indeed, That Man.note 
    • In "Balrog VS TJ Combo", upon mentioning the origin of TJ Combo's nickname, Wiz asks if that's how Boomstick got his nickname. Boomstick's answer? "Nickname? What the hell are you talking about?"
  • DSBT InsaniT: Teacher. It's not a case of No Name Given; Teacher is her actual name. Balloon can not believe this... despite his own name being the same way.
    • Weird Girl is another character's actual name. Koden finds that, well, weird!
  • Homestar Runner
    • Coach Z is never referred to as anything else other than "Coach." It is unknown what the Z stands for.
    • Inverted by Bubs, owner and operator of Bubs' Concession Stand. His ID lists his full name as "Bubs C. Stand," implying that his "job" is named after "him".
    • In Thy Dungeonman III, a character named Kigalonian demostrates this trope in a way:
      Game Interface: Ye ask the tough if he knows of a place round here where a fella can get a nice dungeon. He smiles,
      Kigalonian: "I see ol' Pub Barkeep sent ye, eh?"
      Game Interface: The pub's barkeep's name is Pub Barkeep?
    • The Teen Girl Squad do have actual names in the first episode, but this can be chalked up to Early-Installment Weirdness. In every other episode, they're named Cheerleader, So and So, What's Her Face and The Ugly One.
  • Similar to the Catch-22 example above, Red vs. Blue has Sergeant (later Colonel) Sarge. Also known as S-Dog. In Season 14 it's revealed that this is the result of taking the maxim "dress for the job that you want" to its (il)logical conclusion.

  • 8-Bit Theater:
    • Red Mage, Black Mage, Thief and Fighter. Confirmed as this after their class change. Except for Thief. His real name is Prince Elf. They have last names, but those fare little better, with Fighter McWarrior, Black Mage Evilwizardington, and Red Mage Statkowski.
    • Also there's White Mage, Black Belt, Lich, Ranger, Berserker, Rogue, Cleric, all their given names. The only one that's actually a case of Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" is Dragoon, whose name is implied to be Sebastian.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Dr. McNinja is a doctor who is also a ninja. Lampshaded in the opening of Meet The Doctor And His Friendly Staff.
  • In The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred, Wiglaf is initially addressed as "Lackey" by Mordred, and when the chauffeur is called "Driver", he assumes that it's simply Mordred's habit to call people by their job... but her name is actually Ainsley Driver.
  • In Axe Cop, Axe Cop is a cop who fights with an axe and his friend (and actually brother) Flute Cop is a cop who somehow fights with a flute apparently. The story of Axe Cop's childhood, long before he became a policeman, reveals that his parents were named Bobber and Gobber Smartist and his given name is Axey Smartist. And he has a brother named Flute Cop.
  • In Megan Kearney's Beauty and the Beast, the heroine's name really is Beauty. This is framed as being a "virtue" name, much like those used in Puritan culture (her sisters are named Virtue and Temperance), and Word of God explains that she was given the name because when she was born, her mother exclaimed "What a little beauty!" over and over again.
  • The administrator of the school in Brutus is named Dean President.
  • Darths & Droids:
    • The character corresponding to Princess Leia isn't a princess, but her adoptive parents gave her the first name Princess.
    • In episode 947, a character described by the Game Master as "just some unidentified rebel technician" ends up being called that.
      R2-D2: Why does your name tag say "Unidentified R. Technician?"
      Unidentified: I lost a bet.
  • In El Goonish Shive, there is a physics professor actually called "Dr. Physics Professor".
    • And Grace Sciuredae, a 1/4-squirrel Heinz Hybrid who nevertheless gets her surname from her human gene-parent.
  • In Goblins, every goblin is given a name at birth which is prophetic of his future — sometimes, this includes their future role or station in life. The most notable example is Chief, who became the village Chief (this one was eventually revealed to be cheating to avoid a fight when the old chief died).
  • All gnomes in Guilded Age use their profession as their first name. Bandit Keynes used to be Carrier Keynes before she became a thief, because it was her job to carry ore from the mines to the smelters.
  • In The Handbook of Heroes this is the norm, as most characters are named after either their class (the fighter is named Fighter, the cleric is named Cleric) or their role in the story (Wizard's evil uncle is named Wicked Uncle, the main villain is named BBEG).
  • Homestuck: The carapace people are addressed by two-word titles like "Aimless Renegade" or "Parcel Mistress". Notably, their titles change with their roles but keep the same acronyms; "Warweary Villein" becomes "Wizardly Vassal" becomes "Wayward Vagabond," "Parcel Mistress" becomes "Peregrine Mendicant," etc. The only exception to this rule is S.S. whose real name is revealed to be Jack Noir. The other carapacians may have names but they are never revealed.
  • The Aliens in It's Walky! really are beings from the planet "Alien".
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, Mary calls an NPC by his/her function, so when she calls the bishop that, Walter then remembers his name actually is Bishop.
  • When "Foxy Cop" from Narbonic cameos in Skin Horse she has a nameplate reading "Lt Foxicopp".
  • According to the writer of Oglaf, The Mistress's name really is Mistress.
  • In The Order of the Stick, this strip reveals that minor characters literally have names like "Goblin Cleric #2" and "Hobgoblin Warrior from Strip #433, Panel 3". It's worth noting that this is a universe where otherwise unimportant side characters have invoked the Mauve Shirt trope to survive near-death experiences by revealing their names, so perhaps that's not so surprising. When Roy goes to Mount Celestia, he's met by a lantern archon called Roy's Archon.
    Roy: That... is incredibly convenient.
    Roy's Archon: Exactly.
  • Pv P:
    • Jace's butler's name is Butler.
    • Cole also once chastised him for calling his maid "Sweet Cans", but it turned out that, yes, her name really was Suitecannes.
  • Questionable Content: Most Artificial Intelligences take normal human names (or abnormal human names, like Swordsmary), but some identify a bit more closely with their jobs. The AI running a research Space Station's supercomputers calls itself Station (named by Hannalore during her "descriptive phase"), and then there's Crushbot the hulking Robot...
    Lemon: Crushbot also has a very robust insurance policy, probably because Crushbot's name and occupation are "Crushbot".
  • In Romantically Apocalyptic, The Captain's nickname for Sniper is Mr. Snippy. As it turns out, Sniper's real name is Charles Snippy.
  • Scary Go Round: After going without a name for a long time, it turned out that the Mayor of Tackleford really was named "Mr Mayor"; James Mayor, in fact.
  • Shortpacked!:
    • Robin initially never actually learned the name of the character she refers to as "my lesbian". When Ethan uncomfortably addresses her as "Hey, um, lesbian", she replies "My name is Leslie". It eventually transpires her full name is Leslie Bean.
    • There's also a side character repeatedly referred to only as "that guy", before revealing that his given name is "Thad". His last name is never revealed, but it isn't "Guy".
  • Cecania's mother in Sore Thumbs was "Mother Greensworthington" even as an undergraduate, so apparently 'Mother' is her given name.
  • Merchant in Strange School. He sells stuff.

    Web Original 
  • Most characters in Dad are only ever referred to by their relation to the family (Daughter, Neighbor, the titular Dad, etc.). Evidence suggests there could be actual names that go unused, but at this point who knows.
  • The final episode of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared shows the puppets' beds labelled with the letters "R", "Y", and "D", implying that they are actually named "Red Guy", "Yellow Guy", and "Duck".
  • Dream SMP: Going hand-in-hand with Ascended Meme from the content creators' fanbases by nature of the series.note 
    • Due to his content creator counterpart's skill at Minecraft as a game, "Philza Minecraft" became a jokingly popular full name for Phil's character. Phil later confirms it while talking to Fundy in the roleplay, canonizing his in-universe full name to indeed be "Philza Minecraft".
      Phil: You're trying to fool someone whose last name is "Minecraft"!
    • At one point, fans of Ranboo the content creator started spreading this gif of a heart locket opening with a picture of Ranboo's Minecraft skin with the text "Ranboo, my beloved" in it on social media. After this, Ranboo later states that his character's middle name is "My"... henceforth canonizing "Ranboo My Beloved" as his in-universe full name (prior to marrying Tubbo in the roleplay).
  • Halloweenie: Halloweenie is his actual name. He even complains about how he loses the rights to use his actual name when he's kicked off of his show.
  • Looming Gaia: The Sovereign of Aquaria changed his name to "Sovereign" when he founded the Aquarian Alliance.
  • One plot on Neopets included a supporting character who was known only as "the scout" until the very end, when she was asked about her name and revealed that it was, in fact, Scout.
  • In Ricesnot's videos, Bones's therapist is named actually named Therapist.
  • Scott The Woz has a character named Wendy's Employee, who works as a Wendy's employee. He has a Backup Twin brother with a similar name and job, Target Employee, and he introduces himself as such in the episode "The Great Mysteries of Gaming":
    "Wendy's Employee, Wendy's employee."
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-INTEGER is an entity that retroactively changes the identities of any object or person that says its true name or describes it incorrectly into a broader description. The man who discovered it had his name changed to Doctor Placeholder McDoctorate, while a less lucky victim ended up as SCIENTIST-LETTER. The entity's true name is actually LOGICIAN.
  • Used in various Channel Awesome videos, where the titles that the characters have (Ask That Guy with the Glasses, The Nostalgia Critic, etc.) are the characters' names and not just their titles. Which leads to a few Aerith and Bob situations during crossovers.
  • In a sight gag during the Justice mini-arc of Vaguely Recalling JoJo, the Runaway Girl's name in the guestbook is Runaway Girl.
  • Discussed between Igno and Yin in We Are Our Avatars:
    Yin: Oh, okay. He truly is a rather unusual human-person, then. I do wonder who he is shouting to, though. He must be rather far away.
    Igno: I'm pretty sure Eureka isn't a name.
    Yin: Hmmm. I did not know that you can't be named "Eureka". I did meet an old man named Old Man before, though, so the standard for names that I'm aware of is fairly lax.
  • This is what happens to Drone Jeffs at ranks of Officer or higher in the Worm Jeff Saga; their name is what they do followed by the first name they had when they were human.
  • In one Christmas episode of Atop the Fourth Wall has a kid and his dad refer to the mom in the story as "Mother", making Linkara wonder if "Mother" is really her name.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • Lady Rainicorn doesn't have a title; "Lady" is just her first name.
    • As it turns out, Doctor Princess is neither a princess nor a licensed doctor: that's her full name. She just started practicing medicine because of an event she decides not to delve much into involving her checking into the hospital she now works at.
      Doctor Princess: The truth is... I'm not technically a doctor. I don't even have a medical degree. I just came in here one day for an X-ray, and my first name is Doctor, so, well, One Thing Led to Another.
    • All the actual princesses except Bubblegum (real name "Bonnibel Bubblegum") are referred to as "X Princess" (Flame Princess, Hot Dog Princess, Lumpy Space Princess), and it is unclear if these are their names or just titles. It's eventually shown that Flame Princess was withholding her name (Phoebe), though we're not given a reason why.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • Invoked in "The Name": When Gumball finds out his real name is Zach, he develops a Split Personality that only goes away when he legally makes his nickname his actual first name.
    • Gumball's awkward-hug-prone classmate has always been known as Hot Dog Guy, but in "The Hug," it's revealed that's his actual name.
    • In "The Parents", it's stated Nicole's parents named her Doctor (Nicole is actually her middle name), because they wanted her to be one, though she's actually an office worker.
  • Hello Nurse in Animaniacs. While it was originally just the expression Yakko and Wacko always exclaim whenever they see her, as the series progressed it seemed to grow continually more explicit that her first name really is "Hello" and her surname really is "Nurse." Per Word of God, her actual given name is "Heloise Nerz".
  • In the Archer episode "A Going Concern" we learn that Doctor Kreiger isn't a medical doctor ("And not even the other kind, technically.") In "Jeu Monegasque", his 401k lists his first name as "Doctor" (though later episodes claim his real first name is "Algernop").
  • Back to the Future: To undo a childhood trauma of Doc's, Marty and the boys travel back to a time when Doc lived with his oddball Uncle Oliver. At one point he signs a legal document "Oddball Uncle Oliver".
  • On Beetlejuice, one of BJ's neighbors is actually named The Monster Across the Street. In fact, in the It's a Wonderful Plot episode, his location is changed to being down the street instead, and his name is changed accordingly.
  • In the first part of the second season finale of Ben 10: Alien Force, Kevin's middle name is revealed to be Ethan, causing Ben to say, "Wait, your name is 'Kevin E. Levin? You just lost all remaining pretense of 'cool,'" alluding to his nickname, Kevin 11, from the Original Series.
  • Subverted in Bob's Burgers, where longtime customer Teddy believes restaurant owner Bob Belcher's name is "Bob Burgers". He's completely stunned by this revelation.
  • Bojack Horseman: BoJack's Therapy Horse in rehab is named "Dr. Champ." Turns out to be a subversion, since he's only a Therapy Horse and not an actual therapist, meaning he isn't bound by doctor-patient confidentially.
  • Turned on his head in Clerks: The Animated Series where actor Judge Reinhold is an actual judge.
  • The Daffy Duck short Deduce, You Say! ends with the revelation that the criminal Dorlock Holmes and Watkins are chasing is actually named Shropshire Slasher.
  • In the Danger Mouse episode "Frankensquawk's Monster", DM is surprised that Professor Squawkencluck's parents call her "Professor". It turns out that's her first name.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • The episode "The Outlaw Scrooge McDuck!" featured an ancestor of Fenton called Sheriff Marshall "Deputy" Cabrera (his name is Marshall, his job is the town sheriff, and his nickname is Deputy).
    • "The Ballad of Duke Baloney!" features a pair of fishermen named Fisher and Mann (though, ironically, Mann is a woman).
      • In the same episode, Louie immediately dismisses an amnesiac Flintheart Glomgold's identity as Duke Baloney, claiming that the name sounds incredibly fake. Later on, a flashback of a young Glomgold meeting Scrooge reveals that Glomgold's real name is in fact Duke Baloney; his over-the-top Scottish persona (he's really South African), including his name, is part of his attempts to outdo Scrooge.
  • Gravity Falls: A Recurring Extra known as the "Cute Biker" (a skinny, Ambiguously Gay biker who would show up during fights, usually involving "Manly Dan" Corduroy, and cheer "Get 'em, get 'em!") was eventually named "Tyler" in the season one finale. In "The Stanchurian Candidate", it's revealed that his last name actually is Cutebiker (pronounced "CUTE-bick-er").
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
    • In a flashback from when he was a kid, Billy's Dad had a shirt with "Billy's Dad" written on it. It's odd, since the series had already established Billy's Dad's name as "Harold".
    • And of course the Grim Reaper's name literally is that.
  • The Fairly Oddparents: The Sandman's name is literally "Harvey Sandman".
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • Arnold's grandpa always called him "short man" as a nickname. According to Word of God (and later Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie), Arnold's last name actually is "Shortman".
    • Stinky Peterson's first name is not a nickname.
  • Kim Possible: Jack Hench is the go-to guy for hiring well-trained henchmen (as opposed to the inept mooks we occasionally see working for Dr. Drakken).
  • In Mighty Magiswords, the Warriors for Hire, Prohyas and Vambre, actually have "Warrior" as their surname.
  • Coach Conkout from Moville Mysteries. His father was really obsessed with him becoming a coach to the point of giving the first name "Coach".
  • ˇMucha Lucha!: The founder of the school the three mascaritas attend is named Founder. In fact, he found, rather than founded, the school from Hammerspace to smash an adversary.
  • Muppet Babies (2018) gives Nanny the name "Miss Nanny".
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Shadowy Figure. It's even listed on his POW card.
  • In Over the Garden Wall, everyone at the Tavern have titles like the Tavern-Keeper, the Tailor, The Highwayman, etc. They seem uncomprehending when Wirt tries to introduce himself and Greg by name, and attempt to apply a similar label to him: first "the Lover," when they misunderstand his search for Adelaide to be romantic, and later "the Pilgrim" when they interpret their journey to be a spiritual quest.
  • PAW Patrol: Implied to be the case for Mayor Goodway, since her niece and nephew refer to her as "Aunt Mayor".
  • Phineas and Ferb the song number from the "Moon Farm" episode featured a disembodied reggae space voice whose name really was "Disembodied Reggae Space Voice".
  • The Mayor from The Powerpuff Girls (1998) is actually named Mayor. His campaign slogan is, "Vote for Mayor for mayor!", and when he lost his job, he became ex-mayor Mayor. It's apparently a surname, as in one episode, his wife calls him Barney.
  • Sheriff Bronson Stone of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has "Sheriff" as a first name, because that's what his mother always wanted him to be.
  • The Secret Show had Professor Professor and Doctor Doctor. Professor Professor's brother Maestro later joined the trope when he became a Maestro. Also, their mother is known as Frau Frau.
  • Sheep in the Big City: Farmer John. John is his last name, by the way. His first name is Far, and his middle name is Mer.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The rich Texan character's full name is Richard Texan. But you can call him "Rich".
    • "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" Part 2 implies that Groundskeeper Willie's first name really is Groundskeeper, as at one point Lisa refers to him as "grounds-tender Groundskeeper Willie". A later episode revealed that his full name is William MacDougal.
    • Just plain old Barry Duffman.
  • Skylanders Academy: Flynn is first introduced as "Captain Flynn", likely due to his position as a pilot, but when he introduces himself to another character in the series finale, he says that Captain is his first name and as luck would have it, it happens to be his profession as well.
  • In Sonic Boom, Sonic the Hedgehog's name is just that. Yes, "the" is his middle name.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In the episode "Good Ol' Whatshisname", Squidward needed to find out the names of all the Krusty Krab customers to win a prize. The last one, however, seemed uncooperative, as Squidward thought he always responded to him "What's it to you!?" to shoo him away...until he finally got his ID card and saw that "What Zit Tooya" was his real name.
  • Trolls: The Beat Goes On! established that DJ Suki's first name really is DJ and it just happens to match her profession.
  • Uncle Grandpa's main character is "everyone's uncle and grandpa", and his name is Uncle Grandpa (and according to his driver's license, his middle name is "Larry"). Likewise, the photo cutout of a tiger is actually named Giant Realistic Flying Tiger (GRFT for short).
  • On Young Justice this seems to be the case with the Reach: of its three main agents, two are known only as the Ambassador and the Scientist. The third is called the Warrior, though oddly, his colleagues sometimes call him Black Beetle, a name we first hear applied to him by Wonder Girl because of his resemblance to Blue Beetle. Apparently either she guessed well or he just decided to run with.

    Real Life 
  • A number of nations have a tradition of adopting a trade as a surname, some of which have remained as family names. That means, some percentage of the time, people with last names like Baker, Farmer, Cook, or Taylor will actually end up in those jobs.
    • By a similar token, 'Major' and 'Sargent' are not uncommon last names. Accordingly, real-life militaries (and other organizations with similar ranks) will end up with a Major Major or a Sergeant Sargent every so often.
  • Averted by Kennedy in-law Sargent Shriver, who served in the Navy (rising to the rank of lieutenant commander).
  • After President James Garfield was shot, the physician who treated him actually had the given name "Doctor." He was Dr. Doctor Willard Bliss, who had been named by his parents in honor of Dr. Samuel Willard, a pioneer of mental health treatment in America. Not that he lived up to his name though.
  • The founder of the Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire was a man named Basileus—this being the Greek word for "Emperor", it meant he was an Emperor with the given name of Emperor.
  • *NSYNC member Lance Bass was the one who sang the deepest vocal notes of the songs performed by them, and in case you're wondering, "Bass" is his actual surname (though it's pronounced like the fish, not the vocal range).
  • Reader's Digest once ran an article about the phenomenon of people adopting careers which match their names. Perhaps the most memorable instance was an attorney whose last name was Lawyer; one of his clients, upon speaking to the receptionist about making an appointment, was apparently unaware that this trope was in force, as she snapped that "I don't know his name! He makes me call him Mr. Lawyer!"
  • Many French people were shocked to find that Charles de Gaulle really was named that. They'd assumed it was a nom de guerre, taken from Gaul, the historical name of France. As it were, his full name essentially means Charles (as in the revered ancient French ruler Charlemange..) The France.

Alternative Title(s): Her Name Really Is Barkeep, Their Name Really Is Barkeep