A form of unintentional title confusion that occurs when a story's naming conventions confuse the audience about what the characters' names are, or who certain titles refer to. Most frequently, people will assume that the title of the work is the name of the main character.
This confusion is especially likely when one actor's name is billed alone above a title that sounds like it might be the name of his character, when it actually refers to, say, his racehorse.
Can lead to things like Cowboy BeBop at His Computer when people don't do research on the subject. Depending on the circumstances, it may also become a fandom berserk button. Not to be confused with I Am Not Spock, though it would be funny. Refrain from Assuming sometimes is related to this.
This trope's title originated with the character Captain Marvel, whose comic was originally published under the same name by Fawcett Comics. Following a lawsuit by DC Comics, which alleged that Captain Marvel infringed upon the copyrights of Superman, Fawcett went out of the comics business and their trademarks lapsed. Nineteen years later, DC revived Captain Marvel. Ironically, by this point, however, Marvel Comics had already created a new character and publication titled Captain Marvel. Due to issues with copyright and trademark law, the character could continue to be called Captain Marvel, but any magazines or merchandise would be titled Shazam! Years later, with the New 52 relaunch and Marvel using their Captain Marvel with greater frequency, DC's Captain Marvel was officially named "Shazam", ironically making them an aversion of their namesake trope.
Contrast Iconic Character, Forgotten Title and Protagonist Title Fallacy. See also Refrain from Assuming and Brand Name Takeover. Not to be confused with I Am Not Weasel, which is about species confusion rather than naming confusion.
- Anime and Manga
- Comic Books
- Live-Action TV
- Newspaper Comics
- Pro Sports
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Web Original
- Western Animation
- Real Life
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