Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


I Am Not Shazam

Go To
Everyone knows this! That's Legolas, Sulu, and Mega Man!note 
Image by Sephko. Used with permission.

"Frankenstein was the creator, not the monster. It's a common misconception held by all truly stupid people."
Kryten, Red Dwarf

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-Enraging Misconception. 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.

A Sub-Trope of Common Knowledge and Viewer Name Confusion. 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.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Asian Animation 
  • Balala the Fairies: Balala is confused as being a character name when it's actually a type of magic that's used. The actual character names are (in Chinese, then English) Xiao Lan/Shirley, Mei Qi/Maggie, and Mei Xue/Michelle.
  • Applies to the English dub of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf. The original Chinese title, Xǐ Yángyáng Yǔ Huī Tàiláng, matches the original Chinese names of the two major characters, but the English dub does not, calling them Weslie and Wolffy instead. People who don't know this end up calling them by the title, and not their actual names. The English dub of Great War in the Bizarre World refers to Wolffy as Big Big Wolffy several times, but not as Big Big Wolf.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Lucha Libre Internacional was a Mexican based promotion whose title matches were sanctioned by the Universal Wrestling Association. Since all the belts were known as the UWA ___, most foreign observers would see the visiting champion defending one of them and conclude he wrestled for the UWA directly.
  • Los Perros Del Mal is a Card-Carrying Villain Power Stable that has ran through several Mexican promotions, such as CMLL and AAA. Perros Del Mal Producciones is a promotion owned by said power stable.
  • Some people refer to WWE, or pro wrestling in general, as "WrestleMania", WWE's biggest event.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Blondie Is A Band, My Name Is Not Shazam, The Monster Is Not Frankenstein


Batman Tricks Black Shazam

Batman, throughout his conversation with Black Adam, purposefully misnames him Black Shazam (invoking an old fandom misconception trope in the process) to get him to say it, cancelling his transformation and getting the jump on him, all while saying his HISHE catchphrase of "Because I'm Batman!"

How well does it match the trope?

4.9 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / BatmanGambit

Media sources: