Follow TV Tropes



Go To

"And I wanted to name the store iMario, because anything with a lowercase I has got to be technologically advanced."
Mario in anote  redub of The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!

Remember how we'd attach the letters A and E to almost everything? Good times. They stood for "atomic" and "electronic" respectively, so it could damn well apply to any new gadget at the time. Ancient history now...We've moved a vowel over.

The letter "i" can prefix anything and make it sound cool. People often have the misconception that only Apple does this with its line of electronic products, but nope - they weren't the first ones to flex their "i"s, and they're not the latest. Companies everywhere are cashing in on the iFad. So why "i"? Well, it likely began with the iMac, where it stood for "internet," because the iMac had a built-in modem and was designed mainly for web browsing. note  It also stood for "individual", as opposed to the Power Macintosh line of professional machines. It was later codified by the iPod, the most popular portable media player. The "individual" meaning has since spread to items and software where the "Internet" definition makes no sense, so more recently people seem to figure it's used like the pronoun. As in: "This phone is mine, bitch, back off!" or "Look at me! This is what I'm like!". Ah, the power behind lowercase letters.

See also Super Title 64 Advance for videogames, and Xtreme Kool Letterz for other letters that make things cool. In Speculative Fiction, this can be a sign that Everything Is an iPod in the Future.

See also iPhony for direct parodies of Apple products.


  • As mentioned before, Apple. Chances are, if you have marketed and sold a product with this type of idea, you got the idea from Apple.
    • Some of their products include:
      • iOS (formerly iPhone OS). Now split into two distinct but closely related operating systems, with iPhones running iOS and iPads running iPadOS.
      • iMac
      • iBook (though Apple rebranded their notebook line as "MacBook" after switching to Intel processors in 2006)
      • iPod (this i meant individual; iTunes Store didn't arrive until later)
      • iPhone (justified in having been one of the few phones that can surf the Web effectively, at the time)
      • iTunes (later rebranded as Music, though the iTunes Store still operates)
      • iPad (Generation Alpha’s favorite toy)
      • iSight (though Apple rebranded their cameras as FaceTime)
      • iCloud, an online file storage service
      • iMessage, an alternative to SMS messaging
      • Minor examples include iAd, iDisk (now defunct), iForgot (only seen if you forget your Apple ID password), iSub (a bespoke subwoofer made in collaboration with Harman Kardon) and older Mac applications like iCal, iSync, and iChat. They seem to be moving away from this gradually, as iChat is now just Messages, and iCal is Calendar.
    • Before the iMac sparked the iCraze in 1998, Apple had an online service called eWorld (1994-1996). There was also the eMac, but this "education Mac" doesn't really count as part of the eProduct fad.
    • Apple appears to be slowly moving away from this trope. They haven't introduced a new hardware product line with the "i" prefix since the iPad in 2010, and a software product since iCloud and iMessage in 2011.
      • The Apple TV was the first notable aversion. It was first announced as the iTV, but the UK's Independent Television network took umbrage.
      • Apple Watch
      • Apple Music, a subscription music service. The iTunes application was also rebranded as Music.
      • HomePod, a smart speaker for the home.
  • Now there's a massage chair named the "iJoy". It doesn't seem to be related to Apple, though.
  • The "iMail" example refers to certain types of email applications made by Ipswitch Inc.
  • Nickelodeon's show iCarly. Hey, half the show involves the Internet.
  • The BBC's online radio/video player is named iPlayer. The broadcaster also formerly branded its interactive services as BBCi.
  • iGoogle was a customizable home page for Google users.
  • There is a Facebook app called iLike that tracks your music-listening habits.
  • Nintendo broke all boundaries and put its i at the end to create the Nintendo DSi. In this case, the "i" refers to the system's cameras, which act as an "eye", while also reflecting the individuality of a handheld. Compare the Wii, whose name and two "i's" represent togetherness.
    • Clearly they decided that 'o' is a bad vowel and promptly made the Wii U instead.
  • Brookstone, a U.S. retail chain for specialty electronics and some other things, has had a lot of these, the worst being the "iDesire" massage chair. They seem to have branched out to uWords recently.
  • iBuzz Vibrator, although it's been renamed to the OhMyBod. Though apparently there's a two-vibrator version available now, and a Vibro Pod Digital Music Simulator... hmmmm. Wonder how many other versions are out there?
  • iRobot (the makers of the Roomba) chose their name back in the mid 90s, long before this trope really got going. The name is of course a pun on the Isaac Asimov book I, Robot.
    • The movie I, Robot with Will Smith featured a lower-case 'i' in its title in the movie poster, suggesting the iMac trope. The fact that Sonny and the other robots are composed of chrome metal and semi-translucent plastics and resemble walking Apple iMacs is not coincidental.
  • TrekStor makes the i.Beat line of MP3 players. They caused a minor controversy when they brought out a black model — and, in combination with Xtreme Kool Letterz, named it the i.Beat Blaxx. They very quickly changed the name to the TrekStor Blaxx once they realized what that phrase meant in English.
  • The video/photo-editing software company Ulead called one of its photo-cleanup programs iPhoto long before Apple started doing using this trend. In this case, the "i" did stand for the pronoun, as the message being launched was "a photo-cleaning so simple, even I can use it". When Apple started doing the iName stuff, they were dismayed to find that iPhoto was already taken, so they paid Ulead a significant amount of money to get Ulead to change the name of its product and sign over the rights to name future products.
  • A similar thing occurred with Cisco's IPhone, one of their IP office phones. Thing is, Apple didn't actually bother to check if anyone had already registered this name before they branded their own product, leading to a lawsuit. Ah, if they'd just called it the iPod Phone...
  • iGive and iSearchiGive
  • The Amiga browser IBrowse. Yes, it's a capital "I."
  • Kraft held a naming competition for a variation of Vegemite in Australia, the winner was iSnack 2.0. The backlash was so bad they dropped the name within a few days, held a new competition where the winner was selected by popular vote and now its called Cheesybite.
  • There's a brand of dog crates called iCrates. What does this have to do with the internet or technology? Uhhh....
  • iMeem, before MySpace bought it.
  • Some college replaced the old IR multiple-choice remotes used in a few classes with snazzy new ones that use RF, which means there's no more having to point the remote at a couple of receivers. They're suspiciously Apple-white and called iClickers, even though they don't have anything to do with internet connectivity. This is due to the original creators of these remotes were professors from the University of Illinois, where the school put 'i' in front of everything (Ex: U of I's ID would be an iCard), however, since the iClickers are now marketed outside the University, the name has become somewhat of an In Name Only.
  • I Anti Virus.
  • KFC offered some sandwich wraps under the name iTwist.
  • There's a New England-based party supply store named iParty.
  • Intel's current line of Core processors have specific models designated by i followed by a number (i3, i5, i7, etc).
    • And pre-dating Apple's popularising it, they had the iAPX 432, the i960, the i860, and printed "i486" on their 80486-series CPUs, though this last case was due to them finding out they couldn't trademark numbers, which led to them naming their next x86 CPU the Pentium.
  • Before iRiver made iPod knockoffs, it made CD-based MP3 players. iRiver products have extremely high sound quality for their low price. Other than that, it's slow, the bundled headphones are awful, and it's irritating as hell.
  • The Japanese telecommunication company NTT Docomo had a cellphone Internet service which was also exported in some western countries called "i-mode".
  • Australian telecommunications company iiNet seems determined to one-up everyone by adding two 'i's to everything. Their offerings include iiBroadband2, iiPhone, and iiNetPhone.
  • HP/Compaq had the iPAQ PDAs in 2000
  • The Capital District Transportation Authority (which serves Albany, Schenectady and Troy) uses the branding iRide for their bus tracking mobile app, which has partly been adapted to the branding on buses too.
  • The county of Berkshires, Mass. has called the website for their county iBerkshires. At least it's online.
  • iWorship, a series of contemporary Christian worship songs released on CD and DVD.
  • The unreleased DigiScents iSmell, which would have allowed users to access scents from particular websites, like perfumes and food.
  • e-Sword, a freeware Bible program for Windows. It has an Android counterpart called MySword.
  • iDevices is an electronics company that makes Web-connected smart home gadgets.
  • iHome is an electronics company that makes docks and accesories for Apple's iPod and other devices.
  • Hasbro once designed a robotic dog named iCybie.
  • Sega Toys marketed an MP3 speaker in Japan called the iDog which was marketed by Tiger Electronics in America. The line was later updated to include the iCat, the iFish, the iCy Penguin, and the iTurtle.
  • iDisciple, a website for Christians.
  • iHeartMedia is a major United States radio broadcast company that owns about 60% of the nation's broadcast radio stations. Their signature mobile streaming app is called iHeartRadio.
  • iDoser, a binaural beats audio software producer.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf - The Mythical Ark: Adventures in Love & Happiness features robotic versions of Weslie and Wolffy named iWeslie and iWolffy, respectively.
  • iComfort is a brand of mattress made by Serta.
  • Garage door company Wayne Dalton once marketed an electric operator called the iDrive.
  • iQOO, a subbrand of smartphone company Vivo.
  • iFIT is a brand of Internet-connected fitness products.
  • The Spanish bus manufacturer Irizar names its buses with an "i" and a number ("i2", "i4", etc). It's more of a subversion considering the name of the company and that it exists since long before Apple started such fad.


    open/close all folders 

     iAnime and iManga 

     iComic Books 
  • Ultimate Comics' Ultimate Armor Wars had Tony Stark using an iMan, a minimalist Iron Man suit thin enough to be worn under his clothes undetected. It also had pulse blast powerful enough to blow a finely-edged hole in whatever he was aiming at, the wall behind, and the building behind that.

    iComic Strips 

  • Calvin attempts to name a radio that one of the other protagonists invented the "iRadio" in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series.
  • My Immortal has Vampire being described as wearing iShadow at one point.

  • Someone noted that as early as the Middle Ages, Richard the Lionheart had a multifunctional, responsive device called iVanhoe.
  • Back in the late 1970s when "z" was the cool letter, Apple's Steve "The Woz" Wozniak distributed fake ads at the First West Coast Computer Faire for Altair's upcoming "Zaltair 8080" computer, featuring the new bazic programming language, verZatility I/O, and perZonality customization.

  • iHum is one of the many functions of a Dis-Organizer.

  • The Last Dragonslayer: Discussed and Lampshaded. Kazam Mystical Arts Management's rival House of Enchantment, Industrial Magic, is mentioned in the first book but doesn't play a significant role in the story. It undergoes a makeover and rebrands itself "iMagic" in book 2.
    "What's with the iMagic name change?" I said.
    "Industrial Magic was a bit of a mouthful," Blix explained. "Besides, putting i in front of anything makes it more hip and current."

     iLive-Action iTV 
  • One Attack of the Show! sketch had Apple buying a state and founding their own country, iDaho.
  • The iRack (and iRan) provide a rather interesting MADtv example.
    • After the introduction of Apple's most "Revolutionary and Magical Device" in 2010, this skit from several years earlier becomes Hilarious in Hindsight.
  • One of the teachers on Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide is iTeacher, a female teacher that teaches from her house via live internet feed (on an iMac nonetheless) because her self-esteem issues leave her too afraid to ever leave her house.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look has the iBag, which boasts thousands of songs... in your head, and complete isolation, because it's a paper-bag that the user puts over their head.
  • When Top Gear (UK) made an electric car, Jeremy Clarkson insisted on putting an 'i' in the name. It was eventually christened the Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust.

  • The original iPod advertisements are brutally parodied in Roger Waters' tour of The Wall. During "Run Like Hell," we get "iProtect" (attack dog with teeth bared); "iProfit" (men in suits wearing pig masks); "iPay" (a man being hanged), and others.

  • Dickensian parody Bleak Expectations mentions an "iWax" recorder. The cylinders can barely store a whole sentence, so it's quickly abandoned.

     iVideo Games 
  • In Ace Attorney Investigations, there is an airline called "iFly". Deadpan Snarker Edgeworth promptly comments on how troubling the overuse of this trope is in his Inner Monologue.
  • iFruit is the name given for the smartphone that Michael uses in Grand Theft Auto V. Franklin's phone, meanwhile, is based on Android phones (specifically the Samsung Galaxy), while Trevor's phone appears to be based on Windows Phones.
  • Global Agenda features one of the silliest examples of this trope, with the Assault class's starting heavy weapon, the iMinigun
  • Venom Snake in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has his iDroid for a range of diverse uses, from listening to cassette tapes to GPS... in 1984!
  • One of the commercials in the Starcraft II Terran campaign is for the "iPistol".
  • TerraTech has the eCab, a futuristic hovering cabin for fancy vehicles.

     iWeb Original 
  • Commander Kitty features the iKnow, a device that functions as essentially a brain-activated smartphone, making calls, browsing the future-Internet, etc. It's been purchased by 45% of the galaxy as a whole, and is just as addictive which is appropriate, since it's actually a Mind-Control Device, and wearing it or even being on someone's friend list will get you kidnapped and replaced by an android duplicate who looks and thinks exactly like you. It's designed like a cattle ear tag, advertised by dancing silhouettes, and invented by a sheep in a blue shirt, in case the parallels weren't strong enough.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In the Strong Bad Email "looking old", Bubs recommends adding an i to the front of Strong Bad's name to make him more popular with the youth of today. Strong Bad points out he tried it with 'e' in the late 90s and it failed catastrophically.
      Homestar: (to Homsar) Hey Homestar, which color iTem are you going to get?
    • Lowercase "i"s seem to be a Running Gag on the site, in any context. Supposedly it began with the fact that the font used to write the name of Trogdor the "BURNINATOR" has an uppercase I that looks lowercase, and it took off from there.
  • Introducing: the iPod Flea!
  • There are a lot of icons that parody the iPod commercials which have iTrope captions. This Livejournal community and this gallery are chock-full of 'em.
  • Lock Legion: Everyone Dies has the iHugeStereo.
  • The iSophagus was in Sluggy Freelance.
  • Uncyclopedia has stuff like iRaq, iRan, the iRon, iBrows, iSuicide, iOwa, and the German-themed üPod.
  • This series of mock commercials for the Apple iBox Gaming Console.
  • Inanimate Insanity replaces all the i in Apple products with Me to create Bland Name Products (so we have the MePhone and the MePad). This also extends to the Apple corporation itself, which became Meeple.
  • Platypus Comix discusses this in "Seven Failed Brand Crossovers"; the section about "Colgate TV Dinners" explains that TV dinners got their name to ride off of how high-tech and advanced it seemed to own a TV back then, musing that The New '10s equivalent would bear the name, "iDinners".

     iWestern Animation