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Insistent Appellation

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When a character insists on addressing another person in a specific manner, even if the other character may have preferred to be addressed differently. The exact nature of the appellation depends on the nature of the relationship between two characters and is indeed often used to establish that relationship. One common variation is that the character simply likes annoying the other; in another, he or she uses particularly polite forms of address to keep a certain distance to the addressee.

A subtrope of Insistent Terminology, and may overlap with First-Name Basis, Last-Name Basis, Full-Name Basis, and Significant Name Shift. If the addressee does not care for being addressed by their given name, it also overlaps with Do Not Call Me "Paul". Compare/contrast also Appropriated Appellation and You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious. If enough people are calling you the same thing, you may be Named by Democracy. May involve Don't Call Me "Sir". See also The Nicknamer.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Cross Ange: Ange's maid Momoka still insists on addressing her as "Angelise-sama"/"Lady Angelise", even after Ange fully renounces her former royal heritage.
  • In Dragon Ball Z all of the Saiyan characters refer to Goku by his Saiyan birth-name of Kakarrot. While Goku always gets pissed off at Nappa and Raditz for it, he eventually just lets Vegeta get away with it, probably realizing Vegeta is too stubborn to change on the issue. In fact, Vegeta ever referring to Goku by his preferred name is generally a sign that he's Not Himself at the moment.
  • In Lyrical Nanoha, members of the Saint Church always address Vivio as "Your Majesty" despite her instance for them not to. She does get Chantez to just call her by name by the time of ViVid Strike!, but she's more or less given up with ever getting any of the other nuns to do so.

    Comic Books 
  • Throughout Morbius' 2nd solo series, Becky keeps calling Morbius "Mike" despite him telling her several times that he prefers his full first name, Michael.

    Fan Works 
  • I am [REDACTED]: At the start of his hero career, Izuku had to keep reminding the public that his hero identity's name was Nimbus, not Redacted. By the time he meets Ochako and the main story starts, he's given up correcting them — which is, ironically, when his fellow heroes start calling him by his real hero name, at Ochako's insistence.
  • In Safe Anchorage, after Asha Greyjoy tells Jeyne Poole there's no need to call her "Lady Asha", Jeyne immediately responds with "Yes... my lady.". When Asha realizes the formality makes Jeyne feel better, she drops it.
  • In the Discworld set The Price of Flight, which revolves around a sort of steampunk Air Force, the pilots get call-signs. These are not always the one preferred by the pilot. For instance, the Foggy Islander wants to be "Kakapo". But as this is un-known outside the Foggy Islands, her fellow pilots substitute "Parrot" for convenience.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Soldier, Todd, the eponymous soldier, has been trained since birth to call all his superiors "Sir," which extends to civilian females.
  • In the original Star Wars trilogy, Han Solo keeps addressing Princess Leia with fake pompous titles he makes up on the spot, despite her wishes for him to just call her Leia. Being a bit of a Tsundere, she is annoyed by Han's habit. They kinda have a Slap-Slap-Kiss relationship.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, no matter how many times Elizabeth Swan asks Will Turner to call her by her first name, he insists on addressing her as "Miss Swan." It's one of the reasons her father likes him, although it exasperates her.

  • David Copperfield: At the time of David's birth his great-aunt Betsy Trotwood insisted that the baby would be a girl and demanded that she be christened Betsy Trotwood Copperfield. When the baby was born a boy Betsy left in a huff and David was named for his late father. When Betsy becomes a guardian to young David in later years, she insists on calling him "Trotwood". David takes it in good spirit.
  • In Reflections of Eterna, Marshal Roque Alva keeps referring to Aldo Rakan (after Aldo usurps the throne of Talig) as "the gentleman in white pants" to demonstrate that he does not consider him a rightful monarch even for a second. That he does so even during his own Kangaroo Court, presided over by Aldo himself, only adds to the latter's frustration.
  • In the Redwall novel Mattimeo, Stryk Redkite keeps calling Sister May "Sissismay", presumably because he has trouble pronouncing it. She at one point sounds it out to him but he disregards it. In the epilogue he and his mate turn up with a chick that he wants to name after her, but Sister May advises him to truncate it to "May".
  • One of Animorphs' Running Gags is that Ax, a member of a Proud Warrior Race, invariably addresses the team's de facto leader Jake as "Prince Jake". Initially it's Ax's military training (Prince is a mid-level Andalite officer rank), but later on Ax apparently does it because he finds messing with Jake amusing. It usually goes something like this:
    Ax: ... Prince Jake.
    Jake: Don't call me Prince.
    Ax: Yes, Prince Jake.
  • In Pyramids, Dios insists on calling Pteppic "Pteppicymon XXVIII" and a Long List of titles. Pteppic wants to just be called Pteppic and actually get some work done.
  • In ''Stork Raving Mad'', once Meg Langslow realizes that the snobbish English Department heads have been calling all the Drama Department professors "Professor" while calling their own staff "Doctor", Meg reverses this when addressing them, making sure to refer to her husband as "Doctor Waterston" and to the English professors, even the department head, as "Professor."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Acapulco: The head of operations at the resort is Don Pablo. Maximo repeatedly corrects his mother when she calls him "Pablo".
  • Happy Days: Mrs. Cunningham is the only one who gets away with calling Fonzie "Arthur."
  • There used to be a TV show called Live with Regis and Kathie Lee hosted by Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford. David Letterman called the show Live with Regis Lee and Kathie Lee and called Regis "Regis Lee." Even after Kathie Lee (and eventually Regis) left the show, he continues to refer to Regis as Regis Lee and all Live with... hosts as "Blank Lee;" as of this writing, it's Kelly Lee Ripa and Michael Lee Strahan.
  • In (at least) one episode of Deal or No Deal where the briefcases were held by special guest hunky male NYFD firefighters, host Howie Mandel continued to call them by the models' names because it was easier than learning 25 new names just for the one show.
  • The Arrested Development episode "Best Man For the Gob" featured the one-shot character Ira Gilligan, the Bluth Company's accountant. The Bluths repeatedly refer to him as Gilligan, despite his annoyed insistence that he be addressed as Ira.
  • The team leader on Criminal Minds makes an effort to introduce Reid as "Doctor Spencer Reid" because they know that his youth will lead people to dismiss him, probably assuming he's an intern or assistant, if they don't establish his status as a full member of the team right off the bat.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • WWE: During a feud between The Miz & John Morrison vs Carlito Colón and his brother Primo, Miz & Morrison insisted on pronouncing their opponents' last name as "CO-lon" rather than "co-LON."

  • Lost in Yonkers: 15-year-old Jay, grandson of a German Jewish immigrant family, is actually named Jacob. His mean old grandma, who did the immigrating, refuses to call him Jay and only addresses him as Jacob (pronounced "Yakov").

    Video Games 
  • In BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea, Elizabeth refuses Booker's proposal to address him on a First-Name Basis, instead sticking with "Mr. DeWitt". That's because you are not playing as a Booker DeWitt who has redeemed himself before Elizabeth, but as a Father Comstock whom she plans to have killed.
  • In The King of Fighters, Ash keeps calling Elizabeth "Betty". She's always annoyed by this.
  • Vyers, the Dark Adonis has an especially bad case of this trope in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. Once Laharl declares "Who gives a damn about you? Your new name is 'Mid-Boss'." even the game's interface changes to refer to him as "Mid-Boss".
  • In the Dragon Age games, Varric almost insistently refers to other characters by the nicknames he assigns them instead of their given names. (He uses their real names if speaking about them, but not to them.) Most of them are okay with this, but there's at least one line of dialogue in which Merrill exasperatedly reminds him that "my name is not Daisy!" It's humorously inverted in Dragon Age II, where Aveline is the only companion for whom he doesn't have a nickname — and she's annoyed by this and wants to know why.
  • In NieR: Automata, 9S repeatedly attempts to convince his stuffy partner 2B to call him "Nines", like all his friends at the Bunker do, only for her to tell him to stick to the protocol most of the time. Towards the end of the game it is revealed that the real reason 2B does her best to distance herself from him is that she is, in essence, his personal executioner who has killed and wiped his memory multiple times already — despite being desperately In Love with the Mark.


    Western Animation 
  • In Batman Beyond, aging Bruce Wayne keeps calling Superman "Clark", even though Supes has long left his human identity behind—ostensibly to remind him of his humanity. Ironically, Bruce himself still calls himself "Batman" in his head, even though he has long left that identity behind, as well.
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar, the penguins meet an alley cat named Max, but since they think they've traveled to the moon, Skipper calls him Mooncat. Even during Max's next appearance, Skipper insists on calling him Mooncat because "the name just fits."
  • In Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, the evil General calls Shane Gooseman a "metamorph", although Shane's power is actually Involuntary Shapeshifting. Goose continually insists that "I am not a metamorph!", to no avail.
  • In Daria, Kevin always calls his best friend Mack "Mack Daddy", to Mack's continual annoyance. He never realizes that Mack, who is African American, feels insulted by the nickname.

    Real Life 
  • The terrorist group ISIS/Daesh refers to their enemies by several nicknames in their propaganda magazines and social media: Christians are referred to as "Crusaders", though this is aimed at Westerners in general regardless if they are religious or not; Shia Muslims are called "Safavids" - referring to an ancient Persian dynasty that made Shia Islam their state religion which ISIS believes is heretical - again, regardless if they are Iranian or not, and in a more general note, any Muslim that doesn't pledge allegiance to them are "apostate".