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Long John Shout-Out

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What's the easiest way to tell someone is a Pirate? If he's named "Long John"! Pirates in fiction have a strong tendency to be named some variation of "Long John Silver", whether it's directly calling him "Long John X" or more of an indirect parody like "Short Jennie Barnacles."

This is a Shout-Out to the infamous pirate from Treasure Island, of course, although it doesn't have to be a Whole-Plot Reference as such. Robert Louis Stevenson's novel did a lot to codify most of the Pirate Tropes we know and love today, not least the character's other attributes of a Pirate Parrot and Seadog Peg Leg (despite Long John not having a peg leg in the original book). Even the Talk Like a Pirate trope can be traced directly to Robert Newton's iconic performance as Silver in the 1950 film adaptation. As such, any callback to Long John's name makes the perfect piratical finishing touch.

Sister Trope to Captain Colorbeard. See also Dressed to Plunder.


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     Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece: For a series all about pirates, this actually averted. The only character named after Long John Silver use the other part of the captain's name; the infamous Dark King Silvers Rayleigh.

    Comic Books 

    Film - Live Action 



    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer has Long Drong Slayer, a mercenary Dwarf pirate captain who leads a band of piratical dwarf death-seekers festooned with every pirate cliche they can pack.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • In Freefall, when Helix was excited about the idea of him and Sam becoming space pirates, Helix started to call himself "Long John Aluminium".

    Western Animation 
  • The Beetlejuice episode "Ship of Ghouls" had a pirate named Long John Silverware among Jean LeFoot's crew.
  • Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop featured a pirate named Short John Silver as a recurring villain.
  • Duck Dodgers has the Space Pirate captain, Long John Silver the 23rd. Dodgers questions if this is copyright infringement to which the captain assures him that it's in the public domain.
  • Family Guy: In one episode, Peter somehow acquires a parrot and adopts the persona of “Long John Peter” as A Pirate 400 Years Too Late.
  • Long John Scarechrome was one of Prime Evil's mooks from Filmation's Ghostbusters.
  • The Garfield and Friends episode "The Legend of Long Jon" featured Jon's pirate ancestor, Long Jon Arbuckle, who was hated by all the people that lived in the village, until the end, where it was discovered that he was actually a benevolent agent for George Washington.
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh:
    • Tigger imagines himself as the pirate "Long John Tigger", during a fantasy in the episode "Babysitter Blues".
    • In the episode "Rabbit Marks the Spot", Rabbit claims that a false treasure map that he created belonged to his rabbit pirate ancestor Long John Cottontail. At the end of the episode, the real Long John Cottontail shows up, scaring Pooh and the others away, much to Rabbit's confusion.
  • The Seven Little Monsters episode "Ahoy, Me Monsters" had the seven monsters follow instructions leading them to a treasure that is sent by a person named Long John Shorty, who is actually their mother arranging the treasure hunt to give her children something fun to do.
  • The Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa episode "Cow Pirates of Swampy Cove" had the C.O.W.-Boys fight a gang of pirates led by Longhorn Silver.

    Real Life 
  • Although not a character per se, "Long John Silver's" restaurant is obviously a shout-out to the infamous Stevenson character.