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Mysterious Middle Initial

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Spaulding: My name's Spaulding, Captain Spaulding.
Chandler: And I am Roscoe W. Chandler.
Spaulding: I am Jeffrey T. Spaulding. I'll bet you don't know what the T. stands for.
Chandler: Uh... Thomas?
Spaulding: Edgar. You were close, though. You were close, though, and you still are, I'll bet.

Many fictional characters' names are shown as a first name, last name, and a middle initial in between. If this initial is short for a longer name, it's never stated in Canon. A Mysterious Middle Initial could also be the entire middle name, or a joke about the character's lack of an actual middle name, or an attempt to conceal an Embarrassing Middle Name.

This is most likely because, it's easier to remember a middle initial (e.g.: "Robert J. Smith") rather than a full middle name (e.g.: "Robert James Smith") regardless of whether or not said middle initial actually stands for anything. It's going to become especially egregious in anime when a character with a very Japanese name has an English middle initial.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • A Felix the Cat comic story had Felix operating as a private detective under the name of Felix T. Cat. When asked, he says that the "T" stands for "The".
  • Garfield: Jon's full name is Jonathan Q. Arbuckle.
  • Virtually every member of G.I. Joe has a middle initial listed on their toy filecard and other bios that is never elaborated on — Shipwreck is Hector X. Delgado, Roadblock is Marvin F. Hinton, Scarlett is Shana M. O'Hara, etc. Possibly the only one that is explained: Quick Kick's real name is MacArthur S Ito, and like Harry Truman the S doesn't stand for anything, his middle name is simply the letter S.
  • Howard the Duck occasionally signs documents "Howard T. Duck", implying that the word "the" might actually be his middle name.
  • Krypto the Superdog: In one story from the Comic-Book Adaptation, he disguises himself under the name Silas P. Sham.
  • Laff-A-Lympics:
    • The games played in "The Day the Rottens Won" took place at the Gerald K. Doonton memorial coliseum.
    • "Take Me Out to the Brawl Game" features the Horace W. Underburger stadium.
    • In "The Man Who Stole Thursday", Captain Caveman gives an autograph to a boy named Howard R. Flintwhiller.
  • J. Wellington Wimpy from Popeye has a mysterious first initial.
  • Scott Pilgrim features both Scott W. Pilgrim and Ramona V. Flowers. While we learn that the "V" in Ramona's name stands for "Victoria," we never learn what "W" stands for in Scott's name.

    Fan Fic 

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live Action 

  • Elmer C. Albatross from Baccano!.
  • Dr David Q. Dawson in Basil of Baker Street, being a rodent version of John Watson.
  • Brewster's Millions: Montgomery Brewster's maternal Uncle James T. Sedgwick.
  • All of the characters in the book The Circus of Doctor Lao have the middle initial R.
  • Dave Barry Slept Here claimed that Harry S Truman's family was so poor that they couldn't afford to put a period after his middle initial, and posed a "trick discussion question" about what the "S" stood for.
    (Hint: "Lucille")
  • The Discworld book Maskerade has Perdita X. Dream, whose "X" stands for "someone who has a cool and exciting middle name."
    • In Thud! we even get introduced to deputy constable A.E. Pessimal, who — strictly speaking — does not exactly fit this trope, since he wasn't named as a child, he was "initialled", so A.E. is his full first (or first and middle) name.
  • Harriet M. Welsch doesn't really have a middle name. She added the initial herself.
    • Although in Harriet Spies Again she claims the M stands for Middle.
  • Invoked in The Faraway Paladin: When William leaves home to answer his Call to Adventure, Gus brings up an old tradition in some cultures in their world where children make a portmanteau of their parent's names as a surname. They go with "Maryblood" after his surrogate mother and father Mary and Blood; William chooses to add the middle initial "G" for Gus, his surrogate grandfather. Gus grumpily shouts after him as he leaves that it ought to be "A" for Augustus.
  • W.E.B Du Havel from Honor Harrington has three of them. They don't actually stand for anything.
    • After he escaped slavery he named himself that, after the historical figures W.E.B. Du Bois and Václav Havel. The problem was that he didn't know what W.E.B. stood for (having been a slave, his education was spotty), and he didn't have time to look it up, so he just made W.E.B his first name (he's usually called Web).
  • Sherlock Holmes's biographer, Dr. John H. Watson. You can make a pretty good case for the 'H' standing for either 'Hamish' or 'Henry.' In 'The Man with the Twisted Lip' Mrs. Watson calls the good doctor 'James,' and it is proposed that is a pet nickname/pun derived from his middle name (Hamish is the Scottish variant of 'James') Otherwise, this would mean that Mrs. Watson forgot her husband's name, which would be a bad thing. Alternatively, he could be named after Cardinal John Henry Newman, who was an influential figure around the time Watson would have been born, and a lot of people were named after him. Henry is a fairly safe bet because it was probably the most common male name beginning with H at the time...

    ...Though from the Doylist perspective, it's just as likely his creator forgot. Arthur Conan Doyle was notorious for changing names in the books, which is why Holmes's landlady is sometimes Mrs Hudson... and sometimes not. So if the H ever stood for something, there's no guarantee it was just one name.
  • The mentally-disabled titular character of So B. It calls herself "So be it", and her neighbor decided it was her full name, complete with middle initial. It's her first name, "Sophia".
  • In Michael Chabon's Summerland, Jennifer T. Rideout claims that the "T" doesn't stand for anything. We later learn that her middle name is Theodora.
  • Smug Snake Bob Ewell from To Kill a Mockingbird is named after the famous Southern general Robert E. Lee. Whilst Lee's middle name was Edward, Ewell's full name is actually "Robert E. Lee Ewell".

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 3rd Rock from the Sun, Pendleton University's badger mascot is named Pendleton J. Badger.
  • The Addams Family: Subverted Trope. When Thing went missing and the Addamses hired a detective to find him, they said his name was Thing T. Thing and, when asked what the middle T. stood for, they said it meant Thing.
  • Captain John J. Sheridan in Babylon 5.
  • Battlestar Galactica: Raptor co-pilot Karl C. Agathon and Caprica Buccaneers captain cum resistance leader Samuel T. Anders.
  • 1980s CBBC mascot Gordon T. Gopher. In one spin-off book he insists it doesn't stand for "the", but refuses to say what it does stand for.
    • And now they have Hacker T. Dog. And that does stand for "The".
  • The Dukes of Hazzard has Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. It stand for "Purvis."
  • In Family Ties, Alex P. Keaton got his middle name from an ad lib done by an actor who also fits the trope: Michael J. Fox! It was never revealed what the P. stood for, although given his parents' status as former '60s hippies, it's been suggested that it stands for "Peace".
  • Friends: Monica Geller reveals her middle initial is "E" after buying a stock option for a company that uses the letters "MEG" because those are her initials. The audience never learns what the E stands for.
  • Invoked by Crowley (and Played for Laughs) in Good Omens (2019). When Aziraphale first hears him being addressed as Anthony J. Crowley, the name he goes by when posing as human, he asks him what the J stands for. Crowley responds that it stands for nothing, and "it's just a J, really."
  • "This is Stanley H. Tweedle, Captain of the Lexx..."
  • The Magnificent Seven: Ezra once introduces himself as "Ezra P. Standish"; when asked what it stands for, he says "persuasive". (And since Ezra is a known con-artist with at least two aliases, that might not even be a real initial.)
  • In The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Bob Denver played a strange beatnik character named Maynard G. Krebs. In one episode he admitted that the G. stood for "Walter".
  • M*A*S*H
    • One episode sees Hawkeye losing it trying to find out B.J. Hunnicutt's full name. Apparently it's "BJ", named for his mother Bea and his father Jay...without periods. Hawkeye refuses to believe it.
    • Don't forget Maxwell Q. Klinger.
    • Sherman T. Potter. The actor who played Potter believed the character's middle name to be "Tecumseh", after William Tecumseh Sherman.
  • The Muppet Show: "Kermit T. Frog, here." According to the credits list, it stands for "The."
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Crow T. Robot. It stands for "The."
  • C. C. Babcock from The Nanny, whose middle and first initial are mysterious. The last episode reveals that it stands for Chastity Claire.
  • Dwight from The Office (US) introduces himself as Dwight K. Schrute so frequently that it comes as a surprise to his coworkers when they take him to an emergency room and realize that none of them know for sure what the K. stands for. The fact that his deskmate, Jim, actually does know the answer (it's Kurt) is taken as a sign that they spend a depressingly large amount of time together.
  • Brazilian soap opera O Rei do Gado ("The Cattle King" or "The King of Cattle") has Bruno B. Mezenga but it's only mysterious in-universe. All viewers know his middle name to be Berdinazzi. (His mother's maiden name) His parents' past was of the Romeo and Juliet kind and his maternal uncles (except, fortunately, the one he was named after) cheated his mother and his maternal grandmother out of their shares of the Berdinazzi estate after Grandpa Berdinazzi passed away. Because of that, he refuses to acknowledge any part of that name besides the initial.
  • Person of Interest:
    • The real name of protagonist John Reese is John H. (Last name currently unknown).
    • Detective and Team Machine member Lionel P. Fucso.
    • The Machine's co-creator Nathan C. Ingram.
    • Harold's fiance Grace R. Hendricks.
    • HR members Alonzo D. Quinn, Officer Patrick M. Simmons, Det. William J. Petersen.
    • Carl G. Elias and his right hand man Anthony S. "Scarface" Marconi.
    • Father and son mob bosses Don Gianni F. Moretti, Sr and Jr.
    • Norther Lights members Senator Ross H. Garrison, Robert N. Hersh, Alicia M. Corwin, and Denton L. Weeks.
    • Decima Technolgies member Martine S. Rousseau.
    • Psychiatrist Dr. Ronald W. Carmichael.
    • Apartment superintendent Ernest P. "Ernie" Trask whose actual name is Ernesto Machado.
    • Former NSA employee Henry L. Peck.
    • Lifetrace CEO Wayne L. Kruger.
    • Black Market Bazaar creator Owen T. Matthews.
    • Intelligence advisor Manuel E. Rivera.
    • The only exception is rapist Andrew William Benton.
  • Fred Sanford of Sanford and Son had the middle initial G. but constantly changed what it meant for comedic purposes of what fit the scenario.
  • Saturday Night Live: David S. Pumpkins.
    Mark (Beck Bennett): He has a middle initial now?!
  • James T. Kirk's middle name, Tiberius, wasn't revealed in the original series. It was first mentioned in the semi-canon animated series, but it was confirmed in Star Trek VI.
    • William T. Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation was thought to be a shout-out to James Tiberius Kirk, but was revealed in a later season to just be "Thomas".
      • Prior to this, in a (non-canon) novel Peter David had given it as 'Thelonius', probably in a homage to Kirk's style of middle name, or a homage to jazz musician Thelonious Monk and a reference to Riker's trombone playing. He attempted to Retcon this with 'Thomas Thelonius' in a later novel.
    • Even more mysterious is James R. Kirk's middle name, in the second pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before. It's never used in dialogue, but is seen on a tombstone that Gary Mitchell produces for him during their final confrontation. One unofficial explanation offered over the years is that despite his newly-gained powers Mitchell simply made a mistake.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Phil Coulson's full name is Phillip J. Coulson. While it is never revealed what the "J" stands for, his full name is stated repeatedly when he is addresed by the Chronicom Enoch.

  • The title character of The Pretty Things' rock opera S.F. Sorrow. The short story that accompanied the album mentions that the S stood for Sebastian, but no mention of what the F stood for. Even the 2003 remaster has a little note saying "And nobody still knows what the F stood for".

  • John P. Wintergreen in Of Thee I Sing. Ira Gershwin wrote that when he asked co-author George S. Kaufman what the initial stood for, he was told, "'Why, Peppermint, of course!' with a look that could only mean that any child knew that." (Kaufman's writing credits also include The Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers and A Night at the Opera, and his own middle initial is fairly mysterious.)

    Video Games 
  • BlazBlue has Valkenhayn R. Hellsing, Rachel Alucard's Battle Butler.
  • Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse introduces Trevor C. Belmont (or Ralph C. Belmond in the Japanese version) and Adrian F. Tepes (a.k.a. Alucard). Alucard's middle name, Farenheights, is actually revealed in the Japanese manual and is later mentioned in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
    • Farenheights is speculated to be his mother Lisa's last/maiden name.
    • According to rumors, Trevor C. Belmont's middle initial stands for Christopher. Originally, Castlevania III was supposed to feature Christopher Belmont (Simon's predecessor mentioned in the Japanese manual for Castlevania), but he ended up being the protagonist of Castlevania: The Adventure for the Game Boy instead, forcing the developers to come up with another Belmont for the third NES game. The middle initial was thrown in as a hint of the developers' original intentions.
  • Kain R. Heinlein from Garou: Mark of the Wolves. Given his name's a partial reference to writer Robert A. Heinlein though, "Robert" could be his middle name.
  • Decap Attack combines this with Punny Name. The player character is Chuck D. Head, his creator is Dr. Frank N. Stein and the Big Bad is Max D. Cap.
  • Deltarune has Spamton G. Spamton. It's not clear what the G stands for, as its only purpose seems to be to break up Spamton's otherwise Repetitive Name.
  • Donkey Kong Country: The Kongs' Arch-Enemy, King K. Rool. What does the "K." stand for? Word of God admits they never even thought of a meaning for it, aside from it sounding out "cruel". For what it's worth, concept art shows he was originally called "Krudd".
  • Looking at a particular book cover in Eternal Darkness reveals the full name of one of the chosen to be Edwin H. Lindsey.
  • Rolento F. Schugerg from Final Fight and Street Fighter (the full name is only revealed in a promotional flyer for Street Fighter Alpha 2).
    • There's also William F. Guile from the Street Fighter film, which is not really the character's full name in the games, but still counts as an example.
  • Gaia Online's iconic eccentric businessman, Johnny K. Gambino. According to Word of God, "the world is not ready to know" what the K stands for.
  • The first Galaxy Angel game has Camus O. Laphroaig, the leader of the Hell Hounds.
    • The sequel trilogy, Galaxy Angel II, has Lily C. Sherbet, one of the members of the Rune Angel Wing. The final game reveals the C stands for "Caramel", her mother's maiden name.
  • Keith T. Maxwell of Galaxy on Fire II combines this with "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name:
    Maxwell: "Dangerous" is my second middle name.
    Boyle: Oh, and what's your first then?
    Maxwell: T.
  • Growing Up has Richard P. Nelson, where the P in his name isn't short for anything because it's just his mother's favorite letter.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has the father and daughter, Victor S. Arseid and Laura S. Arseid having the "S." middle initial letter. Cold Steel III reveals that the "S." stood for Sandlot, in honor of the legendary Lance Maiden, Lianne Sandlot, also known as Arianrhod. Lianne herself, as she lays dying, asks Laura to continue the tradition which Laura accepts.
  • Dr. Albert W. Wily of Mega Man (Classic) fame.
  • Mega Man Star Force 3 has Arthur C. Eos, better known as Ace.
  • Mortal Kombat has Sonya A. Blade. Not even her ex-husband knows what her middle name is.
  • Octopath Traveler II has one of the main characters, Osvald V. Vanstein. What the middle "V." stands for is never stated.
  • Tie In Novels for Planetfall call the Featureless Protagonist Homer B. Hunter.
  • Kenneth J. Sullivan and Oswell E. Spencer from the Resident Evil series. Subverted with Leon S. Kennedy, whose middle name is revealed to be "Scott" in the manual for Resident Evil 2.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island, a minor subplot in the 4th chapter involves one character wanting revenge on Guybrush Threepwood for reasons he doesn't remember. It turns out she'd been wronged by Guybrush Q Threepwood, whereas the main character is Guybrush U Threepwood. (the U stands for Ulysses, which is something of a Meaningful Name) Apparently, Guybrush U still gets Guybrush Q's mail.
  • Klarth F. Lester from Tales of Phantasia and Fulein K. Lester from a spin-off sequel, Summoner's Lineage, despite the fact that no one else in their world in any time period has a middle initial.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Many cartoon characters have the middle initial "J":
    • Looney Tunes: "I am Ewmer J. Fudd, miwwionaiwe. I own a mansion and a yacht.".
    • The frog in "One Froggy Evening" was retroactively named "Michigan Frog" and given "J." as a middle initial because of this rule.
    • Rocky and Bullwinkle: Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose. The J was a reference to their creator, Jay Ward.
      • Parodied in a skit where Bullwinkle signs something with an X, Rocket queries him for why he does so to which Bullwinkle replies "It's my middle initial"
    • The Simpsons: Homer J. Simpson is a relatively well-known example. His middle initial stands for "Jay".
      • And his son Bartholomew J. Simpson. His middle initial stands for "Jojo".
      • And his father Abraham J. Simpson. His middle initial stands for "Jebediah". According to Matt Groening, all the Js were a Shout-Out to Rocky and Bullwinkle.
    • Futurama never revealed Philip J. Fry's full middle name.
      • Nor that of his great-nephew Hubert J. Farnsworth.
    • In Spongebob Squarepants, there's Sheldon J. Plankton and Eugene H. Krabs whose middle initials stand for James and Harold respectively.
      • There's also the eponymous Cuddle E. Hugs from Season 11. The E stands for Eat.
    • Recess has Theodore J. "TJ" Detweiler. In one episode Randall and Menlo try to blackmail him by threatening to reveal what the J stands for. In the special All Growed Down it was revealed the J stands for Jasper.
      • Randall J. Weems is himself a case of this trope.
    • Beezy J. Heinous on Jimmy Two-Shoes. Eventually revealed to stand for "Jo-Jo".
    • Stimpson J. Cat from The Ren & Stimpy Show.
    • Parker J. Cloud from Middlemost Post.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball has Sarah G. Lato, an ice cream cone.
  • The animated series based on The Berenstain Bears books gave Papa Bear a middle initial of Q.
  • The titular protagonist in BoJack Horseman has F as a middle initial. However, it is never revealed what that "F" name is.
  • Bonkers: Bonkers D. Bobcat, whose mysterious middle initial is also a play on the word "the".
  • Bump in the Night:
    • Squishington gave his full name as Squishington A. Peabody in the episode "Sock It To Me", while the later episode "Love's Labor Bumped" had Mr. Bumpy claim that his friend's full name is F. Lee Squishington. It's never clarified what the initial stands for in either name.
    • One-shot character Odiferous J. Stench. Not once in the episode "Love Stinks" is it ever stated what the J stands for.
    • The Christmas Episode "'Twas the Night Before Bumpy" had Bumpy and Squishington encounter a British hummingbird named Doris D. Bird. What the D stands for is never explained.
  • In Camp Lazlo, there's Algonquin C. Lumpus, and there's Edward T. Platypus (of the "The" sort, presumably).
  • The Danger Mouse episode "The Man From Gadget" has Egregious M. Murphy, senior sales rep for Gadgets Inc., who comes up with a doozy when D.M. asks him about his middle initial:
    Murphy: The M-4 is a motorway that runs from London to South Wales, ask me another Magnus!
  • Timothy Q. Mouse from Disney's Dumbo.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Blooregard Q. Kazoo. Granted, he's an imaginary friend, and their names tend towards the silly and random, so he might not have a middle name at all.
  • Hey Arnold! has Helga G. Pataki, who promises a visit from ''Old Betsy'' for those who inquire too closely about the "G." Word of God says it's Geraldine, named for former head of Nickelodeon animation Geraldine Laybourne.
  • The Loud House: Some of the Loud kids (and their dad Lynn Sr.) have L as a middle initial, keeping with the Alliterative Name, although all of them are given the middle name "Marie" whenever they're in trouble.note  The only Loud kid with a definitive middle name is Lincoln, whose middle name is Albert, after his maternal grandfather. Also the principal Wilbur T. Huggins.
  • Ninjago: Pythor P. Chumsworth's middle initial is unknown as to what it stands for and we're unliekly to ever know.
  • In one episode of the Pac-Man cartoon, Clyde gives his full name as Clyde Q. Ghostmonster.
  • ''Recess'" has some P examples as well as j examples. In his first appearance Gus cls himself Gus P. Griswald and Miss Finster calls herself Muriel P. Finster in the movie.
  • The Secret Show: Kent B. Trusted
  • The Simpsons also have a mysterious first initial. In the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" two-parter, it is revealed that Skinner's full name is "W. Seymour Skinner", just for the sake of adding him to the list of suspects that have for initials either WS or SM. the culprit was Maggie Simpson. This is never mentioned again in the series.
    • There's also C. Montgomery Burns (the C stands for Charles).
    • "D'oh-in In the Wind" reveals that Homer himself doesn't know what his middle initial "J." stands for, nor does his father Abe. He goes to his mother's former hippie commune to find out his middle name and is ridiculously excited to learn that it's Jay.
  • Stunt Dawgs: Richard P. Fungus. There's also a case of Mysterious First Initial with Fungus' twin R. Peter Fungus.
  • 3-2-1 Penguins! has Jason T. Conrad.
  • The Venture Bros.: Thaddeus S. Venture.
  • Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius.
    • A clue on Jeopardy! told that the E. in Wile E.'s name stood for Ethelbert. But Mark Evanier relates that it was unofficial since it was used in a Road Runner comic book he scripted for Gold Key.
  • Wunschpunsch: Maledictus T. Maggot

  • Alfred E. Neumann, the mascot of MAD.
  • John Q. Public, though the initial is often interpreted as "Quincy."
  • And, for a Mysterious First Initial, J. Random Hacker.
  • Red vs. Blue has Leonard L. Church and Michael J. Caboose, although even their first names are rarely mentioned, and Church's middle initial only shows up in a character profile on the DVD.
  • The taser gun gets its name from an acronym: "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle", which in turn derives from the Tom Swift book series, in which just such an electric stun gun is featured. The Taser creator has admitted the A doesn't stand for anything necessarily and wasn't part of the original Tom Swift's name; he simply used it to achieve a cool acronym akin to "laser".

    Real Life 
  • Jesus H. Christ is a false example: the "H" is derived from "IHC", which was commonly mistaken to be a set of initials but is actually "Jesus" abbreviated in Greek letters (the H is an eta, and the C is a lunate sigmanote ). For that matter, Christ is a title, not a last name, and only became permanently attached to his name after his death. Jesus was referred to instead as "Jesus of Nazareth" or "Jesus the Nazarean", or "Jesus the carpenter's son", or "Jesus, Mary's son." His parents were not Mary and Joseph Christ.
    • In Lamb, Christopher Moore jokingly proposes Hallowed as a possible middle name. "It's a family name. You know, Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, Hallowed Be Thy Name......"
    • Harold is sometimes proposed for the same reason.
    • Similarly, it could be Huan, since the Bible tells us that God is Huan.
    • It's an old joke among bio majors that it stands for "Haploid", since, as the product of immaculate conception, Jesus would have had half the usual number of chromosomes.
    • Some people claim it should stand for "Holy".
  • Hiram Ulysses Grant had a clerical error for a middle initial. At some point in the application process for West Point, his first name was dropped, and his middle name sprouted another S, which people assumed stood for his mother's maiden name, Simpson. Ulysses S. Grant later decided that he preferred this name over General HUG, although he never officially claimed that the S stood for anything.
    • Another explanation floats around that rather than a mistake, he deliberately fudged his name on the papers because Ulysses sounded much cooler to him than Hiram, and U.S. Grant was pretty slick too.
  • Hollywood producer David O. Selznick's middle initial stood for "nothing" (i.e., 0).
    • Which becomes an injoke in Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest; protagonist Roger O. Thornhill similarly added his own middle initial — and notes that his initials as a whole, as printed on his personalized matchboxes, are quite appropriate for an advertising executive like himself.
  • Harry S. Truman's middle initial "S" was his entire middle name. Both his grandfathers' names started with S and his parents didn't want to choose one over the other. Truman joked that one could write his middle initial without a prior, though Truman himself did write the initial with a period, however.
  • David X. Cohen, producer of Futurama. The X literally doesn't stand for anything. His real middle initial is S, but WGA and DGA rules required him to differentiate himself from another David S. Cohen — he decided to go with something 'sci-fi-ish'.
  • Russell T. Davies also added a meaningless middle initial to his name to distinguish him from another Russell Davies. Even more confusingly, his actual middle name is ... Russell; his first name is Stephen. (The same goes for the other Russell Davies, whose first name is Robert.)
  • Chiaki J. Konaka, creator and executive producer of Serial Experiments Lain, Digimon Tamers, and Texhnolyze (among other anime series), inserts a J into his name whenever it's romanized, despite the fact that Japanese names don't have middle names. Just like the above cases, the J is meaningless.
  • Michael J. Fox. The J stands for Andrew. Also for not making him "Michael, a fox" or "Michael, Eh, Fox?".
    • There was already an actor named Michael Fox, and SAG rules require that all active members have unique stage names.
    • He wanted to homage Michael J. Pollard (who was born Michael John Pollack, Jr.) using that letter.
  • Barack H. Obama, while everyone knows what the h stands for, Note  the official White House website breaks format (compared to the other bios) and does not mention it.
  • Newshounds creator Thomas K. Dye, who even signs his panels as "TKDye".
  • Iain Banks wrote his science fiction novels, including the Culture series, under the name "Iain M. Banks". The M is taken in part from Menzies being a family name, but like many other real-life examples, it's essentially a made-up middle initial.
  • J. K. Rowling used initials to disguise the fact she is a woman, in order to be taken more seriously. The K doesn't stand for anything — legally, anyway. It was suggested by her publisher, as a way to get more boys to read her book. It comes from her grandmother's name Kathleen.
  • Legendary musician Booker T. Jones, of Booker T and the MGs. He was named for Booker T. Washington, but in Jones' case (unlike Washington's) the T doesn't stand for anything.
  • The journalist Jennifer 8. Lee. According to The Other Wiki, "Lee was not given a middle name at birth and so she chose '8.' when she was a teenager." As for that specific number, it symbolizes prosperity and good luck in Chinese culture; Lee is the New York City-born daughter of Taiwanese immigrants.
  • Vanessa L. Williams (the L stands for Lynn) was once known just as Vanessa Williams until someone else registered the name with the SAG before she could... so she wound up being known with the initial as well.
  • John C. Reilly, once again due to SAG regulations. (It stands for Christopher.)
  • Weezy F. Baby and the F is for....all these things.
  • The creator of Regular Show has two mysterious initials - J. G. Quintel. Fans have not yet managed to find out what either of them stand for, but they stand for James Garland.
  • An almost painfully frequent practice when referring to the General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is to give one initial, one name, and the surname.
    • This is due to the large families Mormons typically have. The abundance of people who share similar names requires clarification. For example, three past presidents of the church were named Joseph Smith, Joseph F. Smith, and Joseph Fielding Smith.
  • Watergate figure Jeb Stuart Magruder, apparently named for American Civil War general James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart.
  • Robert Q Lewis
  • W.C. Fields (William Claude; however, his last name was actually "Dukenfeld.")
  • It was once said about British politician H.H. Asquith that despite his position as Prime Minister everyone knew his name but not what the Hs stood for. (They stand for Herbert and Henry respectively.)
  • Johnny Cash was christened J. R. Cash, where the R didn't stand for anything. His parents simply could not settle on a full middle name. Cash was universally known as J.R. from infancy until he enlisted in the Air Force and wasn't permitted to use an initial as his first name, and so had to change his legal name to John.
    • Some people speculated the "R" was for "Robert", but Cash insisted it was just a letter.
  • Calum P Cameron, author of the Mediochre Q Seth Series (Which, despite its name, is not an example - the titular character is Dr Mediochre Quirinius Seth). The P "can stand for whatever you want it to" as far as he's concerned.
  • Harry "A" Chesler, Jr., a comics publisher who was most active during the 1930s and '40s. To quote David Hajdu's Ten Cent Plague:
    [Chesler] applied the "Jr." to his name or dispensed with it as he saw fit, and put quotation marks around the initial because he thought they were stylistically correct, and he was right about that. When he was asked what the "A" stood for, he said, "Anything;" indiscrimination was his middle name.
  • Cartoonist Thorton Hee was always credited as "T. Hee"
  • The Full name of Benoit Mandelbrot, the discoverer of fractals, is sometimes given as Benoit B. Mandelbrot. The B stands for "Benoit B. Mandelbrot".
  • KT Tunstall's middle name is ... Victoria. "KT" is partly a funny spelling of "Katie" and partly a reference to the K-T Extinction Event.
  • Marsha P. Johnson, a prominent LGBT+ activist and self-identified drag queen. Whenever she was asked about the 'P', she would simply respond with "Pay it no mind."
  • T.G. Sheppard, a popular Country Music star in The '70s and The '80s, is the Stage Name for Bill Browder, which he adopted because he was working as a label rep for RCA Records when he signed his first recording contract with a different label, and didn't want RCA to know. Over the years, he joked that he chose the initials to represent "The Good Sheppard" or "The German Sheppard", but eventually he admitted that they don't mean anything and he just chose them randomly.
  • Robert E. Lee. (It stands for Edward.)
  • F.A. Dry, head football coach at the University of Tulsa (1972-76) and Texas Christian University (1977-82). Wikipedia doesn't list a full name for him, nor does a Google search help. He may well have just had initials instead of a given name. He's listed in the 1940 census as F.A. Dry. His father was named Floyd A. Dry, for what it's worth.