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Can you say Parental Favoritism?

Larry: Oh golly... uh, what's your name?
Scallion #1: They've never given me a name. I've been around since show one and I still don't have a name!

A major character is never referred to by their actual or full name, instead being addressed by a title, nickname, Only One Name, or none at all. Reasons for this vary, but it often serves the function of making a character seem more mysterious or eccentric.

In older (pre-1900 in North America; pre-1970 in the UK) fiction, a narrator may refer to a character (especially an older or more socially prominent character) by his or her surname. This is because at that time first names were much less commonly used socially than they are now; a young character may not even know the first name of an older character he or she is not related to. It was also common in that time to blank out the names of real people to avoid lawsuits and the like. This is often true in Japanese media set in the modern day as well, as first names are seen as being incredibly personal and sometimes not even used by close friends who still opt to use the surname. Interestingly, the reverse is true if the work is set in some periods of Japanese history where the size of many of the clans that dominated society meant that it was hard to figure out who you were talking about if you just used the surname so given names were used more instead. In other Asian media, however, you will often hear people referred to by their first names, but almost never by their last names - partly because of the low diversity of surnames in many Asian languages.


A common joke is to do The Un Reveal on the full name.

This trope can be somewhat justified, however, due to Nominal Importance: it's difficult enough for the writers to come up with good names for the main protagonists; it would be incredibly painstaking to come up with equally good names for a cast of characters who exist solely as part of the setting and serve no further purpose to the narrative.

Another common variation is for a series where a child is the main character to have parents only referred to as Mom and Dad.

Sometimes, a main protagonist will have no name to add to their mystique. Or it may be because they can't be named.

When this trope is applied to work titles themselves, not just character names, it's No Title.

Compare The Trope Without a Title, You Know the One, and I Know Your True Name (which may be a reason for this). Contrast Only One Name, Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep", and I Am Not Shazam. Compare and contrast The Scottish Trope, for where characters know a name, but actively avoid saying it. See also Nameless Narrative and The All-Concealing "I". When a character genuinely has no name whatsoever (as opposed to it not being given in the work), then they are The Nameless. When a character is literally given the name "Nobody", then they are Somebody Named Nobody.



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    Audio Plays 
  • The protagonists of Yandere No Onna No Ko are never named. They may share the same surnames as some of their relatives (Nagisa, Yumemi, Alice and Elise), but that would the closest things you would have to a surname. One character calls him "Elison", but that's because she's delusional and is convinced that they were lovers in another life.
  • The protagonists of Yandere Heaven don't have a first or a last name. The Yandere brothers tend to provide sibling terms in place of a name.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Broons. Only the older kids have names. Their parents are Maw and Paw Broon (and Paw's father is Grandpaw Broon), and their younger siblings are The Twins and The Bairn.
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, the parents names are never revealed nor is the family last name. The full names of Rosalyn, Moe and Miss Wormwood are never told either. Susie Derkins is the only character whose full name is revealed. Word of God says that this was intentional on Watterson's part, because, as far as the strip was concerned, Calvin's parents were only important because they were Calvin's Parents.
    • This is part of the reason why Watterson scrapped the Uncle Max character after his first appearance—it was altogether too awkward that Max couldn't refer to his brother by name.
  • Dilbert examples:
    • The Pointy-Haired Boss does not have a name. Since most of the characters in the strip are his employees, Scott Adams gets around by having them refer to the character as "the Boss" and address him as "sir". In one episode of the animated show, the Boss signs a delivery form. The delivery man looks at the clipboard incredulously, and says "that's your name?" We never see what it is, however we later hear he signed as "Eunice". The same episode established that his name is NOT "Eunice" (it's his alias for line-dancing) or "Bob Johnson" (which he uses for mail fraud).
    • Dilbert, Wally, Alice and all the other major human characters seem to simply have no last names. In this strip, two characters introduce themselves with their full names and then Alice introduces herself as... just Alice, as though that were the only name she had.
    • The hyper-intelligent Garbage-Man: In an early strip, Dilbert tells another character his Garbage-Man's name is "Gus Simpson", but this may have been before the character of the Garbage-Man was fully developed, and could refer to someone else.
    • We've never heard Dilbert's mother's actual name. Fans call her "the Dilmom".
  • 'The Dog' in Footrot Flats has such an Embarrassing First Name that he never allows it to be said or revealed in any way in the comic, and holds a grudge against Aunt Dolly for giving him the name.
  • Peanuts examples:
    • The full names of Marcie and Schroeder, and Pig-Pen's real name, are never revealed.
    • Other characters were given last names, but these were hardly ever used, meaning that these characters effectively remained without surnames for most readers. For example, Peppermint Patty's surname (spoken only once) was "Reichart" (pronounced "rike-hart").
    • The Little Red-Haired Girl's name is never revealed in the comic strip, though at least two of the animated specials ("It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown" and "Happy New Year Charlie Brown") called her "Heather". However, despite writing the specials himself, Schulz considered both the name and her appearance (in the strip she was The Ghost) non-canonical.
    • Almost no adults in the strip are given names, and in the animated specials, they don't even have intelligible voices. One minor exception in the strip is Linus' teacher, who we know as "Miss Othmar".
    • The girl who sits next to Rerun in school is never referred to by name, despite being a fairly major character for the last few years of the strip.
  • The Scamp newspaper comic makes the odd decision to state the fact that Lady and Tramp never got around to giving Scamp's siblings names. The comic runs for two months before they decide to address this fact and actually decide to start giving them one.
  • The Argentinian Mafalda has the titular character's parents remain nameless (except for a single strip in which her mother's name, Raquel, was mentioned). Another notorious point is her surname, which no one really cared much for- until a strip where a school test of hers was shown, including what appeared to be an M after her name. Or half of it anyway, the rest was cut off by the panel's boundaries.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • In Son of the White Horse, only the main character Fanyűvő and his brothers Kőmorzsoló and Vasgyúró get names. Everyone else just has to make do with nouns.
  • None of the all-animal cast in The Goat Musician have names.
  • The bratty boy who eventually learns to do things for himself in The Key has no given name, in contrast to the boy's parents, his grandfather, the scientist, and even a little Robot Girl, whom all have names.
  • Neither the girl or the snowman are given a name in Me Cvimad Moval.

    Fan Works 
  • In Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità, the rude chef, the homophobe, and the bully were never actually given names. Not that Germany and Japan would have cared to learn them.
  • Beltorey's commander in The Tainted Grimoire is never given a name. He is always referred to as Commander or the Commander.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • The only member of Celestia and Luna's family who isn't named is their Father. Word of God is that His name can't be pronounced by mortals. (Though Havoc calls him "Buddy" if that's worth anything.)
    • The first Big Bad, Loneliness, never refers to herself as such. Rather, Twilight calls her that, and she doesn't bother contradicting it.
    • Patch's first antagonist in the 7 Dreams/Nightmares collection is never named during her story, referred to in the credits as the Pegasus Despot. It's only during his cameo in Starlight's story at her afterlife trial that his name (Film Critique) is given.
  • What About Witch Queen? has Meyer's captain, who's always called "the captain" or "scout captain". It doesn't help that we only see him when it's Meyer's POV.
  • The Immortal Game has both Sir Unimpressive and his Arch-Enemy the Cadet.
  • Calvin and Hobbes' case of this is lampshaded in Calvin and Hobbes: The Movie:
    Search & Rescue team member: We have been searching the area, Mr. and Mrs... um... I forgot your names.
  • A Small Crime:
    • Kit and Siv's last name are never mentioned.
    • And earlier, Siv is only named as the Stranger.
  • The squadron medical officer in Wings To Fly is introduced to the reader as "Larishminova", with the acknowledgement that this is the best a different character can do to pronounce their name and it's not a correct pronunciation or what's on their nametag. They're never referred to in-story by name, and never referred to in narration by anything but the mispronunciation.
  • In general, whenever the fanmade "Hakurei Miko" character (if that is supposed to her) is used or someone is cast as Reimu's mother, she's in general not referred to as having a name for various reasons, be it Nominal Importance or whichever, as in the case of Osana Reimu, although this is justified in the aforementioned that she is a forgotten Miko, in which case she was usually called "Mom" or "Clumsy Miko-san"
    • Likewise, for awhile in the Gensokyo 20XX, Reimu's birthmother was never reffered to as having a name, aside from "Mikosan", "Reimu's Mother" , or, by Yukari, "the slattern". Of course, this was probably because no other Youkai, besides Yukari, knew or remembered her name. It wasn't until a certain story in the series, was she given a name, revealing it to be "Reiko". In that vein, Ren, before he was named, wasn't typically called anything besides "Ran's fiance" or "Winston", until about chapter 17 of 20XXIV. We also have his ex-sister in law who is called "Baka's Bitch Wife", "Bitch Wife", or "Paintbrush Bitch" and Word of God did state her reasons for not giving her a name, as "we wouldn't like her anyway"
  • Maim de Maim has this and the Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" in the form of "The Chancellor" (or, simply. "Chancellor") who is only referred to by the aforementioned. When we first see her in a flashback, she introduces herself as such.
  • Ultra Fast Pony:
    • In "The Best Episode Ever", Applejack realizes that her character in the play doesn't have a name, and she breaks character to ask if it's important.
    • In "Derp and Destruction", Derpy Hooves mentions a few times that she doesn't know if Derpy Hooves is actually her own name or not. (This is almost certainly a reference to how, in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Derpy's name was mentioned in one episode, then edited out of all subsequent broadcasts. And she commonly makes appearances in various EU material and merchandise, which all go to strange lengths to avoid officially naming her.)
  • Dating A Team Magma Grunt has a main female protagonist who is simply known as the Magma Grunt. The author actually goes out of his way to hide her identity (including her age) when there are scenes it would be revealed.
  • The Dragon and the Songstress: The rainbow colored dragon that assists Kamui and the sorcerer that cursed Aqua are not given names. Azura only gives them descriptors to identify them.
  • Eventually Subverted in Disney High School—"the Beast" is not named until the 49th strip, because he has no name in canon (see below). The creator eventually gave in to Fanon and called him "Adam," though.
  • The rest of Button Mash's family in Button's Adventures, especially his mother who is actually a character as opposed to just being mentioned. It wasn't before GalaCon 2018, a good four years after the premiere, that her name was revealed to be Cream Heart. For many Bronies, however, she'll always be Button's Mom.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Princess Aurora's father is named King Stefan, but her mother is never called anything but "the Queen". Some children's books published about the movie give her the name "Leah", which many fans have adopted. Weirdly, she doesn't even get listed in the credits of the film at all. In fact, for a while there was absolutely no record of the name of the actress who provided her voice, making her a really nameless entity! It was eventful found out that Flora's voice actress for the film voiced Leah as well.
  • In The Polar Express, the main character goes on the train and makes friends with three other kids; of the group, only one is named, and even then only at a plot-crucial moment more than halfway through the movie. (It's the lonely boy, Billy.) The credits refer to the others as Hero Boy, Hero Girl and Know-It-All Kid. Meanwhile Hero Boy's little sister, Sarah, gets a name despite only appearing in two scenes at the beginning and end.
  • In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Huntsman, the Queen, and the Prince do not have names. However, old press material lists the Queen's name as Queen Grimhilde and merchandise released over seventy years later finally gives the Prince's name as Florian.
    • In the original story (the one Disney used to create his story), there were 100 dwarves, and none of them were given a name.
    • The doll of Snow White's prince that can be bought at the Disney store is labeled "the Prince," Cinderella's is labeled "Prince Charming," and Belle's is labeled "Beast."
  • In Beauty and the Beast, it's never revealed what the Beast's name is. The fandom went and named him Adam anyway, which Dan Stevens (who portrayed the Beast in the 2017 remake) and Paige O'Hara (Belle's voice actress) have also accepted. Contrary to popular beliefs, that name is not from the film's creators, but rather from a trivia video game. Most Disney products keep him nameless, though a small number have used the fans' name.
  • In An American Tail, Fievel's parents are only ever referred to as "Mama" and "Papa" Mousekewitz.
    • In Fievel's American Tails, Papa's name is revealed to be Bernard, but Mama's is still not given. (Hopefully it's not Bianca.)
  • The Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas (though some of the merch calls him Hizzonor). Most of the citizens also seem to not have names (The Clown With The-Tear-Away-Face, The Wolf Man, etc.).
  • Jack Frost's sister in Rise of the Guardians is never named. This led to a lot of confusion within the fandom, because her actress also voiced another character named Pippa, who isn't named on-screen, so some viewers accidentally assigned the name to the wrong character.
  • An Extremely Goofy Movie has "Beret Girl". One of the few original characters in the movie who appear at the dancing scene in the credits and the girlfriend of one of the main characters, the movie proves extremely shy about telling us what her name is. Even the credits list her as "Beret Girl".
  • The BIONICLE Direct-To-DVD movies left a handful of characters unnamed, but these were revealed via credits, bonus features and the toy names. The third movie, however, decided to give an unnamed character a name: the high-ranking Keelerak spider that runs errands for Sidorak and Roodaka was suddenly called Kollorak. The name appears nowhere else in canon and probably wasn't even given a legal check, which is the standard with the official Bionicle names. But Word of God claims it's canon.
  • In Mulan, Mulan's horse is never named until near the end of the movie. However, during gameplay of Disney Infinity, Mulan's horse (on one of the power discs) is named Kahn.
  • In Rio 2, the leader of the loggers razing the Amazon is only ever referred to as "Mr. Big".
  • In The Book of Life, none of the Detention Kids are given names except Sasha, but in the supplementary material everyone but "Goth-kid" is given a name.
  • Classified from Penguins of Madagascar. He tells Skipper that his real name is classified, but Skipper takes it literally and calls him Classified for the rest of the film.
  • The Bog King from Strange Magic never has his name revealed. Presumably he's not actually named Bog King.
  • No one is named in The Old Lady and the Pigeons save a few of the American tourists.
  • Epic has Finn, the Leafman with the orange beard. His name is only in the closing credits.

  • The main character of The Black Parade is never named in the album itself, and elsewhere is known only as "the Patient".
  • Very few of the characters in the Ayreon albums have names; most go by descriptions like "Best Friend" or "the Knight."
  • The members of Xera are only known by their first names.
  • An animal variant is "A Horse With No Name" by the band America.
  • The members of TISM performed in balaclavas and went by pseudonyms such as Ron Hitler-Barassi. Most of their real names are still unknown.
  • The mayor, the sailor man, and the narrator in The Silent City. Justified in the narrator's case since no one officially addresses her. Taken to absurd levels with the mayor due to an exchange where he could reasonably expected to give his name and doesn't:
    Stan: And who are you?
    The Mayor: I'm the mayor!
  • Sally Shapiro's real name is so far a mystery, due to her being a Reclusive Artist.
  • GaMetal's creator has the stagename Jonny Atma, but his real last name is unknown. He described it in an interview as 'Long, German, and very unsexy', though.
  • Abraham's Daughter in Arcade Fire's "Abraham's Daughter".
    "Then the angel asked her what her name was
    She said, I have none
    Then he asked, how can this be
    My father never gave me one"
  • The narrator in Danzig's "Thirteen"
    "I was born in the soul of misery
    And I never had me a name
    They just give me a number when I was young"

  • Done in Bally's Playboy pinball, which identified its Playmates simply as "Miss ________" ("Miss January", "Miss September", etc.). Also done in Stern Pinball's Playboy, which shows photos of Real Life Playmates, but only identifies them as "Miss January," etc.note 
  • In America's Most Haunted, none of the ghost hunters are given any names in-game.
  • Ultimately subverted in Strange Science; the Mad Scientst antagonist is never named directly, but a small nametag on his lab coat identifies him as "Dr. E. Shock".
  • Lights... Camera... Action!, a Pinball game themed around filming an action movie, the name of the film and the names of the stars are never given. The film's main characters are also never properly named, and are only identified by their playing card-based nicknames.

  • Ford Prefect is a name picked by The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy researcher due to a misunderstanding about Earth. In the books it's revealed he never learnt to pronounce his own name (his father was the Last of His Kind following the Collapsing Hrung Disaster of Betelgeuse VII and named his son in the now extinct Praxibetel dialect), and the kids at school called him Ix (meaning "Boy who is unable to explain what a Hrung is, or why it should choose to collapse on Betelgeuse VII").
    • The misunderstanding was explained more fully in the movie by showing Ford walking out into the middle of a street and attempting to greet a car, thinking it was the dominant species on Earth. This was a joke that some fans understood without needing the explanation, as Ford Prefects are a kind of car sold in the U.K., Australia, Argentina and Canada. American fans tended not to get the joke, since Ford Prefects were never sold in the U.S.
    • Another character attempts to use this trope. When Arthur asks his name, he says "My name is not important." After some cajoling, he gives Arthur his name.
      Arthur: Slartibartfast?
      Slartibartfast: I told you it wasn't important.
      • Word of God is that Douglas Adams did this as a way of teasing the BBC typist. She was typing out this ridiculous name every time he spoke, and the name never actually occurred in dialogue in his first episode, so he could just as easily have been "Old Man."

  • Many characters in Plautus's work, including the protagonist of Casina, whose name is only found in other documents, not in the script.
  • Most of the characters in Into the Woods. With the exception of Cinderella's stepsisters, the only characters who have proper names are the ones who get them in their original fairy tales.
  • The protagonist of Kismet is identified in the Dramatis Personae only as "a public poet, later called Hajj." (The poet is identified as "Hajj" once in a case of Thoroughly Mistaken Identity.) In the Ronald Colman film version, he's Hafiz, but again this name is spoken only once, in a moderately loud scene with many people talking at once, and it easily slips past your conscious perception.
  • None of the characters in the play 12 Angry Men have names. In the script, they are referred to only as "Juror #1", "Juror #2", etc.
  • In Agnes de Mille's Ballet Fall River Legend, Lizzie Borden is known only as "the Accused."
  • In Jonathan Rand's Check Please short plays, the two leads are only given the names of Guy and Girl in the script and are never called by any name on stage.
  • In the Reefer Madness musical, the man who provides the Framing Device for the story is never reffered to by name; most just call him "The Lecturer".
  • Generally if there's a Narrator in a stage show they won't be given a name beyond their function, although they can have other names besides 'Narrator', such as the Stage Manager in Our Town or the Leading Player in Pippin.
  • The Time of Your Life has a character identified as "Kit Carson" in the Dramatis Personae and who introduces himself as Murphy. Given the wild stories he tells, even he might not even remember his real name.
  • Occurs at least three times in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. There's the title character of The Mikado and both the Pirate King and Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance.
  • The authority figures in Büchner's Woyzeck are only referred to by their position (Captain, Doctor, Drum Major).
  • In 1776, only two characters—the Courier and McNair's assistant Leather Apron—are unnamed because they're the only characters invented completely for the play. (Even the background members of Congress have names, though they're only in full detail in a souvenir playbill.)
  • In King Island Christmas, with the exception of Oolorano, Little Eir, and Father Carroll, the characters are identified only with their role in the community (Schoolteacher, Newlywed Husband, Bachelor Man, Diet Woman, etc.). The character "Little Eir's Mother" is handled both ways; she is usually notated in the score as such, but is called Mary in dialogue twice (once each by Oolorana and Newlywed Wife).
  • In Next to Normal, it's subtle, but Gabe's name is only actually said once, and only said at the very end when Dan finally accepts his son's death. Throughout the show, this foreshadows the fact that Gabe is just one of Diana's hallucinations, and Dan finally saying the name after years of avoiding it is what signifies him accepting that he still hasn't moved on from Gabe's death.
  • In Company, no one is given a surname.
  • Ballets, having no dialogue, often lack names for characters even on the cast list:
    • In Agnes de Mille's ballet Rodeo, all of the named characters share this trait: the Cowgirl, the Rancher's Daughter, the Head Wrangler, and the Champion Roper.
    • De Mille did the same thing in Fall River Legend (the Accused, the Pastor, the Speaker for the Jury, etc.).
  • The Green Pastures features "Cain's Gal" in one scene, but still doesn't give her a proper name.
  • Kiss Me Kate has the mobsters who come to collect on the gambling debt Bill signed in Fred's name to, who are only known as the Two Men.
  • In The Drowsy Chaperone, several characters only go by their titles: there's the Man in the Chair, who is even only given ''that'' name in the script, the titular Chaperone (who is referred to as "Chaperone", implying that it may be both her name and title), Underling (who is likewise referred to as just "Underling"), and the Gangsters/Pastry Chefs.
  • In Les Misérables, many of the revolutionaries are named in blink-and-you'll-miss-'em, quickly sung lines - including Enjolras, Grantaire, and Gavroche, who are three of the most important revolutionaries in the show (The Leader, The Cynic, and the Team Pet, respectively). However, they are all named in the script, somewhat averting this trope. Likewise, the Bishop is never named in the show and called The Bishop in the script.
  • Mostly averted in Hamilton, where most characters are named and introduced within seconds of appearing onstage. However, King George III is only ever called "The King", likely due to the fact that there was only one British monarch during the entirety of the show (and thus reducing any possible ambiguity).
  • Boston Marriage revolves around best friends Anna and Claire, and the stresses put on their relationship when Anna gets a sugar daddy and Claire gets a girlfriend. The sugar daddy's name is never mentioned, reflecting the fact that Anna doesn't actually care for him as a person — and neither is the girlfriend's, despite Claire's passionate proclamations of love, foreshadowing the ending where Claire decides Anna is more important to her. Lampshaded in the case of the girlfriend; when she arrives to visit, Anna's maid can be heard offstage asking her name, but her response is not audible.
  • In J.B., the two Messengers are not named, nor is the girl who accompanies them in one scene and even seems to refer to herself as "Girl."
  • In the folk tales, pantomimes, and written accounts of Dick Whittington and His Cat, the cat's name is never mentioned. Never mind that she is arguably the true hero of the story, and Dick merely profits from her actions.

  • BIONICLE's Big Bad was known as "the Makuta" for most of the line's run, which the fans originally thought was his actual name, until it was revealed to be the name of his species. Eight years into the story, the writer named him Teridax, which caused such a massive uproar from the fans that he has since refused to give out the name of the other big villain, the Shadowed One. The members of the latter's organization, the Dark Hunters are also mostly known by code names, since LEGO couldn't afford to clear the rights for so many unique names. In fact, there are many toyless characters who have no name for the same reason. One of the few nameless toys is the Rahkshi of heat vision from the brand's last setline.
  • The six Protectors from BIONICLE (2015) weren't named until the first book's author suggested to LEGO that maybe they should be. The 2015 villains were also only given descriptive or generic designations, with only Kulta the Skull Grinder getting a personal name in a magazine description.

    Visual Novels 
  • At one point in Kagetsu Tohya Kohaku shows up for the school festival and doesn't really know what to put for her surname, so she just writes Tohno. She, and Hisui by extension, don't actually have last names. Or at least, they don't remember their families or childhood. Ciel's last name is also never given and Ciel also happens to be a pseudonym. Her real first name is Elesia, something mentioned only in passing. It's something a bit more important in her case, marking her as someone who doesn't entirely belong.
  • From the Ace Attorney series, Calisto Yew. Her real name is never given, the only thing we know about it for certain is that it absolutely is not Calisto Yew. Or Shih-na.
    • He's been around for 6 games and counting, and no-one knows his honor's name. Or his brother's, who is also a judge. Or his Khura'inese counterpart's own. Judges in general in this series and the spinoffs (other than Justine Courtney) never seem to get given names ever.
    • There's a hypochondriac who likes to impersonate doctors. He's gone by Dr. Hotti and Dr. Hickfield, but we don't know his real name.
    • One character is even "The Bellhop Who Swore The Affidavit".
    • Gumshoe's boss (the guy who invented the Blue Badger) is only ever referred to as Chief.
    • In Investigations 2, the real name of President Huang's body double is never revealed, even after he turns out to be one of the key characters in the overarching plot.
    • Despite being the Big Bad of Dual Destinies, we never know the name of the Phantom. Then again, this isn't unexplained, because he comments that he lost and forgot his identity long ago, and now only lives by the personality of whomever he impersonates.
  • In the Murder Mystery Jisei, the protagonist's name is never mentioned, even though you are able to see his face and body. He is also the only character in the game who is not voiced.
  • In Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors you learn the true identities of the other participants of the Nonary Game. Except for Seven.
    • But even then, only Ace, Santa, June, and the 9th Man get their full names revealed. Lotus only receives a last name and the others have only first names. One of these eventually gets a canon full name as of the sequel (WARNING: Spoiler is for both games): Junpei Tenmyouji. The rest have full names that were given to them by the creator, but which he considers to be more of a "possibility" than true canon.
  • In Juniper's Knot both characters stay unnamed through the story. The concept of names doesn't even come up.
  • The main characters in SC2VN use their online aliases instead.
  • In Super Danganronpa 2, the Super High School Level Imposter only lives through stealing other peoples' identities, as the imposter themself has none of their own.

    Web Animation 
  • In An Adventure Of Sheep And Chicken a hiker, the main antagonist, is never given a name because the two protagonists never ask him for it.
    • Subverted with Sheep and Chicken, the heroes. Sheep and Chicken, respectively, are their actual names.
  • None of the protagonists in Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story have names.
  • Played for Laughs in Senpai Club with a characters name who is pronounced unintelligibly and the subtitles refer to as "(???)".
  • Sarge in Red vs. Blue is only ever called... Sarge. We have no idea what his actual name may be. In Episode 17 of Revelation, it's revealed that his name is actually Sarge.
  • Fallout Lore: The Storyteller: The Storyteller does have a name, but we never hear it since whoever says it is either interrupted or drowned out by something.
  • RWBY
    • The elderly owner of the "From Dust Til Dawn" shop also owns a Noodle stall. Although he is a recurring character who has had more than a few bad experiences as a result of interacting with the main cast, his name has never been revealed.
    • Adam's lieutenant has occasional speaking lines and was a very enthusiastic and dangerous opponent Weiss once fought and lost to. Although Adam seems to rely heavily on him, the lieutenant's name has never been revealed. Even in the credits, he is listed as "White Fang Lieutenant".
  • The two leading pigs from The Oats Series are never named despite being the main characters. They simply refer to each other as "brother" although they can be identified by their American (Older Pig) and British (Younger Pig) accents.
  • Parodied in the case of Rookie from Combat Devolved. He tries to tell the others his name, but no-one cares and resorts to calling him Rookie.
  • Kouka And Bibi has an interesting variation on this trope: while we know what names the titular characters could technically have, whether each character is named Bibi or Kouka is anybody's guess — even the creator's.
  • Dreamscape: Eleenin's fairy trio are just called 'fairies' without any distinction between the three.

    Web Original 
  • Parodied by How to Write Badly Well in the aptly titled "Refuse to give names to characters."
  • Kate in KateModern revealed in the fourth episode that her name wasn't really Kate. Her real first name, Genevieve, wasn't revealed until episode 88, "Birthday Surprise", while her surname, Strathcarron, wasn't revealed until episode 163, "Prime Suspect". Several other major characters' surnames have not been revealed, including Charlie, Lauren, Sophie and Terrence, but it is not implied that there is any mystery behind those names.
    • There's also the Watcher and the Shadow, whose lack of names befit their status as anonymous Order agents.
  • An anonymous member of Danya's terrorist organization is never referred to by name by his colleagues. On the board, he's commonly called 'The Mystery Man'.
  • In Tales of MU, the ruler of the old empire is always referred to as The Unnameable One. One of Mackenzie's professors also has never been named in canon, but that's more of a subtle Running Gag.
    • MUniverse tradition has it that the sound denoted by "kh" is reserved for the names of the gods, and that it is blasphemy for anyone who is not a god to have it in their name. As an immortal vampire, the Unnameable One is old enough to predate this tradition, and is named Khulrakh.It is blasphemy to call him by his name, and an insult to a sitting emperor to call him anything but his name. Thus, he is Unnameable.
    • Additionally, there's The Man/Mack's Father.
  • In the Colour My Series, neither the protagonist nor his love are given names.
  • The little girl who became the gun of Atop the Fourth Wall has lost her name. It is later found: Margaret.
  • Hyper Fangirl from The Nostalgia Critic. Her Villain Protagonist vlogs don't even help, as she calls herself Hyper.
  • The title character of Pittsburgh Dad hasn't been given a name, though his wife (Deb) and next-door neighbor (Tom) have.
  • None of the characters of Fanpro have official names. Naming them seems to be optional in fan works, and they are generally just distinguished by their numbers.
  • It took 33 episodes of Welcome to Night Vale for Cecil's full name to be revealed (it's Cecil Gershwin Palmer. Probably). Carlos the Scientist, Intern Dana, Old Woman Josie, Telly the Barber, and Kevin are all still going without surnames. Some characters, such as The Man In The Tan Jacket, The Traveler, and The Faceless Old Woman Who Lives In Your House, don't have names at all, and all the angels are simply referred to as "Erika."
  • Manatee Girl: The Movie has Hunky Marine Biologist Boyfriend...who is known only as Hunky Marine Biologist Boyfriend.
  • Played with in Killerbunnies, as technically, any Killerbunny born, raised, or used in a lab for laboratory use don't normally have names, aside from their identification codes, which wouldn't be a name, unless it is counted as such, as would be the case with Test Subject 001892300012 ("Lucy"), Experiment XI0014101 ("Marigold"), Child #999 ("Lilith"), and Subject 200167 ("Mango"). However, this, according to Word of God, is subverted in the case of Michealenne, as that is the name on one of her ID tags.
  • In the SuperMarioLogan series, a recurring character with many different jobs and a thick Brooklyn accent is reffered to as "The Brooklyn Guy". In "Bowser Junior Loses Thomas", he works as a Toys R Us employee. When Chef Pee Pee asks him where his name tag is, he states that he doesn't have a name tag because he doesn't have a name.
  • Finding Hope, as an homage to classic Spaghetti Westerns, gives us "Nobody" and "Jack Angel", both of which are aliases. In Nobody's case, he gave himself that name as a way to represent his status in society.
  • Petscop: This applies to both the uploader of the videos and the game's protagonist. There is no clear name given to either of them. At the beginning of the first video, the uploader names his save file "Paul", but it is unclear whether it is his own name or the name he wants to give to the protagonist. For the protagonist, in video 5, the strange artifact known as "TOOL" answers the question "Who am I?" with "Newmaker". This answer is vague, as TOOL is not clear who is named "Newmaker". Despite this, fans have just taken to referring to both the uploader of the videos and game protagonist as "Paul". In order to differentiate between the uploader of the videos and the game protagonist, a popular solution is to refer to the video uploader as "Paul" and the game protagonist as "Naul", a combination of "Newmaker" and "Paul".

Alternative Title(s): Man With No Name, The Man With No Name, The Unnamed, Unnamed