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Only Known by Their Nickname
aka: Known Only By Their Nickname

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"Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not "Mr. Lebowski". You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing."
The Dude (so that's what you call him), The Big Lebowski

This is a character who is primarily, or even only, known by their In-Series Nickname.

Related to Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep", but that is about people being referred to exclusively by their jobs or what they're best known for doing. Also related to Stage Names. Does not include Fan Nicknames, secret identities or explicit pseudonyms. Also doesn't include people who give themselves new names following an act of self-reinvention, and stop responding to their old name (e.g. Voldemort). Exceptionally badass examples of this trope fall into the Red Baron. Obvious and common contractions, e.g. people named William introducing themselves as Bill, don't really count either.

Usually, Dramatis Personae will give the full name of such a character first, though the actual script will use the nickname almost exclusively even in the unspoken directions.

If the character insists on the nickname, it's Do Not Call Me "Paul". If the nickname is actually his real name, it's His Name Really Is "Barkeep".


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  • Grande Odalisque: The woman's name is never given, not even in the painting's title. She's simply referred to as the Grande Odalisque.

    Asian Animation 
  • The titular Kid Hero of BoBoiBoy is only ever referred to as such, his real name remaining a mystery. Similarly, BoBoiBoy's grandfather, Tok Aba, only goes by such regardless of who talks to him, although Tok Aba literally means Granddad.
  • Kung Fu Wa: One of Tee Yang's classmates is only known as "Gossip Boy", everyone refers to him by that nickname, even he calls himself like that.

    Audio Dramas 
  • BBV Productions:
    • In The Time Travellers, the eponymous characters are known only by their nicknames, "Professor" and "Ace". Toward the end of the series, Ace decides to start going by her real name, which is revealed to be Alice.
    • The protagonist of The Wanderer has Name Amnesia. In the first installment of the series, another character dubs him "Fred" for the sake of having something to call him, and it sticks.

    Comic Strips 
  • In The Broons, the three youngest kids are called "the twins" and "the bairn". Maybe their parents got tired of naming kids.
  • Very few people in Footrot Flats refer to Cooch his given name, which is Socrates.
  • Doc Boy from Garfield hates being called by his nickname, especially by his older brother Jon, but ironically has no known name. His first few appearances said his name is Doc.
  • In Luann, only two of the main character's fellow students in junior college have been identified — and they are known only as Mr. Jock and Mr. Goth.
  • Peanuts:
    • Pig-Pen. Nobody knows his real name; at his first appearance, he actually says: "I haven't got a name... People just call me things... Real insulting things." In one strip, Pig-Pen says that everyone calls his dad "Pig-Pen Sr."
    • Rerun Van Pelt. When he is introducing himself to his kindergarten class, he reveals that even he doesn't know what his real name is.
    • As well: Patricia "Peppermint Patty" Reichardt.
  • Apparently a characteristic of Pluggers according to this strip.
  • Retail: Lunker is only called Lunker among his fellow employees, at his insistence. Only his Old Friend Crystal is allowed to call him Mel.
  • Thimble Theatre:
    • Scooner Seawell Georgia Washenting Christiffer Columbia Daniel Boom, usually called Swee'pea
    • Popeye, upon finding his long-lost father, asks him what their real names are. Pappy doesn't remember.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Back to the Outback, when Chaz introduces Maddie to the audience at his show, he calls her "Medusa", but among the other animals (as well as the movie credits and other official material), she just goes by Maddie.
  • In a couple of Disney Animated Canon examples, there are many characters who are never given real names:
    • In Cinderella, Gus is originally given the name "Octavius" by Cinderella after she takes him in, but is called "Gus" for short (or in Jaq's case, "Gus-Gus"), and is never referred to by his full name afterwards.
    • On the surface, The Lion King's Scar appears to be named after his scar, but in a non-canon novel series, it's revealed that his given name was "Taka." This isn't much better, however, as it's Swahili for dirt/trash, which goes to show his status in the family. "Taka" is also Swahili for to want/to wish. This was most likely the intended meaning. The Lion Guard would later confirm his real name to be "Askari", thus making "Scar" both a shortened form of his real name and a reference to his scar.
    • Tramp from Lady and the Tramp has a rather strange name. He is a homeless stray though, so he probably named himself, since no human named him. Later it's subverted, since that becomes his name (minus "The") once he's adopted. This is also an example of Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep", because one of his old flames wrote a song about him called "He's a Tramp," and the name stuck.
    • Dumbo's name is actually Jumbo Jr. He doesn't seem to mind the cruel nickname he's given, but his mother certainly does (at least at first). Interestingly, despite it starting as a cruel nickname, it sticks and everybody calls him that (including Timothy Q. Mouse, one of the few characters who is nice to him).
    • When it comes to the members of Big Hero 6, Hiro and Fred are normal names, and Baymax is a robot name. But Wasabi, GoGo Tomago, and Honey Lemon? They're nicknames given to them by Fred. Adaptation Name Change is in play for Wasabi and GoGo; in the original comics it was "Wasabi No-Ginger" (and it was unclear it was if that was a nickname or his real name), and Jamie Chung (GoGo's voice actress) says that the latter's real name is Ethel instead of "Leiko Tanaka." Given that, like the other two, Honey Lemon was Race Lifted, it's unlikely "Aiko Miyazaki" is her real name, either.
    • Lumpy, originally from Pooh's Heffalump Movie and later My Friends Tigger & Pooh and a couple of other Disney Pooh works has the full name of Heffridge Trumpler Brompet Heffalump the Fourth. However, he can (almost) never remember it, so everyone just calls him "Lumpy".
    • Flower of Bambi is merely called that because the infant Bambi is blurting out new words he's learning from Thumper. Thumper is about to correct him, but Flower shyly allows the name to stick.
  • Metegol: El Grosso's real name (Ezekial Remancho) is only mentioned once.
  • Phantom Boy: The Face's real name is never revealed.
  • Ratatouille: Since Rémy is presumably unable to write like a human, Linguini never learns his actual name, merely calling him "Little Chef."
  • Meilin Lee of Turning Red has multiple nicknames. Her real name is Meilin, yet her friends, father and Tyler call her "Mei" while her female family members (and Mr. Gao once) call her "Mei-Mei." It's rare that you will hear people call her Meilin (the only ones who ever call her Meilin are her neighbours and Tyler once).


  • Duck from The Adventure Zone: Amnesty was this for the vast majority of the podcast, until episode 35 revealed his real name was Wayne. However, several people in universe still haven't heard his real name by the end, thus still fulfilling this trope.
  • In In Strange Woods, Shane O'Connor is much more commonly referred to as "Woodsley", stemming from a nickname he got during Scouts due to a malapropism of "I'm really woodsy."
  • In Pokemon: Adventures in the Millennium, the Cool Loot Gang never reveal their names and are only referred to as "Cool [Item] [Guy/Gal/Pal]".
  • Red Panda Adventures: The real name of the villain of the novel The Mind Master is never revealed. During his training under Nepalese master Rashan alongside the future Red Panda, he insisted on being called "One", to go along with their master's calling the Red Panda "Two" when he would not give his own name. In Toronto, he adopts the name "Ajay Shah", which the Red Panda explains is Nepalese for "Unconquerable King". Fitting for his stated desire of world domination.
  • Many, many characters from Welcome to Night Vale, though several of them may not even have real names to begin with.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Just about every Professional Wrestler ever. Has a trope named after the two Pauls, Triple H and The Big Show, who only go by their ring names.
    • Triple H is a case even in kayfabe, since his full name is Hunter Hearst Helmsley, but he's rarely, if ever, called that anymore. He's still called "Hunter" on occasion, and he and his in-laws are referred to as the McMahon/Helmsley family, so this name is still canon.
    • Some wrestlers avert this by using their actual real names such as John Cena, Randy Orton (who even named his finisher after his initials), both Hardys, Brock Lesnar, and Shelton Benjamin.
    • Some other wrestlers are in a middle-ground where they invoke and avert this at the same time. Examples of this grouping include Ric Flair (Ric is a common nickname for Richard while his real last name has an 'h' the ring name lacks and an 'e' that got swapped for an 'a'), Batista (Batista is his actual last name, minus a 'u', and his real first name Dave has been mentioned on-screen occasionally), The Miz (he himself revealed in a 2010 promo that his real name is Mike Mizanin, with the Miz part allowing a contestant on a game show he appeared in to correctly identify him), plus female wrestlers Maryse and Melina (who invoke this in tandem with First-Name Basis; their real-life last names are Mizanin (originally Ouellet) and Perez respectively).
  • When Rocky Maivia turned heel he gave himself the nickname "The Rock". To say this nickname stuck is an understatement, to the point where his original ring name is all but Canon Discontinuity at this point.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street:
    • Snuffy's real name is Aloysius Snuffleupagus. Even though almost everyone on the series refers to him by his nickname, his mother usually refers to him by his real name.
    • Cookie Monster, whose real name was eventually revealed to be Sid.
    • "My name is Guy Smiley, and they call me Guy Smiley because I changed my name from Bernie Liederkrantz!"

  • Journey into Space: Doc Matthews' first name is never revealed in the original. However, it is said to be Daniel in The Host.
  • James Golden, the longtime call screener for The Rush Limbaugh Show, was consistently called Bo Snerdley.
  • True Capitalist: "I am your host, the man they call Ghost."
  • The Whistler is only known by his monicker which comes from his ominous whistling.

  • In Both Your Houses, Girl Friday Hypercompetent Sidekick secretary Greta Nilsson is only ever referred to as "Bus" — and the play never explains why.
  • In Fangirls, Edna's online Gay Best Friend 'Salty Pringl' is only ever identified by his online handle.
  • In David Belasco's The Girl of the Golden West, the title character is known as "the Girl" even in the play's Dramatis Personae; only very rarely is her real name, Minnie, mentioned in dialogue. The opera averts this and has her called Minnie all the time.
  • Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, called that because nobody bets higher. In the few moments between "My Time Of Day" and "I've Never Been In Love Before", Sky reveals to Sarah his real name, Obediah Masterson, and says she's the first person he ever told it to.
  • "Yank", the protagonist of The Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neill. In one of the later scenes, he gives his name as Bob Smith, "but I been just Yank for so long."
  • Little Buttercup in Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore. Her real name, Mrs. Cripps, appears only in the Dramatis Personae.
  • In Liliom, Liliom's actual name of Andreas Zavocki is only used when policemen are interrogating him.
  • The title character of Madame Butterfly is only called "Butterfly," "Madame Butterfly," or "Cho-Cho San" (which means "Madame Butterfly" or "Miss Butterfly"), even by her relatives. Her birth name is never revealed.
  • In The Most Happy Fella, Tony addresses his love letters to "Rosabella" because he doesn't know her name. Nobody in the play calls her anything else, until the final scene where she reveals that her real name is (or was) Amy. (This is averted in They Knew What They Wanted, where Amy is never called Rosabella.)
  • The Wreck in My Sister Eileen and The Musical Wonderful Town. His name is Ted Loomis, but nobody calls him Ted.
    Eileen: Is there anything I can do for you, Mr. Loomis?
    The Wreck: Leave out the mister—call me Wreck.
    Eileen: Wreck?
    The Wreck: That's what they called me at Georgia Tech. I'd have made All American, only I was expelled.
  • Perfect Pie: The protagonist Patsy's real name (Patricia) is mentioned only once in the entire play, and is very easy to miss completely.
  • In Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, the male leads go by the nicknames Roo and Barney; their real names are given once, when they're being introduced at the beginning, and then never mentioned again. Then there's the neighbor Bubba, who everyone's known since she was a little girl; it's a significant moment in her personal arc when a newly-introduced character, Johnny, thinks to ask what her actual name is (and it's followed by a scene where Johnny refers to her by that name and Barney is like "who?" before realizing he means Bubba).
  • In West Side Story, pretty much of all of the Jets only use their nicknames and thus their real names are never revealed. It’s less of a case with the Sharks, who have names that Puerto Ricans would likely have.

  • Barbie:
    • No one ever calls Barbie by her full name, Barbara.
    • Her oldest younger sibling seems to have a name, but she's only called "Skipper".
  • In BIONICLE, the ruthless leader of the Dark Hunters is only ever referred to as "The Shadowed One". Even while other Dark Hunters work under various Code Names, usually their real names are revealed to the audience, but despite the rest of the info known about the man on top (his face, his motives, and even a good chunk of his backstory), there's nothing on his real name. Reportedly, series writer Greg Farshtey chose not to name him due to the amount of backlash he faced in changing the name of the series' actual Big Badnote , keeping it unknown to preserve a mystery and save himself the headache.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night:
    • All the Servants continue using only their class names long after their true identities are revealed. It can be a bit awkward to refer to an apparently teenaged girl by the term "Saber". The only one who is commonly referred to by name is Gilgamesh, who is often called Archer by Saber.
    • Gilgamesh admits that his weird drill-lance "sword" doesn't have a real name. He calls it "Ea", but this is not its true name, just his own pet name for the weapon. Since it predates the world, it also predates the concept of names, so by definition it cannot have one.
  • Minotaur Hotel: As you can imagine, the guy known as P wasn't named "P" at birth. Apparently, this was a family tradition, with his grandfather also being known as "P". His real name is Pedro. "Storm" is also a nickname, with his real name being "Oscar". After the two reveal their real names to each other, the game changes their in-game name to their real names, though they're still known by their nicknames towards everyone else.
  • Zen and 707's real names (Hyun Ryu and Luciel Choi, respectively) in Mystic Messenger are mentioned in the prologue, but V (himself an example of this trope) is nearly the only one to use them. There's also a double-nested example with 707: a player who does the Casual Story first will probably assume that Luciel is his real name, but the Deep Story reveals that Luciel is actually his baptismal name and Saeyoung is his true birth name.
  • M in Shikkoku no Sharnoth is never called anything but that. He claims not to actually have a name. If he had a name, it would be James.
  • The protagonist of Songs and Flowers tries to invoke this by referring to herself as "Miss Info," but ends up telling her love interest her real name, Jazz Overstreet, early in each route anyway.
  • Spirit Hunter: NG:
    • It's revealed in her introduction that Rosé Mulan isn't the woman's real name, but her stage name. Whatever it actually is doesn't get revealed.
    • Up until all his quests are done and he formally introduces himself, D-Man is only known as such. The nickname came about by him shortening Desk Man, since he was a desk editor for a magazine in life.
  • Ciel in Tsukihime. Her real name is Elesia, which is referenced roughly equally relating to her as to her Nightmare in Kagetsu Tohya: One scene.
  • The servants in Umineko: When They Cry are all referred to by names ending with the character for "sound" (pronounced "on", "non" or "ne"). Shannon's actual name is Sayo, and Kanon's is Yoshiya. And then there's the servant who is only known as Yasu. His/her full name is confirmed in the manga to be Sayo Yasuda, further establishing that Shannon and Yasu are the same person.
  • Zero Escape:
    • Everyone except Junpei is eligible for this trope in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. The nine players of the Nonary Game decide to create nicknames for themselves based on their bracelet numbers, and then there's Zero, their kidnapper, whose name is also fake, and a couple more characters who also receive nicknames temporarily for the sake of explaining their deaths until the others figure out their real ones. Ultimately, we get to know all their real names except for Seven. Clover is a Double Subversion: her real name actually is Clover, and using her real name turns out to bite her in the ass, showing just why the characters were using aliases to begin with.
    • Virtue's Last Reward:
      • Zero III is usually called "Zero Jr." by the cast to differentiate him from the actual mastermind of the Nonary Game, who also calls himself "Zero" and who the cast refers to as "Zero Sr." Zero Jr.'s official name is Lagomorph, while Zero Sr.'s real name is Dr. Sigma Klim.
      • One participant is an amnesiac man in a suit of armor who can't remember anything about himself except that his name starts with a K, and so asks everyone to just call him "K". Depending on the timeline, K is either Kyle Klim (who actually has amnesia) or Akane Kurashiki (who is pretending to be Kyle).
    • In Zero Time Dilemma, the amnesiac boy in a strange helmet is only referred to as "Q" by the game and promotional materials. In one path, you learn that his real name is Sean. Then, in another, you learn that Sean was always known to the cast by his real name, and isn't Q at all. Q is actually an entirely different character who was always just offscreen, but who the cast was always well aware of. His real name is Delta, but he also has a second nickname the cast knows him by: Zero II.

Alternative Title(s): Nick Name Basis, Known Only By Their Nickname, Only Known By His Nickname, Only Known By Her Nickname