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Only One Name
aka: One Name Only

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"My name is Ennis... Just Ennis."
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The character or characters go by a single name, with no family/clan/whatever identifier. Unlike No Name Given, it's not that their full name is never made known to the viewer. The full name simply does not exist. Cher is an oft-cited example.

Truth in Television for most of history. Bynames, epithets, and family names were used only when necessary to distinguish between people with the same name. In much of the world, having multiple names is a relatively recent invention.

Sometimes appears in translations involving a Dub Name Change when it didn't in the original, such as Beetle Bailey being called just "Masi" in Finnish. This could be seen as going under Only Known by Their Nickname, but not when the character is addressed both on a First-Name Basis and Last-Name Basis in the original and the translation uses the one name for both.

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Contrast I Have Many Names, and Repetitive Name for someone whose first name and last name are the same. Compare Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" for an extreme example.

Not to be confused with the similar-sounding First-Name Basis or Only Known by Their Nickname.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • A 2012 Progressive Insurance commercial has a close-up shot of Flo's driver's license that reveals that she has no middle or last names.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Most of the cast of ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept., with the notable exceptions of main character Jean Otus and his sister, Lotta. Chief Officer Lilium has two brothers, both of whom are also referred to only as "Lilium" (but with different titles).
  • The entire cast of Simoun is from a culture that gives Only One Name.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's never gives last names to Lua, Luca, Bruno, Yeager, Bommer, Demack, any of the Emperors of Yliaster or members of Team Unicorn, Team Catastrophe and Team Ragnarok. Which is actually very strange, because most characters are given them.
  • Caren, Coco, Noel, Sara and, actually, most characters of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch have only one name; the exceptions are the main trio and the men in their lives (although, in the manga, Hamasaki has only one name too).
  • Azumanga Daioh:
    • Sakaki is only known by that name, to the extent that, in the first episode, when everybody is introduced by their full name (including Osaka), she's simply introduced as "Sakaki-san, a.k.a. Sakaki-san".
    • Kagura gets this treatment too. Whether Kaorin has a family name depends on what part of fanon you want to believe. Chihiro doesn't even get that much (and is very secondary.)
    • The DVD cases seem to suggest that this is less Only One Name and more Last-Name Basis, at least as far as Sakaki and Kagura are concerned.
  • Rezo the Red Priest of Slayers, only known by his title. His great-grandson Zelgadis was this initially; however, his surname (Graywords) got mentioned in an interview with the creator, and it eventually gets mentioned several times. Also played straight with villains and minor characters.
  • Amon of Witch Hunter Robin, and that might just be his Code Name, as he's usually described to the cast rather than named.
  • Delilah and Liddell of Kagihime Monogatari.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: Side characters always only have one name, or no name at all. If a character's full name is given, that character is supernatural in some way. Notably, we never learn Kyon's name at all. It's just a nickname his aunt gave him that his little sister spread around, and now everyone calls him that.
  • Van in GUN×SWORD is just Van. Instead of a surname he has a number of nicknames, some compliments and some not (his favorite is "Van of the Dawn"). In point of fact, there are only six characters with surnames given through the entire series: William Will Wo, Ray and Joshua Lundgren, Carul Mendoza (she prefers to go by Carmen99), and Michael and Wendy Garret.
  • Delicious in Dungeon has Senshi, Marcille, Chilchuck, Namari, Kabru...really there are more characters known by only one name than there are those with full names.
  • Naruto:
    • Sai has no family name, since even his given name is nothing more than an alias, while Team 7's temporary leader after the Time Skip is only known by his codenames "Yamato" and "Tenzo". Sai gains the surname name "Yamanaka" after marrying Ino in the epilogue.
    • Gaara and his siblings Kankuro and Temari don't seen to have surnames either; some people use "of the Sand/Sabaku no -" like a surname (though that's really just an epithet which applies solely to Gaara), or just call them the Sand Siblings. In fact, no one in the Hidden Sand Village has a surname; apparently the culture of the Land of Wind never adopted them. Temari later becomes "Temari Nara" when she marries Shikamaru Nara, but that's because her husband is from the Hidden Leaf Village.
    • In fact, it's easier to list the non-Leaf village ninja in the original series that do have last names; the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist minus Chojuro, the members of Team Dosu, Mizukages Mei Terumi, Gengetsu Hozuki, and Yagura Karatachi (though his surname was only revealed in Sequel Series Boruto), Suigetsu Hozuki, Two-Tails jinchuuriki Yugito Nii, and bit-characters Shibito Azuma, Kiyoi Yotsuki, and Ashina Uzumaki. Even in the Leaf Village, a number of characters go without surnames, such as the Sannin (Tsunade does not use her grandfather's clan name of "Senju") and Tenten (the only one of the Konoha 12 to never be given a surname).
    • Given that everyone in Naruto is on a First-Name Basis, even to the point of using Honorifics like -sensei and -sama with first names, it's possible a lot of characters just haven't had their last names revealed (it took 200 chapters for Danzo's last name of Shimura to be revealed, and we didn't find out that Dan's last name was Kato until 374 chapters after we first saw him). Still, it seems that Leaf and Mist are the only two villages where surnames are commonly used.
  • Pretty much EVERY character in Fist of the North Star have no last name. If you can consider most of the names REAL.
  • Hevn and Makubex in Get Backers. With the latter, it actually becomes something of a plot point that he doesn't know what his given name is—or if he ever even had one in the first place. All they know is that he was found in a bag with "Makube" printed on it; later, people that knew and admired his skills added an 'x' to express the unknown. Thus, Makubex.
  • The Leafe Knights from Prétear have an excuse of not being from our world, but even outside their Magical Land they don't seem to use last names. No one in human world seems to care.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • A good number of Artificial Humans in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, such as Signum, and Vita. Vivio used to be an example, until Nanoha officially adopted her and she received the Takamachi name.
    • The Familiars like Arf and Rynith have only one name. The majority of the fandom believe that Lieselotte and Liesearia have two names, but their shorten names, Lotte and Aria as well as the collective name Liese are just nicknames.
    • After StrikerS, four of the Numbers were adopted by Genya Nakajima and took his family name, with the rest remaining with only one name.
    • The INNOCENTS universe averts this, where most characters are given surnames. The Wolkenritter and the three Unison Devices are given the name Yagami, the five Numbers around Scaglietti are given the name Scaglietti, Rynith is given the name Lanster, and each of the three Materials has her own surname. Arf so far is the only exception.
  • Kyu from Detective School Q never has a last name mentioned in the show (Its likely to be Renjou, however,) neither does his mother. Supposedly, this is because the identity of his father is a secret; however one does think that if he has his father's last name, this would make it pretty NON-secret and thus he must have a DIFFERENT one that he and his mother actually use.
  • Absolutely no one had a last name in the beginning of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Apparently surnames were a practice abandoned After the End. They do get them after the Time Skip, though, taking them from their villages' names (Kittan Bachika, Rossiu Adai, Yoko Littner, Nia Teppelin).
    • Simon, however, remains as just Simon, possibly because either he didn't like his village, or because even without a surname, everyone knows what Simon they're talking about. (If they didn't, they could always go with his epithet, "Simon the Digger".) Like-wise Kamina.
  • Poked at at the end of the manga Eerie Queerie. In the omake afterwards the two characters decide that they can finally call each other by their given names, only for Hasanuma's name to be *bleeped* out. And thus he remains with only one name.
  • Ennis is the only character with no last name in Baccano!! she being an Homunculus made by Szilard Quates.
    • The light novels reveal that she eventually does acquire a last name after a number of decades: Prochainezo
  • No one in Hidamari Sketch has two names.
  • Kino of Kino's Journey. It's not even their original name, but one adopted from another traveler.
  • Several denizens of the Magic World in Mahou Sensei Negima!, including every one of the Canis Niger bounty hunters and Fate, whose real name is Tertium.
  • Soul Eater:
    • Black Star. Apparently, every one in his family (the Star Clan) is only named by a colour and "Star". Even though it could be as though his first name is "Black" and his last name is "Star", this is unlikely seeing as nobody ever calls him "Black", or "Star".
    • Also, Death the Kid, being a younger Death.
    • Strangely, Crona seems to have just that name as well, even though his/her mother had the last name "Gorgon".
  • Everyone in Princess Tutu. Mytho, Ahiru/Duck/Ente, and Rue probably doesn't even have last names, and the characters whose last names are known (Cat, Drosselmeyer) aren't given first names. Well, on Drosselmeyer's grave we're given "D. D. Drosselmeyer", so we know his name starts with a D...but that's the closest we ever get to a full name on the show.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia most nations have human names which are not entirely canon (they're never used in the actual manga/anime or by the creator except for two dubious instances in strips, and they originated from saved text from the author's deleted site blog), but very popular in the fandom because many fans are uncomfortable with using the actual country names. The human names are all composed of first, last, and sometimes middle names except for Germany, known only as Ludwig. Most fans borrow his 'brother' Prussia's surname Beilschmidt.
    • Some fan names are mistaken for (the semi-) canon by the fans. For example, Yekaterina "Kastyusha" Braginskaya (which was inspired by Russia and by Yekaterina being a popular Slavic girls' name), is often used by fanfic authors. As well, "Matthias Køhler", a fan-name for Denmark, was mistaken by fans as an actual name after it was posted on our TV Tropes character page for Hetalia. Officially, all the characters go by their nations' popular names, which are almost all Only One Name (i.e. England, America, Canada, Denmark, Ukraine, France, Germany, Italy (for both Italies), China, Japan, etc.).
    • At one point the human names were considered to be somewhat canon, as Himaruya answered a fan question and said that they would find out one day why Ludwig didn't have a surname. But as it was an old question on the deleted blog and the names have not been ever officially used, it remains unknown if that "significance" will ever come to light.
  • All of the demons in Chrono Crusade have only one name—Chrono, Aion, Shader, etc. However, it seems most of them have at least one title tacked on, like "The Sinner" or "The Slayer of a Hundred".
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie OVA, Sara's last name is never given. Her dad is only referred to as Mr. President.
  • The aliens in Niea_7 only appear to have one name, including the show's eponymous character.
  • One Piece:
    • Most characters, especially minor ones, but also some main characters (Nami, Usopp and Brook) have only one name. This becomes jarring when the main characters get wanted posters. Monkey D. Luffy, Roronoa Zoro, Nico Robin, Tony Tony Chopper, and... just Brook or Usopp?
    • Sanji is a subversion. It initially appears as if he has just one name, but his surname is eventually revealed in the Zou arc: it's Vinsmoke. His wanted poster still only refers to him by his given name, though.
      • Sanji is an invoked example; he chooses not use his name because his family are actually the royal family of the Germa Kingdom, which he defected from due to being unable to deal with his abusive father. Using his surname would have revealed his true identity.
    • Justified with Franky and Nami. Franky's real name is Cutty Flam, but he has been nicknamed Franky ever since he was young, so it stuck. Nami was one of the only survivors when her hometown was ravaged, and since she was a baby at the time, her birth name has since been lost to history. It was her adoptive mother that named her Nami, meaning she literally does have only one name.
  • Played with in Pokémon both in-universe, and in a meta example across the original version and the version by 4Kids Entertainment.
    • Most if not all characters only have one name The only main characters with known last names are Ash Ketchum (AKA: "Satoshi"), the regional professors (and by extension Gary Oak, Satoshi / Ash's first rival [but not "Shigeru"]), and Tracey Sketchit ("Kenji"). Once in a great while, a random Character of the Day will have a last name (the best examples being the Hoenn champion Steven Stone ["Daigo Tsuwabaki"] and Giselle [Seiyo Yuto] in the Japanese version), but then we often won't know their first name. In the Japanese version there are even less characters with surnames. Even Ash (the aforementioned "Satoshi from Masara Town") doesn't have a confirmed one.
    • As with most Pokémon media, Pokémon Adventures counts. In Adventures out of all the Pokedex Holders only Blue/Green Oak, Sapphire Birch, Platinum Berlitz, and Yvonne/Y Gabena have last names, and that's only because the first two are related to professors and Platinum was due to no third game being known when she was first shown (so she was called by a surname until Pokemon Platinum was released). Y is an exception, because her game counterpart (Serena) has no known surname and her last name isn't game related.
    • This trope is made noticeable in Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure! when Mitsumi says she is no longer on a First-Name Basis with Cyrus. The problem is we never even hear his, or anyone else's, last name.
  • Kiddy Grade: "What's my name?" "Éclair." "Éclair WHAT??" "Just Éclair." Also applies to the entire cast (though Alv seems to get a surname in the spin-off).
  • The title character of Eureka Seven. In the Alternate Universe Movie one screen says her last name (which she probably had because she spent a good part of her life among the general populace) is "Zita".
    • Given that "Zita" means "seven" in English, Eureka Zita = Eureka Seven
  • Most of the characters in Dragon Ball only have one name. At one point, Videl even states that surnames have fallen out of fashion in the world where Dragon Ball takes place and very few families still use them. Basically the only ones that have full names are Son Goku and his family and even then Goku's granddaughter Pan only goes by one name as well.
    • Since people are used to the fact doctor titles are usually attached to surnames, it became a common wrong assumption that Brief is the last name of Dr. Brief's family, but like everybody else, his only name is Brief. That didn't stop the dub or Dragonball Evolution to mispread that misinformation.
  • Tights from Jaco the Galactic Patrolman has only one name as opposed to every other character introduced in this mini-series. This trope and the fact that her name is a pun to an underwear foreshadow her relation to the Capsule Corporation family.
  • Elfen Lied has this with its entire cast, with the three exceptions of Mariko Kurama, Yuu Kakuzawa and Anna Kakuzawa.
  • Yuki in SEX, because of his Identity Amnesia. His Distaff Counterpart, the female assassin Yuki also goes by only one name (and is often referred to as Female Yuki).
  • Gunslinger Girl:
    • Most of the cyborgs have only one name, a deliberate choice on the part of their handlers due to the difficulty some of them have in making the girls into killers, but have no wish to easily dismiss them because of such. Jose and Hilshire gave their cyborgs female names (Henrietta and Triela, respectively) and, despite initial discomfort, try to connect to them on personal levels, while other handlers give their cyborgs are given boy's names (Rico, Petrushka and Claes) to help them keep some emotional distance and make their reconciling with what they're doing a bit easier.
    • One exception to this is Elsa De Sica who, despite having a full and non gender-blended name, has less behind it. Her handler, Lauro, simply had to call her something and the first thing that came to his head when he stopped to think about it was the name of the park he was walking through at the time. Elsa's name is precious to her - in addition to being a "gift" from Lauro, it's the keystone that maintains her very sense of self and describes her as a person, not a latterday golem, whose struggles have meaning. The realization that that self is merely a dismissive and indifferent token destroys her and is one of the reasons why she snaps fatally on Lauro.
    • Petrushka doesn't quite fit that criteria as Alessandro didn't give too much thought in naming her, but he easily accepted her identity as a cyborg with little problems, thanks in part to his rather flexible morals and views carried over from his previous duties as a spy, and has grown to care for her to the point that they're romantically involved.
  • Almost everybody in Queen's Blade minus Leina Vance, her sisters, and Annelotte Kreuz from the sequel Queen's Blade Rebellion.
  • Tetsu from Cardfight!! Vanguard has nothing other than that name listed in Team AL4's roster.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, demons apparently don't have surnames (with one notable exception being Saotome Jorge/George, Koenma's blue ogre). Even if they have more than one name, it tends to be a title i.e. "Jaganshi" Hiei and "Yoko" Kurama (except for the English dub, in which Yoko is his "true" name). For the Uraotogi team, the two names are their name and an adjective that describes their corruption, rather than being a surname and given name, i.e. Kuro Momotaro = Black Momotaro, and Ura Urashima = Reverse Urashima (though Ura Urashima later reveals that his, and likely the rest of his teammate's names are mere pseudonyms in an attempt to deceive others into believing they are demonic reincarnations of folk heroes).
  • Shakugan no Shana:
    • The titular character's name is just "Shana", and she didn't have even that before Yuuji named her after her sword. Which is strange, as all other Flame Hazes have full names.
    • Most (if not all) Crimson Denizens have only one name. Semi-justified by them being not human.
  • In 7 Seeds, none of the Summer A team members and candidates have family names. They were raised in a secret (and presumably illegal) government school to be the ultimate survivors (thus creating one team whose members were prepared to survive the apocalypse... shame about them coming out of the process completely traumatized), and the teachers just didn't bother assigning them surnames.
  • From Eroica with Love: Eroica's accountant's name is James. Just James.
  • In Gamaran many lesser characters have only one name, though the majority of the characters use name and surname. Interestingly, the three main onmitsu of the Muhou School have only one name, that could be a sort of codename (Tsukikage/"Moonbeams", Tsuchiryuu/"Earth Dragon" and Jinkuu/"Divine Sky").
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Attack on Titan features Levi and Ymir, whose last names aren't initially revealed. Makes sense, as both of them have Mysterious Pasts, and, in Ymir's case, this is a clue that she comes from somewhere outside the Walls. Levi's surname is later revealed to be Ackerman. Ymir doesn't have a real name of any kind. She was an orphan and "Ymir" was a pseudonym given to her by a priest that took her in and made her pretend to be a reincarnation of Ymir Fritz, the ancestor of Eldians and creator of the Titans.
    • Some of the Marley Child Soldier cadets and potential future Titan shifters are only ever given one name: Gabi (although her surname is hinted to be Braun, as she's a cousin of Reiner), Udo and Zofia. Pieck (the Cart Titan) is only given one name as well. Various military officials, such as Gross, Koslow and Calvi, are only known by their surnames. There are other examples of many minor characters, such as Daz, also only having one name.
  • Kazuma from S Cryed has no family name, which is symbolic of his status as an outcast from proper Japanese society.
  • In Minami-ke, almost every character has only one name, regardless if it's the first name or family name. The only characters with full names are the Minami characters and Yuka Uchida.
  • In the original Bubblegum Crisis OVA, Genom's CEO Qunicy's last name is never revealed. In the 2040 series, he's given the last name "Rosenkroitz/Rosenkreuz".
  • Berserk: For most of the manga, Nosferatu Zodd is the only character with two names (and even then Nosferatu might be more of a description than a surname), until we start running into characters from rich families (Farnese and Magnifico Vandimion).
  • In Lord Marksman and Vanadis, only nobles and royalty have surnames, while commoners like the maid Titta only have one name.
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, so far, the only characters with last names are members of royalty like the Liones family and Arthur Pendragon.
  • In Fairy Tail, the Black Wizard Zeref's last name has seemingly been lost in his 400 years of life to the point no one else knows it, which makes for one impressive reveal near the end when it turns out to be "Dragneel", as in, the older brother of the resurrected Natsu Dragneel.
  • Kobayashi from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is only ever referred to by her last name. Likewise, Lucoa and Ilulu don't take on last names when they assume human identities.note 
  • The surname of Dino, the Italian manager in Blend-S, is never given.
  • Chiya from Urara Meirocho is only called Chiya, probably because she doesn't know her mom and she was raised in the mountains. We know her mom is called Yami, but we don't know if she has a surname or not.
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    Comic Books 
  • Although his gangster pursuers refer to him as "The Stooge", the protagonist of Paul Pope's graphic novel Heavy Liquid, is generally known as "S". "Why have a name when a letter will do?"
  • Tintin. BTW, in the German translation his name becomes Tim. Which is a first name in Germany too, but people still call him "Herr Tim". Two First Names?
    • Hergé, Tintin's creator.
  • Lyra and Skaar, from Incredible Hulk.
  • Marvel also gives us Thundra, Lyra's mother.
  • When the Metal Men got human secret identities towards the end of their original run, Tin and Mercury's identities were known only as "Tinker" and "Mercurio".
  • Comic book versions of characters from mythological pantheons usually go by one name, as do "new" gods or godlike beings created for the comics. Such as the New Gods, The Eternals, The Inhumans, etc.
  • Rudi's last name, if he has one at all, is never revealed. Even his doctor only calls him "Herr... er... Rudi".
  • The vast majority of ElfQuest characters have only one name, justified in that they live in small tribal groups. Last names really only crop up with humans later in the timeline.
  • Common in Doctor Strange. Justifed in the cases of Dormammu, Umar, Rintrah, and Clea, who all come from other dimensions; not so much with Strange's faithful servant and long-time friend Wong.
  • In the Valiant Comics title Shadowman, there is a humorous exchange between the titular hero's girlfriend and the sister of the villain Master Darque:
    girlfriend: So this guy Darque, no first name...
    Sandria Darque: His first name is an unsayable symbol.
    girlfriend: Oh...oh, like Prince! Got it!
  • Gargamel in The Smurfs, which is likely his last name.
  • Robin Series and Batgirl (2000) villain Ling has the street name Lynx but otherwise only the one name, no matter who she's introducing herself to it's just Ling or Lynx.
  • Also from DC Comics, the Amazons of Themyscira. It also applies to the most famous of them: Princess Diana, at least until she came to America, then adopting the surname Prince. This trope also applies to princesses of other cultures:
  • In Hunter's Hellcats, it is never established what Heller's first name is, and no one ever refers to her as anything other than Heller.

    Comic Strips 
  • Popeye: Apparently, Popeye wasn't even aware of his full name. One story during the Sagendorf years revolved around Popeye trying to get Poopdeck Pappy to tell him what their last name is. It was apparently so horrible, when he finally did learn what it was, he hid in shame until Wimpy finally talked him out of hiding.
  • While the human characters in Calvin and Hobbes presumably have two names, even though we're not told them except for "Susie Derkins" (and no names at all in the case of Calvin's parents, who, again, are not presumably nameless in-universe), Hobbes is a tiger, so it's quite possible he's really just "Hobbes".
  • A few characters in Peanuts are only known by one name, the most prominent ones being Schroeder, Marcy, Frieda and Shermy. Plus the animal characters, of course.
  • When Arnold began, characters Arnold and Tommy didn't have last names. This all changed, however, when the creator did a contest asking fans to send ideas for their last names. The winning names were Arnold Melville and Tommy Jordon.

    Fanfiction 
  • While Rupert Chill of the Calvinverse has a full name, his partner Earl does not. This is eventually lampshaded in Retro Chill, after the antagonists are dealt with:
    Rupert Chill was gone.
    Retro Griffin was gone.
    Earl... uh... Earl was gone.
  • For some reason, practically every Norman in Warriors of the World has only one name they go by. It's implied they do have last names but those last names aren't really important to the story.
  • Many, if not all, of the Changelings in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanon only have one name.
  • Lampshaded in this Legend of Korra fic. Korra and Mako's application for a marriage licence hits a snag when Korra sees "full name" on the paperwork and realizes that hardly anyone she knows has two names. The solution? They marry each other and Asami, who isn't complaining.
  • In The Strength In Weakness, last names have gone out of style due to the war, with few people keeping them.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Sato, right-hand of Section-2 chief and minor antagonist, only goes by that name. He has not a full name.
  • Old Man Henderson, complete with a Running Gag about it. In the end, not even he knows.
  • From the Gensokyo 20XX series, we get Ren, who was only reffered to as well "Ren". Apparently, he doesn't last have last name, however, since he's married to Ran, his last name may as well be "Yakumo" like hers. We also have this with Chen, who, true to canon, doesn't have her surname revealed.
  • According to Say It Thrice, this is the case for Betelgeuse. Justified by the fact he was born back before surnames became common.
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, one Assassin introduced is a Red Indian from the Central Plains. The Guild School accepted this and her teachers refer to her as Miss Starhawk, as she has no other name. In a school where some students have inconveniently long names note  her teachers find this a refreshing change. Miss Starhawk is also at least part-Apache. The Guild finds this to be of exceeding profesional interest and added value.
  • Jiraiya in Son of the Sannin is revealed to have been found as a baby as the Sole Survivor of a destroyed village during the First Ninja War. Since nobody knows anything about his family, he doesn't have a last name. Subverted later when he marries Tsunade and takes on the Senju surname.
  • Mr and Mrs Gold: Regina points out how odd it is that Rose refers to her husband as “Mr. Gold” just like everybody else.
  • In Shadow the Hedgehog - First Class, Mobians don't have last names. This makes the human raised Shadow Robotnik and Amy Rose stand out amongst their kind. Shadow was created and raised by humans, while Amy grew in a mainly human orphanage.
  • This is used against the Powerpuff Girls in court in The Utonium Trials. Their surnames are "Utonium" but they almost never use them, even on legal documents. It's argued that this is a sign that they're not like humans and shouldn't be treated like humans. The girls try to argue that they don't need to use "Utonium" in their town because their names are so rare.
  • Implied in Love Worth Waiting For with the Arendelle royal family. Elsa's soulmark says Mulan's full name, "Fa Mulan", but Mulan's mark only says "Elsa".

    Film — Animated 
  • An American Tail has Tiger and Bridget with only a first name, in a series that usually prides itself in coming up with creative Species Surnames.
  • Very few Disney Animated Canon characters have both a first and last name:
    • Almost everyone in Mulan has a family name, but that's an exception (and a somewhat necessary one, since Asian cultures use the surname far more than Westerners).
    • Aladdin uses the name Ali a Babwa, with 'a Babwa' being his surname, but he doesn't have a real surname as far as he knows.
    • The tombstones of Elsa's and Anna's parents from Frozen only list their names as "Agdar" and "Idunn" when translated. None of the characters are given last names except for Kristoff. In development Hans was known as "Admiral Westerguard". Word of God say that can still be considered his surname and it's been used in media like A Frozen Heart.
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally has no last name, though fans usually give the last name of Finklestein, Ragdoll, or in Fan Fics where she's married to Jack, Skellington.
  • Zootopia: Pop star Gazelle (overlapping with A Dog Named "Dog"), voiced by the similarly one-named Shakira.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars:
    • "Yoda", "Chewbacca" and "Count Dooku" are all straight examples. Palpatine was an example until 2014—nearly four decades after the character was conceived—when the EU novel Star Wars: Tarkin officially established his birth name as "Sheev Palpatine".
    • The prequel story Darth Plagueis (written before Tarkin) tried to justify Palpatine's lack of a first name by revealing that he hates his immediate family enough to want to distance himself from the name that they gave him, but still takes pride in his older aristocratic lineage. It's implied that his full name is Cosinga Palpatine II, referencing George Lucas's very first draft of Star Wars, in which the Galactic Emperor's name was "Cos Dashit", which in turn inspired the erroneous but very common fanon name "Cos Palpatine".
    • Other EU sources make it clear that "Dooku" is a family name, but give no hint as to the full name of Count Dooku.
    • The Force Awakens: Both Rey and Finn don't have last names. Rey was abandoned at a young age and Finn was raised only with a number callsign as a Stormtrooper (FN-2187).
    • Solo: Han grows up without a surname and was given one by an Imperial recruiter in order to complete the necessary paper work. He will continue to use "Solo" as his surname for the rest of his life.
  • The majority of the sidekick cadre in Sky High (2005) don't have last names. One of the lesser characters is also even credited to a pair of Only One Name actresses (Malika and Khadijah).
  • The roles played by Chico and Harpo Marx usually had Only One Name (Chicolini and Pinky, Fiorello and Tomasso, Tony and Stuffy, etc.), whereas Groucho's characters usually had two names and a middle initial (Rufus T. Firefly, Otis B. Driftwood, Hugo Z. Hackenbush, etc.). An exception is Animal Crackers, where Chico is "Signor Emmanuel Ravelli" and Harpo is just "The Professor".
  • Everyone in Blow Up including the main character Thomas.
  • Withnail.
  • Swan ("he has no other name"), Beef and Phoenix from Phantom of the Paradise. Winslow Leach and Arnold Philbin are generally referred to as Winslow and Philbin respectively.
  • Parodied in The Dinner Game: a character is actually named Just Leblanc, leading another to wonder: "Really? He doesn't have a first name?"
  • Superbad - It's just McLovin!
  • Lampshaded in Payback, when Val Resnick's boss is trying to learn about Porter, the Villain Protagonist Determinator that is looking for revenge on Resnick. When Resnick's boss asks for Porter's first name, Val tries to think for a few seconds before being forced to admit that he doesn't know and has never heard Porter referred to as anything else. (Even Porter's Love Interest refers to him solely as Porter).
  • Nathaniel in Enchanted. Even when he writes a book, the author's name is listed only as "Nathaniel".
  • Although his full name, Irwin M. Fletcher, is mentioned, the titular character usually insists on being called Fletch.
  • Fran in Strictly Ballroom.
  • Yukio from The Wolverine. Given she lived in the streets, she might not even know her surname.
  • The title character in the movie Ted does not have a last name. He was named by his friend John when he was just a normal teddy bear and despite being alive for nearly thirty years, has never bothered to adopt a surname. In the sequel, he gives himself a last name: Clubberlang.
  • In Avatar, all of the Na'vi characters only have one name. They don't seem to understand how human names work, as whenever they address Jake Sully, they pronounce it like one word (Jakesully), with the exception of his love interest Neytiri, who calls him Jake.
  • The title character of Beetlejuice has no other name, as far as anyone knows. The characters Juno and Otho are also identified only by those names; Otho presumably has a full name, but it's never used, nor is it mentioned whether Otho is his first or his last name (or neither).
  • Throughout the entirety of Legally Blonde, Professors Callahan and Stromwell are exclusively referred to by their surnames, with their first names never being established.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Played with for Thor. Since the Asgardians are based on Norse mythology and customs (or rather, in-universe in the MCU, the Norse customs are based on the Asgardians), "Thor Odinson" could be considered a full name for him; however, he is very rarely addressed as such (including by himself, as Thor will introduce himself as "Thor, Son of Odin" instead), and most people generally consider his name to just be "Thor", to the point that even characters who normally go by Last-Name Basis will still call him Thor.
    • Wong in Doctor Strange.
      Strange: And you are?
      Wong: Wong.
      Strange: Wong. Just Wong? Like... Adele? Or Aristotle? Drake? Bono? Eminem?
    • Spider-Man: Homecoming has an interesting example with Ned, Peter's best friend. He was originally going to be Ned Leeds, a character from the comics, but his surname is never stated in the script, and Word of God admits that he's In Name Only enough that they may opt not to use it in future films either.
    • Gamora, Nebula and Mantis all go by a single name without any other identifier.
  • Singleton from Love Letters. But this is solely chosen because she has a bout of amnesia and can't remember her real names.
  • Duel: In the original story by Richard Matheson, Mann has no first name, while his wife has one. In the film, this is inverted.
  • In the Underworld (2003) series, almost all the Vampire and Lycan characters only have one name.

    Literature 

By Author:

  • Waco from the novels of J.T. Edson. He was orphaned as a baby when his family was killed in a raid by the Waco indian tribe, which is what he takes his name from.

By Work:

  • In Iain M. Banks' Against a Dark Background, protagonist Sharrow, as a member of the highest level of aristocracy, has only a single name, while lower social classes have more names.
  • Animorphs does this for dramatic effect. The books are (purportedly) a narrative of the real war against the Yeerk invasion of Earth, narrated by Jake, Marco, Rachel, Cassie and Tobias (and later Ax) as they maintain an underground human resistance. As they narrate, the kids repeatedly stress that they can't reveal their last names to anyonenot even the audience—because they can't risk the Yeerks finding out who they are. Hence, it's a pretty powerful sign that Nothing Is the Same Anymore when the kids have their covers blown towards the end of the series, and it's subsequently revealed that Jake's full name is "Jake Berenson". But even then, the other Animorphs' last names are never revealed. note 
  • In the Artemis Fowl series, Foaly's first name is never given for definite but it may be Paddox. This is because his wife's name is Callabine Paddox Foaly.
  • Street Urchin Fred "No-Name" in Avi's Beyond the Western Sea.
  • Lucretia from Bystander. And at least one of the bad guys refers to her as "Bystander," rather than using her given name.
  • The novel Catch-22 throws a twist on this: the squadron commander has a first, middle and last name. However, they're all the same, and thanks to an IBM machine with a "sense of humor almost as keen as his father's", so is his rank. His name? Major Major Major Major.
  • In The Cay, Timothy, an illiterate black deckhand, states that Timothy is his only name.
  • Pasquinel from Centennial.
  • In The Color Purple Albert's last name is never revealed, and Celie just calls him Mister ____.
  • Counselors and Kings doesn't give the family name for Zalathorm, nor was it in any sourcebook before D&D3.5 Shining South, nor is it known from the dynasty, since Halruaa is The Magocracy and Netyarch is not a hereditary position. As one fan reasoned:
    Wizards don't need surnames once they've gotten good enough at what they do. And the same goes for kings, but without the bit about being good at what they do being necessary. And seeing as Zalathorm is both...
  • In the original cut of The Dark Tower Book One: The Gunslinger, Roland has no last name given (later revised editions would add it), and in fact is only referred to as the Gunslinger through most of the book. His full name doesn't originally appear until the third book.
  • Chiun from the Destroyer books, although he did change his name from Nuihc.
  • Rincewind from Discworld. Once, he says that he doesn't know whether he has a first name. (His Fourecks counterpart is named Bill Rincewind, suggesting that Rincewind is his surname.)
  • Everyone from the anarcho-communist planet Anarres in The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin had only one name randomly assigned by a computer.
  • Don Quixote: Al Donza, with "Al" being a prefix like Don, only Al Donza is her real name, and Don Quixote isn't his.
  • In the Drake Maijstral series by Walter Jon Williams, this is a common practice among members of the "Diadem", an exclusive society of the most famous and popular celebrities. Drake's good friend Nichole is one, as is the actor Etienne.
  • In The Dresden Files novels, none of the fey have more than one name. They may have a string of titles as long as their arms, but Only One Name. (Toot-toot might be considered an exception, save that it's always hyphenated, and that is only his "public" name.)
  • In the Federation of the Hub stories, Pilch comes from a culture where people only have one name.
  • Garrett from Garrett, P.I. only has the one name. It's apparently his last one.
    • Presumably he does have a first name, as we know his brother had one (Mikey). Glen Cook's just avoided revealing it to tease his readers.
    • Also true of Winger, although even "Winger" may be an alias.
  • Elias the golem of Get Blank has no surname. Maybe if there was another golem named Elias.
  • Everyone in the Community in The Giver. Justified, since all of them are raised by adoptive parents assigned by the government, and have no reason to carry family names. This also prevents people from becoming too attached to their adoptive families, since familial love is one of the many emotions that society has let go of.
  • In Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, the main character Pip is raised by his sister and her husband Joe, but the sister's given name is never mentioned. She is referred to only as "Mrs. Joe".
    • This is a common device of Dickens', used to dehumanise his villains, e.g. Fagin, Mr. Smallweed, etc.
    • Mrs. Joe's name is mentioned once late in the book. It's Georgiana M'ria (Maria, presumably.)
  • Elizabeth from The House of Night, who named herself 'Elizabeth No Last Names' because she couldn't be bothered to come up with a new last name.
  • The Hunger Games: The vast majority of characters. In fact, it's easier to list those whose full names are known: Katniss Everdeen (and her sister, Primrose), Peeta Mellark, Gale Hawthorne (and his mother, Hazelle, and siblings, Rory, Vick, and Posy), Madge Undersee, Haymitch Abernathy, Effie Trinket, Caesar Flickerman, Coriolanus Snow, Plutarch Heavensbee, Romulus Thread, Finnick Odair, Johanna Mason, Annie Cresta, Maysilee Donner, and Alma Coin. Everyone else presumably have surnames; Katniss simply doesn't know, and because the POV is solely from her, so do the readers.
  • Isaac Asimov's "I'm in Marsport Without Hilda": Max, the Character Narrator, is only referred to by his first name. Hilda, Max's wife, also has no last name (because that would imply his own last name). Flora, his girlfriend, is referred to only by her first name as well. It would seem as if all the characters were going to be given only one name, but then Rog Crinton, Max's boss, shows up and tells him to investigate Edward Harponaster, Joaquin Lipsky, and Andiamo Ferrucci.
  • In Death series: Roarke. This is his family name; his father is named Patrick Roarke. Nora Roberts has stated that she will never, ever reveal what his given name is.
  • Inheritance Cycle: Roran is "Roran Garrowsson" and Eragon is "Eragon Bromsson". This seems to qualify for all the villagers in their town (real cultures like the Norse used the same, and is still seen).
  • In the original Jaws novel when Chief Brody looks for Quint the shark hunter's name in the phone book all it's listed under is "Quint".
  • Played for Laughs in Life of Pi: the tiger who plays a major part in the story was caught by a man named Richard Parker while drinking. However, there was a mix-up with the paperwork, so legally, the tiger is named Richard Parker and his captor is officially listed as "Thirsty None Given" (i.e., no known surname).
  • Several characters in Sergey Lukyanenko's Line of Delirium only appear to have one name. This is justified in the case of Sedimin, the ruler of the Silicoids, as his name is synonymous with the title (the Foot of the Foundation), which he gained after becoming the ruler through Klingon Promotion. Not justified in the case of the human Emperor Grey. Nowhere in the trilogy is any other name mentioned. The Meklar also appear to only have one name, which tends to be written with an apostrophe or a slash (it's translated from machine code anyway). A Bulrathi named Ahhar is, at one point, calls himself Shivukim Ahhar, although Shivukim could be a Bulrathi title or honorific. The cyborg Andrey never reveals his last name; presumably, he feels he no longer needs one, as he is not human anymore. The famous weapons designer Martyzenski doesn't appear to have a first name. Then again, he only shows up in one scene.
  • The title character of Lovejoy is never given a first name. In the TV series adapted from the books, it is hinted that his name may be "Malcolm", but he does not confirm or deny this.
  • Lythande: The mage Lythande is known simply as Lythande, which was a self-chosen name; Lythande's birth name is pointedly not revealed in "Sea Wrack". Maybe there were two originally, but if so they've been left behind.
  • Maximum Ride of er... Maximum Ride is the only human-avian to have a surname in The Angel Experiment. In School's Out — Forever, Iggy finds his family and consequently, a last name but he abandons them because they want to sell his story.
  • Fantine of Les Misérables never knew her parents and so doesn't have any other name.
  • The title character of the Montmorency books never gave himself a first name when he concocted either of his two aliases, Montmorency and Scarper. For a while, people at his club thought the former identity's first name was "Xavier", but that was from someone mishearing "savior".
  • The Mortal Instruments: In City of Fallen Angels , Simon asks why Kyle's name is listed as just Kyle even on his apartment door. It turns out Kyle is his surname and his first name is Jordan, which he hid so that Maia wouldn't find out.
  • In The Mysterious Benedict Society series, all of the Recruiters / Ten Men who work for the Big Bad Mr. Curtain go by only one name. More interesting is the case of the Executives Jackson and Jillson. As described in The Perilous Journey, "The children had never determined if the two Executives were brother and sister, boyfriend and girlfriend, or simply partners in crime. They didn't even know them by any names other than Jackson and Jillson — which could have been first names, last names, or nicknames."
  • Old Kingdom: Residents of the Kingdom seen or mentioned with a second name that is not obviously a nickname or epithet can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and none of them are main characters. The same applies for the Nine Bright Shiners, named Free Magic beings, and the Greater Dead. This does not apply to citizens of Ancelstierre, the Fantasy Counterpart Culture of 20th-century Britain south of the Wall.
  • The protagonist of the Polish YA series Pan Samochodzik is only ever referred to as Tomasz. His last two initials are N.N., which could be a reference to his author's last name and pen name (Nowicki-Nienacki), or the abbreviation for the Latin nomen nescio ('name unknown').
  • Parker, the Villain Protagonist of a series of novels by Richard Stark. Stark decided not to give the character a first name when he thought The Hunter was going to be a standalone novel. He stuck with this decision when it became a series, even though it complicated writing the subsequent books.
  • Lampshaded in one of the Pendragon books, where Bobby says something to the effect of, 'What is it with these people? Am I the only one with two names?"
    • He does it again when he goes to another territory where people only have one name. Something like, "How far along does a society have to get before they start handing out last names?"
    • The people on less advanced planets (Denduron, Zadaa, Eelong) have Only One Name, and on more advanced planets (Earth, Cloral, Veelox, Quillan) they have two.
  • Gucky (or Pucky in the translation) from Perry Rhodan is usually only called by this Nickname, unless called by rank, then the diminutive is dropped (Lt. Guck). His real name is 'Plofre' BTW. Just 'Plofre'.
  • Erik in The Phantom of the Opera. Given that he ran away from his Abusive Parents at an early age, it's possible even he doesn't know his last name—though a few adaptations grant him one.
    • Possibly in reference to this, André, in Maskerade, despite being an important supporting character, never has his surname revealed.
  • Quite a few in Ranger's Apprentice, most notably Will (until book 6/7) and Halt (until book 8).
  • Razorland Trilogy: Deuce, Stalker, and Tegan are all introduced with only one name for each of them. Eventually, Deuce and Tegan begin introducing themselves with their adopted family's last name. Stalker stays Stalker.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, those born as commoners in Westeros rarely have last names, leading to many characters without them. In addition, Septons (priests) and Maesters (order of scholars) discard their family name and the High Septon (head of the clergy) discards even his given one.
  • In the Spaceforce novels, Jez is one of the few surviving Mixitor, a vampire-like race who were massacred in an uprising by their 'bloodservants' - and she is also a member of the noble class, which was almost completely wiped out. She doesn't use either her full name Jeziandra or her 'house' name in everyday life, and it's implied that this is because she's seeking to distance herself from her Dark and Troubled Past.
  • The detective Spenser, from the series by Robert B. Parker. Anytime someone asks, Spenser simply replies with "Spenser." One time, when questioned if that was his first or last name, Parker writes the line "I told her."
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Speculating about their mysterious Uncle Hoole, Tash Arranda in Galaxy of Fear proposes that he only has the one name. He had two, but deliberately dropped the first after becoming The Atoner.
    • The Courtship of Princess Leia: Zsinj. In the Essential Atlas it's revealed this was a custom of his father's people which he went by (though his mother had "Zsinj" as her last name).
    • Most Yuuzhan Vong from the New Jedi Order series have both a personal name and a domain (clan or extended family) name and are referred to using both at all times (so say Nom of Domain Anor is always referred to as Nom Anor, never just Nom or Anor). There are exceptions however, mostly among the priest caste (whose domain names are rarely revealed), the Shamed Ones (who have either fallen from grace and been repudiated by their domains, or were born into Shame and were never actually part of a domain, though some Shamed Ones do use domain names as an act of defiance), and the Supreme Overlord (who upon becoming Supreme Overlord transcends his caste and domain; therefore while Supreme Overlord Shimrra comes from Domain Jamaane, he would always be referred to as Shimrra rather than Shimrra Jamaane), though there are other individual cases which are not explained.
  • In Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno, the title characters. Lady Muriel in fact asks, and is told no family name.
  • While it's played straight with the other characters, this trope is subverted with Snow White in Disney's A Tale Of... books. Her surname is "White", meaning "Snow" is her given name. Instead of being an example of One Name Only, she's actually an example of Full-Name Basis.
  • Hanami, the protagonist of Tasakeru.
  • Laurent in Thérèse Raquin. We're never told if that's his first or last name.
  • In Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books, the titular character's father is referred to only as "Colonel Next". It is revealed that he actually has no first name, due to having been erased from the timeline by the Chronoguard after he went rogue.
  • Not a single character in The Tiger's Wife other than the protagonist has their surname revealed. Done on purpose: inter-ethnic violence is the backdrop to the story, and the author left out surnames that might be associated with an ethnicity.
  • In Tolkien's Legendarium (The Lord of the Rings, etc) most cultures have only have a given name and a patronymic (with hobbits being the main exception). Aragorn, for example, is "Aragorn, son of Arathorn". Subverted later when he names his newly-founded royal house "Telcontar", effectively making the Elvish for "Strider" his official last name.
  • Almost everyone in Uglies, save for Tally Youngblood and Andrew Simpson Smith. Most of the Extras characters get last names, but we still never learn the last names of the characters from the original trilogy who show up. Dr. Cable is also only ever Dr. Cable, and David may not actually have a last name.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: The quaddies from Falling Free, being artificial people, didn't actually have names as such, just appellations derived from their serial numbers; these ranged from the normal, like "Tony" or "Claire", through the unusual ("Silver") to the downright odd ("Pramod"). In Diplomatic Immunity, set 200 years later, it's revealed that so many quaddies wanted to name babies after these founding heroes that later generations were forced to allow duplicate names, with numerical suffixes to keep them all straight. There are over 99 people named "Leo" alone.
  • Hundreds of characters in War and Peace. Zherkov, Raevsky, Tikhon, Speransky, Pfuel, etc. Most of the historical characters are only referred to with one name (such as General Mack and Marshals Murat and Davout) since Tolstoy probably assumed anyone reading this book in 1870 would recognize the names from history lessons.
  • In Warlocks of the Sigil, people are referred to by their name and hometown. Quinn muses how weird it will be to be Quinn of Haldon, as the distinction wasn't really needed in the academy and he was just Quinn there.
  • Aiel in The Wheel of Time have only one name (when announced formally, they specify their clan and sept too, though). They call non-Aiel by their full names all the time, and are confused when they want to be called by only half their name.
  • The Wicked Years: Glinda was originally this in Wicked, but Son Of A Witch canonized her musical surname "Upland" as book canon as well.
  • Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights.

    Music 
  • Madonna and Prince, though in both cases it's actually their real first name.
    • To add insult to injury, Prince used an unpronounceable symbol for his name for most of the 1990's, for legal reasons.
  • Similarly, Rihanna is always known as just "Rihanna", but that's actually her real middle name (her full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty).
  • And Drake (full name Aubrey Drake Graham). He was known as Aubrey Graham as a teen actor in the Degrassi franchise, but started using just his middle name when he went into music.
  • There's also Cher. Her full name used to be Cherilyn Sarkisian, but she legally changed it to just "Cher".
  • And Beck (Beck David Hansen). And Jewel (Jewel Kilcher).
  • And from the 60s, Donovan, Melanie, Melissa and Victoria.
  • And, to top it off, Morrissey, who uses only his surname (in full, it's Steven Patrick Morrissey).
  • Elvis is arguably a subversion — most people know who you're talking about if you just say "Elvis," but most people also know his last name (Presley). During his career, record sleeves and promotions usually just credited him as Elvis from the late 1950s onward; his movies and the actually labels of the records he released, always credited him by his full name.
  • Similarly, Liberace only used his surname. Understandable, as his first name was Wladziu.
  • Visual Kei, full stop. Nearly every musician in the movement uses a single name (often their given name or a shortened version of it), and it's not unheard of for two (or more) different musicians to have the same stage name. This is why, when people talk about specific performers, they almost always specify which band(s) they are/were associated with; how else is someone going to know which Yuki you're talking about?
  • Nena (Gabriele Susanne Kerner), of 99 Luftballons fame.
  • Beyoncé (full name: Beyoncé Knowles, later Knowles-Carter) after Destiny's Child.
  • Shakira - except at UCLA.
  • Cheryl after her divorce for solo work.
  • 90's R&B princesses Shanice, Brandy, Monica, and Aaliyah.
  • Arianna of The Frozen Autumn.
  • Tricia Brock dropped her surname for her sophomore solo album.
  • Dion (his first namenote ), a singer from the 1960s, known for hits such as "Teenager in Love" (with his band Dion and the Belmonts), "Runaround Sue", "The Wanderer", and "Abraham, Martin, and John".
  • Harry Nilsson, another singer from the 1960s, was sometimes credited as simply "Nilsson".
  • Oliver!, whose full name was William Oliver Swofford. It was his record producer's idea for him to drop his first and last name; it was done without his consent on the record labels, and initially he was angry about it. He believed it to be "crude and contrived" to use only one name, but eventually he warmed to his professional moniker.
  • Björk Gudmundsdottir, better known as simply "Björk", even in her native Iceland, and even when she's not performing, because "Gudmundsdottir" isn't a surname, but Patronymic; Icelanders don't have last names.
  • Marta Marrero, better known as "Martika".note 
  • Kristine, a Greek retro New Wave artist.
  • Mexican singer Yuri (full name: Yuridia Valenzuela Canseco)
  • Selena (no, not her...)
  • BoA
  • Noelle, vocalist for Damone and The Organ Beats, who has also released solo material using her first name only- Actually, The Organ Beats are all credited by first name on their albums.
  • Mandia (Nantsios).
  • Carman used this throughout his music career, mainly due to the fact his last name (Licciardello) is rather complicated to pronounce.
  • Sirusho - her real name is Siranush Harutyunyan (well, now that she's married, it's Siranush Kocharyan.)
  • Before she achieved stardom as Jennifer Warnes, Warnes launched her career as Jennifer Warren before temporarily billing herself as simply "Jennifer" for a couple of years.

    Mythology 
  • Merlin, Sir Kay, Guenivere, Percival... pretty nearly every character in the Arthurian myths. Only Arthur and his father have a known surname - Pendragon.
  • In Classical Mythology, Norse Mythology, and Egyptian Mythology, and nearly every other set of ancient stories, characters have only one name just as it was with most ancient cultures.
  • Most people in The Bible count, including, well, you know, "The Prince of Peace"...Before you ask... 

    Podcast 

    Porn 
  • It's commonplace in the porn industry for performers to choose a single-name stage name, or to become known primarily by their first name. Examples include Janine, Serena, Selena, and untold amateur models or video performers who choose to go by their first name only. This can sometimes cause issues; for example, at one point there were numerous performers named Cassidy active at the same time, resulting eventually in one adopting the name Cassidy Dark, and another adding a third s to her name (Casssidy). Not to mention trying to google search someone who just goes by the name "Jane" can be a time-consuming process.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • WWE has a strange habit of giving a large number of their Divas only one name. While wrestlers going by only one name have always been pretty common (even now, there's Fandango and Ryback), they, at least, are distinct titles, whereas the Only One Name Divas are usually rather generic first names, such as Maryse, Layla, Maria, Melina, Maxine, Natalya, Emma, and Paige. Also noticeable is that the WWE fanbase has actively revolted against this, often using a Canon Name, such as names they used in developmental, to the extent that WWE has actually started using them again, as has happened with Cameron Lynn, Charlotte Flair, Naomi Knight (or not), and AJ Lee. (In Charlotte's case, she started out using only "Charlotte", despite being acknowledged on-screen as Ric's real-life daughter.) There's a variant where a Diva will only have a first name, but one that's in two parts, such as Summer Rae and Eva Marie.
  • Even male wrestlers have a tendency to have their names shortened down further and further. In recent years, Big E (Langston), (Antonio) Cesaro, and (Alexander) Rusev have all had chunks of their names lopped off after debuting, with the prevailing theory being that smaller names are easier to work with from a marketing standpoint (easier to format onto merchandise, etc.).

    Toys 

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • 2027: Daniel's last name is never revealed.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine: Several of the cartoon characters only have one name. There's the Butcher Gang: Charley, Barley, and Edgar; and there's Bendy himself.
  • Bendy in Nightmare Run: In addition to Bendy, there are bosses Chester, Gaskette, Canoodle, and Dewey.
  • Halo:
    • The Master Chief is only known as John-117. The closest thing we have to a family name for him is this MIT prank claiming that he's actually John Harvard.
    • This sort of thing applies to every SPARTAN-II Super Soldier; because all of them were "recruited" and brainwashed by the military as children, none of them remember their family names, which were replaced by designation numbers. The only SPARTAN-II who even uses a surname is Kurt-051, who was given the last name of Ambrose as a cover when he was assigned to trained the SPARTAN-IIIs. However, expanded universe material have gradually revealed the original surnames of more and more SPARTAN-IIs: so far, we know of Kurt M. Trevelyan, Naomi Sentzke, Frederic Ellsworth, Linda Pravdin, Kelly Shaddock, Douglas Rutland, Jerome Cable, and Alice Treske.
    • Lower-ranking Covenant races, like Grunts and Jackals, are not officially allowed to have surnames, due to the Elites' belief that names are a privilege for only the worthy. On the other hand, the Brutes don't seem to care for surnames to begin with. All that being said, the splintering of the Covenant after Halo 3 has seemingly led to many Elite warlords relaxing the old naming restrictions, considering that a few Grunt NPCs in Halo 5: Guardians actually have official surnames.
    • In The Forerunner Saga, the long-dead Yprin Yprikushma is the only character in the entire trilogy to have a surname; neither the highly-advanced Forerunners nor the prehistoric remnants of the once-advanced human and San 'Shyuum civilizations seem to use them, period.
  • Both Knights of the Old Republic games have many examples. Every Jedi Master ever given a name, Kreia, the Handmaiden's name (Brianna), the Disciple's name (Mical), Mira, Juhani, Malak, Revan, all of the Wookies, and more.
  • Mass Effect averts this with everyone except for Legion and (until he joins Clan Urdnot) Grunt. Then again, except for Ashley, Kaidan, and a few formal situations involving Tali, almost nobody's last name is ever mentioned. Due to limitations on the system, the player character is only ever called by his/her last name, Shepard.
  • In the Dragon Age universe, very few non-player characters actually have last names given in-game, and most of the ones who do are nobility or at least gentry. This may be a Shout-Out to A Song of Ice and Fire, which was acknowledged as an influence on the series.
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, no non-PC Dalish has a last name, and only one of your companions - Zevran Arainai - has a stated surname. Alistair arguably has a surname, but it isn't used because it would be a spoiler, and because he's not interested in announcing his Royal Blood to everyone he meets.
      • Oghren's surname is revealed in supplemental material. He was born of House Kondrat, but changed to House Branka when his wife became a Paragon and thus founded her own noble house. Because of what she did, he's now the only surviving member of House Branka. The other characters are never given surnames; as of Dragon Age: Inquisition, Leliana is confirmed not to have one.
    • Like Shepard of Mass Effect, Hawke of Dragon Age II is only ever addressed by his/her last name. It's because of the Hello, [Insert Name Here] aspect of character creation, but the game indicates that Hawke prefers to go by their surname. The only ones who don't call Hawke "Hawke" are, naturally, their family members.
      • Once again, most of the companions in this game are this trope, with the exceptions being Varric Tethras and Aveline Vallen. This fits with the note above about surnames being mostly for those of higher-status characters; Varric is part of the dwarven nobility and Aveline is of the gentry class.
      • Fenris's former master is a politically powerful Tevinter magister named Danarius. This is the only name known for him, despite his high status in the Imperium. (According to the World of Thedas books, Danarius is actually his surname.)
    • The Qunari in general don't have last names. Even their first names are merely titles and can be taken away. Anyone who joins the Qun also sheds their name. Sten of Origins is the first example we meet, but there are many others. Slightly averted by the Iron Bull, who gives himself that name for his mercenary work. He retains that identity if he leaves the Qun.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition changes the standing format, as the majority of your companions now avert the trope. The only exceptions are Cole (who is a Fade spirit impersonating a person), Sera (who is an orphaned city elf), and Solas (who is... complicated). The game also gives a surname to Cullen, who appeared in both of the previous games and up to this point was an example of this trope.
  • Everyone in Onmyōji except Abe no Seimei, Minamoto no Hiromasa and Kijo Momiji, but Kagura deserves a special mention for never being addressed as Minamoto no Kagura even after the revelation that she is Hiromasa's sister.
  • Pokémon characters other than professors rarely have last names. Exceptions include Daisy Oak, Blue Oak (having last names due to being a professor's grandchildren), Steven Stone from the main series of games, Blake Hall and the rest of the Hall family from Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, and Ash Ketchum from the anime (who likely only has a last name in the English version to give enough syllables).
  • Most characters in Devil May Cry. Kalina Ann appears to be the sole exception, but it's not even clear if "Ann" is her maiden name or a middle name, or even if "Kalina" is really the rocket launcher's own name/model. The name of Dante's father, Sparda, has occasionally been used in the context of a family name, but whether it really is is unknown.
    • That said, Dante joins the ranks of given name + patronymic, with demons frequently referring to him as "Dante, Son of Sparda". Same may be said about Vergil, too.
  • Many, many Nintendo characters. As a rule of thumb, with few exceptions, only futuristic main characters are given full names (Samus Aran, Fox McCloud, Captain Douglas Jay Falcon) Specific examples:
    • The Super Mario Bros. series is an unusual case. Originally, the characters were all intended to have only one name, but over the years several characters have implicitly gained surnames, mostly as a quirk of localization. "Toadstool" became Peach's surname when she began going by "Peach" in English, similarly, Bowser's surname is suggested to be "Koopa", his name in Japan. And then there's the question of "Mario Mario" and "Luigi Mario", originally, it was just something made up by western sources, like the animated productions, and the movie to justify the name "Mario Bros.", but as of 2015, "Mario" was confirmed as their last name. note 
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, just to name the central three. However, Ganondorf was given the last name "Dragmire" in the English manual for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Zelda's last name is suggested to be "Hyrule", given that the King mentioned in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is named Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule and her father in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is named Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule.
    • Donkey Kong is a major exception. He and Diddy are the only ones that are displayed with the full name in Super Smash Bros., too.
    • Older heroes like Pit (Kid Icarus), the Popo and Nana (Ice Climbers).
    • Many of the other hunters mentioned in the Metroid Prime series only have one name.
    • Nearly every character in the Fire Emblem franchise, with a few exceptions up until Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Albein Alm Rudolf from Gaiden, Seliph Baldos Chalphy and Leif Faris Claus from Genealogy of the Holy War, the Reed family (Brendan, Lloyd and Linus) of The Blazing Blade, and Princess Elincia Ridell Crimea, Jill Fizzart, and her father Shiharam Fizzart of Path of Radiance; while the first game's OVA gave Marth the last name "Lowell", this has never been confirmed in any of the games. Even Three Houses, which does give most of the cast surnames (including the commoners), still has a handful of characters who fit this trope, particularly those associated with either the Goddess or "those who slither in the dark".
    • Mario's enemy King Bowser Koopa and his family, on the other hand, do have a surname (Koopa) and first names. In Japan however, Bowser's just "Daimaou Koopa", which is more of a title than a name, and each of the Koopalings has only one name (compare with the English version).
    • Everyone in Animal Crossing who isn't a tanuki. ROMSAVE.txt reveals that the DS game stores a number from 0-65535 along with each human character's name that presumably represents an index into a list of surnames, but these aren't displayed in-game. This is possibly subverted with Cyrus and his wife Reese. In the Japanese version, Re-Tail is named "R. Parkers". This suggests their surname is "Parker[s]".
    • Many of the main party members from the EarthBound/MOTHER series have Only One Name. Jeff's is only inferred from him being the son of Dr. Andonuts.
    • Krystal, from the Star Fox series, lacks a surname for plot reasons.
    • Every character in the entire Kirby franchise has just one name, most notably Kirby, Meta Knight, and King Dedede.
    • In Xenoblade, this seems to be the case for most Homs and Nopon, including all those who join the party. The only party member with a last name, Melia Antiqua, is a High Entia and a princess on top of that, so her surname is actually somewhat important. A handful of NPC Homs do have last names (ex: Emmy Leater), but it's likely that there's just not a large enough Homs population for surnames to be important.
    • Most NPCs in Splatoon and Splatoon 2 lack surnames. The main exception is Marina, whose surname is revealed to be Ida in Octo Expansion; her partner Pearl has the full name of Hime Houzuki (Western naming order) in the original Japanese, but none of the localizations have given her a surname yet. Interesting, Marina is a subversion in Japanese; her original name "Iida" is actually her surname, with her full name being "Marine Iida" (again, Western order).
  • A few "mysterious" characters follow this trope in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Godot (though his full name is revealed later), Iris, and Bikini, for example, are referred to by Only One Name even in court. We can assume that Iris gave up her family name (Fey) when she joined the temple.
  • Every single character from Golden Sun has only one stated name. A comment by Kraden implies they do have multiple namesnote , but none of them are ever revealed to the player.
    • In Dark Dawn, the only characters with a known surname are the royal siblings of Morgal, King Volechek and Princess Sveta Czamaral.
  • Seth and Kane in Command & Conquer: In the first briefing of the Nod campaign, Seth introduces himself as "Seth... just, 'Seth'." Likewise, the news report at the end of the GDI campaign refers to Kane as Nod's "single-named" leader.
    • You also have Boris. Averted, for the most part, in Red Alert 3, where every named Russian character may be only known by one name but has a full name (minus patronymic) listed in the manual. Played straight with Emperor Yoshiro and Crown Prince Tatsu, but that's typical for Japanese emperors to only have one name (e.g. Hirohito, Akihito).
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog, most of the cast only have first names and a title, "the (species name)". Exceptions include Miles "Tails" Prower, Amy Rose, and Charmy Bee.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Shadow of Chernobyl goes further than many with this trope. Every unique character has only one name - only generic characters have two names.
  • Square(enix) just can't decide whatever characters need surnames, or not:
    • Final Fantasy IV has several characters that fit this trope: Rydia, Tellah, Palom, Porom, and FuSoYa.
      • FuSoYa is almost certainly a compound name that is essentially two or three names with no spaces between then, both due to the camelcase and the fact that he has a brother named KluYa.
      • This can also be because Rydia, Tellah, Palom, and Porom are commoners, and thus do not have last names in this medieval world unlike Cecil, Rosa, Kain, Edward, Yang, and Edge (whose full name is Edward Geraldine) who are of the higher class.
    • Final Fantasy VII, on the other hand, gave almost EVERY character a surname (Cloud Strife, Aerith Gainsborough, etc...) though Sephiroth and his father Professor Hojo remain notable exceptions.
      • One character in the Compilation actually got an upgrade from this to a Meaningful Name, going from just Lazard in the Japanese version to Lazard Deusericus in the English Version. Meaningful because Deusericus is the Latin rendering of Shinra (both meaning "Silken God"), hinting that Lazard is in fact the bastard son of President Shinra.
      • Zack didn't acquire an official last name until he got his own game Crisis Core.
      • Numerous characters like Kunsel, Tseng, Rude, Reno, Elena, Bugenhagen, Palmer, Scarlet, Nanaki, Seto, Heidigger, Elfe, Fuhito, Biggs, Wedge, Jessie and so on are known only by one name, although given the pattern of first/last name with the major human characters, it's quite possible that many of the secondary characters' last or first names simply haven't been disclosed.
    • The Final Fantasy Tactics series mixes this up a bit. Most of the major characters like Ramza, Ezel, Marche, etc. have surnames, but everyone else does not. In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, Luso Clemens is the only character (besides Ezel) who has a surname, but everyone else has only a first name or a nickname.
    • Frimelda Lotice, Ghi Yelgi, Al-Cid Margrace, and Syrenead Sie Hyskarias
    • Final Fantasy X is the other extreme: No surnames in Spira! But hey, in a country where you can call your goth-child "Lulu", does it really matter? Tidus, who comes from a really BIG city hasn't got a last name either, but that's due to his name being an extreme case of "optional" (so extreme that other characters only refer to him as "You")
      • Members of the Ronso and Guado tribes have it as a surname, some of whom are related (Seymour Guado is Jyscal Guado's son), but it is never treated as such.
    • For the most part, last names are never mentioned for PCs in Final Fantasy games. They may be listed in supplemental material, but they are never actually used in the games themselves. Final Fantasy XII is another notable exception; fans are likely remember lines such as "I'm Captain Basch fon Ronsenburg of Dalmasca!" and "Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca! Just how far will you go for power? Does your lust for Nethicite consume you?" And yet, just to mix things up again, several characters, including Vaan, Penelo and Fran, don't have stated last names, even in supplementary material. (Balthier is an alias.)
    • Kingdom Hearts, finally, allowed the Disney Characters to keep their last names, but eliminated those of the Final Fantasy characters, save for Squall's surname, "Leonhart" —- it becomes his first name. The original KH-characters themselves are surname-less, like in FFX.
      • Squall is still known as such by some of the other characters in the games, and it's explained that he only goes by Leon because of some sort of tragedy and will go back to using Squall when his homeworld is back to normal. Why he didn't go back to Squall in KH2 is another question altogether. (Probably since his homeworld isn't back to normal yet.)
    • In Final Fantasy VI, almost every major character has a last name. Terra Branford, Celes Chere, Kefka Palazzo, and so on. Notable exceptions would be the Esper race, who have only the one last name. Maduin, Ramuh, Shiva, etc. And also more minor playable characters such as Mog, Gogo and Umaro, as well as Shadow, which is an alias anyway. Also, most of these are not mentioned within the game itself, save the brothers Figaro (Edgar and Sabin), but are seen in the closing credits, i.e. "Cyan as Cyan Garamonde," "Terra as Terra Branford," "Relm as Relm Arrowny," etc.
    • The series of characters known as "Cid". Excluding the ones in the first, second, tenth, and eleventh games, most Cids have full names. There's Cid Haze (III), Cid Pollendina (IV), Cid Previa (V), Cid Del Norte Marquez (VI), Cid Highwind (VII), Cid Kramer (VIII), Cid Fabool IX (IX), Cidolfas Demen Bunansa (XII), Cid Raines (XIII), and Cid nan Garlond (XIV). A few notable Cids from the spin-offs have their own full names too, like Cidolfus Orlandeau.
    • In Chrono Cross the only people with surnames are Schala Kid Zeal, Lucca Ashtear, and General Viper.
  • Trollsnote  in Warcraft games supposedly only have one name, with possibly the name of their tribe added (for example Vol'jin of the Darskspear tribe), but this is contradicted by many troll NPCs having a last name.
    • The vast majority of draenei don't seem to have last names either. However, they seem to make up for it with titles (paladins are "Vindicator [Insert Name]," for example) and sobriquets (such as "Stormglory").
    • Also the vrykul, who sometimes get titles to go with their names (Svala, the first boss of Utgarde Keep, is turned into a Valkyr and dubbed "Svala Sorrowgrave" by the Lich King).
    • For that matter, orcs in Warcraft lore generally only have one name. They'll identify themselves by I Am X, Son of Y, but it's supposed to be very rare for the to earn sobriquets. Sobriquets do get passed down family lines, but only upon death and only to one descendant(There's only ever one Hellscream or Doomhammer at a time), and it's possible for an orc who inherited their sobriquet to earn a different one. Still, the majority of them fall under this trope; even one of their most iconic heroes, Thrall, hasn't been given a sobriquet.
  • Eisen and Inori of the original Harukanaru Toki no Naka de are examples of this, for different reasons: Eisen is a monk and the emperor's half-brother, while Inori lacks a family name on the account of his low origins — justified by the fact that Kyou is based off Heian Period Japan, so those who do possess family names are either of noble origins or from our world. On the other hand, the Oni don't appear to have last names either.
  • In StarCraft, the Protoss and Zerg have only one name, such as Aldaris, Tassadar, Zeratul, and Zasz.
    • Given that the Zerg are a Hive Mind, there's no need for names at all, the Cerebrates are the only ones who can even be called individuals in the Swarm, except for the Overmind. There can't be enough Cerebrates to warrant last names.
  • Most NPCs in the Diablo games don't have both a first and last name. Deckard Cain, Zoltun Kulle, and Haedrig Eamon are some of the few exceptions.
  • In the aftermath of the Darcsen Calamity in the backstory of Valkyria Chronicles, Darcsens were stricken of their last names as part of their punishment. Thus, Darcsen units are only known by their given names (Wavy, Nadine, Zaka, etc.) Isara is an exception; while she is Darcsen by birth, she was adopted by Welkin's father, and was given his last name of "Gunther". Another exception is Cordelia de Randgrez, the princess and archduchess of Gallia, who is revealed to be a Darcsen in the end of the game.
  • Space Channel 5 does this. We have Ulala, Pudding, Jaguar, Purge...
  • Most of the antagonists in Xenosaga have only one name: Margulis, Pelegri, Wilhelm, Sellers, Sergius, and Heinlein.
  • Maximilian, aka Max, one of the protaginist of Dark Chronicle. The other, Monica Raybrant, averts this trope.
  • Almost everyone in the Jak and Daxter series, to the point that the only full names given are either All There in the Manual (Samos and Keira Hagai, though the canon-ness of this is contested) or most likely a joke (Ozmar Itchy Drawers the Third). The only ones who definitely have a last name are Gol and Maia Acheron.
  • "Ratchet". And that's it. Sort-of-justified by him not knowing his real parents. Or would that be "Everyone Calls Him Ratchet" instead? "Clank" is also an example, it was even made up on-screen (the Future Trilogy confirms his real name as XJ-0461).
    • According to Tachyon, "Ratchet" is not even his real name.
  • Ben, the player character in Full Throttle, is only ever called just Ben, and prefers to keep his last name a secret. The same goes for Maureen, although you do find out her full name very soon after meeting her: Maureen Corley.
  • Many characters in Jade Empire have only one name and a title, and the few that do not are usually related to another NPC. (For example, Kia Min, a student in Chapter 1, is the niece of a merchant in the Lotus Assassin fortress).
  • Anne and Piko in Mitsumete Knight ; and all characters save for Christopher MacLeod in Mitsumete Knight R : Daibouken Hen.
  • Tomomi in the Tokimeki Memorial series; she's notable for being the sole case of this in the whole franchise.
  • Many Touhou characters, the most famous being Cirno. The vast majority are in the Ret Conned PC-98 games though, so it could be attributed to Early Installment Weirdness, until both Undefined Fantastic Object and Double Dealing Character added two examples each.
    • We also have this with Chen, who still doesn't have her last name revealed, even when Ran Yakumo and Chen come up in the same sentence, though that could have more to do with that she is probably regarded to be more as a pet.
  • Cave Story features multiple characters with only one referred name. The list includes, but is not limited to Quote, King, Balrog, Misery, and The Doctor. Don't get us started about many of the other NPCs.
  • Eagle Eye Mysteries gives us minor character Sergio, who declares he is like Madonna and Cher and has no last name, when asked on one occasion. This causes another character, Silvia Torres, to suspect him in a later mystery of being a criminal and the mystery's guilty party. He's innocent.
  • In the Metal Gear series we have David (Solid Snake), John (Naked Snake/Big Boss), Adamska (Revolver Ocelot), Jack (Raiden), Rosemary, Mei-Ling, Dr. Clark (Para-Medic), Jonathan (two of them), Ed and Johnny (after his surname "Sasaki" was retconned out of existence). That's not even counting characters who are known primarily by their one-word codenames like EVA and Vamp.
  • In general, Japanese adaptations of Romance of the Three Kingdoms would have a translation convention which would cause this trope. To prevent Name's the Same issues when people are on Last-Name Basis—Chinese surnames are short, often homophonous, and are relatively few—the characters' first and last names would be mashed together and treated as if it was a last name. For example, Liu Bei (Bei of the Liu family) would be call Ryuubi (not Ryuu Bi as it should be), and when Japanese etiquette requires Last-Name Basis, he would be called Ryuubi-san, rather than Ryuu-san. No, the naming convention in Ikki Tousen wasn't an invention but rather a existing convention.
    • They will also refer the characters by their courtesy names (a unique name given later in life according to Chinese tradition). For example, Zhuge Liang is usually referred to as 'Konmin', a Japanese rendition of Kongming, Zhuge Liang's courtesy name.
  • Rock, Roll, and Blues, as well as Bass in the original generation, and Axl and the Navigators Alia, Pallette, and Layer in the Mega Man X series. The titular character is Mega Man X, and his teammate is Zero Omega. Also most of the characters in the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series.
  • None of the characters from Ghost Trick are given two names, thus leaving it unclear in many cases whether people are being referred to by their first name or last name.
  • Parodied in LEGO Batman 2, where a receptionist demands Batman's and Superman's names despite them being in full costume. Batman says he's only got one name (i.e. Batman), "like Madonna".
  • The cast of Street Fighter series, with the exception of Edmond Honda and M. Bisonnote , initially had only single names. Ken eventually got a canonical last name of Masters in order to set him apart from a certain other Ken once the series started getting some serious merchandizing, while characters introduced later such as Dan Hibiki and Sakura Kasugano, would have official full names established from the get-go.
  • Story of Seasons has a ton of people who are prime examples. Pete, Sara, Rachel, Sanjay, Rod, Nami, Chelsea, Georgia... The list goes on. Most characters have only given names, even the doctors and mayors.
  • Played for fun in King's Quest (2015). The game has a Running Gag where Graham tries to introduce himself with his full name, but every time, he gets cut off just as he's about to give his surname. We know it begins with "Cr-" but that's about it.
  • Most characters in the Dark Parables fit this trope, which is to be expected since they're taken from classic fairy tales. Averted by two sisters, however, whose parents' tombstones are seen in the first game and are engraved with the family name of Stewartson.
  • Everyone in World's Dawn has only one name. Of course, the town itself is positively tiny, and the One Steve Limit is firmly in place, so there's no need to differentiate Bob Smith from Bob Fisher.
  • In Evolve, Crow's real name is Khovalyg. Justified, as he's of Mongolian heritage and the etsgiin nernote  is largely insignificant even in modern usage.
  • Almost every character in Stardew Valley are only referred to by their first name. The only exceptions are George, whom Penny once refers to by last name in a cutscene, and the Wizard, who signs his letter as "M. Rasmodius". (And everywhere else he's just called "The Wizard" anyway.)
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: We only know the first names of most people save a few exceptions, but they should have surnames as said by Word of God: "I haven't attributed any to them, but you can assume that everyone has one, i.e. it's normal to have a surname in the game's world."
  • Persona: None of the Velvet Room attendants have a surname. Justified, since none of them are actually human despite their appearance. Also, in Persona 4, Teddie never adopts a surname even after gaining a human form.
  • As a rigid game mechanic, every playable character in The Sims series must have a first and last name. However, some NPCs aren't meant to be playable and can get away with having only one name:
    • None of the service NPCs in The Sims 1 have last names, such as Brigit the Maid and Freddy the Pizza Dude.
    • Ghosts Bernard and Mimsy who roam the Von Haunt Estate in The Sims 4 are given the last name Shallot in surrounding lore, but in-game they are simply called by their first names. If the player cheats to edit them in Create-A-Sim, both their first and last names will be completely blank.
    • More examples can be found on The Sims Wiki.
  • Everyone in Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 has one name each, with only two exceptions being Luka Redgrave and his father Antonio.
  • Characters in Little Dragons Cafe don't have surnames.
  • In the Borderlands series, most of the protagonists in the games usually just go by their first name or a nickname, with only four characters so far having full names note . Handsome Jack's last name has also never been established, with his company ID in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! just listing him as "Jack".

    Webcomics 
  • The angels in Misfile are on an Only One Name basis, probably related to how they come to exist.
  • In Ozy and Millie, Ozy's (adoptive) father is simply known as Llewellyn. His son Ozy inherits the name as a family name. Millie's mother has always been referred to as simply "Ms. Mudd", and her first name was never revealed to the readers until this strip came out.
  • Jayden and Crusader has a fair few of these, Third, Smic and Crusader. Crusader is the more interesting one, because he was called Crusader and had been called Mr. Crusader by some, until we eventually found he was called Crusader Crusader. Effectively having only one name, as first and last name is the same.
  • El Goonish Shive didn't reveal Sarah's last name (Brown) until 2007. When they did give Sarah's name, it was a casual toss-out (the principal was yelling at her).
    • Recently we've met Mr. Verres' mentor, "Arthur J. Arthur". Word of God has it that the J stands for "Just".
  • The main character of Too Much Information, Ace, legally has no last name.
  • Sabrina and her family in Sabrina Online never had their surname revealed, though some fan fiction has tried to do the job for the strip ("Mustelidae").
  • Queen of Wands never mentions the last names of its characters, though Something*Positive does. Kestrel from QoW wound up becoming a recurring character in S*P, but still has no last name, which is Lampshaded on the cast page.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Jones "Just Jones will do". Word of Tom confirms that Jones is her full name.
  • Fall City Blues: Everyone.
  • Slightly Damned: Demons generally only have one name. the only known exception is Buwaro, who takes on the surname Elexion after he learns about his adoptive father Darius Elexion. Jakkai do have two names, but the last name is actually closer to a nickname and not a surname.
  • Pibgorn: Thorax never asked whether Thorax was his personal or family name; he doesn't like to pry.
  • Members of the Voodoo Walrus cast all started off sporting simply one name, but as time and the story have progressed, full names have been revealed. Bowler, Shmeerm, Mirth, and Marron seem to be the only major characters left without last names.
    • It's actually been hinted at that Bowler and Mirth are both going by aliases. It's suggested Bowler has a different name here, and it's unknown whether or not Mirth's father was just joking here.
  • Mori of The Dragon Doctors has only one name because her family's name was destroyed with magic. She doesn't remember it and it's vanished from all documents.
  • The Other Grey Meat: Almost every character in the story only has one name. People with last names are typically only those who are referenced before the Zombie Apocalypse.
  • No Songs For The Dead: The main character Hector, Romeo, the Big Bad Lilith.
  • Jack from Mulberry has no last name, unlike leading ladies Mulberry Sharona and Taffeta "Taffy" Sparks. The latter didn't have a last name, either, until a Sudden Name Change from "Tiff" to "Taffy".
  • Fred from Namesake was a generic card soldier before a half-asleep Elaine decided she needed to call him something. She made up a single syllable based on his title (the Five of Hearts -> Five-Red -> Fred). This would be a case of Only Known by Their Nickname - except, given the immense power that names have in this particular comic, being granted a name plus Elaine's wish for them to "understand each other" slowly changes him from a blank-faced watchdog into something entirely different. A couple of volumes later, Fred is an empathetic, genuinely adorable character with a growing number of human traits (including hair, blood and a fierce affection for Elaine herself). He quite literally only needed one name to become that. Efficient.
  • Dominic Deegan's father Donovan was an orphan raised by elves, and elven surnames aren't given to humans. So he took his wife's last name.
  • Most of the Beings in But I'm a Cat Person. Also, temporarily, characters like Cohen and Miranda, whose full names took a long time to be revealed.
  • The companies from Consolers, being companies, only go by the name of the company they represent like "Nintendo", "Sony" and "Sega". In the case of characters with two-word names like Square Enix, it's usually treated like a single full name in two parts rather than a first name and surname.
  • In Homestuck, characters tend to have their full names revealed when they're introduced, and most have first and last names. There are exceptions, though. The carapacians only use titles (Parcel Mistress, Wayward Vagabond, etc.) and the cherubs only have one given name each (Calliope and Caliborn).
  • In BeyondBloom Characters who did not have a traditional birth do not have surnames.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, most characters have only ever used one name (Grace's bio being the exception), though a few have titles such as "of Eridanus" or "the Reaper".

    Web Originals 
  • Alex Kralie is the only character from Marble Hornets with a known last name. The one time Jay (the narrator) mentions his last name to someone, he mutes it on the Youtube video. When he finds some medical records of Tim's, someone has scribbled over his last name except for the first letter (W).
  • Corbin and Desmond from Splinter Cell: Extinction. Desmond's surname is always left out of the frame, and "Corbin" is either the protagonist's given name or code name (judging from the fact he's apparently on First-Name Basis with his Mission Control).
  • In Red vs. Blue, there are a number of dumb AIs (dumb in the sense of less advanced, not stupid) with only one name—Sheila the tank, Lopez the robot mechanic, and Andy the bomb. Vic is actually an example of Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep"—"VIC" stands for Virtual Intelligence Computer. The Freelancer AIs (and the full smart AI they were fragmented from) are also known by just one name, a letter from the Greek alphabet.
  • Toki is just Toki, as "Seamstress" is a last name she's given herself and same goes fro her twin sister, Doki, assuming she doesn't have her foster parents' last name. However, according to Amoridere, Brownie and Brittani do have a last name and that it's "Edwards".
  • Vax'ildan, Vex'ahlia, and Keyleth in Critical Role all go by their first names, without a last name in sight.
    • Keyleth mentions in one episode that she doesn't have a last name - though one could argue she has a title instead, being Keyleth of the Air Ashari.
    • Vax and Vex didn't appear to have last names either... until Episode 59, which reveals their father's surname to be Vessar. As they are referred to under this name by associates of their father, it seems the twins purposely choose not to use their father's last name, likely due to their poor relationship with him.
    • Also, K'varn and Clarota - who are a beholder and an illithid, respectively.
  • Chunt from Hello, from the Magic Tavern.
  • In Fen Quest, everyone has only a given name. Even among knighthood and nobility that add titles and honorifics, family names don't seem to exist.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Toph Beifong, her father Lao, and her mother Poppy are the only characters to possess a surname. This itself isn't too far off with the traditional Asian theme of the series, in that traditionally, in East Asian cultures, family names were reserved exclusively for members of high nobility, much like the wealthy Beifong family, before common people started adopting family names for themselves. Alternatively, this may be due to the Anglicisation all of the names have undergone, which can be seen when comparing the names given to the Chinese characters occasionally used to spell them. An Ang as written, for example, is rendered as Aang when spoken, and Ai Luo becomes Iroh. In case you're wondering, yes that's probably how they made their names.
    • In Sequel Series The Legend of Korra, surnames are likewise rare. Toph's descendants all share her surname. Hiroshi Sato and his daughter Asami also have last names. They're rich, but not from nobility, as Hiroshi was stated to be a Self-Made Man. Pro-Bending Combat Commentator Shiro Shinobi also has one. And in the last episode, we find that "Varrick" is a surname, and the character's full name is Iknik Blackstone Varrick."
  • The naming conventions of the Transformers tend towards one-word names, like Dirge, Cliffjumper, or Rattrap. Two-word names such as Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, or Nemesis Breaker, aren't uncommon, but rarely is the second word treated as a surname. (Think of it as akin to some people in the southern United States bearing double first names such as Billy Bob or Rita Mae. Optimus Prime is called simply "Prime" fairly often, but that's because it's a title like "Captain".) Transformers with names of three or more words are EXCEEDINGLY uncommon, and generally only in Japanese continuity.
    • However, being robots who routinely re-use identical bodies, names, and color schemes, this is probably not a big concern.
  • My Little Pony follows roughly the same naming convention as Transformers. On the odd occasion that we get the names of multiple members of pony families, they'll share a theme, if that, with proper surnames being either unknown or unused. Friendship Is Magic has more two-part than one-part pony names, including just a few acting as surnames, but there are plenty of single-part names too, and non-ponies more often have single-part names (Spike, Discord, Zecora).
  • Spoofed in an episode of Cow and Chicken. The Red Guy libels Chicken's friend Flem by accusing him of having a girl's name for a middle name, which is apparently a serious crime in this setting. As he's being taken away by the police, Flem protests, "I don't have a girl's middle name! I don't even have a last name! I'm just Flem! FLEM!"
  • The Simpsons
    • The episode "The Frying Game" includes Lou the cop telling a reporter that he and Eddie (the other cop) have no last names, "like Cher."
    • In fact, a majority of recurring characters in Springfield, as well as certain one-time characters do not have last names, while some characters have their identities concealed be nicknames, honorifics, and occupational titles. If fact, many of the same recurring children of Springfield Elementary only have first names, while their full identities are never mention, possibly due to the negligence of the school staff and the writers.
    • Matt Groening wrote in a Simpsons comic "as far as I'm concerned, Lenny doesn't have a last name." It was later revealed to be "Leonard" in order to correspond with Carl's "Carl Carlson."
  • In The Magic School Bus, Tim and Dorothy Ann are the only main characters without last names.
    • Word of God states that their surnames are Rourke and Jamal respectively.
  • Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King were given last names, Berkowitz and Smith, respectively in Timon & Pumbaa. Nowadays, though, Disney pretends they weren't. The Lion King characters only have one name.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends is an interesting case, everyone has only a first name, like Mac, or only a last name, like Mr Herriman. Only two main cast members are exceptions; Frankie has a last name by association (she's Madame Foster's Granddaughter, and her ID confirms her last name is Foster) and Bloo, because a 3-year-old Mac apparently though "Blooregard Q Kazoo" was a great name.
  • Pickles the Drummer of Metalocalypse is the only member of the band without a last name of any kind. They even avert mentioning his surname when visiting his relatives in multiple episodes, but not to the point of lampshade hanging.
  • The Backyardigans' title characters. Subverted during one episode, "Whodunit?" where Uniqua was Uniqua Underhood and Austin was Austin Frothingslosh. But you can't help but laugh at the latter's surname, just how stupid it is...
  • Several characters on The Fairly Oddparents fall into this trope. The most obvious are Cosmo and Wanda. On the human side, we have Vicky, Tootie, Elmer, and Sanjay. Trixie Tang is the only member of The Popular Kids to have a full name.
    • Cosmo and Wanda's full names were revealed to be Cosmo Julius Cosma (thus why his mother is always called "Mama Cosma") and Wanda Venus Fairywinkle-Cosma, respectively.note 
  • Henry and June of KaBlam!.
  • Dib from Invader Zim has no last name. Though many fans assume that it's simply "Membrane", as his father is called "Professor Membrane", but Word of God is that "Membrane" is his father's first name. However when the Meekrob tried to get his name right and called him "Dib...Dib...whatever your last name is..." Dib simply replied with "that's right." Likewise, alien characters only seem to have one name, though some, like Lard Nar, have two words.
  • Everybody in Winx Club, including Bloom and Roxy, who grew up on Earth and therefore should have last names. Everyone else from the Magical Dimension identifies him- or herself by the realm they're from.
  • Heloise, Saffi, and Jez from Jimmy Two-Shoes This seems to be a woman thing, as all the male characters have full name (Jimmy Two-Shoes, Beezy J. Heinous, Lucius Heinous VII, Samy Garvin). Exception can be made for Molotov, who is only known by what is apparently his surname, judging by how Jimmy calls him "Mr. Molotov".
  • Gorillaz guitarist Noodle was created in a laboratory and apparently had no name at all until the other band members found her. They named her Noodle because it was the only English word she knew at the time, and she still doesn't have a surname.
  • All of the Gargoyles have only one name, if they have a name at all; they only adopted the practice after dealing with humans.
    • Fox changed her name from "Janine Renard," and Word of God says that she follows this trope both before and after her marriage, though she doesn't mind people using the "Xanatos" name when speaking about her and her husband together.
  • The titular character of Hey Arnold! was never given a last name. He even won a contest once and when the announcer said he couldn't read the last name Stinky turned to Arnold and said it could only be him "on account of you being the only kid named Arnold in the whole school."
    • Word of God says that his last name was Shortman, hence Phil's nickname for him.
    • Sid, Nadine, Brainy, Sheena, Wolfgang, Edmund and many others also have unknown last names.
  • Most characters in ReBoot have only one name. Of the main cast only the Matrix's have last names, and Matrix wants everyone to forget he has a first name.
  • While a number of Recess characters have their full names revealed, some characters lack a last name, such as King Bob, Butch, Francis (Hustler Kid), Jordan, Jerome, Cindy, Hector, Spencer, Emma, Sam, and Dave.
  • On Dan Vs., none of the three main characters' surnames are ever stated. Dan and Chris were named for the show's creators, Dan Mandel and Chris Pearson, and you can briefly see "Pearson" on Chris' driver's license; however, Dan's ID has no surname. It's also unknown if Elise took Chris' name when they married.
  • Motorcity has the exceptions of Mike Chilton, Julie and Abraham Kane and Dutch and Dar Gordy. Chuck, Texas, Jacob, Tooley, Claire, Tennie and most of the main cast are only known by their first name.
  • Lance and Ilana of Sym-Bionic Titan initially had Only One Name (the latter might have been due to nobility), but adopted the street surname "Lunis" when they came to Earth. Octus/Newton has two names, but neither is a surnamenote . Most of the students of Sherman High have Only One Name, which the exception of Kimmy Meisner and Brandon Chase.
  • Daria had memorable one-off character Luhrman. When Daria asks if that's his first or last name, he emotionlessly asks "Does it matter?" Fans tend to assume it's his surname.
    • Stacy is never given a last name, though Word of God says it's Rowe. Andrea never got one either, but she's a fairly minor character. Fanon tends to go with Hecuba (her alter ego in a tie-in book), Thorne (since the same tie-in book says she has a brother named Damien), or Hecuba-Thorne.
  • Larry (The Lobster) of Spongebob Squarepants, even though all the other main characters (such as Patrick, Sandy, Squidward) were revealed to have last names eventually, while Krabs, Plankton and Mrs. Puff were eventually revealed to have first names.
  • The majority of the characters in Total Drama.
    When Sierra got temporarily married to Cody:
    Chris: Two votes for Sierra.
    Sierra: I'm sorry. My name is Sierra-Cody now. It's hyphenated.
    • Ironically, Sierra herself revealed Cody's full name to be Cody Emmett Jameson-Anderson.
    • Other exceptions include Chris (McLean), Harold (Norbert Cheever Doris McGrady V), D(evon).J(oseph)., Alejandro (Burromuerto), Dakota (Milton), Cameron (Corduroy Wilkins), and (Mildred) Blaineley {Stacy Andrews O'Halloran).
  • In Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Niko doesn't use a surname, and doesn't appear to have biological family. Her mentor, Ariel, is the same. The Kiwi species (a culture of Hobbits) also appear not to use surnames.
  • Rocko from Rocko's Modern Life is the only main character who's last name was never revealed on the show. When he appeared on a game show, the host, when introducing him simply stated "Rocko... no last name given." An early model sheet states it as "Rama".
  • In Ewoks, aside from the Warricks, no other characters' last names are known, implying that they don't have any.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • The Powerpuff Girls would logically have last names, due to being Professor Utonium's daughters, but this is rarely acknowledged in any official media. One episode of the original series has the Professor offhandedly mention that they're "Utoniums", but the girls never use their surname. The [[The Powerpuff Girls (2016) 2016 reboot]}}] had Blossom refer to herself as "Blossom Powerpuff" before season 2 went back to "Utonium" as their surname (specifically, their long lost sister is named "Blisstina Utonium").
    • The Professor himself isn't given a first name.
  • Gumby, along with most other (original) characters in the shorts.
  • Steven Universe:
    • The Gems are all only referred to by a first name with no last names. Gems with names like Rose Quartz or Lapis Lazuli are treated as having multi-part names, rather than a first and a last. There are many gems with the same name and it's debatable if these are even individual names at all or just terms for what kind of gems they are. Homeworld told them apart numerically, but besides a few mentions of nicknames, it's unknown how the Crystal Gems did back when there were enough alive to need such a thing.
    • The human characters presumably all have surnames, but even some of the more recurring of them (including Onion's entire family) don't have them given.
  • (Inspector) Gadget doesn't seem to be known by any other name other than his title/rank.
  • On Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race none of the characters full names are revealed except for Valentina Escobar i.e. MacArthur. Though Fresh TV have stated MacArthur's real name and identity were meant as just a one off joke.
  • In 3-2-1 Penguins!, none of the Penguins' last names or even middle names, save for Zidgel's middle name, are ever revealed.
  • Atomic Betty's last name is never brought up the show, though in books it's revealed to be Barrett.
  • Archer: CIA Agent Slater.
    Mallory: Mr. Slater-
    Slater: Just Slater. It's a mononym.
    • When Slater first appeared, Archer was also pretending to have just one name.
    Archer: Just Rando. Like Cher.
    Cyril: Pliny.
    Ray: Cantinflas.
  • All the characters on Kaeloo except Mr. Cat. Even in Mr. Cat's case, his first name is never revealed. In case of a formal situation, the characters will be referred to as "Mister/Miss [first name]".
  • CatDog: While most of the characters have full names, Cat and Dog don't have a last name.
  • The Crumpets: The villains Uncle Hurry and Aunt Harried don't make it clear if their names are first or last names. The original French version averts this as they're named Karl and Greta Slapète.
  • Ready Jet Go!: Lillian is the only kid character without a last name.
  • The only characters from Ed, Edd n Eddy with a surname are the Kanker Sisters and Nazz von Bartonschmeer and the latter's surname was only revealed in the Grand Finale.

    Real Life 
  • To this day, there are many cultures around the world where, rather than surnames, people have patronymics.
    • Surnames are an invention that never really caught on in Iceland. In short, most people in Iceland are known by their given names, and they have a patronymic (or occasionally a matronymic) for disambiguation between individuals. The telephone directory is alphabetized in order of first name. For the full details, see Wikipedia's article "Icelandic name".
      • Patronymic and surnames do have a bit of overlap. That's where we get the surname Johnsson. But in places like Iceland, you only have that name if your father was named John. And only if you're a man. If you're a woman you gets Johnsdóttir instead.
    • It's quite similar in Mongolia, where family names are replaced by patronymic names.
    • The Tamil people of India still use a similar system.
    • As do countries in the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia).
  • In Arab countries, traditionally, one's full name is Abu/Umm *your eldest child's name* *your name* *nickname* *father's name* *grandfather's name* Al *clan/place/tribe name*. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries, and a few others use this still, but when individuals spend an excessive time in the West (say for college/graduate school), they'll generally use the grandfather's name as their surname. In countries colonized by Europe where people were forced to take European style names, this pattern was also used. The same goes with countries with heavy western influences.
  • In Serbian history, last names were usually patronymic. For example, if a man's first name was Ivan, his children's last name would be Ivanovic. If a man was named Nemanja, his children's last name would be Nemanjic.
  • Same was in Russia, where up to the 15th/16th centuries even the nobles mostly made do with bynames and patronymics, and commoners started to acquire surnames in mass only after emancipation of the serfs in the late 19th century. Before that, only those living in cities would bother with it.
  • Surnames didn't exist in Gaelic cultures for a long time. O' and Mc/Mac translate to "grandson of" and "son of", with female variations as needed.
  • Another real-life example: Mister T was born Lawrence Tureaud, but had his name legally changed. 'Mister' is now his first name.
    • And wrestler Jim "Ultimate Warrior" Hellwig (of WWE fame and WCW infamy) has legally changed his name to "Warrior".
    • So has Joanie Laurer, better known as Chyna. In both her and Warrior's case, it was an example of Loophole Abuse. WWE trademarks wrestler's names, and wrestlers are forbidden from using them once they leave the company. However, they can't ban somebody from using their actual legal name, so they legally change them in order to do so.
  • Having a surname is not a tradition for most ethnic groups in Indonesia (and the government doesn't force them to take one), though most people, especially in modern times, still have more than one name, albeit all being given ones. However, only one name is not unheard of, either. The country's longest-ruling president, Soeharto, for example had only one name from birth. His predecessor was actually born with two names (Koesno Sosrodihardjo), but he was later rechristened as simply Soekarno.
  • Another culture where only one name is common is Afghanistan. Former presidential candidate and politician Abdullah Abdullah didn't have a surname initially; he added the extraneous name because western journalists kept pressing him for one.
  • In Burma, there also can be people with just one name. The Burmese Secretary General of the United Nations became known as U Thant, but U is just a honorific, like Mr.
    • Burmese names are not just limited to one word; modern names can usually have up to 3 or 4 syllable-words, and if the name is a bit long, some might cut down on a couple of syllables to make a shortened version or a nickname.note 
  • In Brazil, football players are usually known by a single name, which can be their given name (Neymar, Romário, Marta), a diminutive form of it (Robinho, Marquinhos, Edinho), a nickname (Pelé, Garrincha, Kaká), and more rarely a family name (Barbosa, Zagallo). A given name plus a nickname is also common, but very few players are known by their full name.
    • This convention isn't restricted to football in Brazil. Most volleyball players, especially men, are also known by a single name. Mononyms are less universal in basketball, but can also be found - Oscar Schmidt and Hortência Marcari, both members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, are universally known in Brazil by only their first names, and after the player born Maybyner Rodney Hilário made it to the NBA, he legally changed his name to his longtime nickname of Nenê.
    • With Brazilian comic artists, it's even more interesting: if they have only one name (mostly one of a famous football player), they haven't made it big yet.
  • An old joke revolves around this: Schwarzenegger has a long one, Richard Gere has a short one, Cher doesn't have one, and the Pope has one but never uses it. What is it? Given this article, it is obviously: a last name.
  • Raymond Joseph Teller from Penn & Teller legally changed his name to Teller.
  • Cher's full name was Cherylinn Sarkisian until she legally changed it to her single name.
  • Japanese baseball star Ichiro Suzuki is widely referred to as just "Ichiro" in both Japan and North America, although he retains his family name for legal purposes. His Japanese Wikipedia article is titled "イチロー" (romanized as Ichirō) rather than his full Japanese name of 鈴木 一朗 (Suzuki Ichirō).
  • Speaking of Japan, while they presently have surnames, it's worth noting that the common Japanese folk took surnames en masse in the late 1800s, nearly two millennia later than their East Asian neighbors, China and Korea, both of whom already have surnames since before the time of Christ. Until the Meiji Restoration, the only people who had surnames were those affiliated with the gentry, and this only took hold near the end of the Heian period circa 1100 CE; before then, no one had surnames.
    • Even today, the Japanese imperial family have no surname, a tradition that is upheld since its creation. In Japan, calling emperors (and other royalty figures, but mostly the emperors) by their given name is considered disrespectful, so Naruhito (the current emperor) is simply called "His Imperial Majesty the Emperor"; his father Akihito, who abdicated in his son's favor in 2019, is Jōkō ("Retired Emperor") until his death, at which time he will become Emperor Heisei, after the era he reigned; and Hirohito is called Emperor Shōwa, after the era of his reign. Royal women who marry a commoner (which, post-1945, is everyone but their family) take her husband's surname, but they also lose their royal status, since the common men cannot marry into the imperial family.
    • Incidentally, this late adoption is also the reason why Japanese surnames are so much numerous and varied than Chinese and Korean surnames. Surnames in China and Korea have had two millennia to go through, during which they outnumbered each other or became extinct when they had no male heirs to inherit them (a phenomenon called the Galton–Watson process), not to mention adopting them at a time when the population was much smaller (this especially hits Korea hard). Today, China and Korea only have around 3,100 and 300 surnames surviving, respectively, whereas Japan has 100,000.
  • Radio talk show host "Lionel". "Mononymous, like God," he says. It isn't either of his real names, though.
  • Renaissance artists often fall into this. Raphael (Sanzio), Michelangelo (Buonarroti), and Rembrandt (van Rijn) are usually known by only their first names.
    • Leonardo plays it completely straight, being born with only one name. His de facto last name, "da Vinci", literally means "from Vinci".
  • Traditional Hebrews did not use last names; they would personally identify themselves with a single name (considered as a first name) and their immediate heritage.
    • This became a problem when turn-of-the-century Germany and Russia required first and last names in censuses. Often the families taking the census would simply spit out a common last name that they had no actual affiliation with. This is why many European Jewish families have traditional Germanic and Slavic last names.
    • In the same vein, when the Spanish crown exiled all of the Jews (15th/16th century), they gave them a choice: to become Catholics and stay or to keep their religion and go. Some people stayed in Spain, changed to Catholics and got new names from the first thing that came to their minds, like Flores ("flowers"), Mesa ("table"), Barriga ("belly") or Cabeza ("head"). If you have a name like this, you probably have a converso ancestor.
      • Among the Portuguese conversos there was a tradition to adopt plants' names as their new Christian surnames. The popular Portuguese surname Pereira ("pear tree") is but one of them.
  • Dido, formerly Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong.
  • Lights (formerly Valerie Anne Poxleitner, although she still has the last name)
  • Most pets and named livestock have only one name, although vets sometimes append the human owner's surname for ease of record-keeping.
  • Three Disney Channel actresses, Lalaine Vergara-Paras, Raven-Symoné and Zendaya Coleman, are credited as just Lalaine, Raven and Zendaya respectively.
  • In French-speaking countries it is a quite common phenomenon for people working in the arts and literature to use made-up names of this type, e. g. playwright Molière (born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin), writer and philosopher Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet), novelist Stendhal (Henri Beyle), the architect Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris), actors Fernandel (Fernand-Joseph-Désiré Contadin), Arletty (Léonie Bathiat), Bourvil (André-Zacharie Raimbourg), and Capucine (Germaine Lefebvre), and comics artists Mœbius (Jean Henri Gaston Giraud), Morris (Maurice De Bevere) and Tibet (Gilbert Gascard). Among Francophone comics creators there is a particular fashion to use noms-de-plume that are phonetic representations of their initials, a fashion probably started by Hergé (Georges Rémi) that includes Achdé, Peyo, Jijé, Jidéem, etc. Marvano (Marc van Oppen) is a borderline case.
  • Before people started making proper armies and urbanization, everyone had Only One Name. Last names were invented to stop 15 people from showing up whenever someone screamed 'Tom'; which gave us poor imaginations when it came to some of the more common last names (Tom the Baker = Tom Baker; John the Smith = John Smith; etcetera.)
  • And now the Welsh, due to a shortage of distinct surnames, are repeating the process, to distinguish, e.g., Tom Jones the baker from Tom Jones the singer (the latter of whom was actually born Thomas Woodward). This is a recent problem. Ancient Welsh names were easy to understand, and great for tracing their lineages and ancestry back. For example, "Llywelyn ap Gruffudd" means Llywelyn son of Gruffudd. "Senana ferch Caradog" means Senana daughter of Caradog. Anglicisation and the rise of Christianity gave birth to a naming nightmare, where families either wanted to (or were expected to) have more English names, or be named after religious figures. Sometimes the Priest would make mistakes naming the child upon christening (and no one dared to correct a man of God). The consequence of this was everyone ending up with similar names "David David" or "Thomas Thomas" creating a near-impossible task for descendants trying to trace their family trees back.
  • Chukchi (Russian Eskimos) traditionally have only one name, but can add Russian names for census purposes, so their Chukchi name could be considered their truest name. For example the true name of Yuri Sergeyevich Rytkheu is simply Rytkheu ("unknown" in Chukchi). He added "Yuri Sergeyevich" when Soviet officials asked him to have a Russian-style name. Other one-name Chukchi include Tenevil (herdman who developed a crude writing system) and poetess (Antonina Alexandrovna) Kytymval.
  • In Western Finland, only noble and bourgeoisie families had surnames before the 19th century. Others used house names, and patronymics may have been in use in some circles. In the Eastern Finland, however, surnames are a long tradition.
  • Ancient Greece had no surname tradition whatsoever. Aristotle, Socrates, Pericles, Alexander (the Great/of Macedon) and Leonidas I were all surnameless. After Romans conquered Greece and started importing Greek slaves, any freed Greeks had to adopt the surname of their ex-owner since they lacked any of their own.
    • Even then, the Romans themselves had a rather significant problem with the surnames, as they, just like Welsh, had about a dozen surnames (called "nomen gentile") for everyone, and also weren't any more imaginative with the given names either, so after they first (unsuccessfully) tried to distinguish thousands of various Gaiuses or Marcuses by their clan names, they had to adopt the special official nickname called "cognomen", and when these started to be inherited too, an another byname, the "agnomen". They'd probably soon ran out of them too, but by that time the Rome finally fell. It was so bad that most of the Emperors of the Juleo-Claudian dynasty had names that were almost exactly same: Gaius Julius Caesar <some-nickname-to-distinguish-them>.
  • Likewise, some rural Dutch didn't use surnames, or just used patronymic, occupation, or place names. When the French invaded, they started a census and demanded first and last names. The locals, annoyed at the conquering armies, started giving last names like Naaktgeboren ("Naked Born") and Piest ("to pee") to troll the census takers. You can still find these names in the phone books.
  • Most Turks had no surname before 1934, when the they were required to adopt surnames as part of President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's westernization and modernization campaign. His own last name, granted to him by the Turkish parliament, means "Father Turk".
  • Ditto with the Iranians, most of whom had no surname until Reza Shah laid the tradition as part of the Pahlavi dynasty's modernization program. Before then, Iranians were usually referred by their profession, familial link, or origin. Respected figures would be known with a nickname only, e.g. Jalal ad-Din Muhammad, more well-known by his epithet Rumi ("from Rome"note ). Even then, the new surnames are mostly taken from these same titles, hence why you'll see many surnames ending in -i (e.g. Tehrani "from Tehran"), -zadeh (e.g. Emamzadeh "son of Emam"), or -nezad (e.g. Farrokhnezad "son of Farrokh").
  • Akoni, a Seattle theater actor.
  • Many Native Americans traditionally didn't have surnames either. For some nations, their clan name was essentially the equivalent to a surname; as it was passed on hereditarily.
  • Junko, the mangaka responsible for Kiss Him, Not Me and multiple Boys' Love manga.

 
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