Follow TV Tropes


Only One Name
aka: One Name Only

Go To

"My name is Ennis... just Ennis."

The character or characters go by a single name, with no family/clan/whatever identifier. Unlike No Full 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.

Contrast I Have Many Names, Repetitive Name (when someone's first name and last name are the same) and compare Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" for an extreme example. Sometimes happens with Stage Names.

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

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • 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 
  • In Beastars, this seems to be the norm in the world the series is set in, as none of the characters introduced so far have family names. The fact that it's a World of Funny Animals likely has something to do with it.
  • 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).
  • Bleach: When Shaoling Feng adopted the codename Sui-Feng, it became her only name.
  • Tetsu from Cardfight!! Vanguard has nothing other than that name listed in Team AL4's roster.
  • 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 Daimos, all of the Baam-seijin, including the Royal Family, only have one name and no surname. The exception is Gurney Halleck...but he's named after a Dune character.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Most of the characters 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 in the west are used to doctor titles being attached to surnames, not first names like in Japan, it became a common misconception that Brief is the last name of Dr. Brief's family, but like everybody else, his first and 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.
  • Delilah and Liddell of Eternal Alice.
  • 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.
  • Pretty much EVERY character in Fist of the North Star has no last name. If you can consider most of the names REAL, that is.
  • 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").
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Due to being left at a church as infants, Asta and Yuno in Black Clover have no surnames, unlike most of the rest of the cast.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • 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.
  • 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).
    • Given that "Zita" means "seven" in English, Eureka Zita = Eureka Seven.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: JoJolion has Toru, Yasuho's ex-boyfriend. He has no last name, and given his past as a drifter, it might not even be his original name.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • A good number of Artificial Humans in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, such as Signum, Shamal 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 shortened 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.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: Lucoa and Ilulu don't take on last names when they assume human identities.note 
  • 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. 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.
  • Several denizens of the Magic World in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, including every one of the Canis Niger bounty hunters and Fate, whose real name is Tertium.
  • 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, Sanji 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 turns out to be a subversion. Only a forename is given initially, but a surname is eventually revealed in the Zou arc: it's Vinsmoke. Wanted posters still neglect to have a surname present even after it's revealed, until after Whole Cake Island where the family surname is placed on the wanted poster and the bounty is raised as a result.
      • Sanji is an invoked example; choosing to only use a forename because his family are actually the royal family of the Germa Kingdom, which he defected from due to being unable to deal with an abusive father. Using a 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.
    • Despite all the other Shichibukai (Seven Warlords of the Sea) having surnames, Crocodile is only known as Crocodile. This also extends to his underlings e.g Bentham (Mr. 2), Galdino (Mr. 3), Zala,(Miss Doublefinger), Marianne (Miss Goldenweek), etc., who all only have one real name beyond their code names. The exception is Crocodile's Number Two Daz Bones (Mr. 1).
  • 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 the human world seems to care.
  • 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.
  • Almost everybody in Queen's Blade minus Leina Vance, her sisters, and Annelotte Kreuz from the sequel Queen's Blade Rebellion.
  • Kazuma from S Cryed has no family name, which is symbolic of his status as an outcast from proper Japanese society.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • The entire cast of Simoun is from a culture that gives Only One Name.
  • 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".
    • Death the Kid, being a younger Death.
    • Strangely, while Medusa's surname is "Gorgon", her child Crona is never called "Crona Gorgon", just "Crona".
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Absolutely no one had a last name in the beginning. 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".) Likewise, Kamina.
  • 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.
  • Amon of Witch Hunter Robin, and that might just be his Code Name, as he's usually described to the cast rather than named.
  • In YuYu 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).

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: Every Gaul only have one name which is fitting since it takes place in antiquity.
  • 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.
  • DC Comics:
    • Metal Men: 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".
    • Robin and Batgirl 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.
    • Superman: Maxima of Almerac, originally a Stalker with a Test Tube to Superman. A DC Rebirth storyline, however, implies that "Maxima" is a title.
    • Teen Titans: Koriand'r a.k.a. Starfire. It's a pattern to all people of her homeworld, Tamaran.
    • Wonder Woman: 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. All of the Amazons introduced as Amazons rather than becoming an Amazon over the course of the story have only one name, such as Mala, Althea, Dalma, Zoe, Philippus, Io, Euboea, Tekmassa and Artemis. This trope also applies to princesses of other cultures:
  • 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.
  • Eightball: In the short story "Gynecology", protagonist Epps was born Raymond Epps, but had his forename legally excised from all government records, apparently as part of one of his many efforts to reinvent himself.
  • Heavy Liquid: Although his gangster pursuers refer to him as "The Stooge", the protagonist of Paul Pope's graphic novel is generally known as "S". "Why have a name when a letter will do?"
  • Marvel Comics:
    • 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.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy:
      • Nebula and Groot.
      • For decades, Martinex was just known as Martinex. It wasn't until the 90s he got a surname of "T'naga".
    • The Incredible Hulk: Lyra and Skaar. There's also Thundra, Lyra's mother.
    • X-Men:
      • For decades until his true name was revealed, Wolverine was only known as "Logan." Most of his old friends and enemies still call him that.
      • Bishop and Shard, siblings, were mostly known throughout the '90s by only those names and it wouldn't be until the '00s that the former's first name was revealed to be "Lucas" and that "Bishop" was their surname.
  • 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!
  • The Smurfs: Gargamel isn't refered by any other name.
  • Tintin:
    • Tintin himself. By the way, 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?
    • This also extends to Hergé, Tintin's creator.

    Comic Strips 
  • 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".

    Fan Works 
  • Seems to be a common trait of the royal family in Alicorn, between sisters Celestia and Luna and Celestia's daughter Aurora, none of whom have a last name. Aurora does have another name, Rainbow Miriam Dash, but it was given by her adopted family and not the royals.
  • Ragna in BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant doesn't have a surname and only goes by Ragna. When he partners up with Ruby, it gets lampshaded.
    Ragna: (introducing himself) Ragna.
    Ruby: No last name?
    Ragna: No.
  • 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.
  • 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 professional interest and added value.
  • From the Gensokyo 20XX series, we get Ren, who is only ever called "Ren". Apparently, he doesn't last have a 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.
  • In Incarnation of Legends, Haruhime says that she's no longer "Young Sanjouno" when Amaterasu and Hachiman are about to address her, as her father had disowned her for wanting to leave her Gilded Cage and become an adventurer to meet Bell again.
  • 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".
  • Mr and Mrs Gold: Regina points out how odd it is that Rose refers to her husband as "Mr. Gold" just like everybody else.
  • Many, if not all, of the Changelings in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fanon only have one name.
  • Old Man Henderson, which provides a nice pair of Book Ends to the tale: at the beginning of the tale, A Self Called 'Nowhere' asks Waffle House Millionaire if "Henderson" is the character's first or last name, to which WHM responds that he doesn't know. At the end, as Henderson and Hastur lay dying together as a result of Henderson blowing the both of them up, ASCN, as the substitute GM (after the original one flipped the table and Rage Quit), has Hastur ask Henderson the same question in-character, to which Henderson (played by WHM) responds that even he doesn't know the answer.
  • Psychedelic Epiphany Series: Multiple people, along with being used for Family Theme Naming:
    • Fluttershy
    • Discord
    • Epiphany, the child of Discord, who also has a name that's a word that's a noun.
  • According to Say It Thrice, this is the case for Betelgeuse. Justified by the fact he was born back before surnames became common.
  • 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 up in a mainly human orphanage.
  • Son of the Sannin:
    • Jiraiya 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.
    • Downplayed regarding the Land of Lightning. People from Kumogakure do have surnames, but they almost never use them outside of legal documentation. Karui explains in chapter 116 that it was a practice put in place by the first Raikage to encourage loyalty to the village above all else and cut down on clan rivalries.
  • In The Strength in Weakness, last names have gone out of style due to the war, with few people keeping them.
  • Within the Superwomen of Eva series, Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton has Sato, right-hand of Section-2 chief and minor antagonist. He only goes by that name, having no full name.
  • 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.
  • Lampshaded in What's in a Name?, a 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.

    Films — Animation 
  • Ratatouille: Obviously all the named rats, as well as all the cooks in the kitchen other than Colette and Linguini (Colette's surname is Tatou according to Skinner) and Linguini's first name is Alfredo.
  • Toy Story 2: Subverted with Al. We don't find out his surname for a long time, but during the scene where Konishi calls him before Al faxes the Woody's Roundup photos to him, you can hear Konishi calling him by his full name, Al McWhiggin.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas has a few: Lock, Shock, and Barrel. Sally counts too, at least until the sequel novel has her take "Skellington" after she marries Jack.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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 Na'vi actually do have both family names and patro/matronyms (Jake calls Tsu'tey by full name, "Tsu'tey te Rongloa Ateyo'itan" or "Tsu'tey of the Rongloa family, Ateyo's son" in one scene. Full names being only used formally, as well as the construction being different, are likely reasons for the confusion with Jake's name.
  • The title character of Beetlejuice has no other name, as far as anyone knows.
  • Parodied in The Dinner Game: a character is actually named Just Leblanc, leading another to wonder: "Really? He doesn't have a first name?"
  • Nathaniel in Enchanted. Even when he writes a book, the author's name is listed only as "Nathaniel".
  • Singleton from Love Letters. But this is solely chosen because she has a bout of amnesia and can't remember her real names.
  • 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?
    • Gamora, Nebula and Mantis all go by a single name without any other identifier.
  • 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".
  • Cain, the protagonist of More Dead Than Alive. People sometimes refer to him by his old nickname of "Killer" Cain, although he does not like this. When he first meets Monica, he gives his name as "just Cain." He then clarifies that he means "only Cain", and not that his name is "Just Cain."
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Magenta and possibly Columbia, and Riff Raff if two-word names that aren't a first name and a surname count. (Eddie is a case of No Full Name Given instead, as he is a normal human who presumably has a surname. )
    • Columbia might be her first name, in which case it's No Full Name Given, or it might be a chosen name that's the only one she goes by. Magenta and Riff Raff have no surname, although Riff Raff's name is two words (but not, according to the script, hyphenated): the latter is referred to as "General Riff Raff" in Revenge of the Old Queen, making it clear that "Riff Raff" is his entire name and not a first name and surname, even though he occasionally goes by just "Riff" (if "Raff" was a surname then he would presumably be General Raff).
  • Star Wars:
    • "Yoda" and "Chewbacca".
    • The Force Awakens: Neither Rey nor Finn have last names. Rey was abandoned at a young age, and has no idea who her family is until Episode IX. Finn was raised only with a number callsign as a Stormtrooper (FN-2187); Poe Dameron is the one who gives him the name Finn.
      • The last scene of The Rise of Skywalker has Rey give herself the surname Skywalker, though it's truly Palpatine.
    • 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.
    • According to Word of God and the Expanded Universe, Count Dooku's full name is simply "Dooku".
  • In Superbad, Fogell's fake ID has only "McLovin" listed as his name; Evan immediately points out how stupid that is when he sees it.
  • 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 the Underworld (2003) series, almost all the Vampire and Lycan characters only have one name.
  • Yukio from The Wolverine. Given she lived in the streets, she might not even know her surname.

  • Aeon 14: In the 9th Millennium, surnames have fallen out of use among most of humanity and are considered archaic. People who still use them are either time-displaced like the New Canaanites (their colony ship passed through a Time Dilation effect trying to get from Kapteyn's Star to their destination of New Eden), or from some weird traditionalist society (Kylie Rhoads in the Perilous Alliance series, Sini Laaksonen in Repercussions).
  • 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.
  • Ennis is the only character with no last name in Baccano!, being an Homunculus made by Szilard Quates. Later on in the novels, it's revealws that she eventually does acquire a last name after a number of decades: Prochainezo.
  • Street Urchin Fred "No-Name" in Avi's Beyond the Western Sea.
  • Blanche and none of the witches in The Blue-Nosed Witch named have last names. When Butch asks her her name, she says it's just "Blanche", which results in the children playing around with her name and calling her "Blanche Witch, that's which witch!" and singing it as a chant.
  • Lucretia from Bystander. At least one of the bad guys refers to her as "Bystander," rather than using her given name.
  • In The Cay, Timothy, an illiterate black deckhand, states that Timothy is his only name.
  • Pasquinel from Centennial.
  • 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...
  • Chiun from The Destroyer, although he did change his name from Nuihc.
  • In the Diogenes Club series, Richard Jeperson's sidekick, the glamorous Vanessa. "The Man Who Got Off the Ghost Train" reveals that she was a foundling child, who knew her given name but not her surname or anything about her family; in the same story, she goes looking for her past, and doesn't find it, but settles the surname question by falling in love and getting married.
  • 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.
  • Divergent: In Dauntless, everyone undergoes Meaningful Rename, with the main protagonist, Beatrice Prior, renaming herself "Tris".
  • 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.
  • Forest Kingdom: In the Hawk & Fisher spinoff series, Hawk's only name is Hawk. As stated in Book 4 (Wolf in the Fold):
    Commander Dubois: Captain Fisher can go by her given name of Isobel. That's quite a fashionable name at the moment. But we don't seem to have a given name on the files for you, Captain Hawk.
    Hawk: There isn't one. I'm just Hawk.
    Commander Dubois: You only have the one name?
    Hawk: I've had others. But I'm just Hawk now.
  • In Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte, commoners like Fiene don't have surnames, following pre-industrial European (and Japanese)) customs. Ceases to be this after she's been adopted by Marquis Bruno later on.
  • Elias the golem of Get Blank has no surname. Maybe if there was another golem named Elias.
  • Sara, in Girls Kingdom, lacks a surname, apparently, because she had no name at all until Sakura rescued her from the gutter and gave her that first name but never bothered to give her a las name.
  • 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 the Harry Potter series, only humans have last names. Magical creatures like house-elves, goblins, centaurs and giants have only one name.
  • Hive Mind (2016): There appear to be no last names in Hive England. People are identified by their personal name, with an ID number to disambiguate them as needed; the protagonist is Amber 2514-0172-912.
  • 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.
  • Isaac Asimov's "Does a Bee Care?": Kane doesn't have a last name.
  • Immortal Guardians: Being older than the concept of surnames, Seth only has a first name and only ever introduces himself as such. People sometimes try to call him Mr. Seth in recognition of his status as "The Big Boss" but he assures them that he prefers just Seth, not title necessary.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • Kino of Kino's Journey. It's not even their original name, but one adopted from another traveler.
  • 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.
  • In Lord Marksman and Vanadis, only nobles and royalty have surnames, while commoners like the maid Titta only have one name.
  • 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."
  • In Noobtown, after dying in a car accident in our world, Jim finds himself in another one that functions like an RPG game. Still groggy, he looks at his character sheet during the creation phase and notices a weird-sounding name, so he edits it to what he can recall of his own name: "Jim". Everyone gives him grief over having just one name, since everyone else has two or three. After slaughtering most of a goblin patrol, he tells the survivor to tell the others that Jim runs the area. The goblin says he can't do that, it would sound stupid. He tries to change his name, but is told that once you enter your name during character creation, it's locked for good. And lying isn't an option since everyone can see it in their Stat-O-Vision.
  • 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 Pendragon Adventure:
    • Lampshaded in one of the books when 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, by the way. 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.
  • Project Tau: Tau, and later Kata.
  • 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 Ready Player Two, Aech changes her legal name to Aech. No last name. Shoto follows suit.
  • Rebuild World: The vast majority of characters are like this. Most of the family names that are given, have to do with The Clan Ojou Reina Lawrence is from, revealed later in the web novels.
  • 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 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 (2012) 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.
  • Spellster:
    • Spellsters aren't given last names in the tower, only first ones. Dylan has only had that one for all his life.
    • The King's Hounds name themselves, since originally they're only given a number, and none is shown with a last name.
  • 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.
  • The Stranger Times's junior reporter, Stella, has no surname. She gets stressed trying to invent one for herself so she can get a byline.
  • 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 this, she's actually an example of Full-Name Basis.
  • Hanami, the protagonist of Tasakeru.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To Shape a Dragon's Breath: The Masaquisit and Naquisit people all have a single name; unless there's a title like Aunt, Uncle, or Sachem, they are called by just that name. People are referred to as the children of their parents to distinguish them, e.g. Anequs is called the daughter of Chagoma and Aponakwe. Among the Anglish, Anequs has been given the Patronymic last name Aponakwedottir, but she doesn't like it and rejects it actively as much as possible.
  • "Trantor Falls" by Harry Turtledove:
    • In Dagobert VIII's court, he and Marshal Rodak never use any additional names.
    • In Gilmer I's court, he and his consort, Billye, never use any additional names.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs: This is used to reflect social status: Just like in medieval Japan, nobles have family names, while commoners don't.
  • 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.
  • Waco series by J.T. Edson: The protagonist was orphaned as a baby when his family was killed in a raid by the Waco tribe, and he named himself after that. "Waco" is his full name.
  • 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.
  • We Can Remember It For You Wholesale: While we learn the given name of the topless Rekal receptionist is Shirley, we never learn what her last name was.
  • 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, since to them, calling someone by only part of their name is an extremely intimate gesture.
  • 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. His foster family the Earnshaws named him after a son of theirs who had died, but never legally adopted him, so "Heathcliff" became both first name and surname for him.

  • 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?
  • Adele.
  • Arianna of The Frozen Autumn.
  • Beck (Beck David Hansen).
  • Beyoncé (full name: Beyoncé Knowles, later Knowles-Carter) after Destiny's Child.
  • Björk. This isn't an affectation, but the normal way to address her in Iceland; like most Icelanders she doesn't have a family name, as her second name Guðmundsdóttir isn't a surname, but a Patronymic (her father's name is Guðmundur).
  • BoA.
  • Tricia Brock dropped her surname for her sophomore solo album.
  • Carman used this throughout his music career, mainly due to the fact his last name (Licciardello) is rather complicated to pronounce.
  • 70s R&B singer Charlene.
  • Cher. Her full name used to be Cherilyn Sarkisian, but she legally changed it to just "Cher".
  • Cheryl after her divorce for solo work.
  • Several Destruction members, most famously founding members Mike and Schmier.
  • 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".
  • From the 60s, Donovan, Melanie, Melissa and Victoria.
  • 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.
  • 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 actual labels of the records he released, always credited him by his full name.
  • Enya (Enya Patricia Brennan - originally, as she's Irish, Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin).
  • Fabian, another 60s singer.
  • While the band is Florence + the Machine and she's still referred to as Florence Welch, starting with How Big How Blue How Beautiful the albums started to simply read "Florence" on the cover.
  • 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.
  • Jewel (Jewel Kilcher).
  • Kristine, a Greek retro New Wave artist.
  • Liberace only used his surname. Understandable, as his first name was Wladziu.
  • Lizzo.
  • Madonna and Prince, though in both cases it's actually their real first name.
  • Mandia (Nantsios).
  • Marta Marrero, better known as "Martika". note 
  • Morrissey, who uses only his surname (in full, it's Steven Patrick Morrissey).
  • Nena (Gabriele Susanne Kerner), of "99 Luftballons" fame.
  • Harry Nilsson, another singer from the 1960s, was sometimes credited as simply "Nilsson".
  • Noelle, vocalist for Damone and The Organ Beats, who has also released solo material using her first name only. In fact, The Organ Beats are all credited by first name on their albums.
  • 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.
  • Pharrell Williams is sometimes credited as simply "Pharrell".
  • Raffi.
  • Similar to several examples above, Rihanna is always known as just "Rihanna", but that's actually her real middle name (her full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty).
  • Selena. (No, not her - albeit Ms. Gomez is named after Ms. Quintanilla)
  • Shakira — except at UCLA. This also extends to her character Gazelle in Zootopia.
  • 90's R&B princesses Shanice, Brandy, Monica, and Aaliyah.
  • Sia (Sia Furler).
  • Sirusho — her real name is Siranush Harutyunyan (well, now that she's married, it's Siranush Kocharyan).
  • Scottish-born electronic musician SOPHIE.
  • 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.
  • Kanye West changed his legal name to "Ye" (a longstanding nickname he'd gone with for years) in 2021. In a weird inversion compared to other examples, "Kanye West" is still treated like a professional stage moniker that his music is still released under, and it's the mononym that's treated with official legal weight.
  • Mexican singer Yuri (full name: Yuridia Valenzuela Canseco)

    Myths & Religion 
  • 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.
  • Arthurian Legend: Merlin, Sir Kay, Guinevere, Percival... and every character in the Arthurian myths. Arthur's father was named Uther Pendragon, the "Pendragon" being an epithet rather than a surname, and this is often mistaken for a surname by modern readers and some writers.
  • The Bible: Most people count, including, well, you know, "The Prince of Peace". Jesus' name was only Jesus; "Christ" is a title, derived from the Greek word kristós, "anointed".

  • Taako from The Adventure Zone: Balance is just known by his first name. It was stated in an early episode that his last name is Taaco, although that is officially non-canon.
  • In Hello, from the Magic Tavern, Chunt's name is just that.
    Chunt: Mmmm... Chunt, please!
  • Rita of The Penumbra Podcast has no last name (she'll aggressively correct anyone who assumes otherwise). So do several other minor characters, such as Miasma and M'tendere.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This happens so often in WWE that it's led to a meme called "The Name Goblin", who randomly steals half of a wrestler's name some time after they debut. While it has happened in the past but with no complaints for the most partnote , the habit became more common in recent years as Big E (Langston), (Antonio) Cesaro, (Alexander) Rusev, (Adrian) Neville, Elias (Samson), Andrade (Cien Almas), (Mustafa) Ali, (Matt) Riddle, (Tommaso) Ciampa, and (Austin) Theory have all had chunks of their names lopped off after debuting. The name reduction is never explained and never acknowledged. The most popular theories are that either having one name makes them easier and/or cheaper to market somehow, and that someone high up on creative (usually Vince McMahon himself) thinks having a single name makes them sound tougher. Since taking over the wrestling side of the company in 2022 Triple H has started getting rid of the weird "Vince-isms", including this one, with Riddle and Theory getting their first names back shortly after Vince retired.
    • WWE women got hit by the single name trend somewhat earlier than the men did. During the Attitude Era women usually had full names, like Terri Runnels and Stacy Carter. However, by the mid-2000s the then-Divas had not only one name, but 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 A.J. 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.
  • One of the first examples of this was Goldberg. WCW acknowledged and occasionally used Goldberg's first name Bill, but he mostly went exclusively by his last name.
  • For both her WCW and WWE runs, Jacqueline used only her first name. She only started using Jackie Moore in TNA so she didn't have to argue with WWE over the rights to the name Jacqueline.
  • Parodied and subverted by Just Joe. He introduced himself as Just Joe when asked for a last name, so that's literally how he was announced during his entrances.
  • Heath (Slater) had some fun with this when he petitioned Impact Wrestling to hire him.
    Heath: Hi, my name is Heath! I used to have a last name, but now a billionaire keeps it locked in a vault.
  • During his second run with TNA from 2014-18, Bobby Lashley often flip-flopped between using his full ring name or sometimes just "Lashley".
  • During his time away from WWE, Cody Rhodes went by just "Cody" due to WWE owning the rights to the "Cody Rhodes" name until November 2020, when Cody gave up the rights to several WCW event name trademarks in exchange for his last name back.

  • Dimension X's "Nightfall": None of the characters are referred to by more than one name, a change from the original. This implies everyone has only one name and that confusion between people is rare.
  • X Minus One:
    • "Nightfall": None of the characters are referred to by more than one name, a change from the original. This implies everyone has only one name and that confusion between people is rare.
    • "The C-Chute": This adaptation leaves out the personal names of Leblanc and the dead Polyorketes brother. Everyone else has their personal names and surnames introduced by Stuart during the Intro Dump.


  • While Barbie has a last name ("Roberts") and even a middle name ("Millicent"), not many people even know she has a last name.
  • Fitting the exotic legendary flair, every last character in BIONICLE has a single name, and often a title that stems from their nature, species, and/or covers their function : Toa (hero), Turaga (sage), "Piraka" (raider). Usually, six characters will share the same title but will be adressed by their first individual name, which never changes. Some generations would add an additional part to the title : Toa Metru ("Toa [of] Metru [Nui]"), Toa Hordika ("Monstrous Toa")…
  • All of the Bratz characters only have first names (except for Burdine Maxwell and other characters that were created for the TV show).
  • Also applies to the Transformers and My Little Pony franchises mentioned in Western Animation.
  • Most characters in Tamagotchi have only one name, usually ending with "-tchi." There is an exception to the one-name rule, though — Makiko, for some reason, has actual first, middle, and last names (Madeleine Kirie Dotchine).

    Video Games 
  • Everyone in Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 has one name each, with the only two exceptions being Luka Redgrave and his father Antonio.
  • Cave Story features multiple characters with only one referred name. The list includes, but is not limited to Quote, King, Balrog and Misery. Don't get us started about many of the other NPCs.
  • In Chrono Cross the only people with surnames are Schala Kid Zeal, Lucca Ashtear, and (possibly) General Viper. General Viper's Japanese name is Jakotsu-Taisa (in Kanji), meaning "Snake Bone General", which implies that the character has No Name Given and "Viper" is just part of his title. Schala is royalty and her last name is the kingdom she's the princess of, so Kid being her spawn justifies her having a last name. No reason for Lucca, but no surnames were provided in Chrono Trigger, so it's not known whether it's her last name or just a nickname/title (with most fans assuming it's the former).
  • Command & Conquer:
    • Seth and Kane. 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 it's typical for Japanese emperors to only have one name (e.g. Hirohito, Akihito).
  • Dance Central: Most of the characters only have a first name or nickname they go by. Subverted with three characters that later had their full names revealed. Oblio, whose last name is revealed to be Tan, Dare (last name Batheson), and MacCoy (real name Oleksander Macko).
  • Maximilian, aka Max, one of the protaginist of Dark Chronicle. The other, Monica Raybrant, averts this trope.
  • 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.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Most characters, actually. 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 (ex.), 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.
  • 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.
  • It'd be easier to list the characters in that actually have surnames in Disgaea, as demons and angels generally lack such, but even most of the human characters aren't shown to have any surnames.
  • 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, and it's stated in Origins that she doesn't even know who her father was, so she couldn't use his name anyway.
    • 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. There's also the DLC-only companion Sebastian Vael, who again fits that note because he's a member of Starkhaven's royal family.
      • 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, and explains that many Qunari have nicknames by which they address each other. 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, since now most of the companions come from noble or gentry backgrounds. The only exceptions are Cole (who is a Fade spirit impersonating a person), Sera (who is an orphaned city elf), Leliana (who still doesn't have a last name), the above-mentioned Iron Bull (who is Qunari), and Solas (who is... complicated). The game also gives a surname and even a middle name to Cullen, who appeared in both of the previous games and up to this point was an example of this trope.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest IV:
      • In the Japanese version and the NES version's English localization, it applied to Ragnar, but no longer does in the DS remake's English localization, where he was given a last name (McRyan).
      • The third chapter's protagonist was just Torneko in the Japanese version and just Taloon in the NES version's localization, but this trope no longer applies to him in the DS remake, in which he's referred to as Torneko Taloon.
    • Dragon Quest V: Subverted with Pankraz in the English script, despite being from a series where this trope is very common. Of course, his last name (Gotha) is only mentioned when he's telling some guards who he is.
  • 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 Evolve, Crow's real name is Khovalyg. Justified, as he's of Mongolian heritage and the etsgiin ner note  is largely insignificant even in modern usage.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 (Fair) 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. Jessie was named Jessie Rasberry in Final Fantasy VII Remake.
    • 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", including in the sequel).
      • 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.
    • Final Fantasy XII is another notable exception; fans are likely to 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.)
    • The series of characters known as "Cid". Excluding the ones in the first, second, tenth, and eleventh games, most Cids have full names. To date, 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; there's also a "second" Cid present in Al-Cid Margrace), Cid Raines (XIII), Cid nan Garlond (XIV), Cid Sophiar (XV; he additionally has a granddaughter named Cidney Aurum, whose name was changed to Cindy outside of Japan), and Cidolfus Telamon (XVI). A few notable Cids from the spin-offs have their own full names too, like Cidolfus Orlandeau from Tactics. Additionally, many of the Cids have a relative by the name of Mid (usually their son or grandson, but sometimes their father or daughter) that typically shares their surname if their family name is given.
    • 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.
  • GreedFall: It seems that the only people who do have last names are royalty, nobility, or gentry. De Sardet is on the opposite end in that people treat them like they don't have a first namenote . Although Vasco zig-zags this trope, as a Naut he only has a first name, but it's revealed he was born of a noble family, and his birth name was Leandré d'Arcy. He decides to keep his Naut identity, erasing his nobile identity.
  • Guilty Gear:
    • It might be easier to list the playable characters in this series who don't abide by this rule: Sol Badguy (originally Frederick Bulsara), Ky Kiske, Millia Rage, Chipp Zanuff, Axl Low, Kliff Undersn, Anji Mito, Jam Kuradoberi, Sin Kiske, Bedman (real name: Romeo F. Neumann), Ramlethal Valentine, Elphelt Valentine, Leo Whitefang, Jack-O' Valentine, Kum Haehyun, Goldlewis Dickinson, That Man (real name: Asuka R. Kreuz), and — arguably — Happy Chaos (which is an alias he adopted during REV 2; his original name remains unknown). Justice too, on account of The Reveal (sort of) in Xrd that she's Sol's girlfriend Aria, who was given the last name Hale in materials following Xrd's release. At first, there was a pretty good balance in terms of "full names vs. only one name" but it started to go out the window from X onward and didn't begin to even out again until Xrd and -STRIVE-, not helped by a majority of characters being named after rock bands and musicians (ex. May, Testament, Slayer, I-No, Zappa, etc.) due to Author Appeal on the part of Daisuke Ishiwatari. Some of the characters who follow this naming convention (and even some who don't, such as Baiken) may instead fall under No Full Name Given, but it's yet to be clarified in-universe.
    • Testament is an unusual case, as they were actually adopted by Kliff (Testament is presumably the name they were given after their conversion into a Gear), meaning their surname would logically be Undersn via adoption. Despite their fondness for their father even after losing and regaining their memory, Testament's low opinion of humans prior to -STRIVE- and probable lack of legal status (on account of being a Gear) most likely explain why they never reclaimed their last name.
    • Since she never knew her parents, Dizzy only goes by, well, "Dizzy." Though by Overture she could arguably be called Dizzy Kiske, and later material suggests her full birth name should be something along the lines of Dizzy Hale-Bulsara.
    • Due to mishearing a line from the GGX Drama CD, several English-speaking players believed Johnny's last name to be Sfondi, which then circulated throughout the Western fandom. Officially, it's just Johnny, which may be an example of No Full Name Given.
    • The original Valentine of Overture was succeeded by three new Valentines in Xrd (Ramlethal, Elphelt, and Jack-O'). This could retroactively indicate Last-Name Basis was in play (as Valentine appears to be a Species Surname for any clones of Aria), though it's equally possible that her name was simply Valentine.
  • 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 (themselves also an example, for the same reason as their SPARTAN-II predecessors). 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.
  • 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.
  • Foxy, Fay and May from Harvest Town have no surnames, unlike the other NPCs in the game. Foxy is a justified example, since she's a fox-spirit, but there is no real explanation why Fay and May only goes by their first names when everyone else have surnames.
  • Heaven's Vault: Timor, a human, where other humans have been known to have surnames.
  • The Heart Pumps Clay: The witch, Mara is never given a last name. Mara's golem, Bud, doesn't have one. Crow, a Talking Animal, doesn't have a last name.
  • Helen's Mysterious Castle: Every named character provides only one name.
  • 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.
  • 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 ; Baron Praxis' daughter Ashelin might have "Praxis" as a last name.) or most likely a joke (Ozmar Itchy Drawers the Third). The only ones who definitely have a last name are Gol and Maia Acheron.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • 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 (which was further pared down to "Leon" in the English releases). 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 Kingdom Hearts II is another question altogether, but it's probably since his homeworld isn't back to normal yet.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Characters in Little Dragons Café don't have surnames.
  • Mass Effect averts this with everyone except for Legion, Jack, and (until he joins Clan Urdnot) Grunt. Then again, except for Ashley, Kaidan (due to both being military), Liara (due to her doctorate), 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.
  • Mega Man (Classic): 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. Also most of the characters in the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series. Averted in the Archie comics, where at least Rock (and likely Roll and Blues) share the last name of Light after their creator Thomas Light.
  • Most named characters in Minecraft: Story Mode do not have a surname, no matter human or animal/mob. The most that some of them have going for them are epithets or titles, e.g. the Old Order of the Stone are Gabriel the Warrior, Magnus the Rogue, Ellegaard the Redstone Engineer, and Soren the Architect. The main possible exception are the YouTuber characters, since they are based on and voiced by real-life content creators, but it is never stated whether the names of the creators themselves (e.g. the "D" in LDShadowLady hints towards her initials in real life) also apply to the characters they portray.
  • Anne and Piko in Mitsumete Knight ; and all characters save for Christopher MacLeod in Mitsumete Knight R : Daibouken Hen.
  • Many, many Nintendo characters. As a rule of thumb, with few exceptions, only futuristic main characters are given full names (e.g. Samus Aran and Fox McCloud). 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, "Kong" being Donkey's last name. 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 Climber).
    • Many of the other hunters mentioned in the Metroid Prime Trilogy 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 II and Anthiese Lima (aka Celica) from Gaiden and its remake Shadows of Valentia; Seliph Baldos Chalphy and Leif Faris Claus from Genealogy of the Holy War; the Reed family (Brendan, Lloyd and Linus) and Pascal Grentzer of The Blazing Blade; and Princess Elincia Ridell Crimea, Jill Fizzart, her father Shiharam Fizzart, and Sanaki Kirsch Altina of Path of Radiance. The first game's OVA also gave Marth the last name "Lowell", though 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.
    • Callie & Marie from Splatoon are revealed to be granddaughters to Cap'n Cuttlefish. The Octo Expansion DLC reveals that his full name is Craig Cuttlefish, making Cuttlefish his surname. By that logic, the Squid Sisters' last name would be Cuttlefish.
  • Nom Nom Nami's entire universe consists of characters only having one name.
  • Okiku, Star Apprentice: The titular Okiku.
  • Everyone in Onmyōji (2016) 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.
  • Subverted in Open Simulator: You must give your avatar a first name and a family name. Unlike whatever Second Life had in whichever period, however, both can be chosen freely. You can halfway get around a family name by choosing "Resident" which at least some viewers blank out.
  • 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.
  • PsyCard: You never learn the surname of any character, or whether they have them at all. Many of them sound like nicknames, though.
  • Ratchet & Clank:
    • "Ratchet." And that's it. Sort of justified by him not knowing his real parents. Or would that be "Everyone Calls Him Ratchet" instead?
      • According to Tachyon, "Ratchet" is not even his real name.
    • "Clank" is also an example; it was even made up on-screen. The Future trilogy, however, confirms his real name as XJ-0461)
  • River City Girls: Due to Word of Saint Paul: The student IDs included with Limited Run Games' physical release of the Switch version confirm a few extra details about Kyoko and Misako: they're both seniors, they're both 18, they're in different — but neighboring — classes, and their names really are just "Kyoko" and "Misako".
  • In general, Japanese adaptations of Romance of the Three Kingdoms have a translation convention which causes this trope. To prevent same-name 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. Additionally, these 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.
  • Zig-zagged in Second Life: In the early days, like in Open Simulator, you had to give your avatar both names. From 2010 on, all you could pick was a first name while Linden Lab forced the family name "Resident'' upon you. Since 2020, you've been able to select a family name from a pre-defined list if you pay extra.
  • Maria in Silent Hill 2 is one of the only human characters across the series not to have a last name. Then again, she's not really human... This carries over into her guest appearance in Dead by Daylight.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Space Channel 5 does this. We have Ulala, Pudding, Jaguar, Purge...
  • 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. Granted, most unique characters are Only Known by Their Nickname, but the trope is still played straight elsewhere.
  • 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.
  • Tales of Arise: Dahnans, being slaves, universally only have one name. Zephyr exposes Shionne as a Renan (the people who enslaved the Dahnans) when he calls her by her full name.
  • Tomomi in the Tokimeki Memorial series; she's notable for being the sole case of this in the whole franchise.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Many Touhou characters, the most famous being Cirno. The vast majority are in the retconned 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 like a pet.
  • Trick & Treat: Amelia, due to being a magical familiar, doesn't have one.
  • Valkyria Chronicles:
    • In the aftermath of the Darcsen Calamity in the series' backstory, 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.
    • Aliasse in Valkyria Chronicles II is notable as she lacks a surname and isn't a Darcsen.
  • Warcraft:
    • Trolls note  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.
  • 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.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles has this as sort of a series-wide trend:
    • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, 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.
    • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, nobles like Mòrag (Ladair) and Zeke (von Genbu) have last names, but commoners like Rex, Nia and Tora as well as Blades like Pyra, Brighid and Pandoria only have one. Rex is an orphan who considers his entire hometown of Fonsett Village to be his family, while Tora's family seems to follow the same lack-of-surname convention as the Nopon from Bionis. And Nia is actually a Blade, so like other Blades, she never had a last name to begin with.
    • Justified in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, as soldiers of Keves and Agnus are born from People Jars and have no concept of family or lineage to justify a surname (and such concepts would be actively stamped out by Moebius if they ever did spring up). The closest they get is a title relating to their combat abilities or prowess, and at least one colony doesn't even allow its inhabitants to have first names until the party liberates it. The City on the other hand somewhat averts this, as much of its population comes from one of six noble families originating from the City's founders, making family names a big deal for them, though there are still plenty of NPCs whose surnames aren't shown, even if they have them.
  • Most of the antagonists in Xenosaga have only one name: Margulis, Pelegri, Wilhelm, Sellers, Sergius, and Heinlein.
  • ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal: Everyone in Zanzarah goes by only one name, like goblin Rafi or dwarf Quinlin (if they are given a name at all).

  • In Beyond Bloom, characters who did not have a traditional birth do not have surnames.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • El Goonish Shive: Many immortals seem to go by a single name at a time, such as Jerry and Voltaire (though this is definitely not universal, with Pandora collecting them instead).
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Jones "Just Jones will do." Word of Tom confirmed that Jones is her full name.
  • 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).
  • Housepets!: Most main characters are given last names that correspond with their owners', like Sandwich or Arbelt. Tarot's ownership status is completely unknown, so she only has the one.
  • Jayden and Crusader has a fair few of these: Third, Smic and Crusader. Crusader is the more interesting one, as 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.
  • The angels in Misfile are on an Only One Name basis, probably related to how they come to exist.
  • 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.
  • The Order of the Stick: Both Elan and Vaarsuvius lack a last name. Elan's brother and father have no known last name as well.
  • Pibgorn:
  • In Recursion, Jade, as the clone of an unnamed, long-dead individual, was never given a last name. She probably could have taken the last name of her adopted family, but for whatever reason, chose not to.
  • 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.
  • The main character of Too Much Information (2005), Ace, legally has no last name.
  • 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 Original 
  • Luka from Assassin School is the only one out of the main six characters without a last name. Later subverted, whereas Aubrey finds out his real name, and his — or their — native language as well.
  • Critical Role:
    • Vax'ildan, Vex'ahlia, and Keyleth 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.
      • Vex ultimately subverts it when she and Percy get married, proudly going by "Lady Vex'ahlia de Rolo".
    • Also, K'varn and Clarota — who are a beholder and an illithid, respectively.
  • 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.
  • Nightmare Time: Miss Holloway is only ever referred to as Miss Holloway, we never learn her first name. Whether it's something she chooses not to share or a result of a curse that prevents her from sharing her past is unclear.
  • In Red vs. Blue, there are a number of dumb A.I.s (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 A.I.s (and the full smart A.I. they were fragmented from) are also known by just one name, a letter from the Greek alphabet.
  • RWBY:
    • Salem doesn't have a last name. It's a sign of just how ancient she is. While her name doesn't fit the modern world's naming schemes, it was common for her time. Ozma also only has one name, and he comes from the same time period as Salem. His reincarnation, Professor Ozpin, is actually an example of Last-Name Basis; although his personal name has never been revealed or hinted at, the writers have confirmed it exists.
    • Neopolitan is only know by this name, a name she created for herself. Some franchise material call her Neo Politan, which causes confusion, but her name has been comfirmed to be a single word. Her real name is Trivia Vanille, but she abandoned that name a long time ago to reinvent herself as Neopolitan.
  • 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".

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. In the last episode, we find that Varrick had been referred to on a Last-Name Basis, and his full name is "Iknik Blackstone Varrick".
  • CatDog: While most of the characters have full names, Cat and Dog don't have a last name.
  • 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 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.
  • On Dan Vs., Dan's ID has no surname. It's also unknown if Elise took Chris' name when they married.
  • The Dragon Prince: Like in Avatar, there's no reference to any of the main characters having surnames. The only exceptions are the famous explorer "Sir Phineas Kirst" and Callum making up a name during a I Have This Friend story.
  • DuckTales (2017): Despite her status as Magica De Spell's niece, Lena is never quite referred to as "De Spell". This is likely a combination of Lena hiding said relation, not valuing her connection to the De Spell clan, and Magica not really considering Lena family. This also carries over to after she's adopted into the Sabrewing family, as the credits still only list her as "Lena".
  • In Ewoks, aside from the Warricks, no other characters' last names are known, implying that they don't have any.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: 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 
  • Gargoyles:
    • 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.
  • (Inspector) Gadget doesn't seem to be known by any other name other than his title/rank.
  • Henry and June of KaBlam!
  • In one episode of King of the Hill, Peggy, while impersonating a nun, tells a group of schoolchildren that God doesn't have a last name - He only has one, like Cher.
  • Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King (1994) 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.
  • Metalocalypse: Pickles is the only member of the band to have no apparent last name. Even in situations where everyone else is referred to by their full name, he tends to only be called "Pickles," and when his relatives have shown up, they've been referred to by first-name-only as well. The closest thing he has to a last name is being frequently addressed as "Pickles the drummer."
  • In My Goldfish is Evil, Beanie and his mom's last names are never revealed.
  • 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).
    • Occasional episodes will have main characters' families referred to as "The Sparkle Family" or "Mr. and Mrs. Shy", despite the fact that the particle is not present in those relatives' individual names.
    • Some families, like the Pies or the Cakes avert this. Each member will have one word as their individual name and share an invariable and clearly detached word as their family name. They are, however, the exception rather than the rule.
  • 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 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").
  • Most characters in ReBoot have only one name. Of the main cast only the Matrixs (Matrices?) have last names, and Matrix wants everyone to forget he has a first name given that he's not proud of his time as Tagalong Kid Enzo. That and the fact that a backup copy of his younger self is introduced at the end of Season 3, enforcing Matrix's Last-Name Basis.
  • Of the main cast of Regular Show, Mordecai, Ribgy, and Skips are never given last names, even when we see into their past or family lives. Mordecai and Rigby presumably have ones, but "Skips" appears to be a true mononym (it used to be "Walks"). Hi Five Ghost doesn't have an explicit surname, but judging by the name of his relatives, "(Five) Ghost" may be a functional Species Surname.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Lance and Ilana of Sym-Bionic Titan initially had Only One Name (the latter might have been due to royalty), 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.
  • Notably inverted in the 2012 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is one of the few interpretations where the Turtles don't just have one name apiece. Instead, they all use the "Hamato" family name (due to being Splinter's adopted sons), and collectively call themselves the "Hamato Clan"—so their names are "Hamato Leonardo", "Hamato Raphael", "Hamato Donatello", and "Hamato Michelangelo".
  • Total Drama:
    • The majority of the characters in the series have this, which even gets lampshaded when Sierra is 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), (Mildred) Blaineley (Stacy Andrews O'Halloran), Dakota (Milton), (Rudolph) Lightning (Jackson), Cameron (Corduroy Wilkins), and Nichelle (Ladonna).
  • 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—usually it's either a multi-word given name, or one word is a rank (like "Prime"). 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.
  • 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.
  • In keeping with the comics at the time, X-Men: The Animated Series has Bishop and Shard only known by those names since, as mentioned above, it wouldn't be until the '00s that "Bishop" was revealed to actually be their surname and the former's first name was "Lucas"

    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 or Al *clan/place/tribe 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.
  • 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.
  • Mister T was born Lawrence Tureaud, but had his name legally changed. "Mister" is now his first name.
  • There have been wrestlers who changed their legal names to a mononym as 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.
  • In Afghanistan, it's common for people not to have a surname. Former presidential candidate and politician Abdullah Abdullah 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. (aside from cartoonists with slightly unusual names, like Angeli, Glauco, Henfil and Ziraldo)
  • 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. This has caused him some trouble with computerized systems that expect a full name, so for those purposes, he uses NFN (No Fucking Name) as a stand-in for a first name. Even his Social Security card reads "Unknown U. Teller".
  • 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 has been 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 ("Emperor Emeritus") 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 Contandin), Arletty (Léonie Bathiat), Bourvil (André-Zacharie Raimbourg), Coluche (Michel Gérard Joseph Colucci), Capucine (Germaine Lefebvre) and Maïwenn (Maïwenn Le Besco).
    • Among Franco-Belgian 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 Peyo, Jijé, Jidéem, Mœbius (Jean Henri Gaston Giraud), Marvano (Marc van Oppen), Tibet (Gilbert Gascard) and Achdé (Hervé Darmenton). Morris used the anglicized version of his real first name of Maurice.
  • 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 (herdsman 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 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 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.
  • Chaim Topol is on occasion credited only by the surname.
  • 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 Yaoi Genre manga.
  • A rare actual example of this in a Western country: Canadian soccer player Quinn only has one name. Legally, Quinn is their last name, with no first name, as official documents show. Said player was born Rebecca Catherine Quinn, but dropped the first two names after coming out as transgender and non-binary.
  • Royal families often have no last name, as seen with the Japanese example above. In the event that they need a last name for some reason (such as computer systems that expect a full name), it's common to use the name of their house or dynasty as a last name, or a variation of their royal title.
    • The British royal family sometimes uses "Windsor" as a last name, as the current dynasty hails from the House of Windsor, and would legally become their last name if the monarchy were to be abolished (e.g. King Charles III would become known simply as Charles Windsor). Prince Harry also used the name "Harry Wales" as his full name during his military service, coming from his then-title as the Prince of Wales.
    • This caused issues for Constantine II, the last king of Greece. After his reign he refused to adopt a surname, which resulted in him losing his Greek citizenship in 1994 after the law was amended to make surnames mandatory. He still refused to adopt one after this happened, and for the rest of his life travelled on a Danish passport (as he was also born as a Danish prince) as "Constantino de Grecia" (literally "Constantine of Greece").

Alternative Title(s): One Name Only


Eddie and Lou

They don't have them.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / OnlyOneName

Media sources: