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Planet of Steves

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Oh, no wonder why there must be an One-Steve Limit.
Marklar Leader: On the planet Marklar, we call every person, place or thing, "Marklar".
Kyle: Doesn't that get confusing?
Marklar Leader: No, not at all. Hey, Marklar!
One specific Marklar in a crowd of Marklar: Yes, Marklar?
Marklar Leader: You see?
South Park: "Starvin' Marvin in Space"

Sometimes, you just don't need names. Why bother remembering all those names? Just call everyone the same thing! This rarely seems to cause any confusion, at least for you. Outsiders, not so much.

Sometimes they'll also be Inexplicably Identical Individuals. Not only named the same, but they'll look the same too.

This tends to happen in Science Fiction and Fantasy, not so much in other genres, unless it's Played for Laughs (which many examples below are).

Opposite of the One-Steve Limit. Compare Identically Named Group, which is when everyone in a group has the same name, but the setting otherwise has diverse names. If a small number of people have the same name, and this is important to the plot in some way, that's a Significant Name Overlap. See also Pokémon Speak. Compare Race-Name Basis when the characters have names, but the race is used anyway. I Am Spartacus is when characters pretend this is the case. Often overlaps with Smurfing. Can serve as the logical conclusion of Planet of Hats.


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  • An ad in the UK for Warburton's bread gave the entire population of Britain the surname Warburton. The commentary on the football match featured in the ad was... special.
  • Hormel's commercial for SPAM luncheon meat shows a classroom where the teacher and all the students are eggs. The teacher is role calling, and you see everyone's name is "egg."
  • A FedEx advertisement involved a delivery boy trying to deliver a package to Mr. Zhang, a factory worker. Turns out everyone in the factory had the surname Zhang. FedEx on the other hand successfully delivers their package to a Mr. Zhang Wei.note 
    Subtitle: China has over 88 million people called Zhang.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The head writer of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing apparently really likes the name Catherine, because in the span of the series and the side-stories he's written, we've been introduced to five of them: Katrina Peacecraft (Relena's mother), Quatrina Winner (Quatre's mother), Catherine Bloom, Kathy Po (Sally's daughter), and Quatrina Winner II (Quatre's younger sister).
  • In Pokémon: The Series:
    • All nurses are named Nurse Joy, and all police officers are named Officer Jenny.
    • In the Unova region, there's an identical family of Battle Club owners, all named Don George. And there's an identical family of cruise ship guides, all named Porter.
  • There is a group of Digimon called Chaosmon. Not all of them look the same, not all have the same abilities and not all of them are even related but they are all called Chaosmon, except for the biggest one, which is called UltimateChaosmon.
    • To some extent, every Digimon has this trope. None of them have names beyond their species name, are widely known to everyone by said species names and treat them as their actual names, and some species names even apply to multiple species/subspecies (see: Greymon, Greymon and Greymon). Furthering this is how there seems to be a tendency for large groups of the same species to live together, such as the Pyocomon village featured in the fourth episode of Digimon Adventure. The exception is the Digimon V-Tamer 01 canon, where the majority of plot-relevant Digimon have their own proper names.
  • In Sgt. Frog, there appears to be an entire species of Snake People all named Viper.
  • Otherwise unremarkable hentai manga Mirror Image ends with 5 identical doubles of the protagonist from different mirror universes stuck in the same place. They end up living together as sisters. They all have the same name, but spell it with different hieroglyphs.
  • Being personifications of cells, the cast of Cells at Work! don't have names. Some groups have official number designations (like the courier red blood cells and the Killer T squadron), but most are referred to by species name.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the original Chinese version of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, nearly every goat is named "[X] Goat". Similarly, nearly every wolf is named "[X] Wolf".

  • British comedian Dave Gorman drunkenly bet his then-flatmate Danny Wallace that he'd be able to meet 54 note  other Dave Gormans after idly mentioning he'd read of another in East Fife. Outcomes included a number of stage shows, a book and a BBC 2 TV series.
  • When Stephen Colbert was covering the 2016 Iowa Caucus, he explained that Republican Candidate Jim Gilmore received a mere twelve votes, then delighted in revealing that that number is actually fewer than the number of people currently living in Iowa named Jim Gilmore.
More information here.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Smurfs, Smurfs who don't have a specific name are named just "Smurf". "I picked Smurf's bottle smurfer/smurf screwer" "Poor Smurf !" "Vote for Smurf"...
  • In The Tick, the Tick befriends a microscopic race of people living on a meteorite who are all named Ricardo. Their arch-enemies were their evil counterparts, the people of the tiny planet Anne, who are poised to help Canada conquer the Earth. The Biography for Ricardo in the ‘verse character guide even lampshaded the confusing aspect of the trope noting that conversations about other people were completely incomprehensible but that in every other way their society was a socialist utopia without want or poverty and that the Ricardo are too afraid to take on individual names in fear of a butterfly effect wrecking their utopia.
    • A Borderline Example, an episode of the animated series mentioned a Raygun that would change its target into "A gas-station attendant named Ray". A similar "Tommygun" is also mentioned.
    • The animated series loved this joke — for example the duel between alien races called the Hey!s and the What?s.
  • In The Sandman (1989) story "A Game of You," Wilkinson reveals his parents called all their children "Wilkinson." "It was hardest on the girls."
  • In Judge Dredd, everyone in Fargoville, the hometown of Eustace Fargo in the Cursed Earth, is named Eustace in honour of the first Chief Judge.
  • This tends to happen in stories where the Multiverse is common knowledge in some manner, and the No-Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) is no exception. Though here it's less Planet of Steves and more Planet of Multiple Copies of the Same Person from All Possible Universes. Multiple Sonics, Tails and many others are part of it, and duplicates of the main characters serve as its main enforcers note . After the lawsuit forced a reboot, the No-Zone went with it, though it is still popular across the fanbase.
  • Invader Zim (Oni):

    Comic Strips 
  • Absurd Notions: Dr. Umlaut calls roll and is frustrated by the number of people who have the exact same name due to the computerized scheduling system.
  • One Dilbert strip had the Pointy-Haired boss announcing that their company would put everybody in a wide salary band and eliminate job position names. When Dilbert asks what job title they'll use, the boss responds, "You'll all be named Beverly."
  • An old New Yorker cartoon showed a class photo of a bunch of smiling kindergartners with a completely frazzled and exhausted teacher in the middle. The caption reads: "Right to left: Jennifer, Jennifer, Jason, Jennifer, Jason, Jennifer, Jennifer, Jason, Jason, Jason, Jennifer, Miss Alice Nelson, Jennifer, Jason...."
  • One Piranha Club strip had Sid make a bar bet that he could memorize five pages of the New York City phone book in 10 seconds.
    Sid: Smith, Smith, Smith, Smith, Smith, Smith, Smith, Smith, Smith...

    Fan Works 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    Spirit of the Millennium Ring: Actually, we're both called Bakura.
    Yami: What? But that's just confusing! Not to mention highly unlikely.
    Spirit: Oh, just wait until Season 5 when there's three of me running around. Even the fans have trouble keeping up with that one!
  • In Ultra Fast Pony, all three of the Diamond Dogs are named David Bowie. Trixie is repeatedly called "Blue Twilight", and later shows up with her friend "Yellow Twilight". Also, Sunset Shimmer gets renamed "Orange Twilight", and there's of course "Purple Twilight". It's been mentioned they're all part of the Twilight Rangers.
  • In The Ben Chatham Adventures, all Russians are named Ivan.
  • In part 36 of Make a Wish, it's Played for Laughs as the Australian DMLE reveals itself to be somewhat Bruce-heavy:
    "Good idea," Bruce nodded. "I'll ask Bruce and Bruce if they can come along. I think Bruce might be off, too."
  • In A.A. Pessimal's Discworld fic Strandpiel, it emerges that every new generation of the Smith-Rhodes family names its firstborn daughter Johanna, in honour of the founding matriarch. At the time of this story, up to six women called Johanna Smith-Rhodes can appear. Admittedly four of them are dead, but the intercession of the first Witch in the family allows them to play a lively role in family affairs. note 
  • Played for Laughs in Back From The Future VI The Clone Wars with the Separatist battle droids.
    They've all decided they want names because if clones have names instead of numbers they want names too. They have all decided on the Same. Karking. NAME! ALL. OF. THEM. WANT. TO. BE. CALLED. ROGER!

    Films — Animation 
  • In Finding Nemo, Marlin proposes to Coral that instead of naming their children, they should just call half Marlin Jr. and half Coral Jr. They did have hundreds of eggs. How many baby names can one think of?
    Coral:...I like Nemo.
    Marlin: OK, we can have one be Nemo. But I want most to be called Marlin Jr.
  • Igor, in which The Igor is seen as some type of caste, and they are all named Igor.
  • This gag in Hercules, though Pain and Panic are trying to convince Hades that Hercules is a popular name and it's totally not the same one, when it rather obviously is.
    Pain: This might be a different Hercules.
    Panic: Yeah, I mean, Hercules is a very popular name nowadays.
    Pain: Remember last year, when every other boy was named Jason? And the girls were all named Brittany?
  • In Soul, all the soul counselors are named "Jerry" for convenience to mortal souls.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The aliens (Red [evil] and Black [good] Lectroids) in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension all chose the covername 'John'. Yes, even the women.
  • On Blazing Saddles all the people of Rock Ridge appear to have the surname Johnson. Of course, this being some hick western town and, furthermore, this being Mel Brooks, it likely just means that everyone is related.
  • Also, most of the bridge crew aboard Spaceball One are Assholes.
    Dark Helmet: Who made that man a gunner?
    Crewman: I did, sir. He's my cousin.
    Dark Helmet: Who is he?
    Colonel Sandurz: He's an Asshole, sir.
    Dark Helmet: I know that. What's his name?
    Colonel Sandurz: That is his name, sir. Asshole, Major Asshole.
    Dark Helmet: And his cousin?
    Colonel Sandurz: He's an Asshole too, sir. Gunner's Mate First Class Philip Asshole.
    Dark Helmet: How many Assholes we got on this ship anyhow!?
    Entire Bridge Crew (except for one guy on the left): Yo!
    Dark Helmet: I knew it! I'm surrounded by Assholes! *beat* *lowers mask* Keep firing, Assholes!
  • Does anybody remember No Soap, Radio? They had a spoof 1950s horror movie called The Day Everyone's Name Became Al, in which the change was caused by aliens attempting to cause chaos on Earth.
  • The Monkeybirds in Mirrormask are all named Bob, except for one, whose name is Malcolm.
  • The weird and disturbing world that results when John Malkovich goes inside his own head in Being John Malkovich
  • In RRRrrr!!!, everyone in the Clean Hair tribe is called Pierre (even the women).
  • The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain is set in a Welsh town where all of the men are named Morgan, Jones, Thomas, Williams, or Davies. This has led to everyone being given nicknames (e.g., Morgan the Goat, Davies the School) to differentiate. Of course, there's also a pair of twins. Their names are "Thomas Twp" and "Thomas Twp Too". No one can tell them apart.
  • Alluded to in Babe — apparently mother sows don't give their children individual names, so the title character is just one of many Babes in his litter.
  • Barbie (2023): All the inhabitants of Barbieland are named either Barbie or Ken, with them mainly being differentiated by their job titles (President Barbie, Doctor Barbie, Lawyer Barbie, etc). There are a few exceptions like Allen, Midge, and the Skippers.
  • In My Big Fat Greek Wedding, almost every family in the Portucalos clan has three children, always named Anita, Diane, and Nick. There are also a few extra Nicks scattered among the cousins — save for one Nicky.
  • Early on in Bubble Boy, Jimmy hitch-hikes on a bus full of religious cultists whose male members are all named "Todd" and whose female members are all named "Lorraine." They, however, do fall afoul of sometimes not knowing which is being referred to.
  • Finnish cult film Calamari Union has fifteen people named Frank (and one named Pekka, who doesn't fit in) trying to accomplish the same goal — namely, moving from a lower-class neighborhood to an upper-class one in another side of town. They work briefly together, but go in their separate ways very quickly, and they are distinctly different characters.
  • In Casino Royale (1967), Sir James Bond, now heading the secret service, assigns all his agents the name and number of James Bond 007 to confuse the enemy. Previously, when he had resigned, his superiors had assigned his name and number to the 007 we all know for agency morale purposes.
  • In the film, Jersey Shore Shark Attack, the gang found a boat and one of them said that "It's Vinny's Boat!" "Vinny No-Neck?" "No!" And they went through a bunch of Vinnys before picking the right one. Jersey Shore is an Italian Community.
  • In The Irishman, Jimmy Hoffa similarly invokes this trope with regard to Italians after Frank tells him that Tony is upset with his course of action:
    Tony? Which Tony? They're all named Tony.
  • In Goodfellas, Karen at one point goes on a rant in the narration that all of the mobsters seem to be named either Peter or Paul, and all of them are married to women named Marie, who all wind up naming their daughters Marie. To punctuate the point, this narration is delivered over a sequence of Paulie introducing the various mafia members at Karen's wedding, where every person whose hand she shakes is one of those three names.
    Karen: (Narrating) By the time I'd met everyone I felt like I was drunk.
  • In Wet Hot American Summer, nearly every background girl seems to be named Debbie: Debbie Waxman, Debbie Epstein, Debbie with mono, McKinley's cousin Debbie-Debbie, Tall Debbie, and Debbie Freeman.
  • In Witness, the corrupt cops are looking for an Amish family called the Lapps. The sheriff of their county notes that about a third of the local Amish are named Lapp, which, combined with the relatively small paper trail that your average Amish person leaves, makes the villains' job significantly difficult.
  • Downplayed in Heathers. The titular trio of mean girls are named Heather Chandler, Heather Duke, and Heather McNamara. They regularly refer to each other by their first names and there never seems to be any confusion.
  • In Million Dollar Legs, every woman in Klopstockia is named Angela, and all the men are named George.

  • A Russian joke: What are your sons named? Iwan. What, all of them? Da. So how do you call them? By otczestwo.
    • A similar, English-language variant: A woman has 15 children. She goes to speak with a government official, who tells her, "I’ll need all your children’s names." She says, "This one’s my oldest - he is Terry." He says, "OK, and who’s next?" She tells him, "Well, this one; he is Terry also." The official continues one by one through the oldest four, all boys named Terry. Then he is introduced to the eldest girl, named Terri. "All right," says the official, "I’m seeing a pattern here. Are they all named Terri?" The woman says, “Well, yes, it makes it easier. When it is time to get them out of bed and ready for school, I yell, 'Terry!' When it's time for dinner, I just yell 'Terry!' and they all comes running. And if I need to stop ths kid running into the street, I just yell 'Terry' and all of them stops. It’s the smartest idea I ever had, naming them all Terry." The official asks, "But what if you just want one kid to come, and not the whole bunch?" The woman says, "Then I call them by their last names!"
  • This joke: A secret agent arrives by train in a village in Wales and tells the train conductor, "I'm looking for a Mr. Jones." The conductor says, "Lots of people are named Jones! There's Jones the Milk, Jones the Post, Jones the Innkeep...why, my own name is Jones!" The agent says, "The last sparrow of summer is winging over the horizon." The conductor replies, "Ah, it's Jones the Spy you want!"
    • An Arab variation of this joke replaces the secret agent with a Mossad handler, "Jones" with "Nabil", and the train conductor in the village with a doorman in an apartment building. The punchline then becomes, "Oh, you mean Nabil the Spy! He lives on the sixth floor."

  • Lizard Music: The group of lizards who welcome Victor and the Chicken Man to the island all have the same name –- Reynold. When Victor asks if all the lizards on the island are named Reynold, Reynold says that would be silly and they do have other names, like Helena and Raymond. Victor subsequently meets one lizard named Helena and three named Raymond (who are siblings), but every other lizard he encounters is named Reynold.
  • Discworld has a clan of Igors. They're not all named Igor — the women are named Igorina or Igora. There's also an Igor who isn't an Igor at all. But he doesn't count.
    • Lampshaded with Vimes' comment: "Igor and Igor say hi, Igor."
    • And they can tell when you're talking about the wrong Igor. "Not Igor, thur, I'm Igor."
    • Another Discworld example is a short incidental regarding a Klatchian ruler who was cursed by a dyslexic deity so that that everything he touched would turn to Glod. He very quickly found out what happens when a dwarf of indeterminate temper is suddenly dragged away from his home and replicated repeatedly (viz. he becomes a very grumpy dwarf). To this day people living in that city are short of stature and temper. In a sort of low-key Running Gag, Glodson is a common last name for dwarves throughout the series.
    • The Last Hero has the last two Stupid Lizard Men. They're both called Slime, because Stupid Lizard Men aren't able to remember any other name.
    • Another Discworld sort-of example would be the Nac Mac Feegle from The Wee Free Men and sequels — they aren't exactly all named the same thing, but there seems to be a shortage of names such that one character goes by "No'-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock."
      "Well, Not-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock, I can—"
      "That's No'-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock, mistress," said Not-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock. "Ye were one Jock short," he added helpfully.
    • In The World of Poo, Geoffrey visits the Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons, where both the female caretakers he meets are named Emma. Bit of a Brick Joke, as Vimes referred to the Sanctuary's staff as "Interchangeable Emmas" in previous novels.
    • Ankh-Morpork's underworld is so extensive that getting a unique nickname can be tough. There's already a Big Dave, Fat Dave, Mad Dave, Wee Davey, and Lanky Dai, which is why Hogfather features a criminal who goes by "Medium Dave".
  • The Sqornshellous Zetan mattresses in Life, the Universe and Everything, who were all named Zem. This appeared to be because that, since they were rounded up a lot to be killed and dried, no one would miss anyone because they wouldn't know who was missing.
  • Dr. Seuss's story "Too Many Daves", from The Sneetches and Other Stories, was about Mrs. McCave, "who had 23 sons, and she named them all Dave."
  • In Chuck Palahniuk's Survivor (1999), all first born males in the Creedish cult/faith are named "Adam." All subsequent males are named "Tender," and every female, including firstborn, are named "Biddy."
  • In One Hundred Years of Solitude the 17 sons (by 17 different women) of Colonel Aureliano Buendía are all named Aureliano as well. Not to mention, in every generation of the family, all boys are named variations on Aureliano or José Arcadio.
  • In Ira Levin's This Perfect Day, everyone in the Family (which makes up the majority of Earth's population) shares one of eight names—Bob, Li, Jesus, and Karl for males; Peace, Yin, Mary, or Anna for females—followed by a string of numbers.
  • In Jack L. Chalker's Quintara Marathon series, there is an entire alien race named Durquist. Not only is the race referred to as Durquist, but each individual's name is Durquist as well. When one of the main characters asks their Durquist friend how the race can tell each other apart (they all look the same, too) the Durquist responds to the effect of "we just can."
  • In The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, the third book of Louis de Bernières' Latin American trilogy, Dionysius ends up with a very dedicated fan club, and names the resulting children either Dionysius or Anica (for boys and girls) though at least they get a number. When his mother visited and saw a tiny newborn baby and found that he was about to be named Dionysius the 19th she was not amused. Readers of the first book should not get too attached to Anica.
  • In Montmorency, all the servants at Bargles are called Sam.
  • In Pierre Burton's children's book, The Secret World of Og, not only are all of the Ogs named 'Og,' their language is made up entirely of the word 'og.'
  • In Anne Of Avonlea, Miss Lavender has a servant girl called Charlotta the Fourth. This is because her three older sisters had all worked for Miss Lavender before her; the oldest was named Charlotta, and Miss Lavender got in the habit of calling them all by that name.
    • Truth in Television: in Victorian England, for example, many households reused the same name for a succession of servants in the same position because they didn't want to bother remembering their real names. This was apparently also done in some parts of the United States, since Lizzie Borden and her sister tended to call family maid Bridget Sullivan "Maggie" (her predecessor's name), and, as noted in the Real Life section, in many cases done with communal servants such as waiters and (most notoriously) train porters.
  • In Charles Stross's Saturn's Children, the main character is 'instantiated' from a line of robots, who all have the same body and wake up believing they are the original bot, Rhea. They avert this by taking individual names. However, she then encounters The Jeeves Corporation, run by a line who all refer to themselves as Jeeves. Later on, a specific Jeeves is referred to as "Reginald;" fans of Wodehouse won't find this helps the confusion much.
  • In The Areas of My Expertise, Arizona has a tradition of appointing a ringtail cat to a public office. By an odd coincidence, all the ringtails are named John McCain. When the real John McCain refused to be photographed eating a traditional bowl of chili with the ringtail McCain, he was described as having "a bad, anti-ringtail attitude."
  • The Gone-Away World has a circus troupe who are mostly all named K. They "use one signifier to encourage random reassessment of the nature of our relationships."
  • In Tad Williams' Otherland one simulation is a skewed version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, where all women are called "Emily" and the men "Henry." They have numbers to differentiate them.
  • In the Oz book The Emerald City of Oz, Billina tells Dorothy that she names all her female descendants Dorothy and her male descendants Daniel.
    • In the Kingdom of Oogaboo (an obscure corner of Oz), every adult man has the same first name, Jo.
  • Umberto Eco's novel Baudolino features a community of female, satyr-like creatures, who consider themselves the followers of Hypatia of Alexandria and are all named Hypatia in her honor.
  • Romance novelist Victoria Alexander is married to a man named Charles. So whenever there's a widow in any of her books, what does she name their late husband? Charles.
  • The planet of Dawn Grays in Dawn Gray's Pyjamas in Space by David Bell.
  • The Marra of The Madness Season are all known by others as simply "Marra."
    • Sometimes with a suffix attached, if the embodied want to distinguish between them. The Marra always know.
  • In David Gerrold and Larry Niven's novel The Flying Sorcerers, the native women originally did not have names. When the wizard Purple started giving them names, this raised a furor among the men (because having names made the women vulnerable to sorcery), but the women did not want to go back to being nameless. The solution was to give all the women the same name: Missa.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: History and genealogy on the planet Barrayar is extra-exciting because in the ruling Vor class, the traditional name for the eldest son is the first name of his paternal grandfather, followed by the first name of his maternal grandfather. The second son gets the middle names of both grandfathers, maternal followed by paternal. This is not universal, particularly given that a living grandfather can revoke the patronymic as a form of disowning, and a bad grandfather can be skipped over. Per Word of God emperors routinely violate this rule.
  • In Great Gusliar novel Esteemed Microbe there's an alien from the planet Tori-Tori where everybody's name is Tori. As he explains "It's simpler that way. To avoid confusion." Presumably, since all Tori are unrivalled linguists, there may be some nuances non-Tori can't notice. Also Kir Bulychev may have recycled a Soviet joke about naming everything after Lenin.
  • Pan Tadeusz has the Dobrzyński clan, where boys are always christened Bartek or Maciej and girls Katarzyna or Maryna. They have to resort to nicknames.
  • Wolf Hall lampshades this in an early scene, where Thomas Cromwell thinks that he won't be remembered by the man who he's just been pointed out to because "half the world" is named Thomas — an appropriate remark when the inquiring man is Thomas Boleyn speaking to Cromwell's boss, Thomas Wolsey. There's also his adversary Thomas Howard the Duke of Norfolk and his friend Archbishop Thomas Cramner. Later he's relieved to learn that Elizabeth Seymour goes by Bess so he won't be conflating her with his late wife Elizabeth (who was called Liz).
  • Monster of the Month Club: Played with — Rilla and her mother and aunt have unique first names. It's the middle name, Harmony, that's the same for all three.
  • Intellectual prankster comedian Dave Gorman got a book and a TV series out of an idea which became a bet and then something of an obsession. How rare and unique is the name Dave Gorman? Challenged to find a hundred other people called Dave Gorman, he went out and did, locating them in places as far afield as the USA, South Africa and Hong Kong. For the TV show, he got as many of them as possible in the audience.
  • In The Stormlight Archive, all Cryptics are named Pattern and have no problems figuring out who is talking to whom. Their real names are mathematical equations and thus can't be used easily by humans, and they are apparently capable of clarifying which Pattern they are addressing by intonations. The Lightweavers have to talk them into adopting other names so their Radiants can tell them apart. Wit's Cryptic is called Design, and Shallan posthumously names her first Cryptic Testament.
  • In Fall Of Giants, which opens early in the twentieth century, we meet working-class Welsh teen William Williams and his father, David. A discussion ensues of how common the names William, David, and Williams are in their community and how everybody ends up being called by various nicknames to distinguish them.
  • The True Meaning of Smekday: The villainous Gorg are actually a species of aliens called Nimrogs, but are collectively known as the Gorg because they're all named Gorg. It's eventually revealed that all of the living Gorg have the same name because they're all clones of a Nimrog named Gorg.
  • All Undrae families in The Dragon DelaSangre go by the name “Blood”. The DelaSangres in Miami, the Bloods in Jamaica, the Sangs in Haiti, the Bloeds in Curacao, and the Bluts in Europe. Whereas humans call them dragons, they call themselves People of the Blood.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, Harry ended up in the circus as "Hargo the Alien." In his act, he explains that "Hargo" is his full name because the beings of his world have Only One Name and then adds that this is unfortunate because Hargo is such a common name on his planet.
    • In another episode, the replacement Commander of the mission, fed up with trying to remember names, exclaims "ENOUGH! From now on, you'll all be known as Tommy." It didn't really take though.
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete features the main character, Pete, and his younger brother, Pete. Their mom wanted the names to rhyme. (Fans usually refer to them as "big Pete" and "little Pete.")
  • Nearing the fourth season finale, Angel featured a hell dimension of spider-like demons in which no one has a name (though the important people can be named according to their professional titles, such as "High Priest" or "Name Keeper"). In fact, one of them actively mocks humans' weakness of everyone having names.
    • It wasn't that the spider-demons didn't have names, but it was that giving away their names as freely as humans weakened them. And weakened Jasmine, the season's big bad. Angel's trip to the dimension was to retrieve Jasmine's true name so she might be brought down to their level.
  • Babylon 5:
    • There were multiple beings, all appearing alike, that go by the name of "Zathras," but each one is pronounced slightly differently. However, the differences aren't noticeable by the human ear, leading to much confusion for Commander Ivanova.
    • The Vorlon who replaced Kosh claimed that "We are all Kosh," but his name was actually Ulkesh. This may be because the Vorlons break off pieces off themselves and share them with other Vorlons, so that part of Kosh always remains with them. Kosh did the same thing with Sheridan. At one point a character says something like: "Every Vorlon carries a little piece of every other Vorlon," which sort of justifies "We are all Kosh."
    • The CCG managed to swerve around this by spelling the names of all Zathras cards with apostrophes in different places (Z'athras, Za'thras, etc.), except for two (Zathras and Zathras Who Was).
  • In Battlestar Galactica (2003), there are seven humanoid Cylon models that are known for most of the series. Each of them is known mainly by a model number and nothing else (Six, the Eights, etc). Even when they start to use the names the humans call them, it's still one name per model (the Simons, the Dorals, etc). Two aversions to this are Caprica-Six and Boomer, who are given special names by the other Cylons. Six in general is a partial aversion, as several different copies of her show up with unique names over the course of the show.
    • Fandom is fond of asking the question of whether the Earth the survivors settle on will be known as "the planet of the Eights".
  • Blackadder: In "Head," the royal jailer is "Ploppy, son of Ploppy" and last meal cook is "Mrs. Ploppy;" Blackadder assumes they're related, but they say it's pure coincidence. Then he discovers that the executioner is his manservant Baldrick, who offers to change his name to Ploppy "if it'll make things easier." Blackadder declines, but for the rest of the episodes Ploppy the Jailer refers to him as "Young Ploppy."
  • Doctor Who: Happens in a fairly literal fashion in "The End of Time", when Master uses alien technology to transform everyone on Earth into a copy of himself: a Master Race, if you will.
  • On one episode of Eggheads, the team of challengers was called 'The DJs' and consisted of a woman named Debbie and four men named John.
  • In Ever Decreasing Circles, Paul Ryman's hair salon employees are all named Debbie.
  • In The Golden Girls Season 3 Episode 9 "A Visit from Little Sven," Rose breaks down the Svens she's related to:
    Rose: See, Little Sven's father (we call him Big Sven) left the Old Country two years ago and settled in St. Olaf, then he sent for the rest of his family. First he brought his father over (we call him Big Sven, too).
    Blanche: Well, doesn't that get confusing, having two Big Svens?
    Rose: There aren't, Blanche. There's Big Sven and Big Sven II. Like Jaws and Jaws II.
    Dorothy: Rose, are any of your relatives named Psycho and Psycho II?
  • The name "Jones" is particularly common in Wales. This was spoofed in a Hale And Pace sketch where two Welsh miners named Jones are on their way to work, and greets everyone they meet with a "Good Morning, Jones the [insert character trait or status here]". When they get there, Jones the Boss tells them that there's been an accident, but that everyone has been accounted for except Jones the Not Accounted For. Jones the Miner and Jones the Miner tells Jones The Boss that they saw him alive just now, and Jones the Boss is relieved because he "had given him up for Jones the Dead." At the end, the two are introduced to a man named Williamsnote . After taking a couple of seconds to absorb this, they greet him with "Hello, Jones the Not-Called-Jones!"
  • In How I Met Your Mother, we have Marvin Eriksen (Marshall's father), Marvin Eriksen Jr. (Marshall's brother) and Marvin Wait-For-It Eriksen (Marshall's son).
  • 30 Helens from The Kids in the Hall. They all agree. (Or they all agree to disagree.)
    • Also there was a sketch where Bruce sang about all of the different people named Dave who he knew.
  • The Late Show with David Letterman: In "honor" of both his timeslot rivals having the name Jimmy (Fallon and Kimmel), Dave changed his name and the name of the show for one night to The Late Show with Jimmy Letterman.
  • Played for a laugh in an episode of M*A*S*H when Hawkeye, as the camp's Officer of the Day, finds himself up to his neck in locals by the name of Kim Luk: This must be our Kim Luk-y day.
    • Justified in that what was happening was that 4077th (apparently because of regulations or standing orders) required the local population to present an ID to get medical care. The result was that everybody who wanted treatment was showing up with the same ID card that was being passed around, made out to "Kim Luk".
    • Also in M* A* S* H, nurses were frequently named Nurse Able or Nurse Baker — regardless of who was playing them. Literally Nurse A or Nurse B in the military code alphabet in use during the Korean War.
    • Even the terrain was subject to this, with the most common location for casualties to be coming from being "Hill 403" (when the location was actually specified). Somewhat justified, given the relatively static front in the later stages of the war.
  • Mister Rogers' Neighborhood featured Planet Purple, a planet where everything was purple, including the people, who were named Paul if they were male and Pauline if they were female. (To make things even duller, everyone spoke in the same monotone voice.)
  • Several Monty Python's Flying Circus sketches.
    • Apparently all Australians are named Bruce. When a Brit arrives:
      Bruce 1: Michael Baldwin, this is Bruce, Michael Baldwin, this is Bruce, Michael Baldwin, this is Bruce.
      Bruce 2: Is your name not Bruce, then?
      Michael: No, it's Michael.
      Bruce 3: That's going to cause a little confusion.
      Bruce 4: What if we call you Bruce, just to keep it clear?
    • There's also Whicker Island, where everyone was Alan Whicker, except (maybe) for Father Pierre.
    • John Cleese's character in the Fish Licence sketch owns numerous pets called Eric, and claimed that he was emulating Kemal Ataturk who owned an entire menagerie called Abdul. (The other character in the sketch — the license bureau guy — is also an Eric.)
      • Cleese's character was also called Eric.
      • Eric Praline.
    • In the Batsmen of the Kalaharis sketch, the titular cricket team faces an English team made up of B. Pratt, Z. Pratt, M.J.K. Pratt, V.E. Pratt, C.U. Pratt, P.B.T.R. Pratt, B.B.C.T.V. Pratt, P.D.A. Pratt, O. Pratt, W.G. Pratt, and Y.E.T.A.N.O.T.H.E.R. Pratt.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • Used as a running gag in the episode "Night of the Blood Beast". In the movie, the characters say the name "Steve" a disproportionate number of times,note  so Mike and the Bots assume that everyone in the film is named Steve. An example of their riffing:
      Servo: And the Steves are there!
      Crow: Steve One, you go that way! Steve Two, come with me!
      • Not helping matters is a scene where a character walks into a room, specifically addresses Steve and the three people on screen turn around.
    • MST3K's later seasons introduced the questionably omniscient, questionably bodiless Observers; each one is Observer. When Servo is invited to join them because he performed well on a standardized test, he has trouble getting used to the naming convention.
    • Another example from MST3K occurs during the viewing of Fugitive Alien, with the name Ken. Within the film, there are genuinely two characters named Ken, and this is lampshaded ("...a young boy, whose name was also Ken.") Joel and the 'bots just decide to pretend that everyone is named Ken.
      • Over the course of the Gamera series, Joel and the 'bots quickly notice that every young boy is named Kenny, but all are implicitly different characters.
  • Nebulous features an Alternate Universe where everything is spelt different. Literally — every word is spelt "D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-T". One of the characters laments that dictionaries are "worse than useless" in this world.
  • Newhart: "Hi, I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl" repeated as a catchphrase every time they appeared. A later episode revealed that one had his named changed to Darryl to avoid confusion. He used to be named Larry.
    • Another episode featured one Darryl being upset with the others, and refusing to join them. Larry's introduction then became, "I'm Larry, and this is my other brother Darryl."
  • A sketch from Not the Nine O'Clock News takes place in a car factory where every person on the production line is called Bob. It builds up to the punchline, which is an allusion to a contemporary ad for Fiat: "British Leyland — built by Roberts"
  • Pawn Stars has Richard "The Old Man" Harrison, Richard "Rick" Harrison and Richard "Corey" Harrison. In one episode, a package addressed to "Richard Harrison" is delivered to the shop, spurring an argument between Rick and the Old Man because both had ordered a package. It turns out to be something Corey ordered.
  • For the 2010 April Fool's Day episode of The Price Is Right, every audience member was named Pat.
    • The 2015 Halloween episode took it even further with everyone dressed up as and named Drew, even the models. Drew Carey himself was glad that his mother gave him a unisex name.
  • Some members of the season 3 cast of RuPaul's Drag Race dubbed themselves "The Heathers" (after the film) and dubbed others "The Boogers". The Heathers would sometimes call one another "Heather" in conversation in the workroom. They wore HEATHER name necklaces to the reunion show and one of the Heathers presented hers to one of the Boogers who had felt belittled by the clique.
  • In Saturday Night Live, art dealers Nuni Schoener and his wife, Nuni Schoener, have the same name, but with very subtle differences in pronunciation. Two of their later sketches reveal that they have at least two children also named Nuni, but pronounced slightly differently than either of their own names.
  • Dr. Kelso from Scrubs, instead of bothering to learn the hospital's new intern's names, dubbed all the men "Daves" and all the girls "Debbies"- except for one of them who actually was named Debbie, whom Kelso renamed Slagathor out of fairness to the others.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager has the Q, who are all named Q. The first Q we met had an affair with Q, and they had a child, Q. This makes for some confusing family trees, as well as a hole in the popular Fanon theory that Trelane, the Squire of Gothos from the original series, is a Q.
    • Justified as the Q are omniscient, so they know who they are talking about.
    • One of the books, features Q, his wife Q, and their son Q. Although to avoid this trope the author referred to Q's wife as "Lady Q," and their son as "q."
    • Q's kid Q at least gets a nickname in the TV show — Qball.
    • Onscreen, Captain Janeway just said Ms. Q when distinction was required.
    • And then the Q who wanted to die was named Quinn when he was granted mortality.
    • It appears that canonically there have only been two actual births of Q: Amanda Rogers (who they no longer speak about) and q.
    • The Star Trek novel Q-Squared explicitly stated that Trelane (and his "mother" and "father" who appeared at the end of the episode) were members of the Q Continuum, so it isn't just Fanon. In the novel, Q implied that Trelane was Q's son, the result of an affair with Trelane's "mother". Then again, the novels aren't canonical.
      • It's implied that "Q" is an alias. Originally, there were supposed to be several different beings assuming an identical appearance and calling themselves by the same name popping in from time to time.
  • Taken literally on the TV version of Weird Science. One set of recurring characters is a race of porcine aliens all named Steve who try to convince Lisa to be their new queen.
  • On an episode of The West Wing, the entire speechwriting staff quits in protest of Will's hiring and instant promotion to Deputy. He thus has to rewrite an entire day's worth of speeches for, apparently, everyone in the federal government. His only help: four interns, three of whom are named Lauren.

  • The Arrogant Worms have described Northern Ontario as "eighty billion kilometres long. There are thirteen people who live there. All of whom are named Frank. Even the girl." This is not Truth in Television, obviously, but some people would tell you it's exaggeration rather than an outright lie.
  • "I'm Henry/Henry the Eighth, I Am", best known from the Herman's Hermits version. The singer marries a widow whose seven previous husbands all share his name. "She wouldn't have a Willie or a Sam."
  • While not as impressive as the other examples, Devo's got two guitar-players named Bob, each of whom is the brother of a founding member. They go by Bob 1 and Bob 2.
  • Three of the four members of Imagine Dragons are named Dan. However, the bassist does go by his middle name, Wayne.
  • In the Philadelphia Chickens album by Sandra Boynton, the song "Fifteen Animals" is narrated by a young boy who owns said fifteen animals and is "giving each one a special name" — Bob. And then at the end, we meet the fifteenth animal, his turtle Simon James Alexander Ragsdale III.
  • Dr. Feelgood was founded by four guys named John. Over time, two members were replaced — with guys named John.
  • In the band Tally Hall's webshow, men have different names, but just about every woman is named Sally.
  • Not only are both members of They Might Be Giants named John, their backing band, formerly and aptly named the “Band of Dans”, consisted of three guys named Dan (although one of them was replaced in 2004 with Marty Beller).

  • The Adventure Zone: Balance the town of Rockport, populated exclusively by Tom Bodetts. And they do leave the light on for ya...
  • In Welcome to Night Vale all of the angels are named Erika. No, not Erica- Erika. With a 'K'.
  • From Fat, French and Fabulous, everyone from New Brunswick is named Gord, all French speakers are named Jean, Marie, or Jean Marie, and all of the hosts' male friends are named Andrew.

‘’Podcast/Tudoriferous’’, in Margret Beaufort’s episode, one of the hosts say: Michelle: We’ll now call him Stafford because of all the Henrys And Later… Lucy: Because after this, you can barely move for Thomases.


    Myths & Religion 


    Video Games 
  • Broadly, any game that allows the player to rename large portions of the cast has the potential to be this.
  • In Bang-On Balls: Chronicles all of the named characters are named 'Bob', which are also the initials of the game's title (minus the "Chronicles"). The only character with a semi-different name is the Big Bad Bob Boss, who consistently gets referred to on a Full-Name Basis to differientate him from the Player Character, also named Bob.
  • In The Bard's Tale, you are sent to find a man named Bodb. After speaking to a couple Bodbs, one tells you you need Magic Bodb. Magic Bodb says you need the other Magic Bodb, as he only does party tricks and you want the one with real spells.
  • Due to being clones, Oscar Mike and the rest of the Mike clones from Battleborn are all named Mike in one form or another. For example, info from his lore challenges reveals that the leaders of the Mike clones are named King Mike and Queen Mike. Additionally, the Mike clones settled in the past on a planet which they aptly named Planet Mike, so basically a literal interpretation of this trope.
  • In Blaseball, this has happened twice:
    • At the end of season 3, due to developer error, everyone on the LA/Unlimited Tacos was renamed Wyatt Mason. An ARG-like event on Twitter partially "localized" them back to normal, but there are still numerous players with the first name Wyatt or the last name Mason.
    • In Season 14, every team that built "Psychoacoustics" into their stadium received a new player called Wyatt Mason, Wyatt Mason II, Wyatt Mason III, Wyatt Mason IV, etc. These players then canceled each other out when they played each other, both turning into "static" and being removed from the game. (It's not clear whether or not this is actually them dying.)
  • 4chan in BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, naturally. All of its inhabitants are named Anonymous, and all of the Anons are identical. (Except for the lone Femanon, who is pink instead of green).
  • In The Conduit and its sequel, there's nothing to prevent multiple online users from having the same screen name. Seeing as the default name is "Mr. Ford" and many players are too busy shooting things to think up a unique name, you'll end up not knowing exactly who gunned you down half the time. Interestingly, "Sr. Ford" is a slight variation that pops up extremely often.
  • Cosmic Osmo: The Osmos of the Osmoian System are all named some variation on "Osmo". Captain Osmo, Cosmic Osmo, Señor Osmollo, Princess Osmorella, Professor Elvis Osmostein...
  • Chapter 2 of Deltarune introduces the Addisons, embodiments of Internet Ads. They all have different colored skins, but otherwise share the same name, face, clothing and pose.
  • The Mr. Saturns of EarthBound (1994) and Mother 3. They're all named Mr. Saturn, unsurprisingly, except for one who works at the hospital in Saturn Valley... he's Dr. Saturn.
  • Exile series:
    • The Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Spiders that appear in the Exile/Avernum series (and in Nethergate too, probably) are all named Spider. Exile 3/Avernum 3 makes a "riddle" from this — a guard spider won't let you see the chief spider unless you know him already, in which case you should know his name. Of course, you have a pretty good idea already, and whether you were using Exile 3's type-the-keyword-in interface or Avernum 3's fixed dialogue options you could immediately guess correctly.
    • Averted by the Friendly, Happy Roaches in Exile 3/Avernum 3, though, as they have more descriptive names like Filth Spreader.
  • Fallout 3:
    • Vault 108 is infested with clones of some guy named Gary. Well, that might be his name, but it's all any of the clones can say. The original is presumably dead, and could presumably say things other than his name. Presumably.
    • In the add-on pack Operation Anchorage you find Gary 18 in the outcasts base.
  • The Fire Emblem series has the Annas. An entire family of mostly merchants all named "Anna." One of them can join your team in Fire Emblem: Awakening and most of the games released thereafter. She insists that, much like the Zathras of Babylon 5, each Anna's name is pronounced just a little differently to differentiate each other.
  • A Hat in Time has the Mafia of Cooks, a gang of large burly men that are all physically identical (with their leader being the only one who looks different) and all of whom refer to themselves solely as Mafia.
  • Every kerbal in Kerbal Space Program has the last name Kerman.
  • Mass Effect's geth, as demonstrated by Legion when you meet it, who wants Shepard to call it geth, as "We are all geth." It's actually something of a Mind Hive running more than a thousand geth programs, and adopts the name "Legion" at EDI's suggestion.
  • For some time after the post-release 1.3 update came out, Minecraft suffered from a problem where skins would break, causing everyone to look like Steve (the base player skin), causing this trope to be in effect for a while.
  • Mr. Saitou: Every single Llamaworm is named Saitou, just like in Brandon's drawings at the start of the game. The most prominent ones have Saitou-themed nicknames such as Bosstou, Oddtou, and Subpartou.
  • Pokémon:
  • In Popful Mail for the Sega CD, one of the reptillian Gaw creatures explains that Gaw have no personal names. True to Working Designs' style, he follows it up by saying "It's hell when you're being paged..."
  • RuneScape has a town named Pollnivneach, a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of the Middle East. Almost every person in town is named "Ali", including a woman (She insists it's short for "Alisha") an "Ali Cat", and two camels, which makes locating a missing person named Ali a bit frustrating. Though at the end of the quest the player character figures out that the Ali you were sent to find didn't exist, and it was all a marketing ploy by the quest-giver to drive the gangs out of Pollnivneach. After the quest ends, all the NPC's names change to their real names.
  • In a Shout-Out to EarthBound, the Temmie Village in Undertale is populated by Temmies, and every one of them is called Temmie. Except for Bob.
  • In World of Warcraft, the inhabitants of the Temple of Akunda in Vol'dun have all had their memories wiped and named themselves some variant of "Akunda the [adjective]" in honor of their loa, and the player has to do the same in order to enter the temple proper. When their memories are restored, they go back to using their real names. Later revisited in the Conclave of the Chosen fight in the Battle of Dazar'alor, where one member of the conclave will periodically wipe some of the raid members' memories and cause them to be renamed Akunda until it wears off or is dispelled.

    Web Animation 
  • The Weebl & Bob flash vid "Dan" features an alien race that uses the name "Dan De Zille" (the name of their ruler) for everything on their planet. Like many Planet of Steves examples, they don't find this at all confusing. Dan himself was the winner of a contest to get his name and likeness into one of the cartoons, and the aliens' space ship is shaped like his head.

  • Addictive Science: Every agent of The Men in Black was codenamed Mister Smith and looked uncannily similar, before they started getting transformed by mad science and/or magic on a regular basis and at least one agent decided to stay a foxgirl. They don't seem to have trouble distinguishing each other though.
  • The word "Cirbozoid" in Starslip. Just... see it for yourselves.
  • Roughly two-thirds of all incidental characters in Mountain Time are named Paul.
  • Every year, Dave Davenport of Narbonic attends a meeting of the Dave Conspiracy. All the attendees wear name tags saying "Hello My Name Is Dave."
    • To explain a bit further, each and every one really is named Dave, and if a Dave should ever be expelled from the Conspiracy, he will lose the right — and the ability — to be called Dave. Instead, those around him will subconsciously begin addressing him as "David". So not only is everyone at the meeting named Dave, everyone named Dave is at the meeting.
  • Oddly enough, All Over The House also contains a 'Dave' reference, in The Army of Daves (recruiting now!); which Emily thinks is fictional.
  • Gav is a major demographic in Schlock Mercenary ever since he cloned himself several hundred million times just before the original got killed.
  • The Order of the Stick plays this as a throwaway gag in #777, also managing to riff on I Am Spartacus at the same time. As in, all the anonymous gladiators in the arena are named Spartacus, and they all know which one is being addressed during role call.
  • The "Entire language consists of a single word" version in Blade of Toshubi.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court all laser cows are named Elsie according to The Rant. note 
  • PSmith from Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire. And yes, there's an entire planet of him, all called Psmith. Including the women. The P is silent, but serves as a subtle hint that he/she/they is actually a telepathic Hive Mind of mentally-connected individuals... hence them all having just one name.
  • Lampshaded in Gone with the Blastwave. While most characters aren't even given names (even the protagonists are only known as "Pyro" and "Crosshairs"), there's a distinct pattern in the one-off minor characters:
    Crosshairs: Why is almost everyone we meet named Steve?
  • Discussed in No Rest for the Wicked: The Boy admits that he doesn't know his name, but it's probably Jack or Hans, because pretty much all the boys in his village have one of those names. (The joke being that those names are common for fairy tale protagonists.)

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • South Park:
    • The former trope title comes from "Starvin' Marvin in Space", which introduced the Marklar. All named Marklar, and they replaced all nouns with Marklar.
      Kyle: Wait, wait. I think I can explain this whole thing. Marklar, these Marklars want to change your Marklar. They don't want this Marklar or any of his Marklars to live here because it's bad for their Marklar. They use Marklar to try and force Marklars to believe their Marklar. If you let them stay here, they will build Marklars and Marklars. They will take all of your Marklars and replace them with Marklars. These Marklars have no good Marklars to live on Marklars so they must come here to Marklar. Please, let these Marklars stay where they can grow and prosper without any Marklars, Marklars or Marklars.
      Marklar: Your Marklar are wise, young Marklar.
    • "Cartman Joins NAMBLA", it is shown that whenever Kenny dies his parents have another child that they also call Kenny, and who ages in record time to match the previous Kenny's age. Later, in "Coon vs Coon & Friends" it is shown that each of these children are the reincarnation of the same Kenny's soul due to his parents once attending meetings of the Cult of Cthulhu.
    • A more subtle example: especially in the early episodes, virtually any minor male character would be named "Kevin." Word of God (specifically Matt Stone) even noted that they would throw it in all the time just because he thinks of it as generic. Also, just about all of the main boys' mothers was named "Carol" at some point before being retconned into the names that stuck. Since Kenny's mother received the least characterization out of the four, she got to keep the name.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Piandao, suggesting a name for a Fire Nation disguise: "Try Lee; there a million Lees." This is a Continuity Nod to Zuko successfully using "Lee" as an alias across the Earth Kingdom. Zuko once didn't bother with the alias when he met a kid named... Lee. Evidently it's a very common name in both countries.
    • And in Ba Sing Se, all the tour guides are named Joo Dee. This is only one of their many creepy aspects.
  • Historically, the titular race in Gargoyles all look different from each other and cite this as a reason for not needing particular names. Most either gained them as epithets or terms of affection from humans.
    • "What do you call each other?" "Friend."
  • King of the Hill had an all-woman cult masquerading as a sorority where all the members were renamed "Jane." Luanne and later Peggy wind up joining, and are referred to as "Blonde Jane" and "Old Jane."
  • The Debbies from the short-lived Oblongs.
  • A U.S. Acres short from Garfield and Friends shows Orson the pig traveling to a planet of aliens who are all named Phil. When he manages to get his brothers stranded on the planet he tells them to "Ask for Phil," sending them on a wild goose chase as every Phil ends up pointing them towards a different Phil.
  • The Backyardigans had a space episode, "Mission to Mars", with a song and dance routine explaining how "Boinga" could mean a thousand things in Mars. Similar thing with "Ugh" in "Cave Party", but in "Caveman's Best Friend" it didn't even got a song since it was downgraded to, according to that episode, what cave people shout when they're really happy.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
  • In the Family Guy episode "Road to Germany", all of the Jewish men in the 1939 Warsaw synagogue are named Mr. Goldman and half of them are named Mr. Mort Goldman when Brian and Stewie are looking for him. Mind it is a wedding so most of them would be related to each other.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, there is a tribe living inside Sector V's sofa whose names are all Dave.
  • Chowder has the Arborians, and gets quite a few overly long gags out of them all being named "Arbor" or "Arbora".
    "This is my wife Arbora, my son Arbor Jr., my brother Arbor, his wife Arbora…"
  • In the Futurama episode "Fry Am The Egg Man," there's a Scottish-themed planet where all the inhabitants are named Angus.
  • In an episode of Sabrina: The Animated Series one of Sabrina's spells backfires and she arrives home to find that the town has been renamed "Sabrinaville" and everyone in the town is called Sabrina — even the boys.
  • Robbie the Reindeer: Legend of the Lost Tribe featured a band of midget Vikings, all named Magnus (even the women).
  • According to the Adventure Time episode "Princess Monster Wife", the Ice King has named all his penguin minions Gunter, or something that sounds like it.
  • In the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, all the alien brain creatures are named Kraang.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Dear Vikings", all of the vikings are named Olaf except for their leader, Gorton.
  • In the animated version of The Tick, one of the villains, The Terror, invents a Ray Gun. "One blast could turn half a town into a guy named Ray." Then he came up with the Tommy Gun....
  • In the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "So You Skink You Can Dance," all of the dancers on Shake-a-Leg are either named Igor or Karina.
  • Discussed in Star vs. the Forces of EvilStar meets Marco Diaz at school, and then winds up staying with a family called the Diazes. Apparently she just assumed everyone on Earth had that name until Marco walked into the house.
  • Steven Universe:
  • The Simpsons:
    • This classic gag:
      Bart: Look at all this great stuff, Lis! [finds a vanity license plate rack] Cool... personalized plates! "Barclay"..."Barry"..."Bert"... "Bort"? Aw, come on. "Bort"?
      Child: Mommy, mommy! Buy me a license plate.
      Mother: No. Come along, Bort.
      Man: Are you talking to me?
      Mother: No, my son is also named Bort.
      [later in the same episode]
      PA Announcer: We need more "Bort" license plates in the gift shop. Repeat, we are sold out of "Bort" license plates.
    • In "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson," the Parking Violations Bureau phone tree messages seem to indicate that every parking officer in New York is named "Steve."
      Voice 1: Your plea has been...
      Voice 2: Rejected.
      Voice 1: You will be assessed the full fine plus a small...
      Voice 2: Large lateness penalty.
      Voice 1: Please wait by your vehicle between 9am and 5pm for parking officer Steve...
      Voice 2: Grabowski.
  • Taken to its most logical extreme in Rick and Morty with the Citadel of Ricks; a whole universe populated entirely with Ricks and Mortys from across the multiverse. Our Rick (Rick C137) has a few tussles with them throughout Seasons 1 and 2 before Season 3 opens with him sending it spiraling into chaos — "The Ricklantis Mixup" actually focuses on the Citadel and what kind of Ricks and Mortys inhabit it.
    • There's also "Jerryboree", which is the same thing for Jerrys, but against their will in many cases.
    Morty: You created a daycare for my dad?
    Rick: Are you kidding? I wish I had this idea. Well, I did have this idea, but...I wish I was the version of me that owned it. That guy's rich!
  • Similar to the film example above, the British animation series Ivor the Engine follows the rural Welsh practice of "Surname the Occupation", e.g. "Jones the Steam" or "Dai Station".
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Freebird", all of the snow-geese that come to Jet's backyard are named Hank, with the exception of Cynthia.
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, Timmy's wish for more Dads to spend time with goes wrong and he ends up sending them all to a Dad planet. After they abduct his Mom, he wishes up a planet of Moms for them.
  • Middlemost Post: The Purpleton region of Mt. Middlemost has weird creatures who are all named Reggie and creepily Speak in Unison.
  • On Hilda, all nisse go by the name Tontu. Since one individual nisse is a major character in the show, fans choose to differentiate him from the rest by calling him "Tontu (Alpha)".


Video Example(s):


Hi Barbie!

In Barbieland, every girl is named Barbie and every guy is named Ken (plus a guy named Allan).

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / PlanetOfSteves

Media sources: