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Real Joke Name

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Peter Parker: I'm Peter, by the way.
Dr. Stephen Strange: Doctor Strange.
Peter Parker: Oh, we're using our made-up names. Um... I'm Spider-Man, then.

Two characters are being introduced to each other for the first time. However the first introductee has a really wacky name; for example, he is a businessman called "Mr. Moneygrabs". The other character feels compelled to laugh, thinking that it is a joke. However, it is not. It is, as it is pointed out, a long running and respectable family name.

(This often happens in Real Life to people who happen to share a name with a famous person. Or whose name is quite apropos to their profession.)

May overlap with Pretentious Pronunciation. Might have an Embarrassing First Name as well. Frequently leads into Never Heard That One Before. See also Who's on First?. Compare Mistaken for an Imposter and Namesake Gag. Compare Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?, where the name isn't mistaken for fake, but is considered weird. Often overlaps with Punny Name and/or Euphemistic Names. See Accidentally Real Fake Address for when a character makes up fake-sounding information, such as a name or address, that they don't know is actually real.


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  • A commercial for A&W Root Beer had a prospective employee repeatedly referring to his prospective boss as "Mr. Dumbass". At the end, we see the name placard on Mr. DuMass's desk, and he leans over and informs him "The name is 'Du-moss'".
    "What a dumbass."
  • A late-Nineties commercial for AT&T featured a woman getting a call from a guy who says his name is "Pizzeria", and that she had left her wallet in his cab. She's understandably confused, but a quick call to directory assistance reveals that the cabbie's name is actually Pete Zorria, from Brooklyn.
  • On Something Weird's collection of old drive-in movie ads, Hey Folks! It's Intermission Time, there are a lot of ads for local businesses, including Dick Swing's Standard Oil Service, the Grip Nut Company, and Binder Men's Wear. Since this is a collection of real old drive-in ads, one must assume that these were real business names.

  • Lewis Black has an entire routine consisting of real life examples that he has encountered. These include Shithead (pronounced Shi-thade), Asshole (pronounced A-shola), and Abcde (pronounced Absiday). He claims you can trust him that these are real, because he's not clever enough to turn Asshole into a name.

    Comic Strips 
  • Mulligan the Headsman from The Wizard of Id was the original Trope Namer.
  • In a Peanuts strip, Charlie Brown thinks Sally is confused about a Christmas hymn until Harold Angel shows up at his door.

    Fan Works 
  • The Great Alicorn Hunt: Zonk the zonkey's real name is a Zebrican phrase that translates as "Copyright 988, All Rights Reserved". His mother (who doesn't actually speak Zebrican), picked it out of a book of baby names and wrote it on the birth certificate before his father could stop her.
  • In Farce of the Three Kingdoms, everyone mocks the poor souls whose names look silly transliterated into English. He Man is well-known, but there are also He He, Lady Wang, and Dong Tuna. No-one believes Quin Quington's name is even real.
  • For an example involving the other Dr. Strange from comics, we have The Joker Blogs.
    Hugo Strange: My name is Dr. Hugo Strange, and we're going to be trying—
    Joker: Dr. Strange?! Yeah, and I'm Professor Giggles. Look, if you don't wanna use your real name, that's fine, but don't come down here and treat me like s—
    Hugo Strange: That is my real name. [beat] And what is yours... "Patient 4479"?
  • Things I Am Not Allowed to Do at the PPC: Rule 476 is an order to quit making fun of Stiffener Medick's name while at the Official Fanfiction University of Redwall, mainly for personal safety reasons.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In a case of "Real Joke Middle Name", at one point in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin drops the stereotypical "'Danger' is my middle name" Badass Boast, which he then follows up by making clear (even showing Vanessa his driver's license) that his middle given name really is "Danger".
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, Peter Parker tells Stephen Strange his name, but upon hearing the other man say, "I'm Dr. Strange," Parker says, "Oh, we're using our made-up names? Um, I'm Spider-Man, then."
    • And in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter, MJ and Ned laugh at Otto Octavius's name after he introduces himself.
  • Hot Fuzz:
    • Sergeant Nicholas Angel receives a rather odd call:
      Caller: [on the phone, politely] Morning, the swan's escaped.
      Angel: [looking around the office, certain it is a prank] The swan's escaped. Right, and where has the swan escaped from, exactly?
      Caller: The castle.
      Angel: Oh yeah, and who might you be?
      Caller: Mr. Staker. Mr. Peter Ian Staker.
      Angel: [annoyed] P.I. Staker? Right, PISSTAKER! COME ON!!
      [Gilligan Cut to Angel, standing outside a castle in front of Mr. Staker]
      Angel: Yes, Mr. Staker, we'll do everything we can.
    • Another scene features the name "Aaron A. Aaronson" being made up when talking about going through every name in the phone book. Turns out such a person exists.
  • The plot of the movie An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn is that a director is utterly disgusted at the awfulness of the film he is directing and wishes to remove his name from the credits, but he can't use the Alan Smithee pseudonym because his name is Alan Smithee.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian has a side-splittingly hilarious scene (particularly due to everyone valiantly failing to contain their laughter) where the Roman guards, thinking that Brian's given name for his father, Naughtius Maximus, is a joke name, try to explain the concept to Pontius Pilate by giving examples of other joke names like 'Sillius Soddus' and 'Biggus Dickus', only for Pilate to say that he knows someone by the name of Biggus Dickus. He's not kidding. Dickus is his friend and he comes to visit later. Biggus Dickus also has a wife, you know. Her name is Incontinentia... Incontinentia Buttox.
  • Played with in Juno, where the title character's full name in Juno Macguff. This causes a lot of people to think she's using a fake name, or think she's 'Juneau Macguff,' like the city in Alaska.
  • In David Fincher's Se7en, the detectives think that the name used on the serial killer's library card, "Jon Doe", is an obvious fake. However, they later find out that his legal name actually is "Jonathan Doe" — several unfilmed scenes from the script elaborate that he was an orphan raised in a parochial school, hence the made-up last name.
  • In Meet the Parents, Greg's full name is revealed to be Gaylord Focker. Pam's parents realize that once the two are married, her name will be Pamela Martha Focker.
  • A version in Zack and Miri Make a Porno, where Zack holds auditions for the titular porno:
    Zack: What's your name?
    Lester: Lester... Lester the Molester Cockenschtuff.
    Zack: Wow. That's a great porn name.
    Lester: I get to pick a porn name?... Then I want to be called... Pete Jones.
  • Robert S. McNamara in The Fog of War relates a conversation he had with his future wife over telegraph. "My middle name is Strange." "Well, what is it?"

  • Callahan's Crosstime Saloon featured a couple originally named Les Moore and Merry Glueham (pronounced "gloom"). When they got married, they swapped last names.
  • Joe Ledger series features Sergeant Harvey Rabbit, a.k.a. Bunny Rabbit. (Also probably a reference to Harvey, a film and play about a possibly imaginary rabbit.)
    Top Sims: Son, did your parents hate you?
  • An unfortunate Marine in the Prince Roger series is named Ima Hooker. No innocent misunderstandings there, though, it's REALLY a Real Joke Name — her abusive father thought he was hilarious.
  • Hubertus Bigend plays it straight in the Bigend Books in that his family name is pronounced "Bayh-jhan", but he pronounces it "big-end" because he likes to annoy people. In Zero History, Gareth pronounces it as two separate words — "Big End".
  • In Texas Teamwork by J.T. Edson, the deputies encounter a High-Class Call Girl called Lois Lane. They are certain this is an assumed name, but the madam assures them this is the name on her social security card.
  • The assassin Jonathan Teatime from Hogfather will firmly, even ominously, advise you his name is pronounced "Tay-a-TEE-may".

    Live-Action TV 
  • A.N.T. Farm: Someone with the name Dorian Bannister works at Z-Tech. Chyna made that name up in Season 1 when asked who her first kiss was.
  • 30 Rock:
    • Liz assumes Tracy has finally cracked when he starts going on about seeing "Doctor Spaceman", but he was just mispronouncing the name of Dr. Spa-CHEE-min, who became one of the most hilarious recurring characters on the show.
    • 30 Rock is fond of this sort of name, from Jeffrey Weinerslav to Colin O. Scopy, to NBC Broadcast Standards Chief Gaylord Felcher.
  • How I Met Your Mother has new professor Ted tell his students that "Cook Poo" is a terrible, unbelievably fake name, until an Asian student runs crying from his class.
  • The Golden Girls:
    • An episode had Dorothy teaching an American History course for adults going for their GEDs. On the first night, she reads out a class register that includes the name "Jim Shu" and thinks it's a joke (Gym Shoe). The Japanese-American Jim Shu then stands up and corrects her.
    • In a bit of a variant on this trope, in one episode the group is looking through Blanche Devereaux's old diaries to see if she slept with Rose's traveling salesman husband many years ago. At first they are shocked that Blanche has given them a large list of everyone she's ever slept with, because the journal is titled "BED". Blanche casually explains that her full name is "Blanche Elizabeth Devereaux", and her initials just happen to spell "bed".
  • The Man Show had men with actual names like "Dick Hertz" and "Mike Hunt."
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus had a few:
    • Mr. Smoke-too-much from The Travel Agent Sketch:
      Bounder: Ah good morning. I'm Bounder of Adventure.
      Tourist: My name is Smoke-too-much.
      Bounder: Well you'd better cut down a little then.
      Tourist: What?
      Bounder: You'd better cut down a little then.
      Tourist: Oh I see! Cut down a little then...
      Bounder: Yes...I expect you get people making jokes about your name all the time?
      Tourist: No, no actually it never struck me before. Smoke...too...much... (laughs)
    • Inspectors Tiger, Lookout and Theresamanbehindyer from The Agatha Christie Sketch:
      Inspector Tiger: Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Inspector Tiger.
      All: Tiger?
      Inspector Tiger: (jumping) Where? Where? What? Ah. Me, Tiger.
      Lookout: I'm Chief Superintendent Lookout.
      Lady Velloper: Look out?
      Lookout: (jumping) What, where, oh, me, Lookout. Lookout of the Yard.
      Lady Velloper: Why, what would we see?
      Lookout: I'm sorry?
      Lady Velloper: What would we see if we look out of the yard?
      Lookout: ... I'm afraid I don't follow that at all.
      Theresamanbehindyer: I'm Assistant Chief Constable Theresamanbehindyer.
      All: Theresamanbehindyer?
      Theresamanbehindyer: Ah, you're not going to catch me with an old one like that.
    • "John Stokes, this is A Sniveling Little Rat Faced Git." [...] "This is my wife, Dreary Fat Boring Old [Git]". And the kids are no better: only last week Dirty Lying Little Two-Faced came running home from school, sobbing his eyes out, and their youngest, Ghastly Spotty Horrible Vicious Little is just at the age when taunts like 'she's a git' really hurt.
  • Saturday Night Live
    • A skit from the early 1990s, with Nicolas Cage as guest host, had a bizarre variation on joke names with Cage playing an expecting father not being happy with any of the names his wife comes up with for their child, always finding a nasty, teasing nickname kids can come up with from it. The punchline comes when a man comes to their door with a message for Mr. and Mrs. Asswipe Johnson, to which the father, frustrated, informs him that his name is pronounced ah-ZWEE-pay.
    • A January 1991 "Wayne's World" sketch had Wayne and Garth talking about the Gulf War, specifically mentioning how CNN war correspondent Wolf Blitzer's name seemed made up.
      Wayne: Wolf Blitzer? Shyeah, right!
      Garth: It’s so obvious the guy made it up for the war!
      Wayne: Yeah! I know, it’s like, "Hi, we now take you to our War Correspondent, Howitzer Explosion Guy."
  • Veronica Mars: Mr. Happy Fists is actually named . . . Mr. Happy Fists. Word of God: one of the writer's favorite jokes.
  • Jay Leno used to do a segment from The Tonight Show on these showing up in newspaper ads.
  • Played with in Community, when Jeff makes up a class and teacher that he names "Professor Professorson," insisting, "It's Dutch! I think it means Professor!"
    • And later on, when we actually meet this supposed professor:
      Dean Pelton: (disbelievingly) Your real name is Professor Professorson?
      "Professor Professorson": My family name was Professorburg, but we changed it when we were fleeing from the Nazis.
    • Ultimately subverted in that "Professor Professorson" is actually a guy running a whole racket of fake classes who went along with Jeff's lie in order to help him out. But he's really actually Greendale's theatre professor Sean Garrity, and the whole thing was set up by the Dean to teach Jeff a lesson about lying.
  • Played with in The Colbert Report.
    • The crawl on the bottom of the screen showing donors to Colbert's Super PAC apparently included a "Suq Madiq", who apparently has a father named Liqa Madiq and a mother named Munchma Quchi (she kept her maiden name). Colbert proceeded to break character and laugh uncontrollably. (It's even the page image in Corpsing.)
    • Colbert referred to Suq Madiq and Munchma Quchi again in the April 4, 2012 episode along with other donors Harry Balsac and Apoop Mapanz.
    • Munchma Quchi was mentioned yet again in the July 15, 2013 episode, where she apparently works for KTVU as the one who penned the script for the news regarding the (fake) pilots in the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 disaster (Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow).
  • The Daily Show:
    • A 2002 episode had a field day out of the fact that the head of security for the FIFA World Cup (held in South Korea) was called "Han Dong-Suk"
      Dong-Suk: [voice of translator] Every precaution has been taken. Ok, stop laughing! I come from a long line of Dong-Suks! You can't go anywhere in this country without running into a Dong-Suk! STOP IT! Hey, do you know what "Mike Williams" means here? It's a LOT worse than "Dong-Suk", I can tell you THAT!
    • The episode right after Osama bin Laden was killed said that Abbottabad, where he was living, sounds like a name some New Yorker might make up as a fictional place where they want to kill Bin Laden:
      You give me a gun, you drop me into "Abadabad" or whatever they call their cities over there, I'll give him a shot, I'll go to Abadabad and I'll shoot him in has Abadabadabingos, you know what I'm talking about?
    • In the November 8, 2013 episode, he jokes about NFL player Richie Incognito (real name).
      Jon: First things first, Richie Incognito? That's a name that an undercover cop comes up with on the fly in one of those Police Academy movies.
  • Dani's House: Ben is studied by a secret agent named "Fleur Blair". Dani and Max both have fun with it.
    Fleur Blair: I'm Secret Agent Fleur Blair.
    Max: I'm sorry to hear that.
  • Sonny with a Chance: A huge guy named Ripa Big-One is called for in the cafeteria.
  • Scrubs has recurring characters Dr. Beardface ("It's Beard-Fa-SAY, DAMNIT!") and Dr. Mickhead.
    • And then there's Rotinaj.
    • Elliot's boyfriend Keith, whom Dr Cox dubbed 'the Dude Meister' actually turned out to be called Dudemeister.
  • In Hannah Montana:
    Miley: Officer— [sees traffic officer's badge] —Diaria [she pronounced it as diarrhea]?
    Officer: It's 'DI-YAR-YUH'!
  • Mitch from Modern Family thought this when his dad and Cameron were talking about football great Dick Butkus.
  • A sketch in Horrible Histories shows a Victorian teacher thinking her students' names are fake only to find out they're all real (this includes names like "Scary Looker" and "Princess Cheese" so it's completely understandable). Her own name turns out to be Miss Farting-Clack.
  • In an episode of Father Ted, a visitor challenges Mrs. Doyle to guess his name. She spends several minutes rattling off increasingly ridiculous names such as Chewy Louie, Pee Wee Stairmaster, and Jemima Racktooie, before correctly guessing "Todd Unctious". Turns out that wasn't his name either.
  • A Bit of Fry and Laurie:
    • In one sketch, they were reading letters they had been sent from people responding to their asking viewers who had met someone with an odd-sounding name to write in. The people who had written the letters were oblivious to their own bizarre names:
      Stephen Fry: Ah, here's another. Dear A Bit of Fry and Laurie, My wife's first husband was called Simon Corgi. I still split my sides when I hear that stupid name. Yours faithfully, Frigme Popplehate Fresharse.
    • Another sketch has Fry interviewing Laurie, who claims to have been an old friend of Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, and, in fact, "absolutely everyone." Fry starts asking Laurie about people with obviously made-up names such as "Maureen Limpwhippypippydodo"; Laurie claims to have known all of them. In the end, Fry asks about:
      Fry: Dick Van Dyke?
      Laurie: You just made that up!
    • And finally, one scene revolves around a man whose name isn't a word so much as it is a mime. Specifically, he is called Derek [drops lighter onto table]. He says it's spelt "as it sounds", but when pressed spells it out: Nippl-E. His address is 22, [does a tap dance, slaps the interrogator on the cheek], King's Lynn.
  • The New Adventures of Old Christine: A case of Stripper/Cop Confusion happens when a handsome buff young police officer shows at Christine's place on her birthday to warn her about a prowler in the area. When he introduces himself as Officer Johnson, Christine assumes this is his stripper name.
  • In an episode of Becker, Margaret finds out that Linda has been writing insulting but accurate descriptions in the patients' files to help her remember who is who, and naturally reads her the riot act. Later on, a man with a big nose named Bignozi comes in looking for an appointment...
  • On Game of Thrones, when Jaime and Bronn meet Dickon Tarly (Bronn for the first time), Jaime misnames him "Rickon". When Dickon corrects him (literaly pronouncing it "Dick-on") Bronn doesn't even try to hold back his peals of laughter. note 
  • In the Frasier episode "Fathers and Sons", Niles and Daphne attempt to preemptively enroll their yet-to-be-born son in the prestigious kindergarten St. Osric's Academy, only to be stuck on what name to put down on the form. At Roz's suggestion, they ultimately go with Ichabod — which leads to his application being immediately turned down when the staff mistake it for a prank (he would end up being named David once he was actually born in the series finale).
    Dean of Admissions: Well, if they're not going to take the application seriously, how can we expect them to take St. Osric's seriously?
  • Impractical Jokers: In one of the "Cranjis McBasketball" challenges, where the Jokers try to keep a straight face while calling out ridiculous fake names in a waiting room, it turned out that one of the guests actually answered to the name "The One-And-Only Egg Montoya"— well, Eric Montoya, whose friends had nicknamed him "Egg". The guys were flabbergasted, but did not award Sal any extra points.
  • Orphan Black: In the episode featuring Alison's unpleasant mother, she constantly refers to Alison's husband Donny as "Mr. Chubbs", which initially seems like a mean joke about his weight. It's finally revealed that Chubbs was his maiden name, and he took Alison's surname when they were married because it was so embarassing.
  • MADtv (1995) did a skit where a bunch of men want to be porn stars so they go to an office and get new porn names. Bobby Lee's character then enters and says that his name is already "Hung Lo". It turns out he is looking for the DMV.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street: A late-1970s sketch had Kermit the Frog going to a t-shirt store to pick up a custom-made t-shirt with his name on it. When he sees the printed name "Kermit the Gorf", he believes it to be a mistake, only for a monster with that name to come in and claim the shirt. The same thing happens with monsters called "Kermit the Forg" and "Kermit the Grof". The one for him? Not ready yet.
  • In Dinosaurs Earl and Fran take their baby to the Great Elder for his traditional naming ceremony. While the elder is thinking he suddenly suffers a heart attack and dies, but not before the literal-minded clerk takes down every word the elder says as baby's new name resulting in "Augh Augh I'm Dying You Idiot Sinclair". The episode ends with the baby getting his official name of "Baby" by the new Great Elder, much to Earl's chagrin.

  • In Jasper in Deadland, a Flashback shows that the first thing Jasper ever said to Agnes was "Agnes? What's your real first name?"
  • Rowan Atkinson did a sketch once based on a teacher reading a register full of these, although the comedy there came from the utterly deadpan delivery (he clearly knew they were the real names) and the side comments he made to the kids as he read out the names. There's a variation where the names are outright obscene ("Yourprick" is one of them), and the humor comes from his utterly deadpan Double Entendre delivery.

    Video Games 
  • In LEGO City Undercover, Chase tracks down a group of robbers, one of whom gives his boss' name as "George Fartarbensonbury" (he quickly admits he's actually working for Rex Fury, protagonist Chase McCain's Arch-Enemy). Chase notes how fake the name sounds, but a man by the name of George Fartarbensonbury can be seen in the background after the robber is arrested.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has a Glowing One named Jason Bright. The Courier can point this out, and he'll admit that it is in fact his real name, and that he believes the fact that he now very much lives up to that name is a sign that he was chosen by a higher power to achieve great things.
  • Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong: The player character can assume that "Gobbet" is your team shaman's street name. It isn't, her mother knew just enough English to think it was pretty, without thinking about the meaning. As the "Real Life" section will also tell you, this practice isn't uncommon in Hong Kong.
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon: When Ichiban ("Number one" in Japanese) and Nanba (homophone with "number") meet, they both assume that the other is using a pseudonym, something Nanba states isn't that uncommon in homeless communities. When they realize that both men are using real name, things get a little awkward.


    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • In the Scott The Woz episode "Borderline Forever", the host of the talk show that Scott and Rex attempt to hijack is named Hector Andfriends. He opens his show with, "That's not the name of the show, this is my name, dammit!"
  • In Episode 1 of Weird school rules in Hong Kong, one of the rules deemed "weird" is that students of a school must bring their wallets to class or they'll have their names recorded down (most likely for further punishment down the line). Cue this skit satirizing the rule, which is funnier and makes much more sense in Cantonese (but is translated into English for ease of reading):
    Teacher: (stopping a random student in his tracks) Ay, this student [here], I need to check if you've brought your wallet [to school] or not.
    Student: (fumbles around his pockets) [I] forgot [to].
    Teacher: You forgot?! Then [I] need to record down your name, what's your name?
    Student: "M̀h gei dāk".*
    Teacher: [You] can't even remember your name?! Would you believe me if [I said] I'll give you a major demerit [for this]?
    Student: Sir, my name really is 'Ngh Gei-dāk—the "Ng" in "Daniel Wu"*, the 'kei' in "memory" (憶), the 'tak' in "moral character" (品).[[note]]The student's name, Ng Kei-tak (吳記德), is pronounced virtually the same as "唔記得", lit. "can't remember" or "forget/forgot" in Cantonese. For an English speaker's equivalent, the student would be named something along the lines of "Ivor Gott", with 'Ivor' being pronounced "EYE-vor".

    Western Animation 
  • An awkward The Missus and the Ex moment in American Dad! between Reggie the Koala and Jeff Fischer is punctuated by Jeff asking Hayley how's "Your huge vagina?" However, Hayley responds while walking away with him offscreen, "Oh, Yerhugeva? She's good. She's back in Croatia for the winter with the rest of the Gina family."
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "The Last Temptation of Homer", Homer tries I Have This Friend on Moe:
      Homer: See, I got this friend named Joey...Joe Joe...Junior Shabadoo...
      Moe: That's the worst name I ever heard.
      (Random guy at bar begins to cry and runs out)
      Barney: Hey, Joey Joe Joe!
      Homer: Oh what the hell, it's me!
    • There was another instance of this during the episode "Flaming Moe's". Bart attempted one of his frequent prank calls on Moe's Tavern, asking for "Hugh Jass" (Huge Ass). Unfortunately, for once the bar was crowded, and thus by sheer coincidence there was an actual Hugh Jass present to whom Moe passes the phone, which takes Bart completely by surprise. Bart ends up confessing to Mr. Jass that this was a prank gone wrong. Mr. Jass doesn't seem to be offended by it and tells him better luck next time.
    • In "Fear of Flying", Homer gets kicked out of Moe's Tavern. Shortly afterward, someone who looks exactly like Homer, but with a suit, hat, fake mustache, and ridiculous accent walks into the bar and claims to be named "Guy Incognito". He gets thrown out of the bar, only for Homer to walk by, surprised to find a man who is his exact double. Then he gets distracted by a dog with a puffy tail.
    • This came back to bite Moe in "Donnie Fatso", when he offended Fat Tony when he was calling for his Russian contact Yuri Nator. Tony complained that he yelled at him like "he was some prank-calling kid".
    • There was also Springfield Elementary School teacher Mr. Glasscock in "Separate Vocations", who quit sometime in the past because students kept making fun of his name. After Bart made a Heel–Face Turn (temporarily), became hall monitor and the behavior of the students saw a big improvement, Principal Skinner convinced him to come back. Sadly, after Lisa (who had made a temporary Face–Heel Turn at the same time) stole all the teacher's edition textbooks and brought all the teachers close to nervous breakdowns, he quit again.
      • A later episode features a teacher named Dick Testicles (pronounced "testiclees"). He, too, is bullied mercilessly by his students and looks to be on the verge of quitting.
    • In "Half-Decent Proposal", when Marge arrives home via taxi after her evening with Artie goes sour, she instructs the driver to send the cab fare bill to "Baron Von Kiss-a-lot". However, that driver happens to be the Wise Guy, who proceeds to send the bill to a literal baron with Gag Lips.
      German Butler: This just arrived, Herr Baron.
      Baron Von Kiss-a-lot: Okay, who's the wise guy?
    • In "Itchy & Scratchy Land," Bart searches a souvenir shop for a personalized license plate, but only finds one labeled "Bort" and is incredulous...only for a little boy actually named Bort to demand one. And then an adult man standing nearby just so happens to also be named Bort. It becomes a Brick Joke when, later in the episode, an employee declares that the store needs more "Bort" plates.
  • Family Guy
    • In "Hell Comes to Quahog", Peter is greatly amused when he learns one of the managers at a super-store is named "Mr. Penisberg". Penisberg wearily tells Peter "Yeah, yeah, get it out of your system."
    • When Peter goes to talk to a group of politicians, he cracks up when he learns one is named Dick Armey.
      Peter: What's your wife's name? Vagina Coastguard?
  • Futurama combined this with Actor Allusion when the crew encounter a robot named Billy West who they believe is Bender in disguise.
    Fry: Billy West, ha! What a stupid, phony, made-up name!
  • Jay of The Critic comes upon a squeaky-voiced teen managing a fast-food joint whose nametag reads "Pizzaface". The kid indignantly corrects him that it's pronounced "Pizza-fah-chay".
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "The Beak", there was a villain named Khaka Peu Peu (pronounced kaka poo poo) whose name apparently means "the strong fist" or "that strong fist".
  • Hamster & Gretel: In “U. F. Uh-Oh”, Kevin and Gretel meet a tour guide named “Wacko Wally”, who introduces himself as “not a nut”. Kevin lampshades that maybe he shouldn’t call himself “Wacko”, to which he replies that “Wacko” is actually his first name, and that his brother’s name is even weirder… in fact, it’s “Evan (pronounced “Even”) Weirder Wally”.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "One Krabs Trash", when Mr. Krabs tries to steal back a million dollar #1 hat from SpongeBob, he makes up a curse if he doesn't bury the hat in the grave of whom it belongs to. SpongeBob asks his name, but the surprised Krabs can only string together syllables in a name he thinks can't possibly exist: Smitty Werbenjägermanjensen. Turns out there was such a man and he really did own that hat, so SpongeBob buries the hat in his tomb.
    • In the episode "Good Old What's His Name", Mr. Krabs offers SpongeBob and Squidward a Caribbean vacation as a prize to whoever can be the friendliest employee. SpongeBob, already friendly with all the regular customers, seems to be winning. But Squidward spots a new customer, and asks him his name. The customer rudely replies "What's it to ya?!" and angrily storms out. Squidward chases him all over Bikini Bottom, causing a fair amount of damage along the way, but finally catches up to him. Squidward yanks the wallet from the customer's pants, looks at his driver's license, and the customer's name is...Whatzit Tooya. Squidward is then imprisoned for the aforementioned city damage, but it's all right with him, because once he's out, he's got a Caribbean vacation to look forward to! That is, until Mr. Krabs visits him in jail and says the contest was for the brochure describing the vacation, not the vacation itself.
  • An episode of Beavis and Butt-Head had Buzzcut trying to make the titular morons laugh. He starts calling attendance, with names like Butkus and Gaylord. Naturally, they're all actual students.
  • An episode of Sealab 2021 has one of the children get scolded when she calls her rather overweight classmate "Fatass McBlobicus". Turns out that's actually his name.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Marble Madness", Connie's mom says that she doesn't believe that Steven's name is real, while we all know it is. To her credit, "Universe" was his father's Stage Name made legal name, but it really has been Steven's name since birth.
  • This incident in the Savage Land saga of X-Men: The Animated Series.
    Wolverine: You don't kick a man when he's down, hair bag!
    Hairbag: Hey! Who told you my name? You making fun of me? Nobody makes fun of Hairbag!
  • An episode of Rick and Morty featured alien parasites that planted Fake Memories in everyone's heads and took on the personas of strange characters the Smiths thought they knew. One of the strange characters is someone named Mr. Poopybutthole who turns out to be real.
  • The principal's last name on Doug is named Buttsavitch, which doubles as a reference to creator Jim Jinkins' elementary school principal.
  • South Park had a classic episode where a news anchor turns it over to a reporter on the scene who he describes as a "ordinary guy with a creepy name". The reporter's name? Creamy Goodness.

    Real Life 
  • Henry "Harry" Rigden Butt or Harry Butt.
  • The Dutch actually didn't use last names until the 19th century, when they were conquered by Napoleon and he forced them to take on last names for administrative reasons. In defiance, however, the Dutch mockingly chose absurd-sounding last names including Naaktgeboren (born naked), Spring in 't Veld (jump in the field), and Piest (pisses). These surnames have persisted to the present day.
    • There's actually a Czech surname "Skočdopole" which ALSO means "jump in the field". There might be some connection...
  • Similarly, some groups in Russia, like Jews or Orthodox monks didn't have last names, and had to take them for administrative reasons. Some Jewish names were Eierweiss (egg white) or Singmirwas (sing something). Orthodox monks sometimes picked Scripture-sounding names like Father Grigori BlessedwearethroughJesus'death.
  • There was an actual South African white supremacist named Eugene Terreblanche ("Terreblance" = "White Land"). He was murdered in March 2010. The name is ancestral and dates back to the early 18th century at least, and may have been adopted intentionally with at least some racist ideas in mind.
  • Monsieur L. Lamperouge is a CBC producer and advocate for Quebec separation. His name is Luc for those who are wondering, but he did watch Code Geass and can consider a change.
  • The Hong Kong director, Fruit Chan.note 
    • This is a fairly common occurrence in Hong Kong, where entire articles have been written about people's... creative choices for English names, which include Ice, Cash, Devil, Chlorophyll, Kinky, Cola, Money, Deep, Nectar, Flying, Starry, etc. Not even the dolphins at Ocean Park Hong Kong are spared — one of them is reportedly named Hicky.note 
  • Sean Connery once got stopped by a constable named James Bond. Also, his name can be heard as "This is bullshit" in French. (When you consider that Ian Fleming named his character after a real-life ornithologist, this isn't too remarkable.)
  • There is a Chinese official named Cao Gaochao. His surname Cao can be translated as "fuck" in Mandarin Chinese, and Gaochao means "climax".
  • When a fan mentions Benedict Cumberbatch to somebody who has never heard his name before, this will most likely be their reaction.
  • Several Moral Guardian groups complained about the "intentionally shocking title" of Meet the Fockers. One wonders whether they ever take a plane. The censors reportedly told the producers they couldn't use the name unless they actually found a family with that name, which they did. In Canada.
  • Cardinal Jaime Sin, former Archbishop of Manila. His title and surname "Cardinal Sin" is, ironically enough, a synonym for "deadly sin" which became a point of humour amongst Filipino Catholics, himself included. Sin used to refer to his home as "The House of Sin" when he used to greet guests at Villa San Miguel, the archiepiscopal palace in Mandaluyong.
  • Not quite as punny, but there was once a Cardinal Casanova. No word on if it was appropriate.
  • Henry Segrave died in a boat.
  • District manager Rick Roll is never gonna run around and desert you.
  • Also from the army, Staff Sergeant Max Fightmaster.
  • Former American football player Michael "Mike" Hunt.
  • Colin Powell (would be innocuous if it weren't pronounced like "colon").
  • Various Cockburns (usually pronounced "Co-burn"), including the real name of actress Olivia Wilde.
  • A Japanese city and some of its inhabitants are called Gasuko. It means "my grandson".
  • Unfortunate Names for Their Jobs.
  • Justin Beiber, a 30 something year old who gets insane amount of fanmail and kicked off of every social networking site he signs up under his own name for copying the other Bieber. Here's him doing some Self-Deprecation on The Late Show with David Letterman.
  • Neel Kashkari, indeed pronounced "cash carry", who drew up plans to bail out the nation's largest banks during the 2008 financial crisis for the Bush administration.
  • Hazard Construction, which has been around for decades and has a respectable name (ironically).
  • Accent Dental is apparently an actual thing.
  • The name John Smith is so common that anyone who introduces themselves as such would immediately be assumed to be faking. Must be annoying for people who actually are named John Smith...
    • Presumably in response to this, a gaffer named John Smith who worked on Babylon 5 is sometimes credited as "The John Smith" in the show's credits.
  • People named Harry Potter, among others. One potter in Houston named Harry Potter actually had to change the name of his store to "Harry the Potter" due to the people looking for magic tricks. Also affects anyone named Hermione (albeit it was an Outdated Name before the books brought back into the forefront).
  • Ima Hogg. When The Other Wiki put her article on the front page on April 1, a number of people complained about such an obvious fake.
    • The article notes, "Similar unfortunate baby names according to United States Census records include Ima Pigg, Ima Muskrat, Ima Nut, Ima Hooker, Ima Weiner, Ima Reck, Ima Pain and Ima Butt."
    • However, it's only an Urban Legend that Ima Hogg had a sister named Ura. Ima was often asked about that, but replied that it would just be silly.
  • After The Lord of the Rings was published, J. R. R. Tolkien received a letter from a real person named Sam Gamgee, who hadn't read the book but heard that there was a character who shared his name. Tolkien was delighted and sent Mr. Gamgee a signed copy of the novel. However, he later remarked in a letter, "For some time I lived in fear of receiving a letter signed 'S. Gollum'. That would have been more difficult to deal with." note 
  • Bernie Madoff made off with a lot of people's money.
  • There have been several people named Homer Simpson who haven't been able to order pizza because they're assumed to be pranksters.
    • There's a water skier named Freddy Krueger who claims to have the same problem.
  • Myke Hawke, the star of the reality show Man, Woman, Wild.
  • Anurag Dikshit, former programmer for PartyPoker and former oligarch. His last name is actually pronounced "dixit", though.
  • David Letterman had a lot of fun in 1995 after he met Dick Assman, the owner of a gas station in Regina, Saskatachewan, Canada. Assman, a Germanic name, is apparently pronounced "uzman". He also had an audience member whose name (the fellow showed his driver's license to the camera) was Richard Weed.
  • Dick Armey, a U.S. Congress Representative. He not only didn't mind his name, but frequently joked about it.
  • Dick Swett, another former U.S. Congressman with a good sense of humor.
  • Richard Assman was a German meteorologist. He is known for inventing Assman's Whirling Psychrometer, an instrument for measuring humidity. "Assman" is a common enough surname that The Other Wiki lists eight people by that name.
  • When Scott Usmail was playing for the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL, he occasionally wore a jersey with the number "32¢" on it, which was the price of a postage stamp back then (think about it). It's now in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
  • At a party in the early Sixties, Marianne Faithfull was introduced to a gentleman in the music business who laughed at someone having such a silly stage name. It's her real name.
  • There are at least three women with the given name Babygirl (one of whom happens to be a glandular giant, 6'7" high and about 4' across the shoulders). All three had been foundlings, given this "placeholder" name on birth certificates.
  • Gary Larson once received a letter from a man named Albert Tilly about how flattered he was about the "Al Tilly the Bum" Far Side comic.
  • Scott Adams wrote a Dilbert comic in which he describes an impractical way of transporting clothes as "Dorkage". He got complaints from people whose last name is actually "Dork", and wrote a follow up strip to "apologize".
    Dogbert: I apologize to all the Dorks who were offended. I hope we can put this behind us.
  • Several people in the world (Chinese-born or of Chinese ancestry) named "Long Wang" (it means "Dragon King" in Mandarin Chinese, and the 'a' in "Wang" is pronounced like 'ar' in a non-rhotic accent).
  • An elite Massachusetts boarding school went for over 200 years by the name of "Dummer Academy", after Governor William Dummer who donated the land. After a couple centuries putting up with being an obvious target of jokes, the trustees finally caved and changed the name (to "The Governor's Academy") when the name was found to have a negative influence on prospective students' perception of their academic standards.
  • After the release of the movie Amélie, it turns out there was a girl in France named Amélie Poulain. The producer was surprised because he had his people do research to make sure there wasn't anyone sharing her name.
  • Blossom Dearie was a jazz singer/pianist famous for her winsome girlish personality and "baby-doll" voice. (Notably, she lent her voice to a handful of Schoolhouse Rock! songs.) Her name suited her stage persona so perfectly that many fans and even biographers were surprised to learn that it was indeed her birth name.
  • A production designer on The Walking Dead was named Grace Walker. Considering "Walker" is the series' distinctive term for the Z-word, that had to have raised a few eyebrows.
  • Deliveries to a certain Butt Hole Road (named after a communal water barrel) in England have been delayed because the drivers thought the name to be a vulgar joke. Fortunately the name was changed to Archer Way in 2009, to honour the castle half a mile up the road.
  • Thomas Wanker, a German film music composer whose name appeared in the credits of every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Given Joss Whedon's well known Anglophilia and predilection for putting British swear words into his American scripts, it could have been a joke. It wasn't. (Perhaps to diminish this, he at times is credited as Wander)
  • Retired NFL player Dick Butkus (pronounced like "butt kiss").
  • "Randy Rainbow" sounds like the perfect Camp Gay stage name; it is in fact his real name. His website even includes a "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer.
  • Multi-million dollar world poker champion Chris Moneymaker. His ancestors were apparently responsible for minting gold and silver coins in Germany, and Americanized their name when they immigrated.
  • Take any video game with "American McGee" on the cover. Many people assume that it's just an intentionally silly name for a game studio. It's actually the lead developer's real name.
  • During the congressional hearings of Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, the Internet was both shocked and amused by the revelation that one of Trump's longest and closest associates is a man named Matthew Calamari.
    • For that matter, Trump's appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as White House Communications Director was instantly met with jokes about doing the fandango.
  • Mosima Sexwalenote , an important South African businessman who controls the global diamond industry. As if that wasn't enough, he's often called by his nickname, "Tokyo".
  • Basketball player Ron Artest had his name legally changed to Metta World Peace to well, promote world peace.
  • Batman bin Suparman ("Batman, son of Suparman") is a Singaporean criminal.
  • One of the British colonists in Australia was named John Batman. In his honour, there is an area in Melbourne named Batman Hill. It's actually pronounced "BAT-muhn", but try telling that to anyone who reads the name rather than hearing it.
  • Creflo Dollar's last name (which is his real last name, incidentally) is rather appropriate considering the fact he is one of the most prominent proponents of the prosperity gospel (the belief that if one gives to a minister, God would bless that giver financially).
  • Canadian TV news host Anita Bathe.
  • According to the collaborators of Mr. Charles de Gaulle (the grandson of General de Gaulle), they sometimes have trouble being taken seriously when talking on the phone on his behalf. Especially when trying to book a plane at the Charles de Gaulle Airport.
  • Stephen Pastis of Pearls Before Swine claims that often when he made up a silly name in his comic, he would get letters from people who had that name. He eventually concluded that with the world's high population, there were bound to be some people that had that name.
  • Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime was succeeded by none other than Doug Bowser. In his first tweet after receiving the position, he showed a photo of himself in the office, with Mario and Luigi plushies tied up as a Funny Background Event. Mario's nemesis himself appeared in his first E3 presentation as president dressed in a tie, stunned he was not the Bowser to receive the job.
  • Filipino politician Denver Colorado, who is the former vice mayor of Trece Martires City, Cavite. Guess where he was named after.
  • American R&B singer CeCe Peniston, who is perhaps best known for the gay anthem "Finally". Her surname would occasionally be rendered as Pennington in platforms where the word "penis" is censored.
  • NASCAR has had a few examples of this with people having names that can be misconstrued:
    • Dick Trickle is the best known case; it was short for Richard. His name was a favored Running Gag of Keith Olbermann's during his ESPN days.
    • Another Richard who went by Dick is Dick Passwater.
  • Marcia Gay Harden has a name that may sound like a porn star name, but the Harden part of her surname is entirely nonsexual in meaning and not a Stage Name; it's an Old English (as in Anglo-Saxon language) surname meaning "grey valley", from Old English har (grey, modern "hoary") and denu (modern "dene" or "dean" meaning valley), a now-lost place-name in Lancashire or West Yorkshire.
  • Dua Lipa was seen as this in 2015 when she was a new artist, due to her surname being similar to the initials for Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. But her surname means "linden tree" in Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian, so it's equivalent to English Lind or Linden surnames, like American actress Christina Bennett Lind.
  • There exists a real educational professional out there with the name of Marijuana Pepsi. For her dissertation, she wrote about how Black children are perceived in white classrooms solely by their names.
  • Sort of an awesome variant, CNN lead anchor Wolf Blitzer frequently gets asked if that's actually his real name, because it sounds like a stage name. The truth is that his father's family indeed was named "Blitzer" (they were Polish Jews), and "Wolf" was his in fact the name of his maternal grandfather. Of course, his mother's maiden name was "Zylberfuden", and "Wolf Zylberfuden" probably wouldn't have sounded as awesome.
  • Gérard Manfroy, a famously appropriately-named heating engineer from Brussels. In French, his name is pronounced exactly like "J'ai rarement froid", meaning "I'm rarely cold".
  • Writer and producer of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Speed Weed. According to Speed, his first name is a nickname of sorts given by his parents at his birth and used primarily through his whole life.
  • Eugene Goodman, the Capitol Police officer on duty during the insurrection on January 6, 2021. His quick thinking led him to draw the mob away from the chambers of Congress, saving untold lives not only of the senators and representatives but of the mob themselves who otherwise would have faced armed guards. More than one person observed that Mr. Goodman lived up to his name.
  • Current US Representative for South Dakota Dusty Johnson.
  • Goldfrapp isn't a fancy Starbucks drink, it's the real surname of electronic music singer-songwriter Alison Goldfrapp, who lent her name to a musical partnership with Will Gregory.
  • Beloved four-term mayor Harry Baals!
  • Shipping merchant and Democratic kingmaker Preserved Fish. The emphasis is on the -ed, though.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Mulligan The Headsman, Klutz The Surgeon


Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen

Mr. Krabs tries to scare SpongeBob out of a priceless soda-drinking hat by posing as a ghost, telling him the hat is cursed and must be returned to its deceased owner, Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen. Approximately one nanosecond later, SpongeBob announces he's gone and put the thing in the actual Smitty's grave.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (29 votes)

Example of:

Main / AccidentallyRealFakeAddress

Media sources: