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"Hmm, I'm not sure about 'Hulk' for a kid. Although I do like the sound of a name beginning with 'the'."
Phoebe, Friends
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Some people want you to put a "The" before their name. Avoid these people. (In particular, if the name does not sound like an ordinary name — say, "the Ice" — then do not borrow money from them, or at least make very very sure to keep up with the payments and then some.) For two particularly ominous versions, see The Master and The Butcher.

A form of Insistent Terminology. May overlap with Third-Person Person, and is commonly used wih Capital Letters Are Magic. As you'll see in This Very Wiki, it's common for Trope Codifiers to be referred to with a "The" in bold, italic, or bold italic.

In Japanese media, many works will feature a "THE" followed by the rest of the title in Japanese characters.

Compare The Magnificent, where the "the" goes in the middle—and which is not always bad. See also Red Baron, The Trope Without a Title, and The "The" Title Confusion, where it is unclear whether or not something should begin with a "the".

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The Examples:

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    The Advertising 
  • Inversion: A late-1990s ESPN commercial series stars Mike O'Malley as "Rick", bemoaning that "everyone calls me The Rick."
  • Domino's Pizza has the Noid, who is always The Noid.

    The Anime & The Manga 
  • Chazz Princeton from the dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. The original was similar, with Manjoume constantly correcting people with "Manjoume-san da!" (roughly translated to "That's Mr. Manjoume, to you!"). Unfortunately, too many of the offenders completely misinterpret this as him trying to say the Engrish "Thunder", and thus twisting it into his nickname "Manjoume Thunder".
  • The Ninja from Kinnikuman. Kinnikuman is a series that likes to throw a lot of inappropriate "The"s at the start of characters' names, although they're normally omitted in translation. The most bizarre example is "Big The Budo". Much to the confusion of most English speakers, "The Budo" is the character's base name, not "Big". It's why he was renamed "Big Budo" in the localization of Galactic Wrestling: Featuring Ultimate Muscle
  • The girls' official designation in Zettai Karen Children is "The Children."
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure gives us The World (ZA WARUDO), Dio Brando's Stand. This name doesn't seem to mesh very well with what it does. On the same vein, the stands of Iggy and Arabia Fats are named The Fool and The Sun respectively. Other tarot-themed stands do not follow this convention (for example: Star Platinum).
    • Dio refers to himself as "Kono Dio-sama" which roughly means "this magnificent Dio," usually translated as "I, Dio."
    • In the Jorge Joestar novel, President Funny Valentine's son and grandson are named Funnier Valentine and The Funniest Valentine, with the latter being specifically noted as the first person in history to have a first name of "The".
  • Read or Die features a heroine with code name "The Paper". Please do not snicker at the pronunciation in the Japanese dub. Epically lampshaded by Anita who explains her job to Nenene as being her "The Bodyguard".
  • In D.Gray-Man, the Earl of Millennium is referred to in this way. It's even included in the character profiles from the Japanese official materials as part of his name.
  • In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Scirocco's final mecha is named the The O (no, that's not a typo). In this case, the "O" seems to represent the world — thus, "The O" means "the entire planet", representing Scirocco's ambition to Take Over the World.
  • Sword Art Online: Kirito mentions that one can identify high-level Bosses by this trope, such as "The Gleam Eyes" or "The Skull Reaper".
    • In an amusing turn of events, Kirito becomes known as The Black Swordsman. Spell my name with a "The" indeed.
  • The subtitles for Saki have Amae Koromo refer to herself as the Koromo, possibly to point out that she isn't doing it to be cute.
  • After the main event of Blame!, the main character is referred as The Calamity.
  • In the Tournament Arc of Shaman King, Tao Ren names his team The Ren team. When "team" is said after the name of a team, it becomes "the The Ren team". It is usually said before, as with "Team X-Laws" or "Team Funbari Onsen", but Tao Ren chose to name it "Team The Ren" specifically so that either way, it's his team.
  • While Hei from Darker Than Black doesn't have a "the" before that name, one of his other names is "The Black Reaper".
  • In Bleach, Kenpachi Zaraki declares there is nothing he cannot cut because he's "The Kenpachi" (a title give to the strongest swordsman in all of Soul Society by way of Klingon Promotion. Zaraki specifically is the eleventh Kenpachi) during his fight with Gremmy Thoumeaux.
  • One of the magazines in Shueisha's Margaret line is called "The Margaret".
  • While likely a quirk of the Portuguese, this trope is nonetheless inverted in one of the Brazilian dubs of Sailor Moon, during her In the Name of the Moonnote  speech, she says "Sou uma Sailor Moon!", which literally translates to "I'm a Sailor Moon!".

    The Comic Books 
  • As the page quote shows, The Incredible Hulk, often referred to as "The Hulk" as well. Amusingly, it's barely used in self-descriptions due to Hulk Speak.
  • The Goddamn Batman, The Joker, The Riddler, The Penguin, and The Scarecrow, though occasionally the articles get dropped when they are being spoken to directly. It's even lampshaded in one issue of Superman & Batman: Generations, when he is talking to Alfred's ghost. "The" Batman. You must be the only one who uses the definite article anymore.
    • And in Batman Returns by Selina Kyle.
      Selina: Wow. The Batman...
      Batman: [Visible Silence]
      Selina: Or is it just "Batman"?
      Batman: [Visible Silence, then leaves]
      Selina: Your choice, of course!
    • Sergio Aragonés Destroys DC has some fun with this in Batman's chapter:
      Random hobo: It's Batman!!
      Batman: That's "The" Batman to you, scum!
      (later, at the amusement park)
      Joker: Hiya, "The"! Fancy meeting you here!
      Batman: What's this "The" business, Joker? You don't know me well enough to address me by my first name[...]
  • Defied in Superman Smashes the Klan by DC Zoom. When Superman makes his Dynamic Entry:
    Atom Man: GASP! The Superman! Oof!
    Superman: No "the." The "the" is a bit pretentious, don't you think?
  • Spider-Man villain The Shocker. Not to mention The Sandman, The Kingpin, The Green Goblin, The Hobgoblin, The Jackal, The Lizard, The Rhino, The Tinkerer, The Vulture, The Rose, The... Of course, Spidey would never settle for being outdone by his enemies. The Webslinger, The Wallcrawler, Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man... heck, one version of him even monologues to himself that he is The Spectacular Spider-Man (or even The Amazing Spider-Man)!
  • The Spike in the second X-Force insists on the definite article, to the point of also being a Third-Person Person.
  • The Corinthian from The Sandman. Despite the title, the Sandman himself is an aversion. He is usually called Dream, or Morpheus.
  • The Dog from Footrot Flats, who's likely to respond to his real name (Raupo) by ripping your throat out.
  • In the UK's weekly anthology comic The Beano, any character referred to with a "the" in their title actually has it in their name. Dennis the Menace has parents referred to as Mr & Mrs. The Menace, Ivy The Terrible's have been called Mr & Mrs The Terrible (although admittedly Mr/Mrs Terrible is more usual), along with Mr/Mrs The Minx, Mr/Mrs The Dodger. However they have also all been given other names on occasion, so these names might not be considered canon.
    • Similarly, while Cerebus the Aardvark was married to Red Sophia, she was once called Mrs the Aardvark.
  • The Drummer in Planetary. First name the, second name Drummer.
  • The original alias of Oroku Saki in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was actually "The Shredder". As time went by and subsequent media adaptations left their mark on the franchise, he is now more commonly referred as simply "Shredder".
  • The Flash counts too.
  • J'onn J'onzz is almost always referred to as THE Martian Manhunter, not just "Martian Manhunter". Or just the Manhunter. Or the Manhunter from Mars. Point is, he's always a "the".
  • The Mandarin from Iron Man. Tony Stark calls the armor "the Iron Man" as a way of distinguishing himself from his weapon system.
  • The Punisher has fought THE Russian, THE Mongolian, and THE Mennonite.
  • X-Men:
    • Nobody can stop The Juggernaut from being mentioned here!
    • Nothing moves The Blob off this page!
  • Of "Transformers"' Original Thirteen Primes, two things stand out about The Fallen (real name Megatronus Prime). The other is that he's perpetually on fire.
  • During the Young Justice: Sins of Youth story arc, Klarion the Witch Boy, took this trope Up to Eleven by insisting that you address him as Klarion Bum Bum Bum The Witch Boy.
  • In The DCU, God himself uses this for most of the names he uses/aspects he appears in, The Source, The Presence, The Hand, and The Voice. Wally doesn't use it, presumably because it would clash with the unassuming persona of that aspect.
  • In Brian K. Vaughan's Sa Ga Freelancers have names in the format of 'The <Word>'. Notable in that "The" is always capitalized and is almost always included ("Good luck, The Will"). Her being called "The Stalk" also gives Marko pause and makes Alana immediately realize she's a Freelancer when they first encounter The Stalk. Other known Freelancers include The Import, The March, The Fluke, and The Brand.
  • Black Canary was originally "the Black Canary" but eventually "the" was removed from her title.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • The villain eventually revealed to be Nina Close was known as The Mask, due to the black mask she wears and the Death Trap masks she locks her victims in.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): The Adjudicator's title just doesn't work without the "The"
    • Wonder Woman (1987): The White Magician is always referred to with a "the" before his former-superhero-current-supervillain name.
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    The Fan Works 

    The Animated Films 
  • Bambi's father, The Great Prince of the Forest.
  • The "La" part of La Muerte from The Book of Life’s name basically means "the".
  • In Cars, one of the racers is Strip Weathers, AKA "The King". At one point, Lightning McQueen calls him, "Mr. The King". Extra credit for referring to The King's wife as "Mrs. The King".
  • In Home, the two prominent alien species are called The Boov and The Gorg. It's literal in the latter's case, as there is only one of them.
  • Done with an Insult Backfire in Kung Fu Panda.
    Tai Lung: You can't defeat me! You're just a big...fat...panda!
    Po: I'm not a big, fat panda...I'm THE big, fat panda!
  • The Once-ler in the 2012 The Lorax adaptation is an odd case in that, while Ambiguously Human in the original, he's a seemingly normal man in this version, yet he's still only ever referred to as "The Once-ler".
  • The Tramp, from Lady and the Tramp. Though he frequently gets called "Tramp", mostly by the people closest to him (like Lady). When Lady's owners adopt him he becomes just "Tramp" to everyone.
  • Strange Magic has The Bog King, although characters also abridge it to 'BK' or just call him 'Bog' (or in his Abhorrent Admirer's case, "Boggy-Woggy Kingy-Wingy").

    The Live-Action Films 
  • In Accident, Ho Kwok-fai is known as 'The Brain', and whenever anyone refers to him by his nickname, it always includes the definite article.
  • A pretty bad example is Attack of the The Eye Creatures. The title was originally supposed to be "The Eye Creatures", but it was given the prefix "Attack of the" without removing the "the" that was already there.
  • The Big Lebowski: "The Dude", though he's actually addressed as just "Dude". Jesus also refers to himself once as "The Jesus".
  • In Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, our heroes refer to Billy the Kid as "Mr The Kid" (and Joan of Arc as "Ms Of Arc").
  • The title of Chespirito's film El Chanfle (and its sequel) refers to the main character (which he also plays).
  • The Chad in the Charlie's Angels (2000) movies.
  • Cold Pursuit: Brock puts his brother Nels in touch with a Professional Killer called 'The Eskimo'. Brock warns him that is always 'The Eskimo', not 'Eskimo'. Apparently, it's a Mob thing.
  • The Chief in Fanboys:
    The Chief: The Chief likes to refer to himself in the third person. It causes confusion, especially with the bitches.
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum has Miles Gloriosus, who does not technically insist on a The, but other characters are compelled to give him one (or two). Fun fact: Latin doesn't even use articles like English does!
    Domina: The Gloriosus?
    Pseudolus: The the himself!
  • Groundhog Day: Averted.
    Phil: I'm a god. I'm not the God... I don't think.
  • The villain in Hackers insists on going by his hacker handle, "The Plague". When he corrects a security guard played by Penn Jillette, the guard responds, "Sorry, Mr. The Plague!"
  • Highlander: Subverted by the Kurgan. He is never called "Kurgan", but always "the Kurgan". The subversion is that it isn't his name, but the name of his now extinct people. Since he is the only one left, he is the Kurgan. For added Genius Bonus, the Kurgan people were named by modern archaeologists for a Turkic word meaning a burial mound; no one knows what they called themselves.
  • The Drake, the gang boss in Hobo with a Shotgun. Insisting on this is one of his less deranged characteristics.
  • The Greg Wilson. Who did The Hottie & the Nottie, which should tell you something, and from the same film, "The Jesus".
  • Kopps: Benny calls himself "Benny the Cop".
  • The titular character of the El Mariachi trilogy has No Name Given, so other characters call him "El Mariachi", or by the third movie, just "El".
  • In Once Upon a Spy, The Spymaster who runs the agency Chenault and Tannheill work for is always referred to as 'The Lady'.
    Tannehill: The Lady wants to see you.
    Chenhault: What lady?
    Tannehill: The Lady!
  • The Passion of the Christ. Justified, since "Christ" wasn't originally a name, but rather a title meaning "anointed" (in Greek, equivalent to Hebrew "Messiah").
  • The Wolf (Winston Wolf), in Pulp Fiction.
  • The co-creator of Repo! The Genetic Opera has been quoted as saying "I think if you asked Pavi, he would say his first name is 'The'."
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming: More than a few civilians refer to Peter Parker's vigilante identity as "the Spider-Man", even if Peter doesn't actually do so himself.
  • In the Irish comedy The Stag, a group of friends go on what is supposed to be a quiet stag party in the countryside, but are forced to bring the bride's brother with them. His name is The Machine. He is called The Machine every time anyone talks about him or to him, even his sister. Every. Single. Time. The "The" is not left off even once.
  • Star Wars: The series' Big Bad, in the original trilogy, is referred to solely as The Emperor. The original Expanded Universe did clarify that his name was Palpatine, but this name did not appear onscreen until 1999’s The Phantom Menace, and many casual fans who hadn’t followed the EU were still surprised by Revenge of the Sith revealing him to be the Emperor.
  • From Where the Heart Is:
    Jimmy: We're broke, we're desperate, we're hopeless... The fag doesn't pay, the Shit doesn't pay...
    Chloe: Don't call him "the fag!"
    Daphne: Don't call him "the Shit!"
    Shitty: At least I'm "the Shit." You're just a shit.
  • In You Don't Mess with the Zohan, the titular character is sometimes referred to with a "The", although he himself doesn't do that. His archnemesis The Phantom is always referred to with a "The", except when it's revealed that his Embarrassing First Name is Fatoush.

    The Literature 
  • Less often done in the "hero pulps", but often in the paperback original series of the 1960s to 1980s. The Executioner, the Penetrator, the Sharpshooter, the Liquidator, The Destroyer, the Butcher, the Nazi Hunter, the Terminator, the Revenger, the Avenger, the Protector, etc., stand as examples. Many retrospectives on the paperback original trend (e.g. Jeff Siegel's The American Detective: An Illustrated History, Sons of Sam Spade, Geherin in American Private Eye, Warren Murphy's article in The Fine Art of Murder, Murder Off the Rack's Matt Helm article) derisively point out how common the agent noun series title turned out.

  • The Agents in the Ahriman Trilogy seem to have a penchant for this with The Surgeon and The Axe-Man.
  • Beautiful Creatures calls its dark creatures 'lilum'. And there's one that's just 'The Lilum'.
  • The cover of Rik Mayall's semi-fictionalised autobiography Bigger Than Hitler, Better Than Christ names him as The Rik Mayall.
  • Subverted in Blue Avenger, in which the protagonist wants to legally change his name to "The Blue Avenger", until it's pointed out that "The" would end up being his first name, after which he drops the "The" and becomes just "Blue Avenger".
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the Pevensie children refer to the Creepy Housekeeper, Mrs. Macready, as The Macready, although she doesn't call herself that, of course.
  • All of the Insequent from The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant have titles like this: the Harrow, the Ardent, the Mahdoubt, etc. These are not their true names, however.
  • In Clarges aka To Live Forever by Jack Vance, those who reach the top caste (whose perqs include effective immortality) get "The" prefixed to their name; the protagonist, Gavin Waylock, thus becomes The Gavin Waylock.
  • Inverted in The Cleric Quintet. The assassin known as Ghost gets irritated with anyone who calls him "the ghost".
  • In Jeramey Kraatz's The Cloak Society, Misty, who has Super Smoke powers, bugs people to call her "the Mist". Alex keeps telling that this is a bad idea, noting that Misty's aunt went from "the Phantom Queen" to just "Phantom", and the titular supervillain team is usually just called "Cloak", even by its members.
  • Clockpunk and the Vitalizer: Is apparently the case with The Vitalizer, though he naturally doesn't offer any other names in the story.
  • A negative variation is in The Comfortable Courtesan, in which Clorinda almost always refers to von Ehleben (a sadistic bad john who almost killed her) only as "the Junker", because she can't bear to use his name.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "A Witch Shall Be Born", Constantius also goes by "the Falcon". He doesn't insist on the "the" though.
  • In A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Hank Morgan comes to be known as The Boss; he's pleased with this, because "there were very few THEs — the king, the queen, the Pope — and I was one of them."
  • The Dark Tower. Roland Deschain, a.k.a. "The Gunslinger".
  • The Jackal from The Day of the Jackal. This is partly the consequence of his name being a secret even from the reader. Before he got his code name he was called the Englishman.
  • Discworld: Although it's not a person's name, special mention must go to ...the Woodpecker from Going Postal. Spelled not only with a "the", but with a Dramatic Pause as well.
  • Lawrence Smith, in Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star, bills himself as "The Great Lorenzo" Smythe, "the One-Man Stock Company", "Pantomimist and Mimicry Artist Extraordinary". He actually is a very capable actor and impersonator, though down on his luck at the beginning of the story, from bad luck and bad judgment.
  • Subverted by the band "Tiffanys" in the German novel Fleisch ist mein Gemüse. Everyone but themselves keeps calling them "Die Tiffanys" ("The Tiffanys").
  • Isaac Asimov's "The Mule": The Mule (although his "the" is usually only capitalized at the start of a sentence). None of the characters ever call him simply "Mule", making it clear that it's a nickname, not an actual name.
  • The Cadpig from The Hundred and One Dalmatians. She's mostly referred to as just "Cadpig" in the sequel, The Starlight Barking. She's still a Little Miss Snarker, though.
  • In Paul Robinson's Instrument of God the people in that world are all dead, and live in different "countries" based on the language they can think in, the English Section, the Spanish Section, the French Section, etc. The means to travel between them is a road named "The". The full name of the travel path is "The Road".
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • While plotting to betray Frodo and get his hand on the Ring, Gollum briefly fantasises about being known as The Gollum. Sauron is also called "The Lord of the Rings".
    • When the wizard Radagast mentioned to Gandalf that he's heard of some place called "Shire", Gandalf corrects him, "The Shire". This even though in the Common Speech (Westron), which all the characters spoke, the Shire was simply named Sûza, without an article. According to The Peoples of Middle-earth, the Hobbits actually refer to their home country as Sûzat (with a final t), which translates into "the/this Shire", as opposed to Sûza, which is just "shire".
  • In the Malazan Book of the Fallen, when people refer to Errastas as an Elder God they usually speak of The Errant. The Korelri also know him as The Great Deceiver.
  • Matilda's Sadist Teacher, The Trunchbull.
  • In Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, the main character Kvothe encounters a man who calls himself The Chronicler to which Kvothe replies, "I asked for your name, not your profession." When Chronicler does give his full name and identity, Kvothe then replies, "Oh. So you are the Chronicler."
  • A foreign variation is The Diva Carlotta in ‘’The Phantom of the Opera’’ being frequently referred to as La Carlotta, ‘la’ being a Spanish, feminine ‘the’. This was not unheard of for particularly celebrated opera divas in real life, including Carlotta’s inspiration Adelina Patti (La Patti). As Christine’s star begins to rise, she is occasionally referred to by the in-universe press as La Daaè, Christine being presumably too common a name to be given the ‘the’ treatment.
    • "Daaè" was Christine's father's surname and he was a violinist. They're likely doing it to both show she is the child of the well-known musician (in the 2004 movie, two characters recognise her by her surname even before she's known herself) and to also show that she has outclassed him as a musician herself
  • Richard Adams' The Plague Dogs has The Tod. The concept of names is alien to him as a wild animal, and The Tod (fox) is simply what he is.
  • The Ruby's Song trilogy has a character called The Jackman. It is not clear why he's called this.
  • In Sharpe, partisan leaders (following the Real Life examples below) give themselves titles such as "El Matarife" (The Slaughterman). Lampshaded in one instance, where Sharpe's teenage sidekick wants to be a partisan leader when he grows up, and has already chosen his title.
  • According to Watson in "A Scandal in Bohemia", Irene Adler is always "The Woman", never "a woman", to Sherlock Holmes. This becomes an important point of contention in the fandom, since in "The Five Orange Pips" Holmes makes reference to being fooled by "a woman", and fans have debated whether he is referring to Adler.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Many nicknames that can stand alone begin with "The", such as the Imp, the Mountain That Rides, the Sword of the Morning, the Mad King, the Kingslayer, and the Red Viper. Whether the nicknames are flattering or embarrassing is a mixed bag.
    • The mountain clans in the North don't really consider themselves as nobility, even though Winterfell does. They prefer to be addressed as The Norrey, The Flint, etc. instead of Lord Norrey and Lord Flint. They (and many in the North) refer to Lord Stark as "The Stark" or "The Stark in Winterfell" or, in special cases, simply by their first name, such as 'The Ned' for Eddard Stark.
      • This may be borrowed from the style of Scottish/Irish clan chiefs.
  • Several of the central characters in Terry Mancour's The Spellmonger Series become this as the series progresses.
    • Even after the protagonist Minalan becomes an ennobled magelord, he is still known as "The Spellmonger".
    • The knight Sire Cei becomes known as "The Dragonslayer" after he kills a dragon.
    • Minalan's apprentice Dara becomes "The Hawkmaiden" due to her hawk familiar.
  • In William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy, The Finn.
  • From Star Trek: Vanguard, each of the elite ''Serrataal'' among the Shedai; e.g. The Maker, The Wanderer, The Myrmidon, The Apostate.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Lopen mentions that his family members often call him the Lopen, because no one has ever heard of anyone else with that name. In his own narration, he occasionally uses it for himself as well.
  • In Peter S. Beagle's Tamsin there is The Billy Blind. Not a Billy Blind, but The Billy Blind.
  • Anne McCaffrey's Tower and the Hive series has the Rowan. So named because she was found in the ruins of The Rowan Mining Company and with no known name, was referred to as "the Rowan child", and eventually she came to think it was her name.
  • In the Tunnels series, due to the Styx language being a Starfish Language bordering on Black Speech, most Styx are known to outsiders by their nicknames, usually including a "The". Examples include The Old Styx, The Crawfly, and the Rebecca Twins.
  • Uprooted: Zig-zagged with wizards. Non-wizards use their names as titles in this manner ("The Dragon", "The Sword", "The Splendid"), while fellow wizards use their direct translations in the Language of Magic like normal names ("Sarkan", "Alosha", "Ragostok").
  • In Veniss Underground, the Gollux insists on calling itself the Gollux, because it is the only one of its kind that Quin made.
  • The Warhammer 40,000 Night Lords saga includes the Exalted, a chaos space marine/tzeentchian daemon gestalt. For bonus alienation factor, it is only ever referred to as an "it". Calling it by the host's birth name of Vandred is a major Berserk Button.
  • In Watership Down, the grand old leader of the (doomed) old warren is named "Threarah" ("Lord Rowan-Tree"), but the rabbits invariably call him "The Threarah" though nobody can really say why — the narrator theorizes that it might be "because there happened to be only one threar, or rowan, near the warren, from which he took his name."
  • In the Chris Crutcher novel Whale Talk, TJ's real name is The Tao Jones. His teacher doesn't believe at first that his first name is actually The. His biological mother gave him his first and middle names.
  • According to Trivial Pursuit, Winnie-the-Pooh's middle name is "The".note  However, it's occasionally implied that his real name is Edward Bear, and Winnie-the-Pooh is just his nickname.
  • Whateley Universe: A few people insist on their codenames starting with a "The".
    • Larry Damone's codename at Whateley Academy is 'The Man Called Vengeance'. You have to say the whole thing. Really.
    • Bladedancer's new roommate is The Crimson Comet!!!, complete with definite article and punctuation, apparently.
  • The Leewit from The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz. You do not want her to whistle at you, which she might if you call her just "Leewit". Then again, she might whistle at you anyway. As it turns out, the Leewit was named according to a tradition restricting the name to one living person, and that the name is a descriptive word. It then turns out that the Leewit is the originator of this tradition, and that the word 'Leewit'' means "like the Leewit".
  • The Witchlands: The Rook is a mysterious supernatural bird who will only respond when addressed as "The Rook". He gets annoyed with people who leave out the "The".
  • Worm has the Simurgh, the third Endbringer.
  • Zeroes has a drug dealer named Craig, who insists on referring to himself as "the Craig". The other characters respond with varying degrees of annoyance and incredulity.
  • El Zorro. We don't call him "El", though.
  • The Macquern in Zuleika Dobson is always referred to as, well, The Macquern — except by Zuleika, who insists on calling him Mr. Macquern instead. If he was the head of a Scottish clan, then "The Macquern" would be his official title, so it's possible that Zuleika was deliberately yanking his chain by calling him plain "Mr." — any man in his clan would be "Mr. Macquern", but only one could claim to be The Macquern.
  • Inverted with Wings of Fire, Darkstalker becomes a legendary monster after his death, used to frighten Ice Wing and Night Wing dragonets into behaving, and he is referred to as The Darkstalker. This is inaccurate, obviously, and when he comes back to life he finds it embarrassing and asks them to stop.

    The Live-Action TV 

In General:

By Series:

  • Adam Adamant Lives!: Adam's archnemesis is The Face.
  • The overly cocky original quarterback of the Bulldogs in Bella and the Bulldogs refers to himself as "the Troy".
  • Invoked by TV Guide with a short-lived 1970s game show called The Better Sex. TV Guide normally omits "The" from titles beginning with that word, but they realized that people might balk at seeing "Better Sex" in the listings.
  • In one sketch on The Bozo Show, played straight when Bozo T. Clown and Cooky T. Cook both identify their middle names as "The." Averted with Wizzo T. Wizard, who says his middle name is "Walter" (or "Twalter").
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • A demon mistakenly referred to as "The Gnarl" is actually just named Gnarl.
    • The Three ("Angel")
    • The Judge.
    • The First Evil.
    • Not to mention The Slayer. Though starting with the second season, there were actually two or more Slayers due to supernatural Loophole Abuse). With the exception of the third season and the latter part of the seventh season, any Slayers other than Buffy were usually Put on a Bus somewhere.
  • Most of the CBBC presenting puppets have this, with their names actually being Edd The Duck, Gordon The Gopher, and Oucho T. Cactus. However, since Hacker T Dog and Dodge T Dog's mother is referred to as "Mrs T Dog", it's possible that their T doesn't stand for "the" at all, it's just a part of their surname.
  • From Charmed (1998), The Source, The Triad, The Elders, The Seer.
  • Chespirito named many of his characters like this. In addition to "El Chanfle", we also have El Chavo (literally, "The Boy"), La Chilindrina, La Popis, El Chompiras, El Peterete, El Botijanote  (often called "Boti" for short), and La Chimoltrufia (who later became El Botija's wife). There's also El Chapulín and several members of his Rogues Gallery: El Cuajinais, El Tripaseca, el Rascabuches, among others.
  • Inverted with Stephen Colbert's Running Gag about the newspaper USA Today. It started with the character mistakenly referring to it as The USA Today. Now he makes a game out of getting as many "the"s and "today"s into the sentence as possible.
    • Colbert has since spread the gag to other jokes, especially to (at the time) new and trending technologies, such as "The Twitter" or "The Facebook".
  • In the Corner Gas episode "Tax Man", a tax man repeatedly demands to be not referred to with a "the".
    "I'm a tax man, not the tax man. Saying 'the tax man is just a little dehumanizing!"
  • During the writer's strike, Jon Stewart's show was just A Daily Show. When the writers returned, they once again became The Daily Show.
    Jon Stewart: Oh, definite article, how I've missed you!
  • Dead Ringers' version of the Fourth Doctor gave his first name as "The".
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor. Referred to in-universe:
    • And the Master.
    • Not to forget the Meddling Monk, the Valeyard, the Rani ... it seems renegade Time Lords like this trope.
    • Also the Corsair, who has never appeared onscreen but was mentioned in passing in the episode "The Doctor's Wife".
    • "The Long Game" has the Editor (human) and his boss the Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe (not so much).
    • In "Silence in the Library", the Doctor explains that the titular location is just the Library.
      "So big it doesn't need a name, just a great big the."
    • In "The End of Time" we meet more Time Lords; the only names we get are "The Visionary", "The Partisan", and a few others known only by titles and it's never made clear if they are names or descriptors. The only one we get a name for is "The Narrator", better known as Lord President Rassilon.
    • In "Hell Bent", all the Gallifreyan characters are again credited in this way: "The General", "The Woman" and so on. Even "The President", who's once again only too happy to tell anyone prepared to listen that his name is Rassilon.
    • "The Return of Doctor Mysterio": Grant Gordon performs superheroics as "the Ghost".
  • Mocked on The Drew Carey Show where Kate is dating a wrestler called The Disciplinarian (played by Triple H), who the gang has hired to promote their beer during his wrestler promos.
    Are you going to believe a guy whose first name is "The?"
  • The short-lived 1967 western Dundee and The Culhane. Yes, the co-title character called himself The Culhane.
  • In the Eerie, Indiana episode "Zombies in P.J.s", convenience store owner Mr. Radford makes a Deal with the Devil with a man calling himself "The Donald". Well, this guy might not be the actual devil because he apparently had a boss, but said boss probably was.
  • Averted in Firefly. An Alliance officer in the episode "Safe" calls Serenity "the Serenity". Inara is quick to correct him, saying that it's just Serenity. This is absolute Truth in Television, at least in the west: ship names are supposed to be treated like a person's name.
  • Game of Thrones: The Greatjon.
  • The Fonz on Happy Days.
  • Mike "The Situation" in Jersey Shore.
  • Kamen Rider Kabuto has Kamen Rider TheBee. Not a gag, an ego thing, or a title that takes the place of a name like the Doctor Who examples; it's just what he's called, perhaps because Kamen Rider Bee sounds kinda lame.
  • High-ranking Fae figures in Lost Girl have titles — not names — like this, such as The Ash and The Morrigan.
  • In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine", jerkass medicated Monk demands to be called "The Monk".
  • On The Muppet Show, Lew Zeeland typically addressed Kermit as "Mr. The Frog".
    • Elsewhere, on both The Muppet Show and The Sesame Street, Kermit signs all his formal communications as "Kermit T. Frog"; as with Winnie The Pooh, "The" is actually his middle name.
    • In the Season 1 finale of The Muppet Show, the special guest star was Swiss pantomime trio Mummenschanz. Kermit referred to them erroneously as "the Mummenschanz" throughout the episode; as attention was never called to this, it was presumably a genuine error on Jim Henson's part which no one bothered to correct.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 combines this with Mysterious Middle Initial; yes, Crow T. Robot's middle initial stands for "The".
  • The OA: The main character, previously called Nina and then Prairie, returns after a traumatic, seven-year disappearance calling herself "the OA". It's left a mystery through most of the series as to what "the OA" signifies.
  • The Cat on Red Dwarf. We only meet one other member of his race — not named, but lack of name not brought up — so we don't know how they distinguish themselves.
  • The Bruce Dickinson from the Saturday Night Live More Cowbell sketch. Possibly to say "The Iron Maiden guy has nothing on me!"
  • Played straight, and subverted in Scrubs. First there's The Todd. Then there's the janitor, who, although never referred to by name, is not called the janitor. He's called Janitor, like it's his name. (Taking it so far that when he impersonates a doctor (which happens more than any of us would do well to dwell on), he calls himself Dr. Jan Itor.)
  • From Seinfeld: "Love The Drake!"
  • In Smallville, Lois Lane subverts this when operating as "Stiletto".
    Lois: (annoyed) It's just "Stiletto". There's no "the".
  • On Snog, Marry, Avoid?, POD always refers to Jenny Frost as "The Frost" when addressing her.
  • The Prophets on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine exclusively refer to Sisko as "The Sisko". Which becomes kind of hilarious when you start thinking about his several no-nonsense kick-ass actions throughout the series.
    • They also call Grand Nagus Zek "The Zek," but they only mention him once in the entire series, so it goes mostly unnoticed.
    • Also, in the TNG episode "Who Watches the Watchers?", Picard is referred to as "The Picard"
      "I believe I have seen the Overseer. He is called 'The Picard.'"
    • Starships are frequently referred to as "the Enterprise" or "the Defiant". Only a few rare examples are averted, such as Voyager and Enterprise NX-01. And then Star Trek: Picard gives us La Sirena, which means "The Mermaid".
  • In Stranger Things, the heroes name the monstrous antagonist after the classic Dungeons & Dragons villain Demogorgon, whom they consistently refer to as the Demogorgon. Whether this error is on the writers or the characters is unclear.
  • In Season 10, Supernatural finally got on this boat introducing a primordial monster known simply as "The Darkness". She eventually gets the name Amara when she's born into a human baby's body, but before that, she was just "The Darkness", even to Death, who is as old as God.
  • In one episode of The Tick (2001), Tick is applying for a super hero license. When asked for his name, he says "Well, that would be The Tick." When the interviewer says she means his real name, he replies "Oh, well, that would be...The Tick."
  • Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!: "Starring LeVar Burton from 'The Star Trek'."
  • Top Gear does the same 'out-of-touch' joke with website names, and also inverts it:
    Jeremy Clarkson: If you are lucky enough to own an internet...
    • The Stig, the mysterious racing driver whose face is never shown, although they sometimes just refer to him as "Stig" and he doesn't seem to mind.
      • Some say that his first name really is "The". (Which would make sense, as they call each other "Clarkson" and "Hammond" all the time.)
  • In the UK at least, The Weakest Link became just Weakest Link after about a year on air. For some reason, although they removed the definite article from the show's logo, the chain link it was previously attached to remained, even though it was now redundant.
  • William "The Bunk" Moreland from The Wire.
  • In Workaholics, Ders (Anders Holmvik) is usually just called Ders. But when he reaches a certain level of drunkness, he's called The Ders-and this a bad thing. According to Blake, he "fucked a koi fish in the mouth outside a P.F. Changs until it died". Adam mentions the last time they partied with The Ders we got them on-stage at a Seven Mary Three concert. Blake remembers this differently, saying he "bumrushed the stage, head-butted a female security guard, and dedicated a song to his dad." Blake spends Ders' 25th birthday trying to get him to slow down instead of becoming the Ders-which he does anyway, with a battle yell. He promptly snaps out of him when a guy punches him the face, though.
  • One of the commentators on World's Dumbest... is The Greg Wilson.
    • And one of the idiots featured on the show (twice!) calls himself "The Horse".
      "I'M THE FUCKING HORSE!"

    The Music 
  • U2's The Edge—but everyone calls him The Edge anyway.
  • Eels (currently) have a band member nicknamed "The Chet".
  • Zig-zagged by Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their official band name was known as "The" Red Hot Chili Peppers up to about 1989; their fourth album "Mother's Milk" was the first to refer to the band as Red Hot Chili Peppers (without the "The") on the album cover. Despite this, the band members often slip up and call themselves "The" Red Hot Chili Peppers, since each band member is technically "a" red hot chili pepper. Yeah, it's confusing.
    • There's a particular promotional photograph of the band Fear that's notable for depicting a short-lived lineup of the group that included a pre-RHCP Flea: The photo is captioned with the names of the band members, and Flea is listed as The Flea.
  • The The pretty much subverts this trope.
  • The/Das, meaning almost the same, as "das" is the neutrum case of "the."
  • A band-naming riff that plays with this trope was found in a number of L.A. bands in the mid-1960s, starting with Thee Midniters, who were followed by Thee Enchantments, Thee Montclairs, Thee Atlantics, etc. The "thee" trend was revived in the 1990s, with Thee Headcoats, Thee Hypnotics, etc.
  • In an episode of KYTV, a quiz host disqualifies a contestant in a "Name the Tune" contestant for identifying a song as Beatles' "Yellow Submarine", insisting that it is The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine".
    • Well, the Beatles themselves omitted the "The" in the covers of some of their albums ("Sgt. Peppers" and "Abbey Road", for example).
  • Inverted with art punk band Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
    • Similarly, the band Pixies are named just that, not The Pixies.
    • Also, rhythm group All Mighty Senators. Woe be on you if you call them The All Mighty Senators.
    • It's not The Simple Minds either, nor is it The Faces or The Wings.
    • Nor is it The Talking Heads; they even titled a live album after it: The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads. Chris Frantz, the band's drummer, notably gets this wrong in Stop Making Sense.
      We gotta change back into the Talking Heads!
    • Nor is it "the" Eagles.
    • Nor is it "the" Dixie Chicks.
    • Nor is it "the" Editors.
    • Nor is it "the" Deftones.
    • Nor is it "the" Eurythmics.
    • Nor is it "the" Stars.
    • Nor is it "the" Scorpions.
    • Nor is it "the" Gorillaz.
      • Although sometimes "the Gorillaz" is used as a catch-all term for both the (fictional) band and all its (real) contributors...which is still wrong.
    • Nor is it "the" Arctic Monkeys.
    • Nor is it "the" Foo Fighters.
    • Nor is it "the" Sick Puppies.
    • Nor it is "the" Carpenters.
    • Nor "the" Cocteau Twins (they're named after a Simple Minds song which doesn't have a "The" either).
    • Maybe it's "the" The Sweet. Not even the band itself is sure.
  • Apparently, The Mascara Snake, who played clarinet for Captain Beefheart.
  • Before Pink Floyd switched from blues to prog rock, they were The Pink Floyd. In interviews, members of the band sometimes refer to it just as "The Floyd". So do some fans.
  • Similarly, Soft Machine used to be The Soft Machine, during their early, more Psychedelic years. The "the" was dropped in their third album, by the time they had become a jazz-rock band.
  • Before Status Quo switched from psychedelic rock to three power chords per song, they were The Status Quo. They are also sometimes referred to as "The Quo"
  • According to Liam Howlett, it has always been The Prodigy, and the word the was only removed to fit within the displayed logo.
  • Ardent fans of The Tragically Hip will correct you, if you either drop "The" from the band's name or don't capitalize it.
  • "The" Smashing Pumpkins can't seem to decide.
    • Melvins are also a bit inconsistent — their album artwork and shirts usually render their name as just "Melvins", but on occasion it will be "The Melvins". And of course when they worked with Jello Biafra, the collaboration was billed as Jello Biafra And The Melvins, probably just because it sounded better. A slight Lampshade Hanging is done on the front cover of A Senile Animal, which features the text "(A) Senile Animal by (The) Melvins".
    • Arcade Fire are similarly inconsistent. Their album covers etc generally stick to just "Arcade Fire", but the band fairly often refer to themselves as the Arcade Fire.
  • Insane Ian’s wife and sometimes-collaborator is known as "The Stacey".
  • The Great Luke Ski
  • Apparently, the dislike of this trope (Specifically having fans calling him "Mr. The Game") is why the rapper-formerly-known-as The Game is now known as Game. Also, you probably just lost it
  • For some reason, the front cover of Sonic Youth's Sister bills them as The Sonic Youth — not only did they never have a "the" in their name before or since, but they're also credited as just "Sonic Youth" elsewhere in the same album artwork.
  • Québécoise folk singer La Bolduc (where "Bolduc" was simply her last name).
  • The Mark of Cain lead singer John Scott insists on people not omitting the definite article, or else "it sounds like Andrew of Wodonga".
  • 1960s psychedelic group Country Joe and the Fish was headed by 'Country Joe' Mc Donald and Barry 'The Fish' Melton.
  • The classic country / folk song "Wildwood Flower" is sometimes referred to as "The Wildwood Flower".

    The Mythology & The Religion 
  • God:
    • "Allah," used not just by Muslims but also Baha'is and Arabic-speaking Christians, literally just means "the God." Likewise Islam and Baha'ism traditionally list 99 other names for God, all of which follow this trope ("the Merciful," "the All-Seeing," etc.)
    • "The Lord," a common Judeo-Christian name for God. Often used as the translation both for "Adonai" (which literally means "lord") and the Tetragrammaton; in some Bibles, this will be written as the Lord to distinguish them.
    • The Hebrew version is haShem, which means "The Name," because Judaism sees the Tetragrammaton as too holy to be used except in very specific contexts that aren't even possible today.
  • Celtic Mythology gives us "the Dagda" and "the Morrigan," usually translated as "the good god" and "the phantom queen," respectively.

    The Pro Wrestling 
  • Most Legacy gimmicks in pro wrestling have some sort of numerical clue, such as Mr Wrestling II, The Grappler 2000, Novia Del Santo, El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr, Mini Chessman, but The Masked Marvel is usually an exception. While there have been variants like Red Masked Marvel the number of men just going with "The Masked Marvel" is pushing 30 at the least.
  • A great many luchadores' names begin with "El," which is Spanish for "The." (Gran Hamada became El Gran Hamada in CMLL, for instance). This sometimes leads to instances of luchadores in fiction being referred to by others as just "El."
  • The Iron Sheik almost always refers to people as "the X". The Hulk Hogan, The Chris Brown, even The Jesus at one point.
  • Bret Hart had an interesting Verbal Tic — he'd put "The" in front of names that didn't require one. "The SummerSlam", "The WrestleMania"...
  • The Rock's name was born from this, as his previous ring name was Rocky Maivia.
  • WWE, later TNA commentator Tazz was often jokingly referred to as "The Tazz", after a gaffe by Mike Adamle.
    Tazz: I have nightmares when I hear "The Tazz."
  • WWE's "The Brian Kendrick". And he doesn't let you forget it. (started in mockery of the above Adamle gaffe.)
  • The Austin Starr, who apparently wasn't cool enough as Austin Aries.
  • The Miz. Initially "The Miz" was explained as the "real" person that exists in everyone but at some point this was discarded, mainly because fans weren't biting; later it appeared to be a symptom of his ego. Behind the scenes, he's a fan of The Rock.
  • The Big Show. Although later inverted, as WWE has been calling him simply "Big Show".
  • Ryback is often referred to backstage, by insiders, and smarks as "The Ryback", popularized by interviews of Daniel Bryan.
  • Rhyno doesn't have a "The" in front of his name, but Edge & Christian sometimes put one in front of his name.
    Edge: Christian? Get the Rhyno!
  • Similarly to Manjyome above, Kazuchika Okada tends to remind fans "That's Mr. Okada to you," if they chant "Okada" at him.
  • Santana Garrett and Gabi Castrovinci can't agree on if their Tag Team is "Culture Shock" or "The Culture Shock". SHINE has the title graphic change depending on which of them is speaking.
  • The Priscilla Kelly is less verbal as it is literally spelling, or at least initializing "TPK". "The" was a joke at the expense of another reality television participant entering pro wrestling.

    The Radio Drama 
  • Twice Averted in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. First, in episode 7:
    Receptionist: You're Zaphod Beeblebrox? The Zaphod Beeblebrox?
    Zaphod Beeblebrox: No, A Zaphod Beeblebrox. Haven't you heard, I come in six-packs.
    • And then later, on Brontytoll, upon discovering a gigantic statue of Arthur Dent:
      Bird: You're Arthur Dent? The Arthur Dent?
      Arthur Dent: I don't know if I'm The Arthur Dent, but That Arthur Dent is me.
  • Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.
  • In the I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue spinoff Hamish and Dougal: You'll Have Had Your Tea? the Laird's full name is, apparently, "The McCoist Of McCoist Of That Ilk". (See also clan chiefs below under Real Life.)

    The Roleplay 

    The Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted: Abyssal Exalts, traditionally 'sacrificing' their names and replacing them with titles, sometimes begin their new titles with The.
    • Being Exalts embodying death, destruction and decay, they also tend to be names you run away from. Given that titles have a tendency to be flowery, poetic, and overwrought, they make you wonder if they might be names someone ran away with... or at least got carried away with. None the less, 'the' seems used as a division between Name and Title in most of the game's parlance.
    • The Sea That Marched Against the Flame, The Shadow of All Things e. g. the Ebon Dragon — Primordials definitely qualify too. Being personification of cosmic principle usually allows you that. Though they can look more like titles, additional to actual names (TSTMA is also named Kimbery), these names still work in incantations involving said Primordials.
  • Battletech: Captains-General of the Free Worlds league intermittently style themselves as The Marik, as the incumbent holder of the office is the de facto head of House Marik note  The "The Marik" title is most closely associated with Janos Marik.

    The Tropes 

    The Video Games 
  • The prefixing of Japanese titles with a gratuitous "THE" in romaji is almost a trope of its own. Examples include practically every game in D3 Publisher's Simple series, and Hudson Soft's THE Kung Fu (known in English as China Warrior).
    • The Bishi Bashi series has a later installment called The Bishi Bashi.
  • A Vortigaunt in Half-Life 2 called Gordon Freeman "The Free Man". This is partially because the Vortigaunts revere Gordon as a Messianic Archetype, as he freed them from generations of slavery in Half-Life — he is "The Free Man". Other prominent characters are called "the Magnusson", "the Alyx Vance" and "the Eli Vance" but the main character's the only one whose nickname can stand on its own like that.
  • Not only a name, but a title; I Wanna Be the Guy. Also, The Kid.
  • Bastion has The Kid. Also, when meeting the other characters, they are only given a title initially which includes The Stranger, The Survivor and The Singer.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona: The Updated Re-release of Persona 4 and Persona 5 gives them the title of The Golden and The Royal in the Japanese release, while the Western localization removes "The" from each title, leaving only "Golden" and "Royal".
  • The members of the Cobra unit in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: The Pain, The Fear, The Fury, The End, and The Sorrow. In the case of The Boss, however, other characters tend to just call her "Boss" (forgoing the "The") when speaking to her; probably as a sign of respect. However, her original codename was "The Joy".
  • In-keeping with the Hulk and characters of that ilk, any Player Character in City of Heroes can have the game plunk a "The" before the character's name whenever it appears onscreen. Any such optional "The" is omitted for occurrences of Hello, [Insert Name Here], however.
  • Super Robot Wars Z gave us The Edel Bernal, who actually needed the "the" to distinguish himself from the other character named Edel Bernal.
  • The "Blind Idiot" Translation for the Navi Mode dialogue in Mega Man Anniversary Collection sometimes puts a "the" in front of character names, resulting in things like "the Beat" or "the Plant Man".
  • Sly Cooper has "The Murray", The Contessa, and The Grizz.
  • The Postal Dude. It's apparently his actual name.
  • The Saints Row series has "The Boss," although homies typically refer to him/her simply as "boss."
  • In Total Annihilation, one unit is named "The Can". Should a player decide to build fifty of them, he or she could reasonably be described as having an army of The Cans.
  • But in Might and Magic VII, the android encountered in the final cutscene is at pains to point out that:
    I am a Corak, not the Corak.note 
  • The instruction manual for the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros. refers to the Big Bad as "the Bowser".
  • Halo:
    • The Arbiter, the original trilogy's second player character. In almost an inversion of The Cheat, some characters leave out the article entirely and treat Arbiter like a name, even when referring to him in the third person.
    • The Forerunners love this trope. There were many Forerunner librarians, didactic individuals, prelates, etc. in their empire, but you know that The Librarian, The Didact, or The Prelate were very important people, and rather big deals. These were unique titles only, usually given to them by elders who felt they embodied the ideal of the word; each of those people had actual names that didn't begin with "the", but they tended to be referred to by their titles by everyone, even between The Didact and Librarian, who were married!
  • Every Fallout game uses this for the player character. Specifically, The Vault Dweller, The Chosen One, The Lone Wanderer, The Courier and The Sole Survivor.
    • New Vegas also has "The King", leader of the Kings. The King of Kings, if you will.
    • Also in New Vegas, both Joshua Graham and Caesar refer to the territory that was once the state of Utah as The Utah.
      • Joshua himself is often referred to as "The Burned Man".
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • According to early version images found in the instruction booklet, Pokémon Red and Blue almost did this. Instead of "LASS wants to fight!", it would have instead said "The LASS wants to fight!". Considering how character names were handled at this point ("The BROCK wants to fight!", which actually shows up in the instruction booklet's page on Brock), it's easy to see why it was changed before the final release.
  • Pretty much everyone in Team Fortress 2 — the Pyro, the Medic, the Announcer. This only extends to in-game text and the like, as in-game lines and the comics have them refer to each other without any articles.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The Legacy DLC for Dragon Age II has the Carta searching for "The Hawke". This title actually is justified, in that the Carta aren't specifically referring to Hawke, but also their sibling, both of whom are they have been attempting to kidnap. Likewise, the title of "The Hawke" is occasionally used to refer to their father, Malcolm. The protagonist is frequently referred to as "The Champion" during the third act.
    • Awakening, the expansion for the original Dragon Age, has lots of folks who spell their names with a The: "The Architect", "The Mother", "The Withered", "The Lost", "The First"...
    • The protagonist is referred to as either "The Warden", "The Hero of Ferelden" or "The Commander of the Grey".
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Iron Bull is normally referred to that way (or as just "Bull"), but he notes that it's supposed to have a "the" at the front. Cole makes a point to always say it that way, but no-one else bothers.
      Iron Bull: I like having an article in front of my name. It makes it sound like I'm not even a person, just a blunt object used for hitting things. I like that. A lot.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Count the number of times Boyd refers to The Milkman in Psychonauts. Now count how many times he says "Milkman" alone. note  Raz tends to use the 'The', too.
  • Xenoblade has the Bionis and the Mechonis, the two gods on whose corpses the game takes place.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The Illusive Man.
    • One ending of Mass Effect 3 has the protagonist having become known as "The Shepard", thousands of years into the future.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda has The Moshae, cool old lady for the angara people, and The Charlatan, mysterious information broker / crime lord of Kadara. The former just means "teacher", the later is kept by necessity to protect their identity.
  • The Unnamed 771 from Hellsinker.
    • To explain, several enemies are entitled "Unnamed XXX" where XXX is a three-digit number. The unnamed 771 is the only one with a "The" attached to it.
  • Darius has exactly one boss prefixed with "The", in one of G-Darius's final stages.
    "WARNING! A HUGE BATTLESHIP 'THE EMBRYON' IS APPROACHING FAST"
  • The main character in A Spot of Bother and The Warlord, the Princess and the Bulldog, Stavros "The Bulldog" McGrogan, is very insistent on being referred to as "The Bulldog."
  • The Arch-Enemy in the Turrican series is THE almighty, evil and imperial Machine.
    • In the clone Hurrican, you're instead up against some random guy (although the Pot Hole is only comparatively true) called Dr. Geno X.
  • The Evil Guy in Something Else. Since he is a Generic Doomsday Villain, it makes him even more generic.
  • Samurai Warriors 2: If you take "Mitsuhide Akechi's 3rd Request" on the 41st floor of the Infinite Castle/Survival Mode, you get a mission to "defeat the Keiji Maeda".
  • Fire Emblem Awakening gives us a comical example in Vaike, who insists on being called (and who calls himself) "The Vaike."
  • Destiny, and how. On a regular basis, you'll hear all about the Traveler, the Darkness, the Speaker, the Stranger, etc. And that's not even getting into the locations.
  • La-Mulana, both the game title and the titular ruins. For those who don't speak Spanish, "La" is a feminine definite article.
  • A bug in the English-language Fan Translation of MOTHER 3 causes some character names to be prefixed with a "The" in rare situations. As elaborated on the online readme, this is due to differences in English and Japanese grammatical structure that are very difficult to work around.
  • The old Shandalar Magic: The Gathering game features quiz questions inside dungeons that refer to cards with a "the" (e.g. What is the power rating of the Shivan Dragon?), which stands out as odd because it's not how card names in the source game are normally said.
  • One of the bands in THE iDOLM@STER: SideM is called THE Kogadou.
  • According to some sources, the main character of the Sonic the Hedgehog series is actually named Sonic The Hedgehog — first name Sonic, middle name The, last name Hedgehog.note  Poked fun at when Sonic makes a "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name statement, and Knuckles responds "I thought your middle name was 'The'."
  • In the video game adaptation of Monsters vs. Aliens, The Missing Link is always addressed as The Missing Link. Dr. Cockroach even says things like "Nice job, The Missing Link." This is odd, as this was not the case in the actual film.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: "The Arx" is the greatest city in Rivellon and is the setting of the game's final act.

    The Visual Novels 
  • Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star has The King. Nearly every character refers to him with the "the". Capitalized too.

    The Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner has a running gag based on this. There are a good number of characters and pseudocharacters whose names start with "the" (the most notable being The Cheat), and not only are they always addressed as such, but they will even preserve the "the" in cases where it conflicts with the grammar of the sentence, like in the title of "500 The Cheats".
    • The King of Town is an exception; he's always addressed as either "King of Town" or just "King". That is, when he's not being addressed as "Oldie" or "Stank Wad".
    • In the case of The Cheat, it seems that the "The" is actually part of his name, rather than a title, which means it's always capitalised (though there have been a few occasions of him being referred to as simply "Cheat", they are very few and far between).
    • The old-timey counterpart of Homestar Runner is called The Homestar Runner. The Homestar Runner Enters the Strongest Man in the World Contest and Where My Hat Is At?, the children's books where Homestar originated from, also consistently refer to him as the Homestar Runner—albeit without capitalization, implying it's a title. This is retained in other toons set in the children's book universe, and lampshaded in the animated remakes:
    Homestar: If there's two things I know about Homestar Runner, it's that everybody loves the him, and he's a terrific athlete.
    • The Cheat's old-timey counterpart, The Sneak, follows the same rules as his modern-day counterpart.
    • One short featured Strong Bad wanting to change his name to The Leg (pronounced "ledge", short for "legend") until he actually wrote it down and realized what it looked like ("Homestar was right! This just spells 'leg'!").
    • One of Strong Bad's wrestling alter egos does this twice, as he's referred to as The Il Cartographer ("il" is Italian for "the").
  • In the CollegeHumor video "Bowser's Minions", the Super Mario Bros. enemies refer to Mario as "The Mario".
  • Happy Tree Friends: The Mole.
  • Pimp Lando has The Evil Guitarist.

    The Webcomics 
  • The Comics Irregular's The Hyperstig in mezzacotta.
  • Magellan has The Man Who Can, who constantly has to remind people to remember the 'The' in front, along with other parts of his nomme de guerre.
  • Scary Go Round gives us The Boy, along with his parents, The Mother and The Father.
  • Every character in The Way of the Metagamer 2: In Name Only.
  • The Hulking Shyster and The Leering Gobbler from A Moment of Peace have 'The' names because they each represent their species of monster.
  • The Las Vegas Tsunami from The Dugs features a protagonist known only as "The G.M." meaning General Manager. There have been several moments hinting at that the man's initials are also G.M.
  • Impure Blood The Abomination — though one of the first things asked on his rescue is his true name.
  • Played around with in Schlock Mercenary: Ship names are generally referenced as "the" (IE, the Touch-And-Go), though occasionally "the" is omitted (see the Real Life section below on ship names). In many cases, however, the Artificial Intelligences of the various spacecraft share their name with the ship itself (exceptions exist, such as Ennesby during his stint as AI of Serial Peacemaker or Petey). In which case the ship might be spelled with a "the," but the AI is not (IE, the AI of the Athens is just, Athens).
  • The Hizrim from morphE refers to The Mage Asia Ellis and The Thatcher Mage as The all of The time.
  • In Homestuck, almost all of the ancestors trolls have titles starting with the: 'The Handmaid'; 'The Summoner'; 'The Psiionic' 'The Signless/The Sufferer; 'The Disciple'; 'The Dolorosa' and finally 'The Condesce'. This trope is invoked in particular with lowblood ancestors, because they often have no title during their lives, and became known because of what they did.
    • There are exceptions if you turn some of the highblood titles into 'the' names: 'The Orphaner' 'The E%ecutioner/The E%patriate
  • Nebula: Played with: Jupiter insists on putting a 'the' in front of Sun's name to make himself sound more dramatic while talking about him.
  • Rage Comics will often address nouns as "le (noun)" "le" being French for "the".
  • There is a webcomic and former syndicated comic strip called The Norm. Norm is actually the main character's middle name; his first name is Theodore, which he shortens to "The".

    The Web Original 

    The Web Videos 

    The Western Animation 
  • Nicktoon Aaahh!!! Real Monsters features their Sadist Teacher, The Gromble. Also their school disciplinarian is normally referred to as The Snorch.
  • Every episode in the second half of the second season of Aqua Teen Hunger Force begins with the word "The" and is lampshaded with an episode titled "The The".
  • As Told by Ginger had a dog called The Duchess, who Hoodsie always had to remind Carl to add the "the" to.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • "The Duke" (a little kid) gets mad if you call him "Duke".
    • The Boulder is angered by your failure to mention him!
    • "Load the Toph!"
  • The Batman, from his own show. Oddly, the "The" is dropped for most of the characters that have it in the comics (i.e. it's now just Joker and Penguin), and even Batman himself isn't always referred to this way.
  • A Pimp Named Slickback from The Boondocks, though with a different article in front. He will not tolerate being called "Slickback." ("It's like A Tribe Called Quest! You say the whole thing!")
  • "The Tommy" Gilligan from Codename: Kids Next Door after he left the K.N.D.
  • (The) Hacker from Cyberchase. It's even in his Catchphrase.
    Hacker: That's The Hacker to you!
  • Futurama:
    • When Dr. Zoidberg got his mind swapped with Fry and is confronted with the Robo-Hungarian emperor in a wash bucket's body claiming to be Bender, he exclaims, "Bender, old pal! It's me, the Fry!"
    • And in the Ultimate Robot Fighting episode, Bender's fembot companions address him as "Mr. The Offender", matching his stage persona as "Bender the Offender".
    • In "Luck of the Fryrish", when Fry thinks that his brother stole his identity and fulfilled his dream of landing on Mars:
      Leela: [The tombstone] says, "Philip Fry, the Original Martian."
      Fry: That's a lie, every word of it! He wasn't original, he wasn't a Martian, he wasn't Philip Fry! And since when is he a "the"?
      Bender: You're twice the "the" he ever was!
  • Infinity Train: In "The Engine", the Cat tells Tulip to call her "THE Cat" when they part ways at the beginning of the episode. The Cat has the official fan-given name "Kate Mulgrowl" after her actress, but this has yet to be confirmed on-screen.
  • Invader Zim:
  • In Kim Possible, when Ron is temporarily rich for an episode, he insists on being referred to as "The Ron".
  • In Littlest Pet Shop (2012), some girls like to call a teenage girl by her name of Blythe Baxter (hence adding "the" to her first name).
  • ‘’Looney Tunes’’: A mouse in “A Meesage to Gracias” and a cat in “Daffy’s Diner” both go by El Supremo, “El” being the Spanish word for the masculine singular “the”.
  • The Flea from ¡Mucha Lucha! not only has a “The” in his name, he always speaks in the third person.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The Great and Powerful Trrrrrrrrixie demands that you call her as such! Until her Heel–Face Turn when she finally gets over that. Then it's The Great and Apologetic Trrrrrrrrrixie and you'd better believe she's the most humble pony you ever met!
    • We eventually find out that Spike's surname is actually The Dragon.
    • In "Shadow Play Part 2", Applejack at one point refers to Starswirl as "Mr. The Bearded".
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: A reoccurring character who works at Lakewood Plaza Turbo is A Real Magic Skeleton, who is frequently referred to by that exact name.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar is the Alternate Continuity TV series based on the eponymous penguins of Madagascar film trilogy. Penguins of Madagascar, no "The", is the spinoff movie starring the eponymous penguins.
  • In The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, the Ant Hill Mob's sentient car Chugaboom is occasionally referred to as "the Chugaboom".
  • Pinky and the Brain's The Brain. Doesn't always get a "The" (especially from Pinky), but this seems to be his only first name when one is required.
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
  • Inverted in Steven UniversePeridot tends to address others as "the [name]". It's technically correct when she's talking about other Gems (Pearl is a Pearl, etc.), but "The Steven" eventually has to explain that his name doesn't work that way.
  • Subverted with The Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak in Strawberry Shortcake. While he is a villain who speaks of himself using his full name (and following up with his song and dance), he couldn't care less that everyone else calls him by shorter versions of his name.
  • Starfire from Teen Titans inverts this, as she tends to address villains as "The (Villain Name)", even if their names don't have 'the' to start with. This might be justified as being an idiosyncrasy of Tamaranian grammar she's carried over into English, but her sister Komand'r/Blackfire does not seem to do this.
    • In Teen Titans Go! Starfire's tendency to do this is even more exaggerated. She often inserts "the"in front of an adjective, which effectively turns a condition into a title: "Robin is sad" becomes, in Starfire-speak, "The Robin is The Sad."
  • The animated version of The Tick contains an expy of Batman called Die Fledermaus, whose name (it sounds like "Deflator Mouse" when spoken) is always said with its article intact.
  • The titular protagonist of El Tigre, which translates into English as "The Tiger".
  • On Total Drama World Tour, Ezekiel starts to call himself "The Zeke" as part of his Determinator / Jive Turkey routine. He doesn't seem to care whether or not other people use it, though.
  • Undergrads had 'The Douggler'.
  • Played with in The Venture Bros. The Monarch tells Hank that he is listed in the Guild of Calamitous Intent's books under M, for Monarch. Or possibly T, for The Monarch. This also applies to his wife, nee Dr. Girlfriend, later known as Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.
  • On Young Justice, the Scarab tends to refer to people this way, either with their superhero name ("The Impulse") or even normal names ("The Holling Longshadow"). A bit of Fridge Brilliance when you remember that he was created by a species where individuals like "the Scientist" and "the Ambassador". The only exception seems to be Jaime, who's simply "Jaime Reyes".



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