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Bloober swims underwater with its children. It has a relative, the Scattering Bloober, whose children scatter in all directions.
— Description of an enemy, Super Mario Bros. 3

Bloopers love laughing at other Bloopers' bloopers. No one wants to end up on the Blooper reel.
— Description of the exact same enemy, Super Paper Mario

It may be a translator's mistake, a typo, or the author might have had a better idea, but sometimes, a specifically named character or concept introduced in a work of fiction can come to be called by a totally different name later on, often with no explanation at all, or even an implication that their name had always been that. Needless to say, this tends to confuse the audience (sometimes making them think the two names refer to two different things), and authors should try to avoid it.


Super-Trope of Inconsistent Dub (when it refers to characters). Related to Remember the New Guy?.

Not to be confused with Meaningful Rename, when the change of name is justified in-universe.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball, Emperor Pilaf's dog henchman was originally named Soba when he debuted in the manga. His name was changed to Shu in the anime, which then carried back to the manga after Akira Toriyama forgot that he'd previously named the character. He gets this treatment in the original English dub of the anime, being called "Shao" for roughly the first half of the dub, then switching to Shu at some point with no explanation.
  • Maki from Kaguya-sama: Love is War initially had her last name listed as "Ichijo" on the list of test scores in chapter 31. When the chapter was released in tankobon format, it was changed to "Shijo". She introduces herself as the latter when she's properly introduced in chapter 98.
  • Kore wa Koi no Hanashi initially had the characters go by their kanjis' way of reading the name for translation, resulting in our leads being Makuzu and Akio, with Hata as his editor. Then the furigana were shown and the names were appropriately changed to Shinichi, Haruka and Oogaki, respectively.
  • The Lyrical Nanoha series is pretty bad at settling in on the official English spellings of characters' names (made worse by the fact that after the second season, all characters technically speak a form of English adopted by the Human Aliens). In particular, the deuteragonist of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid went from her name being spelled as "Einhart", to "Einhalt", to "Einhald" in the official art, before finally settling on "Einhard" in the anime adaptation of the manga.
  • Naruto:
    • Translations from Japanese to Chinese to Malay in the first few chapters of the manga rendered Sasuke's name as Saju, which is odd since the anime had already been dubbed in Malaysia right before the dubbed manga release, and used Sasuke instead. Fixed in the later chapters though.
    • Shino's father wasn't named in his initial manga appearance, but the databooks called him "Shibi", which the anime used in credits and filler scene. Then he appeared again in the manga after almost a decade, and was called "Gen".
  • Pokémon:
    • In the English dub of The Legend of Thunder!, the characters Eusine and Jackson who had appeared in the anime previously were now named Eugene and Vincent.
    • In an Orange Islands episode, video game character Lorelei of the Elite Four was known as Prima because the game's version of her English name was too long for the lip flaps of her Japanese name ("Kanna").
    • The protagonist Jimmy (based off the player character in Pokémon Gold and Silver) had also previously been referred to as "Yoshi", while Marina (based off the female player character in Crystal) was referred to as "Dani". Meanwhile, these days in the English game continuity, the character that Jimmy was based off of is known as "Ethan" (revealed in HeartGold and SoulSilver) while Marina's is "Kris" (revealed on the box for Crystal).
  • Rave Master:
    • A case of Inconsistent Dub occurs in the manga translation. In the first volume or so, Haru's sword is referred to by its Japanese name, the Ten Commandments. Every volume after instead calls it the Ten Powers.
    • Done again when the translator changed, with the Mystic Realm/Makai World and Star/Stellar Memory.
  • In the anime Revolutionary Girl Utena, the main character's last name was incorrectly pronounced "Tenjuu" in the first few episodes of the English dub, and later corrected to "Tenjou". The dub also had other examples of mispronunciation and scripting errors in the first arc, which were settled after the production went on a hiatus before dubbing the rest.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • The '90s English dub had Chibiusa's friend Momoko initially named "Melissa" when she appeared in the second season. However, when later seasons rolled around (and a switch in production companies and writers came), she was renamed "Melanie" ("Melly" for short).
    • Motoki's girlfriend Reika was initially named "Rita Blake" in her first dub appearance, but had her original name retained in the dub of SuperS.
  • For the first five episodes of the English dub of Sherlock Hound Professor Moriarty’s second henchman is called George, but afterwards from the sixth episode onwards he is called Todd.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • When the card game first debuted in the manga, it was called "Magic & Wizards." When Kaiba returned, the game was called "Duel Monsters." Both versions of the anime keep it as Duel Monsters from the start, but in the Toei anime, the backs of the cards have a logo with the initials "MW" on them.
    • Spell cards were originally called "Magic Cards," but this was changed possibly due to a fear of a potential lawsuit from the makers of Magic: The Gathering.
    • The first appearance of Celtic Guardian in Yu-Gi-Oh! had him be referred as "Elf Swordsman." Curiously enough, Elf Swordsman was Celtic Guardian's Japanese name.
    • In the manga, Dark Necrofear was initially introduced as Dark Necrophilia in Weekly Shonen Jump, but her name was changed after one issue.
  • The titular character in Cyborg009 originally had the civilian name of "Joe Muramatsu", but at some point Shotaro Ishinomori decided upon him being named "Joe Shimamura". Reprints of the manga had any early instance of "Muramatsu" corrected to "Shimamura", to fix that lapse in continuity.
  • Occurs frequently in the English version of Digimon thanks to being an Inconsistent Dub (and further hurt by Spell My Name with an "S" Engrish); monsters often change from their dub name to their original Japanese name or vice-versa between installments. One of the better-known examples was a knight Digimon who was "Crusadermon" in Digimon Frontier and "LoadKnightmon" in Digimon Data Squad, which doesn't even make sense (better translations of it from Japanese would be "LordKnightmon" or "RhodoKnightmon"). Justified since each installment is its own universe and own continuity, but it's still jarring.
    • This was actually caught at one point. Whenever Armadillomon ArmorDigivolves to Digmon, he would refer to himself as "The Drill of Power", despite using the Armor DigiEgg of Knowledge. When the dubbers realized he was supposed to be saying "The Drill of Knowledge", his next Digivolution had him say that, followed by, "I used to say 'The Drill of Power', but I think this makes me sound smarter!"
  • For most of Yuureitou a character's name was thought to be "Rika" by fans. It wasn't until near the end that fan translations changed it to the correct "Reiko".

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Lookus English dub of Happy Heroes, for the first two episodes, the character Miss Peach does not refer to herself by that name like in the later episodes, but by "Peach I." instead.

DC Comics:

  • Batman:
    • The original Batgirl had her alias written as two hyphenated words, "Bat-Girl;" as a result, fans still debate if she counts as the "first Batgirl" or not. Also, her name was Elizabeth 'Betty' Kane, but Post-Crisis the spelling was changed to "Bette."
    • Stephanie Brown's mother was named "Agnes Bellinger" when she originally appeared in Detective Comics, but her name was later changed to "Crystal Brown." According to Scott Beatty (who was the first to rename her), he had asked DC editors about the name of the mother but no one could remember, leading to an accidental name change that stuck.
    • While Poison Ivy's civilian name was initially established as Pamela Isley, Gerry Conway inexplicably gave her the name of "Lillian Rose" when he wrote her origin in World's Finest #252. Post-Crisis, Neil Gaiman would re-establish the Pamela Isley name (along with overhauling her origin).
    • Robin Series when Sebastian Ives returned as a recurring character late in the series run his first name was changed to Martin. Since most character only refer to him using his last name it didn't come up much and Red Robin changed his name back.
    • Two-Face:
      • Harvey Dent's wife is generally known as Gilda, but was renamed "Grace" in a 1989 Secret Origins story and the name carried over to her animated counterpart in Batman: The Animated Series. All later comic appearances switched her name back to Gilda.
      • Harvey himself was originally introduced as "Harvey Kent". They changed his name so there'd be no confusion with that other fellow.
  • The original Black Canary, Dinah Drake-Lance, was later referred to as Diana Drake by some writers (Chuck Dixon in particular), presumably to help differentiate her from her daughter Dinah Laurel Lance. Though it didn't always stick and she's usually "Dinah".
  • Blue Beetle: In his Pre-Crisis appearances and early Post-Crisis stories, Ted Kord's full given name was Theodore. During Chuck Dixon's run on Birds of Prey, his name was revealed to be Edward (with "Ted" as a nickname, like Ted Kennedy). Later writers would try to reconcile the differences by listing his name as "Theodore Edward Kord," but his most recent posthumous appearances had the name as "Theodore Stephen Kord."
  • The Flash:
    • Barry Allen's name used to be Barrence, but was eventually changed to the more common Bartholomew.
    • Wally West's father was originally named Bob West in all of his Pre-Crisis appearances. Post-Crisis, he was suddenly renamed to Rudolph West. The Life Story of the Flash gives his full name as Robert Rudolph West.
    • Iris West's father was introduced as T.H. West in Flash #134 (1963), but was Ira West from then on.
  • In the Green Lantern comic book series, Carol Ferris's father was originally named Willard, but from his second appearance onward, he was renamed Carl.
  • Huntress:
    • In her first origin and early appearances the Post-Crisis Huntress' full name was "Helena Janice Bertinelli". In her revised origin and later profiles, her name became "Helena Rosa Bertinelli".
    • Post-Crisis Huntress' parents were named Guido and Carmela in her original 1989 origin, but their names were later changed to Franco and Maria by the time of Greg Rucka's retelling in the Cry For Blood miniseries.
  • The Justice Society of America tie-in to Blackest Night inexplicably refers to Jakeem Thunder as "Jamal Thunder."
  • Grant Morrison's The Multiversity introduced Earth-8, a pastiche/homage to the Marvel Universe. The X-Men stand-ins from that universe were initially called the G-Men, but when they reappeared in Flash Forward, they were now called the Zen-Men, the name of their counterparts in the pre-Flashpoint Lord Havok and the Extremists miniseries.
  • Sometime after Plastic Man's son Luke became the hero Offspring in main DC continuity, some writers had slipped up and referred to him as "Ernie" (the name of the Offspring from The Kingdom continuity). This was later explained away as Ernie being his middle name.
  • Shazam!:
    • Billy Batson's deceased parents were originally referred to as "Merrill" and "Jocelyn" in the Pre-Crisis days, but modern origins have his father named "Clarence Charles 'C.C.' Batson" (after Captain Marvel's creator, C.C. Beck) and his mother named "Marilyn".
    • Kid Eternity originally had No Name Given, and was only ever referred to as "Kid." Eventually some Canon Welding with Shazam made him Freddy's brother, Christopher "Kit" Freeman.
  • Superman's middle name has variously been given as Jonathan, Jerome or Joseph, with the latter apparently being the "official" one. (Jonathan, of course, is his adoptive father, while the other names are from his Real Life creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.) Jerome ends up being Lex Luthor's middle name.
  • Chimera, a minor character in the "Team Titans" era of Teen Titans, originally had her full name given as "Sanjeet Rey." However, a later card set by DC called her "Sanjeet Gupta". Even later in the title's (short) run, Chimera gave her name as "Sanjeet Bhatia".
  • In the DC weekly series 52, an Asian magic user by the name of "Terri Thirteen" appeared as part of the Croatoan detective society. Post-52 continuity would clarify that this was actually meant to be Traci Thirteen, a pre-existing character (and Doctor Thirteen's daughter). It appears there was some editorial oversight that lead to the name slip-up.
  • Vixen's name was originally given as "Marilyn MacCabe" in her 1978 mini-series, which had been scrapped and reprinted in an anthology titled "Cancelled Comic Calvacade". After her official debut in Action Comics, her name was revised to "Mari Jiwe McCabe" and has stuck that way ever since.
  • Wonder Woman
    • Diana's friend Etta Candy has had her middle name vary from being "Marie" to "Olive". This changing middle name can be used to differentiate some of the Ettas from different universes, but it doesn't always stay consistent in each one.
    • The Holliday Girl Roberta "Bobby" Strong, who appeared througout the Golden Age in Sensation Comics, Wonder Woman and Comic Cavalcade was called Bee Strong in a later issue of Comic Cavalcade with no explanation.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): The name of the Holliday College Dean is usually given as Sourpuss, but is in an issue where her desk is shown it's written as Strikt.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Cassie's best friend Georgia (who goes by George) had the surname "Redmond", but a later writer inexplicably gave her last name as "Neville".

Marvel Comics:

  • In the Marvel Universe, Dr. Druid (who predates The Fantastic Four) was originally called Dr. Droom. When he was reintroduced, his name was changed to avoid confusion with Doctor Doom but no 'in-universe' reason is given for the change.
  • When Stan Lee forgot The Incredible Hulk's alter-ego is named Bruce Banner and started calling him Bob Banner, it led to a retcon where his full name is "Robert Bruce Banner." Lee also called Peter Parker Peter Palmer a few times, but at least that was forgotten.
  • In The Incredible Hulk #294 Banner is up against a Corrupt Corporate Executive named Max Stryker. Then Hulk is conscripted into the Secret Wars (1984); when he comes back in issue #295 Stryker is now called Max Hammer.
  • Early on in Thanos' history, it was established that his mother was a dark-haired woman named Sui-San. Due to an error on Steve Gerber's part, Daredevil #105 instead depicted her as a blonde named Kazantra. A few subsequent handbooks have tried to reconcile the discrepancy by suggesting that Kazantra and Sui-San were two different people, but the inconsistency was never mentioned in-canon again.
  • Though it was some time from his introduction that The Punisher's family were named, his daughter was originally named "Barbara". Later on, there were certain issues where she was referred to as "Christie" instead. Even later, during Garth Ennis' run, his daughter is named "Lisa". Strangely, this was never a problem with his son, who is always referred to as "Frank Jr". A tombstone partially glimpsed during the "Franken-Castle" arc seems to show that her full name is "Lisa Barbara Castle".
  • Kenny "King Kong" McFarlane in Ultimate Spider-Man was initially referred to as "Clifford Harlan", although his given name switched between Clifford and Kenny for a bit before Bendis finalized the name.
  • X-Men:
    • The names of Cannonball's younger siblings in the X-Men books are famously inconsistent. For instance, the redheaded, second oldest Guthrie son was called "Josh" when he first showed up in New Mutants, but later became known as "Jay" when he joined the cast of New X-Men years later as the hero Icarus. His dad has also variously been called "Thomas," "Ty" and "Zeke" depending on who is writing.
    • Skin from Generation X was named Angelo Espinosa. When the character was Killed Off for Real some time later, it was stated that his name was Angelo Torres.

Other Publishers:

  • Archie Comics:
    • Archie's mother was originally named "Mary" in Archie Comics; however, in the 80s or 90s (before Harry Potter) she was renamed "Hermione."
    • Josie changed surnames during the retool from She's Josie to Josie and the Pussycats. Her surname was "McCoy" initially but was changed to "Jones".
  • In Johnny the Homicidal Maniac Devi's best friend was named "Tonja." In I Feel Sick her name is "Tenna."
  • In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe and related cartoons, the rarely-seen mother of Huey, Dewey and Louie was originally named "Dumbella." Since then she's mostly called "Della," though Carl Banks called her "Thelma." (Her relationship to Donald has also switched from cousin to twin sister.)
  • In PS238, US Patriot Act's real name seems to have switched from Dillon to Darnel.
  • Trailbreaker of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye starts going by "Trailcutter" between the 6th issue and the Annual issue. The real world explanation is that Hasbro could not use the original name for toys. The in-universe reason was not revealed until his Spotlight issue.
    • Bluestreak's name was changed to "Silverstreak" and then back to "Bluestreak" for similar trademark reasons. This has not been given an in-universe reason.
    • This is a fairly common phenomenon for Transformers in general due to having to work around trademarks.
  • The Beano renamed Fatty from the Bash Street Kids in May 2021. From now on, he's called Freddy, and supposedly always had been (he was previously a case of No Name Given, Only Known By His Nickname). Apparently, they didn't want kids thinking it was OK to call their friends Fatty, so they changed it so as to not set a bad example. Times have changed since 1954 when the Bash Street Kids first appeared!

  • Happens to two characters near the beginning of Austraeoh. Ironhoof is first introduced as "Stonehoof", and another character's name vacillates between "Sun Plate" and "Iron Plate" before settling on "Gold Plate".
  • In Boys und Sensha-do!, Yakuin Takuma's nickname is "Yakuma" in Chapter 2, but "Yakota" in Chapter 7.
  • In the infamous fanfic My Immortal, one character is called both "Professor Trevolry" and "Professor Sinister" interchangeably. In Harry Potter Professors Trelawney and Sinistra are two separate characters, but in the fic it's clearly meant to be the same person.
  • In My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic II, the newly militarized MLP cast is called the Friendship Force. In My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic III, they are now called "Friendship is Magic"... at least until the DeviantArt rewrite, where they have always been called FiM.
  • Red With Rage changes the name of Red's Kangaskhan to Garura to avoid the naming clashes in the fight she was about to have with Giovanni's Kangaskhan.
  • StarKitsProphcy: At the end of Chatper Forr GayStripe, Graystripe asks StarGleam who she picks. Starpaw doesn't get her warrior name until chapter 9.

    Film — Animation 
  • In Beauty and the Beast, is the feather-duster's name Fifi (the name used in the second direct-to-video sequel), or Babette (the name used in the stage musical), or Plumette (the name used in the 2017 live-action remake)?
  • Cars:
    • A minor villain from Cars 2 whose first name appears to be Fred alternates between the surnames "Fisbowski" and "Pacer."
    • Similarly, Sal Machiani (a yellow three-wheeled truck seen in Italy) is referred as "Ape" in one of the film's promotional posters.
    • Yet another minor villain, Petrov, alternates between the surnames "Trunkov" and "Oilski."
  • In Lady and the Tramp, the title characters' four children were not given names when they were introduced at the end of the movie. The official comics gave them the names "Scamp", "Fluffy", "Ruffy," and "Scooter". Fluffy and Ruffy were both female and named for old girlfriends of Tramp's. Fluffy generally took after her mother's personality and was never interested in Scamp's mischief while Ruffy was much more of a tomboy. Scooter, the last one to be named, was male and had a shy, sensitive personality. In the 2001 sequel, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, Scamp retained his name while Scooter became female. His sisters were named "Annette", "Collette", and "Danielle".
  • In some comics printed in Disney Adventures around Lilo & Stitch's release, the red-haired girl with glasses who mocks Lilo was called Jenny. She was named Mertle Edmonds in the film, however.
  • The Lion King (1994) combines this with a Gender Flip. Simba and Nala's cub at the end of the movie is unnamed, though staff members called him "Fluffy". A series of books released shortly after the film was released made him into "Kopa". The direct-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride made the cub into a female named "Kiara", though early in development she had a twin brother which could have explained the cub from the original. The Lion Guard reuses Kiara, but she also has a younger (non-littermate) brother named "Kion", who is an expy of Kopa.
  • In Disney's The Jungle Book (1967), the little village girl that Mowgli meets at the end of the film wasn't referred to by her name at all, and was credited as "The Girl" in the film's opening credits. Early spin-off material for the film, such as the "New Tales from The Jungle Book" stories in the Disneyland Magazines that were published in the 70s gave her the name "Sari". When she became one of the main characters for the 2003 sequel, The Jungle Book 2, she was given the name "Shanti", and that name has stuck ever since.
  • The Coachman from Pinocchio was referred as "Barker" in the film's subtitles when he finally brings several boys which he kidnapped (including Pinocchio himself) to Pleasure Island. However, the subtitles start to refer him as "Coachman" again when he and some gorilla-demon-looking-things start to round the now-transformed boys into crates headed for either the salt mines or the circus.
  • The antagonist of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was eventually subject to "Sudden Name Removal". The Evil Queen's name was originally given as Grimhilde in tie-ins. Over the years, Disney has stopped using that name and only refers to her as "the Evil Queen" (or just "the Queen," if you get her autograph at a Disney park). This is treated oddly in the A Tale Of... books where her own book has her as just "the Queen" but Maleficent's book has her as "Grimhilde".

    Film — Live-Action 
  • "Jack" from Pitch Black suddenly has a proper feminine name, "Kyra," in The Chronicles of Riddick and is only ever referred to as such after the initial clarification.
  • Brawl from Transformers is for some reason referred by the name "Devastator" in the actual movie, but by his real name in the merchandise. The real Devastator doesn't appear until the climax of Revenge of the Fallen.
    • Similarly, Wheeljack and Mirage from Dark of the Moon are both referred in-film as "Que" and "Dino", respectively.
  • The teaser trailer for 1941 features John Belushi as Wild Wayne Kelso. In the film, he's Wild Bill Kelso.
  • In their climactic fight in A New Hope Obi-Wan calls Darth Vader just "Darth", implying it is his actual given name. Later films established "Darth" as a title given to all Sith Lords following Bane's Rule of Two, and that Vader's real name, of course, is Anakin Skywalker.

  • Brother Bear from The Berenstain Bears used to be known as "Small Bear" before his younger sister, Sister, was born.
  • In the New Testament of The Bible, the Book of Acts mentions "Saul, who was also called Paul" right in the middle of a not-especially-remarkable episode in Saul's missionary journeys. The narrative then completely abandons the name Saul, and the apostle is exclusively called Paul for the rest of the book.
  • During the Dinoverse book Raptor Without A Cause, a noble Acrocanthosaurus is nicknamed Green Knight and called such. Early in the very next book, it's suddenly mentioned that he's called Green Knight or "G.K. for short" and the longer form doesn't come up once.
  • Towards the end of the "Wyrmberg" segment of The Colour of Magic, Liessa suddenly becomes Lianna. Given the Pernese influence of the Wyrmberg, it was suggested that this might be an intentional parody of the example below, but Terry Pratchett says no, it's a mistake at the printers.
  • In Dragonflight, the first Dragonriders of Pern novel, the leader of the "old-timers" is T'ton, and Weyrwoman Kylora is Pridith's rider. In subsequent books, the names are T'ron, Kylara and Prideth.
  • The Dragon Knight: In the first book, one of Jim's companions is the wolf Aragh. In all subsequent books, his name is Aargh.
  • The Dresden Files has a handful of examples. One of the vampire Bianca's girls is named as Paula in the first book, and alternately called Paula and Rachel in a later book. Word of Jim has been that one was a stage name, or that Harry just got the name wrong. The Merlin is also addressed by different names, Alfred once, and all later times as Arthur.
  • There's a villainous goblin in the last Edge Chronicles book whose name is either Yellowtusk or Yellowtooth. At one point, it changes between the two mid-scene.
  • The third book of the Pit Dragon Chronicles has cave people who go unnamed. In the fourth one, written twenty-two years later, the cave people are called "trogs" as if that's been their name all along. This is the least of a host of Series Continuity Errors.
  • Fablehaven:
    • In the first book, Grandpa Sorenson addresses Kendra and Seth's mother as "Kate". However, in Grip of the Shadow Plague (book 3), her name is stated to be "Marla". Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (book 4) attempts to fix this disrepency by having Kendra address her mother as "Marla Kate Sorenson" in a note, implying that Kate is her middle name.
    • At one point in the first book, Grandma Sorenson addresses Seth by his full name: "Seth Andrew Sorenson". In Grip of the Shadow Plague, Grandpa calls him "Seth Michael Sorenson". It's unclear as to whether "Andrew" or "Michael" is correct. Worth pointing out is that "Michael" is the middle name of Seth and Kendra's father, as Kendra's note (mentioned above) refers to him as "Scott Michael Sorenson".
  • Harry Potter:
    • Up until Harry Potter finds out the actual name of the creatures that guard Azkaban, a wizarding prison, everyone refers to them as "the Azkaban Guards." After he experiences their happiness-draining power and is told their name, Dementors, in Prisoner of Azkaban no one refers to them as the Azkaban Guards ever again.
    • This happens even more jarringly with the Death Eaters: for the first 3 books, they are simply referred to as "Voldemort's followers" and variants. Once the term and its definition is explained to Harry in Goblet of Fire, no one calls Voldemort's men anything other than Death Eaters.
    • Goblet of Fire introduces a Death Eater named Augustus Rookwood. In the U.K. edition of the next book, his first name is "Algernon." The U.S. edition and all later books change it back.
    • A meta example: Word of God statements had long established that Hermione's middle name was "Jane," which the fifth book also established as Umbridge's middle name. Perhaps invoking the One Steve Limit, the final book makes Hermione's middle name "Jean" instead.
    • In the first Hungarian edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Cornelius Fudge's name was changed to "Cornelius Badarus". In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, where the character was introduced in person, his name got translated as "Cornelius Caramel." Later editions of the first book fixed the inconsistency and used the name "Caramel" consistently over the series.
    • In the American editions, the head of the magical government was called the Minister of Magic, while in the U.K. editions it was the Minister for Magic. The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script didn't bother to make the shift, confusing some American readers.
  • In the Project Gutenberg text of The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins, Lord Montbarry's eldest daughter's name changes from Lucy to Marian between chapters. The same slip is present in the French edition.
  • Chapter 3 of Pinkie Pie and the Rockin' Ponypalooza Party! mentions Sweetie Drops, while one of the bonus activity pages lists Bon Bon. These are two formerly separate official names of one pony, though she doesn't appear in the book herself. The cartoon later established that "Sweetie Drops" is her real name, but she's a secret agent and her code name is "Bon Bon". Everypony knows her by the latter name.
  • P. G. Wodehouse's character Psmith was called "Rupert Psmith" in his first appearance, but had his first name changed to Ronald in the last book, Leave It to Psmith. (This was probably done to enforce the One Steve Limit, as that book was a Crossover with Wodehouse's Blandings Castle series, which already contained a character named Rupert Baxter.)
  • Sherlock Holmes character John H. Watson is randomly referred to as 'James' by his wife in one book. It's theoretically possible that this is supposed to be because his middle name is 'Hamish', the Scottish form of James, and his wife just uses it as a pet-name... but it's more likely that Arthur Conan Doyle just screwed up, as he similarly did with the location of Watson's bullet-wound and a few other details.
  • Elwë Singollo in The Silmarillion. He's referred to as Elwë in his early chapters, then disappears for a couple thousand years, and then is called Thingol. Because characters in the Silmarillion weren't already hard enough to keep track of. A similar thing happens with Melkor/Morgoth, but there, at least, there's a fairly obvious renaming instance.
    • Elwë's example makes sense, because while he was left behind building a kingdom in Doriath, the Elvish language mutated. The Elves in Valinor preserved Quenya, but the new language used by Elwë's subjects was Sindarin, and Elu Thingol is the Sindarin rendering of Elwë Singollo.
  • In Swallows and Amazons, the little sister of the Walkers is known as "Vicky" the entire first book. The sequels promptly change her name to "Bridget". The explanation given in-story is that baby Bridget looked like "Queen Victoria in old age" and was jokingly nicknamed "Vicky", but the resemblance and the nickname ceased when she grew older. (In real life, author Arthur Ransome was basing several of the characters on real children, and Bridget was the name of their younger sister. When she got old enough to comment on the first book, she disliked the fact that her name had been changed, and Ransome fixed things up for her.)
  • Tom Turner in Jules Verne's Robur the Conqueror. When he's mentioned again in the Stealth Sequel, Master of the World, he's inexplicably John Turner.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, there are a couple, all due to author error:
    • Owlfeather of WindClan's name mysteriously changes to Owlwhisker.
    • The outcasts in Moonrise introduce themselves by their full names, two of them being "Rock Where Snow Gathers" and "Bird Who Rides The Wind". The full names are only mentioned once; they go by their nicknames "Rock" and "Bird" for the rest of the book. In the next book, their full names have changed to "Rock Beneath Still Water" and "Bird That Sings at Dusk". Bird appeared again in later books, and the authors attempted to fix their mistake; she is now "Bird That Rides The Wind".
    • They considered doing this with Bluestar's mother in Bluestar's Prophecy. She was mentioned with the name Moonflower in Secrets of the Clans, but that was considered to be something of a mistake because the moon is significant to the Clans and they really wouldn't name a kit after it (it was a new author that had written said book). When working on Bluestar's Prophecy they intended to rename her Duskflower, even answering an "ask Erin" question on using that name, but in the final book she appeared with her original name, Moonflower. Vicky later explained that at the time she answered it they were planning on changing the name, but they ultimately decided to keep the original name since it had already appeared in the books, and just have the "moon" name be a one-off thing.
  • Everybody Loves Large Chests has the God of Chaos, whom for simplicity's sake we will simply call "Bob." See, when it comes to Bob, this trope is enforced. Each and every time his name is invoked, his name, gender, and even title will change without warning (e.g. "Gertrude, the Goddess of Improbability"), whether within the narration or from within another character's own thoughts. Even the other gods aren't immune to this. And the thing is, whoever's hearing it will still know whom it means, assuming they know who Bob is at all. Some of Bob's followers consider it a good omen if they try to invoke his name and chance upon a particularly silly one.
  • Animorphs has some promotional material that named the protagonists' parents, but when the books named them later several turned out to be different. Jake's parents go from Greg and Nikki to Steve and Jean, Cassie's go from John and Aisha to Walter and Michelle, and Marco's go from Jeremy and Laura to Peter and Eva. Rachel is exempt, perhaps because her parents were named in an early book, though one of them spells her sister Sara's name as "Sarah." Note that the TV series went with the names from the promotional materials.
    • One of the auxiliary Animorphs from late in the series is called Timmy in his first appearance and Tuan in a subsequent appearance. In a series well known for its continuity errors, Word of God confirms that Timmy and Tuan are the same character.
  • Ramona Quimby: Mrs. Quimby's maiden name is Haswell in Beezus and Ramona, but in Ramona Forever, it's Day.
  • Poirot: In The Murder on the Links, Hastings falls in love with a girl named Dulcie Duveen and it is implied that he will marry her in the future. In The ABC Murders, while talking about his wife, Hastings calls her "Bella". Now Dulcie does have an identical twin sister named Bella, but she gets engaged to someone else at the end of Links, and this is probably just an instance of Agatha Christie forgetting the name of her characters.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 24 the villainous Cheng Zhi was originally called "Cheng Gao" in his first appearance. When he showed up again a few episodes later it was changed to "Cheng Zhi," and stayed that way for all of his future appearances.
  • Are You Being Served?: in one episode, it's revealed that Mr. Lucas's first name is Dick. In other episodes where it comes up, it's James.
  • Baywatch:
    • Eddie's real name was originally stated to be "Edgar Kramer," but he was called "Edward" in a later appearance.
    • The governor is called Neil Dixon in his first appearance and George Dixon in his second.
  • On Boy Meets World, Topanga states that her mother's name is Chloe in season one but in a later season her mother's name is Rhiannon.
  • Columbo: When Sgt. Wilson made his first appearance in Season 2, he was Frederic Wilson; when he returns in Season 5, he's now John J. Wilson.
  • The Cosby Show: Cliff Huxtable's full first name was originally "Clifford," but it was later changed to "Heathcliff."
  • Happened twice on CSI: NY.
    • One of the recurring detectives was called Jennifer Angell at one point but was always credited as Jessica Angell.
    • In a flashback of Mac's, Christine calls her late brother (who was Mac's partner) "Steven," but he's otherwise consistently referred to as "Stan."
  • Everybody Loves Raymond:
    • The twin sons of Ray and Debra were called Gregory and Matthew in the pilot. In the series they became Geoffrey and Michael. Apparently Ray Romano didn't want the twins in the show to have exactly the same names as his real-life twins.
    • Amy's brother was named Russell when he first appeared in a Season 4 episode, but when he returned in Season 7 (with a new actor), he was now called Peter.
  • The Frasier character Lorna Lynley was suddenly renamed Lana after her first appearance, to avoid referencing a real person.
  • On Full House, Uncle Jesse's surname was originally Cochran in season 1; the name was changed later to Katsopolis to reflect Stamos's Greek heritage at his request.
  • The Greatest American Hero's secret identity was initially "Ralph Hinkley," but then after a guy named Hinkley tried to shoot the president in real life, he was referred to as either "Ralph" or "Mr. H" and the nameplate on his office was shown as "Ralph Hanley."
  • On Here Come the Brides, the Circuit Judge is named Judge Young in one episode and Judge Weems in another.
  • Leave It to Beaver:
    • Fred Rutherford's wife is named Geraldine in Season One. Her name is Gwendolyn from Season Two onward.
    • In his first appearance in "Beaver and Gilbert," Gilbert's surname is Gates. His surname is Bates in all of his subsequent appearances, with the exception of "Beaver's English Test" in which Mr. Blair refers to him as "Mr. Harrison."
  • On M*A*S*H, recurring psychiatrist character Major Freedman is given the first name Milton in his first appearance before becoming Sidney from his second appearance onward.
  • In the Psychiatrist Milkman sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus, Mrs Ratbag's name changes to Mrs Pim with no notice. Which is to say, in the beginning of the sketch she's called Mrs Ratbag and later on she's called Mrs Pim, but it's the same character.
  • On The Office (US), Pam Beesly's surname was spelled in three different ways in the first two seasons; she also originally had the middle name Jean (seen when she shows the camera her wedding invitation), but later on, it was changed to Morgan (first heard when Jim fakes a proposal).
  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • Marty's Malt Shop, the restaurant across the street from Madison High School, goes by a different name in its first radio appearance ("The Model School Teacher"). Subsequent appearances have the local hangout go by the name "Marty's Malt Shop". This includes the television remake of "The Model School Teacher", simply entitled "The Model Teacher."
    • Sherry's Department store has a similar backstory. In the store's first appearance, "Surprise Party", Madison's department store goes by a different name. In subsequent episodes, "Sherry's" prevails, including the television remake of "Surprise Party", "The Birthday Bag."
    • In the third season, Madison High School's principal rival, "Clay City High School", is suddenly redubbed "Henry Clay High."
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "Double Helix", Dr. Nodel's first name is Martin. In the sequel "The Origin of Species", his first name is Eric.
    • In "Valerie 23", the Innobotics Corporation executive Charlie's surname is Rogers. In the sequel "Mary 25", it is Bouton.
  • In The Partridge Family, Shirley's father is named Fred Renfrew in the first two seasons and Walter Renfrew in the last two.
  • The Price Is Right: A pricing game known as "Now and Then" (where one must guess whether the prices of grocery items are their current price or one from an old supermarket flyer, the titular "now" and "then" prices) had its title changed to "Now or Then", for almost no apparent reason.
  • On Roseanne, David was called "Kevin" in his first appearance.
    • Roseanne even makes a callback to it in a later episode. "David's not even his name! You just made it up."
  • In the pilot episode of Seinfeld Jerry calls Michael Richard's character "Kessler", who we all know is called "Kramer" for the rest of the series. This is later given a nod in "The Betrayal" during a flashback to Jerry and Kramer's first meeting, where Jerry asks if the latter's name is "Kessler, right?" before being corrected.
  • Two female monsters from Sesame Street suffered from this. A female pink monster who was originally named Mooba was inexplicably renamed Google, and a female green monster who was originally named Google was inexplicably renamed Phoebe.
  • Space: 1999: Sandra Benes goes by that name for the entire first season and the first episodes of the second season. After her absence from the cast for part of the second season, she is renamed to Sahn, with no explanation given. This could simply be a pet name for "Sandra", but in late season two episodes her name tag says "Sahn", with no surname. A possible explanation is that the producers wanted to portray her as an Asian rather than a European (the actress was half English, half Burmese and could pass as both).
  • In the second pilot episode of Star Trek crewman Mitchell, possessed of near-omnipotent alien powers, fights Kirk and creates an open grave with a tombstone reading "James R. Kirk". This would normally be a minor matter but given how many times Kirk later introduces himself as "James T. Kirk" it's actually quite jarring.
  • In two first-season episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation Deanna Troi called William Riker "Bill", but eventually she joined everybody else in calling him "Will."
  • Two and a Half Men: Dr. Herb Melnick's first name was originally Greg, but was changed once he and Judith became engaged.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • When Chic Young's Blondie debuted, Blondie was a 1930s flapper with the cognomen Boopadoop. After marrying Dagwood Bumstead in 1933, she bore him two children: a son, Baby Dumpling, and a daughter, Cookie. Today, Baby Dumpling is called Alexander.
  • One of the more baffling continuity errors in Funky Winkerbean was when Pete Roberts inexplicably and abruptly had his surname retconned to "Reynolds." Notably, the official website's character sheet still uses his original name.
  • Crabgrass: Miles, one of the two protagonists, was originally named Curtis. It lasted for about 3 months before it was changed to Miles, with the in-universe explanation that Curtis is his middle name that he tried to use for a while since moving to Crabgrass Drive.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Although name changes in Professional Wrestling occur often due to gimmick changes, sometimes names are changed for no apparent reason. Case in point, John Hennigan officially debuted on WWE Raw as Johnny Blaze, but was changed to Johnny Spade the very next week with no gimmick changenote . It would become Johnny Nitro just a few weeks later, but this name would eventually get a change in gimmick.
  • In August 2015, the WWE unveiled a trio of Divas that were originally given the team name Submission Sorority. Unbeknownst to them, anyone who Googled the name after the announcement wound up being directed to multiple video links from HazeHer, a hardcore porn/fetish website controlled by pornsite operator BangBros! As a result, the group's name was changed to the more generic PCB (the initials of the three wrestlers, Paige, Charlotte and Becky) within a week. Funnily enough, web traffic to BangBros' porn websites shot up 56% the night of the announcement, with a 35% increase in subscriptions.

  • In the Marx Brothers' radio show Beagle, Shyster and Beagle Waldorf T. Beagle's name was changed to Waldorf T. Flywheel (and the show renamed Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel) because a real lawyer named Beagle threatened to sue. In-Universe it was explained that Flywheel had gotten divorced and went back to his original name.

  • Invoked in a Monty Python stage sketch in which there's a bartender who's called (and answers to) different names by all of his customers.

  • One of Barbie's sisters had her name changed from "Kelly" to "Chelsea" in 2010.

    Video Games 
  • An industry example: It is pretty common for new consoles to have "working titles" while they are in development, but then receive their final name upon release. Nintendo tends to do this the most often, as they don't use the same numbering schemes as Sony or Microsoft. Examples include:
  • In the 2009 Bionic Commando game, Spencer has a move called "Death from Above", where he descends from a great height and strikes the ground hard. For some reason, it was renamed "Bionic Bomber" in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Tiny Tiger's name is originally Taz Tiger. This can be seen in the NTSC version of the game where, in his boss fight, if you pause the game, you can see that name in the HUD.
  • The Tutorial Pig from Donkey Kong Country Returns got the much more memorable moniker Professor Chops in the sequel, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze after Retro Studios realized that fans had reacted negatively to such a prominent character having a bland, plainly descriptive name. When he got a trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the trophy's actual name ended up as Tutorial Pig, while the description refers to him as preferring the name Professor Chops.
  • The heroes in the original arcade version of Double Dragon were known as Hammer and Spike, although the NES version later established their names to be Billy and Jimmy Lee. The manual for the Sega Master System version tried to reconcile this difference by establishing that "Hammer" and "Spike" were actually Billy's and Jimmy's nicknames, but the nicknames were never used again in any subsequent game in the series.
    • The manual for the Master System version also switched the names of Jeff and Willy for some reason.
    • In Battletoads & Double Dragon, Machine Gun Willy was inexplicably renamed "Roper" (which was actually the name of one of the recurring mooks in the first game). The fact that Technos didn't develop this game most likely led to this inconsistency
  • In the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Aeris's name was changed to Aerith. (The Japanese name "エアリス" could properly be translated as either, but "Aerith" was the name intended by the developers.)
    • Several Final Fantasy games that were localized for North America in the nineties would receive remakes and updated ports that had several name changes for the monsters, items, places, magic spells, among other things. This resulted in more accurate translations and consistency with terms and elements used throughout the series, starting with the localization of Final Fantasy VIII in 1999.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions was hit with this trope hard, but it was definitely for the better. It is the updated PSP port of Final Fantasy Tactics for the PlayStation. The original Tactics had a bad translation, naturally followed by several mistranslated names. When The War of the Lions came around, it fixed everything. Just look at this list of names that were changed.
  • When Fire Emblem starting to be released worldwide, the NTSC site of Blazing Sword/"Fire Emblem" refer to Celice (the accepted name at the time) as Serlis. While it is likely to avoid confusion with Celica, he was called that in the Nintendo Power article (in the same article, they called Sigurd "Zigludo.") In Fire Emblem Awakening, he's now called Seliph.
  • Mary's name was originally translated as "Maria" in Harvest Moon 64 but became "Mary" in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. "Mary" is the name used in every other appearance. Her Japanese name is Marie.
  • In the BioShock series, Dr. Brigid Tenenbaum was named Bridgette Tenenbaum in the first game as seen when entering her apartment, but was retconned to Brigid in the Alternate Reality Game for BioShock 2 and used from then on.
  • A character in Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy is referred to as Jak's uncle, but in all later released material is instead known as the explorer.
    • Erol's name from Jak II changed to Errol in Jak 3. A fanon explanation is that the extra r refers to "robot", reflecting his cybernetic 'enhancements'.
  • In The King of Fighters XIV one of the new characters is a Brazilian ninja named "Banderas Hattori". Brazilian fans complained that "Banderas" is a Spanish name, so in later trailers the devs changed it slightly to "Bandeiras", which fits the Brazilian name more.
  • The Legendary Starfy was originally referred to by his Japanese name of "Stafy" in two cameos he made prior to one of his games being brought over to the US.
  • In The Legend of Zelda, the aquatic creatures that populate Hyrule are called "Zolas". They would become "Zoras" in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and subsequent games (except for the strategy guide for The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening).
  • Pokémon:
  • In Ratchet & Clank (2002), when the titular duo uses Ratchet's ship to get off of Veldin, Clank begins telling Ratchet his "real name", a serial number that begins with "B5429671", although Ratchet jerked the ship before he could continue and gave him the nickname most people know him by. Years later, in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time, Clank's father Orvus refers to him by a different number: "XJ-0461".
  • In Silent Hill 4: The Room, the Hope House Orphanage (mentioned in the previous game) is now a visitable location in-game... except it's called the "Wish House Orphanage" instead.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Dr. Eggman is always called "Dr. (Ivo) Robotnik" in the US version of earlier games. However, starting with Sonic Adventure, this was changed so that he is now always called by his Japanese name, "Dr. Eggman". Lampshaded in Sonic Generations when Classic Tails refers to Classic Eggman as Robotnik and he comments how no one calls him that anymore. The official consensus is that "Ivo Robotnik" (but just "Robotnik" in Japan, with his first name being "unknown") is his real name and "Eggman" is a nickname.
    • Amy Rose was called Princess Sally in the American Sonic the Hedgehog CD manual as a feeble attempt at tying into the cartoon. Needless to say, the very next game reverted it back to Amy. Incidentally, she first appeared in Shogakukan manga under the name "Eimy", and had the nickname "Rosy the Rascal" in the Japanese Sonic CD manual and Sonic the Fighters before the idea was dropped.
    • Similarly, Fang the Sniper's dub name, Nack the Weasel, was only used in his debut game's English localization. Subsequent game appearances reverted it back to his Japanese name, possibly because he's actually supposed to be a wolf/jerboa hybrid.
    • Mecha Sonic from Sonic 3 & Knuckles was given many different and inconsistent dub names, including Metal Sonic. When he was featured as part of DLC in LEGO Dimensions, it was reverted to his Japanese name.
  • The Biggy Man from Splatterhouse was originally known as the Piggy Man. A strategy guide misspelled his name and this variant of the name was popularized enough to made its way into the 2010 remake of the series.
  • The setting of Star Fox Adventures is "Dinosaur Planet". The planet was later renamed "Sauria" in Star Fox: Assault.
  • The change in localizer from Natsume's Harvest Moon to XSeed's Story of Seasons led to some of this:
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Nintendo's own mascot character, Mario, was originally called the "Jumpman" in the instructions for the arcade version of Donkey Kong, although this was never meant to be a finalized name. The game's designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, was considering naming him "Mr. Video" for awhile until Nintendo of America suggested to call him "Mario" after Nintendo of America's landlord, Mario Segale and the name was officially used in Donkey Kong Junior.
    • The squid enemy from Super Mario Bros. was initially called "Bloober" until Paper Mario; since then, it has been "Blooper".
    • Princess Peach had been called Princess Toadstool in America, until Yoshi's Safari, wherein she was given her original Japanese name. Super Mario RPG reverted her name back to Toadstool before Super Mario 64 decided to use both names, giving her the full name and title of Princess Peach Toadstool. Since then, the name Toadstool has fallen into disuse and Peach is now her name globally.
    • Fawful from the Mario & Luigi series was given three different names, one for each game he appears in, in European Spanish (though not Latin American Spanish, which always uses Fawful). He starts out as "Esbirro Jijí" ("Minion Heehee"), similar to Cackletta's European Spanish name, which is "Bruja Jijí" (it translates to "Heehee Witch") in Superstar Saga. Then, he was given the North American name "Fawful" for Partners In Time, and finally, his name was changed to "Grácovitz" in Bowser's Inside Story, which is based off of "Gerakobits" (his name in Japan). This can give the impression that it's a different character in each game, as if there is an Esbirro Jijí species or these "three characters" just happen to be Inexplicably Identical Individuals.
  • Kirby:
    • Infamously, Ado from Kirby's Dream Land 3 was possibly renamed to Adeleine in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Officially, it's ambiguous whether they are the same character or not, but the 20th Anniversary guidebook Pupupu Taizen does acknowledge that it seems likely, even pointing out that "Ado" could be a nickname for "Adeleine".
    • This has happened to other subjects fairly often throughout the series, but is most often the result of Inconsistent Dub over time.
  • Between Warcraft III and its expansion pack "The Frozen Throne" a year later, Furion Stormrage had his name expanded to Malfurion with no explanation. Other units gained different names as well; Owlbears were renamed Wildkin, while Ballistae, Catapults, Steam Tanks and Gyrocopters became Glaive Throwers, Demolishers, Siege Engines and Flying Machines respectively, with completely new models and attacks. The Steam Tank, Ballista and Gyrocopter were changed to distance them from the machines of the same name from Warhammer Fantasy, and units like Owlbears and the Boots of Elvenkind (changed to Boots of Quel'thalas) were copyrighted by Wizards of the Coast, and thus had to be changed to avoid litigation.
  • In the transition from RTS series Warcraft to MMORPG World of Warcraft, other names were changed as well. The human nation of Azeroth became known as Stormwind, which was until then the name of its capital citynote . Illidan's fortress the Black Citadel also became the Black Temple for no reason.
  • Detectives United II has a brief, odd example about a third of the way through the game. James has gone to investigate something happening at St. Mary's Orphanage; however, when he runs into trouble, Agent Shade sends Anna Gray to help him, saying that "something happened to him at Schneider's hotel." After this conversation, the orphanage returns to its original name and no explanation is offered for the temporary change. Likely it was a script edit which never got rectified.

  • Mulberry's Dumb Blonde friend originally had the name "Tiff". In 2012, Peter Paltridge changed her name to "Taffeta Sparks", or "Taffy" for short.
  • In Something*Positive, Davan's ex-girlfriend who appears in the first strip was referred to by a different name which was later changed to "Gia." Previous strips were changed to match the new name. (Given that the early strips were based off the author's real life, it's possible the actual ex took offense.)
  • George's original super hero name in Bob and George was "Spark". It was later changed to "Blitz" with only a tiny bit of Lampshade Hanging acknowledging the change.

    Web Original 
  • Several Neopets species changed names early on:
    • Acara was originally called "Tigren'".
    • Bruce started out as just an image of the celebrity Bruce Forsyth named "Bruce Forsyth". The name was shortened to "Bruce" due to legal issues and eventually they were redesigned into penguins.
    • Buzz started out as a winged eye named "Fleye".
    • Gelert was originally known as "Polypup".
    • Jubjub was originally "Jibjib".
    • Kacheek was originally "Badeek".
    • Kau started out being named "Macy Gray". Similar to Bruce, they were humanoid and based off a real celebrity.
    • Kyrii started out as the fuzzy and ball-like "Fuzio".
    • Mynci started out as a human named "Mellish", based on a friend of the creators.
    • Quiggle was originally named "Frogstomp".
  • When Obscurus Lupa reviewed Witchcraft 7: Judgement Day, she noticed how the first vampiric victim's name changed from "Sally" to "Rachel" at one point. As a result, she spends the review calling her "Sally-Rachel."
  • Anna, one of the main characters in The Rapture Logs, was named Jane until about halfway through Act III, when "creative difficulties" with the person on whom the character was based necessitated the name change, which was applied retroactively through the archives.
  • Sailor Moon Abridged has fun with the Silver Imperial Moon crystal, which is never called the same way twice, even by the people looking for it.
  • Two thirds of the way through Ace Attorney but AI tries to create dialogue and improves!, the Judge suddenly declares that Miles Edgeworth's name is now Gregory Kotsopolis. Shortly thereafter, Apollo Justice introduces himself as Henry Galaxy, and Dick Gumshoe's name starts being spelled Gumshower.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
  • Arthur:
    • Francine's cat Nemo was originally named "Mimo".
    • Mrs. MacGrady's first name had been established as "Sarah", but was renamed "Leah" in honor of writer Leah Ryan.
    • Mr. Haney's first name was originally "Herb", but was later changed to "Francis".
    • Mr. Ratburn's first name is "Nigel", but an early episode had his mother call him "Emil" in a flashback.
    • Muffy's butler Bailey was referred to as "James" in his first appearance.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Flying Bison are later referred to as Sky Bison. It could be possible that both terms are correct, though, since many animals have multiple common names. Considering they are also referred to as Wind Buffalo by a Fire Nation tourist, that seems likely.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • A strange example; some late-1930s shorts featured a character called Egghead, occasionally portrayed as a recreational hunter. In one cartoon, A Feud There Was, he was called "Elmer Fudd". Through the years, the character changed radically, becoming the stuttering, bald, bumbling hunter we recognize today, known exclusively as Elmer Fudd—one character become another by way of an altered name.
    • While not mentioned onscreen, Tweety was called "Orson" on his original model sheet for 1942's A Tale of Two Kitties. This came full circle in an episode of The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, where Tweety meets a bird named Orson who looks just like his original naked design.
    • Sylvester was unnamed in his first few appearances, then went by "Thomas" in Tweetie Pie.
    • In his first appearance in Odor-able Kitty, Pepé Le Pew was called "Henry" and wasn't actually French. And on his model sheet for the cartoon, he was called "Stinky".
    • Beaky Buzzard was called "Killer" is his first two cartoons.
  • The 2006 revival of Biker Mice from Mars had an inconsistency concerning the first name of the villain Dr. Catorkian. The Catatonian scientist refers to himself as Cantankerous Catorkian in "Manchurian Charley", while "Bringing Up Vinnie" has him give his full name as Phineas P. Catorkian.
  • Three from Code Lyoko:
    • Due to a translation mix-up, the supercomputer was originally called the "supercalculator" in the English dub. This was later corrected.
    • The fictional band The Subsonics was changed to The Subdigitals when it turned out there was a real band called The Subsonics.
    • Kankrelats were called "Roachsters" in the first season. They were latter given their original French name.
  • In the Cow and Chicken pilot "No Smoking", the villain is explicitly called the Devil. For the series, his official name became "the Red Guy" (though he almost always goes by an alias in-show).
  • In the first Felix the Cat short, Feline Follies, Felix was named "Master Tom". He was also a Partially Civilized Animal instead of a Funny Animal.
  • Freakazoid!:
    • The character Mo-Ron was referred to as Bo-Ron after his first appearance, allegedly because network censors were concerned that use of the word "moron" was offensive. Lampshaded in the episode "Freak-a-Panel," where, when Lord Bravery refers to him, he says "Mo-Ron or... Bo-Ron, whatever."
    • Also, for some reason, Dexter's cat Mr. Chubbskins is renamed Mr. Chubbikins after "The Chip."
  • The second season of G.I. Joe Extreme changed Ballistic's name to Eagle Eye because of a law forbidding children's shows from using characters with firearm-themed names.
  • Goofy's original name was "Dippy Dawg". He also went through a period of being called "George Geef". It's possible that this was supposed to be his real full name, and 'Goofy' was a nickname, based off of its similarity to his surname. However, Disney tends to maintain these days that his full name is "Goofus D. Dawg" - which retroactively explains the Dippy Dawg thing, but makes 'George Geef' completely inexplicable. His full name has also been written as "Goofy Goof", especially in Goof Troop and followups, where his son is consistently called "Max Goof".
  • For the 2015 revival of the 2008 George of the Jungle series, Magnolia and Ursula's names were switched for no explicable reason.
  • Mei Li, the pig princess from one episode of the Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, was known as "Pei Pei" in some promotional media.
  • On M.A.S.K., this happened very often.
    • The '57 Chevy shared by Hondo MacLean and Buddie Hawks was called either Hurricane or Night Stalker. (And no, these names were not exclusive to one or the other.)
    • Buddie's mask was called either Penetrator or Vibrator. (Yeah, I know.)
    • The driver of the Slingshot was named either Ace Riker or Ace Striker. His mask was called either Boomerang or Ricochet.
    • Bruno Sheppard's vehicle is called either Stinger or Scorpion.
  • Mickey Mouse (2013):
    • Minnie Mouse's name is short for "Minerva Mouse" according to a 1942 comic story. The short The Fancy Gentleman has her as "Minifred".
    • In the same short, Mickey's full name is mentioned as "Michel Francois Mouse". It's normally "Michael Theodore Mouse".
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Pony Joe, a one-scene character from "The Best Night Ever", had his name out-of-nowhere revised to Donut Joe when he reappeared with a bigger role in "MMMystery on the Friendship Express". Since both names were only used once each (he's called just "Joe" most of the time), it isn't clear which name is correct; "Donut Joe" is newer, but "Pony Joe" had also been used by fan-designed licensed merchandise beforehand.
    • The character "Coco Pommel" had her name changed to "Miss Pommel" in 2015 starting with the merchandise. The first toy released for her was under the name Coco Pommel, but due to legal reasons and the Coco Chanel company, the toys from the 2016 Explore Equestria lineup had her name changed to Miss Pommel. She was also called Miss Pommel for the 2016 My Little Pony McDonald's Happy Meal promotion. Starting in the episode "The Saddle Row Review" she is called Miss Pommel in the show.
    • Speaking of Coco Pommel, the character "Suri Polomare" is called Buttonbelle in the 2015 Cutie Mark Magic lineup, and was called that in the 2016 Happy Meal promotion.
  • In Season 1 of The Mr. Men Show, Miss Chatterbox's pet bird is called "Featherhead". In Season 2, it's "Featherbrain".
    • Mr. Persnickety was renamed to Mr. Fussy in Season 2. (Which was his original name anyway)
  • Several minor characters in The Simpsons have used different names on-screen than have been used in various off-screen canon:
    • Homer's mother's name was supposed to be "Penelope Olsen" according to the ''Simpsons Family Album". When she appears in "Mother Simpson", this name is only one of many she went under while on the run from the law, and it's not actually specified which if any was real. In subsequent episodes she is always "Mona Simpson" (the first name mentioned in "Mother Simpson").
    • Snake was apparently called "Jailbird" in scripts before characters started calling him by the name "Snake" in episodes. This has been lampshaded many times in subsequent episodes, including his home mailbox reading "Snake, aka Jailbird" or a flashback of his previous life as a successful archeologist where he refers to himself as "Professor Jailbird."
    • In his first appearance in "Bart the Murderer", the real name of Fat Tony was stated to be William Williams. From "The Homer They Fall" onward, it was Anthony D'Amico.
    • In "Who Shot Mr. Burns", Principal Seymour Skinner's diploma shows his name as "W. Seymour Skinner", because the letters "W/M" and "S" were major clues. No future episode would acknowledge this. (By contrast, on-screen text also showed Moe's last name as "Szyslak", which stuck.)
  • The New Adventures of Superman. In several early episodes (e.g. "The Deadly Dish") Lex Luthor's henchman was named Blinky. In the first season 3 episode "Luthor's Lethal Laser" the henchman's name was changed to Kinky, with no explanation.
  • When King Features produced made-for-TV Popeye cartoons in the early 1960s, Bluto was renamed Brutus due to the company mistakingly thinking Paramount owned the rights to the name.note  After King Features realized their mistake Brutus was retconned as Bluto's twin brother.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • In the Brazilian dub of the episodes featured in What A Cartoon! Show, Bubbles is dubbed "Denguinho" and Buttercup is called "Lindinha". In the series proper, Bubbles is "Lindinha" and Buttercup is "Docinho". Blossom averts this by being "Florzinha" in all stories.
    • The Brazilian dub of "Meat Fuzzy Lumpkins" renames Townsville as "Cidadelândia" while the city retains its original name in the other episodes.
  • In Rocky and Bullwinkle Natasha's last name was either Fatale or Nogoodnik in different episodes.
  • In the original Rugrats pilot, Grandpa Lou Pickles was named Stu Pickles, Sr.
  • South Park has often fallen prey to this trope, mostly due to a rushed production schedule, though this has stabilized with major characters in recent years. The reuse of background character assets and a handful of stock names being oft reused complicates the issue.
    • Though most of the dads have remained consistent, Sheila, Sharon and Linda were all referred to as "Carol" at one point or another before their final names stuck. It eventually became Ascended Fanon for Kenny's mom.
    • Butters' father kept switching between 'Chris' and Stephen' for his first five seasons; since the tenth season, he's almost exclusively been Stephen, with one slip-up.
    • The boys' extended group of friends changed surnames in the middle seasons — Token went from "Williams" to "Black,"note , Jimmy went from "Swanson" to "Valmer," which came up as a meta-joke, and Clyde went from "Goodman" to "Donovan" to "Harris" and back to "Donovan" over several years. Butters was also known as "Swanson" in his very earliest appearance (and before that, was intended to be named "Puff-Puff"); the "Swanson" can be heard in one episode, without it being clear who is being addressed, but the storyboards identify it as Butters.
    • The girls were especially prone to this, given how Out of Focus they are. For example, "Red" was long known by this name among the crew and fans, but was "Rebecca" and "Bertha" at various points, then went back to "Red" when she started to become more prominent. Theresa was originally Molly. Powder was initially Sally Turner. Annie's surname has changed multiple times - once reported as Polk, this was later seen as a misspelling of Faulk, before it was given as Knitts in South Park: The Stick of Truth, while the commonly-used Nelson in-series around the same time.
    • Heidi Turner first appeared as "Marcy" in the fourth season, with different parents, and with her important role in a few future seasons, there's some dispute whether to count "Marcy" as an early Heidi appearance or not.
    • Zigzagged with Detective Harrison Yates, who has been referred to in scripts as 'Detective Harris' but was first identified on screen as 'Sgt. Harrison Yates'. The latter name went unused in-series for almost a decade, and when 'Harris' was used in-series twice in a short run, promotional materials switched to it... but reusing a running gag from his debut necessitated the return to 'Yates', which has stuck since, though 'Harris' still sometimes appears.
    • The other police officers arguably fall into this; a small fan effort to identify them as characters was gradually foiled as new episodes reused the same names being used to refer to different officers interchangeably. Yates seems to refer to all of his colleagues as "Mitch", to which any officer may appear; the names Murph(e)y, Harris, Brown, Adams, and Jarvis have all been used for multiple police/detective characters.
    • Another example with a minor child character is Peter Mullen, who was first known as Leroy; his name was changed to 'Peter Mullen' in an episode late during production on South Park: The Stick of Truth, which referred to him as 'Leroy Mullen', a compromise given there were multiple 'Petes' in the show and game. (Early production assets also called him "Reginald".) The sequel reverted to 'Peter Mullen', however.
    • Though extremely minor characters, news anchors are almost all referred to as "Tom" (and reporters often "Chris") but sometimes the same anchor will be given a name for a single appearance, such as the original Tom being Dan Akawa in one instance, though this was treated as an error/goof. Tom Thompson was also introduced as Paul Harris.
    • Despite the Dr. Doctor tag he is often referred with, the show's main doctor for the first ten seasons is identified on his degree and by a colleague in the film as Dr. Horatio Gouache. The use of this degree as a prop for other characters has made this a confusing example.
    • A pudgy girl with glasses has been called Lorraine Berger until the season 17 episode "The Hobbit", where she became Lisa.
    • Meta example: In the "Jesus vs. Frosty" short that South Park is ultimately based on, the proto-Cartman character was named "Kenny" and the others (including the one who would become Kenny) were unnamed.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • Long Runner that it is, has suffered from this on occasion - sometimes it's not terribly noticeable or important, such as the Invisible Boatmobile being called the Invisiboat for one episode, but sometimes they'll do something like call Sandy Cheeks "Sandy Squirrel."
    • Several background fish have also had several name changes.
    • Barnacle Boy's first name was originally said to be "Kyle" in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V", but was later changed to "Tim" in "Mermaid Man Begins" to match the name of his actor Tim Conway.
  • Tom and Jerry:
    • In the duo's first appearance in Puss Gets the Boot, Tom was a Nearly Normal Animal cat named "Jasper" while Jerry was unnamed.
    • The little grey mouse that accompanies Jerry has been called both "Nibbles" and "Tuffy" over the years.
    • Several shorts featured a trio of alley cats that served as Tom's rivals or friends. The black cat was normally called "Butch", while the orange cat was called "Lightning" in Old Rockin' Chair Tom. The latest direct-to-video movies call them Tin, Pan, and Ali.
    • Spike the Bulldog has been called "Butch" and "Killer" a few times.
  • In Total Drama, Sasquatchanakwa is just called "the Yeti" in later seasons.
  • Shockwave from Transformers Animated was given the name "Chugway" in the subtitles for the episode "Autoboot Camp."
  • When Polly and the Zhu Zhu Pets was renamed to The ZhuZhus, the main character's name was changed from Polly to Frankie.
  • Downplayed with Squishington from Bump in the Night, who was given two completely different full names, which were even inconsistent on whether Squishington was the character's given name or his surname. The episode "Sock It to Me" had Squishington give his full name as Squishington A. Peabody, while the later episode "Love's Labor Bumped" has Mr. Bumpy claim that his full name is F. Lee Squishington.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Solar Power Rover", Beep the rover was originally named Shep until Jet found out that she was actually named Beep.
  • Madeline: One of Madeline's friends was originally named Simone but later became Ellie.
  • In Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?, Robot's friend Mitch was given two different surnames. The episode "Scantron Love" has Ms. Kavendash refer to him as "Mitchell Davis", while "Hookie 101" has him listed with the last name "Freemen" when Principal Madman looks at a list of students and realizes that Robot and his friends have decided to skip school today.

    Real Life 
  • A great many streets and highways will change their name as you drive down them for no apparent reason. This can be very confusing and cause you to get lost. The reason tends to be things like it used to be two streets that were combined or you crossed a state or county line, or in suburbia a normally main street is given a different name based on the flora that ostensibly grows there when it passes through a residential area.
    • The same street can, of course, also be renamed following the death of a public figure or important event. In places with ethnic tension, this can become very political as power changes hands. A good example is Quebec, where many formerly English-named streets were gradually named for prominent francophone Québécois figures (e.g. in Montreal, Dorchester —> René-Lévesque; Maplewood —> Édouard-Montpetit) or official English versions disappeared (Mountain —> Montagne; St. Lawrence —> Saint-Laurent).
  • Can happen to people, especially (but not always) when inheriting a new noble title — Prince Albert, Duke of York becoming King George VI would be a well-known example.
    • Popes also traditionally take a new name when elected.
    • Monks and nuns often take a new name to use in their religious life.
    • In many cultures, a person can change their legal name with (usually) little trouble.
    • In fact, just watch the confusion when someone with a long-established name or nickname decides they want to be called by a different one — you might be "Rich" to your college friends, but you'll always be "Dickie" to your family.
  • Countries change names regularly for various reasons, often because of a revolution, the redrawing of borders or the use of an endonym to replace an exonym. For example, Siam —> Thailand; Abyssinia —> Ethiopia; Persia —> Iran, etc.
  • This Very Wiki does it with changing names of trope pages all the time.

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