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"Malik Blishtar is actually Marik Ishtar?"

A character, engaged in "covert ops" of the more comedic kind, is asked for their name. They never prepared one before hand, and don't have time to come up with a Line-of-Sight Name. Without thinking, they begin to blurt out their real name, only to cover it up with some painful pronunciation twisting and a quick stammer.

Real Name as an Alias takes the same concept to an even greater degree, where there is no distortion of a name, just plainly using part of their real name, possibly all of it. Compare Unpronounceable Alias. For slightly better pseudonyms, try Character Name Alias, Line-of-Sight Alias, and Sdrawkcab Alias. See also Louis Cypher, Hugh Mann, Steven Ulysses Perhero and Mr. Smith. See also Last-Second Word Swap.


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  • BoBoiBoy: In the series finale, Fang says his true name is Pang. His friends are more disappointed that he couldn't have thought of a more creative name than Fang not being his real name. Subverted in subsequent materials stating that Pang is Fang's mispronunciation of his own name that his older brother Kaizo kept as a nickname for him.
  • Mechamato: There are no records of Payapi in Rubika's database, only his more apparently evil and larger version, Apayapi, is present in his data. Amato lampshades this by asking how Rubika couldn't have figured out the similarity earlier.
    Amato: You couldn't even make the connection between Apayapi and Payapi?

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Case Closed Conan nearly did this at the very beginning, before he came up with Conan Edogawa, he nearly said "Shinichi". He's lucky that Conan can be rendered in Japanese. Imagine if it was some name with L's everywhere. Not only that, but many times when Conan and Heiji meet up for a case, Heiji (unintentionally or otherwise) slips and calls him "Kudo" in front of the girls, always covering it up with another word that sort of might sound a little bit like it (a homonym.)
    • Also applies with some of the members of the Black Organization — a Freeze-Frame Bonus panel and some supplementary materials reveal that members Gin and Vodka's real names are Jin Kurosawa and Saburo Uokka, respectively.
  • Denjin N: Tadahiro Nasu presents himself as "N". The Sudou note that out of Misaki's fans on the forums, Nasu so happens to be the only one whose name starts on N and use that to their advantage.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Gohan manages to do this with his race name when coming up with his Sentai alter-ego, Great Saiyaman. To explain, in Japan "Saiyajin" means "Saiya person" (hence "Saiya people" in the Speedy dub), so "Great Saiyaman" simply Anglicizes the last part of his race's name. Fortunately, nobody on Earth has ever heard the word Saiyan before.
  • Excel♡Saga parodies this trope along with everything else in existence - in one episode Excel uses the alias Pseudonym Undercover. On another occasion, she actually does use "Sue Donym".
  • FLCL's Haruhara Haruko — her name's revealed by Amarao to be Haruha Raharu.
  • Gintama: When Katsura, a wanted criminal, goes undercover, he often takes aliases suspiciously close to his real name, case in point "Space Captain Katsuura", "Katsuo" or "Joey Katsura" ("Joey" sounds close to Joui, his organization). If that isn't bad enough, he has a pesky habit of insisting that his name be spoken correctly. Luckily enough, the authorities are never smart enough to see through his terrible aliases and disguises.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Jotaro Kujo signs a guestbook using the name "Qtaro Kujo" in order to pull a bluff using I Never Told You My Name.
  • In Kurohime, after aging into a teenage girl, the main heroine gives the name "Himeko" to one of the people that wanted to kill her, but the guy remembered that name was used for Kurohime while she was still a child. Quickly, the heroine realized her error and said that her name was "Himeko-jo", with three kanjis. Of course, it didn't work.
  • Usui in Maid-Sama! likes to trick Those Two Guys Yukimura with a foreign accent and the name "Usui Janai" - literally "Not Usui". It works.
  • In One Piece, Luffy uses this for the tournament in Dressrosa. Due to being in disguise then, Luffy was told precisely by Franky to not let his real name be revealed. Unfortunately immediately after being told so, he almost writes his whole name on the registry sheet before being thankfully stopped by Franky. Having already written down the "Lu" part of his name down and rather use a more clever alias, he just finishes off his registry as "Lucy".
  • In the Pokémon: The Series episode "Showdown in Dark City," Ash Ketchum starts to give his real name as "Ash...Ketchup..." before changing it to "Tom Ato". Following his example, Misty and Brock introduce themselves as "Ann Chovie" and "Caesar Salad", respectively. The reason they had the pseudonyms at all was to avoid being tied to the gang war that was plaguing the city, which could damage their reputations as Pokémon trainers.
  • In Princess Jellyfish, Wholesome Crossdresser Kuranosuke has been hanging out with a group of female otaku, only one of which knows he's a guy. After one of them calls him by the nickname "Meat" once too often, he starts to retort, "I have a name, and it's Kurano-" before realizing he's standing right in front of the sign at their boarding house that states "No boys allowed." He quickly changes his sentence and tells them his name is "Kurako", and is shocked that the others actually bought it.
  • In Ranma ½, Ranma (as a girl) is about to introduce himself to his mother for the first time. While saying the first syllable of his name, he sees her grip her sword and changes his name to "Ranko".
  • A few of the villains do this in Sailor Moon. Jadeite uses the name "Jay Daito" in more than one episode when he's in disguise. In the sound dramas, Zoisite goes by "Zoi Saito", and Kunzite is "Kunz Aito".
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, Ban enters his and Meliodas' names in the Byzel Fight Festival as Baan and Meliodaz respectively. While the aliases didn't really hide who they were, they were enough of a Paper-Thin Disguise to fool one of their dumber opponents, Hauser.
  • The Story Between a Dumb Prefect and a High School Girl with an Inappropriate Skirt Length: When Kogori asks "gal version" Yamato her name, she fumbles and comes up with "Yamada Hanako".note 
  • A number of characters in Sword Art Online do this for their player names:
    • Kirigaya Kazutonote  is Kirito.
    • Andrew Gilbert Mills is Agil.
    • Shino Asada goes in-game by the name of Sinon.
    • Silica and Klein's are puns on their Japanese names which depending on how the words are read as, or used, can reference Siliconnote  or a Klein Bottlenote  respectively.
    • The Progressive movies introduce Misumi Tozawa, who in-game goes by Mito.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew: "We're from Café Mew Mew in Tokyo — mmph!" "Do you want to give us away?" Needless to say, they keep the name.
  • In Touhou Suzunaan ~ Forbidden Scrollery there's a writer whose pen name is "A.C.Q." (Agatha Chris Q in full) who ends up writing a lot of mystery novels. When you pronounce the initials together in a certain way, you get the identity of this person: Akyuu.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
  • Booster Gold: This is how Booster Gold became famous. After saving the President's life, he is asked what his superhero name is by reporters. Instead of using Gold Star as he planned, he started to introduce himself as "Booster" Carter, his nickname from his football days. He tried to correct himself midsentence and that gave the reporters his identity as Booster Gold.
  • Captain America: Steve Roger's go-to alias when doing infiltrating is usually "Rogers Stevens". If he's feeling very sneaky, he might be "Grant Stevens" or "Rogers Grant" (his middle name).
    • In Cable & Deadpool, Steve Rogers, the Star-Spangled Man with the Plan, being the ingenious "Master of Disguise" that he is, infiltrated Cable's island Providence as an immigrant with the name Roger Stevens. Not only that but his idea of hiding his signature blond hair is to wear a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball cap.
  • The Eternals: In the original series by Jack Kirby, the Eternal Ikaris sometimes used "Ike Harris". Neil Gaiman made sure to revive this when he did his run on Eternals.
  • The Incredible Hulk (1968): At one point during the early 90s, the Hulk and Betty pass themselves off as Mr. and Mrs. Danner. Somehow, nobody questions this or the fact that the mysterious, abnormally sized Mr Danner is covered entirely in bandages. All the more odd given this was written by Peter David, known for his tendency to cast snarky lampshades a'plenty.
  • Martian Manhunter: During The Silver Age of Comic Books, the Martian Manhunter's secret identity was John Jones. This was to hide his true Martian name of J'onn J'onzz.
  • Ms. Tree: In the "Prisoner in Cell Block Hell" arc, Michael Tree is booked into jail as "Michelle Friday" to protect from possible reprisals while she is being held. Michelle is the feminised version of her actual given name and Friday is her maiden name.
  • Spider-Man: In Spider-Man (2016) #21, on an adventure in Tokyo, Miles Morales introduced himself to his hostess as "Miles Davis", which isn't a complete lie, as it could have been his name had his family used his father's name instead of his mother's. Tomoe immediately recognizes it as some old American musician, and Miles awkwardly backtracks to try and explain himself.
  • Superman:
  • The Unbelievable Gwenpool: Contrary to what one might think, its star character never read an issue of Deadpool in her life. (It was too meme-y for her tastes.) It's actually a corruption of her real name, Gwen Poole.
  • XMen: Jubilee's codename is a contraction of her real name: Jubilation Lee.

    Fan Works 
  • but i wrote the words to the swan song: While Juliet Capulet bothers with having widely different last names for her aliases over the course of her centuries-long life, all of her first names for her aliases are always "Juliet" or a variant of it. She even lampshades how obvious it was when Natasha Romanov asked if her "Juliet Brontë" alias was her real name.
  • The Dark Lords of Nerima: When Usagi comes to Ukyo's Okonomiyaki shop, she introduces her self as Usag...Usami. Yeah, Usami. Later, she, Ami and Rei go there again, where Ukyo addresses her as Usami. It takes Usagi a moment to remember that's supposed to be her. Ami actually has to choke back laughter while Rei just gives her an incredulous look.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: When undercover, Jadeite names himself Jason Dayte.
  • In fun plague RPG, the cast are creating their PCs for a tabletop game. Lara, who doesn't care that much for gaming, names her character "Clara".
  • Heart of Ashes provides an example of a character doing this with someone else's name instead of their own. While still a human, Smaug takes the name of his ancestor Ancalagon and turns it into Cail Agonn.
  • Karma Circle: Judgement: Daan Yel is a disguised Vortian who has come to Earth to pass judgment on Gaz. He uses "Daniel" as his fake name while pretending to be a human child.
  • In The Last Son, when Battlestation Sentrius (or more precisely, the AI that governs said station) decides to build herself a robotic body to interact with people on Earth, she assumes a civilian identity to keep an eye on Superman, and chooses the name "Senna Trinus".
  • In the Death Note AU My Stupid Reality when on the run from L many of Light's aliases are variations on his own name. Amusingly when he has to quickly think up a new one he comes up with... "Kira Asahi."
  • Shirou goes under the assumed name Shane Rowe in the Fate/Stay Night fanfic Nails. In fact, when Rin mispronounces his alias with her Japanese accent he panics and assumes that she knows who he is.
  • This Bites!: During the Straw Hats' visit to Skelter Bite, Cross basically shanghais Tashigi into coming along. To help her blend in, he has her dressed up as a pirate and starts calling her "Cabin Girl T. A. Shigi". She's understandably not amused by any of this, nor is Smoker when he later finds out about it.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, when he goes to a suspect's dinner party, he starts to give his real name (not out of desperation but more ignorance). His date stops him and gives the name "Tom Ace".
  • A weird behind-the-scenes example happens in Attack of the Clones. Obi-Wan learns that the Republic's new Clone Army was supposedly commissioned ten years ago by a Jedi named Sifo-Dyas, who died nearly ten years previouly. The connection to Darth Sidious isn't exactly obvious, but it's still not hard to parse out either. However, if it wasn't for a typo, the alias would have been even worse. George Lucas originally intended for the supposed Jedi's name to be "Sido-Dyas," but hit the "f" key by mistake, turning a laughably overt alias into a slightly more believable one. In addition, this typo also inspired Lucas to retcon Sifo-Dyas from an alias of Sidious to an actual Jedi Master who was manipulated by the Sith to build a clone army.
  • In Batman: The Movie, Batman calls up the US Navy to find out how the Penguin acquired a ballistic-missile submarine. Turns out he just bought it as war surplus, after giving his name as P.N. Gwynne, and only leaving a PO Box number by way of a forwarding address. It was admittedly an obsolete and rather clapped-out boat left over from the war, but even the writers of that incarnation of Batman couldn't let this go without some Lampshade Hanging.
  • While posing as a substitute teacher, Drillbit Taylor quickly introduces himself as Dr. Illbit.
  • In The Facts in the Case of Mister Hollow, the eponymous Johnny Hollow provides a Spooky Photograph to an Occult Detective investigating a Mystery Cult. Careful examination of the investigator's other documents reveals that "Hollow" is a Pen Name adopted by Johnathon H. Ollow, a writer for the in-universe newspaper, The Greater Toronto Gazette.
  • The movie Harry and the Hendersons (also titled Bigfoot And The Hendersons internationally), is about Bigfoot moving in with a suburban family named Henderson. When a news reporter attempts to track down Bigfoot, calling it a vicious creature, the father of the family defends it, claiming that it's a gentle giant. When the reporter asks his name, he gets as far as "Hen" before realizing that would be a bad idea. The reporter refers to him as "The mysterious Mr. Hen" through the rest of the movie.
  • Bollywood film Krrish has it even in the title. (Dude is named Krishna.)
  • In Leap Year, when Anna and Declan have to pretend to be married and are asked about their surname, they both blurt out their own surnames (Brady and O'Callaghan, respectively), before finally settling on O'Bradycallaghan.
  • In the movie of My Favorite Martian, "he's Martian" evolves into "he's my Uncle Martin". This event was borrowed from the original TV show.
  • A variation occurs in the The Nutty Professor (both the 1963 and 1996 versions), wherein another character refers to the titular character as "buddy" while he is under the influence of his transformation drug, prompting him to adopt "Buddy Love" as the name of his alternate personality.
  • The title character of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings went by Shaun while hiding from his dad. Katy mocks this, pointing out easily his father must have found him.
    Katy What is- what is your name change logic? You're going into hiding, and your name is Michael, you -come on- change it to "My-chell"... It's like, "Hi, my name is Gina, I'm gonna go into hiding, my new name's Gyna."
  • In Tootsie, Michael Dorsey's female alter ego goes by Dorothy Michaels.
  • In A View to a Kill, James Bond at one point poses as a Financial Times reporter named "James Stock."
  • In Wonder Woman, the Fish out of Water heroine begins introducing herself as Diana, Princess of Themyscira, but her more savvy human companion cuts her off and tells everyone that she is his secretary, Diana Prince.

  • In American Gods: Low-Key Lyesmith = Loki Lie-Smith. Which only works if you pronounce it in the English way, and not the Norse/Icelandic way. Since it's revealed that the American analogues have little connection to the originals, the only proper way to pronounce it is in American English.
    • Mr. Wednesday isn't much better. Wednesday is the modern English form of the Old English "Wōdnesdæg", meaning Odin's Day. Guess who Mr.Wednesday really is.
  • In Animorphs, Elfangor's human alias is Alan Fangor.
  • In Sharyn McCrumb's books Bimbos of the Death Sun and Zombies of the Gene Pool, the main character is an engineering professor, James Owen Mega, who writes science fiction under the name Jay Omega... and is shocked when one of his students sees through the pseudonym.
  • In one story by Marion Zimmer Bradley, girl Romilly ran away from home. When asked for her name then, she starts "Rom-", coughs, thinks for a moment about using her brother's name, then answers "Rumal".
  • In Chronicles of Chaos, the bouncer in "Mr. Valentine's" club gives his name as "Terro—uh, Terrance Miles."
  • In the Doctor Who Missing Adventures novel Managra, there's an aristocratic, arrogant, and conceited swashbuckling hero, Miles Dashwood, who goes by the alias Miles Dashing of Dashwood. (Not improvised on the spur of the moment, so he doesn't have that excuse.)
  • In Drowned Wednesday, Arthur is asked his name by Captain Catapillow upon boarding the Moth, and only gets out the first syllable before realising his mistake. Everyone calls him Arth until they find out his real identity from Dr. Scamandros later on.
  • Dav Pilkey's books The Dumb Bunnies were authored under the name "Sue Denim". He got a little annoyed when not many saw through the disguise and Sue Denim started getting more fan mail than him.
  • In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins introduces himself to the trolls as "a bur- a hobbit." ("Bur" = "burglar", the profession designated to him by Gandalf.) To them, he's a "burrahobbit."
  • In the James Bond short story "For Your Eyes Only", Bond meets up with a Canadian contact to obtain information for an off-the-books mission. When Bond introduces himself as 'Mr. James', his contact eyes him suspiciously and then says that James can call him 'Colonel Johns'.
  • In one of Donald Westlake's stories about John Dortmunder, John stammers out "John D— Diddums". From then on, despite realizing that it doesn't sound like a real name ("It's Welsh," he'll frequently explain), whenever he needs an alias on short notice he panics and can't think of anything but "John Diddums". This later becomes his Go-to Alias, despite him hating it, as it always the only alias he can think of when under stress.
  • In The Legend of the Condor Heroes, Yang Tiexin (楊鐵心/杨铁心 in Chinese, or 'Ironheart Yang' in the English translation) renames himself Mu Yi (穆易) after surviving the attack on Ox Village in the first chapter. While his new given name itself means "change", the wordplay relies on knowledge of the original Chinese that has to explained in a footnote in translations—his new name, Mu Yi (穆易), hints at his original surname of Yang (楊), as is a homophone of 木 ("tree/wood") in Chinese and his original surname of 楊 ("aspen/poplar tree") contains the radical .
  • The prologue to The Map to Everywhere shows that First Name Unknown Last Name Unknown (Fin) was dropped off at the orphanage by Miss Notah Reelnaym, from the port of Nowereneerheer.
  • In Maximum Ride, when Fang is taken to the hospital Max begins to say his name but quickly ends with "Nick". Iggy later calls Fang "Fnick".
  • In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain, this is common among heroes and villains:
    • Brainy Akk = Brian Akk
    • E-Claire = Claire
    • Lucyfar = Lucifer (claimed)
    • Marcia = Miss A
    • Penny = Bad Penny
    • Ray Viles = Reviled
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: Shelby's princess that she's roleplaying as, is called Selvi. Selvi is a distortion of Shelby, with the removal of the 'h' and the /biː/ sound turning into a /viː/.
  • In Rowan Hood, Rosemary, while disguised as a boy, is asked for her name and unthinkingly responds with her nickname, Ro. She quickly adds that it's short for Rowan.
  • In the novel The School Story, Zoe pretends to be a literary agent and uses her nickname "Zee Zee" together with a misspelling of her last name.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • X-Wing Series: Face is disguised as an enemy bridge crewman and speaking to a planetary official when he turns to address his squadmate Jesmin, who happens to be the niece of the famous Admiral Ackbar. So he starts off with "Ensign Ack-", coughs, and finishes it as "Ackran".
    • Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves: Needing a quick-and-dirty alias to call the Imperial data center for information, Han Solo goes with, "Lieutenant Hannu Sololo." When Scarlet fabricates a fake ID for their infiltration, they keep the name for some reason.
  • Partially a Line-of-Sight Name, but in the Warlock of Gramarye book A Wizard in Absentia, a very hungover Magnus tries to come up with a pseudonym. He starts out with "Mmma", but quickly realizes it and turns it into a groan. Before he subconsciously sees the E.D.G.A.R. patch on the guard's arm and gives his name as Ed Gar.
  • When the Angels Left the Old Country: Little Ash chooses the alias Asher Klein. "Klein" means "small" in German and Yiddish.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 3rd Rock from the Sun, when Dick pretends to be a woman, he quickly invents the name "Dicky-Jo".
  • In the Alias episode "Solo", Rachel is sent undercover as a prostitute. After being told to channel the slut of her high school (Mandy), she accidentally introduces herself as "Ra-Mandy." To the mark, her name is Ramandy.
  • One of the undercover identities of Automan was the FBI agent Otto Mann.
  • Babylon 5: While investigating the disappearance of thousands of Narns from Centauri-occupied space, the human characters uncover records of a Centauri named "Abrahamo Lincolni". Turns out Vir, a Centauri bureaucraft, had read up on Earth history and was inspired to covertly smuggle Narn citizens out of hostile territory. The humans roll with it and embellish records of Lincolni to continue the ruse.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Buffy is investigating her mother's new boyfriend, one of his co-workers asks who she is. She says "Bu...Linda. Belinda."
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor's pseudonym "John Smith" is a Line-of-Sight Name, but that he's Doctor John Smith fits the trope.
    • The Master's various "disguised" names, which are almost always anagrams, synonyms or translations of the name Master. In the new series, Mister Saxon was even an (unintended) anagram of Master No. Six — which (depending on whether you count The Other Darrins separately) he was.
  • Family Matters had an example when for some reason Urkel and his buddies had to infiltrate a convent while dressed as women. Pressed for a name, Urkel blurts out "Steee—fanie." Not Stephanie, Steefanie. He claims it's Lithuanian.
  • Done surprisingly seriously in "Frasier Has Spokane", an episode of Frasier. Frasier's show is going to be syndicated in the titular city, but he's replacing a local legend, and the entire population seems to hate him. To help, he has Roz, his producer, call in and pretend to be someone with a problem; during the call, she says her name is "Ro...berta." The serious part comes in when the façade falls and she genuinely expresses her pain about her latest breakup; Frasier similarly offers her sincere advice, and comforts her.
  • After Monica of Friends finds her credit card stolen, she meets the culprit, but not wanting to give her name away, calls herself "Monana". Apparently it's Dutch. Pennsylvania Dutch.
  • Sophia does this once on ''The Golden Girls". "Sophia Pe...Hawkins. Sophia Pe-Hawkins."
  • An early episode of Goodnight Sweetheart has Gary ringing a radio show to discuss his time travel experiences. He gives his name as "Gary...baldi. Angelo Garibaldi." It doesn't do him much good, as the one person listening who knows him instantly recognises his voice.
  • In an episode of Home Improvement, Tim wants to impress Bob Villa, who is guest-starring on Tool Time to answer viewer questions. Tim tells Jill to call and ask a difficult question for him to answer, and when he answers the phone, her response is "Hello! This is Jill...een. Uh, uh, Jilleen!"
  • The Incredible Hulk (1977) has a dramatic example: David Banner always used his first name and a last name that started with "B". If the name was common enough (David Brown, for example) he would use it multiple times.
    • This makes sense as his true identity was believed dead, so no one was looking for him. He's less likely to make a mistake since he's answering to his own first name.
  • Kenan & Kel has this.
    • Not out of pretending not to be himself, but simply by being star struck when he meets the president Kenan gets the name "Kiki". Kel is also starstruck but ends up with the name Sharona because he stammers "M, m, my... Sharona".
    • Another more straight example is when they enter a TV show to win a house and when a woman asks their names:
      Kenan: I'm Kenan Rock...ers..tain..ber...nerson.
      Woman: Mr. and Mrs. Rockerstainbernerson…
  • In the Spanish and Argentinian soap opera Lalola, Lalo picks a new name this way after he's been turned into a woman.
    Lalo: Lalo!... Lalo... La-lo-la. Lola! Lola Padilla.
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of Modern Family. Cam claims that Mitch is heartless for not taking an interest in their gardener's problems, and Mitch fires back that Cam doesn't even know his name. He attempts to bluff by saying it's "Caesar Sala...zar." Mitch correctly deduces that Cam was going to say "Caesar Salad".
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus provides us with Mr. Hilter, standing for Parliament in a by-election on the National Bocialist ticket in Minehead.
    • He also had two associates, Heinrich Bimmler and Ron Vibbentrop.
  • In an episode of Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, villain Miratrix goes undercover as the mayor's aide under the name of "Moira Hicks".
  • The Pretender always had Jarod doing one of two things when developing an identity for his "pretend" - either he would use the name of a famous person from the same field (Jarod Earp, U.S. Marshal, Jarod Patton, U.S. Army) or use a name with a more subtle connection (such as Jarod Marley during Christmas time or Jarod Shatner while working with a search and rescue team).
  • In an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Aunts Hilda and Zelda are aged down to teenagers and Sabrina introduces them as her cousins, Hillary and... Zellery. "Your parents were hippies."
  • Saturday Night Live did a parody of Superman where he's comically inept at hiding his secret identity (his Superman costume can even be seen sticking out from under his clothes). Jimmy Olsen notes that at least he's going by "Clark Kent" now rather than his original alias, "Supe R. Man."
  • Scrubs:
    • Several episodes of have the Janitor pretending to be a doctor. Every time he dons the name "Dr. Ján Ĩtor."
    • J.D.'s totally bitchin' screenplay idea about a Dr. Acula.
  • In "The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln" a first season episode of Timeless, Lucy introduces herself to Robert Todd Lincoln as "Juliet", a name she derives from a poster on the wall of the Ford Theater. When the time travelers return to the present they discover that there is a school in Ohio named after her alias. There is some fun with better thought-out pseudonyms in the next couple of episodes but eventually the characters realise there is no real need for time travelers to use fake names when dealing with people from before they were born and they can just use their real ones.
  • On Top Gear, the presenters are pretending to be 17-year-olds to get insurance quotes. James May gives his real name before quickly correcting himself and using "Adam Smith" instead. Yes, that Adam Smith.
  • The West Wing: Josiah Bartlett—the President of the United States—calls the Butterball Hotline on Thanksgiving to get some information about cooking a turkey. When the woman answering the phone remarks that his voice sounds familiar, he claims to "do radio commercials" and gives his name as "Joe Berenson..ton." Later, when she asks if he has a thermometer, he happily brags that he does, given to him as a "gift from the personal sous-chef of the King of"—his staff shoots him a look—"...Auto Sales" in Fargo, North Dakota.
  • On The X-Files, Mulder wasn't under any pressure but still didn't bother to come up with a good pseudonym.
    Max Fenig: ...I read your article in OMNI about the Gulf Breeze sightings.
    Mulder: I published that under a pseudonym.
    Max Fenig: M.F. Luder. I know. M.F. Luder's an anagram for F. Mulder. You really didn't think that would fool us, did you?
    Mulder: I didn't think anybody was paying attention.
    Max Fenig: Somebody's always paying attention, Mr Mulder.

  • In Cabin Pressure, when Douglas is trying to teach Arthur to lie, he asks him his name.
    Arthur: Arth...nold. Man. Er. Cat... sir... man.
    Douglas: Arthnoldmanercatsirman? That's an interesting name. Tell me, is it made up?
    Arthur: Yes, it is. Gah!
  • In Nebulous, the eponymous professor is infiltrating a brainwashing camp. When asked his name, he quickly replies "Professor Neb-Neb".

    Tabletop Games 
  • A classic Forgotten Realms character is Elminster's scribe (and butler, and apprentice) Lhaeo who was great at playing a jerk for Old Mage. "Coincidentally", this work left him both ready for anything and acquainted with half or so of the most powerful people on the continent. There also was a missing prince of Tethyr, one Haedrak Errilam Alemander Olosar Lhorik... later also known as King Haedrak III. If his compatriots knew where he is before it was time to pull Rightful King Returns, he would get about as much attention from assassins as Elminster from mad wizards.

  • In Abies Irish Rose, when Abie's father asks about Rose Mary's family name, she blurts out "Murphy", but Abie quickly interrupts and changes it to "Murpheski".
  • In Henry V, Henry is asked his name by Ancient Pistol while wandering the camp in disguise. Henry answers "Harry le Roy"note . The uneducated Pistol takes it for a Cornish name, so Henry, the erstwhile Prince of Wales, calls himself a Welshman instead.

    Video Games 
  • During Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Alucard spends his time disguised as "Genya Arikado" putting his own name through a Japanese Ranguage filter.
  • In Chrono Trigger, Marle does this in the Japanese version. Her real name there is "Marledia", and she gives her name as "Marl". The English version changed her real name to "Nadia", thus making her cover name a bit more clever.
  • Used rather literally in Dragon Quest XI, with a series of journal entries written by "Sudo Nim" - who turns out to be the Luminary's adoptive grandfather.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a quest that ends in receiving the artifact of the Daedric Prince of debauchery, Sanguine, begins with a drinking contest with a man named Sam Guevenne. Learning about what you did ends up being rather amusing to say the least.
  • The Legion secret agent Vulpes Inculta in Fallout: New Vegas simply translates his name from the Latin.
    His contact's diary: Just now I was approached by a rather intense young man calling himself "Mr. Fox." (Yeah, right.)
  • In Grand Theft Auto V, Trevor tells a story to Wade about a boy named Trisha growing up who eventually meets a troll named Michele and partner up in crime, almost giving out his and Michael's name. Trevor, being pissed, ends up giving away their names near the end and confusing Wade.
  • Nearly happened in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, when Raiden encounters Solid Snake, undercover as Iroquois Pliskin, Snake starts introducing himself as "S...", before he realizes and corrects himself. Bear in mind Snake is a super soldier and former CIA agent.
  • My Little Pony (Gameloft): On one occasion, Lyra Heartstrings needs to disguise her identity and calls herself "Lara Heartthrob".
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations has Larry Butz take the moniker Laurice Deauxnim after his mentor, Elise Deauxnim (Elise does not qualify, her birth name being Misty Fey). The pronunciation of that nom de plume makes the latter's identity transparent as air once events start to unfold.
  • In Red Dead Redemption 2, during Arthur Morgan's stay in Lemoyne, he calls himself "Arthur Callahan" when entering a high-stakes poker tournament. In the epilogue, John Marston refers to himself as "Jim Milton" when he finds work at Pronghorn Ranch, although his boss sees right through the ruse.
  • In SaGa Frontier during Red's quest he attempts to investigate a fighting tournament dressed in his superhero outfit. When asked his name at the sign-up counter he stammers part of his real name a few times and winds up entered in as "Rerere".
  • In Splatoon 2, Pearl and Marina (Hime and Iida in Japan) are credited as "MC Princess" and "DJ E-DA" for a concert at Nico Nico Chokaigi. This was carried over to their usernames in Octo Expansion, though it was subverted in English due to the Dub Name Change. Marina's username was equally subverted by changing it to "DJ_Hyperfresh".
  • In Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, one of Sam Fisher's friends asks him what agency he works for. He guesses CIA, and Sam responds with "No, staying anonymous", the initials of the NSA, which he works for.
  • In StarTropics when Mike is disguised as a girl in order to gain access to Shecola, the Queen asks for his name, he then stutters: "Michael, I mean... Mich, Michelle! Michelle is my name!"
  • Tales of the Abyss: Guy's alias comes from his childhood nickname of his real name (Gailardia), and his last name of Cecil is an alternate spelling of his mother's maiden name Cecille.
  • In Trilby's Notes, the ex-Gentleman Thief Trilby (whose real name is never given) uses the name Terrance Railby while he's undercover. One character sees through the ruse and makes fun of him for expecting to not be noticed.

    Web Animation 
  • In Homestar Runner, Coach Z believes himself to be superhero Damp Towel Man, and his mild-mannered alter ego Dan Towelman.
    Strong Sad: Coach Z, you have a real sucky imagination.
    Coach Z: That I do, my boy. That I do.

    Web Comics 
  • 8-Bit Theater: The first time the main characters disguise themselves as women, they hurriedly identify themselves as Thiefica, Fighterina, Black Magica, and... Deborah. Yes, Red Mage had a female identity prepared beforehand. Interpret as you will.
  • Subverted in this strip of Brawl in the Family.
  • Roommates has an example bordering on Louis Cyphernote  with a dash of Mr. Smith. Der Erlkönig uses the name "Lord Errol King" or "Mr. King" for short in his human disguise (which is a pretty convincing glamour in itself).
  • The Wotch has Evan, with his habit of turning into a four-year-old and, inadvertently, female on his time off: the tyke is "Lil' E" -> Lilly. When this inevitably goes awry and (s)he ends up an adult in a dress, the result is dubbed "Miss E" -> Missy.
    "Missy": I'm Lil.. er... Ev.. er.. Miss...
    Rick: Lilerevermiss? Original, for sure.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of All Grown Up!, this is parodied. Dil's name has been changed in an article to "Bill Nickels" in order to protect him. Dil sarcastically mentions that no one will make the connection.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series episode "Joker's Millions", the impoverished Joker is living in a cheap apartment due to money issues. When heading in, he's addressed at the front desk as a "Mr. Ker" implying he signed his name as "Joe Ker" when renting the place.
    • The name "Harleen Quinzel" was originally conceived as one for Harley Quinn in "The Man Who Killed Batman", but was later retconned into being Harley's real name.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, Numbuh 86 appears to recruit people for a girls-only mission. Numbuh 3 agrees to go. Numbuh 4, not wanting to miss the action, disguises himself as a girl and tags along, claiming his codename is "Numbuh Four... Thirty... Teen... Seven". Though considering the Kids Next Door database has accepted names such as "Numbuh 65.3", "Numbuh 30c", "Numbuh 19th Century" and "Numbuh T", it's not that much of a stretch to accept there's a "Numbuh Four Thirty-Teen Seven".
  • Danger Mouse: In "The Clock Strikes Back," the time-traveling grandfather clock from "The Hickory Dickory Dock Dilemma" returns, piloted by a figure claiming to be King Arthur's original wizard. He identifies as Hooter La Bec Longsnout, "but you may call me Nozzle." When DM introduces himself and Penfold, this line:
    Penfold: But you may call me Penfold.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • The eponymous character whose real name is Danny Fenton. This is lampshaded in "The Ultimate Enemy".
    Dark Danny: Hello? "Danny Fenton"? "Danny Phantom"? Ever noticed the similarities?
    • In the episode "Doctor's Disorders", secondary villain Bertrand disguises himself as "Dr. Bert Rand". When Danny realizes who he really is, he calls himself out for not picking up on it sooner.
  • Duckman N. Disguise.
  • In The Fairly OddParents! episode The Boy Who Would Be Queen, Timmy (as a girl) says his name is "Tim... mantha?".
  • In Fish Hooks, Milo and Oscar do this while sneaking into a girls' slumber party.
  • In Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, when Mac, Bloo and a pizza delivery teen try to pass off as Frankie's ex-boyfriend to spy on her date, using a terrible Totem Pole Trench with Bloo as the "head". Frankie immediately recognizes him and calls out "Bloo?". In response, Bloo tells her she can stop calling him by his last name and just call him Orlando.
    Frankie: *Deadpan* Orlando Bloo?
  • In Futurama, when Leela enlists for the army while disguised as a man, she is pushed for a name. Quickly she replies "Lee... la... man. La... man. Lemon! Lee Lemon!".
  • In Kim Possible, Martin Smarty asks Shego her name while hitting on her. She tells him "Whoa, back off!" and goes along with his misunderstanding that her name is "Ms. Wobackoff".
  • Pelswick: Sandra Scottle works for two competing radio stations, the latter of which she calls herself "Mandra Mottle" on which fools everyone. When her friend Julie Smockford finds out, she uses the pseudonym "Mulie Mockford."
  • Done in two episodes of Rugrats that involve crossdressing:
    • In "Beauty Contest," when Stu and Grandpa disguise Tommy as a girl to enter him in the Little Miss Lovely contest, Stu starts to give his name as "Tom-" but then quickly changes it to "Tonya."
    • In "The Clan of the Duck," when Chuckie and Phil decide to wear dresses for the day and meet other babies who mistake them for girls, Phil tells them his name is "Phillian" and calls Chuckie "Chuckina."
  • In the first broadcast episode of The Simpsons, "Simpsons Roasting On an Open Fire", Homer, working as a Mall Santa, almost gives himself away when his son is the next kid in line: "What's your name, Bart...ner? Partner?
    • In "Fear of Flying", he gives his name as Guy Incognito to enter Moe's in disguise. Subverted in that it turns out it wasn't Homer after all.
    • Given his lack of intelligence, this happens to Homer a fair bit. In another Season 1 episode, after a babysitting service refuses Marge's business, Homer tries calling them immediately afterwards and avoids being rebuffed when he claims his name isn't Simpson but "Homer...Samson". Later episodes take it to the extreme with him flat out giving his real name and in one instance desperately trying to come up with a fake name to give Mr Burns, ultimately answering with...Mr Burns, possibly throwing in a dash of Line-of-Sight Name.
    • Another episode subverts the trope. Homer claims to be Mr. Burns to recover a letter filled with angry attacks on the old man. When the postal worker asks for his first name, all he can come up with is: "...I don't know."
  • Spongebob Squarepants. In "Fear of a Krabby Patty", Plankton gives his name as "Peter Lankton". It is later shortened to "P. Lankton". Hey, wait a second... is this a prank call?
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Hit The Diamond", the Crystal Gems have to disguise themselves as humans in order to play baseball with a team of Rubies from Homeworld. Pearl is "Earl", Amethyst is "Amy", Sapphire is "Sophie", and Lapis Lazuli is "Bob".
  • A variant: Spot in Teacher's Pet actually blurts out his real name when he first arrives at the school disguised as a human, but it is misheard as "Scott", so he decides to roll with it.
  • An episode of The Tick had the Tick, going undercover, blurt out his name as "Nick Soapdish". He is immediately called out on this.
    The Tick: It's...uh...French!
    Minion: That's funny. It sounds more made up to me.
  • When she inexplicably needed to hide her non-human status, Babs on Tiny Toon Adventures came up with "Babs Bun..awalksi..oversmith"
  • In episode "Irish Cheapstakes" of Tom Slick, Tom's eternal rival Baron Otto Matic wants to enter the race, where only Irish people can participate. He achieves that by registering as Ott O'Matic.
  • In The Year Without a Santa Claus, Santa Claus mispronounces his surname when passing among the people of Southtown, calling himself "Mr. 'Clows.'"
  • Yin Yang Yo!'s Carl does this many times.

  • One Les Luthiers routine has the composer Johann Sebastian Mastropiero composing under the name Johann Severo Mastropiano, to save his family the shame of people knowing they raised a musician.
  • The main male cast of Tales of Symphonia do this in the drama CD Maid in Altamira, where they dressed up as maids in a Maid Cafe. Lloyd becomes Lloydie, Zelos Zelda, Genis Ginny, Regal Regala, and Kratos Kratty. Of course, the names don't keep them from running off the customers.

    Real Life 
  • When Adolf Eichmann was in an Allied POW camp, the Allies didn't know who he was. So he called himself Otto Eckmann, knowing that if someone who recognized him said his name out loud, the Americans running the POW camp wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
  • There was a Soviet espionage ring in Switzerland, called The Red Orchestra, that spied on the Nazis during WWII. One of them was a Hungarian named Alexander Rado, whose codename was Dora.
  • After WWII, Josef Mengele ("The Angel of Death") went into hiding in South America, but when officials were closing in on his location, he secured a fake passport and escaped to Paraguay. The named he used for the passport? "José Mengele".
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge once enlisted to be a part of the 15th (The King's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons under the name "Silas Tomkyn Comberbache".
    • Coleridge also used the pseudonym "Asra" for Sarah Hutchison, the woman he was in love with despite being married at the time. This is useful to literary scholars to draw the difference between her and Coleridge's wife, also named Sarah (usually spelled "Sara") and Coleridge's daughter, Sara (whose name really is spelled that way).
  • Lacey Evans was born...Macey Evans. She's since married, and by a strange coincidence Lacey Evans is her sister's maiden name.
  • When Daniel Radcliffe was posing as a receptionist for an hour, he went under the brilliantly-covert alias of...Dan.
  • Stan Lee was worried that making a name for himself in comics would hurt his chances of becoming a "serious" writer, so he split his first name in two; his birth name is Stanley Martin Lieber. Eventually, he would end up adopting his comic writer pen name as his legal name.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald once rented a room under the alias "Oswald Lee".
  • When Lockheed was tasked with building part of what became Area 51, the shell company they created was "C & J Construction". The chief designer for Lockheed was Kelly Jonson.
  • Famed aviator Amelia Earhart was also a published author, not only of books and magazine articles about her adventures but also poetry, some of which was written by "Emil A. Harte".
  • The real name of Lou Bega, of "Mambo No. 5" fame, is David Lubega.
  • King Gustav V of Sweden was an avid tennis player (and the only monarch to have been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame), who competed under the ludicrously thin cover identity of "Mr. G."


Video Example(s):


His Real Name is Apayapi!

Amato initially couldn't find anything bad about Payapi due to him having no records in Rubika's space prison database. It turns out that only his alternate form, Apayapi, is catalogued. Amato is puzzled how Rubika could've missed the connection.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / SueDonym

Media sources: