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The Nicknamer

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Shepard: What's with you and the nicknames?
James: It's just my way of remembering people. Some people just don't match their names, y'know? So I just give 'em a new one.

Time for a new article! Is the gang all here? Tropette? Blondy and Fred? Mutt? Good.

Now a lot of you have been wondering why I call myself The Nicknamer. Well, it's simple: I never use anyone's real name. I just make up a short catchy moniker for them. Why do I do this? Perhaps I can't be bothered learning your names (Nothing personal, I had a hard childhood). Some say that it's because I'm childish or trying to be cute. But really, you all know it makes me Totally Radical, don't you?


Compare Only Known by Their Nickname. See In-Series Nickname (and its subtropes Affectionate Nickname and Embarrassing Nickname) for when it sticks (often becoming a Berserk Button); Appropriated Appellation, when the name is embarrassing but is adopted and worn with pride; Insult of Endearment, when the character's petname for someone isn't flattering but is meant well; and Terms of Endangerment, when a pet name is given to a character by a villain. See also the out-of-universe Fan Nickname; these are usually coined by a few individual fans who are into it (and tend to come up with many nicknames that don't catch on, as well as those who do).



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    Anime & Manga 
  • K-On!:
    • Yui Hirasawa. Her guitar becomes "Gitah", Tsumugi becomes "Mugi-chan", Ritsu becomes "Ricchan", and Azusa becomes "Azu-nyan". Later, Mio's bass becomes "Elizabeth". Also, in the "extra" episode, she calls her pair of gloves "Tebukuro-chan".
    • When her sister (Ui) impersonated her, her friends first became suspicious because Ui got all the nicknames wrong. Sawako saw through it immediately, though, because she instantly noticed the change in bust size... which is partially excused by the fact that she is the band's costume designer/creator... but still.
  • Yachiru Kusajishi from Bleach, the most infamous of her nicknames being "Ken-chan" (Kenny in the dub) to her giant, bloodthirsty behemoth of a captain. Although it's not assured what she will call you or even if her nickname will be consistent, but she will give anyone, and everyone a nickname of some sort. Always.
    • "Jiggles! Big guy! Pencil! Tough guy! Let's go!"
  • Many a Dragon Ball Z fanfic flanderizes Vegeta into this despite him rarely doing so in either the dub or subtitles. At worst, he only did it when he wasn't terribly familiar with the rest of heroes due to his status as Token Evil Teammate who only interacted with them when a common enemy was around. Most fanfics frequently have Vegeta only refer to Bulma as "woman" even though he always referred to her by name after Trunks was born.
  • Chamo from Negima! Magister Negi Magi loves giving nicknames to everyone. Given the size of the cast it would be most impractical to try to compile a list here.
  • Neko from K — she calls the Blue King and Fushimi "Boss with Glasses" and "Jerk with Glasses", and she calls Kusanagi "Sunglasses". She calls Kuroh "Kurosuke", too.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, much later in the series, after Inosuke learns how to consistently call his closest friends by their correct names (Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Kanao), his more prevalent quirk is the nicknames he comes up for the not-so-close friends, like the Hashira, for example Himejima is the “Juzou Ossan” (prayer beads old man).
  • Fai from Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- starts calling Grumpy Bear Kurogane various nicknames (often some variant of "Kuro-pon" or "Kuro-rin") that becomes a running gag. When Fai stops using the nicknames it's obvious that something has gone very, very wrong, with the framing of it making it clear it's supposed to be a Wham Line. Likewise the next time he uses one everyone is relieved that he's back to normal. Fay openly states that he had never used nicknames for anyone before Kurogane. Hint hint. Kurogane might also apply: Tomoyo is the only person he ever calls by their real name. Fay is "the mage", Sakura "the princess", Syaoran "the kid", Mokona "the meat bun" and Yuuko is "the witch".
  • Gigalt from Planetes cannot remember a name, and makes up a nickname for each character he interacts with, but it must have meaning for him. He cannot seem to remember names otherwise. He gave Hachi his nickname, called Ai 'Angel', etc. The reason he couldn't come up with a nickname for Hakim was because Hakim was hiding his true self as a deep cover SDF mole, even under Gigalt's tutelage.
  • The titular character of Naruto almost never refers to certain people by their names, instead using nicknames he has chosen for them, often against their wishes. For example, Tsunade is "Grandma Tsunade" or just "Grandma," Jiraiya is "Pervy Sage," and Killer B is "Shades-Wearing Pops" or "Octopops." Depending on who it is, the nicknames can be insulting, affectionate, or both.
  • Ritchie from the Pokémon anime, to his Pokemon team; each and every one is nicknamed, which is rare for the anime.
    • Team Rocket also tends to give nicknames, most of which are variations on "Twerp" (which is what they call Ash) - Big Twerp, Rude Twerp, Twerpette, etc.
    • Delia Ketchum, Ash's Mother, also likes giving Pokemon nicknames. There's Mimey, of course, but she also calls Ash's Rowlet, Rockruff, and Litten by nicknames: Rowlie, Rocky, and Litty respectively.
  • Gold from the Pokémon Adventures manga has a nickname for everyone except his rival, Silver. Examples include Strict/Serious Girl (Crystal), Prissy Boy (Ruby) and Wild Girl (Sapphire). For that matter, most characters nickname their Pokémon in Adventures. Though some are more original than others.
  • Suzuna the cheerleading captain of the Deimon Devilbats in Eyeshield 21 nicknames most of the team apart from Sena and Monta. She once got an omake page listing all her nicknames for them. She even took to calling the pointy-eared Youichi Hiruma "You-nii" ("Elf-bro").
    • Hiruma himself gives everyone a caring, sweet and kind Fucking Nickname.
    • One of the incidental characters (who gave Eyeshield 21 the nickname "E.S.") is later revealed to make up nicknames for everything all the time.
    • Probably intentional; Suzuna calls Jerk Jock Agon "Agon-nii." Yep. Agony.
    • Agon himself has a nickname for almost everyone. Short Trash (Sena), Slimy Trash (Hiruma), Fat Pig/Fat Trash (Kurita), Garbage Brothers (Ha-Ha Bros), and Unko-Chan (Unsui) are the more memorable ones. Ikkyu seems to be the only one Agon calls by name.
  • Tomo from Azumanga Daioh deserves mention, simply because she came up with the name Osaka.
  • Lavi in D.Gray-Man calls his Old Master "Panda," Krory the not-actually-a-vampire "Kro-chan" ("Krorykins" in the English version), Kanda the epic badass by his Embarrassing First Name Yu, and occasionally calls Allen "Beansprout." Needless to say, said characters do not usually appreciate this.
    • After Lavi re-named Link "two spot" and the person in question got irked by the remark ("How rude!"), Allen commented in nonchalant fashion:
      Allen: Oh, you're not going to have any effect like that. Link, Lavi's a child, so he loves giving people nicknames. You have to be a lot more forceful if you want him to stop.
      Lavi: Say Allen, have you forgotten that I'm actually older than you...?
    • Tyki Mikk also has a habit of doing this, calling Lavi "Eyepatch-kun", Kanda "Kitchen-Knife", and exclusively referring to the young protagonist Allen as "shonen" (boy).
    • Kanda almost never calls people by their first names. Allen is "Moyashi," (beansprout) and Lavi is "Baka Usagi" (stupid rabbit) or "Baka Lavi" (Stupid Lavi).
  • The photography club's president in Manabiya gives everyone nicknames she comes up with on the moment; so while some of them are very pleased by this, others are not.
  • Shampoo of Ranma ½, especially in Fanon.
  • Eve Neuschwanstein of NEEDLESS, due to her atrocious memory for names.
  • Izaya and Erika from Durarara!! are both prone to this, though for different reasons. Izaya tends to throw out infantilizing nicknames for old highschool "friends" (i.e. Shizu-chan and Dotachin for Shizuo and Kadota) out of disrespect for them. Erika tends to give everyone equally silly nicknames (as well as commandeer Izaya's) because she's a raging Fangirl and thinks they're cute.
  • Luigi Yoshida in Giant Killing not only nicknames others around him but apparently made the rest of the team call him "The Prince" (he also has another nickname, Gino). Tatsumi the team manager refuses to call him by any of his nicknames until he proves himself.
  • Sanosuke Sagara from Rurouni Kenshin has shades of this since he barely ever calls anyone by their given name. He calls Kaoru "Jou-chan" (translated to "Missy" in English), Megumi "kitsune" ("vixen" in English) most often, but anyone else he meets is probably not going to get called by their real name and will instead be referred to by whatever outstanding feature Sano notices (in Saito Hajime's case, his slicked-back hair with a few bangs in the front led Sanosuke to dub him something equally insulting). Humorously, Megumi calls him "tori-atama" (translated roughly to "birdhead" or "roosterhead", but can also be translated as "birdbrain") as retaliation. He also managed to seriously anger a minor villain by calling him "broom-head", a reference to his upswept blond hair.
    • Saito himself indulges in this at least once, where he first meets Misao & compares her to the other prominent women in Kenshin's life.
  • Kafuka Fuura from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has her own naming conventions as an insanely positive cloud-cuckoolander; upon interrupting her future teacher's efforts at 'making himself taller' (read: suicide attempt) she nicknamed him 'Pink Supervisor' after the tree he was trying to hang himself from, 'Pink CEO', which she named on the spot. She constantly comes up with more positive names for things e.g. 'treasure chests for the homeless' (bins) and 'deep love' (stalking).
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: Naofumi absolutely LOVES to use these for certain people he truly despises due to all the bullshit he's harshly dragged into throughout the series. Most notably is that he initially calls Melty "Second Princess" but as the story progress and she shows how she's willing to pull her own weight around to assist, severely unlike Trash and Bitch for major instance, he starts to listen to her pouting of calling her by her name instead of her title like he did before.
  • In One Piece you have to earn the right for Luffy to remember your real name. Especially apparent with Hancock, who remained Hammock while Luffy was still mad at her for turning her loving subjects to stone, and only became Hancock when she regained Luffy's respect by going the extra mile by facing her fears of going to fight for the marines so she could help him save Ace. But even if Luffy likes you, you might end up with one of his affectionate nicknames, like Cricket the "diamond head guy" or Inazuma "Crab-chan".
    • Even his ally/friend Trafalgar Law is not immune to Luffy's nicknames being called "Traffy" or "Torao", Though it seems likely that this is due to Luffy's inability to pronounce his surname. somewhat averted due to Luffy knowing but not calling him Law
    • However, if someone makes Luffy hate them enough, he will also remembers that person's name. Crocodile is one of the few individuals that Luffy calls by name who he despise and still holds a grudge against. When fighting Arlong, he also called him by his name without ever given him a nickname. He also calls all three of the admirals by their official nicknames, despite only really 'liking' Aokiji.
    • Robin is the nicknamer within the Straw Hat crew. She is fond of using Hey, You! and if she does use a name, it's a simple nickname such as Long-nose-kun (Usopp), Swordsman-san (Zoro) or Cook-san (Sanji). After the events at Enies Lobby, during which she realized that her crew would never betray her and were ready to go to hell and back to save her, she does gradually stop using nicknames.
    • Similarly, Franky also used to nickname his crewmates, calling them by attribute-related monikers instead of their actual names; the only exception being Robin, who he referred to by her full name. He eventually stops using nicknames (And switches to First-Name Basis for Robin) as he gets closer to his crewmates.
    • Law himself doesn't refer to some of the Straw Hats by name, he either uses their epithet, such as calling Luffy "Straw Hat-ya" or Sanji "Black Leg-ya" or his own made up nicknames, such as calling Usopp "Nose-ya", Franky "Robo-ya" and Brook "Bone-ya". He does, however, refer to Zoro, Nami, Chopper and Robin by their first or last names, calling them Zoro-ya, Nami-ya, Tony-ya and Nico-ya.
  • Rintaro of Steins;Gate has nicknames for everyone. Itaru is "Daru", Moeka is "Shining Finger", and Kurisu has a truckload of nicknames, including "Christina" ("There's no '-tina'!"), "The Zombie" and "Celeb-17".
  • Sakuragi Hanamichi in Slam Dunk has a tendency of giving nicknames to some of his rivals: Akagi is "Gori" (short for 'Gorilla'), Uozumi is "Boss Monkey", Hanagata is "Glasses", and Nobunaga is "Wild Monkey" (and in turn, he's called "Red-haired Monkey" by Nobunaga)
  • Riko's father, Kagetora, from Kuroko's Basketball. Kise may count to a lesser extent, as he adds "cchi" to the end of the names of people he's acknowledged, whether they want him to or not.
  • Rebecca Miyamoto, the teacher from Pani Poni Dash! starts out calling all of her students by stereotypical nicknames (Bookworm, Cowlick, Boring Girl) because she can't be bothered trying to learn them. Eventually she does learn everyone's names, though.
  • Alice from PandoraHearts comes up with a nickname for nearly every person she meets. To name a few, Gil is "Seaweed-Head," Break is "the clown," Rufus Barma is "Ahoge," Leo is "Shaggy Glasses," etc.
  • Manabe in Fruits Basket. He gives the other guys in Student Counsel annoying nicknames, and Kimi helps to make them stick — Yuki is Yun Yun (which Yuki points out is actually longer than his real name) and Naohito is Chibi-suke. Then he nicknames Aaya "Commander", and Aaya in turn starts calling him Black-san. Not to mention his girlfriend, the Meat Angel.
  • In Aria the Scarlet Ammo, Riko calls Kinji "Kii-kun", Shirayuki "Yuki-chan", and herself "Rikorin" (or "Rikko-Rikorin" when she's really cheerful). She also calls Aria "Arian'ya" or "'Olmes" (like in French) depending on her mood.
  • Daiya of Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu, much to the chagrin of Puria. Puria Richardson becomes "Richard-san", her subordinates become "Moustache Trio", Crab Banker becomes "Kani-tank" ("Kani" being Japanese for "Crab"), and Stinger becomes "That Kite Thing".
  • Hyuuga from 07-Ghost loves giving people he's close to affectionate nicknames; he calls Ayanami "Aya-tan" (even though "-tan" is a suffix similar to "-chan", which nobody would ever use to refer to a superior), Kuroyuri "Kuro-tan", and at times, Konatsu "Kona-chan".
  • In Yona of the Dawn, Hak gave nicknames to Kija ("White Snake") and Jae-Ha ("Droopy Eyes"), as well as exclusively referring to Yona as "Hime-san"/"Princess". Zeno likewise never refers to anyone by name; Yona is "Miss", Hak is "Mister", Suwon is "Mr. King Guy", Yun is "Lad", and Shinah, Kija and Jaeha are all referred to by their dragon titles. One of the few aversions was his late wife Kaya, who he always referred to by name. Given that he's immortal, it's likely a method to keep people at arms' length, as he knows he'll outlive them all.
  • In My Hero Academia, Katsuki Bakugo almost never refers to anyone by their actual name, instead assigning them usually-insulting nicknames. This largely stems from his massive ego, with him considering most people so beneath him that he can't be bothered to even learn their names. But even when he clearly does know a person's name he'll still almost always use the nickname, with actually calling someone by their name being a rare show of respect to a Worthy Opponent. And people who he doesn't even consider significant enough for a unique nickname, he designates as "extras".
  • Tanaka in Wasteful Days of High School Girls gives the entire class nicknames on the first day of school, and they stick.
  • Sonoko from Yuki Yuna is a Hero nicknames her friends after meeting them. Sometimes she doesn't even realize she nicknamed them.
  • In Asteroid in Love, Moe "Suzu" Suzuya mentions Mira's tendency to give others nicknames, including her own. Mira proceeds to give nicknames to everyone except Ao, which are used throughout the series.
  • Musuko ga Kawaikute Shikataganai Mazoku no Hahaoya: Merii gives nicknames to just about everyone she meets except Lorem, who is simply "Onee-chan"/"Sis". Human friend Chiharu is "Chi-chan", while her nephew Gospel is "Go-kun". She's usually quick about it but some, like Sera, are hard for her to do without making an even more complicated name. She's also dismayed that nobody but her ever uses her nicknames, and elated when Gospel, upon expanding his vocabulary, calls Chiharu "Chi-chan".
  • Yami Sukehiro in Black Clover. For starters, he calls Jack "String Bean Scythe", Charlotte "Prickly Queen", and Mereoleona "Sisgoleon", much to their chagrin. He also nicknames the elf possessing Charlotte "Prickly Queen 2.0", on account of their similar personalities.
  • Miyako in Hidamari Sketch is an unusual case, as she does it mainly by way of using unusual or made-up honorifics and other suffixes. She almost invariably calls Yuno by "Yunocchi", and on at least one occasion used "Yuno-dono"; meanwhile, she settles on "Norippe" for Nori, except on the occasion that she uses "Norisuke".

    Comic Books 
  • The Incredible Hulk did this when he was a member of The Defenders. Doctor Strange became "Dumb Magician", Valkyrie became "Sword Girl" and Nighthawk became "Bird Nose".
  • Harley Quinn of Batman fame refers to her lover the Joker as "Mr. J" or "Puddin'", and her best friend/lover Poison Ivy as "Red" (for her red hair).
  • Ra's al Ghul calls Batman "Detective", and on the occasions he's faced Superman, he calls him "Icon" or "The Alien". More recently, he's taken to also calling Red Robin Tim Drake "Detective" after Tim proved his skills against Ra's and earned his respect.
  • Robin Series: Tim's friend Ives comes up with nicknames for most everyone in their group of friends besides Ariana, Hudson is Hudster for instance.
  • In Sgt. Rock, nicknames for all the members is the tradition of Easy Company, with Rock personally doling them out (and being the sole exception to the rule). This is explained as a coping mechanism for the unpleasant things they might have to do in the service of their duties in war, and to soften the blow should any of them die. And they do. Apparently Truth in Television, as this is reportedly not an uncommon practice in times of war. It's also appeared in war fiction quite a few times, so maybe the "Nicknamer sergeant" should be considered a subtrope of the Nicknamer.
  • The Taskmaster has a long history of obnoxious pet names for all, going right back to his first appearance in the 1980s. And considering how many superheroes and villains he's interacted with, that's a lot of pet names. This trait comes and goes a bit with later writers and how well they keep to his original "snarky Bronx thug" persona, though.
  • Ben Grimm of the Fantastic Four, usually of the semi-derogatory kind: "Stretch", "Stretcho", "Rubber Head", "Big Brains", "Professor", "Doc", "High Pockets", etc for Reed; "Match-head" "Matchstick", "Bic-head", "Flame-Brain", "Hothead", "Sparky", "Firefly", etc for Johnny. He always calls Sue by the pet names "Suzy" or "Suzy-Q" however, possibly since she's the one who pisses him off the least.
  • Bean the Dynamite from Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) is quite the nicknamer. He's called Sonic "Speedy McQuickness", "Mr. Needlemouse" and "Speedy Cheese"; called Tails "Propellor Butt"; called Amy "Piko Piko Valkyrie" and "Shouty Hammer McPain"; called Jet the Hawk "Jettinson Q. Hawkington" and called Blaze "Little Miss Flaming Lilac". He also named one of his bombs "Jamie-Kendall Duckingworth III". Unusual in that the nicknames he gives are always longer than the real names.
  • Spider-Man is fond of shortening the names of his allies and villains. The Green Goblin and the Hobgoblin are Gobby and Hobby, Doctor Octopus is Doc Ock, Daredevil is DD or Hornhead, he's borrowed Matchstick from Ben Grimm for The Human Torch etc. In at least one adaptation, insulting Max Dillon with the name "Electro" is what inspires him to use it as his villain name.
  • Wolverine tends to do this, and Professor X is even annoyed he keeps on calling him "Chuck" and "Charlie". Examples include Cajun for Gambit, Elf for Nightcrawler, Red\Jeanie for Jean Grey, and Tin Man for Colossus.
  • In Red Hood and the Outlaws Arsenal calls Red Hood "Jaybird" and Starfire "Princess".
  • Cyborg had a nickname for just about every one of his teammates in The New Teen Titans.

    Fan Works 
  • Oh, do the four in With Strings Attached go to town with this trope! Some examples:
    • Placenames: Ketafa = Ketawful, Ta'akan = Tacky
    • As'taris: Ass, Asshole, Santa's Ass, and Jeez-Ass (after he's resurrected).
    • The Hunter becomes “the Lumberjack” after they watch him cut firewood with his BFS, which mutates into “Lumberjackass” and “the loathsome Lumberjack.”
    • The Vasyn: The Vaseline, the Aspirin, the thingy, and the Big Pink Job.
    • The four attract their share of nicknames as well.
  • The four happily continue in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World:
    • Tevri'ed = Tevvy, Daarthayu = Darth Vader, Tipaan = Tin Pan or Tin Pawn, Gothmarik = Gothic
    • Spectrem: Schmucktrem
    • G'heddi'onians: Geddies (and before they learned this name, they called them the New Tirin, or N.T.s.)
    • Jennai: Jenny
    • Shaamforouz: Oozy Sham
    • Theecat: Moggy
    • The Circle: The Circle Jerks
    • Quill and Rajotel: Fatty and Roger
    • The Svenjaya: Svens
    • The Tipaanese: Tips
    • The Tayhil: Tays
    • Trelayna: Crazy Train
    • Mevaryat: Mevvy
  • The Elemental Chess Trilogy gives this role to Edward Elric, but in a limited capacity. He only does it to Roy Mustang, for whom he never uses the same nickname twice, calling him things like "General Chess Fiend," "General Skirtchaser," and "the walking cigarette lighter." On the rare occasion he uses the man's real name, it's a pretty serious situation.
  • JoJo Bates, the protagonist of The Gift even makes a nickname for her therapist.
  • In Winter War, Madarame Ikkaku starts giving nicknames in imitation of his missing vice-captain. For example, he calls Momo "Peaches" and Grimmjow "Boy Blue".
  • Firefly from Ace Combat: The Equestrian War uses her teammates' cutie marks or character traits as basis for their callsigns.
  • Lyra in the Reading Rainbowverse has this trait.
  • Rika in the Tamers Forever Series seems to have a nickname for everyone, something that Henry lampshades.
    • During one of the chapter openings, Terriermon lists every single one of the nicknames in order to make up for the last chapter being rather short.
  • In Another Kind Of Magic, Trixie has a nickname for each of her friends ('Hayseed', 'Diva', 'Hummingbird', 'Wet Blanket', 'Neon Sign') while her best friend Twilight labours under several. She only does it out of affection, however, and genuinely loves them all. This does not mean Twilight isn't horrified when Trixie refers to their shared mentor, Celestia, as 'Princess Overrated' (and later refers to the royal sisters as 'Bright Light' and 'Night Light').
  • In NoHoper Cleo (a talking cat) takes to referring to Light as "the Can-Opener."
  • Mega Man Recut has Metal Man, who nicknames almost everyone he meets.
  • Kumiko Akamine from Despair's Last Resort gives a nickname to everyone in the resort, including Monokuma.
  • Welcome To The World Of Pokemon has four characters who nickname all of their Pokemon: Leaf, Ethan, Brendan and Hilda. Other characters have nicknamed Pokemon, but the vast majority of these names are a Pokemon's given name.
  • In Soul Eater: Troubled Souls, Ragnarok has become a nicknamer either to be a Jerkass or to be funny. Maybe both.
  • In Fate/Starry Night, Jack doesn't remember anyone's names. When the story is being narrated from her perspective, she instead attaches descriptors to them. EMIYA is "red cook man", Kojiro is "long sword man", Xuanzang is "crybaby lady who calls Mommy her disciple", Medea is "funny toy-making lady", and so on.
  • Becky Lynch is one in The Horsewomen of Las Vegas. She regularly addresses Sasha Banks as "Nurse Magenta" (as Sasha is a nurse in this story, and has magenta hair), and delights in addressing Charlotte Flair as "Charlie" or "Char-Char". Subverted in the case of Charlotte, who refuses to address people by their preferred nicknames. The only exception she makes is for Raven, a long-time capo for the Flair crime family.
  • The main character of A Feddie Story only refers to one member of her tank crew by their actual first name...because their first name is Cat, and it's hard to top that one. When Cat is promoted, she's quick to start calling him by the traditional nickname of his new rank instead. Every other crew-member so far has only been referred to by a diminutive version of their first name; Ritchie becoming "Rich" and Michael becoming "Mikey".
  • Denmark in George DeValier's "Catch Perfect" "Hetalia: Axis Powers" fanfic nicknames everyone after their country of origin, and gets pissed when someone refuses his nicknames.
  • In Chrysalis Visits The Hague, Chrysalis insists on calling her lawyer 'worm', while Lyra Heartstrings keeps calling him Mr. E. And Shining Armor (true to Canon) calls his sister Twily.
  • Jono Starsmore of Child of the Storm shows a propensity for this, dubbing Strange "the Scary Bugger Supreme," Gambit "The Walking Cliche," pre-Face Turn Maddie "Death in Black Trousers," and Destruction of the Endless a "Cosmic Whatsit," amongst others.
    • Tony Stark, as per his canon incarnation, is also somewhat prone to this.
  • In Go Away I'm Watching Porn, Issei tends to give everyone nicknames due to being bad at remembering names otherwise. More often then not they are based on personality quirks he perceives them as having, ranging from the obvious to the bizarre.
  • Asuka has a reputation for giving people nicknames in Advice and Trust. Rei takes advantage of this when she needs to hide the origin of Kaworu's "Rainbow Trout" name from Gendo (since admitting that she made it would clue him in to the fact that she was off her emotional suppressants).
  • Jaune in A Monster's Marriage nicknames everyone. While some are shortened versions of their name like Merc, Em, and Pyr for Mercury, Emerald, and Pyrrha, others are more creative. Adam Taurus is "Addie" and Glynda Goodwitch is "Notorious G".
  • In the Bleach fic To Undo it All, Shiro, being the Hollow half of Zangetsu's powers, nicknames anyone who has not legitimately earned his respect. The list of people he doesn't call by a nickname is quite short: Unahona, Chad, Yoruichi, a couple of Arrancar, and Ichigo's sisters due to them being family.
  • The Wolf has a marked tendency to refer to people who aren't part of his crew by a different term, sometimes flattering, sometimes not (and sometimes even the 'flattering' one isn't considered as such by the recipient):
    • The few people he seems to respect get an impressive-sounding nickname (Dragonqueen), a reference to a mighty deed (Shield-slayer for Tyrion) their last or "last" names (Jon Snow, Davos Seaworth or Grey Worm). Others he finds useful get a noun-verber (fleshcrafter/necromancer for Qyburn) or a description (gold-hand or one-hand for Jaime).
    • People he doesn't like at all get insults or are deliberately misnamed (Molehill, Snolton, Fingers, rust-born, whore-queen/kinrutter).

  • Tony Stark / Iron Man does it a lot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It even served as the inspiration for a category on Jeopardy! in 2019.
    Thor: Uhh, what?
  • Han Solo from the Star Wars movies is a fan of this trope. He calls Luke "Kid", C-3PO "Goldenrod" and has several for Princess Leia, "Your highnessness", "your worshipfullness", "Princess" and "sweetheart."
  • Brian, the floor manager in Extract, refers to almost all of his subordinates as "Dinkus", with the one exception being a character he calls "Forklift Dinkus" or "Boy Genius".
  • Dewey Finn from School of Rock gives his students nicknames because at first, he can't be bothered to learn their actual names.
  • Gunnery Sgt. Hartman from Full Metal Jacket gives each of his Marines a nickname in bootcamp. Not only does this stick throughout the movie, but for many of the characters, it's the only name the audience learns.
  • Night at the Museum: Security guard Gus does this repeatedly with Larry, giving him numerous derogatory nicknames (one for each time he addresses him, really) most with a bent towards food items like "Cupcake", "Hot Dog" and "Butterscotch", and also goes off the rails with things like "Snack Shack" and "Lunch Box", etc. He also calls him "Hopscotch".
  • Jenson in Day of the Animals, jackass that he is, refers to everyone in the backpacking group by the nicknames he has given to them, "Hot Shot" for Buckner, "Kemosabe" for Santee, and so on.
  • In The Incredible Mr. Limpet, when Crusty meets fish!Henry Limpet, he refers to him as "Flatbush" (after the Brooklyn community where Henry lived when he was a human) saying that he had seen "flat fish" but never a "flat bush".
  • The Steel Helmet by Samuel Fuller has the main character, Zack, give insulting and mocking nicknames to his squadmates and people around him. A Korean kid is called "Short Round" (which was given a Shout-Out in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), a religious soldier who had earlier been a conscientious objector is labeled "Conscie" and the North Korean captive is called "Red."
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic spent his life on Earth eavesdropping on Tom and Maddie Wachowski, giving them the nicknames "Pretzel Lady" for Maddie's dexterity in practicing yoga, and "Donut Lord" for Tom because of his penchant for eating donuts (and talking to them. And of course, he calls Robotnik "Eggman" because his drone army shares a white color scheme and ovoid shape which makes them resemble eggs.
  • In Exam, it is White who assigns everyone the borderline racist and sexist (as Brunette points out) names by which it they are known throughout the exam. Even before then, he is referring to Brown as 'Gandhi'.

  • Sir Kay in Arthurian legend appears to be unpopular with the court partially because of this (and his tendency to make fun of whoever he does it to). When Sir Gareth comes to court in disguise and refuses to give his name, Kay calls him Beaumains, badnote  French for "Pretty Hands;" when Brunor the Black arrives at court wearing the coat his father was murdered in, he becomes far better known by what Kay calls him: Sir La Cote Male Tailenote  (The knight of the ill-fitting coat); and he refers to Sagramore as "Morte Jeune" (young corpse, should be Jeune Morte) on occasion due to his epilepsy-like fits. In T.H. White's The Once and Future King, he is the one that gave Arthur the nickname Wart because it rhymes with Art, or at least did in the accent of the age. White omits the nicknaming habit but does make Sir Kay a semi-sympathetic Jerkass.

  • As befitting the fact that they're homages to the same tradition, Mack, of The Automatic Detective, enjoys nicknaming all the mooks he interacts with in much the same manner as Dresden. Luckily for him, he lives in a world full of mutants and aliens, making his job easier, nicknames such as "Dome Head", "Hairlip" and "Jellyfish" being entirely accurate descriptions.
  • Simon Darcourt, a repeat character in Christopher Brookmyre novels, makes his mark early by never calling anyone by their real name if he can substitute one of his own ("But you just are [insert nickname], don't you see?"). Div, the designated ditz in their circle of friends, even gets to call him on it:
    Div: He thinks he's Jesus the noo. "Simon, I dub thee 'Peter'."
  • Orson Gregory in The Dreamside Road seldom refers to his enemies by their real name. Captain Maros for instance, he calls “Man Bun”, for his long hair.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Harry Dresden has been known to nickname people whose real names he doesn't know, so we get things like "Spinyboy," "Turtleneck," and "Eyebrow." He decided that "Knights of the Order of the Blackened Denarius" was too dignified and started referring to a bunch of centuries-old demon-possessed psychos and their terrifying leader Nicodemus as "Nicky and The Nickelheads." (The demons are in silver coins, which are usually on the Denarians' foreheads.)
    • This tendency turns out remarkably well for Harry on several occasions. Thanks to the inherent power of names, there are at least three instances in the books in which Harry gives a very powerful magical entity a nickname and, in doing so, influences it for the better. The entities in question are a spirit of intellect with vast knowledge of magic and lore ("Bob the Skull"), the Archive of the entire collected knowledge of mankind ("Ivy") and the psychic imprint or "shadow" of a fallen angel named Lasciel ("Lash"). Lash is an especially noteworthy case in that by giving her a name of her own, Harry gave her an identity separate from Lasciel and introduced her to the concept of free will. This is questionable about Ivy. It seems to be good, but, Luccio does make some good, if absolutely heartless, points about why The Archive isn't supposed to do that.
    • As of Skin Game, you can add "Alfred", the spirit that controls Demonreach, a prison so nasty that the minimum security wing is populated by naagloshi/skinwalkers.
    • "Shagnasty" the skinwalker. Justified, since it feeds on fear and therefore calling it something that isn't silly will just make it stronger.
    • He also does it with monsters when he doesn't like their real names. In Summer Knight, he decided that "plant monster" sound stupid and started calling it a "chlorofiend" instead (and then switches back to "plant monster" since no one understands what "chlorofiend" means); the Ik'k'uox in Changes became "The Ick" in the interests of pronounceability, and Esteban and Esmerelda, a pair of feared Red Court vampire assassins, become "the Eebs".
    • And in Blood Rites, he abbreviates "Black Court vampires" to "blampires" when signalling with his staff; Ebenezar initially thinks he's cocked up the Morse code.
    • Ghost Story has "Captain Turtleneck" and "The Big Hoods." Later he calls Uriel, the freaking archangel and God's own spymaster, "Uri". Uriel isn't pleased (at all) about having such a significant part of his name left off, but subsequently accepts "Mr. Sunshine" as an alternative.
    • Cold Days adds "Little Miss Spanglecrotch" for Maeve, and "Sharkface" for He Who Walks Before.
    • In the tabletop sourcebook, the entry for a character known only by nickname is accompanied by a rueful note about how a detective should probably be better at learning people's names.
    • Harry justifies this in the case of monsters, because a nameless monster is scarier and has more power over you than one that has a name. And if it is ridiculous, so much the better.
    • Considering the importance the series places on them, it's perhaps significant (or perhaps not), that Harry himself doesn't seem to have any nicknames, as such.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, Johnny is the official nickname generator for his friends. In the second book it takes him a moment to remember that Bigmac's social worker would know him as Simon.
  • Jesus. They were generally Meaningful Names like "sons of thunder" for brothers James and John, or Meaningful Not-Really-Names-At-All like "Peter" for Simon, and you can even throw in post-Heel–Face Turn Saul becoming Paul.
  • Mrs. Smith's Spy School For Girls: Double Cross: By this entry in the series, it eventually becomes Lampshaded that Abby is always giving nicknames to people based on something that she notices about them.
  • Howard in Gone. He names The FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone), the Zekes (Easy-Killers), and presumably Orc.
  • In the Cut & Run series, Ty loves to call people by nicknames, stemming from a dislike of his own first name. He calls his brother Deuce, his friend Nick O'Flaherty "O" and their other friend Digger, and his boss Dick. His partner/lover, Zane, goes through a series of nicknames, including Pansy Ass and Lonestar.
    • His penchant for nicknaming actually keeps him and Zane from getting outed at work at one point. After being caught receiving a sexual text from Zane during a meeting, they're both thankful for Ty's habit of pretty much never putting people's actual names into his contacts.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Ser Alliser Thorne is the member of the Night's Watch in charge of training new recruits. He gives insulting nicknames to his recruits, for instance "Ser Piggy" for fat Samwell Tarly and "Lord Snow" for the highborn bastard son of Ned Stark, Jon Snow.
      Thorne: Toad. Stone Head. Aurochs. Lover. Pimple. Monkey. Ser Loon. [...] And the Bastard.
    • In the fifth book, Jon as Lord Commander is officially addressed as "Lord Snow."
    • Stannis Baratheon, despite having absolutely no sense of humor, appears to be this, giving other characters such charming names as 'Lord Too-Fat-To-Sit-a-Horse' and 'Ser Stupid'.
  • Though she rarely addresses them by their nicknames to their faces, Everworld's Senna Wales can get into this habit. By her account, the four members of the series' True Companions are called, "General Davideus", "the clown", "the smug bastard", and "the cow."
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Aaron Allston's short story "The Pengalan Tradeoff" has Joram Kithe, an accountant sent to gauge the skills of clone troopers, finding himself cut off in enemy territory with them. Annoyed with their lack of names and the inconvenience of using their numbers, he gives them all nicknames—Tooth, Mapper, Digger, Hash—based on little differences, which he encourages in order to make it easier for him to tell them apart. In doing this he damages their absolute unity, making them considerably less interchangeable, but also encouraging them to think more creatively and humanizing them, for himself and the readers.
    • In Star Wars: Kenobi, Tusken warlord A'Yark gives names to her foes based on their attributes, because she doesn't know their actual names. Orrin is "the Smiling One," Ben is "Hairy Face," and Annileen, believed to possess powers actually displayed by Ben, is called ena'grosh, "the Airshaper."
  • In 101 Ways to Bug Your Parents, the cool kid in the main character's class gave the entire class nicknames. This included the teacher who was known as "The Scribbler". The main character (Steve) is known as "Sneeze", due to his asthma. His best friend (Hector) is called "Hiccup", because of, well, his hiccups.
  • In the Sammy Keyes series, Sammy does this to absolutely everyone she meets before she knows their real names. If she doesn't particularly like them, though, the nickname tends to stick forever. Two of her nicknames ("Snake Eyes", "Psycho Kitty Queen") even became titles of books!
  • Lotus Cloud from Bridge of Birds gives all of her (numerous) suitors ridiculously cutesy nicknames. It's a testament to her goddess-related ability to make men become hopelessly devoted to her that Ten Ox doesn't mind being called "Boopsie" by her at all.
  • Every marine from Malazan Book of the Fallen is given a nickname during bootcamp. There is usually some reason for the nickname, such as Tarr being the kind of fighter to "stick" to his position in a battle or Fiddler playing one mean... fiddle. And then there's Rumjugs.
  • Dora Wilk loves giving nicknames to people, both friends and foe, although she doesn't use them all the time. For her, Gabriel is Gabe, Miron is Imp, Gajusz is Your Bitingness and Aleksander is Asper, just to give a few examples.
  • In David Carkeet's whimsical linguist mystery Double Negative, the characters' Meaningful Names (the clumsy guy is called Woeps, the weird inquisitive guy is Aaskhugh, the soon-to-be-dead guy is called Stiph, etc.) are reinforced for the reader, though not for the slightly oblivious characters, by Aaskhugh's peculiar nicknames (his name for Woeps is "Daisy," and so on).
  • In Part I of Kill Time or Die Trying, most of the older warplings aspire to this, often competing with one another to popularize their own particular nicknames for new members.
  • Animorphs: Marco calls Ax "Ax-man" (though Tobias originally came up with that one) and Rachel "Xena". He often calls or refers to Jake as "Fearless Leader" and "Big Guy." Tobias is usually "Bird-Boy." It seems like Cassie is the only one he doesn't have a nickname for, which might stem from the fact that they never really get along.
  • The children's book The Nickname Game had the protagonists as a pair of Nicknamers. Most of the book is spent trying to come up with a good nickname for the new girl.
  • Dinoverse has various humans cast back into the age of dinosaurs. Subsequently all of them come up with names for various individual prehistoric creatures. Janine is the most free with names and even continues it affectionately when back in her own time, with people who actually do have names — Candayce is Candy-Striper, Mr. London is Mr. L, Aaron is Slick.
  • Fat Charlie's father in Anansi Boys gives people nicknames. For instance, Fat Charlie himself isn't even really fat, but his father nicknamed him that and his father's nicknames stick. As in, it's a law of reality that they stick, because he's literally the god Anansi and the names a god gives are definitively True. He's ruined lives by giving particularly ill-thought names.
  • Journey to Chaos: Tiza gives everyone nicknames, usually to insult them because she's anti-social like that. Some of them eventually become an Insult of Endearment. A short list: Eric is "Dimwit", Nolien is "Tenderfoot", Basilard is "Bloody Daylra", Sathel is "Spider Daylra", Retina is "Daylra's Dear", Kasile is "Queen Tent Burner", Annala is "Big Mouth", Anuzat is "Cranky Client", Haburt is "Professor Pathetic", Neuro is "Ivory", Dengel is "Old Fossil", Zettai is "Fangirl Damsel", Renograde is "Rent-A-Spade", and Dosh is "Brat Brother".
  • In Twig, the Lambsbridge Gang, a group of science experiment children who hunt mad science experiments make a game of assigning nicknames to their quarry. Names given include "The Snake Charmer" (Creator of a cat/snake hybrid which dissolved people with stomach acid) "The Bad Seeds" (Clones made of the children of prominent figures intended to assassinate them) and "Whiskers" (A slightly larger than human creature covered in armor made of teeth and fine hairs which is hypersensitive to its surroundings).
  • Razza in Don't Call Me Ishmael! likes to make up nicknames for his friends: Scobie is Scobes, Prudence is Prudles, Prindable becomes Prindabuddy, Fantasy-fan Bill is referred to as Bill-bo
  • Zach from the Zachary Nixon Johnson series. He comments at one point that when fighting hired goons, it's important to assign them demeaning nicknames.
  • Haymitch Abernathy from The Hunger Games. Katniss is "sweetheart" and Peeta is "the boy."
  • The title character in Eden Green has a pathological need to shorten names, referring to best friend Veronica as 'Ron' and hated enemy Tedrin as 'Ted' and later Kazu.
  • Massha from Myth Adventures seldom calls anyone but her husband by their real names, preferring things like High Roller/Hot Shot (Skeeve), Green And Scaly (Aahz), Dark And Deadly (Guido), and on one memorable occasion, Short And About To Be Extinct.
  • Safi of The Witchlands likes to give people nicknames, especially annoying ones.
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: Nelson Paul McQuaid the Third, also known as Treasure Hunt, does this to almost everyone he meets, including himself. Among others, he refers to his son Brownlow "Brownie" Mannix as "College Boy" and Charles Peyton as "Britannica". Several of his carnival employees also go by nicknames he gave them, including Stewpot, Soda Pop and Gameboy.
  • Six of Crows: Jesper. He'll toss out a 'beautiful' or 'gorgeous' at anyone but he really has fun with Wylan.
  • This is one of the hats (along with being Boisterous Bruisers and schemers) of the Dilbians in Gordon R. Dickson's Spatial Delivery and Spacepaw. Note that while the nicknames are meaningful, they're also often oblique (Shaking Knees is so-called for holding a heavy object up so long that his legs threatened to give out on him, not as any slight to his courage)...thus, leading to incidents in which The Hero of each book is startled when a human woman nicknamed "Greasy Face" (for applying moisturizer) or "Dirty Teeth" (for vigorously brushing them) turns out to be drop-dead hot.
  • Faun from Tasakeru gives everyone nicknames. The theory is that it's because she loathes her full name, "Faunelle", and is trying to cope.
  • Semiosis: Among the sapient Plant Aliens, the macho speaker for the locustwood trees calls Stevland "bamboozler", in part because Stevland is a bamboo.
  • Grub from The Ember Blade nicknames the rest of the party; Aren is Mudslug, Cade is Dumbface, Fen is Freckles, Vikka is the Painted Lady. None of the others appreciate their new name.
  • Kai from Tornado Brain calls Frankie things like "Frankenstein" and "Frank and Beans." Frankie pretends to be annoyed, even though she actually likes the nicknames.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Wyman Manderly names Jon Snow "the White Wolf".
    • Bronn apparently calls Littlefinger "Lord Twatbeard".
  • In Happy Endings Brad is this-he has a huge list of punny nicknames for his coworker Vanessa, and when Max is introducing his ex-girlfriend Angie to the gang, he specifically warns Brad against jumping the gun and giving her a nickname too soon (Brad says 'But I had Angina locked and loaded!') Also, Penny's Camp Gay friend Derrick often gives refers to her by nicknames, including 'Ty Pennington, Pennels, Penny Arcade, Pentel Pentium Processor,' and more.
    Brad: Vanessa Crunch, Vanessacary Roughness, Vanessticals, the Vanessa Monologues, Vanasterbate, It's Ms. Jackson if you're Vanasty.
  • In Smallville:
  • Cisco from The Flash (2014) comes up with nicknames for all of the villains Barry comes across (i.e. Multiplex, Captain Cold, Mist, the Reverse Flash, etc.). In some cases, the meta-humans themselves like Cisco's nicknames to adopt them. Leonard Snart chooses to call himself "Cold" (dropping the "Captain") because of Cisco. When Hartley shows up claiming to have come up with a nickname for himself (Pied Piper), Cisco angrily replies that it's his job to come up with nicknames, then grudgingly admits that this one is pretty good. When Caitlin attempts to call Roy G. Bivolo "Rainbow Raider" (his name in the comics), Cisco says that's dumb and calls him Prism (Roy prefers Rainbow Raider). Snart's sister even asks Cisco to give her a nickname, so he grudgingly calls her Golden Glider (especially since she's wielding a weapon he designed, just like her brother). When it comes time to name himself, it's Barry who suggests the name Vibe, and he likes it. During his travel to Earth-2, he meets his own counterpart who is a criminal working for Zoom and calls himself Reverb, to which he comments "it's not the worst name you could have come up with, but not the best." When Eliza Harmon gains super speed and becomes a criminal, Cisco briefly calls her "Bad Flash" before groaning at how lame that was. When he finds out Eliza calls herself "Trajectory", he complains.
  • Murdock from The A-Team could be considered this. He frequently comes up with nicknames for his teammates (well, for B.A. and Face, at least). He usually only uses a nickname once or twice; he calls B.A. 'The Baracan One' a couple of times. His most frequent one for B.A. is mud-sucker. He's also called Faceman numerous nicknames, including 'Visage Man', 'O Facial One', 'Man of the Countenance', and 'Faceyman' (he used all of those only once). Also, some of Murdock's remarks about Face in the fifth season episode Family Reunion have led some fans to suspect that Murdock may have been the one who came up with the nickname 'Faceman' in the first place.
  • Lost.
    • Sawyer. So much so that at one point the rest of the islanders forbade him from using nicknames when he lost a bet. Juliet is noted as the only major character to not have any of them, outside of briefly being called "Blondie" in season 5's finale.
    • Miles is another one for nicknames. When he and Hurley first meet, Hurley complains that "the ship sent us another Sawyer", because Miles addresses him as "Tubby". Then again, Hurley gets in his fair share of nicknames throughout the series.
  • Dr. Cox does this on Scrubs. Elliot is "Barbie", J.D. is "Newbie" or "random feminine name", Turk is "Gandhi" or "Turtlehead"/"Turtleneck" and Kelso is "Bob/Bobbo/Beelzebob/Bobcat".
    • J.D. does this a lot in later seasons, too, possibly aping Cox. It becomes a plot point when he's challenged by the Almighty Janitor to name all the staff in the hospital by their real names because they're all so annoyed by the constant nicknames.
    • The Janitor also does this, calling Elliot "Blonde Doctor", Turk "Black Doctor", Cox "Angry Doctor", and Carla "Scary Doctor Wife".
    • Colonel Doctor, Snoop Dogg Intern/Resident/Attending, The Todd, Doctor Beardface, Tasty Coma Wife, Gift Shop Girl, Crazy Eyes Margo, and Cabbage. Even the Janitor is a nickname, and he sometimes goes by "Dr. Jan Itor".
    • In one episode, where J.D. is assigned with surgical teams, he gives them all nicknames. They all sound strangely phallic.
    • Kelso calls Turk "Turkleton." His real name is Christopher Turk, but even his wife just calls him Turk. Kelso may honestly believe that his name is "Turk Turkleton," or he may have been spouting nonsense because he was just that drunk.
  • Bernard Black of Black Books often bestows various nicknames on his employee/flatmate Manny, e.g. "Thor", "Gandalf", "Bigfoot", "Hawkwind", and "Ming the Merciless".
  • This was the schtick of Rob Schneider's Saturday Night Live character "The Richmeister".
  • On Friends, Ross had trouble remembering his students' names, so he came up with nicknames. Elizabeth was "Cutie McPretty".
    • Similarly, Joey names the other people in the apartment building this way. Examples include "Some Kids I've Seen" and "Guy with Red Hair Who Does Not Like to Be Called Rusty".
    • Ross has had many short-lived nicknames over the course of the show, notably "Rossatron", "Mother Kisser", "The Divorce Force" and "Bobo the Sperm Guy".
    Ross: "Hey Joe, while you're over there can you get a beer for the Rossatron?"
    Joey: (look of horror) "...Is that back?!?"
  • John Crichton, and to a lesser extent, Chiana, on Farscape did this to almost everyone. Nicknames include:
    • Heavy D, D (D'Argo)
    • Pip (Chiana)
    • Blue (Zhaan)
    • Sparky, Spanky, Fluffy, Guido, Buckwheat (Rygel)
    • Shellhead (Pilot)
    • Astro (Stark)
    • Princess (Jool)
    • Sputnik (Sikozu)
    • Grandma, Wrinkles (Noranti)
    • Scorpy, Grasshopper (Scorpius)
    • Harvey (Scorpius' neural clone)
    • S.S. Buttcrack (Moya)
    • Old Man (Chiana's nickname for Crichton)
    • 1812 (a DRD from another Leviathan that Crichton taught to play the 1812 Overture.
  • Andy Bernard from The Office (US) is a fan of doing this, such as calling Jim 'Big Tuna', simply because of his lunch choice.
    • Andy's even called Jim and Pam's unborn baby by Baby Tuna.
    • Michael Scott was also a fan of this, not so much around the office itself but he did use it for clients and such as a way of quickly remembering new people. See for instance his introduction of Darryl, and the episode where he is giving a speech in another Dunder Mifflin office branch.
  • Lorelai from Gilmore Girls counts here — she even insists on using forgotten nicknames based on inside jokes, even when no one remembers said joke. She also has an Embarrassing Nickname of her own (Umlautz).
  • Shawn Spencer on Psych seems to have no shortage of funny nicknames for Gus when they need aliases. Although,"Gus" itself is a nickname as the character's full name is Burton Guster. He also called Lassiter 'Lassie' and Juliet 'Jules'. The only people that didn't get this are Vick and Henry.
    • Parodied, Averted, and Subverted all at once in the episode where Shawn and Gus visit an incredibly dangerous killer in prison, and Shawn doesn't use a nickname, much to Gus' alarm.
    Shawn: I'm Shawn Spencer, and this is my partner *clearly enunciating* Burton. Guster.
    Gus: Oh, now you wanna use my real name?
  • Jasmine from Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger nicknames many of the monsters she runs into. In the team-up movies she even nicknamed the other teams.
  • There was a Seinfeld episode where everyone at George's office gets a nickname, by order of the boss. George eats a T-Bone steak, in a blatant attempt to get the macho nickname of T-Bone. It doesn't work, some coworker gets his coveted nickname instead, and he gets stuck with the nickname Koko (as in, Koko the monkey). He manages to get rid of it, but instead gets an even worse one instead, Gammy.
  • All of the Taros from Kamen Rider Den-O, but especially Momotaros. Later in the series they try to get Ryotaro to come up with a cool name for Liner Form's Finishing Move, and, when the best he can do is "Densha Giri (Train Slash)", bemoan his lack of sense.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Xander makes up nicknames for nearly everyone. (Contrary to most fanfic, though, he never reuses them, which might be why we almost never hear him give Willow a nickname... he ran out of original nicknames for her years ago.)
    • Spike also does this chronically. He calls Willow "Red" a few times, and Illyria "Big Blue", "The Leather Queen", "Fred Sonja", "Little Shiva", "Babe the Blue Ox", and "Blue Meanie". Also, he calls Angel "Captain Forehead", "Ol' Broody-pants", "Poof" and "Peaches".
      • He often refers to women he's fond of and/or respects (Buffy, Nikki Wood, Dawn, Fred, Drusilla, etc.) as "Pet" or "Luv".
      • He calls Dawn "Little Bit" and "Niblet" sometimes.
      • He calls Buffy "Slayer" more often than he calls her by her name, and once sarcastically nicknamed her "Cutie" and "Goldielocks".
      • Riley is "Captain Cardboard" or "Soldier Boy".
      • Xander is "Harris", and Harmony is "Harm".
    • Faith had a habit of calling Buffy "B", but does so less later in the series. In the comics, she also took to calling Giles "G"
    • Gunn sometimes called Wesley 'English' in reference to his nationality.
    • Lorne always had food-themed nicknames for Angel.
    Angel: "And stop calling me pastries!"
  • Somewhat like Xander above, Topher on Dollhouse usually uses real names but often makes up nicknames. Most are only used once; his most persistent one is "Man-Friend" for Boyd.
  • The Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide episode "Guide to Nicknames" had Cookie invent a machine that would give people nicknames based on their appearance and personality, which resulted in Loomer and his goons recruiting Cookie to give them names to insult people with. Meanwhile, Moze wants to shed her nickname and be called Jennifer.
  • Stargate SG-1: Jack O'Neill does this to people he doesn't like, especially the Goa'uld. The jury's still out on whether that's defiant scorn or an inability to remember their (sometimes hard-to-pronounce) names. There was one annoying human character whom he called "Sparky," and he refers to Teal'c's symbiote as "Junior."
  • Stargate Atlantis: John Sheppard does a similar thing with all the Wraith they meet, including Steve, Bob, Todd, and Michael. (The Wraith either don't have names or don't tell Humans their names, so Sheppard generally gives them very ordinary, human nicknames to make up for it). Lt. Ford tries to name a lot of things, but he is repeatedly shot down by the master (aforementioned John Sheppard), most notably in the debate between calling the Lantian Shuttle "Gate Ship" (It's a ship that goes through the 'Gate!) or Sheppard's version: Puddle Jumper. Sheppard wins out in the end. The "Gate Ship" name turns out to be a favorite of McCay's, and, in an alternate timeline, this is the name he gives to the one created by Janus. Also, it's implied that this is the original Lantian name for the craft.
  • Spinelli, resident Cloud Cuckoolander of General Hospital, pathologically refuses to call anyone by their given name, instead nicknaming them according to one of their perceived attributes. A short list:
    • Jason (Stone Cold)
    • Sonny (Mr. Sir)
    • Maxie (Maximista)
    • Carly (The Valkyrie)
    • Jax (The Valkyrie's White Knight)
    • Spinelli (The Jackal)
    • (Fair) Lulu
    • Sam (The Goddess)
    • Alexis (Mother of The Goddess)
  • Malcolm Tucker from The Thick of It and In the Loop has an insulting nickname for everyone. He hardly ever uses the same nickname twice, but they are inevitably themed — Julius Nicholson's relate to him being bald ("Nosferatu", "Baldemort"), Ollie's relate to the fact that he looks young ("Joe 90", "Baby from Eraserhead"), and Nicola seems destined to be stuck with "Glummy Mummy". Not that any of the other characters are slouches, as evidenced here.
  • House provides a Jerkass version of this trope. He comes up with new, insulting nicknames for everyone every time he sees them. Only one sticks: "Thirteen" for Dr. Remy Hadley. Although black Mormon "Big Love" and Cutthroat Bitch both had pretty good runs. House not calling Amber Cutthroat Bitch even makes for at least two distinct OOC Is Serious Business moments.
  • Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear assigned his co-presenters (Richard "Hamster" Hammond and James "Captain Slow" May) their nicknames. They stuck, and have been affectionately taken up by the fanbase.
  • Hiro from Heroes does this enough that it might as well be one of his superpowers. Sylar is "Brain-Man", Daphne is "Nemesis", Matt Parkman's baby is "Baby Stop-And-Go", Nathan is "Flying Man", Claire is "Cheerleader", and Samuel is "Evil Butterfly-Man". Fans tend to accept the Engrish forms of Hiro's nicknames as their own. Isaac => Mister Isaac => Mystery Sock. When Hiro meets a man in Africa who has the same power as Isaac, he takes to calling him "Mr. African Isaac." "Mister Africany Sock" hasn't caught on, though.
  • Dean Winchester from Supernatural often loves nicknaming people, calling Sam "Sammy" and (along with other characters)Castiel "Cas". Especially if he doesn't like you, he gives more satirical ones, like "Chuckles" and "Junkless" to Uriel and a few unflattering names to Zachariah. He also calls all priests "Padre"
    • Crowley refers to Sam and Dean as "Moose" and "Squirrel" several times. He also sometimes refers to Castiel as "Feathers".
    • Meg has regularly used nicknames for the other characters such as "Clarence" and "The Little Tree Topper" for Castiel and "Bullwinkle" for Sam. She also occasionally refers to Dean as "Seacrest".
    • Rowena is an aversion of this, refusing to call people by anything by their given name. She calls Crowley "Fergus" and Sam "Samuel" because she knows it annoys them.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: "Meet the Hobgoblins: Frankie, Sniffles, Bounce-Bounce and The Claw!"
    • Can't mention MST3K without bringing the hurricane of nicknames they gave the star of Space Mutiny.
    • It's worse than that. Joel/Mike and the Mads have no shortage of nicknames for each other. There's a massive list of all instances of this here, for those interested.
  • On an episode of Just Shoot Me!, an intern was giving cute nicknames for everyone in the office, except for Elliot. When he confronts him about it, Elliot learns that the intern had too much respect for him to give him a nickname. Once he got the intern to loosen up, however, he found that none of the nicknames he came up for him ("Clicky", "Snaps") were to his liking.
  • The West Wing:
    • CJ Cregg, whose nicknames are frequent but mostly one-offs. She does however have some recurring ones such as "Spanky" for Sam, "Tobus" for Toby, and "____ my man" for anyone, male or female. She also constantly addresses Charlie as "Chaz", "Chip", "Chuck", "Chuckles", "Chipper", "Sparky", "Gilligan", etc (the two of them have a lot of semi-adopted-sibling rivalry.)
    • Josh also has a little bit of this going on, like his random decision to call a high school boy named Billy "Fred" throughout an episode just for the hell of it.
  • On Glee, this is just another part of Sue's magnificently evil personality. Emma Pillsbury is called any woman's name but her own ("Wilma", "Edna", and "Edith", among others). Principal Figgins is "Figgy". Tina? "Asian". Mike? "Other Asian". Mercedes? "Aretha". Artie? "Wheels". Kurt? "Gay Kid", "Don Knotts", and "Ladyface".
    • Lampshaded when Kurt protests that last one, and Sue allows him to choose from three other possible nicknames: Gelfling, Porcelain, and Tickle Me Doe-Face (he chooses Porcelain).
    • Sue's recruits for "General Zod and her League of Doom" get given villain names "The Pink Dagger", "Sergeant Handsome" and the "Honey Badger".
    • Blaine is either "Other Gay" or "Young Burt Reynolds".
    • Subverted in Season 4, when she can't come up with an insulting nickname for Marley, because she's too nice.
  • Kappa Tau on Greek is a fraternity full of nicknamers. Let's see, there's Spitter (Rusty), Beaver, Wade, Woodchuck, Ben Bennett, and Cappie (who's only known by his nickname). This is to be expected (see the fraternity entry under "Real Life" examples).
  • Oliver Beene featured a kid called Nickname, who would come up with nicknames for everyone based on an unfortunate situation or quirk of that person.
  • Sungkyunkwan Scandal's Yong Ha.
  • John Pope from Falling Skies has a habit of giving people nicknames (accurate or not) that only he ever seems to use.
  • Rumpole of Rumpole of the Bailey gives most characters in the series nicknames, most of which only he uses. Some of these are affectionate (e.g. "Portia" for Phyllida (Trant) Erskine-Brown), some are joking ("Soapy Sam" for Sam Ballard, "Miz Liz" for Liz Probert), and some are not particularly complimentary ("Bollard" for Ballard, and the judges—"The Mad Bull" for Mr Justice Bullingham being the most notable). The most notable is his nickname for his wife, which she never hears: "She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed".
  • Fusco from Person of Interest gives everyone nicknames, most prominently 'Wonderboy', 'Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Deranged' and 'Mr. Happy' for Reese, and 'Glasses and 'Mr. Good News' for Finch. He's referred to Root as "Cocoa Puffs," "Cuckoo's Nest," and "Cuckoo Clock," among others.
  • On M*A*S*H, Frank Burns will always be "Ferret Face." And the movie is where Margaret Houlihan received the nickname "Hot Lips."
  • Fonzie on Happy Days had nicknames for Richie (Red), Joanie (Shortcake), and their parents (Mr. and Mrs. C).
  • Ace in Doctor Who, most famously calling the Doctor "Professor", even when asked not to. In her first appearance, she also consistently calls Mel "Doughnut" for no apparent reason and refers to Sabalom Glitz as "Bilge Bag" (which yes, is more a term of abuse than a nickname, but the point is she never actually uses his name). And of course, her own name is Dorothy.
  • Horrible Histories: As per history, Elizabeth I is this, giving her courtiers such nicknames as "Pygmy" and "Frog."
  • Cat from Red Dwarf rarely refers to his friends (and Rimmer) by their real names. Lister is "Monkey Boy", Kryten is "Novelty Condom Head", Kochanski is "Officer Bud-Babe" and Rimmer is "Goalpost Head" or, on one memorable occasion, "Trans Am Wheel Arch Nostrils." (Mind you, those are all one-offs except for "Goalpost Head.")
  • Nikola Tesla from Sanctuary has a tendency to nickname most people, although Henry is his most frequent target. He has, on various occasions, been referred to as "Heinrich," "Wolfboy," "Furrious George" and "Enrico the Wonderwolf."
  • On Criminal Minds Garcia nicknames everyone and amazingly, manages to come up with a new nickname every time. She and Morgan also, of course, have their flirty phone banter, which is only made more amusing by the ridiculous nicknames they come up with for each other. In one of the latest episodes, their phone banter leads to a sexual harassment seminar. A flashback in one episode reveals that his most common nickname for her (Baby Girl) came about during their first meeting, when he was trying to get her attention without knowing her name. She seems indignant, but he apologizes.
  • Damon from The Vampire Diaries gives clever little nicknames to everyone, and rarely calls anyone by their real names.
  • Max from Max & Shred gave Alvin his titular name Shred and Howie her nickname 'Brosephina'.
  • The Walking Dead gives us Merle Dixon, who has a (usually offensive) nickname for everyone. Rick is "Officer Friendly", Andrea is "Blondie", Glenn is "Chinese Kid" (he's actually Korean), Morales is "Taco Bender", T-Dog is "Spear-Chucker." Daryl is most commonly referred to as "Baby Brother."
  • Mack from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does this to almost everyone at some point. Notably he calls Daisy "Tremors", Fitz "Turbo", and Elena Yo-Yo.
    Mack: "Just get in the damn box. You too Ironside" Wheels Gabe Reyes into the containment module
    Gabe (Wheelchair-bound teenager) "Hey, screw you, Black Kojak! No one moves this thing except for me!
    Mack "I like this kid."
  • MTV Brazil had Rockgol, an Association Football championship between musicians. During its most famous phase, the tournament was hosted by two comedians who nicknamed many "players", such as "James McDowell, the Giant Irish" (helps the guy's Stage Name is Jimmy London), Jesus and his brother Jesus Jr., Rufus Roughcut... one even became an Ascended Meme, as the guy whose bizarre hair led to the nickname "Chernobyl" now also has as alternate Stage Name DJ Chernobyl.
  • Also from Brazil, ESPN announcer Romulo Mendonça at times lends his Large Ham into endearing nicknames for certain players following outstanding plays, such as "Alpha Male" (most notably, LeBron James and the Brazilian volleyball player Wallace), "Messenger of Chaos" (Russell Westbrook, and Romulo himself, given "CHAAAOOOOS" is basically a Catchphrase), and "Killer Doll" (that one, exclusive of Stephen Curry).
  • Tony from NCIS frequently comes up with "McNicknames" for McGee. Examples include "McFlower Power", "McFreaky", "The Great McOz". Of course, McGee has gotten him back with such monikers as "DiNosy".
  • Mick Rory in Legends of Tomorrow. Of the main team, Ray is "Haircut", Sara is "Blondie", Rip is "English", and Nate is "Pretty Boy". He does the same with the villains (Vandal Savage is "Mullethead", Damien Dahrk is "Master Race") and other heroes (Barry Allen is "Red", Oliver Queen is "Robin Hood", Kara Danvers is "Skirt" and John Constantine is "Trenchcoat").
  • Ricky in Trailer Park Boys gives a different nickname each time to anyone he doesn't like, especially Randy and Lahey. "Astronaut Cock and Snoopy the Fuck Dog" "Fucky the drunk clown and his little gut friend" "Jacob the twig alien" "Gay fonzi".
  • Step by Step: Cody in general, but most notably toward stepcousins Dana ("Danaburger") and Karen ("Kare Bear"). Cody considers each of these as an Affectionate Nickname-but Dana openly thinks otherwise while Karen is seemingly neutral.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • For better or worse, Nate in Big Nate has gained a reputation as the school nickname guru.
  • Peanuts's Peppermint Patty, early on; though technically she only nicknamed Charlie Brown, "Chuck". She also called Lucy by her full name, "Lucille".
    Lucy: "Lucille"? "Chuck"?
    Charlie Brown: (grins nervously)
  • Zoe of Baby Blues has nicknames for every person in her class, based on their personal habits.
  • The Dragon Lady from Terry and the Pirates refers to everyone as 'something one'. Pat Ryan is 'handsome one', Terry Lee is 'youthful one', etc.

  • Rudy the Living Dummy from Fun House. At the start of each game, Rudy will give each player a nickname, then uses it throughout to refer to him/her.
  • Buzz from No Good Gofers also does this, but is a bit more malicious about it:

    Puppet Shows 
  • * The Chica Show: Mr and Mrs. C call each other "Cluckums" and call their daughter Chica "Tweetpea".

  • Dice Funk: Anne gets creative with her appellations for a monk named Milo, including "Musclebro Hardbody" and "Senator Suckshit."
  • Kingdom Smarts: The show frequently has Shannon having to discuss characters that have appeared, but have not yet been formally named or introduced. As a result, to keep Jake unspoiled until that formal introduction, nicknames are often devised based on personalities or other traits the characters have. Ansem Seeker of Darkness is referred to as "Lumpy Coat", "Billy Zane", or "Lumpy Billy Zane". Within Organization XIII, Demyx gets "White Trash Prince" due to his mullet hairdo, while Xigbar's antics get him dubbed "Keanu Reeves" and Luxord's various magic and card themes see him referred to by the name of a different famous stage magician every time he appears.
  • Who Back When:
    • The hosts often give nicknames to the side characters of a given Doctor Who episode, such as "Hunks 1, 2, and 3" for the Thals of "The Daleks." This extends to cast members as well, such as calling Barbara "Barb Wire" during "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", or referring to companions Barbara, Ian, and Vicki as "Notorious B.I.V." in "The Space Museum."
    • In the review of the Big Finish Doctor Who audiobook of "No More Lies", jD gets upset at Ponken because he didn't come up for a nickname for the Monster of the Week, the Tor Madowk. This is because neither host is completely able to pronounce "Tor Madowk" correctly.

    Professional Wrestling 

  • A sketch in The Long Hot Satsuma took nicknames, and those who give them, to ridiculous extremes.
    Man: Come in, Ms. Peters! Meet the team!
    Woman: Thank you very much, Mr. Trimble.
    Man: Adrian! Do call me Adrian!
    Woman: In that case, you must call me Pamela.
    Man: Oh...if it's like that, then you must call me Widget!
    Woman: Well then, you must call me Pammykins!
    Man: And you must call me Twimble-Twonk!
    (after lengthy debate regarding the matter)
    Woman: Then who's he?
    Man: He's Wilkinson.
    Woman #2: But you must call him Zog, King of the Pixies!


    Tabletop Games 
  • Invoked in Changelingthe Dreaming: a power of the art Naming allows the user to warps and bends the target’s identity to the nickname provided by the changeling. While the cantrip stays in place, everyone around the focus of it sees them through the lens of the Nickname. If the target is an inanimate object, it conforms to the spirit of it. If applied to a changeling, mortal, or other sentient creature, the target cannot regain Willpower unless she acts in accordance with the spirit of the Nickname.

    Video Games 
  • Norma Beatty from Tales of Legendia makes up nicknames for everyone she meets (and gets annoyed if anyone else uses them). Nicknames include:
    • Senny (Senel)
    • Teach (Will)
    • C (Chloe)
    • Red (Moses)
    • JJ (Jay)
    • G Girl (Grune)
    • Shirl (Shirley)
    • Norma gets a nickname herself from Moses, who calls her Bubbles.
  • To a lesser extent, Zelos in Tales of Symphonia tries it with his team. Nobody likes the results, as he insults the other guys and objectifies the girls.
    • Colette doesn't make nicknames for people, she DOES come up with a unique name for every single dog in the world — several of which are referred to by their owners later on!
    • Alice from Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World does this frequently. In her case, the nickname means different things depending on whether the recipient is a boy or a girl; if they're a boy it's an Affectionate Nickname, if they're a girl it's the exact opposite.
  • Tales of Vesperia: Main character Yuri Lowell, as per his laid-back attitude, has a habit of coining nicknames. Some are friendly, others.... not so much.
    • Shortened the heroine's name from Estellise to "Estelle".note 
    • Karol is occasionally "captain" Karol
    • Raven: "Old Man"
    • Judith: "Judy"
    • Those Two Guys: "Tweedle A and B"
    • Other examples: "Apple-head", "Operation Stink-Bomb", "Cat-eyes", etc.
  • Kreia from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords almost never refers to or even addresses any of the Exile's other True Companions by their actual names/numbers, only titles. This makes her never calling the exile by her real name much less out of place than it is for every other instance of the trope.
    • Atton: "the fool" (or, when they're alone together, "murderer")
    • Disciple: "tiny Jedi"
    • Handmaiden: "servant of Atris"
    • Visas: "the seer" or "Miraluka"
    • Bao-Dur: "the alien" or "The Iridonian" (which is what other members of the party call him as well)
    • T3-M4, G0-T0, and HK-47: "the machines"
    • Mira: "the huntress"
    • Hanharr: "the beast"
    • Manddalore: "the Mandalorian"
  • Jak and Daxter: Daxter has a nickname for everyone, whether they're friends ("tall, dark and gruesome"), rivals ("feather breath"), his girlfriend ("angel cheeks"), his biggest enemy ("metalo-maniac") or himself ("orange lightning"). The list goes on. Jinx frequently refers to Jak as "pretty boy", "Goldielocks", "blondie" or "Jakey-boy".
  • The main character of Suikoden Tierkreis has a habit of calling characters by other names (he consistently calls Mubal "Scholar Guy", for example), which could arguably be justified since the game has 108 characters in it. Lampshaded when he meets a character that nicknames him, and they both correct each other.
  • Ami and Mami of The Idolmaster call you "nii-chan" and have nicknames for each of the other idols. Examples:
    • Yukiho is "Yukipo"
    • Miki is "Mikimiki"
    • Haruka is "Harurun"
  • Mio of THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls also gives nicknames to other characters.
  • The Team Fortress 2 cast call each other by nicknames all the time (guess it helps the fact they never use their real names and call themselves by their classes) but the Scout is the biggest nicknamer of all. Here is a small compilation of such "nicknames":
    • Engineer: "Hardhat, Overalls, Tough Guy"
    • Pyro: "Mumbles, Mute fricken Moron, bib-wearin' dope"
    • Medic: "Doc, Docta, Deutsch-bag"
    • Heavy Weapons Guy: "Pancakes, Fatcakes, Tons-of-fun, Fat bald bastard, Fat bald fatty fat-fat, Lardfat..."
    • Demoman: "Cyclops, Bomb-throwing drunk"
    • Sniper: "Frickin' Coward"
    • Spy: "Shape-shifting rat"
    • He also calls enemies in general "Knuckleheads", "Chucklenuts", "Dummies" and his teammates "pallies".
      • The Spy only seems to acknowledge the Engineer as "Laborer".
      • The Engineer has a few as well: "Mumbles" for Pyro, "Sawbones" for Medic, Eyepatch for Demoman, etc.
  • Each character from Left 4 Dead 2 does this, mostly for the Special Infected and a little bit to each other, at the start of the first campaign, Dead Center.
    • They're apparently meeting each other and the Infected for the first time (a testament to just how fast the infection spread), and don't know each other's names until an elevator ride, and just call out to each other "Hey, girl!", or "Suit!" They only occasionally go back to any of the nicknames they used for the rest of the game, except for Nick calling Ellis (the redneck-ish southern guy) "Hey, overalls!" or the other characters simply calling one of the characters Coach.
    • As for the Specials, they don't have any kind of "official" name, so the Survivors just call out whatever first comes to mind when they first see them, like "Exploding man!"/"Barf bag!" or "Little guy!". By the third level of the campaign, they've reached some kind of unspoken consensus on what to call them (Jockey, Boomer, Tank, etc.). Only Ellis occasionally calls a Jockey by the alternative nickname "Little guy!" from then on.
  • Bardin Goreksson, the Dwarfen Ranger from Warhammer: The End Times - Vermintide, in keeping with his speaking habits, calls the other four almost exclusively (with little more than 4-5 lines where he speaks one or another's actual name) by the nicknames he's given them in his native Khazalid.
  • Everyone in Endless Frontier, to the point that it's rare for characters to call each other by their proper names at all.
  • Everyone in The World Ends with You, especially Beat. Seriously, Shiki is probably the only person who uses real names. Even the items tend to use nicknames ("Pi-face's cap")
    • Neku: "Phones"
    • Shiki: "Stalker"
    • Beat: "Skulls/Freshmeat / Rottenmeat / Beat itself"
    • Rhyme: "Skulls Jr./Rhyme"
    • Joshua: "Pretty Boy, Prissy Kid"
    • Mr. Hanekoma: "Mr. H, CAT"
    • Koki: "Lollipop"
    • Uzuki: "Pinky"
    • Yodai: "Steroids, Ram-Crotch", "Big Guy"
    • Sho: "Pi-Face, The Grim Heaper"
    • Mitsuki: "Iron Maiden, Ironface, Her Iron Mugliness"
    • Megumi: "Megs, Shades"
  • Taokaka (of BlazBlue) does this with everyone she meets, since she's extremely forgetful with everything. Here's a list:
    Taokaka: "Hey, why didn't you say something when I called your names meow?"
    Ragna: "That's because you never said our names, idiot."
    • Ragna uses "Rabbit" to refer to Rachel note , "Masked Freak" for Hakumen, and "Old Man" for Valkenhayn. Unlike Taokaka who uses nicknames out of playful innocence, it's clear that Ragna's uses are born of smartass irreverence.
    • Hakumen calls both Jubei and Kokonoe "Grimalkin", which is an archaic word for a witch's familiar. Jubei treats it as the closest thing to friendship Hakumen can express (the two are old war buddies), to Kokonoe it's meant and taken as an insult.
    • Mu-12 also falls into this category, but unlike the others' nicknaming habits, Mu refers to characters using expository titles in a vein similar to I Know Your True Name. Ragna is referred to as "The Black Beast" or "Bloodedge", Jin is "The False Hero" or "The Endbringer", Rachel is "The Observer", Hakumen is "White Susanoo" or "The Ancient Hero" and Terumi is "Dark Susanoo" or "The True Evil".
  • BioWare seems to be fond of this one.
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, the DLC-only character Shale never calls anyone by their names and always uses the pronoun "it" towards the Player Character (referred to as "The Grey Warden" in conversations with others). When questioned about this, Shale tells the PC that golems are always referred to as "golem" or "it", so Shale just pays it back in equal measure. Nicknames include "the Second Warden" (Alistair), "the Swamp Witch" (Morrigan), "the Elder Mage" (Wynne), "the Drunken Dwarf" (Ohgren), "the Painted Elf" (Zevran), "the Qunari" (Sten), and "the Sister" (Leliana).
    • Ashley Williams from the Mass Effect will always refer to military personnel by their jargon nicknames, calling Shepard "Skipper" and Lieutenant Kaidan "L-T".
    • Kasumi Goto from Mass Effect 2 will cheerfully assign nicknames to whomever she feels like, constantly calling Shepard "Shep" and referring to the Illusive Man as "Mr. Illusive."
    • In Dragon Age II, Varric Tethras refers to almost all the party members by nicknames, ranging from "elf" (Fenris) to "blondie" (Anders), "choir-boy" (Sebastian), "sunshine" (Bethany), "daisy" (Merrill), and "the Rivaini" (Isabela). The only exceptions are Hawke, who's on Last-Name Basis with everyone, and Aveline. Aveline calls him on her lack of a nickname in one conversation; he says he can't think of a good one for her. With all the fun he makes at her expense, he still knows not to push it too far.
      • In the DLC Mark of the Assassin, Hawke has a similar conversation with Varric about not having a nickname of hir own. Varric will then respond with one of three nicknames: "Killer" for an aggressive Hawke, "Chuckles" for a silly Hawke, or "Waffles" for a gentle/diplomatic Hawke. He also dubs Tallis "Shivs".
      • Also lampshaded in the Legacy DLC. Varric is asked why he doesn't have a nickname. He responds that it's his story.
    • Mass Effect 3 has James Vega (yeah, Bioware likes this trope). Man-Shep is Loco, Fem-Shep is Lola(Why?) , Cortez is Esteban, Garrus is Scars, Tali is Sparks, Liara is Doc and Javik is Buggy. Shepard, however, can insist on "Commander"; if they do, James will respect the request and use their rank instead of their nickname thereafter.
    • Javik, on Joker:
    The pilot insisted I let him call me "Prothy" the Prothean. I insisted he allow me to throw him out the airlock.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition has Varric (again). Cassandra is "Seeker", Blackwall is "Warden" or "hero", the Iron Bull is "tiny", Cole is "kid", Sera is "buttercup", Dorian is "sparkler", Josephine is "Ruffles", Cullen is "Curly", Leliana is "Nightingale" and Solas is "Chuckles" (for the exact opposite reason as silly Hawke). Vivienne already has a nickname, so he just uses that.
  • The Elder Goddess Kalikai from Lusternia gained notoriety amongst Her peers for this. The crystalline Stoic Xyl was dubbed "Crystalcakes"; the unstoppable, cannibalistic warrior Morgfyre was dubbed "Morgpie"; and The Chessmaster Big Bad Fain became "The Fainiac".
  • If the player character of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is a Malkavian (crazy vampires whose voices in their head often give them supernatural insights), the dialogue instantly nosedives into this. They range from simple descriptions ("Nasty Dude", to an Orlock type vampire), to bad puns (a Thin-Blood who answers to E is called "the one who comes before F and G"), to Genius Bonuses (Mercurio is called the "fleetfooted god", a title of the roman god Mercury), to Foreshadowing (Jeanette and Therese are called the daughters of Janus, the two-faced god; both turn out to be aspects of a split personality).
    • The Malkavian has one exception to this, when you call Velvet "Susan".
  • Rorona of Atelier Rorona does this all the time, as she's pretty ditzy (by her own admission and that of her peers) and doesn't digest long names very well. She calls her childhood friend Cordelia "Cory", the dancer Lionela "Liona" (and she also has nicknames for her two kitty puppets), and tries to get Sterkenburg the knight to answer to "Sterky", but it doesn't stick (most people call him "Sterk" anyway).
  • You can invoke this trope for your monsters if you wish in the Pokémon games. Meanwhile, rival characters may give your player character a nickname of some kind, with Pokémon X and Y giving you the option of what nickname you desire.
  • Luminous Arc 2's Dia has shades of this, though she's uninspired about it; Roland, Rashe and Rina are christened Kid, Other Kid and Other Other Kid (Girl if she's lucky) before they finish introducing themselves.
  • Final Fantasy IV has Namingway. The only reason to talk to Namingway is to change your character's name. Isn't that right, Spoony?
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny:
    • Levi the Slasher, who apparently has trouble remembering the name of anyone who isn't a fellow Material, no matter how short the name is. So she just calls them things like Original (Fate, who she was based on), Black Feather (Reinforce), and Bushido (Signum).
    • Lord Dearche, meanwhile, is a Royal Brat who simply couldn't be bothered to call people she doesn't care about by their name. So she just calls Kyrie "Pinkie", and calls Hayate either "Little Raven" or "Stupid Raven".
  • The Copy Robot from Mega Man Powered Up gives nicknames to every character except Oil Man. Here's every one:
    • Mega Man: "Blue Bomber"
    • Cut Man: "No-brains"
    • Guts Man: "Muscle-head"
    • Ice Man: "Snowflake"
    • Bomb Man: "Firecracker"
    • Fire Man: "Small Fry"
    • Elec Man: "Sparky"
    • Time Man: "Gearhead"
    • Rock "Mega": "Blue"
    • Roll: "Original Roll"
    • Proto Man: "Proto Me"
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Gaius nicknames many of the characters in their support conversations. Some examples include Blue for Chrom, Bubbles for Robin, and Sunshine for Tharja.
  • Wolf from the Pay Day The Heist series has numerous nicknames for his partner Hoxton including; Hoxtilicious, Hoxitron, El Hoxo, Hox, Hoxtinator, Hoxtonite, and Hoxifier.
  • Eko from Arcana Heart 3 has nicknames for practically the entire cast. For example, from the other newcomers, Weiß is "White" and Scharlachrot is "Red".
  • Johnny Cage does this to almost everyone during the pre-battle exchanges in Mortal Kombat X, usually via a movie reference—no surprise, being a Pop-Cultured Badass and a movie star besides. Cassie apparently picked up the habit, but then again she really is her father's daughter.
  • Not only is the eponymous Transistor the Nicknamer, but his nicknames become the official names for the various enemy types (some of which are just him insulting them, like Creep or Jerk) which are just referred to as "Process" until then. At one point, when driven to delirium by the second Spine, he lazily calls a new late-game humanoid enemy type "Man".
  • Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold has Chloe. She calls the Player Character 'Mr. Sword', Flavio 'Mr. Bow', and Bertrand 'Trand'.
  • Belladonna has a habit of giving nicknames to inanimate objects. She picked up the habit from the player character.
  • Bakumatsu Rock's Sakamoto Ryoma is fond of giving everyone in the main cast this, to the chagrin (and amusement) of some of them.
    • Takasugi Shinsaku: Cindy
    • Katsura Kogoro: Sensei
    • Hijikata Toshizo: Hijizo-san
    • Okita Souji: Sochin
      • Who calls Ryoma 'Tosaka-kun' in return.
    • Yoshida Shoin: Shaggy-haired Sensei
    • Tokugawa Yoshinobu: Discerning Boy
  • The hosts of HQ will often introduce themselves with a silly nickname, often involving the word "quiz", before saying their real name and explaining the rules.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 has Micah Bell III. Among other things, he often calls Arthur Morgan "Cowpoke" and later "Black Lung" after his Incurable Cough of Death manifests. He also calls John Marston "Scarface" for obvious reasons.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero has Randy Orlando calling the women by nicknames. Examples include "Ojou" for Elie, "Tiosuke" for Tio, "Ke-Bou" (pronounced key-bow) for KeA, "Jubou" for Juna (pronounced you-bow), and "Alkichi" for Altina.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has two such characters:
    • Dorothea has nicknames for most of her Black Eagles classmates, usually taking the first half of their name and adding "ie" to the end - house leader Edelgard is called "Edie", Hubert is "Hubie", Ferdinand is "Ferdie", Bernadetta is "Bern", and Linhardt is "Lin". Caspar and Petra are the only two characters who don't get this treatment.
    • Hapi of the Ashen Wolves does this with her comrades - she calls leader Yuri "Yuri-bird", Constance is "Coco", Balthus is "B", and their patron Aelfric is "Elfie". Byleth gets the Ironic Nickname of "Chatterbox". Outside of the Ashen Wolves, she calls Edelgard "Eddie", Hubert "The Bert", Dimitri "Didi", Linhardt "Linny", Ashe "Freckles", and Claude "Claudester".
  • Inverted in Night in the Woods. Jeremy "Germ Warfare" Warton, normally only goes by Germ, and pretty much everyone goes by some sort of nickname (although his is one of the few that's not just a diminutive of their given name). He prefers anyone outside his family calls him this. If the player completes all his hangouts, he'll ask Mae what Mae's short for (Margerat), and start calling her by it, as well as letting her call him Jeremy.
  • In the Absolute Zero Fan Translation of Tales of Innocence, Hermana is localized as being this. Most are reasonable shortenings of the other characters' names (Luke for Luca, for example), except for Spada, whom she calls Spud.

    Visual Novels 
  • Anghel Higure calls everyone in Hatoful Boyfriend by elaborate alternative names, including himself. They correspond to the bizarre fantasy-JRPG universe he hallucinates due to a chemical imbalance, and tend to be loaded with symbolic meanings and references that, in retrospect, are incredibly relevant to their storylines.
  • Police Chief Damon Gant from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, who usually uses a variation on their surname (e.g. "Edgeworth" becomes "Worthy" "Or should I say un-Worthy", "Wright" becomes "Wrighto", the Judge, Udgey).
    • Also Larry, who appears to have officially dubbed Phoenix and Edgeworth "Nick" and "Edgey." He has also dubbed Franziska von Karma "Franzy".
    • Pearl is something of a nickname catcher, as only her mother calls her by her proper name — Phoenix calls her "Pearls" (in the Japanese version, her first name+chan) and Maya and occasionally Mia calls her "Pearly".
    • In Ace Attorney Investigations 2, Delicia Scones does this to everyone. Yes, even "Manny" von Karma. Edgeworth arguably gets hit the hardest. She calls him "Miley".
    • And then Dual Destinies brought us Simon Blackquill, who also nicknames everyone. Usually it's an insult ('Fool Bright' for Fulbright, 'Your Baldness' for the Judge, 'Sad Monk' for Nahyuta) but usually nicknames the lawyers by sticking '-dono' onto the end of their surnames (e.g. 'Wright-dono').
    • Rayfa from Spirit of Justice gives a nickname to nearly all the attorneys she meets, which stick even after she warms up to them, turning from a case of Malicious Misnaming to an Insult of Endearment. Phoenix is called "Barbed Head", Apollo is called "Horn Head", etc. In fact, she doesn't see fit to nickname Nahyuta ("Braid Head") until after she becomes closer with him, because she can't bring herself to call him her "Big Brother".
  • In Endless Summer, Jake fits this role to a T. From the first chapter, he is giving everyone nicknames; some characters even get multiple.
    • MC is dubbed either Princess or Boy Scout, depending on their gender.
    • Michelle is Maybelline.
    • Diego is Pop Culture Petey.
    • Zahra is Skrillex.
    • He calls Lila Dimples.
    • Raj gets called Bottomless at one point.
    • Grace is Brain Trust.
    • Craig, at different points, is Drax, Bob Costas, and Craigslist.
    • Estela is sometimes called Katniss or Wednesday Addams.
    • Quinn, as the redhead, receives the nicknames Ariel, Red, and Pippi Longstocking.
    • It's not uncommon for Jake to call Aleister Malfoy.
    • Iris has been called Princess Leia, Robomaid, and Blue Girl Group.
    • Even Rourke gets a nickname; he is at one point addressed by Jake as Phony Stark.
    • Seraxa turns this back on Jake in book 2, calling him He Who Needs A Haircut.
  • As a dark variant, Kakuya from Spirit Hunter: NG is jealous at Seiji and Kaoru for being closer to Akira than her, so she calls them 'Yakuza Punk' and 'Hussy Girl' during the game's climax. This also makes it more difficult for Akira to remember who they were.

    Web Comics 
  • Black Mage of 8-Bit Theater.
  • Champions of Far'aus: Rom seems fond of giving people nicknames at random. For his co-workers at the Hyperia Pantheon:
    • He calls Daryl “Cowboy”, because of Daryl’s cowboy hat. This seems to be something of a theme among his former peers when referring to Daryl.
    • He calls Flamel “Flambé”, which is likely a Call-Back to story #1, when Skye angrily told a spirit about to eat Flamel; “He’s Flamel not Flambé!”.
  • Norma from Deadendia has a nickname for everyone in Winslow Wonderland.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Token Evil Teammate Belkar often hands out spontaneous nicknames, although they're rarely consistent and usually tend towards insulting epithets.
    • The Faux Affably Evil Big Bad Xykon frequently calls people by nicknames, mostly because he can't be bothered to remember people's real names and his minions don't dare to correct him. His thoughtlessness is a Berserk Button for The Hero Roy.
    • Thog almost always nicknames people, such as calling Elan "not-nale" and Roy "talky man", in no small part due to being Dumb Muscle who struggles with the concept of proper nouns.
  • Hijinks Ensue demonstrates this trope.
  • Underling: All the Lilitu, which backfires when they call Lazarus "Nephewkins".
  • Hedge of El Goonish Shive as lampshaded by Elliot here.
  • Skin Horse:
    • Unity is an imperfect example. She always calls Sweetheart "Babes", and she decided to call the helicopter "Biscuit" despite Nick telling her he had a name.
    • Nick himself generally refers to people by pop-culture references, usually from video games or animation. He uses zombies for Unity, dogs for Sweetheart, and cross-dressers or otherwise genderqueer characters for Tip.
      Nick: Hey, it's our local ReDead. Where's Birdo and Poochie?
  • From Bittersweet Candy Bowl Daisy (Mikie, Davie, Tessie) and Chirpy (girl-kitty, boy-kitty, curly-kitty, messy-kitty, meanie kitty, boy-doggie), etc...
    • Yashy (Lucy/Mom) (Chirpy/Chirps) (Mike/Flea/Fleabag) (especially Daisy/Whore) (???/Blur), and Lily likes to add "-dear" to names.
    • Random people seem to call Mike "green eyes" and Lucy "blue eyes" in-comic. Most recent example is in chapter 61. Some readers consider it an ominous reference to a much earlier chapter.
  • The evil rabbit Bun-bun from Sluggy Freelance often calls people by condescending descriptive nicknames or generic names. Many are made up on the spot and only used once, such as "Alice and the wonder brain" for Oasis (whose intelligence he doesn't think much of), but some such as "Nerd-Boy" for Torg, "tube-rat" for Kiki the ferret, and "Zucchini Face" for Aylee the alien have stuck. Human women he tends to call "toots" just because he seems to have sexism as a minor hobby.
    • In 15/05/21, he's trying to come with a nickname for Gwynn, but hasn't come up with a good one yet, instead going through several fairly lame options.
  • Sidney from Distillum calls Jamie "blondie" or "cowboy", and Kavitha gets called "the anomaly", or just "you" when Sidney deigns to speak to her.
  • Faye in Questionable Content calls Marten "Marty", Hannelore "Hanners", and Dora "Spooky" or "Assbutt". When Marigold first joins the group Faye says she needs a nickname and calls her "Mar-bear". After several attempts at one for Bubbles which Bubbles herself vetoes, she settles on "Bubs".
  • Sigrun from Stand Still, Stay Silent hardly ever calls her teammates by their names, and the nickname tends to be whatever pops in her mind at the time. Emil seems to be the only one escaping this, getting the title of right-hand warrior instead.
  • Heartful Punch of Sleepless Domain is prone to using nicknames for people, but typically drops it when she gets to know them better. She starts off calling Undine "Curls" because of her Regal Ringlets, refers to her boarding house's R.A. Suzy as "Snoozy", because she frequently stays up late waiting for H.P., who's frequently last to get home after patrols. The Alt Text for the comic in which Heartful Punch has her first conversation with Zoe notes that H.P. is already subconsciously making a mental list of possible nicknames for her new acquaintance.
  • It's very common in Tower of God for people to refer to each other by descriptive nicknames based on the others' looks. (Those looks can vary quite a bit.) Bam initially does so in an Innocently Insensitive way: "Thank you, Mister Neon Balloon!" The most consistent nicknamer is Rak, who calls almost everyone "something turtle". Apparently, he comes from a place where there's nothing but his species and turtles, so everything is a turtle to him.
  • Ian from Siren's Lament. He quickly comes up with nicknames for almost everyone. Lyra is Fishbait and Shon is Loverboy for instance.

    Web Original 
  • Senor "Alonzo Mourning to you, Myrtlebeth" Cardgage from Homestar Runner.
    • Nearly every character in Homestar Runner has nicknames for everyone else, as this extensive list demonstrates.
  • Agents of Cracked spends an entire episode on this trope. One of their coworkers turns out to be named Thelonius Bone. Similarly, Daniel O'Brien is this, but only towards Cracked Head Editor Jack O'Brien.
  • Az of Gaijin Smash has private (except on said blog) nicknames for some of his Japanese students and coworkers. Justified in one of the earlier entries in that he had hundreds of students, "so learning everyone's names is quite hard."
  • Fantastico, leader of the Good Ol' Boyz at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. It's pretty obvious that he's an Expy of George Bush (see below).
  • In Mother of Learning, Zorian's friend Taiven is one — she invariably calls him Roach, and her partners in Dungeon Crawling Grunt and Mumble.
  • Zane the cat from Kurami refers to Ana and Bree as "Gargantuana" and "Breehemoth" respectively. He refers to the titular character by the rather less disparaging nickname "Blondie".
  • In his vlog reviews of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Doug Walker blames his "white American male" status for his difficulty with remembering/taking awhile to learn the characters' Asian names. Although some got very simple nicknames like "the brother" (Sokka), "the sister" (Katara), and "the warrior girl" (Suki), others got more creative ones, such as "General Malfoy Guy" (Zhao), "Rene-Odo-from-Deep-Space-Nine" (the Mechanist), and "Azula's posse" consisting of "the gymnast" and "the bored girl" (he and Rob have considered several nicknames for the latter).
    • Similarly, in his The Legend of Korra vlogs, he calls Kuvira "Princess Zelda", "Zelda", or in one case, "Princess Hitler".
  • Golgotha from Noob takes this trope even further than usual. She doesn't change people's names, but their Online Alias. The nickname is usually a spin, sometime a (French) pun, on the original.
  • Ggrlsha, from Pay Me, Bug!, have a tradition of nicknaming everyone they know. It's supposed to be an attempt to know the essence of another's soul.
  • Qrow in RWBY has a habit of nicknaming those he is close with. Ruby is "Pipsqueak" while Yang appears to be "Firecracker". Ozpin is "Oz", Ironwood is "Jimmy" and Taiyang is "Tai".
  • Whateley Universe: Imp uses nicknaming as a tactic to get superheroes (or villains) she's dealing with angry at her. At least some of these nicknames end up sticking, to the dismay of those so named. Some nicknames are Superhawk becomes Chickenhawk, Paradigm becomes Pair of Dimes, and Polarstorm becomes Fuzzy Wuzzy (As he looks like a polar bear).
  • Inverted in No Evil, where everyone has nicknames, but Ichabod simply will not use them, even though most of the main characters' real names are awkward to pronounce for most native English speakers (Calamity/Chalchiutlique, for example). Pity his voice actor.
  • Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z Abridged never calls any of the Z Fighters by name, instead opting for insulting nicknames. That said, he always refers to members of Freeza's army (and Goku) by their real names.
  • Vincenzo Gatti in Survival of the Fittest nicknames absolutely everyone, examples including 'Rainy' for Georgia Lee Day and 'Chihuahua' for Fiyori Senay.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Toph tends to eschew names for terms with varying levels of insult, though "Twinkle Toes" (Aang) is the only one she used more than once. Others such as "the Pebble," "Snoozles", "Sheddy," "Sugar Queen", "Madame Fussy-Britches" and "Sweetness" are all one timers.
    • Sokka as well. "Sparky-Sparky Boom Man" didn't stick, but "Combustion Man" did. "Team Avatar" was invented by him too.
  • A flashback in The Legend of Korra shows that some things never change; even after 28 years, Toph was still calling Aang "Twinkle Toes" in spite of his protests. And 70 years later, Korra inherits the nickname.
  • Mr. Butlertron of Clone High calls everyone Wesley.
  • Robot Chicken featured a sketch where Dick Tracy is one of these.
  • Both Rattrap and Waspinator in Beast Wars/Machines
  • In both the movie and series of Disney's Hercules, Hades had a tendency to give people nicknames.
  • Hey Arnold!'s Helga G. Pataki lived for this. She would rarely call anyone by their real name. Arnold suffered the most — "Football Head", "Hair Boy", "Arnoldo", "Goody Two-Shoes"... but she had a name for everybody. Other nicknames include "Geraldo" and "Tall Hair Boy" (Gerald), "Pink Boy" (Harold), "Princess" (Rhonda), and "Ms. Perfect" (Lila).
  • Total Drama:
    • Chef Hatchet refers to all the campers by nickname, possibly because he can't be bothered remembering their real names.
    • Heather has a habit of doing this behind other peoples backs, the biggest example being Izzy who she calls "Psycho Hose Beast".
    • Courtney has a tendency to do so to her enemies, in particular Gwen and Duncan who she's come up with a long list of names for.
    • Leshawna switches to nicknamer-mode when angered, but occasionally gives out Affectionate Nicknames as well.
    • Chris does this from time-to-time usually when introducing contestants. Most notably in episode 1 of Revenge of the Island where he nicknames the whole cast.
    • Duncan gives rude nicknames to almost every contestant, although some become Insults Of Endearment over time.
    • Jo is perhaps the biggest example, where it's become a Running Gag for her to come up with "killer zingers" for others. In fact she it so frequently it's even earned her the nickname of "Mean Nickname Giver" from Zoey.
  • Wolverine from X-Men: Evolution had a huge habit of this as well. Rogue was Stripes, Kitty was Half-Pint, Kurt was Elf, Jean Grey was Red, Evan (Spyke) was Porcupine and Gambit was Gumbo, to name a few.
  • One of these was the "villain" in an episode of Captain Flamingo.
  • In An American Tail, Tony Toponi immediately thinks up a new name for Fievel once learning his name, apparently finding it too foreign-sounding.
    "Fievel? Oooh, that name's gotta go! I'll tell ya what — Filly!"
    • In his sequel appearances he tends to give more people nicknames too, such as calling Fievel's parents "Mr. and Mrs. M".
  • Baloo the Bear in Disney's The Jungle Book (1967) calls Mowgli "little britches" and calls Bagheera "Baggy". This carried on into TaleSpin, where he gives the "little britches" nickname to Kit, while calling Rebecca "Becky".
  • On American Dad!, Stan Smith can lapse into this.
  • Dr. Arthur Beeman from The Secret Saturdays has a habit of bestowing nicknames on people based on their physical appearance.
  • Archer does this a hell of a lot — so much that there's a supercut about it.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Dr. Doofenshmirtz mentioned he loved giving nicknames. He calls Perry "Mr. Duckbill Face", and Major Monogram "Monobrow" ("because he has...that thing where..."), and he calls Carl "Dr. Coconut."... ("Yeah. Sometimes, I wish I didn't know so much.")
    • Jeremy is like this with many people—except his girlfriend, Candace, who worries about the fact that he hasn't given her an Affectionate Nickname. Until he tells her that he just likes her real name.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Michelangelo coins the name for most villains and some equipment (such as the Turtle van now being the "Shellraiser"), to the point of total annoyance. Indeed, he even gets annoyed when people decide to create their own monikers (e.g., "He calls himself the Rat King"), when or another Turtle does so.
  • In My Little Pony (G3), the sporty Surfer Dude (ette) Sunny Daze has a nickname for all the other ponies.
  • Shego from Kim Possible does this a lot. Princess, Cupcake, Dr. D,...
  • Resident Cloud Cuckoo Lander Fred of Big Hero 6. This is the In-Universe explanation why Go Go Tomago, Wasabi, and Honey Lemon's names sound so silly. He gave them their nicknames, and the names kinda stuck.
  • DuckTales (1987)
    • Major Courage from the episode "Where No Duck Has Gone Before" tends to nickname everyone; for instance, calling Scrooge and Launchpad by their initials.
    • Launchpad himself tends to refer to his employers by nicknames like "Mr. McD" and "D.W."
  • In Clue Club, Larry has a variety of affectionate, diminutive nicknames for Teen Genius Dotty, "Little one", "Pipsqueak", "Small fry", "Short stuff", etc.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Amethyst makes up an endless supply of (mostly affectionate) nicknames, particularly for Peridot.
    • Steven sometimes makes up more permanent nicknames, including ones for the Ruby Squad to tell them apart from the Crystal Gem's Ruby.
    • Marty calls people by nicknames a lot as self-serving attempts to gain their favor. He calls Greg "Starchild," Steven "Starchild Jr.," and his son Sour Cream "S.C."
  • Tigger is this in the the Disney version of Winnie-the-Pooh. He's got a nickname for everyone, and loads of them for Rabbit. Examples include: Pooh — "Buddy Bear" / "Buddy Boy", Rabbit — "Long Ears" / "Ra-Ra", Piglet — "Pigaletto", Eeyore — "Donkey Boy", Roo/Lumpy — "Little Roo-ster / "Lumpster"
  • Mr. Cat from Kaeloo has a habit of giving others nicknames based on their species. Examples include "Tadpole", "Froggy" and "Fly Nibbler" for Kaeloo the frog, "Nutcracker" for Stumpy the squirrel, and "Duck Face" for Quack Quack the duck.
  • In Gravity Falls, Bill Cipher addresses Dipper and Mabel by their Arc Symbols, "Pine Tree" and "Shooting Star," respectively. He sometimes uses Full-Name Basis for Ford, but usually calls him "Poindexter" or "Sixer," the latter being another symbol.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • Eddy has nicknames for everyone based on their appearances. Examples include: Ed — "Lumpy" / "Monobrow", Edd — "Sockhead", Kevin — "Shovel Chin", Rolf — "Stretch"
    • Rolf as well. The pattern to his nicknames is generally "Description of their character" + "Their name" + "Their gender".
  • ChalkZone:
    • Snap's given out nicknames to all of his friends in the show. Rudy's main nickname is "bucko", Penny's been given the nickname "buckette", Blocky's been called "Blocko". Heck, Snap's even nicknamed Rapsheeba "queenie"!

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television: This was the first of George "Dubyah" Bush's quirks to percolate into the public consciousness, back when he was but a candidate (before even his tendency to malapropism became widely mocked). He even tagged his own senior adviser Turd Blossom. This tends to be exaggerated in parodies... Somewhat.
    • It has a the Other Wiki page.
    • Used in Will Ferrell's one-man show You're Welcome America, where he plays Bush as an ignorant (but not psychopathic) manchild. In an improvised bit, he asks various audience members' occupations and gives them each a corresponding nickname.
    • Allegedly, Bush gave president-to-be Sen. Barack Obama the nickname "Rock Bama", which is probably the coolest thing ever. PRESIDENT ROCK.
    • On 30 Rock, the character "Cooter Burger" was given those names by Bush. Main character Jack Donaghy picked up the nickname "The Jacker."
    • In W., the nicknames are a mnemonic device that young Dubya uses to help him remember all his frat brothers names during his hazing (fortunately the brothers think the nicknames are funny instead of insulting). Impressively, he gets them all correct despite being drunk, half-naked, and soaking in ice water.
  • Lyndon Johnson did this a lot, too (maybe it's a Texas thing) especially with people he was trying to butter up. For example, he referred to Senator Richard Russell as "Mr. Wisdom."
  • Harry Truman did this too. For example, referring to Estes Kefauver (D-Tenn.) as "Cow-fever".
  • ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman has a nickname for everyone. Usually they are Puns like Joseph "Live and Let" Addai.
    • In the case of Andre "Bad Moon" Rison, it actually was picked up by other announcers. And him. He has a "Bad Moon Rison" tattoo.
    • But not Jake "Daylight Come And I Wanna" Delhomme.
    • Eventually parodied in a commercial when he was trying out nicknames for players — for Drew Bledsoe he tried "Drew bled so much he needed an infusion." Intended as a joke, it became Defictionalized when Berman used it as a Call-Back.
    • Maybe it's a sportscaster thing? Keith Olbermann only gives nicknames to people he doesn't like, but he makes up for it by giving them four or five each.
    • Mexican sportscaster Enrique Bermúdez, apart from his deep voice and his unorthodox diction, is also famous for this. Some nicknames include "Duke of Catalunya" to Rafael Márquez, "Sa-sa-sa-salsita" to Carlos Salcido, "The Matador" for Luis Hernández, and "Little Pea" for Javier Hernández.
    • Same applies to the late Spanish sports commentator Andrés Montes. Aside from being credited with coining the idiom "tiki-taka" to describe the style of play that took FC Barcelona to six trophies in 2009 and Spain to two consecutive European championships and one World Cup, he was best known as a basketball announcer, and came up with nicknames for plenty of players. The best remembered ones are "Mr. Catering" (José Manuel Calderón), "Jordan Airlines"/"Flight 23" (Michael Jordan), "The Gable of the Big Apple" (Patrick Ewing) or "E.T." (Pau Gasol).
  • The late Peter Freyne, a local political columnist in Vermont. Two of the ones more recognizable to the rest of the country were "Ol'Bernardo" (Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT) and "Ho-Ho" (Former Gov. and DNC chairman Howard Dean).
  • World War I ace Edward 'Mick' Mannock was known for nicknaming other pilots in his squadron.
  • '50s rocker Eddie Cochran was known for nicknaming. He called his mother "Shrimper" in reference to her height. Musicians Bob Denton and Richard Rae were "the Brew Brothers" (they always had a beer in their hands). The road manager for Eddie's and Gene Vincent's UK tour, Hal Carter, was "Boody" for how Carter pronounced "buddy". Not sure if it was true that he actually called songwriter (and fiancee) Sharon Sheeley "Charlie Brown" or why.
  • The "Big Bang" (the space-time explosion, not the TV show) was named by the cosmologist Fred Hoyle in an attempt to belittle the concept. "Cubism" and "Fauvism" (the early 20th century art movements) were named by the critic Louis Vauxcelles with similar intent. In all these cases, names originally intended as derisory nicknames have gone on to achieve world-wide recognition.
  • The Higgs boson has gone by the nickname "The God Particle", causing some controversy due to the name. In fact, the nickname was shortened from "The Goddamned Particle" because the thing was so difficult to find.
  • This seems to have been a common thing among the Romans. Many Roman names are this, and many of those aren't of the nice sort. Like Plautus ("the flat-footed"), Brutus (not The Brute, but rather "the dumb"), Claudius ("the lame"), Crassus ("the fat"), and Flavius ("the blond" (Dumb Blonde?)).
    • The Romans remind one of nothing so much as a bunch of gangsters, with names like Horatius Flaccus ("Flabby" Horace), Tullius Cicero (Tully "the Bean"), and Claudius Pulcher ("Pretty Boy" Claude).
    • In fact, the entirety of ancient Roman society was based on a system of client-patron relations that bear a striking resemblance to those of the modern day Mafia. It's quite probable that the Mafia can claim to be the last survival of Imperial Rome. Just try to picture of all those ancient Emperors as thuggish godfathers, or vice versa: quite an interesting new perspective, isn't it.
  • The French Revolution being quite into classical tradition of Greece and Rome revived this tradition. The people of France bestowed popular nicknames on famous figures, sometimes mocking, sometimes affectionate and sometimes ironic:
  • It has been a tradition in virtually all college fraternities to give new initiates a nickname. Typically, the brothers who are in charge of choosing a nickname will tap into one of two sources:
    • Type A: an obvious trait. Someone who talks very low would be called Mumbles, and Sasquatch would be used for a large, hairy guy. If the initiate looks like a famous person or (even an obscure) character, then they will likely be named after their likeness.
    • Type B: an embarrassing or amusing story from their pledge period. Examples: "Splash" for someone who trips and falls into one of their college's fountains, and "Knoxville" for anyone who may try (and fail spectacularly) to copy one of the Jackass stunts on a dare.
    • Type C: Completely random or done for comedic irony, such as nicknaming a very mild-mannered pledge "Stone Cold" or nicknaming a pledge known for being very masculine and macho "Cupcakes".
  • The professional poker scene as a whole is this trope. Most famous poker player get nicknames that they are commonly known by. However they are known by their real name as well.
  • Baseball legend Satchel Paige did this.
  • In the NBA, Shaquille O'Neal likes to do this — mostly to himself. He did come up with "The Big Fundamental" for Tim Duncan, "Sugar K. Leonard" for Kawhi Leonard and "The Flash" for Dwyane Wade, though.
  • In high school, you probably did this to talk about people without them knowing. Alternately, maybe you did this as an in-joke between friends.
  • Queen Elizabeth I was said to have come up with nicknames for her courtiers. But only her favourites: Lord Burghley was 'Sir Spirit', Walsingham 'The Moor', Walter Raleigh 'Water', Leicester was 'Eyes' and Hatton was 'Lids'. The latter two even signed their letters to her with a symbol noting her nickname for them.
  • Military personnel nickname every person, place, object, building, vehicle, rank, and concept. Often this is because stuff is named either unwieldy (Mark-19 Automatic 40mm Grenade Launcher aka "40 mike-mike") or blandly (2W1X1 aka a "load toad" the guy who puts all the ammo in a plane). As for abstract concepts there's "The Goat", the cadet that graduates at the bottom of the class at West Point. He gets a standing ovation and wad of cash for his trouble.
    • And of course any Ace Pilot worth his salt (and most of the ones who aren't) will receive a Callsign from his fellow pilots. The callsign may or may not be flattering (and usually isn't), but remember that The Complainer Is Always Wrong, and they can always come up with a worse one for you.
  • During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump became known for this. He dubbed Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, his two main opponents in the Republican primary, as "Little Marco" and "Lyin' Ted". As the general election neared, Trump debuted "Crooked Hillary", his nickname for Hillary Clinton. Additional nicknames include "Crazy" Bernie Sanders, "Cryin'" Chuck Schumer, and "Rocket Man" Kim Jong-Un. The latter returned the favor by calling Trump "Dotard"...and then the two of them held a summit and now pretend to be friends. His nicknames even extend to organizations such as "The Failin'" New York Times and "Fake News" CNN.
    • During the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden called Trump "President Tweety" in reference to Trump's nonstop tweeting (something which even Trump supporters found it to be excessive). Instantly, Biden supporters made memes of Tweety Bird out of this. Before this, Trump repeatedly called Biden "Dementia Joe" and "Sleepy Joe" in an attempt to label his opponent as senile and incompetent. The "Sleepy Joe" nickname came with a catch when Trump detractors joked about how a "sleepy" guy somehow "stole" an election despite Trump's baseless claims to the contrary.
  • Nicknaming is basically the national pastime of Australia. Any proper name in Australia can and will be turned into a nickname. Is your last name Smith? You're Smithy now. A woman named Sharon? Shazza. A restaurant chain named McDonald's? Macca's. A city named Fremantle? Freo. Ironic and derogatory nicknames are also popular. One small town has even opened up a Nickname Hall of Fame.
  • Nicknaming is also the national pastime for Mexico. This article and this article the Mexican apodo (nickname) tradition. Nicknaming is more of a thing in Mexico than in the United States.
  • If you read the Non-Fiction books by Melchior Wańkowicz, you might get the impression none of his friends and family had proper names. It's kind of cute.


Video Example(s):


Toph nickname compilation

Toph gives out many sarcastic nicknames.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheNicknamer

Media sources:

Main / TheNicknamer