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Took the Wife's Name

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When a couple gets married, the expectation in most cultures is for the wife to take her husband's surname. However, there can be cases where it's the husband who changes his surname. This is very uncommon in many countries around the world, but it's considered fairly normal in some, such as Japan (where spouses are legally required to have the same surname).

This trope applies when there was a significant reason for the husband changing his surname. Some possible cases are:

  • The most common one is difference in social status. If the wife's family is wealthier and/or more prominent than the husband's, it's expected for him to marry into the wife's family.
  • Related to above, the wife's family owns a Family Business. Therefore, the husband and his children need to have the wife's surname in order to be potential heirs to the business and/or fortune.
  • The wife is the only successor of her bloodline, in which case the husband may want to preserve her family name.
  • They live in a society where matrilineal succession is commonplace or expected.
  • The husband has personal issues with his original surname. Either he doesn't want to keep the surname of his Abusive Parents or he has a Dark and Troubled Past that he wishes to leave behind. Alternatively, he didn't like his original surname or didn't have one in the first place.
  • The husband needs to change his surname in order to hide his identity. Reasons include being a criminal on the run or that his original family name is recognizable and he wishes to keep a low profile.

Compare and contrast The Maiden Name Debate where the wife has the option of keeping her maiden name while the husband keeps his own surname. Compare Nom de Mom where it's the married couple's child who takes the mother's maiden name. A subtrope of Shed the Family Name.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Bleach, Ichigo's father Isshin took the family name of his wife, Masaki Kurosaki. Given how obsessed he is with Masaki even a decade after her death (such as mounting a huge photo of her in the family's living room), it's seemingly just because he loved her so much. Eventually, it's revealed that there's far more to it than this. Isshin is not only a former Captain of the Gotei 13, his family name was Shiba, one of the most powerful noble clans in Soul Society and an equal of the Kuchikis. Since he had effectively deserted from the Gotei 13 via giving up his powers to save Masaki's life, keeping such a famous last name would've been a potentially huge red flag had anybody come looking for him.
  • If there's a rich Big, Screwed-Up Family in Case Closed, it's almost a sure thing that one of the daughters will be married to a man who has taken up the family name:
    • In the "Hatamoto Family Murders", the husbands of Akie and Natsue, Tatsuo and Takeshi, are middle-class men who married into the Hatamoto family and thus took up their surname.
    • In "A Suspicious Uncle", Hidekazu took up Hiromi's surname since she was the eldest daughter of the rich Yabuchi family.
  • Food Wars!:
    • Jouichiro Saiba took his wife's family name when he married, becoming Jouichiro Yukihira. Because of this, he inherited the Restaurant Yukihira that originally belonged to his wife's family. Also, there is enough of a whiff of scandal in his past that he may have seen it as a convenient way to change his name and drop off the radar. As a corollary, protagonist Soma Yukihira also inherited his mother's surname, which (for good and ill) makes people not immediately realize who his father is.
    • Azami Nakamura became Azami Nakiri after marriage. In this case, his wife's family is extremely wealthy and powerful. However, he should have lost the right to call himself a Nakiri after his father-in-law kicked him out for abusing his daughter Erina.
  • After the ending of The Garden of Sinners, Mikiya takes the surname of his wife Shiki upon their marriage. It makes sense since he was born into a normal middle-class family while the Ryougi are a very wealthy and powerful clan.
  • In Gintama, Taizo Hasegawa agreed to take his wife's family name instead of the opposite, as she comes from a higher social class. He still uses the Hasegawa surname despite his wife leaving him because he's unemployed.
  • Gundam Build Fighters Try: Nils Nielson became Nils Yajima when he married Caroline Yajima, likely due to the fact that the Yajima family is very powerful and influential.
  • In I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying, when Nozomu married Rino, he took on her last name due to her being the adopted heiress of a prominent family, but you wouldn't know this unless you read My Girlfriend Without Wasabi.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: Toji Zen'in was abused by the Zen'in clan for being born unable to use cursed energy, so he took his first wife's surname, Fushiguro, in order to spite his family. He continues to go by Fushiguro after his first wife's death to keep his son Megumi out of the Zen'in clan's clutches, even passing the name on to his second wife.
  • In the backstory of Karin, both of Karin's grandfathers, James and Daniel, took their wives' last names, mainly because Elda and Cecilia were the last surviving members of the Marker and Armash clans respectively.
  • Kimagure Orange Road: Kyousuke and the twins' Kasuga surname is actually their mother Akemi's family name. Their dad Takashi married into the Kasuga clan since Akemi was the only daughter, which certainly explains why he's the only Kasuga without Psychic Powers.
  • In My Hero Academia, Kyoka Jiro's father Kyotoku took his wife Mika's name when they married, something that is apparently more common in the series' universe than in reality.
  • At the end of Naruto, Sai becomes Sai Yamanaka considering he didn't have a last name and his wife Ino was the only daughter of her quite prominent family. note 
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Konoka's father Eishun married into the very powerful Konoe clan and took up their surname. His original one is Aoyama, which is the same name as the clan of Shinmei-ryuu swordsmen from Love Hina.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Gendo Rokubungi became Gendo Ikari when he took his wife Yui's surname. The reasons why aren't explicitly made clear, but it seems Gendo did it because he really did love Yui and wanted to prove that he was utterly devoted to her. Besides that, some supplemental materials imply Yui was the daughter of a SEELE member and therefore of high social status. It's also possible Gendo just wanted to lose the Rokubungi surname; there's some implications pointing towards him having a dark past he wanted to get away from and/or a bad relationship with his own family.
  • Towards the end of Private Prince, Will tells his girlfriend Miyako that he will take her surname after taking the decision of giving up on royalty.
  • In Re:Zero, Wilhelm took on his wife Theresia's last name when they got married because the van Astrea are a noble house renowned for their swordsmanship. After avenging Theresia's death, he takes up his original surname, Trias.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: Akio married into the Ohtori family and took their name so he could take over their namesake academy.
  • In some Ronin Warriors side-materials, Shin Mouri (Cye of the Torrent) is troubled because his Ronin duties conflict with him becoming the heir of his family's traditional pottery business. To solve this, his older sister and her boyfriend agree on him marrying into the Mouri family and taking up the surname.
  • Shaman King: When Hao and Yoh's dad Mikihisa married their mom Keiko, the only daughter of the Asakura family, he took up her surname. This is also a case of Uptown Girl since he was a hobo-like street musician whereas her family was a very traditional shaman clan.
  • In ViVid Strike!, Dan took Lorrie's last name when they got married. It makes sense considering that the Berlinetta family owns a large company.

    Comic Books 
  • Miles Morales: Spider-Man: Jefferson Davis took the last name of his wife Rio Morales because he shared the name with a Confederate slaver.

    Fan Works 
  • Beyond the Outer Gates Lies... A high school library?: Sona and Serafall's mother is the original Sitri, and their father took the Sitri name. It was not an issue for him, since he was treated terribly by his family.
  • In Costumes And Games, Shinji chooses to change his surname when he gets married to Asuka because he wants nothing from his parents.
  • Demon's Path: At Mei and Zabuza's wedding, Naruto jokingly points out that Zabuza should take Mei's surname instead of her taking his, due to the fact that Mei is the Mizukage and Zabuza is not only one of her ninja but he technically didn't graduate so she has a higher social standing than he does.
  • Destiny's Child has Ranma take up the Tendou name due to the Tendou's higher status and lack of male heirs.
  • In the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood Gender Flip fic From Liverpool, England, Erin (male Erina) took the name of his wife Johanna (female Jonathan) since she was a noblewoman and her name was of higher standing by Victorian England standards. Word of God confirmed that had Dio's plan to seduce and marry Johanna succeeded, he would have also had to take her family name as well.
  • "Harry Potter and the Fluffy Taile" all but explicitly states that the father of OC character Penny Wyrm is Mutt, the son of Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull); he explicitly states that he took his wife's name when they got married so he wouldn't have to be known as "the Third" for the rest of his life.
  • Green Tea Rescue: Hisashi Midoriya took on his wife's last name because, according to Izuku, his own had too much baggage attached to it. Given that he's an active member of the Meta Liberation Army, it was probably to hide from further scrutiny.
  • Heis'he Ri'nanovai: Romulans are semi-matriarchal, so Merken tr'Ortikant took his wife Liorae t'Vreenak's surname, Vreenak, when he married her in an Arranged Marriage.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Keiichi changed his family name from "Maebara" to "Fuurude" when he married Rika as per custom in Hinamizawa to preserve the traditional name of the shrine maidens that minister to Oyashiro-sama's shrine.
  • The Legend of Genji: After marrying Opal Beifong, Bolin took on her family name because he didn't have a last name of his own. Well that and he was really happy at finally being able to call Toph "grandma".
  • A double example with Yu's family in The Many Quirks of Phantom Thievery: The Narukami surname is extremely important in the business world, so Yu's father took the Narukami surname when he married, while Ryotaro took his wife's last name to escape the family legacy.
  • In Muggle Intervention Rob Banks decides to adopt his fiancee Jenny Peach's surname because he dislikes the contrast between his birth name and him being a policeman.
  • Not the intended use (Zantetsuken Reverse): In the original fic, it's mentioned that the Belmonts would force any man marrying into the family to take up the Belmont name if there were no other male heirs. For example, Simon only had daughters.
  • In the post-series fic Primary Sources (And Historical Epiphanies), Adrien had taken the last name of his wife Marinette Dupain-Cheng. This is why when the protagonist Mary Beauréal learns from her mother Aurore that his old last name was Agreste, it was a shocking revelation to her. It is because it means he was the son of the infamous ex-terrorist Gabriel Agreste AKA Hawkmoth, who she and some of her classmates, including Hugo Dupain-Cheng, are researching for their class project.
  • In The Ronless Factor after Ron is brought back to life, after Wade declares such a resurrection impossible Kim observes "Anything's possible for a Possible, even if it is just honorary... for now", defending her declaration as her thinking of the future. Ron affirms that he has no problem with the idea of taking Kim's name rather than the other way around, even speculating that if he takes her name people might start getting his own right in the press for a change.
  • SAPR: In chapter 124, "Re-Forged," Pyrrha reflects that when she and Jaune get married, he's going to have to take her name because she's from an ancient royal house.
  • In Skyhold Academy Yearbook, it's mentioned that Fenris took his wife's surname (Hawke) when they married as a sign that he was leaving his painful past behind.
  • Jiraiya in Son of the Sannin takes on Tsunade's surname Senju when they get married. When Naruto asks him about it, he reveals that he never had a last name to begin with, and even if he had one, he doubted Tsunade would change hers.
  • In Tales of Fairies chapter 499, Lucy reveals to Erza that the Heartfilia women always kept their last name while their husbands take theirs, hence why Lucy and Layla have strong resemblance to their ancestor Anna Heartfilia. She suspects it was a way for Zeref to find them to help open the Eclipse Gate and bring the Dragons and dragon slayers to the present. She also says that while her father Jude was happy to take his wife's last name, he had trouble getting other eligible men to take his daughter's name since they refuse out of pride.
  • Unchained (Umei no Mai): Since his Lord-Wife Izuna is significantly higher-ranked than him, Tobirama is now referred to as Uchiha instead of Senju.

    Films — Animation 
  • Encanto: The husbands (Agustin and Félix) of the Madrigal sisters (Julieta and Pepa, respectively) took their wives' surname. While the Madrigals aren't a Family Business in the corporate sense, they do serve as the foundation of their community and wish to carry on that legacy under a unified name, particularly since Julieta and Pepa's brother, Bruno, has no spouse or children of his own.

  • In Arrivals from the Dark series, a commodore whose last name is Trevelyan-Krasnogortsev explains that an ancestor of his was a Tsarist Russian officer named Krasnogortsev who escaped to France during the Romanovs and Revolutions period and married into the wealthy and respected Trevelyan family, choosing to hyphenate his name in order to be considered one of them. Several generations later, the commodore's descendants choose to drop the Overly Long Name (for bonus points, the commodore's names were Olaf Peter Carlos) and stick with the French surname.
  • A convoluted example in the short story Bis zum Nullpunkt des Seins (1871) by Kurd Laßwitz, which is set in the year 2371. Gender equality has resulted in a formalized system: Everybody has two (hyphenated) surnames, one inherited from the mother, the other from the father. When they marry, women drop the paternal name and men the maternal one and replace it with the surname of their spouse.
  • Discworld: In Lancre, there's a sort of tradition of matrilinearity, at least amongst witches. So when Miss Gytha Ogg got married, she became Mrs. Gytha Ogg and her husband became Mr. Ogg (as did her subsequent husbands). Her married sons, however, are still Oggs, because none of her daughters-in-law are brave enough to explain to Nanny that they shouldn't be.
  • A convoluted example occurs in volume 10 of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom when main character Souma Kazuya is formally coronated as King of the United Kingdom of Elfrieden and Amidonia and marries his Battle Harem. Due to Name Order Confusion early on,note  his original surname ended up becoming his given name, and as two of his wives are the princesses of the two kingdoms whom his legitimacy as king partly depends on, he adopts his third queen Roroa Amidonia's surname as his middle name and his Top Wife Liscia Elfrieden's surname as his surname, resulting in the regnal name "Souma A. Elfrieden".
  • The Hundred and One Dalmatians: Cruella de Vil mentions that she made her husband change his name to hers when they married because she was the last of her family.
  • InCryptid: After Dominic De Luca and Verity Price get married, he takes Verity's last name to become Dominic Price, symbolizing a break with his Covenant past.
  • In A Love for All Time by Bertrice Small, Queen Elizabeth commands one of her courtiers, Conn O'Malley, who is a troublesome Irishman, to marry Aidan St. Michael, who is a titled Englishwoman, and to take her name along with the title that went with it. He agreed, mainly because of the title. One of the queen's advisors pointed out that this would effectively make Conn an Englishman.
  • In The Sharing Knife, Lakewalkers use a matrilineal system of naming and inheritance where the husband normally takes the wife's 'tent' name, and households are passed to the eldest daughter. Meanwhile, farmers use a patrilinal system. The mixed protagonist couple ends up using the Lakewalker custom after some confusion.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: When one Lannister king died without male heirs, his son-in-law changed his name from Joffrey Lydden to Joffrey Lannister as a condition of being given the throne.
  • Tortall Universe: Beka Cooper's husband decides to take on her last name, citing that his mage name of Farmer Cape is nothing special. When asked what his birth name was, he reveals that it was Pincas Huckleburr.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Part of the Victim of the Week's backstory in Castle episode "Vampire Weekend". The victim didn't know that his birth mother had disappeared when he was a baby and that his father had remarried the nanny, taking her name to escape the publicity. In fact, the nanny killed his mother with this exact aim, and the victim when he worked it out.
  • Dark (2017): Unusually for the rural German setting, Regina Tiedemann's husband Aleksander was née Köhler, and took his wife's name upon marriage. When Clausen comments that this was especially odd in the 1980s, Aleksander replies that he wanted to keep Regina's name alive since she was an only child. It's also implied that doing so added legitimacy to him inheriting the swanky power plant job from his wealthy father-in-law, and helped him hide the fact that he killed a boy named Aleksander Köhler and stole his identity.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor insists that this is the case after Amy Pond and Rory Williams get married, calling the latter Rory Pond despite his weak protests.
  • In In Your Space!, when Bernie is gushing over Amelia, he imagines taking her last name.
  • Kamen Rider Double: Upon marrying Saeko Sonozaki at the start of the series, Kirihiko Sudo takes her surname thanks to the Sonozaki family being very wealthy, owning the Futo Museum, and generally being Kirihiko's social superiors.
  • In Mork & Mindy, Mork takes Mindy's last name (McConnell). This is because Mork has no last name.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: This is standard in witch society, as one might expect given the importance of matrilines. Female witches pass their surnames on to their children and it's their husbands who change their name after marriage, even in the case of Raelle's father Edwin Collar, a civilian, who took his witch wife Willa Collar's name. Outside of witch society, it appears to still be the norm for the father's surname to be passed on among civilians.
  • Orphan Black: Donnie took his wife Alison's surname, Hendrix, in order to be rid of his Embarrassing Last Name Chubbs. Alison's mother considers Donnie pathetic and unmanly for taking his wife's name and still calls him Mr. Chubbs as an insult.
  • Peacemaker (2022) has a lesbian example. Leota Adebayo pointedly takes her wife's last name when she marries her to hide her relation to her mother, Amanda Waller.
  • In Star Trek, it's implied that Betazoid women own their men, even though that would imply slavery, which is illegal in the Federation. But regardless, Betazed is very much a matriarchal society, and the Troi family is the "Fifth House of Betazed", one of the most prestigious noble families and the protectors of the planet's greatest historical treasures. While it isn't an official case, Captain Picard jokingly calls Riker "Mr. Troi" after his marriage to Deanna Troi in Nemesis.
  • In Underground, Tom Macon was born Tom Hawkes. He took his wife's name instead of the other way around, probably due to the Heir-In-Law situation.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Mike Bennett competed in the WWE from 2017 to 2020 (with his real-life wife, the returning Maria Kanellis), taking Maria's real-life last name as part of a gimmick of a young couple in lust with each other.

    Video Games 
  • In the backstory of Corpse Party, the Shinozaki family maintained its spiritual power by having the women in the family marry men willing to discard their family names for the sake of love. Unfortunately, the men who marry into the family have a tendency to die within a few years of their children (almost all female) being born.
  • A variation in Dragon Age: Origins: Oghren took his wife Branka's first name as his new last name due to her status as a paragon (essentially a Physical God) while his family was in the warrior caste. Dwarven society states when a new House is founded, it's named after the paragon that founds it, and the paragon's first name becomes a last name.
  • According to the lead writer of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the ancient hero Nerevar took his wife Ayem's House name, Indoril, upon marrying her. She was a high priestess belonging to one of the Great Houses, whereas he was formerly a caravan guard born to an irrelevant minor house. (Ayem later became the goddess Almalexia.)
  • Played with in Escape from Monkey Island where Elaine took both last names, but because she's such a prominent figure on Melee Island, everyone assumes that protagonist Guybrush Threepwood took her name, leading to a Running Gag of him correcting everyone who calls him "Mr. Marley".
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses: In Bernadetta's non-Azure Moon ending with Felix, she convinces him to marry into House Varley. In their later years, he ends up handling most of the house's documents, signing them as Count Varley.
  • In the Grim Tales series of mystery hidden object games, protagonist Anna Gray eventually marries a man named Dorian Black. However, as clarified in the installment The Generous Gift, he recognizes that Anna's name is synonymous with her detective work, and decides to take her last name instead of having her take his. And yes, this means that he becomes Dorian Gray.
  • Persona 4: If the protagonist romances Yukiko Amagi, on Valentine's Day, she'll tell him that if he marries her, he'll have to take on her family name, since the Amagis run a historical inn. Given that Yukiko's mother is the current manager, it's likely that Mr. Amagi also had to change his former last name.
  • The Sims:
    • In The Sims 2, the couple takes the name of whoever initiates the marriage action. So, quite a few male Sims end up taking their wives' last names.
      • The Capp and Summerdream families of Veronaville seem to follow a matrilineal tradition, as multiple generations show husbands taking their wives' surnames upon their marriage.
      • Jason Greenman (né O'Mackey) from the Seasons expansion pack took his wife Rose's surname. This was apparently out of love for her and possibly a desire to become closer to her PlantSim heritage.
      • The Tricou family of Downtown might fallow the matrilineal tradition as the sons-in-law of the family took their wives' last name and some players have suggested the family patriarch, Jon Smith Tricou, might have originally been Jon Smith and took the Tricou name when he married.
      • A lot of player challenges place restrictions on this (legacy heirs must keep the legacy family name and such) and there are mods to choose the name or to enforce a "traditional" marriage, where different-sex couples take the male Sim's last name and same-sex couples both keep their own last names.
    • The Sims 3 does things slightly differently, with the married couple taking the surname of the Sim who proposed, rather than the one who initiated the marriage ceremony. However, Sims' names can be changed at City Hall in this game, so players could get around this if they wished.
      • Geoffrey Landgraab of Sunset Valley took his wife Nancy's surname upon marriage because the Landgraabs are old-money aristocrats who helped build the town.
    • The Sims 4 does away with name changes upon marriage altogether, but is the first game in the series which allows players to edit characters in Create-A-Sim at any time, so last names of married couples can be changed entirely at the player's discretion.
  • In World Neverland, a newly-married couple has the opportunity to take whichever last name they want, and NPC couples will do so more or less randomly, meaning about half of all in-game couples will have the husband take the wife's name. The exception is if the wife is the head of a Mountain Corps family or the kingdom's Queen or Crown Princess, in which case the husband will automatically take his wife's last name because he is now part of her prestigious family line.
  • Yandere Simulator: The Aishi surname seems to always be passed through the wife. It's notorious for the fact that every woman in the family is a Yandere who kidnaps her high-school Senpai and forces him into a relationship. So, in this case, the husband taking the wife's surname (not by choice) seems to indicate the nature of their relationship and the way Yandere-ism runs in the family.

    Visual Novels 
  • Majikoi! Love Me Seriously!: Yamato Naoe becomes Yamato Kuki in Monshiro's afterstory since the Kuki family is about on par with the heads of first world nations. He quickly gains the status of a Kuki with his own personal attendant (Stacy or Lee) and treatment from servants equal to that of the Kuki siblings.
  • In Parascientific Escape, it's heavily implied that the head of the Amabishi Corporation, Evsej Amabishi, took his wife's name on marriage. He has a Russian first name and his daughter Merja is half-Russian, half-Japanese, which implies that her father is the one she got her Russian heritage from. It's also shown that the Amabishi Corp used to be far more corrupt until Evsej came along and suddenly cleaned it up, which would make sense with someone who joined the corporation suddenly (as by marriage).
  • In the backstory of Umineko: When They Cry, Eva Ushiromiya, having been passed over to be the family heir, married Hideyoshi in the hopes of producing a child when her older brother and his wife had trouble conceiving. For Hideyoshi, who didn't have any remaining family of his own, it was an easy decision to take Eva's last name to make it possible for their son George to be considered as a potential family head.
  • Walkure Romanze: Takahiro manages to form a relationship with Noel or Celia regardless of the difference in class. At the end of their routes, he marries into the Ascot or Aintree families respectively.

    Web Animation 
  • ACTUALLY HAPPENED: After he gets married to his girlfriend Kathie, Noah takes her surname in order to distance himself from his parents.
  • RWBY: RWBY teammate Weiss Schnee's father Jacques Gelè changed his last name upon his marriage to her mother Willow Schnee in order to gain profit and recognition off of the fame the name entailed, specifically the social status of the Schnee family and the Schnee Dust Company. This worked as he was later named the president of the company and successor to his father-in-law Nicholas Schnee.

  • Dominic Deegan: Dominic's father Donovan didn't have a last name before his marriage to Miranda Deegan, on account of being an orphan who didn't know his birth parents' names. Flashbacks show that Miranda used this to guilt-trip her disapproving parents into accepting him.
  • Ennui GO!: When Izzy, Darcy and Tanya marry each other at the end of part 1, Izzy and Tanya take Darcy's last name, Slater; in Izzy's case, it's a sign of her character development in distancing herself from her old self-destructive ways and starting over after dealing with her traumatic past.
  • Kevin & Kell:
    • When Kevin married Kell, he changed his (and his adopted daughter's) last name to his wife's, mainly because he had been disowned by his family. Considering he's a rabbit and Kell's a wolf, the name change was the least of people's concerns.
    • According to the FAQ, Kell convinced Rudy to change his surname from Foxglove (his father's last name) to Dewclaw after his father's death.
    • When Dip marries Caniche, he takes her last name of Chien, since, as a former wild animal, he never had a last name to give her. Or a first name, for that matter: Dip is short for diploma, which was his original occupation, being raised to be eaten by a college graduate (Rhonda, in Dip's case), with their diploma tattooed on him to be removed and tanned after being eaten.
  • Moon Over June has a lesbian example. The former Dr. Summer Winters M.D. made a point to adopt her wife's name after they married because: A) she considered her old name silly in its own right, B) she was tired of being so close to the end of the alphabet, C) she finds her brothers aggravating enough to take any opportunity to distance herself from them, and D) having researched what Akagawa actually means ('Red River') she found it fitting. Hatsuki for her part decided to change her last name essentially on impulse after overhearing Summer answer the phone, leading later to considerable confusion when Doctors Akagawa (M.D.) and Winters (PhD) went before a judge to formally adopt each other's daughters.
  • Downplayed in The Order of the Stick: Daigo hasn't officially taken his wife's last name (Kato), but they've used it for the name of their newly-established noble house. Daigo is saving the reveal his own last name for an emergency where he would need more Nominal Importance in order to survive.
  • In Precocious, the Oven family's surname came from Sydney. Joseph changed his when they married. His reason is quoted below:
    Joseph Oven: I mean, my last name was Brungster! I couldn't subject my kids to that with a clean conscience.
  • Kevyn Andreyasn and "Elf" Foxworthy marry in the four-month Time Skip between Books 16 and 17 of Schlock Mercenary; the fact that he takes her name is never commented on directly, with him being referred to as "Captain Foxworthy" for the first time in passing near the end of Book 17.
  • In Something*Positive, Jason Pratchett decides to take Aubrey Chorde's surname, mostly because of issues with his dad.

    Web Original 
  • Buzzfeed writer Andy Golder was né Neuenschwander and he discussed his reasons for changing his name to his wife's (wanting her to keep the name she used professionally and disliking his own last name, which he found unwieldy), as well as the Double Standard around the act (people automatically assumed his wife would change her name and are taken aback and confused by how he did instead) in this article.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: In "Portrait of Francine's Genitals", Jeff Fischer mentions that he has taken Hayley's last name after marriage, making him Jeff Smith.
  • Arcane: The city council's titles are passed through lineage and when a fan asked the writers about it, the writers confirmed that councilwoman Kiramman kept her surname and her husband took it on.
  • Big City Greens: When Alice Green first met her husband Ernest, she asks him to take her last name upon accepting the proposal, revealing Alice was the one who held the Green family name at the time.
  • In the episode of Hey Arnold! where Arnold dreams he marries Helga, he ends up being called Arnold "Pataki", both to show what a nightmare he thinks marrying her would be and to keep up the mystery of what his surname is.note 
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil:
    • When Star Butterfly's parents married, her father (born River Johansen) took her mother's last name. This is apparently tradition for the Butterfly Family; since the throne is matriarchal and most of its born members are female, the husband of a queen or heiress apparent always takes the Butterfly name so they can continue the lineage.
    • The same thing happened with demon prince Tom's parents. His Mewman father Dave ("maiden" name unknown) took his wife's last name after marrying the demon queen Wrathmelior Lucitor.
  • Heavily implied in Star Wars: The Clone Wars with Cut and Suu Lawquane. Cut is a Clone Trooper who deserted; since Clone Troopers don't have last names, "Lawquane" must have been Suu's last name which Cut adopted after marrying her.
  • Alrich Wren of Star Wars Rebels takes his name from his wife Countess Ursa Wren. This is apparently commonplace on Mandalore, since who gets the family name depends on rank rather than gender.

    Real Life 
  • Jiroemon Kimura, primarily known for being the only male verified to have reached 116 years of age. He was born Kinjiro Miyake, and changed his name on marriage since his wife's family did not have a male heir.
  • NFL's London Fletcher-Baker adopted the Baker to honor his father-in-law.
  • A Hollywood talent manager named Elaine Lively divorced her husband but kept Lively as her surname, rather than go back to her maiden name, McAlpin. In 1979, she married character actor Ernie Brown. Realizing that "Lively" was a much more distinctive last name than "Brown", Ernie adopted his wife's name, using Ernie Lively as a Stage Name. Blake Lively and Eric Lively, the two children of Ernie and Elaine, have Brown as their birth name, but use Lively professionally, matching their half-siblings from Elaine's first marriage, Jason Lively, Lori Lively and Robyn Lively.
  • When John Lennon married Yoko Ono, he legally changed his middle name from Winston to Ono.
  • Jack White was born Jack Gillis and took Meg White's surname when they got married. He kept the last name even after they divorced.