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    N 
  • Eiji Nakamura is either an origami artist, a former sound designer for Square Enix, or a film director and actor.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura wrestles for WWE after a long tenure in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Shunsuke Nakamura is a Japanese football (soccer) player perhaps best known for his late-2000s tenure at Celtic.
  • Yuuichi Nakamura is a voice actor known for playing Graham Aker and Alto Saotome. Yuichi Nakamura is a live-action actor known for playing Yuto Sakurai/Kamen Rider Zeronos. The two are apparently friends in real life.
    • And there's another, much older, voice actor named Yuuchi Nakamura too, but he only does foreign dubs.
  • Namgar is a Buryat-Mongolian folk-rock-fusion band from Russia, led by Namgar Lhasaranova. NAMGAR is the North American MG A Register, which keeps track of a classic English sports car.
  • Jim Nance was the African-American fullback who played for the Boston Patriots in the old AFL. Jim Nantz is the white sportscaster who calls NFL games for CBS alongside Tony Romo.
  • Tony Nathan was a running back for the Miami Dolphins. Tonie Nathan was the Libertarian Party's first Vice-Presidential candidate in 1972.
  • The National Front is either a notorious British fascist organization most prominent in the 1970s, or the modern-day French right-wing party led by Marine Le Pen. In fact, it's a pretty common name for far-right political parties.
  • The National League:
    • In North America (and among baseball fans worldwide), it's the older of the two leagues that make up Major League Baseball.
    • In England, the fifth and sixth tiers of the country's football pyramid, made up of one fifth-level national league and two sixth-level regional leagues, changed their collective name from the Football Conference to the National League in 2015. In a move that approaches Mind Screw levels, the top level of the National League, formerly known as Conference Premier, is... also the National League.
    • And then there's motorcycle speedway (a sport with many parallels to short track speed skating), where the UK has had three National Leagues. The first was the country's top level between 1932 and 1964. Next came the country's second level, which was known as the National League from 1975 to 1990. Finally, the third level renamed itself from the Conference League to the National League in 2009.
  • Keiji Nazakawa: Renowned chef known for going against Iron Chef Japanese Masahara Morimoto? Or Hiroshima a-bomb survivor best known for his manga which tells his story?
  • Rick Neal was the Democratic candidate for U.S. House in Ohio’s 15th congressional district, based in the southern suburbs of Columbus, in 2018. He is known for being LGBTQ and going against Steve Stivers, then the chairman of the NRCC. He should not be confused with Richard Neal, who is actually in Congress, currently serving as the chairman of the Ways and Means committee.
  • British art rock legend Bill Nelson of Be-Bop Deluxe should not be confused with American political legend Bill Nelson, the former Florida senator. Nor with Willie Nelson, for that matter.
  • This one is on a smaller scale, but you have Mike Nelson, MST3K and RiffTrax snarker, and Mike Nelson, weatherman for Denver's ABC affiliate KMGH. And politician Michael "Mike" Nelson, a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
    • Mike Nelson was also the name of Lloyd Bridges's character on Sea Hunt.
  • The NET letters have been used by several television entities:
    • National Educational Television, the predecessor to PBS from 1952-1970;
    • WNET, its successor channel, now known as Channel Thirteen;
    • National Empowerment Television, a short-lived conservative cable TV channel from the 1990's;
    • New Evangelization Television, a Christian cable TV channel based in Buffalo, NY;
    • New Hellenic Television; a Greek TV network;
    • NET S.A., a Brazilian cable TV provider;
    • NET Television, a Maltese TV station;
    • Nihon Educational Television, the former name of TV Asahi in Japan.
  • The NFL has had two offensive linemen named Tom Neville, and they weren't related. One was born in 1943 and played tackle mostly for the Boston/New England Patriots. One was born in 1961 and as a guard, he didn't have close to the same success as the older one, and was fatally shot in 1998 during an altercation with police. Thomas Neville is also the name of not one, but two people involved in the Wars of the Roses.
  • In a momentary lapse of creativity, about 20 cities in Germany are called Neustadt (new town) - not even counting the city quarters called thus. Luckily, Germany is water-rich, and almost each Neustadt is named with its river in brackets to disambiguate.
  • The New York Daily News name is shared by two unrelated newspapers: one, founded in 1855 by Gideon Tucker, flourished under Benjamin Wood, became notable for its racist and pro-Confederate bias, and closed in 1906; the other, founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson (as the Illustrated Daily News), attracted readers with sensational coverage of crime, scandal, and violence, and at one point, it had the largest circulation of any daily newspaper in the United States.
  • The New York Giants football team is actually officially named the New York Football Giants, because when the team was founded one of the city's baseball teams was the New York (now San Francisco) Giants.
    • Speaking of the Giants, neither one is to be confused with Japan's Yomiuri Giants, nor are the Detroit Tigers to be confused with the Hanshin Tigers. The first mistake happened in the second Major League movie, where the Indians' coach is at first happy to hear they've got a player coming in from "the Giants". Similarly, in The Order, during interviews with "Calamity" James Wa the interviewer repeatedly mistakes "the Tigers" that James' dad played with for the team in Detroit.
  • Before The New York Times came out in 1851 (as the New-York Daily Times; the hyphen in the city name was only dropped in 1896), there were seven different publications carrying that name, with the first being published by David Longworth and printed by Nicholas Van Riper in 1813, but they all died out within a few years.
  • The All-America Football Conference had teams called the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s.
  • David Newman the film composer should not be confused with the screenwriter of Superman or the sax player David "Fathead" Newman.
  • Ryan Newman: One's a teen actress known for her roles in Zeke and Luther and See Dad Run, but you probably know the (male) NASCAR driver who won the 2008 Daytona 500 much better. Especially if you live in the American South.
  • Cam Newton has distinguished himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the National Football League. Another Cam Newton did little to distinguish himself as a journeyman goaltender in the World Hockey Association in The '70s.
    • There's also that other Cam Newton who, like the better-known Newton, played for the Carolina Panthers. Too bad he wasn't much more than a reserve defensive back who lasted just two seasons, from 2005-06.
  • Matt Nieto: American left winger for the San Jose Sharks, or Filipino point guard for the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles?
  • No Fear - an international retailer or a white supremacist group? (A chain letter has confused the two; eventually, the latter group had to change its name.). A brand of energy drinks shares that name too.
  • Gary Nolan: Libertarian radio show host or former Cincinnati Reds pitcher?
  • Bill Nye — "Science Guy", nineteenth century humorist, or character in a Bret Harte poem?
    • None of whom, of course, are to be confused with Bill Nighy, whose name is pronounced, but not spelled, the same.
      • Wait, Bret Hart the Canadian professional wrestler?
    • Another Bill Nye, in Seattle no less, was the proprietor of an Outback Steakhouse.

    O 
  • Jim O'Brien coached basketball in Boston (at Boston College) before leaving in 1997 to coach college basketball in Ohio (Ohio State). In 2001 Jim O'Brien, who had previously coached college basketball in Ohio (for Dayton), became head coach of the Boston Celtics. Then there's the Jim O'Brien who played for the Nets. All three were born within three years of each other.
    • Or Jim O'Brien; the former Baltimorenote  Colts kicker remembered mainly for kicking the game-winning field goal in Super Bowl V.
    • Then there's Jim O'Brien, longtime Syracuse DJ.
  • Pat O'Brien is a Canadian politician who shares a name with an Irish politician who died in 1917. Pat O'Brien was an American actor with more than 100 screen credits. Another Pat O'Brien is also the name of an American author and broadcasting personality, best known for his work as a sportscaster for CBS from 1981 to 1997 and for being the anchorperson and host of Access Hollywood, from 1997 to 2004, and The Insider, from 2004 to 2008. Pat O'Brien is also the name of a cocktail maker and owner of Pat O'Brien's Bar in New Orleans. Pat O'Brien is also the name of the guitarist of Cannibal Corpse. Pat O'Brien is also the name of a South African rugby union player.
  • There have been two different men named Hugh O'Connor who died tragically. One was a Canadian filmmaker who was murdered by an angry landlord while filming a documentary in Kentucky coal country in 1967. The other was the adopted son (and In the Heat of the Night co-star) of Carroll O'Connor who committed suicide in 1995 after years of drug problems.
  • Eri Okamura - the stage name of Eri Kitamura back when she was a child star, an artist in Twitter, or an actress who appeared on Kodoku No Gurume?
  • Sean O'Neal is both a former child actor best known for playing Sam on Clarissa Explains It All and the news editor for The Onion's AV Club sister site. Many "Where Are They Now?" sites have incorrectly claimed that the actor O'Neal currently has the writer O'Neal's job. The latter O'Neal has often jokes about the confusion in his columns.
  • Paul O'Neill, former Secretary of the Treasury, Paul O'Neill, former Reds/Yankees outfielder, or Paul O'Neill, founder of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
  • Bill O'Reilly is a conservative American talk show host/political commentator and an Australian cricketer in the 1930s and 40s.
  • Terry O'Reilly, of Canada: former captain of the Boston Bruins, or adwriter and co-creator/writer/host of CBC Radio's The Age Of Persuasion?
    • And neither of them is Terry Riley, composer of minimalist classic In C.
  • John Oates teamed with Daryl Hall to form a popular singing duo, while Johnny Oates was a Major League Baseball player and manager.
  • The city Obama ("Little Beach") in Japan has no connection to Barack Obama. President Obama's name comes from the Luo language.
  • The 2018 special election for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District featured candidates named Kevin Bacon, who is more than six degrees away from the actor, plus Tim Kane and Joe Manchik, not to be confused with U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Joe Manchin, and John Adams, who was never President.
  • There have been two idol singers by the name Nana Okada. One was active in The '70s, although she still stars in movies as recent as 2012, and the other debuted in 2013 as a member of AKB48.
  • Old Trafford is the name of the stadium at which Manchester United F.C. play. It's alsothe name of a cricket stadium about a half-mile away. As if that weren't enough, while the Old Trafford railway station is located right next door to the football stadium, the Old Trafford stop on the Manchester tram system is right next to the cricket stadium, whose staff reportedly have to direct more than a few tourists to its football counterpart every day.
  • One Nation - the infamous former anti-immigration Australian political party once headed by Pauline Hanson, or Sarah Palin's 2011 constitution-draped bus tour of America? Pretty much any politically knowledgeable Australian would accordingly find the implications of the name of Palin's tour either hilarious or disturbing (or both).
  • Orange County is a county in California that features a Disney Parks resort, a county in Florida that features a Disney Parks resort, a county in New York that featured a custom motorcycle shop, or a county in North Carolina that UNC is in. Or a bunch of other counties, but it's these four that are the most notable.
  • John Osborne was a groundbreaking British playwright in the 1950s. He should not be confused with John Osbourne, a groundbreaking heavy metal singer (and arguably the first heavy metal singer) in the 1970s. (Yes, "John" is Ozzy's real first name. He was named for his father, Jack, from whom Ozzy's son more directly takes his name.)
  • Speaking of Ozzy Osbourne, music's Prince of Darkness deserves an entry of his own. He is not to be confused with Oz Osborne (real first name Gregory), bassist of American band Coven, who happened to have a 1969 song entitled "Black Sabbath"!
  • There's Stephen Ouimette the Canadian actor who is best known as the voice of Beetlejuice in the animated series. There's also Steve Ouimette, a guitarist who might be best known for playing on various cover songs in at least two Guitar Hero games.
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    P 
  • Indian DJ Ajit Pai received death threats on his Instagram profile after the FCC, whose chairman was also named Ajit Pai, repealed the net neutrality rules established under Barack Obama.
  • One David Palmer sang lead for Steely Dan on their first album, Can't Buy A Thrill. Another David Palmer was an orchestral arranger and keyboardist in Jethro Tull, who underwent a sex change operation, now going under the name of Dee Palmer. A jazz keyboardist, an American football player who played with the Minnesota Vikings, an English composer, a squash player and a baseball player who played with the Montreal Expos went under the name of David Palmer.
  • Robert Palmer, the guy who sang "Addicted To Love"? Or Robert Palmer, the music critic? To confuse the situation further, Palmer the critic also had a performing career, as a member of the jazz-rock band The Insect Trust (who released a couple albums at the end of The '60s).
  • Jimmy Paredes is a Dominican baseball player who serves as a utility player for the Baltimore Orioles. Jim Paredes is a Filipino musician who was part of well-known 70's to 80's group "Apo Hiking Society". Filipino Orioles fans (particularly older ones) may laugh when the former's name gets announced in Camden Yards.
  • Steve Park - one's a US-Korean comedian. The other is a former NASCAR driver who was teammates with Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. from 2000 to 2003.
  • Football players DeVante Parker and Devante Parker. DeVante, born in 1993, is an African American wide receiver with the Miami Dolphins. Devante, born in 1996, is German with an African American father and plays the sport most of the world knows as football.
  • Nicole Parker: White comedian who formerly starred in Mad TV. Nicole Ari Parker: Black actress who's starred in Remember the Titans and Revolution. The latter is credited without her middle name in some of her earlier movies.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker is the actress who became world-famous for playing Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. Sarah Parker is a judge who served as the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from February 2006 until 2014.
  • There's Dan Patrick, the sports talk show host, and Dan Patrick, the Texas politician. One TV station accidentally put a picture of Sports!Dan Patrick next to his name when covering a Republican runoff primary.
  • Steve Patterson could be a former NBA role player who's best known as the guy who replaced legendary center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as UCLA's starter at the five, or a former NBA executive who's best known as the guy who nearly drove legendary center Hakeem Olajuwon away from the Houston Rockets.
  • Prince Paul: Do you mean Prince Paul Karadordevic of Yugoslavia, or Prince Paul, a producer/rapper associated with De La Soul, Gravediggaz, Stetsasonic and Handsome Boy Modeling School?
  • Anna Pavlova is either the greatest ballerina to ever live or an international elite Russian gymnast who currently competes for Azerbaijan.
  • James Paxton: One is a pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. The other is an actor and the son of the late Bill Paxton.
  • There are two different actresses named Julie Payne, born in 1940 and 1946 respectively. The former's career was mostly in the 1950s and 1960s, while the latter has been active since the 1970s. Many reference books have conflated the two.
  • Amusingly, both Harvard and Yale have a Peabody Museum.
  • Drew Pearson — Newspaper columnist, or Dallas Cowboys wide receiver?
  • John Peel — a beloved DJ for the BBC almost entirely responsible for making British indie rock popular - and John Peel, a writer of science fiction novels (mostly Doctor Who and Star Trek books). And then there's also John Peel, a 19th century hunter and the namesake of a British folk song, and Sir John Peel, a 20th century British politician. The science-fiction author may be (but probably wasn't) the John Peel of Legend Software who co-wrote the Spectrum hit Valhalla; the "Andrew Owen" who was another co-author definitely wasn't the one known on various Speccy forums.
  • Because of this trope, David Harris (the author of Pegasus Mail) has repeatedly requested that it always be referred to as "Pegasus Mail" to distinguish it from other products and services called Pegasus.
  • Carlos Peña, the baseball player, is not the father of Carlos Pena Jr., member of Big Time Rush. The two are unrelated, and the latter is now known as Carlos PenaVega.
  • Carla Pérez (with an accent) is an American actress who played Rita Repulsa in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers when they ran out of Stock Footage. Carla Perez (without an accent) is a Brazilian Dumb Blonde with a nice rear who rose to fame as a dancer in a genre mostly about her assets.
  • Anthony Perkins was an actor best known for his role as Norman Bates in Psycho. Anthony D. Perkins is a leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There is also a meteorologist named Tony Perkins, who should most definitely not be confused with the president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins. The Psycho Perkins actually used the name "Tony" early in his career before landing his most famous role.
  • David Perry from Northern Ireland, the developer of such classics as Earthworm Jim, is not to be confused with Dave Perry, who wrote for a number of British video game magazines. Or with David Perry, a notable filmaker and photographer from Australia.
  • Joe Perry, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back with the 49ers, and Joe Perry, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist with Aerosmith.
  • Katy Perry (of I Kissed A Girl fame) and Katie Perry (an Australian fashion designer), are, you will no doubt be surprised to learn, not to be confused.
    • Even better: Katy Perry's name is a pseudonym. Her real name is Katheryn Hudson. Not to be confused, of course, with the actress Kate Hudson That's why she got it changed. (She had also released an album of Christian music under her birth name, and wanted a name change for her pop career to put some distance between the two identities.)
    • And, had she chosen to adopt her husband's surname during her marriage to Russell Brand, she would have been Katy Brand... which happens to be the name of a British Comedienne. Seems she just can't catch a break on this front.
  • Matthew Perry, the US Navy Commodore who helped open Japan to Western influence, did not star on Friends; he died well before TV was even invented.
  • There are two singers named Steve Perry. One used to sing lead for Journey. The other sings lead for the Cherry Poppin Daddies. There's also the science fiction writer Steve Perry.
  • William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; and William "The Refrigerator" Perry, former NFL player.
  • William Petersen is an actor most famous for his starring roles in Manhunter and CSI. Sir William Peterson (1856-1921) was a noted academic who served as principal of McGill University from 1895 to 1919.
  • There are two running backs in the NFL named Adrian Peterson. Adrian Lewis Peterson is a Pro Bowl and potential Hall of Fame halfback best known for his long tenure with the Minnesota Vikings, and Adrian Nicholas Peterson is a marginal role player who most recently played halfback for the Chicago Bears.
  • Scott Peterson: Do you mean the convicted murderer, the one who writes for Phineas and Ferb, or the comic writer/editor?
    • Scott Petersen was also the brand name of a popular hot dog in the Chicago area.
    • Scot (one "T" instead of two) Peterson was a former police officer who worked at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He was fired from his job after his botched response to the mass shooting at the school in February 2018.
  • There were two Czech singers named Jana Petrů; in order to prevent confusion, the younger one started using the pseudonym Petra Janů.
  • Michael Phelps: White swimming superstar who keeps raking in the Olympic gold in his 30s, or black NBA benchwarmer who was out of the league before he turned 30?
  • The European Parliamentary elections in 2019 saw South East England return two MEPs called Alexandra Phillips, one for the Brexit Party and one for the anti-Brexit Green Party. To add to the fun, the calculations used to determine who was sent saw the Brexiteer Phillips announced immediately before the Green Phillips.
  • One-time Contemporary Christian-turned-mainstream singer Leslie "Sam" Phillips is a doozy depending on which name is being mentioned. If using "Sam" (a childhood nickname that she has recorded under since starting her mainstream career), that name is shared with Sam Phillips, the model and actress and Sam Phillips (male), the early rock-and-roll producer who discovered, among others, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. More confusing, her birth name of Leslie Phillips (used during her CCM days) is shared with British actor Leslie Phillips.
  • London has two places called Plaistow (formally PLAH-stow but more commonly pronounced PLAY-stow); one north of the Thames (formerly in Essex) and the other south (formerly in Kent). To add to the fun, they are both near places called Bromley. The northern ones are distinguished by having Tube (and DLR in the case of Bromley) stations.
  • There are two American coastal cities named Portland – one in Maine on the Atlantic coast, and one in Oregon in the Pacific Northwest. When the site on the Columbia River that would become the latter was organized into a town, the two owners of the land flipped a coin (the "Portland Penny", which is in an Oregon museum) to decide what it would be named. Francis Pettybone of Portland, Maine won, while Asa Lovejoy of Boston, Massachusetts lost. Presumably in some Alternate Universe there's a similar article about Boston, Oregon - and in both universes, there are towns named Boston and Portland in the UK to add just a soupçon more confusion.
  • Michael Portnoy is a multimedia artist known for the "Soy Bomb" incident during the 1998 Grammy Awards. Michael Stephen "Mike" Portnoy is a founding member and former drummer of the Progressive Metal band Dream Theater.
  • Lewis T. Powell was a conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Lewis F. Powell Jr. was a Supreme Court justice from 1972 to 1987.
  • The 2010 Arkansas governor's race had a candidate named Elvis Presley. Elvis D. Presley to be specific, not the King of Rock and Roll. Made even more bizarre since the candidate is also an occasional Elvis Impersonator.
  • The year 2008 saw the release of two short films; Presto by Pixar and Presto! by The Coca-Cola Company. One supposed list of all Pixar films (which despite the title is missing a few) lists the Coca-Cola one.
  • Christopher Priest, the American comic book writer (who these days is usually credited as just "Priest") and Christopher Priest (novelist), the British science fiction writer. The UK Priest has been known to be rather sardonic about this, especially since this isn't the US Priest's real name.
  • David Prowse is the name of both an actor best known for being the physical actor for Darth Vader (but not providing his voice) and a member of the rock duo Japandroids. Jokes have been made about James Earl Jones subbing in for the Japandroids drummer / singer in studio.
  • Rico E. Puno, the former Philippine interior and local government undersecretary, shouldn't be confused with a singer, Rico J. Puno, who's also Filipino.

    Q-R 
  • There are two actresses named Patricia Quinn. One is British and played Magenta in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Nation McKinley in Shock Treatment, Livilla in I, Claudius, and even appeared in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. The other is American and appeared in Alice's Restaurant and a few other things. There was quite a bit of confusion between the two on the internet for a while, with Alice's Restaurant appearing on the list of British Patricia's films. Many Rocky Horror fans have since then sorted things out.
    • And don't confuse either of them for Pat Quinn - whether it's the NHL Hall of Famer, the Ice Bucket Challenge guy, or the former Governor of Illinois.
  • In the south-east of England, there are two towns with the name Rainham, just 21 miles (34 km) from each other: one in the Dagenham area of London, and one in the Medway area of Kent, just east of Gillingham (which, incidentally, is also mentioned on this list).
    • Speaking of, the UK, US, Canada and Australia all have at least one town called Rochester: the UK has two, one also in the Medway and one in Northumberland, the US has several including New York and Minnesota, the Canadian one is in Alberta and the Australian one is in Victoria.
  • Manny Ramirez: Prodigious baseball slugger or NFL offensive lineman?
  • Anne Ramsey was an actress who played villainous mothers in Throw Momma from the Train and The Goonies. Anne Ramsay is the actress who played Jamie's sister on Mad About You.
  • Ed Randell played Upper-Class Twit Justin Finch-Fletchley in the Harry Potter film series, while Ed Rendell is the former governor of Pennsylvania.
  • Under the "Baseball Pitcher or Country Singer" category, there's Jerry Reed and ... Jerry Reed.
    • The country singer's full name was Jerry Reed Hubbard. Not to be confused with Jerry Hubbard, the character Fred Willard played on Fernwood Tonight.
  • There are two London rivers called the Ravensbourne; the one in south-east London is a direct tributary of the Thames, the one in north-east London joins the River Rom where they both become the River Beam.
  • Andy Reid is a sportsperson who really needs to watch his waistline. Now are we talking about the American Football Coach (who coaches the Kansas City Chiefs), or the Irish (Association) Footballer (who plays for Nottingham Forest)?
  • Jimmy Reid was a Scottish trade union activist famous for saving the Glasgow shipyards from closure in the 1970s. Jim Reid is the lead singer of The Jesus and Mary Chain. Jimmy Reed was an early electric blues singer.
    • There's also Filipino teen idol James Reid, who doesn't go by a nickname.
  • Rob Reiner is an actor and director best known as Meathead on All in the Family and as Jordan Belfort's colorful, foul-mouthed dad in The Wolf of Wall Street. Robb Reiner is a Canadian heavy metal drummer, one of two founding members of the seminal band Anvil.
    • Also Robert Lee Reiner, guitarist of 1960s garage rock band The Leaves, who may be just about as old as the guy who played Meathead, but is a completely different person.
  • Paul Revere, Revolutionary War hero and silversmith, should not be confused with the Paul Revere who founded the 1960s pop group Paul Revere and the Raiders. Surprisingly, the latter is an example of this trope because "Paul Revere" is part of his real name, not a stage name; the late keyboardist was born Paul Revere Dick.
  • There are two actors with the name Ryan Reynolds: one is a male film actor, the other is a female voice actor.
    • There is also a Ryaan Reynolds, the female porn actress.
  • Kevin Richardson. Thr most notable of them are voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson, and Kevin Scott Richardson, member of the Backstreet Boys.
  • The great nephew of fighter pilot known as the Red Baron had the same name as his: Manfred Albert Freiherr von Richthofen. Though he only came to prominence when his daughter Suzane arranged to get him killed.
  • ESPN the Magazine has a semi-regular feature called "Right Name, Wrong Number" where they briefly interview someone with the same name as a big figure in the world of sports — with questions only appropriate for the real deal. According to an article on the feature, it takes a couple of tries to get people who are willing to play along.
  • One Richard Riordan was the mayor of Los Angeles in the 1990s. Another Richard Riordan, better known as Rick Riordan, is an author best known for a series of children's books.
  • Richard Rich (director of animated films) shares his name with a controversial historical figure of the 16th century.
  • RKO outta nowhere! However, are we talking about pro wrestler Randal Keith ("Randy") Orton, or the golden age movie studio RKO Radio Pictures?note 
    • It might even refer to the wrestler's father Robert Keith Orton Jr. (AKA: "Cowboy" Bob Orton), or even his grandfather Robert Keith Orton Sr., who was known as simply Bob Orton.
  • Jonathan Roberts is either a professional dancer mostly known as a pro from Dancing with the Stars or for co-writing The Lion King.
  • Julia Roberts, the world-famous actress, does not pitch products on QVC. That's the other Julia Roberts, who is British. And it's also the name of the Washington Spirit soccer midfielder.
  • Robin Roberts: He was a Hall of Fame pitcher who played for the Phillies, Orioles, Astros and Cubs. She is a former ESPN reporter and current co-anchor of Good Morning America.
  • Just look at how many Craig Robinsons there are. The most notable being the actor Craig Phillip Robinson (1971–) of The Office (US); Craig Robinson (1972–) the fashion designer; and Craig Robinson (1962–), college basketball coach and brother of Michelle Obama.
  • Edward G. Robinson was a classic Hollywood actor. He shouldn't be confused with longtime Grambling State football coach Edward G. Robinson, who went by the name Eddie Robinson. When that Eddie Robinson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997, he joined Eddie Robinson, longtime Brown University coach, who'd been inducted in 1955.
  • Jackie Robinson, the legendary second baseman who broke MLB's color barrier, and Jackie Robinson, Syracuse, NY's first African-American female TV news anchor. (When a state exam required eighth graders to write an essay on Jackie Robinson the baseball player, many Syracuse students wrote about Ms. Robinson. The state accepted the essays.)
    • And UNLV basketball fans will also remember a third Jackie Robinson, a forward who was one of the "Hardway Eight", the core players on the Runnin' Rebels' first Final Four team in 1977. After a short NBA career, he went on to become a prominent businessman in Vegas.
    • Amazingly, this Jackie Robinson has to be distinguished in The Other Wiki by his birth year (1955), since there was an earlier basketball-playing Jackie Robinson (born Robert Jackson Robinson in 1927) who was part of Team USA in the 1948 Olympics. Unlike the others mentioned above, this one is white.
  • Mike Rock: voice of Nero from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, or one of the designers of the Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle?
  • Ricardo Rodriguez: Mexican race car driver (and brother of Formula 1 legend Pedro), or Alberto Del Rio's personal ring announcer.
  • Joe Rogan has been a Taekwondo champion, stand-up comic, TV and movie actor, libertarian icon, and UFC commentator, but he never pitched in the Negro Leagues; that was "Bullet" Joe Rogan.
  • As with the Adolf Hitler example (above), the US Navy had an Erwin Rommelnote . Erwin Rommel, USN, distinguished himself in the fighting for Guadalcanal by capturing a heavily defended strategic location. Some things evidently run in families.
  • Kenny Rogers the singer is no relation to Kenny Rogers the pitcher, though the latter's nickname "The Gambler" is a reference to the former.
  • Jimmy Rodgers was an African American banjo player in the 20s and 30s. Jimmie Rodgers was a white country singer during the same era (dying in 1933) who became one of the genre's first superstars, and became one of the first three inductees of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961. Another Jimmie Rodgers, born in the same year the first Jimmie passed away, was a white pioneer of pop-rock in the late 50s/early 60s with songs like "Honeycomb" and "Uh-oh, I'm Falling In Love Again". (The two Jimmies are sometimes known as Jimmie C. and Jimmie F. to distinguish them.)
  • Romani: The Latin word for "Romans" (e.g. Romani ite domum!) which just happens to be the same word for gypsies. And the two words have no etymological connection.
  • Is Danny Rose a defender for Tottenham Hotspur or a striker for Mansfield Town?
  • Alex Ross: the artist for DC Comics, or the music critic for The New Yorker?
  • As the result of the merger between the two football unions in Canada which formed the league (and the fact that the teams were allowed to keep their previous names), from 1958 to 1996, the Canadian Football League had both the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Ottawa Rough Riders. Thankfully averted when the "new" Ottawa franchises were named the Renegades and RedBlacks. They met four times in the Grey Cup.
  • Paul Rudd: the now-deceased actor, better known for his stage performances, or the Frat Pack member?
  • The Runaways: Joan Jett's old group or a team of producers-songwriters which features Ryan Tedder? (and then there's the Marvel comics team)
  • Bill Russell: Boston Celtics great, or longtime Dodgers shortstop?
  • Lord Russell (that is, philosopher Bertrand Russell) and Lord Russell of Liverpool (that is, historian Edward Russell) were confused so often that they wrote a letter to The Times about it.
    TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES:
    Sir,—In order to discourage confusions that have been constantly occurring, we beg herewith to say that neither of us is the other.
    Yours, &c,
    RUSSELL (Bertram, Earl Russell)
    RUSSELL OF LIVERPOOL (Lord Russell of Liverpool)
    • What makes this even more confusing is that some Lords named Russell are in fact related to the Earl Russell (the 1st Earl was a younger son of the Duke of Bedford, and other junior lines of the Russell family have been elevated to the peerage, as well.)
  • Matt Ryan: Quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, or Welsh actor known for playing Edward Kenway in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and the titular John Constantine in the Constantine TV seriesnote ?

    S 
  • The Cardinals NFL franchise originated in Chicago and is currently located in Arizona, but in between spent many years as the St. Louis Cardinals. Oddly enough, however, the team was never referred to as the "St. Louis Football Cardinals" very often, despite the presence of the better-known baseball franchise by that name.
  • St James' Park is the home of Newcastle United. Remove the apostrophe and you get Exeter City's (or Brackley Town's) home ground. Neither should be confused with the Royal Park in London called St James's.
  • Sumie Sakai is either a Japanese professional wrestler or an Anime voice actor.
  • A summer 2011 Reality Show Same Name is all about this. Celebrities and non celebrities with the same names switch lives for a week. First up: David Hasselhoff.
    • Briefly parodied on Jon Benjamin Has A Van. There's a preview for a supposed sketch in which two non-celebrities with the same celebrity name switch places for a day.
  • Adam Sandler: Actor and comedian who started out on Saturday Night Live and starred in such films as Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, or producer on The Price Is Right. Hilariously, the latter joined TPIR shortly after the release of Billy Madison, which had an appearance by (then-)host Bob Barker.
  • Jerry Sandusky is the former defensive coordinator for Penn State University, convicted of molesting at least eight young boys in the scandal that led to an entire housecleaning of the Penn State football program following the subsequent coverup by the head of University Police, even those who did report it and/or had no prior knowledge were dismissed due to Guilt by Association, but it reached further up, leading to the firing of AD Tim Curley and even including the resignation of longtime university president Graham Spanier. Gerry Sandusky is a Baltimore sportscaster and play-by-play voice for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens (who, on the first game he worked after the Penn State scandal, referenced the similarities of their names and emphasized that he was not the former Penn State assistant)
  • Carlos Santana: Guitar legend, or former Cleveland Indians catcher?
    • When the latter signed for the Pittsburgh Pirates in December 2017, his name started trending on Twitter. Considering the usual reason nowadays celebrities get trendingnote , non-baseball fans assumed the worst...
  • There is a YouTuber named Matthew Santoro as well as a movie director/visual effects artist named Matthew Santoro who did visual effects for 300.
  • Sav-On is an American drug store chain. Save-On-Foods is a Canadian grocery store chain. Not to mention tons of other businesses with identical or similar names.
  • Dan Schneider, the guy who wrote that cinematic masterpiece, Good Burger, or the controversial writer/poet/critic who Roger Ebert praised a few years back?
  • John Schneider: One is a actor and country singer note  well known for his role as Beauregard "Bo" Duke. The other is a screenwriter and producer note  and older brother of actor and comedian Rob Schneider mentioned below.
  • Robert Schneider note  sings for The Apples In Stereo. Bob Schneidernote  is an entirely different singer known for being the lead vocalist of the band Ugly Americans. And neither of them is to be confused with Adam Sandler's buddy Rob Schneidernote 
  • Gerhard Schröder, the Social Democratic former chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, should not be confused with the late Gerhard Schröder, Christian Democratic former foreign and defense minister. Or several other Gerhard Schröders.
  • Robert Schumann the German composer, and Robert Schuman the French prime and foreign minister who was centrally involved in the creation of the European Union.
  • There's two American authors named Alvin Schwartz. One writes for DC Comics and the other wrote Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
  • David Schwimmer is either an American actor best known for playing Ross Geller in Friends. He is also a banker who is the CEO of the London Stock Exchange group.
  • Hillary Scott, as in the singer with Lady Antebellum, is very much not to be confused with Hillary Scott the porn actress (who came first - if you'll excuse the expression - since she was born three years before the singer).
  • R&B singer Jill Scott does not play for England in the Women's World Cup.
  • Tony Scott, director, had to apologize to Tony Scott, school superintendent, after filming disrupted classes.
  • David Seaman was a goalkeeper for Arsenal and England. Dave Seaman is a house DJ. (As Dave is the shortened version of David, it's basically the same name.)
  • John Sebastian could be the gentle American singer best known for his time in the Lovin' Spoonful and as a solo singer of TV themes, or the vicious Filipino wrestler who competes as a heel in Philippine Wrestling Revolution.
  • Mark Seibert is an American composer and German musical theatre actor. The confusion is helped by the fact that The Other Wiki only has information for the composer in English and the actor in German.
  • It's easier to mix up Tomokazu Seki (the voice of Touji, Yzak Joule, and Gilgamesh) and Toshihiko Seki (voice of Legato Bluesummers, Mousse, and Senketsu) than you might think.
    • This was especially difficult in Gingitsune whose cast included both of them AND Creator/Tomokazu Sugita.
  • Jane Seymour: Consort of Henry VIII or modern British actress (who borrowed her Stage Name from the former. Her birth name was Joyce Frankenburg).
  • Stephanie Seymour: supermodel and longtime circuit court judge.
  • Michael Shanks is both a real-life archaeologist, and an actor who plays an archaeologist in Stargate SG-1.
  • Robert Shaw was an English actor who starred in such movies as The Sting and Jaws, as well as an American conductor of choral music.
  • Jean Shepherd was a male humorist and radio personality best known for writing and narrating A Christmas Story, while Jean Shepard is a female country music singer.
  • Between 1900 and 2008, there were two London Underground stations called Shepherd's Bush, until one was renamed Shepherd's Bush Market.
  • Richard M. Sherman is the brother of Robert Sherman, who co-wrote the songs for Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Richard K. Sherman is a Seattle Seahawks cornerback.
  • Robert Sherman of the same songwriting team also shares his name with a Goodson-Todman game show producer.
  • Two famous Ukrainians by the name of Andriy Shevchenko, soccer player or politician?
  • During the SNK run of Psycho Soldier, Athena is voiced by a singer named Kaori Shimizu. Right now, there's also a voice actress named Kaori Shimizu.
  • Luke Short (1854-1893) was a famous gunfighter and Dandy of The Wild West. Luke Short (born Frederick Dilley Glidden, 1908-1975) was a notable author of Western Literature.
  • Dan Shulman is a baseball and basketball announcer for ESPN. Daniel Shulman is a bassist who has recorded and toured with Garbage.
  • Lauren Silverman is a Manhattan socialite who became famous for having an extramarital affair (and a baby) with former American Idol judge Simon Cowell. She shouldn't be confused with Laura Silverman, a comedian and actress who's the older sister (and frequent costar) of Sarah Silverman.
  • Bill Simmons — the sportswriter known as "The Sports Guy", or the former competitive eating champion known as "El Wingador"?
  • Gene Simmons was not the female lead in Stanley Kubrick's version of Spartacus. Likewise, Jean Simmons is not the long-tongued bass player for KISS.
  • Paul Simon (the musician) and Paul Simon (the politician). When the latter was running for President in 1988 there was a Saturday Night Live skit in which both men appeared, each assuming he was the one who'd been invited on the show.
    • In the UK at least, there's also a chain of furniture stores called Paul Simon.
  • Donald Sinclair could either be the apparently kindly but eccentric British veterinarian who inspired the James Herriot character "Siegfried Farnon" or the apparently deranged British hotel operator who inspired Fawlty Towers. By all accounts, the vet was a much nicer person (both Donald Sinclairs are now deceased).
  • Several famous people share the name John Sinclair. One was a British politician, statistician, and agriculturalist, known for a discussion with George Washington on cultivating hemp. Another was an American poet, music manager, and activist, best known for facing a ten-year sentence for marijuana possession. (And if you are a German, you will automatically think of Ghost Hunter John Sinclair, a long running pulp series.)
  • Sky could be an instrumental soft-rock group, or a satellite broadcaster and ISP.
  • In gaming, a sky box is a technique used to make the sky look far distant. In satellite broadcasting, a Sky Box is the decoder box used with Britain's domestic satellite provider.
  • Is Craig Smart a Canadian musician or an Australian journalist?
  • The NBA has had three players named Charles Smith. One was a forward/center who had a decent career as the third selection in the 1988 draft, but is known for an embarrassing moment in the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals, where he was blocked four straight times under the basket in a futile attempt to put the New York Knicks ahead in the dying seconds of Game 5 against the Chicago Bulls. One was a star point guard for Georgetown who played in the 1988 Olympics, but didn't last long as an undrafted player. Yet another Charles Smith, a guard, entered the NBA in 1998 as a late first-round pick, and had an eight-year journeyman career.
  • One Dave Smith is the go-to archivist for The Walt Disney Company. Another is a synthesizer pioneer who founded Sequential Circuits (which created the Prophet-5 polysynth) and helmed the creation of MIDI. Another Dave Smith was a relief pitcher for the Houston Astros in the 1980's.
  • When you mention the name Jimmy Smith to a Jaguars fan, he or she will think of the underrated wide receiver who was considered the Jags' best player throughout the late 90's and 2000's. Mention the same name to a Ravens fan, and he or she will think of the relatively decent cornerback that is currently the Vens' best defensive back.
    • Then there's Jimmy Smith the '50s-60s jazz organist.
  • Oddly enough, averted with Canadian wrestler (with British gimmick) Johnny Smith (in a world FULL of "John Smiths", you'd think there was a SECOND pro wrestler whose real name was John Smith, right? There is now; it's the real name of Simon Gotch).
  • the 11th Doctor on Doctor Who, Matt Smith, obviously has quite a few namesakes, and not just in the entertainment industry.
  • The Oscar-winning Sam Smith (born male, but identifies as non-binary) is not the former child actor, a TV presenter, a former tennis player or the first British civilian to be killed by aerial bombardment. Nor should any of these be confused with female country star Sammi Smith or child diplomat Samantha Smith.
  • For more same-name, same-position goodness, check out Steve Smith. One's a now-retired Pro Bowl wide receiver, first with Carolina and then with Baltimore; the other's a Pro Bowl wide receiver for the New York Giants. When Wikipedia lists two players with same name, it usually distinguishes by either sport or position. For a long time, these two guys were distinguished in their title pages by their birth year—but since the NFL started allowing players to include generational suffixes with their names on uniforms, the Baltimore player (who has a son with the same name) is now listed both with the league and Wikipedia as "Steve Smith Sr."
    • Non-American football example: Australian cricketer Steve Smith.
    • An NBA example: Steve Smith, former guard for the Miami Heat.
    • There's also Stevin Smith, who briefly played in the NBA in 1997 and served some time in jail for his role in the early-'90s Arizona State basketball point shaving scandal.
    • In the NHL: Steve Smith, longtime defenseman for the Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames.
    • Also the Canadian actor Steve Smith AKA Red Green.
    • And the American drummer Steve Smith, formerly of Journey.
    • The Other Wiki has entries for 80 people with some variation of the name "Steve Smith".
  • Susan Smith: the 1981 Playboy Playmate of the Month who became an actress? The television scriptwriter, playwright, novelist and essayist? The geographer who helped founded Institute of Advanced Study? Or the infamous woman who drowned her two children in a lake?
  • Will Smith: Posh, British comedian who appears on Radio 4 Panel Games and has a Bergerac fixation, the now-deceased New Orleans Saints defensive end, or African-American rap artist and star of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Men in Black?
    • The comedian actually mentions this in some of his routines: "Obviously I'm not the actual Will Smith, but..."
    • Also, the former editor-in-chief of Maximum PC was a Will Smith.
    • The Saints player had "not to be confused with the actor Will Smith" on his Twitter bio, and news of his murder had plenty of people scared thinking it was the Fresh Prince.
    • In September 2019, rookie Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith went to bat against San Francisco Giants catcher Will Smith.
  • Sonic is a fast blue hedgehog, a fast-food restaurant chain, or a fast black-clothed ninja.
  • South Holland: A province in the Netherlands, a city in Illinois south of Chicago, and a council in Lincolnshire, England.
  • In tennis, there is a Portuguese player named João Sousa and a Brazilian player named João Souza. These players even had to play each other at least once; the umpire distinguished between the two of them by referring to them as "Sousa, Portugal" and "Souza, Brazil."
  • Steve Spurrier: American Football great who won the Heisman Trophy and played in the NFL, then had successful coaching stints at Florida and South Carolina. Steven Spurrier: wine merchant who organized the Judgment of Paris 1976 taste test, later played by Alan Rickman in Bottle Shock.
  • The first UK branch of Staples is at Staples Corner, near Brent Cross in London. Although this particular site may have been chosen because of the coincidence, it is a coincidence – both the store chain and the location were named long before they got together.
  • Evan Stanley is either the son of Paul Stanley, a professional wrestler, or a writer/artist best known for work on the Sonic the Hedgehog comics (and female).
  • Kenneth W. Starr is a former American independent counsel who investigated Bill Clinton, and was president of Baylor University before being fired in 2016 following a sexual assault scandal involving the school's football team. Kenneth I. Starr is the alleged perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme that allegedly took advantage of celebrities like Annie Leibovitz and Ron Howard. Kenny Starr is a country singer. Kenn Starr is an American rapper.
  • Michael Steele — The original bass player for The Bangles, or Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2009 to 2011?
  • Sten — Poster child of Reliably Unreliable Guns, or a science-fiction novel series?
  • Tyler Stentiford, teenage author from Florida or teenage actor from Ontario?
  • Is Howard Stern a shock jock or the sometimes-boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith? The former apparently considered legally changing his name to "The Howard" at one point to avoid confusion with the latter.
  • Gary Stevens: The Other Wiki lists at least eight examples. Three of them are English football/soccer players, born respectively in 1954, 1962, and 1963 (the youngest of these is the best-known overall). Another well-known one is the American Hall of Fame jockey.
  • There's novelty singer Ray Stevens. And then there's pro wrestling great Ray "The Crippler" Stevens.
  • Christin Stewart is a major league baseball player. He is totally different than lip-biting actress Kristen Stewart. Then there is Shannon Stewart the former MLB baseball player and Shannon Stewart, the Playboy Playmate and model.
  • Ian Stewart, the English mathematician, and Iain Stewart, the Scottish geologist. Both great science popularisers who have appeared on The BBC, but not the same person. Nor are they the same person as the Ian Stewart who played keyboards with The Rolling Stones, or the Ian Stewart who played third base for the Colorado Rockies.
    • Not surprisingly, there are several more notable people with variations of one or the other of the above names, including The Rolling Stones founding member and the mathematician/science fiction author. The latter may or may not be the same person as the author of a few books about the ZX Spectrum, or the non-science-fiction author. As of this edit, Wikipedia lists seventeen people named Ian Stewart, five named Iain Stewart, and five named Ian Stuart. One person in the last group was thriller writer Alistair MacLean, who published two of his many novels as Ian Stuart.
  • Jeff Stewart: Scottish actor known for The Bill, or American voice actor known for voicing Mr. Tickle in The Mr. Men Show?
  • Sarah Stiles: A New York actress who played Kate Monster and Lucy in Avenue Q and Joanne in Vanities: The Musical, a Utah photographer, a Georgetown University professor, or a San Francisco composer?
  • Firefighter and Emergency! actor Mike Stoker hasn't branched out into politics. That would be the other Mike Stoker, a Republican from California (who hasn't won thus far). This has created much confusion among fans of Firefighter Stoker and the Emergency! series.
  • George Strait: Country music singer or former ABC News correspondent?
  • Captain Dorothy Stratton (1899-2006) was the first director of the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve. Dorothy Stratten (1960-1980) was Playmate of the Year for 1980 and the victim of a murder case.
  • James Stuart, the name of more than one Scottish/English king, including the namesake of the city and the state of New York and the famous children's nursery rhyme (as the Duke of York); and James Stewart, the birth name of Stewart Granger, as well as long, tall Jimmy Stewart the actor, neither of whom was from New York. It's also the name of a popular motocross racer.
  • Two powerful Middle Eastern rulers named Solomon, one called "the Wise", the other called "the Magnificent", are famous for, among other things, building magnificent temples, one in Jerusalem, the other in Istanbul. While the latter is often called Suleyman, this is actually the rendering of the name Solomon in Arabic (so that the original Solomon is referred to as Suleyman in the Qu'ran, for example). Suleyman the Magnificent actively invoked this trope as he was building the Suleymaniya Mosque.
  • Sting is a pro wrestler and a musician.
  • Is Luis Suárez a Spanish footballer who was one of the best midfielders of the 50's, 60's and 70's? Or is he a controversial Uruguayan footballer who's currently one of the best strikers in world football? To make things even more confusing, these two guys both played for FC Barcelona (albeit not at the same time; the Spanish Suárez played for the Blaugrana from 1955-1961, while the Uruguayan Suárez wasn't born until 1987, and has been plying his trade at the Camp Nou since 2014). Ways to avoid this confusion include using the former's full name, Luis Suárez Miramontes (the current Luis Suárez is called Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz), or referring to the latter as Luisito (in the diminutive, as he's the younger one) Suárez.
  • There are two Alaskan politicians named Dan Sullivan. One is the former mayor of Anchorage, the other is an incumbent Senator. The Anchorage mayor actually considered running for Lisa Murkowski's Senate seat in 2016 with the other Sullivan in his second year in Congress, which means there could have been two senators of the same name from the same state at the same time.
  • Sun Studio — The recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee, USA where did Elvis Presley record his hits, or a Scandinavian dubbing studio based in Denmark (with branches in Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Iceland, Poland, Russia, Czech Republic and Hungary) that was bought by SDI Media Group in September 2006 and absorbed by that company three years later?
  • Surrey could be in England, or in British Columbia. To add to the confusion, both have towns called Guildford.
  • There are two actors called Hiroki Suzuki: the one who played Jan Kandou/GekiRed in Juken Sentai Gekiranger, and the one who appeared in Kamen Rider Decade as Kazuma Kendate, the multiverse's version of Kazuma Kenzaki.
  • Scott Swift: Do you mean the admiral serving as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet or do you mean the father of Taylor?

    T 
  • Talk Talk are both a 1980s group (and one of their songs), and a present-day British ISP, as well as a 1966 hit by the garage rock band The Music Machine.
  • Rie Tanaka, popular seiyu and singer and Rie Tanaka, the gymnast.
  • Elizabeth Taylor the actress or Elizabeth Taylor the novelist?
  • One James Taylor is a jazz Hammond organ player. Another sang "Sweet Baby James" and "Fire And Rain". But not "Celebration" and "Ladies Night" — that was a third James Taylor — the titular "Kool".
  • Jeff Taylor: An American NBA player and his son, a Swede who played three seasons in the NBA before returning to Europe to play. Slightly averted because the son more commonly goes by his full first name of Jeffery.
  • Richard Taylor created some truly Visual Effects of Awesome: One for TRON and one for WETA (I'm pretty sure these were two different people because when one Richard was creating Tron in America the other was making puppets from things found while dumpster diving in New Zealand).
  • Roger Taylor of Queen did not play drums in Duran Duran. That was the other Roger Taylor. In fact, the former briefly went by his full name, Roger Meddows Taylor, to avoid confusion with the latter. Neither of them have any connection with the 1960s British tennis player of that name. Or the Professor Roger Taylor that Queen bandmate Brian May co-authored a book on photography with in 2018.
  • Devin Taylor is an American football player for the Detroit Lions, a WWE NXT Diva/interviewer and a model/Big Beautiful Woman. (Do not do an image search for the last named at work.)
  • Mark Teixeira the baseball player or Mark Texeira the comic book artist?
  • One of the writing staff on Scrubs is named Dave Tennant. No, he's never set foot in a TARDIS.
    • David Tennant's real name is David MacDonald. He uses "Tennant" as a screen name because the Actors' Union Equity already had a David MacDonald. "Tennant" was a homage to Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys.
    • Dave MacDonald was also an American race car driver in the 1960s who infamously crashed in a fireball at the 1964 Indy 500.
  • There is at least one other Osamu Tezuka. Apparently, he is/was a composer.
    • Director Osamu Dezaki is at risk for getting mixed up in it too, especially since he adapted some of Tezuka's creations.
  • Theodore the Second, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria is not a case of the Chalcedonian and Coptic claims to said see being reconciled for the first time since 536.
  • Dave Thomas is the name of both the founder of the Wendy's restaurant chain and a Canadian actor (best known for the Bob and Doug McKenzie sketches with Rick Moranis). In terms of Real Life examples, this may be the closest two people with the same name are to being equally famous. It helps that "Dave Thomas" is a pretty generic name.
  • Frank Thomas is the name of one of Disney's Nine Old Men, a Hall of Fame designated hitter for the Chicago White Sox, and a slugger from the 1950's and 1960's who spent most of his career with the Pirates and Mets - among others.
  • To Indiana Hoosiers and Detroit Pistons fans, Isiah Thomas is known as a Hall of Fame basketball player who helped lead Indiana to an NCAA championship and the Bad Boy Pistons to multiple championships; New York Knicks fans don't think the same way of him. In the modern day NBA, however, Isaiah Thomas is a current Denver Nuggets point guard who's around 5'9" (noticeably shorter than Isiah, who wasn't exactly a giant at about 6'1") who was drafted as the final pick of the 2011 NBA Draft and provides pretty good numbers in his career as well; New York Knicks fans also boo him a lot because of the former name's past business with the Knicks.
  • Rob Thomas. One is best known as the lead vocalist for Matchbox Twenty. The other is best known for Veronica Mars and iZombie. Apparently the latter Rob Thomas is a fan of the former, as he cast his namesake in the season 2 finale of iZombie, where he plays himself, performs one of his songs, and gets his brains eaten by zombies.
  • Jack Thompson, Australian actor. Jack Thompson, a former attorney known for his crusades against violent video games.
    • Another Jack Thompson was a former quarterback nicknamed the "Throwin' Samoan"; that was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1979note  only for incumbent starter Ken Anderson (batting injuries shortly before then) going on to the best seasons of his career afterward.
  • Richard Thompson: One worked in animation (primarily on Chuck Jones-directed Looney Tunes shorts), and another was a comic strip cartoonist best known for Cul de Sac. Yet another is a British musician: guitarist, singer, songwriter and founding member of Fairport Convention.
  • Scott Thompson: One is a Canadian actor and comedian best known as one of the The Kids in the Hall. Another is an American actor and comedian, but most know him better as Carrot Top. And Scot Thompson was a journeyman outfielder who played for the Cubs, Giants, and Expos.
  • There are two athletes named Jim Thorpe. One is an African-American golfer. The other was a Native American Olympian and professional football and baseball player.
  • A subtle, non-English variety. Tonkin, Vietnam, and Tokyo, Japan (and historically, Kaifeng, China, when it was known as Dongjing). All these names are written the same way in Chinese characters, 東京, meaning "Eastern Capital" although pronounced differently in local languages.
    • Although in Japanese, Tokyo's full name is "Tokyoto" (although the second to ideogram is different from the first) meaning "Eastern capital city".
  • Jean-Pierre Tokoto: A Cameroonian football/soccer player who ended his playing career in the original North American Soccer League and stayed on in the U.S. as a coach, and his grandson, currently trying to break into the NBA. As in the case of the Jeff Taylors, it's averted by the younger Jean-Pierre, who instead uses his initials.
  • Supposedly defied in case of Toronto, Canada. It was formerly named York, after the English city of the same name. It allegedly changed name to Toronto, after name of the area in the native language, because it did not want to be " the other York" in the New World also (after New York City).
  • Fringe star Anna Torv shares her name with Rupert Murdoch's second wife.
  • President Harry S. Truman, and Harry R. Truman, proprietor of the Spirit Lake Lodge, who was buried alive during the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.
  • Sophie Turner is either a British actress who plays Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones or an Australian model.
  • Donald Trump is either a business mogul who became the 45th president of the USA, or a Buffalo, New York oncologist. And that's all that needs to be said about this.
  • Sporting News actually received a letter from someone asking if heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson was related to the former Cardinals and Cubs infielder with the same name. Their response: "Take a look at the two. They are obviously not related."

    U-V 
  • Veteran seiyuu Yuji Ueda and newcomer seiyuu Yoji Ueda have occasionally been subject to this trope since the latter's debut.
  • Karl Urban is either an actor from New Zealand known for his genre roles, or a World War I flying ace from Austria.
  • Usa, a town in Japan. Note that contrary to urban myth, the town was called Usa for at least a thousand years before the USA came into being; it was not named specifically so that goods made there could be misleadingly labelled "Made in Usa", and claims that the coincidence was abused for this purpose are disputed.
  • Theo van Gogh: One was a brother of Vincent van Gogh; the other was his great-grandson who was a film director later murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri.
  • Keith Van Horn was a forward who played 9 seasons in the NBA (mostly with the New Jersey Nets). Keith Van Horne was an offensive tackle who played 13 seasons in the NFL (all with the Chicago Bears).
  • The Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice, founded as a city in 1905 but part of L.A. since 1926, is one of many New World locations named after a more famous Old World city, but the trope is doubly invoked in case of St. Mark's Catholic Church in the L.A. community, like the St. Mark's Cathedral in the Italian city.
  • Sid Vicious, bassist for the Sex Pistols or Sid Vicious, "The Man that Rules the World"?
  • Pancho Villa, legendary Mexican outlaw and revolutionary (real name: José Doroteo Arango Arámbula) or Pancho Villa, legendary Filipino flyweight boxing champion of the world (real name: Francisco Guilledo)?
  • David Vincent: One is a Voice Actor who specializes in anime and Video Games, the other is lead singer of the Death Metal band Morbid Angel. Neither should be confused with the hero of the 1967 science fiction series The Invaders.
  • "Viz" is the name of an anime and manga distributor. It is also the name of a slightly raunchy magazine in the UK.
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    W 
  • Alex Wade has been the name of an American architect, a British journalist, and a member of the Death Metal band Whitechapel.
  • Is Benjamin Wade a senator from Ohio, a major league baseball player, or "Coach", the Cloudcuckoolander of Survivor who nicknamed himself "The Dragon Slayer?"
  • Robert Wagner is the name of the male lead on Hart to Hart and a past president of South Dakota State University. Bob Wagner was the head coach of the University of Hawaii football team from 1987-1995.
  • Mark Wahlberg is a rapper turned actor. Mark Walberg (no h) is a comedian and game show host.
  • There is an actor named Thomas G. Waites, who was in The Thing (1982). No relation to Tom Waits, although Kurt Russell lampshades this in the DVD commentary for the film.
    "Hey, it's Tom Waits!"
    • Interestingly, Waites' character in the film has trouble establishing any kind of transmission to the outside world, and is named Windows. Russel's character is an alcoholic loner who destroys his computer after it beats him at chess, and is named Mac. Neither operating system existed when the film came out.
  • Doug Walker is the creator of Channel Awesome and the actor behind The Nostalgia Critic, a British Christian musician, and a Disney layout artist.
    • Similarly, his brother and contributor Rob Walker is also a former New York state assemblyman.
  • Jimmy Walker was the flamboyant mayor of New York City from 1926 until being forced to resign in 1932 in a corruption scandal, and is also a golfer who won the 2016 PGA Championship. There's also Jimmie Walker, comedian and actor best known for his role in Good Times.
  • Scott Walker is an American-born British singer who had success in the 1960s and 1970s, both with the Walker Brothers and as a solo act; a Wisconsin governor who came under fire in 2011 over his plan to suspend collective bargaining rights for most of the state's public-sector employees and ran for president in 2016; and a longtime NHL hockey player.
  • Chris Wallace: Mike Wallace's son? Or a legendary rapper from Brooklyn? Or ex-frontman of The White Tie Affair?
  • George Wallace was the name of a segregationist Alabama governor and Presidential candidate, as well as the name of a standup comic. A black standup comic.
  • Mike Wallace, promising young Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver. There's also Mike Wallace, longtime 60 Minutes reporter. Frequently lampshaded by Keith Olbermann on Football Night in America. Then there's Mike Wallace, brother of 1989 NASCAR Cup Series champion Rusty Wallace.
  • Wallkill is the name of not one, but two municipalities in New York. One is a hamlet in Ulster County while the other is a town in Orange County. The two counties are right next to each other, but the hamlet and town are not.
  • Robert Walser was a Swiss writer (1878-1956) much admired by Franz Kafka and Susan Sontag, and also an American musicologist specialising in heavy metal.
  • Joe Walsh is a rock guitarist, of Eagles fame, and a Congressman from Illinois, affiliated with the Tea Party. Notably, the musician Walsh played a fundraiser for the politician Walsh's opponent, now-Senator Tammy Duckworth, in her successful 2012 campaign against him.
  • There were two Chinese skaters in the 2010 Olympics named Wang Meng. Talk about confusing!
    • They share their name with Wang Meng (c. 325–375), a politician of the Former Qin Dynasty. With Wang Meng (c. 1308–1385), a notable painter of the Yuan Dynasty. And with Wang Meng (1934–), a modern novelist who served a term as Minister of Culture in Red China. The family name Wang is very common.
  • War of 1812 in United States (and Canada) was the invasion of the latter by the former. (Patriotic) War of 1812 in Russia was the invasion of that country by the French under Napoleon.
  • Joel Ward is an athlete who's an underrated threat on the right flank. Are we talking about the veteran hockey player who plays Right Wing for the San Jose Sharks, or the relatively young footballer who is Crystal Palace's starting Right Back?
  • Jack Warner: One of the Warner Bros., a British wartime comedian turned actor and avuncular star of Dixon of Dock Green, or a controversial Trinidadian former football executive?
    • Referenced by Jeremy Hardy on The Now Show during a story on FIFA corruption "Jack Warner always said there was nothing worse than a bent copper! I can't believe he let us down!"
  • When Kurt Warner, the supermarket stockboy turned NFL quarterback, first showed up out of nowhere with the then-St. Louis Rams in the late 1990s, several sportswriters thought it was Curt Warner, a not-all-that-successful Seattle Seahawks running back from the 1980s, trying to make a comeback. Even though Kurt is white and Curt is African American.
    • Probably didn't help that Curt Warner also played for the first version of the Los Angeles Rams at the end of his career.
  • Chris Warren, a two-time All-Pro running back who spent most of his NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks, shares his name with two different American-born European basketball players, as well as the lead musician of a house band who worked with the WWF in the late '90s; they sang D-Generation X's entrance music and did a theme for Triple H.
  • George Washington (1732-1799) was the first President of the United States. His grandnephew George Corbin Washington (1789-1854) was a congressman, plantation owner, businessman, and diplomat. George Washington (1817-1905) was an African-American freeborn man and founder of Centralia, a town in Washington state. Later on, Anglo-Belgian inventor George Louis Washington (1871-1946) developed the first commercially successful process for making instant coffee (which made him popular with American and Canadian doughboys during World War I).
  • There were two different baseball franchises called the Washington Senators. The first one moved to Minnesota in 1961 and became the Twins. The second one started play when the first one left, then moved to Texas in 1972 and became the Rangers. The team that currently plays in Washington was going to be called the Senators as well, but the city government vetoed that since the District of Columbia isn't actually represented in the Senate.
    • Interestingly, the current Washington Nationals are also the second baseball franchise of that name. The first Washington Senators, founded in 1901, changed their official name to "Nationals" in 1905. Despite this, the "Nationals" and "Senators" names were used interchangeably for the next 50 years; the team officially became the "Senators" again in 1956.
  • We have the state of Washington and Washington DC (i.e. the District of Columbia). Bonus points, since the state of Washington could have become known as the state of Columbia, as it was the American half of the Columbia Territory (the British half of which became known as British Columbia).
  • Ian Watkins was the lead singer of Lostprophets. Ian Watkins - using his stage name "H" - is/was a member of Steps. In a case of Critical Research Failure, the latter was abused on Twitter and misidentified by E! Entertainment Television after the former was jailed in 2013 on child sexual abuse charges.
  • Auteur anime director Shinichiro Watanabe (of Cowboy Bebop, Macross Plus and Samurai Champloo fame) is not the same guy as auteur anime director Shinichi Watanabe, a.k.a. Nabeshin (known for Excel Saga and Nerima Daikon Brothers), although you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Nabeshin himself has made jokes about this in his shows.
  • Steve Watson: Two white athletes born Stephen Watson in 1957, both standing over 6 feet tall and capable of big numbers in their respective sports. One is an American football player who made the Pro Bowl as a Denver Broncos wide receiver in the early '80s. One is a Filipino-Australian basketball player for Ateneo who was so good in high school he was allowed to play for his college varsity team as a HS senior. Later played in the PBA, but failed to live up to his college billing. (Unlike the American Steve Watson, who was a success in the NFL despite being undrafted.)
  • An episode of Pushing Daisies guest-starred an actor named Michael Weaver and was shot by a cinematographer named Michael Weaver.
  • Josh Weinstein is a former writer for The Simpsons. Another Josh Weinstein is a former cast member of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Cinematic Titanic and writer for Freaks and Geeks. Perhaps to clear up the confusion, the latter has taken to billing himself as J. Elvis Weinstein.
  • Vladimír Weiss is the name of a line of footballers who've represented Czechoslovakia and later Slovakia. The third generation Weiss has also stated in an interview that he intends to name his son Vladimír.
  • Bob Welch is either a baseball pitcher for the Dodgers and A's who died in 2014, or a singer who used to be with Fleetwood Mac and passed two years earlier.
  • Christopher Welch is a particularly notable example. After Christopher Evan Welch passed on, he was assumed to be the same actor who voiced Tails in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. There was just one problem: he was 28 at the time the show premiered (1993), making it possible but unlikely that he was the one who voiced him. Sometime later, Christopher Stephen Welch, the real voice of Tails spoke out, confirming that he was alive and well, and had since left the entertainment industry.note 
  • There's Raquel Welch the American actress, and then there's Raquel Welch the Australian artist. Who is doing an art show entitled "I Hate Your Guts", which is all about how she hates Robin Williams. ...Wait, the computer writer?
  • Robert Welch could be the founder of a certain questionable political organization or the legendary Southern wrestler/manager nicknamed "The Tennesse Stud."
  • In the Ottawa neighbourhood of Westboro, there is a prominent baptist church that was, reasonably, called the Westboro Baptist Church for quite some time. Apparently being linked to the notoriously homophobic Kansas-based church of the same name got so tiresome (the bulk of the church's website was an explanation that there was no relation) that they eventually became the Parkdale Baptist Church - Westboro Campus.
  • In May 2010 Ann Curry, of NBC's Today show, gave a commencement address at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. During her speech she started rattling off names of distinguished Wheaton alumni such as Billy Graham and Wes Craven. Unfortunately, she was thinking of the other Wheaton College, in Illinois.
    • On the other hand, Curry probably knew that the Billy Graham who went to the latter Wheaton College is not the former AFL football player and professional wrestler "Superstar" Billy Graham. The wrestler's name was originally Wayne Coleman, and his name was a direct tribute to the evangelist.
  • Alan White of Yes did not play drums in Oasis. That was the other Alan White.
  • Barry White was one of the best known R&B singers of all time, but he's not the southern California hot rod builder featured on Wrecks to Riches.
  • The Jesse White Tumblers were founded by the current Illinois Secretary of State - not by the guy who used to be the Maytag repairman.
    • There's also professional wrestler Jesse White, the son of Vader and a former NXT talent as Jake Carter. Speaking of Vader...
  • The Los Angeles Rams had two players named Leon White, both of them native Californians. One was a white offensive lineman who never played a regular season game, but played in Super Bowl XIV. Injuries cut his football career short, and he chose to pursue a professional wrestling career; you may know him as the Man They Call (Big Van) Vader. The other was a black linebacker who suited up for the Rams as a reserve in the early '90s.
  • T.H. White: Terence Hanbury was the English author who wrote the The Once and Future King novels about King Arthur which were the partial source for the musical Camelot. Theodore Harold was the American journalist who wrote the Life magazine article comparing John F. Kennedy's White House to Camelot.
  • Actor Bradley Whitford (of The West Wing fame) shares a moniker with the second guitarist of the famous American hard-rock band Aerosmith, though the latter simply goes by the first name "Brad".
  • Andy Williams: Could be one of the guitarists of metalcore band Every Time I Die, or the unlikely favorite singer of The Simpsons bully Nelson Muntz. That Andy Williams had a nephew with the same name who, together with twin brother David, was a teen idol in the mid-'70s who came back in the '90s an acoustic balladeer who can't cry hard enough.
    • There's also Santana High School shooter Charles Andrew "Andy" Williams.
  • Blair Williams is a character in Terminator Salvation played by actress Moon Bloodgood. Blair Williams is also the name of an American porn actress.
  • Brian Williams, deposed NBC news anchor (and father of Girls actress Allison Williams), and Brian Williams, CTV sportscaster. The pair had a Lampshade Hanging-filled first meeting at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
    • There's also Bryan "Baby" Williams aka Birdman, co-founder of Cash Money Records.
    • Also, Brian Williams was the original name of NBA player Bison Dele, now equally famous for his disappearance and presumed death at sea in 2002.note 
  • Jayson Williams (black) played in the NBA from 1991 to 1999. Jason Williams (white) played in the NBA from 1999 to 2011. And when Duke star Jason Williams (also black) was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 2002, he changed his name to Jay Williams to avoid confusion with both players.
    • Meanwhile, in the Philippines, there is also a basketball player named Jayson Castro William (half-asian and half-black). Perhaps to avoid confusion with the above players (and possibly to honor his Filipino ancestry), he goes by Jayson Castro.... which, unfortunately, leads to YET ANOTHER case of Name's the Same (see "Jason Castro" in Folder "C")
  • There are two musicians named John Williams. One's a film composer, one's a classical guitarist. Try not to confuse them.
    • Someone used this combined with Punny Name to write a short comic called "The Ballad of John and Yoko" starring John Williams and Yoko Kanno making soundtrack bliss.
    • John Williams was also a British character actor who had memorable supporting roles in a couple of Hitchcock films.
    • There were also two NBA players in the late 1980s/early 1990s named John Williams. One was known as "Hot Rod" Williams; the other was nicknamed "Hot Plate" due to his ample weight later in his pro career. Both John Williamses coincidentally played college basketball in Louisiana around the same time; Hot Rod for Tulane, the future Hot Plate (then carrying only about 220 pounds on his 6'9" frame) for LSU.
    • In 1969, John Williams made his first appearance for the Wales national rugby team, going on to become one of the sport's all-time great fullbacks and one of the centerpieces of Wales' golden era in the 1970s. In 1973, John Williams made his first appearance for Wales as a winger. From that point forward, the two would be known by their initials—the fullback as J.P.R. Williams (John Peter Rhys), or sometimes just JPR, and the winger as J.J. Williams (John James).
    • Sierra On-Line founder Ken Williams has a brother named John who was marketing director for about 20 years.
    • John Fielding, a Welsh soldier who enlisted under the name of John Williams and won the Victoria Cross for his role in the Battle of Rorke's Drift.
    • ECW wrestler Ian Rotten was born John Benson Williams.
    • French singer John William (no "s"), born Ernest-Armand Huss.
  • Michelle Williams: Either a blonde actress, or a former member of Destiny's Child.
  • Mike Williams. He's a first-round bust who ate his way out of the NFL. Now, do you mean the Left Tackle from Texas or the Wide Receiver from USC?
    • And don't confuse them with the other Mike Williams, another wide receiver (from Syracuse) who's actually pretty good.
    • With Mike Williams, a receiver out of Clemson, becoming the Chargers' first-round pick in the 2017 draft, The Other Wiki has to list the three receivers by their birth years (USC in 1984, Syracuse in 1987, and Clemson in 1994)!
    • Or the last man killed by Wild Bill Hickok.
  • Paul Williams the diminutive actor, songwriter and frequent Match Game panelist who wrote "An Old Fashioned Love Song", "Evergreen", "The Rainbow Connection" and "Rainy Days and Mondays"? Paul Williams, singer with The Temptations who committed suicide in his car? Or Paul Williams, the late music journalist and publisher of Crawdaddy magazine? A boxer, architect, 1970s film director, rugby union member, saxophonist and soccer player also share the name.
    • There's also Billy Paul of "Me and Mrs. Jones" fame, who changed his name from Paul Williams to avoid confusion with the saxophonist of the same name — this was in the early '50s, at a time when the Temptations member and singer-songwriter weren't even in their teens yet.
  • Ricky Williams was so dominant in his 1998 Heisman Trophy-winning season with the Texas Longhorns that he was the #1 and #2-leading rusher in the Big 12 Conference...oh, #2 was actually Ricky Williams from Texas Tech. Tech's Williams actually outgained the other Ricky in rushing yards when the teams played each other in 1998 (a 42-35 win for Tech). Both Rickys were in the NFL during the 2002 and 2003 seasons also (but Texas Ricky had a much more substantial pro career).
  • Robin Williams. The name is shared by a famous actor, and a (female) writer of computer-related books.
    • There is also a painter and one half of a folk singing duo who share this name.
  • Roger Williams is either an early American settler and theologian, the pianist known for "Autumn Leaves" and "Born Free"note , or the Texas congressman who represents the western suburbs of Austin.
  • By the end of the 2008 season, the Dallas Cowboys had two players named Roy Williams. Sadly, they never appeared on the field at the same time. Meanwhile, another Roy Williams is busy coaching a certain college basketball team.
    • Even better, one Roy Williams was a defensive back while one was a wide receiver. We could have had Roy Williams covering Roy Williams in practice.
  • Steve Williams could be the real name of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (until he changed it to "Steve Austin"), or the wrestler known as "Dr. Death". The latter is why the former chose a different stage name.
    • Since "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is Texan, it is likely that he chose that name in reference to Stephen F. Austin, who led the first American settlers into Texas and after whom the state capital is named.
  • Ted Williams is the name of a late Hall of Fame baseball player and a homeless man turned announcer and Internet celebrity. In an interview on The Early Show the latter even made a joke about this, intoning in his announcer voice: "Now batting for the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams".
    • There's also Ted Williams the Fox News legal analyst.
  • Vanessa Williams: Ex-Miss America, or Melrose Place actress? Both are African Americans born in 1963 in New York City, both attended New York University, both are actresses, both were in Soul Food (Miss America in the 1997 film, Melrose Place in the 2000 TV series), and they've never even met each other!
    • The Melrose Place actress even received Miss America's check for her appearance at the 1983 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which she returned. She also registered the name with the Screen Actors Guild first, so Miss America had to be credited as "Vanessa L. Williams" in her acting credits before SAG decided to waive the issue, and both actresses can use the professional name "Vanessa Williams". Today, the Melrose Place actress is usually credited as "Vanessa A. Williams".
  • Walter Williams:
    • First, there's Walter E. Williams, a prominent libertarian academic and columnist, who's also an occasional guest host of Rush Limbaugh's radio show.
    • Three sportspeople went by Walt Williams. The first was an outfielder (nicknamed "No-Neck") for several Major League Baseball teams in the '60s and '70s, most notably the White Sox. The second was a journeyman NFL cornerback in the '70s and '80s. The most recent was an NBA journeyman in the '90s and '00s.
    • And Walter Ray Williams Jr. is a legendary pro bowler and horseshoes pitcher. No, this isn't two different people.
    • Also Mr. Bill creator Walter Williams.
  • Wendy Williams is either the African-American talk show host, or the white punk rocker who sang for the Plasmatics and billed herself as Wendy O. Williams.
  • Dave Willis is Meatwad and Carl. David Willis is a webcomic artist. Do not confuse the two.
    • There's also another voice actor with the similar name "David Wills", who's worked on several 4Kids anime dubs.
  • Victor Willis was the original cop in the Village People in the 1970's. Victor (Vic) Willis was a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher for the Braves and Pirates in the early 1900's.
  • Brian Wilson: a former member of The Beach Boys, and a Major League Baseball relief pitcher (who hasn't played since 2014) whose best years were with the San Francisco Giants.
    • For most modern Filipinos, Brian Wilson is not a Beach Boy nor a baseball player, but a Filipino-British model with the same name.
    • Also not to be confused with BRYAN WILSON, THE TEXAS LAW HAWK!!
  • Carl Wilson, late member of The Beach Boys (also the younger brother of the more famous Brian), shares his name with a Canadian music critic.
  • Fans of the Gap Band were momentarily shocked when they heard Charlie Wilson had died...until they learned that it turned out to be the congressman from Texas responsible for helping mujahideen rebels get the funding and weapons they needed to fight off the Soviets in Afghanistan.
  • Edith Wilson was President Woodrow Wilson's second wife, a blues singer and vaudeville performer, and an assistant district attorney of San Francisco.
  • Joe Wilson is either a former ambassador and former CIA agent Valerie Plame's husband, who essentially called President George W. Bush a liar over the White House's role in outing his wife; or a US Congressman who called President Barack Obama a liar over his statements on what would be funded in the health care bill he was pushing through.
    • They share their name with Joe Wilson, bassist for the Sneaker Pimps.
  • Justin Wilson: English IndyCar driver or Cajun TV chef?
  • Marc Wilson is a quarterback well known for being a first-round bust for the Oakland/LA Raiders and a part of the 1990 New England Patriots (Considered one of the worst teams in the NFL). Another Marc Wilson has had marginally more success as a solid defender for Stoke City, AFC Bournemouth, and the Republic of Ireland.
  • Nancy Wilson, the African-American jazz vocalist, shares a name with white singer/guitarist Nancy Wilson (of Heart fame).
    • Speaking of the latter, her sister and bandmate Ann Wilson should not be confused with Irish singer Ann Nolan (of the Sisters), who became Ann Wilson by marriage.
  • Is Patrick Wilson is the drummer of Weezer or Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny AKA Dan Dreiburg/Night Owl II?.
  • Ricky Wilson: the late guitarist of The B-52s, or the very much alive frontman of Kaiser Chiefs?
  • Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Wilson are both published authors. This has caused confusion to those trying to locate hard-to-find and out of print Illuminatus! series books. And for those trying to find Robert Wilson's mainstream mass-market novels. Robert wilson is also an avant-garde theatrical producer and playwright.
  • Tom Wilson: Record Producer who worked with Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa and The Velvet Underground? Or creator of Ziggy? Or veteran actor Thomas F. Wilson, best known for playing Biff Tannen?
  • Tony Wilson is either the now-deceased founder of Factory Records from Manchester, UK (and subject of the biopic 24-Hour Party People), or a radio DJ and author of children's books from Melbourne, Australia.
  • Wimbledon - the tennis tournament, the then soon to be defunct football team or the team created in response.
  • Kellen Winslow - If you followed the NFL in the 80s, or are a hardcore Chargers fan, you'd be thinking of the Hall of Fame tight end who spent his entire career in San Diego. If you followed the NFL in the 2000s or 2010s, you'd be thinking of his son (legally Kellen II, often called Kellen Jr.), a good but not great tight end who bounced between several teams before retiring in 2013. The younger Kellen is now sadly better known for being convicted of rape in 2019.
  • Amazingly, there are two people named David Wise who have some connection to Battletoads. One of them is a Briton who composed the games' soundtracks; the other is an American who co-wrote the screenplay of the Battletoads cartoon pilot.
  • Thomas Wolfe was an author of the 1930s and 1940s who wrote such novels as Look Homeward, Angel and You Can't Go Home Again. Tom Wolfe was a "new school" journalist of the 1960s and 1970s who wrote such nonfiction books as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Right Stuff, then turned to satirical fiction in the 1980s and 1990s with such novels as The Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full.
  • James Woods is both an American actor and a British freestyle skier.
  • The spelling is slightly different, but Virginia Woolf and Virginia Euwer Wolff are authors, but of vastly different literature (the former is an English modernist author, the latter is an American award winning author of books aimed at children and young adults). There also was a metal band named Virginia Wolf
  • There are 3 guys named Eric Wright that are associated with California.
    • The first two Eric Wrights were football players for the 49ers. Eric Cortez Wright (born 1959) played his entire career with the Niners from 1981 to 1990 and won 4 Super Bowls. Eric Andrew Wright (born 1985) jumped around Cleveland (who drafted him in 2007), Detroit, and Tampa Bay before finishing his career with the 49ers in 2013. Confusingly, they both played cornerback, and Wikipedia distinguishes them not by position or team, but by BIRTH YEAR.
    • As for the third Eric Wright...you may know him as the late, legendary West Coast Rapper Eazy-E of N.W.A. fame.
  • Contemporary Canadian author Richard Wright always includes his middle initial "B." in his name to avoid confusion with African-American author and activist Richard Wright.
    • Richard Wright was also the keyboardist for Pink Floyd.
  • Steve Wright is the name of a popular BBC Radio 2 DJ. Steve Wright is also the name of a serial killer who killed five prostitutes in Ipswich in 2006.
  • Steven Wright is a Boston-born comedian famous for his deadpan delivery style. Steven Wright is also a knuckleball pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.
  • Wrigley Field has been the home field of the Chicago Cubs since 1916. After Los Angeles was awarded an expansion franchise, the Angels played their 1961 season of home games at a converted minor league ballpark also named Wrigley Field. Oddly enough, the Cubs' Wrigley Field got its current name in 1927, two years after LA's Wrigley Field opened.
  • Wu Tang is both a style of Chinese swordplay and the name of the world famous rap group, the Wu-Tang Clan. Not surprising, as a film about the former inspired the name of the latter.
  • Bill Wyman is either the former bassist for The Rolling Stones or a music journalist. Bill Wyman the musician once gave Bill Wyman the journalist a cease and desist, although the latter is now free to use the name he was born with (and was given before the other Bill Wyman chose it as a stage name). To be fair, there's more potential for confusion when Bill Wyman the journalist writes articles about The Rolling Stones, which he has done in the past.

    X-Y-Z 
  • Yale College is a world-renowned and prestigious former technote in Wrexham, North Wales. Yale College is also an obscure backwater educational institution in New England. This caused confusion and a lawsuit when the Welsh tech college was allowed to upgrade itself to a university. After legal intervention, the Welsh university had to adopt a different name to avoid confusion.note  and is now Prifysgol Owain Glyndwr/Glyndwr University. Amusingly, both were founded by the same man who emigrated to the USA from Wales.
    • Another former British polytechnic, this time Preston Poly, also pushed its new name to the legal wire: it called itself the University of Central Lancashire and abbreviated this to UCLAn, risking confusion with the UCLA in a nicer place with far better weather. Neither has any connection to the United Co-operative Laundries Association, which once cleaned the linen across a broad swath of northern England.
  • There are two Japanese video game composers named Kenji Yamamoto. One worked on various Nintendo properties such as Metroid, Mario Kart, Star Fox, Pokémon, and Super Smash Bros., the other worked on various Dragon Ball Z games, as well as Dragon Ball Z Kai, and whose music was swiftly replaced after it was discovered that it had been plagairised.
    • Also a Japanese soccer player.
  • Yang Yang: While The Other Wiki lists about nine examples, the most famous are two Chinese women's short-track speed skaters who first emerged on the international scene at the 1998 Winter Olympics—one born in August 1976, and the other born in September 1977. Originally, they were respectively called Yang Yang (L) and Yang Yang (S), for "large" and "small".note  However, "Large" objected to the designation, and chose instead to be called Yang Yang (A), a nod to her birth month. "A" became China's first Winter Olympic gold medalist in 2002.
    • Although the names of Yang Yang (A) and Yang Yang (S) are pronounced identically in Chinese, they are not the same in written Chinese. Both have the same family name but different given names.
  • Andrew Young: One is the former United Nations Ambassador & mayor of Atlanta; the other is the former aide to John Edwards who covered for him by claiming fatherhood of Edwards's illegitimate child with Rielle Hunter.
  • When most people think of "Cy Young", they (usually) think of the Baseball player. However, it was also the name of an animator for The Walt Disney Company.
  • Is Eric Young the former MLB second baseman, or the former TNA World Heavyweight Champion now working for NXT?
  • There's Neil Young the singer/songwriter, and Neil Young the guitarist for Kittens For Christian.
    • Neither of which is to be confused with Neil Young, the former Electronic Arts executive who's now working for ngmoco.
    • Or Young Neil. An obvious shout-out, given he also plays with a character named Stephen Stills.
    • Not to mention Neil Young, scorer of the winning goal for Manchester City in the 1969 FA Cup Final.
  • NFL quarterback Steve Young was known for his versatility in passing and running. Alas, he wasn't versatile enough to have also been the Steve Young who was a longtime CNN reporter, or the veteran singer-songwriter Steve Young who did the original version of "Seven Bridges Road", or the Steve Young who writes for The Late Show.
    • Steve Young, the quarterback, got his NFL start as a rather middling starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. About a decade prior, the team had a huge-for-the-time (6'8"-272) left tackle, also named Steve Young, who's best-known for his size, and for sharing a name with a future NFL legend, rather than his skill, or lack thereof.
  • Hiroyuki Yoshino, a Japanese voice actor known for his roles as Allelujah Haptism and Solf J. Kimblee or a Japanese anime screenwriter known for his works such as Guilty Crown and Macross Frontier.
  • YTV: an older name for an ITV franchisee or the youth-focused Canadian broadcaster ? It's also the name of a regional Japanese network that's part of the Nippon TV group of networks.
  • Zhang Yi was a high-ranked general for Shu of the Three Kingdoms. Zhang Yi was a high-ranked general for Shu of the Three Kingdoms. Zhang Yi was a high-ranked general for Shu of the Three Kingdoms. To avoid mass confusion, Three Kingdoms buffs refer to them by their style names (Bogong, Junsi, and Boqi) and often use the alternate form Zhang Ni for the third one. And let's not get started on all the other Zhang Yis of the Three Kingdoms period...
  • There are two Hollywood producers named David Zucker. One co-produced such parodies as Airplane! along with his brother Jerry. The other co-produced NUMB3RS.
  • Jerry Zucker, the director of such films as Airplane!, Top Secret!, Ruthless People, and Ghost, shares his name with an Israeli-born businessman. The other Jerry Zucker served as Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company.


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