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One Steve Limit / Western Animation

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The One Steve Limit in western animation.

  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius has Jimmy and one of his clones gone rogue, Evil Jimmy.
  • Adventure Time:
    • There's Billy, the legendary hero, and Billy, the buzzard.
    • There's also Simon the ladybug and Simon Petrikov, the Ice King.
    • The most obvious case would be the various penguin minions of the Ice King, all named Gunther but with subtle pronunciation differences. And Ice King is not aware of it, but he actually named all of the penguins after the original Gunther, a dinosaur who served Evergeen, the wizard who ceated Ice King's crown.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • Three characters (Banana Bob, Bobert, and Rob) all have names derivative of "Robert".
    • There are also two Williams: the floating eyeball with unholy powers and the young boy who more commonly goes by "Billy".
    • One of Billy's many middle names is also "Fitzgerald", the surname of Penny's family.
    • There are four Harrys: One is Gumball and Darwin's purple moose neighbor who hides under the identity of "Gary" instead, the 8-bit spider in Elmore Junior High who goes more often by "Ocho", and two unseen characters who were in Gumball and Richard's third grade classes.
    • Wilson is the surname for Tobias' family and the first name for one of Anais' classmates.
  • In one episode of American Dad!, Francine adopted every child in an orphanage. All of the workers there were so grateful for her generosity, that they went to ridiculous extremes to start worshipping her. One of the things they did was they all legally changed their names to Francine Smith, just so that everybody there would remember her name.
    • There's also the cheerleader love interest and bully of Steve, known as Lisa Silver, and The Smith Family's neighbor, Lisa Collins.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force:
    Frylock: Where is Carl's brain?
    Carl Brain: I am Carl Brain.
    Frylock: No, our friend Carl.
    Carl Brain: I am Carl Brain.
    Frylock: No, different Carl!
    Carl Brain: [beat] I am Carl Brain.
  • Arthur:
    • Unintentionally done in the episode "Buster's Back", which includes the titular character and musician Arthur Garfunkel (though in this case, his name is never mentioned).
    • There's also Arthur's father (named David), and Arthur's maternal grandfather (Grampa Dave).
    • There are two rabbit girls with the names "Marina" and "Maria". The former is Prunella's friend and the latter was a Living Prop for the first 19 seasons of the show's run. Neither character have met each other. Muffy's full name is "Mary Alice", but she almost never goes by that name.
  • As Told by Ginger has Macie's parents both named Bobby and Bobbie Lightfoot. Hoodsey's first name is Robert as well.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • There are many characters that have "Lee"/"Li"note  or something that sounds similar somewhere in their name. Truth in Television, because they are both the second most common surname in their respective countries, after "Kim" and "Wang", respectively.
      • Captain Li of the Fire Nation Army.
      • A young boy named "Lei" who Zuko bonds with in his day in the limelight.
      • Ty Lee.
      • Li, one of the old ladies who act as adviser for Azula.
      • Quon Lee, imperial guard from finale who had a talk with an engineer in airship.
      • Halfway through season 2, Zuko took on the name "Lee" while incognito, and stopped using the alias once the "Dai Li" (that's pronounced "Die Lee") showed up.
      • And Dai Li is just a different transliteration of the exact same Chinese characters for Ty Lee's name!
      • The whole thing is lampshaded in "Sokka's Master":
        "You're gonna need a better Fire Nation cover name. Try Lee. There's a million Lees."
    • Advertisement:
    • On a semi-related note, The Dai Li's Government Conspiracy was upheld by placing several women who called themselves "Joo Dee" to watch over suspicious citizens. Justified in this case because they were all brainwashed into the identity anyway.
  • Bob's Burgers: Louise's classmate Rudy Steiblitz is known as "Regular-Sized Rudy", to differentiate him from a little person student known as "Pocket-Sized Rudy".
  • Celebrity Deathmatch: The Backstory for the Mariah Carey-Jim Carrey fight was that they were arguing over parking spaces due to their similar last names.
  • In The Cleveland Show, there are two characters named Larry. Cleveland Junior's stuffed leopard toy, Larry the Leopard, and the casually profane mayor of Stoolbend, Mayor Larry Box.
  • Similarly, Code Monkeys has Black Steve, who was probably called that to differentiate himself from Gameavision's original owner Steve Wozniak, but he continues to be called that even after Wozniak sells the company to Mr. Larrity in the first episode. In later episodes, it serves to remind people who might otherwise try to co-opt his blackness, bitch.
    • Ultimately inverted, as Steve isn't even his real name.
  • In Chowder the Arborian trees are either only named Arbor (male) or Arbola (female)
  • Danny Phantom plays with this a bit with Danny's "Dani-with-an-I" Opposite-Sex Clone, Danielle. So, for at least two episodes we had both Daniel "Danny" Phantom and Danielle "Dani" Phantom.
  • Daria:
  • Darkwing Duck has a rather bizarre example with two supervillains both named Negaduck: one the evil half of Darkwing himself the other an Evil Twin from a Mirror Universe.
  • DCAU:
    • Batman: The Animated Series:
      • The very first episode, "On Leather Wings", had both Detective Harvey Bullock and District Attorney Harvey Dent (before the latter's Face–Heel Turn). The latter even addressed the former by name (which sounded a little strange). The former also had a Big Brother Instinct toward the latter in the episode "Pretty Poison", when he threateningly interrogated an entire restaurant staff after the latter was almost fatally poisoned there. It's largely downplayed from then on there, as Harvey Dent tends to be referred to as Two-Face after his Face–Heel Turn and Harvey Bullock tends to just be referred to as Bullock since most people can't stand him enough to be on a first-name basis with him.
      • "I Am The Night" had, in addition to Commissioner James Gordon, a gangster nicknamed "Jazzman" whose real first name was "Jimmy." Amusingly, the latter attempted to kill the former.
    • Batman Beyond:
      • There are two characters named "Ace": The DC Animated Universe's version of Ace the Bat-Hound, and the "Ace" member of the Royal Flush Gang (a mute android in Beyond). The two rarely get confused.
      • There were also two characters named "Howard". One was a geeky classmate of Terry's, the other was one-time villain Bullwhip.
      • As is revealed in Justice League Unlimited, Batman was probably the closest thing to a friend the Ace of the first Royal Flush Gang had. She was an underaged girl with massive Blessed with Suck Reality Warper powers that died of a Power Incontinence-induced aneurism, and Batman stayed with her until she died so she wouldn't have to die alone or hurt anyone else. The dog was presumably named after her.
    • Justice League:
      • Justice League features John Stewart, the Green Lantern, and J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter. Flash sometimes refers to them as "The Two Johns." In addition, Closed Captioning for the episodes will sometimes get the names mixed up. Even so, "J'onn" is usually pronounced more like the French "Jean" while Stewart is often referred to as "Lantern" or "G.L.", to mitigate this. Once the show enters the Unlimited era, Steel (John Henry Irons) and Red Tornado (John Smith) also join the cast, though they're almost never referred to by their real names.
      • A minor example, from the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Once and Future Thing" part I:
        Lash: Friends called me Bat, Bat-Lash.
        John Stewart: I am John. This is my friend Diana and, er—
        Batman: [grimly] Bruce.
  • Defenders of the Earth features two minor characters named Christina/Kristina. One of the two is Professor Huxley's assistant from "The Panther Peril", while the other is the woman who's out to kill the Phantom in "Return of the Skyband", believing (wrongly) that he killed her grandmother. It is not known how Huxley's assistant spells her name, but the booklet accompanying the DVD boxed set uses Kristina for the antagonist from "Return of the Skyband".
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy, after a fashion. Edd is usually addressed as "Double-D" (as "Edd" is pronounced the same way as "Ed"), and the other Edwards are addressed by their titular nicknames. As the trio is generally seen hanging out together, the other kids collectively call them "the Eds".
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • In the episode "Genie Meanie Minie Mo," Timmy's wish for Trixie Tang to fall in love with him backfires when she ends up giving kisses to everyone in the country whose name is Timmy Turner, with him the very last one on the list.
    • In the storybook "Too Many Turners", Timmy wishes that he had lots of brother and sisters, but after he sees how much trouble all those siblings are, he calls out for Cosmo and Wanda to get rid of them, resulting in this scene:
      "Cosmo! Wanda!" Timmy called, pushing through a crowd of siblings.
      "What?" asked a boy named Cosmo.
      "Yes? asked a girl named Wanda.
      "Never mind," Timmy said, sighing.
    • Also, Elmer, Timmy's friend with the boil, shares his name with an elf featured in A Fairly Odd Christmas.
    • There are two Garys: Happy Peppy Gary in Season 2 and Imaginary Gary in Season 3.
  • In Family Guy, there is a character named "Bert", (Peter's Caucasian boss and husband of Sheila), and a character named "Bertram" (Stewie's time traveling evil twin brother from another mother). Fortunately, Betram was killed off and completely forgotten about, like 6 seasons before Bert was introduced, so it shouldn't be too confusing.
    • There's also New Brian from "The Man with Two Brians", although this was entirely because Peter wanted to have a younger, healthier dog around in case the first Brian died.
  • Averted in one episode of The Flintstones, where Fred tries to pick Dino out of a group of Inexplicably Identical Individuals by saying "Come on, Dino! We're going for a walk!", and ends up having the entire bunch run him over.
    Barney: Well, you proved one thing, Fred. There are a lot of dogs named Dino!
  • Futurama:
    • "Clarification: the Philip J. Fry from planet Earth or the Philip J. Fry from Hovering Squid World 97A?"
    • In "The Luck of the Fryrish" we find out that the first person on Mars was also named Philip J. Fry, and happened to look exactly like Fry's brother Yancy. "Oh, so your brother was that Philip J. Fry?" (Justified by the revelation that Yancy named his son after his long-disappeared brother.)
  • Garfield and Friends featured a guest appearance by Jon's cousin Marian, who was marrying a man whose surname was "John". Garfield then became very confused when he overheard Marian (whom he had never met before) saying that, within a week, she'd be "Marian John," which he mishears as "I'll be marrying John."
  • Goldie & Bear has several Jacks. There's Jack of the Jack and the Beanstalk tale, Jack of the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill, little Jack Horner, Jack B. Nimble (he claims the "B." stands for "Best") and Bear, whose first name is actually Jack. In "The Clubhouse That Jack Built", Jack B. Nimble starts a club in which only Jacks are allowed. However, the other Jacks soon start to miss their friends and quit the club.
  • Goof Troop:
    • Two of the main characters are named Peter, one named after the other. The show generally gets around this by calling the younger one "PJ" but the difference in sound between "Pete" (the elder's preferred nickname) and "Peej" (an oft-spoken diminutive of the younger's initials) is so subtle that sometimes it's possible to hear one as the other. The two are as different as night and day.
    • There are also at various points in the series several characters named Bob: Bob Sparrowhawk (Peg's uncle), Bobby Zimmeruski (Max and PJ's friend in the movies), and just Bob (a friend/acquaintance of Max in one episode). The Bobs never interact.
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • The title character has a Country Cousin named Arnie who's basically a boring, creepy Bizarro Universe version of him.note  Obviously the name is part of the joke.
    • One episode has Arnold going through the streets shouting for his lost pig, Abner. A man sticks his head out a window and continually calls "What?!" before giving up and going inside.
    • Related: there's a minor recurring character named Lorenzo and a fictional, plot-significant country called San Lorenzo.
    • In one episode Arnold has a Precocious Crush on his substitute teacher, and is shocked when he overhears her talking about getting a romantic evening alone with "Arnold". Turns out her fiancé happens to have the same name.
  • Obsessive Invader Zim fans will note that the show has a Vortian Lard Nar leading the Resisty and an Irken Lardnar as an Invader. A very minor example, however, since both names are only used in scripts and writers' notes.
  • Averted in Ivanhoe: The King's Knight. There are two characters named Harold and Brian, one a main character and the other a one-shot character. They appear in "The Legend of the White Stag" and "The Traitor" respectively and in the case of the latter Bois-Guilbert's given name is only said once in the entire series while the one-shot villain has no surname or place of origin in their name and in the case of the former, the character who appears in "The Legend of the White Stag" has the surname of "Godwin" in contrast to Sir Harold who lacks one.
  • Both of Jerrica's love interests in Jem have similar names: Rio and Riot (whose real name is "Rory" but he's exclusively referred to by his Stage Name).
  • Enforced on Jimmy Two-Shoes. After The Rodeo Clowns steal one of his shoes, Jimmy notes that without it, he's Jimmy One-Shoe. At that point, a monster dressed exactly like him with only one leg hops by, muttering "And that name is already taken."
  • There are two "Estellas" in Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures: Estella Scheele, a one-off antagonist seen in "In the Realm of the Condor", and Estella Velasquez, Jessie's mother. And they're both redheads, too.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Kim Possible had a student named Ron Reager at the high school. His initial appearance was just for a joke on his sharing a name with Ron Stoppable, but he actually made two more appearances in the Post-Script Season!
    • Invoked in another episode, when Dr. Drakken is flabbergasted to learn that the upstart teenager who's always foiling his plans is the daughter of his old college roommate, whose mockery drove him to the evil side of mad science. He tries to claim that he never put it together before because Possible is a very common name, then wanders off to find a phone book when everyone points out that it's really not. The phone book does not help him.
  • King of the Hill has two Carls. There's the principal of Tom Landry Middle, Carl Moss. The other is a twice-appearing man that runs a delhi restaurant. Both even have similar voices.
    • There's also Hank and his baby brother, Good Hank. His dad seems to have been sending him a message there.
  • The Legend of Korra has a mobster named "Two-Toed Ping". He actually has twelve toes, but there was already a mobster that was called "Twelve-Toed Ping" on the south side.
  • The Life and Times of Juniper Lee: Subverted. There are two characters named "Michael". One of them is the protagonist's father and the other is a monster. So far, there's no episode featuring both Michaels.
  • Averted in the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "So You Skink You Can Dance". All the male dancers of the Shake-A-Leg show are named Igor and all the females are named Katrina.
  • The Long Long Holiday has a relatively small list of characters, but include a Jean (a kid and one of the main characters), Jeanne (some of the other kids' mother) and Jean-Baptiste (the friendly neighborhood mailman). The English dub changed the latter to just "Baptiste."
  • Looney Tunes tends to re-use names for characters:
    • Three characters named Ralph: Ralph Phillips, a daydreaming little boy, Ralph Crumden, a mouse avatar of Jackie Gleason's character from The Honeymooners, and Ralph Wolf, a Wile E. Coyote lookalike in Chuck Jones' sheepdog-wolf series.
    • Three Sams as well: Ralph Wolf's sheepdog costar, the iconic cowboy Yosemite Sam, and Sam Cat, a red-furred who was paired up with Sylvester.
    • Also four Claudes: Claude Cat (from the early 1950s), the gangster from the 1968 "Bunny and Claude" cartoons, the iconic Tasmanian Devil whose first name was revealed to be "Claude" in one short, and a kangaroo from an early short entitled "Hop and Go".
    • And two Eggheads. The Elmer Fudd prototype and Miss Prissy's prodigy son that was more than a match for Foghorn Leghorn, later renamed "Eggbert" in the comics.
  • The Loud House manages to avoid this with the titular family even though they have a Theme Naming where most of the cast has a four-letter name that starts with L, however Lana and Lola share much more similar names than the others (Lisa, Lynn, Lucy, Lori, etc.). On the other hand, the show does still have examples in regards to side characters:
    • One of Lincoln's friends, Girl Jordan, is referred to as such because there's already a Boy Jordan, both named after members of the show’s staff.
    • There are two characters named Jackie: One of them is a teenager who's friends with Leni, the other is a young girl who likes beauty pageants.
    • You also have Dana, another one of Lori and Leni's friends, and Dana Dufresne, a transgender pageant host formerly known as Donnie.
    • A downplayed example, in that the names only sound identical: You have Bobby Santiago, Lori's boyfriend, and Bobbie Fletcher, a race car driver that Lana idolizes.
    • Taking the spin-off The Casagrandes into account, you have Becky, the teenage redhead from the parent show, and then Becky the blonde wrestler girl from the spin-off.
  • One episode of Mighty Max has the protagonist, Max(well), compete with another Max(imilian) who might actually be The Chosen One. (Aside from the name, they were born within five minutes of each other.)
  • Two students from Mrs. Munger's Class are named George.
  • The way My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic characters are named causes a lot of similar sounding names and characters sharing parts of their name:
    • There's Sunset Shimmer and Starlight Glimmer. They're two villains who ended up undergoing Heel Face Turns and becoming Twilight's friend, albeit the former only exists in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls. Their names are similar because they're both meant to parallel Twilight Sparkle.
    • Twilight Sparkle shares her name with her mother, Twilight Velvet (whom Twilight Sparkle greatly resembles). This is due to them being based on the same character, the original Twilight from G1, who also has this issue due to other 'Twilight''s existing in G1. Lauren Faust wanted to make Twilight Sparkle the original Twilight but couldn't due to copyright issues. She ended up using the palette and name of a G3 pony, Twilight Twinkle, as her basis instead. As a Mythology Gag, Twilight's mother uses the original Twilight's design. Fans took notice and fanon pinned Twilight's mother as the original Twilight. This ended up as Ascended Fanon. Twilight Velvet's name is never mentioned in the cartoon itself, though. Fans usually refer to her as "Velvet" in fanworks involving both her and her daughter, or call her by her full name when referenced alone. When Twilight Velvet appeared in the show, the cartoon itself avoided referring to her by name (however the credits have her as "Twilight Velvet").
  • There were three unrelated Oh Yeah! Cartoons shorts that featured a character named Max.
    • The drummer of the titular insect rock band in "The Feelers".
    • The title protagonist of "Max's Special Problem" and its sequel "Max and the Pigeon Incident".
    • The leader of the group of alien dogs Kate is acquainted with in "Planet Kate".
  • On Peg + Cat, the purple alien Richard actually turns out to be one of several Richards in his family. Even his sister is named Richard.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: There are two Maurices — lemur and zookeeper.
  • Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero: Maria the pirate and Maria the ship. Rippen lampshades it. Larry then says he has two aunts who share a same name. He says they're sisters or the same person.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • This is played for laughs in the episode "The Lizard Whisperer", where the boys are looking for a giant chameleon named Steve. They find other Steves and even arrive at a Steve Convention. Note the creators are on record as TVTropes readers.
    • There are two girls named Wendy. The first Wendy is the girl Candace competed with in the science fair episode (though her name was never spoken onscreen), and the second Wendy is the girl Baljeet kissed in the Christmas Special. Perhaps for distinguishing reasons, the latter Wendy has the surname Stinglehopper.
    • At several points in the series, Candace mentions wanting to name her future son Xavier, while in "It's About Time!," the tour guide mentions that the time machine was invented by an Xavier Onassis. Of course, this shouldn't be much of an issue, since one's already dead and another isn't even born...until the time-traveling episode "Quantum Boogaloo," where the plot required both to appear. Perhaps to get around this, Onassis shows up without his name ever being mentioned.
    • On a semi-related note, the show introduced Phineas and Ferb's Aunt Tiana around the same time Disney was hyping a different Tiana. Co-creator Dan Povenmire noted the similarity but said it was just a coincidence, as he named the show's Tiana after one of his sisters (the other being the namesake of Linda).
    • For some meta fun, Fanon had declared Baljeet's last name to be Patel, but that's actually the name of his childhood friend Mishti. (His actual last name temporarily was Raj, but was later changed to Tjinder.) Also, the character Isabella shares her name with two of the show's voice actresses, and was named after Dan Povenmire's oldest daughter to boot.
    • In "Backyard Hodge Podge", Internet sensation Parry Gripp appears as himself, leading to some confusion whenever someone obligatorily says, "Hey, where's Perry?"
  • Rated "A" for Awesome:
  • Ready Jet Go!: Dr. Skelley's forename is Amy, as revealed in a PBS description for the episode "Commander Mom". Amy is also the name of the scientist who hosts the show's interstitial segments, Amy Mainzer.
  • Recess:
    • There is a Girl Posse of non-identical looking, but identical in personality, rich fourth grade snobs named Ashley, who identify each other by name and last initial. One of the six protagonists is always called by her last name, Spinelli, because her first name is Ashley, and she is as different from the Ashleys as could possibly be. The episode where this is revealed has the other kids all change their names to Ashley in support.
    • Later episodes reveal the Ashleys all have sisters named Britney in kindergarten and brothers in third grade named Tyler.
    • One episode had Spinelli meet a group of girls who were all named Megan, a deliberate parallel to the Ashleys.
    • There's also Becky Benson, an elementary school student, and T.J.'s older sister, Becky.
  • Regular Show has two Thomases, one ( Nikolai) is a billy goat park intern and the other is the over 300 year-old infant son of Death. It gets lampshaded when Mordecai asks Rigby to babysit Death's Thomas:
    Mordecai: Dude, I need you to do me a huge favor and babysit Thomas tonight.
    Rigby: Isn't he, like, in college?
    Mordecai: Not that Thomas, Death's Thomas.
  • Rugrats: There are two minor characters named Steve: the first was one of a pair of two teenagers that showed up in the early seasons, the second was a snow-baby created by the Rugrats in its eponymous episode in the final season.
  • Scooby-Doo:
  • Sealab 2021 had Debbie Dupree and Debbie Love, aka "Black Debbie," who in her first appearance protested her nickname and pointed out the other wasn't called "White Debbie." Some fans call Debbie Dupree "White Debbie" for this reason.
    Quinn: How would you like it if people called you "White Stormy"?
    Stormy: [confused] You mean, there's a Black Stormy?
    Quinn: [looooong pause] No.
    • Of course, a later episode reveals there is a Black Stormy-namely Space Stormy. Quinn and Debbie Dupree have space counterparts, named Space Quinn and Space Debbie respectively.
  • Sheep in the Big City averted the trope of no two characters having the same name at the end of the episode "Mistaken Identi-Sheep", where the Ranting Swede dedicates his latest rant to a person named Timmy McPherson and proceeds to rant about his annoyance at another Timmy McPherson, whom he clarifies is a completely different person from the one he's dedicating his rant to.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The Simpsons has both the No Homers Club, as well as the Ancient Mystic Society of No-Homers; which means only one Homer can join. Unfortunately for Homer Simpson, both of them already admitted a Homer Glumplich.
      "It says No Homers. We're allowed to have one."
    • The Simpsons is particularly aversive of this trope: Homer and Ned's mothers are both named Mona, Chief Wiggum and Marge's father are both named Clancy, Prof. Frink and the camp accessory salesman from "Homer's Phobia" are both named John, notwithstanding the incredibly similar Carl (of Lenny and Carl) with Karl (Homer's one time secretary); the very closely related Eddie, Edna, and Ned (with the latter two eventually getting married; or Lou (a cop), Louie (a Mafia member), Lewis (a Living Prop), and Luann (Milhouse's mother). Plus rhyming names such as Rod, Todd, and Maude (all in one family); Sherri and Terri (Theme Twin Naming) or Moe and Joe (Mayor Quimby). Milhouse shared the same name as some random Shelbyville kid ("I thought I was the only one"). And that's not even mentioning Martin Prince or Waylon Smithers, who were named after their fathers (or the prominent first-season character Marvin Monroe, not to be confused with Martin). One particularly elusive one is the presence of two Charleses, one being the minor, bespectacled plant worker "Charlie" and the other being "C. Montgomery Burns" (though the latter almost always goes by "Monty" instead). Of course, this is probably just a side-effect of having Loads and Loads of Characters.
      • Chief Wiggum and Ralph Wiggum weren't originally supposed to be related; they just randomly wound up with the same last name, and the writers eventually decided to make them father and son.
    • An accidental reference to this trope appeared in the episode when they go to New York. Homer contacts the traffic authority over the phone and receives a pre-recorded message, with the specific details added in, in a man's voice. The message states that he "will be met by Officer Steve... (voice of recording suddenly changes) GRABOWSKI!"— that is, "Steve" was part of the pre-recorded message, implying that all of the officers are named Steve.
    • Another aversion: In "Waverly Hills 9-0-2-1-D'oh," there are three girls at Waverly Hills Elementary named Caitlin (with a "C"), Katelyn (with a "K"), and Kate Lynn (two words)
    • Invoked and played with in "The Principal and the Pauper": Just as Springfield is starting to celebrate Skinner's twentieth anniversary as principal, the actual Sgt. Seymour Skinner (voiced by Martin Sheen) appears, and the principal confesses that his real name is Armin Tamzarian, and when Sgt. Skinner went MIA, his mother mistook Armin for her real son, but he didn't have the heart to tell her otherwise. Agnes is furious at Sgt. Skinner's backtalk when he comes home drunk late at night, while Momma's Boy Armin was too sissified to ever sass Agnes.
      • Near the end of the episode, when Sgt. Skinner is sent out of town, this becomes an Enforced Trope:
        Principal Skinner: Well, this is a lovely gesture, but we all have to face the fact that I'm not really Seymour Skinner.
        Homer: Oh no we don't. Judge Snyder?
        Judge Snyder: By authority of the City of Springfield, I hereby confer upon you the name of Seymour Skinner, as well as his past, present, future, and mother.
        Skinner: Okay.
        Judge Snyder: And I further decree that everything will be just like it was before all this happened, and no one will ever mention it again... (Dramatic Pause) ...under penalty of torture!
    • Yet another aversion: There are two Larrys: the bald guy that isn't Homer who can usually be seen at Moe's, and Mr. Burns's illegitimate son from "Burns, Baby Burns".
    • Lou the police officer shares a name with the bull that Bart bonded with in "Apocalypse Cow".
    • And this is not getting into the whole "Bort" thing from "Itchy and Scratchy Land".
    • The Springfield bowling alley is named "Barney's Bowl-o-ramma" and it's never been made explicitly clear if this name has anything to do with Homer's loser friend Barney. One episode shows Barney working there, but Barney's indifferent uncle "Al" is the owner. So either Al named the bowling alley after his loser nephew for some reason, or there's another Barney out there.
    • Another aversion, Dewey Largo (the music teacher) and his then-boyfriend also named Dewey.
    • Lampshaded in "Principle Charming". When Bart tries to pass the blame for his herbicide prank to one of the other Barts in school, Skinner fires back with, "THERE ARE NO OTHER BARTS!".
    • Played for laughs in the "Dial Z for Zombie" segment of "Treehouse of Horror" when the zombies return to their graves.
      Pilgrim Zombie: Excuse me. I'm John Smith.
      Cowboy Zombie: [Points to gravestone] John Smith 1882?
      Pilgrim Zombie: My mistake.
  • Solar Opposites: Averted with the Stacys being the popular girls at school.
  • South Park seems to have a real problem with accidentally giving the parents of the children the same names:
    • Sharon Marsh and Sheila Broflovski were both originally named Carol, as was Linda Stotch. Because of this, it became Fanon (and eventually Ascended Fanon) for Kenny's mom.
    • Butters' parents are Stephen and Linda; Token's parents are Steve and Linda. Jimmy's dad was originally also "Stephen", but is now "Ryan."
    • Two of the kids (Timmy and Tweek) have dads named Richard, with a third Richard serving as the school's shop teacher.
    • Kyle's cousin Kyle, although it seems that instance only exists for the joke that Sheila considers her own son to be "Kyle 2."
    • Other aversions exist through extremely minor characters, such as a second Terrance (who only most prominently appeared in the episode right before Terrance and Phillip were introduced, and was later pushed to the background) and three recurring Living Props named Kevin, and various stock names used for random characters. note 
    • There are actually three Scotts: Scott Tenorman, Cartman's enemy and half-brother, Scott Malkinson, an unpopular classmate of the boys, and Scott "the Dick", seen in various Canada-centric episodes.
    • The "Brown Noise" episode featured Kenny G. None of the boys mention that he has the same name as Kenny.
    • The names of "Rebecca" and "Kelly" have been used as stock names for various female characters, although the original two were one-shot love interests of Kyle and Kenny, respectively.
    • After several years, the male Goth Kids are finally named. The tallest one is named Michael, in an episode that also reprises the Vampire Kids and their leader, Mike. One of the others, Pete, was given the surname "Thelman" in South Park: The Stick of Truth...despite the fact that there's a very minor character with the exact same name, plus another named Pete Melman.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • SpongeBob and Squidward once encountered a band of Vikings all named Olaf, except for their leader (Gordan), curiously enough.
    • Outright avoided in the German dub. The show is so popular in Germany, the American team decided to name a background character Thaddeus in honor of Squidward's German name, Thaddäus. In return the German dub named Thaddeus "Fischward" to avoid confusion.
    • "Why hello. You're the television food critic Gene Scallop, aren't you? Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Eugene Krabs." There's not even any real indication that the writers realized what they did there.
    • There have been SIX different characters named Larry: Larry SquarePants (SpongeBob's cousin, mentioned in the Operation Krabby Patty game), Larry the Lobster (a lifeguard at Goo Lagoon), Larry Luciano (a very old snail), Larry the Snail (a temporary replacement for Gary), Pinhead Larry (a criminal in Sandy's dream), and Lucky Larry (a shopowner mentioned in "House Sittin' for Sandy").
  • Steven Universe:
    • The show makes an obvious reference to this trope in the crossover episode "Say Uncle", where Pizza Steve refuses to share screen-time with another character named Steve. He later attempts to fool the Crystal Gems by putting on a wig reminiscent of Steven's hair and calling himself "Pizza Steven Universe". Amethyst eats him, of course.
      Pizza Steve: I told you I have two rules, Uncle G. No more than 40 or 50 vans, and only ONE Steve allowed!
    • Bordering on Planet of Steves when we learn that any Gems of the same kind have the same name — for example, the story has multiple Pearls as recurring characters, though only one of them is a main characternote . When they first appear in "Hit the Diamond", the Ruby Squad all introduce themselves as "Ruby", and Steven responds by eventually giving all of them nicknames based on their gem placements, which at least one of them (nicknamed "Eyeball") objects to. One episode of Steven Universe: Future focuses on two different Pearls at once, which causes things to get so awkward that Steven quickly nicknames one of them "Volleyball" after a game being played nearby.
    • The trope is brought up again in "Pool Hopping" when Garnet adopts a kitten to dote after in place of the no longer weak and vulnerable Steven. When she tries naming the kitten "Steven", the original gently objects — so she goes with "Cat Steven" instead.
  • The 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon has two characters whose names can confuse the viewers due to their similarities. There's April's boss named Burne (confused as Verne) and her rival named Vernon.
  • The Railway Series and its Animated Adaptation, Thomas the Tank Engine:
    • The Railway Series had a bus named Bertie, and a Small Railway engine named Bert.
    • The TV series had a bus named Bertie, a diesel named Bert, and a Narrow Gauge engine named Bertrum.
    • It also featured tank engines named Bill (introduced in Season 2) and Billy (Season 11).
    • Perhaps the most obvious example of all, Diesel in Duck and the Diesel Engine and Diesel in Stepney the Bluebell Engine. While they never interact with each other, promotional material tends to differentiate the two by calling the latter "Class 40" (the locomotive he's based on) or "The Diesel", and the former is sometimes called "Devious Diesel".
    • Then we also have Henry, Henrietta, and Hank (which is a pet form of the name Henry). 'Arry could also fit here, as Harry can derive from Henry and Harold (the latter of which is also the name of the helicopter).
    • There are two Stephens; Sir Topham Hatt's grandson, and the engine modeled after Stephenson's Rocket.
    • The Railway Series had a mountain engine named Patrick (who was named for a passenger he rescued), and the TV series had a cement mixer named Patrick.
    • There are two Olivers, one is a tank engine, and the other a steam shovel. The special, Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure has a Lampshade Hanging on this by having Marion think the tank engine Oliver turned into a steam shovel. There is even a Wooden Railway 2-Engine pack that ties in with the special, called "Oliver and Oliver", which has models of both Olivers.
  • The Tick had an episode called "The Tick Versus The Tick", in which The Tick had to fight a guy named Barry, who also used "The Tick" as his superhero name and wasn't keen on sharing.
  • Time Warp Trio had main character Joe and his Uncle Joe, whom gave him the time traveling book the series revolved around. The titular trio (Joe, Sam, and Fred) would also go on to meet their great granddaughters from 2105, whom were named Jodie, Freddi, and Samantha. And that's not getting into the historical figures they'd meet, whom being real life people, also shared a first name with another historical person they met while time traveling or a member of the cast.
  • A Running Gag in Tiny Toon Adventures: "I'm Buster Bunny!" "And I'm Babs Bunny!" "No relation." For that matter, they're not related to Bugs Bunny, nor are any of the other Expies who have the same Species Surname as their Looney Toons counterparts.
    • Duncan Potter, the little rabbit boy Babs Bunny babysat in "I Was a Teenage Bunnysitter" (part of The "Acme Home Shopping Show"), and Duncan Duff, Elmyra's younger brother who appears in the episodes "Take Elmyra Please" and "Grandma's Dead."
  • Tom's black cat friend (or enemy, depending on the premise of the short) in Tom and Jerry is named "Butch." However, an alternate name used for Spike the Bulldog is also "Butch."
  • Total Drama, with its Loads and Loads of Characters, has fallen into this several times. A season one short introduced Leshawna's friend Jasmin, while a different Jasmine was a major character in Pahkitew Island. That season also introduced a female Sammy despite there already being a male Sam.
  • The Spin-Off, Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race does this a lot with names from the old series. There's Brody (similar to Beth's boyfriend Brady), Ellody (similar to Ella), Mickey (just a variant of Mike), and Don (pronounced the exact same as Dawn).
    • In the Canadian French dub of Race, where Devin's girlfriend Shelly and Courtney have both been renamed Audrey.
  • Transformers:
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Spider-Man a.k.a. Peter Parker and The Trapster a.k.a. Paste-Pot Pete or Peter Petruski. They got around it by never having The Trapster called by any of his other names.
  • Visionaries has Arzon and Orzon. Arzon is a Spectral Knight and makes at least a cameo appearance in all thirteen episodes. Orzon, the leader of the Khemirites, only appears in "The Price of Freedom".
  • Though he's never seen, another Tino is mentioned in The Weekenders when the main character, Tino Tonitini, fails to get his name in the yearbook for "Best Tino". Also averting the "similar names" aspect is minor character Tony Tortallero, who even looks and sounds a lot like Tino.
  • Winx Club: Pepe, Icy's duck, followed the Trix to Light Haven/Light Rock at the end of season one and hasn't been seen since. The creators must have forgotten about him since in season four, Musa's pet bear was named Pepe.
  • In Xiaolin Showdown, all of Jack Spicer's robots are called Jackbots or Robo-Jack for the more human-looking ones. Jack also adopts a parrot which he names Little Jack at one point.
  • Young Justice:
    • Martian Manhunter suggested that Superboy choose the surname "Kent" for his Secret Identity. However, since nobody on the Team knew Superman's real name yet, they assumed it was supposed to be the recently deceased Kent Nelson.
    • Martian Manhunter himself is named J'onn J'onzz, aka "John Jones", on a team that includes a John Stewart. And then, on J'onn's suggestion, Red Tornado takes the name John Smith. (For added fun, there's also Zatara, whose first name, Giovanni, is the Italian form of John.)
    • In season one we have the villain Hugo Strange, while season two gives us the hero Adam Strange.
    • Aqualad's friend back home is named Garth, while Beast Boy's real name is Garfield "Gar" Logan. And for a meta coincidence, his voice actor is named Logan Grove.
    • In the comics, Roy/William Harper and Violet Harper are an example of this trope, but in this show "Violet Harper" is the character's invented identity, with her getting the surname specifically from him. However, right after that she has her first day of school and befriends Harper Row.


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