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Only Known By Their Nickname / Live-Action Films

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People who are Only Known by Their Nickname in live-action movies.

  • Played for Drama in About Elly - when Elly disappears, a police officer is incredulous that her "friends" know so little of Elly that they don't even know her first name.
  • In Accident, two of the Brain's gang are known only by their nicknames: Fatty and Uncle. The third member is a case of No Name Given. (The Brain, however, does have a real name: Ho Kwok-fai).
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  • Penny Lane in Almost Famous. Her real name is Lady Goodman.
  • The titular "Amazing" from Amazing Grace and Chuck. One character he meets says it's kind of awkward calling him that and asks whether he has a real name. Amazing just smiles and says it's "worse".
  • In Apocalypse Now, with the exception of Lance and Willard, all the main characters are primarily referred to by a nickname fitting their characters: Chief, Chef, and Clean. Interestingly enough, it's the only two men not referred to by a nickname who make it out of the film alive.
  • In the Back to the Future series, main character Marty McFly's full name is actually Martin Seamus McFly.
  • Landfill is pretty much only referred to by that name in Beerfest. Including by his wife... while having sex with his twin brother, who becomes known as Landfill II or just Landfill.
  • Jeff Lebowski is "The Dude" throughout The Big Lebowski. This is mainly because the name Jeff Lebowski is a plot point.
    • Of course it's lampshaded throughout whenever he gets angry at someone calling him by his real name rather than simply "The Dude".
  • The Blind Side: Michael, at first anyway. After he reveals to Leigh Anne that he doesn't like to be called "Big Mike", she thereafter always calls him "Michael" instead.
  • Blondie from Blondie Johnson is never called by her actual name, Virginia.
  • The bartender with Hollywood Tourette's in The Boondock Saints is just called "Fuck-Ass," since he says it all the time. He doesn't seem to mind the nickname.
  • Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman: The Machine Gun Woman. Also applies to most of the other elite hitmen, but they get far less screen time.
  • In Camp Nowhere, 12-year-old Morris Himmel goes by the nickname "Mud". The only people who call him by his actual first name are his father and his love interest.
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  • Camp X-Ray: Much like the "Dollars Trilogy" example below, Private Amy Cole is referred to as "Blondie" by Ali for the majority of the film, despite being played by obvious brunette Kristen Stewart.
  • The Little Tramp in the Charlie Chaplin movies. Other languages call him Charlot or Carlitos.
    • Chaplin himself referred to the character as "The Little Fellow".
  • "The Kid" in Dick Tracy, though at the end he's given a name: Dick Tracy, Jr.
  • Dog Soldiers has "Spoon" Witherspoon. His first name is never revealed.
  • The Man With No Name in the Dollars Trilogy gets a different nickname in each installment of the trilogy (in order "Joe", "Manco", and "Blondie"). His real name is — obviously — never given.
  • Spider from Elysium.
  • E.T. from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. In the cancelled sequel his real name was going to be revealed to be Zrek.
  • All characters in the thriller Exam are referred to by hair colour, ethnicity, or job title, with the exception of the mystical CEO.
  • Although the main character of Falling Down is named William Foster, he is rarely referred to as such, and credited as the name on his vanity license plate, "D-FENS".
  • The named sailors in Follow the Fleet are known only by their nicknames. The male leads are "Bake" Baker and "Bilge" Smith, and there's another crewman known as Dopey.
  • In Gambit, Harry Deane's friend, the art forger, is never referred to as anything other than "the Major".
  • In The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, the GM's name is Kevin Lodge, but almost everyone calls him Lodge. The newbie player addresses him by his first name, and the rest of the gaming group expresses astonishment at Lodge having a first name.
    Joanna: Thanks, Kevin. I'll look it over. [leaves]
    Mark: Kevin? Who the hell is Kevin?
    Lodge: I'm Kevin!
    Mark: Dude, you have a first name?
  • Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed: Ghost is only ever referred to as "Ghost." Apparently her grandmother started calling her that when she was 7 as a way to subconsciously stop her from making sudden noises.
  • The killer in girlhouse is only known by his online handle: Loverboy.
  • In both the film and book versions of The Help, main character Skeeter Phelan is only called Eugenia by her mother.
  • In the Japanese horror film House, the seven girls are referred only by their nicknames, even by family; namely, they're Gorgeous, Fantasy, Prof, Kung Fu, Melody, Sweet, and Mac (that's short for "stomach"). This is the first real clue that these girls are meant to be thought of as more archetypes than actual characters.
  • The title character in Hudson Hawk, who is called that by everyone except his best friend Tommy Five-Tone. Tommy calls him his real name: Eddie.
  • The Hunger Games: Prim's full name is Primrose, but everyone calls her Prim.
  • The title character of Indiana Jones. His real name is Henry Waltonnote  Jones, Jr.
  • Inglourious Basterds. While it's likely the Nazis know the Basterds' real names, they are mostly called by their nicknames: The Bear Jew, Aldo the Apache, etc.
  • The Bride in Kill Bill is this with respect to the audience—up to a certain point, any references to her by her actual name (Beatrix Kiddo) are censored out.
  • "Captain" in The King and the Clown. Might be considered an example of Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep", except he gets the nickname of Captain before he gets leadership of the performing troupe.
  • In King of Thieves, Brian gave Basil his nickname because his plummy accent reminded him of Basil Brush. If Brian knows Basil's real name, he never mentions it, and the rest of the gang only know him as Basil.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, although the audience does learn that Eggsy’s given name is Gary, he introduces himself to the other Kingsman candidates as Eggsy, and is exclusively referred to as Eggsy by the other characters in the film.
  • Lampshade hung, of course, in Last Action Hero, where a one-note character named Skeezie is actually named just Skeezie; he even gives that as his full name on a police report.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Both of Iron Man's sidekicks are only ever referred to by their nicknames.
      • Tony's head of security is officially named "Harold Hogan", but goes by "Happy".
      • Tony's personal assistant and later girlfriend/fiancée is officially named "Virginia Potts", but goes by "Pepper".
      • It also applies to Tony himself, as it's the shortened form of Anthony.
    • Bucky Barnes is only referred to as "James" about three times throughout the entire franchise. The same exhibition that refers to Steve as "Steven" calls him Bucky. When an interrogator calls him James, he (somewhat petulantly) informs him that "My name is Bucky." Basically, any time the character appears or is referenced outside of a HYDRA or generic assassination context he will almost certainly be referred to as "Bucky", "Barnes" (possibly prefixed by "Sergeant") or "Bucky Barnes", and thanks to seventy years of brainwashing it's entirely possible that not even the man himself thinks of Bucky as "James Buchanan Barnes" at this point.
  • Every human character in The Matrix is known by their hacker handle (Neo, Trinity, Morpheus) rather than their birth name. Only Neo had his name revealed (to the point that Arch-Enemy Smith calls him "Mr. Anderson").
  • Benji from the last three Mission Impossible movies. Even CIA director Hunley refers to him at one point as "Benji Dunn" instead of "Benjamin Dunn", even though the two of them don't have a particular good relationship and Hunley thinks that Benji has gone rogue at that time.
  • The whole cast of Celebrity Impersonators in Mister Lonely.
  • Mouth to Mouth: Dog, Tiger, Mad Axe, Manson, and more.
  • The Tet from Oblivion (2013) is named after its shape and it never gives us its actual classification other than "God", that is.
  • In Ocean's Eleven there is "The Amazing Yen" and Basher Tarr.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Blackbeard's real name is mentioned only once near the beginning of the film, and from that point on he's referred to as either Blackbeard or Captain. Probably a case of Truth in Television - A lot more people know the real-life pirate as Blackbeard than Edward Teach.
  • The Great Kanaka, Starcat, Provoloney, and Yo-Yo from Psycho Beach Party.
  • In Purple Rain, Prince's character is referred to "The Kid" even in the credits. He's never referred to by name, even by his parents. He's still just "The Kid" in the pseudo-sequel Graffiti Bridge.
  • In the film adaptation of La Reine Margot, the titular character is only called Marguerite during her wedding ceremony. At all other times, people call her by the pet name Margot.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera: "GraveRobber, GraveRobber, sometimes I wonder why I even bother..."
  • In the various incarnations of RoboCop, if you run Omni Consumer Products, then chances are very good your name won't be revealed. The head of OCP in the first two movies and the woman in charge of it for the first two episodes of RoboCop: Prime Directives are only referred to the respective nicknames "The Old Man" and "the Old Woman". The guy who ran it in the third movie and the man who ran it in RoboCop: The Series, however, fall under Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" as they're referred to their respective job titles of "the CEO" and "the Chairman".
  • Rock Star : Kirk Cuddy refers to all women as "Tottie".
  • The Shawshank Redemption has Red, whose real name is Ellis Redding. It is first said when the prison guards are calling out names for outdoor detail. First time or unobservant viewers will only recognise this when he is directly referred to by real name at the end of the movie.
    • The book also has him as an Irishman with red hair, giving him two reasons for the nickname. but the movie version has Morgan Freeman playing the role. Morgan Freeman's version hangs a lampshade on it when asked why he's called Red: "Maybe it's 'cause I'm Irish".
    • You've got to pity poor Fatass, who is not only beaten to death his first night in prison, but is stuck with that name in the credits.
  • Nose Noseworthy in Shorts - apparently not his actual given name (we assume it comes from his last name), yet he is listed as "Nose" Noseworthy on his episode card and Toby says he's 'a kid that everyone calls Nose', completely avoiding stating his real name. Even his father never calls him by name - or nickname, for that matter - the closest we get is 'son'.
  • Star Wars:
    • Most people in the galaxy refer to him as Jabba the Hutt, probably completely unaware of his full name: Jabba Desilijic Tiure. This is never mentioned in the movies, but does appear in the Expanded Universe.
      • The EU shows this happens to pretty much every major Hutt crime lord (and there are a lot).
    • It's implied this may be the case with Rey from The Force Awakens, due to her name being very similar to the last name of a long-dead Rebel pilot whose helmet she owns, "Ræh", which is visible written on the helmet during the scene where she's wearing it while eating.
    • Another Sequel Trilogy lead, Finn, as a former First Order stormtrooper, only had a serial number, so a nickname is an improvement.
  • The five protagonists of Sucker Punch are referred to only by the nicknames the antagonist, Blue, gives them: Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, Rocket, Amber, and Blondie. Even Sweet Pea and Rocket, who are sisters, don't call each other by their real names.
  • Thank You for Smoking: Nick Naylor's boss, BR. He even has that name on his office door.
    "The name 'BR' came from his tour in Vietnam. The people who know its meaning are all dead."
  • Goose in Top Gun. Everyone, even his own wife, just calls him that. His real name, which is seen on a box, is Nick Bradshaw.
    • This seems to be based on some kind of fact. In the credits about a dozen technical advisors are listed as "<First Name> <Nickname> <Last Name>".
  • U-571 has Trigger, Rabbit, and Chief, among others. Chief is referred to as such because he's Chief of the Boat, but the others are nicknames.
  • Ivan Ivanych Naydenov in White Tiger is a patient with no memory and no documents in a Russian military hospital. He is called Ivan Ivanych (like John Johnson) for want of anything better, and is given the surname Naydenov (meaning "found") because he was found in a tank.
  • Who's Singing Over There?: Most characters are only known by their description (the Singer, the Hunter, the Bride et cetera). Not very surprising, since they all meet on a bus and don't know each other.
  • Wild Thing is referred to only by the nickname given him by the homeless woman who raised him. His original name is never mentioned.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Ororo Munroe is regularly referred to as Storm.
    • Everyone calls Rogue by her code name. Marie is only used twice in the entire franchise.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Like his comic book counterpart, Leech is referred to as simply "Jimmy" with no surname given.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Psylocke and Angel are only called by their code names. Jubilation Lee goes by her nickname Jubilee in promotional materials.
  • The main characters of Zombieland use the place of their destination in place of their real names to avoid personal attachment. Needless to say it doesn't work.


Example of: