Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / No Name Given

Go To

Basic Trope: A character's name is not given.

  • Straight: A character spends the entire duration of the work without being named.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • He doesn't have a name, but he has a title, such as The Doctor.
    • His name is mentioned in the credits.
  • Justified:
    • The story features nefarious spells that can be cast on people by just knowing their names. By concealing his/her name, the character is immune to this kind of magic.
    • Advertisement:
    • The story is a government report or something similar, and the name is redacted to protect the hero's identity.
    • Alternatively, Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep".
    • The character's parents never gave him/her an actual name, nor did s/he get a name later on.
    • The character does have a name but doesn't want to reveal it.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Another character remarks how mysterious it is that the character has No Name Given ... "My name? Oh, sorry! It's Bob."
  • Double Subverted: He quickly admits he was lying.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig-Zagged: As many times as the name might have been revealed, it's also revealed as a lie each of those times. Maybe...
  • Advertisement:
  • Averted: The character introduces themselves with their name.
  • Enforced:
    • The character's name is bleeped out every time it's spoken.
    • The writers couldn't be bothered to come up with a name for the character.
  • Lampshaded: "Some mysterious, shady, no-name guy."
  • Invoked: A character refuses to tell anyone his name, not in a serious effort to protect his identity, but simply because being the Man with No Name is so very enigmatic and badass.
  • Exploited: The nameless character is the ideal person to run not-so-quotidian errands.
  • Defied: The main character wears a shirt with their name on it.
  • Discussed: "What's the big idea not telling anybody your name? It's not like people don't recognise you anyway."
  • Conversed: "It would be cool to be one of those movie characters who doesn't tell anyone their name. But I bet it's hard to get a bank account."
  • Deconstructed:
    • The character has to live completely off the grid to maintain their anonymity, and the authorities are extremely suspicious of their lack of any identification. They're generally mistrusted by other people as well, and can't form any close relationships unless it's with a single loyal Secret Keeper.
    • Because the person is nameless or doesn't have their names disclosed, they suffer through a tremendously difficult life. Most other people call out the person for being rude and hypocritical, as they give out their names, but the character doesn't.
  • Reconstructed: Their anonymous existence allows them to stay off the radar of a totalitarian government, and the few people they trust enough to reveal their name to know they're part of a highly exclusive circle of friends.
  • Implied: This character is the only one we don't see introduced when multiple Five-Man Bands meet and decide to co-operate.
  • Played for Laughs:
  • Played for Drama: The character's name not being known makes them feel like they have less of an identity than other people do.
  • Intended Audience Reaction: The character is being used to satirise people in that and similar situations as just like cogs in a machine.

Back to the article at hand.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: