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Playing With / One Steve Limit

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Basic Trope: No two characters in a work have the same name.

  • Straight: The story has only one Steve, one Alice, one Bob, and so forth.
  • Exaggerated: Every person, place, and thing in the story has a highly distinctive name.
  • Downplayed:
    • Occasional minor characters share names, and are referred to by full name for clarity, or their first names are the same but their last names are different.
    • The story has a Steve and a Stephen, an Alice and an Allison, and a Bob and a Rob.
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  • Justified: The law requires everyone to have an original name.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • There are two Steves, but all mentions of them are deliberately misleading; the reader doesn't discover until later that they're distinct.
    • There are multiple Steves in the setting. To tell them apart, they are given nicknames/identifiers. The three Steves are known by Seven, Curly, and Stuwu.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Later still, the reader learns that one of the Steves was the secret identity of the other.
    • When their first names are revealed, they too are all used exactly once.
  • Parodied:
    • The characters are set a school project, to research the most popular names. They are surprised to discover that there is no such thing as a popular name, because every name on record is used exactly once.
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    • Two characters meet and learn that they have the same first name. They immediately decide that There Can Be Only One and start fighting.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Some locations have more people with similar given names than others.
    • Some Steves have the forename Steven or Stephen, others have it as a middle name but use it because they prefer it to their first given names.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: The editors, producers, or merchandise managers insist on repeated names being changed.
  • Lampshaded:
    James: You know, I've just noticed that no one we know has the same name as any of us. I wonder why that is?
    Kate: Just lucky, I guess.
  • Invoked:
    • There are two Steves at first, but one changes his name to Horace in order to avoid confusion with the other Steve.
    • The government gives its citizens unique names, so that no two people share the same name.
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  • Exploited: The detective is able to figure out that Steve is the killer, because the victim wrote Steve's name moments before they died, and the detective knows that there's only one Steve in town.
  • Defied:
    • Bob suggests using unique identifiers for the two Steves, but both refuse to adopt a nickname.
    • By law, everyone needs a namesake; inventing original names is never allowed.
    • A group of characters band together, all of whom are named Steve, and none of whom change their name from Steve.
  • Discussed:
    Chrissy: Do all your friends have different first names?
    Ryan: No. I know two Daves, two Johns, and two Janes.
  • Conversed: "Another show where no two characters' names are the same? I understand why they do that, but it's unrealistic."
  • Plotted a Good Waste: Several writers cooperate in naming the characters, but check their name suggestions with each other to avoid duplicate names.
  • Deconstructed: The demand for originality in naming means that people are saddled with increasingly unwieldy and unpronounceable monikers, and the parents are derided for giving their children names that other, more conventional, people consider New Agey nonsense or even a Ghetto Name.
  • Reconstructed: The characters live in a small town, reuse the names of the deceased, and use Melting-Pot Nomenclature. As a result, Ghetto Names are unnecessary.
  • Implied: Mike is new in the small town where the story is set, but he has no trouble remembering Steve's name even though he looks much like any other male townsperson.
  • Played for Laughs: Charles starts going by the nickname "Steve", and everyone freaks out because there already is a Steve.
  • Played for Drama: The world is reaching a stage where children have to be nameless because it's against the law to name your child the same thing as someone who is or was ever alive.

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