By the numbers, the majority of characters will not have a name within the work, because they lack Nominal Importance. One way to play with audience expectations, however, is to present characters and instead of addressing them by their personal name, they're called by their title, nickname, or in vague terms. The more important this character is to the plot, the more unusual it is to lack a name. The Bit Character and Spear Carrier may not have their names mentioned, but they are straight examples of Nominal Importance.
It is important to note that this character presumably does have a name, which just never comes up within the work. Credits and additional publications may show the character's name, without the name ever being mentioned during the work. Again, this is only tropeworthy with characters that impact the story, such as the Supporting Protagonist or the Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain.
While characters may Lampshade the unusual relationship, a direct confrontation on the character's lack of a name is usually a different trope. In No Name Given, the audience must assume that off-camera the characters are aware of each other's names, and it is pure coincidence that everyone else is on, at best, Last-Name Basis with this character.
This is a subtrope to The Nameless, because the character (apparently) lacks a name. It is supertrope to Unnamed Parent (the unnamed characters are specifically parents to a younger main character) and Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" (the character is only identified by a descriptive moniker). Compare His Name Really Is "Barkeep" in case the character's name was being used all along.
- Anime & Manga
- Films Live-Action
- Servants of the Spells, Swords, & Stealth dark god Kalzidar give up their names as part of their service to him. One such nameless priest is the primary antagonist of the second book.
- Live-Action TV
- The sketch comedy Almost Live! features "Mind Your Manners", kung-fu parody skits in which the hero Billy Quan always delivers a beat-down on the same unnamed and unrepentant Jerk Ass (played by the show's host John Keister.)
- Video Games
- Western Animation