Generally speaking, the more of a character's name that we hear, then the more important they are to the story. Just "we don't know their name", on it's own, isn't significant. The Bit Character is unlikely to have a name, because their impact on the story is low. When a character "doesn't have a name", but are so important to the story that they are given a name anyway, it tells us more about the story. It might be as simple as the janitor who is called "Janitor", or they may have an external reference for the name.
If the work has no name, please see No Title.
- No Need for Names — A character or group of characters don't see the point in having names.
- Nameless Narrative — All characters are identified by traits instead of names.
- No Name Given — None of a character's name is used within the work, although they presumably have one.
- Somebody Named Nobody — A character uses a title that reflects their (lack of a) name.
- Name Amnesia — A character doesn't recall their own name.
- Withholding Their Name — A character refuses to share their name with others.
- Never Given a Name — A character never had a name given to them.
- The Scottish Trope — Characters avoid saying a name out of superstition.
- You Are Number 6 — Characters are identified by numbers instead of names.
- You Know the One — Characters refer obliquely to another noun.
Compare the following tropes, because they often overlap:
- Last-Name Basis — A character's personal name is rarely used in the work, potentially causing the audience to assume No Name Given.
- Named by Democracy — A character gets a new name from the consensus of their fellows.
- Only Known by Their Nickname — A character's nickname is used so often, it may cause the audience to assume No Name Given.
- Spell My Name with a Blank — A character's name has been redacted at least once within the work. Possible to overlap with No Name Given, but does not always do so.
- Take Away Their Name — A character's name has been taken from them, generally using magic.
- That Man Is Dead: — A character has discarded their previous identity including their name.