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Nebulous: They used to call me "the one musketeer".

Paula: Really?

Nebulous: No... they called me "Nobulous".

When Bob dislikes Alice, he may call her funny names. Of course sometimes Bob is actually just a Cloudcuckoolander, and not actually being malicious. There are many different ways to do this and variations on how it's done in fiction:

Malicious Variants

A) One tactic is to either pretend to forget the person's name and call them by another legitimate name. For example Bob might call Alice "Alicia", which is similar to Alice, or "Alan", which is a masculine name (this seems to have more of a rub if Alice calls Bob "Becky" for some reason), or "Mirabelle", which is completely unrelated to Alice and conventional wisdom says it has a slightly dorky ring to it. If they want to be really rude, they'll use "Hey, You!"
B) Another tactic is to corrupt Alice's name into something that isn't a name at all like "Malice" or "Callous" or not even a word like "Smalice" ("Smelly Alice"). This tactic is seen as a bit more childish than tactic A.

Non-Malicious Variant

C) is when Bob is actually a Cloudcuckoolander, Malaproper, or The Ditz (or just when Bob doesn't know Alice well) who really has forgotten Alice's name, or has really mistaken it for another. This implies he genuinely finds Alice forgettable, which does feel a little malicious or at least has a sting to it.
D) is when Bob actually likes Alice and just shows it in a really odd way.
E) Bob simply has so many things in his head that stuff falls out and he simply gets Alice's name wrong by accident. Generally a one-shot gag.
F) Alice's name is long or unusual or both, and easy for anyone to mess up the first time. But often Bob will mess it up repeatedly anyway, because it's funny.

How Alice deals with this also varies. She may protest and say "My name is Alice, Bob!"; she may ignore it, especially with type B because it is difficult to reason with someone that childish; or she may reciprocate, "My name is Alice, Dod!".

The trope name comes from Endora's frequent use of variant A (and occasionally B) on Darrin. Along with most of the rest of Samantha's family in Bewitched. Durwood being one of the more common names used (and the similar Darwood).

When a Type C is actually convinced that the character is someone else, Thoroughly Mistaken Identity Ensues. Someone who makes a habit of this is The Nicknamer.

More often than not, it overlaps with the Phrase Catcher.

Do not confuse with Do Not Call Me Paul, I Am Not Shazam, or My Name Is Inigo Montoya. If everyone insists on calling Bob Durwood and he gives up he's been Named by Democracy.

Examples of My Name Is Not Durwood include:


  • In a FedEx commercial, a guy walks into a FedEx/Kinko's and sets down a package that he says needs to be shipped to Pahonicks. The rep claims they can ship anything anywhere, but he's never heard of Pahonicks. The customer gets exasperated and says it's the largest city in Arizona, to which another customer says, "You mean Phoenix?" Cue awkward laughter from stupid guy, as everyone looks on in pity.
  • In a commercial for State Farm auto insurance, a man walks up to his car and finds that some jerk has scratched the name "Brad" into it. He phones up his insurance agent (with some company other than State Farm), only to be told by her "Oh, sorry, your policy only covers full names. Bradford would have been acceptable. Or Bradley. Or even Brady. That's 'Brad' with a y at the end!" As the commercial ends, she signs off by telling him "Well, have a super day, Brad!" then hangs up.

Anime & Manga

  • In Anime in general, an older woman might do this to a younger woman intentionally to show disrespect. As per Japanese customs it is considered best to stop correcting them after it's clear they're doing it deliberately and simply tolerate the insult.
  • SD Gundam Force: Bakunetsumaru, poor poor Baku. Nobody ever gets his name right the first time around. The Zako's are still having trouble with it. Although only Guneagle has trouble pronouncing it on the good guy's side.
  • It is hard to tell whether Izumi Segawa's frequent mispronouncing of Hayate the Combat Butler's title character as Hayata-kun is just her teasing him or right out cloudcuckoolander-ism. Considering how Risa and Miki have somewhat adopted it, it's probably just seen as a nickname. It's also part of her verbal tic (everyone has a semi-original name from her). Given how Hinagiku asks for people to use her First-Name Basis, it might just be how they've gotten comfortable naming people.
  • Gintama
    • "Zura Janai, Katsura daaa!" (It's not Zura, it's Katsura!) Parodied so many times by Katsura himself. It's also known as his Catch Phrase, but Gin still hasn't caught on.
    • This happens to Gintoki as well. Sakamoto always calls him Kintoki.
  • Kasanoda in Ouran High School Host Club is better known as Casanova, anyway. It's just funnier. And if that's not enough, sometimes he's called Bossa Nova as well.
  • Pokémon
    • This happens to Butch a lot in both the English and Japanese versions of the anime. He's been called Botch, Biff, Hutch, Bob, and many others. In the original Japanese, his name is Kosaburo, but he always gets called Kosanji. Seems to happen so often that he immediately replies "It's Butch!" when spoken to. In an episode of the spinoff Pokémon Chronicles, Butch is actually called the correct name for a change, and he replies with "It's Bu-Oh, wait, that's what you said!" Another time, he called himself by the wrong name when attempting to correct someone when they got it right.
    • His supervisor Dr. Number suffers from the same problem.

 phone rings

Namba: It's NAMBA!

    • Lyra, one of the representatives of the Johto Festival in Sinnoh, constantly refers to Dawn as Dane. While Dawn obviously tried to correct her, Lyra never seems to get it, and in the end, Dawn just didn't bother.
    • And in Unova, there's Stephan (Kenyan), one of Ash's rivals. Ash continually pronounces it STEFF-in instead of ste-FAWN, which he is hasty to correct but tries not to take personally.
  • Vita in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha always screwed up Nanoha's name before they became allies. "Nantoka" actually means "something" and is used when someone refers to something that they do not know the name of. Also a bit of a pun, since the nano in her actual name is basically something you stick at the end of a sentence when you're not sure (which was the main aspect of the first season's Idiosyncratic Episode Naming).

 Vita: Takamachi Nantoka!

Nanoha: It's Nanoha! NA! NO! HA!

  • S-Cry-ed: Straight Cougar kept getting Mimori's name wrong, this an example of C he's not doing it to be mean, he honestly can't remember her name because he's always in a rush. He also calls Kazuma "Kazuya" once or twice.
    • In one of the last episodes, he breaks the gag by actually getting her name right. However, he's said it wrong so many times by then that she corrects him anyway out of habit. The very deliberate way that he says it implies that his getting-names-wrong problem is more a case of Obfuscating Stupidity than anything else.
  • Sailor Moon
    • Usagi does this in a "Sailor Stars" episode with the Victim of the Week, called Garayan, calling him Garapan, which means colourful men's underwear in Japanese.
    • A better example is her nickname of Odango-atama (literally, Dumpling Head — or, if you go by the dub, Meatball Head) based on her hairstyle. She hates it at first and though out the first season insists that "They're not odangos!" Once she and Mamoru start dating, it becomes a pet name (though Usa-ko is used far more often) and other masculine (though not male) characters, namely Haruka and Seiya, start using it as well.
  • Osaka from Azumanga Daioh is an extreme example of this — Tomo gave her the nickname when she arrived, and it's far more widely used than her real name, Ayumu Kasuga, to the point even her teacher (who, to be fair, is a bit of a Jerkass) not only calls her that too, but also has her on the class lists and schools documents as Osaka as well!
    • This may apply to Yomi too, since her first name is Koyomi but no one uses it.
  • Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
    • Nozomu's family is extremely prone to these, something made worse by the fact that their names lend themselves to be called "Despair", "Death", and "Unmatched in Sexual Prowess". To explain for those unfamiliar with how kanji work, the two characters that make up their surname (Itoshiki) can be combined into a single character that forms unfortunate phrases with their given names.
    • Let's not forget the whole Momoiro Kakarichou thing.
  • Dita from Vandread is the Cloudcuckoolander version. Despite the fact that she's romantically interested in the male lead, she can't seem to remember his name and calls him "Uchuujin-san" ("Mr. Alien") instead.
  • Slayers
    • In an early episode, Gourry and Lina do this to Zelgadis. They call him "Zagildoes" and "Zeldagis", which almost makes him lose it.
    • Gourry also does this with early villain Shabranigdo, whom he calls Shabadingo.
    • Gourry still does it to everyone save Lina.

 Gourry: Just give me a moment. I will remember. I will get it. It's right at the tip of my tongue.

Amelia: You forgot our names again?

Zelgadis: Much worse. Lina said our names just a moment ago.

    • Lina does it frequently, to mock enemies she doesn't respect. She called Zolf only "third-rate wizard" and "mummy-man". And played it even further with Naga: she pretended to forget her name, then asked again right after Naga gave her name anew, then suddenly turned another way — "remembered" their last meeting and said she was joking and is not about to forget the name of a girl who managed to fry her own butt. Just to exploit every possible avenue of humiliation.
  • Tozuwa from Witchblade jokingly refers to Masane as Masamune (big chest) because of her large breasts. In the English dub he calls her "Melanie", because of her "melons".
  • Great Teacher Onizuka
    • Onizuka frequently calls Principal Uchiyamada "Xavier", after monk Fransisco Xavier, because of Uchiyamada's bald head. He doesn't do it on purpose at all, he seems to just associate the two in his mind for some reason.
    • He also can't seem to remember Teshigawara's name at all. His attempts to recall it don't even come close. Just to give an example of how bad it gets, he once refers to him as "Toxic Socks Warrior", without any sign that he doesn't think it's his actual name.
    • And there's how everybody, even her younger brother, calls Tomoko "Toroko". That's because the "toro" in the nickname is short for "toroi" which means (dull; slow; stupid) referring to the fact that Tomoko has always been simple-minded since she was a child. This is also why she is nicknamed "Slo-mo-ko" in the English dub.
  • Because of some initial confusion, all of the Deimon Devil Bats in Eyeshield 21 think Raimon Taro's name is "Monta." This is a slight twist on Type C, since Sena misread the kanji for his name as "Kaminari Montarou"; Hiruma later uses this mistake to his advantage by claiming it's a nickname derived from football legend Joe Montana (and lies to Monta by saying he played the same position).
  • Mayoi Hachikuji can't stop mispronouncing Koyomi Ararararagi's name in Bakemonogatari. I mean, Araragi. Sorry, I st-stuttered.
  • One Piece
    • Franky calls the villain Spandam "Spanda" (could be both B and C variants), much to the latter's annoyance. The fact that said character has marks on his face like that of a panda makes it kinda appropriate.
    • This happens a fair bit. Luffy often calls people by distinguishing features, Sanji refers to Zoro as "Marimo" (a type of moss reminiscent of his hairstyle) and he often calls Sanji "Stupid Love Cook" and the like. Luffy also calls Boa Hancock "Hanmock" though he called her by Hancock shortly before leaving her at Impel Down, prompting a rather funny response.
  • In the Digimon Adventure 02 dub, Davis calls TK "TE", "TJ", and pretty much every other combination. TK suspects he does it intentionally. In the original version, this was a none-too-translatable pronoun — and honorific-related matter that basically amounts to Daisuke calling Takeru "Hey, You" with a bit of extra pointedness. It might not always be intentional. In one instance where a flustered Davis calls him "TA". TK questions it, and Kari giggles, "He can't even spell TK!" Though it was definitely intentional when he called him "TP". And it's been confirmed that the script writers were brave enough to go through the whole alphabet.
  • In the episode of Cowboy Bebop where the crew finds Ed's father, he has an assistant named MacIntyre. He never gets it right, at times calling him MacIntosh or something else beginning with "Mac". Definitely a case of actually forgetting. At least he's aware of the problem, at one point referring to his assistant as "MacInwhatever" when he was in a particular hurry and didn't have time to even attempt to get it right. (The assistant, naturally, yells a correction even as they hurry off.)
  • In Magical Domiko, the Show Within a Show from Nanaka 6/17, Domiko's sidekick is always referred to by her as Pikota... even though he constantly insists his name is Pikoto.
  • Wacky robot mamodo Koral Q in Zatch Bell calls Kiyomaro "Piyomaro" much to his annoyance.
  • In Jinki Extend, Aoba Tsuzaki is contemptuously given the nickname "Ahobaka" by Ryouhei (aho and baka both mean stupid). Later on, it becomes an affectionate nickname. In the English dub it is translated as "Aobimbo".
  • Quite a few of the dolls from the Rozen Maiden anime have trouble remembering fellow doll Kanaria's name.
  • Bleach
    • Ichigo does this a lot according to Tatsuki, though not too frequently onscreen — not only does he get names wrong, but he misread Uryu's name as a GIRL. He also manages to totally forget about a classmate who's been bugging him for years to join his club.
    • Ichigo, upon meeting Yasutora Sado, misreads his name card, and keeps calling him "Chad" despite being corrected. The nickname eventually sticks, and in the dub and English manga (in which the classmates typically use first names), his classmates, teachers and Ichigo's other friends call him "Chad", when in the original, they had called him "Sado" — only his grandfather calls him Yasutora.
    • When Pesche was traveling with Uryu he constantly calls him "Ichigo" or mixes up his family and given names, as part of his general tendency to forget things a lot of the time (which he really does intentionally, as he's trying to set up a Boke and Tsukkomi Routine with Uryu).
    • It's Hitsugaya'-taicho!
    • Everyone calls Zennosuke "Afro-san", much to his annoyance.
    • Orihime always calls Shishigawara "Shushigawara".
  • Rossiu from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is always called "Dekosuke/Forehead Boy" by Kamina.
  • In Lucky Star's Lucky Channel segment, Akira Kogami forever refers to Minoru Shiraishi as "Sebastian" after Konata (acting like a character from Mari Mite) calls him that once.
  • In episode 10 of High School Girls, Ayano's boyfriend Shimotakatani went to meet her family. Her mother kept on mispronouncing Shimotakatani's name. Ayano's older sister even corrected her once.
  • In Basquash, Dan twists Sela's nickname "Platinum Hurricane" into, among other things, "Platitude Hotpad" and "Plastic Candycane".
  • Keroro Gunsou is forever known as "bokegaeru" (dumb frog) to Natsumi.
  • Cruz from NEEDLESS is called "Yamada" by Eve, which annoys him. Teruyama gets the same treatment, ending up with "Uchida". In the flashback, Blade was called "Ishida" by her.
  • Early on in Last Exile, after seeing Claus perform the Immelman Turn flawlessly, Dio takes an interest in the young vanship pilot and attaches himself to Claus, calling him "Immelman" endlessly. It's a rare (and often serious) instance whenever Dio drops the affectionate attitude and calls Claus by his real name.
  • Hamtaro: Jingle/Tongari, the wandering minstrel hamster, is one of at least two characters who can never seem to call Hamtaro by his real name. In the original Japanese, Hamutarou always becomes Hamujirou or a similar name; in the dub, the title character is infuriated by being referred to as Hamsandwich, Hamblasto, Hambobo and the like.
  • Count Alses of Tytania always misremembers Fan Hyulick's name as "Fan Hyulen." He is corrected on a regular basis, but this only serves to irritate him.
  • Drossel of Fireball always calls Gedächtnis by the wrong name, and ludicrously so.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Joseph challenges D'Arby to a water tension match — a glass is filled to the rim with water, and they have to take turns dropping in a number of coins of their choice, with the loser being the one who causes the water to spill. Joseph intentionally gets D'Arby's name wrong ("Barby" and "Obby") in order to agitate him, which means he'd be less focused on keeping the water tension from breaking. It doesn't work — D'Arby had already set a cheat while setting up the glass.
  • In Mai-Otome, Sergey calls our lovely heroine Arika "arinko" ("ant girl") based on her name and how her hairstyle makes her braids look like antennae. It's fairly obvious the term is meant to be affectionately insulting, given his immaturity and his attraction to Arika because of his infatuation with her mother, Lena.
  • In Prétear, Himeno is sometimes referred to as "tsurippu-atama" (Tulip-Head), because of her haircut (and possibly because her motif seems to be the tulip anyway).
  • Ranma One Half: A rare written example: when Ranma meets Kunō for the first time, they fight. It's a short one, but not so short that Ranma can't show off by imprinting a kanji symbol on his forehead. In the following scene, Kunō is looking at the symbol in a mirror, and while Nabiki is impressed at Ranma's handiwork, Kunō is upset because "he spelled my name wrong!" The subtitles in the episode translate the symbol to "insufferable". Kunō then writes his name correctly ("capable"), and Nabiki writes it the way she had thought it was spelled ("incapable").

 Kunō: I despise you.

    • Sadly, we don't get this in the English translation of the manga. Instead, we have Ranma write "buffoon" on Kunō's forehead. Kunō then writes it the way he thought it was spelled, shouting "This is how you spell it!" Nabiki then spells it correctly. The "I despise you" line stayed the same, though.
  • In Genkaku Picasso, the main character, Hikari Hamura, accidentally writes his name as "Hikaso" on his school slippers by making the first line straight, leading some people to laugh and call him that. This leads him to being called "Picasso" because of constantly drawing.
  • In Fruits Basket, Kyou is often called Kyon-Kyon by his classmates, which he hates. He's also called Kyonkichi by Ayame.
  • Inuyasha: The title character and his rival Kōga rarely call one another by name; Inu-Yasha calls Kōga "yasee ookami" (variously translated as "wimpy wolf", "wolf boy", and the like), and Kōga calls Inu-Yasha "inukkoro" (translated as "dogface", "pup", or "dog crap"). This starts out as a sign of their active dislike for one another but gets less malicious as their rivalry does.
  • In the DragonBall Z movie Broly: Legendary Super Saiyan, Master Roshi powers up to confront the titular Big Bad, and calls him "Broccoli". The Master is, of course, drunk off his turtle shell. But given the Saiyan race's weird naming conventions, he's not exactly wrong.
  • Assistant chief security maid Yashima Sanae in Hanaukyo Maid Tai La Vérité. In Japan "Sanae" is normally a first name, so people often call her Sanae instead of Yashima even though they've known her for a long time. She always corrects them when they do so, telling them that Yashima is her first name and Sanae is her last name.
  • Non-malicious example in Club 9: Haruo Hattori has such a thick country accent that when she introduces herself to Tokyo club hostesses, they immediately start calling her "Hello-chan".
  • In Letter Bee, one older Letter Bee derides Lag for going beyond the call of duty, calls him "Lang" and "Lob" before departing and ignoring Lag as he calls out his actual name.
  • In To Love Ru, several characters mis-pronounce Yui's family name, Kotegawa, instead calling her Kokegawa, to her great annoyance. Most likely type C of the — don't know them very well — variety.
  • Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko: "The name's Ryuuko!"
  • Infinite Ryvius: Everyone calls Good Turtleland III "Charlie". Not that we blame them.
  • In his first appearance in Hatenkou Yuugi, Rayborn refuses to tell Rahzel his name, so she decides to call him Spicy Diamond, shortened to Spicy or Spi. Even after they become friends, she sometimes calls him Spi if she's in a bad mood.
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga (and therefore Brotherhood), the second Greed tends to correct people whenever they call him Ling. In fact, Ed remarks it's too confusing for him to tell which is which, and therefore calls him Greeling. Greed is not happy about this.
  • Barnaby from Tiger and Bunny is not happy about the Embarrassing Nickname his partner Kotetsu insists on calling him by. While he gives up on complaining around episode 5 or so, he still continues to dislike it enough to snap out of a brainwashed state of sorts just to inform Kotetsu that "[his] name is not Bunny! It's Barnaby!"
  • Okabe in Steins;Gate loves to call Kurisu "Christina" (probably due to the fact that "Kurisu" is exactly how one would render the name "Chris" in Japanese, albeit in katakana instead of kanji) much to her annoyance. So much so that she's pleasantly surprised when he doesn't. He also does this occasionally with Daru, calling him a "suupaa hakaa" (usually rendered in subtitles as "Super Haker") instead of a "suupaa hakkaa" ("Super Hacker"), which Daru is always quick to correct. It's a very subtle difference, with only a glottal stop separating the (intentionally) incorrect pronunciation from the correct one.
  • Toriko: Zonge, a wannabe gourmet hunter, is frequently mislabeled as Zombie or a varient by almost everyone except his two sidekicks- even the captions get it wrong.
  • Fai/Fye from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle can't seem to get Kurogane's name right, deforming it to "Kurotan", "Kurorin" and such. However it is implied Fai does it just because it's fun, since he reverts to calling Kurogane by his full name when he's made him upset.
  • Transformers Armada
    • Megatron once spent an entire episode referring to Thrust as Squidhead. Thrust, despite being a Yes-Man, wasn't pleased.

 Thrust: My name is Thrust! T-H-R-U-S-T, Thrust!

    • Billy and Fred also have some trouble remembering the Decepticons' names. At least they try.
  • In Working Popura cannot call her co-worker Souta Takanashi properly by his name, instead calling him "Katanashi." Inami got confused with that until she found out that he only lets Popura call him that.
    • Later Popura meet three of Takanashis sister at their home:

 Popura: You are all Katanashi-kun's family members!?

Kazue, Kozue and Nazuna: It's Ta-ka-na-shi.

  • In Yubisaki Milk Tea Minamo decide to call Yoshinoris crossdressing alter-ego for Catherine, when she first meet "her". As a running gag she do it several times afterward just to tease her/him, while she annoyed correct her. It end however when Minamo request that they should be girlfriends.
  • Assistant chief security maid Yashima Sanae in Hanaukyo Maid Tai: La Vérité. In Japan "Sanae" is normally a first name, so people often call her Sanae instead of Yashima. She always corrects them when they do so, telling them that Yashima is her first name and Sanae is her last name.

Comic Books

  • In Tintin, Bianca Castafiore just can't seem to get Captain Haddock's (or his butler, Nestor's) name quite right. The Captain gets his own back at one point. But what's funny is that she never gets it wrong the same way twice.
  • In the Sam and Max Freelance Police comic "Fair Wind to Java", Sam gets incensed when a bartender dismissively refers to him as "McGruff".

 Sam: Did you hear what he called me? I hate that! Let's sneak up to his room later and drain all the liquid out of his body.

Max: If he calls me "Hello Kitty", I'll plug him.

  • Adventures in the Rifle Brigade
    • Gestapo captain Venkschaft, whose name is never said properly by anyone he encounters; They all call him "Wankshaft". This causes him to eventually explode in fury at the next person to get his name wrong. That person happened to be Adolf Hitler himself, causing Venkschaft to be sent to the Russian front with the rank of Cocksucker Third Class.
    • There's also American superspy Maryland Smith, who goes absolutely insane when people call him "Mary". Which is roughly 100% of the time.
  • In the Superboy comic of the 1990s (the one with the clone), Superboy had a recurring villain named Sidearm to whom he'd Type A every time they met ("Sidestep", "Sidecar", "Sideways", "Sideline"...).
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog spinoff comic "Sonic Universe," Shadow the Hedgehog calls Marine several variants of her name. Probably because Marine is universally recognized as incredibly annoying and he just can't bring himself to care to get it right.
  • In World War Hulk Aftersmash: Damage Control, the new Black Goliath is called the wrong name by everyone he meets. "Black Buck", "Big Brother" (although that one sounds sort of cool all things considered), "Big Black"... He curtails this by changing it to simply "Goliath".
  • Batman villain the Mad Hatter gets the names of his henchmen Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum wrong, and doesn't really care enough to get them right. Deever and Dumson are Dumdum, Dimsum, and Denver as far as he cares, though for some reason he doesn't get the two confused, nor does he call Dumson by his dead twin brother's name, Dumphrey.
  • 'X-Men

 Wolverine: (working out in the Danger Room) Hey, Charley — how much longer we gotta keep up with this?

Xavier: Until you get it right, Wolverine. And for the umpteenth time, call me "Professor".

Wolverine: Sure thing, Chuck.

    • They've been over that before. Early on, the Professor told Logan to call him Professor, or if he must be familiar, Charles. Logan responded pretty much as he did in the Teen Titans crossover, and the professor is "Chuck" to him to this day. Also, Xavier once tried to get Cyclops to call him Charles, but poor Scott couldn't bring himself to (after several hilarious attempts).
  • In Hate, when Valerie introduces Buddy to her parents, her mom asks Buddy what his real name is. Buddy reluctantly admits that it's Harold, and that's what she insists on calling him, much to his chagrin.
  • Brock Blueheart from Fables despises his previous handle of Stinky.

Comic Strips

  • Peanuts
    • In the last two decades of the comic strip, Snoopy often referred to Charlie Brown as "the round-headed kid".
    • Similarly, when Charlie Brown first met Peppermint Patty, he was surprised to find himself repeatedly called "Chuck". (Of course, as everybody else calls him by his full name instead of just his first name, this seems to be a problem for him in general.)
    • Peppermint Patty, in turn, is only addressed by Marcie as "Sir". (Marcie also typically calls Charlie Brown "Charles".) At the end of the 1971 storyline in which Marcie was introduced, Peppermint Patty tops this running gag by asking Marcie if she has any idea how annoying it is, to which she replies, "No, ma'am!" At first, Patty would often tell Marcie "Stop calling me sir!", but she eventually gave up.
    • In a neat reversal, Peppermint Patty also habitually addresses Lucy by her full name "Lucille".
    • Peppermint Patty also regarded Snoopy as "that funny-looking kid with the big nose". Although this wasn't this trope so much as this one, because apparently it took Peppermint Patty a long time to realize Snoopy wasn't a normal kid.
    • It is also worth noting that Peppermint Patty and Marcie live on the other side of town and are therefore usually depicted as only peripheral members of Charlie Brown's normal circle of friends, and that unlike practically everyone else in the strip except for Linus, Patty and Marcie genuinely like him and are therefore somewhat setting themselves apart.
    • In an ironic twist, when Charlie Brown met Peggy Jean in 1990, he mistakenly introduced himself as "Brownie Charles", which she would call him in all of her subsequent appearances.
  • Curtis
    • Gunther the barber can never remember Curtis's name. He refers to him as pretty much any other name that starts with a C, some quite obscure and possibly not male names, and Curtis always reminds him of his real name, but it never sticks.
    • Curtis himself often addresses Michelle, the unrequited object of his affections, as "Shelley", to her great annoyance.
  • Retail
    • The original district manager, Jerry, would often refer to Marla as Darla. After Jerry got promoted to another part of the country the new D.M. revealed that Jerry knew Marla's real name, but pretended that he didn't.
    • A year later Jerry returned to the strip and is now calling Marla by her correct name (probably because she knew the ruse now). He's still an asshole, though.
  • Dilbert has a newsletter written by Dogbert, that people can send questions to. Dogbert will invariably give an insulting answer, starting by punnily misstating their name.

Fan Works

  • In Diddy Kong Racing 5000, Wizpig abuses Klungo several times for calling him "Pigwiz".
  • In Vanity Fair Is a Magazine Not A Book, Cassidy and Butch show up around chapter nine. Just like in Pokémon, everyone who utters Butch's name gets it wrong, and they usually call him "Bitch". He is even called "Bitch" in the Gag Credits.
  • In A Gift of Love, Tadashi's name is mispronounced numerous times by Xue and Hana. Xue calls him "Tsukishi" no less than three times despite Seta's best attempts to correct her.
  • From Felix's Mind, Felix seems to think that Alyx's name is Joni. Until the last episode, anyway.
  • In Average Joein Bullet Hell, Suika calls Ryan everything except his name. Also, Alice Margatroid is understandably annoyed when Ryan calls her "Metroid" the first time they meet.
  • Turnabout Storm
    • Phoenix Wright has some trouble remembering Fluttershy's name at first. He calls her Butshersty, Flutterscotch and Firefly at 3 different times, but it's not like Flutteshy minds at all (it has to do with her believing that Phoenix is... well... a phoenix.)
    • In Part 2, Trixie brings malicious variants with Twilight Screw-Up, Rainbow Trash and Mr. Wrong.
  • In Harry Potter and the Half-Assed Parody, a comedic chapter-by-chapter reimagining of Half-Blood Prince, Slugworth's name goes through this constantly, such as "Slug-Slug Bo Bug". This is done both in the narrative and in the dialogue, but it seems no characters ever notice anything strange being said.
  • A Very Potter Musical
    • Shlongbottom.
    • Also in the sequel, it flashes back to their first year of Hogwarts when the trio first meet. Throughout the play, Harry and Ron can never get Hermione's name correct, calling her a bunch of different names, including Herman, Hermoingo-boingo, Hermanonucleosis, and the like. At one point Harry actually gets Hermione's name right, but immediately forgets it.

 Harry: Okay, no, no listen. Hermione--

Hermione: You said my name right!

Harry: Just now? Did I? Herman... Munster...?


Films — Animation

  • Toy Story
    • Woody referred to Buzz as both "Light Beer" and "Light Snack".
    • In the second film, Stinky Pete does this as well, calling Buzz "Lightweight". Woody jumps to his defense, shouting "His name is Buzz Lightyear!"
  • Flushed Away: After mishearing Roddy's protest of "I'm just an innocent bystander!", many start referring to him as Millicent Bystander. Oh, and Rita's grandmother keeps calling him Tom Jones.
  • The non-malicious variant shows up in Finding Nemo, where the absent-minded Dory can never remember the name of Marlin's son (the titular Nemo), misremembering it as "Chico", "Harpo", "Fabio", "Elmo", and the like.
  • This is a recurring situation in Coraline, where, besides her parents, everybody seems to be under the impression her name is "Caroline". It grates on her so much that one of the things she enjoys most about the "other" world is that nobody does that there.
  • Oliver and Company: "Francis. Francis. Not Frank. Not Frankie. Francis."
  • In Aladdin, Jafar keeps calling Prince Ali Ababwa (Aladdin's alias when passing himself as royalty) as Prince Abooboo. He is seen hesitating on the name, which makes it a type F.
  • The Great Mouse Detective: Basil never gets Olivia Flaversham's last name right: Flammhammer, Flanchester, Flangerhanger...

 Olivia: Flaversham!

Basil: Whatever.

Hovever, he does get the name right the one time he addresses her father, so he's probably doing it on purpose.
  • In Cats Don't Dance, Darla repeatedly calls Danny by the wrong name, presumably to impress that she, as a star, is worth far more than he is.
  • In Chicken Run, Rocky intentionally calls Ginger by several flirtatious nicknames (one that pops up frequently is Dollface.) He drops the habit in the second half of the film, after developing true feelings for her.
  • Cars: "My name is NOT CHUCK!]]"
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack, and by extension everyone in Halloweentown, calls Santa Claus "Sandy Claws". In a deleted scene and in the dialogue when Jack first meets Santa, it's shown that Jack took the "Claws" part literally.

 Jack: Why, you have hands! You don't have claws at all!


Films — Live-Action

  • Jareth, in Labyrinth, seems incapable of remembering Hoggle's name. At one point, he calls him "Hedgewart". Not to mention Hogwart! Coincidence, or is JKR a Labyrinth fan? At one point Sarah tries to correct him, but gets his name wrong as well and Hoggle must correct them both. The only time he gets Hoggle's name right is when he's threatening and/or abusing him. Jareth also does this to Spittledrum, who is very happy when Toby gets his name right.
  • Miranda Priestly, the title devil in The Devil Wears Prada, is constantly calling her assistant, Andy, by the wrong name. After a while it becomes clear that a) she is doing it deliberately, and b) she considers having Andy's name said correctly as a kind of hard-to-earn merit badge. Specifically, she calls her by her predecessor's name, Emily, as a reminder that her job has a High Turnover Rate and she's merely the latest of several replacements and could be gone any time. Once she begins to rely on her, she starts calling her by her real name — but always Andrea rather than Andy, and pronounced pretentiously as Ahn-DRAY-ah instead of ANN-dree-ah.
  • Variant C: Admiral "Tug" Benson in the Top Gun parody Hot Shots, who can never seem to get Lt. Cmdr. Block's first name ("James") right. Usually, he doesn't even come close. But you do have to cut him some slack, since after all, he did catch "a bazooka round at Little Big Horn. Or was it Okinawa? The one without the Indians."
  • In the family baseball movie Rookie of the Year, the kid's name is Henry Rowengartner, and a Running Gag is the team's manager consistently misremembering his name as Rosenberg, Ruddemucker, Rulienfurter, etc.
  • In The Santa Clause, the newly minted and very confused Santa refers to his head elf by many names starting with B, including Barabbas and Barnaby, except his real name, Bernard.
  • In Transformers, no-one, it seems, can pronounce "Witwicky" correctly. Mikaela believes it to be "Wilkicky", and when Sector Seven arrives at the Witwickys' house, Simmons pronounces it "Wickity".
  • In What's Up Doc, Judy is constantly calling Howard "Steve" for no apparent reason.
  • In the live-action version of One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Cruella de Vil does this to Roger. This is one of the film's facets that carried over into the animated series.
  • Newsies. Mr. Wiesel is always called "Mr. Weasel" by our heroes. (Compare the Yes Minister example below.)
  • In Dead or Alive The Movie, Weatherby is consistently called by other names, most often "Wallaby". Apparently there's an interesting story to his name, we just never get to hear it. Victor Donovan, his boss, calls him Weatherby. The guilty party here is his love interest Helena. A marked change in their relationship is when she uses his name correctly for the first time. Weatherby starts to correct her, only to realize that she got it right.
  • Kellys Heroes: Sgt. Babra (it's his last name) keeps getting called Barbara.
  • This is a Running Gag in the American remake of Godzilla in which the main human character, Nick Tatopoulos, constantly has his last name mispronounced throughout the film by other characters. It's just as funny as it sounds...
  • Walt from Gran Torino, being the Grumpy Old Man that he is, hardly calls the Hmong by their correct names. "Thao" becomes "Toad", and his love interest Youa is "Yum Yum".
  • Ty Webb gets Danny's name wrong in one scene from Caddyshack, at one point calling him Betty.
  • Larry Kroeger from Animal House gets called Lonny by Neidermeyer, even when he tries to correct him, when he and Kent are trying to get into Omega House.
  • In The Sting, Henry Gondorff has a short period of time to make Doyle Lonnagan unreasonably loath him (it's necessary for the con to work). So, he gets Lonnegan's name wrong every time he addresses him (he calls him Lonneman, Lonnihan, Lowman, Lemongan, and Larrabee instead).
  • In The Third Man, Holly Martins refers to the policeman Calloway as "Callahan" several times, despite Calloway's insistence that he's "not Irish."
  • The main character of Local Hero, "Mac" MacIntyre, is referred to as "MacIntosh" by his absent-minded boss. This is oddly similar to the Cowboy Bebop example listed above.
  • Samir Nagheenanajar in Office Space, a couple of times. The Bobs even make a joke about it when going over the list of people they're going to fire: "Samir Naga... Naga... Not gonna work here anymore."
  • In Zoolander, neither Zoolander nor Hansel are capable of getting the Prime Minister of Malaysia's title correct, referring to him as things like "the Prime Minister of Micronesia", "Mr. Prime Rib of Propecia", and "the Claymatian dude".
  • In Carrie, the principal keeps calling her "Cassie", which provokes her second telekinetic experience. Unlike the book, in the movie everyone calls her Cassie.
  • In The King Of Comedy, Rupert Pupkin tends to mention that his name is "often mispronounced or misspelled" when introducing himself, and over the course of the film, it is. Most often by Jerry Langford's secretary, who tends to call him Mr. Pumpkin or Mr. Pipkin.
  • In Sister Act 2: Back To The Habit, the movie's villain, Mr. Crisp, continuously mispronounces Sister Mary Clarence's name, though, despite the part he plays in the movie, it seems due to cluelessness and not malice; Sister Mary Clarence mispronounces his surname to get back at him, though.
  • In Mel Brooks' History of the World Part One, everybody seems to think that Count Du Monet's true name is "Count the Money".
  • Another Brooks example: Throughout Blazing Saddles, Hedley Lamarr keeps having to correct other characters after they address him as "Hedy". Same bit, same ACTOR. Hedy Lamarr was a real actress and they were playing off the similarity for laughs.
  • The Swamp Castle scene in Monty Python and The Holy Grail. "But Mother..." "Father, lad, Father." And a moment later: "Listen, Alice..." "Herbert."
  • At the start of They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, Robert introduces himself to Rocky, who seconds later addresses him as "Richard".
  • In Little Shop of Horrors, when Audrey introduces Orin to Seymour, Orin doesn't quite get the meek florist's name right until Audrey corrects him, and he doesn't like the fact she corrected him.
  • In Chinatown, Noah Cross addresses Jake Gittes as "Mr. Gitts" (one syllable) rather than the correct "Gitt-ess" (two syllables), even after being corrected. It is DEFINITELY of the "malicious" variety.
  • In the '60s Red Scare spoof The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, the leader of the Soviet submarine crew asks Walt Whittaker what his name is. When he starts to respond, giving his last name first ("Whittaker. Walt..."), the sailor cuts him off, and spends the rest of the film addressing him as "Whittaker Walt".
  • Running Gag in Hell Night with the Dumb Blonde Denise calling the Surfer Dude Seth "Wes", despite his frequent corrections.
  • AlienS:

 Gorman: Morning, Marines. I'm sorry we didn't have time to brief you people before we left Gateway, but...

Hudson: Sir?

Gorman: What is it, Hicks?

Hudson: Hudson, sir. (points) He's Hicks.

  • To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar: Sheriff Dullard insists that it's really "Dollard," and that his nametag is a "misprint."
  • Tropic Thunder: Only Sane Man Kevin Sandusky is called every other possible name by the other characters (i.e., "Tell him what time it is, Sikorsky!")
  • Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian has Custer unable to pronounce Sacajawea's name, calling her "sack-in-a-box" and "Cinco de Mayo" before just giving up.
  • In Harold and Maude, Harold's mother does this to all three of Harold's dates.
  • In Annie Hall, Alvy's friend Rob insists on addressing him as "Max", arguing, "It's a good name for you."
  • In Spy Kids, Mr. Lisp's name is pronounced "Mr. Lithp" by one of the characters.
  • In Disturbia, Kale calls a girl named Minnie Tyco "Skinny Psycho."
  • In The Comebacks, Coach Lambeau Fields consistently mispronounces Aseel Tare's name as "ACL Tear."
  • In Bride and Prejudice Darcy's mother keeps calling Lalita Lolita.
  • In the first live-action Scooby Doo movie, Fred cannot get Mondavarious's name right. Though funnily enough he says it correctly once.
  • Empire Records: "MY NAME ISN'T FUCKING WARREN!" Kind of unusual because he brings it on himself — when asked his name, he gives the smart-ass answer of "Warren Beatty". Characters who were there for that exchange immediately start calling him Warren out of lack of anything else to call him, and it sticks enough that people who weren't there assume it's his actual name. Also, we never find out what his real name is.
  • In Club Dread, Juan keeps pronouncing Penelope's name as Peen-na-lope after first seeing it on her name tag, with the "lope" part being pronounced the same way as the last syllable of "antelope". This is an odd case of Type C because he actually has a crush on her and still can't get her name right. Truth in Television in a way, since the Running Gag was inspired by co-writers Jay Chandrasekhar and Kevin Heffernan seeing Carlitos Way in a theater and hearing someone in the audience loudly ask "What kind of a name is Peen-na-lope?" when Penelope Ann Miller's name appeared in the opening credits.
  • The father in Melancholia is sitting between two women apparently named Betty. He calls a waitress Betty, then asks if that's not actually her name and apologizes. Later that night, he addresses his own daughter as Betty in a letter, though her name is Justine. It's not clear if this is some sort of running joke with him or if he's going senile.
  • Camp Nowhere gives us a bizarre Type B, as the movie's bullies do this to the protagonist's nickname, and the end result is actually LAMER by comparison. They repeatedly call Morris, aka Mud, "Pud." Why they do this is anyone's guess.
  • Through a misunderstanding John Carter becomes (much to his annoyance) "Virginia"


  • In Stephen King's Carrie, the high school principal misremembers Carrie's name as Cassie.
  • In Kit Pearson's A Handful of Time, Patricia Potter's cousins called her "Potty". That was also her nickname at school.
  • Harry Potter
    • Malfoy, in one of the books, calls Harry and Ron "Potty and the Weasel". Harry seems to get called "Potty" a lot by Peeves as well.
    • Then there's Luna, who is often known as "Loony", another name that Peeves uses. Actually, Peeves seems to be quite fond of these, even going so far as to refer to Voldemort as "Voldy".
    • Slughorn has been known to forget Ron's name, more because he doesn't take much interest in Ron than out of actual malice. In Half-Blood Prince he called Ron "Rupert", and hordes of fans contacted the publisher thinking J. K. Rowling had accidentally used the name of the actor who plays Ron in the movies. Of course, it's possible that Rowling chose the name Rupert on purpose, which would make this an Actor Allusion.
    • In Harry Potter, Barty Crouch is always calling his assistant, Percy Weasley, "Weatherby" (to Fred and George's delight). Given that he was supposed to be an extremely sharp character — speaking over 200 languages, for example — this may have been an early sign of him being under the influence of the Imperius curse (though the first time he calls Percy "Weatherby", he's not under the influence of the Curse). His family assumed it was because Crouch didn't care about Percy much, and mocked him for it. A favourite fan theory is that Percy secretly changed his name because the Weasleys have a reputation for being poor and silly; he's not shown correcting him, after all.
    • Professor Binns never gets a student's name right and incidentally, always calls all Weasleys "Weatherby".
    • Likewise, Uncle Vernon cannot for the life of him remember what a Dementor is called even seconds after being told. Over the course of one chapter, which takes place across a period of around ten minutes, he refers to them as "dementoids", "dismembers", "dementy-whatsists", "demenders", and the like.
    • In the Pensieve scene where Dumbledore visits Tom Riddle at the orphanage in Harry Potter, the orphanage head Mrs. Cole introduces Dumbledore to Tom Riddle as "Mr. Dumberton — sorry, Dunderbore." Of course, Dumbledore has slipped her quite a bit to drink by this point...
    • Let's not forget Sirius Black and James Potter calling Snape "Snivellus" (malicious type B). Rowling used this trope brilliantly in the Snape's Worst Memory scene. Almost immediately after they start using it, Harry is able to identify that they're bullies, a dramatic moment for him.
  • In Paul Robinson's Willis and Friends, Willis' supervisor likes to be called Libby. When Willis is mad at her, or she's made a mistake, Willis calls her Elizabeth, specifically stating that he knows that Elizabeth irritates her.
  • Discworld
    • In the novel Interesting Times, Cohen the Barbarian initially refers to Gentle Giant One Big River as "One Big Mother" a few times.
    • Also, in Going Postal and Making Money, Moist von Lipwig has to put up with people getting his name wrong and calling him "Lipstick" or "Lipwick". And Mr Pump initially pronounces it as it's written, prompting an angry "It's Lip-vig!". Pump then starts pronouncing all Ws as Vs.
    • Another slight variant in Lords and Ladies. Hodgesaargh is not really the Lancre Royal Falconer's name, but because every time he introduces himself, the hawk he's holding would inevitably attack him. After a while, the people just decided to call him by that.
  • Early in Watership Down, there's a memorable scene where the Threarah accidentally refers to Hazel as "Walnut."
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Samwise refers to Smeagol/Gollum's two personalities as "Slinker" and "Stinker," much to the creature's chagrin.
  • Chrestomanci
    • Chrestomanci loves this one. He does the Cloudcuckoolander version of this. It's said that he only does it with people he couldn't care less about (although at least partially Obfuscating Stupidity).
    • In Charmed Life Janet consistently does this to Mr. Balsam, referring to him by various names such as Mr. Bistro and Mr. Beeswax. When Cat calls her on it, she says that Mr. Balsam "doesn't deserve for her to get his name right."
  • In the Nero Wolfe story "Cordially Invited to Meet Death," the client insists on addressing Goodwin as "Goldwin". She does the same thing to her servants, who never stay long. According to a friend of the family, it's a pose, "since her entire career is founded on snobbery."
  • Percy Jackson and The Olympians
    • Mr. D (a.k.a. Dionysus) intentionally refuses to call Percy by name, usually calling him Peter Johnson, or some other similar name.
    • Annabeth also calls Percy "Seaweed Brain" for most of the first book, and continues to as an friendly/affectionate nickname for the remainder of the series.
  • In Kim Newman's Alternate History novella Teddy Bear's Picnic, film director Michael Powell makes deliberate decision to refer to the government censor Putnam as "Putt-man", and instructs all of his staff to do the same.
  • In The Dresden Files book "Blood Rites", self-absorbed porn star Trixie Vixen can't be bothered to remember Harry's name, but never forgets that he didn't bring her a latte. This saves him from a murder rap, since she tries to frame him but can't give a good description or name to the police.
  • Slight variant, in that the name in question is the name of an object: In the Tom Holt book Ye Gods!, the Hero, Jason, is given a sword called the Sword of Glycerion. Jason cannot ever remember the name of the sword and refers to it (in narration only — it is never mentioned by name in dialogue again after Jason is told its name) variously throughout the book as the "Sword of Thingummy", "Sword of Damn It's On the Tip Of My Tongue, Begins With G", "Sword of Sounds Like Mice Weary On Or Something", "Sword of Sod It I've Forgotten Again", "Sword of Whatsit", "Sword of Who The Hell Cares", and ultimately "Sword of I Think I'll Call It George, Nice Name That".
  • Done in Jasper Fforde's The Big Over Easy, by Professor Tarsus, who insists on calling all the men "Ronald" and all the women "Nancy". And I do mean all of them.

 Mary:Thomas Thomm, Professor. We understand he used to work here?

Professor: The name means nothing to me, Nancy.

Mary: ...You would have known him as... Ronald.

Professor: Then why didn't you say so? Yes, I remember Ronald quite well.

  • Variant C is a sort of Author Catchphrase for Graham Greene; it turns up throughout his oeuvre.
  • Geronimo Stilton has this happen to him frequently, although most of the time its just his sister and cousin teasing him. Still, he's wondered on more than one occasion why people can't seem to grasp that his name is Stilon, Geronimo Stilton.
  • In Life of Pi, Piscine Patel is instantly christened "Pissing Patel" by the other children at his school. The teachers try harder, but even they slip into calling him "Pissing" when they're not concentrating. He invents the nickname "Pi" for himself to avoid this.
  • In The Power of One, Peekay's name is short for what the boys called him at school, "Pisskop," which is what it sounds like. His real name is never revealed.
  • In "The Secret Sin of Septimus Brope," by Saki, there is the following exchange:

 "Is your maid called Florence?"

"Her name is Florinda."

"What an extraordinary name to give a maid!"

"I did not give it to her; she arrived in my service already christened."

"What I mean is," said Mrs. Riversedge, "that when I get maids with unsuitable names I call them Jane; they soon get used to it."

"An excellent plan," said the aunt of Clovis coldly; "unfortunately I have got used to being called Jane myself. It happens to be my name."

  • In Wizards Hall, absolutely nobody seems to be able to get the second part of Thornmallow's name right. They have no problem with "Thorn," but the things they amend to the end include: Marrow, Swallow, Power, Powder, and Swoggle.
  • In A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Aunt Sissy has an affinity for the name "John" and addresses all her husbands and lovers so to the point that her family doesn't always learn their real names. Her third husband asserts himself toward the end, insisting that Sissy and her family call him "Steve".
    • Sissy's affectation was changed to "Bill" in the film version, for obvious reasons. Sissy is sexually liberated for her time, but she is not a prostitute.
  • "Allow me to mispronounce your name to show my disrespect for you" = Sir Percy Blakeney constantly calling his Arch Enemy Chauvelin "Chambertin" or "Chaubertin" or what-have-you in The Scarlet Pimpernel and its sequels. Though there's some Obfuscating Stupidity to it.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy, Mab repeatedly refers to Shakespeare as "Spearshaker" — when Shakespeare isn't even around to object. He also calls Ulysses "the perp."
  • In One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, McMurphy is well aware that Nurse Ratched is pulling variant A on him, and darkly hints at what he'll do if she keeps it up.
  • In Star Trek Department of Temporal Investigations, Insufferable Genius Professor Vard calls Agent Dulmur by various names including "Agent Duller", "Agent Dummer" and "Agent Dombler".
  • The Monster of Frankenstein is often referred to as "Frankenstein", which isn't his name but the name of his inventor, Dr. Frankenstein.

Live-Action TV

  • The Carrie example above is parodied in an episode of Skins where Cassie goes for a job interview and everyone calls her "Carrie". She doesn't seem to mind.
  • Type A was used on the Britcom The Good Life. The show focused on a couple, Tom and Barbara Good, who decided to become fully self-sufficient; this included Tom quitting his job and giving up a position he had held for years. His former boss, a recurring character, always referred to them as "Tim and Fatima", showing how forgettable he thought Tom was. In the character's last appearance, he stuns both Tom and Barbara by using Barbara's correct name. He explains that he was purposely "forgetting" their names to intimidate them, but they now have his respect. He then calls Tom "Tim" again... completely seriously. So he did really forget Tom's name.
  • Already mentioned is the use of A & B on Darrin in Bewitched. This was usually done by Endora, along with other members of Samantha's family, by random people like Horace the bum and Santa Claus invoking type C, and when she was in a bad mood Samantha herself did it. Darrin wasn't the only one to have to put up with this. One of Darrin's old girlfriends did this to Samantha too. There's a list of these names here, though it also includes affectionate nicknames.
  • Scrubs
    • Dr. Cox does this to people. He has a tendency to call J.D. either girls names or "Newbie" even when he's been at the hospital for several years, he calls Elliot "Barbie", and Turk "Gandhi", "Turtlehead" and "Scalpel Jockey". Dr. Kelso also seems to think Chris Turk's name is "Turk Turkleton". When Turk calls Dr. Kelso on this, pointing out his name is "Chris Turk", Kelso looks at him for a moment, then rallies by claiming he's fully aware of the fact, he just likes "Turkelton" better. He also calls Turk "Turkleberry" at least once. It should be noted that he never calls Carla anything other than her name, which proves his respect for her. When he does call J.D., Turk, or Elliot by their real names, he's probably trying to be less of a jerk and more serious. This is very rare, incidentally.
    • Doctor Beardfacé is another constant victim of this trope, referred to as "Doctor Beardface" by pretty much everyone at Sacred Heart.
    • Snoop Dogg Intern/Resident/Attending presumably has a real name that no one ever uses. Unlike all the other nicknames people on the show have, he doesn't seem to mind being called Snoop Dogg, as long as you get his title right. Although in "Their Story", it's revealed via inner monologue he'd like to be called by his name, Ronald.
    • The Janitor has been called names such as Lurch and Sasquatch for two reasons: One is his imposing height and the other is that his name is guarded (by the character and the writers) like the gold at Fort Knox.
  • The Doctor in Doctor Who has been known to do this to people.
    • The First Doctor would sometimes call Ian Chesterton "Chesserman" or "Chatterton", sometimes by accident but perhaps other times just to annoy him. This started out as the actor actually not being able to accurately remember the name (the show was filmed "as live", a common practice at the time) and was later deliberately written in. Definitely on purpose.

 Doctor: I don't know that I was under any obligation to report my movements to you, Chesterfield.

Barbara: Chesterton.

Doctor: Oh, Barbara's calling you.

    • The Fourth Doctor does this, albeit for good reason:

 Doctor: ... One more thing. Your name.

Romana: What about my name?

Doctor: It's too long. By the time I've called out, "Look out..." What's your name?

Romana: (slowly) Romanadvoratrelundar.

Doctor: By the time I've called that out, you could be dead. I'll call you "Romana".

Romana: I don't like "Romana".

Doctor: It's either "Romana" or "Fred".

Romana: All right, call me "Fred".

Doctor: Good. Come on, Romana.

    • In "Trial of a Time Lord", the Sixth Doctor's prosecutor is called the Valeyard (pronouced Val-yard), which leads to a lengthy list of plays on Valeyard (including "Knacker's Yard").
    • Ninth Doctor calls Mickey "Ricky" to annoy him in places, even going so far as to insist that his real name is Ricky and that Mickey believing otherwise is just another symptom of his idiocy. Which leads on to Mickey-the-Idiot later. Played with when they go to an Alternate Universe, and there Mickey's counterpart is called Ricky.
    • In Dreamland, a man calls the Doctor "Doc". The Doctor reaffirms it's "the Doctor".

 Doctor: I'm not Doc, and you're not Bugs Bunny.

    • Ace frequently called him "Professor", much to his chagrin.
    • Steven Taylor, one of the First Doctor's Companions, would often call him "Doc". The Doctor would demand that Steven call him by his proper name.
  • Star Trek the Next Generation
    • Q (in disguise as a flower delivery guy. Long story), calling Jean Luc Picard "Gene Luck Pickerd", once. He also called Janeway "Kathy" or "Madame Captain."
    • Also, Lwaxana Troi constantly calls Worf "Mr. Woof".
    • In one episode, Wesley and other junior crew members refer to nerdy Lt. Barclay as "Broccoli". Data and Picard dress them down for it, then Picard accidentally addresses Barclay as "Broccoli". There's an awkward pause, then Picard corrects himself and everyone acts like it never happened.
  • Mash
    • Used in an episode which has Hawkeye temporarily swapping places with a surgeon from the 8063rd named Dupree (played by George "Goober" Lindsey). Dupree can never pronounce BJ's name the same way, using "BG", "JJ", and "GJ", among others. The one time he calls him BJ is when he's drunk, and he promptly Lampshades it.

 Dupree: (introducing the nurse who's come with him from the 8063rd) Where are my manners? Radar, JB, this is Nurse Low-raine Anderson.

Anderson: Sometimes it's pronounced "Lorraine".

BJ: Sometimes mine's pronounced "BJ".

    • In the episode that introduces Maj. Charles Winchester ("Fade Out, Fade In"), Hawkeye makes a point of calling him "Chuck", to his great irritation.
  • Trigger in Only Fools and Horses was a bit of a ditz. He always called Rodney "Dave". Even when Rodney told him to his face.
  • And then there's Papa Lazarou in The League of Gentlemen, who calls everybody "Dave".
  • During the early years of Frasier, Niles kept "forgetting" Roz's name.
    • Simon often genuinely forgets her name, calling her Rose.
  • The West Wing
    • Eccentric recurring character Lord Marbury calls Leo "Gerald", apparently just to irritate him.
    • Also the show has a running gag: none of the main characters can keep background staffers Ed and Larry straight. Ed and Larry always appear together, and, when the gag was lampshaded, they themselves admitted, "It doesn't really matter."
    • Josh has called Donna a number of names as well, including Lulu (referencing To Sir With Love) and Gracie (referencing Burns and Allen). When Donna encourages the other secretaries to "type slower" in response to Leo's refusal to implement ergonomic workplace regulations at the White House, Josh, predictably, "Hey, Norma Rae!"
    • A running gag in early episodes had President Bartlet constantly calling people by the wrong names. On one occasion he walked through the White House greeting staffers, and later asked Charlie if he got anyone's name right, to which Charlie replied "No, Sir." Inverted in the final episode, where on his final walk through, he gets everyone's names right, even Ed and Larry. This is a nod to the fact that Martin Sheen is really terrible with remembering names.
  • On Joan of Arcadia, Adam, who was somewhere between Cloudcuckoolander and Genius Ditz, consistently called Joan "Jane" — except when he was upset with her.
  • Blackadder
    • In the first series, King Richard IV can never manage to remember his son Edmund's name. When he finally gets it right in the finale...

 Edmund: Father, you called me "Edmund"!

Richard: WHAT? OH, SORRY, EDGAR...

    • Combined with Throw It In in season 3, as Hugh Laurie actually screwed up his line.

 Edmund: You can start by not calling me "Bladder".

    • And then invoked deliberately again in season 4:

 Flashheart: Well, well, well, if it isn't Captain Slackbladder.

  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures Chrissie, who is clearly jealous of Sarah Jane understanding Maria more than she does, calls Sarah Jane names like Sally Ann and Mary Jane behind her back. This could be a combination of Chrissie's contempt and her genuinely forgetting Sarah Jane's name though, Chrissie is rather flaky. Also Gita Chandra who despite liking Sarah Jane always drops the Jane part... which bugs Sarah Jane as she only likes The Doctor calling her that (which he did when she was younger). When Chrissie calls Sarah Calamity Jane, it's definitely the malicious version.
  • Arrested Development
    • George Michael's girlfriend Ann is constantly misnamed by Michael, using "Bland", "Egg", "Annabel", "Yam", "Plant", "Plain", "Ann Hog", and "Her?".
    • The A-D (don't call it that) also had a recurring joke about how Gob could not remember his wife's name.

 Michael Bluth: What's her first name? Quickly.

Gob: Crindee.

Michael Bluth: Name's not Crindee, Gob.

Gob: (reads papers) Ah, Saul Zetzmann. Nope. That's her lawyer. Well, she's GOT a name. And I'm gonna find out what it is. And I'm gonna make a pun on it. And that's what I'll call her. Bad example: if her name's Amy, I'll call her "Blame-y".

Michael Bluth: That's a strong defense.

      • The joke there being that Gob's wife is played by Will Arnett's actual wife, Amy Pohler.
  • On Popular, The Ditz Mary Cherry always calls Harrison "Joe." It is eventually revealed that yes, she does know his real name.
  • In Glee, the only time Sue calls Emma by her correct name is in the Pilot. All other times, she has "mistakenly" called her names like Irma, Alma, Ellen, Arlene, You, or the Redhead. Sue also seems to genuinely believe that Kurt's name is Lady. When he points out that it isn't, she apologises and offers him a choice of alternative nick-names. He chooses Porcelain, and she sticks with that for the rest of the series.
  • Done in the Fat Fighters sketches on Little Britain, where Marjorie Dawes always calls the Indian lady Meera by the wrong name: "Moira", "Mary" and so on. This is probably deliberate since she also pretends not to understand Meera's perfectly correct English. Some sketches also feature Dave (called "Johansen" by Marjorie) and the radio series had Jenny ("Julie".) In a couple of sketches, Andy has called Lou "Len". Also, Denver Mills, who has a teacher at a school where he has to give a speech consistently referring to him as "Dennis Mills", even after being corrected.
  • Lost: Sawyer constantly calls other characters by nicknames, both affectionate ("Freckles") and mocking ("Stay-Puft.") He also used the valid-name type in "Exposé" referring to Nikki and Paolo as "Nina and Pablo." Multiple videos have been created splicing together all Sawyer's nicknames. This one only includes the first three seasons and is six minutes long. To the point that when he loses a bet, the islanders give him the forfeit of "no more nicknames"
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 does a sort of C a lot, usually intentionally, such as referring to the Mads as various famous couples.
    • Also, because of a misunderstanding on the part of a child sending in a drawing of the 'Bots, Dr. Forrester's mom will address Crow as Art. The misunderstanding came from an early episode where Joel introduced the bots like Jackie Gleason did at the end of each episode of The Honeymooners. When he got to Crow, he introduced him as "Art Crow", referencing Art Carney. The child obviously didn't get the reference and labeled Crow as "Art". The cast liked the letter so much, though, that they stuck with the name.
    • In the opening of Mike Nelson's first episode as host (The Brain That Wouldn't Die), other characters keep addressing him as "Mr. Nielsen", "Mark", "Mitch", etc. In the show's first Sci-Fi Channel episode, Crow doesn't remember Mike and repeatedly has trouble with his name. Mike has another one of these moments with one of the Nanites in episode 804, The Deadly Mantis.
    • TV's Frank also has a weird habit of occasionally calling Dr. Forrester "Steve", despite the fact that the Doc's name is Clayton. The weird part is that it can't be a Type C case, because Frank does know Dr. F.'s real name — he also addresses him more correctly as "Clay". Generally just brushed off as Frank being a Cloudcuckoolander, coming up with a nickname that only makes sense to him.
  • Greek
    • Forever happens to Casey. Usually by guys pursuing her best friend, Ashleigh (who, despite her name, never has this problem).
    • Also, Cappie constantly does Type B to Rival Evan's name ("Evian", "Eva(n) Longoria", etc.)
  • Walter on Fringe has yet to memorize the name of his FBI bodyguard: Astrid. He's called her "Asterisk" at least once. This is Walter, so it's probably Type C. Subverted in one episode when he says "Astral--" and she corrects him "Astrid", but it turns out he was actually talking about Astral Projection. In season 3, he called her "Astro" and she got him back by calling him "Wally". By season four, he's also started doing this to Lincoln, calling him "Kennedy".
    • Lampshaded during the Yellow World period, when Autistrid goes AWOL to cross over and visit our Walter. With his back to her, he calls her a name, and Autistrid, oblivious, corrects him. Walter straightens up in surprise, remarking "You never correct me..." and turns to see it's not his Astrid.
    • Out of universe, John Noble's nickname for Jasika Nicole is "Afro."
  • Stargate Atlantis
    • Rodney McKay does type C to a lot of people, mostly because he really just doesn't care. Only interesting people get the right name. Used as a plot point in one episode, when he accidentally hires the wrong scientist. He wanted Grayson and ended up with Graydon by mistake.

 Graydon: One of these days I'm just going to call him Doctor McCoy.

    • Atlantis's gate-dialing technician Chuck gets repeatedly referred to as "Chet" by other characters (including Sheppard and Woolsey), and usually sighs or rolls his eyes when correcting them. It happens to him a lot.
  • Steve Carell, being interviewed on The Daily Show after leaving to become "a big movie star":

 Steve: Well it's great to be back on the John Daily Show.

  • Morecambe and Wise did this to a lot of guest stars.
    • When the conductor Andre Previn appeared, he was constantly referred to as "Andrew Preview". The popularity of the show led to people calling him this in real life.
    • In writer Eddie Braben's recent book, he suggests some they might have used if the show was still going today, such as "Curly Monologue" for Kylie Minogue.
    • When Vanessa Redgrave appeared on the show she called Ernie "Bernie" and Eric corrected her each time.
  • In Yes Minister, Sir Humphrey and occasionally Bernard refer to Frank Wiesel as "Mr Weasel", to annoy him. And once manage to get him so upset he ends up calling himself "Weasel".
  • NCIS
    • Tony calls McGee by all manner of nicknames, including but not limited to McGeek, McGoo, and many creative ad-lib variations on the term "Probie". Tony being something of a Jerk Jock to McGee's Hollywood Nerd, the overall effect is one of brotherly teasing and rather backhanded affection. (Notably, on the one occasion that McGee takes vocal exception to still being called "Probie", Gibbs points out to him privately that his own first partner, Mike Franks, still calls him "Probie".) Plus there's the fact that Tony calling McGee anything other then a nickname is a sure sign something is wrong.
    • Ziva has a variation of this, in that Americans are always pronouncing her last name, David, in an American way instead of an Israeli one. It's usually an honest mistake, but Abby does this once out of spite, as does Paula Cassidy. By the end of that particular ep, Cassidy shows things are all patched up and mutual respect exists with a well placed Dah-VEED. (Just in time to get blown up.)
    • When Abby got a new lab assistant named Charles, she started calling him Chip by mistake, to his chagrin. Despite Charles correcting Abby (and everyone else) at first, it stuck as a nickname of sorts, and he went along with it until his departure a few episodes later after framing Tony for murder. At one point, she also calls him Chazoid.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus.
    • One episode parodied this with Graham Chapman's polystyrene-nosed character, Raymond Luxury-Yacht, who insisted his name was actually pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove".

 Interviewer: You're a very silly man and I'm not going to interview you.

    • Late in the series, after John Cleese left, a Victorian Poetry Reading sketch featured John "Coots", Alfred Lord "Tennis Balls" (or "Tennis Court") and William "Wadsworth".
    • In a Malicious Type (A) example, an interviewer called Sir Edward Ross "Eddie-baby", "Sweetie", "Sugar plum", "Pussy cat", "Angel-drawers" and "Frannie Knickers".
    • In the sketch "Biggles Dictates a Letter," Biggles is called "Señor Beeg-lays" by his secretary, and fumes: "Don't call me señor. I'm not a Spanish person. You must call me Mr. Biggles, or Group Captain Biggles, or Mary Biggles if I'm dressed as my wife, but never señor."

 "And I said 'My name's not Clement' and the he loses his temper, and nailed my head to the floor."

  • Friends
    • In her first appearance, Rachel's sister Amy believed Emma (Rachel and Ross's baby) was named "Emmett" or, once she'd learnt it was a girl, "Emily". When they tried to correct her, she thought Phoebe's name was Emma. And when Phoebe tried to correct that, she thought "Fee bee" was just a strange noise "Emma" made.
    • In her second appearance she thinks the baby's name is "Ella", and when Ross corrects her she asks why they changed it. This episode also confirms her Cloudcuckoolander status, since she's forgotten him completely in less than a year.
    • In an earlier episode, Chandler is jealous of an actor starring opposite Chandler's girlfriend in a play. He suspects that the actor will try to undermine him by calling him Chester, then when corrected, saying "Oh, whatever." Later in the episode, Ross uses this tactic when talking to Rachel about her new crush. (Interestingly, this exact tactic is used on Rick in an episode of Silver Spoons, and the character who does it is played by Chandler himself, Matthew Perry. This was more than a decade before the Friends episode.)
  • Band of Brothers
    • A version of type C, when new recruit O'Keefe is called O'Brien by one of the veterans. After being corrected a few times, he explains why he doesn't remember.

 "Do you know why no one remembers your name? It's because no-one wants to remember your name. There's too many Smiths, DiMattos and O'Keefes and O'Briens, who show up here, replacing Toccoa men that you dumb replacements got killed in the first place! And they're all like you. They're all piss and vinegar... Two days later, there they are with their blood and guts hanging out and they're screaming for a medic, begging for their goddamn mother."

    • One of the soldiers who was in the 506th (which the series is based on) said in an interview he tried not to learn the replacements names, because he couldn't handle it when they, almost inevitably, got killed.
  • Farscape
    • In his appearances, the greedy merchant Grunchlk (pronounced Groon-shlick) is occasionally called "Gun-sick" or "Greenchalk" by the crew of Moya. Grunchlk is all too happy to correct them — and charge a higher price.
    • Also, Crichton pretty much never gets the name of a one-shot alien race right, even after multiple corrections.
  • On Seinfeld, Kramer was inexplicably under the impression that Susan's name was "Lily" ("she looks like a Lily to me!"), despite the fact that she and George had been engaged for several months, and had dated for a while previously.
    • Speaking of George Costanza, his coach in high school referred to him as George "Cantstandya".
  • In Married With Children, Bud would sometimes want to be addressed only by his rapper name, "Grandmaster B". This spawned a Running Gag wherein the cast members would refer to him as "Dustbuster B", "Thighmaster B", "Ghostbuster B", "Gas-passer B", and so on.
  • House
    • House generally refers to Amber as "Cutthroat Bitch" and Cole as "Big Love".
    • Thirteen isn't Thirteen's real name either, and that becomes so pervasive that even her boyfriend calls her Thirteen at times.
    • Then the point when Wilson make an offhand comment about House not knowing anyone's first name (a lampshade to everybody being called by their last name), and House says something along the lines of, "Yes, I do, 'Bob'." The character is played by Robert Sean Leonard.
  • On Barney Miller, Inspector Luger invariably referred to Carl Levitt as "Levine".
  • In CSI: NY, Danny frequently called Lindsay Monroe "Montana", a reference to her state of origin. This really annoyed her until she realised that he fancied her. The ship went well and truly canon.
  • Flight of the Conchords had their name given at one gig as "Flute of the Commodores". In the show, that is.
  • On The Colbert Report, Stephen mocked several media figures' inability to pronounce Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by making reference to him with terms like Mahmoud Alanaldajad. This has since evolved into a Running Gag where Stephen gets Ahmadinejad's name wrong in absurd ways, like "Mahmoud Ahmamasdon'tletyourkidsgrowuptobecowboysdinejad".

 Stephen: Oh, and a quick apology to my viewers. Earlier, when I mentioned the Iranian president, I neglected to note the difficulty of pronouncing his name. I assure you, I will not pronounce it correctly again.

  • Xena: Warrior Princess was driven mad by the Furies, and reffered to Gabrielle as "Mavis" for a while. Likely a Type A case, it only lasted for one episode.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Buffy either has a lot of trouble keeping demon names straight or just likes doing it to annoy them. Calling Acathla "Alfalfa" and "Al Franken", and Kakistos "Kissing Toast" and "Taquitos".
    • Buffy herself falls victim to this, as the mother of her best friend Willow is so scatter-brained that she is convinced Buffy's name is actually Bunny, which really grates on Willow's nerves.
  • Nev in Bear Behaving Badly does this to nearly everyone. He calls Mr Prank "Mr. Angry Pants", Barbara "Brabra", Beatrice "Beetroot" and Melanie "Smellanie". With the exception of a past version of Melanie in a time travel episode, no one takes offence to it. In one episode Melanie did call Mr Prank "Mr Angry Pants", in on other occasions Mr. Prank is sometimes called "Mr Plank".
  • Stargate SG-1
    • An odd one for species rather than individuals: throughout the series, the various main characters will all have different pronunciations of alien races, including but not limited to the Goa'uld (Goold, Gold, Go-uld, etc.) and Jaffa (Jaah-faah, Jah-faah, Jah-fah, etc.).
    • In one episode where the team has amnesia, Jack remembers a short, bald man in a short sleeved shirt who was very important to him. He recalls the name as "Homer", but later insists it must have been a mutation of the name of his superior, Gen. Hammond. Fans speculate that he was most likely remembering the character from The Simpsons.
    • There was an interview with Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge and Michael Shanks where the interviewer introduced them by their character names: "Sam Carter, Teal'c and... Michael Jackson." (The joke here being that Shanks' character was Daniel Jackson. The reference was never made in-series, though.)
  • Bones
    • It is a running gag near the end of the third season that Booth can never correctly pronounce the name of the serial killer "The Gormogon". He refers to him as "Gabagoon" and "Gorgonzola", among others. His partner believes he's doing so intentionally, but Booth never admits anything.
    • Hodgins' name is often mispronounced as Hodgkins, particularly by the private investigator he an Angela hired in one plot arc. This is a reference to the booklet that came with the first season DVD, which mispelled "Hodgins" as "Hodgkins".
    • Also, in one episode Brennan tells a emergency man at a crime scene her name is "Doctor Brennan." He replies that she probably doesn't even know his name. Her response? "Yes, but there's millions of you, but there's only one of me." Ooh, burnnn.
    • "Bones" itself is an example of this. Booth uses it as an affectionate nickname for Brennan.
    • Booth also mispronounces "Maluku", the region his partner Temperance was heading out to dig for ancient bones, in the season 5 finale.
  • On the "Twitter Tracker" segment of the The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Brian McCann's disembodied voice referred to Conan as "CoCo", to Conan's annoyance. This seems to have become an "official" nickname for Conan since then, however.
  • Inversion in Keeping Up Appearances, where Hyacinth Bucket, by constantly correcting people, tries (in vain) to make them think "it's actually pronounced Bouquet." Which, according to Richard, who should know seeing as it's his last name, it isn't.
  • On Weeds, Nancy's husband's (Judah) Jewish family did not approve of their marriage, so instead her father-in-law, grandmother-in-law and perhaps more called her "Not Francy" (the name of the woman the family wanted Judah to marry)
  • Oz. Neo-Nazi inmate Vern Schillinger is always correcting people who mispronounce his name. In one scene he loses his temper completely and just screams at a guard: "SCHILLINGER! GOD-DAMMIT, SCHILLINGER! BEEN HERE NINE FUCKING YEARS, YOU'D THINK YOU'D LEARN HOW TO SAY MY GODDAMN NAME!"
  • On The Impressions Show, the BBC's successor to Dead Ringers, the sketches with Bruce Forsyth and Vernon Kay feature Bruce constantly calling Vernon "Roland", and even giving him a nametag as such.
  • Misfits
    • Nathan seems determined to call Simon by literally anything other than his real name, and gives him various insulting nicknames over the course of the series, before revealing in the season 1 finale that he actually thinks Simon is named Barry (which is totally ridiculous given how much time they've spent together). It's unclear whether it's a Type A or a Type C situation. On the one hand, Nathan is infamously dreadful with names and did reluctantly apologize for his mistake when Simon reacted badly, but he's also a total Jerkass who goes out of his way to annoy people, so it's more than possible he did it out of malice.
    • Further lampshaded in season 2, when Simon confronts Nathan about all the hurtful names he's given him over the course of the series (most notably "melon-fucker") and the two of them sort of reconcile. But afterwards Nathan continues to call him Barry, seemingly unaware that he's doing anything wrong, and no-one bothers to correct him.
    • Taken even further in the Christmas special, when new character Marnie meets Simon for the first time.

 Marnie: Hello, you must be Barry. Nathan's told me all about you.

  • Hilary Booth on Remember WENN does this to people she doesn't like or is jealous of, such as calling Betty "Betsy" and Maple "Mabel." Scott Sherwood takes to calling her "Hildy" just to annoy her.
  • On Action, screenwriter Adam Rafkin is hired after being mistaken for real-life journalist Alan Rifkin. A Running Gag is that Peter calls him "Alan" to his face and doesn't recognize his real name.
  • The season 2 opener of Danis House features a guest character named "Fleur Blair". Dani, not hearing her name correctly repeatedly calls her "Fleur Blur".
  • Type A is used frequently whenever Alderman Davis showed up on Good Times. He would call Wilona "Whilamena", "Wyonna", among others.
  • Victorious
    • The stage fighting instructor, Russ, had his name mutilated by his students. Andre decided that Russ looked more like a Steve, to which the class concurred.
    • Trina used to forget Andre's name all the time, instead calling him Andrew or Andy.
  • On The Steve Harvey Show, Coretta would frequently call Lydia "Lisa" or "Lauren". when Steve catches Coretta copying Lydia's homework, Coretta addresses her by her correct name, making it the only time she does so.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway
    • The actors often did this as a gag. Most commonly occurred when one of the actors got a name wrong.
    • It once had a type E when Drew accidentally called Wayne "Brad", on an episode where Brad Sherwood was absent, no less. Ryan responded with "Hey, Clive's allowed to make mistakes!" (A reference to the fact that the British version of the show, on which Ryan has appeared many times, was hosted by Clive Anderson.)
    • This tendency became a running gag in a skit in which Ryan (One of Charlie's Angels) continuously referred to Colin (Bosley) as "Charlie", infuriating 'Bosley' more and more each time he was forced to correct him.
  • In the QI episode "Gothic" from Series G, Stephen Fry inadvertently referred to panellist Sue Perkins as "Mel", confusing her with her comedy partner Mel Giedroyc. Alan Davies promptly addressed the embarrassed Stephen as Hugh.
  • In a minimalist instance of Type A, principal Norman Pankow always mispronounced principal Grace Musso's surname on (the first syllable rhyming with "fuss") on Parker Lewis Can't Lose.
  • Thirty Rock
    • Jack's colleague when he goes to work for the US government is called Cooter Burger. Both of these are nicknames given to him by the President. His real name is James Riley.

 James Riley: Cooter Burger? What am I, a cartoon dog? The president gave me that name! "Cooter" because I look like a turtle and "Burger" because he saw me eating a burger one time!


James Riley: It wasn't even a burger. It was a sandwich...

    • At another point, Colleen Donaghy (Jack's mother) plays a mind game with Kenneth by repeatedly calling him "Carl" to see how long it will take for him to correct her. Of course, Kenneth being Kenneth, he is too polite to correct her and responds to "Carl" for so long that he forgets his real name.
  • Remington Steele: Type B. In the first season, Steele invariably refereed to Laura Holt's secretary Bernice Foxe as "Miss Wolf".
  • How I Met Your Mother has Swarley, a full episode dedicated to it. I've never seen ol'Swarles so pissed off...
  • Every minor character on The Monkees seems to be completely incapable of pronouncing Mike Nesmith's last name. Among the variants: Nishwash, Nashmirth, Nipmop... Subverted in "The Monkees in Texas", when the villains refer to Mike and his aunt as "Nesters"...he starts to correct them before his aunt explains that the word means "farmer" and that they were correct in their word choice.
  • That 70s Show
    • Casey Kelso constantly refers to Eric Forman as "Foreplay".
    • Red also calls Fez on various "foreign" names. He flips out, when Red refers to him as "Tarzan":

 Fez: Okay, that's it. Anwar I can deal with. Tonto, in the ballpark, but Tarzan... Tarzan is a white guy!

Red: Don't sass me, Tarzan.

  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: "Whatever you say, Ed!" "It's Zedd! Lord Zedd!" was a Running Gag after Rito Revolto arrived. Even Alpha got in on the joke once.
  • Throughout The Nanny, Fran Fine's senile Grandma Yetta calls Brighton Sheffield "Schmooey".
  • In Community episode English as a Second Language all of the Spanish class believes Annie's name is Hannah.
  • Showed up as a gag on News Radio once where Matthew spectacularly failed at pronouncing "Buttafuoco"... live on air. Whoops.
  • In Kamen Rider OOO, Date Akira consistently calls Ankh "Anko" (a type of snack food).
  • Throughout season six of Hustle, Emma consistently refers to Lucy Britford as 'Lucy Bitchface'.
  • Death Valley has a type C, with Cloudcuckoolander Captain Dashell routinely referring to Officer Kirsten Landry as Kristen, and seemingly unable to tell the difference between pronunciations when his error is pointed out.
  • On I Love Lucy, Lucy's mother was always cally Ricky "Mickey".
  • David Letterman used to frequently address crew members by the wrong name. Director Hal Gurnee was often called "Hal Gertner."
  • Parks and Recreation
    • Jerry is actually named Gary, but everyone in the office always called him Jerry because he didn't bother to correct them. Once they find out their mistake, they go on calling him Jerry because it's just easier that way.
    • Ron calls Ann "Jenny" after she finally manages to engage both him and April in small talk by describing a gross medical story. Ron and April's talking head:

 Ron: Ann was getting a little chummy. When people get too chummy with me I like to call them by the wrong name to let them know I don't really care about them.

April: That's a genius move.

Ron: Thank you.

April: You're welcome... Lester.

(Ron smiles at the camera like a proud father)

  • Herr Oldenberg from a TV discussion in a sketch by German comedian Loriot. The other talking heads manage to get his name wrong each time, and never call him by the same wrong name twice. At one point, he's so confused he forgets his own name.
  • In Roseanne, the title character called one of Becky's pet "rats" Pancakes instead of Waffles during a tornado in season 1's "Toto, We're not in Kansas Anymore". About one season later, Becky was drunk enough to accidentally call Darline "Lardine"/"Larline" in "One for the Road".


  • The song "That's Not My Name" by The Ting Tings is about a girl who is so forgetable that nobody can remember her name.
  • ABBA — Try to say "Agnetha Åse Fältskog". If you're not Scandinavian or not a fan of the group, you probably mispronounced it, as did the majority of broadcast journalists who interviewed her.

Myths & Legends

  • In The Bible, the goddess Astarte is referred to as "Ashtoreth". The latter notably more resembles the word "bosheth" meaning abomination.

New Media

  • The oft-mocked Microsoft Office Assistant in the form of an animated paperclip is almost universally called "Clippy" when criticised. It's actually called "Clippit".

Pro Wrestling

  • One of CM Punk's Running Gags during his stint as guest commentator on WWE NXT Season 3 was his inability to remember the names of the NXT Rookies.

 CM Punk:: I thought Francine was going to win.

Josh Matthews: Maxine.

CM Punk:: What did I say?

Josh Matthews: Uh.. Someone else.

  • This is one of Chris Jericho's favorite things to do. Ask "Kirk Angel", "Mitchell Cole", "Bill Greenberg", "Hoot-'n-Toot Guerrera", "Chris Ben-Oyt", "Bore-Us Malenko", "Stinko Malenko", or "Raisin" about that one. A long, long, time ago, back when Santino Marella was a heel with a chance instead of a clown with none, he decided to interrupt Chris Jericho's second day back in the WWE. Chris Jericho proceeded to get his name wrong so many times that Santino exploded into a torrent of Italian for a few seconds.
  • Speaking of Santino, he does this himself all the time, which had led to such names as John Chenna, Sheamoose, and the aforementioned Chris Jericho aka KYJ. Also Baptista, Ray Mastrio, Jerry "Stupid" Lawler, Rodney The Piper, The Honkey Donkey Man, Julia Styles ("Go fetch me a bowl-a of EXTREME VERMICELLI!"), Fredrick The Entertainment... we'd post a link of Santino's meeting with Chris Jericho, but YouTube would delete the video.
  • John Cena does this on purpose, at one point doing it to the entire Nexus.
  • William Regal
    • His rendition of YOUMANGA.
    • His infamous Triple Haitch; once he got into the act during his feud with The Great Khali, referring to Khali's translator Runjin Singh, alternately, as "Dungeon", "Bunion", and "Onion".
  • Real-Life example: When Lita was younger she used to get "Amy Dumb ass" (Her surname being Dumas, though the 's' is really silent).

Puppet Shows

  • Sesame Street
    • Big Bird constantly mispronounces Mr. Hooper's name, most often calling him "Mr. Looper", despite being corrected every time. Of course, this is due to him being (supposedly) 3 years old. How many 3-year-olds can remember names perfectly? And Mr. Hooper never seemed to mind much, other than getting mildly frustrated. At the height of a certain sitcom's fame, he called Mr. Hooper "Mr. Cunningham".
    • And in his guest appearance on The Electric Company, he called Fargo North Mr. Furpo. When he gets it right in the end, Fargo, being the Genius Ditz that he is, "corrects" him with "Furpo".
    • Whenever he was a guest on the original Hollywood Squares gameshow, he'd call host Peter Marshall 'Mr Marshmallow'
  • On Johnny and the Sprites, Sage, an elderly Sprite, always got the name of the other Sprites wrong in the first season. This was dropped in the second season, when Sage got a bit of an upgrade and was no longer portrayed as so much of a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • The full series version of Jim Henson's The Pajanimals has a character called Mr. Happy Birthday who can never get their name right, referring to them collectively by names such as "The Pajunipers" and "The Pajolopies".


  • In Absolute Power, Charles Prentiss always called the French waiter, Maurice, "Morris". When Maurice corrected this ("Maur-ees"), Charles would launch a more devastating putdown.
  • On Fibber McGee and Molly, Mr. Old-Timer routinely addressed Fibber as "Johnny" and Molly as "Daughter".
  • On Hello Cheeky, John Junkin casually addressed Barry Cryer as "Fatty". On one occassion, Barry calls him out on it with the reasoning that he's no longer fat. John complies — and refers to him as "Skinny" for the rest of the episode.


  • Jerkass sports reporter Jim Rome called football player Jim Everett "Chris" for years (named for the female tennis player, so it was a stab at his manhood). They finally met on a sports show and Everett warned him not to do it again. Rome did, and Jim Everett flipped over the table and rushed him, as seen in this video. Many Rome-haters regard this as a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
    • Incidentally, since that incident, Rome regularly disconnects callers to his radio show who do the same thing to other male athletes. Learned lesson or just bad memories of what Everett did to him?
    • Making it an even more Awesome moment, Everett said he did it not just because Rome was trying to insult him by calling him a "girl's name", but that Rome was insulting Chris Everett by inferring that she was "just a girl" instead of the outstanding athlete and hard-nosed competitor that she was.
  • During a 1940s football game broadcast, sportscaster Red Barber accidentally introduced his play-by-play partner Russ Hodges as "Russ Hughes". An amused (or perhaps miffed) Hodges responded, "Thank you, Red Baker."
  • Muhammad Ali had a famous fight against Ernie Terrel in 1967 known as the "What's My Name?" fight. Ali had changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali several years earlier and many people refused to call him by his new name, even years later. Terrel was one of them, and Ali made him pay for it, by pummeling him mercilessly while repeatedly screaming "WHAT'S MY NAME?" at Terrel. It is regarded as one of the few times Ali actually cut loose and showed unbridled ferocity in the ring.
    • Oscar Bonavena got the same treatment for the same reason.


  • In Rent, the Bohemians insist on calling Benny's wife Allison "Muffy", much to the annoyance of Benny and frequent corrections. It seems that it's Roger who does this the most, particularly in the presence of Mimi.
  • In Chicago, Amos is shocked when Billy Flynn refers to him by his actual name at the trial, rather than the Andy or Alan or whatever from all their previous meetings. This helps Flynn get exactly the testimony he needs.
  • In The Barber of Seville, the Count does this to Bartolo repeatedly while Playing Drunk.
  • In Wicked, G(a)linda often refers to Boq as "Biq," usually because she can't remember. He politely corrects her every time.

Video Games

  • Jump Start Adventures 3rd Grade Mystery Mountain has Polly, the bratty child villainess, repeatedly referring to the robot Botley (the game's Exposition Fairy) with type B insulting rhymes of his name, such as "Snotley" and "Potley".
  • Disgaea
    • Vyers, to whom everybody refers as "Mid-Boss" despite his protestations. He pops up dramatically, and everybody goes "Hey, it's Mid-Boss!", and he's left spluttering and trying to tell them that's not what he is (and he totally is).
    • In addition, Laharl gets deemed "Harlie" by Jennifer, indicating her impression of him as harmless Cute Shotaro Boy for her to tease. Laharl, trying very much to cultivate a Badass image for himself, is not amused (note that this was Woolseyism; in the Japanese version Jennifer simply added a "-chan" to Laharl's name).
  • When playing as a Malkavian in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines you never call any NPC by their actual name/codename/nickname. Except for one instance in which you can call Velvet by her true name. She is not amused.
  • Super Mario Bros
    • In Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga, most subjects of the Beanbean Kingdom have no idea who Luigi is. Even Bowser calls him names like "Green 'Stache".
    • Used repeatedly in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. The Puni elder thinks Mario's name is "Marty-o," the ancient mayor of Petalburg calls him "Murphy" due to his hearing problems, and the Yoshi who joins your party calls you "Gonzalez." That last one is Justified Trope because said Yoshi is born in a fighting-club type place, the Glitz Pit, where Mario's stage name is "the Great Gonzalez". (Mario didn't choose the name; his manager did.)
    • The clueless "detective" Pennington, who thinks Mario is Luigi. (In the sequence just before the final battle resumes, another character calls Mario by his proper name, and the detective is absolutely stunned at the notion of himself simply being wrong.)
    • And also Zess T. who keeps referring to Mario with names such as "Stompy" and "Sir Crush-A-Lot" after he accidentally steps on her contact lenses.
    • And Doopliss. After he replaces Vivian of the Shadow Sirens, Beldam starts calling him "Freak-in-Sheet".
    • In the Dragon Quest crossover Fortune Street, Bowser occasionally refers to the Dragonlord as "Lizardboss".
  • Monkey Island
    • This is the eternal curse of Nosehair Seepgo-- Gibberish Driftwo-- Gorbush Threekwo-- Guybrush Threepwood.
    • Dinky Island in Monkey Island 2 also suffers from the same fate, being referred to by several different names, such as Inky Island.
    • In The Curse of Monkey Island, Guybrush misreads the name-plate of Fortune Teller Madame Xima as "Madame Eczema", much to her annoyance.
    • In Tales of Monkey Island, Guybrush's tombstone almost gets it right. "Guybrush Threepwood, Mitey Pirate™."

 Ghost Guybrush: Uhh, at least they finally got the last name right.

    • In Chapter 4, Guybrush's lawyer does it to him. Something of a first.
    • Also, he calls Anemone by a few names like "Alemonade", "Amepoppoly", "Anumbelie", "Anepolme", "Astemmelle", and "Applebe". And in Chapter 4, Guybrush calls Miss Prettywhiskers (Hemlock's cat) "Miss Grungywhiskers", "Miss Trashywhiskers" and "Miss Barfywhiskers", angering Hemlock.
  • Beyond Good and Evil
    • The heroine Jade first meets her sidekick Double H after freeing him from Electric Torture. His brain is... a little fried, and after hearing her mention the "IRIS" Network, he starts calling her "Miss Thyrus." (He also calls himself "Triple Z" at one point.)
    • Jade herself once refers to the suspicious "Mr. de Castellac" who hired her on a mission (which was actually a charade aiming at establishing a contact between her and the IRIS Network) as "de Cadillac".
  • Kingdom Hearts II
    • Captain Jack Sparrow. Second visit to Port Royal... "Zola! Some assistance!" should be enough evidence.
    • Sora gets this from the whole surviving Organisation (except maybe Axel, who knows much better). They repeatedly call him 'Roxas' which is technically correct, because that's the name most of them knew him — or rather, his Nobody — by.
    • Setzer calls Roxas 'rucksack'.
  • Soul Nomad and The World Eaters
    • Danette refers to the eponymous World Eaters as "World... Thingies", due to her atrocious memory. She also never remembers Gig's name, much to his annoyance.
    • Gig himself is an example of the malicious form of the trope, referring to Danette and Levin exclusively as "stupid cow" and "sister-loving man-cow", respectively.
    • After being stuck with Gig inside his/her head for most of the game, Revya starts acting rather Gig-like at times, relabeling Danette as "Dumbette" after one of her ditzier moment ruins an infiltration, and referring to Levin as "doggy" due to his dog-like personality and apparent ability to track things by scent.
  • Used (perhaps on purpose) by Daxter on one of the villains of Jak III:

 Daxter: Listen, Count Vulgar...

Count Veger: It's VEGER!

Daxter was also fond of "Count Vegan" as well.
  • Touhou
    • Hong Meiling. Her name doesn't appear in the game because of a bug, and even her real name is hard to remember by fans, so they called her China. Soon, everyone in the Touhou universe starts catching that habit. Sometimes, it gets to the point that she only answers to "China" (see this Walfas flash for an example). And for an example of how far it goes, ZUN, the game's creator himself, has been known to call her China.
    • Another more subtle one is Alice, to Reimu. Reimu has never once called her by her name, depersonalizes her as a vagrant or freeloader (though everyone is one of those to the Hakurei Shrine), and on some occasions has outright ignored her presence. This goes as far back as Alice's first appearance in Mystic Square.
  • The seventh Leisure Suit Larry game, Love For Sail, features a character named Xqwzts (pronounced like "X-squats"). However, after Al Lowe realized that the voice actor who played Larry couldn't say the name properly, he decided to have everyone on the cast mispronounce the name deliberately, leading to examples such as "Quzewits", "Zipsits", or "Yojahowitz".
  • In Final Fantasy VI, Gau is highly amused by Cyan's Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe dialect and constantly addresses him as "Mr. Thou".
  • In Final Fantasy XII, several of the characters do this with a group, referring to La Résistance as "the Insurgence."
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • Sonic often calls Knuckles "Knucklehead" after the latter does something particularly unintelligent.
    • From Sonic Adventure onward, Sonic and his friends have been calling Dr. Robotnik "Eggman." From Sonic Adventure 2 onward, Robotnik decided to just go with it. Which is more of an inversion. In Japan, he had always been called Dr. Eggman. Sonic Adventure was the first game to use his original name in North America. Both names were used for transitional purposes (similar to how "Princess Toadstool" started being called by her Japanese name "Princess Peach" in NA beginning with Super Mario 64).

 Classic Tails: "Dr. Robotnik!"

Classic Eggman: "Nobody calls me that anymore."

  • Okami proves that not even a God is immune to this trope. Most people you encounter find the name Amaterasu a bit too much of a mouthful to remember. The nicer ones will call you Ammy or (after a previous, respected alias) Shiranui. Less respectful ones settle for Furball.
  • In The Nameless Mod, Scara B. King pronounces the protagonist's name in a new way every time he says it. A conversation with NV Shacker reveals he does this with everyone (and notes that because he pronounced it right 1 in 3 times, he thought he was on a fast track to a promotion). Scara seems to do it out of mockery. It is definitely deliberate. Trestkon calls him out on it when he uses the correct name when stressed or uses a wrong name he has used before, to which Scara responds with a new one.

  Scara B. King: Chestnut! What the hell do you think you're doing?!

  • Coach Oleander uses this to mock Razputin in Psychonauts.

 Oleander: Is your name Joey?

Raz: No.

Oleander: Cause I'm gonna call you Slowy Joey.

Raz: That's not my name.

Oleander: What's that, Slowy? I can't hear you, you're talking too slow.

  • In Tales of Symphonia, after Zelos introduces Lloyd to his butler as "My bud", the butler along with seemingly all of Meltokio's high society calls Lloyd "Sir Bud".
  • Dragon Quest VIII and Prince Charmles. There are three ways to say his name: Charm-els, Sharm-lay, and of course, Charm-less.
  • In Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon, Emperor Meningitis mistakenly addresses Crypto as "Klepto", due to being senile.

 Meningitis: Pox? Is that you? What have you done with your body? And what's that with you? Oh, it's your little house boy, Klepto!

Crypto: CRYP-TO.

Meningitis: Whatever!

  • Atelier Iris 2 The Azoth of Destiny's Max is a type C variant who addresses Felt by increasingly bizarre permutations of his name, at one point referring to him as "Klein" (the name of the protagonist from the previous Atelier Iris game). If corrected, he'll call him Felt for the remainder of the current conversation, so apparently he's just that bad with names.
  • A running gag in the Sam and Max Freelance Police games is how Girl Stinky always get the eponymous duo's names wrong. She remembers their names just fine, but chooses to call them completely random names just to piss them off — a more virulent form of type A, in other words.
  • Linebeck, of The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass, calls Link and Ciela by any number of degrading nicknames (rarely the same one twice) right up until they head into the Very Definitely Final Dungeon — whereupon he admits that he envies Link's heroic resolve. After a moment, Ciela realizes he's finally used her name.
  • A type F occurs in the European manual for Shadow of the Colossus, where Wander's name is misspelt as Wanda. This happened because the transliterations of "Wander" and "Wanda" use the same characters in Japanese. The translators simply picked the wrong one.
  • The King of Fighters: Ash Crimson does type D by constantly calling Elisabeth "Betty", much to her chagrin.
  • Sam does this in Splinter Cell: Double Agent.

 Sam: Listen Moose...

Moss: It's MOSS!

  • Blaz Blue: Taokaka does this with basically the whole cast.

 Taokaka: Hi Boobie Lady!

Litchi: It's "Litchi".

Taokaka: Oh! Okay Boobie Lady!

  • In World of Warcraft there's a Forsaken NPC who has your name wrong in the records, so he insists on calling you <name>nub. So if you're Alice, he'll call you "Alicenub".
    • There's also poor Chief Officer Coppernut, whom the zeppelin's captain keeps addressing as "Copperbolt" and "Copperpants."
  • In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, a girl named Belle keeps on calling Luke "Fluke." She either heard it wrong when he told her his name, or she simply calls him that out of her "affections." Probably the latter.
  • In Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia Professor Hastings keeps calling Rhythmi "Misery".
  • You can do this to yourself in Legend of Mana: early in the game you're asked for your name by the Onion Kid. If you reply with the joke answer of "Chumpy", that's how you'll be addressed and introduced by everyone else for the rest of the game cycle.
  • In the NES game Nightshade, the title wannabe superhero is frequently referred to dismissively as "Lampshade".
  • When Karin recruits Eyrios in Fire Emblem : Thracia 776, she decides that he would not be so stuck-up if his name was more ordinary-sounding, and thus calls him Olson (much to his displeasure).
  • In Mystical Ninja: Starring Goemon, the Big Bad is a theatrical man who repeatedly calls Goemon Fernandez despite Goemon's objections. According to one of his flunkies, he tends to give people the name he thinks they deserve. He even calls Ebisumaru Antonio once.

Visual Novels

  • Ace Attorney
    • In Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney 3, Godot calls the title attorney "Trite" all the time until the last episode, where, defeated, he calls Wright by his real name. In Japan, where Phoenix is called Ryuuichi Naruhodo, Godot calls him "Maruhodo". In the first game, Redd White insists on calling him "Mr. Wrong".
    • Apollo Justice also seems to be a frequent victim of this (rival prosecutor Klavier always calls him "Herr Forehead"), and there's even a scene where Apollo keeps getting the names of other characters wrong, prompting Trucy to say his name wrongly in the same way (such as calling him "Apololo" when he refers to Alita Tiala as "Alita Tialita").
    • Also, Morgan Fey keeps calling Detective Gumshoe "Gymshoe".
    • Gumshoe continually calls Phoenix "Harry Butz" throughout the first game, not only getting Larry's name wrong, but using it on the wrong person. Mia also misinterprets Larry's name as Harry.
    • In the first case of AceAttorneyInvestigations, Jacques Portsman keeps referring to the victim, Buddy Faith, as "Jim" for some reason. This one is actually a play on words. Jacques is meant to sound like "jock" (fitting his sports theme). He calls his partner Jim as a play on "gym", to go along with the theme.
  • Tsuzuriko's name in Kara no Shoujo is felt to be too hard to say by Reiji, so he calls her Tojiko instead. Yukari also picks up on it. Tojiko is not exactly thrilled about this.

Web Animation

  • Homestar Runner
    • In the Strong Bad Email 'toons, Strong Bad does this to quite a few of his senders. In the email "underlings", he refers to "PlasticDiverGuy" as PastyDeadGuy and PrancyDirtGirl.
    • Characters often come up with nicknames for each other, some mean-spirited and others just weird. A full list is right here.
    • Also, their creepy Cloudcuckoolander Senor Cardgage will refer to anyone he's talking to by some random, garbled female name, such as "Elizagarth", "Grendolyn", "Valerie" or "Ms. America".
    • "Rather Dashing? More like... Rather Homely!"
    • "Hamstray! Homegrown! Ramrod?"
    • This little exchange between Strong Bad and Homsar:

 Homsar: Hey, Reggie, is that rhinoceros around?

Strong Bad: Um, I can only assume you're talking to me and asking about Strong Sad. He's in the basement.

    • Crack Stuntmant, the voice of Gunhaver on Cheat Commandoes can't seem to remember the name of his own character, calling him "Gun Hay-ver" and "Gunshaver".
    • A script for an unfinished cartoon released on September 8, 2010 features the following exchange between the King of Town and the otherwise nameless Announcer.

 King of Town: Thank you, Walter. I must say, I'm very excited to eat some soap today.

Announcer: Yes, yes, not my name and not what we're doing here.


Web Comics

  • El Goonish Shive
    • Diane does this to Justin, calling him Jason. This same mistake has occurred on the boards amusingly enough unintentionally.
    • Bunnies (that is, EGS fans) do this sort of thing a lot on the forum. The most common seems to be calling Susan "Sarah" or Sarah "Susan".
  • The Order of the Stick
    • Xykon seems to think Roy Greenhilt's name is Bluepommel, Redblade, or Orangescabbard, when he can remember who he is at all. Put it this way: he's aware that Roy's surname incorporates a color and something involving a sword, he just doesn't see Roy as enough of a threat to really remember what the specifics are.
    • At one place, Nale calls Belkar "Belkon". Made even funnier by the fact that he was impersonating his Good Twin at the time, who should have known his fellow party member's name, but who was such a ditz that nobody found it odd.
  • In Darths and Droids, Qui-Gon calls suspected (but not) Evil Chancellor Sio Bibble "Bubble". And Tatooine "Ratatouille" and the Orb of Phanastacoria "The Orb of Phantasmagoria" (and many permutations). He also refers to Jedi Knights as "Cheddar Monks".
  • And in its spiritual predecessor, DM of the Rings, nobody could keep any of the names straight. Notable ones include Aragorn referring to Theoden as "King Crazypants", mixing up Sauron and Saruman, and forgetting the names of their own party members. Rivendell is Rivertown or Riverdale, Theoden is Theogan, and the Nazgul are Nargazoids.

 Aragorn: Hail to the king, baby! Aragorn, son of Anduril is back!

DM: ... Anduril is the name of your sword, dumbass.

  • Erfworld
    • Stanley the Tool doesn't seem to recall the names of any of his underlings except Wanda and "Lord Hamster" (Parson — who wears a prominent hamster crest).
    • This becomes a plot point when the Foolamancer he brought to cover his escape is mentally damaged and unable to function properly — addressing the Foolamancer by name might help bring him around, but Stanley doesn't remember what his real name is. Stanley got much better at remembering the names of his underlings (at least the moderately important ones) after that.
    • Becomes a Running Gag here, with the troll Zhopa.
  • Due to Eddie being the one to originally introduce him, almost all the main cast of Emergency Exit calls Jurinjo "Sancho".
  • Penny Arcade
    • Gabe does it in this strip.
    • Also, in the comic "The Ultimatum"; "The Microsofts" threaten a Mr. Cairnhall but call him Cornhole throughout the conversation.
  • One of the many single-arc characters in Sluggy Freelance, Dr. Haught-Sheik, gets called "Dr. Hot-Chick", "Dr. Hot-Cheeks", and eventually "Dr. Hoochie".
  • Buwaro from Slightly Damned constantly refers to Kieri as "Snowy," the name they gave her when they first found her as a bunny in the woods. After discovering she was an angel, he continued to call her Snowy, finding it much easier to say than her real name. It also seems to have developed into a term of affection.
  • Reginald from Nedroid takes this to the extreme when, at the end of an evening of romance, he accidentally calls his date Becky "Lord Voldemort".
  • Black Mage does this to Warmech in Eight Bit Theater.
  • Coyote from Gunnerkrigg Court never seems to call Antimony by her name, seemingly out of absent-mindedness more than anything else. First he called her Surma (her mum's name), then he mispronounced her name as Abalone. Currently he prefers to call her Fire Head Girl.
  • "If you ever see this man, beat him to near-death. Or at least call him mean names. Like... Fairblech."
  • Out There: James never uses Miriam's name, always referring to her as "Red". Sherry always calls her ex-flame Steven "Stevie". After Miriam breaks up with him, she takes to calling him "Stevie" as well, much to his annoyance.
  • Bob and George: My name is not NINJA NED!
  • Power play maliciousness in Teahouse: Rhys, a high class frequenter to the brothel deliberately calls cocky Not Gay prostitute Axis "Alice". Rhys enjoys humiliating Axis, and calling him a girl's name is a way to rub his freedom to do so in Axis' face.
  • Yoon Sung of Welcome to Room 305 can't get anybody's name right, out of either seer apathy, forgetfulness or being a Cloudcuckoolander. Not only this, he never sticks to the same name. He refers to Jung Hyun as Joong Hyun and then Hyun Joong, and some other variations.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Rocko's Modern Life:
    • Heffer's mom does this. She keeps getting Rocko's name wrong and always ends up calling him Crocko, Jocko, and such instead.
    • Grandpa Wolfe doesn't even bother with his name and just calls him "the beaver" instead, which is another thing entirely.
  • Short-lived Saturday Morning Cartoon Drak Pack has the main villain always addressing the eponymous "Drak" by such various names as "Plaque", "Black", "Brakk", et al.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
    • Billy corrects Irwin's mispronunciation of Cthulhu with his own. "Irwin, it's not Kahlua, it's Cacadoodoo." (The actual, phonetic pronunciation of "Cthulhu" isn't all that hard if you really try it.)
    • Also, Billy's new friend Pinocchinochinochinoichnoichnoichnoichnoichino.
  • South Park
    • "Stan Marsh? More like... Stan DARSH! Hahahahaha!"
    • Stan's grandfather always calls him Billy. Ironically, Grandpa Marsh's own grandfather always called him Billy. (His real name is Marvin.)
  • Kim Possible
    • Dr. Drakken could never remember Ron Stoppable's name — referring to him many times as "the buffoon". Which led to a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Ron in So The Drama.
    • A lot of Kim Possible villains have trouble with Ron's name. On one occasion Ron mentions that he's always found it gratifying that Monkey Fist made a habit of actually remembering his name.
    • And Señor Senior Senior & Señor Senior Junior. At first they couldn't remember Ron's name either, but they actually asked him what it was so they could remember in the future. This also leaves an impression on Ron since they were polite enough to go out of their way to remember his name.
  • On Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, in the short "Shape Up or Ship Out", the ship captain addresses Dick Dastardly as "Mustardly" but is never corrected.
  • Colleen did this to Blitz all the time on Road Rovers. Sometime's she'd call him things like "Mr Chubbycheeks"; other times she'd just pretend to have forgotten his name entirely.
  • On The Venture Brothers, Doctor Venture frequently calls his son Dean other names like Dave, Don or such. Dean hopes these might be nicknames, but doesn't think so.
  • Duckman constantly forgets the name of his son, Mambo, calling him by other unusual or ridiculous names like La Bamba and Mandingo. In one episode, he forgets Charles' name instead.
  • In Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, Ronan the Accuser, an alien with very distinct blue skin, seeks revenge on Johnny Storm for a defeat in a previous episode which exiled him from his home planet and forced him to work with his hated enemies. Despite his efforts, Johnny has no clue who he is ("Do you know how many blue people we've fought?"), which greatly angers Ronan.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Hahn, an arrogant teenager and would-be boyfriend of the Northern Water Tribe's Princess Yue, can't remember anybody's name. He called Sokka many permutations of his actual name, and when he challenged Admiral Zhao, he called him "Admiral Choi" before being effortlessly thrown into the ocean by him.
    • It should also be noted that an ongoing gag in the show is Toph's constant use of nicknames like "Twinkletoes" and "Sugar Queen".
  • In the episode of The Tick with Thrackorzog, Tick repeatedly messes up Thrakorzog's name, eventually calling him 'Susan'. Thrackorzog tries to do it back at the Tick later, and fails hilariously.
  • Super Mario World
    • An episode has Wizardheimer the Magikoopa, who would get annoyed whenever the Mario Brothers called him "Wisenheimer" or "Wiseacre".
    • The infamous SMB3 episode with Milli Vanilli had a brief gag where Bowser mispronounces their name as Silly Thawilly and Billy Danilli, with "Kootie Pie" and "Cheatsy" correcting him. This fanfiction spoof of the episode makes further use of the joke by making it a Running Gag.
  • In the Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Berry Scary", Bloo almost never gets Berry's name right, miscalling her "Mary", "Jeri", etc. She doesn't mind, up until Bloo simultaneously shoots her down and calls her Heather.
  • In Lilo and Stitch: The Series, everyone (but especially Gantu) refers to Dr. Hamsterviel as "Dr. Hamster Wheel." He always corrects this. (He's really more of a gerbil, anyway.)
  • One of the running gags in the 1960s series Hoppity Hooper (from the makers of Rocky and Bullwinkle) is that Waldo never remembers Fillmore's name, often calling him Fensworth, Wilbur, etc.
  • In The Care Bears: Big Wish Movie, Too Loud Bear, a bit of a Jerkass, constantly mispronounces Twinkers' name. At the end of the movie, he finally calls Twinkers by the right name to demonstrate the end of his character arc.
  • In The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin, the villainous Tweeg had to put up with his flunky L.B. mispronouncing his name as "Twig" and the like.
  • In the Hanna-Barbera series Jabberjaw, Shelly often referred to Cloudcuckoolander Bubbles as "Bubblehead".
  • In Dynomutt Dog Wonder, there were a few times where Dynomutt's bungling caused The Blue Falcon to refer to him as "Dog Blunder" instead of the usual "Dog Wonder".
  • On The Fairly Odd Parents, several characters have forgotten Timmy's name. Trixie Tang is the one that comes to most fans' minds, but several others have forgotten at one point: Cosmo, his parents, Adam West, and Quddus (in the TRL interview).
  • The classic Ninja Turtles cartoon episode "Rebel Without a Fin" features a guest villain with the name Dr. Pollydorious. Throughout the episode, the Turtles address him as Dr. Pollyanna, Dr. Polyester, Dr. Polyunsaturated, and other such names.
  • In Widget the World Watcher, the male elder keeps forgeting and mispronounces Widget's name every time they meet.
  • In Katy Caterpillar, Katy runs into some freewheeling chameleons who repeatedly refer to her as "girlie", even though she tells them each time, "My name is Katy."
  • A few episodes of Ka Blam had someone refer to June as "Jane". Surprisingly, she didn't get mad. In fact, some fans call her "Jen".
  • In Shaggy and Scooby Doo Get A Clue, Robie, the robot butler, always calls Scooby "Rooby Roo".
  • Total Drama Island
    • Lindsay is getting everybody's name wrong. Although she can usually remember somebody's name if they're (at the moment) important to her. For example she remembers Heather's name throughout the whole TDI season; when she calls her "Hannah" in the special Heather is clearly shocked, because is means Lindsay is no longer her puppet. (Interestingly, she seems generally better with names in TDA.)
    • It's Played for Laughs much more in World Tour, where she just can't get her boyfriend's name right. She calls him Noah, a character she's had no on-screen interaction with. Ergo, she can remember a name or a face, but never both!
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers
    • Greedly would address his butler Boris as "Horrace", "Norris", etc.
    • Likewise, Duke Nukem would usually call his lackey Leadsuit by another name, usually "Leadhead".
  • The Looney Tunes short Hoppy Go Lucky has Sylvester accompanied by a large boneheaded cat named Bennie who keeps addressing him as George (in a reference to Of Mice and Men). When Sylvester corrects him, he replies, "But I can't say 'Sylvester', George!"
  • In the Batman Beyond episode "Out of the Past", Terry persistently mispronounces Ra's Al Ghul as RAUZ (the same pronunciation used in Batman Begins) instead of the "proper" DCAU pronunciation, RAYSH. Talia constantly corrects him, getting more and more annoyed when Terry never tries to get it right. Word of God says this was Terry's subtle way of dissing the criminal mastermind by not even getting his name right. So in short, starts out looking like type E but is really type A.
  • Beezy to Samy on Jimmy Two Shoes, during an incident when Samy was forced to act like a pet.
  • The Powerpuff Girls
    • The Powderpuff, Power Puff, Powerpuff Girls?
    • An episode had a Shout-Out to Sesame Street when Bubbles crashed through a grocery store window. She apologizes to Mr. Hooper for the broken window, who tells her, "It's Cooper! Cooper!"
  • Several characters in Beavis and Butthead frequently refer to them as Travis and Bob-head, Beaver and Buffcoat, etc.
  • In King of the Hill, Hank's father Cotton refers to Peggy as "Hank's wife", regardless of whether he's being mean or genuinely nice.
  • On Willa's Wild Life, the school mean girls Sara, Kara and Lara always refer to Willa by some name other than her own that starts with W, such as "Wanda" or "Winifred." Meanwhile, Willa's own pet penguins always call her Gladys, but only because they're Cloud Cuckoolanders.
  • In "The Greatest Story Never Told" of Justice League Unlimited, episode centerpiece Booster Gold is constantly referred to or otherwise mistaken for Green Lantern despite his gold-and-blue color scheme.
  • Puffer Pete constantly on Chuggington, because he's old.
  • A Running Gag on Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers is that several recurring guest characters called Walter Hartford "Wally", "Wilbur", and most anything other than his given name. This included his own Mechanical Horse (though said horse had some very... odd programming bugs in her AI). Small wonder he pretty much went by "Doc" whenever possible.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • In the episode "The Fry Cook Games", SpongeBob erases half of Patrick's Chum Bucket name tag during a wrestling match.
    • This was a Running Gag in the "great snail race" episode, at the expense of Squidward. Tennisballs? Tentpoles? Tortellini? Tentacles!
  • An episode of Rugrats where a second-aunt-twice-removed comes to stay with the family, she continually calls Didi by the wrong name. At the end of the episode Stu does too finally setting Didi off.
  • In South Park episode "Rainforest Schmainforest", because of Kenny's muffled voice, his new girlfriend keeps calling him Lenny, Benny, Johnny, or whatever sounds like Kenny.
  • In the Dexters Laboratory episode "Old Man Dexter", as Dexter is deemed too young to watch late night TV, he scientifically ages himself... a little too much. As such, senility kicks in as he asks his sister to help him up on the living room couch.
  • On Hey Arnold Helga does this to insult Harold in the episode "Beaned" where she fools Arnold (and the rest) into thinking she's got amnesia.

Real Life

  • Bill Parcells, one-time coach of the New England Patriots, once deliberately referred to Terry Glenn, his own player, as "She" in a national TV interview.
  • Former President George W. Bush was notorious for doing this deliberately to practically everyone he works with on a regular basis, including but not limited to advisors (Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove), staffers, and the press corps. They were usually based on something completely unrelated to the person's name or abilities and usually based on something trivial (Rove got his after Bush saw him picking up after his dog in a flowerbed). Loyal Bush Republicans tried to pass it off as a great honor, but most weren't pleased with them, and a few were outright insulted. Rove's "Turd Blossom" is often the most cited example of just how bad these names could be. Bush also was not shy about mispronouncing the names of foreign leaders. For instance, he was once overheard calling Vladimir Putin "Pooty Poo".
  • In recent years many conservative politicians and commentators in the U.S. have taken to routinely referring to the Democratic Party as the "Democrat Party", due to the word "democratic" having positive connotations that conservatives don't want to highlight. Also, the shortened form ends in "rat". See The Other Wiki. Incidentally, this one's Older Than They Think; it's been used off and on since at least the 1930s.
  • Members of the Tea Party movement originalled called themselves "Tea Baggers" until it become public knowledge that "teabagging" is also the name of a sexual act. The Tea Party dropped the nickname, but their opponents often continue to call them Tea Baggers either out of habit or to mock them.
  • Obama's detractors deliberately emphasize the scary foreign-sounding aspect of his name, calling him "Iraq Obama" or "Saddam Hussein Obama," or simply "Nobama" or variants. Also, "Osama". Which backfired on them when Osama bin Ladin was reported killed. They said President Obama is dead, Obama bin Ladin is dead, and even Geraldo Rivera messed it up. That was not limited to US newscasts. Here are some clips from Italian newscasts with the same mistake.
    • Conversely, they may call him "Barry", an Americanized nickname he grew up with but now dislikes.
    • It's not just his detractors that got his name wrong. Teddy Kennedy, in a desparate attempt to get his name right, called him "Osama Bin Laden — Osama Obama — uh, Obama", leading to this parody song.
    • In 2011, after Michele Bachmann began her run for the presidency, David Letterman began referring to both her and Michelle Obama as "Michelle O'Bachmann". Paul Shaffer then mumbles the correct pronunciation into his microphone.
  • On an edition of the long running BBC panel discussion programme Question Time, moderator David Dimbleby inadvertently addressed former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook as "Robin Cock". Cook immediately countered by addressing the moderator as "David Bumblebee".
  • When Nick Griffin, leader of the fiercely xenophobic British National Party, was controversially allowed to appear on the programme as a guest in 2009, one of the audience members addressed him as "Dick Griffin" before posing a question. This was almost certainly an example of Category A, a subtle way for said audience member to express disgust at Griffin's political views.
  • Being pretty much definitely accidental — although it may have been a Freudian Slip, YMMV — doesn't make the time radio presenter James Naughtie (pronounced noch-ty, where "noch" rhymes with "loch", but has endless potential for written puns) mispronounced the surname name of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt (hint: it involved replacing an "h" with a "c") any less funny.
  • In The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Sigmund Freud argued that the forgetting of proper names is never accidental, and usually, if not always, has something to do with hostility toward the person whose name is forgotten. The reasons for that hostility may vary, and we may not be aware of them at the time, but it's there. This is a subset of the concept of "Freudian Slips", where a word misused in place of another word displays a hidden meaning.
    It's important to remember that Freud's conclusions are no longer given the respect they once were. Freud was indeed a pioneer in his field, but his conclusions were based on his own untested hypotheses, and in many cases have since been positively disproven by actual scientifically rigorous investigation. Unfortunately, until the science was done, Freud's influence on the field of psychology led far too often to "blame the victim" scenarios that only compounded the patient's problems. For example, in the case of forgetting names, there are often physiological causes that can be specifically diagnosed by a neurologist. Looked at through a Freudian perspective, however, such a patient not only has an undiagnosed neurological problem, now he is presumed by others to be unreasonably hostile, and so receives hostility in response.
  • This happened frequently to the late journalist Christopher Hitchens during television appearances. Many interviewers (including Dennis Miller and Bill Maher, who should have known better) would make the mistake of calling him "Chris", which would lead to him rather irritably reminding them his name was "Christopher".
  • Aubrey de Grey gets called Audrey a lot.
  • Rock star Meat Loaf was interviewed in the '70s by a journalist named Tom who seemed to think his name was "Meatball". Meat Loaf retaliated by calling the guy "Dick".
  • German leftist politician Herbert Wehner who was (in)famous for his insults in parliament once called fellow parliamentarian Jürgen Wohlrabe "Übelkrähe" (which was a pun on the latter's name, turning "well-raven" into "evil-crow").
  • The full name of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda is actually 'Al Qaeda al-Jihad', which means "the base of the holy war" in Arabic. English speakers don't speak Arabic and just shortened it to al-Qaeda, which just means 'the base' which means absolutely nothing. This has unintentionally resulted in a hilarious PR problem for the terrorist group who are trying to rename themselves.
  • Eliezer Ben Yehuda, reviver of the Hebrew language, rooted Shaul Chernikhovsky for national poet over Khayim Nakhman Bialik[1], and frequently got the latter’s name wrong in his newspapers as "Bialin", "Bilik", etc.
  • Infamous Brazilian manager Vicente Matheus was known for Malapropers, a few entering this. Best known was calling Biro-Biro "Lero-Lero".
  • In October 2011, when asked if he was ready to field "gotcha" questions like who the president of Uzbekistan was, Republican presidential contender Herman Cain said "And when they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan I’m going to say, you know, I don’t know. Do you know?" He then added, "Knowing who is the head of some of these small insignificant states around the world — I don’t think that is something that is critical to focusing on national security and getting this economy going."
  • "Ngaio", a New Zealand name, is pronounced NIE-oh. This applies to:
    • New Zealand mystery writer Ngaio Marsh;
    • A suburban district of Wellington located on the south slope of Mount Kaukau;
    • Myoporum laetum, a species of tree also known as the mousehole tree.
  • Dean Martin liked to do this with Jerry Lewis' last name. His favorite variations were Lucas, Loomis, Lousy and Looseleaf.
  • Rowan Atkinson was accidentally called Ronan, Roman, or even Roland by some fans. Prior to that, his school mates called him, Zoonie, Moonman, Greenman, etc.
  • Donald Trump was called "Donald Chump" by many people. Even 'Full House' actress Andrea Barber called him that as she predicted that future as she was ironically not a fortune teller.
  • Gilbert Gottfried was either called "Gott-fired" or "Got Fried". Even Donald Trump was unaware that he banned Gilbert's fans from saying his last name right.
  1. Who happens to be a distant relative of Mayim Bialik, whom you may know as Amy Farrah Fowler