Hey, You

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Better think of something cool to say to make him stop... "HEY YOU!" Hehe...Genius, farmer, genius!

—Farmer with Shotgun, Dragonball Z Abridged

Daphne: Don't worry. I know how to handle this guy... Hey, you! What you doing?
Velma: Oh, yes. That is masterful.

There are many ways for people, friends, and family members to address each other, each with its own nuanced Subtext for that particular relationship. This often factors in and includes such things as age, respect, social station, and gender.

So when a son calls his dad by first name, or a "friend" will only ever address you as "Hey, You! Yeah, you," people take notice...and offense.

There are many, many variations, but the general gist of Hey, You is that someone deliberately calls another that deserves respect by first name, an insult, wrong gender, wrong honorifics, wrong pronouns, the wrong name altogether, or just plain "you".

A change in Hey You can serve lots of purposes other than establishing a disdainful relationship. A Deadpan Snarker or The Nicknamer suddenly calling the hero by name is a sign of hard-earned respect or seriously dire circumstances, likewise a boy calling his stepfather "Dad", or a drop in formality when Doctor Pretentious insist you call her Jane. Or the reverse, if Jane insists on "Doctor Pretentious".

One particularly odd subtrope is that often, parents in Western Animation do not have names. People are forced to either call them by last name, or "Timmy's Mom". See also Only Known by Their Nickname. Not to be confused with You!. Or the "Hey You!" Haymaker.

Compare Terms of Endangerment. Not to be confused with Hey, Wait!

Examples of Hey, You include:

Anime and Manga

  • Tyki Mikk from D.Gray-man is pretty much always referring to his foe Allen as "boy".
  • Genma Saotome in Ranma ½ tends to call Ranma "Boy" (although not exclusively so), even/especially when Ranma is in girl form.
  • Nanjiroh Echizen also refers to his son Ryoma as "boy" sometimes in The Prince of Tennis. Additional, Momoshiro and Kaidoh call each other "Mamushi" and "moron", and Kamio also refers to Kaidoh as "mamushi". Until Kaidoh becomes the Seigaku captain in his third year; Momoshiro calls him by his surname, since he's implied to be his sub-captain.
  • In Digimon Savers, Piyomon calls Masaru just that, prompting a reaction of "Where's my honorific?"
    • Digimon Adventure 02: A jealous Daisuke calls Takeru 'omae', prompting Hikari to angrily reply, "It's not you, it's Takeru-kun."
      • The joke here, for those who don't know the nuances of Japanese language, is that Daisuke actually added the honorific "-kun" to the "omae" part. That's right, he just said "you" is Takeru's name.
    • The dub rendered this as "Hey, buddy!" for that particular line, and then continued the theme with Davis calling TK TO, TS, TA, etc.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, Syaoran calls Sakura anything but her name (usually preferring just "Hey, You.", or "Kinomoto" if he really has to address her) He doesn't use her real name until the episode they're locked in an elevator together and Sakura falls through a mysterious hole. He's so shocked that he yells for her, calling her "Sakura," and when she floats back up by using the Float card, she acknowledges the change with happiness.
  • Jun Manjoume of Yu-Gi-Oh!! GX gets upset when people don't call him "Manjoume-san" and frequently retorts with, at first, "Manjoume-san, da!" and eventually simply "San, da!" Since "sandaa" is how the English word 'thunder' is pronounced in Japanese, he earns the nickname "Manjoume Thunder" at North Academy for this insistence.
  • ×××HOLiC features both the Defrosting Ice Queen version and the Abusive Parents one.
  • In the first episode of Soul Eater, Soul twice refers to Maka with a term that has been translated as either "shorty" or "tiny-tits."
  • In Ikki Tousen, Hakufu usually refers to others by cutesy nicknames derived from their names: "Gaku-chan" for Gakushuu, "Mou-chan" for Ryomou, "Ryu-chan" for Ryuubi, "Fu-chin" for Ryoufu, "Ton-chan" for Kakouton, "U-chan" for Ukitsu, and so forth. The only ones she refers to by name are her adoptive sister Chuubou and her cousin Koukin.
    • Likewise, Kan'u is called "Kan-san" by the other two girls in her Power Trio, Ryuubi and Chouhi, whom she calls by their first names. (And of course, Hakufu calls her "Kan-chan")
  • In Hell Girl, Tsugumi calls her father "Hajime-chan".
  • Ban in GetBackers tends to address Ginji's friends with mean nicknames, such as monkey-trainer for Shido and thread-spool for Kazuki. (Although different translators use different names: ADV Films used "monkey boy" and "thread spinner", while Tokyopop uses "string-boy".) A flashback reveals that Ban originally had one of these for Ginji (lightning brat), before they got used to each other. Himiko mostly calls Ginji "you" (if she speaks to him at all) and thinks of him by his full name.
  • In Cromartie High School, both Kamiyama and Hayashida call Hokuto's henchman this, prompting him to try to reveal his name to them without any success.
  • Chang Wu Fei from Gundam Wing referred to Lucrezia Noin as "woman" precisely once, when the two were opponents in a heated battle and didn't know each others' names. Unfortunately for Wu Fei, fan portrayals of him cite that one instance as concrete proof that he's a He-Man Woman Hater.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, Gauron tends to address certain people in an overly familiar way, and being the Jerkass he is, becomes even more persistent about calling them that way when they express discomfort and anger. Towards Sousuke, he insists on continuing to call him "Kashim" (and occasionally "Honey"), which Sousuke hates, because Gauron is not his friend. And then he called John Dunnigan by his first name "John," to which Dunnigan angrily told him to not do, since he only allows close friends to call him that. Gauron's response? Attack him, hold a gun to his privates, and threaten to shoot them off if he doesn't let him call him that.
    • In the novels he also calls Kaname "Kana-chan," something only her best friend Kyoko calls her.
    • He also addresses Kalinin in a very casual manner, calling him "Iwan (Ivan?)", a name no one else uses with him.
      • It should be noted that "Ivan" is not Kalinin's first name—which is Andrei. "Ivan" is more like an insulting way of addressing a Russian, and it's been widely used during the Cold War, at least in the European countries.
  • The original Japanese version of Dragonball Z features the Ginyu Force calling Vegeta "Vegeta-chan", which, of course, pisses him off.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, Teana addresses Caro as "chibi-ko" (translated as "little one" or "kid") until learning her name. During the first season, Fate tends to refer to Nanoha as "you," or "that girl" until the Say My Name scene in the last episode.
  • In Ah! My Goddess, Keichi's and Megumi's parents require them to call them by names rather than "Mom" and "Dad".
  • In Bleach Ishida Uryuu calls his father by his given name. They are not on good terms.
  • Hellsing: Alucard purposedly refuses to call his apprentice by her name Vicroria Seras, resorting instead to a sneering alias "police girl" which showes his disdain for her reluctance to drink blood and embrace her vampire nature in full extent.
  • Shizuo Heiwajima of Durarara!! is prone to this, either forgetting appropriate honorifics or forgetting names entirely, mostly because he doesn't really know any better. Tom notes that this is probably one of the reasons people would pick fights with him in school.
  • Takeru of Akuma de Sourou greets his crush's crush as Yuu-chan. Both Kayano and Kamijou are naturally horrified; this is not an introductory phrase. Of course, he wasn't feeling too friendly towards Kamijou, being his rival and all.
  • Van of Gun X Sword is horrible with names, rarely even remembering the names of people he travels with for months. (He learns Wendy's name after a few episodes and one of the first clues that Priscilla is a love interest is the fact that he remembers her name right off the bat.) One the rare occasions when he does address people by name, he almost never uses honorifics.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: When Utena wins her first duel with Saionji, Anthy stops referring to Saionji as -sama and starts using -senpai to indicate she no longer has any obligation to be subservient to him.
  • In the beginning of Hatenkou Yuugi, Rahzel fights with Alzeid over this.

"My name is Rahzel! Not "hey you" or "stupid chick" or "little rat"! I'm not some kind of small animal!"

    • And when he finally does call her by her name, she gets upset because he didn't use an honorific like sama or dono. (Both are extremely formal and respectful.) She had to compromise on that, though.
  • Barnaby from Tiger and Bunny makes a point of calling Kotetsu "old man" - at least until the end of episode 13.
  • Early on in My-HiME, Natsuki, not getting along with Mai, typically calls her just "omae", in contrast to referring to most of her classmates by last name without honorifics, and Shizuru by her first name. In Episosde 9, however, she starts calling Mai by her first name, as she starts to become friends with her.
  • Hibiki from Vandread always calls Dita "omee". The first and only time he calls her by name on-screen is the very end of the series finale, signaling a Relationship Upgrade.

Comic Books

  • Invincible; William is very touchy about being called something shorter like "Will" or "Bill" to the point of absurdity.
    • Rick: I'm Rick Sheridan, can I call you Bill?
    • William: Only if I can call you "R-Sherry".
  • During the "Merged Hulk" period in The Incredible Hulk when the Hulk had Banner's psyche, he was a member of a group called "The Pantheon" whose other members were all related and were all named after Greek heroes. One (Paris I think)[please verify] was an insufferable jerk who insisted on calling Doctor Robert Bruce Banner (who went by Hulk, Bruce, or Dr. Banner) "Bobby."
  • Slight subversion in Justice Society of America: While evil, Todd referred to Alan as 'Father'; after becoming good again, he switched to the more casual 'Dad.'
  • In The Golden Age of Comic Books, comic character Johnny Thunder (who still exists, but a Retool or two has occurred) was connected to a genie-like 'living thunderbolt.' The word for summoning him was cei-u, but he never knew that, and was in fact unaware of the Thunderbolt's existence for a long time. Instead, he'd accidentally summon the Thunderbolt by yelling "Say, you!" at whatever bad guy he was confronting.
  • Played with in an issue of Suicide Squad, when Father Richard Craemer is appointed team chaplain:

Murph: So what do we call you? Father Richard? Reverend Craemer? Hey you?
Craemer: 'The Reverend Hey You' has a certain ring to it, don't you think?


  • In the US remake of The Ring, Rachel's son Aidan always calls her "Rachel", much to her annoyance. We don't know why this is exactly, but it becomes a plot point in the sequel.
  • "Hey you! Get your damn hands off--". George McFly in Back to The Future uses this at the dance because he expects Marty to be in the car. Instead it turns out to be the bully, Biff, so without backing down he rephrases his demand a little more respectfully as "No, Biff, you leave her alone."
  • In the Coraline movie, Coraline refuses to address her Other parents as Mother and Father, and after she realizes that the Other world isn't a dream come true, she deliberately calls her Other father "Hey you."
  • In The Pianist the Nazis address Jews by the familiar you "du", an insult in German. (This is most notable in the scene where one Nazi is picking Jews out of a line to shoot: "du!...du!...du!".) When the Good German, Capt. Hosenfeld, speaks to Szpilman he adresses him with the respectful formal "you", "Sie".


  • Albus Dumbledore likes to annoy Lord Voldemort by calling him by his first name, "Tom", which he hates. In the Final Battle of Deathly Hallows Harry follows Dumbledore's example, calling Voldemort "Riddle" (which is his real surname, the one of his muggle father). The Dark Lord is not happy.
    • Uncle Vernon also refers to Harry almost exclusively as "Boy".
    • The Marauders also bestowed the insulting nickname "Snivellus" upon Snape in their schooldays.
  • Shows up in one of C. S. Lewis's Narnia books, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Eustace's parents insist on being called by their real names (Alberta and Harold) instead of Mum and Dad.
  • Discworld:
    • In Wintersmith, Granny Weatherwax names a kitten that was foisted onto her You.
    • Speaking of Pratchett: "It's an interesting fact that fewer than 17% of Real cats end their lives with the same name they started with. Much family effort goes into selecting one at the start ("She looks like a Winnifred to me"), and the as the years roll by it suddenly finds itself being called Meepo or Ratbag."
    • Also also Pratchett: In Pyramids, we find that the name of the Discworld's greatest mathematician, who happens to be a camel, is "You Bastard".
    • Talking about "Hey you!", in Rincewind's experience, the time to start running is around the e in "Hey you!"
    • A Running Gag in Mort is that the other main characters all call Mort "boy", however many times he politely corrects them. By the end of the book, this has become a Berserk Button.
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird Scout always refers to her dad, Atticus, by his first name. So does her brother. They love him dearly, but they always call him Atticus. It's specifically mentioned that their mean old lady neighbor, Mrs. Dubose, is appalled by this and uses it as evidence that the whole family is degenerate. (They do always call him "sir," and at least once he insists on it when he's in a stern mood, but for whatever reason they've just always called him Atticus.) She also snaps at Scout for saying "hey" to her instead of "good afternoon." And in the same book we have Dill picking up on the fact that Mr. Gilmer keeps calling Tom Robinson "boy" during his cross-examination, and when Scout finally greets Boo Radley with "Hey, Boo," Atticus corrects her that it's "Mr. Arthur."
  • Lewis Carroll has some fun with this in the first fit of The Hunting of the Snark, when describing the Baker, one of the members of the snark-hunting expedition's motley crew:

The loss of his clothes hardly mattered, because
He had seven coats on when he came,
With three pairs of boots--but the worst of it was,
He had wholly forgotten his name.
He would answer to "Hi!" or to any loud cry,
Such as "Fry me!" or "Fritter my wig!"
To "What-you-may-call-um!" or "What-was-his-name!"
But especially "Thing-um-a-jig!"

  • Sideways Stories from Wayside School has two kids, Mac and Nancy, addressing each other with "You" and "Hey, you". As it turns out, though, they aren't being disrespectful; Nancy is embarrassed by his name and Mac by hers, so they never properly introduced themselves to each other. They still address each other this way, though, even when they start dating.
  • In Hungarian epic Toldi a general asks Toldi (the hero) on the field: "Hey, peasant! Which way leads to Buda?" Toldi is a noble and, as expected, takes offense at the general mistaking him for a commoner due to his clothing. He doesn't say a thing but answers by pointing to Buda with a rave. One handed. The entire army goes "holy shit, that guy's STRONG!"
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's novel Friday, he bemoans the "degradation" of culture when a younger person can call an older one by their first name when they don't have an established friendship. According to him, this "lack of social politeness" is an indicator (or maybe a partial cause) of social collapse.

A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.

  • Captain Lancaster, the mean teacher in Danny, the Champion of the World never calls the students by their names, just "you", "boy", or "girl".
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation novel "Greater Than the Sum", Picard is interviewing officers for positions on his crew. One lieutenant (who's presented as a bit of a Bunny Ears Officer) introduces herself to the Captain as "Lieutenant Chen. My friends call me T'ressa. I've been known to answer to 'Hey you!'"
  • This is part of the culture of Borribles in Michael de Larrabeiti's Borribles trilogy: until they earn a proper name through an adventure, new Borribles are only ever known as "Hey, you", or various slang terms that mean much the same thing.

Live-Action TV

  • Henry in Psych insists on being called by his first name.
  • Red and Eric have this dynamic in That '70s Show. Red calls Eric (and others) dumbass a lot of the time, Eric may call Red "Sir" to his face but usually calls him by his nickname but in a disrespectful way, not as "equals" (à la Dharma and Greg) way behind his back.
  • Baby Sinclair on Dinosaurs won't call Earl anything other than "not the mama". Though he would sometimes actually call him 'dada' or the like, when a situation asked for a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • In Square Pegs La Donna (the cool group's Black Best Friend character) called the two leads "That Fat Girl" (Lauren) and "That Fat Girl's Friend" (Patty), even to their faces.
  • Scrubs has a bunch of these. (Dr. Turkleton, Marshmallow, Stick, Bobbo, girl names for JD...)
    • According to the Janitor, Lady (who was originally introduced by his shouting "Hey, Lady!" at her, which failed to convince JD they knew each other) has a brother named Him. Being the Janitor, of course, this may not be true.
    • In the episode "His Story IV", Doctor Kelso tells the collection of new interns that he can't be bothered to remember their names, so he'll call all the males Dave and all the females Debbie. One female says that's ok, as her name is Debbie, so he tells her that out of fairness to the others, he'll refer to her as Slagathor.
  • Have Gun — Will Travel features, as the main character, the mysterious Paladin, a gunslinger based out of old San Francisco who puts forth an image of refinement and education at odds with his violent profession. So, it's quite grating to the modern ear to hear him refer to the Chinese bellhop at his favorite hotel as "Hey, Boy"...especially since Hey Boy's real name was divulged in the show's first season! Still, Hey Boy seemed to embrace the odd moniker, going so far as to correct a stranger who once got his attention with "hey, you."
  • Kenan and Kel: Natural Born Kenan, when Kenan decides that he's adopted after finding no baby pictures of him nor any keepsakes of his childhood (they were destroyed in a basement flood), he starts referring to his parents, Roger and Sheryl, by their first names, thinking that they aren't his birth parents. After Sheryl requests that he stop doing this, he then refers to them as "Mr. and Mrs. Rockmore".
  • In the M*A*S*H episode "Potter's Retirement", Hawkeye addresses Colonel Potter as "Sherman" while trying to convince him not to retire his command. While Potter is depicted as a Regular Army officer who wouldn't ordinarily tolerate such familiarity like his predecessor, Henry Blake, would, in this instance he's clearly touched rather than angered by it.
    • In "Sons and Bowlers", Charles Winchester calls Hawkeye by his nickname during a rare bonding moment.
    • In "Death Takes a Holiday", Winchester and Klinger address each other by their first names after the latter discovers the former is an Anonymous Benefactor of Christmas gifts for Korean orphans. It's a true Crowning Moment of Heartwarming for the show.
    • While all the M*A*S*H examples above are aversions of the trope, being clearly depicted as gestures of affection and respect, it's played absolutely straight with the other characters' habitually addressing Frank Burns by his first name, usually in a tone of voice suggesting a patient parent dealing with an especially dimwitted and recalcitrant child.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise. The two antagonists in the Temporal Cold War, Starfleet time agent Daniels and his Suliban opponent Silik, both call Captain Archer by his first name "John" (short for Jonathan) as a patronising way of indicating they know all about him. In fact, they even know things he hasn't done yet. Archer just ignores this provocation, usually because these two give him more serious problems to get angry about.
  • In the classic Star Trek episode "The Empath", Doctor McCoy decides to name an unnamed mute woman the crew encounters Gem, saying, "It's a lot better than 'Hey you'."
  • In the The X-Files episode, "Dreamland", one of the clues that Mulder has been body-swapped with The Men in Black Morris Fletcher is that he keeps calling Scully by her first name "Dana". When Morris starts calling her "babe" Scully threatens that if he doesn't stop it, he'll end up "peeing through a catheter".
  • The Discovery Channel showed the recruitment process for the Green Berets called Two Weeks In Hell, and one of the recruits makes the mistake of referring to one of the drill sergeants as "Hey yo". The dressing down he received was surprisingly restrained.
  • Phil of the Future had an episode where Pim says 'Hey! You with the face!' as she tries to get there attention.
  • The eponymous Kamen Rider Hibiki refers to his young student Asumu almost exclusively as "Boy" (shounen in Japanese). This even applies to the Alternate Universe version of Hibiki who appears in Kamen Rider Decade.
  • From Home Improvement, Tim gets addressed by his father-in-law as "hey, you". He's not happy about it.
  • Third Watch: In the Pilot Episode, we have this exchange:

Kim: What's the new kid's name?
Doc: New Kid.
Kim: Hey, New Kid, get a move on!

Father Jack: (To Ted) HEY! HEY! HEY, YOU!


Johnny Winter: Hey you!
Backup singers: Who, me?
Johnny Winter: Yeah, YOU!

  • guitar solo*

Johnny Winter: ...oh, 'scuse me, I thought you were someone else.

  • Dream Theater's song "Vacant" begins with "Hey you. Hey you. I'm right here."

Newspaper Comics

  • From Peanuts: Prior to 1970 or so, Snoopy had no trouble remembering his owner's name, but after that, he only referred to Charlie Brown as "the round-headed kid". This is even lampshaded in one strip where he has trouble filling out a form where he has to write "Name of Owner", and is embarrassed when Charlie Brown has to remind him.

Recorded and Stand Up Comedy

  • Comedian Brain Regan claims that he and may others will refer to people by some sort of nickname to get their attention.

Brian: Hey..."buckaroo".
Friend: My name's not "buckaroo"!
Brian: Su-sure it is..."partner".

Video Games

  • If Garrus is with you at the conclusion of Mass Effect and you decide to sacrifice the Council against his wishes, he will angrily refer to you as "human." This is particularly jarring since throughout the many conversions you have with him, he always politely and respectfully calls you either "Shepard" or "Commander."
  • The Legend of Zelda Links Awakening, father-daughter pair Marin and Tarin always call each other by their first names.
  • In Disgaea, Laharl refuses to call Flonne by her name (officially dubbing her "Love Freak", or settling with just calling her "you") until a particular plot point about two-thirds into the game.
    • Also, Laharl changes Dark Adonis Vyers, the very first boss of the game, into "Mid-boss". The name sticks.
    • Honestly, this trope is present in all Disgaea games. Characters rarely seem to address eachother by name on a a regular basis. In 3, we have "Fake Hero" Almaz, "That Delinquent" Raspberyl, and "The Princess" Sapphire as Mao calls them and they seem to address eachother as. And in 4, everybody seems to have nicknames for everybody. "Mr. Vampire/Weirdo", "Lass", "Whelp/Rascal", "Thief Angel", "Warden", etc. Disgaea seems to make it a point to showcase whenever characters acknowledge eachother by name as being significant.
  • In a skit from Tales of Symphonia, as he is giving out nicknames Zelos literally dubs Lloyd "Hey You" and Genis "Brat", while giving more affectionate nicknames to the female members.
  • Godot, the main prosecutor in the third Ace Attorney game, constantly call Phoenix "Mr. Trite" to annoy him. At the end of the last case, however, Phoenix finally gains his respect and Godot addresses him by his proper name.
  • In Final Fantasy X, the protagonist - default Tidus - can be named at the start of the game, as is tradition in the series. However, FFX was the first game to feature voice acting, and as the protagonist could potentially be named anything, the characters in the game would only ever call him by pronouns. This is made worse in that not even Yuna, the love interest, ever utters his name - or even asks for it! The trope is carried over to the sequel where, even then, Tidus will only be referred to as 'You' or 'Him'. Final Fantasy XII fixed this by giving the cast set names.
    • Also, Tidus calls his father "Jecht" and "Old man," even to his face, to show his disdain.
      • Dissidia makes this part of the plot, with Tidus referring to/addressing Jecht as 'Old Man' for most of the storyline, but finally calling him 'Dad' after the dramatic fight that gets Tidus his crystal.
  • One of the earliest missions in Mechwarrior: Mercenaries is a training mission, where you take orders from a veteran mech pilot, who refers to you by the callsign 'Kid' or 'Hey You'. It's even in the mission description.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, Luke constantly refers to Mieu as "Thing." This turns into an (unintended) Insult Backfire when Luke later (after a lot of Character Development) tries to apologize to Mieu for the unflattering name, only to reveal that Mieu is proud that his beloved master gave him a name and doesn't want to lose it.
  • Gig from Soul Nomad and The World Eaters refers to almost everyone in your party with an insulting nickname, despite being perfectly capable of remembering names properly. The main character is "kid". Danette is "stupid cow". Levin is "sister-loving bovine". Your Mentor Layna is "Old Hag". And so on and so on.
  • For some reason, the Soldier in Team Fortress 2 calls the Medic on his team "Sally", "pumpkin", "sister", and "sweetheart".
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Shizune's father, Jigoro, calls Hisao "boy" and typically merely uses "you" on Misha, or "the pink-haired girl" when he's talking about her.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening, Oghren once calls the player character "Hey, You" while drunk, and you can say "That's Commander Hey You".
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Phil refers to Sora as "kid" until Sora insists on being called by his name.
  • In the Pinball game Cyclone, this is one of the Mad Libs Dialogue phrases that the carnival barker uses.

"Hey, you! Step right up!"
"Hey, you! With the face!"

  • While Jet Set Radio has voice acting, none of the dialogue is fully voiced. Instead, a short sound bite plays to indicate who's speaking. Whenever Gum (one of the GG's, the protagonists) speaks, she says, "Hey, you!". This also happens in the half-sequel / half-remake Jet Set Radio Future.

Web Comics

  • There's a character in the webcomic Scary Go Round whose name is The Boy because the creator couldn't be bothered to give him a real name.
    • The Boy in Scary Go Round has a real name: Eustace. It's mispronounced "Useless" by Elodie, the French girl with whom he goes to stay, so he might be better off as The Boy.
    • Elodie was the one who GAVE him the nickname by accident in fact, refering to him as "le garcon" ("the boy") in some provided backstory when she first visited on an exchange.
    • Until very recently,[when?] The Boy's parents didn't have names either. They even referred to each other as "The Mother" and "The Father."
  • None of the three central human characters in How to Make a Sprite Comic in 8 Easy Bits have names - they're just "the author," "the friend," and "the girl."
  • The main character in Experimental Comic Kotone has no name has a name that cannot be known by the reader. Kotone, of course, calls him Onii-chan, and Konstantine also refers to him as "My Brother" even though they aren't related. The others usually just use second-person pronouns. Occasionally, a speech bubble in which he would be introduced is obscured by something else.
  • No matter the situation, David of Living with Insanity refuses to respond to anyone who calls him Dave. Apparently this is also the same in RL.
  • This occurs in Cuanta Vida, where the BLU Scout refuses to address the BLU Spy nothing but gay slurs: "Cockfag", "Ass-monkey", and the memorable "Pickle thief", etc. Even after he confesses his feelings towards the Spy.

Western Animation

  • Timmy's parents in The Fairly OddParents do not have names of their own, being called only "Timmy's Mom" or "Timmy's Dad" when "The Turners" doesn't suffice. One time when Timmy went back in the past, his parents' real names were unrevealed using a Sound Effect Bleep.
  • In The Simpsons, Bart often calls his father "Homer" instead of "Dad". Probably a sign of how bratty Bart is, although Homer also usually refers to Bart as "the boy". It's actually a Running Gag that Homer is forever trying to get Bart to call him "Daddy," which never happens. (In one of the comics, an imposter is standing in for Bart, and Bart tells the impostor to remember to always say "Homer" instead of "Daddy".) The episode that flashbacked to Lisa's first word did a lot of jokes on it, too. One side effect is that, on the very rare occasion that Bart does call him Dad, it's usually very touching.
    • When The Simpsons was first airing, Bart addressing Homer by his first name was a bit controversial. Not only that, but there were a couple or so times that Bart made fun of his name, calling him "Homeboy".
  • On Futurama, the will of Bender's uncle Vladimir includes his "loyal butler, 'You There', for his decades of dedicated service..."
    • Speaking of Futurama, Bender frequently refers to his organic coworkers as "meatbag(s)". Likewise, Dr. Zoidberg is almost never referred to by his title (granted, he's not much of a doctor), and Zoidberg also only refers to Bender as "robot" (or, more accurately, "rohbuht").
  • Stewie of Family Guy almost never calls his parents mom and dad. Most of the time he calls Peter "Fat Man". I believe he just calls Lois "Lois", but I think he's called her mother a few times. He also used to call Brian "the dog" (and addressing him directly as "Dog"), which seems normal enough for a dog except that Brian is human enough that nobody else does it. In the earlier episodes, he often called Lois "vile woman". When his future self did call them "mom and dad", he immediately and violently corrects himself--"It's Lois and the fat man!"
  • An oddly affectionate version of this shows up in WITCH, when Eric first acknowledges Hay Lin, he says "hey you" to her, she corrects him: "It's Hay Lin...". The next instance appears after Hay Lin saves Eric's life in "T is for Trauma": "Hey you, when did you get braces?" He continues occasionally addressing her with "hey you" for the rest of the series, Hay Lin doesn't seem to mind.
  • Cotton Hill only calls Peggy "Hank's Wife", even on the extremely rare occasions he wasn't being cruel to her on King of the Hill.
  • Helga's father, "Big Bob" Pataki from Hey Arnold!, usually referred to her "the girl", as she's the less-liked sister of perfect Olga. He also persistently called her "Olga," much to her annoyance.
  • Pete says this in a few classic Disney Cartoons such as 'Moving Day' and 'Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip'.
  • On Men in Black, Kay always calls Jay "Slick" or some other mildly disrespectful nickname, as a sign that he doesn't think Jay's skills are quite as good as he (Jay) thinks. In one episode, when Jay manages to untangle an alien conspiracy/plot by himself, Kay actually does refer to him as "Jay." By the end of the episode, however, he reverts to using "Slick," out of disrespect for Jay's golf swing.
    • "Slick" is also a genuinely affectionate nickname for Jay as well.
    • In another episode, following a major slip-up on Jay's part, Kay starts calling his partner "Sparky", telling him he has to work his way back up to "Slick."
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: HEY YOU! GET OFF OF MY CLOUD!
  • In The Flight of Dragons, the characters challenge an ogre, and, not knowing its real name, resort to calling it "Hey, you!". When one of the party steps in to assist with the fight, we get this challenge:

Smrgol: "Hey, hey you!"

Real Life

  • Children sometimes revert to this trope when trying to grab the attention of a friend's parents, especially with regard to mothers, who may or may not share a last name with their child.
    • Children may also use their parent's first name when there are a lot of parents around, because then "Mom!" doesn't help.
  • Consider dating: at which point do you stop calling your girlfriend/boyfriend's parents "Mr. & Mrs. X" and start calling them by something less formal, be it "mom/dad" or their first name.
  • Can also be done between couples and good friends - referring to them as "you" can be a sign of affection, particularly in response to friendly mocking or teasing.
  • Similar to the in-laws problem above, in the Spanish language we have two singular second person pronouns, "tu" (informal) and "usted" (formal). People with more authority than one are normally refered in a formal way, but sometimes a more fraternal relationship might develop, yet the former underling might still be calling the other one "usted." Argentinian Spanish avoids this by using only "vos"