His Name Really Is "Barkeep"

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

As the Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" trope says, some characters have the misfortune of being known only by their job title. His Name Really Is "Barkeep" is about those rare times where Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" because "Barkeep" is the guy's actual name. May happen as a result of Who Names Their Kid "Dude"? Alternatively, maybe the guy had his name legally changed to "Barkeep" because he likes that name better than his given name.

Milder examples can include a nickname that turns out to actually be the character's name. For a full comedy incarnation of this trope, the given name will be the full job description.

Patronymic can be considered a subtrope. Closely related to A Dog Named "Dog", when something is named for its species.

Examples of His Name Really Is "Barkeep" include:

Anime and Manga

  • Speed Racer's parents: Speed's own name is a little occupation appropriate, but his mom and dad are literally named Mom and Pops Racer. In the original Japanese version, Speed and his entire family had real Japanese names.
  • In the manga Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, this trope applies to the entire cast.
  • L in Death Note is an example of the nickname version. It is assumed to be a nickname but is revealed to be his actual first name in external material.
  • The two titles held by King Bradley of Fullmetal Alchemist are usually translated as "Führer" and "President". "King"? That's his actual first name. Possibly justified, in that he was part of a breeding program to create the ideal ruler for Amestris.
  • The main character in Umineko no Naku Koro ni is named Battler in a case of Gratuitous English meets Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?.

Comic Books

  • DC Comics 1960s counter-culture character Prez Rickard grew up to become President of the United States. "Prez" is, of course, short for "President".
  • The Golden Age Mr Terrific's butler, at least in Michael Chabon's version: "His name really is Butler. That's how long they've been doing it in his family."
  • The Beano claimed, in response to a fan letter published on its letters page, that Dennis the Menace's father was actually named "Dennis's Dad" at birth. When he met a girl named "Dennis's Mum", he knew they were destined to be together.
  • Used as an off-joke in an issue of Groo the Wanderer where there's a line for gladiators signing up:

Official: Name?
Gladiator: Slayer of Men.
Official: Occupation?
Gladiator: Slayer of Men.


Fan Works


  • In 48 Hrs., Eddie Murphy continually calls Nick Nolte's character "Jack" as a sarcastic nickname. Eventually Nolte tells him to stop doing that, since Jack is actually his name.
  • In Kill Bill, Bill constantly refers to the Bride as "kiddo". It sounds like a patronizing nickname until we find out her name is actually Beatrix Kiddo.
  • In The Villain, the heroic handsome stranger's name really is Handsome Stranger.
  • In Down Periscope, the submarine's electrician goes by the name Nitro. This is because his name literally is Michael Nitro.
    • He's working on a nickname though. What do you think of... Mike?
  • In Megamind, Minion's name is actually Minion.
    • A similar joke appears in Spy Kids, with Floop's minion, Alexander Minion.
  • In Austin Powers, Number Two's name is actually Number Two.
  • In Spaceballs, there is an extended joke based on this ( from Wikiquote:)

Dark Helmet: [to Sandurz] Who is he?
Colonel Sandurz: He's an Asshole, sir.
Dark Helmet: I know that! What's his name?
Colonel Sandurz: That is his name, sir. Asshole, Major Asshole.
Dark Helmet: ... And his cousin?
Colonel Sandurz: He's an Asshole too, sir. Gunner's mate, First Class, Philip Asshole.
Dark Helmet: How many Assholes have we got on this ship, anyhow?
[The entire bridge crew, except for one person, stands up and raises a hand.]
Entire Bridge Crew: Yo!
Dark Helmet: I knew it, I'm surrounded by Assholes... [Closes helmet] Keep firing, Assholes!

  • The protagonist of Machete is known by everyone simply as 'Machete'. His real name is... Machete Cortez.
  • The Wackiest Ship in the Army, (WWII movie semi-spoof from 1960) has a navy radio operator named A.J. Sparks; "Sparks" is the traditional nickname for a WWII era radio operator.
  • Farmer the farmer, the main character of In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale.


  • Mama, Papa, Brother, and Sister Bear from The Berenstain Bears. Lampshaded when another girl makes fun of Sister's name.
  • In Artemis Fowl, there's the Butler-family, who have served as butlers (of the 'battle' variety) to the Fowl-family for generations. According to the first book, there is some dispute about whether the Butler-family changed their name to suit their role, at some point in antiquity - or if the term 'Butler' was actually derived from the famously faithful and competent Butler-family.
  • In Catch-22, you've got Captain Major (whose first and middle names are also Major, making his full name Major Major Major), being promoted... to Major. Thus making him Major Major Major Major. Any further attempts to promote or demote him are blocked by ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen, who finds the whole situation hilarious.
  • Farmer Farmer in The Fox Busters by Dick King-Smith.
  • In a variant from the world of Shadowrun, an employer who hire shadowrunners is colloquially referred to as "Mr. Johnson", regardless of gender, to ensure annonymity. One of them self-lampshades this trope in one of the Shadowrun novels, remarking on the irony that her name really is Johnson.
  • In The Nanny Diaries, the main character's name is... Nanny.
  • In The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Nanny Cook and Nanny Butler decide to become a cook and butler because of their names. (The only problem is, the family then has to stop calling Nanny Butler by her surname, because you just can't call a butler Butler.)
  • In the Scandinavian film The Cuckoo, the protagonist meets up with a Russian man and, unable to understand his language, calls him "Ivan" out of stereotype. His guess turns out to be correct—the Russian man really is named Ivan.
  • Holes: Mr Sir's last name really is Sir. His first name on the other hand...
    • It's implied in the sequel that "Mr Sir" is a pseudonym he uses to hide from the police. Supported by the film, in which he is identified at the end as Marion Sevillo, and he is arrested on a parole violation.
  • A Certain Magical Index has Index, whose full name is officially "Index Librorum Prohibitorum" (Latin for "Index of Forbidden Books").

Live Action TV

  • In the Polish series Kapitan Bomba, there is a character named Starfleet Admiral. He's an admiral in Starfleet.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: The Russos dad once hired a tutor named Tutor to help Max prepare for a wizarding test. Alex later explains that it's normal for wizards in the wizarding world to name their children after the jobs they hope they'll have when they grow up. She then explains that it doesn't always work out, and that their dad once had a dentist named Butcher.
  • Pilot, from Farscape, who is named after his function aboard Moya. This trope even extends to the rest of his species. It is never revealed if he even has a personal name, but presumably his own kind have some way of differentiating each other. It's revealed that Pilot language is so fantastically dense and complex that translator microbes just give up on it until they simplify their sentences. It would thus be nothing for them to address each other with full descriptions that left little doubt who they were talking to, similar to someone saying "I am doing fine, Caucasian male in a charcoal gray suit with thin purple tie who works in my department and is currently standing to the left of the water cooler." and not having it take forever or be awkward.
  • Lieutenant Murtagh of Family Matters told Carl that he had his first name legally changed to "Lieutenant." When he told Carl this, Carl asked what his name was before that. Lieutenant's reply was that before that time it was "Sergeant."

Newspaper Comics

  • In Jump Start, Doctor Appleby is a young child whose given name is Doctor. His parents dress him in scrubs, and expect him to grow up to be a doctor.

Professional Wrestling

  • The Ultimate Warrior's real name was James Hellwig. However, he legally changed his name to Warrior to cash off the name's fame and legacy.
    • It was also so that he could keep the identity he was best known as, since the WWE owned the Ultimate Warrior name. Considering what happened with the likes of the Dudleys when they left the WWE & were forced to drop the names they had become known by throughout the industry, he's been Vindicated by History.



Hummerbeck: "It's not "Mister" G.L. Hummerbeck, it's "The Right Honorable" G.L. Hummerbeck."
Bob: "Oh, you're assuming the full title of presidency already."
Hummerbeck: "No, no, that's my first name. "Right Honorable."...I'm part Winabago Indian, and when a child is born they give it a name after the first thing it sees right after it is born. And in my case it was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Right Honorable Charles Evans Hughes."
Bob: "That's a very interesting story."
Hummelbeck: "I think it'd be a more interesting story if I knew what the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was doing on the reservation in our tent on the day I was born, but nobody seems to remember that."



  • The last names of the "Pyramus and Thisbe" actors in A Midsummer Night's Dream correspond to their professions. For example, Nick Bottom is a weaver—and the "bottom" was a tool used in weaving.

Video Games

  • In the Dragon Age world, the qunari are adherents to a particular religious structure that defines what ones job is to be. That job is then the name the qunari is called. One of the companions in Origins is a qunari named Sten, which really only means he's warrior of a higher rank. Their general is called Arishok, but that's just the qunari word for general. Any personal name they have is not revealed because it's more of a social security number for record-keeping purposes.
  • Postal Dude from Postal is really named that.
  • A recurring major character in the Warcraft universe is Thrall (who was raised in slavery). His name literally is "Thrall," and he does not change it even after he escapes and ceases to be a thrall.
    • Although when Thrall finally returns to Nagrand in the Burning Crusade expansion, we finally learn the name his parents gave him. It's Go'el.
  • The Bard from the most recent version of The Bard's Tale.
  • In the Catacomb 3-D, the player character's Arch Enemy and general enemy to all that is good is called Nemesis.
  • Hatred's main character starts the game's trailer with a narration of "My name not important." After fans started jokingly referring to the character as "Not Important" patch notes indicated the character's name really is "Notim Portant".

Web Comics

  • In PvP, Jace's butler's name is Butler.
    • Cole also once chastised him for calling his maid "Sweet Cans", but it turned out that, yes, her name really was Suitecannes.
  • Red Mage, Black Mage, Thief and Fighter from Eight Bit Theater. Confirmed as this after their class change. Except for Thief. His real name is Prince Elf.
    • They have last names, but those fare little better, with Fighter McWarrior, Black Mage Evilwizardington, and Red Mage Statkowski.
    • Also there's White Mage, Black Belt, Lich, Ranger, Berserker, Rogue, Cleric, all their given names. The only one that's actually a case of Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" is Dragoon, whose name is implied to be Sebastian.
  • In Goblins, every goblin is given a name at birth which is prophetic of his future - sometimes, this includes their future role or station in life. The most notable example is Chief, who became the village Chief (this one was eventually revealed to be cheating to avoid a fight when the old chief died).
  • In Order of the Stick, this strip reveals that minor characters literally have names like "Goblin Cleric #2" and "Hobgoblin Warrior from Strip #433, Panel 3".
    • It's worth noting that this is a universe where otherwise unimportant side characters have invoked the Mauve Shirt trope to survive near-death experiences by revealing their names, so perhaps that's not so surprising.
  • Scary Go Round: After going without a name for a long time, it turned out that the Mayor of Tackleford really was named "Mr Mayor"; James Mayor, in fact.
  • Cecania's mother in Sore Thumbs was "Mother Greensworthington" even as an undergraduate, so apparently 'Mother' is her given name.
  • In Romantically Apocalyptic, The Captain's nickname for Sniper is Mr. Snippy. As it turns out, Sniper's real name is Charles Snippy.
  • Homestuck: The carapace people are addressed by two-word titles like "Aimless Renegade" or "Post Mistress".

Web Original

Western Animation

  • The Mayor from Powerpuff Girls is actually named "Mayor".
  • The Secret Show had Professor Professor and Doctor Doctor. Professor Professor's brother Maestro later joined the trope when he became a Maestro. Also their mother is known as Frau Frau.
  • Sheep in The Big City: Farmer John. John is his last name, by the way. His first name is Far, and his middle name is Mer.
  • In The Simpsons the rich Texan character's full name is Richard Texan. But you can call him "Rich".
    • "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" Part 2 implies that Groundskeeper Willie's first name really is Groundskeeper, as at one point Lisa refers to him as "grounds-tender Groundskeeper Willie", though a more recent episode revealed that his full name is William MacDougal.
    • Just plain old Larry Duffman.
  • Sheriff Bronson Stone of Scooby Doo Mystery Inc, whose first name actually is "Sheriff", because that's what his mother always wanted him to be.
  • Timmy's Mom and Timmy's Dad from The Fairly OddParents apparently are actually named "Timmy's Mom" and "Timmy's Dad".
    • In flashbacks, whenever people ask them their name, they say "My name is *car honking/cars driving by/some other loud noise obscuring their name*, but everyone just calls me Mom/Dad." It's more of an Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" in this case.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In a flashback from when he was a kid, Billy's Dad had a shirt with "Billy's Dad" written on it. It's odd, since the series had already established Billy's Dad's name as "Harold".
  • Coach from Moville Mysteries.
  • The Daffy Duck short Deduce You Say ends with the revelation that the criminal Dorlock Holmes and Watkins are chasing is actually named Shropshire Slasher.
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!: The Pirate Captain's name is indeed Pirate Captain, as we see when he signs his name as such on an entry form.

Victoria: What's your name, Pirate Captain?
Pirate Captain: There are some who call me... Pirate Captain.

  • Good Ol' Whatshisname: There's a character named Mr. Whatsittoya that Squidward thought it was false-name until...

Real Life

  • Surnames like "Smith" or "Fisher" began as occupational bynames. Gradually, as it was common for a son to learn the same trade as his father, these bynames were reanalyzed as surnames.
    • Though in English these are converted into patronyms ("Smith('s)son") less often than in some other languages. It's more obvious in Scandinavia, where the name would be "Smithsson".
    • Speaking of which, many Scandinavian names originated back when conscription was invented. Commanders sick of a platoon full of guys all named Eriksson would simply rename them after their function or temperament, which is how they ended up with family names translated as "Grenade", "Gun", "Spear", "Keep" or "Brave."
      • Oddly enough, the more literal reading of this trope (IE, being named for a job which one also happens to have) is unusually uncommon in Sweden and some other Scandinavian regions - job-surnames are oddly rare, almost unheard of, so the chances of both having such a surname and having the same job approaches zero.
  • Mr. T's legal name is "Mister"
  1. It's no great secret what his original name was, but he doesn't seem to like seeing it referenced, so we won't say what it is here.