"Frankenstein was the creator, not the monster. It's a common misconception held by all truly stupid people."
—Kryten, Red Dwarf
A form of unintentional Title Confusion that occurs when a story's Naming Conventions confuse the audience about what the characters' names are, or who certain titles refer to. Most frequently, people will assume that the title of the work is the name of the main character.
Technically this can be somewhat justified in that a person will often be referred to by their Title of Office (the respectfulness or disrespectfulness of this is...quite variable...and could depend on other words surrounding it, President vs. Mr. President, for example.)
This confusion is especially likely when one actor's name is billed alone above a title that sounds like it might be the name of his character, when it actually refers to, say, his racehorse.
Can lead to things like Media Research Failure when people don't do research on the subject. May also be Gannon Banned depending on a forum's level of Fan Dumb. Not to be confused with I Am Not Spock... though it would be funny. Refrain From Assuming sometimes is related to this.
This trope's title originated with the character Captain Marvel, whose comic was originally published under the same name by Fawcett comics. Following a lawsuit which alleged that Captain Marvel was a trademark-violating copy of Superman , Fawcett went out of the comics business and their trademarks lapsed. Twenty years later, DC revived Captain Marvel (ironically, since they were the ones who killed Fawcett comics in the first place), but Marvel Comics had already created a new character and publication titled Captain Marvel. DC and Marvel agreed that while the character could continue to be called Captain Marvel, his magazines would be titled Shazam!
(Side note: As of the 2011/2012 relaunch of DC, Captain Marvel is now officially named "Shazam" because of this trope.)
Please do not list your personal stories of this trope in action here. Also, list inversions to the Iconic Character, Forgotten Title page.
- Anime and Manga
- Comic Books
- Live-Action TV
- Newspaper Comics
- Real Life
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Web Comics
- Web Original
- Western Animation
- Wait, now he is.
- Which DC filed fourteen years after the first Captain Marvel comic book, and after Captain Marvel outsold Superman for all of the 1940s.