That Man Is Dead

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Caped crusader becoming mask2 3278.jpg

Carl Grissom: Jack, listen! Maybe we can cut a deal!

The Joker: Jack? Jack is dead, my friend. You can call me... Joker. And as you can see, I'm a lot happier.

Stock Phrase uttered by someone who's been completely subsumed by their alter ego. The idea is that they have completely abandoned their past lives to the point where they wouldn't even recognize themselves. It's almost always a major turning point for the character, though there are a few cases where it merely emphasizes what the audience has already observed.

If a genuine hero utters it (though they generally use one of the variations below), it's because their past life was naive, evil, or selfish, and it's a sign that they've overcome their problems in the beginning and are ready to ascend to the grand finale. If an Anti-Hero utters it, it's to emphasize their dark (or at least rebellious) nature. If a villain utters it to another villain, it's to show that they're Eviler Than Thou.

Finally, if a villain utters it to a hero (particularly if they've done a Face Heel Turn, though usually their past life is relegated to Backstory), it determines their fate: If they speak this line with contempt, then they're irredeemable and will die; if they speak it with regret, then The Power of Friendship will prove them wrong and... well, they'll probably die anyway, but they'll feel better about it.

Occasionally, mentioning the old life may be a Berserk Button. If a Split Personality is involved, then it's a Split Personality Takeover. Very common when somebody is Becoming the Mask. If they ever purposefully mention their previous life, they will remark that No Doubt the Years Have Changed Me.

Variations:

  • "No... not 'Frank'... not anymore..." (Or if you want to get really creepy, "Frank doesn't live here anymore!")
  • "That part of me is gone... Since then, there is only X."
  • "My name is X!"
  • "It's X now."
  • "'Frank'? Who's 'Frank'?" (generally only for the insane)
  • "Frank's not here... he never was." if the person everyone thought they knew was a mask.

It may be inverted when the character gives up his second identity, and embraces his basic civilian life. The quote then is something like "I'm not Captain Righteous anymore, I'm just Joe".

Compare Do Not Call Me Paul.

Examples of That Man Is Dead include:


Anime/Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

Kaiser: Call me 'Digimon Kaiser'.
Daisuke: Geh, who'd call you that!? Ken, Ken, Ichijouji Ken!
Kaiser: I'm seriously going to kill you.

    • Digimon also has an example that's made sort of Narmy by their tendency toward simply adding a word to an existing name when making names for One-Winged Angel forms. "I used to be Etemon, kid, but that was a long time ago! Now... [dramatic pause] I'm MetalEtemon!"
      • Then again, Metal Etemon was basically Captain Narm up until he went and killed Saber Leomon.
  • Done in a funny/creepy way in the Excel Saga manga. Watanabe, who has gone through a long series of cutie breaking moments (culminating in, after finally winning the heart of Hyatt, having her taken from him by Il Palazzo) has become a creepy homicidal whack job addicted to BDSM porn games. After he catches Sumiyoshi in a compromising position with Ropponmatsu 2 (a robot designed to resemble a young girl) he acts completely nonchalant. When Sumiyoshi asks what happened to the old Watanabe, with a psychotic grin on his face, Watanabe calmly says "Oh that guy? He's dead".
  • Happens with the main character in Argento Soma. Starting as Takuto Kenishiro, in the first episode he has a traumatizing and disfiguring accident, and takes up a false identity to get revenge. Very near the series end, when the rest of the characters learn that, one calls him by his old name; he responds "I am Ryu Soma." (My memory of the circumstances is a bit fuzzy, though.)
  • Used at the conclusion of Full Metal Panic!: Gauron keeps calling Sousuke by his 'old' name, from when he was a child-soldier in the local version of Afghanistan. It eventually DOES make the otherwise eternally-composed Sousuke crack...
  • Naraku in Inuyasha, in regard to his former self, Onigumo.

Kaede: Do you mean, "I, Onigumo"? Is that not your name?
Naraku: Onigumo... That name brings me such fond memories.

  • Ryo/Zane in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX when he assumes the "Hell Kaiser" persona in the dub: "The Zane you think you knew is long gone."
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: "You need to forget about her. If you ever see me after today, the last thing you should do is approach me. The only thing that's going to be alive within me by then will be the demon." Ironically, even the identity she is referred to as up to that point is an assumed one.
    • Likewise Rena does this pre-moving back to Hinamizawa and Rika does a variation in Rei when she breaks away from Berkenstel.
  • In the last episode of the first season of Darker than Black, Anti-Hero Hei says that his loveable and harmless persona, Li "no longer exists".
  • In Animerica, once Kiyone's finally succumbed to his evil side and stabs Lita, he instills fear into her by stating:

Kiyone: Your brother no longer exists. You can call me... (smirks evilly) demon.

  • In Chrono Crusade, when Satella confronts Fiore about being her long-lost sister Florette, she gets this in response.
  • Late in the anime version of Prétear, this trope appears when Sasame betrays his side.

Sasame: The Knight of Sound...the Sasame you knew...no longer exists.

  • Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist never reveals his true name. Shortly before his death in the first anime, Lust asks him for his name. He responds that the true owner of his body, who had a holy name, died long ago. As he leaves to accept his fate, Lust bids him farewell with "Then goodbye...Scar."
  • In the second season of Princess Tutu, when Ahiru tries to talk to the Dark Magical Girl using the name she uses when untransformed, she usually responds with something like "I've already told you--there is no Rue!" When Mytho uses the name "Rue" to call her out of Despair and she responds, it's a sign she's given up on that part of herself.
  • In Black Lagoon, Rock ends the first arc by calling out his former boss (who spent most of said arc arranging his demise), stating that Okajima Rokuro is already dead and thus signifying his departure from his Salaryman position and former life and joining the crew of the Lagoon.
  • In the first season of The Big O, chapter 4 "Underground Terror", begins with Roger the Negotiatior hired by Paradigm Press (a branch of Paradigm Group) to convince Michael Seebach, to hand over a manuscript he was working on in exchange for a large retirement package. Seebach disappeared three months ago. So Roger tracks the reporter to an apartment that Seebach has rented and suddenly the room burst in flames. Roger escapes in the nick of time and then we hear this dialogue:

Roger Smith: Are you Michael Seebach?
Man in mummy bandages: Michael Seebach has vanished from this world. Go and tell that to your masters!
Roger Smith: All right, so, what name you go by?
Man in mummy bandages: By the time being, you can call me Schwarzwald.
Roger Smith: Black Forrest?
Man in mummy bandages: Report this to your masters: You can tell them (Evil Laugh) that they will never see their darling reporter in this city again! (Deranged Evil Laugh).

    • And that was even echoed later in chapter 17, "Leviathan"

Roger Smith: We all know that newspaper reporter Michael Seebach no longer exists in this city
Paradigm Group Executive: Michael Seebach is dead, but the agitator who calls himself Schwarzwald has returned.

  • If you call Setsuna F. Seiei by the name of Soran Ibrahim, he'll be shocked. very, very shocked.
  • Subverted in the Tenchi Muyo! OAV. Sasami believes that she died after taking a terrible fall when she was a toddler and that Tsunami had to revive her by merging with her lifeless body. Truth is, Sasami was about to die after said accident, but Tsunami merged with her to heal her injuries and have a body host
  • A variation occurs early in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vi Vid when Nove tells Einhart the Sankt Kaiser and the King of Underworld are long gone and that Vivio and Ixpellia are just her friends.
  • "D-Boy is no more... there's only Tekkaman Blade!!" *cue him launching to the moon and kicking Radam butt*
  • In Nabari no Ou, Yoite claims that Sora, the name he was known by before being found by Hattori never existed.
  • GaoGaiGar, Gives us this: Mamoru: You're Pizza of the Four Machine Kings! Soldato-J: That was a false name! The man named Pizza is dead! I am J. Reborn by the J-jewel as Soldato-J!
  • Although he never says the actual quote, an important part of the character of Spike in Cowboy Bebop is that he considers himself already dead, having 'died' during his backstory when he faked his own death to escape The Syndicate and that his current life is just a 'bad dream' he'll eventually have to wake up from.
  • In Transformers Armada, when Wheeljack arrives on Earth, he tells Hotshot that the bot he knew is dead, and the new Wheeljack is a Decepticon.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, Nagi claims that Queen Arika has died on that ravine and the Arika that Nagi is with is just plain ol' Arika.
  • The Lord of Terror episode of Ah! My Goddess:

Belldandy: No, Urd!
LOT!Urd: Urd...? She no longer exists, and that name is now forgotten.

  • The original identity of the Big Bad of Bleach "never even existed".
  • The Grand Finale of Code Geass has Lelouch, after being killed by "Zero", telling Suzaku that he must go on with his life as Zero because he's been declared dead by everyone.
  • Similar to the Negima example above, in Loveless, the two female Zeros Kouya and Yamato forfeit their match against Soubi and Ritsuka, meaning they can't fight anymore. They decide to "die" and call Nagisa to let her know.

Kouya: From now on, we're going to live... As plain, ordinary Kouya and plain, ordinary Yamato. Your Zeros have died.

Dekim: Zechs Merquise?! I thought you were dead!
Zechs: That's right, I was. But, I find that I cannot quietly sleep in my grave while Treize’s spirit is still roaming among us.

    • In episode 8 of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, after Zechs executes the Alliance commanding officer who took part in the Sanc Kingdom invasion in AC 182:

Zechs: May you rest in peace, the betrayed and outraged Milliardo Peacecraft.

  • There's a positive example of this at the end of Rurouni Kenshin. Knowing that his fighting prowess is readily fading, Kenshin sends a note to his longtime Inspector Javert / reluctant ally Saito, offering to take him up on a final duel. Saito tears up the offer, signaling that he's finally ending his grudge, and explains that the man he wanted to kill, the Hitokiri Battousai, no longer exists, and that he has no interest in fighting Himura Kenshin.
  • In Mai-Otome, when Aswad Black Knight Rad is confronted by Youko and Midori, Youko calls him "Reito" (the name he used to go by before he was killed and rebuilt as a cyborg), prompting him to use this quote.
  • Miki of Fresh Pretty Cure pulls an inverted quote of how she claims that the villain that Love fought is Eas all along, and that the woman known as Setsuna never existed. Love runs away to prove her wrong.
    • Played straight in the next episode:

Wester: Come to your senses, Eas!
Cure Passion: I am no longer Eas!

  • In Vampire Knight Yuuki is revealed to have been a pureblood vampire of the Kuran family all along. When Zero asks whether the human Yuuki still exists somewhere inside of her Yuuki replies that the human Yuuki no longer exists as the Vampire Yuuki 'ate her.'
  • In the fourth season of Bakugan, Mag Mel says this about Emperor Barodius when they're revealed to be one and the same.
  • Legally speaking, Baccano!'s Clair Stanfield "died" aboard the Flying Pussyfoot along with numerous other passengers. Since then, he's purchased a new identity (Felix Walken) for the purposes of getting married, and insists that everyone call him that from now on.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

"It did not kill Dr. Osterman, why did you think it would kill me?"

  • Rebis does this in Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol, when Cliff insists on calling him/her 'Larry'. For those who haven't read the comics, Rebis is an alchemical fusion of a man, a woman, and a "negative spirit" - Cliff knew the man, Larry, when the three were still separate.

In the later Doom Patrol, the incarnation of the Negative Man insists that he is Larry, even though he secretly suspects he's just an energy being who happens to have Larry's memories.

  • In the climactic volume of The Sandman, right after Daniel becomes the new Dream, he responds to a character addressing him by his old name with, "No. Not anymore."
  • Marvel Comics' The Punisher. "Frank Castle is dead. I'm the Punisher now", or "Castle died with his family" or some variant has always been one of the character's stock lines.
  • During the Zero Hour Crisis Crossover in 1994:

Green Arrow: Green Lantern!
Hal Jordan: Not Green Lantern, Arrow. Not anymore. I've taken the name Parallax.

Sixpack: "s'not Sixpack. I've takenna name parralaksh now (hic.)"

Spidey: "Brock..."
Venom: [Actually covers Spider-Man's mouth with his hands. It was cooler than it sounds.] "Stop calling us that! We are Venom now!"

    • At one point, shortly before The Clone Saga, after Spider-Man's parents had been revealed to be fakes and Aunt May had a stroke and went into a coma, Spider-Man tried to kill his Peter Parker persona. He then considered himself The Spider, and claimed to hate Peter Parker when referred to by that name.
  • Former Green Lantern Guy Gardner discovers that his tattoo artist is the notorious Silver Age villain, the Tatooed Man, Abel Tarrant. The artist informs him that Tarrant is dead, and should stay that way.
  • Usagi Yojimbo
    • A samurai getting Revenge for his father by killing his four murderers encounters the last guy on his list, who has become a monk and abandoned his old life completely ("that shameful person I was is dead"). After a lot of convincing from Usagi, the vengeful samurai spares the monk and takes his topknot (the last vestige of his old life) instead.
    • A technical case: Usagi meets the son of one of his comrades, who died in the battle that made him a ronin. Inspired by his father's life, the son is training to become a samurai. During a fight with bandits the son is knocked unconscious and is rescued by his father, now a lame begger. The father reveals he's been following his son with pride for years; Usagi wants to reveal this to the son, but the father refuses to let his son see him now, "a parody of [the warrior] he once was."
    • And again in The Patience of the Spider, in which a general, fleeing a failed rebellion against his Lord, hides in a peasant village. Over the years, he grows to like his life there, so when one of his subordinates returned to tell him the time was right to seek revenge, he sent the messenger away, saying the man he was looking for was "Someone who is no longer alive"
  • In a Detective Comics story, a Cris Angel-esque magician named Art Weiner claimed that he would only go by his stage name, Loxias, because he had "Buried the simple magician knows as Art Weiner." Subverted, in that The person saying this was actually the Joker impersonating Weiner. And he had, in fact, murdered and buried the real one.
  • Happened to Avengers member Hank Pym, though in his case, it was a little more complicated, as the person claiming Pym was dead was an actual separate personality cultivated by his mental breakdown.
  • Fantastic Four - The Trapster, a long time Frightful Four member used to be called Paste Pot Pete. Call him anything related to that and you'll trigger his Berserk Button.
  • Adrian Chase also used a variant of this phrase in his reminiscence in Vigilante#50, feeling as if the bomb that slew his family and triggered his emergence as the Vigilante also slew him. However, Chase partially subverted the usual intent of the phrase, in that he maintained his work as New York district attorney and his dual identity as Adrian Chase during much of his tenure as the Vigilante.
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier:

M: "Jim, you can call me M. Behind my back, you can even call me Mother. But Harry...Harry died a long time ago in the sewers under Vienna. Let's leave it like that, shall we?"

  • Harvey Dent in Batman nowadays won't respond to his birth name. He insists on being called Two-Face.
  • Black Mask's "false face" gang: "....the largest organization in the history of Gotham's underworld....common criminals 'slain' and reborn behind masks, each with greater power and all as members of the False Face Society of Gotham." They wear cheap Halloween masks at first, then switch to more intricate face-coverings after robbing the mask exhibit at the Gotham Museum.
  • In The Darkness, when The Angelus possesses Lauren Franchetti, at one point, she decides to spare Lauren's daughter Appolonia, but says that is her final act as Appolonia's mother.
  • In Mega Man issue #2, Mega Man begins to refuse to go by Rock, feeling that he is no longer the same robot. A pep talk from Roll helps him snap out of it.
  • Speedball's Grimdark transformation after Civil War left no cliche unturned, including this one. "Robbie Baldwin is dead. Speedball is dead. Now it's time for Penance."
  • In IDW Transformers #125, Optimus Prime "dies"...and Orion Pax is reborn.
  • Near the end of Preacher (Comic Book), Jesse summons the Saint of Killers using the Saint's mortal remains. When the Saint shows up, he's not impressed and shatters the corpse, saying that the man he was is long dead and what Jesse dug up was just bones and nothing more.
  • Inverted in Les Legendaires in the backstory of Razzia; as he was a kid, his village, including his own sister, were seemingly slaughtered by an Elite corp of soldiers known as the 1000 Wolves Army. Out of rage after this, the so far pacifist bookworm Razzia gave up his identity and took the alias Korbo, which he then used as he found and killed the 1000 Wolves and eventually joined Big Bad Darkhell as The Dragon. Then, during an invasion, he finds out he just fought and killed his own sister, who had actually survived and reveals to him in her dying breath that it was Darkhell who destroyed their village while framing the 1000 Wolves. Infuriated, he then leaves Darkhell's forces, stating that "Korbo is dead and Razzia from Rymar is reborn".

Fanfiction[edit | hide]

"Your name? The name I used then is not important anymore. I will let it die."

Eclipse: "You know I don't go by that name anymore."
Applejack: "That don't matter. You'll still always be Twilight to me."

  • In the early parts of Undocumented Features' Sympony of the Sword subseries, when Alpha Bitch Liza Broadbank sees her life crumble around her, she rebuilds herself from the ground up and takes the name "Elizabeth Shustal".

Film[edit | hide]

  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: "No. Not Barker. That man is dead. It's Todd now. Sweeney Todd. And he will have his revenge."
  • The Matrix: Neo responds to one "Misssster Anderson" too many with "My name... is Neo!"
  • Batman
    • Batman (the first 1989 movie): Jack reveals his horribly disfigured face to his soon-to-be-ex-boss with the line "Jack is dead, my friend. You can call me...Joker. And as you can see, I'm a lot happier."
    • Batman Returns has this to Penguin, "My name is not Oswald! It's Penguin! I am not a human being! I am an animal! Cold-blooded!"
    • Batman Begins: "Crane?" "No. Scarecrow!" A creepier version occurs earlier, when we actually see Crane's mind snap: "Dr. Crane isn't here right now, but if you'd like to make an appointment..."
      • It is implied in the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises that Bruce Wayne may have given up on his Batman identity when conversing with an under-critical-condition hospitalized Commissioner Gordon.
    • Pretty much every version of Batman will invoke this Trope at some point, between how crazy the villains are and the hero's own tendency towards Becoming the Mask. In Batman Beyond, an evil psychic trying to use More Than Mind Control on Bruce Wayne by speaking as his subconscious seems to be succeeding... until Bruce reveals he was playing him all along, with the line "Bruce isn't what I call myself inside my head."
  • Another heroic example: "Peyton is gone. Call me: Darkman."
  • Star Wars:
    • In Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, after Luke calls Vader by his real name (Anakin Skywalker), Vader replies, "That name no longer has any meaning for me". However, Vader puts himself in the still redeemable category when he responds to Luke's continued pleas with a sad, "It is too late for me, son."
    • In A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi aids and abets this trope when he tells Luke that Darth Vader killed Luke's father.
    • Jedi in general seem to treat Sith as something like The Undead. Obi Wan and Qui Gon referred to Darth Maul as "it", Yoda warned Obi Wan that Anakin is "gone" and has been "consumed" by Darth Vader, Mace Windu says "which was destroyed, the master or the apprentice?".
  • A History of Violence, starring Viggo Mortensen and directed by David Cronenberg, takes this trope and beats it into the ground.
  • In WarGames, Stephen Falken gives up his name and becomes Dr. Robert Hume after his son Joshua dies and he decides that the world is going to destroy itself. Note: Naming your computer after your dead son is not quite leaving your old life behind you.
  • Maximus quotes it by name in Gladiator.
  • Talked around in Dragonheart; while Kara doesn't name him, she talks about a knight of great honour. Bowen (the knight in question) replies with "That man died of his wounds long ago."
  • Buddy Pine says as much to his former childhood idol, Mr. Incredible:

Syndrome: My name is not Buddy! And it's not Incrediboy either. That ship has sailed!

Frodo: You weren't so different from a hobbit once. Were you? Smeagol?
Gollum: What did you call me?

Jack: Gonna be a lot of questions, whoever we run into...what do we tell them about you?
Riddick: Tell them Riddick's dead. He died somewhere back on that planet.

But no man can stand upon the gallows without coming face to face with his soul. And on that day, truly, the old Clegg died.

Gallaxhar: Now we're all gonna die! And there's nothing you can do about it, Suuusan!
Susan: I wouldn't be too sure. And the name... is Ginormica.

  • In another DreamWorks film, Megamind, Metro Man actually does this when it turned out that he had survived being zapped by Megamind's Kill Sat and and decides not to be a superhero anymore (he now wants to be a musician instead) despite Tighten planning on destroying the city.
  • Dr. Zhivago: Strelnikov, the brutal Bolshevik commander who has his own bright red war-train. No one has seen his face. Only... he's the Bishonen love interest, Pasha Antipov from earlier in the film who suffered a Heroic BSOD after being run over by Cossacks! Now he has Good Scars, Evil Scars and no one may call him by his past name. But he lets Dr. Zhivago live anyway.
  • The Shining: "Danny isn't here, Mrs. Torrance."
  • When Lieutenant John Dunbar of the United States of Army cooly tells his captors and former comrades in Lakota rather than English that "My name is Dances with Wolves, and I have nothing to say to you" when they offered him his life in return for betraying his new family, his transformation into a true American Indian is finally complete.
  • In X-Men: First Class, the film ends with Erik Lensherr declaring that he prefers his new name: Magneto.
    • X-Men 2 features an interesting inversion, when Magneto strikes up a conversation with Jonathan Allerdyce;

Magneto: What's your name?
Jonathan: John.
Magneto: What is your real name?
Jonathan: ... Pyro.

  • Early in The Long Kiss Goodnight, Sam says that the woman she used to be is gone and she's "kissed her goodnight." Later, when she fully regains her memories and takes on her true identity of Charly, she says offhandedly that Sam is gone for good.
  • The first few lines heard in Tangled, are Flynn Rider saying "This is the story about how I died." However, it's later revealed in the film that Flynn's real name is actually Eugene Fitzhbert, and in the climax he is murdered by the film's villainess but is revived by Rapunzel's magic tears, and from that point on she starts referring him by his real name instead. In other words, Flynn Rider is dead, but Eugene lives.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • At the end of the final Harry Potter book, Harry starts calling Voldemort by his Muggle name Tom Riddle, at first to mock him, but later as a Last Second Chance, and this unsurprisingly infuriates Voldemort.
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible: Doctor Impossible says in his narration "I'm Doctor Impossible nearly all the time now." When he meets Lily, she calls him "Jonathan". When they meet again after he defeats the heroes he demands she call him Doctor Impossible.
  • Wol in Star Trek: Klingon Empire. Wol's previous identity was Eral, a noble woman. When she came of age, her parents had Eral betrothed in order to forge an alliance with another house. Eral, however, became pregnant with the child of a servant, whom she loved. She was banished from her house, as her father could not bring himself to kill her (as honor would have dictated). Her lover, however, was executed, and her child taken away. She became Wol, a common soldier, and embraced it. Eral is pretty much dead and gone.
    • A case of Did Not Do the Research by the author, as Klingon philosophy emphasizes fighting to shape one's own destiny. Honour from duty and loyalty is only a factor when a Klingon chooses to join the military to serve the empire.
  • 'The Bartimaeus Trilogy - Near the end of the second book, Bartimaeus tries to reproach his young master for his slide into a borderline Knight Templar by saying, "You'll notice I'm calling you John Mandrake now... The boy who was Nathaniel's fading, almost gone." Unfortunately, Nathaniel John Mandrake entirely misses the point.
    • He gets it in the third, and abandons the name John Mandrake.
  • At the end of Othello, the title character replies to the character asking for "this rash and most unfortunate man" with "That's he who was Othello: here I am".
  • In The Beggar Queen, the main character, Theo, is asked by the revolutionary leader Florian to make sure that the capital city will accept him as a leader when he returns from a journey. Theo refuses, and Florian says, "I'm not asking you, I'm asking Kestrel," referring to Theo's alias in the previous book. Theo responds with "Kestrel's dead. He died in the war, from the stink of too much blood."
  • In A Lion Among Men, after a pivotal scene, Ilianora is revealed to be Nor Tigelaar, but when asked, she says that Nor died in Southstairs, and she's now Ilianora.
  • O. Henry's short story A Retrieved Reformation uses something like this, although for a Heel Face Turn. Jimmy Valentine is a Gentleman Thief who starts the story as a Civilian Villain and is being pursued by a detective. He creates another identity, Ralph Simpson, initially so he can rob a bank, but then bumps into and falls in love with the daughter of the bank's owner, leading to his reformation. At the end, he exposes himself in front of the detective by breaking into a safe in which a little girl had become trapped. He goes to willingly turn himself in, but the detective, seeing he has changed, refers to him as Mr. Simpson and lets him go, pretending not to recognize him.
    • But also facing the bank president, his daughter, and all the townsfolk who just watched "Ralph Simpson" pop an unbreakable safe...
  • In the X Wing Series, Dia says "She's dead. Dia. Diap'assik. She is dead. She would not have done that. She would not have shot him. She would have died first. She is dead, Face." after she pulled a Shoot Your Mate. He was - probably - already dead. In an interesting version of this trope, Dia had previously called herself Dia Passik and was very hard, very bitter after being enslaved. Diap'assik was her name as a child. The seemingly tiny difference in the names is very significant in the Twi'lek language: while it's normal for Twi'leks to split their given and family names when dealing with other species, among themselves only the most dishonored outcasts are referred to in that manner. This shows that Dia thought of herself as a dishonored outcast, even though the rest of Twi'lek society didn't. Turns out she's not dead, and this is her moment of defrosting.
  • In Steven Layne's This Side of Paradise (not the one by F. Scott Fitzgerald), Jack recognizes when his father has become his split personality Mr. Eden, completely consumed by his Utopia Justifies The Means mindset, for good, with the line "My father was gone, and nothing could bring him back."
  • Inverted in the Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Vendetta:

Vastator of Borg: You are a special case, Locutus.
Picard: Locutus is dead!

  • Go on. Try calling Carnival "Rebecca" to her face. We dare you.
  • In the Redwall novel Taggerung, by the end of the story, the Taggerung doesn't really go by that name much anymore.
  • In The Invisible Man, the title character starts referring to himself as Invisible Man The First, instead of Griffin.
  • Bubba, in The Sookie Stackhouse Novels hates being called by his real name, Elvis.
  • Played with and subverted in The Dark Half when the main character has a mock photo shoot in front of the grave... Of his alter-ego.
  • In The Shadow Rising, Asmodean pleads with his former co-conspirator and current betrayer Lanfear:

Asmodean: You cannot do this to me! Please, Mierin! Please!
Lanfear: My name is Lanfear!

  • What Mal'Akh, the villain of Dan Brown's newest book Zachary Solomon does to Simon. He reveals he is, in fact, Simon's son who was so enraged by his father abandoning him that he feigned death, escaped a Turkish prison and became a tattoo'd Chessmaster Magnificent Bastard with a thing for Godhood.
  • Codex Alera - In First Lord's Fury, this is how one character ultimately avoids being Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves. In the epilogue, Octavian declares Fidelias ex Cursori dead, while making Fidelias's Secret Identity Valiar Marcus one of his top advisers, with the intent of getting as much use out of the former Cursor as he can.
  • In Everworld, the witch Senna Wales abandoned her birth name when her mother left her, using "Senna"(which is a mispronunciation of her real name) as a way of separating herself from the "crying, lost little girl without her mother." She explictly thinks in the ninth book that, "That was all dead and buried now. Had been for a long time. I was me, I was Senna Wales."
  • Wicked - Done with Galinda, who changes her name to Glinda. More comedic and parody like in the musical then the book though.
  • In Going Postal, Albert Spangler died, but Moist von Lipwig woke up in Vetinari's office. Moist never wanted to stop being Albert, but what can you do when an Angel presents himself? The stock phrase does crop up, though; when Vetinari causally points out that the money the gods left to Moist just happens to be equal to the estimated haul of a noted fraudster, Moist replies "Albert Spangler? They hanged him. I was there."
  • He doesn't take a new name, but Eliezer describes his spiritual hardening in these terms after he watches a cart dump children into a firepit. He's lucky enough to be spared, but ""[T]he student of the Talmud, the child that I was, had been consumed in the flames. There remained only a shape that looked like me."
  • In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance the narrator says that Phaedrus is gone, killed by electric shock, and he seems to legitimately believe it. Unlike most examples, the narrator gives his ex-personality a different name than his own (which is not revealed).
  • In El Filibusterimo, the follow-up to Jose Rizal's Noli me Tangere, Juan Crisostomo Ibarra returns to the Philippines under the name Simoun. The former goody-two shoes ilustrado is now a terrorist. Lovely.
  • In Destiny by Elizabeth Haydon, Rhapsody is angsting over having people that Llauron the Invoker is dead when he's actually still alive. (Her powers derive from telling the truth and only the truth. Telling a lie makes her lose her powers.) One of her friends tells her that if she had used Llauron's full name, she would have been lying, but since she only used his title, technically, she didn't tell a lie, because Llauron the Invoker is dead because he's no longer the Invoker.
  • The title character of The Sheik did this after spiting his English heritage and disowning his father:

A letter that Lord Glencaryll wrote to him, addressed to Viscount Caryll, which is, of course, his courtesy title, begging for at least an interview, and which he gave to us to forward, was returned unopened, and scrawled across the envelope: "Inconnu. Ahmed Ben Hassan."

Lazarus, once known as Guimar de Massard: Should I know that name?

  • Played with and subverted in Stephen King's The Dark Half when protagonist Thad (a novelist) has a mock photo shoot in front of his pseudonym George Stark's grave. Stark doesn't stay dead for long.
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: A variation: Captain Nemo's former persona is so dead, he never reveal who he was (at least before the Sequel), and he refers to himself as dead:

"...I am dead, Professor; as much dead as those of your friends who are sleeping six feet under the earth!"

  • In Labyrinths of Echo Shurf Lonli-Lokli deliberately adopts his present persona, and takes great pains to truly Become The Mask in order to mislead the vengeful ghosts of the people his younger, wilder self killed
  • The narrator of Don Quixote, USA opens the story with a mild version of this: "Unfortunately I am--or at least was--Arthur Peabody Goodpasture." Then the book explains how he was declared to have been murdered, became part of a revolutionary movement, accidentally took over the movement, and successfully (again by accident) ousted the dictator. In the last chapter, leaving a wreath at a memorial to his supposedly-dead self, he comments about the way he originally was, "He was a fine young man and I miss him, but, Name of God, he was certainly stupid."

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In Heroes, Sylar becomes furious when Bennet insists on calling him "Gabriel."
    • Inverted in "I Am Become Death", when Future-Sylar insists that Peter call him Gabriel.
  • An inversion which keeps the same intent: After turning away from his old life as a petty criminal on Babylon 5 to take up a new calling, "Jinxo" responds to that nickname by politely but firmly declaring, "Thomas. My name is Thomas."
  • Doctor Who: Big Finish used this for their season-ending Cliff Hanger "Neverland". Charley finds the Doctor, who has just barely survived a massive anti-time explosion, but has been transmuted into a quasi-mythological villain, announcing, "I'm not the Doctor; I am become Zagreus."
  • In an episode of The Real Ghostbusters ("The Grundel"), a young boy named Alec comes under the influence of a Grundel. When pleaded to by his brother, he tells him "Alec doesn't live here anymore!"
  • Firefly, "Objects In Space":

River/Serenity: "I'm not on the ship. I'm in the ship. I am the ship."
Simon: "River-"
River: "River's gone."
Early: "Then who exactly are we talking to?"
River: "Talking to Serenity. And Early? Serenity is very unhappy."

Julian Bashir: It's Julian, now, mother. The boy Jules died in that hospital.

    • To clarify, Bashir had been genetically modified by his parents to be smarter, a decision that he had to hide for the rest of his life. In this case, he sounded regretful, but Julian was never portrayed as a bad person compared to Jules. He never goes back to his old name.
    • Ezri does the same thing when she is confused with Jadzia. However, in this situation, it is entirely justified, as Ezri is a different person, who happens to carry the same symbiont.
    • In "Hard Time", Chief O'Brien has the memories of being imprisoned for twenty years implanted in his mind. He can't cope with it, and when Bashir finds him he's pointing a phaser under his chin.

O'Brien: I'm not your friend! The O'Brien that was your friend died in that cell!

  • In Just Shoot Me, when an old acquaintance of Nina's calls her by her birth name Claire, she explains that "I pushed Claire down a well and shaved eight years off her life."
  • In Skins Series 4 Episode 7, Effy (proper name Elizabeth), brainwashed by her counsellor, asks Cook "Eff? Who's Eff?"
  • In Buffy, Willow, after going insane and evil, says "Willow doesn't live here anymore."
  • Happens in the Farscape episode "Die Me Dichotomy" after the neural clone completely takes over John's body. First, he refers to himself as "John Crichton" but then starts referring to John in the third person.
  • An early episode of Stargate SG-1 has Teal'c put on trial by the son of someone he killed in the course of his old job. He's found guilty and wants to submit to the execution, but naturally more Jaffa show up, Teal'c saves the village and so on, leading his accuser to declare he was mistaken and that Teal'c must have killed the man who murdered his father.
  • In the crime drama Criminal Minds, there is a character in one episode named Adam with split personalities. His alternate personality is named Amanda, and her job is to protect Adam. In the end of the episode though, she becomes the dominant personality in order to protect him and tells Dr. Spencer Reid that Adma's gone and he'll (Reid) have to wait a long time to get him back.
  • On Once Upon a Time (in which dwarves take their names from the inscriptions on their pickaxes), the dwarf Dreamy breaks his pickaxe and declares that he is now Grumpy after being forced to break up with his one, true love.
  • More often averted than played straight with Angel; in general, you're more likely to see an emphasis on the fact that while Angel seems to be as much of a good person as any of the other characters, his dark side Angelus is always present and so is the possibility that Angelus would resurface and become dominant. Nor does Angelus have a particularly easy time getting over the unpleasant memories of his times as Angel, or going more than a few episodes without having his soul re-installed.
  • House has an example in its Grand Finale. When Wilson discovers that House faked his death and tells him the consequences of his survival coming to light, House responds by saying he's officially dead and can now pursue a new life.


Music[edit | hide]

  • In the Pink Floyd Rock Opera The Wall, after Pink's Freak-Out when his wife leaves him, he is forced back on stage to perform - but emerges as a neo-Nazi, and announces his change by claiming to be a new person:

Pink isn't well, he stayed back at the hotel
And they sent us along as a surrogate band

  • The rapper Gemstones uses an interesting version of this on his mixtape, The Testimony of Gemstones.

"I had to switch it up so I could let my wings spread/This is the "Testimony of Gemstones, Gemini is dead..."

    • What makes it fit the trope is the fact that he released a few songs under the name of Gemini that he wasn't too proud of, as he didn't agree with their themes. As it turns out, he was forced to change his name anyway, because the name Gemini was already taken.
  • Nine Inch Nails' song, The Becoming, is all about this.

"That part of me/Isn't here anymore"

  • "Any World (That I'm Welcome To)" by Steely Dan:

If I had my way
I would move to another lifetime
I'd quit my job
Ride the train through the misty night-time
I'll be ready when my feet touch ground
Wherever I come down
And if the folks will have me
Then they'll have me


Any world that I'm welcome to
Is better than the one I come from


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Pro-Wrestler "The Undertaker" is a big believer in Kayfabe (a rarity these days). Fans who ask him, at appearances, about Mark Callaway usually get the answer "Marc Callaway is a dead man, now."
    • Which has a double meaning, given that the Undertaker is also known by the nickname "the Deadman".
  • Done humorously by Chavo Guerrero when in the summer of 2005 he suddenly denounced his Guerrero heritage and transformed into "Kerwin White," a stereotype of the white, upper-middle-class 1960s American, complete with a sweater vest and a golf club and entrance theme reminiscent of the tunes of Frank Sinatra. On the night he made his first appearance (on Sunday Night Heat), some people in the audience asked where the hell Chavo was, and "Kerwin" explained that he was out looking for work "with all the other unemployed Hispanics."


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]


Theatre[edit | hide]

  • Played with in Man of La Mancha. After Alonso Quijana/Don Quixote dies, Aldonza says:

Aldonza: A man died. He seemed a good man, but I did not know him.
Sancho: But--
Aldonza: Don Quixote is not dead. Believe, Sancho, believe.
Sancho (in confused hope): Aldonza?
Aldonza: My name is Dulcinea.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • System Shock 2: "The Polito form is dead, insect." - SHODAN
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: "I am Raiden. Jack is no more." Or "Jack is dead." He eventually is changed back.
    • At the very end of the series, Solid Snake gives up his codename and starts going by David again.
  • Devil May Cry 3: "Mary died a long time ago. My name is Lady."
  • KOS-MOS in the last moments of Xenosaga, Episode 3: "I am not Mary. I am KOS-MOS!!"
  • Lamia Loveless, in Super Robot Wars: Original Generation, either the OVA or OG Gaiden, while breaking free from the Bartoll for the first time: "I am... W17... no, I am...! Lamia Loveless...!!"
    • Variation: Sanger Zonvolt in Alpha Gaiden. First is "I am Sanger Zonvolt, The Sword Of Magus!!". But one Heel Face Turn and the next time he says that, it becomes, "I am Sanger Zonvolt, The Sword That Cleaves Evil!!". So, That Title Is Dead.
  • Magus in Chrono Trigger. (though he just replies to "You're Janus" with "...")
    • Robo too.

Atropos: Indeed. Mother remade me to eliminate humans more efficiently! Step back, Prometheus!
Robo: My name is Robo.

Yuffie: I think you might've overdone it, Squall!
Leon: It's Leon.

    • Terra-Xehanort drops a similar line in the Final Episode of Birth By Sleep:

Terra's heart has been extinguished... smothered by the darkness within him!

  • In Baldur's Gate 2, Jon Irenicus gives a peculiarly sympathetic response to being called Joneleth. "Do not call me that. I lost all right to that name when the Seldarine stripped me of everything that was elven, as you well know."
  • It's the same name, but the first form of Skies of Arcadia's final boss says "The Ramirez you knew is already dead, Fina!" to the party right before going One-Winged Angel. In this case the two identities are Fina's kindhearted older brother and Galcian's ruthless right-hand man.
  • Lunar Knights draws on this trope toward the end of Chapter 4. When Ernest recognizes Lucian as Sartana, his old war buddy, Lucian responds with one of these.
  • Jack from Wild ARMs 1 in regards to his old life as Garret, a knight of Artica. In fact, reminding him of this is a good way to piss him off.
  • In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Hakumen states that the name "Jin Kisaragi" means nothing to him now. In Calamity Trigger, one of his ending paths has him making sure that that name is dead by fighting him as a sign of his complete abandonment to his past.
  • Although he never utters the line in question, Archer from Fate/stay night takes this trope to a whole new level. He not only considers himself to have outgrown his past self to the degree that he's not the same person, he states that he doesn't have his past self's memories anymore, he wants to kill his past self to ensure said past self will never have to become him as well (and in the hope that it will cause a Temporal Paradox and erase him from existence -- Archer also takes 'self-loathing' to a whole new level).
    • So, "That man isn't dead... yet."
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines, playing as a Malkavian allows you to ask Velvet Velour who 'Susan' was. After chewing you out for going inside her head, she states coldly that Susan was a weak woman who died.
    • You can also invoke it literally when attempting to convince Samantha (a friend from your living days) that you're not...you.
  • Most heroes in Freedom Force retain some ties to their original identity, but Tombstone completely refuses to be Nathan Graves, as is observed when he's introduced.
  • When confronted in Dragon Age: Origins, Wynne will claim the abomination Uldred has gone mad. In response, he chuckles and says "Uldred? He is gone! I am Uldred and not Uldred. I am MORE than he was."
  • One ending in Guilty Gear XX has Venom try to call Faust "Dr. Baldhead". Before he can finish the name, Faust smacks him and declares, "That is not who I am any more."
  • In Assassin's Creed, when Altair is preparing to go on the final Jerusalem assassination, he apologizes to Malik for his actions in the past, which resulted in Malik losing his arm and his brother. Malik's response is to refuse to accept Altair's apology, and Altair stoically chooses to accept his rejection. Malik then points out that the Altair standing before him is not the same man who he was before, having grown wiser and more humble than the arrogant man he was before - and thus, he has nothing to apologize for.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, Rene C. Corman, a one-time boss, stated, "There is no Bigg. There never was a Bigg."
  • A variant is employed in Battle Realms, during the confrontation between Kenji and Zymeth in the Dragon campaign. Kenji's father was a king and Zymeth was said king's Evil Chancellor (until Zymeth framed Kenji for killing his father, forced him into exile, had the rest of the family killed and took over most of the kingdom).

Zymeth: You've grown up. Where's the young pup I caught sulking behind the curtains in the Serpent's throne room?
Kenji: Long gone. Where is my father's most trusted advisor?
Zymeth: ...Also gone. Perhaps we've both grown up.

  • X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse has both Beast and Angel saying this upon being brainwashed by Apocalypse.
  • Star Wars:
  • In Rosenkreuzstilette, Grolla's grandfather and mentor, Raimund Seyfarth, who had passed away four years prior to the game's storyline, was revived by Graf Sepperin as a Grim Reaper-like wraith and a guardian of his castle bridge. When your character reaches him at the end of Sepperin Stage 3 and recognizes his voice, he states that his name was the name he carried as a mortal but states that said name is of no use to him now.
  • Jacob Taylor's loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2 has something close to the Danny Phantom example listed below. When Jacob learns what his missing father has been doing for the ten years he was presumed dead, he's so disgusted that he refuses to acknowledge him as the same man. No matter how you end the mission, he will tell Shepard "I've already mourned the man he used to be" in the aftermath.

"Neutral" ending: "You were a better man dead. As far as I'm concerned, you still are."

  • In Blaze Union, Gulcasa finds his childhood friend Jenon's insistence on calling him by his fake name Garlot extremely upsetting and continually tries to make him stop, to little effect. A similar exchange occurs between Nessiah and Eater in another route, when Eater tries to call Nessiah by his original name "Aries"; Nessiah cuts him off, offended.


Web Original[edit | hide]


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • In Fans, Alysin(note spelling) assumed her name when she became a hard-partying Goth with a hidden sadistic streak. Later, after being cured of a rare life-threatening disease and finding true love and a fulfilling life with husband Rikk and their third partner Rumi, she put that part of her life behind her, dropped the Goth wardrobe and persona(but kept some of her bondage gear in the bedroom for "theraputic" purposes), and is now referred to as simply "Aly".
  • Pardodied in Narbonic, when Dave finally gets laid.

"The Dave you knew is dead. I killed him with awesomeness."

  • DMFA has a switch from Complete Monster to Retired Monster in this way, as the the phoenix oracles say that "The life of Destania has ended at the hands of Daniel Ti'Fiona" (the latter being her son). In a flahback shortly after Dan's birth, Destania says to her husband:

"Destania... Such a foreign name... The name of a succubus and the name of a life that is now long since over. I can't go back now... So I guess I'll start over and a new life... starting with these li'l hands."

Obi-Wan: Oh my god. You were once Valorum, the Chancellor.
Grievous: Irrelevant! That name no longer has any meaning for me.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • A slight variation: In the grand finale of Teen Titans, Terra says, "The girl you want me to be is just a memory."
  • The Batman episode "Meltdown" had Ethan Bennett/Clayface struggling to not use his powers since they make him insane. Eventually, though he gives up to get revenge on The Joker. Batman always refers to him as "Bennett", until the response becomes a sarcastic "Who?"

Clayface: Being Ethan Bennet is hard. Real hard. But being Clayface? It's cake. So say your goodbyes to Ethan Bennet. This is the last you'll ever see of him.

    • However, this became an aversion in a later episode when Clayface saw the error of his ways and became Ethan Bennett again.
  • In the final episode of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Spider-Carnage gets to say this line about Peter Parker - or, at least, that "He's GONE for GOOD!"
    • Dr. Octopus has this in his debut episode saying "Dr. Octavius vanished in that explosion and Dr. Octopus was born."
    • The Green Goblin goes into this before he goes into another dimension.

Spider-Man: Osborn, take my hand! It's your only chance!
Green Goblin: There's no Osborn anymore, Parker. There is only the Green Goblin!

    • "There is no more Eddy Brock. There is only Venom!"
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Electro has developed this as part of his continued departure from sanity.
    • And he seems to be getting even worse:

"I don't know anyone named Max. My name is ELECTRO! ELECTRO I TELL YOU!!!"

    • He's not the only one, either; Sandman, Rhino and Doctor Octopus all get That Man Is Dead moments. Sandman in particular sometimes refers to "Flint Marko" as if he were a separate person, but more as a rhetorical device than anything.
  • The Powerpuff Girls The Movie: "The hobo you knew as Jojo is no mo'! From here fo'wo' I shall be known as... MOJO JOJO!"
  • Antagone in Frisky Dingo: "Grace Ryan is dead, and now you, Xander Crews, shall join her in... being dead!"
  • How Galvatron feels about his previous form Megatron varies from version to version, and he has been known to refer to Megatron in the past tense a time or two.

Jetstorm, formerly Silverbolt: "Get it through your CPU! That program has been deleted. I'm Jetstorm now. PERIOD!"

    • An earlier Beast Machines example involved Tankor. After Rhinox's spark was reawakened, he insisted that he still be called Tankor, and was still an enemy of the Maximals. Optimus Primal later held a small memorial service in honour of his old friend.
    • Reformatted Transformers tend to take on new names after they change bodies, despite the personality remaining the same. In Transformers Energon Megatron even insists that Demolishor call Cyclonus "Snowcat" after the change, despite the fact that Snowcat does not actually seem to care.
      • Also from Energon: "Megatron doesn't exist anymore. I am the destroyer of worlds. All will bow before... Unicron."
    • Transformers Cybertron has two examples. After Overhaul is reborn as Leobreaker, he proclaims from atop a cliff, "I have embraced my destiny. I am of Jungle Planet now. I'm Overhaul no more, I am LEOBREAKER!" The second example is after Megatron has upgraded into Galvatron. "Megatron's not here."
    • Another example, from Transformers Animated, when Bumblebee tries to apologize for (unwittingly) getting Wasp (now Waspinator) falsely accused of being a spy:

Waspinator: Wasp... forgive Bumble-bot.
(Bumblebee smiles hopefully)
Waspinator: ... but Waspinator NEVER forgive!

  • Near the end of Static Shock, with a cure for the metahuman condition being disseminated through the city, the newly depowered (and correspondingly saner) Talon asks Static and Gear to call her Theresa.
  • The New Captain Scarlet episode "Homecoming" features a particularly grim variant:

Commander Lewis: "There was a fire on the Endeavor. Your father abandoned ship, then suffocated in a faulty cryotube, clawing at it like a man buried alive scraping at a coffin lid. He's dead. And he isn't coming back."

Vlad: You wouldn't turn your back on an old friend, would you?
Jack: An old friend, no. You? YES!

Dark Phoenix: The mortal known as Jean Grey no longer exists. There is only...PHOENIX!!
Lady Deathstrike: Yuriko no longer exists. I am Lady Deathstrike!

Don't call me Christopher! That name no longer has meaning to me! Christopher Reeve was someone who lived his life in a wheelchair, always relying on others to help him. The old Christopher Reeve is dead. From now on, I am... Chris!

Sally: "But you're the Pumpkin King!"
Jack: "Not anymore!" * breaks picture* "I feel so much better now!"

Grace: "Harvey" * puts her hand on his arm*
Harvey: * Looks away from her and pulls away* "My name is Two-Face now..."

    • "Feat of Clay Part 2" has this with Matt Hagen/Clayface

Batman: Hagen, listen to me.
Clayface: There is no Hagen. It's only me now... Clayface.

      • A bit later, when Batman shows Clayface videotapes of his former movie and TV roles and tells him "You can play those parts again," Clayface outright screams: "Matt Hagen is dead! Will you make him stop haunting me?!"
    • Riddler get this moment in "What is Reality?"

Riddler: The name is Riddler! Edward Nygma no longer exists! You may remember that he was fired by an ungrateful employer. That was a private matter and should have remained one.

  • In the Futurama episode "The Late Philip J Fry" has this exchange:

Leela: I have to admit, I was afraid you wouldn't make it.
Fry: That was the old Fry. He's dead now.

Fred: Daphne! Now I need to talk to her!
Daphne: Daphne's gone, call me Crush.

Superman: That's enough, Leslie Willis.
Livewire: I'm not Leslie Willis anymore. Meet her replacement... Livewire!

  • Splinter occasionally has this mindset during the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series with his clashes with the Shredder when Shredder called him Hamato Yoshi during their brief pre-battle banter.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has this in episode, Operation: S.P.A.C.E.:

Numbuh 5: Yeah, you always were good with the 2x4 technology, Numbuh 11.
Cree: My name is Cree! And you know that I'm not a member of the stupid Babies Next Door anymore. I'm with the adults now.

Captain Black: Three partners in crime [Finn, Ratso, and Chow], itchy for a makeover.
Jade: The Captain Black I knew wouldn't do that.
Captain Black: The Captain Black you knew is in permanent vacation.

  • In Metalocalypse, Leonard Rockstein, aka Doctor Rockso, goes into rehab and claims "the clown is dead". Then he had to host Snakes and Barrels' second reunion show...
  • In Adventure Time, the Ice King is a non-voluntary example of this trope. He was driven insane centuries ago and his current identity as the Ice King is a whole other person compared to his original identity, Simon Petrikov. He doesn't seem to remember much about his old life, but he is ashamed of it for seemingly no reason besides that he wore glasses back then.
  • In one episode of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Fluttershy learns to be assertive to the point that she becomes a jerk. When Rarity and Pinkie Pie confront her about it, she yells that she's a New Fluttershy and that Old Fluttershy is never coming back.
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Hank Pym eventually quits, spurred by a desire to uphold his pacifist beliefs, and by guilt felt for creating the Killer Robot Ultron. He has this exchange with Janet van Dyne:

Hank: I know you can't accept this, but I'm done. I'm done with the Avengers. This isn't me anymore.
Jan: No. You're Ant-Man!
Hank: I'm not, Jan. I haven't been since Ultron, and honestly, probably even before that.

    • When Hank becomes Yellowjacket later in the series, he goes so far as to blow up his own laboratory to make it seem like he got murdered, and change his own biosignature.
  • In Johnny Quest, Race Bannon had a friend in the military who had a Face Heel Turn after an accident which he blamed Race for and became Skyborg. After Race invoked the Save the Villain trope, he had a Heel Face Turn and, the last time someone called him "Skyborg", he said his name was "Judy Harmon".