Unusually Uninteresting Name

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

When something is generally implied to be more important or special because someone went out of their way to make the name as uninteresting and nondescriptive as possible. This might be because they want to avoid drawing attention to the unit, hiding it in the sea of boring names for various unimportant agencies, or just because the sort of Badass who works there finds the bravado-filled names of many elite units to be distasteful. For various reasons, very common in many modern Western armed forces.

A savvy character might try to bluff his way past an obstacle by identifying themselves as a member of some completely fictional agency, as long as the name is intimidatingly vague enough to make the other person think better than to investigate.

Of course, sometimes an agency has such a bland name because it really isn't all that important, and nobody involved could be bothered to try and come up with a good name for it.

A Super-Trope to Room 101 and and The Group; Related to Maximum Fun Chamber.

Examples of Unusually Uninteresting Name include:

Fan Works

  • In The Secret Return of Alex Mack, the group actually known as the "Superpowers Research Initiative" exists on government documents and organizational charts solely under the name "Hazardous Waste Assessment, Amelioration and Abatement".


  • The Ankh-Morpork government department whose job is to deal with situations that Lord Vetinari would like ... dealt with ... are simply called "the clerks". Only when they need to be distinguished from the normal sort of clerks in the Palace are they called "the dark clerks".
  • Liaden Universe: the organization behind most of the plot is called the Department of the Interior.
  • The Space Trilogy: The evil, world-threatening group in That Hideous Strength is named the National Institute for Coordinated Experiments (NICE).
  • In Rivers of London the department of the London Police that enforces law in the magical community is merely mentioned as being "The Economic and Specialist Crime Team, Unit 9", no mention of Vagina Dentata, Body Horror, or throwing Fireballs at all.


  • In the prologue of Men in Black, Agent K flashes an ID at a pair of Border Patrol officers, identifying himself and his partner as being from "INS, Division Six" so that he can talk to an Illegal Alien in private. Subverted, because one of the Border Patrol agents, a moment later, states "There is no Division Six" before following after K to see what he's up to. Just in time to end up Covered in Gunge and experiencing Laser-Guided Amnesia.
  • The first Transformers movie features Sector 7, a secret government organization which researches Cybertronian technology, and which for some reason also has custom vehicles and uniforms, exactly the sort of thing you'd expect a secret organization to avoid.

Live Action Television

  • Star Trek Deep Space Nine: While the Cardassians had the Obsidian Order, and the Romulans had the Tal Shiar, the Federation was eventually revealed to have Section 31, a covert operations agency so secretive that not only did nobody know about it (including effectively everybody within the Federation who was not already a member), but that what passed for its name was simply the title of the portion of the Federation Charter that allowed for the possibility of forming such an agency.

Real Life

Web Original