BY STACY CONRADT

The Real Names of 25 Fictional Characters

From Ronald McDonald to “Little Orphan Annie” Warbucks and Homer J. (the “J” stands for Jay!) Simpson, fictional characters often receive not just nicknames, but full names and backstories—even if those names are seldom, if ever, uttered.

For instance, Sesame Street’s lovable cookie-devouring Cookie Monster has a real first name, and it isn’t Cookie: it’s Sid. And Cap’n Crunch? His name is Cap’n Horatio Magellan Crunch. (Though whether or not he is a true Captain is up for debate. Based on his uniform, Mr. Crunch may actually be a Commander.)

1. CAP’N CRUNCH // HORATIO MAGELLAN CRUNCH

ROADSIDE PICTURES VIA FLICKR // CC BY-NC 2.0

The friendly captain of the S.S. Guppy—who was invented by Jay Ward Productions in the early 1960s and became the face of a cereal in 1963—is Horatio Magellan Crunch to his friends.

2. THE PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY // POPPIN’ FRESH

ANDREW BURTON, GETTY IMAGES

Invented by copywriter Rudy Perz in 1965, the Pillsbury Doughboy also goes by the name Poppin’ Fresh, “a nod to the product’s quality and freshness,” according to Pillsbury. Mr. Fresh has a wife, Poppie Fresh, and they’re the proud parents to two kids, Popper and Bun Bun. The family cat and dog are named Biscuit and Flapjack.

3. THE QUAKER OATS GUY // LARRY

SMARTSTOCK/ISTOCK VIA GETTY IMAGES

That’s not William Penn or Ben Franklin smirking at you from your container of oatmeal, as many people seem to believe. The good people at Quaker Oats refer to him as “Larry.” In 2012, Larry got a mini-makeover in the form of a logo refresh. His hair was trimmed, he lost a little weight, and, according to Quaker, he acquired “more radiant skin from daily oatmeal masks.”

4. MRS. BUTTERWORTH // JOY BUTTERWORTH

ROADSIDEPICTURES VIA FLICKR // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thanks to a marketing campaign in 2009, Mrs. Butterworth was finally given a first name: Joy, just like the feeling you experience when you bite into a stack of warm, fluffy pancakes.

5. COMIC BOOK GUY // JEFF ALBERTSON

FOX

Though an episode revealed Comic Book Guy’s real name to be Jeff, Matt Groening had a different moniker in mind. “In my mind, ‘Louis Lane’ was his name, and he was obsessed and tormented by Lois Lane,” Groening told MTV in 2003.

6. MOM FROM FUTURAMA // CAROL MILLER

FOX

Though “Carol” is basically the mom-est name ever, Groening did a Reddit AMA in 2017 where he admitted that writer Patric Verrone originally called the evil CEO of Momcorp Edna after his own mother.

7. THE MONOPOLY POLICEMAN // OFFICER EDGAR MALLORY

DUCKYCARDS/ISTOCK VIA GETTY IMAGES

The next time you land on the “Go Directly to Jail” spot in Monopoly, you have Officer Edgar Mallory to blame. According to Hasbro, that’s the name of the cop who inhabits the space.

8. THE MONOPOLY INMATE // JAKE THE JAILBIRD

MARTINCE2/ISTOCK VIA GETTY IMAGES

You’ll be getting out of jail if you roll doubles or cough up the bail money, but poor Jake the Jailbird isn’t leaving anytime soon.

9. THE RICH MONOPOLY GUY // MILBURN PENNYBAGS

URBANBUZZ/ISTOCK VIA GETTY IMAGES

And when you get that unexpected $10 windfall from coming in second place in a beauty pageant, thank Rich Uncle Pennybags, who was originally named Milburn. According to former Parker Brothers executive Philip Orbanes, after Hasbro purchased Parker Brothers they renamed him Mr. Monopoly. Orbanes also said that the dapper gentleman once had a wife named Madge Pennybags.

10. MR. SNUFFLEUPAGUS // ALOYSIUS SNUFFLEUPAGUS

Mr. Snuffleupagus and the National Dance Institute during the 2019 annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade rehearsals.JOHN LAMPARSKI/GETTY IMAGES

Big Bird’s not-so-imaginary friend Mr. Snuffleupagus has a not-so-imaginary first name: Aloysius.

11. GUY SMILEY // BERNIE LIEDERKRANTZ

SESAME WORKSHOP

If you ever thought “Guy Smiley” was too spot-on of a name for a game show host, you were on to something: His “real” name is Bernie Liederkrantz.

12. PEPPERMINT PATTY // PATRICIA REICHARDT

MARK ANDERSON VIA FLICKR // CC BY 2.0

In a Peanuts comic strip from January 15, 1972, Peppermint Patty reveals that her real name is Patricia Reichardt.

13. MUTED TRUMPET TEACHER // MISS OTHMAR

And that annoying teacher who sounded suspiciously like a muted trumpet? Her name was Miss Othmar. She later got married and became Mrs. Hagemeyer, which poor Linus could never remember.

14. MR. CLEAN // VERITABLY CLEAN

ROADSIDEPICTURES VIA FLICKR // CC BY-NC 2.0

Those lucky enough to be on a first name basis with the follicle-challenged cleaner call him “Veritably.” The name was supposedly chosen during a “Give Mr. Clean a First Name” promotion in 1962. While that promotion did exist, there’s little evidence the name originated there—multiple newspapers in the following years noted that nothing seemed to have come from the contest. But by the 1980s, the company was claiming that the contest chose the moniker Veritably.

15. BARBIE // BARBARA MILLICENT ROBERTS

IVANASTAR/ISTOCK VIA GETTY IMAGES

With a mouthful of a name like “Barbara Millicent Roberts,” you can see why the perpetually popular doll is better known as Barbie. She was named after the daughter of co-creators Ruth and Elliot Handler.

16. KEN // KEN CARSON

KAISPHOTO/ISTOCK VIA GETTY IMAGES

Barbie’s longtime love and fellow fashionista is named Ken Carson, also after Handler’s offspring. The real-life Barbie and Ken didn’t appreciate the attention that came with being the doll namesakes. In fact, Barbara Handler Segal’s daughter, Cheryl, never owned a Barbie. Ken Handler has said that Barbie “should care more about going to the beach. I wish she would work in a soup kitchen, but then she would never sell.”

17. THE OPERATION PATIENT // CAVITY SAM

HASBRO VIA AMAZON

The perpetual patient in the game Operation is an unfortunate fellow named Cavity Sam.

18. THE CHURCH LADY // ENID STRICT

NBC

Dana Carvey’s judgmental, lip-pursing, holier-than-thou Church Lady has a name, which she occasionally referenced on Church Chat—it’s “Enid Strict.” Well isn’t that … appropriate.

19. COOKIE MONSTER // SID

GAIL OSKIN, GETTY IMAGES FOR CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL BOSTON

During a 2004 episode of Sesame Street, Cookie Monster admitted that before he became hooked on baked goods, his name known as Sid; in 2010, he tweeted that it may have been Sidney.

20. THE MAN WITH THE YELLOW HAT // TED SHACKELFORD

PBS

In a deleted scene from the 2006 Curious George movie, it was revealed that The Man With the Yellow Hat is named Ted Shackleford. It may not count since it was a deleted scene, but we thought you should know. Fun fact: Ted Shackelford is also the actor who played Gary Ewing on Knots Landing.

21. BIC PEN LOGO // BIC BOY

BY ALMANAQUE LUSOFONISTA – OWN WORK, CC BY 3.0 BRWIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The little guy on the BIC logo hasn’t been impaled by a pen; he’s holding it behind his back. And he has a name: It’s BIC Boy. Sorry if that’s a letdown.

22. TWITTER LOGO // LARRY BIRD

CHESNOT/GETTY IMAGES

The friendly blue bird over on Twitter goes by the name of Larry. Larry … Bird.

23. MR. PEANUT // BARTHOLOMEW RICHARD FITZGERALD-SMYTHE

MICHAEL LOCCISANO, GETTY IMAGES

In 1916, 14-year-old Antonio Gentile entered a Planter’s Peanuts contest to create a mascot. His winning entry was a version of the dapper legume we all know and love today. He also suggested a name for his character: Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe.

24. THE MICHELIN MAN // BIBENDUM

JOHN LAMPARSKI/GETTY IMAGES

The Michelin Man’s real name, Bibendum, comes from an early advertisement that showed the Michelin Man holding a questionable cocktail of nails and broken glass and saying “Nunc est bibendum!” The tagline on the ad read “Michelin tires drink up obstacles.”

25. EVIL QUEEN // GRIMHILDE

WALT DISNEY HOME ENTERTAINMENT

For most Disney fans, the evil queen from Snow White has simply been known as just that. But the comic strip adaptation refers to the world’s worst stepmother as Queen Grimhilde. The same comic strip has the Queen say “Mirror Mirror on the Wall” as opposed to the film’s “Magic Mirror.”

More on MENTAL FLOSS

close

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here