The Real Names of 42 Fictional Characters
From the familiar faces that grace your morning cereal boxes to those recurring television characters whose full names we never seem to learn, the world is full of fictional characters whose visages are all too familiar—but whose names might be less well-known. You've known many of these beloved characters for years, but how well do you really know them? Here's your chance to get better acquainted.
1. Cap'n Crunch // Horatio Magellan Crunch
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
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
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
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
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
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
8. The Monopoly Inmate // Jake The Jailbird
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
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
11. Guy Smiley // Bernie Liederkrantz
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
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
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
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
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
18. The Church Lady // Enid Strict
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
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
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
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
The friendly blue bird over on Twitter goes by the name of Larry. Larry ... Bird.
23. Mr. Peanut // Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe
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
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
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.”
26. Jughead // Forsythe P. Jones Iii
You didn’t think Jughead’s parents actually named him Jughead, did you? Actually, what they named him isn’t really any less bizarre: Forsythe P. Jones III.
27. Moose // Marmaduke Mason
And there’s a reason that that lughead, Moose, chose a short nickname—his real name is Marmaduke Mason.
28. Mr. Whipple // George Whipple
Mr. Whipple, the poor grocer who so desperately wanted his customers to leave the Charmin alone, went by the name of George. Squeeze that.
29. Woody from Toy Story // Woody Pride
According to Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, Woody from Toy Story has a last name: Pride.
30. Casper The Friendly Ghost // Casper Mcfadden
Though the comic books never specified Casper's surname (nor addressed how—of even if—he died), the 1995 Casper movie claimed that the little ghost's family name was McFadden.
31. Geoffrey The Toys "R" Us Mascot // Dr. G. Raffe
Before he was simply Geoffrey, the Toys "R" Us mascot was known as Dr. G. Raffe.
32. Shaggy // Norville Rogers
Though “Shaggy” fits him better, the frightened ghost hunter’s real name is actually Norville Rogers.
33. Scooby Doo // Scoobert
Scooby has a more proper name as well: Scoobert—and that's Scoobert Doo, not Scoobert Doobert as has been rumored.
34. MacGyver // Angus MacGyver
Apparently an early press release proclaimed that MacGyver's first name was Stacey. His real name, Angus, was revealed during the final season, but the story behind it isn't too complex: Richard Dean Anderson saw it on a banner in Vancouver and suggested it.
35. B.A. Baracus // Bosco Albert Baracus
36. Turtle from Entourage // Salvatore Assante
Jeopardy! claimed it was Salvatore Vacara, but Turtle himself, Jerry Ferrara, tweeted otherwise.
— Jerry Ferrara (@jerryferrara) January 31, 2015
37. Wilson from Home Improvement // Wilson W. Wilson Jr.
The alliteratively named neighbor also had a niece, Willow Wilson.
38. Bull Shannon // Nostradamus Shannon
39. Boomhauer from King Of The Hill // Jeffrey Dexter Boomhauer III
Boomhauer's first name isn't the only shocking revelation about Hank Hill's perpetually indecipherable friend—he's also a Texas Ranger.
40. The Skipper from Gilligan's Island // Jonas Grumby
The real name of the owner of the S.S. Minnow was Jonas Grumby.
41. The Professor From Gilligan's Island // Roy Hinkley
Likewise, the professor had a real name: Roy Hinkley.
42. Lt. Columbo // Frank Columbo
According to the name on his police badge, Lt. Columbo’s name was Frank. Though a few sources report that his name is Philip, that’s not true. The faux moniker appeared as a copyright trap in The Trivia Encyclopedia. When Trivial Pursuit later reprinted the false answer to the question, the author of The Trivia Encyclopedia knew they had used information from his book and sued. The court ruled in favor of Trivial Pursuit, saying that facts—even false ones—can’t be copyrighted.