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  • •The original Hulk movie also hardly used the term "hulk", the characters preferring to call him Bruce Banner, or "Angry Man". His father was never a supervillain so he never had a codename to begin with. • His father was kind of a Composite Character, with powers similar to the Absorbing Man's. He even turns briefly into an electrical humanoid like old Hulk's foe Zzzax. Think about which of those names would have been less Camp...
  • In the DVD commentary, Ang Lee notes that he didn't want to call him "Absorbing Man" and briefly calls him "Partaking Man", coming from David Banner's line: "I can partake in the essences of all things." But this name is never used in the film itself either.
  • Big Hero 6 inverts it—we never learn the real names of Honey Lemon, Wasabi, and Gogo Tomago. Then again, we never learned in the comics if "Wasabi No Ginger" was an alias or not, and even ignoring his Race Lift, "Wasabi" is stated to be a nickname. Likewise, given their Race Lifts (they go from Japanese to Korean-American and Latina), it's equally unlikely that Honey and Gogo's real names are repsectively "Aiko Miyazaki" and "Leiko Tanaka".
    • The team is never called "Big Hero 6" in the movie. However during the closing credits, a news website headline reads "Big Hero 6 Saves Orphanage".
  • The Fantastic Four movies, (including the Roger Corman one) rarely mention the codenames of the heroes and never refer to Victor Von Doom as Doctor Doom (this is actually in keeping with the nature of the original series since none of the characters had a Secret Identity). Resident clown Johnny makes up the codenames on the spot when being interviewed, thus explaining the apparent cruelty of Ben being named "The Thing". • Oddly, "Doctor Doom" would seem to be a perfectly sensible thing to call a person with a doctor's degree whose last name is "Doom"* . In some of the dubs (the Brazilian one, for example), his line "Call me Doom" is changed to "Call me Doctor Doom".
  • In the 2015 reboot, Doom's name is changed to Victor Domashev, with "Doctor Doom" being his online handle. It's unknown if the alias will be used beyond that.

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  • •Iron Man: • Iron Man himself doesn't get called that name until the end of the first film and it's only used once or twice in the following films where he appears ("I am Iron Man" gets an echo in Iron Man 2 and Nick Fury refers to him as Iron Man once), but the name is also used in specific reference to the suit (i.e. "the Iron Man weapon" or "Tony Stark's Iron Man").
  • The words "War Machine" originate in Iron Man 2 as an offhanded insult from Tony to James Rhodes. Averted by 3, where "War Machine" is his official codename and Tony is incredulous that Rhodey actually adopted it just from that remark. Or rather, his official codename in 3 is "Iron Patriot", which Rhodey claims "tested better with focus groups"; but a number of people state they liked "War Machine" better. By Avengers: Age of Ultron, he's just "War Machine" again and uses the name in a Badass Boast.
  • As for the villains, Obadiah Stane is never called "Iron Monger", although he briefly says the word in reference to Stark Industries' role as a weapon manufacturer. Meanwhile, there's Ivan Vanko: a Composite Character of two villains named "Crimson Dynamo" and "Whiplash". He gets called neither in the second film, though the marketing referred to him as Whiplash. In Iron Man 3, Eric Savin and Jack Taggert go by their real names, and are never once referred to as "Coldblood" or "Firepower" (and the Extremis soldiers all have heat powers, so "Coldblood" wouldn't even make sense anyway). The Mandarin is an aversion, being referred to as such, though the character Ben Kingsley played is ultimately revealed as a Decoy Leader. The real villain, Aldrich Killian, only refers to himself as the Mandarin once. This gets even stranger in the short All Hail The King, where it's revealed that Killian wasn't the REAL Mandarin either, and had stolen the name. The REAL one, though never shown, is naturally miffed at other people stealing his shtick.
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony uses a special massive set of armor designed to subdue the Hulk. It's popularly known and marketed as the "Hulkbuster", but the name is never used in the movie - in fact, it seems the actual codename for the armor is "Veronica".
  • The Incredible Hulk: • Averted by The Hulk, who is called "Hulk" four times. The first time comes after the Culver University fight, where some college students refer to him as a "big hulk". Later, the military guys chasing the transformed Blonsky through New York mistakenly report that "the Hulk is in the street." Blonsky explicitly uses that name after the Hulk shows up for the final battle and the Hulk himself uses his patented "HULK SMASH!" at the end of the fight. In The Avengers, Bruce Banner notably takes pains not to call his alter-ego "the Hulk", preferring to call him "the other guy" instead. The one time he does say Hulk, he immediately corrects himself. But no one else has the same qualms.
  • "The Abomination" aka Emil Blonsky goes by his given name and there is only an offhand referrence to that title once, when Dr. Sterns tells Blonksky that augmenting him with the Hulk's blood might turn him into "an abomination". The Consultant, in which the name Abomination is brought up but Agent Coulson says "[The World Security Council] really don't like when you call him that."
  • Averted in the Thor films, where everyone's "superhero" identities are in fact their real names. Thor himself inverts it in the first movie, as the character once had a civilian identity in the comics, but the movies don't bother. So "Thor" is used all throughout the movie, while the name "Dr. Donald Blake" is the one that only gets a few token mentions.
  • In the Captain America movies: • The eponymous hero plays with the trope constantly. He only takes the name Captain America as a stage name, not as a superhero. Once he makes the transition to war hero, all of the characters call him Steve or "Captain Rogers" with a few exceptions (once by Bucky, once by Cap himself, and the other time by the Red Skull), and most of those examples are used as humor, irony, or mockery. Further, unlike in the original Golden Age comics, Cap does officially have the rank of "Captain", and since we've got various characters referring to him by "Captain", it's hard to know if they're using his stage name or military rank. By The Avengers, though, Captain America has become legendary and the name is in widespread use.
  • Johann Schmidt gets called "The Red Skull" (by Hitler, no less) one time as an insult, much to his annoyance. For the rest of the movie, only his real name is used. However, when he's mentioned in The Winter Soldier, it's only done by his codename.
  • •An entire scene played for laughs in Spider-Man 2 was dedicated to J. Jonah Jameson coming up with a good nickname for Doctor Octopus, only for him to mostly go by his real name or the nickname "Doc Ock" for most of the movie, as well as the real life advertising and merchandising.
  • Venom is known only by his real name, Eddie Brock, throughout all of Spider-Man 3. Similarly, Flint Marko is generally known by his real name for most of the film until a reporter calls him "the Sandman" during the final battle. • In the novelization, the name is at least alluded to when Eddie taunts Spider-Man by saying that they are (in reference to himself in the symbiote) his "venom".
  • While Norman Osborn was called "Green Goblin" multiple times in the first movie, when it came time for his son Harry to adopt that persona, the name was never uttered. In fact, promotional material called him New Goblin, a name that was never used in the comics. The closest Harry comes to being known as the Green Goblin is when Peter mockingly calls him "Goblin Jr.". Harry himself strips most of the goblin styling out of the hardware, going for basic armor and a hoverboard in place of the spiky hang-glider (which makes sense, given that those spikes killed his father...).
  • Averted in The Amazing Spider-Man. The mutated Dr. Curt Connors is referred to as "the Lizard" several times. Spider-Man himself, of course, is another clear aversion. • Played straight and averted in the sequel though. Spider-Man is called such very frequently. Electro refers to himself as such even when he's just being tortured and continues to when he becomes a proper villain. Harry, however, isn't called the Green Goblin at all. The Rhino gets very little screen time but is only identified by his civilian name (though he calls himself The Rhino). We also have "Felicia" but she doesn't become Black Cat within the film.
  • Technically, this trope is true of Montgomery Falsworth, aka "Union Jack", the British counterpart to Captain America. However, Falsworth is not a costumed hero in this movie so there would be no reason to say the name at all.
  • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Crossbones is only referred to by his civilian name, Brock Rumlow, though he may take up the name Crossbones in future installments. Similarly, Georges Batroc is never called "Batroc the Leaper". Sam Wilson is called "Falcon" by Maria Hill in the final battle, and this is also the name of the flight pack model he uses. The "Winter Soldier" codename is invoked frequently, but the heroes stop calling him this once they find out that he is Bucky Barnes. Finally, Sharon Carter is referred to as "Agent 13" throughout most of the movie, with Natasha only revealing her first name during the movie's last scene.
  • From multiple movies, Natasha Romanov's handle of "Black Widow" never comes up in Iron Man 2, and is only used in The Avengers twice. In the first instance, it was spoken in Russian, so anyone watching the film outside of its Russian dub actually only gets to read the name in subtitle form. Its other brief appearance is on the screen of a dossier Coulson is viewing. It's used all of once in The Winter Soldier, where an agent refers to her as Black Widow while communicating with Rumlow; an absent from Avengers: Age of Ultron.
  • In The Avengers, Clint Barton is called "Hawkeye" all of once by the Black Widow during the Battle of New York. It appears to be his radio callsign, with the name appearing briefly when Coulson is viewing his dossier in the film's beginning. The closest anyone comes otherwise is Dr. Erik Selvig semi-dismissively calling him "the Hawk". During his prior cameo in Thor it wasn't even alluded to, and in Avengers: Age of Ultron it's used once in an affectionately mocking way by his wife.
  • This trope can be applied to the MacGuffin of Captain America and The Avengers. In the movies, it's called the Tesseract, or "the cube". They never use its comic book name, the "Cosmic Cube". However, it and other MacGuffins are collectively known as Infinity Stones, a name that is taken from the comics.
  • From Agents Of SHIELD: Most characters don't go by codenames, though a reference is often snuck in somewhere: • Franklin Hall and Donnie Gill didn't go by their supervillain names, Graviton and Blizzard, in their introductory episodes... but then again, they weren't supervillains yet. When Gill reappears, it's mentioned that the experiments with his powers had been codenamed "Project Blizzard".
  • Lampshaded aversion: Raina manipulates a pyrokinetic's ego by suggesting he adopt the name "Scorch," commenting on how nobody knows "Steve Rogers" but "Captain America" is a household name. Everyone who hears it is incredulous at the idea, including the pyro at first, but he warms up to it (pun not intended) and by the time S.H.I.E.L.D. shows up he's embraced it; which is then taken as a sign he's getting out of control.

Coulson: Ah, crap, they gave him a name.

  • Another episode concerns a device whose name is Russian and translates to "Overkill" in English; there's some snark that something must have been lost in translation but it's generally referred to as the Overkill Device in this and future episodes — in the comics it was called the Overkill Horn. (Since it uses sound waves)
  • Averted again with the first season Big Bad, who is known as "the Clairvoyant"; although almost every character rejects the possibility of actual psychic powers, they keep calling him that because they don't have another name for him. They eventually are able to communicate with him directly, where the Clairvoyant says his subordinates coined the name and he himself finds it a bit overdramatic. Once he drops his cover he encourages everyone to use his real name. (And for the record, no, he does not have psychic powers; his "omniscience" is based on high-level SHIELD security clearance.)
  • Coulson's team discovers a super-soldier project codenamed "Deathlok", and they soon start referring to the project's subject himself as Deathlok completely unironically. Later in the first season, it's discovered that there is more than one subject, at which point Deathlok becomes somewhat of a generic label.
  • Marcus Daniels is never called "Blackout" in dialogue, though eagle-eyed viewers can make out the name on his profile. The source of his powers is called the Darkforce, however, with requisite lampshading:

Coulson: Because nothing bad ever happens when you're working with something called "Darkforce."

  • Other villains that don't have their codenames used include Carl Creel (the Absorbing Man, though it is referenced in dialogue), Daniel Whitehall (Kraken), Marcus Scarlotti (Whiplash, likely because it was already taken by Vanko in Iron Man 2), and David Angar (Angar the Screamer). The same goes for regular character Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird).
  • Inverted with one of Whitehall's Dragons, Agent 33, who had suffered a Loss of Identity thanks to Brainwashing and whose name (Kara Palamas) was not known, even to her, until she started getting it back.
  • The real names of Skye and her father (originally credited as "the Doctor") were deliberately withheld from the audience in order to hide their identities and the fact that they are even from the comics in the first place. Eventually their names are revealed to be Daisy and Cal Johnson respectively, known in the comics as "Quake" and "Mister Hyde" (real name Calvin Zabo). Cal's codename never wound up being used during his time on the show, though he implied that it existed (he mentioned that he changed his surname, though he didn't specify whether it was to "Zabo" or "Hyde"). Skye's codename hasn't been used as of yet either, though it could come up in the future - she does have the powers to justify it and Mack has even affectionately called her "Tremors", which is close.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: In general, the movie uses the same aversion as the Thor movies in that everyone's names are their real ones, but there are a few examples: • The team's name "the guardians of the galaxy" is a mocking nickname given to the group by Ronan the Accuser. Peter throws it back in his face when they defeat him, with the implication that they may adopt it as a group name.
  • Parodied with "Star-Lord", as Peter Quill introduces himself as that, but people just respond with confusion. When the space cops later look at his rap sheet, they comment that apparently the only person who calls Quill "Star-Lord" is himself. Comically, he is ecstatic when, in the last act of the film, someone actually does call him Star-Lord.

Rhomann Dey: Hey! If it isn't "Star-Prince." Quill: Star-Lord. Rhomann: Sorry; "Lord." [to his partner] I picked this guy up a while back for petty theft. He's got a code name! Quill: Come on, man, it's an outlaw name. Rhomann: Relax, pal, it's cool to have a code name. It's not that weird.

  • Inverted with Drax the Destroyer. In the comics, he's a transformed human named Arthur Douglas. In the movie, he's an alien and Drax is his real name (with the "Destroyer" nickname earned for his Roaring Rampage of Revenge).
  • Rocket's full name in the comics is "Rocket Raccoon," but everyone calls him Rocket. It's justified by two reasons: 1) Rocket hates being called an animal, which the name clearly insinuates; and 2) he doesn't even know what a raccoon is.
  • Like the Cosmic Cube example from Captain America and The Avengers, nobody refers to Ronan's hammer as the Universal Weapon (partly because it never comes up; the bigger threat is Ronan himself).
  • In Agent Carter, neither of the main villains are called by their codename. A Black Widow agent has no direct reference made to her codename (or any real name for that matter) and is only identifiable by sharing a backstory with Natasha Romanov. The codename of Doctor Faustus gets a nod when he's shown reading his namesake play. Codenames are also referenced when Peggy teams up with her war buddies in the Howling Commandos and "Dum Dum" Dugan realizes she never had a nickname like the rest of the squad. He suggests "Miss Union Jack" (see in the Captain America section above), which she declines.
  • In Daredevil, Daredevil starts out as just "the man in the black mask", and then when the media thinks he's a terrorist they dub him "the Devil of Hell's Kitchen". It's only at the end of the season when he's proven himself a hero that he becomes "Daredevil", which Matt and his friends make fun of but admit is better than the last name. Nobody else goes by a codename, whether it's Leland Owlsley (The Owl), Ebersol (The Fixer), or Melvin Potter (Gladiator); justified since they're all normal people and not costumed supervillains. The closest anyone comes is "The Kingpin" Wilson Fisk, who receives two or three references to kings over the course of the show.
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron: • Averted with Ultron and Vision, who have no other names. Vision was originally referred to as a metaphorical vision of various characters', but later, Tony, and eventually Steve and Thor use it by the end of the movie, all in a way that indicates it's been adopted as his official name.
  • Wanda and Pietro Maximoff are never referred to as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. The closest is when Tony refers to Wanda as "that little witch".
  • Ulysses Klaw appears under his original surname of Klaue, instead of his supervillain name. Justified, as his appearance is merely an Early-Bird Cameo for an upcoming Black Panther movie.
  • Ant-Man: Averted, albeit not without lampshading.

Scott: "Is it too late to change the name?"

  • Promotional material for Jessica Jones refers to the Purple Man by his last name (spelled slightly differently from the comics), Kilgrave. Justified since set photos indicate that he is not in fact purple in this incarnation; and of course, "Kilgrave" is a threatening enough supervillain name on its own.*

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