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Examples of First-Name Basis in Western Animation.


  • At the end of the Kim Possible movie So the Drama, Dr. Drakken, the Big Bad, finally remembers the name of Kim's sidekick; throughout the show, he always referred to Ron as something along the lines of "the buffoon whose name escapes me."
  • Most of the operatives on Codename: Kids Next Door refer to each other by number. If two refer to each other by first name, it's safe to assume they're particularly close (Numbers 3 and 4 call each other "Wally" and "Kuki" all the time) or the moment is particularly deep (Number 1 calls a discouraged Number 362 "Rachel" when she's ready to give up her job as Supreme Leader).
  • In the early episodes of Gargoyles, Goliath always addresses Elisa Maza as "Detective", though he does refer to her by name when she's not around. Later in the show, as their relationship develops into a more romantic one, he becomes more and more comfortable calling her by her first name. Of course, none of the other gargoyles have this problem; the younger ones call Elisa by name from the get-go, and Hudson usually refers to her as "lass".
    • Though it's a bit different here, as it's shown early on that gargoyles traditionally don't have naming conventions, or names at all, like the way the humans do (Goliath and Demona were originally the only two with names, and the others got them early on, and only out of convenience for Elisa rather than any attachment to a particular name).
  • All throughout the first and second seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko only calls Aang "The Avatar." However, he begins to call him 'Aang' after his change of heart in season three
    • The first gang member he calls by name is Sokka (whom he had previously called "you Water Tribe peasant"), followed closely by Appa, both in "The Boiling Rock."
  • It's easy to determine the level of sympathy Batman has for a villain by how he refers to them in Batman: The Animated Series.
    • Mr. Freeze was usually referred to by his full name of Victor Fries.
    • Two-Face was almost always called Harvey, due to Bruce Wayne's close friendship with Dent before the accident.
    • He occasionally refers to Harley Quinn as Harley, rather than Quinn.
    • By the same token, Bullock, who is contemptuous of the daytime identity, refers to Bruce as "Wayne."
  • When Tom Brady was on Family Guy, he told Lois to call him Tom and she and Meg squealed with delight. Chris responded in the same manner after being told he could also call him by his first name.
  • The Chipmunks all refer to their father by his nickname, "Dave".
  • In Code Lyoko, the Prequel episode reveals that Jeremie and Ulrich went through this during their first adventure. Prior to X.A.N.A. getting involved, they barely knew each other and addressed each other by surname.

Exceptions:

  • On The Fairly Odd Parents, an episode revealed that Crocker was friends with his current boss, Principal Waxaplax, in their childhood. During this time Waxaplax was in love with him. This ended with his claims of fairies in college, which got worse over the years. By the time he was starting his teaching job, Waxaplax was demanding to be called by her last name.
  • Regardless of how romantic they get, Fry and Leela never refer to each other by their first names (Philip and Turanga, respectively).
    • It's tricky on Leela's part, since Leela's "first" name is her family name -- her parents are Turanga Morris and Turanga Munda, but it's unknown if Leela was aware of the naming order since she was "abandoned" at a ophanarium and didn't meet her parents until some two decades later, and the viewers weren't clued in on it until they were introduced, so for a while it was thought Turanga was her first name. Regardless, he's still referring to her by her given name, so that's not as strong an example. Fry, however, is.
    • Up until "The Problem With Popplers", Fry didn't know Leela's family name, and Bender didn't know Fry's given name.
    • There was also an episode with a past girlfriend coming to the future who only referred to Fry by his last name. It seems to be that the only people who called him Phillip were his parents and brother.
  • There was an episode of The Simpsons where a Straw Feminist comes to the school after Skinner made a sexist remark. While talking to her, Chalmers uses her first name and she replies that it's a form of harassment (Is it?) so he decides to go all out and kiss her.
    • Without having seen the episode in question, the Straw Feminist may have a point: It's generally polite, when speaking to an authority figure, stranger, etc., to use the surname, especially to a man. People have the tendency to refer to women by their first names (Hillary Clinton becomes "Hillary" instead of "Clinton" or "Mrs. Clinton", for example) and it's uncommon for adults to refer to children the same way. Bring in old patriarchal notions regarding men, women, children, and their roles in the home, and you can see how some women feel that First Name Basis is treating them like children, or otherwise of a lower status.
    • A completely non-romantic example is present in "Two Bad Neighbors", between Bart and former President George H.W. Bush.

 Bush: You know, in my day, little boys didn't call their elders by their first name.

Bart: Yeah? Well, welcome to the 20th century, George.

Bush: I'll kick you right out of the 20th century, you little...
 

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