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Jamie: Trouble is my middle name.

Kari: Really? I thought it was Earl.

A difficult situation presents itself, or the protagonists find themselves in a bad situation. One of them says something about how the situation, like how dangerous it is. And then another character, showing how tough they are, takes that description and says it's their middle name.

On the lighter side of this trope, it may be when a character states that they're up to a task, and to prove it, that the nature of the task just happens to be part of their name.

Often played with these days, such as having another character then say they thought their middle name was something else (almost invariably embarrassing), or pointing out how silly it would be if that was really part of their name. Or that they have Only One Name, so can't have a middle. Or, conversely, having it actually being their real middle name.

A Stock Phrase.

Examples of Metaphor Is My Middle Name include:

Comic Books

  • Garfield, who declares that Halloween is his middle name, and then realizes it doesn't work very well: "Gar-Halloween-field." In another storyline, John is boasting that Garfield can't hide forever. "You may be sneaky, but I'm sneakier. Sneaky is my middle name." While Garfield is walking around with the sofa, in which John is sitting, on his back.
  • Lampshaded by the second Kraven in a Marvel Comic.

 Deathstrike: Don't fly, it attracts trouble.

Kraven: Trouble's my middle name!

Pause while Deathstrike, Gravity, Medusa, Firebird, Hank Pym, Wasp and Hood stare at him

Kraven: Okay I don't have a middle name but if I did wouldn't trouble be cool? Alyosha Trouble Kravinoff. It almost makes up for Alyosha.

Film -- Animated

  • In Aloha, Scooby-Doo, Fred says Danger is his middle name. Velma reminds him that it's actually Herman.
  • In Gnomeo and Juliet, Gnomeo confidently says that Juliet's father can't possibly find him, because "Stealth" is his middle name.
  • Rugrats In Paris:

 Stu: I'll have it working in no time. "Mechanical Expertise" is my middle name.

Coco LaBouche: Then your first name should be "I Have No".

 Z: Well, Trouble is my middle name. Actually, my middle name is Marion, but I don't want you spreading that around.

 Whitey: Are you sure about this, Spike? These things are dangerous.

Spike: Danger is my middle name!

Whitey: I thought it was Lesley.

Film -- Live Action

 Ed: If Rocko finds out you're a cop, you might end up dead!

Frank: "You might end up dead" is my middle name.

Ed: What about Jane?

Frank: ...I don't know her middle name.

 Mrs. Walsh: You are so fluent in Spanish. That was so nice of you.

Mouth: "Nice" is my middle name, Mrs. Walsh.

 Jimmy: Danger's my middle name.

Joe: Mine's Cornelius. You tell anybody, I'll kill you.

  • In Lethal Weapon, Murtaugh says that "thin" is his middle name; Riggs uses it as an opportunity to insult his wife's cooking.
  • Rocket Man - "Fun" isn't actually his middle name, it's the middle name of his Chinese neighbor.
  • In Back to The Future, both in 1985 and 1955, there's an election van driving around telling everyone to re-elect the mayor because progress is his middle name. Mayor Goldie Wilson uses the slogan in 1985, presumably having picked it up from Mayor Red Thomas in 1955.
  • In the second Scooby Doo live-action film:

 Shaggy: Then again, "creepy" is my middle name.


  • As with many other tropes, it shows up for its turn(s) at being skewered in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.

 "Luck is my middle name," said Rincewind, indistinctly. "Mind you, my first name is Bad."

    • Detritus also prefaced a question with "I know 'thick' is my middle name-" to which Vimes responded "I didn't know you had a first name."
    • From Soul Music:

 Glod: "I'm a dwarf. We know about money. Knowing about money is practically my middle name."

Lias: "That's a long middle name."

    • From Hogfather: If I had a first name, 'Duty' would be my middle name.
  • Artemis Fowl had one character who went a step further and had his first name legally changed to "Trouble".
    • Mind you, said character is an acknowledged Badass, despite the fact that he gets hardly any notice.
  • In her first appearance in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, Benny tells the Doctor "Surprise is my middle name. Bernice Surprise Summerfield. My poor Mum wanted to hammer the point home." A subversion, since later books make it clear this is, in fact, the case.

Live Action TV

  • Myth Busters does this often enough that the Discovery Channel even sells "DANGER IS MY MIDDLE NAME" t-shirts.
    • Also, reversed in the MacGyver special when Adam has to handle sodium, and Tori tells him to be careful.

 Narrator: Hey, careful is Adam's middle name! Then again, his last name is...[2] Well, let's get on with it.

 "Handle is my middle name. Actually, it's the middle part of my first name."

 Xander: Forgiveness is my middle name. Well, actually it's Lavelle, and I'd appreciate it if you guard that secret with your life.

    • In a later episode:

  Willow: Danger is my middle name. Or at least it would have been if my parents hadn't settled on Danielle.

 Nigel: Woody, Woody, Woody… I promise that I will keep an open mind, okay? And anyway, "sensitivity" is my middle name. [opens the door] SWEET MARY IN THE MANGER!

  • Family Matters: Urkel says his middle name is "Danger", but then immediately admits that it's actually "Quincy".
  • The Monkees

  Micky: Don't worry, my middle name is Danger. [Werewolf howls outside.] Of course, my last name is chicken!

  • In the NCIS episode "Iceman", Tony admits that tardiness is his middle name while chiding Ziva for being late.
  • Paradise Hotel: Charla claims that "pinky swear" is her middle name.
  • There's a brilliant episode of UK panel show Would I Lie To You? where Reginald D Hunter tries to claim that his middle initial stands for delicious, because his impoverished black ancestors thought it would bring him prosperity. No one is buying it, despite his poker face: Tnwzt 9 k Uc

 Reginald D Hunter: It was the late 60s when I was born - 1969. There were a lot of black men at that time around my age being given names like Reginald, and Winston, and Delicious. Because at that time in America Affirmative Action has just started, so black women saw an opportunity for their children to get more jobs, so what they did was give them a name that was recognisable yet dignified to potential employers.

Fern Britton: And "Delicious" is dignified?

Reginald D Hunter: Well, er, you have to understand how... It's very different in the black community to your white world! So... um... the name Delicious commands great respect in the ghetto. You probably don't listen to much rap music, do you Fern?

 Tim: My middle name is "Subtle".

Jill: Yeah. And your first name is "Not".

  • There's an adaptation of an Agatha Christie story on Mystery! in which a man says "Dorian Gray's my middle name." (He probably meant that he looks younger than he is.)
  • Averted by Eddie Izzard: "Danger could be my middle name. But it's John."
  • The West Wing

 Sam: Done! The draft is done, and done on time. Cathy, I'm having my middle name legally changed to "On Time."

Cathy: What was it before?

Sam: Norman.

 Cassie: Careful is my middle name. Changed it from Lillian.

Shane: Good thinking.

  • In an episode of the American Office, Dwight gets a concussion and Michael has to fill in the hospital admission form.

 Michael: Dwight... Schrute... and what's your middle name?

Dwight: [groggy] ...Danger...

Video Games

  • Battlefield: Bad Company: Haggard says, "My middle name's 'Not Safe'. Well, actually it's Gordon..."
  • Afterlife ("Helpful is my middle name" "I thought it was "Herbert")
  • Hotel Dusk: Room 215 has Kyle claiming that "moderation" is his middle name.
  • In the computer game adaptation of Little Monster Private Eye: The Smelly Mystery, if the Evil Smell Switcher turns out to have been Icky, here's why he did it:<br>Icky: It was for the thrill, dudes! "Danger" is like my middle name!<br>Little Monster: Your middle name is "Horace," Icky, not danger. Anyway, changing names is a dangerous game.

Web Animation

  • Bonus Stage

 Elly: Clever is my middle really, it is. I had terrible parents.

Web Comics

 Adam: Danger is my middle name.

Jamie: It is? Really?

Adam: There was a mysterious explosion right in the middle of my christening.

Western Animation

 Black Arachnia: Three mindless drones. Shouldn't be a problem.

Jetstorm: Only three errors in your little theory, Maximal. One, we're not drones. Two, we're not mindless. Three, problem's my middle name!

 Babs Bunny: From now on, self-control is my middle name!

Plucky Duck: (after a pause) I thought it was Ann.

 Genie: Adventure is his middle name...If he had a last name!

  • In one Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy episode, Ed randomly remarks "Service is my middle toe!" In another episode, he says "Pronto's my middle name! No, wait, it's Horace."
  • 321Penguins!

  Zedgil: Adventure is my middle name! Well no, actually its Lloyd.

 Katie: What do you know about nice?

Sadie: Uh, "nice" is my middle name.

Katie: No it isn't!

Sadie: Yuh-huh, is!

Katie: Is not!

Sadie: Okay, what is my middle name, then?

Katie: Ladybird! Your name's Sadiebug Ladybird Berrybeetle.

Sadie: *gasp* How did you know that?!

Katie: 'Cause maybe I've known you all my life and I'm your twin sister.

  • In one episode of Planet Sheen, Sheen not only makes several claims of what his middle name is, he produces several (presumably fake) birth certificates to prove it.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has Pinkie Pie claiming that Responsibility is her middle name: "Pinkie Responsibility Pie!" Her actual middle name is Diane.
    • An earlier episode has "Danger is my middle name: Rainbow Danger Dash!"
  • Floogals episode "Project Bowling", Fleeker says "tough is my middle name"
  • Sonic Boom episode "Circus of Plunders":

 T.W. Barker: It's okay if you're not capable.

Sonic: Capable is my middle name.

Knuckles: I thought your middle name was the.

Real Life

  • American naval officer Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of the War of 1812.
  • Penn Jillette gave his firstborn daughter the middle name "Crimefighter" in the hope she could invoke this trope later in her life.
  • While not her actual middle name, Amanda Palmer is also known as "Amanda Fucking Palmer."
  • Baseball players Russell Earl "Bucky" Dent and Aaron John Boone are known as "Bucky Fucking Dent" or "Aaron Fucking Boone" among Red Sox fans for their key gaming winning home runs.


  1. Incidentally, it's actually "Franklin".
  2. his last name is Savage
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