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Entries arranged in alphabetical order:

  • It's a generic name, but John Adams has done it all. He was the second President of the United States, an obscure contestant from American Gladiators, a revered minimalist composer, and has probably held many other interesting occupations.
  • Scott Adams is the name of either the cartoonist of Dilbert or a series of old text adventure games.
  • The American Hockey League has two teams named the Admirals - Norfolk and Milwaukee. They entered the AHL a year apart from each other (Norfolk was first). That's because the two teams were originally part of different leagues. Milwaukee came into the league from the International Hockey League when it folded, Norfolk moved up from the ECHL (when its City Council threatened to revoke their lease if they didn't move to the highest level of minor pro hockey.
  • Is Jason Alexander a comic actor or the guy whose marriage to Britney Spears got annulled in 55 hours?
  • Jamal Anderson was a 7th-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons; he was a running back whose solid career was cut short by knee injuries. Jamaal Anderson was a 1st-round draft pick of those same Falcons; he is a defensive lineman whose career has never taken off.
  • Paul Thomas Anderson is an American film director who mostly directs drama films, such as Magnolia and There Will Be Blood. Do not confuse him with Paul W. S. Anderson, a British film director who directs science fiction and actions movie, such as the Resident Evil series.
  • There's Mark Antony the Roman statesman and general, and then there's Marc Anthony the American singer and songwriter.
  • Apple Corps (pronounced apple core) versus Apple Inc. Since they were originally in totally different lines of business, this recycling of a trademark wasn't a problem -- until Apple Inc. decided to move into computer music, whereupon the older Apple objected.
  • There are two association football teams named Arsenal F.C. The Argentine team is usually referred to as Arsenal de Sarandí to avoid confusion with the English team.
  • Nicklas Bäckström is a Swedish forward currently playing for the Washington Capitals. Niklas Bäckström is a Finnish goaltender currently playing for the Minnesota Wild.
  • Does the name Francis Bacon make you think of Empiricism or creepy, but awesome, post WWII, British paintings?
  • And similar sports team naming kerfuffles erupted when, for instance, the CFL tried to name an expansion team the Baltimore Colts a decade after the NFL team by that name had fled to Indianapolis. The ensuing lawsuit caused the expansion team to literally play without a name for its inaugural season before gaining the Stallions moniker the next year, though they would move to Montreal and become the Alouettes the year after that.
  • Hank Bauer was the name of a right fielder for baseball's New York Yankees in the '50s, and a running back for football's San Diego Chargers in the '70s.
  • In a non-person-related example, there are two different off-price retail chains in the south both called Bealls (pronounced "bells"): one based in Texas and one based in Florida. The latter goes by Burke's in areas where their markets overlap.
  • Billy Beane is the former utility outfielder who became the general manager of the Oakland Athletics. Billy Bean is also a former journeyman outfielder who is one of two former Major League Baseball players to come out as gay (the late Glenn Burke is the other).
  • Paul Bearer & the Hearsemen, a 1960s band, and Paul Bearer, The Undertaker's manager.
  • There are two different British musicians named Andy Bell. One was a guitarist and singer for the band Ride, guitarist for the bands Hurricane #1 and Gay Dad, bassist (and occasionally guitarist) for Oasis, and currently guitarist for Beady Eye. The other is the singer from the band Erasure.
  • Then again, there's Beck Hansen of "Loser" fame (who plays guitar), and guitar legend Jeff Beck.
  • Justin Bieber is a famous singer. Behold, Justin Bieber the 35 year old tech support specialist from Jacksonville, Florida.
    • Or, Justin (John) Bieber, 50 year old carpenter from Ohio. He does not like being associated with Justin Bieber.
  • Rebecca Black, when she's not lookin' forward to the weekend, is a bikini model.
  • Robert Blake was an actor who (allegedly) murdered his wife. Bob Blake was a 5-time Jeopardy! champion who was not only the first player to earn over $75,000 in regular competition (which was the then-winnings cap), but also won the 1990 Tournament of Champions. Neither seems to be related to Robert M. Blake, creator of the World of Fizz.
  • Steve Blum is a voice actor known for roles in (among others) Cowboy Bebop and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Steven Blum is an associate director of Whose Line Is It Anyway. Neither seems to be related to Steve Bloom, a South African photographer and published author.
  • Bono: U2 Frontman or Melbourne-based noise trio?
    • Double-whammy in the case from the latter: While one of the members is named Kyle, makes Harsh Noise, and lives in Melbourne, he is not Kyle Dennis.
  • Daniel Boone has been the name of an American Pioneer, a baseball pitcher, a British singer, and a British Member of Parliament.
  • Some episodes of Inspector Morse were written by a guy named Daniel Boyle. This is different from the Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle... who did direct some Morse episodes.
  • Michael Bradley, according to The Other Wiki there are more than 10 different Michael Bradleys. The most prominent ones being Michael Joseph Bradley (1897-1979), American congressman of Pennsylvania, and Michael John Bradley (1933-2010), British governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Tom Brady is the name of both a star NFL quarterback for the New England Patriots, and a movie director whose credits include The Comebacks and Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.
  • James Brown is: a.) the Godfather of Soul, b.) a legendary American football player, better known as "Jim", c.) an American sports announcer, formerly with Fox and now with CBS, d.) a music video director who frequently works with Tori Amos, e.) a journalist and former editor of loaded and f.) a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (although he goes by his middle name, Gordon), g.)a soccer striker for Hartlepool.
  • VJ "Downtown" Julie Brown might have shown the video for singer/comedianne Julie Brown's The Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun.
  • Marc Brown, the writer of the Arthur books. Not to be confused with Marc Brown, former anchorman for ABC 7 News.
  • Former Spice Girl Melanie Brown should not be confused with Canadian voice actress Melleny Brown.
  • Is Tim Buckley a webcomic artist or a jazz and folk musician who fathered Jeff?
    • This caused at least one jazz-loving member of the Hatedom to do a double-take at his playlist.
  • In Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World, he tells a story of being picked up at an airport by a driver named William Buckley. The driver thought Carl had the same problem as he did, since Carl had the same name as "that science guy." (His response: "I am that science guy.")
  • Buffalo, Texas changed its name twice because of sports: first to Blue Star, Texas when the Dallas Cowboys played the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl (twice), and later to Green Star, Texas when the Dallas Stars played the Buffalo Sabres for the Stanley Cup.
  • When I say Richard Burton, do I mean the actor who married Elizabeth Taylor twice or the translator, spy/explorer who translated The 1001 Nights, went to Mecca, and tried to find the source of the Nile? They even made a movie (Mountains of the Moon) about the explorer; it did not star the actor (he would have been too old).
  • And when I say Robert Burton, do I mean the author of The Anatomy of Melancholy or the British track star?
  • Kate Bush: a beautiful and amazingly talented but notoriously reclusive British singer with her own unique style or a character from Gundam.
    • "Kate" is short for her birth name "Catherine". Which she shares with Catherine Bush, a successful novelist.
  • Brett Butler is the name of a former MLB center fielder, a stand-up comedian and former star of the ABC sitcom Grace Under Fire, and a stage and voice actor known for playing Dr. Quinn on Sealab 2021.
  • Laura Buxton meets Laura Buxton. Both each had a brown and orange guinea pig, a gray rabbit, and a black Labrador. Synchronicity, anyone?
  • Bruce Campbell is an actor, right? Or is he an American football offensive tackle who was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL Draft?
  • Harry Carey (with an "e") was a popular silent-film actor, and his son, Harry Jr., was a popular character actor of the 1940s and 1950s. Harry Caray (with an "a") was a legendary baseball announcer with the Cardinals, White Sox, and Cubs.
  • Two Brazilian players share their names with singers: Roberto Carlos (FIFA World Cup champion who played in Spain for a long time) and Fábio Júnior.
  • John Carpenter: One is a film director famed for such works as Halloween, Escape from New York, and The Thing; the other is the first winner on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
  • Madeleine Carroll: 1930s English actress or modern-day American actress?
  • Chris Carter, the X-Files creator. Or the football player. Or the Throbbing Gristle musician.
    • In an episode of The X-Files, they showed a football game on TV in which Chris Carter was on the screen for a moment. No word on whether it was intentional.
  • Admit it. You weren't the only one to think that Dixie Carter (of Designing Women fame) was the president of the TNA wrestling federation.
  • The Houston Astros chose catcher Jason Castro with the tenth overall pick in the 2008 MLB draft, not even a month after a different Jason Castro was eliminated from season 7 of American Idol in fourth place.
  • Nick Cave, rock star/writer. Nick Cave, American artist/dancer.
  • In the state of Texas, judges are elected, but few voters care enough to become informed about or actually vote in judicial elections. Worse, the few that do have to go through candidates for an absurd number of seats on the bench. As a result, the "name game" plays a huge role in who gets elected. Ron Chapman got elected despite being a Democrat in a Republican-dominated year because he shares the name of a popular Texas radio DJ. And that's not just a theory; on a survey regarding politician name recognition, most people who claimed to be familiar with Chapman listed his public office as "DJ". Conversely, judicial candidates with difficult-to-spell (or pronounce) names, like Cathy Herasimchuk, find it difficult to get elected no matter how much partisan or financial support they get.
  • Don Cherry is the name of both an American jazz musician (father to Eagle-Eye and stepfather to Neneh) and a Canadian NHL coach turned Hockey Night in Canada commentator.
  • Deepak Chopra the New Age guru and favourite of Oprah Winfrey? Or Deepak Chopra, president of Canada Post?
  • Winston Churchill was not happy to learn about Winston Churchill the American novelist. The British Churchill wrote only one novel, being better known for his popular histories and journalism. Both Churchills had political careers, and were both noted amateur painters. The British Churchill, upon becoming aware of the American Churchill's books, wrote to him suggesting that he would sign his own works "Winston S. Churchill", using his middle name (actually part of his surname), "Spencer", to differentiate them. This suggestion was accepted, with the comment that the American Churchill would have done the same, had he any middle names. Supposedly (it might just be a joke), the British one had first suggested the American change his name and was informed that since the American was born three years earlier, the American said the British one should be the one changing it.
  • There's Bob Clampett, the Looney Tunes animator and director and creator of Beany and Cecil. And then there's Bobby Clampett, a former PGA golfer.
  • British railway timetables used to include Clapham (London) and Clapham (Yorkshire). The two communities are linked because the aristocratic Claphams used to live in the Surrey village which, much later, got absorbed into London, then moved to Yorkshire and founded another village. The first of these has since been renamed Clapham High Street because it was too often confused (even by railway staff) with Clapham Junction -- which is unconnected with either Clapham station; it's in Battersea, not Clapham.
    • Incidentally, this trope is a large reason for the tendency of Americans to apply London England Syndrome to city names. There are many cities in the US that share names with each other, many of them named after places or people in Europe. And at least a few had their names changed due to confusion caused on railways as with the Clapham communities.
  • John Clay, a news anchor for WTAJ of Altoona, Pennsylvania or a running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
  • There are two famous musicians named Les Claypool. One is the singer and bassist for Primus. The other works in anime and video game sound recording, and has collaborated with director Steve Wang on a few of his projects.
  • In an absolutely bizarre coincidence, former TNA wrestler/evil security guard Murphy's real name is Michael Cole. Oddly enough, the WWE commentator uses that as a Stage Name, as his real name is Michael Coulthard.
  • Michael Collins led the 1916 Easter Rebellion in Ireland and flew to the moon.
  • Director/producer Chris Columbus did not discover America. Christopher Columbus really didn't, either, although he's traditionally credited with doing so.
  • Angel Concepcion: A lightweight boxer, as well as an ex-gang member working with Chicago's "Cease Fire" violence-prevention gang.
  • Even countries can fall victim to this- the Democratic Republic of the Congo (a large, underdeveloped, rainforest nation in Africa) and the Republic of the Congo(another nation in Africa which is smaller, more developed, and just as rainforest-y) are NOT the same place.
    • Averted for a few years when the former country was named Zaire.
  • Robin Cook is the name of both a (late) British MP and an American medical-thriller novelist.
  • Bill Cosby is a famous black comedian turned disgraced sexual criminal. William Cosby was Royal Governor of New Jersey in the 1730s and the antagonist of the Zenger case, which allowed freedom of the press.
  • Is Brian Cox a former keyboard player from the band D:Ream and current particle physicist working on the Large Hadron Collider or a Scottish actor known for his roles in Manhunter, X-Men 2 and The Long Kiss Goodnight??
  • San Francisco had two major sports-figures near the end of the 1980s in San Francisco Giants manager Roger Craig, who shared a name with the San Francisco 49ers star running back of the period.
  • David Crane. Is he a video game designer who co-founded Activision and created the Pitfall and A Boy and His Blob series, or is he a television producer who co-created Friends?
  • How many women named Cindy Crawford can you name?
  • Coco Crisp is an American baseball player. Cocoa Krispies is an American breakfast food.
  • David Cross: the violinist for music/KingCrimson, or the comedian?
  • Colgate once tried to launch a toothpaste in France called "Cue". It was also the name of a French pornographic magazine. I don't think the toothpaste sold very well.
    • "Cul" is French for "arse/ass", which sounds similar to the English word "cue".
  • Tom Cruise is the owner of the HoverRound company that helps elderly people with the need -- the need for speed.
  • Jim Cummings. The prolific voice actor shares his name with James Harvey "Mister Jim" Cummings (1890-1979), a long-serving member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. Mister Jim held his position from 1928 to 1972.
  • Meet Ben Curtis, professional golfer. That dude is certainly not getting a Dell.
  • Court TV once was showing a trial in which an FBI agent was testifying, and when he began his testimony he stated his name: Jeffrey Dahmer. He is not related to the Milwaukee humanitarian of the same name who died in prison after being convicted of killing and eating his victims.
  • If you visit the campus of the University of Southern California (USC), you might meet Elizabeth Daley. No, not Elizabeth Daily, who played Dottie in Pee Wees Big Adventure; I'm talking about the current Dean of the School of Academic Arts. And if you'd been on the campus about 10 years ago, you might have bumped into Kristy Swanson. No, not the originator of the role of Buffy Summers; she was the receptionist for the USC Alumni Association office.
  • The BBC's season of programmes on Charles Darwin has featured programmes named What Darwin Didn't Know and Darwin's Dangerous Idea, which share their names with books of the same name. However, the former is a book that promotes Intelligent Design, the programme exactly the opposite. The latter chronicles nearly the same subject matter as the former (namely, the implications of Darwin's Theory of Evolution).
  • Keith David is an black US actor most recently known for voicing the cat in Coraline. Keith David is also the name of a black British rapper.
    • Let's not forget another noted character actor (and Patrick Swayze-lookalike), David Keith, who shares his birthday with the actor Keith David. He's white.
  • Sylvie Davidson: A black French singer, or a white American theare actress and folk/country singer (also from Seattle)? This name combination is surprisingly common.
  • General Jefferson Davis (1828-1879) of the Union should not be confused with President Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) of the Confederacy. Both were active in The American Civil War. Jefferson Davis (1862-1913), Governor of Arkansas, was not related to either man. Though some of his voters reportedly mistook him for a son or nephew of the President. "A belief that Davis did nothing to discourage".
  • All three seem to have no relation to Jeff Davis.
  • Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, was not an animator on Fritz the Cat and The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat. The animator, who also went by James Davis, had a long career in animation, originally working for Warner Bros and MGM animation. The book Forbidden Animation confused the two, as did IMDb for a time.
  • James Dean the actor has been dead since September 30, 1955. Jimmy Dean the country singer and sausage seller stayed around until 2010.
    • It doesn't help that the play/film Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean is about James Dean.
  • Reginald Denny was the name of an old Hollywood character actor, as well as that of a truck driver who was attacked and beaten during the Rodney King riots in 1992.
  • Matt Dillon is known for writing many computer programs and for developing DragonFly BSD. There's also an actor with that name.
  • There are two hip hop artists named Doctor Dre. One is a DJ who worked with Ed Lover and the Beastie Boys; the other, who spells his name Dr. Dre, is a rapper who's worked with Snoop Dogg and Eminem.
  • Michael Keaton's real name? Michael Douglas.
  • Dublin and Blackpool are at the same latitude on opposite shores of the Irish Sea. Dubh linn is Gaelic for black pool.
    • Also of note is that Dublin has a suburb named Blackpool. As does Cork, Ireland's second city.
  • We have Amelia Earhart, the pilot who went missing, and Amelia Earhart, traffic reporter for NBC affiliate KUSA (she left for Los Angeles briefly in 2009). A promo from 2005 actually played off of this.
  • John Edwards is an American politician of the Democratic Party, who unsucessfuly sought the presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008. John Edward (no s) is a professional psychic medium who has starred in two television shows. The latter's use of Cold Reading techniques lead to detractors calling him a Phony Psychic, but he obviously still has fans.
  • The actor Albert Brooks' real name is Albert Einstein.
  • There are two notables with the name Greg Ellis - one, the guy who voiced Cait Sith; the other, a linebacker in the National Football League.
  • Warren Ellis is the name of both a comic book guy and Nick Cave's violinist.
    • Oh, if only they would collaborate...
    • Suddenly the film credits for The Assassination of Jessie James by the Coward Robert Ford make sense!
  • Tony Esposito is an Italian musician and songwriter. Tony Esposito is also an NHL Hall of Fame goalie.
  • Chris Evans, Hollywood actor and Chris Evans, the bloke who was married to Billie Piper and took over from Terry Wogan.
    • The science fiction author is Christopher Evans on the book covers, but Ansible consistently calls him Chris...
  • Linda Evans: SF/F writer, star of Dynasty, or 1980s political radical?
  • Terry Farrell, actress who portrayed Dax in Star Trek Deep Space Nine, has a similar name to Perry Farrell, lead singer of Janes Addiction. Not that people would get them confused, them being opposite genders and all.
  • There are at least three email services called Fastmail (not counting those whose name includes Fastmail); the Australian one which is now a subsidiary of Opera, the Canadian one (whose rep showed briefly on EmailDiscussions because his service was mistaken for the Australian one), and the Greek one.
  • Jon Favreau? The Barack Obama speechwriter or the director for the Iron Man movie?
  • When you hear the name "Fergie", who do you think of initially: Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, or Stacy Ferguson, former Kids Incorporated cast member, and current member of the Black Eyed Peas (who also has a solo career)?
  • Although many NFL players move on to professional wrestling once their football days are over, the Manny Fernandez who wrestled in the 1980s is not the same Manny Fernandez who played for the Miami Dolphins in the 1970s. Nor did he play goalie for the Minnesota Wild during the 2000s.
  • In the past, there were two open-source programs named Firebird; a database server and a Web browser. To avoid confusion, the Web browser's name was changed to the more familiar Firefox. The database server is still called Firebird.
    • What's more, its name was changed to Firebird because its original name, Phoenix, is also the (trademarked) name of a company that develops BIOS software for PCs.
    • And then there's the Mozilla project's browser for Mac OS X only, Camino. It was originally called Chimera, but changed because several other pieces of software are also called Chimera (including a very old web browser for UNIX).
  • When you hear the name Carrie Fisher you think of Princess Leia, well there's another Carrie Fisher. You may know her by the name Carrie Underwood though. She is married to hockey player Mike Fisher and uses "Fisher" as her married name.
  • An actor named "Ian Fleming" once had a minor role on an episode of The Prisoner. He shared his name with the author of the James Bond series.
  • Harrison Ford shares a name with a silent film actor, who famously had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame long before him.
  • Samantha Fox, the Page 3 model and pop singer, is not to be confused with adult film actress Samantha Fox.
  • The guy who sings the German version of "Young Love Rock 'n Roll" is named Benjamin Franklin.
  • Greg Gagne (pronounced "gon-yuh") was a professional wrestler in the American Wrestling Association. Greg Gagne (pronounced "gag-nee") was a shortstop for the Minnesota Twins.
  • There is a U.S. state called Georgia and a Caucasus country named Georgia. The American Georgia is named after King George II, while the country gets its name from the Persian-Arabic designation – gurğ / ğurğ. They call themselves Kartvelebi and their country Sakartvelo.
    • Naturally, the hometown crowd in Atlanta, Georgia cheered for Georgia (the country) when they appeared at Parade of Nations at the opening ceremonies for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
    • This whole issue was played for laughs (and combined with a Ray Charles reference) in "Back In the USSR", by The Beatles.

 And Georgia's always on my my my my my my my my my mind.

    • Spoofed again in The Areas of My Expertise, when John Hodgman discusses Georgia's history as the site of many of Martin Luther King's great speeches. It would, however, take a thousand clones of Dr. King to erase Georgia's dark history as the birthplace of Josef Stalin.
    • Also spoofed in one of the Samurai Cat stories, when Stalin's clique from Georgia includes Miz Lillian Stalin and Billy Stalin. KGB chief Beria, also from Georgia, admits to being "Macon born and bred. Yee-hah!"
      • Similarly, the Doom Patrol's Flash Forward is surprised to find the prosthetics expert helping Robotman is Georgian. "Naw, see, my mama, she from Atlanta, and if you a cracker..."
    • In Community Troy is representing Georgia at a Model UN, and breaks out an outrageous Southern accent. It turns out he did research the right place, he just decided to do the accent anyway.
  • Joe Gibbs: Former Washington Redskins coach or legendary Reggae producer?
  • Paul Gilbert was an actor in The Thirties. A different Paul Gilbert played guitar with pop-metal bands Racer X and Mr. Big.
  • The Gilbert Scott architectural family, starting with George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878). His son, George Gilbert Scott (1839-1897), was also an architect. With the result that working out who designed what has been a nightmare for some architectural historians.
    • The family also included architects John Oldrid Scott (1841-1913), Charles Marriott Oldrid Scott (1880-1952), Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960), Adrian Gilbert Scott (1882-1963), Elisabeth Scott (1898-1972), and Richard Gilbert Scott (1923-). Disambiguating their works can get tricky.
  • David Gilmore, an experimental jazz guitarist, should not be confused with David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.
  • John Glenn (two Ns) was the first American and third person to orbit the Earth. John Glen (one N) directed almost every James Bond movie in The Eighties: For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, and Licence to Kill. (He did not direct Never Say Never Again).
  • Alberto Gonzales is a former US Attorney General. Alberto Gonzalez is the name of a baseball player for the Washington Nationals. A different Alberto Gonzalez composed music for Infogrames' video games, and has written some Crowning Music of Awesome for the entire Game Boy system. And none of these are to be confused with Albert Gonzalez, who hacked TJ Maxx' credit card processing system.
  • Alex Gonzalez and Alex Gonzalez. They play the same position as well (shortstop) but their careers had much more overlap. (Both even played for the Toronto Blue Jays, though not at the same time.)
  • Stephanie Gorin, casting director based in Toronto or local TV news reporter based in Plattsburgh, NY?
  • Dave Gorman. For those who don't know, Dave Gorman is a British comedian who started off by going through with a bet that "he couldn't get 50 Dave Gormans in the same room" (Paraphrased, may not have been 50). And he did. And later, he went around the world after being bet he couldn't "Meet 10 Googlewhacks in a row when the latest link in the chain is only allowed to find him two more Googlewhacks". The second link in one of the chains he checked out was one of the Dave Gorman's he met previously.
    • 54; and he didn't have to get them in the same room, just meet them. His Googlewhack show includes a great line from the other Dave Gorman; "Make yourself at home! You might as well, your name's on the mortgage..."
  • Michael Gough is the name of the actor who played Alfred in Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher's Batman movies. It's also the name of the voice actor who played Solaufein in Baldur's Gate 2 and Osmund Sadler in Resident Evil 4. Two different guys.
  • Graham Greene is a late British novelist and playwright, as well as a Canadian First Nations character actor.
  • When I say Michael Griffin, do I mean the anti-abortionist or the former head of NASA? (Fortunately, the latter is usually just called Mike.)
    • Or do you mean the Tennessee Titans safety?
  • If you are talking about Christopher Guest are you talking about the American actor and filmmaker from This Is Spinal Tap and Best in Show, or are you talking about the one who was Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (which was the British equivalent of a Supreme Court Justice). The Other Wiki tried to clear up the confusion by referring to one of them as Baron Guest but is still a problem considering they both held the noble title of Baron. The actor has inherited the title of Baron Haden-Guest, while the judge held the life peerage title of Baron Guest.
  • An American commentator accused neurosurgeon/reporter Sanjay Gupta of having a supposed "conflict of interest" after discovering his name on a list of physicians working for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. It turns out that the doctor working for Pfizer was a different Sanjay Gupta entirely - not surprisingly, as "Sanjay Gupta" is almost as common among Indians as "John Smith" is among Americans.
  • John Hancock the Founding Father, and John Hancock the film director.
    • And John Hancock, the African-American character actor.
  • Tom Hardy is an English actor who usually plays gangsters or action heroes, as seen in Inception. Thomas Hardy is an English writer famous for Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd.
  • Ron Harper: Prolific television actor (Land of the Lost, Garrison's Gorillas), or member of the Chicago Bulls' second three-peat run in the 1990s?
  • Josh Harris is the name of one of the fisherman Phil Harris' sons, and the name of a DJ. Another one who gained notoriety for the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye". There is also Joshua Harris, better known as Christopher Ewing of Dallas.
  • Phil Harris was a singer, comedian, longtime bandleader on The Jack Benny Program, and frequent Disney voice actor...and also a late fishing boat captain featured on Deadliest Catch.
  • Sam Harris: Atheist author, or Star Search winner and One-Hit Wonder ("Sugar Don't Bite").
  • One George Harrison was the lead guitarist of The Beatles. Another George Harrison was vice president of marketing at Nintendo.
    • The Beatle wasn't even the first prominent Liverpudlian named George Harrison. There was also the George Harrison who wrote the longtime "Over the Mersey Wall" column in the Liverpool Echo. Beatle George gave Columnist George a Shout-Out by titling one of the tracks on 1969's Electronic Sound "Under the Mersey Wall".
  • Harry Harrison is the name of a well-known science fiction writer, as well as a long-time radio DJ in New York.
  • Corey Hart is either the Canadian rock singer best remembered for the song "Sunglasses At Night", or the outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • If you're inquiring about Gary Hart, it's either the former Senator or the late pro wrestling manager.
  • When you say Anne Hathaway, are you talking about the actress from The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada, or William Shakespeare's wife?
  • Is Richard Hatch the star of the original Battlestar Galactica Classic, or the winner of the first season of Survivor?
  • Tony Hawks is an English comedian and author who once went around Ireland with a fridge. Tony Hawk is the pro skateboarder and video game star. A lot of people get them mixed up, and Hawks has reserved a section of his site for the e-mails he gets from skating fans, and the "slightly mischievous" replies he gives.

 E-mail: hi can you send me tips

Answer: Yes. Here's two -- don't stand downwind of flatulent people, and try not to get involved in leapfrogging unicorns.

  • Fran Healy: A singer/guitarist and songwriter for the Scottish rock band Travis, and a former Major League Baseball catcher and current New York Mets announcer.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Kelly Hildebrandt.
  • Taylor Hill (female) is a fashion model. Another Taylor Hill (male) is a baseball pitcher.
  • During World War Two, there was a US soldier with the same name as Adolf Hitler. When asked about whether he would change his name, the soldier replied: "let the other guy change his name."
  • Lampshaded in More Information Than You Require when author John Hodgman (aka a PC) digs up an old ad for rainwear bearing his name, and, like him, advertising Mackintoshes.
  • A really old episode of Law and Order featured two actors who went by Phil Hoffman. One of them was Capote actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  • John Holmes, porn star with a massive wang. Jon Holmes, Radio 4 satirist.
  • Anthony Hopkins, who played a fictional cannibal and Roaring Rampage of Revenge-inclined ex-king; Anthony Hopkins, real-life AWOL Navy guy-turned-revival preacher who abused the children in his care and stuffed his dead wife in a freezer.
    • Neither of whom should be confused with Antony (no "h") Hopkins, the composer and author of Understanding Music.
  • In Australia, John Howard is an actor... and a former Prime Minister. The actor has been hired to make the joke at least twice: once in The Games (hired within the show specifically to fool foreigners) and again in CNNNN (mistaken for the other one by the presenter).
  • Michael Howard the politician, and Sir Michael Howard, the historian. The two are actually conflated in the index to the first volume of Alan Clark's diaries, Howard being his MP at the time of writing and Sir Michael being a fellow scholar. George Osborne, the Coalition's Chancellor of the Exchequer, has a namesake in George Osborne, one of the protagonists of William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair. Also, there was an incident where David Davis MP, the former Conservative Shadow Home Secretary, and agitator against 42-day detention policies was supposed to be invited to speak to an ethnic minority police association - but they invited David Davies MP instead and he ended up calling them racist for their organization being part of an affirmative action campaign.
  • Steve Howe is the name of a rocker (in the bands Yes and Asia) and a deceased former baseball player.
    • In 1970s England, there was a story about a teenage girl called Michelle Booth who was attacked on a train. [1] She had been on her way to visit her boyfriend, Steve Howe; not that Steve Howe.
  • Glenn Hughes? Which one, the Village People guy or the erstwhile Deep Purple bassist?
  • A Hummer is a giant SUV. It's also a nickname for hummingbirds. Among other things.
  • Was Helen Hunt a 19th-century social novelist or a popular 1990s movie actress? (Okay, so the first one was actually Helen Hunt Jackson, but "Hunt" was the name of her first husband.)
  • John Hurt is an English actor, while Mississippi John Hurt was an American blues musician.
  • When you say iFanboy you're either talking about an overzealous Apple Inc. enthusiast or a really great comics discussion site with podcasts you can download off of Apple's iTunes player.
  • Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune. After his split from Capcom people thought he was doing a game named Overwhelming Game Infinite Souls. Turns out it was someone else with the same name. Notable for even affecting this wiki.
  • There are two John Irvings that are published writers - the Australian one being rather less well known, to the point that it's hard to find any information about him. There's also a historic Australian emancipationist of that name.
  • Playboy had two Playmates named Jennifer Jackson (Miss March 1965 and Miss April 1989, the former being the first African-American Playmate). They also had two Playmates named Susie Scott (Miss February 1960 and Miss May 1983); to further complicate matters, Miss August 1984 was Suzi Schott.
  • Joe Jackson: Record producer/abusive patriarch of The Jackson 5ive, Motown's most famous musical family or English power pop/new wave star of the late '70s & early '80s?
    • Not to mention the "shoeless" baseball player who was banned from the game for life after helping throw the 1919 World Series.
  • There have been two NFL players named Keith Jackson (a tight end and a defensive tackle), and they're father and son. Neither is any relation to Keith Jackson who spent decades calling college football for ABC.
  • Michael Jackson. A Los Angeles radio talk show host, who is white, and has an English accent, is not related to a famous computer programmer who has written books on the subject, and both of them are not related to a famous singer and plastic-surgery addict, except that all three of them have the same name:.
    • There's also an ex-head of Channel 4.
    • And an expert on Beer.
    • As well as the coach of the University of New Hampshire Women's Soccer team.
    • Also, a regular writer for Computer and Video Games.
    • Also a provost at USC.
    • Not to mention General Sir Michael Jackson, ex-Chief of the General Staff of the UK.
    • And General Michael Jackson, USAF, who was also a WWII fighter ace.
    • After Michael Jackson, the pop star, died, people gathered at the Hollywood Walk of Fame star for Michael Jackson. Too bad they Did Not Do the Research-- the star they went to belonged to the radio host. The reason for this was that Michael Jackson the pop star's Walk of Fame star was covered by equipment used for the premiere of the movie Bruno. The fans eventually found out but didn't care, and Michael Jackson the radio host said, "I am willingly loaning it to him and, if it would bring him back, he can have it."
    • And according to The Other Wiki, there's even a bishop named Michael Jackson. Was he Catholic?
    • And an actor (he plays Trevor in Trailer Park Boys).
    • And a former singer for the heavy metal band Satan. Michael Jackson sang for Satan.
    • There have been at least two Michael Jackson in the NFL during the Michael Jackson's career as an adult (one a linebacker, another a wide receiver).
    • And two major-league relief pitchers named Michael Jackson; one left-handed, one right-handed.
  • Steve Jackson: The American role-playing game designer, or the British role-playing game designer? And it certainly doesn't help that the American one wrote three of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks -- a series created by the British one.
    • Note: the American one runs a company called Steve Jackson Games. The British one is probably not pleased.
    • An early issue of White Dwarf magazine had a photo of the two of them together, each of them reading a book by the other. Not only do they have the same name, but they even look alike.
    • Stephen Jackson is a very good NFL running back.
    • Stephen "Captain Jack" Jackson is also a solid NBA shooting guard.
  • Jesse James: A Wild West gangster, or a chopper bike builder?
    • Jessie James is an American singer.
  • Jeff Jarrett, the Founder of TNA or some dude that died in Denver to which his friends pull off a Real Life Weekend at Bernies scenario.
  • A few months ago, a guy was hit by a car. His name? Lord Jesus Christ. He was named after Jesus, founding figure of Christianity.
  • Andrew Johnson was not only (1) the President who was impeached but also: (2) a politician for the Prohibition Party in the 1940s; (3) an Asian actor; (4) an architect; (5) a British footballer; (6) a cross-country skier; and (7) a Civil War soldier.
  • Ben Johnson was a White-American actor. The other Ben Johnson was a Jamaica-born African-Canadian athlete who was disqualified after testing positive at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
    • And neither of them should be confused with Ben Jonson, who was an English playwright, poet, actor and literary critic of the early 17th century, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy.
  • Charles Johnson: Defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, former journeyman catcher in Major League Baseball, and still finds time to be a left-wing political blogger.
    • The University of Colorado also had two players on their 1990 football team named Charles Johnson. One was a wide receiver who later spent nine seasons in the NFL. The other was the quarterback who won the infamous "Fifth Down Game" against Missouri.
  • Jack Johnson is a controversial African-American boxer, a mellow mixed-race surfer/singer, or a patriotic Caucasian American hockey player.
    • John Jackson is an American bobsledder.
  • A Sports Illustrated article about NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson noted that it is hard for him to get noticed (despite winning 40 Cup races and 4 championships) A) because he's very polite and not prone to flamboyant behavior and B) he's also got to contend with other sports figures with similar names: Jimmie Johnson, NFL tight end; Jimmy Johnson, Cowboys football coach and Fox sports commentator; Jimmy Johnson, Hall of Fame cornerback; Jimmy Johnson, Northwestern quarterback, and Jim Johnson, defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles/relief pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles/East Carolina football coach, and a couple of hockey players. An anecdote from his childhood also notes that there's a Rick Johnson who Jimmie wished he was related to (he was a cool older cousin-type).
  • May 11, 1999. New York Mets at Colorado Rockies. Both starting pitchers are named Bobby Jones.
    • Wasn't he also a golfer?
      • He was also the protagonist of Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, which starts with him playing golf (and flubbing a shot); this opening has a bit of fun with the fact that he's not the famous golfer, but just someone with a fairly common name which happens to be the same.
    • For bonus points, the Rockies traded their Bobby Jones the following year... to the Mets. One was substituted for the other in a game at least once.
  • Brad Jones: Internet reviewer who's better known as "The Cinema Snob", or an Australian soccer goalkeeper.
  • Davy Jones is either a figure from nautical folklore, one of The Monkees, the squid-headed pursuer of Capt. Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, or a sports car racer. The third was inspired by the first, of course.
    • David Jones is also David Bowie's birth name. He took his stage name so as not to be confused with the Monkee.
  • Mick Jones: guitarist for Foreigner, or guitarist for The Clash?
  • John Paul Jones: American revolutionary who has not yet begun to fight, or Led Zeppelin bassist? (The latter's real name is John Baldwin.)
  • Randy Jones is either a baseball pitcher, an ice hockey player, or a singing cowboy.
  • Terry Jones, British comedic loony with great ideas. Terry Jones, American religious loony with just plain stupid ideas.
  • An interesting subversion happened during the 1970s. When the NBA team named the Cincinnati Royals went and moved to Kansas City (and Omaha), the owners of the NBA Royals decided to change their name to the Kings so they don't get confused with the baseball team named the Kansas City Royals, even though the NBA team was around longer than the MLB team. When the Kings finally did move out of Kansas City in the middle of the 1980s, they decided to stick with their Kansas City name for Sacramento instead of renaming their team back to the Royals. Of course, for residents in California, there is some confusion when talking about the Kings (whether they mean the basketball team in Sacramento or the hockey team in Los Angeles).
        • If they seem upset, they're talking about the basketball team. Hey-o!
  • Ted Kennedy was an American senator. Ted Kennedy was a Canadian hockey player. Eerily, both of them died in August 2009 within 9 days of each other (RIP Teds).
    • When Ted died in the election to replace him the Libertarian candidate was named Joe Kennedy (but had no relation to the family). There were more than a few accusations that his name was deliberately used to confuse Democratic voters (but as Scott Brown won by 5% and Kennedy only got 1% of the vote, this would not have had any effect even if true).
  • The new ABA that started operations in 2000 tried to revive the Kentucky Colonels, an original ABA team, only to face opposition from a charitable organization founded in 1812, though they allowed the use of the name so long as it appeared next to a basketball. However, they eventually ended up renaming the team the Kentucky Retros in deference to the "real" Kentucky Colonels. This didn't stop them from establishing teams like the NYC Thunder, the Tri-City Suns, the West Virginia Blazers, who all share names with current NBA teams, the Florida Thundercats, who bear the name of beloved 1980s cartoon Thundercats, and The Music City and Kansas City Stars, who share a name not only with the NHL's Dallas Stars but also each other.
  • Larry King, legendary interviewer and murdered gay teenager.
  • Martin Luther King the American Civil Rights Movement leader is not to be confused with Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant Church.
  • Peter King, British wig maker to Middle Earth, American Muslim critic, and American sports writer.
  • Evel Knievel, American daredevil and survivor of the "most bones broken in a lifetime" 433) according to the Guinness Book Of World Records, should not be confused with Evil Knievil, a British stock market commentator (real name Simon Cawkwell)
  • The city of Kobe, the fifth-largest city of Japan, has no direct connection to player Kobe Bryant. Reportedly the player's parents named him after Kobe beef, a Japanese restaraunt delicacy. Which happened to be named after the city.
  • KK(&)K, a German company specializing in manufacturing turbochargers, or the Ku Klux Klan, a group of white supremacists in strange hats.
  • There are two famous Romans named Titus Labienus. Gaius Julius Caesar's lieutenant who defected to Pompey the Great, or a first-century historian who committed suicide when his books were burned?
  • There were two Swedish authors named Stig Larsson. Rumour has it that they met, discussed the potential problem, and tossed a coin. The loser changed his name to Stieg - pronounced the same. Yes, that's the guy who wrote The Millennium Trilogy.
    • Even better, they were childhood friends, who just so happened to both go into writing. So the coin toss is entirely possible.
  • There is a Las Vegas in Nevada and another one in New Mexico.And a third one in Honduras. As the name literally means "The Meadows" in Spanish, it could apply to several locations.
  • Jason Scott Lee is an Asian-American actor known for starring in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and the Live Action Adaptation of The Jungle Book. Jason Lee is a Caucasian actor known for appearing in many Kevin Smith films, and being the star of My Name Is Earl and the Live Action Adaptation of Alvin and The Chipmunks. On some sites, the former is mistakenly credited for roles by the latter.
    • There is also a middle school in Vancouver, WA called Jason Lee Middle School
  • Robert E. Lee, the Confederate American Civil War general, is not to be confused with Robert E. Lee, the cowriter of the plays Inherit the Wind and Auntie Mame. Both should be glad that they are not Robert T. Lee, founder of the Society for the Practical Estabishment and Perpetuation of the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Sadly, that website seems to be serious, and promotes the most extremely vitriolic form of fundamentalism ever devised.
  • Will Lee: Bassist for the World's Most Dangerous Band or kindly old storekeeper?
  • Richard Lenski: A German-born, American-naturalized Lutheran scholar and author? Or an evolutionary biologist famous for pissing off Andrew Schlafy?
  • John Lewis, congressman from Georgia, did not found an eponymous British department store.
    • Nor did he play piano for the Modern Jazz Quartet.
  • There's Ray Lewis, an American Football linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens who won Superbowl XXXV in 2001 with the team. There's another Ray Lewis, a Canadian track and field athlete who won a bronze medal at the 1932 Summer Olympics. And then there's another Ray Lewis, a former singer for the R&B group The Drifters.
  • John Linnell is the name of the pianist/accordionist/saxophonist for They Might Be Giants. It is also the name of an 19th century English Romantic painter, specializing in landscapes.
  • John August List is an economics professor at the University of Chicago. John Emil List murdered his wife, mother, and three children, and at one point was suspected to be D.B. Cooper.
  • Christopher Lloyd: One is the actor who played Jim Ignatowski and Doc Brown, the other is the executive producer for Frasier and Modern Family.
  • Huey Long (1893-1935) was a Governor of Louisiana (and later US Senate representative) known for his unconventional far-left populist politics, who was assassinated. Another Huey Long (1904-2009) was an African-American jazz musician and member of vocal group The Ink Spots, who lived to age 105.
  • Jennifer Lopez. The famous musician shares the name with one of the meteorologists on The Weather Channel.
  • Claire Luce, actress, and Clare Boothe Luce, playwright and Congresswoman.
  • David Lynch: Director of Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet, acoustic-guitar-playing singer/songwriter, former member of doo-wop group The Platters, wine expert, or prominent Neo-Nazi? The fact that more than one musician has the name is particularly confusing because David Lynch the director has written and performed music for his own films, has collaborated with other musicians like Sparklehorse, and now has his own solo album.
  • Is Stephen Lynch a comedian and singer or a Congressman from Massachusetts?
  • During World War II, the United States used about five different firearms designated M1. This even continues into the modern day - both the current official sidearm and the standard rifle bayonet of the US military are given the name M9.
  • Ralph Macchio is the name of both The Karate Kid and a prominent Marvel Comics writer/editor.
  • Same name, different spelling: John MacLean, the NHL star with a 20 year career, or John McClane, badass cop with who walks barefoot on broken glass?
    • The player shares his name with John MacLean(1811-1895), a historian and genealogist of Cornwall. With John Patterson MacLean (1848-1939), an archaeologist. With John Maclean (1851-1928), a pastor who studied the cultures of Native Americans. And John Norman Maclean (1943-), a journalist who has written Non Fiction Books on natural disasters. All four were/are published authors of note.
  • John Madden, star ice hockey player for the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks Minnesota Wild, shares a name with the Hall of Fame NFL coach and former color commentator with his own brand of video games.
  • Roger Manning, California-based keyboardist for power-pop bands Jellyfish and Imperial Drag now goes under the moniker of Roger Joseph Manning Jr., to avoid confusion with another Roger Manning, alterna-folk singer/songwriter Roger Manning from New York. Both have recorded with Beck.
  • The frontman of Coldplay and a New Zealand cricketer (read: fast bowler)? Both named Chris Martin.
    • Also DJ Premier's real name is also Chris Martin.
  • Jessica Martin: A British actress who voiced Empyrea in Dragon Quest VIII, or a Seattle actress who voiced Samus in Metroid: Other M? Or a British model?
  • We all know that Karl Marx was the creator of communism. However, there was another, far less well-known doctor of that name who lived in the nineteenth century.
  • Billy Mays, the famed infomercial man who died in June 2009, was the second Billy Mays. His father is Billy Mays Senior, and his son is known as Billy Mays III. During his televised memorial service, Billy Mays III said that he was giving serious thought to naming his first son Billy Mays IV.
    • Not to mention the baseball player Willie Mays...
  • In 1957 a radio announcer for baseball's Philadelphia Phillies, on being informed that Joe McCarthy had died, went into a long on-air eulogy for the former New York Yankees manager, listing all the highlights of his storied career. It wasn't until breaking for a commercial that he learned that the Joe McCarthy in question was the notorious Red-baiting former Senator from Wisconsin.
    • Bonus: The Phillies announcer in question was named Gene Kelly. No, not the dancer.
  • Two of the authors of the musical Rio Rita were named Joseph McCarthy and Fred Thompson. Neither should be confused with anyone who ever was a Republican senator and/or appeared on Law and Order.
  • Katie McGrath: young Irish actress in Merlin or wife of JJ Abrams?
  • Paul McGuigan ("Guigsy") the first bassist of Oasis, shares his name with a film director. The director is credited with works such as Lucky Number Slevin and Push.
  • Kevin McHale: Boston Celtics player or actor on Glee?
  • John McLaughlin: jazz guitarist or political talk show host?
  • Steve McQueen, deceased white American actor and living black British director.
  • Russ Meyer was a pioneering director in the sexploitation genre. Russ Meyer was also a Major League Baseball pitcher nicknamed "The Mad Monk". Neither should be confused with Russell Meyers, creator of the comic strip Broom-Hilda.
  • Division I college sports has Miami University and the University of Miami. Since the word "University" is often left out when referring to teams (except for those that are known best by initials, in which case the "U" is included), and it would be easy to forget which one is which, they are usually referred to in print as Miami (OH) and Miami (FL), respectively. The University of Miami is located in Coral Gables, FL (which is near Miami), and Miami University is located in the Miami Valley in Oxford, OH.
  • For those living in the U.S., when they think about George Michael, the first person to come to mind is the sports broadcaster (The George Michael Sports Machine) who previously was a radio DJ. For those living outside the U.S., when they think about George Michael, the first person to come to mind is the musician who sang lead in Wham! before venturing into a solo career in 1986. And their birth-names differ: the sportscaster was born George Michael Gimpel, while the musician was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou. And they died within seven years and a day of difference (RIP George Michaels).
  • Shawn Michaels is the pro wrestler (he's white). Sean Michaels is the porno actor (he's black).
  • Kate Middleton has been kicked off of Facebook -- not that Kate Middleton, but another one. Ironically, the latter's boyfriend is Jonathan Ross -- the namesake of a celebrity presenter -- and he still has his Facebook account.
  • David Mitchell is either a novelist or the star of Peep Show who has decided to confuse the issue further by writing a novel.
  • Jose Molina, famed Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Firefly / Castle screenwriter, shares a name with Jose Molina, a backup catcher for the New York Yankees. In a delicious coincidence, Molina the writer recently wrote a baseball-themed episode of Castle.
  • There are two Joe Montanas. One's a famous NFL quarterback. The other's an actor in Britain who appeared briefly in an episode of Doctor Who.
  • Alan Moore: famous writer of comic books, or former drummer for Judas Priest?
  • Speaking of NHL Hall of Famers, Dickie Moore shares the same name as a former member of The Little Rascals.
  • Roger Moore. One of the James Bond actors, or a film critic for the Orlando Sentinel?
    • Or an early editor of Dragon Magazine, who once ran a letter praising his work in the James Bond films in the letters column of an April issue?
  • Natalie Morales: One is a host on NBC's Today Show the other you might know as either Wendy Watson from The Middleman or Lauren Cruz on White Collar. The latter gets confused for the former a lot on Twitter.
  • Major League Baseball had two well-known figures named Joe Morgan. One was a second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1960s and 1970s, and later a television analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball; the other was manager of the Boston Red Sox in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
  • Jim Morrison had a brief but remarkable career as the lead singer of The Doors. Another Jim Morrison had a long but unremarkable career as a utility infielder for several baseball teams in the 1970s and 1980s.
    • And neither of them is to be confused with British singer James Morrison-- whose real name is actually James Morrison Catchpole.
  • Mandy Moore, the entertainer, is not the same person as Mandy Moore, the choreographer.
  • A commentator on a British newspaper website moaned that dumbing down had reached such a stage that books by super models were appearing on school reading lists. Note to them; Kate Moss is a supermodel, Kate Mosse is a perfectly respectable writer.
  • Randy Moss. Recently retired American football player or horse racing analyst (who also works for the NFL Network)?
  • Robert Mueller (American), head of the American Law Enforcement; and Robert Mueller (Australian), head and former co-owner of FastMail.FM.
  • Muhammad Ali: Ottoman military commander who became the viceroy of Egypt, or legendary American boxer (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.)?
  • Eddie Murphy is an actor and comedian who enjoyed tremendous success in the 1980s. Another Eddie Murphy played for the Chicago White Sox but wasn't involved in the 1919 Black Sox match-fixing scandal.
  • Rapper Cage makes a point to specify that his abusive, drug-addicted father Bill Murray is not the actor. Cage does play with this in his song "Stripes":

  Fuck Bill Murray, not the actor, the deadbeat dad the smacked her, then left her with rats after he snapped her

  • There's also the British actor Billy Murray, no relation to either.
    • Yet another Billy Murray was an early recording artist in the first half of the 20th century.
  • Eddie Murray: Long-time Baltimore Oriole first baseman, or long-time Detroit Lions kicker?
  • Yuuichi Nakamura is a voice actor known for playing Graham Aker and Alto Saotome. Yuichi Nakamura is a live-action actor known for playing Yuto Sakurai/Kamen Rider Zeronos. The two are apparently friends in real life.
  • Keiji Nazakawa: Renowned chef known for going against Iron Chef Japanese Masahara Morimoto? Or Hiroshima a-bomb survivor best known for his manga which tells his story?
  • This one is on a smaller scale, but you have Mike Nelson, comedian and Joel Robinson's Suspiciously Similar Substitute, and Mike Nelson, weatherman for Denver's ABC affiliate KMGH. And politician Michael "Mike" Nelson, a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
    • Mike Nelson was also the name of Lloyd Bridges's character on Sea Hunt.
  • The New York Daily News name is shared by two unrelated newspapers: one, founded in 1855 by Gideon Tucker, flourished under Benjamin Wood, became notable for its racist and pro-Confederate bias, and closed in 1906; the other, founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson (as the Illustrated Daily News), attracted readers with sensational coverage of crime, scandal, and violence, and at one point, it had the largest circulation of any daily newspaper in the United States.
  • The New York Giants football team is actually officially named the New York Football Giants, because when the team was founded one of the city's baseball teams was the New York (now San Francisco) Giants.
    • Speaking of the Giants, neither one is to be confused with Japan's Yomiuri Giants, nor are the Detroit Tigers to be confused with the Hanshin Tigers. The first mistake happened in the second Major League movie, where the Indians' coach is at first happy to hear they've got a player coming in from "the Giants". Similarly, in The Order, during interviews with "Calamity" James Wa the interviewer repeatedly mistakes "the Tigers" that James' dad played with for the team in Detroit.
  • The All-America Football Conference had teams called the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s.
  • Ryan Newman: One's a popular NASCAR drives, the other is an actress.
  • No Fear - an international retailer or a white supremacist group? (A chain letter has confused the two; eventually, the latter group had to change its name.)
  • Bill Nye -- "Science Guy", nineteenth century humorist, or character in a Bret Harte poem?
    • None of whom, of course, are to be confused with Bill Nighy, whose name is pronounced, but not spelled, the same.
      • Wait, Bret Hart the Canadian professional wrestler?
    • Another Bill Nye, in Seattle no less, was the proprietor of an Outback Steakhouse.
  • Jim O'Brien coached basketball in Boston (at Boston College) before leaving in 1987 to coach college basketball in Ohio (Ohio State). Then in 1994 Jim O'Brien, who had previously coached college basketball in Ohio (for Dayton), became head coach of the Boston Celtics.
  • Paul O'Neill, former Secretary of the Treasury, or Paul O'Neill, former Reds/Yankees outfielder.
  • Terry O'Reilly, of Canada: former captain of the Boston Bruins, or adwriter and co-creator/writer/host of CBC Radio's The Age Of Persuasion?
    • And neither of them is Terry Riley, composer of minimalist classic In C.
  • John Oates teamed with Daryl Hall to form a popular singing duo, while Johnny Oates was a Major League Baseball player and manager.
  • The city Obama ("Little Beach") in Japan has no connection to Barack Obama.
  • One Nation - the infamous former anti-immigration Australian political party once headed by Pauline Hanson, or Sarah Palin's 2011 constitution-draped bus tour of America? Pretty much any politically knowledgeable Australian would accordingly find the implications of the name of Palin's tour either hilarious or disturbing (or both).
  • Disneyland is in Orange County, California. Walt Disney World is in Orange County, Florida.
    • On a related note, the subject of "American Chopper" -- Orange County Choppers, is based in Orange County, New York.
  • John Osborne was a groundbreaking British playwright in the 1950s. He should not be confused with John Osbourne, a groundbreaking heavy metal singer (and arguably the first heavy metal singer) in the 1970s. (Yes, "John" is Ozzy's real first name. He was named for his father, Jack, from whom Ozzy's son more directly takes his name.)
  • Prince Paul: Do you mean Prince Paul Karadordevic of Yugoslavia, or Prince Paul, a producer/rapper associated with De La Soul, Gravediggaz, Stetsasonic and Handsome Boy Modeling School?
  • There are two different actresses named Julie Payne, born in 1940 and 1946 respectively. The former's career was mostly in the 1950s and 1960s, while the latter has been active since the 1970s. Many reference books have conflated the two.
  • Amusingly, both Harvard and Yale have a Peabody Museum.
  • John Peel - a beloved DJ for the BBC almost entirely responsible for making British indie rock popular - and John Peel, a writer of science fiction novels (mostly Doctor Who and Star Trek books). And then there's also John Peel, a 19th century hunter and the namesake of a British folk song, and Sir John Peel, a 20th century British politician.
  • Because of this trope, David Harris (the author of Pegasus Mail) has repeatedly requested that it always be referred to as "Pegasus Mail" to distinguish it from other products and services called Pegasus.
  • Carla Pérez (with an accent) is an American actress who played Rita Repulsa in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers when they ran out of Stock Footage. Carla Perez (without an accent) is a Brazilian Dumb Blonde with a nice rear who rose to fame as a dancer in a genre mostly about her assets.
  • David Perry from Northern Ireland, the developer of such classics as Earthworm Jim, is not to be confused with Dave Perry, who wrote for a number of British video game magazines. Or with David Perry, a notable filmaker and photographer from Australia.
  • Joe Perry, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back with the 49ers, and then there's Joe Perry, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame guitarist with Aerosmith.
  • Katy Perry (of I Kissed A Girl fame) and Katie Perry (an Australian fashion designer), are, you will no doubt be surprised to learn, not to be confused.
    • Even better: Katy Perry's name is a pseudonym. Her real name is Katheryn Hudson. Not to be confused, of course, with the actress Kate Hudson.
  • Matthew Perry, the US Navy Commodore who helped open Japan to Western influence, did not star on Friends; he died well before TV was even invented.
  • There are two singers named Steve Perry. One used to sing lead for Journey. The other sings lead for the Cherry Poppin' Daddies.
    • There's also the science fiction writer Steve Perry.
  • William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; and William "The Refrigerator" Perry, former NFL player.
  • William Petersen is an actor most famous for his starring roles in Manhunter and CSI. Sir William Peterson (1856-1921) was a noted academic who served as principal of McGill University from 1895 to 1919.
  • There are two running backs in the NFL named Adrian Peterson. Adrian Lewis Peterson is a Pro Bowl and potential Hall of Fame halfback for the Minnesota Vikings, and Adrian Nicholas Peterson is a marginal role player who most recently played halfback for the Chicago Bears.
  • Scott Peterson: Do you mean the convicted murderer, the one who writes for Phineas and Ferb, or the comic writer/editor?
  • There were two Czech singers named Jana Petrů; in order to prevent confusion, the younger one started using the pseudonym Petra Janů.
  • One-time Contemporary Christian-turned-mainstream singer Leslie "Sam" Phillips is a doozy depending on which name is being mentioned. If using "Sam" (a childhood nickname that she has recorded under since starting her mainstream career), that name is shared with Sam Phillips, the model and actress and Sam Phillips, the early rock-and-roll producer who discovered, among others, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. More confusing, her birth name of Leslie Phillips (used during her CCM days) is shared with British actor Leslie Phillips.
  • The Channel 10 network in Australia has a reporter named Harry Potter. Recently, they added a Hermione, and one of their news anchors goes by the admittedly common name of Ron.
  • The Arkansas governor's race has a candidate named Elvis Presley. Elvis D. Presley to be specific, not the King of Rock and Roll. Made even more bizarre since the candidate is also an occasional Elvis Impersonator.
  • Rico E. Puno, the current Philippine interior and local government undersecretary, shouldn't be confused with a singer, Rico J. Puno, who's also Filipino.
  • There are two actresses named Patricia Quinn. One is British and played Magenta in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Nation McKinley in Shock Treatment, Livilla in I, Claudius, and even appeared in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. The other is American and appeared in Alices Restaurant and a few other things. There was quite a bit of confusion between the two on the internet for a while, with Alice's Restaurant appearing on the list of British Patricia's films. Many Rocky Horror fans have since then sorted things out.
  • Anne Ramsey was an actress who played villainous mothers in Throw Momma from the Train and The Goonies. Anne Ramsay is the actress who played Jamie's sister on Mad About You.
  • Ed Randell played Upperclass Twit Justin Finch-Fletchley in the Harry Potter film series, while Ed Rendell is the former governor of Pennsylvania.
  • Also under the "Baseball Pitcher or Country Singer" category, there's Jerry Reed and ... Jerry Reed.
  • Paul Revere, Revolutionary War hero and silversmith, should not be confused with the Paul Revere who founded the 1960s pop group Paul Revere And The Raiders. Surprisingly, the latter is an example of this trope because "Paul Revere" is part of his real name (he was born Paul Revere Dick), not a stage name.
  • Kevin Richardson. Thr most notable of them are voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson, and Kevin Scott Richardson, member of the Backstreet Boys.
  • ESPN the Magazine has a semi-regular feature called "Right Name, Wrong Number" where they briefly interview someone with the same name as a big figure in the world of sports -- with questions only appropriate for the real deal. According to an article on the feature, it takes a couple of tries to get people who are willing to play along.
  • There's Johnny Ringo, a wild west outlaw and the modern writer John Ringo.
  • Jonathan Roberts is either a professional dancer mostly known as a pro from Dancing With the Stars or for co-writing The Lion King
  • Robin Roberts: He was a Hall of Fame pitcher who played for the Phillies, Orioles, Astros and Cubs. She is a former ESPN reporter and current co-anchor of Good Morning America.
  • Just look at how many Craig Robinsons there are.The most notable being the actor Craig Phillip Robinson (1971-) of The Office, and Craig Robinson (1972-) the fashion designer.
  • Mike Rock: voice of Nero from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, or one of the designers of the Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle?
  • Kenny Rogers the singer is no relation to Kenny Rogers the pitcher, though the latter's nickname "The Gambler" is a reference to the former.
  • Jimmy Rodgers was an African American banjo player in the 20s and 30s, Jimmy Rogers was a Caucasian pioneer of pop-rock in the late 50s/early 60s with songs like "Honeycomb" and "Uh-oh, I'm Falling In Love Again".
  • Alex Ross: the artist for DC Comics, or the music critic for The New Yorker?
  • As the result of the merger between the two football unions in Canada which formed the league (and the fact that the teams were allowed to keep their previous names), from the mid 1950s to 1996, the Canadian Football League had both the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Ottawa Rough Riders. Thankfully averted when the "new" Ottawa franchise was named the Renegades. They met four times in the Grey Cup.
    • Theodore Roosevelt had a band of guys called the Rough Riders, too.
    • How can you forget the rap group Ruff Ryders?
  • The Cardinals NFL franchise originated in Chicago and is currently located in Arizona, but in between spent many years as the St. Louis Cardinals. Oddly enough, however, the team was never referred to as the "St. Louis Football Cardinals" very often, despite the presence of the better-known baseball franchise by that name.
  • A summer 2011 Reality Show Same Name is all about this. Celebrities and non celebrites with the same names switch lives for a week. First up: David Hasselhoff.
    • Briefly parodied on Jon Benjamin Has A Van. There's a preview for a supposed sketch in which two non-celebrities with the same celebrity name switch places for a day.
  • Jerry Sandusky is the former defensive coordinator for Penn State University, charged with the molestation of at least eight young boys in the scandal that led to an entire housecleaning of the Penn State football program following the subsequent coverup by the head of University Police, even those who did report it and/or had no prior knowledge were dismissed due to Guilt By Association, but it reached further up, leading to the firing of AD Tim Curley and even including the resignation of longtime university president Graham Spanier. Gerry Sandusky is a Baltimore sportscaster and play-by-play voice for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens (who, on the first game he worked after the Penn State scandal, referenced the similarities of their names and emphasized that he was not the former Penn State assistant)
  • Carlos Santana: Guitar legend, or Cleveland Indians catcher?
  • Max Schneider: a recent Nickelodeon star? Or the main character of Gravedale High?
  • Robert Schneider sings for The Apples in Stereo. Bob Schneider is an entirely different singer. And neither of them is to be confused with Adam Sandler's buddy Rob Schneider.
  • Gerhard Schröder, the Social Democratic former chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, should not be confused with the late Gerhard Schröder, Christian Democratic former foreign and defense minister. Or several other Gerhard Schröders.
  • Robert Schumann the German composer, and Robert Schuman the French foreign minister.
  • There's two American authors named Alvin Schwartz. One writes for DC Comics and the other wrote Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark.
  • R&B singer Jill Scott does not play for England in the Women's World Cup.
  • Tony Scott, director, had to apologize to Tony Scott, school superintendent, after filming disrupted classes.
  • Jane Seymour: British actress or consort of Henry VIII?
  • Robert Shaw was an English actor who starred in such movies as The Sting and Jaws, as well as an American conductor of choral music.
  • Jean Shepherd was a humorist and radio personality best known for writing and narrating A Christmas Story, while Jean Shepard is a female country music singer.
  • Two famous Ukrainians by the name of Andriy Shevchenko, soccer player or politician?
  • During the SNK run of Psycho Soldier, Athena is voiced by a singer named Kaori Shimizu. Right now, there's also a seiyuu named Kaori Shimizu.
  • Luke Short (1854-1893) was a famous gunfighter and Dandy of The Wild West. Luke Short (born Frederick Dilley Glidden, 1908-1975) was a notable author of Western Literature.
  • Dan Shulman is a baseball and basketball announcer for ESPN. Daniel Shulman is a bassist who has recorded and toured with Garbage.
  • Gene Simmons was not the female lead in Stanley Kubrick's version of Spartacus. Likewise, Jean Simmons is not the guitar player for KISS.
  • Paul Simon (the musician) and Paul Simon (the politician). When the politician was running for President he appeared on SNL because he thought he was supposed to - turned out the message was for the musician.
    • In the UK at least, there's also a chain of furniture stores called Paul Simon.
  • Oddly enough, averted with Canadian wrestler (with British gimmick) Johnny Smith (in a world FULL of "John Smiths", you'd think there was a SECOND pro wrestler whose real name was John Smith, right?).
  • The actor announced to be the 11th Doctor on Doctor Who, Matt Smith, obviously has quite a few namesakes, and not just in the entertainment industry.
  • For more same-name, same-position goodness, check out Steve Smith. One's a Pro Bowl wide receiver for Carolina; the other's a Pro Bowl wide receiver for the New York Giants. When Wikipedia lists two players with same name, it usually distinguishes by either sport or position. These two guys are distinguished in their title pages by their birth year.
    • Non-American football example: Australian cricketer Steve Smith.
    • An NBA example: Steve Smith, former guard for the Miami Heat
    • And an NHL one: Steve Smith, longtime defenseman for the Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames.
    • Also the Canadian actor Steve Smith AKA Red Green.
  • Susan Smith: the 1981 Playmate of the Month who became an actress? The television scriptwriter, playwright, novelist and essayist? The geographer who helped founded Institute of Advanced Study? Or the infamous woman who drowned her two children in a lake?
  • Will Smith: Posh, British comedian who appears on Radio 4 Panel Games and has a Bergerac fixation, or African-American rap artist and star of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Men in Black?
    • The comedian actually mentions this in some of his routines: "Obviously I'm not the actual Will Smith, but..."
    • Also, the former editor-in-chief of Maximum PC was a Will Smith.
  • SOCOM II: second game in a series about SEALs, or civilian version of the M14?
  • The first UK branch of Staples is at Staples Corner, near Brent Cross in London. Although this particular site may have been chosen because of the coincidence, it is a coincidence -- both the store chain and the location were named long before they got together.
  • Kenneth W. Starr is a former American independent counsel who investigated Bill Clinton. Kenneth I. Starr is the alleged perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme that allegedly took advantage of celebrities like Annie Leibovitz and Ron Howard. Kenny Starr is a country singer. Kenn Starr is an American rapper.
  • Michael Steele -- Bass player for The Bangles, or Chairman of the Republican National Committee?
  • Tyler Stentiford, teenage author from Florida or teenage actor from Ontario?
  • Is Howard Stern a shock jock or the sometime boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith?
    • Howard Stern the shock jock apparently considered legally changing his name to "The Howard" to avoid confusion with Howard K. Stern.
  • There's novelty singer Ray Stevens. And then there's pro wrestling great Ray "The Crippler" Stevens.
  • Sarah Stiles: A New York actress who played Kate Monster and Lucy in Avenue Q and Joanne in Vanities: The Musical, a Utah photographer, a Georgetown University professor, or a San Francisco composer?
  • Sting is either a Famous Musician or a Pro Wrestler. Also the name of Frodo's sword, a movie, a Japanese video game developer, and a music trope.
  • George Strait: Country music singer or former ABC News correspondent?
  • Captain Dorothy Stratton (1899-2006) was the first director of the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve. Dorothy Stratten (1960-1980) was Playmate of the Year for 1980 and the victim of a murder case.
  • James Stuart, the name of more than one Scottish/English king; and James Stewart, the birth name of Stewart Granger, as well as long, tall Jimmy Stewart the actor.
  • Elizabeth Taylor the actress or Elizabeth Taylor the novelist?
  • One James Taylor is a jazz Hammond organ player. Another sang "Sweet Baby James" and "Fire And Rain". But not "Celebration" and "Ladies Night" -- that was a third James Taylor.
  • Richard Taylor created some truly Visual Effects of Awesome: One for Tron and one for WETA (I'm pretty sure these were two different people because when one Richard was creating Tron in America the other was making puppets from things found while dumpster diving in New Zealand).
  • Roger Taylor of Queen did not play drums in Duran Duran. That was the other Roger Taylor.
  • Mark Teixeira the baseball player or Mark Texeira the comic book artist?
  • One of the writing staff on Scrubs is named Dave Tennant.
    • David Tennant's real name is David MacDonald. He uses "Tennant" as a screen name because the Actors' Union Equity already had a David MacDonald. "Tennant" was a Homage to Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys.
  • There is at least one other Osamu Tezuka. Apparently, he is/was a composer.
  • Dave Thomas is the name of both the founder of the Wendy's restaurant and a Canadian actor (best known for the Bob and Doug McKenzie sketches with Rick Moranis). In terms of Real Life examples, this may be the closest two people with the same name are to being equally famous. It helps that "Dave Thomas" is a pretty generic name.
  • Rob Thomas. One is best known as the lead vocalist for Matchbox Twenty. The other is best known for Veronica Mars and the cancelled way-too-soon 1998 dramedy Cupid.
  • Jack Thompson, Australian Actor. Jack Thompson, who needs barely any introduction.
  • There are two athletes named Jim Thorpe. One is an African-American golfer. The other was a Native American Olympian and professional football and baseball player.
  • President Harry S. Truman, and Harry R. Truman, proprietor of the Spirit Lake Lodge, who was buried alive during the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.
  • Sophie Turner the British actress who plays Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones or Sophie Turner the Australian model.
  • Usa, a town in Japan. Note that contrary to urban myth, the town was called Usa for at least a thousand years before the USA came into being; it was not named specifically so that goods made there could be misleadingly labelled "Made in Usa", and claims that the coincidence was abused for this purpose are disputed.
  • Theo Van Gogh: One was a brother of Vincent van Gogh; the other was his great-grandson who was a film director later murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri.
  • Sid Vicious, bassist for the Sex Pistols or Sid Vicious, "The Man that Rules the World"?
  • Pancho Villa, legendary Mexican outlaw and revolutionary (real name: José Doroteo Arango Arámbula) or Pancho Villa, legendary Filipino flyweight champion of the world (real name: Francisco Guilledo)?
  • David Vincent: One is a Voice Actor who specializes in Anime and Video Games, the other is lead singer of the Death Metal band Morbid Angel. Neither should be confused with the hero of the 1967 science fiction series The Invaders.
  • "Viz" is the name of an anime and manga distributor. It is also the name of a slightly raunchy magazine in the UK.
  • Alex Wade has been the name of an American architect, a British journalist, and a member of the Death Metal band Whitechapel.
  • Is Benjamin Wade a Senator from Ohio, a major league baseball player, or "Coach," the Cloudcuckoolander of Survivor that nicknamed himself "The Dragon Slayer?"
  • Mark Wahlberg is a rapper turned actor. Mark Walberg is a comedian and game show host.
  • There is an actor named Thomas G. Waites, who was in The Thing. No relation to Music/'Tom Waits', although Kurt Russell lampshades this in the commentary for the film.

 Hey, it's Tom Waits!

    • Interestingly, Waites' character in the film has trouble establishing any kind of transmission to the outside world, and is named Windows. Russel's character is an alcoholic loner who destroys his computer after it beats him at chess, and is named Mac. Neither operating system existed when the film came out.
    • Maybe Mac owns a certain blue blob called Bloo...
  • Scott Walker is an American-born British singer who had success in the 1960s and 1970s, both with the Walker Brothers and as a solo act; and a Wisconsin governor who came under fire in 2011 over his plan to suspend collective bargaining rights for most of the state's public-sector employees; and a longtime NHL hockey player.
    • The Walker Brothers, like The Ramones, were not real brothers. And none were actually named Walker. This troper nonetheless considers Noel Scott Engel to be the finest "Scott Walker".
  • Chris Wallace: Mike Wallace's son? Or a legendary rapper from Brooklyn?
  • George Wallace was the name of a segregationist Alabama governor and Presidential candidate, as well as the name of a standup comic. A black standup comic.
  • Mike Wallace, promising young Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and Mike Wallace, longtime 60 Minutes reporter. Frequently lampshaded by Keith Olbermann on Football Night in America.
  • There were two Chinese skaters in the 2010 Olympics named Wang Meng. Talk about confusing!
    • They share their name with Wang Meng (c.325-375), a politician of the Former Qin Dynasty. With Wang Meng (c 1308-1385), a notable painter of the Yuan Dynasty. And with Wang Meng (1934-), a modern novelist who served a term as Minister of Culture in Red China. The family name Wang is very common.
  • When Kurt Warner, the supermarket-stockboy-turned-big-time-NFL-quarterback, first showed up out of nowhere with the St. Louis Rams in the late 1990s, several sportswriters thought it was Curt Warner, a not-all-that-successful Seattle Seahawks running back from the 1980s, trying to make a comeback.
    • Probably didn't help that Curt Warner also played for the (then-Los Angeles) Rams at the end of his career.
  • George Washington (1831/1732-1799) was the first President of the United States. His grandnephew George Corbin Washington (1789-1854) was a congessman, plantation owner, busnisessman, and diplomat. George Washington (1817-1905) was an African-American freeborn man and founder of Centralia, a town in Washington state.
  • There were two different baseball franchises called the Washington Senators. The first one moved to Minnesota in 1961 and became the Twins. The second one started play when the first one left, then moved to Texas in 1972 and became the Rangers. The team that currently plays in Washington was going to be called the Senators as well, but the city government vetoed that since the District of Columbia isn't actually represented in the Senate.
  • A recent episode of Pushing Daisies guest-starred and actor named Michael Weaver and was shot by a cinematographer named Michael Weaver.
  • Josh Weinstein is a former writer for The Simpsons. Another Josh Weinstein is a former cast member on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and writer for Freaks and Geeks (and current Cinematic Titanic cohost). Perhaps to clear up the confusion, the latter has taken to billing himself as J. Elvis Weinstein.
  • Bob Welch is either a former baseball pitcher for the Dodgers and A's, or a singer who used to be with Fleetwood Mac.
  • There's Raquel Welch the American actress, and then there's Raquel Welch the Australian artist. Who is doing an art show entitled "I Hate Your Guts", which is all about how she hates Robin Williams. ...Wait, the computer writer?
  • In the Ottawa, Ontario neighbourhood of Westboro, there is a prominent baptist church that was, reasonably, called the Westboro Baptist Church for quite some time. Apparently being linked to the Kansas-based church of the same name got so tiresome (the bulk of the church's website was an explanation that there was no relation) that they eventually became the Parkdale Baptist Church - Westboro Campus. This troper has no idea if they actually merged with another church just to get away from the association, or what.
  • WETA: Consistant creators of awesome visual effects (The Lord of the Rings,King Kong, District 9, Avatar) or Washington DC-based station who helped make Ken Burns' Baseball documentary?
    • Or a giant flightless cricket from New Zealand, which the former is named after.
  • In May 2010 Ann Curry, of NBC's Today show, gave a commencement address at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. During her speech she started rattling off names of distinguished Wheaton alumni such as Billy Graham and Wes Craven. Unfortunately, she was thinking of the other Wheaton College, in Illinois.
    • On the other hand, Curry probably knew that the Billy Graham who went to Wheaton College is not the former AFL football player and professional wrestler "Superstar" Billy Graham.
  • Alan White of Yes did not play drums in Oasis. That was the other Alan White.
  • T.H. White: Terence Hanbury was the English author who wrote the The Once and Future King novels about King Arthur which were the partial source for the musical Camelot. Theodore Harold was the American journalist who wrote the Life magazine article comparing John F Kennedy's White House to Camelot.
  • Actor Bradley Whitford (of The West Wing fame) shares a moniker with the second guitarist of the famous American hard-rock band Aerosmith, though the latter simply goes by the first name "Brad".
  • Brian Williams, host of NBC Nightly News, and Brian Williams, CTV sportscaster. Had a Lampshade Hanging-filled first meeting at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
  • There are two musicians named John Williams. One's a film composer, one's a classical guitarist. Try not to confuse them.
  • Michelle Williams: Either a blonde actress, or a former member of Destinys Child.
  • Mike Williams. He's an overrated NFL player who has largely eaten his way out of the league. Now, do you mean the Left Tackle from Texas or the Wide Receiver from USC?
    • And don't confuse them with the other Mike Williams, another wide receiver who's actually pretty good.
    • Or the last man killed by Wild Bill Hickok.
  • Robin Williams. The name is shared by a famous actor, and a (female) writer of computer-related books named . No relation.
    • There is also an artist and one half of a folk singing duo and... you know what, let's just collectively call them "People who fuck up my Google search".
  • Roger Williams is either an early American settler and theologian, or the pianist known for "Autumn Leaves" and "Born Free".
  • By the end of the 2008 season, the Dallas Cowboys had two players named Roy Williams. Sadly, they never appeared on the field at the same time. Meanwhile, another Roy Williams is busy coaching a certain college basketball team.
    • Even better, one Roy Williams was a defensive back while one was a wide receiver. We could have had Roy Williams covering Roy Williams in practice.
  • Professional Wrestling itself has "Dr. Death" Steve Williams and just plain ol' Steve Williams, who changed his name to Steve Austin in deference to Dr. Death, who came first.
    • ALSO similarly, the fact that Steve Williams was known as Dr. Death at the same time pro wrestler David Schultz was also known as Dr. Death (shortened to Dr. D. as a result). Schultz was (in)famous (and later blackballed) for the 20/20 segment where he cuffed John Stossel for calling wrestling fake.
  • Ted Williams is the name of a late Hall of Fame baseball player and a homeless man turned announcer and Internet celebrity. In an interview on The Early Show the latter even made a joke about this, intoning in his announcer voice: "Now batting for the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams".
  • Vanessa Williams: Ex-Miss America, or Melrose Place actress? Both were born in 1963, both actresses, both in Soul Food (Miss America in the 1997 film, Melrose Place in the 2000 TV series).
  • Dave Willis is Meatwad and Carl. David Willis is a webcomic artist. Do not confuse the two.
  • Brian Wilson: a former member of The Beach Boys, and a relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.
  • Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys, shares his name with a Canadian music critic.
  • Fans of the Gap Band were momentarily shocked when they heard Charlie Wilson had died...until they learned that it turned out to be the congressman from Texas responsible for helping mujahideen rebels get the funding and weapons they needed to fight off the Soviets in Afghanistan
  • Joe Wilson is either a former ambassador and former CIA agent Valerie Plame's husband, who essentially called President George W. Bush a liar over the White House's role in outing his wife; or a US Congressman who called President Barack Obama a liar over his statements on what would be funded in the health care bill he was pushing through.
    • They share their name with Joe Wilson, bassist for the Sneaker Pimps.
  • Is Patrick Wilson is the drummer of Weezer or Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny AKA Dan Dreiburg/Night Owl II?.
  • Tony Wilson is either the now-deceased founder of Factory Records from Manchester, UK (and subject of the biopic Twenty Four Hour Party People), or a radio dj and author of children's book from Melbourne, Australia.
  • Amazingly, there are two people named David Wise who have some connection to Battletoads. One of them is a Briton who composed the games' soundtracks; the other is an American who co-wrote the screenplay of the Battletoads cartoon pilot.
  • Thomas Wolfe was an author of the 1930s and 1940s who wrote such novels as Look Homeward, Angel and You Can't Go Home Again. Tom Wolfe was a "new school" journalist of the 1960s and 1970s who wrote such nonfiction books as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Right Stuff, then turned to satirical fiction in the 1980s and 1990s with such novels as The Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full.
  • The spelling is slightly different, but Virginia Woolf and Virginia Euwer Wolff are authors, but of vastly different literature (the former is an English modernist author, the latter is an American award winning children/young adult author). There also was a metal band named Virginia Wolf
  • Contemporary Canadian author Richard Wright always includes his middle initial "B." in his name to avoid confusion with African-American author and activist Richard Wright.
    • Richard Wright was also the keyboardist for Pink Floyd.
  • Bill Wyman is either the former bassist for The Rolling Stones or a music journalist. Bill Wyman the musician once gave Bill Wyman the journalist a cease and desist, although the latter is now free to use the name he was born with (and was given before the other Bill Wyman chose it as a stage name). To be fair, there's more potential for confusion when Bill Wyman the journalist writes articles about The Rolling Stones, which he has done in the past.
  • Andrew Young: One is the former United Nations Ambassador & mayor of Atlanta, the other is the former aide to John Edwards who covered for him by claiming fatherhood of Edwards's illegitimate child with Rielle Hunter.
  • There's Neil Young the singer/songwriter, and Neil Young the guitarist for Kittens For Christian.
    • Neither of which is to be confused with Neil Young, the former Electronic Arts executive who's now working for ngmoco.
    • Or Young Neil.
    • Not to mention Neil Young, scorer of the winning goal for Manchester City in the 1969 FA Cup Final.
  • There are two Hollywood producers named David Zucker. One co-produced such parodies as Airplane! along with his brother Jerry. The other co-produced Numb3rs.
  • Jerry Zucker, the director of such films as Airplane!, Top Secret, Ruthless People, and Ghost, shares his name with an Israeli-born businessman. The other Jerry Zucker served as Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company.

Notes

  1. She eventually recovered with no serious long-term harm done.


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