A name defines a person, right? If I said, “Britta,” you’d know exactly who I was talking about. Then, look at…Her? Egg? Ann? No one can even remember the poor girl’s name. Getting a new name re-identifies you; it’s a new beginning. Originally, my parents named me Fatima, but then my grandmother decided she really liked the name Nadia, as in Nadia Comaneci, the Romanian gymnast who was the first female to score a perfect 10 at the 1976 Olympics, and more gold medals at the Olympics five years before I was born. So they officially changed my name to Nadia, and now I can’t watch American Pie without my husband driving me insane. ANYWAY, here are six television characters who lived as their alternate selves through new names, imposed by themselves, by others, or just through misinformation:
Jack to Danny, 30 Rock
It turns out that the mute silver robot that won Jack Donaghy’s heart during auditions had more in common with the executive than he thought: His name. When the new actor walked into 30 Rock and introduced himself as Jack, he’s quickly renamed to Danny, because Jacks as are like Highlanders: there can only be one.
Garry to Jerry to Larry to Terry, Parks and Recreation
The best and most perfect example of the name change. Poor Gar-Jer-Lar-Terry, no one will ever really know or understand you, but considering you’re married to Mrs. Uptown Girl, you seem to be doing okay anyway.
Kelly to Erin, The Office
Dunder Mifflin had another case of two people with the same name, so to help Kelly 1 out, Kelly 2 goes by her middle name: Erin, a more appropriate name for everyone’s favorite undercover hipster.
Cheryl to Carol to Cherlene, Archer
Because Archer is Archer, he calls her Carol because he can’t be bothered with her real name. Later on, she changes her name to Cherlene because it’s a fitting name for a Daisy Dukes-sporting OUTLAW COUNTRY star.
Barney to Swarley, How I Met Your Mother
After a barista mishears Barney’s name and writes “Swarley” on his coffee order, the gang goes all out, including dedicating songs to Swarley and having the entire bar greet him with his new name. NORM, I mean, SWARLEY!
Nadia Chaudhury still gets people who call her ‘Nadja.’