When you think of some of your favorite fictional characters, you probably feel like you know them by heart. In some cases, they represent your childhood, so you feel like you not only grew up with them but that they’re a part of you. However, just like song lyrics, it’s possible you’ve been saying their names wrong. Don’t be embarrassed! Read on for some common mistakes.

Shaggy from Scooby-Doo

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Real name: Norville “Shaggy” Rogers

Who can forget the adorable (and always hungry) character Shaggy from Scooby-Doo? Most of us wondered why he was even part of the Mystery Machine-driving gang since he typically ran in the opposite direction of danger. While there are plenty of theories about why this character was always hungry, one thing is a fact—Shaggy is just a nickname. The perpetually fearful character’s real name is Norville Rogers.

Cap’n Crunch

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Real name: Horatio Magellan Crunch

When you think back on those Saturday morning cartoons (RIP) you can’t help but remember those cereal commercials and their loveable mascots. And who’s more memorable than Cap’n Crunch? For some people, it’s the frustration of realizing that his name doesn’t equal the rank on his wrist. But for all that scandal, the real shocker is that Cap’n Crunch has a real name. Say hello to Horatio Magellan Crunch.

The Quaker Oats Man

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Real name: Larry

Maybe your parents didn’t let you indulge in sugary cereals. If so, you might have started your morning with a bowl of oatmeal. Quaker Oats is the brand standard for American oatmeal, but that smiling face on the canister isn’t William Penn—undoubtedly one of the most famous Quakers of all time. The Quaker Oats Man (as he’s affectionately called by consumers) has a real name, and it’s Larry. That’s what he’s called by actual Quaker Oats employees.

Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons

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Real name: Jeff Albertson

The Simpsons is one of the longest-running television shows in the United States, and it’s most definitely the longest running cartoon serial. We’ve come to love a number of the characters created by Matt Groening, but if you’ve been smirking about the Comic Book Guy, the joke’s on you. “Comic Book Guy” has a name, and it’s Jeff Albertson.

The Policeman from Monopoly

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Real name: Officer Edgar Mallory

Most people assume that only the rich guy in the Monopoly logo is a real character. But it turns out that a lot of the extra faces on the board are named characters. A perfect example is that policeman on the “Go to Jail” space. In reality, his name is Officer Edgar Mallory. And if you’re curious, that Jailbird in the Jail corner space of the game board has a name too: Jake the Jailbird.

Rich Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly

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Real name: Milburn Pennybags

Speaking of Monopoly, almost all of us have been saying the main character’s name all wrong. Most of us know the iconic character from the game logo as Rich Uncle Pennybags, but that’s not his real name. Instead, he was originally called Milburn Pennybags. That name was created along with the original game, and he has a full backstory. Pennybags was renamed Mr. Monopoly when Parker Brothers purchased the game from the original owners in 1935.

Mr. Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street

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Real name: Aloysius Snuffleupagus

A number of characters on Sesame Street have undergone name changes. But one of the most notable is that shaggy wooly mammoth who is the best friend to Big Bird. But Snuffleupagus is only half his name. His mother calls him by his first name Aloysius.

Snuffy (as he’s called by his close friends) has an interesting backstory as well. If you grew up with Sesame Street in the 1970s, you probably remember that only Big Bird could see Snuffy, and as a result, most of the adults on the show thought Big Bird was telling tall tales. But show execs realized that this storyline gave children the impression that adults wouldn’t believe them. So slowly, they wrote Snuffy into the show so that adults would encounter him.

Peppermint Patty from Peanuts

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Real name: Patricia Reichardt

Most of us know Peppermint Patty as the nice, tomboyish character from the Peanuts comic strip. Even though she seems to always wear flip-flops no matter the season, Peppermint Patty has a serious name, Patricia Reichardt. And in case you’re curious, that annoying teacher who we only knew as the “whaaa whaa whaa whaa” lady has a name too: Mrs. Hagemeyer nee Othmar.


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Real name: Barbara Millicent Roberts

Barbie is probably one of the more controversial fictional characters to make this list. When the doll first debuted in the 1950s, it was a trailblazer because it was an “adult-like” doll aimed at children. Even though she no longer sports a vixen appearance, there are still plenty of opponents to the toy. But many people don’t know that Barbie is actually named after the daughter of the married inventors behind the doll. Their daughter’s name was Barbara, so they named the toy Barbara Millicent Roberts...or Barbie for short.

The Poor Guy You Operate On from Operation

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Real name: Cavity Sam

Who would think that an unfortunate soul with literal butterflies in his stomach would have a name? Anyone who’s played the nerve-wracking board game Operation knows that the point is to remove wacky objects from a patient without touching the wired perimeter. But that cartoon character on the battery operated game board does indeed has a name: Cavity Sam.

Cover image credit: Deagreez / iStock