The 10 Greatest Sitcom Character Nicknames

by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck on May 1, 2013

in Lists, Television

It’s May 1st, otherwise known as “May Day”. Work with me here. There’s three things every child of the 80s remembers about Cheers‘ Sam Malone:

In honor of Sam “Mayday” Malone, we celebrate May Day with 10 other great sitcom character nicknames (this is called ‘stretching’). By the way, I realize the above pictured “Ponch” was a character in a tv drama, not a sitcom, but that picture was too rad not to use.


10. Meathead – All in the Family

Ah, Archie Bunker and his “terms of endearment”. He referred to his son-in-law Mike Stivic as “Meathead”. Honorable mention: his wife Edith, AKA “Dingbat”.


9. “Lumpy” Rutherford – Leave it to Beaver

You have to come strong to “out-nickname” this show’s titular character. While “The Beav” has one of the most iconic TV nicknames in history, it’s “Lumpy” who makes this list, because we miss the good ol’ days of callin’ a spade a spade.


8. Scrote – The Wonder Years

Kevin Arnold’s older brother Wayne was anything but caring and protective. Sure, he had his moments, but for the most part he was Kevin’s main antagonist, doling out loving nicknames like “scrote“.


7. Little Buddy – Gilligan’s Island

Through 99 episodes marooned on an island, The Skipper rarely called Gilligan by his given name, opting for the more familiar “Little Buddy” instead.


6. Pumpkin – Married With Children

As much as Al Bundy despised being around his family, he had a few ‘tells’ that indicated he actually did love them. Referring to his daughter Kelly as “Pumpkin” was both a charming term of endearment and a stark contradiction to her non-wholesome character.


5. G – The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

The Banks’ butler simply went by ‘Geoffrey” until West-Philadelphian nephew Will arrived. Geoffrey became known simply as ‘G’, and Will got to sing things like “My Butler is Black”.


4. Berg – Two Guys and a Girl

Michael Bergen had a nickname so strong that no one ever knew his real name. Think about it: everyone knows Beaver’s real name is Theodore, and when you get to #1, you’ll agree that folks were aware of his “real” first name and full last name as well. Berg was different though, even the show’s (albeit few) hardcore fans probably didn’t know Ryan Reynold’s character’s full name.


3. Boner – Growing Pains

Richard Milhous “Boner” Stabone was one of Mike Seaver’s best friends, but make sure you’re thorough with your search terms if you try to Google him. Here’s a Boner tribute video, uploaded by someone who wrote fanfiction about him. Someone who wrote fanfiction about Boner from Growing Pains. Fanfiction.


2. Screech – Saved By The Bell

Samuel muhfuckin’ Powers, yo.

1. Fonzie – Happy Days

Arthur Fonzarelli currently (and will probably forever) possess the most iconic nickname in television history. “The Fonz” was introduced as a Happy Days secondary character, but by the mid-70s he was the show’s focal point. TV Guide ranked Fonzie #4 on its 50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time list. Didn’t stop Tom Hanks from trying to fight him:

My favorite part is the implication that Hanks and The Fonz are the same age (“We were 8 years old, kids do stupid things.”) although Winkler is 11 years Hanks’ elder.

READ ALSO: The 50 Greatest Sitcoms of All Time

Dex (@Dex1138) May 1, 2013 at 6:10 am

Stretching or not, this is great!

I wish they’d put 2G&aG out on DVD dammit! That’s the first place I ever saw Nathan Fillion and Ryan Reynolds. And Traylor Howard was haaawwwt.

Howard Decker May 1, 2013 at 7:33 am

Me too. I actually bought some bootleg DVDs of it once, the guy had just recorded reruns off WE. That’s how desperate I was to own it. I had a HUGE crush on Sharon too!

SharePointJoe May 1, 2013 at 8:18 am

Golden Girls…Dorothy…Pussycat.

Howard Decker May 1, 2013 at 8:40 am

AH great one Joey!

OldSchool80s May 1, 2013 at 9:04 am

Excellent choices. No other worthy nicknames come to my mind immediately.

Even though it was a little stretch connecting the topic to May 1st, I also appreciate that creativity. Happy May Day! I think I will celebrate by going someplace where everybody knows my name.

Howard Decker May 1, 2013 at 9:41 am

good call! Meet you there.

Will May 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Poor Boner – it always bothered me that he never came back from Desert Storm. And now he’s dead in real life, too…

No Andrew “Squiggy” Sqiggman? No Carmine “The Big Ragoo” Ragusa? No Warren “Potsie” Weber? No Matsuo “Arnold” Takahashi? Yeah, you got The Fonz, but that universe was FULL of great, iconic TV nicknames.

OldSchool80s May 2, 2013 at 9:03 am

Good call on the other nicknames from Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley.

2 Warps to Neptune May 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm

The Fonz is definitely #1 in my book. I still love that show.

Cockroach from The Cosby Show is another great nickname…

Howard Decker May 1, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Cockroach!! Dammit that’s a great one

OldSchool80s May 2, 2013 at 9:04 am

Yes! Cockroach! I should’ve remembered that one, too. Great call.

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