Throughout the Deadpool movie after Ajax and Wade Wilson meet, Ajax keeps asking this,

What's my name?

Throughout the movie it seems to be a theme. Does it have some special significance in or out of universe?

  • 22
    In the film Ajax uses it as a yardstick as to whether Deadpool has learned the proper respect
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 14:18
  • 4
    It's a method of torture. I can't remember the name of the episode, but there was a Star Trek: TNG two parter in which Picard was tortured and his torturer wanted him to say there were 5 lights when there were only 4. Ajax is essentially doing the same thing. If Deadpool calls him Ajax, he wins-as long as Deadpool calls him Francis, he hasn't broken him.
    – geewhiz
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 23:06
  • 2
    @geewhiz: It's called "Chain of Command".
    – ruakh
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 3:23
  • 7
    There are FOUR lights!
    – Broklynite
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 12:04
  • 8
    "Throughout the Deadpool Movie, Ajax keeps asking" - don't you mean Francis, not Ajax?
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 23:36

2 Answers 2


This article explains this dynamic in one of its points:

6. What’s My Name?

Ajax and Deadpool have quite a history in the comic series. Ajax loves subjecting Deadpool to unfathomable torture while Deadpool loves messing with the fact that Ajax’s real name is Francis. Their relationship is perfectly translated on screen as Ajax asks Deadpool what his name is throughout the film. He wants to be called Ajax, but the merc keeps calling him Francis, refusing to bow down to his enemy’s demands. This running theme culminates into a scene that’s almost too awesome to be true.

Just before his final battle with Ajax, Deadpool successfully takes out a swarm of his henchmen armed with nothing but two katanas. After asking what his name is constantly throughout the story, Ajax finds Deadpool’s final answer literally laid out in front of him. The dead henchmen are revealed to be precisely arranged on the ground by Deadpool so that their corpses spell out “FRANCIS.” That’s a hell of a way to own your arch enemy if you ask us.

  • Awesome answer, I had no idea that is what was going on!!! Up vote!!!
    – KyloRen
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 14:34
  • 7
    Your quote is a little off... the name is spelled "FRANCiS"* :P
    – Ben
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 4:51
  • TIL listicle. Straining to see article as its origin tho. Other words keep bouncing to the front. Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 8:26
  • It's a show of dominance.
  • Relatedly, it's a tell sign of breaking his nemesis.

Ajax confidently tells Deadpool that nobody's sense of humour survives Ajax's "clinic". And the most manifest sign of Deadpool's smart-assery is his making jokes about what Ajax's real name is.

So, when - instead of breaking under the torture - Deadpool triumphs on that topic by finding out Ajax's real name (name tag "Francis" left over from dry-cleaning), it makes Ajax uber-concentrated to reverse this. To him, having Deadpool admit that his name is Ajax is a signal that he won and broke Deadpool.

(the idea of using "tell me the lie is true" as a yardstick of breaking your opponent is, if course, nowhere near new, and not only borrowed from the Deadpool comics, but from much earlier archetypes, such as "How many fingers" in Orwell's 1984).

  • 28
    There... Are... Four... Lights!
    – JK.
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 4:46
  • 2
    and also: "why did you resign?" repeatedly asked of number 6.
    – gbjbaanb
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 14:31

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