Ed Norton plays the Narrator or Jack ( due to reading a book that described someone called Jack's body parts from a 1st person perspective). Meanwhile Brad Pitt is introduced as Tyler Durden. Later on we find out that they are the same person.

So is Tyler Durden the new name he has chosen which he went and made an ID for and got various part-time jobs under or is it his original name and he somehow keeps blanking it out when he needs to tell police (things like his apartment exploded, or that other things will explode) or when he sees it on his checks from work or his work documents Id and many other things that would have his name on them?


6 Answers 6


In addition to Orion's answer, I'd add that while it's not specifically stated in the movie, I think it's implied well enough that the Narrator's name is not Tyler Durden. Tyler says at one point that the Narrator is "slowly letting himself become Tyler Durden." If his name was actually Tyler, this line wouldn't make any sense.

I suspect the movie avoids telling us his real name as a clue that he and Tyler are the same person. It was very clever indeed.

I still remember the first time I watched it and Marla is asking him his name, "What's your name? It's not on your card. Is it Radith? Corneleus? Any of the stupid names you give each night?" The bus passes in front of her, ending the scene so we don't get to hear the Narrator's answer . . . and it didn't phase me one bit. It just seemed like a neat way to end the scene.

Fight Club is definitely one of my top ten movies of all time.

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    The book makes this very clear by involving a scene where the Narrator shows Marla his license to prove his real name is not Tyler Durden (we, of course, also don't learn his name, however)
    – Tablemaker
    Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 13:02
  • Of course, He either told Marla his name was Tyler, or he said his real name but she figures he was lying when she learned it was Tyler later on. She does say his name is Tyler at the crossover scene where Jack first learns he's tyler.
    – cde
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 23:48
  • @cde I suspect he introduced himself as Tyler. Marla's perplexed expression and reaction when he told her to say his name wouldn't make sense if there was actual confusion about his name. Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 20:43
  • @davidHarkness not sure the time frame, but that was likely months to a year or two later.
    – cde
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 22:43
  • @cde I'm pretty sure I'd remember anyone who changed their name since it's so unusual. But this is only evidence--not proof. Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 6:30

Since Ed developed Tyler as part of his split personality a.k.a. Dissociative identity disorder. Then all memories of Tyler are actually his with his mind filling in the logical holes in the memory. So Tyler looks and acts like a separate person with all the accessories that would make the separate person.

It is not until the end that the two personalities become "aware" of each other. At this point the memories merge and the personalities become one.

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    Inconsistency: Tyler was always aware of his parent personality. It was Ed who became aware of Tyler at the end. Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 3:51
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    This provides good information but doesn't really answer the question. I completely understand that they are indeed the same person but my question is " Has (Ed Norton) always been called Tyler Durden since he was a little kid and he forgot his name or is Tyler Durden a created name. Also kicker86 makes a good point as well. Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 14:21

This appears to be intentionally ambiguous on the part of the author. From an interview with author Chuck Palahniuk:

What exactly IS the name of the main character in Fight Club, is his name Tyler, Jack, or something else?

His name was never given in the book. They needed a name for the screenplay to put next to the character's lines so they just put Jack in there for the hell of it. In the book at one point he even takes out his drivers license and shows it to Marla to prove that he's not Tyler Durden, but Marla was introduced to him under a dozen different names in the support groups. So when he finally comes to save her as Tyler, that's who she knows him as. All the people who have met him have met him as Tyler, so that's who they know him as. But his name is really…. I have no idea.

According to IMDB][2], Palahniuk explains that he "named Tyler Durden after the character of Toby Tyler in Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus, and a man called Durden with whom Palahniuk worked, who was fired for sexual harassment. Marla Singer was named after a young girl called Marla who used to beat up Palahniuk's sister in school." So the name has symbolic meaning to the author, not the character.


As a member of Project Mayhem, the narrator has no name. Tyler can have a name, because he is not the true identity, and therefore not a real person-- and therefore not a member of project mayhem.


Edward norton sees the visiting card only he is not reading the card but introducing himself as "Tyler Durden" in the Aeroplane...


Edward Norton's character's name is Tyler Durden. He asks his girlfriend Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) what his name is. She replies, "Tyler Durden." The next time The Narrator interacts with Tyler, Tyler says to him, "I told you not to talk to her about me."

So Tyler seems to know about it only after The Narrator knows.

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    At the point that he meets Marla though he's already having identity problems though. He's taking many different support groups to find relief for his insomnia and using different names in each group. Remember Robert Paulson (Meatloaf) sees him and yells out his name from support group. Marla early on asks him what his real name is and we don't hear the answer, but I believe at this point we've already seen Brad Pitt flash by in a support group scene meaning that Tyler Durden already exists. But before his insomnia what is his name? Or at work even? Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 14:11

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