Tobey Maguire’s Joke Is Jennifer’s Naming Nightmare

12/07/2009 at 06:00 PM ET
Anthony/Pacific Coast News

For Tobey Maguire and his wife, jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer Maguire, it took more than Spidey sense to choose names for their two children — they needed the gift of time!

During a Friday visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the actor explained that when it came to naming children Ruby Sweetheart, 3, and Otis Tobias, 7 months, patience was a virtue for the pair.

“We didn’t name either of our children before their births,” he shares. “We like to meet them. We talk about it and we have ideas, but we want to kind of react to them.”

That decision came with a price for Jennifer, however! Two weeks after baby boy was born — and still no name — a deadline was necessitated when the couple needed to apply for a passport for their son.

“It was the last day, so I went down [to Los Angeles for the birth certificate], my wife was at home,” he shares. “It was so sweet, I was calling her and we were excited. We’re going to do it…Otis.”

One thing the couple hadn’t confirmed with each other was the exact spelling, providing Tobey with the prime opportunity to play a practical joke on Jennifer! “I got an extra form and filled it out and misspelled Otis,” he admits.

“We spell it Otis, but I spelled it Oatis on the form and brought it back to my wife and was acting very innocent. ‘Oh, I’m so excited! It’s official! Look,’ and I handed her the paper.”

Prompting the audience to “watch her face,” Tobey goes on to share a home video of the unforgettable moment of truth — check it out in the extended post!

Source: The Ellen DeGeneres Show

— Anya

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting , Video

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Showing 47 comments

Sunny on

Haha. That was a pretty funny video, especially Tobey cracking up the entire time and his wife not even thinking that that would be odd.
Seems like a nice family…

shalay on

OMG, that is hysterical! I love the look that comes over Jennifer’s face! “OAT-IS?!”

Nanny-Emma on

LOL! That’s hilarious! What a great prank lol.

jj on

that was hilarious!!

mary on

Thanks Tobey for sharing that with us. That was too funny!

Bancie1031 on

LOL that is hilarious….. definitely too funny for words. …. they are such a cute couple ….. and look how cute they are together

Sonya on

Thank God both parents have to sign the birth certificate at the registry office here! I could not have handled that kind of joke at 2 weeks postpartum, my hubby would be dead, lol.
Jennifer’s reaction is priceless:-)

Melanie on

I love seeing them all laughing and smiley with each other! Usually in the pictures they look so serious (no judgment, I don’t blame them at all what with all the cameras that are in their faces!) but it’s nice to see a softer side to them…too cute!

Cece on


stephanie on

That is adorable lol They seem like a lovely family!

Electra on

Its so weird, people don’t seem real until you hear them speak. I’ve seen pictures of his wife for years but I’ve never heard her talk. Shes funny.

Karen on

so very cute!!

urbanadventurertales on

THat’s a hilarious story! I’m also a fan of meeting the baby before choosing the name.

Shirab on

has to be the best reaction! they really are a cute couple!!! and they have 2 really beautiful kids!!

french gigi on

how sweet of them to share a home video….that was great! they are a lovely family.

Kimber Christian on

That was HILARIOUS!!!! I watched it twice! LOL

Brooke on

I am actually laughing out loud….That is one that is actually hilarious…..

Mira on

Wow, this is too funny indeed. Great practical joke!!!

I♥CBB on

That is soooo cute! What an adorable family moment! Thanks for sharing Tobey! 🙂

christina on

Electra — I completely agree! I was thinking the same thing!

crimpe on

Just showed that to my husband. Hilarious. I love how they are both laughing. They seem like an awesome family.

mamabear on

Awww, I LOVE the way she takes it so well and calls him “honey” at the end! Some wives would have been on to anger and profanities at that point! lol!

Love her, that was so sweet …and HILARIOUS!

Megan on

I love it when she says ” O T I S ” and he says “no that spells Ah-tis”. TOO FUNNY!

Becky on

This was hilarious, Love it.

Aurora on

Bahaha I actually laughed out loud and watched it two times! Very natural, sweet and just plain hilarious…. “OAT-IS!?!”

Alycia on

That was so funny!! What a cute couple

Jess from Ohio on

That was hilarious! And yes, as a few have said, it made them seem more “real”. It’s nice to see celebs in their own element and seeing them present artifacts from their life that they choose to show. And they are an adorable couple!

Elle on

They are a lovely pair! Just curious though… he told Ellen that he filmed this on a flip, but the camera is moving back and forth from Tobey to Jen — Who is filming it? Hmmm.

Anne on

Too funny. Just a question, though…I was under the impression the baby had to be named before leaving the hospital, is this untrue? In my experience, with my children, we had to fill out and sign their birth certificate paperwork before we left. I guess looking back no one said we HAD to, I just assumed as much. Is this not really true, or maybe it varies state to state?

Cheri on

LOL! That was adorable. I love them.

Felicity on

I love his laugh! So cute 🙂 haha and very funny, too. 😀

Kate on

Fathers seem to like those kind of ‘jokes’. My mother told me that when it was time to go to the office and get my birth certificate signed and everything, she stayed at home with me and my dad went to get everything in proper order. When my dad came home he grinned at my mother and said that he decided to give me a middle name – and he really did. They had decided on my first name together and my father added another name. My mother was shocked at first but after finding out the middle name wasn’t horrible she forgave him and laughed about it. I think it’s pretty funny though.

I had a good laugh at seeing Jennifer’s eyes go wide.

Jennifer on

I love the fact that he’s not a very good actor when it comes to his wife. I would have knew it was a joke when he started giggling so much.

Jennifer on

Oh that is hilarious! I love it. How cute. 🙂

Names4Real on

Anne, it is easier to fill out the paperwork at the hospital, but most states (each state is different) give you a grace period (usually 2 weeks to 1 month) before you actually have to apply for the birth certificate for those parents who need a little more time. 🙂

All Women Stalker on

Haha hilarious! Tobey’s laugh is darn infectious. 😀


Lady on

LMAO, cute!!!

Whitney Sterk on

You don’t have to name your child until you apply for the birth certificate. I think Peekaboo Street wasn’t named for months….. Lauryn Hill and Rohan Marley didn’t name their latest child….the left the hospital as Baby Marley…They have still not released a name so it’s possible she is still listed as Baby Girl Marley on her records……

Jennifer looked at Toby like he was the biggest idiot – pretty priceless-

Still think the name Otis is awful but I don’t like Ruby Sweetheart either however they are not my children so I won’t judge their choices.

Lisa on

That is totally funny…I would kill my husband if he did that! I think it is wonderful how his wife was pretty calm over it all..she even giggled at the end and laughed..I would have yelled at my poor husband.

brannon on

hysterical. love it!

sarah on

we know a family that decided on a name for their 3rd child but when the father filed the paperwork he wrote down another and completely different name on the birth certificate. the mother was irate and he saw nothing wrong. they had to go through the process of getting it changed since she went back immediately and told them her husband had made a mistake. the name he chose was horrible so it was good they were able to correct it!

Lucy on

My father actually did this and spelled my middle name wrong! To this day my middle name is wrong on my driver’s license.

FLMom on

My mother was delivered by a country midwife, back in 1933. The midwife filled out the birth certificate and my grandmother didn’t know the woman was not educated enough to know how to spell Joann. For years my mother’s birth certificate said Joe ann…Joe like the man’s name then a space and the name ann all in lowercase letters. My mother had to get an elderly aunt to go with her to verify and get notarized that she could vouch for the fact that the spelling was wrong, because she was the only relative still living that was present during the time of my mother’s birth. It was a nightmare to get straightened. And I’ve heard of two couples who just about divorced over the fact that the fathers filled out the birth certificate and changed the “agreed upon” name to the one they wanted. Toby is just too cute and his laugh (and Jennifer’s reaction) is priceless!

FLMom on

Sorry…that should have been Tobey…typo! I’m not crazy about the name Otis…I grew up watching the Andy Griffith Show and it immediately reminds me of Otis Campbell, the town drunk! Funny how we associate certain names with people, good or bad!

anon on

I always fill out the birth certificate myself because my husband is not a native English speaker. He spells everything the German way & it kills me. In the Jewish faith though, the name is given in synagogue by the father. I am always petrified that he did something different than we agreed (since it cannot be changed once you give the name) & I wait for confirmation from someone else. He’s never let me down though.

brandi on

LOL classic!

Sara on

His laugh kills me.