‘Outer Banks’ Fans Think John B.’s Nickname Is Based on a Historic State Representative

John B.’s (Chase Stokes) name has started many a discussion among Outer Banks fans. Most fans think the Netflix character‘s nickname serves as a differentiator between him and his father, “Big John” Routledge. Now, thanks to one fan, there’s another theory about John B.’s name having a historical connection. 

Chase Stokes as John B. in season 2 of the Netflix series 'Outer Banks'
Chase Stokes as John B. Routledge | Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

What does the ‘B.’ in John B. stand for in ‘Outer Banks’? 

In the pilot episode of the Netflix series, John B. refers to himself as John Booker Routledge. He never mentions his full name again, which made the middle name drop easy for many fans to miss. But his middle initial is used as a nickname throughout seasons 1 and 2 of the show. 

Initially, fans were confused why John B. felt the need to differentiate himself with the nickname “John B.” Considering there’s no one else in the series named John, why would he choose to keep the “B?” 

A tribute to John B., who the town presumes to be dead in season 2 of 'Outer Banks'
A tribute to John B. from ‘Outer Banks’ Season 2 | Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

As Refinery29 pointed out, the “B” is likely what John B. uses to differentiate himself from his father. Rather than calling him John Jr., the people of the Outer Banks likely referred to him as John B. from a young age and the name stuck. 

Meanwhile, other fans on Reddit think John B. uses his middle initial to differentiate himself from J.J. Maybank (Rudy Pankow), who they believe to be John Jr. “They thought it’d be too confusing to call him that because of John B.,” said one Redditor. So they went with J.J. instead.

John B.’s nickname might be a reference to a historical figure

Filming for Outer Banks Season 3 has officially begun, with many fans starting new conversations about the series on Reddit. One fan pointed out a possible historical connection to John B.’s name. 

“John Rutledge was one of the South Carolina state representatives when the constitution was made,” the fan shared on Reddit. “The Outer Banks show was filmed in South Carolina.” The spelling of the last name differs from John B.’s in the Netflix series, but most fans still found the observation interesting. 

“Cool find, lame of them to use a person from [South Carolina] when it’s a show about [North Carolina],” another Reddit user commented. Showrunners chose South Carolina as the backdrop for Outer Banks mostly for legal reasons. 

Other Outer Banks fans think John B.’s name was inspired by the folk song “Sloop John B.,” as made famous by the Beach Boys. “His name is from the folk song ‘Sloop John B.’,” reads another comment in the thread. “A version of the song was played in the show.”

‘Outer Banks’ fans think the nickname could be a nod to southern heritage

This isn’t the first time John B.’s name has come up among Outer Banks fans. One user noted in a previous Reddit thread that “nicknames are very common in the south.” They believe writers added authenticity to the character by giving him a nickname with a southern flair. 

Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for updates on Outer Banks Season 3. Stream the first two seasons of Outer Banks on Netflix. 

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