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Carrie Bradshaw may have been the star and narrator of Sex and the City, but week after week, fans tuned in to see how Carrie’s relationship with the mysterious Mr. Big would turn out. They got their answer in the final moments of the HBO series. Mr. Big, after playing games for six years, was ready to get real. To mark the occasion, the show’s producer decided to reveal Big’s real name. The character almost didn’t have one, though.

What was Mr. Big’s real name?

Mr. Big’s real name was John James Preston. The character who, for six seasons was larger than life, had never been given a name. Funnily enough, fans simply accepted him as Mr. Big, but as the show drew to a close, Michael Patrick King knew that Big needed to be given a name and that it needed to be revealed in a really big way. Sometimes, less is more, though.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth star in 'Sex and the City'
Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw and Chris Noth as Mr. Big | 1999 Paramount Pictures

The big reveal came in the final moments of Sex and the City. Back in Manhattan, Carrie meandered through the streets, looking comfortable and at ease. Her phone rang, and when she looked down at it, the name “John” flashed across the screen. When Carrie picked up the phone, it was revealed that “John” was Mr. Big. Big’s full name was not revealed until Sex and the City: The Movie.

Michael Patrick King said Mr. Big almost didn’t have a name

In a sit-down interview with Entertainment Weekly, King revealed that there were two moments during his tenure on the series that resulted in an argument in the writers’ room. He told the publication that he and his team first battled over whether Carrie should get wrapped up in an affair with Mr. Big. The second battle revolved around Mr. Big’s name.

King revealed that his team wasn’t thrilled about the idea of telling Big’s real name. He said, though, that he felt the move was necessary. Big’s grand gesture in Paris made him “real,” and it made his relationship with Carrie real, too. Because Big was no longer just a mysterious figure, he needed a real name.

Mr. Big’s generic name had a purpose

King admitted that there was some criteria he wanted to meet when picking a name for Big. He told Entertainment Weekly, that he had absolutely no preconceived idea of Big’s name before writing the show’s final episode. When choosing to reveal Mr. Big’s name, he admitted he wanted the name to be as generic as possible.

Chris Noth as Mr. Big in 'Sex and the City: The Movie'
Chris Noth in ‘Sex and the City: The Movie’ | Brian Ach/WireImage

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He told the publication that he didn’t want his name to have any “spin.” In choosing a basic, generic man’s name, King managed to ensure that, to fans, John James Preston would always be Mr. Big, and it worked out. Even the two movies that were born from the series rarely referred to the character by his full name. He was almost always “Big.”