Name Tags are items that are used to name mobs by right clicking on the object or mob. Name tags are not craftable, so the only way to legitimately obtain them in Survival is to find them inside of dungeon chests, strongholds, through trading, or by fishing. The new names will display over the head of the object or mob when the cursor is pointed at it which appears just as a player's name would.
Name tags must first be renamed with the use of an anvil before being applied to a mob (which, as of 1.8, costs 1 experience level, and on console editions, it costs 5). To use a name tag, simply hold the item in a player's hand and right click on the mob to name it. Once done, the new name will display.
In the console versions of Minecraft (e.g. 360, One and PS), to name a mob, hostile or docile, rename it with the name tag, then left trigger the mob. The name will then appear above the chosen mob(s). A reason name tags are not preferable is that a player cannot remove the name tag without killing the mob or replacing the name tag with another one. A mob cannot have multiple name tags applied.
Naming mobs is usually the desire behind obtaining name tags. They are useful because name tags will prevent the named mob from de-spawning, such as when a player moves too far away. This makes it a great tool for hostile mobs, which disappear often, or for just naming neutral mobs and passive mobs, such as horses, in order to save them for a player to use no matter how far away they are or how long ago they have been "rendered."
- If a mob is renamed "Dinnerbone" or "Grumm", the mob will be flipped upside down. The Dinnerbone name tag is an easter egg for Nathan Adams, a developer with the same Minecraft nickname. Players could also rename a Spawn Egg "Dinnerbone".
- If a player renames a sheep "jeb_" it will glow like a rainbow. It will continuously change color through all the types of wool, and will never stop unless it is either killed or renamed. If it is killed or sheared, it will only give a player the color of its original wool.
- Renaming a rabbit "Toast" will give it a different look (black and white custom fur). This is done in honor of a Minecraft user's girlfriend's lost rabbit.
- If a Vindicator is named "Johnny", it will be unconditionally agressive to any mobs and players that are near it, except for any types of illagers and Ghasts. This is a reference to the film The Shining.
- To be able to see the name on the tagged mob or object, a player must be up to 4 blocks away.
- "The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog" (a rare type of rabbit) used to spawn, with a name above it that says "The Killer Bunny". Now, it can only be summoned with commands or mods. This was a refrence to the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.