Normally, a human character in a work of fiction is given a "human" name, like Alice or Bob. "Human" names are names that are normally given to humans in a given human culture. If they have a name that isn't a "human" name, it's most likely their nickname.
There's some Values Dissonance
involved regarding what makes a good name. Names can surge in popularity, fall out of favor or change context with the times. And different races have wildly different choices on what makes a good name.
However, there are human characters in fictional works, especially animated works and comics, that have a given name not normally given to humans that come from a human source. An example of this is a human given an "object" name, a name that is a common word for a given object, a name based on a character's personality, or a name more commonly given to pets, like Spot, Rover, Patches, Fluffy, or Mittens. The name doesn't have to be an Unfortunate Name
or Embarrassing First Name
Sometimes, humans can give themselves "non-human" names.
The "non-human" name is given by a human, so this deals with the audience
's perspective of what counts as a "nonhuman" name. Unlike Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?
, this deals with a decidedly non-human style name that is accepted in its own universe. This is also not Stellar Name
, which are human names about space-y things.
The trope examples have to be human, even if the human in question is artificial.
Overlaps with Unfortunate Name
and Aerith and Bob
. Compare and Contrast Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?
. Sometimes goes hand-in-hand with Theme Naming
Anime and Manga
- Jojos Bizarre Adventure, being chock-full of characters named after songs and bands, has this trope in spades, with names like Oyecomova or a US President named Funny Valentine, together with Edible Theme Naming when it comes to Part 5.
Live Action Film
- Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon is an example. He points out how ridiculous his name is, but explains the reasons for awful names (scaring off gnomes and trolls) and says that there are other people with worse ones.
- In the 2012 adaptation of The Lorax, the Once-ler's name actually is Once-ler. This is in contrast to the original, where Once-ler is hinted to be more of a title/nickname than anything. In the film, the non-human style name just shows how he is the Un Favorite.
- Lampshaded for laughs in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
Sallah: Please, what does it always mean, this... this "Junior"?
Professor Henry Jones: That's his name. [points to himself] Henry Jones... [points to Indy] ...Junior.
Indiana Jones: I like "Indiana."
Professor Henry Jones: We named the dog Indiana.
Marcus Brody: May we go home now, please?
Sallah: The dog? [starts laughing] You are named after the dog?
Indiana Jones: I've got a lot of fond memories of that dog.
- Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, the title characters from The Powerpuff Girls have names like this as a part of Alphabetical Theme Naming.
- Two of the Rowdyruff Boys, Brick and Boomer, count as this, but Butch averts this as his name is a "human" name.
- The title character of Popeye has a name of this vein.
- His nephews, Pipeye, Pupeye, Peepeye, and Poopeye also have names of this vein, as does Swea Pea.
- The Flintstones: Pebbles and Bamm Bamm have names of this vein even though Fred and Wilma Flintstone (Pebbles' parents) and Barney and Betty Rubble (Bamm Bamm's adopted parents) have normal human names.
- Champion alpine skier, Picabo Street named herself after her favorite childhood game.