Created By: SteamGoth on March 29, 2011 Last Edited By: SteamGoth on January 4, 2016
Nuked

Alliterative Couple

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Exactly What It Says on the Tin. A couple, married, dating, or "just friends," happen to have names that start with the same letter. Let's face it, it's cute...or it's supposed to be (it may or may not be by the writer's design). This trope also tends to occur with non-romantic best friends as well.

Please note, however, that this trope only counts if the couple in question consists of major characters, and the relationship is ongoing. Boyfriends/girlfriends/former classmates/etc. seen in one episode and never heard from again do not count.
Community Feedback Replies: 43
  • March 29, 2011
    Narsil
  • March 29, 2011
    Angewomon

  • March 29, 2011
    JoeG
  • March 29, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Friends: Ross and Rachel.
  • May 25, 2011
    FossilsDaDaDa
    I wanted to start this trope yesterday haha, no work for me.

    Examples

    Live Action Television

    • Smallville- Lana Lang and Lex Luthor for a season or two.

    Western Animation

    • Phineas And Ferb- Linda Flynn and Lawrence Fletcher, Phineas and Ferb and Candace's parents.

  • May 25, 2011
    Cassis
  • May 25, 2011
    Aielyn
    How is this more than merely People Sit In Chairs? Even if names are chosen essentially at random, somewhere around 5% of all pairings will have the same first letter.

    It could be made into a real trope, though, if restricted to cases that are more than merely a happenstance alliteration. Let me give a comparison. In Smallville, Lana Lang and Lex Luthor date for some period... but the two characters had existed for a long time prior to this, and it was never intended to be a pairing. As such, unless Smallville actually puts emphasis on the alliteration in some way, it's really nothing more than happenstance that this couple happens to have the same first letter for their names. Mind you, they do appear to intentionally be instances of Alliterative Name, but I don't think they're an Alliterative Couple.

    Sometimes, though, a show brings attention to the alliteration. For instance, in The West Wing, deputy chief of staff Joshua (Josh) Lyman develops a love interest in deaf campaign manager Josephine (Joey) Lucas. Josh's assistant, Donna, observes that if they got married, they wouldn't have to change their monogrammed towels, because it's Joshua-Joey Lucas-Lyman. And thus, the alliteration becomes relevant.

    In other works, there's an unusual frequency of alliterative naming for couples, and in these cases, it would certainly be an example of this trope. These often arise due to Species Surname and Alliterative Name coming together. Disney and Warner Bros are well-known for this tendency: Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Ortensia the Cat, Pepe le Pew and Penelope Pussycat, Porky and Petunia Pig... you get the point, I think.

    The last type that I'd consider valid are where the entire source maintains the potential relationship from beginning to end, and is pretty much established at the very beginning, and the relationship is relevant to the story. Ross and Rachel in Friends is an example, as are the titular Mork And Mindy.

    So basically, it should only count if it's unreasonably common in the source, if the alliteration is specifically noted in the show, or if the alliterated couple are maintained throughout the source as a key couple. If it's just "Oh, and Bob got together with a woman named Betty in Episode 7 for that one episode", then it's really just that names will alliterate about 5% of the time.
  • May 25, 2011
    thewriter
    Since when is 5% People Sit On Chairs. PSOC would be a trope about characters being couples and having names that aren't alliterative.
  • May 25, 2011
    jaytee
    I dunno, I'm thinking Chairs too...
  • May 25, 2011
    32_Footsteps
    I can think of a way to differentiate this.

    One thing I've frequently noticed is that when the couple has alliterative first names, they're treated almost like they're a single unit, divided amongst two people. Almost like, by getting into a relationship, they've become a romantic version of the Single Minded Twins. They have one set of opinions, one set of likes and dislikes, wear either matching or complimentary outfits, and may even finish each others' sentences.

    As a raft together, I think this avoids the People Sit In Chairs problem.
  • May 25, 2011
    jaytee
    ^I think that concept is tropeable, but then the focus wouldn't be the alliterative names. That kind of couple definitely exists without alliterative names, though it may be a common feature.
  • May 25, 2011
    hipsterkitties
  • May 25, 2011
    Aielyn
    thewriter - People Sit On Chairs isn't about how often it happens, it's about how "normal" it is. If you read the People Sit On Chairs article, you'll see it emphasises that things that happen all the time without any significance aren't tropes, just as people sitting on chairs isn't a trope. To quote from the article: "Conversely, a trope suggestion can still be guilty of People Sit On Chairs even if it doesn't literally appear all the time. Even if it is relatively rare, it can still be used without a narrative purpose."

    It needs a narrative purpose in order to be a trope. Just the fact that the names alliterate is People Sit On Chairs, but if they alliterate for a purpose, or by design, or with abnormal frequency relative to what might be expected, then it's a trope. Kind of like how you might consider Always Seated to be a valid trope, where a recurring character is always seen sitting in a chair, despite no indication that they're handicapped in any way, but it takes more than just sitting in a chair to be a trope.
  • July 20, 2011
    SteamGoth
    I think I see what some of you are saying, so correct me if I'm wrong: Alliterative Couple is a valid trope, as long as it refers to main characters, or an otherwise key couple. Couples that last for a single episode don't count.

    32_Footsteps' "Single Minded Twins" suggestion sounds like this cranked up to eleven.

    Also, I think some of you were a bit confused about the connection to Alliterative Name. Whether or not both halves of the couple have alliterative names doesn't matter; in fact, that would be a bonus if they did. You can play with this trope, and who qualifies. Main couples that are only alliterative because of a nickname, for example, could count.

    Lastly, would it be fair to mention that this is rampant in children's shows (per Aielyn's Disney and Warner Bros. examples), but appears to be less common outside?
  • July 20, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • July 20, 2011
    StarryEyed
    Alliterative Couple has narrative purpose because it's usually to put the characters together "as a set."
  • October 14, 2011
    CrystalBlue
    Bump, and I agree with Starry Eyed, there is a narrative purpose for this - it works because it helps put couples who are characters in a story together "as a set". :)
  • October 14, 2011
    DaibhidC
    @Steam Goth I don't think it matters so much if they're main characters, as much as that the alliteration has to be relevent to something. If it's done for the purpose suggested by Starry Eyed and Crystal Blue, it's a trope. If it's two characters who happen to have the same initials happening to date, then it's just a thing that happened. (In particular, there's nothing about Lex and Lana's names that link them together, because they exist in the same story as Lois Lane, Lucy Lane, Linda Lake and Lara-L.)
  • October 14, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Used in Raiders of Gor for a gag. After Tarl resuces a bunch of slaves - both recently aquired Beautiful Slave Girls and Galley Slaves - he frees the galley slaves. He hires a couple of the former galley slaves, and lets them take their choice of the girls. A Peasant named Thurnock chooses one who it turns out is named Thurna. Thurnock finds this hilarious.
  • October 14, 2011
    JoeG
    • Real Life: Lyndon Baines and Lady Bird Johnson. They named their two daughters Lynda Bird and Lucy Baines.
  • October 17, 2011
    aurora369
  • October 19, 2011
    bulmabriefs144
    Heck, I even have a real life example (not listing though).
  • October 30, 2011
    TBeholder
    @ thewriter: There's also Chairs Sit On People. :]

    well, it is a variety of Added Alliterative Appeal, the only question is, does it need separation.
  • October 30, 2011
    AlexIDV
  • October 31, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • November 15, 2011
    CrystalBlue
    bump.
  • November 15, 2011
    StarryEyed
    Siblings shouldn't count for this (unless of course...) With siblings, there's the assumption that the parents actually planned the alliteration, which doesn't apply to the vast majority of cases for couples. Sibling alliteration should be it's own trope.

  • November 20, 2011
    nitrokitty
    I'm also calling Chairs unless there's an in-universe reason for the pairing's names to be significant. Couples having alliterative names just because the writers think it sounds good is not a trope.
  • December 3, 2011
    TBeholder
    Just one more form of Added Alliterative Appeal. May be also theme naming. Still not sure, though.

    Jack and Jill?
  • December 22, 2011
    CrystalBlue
    bump.
  • December 22, 2011
    sgamer82
    If the Allitrative Couple has children, odds are they will become an Alliterative Family. Examples that overlap include:
    • Burt and Brenda Bilinski from an episode of Mr Belvedere, whose children Buzz and Bobbi mocked the Owens family because their names weren't alliterative.
    • Pete and Peg from Goof Troop.
    • George and Jane Jetson of The Jetsons.

  • March 4, 2012
    CrystalBlue
    Bump
  • March 4, 2012
    Met
    Mork and Mindy. I'm not convinced that this isn't PSOC, though. I don't see how the alliteration is relevant.
  • March 5, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    There might be an underlying notion that the two belong together, despite their differences. Nick & Nora Charles might be an example of this: Nick was a detective, and had friends and contacts with blue-collar and low-life people while Nora was an heiress with an upper-class social circle, yet they seem to be made for each other. If the alliteration is done to highlight that, it might be a trope. I'm inclined to think the Shakespeare example works the same way.
  • March 5, 2012
    chicagomel
    Bones may or may not count-Booth and Brennan? Technically, Booth is his last name, so IDK.
  • March 5, 2012
    Met
    Almost everybody calls him Booth, though, and I'm pretty sure they were supposed to be love interests from the very beginning.
  • March 5, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^^Brennan's her last name too. "Seeley and Temperance" doesn't roll off the tongue.
  • December 12, 2012
    lu127
    This doesn't seem to quite work, and Alliterative Name itself is rather broken. I'm going to discard it.
  • May 30, 2013
    TheMightyHeptagon
    Theatre
    • A dual example in You Cant Take It With You, where the two main couples in the Sycamore family are Paul and Penny Sycamore, and Ed and Essie Carmichael (the Sycamores' son-in-law and daughter, respectively). Notably, the Only Sane Woman of the family is part of the only couple in the play that doesn't follow this trope (her name is Alice, and she's engaged to a man named Tony), thus distancing her from her oddball relatives to a degree.
  • January 15, 2014
    spongeboy1985
    Amy and Alan Matthews from Boy Meets World.
  • May 30, 2014
    TheMightyHeptagon
  • September 24, 2014
    TheMightyHeptagon
  • January 4, 2016
    TheMightyHeptagon
    • Bail and Breha Organa, Leia Organa's stepparents in Star Wars.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=c1z5qsnwdty4r2og0y4gqev3&trope=DiscardedYKTTW