->"It's called the '''[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator ]]
'''. Or, for short - the ''[[NoPronunciationGuide "flihsivdefuhr"]]''.
-->-- Flint, ''CloudyWithAChanceOfMeatballs''

In the real world, computers are typically given names, usually strictly functional names or serials (such as accounting_server or fx98v4p), but also themed names, in order to allow for identification. Since even professionals (both fictional and real) struggle with pronunciation and identification of an obscure manufacturing code, pop culture naturally has a tendency to seep into the naming of products.

[[RealityIsUnrealistic While it initially wasn't prevalent in fiction]], writers and producers soon realized that naming computers was common practice, and proceeded to ramp it UpToEleven it to make computer and robot names substantially more dramatic than groupings like [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Cleo, Tony and Jules]] [[note]]mail servers at Boston College during the mid-1990s[[/note]].

In order to make an AI seem sinister or awesome enough, a few themes are typically adhered to in movies and literature that can allow said AI be categorized into six groups:
** '''Type I''': [[FunWithAcronyms Acronyms]] [[note]]Frequently rather contrived[[/note]] ([[/folder]]

[[folder: [[Two Thousand One Heuristically programmed [=A Lgorithmic=] computer 9000 ]]
, [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System]]]])
** '''Type II''': Functional descriptions ([[{{Terminator}} Skynet]], Film/TheMatrix)
** '''Type III''': Abbreviated model names or serial numbers ([[StarWars R2D2]], [[KnightRider KITT]])
** '''Type IV''': "Electronic Brain" names (somewhat of a DiscreditedTrope - {{Brainiac}}, [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy Deep Thought]])
** '''Type V''': "Automatic Computer" names [[note]]a theme literally as old as ENIAC and popularized by Univac[[/note]] (also commonly [[DiscreditedTrope discredited]] - [[Creator/IsaacAsimov Multivac]], {{Brainiac}}, KurtVonnegut's EPICAC)
** '''Type VI''': Names without meaning beyond being awesome (''Film/DarkStar'')

This trope was perhaps more common in the era of MainframesAndMinicomputers; these days, if you see a computer with a name, it will likely be a robot of some sort, an artificial intelligence, a niche product trying to attract attention, or a mixed combination of the three. This may reflect real life; a lot of non-techies never bother to give their computers names.

TropeNamer is [[http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?NamesGivenToComputers this page]] on the PortlandPatternRepository. Note that this trope is ''specifically'' about computers, robots, and AIs that are given abnormal titles; see NamedWeapons, ICallItVera and ICallHimMisterHappy for other examples. Note that an [[AvertedTrope aversion]] of this trope involves a bland AI in an extraordinary setting (e.g. a computer named "computer" in a high space opera setting).

See also RobotNames and NameTron. OneBadMother also has enough examples to be a SisterTrope.
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!!Examples:

* Over its long run, ''Series/DoctorWho'' has been all over this trope, from a war computer called [[NorseMythology WOTAN]] to the utilitarian Matrix (Gallifrey's equivalent of Franchise/StarTrek's Memory Alpha) to mastermind AIs like BOSS and Mentalis and functionally-named robots like Kamelion and K-9. Ironically, arguably the most important AI in the series, the Doctor's TARDIS, has no known name at all.
** According to series 6, it's [[spoiler: "Sexy".]]
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' uses a mixture of names without meaning and mundane names -- Cortana, the UNSC AI, is named after the sword of Holger the Dane from ''Literature/TheSongOfRoland'' (thus a nod to ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'''s Durandal), but the Forerunner AIs have rather mundane, vaguely religious names like Guilty Spark and Mendicant Bias.
* As mentioned above, ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' is based around a human's dealings with the master control computer of a giant laboratory complex, who is named [=GLaDOS=]. [=GLaDOS=] is obsessed with conducting science experiments and has a skewed sense of morality. It is implied that she killed all other humans in the complex, though likely as a self defense measure to prevent them switching her off.
** In addition to [[spoiler:[=GLaDOS=]'s return]], ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' also features a major AI character named Wheatley, who is no more than a robotic ball who relies on transport rails or the player to take him where he needs to go.
* ''QuestionableContent'''s [=AnthroPCs=] generally have personal names (like Winslow and Momo-tan), though Pintsize is a somewhat jocular functional name and one-shot character [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1105 PT410x]] (likely a serial number or, since PT410x was owner-constructed, a fanciful model number) eschews the very idea of a "slave name".
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'', in general, tends to be surprisingly mundane -- AIs tend to have personal names (Data, Lore, Vaal, Landru) or bear legacy names (Nomad, V[[spoiler:oya]]ger), and non-intelligent computers seldom have names at all. There is a scattering of model number, such as M-5 from the TOS episode "The Ultimate Computer". The Borg, though not computers, tend to have names/designations related to their location and function such as "Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01."
* The most intelligent IA in ''{{SSDD}}'' is called The Oracle, he has two purposes: predicting the future and improving his performance predicting the future.
* ''Film/ShortCircuit'' and ''Short Circuit 2'' feature the military warrior robot Number 5, who develops a friendly and curious AI personality when he is struck by lightning. By the conclusion of the first movie he is tired of his sterile serial number name and decides to give himself a human name, henceforth becoming known as Johnny 5.
** Not many people remember, but his proper factory name was '''SAINT''' Number 5. SAINT standing for: Strategic Artifically Intelligent Nuclear Transport.
* ''StarWars'' uses (and abuses) model number to a disturbing degree, given the rather small namespace that droids seem to have in that universe. Well, sometimes it does. The Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse has many droids being given nicknames, particularly in the XWingSeries where R2 and R5 droids are called things like Mynock, Whistler, Thirteen, Tonin, Gadget, Shiner, and Vape. Literature/GalaxyOfFear gives a computer an acronym name.
** The [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]] also has an annoying tendency to write out the serial numbers in the manner a first grader would. For example, 41D4 calls itself Forwundeefor. Likely halfhearted attempts at being like Artoo ('''R2'''-D2) and Threepio (C-'''3PO'''). At one point, Timothy Zahn played on this by creating a human character named Entoo Nee, who noted that people frequently assumed he was a droid. [[hottip:*:His full name was Entoo Needaan E-Elz, which sounds an awful lot like C3P0 actor Anthony Daniels...]]
* ''{{Terminator}}'' has Skynet, but the individual Terminators don't have onscreen names, just model numbers.
* ''Film/IronMan'' has several robots with names from Dummy and Butterfingers to JARVIS.
* The real-life [[CthulhuMythos Shub-Internet]] was named after a joke in the JargonFile and operated as a server in the Pentagon for a number of years. Obviously a very silly name without meaning, relating to the Internet's origins as a US Defense Department project.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsons'' had a computer/robot named UNIBLAB and George's work computer, RUDI.
* Albums by the band Big Black credited their TR-606 drum machine as a member of the band named "Roland." Later when the bass player quit to enter law school the band's press release stated the band was breaking up because Roland quit due to "creative differences."
** Naming drum machines as if they were band members was not uncommon in bands of a certain vintage. Sisters of Mercy named theirs "Doktor Avalanche," and there's a persistent rumor (denied by the band) that "Echo" of Echo and the Bunnymen also refers to their electronic drummer.
* ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}}'' and its expansions feature the burly robot "Dog". As the name implies, Dog was built to be a pet of Alyx Vance's. He understands human commands, but can not speak himself, communicating mostly through head gestures. Like a playful dog, Dog sometimes gets over excited and carried away and has to be told by Alyx to stop whatever he's doing.
* In the ''Literature/ChaosTimeline'', several AIs named themselves after random strings - three of them are called X27, a_gcl and Horace.
* Doctor Blight on ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' had MAL.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' has KAREN, Plankton's computer wife.
* The unique computer from ''Literature/MondayBeginsOnSaturday'', possibly intelligent and definitely having a soul, is called "Aldan" after a river in Siberia.
* In the classic computer game VideoGame/SystemShock, the villain is a corrupt AI computer named SHODAN, Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network. After being corrupted by the player character and developing a malevolent AI, SHODAN eliminates her human masters and begins a scheme to escape her space station home and transmit her personality into the computers of planet earth.
* The ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' series has a computer named Com Pewter.
* EDI in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' is an acronym, with her name standing for Enhanced Defense Intelligence.
** [[spoiler: Legion]], meanwhile, is both a fanciful-but-appropriate functional name. Since Geth had no concept of individuality, EDI contrived the MeaningfulName from Biblical mythology. While it is indeed an [[AwesomeMcCoolname awesome name]], it was intended to draw the parallel as a way to understand the Geth's gestalt consciousness.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', [[spoiler: Dr. Eva Core]] is a short-lived name without meaning.
** Speaking of ''Franchise/MassEffect'', ''FanFic/OnTheShouldersOfGiants'' almost universally employs name without meaning, ranging from fanciful to [[ShoutOut historically significant]] to indistinguishable from an organic being's given name.
* Creator/{{IBM}}'s first famous TabletopGame/{{Chess}}-playing computer, Deep Thought, was named after the computer that designed Earth in ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''; IBM's later Deep Blue, the independently-developed Deep Fritz, and IBM's Blue Gene supercomputing products carried on the naming theme.
* NASA's Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers were [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Exploration_Rover#Naming_of_Spirit_and_Opportunity named in a student essay competition]]; the winner was a third grader, originally from Russia, named Sofi Collis.
* WOPR is the name of the military supercomputer in WarGames, standing for War Operation Plan Response. It was intended by the writers to be a more amusing name than that of NORAD's real-life SIOP (Single Integrated Operation Plan), although SIOP was a series of documents rather than a computer.
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'': The main AIs are named after the Greek alphabet. The first to be created is named Alpha, but the others' names are seemingly picked at random from the list, including Delta, Theta, Omega, Sigma...
** There's also F.I.L.S.S., Freelancer Integrated Logistics and Security System. [[spoiler:Otherwise known as Sheila.]]
* There are not a lot of [=AIs=] in the WhateleyUniverse because of the ongoing threat of The Palm, but Loophole has an illegal [=AI=] named Carmen. Most disturbingly, the voice and holographic image for Carmen are modeled after [[spoiler: the mutant who raped her.]]
* The first ISP in Russia, demos.ru, went online in 1989 and was used, among other things, as a news relay during the August Coup in 1991. It shares a name with DEMOS, a Unix clone developed at the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy in the early 80s; if demos.ru was actually a DEMOS system at the time, that would make it a rather lame mix of acronym and functional name. (But one with one hell of a history behind it.) [[note]]But even then, Soviet hackers always had a better sense of humor than their bosses; the original name for DEMOS was UNAS, which translates to "at ours" in Russian; see, "at theirs" in Russian is [[IncrediblyLamePun u nix...]][[/note]]
* CABAL or '''C'''omputer '''A'''ssisted '''B'''iologically '''A'''ugmented '''L'''ifeform in ''CommandAndConquerTiberianSun'' and its expansion. As its name implies, it uses PeopleJars to power it and at the Nod ending of ''Firestorm'' it shows that [[spoiler: it's keeping Kane alive]]. There's also LEGION from the [[{{VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberiumWars}} third game's]] expansion ''Kane's Wrath'' though it's never stated what the acronym means.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': The three NERV mainframes are called Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar after the [[Literature/TheBible Three Wise Men]].
* ''First Universal Cybernetic-Kinetic Ultramicro-Programmer'' or [[FunWithAcronyms FUCKUP]] in {{Literature/Illuminatus}}.
* Erwin from ''Webcomic/UserFriendly''. Overall benevelent, unless you're Steff the marketing VP. But, well, Steff's an asshole.
* ''TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' has a functional name: [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20070519.html Roofus the roof-repairing robot.]] And although it was nonsentient, there was also the [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20111101.html Ultra-Ballistaroid:]] a [[SteamPunk steam-powered]] [[TransformingMecha transforming]] [[SiegeEngines ballista]] [[{{Snowlems}} made of snow.]] [[SmartPeopleBuildRobots Molly built and named them.]]
* In {{VideoGame/Marathon}}, there doesn't seem to be a theme: among them, Durandal (Roland's sword from "Song of Roland"), Tycho (presumably after the astronomer), Thoth (Egyptian mythology), and Leela (pre-dates Futurama by nearly a decade)
* W.O.T.A.N. in ComicBook/LutherArkwright is the supercomputer used on parallel 00.00.00 to keep track of events on other parallels in TheMultiverse.
* The supercomputer ''Pinball/{{Xenon}}'' is a Type VI and has no meaning other than sounding exotic.
* RA Lafferty has the recurring character of Epiktistes the Ktistec Machine.
* T.W.I.T, the on-board computer of Fluff Catt's shuttle transporter in ''Radio/TheSpaceGypsyAdventures''. Ostensibly, the name stands for ''Terminal of Waveline Interception and Transmission''. In reality, Fluff calls it that because it ''is'' one!
* Hex, the ClockPunk MagiTek computer of Unseen University in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels. In RealLife, it's a play on "hex", meaning spell, and "hexidecimal". InUniverse, it seems to have that name because that's the sort of name a computer should have, and much of Hex's construction was based on this principle, even if the wizards didn't know ''why'', or even what a computer ''was''.
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