Writers like to use the names Adam and/or Eve symbolically. Maybe they're the first of their kind, or the last; maybe they are the definitive uber-example of whatever it is they are; maybe they represent some kind of genesis or important change; or maybe it's not entirely clear what the symbolism is meant to be. Note that such naming may occasionally be coincidental; "Adam" is still a relativity common English-language name, though "Eve" is less so.
The names mean "From the Ground" (or "man") and "living"/"life," respectively, in Hebrew.
Variations also count (e.g. Andrew/Andreas and Zoe, which are the Greek equivalents of the Hebrew names Adam and Eve).
If used indiscriminately, it may be an example of Faux Symbolism
. See also Adam and Eve Plot
and Name of Cain
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- There was a play about this in Black Cat (anime only).
- Adam Blade and Eve Neuschwanstein in NEEDLESS.
- The Seeds of Life, more commonly (and erroneously, including In-Universe) known as the First and Second "Angels", from Neon Genesis Evangelion, are named "Adam" and "Lilith" respectively. Additionally, the Evangelion mechs are usually referred to with the shortened designation "Eva", a variation of "Eve". As the majority of known Eva were apparently cloned from Adam, this invokes the myth of Eve's creation from Adam's rib.
- In Jewish legend, Lilith was the first woman, created from the same earth as Adam. Lilith refused to be subservient to Adam and chose to depart the Garden to find her own path. The Seeds of Life had a similar existence, apparently created by the same power and sent to create life but refusing or unable to do so together. However, the history then veers away from myth when it is revealed that all life on Earth originated from Lilith as opposed to Adam.
- One Piece has the Treasure Tree Adam (has the most durable wood in the world) and the Sunlight Tree Eve (enormous mangrove tree that canalizes sunlight to the sea floor). It's speculated in-universe whether or not the two of them are related, but not confirmed.
- A weird example: in the second year of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book, a one-shot villain called E.V.E. (Exceptionally Versatile Evolvanoid) was introduced. Created by Dr. Robotnik, E.V.E. was shape-shifting mass of what basically amounted to nanomachines, and there was little to suggest that the name was chosen by Dr. R with the biblical character in mind...until several years later, when Dr. Eggman came up with a mostly unrelated artificial intelligence called A.D.A.M.
- It may just be a coincidence with everyone's favorite 90s gimmick character and X-Men footnote Adam-X the X-Treme, but he is the only known human/Shi'ar hybrid and therefore the first of his kind.
- The original comic Wanted - which is populated by expies and/or Captains Ersatz of the villains (and to a lesser extent heroes) of the DC Universe instead of the assassins' guild of the movie based on it - has Adam-One, the oldest man on Earth, a Captain Ersatz of Vandal Savage (an ancient, immortal caveman and Magnificent Bastard in the DCU). His name is obviously meant to imply that he's the first human being and possibly the Biblical Adam himself.
- In one Superman story, Clark Kent finds out that he just imagined being Superman, and the real Superman was named Adam Newman. Actually, Adam Newman (New-Man) was a Superman android, with a scheme to trick the real Superman and take his place.
- In the film Blast from the Past, the lead character goes out into the world after living his entire life in a bomb shelter. He is named Adam, and his love interest is named Eve.
- The Mother even notes, "I hope that's not sacrilegious." The Father reassures her, "No, it's perfect."
- It is obvious that the protagonist was named "Adam" because his parents believed that he was going to be the first young man of a new race of people (assuming he could find a woman).
- After centuries of solitude, WALL•E meets a fellow robot; she is named EVE. The symbolism is doubled when we realise that she represents a new start on Earth for the human race. Also, she looks vaguely like a dove and returns to an 'ark' of survivors carrying a plant.
- Word of God even notes the ironic symbolism: she brings the plant that will redeem mankind instead of ruining it.
- The protagonist from The 6th Day is named Adam Gibson. Considering the title (referring to the day God created man) and the cloning-based plot, it's probably on purpose.
- In Being There, the first person Chance, the gardener gets to know at length outside of his old home — and garden — is a woman named Eve Rand. In the novella, this symbolism was in-obvious; her full name was Elizabeth Eve Rand, and she was usually referred to as "EE". In the film, this was changed, probably because "EE" would have sounded weird onscreen — though the Rule of Symbolism likely played a part in which name she would use.
- In Underworld Awakening Selene and Michael's daughter is named Eve, although she isn't called it in the movie. Her name only appears in the end credits.
- The Dragnet TV movie made just before the 1967 revival had a dating service where everyone started out anonymously. All the men were 'Adam' and all the women were 'Eve' at the gatherings.
- The title character in All About Eve. On the one hand, the name makes her sound like a wholesome, generic every-girl. More significantly, it gives the movie a Double Entendre title: all about the character/all about women.
- Only Lovers Left Alive has longtime vampire couple Adam and Eve (plus Eve's sister Ava). Though these may be aliases.
- In Narnia, men are called "sons of Adam" and women are called "daughters of Eve." Ironically, Adam and Eve never even existed in Narnia — the nicknames were probably brought over by the first human settlers, who were from our universe.
- YMMV on whether it's ironic or not. The men and women called Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve come from our world, where Adam and Eve did presumably exist.
- To clarify a bit further: It's what Aslan himself called the first King and Queen of Narnia, who were brought over from our world after a set of (mis)adventures which landed the first humans and Jadis (the 'serpent' for all intents) in the land just at its creation.
- John Steinbeck's East of Eden retells the story of Cain and Abel with Cal and Aron. Their father's name is Adam.
- Adam's brother was named Charles. Adam's wife was named Cathy. Notice a pattern?
- In Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, The Antichrist is named Adam by his human father. The idea is that the boy is neither intrinsically good nor intrinsically evil, just intrinsically human.
- Note that this was a last option by the Satanic nun who was advising them on names; she went through Damian, Wormwood, Cain, and who knows how many other Names to Run Away From Really Fast. Each was rejected by the parents. The child a more competent nun thought was the Antichrist ends up being named Warlock.
- In His Dark Materials, Lyra gets called Eve.
- Dr. Frankenstein's monster tells his maker "I ought to be thy Adam". Word of God says that his name is Adam.
- In David Palmer's Emergence, after a bioweapon attack wipes out most of humanity, the first person main character Candy finds alive is a boy roughly her age (eleven) who tells her, "Think of me as 'Adam.'" She thinks that's old, but relents a bit after discovering the Embarrassing First Name (and the rest of it is no prize, either) his parents hung on him — "Melville Winchester Higginbotham Grosvenor Penobscot-Jones IV.
- Adam Chase, the handsome military historian Lori meets in Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil, could be said to be "from the ground": he's the grandson of Claire Byrd, the ghost of Wyrdhurst Hall.
Live Action TV
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Big Bad of season four is named Adam. Aside from his connection to Frankenstein (being an undead mixture of human and demon parts), he ultimately plans to make more beings like himself.
- The spin-off, Angel, features Eve, Angel's liason to the demonic Senior Partners. Since her admitted job is to tempt the cast into evil, she lampshades her own name while mockingly offering Angel an apple.
- In Heroes, Adam Monroe is (at least) 400 years old, and his superpower is immortality with healing factor. It is implied by the comics that he may be the ancestor of all the people on the show with powers.
- Kyle XY has Adam Baylin, the member of the first generation created by a breeding program to create super-smart people. His female counterpart's name, however, is Sarah. The organization was trying with everyone they had the chance to name, though. Their do-over after Adam was called Noah (this was Kyle's original name); when that got screwed up, they sent in Jessie to turn things back in their favor.
- Battlestar Galactica's Commander Adama and the rest of the Adama family.
- In Northern Exposure, when Dr. Fleischman discovers that Adam's wife is called Eve, he cannot resist taunting them about this. When their first baby gets born, he asks them whether they called him Cain or Abel.
- In Highlander: The Series, the oldest known Immortal (Methos) was disguised as a Watcher named Adam.
- The first broadcast episode of QI was titled "Adam." This is retroactive, however - the first series episodes had no titles until the second series established the Idiosyncratic Episode Naming.
- In Robin Hood one of the Sheriff's spies is called Eve, who tries to seduce one of the outlaws. In a subversion of expectations, she ends up performing a High Heel-Face Turn out of love for him.
- Supernatural has both an Adam and an Eve, though the two have nothing to do with each other. Sam and Dean have a half-brother named Adam Milligan, who is introduced in season 4 and later becomes a makeshift vessel for the Archangel Michael in season 5. Season 6 gives us the Mother of All Monsters, who calls herself Eve. Given that she claims to be even older than angels, it's more than likely just an ironic alias rather than the actual Eve.
- Being Human: At the end of the first episode of Series 4 we find out that George and Nina's baby — the first child born of two werewolves — is named Eve.
- The main characters of Dutch TV series A'dam - E.V.A are named Adam and Eva (the Dutch equivalent of Eve). The title's seemingly odd punctuation is because of the words' double meaning: A'dam is short for Amsterdam where the story is set, while E.V.A. is an acronym for "en vele anderen", meaning "and many others".
- In Stephen King's Rose Red mini-series and the accompanying tie-in novel, Ellen Rimbauer gives birth to her first child, a boy, and writes in her diary: "I shall name him Adam, for he is the first." He actually ends up being her only son; her only other child is a girl named April, after her birth month.
- The Vocaloid song Test Tube Princess by Machigherita-P is about a destructive creature created in a laboratory named Eve.
- A woman named Eve Moonlit kick-starts the events of mothy's Evillious Chronicles series in Moonlit Bear by stealing two apples (actually babies) from a bear (their mother). Then in Tale of Moonlit Abandonment, she and her husband, Adam Moonlit, are murdered by her now 14-year-old adoptive children when she attempts to get rid of them by leaving them in the forest, and her death releases the Seven Sins to the world.
- Punny Name variation: An episode of X Minus One had a couple shrink to atomic size to escape some fascist thugs. They wound up colonizing an atom "planet". Their names were Alan and Ava.
- In the Ravenloft campaign setting, the Frankenstein's Monster Captain Ersatz is named "Adam".
- And the girl Mordenheim's wife adopts is named "Eva".
- In older editions of Gamma World (and the first d20 adaption, Omega World), pure-strain (unmutated) humans were often known as Adams and Eves for reasons that supposedly no one remembers.
- In the play and movie The Shape Of Things, the lead male is called "Adam", and the lead female "creates" him into being just the kind of man that she wants. Her name is "Evelyn".
- Although not a character, BioShock features a substance which can grant you new physical and mental abilities, and another substance which acts as a sort of fuel for those abilities, named ADAM and EVE respectively.
- Lost Eden features the male protagonist Adam. A female character that joins his group (and serves as a potential love interest) at one point is named Eve.
- Eve, the signature necromancer of Guild Wars, has a pet skull named Adam.
- Metal Gear Solid 3 had EVA, and, of course, Revolver Ocelot as ADAM. There's a Snake, too.
- It gets much better in the Epilogue of the game, when it is revealed that EVA was in fact a random chinese spy who accidentally ran into him in the forest. A fellow American who asks her if she is ADAM and tells her that his code name is Snake, she shows being Genre Savvy and gambles it, claiming her name is EVA. Which is precisely the code name of ADAMs partner, so Snake no longer questions her about not knowing the password.
- In the Expansion Pack for the first Black & White, the basic goal of the game is to win enough minigames that your Creature can earn the right to have sex with the world's apparently only female Creature, aptly named Eve. Seriously.
- In the first game proper, there's a minor plot point that revolves around reuniting a pair of Star-Crossed Lovers named Adam and (wait for it...) Keiko. They were star-crossed.
- In Trauma Center: Under the Knife/Second Opinion, the leader of Delphi is named Adam; GUILT was incubated inside him.
- The titular antagonist of Parasite Eve takes her name from Mitochondrial Eve.
- In Mass Effect 3, one mission has you rescuing a fertile krogan female in order to help cure the genophage. Since she's a shaman, she refuses to reveal her real name, so Mordin dubs her "Eve," precisely because of the symbolism: because her DNA will be used in the cure, she will be the "mother" of all post-genophage krogan.
- The protagonist of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is named Adam Jensen. He's the first augmented human that doesn't suffer from rejection syndrome, essentially the first more-than-human human. This is due to him being the Sole Survivor of a series of human experiments performed at White Helix Labs, a Versalife subsidiary.
- In Applegeeks, the female robot built by Hawk is named Eve.
- In Girl Genius, the promethean constructs Punch and Judy live as regular people under the names Adam and Lilith Clay. In this case, every part of both names are significant. Lilith was traditionally (in Apocrypha) the first woman, and made from clay like Adam, instead of from Adam himself. This makes the two constructs equal to each other.
- In Earth Song, an Eve is the progenitor of a planet's sentient species.
- The character Adam Dodd of Survival of the Fittest - winner of version 1. Although given he was a self-insert, it's probably not deliberately symbolic.
- The BIONICLE Web Game Mata Nui Online Game II had two Onu-Matoran villagers named Akamu and Damek. The first name is a Czech diminutive for the name Adam, while the second is a vernacular form of Adamu, the Hawaiian transliteration of the name Adam. However, in this case the symbolic meaning is the literal translation "from the earth" rather than any progenitor figure, as Onu-Matoran are tunnel dwellers and represent the element of earth.
- Real-life example: Scientists have named the human race's matrilineal and patrilineal most recent common ancestors, respectively, Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam. Of course these are titles, so the person who holds them can and has changed over time.
- It's a bit of a misnomer, though, since it is probably not the case that they were the first humans, knew each other or even lived at the same time. Mitochondrial Eve is simply the latest woman who is a common matrilinalnote ancestor to everyone now living, but when she lived and earlier there were lots of other human women; it's just that their children (or their children's children, or...) were male or died without reproducing. Same for Y-chromosomal Adam on the patrilinealnote and female descendants.
- According to the Bible, Y-chromosomal Adam couldn't possibly be Adam. Based off of the genealogies given after the Flood, Y-chromosomal Adam is Noah. Mitochondrial Eve may or may not be the Biblical Eve, depending on how closely related Noah's daughters-in-law were.
- Recent researchs suggest than the Mitochondrial Eve may not exist at all. Spermatozoids have ONE mitochondrion, which most of the time is lost in the process, but sometime is not. So we can very likely inherit some of them from our maternal grandfathers/paternal grandmothers. The Y-chromosomal Adam still certainly exists, obviously.
- First sons of families that believe in the Pentateuch often get the first name "Adam."