"Do you see nothing wrong with having two characters from the same small isolated village being named 'Tim Umber' and 'Belthusalanthalus al'Grinsok?'"In some fantasy settings, people will have names that you would expect to see in real life. In others, names are made up to sound exotic. And then you have the mixed approach: people named Zelor and Lithnara alongside people named James and Catherine. Don't expect the characters to acknowledge the distinction. Note that this doesn't count if the author is making a distinction e.g. as a Translation Convention for different cultures (cf. The Lord of the Rings, where the hobbits' and the nearby Men's Westron-language names are "translated" as more real-world ones, but no others are), or in a cosmopolitan setting where characters might be reasonably expected to have diverse cultural backgrounds without this necessarily being explicitly stated. This can also happen within an Overly Long Name, where a Muggle-type name is liable to appear amid a long series of archaic names. Most often, the "normal" name is "Terry", "Scott", "Dave", "Steve", or "Lyle", because those names are somehow inherently funny. In stories set in The Future, new names can be assumed to have been invented or become popular over the years, but older names would still exist as well. The Trope Namer is a combination of Final Fantasy VII, which has the eponymous "Aerith" alongside names like "Vincent" and "Barret", plus a play on Alice and Bob. Not to be confused (or transliterated) with Alice and Bob. When it's played for laughs, it's an Odd Name Out. See also Special Person, Normal Name. Compare Melting-Pot Nomenclature, Sesquipedalian Smith and My Friends... and Zoidberg. Naturally, this is Truth in Television so Real Life examples have their own page. Proceed at your own risk.
— # 38, The Fantasy Novelist's Exam
open/close all folders
- The ambiguously canon Star Wars Tales comic Lunch Break gave us the stormtrooper friends Kjazhed-Uhl and Bob. But then post-clone Stormtroopers are recruited from many worlds, including colonies settled from multiple sources, so it's to be expected.
- In the Disney comic saga Wizards of Mickey, classic Disney characters Mickey, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pete keep their mundane names, while original characters have "fantasy-style" names like Nereus and Fafnir.
- Some Kryptonian given names are strange, more often for men than for women. Women: Kara, Lara, Faora. Men: Kal (as in Kal-El) and Dru (as in General Dru-Zod) resemble Cal and Drew, but Jor (as in Jor-El)? 'El' and 'Zod' are family names. Thus Jor-El named his son Kal. Unmarried women took their father's full name so Supergirl's Kryptonian name, in full, was Kara Zor-El. Superman's mother was Lara Lor-Van until she married Jor-El, but it's not clear if she then became Lara Jor-El or just Lara El. Faora, BTW, was Faora Hu-Ul while Zod was General Dru-Zod.
- Parodied in MAD's movie satire of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In it, Professor Dumbledore shows Harry the portraits of previous headmasters, including Pontavius Pudfuncher, Agglethrudis Benevolent, Quentock Ticonderoga Kurdlesoup,... and Joe Smith. He never really fit in.
- A classic newspaper comic strip's supporting cast includes Fritzi, Sluggo, Rollo, and Oona Goosepimple. The character after whom the strip is named? "Nancy."
- Scion had an "anything goes" approach to names- for example, two evil princes named Bron and Kort and their White Sheep sister Ashleigh.
- Bob The Monitor from Countdown to Final Crisis.
- Artesia features the titular Artesia and her brothers Stepjan and Justin. There are characters named Wallis, Owen, and Colin, along with Daemander, Argante, and Branimir.
- Tends to pop up in bad fanfiction a lot. Either you're having a setting with lots of unusual, fantastic names and the Original Characters are all usual, western names, or it's just the other way around. It gets worse when the Original Characters' names are actually incredibly Gratuitous Japanese that every true Japanese person would cry about or are stolen from the writer's favourite anime or manga. However, Tropes Are Not Bad. Just because this pops up, doesn't mean that the fanfiction is bad.
- There's one floating out there with an Elf named Derith and a Dragon named... Bob. Yes, they are Those Two Guys during comedic scenes.
- Soulless Shell has this, to a far more entertaining extent than its originating canon, Redwall. The hero's name is Leif Melyamos, which fits fairly well with the canon. His girlfriend is named Maoimi, his adoptive mother is Aveena, and his followers are named Karas, Thrnos, Monroe, and the villainous Arnold. Yeah, which of these things is not like the others?
- legolas by laura's title character is named "Laura" by Legolas ...
- 'Laure' is in fact the Noldorin word for 'golden colored,' but a Sindarin Elf like Legolas wouldn't be using Noldorin names.
- Naruto fanfics suffer this as well. It is downright painful to be reading about Naruto buying equipment from Dave the blacksmith.
- Common in fanfics for any manga/anime series. Side by side with the Japanese names of canon characters, original characters will either have Western names, or names that the author thinks he can get away with passing off as Japanese.
- Justified (sort of) in this fic: Rito Yuuki is christened as Reed Yuuki in universe, where all of his family has normal Japanese name with perfect kanji, but most character still call him Rito (most are Japanese), the one character so far that consistently spell his name properly is a British girl. In a way, his name in canon is written in Katakana and definitely not a Japanese word, and somehow Reed fit the Plant Themed Yuuki family (Mikan = orange, Ringo = apple, Riko = little pearl, Saibai = To cultivate)
- In The Two Year Emperor it's played for laughs when the ruler's bodyguards are introduced as "Robert, Rob, Bob, and Aerith".
- In Toy Hammer we are given a spectrum: 'Alice' and 'Vincent' are relatively common names, while 'Ishabeth', 'Tomas' and 'Eizak' are merely distillations of Elizabeth, Thomas and Isaac. Then things get weirder with 'Sohm Vekt', 'Madork Gunna' and finally we get thrown off the deep end with 'Shas'ui Fi'rios Yon'anuk Eldi'myr' (AKA Sergeant Talon).
- Justin and Landras from Kira Is Justice. Justified, since Shinigami in the canon don't have normal human names.
- Sburb Patch Notes has Avery, Tricia, Kira, Aaron, and Daniel. And Hazika, Blue Sunny Day, The Lich, and Goranius Mirokat.
- Happens a lot in Weiß Kreuz fanfiction. The four-man team of Hitmen with Hearts take their codenames from cat breeds. Far too many of their OC teammates either fail to notice the pattern or they just didn't care, resulting in characters with codenames like Calico, Tigera, Reflector and Suicide. In one instance, a fanficcer added an (entirely legitimate) OC sibling named 'Bryn' to a family whose canonical members were named Saijou, Reiji, Shuuichi, Kikuno, Hirofumi, Masafumi, Mamoru and Ouka. Bad, but not quite as bad as the fanficcer who furnished Corrupt Politician Reiji with a son named Windsor Wellington Markham III.
- In Anthropology, Lyra is obsessed with humans and is determined to prove that they exist. She considers "human" names, like Pony Joe, to be evidence of human influence in a land where names like Rainbow Dash and Star Swirl are commonplace.
- In The Equestria Chronicles a reason is provided for why some ponies have regular names and others don't. Since ponies are named at birth but don't receive their cutie marks until they come of age there is just as much chance that the name will turn out to be completely wrong as there is of it lining up properly (e.g. a plumber whose baker father named him Nine Grain). Most parents choose not to take the risk and instead use generic names.
- In Curse of the Demon Pony, what does the author choose to call Twilight Sparkle's love interest from the past? Ben. What is the name of the fantastically racist Gaston rip-off who picks on him? Boris. They don't exactly fit in with the names of the canon characters, do they?
- Warriors of the World has a wide spectrum of names that range from familiar to completely made-up. This actually fits with the canon, however, since the game itself hardly uses any form of standardised naming convention despite being Norse-influenced.
- In Death Note II The Hidden Note, The new Shinigami who we're introduced to are named Arik, Ruoma, Muerte and Greg.
- In Dusk's Dawn Donut is a name alongside Iridescence and Star Whistle.
- In The Terminators: Army of Legend series, you have characters such as Alex, Ruby, Elliot, and fighting alongside characters such as Terrias, Piermont, Cheet, Arratroth, and Pyron.
- In the Star Wars/Mass Effect/Borderlands/Halo crossover Origins, some acolytes of the main villain (for a while anyway) fall under this trope with names like "Zera Zelit", "Urthula Shurken", "Drythlyn Narb", and "Venera Sola." Given that the canon background/galaxy they come from is written about on this very page, it's not surprising.
- In the Heroes of the Storm fanfic Heroes Of The Desk, we have the Heroes (like Valla, Nova, Jim, and, well, Diablo), the Player and...Bokat-Anne Vizsla.
- Happens a lot in Wicked fanfics too, especially among the character's children- Elphaba and Fiyero will have daughter, Amy, for instance. Often you'll have a "normal" name (e.g. Lucy) spelt in a way that looks more like it fits with the source characters and world, but will be pronounced normally, which fits better (e.g. Lucy as "Lucee").
- Demigod Power: There are normal names, like Peter and Carly and Steven, and then you have names like Tempest, Jolon and Rhaenys. Some names, like Eteocles, are justified because they are archaic names, and the character in question is incredibly old.
- Luffy's Renewed Adventure:
- The name of the old man who gave Luffy his second chance? Phil.
- Rather simple names are also given to a few members of Baroque Works. As opposed to the canon names like Daz Bones, Bentham, and Galdino (Misters 1, 2, & 3, respectively), Mr. 5’s name is Greg, Miss Valentine’s name is Valerie, and Miss Goldenweek’s name is Grace. Then again, Miss Doublefinger’s real name is Paula in canon, so it’s not that farfetched.
- In the Danny Phantom/Beetlejuice crossover story, Say It Thrice, the characters include (but are not limited to) Danny, Sam, Tucker, Aunt Melinda, Lydia, Adam, Barbara, Juno, Poindexter, Skulker, Betelgeuse, and Sanduleak. In the flashback portion, Betelgeuse lived in the same area as Peter, William, Agnes, Elinor, Remfrey, Galeren, Lord Gilbert, Hamund, Ysembert, and Sibylla. The time period helps make it more reasonable.
- Parodied in Men in Black with two bridge things named Blblup note and Bob. In the animated series, the former is generally referred to as "the other Bob", but on several occasions (for instance when agent J gets his brain supercharged), is called "Ariariyuka" (at least phonetically).
- Star Wars:
- There's Luke's Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru.
- Luke and Leia, children of Anakin and Padmé. To be fair, Padmé is derived from Padma, a relatively common name depending on where you live.
- Obi Wan's nickname on Tatooine is Ben.
- Among the minor characters, Porkins has a strangely-ordinary surname compared to the likes of Kenobi or Windu.
- Antilles (of both Wedge and Bail) is also a very realistic name.
- The Force Awakens continues the proud tradition of mixing real-sounding names with Space Opera ones. We've got Rey, Kylo Ren (whose real name is actually "Ben Solo"), Poe Dameron, and Finn. There's also Jessika, though the spelling is different from the real world name "Jessica."
- One of the main protagonists of the Rebels animated series is a young boy named Ezra. There's also a high ranking Rebel named Jun Sato, which is a very common Japanese name.
- A variation: In Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, each of the Overly Long Names of the Prince, Queen and King includes one not-very-old-fashioned name, which is pointed out:
Herald: His Royal Highness, Christopher Rupert Windemere Vladimir Karl Alexander Franz Reginald Lancelot Herman...
Little Boy: Herman?
Herald: Herman...Gregory James is giving a ball!
- The Queen had Maisy in her nest of names, and the King had Sidney. Each time, the Herald is asked by someone (a little girl for the queen, and the entire chorus for the king) to confirm that, yes, that is one of their names.
- Those are the names that the King and Queen use when they are alone together. It's very endearing.
- Except Hermann (Latinized as Arminius) was the name of the warlord in charge of the army that destroyed three full Roman Legions (Legio XVII, Legio XVIII, Legio XIX) the 9th through 11th of September, 9 AD. As names go, it's rather more old-fashioned than "Christopher", which would not have been an exceedingly common name around the time of Jesus' tenth birthday.
- Although "Herman(n)" (Old High German: "Hariman") is likely to be an older name than "Christopher", the theory that it was Arminius's Germanic name (which only arose in the early Renaissance) is unsupported by any evidence. Some people have speculated that it may even have been a name given to him by the Romans in honour of some sadly unrecorded event in his earlier biography. His brother (who remained loyal to Rome) was called Flavus, "the blond one".
- The Queen had Maisy in her nest of names, and the King had Sidney. Each time, the Herald is asked by someone (a little girl for the queen, and the entire chorus for the king) to confirm that, yes, that is one of their names.
- Intentionally used in The Matrix Trilogy, where the free human characters have unusual, often mythology-based names such as Morpheus or Niobe. On the other hand, if you run into a character with a boring last name like Jones or Smith, you'd better start running.
- This is mostly because everyone who takes the red pill appears to abandon their old name when they leave the Matrix for a new one, or a previously existing nickname (like "Neo," which was originally just a nickname used by hacker Thomas Anderson).
- Entirely justified in that the freed people are all Internet geeks and hackers and let's face it, we all have ridiculous handles like that (or we crib them from games and anime). It was probably only copyright that ensured that Neo never ran into the heroic resistance fighter Sephiroth or the daring pilot Spike Spiegel.
- Lampshaded a little in Die Hard with a Vengeance, where John McClane, archetypal New York EveryCop, runs into a militant black man played by Samuel L. Jackson. His name? "ZEUS! AS IN FATHER OF APOLLO? MOUNT OLYMPUS? DON'T-FUCK-WITH-ME-OR-I'LL-SHOVE-A-LIGHTNING-BOLT-UP-YOUR-ASS ZEUS!" And, for added yuks, John initially believes his name to be "Jesus" (the Spanish pronunciation) after hearing a character address him with "Hey, Zeus!" (Since "Jesus" and "Zeus" are deities in two incompatible religious systems, that counts as Fridge Humor.)
- "Let's Build a Snowman" from Cannibal! The Musical has the line, "We can name him Bob, or we can name him Beowulf!"
- Monsters, Inc. Some monsters have regular first and last names (James P. Sullivan, Mike Wazowski), some have odd last names that you'd expect from your average American man.
- Low-budget Japanese sci-fi flick Zeiram features a pair of alien bounty hunters: the exotic Iria, and her computer Bob.
- The Hyenas in The Lion King. We've got Shenzi, whose name is Swahili for demon or savage, Banzai, Swahili for skulk or lurk, and our third hyena is named... Ed.
- Okay. Sucker Punch gives us girls who are named Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, Rocket, Blondienote and ... Amber.
- In George of the Jungle, the villain hires a bunch of mercenaries, whose names are Gunner, Gunter, Hans, Jan… and Phil. Also, the two poachers are named Max and Thor.
- Dinosaur had Aladar, Neera, Plio, Suri, Yar, Zini, Kron, Bruton, Eema, Url, and Baylene.
- Whether television or film, Coneheads did the job right. The titular Coneheads comprise the Earth-bound trio of Beldar, Prymaat, and their charming daughter Connie.
- Dude, Where's My Car? "My name is Zarnoff. This is Zabu, Zellner, Zelbor, Zelmina and Jeff." Caption "Jeff".
- The Beatles' managers in A Hard Day's Night are Norm and Shake.
- The Tracy Moore Productions film Fubee has main character Fubee Snopatropalopolis and her best friends Adam and Becky.
- In High School Musical, the main antagonists are the twins Sharpay and Ryan.
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen gives us an assassin Decepticon called… Reedman.
- Strange Magic has this as a result of being a Jukebox Musical set in a fantasy universe. Characters named after song titles with real world names (Marianne, Dawn) coexist with characters whose names are more titles than actual names (Sugar Plum Fairy, the Bog King).
- Ghostbusters (1984) has this, to some extent. Our characters have names like Winston, Peter, Ray, Louis, and Dana... and Egon. "Egon" is an actual name (it's Teutonic and means "formidable"), but it still sounds out of place next to more common ones. The cast are an example, too. Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis, Dan Aykroyd... and Sigourney Weaver.
- Only three Boov are referred to by name: Oh, Captain Smek, and Kyle.
- Several one-shot Boovs have names like Tony.
- In Gathering the Enchanted you've got normal names such as Tess, Aurora, Tristan, and to a small extent Calynn. But then you have Xen and Bannor...
- In the Evillious Chronicles by mothy, first you have characters with names that any English speaker might give their child (ex: Allen, Sarah, and Michaela). Even then it's normal to have a few names that might sound slightly weird in English as much of the novels take place in a fantasy equivalent to Europe (Liliane, Margarita, Lemy). ...And then you have names like AB-CIR, MA, Gammon, and Sateriasis.
- The humor rule-of-three is often evoked this way. For example, the three fairies in Sleeping Beauty were Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. The three hyenas in The Lion King were Shenzi, Banzai and Ed. This spills over to titles, occasionally: Coffee Tea Or Me. The three gargoyles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame were Victor, Hugo, and Laverne.
- In the "Weird Al" Yankovic song "Albuquerque", the narrator has two children, whom he names Nathaniel and Superfly. It's that kind of song.
- Marilyn Manson, in both music and band. The current lineup is Marilyn Manson, Twiggy Ramirez, Fred Sablan and Jason Sutter. Past members include people like Ginger Fish, John 5, Chris Vrenna and Wes Borland. The protagonists of the Holy Wood/Mechanical Animals/Antichrist Superstar (which were released in opposite order) are Adam, Omega (pronounced with a long e) and The Worm/Antichrist Superstar, with two major supporting characters (who may be one) named Coma Black and Coma White. At least Omega has the excuse of being a space alien.
- Kaizers Orchestra, whose songs tend to be set in Norway, use a lot of unusual names in their extensive lyrics Myth Arc, like Dominique, Constanze, Philemon, Clementin, Violeta... and Kenneth.
- Rael and his brother John.
- Zadok the Priest ... and Nathan the Prophet? (In fairness, based on the biblical passage 1 Kings 1:8, "But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet and Shimei and Rei, and David's men of war did not take the side of Adonijah.") Making this trope Older Than Feudalism.
- Happens from time to time in the music world when band members don't unanimously decide to adopt stage names. Prominent examples include U2 (Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry), Green Day (Billie Joe, Tre Cool and Mike) and Korn (the original lineup of Munky, Head, Fieldy, Jonathan and David).
- Then there are the brothers Way: The elder received the uncommon name of Gerard, and the younger got the extremely popular Michael.
- Blue Öyster Cult. Since only Donald Roeser took a stage name, you have Eric, Joe, Albert, Allen...and Buck Dharma.
- Almost too obvious to mention: John, Paul, George and Ringo.
- The original lineup of Guns N' Roses consisted of Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff, and... Steve. And not only his replacement was Matt, but they took this further by adding Dizzy.
- The Grateful Dead in their original lineup consisted of Jerry, Bob, Phil, Bill... and Pigpen.
- Or there's the Welsh Alternative Rock band The Joy Formidable, whose lineup consists of Ritzy, Rhydian, and...Matt.
- Birth names version: Iron Maiden is (Paul) Bruce, Steve, Dave, Adrian, Michael (a.k.a. Nicko)... and Janick.
- Progressive Metal band Ne Obliviscaris' current lineup is Tim, Xenoyr, Matt, Cygnus, Dan, and Benjamin.
- Guillaume Emmanuel "Guy-Manuel" de Homem-Christo... and Thomas.
- A few South Korean bands have members born and raised in North America, Europe or Australia resulting in this.
- Super Junior gives us Leeteuk, Heechul, Han Geng, Yesung, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Siwon, Donghae, Ryeowook, Kibum, Kyuhyun, Zhou Mi... and Henry.
- Girls' Generation has Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoon A and Seohyun.
- KARA has Gyuri, Seungyeon, Hara, Nicole and Jiyoung.
- miss A: Fei, Jia, Min... and Suzy.
- Suzy's name is Bae Soo-ji. In Korean, Suzy is pronounced "soo-ji", and is meant to be an exotic spelling of a fairly common Korean name. Bilingual Bonus: From a Korean point of view, Fei is the odd one out. All the other names are possible in Korean.
- Irish band Microdisney had the members Sean O Hagan, which sounds fairly normal, and Cathal Coughlan, which is typically Irish. Sean's name is pronounced exactly as it is written, whereas Cathal's name is pronounced like Carl Cullen.
- In Roy Zimmerman's Christmas on Mars, the martians say "Merry Christmas" to "little Meggadedeck, and Hackananack and Lars".
- The electric quartet Bond has this, on one side you have Tania and Elspeth (a version of Elizabeth), and on the other side, you have Eos and Gay-Yee.
- Tegan & Sara.~
- The first names of the members of System of a Down are Serj, Daron, Shavo and John. The first three are Armenian names, though John Dolmayan still has an Armenian surname.
- American punk band X's members include Exene Cervenka and John Doe.
- Vampire Weekend members are Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij and... two people named Chris.
- The current Metronomy line-up has leader Joseph Mount, synth player Oscar Cash, drummer Anna Prior, and bassist Olugbenga Adelekan.
- Akiva, Jorma... and Andy.
- In Destiny's Child, there's Kelly, Michelle and Beyoncé. However, Kelly's full name is Kelendria and Michelle's real name is Tenitra. Also true with the original band members, which were Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Kelly.
- Macklemore... and Ryan Lewis.
- Pearl Jam: Eddie, Mike, Jeff, Matt (preceded by Dave and Jack)... and Stone. Guest keyboardist Boom (which unlike Stone Carpenter Gossard, is a Stage Name for Kenneth) too.
- Swedish Electronic Music band Little Dragon has Erik Bodin, Fredrik Källgren Wallin, and Håkan Wirenstrand fronted by Japanese-American-Swedish singer Yukimi Nagano.
- Rush: Alex, Neil... and Geddy. Geddy was born Gary, but legally changed his name to Geddy. In terms of birth names, we have Neil, Gary... and Aleksandar (a Serbian form of Alexander).
- Ne Obliviscaris features Tim Charles, Xenoyr, Matt Klavins, Cygnus, Daniel Presland, and Benjamin Baret.
- Avenged Sevenfold, following the death of original drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. M. Shadows (Matt Sanders), Synyster Gates (Brian Haner), Zacky Vengeance (Zachary Baker), and Johnny Crist (Jonathan Seward) now share the stage with Brooks Wackerman, which is his real name. Prior to Wackerman, Arin Ilejay (also his real name) played the drums as The Rev's first full-time replacement.
- The Mars Volta: The album Frances the Mute tells the story of Frances, her mother Miranda... and her sister L'via.
Mythology & Religion
- Many kinds of mythology and old literature now seem like this to the modern reader because certain names have caught on and certain names have not. While Patroclus and Thrasymedes wouldn't have stood out at the time, they now seem odd in contrast to names like Helen, Hector and Cassandra. However at the time of writing all of these sorts of names were common in one form of another. Sometimes it is worsened by varying degrees of Anglicisation such as "Jonathan" would be transcribed more accurately as "Yonatan" if one were to translate directly from the bible.
- Arthurian mythos tends to suffer from mixed anglicisation and the later addition of Knights by French and English. Thus popular and important knights, like Drystan is kept frequent and changed into Tristan, while less popular ones fell kept the old Welsh form like Culhwch. Making things even worse is when there are characters added later with no Welsh roots, like Galahad and Lancelot who suddenly are thrown into to interact with the Welsh Knights without any comment on how their name sounds odd since the ones who initially added them to the story didn't speak Welsh and figured they'd be fine As Long as It Sounds Foreign.
- Due to the massive widespread use of The Bible, it was inevitable that a lot of the Hebrew names contained within would gain use in other languages. However, not every name. This can lead to interesting passages in the Bible detailing people whose names are either very familiar or foreign-sounding, not because they have different roots - in fact, they all have the same roots - but because some of them have been used and some haven't. For example, Jacob had thirteen children with four women, going by the names Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Dinah... Dan, Joseph and Benjamin. (Reuben is a semi-common name, however.)
- Celestial Refresh has it primarily because of massive Culture Clash AND including several worlds already known to have this trope applied to them.
- Pokemon Universe RP: Seeing as the moderators aren't too critical of what you name your character and anybody can play with somebody else, it's inevitable.
- Every real-world analogue character in Damnation Decade has a bizarre name, and they're really bizarre, like the authors were pulling random nouns from a hat to generate names (Ampersand Vole, Quantrill Biscuit). The most reasonable-sounding names include Stanton Spobeck's secretary Ethel Ambrose Pratt, host of Beyond the Barrier Herman Purvis, and musician Edmund Fitzgerald, famous for a song about the sinking of the ore freighter Gordon Lightfoot.
- Dungeons & Dragons manuals specifically have content for deciding whether players should choose realistic or exotic names, and how the Dungeon Master should deal with players who don't want their characters' names to be consistent with the types of names the other players choose.
- Otherwise known as the Carlos the Dwarf scenario.
- In 4E, it's stated that most tieflings have "traditional" names like Amnon and Nemeia, while others choose hilariously over-the-top names like Poetry or Despair. Throw in some other races and you can have a party consisting of Wil, Jon, Bree, and Torment, and that's just using the sample names.
- In the Forgotten Realms, naming conventions are different for different races. Notably, halflings tend to have common English names, which stand out as this trope alongside the Nordic-sounding dwarf names and wholly-fantastic elvish names.
- Warforged in Eberron were created without names, only numerical designations. As they realized names make it easier to socialize with other races, they have begun taking some, or having names given to them by people they interact with, but without any fixed pattern, this can be generic name humans/elves/dwarves/some other races would use, a word for a concept they feel fits them (Bulwark, Vanguard, the Lord of Blades), the name of an object, or even words that aren't in common. Some Warforged also retain their numerical designation as they still look for an "ideal" name.
- Untwisted in not just Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder, but many games which use a Fantasy Counterpart Culture in some manner. Suppose a fantasy game uses an analog to Spain, so the names sound exotic like Eugenia, Arcelia, Allewyn the elf, and Kolgran the dwarf. You've averted Aerith and Bob right until a friend at the table says, "Arcelia's my niece's name." This can happen with pretty much any culture. Vasily and Koichi sound like Aerith, but if you speak Russian and Japanese, they suddenly become Bob.
- Exalted has very diverse naming conventions. People in the Realm, namely the nobles, mostly call their children by some (sometimes vaguely Japanese or Chinese-sounding) name made of several meaningless syllables, with a family surname added before the first name (i.e. Cynis Denovah Avaku, Peleps Deled, Tepet Ejava). In the Threshold, however, since there are hundreds upon hundreds of different kingdoms, there are millions of different names, depending on the region. Alongside random alphabet soup, a very common naming convention is Adjective Noun (Harmonious Jade, Magnificent Garden). So you get a circle (party) of people with names like Panther, Dace, Harmonious Jade, Swan and Arianna. Some characters have Names That Unfold Like Lotus Blossoms, such as Fearless in Battle's Face. The above are justified, as they all come from different parts of the world, but still an example of this trope. But then there are characters with random Real Life names thrown in for no apparent reason: Joseph, Anja, Tobias, Lyta... it's a bit jarring.
- The Shakespearean RPG Forsooth! encourages mixing in a few common (or silly) English names, regardless of the setting—like how A Midsummer Night's Dream was set in ancient Greece but had a character named Bottom.
- In Magic: The Gathering, major characters tend to have names like Urza or Lim-Dul. This makes names like Peter Douglas (a minor character from Fallen Empires) seem incredibly strange. Occasionally, this is played for laughs. For example, one short story had a demonic dark lord named Vincent who employed a human chef named Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar.
- The crew of the skyship Weatherlight, which was the focus of the story for quite some time, consisted of Tahngarth, Squee, Ertai, Crovax, Mirri, Sisay, Gerrard and Hanna. Sisay is the interesting one; her name does exist in the real world, but it seems to be a predominantly male name.
- Names in Paranoia follow the pattern (first name + security clearance + home sector + clone number), ranging from ordinary first names with an arbitrary suffix (John-R-CQF-2) to silly puns (Howe-R-YAH-3) depending on the GM's preferred style: Straight avoids silly names (they break the mood), Zap revels in them, Classic is somewhere in between.
- While not a fantasy setting in the traditional sense, the Mage: The Awakening book "Grimoire of Grimoires" has a grimoire take the form of a black metal/industrial album put together by a band called Schattenbahn. The band's lineup is Blixa Dark, Hellson, Regenfeuer, Doktor Kultur... and Andy.
- In LEGO's Slizers series, all the characters have elemental or generic, sci-fi sounding names (Torch, Scuba, Amazon, Blaster, Robotops, etc), and then there's Hiker Mike. Granted, he was a fan-created model, but LEGO has approved him into official canon.
- Beanie Babies run the gamut from cartoony names like "Pinchers the Lobster" or "Squealer the Pig" to common names like "Erin" (an Irish bear), "Scottie" (a Scottish terrier), etc.
- Hatoful Boyfriend gives the birds mostly normal-sounding Japanese names, with two characters having Punny Names that aren't all that outrageous that are actually fake names - their real names are ordinary Japanese names, and one character going by an intentionally ridiculous fake name, Anghel Higure, that he presumably made up himself thanks to his poor grip on reality (his real name being the ordinary-sounding Akagi Yoshio). The exception is Oko San, whose name roughly translates to 'Mr. Millet' - a cutsey name for a pet bird. This is because Oko San is a fictionalised version of the developer's pet pigeon, Okosan.
- Umineko: When They Cry has this all over the place thanks to the fact that Kinzo felt the need to give his children and grandchildren western names, due to his obsession with Western culture. Outside of the family a number of servants and Kinzo himself have Japanese names. And then you have Battler, which is neither Japanese nor a normal English name. And that doesn't even get into the magical characters, who range from anything to biblical to odd, meaningful names. Just for an example, Umineko contains characters named Rosa, Genji, Lucifer, Lambdadelta and George. Plus, more directly, the main Ushiromiya siblings each (Presumably Rosa too, though her husband is unnamed) have a spouse with a Japanese name: Krauss/Natsuhi, Eva/Hideyoshi, and Rudolf/Kyrie.
- Most of the names in Ace Attorney are puns or references to their personalities, so a lot of variety turns up. You'll get first names like Miles and Larry mixing with Klavier and Phoenix, and last names like Armstrong and Wright mixing with Eldoon and Cadaverini.
- In Card Players almost every other character's name sticks out for them to be living in modern New York. However, most of them are actually from different countries.
- The main characters (in order of the normality of their names) Tom, Elliot, Tabby, Mikira, Ulan...and Yumeria (though her real name is Elena).
- In Cow of the Wild, there is a wide variety of names, from Alari, Terok, Balder, and Kahleel to Fang, Midnight, Sammy, and Millie.
- Character names in DSBT InsaniT range from Koden and Killdra to Alex and Bill.
- Cheat Commandos has Fightgar, Crackotage, Silent Rip, Firebert, Gunhaver, Flashfight, Ripberger, Foxface, Reinforcements, and Reynold. Reynold is named last as an obvious joke, being the nerdy non-combative Commando.
- Dreamscape has character names like Vladmare, Keela, and Izane, as well as Ethan, Dylan, and Melissa.
- Weebl & Bob.
- RWBY has an eclectic mix of names from multiple real world cultures. Probably best exemplified by half-sisters Ruby Rose and Yang Xiao Long. This is given a justification in-universe: The Great War was fought against a dictatorship which stifled art, culture and personal expression. Long after the war was fought and won, people continue to give exotic names to their children so they remember what they fought and died for. Hence why all the protagonists are named after colours.
- This animation by DarkMatter2525 starts out with a caveman announcing that he is going hunting with Kumba-Kumba the Mammoth Rider, Ragnar the Bear Killer and Bob.
- In general, any online community where some people refer to themselves by their real names, and others are only known by their pseudonym. How long they've spent together, how comfortable they are with each other, and their level of preferred privacy factor heavily into it. Some people may start off being known only by their pseudonyms, but switch to their real names once they've known the rest of the group long enough.
- This comes up in Survival of the Fittest a fair bit, with students supposedly hailing from America having bizarre names (although occasionally justified if the character has immigrated). Examples include names like Rais, Shoar, and Venka amongst Adams, Alans and Helenas.
- On the Livejournal roleplaying community Drama Drama Duck, Delirium has mentioned having two fish: Humphrey Finkleton the 75th, and his daughter, Bob. It's in character for her.
- Tales of MU has quite a bit of this because of the cultural mishmash of the college environment. Characters brought up by Humans have names like "Mackenzie", "Ian", "Steff", and "Jamie". Other races have more exotic names or even constructed ones.
- The original Berserk has some examples that are somewhat easy to overlook (Guts, Pippen, Corkus, Zodd and Caska among others, mixing it up with Julius, Charlotte, and Griffith) but hbi2k turned this trope on its head for his abridged series when he went ahead and named the snake baron Phil.
- Very common in Darwin's Soldiers. Characters with names like Neku or Dr. James Zanasiu interact with people like Dr. Josephine Smithson and Dr. Rudyard Shelton
- Protectors of the Plot Continuum has this, what with agents being recruited from all continua and some agents being Only Known by Their Nickname.
- Austrailiangamer.com.au and Game Damage's Matt, Yug, and Yahtzee. Yeah, that Yahtzee.
- In Time to Shoot Down The Moon and Sentinel, a German scientist is named Vier Sackingen. It means four even though he is the second in his family.
Vier: My older brother is called Jacob, my younger sister is called Lilia, I'm called No.4. Not even 2. Oh, and the actual 4th kid, my younger brother is called Elwin, after general Rommel.
- Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society has some agents who are generically named: Tyler, Ben, Dave, etc. It gets a bit crazy when you put them next to people like Aster, Ossa, Chrys, Cristoph...
- A running gag in Nigahiga's early "How to be" videos. "Hello, my name is Hanatewakusoshiseotadashiteteriyakisuzukihondacivic!" "Hello, my name is Bob.
- The Questport Chronicles gives us Djadan, Sabriel, and Jaheira alongside Emmy, Acre, and Tulip.
- The Saga of Pretzel Bob: in this case though, it's Seraphoth and Bob.
- The heroes from the Something Awful: Dungeons & Dragons gaming sessions include Joey, Miriam, Kensington, Minerelle, Asalynn, Bananaramawicz, and Kodrinschreiner. This isn't even getting into NPC names, such as Thraxidelantis, which is embarrassing enough that Syrg just shortens it to "Thraxi" after a few jokes at his expense.
- The convicts from Einsteinian Roulette have names that range from Maurice, Thomas and Jim to Feyri, Thrak and Charro.
- A few examples from Game Grumps, usually through in-game naming systems.
- The Jeopardy! two-parter has Nixon (Arin's character), Dixon (Jon's character) and Larry (the AI character).
- From The Price Is Right: Eva, Jon, Jay, and Sopojkkk.
- Arin and Jon themselves also count somewhat.
- During the intro clip to episodes, the on-screen text introduces the duo as "Egoraptor" and "Danny"
- Their three legendary bird Pokemon are named Blupl, Lomster, and Greg.
- In their review of Sonic The Hedge Hog 2006, Arin tries to make a point after finally beating Silver and mentions a made up game called "Call Of Duty God of War: The Legend of Greg" which sends Jontron into an extended laughing fit.
- At the time of her introduction in Worm, the dog-based supervillain Bitch has three dogs: Brutus, Judas, and Angelica.
- Actually used as a (subtle) plot point in The Lay of Paul Twister: Most of the human characters have standard English names like Paul, Sarah, or Patrick, but then there's Archmagus Ken'tu Kel, head of the Circle of Magi. Gerald says that several things about him are suspicious, including his name which "sounds like something out of an ancient saga." Turns out that's because he spent a couple decades on Earth, where time flows at a different pace.
- In Twitch Plays Pokémon, a Pokemon will either be nicknamed, and end up with a very bizarre and usually unpronounceable jumble of letters, or it will be left with its original name. The Mob typically gives any Pokemon with a major role a Fan Nickname based on said jumble of letters.
- Pact has names such as Essyit, Blake, Laird, Padraic, Barbatorem...
- Demo Reel has Donnie, Rebecca, Quinn, Carl and... Tacoma.
- In Epic Rap Battles of History, Pablo Picasso invokes this during his battle with Bob Ross, by rapping out his entire Overly Long Name and then,
Back to you... Bob.
- Played for Laughs in Needs More Gay: Rantasmo reviews a gay porn parody of The Ring where none of the characters have names, so he makes some up for them. Note that all of them are men.
“Naomi goes to investigate the other two friends, who I’ll call...Cedric and Boniva.”
- reshiram and justin, together forever!
- Matt Santoro's clones are named Hugo, Eugene, Lorrenzo... and Big Shine
- Enter The Farside main character Shaun doesn't like the idea of superhero names. Being a new recruit to the NFU means he doesn't have a name regardless, which makes him stand out from other Agents like Visionary, Tether and Grandmaster.
- From The Gaming Lemon's Assassin's Creed: Syndicate funtage, we get this:
"Me, Sir Big-Toot Erdun Lemon Trout, and my sidekick, Watson.
- The titular rodents from Biker Mice from Mars are named Throttle, Modo and... Vinnie, which is short for Vincent.
- In The Fairly OddParents, we have the Yugopotamians. The main one, Mark, has a common Earth name. So do his peers, Jeff and Eric. But his parents are named King Grippulon and Queen Jipjorulac. Also, there are some fairies with common names (Wanda, Cosmo, Simon) among the weird ones (Juandissimo, Twinkle Flitter Glitter, Jorgen von Strangle).
- Parodied by the Irkens in Invader Zim: while most have odd names like "Zim" or "Skoodge," there's also an Irken named "Tim" and another named "Bob." (And then there are "Red" and "Purple"…) The humans have this too: names like Dib and Gaz are somewhat quirky, while the names of minor characters can range from the normal ("Gretchen," "Brian") to the utterly bizarre ("The Letter M" or even "Poonchy, Drinker of Hate," both of whom are just normal skoolchildren).
- Ninjago: Has Kai, Cole, Jay, Zane, Lloyd, and Garmadon. Which of those names stick out to you?
- Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series. The male ducks who appear are named Wildwing, Nosedive, Duke, Canard, and Grin (whose real name is Check). The female ducks who appear are Tanya, Mallory, and Lucretia. Okay then.
- 3-2-1 Penguins! - Zidgel, Midgel, Fidgel, and Kevin.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, most of the names come from a hodgepodge of different East Asian and Native American (Inuit in particular) languages, many of which are rather nonstandard names at that, or standard names with nonstandard pronunciation ("Mai" is spoken as "may" rather than "my"). You also have names drawn from other parts of Asia (like Zaheer and Pathik), Anglicized non-Western names (like June), and Western names changed to look less so (which is how we get "Korra" from "Cora"). To top it all off, there was also a few canon names which simply seem completely out-of-place: Hope, Mai's little brother Tom-Tom, Toph's mother Poppy, mover actress Ginger, and Raiko's wife Buttercup. Sometimes it's significant; Suyin's kids mostly have Chinese-style names (Huan, Wei, Wing), but Baatar is a Mongolian name and Opal is straightforwardly English, and they were the odd ones out - Baatar and Baatar Jr. are non-benders, the latter of who sided with Kuvira for most of Season 4, and Opal is an airbender, meaning neither is an earthbender unlike the other three.
- Star Wars Rebels has realistic names like Ezra Bridger and Jun Sato alongside more colorful ones like Kanan Jarrus and Garazeb Orrelios.
- An episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force has an example. Meatwad gets a T-Shirt that makes him a god. His first act of power is to summon the Easter Bunny. He then proceeds to summon the Easter Bunny's twin brother, Darryl.
- Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy: The cul-de-sac kids consist of Sarah, Jimmy, Kevin, Jonny and Plank, Nazz, and Rolf. Now, the names of Plank and Rolf make sense since Plank is a piece of wood, and Rolf is from an unknown location in Europe he refers to as The Old Country, but other than the possibility that Nazz is named after a band, her name is the strangest.
- Nazz could be short for Natalie, so it could go either way.
- The royal couple from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) were King Randor and Queen Marlena, although the latter was supposed to be an earthling. In fact, Prince Adam himself is a pretty plain name, as is Duncan, Man-at-Arms' actual name. The cartoon only has a few odd names as far as recurring characters are concerned (the ones where real names are known) like Teela and Adam's sister Alura (from the spin-off).
- Doug, Bebe and Patti (short for Patricia) are relatively normal. And then you have Skeeter (short for Mosquito), Chalky and Skunky.
- Animaniacs. The Warner siblings are Yakko, Wakko, and Dot.
- The Amazing World of Gumball has Gumball, Darwin and Anais, and their parents, Richard and Nicole.
- Some of the main kids in Clarence include Clarence, Jeff, Chelsea, Sumo, Belson, and Malessica.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has names like "Applejack", "Celestia", "Spitfire", and "Rainbow Dash" being common. However there are occasionally 'normal' names like "Trixie", "(Pony/Donut) Joe", and "Babs". My Little Pony had this in the toys, several ponies having normal names. There is also the main character Pinkie Pie, whose middle name is Diane—the only example of a "normal" name amongst the Mane Six.
- Even so, Trixie is a stage magician and thus performs magic tricks, so the name is fitting even if the pun is kind of blah. Babs' full name is Babs Seed, as in "bad seed."
- In Season 1 Many fans noticed that ponies from Ponyville and Canterlot had the rather exotic-sounding names while characters from elsewhere, such as Trixie and Gilda, had actual real life names, and suggested that the exotic name thing was a regional naming thing/. It was soon Jossed for the most part, although griffons tend to have either Germanic or European names save for "Grandpa Gruff" (which could be a nickname).
- Granny Smith & Big McIntosh sound "human" (even if they're really apple-themed names like Applejack & Applebloom. "Granny Smith" & "McIntosh" are varieties of apple).
- My Little Pony Tales had a lot of this. Mares got the sort of names you expect from MLP, while stallions had down to earth names like Ace and Teddy (though Teddy had the Unmanly Secret of still having a teddy bear, making him a Trixie case.) The only example of a truly typical-for-MLP name among male Tales characters was a squire named Squire.
- The now-defunct Mills Corporation, an owner of several U.S. malls, had a kids' club called Muggsy's Meadow. Its mascots included Muggsy Beaver, Carl Raccoon, Lilly Spider and Tred Opossum. All four even got their own cartoon, Get Muggsy!
- Parodied on Gravity Falls—the five gnomes who make up Norman are named Jeff, Carson, Jason, Steve and Shmebulock. For that matter, the main cast consists of characters like Grunkle Stan, Wendy (normal), Mabel, Gideon (somewhat unusual), Dipper and Soos (weird). "Dipper," however, is eventually revealed to be a nickname while Soos is based on a real person named Jesús. Although both Dipper and Soos have been indicated to be nicknames (the first in the show itself, and the other in storyboards) that everyone just uses to refer to them.
- Futurama: Zoidberg's little-mentioned first name is "John". The episode where Leela's surname (which is placed before her given name) was revealed to be "Turanga" was the same where Fry's was revealed to be "Phillip".
- Eon Kid, a Kids' WB CG-animated cartoon features robotic warriors such as Gaff, Eiger, and Ssampac.... and also humans/robots named Marty, Ally, and George.
- Okay, so you have a show, who has main characters with names like Perry, Candace, Buford, Linda, Vanessa and Isabella. The name of the show's title characters? Phineas and Ferb.
- Inverted with the kids' first names. In this case, we have three relatively rare names: Daphne, Velma and Norville (Shaggy, that is), plus one more "normal" - Fred (short for Frederick).
- Played more straight with their last names - Blake, Dinkley, Rogers and Jones, respectively. The odd one is Dinkley.
- On the planet Galaluna in Sym-Bionic Titan, you have people with Earth names like Edward, Arthur, Lance and Ilana as opposed to characters like Modula and Baron.
- KaBlam! featured an alien and a caveman respectively code-named Prometheus and Bob.
- The main characters of Steven Universe are named Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, and, as you probably guessed, Steven. The full human characters add an extra layer to this. Their names range from fairly common and mundane, such as Connie and Greg, to more obscure, like Lars and Kofi, to food themed, like Sour Cream and Onion. Their last names are just as varied, although they tend to lean more towards the Aerith side of this trope.
- Goof Troop has a split between characters with everyday names and characters with common words that are atypical for names. In the main cast alone, there's Max, Pete, and PJ (Pete Jr.) on one side, and Goofy and Pistol on the other, while Peg sounds like an everyday name but has a common word source (as a Mythology Gag to Peg-Leg Pete). Counting movie and minor characters, there are characters named Debbie, Douglas, Rose, Marty, Bob, Wally, Bobby, Roxanne, Stacey, Bradley, and Sylvia, as well as Giblets, Tooth, Nail, Leech, Coupe, Spud, and Tank.
- Dragons: Riders of Berk: In a village populated with folk such as Stoick, Gobber, Hiccup, Snotlout, and Astrid, an exotic foreign beauty who crashes on their shores is named Heather. "Astrid" is a perfectly normal Scandinavian name. The rest of her age cohort consists of Hiccup, Snotlout, Fishlegs, Ruffnut, and Tuffnut.
- The two main characters from Shinbone Alley are called Archy and Mehitabel.
- The Simpsons:
- The kids at school whom Bart hangs out with include Milhouse, Lewis, Nelson...and Richard. (Guess which one was quietly phased out of the show.)
- The guys Homer is always meeting at Moe's bar include Lenny, Carl, Larry, Sam (all fairly common mid-20th-century names), and Barney (more of an early-20th-century name).
- Two of the cops on the Springfield police force are named Lou and Eddie. Their boss is named Clancy.
- The Springfield mob consists of (Fat) Tony, Louie, and...Legs. (In one episode Legs starts to reveal where he got his nickname, but gets interrupted by the plot.)
- In Oggy and the Cockroaches, there are characters with names like Jack, Joey and... Oggy.
- In Julius Jr.: There's Julius, Clancy, Ping and... Sheree?