"I'm Penny Parker. You can remember that 'cause it's got the same letter at the front of each name. That's important theatrically, you know."
An alliterative name is a name in which the first and last names begin with the same sound. In more extreme cases, this can also include the middle name.
Giving a character an alliterative name is one of many ways a writer can make a name more interesting and catchy, which in turn makes the character more memorable to the audience. This is especially important in works with Loads and Loads of Characters
, where extra help is needed to differentiate between them.
In comic books, this is especially true of the names of Super Heroes
or their close hangers-on. It was a favorite tool of Stan Lee
's, since, swarmed with projects, he often had trouble remembering the characters' names, and the alliteration worked as a mnemonic device. (Though it didn't always work perfectly — Lee occasionally referred to "Peter Palmer" and "Bob Banner".)
Of note to writers: Overusing
this trope dilutes its effect, particularly if multiple characters have the same starting sounds in their names.
In comic books, the Alliterative Name is often also Two First Names
. In cartoons, it goes hand-in-hand with Species Surname
See Added Alliterative Appeal
, for trope titles that do this. See Alliterative Family
, for when this is done across an entire family. See Alliterative Title
, for work titles that do this.
Please note that Japanese names, though many may seem alliterative to an English-speaking audience, may not convey the same "alliterative power" in their original setting; syllables (and vowel sounds) matter more than letters in Japanese.
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- In the Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic Kyon Big Damn Hero, there's a case of alliterative nickname: Kyon is amused during Masao's apology when he addresses him as Kowa-Keigo Kyon.
- Naruto in fanfics usually have his name as Uzumaki-Namikaze.
- Pokémon fanfic Clouded Sky's main protagonist, Tobias Talltree.
- The Monster Maze from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series. Lampshaded by Hobbes:
- Most of the things that Calvin sells at his stand in "Help Wanted" also count.
- Ed, Edd, Eddy n Edna: Edna's full name is Edna Esmeralda Espinoza.
- Saria Speeder from CIA Agents.
- In Catch Me in Midair Remus was pregnant with Sirius' child and Sirius kept deliberately suggesting names such as "Antigone Artemis Alistronia Agatha" and "Icarus Ieolus Ilarion Izydorak."
- Starla Shine from My Little Unicorn.
- Bait and Switch has LtJG. Warragul Wirrpanda, chief medical officer of the USS Bajor. "Shakedown Shenanigans" reveals his middle name is "William".
- Necessary To Win has Yoshiko Yasukouchi and Mizuho Miyanaga.
- The Twilight Child has Twilight Twinkle, and her great-grandmother, who is also called Twilight Twinkle (she was named after her).
- Snow Storm and Bolt Buck in Cape and Cowl.
- Despair's Last Resort has a few. There's Takara Tsukuda, Miyako Morino, and Saemi Sasagawa. Subverted with Kazumi Katsuya, who reveals that her name is a stage name. Her first name is really Hanako
- Yolanda Yop in The Aristocats Island.
Films — Animation
- An American Tail: Tony Toponi, which doubles as a Bilingual Bonus name, meaning "Tony mouse" in Italian.
- Barry B. Benson from Bee Movie.
- The Cars series films has Axle Accelerator, Aiken Axler, Bernie Banks, Bruce Boxmann, Benny Brakedrum, Bruiser Bukowski, Bertha Butterswagen, Chuck Choke Cables, Charlie Cargo, Charlie Checker, Chief Chick, Cora Copper, Kathy Copter, Dirkson D'Agostino, Derek "Decals" Dobbs, Galloping Goose, Green Gremlin, Hank Hallsum, Hudson Hornet, Kimura Kaizo, Miles "Meattruck" Malone, Mach Matsuo, Matthew McCrew, Marlon McKay, Misti Motorkrass, Piccolo Perry, Polly Puddlejumper, Petrol Pulaski, Rod Redline, Rusty RustEze, Sarah Safestreet, Shirley Spinout, Timothy "Timezone" Truecoat, Tony Trihull, Timothy Twostroke, and Valerie Veate.
- Cats Dont Dance: Darla Dimple.
- The title character of Megamind, as well as his nemesis Metro Man and Love Interest Roxanne/Roxie Ritchie. The latter may be a nod to Lois Lane, given their similarities. There's also Music Man, so that Metro Man could keep the "MM" logo.
- Treasure Planet: Dr. Delbert Doppler.
- Roger Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- Mr. Peabody & Sherman has Penny Peterson.
- Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III from How to Train Your Dragon.
- Prince John in Robin Hood is apparently fond of alliterative nicknames. He creates at least five of them for Sir Hiss ("silly serpent", "reluctant reptile", "cowardly cobra", "aggravating asp" and "procrastinating python") and has one for Friar Tuck ("corpulent cleric").
- Wreck-It Ralph has Wreck-It Ralph, Fix-It Felix and King Candy.note
Films — Live-Action
- Cora Corman In Music and Lyrics
- Jenny Johnson / G-Girl from My Super Ex-Girlfriend.
- Gwen Grayson from Sky High.
- Many of the characters from Thank You For Smoking, including Nick Naylor, Heather Holloway, and Lorne Lutch.
- David Dunn (no Code Name) from Unbreakable. Almost certainly an intentional tribute to this trope.
- Donnie Darko
- King Kong
- The characters from Bite Me Fanboy, which is about comic book fans and fandom, all have Alliterative Names: Nick Norton, Jared James, Ray Reed, Tony Taira, and Chris Cole.
- In Back to the Future: Marty McFly, Marty McFly Jr., Marlene McFly, Maggie McFly, Clara Clayton, S. S. Strickland.
- The real name of The Court Jester is Hubert Hawkins.
- Hairspray has loads: Tracy Turnblad, Penny and Prudy Pingleton, Velma Von Tussle, Corny Collins, Link Larkin, Seaweed J. Stubbs.
- Stanley Snodgrass in Here Come the Girls.
- John Waters loves this trope. See also Pink Flamingos (Dawn Davenport, Donald and Donna Dasher, Sandy Sandstorm), Polyester (Francine Fishpaw, Todd Tomorrow), Cry-Baby (Wade "Crybaby" Walker, Ramona Rickettes, Wanda Woodward), and A Dirty Shame (Sylvia Stickles, Fat Freak Frank).
- The love interests in several of Adam Sandler's films have had the initials V.V.: Vicki Vallencourt in The Waterboy, Veronica Vaughn in Billy Madison, Virginia Venit in Happy Gilmore, and Valerie Veran in Little Nicky.
- B.B. is also present in some films, such as Bobby Boucher, the title character in The Waterboy, or Babe Bennett, the love interest in Mr. Deeds.
- Hot Fuzz: Aaron A. Aaronson.
- Linda Litzke in Burn After Reading.
- The Alphabet Killer is based around someone who targets people with these sorts of names.
- Inglourious Basterds: Sgt. Donny Donowitz.
- Balthazar Blake from The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
- Richard B. Riddick from The Chronicles of Riddick.
- Betsy Bell and James Johnston from An American Haunting.
- Assassin brothers Vic Vega and Vincent Vega from Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction respectively.
- The eponymous Nemo Nobody from Mr. Nobody.
- Dale Denton and Saul Silver from Pineapple Express.
- Heroic Ewok warrior Wicket Wystri Warrick from Return of the Jedi. Also, his siblings Weechee, Willy, and Winda.
- Billy Brown from Buffalo '66.
- Steve Stifler from American Pie.
- Grant Grant from Slither
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension gives us Penny Priddy...and Buckaroo Banzai.
- Professor Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady.
- Susan Stone, the protagonist from If You Believe who works as an editor in a fancy publishing house. Hers is a Meaningful Name as she appears to have a heart of stone.
- Nina Naumann from Der letzte Zug.
- Peter Parker in Spider-Man.
- Meghan Miles in Walk Of Shame.
- Ubuntu developers has "Funky Fairy" naming system (Adjective+ Animal) for releases, from Warty Warthog (the first) to Raring Ringtail (current).
- Naturally, this caused a storm of Ubuntu jokes after certain statements from Linus Torvalds (just click the "comments" link there).
- I Love Bees has James James and his daughter Janissary.
- For a bit of potential Fridge Logic, James James ('yeah, J-Squared') is a false name picked by Janissary's father, likely on the grounds that it's so ridiculous and uncreative that nobody would question it.
- Gottlieb's Tee'd Off has Gunther Gophernote
- Played with: No Good Gofers has two characters named Bud and Buzz.
- The pop bumpers in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, according to a flyer, are called "Bronco Bumpers".
- In addition to the name of White Water itself, many of the in-game locations have alliterative names, such as Disaster Drop, Boomerang Bend, and Wet Willie's River Ranch.
- Barney & Friends: Baby Bop.
- The Muppet Show: The Great Gonzo (but is usually just called "Gonzo").
- Rizzo the Rat, who doesn't appear in the series proper, but later appears in some of the movies and TV specials.
- Sesame Street: Big Bird.
- A set of 1960s astronaut action figures were led by "Major Matt Mason, Mattel's Man in Space," supported by Lieutenant Long, Sergeant Storm, and civilian astronaut Doug Davis. The lieutenant's given name was Jeff, though.
- Homestar Runner: Strong Sad, Pom Pom, Perry Palaroncini & Peacey P. And Stop Sign, Stom Stom, Sickly Sam, Rumble Red, Pan Pan, Szechuan Steve, The Teach, The Thnikkaman, Moth Mouth, Brett Bretterson, Bill Bellamy, Sir Hotbod Handsomeface, Wireless Wizard, Ogg Oggerson, Flash Fight, and Fox Face. Thank you, HRWiki.
- The Guild: Vork's real name is Herman Holden. There's also Wade Wei in season 2.
- The League of Intergalactic Cosmic Champions has Rocket Ranger, Crimson Crossbow, Tammy Tembar...
- lonelygirl15: Whatever Lucy's last name is, it begins with the letter L. Jonas apparently knows her full name, as he is able to find her apartment by looking for someone with same-lettered initials.
- Whateley Universe: William Wilson was the original name of Tennyo.
- The villain Freedom Fighter from Stone Burners.
- The Global Guardians PBEM Universe has two stand-out examples with Mark Milton (the Secret Identity of heroic crimefighter Ulti-Man) and Steve Stephens (the Secret Identity of Defender). Defender gets extra points for not only having an alliterative name, but for it being the same basic name. This is to be expected, as it is a Super Hero setting.
- Survival of the Fittest has this in SPADES: Aiden Ambrose, Cillian Crowe, Waldo Woodrow, Paris Persphone, Adam Amato, Andi Ayala, Brendan Bedard, Anthony Ainsworth, Christian Cohen, Debrah and Deliah Dollop, Wade Wilson (not THAT Wade Wilson (but not entirely NOT that Wade Wilson)), Nicholas Nutbrown, Mary McKay, Denise Dupuis, Branca "IT'S A STEAK" Braunstein, Jessica Jones, Bobby Barron, Chadd Crossen, Jonathan Jarocki, Christoper Carlson (a self-insert of Cody Cromarty, his handler), Mike Maszer, Mike Moretti, Gary Griffith, Joss "Jojo" Joiner, Carla Conners, Frankie Fiametta, and Miranda Merchant.
- Grandmaster of Theft's Cassidy Cain
- LIS_DEAD seems to have lots of these: Dramatic Detective, Mysterious Mr. M, and Zodiac Zack.
- Pete Vs. The Grumpy Gremlins by OchreJelly on DeviantArt.
"Original title: Pete the Plucky Paladin Penguin versus the Gooey Grumbling Grumpy Gremlins.
This is kinda what happens when I'm reflecting on things in life, and all coffee'd up."
- A few meme characters like Scumbag Steve, Bad-Luck Brian, Good-Guy Greg, and the Foul-Bachelor Frog.
- In the classic superhero tradition, the main character of Brennus has the full name of Basileus Bartholomew Balthasar Brant-Blake. One wonders what his parents were thinking, but Basil must have liked it, as his superhero alter ego is called Brennus, continuing the "B" theme.
- Exploited in Demo Reel, as Donnie Dupre is the fake name of Jimmy Boyd, a Former Child Star who was so abused by Horrible Hollywood he felt the need to create a new identity.
- In Noob, Fantöm's real name is Max Middle.
- On DC: United We Stand, in addition to the canon characters with alliterative names, we also have Detective Warren White.