Alphabetical Theme Naming
A very common and easy to spot form of Theme Naming
is the use of common or similar letters, or patterns of letters. This includes such things as names which begin or end with the same letter, names in alphabetical order, and rhyming names.
Compare Alliterative Family
, Theme Initials
, Theme Twin Naming
, and Letter Motif
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Anime and Manga
- ARIA has all main characters' names start with 'A', like Akari, Athena, and Aika. That there are both an Alicia and an Alice only adds to the confusion—and Akari often gets mixed up with Akira.
- In Bleach, virtually all the Arrancar have double letters in their names. Example: Yylfordt, Cirucci, Nnoitra, Grimmjow, Luppi, Zommari...
- The main characters of Death Note go by Kira, L, Mello and Near.
- The Black Siblings' names in Gurren Lagann all start with ki: Kittan, Kiyoh, Kinon, and Kiyal. If you flip them, you get emotions or states of mind: tanki means quick temper, youki means cheerfulness, nonki means various things including carefree and optimistic and yaruki means willingness.
- Satoko and Satoshi from Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni. Those names are also considered gender parallels.
- In InuYasha, most of the women have names that start with 'K': Kikyo, Kaede, Kagome, Kagura, Kanna, etc.
- The Joestar family in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure have forenames that that allow the nickname 'JoJo'. Such as Jonathan Joestar, Joseph Joestar, Jotaro Kujo, Jolyne Kujo... Part 5 has Giorno Giovanna, which looks like a subversion, but the syllable "gio" is pronounced "jo".
- Josuke Higashikata similarly seems out of place at first, but the suke part of his name can also be read as Jo.
- Kamichama Karin. It's easiest just to provide a chart.
- The eight main characters of Kyouran Kazoku Nikki have names that end with "ka": Kyouka, Gekka, Yuka, Ginka, Teika, and Hyouka, Ouka and Chika.
- Several members of the Cloud Village in Naruto have names that can be pronounced as letters - A the Raikage, B the host of the 8-Tailed Beast, C, and J.
- Three minor characters in Ojamajo Doremi are known as the SOS trio, from their names: Sagawa, Oota and Sugiyama. The 4Kids version kept this with Simon, Oliver, and Stewart.
- A-ko, B-ko and C-ko in Project A-Ko
- In Bakuman。, the Azuki family, or at least the women, (Miyuki, Miho and Mina), have names that begin with "mi".
- Most of the names in Astérix have the same ending, usually different for each culture the characters are from. Gaul names finish with -ix (Asterix, Fulliautomatix), Gaul female names finish with -a (Falballa, Bacteria, Influenza), Roman names end with -us (Squareonthehypothenus, Detritus), Briton names end with -ax (Notax, Hiphiphurrax), Hispanic names finish with -on and often have some Spanish parts (Soupaloignon y Crouton), and so on.
- In the original French, Gaulish women usually have names ending in -ine (Bonnemine, Iellosubmarine), although Falbala's name ends in -a, like those of Roman women.
- Dennis the Menace (UK) has a dog called Gnasher. He later acquired a pet pig, and went for the obvious gag of Rasher. Since then we've seen his pet frog, Splasher, and his pet spider, Dasher.
- In The Sandman, all the Endless have names that start with D — Dream, Death, Desire, Destruction, Destiny, Delirium (formerly Delight), and Despair.
- And again in the Marvel parody/homage that appeared in Peter David's Captain Marvel - The Seven Friendless had names beginning with E - Empathy, Enmity, Entropy, Epiphany, Eternity, Eulogy, Expediency .
- A classic Strontium Dog story featured a trio of necromancers named Malak, Karnak, and Hebrak.
Film — Animated
- The seven daughters of Triton in The Little Mermaid — Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Attina, Adella, Alana, and Ariel. Note that Ariel's name begins with A, but doesn't end with it.
- Utilized in the Dr. Seuss movie Halloween is Grinch Night with the Who family of Josiah, Mariah, and Uchariah (unrelated to the "homeschooled" family on Saturday Night Live's recent season premier)
Film — Live Action
- The Lectroid villains from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension were all named "John" with a random word afterward. This is because the word "John" sounds the same as a Lectroid interjection roughly equivalent to "Hey" or "Yo".
- The synthetics characters in the Alien franchise:. Ash (Alien), Bishop (Aliens, Alien³), Call (Alien: Resurrection) and David (Prometheus).
- The jewel thieves in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back are named Sissy, Chrissy, Missy, and Justice. Obviously, Justice is the Odd Name Out (there's even a Lampshade Hanging in the film, as the other girls complain that she doesn't fit the rhyme scheme), and she's the one who ends up doing a Heel Face Turn before the end of the film.
- The female jewel thieves in The Great Muppet Caper were called Carla, Darla and Marla.
- The brothers in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers are named alphabetically from The Bible. The problem was a lack of a good "F" name, so the sixth brother was named "Frankincense".
- The 2003 B-film Xtracurricular was inspired by Project A-Ko; as a result, its three central characters all have last names that start with "Ko" and their first names start with "A", "B" and "C", as a tribute to A-Ko, B-Ko and C-Ko. There's even a fourth character named "Echo" ("E-Ko").
- In the Bridgerton series of historical romance novels, the titular Bridgerton siblings are named in alphabetical order. Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth.
- All dragons in the Dragonriders of Pern books have names that end in th — Ramoth, Ruth, Faranth, etc.
- Harry Dresden seems to be surrounded by the letter "M". Morgan, Murphy, Michael, Mouse, Mister, Mab, Maeve, Mac, Margaret, Malcom, Mavra, Molly and Martin are all either currently major characters or were the focus of a book. It might just be an inevitable consequence of having Loads and Loads of Characters.
- In Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews, the Dollanganger children are named: Christopher, Cathy, Cory and Carrie. Their parents are Chris Sr. and Corrine.
- The Dumbledore siblings in the Harry Potter series: Albus, Aberforth and Ariana.
- Among the general trend to Theme Family Naming in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth: The rhyming names of the Dwarves in The Hobbit (Óin and Glóin, Fíli and Kíli, etc.) as well as Bilbo's mother and her sisters: Belladonna, Mirabella, and Donnamira.
- The dwarf names came from Norse mythology and are listed in the Poetic Edda: starting at Verse 10 here. They rhyme because they come from an epic poem.
- J. R. R. Tolkien loved this trope. Most of the half-elves had names that start with El (Elrond, Elros, Elladan); Aragorn was the last in a line of twenty-five men whose names started with Ar; most of the Haladin have names starting with Ha; all the male Beorites start with a B; Húrin and Huor (brothers) had sons named Túrin and Tuor. The "Ar" means "I AM SO TOO the rightful King of Arnor!", the "El" usually meant "star" or "elf"; I don't know if any of the other themes are justified as anything but a family identifier.
- In the Honor Harrington series, Big Bad Albrecht Dettweiler's sons don't merely fill the next several ranks below him before you get to a high ranking Mesan NOT named Detweiler. The don't just happen to "coincidentally" look exactly like him. What's really impressive is that their names are Benjamin, Collin, Daniel, Everett, Franklin, and Gervais. Subtle...
- In The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, each member of the revolution has a code name determined by their rank, starting at the top with Adam Selene.
- All the men in the Carter family in Robert A. Heinlein's The Number Of The Beast have names starting with Z, as it was part of the will of an eccentric ancestor. If they don't have a Z-name, no inheritance for them.
- In Oliver Twist, the orphans when they were found were given a name from the next letter of the alphabet (ie. Oliver (Twist) was proceeded by a Swubble and followed by an Unwin, followed by a Vilkins and so on), with their last name related to place they were found.
- In Cory Doctorow's Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, the protagonist and his six brothers have names beginning with the letters A through G respectively. The twist is that none of them actually has just one name; instead, each one will answer to pretty much any male name that starts with the appropriate letter.
- The mother in Ten Kids, No Pets named her kids alphabetically, but in a system. The first kid got the first name mentioned under A in her baby name book, the second kid got the second B name in the book, etc, etc. (The kids reversed this naming system when they finally got a pet, starting in the Z's.)
- A The Witcher book mentions extremely annoying royal quadruplets named Putzi, Gritzi, Mitzi and Juan Pablo Wassermiller.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, the predominant names for Freys are Walder for boys and Walda for girls; Wyman Manderly has sons Wylis and Wendel and grand-daughters Wynafryd and Wylla. While they have some variety in names otherwise, the Lannisters seem to favor Ty names- Tywin, Tyrion, Tygett, and Tyrek.
- The Years Of Rice And Salt helps us keep track of the main characters across their various reincarnations by keeping the first letter of their names the same.
- Arthurian myth has quite its share, including the four sons of Lot (Gawaine, Gaheris, Agravaine, Gareth; their younger half brother Mordred is the Odd Name Out), the Chromatic Knights (Percard, Perimones, Persant, Pertelope), the clan of Grail Kings (Pellas, Pelham, and their distant cousin King Pellinore).
- In Fattypuffs & Thinifers, all Thinifers have names ending in -ifer, and all Fattypuffs (with the exception of Professor Ramfatty) have names ending in -puff.
- The names of the princesses in Entwined alphabetically denote their birth order: Azalea, Bramble, Clover, Delphinium, Primrose Eve, Flora, Goldenrod, Hollyhock, Ivy, Jessamine, Kale, and Lily.
Live Action TV
- The Charmed ones: Prue, Piper, Phoebe and later on Paige.
- And in the eighth season, the Triad members Asmodeus, Baliel and Candor, with the demon Dumain at their service. No wonder they didn't want the demon Xar among them...
- On Home Improvement, Al's brother is named Cal and his mother is named Alma. Also, Wilson Wilson's niece is named Willow Wilson and it is once mentioned that his relatives include Wilbur, Wilhemina, Wilford, Willard, and Wilma.
- LOST has a number of anagrammatical names like Ethan Rom (Other Man), Mittelos (Lost Time), Henry Gale/Minnesota (See Another Man Lying, Hoffs/Drawler (Flashforward). It was one of the buildings in the background of Through the Looking Glass. And, yes, I am a Lost freak but these were actually Word Of God too!
- M*A*S*H did this with the "background" nurses during the course of the series, nurses Able, Baker and Charlie (though the last one was never actually referred to by name on camera, only named in the credits). The reason for these names came from the old Army radio alphabet (later replaced with the NATO radio alphabet), using Able for A, Baker for B, and Charlie for C. Most people know the words for the letters W, T and F
- Kellye Nakahara (who played Nurse Kelleye, what an amazing coincidence), started off as one of the nurse Charlies, then became an ascended extra and given her own part.
- QI episode names follow this trope. Each series corresponds to one letter of the alphabet (the first series being "A", the second "B", and so on; the upcoming series is "J"), and each episode name starts with the series letter (series "D", for example, featured episodes called "Danger", "Divination", and "Drinks", for example).
- In the Screwed by the Network show Wonderfalls, the names of the Tyler family are Darrin, Karen, Sharon, Aaron, and the main character...Jaye (Tomboyish Odd Name Out).
- Morbid Angel's albums follows alphabetical order. Altars of madness, Blessed are the sick, Covenant, Domination, Entangled in chaos, Formulas fatal to the flesh, Gateways to annihilation and Heretic.
- Maths problems framed as stories are fond of naming characters in alphabetical order, because if the characters are Alice, Bob and Carol, then it's easy to see how they connect to the variables a, b and c in the equation.
- Professor Ian Stewart likes using Alfie, Betty and Gemma, for alpha, beta, gamma.
- Cryptography examples traditionally add Eve the Eavesdropper to their cast of Alice, Bob, and Carol.
- The "Worm" archetype from the Yu Gi Oh trading card game are all named "Worm" and then a word, each beginning with a different English letter. It starts with Worm Apocalypse and ends with Worm Zero.
- Most of the NATO Reporting Names for Soviet/Russian submarines are (in random order) letters of the Phonetic Alphabet, such as "Golf", "Hotel", "Yankee" and "Delta" for the first four groups of ballistic missile submarines, with individual sub-classes. They ran out eventually- the next two are "Typhoon" and Borey, the latter being the actual Russian designation.
- Not really related to each other but BTSS, CTSS, and DTSS O Ses.
- Rowan Atkinson has two older brothers, named Rodney and Rupert.
- Joseph and Magda Goebbels's children were Harald (his stepson), Helga, Hildegard, Helmut, Holdine, Hedwig and Heidrun. Some suggested that this was a tribute to Adolf Hitler, but there's no evidence for this.
- The Duggars (who have enough kids to start a small army) all have names that start with J. Michelle (of the initial family) is the only exception.
- Papa Duggar's name is Jim Bob. The names of the children, from oldest to youngest are: Joshua, Jana and John-David (twins), Jill, Jessa, Jinger (pronounced "ginger"), Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah and Jeremiah (twins), Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace and Josie. The daughter Michelle miscarried was named Jubilee.
- Joshua and his wife Anna are continuing the tradition using the letter "M", their children are named Mackynzie and Michael.
- Multiple births are often named alphabetically by birth order, as Kate Gosselin mentioned in an older episode of Jon and Kate Plus Eight.
- Lewis "Linkara" Lovhaug and his girlfriend (Iron) Liz. Spoony and his girlfriend Scarlet. Seriously, if they were fictional, you'd swear this was intentional.
- A prominent dissertation about the big bang credits Ralph Alpher, Hans Bethe and George Gamow (Alpha, Beta and Gamma, the first three letters of the greek alphabet). In actuality, Bethe didn't participate in the writing of the initial paper (though he did help with later discussions on the subject). Gamow either added Bethe's name to the paper without consulting with him, or requested Bethe's permission to do so (and received it); either way, Gamow did so because of this trope. (Even if Bethe's name was added without his permission, he never objected to its presence on the scientific paper.)
- The Royal Navy's Vanguard class submarines are named Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant, and Vengeance. The Royal Air Force's V-bombers followed the theme as well: Avro Vulcan, Handley-Page Victor, and Vickers Valiant.
- The Royal navies been doing this since the turn of the 20th century with Destroyers, Light Cruisers and later Submarines. The class would have a letter designation C-Class for example, and the ships of that class would all begin with C.
- Many an animal breeder will name animals of a distinguished line this way.
- Some of the ships of the Royal Navy conform this pattern, for instance three battle-cruisers built in in World War 1 that were converted to aircract charriers were HMS Furious, Glorious and Corageious.
- Some shipping lines use(d) this pattern, e. g. The White Star Line used names ending in "-ic" (Titanic, Olympic, Gigantic) while Cunard, at least until the launching of the R.M.S. Queen Mary, used names ending in "-ia".
- The Pontipees in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers have biblical names in alphabetical order: Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank(incense), and Gideon with the pattern continued by Adam and Milly's daughter, Hannah.
- A subtle one—in Ace Attorney Investigations the countries of Allebahst and Babahl have formed from a schism in Cohdopia.
- The characters of Deadly Premonition are named alphabetically. The game begins when the murder of Anna brings York and Zach to Greenvale, and the suspects' names run through all the letters between.
- BlazBlue has several names from the Greek alphabet. There's μ-12 (mu), Nu-13, and Taokaka (Tau).
- The wise men in the Japanese version of Chrono Trigger were named Bash, Mash and Gash.
- In the English version they are Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, the traditional names of the Three Wise Men.
- In Donkey Kong Country (and the rest of the Donkey Kong series), most, if not all of the Kremlings have names beginning with a K, as does much of their technology, many of the bosses, and many of the locations controlled by them. The names are usually alliterative too, giving you multiple words in each name beginning with a K. The K is also used to replace C in these cases.
- In the Kingdom Hearts series, the members of Organization XIII each have an "X" in their name. Not only this, but Their names are a letter-scrambled version of the names they used to have when they were complete humans, with an "X" added in their somewhere.
- The exceptions to the latter being Naminé and Xion, both of whom are unusual.
- Xion still sort of fits as her original name was No.i.
- The Legend of Zelda series has a father and daughter named Marin and Tarin, and another, similar pair named Malon and Talon.
- In the dating game at the very beginning of Leisure Suit Larry 6, the female contestants all have names that start with Charla, like Charla Magne and Charla Tan.
- All Luigis Mansion Boos are pun names based on words with 'Boo' added to them.
- All the toads from the first Paper Mario's last names are the letter "T". Thier first names and last names form words relating to thier lines of work (eg. Tayce T. the cook. Russ T. the professor).
- The goombas in the goomba family were named Goombario, Goombaria, Goompapa, Goomama, Gooma and Goompa.
- All dragons in the Paper Mario subseries have the word 'tail' as the second parts of their names.
- The names of the traditional 8 Bosses of Mega Man ZX starts with a letter corresponding to the Biometal/Livemetal they possess. Ex.: Hivolt the Raptoroid uses the Biometal Model H, Lurerre the Abyssroid with Model L, etc.
- Pac-Man's ghosts were named Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde (or Sue). Additionally, in the original Japanese Puck-Man, the ghosts had alternate nicknames of Macky, Micky, Mucky, and Mocky.
- The regions in the main series of Pokémon video games' regions all contain an O, specifically one that would be rendered as ō when romanized in Hepburn - Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh. This was averted with Isshu. However, its English name is Unova. This also sometimes occurs in the spin-offs, such as Orre or Oblivia.
- There is a The Sims 2 challenge that involves having 26 generations, no cheats, and naming each generation after a letter.
- Suikoden Tierkreis has the five Porpo-kin Namna, Nemne, Nimni, Nomno, and Numnu.
- The resident redshirts of the Gears of War games are the Carmine brothers; Anthony in the first game, Benjamin in the second, and Clayton in the third. Word Of God states that there is a fourth Carmine brother, though it has never stated if his name starts with a D.
- Final Enter has Aleph ,baa' and jeem three guardians named after the first three letters of arabic language.
- The demons from Godquest each have a name beginning with a letter. To accentuate this, their initials are bolded and colored with their aura (for example, Heral).
- Gunnerkrigg Court: Gamma and Zeta (Zimmy) are named for Greek letters.
- The three peanut butter monsters in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! are Molly, Golly (short for Galatea), and Jolly (short for Djaliana).
- With the exception of Don Donald Anderson, the gangsters in Jack's Frigid McThunderbones arc are all called Bennie the "blank", such as Bennie the Poof, or Bennie the Prick, or Bennie the Large Animated Talking Penis.
- All the protagonists in Homestuck have (or had in one case) chat handles that are some combination of the initials GATC, as in DNA. A character introduced later has a chat handle with the initials UU, for Uracil, which is in RNA.
- Two of the main protagonists and their alternate universe counterparts, and one of the main villains all have names beginning with J; John is the Protagonist, Jade is his best friend and sister, Jack was for a time the Big Bad, and Jane and Jake are alternate versions of John and Jade's parents.
- All the FreakAngels were born at the exact same time in a small English village, look more alike than they ought to, and all have the "K" or hard "C" sound somewhere in their name.
- Arcana Magi uses alphabetical order for the first names of the Sentinels Alysia, Brie, Chisame, and Danica.
- Ilivais X assigns a different and usually meaningful letter for each of the conveniently 26 Ilivais prototypes.
- Sailor Nothing uses an Odd Name Out technique for the Fashion Club (Ami, Emi, Umi, and Aki)
- Odd one out time: The penguins of 321 Penguins are named Zidgel, Fidgel, Midgel... and Kevin.
- In Avatar The Last Airbender, The Hero Aang and his initial Arch-Enemy Zuko had names on polar opposite ends of the alphabet. This pattern was repeated with Zuko and his more evil sister, Azula. Also, Azula and Aang have this same pattern in the second letters of their names.
- In Dexters Laboratory, Dee-Dee's two friends are named Leelee and Meemee.
- Disney's Donald Duck has three nephews named Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
- Dinobots in Transformers tend to have names that start with S (Slag, Sludge, Snarl, and Swoop; Grimlock is the Odd Name Out).
- Uh, The Powerpuff Girls anyone? It's actually acknowledged in one episode when a squirrel gains superpowers and becomes a Powerpuff squirrel and Blossom insists that his name start with B.
- To spell it out we have Blossom, Bubbles. Buttercup. Also Bunney and Bullet. Note the use of double constants as well as a B.
- In Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, each of the three main character's names begin with a W: Wubbzy, Walden, and Widget. This theme is broken in the second season with the introduction of a fourth main character, Daizy.
- On Daria, Quinn's most common admirers are a group of friends commonly known as the Three J's: Joey, Jeffey and Jamie.
- Lampshaded in the Adventures From The Book Of Virtues episode "Generosity", when Annie insists that her name should be first in the name of her and Zach's canned goodies project (the latter being the founder) because their initials were the first and last letters of the alphabet respectively, much to Zach's dismay.
- In The Simpsons there's the twins Sherry and Terry, the Flanders kids Rod and Todd (and their parents also have monosyllabic names ending in "d", to wit Ned and Maud), and town founder Jebediah Obadiah Zachariah Jedediah Springfield.