open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- With the Light
- Hikaru's full name is Azuma Hikaru, or "light of the East," and upon hearing this name, his new father Masato's first hope was that Hikaru would grow up to climb the corporate ladder. Which... he most likely won't do.
- Miyu means "beautiful feather", but she acts far less delicate than her name would suggest, as does the fifth-grade kendo champ Misaki, whose name means "beautiful blossoms."
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei:
- The given name of Nozomu Itoshiki means hope, which is ironic in light of his deeply pessimistic personality. It ends up becoming a Meaningful Name though in that due to a quirk in Japanese, the way his name is spelled in a western way (left to right rather than up to down) leads it to being misread as Zetsubou, meaning "Despair" or "Hopeless".
- On the opposite side his brother Mikoto's name is written with the Kanji for 'Life', a Meaningful Name given he's a doctor by trade. When added to his family name in the same way, it becomes the Ironic Name Zetsume, meaning "Death".
- Dance in the Vampire Bund: Why on Earth would someone name a son pledged as the personal servant of the (reasonably benevolent) Vampire Monarch he has served his whole life Daybreak? Yes, that is exactly how Akira Regendorf's given name is written.
- The Devil Is a Part-Timer! has a character named Miki Shiba. According to her, Miki means "shining beauty", which doesn't describe her at all.
- Baraggan Louisenbairn, the Segunda Espada, has a name inspired by a Mexican architect, Luis Barragán. Despite the fact that Las Noches (Barragan's base of operations) didn't even have walls or a roof when Sousuke Aizen showed up to take control.
- Kaname Tosen named the Proto-Arrancar White even though its body is pitch black. Aizen commented on the irony.
- The Severing Crime Edge: Iwai's name means celebration. However, as she points out, she has nothing to celebrate due to her curse and the various dangers in her life.
- In the final episode of Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Shiro Amada, whose name is a homophone of the Japanese word for white, adopts a group of Artificial Newtype children, the eldest of whom is a black boy who is rechristened as Shiro Amada Junior.
- Killer from One Piece seems to have an ironic name (if it's his real name, of course). Among all eleven Supernovae, he's the Only Sane Man and anything but Ax-Crazy. He's the one who has to keep his captain, Eustass Kid, calm.
- A Certain Magical Index: Ayu Mitsuari's last name actually fits (Mitsuari means "honeypot ant" and that is her Animal Motif), but Ayu means "love" and "joy" while she is a very bitter and angry person.
- There's a relatively minor character named "Arisugawa Kintarou" in Maria-sama ga Miteru. Kintarou is named after a famous folklore hero renown for his strength and masculinity. Kintarou is a transsexual Girly Girl who prefers going by "Alice".
- Ano Kiss has "Moe", a Comically Serious girl with a blunt character, who may or may not stalk her girlfriend as a hobby. Adding to the irony, said girlfriend Mizuki, whom people see as the Tomboy of the two, is far more prone to exhibit typically moe behaviour (shyness, blushing, insecurity, etc.)
- In Komori-san wa Kotowarenai! the first syllable of Komori and Ootani's names mean "small" and "large" respectively, an irony that they point out when talking to each other for the first time (Komori is six feet tall and Ootani is really short). They jokingly refer to each other as Oomori and Kotani.
- Durarara!! has Shizuo Heiwajima whose name means "quiet hero/peaceful island". Shizuo is a Hot-Blooded man with Hair-Trigger Temper who can barely spend a day without getting into a violent fight — especially if Izaya is involved.
- Space Patrol Luluco has Midori Save-The-World. Despite a very heroic sounding last name, she's the Token Evil Teammate.
- In Y: The Last Man the main character, Yorick, was named for the Shakespearean Posthumous Character of the same name and his most interesting trait is that he doesn't die. Similarly his sister Hero spends a lot of time as The Atoner for a good reason...
- Dreadful Musician Harmony Smurf from The Smurfs.
- New Gods
- Granny Goodness is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a nice old lady.
- Amazing Grace is far from the saint her name implies.
- The title character of Empowered frequently ends up in fanservicey bondage situations and is plagued with self-confidence and body-image issues.
- Scott Summers is a Hurting Hero who lost any shred of idealism long ago.
- Transformers: Shattered Glass takes place in a Mirror Universe where the Autobots are evil and the Decepticons are good, making the latter faction's name ironic. Various characters that had Meaningful Names for their original personality likewise become this.
- Lex Luthor is a criminal, but "Lex" means "the law".
- Meet Sunshine Smiles of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic the eyepatch-wearing bat pony that is friends / works for Princess Luna, the princess of the night. How he got the name makes perfect sense, but still...
- In Pokemon Opal And Garnet one of Kaylie's Pokemon is a moralistic Emberhund who cares deeply about injustice. That injustice-hating Emberhund's name? Frollo. As in, the cruel, cold-hearted, Knight Templar judge from Hunchback Of Notre Dame.
Films — Animation
- The main family's last name in The Incredibles is Parr, meaning "average". Something the Parrs definitely are not.
- Sugarcoat of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games doesn't seem to sugarcoat anything, and in fact is blunt to the point of tactlessness.
- Zootopia has Flash, who turns out to be... a sloth. Then subverted in the ending, where Flash is revealed to be a street racer.
Films — Live-Action
- Benigno's name in Pedro Almodóvar's Talk to Her translates as "harmless", and it certainly seems to fit the sweet, demure nurse, until it is revealed he has raped Alicia, the coma patient in his care.
- In The Impostors, Happy Franks is so depressed he keeps trying to kill himself.
- Richmond Valentine from Kingsman: The Secret Service. "Valentine" is widely known as the holiday to offer love towards your fellow man. On the other hand, this Valentine has nothing but contempt for humanity and is engineering a worldwide Hate Plague.
- In Enchanted, Disney's Affectionate Parody of itself, Nancy, who is about to marry a single father, has the same last name ("Tremaine") as the Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella. Nancy turns out to be perfectly nice, wants her beloved to be happy and snags the prince at the end.
- In Mean Girls 2, the promiscuous member of the new Plastics is named Chastity.
- The Fifth Element: "Jean-Baptiste" and "Emmanuel" are a pair of given names rich in Christian symbolism. So they're given to Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg, an insane and callous weapons magnate with a fetish for "creative" destruction.
- In Room, while Ma's name was never revealed in the book, in the movie, it was revealed to be Joy.
- In The Wind (1928): What would you name a town in the middle of a bone-dry desert that is afflicted by neverending, punishing winds? "Sweet Water", of course.
- In Die Hard, the terrorists arrive in a truck labeled "Pacific Courier" which translates to "Bringer of Peace".
- The Carters from Lords and Ladies: the daughters, as is traditional, are all named after virtues (Hope, Patience, Chastity), but then Mr and Mrs Carter got a bit confused and named all the sons after vices (Bestiality, Covetousness, Anger). None of the children live up to their names.
- Adora Belle Dearheart from Going Postal is anything but adorable. Most people who know her call her "Killer". Her love interest, Moist von Lipwig, calls her "Spike". Mind you, she's a wonderful person, just not "adorable".
- Captain Murderer from Snuff is a smuggler (but quite attached to his name).
- Pippin Galadriel Moonshine in Good Omens goes by Pepper, as she is a short scruffy tomboy with a temper.
- Festina Ramos from The League of Peoples Verse: in Expendable, she bitterly notes in her narration that "Festina" means "The Happy One" and her typical state of mind is anything but happy.
- The Kitty Norville series is about a werewolf named Kitty. Whenever anyone comments on it, she says the name came first.
- In Jennifer Scales and the Messenger of Light, the twisted, monstrous villain with darkness-related powers is named Evangelos, which means "Messenger of Light".
- In the Robin Hood stories, Little John's Ironic Nickname directly derives from his given name, John Little.
- A Song of Ice and Fire
- Two of the Freys have names that are ironic in terms of who they are named for. The severely mentally retarded Aegon (generally known as Jinglebell because his jerkass grandfather makes him act as a jester) is named after a great military leader and ruler. Similarly, Rhaegar Frey, a slimy and totally mediocre man, is named after a Pretty Boy Knight in Shining Armor who was both a sensitive intellectual and a military genius.
- In-universe, "Spotted Pate" is a folklore character who, while dim-witted, was Born Lucky and always succeeds/makes nobles look ridiculous (basically the equivalent to Jack, Hans, etc. in our folklore). As a result, it is a popular name for Westerosi peasants. However, (perhaps because they are peasants) most of the Pates in-story are singularly unlucky:
- At one point, the outlaw Tom O'Sevens is listing his grievances against the Lannisters, and he names at least five Pates he knew whose deaths he blames on them, including his cousin Ser Pate who was killed in a tourney by Gregor Clegane.
- Another Pate is the royal whipping boy and gets flogged for bad deeds by the Princes (or just when Cersei wants to teach her son a lesson).
- Pate of Oldtown was murdered and had his identity stolen by a shape-shifting assassin.
- The Brave Companions is a mercenary band of criminals, psychos and exiles from across the narrow sea. Despite their title, they aren't particularly renowned for bravery being mostly cowards that sides for whoever is winning at the moment and are better at hurting innocents than being fighting. They are better known for other nicknames such as "Bloody Mummers" or "Footman", but don't dare to call them that to their faces if you want to keep your limbs.
- Each of John Steakley's novels features a character named Felix ("happy/lucky") who is Blessed with Suck.
- Varsian the Immortal from Lacuna dies moments after introducing himself.
- In Harry Potter, Amycus Carrow is one of Voldemort's Death Eaters, but his name is similar to the Latin word amicus which means friend. (This is, however, coincidental, as the name is derived from the Greek Amykos.)
- The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter features a character named John Singer. He's a deaf mute.
- In Garry Kilworth's House Of Tribes, every single member of the mouse tribe "Invisibles" has that kind of a name; Hearallthings (deaf), Goingdownfast (an excellent swimmer), Ferocious (the meekest one), etc.
- The eponymous character of the Koziolek Matolek series has a name that means literally "silly billy-goat". However, he isn't really stupid, and the narrative even notes several times how smart and clever he is.
- Felix Castor: What do you call a character who accidentally killed his own little sister a second time, accidentally made his best friend's Demonic Possession permanent (and had to do it a second time to save the world) and is in unrequited love with a lesbian succubus? If you're Mike Carey, you name him Felix ("lucky") and, for good measure, name the poor bastard with the chronic Demonic Possession Rafael.
- In the foreword of Agatha Christie's The Labours of Hercules, the irony of Hercule Poirot's name (as he is a highly cerebral Lawful Good Armchair Detective named after an Anti-Heroic Boisterous Bruiser) is pointed out to him by a classicist, leading him to take a series of 12 cases with allusions to the classical labours of Hercules.
- Another Agatha Christie example is one half of spy duo Tommy and Tuppence; Tuppence's real name is Prudence, but she is the more hot-headed and impetuous of the two, very rarely ever acting with any.
- One of the protagonists of Doctrine of Labyrinths is named Felix, as in "lucky," but his misfortunes include Mind Rape, slavery, forced prostitution, physical torture, temporary insanity, incarceration in a dungeon and a Bedlam House,frame-ups for murder and treason, exile, and the horrible deaths of various people close to him.
- In Ro Te O, Ryou's name means "cool" or "refreshing" (both relating to water because of kanji given by Word of God). Ryou has fire powers.
- In Children of the Red King, the Heroic Albino character is named Billy Raven. However, it's also a bit of a Meaningful Name if you take his power into account.
- In Everworld, Jalil at one point mentions that his name is Hindi for "godlike," and Lampshades how odd that is for an African-American atheist. Also, the queen of the Amazons is named Pretty Little Flower.
- The short fantasy comedy Dragon In Distress has Sir George, who is trying to rescue his dragon. The irony comes from his namesake: St. George (Famed for being a dragonslayer.).
- Shoemaker Snäll from Children of Noisy Village. Snäll is Swedish for kind, but he's an alcoholic Jerkass who abuses his dog.
- In Isaac Asimov's Robot novels, the "Spacers" are humans from the fifty interstellar colony worlds. While the Spacer name is used by both people from Earth and the Spacers themselves, the Spacer Worlds are so utopian in terms of wealth and standard of living, and the Spacers themselves Long Lived and spoiled by luxury supported by armies of robot servants, that they have become chronically risk-averse, and the vast majority of them never actually leave the planets that they are born on to engage in space travel.
- Patience, in Dinoverse. Impatience isn't her primary personality trait, but it's among them.
- In one of the Queens Thief books, Attolia and Eddis have a wry conversation about their ill-fitting birth names. Irene and Helen, respectively—one means peace, one is the woman whose face launched a thousand ships, and they know they don't fit the bill.
- The name Petal from Warrior Cats is usually for a soft-spoken and kind she-cat. But as for Petal from Dawn Of The Clans...as Thunder says: "Which cat named her 'Petal'? There's nothing soft about her!" And the character Quick Water hates water, much to the amusement of Turtle Tail.
- The Greater Good: Anyone who knows the word meaning would expect a planet named Fecundia to be a bountiful agri-world. Instead, it's a heavily polluted note Forge World.
- In the Jacob's Ladder Trilogy, the various AIs are named after angels. Samael, whose name means "Poison of God", holds the role of Angel of Life Support.
- In Nocturne, it's actually lampshaded how poorly the flamboyant and melodramatic Modesty Brabazon's name fits her.
- The Hunger Games: The Quarter Quell's name is this, as the quell means "to subdue something", which in the case of the 3rd Quarter Quell, means "subdue this rebellion that's going on right under our noses". The quell ends in La Résistance gaining more firepower and their main target a reason to gun for the President's head.
- The Dinosaur Lords: Little Nell is a two tonnes dinosaur much bigger than a horse.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- The show seems to love doing this. You'd think that characters with names like Angel, Faith, Harmony and Glory would be heroic characters, but they're all villains. While Angel does pull a Heel–Face Turn eventually, he's still a vampire and becomes more of an Anti-Hero than a shining example of heroism. Faith also does a Heel–Face Turn thanks to Angel. Harmony eventually becomes Angel's secretary. She's still evil, just not very good at it. Of the four, Glory is the only really purely evil one (and she's at least Faux Affably Evil).
- It should be noted that Angel specifically picked his name to be ironic (his real name is Liam): he is the "vampire with the angelic face." His evil side, when it resurfaces, is referred to with the much more intimidating name of "Angelus."
- Drop the Dead Donkey has Gus Hedges' sarcastic, cynical, caustic, occasionally violent PA, who scares most of her colleagues - including the ones who've reported from warzones. Her name; Joy Merryweather.
- The BBC show Merlin had a villain called Valiant, who was using underhanded tactics to cheat in a tournament.
- The Dukes of Hazzard: Starting around season 3, Sheriff Rosco started a K-9 unit by acquiring Flash. Flash is a lazy Basset Hound who does nothing but loaf around, receive Rosco's affections, and occasionally bark at Boss Hogg.
- Horatio Hornblower: Midshipman Clayton observes that there never has been a man more wrongly named than Captain Keene. He's an old and tired gentleman who keeps coughing and breathing heavily, barely managing to captain his ship. However, at least he can be an entertaining Deadpan Snarker, and surprisingly, he doesn't die of his illness and old age.
- The Bible: Nebuchadnezzar sees the humor in sacking and burning Jerusalem.
Nebuchadnezzar: (to his charioteer) You know what "Jerusalem" means? "City of peace!" (both laugh)
- On House of Anubis it seems that Joy's name will never fit her life, considering she was kidnapped, the boy she loved for a while rejected her constantly and rather harshly, her friends all seemed to like Nina more, and when she finally fell in love again it was ripped away from her at the end. No wonder her nickname is Joyless...
- In the final episode of The Nanny, C.C. Babcock's full name was revealed to be Chastity Claire, a very delicate and feminine name that contrasted sharply with the abrasive Ice Queen C.C. When the name was revealed, everybody in the room (including a woman in the middle of delivering a baby) all looked at her completely shocked.
- The main villain of Tokumei Sentai Go Busters is called "Messiah". He is anything but.
- A one-off villain in Have Gun — Will Travel is a gunslinger named Manfred. The irony of a hot-tempered killer being named "man of peace" in Old German is commented on by Paladin.
- In the Doctor Who 2008 Christmas special Miss Hartigan lampshades her first name during Reverend Fairchild's funeral:
You've walked past me so many times, all you good men of charity, never once asking my name.(A minute later, after her Cybermen started killing the lords attending the funeral)It's funny, now I think of it, but in all these years not one of you has asked my first name. It's Mercy.
- Mike Stoker, both the character on Emergency! and the Real Life firefighter who played him. Historically, stokers kept fires burning in places like metal foundries and steamships. Mike, however, put them out.
- Charming in Sons of Anarchy. It's a small town with a large history of gang violence.
- Prudence from One Big Happy is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl who generally acts on impulse, likes to have fun and is not adverse to going around the house naked. In short, the complete opposite of what she's named after.
- Liv Moore in iZombie is a zombie named "Live More".
- One episode of C Hi Ps revolved around a new communications system and a new dispatcher. However, said dispatcher suffers from speaking issues and has a grating voice. Getraer later reveals her name is Kathy Lark and comments on the irony.
- Meta-example: The Goldbergs were confirmed to be Jewish in season three. This includes Barry who's played by Troy Gentile.
- Person of Interest features two (originally one) artificial intelligences. One is called "The Machine" (a term often used for an uncaring system that treats people like interchangeable units of no worth), and the other, "Samaritan" (as in "Good Samaritan"). The former is the good one and the latter is the evil one.
- The members of ZZ Top are famed for their Badass Beards. Well, except for their drummer, Frank Beard, who has a Badass Mustache instead.
- Lamb Of God quite frankly doesn't sound anything like the bunch of choir boys you'd expect. In fact, their previous band name, Burn the Priest, is actually much more fitting to the band's sound.
- The country group Lady Antebellum is two-thirds male and obviously all of them were born after 1860.
- OMC stands for Otara Millionaire's Club. Otara is an economically depressed area of Auckland which is unlikely to have many millionaires. The band members picked this name out of self-deprecating irony, assuming that their band would only ever be well-known locally, only to have a worldwide runaway hit in their single "How Bizarre," leading to...well, perhaps not millions of dollars, but certainly more than a few hefty paychecks.
- More than half of Superchic[k] is male, including both the secondary vocalist and founder.
- John Balance, co-founder of Coil, died after falling off of a balcony.
- BLKOUT was a Power Stable that existed in several promotions at the same time. The Chikara branch in particular was almost entirely made up of white men.
- After Raven took advantage of CM Punk's reluctance to fight women by having Trinity beat him up, CM Punk introduced Ring of Honor to the newest member of the Second City Saints, Lucy, Lucy Furr.
- Dark matches make up the entirety of Sparkle.
- Lucha Internacional Femenil tends of feature a larger number of established native stars than its older counterpart, Lucha Libre Femenil, which was forced to use rookies and foreigners early on and embraced the identity it gained for doing so, even after booking superstars such as the Apaches and Hamadas.
- In Bleak Expectations, Mr. Gently Benevolent is a scheming Dastardly Whiplash and Mr. Skinflint Parsimonious is an Uncle Pennybags.
- On an episode of This American Life, Sarah Vowell goes to "Goth school" and has to pick her Goth name—something grim and depressing. She picks "Becky" (which, to her, has grim connotations of high school proms and homecoming dances). The teachers are very impressed.
Religion and Mythology
- The Bible
- In the book of Ruth, Naomi (whose name means "pleasant") lampshades her ironic name when she returns to Israel, telling the women of her hometown to call her "Mara" ("bitter") because her life has been anything but pleasant up until that point.
- Absalom's name combines the words for "father" and "peace." He rebelled against his father, King David, and caused a civil war.
- "Abimelech" means "my father is king." One bearer was the son of Gideon, a hero who was Offered the Crown but refused it, although that didn't stop Abimelech from trying to take over the country himself.
- Modern Warfare:
- The first name of the terrorist you spend most of the game fighting (Vladimir Makarov) means "ruler of peace".
- Shepherd is usually the nickname of someone who takes care of a group of people under his watch as best as he can, as well as protecting them from danger.
- In Heavenly Sword, Nariko is a Japanese name that means "Gentle Child". She's anything but.
- The first boss in Madworld is a large hulking brute named Little Eddie. The commentators even lampshade the irony.
- Golden Sun:
- Isaac's name means "he laughs" but he's a Heroic Mime in the first game and mostly grumpy in the sequels.
- Piers doesn't have any peers because of his age issues.
- In The Lost Age, there's a master blacksmith who's too depressed to work (until you bring him a project that gets his interest). His name? Sunshine.
- Matthew: Considering Isaac and Jenna's unpleasant history with the local God equivalent, why would they name their son "a gift from God"?
- The legacy of the late Princess Veriti (Truth) turns out to be entirely false.
- Raine in Tales of Symphonia is afraid of water.
- Inazuma Eleven lampshades this with one of its managers, whose last name is Otonashi. Otonashi means "quiet"—the character is the opposite.
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl:
- In Kingdom Hearts:
- The Illuminator Heartless shrouds the field in darkness.
- Xion's name is pronounced "shion". The shion flower represents "remembrance" and is used as a gift to say "I won't forget you." She suffered a Ret Gone. However, Sora and the others gradually start remembering her again and it is implied Sora will be able to bring her back.
- The Temperance boss in House of the Dead 4 is (according to Word of God, no less), the opposite of temperance: a giant, morbidly-obese frog-man.
- The title characters of Tiny and Big are named in this manner; Tiny's of average height, while Big is a pipsqueak.
- One of the "signature hero" NPCs in RuneScape is named Xenia, which refers to the Greek tradition of Sacred Hospitality. The character Xenia is a duplicitous Trickster Mentor who deliberately throws strangers into peril just to see what they do.
- In Dawn of War Retribution, an ork battlewagon is fought at one point. Now a battlewagon is a blasphemy against the laws of physics and engineering, looks like the unholy offspring of a road train and a tank, has more guns than a Crazy Survivalist and more spikes than a Tin Tyrant. The name of this monstrosity? Daisy.
- In Dead Rising 3, Kenny Dermot is a psychopath who is envious of the hero. Dermot means "free of envy".
- Super Mario RPG features Culex, a ferocious Bonus Boss who is easily the most difficult enemy in the game. His name means "mosquito" in Latin.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the largest, noisiest city is called Solitude. It's about as lonely a place as New York.
- Animal Crossing
- One of the villagers is named "Lucky". Lucky is completely covered in bandages.
- Another is Peewee the big black cranky gorilla.
- A bit of a Running Gag with the Prophets/San'Shyuum of Halo:
- The Prophet of Truth's entire base of power stems from a lie which could break the Covenant apart and has caused billions of deaths, alien and human.
- The Prophet of Regret is far too self-serving and bloodthirsty to regret anything. His former title, Vice Minister of Tranquility, completely contrasts that he's about as confrontational as the Sangheili he pals around with, to a level unique among San'Shyuum.
- The Prophet of Inner Conviction, one of the few morally outstanding Prophets given focus, holds doubts regarding his religion from studying "sacred" relics, i.e. advanced electronics and technology.
- Donkey Kong's Tiny Kong originally had a fitting name. She was the kid sister of Dixie Kong. Diddy Kong Racing DS however aged her up and now she's one of the tallest Kongs. She's much taller than her sister.
- Tiffany "Susan" Pompoms of El Goonish Shive always goes by her middle name, because she considers her actual first- and last-name to be too "perky and upbeat" for her cynical, sardonic personality. (Ironically, it's been made quite clear that if it wasn't for ONE traumatic childhood event, she would've wound up fitting her name just perfectly.)
- Magellan has Charisma, who, while attractive, lacks personal charisma.
- Achewood has Nice Pete, a sociopathic murderer.
Ray: I ain't goin' there alone, because I don't want to, and you're tight with that Nice Pete creep he keeps around.
Téodor: No one's tight with Nice Pete. He'd murder dead things if science would let him.
- In Lapse, the main character's last name is "Fortune," however, the situation she finds herself in is less than fortunate.
- Bianca in But I'm a Cat Person, whose name means "white" in Italian, is black and proud of it.
- In RWBY, Neptune is apparently afraid of large bodies of water.
- Handy from Happy Tree Friends is a combination of this and Meaningful Name. The ironic part is that he doesn't actually have hands, instead having bandaged nubs in their place. The meaningful part is that despite this, he's actually a perfectly capable repairman, builder, and construction worker... as long as the actual fixing or building takes place off screen.
- There is a giant named "Tiny" in Ever After High.
- Off the Page and into Life
- Terrence's name means "a thoughtful and good natured friend." He spends a pretty good chunk of his screentime attempting to sabotage his best friend's happiness so they can spend more time together.
- Henry means "home." Henry is an orphan who's spent most of his life being shifted from foster home to foster home.
- In the Noob franchise, the poster-boy for Hair-Trigger Temper goes by the Online Alias of Master Zen.
- Myosotis's name means "forget-me-not". Fitting for a girl with a severe case of Laser-Guided Amnesia.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Pipsqueak is anything but small.
- Also, Mai, whose name means "Smile." She's played as a Goth who finds everything boring.
- There's also Toph Beifong, whose name translates to "fragile lotus". She's anything but. It makes sense in context, though, as her parents certainly thought that she was fragile.
- The Legend of Korra:
- Korra's father is a huge man who towers over his wife, Senna. His name, Tonraq, is an Inuit word for "tiny man".
- At least three Spin-Offspring characters: Opal Beifong, who's an airbender (although she plays with the trope in that the gemstone for which she's named is sometimes associated with the element of air); her brother Huan (meaning: "cheery"), who's a goth; and Fire Lord Izumi (meaning: wellspring).
- Ruby Gloom, from the eponymous show: her last name is "Gloom", but she is anything but gloomy.
- Angelica from Rugrats. Although she acts angelic when she's around adults so they seldom catch on to her true bratty nature.
- Johnny Test has Mr. Black and Mr. White, the former being caucasian and the latter being African-American.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars has the leader of the Death Watch, Pre Vizsla. Vizslas are a breed of Hungarian pointer hounds known for being gentle mannered, very loyal and caring towards their owners, and quite compatible with children. Pre Vizsla is a Proud Warrior Race Guy who betrayed his monarch, loathes Jedi, leads a terrorist organisation, and burns down villages for fun.
- Star Wars Rebels: The Greek Goddess Hera was Zeus's wife and patron of marriage, but she's also known for her vengeful nature, hunting Zeus's illegitimate children, and being an Abusive Parent for Hephaestus. Considering this, it's quite ironic that Hera Syndulla, the caring Team Mom of this series, is named after her.
- Happens momentarily in The Transformers. Cliffjumper is the hot-headed Leeroy Jenkins of the Autobots who would gladly leap off a cliff to engage the Decepticons. Amusingly, the one time that the Autobots are called on to jump up a cliff, he's the only one who can't make the jump.
- Courage the Cowardly Dog is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. It's about a dog named Courage who is a Cowardly Lion. Despite his fears though he always ends up saving his family in the end.
- The scarecrow in Rankin/Bass Productions's Tales of the Wizard of Oz is named Socrates, but because he doesn't have a brain, he's a Cloud Cuckoolander.
- Similar to the Johnny Test example above, in Littlest Pet Shop (2012) the Bisket twins are named Whittany and Brittany, the former being black-haired and the latter being white-haired.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Fluttershy has a pet bunny rabbit named Angel. His behavior, however, is far from angelic.
- Fancy Pants doesn't wear pants.
- Total Drama:
- Team Victory, one of the three teams of World Tour, and by far the least successful.
- Sugar, one of the third generation campers, has a very mean-spirited personality.
- The Brothers Flub: Guapo, the fat one, has a name that's Spanish for "handsome".
- In the Rainbow Magic movie, the three dumb goblins are named Newton, Leonardo, and Edison.
- In South Park episode "The List", one of the ugly kids is named Jamal, which is Arabic for "beauty."
- Hey Arnold! has Eugene, whose name means "born lucky." He...really wasn't. In fact he was apparently born on Friday the 13th.
- In Steven Universe, Peridot's name is a for a gemstone often associated with good luck, peace, and success. However, Peridot seems to have bad luck, failure, and violence with the Crystal Gems.
- Similarly, Jasper as a stone is notable for being nurturing, protecting, and caring. The character is none of those.
- A minor character in Gravity Falls episode "The Stanchurian Candidate" is a random Gravity Falls citizen named Tad Strange who, as noted by Soos, is ridiculously plain and boring and not even a tad strange.
- Freakonomics contains the examples of Winner Lane, whose most noted achievement was his criminal record and subsequent prison time, and Loser Lane, his brother, who ended up becoming much more successful (and now goes by "Lou").
- In July of 1839, a group of kidnapped, enslaved Africans took control of their kidnappers's vessel. They were later captured off the coast of Long Island, and court proceedings were undertaken to determine their fate (either sold into slavery or allowed back to Africa). Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, the Africans were allowed to return to their homes. The name of the slave ship? La Amistad, which means "Friendship" in Spanish.
- An American destroyer captain led the destroyer charge that scored a number of torpedo hits at Surigao Strait during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. His name was Coward.
- Similarly, John Coward was the first officer of British Airways Flight 38 and was in control of the plane when it lost power. Together with the other pilots he managed to get it down without any casualties. Afterwards, one newspaper had the headline "Coward in name only."
- Romulus Augustulus, the last Western Roman Emperor, had the names of the legendary founder of Rome and the first Roman Emperor. Originally called Romulus Augustus, the -ulus was added, making the name "Little Augustus".
- Comedian Adam Hills cites a real life example in his shows: he goes on a rant about irony and how many people don't understand it. After one such show, a woman comes up to him and informs him that she is diabetic. Her name is Candy.
- There was this robber and murderer named Charles Peace...
- One of the officers (and prime fall guy) responsible for the Rodney King beating is named Stacey Koon (for the blissfully unaware, 'Coon' is a highly derogatory term for a black person, and the Rodney King beating was probably racially motivated).
Bill Hicks: So this guy, officer Koon... Is life too fucking weird, or what?
- Similarly, the last racist anthropologist to be taken seriously was named Carleton Coon.
- Lance Armstrong, a champion cyclist, a sport generally associated with leg strength (although like any sport that's only part of the equation).
- From the NFL, retired New England Patriot Patrick Pass may very well have had the best quarterback name in history. Too bad he was a running back.
- The symbol of Christianity is the cross. David Cross, on the other hand, is an atheist who was born Jewish.
- GG Allin's birth name is Jesus Christ Allins. He grew up to become the most profane, obscene, transgressive, offensive, and infamous punk rocker of his day.
- Noted atheist (or as he would put it: "anti-theist") Christopher Hitchens first name means "christ-bearer".
- Andrea. Funny thing is, despite it sounding like a name for women, the original meaning comes from the Greek root of "man". Triples as an Unfortunate Name and Cross-Cultural Kerfluffle if a female with that name travels to Greece, Italy, or Albania, as it will provoke only laughter.
- Batman bin Suparman (which means Batman, son of Superman) is a Singaporean criminal.
- The Google Chrome browser is named after what it's trying to have as little of as possible: the GUI part of the browser (tabs, address bar, title bar etc) which takes up screen real-estate.
- A Gratuitous German example would be Governor Altgeld (De. old money) of Illinois, who kick-started the Progressive Era.
- Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi is actually Sephardi, not Ashkenazi.
- Fourth-century bishop Saint Lucifer of Cagliari (his day: 20 May).
- James M. Fail was a successful businessman from Alabama. Despite his extensive philanthropy, he was reluctant to put his name on anything, until he got the opportunity to name the visitor's locker room inside the University of Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium.
- In 2014, the only female driver in the Indianapolis 500 was Pippa Mann.
- The Neverending Story was written by Michael Ende, which is of course German for "end".
- French marshal Georges Mouton, count of Lobau (1770-1838), considered one of Napoleon's bravest generals. Mouton is French for "sheep", but as Napoleon said after a battle in 1809: "Mon Mouton est un lion" — "My Sheep is a lion".
- The Pacific Ocean. "Pacific" means "Peaceful". Now consider how many naval battles took place in the ocean during World War II, including several contenders for largest naval battle in history. Also consider that the Ring of Fire, and earthquake and volcanic hotspot, encircles this ocean.
- Tillikum is the name of the killer whale that was involved in three deaths, two of which were at SeaWorld Florida. In Chinook, his name means "friend."
- Kurt Tank was a German engineer responsible for the creation of several important aircraft for the German Luftwaffe later pressed into service at the advent of World War II. These aircraft included the famed Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter and Ta 190 interceptor, both which would become Cool Planes for the war.
- Don Black...is a white supremacist. Not entirely out of place as his surname also means "evil".
- Battlecruiser HMS Invincible, which exploded into smithereens in the Battle of Jutland due to a lucky hit to propellant magazine. Doubles with Harsher in Hindsight.
- Basketball player Shaquille O'Neal; Shaquille means "little warrior". Shaq measures 7'1" and weighed around 275 lbs. in his prime.