->"It's called the '''[[AC: Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator]]'''. Or, for short - the ''[[NoPronunciationGuide "flihsivdefuhr"]]''.
-->-- Flint, ''WesternAnimation/CloudyWithAChanceOfMeatballs''

In the real world, computers are typically given names, usually strictly functional names or serials (such as accounting_server or fx98v4p), but also themed names, in order to allow for identification. Since even professionals (both fictional and real) struggle with pronunciation and identification of an obscure manufacturing code, pop culture naturally has a tendency to seep into the naming of products.

[[RealityIsUnrealistic While it initially wasn't prevalent in fiction]], writers and producers soon realized that naming computers was common practice, and proceeded to ramp it UpToEleven it to make computer and robot names substantially more dramatic than groupings like [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Cleo, Tony and Jules.]][[note]]Mail servers at Boston College during the mid-1990s.[[/note]]

In order to make an AI seem sinister or awesome enough, a few themes are typically adhered to in movies and literature that can allow said AI be categorized into several groups:
* '''[[FunWithAcronyms Acronyms]]''': By use of {{Shoehorned First Letter}}s if necessary.[[note]][[AC:[[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey Heuristically programmed [=A Lgorithmic=] computer 9000]], [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System]]]][[/note]]
* '''"Automatic Computer" names''': A theme literally as old as ENIAC and popularized by Univac. Mostly a ForgottenTrope outside of {{Retraux}} works. [[note]][[Creator/IsaacAsimov Multivac]], ComicBook/{{Brainiac}}, Creator/KurtVonnegut's EPICAC[[/note]]
* '''Names Related To Functional descriptions'''[[note]]([[Franchise/{{Terminator}} Skynet]], Film/TheMatrix)[[/note]]
* ''' Abbreviated model names or serial numbers:''' [[note]][[StarWars R2D2]], [[Series/KnightRider KITT]][[/note]]
* '''"Electronic Brain" names''': somewhat of an UndeadHorseTrope, possibly on its way to full resurrection by tropes like OrganicTechnology and WetWareCPU [[note]]ComicBook/{{Brainiac}}, [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy Deep Thought]], [[Franchise/{{Metroid}} Mother Brain]][[/note]]
* '''Famous Figures, Places, or Things''': A common way of hinting at the [[AIIsACrapshoot nature]] and complexity of an AI [[note]][[VideoGame/BioShock2 TheThinker]], [[MassEffect Legion]][[/note]]
* '''Human Names''' - used both as a source of ironic humor and as a way to indicate that an AI is truly sapient. Often overlaps with the Acronym convention.
* '''Names without meaning beyond being [[RuleOfCool awesome]]''' [[note]]''Film/DarkStar''[[/note]]

This practice is TruthInTelevision. While more common in the era of UsefulNotes/MainframesAndMinicomputers, the practice of giving computers clever pet names still remains popular among hardcore computer enthusiasts and IT departments. In addition to using the same naming conventions already mentioned, there are several additional patterns found in the naming of real-world computers, servers, robots, and networks. As one might expect when [[OneOfUs certain personality types]] become involved, these can be a bit odd:
* '''Names based off of the type of computer'''- essentially the modern form of the "Automatic Computer" name. For instance, Texas Tech's primary supercomputer is based on a Beowulf Cluster Structure, and so was named Hrothgar after the king in Beowulf.
* '''ThemeNaming''': When an individual builds a personal network or an organization has multiple large servers or supercomputers, they frequently give them themed names. There are several especially common themes:
** '''[[FluffyTheTerrible ironically cute]] and/or [[{{Bathos}} completely absurd]]''' names like ''Series/SesameStreet'' characters, brands of beer, and anime characters.
** '''{{In Joke}}s''' like an astronomy lab having all of its servers named after obscure star names.
** '''Specialties''': For instance the HP Graphics lab's early 3d test beds "transform", "matrix", "raster", "jaggy", "spline", etc.

The TropeNamer is [[http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?NamesGivenToComputers this page]] on the Wiki/PortlandPatternRepository. Note that this trope is ''specifically'' about computers, robots, and AIs that are given abnormal titles; see NamedWeapons, ICallItVera and ICallHimMisterHappy for other examples. Note that an [[AvertedTrope aversion]] of this trope involves a bland AI in an extraordinary setting (e.g. a computer named "computer" in a high space opera setting).

See also RobotNames and NameTron. OneBadMother also has enough examples to be a SisterTrope. Can overlap with WhatDidYouExpectWhenYouNamedIt.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
''Manga/DetectiveConan'': One of the characters from the Night Baron Murder Case has named his laptop „Satomi“, the name of his late mother, and he treats his laptop like his girlfriend. Conan is creeped out by this.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': The three NERV mainframes are called Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, after the [[Literature/TheBible Three Wise Men]].


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* W.O.T.A.N. in ComicBook/LutherArkwright is the supercomputer used on parallel 00.00.00 to keep track of events on other parallels in TheMultiverse.
* The Swedish comic ''James Hund'' had the sentient computer Kurt during one story. When a reporter asked its maker what the name stood for, the scientist replied that it didn't stand for anything; he'd just named it Kurt. After his pet budgie.


[[folder: Fan Fiction]]
* ''FanFic/OnTheShouldersOfGiants'', a ''Franchise/MassEffect'' fic, almost universally employs name without meaning, ranging from fanciful to [[ShoutOut historically significant]] to indistinguishable from an organic being's given name.

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/ShortCircuit'' and ''Short Circuit 2'' feature the military warrior robot Number 5, who develops a friendly and curious AI personality when he is struck by lightning. By the conclusion of the first movie he is tired of his sterile serial number name and decides to give himself a human name, henceforth becoming known as Johnny 5.
** Not many people remember, but his proper factory name was '''SAINT''' Number 5. SAINT standing for: Strategic Artificially Intelligent Nuclear Transport.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' uses (and abuses) model number to a disturbing degree, given the rather small namespace that droids seem to have in that universe. Well, sometimes it does. The Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse has many droids being given nicknames, particularly in the ComicBook/XWingSeries where R2 and R5 droids are called things like Mynock, Whistler, Thirteen, Tonin, Gadget, Shiner, and Vape. Literature/GalaxyOfFear gives a computer an acronym name.
** The [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]] also has an annoying tendency to write out the serial numbers in the manner a first grader would. For example, 41D4 calls itself Forwundeefor. Likely halfhearted attempts at being like Artoo ('''R2'''-D2) and Threepio (C-'''3PO'''). At one point, Timothy Zahn played on this by creating a human character named Entoo Nee, who noted that people frequently assumed he was a droid. [[hottip:*:His full name was Entoo Needaan E-Elz, which sounds an awful lot like C3P0 actor Anthony Daniels...]]
* ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' has Skynet, but the individual Terminators don't have onscreen names, just model numbers.
* In the ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'', Film/IronMan names his A.I.s (first JARVIS and then FRIDAY, both of whom are FunWithAcronyms examples), his lab robots (Dummy and Butterfingers), and at times even gives nicknames to his armors, who also have technical "Mark-*" names (in ''Film/IronMan3'', for instance, [[http://marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com/wiki/Iron_Man_Armor:_Mark_XXXVIII the heavy lifting Mark XXXVIII]] is "Igor"; in ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'', the Hulkbuster - or more specifically, its delivery satellite - is "Veronica").
* WOPR is the name of the military supercomputer in ''Film/WarGames'', standing for War Operation Plan Response. It was intended by the writers to be a more amusing name (reminiscent of "Whopper") than that of NORAD's real-life SIOP (Single Integrated Operation Plan), although SIOP was a series of documents rather than a computer.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the ''Literature/ChaosTimeline'', several AIs named themselves after random strings - three of them are called X27, a_gcl and Horace.
* The unique computer from ''Literature/MondayBeginsOnSaturday'', possibly intelligent and definitely having a soul, is called "Aldan" after a river in Siberia.
* The ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' series has a computer named Com Pewter.
* In ''Literature/YoungWizards'', Dairine's [[SpellBook wizard manual]] takes the form of a sentient computer that tends to "upgrade" itself every once in a while, most notably from a desktop model to a laptop with retractable legs. She calls it Spot.
* ''First Universal Cybernetic-Kinetic Ultramicro-Programmer'' or [[FunWithAcronyms FUCKUP]] in {{Literature/Illuminatus}}.
* Hex, the ClockPunk MagiTek computer of Unseen University in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels. In RealLife, it's a play on "hex", meaning spell, and "hexadecimal". InUniverse, it seems to have that name because that's the sort of name a computer should have, and much of Hex's construction was based on this principle, even if the wizards didn't know ''why'', or even what a computer ''was''.
* While ''Literature/IHaveNoMouthAndIMustScream'' only has one computer, he's given several names; first Allied Mastercomputer, then Adaptive Manipulator, then Aggressive Menace. Finally, it calls itself AM; I think, therefore I AM.
* Creator/RALafferty has the recurring character of Epiktistes the Ktistec Machine.


[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* Series/BlakesSeven gave us Orac[[note]]a stand-alone super computer that could be carried around[[/note]], Zen [[note]]the central computer on ''The Liberator''[[/note]] and Slave[[note]]the central computer on ''Scorpio''[[/note]]. In this case they were {{Meaningful Name}}s -- Orac was (though [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness only in its introductory episode]]) an oracle, extrapolating future events from the data it collected. The alien computer Zen was presented as a mysterious keeper of knowledge. Slave had been programmed with a cringing subservient personality.
* Over its long run, ''Series/DoctorWho'' has been all over this trope, from a war computer called [[Myth/NorseMythology WOTAN]] to the utilitarian Matrix (Gallifrey's equivalent of Franchise/StarTrek's Memory Alpha) to mastermind AIs like BOSS and Mentalis and functionally-named robots like Kamelion and K-9. Ironically, arguably the most important AI in the series, the Doctor's TARDIS, has no known name at all.
** According to series 6, it's [[spoiler: "Sexy".]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'', in general, tends to be surprisingly mundane -- AIs tend to have personal names (Data, Lore, Vaal, Landru) or bear legacy names (Nomad, V[[spoiler:oya]]ger), and non-intelligent computers seldom have names at all. There is a scattering of model number, such as M-5 from the TOS episode "The Ultimate Computer". The Borg, though not computers, tend to have names/designations related to their location and function such as "Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01."

[[folder: Music ]]

* Albums by the band Music/BigBlack credited their TR-606 drum machine as a member of the band named "Roland." Later when the bass player quit to enter law school the band's press release stated the band was breaking up because Roland quit due to "creative differences."
** Naming drum machines as if they were band members was not uncommon in bands of a certain vintage. Sisters of Mercy named theirs "Doktor Avalanche," and there's a persistent rumor (denied by the band) that "Echo" of Echo and the Bunnymen also refers to their electronic drummer.


[[folder: Pinball ]]

* The supercomputer ''Pinball/{{Xenon}}'' is a Type VI and has no meaning other than sounding exotic.


[[folder: Radio ]]

* T.W.I.T, the on-board computer of Fluff Catt's shuttle transporter in ''Radio/TheSpaceGypsyAdventures''. Ostensibly, the name stands for ''Terminal of Waveline Interception and Transmission''. In reality, Fluff calls it that because it ''is'' one!


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' uses a mixture: UNSC [=AIs=] mostly have either regular names like Serina and/or history/mythology-themed ones like Cortana, named after the sword of Holger the Dane from ''Literature/TheSongOfRoland'' (thus also a nod to ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'''s Durandal). Forerunner [=AIs=] all have somewhat abstract "adjective + noun" names like Guilty Spark and Mendicant Bias.
* As mentioned above, ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' is based around a human's dealings with the master control computer of a giant laboratory complex, who is named [=GLaDOS=]. [=GLaDOS=] is obsessed with conducting science experiments and has a skewed sense of morality. It is implied that she killed all other humans in the complex, though likely as a self defense measure to prevent them switching her off.
** In addition to [[spoiler:[=GLaDOS=]'s return]], ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' also features a major AI character named Wheatley, who is no more than a robotic ball who relies on transport rails or the player to take him where he needs to go.
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' and its expansions feature the burly robot "Dog". As the name implies, Dog was built to be a pet of Alyx Vance's. He understands human commands, but can not speak himself, communicating mostly through head gestures. Like a playful dog, Dog sometimes gets over excited and carried away and has to be told by Alyx to stop whatever he's doing.
* In the classic computer game VideoGame/SystemShock, the villain is a corrupt AI computer named SHODAN, Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network. After being corrupted by the player character and developing a malevolent AI, SHODAN eliminates her human masters and begins a scheme to escape her space station home and transmit her personality into the computers of planet earth.
* EDI in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' is an acronym, with her name standing for Enhanced Defense Intelligence.
** [[spoiler: Legion]], meanwhile, is both a fanciful-but-appropriate functional name. Since Geth had no concept of individuality, EDI contrived the MeaningfulName from Biblical mythology. While it is indeed an [[AwesomeMcCoolname awesome name]], it was intended to draw the parallel as a way to understand the Geth's gestalt consciousness.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', [[spoiler: Dr. Eva Core]] is named after a deceased companion of The Illusive Man, with the implication that she was something of a ReplacementGoldfish for the original.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda'', the local AI is named SAM (Simulative Adaptive Matrix). The name isn't unique to that AI: each of the five arks had a SAM on board, referred to as such.
* CABAL ('''C'''omputer '''A'''ssisted '''B'''iologically '''A'''ugmented '''L'''ifeform) in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSun'' and its expansion. As its name implies, it uses PeopleJars to power it and at the Nod ending of ''Firestorm'' it shows that [[spoiler: it's keeping Kane alive]]. There's also LEGION from the [[{{VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberiumWars}} third game's]] expansion ''Kane's Wrath'', with the acronym standing for "'''L'''ogarithmically '''E'''ngineered '''G'''overning '''I'''ntelligence '''O'''f '''N'''od".
* In ''{{VideoGame/Marathon}}'', there doesn't seem to be a theme: among them, Durandal (Roland's sword from "Song of Roland"), Tycho (presumably after the astronomer), Thoth (Egyptian mythology), and Leela (pre-dates Futurama by nearly a decade)
* ''VideoGame/TheTalosPrinciple'':
** One possibility for how Elohim got its name. [[spoiler:Elohim is the simulation's Holistic Integration Manager, sort of an AI dungeon master, and the supercomputer is divided into three partitions, including EL-0 that the simulation is running in; EL-0 HIM.]]
** The various names of the other bots, who left behind messages (as well as your own characters name) are mentioned in one document as basically being video game handles dumped into a randomizer, due to a lack of time and anything better to use.
* ''VideoGame/TheTuringTest'': The AI you interacts with is called "TOM", which stands for "Technical Operations Machine". At one point TOM claims it has a twin AI called "Michael" the ISA uses for testing.
* From ''VideoGame/{{Battleborn}}'':
** ISIC's name is derived from him originally being an [=I/O=] system integration and coordination subroutine within Minion Robotics.
** The supreme AI that once kept all the Magnuses as well as much of the LLC's systems in top working condition is named after the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta Magna Carta]].
** MINREC's name comes from being a '''MIN'''eral '''REC'''lamation Magnus in charge of recycling facilities.


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'''s [=AnthroPCs=] generally have personal names (like Winslow and Momo-tan), though Pintsize is a somewhat jocular functional name and one-shot character [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1105 PT410x]] (likely a serial number or, since [=PT410x=] was owner-constructed, a fanciful model number) eschews the very idea of a "slave name".
* The most intelligent IA in ''Webcomic/{{SSDD}}'' is called The Oracle, he has two purposes: predicting the future and improving his performance predicting the future.
* Erwin from ''Webcomic/UserFriendly''. Overall benevolent, unless you're Steff the marketing VP. But, well, Steff's an asshole.
* ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' has a functional name: [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20070519.html Roofus the roof-repairing robot.]] And although it was nonsentient, there was also the [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20111101.html Ultra-Ballistaroid:]] a [[SteamPunk steam-powered]] [[TransformingMecha transforming]] [[SiegeEngines ballista]] [[{{Snowlems}} made of snow.]] [[SmartPeopleBuildRobots Molly built and named them.]]


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'': The main AIs are named after the Greek alphabet. The first to be created is named Alpha, but the others' names are seemingly picked at random from the list, including Delta, Theta, Omega, Sigma...
** There's also F.I.L.S.S., Freelancer Integrated Logistics and Security System, pronounced "Phyllis." [[spoiler:Otherwise known as Sheila.]]
* There are not a lot of [=AIs=] in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse because of the ongoing threat of The Palm, but Loophole has an illegal [=AI=] named Carmen. Most disturbingly, the voice and holographic image for Carmen are modeled after [[spoiler: the mutant who raped her.]]
* Played with in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'': Throughout the run of Strong Bad Emails, Strong Bad goes through a series of computers whose official names are deliberately uncreative [[ShapedLikeItself descriptions of themselves]] like "Compy" the desktop computer and "Lappy" the laptop.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsons'' had a computer/robot named UNIBLAB and George's work computer, RUDI.
* Doctor Blight on ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' had MAL.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' has KAREN, Plankton's computer wife.
* ''WesternAnimation/DefendersOfTheEarth'' has Dynak-X and Octon, both of whom regularly keep the Defenders or Ming (accordingly) informed of what is happening in the opposing camp.


[[folder: Real Life]]
* Creator/{{IBM}}'s first famous TabletopGame/{{Chess}}-playing computer, Deep Thought, was named after the computer that designed Earth in ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''; IBM's later Deep Blue, the independently-developed Deep Fritz, and IBM's Blue Gene supercomputing products carried on the naming theme.
* The real-life [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Shub-Internet]] was named after a joke in the JargonFile and operated as a server in the Pentagon for a number of years. Obviously a very silly name without meaning, relating to the Internet's origins as a US Defense Department project.
* The first ISP in Russia, demos.ru, went online in 1989 and was used, among other things, as a news relay during the August Coup in 1991. It shares a name with DEMOS, a Unix clone developed at the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy in the early 80s; if demos.ru was actually a DEMOS system at the time, that would make it a rather lame mix of acronym and functional name. (But one with one hell of a history behind it.)[[note]]Even then, Soviet hackers always had a better sense of humor than their bosses; the original name for DEMOS was UNAS, which translates to "at ours" in Russian; see, "at theirs" in Russian is [[IncrediblyLamePun u nix...]][[/note]]
* NASA's Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers were [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Exploration_Rover#Naming_of_Spirit_and_Opportunity named in a student essay competition;]] the winner was a third grader, originally from Russia, named Sofi Collis.
* Carnegie Mellon University's servers for computer science courses are named after fish ("flounder", "grouper", "kingfish", etc.), as is the tradition for Intel engineers. Over time, the 'fish machines' became replaced by more powerful 'shark machines' ("angelshark", "bambooshark", "baskingshark", etc.), both fitting the naming tradition and their increase in size and speed.
* Website/{{Reddit}} allows users to name its servers if the user purchased Reddit Gold on a day Reddit hit its Reddit Gold goal. The names tend to reference pop-culture, recent news, memes, or puns.