Shout-Out Theme Naming

Some writers, instead of just including the odd Shout-Out, name entire groups of characters after characters in some other work of fiction.

Compare Named After Somebody Famous.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball contains a nod to Disney's Cinderella with the ancient mage Bibidi, his son Babidi, and the demon that they created, Buu ("Bibbidi bobbidi boo!").
  • Three out of four of the main characters from Burst Angel are named after characters from the book Little Women (Jo, Meg, and Amy, with Sei being the Odd Name Out). In an interview, the creator mentioned that Sei's middle name was Bethany, thus making her still technically fit. In the original Little Women Beth's was the only name not changed from her real life counterpart. So having her the odd name out is IN ITSELF a shout out.
  • In Pokémon, there are the most recurring members of Team Rocket, the pairs of Jessie and James, and Cassidy and Butch. named after famous outlaws. For Jessie and James, their original Japanese names are a Shout-Out, too (Miyamoto Musashi and Sakaki Kojirou, respectively). To up the ante, when the four are paired based on gender, there is a theme again note .
  • Detective Conan (or Case Closed for that matter) has Theme Naming all over the place, but Shinichi's surroundings worth some mention. He called himself the modern Sherlock Holmes, and he lives in lot 2-21, Beika, Tokyo. Next to Beika we have Haido (Hyde Park anyone?), and the river that flows across the neighbourhoods is called Teimutsu (Thames, anyone?). Is this still Tokyo, or is London who happened to be inhabited by Japanese?
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has a surprising bit of Cultural Cross-Reference with Nodoka's four treasure hunter friends in the Magic World Story Arc. All of them are named after characters in James P. Hogan's Inherit the Stars novel. Craig Caldwell is named after Gregg Caldwell, Kristin Danchecker is named after Professor Christian Danchekker, Lynn Gulland is named after Lyn Garland, and Aisha Coryell is named after Koriel.
  • Although it doesn't translate into English very clearly, in Naruto, Kakuzu's signature attacks come from the names of different Zeon mobile suits. Just for starters, his ability to turn into a mass of strings is called "Jiongu" (literally "Earth Grudge Fear"), which is how "Zeong" (a mobile suit which also had arms that could extend outward attached by cords) is pronounced in Japanese. The entire Sarutobi clan, as well as Uchiha Sasuke, are named after Sarutobi Sasuke.
  • Gundam Wing contains references to The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy Catalonia and her gold-plated vehicles, the organization OZ (whose emblem is a lion), the Specials' emblem looking like the Tin Woodsman's head in profile, and, in episode 34, the OZ commander's callsign is "Scarecrow 5".
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, Athrun's Mid-Season Upgrade, Infinite Justice, is named after "Operation Infinite Justice", the original name for "Operation Enduring Freedom". Likewise, Kira's Freedom is likely named after "Operation Enduring Freedom".
  • Gundam Sentinel names all of its characters after real people from the end of the Shogunate in Japan. For example, protagonist Ryu Roots is named for Ryoma Sakamoto ("moto" being the Japanese word for "root").
  • The Zeta Gundam spinoff Advance of Zeta combines this with Cultural Cross-Reference, as all the experimental mobile suits in it are named for characters from Watership Down.
  • In Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, everybody (and everything) is named after something from detective fiction. For starters, the heroines are named Sherlock, Cordelia (as in Gray), Hercule (as in Poirot) and Nero (as in Wolfe).
  • Kimba's father from Kimba the White Lion is named Caesar and one of the villains is named Cassius, which reflected his bitter past with Caesar.



  • The Hobbit:
    • The names of Gandalf and all the Dwarves (except Balin) are drawn from dwarves in the Old Norse Poetic Edda.
  • The monster hunters in The Scar by China Miéville are named after the characters from The Hunting of the Snark, but in different languages. Their leader is Tinntinnabulum - the Bellman, and their ship is the Castor - Beaver.
    • The names of all the ships that make up the pirate city in The Scar have a connection with other works of literature involving ships. There's the Arronax (after the narrator of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea), Wintershaw Market (after the protagonist of William Hope Hodgson's Boats of the Glen Carrig) etc.
  • Mission of Honor introduces several characters who are plotting to become the heads of various planetary governments. Most, if not all, are named after movie directors.
  • The Gladers' names in The Maze Runner are not their real names, but names based on scientists and inventors and such that were planted in their memories.
  • The Collector: Frederick kidnaps a beautiful girl Miranda. He calls himself Ferdinand, but she thinks of him as Caliban. Miranda is the heroine of The Tempest, Frederick being her Love Interest and Caliban is a monstrous creature.
  • Charlie Lewis and Alyson Carroll in the Alice's Adventures in Wonderland adaptation Terra Mirum Chronicles.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Kamen Rider Decade, the Suspiciously Similar Substitute versions of the previous Kamen Rider heroes are references to their original series (see Decade's page for details). The biggest exception is Yuusuke Onodera, the alternate Kuuga, who is named for Kamen Rider creator Shotaro Ishinomori (whose birth name was Shotaro Onodera).
  • Kamen Rider Fourze, being the 40th anniversary of the franchise, names the Kamen Rider Club members after the Seven Legendary Riders:
    • Kengo Utahoshi is an anagram of "Takeshi Hongou", Kamen Rider #1.
    • Shun Daimonji comes from taking Hayato Ichimonji (Kamen Rider #2) and merging the kanji "Ichi" and "To" to create "Dai" ("Shun" is an alternate reading of "Haya").
    • Miu Kazashiro is an anagram of "Shirou Kazami", Kamen Rider V3.
    • Yuki Joujima is a play on Jouji Yuki, Riderman.
    • JK takes his name from the initials of Keisuke Jin, Kamen Rider X. His real name, Jingu Kaizo, is Keisuke's surname plus "Kaizorg", the type of Cyborg he is.
    • Tomoko Nozama's surname is "Amazon" backwards; additionally, the "Tomo" kanji in her name means "friend", a word Amazon was quite fond of.
    • Gentaro Kisaragi doesn't quite fit the theme (ironically enough since he's The Hero), though some fans finagle it by pointing out that his name contains the letters that make up "Stronger". This is emphasized by the fact that in Kamen Rider X Kamen Rider Fourze And OOO Movie War Megamax, Gentaro dresses as Stronger as part of the KRC's club presentation.
    • Megamax also introduces a Love Interest for Gentaro named Nadeshiko Misaki, who shares her surname with Yuriko Misaki, Electro-Wave Human Tackle (Stronger's partner and love interest).
  • As a carryover from the books it's based on, Tristan and Siegfried from All Creatures Great and Small are named such because of the real life James Herriot's love of Richard Wagner operas. That's because those names tend to stick out more in the English countryside than Donald and Brian (their real names).
  • The main characters of Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger were all named after detective authors.
    • Banban Akaza comes from Agatha Christie.
    • Houji Tomasu comes from Thomas Harris.
    • Sen'ichi Enari comes from Ellery Queen.
    • Marika Reimon comes from Raymond Chandler.
    • Koume Kodou comes from Kodou Nomura.
    • Tekkan Aira comes from Ira Levin.
  • In the new Nickelodeon show Supah Ninjas, there is a character named Katara [1]
  • Supernatural: Dean and Sam Winchester are named after Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise from On the Road.
  • Most of the soldiers holding the title planet in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's "The Seige of AR-558" were named after the main cast and characters of the 1962 war movie Hell is for Heroes.


  • The different versions of Debian are named after Toy Story characters. There are three concurrent versions: the "stable" version, the "testing" version (which is the next stable version before the bugs get worked out), and the "unstable" version (for the bleeding-edge crowd); the "unstable" version is always called "sid".
  • Versions of Wordpress are named after American jazz musicians.
  • Versions of the Doku wiki are named after characters from Discworld books.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • The four elemental fiends in Final Fantasy IV were originally named for demons from Dante's Inferno — Scarmiglione, Cagnazzo, Barbariccia, and Rubicante. A display issue caused their names to get changed in the English translation, to Milon, Kainazzo, Valvalis, and Rubicant, respectively. All four are also corrected in the official GBA re-release.
  • Those Two Guys in every game named Biggs and Wedge.
  • Final Fantasy VIII takes the Star Wars theme naming a step further: in addition to Biggs and Wedge, there is a later supporting character named Piet (as in "You are in command now, Admiral Piett") and in the original Japanese, the Headmaster of Galbadia Garden is named Dodonna.
  • The Koopalings, debuting in Super Mario Bros. 3, are all named after famous musicians. Same with Reznor in Super Mario World, named after Trent Reznor.
  • In the English translation of Trauma Center, all the patients have names that are a mix and match of the characters and actors of House, Scrubs, and ER, three popular medical shows.
  • In the Onimusha series of games, the names of the major demon antagonists (excepting Onimusha 2 for some reason) are all taken from Shakespeare's Hamlet.
  • Vagrant Story has characters named Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as antagonists.
  • Most of the important characters of the Devil May Cry series have names based on The Divine Comedy — Dante, Vergil, Trish (shortened from Beatrice), Lucia and Mary ("Lady"). Seven of the demon types that appear in the third game are named for the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • Wild ARMs 2, like Final Fantasy IV and Devil May Cry above, drew inspiration from the Divine Comedy, as the terrorist organization the party fights through the first arc is named "Cocytus" (the ninth and lowest circle of Hell), with its four main generals named after the concentric zones within: Caina, Antenora, Judecca, and Ptolomea.
  • Metal Gear Solid had a Dave, a Hal, a Frank, a Naomi, and a Miller, and there was a submarine called the Discovery - all names from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Dave also pairs up with a Meryl Silverburgh, in reference to Hideo Kojima's earlier Policenauts.
  • The inhabitants of the Velvet Room from the Persona series have, of all things, theme naming based on Frankenstein. Igor is named for the hunchbacked assistant that became associated with the Frankenstein mythos after Fritz in the Universal film — the name "Igor" probably originally came from the non-hunch-backed assistant from House of Wax (1953) or a conflation of Fritz with Ygor from the Universal films, and was codified as an element of Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein — Nameless for the monster, and Elizabeth for Victor's bride from the novel. Margaret from Persona 4 continues the trend, by being named for the sister of the arctic explorer from the novel. The Odd Name Out is Belladonna — although visually modeled on the Bride from the film Bride of Frankenstein, her name is original. There's also a case to be made for the Demon Artist, but that's more of a title than a name. Theodore is more obscure; assuming he follows the pattern, he's most likely named for — given that he's a male replacement for Elizabeth — Theodore Roszak, who authored Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein, but it's possible he's instead named for Theodor von Holst, who did the illustrations for the 1831 edition of Frankenstein. Marie from Persona 4 Golden is most likely named for author Mary Shelley.
  • The lead twins of Mother 3 were named after the lead twins of a book called The Notebook. Both stories are about horrible things happening to little boys.
  • Several gangs in River City Ransom (both, NES and GBA versions), most obviously the Home Boys (named after kids in 50's-70's television shows like The Brady Bunch and My Three Sons) in the original.
  • The full names of the two player characters in the original Contra (barring spelling variations), Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, are a mix and match of the names of four actors who appeared in Aliens: Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, and Michael Biehn in that order.
  • The Lee brothers from the Double Dragon series, as well as the recurring mooks Williams and Rowper, are named after the three main heroes from Enter the Dragon. The arcade version of Double Dragon II even adds two Abobo-like giant mooks named after Mr. Han's henchmen called Oharra and Bolo (although the manual of Mega Drive port identifies the latter as "Abobo", which ruins the shout-out a bit). There's also a female mook named Linda, who seems to be named after Bruce Lee's widow.
  • Two characters in the sci-fi chapter of Live A Live are named Kirk and Darth.
  • In Policenauts, Tony Redwood's dead brother is named "Ridley Redwood". They're both named after two prominent film directors/real life brothers Tony and Ridley Scott.
  • In the English version of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, the four ghost sisters in the Forest Temple are named Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.
  • Twilight Princess has the barmaid Telma and her cat Louise, alluding to Telma and Louise.
  • A Witchs Tale. First, all the Princesses and guardians of the kingdoms are named after characters from fairy tales or the like. Then, we get into the powerful and mysterious Queen Alice, and Liddell — the protagonist, who wants to surpass her, and is implied to be more deeply connected to her than that.
  • Several suspects in the Nancy Drew game White Wolf Of Icicle Creek have lupine-themed names, including Lou Talbot (for Larry Talbot) and Bill Kessler (for David Kessler).
  • Several major suspects and authors of documents in Sherlock Holmes: The Awakening are named after tabletop RPG designers.
  • The two main characters of the NES shoot-em-up S.C.A.T. are not only obvious ripoffs of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sigourney Weaver, they are even called "Arnold" and "Sigourney". The European release, Action in New York, gave them new names (Silver Man and Sparks) just in case.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni has Beatrice, Virgilia, and Clair Vaux of Bernard.
  • The names of Nina and Anna Williams from Tekken are both references to La Femme Nikita. Anna in particular is named and modeled after actress Anne Parillaud, who played Nikita in the original 1990 French version. Nina's name on the other hand comes from the alias used by Bridget Fonda's character in Point of No Return, the 1993 American remake of Nikita.
  • In World of Warcraft, the Ritualists encountered before the Dark Animus in Throne of Thunder (you face a random set of 6 out of 24, and there's an achievement for killing all of them) are named after alien species in the original Doctor Who series.
    • In Stormwind's west bank there are three bankers on the left side named after Kristin Scott-Thomas, while the bankers on the right are named after Olivia Newton-John.
  • The Mordesh of WildStar have a German/Russian theme to their names, and many of their notable people like Dr. Victor Lazarin are named after famous Horror characters.
  • In Dance Central, many of the move names are named after the choreographers and producers of the game (e.g. Marcos Wind, Repka Roll, Barreto Clap).


    Western Animation 

    Web Original 

    Real Life 
  • The individual chemical components of bohemic acid are named after characters from La Bohème. They include Marcellomycin, Musettamycin, Rudolphomycin, Mimimycin, Collinemycin and Alcindoromycin.
  • There is a species of dinosaur called Gojirasaurus, which literaly translates into Godzilla Lizard
  • In the American education system, teachers love naming the people in various word problems, fill-in-the blank questions, hypotheticals that you're supposed to write essays about, etc. after one set of characters or another.
  • People sometimes do this with their pets or their children, which can lead to cases of Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?.
  • Some lately discovered and man-made elements on the Periodic Table include Promethium, Einsteinium, Rutherfordium, Nobelium, Lawrencium, Curium, Meitnerium, Europium, Lutetium, Cerium, Uranium, Neptunium, Plutonium, Polonium, Germanium, Francium, Gallium, and Darmstadtium.
    • No less than four elements are named after the Ytterby mine near Stockholm where they were first discovered: Ytterbium, Yttrium, Terbium, and Erbium.
  • The firearms company Alexander Arms has produced two unique assault rifle cartridges: .50 Beowulf and 6.5mm Grendel.
  • In the Apollo 10 mission, the command module was called "Charlie Brown" and the lunar module "Snoopy" by the crew.
  • Happens in the naming of ships from time to time.
    • A series of coastal defence ships built for the Imperial German Navy in the 1890s had names from Germanic mythology: SMS Aegir, SMS Odin, SMS Hagen, SMS Heimdall, SMS Hildebrand, SMS Frithjof, SMS Beowulf, and SMS Siegfried. A series of light cruisers built shortly after had names mostly from Greek mythology: SMS Medusa, SMS Amazone, SMS Ariadne, SMS Thetis, SMS Nymphe, SMS Niobe, and (odd name out) SMS Gazelle.
    • Similarly, the Italian navy went into World War I with, among others, a class of torpedo-boats named after mythological figures - Calliope, Canopo, Cassiopea, Centauro, Clio, Calipso, Pegaso, Perseo etc.
    • The Royal Navy in World War 2 had three classes of light cruisers named after figures from Greek and Roman mythology, the Leander, Arethusa and Dido Classes.
  • Unlike most other celestial bodies—named for gods, spirits, and heroes of ancient mythThe Moons Of Uranus are named after figures from the writings of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope (Titania, Oberon, Ariel, Miranda, Umbriel etc.). For even more modern shout-outs, we have certain surface features of Saturn's largest moon Titan, where the mountains are named from the mountains of Tolkien's Legendarium, and the plains are named for the planets of Frank Herbert's Dune universe.
  • Someone at the KGB gave code names from the classics, such as Perseus, Persian, Medusa, Achilles, Aesculapius; and a lowly Ukranian professor was Zeus. American cities included Carthage and Tyre (possibly for Washington, DC, and New York).