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If the birthday of a character is included in a work, then it is either plot-relevant or significant for the character. Or both.
In Real Life
, people are born on random dates. In fiction, their date of birth tends to be deliberately chosen for its symbolic meaning
- such as February 29th
. The meaning may be straightforward or ironic. It can also, owing to When The Planets Align
, have actual meaning.
May lead to an I Remember Because...
. A specific variation of Significant Reference Date
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Anime and Manga
- Aoi from Ai Yori Aoshi was born on the day of Tanabata, which celebrates the once-a-year meeting of Orihime (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair) across the Milky Way. It's the Asian equivalent to Valentine's Day.
- Watanuki in was born on April 1st, a date with significance in both the East and the West. It's also a date personally significant to CLAMP; they consider it the anniversary of their founding. Sakura Kinomoto of Cardcaptor Sakura was also born on April 1st, which is a pretty important coincidence... The main character Sakura of Tsubasa Chronicle also has the same birthday. Guess what. It's a plot point.
- Her brother was born on February 29th, meaning the poor guy could only have a birthday every leap year.
- Ouran High School Host Club does this. Honey, who is older than he looks, was born on February 29, the joke being that he ages only every four years. The twins Hikaru and Kaoru were born on June 9 (6/9), showing that they're alike, but different. Or, you know...
- One Piece:
- Luffy's birthday is on Children's Day (May 5), Usopp's is April Fool's Day, and Chopper's is Christmas Eve. Sanji's, Franky's, and Brook's are word puns. Zoro's birthday is also a word pun, but it falls on Armistice Day.
- Nearly every major character has a birthday like this, and almost all were chosen by the fans — Oda just said "Sure, Why Not?."
- Ojamajo Doremi: Hazuki Fujiwara's birthday is on Valentine's Day, and this plays a role in a "Naisho" episode.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, character birthdays are often a country's Independence Day. This may be because said characters are personified countries.
- On Urusei Yatsura, the absurdly unlucky protagonist Ataru Moroboshi was born on April 13th, the second-unluckiest day of the year in the Japanese calendar, and in the year he was born was also the anniversary of the Buddha's death.
- Based on a sample of about 1800 anime and manga characters (in 2004), the most overrepresented date is February 29, occuring about eight times as often as random chance would predict. Second is March 3 (7), followed by May 5 (5), January 1 (4.6), April 1 (4.4), December 24 (4.1), July 7 (4), June 6 (3.8), August 8/October 10 (3.6), and April 4/December 25 (3).
February 29 is Leap Day. March 3 is Girls Day (Hina Matsuri). May 5 is Children's Day. January 1 is New Years Day. April 1 is April Fool's Day and the start of Miyako Odori. December 24 is Christmas Eve. July 7 is Tanabata. June 6, August 8, and October 10 are days that can be written as X/X (6/6, 8/8, and 10/10). April 4 is written 4/4, and 4 is very unlucky in Chinese and Japanese culture. December 25 is Christmas Day.
- Death Note: What could be a better day for a sugar loving detective to be born than Halloween, the day random strangers give candy to whoever knocks on their door, and being anonymous is perfectly normal?
- There's also Misa, whose birthday falls on Christmas. Quite appropriate for a character who's childlike, cute and willing to give of herself to others (specifically, Light).
- A variation/subversion: In Higashi No Eden: Takizawa Akira and Morimi Saki were born one day apart, in the last week of the Showa era. Subverted in that Takizawa Akira is an alias that he picked specifically because of the similar birthdays.
- In Bakuman。, Azuki's birthday is November 5. This has absolutely no bearing on the plot of Bakuman。, but it seems to be the creators' olive branch to the month of November after Death Note, which had particularly nasty developments occur in all three Novembers featured in the series, and especially November 5.
- In The Cherry Project, Chieri and her love interest share the same birthday.
- All four main characters of Weiß Kreuz have significant birthdays: Youji's is March 3, which is Girls' Day in Japan; Aya's is July 4, American Independence Day, and he lives in the U.S. for a couple of years, plus his Evil Counterpart is American; Ken's December 23, the Emperor's Birthday and the day before Christmas Eve, he's a lapsed Catholic; and Omi is the ever-popular February 29. Interestingly, it's been deduced that the WK anime takes place in 1998. Omi's canon age is 17. Count backwards and you realize that Omi's year of birth wasn't actually a leap year. Of course, Omi Tsukiyono is a made up identity and doesn't technically exist; why should his birthday?
- For Slam Dunk, super rookie Rukawa is born on New Year's Day (1/1), The Ace Sendoh on Valentine's Day and protagonist Sakuragi on April Fool's.
- Interesting variation in Bleach: Rangiku Matsumoto did not have a birthday until her childhood friend Gin found out and made the day they met her birthday. CMOH for many. "Wait, what, that guy?!" moment for everyone else.
- The reason for that is because she never really counted days until she met Gin.
- In Lucky Star:
- Akira Kogami: Valentine's day, but not much is made of it.
- Hiyori's birthday is May 24th; Konata's is the 28th. This proximity gives Hiyori a greater sense of them being kindred spirits. (No word on how Konata perceives it.)
- The Hiiragi twins' birthday is on Tanabata.
- Misao's birthday is July 20th, which is the original fixed date of Marine Day (Umi no Hi), formerly Marine Memorial Day (Umi no kinen bi), and still falls on it when the 1st of July is a Wednesday. Hiyori says the day predicts a high-energy life.
- School Nurse Fuyuki Amahara's is September 17th, which is Respect for the Aged Day (Keiro no Hi) when the 1st falls on a Saturday.
- In Detective Conan, Shinichi's birthday is 4th of May, the day when Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Moriaty supposedly fell of the Reisenbach falls.
- THE iDOLM@STER - Yukiho's birthday is on the Christmas Eve.
- Mai-HiME: Miyu's birthday is July 4th being a Robot Girl made by a secret organization from America. Alyssa's birthday is April 1st being an artificial HiME, also by that secret organization.
- Tiger & Bunny has a curious subversion. Barnaby's birthday is on Halloween, a date chock full of implications, but this isn't alluded to at all in his Birthday Episode.
- Victorique of Gosick was born on December 25, Christmas Day. Fitting and ironic, considering her intended fate.
- Mochizou of Tamako Market was born on 10 October, a day known as the "mochi day"— fitting for the child of mochi makers whose name also means "mochi maker". Tamako herself was born on 31 December (New Years Eve), and is always forgotten because it's the busiest day of the year for mochi makers like her family.
- Attack on Titan joined in this trope with the release of the second official Guidebook.
- Levi was born on December 25th.
- Armin's birthday is November 3rd, which is celebrated in Japan as Culture Day.
- Krista was born on January 15th, the original date Coming Of Age day was celebrated in Japan (1948 - 2000).
- Reiner shares his birthday, August 1st, with the unofficial "holiday" known as Yaoi Day.
- The Superjail! fanfic Extended Stay: The Warden and the Mistress's twins Matilda and Ethan are born a month early on the same day their parents get married. However, the anniversary/birthday is never revealed.
- In Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, Gentaro's birthday is on November 30th. This is significant, zodiac wise, in that while he is considered to be a Scorpio, he's actually born under the sign of Ophiuchus. It's hinted that he's also a descendant of Asclepius, the man who would become the original serpent-bearer.
- Born on the Fourth of July is pretty self-explanatory.
- A Very Long Engagement: The main character is a young woman who was born on 1 January 1900.
- In the song and movie Yankee Doodle Dandy, "Little Johnny Jones" (as played by George M. Cohan [as played by Jimmy Cagney]) claimed to have been born on the 4th of July. Cohan himself was probably born on the 3rd.
- In The Omen, Damien is born on 6 June at 6 a.m. Think about that a second.
- In the 1970 Disney film The Boatniks, the main character, a clumsy Coast Guard ensign, was born on December 7, 1941 — the day of the Pearl Harbor attack.
- Provides an in-joke in Trail of The Pink Panther: We learn that Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau's birthday fell on September 8. This was the birthday of the role's creator, Peter Sellers. In the next film (Curse of...), it's revealed that Clouseau's Butt Monkey nemesis (and the current Chief Inspector) Charles Dreyfus was born on April Fool's Day.
- In Friday the 13th film series, the titular unlucky date is its Villain Protagonist Jason Voorhees' birthday.
- In Can't Buy Me Love, nerdy protagonist Ronald says he was born on July 20th, 1969 — the day of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
- The Bourne Series: Jason Bourne is told he was born on 4/15/71. It's a code, the character telling him that is passing on vital info. It's not his actual birthday, but a New York address (415 71st Street) where Bourne can find the answers to his questions.
- In Raintree County, John and Susanna's son Jimmy is born the day the Civil War begins.
- In The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the titular character was born on the same day WWI ended.
- Forrest Gump,
- Jenny was born on July 16, 1945, the date of the Trinity Test when the United States successfully tested an atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert. Her date of death - March 22nd, 1982 - is also significant, as it was the launch date of the Space Shuttle Columbia on STS-3...which landed at White Sands Space Harbor, New Mexico, the only shuttle mission to do so.
- The latter would at first glance seem not so significant within the film's context as the Columbia disaster happened long after the film's release. However, the backup commander for mission STS-3 was Ken Mattingly, who was portrayed by Gary Sinise (Lt.Dan) in Apollo 13, which also starred Tom Hanks.
- In the first Final Destination movie, the main character's birthday is the 25th September. It coincides with the departure time (9:25) and his designated seat (25 I) of the ill-fated flight he was supposed to be on.
- Jack, a boy who suffers a unique form of Rapid Aging, was born (prematurely) on Halloween.
- Salman Rushdie's novel Midnight's Children is about a man who was born on the exact moment of Indian independence — 15 August 1947 at midnight — and who realizes he can communicate telepathically with all the other people in India who were also born on that date.
- In Something Wicked This Way Comes, the two main characters were born on Halloween and the day after. The day after being All Saints' Day.
- Harry Potter
- The Weasley twins — who are known for being practical jokers — were born on April Fool's Day.
- Voldemort, he was born on New Year's Eve.
- Harry Potter was born on author J.K. Rowling's birthday, July 31st. And there was a prophecy in book 5 that The Messiah would be born as the seventh month closes. It's stated that it could also have referred to Neville — born on July 30th.
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Benjamin's birthday was the day World War I ended.
- The main character of The Eight by Katherine Neville was born on April 4, which ties in with a lot of the book's numerology and is also said to be an Islamic holy day.
- In The Dark Is Rising, Will was born on the winter solstice. He was also born under a caul and is the seventh son of a seventh son. No wonder he ends up saving the world.
- The Dresden Files:
- Harry Dresden was born on Halloween. His mother deliberately had him around that time so that he'd be born with the ability to affect Outsiders.
- Horny Devil Thomas Raith was born on Valentine's Day.
- In the Circle of Magic books by Tamora Pierce, plant mage Rosethorn was born on Long Night, the midwinter solstice. Ironic because she's a plant mage, and her leafy friends are mostly all asleep on her birthday. She prefers to celebrate at the midsummer solstice instead for this very reason.
- In the Horatio Hornblower books, or at least the ones published later, Hornblower was born on July 4, 1776, something which he is occasionally teased about (it otherwise never becomes important). It is worth noting that Hornblower was written to be a man of 20th century sensibilities who is fighting in the Wars of French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, and thus has some opinions that are regarded as a touch "Republicist" by those who he has offended (or who just feel like needling the nervous skinny guy for fun). Mind you, the author, C. S. Forester, an Englishman though born in Egypt, eventually moved to California to stay, and was likely aiming the books at an American audience. Making Hornblower the same age as the U. S. — and why not exactly the same age? — helps fix his place in history in the readers' minds.
- Lolita: Dolores Haze was born on January 1st, 1935 — and "Mrs. Richard F. Schiller" died in childbirth on Christmas Day, 1952, a week before her eighteenth birthday. Dolly Haze, whose childhood was stolen from her, never lived to grow up.
- James Bond nemesis Ernst Starvo Blofeld was born on May 28, 1908. So was Bond creater Ian Fleming.
- Misery: Annie was born on April Fool's Day.
- The Colbert Report: The eagle named after Stephen was born on Patriots' Day. Stephen hopes that this will be a significant birthday and that Stephen jr. will grow up to become the first raptor president.
- Doctor Who, "A Good Man Goes to War":
River: It's my birthday.
- It's also the episode right after Melody's birth. Admit it, you went back to this moment when River's identity was revealed.
- In The Snowmen, on Clara's gravestone, her birthday is 23 November, the date of Doctor Who's inititial broadcast. Not only that, but she lives to 26, the same age as Doctor Who when it was first cancelled.
- In House of Anubis the Chosen One is born on a specific day at a specific time once every 75 years. Joy Mercer was believed to be it because she was born at 7:00 PM on the 7th day of the 7th month But it was really Nina, as she was born on the true 7th hour- 7:00 AM.
- Sarah Frobisher-Smythe, the former Chosen One, was born on 1:00 on the 1st of January.
- Richard Castle's birthday is April 1, April Fools' Day. In "The Lives of Others", Kate Beckett led Castle's friends and family in pulling off an elaborate Rear Window themed practical joke as a birthday gift.
- On The X-Files, Mulder was born on October 13. While the birth day was chosen because it's also creator Chris Carter's birthday, the year (1961) was likely chosen deliberately—October 13th fell on a Friday that year. Yes, Mulder was born on Friday the 13th.
- 'Levon', according to Elton John, was 'born to a pauper of a pawn on a Christmas day'. The song is from 1971. Move forward to 2010, and guess who has a son on a Christmas day? Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John. It's unknown if anyone was suggesting that the name be the first one.
- In Snake Tales, the Butt Monkey Snake's birthday is April 25, Anzac Day.
Role Playing Games
- In Magic: The Gathering, Urza was born on the first day of the year and Mishra was born on the last. This meant that Urza was one year older than Mishra except on Mishra's birthday. That very day is the day that Urza activated the Golgothian Sylex, destroying pretty much everything, including the brother he had been warring against for decades, "winning" the war and ascending to Planeswalker-hood.
- Player characters in Spirit Of The Century are by default "Centurions", all born on January 1st 1901 because they're in some mystical way connected to and destined to help shape the century to come. Which of course serves mostly as a handy excuse for them to regularly get involved in two-fisted pulp action adventures as members of the Century Club.
- In Metal Gear Solid, Otacon's father was born on the day of the Hiroshima bombing. Compounded by his grandfather having been part of the Manhattan Project. God is not subtle in the MGS-verse.
- One adaptation of the Sonic the Hedgehog origins had Dr. Robotnik born on the 6th of June, 2006 - 06/06/06.
- A in-universe subversion of this trope (because the actual date of birth is never revealed in-game): "...born on a certain day, to uncertain parents..."
- BlazBlue likes these. The most obvious would be Noel, who as you might guess from her name, was born on Christmas (she's reborn, but not in a good way). Many other characters have double dates (i.e. the same day and month).
- Continuum Shift Extend begins with a cutscene showing Mu-12 activating herself on December 25th to show that she's Noel.
- The Player Character of Fallout 3 was born on 7/13/2258, a reference to The Bible verse Micah 7:13, "The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds." It sums up the Fallout universe nicely.
- Averted by Mass Effect. The Codex tells us Shepard's birth date, but it never comes into play in the story.
- Ken Masters was born on February 14 - Valentine's Day.
- Mai Shiranui's birthday falls on January 1 - New Year's Day.
- Most of the second generation characters in Fire Emblem Awakening have birthdays that correspond to the release dates of earlier games in the series (in Japan). The one that doesn't, the Avatar's child Morgan, is born on Children's Day.
- Cervantes De Leon is another born on New Year's Day.
- Leanne's birthday is on December 25 - Christmas.
- Nanako Dojima from Persona 4's birthday is October 4th. In Persona 3 this was date when Shinjiro killed Ken's mother and the date of his own death two years later.
- The protagonist of Homestuck was born on April 13th or rather, that was the day he rode a meteor in from the Veil, which would be a fairly ordinary day... if the numbers 4/13 didn't keep popping up everywhere. His friends are partial aversions, as they were all born in December... on the 1st, 3rd, and 4th.
- In Eerie Cuties, one vampire was born on Easter and as a consequence doesn't drink blood.
- In Arcana Magi Zero, Alysia Perez and Megumi Miyazaki were both born on February 29th, 2000, which made Megumi wonder if she and Alysia shared a common greater destiny as Guardians of the Gate to the Shrine of Four Mythic Elements.
- Metal guitar virtuoso Steve Vai was born on June 6, 1960 (6-6-60). May explain where he got his near-otherworldly skills...
- Princess Beatrice of York (granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II) was born on August 8, 1988 (8-8-88).
- Ron Kovic was indeed born on July 4, 1946.
- Muppeteer Steve Whitmire, the current performer of Kermit the Frog, was born on September 24, 1959 — which happened to be Jim Henson's 23rd birthday.
- Physicist Stephen Hawking was born on January 6, 1942 - Three hundred years to the day after the death of astronomer Galileo Galilei.
- Squick to anyone born exactly 9 months after a parent's birthday.
- Gioacchino Rossini was born on February 29, 1792, something pianist and comedian Victor Borge saw as evidence of the composer's laziness - he only had to celebrate his birthday every four years!
- Andy Kaufman was born January 17, 1949. Jim Carrey, who played Kaufman in Man on the Moon, was born January 17, 1962. (One TV ad for the movie even pointed this out.)
- Retired Buffalo Bills Quarterback Jim Kelly (February 14, 1960) and his son, Hunter (February 14, 1997).
- Elvis Presley and David Bowie, two of the most famous Real Life examples of The Rock Star, share a birthday — January 8th (1935 and 1947, respectively). Bowie has joked about his birthday getting stuck in the shadow of Presley's.
- John Lennon (October 9, 1940) and his son, Sean (October 9, 1975).
- If we also included significant birth weeks in this trope in regards to date proximity, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy would certainly fit. They were born four days apart in March 1931 (Shatner on the 22nd, Nimoy on the 26th).
- Sylvester Mccoy (the Seventh Doctor), Sophie Aldred (his companion Ace), and Anthony Ainley (the Master) were all born on the 20th of August, in 1943, 1962, and 1932, respectively. The three of them would go on to star together in the last episode of Doctor Who's original series, Survival.