Theme Naming

Obelix: O chief Vitalstatistix, the Normans are landing! And they've got ever such funny names! They all end in "af"!
Asterix: That's right! Their chief is called Timandahaf!
Vitalstatistix: Ha, ha, ha! Did you hear that, Getafix, Cacofonix, Operatix, Acoustix, Polyfonix, Harmonix?
Astérix and the Normans

Authors like to use themes to create a sense of unity or cohesiveness within their work. Some extend themes to the names of the characters, often beyond the similarities that would be expected for characters from the same culture or who all speak the same language. When the author does this, you have Theme Naming, for instance, all the female characters will have names of flowers or plants (occasionally the male characters will get Gender Blender Names); all the names start with the same letter or syllable, groups of characters are named after groups of gods, demigods, or mythical heroes. As the list of subtropes demonstrates, there are a lot of possible themes (and that's not all of them, either)

The Recurring Extras, Those Two Guys and Creepy Twins sometimes have thematic names that link them. Theme naming is also common for characters with unusual names as a mnemonic in order to keep track of a huge cast; it's easier to keep track of which character is associated with which other characters if each group uses a theme.

Theme Naming can also be a Genius Bonus if it involves puns or other types of wordplay, names or words from languages other than the language the work is written in, or multiple layers of meaning in the name, or alternate or changed spellings.


Subtropes include:

See also Meaningful Name, Prophetic Names, Who's on First?, Steven Ulysses Perhero, Names Given to Computers, and This Is My Name on Foreign. See Idiosyncratic Episode Naming for titles.


Examples by Soft-Split Subcategory

    open/close all folders 

    Classical Elements 
  • The heroines of Magic Knight Rayearth have names that reflect the magical elements they command (Hikaru = "light/fire", Umi = "ocean", Fuu = "wind").
    • The Latin American dub decided to maintain the game, and translated the heroines' names: Hikaru became "Lucy" (derived from Latin Lux meaning "light"), Umi was renamed Marina (feminine form of Latin Marinus meaning "of the sea"), and Fuu became Anais (supposedly alluding to her "air" element after a famous perfume, but also seems to point more to her gracefulness).
    • The Filipino dub did this one better by going with Luce, Marina, and the more-appropriate Anemone (Greek for "daughter of the wind").
  • Terra of the Left, Vento of the Front, Acqua of the Back and Fiamma of the Right of A Certain Magical Index are named after the elements as well as the different position you can take in regard to someone.
  • Similarly, many characters in Flame of Recca have names that reference the elemental powers they possess (Recca = "wild fire", Fuuko = "wind child", and so on).
  • The Shiba siblings in Bleach follow a pattern: Kaien means "sea swallow", Ganju means "rock eagle", and Kuukaku means "sky crane".
  • Kingdom Hearts also has a "Sky, Land, Sea" motif for three main characters
    • Sora, Riku, and Kairi are in Japanese; Ven(tus), Terra, and Aqua go for a more Latin theme.
    • The sea / water theme extends to Naminé ('nami' — wave), Kairi's Nobody (sort of) and Xion ('shio' — tide), who looks like a young Kairi with black hair but turns out to be a Replica of Sora created from his strongest memories, which are mostly of her.
  • The Chateau level names in Something are based on the elements in the French language. (Feu, Eau, Vent, and Terre).
  • Each "Elemental Lord" in the Yu-Gi-Oh! game is named in a different language with their respective element. "Grandsoil" (Earth) and "Windrose" (Wind) in English (This could be German too), "Moulinglacia" (Ice) in French, and "Pyrorex" (Fire) in Latin.

    Water/The Sea 
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion is filled with people named after Japanese warships from WWII and pieces of nautical equipment.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch uses puns on the girls' origins ("Noel" from the Arctic, "Coco" from the South Pacific) sometimes, and just about every name in the series has a reference to the sea somewhere.
  • The Venezuelan Soap Opera Llovizna named most of its characters either with water-related names, or things related to the Guayana and Gran Sabana region (for example, the namesake protagonist has a name who means "light rain"; the rivals on the protagonist love are named Orinoco and Caroni after the two main rivers of the region; one of them has the surname "Ferrer", who alludes to the iron and steel industry traditionally established there). Many of those characters have the surname "Fuego" ("fire"), which combined with the water-trend on first names gave birth to silly combinations as "Nieves Fuego", "Snow Fire". Another character has the sillier name "Soledad Barranco" ("Solitude Precipice"), which continues the theme naming (since the table mountains and their lonely deep precipices are common in the region) and also doubles as a Prophetic Name and a Meaningful Name.
  • The names of recent companions in Doctor Who seem to be following this trend: Jackson Lake, Adelaide Brook, River Song, Amy Pond... It might be symbolic, or then again, it might just be a coincidence.
    • It turns out that River and Amy isn't a coincidence; "River Song" is a mistranslation of "Melody Pond".
  • The Blue Boys gang in Waterworks all have plumbing-themed names: Slick, José (Hose), Flush and Tubs.

  • One major character's entire family in Dragon Ball is named for undergarments (Bloomer, Trunks, Bra, Dr. Briefs), a joke which for various reasons is only partially carried over to the English translation.
  • All of the Borogravian officers in Monstrous Regiment have clothing related names (Blouse, Froc, Strappi, etc.) This is a fairly obscure reference to Lords Cardigan and Raglan, two of the generals (and sweater designers?) responsible for the disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade.
    • For bonus points, said Charge was during the Battle of Balaclava.
    • And perhaps also to the Duke of Wellington (for non-Brits, this is because "Wellington" is a common term for waterproof boots in the UK).
      • Wellington seems indicated, as it's pointed out that Generals either get items of clothing or culinary dishes named after them. Beef Wellington anyone?
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: all the major characters are named after undergarments. There are also Chuck, Brief, Big Bad Corset and the demon sisters Scanty and Kneesocks, Panty uses a gun named Backlace... you get the point.

    Body Parts 
  • The Band of Seven in InuYasha have names ending with "kotsu" (骨), meaning "bone", which might signify that they are undead. The other kanji in each of their names also signifies something about each of them.
  • The four main characters of Wolf's Rain are all named for aspects of the wolf; Kiba (Fang), Tsume (Claw), Hige (Whisker), and Toboe (Howl). The pun in the title of the second episode, "Toboe, Who Doesn't Howl", is thus lost in the English translation.
  • Knuckles' mother in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic seems to have an affinity of naming her children after body parts (Knuckles and his half-brother Kneecapeon "Kneecaps" Mace).
  • On The Fairly OddParents, the Rogues Gallery of superhero The Crimson Chin are The Body of Evil, whose members are (naturally) all named for body parts: Bronze Kneecap, Golden Gut, Iron Lung, and Titanium Toenail, among others.
  • Autobot Headmasters in Transformers Headmasters have head- or brain-related names: Chromedome, Hardhead, Highbrow, Brainstorm, and Cerebros.
  • The Seven Primevals of GaoGaiGar were named after the body-parts related to their powers (Nails, Liver, Intestine, etc.)
  • In Skeleton Krew, the three playable Krew members are named Spine, Joint and Rib.
  • In Sym-Bionic Titan the three leads' armor are named Manus, Corus and Octus (hand, heart and eye).

    Science and Technology 
  • The four generals in Gurren Lagann are all named for the four chemicals in DNA, while Beastmen in general, as well as Lordgenome, all have a genetic-based name (Viral, for instance).
    • The other halves of their names come from the four classical elementals. Thymine + Sylph = Thymilph, Adenine + Undine = Adiane, Guanine + Gnome = Guame, and Cytosine + Salamander = Cytomander. One might question the logic of having Thymilph represented by the Wind elemental (considering that he's a gorilla who's units are all on the ground) and Cytomander by Fire (who looks more like a peacock than a salamander and uses all air-units), but Cytilph and Thymander don't have quite the same ring...
  • The Mega Man Battle Network series uses a computer theme for its main characters (Net/Site or Lan/Hub, Mail, and so on), but contains a nod to the musical theme of the earlier games in the third game — the master of the Ura Internet and penultimate final boss, Serenade. The manga hung a lampshade on this, where in an omake the author decides to make Blues a girlfriend named Rhythm. Rhythm and Blues!
    • In X8, we have Alianote , Layernote  and Pallettenote , all graphics related.note .
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Antimony is named for the element, and both parts of her mum's maiden name refer to it — "Surma" is (close to) Russian for "antimony", and "Stibnite" is antimony sulfide.
    • Also, Zeta and Gamma.
  • Sailor Nothing uses the noble gasses plus an Odd Name Out technique for the Dark Generals (Argon, Neon, Xenon, Radon, and Cobalt).
  • When history was altered so Marvel Comics' third Captain Marvel, Genis-Vell, suddenly had a sister, she turned out to be named Phyla, riffing off the taxanomical classifications "genus" and "phylum".
  • The Card Professors in Yu-Gi-Oh! R are named after Intel project codenames (Mendo Cino from Mendocinonote  and Kirk Dixon from Dixonnote , for example), which explains why some of them are much more "unique" than others. This overlaps somewhat with Location Theme Naming, as many of those codenames were originally taken from the locations of various Intel plants (Tilla Mook is derived from Tillamooknote , Oregon, and Willa Mette is named after the Willamettenote  River from the same state).
  • The Sky People from Zoids: Genesis are named after transition metals: Fermi from Fermium, Prome from Promethium, Palla from Palladium and so on. Anyone quick to spot this may have worked out who else was a Sky Person before it was revealed: Ron Mangan (Manganese).
  • Accidentally averted in Zelda II. You know Error? Yeah, the guy who says "I am Error". That's his name. That's supposed to be his name. You know Bagu? He was supposed to be named Bug... you see where this is going.
  • The members of the Pache tribe in Shaman King are all named after elements of the periodic table: Silva (silver), Goldva (gold), Kalim (kalium AKA potassium), Rutherfor (rutherfordium) and so on.
  • A number of bosses and NPCs in Ogre Battle are named after stars or constellations. Deneb, Sirius, Canopus, the Gemini, Prochon (close to Procyon) and Kapella (close to Capella).
  • Varicella does one with diseases. The last name of Anti-Hero Primo Varicella means "chickenpox". His final enemy is Modo Variola, whose last name means "smallpox".
  • The Doozers in Fraggle Rock are all named after tools, machine parts or gadgets; Flange Doozer, Cotterpin Doozer, Old Man Pipe Wrench, Modem Doozer, etc.
  • While the main characters of Il Sole penetra le Illusioni have meaningful names referring to their associated tarot card, the talking animals, Laplace and Schrodinger, are named for thought experiments in physics on the nature of causality. In case you haven't guessed, the show has a destiny theme.

  • The names of the Black Siblings in Gurren Lagann all start with ki: Kittan, Kiyoh, Kinon, and Kiyal. If you flip them, you get emotions or states of mind: tanki means quick temper, youki means cheerfulness, nonki means various things including carefree and optimistic and yaruki means willingness.
  • Terry Pratchett — naturally — spoofs theme naming with the Carter family in Discworld. The daughters are named after virtues: Hope, Chastity, Prudence, and Charity. After that they got confused and thought that the sons should be named after vices: Anger, Jealousy, Bestiality, Covetousness and Deviousness. This being Discworld, they all have personalities which are the exact opposite of their names. For example, Hope suffers from depression and a sense of the existential alienation and angst, Chastity is a uhh..."Seamstress" in Ankh-Morpork's seedier districts, while Anger is a calm and reasonable fellow and Bestiality is known for his kindness towards animals.
  • In Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy, royal children and sometimes lesser nobles are named for virtues: Chivalry, Dutiful, Patience, etc.
  • The majority of the bosses in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater are named after the emotions they "carry into battle," such as The Pain, who is covered in hornets.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, The Beauty and the Beast unit takes this trope one step further, combining the animal names of FOXHOUND and the emotions of the Cobra Unit (for example, combining Vulcan Raven and The Fury to make Raging Raven).
      • This also provides Fridge Brilliance when you realise the name "Old Snake" fits the theme (combination of Liquid Snake and The End).
  • The Seven Dwarfs, at least in Disney Animated Canon.

  • In Naruto, most of the important members of the Hyuga (Toward the Sun) clan follow this sort of theme naming with Hiashi (Daytime), Hizashi (Sunlight), Hinata (Sunny Place), Hanabi (Fireworks) with Neji (Screw) being the Odd Name Out. Hinata's daughter Himawari (Sunflower) joins the Hyuga's Theme Naming while her son Bolt matches both Neji's and her husbands spiral theme naming.
  • Three of the four Organoids in the Zoids: Chaotic Century anime have names related to light effects: Shadow, Ambient and Specular. Note that Zeke and Shadow are not the original names of those Organoids; those names were given later by humans. Their original names could well have been Diffuse and Emissive.
  • The first installment of the Disgaea series named quite a few of its primary characters after volcanos, including Etna, Vulcanus (From Vulcano, Italy), Maderas (La Madera), Krichevskoy (Kliuchevskoi), and Lamington. Laharl is named after a type of pyroclastic mudslide that occurs after eruptions.
  • In Hikaru no Go, the names Hikaru, Akira and Akari are all related to light.
  • The Earth Alliance of Babylon 5 named various class of ships from the sun and light, giving us the Nova-class dreadnoughts and starfuries, the Hyperion-class heavy cruisers (named after the titan of the sun) and the Aurora-class starfuries.
  • Tidus and Yuna in Final Fantasy X are named after the sun and moon, respectively - the words come from Okinawan.

  • The GoBots had a gestalt character called Puzzler, and the robots who combined to form him all had puzzle-related names: Crossword, Jig Saw, Pocket, Rube, Tic Tac and Zig Zag. Just in case a few of those escape you, Zig Zag was a puzzle manufacturer in the early part of the 20th century, and Rube Goldberg is famous for his complicated devices.
  • Ronk, Papes, and Snips from The Legendary Starfy fit into this category.
  • Geddoe's mercenaries are: Jacques, Queen, Ace, and Joker. Ace refers to Geddoe at one point as King.
  • Fist of the North Star has Shin's four playing card-themed henchmen (known as the Four Jacks in the anime adaptation), who are Spade, Diamond, Club, and Heart. Shin's alias of "King" comes from the highest rank in playing cards, making Yuria his (reluctant) "Queen". The anime introduces the Filler Villain Joker, although the other members of Shin's army later introduced completely averts the theme naming altogether.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn - In the Japanese version, we have Spade, Heart, and Ace; an Ace is the most valuable card in a suit, with Spades and Hearts being two of them in a standard deck of playing cards. Switching to the English version, a tarot deck uses twenty-two cards known as Major Arcana (Arcanus). The Minor Arcana, likewise, are divided into suits, two of which are swords (Blados) and cups (Chalis). Kraden explains this proper upon a certain Reveal.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game has the Archfiend archetype, in which the main monsters that are part of it are themed after chess pieces, each with a demonic-themed slant (Terrorking, Infernalqueen, Darkbishop, Desrooknote , Shadowknight and Vilepawn).
  • In the playing card-themed J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai, there are Spade Ace, Dia Jack, Heart Queen and Clover King.
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 has characters named after cards - Ace, Queen, King, Jack, and the rest of the cast named after numbers in various languages.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has an M9 gun, SEAL Team 10, Raiden (real name "Jack"), Fortune (nicknamed "Queen"), Solidus (nicknamed "King"), and Solid Snake (referred to multiple times as the 'ace in the hole'). Together, they make a straight flush. (This also fits how the game is about the difference between games and reality.)
  • In the Movie-Within-A-Show of Lights... Camera... Action!, the characters are named after playing card ranks — "Ace" (The Hero), "King" (Big Bad), "Queen" (Camp Gay), "Jack" (The Dragon), and "10" (The Chick). This was because the game originally had a card game motif that was changed midway through development.

  • For the magic-themed Mahou Sentai Magiranger, the core five are members of the "Ozu" (as in The Wizard of Oz) family.
    • The first sibling is Makato, which means "sower" (he is a gardener by trade) and "logs" (his element as a magician is earth).
    • The second sibling is Houka, which means "fragrance" and mirrors her girly demeanour.
    • The third sibling is Urara, which means "bright" and "beauty". It is also a pun on Uranai (fortune telling), which is her special talent as a magician.
    • The fourth sibling is Tsubasa, which means "wings". His motif is that of a garuda.
    • The fifth sibling is Kai, which means "leader" (he is the leader of the team). The Japanese symbol for "fire" (his element) is read as "ka".
    • Finally, take the first syllable of each sibling's name and arrange them from oldest to youngest, and you get "mahoutsukai", which is Japanese for "magician".
  • Winx Club: Except for Bloom (whose search for her power source is a major thread in S1 while her powers are blooming) and Aisha (the newcomer in S2), the Winx girls have names that recall their power source (that is, the theme of their attacks): Stella (sun and moon, although most of her attacks are solar), Musa (music), Tecna (technology), and Flora (plants).
  • Neverwhere has Door and her family, who have a reputation in London Below as "openers." In addition to her, there's Arch, Ingress, and her father, Lord Portico.

    Weather and Nature 
  • The third and fourth generation of Pokémon games had widespread nature-themed portmanteaus for town names. This also happened with all the Professors.
  • Also from Keroro Gunsou, we have human protagonists Fuyuki, Natsumi and Aki, whose names contain the words for winter, summer and autumn respectively. Fan speculation that their Disappeared Dad will have the name Haru, for spring, is not unwarranted.
  • The Four Heavenly Kings of the Devil Gundam in G Gundam seem to be named for the terrain on which they fight best: Grand (a corruption of "ground"), Walter (corruption of "water"), Heaven's Sword (sky). Master Gundam doesn't quite fit the theme, but its pilot is indeed a master martial artist (nicknamed Master Asia) who can fight well no matter where he is, so the theme is still somewhat preserved.
  • Citizens of Viron, the main city in Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun follow a strict naming convention. Men are named after animals, or animal-derived substances: Bison, Auk, Silk, Horn, Blood. Women are named after plants or plant-derived substances: Mint, Rose, Chenille. Robots are named after minerals: Marble, Sand, Molybdenum. Family members will have similar names (Auk and Bustard are two brothers named after large birds, and the family that controls the city council are all named after lesser primates: Lemur, Loris, Potto). At various points, a sufficiently alert reader can figure out that certain people are related by the similarity of their names, which is relevant to the plot in a number of cases. For instance, the city's former ruler was named Tussah, a type of expensive fabric, and the protagonist is named Silk...
  • The Tendos in Ranma ˝ are named after clouds, which also represent their personalities. "Tendo" (or "Tendou", depending on the romanization) can mean "Way to Heaven" or "Path of Heaven." "Akane" means "crimson," "Nabiki" means "to sway" (which her victims tend to do,) and "Kasumi" means "mist," referring to her wispy nature. "Soun" means "fast cloud."
  • In Big Trouble in Little China, the Three Storms, Lo Pan's elite servants, are named Thunder, Rain, and Lightning. These names vaguely conform with their abilities. Well, it's pretty obvious with Lightning.
  • The Hero of Final Fantasy VIII is named Squall. His mother is named Raine. His father is called Laguna. The odd one out is his adoptive sister, Ellone.
    • Extending beyond that game, there's Cloud Strife and Lightning. Zack Fair was given his last name as a play on "fair weather" to contrast Cloud.
  • Almost everyone in Nabari No Ou has a name relating to weather. Raikou and Raimei mean "lightning" and "thunder", Gau means "rain shower", Yoite means "evening breeze", Kumohira means "calm cloud", and Fuuma means "wind demon". Yukimi, Kouichi, and Miharu have the characters for "snow", "rainbow", and "clear weather", respectively.
  • The Taiwanese girl group 4 in Love have the stage names Rainie, Windie, Sunnie and Cloudie.
  • The four female protagonists in Seitokai no Ichizon, Sakurano (Cherry-Blossom-Field) Kurimu = Spring. Shiina Minatsu (Deep-Summer) = Summer. Akaba (Red-Leaves) Chizuru = Autumn. Shiina Mafuyu (True Winter) = Winter.
  • Mangaka Hiro Mashima has a habit for naming his protagonists after seasons. Aki (autumn) from Monster Soul, Haru (spring) Rave Master, Natsu (summer) from Fairy Tail, and Shiki (four seasons) from the manga adaption of Monster Hunter
  • As part of their Meaningful Rename, all of the citizens of Refuge in Purgatory take nature names. Forest, Glen, Ivy, Rose, Woods, Lamb.
  • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance the Winds of Destruction are all named after various winds. Mistral, Monsoon and Sundowner. In the case of Sam, his official designation is Minuano but he's more commonly known as Jetstream Sam.
  • The four Cute Sports Club Manager in Inazuma Eleven series are named after Japanese seasons: Aki, Natsumi, Haruna, and Fuyuka.
  • In Real Life, both Maserati and Volkswagen have a wind-based theme to naming cars. Despite this, they've only shared one model name: Bora. note 

Other Examples

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Fruits Basket except for Yuki the zodiac member's names come from the associated months with their animal.
  • Saint Seiya's characters foreshadow their destiny. "Seiya" means "Star Arrow" (in reference to his signature "Pegasus Meteor Fist" attack). "Shiryu" means "Violet Dragon" (and he becomes the Bronze Dragon Saint). "Hyoga" means "Glacier" (his attacks revolve around freezing the opponent, and he trained in the North Pole). "Ikki" and "Shun", brothers, mean "Gleam" and "Twinkle" respectively, reflecting not just their relationship but also the shine of the Phoenix's flame and of the Nebula Chain.
  • Miko and Matsuri's names in Kamichu! mean "shrine maiden" and "festival" respectively
  • One character's name in Shanghai Youma Kikai is "Kuo". However, the kanji used can also mean "Kyubi," a nine-tailed fox demon of Japanese mythology (they could also change to a human form). Though not techincally conformed yet, it seems obvious that since everyone working at Demon Taoist Corperation (other than Su-An) is a demon, Kuo is a Kyubi demon. Main character, Jack, also has a Meaningful Name.
  • Sailor Moon loves these.
    • The Sailor Senshi's names usually contain a kanji for or associated with the planets. Ten'ou, Kaiou, and Meiou, the civilian names of Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, and Sailor Pluto, come from the Japanese names of the planets they represent. "Meiou" also means "Dark King" and "Setsuna" (Pluto's given civilian name) means "moment", but could also be a derivative of "setsunai", meaning "painful". (Which no doubt influenced the selection of her dub name, Trista — which means "sad".) Sailor Saturn/Hotaru Tomoe has her own thing going on: "Hotaru" is Japanese for "firefly" (fireflies are associated with the spirits of the dead in Japanese mythology), and "Tomoe" means "sprouting earth". The first kanji for "Tomoe" is also the first kanji of Saturn's Japanese name, Dosei.
  • Dragon Ball certainly qualifies, as there's hardly a name that isn't a pun or doesn't have a constant theme through their names in a family or race e.g.
    • Underwear: Dr. Briefs, Bulma (whose name when pronounced in Japanese, Buruma, is a homophone to the Japanese word for "Bloomers"), Trunks, Bulla (Bra).
    • Freeza and his family in Dragon Ball Z are all named after English terms for cold, or cooling kitchen appliances (King Cold, Cooler, etc.).
    • Bibidi, Babidi, and Majin Buu are a shout out to Disney's animated film Cinderella. It's three of the magic words in the Fairy Godmother's spell "Salmanca-doola, Menchika-boola, Bibbity-bobbity-boo".
    • Vegetables: Most of the Saiyans. Kakkarot (Carrot), Vegeta (Vegetable), Nappa (Nappa Cabbage), etc.
  • The few members of the Joketsuzoku (or "Amazons") in Ranma ˝ who are named are named after cosmetics, spices, or Indian food: for example, the central trio Cologne, Shampoo, and Mousse.
  • Case Closed is full of these, whether related to the plot or not. For example:
    • The second movie The Fourteenth Target centers around a series of attacks on a group of people, with the order based on the numerical element in the kanji or pronunciation of the target's name based on playing cards (starting at Joker and working down). The English dub, dropped that theme and changed several names, basing the necessary allusions on their careers instead, such as how many patents an inventor had filed, or a professional golfer's national ranking.
  • Gundam is all over the place with various groups of characters and mecha given different themes, but an often forgotten one is that most of the White Base crew from the original series are named for WWII fighter planes — Amuro Ray for the infamous "Zero", Kai Shiden for the Shiden Kai, etc. Many Gundams also follow certain themes, varying from series to series.
  • Aside from the Animal Theme Naming for the main cast in Gakuen Babysitters, the Nezu siblings' given names are based on varying degrees of luck.

    Audio Drama 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who "Zoe's memories" arc, all the characters in the 'present day' sections have three-letter names: Ali, Jen, Kym and Zoe herself.


    Fan Fiction 

  • The Agent "triplets" in The Matrix media:
    • The Matrix: Smith, Jones, and Brown.
    • The Matrix Reloaded: Johnson, Thompson, and Jackson.
  • In Hot Fuzz, all of the characters have trade or occupation-related surnames (Paver, Reaper, Draper, Butterman, Messenger, and, yes, Angel). These names tend to fit with the character's current profession.
    • There's also that one guy with a cellar full of guns, Mr. Webley.
      • Simon Pegg has also stated that the use of old-fashioned trade-related names was to serve as an indication of how insular, endogamous and xenophobic Sandford had become. There are no Patels in Sandford, because anyone named Patel who tried to move there would be encouraged to seek his/her fortunes elsewhere.
  • The World's End:
    • The surnames of the five lead characters are King, Knightley, Prince, Chamberlain and Page.
    • Guy Shepherd tries to guide the main characters into accepting fate and becoming alien replicants (i.e. sheep).

  • Dwarfish names in Discworld were loosely based on a mixture of Tolkien and Norse mythology, then turned up to eleven (Glod Glodsson, Snori Snoriscousin, Grabpot Thundergust, etc.) This has been toned down in recent books, possibly due to dwarfs becoming a more serious immigration metaphor.
    • Some dwarfs are also named after emotions, as a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs reference (Cheery Littlebottom). And the ones who invented the printing press in The Truth are all named after printers (many of whom also gave their names to fonts in real life).
  • In Harry Potter, most (though not all) members of the Black family are named after stars or constellations, with some more distant relatives, like Draco Malfoy and his son Scorpius, also following the tradition.
  • In Nina Kiriki Hoffman's book A Fistful of Sky, the mother Anise and the mother's sister Hazel are named for plants.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth world makes much use of Theme Naming and its various subtropes, ranging from family members being given related names, to naming conventions of dynasties of the general public.
  • Likewise in A Song of Ice and Fire, uses employs Theme Naming to differentiate the ethnic, cultural and familiar differences between its Loads and Loads of Characters
  • In David Drake's RCN series, the so-called Alliance of Free Stars is not especially German in its ethnicity — but many major Alliance warships have German names: the cruiser/minelayer Bremse, battleships Der Grosser Karlnote , Siegfried, and Direktor Friedrich, cruisers Bluecher and Scheer.... Also, Alliance destroyers mostly have alphanumeric designators which usually begin with "Z." Like German destroyers (Zerstörer) in World War 2. One notable exception is a battleship named Pleasaunce after the Alliance capital world.
  • In North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley, the main character Terra's siblings are all named after map terms because their father is a cartographer. Terra's name sounds pretty normal, but her other brother is Mercatur.
  • IN First Light, the dogs are all named after moons, stars, constellations, and galazies.
  • The Underland Chronicles:
    • The mice are named after famous mathematicians and mathematical principles.
    • The rats have compound names, usually violent — Ripred, Gorger, Makemince.
  • In The Hunger Games there are many different themes, mainly depending on which part of Panem people are from. Those in the Capitol and those from District 2 often have Roman names (Caesar, Cato, Cinna, Portia), those from District 1 have names related to luxury (Cashmere, Glimmer, Gloss), people from District 4 have aquatic names (Finnick, Annie Cresta) and so on depending on the district specialty.
  • Many of the characters in The Vagina Ass Of Lucifer Niggerbastard share a vulgar theme, such as, King Lowrider Dewrag Dicksalsa.

    Live Action TV 
  • LOST: Pierre Chang uses a number of candle-themed aliases for his orientation videos: Mark Wickmund, Edgar Halliwax, and Marvin Candle.
  • The Sinclairs in Dinosaurs are named after the Sinclair oil (fossil fuels) company, which famously uses a brontosaurus as its logo and on all its merchandise. Other characters in the show are also named after oil companies, including Earl's friend Roy Hess, boss B.P. (British Petroleum) Richfield (from Atlantic Richfield, better known as ARCO and now owned by BP) and others.
  • Due South adored themed names. There was usually some sort of pun or reference involved (e.g. in one episode, a hockey player's manager shared a name with a well-known Canadian hockey commentator), but they were not often Meaningful Names — once you got the reference or pun, there was generally no further significance to the name.

  • Wolf 359: Human members of the cast seem to all be named after some kind of famous scientist or engineer. Eiffel shares his name with the famous French engineer and architect, and Minkowski, Hilbert, and Lovelace are all named after mathematicians.

     Tabletop Games 
  • The Tuner monsters of the Vylon archetype in Yu-Gi-Oh! are shaped and named after three-dimensional geometric figures ("Prism", "Cube", "Sphere", "Tetrah[edron]", "Stella [Octangula]", and the Union monsters are based on four-dimensional figures.

    Video Games 
  • In House of the Dead, the various boss monsters are named after Tarot cards of the Major Arcana. Some of these names fit the description of the zombie (Strength from House of the Dead 2 is a hulking giant armed with a chainsaw), others not so much (Chariot from the first game is an armored humanoid with a spear)
  • In Killer7, the names of the three spirits Iwazaru, Mizaru, and Kikazaru in Japanese refer to the 'speak no evil', 'see no evil', and 'hear no evil' monkeys, respectively.
  • Tales of Hearts: Every single one of Innes' artes are in French.
  • Tales of Vesperia has Judith...and my God, does she love the moon. Every single one of her artes has a word relating to moon in it.
    • Tales of Graces has the secret boss, Solomos have artes that are basically Japanese sayings like "因果応報", retribution or Karma, or "天衣無縫", ten'i muhou, the clothing of the heavens is seamless, i.e. flawless, etc.
  • In Sakura Taisen, your name will relate to whichever division (the Flower Division, the Star Division, etc) you're part of.
  • From Cave Story, the robot True Companions Quote and Curly Brace are named for punctuation (the " and } symbols, respectively). According to the end credits, the four Mimigas that Curly adopted went by the last name Colon.
  • Mega Man Star Force (aka Shooting Star Rockman), the sequel to Mega Man Battle Network, changed the theme from computer technology to space: Geo/Subaru ("The Pleaides"), Sonia (SUN-ya)/Misora (meaning "beautiful sky"), Luna, Mr. Boreal, and all the villains in the first game. The second game had villains based on UMA (Unidentified Mysterious Animal), like Ghosts, Yeti or Loch Ness' Monster. The third game had an obvious playing card theme: Jack, Queen Tia, A.C. Eos — better known as Ace, King, Joker, Heartless, and the name of the evil organization, Dealer.
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga names all its places after laughter, such as Hoo Hoo Mountain, Chucklehuck Woods, Woohoo Hooniversity and Teehee Valley. Fittingly, That One Level, the Disc One Final Dungeon and place the Theme Naming comes to a screeching stop is called Jokes End.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, the places are named after bodily diseases/issues. Cavi Cape (cavity), Plack Beach, Dimble Wood, Bumpsy Plains and a few others are included.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, every place (and many characters) are named after sleep and things associated with it. Pi'illo Island/Castle and the Pi'illo Kingdom, Dozing Sands, Wakeport, Mount Pajamaja... heck the main professor guy is even called Professor Snoozemore (who keeps falling asleep), the other Exposition Fairy is called Prince Dreambert and the third giant Luigi opponent is called Earthwake.
  • Pokémon:
    • Unova's towns are named after clouds, such as Accumula (cumulus) and Icirrus.
    • A lot of the gym leaders have this as well. The names correspond to the type of Pokemon that they use. For instance, Lt. Surge uses electric Pokemon.
    • Pokémon Trainers themselves are yet another thing...
      • In the original generation, the main character had the optional names Red/Blue, Ash/Gary and Jack/John, depending on your version. The Rival had the opposite names.
    • The Team Galactic admins are named after planets (though Pluto's English name, Charon, is named after its largest moon instead), and Cyrus is named for the Persian word for the Sun.
    • In HeartGold and SoulSilver, the Rocket admins (Proton, Petrel, Arianna and Archer) are named after... well, rockets.
  • EVE Online has each Empire's ships follow theme naming for easy distinction. The Ammar use religious terms with an inquisitorial bent (Apocalypse, Omen, Punisher), the Gallente use Latin/Greek names (Hyperion, Incursus, Thorax), Caldari are generally birds, but with some mythological or land-based animals thrown in (Rokh, Merlin, Caracal), and the Minmatar have names based on violence, storms, and animals (Maelstrom, Stabber, Jaguar).
    • Up until Hisoutensoku, all classes of Alice's dolls were named after real and fictional locations. "Goliath" broke this trend.
  • Every location in Santa Destroy in No More Heroes is named after a pro wrestling maneuver; Body Slam Beach, Rounding Body Pess Station, Atomic Drop Ward, Suplex Pizza, etc.
  • The Fallout: New Vegas expansion pack "Old World Blues" includes a collective of Mad Scientists called the "Think Tank." All are disembodied brains floating around in robotic life support units. Their names are "Dr. Klein," "Dr. Dala," "Dr. 8," "Dr. 0," "Dr. Borous" and "Dr. Mobius," who is estranged. All of their names refer to the same thing: Endless, recursive loops. Which turns out to be a big clue to the nature of their characters.
  • While not universal, many of the elemental witches from the Luminous Arc games have names that reflect their power. In the first game, there's Lucia (based on the Latin word for light), Clair (possibly derived from the French word "éclair," meaning a flash of lightning), and Vivi (maybe from the Spanish word for wind, "viento"). Luminous Arc 2 has Dia ("día" is Spanish for day, as in daylight), Potpurri (her element is nature, which combines earth and wood), Luna (meaning moon, she is the Tide Witch and the moon affects the tides), and possibly Fatima (sounds like "fatal," referring to her power over darkness).
  • Excluding the secret level, every map in The Ultimate Doom's fourth episode is named after a phrase from the Bible, as is the episode itself ("Thy Flesh Consumed", a phrase from Proverbs 5:11).
  • In Mass Effect, the five multiplayer DLC packs for Mass Effect 3 employ both a theme (resistance against hopeless odds) and assonance: Resurgence, Rebellion, Earth (the Odd Name Out but also Exactly What It Says on the Tin), Retaliation, and Reckoning. Doubles as Alphabetical Theme Naming.
  • The X-Universe series Terraformer ships use a hexadecimal string (#deca, #fade, #cefa).
  • In World of Warcraft, there are a few examples of varying types.
    • Titanic watchers are often named after Norse gods. Thorim, a watcher who can wield thunder powers and a large hammer, is named after the god Thor.
    • Bosses often drop loot that's related to the boss or setting. The gear might belong to the boss (such as "Finger of Zon'Ozz" from Warlord Zon'Ozz), be named after one of the boss's attacks (Ultraxion's Morningstar of Heroic Will reflects an ability you must use to survive some of his attacks), be a reference to who the boss is (Morchok, a powerful earth elemental, has gear referencing the earth, such as "Rockhide Bracers"), or so forth.
  • The original Japanese version of MOTHER had its towns named after holidays. The prototype English version of the game had these names changed because the translator thought they were silly names. The translator for the Fan Translation of the MOTHER section of the Game Boy Advance Compilation Re-release agreed with the sentiment but kept the holiday-themed names anyway.
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited has all of its levels (except for Edwin's Farm) named after things that have to do with writing (St. Asterisk Hospital, Bullet Point Bayou, Ruins of Ellipsis, etc.)
  • The Battletoads are all named after skin afflictions - Rash, Pimple, and Zitz.
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces ran on the "Jedi" engine. When it was decided to make the Video Game 3D Leap with a sequel, the engine made for it was named the "Sith" engine.

    Web Comics 
  • The majority of Cucumber Quest characters follow a naming theme based off where they live. In the Ripple Kingdom they have sea-based names.
  • The Inlays in S.S.D.D show multiple examples of theme naming, the different classes are named after chess pieces (pawns=infantry, rooks=tanks, etc.), and the name Inlay is derived from Inle.
  • The title= text presenters in The Way of the Metagamer are all title-based. So far, we've had "Titular" and "Ebony Nauss".
  • Warships in Schlock Mercenary have a lot of running themes: the protagonists tend to give their ships comedic names appropriate to their profession, such as the Post-Dated Check Loan or the Serial Peacemaker. The UNS names their battleplates after major asteroid impact events. The Tausenigann Ob'enn have long, pretentious names of the form "Weapon of Adjective Noun." And the Fleetmind's ships all have the initials P.D.
  • In Route148 the Reeds have a habit of naming their oldest sons John. The only exception of this is the protagonist Jack, but then again Jack is a diminutive of John. Both Jack and Linton also have female friends that are named after a month (June and April) and all the towns encountered in the comic used to be named after famous writers.
  • In Our Little Adventure, all of the elves are named after prescription drugs.
  • In Commander Kitty, Nin Wah takes exception to being part of a crew consisting of "Fluffy," "Socks," and "Mittens."
  • Homestuck uses different kinds of this again and again. The Midnight Crew of the Intermission (Spades Slick, Hearts Boxcars, Diamonds Droog, and Clubs Deuce) are named after suits of cards, and the trolls, aside from having all their handles constrained by the Theme Initials being from genetics (GCAT, a pattern also seen in the kids except for John), are named after various zodiac signs. This has actually spawned a WMG that there is a thirteenth troll, based upon the "thirteenth zodiac sign" Ophiuchus, whose handle maintains the genetic pattern by adopting the handle UU (for uracil in RNA).
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse:
    • Also (overlapping with Sdrawkcab Name in many cases), the Heliorites from U19 are named after different brands of electrical appliances: Eleim (Miele), Xeniloum (Moulinex), Tidar (Radit), Naurb (Braun), Phipsil (Philips), Magsuns (Samsung), Loopwhirl (Whirlpool) and Nedwook (Kenwood).

    Web Original 
  • In Arcana Magi Zero, Alysia Perez and Megumi Miyazaki named their magical items Saga and Fable after genres of fiction.
    • Also in Arcana Magi Main Series, the Sentinels magical items are named Saga, Fable, Legacy, and Epic.
  • TV Tropes:
  • RWBY has students named Ruby Rose (Little Red Riding Hood), Yang Xiaolong ("Yang" is a Chinese word that translates to "light", referring to Goldilocks), Weiss Schnee (her name is German for "White Snow", referring to Snow White), Blake Belladonna (Bellona, Roman goddess of war or Bell, from Beauty and the Beast), and Jaune Arc (Joan of Arc).
    • Two of the teachers are named Professor Ozpin and Glynda Goodwitch, references to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
    • In addition, one species of the Creatures of Grim (The Brothers Grimm) are known as Beowolves (Beowulf).
    • Two academies are known as Beacon and Signal.
  • Girl Chan In Paradise has main character Kenstar and his Distaff Counterpart Maytag, named after brands of washing machines.

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventure Time, there's a very Aerith and Bob style convention: Either you're Jake, Billy, Harold, etc., or you have a noble title (Lumpy Space Princess, Ice King, Duke of Nuts, Princess Bubblegum, etc.). This is particularly in view with the princesses, who make up easily a quarter of the show's cast.
  • Bamse has Skutt's siblings... All of which are named for swedish synonyms for "jumping" (he has a lot of them, being a rabbit)
  • In G.I. Joe, the villainous Dreadnok trio of Torch, Ripper, and Buzzer. Their real names, Thomas Winken, Henry Nod, and Richard Blinken-Smythe, follow two themes; Their first names are Tom, Dick, and Harry, and their last names are Winken, Blinken, and Nod.
    • Monkey Wrench, a later addition to the crew, was named Bill Winkie: "Wee Willie Winkie," in keeping with the nursery rhyme theme of the original three.
  • In Sheep in the Big City a majority of the characters names are either puns or Exactly What It Says on the Tin (Sheep, the Ranting Swede, Angry Scientist). EVERY member of the Secret Military organization has an oxymoronic name (General Specific, Private Public, Major Minor)

    Real Life 
  • The Mars Rovers are developing a pattern - Pathfinder (lander)/Sojourner (rover); Spirit (R.I.P) and Opportunity (still kicking), Curiosity (rover)
  • Britain's Royal Navy has a tendency to use theme naming for their ships, with each class of ships being assigned a particular theme. Sometimes, the class is named not after the first ship built (as is normally the case in all navies) but after the theme used, as in the County class heavy cruisers, Town class light cruisers, Crown Colony class light cruisers, and Colony class frigates (named after smaller, less significant colonies than the light cruisers).
    • Similarly, the Imperial Japanese Navy was big on theme naming. Destroyers were usually named after weather phenomena or times of the year. Individual classes or sub-classes of destroyers sometimes had themes within the theme, such as the Minekaze-class and Kamikaze-class destroyers which were all named after types of wind.
  • It is all too common that you'll find that ski resorts tend to utilize this trope in naming their trails. Some notable examples:
    • Winter Park Resort in Colorado has one part of its front side where trails are named for famous people involved in the founding of the resort. The trails and runs off of the Olympia Express lift on the backside of the Winter Park area are all named for Alice in Wonderland characters like the White Rabbit, March Hare, Cheshire Cat, Tweedledee and Tweedledum. There is even a double chairlift called Looking Glass in this area.
    • Steamboat Ski Resort has theme naming for each part of the mountain above Thunderhead restaurant: stagecoach based names on Pioneer Ridge, weather phenomena themed runs on Storm Peak, time-themed runs off the Sundown Express lift on Sunshine Peak, mountain man-themed runs off the Sunshine Express lift on south Sunshine Peak, and morning-themed runs in Morningside Park.
    • Breckenridge Ski Resort's Peak 6 expansion opened in 2013 has trails named for a common theme of "Awaken Your Sixth Sense," which is unique because the trail names were picked through a Facebook naming contest. And if you have a profound knowledge of some Japanese words, the chairlift names also reflect the theme: the Zendo lift is named for a word meaning "meditation hall," while the Kensho SuperChair is Japanese for "seeing nature" or "seeing essence".
  • Westfield Group, an Australian shopping mall firm, names all of its malls "Westfield X". If they acquire a mall from another company, then they will usually take part of the old name and add "Westfield" (e.g. "Westfield Sherman Oaks", formerly Sherman Oaks Fashion Square, in Los Angeles). They used to take it a step further and have them all be "Westfield Shoppingtown X", but they dropped the "Shoppingtown" in the mid-2000s. However, this naming is frequently subverted, as locals will almost always refer to the mall by its pre-Westfield name. Also, if Westfield sells the mall, the new owners will invariably revert it to its former name.
  • Technology companies often go with a theme for codenaming their products. AMD used to use the names of locations, then started using constellations, before settling on heavy construction equipment.
  • The city of Pontiac, Michigan (a northern suburb of Detroit that used to be its own thing but is now part of Detroit's sprawl) is named after Pontiac, a chief/war leader of the Ottawa people who led/inspired a major war/revolt of the Native peoples of the Great Lakes region against the British settlers there in 1763-66. Because he inspired many peoples to rise up against the British, many streets in Pontiac (named in his honor) are named for various Native peoples of North America (although not necessarily ones that participated in Pontiac's War); the main east-west street is Huron St., and there are streets honoring the Seminole, Ottawa, Seneca, and others.