The standard fandom term for using a real person's name in a story as a form of in-joke or Shout-Out
. Derived from the science fiction writer Wilson Tucker, well known for doing this.
It isn't always a famous person, either: sometimes a writer will use the names of friends (or enemies). Famous writers, including Stephen King
and Terry Pratchett
, have been known to offer their readers a chance to be tuckerized, either as the prize in a competition
or as part of a charity auction. Characters created under these circumstances have a tendency to suffer a form of Death by Cameo
. Sometimes falls into Theme Naming
Sometimes overlaps with Write Who You Know
. For the time travel variant, see also I'm Mr. Future Pop Culture Reference
. For the animal version, see Tribute to Fido
. For characters who take their names from the actors who portray them, see The Danza
. Opposite is No Celebrities Were Harmed
Has nothing to do with an obscure coupe with three headlights, a crazed Scottish spin doctor
or a certain blue soldier
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Ash from the Pokémon anime. His original Japanese name is Satoshi, after the creator of the Pokémon games, Satoshi Tajiri; some have hypothesised that "Ash" is in turn a contraction of "Satoshi." Gary was originally named Shigeru after Shigeru Miyamoto, the game director and creator of such Nintendo mascots as Mario, Donkey Kong, and Link. Probably both a poke and a tribute, as their game series are rivals and Miyamoto mentored Tajiri early in Pokémon's production.
- In addition, Ash's rival Ritchie in the Indigo League tournament was named "Hiroshi" in Japanese after (now former) Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi.
- Reportedly, Sky Dragon of Osiris was renamed "Slifer the Sky Dragon" in the Yu-Gi-Oh! dub, as a nod to 4Kids director Roger Slifer. Yes, it's stupid, and yes, it gets many an account of Fandom Berserk Button.
- Shigeru Kanmuri in Yakitate!! Japan. The author's editor's name? Shigeru Kanmuri.
- Usagi Tsukino's family members were designed after and named for author Naoko Takeuchi's actual family members. The jewelry store owned by the Osakas has an in-universe explanation for the store's name, OSA-P, but out of universe, the store was named for Fumio Osano, Takeuchi's editor at Kodansha and a good friend whom she nicknamed Osa-P.
- The team dubbing Digimon Adventure reportedly had a hard time translating the name of a Digimon originally known as Plotmon. Instead of making an educated guess, the producer, Terri-Lei O'Malley, decided to rename it after her pet cat, and the digimon thus became known as Salamon. Hilariously, the digimon turned out to be a dog, not a kitten as the producer had assumed based on its evolved form, Tailmon.
- Miyako's dub name "Yolei" was partially derived from Terri-Lei, with the first part coming from the initial considered name of "Kyo" (which Miyako can also be rendered as).
- Dr. Mashirito, Sembei Norimaki's nemesis in Dr. Slump, is named after Toriyama's editor Kazuhiko Torishima ("Mashirito" is "Torishima" spelled backwards).
- The monster from the 13th Dragon Ball Z movie, Hirudegarn, was apparently named after the film's animation supervisor whose name was Hiruda. Apparently, when he saw the design for the thing his jaw dropped, an expression characterised in Japanese with the onomatopoeia "GAAN."
- Gundam SEED has Erica Simmons, named after Mark Simmons, a Big Name Fan turned Promoted Fanboy when Bandai America hired him to help with the localization of the Gundam franchise. Erica is a mobile suit engineer, likely a nod to Mark's old website Gundam Project, which featured detailed mobile suit profiles and hand-drawn lineart.
- Cardfight!! Vanguard: lead character Aichi Sendo is named for the show's production company, Aichi Television.
- When Magical Princess Minky Momo was being adapted for an international release by Harmony Gold, it was decided to rename Momo "Gigi", after the associate producer Jehan "Gigi" Agrama.
- Kagami Hiiragi from Lucky Star might be named after the manga's creator, Kagami Yoshimizu (the character is female, the creator is male).
- Ray Palmer, The Atom, is a reference to the Golden Age science fiction writer.
- Marvel Comics frequently uses names like "Marv" (Wolfman) and "Stan" (Lee) for extras in various comics.
- When Todd McFarlane started writing Spawn, he Tuckerized pretty much everybody he knew. He got into trouble when he did this without the permission of St. Louis Blues enforcer Tony Twist.
- DC Comics is particularly fond of this - in Gotham City, nearly every street, building, park, subway stop, land mark, topographical feature, bridge, shanty, lean-to, or other edifice will be named after previous Batman artists, in the instances where they're not named after Gotham City itself.
- John Byrne named Kitty Pryde for an art-school classmate, though it was because he thought the name was cool rather than as an inside joke. The actual Kitty Pryde reportedly hates the attention she gets for her name.
- Chris Claremont named Madelyne Pryor, the Jean Grey clone, after Maddy Prior of Steeleye Span.
- Courtney "Stargirl" Whitmore is named after Geoff Johns's deceased sister.
- Guy Gardner is named after legendary comics creator Gardner Fox (and some fan or another, according to The Other Wiki.)
- Paul Gambi, the underworld tailor who designs costumes for The Flash's Rogues Gallery is named after DJ and comics fan Paul Gambaccini.
- The supporting cast of George Perez's Wonder Woman run are somewhat named after friends of his. He was going to name a villain after his friend Ed Indelicato, but was persuaded to name a cop after Ed instead. Ed the character hung around after Perez left the book, until Wondy left Boston.
- Brazilian artist Maurício de Sousa did this to many characters in Monica's Gang (due to them being based on people he met - one of his daughters became the title character).
- The main character of Kick-Ass was named by the winner of a contest, who chose his own name, essentially Tuckerizing himself.
- Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! encountered a retired comic book artist named Gardener Fox after aforementioned comics creator Gardner Fox. Gardener Fox then proceeds to outline a theory of alternate dimensions originally devised by his namesake. (And, obviously, he's a fox).
- Marc Spector, the main persona of Moon Knight, was named after a friend of creator Doug Moench.
- In PS238 there's a villain named Von Fogg who flies around in an airship and wears a helmet shaped like a bowler hat. Comics artist Phil Foglio wears a bowler at all his public appearances, and his comics imprint is called Airship Entertainment. (See Webcomics below for the flip side.)
- A few members of the Sinestro Corps in Green Lantern were named after DC staff members. Bur'Gunza (Eddie Berganza), Schlagg-Man (Adam Schlagman), Scivor (Ethan Van Sciver), and Duel Eknham (Doug Mahnke). Another member, Imecsub, was based off of actor Steve Buscemi.
- Issue 2 of the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic comic features a cave troll named Jim, who was named after show storyboard supervisor "Big" Jim Miller.
- Stan Lee himself is on the record as once (at least half-jokingly) stating that one perk of being a comic book writer is that if you don't like somebody, you can always name a villain after them.
- Transporter chief Sara Tuchinsky, from Peter David's run on DC Comics' second volume of Star Trek, was named for an assistant editor over at Marvel Comics.
- Carlie Cooper of the Spider-Man comics is named after Joe Quesada's daughter. That is all that will be said on the subject
- Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog has had a few instances of this. Mina Mongoose was named after Karl Bollers' late grandmother Minerva. Ben "Mutt" Muttski is rumored to be named after the late Ben Hurst, one of the writers of the old Saturday Morning Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon.
- Fans of Touhou often put the nickname of the series' creator, ZUN, into their derivative works — most often as an Unsound Effect. Strangely enough, ZUN's real name, Oota Jun'ya is rarely used, if ever, then again, Zun is mostly known by his nickname.
- In L-Dog Z's Spider-Man Evolution series all minor mooks that are not pre-existing comicbook characters are named after comicbook writers, basically combining this trope with Take That (although they're also (fan) Canon Immigrants from the Daredevil film adaptation).
- In the Total Drama story, Courtney and the Violin of Despair, the orchestra conductors at Courtney's school and the All Province Orchestra are named after nationally acclaimed band directors whom the author played under in high school and college, respectively.
- Eliezer Yudkowsky, author of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, offers small cameos as a thank-you to Fan-Art artists of his fic. He also gives them shout-outs in his Author Notes, e.g. in his notes on chapter 79.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- William Shatner named Star Trek V: The Final Frontier's Shakaree after Sean Connery.
- Mostly because they were hoping to get him for the movie.
- Star Wars is littered with examples. See this Wookieepedia article. A particularly interesting example is the planet Stewjon, the homeworld of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which George Lucas named after Jon Stewart in response to Stewart asking him about Obi-Wan's homeworld at Celebration V.
- In Shanghai Noon, Jackie Chan's character is named Chon Wang (John Wayne), and in the sequel, Shanghai Knights, Owen Wilson's character uses the name Sherlock Holmes as an alias. A nearby Arthur Conan Doyle hears the name, and likes it. While Owen Wilson's character goes by Roy O'Bannon, he reveals at the end of the first movie that he changed it — from Wyatt Earp. Finally, the kid sidekick in the second film is none other than Charlie Chaplin.
- Matthew Broderick's character Niko "Nick" Tatopoulos in the 1998 Godzilla remake is named after creature designer Patrick Tatopoulos' daughter.
- Janis Ian in Mean Girls is straight but the real Janis Ian is not.
- Parody: One of the main characters in Office Space is named Michael Bolton... and his major character trait is constantly complaining about people bringing up the other Michael Bolton. When someone asks him why he doesn't go by "Mike," his reply is "No way! Why should I change? He's the one who sucks!"
- Pretty much everyone in the entire cast of the first Final Destination is one big Shout-Out to some influential horror director or another; for instance, the teacher is named after Val Lewton, who did Cat People. In fact, this kind of thing seems to be fairly common in horror movies. So, if you don't want a tribute of you to feature the bloody death and dismemberment of your namesake, don't become a horror director.
- In Batman Returns, the bad guy is named Max Shreck, after horror actor Max Schreck, noted for his role in Nosferatu— Shreck is metaphorically a "vampire" who sucks electrical energy from Gotham City for his own ends.
- A young Wes Craven was bullied by a kid named Fred Krueger. This is probably also the origin of the character "Krug" from The Last House on the Left.
- In Apocalypse Now, Captain Willard is given an assignment by Lt. Gen. Corman and Col. Lucas, named for director Francis Ford Coppola's mentor Roger Corman and his protege George Lucas.
- Bonus points for the fact that Col. Lucas is played by Harrison Ford.
- Double bonus points that Willard's given name is Benjamin; Benjamin and Willard being the names of Harrison Ford's sons.
- Which, in an incredibly strange coincidence, are the names of a 70's horror film and its sequel. Both kids were born before the movies, but still a bit weird.
- Lord Lew in The Muppet Movie was named after The Muppet Show producer Lew Grade, who was the only person who gave Jim Henson's idea for The Muppet Show a chance when all the networks passed up on it. He even occupies a similar role in-movie in helping the Muppets get their big break.
- In Dog Soldiers one of the squaddies is called Bruce Campbell, after the star of the Evil Dead films which influenced the film. Not to mention Sgt. Harry G. Wells.
- In the movie adaptation of Fight Club, the three detectives interviewing the Narrator as he spills the beans on Project Mayhem are Detective Andrew, Detective Kevin and Detective Walker. Andrew Kevin Walker wrote the script for the David Fincher movie Se7en as well as doing some uncredited rewrites on the Fight Club script.
- In the Doom movie, the chief scientist is named Todd Carmack, after the lead programmer of id Software. They could've named the same character after the company's CEO Todd Hollenshead, though.
- The protagonist on the other hand is named "John," a name shared with two of id's founders: the above John Carmack, as well as John Romero.
- Eva Gregory from Monkey Trouble is named after director Franco Amurri's daughter.
- The main character of Hot Fuzz, Nicholas Angel, was named after the film's music supervisor.
- The list of rejected housekeepers in Mrs. Doubtfire is composed of crew members whose names also appear in the end credits.
- In Serenity, Jayne's minigun ('Lux') is named after Lux Lucre, a huge fan of Firefly who died before the film was released.
- Narrowly averted in The Usual Suspects: Keyser Söze was originally going to be named "Keyser Sume," after the former boss of screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie. Mr. Sume, however, was not too keen on having his name attached to a Diabolical Mastermind who murdered his own family, so they changed it.
- A prominent criminal in the Daredevil film is named Jose Quesada note , one of Matt Murdock's clients is a "Mr. Lee" who pays for his legal fees in fish, there's a forensic examiner named "Kirby", and Jack Murdock fights various boxers named "Miller", "Mack", "Bendis", and "John Romita". Really, that film loved this trope.
- Pitch Black: The Hunter-Gratzner is named after effects technicians Ian Hunter & Matthew Gratzner, founders of New Deal Studios (Who would go on to do the sequel).
- Godzilla (2014): Dr. Ishiro Serizawa's first name is a tribute to Ishiro Honda, the director of the original Godzilla and the acknowledged creator of Godzilla. Though there was also a Dr. Serizawa in the original, his first name was "Daisuke".
- H.P. Lovecraft and his friend Robert Bloch both wrote stories in which they had a character supposed to be the other being horribly killed as an affectionate Take That.
- He also wrote of the 'Atlantean high-priest' Klarkash-Ton (Clark Ashton Smith).
- And to repay the kindness, Smith wrote about Egyptian priest Luveh-Keraph. Or the other way round.
- In one of Isaac Asimov's Black Widower mysteries, the name of the guest was the name of a reader who had won a competition; the prize was to be included in the story.
- The Discworld novel Maskerade features a brief appearance by a young woman named Colette, who draws comment for her remarkable earrings; this is a Shout-Out to a fan Terry Pratchett met at a book signing while he was working on the novel, whose name was Colette and who was wearing a pair of memorable earrings. Several subsequent Discworld novels have included characters whose names were determined by charity auctions.
- And let's not forget Hodgesaargh, the Lancre castle falconer, based on Dave Hodges, who really does keep birds of prey. Lady Jane, the vicious gyrfalcon who keeps attacking him, is real too. Real Life Hodgesaargh is nicknamed that way because people tend to run away from him, screaming "Oh no, it's Hodges... aargh!"
- Dr. Follett, the former head of the Assassin's Guild, was named after the author Ken Follett.
- There's lots of this in The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide, with many of Sir Terry's friends, associates and Big Name Fans having a street or business named after them. For example, Smythe's Cut is an obvious reference to his agent, and the kindly retired publisher who runs a tavern on that street is almost certainly the Discworld version of Colin Smythe himself.
- Big Name Fan Waddy (organisator of the "Wadfest" DW convention) became one of the watchmen in Night Watch. Fun fact: While the real Waddy talks a lot, book-Waddy has barely any lines.
- The watchman Haddock (nicknamed kipper) is one of the newer examples.
- Rex Stout was a midshipman on President Theodore Roosevelt's yacht from 1906 to 1908. His life was made miserable by a bullying, incompetent senior officer named Gilbert Rowcliff. Later, while writing the Nero Wolfe novels, he created a bullying, incompetent police lieutenant named George Rowcliff who showed up in a number of books. Stout later admitted that he'd followed the career of his early nemesis and had been surprised when Rear Admiral Rowcliff was named Judge Advocate General of the Navy.
- In Elizabeth Moon's novel Victory Conditions, the section in which the villains attack the Moray shipyards features heroic deaths for a group of the author's friends.
- As Piers Anthony's Xanth series now consists almost entirely of material suggested by fans, the series now includes many references to actual readers (for example, if someone gives an idea for a certain magical talent, he might name the character who has it after the fan that suggested it). A major character, Jenny Elf, is named in honor of a real girl and Xanth reader who was paralyzed in a car accident.
- There are several of these in the Dragaera books, particularly in the introductions to the Khaavren books. One, written by "The Dean of Pamlar University" was written by author Pamela Dean; another, by a magician named Ilen was written by Neil Gaiman. Similarly, in the book Athyra, there is a reference to a Book of the Seven Wizards, with each wizard being a Shout-Out to writer friends of Brust, except for one which describes himself.
- In the Star Trek Expanded Universe novel How Much for Just the Planet? by John M Ford, the Enterprise visits a planet colonized by a group of eccentric artists; nearly all the colonists with speaking parts are based on the author's friends and fellow-writers, including Pamela Dean, Neil Gaiman, Diane Duane, Peter Morwood, and Janet Kagan.
- Interestingly, How Much For Just The Planet? was used in Duane's Young Wizards Series as the title of an alien TV show.
- Peter David has a book out called Mascot To the Rescue! which tells the story of a boy named Josh Miller trying to save a comic book character from death (everything that happens to Mascot, the character, also happens to Josh). Who writes the comic that Mascot is in? Why, a man named Stan Kirby.
- An issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures had the Turtles meet a guy named Kirby who uses a magic pencil to bring comics to life.
- He also wrote in Shout Outs to all the actors who played the main characters on his show Space Cases in the first four Star Trek: New Frontier novels. And he re-shouted out Jewel Staite in another novel after Firefly. Also, Roger Tang, the Starfleet ground-pounder with the Catch Phrase "All part of the service" in Imzadi? Named after an enthusiastic fan.
- And in Q-in-Law he named the two rival houses Nistral and Graziunas, which are shout outs to Jim Starlin (in anagram form) and Diana Graziunas, both of whom are friends of Peter's and work in the comic book industry.
- A very unpleasant example by Michael Crichton: the journalist Michael Crowley, who criticised Crichton's position on global warming, was written into Next under the name "Mick Crowley." Several other details (Washington journalist, went to Yale) are given just to make sure nobody misses who it's supposed to be. The fictional Mick Crowley is a homosexual baby rapist with a very small penis.
- In Harry Potter:
- The name "Potter" comes from her childhood neighbors.
- In the fourth book, a girl named Natalie MacDonald briefly appears and is put in Gryffindor. This was the name of a cancer patient who sent J.K. Rowling a very nice fan letter. The little girl had asked to be told how the story ended before she died, but Rowling didn't get to respond in time, so she named the character after her in tribute.
- "Prewett" was the last name of one of Rowling's roommates.
- It didn't make it into the books, but Word of God says that Dawlish's first name is John, because PotterCast founder John Noe is unusually fond of him.
- The Knight Bus driver and conductor, Ernie and Stan, are named after Rowling's grandfathers, Ernest and Stanley.
- Rowling manages to do this to a car, of all things: the Weasleys' Ford Anglia is a homage to a blue Ford Anglia that belonged to one of Rowling's old friends (who was the inspiration for Ron). Rowling was exceptionally fond of the car because the friend used to take her joyriding in it during a period when she didn't own a car (she mentions that she used to associate the car with freedom, making the Weasleys' rescue of Harry using the fictional Ford Anglia in Chamber of Secrets all the more meaningful).
- If you check the dedications of the books and Rowling's website, you'll find the series are jam-packed with this trope.
- Science fiction publisher Baen Books is probably the king of tuckerizations. David Weber, John Ringo, and Eric Flint have been doing it for years with forum members whose names are chosen to be characters. Joe Buckley is infamous as a member who appears and gets brutally killed in nearly every work of fiction at Baen after a contest started between the different authors. When the Baen Universe online magazine launched, they added Tuckerizations as a perk of the higher levels of the club.
- Occasionally, Ringo puts out a call for fans wanting to be killed, usually in a brutal manner. Given that he writes a good bit of military fiction, science or otherwise, there are plenty of opportunities for becoming a literary corpse.
- Samkim and Arula in the Redwall book Salamandastron are modifications of the names of two fans, Samantha Kim and Laura.
- The "Gameras" of John Scalzi's Old Man's War series are named after classic sci-fi authors. Since the series takes place in the far future, one of them is named after a contemporary writer who has not yet been judged "classic".
- In Esther Friesner's Majyk by... series, the three village idiots are named Lorrenz, Wot, and Evvon, a shout-out to author Lawrence Watt-Evans.
- Taken to an art form in Bill Fitzhugh's Pest Control, whose lead is named Bob Dillon. It didn't make for a happy childhood. He spends the entire book being confused with Bob Dylan, even by the CIA.
- A William Gibson / Bruce Sterling novel The Difference Engine featured a character named Michael Godwin.
- Tamora Pierce does this more and more, usually with a variation in spelling. Kyrsty Street and Hollyskyt Street keep being mentioned as locations in Kugisko in Cold Fire; sure enough, the acknowledgements include a Holly Skeet and a Kirsty Something-or-other. And most members of the author's message board noticed Joshain Street in Trickster's Choice and Ratey's Inn in The Will of the Empress, both of which are variations on the usernames of Big Name Fans.
- Matthew Reilly at one point went on the popular Australian radio show Hamish & Andy, and held an impromptu competition: Call in if you have a good-sounding name, and the best one will be in his next novel, The Five Greatest Warriors. The resulting character, General Jackson Dyer, lasted 29 pages, which is, as Reilly said himself, 'a huge number of pages for a Matthew Reilly book'.
- Gary Russell's Doctor Who New Adventures novel Legacy featured several notable names in fandom, including an alcoholic Pakhar (intelligent alien hamster) named Hyn't'n, whose death sets up the plot. By a strange coincidence, Craig Hinton's subsequent DW novel, The Crystal Bucephalus, had a cameo by a dog-like creature named Garruss.
- The New Adventures and Missing Adventures novels did this a lot. Take a random book and compare the names of minor characters with the rec.arts.drwho folk namechecked in the aknowledgements.
- Simon R. Green likes having characters named after sf jounalist David Langford (starting with gossip columnist Dee Langford in Deathstalker Destiny). He frequently writes to Langford's fanzine, Ansible, to express his glee in how viciously he can kill them off.
- The Lord Darcy stories by Randall Garrett include a brilliant magical theoretician named Sir Thomas Leseaux. Garrett was friends with the stage magician and author T.A. Waters. His sometime collaborator Michael Kurland appears in Too Many Magicians as Sergeant-At-Arms Michel Coure-Terre. Also in Too Many Magicians, there is a senior wizard named James Zwinge; the real name of stage magician and arch-sceptic James Randi. There's also a shout out to Edward Elmer "Doc" Smith (author of, among other things, the Lensman series) in the form of Sir Edward Elmer, Th.D. (the equivalent of a doctorate in magic).
- Animorphs has a character called Erek (he's a Chee, i.e. holographic dog-robot, who helps the heroes out from time to time) named after a fan who won a contest.
- Charles Dickens named the Oliver Twist villain Fagin after a man he worked with in a factory in his childhood. The real Fagin was actually a kindly man, but Dickens' memories of that period scarred him for life.
- In his acknowledgments of The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan includes thanks to his "cadre of middle-school beta testers," the first of whom is "Travis Stoll, clever and quick as Hermes." The Stoll brothers, Connor and Travis, appear from the next book on as the new head counselors of the Hermes cabin.
- When Ian Fleming was writing the early James Bond novels, he was informed by one Geoffrey Boothroyd that Bond's Beretta 418 was more or less a wimpy purse gun. His next novel had a "Major Boothroyd," introduced as "the greatest small-arms expert in the world," issuing Bond his iconic Walther PPK. The character was transferred over to the movies, although he was only referred to as Boothroyd in the first, as well as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it use of the name in The Spy Who Loved Me; in every other movie he was simply Quartermaster Branch, or "Q."
- His successor Raymond Benson used some rather active members of the alt.fan.james-bond Newsgroup
- The name James Bond itself was taken from the author of an ornithology book Fleming owned, "Birds of the West Indies." He wanted the character to have a thoroughly boring and unremarkable name (well, it seemed that way at the time).
- In Brandon Sanderson's The Wheel of Time books, a number of minor characters are named after people who donated to charity at a particular event.
- The Warrior Cats series has done this several times. The author has admitted to using screennames from fansites (notably Wands And Worlds and Warrior's Wish), where the screennames follow the pattern of the characters' naming system. There are also three characters based on a ten-year-old fan and her parents, who all died in a tornado in 2008 - the author told an online community about it so they could show support for the girl's family, and the members gave the girl and her parents warrior names (Brightspirit, Shiningheart, and Braveheart) to honor them. The author used these names in the next book she was planning, and that same book is dedicated to them. One of the main characters of the fourth series, Ivypool, is named after a young girl named Ivy Poole, whose family has gone to see the author on nearly every one of her tours.
- Like the Animorphs example above, the final book in the Spy High series introduced major character Kate Taylor, named after Kate Harrison who had won a fan contest.
- Birdwell Island, the setting of the Clifford the Big Red Dog series books and cartoon, is named after Norman Bridwell, who created this series.
- Armand in Hothouse Flower and the 9 Plants of Desire is named after a friend of the author.
- The Name of the Rose has one blind-bibliotecarian called Jorge De Burgos. The character was obviously (created and) named after Jorge Luis Borges. The fact that the name of the story is the same as one of Borges' most famous poems makes this even more obvious. The author Umberto Eco also name-drops himself as "Umberto of Bologna", author of one of the books in the library.
- A Song of Ice and Fire makes a brief mention of Lord Trebor Jordayne of the Tor. His heraldic symbol is a quill, and he apparently has an interesting theory that time is a wheel.
- On an episode of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me George R. R. Martin said that Ser Patrek of King's Mountain, whose heraldry rather resembles the Dallas Cowboys', was created due to his losing a bet with a friend named Patrick whose preferred stakes were that if he won, Martin would write him into one of his novels and kill him horribly. The bet was on who would finish ahead in a given season, the New York Giants or the Dallas Cowboys (Martin favored the Giants). Guess what Ser Patrek of King's Mountain was ripped apart by?
- M'chel Riss of Star Risk, Ltd. is named after author Chris Bunch's friend Michelle Rice.
- In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio drama and early versions of the novel, author Douglas Adams mentions a classmate named Paul Neil Milne Johnstone whom he considers the worst poet in the universe. (He's worse than Vogons!} The named was eventually changed to Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings in the later editions of the novel, the TV series and the movie.
- Grant Callin (best know for his Saturnalia series) was very fond of naming major characters after people he knew while employed at Boeing.
- Tao Lin's novel Richard Yates features two protagonists named Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning.
- Baby Sitters Club #3, The Truth About Stacey, is dedicated to Dr. Claudia Werner. Claudia Kishi is a main character throughout the entire book series, and this particular book features a Dr. Werner.
- Neal Shusterman, author of The Skinjacker Trilogy and Unwind, among other things, frequently asks on his Facebook page for people who want their names in the book. He'll often take just a last name, or else combine one person's first name and another's last name.
- In Infinite Jest, the Antitoi brothers' surname appears to be taken from a Gil Antitoi, who author David Foster Wallace recalls growing up and competing with in his essay "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley". The character Kate Gompert's name is taken from a former professional tennis player and estranged friend of Wallace's, who would later sue for libel.
- Charles Pellegrino does this a couple of times with his friends - engineer Ed Bishop appears in The Killing Star (with the help of anti-aging technologies), and mammalogist Bill Schutt appears in Dust. Both die horribly.
- In Oryx and Crake (and its sequels) the naming rights for two minor characters were prizes in charity auctions for causes Margaret Atwood supports, the characters were named after the winners.
- Ender’s Game has two notable ones. Mazer Rackham is named after British illustrator Arthur Rackham and former Brigham Young University president Karl G. Maeser, while Hyrum Graff is named after notable Mormon leader Hyrum Smith (Joseph Smith's brother). Both names reference Orson Scott Card's Mormon faith.
- Lynyrd Skynyrd named itself after a rather authoritarian teacher at their former high school, with slightly different spelling.
- Edguy is an affectionate epitaph for a Mr. Edgar Siedschlag, who was their math teacher from when they were young.
- The Dead Milkmen's "Stuart" mentions a kid named Jonny Wurster: Jon Wurster is the drummer for Superchunk and a friend of the band.
- Sloan are named after an old friend of the band, sort of: their friend Jason Larsen was frequently called "slow one" by his boss, but due to a heavy french accent it sounded more like "Sloan," which became his nickname. Larsen agreed to let them name their band after him on the condition that they put him on an album cover, and sure enough his face is on the cover of Peppermint, their first EP.
- Miike Snow took their name from their friend Mike Snow, then added an extra "i" as a Shout-Out to Takashi Miike (though it's still pronounced "Mike", not "Me-kay").
- Pink Floyd took their name from two obscure American bluesmen, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.
- Peanuts - Charles "Sparky" Schulz named his two characters, Charlie Brown and Linus Van Pelt, after his two co-workers at the correspondence art school he worked at, although Charlie Brown quickly became semi-autobiographical, including references to his (illiterate) father the barber. The unnamed Little Red Haired Girl, whom Charlie Brown could never get the courage to meet, is based on a young woman who rejected Sparky's affection.
- Garfield is named after Jim Davis' grandfather.
- Calvin and Hobbes: As revealed in the footnotes in the Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book, Calvin and Hobbes are both named for philosophers. Susie Derkins was named for a beagle that belonged to Bill Watterson's wife's family, and Miss Wormwood was named for a character of the same name from The Screwtape Letters.
- Pogo: The boats in which the characters ride are often named after Walt Kelly's friends.
- When Mick Foley made his first appearance as a jobber in the WWF in the 80's, he wasn't allowed to use his "Cactus Jack" name, so he called himself Jack Foley - his father's name.
- When indie wrestler Ace Steel appeared in WWE as a jobber, he went by Scott Colton, the real name of his friend Colt Cabana. A few months later, when Cabana made a jobber appearance in WWE, he used Ace Steel's real name, Chris Guy.
- TNA Knockout Rhaka Khan was named after the singer Chaka Khan.
- Daizee Haze's name comes from the Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes, which she had legally wanted to change her name to when she was a teenager.
- When ECW's Nova made his on-screen WWE debut in 2004, he was renamed "Simon Dean", in honor of the retired Dean Malenko (real name: Dean Simon).
- Santino Marella got his surname in honor of Robert Marella- the legendary Gorilla Monsoon.
- Al Snow's Leif Cassidy character was named for Leif Garrett and David Cassidy.
- Seth Rollins took the latter part of his ring name from his favorite singer, Henry Rollins.
- Practically half the names of people and places in the World of Greyhawk setting for Dungeons & Dragons are named after people E. Gary Gygax knew, and then there's Xagyg/Zagyg/Zagig himself. Or Yrag the Lord? Or the Duchy of Urnst?note Or the Ring of Gaxx? Seriously... half of the World of Greyhawk is named after Gary Gygax himself! Heck, the coat of arms that the fighter bears on the cover of the First Edition AD&D DMG is Gygax' own family heraldry.
- Some examples from Magic: The Gathering: Nevinyrral's Disk is named after Ringworld author Larry Niven, while Jalum Tome is named after former Magic game designer Joel L. Mick (initials: JLM).
- There's also Mons's Goblin Raiders for Mons Johnson and Jayemdae Tome for J. Michael Davis. Also there are a number of Arabian Nights cards containing anagrams of Richard Garfield's friends' names when he ran out of Gratuitous Arabic. Oh, and Pheldagrif/Garfield PhD.
- Maro is named after lead designer Mark Rosewater. Interestingly this occurred by accident; the unnamed card was marked with the abbreviated name of it's designer, and the creative department assumed it was a made-up fantasy name and used it.
- The adventure scenario "...And I Feel Fine" for Unknown Armies (in the supplement One Shots) includes two ready-to-play characters named after RPG designers: Rebecca Borgstrom and Rich Dansky.
- Shadowrun supplement Portfolio of a Dragon: Dunkelzahn's Secrets. The supplement Super Tuesday described an In-Universe UCAS Presidential election and had a postcard that readers could send in to FASA to "vote" in the election. Five of the Shadowrun fans who sent in their ballot received bequests in Dunkelzahn's will after he died. The bequests took the form "To <name>, I leave a small token of my esteem, to be distributed by the Draco Foundation."
- In the TOON setting Toonpunk 2020 1/2, the famous toonpunk Floyd Blinkingchip is a Toonified version of RL hacker and GURPS Cyberpunk author Loyd Blankenship.
- In Over the Edge, a member of the Cut-Ups is named after game designer Robert "Doc" Cross.
- The Most Happy Fella does this in the prelude to the title song, when the postman calls out the townspeople's names: "Johnson" and "Sullivan" were named after the original production's featured actresses Susan Johnson (as Cleo) and Jo Sullivan (as Rosabella), and "Herbie Greene" after the conductor, Herbert Greene.
- At The Haunted Mansion from Disney Theme Parks, Master Gracey, the Ghost Host (maybe), is named after Yale Gracey, who designed a lot of the ride's special effects.
- Also, Madame Leota is named after Leota Toombs, a ride designer and the face of Madame Leota.
- Many of the tombstones in the queue are dedicated to Imagineers and animators (including the aforementioned Gracey and Leota).
- BIONICLE: Kiina is named after writer Greg Farshtey's ex-wife, Jackina, and a trio of Order of Mata Nui agents (Jerbraz, Johmak, Tobduk) is named after the three artists who worked on the BIONICLE: World book, Jeremy Brazeal, John McCormack and Toby Dutkiewicz.
- Barbie creator Ruth Handler named Barbie after her daughter, Barbara, and Barbie's boyfriend after her son, Ken.
- In the Armored Core series, the obscenely powerful Karasawa laser rifle is named after one of the series' producers. It's always one of the strongest weapons in the game, if not the strongest.
- Quite a few NPCs and items in World of Warcraft are named after real people, often in their memory. One of the more recent is Crusader Bridenbrad, named for Bradley Bridenbecker, the brother of one the Blizzard Employees, who had died of cancer.
- One of the more bizarre ones is Gorge the Corpsegrinder, a Horde NPC named after George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher of Cannibal Corpse. Fisher is apparently a huge fan of the game, owning multiple accounts and often lamenting in interviews that he doesn't get a chance to play as much as he'd like on the road, as well as the presence of elves in the Horde.
- Many characters in the Ultima series are named after the games' creators and their friends, most notably Lord British and the Avatar's Companions (although Lord British may canonically be, quite literally, Garriott himself).
- In the Martian Dreams spin-off from Ultima VI, you get to hang out with Warren Spector, one of the game's designers.
- And in the previous game, Savage Empire, Warren Spector also shows up as the Big Bad.
- In Fatal Frame: Crimson Butterfly, several of the photographed ghosts bear the names and faces of people who won a contest to be placed in the game.
- The main character of Confidential Mission is named Howard Gibson. The chief localizer of said game just happens to bear the name Howard Gipson.
- Noob Saibot from Mortal Kombat is the names of two of the developers (Boon and Tobias) backwards.
- Sometimes the developers of Japanese RPGs actually make it into the game themselves. Examples include Motoi Sakuraba, the music composer, in Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Destiny and Shinji Hashimoto, the producer of The World Ends with You.
- Many characters and place names in Spiderweb Software games are named after Jeff Vogel's friends and Usenet acquaintances. According to Word of God, "The provinces in Exile III are named after women I've been ... ummmmmm .... intimate with." Nethergate has a shopkeeper named for the game's illustrator, Phil Foglio. See this thread for a list.
- Many characters and locations in City of Heroes are real-world references, such as Perez Park and Gaiman Woods.
- In the Japanese version of Animal Crossing, the character known as K.K. Slider in foreign versions is called Totakeke, which is the nickname of Nintendo composer Kazumi Totaka. He's the one to go to if you want to hear Totaka's Song in this game.
- Contest winner Kurt Zisa got a powerful US-exclusive Bonus Boss named after him in Kingdom Hearts.
- Let's not forget Isaac Clarke from Dead Space.
- On that note, Jason Fleming.
- Ozzy, Slash and Flea in Chrono Trigger were Shout Outs to Ozzy Osbourne, Slash from Guns N' Roses, and Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers. (Their Japanese names were references to food sauces.) This caused some problems in the sequel, where there was a new character named Slash, whose name had to be changed to Nikki, after Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe.
- Shigeru Miyamoto originally intended to name Link from The Legend of Zelda "Chris" or "Christo" after his godfather. Executive Meddling stopped his plans.
- Mario was named after Nintendo of America's landlord, Mario Segali.
- There's an enemy called Lobb in the Virtual Boy game Mario Clash, supposedly named after Ken Lobb.
- Depending on who at Nintendo you ask, Kirby was either named after a lawyer who helped Nintendo in their legal battle against Universal over Donkey Kong, or Kirby vacuum cleaners.
- Practically every street name in the town of Silent Hill is the name of a horror, fantasy/SF, mystery or true-crime author — or director. Finney Street, Matheson Street, Bloch Street, Koontz Street, Bradbury Street, Levin Street, Bachman Road, Crichton Street... and let's not forget Midwich Elementary School, Overlook Penitentiary or DiArgento Cemetery.
- Online flash-based game Dragonfable's developers, Artix Entertainment, awarded about 10 players cameos as brainwashed heroes that the player must fight in one of the late quests of the Fire War.
- In GoldenEye 007, a gun called the Klobb is named after Ken Lobb, a Nintendo of America employee at the time who helped develop the game. This wasn't originally planned - the gun was originally named the Spyder (and the manual even referenced it with this name), but when the developers discovered such a gun really existed, they had to quickly change it to something else for legal reasons. There's also a Dr. Doak, after one of the developers, David Doak.
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind contains the ashes of two members of the official forums who died before the game shipped.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a character named Erik the Slayer, based off a fan named Eric West (and whose screen name on the forums was Immok the Slayer) who died of cancer a few months before the game's release. The character wants to be an adventurer but his father doesn't have the money to help him follow his dream; if the player helps him out, they will have the option of having him join them on their journey.
- Almost every single randomly-generated Red Shirt soldier in the Call of Duty series is named after members of their respective game's development team. The most prominent is Staff Sergeant Griggs from Modern Warfare, who is named after, looks like, and voiced by Infinity Ward's lead animator at the time.
- Some of the pitchers and batters in 2020 Super Baseball and Baseball Stars 2 are named Kawasaki, a reference to SNK's president.
- The main character of Robotron 64 is called Eugene, a reference to the creator of the original game, Eugene Jarvis.
- In the Rockman.EXE series, both the games and the anime, there's a character named Meijin Eguchi (literally, "The Famous Eguchi," Mr Famous in the Translations), who plays a minor role in each game (mostly a fan-Navi vehicle) and is basically the commander in the anime. The name of the scenario writer for EXE? Eguchi Masakazu.
- The only guaranteed shopkeeper in NetHack is Izchak, named for the late coder Izchak Miller (who did a lot of work on the shopkeeper logic). Extinctionist gameplay is very ropey on whether it's acceptable to kill him (anything other than extinctionism and the rule is simple; don't). Several other shopkeeper names are anagrams of names of various Dev Team members.
- One of the hunts in Final Fantasy XII, Yazmat, is named for Yasumi Matsuno, the game's original director and a long-time developer at Squaresoft (later Square Enix). Matsuno frequently went by "Yazz" amongst his colleagues. The dialog for the quest makes an oblique reference to his stepping down from the game's development and subsequent departure from Square Enix before the game was completed. The English version mistranslated this to "Yiazmat," not understanding the reference.
- Satomi Tadashi, the (group of) people who run the drugstores in Persona, are named after the scenario designer.
- Scott Dolph, head of the Marine Corps in Metal Gear Solid 2, was named after the American coordinator working on that game and the first. Cécile Cosima Caminandes in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is named after Konami's real life French coordinator, since Kojima thought her middle name and last name sounded like 'Kojima kaminandesu' (Kojima is God). The character is modelled to look somewhat like her as well.
- The original Metal Gear Solid had the inept guard Johnny Sasaki, named after character model designer Hideki Sasaki. For some reason, he dropped the Sasaki surname in Metal Gear Solid 4.
- When the Data East Shoot 'em Up Makyou Senshi was localized, it was renamed Gondomania. The lead designer's family name happened to be Gondo...
- Veteran RPG writer Dennis Detwiller contributed the story for Prototype, but before that, he was well-known for his work on Delta Green alongside writers like John Tynes. Among the various characters Alex ends up eating as part of the Web of Intrigue is a Dr. Jon Tynes.
- Many of the characters in the Kunio-kun were named after employees of Technos Japan Corp., or people they knew. In fact, Kunio himself was named after Technos Japan's president, Kunio Taki.
- In the Fire Emblem Tellius series, one of the villains is named Izuka (who appeared only as a brief cameo in Path of Radiance only to come back with importance in Radiant Dawn), which is also the surname of the character and set designer for Path of Radiance, Daisuke Izuka.
- No One Lives Forever did similar to Goldeneye's Klobb: one of the sniper rifles was named the "Geldmacher SVD," after Jim Geldmacher.
- The Pokémon Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan are named after Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan respectively. Their Japanese names, Sawamular and Ebiwalar are taken from Tadashi Sawamura, the world's first kickboxer, and Hiroyuki Ebihara, a world champion Japanese boxer.
- A similar situation happens with the Japanese names of Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam.
- Casey (Abra) comes from Edward Cayce.
- Yungerer (Kadabra) comes from Uri Geller. The real Uri Geller actually sued Nintendo of America for this. He lost, of course, because he sued Nintendo of America, who had no part in creating Kadabra.
- Foodin (Alakazam) comes from Harry Houdini.
- In Pokémon Black and White, the musicians of the Village Bridge Koontz (the singer), Aickman (the guitarist), Derleth (the flutist), and Russo (the beatboxer) are named after science fiction writers August Derleth, Dean Koontz, Robert Aickman, and Richard Paul Russo.
- Ebisumaru, Goemon's partner in Ganbare Goemon, was named after Konami programmer Ebisu Etsunobu, who programmed Ganbare Goemon 2 for the Famicom (which was incidentally Ebisumaru's debut game).
- The leaders of the Rebellion in Escape Velocity Nova have surnames from the development team. (Or a codename, in Frandall's case.)
- Fallout 2 has a couple of special encounters with Tuckerization.
- 'The Cafe of Broken Dreams' - One of the characters tells of a player who went to great lengths to keep Dogmeat alive in the original Fallout. Based on a real player.
- 'The Unwashed Villagers hunting a spammer' - From the Fallout wiki, "A reference to a real life flamewar between a Fallout internet community and a forum 'troll'." The villagers are named with the handles of the people involved.
- There's a character in two of the Harvest Moon games named "Wada." His name is a tribute to Yasuhiro Wada, the creator of the franchise.
- To quote Robert Alan Koeneke, creator of the Roguelike Moria:
"If anyone managed to win, I immediately found out how, and 'enhanced' the game to make it harder. I once vowed it was 'unbeatable', and a week later a friend of mine beat it! His character, 'Iggy', was placed into the game as 'The Evil Iggy', and immortalized... And of course, I went in and plugged up the trick he used to win..."
- Eddie Riggs of Brutal Legend was named after Eddie the Head, Iron Maiden's Metal Band Mascot and his designer Derek Riggs. Amusingly, due to licensing issues the game's soundtrack doesn't contain any Iron Maiden.
- Borderlands 2 has Michael Mamaril, a character who has a chance of showing up in Sanctuary and giving the players a blue-quality item. He's named after a fan of the first game who died and was included in the game as a tribute (encountering him even gets you the achievement "Tribute to a Vault Hunter").
- There's also Hunter Hellquist, who is named after creative director Paul Hellquist.
- In Crusader Kings 2, several landless Swedish nobles are named for staff at Paradox Interactive, which is based in Sweden.
- Dr. Cinnamon from the TwinBee series is named after a nickname of Konami programmer Kazuhiro Aoyama, who was credited as "Kazuhiro Shinamon" in the first two games in which Dr. Cinnamon appeared (Moero!! TwinBeenote and Konami Wai Wai World).
- Jacques Portsman from Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is named Makoto Yuuki in the Japanese version after his voice actor, Yuuki Furukawa.
- In Mother 2, there is an unnamed girl in Magicant who invites Ness to sing a song with her. When the game was brought to the US and (much later) Europe as EarthBound, she was named Nico after Marcus Lindblom's daughter, who was born during localization.
- The protagonist of Taito's Master of Weapon, Yukiwo, may be named after programmer Yukiwo Ishikawa.
- In Girl Genius there's a villain named Baron Aaronev who is served by mooks with a strong resemblance to characters in comics drawn by Aaron Williams. Williams returned the favor by making Phil Foglio a villain in PS238 (see Comics, above).
- And Shine Heaven Now takes this to extremes, with a mostly-annual storyline in which fans of the series (it's a Hellsing fancomic) are drawn in by the dozens. Another storyline had a few of the main cast visiting a convention, which was staffed by real-life con volunteers.
- Similarly once more, the only character in Earthsong to be Tuckerized in was killed...ish within the first 25 pages.
- Before the reboot, the character of Alyss had the name "Tehmel," which was an explicit reference to a close friend of the author. The name was altered when the character was reintroduced during the Redux because the author didn't particularly like how akward the name sounded. Alyss is apparently still a reference to the same person.
- Trawn from Electric Wonderland shares the same first name as one of the cartoonist's friends: Eileen Cruz, founder of Toon Zone.
- Homestuck has Gamzee Makara was named for a Turkish fan named Gamze (better known as Gammy), who was a member of the forums at the time the trolls were introduced. A variety of variations on her name were suggested (as her name at 5 letters was too short), and "Gamzee" ended up being selected, as Hussie thought it was a Meaningful Name. A similar thing happened with Tavros Nitram, as his last name is just "Martin" backwards, named after another fan. Because of these two incidents, Hussie became more selective with name suggestion, and after the trolls were fully introduced, no further naming has been possible by the fans.
- Penny Arcade auctions off cameo appearances for the Child's Play charity. An example can be seen here. Although for several years, Tycho and Gabe have completely forgotten to do the cameo strip. And in all but the first case, they have pointed out that the people that buy the cameo appearances are either a group (as in the first case), or otherwise in possession of a lot of money. Their second cameo strip consisted entirely of them trying to convince the person who had won the appearance to buy them cars (he had won the auction with a bid of $20,000).
- This is what happens to people who win a cameo appearance in Sluggy Freelance.
- Knights of the Old Coding had a couple contests where the victor got to be killed by the cast member of their choice. Worth pointing out that Knights of the Old Coding predated Sluggy Freelance on this trend.
- My Life In Blue lead character Alex's last name is Charbonneau, which is also the author's mother's maiden name.note
- Darwin's Soldiers provides several instances.
- The fictional actor Stephen Di Georgi mentioned in the third RP is a fusion of the names of two people that Serris knows in real life.
- Jessica Boyle of Escondido, a fictional play mentioned in the first RP, is named after a person LB&T knew in real life
- The Dragonstorm scientists Dr. Phyllis Lefrak and Dr. Thomas Sotille are named after people that Serris hated (an school teacher and a former classmate, respectively).
- Dr. John Volkowitz (the Pelvanida scientist mentioned in the second and third RPs)is named after someone that Serris knows in real life.
- Corporal Thomas Stern's last name comes from an old friend of Noname.
- An amusing instance in the first RP. The terrorist commander is named Halsey. He is played by LB&T, who has the surname of Halsey.
- The adopted son of Sharon and James Zanasiu-Varma is Erik, named for the creator of Darwin's Soldiers
- Many stories on AlternateHistory.com have this. Taken to ridiculous levels in Doctor What's novels. Snake Oil has no less than 24 cameos.
- In Interlude 19 (Donation Bonus #2) of Worm, which consists mostly of samples of forum posts from the in-universe website Parahumans Online, the author names most of the forum posters by coming up with Captain Ersatz versions of the names of various fans.