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Meaningful Name: Live-Action TV
And now, to reveal the true meaning behind the name of your favorite character...

... right after this commercial break, of course!
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: Officer Don notices that the three male character are named "Tom," "Dick", and "Harry," prompting Tommy to nervously insist that it's not like they specifically chose those names for their connotations of commonplace ordinariness.
  • Ace Lightning: This live action/CGI combined show is packed with meaningful names (no surprise really, since the show's about a corny superhero videogame come to life): Ace Lightning (the hero, duh) Sparx (the spunky redhead sidekick) Lord Fear (bad guy) Lady Illusion (temptress), Anvil (the team muscle), Dirty Rat (exactly what it sounds like), Random Virus (guy with a good/evil complex of epic proportions).
    • These meaningful names can also apply to the humans however: the teenage protagonist Mark Hollander's name is from the God, Mars, and relates to war and battle. The resident Geek is more commonly known as the rather comical Chuck (and has a habit of throwing up whenever stressed or disturbed). The nice, helpful Girlfriend and Girl Next Door Samantha Thompson's name means "listener" (which works for her) and it's quite obvious that the owner of the carnival wasn't named "Duff" accidentally.
  • Angel:
    • A wizard who intended to sacrifice his virgin daughter to a demon on his 50th birthday named said daughter Virginia. It didn't work out, as his efforts to isolate her were extremely unsuccessful.
    • And Gwen Raiden, named for the Japanese god of lightning. Guess what ability she has. Not a pseudonym, as her parents were addressed as "Mr. and Mrs. Raiden" in her Back Story. It's also a pun on "Gone Raiding."
    • Angel, named because his sister though he'd returned to her from the dead as an angel. Historical volumes describe him as "the one with the angelic face" and "the demon with the face of an angel".
    • Jasmine, so named because she loved the smell of Jasmine flowers, which in itself is meaningful, as The Language of Flowers states that the Jasmine flower symbolizes "attachment and amiability". This is a REALLY good example.
    • Several of the names in Angel also count...William means 'a protector' and kind of ironically, Liam, Angel's birth name, means 'out of William', even though it was the other way around with him and Spike.
    • Also, Lilah's name has connotations of "seductive" and "night beauty".
    • Subverted the second Harmony starts singing; Lorne actually takes to calling her "my little cacophony" for a while, considering it more appropriate. Though Wesley does note her nickname "Harm" to be pretty fitting.
    • On Lorne's homeworld, they drink "Flib liquor," humans are "cows", and they clean out "flehegna" stables. Maybe his nickname was apt.
  • Arrested Development: Had George Michael's love interest Maeby, who was his cousin... maybe. (By the end of the series, we know they're not blood related.)
  • Austin & Ally: One episode features the vile, unscrupulous music manager, Demonica Dixon.
  • The Avengers: When the producers needed to replace actress Honor Blackman, the networks sent down word to make sure the character had "male appeal" Or as the network shorthand was written... "M appeal".
  • Babylon 5: The exploration ship Captain Sheridan's wife was on was named Icarus. Perhaps a bad idea.
    • In a similar vein, the Babylon stations were named for the Tower of Babel, where a united humanity, all speaking the same language, built a tower that would touch the heavens. Needless to say, that didn't work out. The first three Babylon stations were destroyed in construction, and the fourth disappeared without a trace.
    • Captain John Sheridan, who according to Word of God, was a direct descendant of US Army General Phillip Henry Sheridan. Who is best known for fighting in the American Civil War.
    • Delenn of the Family Mir, whose family name comes from the Russian word for "Peace".
  • Barney Miller: The witty writers had a bit of fun with this. The Lovable Borderline Pedophile director of the Rainbow House children's home, which housed a disproportionate number of child prostitutes, was named Gower. A man who was desperate for a seat on the space shuttle's first commercial flights was named Corbett. Recurring character Frank Luger liked to talk about the olden days when cops used a lot more gunplay to subdue malefactors.
  • Batman: The 1960s series had number of these: Lord Marmaduke Ffogg, Mrs. Max Black, widow. Pat Pending, the richest inventor on Earth.
  • Black Books: The three main characters all have meaningful surnames: Manny Bianco is a rather nice and happy person while Bernard Black is mean and cynical and hates almost everyone. Fran's surname is Katzenjammer (German slang for "hangover").
  • Bones:
    • Dr. Brennan, whose first name is Temperance, which is fitting description. Further, before her name was changed as a child, her name was Joy. Brennan's withdrawn nature is usually attributed (by Sweets) to her intense inner emotional vulnerability, her fear of being hurt, which traces back to her parents' abandonment of her.
    • Agent Booth, the ex-sniper, is apparently related to John Wilkes Booth.
    • Dr. Sweets, the cheery young psychologist is... well, sweet. But his first name, Lance, has less gentle connotations, and may be a reference to the fact that he was abused and scarred as a young child.
  • Brothers and Sisters: Katherine "Kitty" Walker.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Xander's name is a Discontinuity Nod to Buffy's friend from the original movie, Pike. Zander and pike are closely related species of fish. Xander is also short for Alexander, which means "defender of mankind".
    • Also, Buffy's surname is a nod to Scott Summers from the X-Men comics, so says Word of God. Buffy itself was meant to be a name that couldn't be taken seriously, and thus ironically unfit for someone destined to kill vampires and generally kick ass. Her name also references vampires' vulnerability to sunlight. Her sister's name is Dawn.
    • Glory (or Glorificus), a Hellgod who was named and worshipped (shamelessly) by her many minions.
    • Spike used to be known as William (as in William McGonagall), and was a Giftedly Bad poet.
    • Wesley is likely named after the original Creator's Pet from Star Trek: The Next Generation considering that he was intended to be hated by the audience and killed off. Ironically, he became a well-liked, long-running character. In-Universe.
    • "Willow" is a type of tree. Wood is one of the vampires' main weaknesses.
    • "Snyder" is Danish for "cheater". It could also be because of his extremely snide personality.
    • Oz's band, Dingoes Ate My Baby: a dingo is a type of wild dog, and the lead for said band just happens to be a werewolf.
    • Anya's name when she was a human was Aud, pronounced "Odd". This matches her personality.
      • "Anyanka" (her full name) when is possibly derived from old Greek ἀνάγκη, "necessity". Just read the Other Wiki's entry and think of her Reality Warper powers.
    • "Faith" as in her faith in people which she keeps losing.
  • Charmed: May or may not be intentional, but consider Cole Turner. Take a guess what he does the entire time he's on the show.
    • Also, Phoebe. She gets visions and shares her name with a Titan from Greek Mythology who was associated with prophesy.
  • The Colbert Report: Hilariously subverted in The Stinger for one episode:
    Stephen: Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince, named Dragon. It just so happened that in Dragon's kingdom, there lived a fearsome dragon, named Wizard. So Dragon went to the town wizard, named Town Drunk, to ask for help. So Town Drunk put a spell on the town drunk, named Prince, which made Prince look like a female dragon, for the purpose of confusing Wizard. The next thing you know, Wizard, the dragon, flew down to meet Prince, now a dragon, thanks to Town Drunk the wizard. At which point the great wizard Town Drunk cast a spell banishing Wizard forever, and Dragon was pleased.
  • Community: Jeff Winger, he's spent his adult life, well, winging it.
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation:
    • Sophia Curtis in season 5, a character who stands out for her knowledge and wisdom (Sophia) as well as her social savoir-faire and good manners (courtesy, geddit?). Eventually she is driven away by the unchecked lunacy taken out on her by the regular cast.
    • That other character whose name is assonant with "Will Graham" (Manhunter). First name rhymes with Dilbert, but any physical resemblance or common ground of generalized nerdiness/impatience with bureaucratic obstruction would be purely coincidental, should anyone ever spot it.
    • Detective Brass who's name evokes the somewhat archaic term "the brass" as a reference to authority.
    • The name Grissom sounds like "gruesome", which is the apt word for some of the crime scenes encountered on the show.
    • Sara probably also fits here... Sara Sidle...Suicidal....
  • Deadwood: Al Swearengen swears, often, though he is based on a person of the same name and similar speaking habits in real life. There is also the character of Trixie (who in the series gives her surname as "the Whore") who was in life called "Tricksie".
  • Degrassi The Next Generation: Emma is a meta-example, being named after the Emmy Award Degrassi Junior High got for her mom's Teen Pregnancy storyline.
  • Doctor Who: Has many examples of this trope:
    • "Image of the Fendahl" features a character named Dr. Fendelman, who has no idea that it is his hidden genetic destiny to aid an ancient and malevolent life force known as the Fendahl. As the Completely Useless Encyclopedia points out, it's a shame other aliens weren't so transparent, as the heroes could just go through their phone book and round up every Joe Dalekagent and Mary Autonduplicate. However, this example is a little different from the others; the name is an in-story indication that the Fendahl have been meddling with humanity for a long time, and the unusual name is noticed and commented on by characters in the story.
    • A Doctor Who example that has no such in-story explanation is Tremas in The Keeper of Traken; his body is taken over by the Master, whose title is a Significant Anagram of "Tremas". The Master frequently used aliases related to his name — Reverend Magister, Mr. Seta, Colonel Masters, Sir Giles Estram — but usually he had a chance to pick them himself.
    • There's also Professor You Are Not Alone. Read: The Master.
    • In The Sound of Drums, The Master believes the Doctor chose his name so as to associate himself with "the man who makes people better". The Master's choice of name is naturally a massive hint towards his egotism ("a psychiatrist's field day", from the same episode). And of course, "Master" was chosen for the Doctor's arch-nemesis due to the academic connection.
    • Many of the alien races encountered in the New Series are given a Meaningful Name. In Fear Her, we meet an alien spore called the Isolus whose motivating demon is loneliness (isolation); the Carrionites in The Shakespeare Code were specifically designed to be like carrion creatures; the Adipose in Partners in Crime are made of living fat cells; the Pyrovile in The Fire of Pompeii thrive on the atmosphere of an erupting volcano; the Vespiform in The Unicorn and the Wasp takes the form of a giant wasp occasionally disguised as a human, etc.
    • In "Smith And Jones", Dr. Stoker is the first victim of what we later learn to be a blood-sucking alien called a Plasmavore. Bram Stoker is the famous author of "Dracula", and "Plasmavore" is a Meaningful Name in itself.
    • In "Battlefield", Brigadier Bambera was given the forename "Winifred" to evoke Guinevere. Inevitably, she ends up engaged to Ancelyn, whose name is a variation on "Lancelot".
    • And, of course, there's Dorothy Gale "Ace" McShane.
    • There is also Donna Noble. She was one of the most accepting of her role as the Doctor's conscience (keeping him "noble") and after she became the Doctor-Donna, she married Shawn Temple, making her name Donna Temple-Noble, which can be roughly translated to "Woman Time Lord." Also, Donna Noble sounds like "Dona nobis pacem" which is Latin for "Grant us peace". Donna can get very loud when either upset or angry or whenever to be honest.
    • Terry Nation named several planets using this trope in his Dalek stories. Skaro is scarred by terrible wars; Aridius is a huge desert; Mechanus is the home of the Mechanoids; Desperus is a penal colony...
    • Amy Pond gives her daughter the name "Melody". Replace Melody and Pond for different terms that mean almost the same thing and switch the two around, and you get River Song
    • Mad Scientist Professor Lazarus built a machine to hold back death. Lampshaded in the episode.
  • Dollhouse:
    • The main character, a Blank Slate that gets reprogrammed with other people's memories to create the desired personality, is named Echo.
    • The Ensemble Dark Horse male Doll who gets a happy ending was codenamed Victor. The primary antagonist for most of the first season was Alpha.
    • Also, 'Echo' and 'Victor' are also the way to say the letters 'E' and 'V' in a 'Phonetic Alphabet'. They're not so much named as lettered. (one could say the same thing about nurses Able and Baker on MASH).
    • Topher Brink. Topher is a shortened version of Christopher, meaning "Christ-bearer". But with the "Christ" part removed, it's just "Bearer". Topher's character is the bearer of knowledge and technology in the Dollhouse. He bears the technology to end the world, but he also bears a way to save the world (much like the story of St Christopher bearing an unusually heavy Christ child across a river— sort of like when he has to haul the tech up in a backpack to the top of the building). He ends up bearing the world to the ``brink`` of destruction.
    • The Dollhouse is run by Rossum Corporation. Late in the show, we meet the Big Bad, who is not named "Rossum". He named the corporation as an homage to R.U.R., a 1920s play about a company that makes artificial people for use as servants.
  • Due South: Had a coroner whose first name was Mort.
  • EastEnders: The toughness of sisters Ronnie and Roxy is shown by giving them similar names to the notorious Kray twins Ronnie and Reggie.
  • Firefly: Lampshades this with Malcolm Reynolds name which can be shortened to "Mal" In one episode, River says "Mal. Bad..." Simon walks away, seeming to agree. When Simon is out of earshot she completes her sentence with "...in the latin." Showing the viewer that she was not drawing a connection between his name and his personality. Underneath Mal's gruff exterior, he actually IS one of the nicest guys "in the 'verse", which is pointed out by Kaylee in the first episode. Also, since according to Word of God Firefly is inspired by the book The Killer Angels, Mal is most likely named after a real life Civil War general John Reynolds. John Reynolds is portrayed in the book as one of the Union's best soldiers.
    • River herself is named after Ophelia's river, and Shepherd Book's name is, well, pretty obvious.
    • And Simon's name means 'to hear/listen' and 'reputation'. Simon was the only one who heard, and paid attention to, River's cry for help, and he sacrificed his reputation to save and protect her.
  • Forever Knight: Main antagonist vampire Lucien Lacroix had a very ironic name, as Lucien means 'light', in Latin and Lacroix means 'the cross' in French.
  • The Fresh Beat Band: This show is filled with these. Two band members are Twist and Shout. Their music teacher is Miss Piccolo. Their friend Reed owns a music store. Another friend is named Melody, and sings.
  • Friends: Phoebe had a tendency to use the fake name "Regina Phalange" on several occasions across several seasons of the show. As a masseuse, she was indeed the "queen of the fingers".
  • F Troop: "Wrangler" Jane, who runs the town's local general store, is Jane Angelica Thrift.
  • Gilligan's Island: Ginger is a redhead.
  • Glee: Kurt Hummel from the musical TV show is named after Kurt Von Trap from the musical The Sound of Music. Might count for some if not all of the other Glee-club members too. Rachel's full name is Rachel Barbra Berry. She is a huge Barbra Streisand fan. Quinn's name rhymes with Finn and sounds like Queen. Santana Lopez is probably be named after the guitarist Carlos Santana and the singer Jennifer Lopez. Brittany S. Pierce's name is already explained on Glee; Britney Spears. Also: Kurt rhymes with Burt. As of season two: coach Bieste, which is pronounced "beast" and fits with her manly personality. Puck's first name, Noah, is slightly ironic. Noah is a typical Nice Jewish Boy name and contrasts with Puck's bad-boy attitude.
  • The Goodies: A Yes-Man in one episode has the quite simple name of "Arthur Minion". Also, despite being Danzas, the main characters' names are strangely appropriate at times, such as Tim being timid, Graeme Garden spending an episode as a gardener, and Bill Oddie being generally odd.
  • In the Hannibal episode "Shiizakana", the man trying to reinvent himself as a cave bear is named Randall Tier. "Tier" is the German word for "beast".
  • The Hard Times of RJ Berger: The attractive middle-aged woman who attempts to seduce the eponymous protagonist is Mrs. Robbins, which is a Shout-Out to Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate.
  • Heroes: Has a few examples as well:
    • Villain Sylar's real name is Gabriel Gray, "Gabriel" being a nod to his obviously Catholic background (and additionally, Maya at one point describes him as "Just like the angel."), and "Gray" meaning dull or ordinary which he lamented being prior to his finding out he had superpowers. Alternatively, one could take Gray to mean Gray Matter. It's also possible to interpret it in such a way that 'Gray' signifies having the whiteness of the angel Gabriel darkened...in other words, turned evil.
      • With a slight spelling change, it could even be an X-Men reference. The first power he absorbs is telekinesis.
    • Then again, for a show with a character actually named Hiro (meaning he's a "hero", plus the in-show reason was he was named after "Hiroshima", thus giving poignancy to his quest to stop New York from being destroyed by a nuclear bomb), Sylar's pretty subtle.
    • And as Sylar's good counterpart, we have Peter (a saint and angel just as Gabriel) who can fly. Angela Petrelli subverts this only in the fact that she isn't an angel.
    • Also, both the names Peter Petrelli and Gabriel Gray are a subtle nod to the legions of classic comic book superheroes / -villains the Alliterative Naming Convention.
  • Highlander: The Series: Duncan MacLeod, whose first name translates to "dark skinned warrior". Duncan specifically refers to the legend of the 'oldest Immortal' as the equivalent of 'Adam and Eve'. Naturally, Methos goes by 'Adam Pierson' as his idea of a joke.
  • House MD: Has House and Wilson instead of Holmes and Watson.
    • Also, the token bisexual is named Remy Hadley — Hadley being one town over from Northampton, Mass.
    • Amber during the season 4 finale during a hallucination, the unnamed woman's necklace is made of amber, which lets House deduce the identity of the Jane Doe from the bus crash.
  • Human Target: Guerrero, which is Spanish for "warrior". Though Guerrero comes across as laid-bad computer geek, you don't want to piss him off.
  • I Dream of Jeannie: Jeannie, who is a genie.
  • Johnny Staccato: Jazz piano player John "Johnny" Staccato in the eponymous 1959 noir drama - and yes, that's his real given name; he doesn't change it after becoming a Private Detective.
  • Kamen Rider: This franchise is full of examples of meaningful names.
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto has a couple of characters whose Catch Phrase contains the kanji of their own name. This includes protagonist Souji Tendou ("Walking the path of heaven, ruling over all") and The Rival Tsurugi Kamishiro ("The man who replaces the gods with a sword's slash"). Parodied in the Hyper Battle video, when The Lancer Arata Kagami asks for a Catch Phrase of his own, and Tendou suggests "The man who washes his face in front of a mirror (kagami) every day."
    • Kamen Rider Decade: Protagonist Tsukasa's name contains the kanji for "gate", befitting his status as a dimensional wanderer; Kamen Rider Decade is the tenth main Rider of the Heisei era of the franchise (from 2000 onwards). The Hikari ("light") family runs a photo studio. Finally, Decade's rival Diend is named Daiki Kaitou, who steals "treasures" from the alternate universes he visits. The show takes it a step further by giving Meaningful Names to some of the AU versions of previous Kamen Riders:
      • Yuusuke Onodera is named for Kamen Rider creator Shotaro Ishinomori (birth name: Shotaro Onodera).
      • Shoichi Ashikawa's name is a combination of the names of the three Agito Riders: Shoichi Tsugami (Agito), Ryo Ashihara (Gills), and Makoto Hikawa (G3). The Decade version of Shoichi was once G3, evolved into Gills before Tsukasa arrived, and became Agito by the end of the arc.
      • Shinji Tatsumi's surname contains the kanji for "dragon", while his former partner Ren Haguro's surname means "black wings". Their Contract Monsters are a dragon and a bat, respectively.
      • Takumi Ogami's surname means "wolf"; the original Takumi's surname, Inui, was a homophone for "dog". Both are references to Takumi's status as the Wolf Orphnoch.
      • Kazuma Kendate's name is a lengthy one. The "ken" in "Kendate" means "blade", while the "date" means "to rouse"; Blade's primary weapon is the Blade Rouser. His teammates have similar theme names: Sakuya Hishigata/Kamen Rider Garren, modeled on the Suit of Diamonds (the surname means "diamond-shaped") and Mutsuki Kuroba/Kamen Rider Leangle, modeled on the Suit of Clubs ("kuroba" is the phonetic pronunciation of "clover").
    • Shouchi Tsugami. His first name means "First Call," and if you were attacked by an Unknown, who would you call? Also, Makoto Hikawa's first name means "Truth" and he's a cop.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki has a couple:
  • LazyTown: The only two of 9 recurring characters this doesn't apply to in some form are Stephanie and Ziggy. They are not total exceptions though, as in the Icelandic language versions that pre-dated LazyTown, Stephanie was named Solla Stirða (Solla Stiff), while Ziggy was Siggi Sæti (Siggi Sweet).
    • Sportacus is a corny, but appropriate, name for a athletic but not super-powered hero.
    • Trixie, the mischievous tomboy is, well, tricksy.
    • Mayor Milford Meanswell might not be very competent, but he means well.
    • Ms. Bessie Busybody is the town gossip.
    • The miserly rich kid's name is Stingy.
    • Pixel is the town computer geek/games addict.
    • Villain Robbie Rotten actually isn't quite as rotten as he thinks he is, usually behaving in a manner closer to bratty than evil.
  • Lexx: A character named Doctor Longbore talks, at great length, in a monotone voice. Prince, ruler of the planet Fire, is heavily implied to be Satan.
  • Life on Mars (2006): The Big Bad of season two of the original show? Frank Morgan. Who wanted to help Sam "get home". This is also in the midst of all the other Oz references (such as one of Gene's nicknames for Sam being "Dorothy" - as in, someone lost in a strange land trying to get home, or a "Friend of Dorothy").
  • LOST: About half the characters have barely veiled names, either of the personality variety (Jack Shepherd, Miles Straume) or of the winks-to-philosophers variety (John Locke, Danielle Rousseau, Charlotte Staples Lewis, Desmond David Hume).
  • The L Word: Adele Channing has the same surname as the main character in All About Eve and her storyline is clearly inspired by that film.
  • Merlin: One possibility offered for the name 'Uther' is that it means 'Fearsome'. Although Uther in the original Arthurian legends was well liked, it does fit this show's King Uther.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: Has a bully named Billy Loomer, a mean girl named Missy Meany, and a woodshop teacher named Dusty Chopsaw. Any questions?
  • The New Statesman: The main character was named Alan B'Stard. Guess what kind of personality he had?
  • Noah's Arc: Brandy, who oscillates between Lady Drunk and Hard-Drinking Party Girl.
  • Once Upon a Time: Lives and breathes this trope. Snow White is Mary Margaret Blanchard ("blanc" is French for white), Red Riding Hood is Ruby, and the Evil Queen is Regina Mills. Regina was actually her name before the curse scrambled everyone's identities and before she married a king, but it still makes sense, since Regina's mother had been scheming for power for a long time.
  • Pair Of Kings: Sadie Hawkins Expy Queen Uber Oogli.
  • Person of Interest: Reese is often addressed as "Mr. Reese", pronounced in a way that sounds like "Mysteries".
  • Power Rangers: Has taken to doing this in recent years.
    • Wild Force had an Anti-Villain named Zen-Aku (good-evil) who would Kick the Dog one minute and Pet the Dog the next for his own reasons.
      • There was also Yellow Ranger Taylor Earhardt, missing and presumed dead ever since her fighter plane disappeared over the Atlantic was tractored to the Animarium.
    • SPD's aliens are frequently named after the animal they resemble, such as doglike Anubis "Doggie" Kruger of Sirius, catlike Kat Manx and Dr. Felix, apelike Sgt. Silverback, and birdlike Fowler Birdy. With humans it's not quite as gimmicky: Blue Ranger Sky has a flying Zord, Jack was once a thief, etc.
      • A-Squad was given the honor of being named by the fandom. The name for A-Squad Blue? Beevor.
    • Mystic Force is somewhat sneakier: Water-powered Madison shares a name with the mermaid in Splash (as well as sharing Tomoyo's name in the Cardcaptor Sakura dub; both Madisons have a penchant for capturing the other characters on film) and her tomboyish, hyperactive sister is named Vida ("Life"). A moon-powered apprentice magician is named Clare ("clair de lune" is French for moonlight). The Rangers' friend Leelee's last name, Pimvare, is an anagram of "vampire". It turns out she's The Mole, and daughter of the vampiric villainess Necrolai. Oddly, some denizens of the mystical dimension are named after weapons (Leanbow, Bowen, Daggeron) but are never shown to use their namesakes in battle.
    • In Overdrive, Mackenzie "Mack" Hartford's Humongous Mecha is based on a dump truck, and the Pink Ranger's name is Rose. Mack's name may also be a play on the computer company, since he is ultimately revealed to be a robot.
    • Turbo's lead villainess was named Divatox.
    • Jason, the original Red Ranger from Mighty Morphin is also an example. He's the leader of a team of heroes... Just like Jason, the captain of the Argonauts from Greek myth.
  • Psych: The Santa Barbara PD arrests a notorious serial killer named Mr. Yang in the season three finale. Is anyone really surprised when a Mr. Yin starts leaving a trail of bodies in the season four finale?
  • QI: In one episode, Stephen Fry mentions "nominative determinism," the social theory that if your name is meaningful its meaning will reflect in your career choice. David Mitchell: "That's why you run that caff."
  • Red Dwarf: Has Arnold Judas Rimmer. He is indeed a backstabbing, unlikeable, selfish, cowardly smeg. Less obvious, but rewarding if you speak Polish, is Kochanski. Kochac means "to love". What better person to be called Lover than Lister's girlfriend? According to Word of God, however, it was not deliberate — the show's creators actually named her after a bully at their old school. (Likewise, Rimmer was named after a snobbish prefect.)
  • Revolution: 'Miles' is Latin for 'soldier'. That is what Miles Matheson's career and life are in a nutshell.
  • Round the Twist: The Twist family encounter enough weird crap to make anyone feel like they're going round the twist.
  • Route 66: NBC's brief 1993 revival starred James Wilder and Dan Cortese as Nick Lewis and Arthur Clark. Making the road wanderers....that's right....Lewis & Clark.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Cameron's name is a direct reference to James Cameron, and in the producer's DVD Commentary on the first season DVD, they mentioned that Cameron was supposed to follow James Cameron's original concept of the Terminator: a subtle infiltrator designed to spy and get close to a target.
    • A deliberately chosen one, it's definitely not a coincidence that John Henry has not only the same first name as John Connor, but also last name that's a first name.
    • It should also be pointed out that John Connor, the savior of mankind, shares his initials with a certain other fellow with the same job description....
  • The Second Coming: In Russell T Davies's drama, the protagonist was the son of God. His love interest is named Judy.
  • Seinfeld: Used and lampshaded:
    Kramer: Bookman? The library investigator's name is actually, Bookman?
    Librarian: It's true.
    Kramer: That's amazing. That's like an ice cream man named, "Cone".
    • An in-universe example. Remember George's alias, Art Vandelay? Guess who shows up in the finale.
  • Sesame Street: Abby Cadabby's shy classmate Gonnigan has the ability to become invisible... which he does quite often.
  • Smallville: Davis Bloome. Does that reminds anyone of a particularly nasty Superman enemy? Okay, he's Doomsday.
  • The Sopranos: Livia's actions reflect the actions of the historical Livia, wife of Augustus Caesar.
  • Stargate SG-1 has a several meaningful names, some of which are addressed in-universe.
    • The names of the Tau'ri members of SG-1 with a subtle dig at Cameron Mitchell being the replacement to Jack O'Neill.
      • Jonathan "Jack" = God has given
      • In-universe Jack states that his name means "What's in the box?" but this is a joke because he actually has no idea what his name means.
      • He was given a special gene through his descent from the Ancients, who were the creators of humanity, and was given high honor by the Asgard, who are also gods.
      • Samantha = name of God/God has heard (from its being a feminine form of Samuel)
      • Daniel = God is my judge
      • Particularly poignant in his case since Daniel's character development centers around the fact that he judges himself harshly for his mistakes, but he eventually has to accept that he cannot control everything and that he is not the sole judge of his works.
      • Cameron = Crooked/bent nose
    • Entirely in-universe examples:
      • Teal'c, who is physically the strongest of his team and also lends an impressive amount of moral and emotional strength, translated his name as strength and explains that it was given to him by his father.
      • In the Goa'uld language, the word Goa'uld simply means god.
      • Anise, a Tok'ra, states that her name means noble strength.
    • Other examples:
      • Prometheus, the first Earth warship, built from reverse-engineered alien technology, and named for the Titan who stole fire from the Olympian Gods to give to Man.
      • To be fair, O'Neill knew that Prometheus was a bad name for a ship and fought against it. His offer to name the ship Enterprise was declined. Also, the name of the episode where the Prometheus is destroyed is called "Ethon", after the eagle gnawing on Prometheus's liver as punishment for bringing fire to humans.
      • Later the Daedalus class of starships is introduced, named for Icarus's father, who made two sets of wings so that they could fly to freedom. (Unlike Icarus, who went too far until he died and is therefore a very bad name for anything, Daedalus actually makes sense because he was a genius and used his invention wisely.)
      • The Daedalus-class ship Odyssey is the one in which the team and General Landry become trapped frozen in time for fifty years, under constant threat of death from the Ori weapons fire that is frozen right outside their windows. Ultimately the time bubble is reversed and everyone forgets about it, except for Teal'c, who volunteers to be removed from the reversal so he can prevent the problem. This means that like Odysseus, Teal'c really was lost at sea (or in this case space) for decades before he was able to return home. At least in his case everything is back where he left it.
  • Stargate Universe: The cringeworthy Icarus Base. Borders on insulting if Viewers Are Morons.
  • Star Trek:
    • Hoshi Sato of Star Trek: Enterprise: "hoshi" is Japanese for "star", "sato" can be read as "at home" — her name essentially means "at home by the stars".
    • And in the original series, Uhura is very close to the Swahili "uhoro", meaning "freedom" — one of the Federation's ideals at the time. Her full name is "Nyota Uhura", which means "Star Freedom".
    • Captain James Tiberius Kirk was named in part after a character created by Gene Roddenberry for a previous television show, but the history behind the name Tiberius is probably why it was given specifically to Kirk. (Ironically, the Emperor Tiberius was one of Rome's weakest emperors and one of its most unpleasant, if Tacitus's stories about his pedophilia are to be believed. And while Tacitus is known to let his own biases color his accounts, he's generally considered to have left the most reliable records of the Roman Empire.)
      • Interestingly, in Star Trek Expanded Universe, the mirror-Kirk took the name Tiberius after crowning himself emperor. In the books, this is used to distinguish them.
    • Miles O'Brien is introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation as a transporter tech, but he was originally a soldier and a member of a shock combat squad. The name Miles means "soldier".
    • William T. Riker's middle name was the subject of speculation for the first few seasons, until it was set to be "Thomas" in the 6th Season episode "Second Chances." "Thomas" means "twin," which is exactly what Riker discovered he was in this episode thanks to a transporter accident.
    • An inadvertent Meaningful Name is that of Elim Garak. The character is constantly putting on an act, so one would think his surname was a reference to the great English actor, David Garrick. Yet he was named after one of the writer's prior characters. (Garak shares his first name with a rather strict Mennonite sect. The fact that his mother's first name is the reverse of his is, according to the writers, intentional — but his character was created first.)
    • Then there's Garak's best friend and would-have-been love interest, were it not for Executive Meddling, Dr. Julian ("young") Bashir, who's a Rare Male Example of The Ingenue and, in his thirties, the youngest member of Deep Space Nine's head officers. And since he considers himself a different person than he was as a child, before his unconsenting and highly illegal brain enhancements, he's even younger than that.
    • Picard's Borg designation, Locutus, comes from the Latin word "loqui", meaning "to speak". Appropriate, as the Borg wanted Picard to "speak" on their behalf.
    • Montgomery Scott is a Scot! Though "Scott" is a real Scottish clan name.
    • Then there's Data and his brother Lore, which is doubly meaningful, as Lore, the more emotional android, has a name that is a somewhat more emotionally charged word for the same thing.
      • Not the same thing: Lore is stories pertaining to something's history (yes, usually invoking emotion). Data, however, simply refers to information that is usually of a scientific or mathematical nature. However the point is valid about the meaning of the names.
      • Then there's B4 from Star Trek: Nemesis predating even Lore. Picard even noted Dr. Soong's twisted sense of humor for the name/designation. That, of course, implies that Soong knew that B4 was only a stepping stone when he named him.
    • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Dagger of the Mind", a reformed criminal is named Lethe, like the classical river of forgetfulness. We learn her treatment was to have her mind erased.
    • In "All Our Yesterdays", the time-warping library on Sarpeidon is run by the Ancient Keeper Mr. Atoz ("A TO Z").
  • Strangers with Candy: Has this trope in perverse forms only Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello could've conceived. Most obvious is Principal Onyx Blackman. There's also Stew the meat-man ("Simmer down, Stew") and Mr. Noblet's son, Seamus — the first syllable sounds like "shame," which is Noblet's primary emotion when it comes to his family, since he's a closeted homosexual. That one may sound like a slight stretch until you've listened to the DVD commentaries, wherein it's explained that school grief counselor Cassie Pines was named to evoke the image of "casket" and "pine box," and that Orlando, the frequent butt of racist Filipino "monkey" jokes, was originally going to be named Simeon. Then there's the all-white school production of A Raisin in the Sun, where the starring students' all have last names like "Chalk" and "Snow"... the list goes on.
  • Supernatural:
    • Anna Milton, a fallen angel.
    • Harvelle means female warrior.
    • Ben means son.
    • Sam/Samuel means "name of God" or "God has heard" which is rather ironic considering that he was Lucifer's vessel.
    • Dean means leader.
    • Castiel means steadfast.
    • Tessa/Theresa means harvest. She reaps the souls of the living.
    • Winchester, as in the guns, and the Winchester family curse (specifically the family that made the guns).
    • In one episode, a girl called Lily is revealed to have the power to kill someone by touching them. The lily flower is often a symbol of death.
    • Dean and Sam were named after Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise, the main characters of On the Road. Bonus: Dean Moriarty is bisexual, and Dean Winchester, despite his constant, high-volume insistence otherwise, persistently reads as Ambiguously Bi.
  • Teen Wolf: Had the family of werewolf hunters with the last name Argent, which means SILVER. Justified: The myths of werewolves being vulnerable to silver are suggested to have been derived from the family's name, not the other way around.
    • Which is brought up in "Wolf's Bane."
    • A "stile" is literally a means of passage over obstacles. Stiles himself manages to help pretty much everyone during the course of the series.
    • Danny's last name, Mahealani, means FULL MOON in Hawaiian.
  • Three's Company: Had Jack Tripper — a ladykiller in a different sense.... He was also something of a klutz, frequently getting "tripped up"
  • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger: Subverted Trope: A Monster of the Week has a name that means "felony" and is of a species whose name means "villain". As the plot was one character's attempt to prove him innocent and the true culprit guilty, the names were an Anvilicious way of making him the obvious suspect (which he was anyway). Otherwise, Super Sentai has so many characters with Meaningful Names (and Meaningful Punny Names and Theme Naming) that adding them to this page would triple the length.
  • The Twilight Zone: One episode, "A Thing About Machines", tells the story of Bartlett Finchley. Lord Finchley was a technophobe in a poem by Hilaire Belloc. In the episode "Jess-Belle", the title character wants another woman’s fiance for herself and stops at nothing to win him — not even selling her soul to the local witch and becoming one herself in the process.
  • Ugly Betty: In one episode, the judge is quite appropriately surnamed Biotch.
  • Ultra Series
  • The sociopathic Action Girl of Utopia, Jessica Hyde has a name that bears a distinct resemblance to Jekyll & Hyde, foreshadowing her dual role of good and evil and of being the carrier of Janus, the genetic trigger named after the two-faced god.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Has Stefan Salvatore. The last name Salvatore means "Savior" in Italian. The name Stefan means "crowned with martyrdom". Ironically, Stefan is the biggest martyr in the series.
  • Veronica Mars: Veronica Mars, whose name means "true image", which ties in with her being a Born Detective and having a pathological obsession with finding the truth (which often comes with taking a picture of it since she's a Private Detective).
    • Also, Wallace means foreigner in Norman French—in the pilot episode of the series, Wallace is the new kid in town.
    • Plus, the Mars family lives in Neptune, and Veronica drives a Saturn. A character makes the connection in an early season 3 episode.
  • Victorious: Jade West, reference the wicked witch of the west and her "jaded" personality.
    • Their teacher is Mr Sikowitz, as in 'Psycho-'Wits'.
    • The main character is called Tori.. vicTORIous?
    • Vice Principal Dickers from "The Breakfast Bunch". His loud talking, aggressive one-liners and some of his actions (including trying to make Tori pop an arm pimple) show that he's certainly worthy of that name.
  • The Walking Dead: The TV series has a Centre for Disease Control scientist named Edwin Jenner. His namesake, Edward Jenner, was the first person to successfully and scientifically inoculate against smallpox. Subverted in that the Dr Jenner from the show has no idea how to go about curing the plague.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: The principal's name is Mr. Laritate and the art teacher's name is Ms. Majorheeley.
    • Juliet.
    • Tutor the tutor. According to Alex in that episode, parents in the Wizard World always name their children for jobs they want them to do. Of course, she says it doesn't always work.
    Alex: "My dad goes to a doctor named Butcher."
  • Wonder Woman TV Series: Invoked Trope by Hippolyte, Queen of the Hidden Elf Village Paradise Island:
    Queen Hippolyte: I named this island "Paradise" for an excellent reason. There are no men on it. Thus, it is free from their wars, their greed, their hostility, their... barbaric... masculine... behavior. [she bites her hand]
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Had Eve, who was destined to bring about the "Twilight of the Gods". Evening and Twilight are both times of day. Or... night I suppose.... This is more of an out of universe example, as In Universe, Eve was named by her dead older brother, who was completely unaware of Eve's destiny, during one of Xena and Gabrielle's many day-trips to the Underworld.
  • The X-Files: "Eve": The cloned boys and girls created in a Super Soldier secret government project were named Adams and Eves, referencing the first humans of biblical mythology. The individual clones were only numbered.

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