Names To Run Away From: Animal

A form of Names to Run Away From Really Fast: People and families can have animals, real and mythological, as part of their names, but in fiction it's usually a dangerous sign to meet someone with a predatory animal in their name. Wolf, dragon, lion, tiger, coyote, snake.

Note that animal names can go either way depending on the setting; they can imply evil, or can simply be used to imply that a character is fierce and dangerous, and as such, can be used for good characters or even heroes. Some animals are tipped more one way than others, of course; lions and wolves can imply nobility, but snakes and scorpions usually don't. See Animal Stereotypes for possible reasons for why certain animals have sufficient evil/scary cultural connotations to qualify for this trope.

Examples:

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    Bear 
Most kinds of bear aren't well-known or catchy enough to get their own section, but watch out for anyone who goes by "Grizzly" or "Kodiak". However Russian bears (as a name, nickname, or title) definitely fit in this trope.

Anime and Manga

Literature
  • Beowulf: Beowulf's name is usually interpreted by linguists as "the bees' enemy", which in turn is tentatively a poetical expression for "bear".
  • The name of Beorn from The Hobbit means literally 'bear'. He can — guess what? — turn into a bear.

Live-Action TV
  • Chuck: 'Sugar Bear'.
  • This trope with a twist: in the Red Dwarf episode "Gunmen of the Apocolypse", one of the denizens of Kryten's western-themed dreamscape was named 'Bear-Strangler' McGee.

Video Games Western Animation
  • Ursa (her name meaning 'she-bear') from Avatar: The Last Airbender is an aversion. Despite being the wife of the Fire Lord, she is shown to be a kind and loving mother ...who admittedly killed Azulon, the then-Fire Lord, for threatening the life of her son.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ursula. The name actually means "little she-bear," but she turns it into a Name to Run Away From anyway.
Real Life
  • Machine example: The Russian Tu-95 "Bear" nuclear bomber, designed to reach the United States from the Soviet Union and let loose nuclear armageddon. Later examples served in the anti-submarine and anti-ship roles and were a menace to US submarines and aircraft carriers.

    Bull 

Film

Literature
  • From Ivanhoe, the stubborn and thuggish Reginald Front-du-Boeuf ("bull-head").

Live-Action TV

Theatre
  • Thady "The Bull" McCabe from John B. Keane's drama The Field. His short-tempered nature is so well-known in the community, it helps him get away with murder.

Video Games

Real Life
  • Another machine example - the Russian Tu-4 "Bull", a direct copy of the Boeing B-29 and the first Russian nuclear bomber with the range to reach the United States (albeit one-way). When the first one of these turned up, the Cold War started to look as though it was going to get dangerously hot.

    Coyote 

Anime and Manga
  • Bleach — Coyote Starrk: The Primera Espada.

Video Games

Western Animation

    Crow 

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • Ashe Corven from The Crow series also qualifies, as it appears to be derived from 'corvus', the Latin word for 'crow'.

Fanfic
  • Karasu (Japanese for crow) from Three of Heart, One of Blood doesn't seem like this at first: He offers to bring Yukimori back to life. Unfortunately, it doesn't hold, as he's a Legacy and can't raise the dead — but he can cast extremely realistic illusions.

Literature

Live-Action TV

Video Games
  • Jacob Crowe of TimeSplitters: Future Perfect fits the bill.
  • Nightmare Creatures had Aleister Crowley as the Big Bad of the series.
  • Earthworm Jim's archnemesis PsyCrow.
  • Corvo Attano of Dishonored.
  • Fallout 3 has a ghoul named Mr. Crowley, likely named after the aforementioned Aleister Crowley.
  • The Jackdaw of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. What starts off as a brig, through numerous modifications, it's capable of going up against man-o-wars, and can even destroy legendary ships thought to be indestructible.
    • Following on from this, the Morrigan of Assassin's Creed: Rogue. A sloop-of-war under the command of the former Assassin Shay Cormac, this ship was incredibly advanced for it's time. It's weapons included upsized Puckle gunsnote , carronades, and burning oil.

Real Life
  • The racist Jim Crow laws of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, designed to enforce segregation in the South in the wake of Reconstruction.
  • Russell Crowe might not look as sinister as some of the other examples listed here, but God help you if you ever edit his poetry!
  • The notorious late 19th-to-early 20th century playboy occultist Aleister Crowley. Not actually a bad guy, but given his reputation at the time (which there's reason to believe he actively encouraged) he might as well have been a supervillain.

    Dragon 

Anime and Manga
  • From One Piece, Dragon the Revolutionary. As noted further down, also overlaps with "Monkey."

Literature
  • Dracula: Dracul, in Romanian, means "dragon" as well as "devil". Therefore, "Dracula" means "son of the dragon".
  • Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter.
  • Rand Al'Thor and Lews Therin Telamon from The Wheel of Time.

Live-Action TV

Other
  • Dragin from yerCake.
  • Drago from Rocky 4.

TV Tropes

Video Games

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Draco, a lawmaker from ancient Greece, from whom we get the term "draconian" as in "draconian penalties", meaning extremely harsh penalties. His name is similar enough to the Greek word for dragon, and so little is known about the man himself, that it's up for debate whether this is a coincidence, or whether Draco is an assumed name chosen to invoke this trope.
  • Vlad Dracul and his son Vlad Dracula of Wallachia (the bynames meaning "dragon" and "the dragon's son" respectively), who were certainly apt to invoke this trope in their lifetime. The name, however, has a relatively harmless origin story, as it became the elder Vlad's nickname when he joined the the Order of the Dragon, a late-medieval chivalric order.
  • Billy Drago is the stage name of a character actor who generally plays Smug Snake variants. Coincidentally, it's his mother's real surname.
  • Sir Francis Drake works if you're Spanish.

    Eagle 

Anime and Manga

Film
  • General Orlov from Octopussy ("oryol" means "eagle" in Russian).

Live-Action TV

Music
  • The Eagles were one hell of an awesome band.

Video Games
  • Eagle of Advance Wars.
  • Psychonauts, where Eagle is one of the four animal-themed luchadores running around in the head of Edgar Teglee, with Tiger, Cobra, and Dragon making up the rest. His catchphrase: Ca-caw!.
  • From Assassins Creed III, Connor's ship, the Aquila, was built as a brig, but was incredibly fast for it's size, and was so infamous, it was dubbed "The Ghost of the North Sea" for it's ability to appear from the darkness of the sea, inflict tremendous damage, and retreat as if it was never there.

Real Life
  • The F-15 "Eagle", for the 1970s the most dangerous fighter aircraft in the world, and no less dangerous today.

    Falcon 

Literature

Video Games

Real Life
  • The F-16 Fighting Falcon, Cool Plane and very dangerous.

    Flamingo 

Anime and Manga
  • One Piece: Donquixote Doflamingo, a nihilistic pirate and puppet-master who slices people into pieces. He dresses in a pink, feathery coat and dabbles in slave trade, and abandons it because it's become passe (the slave trade, not the coat).

Comic Books
  • There's a vampire called Flamingo in Scarlet # 1. Reviewing the comic, Linkara finds it ridiculous.

Literature
  • Lord Vetinari of the Discworld series often reminds people of a sober flamingo. A predatory one.

Live-Action TV
  • CJ's Secret Service codename on The West Wing is flamingo. She does not appreciate this.
    CJ: The flamingo is a ridiculous-looking bird!

    Fox (Vixen, Reynard, etc.) 
Variations of "Reynard" — the original trickster-fox from the medieval stories — include, but are not limited to, Renard, Reinhardt, Reineke; possibly even Renfield. If somebody in your group has a variation of that last name, avoid him. He's The Mole.

Film
  • In the Rush Hour sequels, not one but two villains have names that translate to "Fox" in that character's native language: Hu Li, from 2, and Inspector Renard from 3.
  • After The Fox, starring Peter Sellers as the criminal Master of Disguise "The Fox". Of course, this is a subversion, played for laughs.
  • Renard, the Big Bad of The World Is Not Enough.

Literature
  • Le Renard Subtil is the name of the villain in the novel Last of the Mohicans. DEFINITELY traitorous.
  • Zorro. Means, in case you didn't know, 'fox'.
  • August Rommel Taggart, the villain in Mary Higgins Clark's A Stranger Is Watching, calls himself "Foxy" because of his middle name (see the "Real Life" subfolder).
  • Silas Fennec, the villain from The Scar by China Miéville.

Live-Action TV

Video Games

Web Comics
  • Gunnerkrigg Court's resident plush doll-possessing fox spirit Reynardine, a.k.a. Renard.

Western Animation

Real Life

    Hawk 

Anime and Manga
  • Berserk: Griffith's Band of the Hawk. They were known as the "Grim Reaper of the Battlefield" back in the day, and their second incarnation is even worse.
  • Riza Hawkeye from Fullmetal Alchemist is a scarily good shot.
  • Hajime No Ippo has Takamura Mamoru and Brian Hawk, both violent boxers that used to fight on the streets.
  • One Piece: Dracule "Hawkeyes" Mihawk.

Comic Books

Film

Literature

Live-Action TV

Professional Wrestling

Video Games

Web Original

    Jackal 
Pretty much anybody named "Jackal" is either an assassin or a terrorist.

Anime and Manga
  • Kurodo Akabane, aka Doctor Jackal from Get Backers is a Transporter who doesn't care how much a job pays, only how interesting it will be. And "interesting" to Doctor Jackal usually involves fighting someone powerful and killing them.

Comic Books

Film
  • The otherwise anonymous assassin, from 1973's The Day of the Jackal (an adaptation of the Frederick Forsyth novel), and 1997's remake of the movie, The Jackal.

Literature

Video Games

Real Life
  • Infamous terrorist Carlos "The Jackal".

    Lion (Leo, Leonidas, etc.) 

Anime and Manga

Film

Live-Action TV
  • Lionel, Lex Luthor's uber-villainous dad in Smallville.

Tabletop Games
  • Lion El'Jonson, in addition to being an homage to a poet. Primarch of the Dark Angels of Warhammer 40,000.

Video Games Western Animation

Real Life

    Monkey 

Anime and Manga
  • Goku from Dragon Ball. In the first series, he has a tail, the cloud that transports him around, and his magic staff, not to mention adapted forms of many of the companions.
  • The Monkey D. family of One Piece, which includes main character Monkey D. Luffy, his father revolutionary leader Monkey D. Dragon, and his fearsome Marine grandfather Vice-Admiral Monkey D. Garp.
  • Goku from the Saiyuki series, a Bishounen-looking fellow restrained by the crown from the original stories, who fights with a staff.

Film

Literature
  • One of the lead characters in the oft-retold Journey to the West, Sun Wukong (or Son Goku).
  • The Baboon Warrior is a post-human 'tagonist (pro-? an-? it's never quite clear) from Shiva3000. He kills malfunctioning Hindu gods.

    Mustelids (weasels, skunks, badgers, and wolverines) 
They may not be particularly dangerous on the surface, but they will be the sort of person who holds a grudge and will not let go of it.

Anime and Manga
  • Itachi from Naruto, whose name literally means "Weasel".

Comic Books
  • Years ago there was a comic series starring one Norbert Sikes, who put on a costume and fought crime in the streets as... The Badger. Yeah, he was nuts. It was a great book, though.
  • Marvel's Wolverine.

Film
  • Newsies has a character named Weasel.
  • The conniving and malicious Duke of Weselton, from Frozen, is constantly called the "Duke of Weasel Town".

Literature

Live-Action TV

Western Animation

Real Life
  • The Tu-16 "Badger", yet another Russian nuclear bomber, one that was eventually turned into a powerful anti-ship platform like the Tu-95 "Bear".

    Other wildcat species 

Anime and Manga
  • Bleach: The name of Grimmjow's release counts: Pantera.

Literature

Video Games

    Raptor 

Anime and Manga
  • Rex Raptor of Yu-Gi-Oh! could be a subversion.

Video Games

Real Life
  • The F-22 Raptor, the only 5th generation fighter in the world, and the only true "stealth" fighter pending the arrival of the F-35. Simulated battles have given it a kill ratio of more than a hundred to one, so if you're an enemy fighter pilot and your wingmen start blowing up without warning, running away is your only option.

    Raven 

Anime and Manga
  • Ravenus from the Linkage mini-comics packed in with the Micron Legend DVD's in Japan. Also a pun on "ravenous", to boot.
  • Raven is also one of many Chains found in the world of Pandora Hearts.
  • Also, Raven from Zoids.

Comic Books

Fanfic

Film

Literature.

Live-Action TV

Other
  • The Baltimore Ravens of the NFL, named for Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven. Definitely run, rather than try to get into an altercation with one of them in a nightclub.

Professional Wrestling

Tabletop Games

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation

    Scorpion 

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Film

Literature

Live-Action TV

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Hank Scorpio, Homer's 'Bond villain'-esque boss on The Simpsons.
  • Scorponok of Transformers: Beast Wars was an exception. Other Transformers with the name aren't, though. And given the main theme, often were likely to have a form that involves a stinger hanging over their body.

Real Life

    Shrike 
A bird that impales insects or lizards onto sharp branches to feed on them. In short, the animal gets shish-kabobed.

Literature
  • The Edge Chronicles features "shrykes", vicious and merciless birdwomen.
  • The Hyperion series by Dan Simmons features a Nigh Invulnerable, time-traveling robot assassin known as The Shrike, who is definitely not someone you want to mess with, primarily because it will live up to its name.
  • Shrike the Stalker in the UK release of Mortal Engines (Grike in the US).

Tabletop Games

Video Games

    Snake (Viper, Cobra, etc) 

American Football
  • Famed Oakland Raiders (among others) quarterback and noted hellraiser Ken "The Snake" Stabler.

Anime and Manga
  • Kimba the White Lion: Viper Snakely, the resident Evil Poacher.
  • Orochimaru of Naruto fame. In Japanese, his name is usually written as 大蛇丸; the middle character 「蛇」 means "snake." Additionally, the Orochi (written as 大蛇) is itself an evil snake from Japanese mythology, and that's alongside the fact that "Orochimaru" was the name of the villain of the folk tail that also served as the inspiration for the names of fellow Sannin Jiraiya and Tsunade.
  • One Piece: Boa Hancock, the "Snake Princess". Also Nefertari Cobra, King of Alabasta.

Comic Books
  • DC Comics villain Kobra.
  • Marvel Comics has enough snake-themed villains that they formed their own team, the Serpent Squad (later expanded into the Serpent Society).
  • G.I. Joe: Cobra.

Film

Literature
  • William Makepeace Thackeray had a lovable traitor family named the Crawleys, and Anthony Trollope, who was heavily influenced by him gave the last name to a noble character.
  • It's probably worth noting Good Omens has Noble Demon Crowley originally named "Crawly" (he was the serpent in the Garden of Eden), and whose present name is an allusion to famous Satanist Alastair Crowley. (The demon's first name however, subverting this, is Anthony.)
  • Harry Potter:
    • Slytherin House (whose emblem is a snake, and whose name sounds like 'slithery') and its founder Salazar Slytherin. In-universe, "Slytherin alumnus" is almost a synonym of "dark wizard".
    • Severus Snape comes pretty close.
    • Voldemort's snake Nagini, whose name derives from Sanskrit and Hindi words for "snake."
    • Herpo the Foul, one of the first recorded Parselmouths (wizards who can talk to snakes).
    • Harry's son may be a subversion; his initials spell ASP but he seems like a good kid.
  • Nag and Nagaina, the two cobras from Rikki Tikki Tavi. As mentioned with Nagini from Harry Potter, their names derive from the Hindi and Sanskrit words for "snake." Their names probably were influences for Nagini's name.
  • The Red Viper in A Song of Ice and Fire is a warrior prince who uses Poisoned Weapons, which is why he goes by that title. (Although he's in no way one of the more evil ASOIAF characters. He's one of the many, many Bad Ass ones though.)
  • In The Lord of the Rings there's Wormtongue. In this case, worm actually means snake. Or possibly dragon, which in the universe of Middle-earth are Always Chaotic Evil.

Live-Action TV
  • The title character of Blackadder.
  • Kamen Rider Ohja. His name translates to Snake King.
  • American Gladiators had Viper, and he was particularly known for being a bad guy/having a bad temper.

Video Games

Western Animation

    Spider 
Much like Fox, it's a trickster's name.

Anime and Manga
  • Onigumo from InuYasha, whose name is composed of "oni" (a troll or ogre) and "kumo" (spider). And if Kikyo had just run away from him really fast, the whole series could have been averted.
  • Pani Poni Dash!: Tsurugi Inugami in addition to Tsurugi, he is also Inugami — not just an animal, it is a Japanese god.

Comic Books
  • Special mention to the various Black Widow villainesses.
  • Transmetropolitan: Spider Jerusalem, rogue journalist.
  • In a rare plant-related example, Bone's Briar and Rose. Guess who's the baddie.
  • Spiderman, as well as Tarantula and Black Tarantula.

Film
  • Dr. Aranya from Mesa of Lost Women, a play on the word araña, which is Spanish for Spider.

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • Doctor Who has a species of spider aliens called the Racnoss (a play on the word "arachnid").

Video Games
  • The Black Spider Ninja Clan in the reboot of Ninja Gaiden.

Western Animation

    Tiger 

Anime and Manga
  • Benitora/Crimson Tiger from Samurai Deeper Kyo.
  • Aisaka Taiga (yes, it's pronounced pretty much the way it sounds) from Toradora!. For bonus points, in addition to the Spanish meaning of the title, "Tora" means "tiger".

Comic Books

Film

Literature
  • Tigerclaw/Tigerstar from Warriors.
  • In the Discworld novel Monstrous Regiment, Sergeant Jackrum tells William de Worde about a guerrilla leader named Tiger, who doesn't exist.

Live-Action TV
  • Kamen Rider Tiger.

Video Games

Webcomics

Western Animation
  • El Tigre takes this trope and runs with it.

Real Life
  • Lady of War Caterina Sforza, nicknamed Il Tigre, the Tiger.
  • Machine Examples: The German Tiger and King Tiger tanks.
  • IJA General Tomoyomi Yamashita, the Tiger of Malaya and conqueror of British Malaya and Singapore.

    Wolf (Wolfen, Wulf, Adolf, Lupin, Volk, etc.) 
Though after World War II, naming a villain "Adolf" has become a Dead Horse Trope.

Anime and Manga
  • Averted in Fushigi Yuugi: Tasuki's nickname, Genrou, means "phantasm wolf", hence the phantom wolves that shoot out of his talismans.
  • Nicholas D. Wolfwood from Trigun.
  • Roberta, aka The Maid and most especially The Bloodhound Of Florencia, tends to destroy everything her path, and is incapable of dying, where even a city of the most powerful mafia lords in the city consider her a very serious threat that almost undermines everything by her mere presence and need to get revenge. She definitely qualifies as a name to run away from really fast. Except you can never run far enough. You can never run fast enough. She's the Bloodhound Of Florencia. Once you have her on your trail, you will not escape.
    • To give you perspective, she once outrun a car. On foot. So, yeah, you can never run fast enough.
  • Gavrill "the Wolf", from Franken Fran. A nickname she earned thanks to her extreme brutality and shape-shifting powers. To top it off, she's flipping insane, yet also very sly and intelligent
  • Baron von Wolf, Big Bad from First Squad.

Comic Books

Film

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • Wolfram & Hart from Angel.
  • El Lobo Fuerte from Mega64 Version 2.
  • The "Bad Wolf" from Doctor Who.

Real Life
  • Adolf Hitler seemed to have had an affinity of some sort for wolves. His first name derives from Athalwolf, Old High German for "noble wolf", and for this reason "Wolf" became his childhood nickname. He later used it as a pseudonym for himself in the 1920s, ostensibly for security reasons. Three of his military headquarters were named Wolfsschanze ("wolf's lair"), Wolfsschlucht ("wolf's chasm"), and Werwolf ("werewolf").
  • The Eighth Fighter Wing is collectively known as "The Wolfpack", named after their most famous wing commander, Robin Olds, who used the callsign "Wolf 01" when he lead the 8th in battle during the Vietnam War. Famous for using F-4C Phantoms to imitate the much slower and more vulnerable F-105 Thunderchiefs.
  • Vladimir Wolfovich Zhirinovsky is a right-wing Russian politician known for extreme electoral promises and utter lack of principles.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

Web Original
  • The Lay of Paul Twister has a subversion. Paul becomes very nervous when he is approached by a wizard named Gerald Wolf, who is doing research into the nature of entropy. It turns out that Gerald Wolf is the man's actual name, that he is primarily a healer, and that the endpoint of his entropy research was building a Magitek refrigerator.

    Other 

Anime and Manga
  • Sylia Stingray of Bubblegum Crisis.
  • Alligator Nichol from Jackals is not to be trifled with.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has badass Action Hero Roy Mustang.
  • From Naruto is Hoshigaki Kisame (Kisame means demon shark) and his sword Samehada (sharkskin). It's also very literally a Meaningful Name, since Kisame looks like a shark, uses shark-based attacks and can fuse with Samehada in a shark hybrid.
  • Weevil Underwood from Yu-Gi-Oh!. Not particularly strong, but a sneaky, conniving pest who'll stoop to pretty much anything.

Comic Books

Film

Literature
  • Harry Potter has the awesome-sounding Order of the Phoenix.
  • Honor Harrington in David Weber's Honorverse series is called "The Salamander" for always being where the fire was hottest, a case of being at the right place at the right time (this is inverted the other way for her opponents).
  • Mr. Squids and Mr. Crabs, Big Bad and The Dragon from the Soviet children's book ''Dunno on the Moon''.

Video Games
  • Mega Man 4 brings us Snake Man, Toad Man, and Mega Man Battle Network's Beast Man.EXE (as well as having .EXE versions of the other two). And Mega Man 10 has Sheep Man.
  • King Hippo from Punch-Out!!.
  • Wild Dog, the recurring villain of the Time Crisis series.
  • The DoDonpachi("mad boss bee") series, and its recurring True Final Boss, Hibachi("fire bee").
  • Golbez from Final Fantasy IV has what must be one of the most awesome name origins in fiction. Aside from sounding fitting, bad ass and like a name you'd want to run away from, it is actually named after a type of fly. A fly that in legends were said to be born from the rotting corpse of a dragon. On top of that he shares his name with Golubaeser, a demon in the book Devils by J. Charles Wall, where several names from the game were taken. Does that mean they just stole the name from somewhere else? No they were entirely aware of the original source as the DS remake not only references it but also manages to relate it to an in game legend with multiple interpretations.
  • War Pig, an Abrams tank in Modern Warfare, which you escort in the mission of the same name.
  • The GDI Predator Tank from Command And Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars. If you are a NOD militia member see one coming at you equipped with a rail gun for a cannon, run as fast as you can.

Western Animation
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Played for laughs with The Big Bad Hippo.
    • The Unagi, a gigantic eel whose name literally means "eel" in Japanese.
    • "The Phoenix King," the title Fire Lord Ozai adopts during the finale.
  • The Slaughtering Rat People from Invader Zim.