Names To Run Away From: Notorious Killers
A form of Names to Run Away From Really Fast
If a character has either the first or
last name of a noted criminal, real or fictional, it's a good sign they're headed towards a life of crime themselves. If their name is followed by "the" and a violent-sounding verb (like Jack the Ripper
or Barry the Chopper
), then they're almost certainly a Serial Killer
Gunman with Three Names
is a subtrope characters referred to by three names, likely a killer or dangerous sort, based on the examples of John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, and Mark David Chapman, famous assassins.
There were also enough people named Cain
or variants that it got its own article
See also Named After Somebody Famous
, and The Butcher
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"Hitler" almost never appears per se, being an already very rare variant of "Hiedler," but variants such as that, "Hiller," "Hidler," and "Hibler" are. "Adolf" (and its slightly
less stigmatized variant, "Adolph") is still seen, especially in period pieces, to evoke a kind of Retroactive Recognition
- Averted: In the children's book Heidi, written long before World War II, Heidi's kind, lonely grandfather is named Adolf.
- Adolf is actually used in the novel Evil Genius. One of the villains is named Adolf Hauser. To make matters worse, he's actually nicknamed "The Fuhrer" and teaches at the Axis Institute, a school for future supervillains. May be a case of Refuge in Audacity. Oddly enough, he's not the Big Bad.
- Distortions of Hitler's name, especially "Hiller", are featured in works ranging from Who's the Boss? to Isaac Asimov's The Martian Way. In these cases, these people are shown to be Hitler Expys either in-universe or by Word of God.
- There is a clothing line called Adolfo that was created by Adolfo Sardina.
- Dolph from Suikoden V may qualify, though.
- The video game Vandal Hearts pulls a double whammy with the Big Bad Dolf Crowley. In fact, Vandal Hearts is full of these—it also has an antagonistic character named Hel Spites and his son, Kain.
- Dolph, one of the bullies on The Simpsons.
- Interestingly, Dolph is Jewish. He's even in Hebrew school.
- Also, one of Mr. Burns' vicious hounds is named Hitler. Ironically, when seen, he's a very old dog, and not vicious anymore, although Mr. Burns fondly remembers when he was young and "bagged his first hippie".
- Dolf The Crow, the sort-of Big Bad from the Dutch TV-Show Alfred J. Kwak was a halfbreed of a crow and a blackbird, spoke in a German accent, turned evil, started a political party with a banner obviously similar to the Nazi flag. He also attempts world domination a few times, and all this while wearing a Napoleon-like attire.
Certainly a name to watch out for. Anyone named this will almost always be covered in muscles and/or weapons, and extremely prone to violence.
- The original Brutus (Lucius Junius), who ousted Tarquin the Proud, and his descendant Brutus (Marcus Junius the Younger), who betrayed Caesar. At the time, the name only meant "stupid" (or by the latter's time, "icon of democracy"), without the connotations of cruelty it would take on in later centuries.
Jack the Ripper
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Ripper, who, even 30 years later and much more mellow, is still quite dangerous (technically, he killed Glory/Ben, which means he killed a Hellgod).
- Fallout 3 has a unique Ripper chainsaw named Jack.
- Metal Gear: Raiden, whose first name is Jack, was called "Jack the Ripper" during his days as a (very effective) child soldier during the First Liberian Civil War. In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, he succumbs to his repressed bloodlust and rage, which unlocks "Ripper Mode" in-game, increasing damage dealt and causing every attack to break armor and dismember enemies.
It doesn't help that the name also means "Insanity".
Anime and Manga
- Lucrezia Borgia is a character in Gregory Maguire's novel "Mirror, Mirror".
- In Going Postal, Adora Belle Dearheart's stiletto shoes are in a style called "Pretty Lucrezia." It fits the trope despite not being the name of a person, because she uses them to attack a drunk (and in The Film of the Book, Moist himself, with whom her relationship is more Slap-Slap-Kiss than in the novel) and delivers a line about how she doesn't know if she can press them straight to the floor, but is willing to try.
- Lucrezzia Belladona (belladonna is a type of poison), a mercenary poisoner (and husband killer!) from Warhammer.
- The Zork parody of Lucrezia Borgia counterpart Lucrezia Flathead
- A slight variation of the name: Lucrecia from Final Fantasy VII
- Lucrezia Mongfish from Girl Genius, who before she married a hero was an evil scientist and is the Other.
- The original Lucrezia Borgia, usually (but wrongly) regarded as a notorious poisoner.
Victor or Frankenstein
Who killed King Arthur, does a double whammy, crossing into the Mor names
Might not sound like a threatening name, unless you happen to have studied the French Revolution, where the original was the guy in charge of the original Reign of Terror
. You know, where they chopped off all those people's heads.
Anime and Manga
- Grell Sutcliff of Black Butler has a slightly altered version of the surname of Peter Sutcliffe, also known as The Yorkshire Ripper. Appropriate, considering Grell is one half of this universe's version of Jack The Ripper.
- Retroactive aversion: Ralph Hinkley on The Greatest American Hero was renamed Ralph Hanley after a man with the name Hinkley attempted to assassinate President Reagan.
- The future humans in The Sarah Connor Chronicles really should have known better than to give the Terminator captain of a submarine the name Queeg, even if they thought it was funny.
- Red Dwarf: Queeg is also used for the computer that temporarily replaces Holly. He's actually Holly trying to teach the crew to apprectiate him more.
- Jesse St. James from Glee - named after Jesse James, obviously.
- In Hannibal, like Grell Dr. Donald Sutcliffe shares his name with the aforementioned Peter Sutcliffe, and is friends with The Chesepeake Ripper aka Hannibal.
- Marilyn Manson's "gimmick" for stage names was to take the first name of an iconic female sex symbol and the last name of a notorious Serial Killer and combine the two. In his case, he combined Marilyn Monroe with Charles Manson; the rest of his original band (which was called Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids) did the same. (The stage names of the original members who did this were Daisy Berkowitz, Olivia Newton Bundy, Zsa Zsa Speck, Madonna Wayne Gacy, and Ginger Fish. Members who joined after that did not do so, but Manson's current bassist/guitarist, Twiggy Ramirez, dis so.
- Fawkes, the renegade Super Mutant in Fallout 3, after British terrorist Guy Fawkes.