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Aerith and Bob

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"Oh, they're over there, talking to Mary and Beldegar."

"In a group consisting of Sithis, Travok, Anastrianna and Kairon, the human fighter named Bob II sticks out. Especially when he's identical to Bob I, who was killed by kobolds."
4th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide, Dungeons & Dragons

In some fantasy settings, people have names that you would expect to see in real life. In others, names are made up to sound exotic.

And then you have the mixed approach: people named Zelor and Lithnara alongside people named James and Catherine. That's this trope.

Don't expect the characters to acknowledge the distinction. Note that this doesn't count if the author is making a distinction e.g. as a Translation Convention for different cultures (cf. The Lord of the Rings, where the hobbits' and the nearby Men's Westron-language names are "translated" as more real-world ones, but no others are), or in a cosmopolitan setting where characters might be reasonably expected to have diverse cultural backgrounds without this necessarily being explicitly stated. This is very prevalent in fantasy settings, as those settings have less of a real-life grounding, facilitating the existence of a cultural melting pot.

In stories set in The Future, new names can be assumed to have been invented or become popular over the years, while older names would still exist alongside them. Can also happen within an Overly Long Name, where a Muggle-type name is liable to appear amid a long series of archaic names. Most often, the "normal" name is "Terry", "Scott", "Dave", "Steve", "Lyle", or "Kevin", because those names are somehow inherently funny. Sometimes happens accidentally in a cast full of Aeriths if an author finds a name from another language that sounds exotic to them, since it will inevitably sound like a Bob to viewers from the culture it comes from.

The Trope Namer is a combination of Final Fantasy VII, which has the eponymous "Aerith" alongside names like "Vincent" and "Barret", and a play on Alice and Bob.

Not to be confused (or transliterated) with Alice and Bob. When it's played for laughs, it's an Odd Name Out. See also Special Person, Normal Name. Compare Melting-Pot Nomenclature, Sesquipedalian Smith, Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names and My Friends... and Zoidberg. One of the names may be a Real Joke Name — for extra laughs, it might be "Bob".

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: As far as the English names are concerned, we have some names like Weslie, Paddi, and Tibbie that might be spelled differently but are otherwise normal human names, then there's Sparky whose name is more of a nickname but also normal. The wolves have less normal names; Wolffy can at least be explained by the fact that he's a wolf, and Wilie could be easily taken to mean "Willy" (and indeed, is pronounced as such in one of the dubbed seasons). Then there's Slowy, whose name is used as a surname in Germany, though quite rarely. Then there's Wolnie, which is such an uncommon name and surname that it's probably fully associated with this series.

    Comic Books 
  • Artesia features the titular Artesia and her brothers Stepjan and Justin. There are characters named Wallis, Owen, and Colin, along with Daemander, Argante, and Branimir.
  • Bob The Monitor from Countdown to Final Crisis.
  • DC Comics Atlantean names can vary, usually leaning towards Aerith with a bit of Bob. You have Orin, Orm, Atlan, Atlanna, Orvax, Vulko, Tula, Kaldur, Bres, Mera, Tusky, Topo, La'gaan, and... Garth.
  • Parodied in MAD's movie satire of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In it, Professor Dumbledore shows Harry the portraits of previous headmasters, including Pontavius Pudfuncher, Agglethrudis Benevolent, Quentock Ticonderoga Kurdlesoup,... and Joe Smith. He never really fit in.
  • Scion had an "anything goes" approach to names- for example, two evil princes named Bron and Kort and their White Sheep sister Ashleigh.
  • The ambiguously Legends canon Star Wars Tales comic Lunch Break (from issue #17) gave us the stormtrooper friends Kjazhed-Uhl and Bob. But then post-clone Stormtroopers are recruited from many worlds, including colonies settled from multiple sources, so it's to be expected.
  • Some Kryptonian given names are strange, more often for men than for women. Women: Kara, Lara, Faora. Men: Kal (as in Kal-El) and Dru (as in General Dru-Zod) resemble Cal and Drew, but Jor (as in Jor-El)? 'El' and 'Zod' are family names. Thus Jor-El named his son Kal. Unmarried women took their father's full name so Supergirl's Kryptonian name, in full, was Kara Zor-El. Superman's mother was Lara Lor-Van until she married Jor-El, but it's not clear if she then became Lara Jor-El or just Lara El. Faora, BTW, was Faora Hu-Ul while Zod was General Dru-Zod.
  • In the Disney comic saga Wizards of Mickey, classic Disney characters Mickey, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pete keep their mundane names, while original characters have "fantasy-style" names like Nereus and Fafnir.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): In the Pre-Crisis continuity the Amazons of Paradise Island were women from throughout history who had come to the island seeking refuge and chose to take an oath to uphold the Amazons' peaceful protective ways then drank from the Fountain of Youth and survived ingesting the dangerous water so their names were incredibly varied, including Althea, Diana, Fatsis, Gerta, Hippolyta, Mala, Metala, Orana, Sophia and Zoe.
  • Future Foundation has this due to the Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink cast consisting of humans, aliens, androids, mole men and fish people. The main crew consists of Alex and Julie Power, Bentley, Artie Maddricks, Dragon Man, Adolf Impossible, Korr, Leech, Mik, Onome, Tong, Turg, Vil, Wu and Yondu Udonta.
  • Ultimate X-Men: All mutants, heroes and villains alike, have a "mutant name". Magneto, Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, Quicksilver, Blob, Mastermind... and then there's Jimmy Hudson, who uses his name and no alias whatsoever. Well, perhaps just "Jimmy" instead of "James", but it isn't the same thing.

    Comic Strips 
  • A literal example: Garfield once met three rats named Rip, Juanita, and—yes—Bob.
  • A classic newspaper comic strip's supporting cast includes Fritzi, Sluggo, Rollo, and Oona Goosepimple. The character after whom the strip is named? "Nancy."
  • In Peanuts, Snoopy's brothers are named Spike, Marbles, Olaf…and Andy. There's also a minor character named "5".

    Films — Animation 
  • A Bug's Life: Most of the insects have odd names based on their species, an identifying trait, or just a seemingly random word, like Molt, Dim, Atta, and Heimlich. But then you also have a few insects with ordinary human names, like Francis, Dot, Manny, and Rosie. Bonus points for Gypsy and Manny for having names that are not only based on their species, but are also actual names.
  • Dinosaur had Aladar, Neera, Plio, Suri, Yar, Zini, Kron, Bruton, Eema, Url, and Baylene, none of which are commonplace.
  • What are the names of the three Kid Heroes of The Guardians of the Lost Code? Answer: Freddy, Atzi, and Kimo.
  • Home (2015):
    • Only three Boov are referred to by name: Oh, Captain Smek, and Kyle.
    • Several one-shot Boovs have names like Tony.
  • In the Greek dub of The Incredibles, all the characters keep their original English names (Bob, Helen, Dash, Lucius). However, Frozone's wife is named Soula, a common Greek name, while in the original version her name is Honey.
  • In Inside Out, the humans have normal names like Riley and Jill, while the mind creatures have names related to their job, like Fear and Sadness. The imaginary friend is named Bing Bong.
  • The Hyenas in The Lion King. We've got Shenzi, whose name is Swahili for demon or savage, Banzai, Swahili for skulk or lurk, and our third hyena is named... Ed.
  • The Mitchells vs. the Machines: The two malfunctioning robots who end up helping the Mitchells introduce themselves as Eric and Deborahbot 5000.
  • Monsters, Inc. Some monsters have regular first and last names (James P. Sullivan, Mike Wazowski, George Sanderson), some answer to 'Phlegm' or 'Fungus'. Heck, the prevalence of 'normal' names in this movie might make it more of a case of 'Bob and Aerith' than 'Aerith and Bob'.
  • In Plan Bee, Names like Beatrice and Bonnie show up alongside the likes of Afik and Belzar.
  • In Rise of the Guardians, the humans have normal names like Sophie and Jamie and the Guardians' names are North (Santa Claus), Bunny (the Easter Bunny), Tooth (the Tooth Fairy), Sandy (the Sandman), and Jack Frost (which is a normal name, more or less). Other characters are Dingle (an elf), Pitch Black (the Boogeyman, whatever species that makes him) and Baby Tooth (a fairy).
  • Strange Magic has this as a result of being a Jukebox Musical set in a fantasy universe. Characters named after song titles with real world names (Marianne, Dawn) coexist with characters whose names are more titles than actual names (Sugar Plum Fairy, the Bog King).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A Wedding (1978): The three Brenner kids are named Hughie, Muffin, and Buffy.
  • Basket Case features Duane Bradley and his hideously deformed, formerly conjoined brother Belial.
  • Black Dynamite has a pair of brothers. One is the title character, who is named Black Dynamite. The other is named Jimmy.
  • Blood Ransom: Jeremiah and Crystal go on the run from vampire Roman. Roman sends Bill to hunt them down.
  • "Let's Build a Snowman" from Cannibal! The Musical has the line, "We can name him Bob, or we can name him Beowulf!"
  • A variation: In Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, each of the Overly Long Names of the Prince, Queen and King includes one not-very-fancynote  name, which is pointed out:
    Herald: His Royal Highness, Christopher Rupert Windemere Vladimir Karl Alexander Franz Reginald Lancelot Herman...
    Little Boy: Herman?
    Herald: Herman...Gregory James is giving a ball!
    • The Queen had Maisy in her nest of names, and the King had Sidney. Each time, the Herald is asked by someone (a little girl for the queen, and the entire chorus for the king) to confirm that, yes, that is one of their names. And when the King and Queen are alone together "Maisy" and "Sidney" are the names they use for each other. It's very endearing.
  • Whether television or film, Coneheads did the job right. The titular Coneheads comprise the Earth-bound trio of Beldar, Prymaat, and their charming daughter Connie.
  • Dancin': It's On!: Named characters are Jennifer, Ken, Danny, Jerry and Shotsy.
  • The Devil's Messenger has the exes Satanya and John.
  • Devon's Ghost: Legend of the Bloody Boy features characters named Symphony, Josh, Devon, Craig, Genesis, Mark, Fatima, and Gary.
  • Lampshaded a little in Die Hard with a Vengeance, where John McClane, archetypal New York EveryCop, runs into a militant black man played by Samuel L. Jackson. His name? "ZEUS! AS IN FATHER OF APOLLO? MOUNT OLYMPUS? DON'T-FUCK-WITH-ME-OR-I'LL-SHOVE-A-LIGHTNING-BOLT-UP-YOUR-ASS ZEUS!" And, for added yuks, John initially believes his name to be "Jesus" (the Spanish pronunciation) after hearing a character address him with "Hey, Zeus!" (Since "Jesus" and "Zeus" are deities in two incompatible religious systems, that counts as Fridge Humor.)
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: The setting's names range from made-up fantasy names (Xenk, Marlamin, Dralas), to English words that aren't normally used as names (Forge, Doric), to names that are a letter or two off from common names (Holga, Sofina, Edgin, Jarnathan, Zia), to mundane names that would not be out of place today (Kira, Simon).
  • Dude, Where's My Car? "My name is Zarnoff. This is Zabu, Zellner, Zelbor, Zelmina and Jeff." Caption "Jeff".
  • In Elf, the humans have normal names like Walter and Susan, while the elves are called things like Ming-Mang.
  • Like its parent series, the wizards from Fantastic Beasts have names that are both common and uncommon in the Muggle world. They run the gamut from normal ones like Yusuf and Irma to Porpentina and Theseus.
  • In The Fly (1986), a Minimalist Cast film, the three players in the Love Triangle are named Seth, Veronica, and Stathis. Seth and Veronica are not only the true loves, but also the only characters with nicknames (Veronica = "Ronnie", and — post-Teleporter Accident — Seth = "Brundlefly"). Then again, all three have unusual last names (respectively Brundle, Quaife, and Borans); on top of that, the men share Theme Initials.
  • The Tracy Moore Productions film Fubee has main character Fubee Snopatropalopolis and her best friends Adam and Becky.
  • In George of the Jungle, the villain hires a bunch of mercenaries, whose names are Gunner, Gunter, Hans, Jan... and Phil. Also, the two poachers are named Max and Thor.note 
  • Ghostbusters has this, to some extent. Our characters have names like Winston, Peter, Ray, Louis, and Dana... and Egon. "Egon" is an actual name (it's Teutonic and means "edge of a sword" — actually quite fitting for a character who is both a genius and a warrior), but it still sounds out of place next to more common ones. The cast are an example, too. Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis, Dan Aykroyd... and Sigourney Weaver.
  • The Beatles' managers in A Hard Day's Night are Norm and Shake.
  • In High School Musical, the main antagonists are the twins Sharpay and Ryan.
  • Hobo With a Shotgun: Drake's sons, Ivan and Slick.
  • In the films of the Marx Brothers, Zeppo, The Generic Guy, usually had more conventional names than his three wacky brothers. In his last film as part of the act, Duck Soup, his character is named Bob Roland while the other three are Rufus T. Firefly, Chicolini and Pinky.
  • Intentionally used in The Matrix Trilogy, where the free human characters have unusual, often mythology-based names such as Morpheus or Niobe. On the other hand, if you run into a character with a boring last name like Jones or Smith, you'd better start running.
    • This is mostly because everyone who takes the red pill appears to abandon their old name when they leave the Matrix for a new one, or a previously existing nickname (like "Neo," which was originally just a nickname used by hacker Thomas Anderson).
    • Entirely justified in that the freed people are all Internet geeks and hackers and let's face it, we all have ridiculous handles like that (or we crib them from games and anime). It was probably only copyright that ensured that Neo never ran into the heroic resistance fighter Sephiroth or the daring pilot Spike Spiegel.
      • The Matrix managed to have a character named Link (but married to Zee, rather than Zelda).
  • Parodied in Men in Black with two bridge things named Blblup note  and Bob. In the animated series, the former is generally referred to as "the other Bob", but on several occasions (for instance when agent J gets his brain supercharged), is called "Ariariyuka" (at least phonetically).
  • In Mohawk, the members of the Mohawk tribe include Okwaho, Wentahawi and Calvin.
  • In The Pacifier the children's names are Zoe, Seth, Lulu, Peter, and Tyler. "Lulu" is a real name, but it's quite off coming from a white suburban family where everyone else's names are normal. Poor Lulu.note 
  • Personal names in Star Wars range from perfectly ordinary, to merely uncommon, historical, or mythological yet still real-world, to clear (yet fictional) derivatives of real-world names, to names that are complete fabrications.
    • There's Luke's Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru.
    • Luke and Leia, children of Anakin and Padmé.
    • Leia's parents are Bail and Breha.
    • Obi-Wan Kenobi's nickname on Tatooine is Ben.
    • Among the minor characters, Porkins has a strangely-ordinary surname compared to the likes of Kenobi or Windu.
    • The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi continue the proud tradition of mixing real-sounding names with Space Opera ones. We've got Rey, Kylo Ren (whose real name is actually "Ben Solo"), Poe Dameron, Maz Kanata, Bala Tik, Unkar Plutt, Armitage Hux, and Amilyn Holdo vs Finn and sisters Rose and Paige.
    • One of the main protagonists of the Rebels animated series is a young boy named Ezra. There's also a high ranking Rebel named Jun Sato, which is a very common Japanese name.
    • Solo introduces Qi'ra (pronounced "Kira") and Enfys Nest (though both are real words, "Enfys" is Welsh for "rainbow, and certainly isn't a regular given name) vs Val and the very normal-sounding Tobias Beckett.
    • The Mandalorian gives us names like Kuiil, Greef Karga, Din Djarin, Peli Motto, Burg, and Grogu; but also Cobb Vanth, Mayfeld, Pershing, Gideonnote , and Trapper Wolf. Cara Dune as also in interesting zig-zag, as it's short for "Carasynthia."
  • Okay. Sucker Punch gives us girls who are named Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, Rocket, Blondienote  and... Amber.
  • Low-budget Japanese sci-fi flick Zeiram features a pair of alien bounty hunters: the exotic Iria, and her computer Bob.
  • Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen gives us an assassin Decepticon called... Reedman.
  • Top Gun: Maverick has a literal case, as among what would be expected from a Navy callsigns (Phoenix, Hangman, Fanboy, Payback), there is also a Bob.
  • Total Recall (1990): George is a mutant Mars-born man with a telepathic conjoined twin brother and leader of La Résistance named "Kuato".
  • Wonder Woman (2017): The names of the Amazons are: Hippolyta, Antiope, Melanippe, Artemis, Euboea, Venelia, Acantha... and Diana. Of note, most of these names, including Diana, are from Classical Mythology, but Diana is the only one still commonly used today, and of a Latin root instead of a Greek root. Granted, this is inherited from the comics.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Many kinds of mythology and old literature now seem like this to the modern reader because certain names have caught on and certain names have not. While Patroclus and Thrasymedes wouldn't have stood out at the time, they now seem odd in contrast to names like Helen, Hector and Cassandra. However at the time of writing all of these sorts of names were common in one form of another. Sometimes it is worsened by varying degrees of Anglicisation such as "Jonathan" would be transcribed more accurately as "Yonatan" if one were to translate directly from the Bible. In the ballad of Tam Lin, his true love is either called Margaret or Janet.
  • Arthurian mythos tends to suffer from mixed anglicisation and the later addition of Knights by French and English. Thus popular and important knights, like Drystan, are frequently changed into Tristan, while less popular ones kept the old Welsh form like Culhwch. Making things even worse is when there are characters added later with no Welsh roots, like Galahad and Lancelot who suddenly are thrown into to interact with the Welsh Knights without any comment on how their name sounds odd since the ones who initially added them to the story didn't speak Welsh and figured they'd be fine As Long as It Sounds Foreign.
  • Due to the massive widespread use of The Bible, it was inevitable that a lot of the Hebrew names contained within would gain use in other languages. However, not every name. This can lead to interesting passages in the Bible detailing people whose names are either very familiar or foreign-sounding, not because they have different roots - in fact, they all have the same roots - but because some of them have been used and some haven't.
    • Jacob had thirteen children with four women, going by the names Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Dinah... Dan, Joseph and Benjamin. (Reuben is a semi-common name, however, as is Simon, a form of Simeon.)note  This also varies on the culture. In Finland, for example, it is Leevi (local form of Levi) and Simeon which are seen as mundane names, while Dan and Benjamin are exotic.
    • Job has three daughters named Jemima, Kezia... and Kerenhappuch.
    • The kings of the Kingdom of Israel: Saul, Ishbosheth, David, and Solomon. Saul and Solomon might have not been that common, but when was the last time you know a guy named Ishbosheth?
    • Of the names of the kings of the separated kingdoms of Israel and Judah, only Zechariah and, to a lesser extent, Josiah, Asa, and Hezekiah have caught on in modern English. A few others are pretty popular in modern-day Israel (e.g., Menahem, Omri), but everything else (e.g., Rehoboam, Shallum) are obscure.
    • The names for the Messiah in the Book of Isaiah take this to an extreme. The first is Immanuel. The rest? Shearjashub, Mahershalalhashbaz, and Pelejoezelgibborabiadsarshalom.
    • In the apocryphal Book of Enoch the names of the leaders of the Grigori are given as Shemihazah, Arteqoph, Remashel, Kokabel, Armumahel, Ramel, Ziqel, Baraqel, Asael, Hermani, Matarel, Ananel, Setawel, Samshiel, Sahriel, Tummiel, Turiel, Yamiel, Yehadiel... and Daniel.
    • Of Jesus's main twelve disciples, most have entered common usage: Simon (AKA Peter), Andrew, James, John, Philip, Matthew, Thomas. There's also the uncommon Bartholomew, and Judas, which no one uses anymore. And another Judas, who also went by Jude and Thaddaeus.
    • Paul's letter to the Romans includes greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Patrobas, and Julia.

  • Big Bang Bar uses the names of the Solar System planets (Mercury, Venus, etc.) to identify bar patron targets... except for Earth, which is named "Pythos" instead.
  • Avatar does this with the six Na'vi — Jake, Neytiri, Eytukan, Mo'at, Tsu'vey, and Grace.note 

  • Trials & Trebuchets gives us fantastic character names like Delnys and Serinepth alongside mundane ones like Bailey and Phillip.
  • The central characters of Wooden Overcoats are Rudyard and his sister Antigone. Their names stand out among the other characters, such as Eric, Georgie, Desmond, Jennifer, and Niles.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • WWE 1999: The New Brood was made up of Matt, Jeff and...Gangrel.
  • CHIKARA King of Trios 2009 Night I featured The Death Match Kings, Brain Damage, Necro Butcher and..."Mr. Insanity" Toby Klein.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Fraggle Rock has names like Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, and Boober alongside Matt, Red, and John.
  • It's a Big Big World: The only residents of the World Tree with normal names are Madge, Bob, and Winslow. Everyone else has names like Snook, Oko, and Ick.
  • Mister Rogers' Neighborhood featured King Friday and Queen Sarah. Only played partially straight, as her full (presumably maiden) name was Sarah Saturday.
    • One episode of the spin-off Donkey Hodie had Tater Buddies, dolls shaped like potatoes that had names like Percival, Petunia and Petey...and then there was one named Pippy Pointyschnozzle, which isn't exactly a common name in real life.
  • The Muppets have names like Sam and Kermit (a real name, if rare) alongside names like Fozzie and Gonzo.
  • The Noddy Shop has characters whose names are either human names given to toy and pet characters or descriptive words based on their personality or function. Warloworth Q. Weasel, however, doesn't fall into any of these categories, as his name is unique.
  • Oobi features characters with names like Oobi, Kako, Grampu, Maestru, Mamu, Papu, and...Bella.
  • Sesame Street: Some of the non-humans have normal names (Oscar, Elmo, etc) while others have made-up names (Narf, Count von Count, etc).
  • The names of Jeff Tracy's sons in Thunderbirds are Scott, John, Gordon, Alan... and Virgil. All of them are named after the original US astronauts, the Mercury Seven, but you might know Virgil Grissom better by his nickname: Gus.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Every real-world analogue character in Damnation Decade has a bizarre name, and they're really bizarre, like the authors were pulling random nouns from a hat to generate names (Ampersand Vole, Quantrill Biscuit). The most reasonable-sounding names include Stanton Spobeck's secretary Ethel Ambrose Pratt, host of Beyond the Barrier Herman Purvis, and musician Edmund Fitzgerald, famous for a song about the sinking of the ore freighter Gordon Lightfoot.
  • Dungeons & Dragons manuals specifically have content for deciding whether players should choose realistic or exotic names, and how the Dungeon Master should deal with players who don't want their characters' names to be consistent with the types of names the other players choose.
    • Otherwise known as the Carlos the Dwarf scenario.
    • In 4E, it's stated that most tieflings have "traditional" names like Amnon and Nemeia, while others choose hilariously over-the-top names like Poetry or Despair. Throw in some other races and you can have a party consisting of Wil, Jon, Bree, and Torment, and that's just using the sample names.
    • In the Forgotten Realms, naming conventions are different for different races. Notably, halflings tend to have common English names, which stand out as this trope alongside the Nordic-sounding dwarf names and wholly-fantastic elvish names.
    • Warforged in Eberron were created without names, only numerical designations. As they realized names make it easier to socialize with other races, they have begun taking some, or having names given to them by people they interact with, but without any fixed pattern, this can be generic name humans/elves/dwarves/some other races would use, a word for a concept they feel fits them (Bulwark, Vanguard, the Lord of Blades), the name of an object, or even words that aren't in common. Some Warforged also retain their numerical designation as they still look for an "ideal" name.
    • Untwisted in not just Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder, but many games which use a Fantasy Counterpart Culture in some manner. Suppose a fantasy game uses an analog to Spain, so the names sound exotic like Eugenia, Arcelia, Allewyn the elf, and Kolgran the dwarf. You've averted Aerith and Bob right until a friend at the table says, "Arcelia's my niece's name." This can happen with pretty much any culture. Vasily and Koichi sound like Aerith, but if you speak Russian and Japanese, they suddenly become Bob.
  • Exalted has very diverse naming conventions. People in the Realm, namely the nobles, mostly call their children by some (sometimes vaguely Japanese or Chinese-sounding) name made of several meaningless syllables, with a family surname added before the first name (i.e. Cynis Denovah Avaku, Peleps Deled, Tepet Ejava). In the Threshold, however, since there are hundreds upon hundreds of different kingdoms, there are millions of different names, depending on the region. Alongside random alphabet soup, a very common naming convention is Adjective Noun (Harmonious Jade, Magnificent Garden). So you get a circle (party) of people with names like Panther, Dace, Harmonious Jade, Swan and Arianna. Some characters have Names That Unfold Like Lotus Blossoms, such as Fearless in Battle's Face. The above are justified, as they all come from different parts of the world, but still an example of this trope. But then there are characters with random Real Life names thrown in for no apparent reason: Joseph, Anja, Tobias, Lyta... it's a bit jarring.
  • The Shakespearean RPG Forsooth! encourages mixing in a few common (or silly) English names, regardless of the setting—like how A Midsummer Night's Dream was set in ancient Greece but had a character named Bottom.
  • While not a fantasy setting in the traditional sense, the Mage: The Awakening book "Grimoire of Grimoires" has a grimoire take the form of a black metal/industrial album put together by a band called Schattenbahn. The band's lineup is Blixa Dark, Hellson, Regenfeuer, Doktor Kultur... and Andy.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, major characters tend to have names like Urza or Lim-Dul. This makes names like Peter Douglas (a minor character from Fallen Empires) seem incredibly strange. Occasionally, this is played for laughs. For example, one short story had a demonic dark lord named Vincent who employed a human chef named Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar.
    • The Gatewatch itself creates an Aerith and Bob situation. We have normal names such as Chandra, Jace and Liliana alongside more exotic names like Ajani, Nissa and Gideon (whose name is actually Kytheon).
    • The crew of the skyship Weatherlight, which was the focus of the story for quite some time, consisted of Tahngarth, Squee, Ertai, Crovax, Mirri, Sisay, Gerrard and Hanna. Sisay is the interesting one; her name does exist in the real world, but it seems to be a predominantly male name.
  • Names in Paranoia follow the pattern (first name + security clearance + home sector + clone number), ranging from ordinary first names with an arbitrary suffix (John-R-CQF-2) to silly puns (Howe-R-YAH-3) depending on the GM's preferred style: Straight avoids silly names (they break the mood), Zap revels in them, Classic is somewhere in between.

  • Beanie Babies run the gamut from cartoony names like "Pinchers the Lobster" or "Squealer the Pig" to common names like "Erin" (an Irish bear), "Scottie" (a Scottish terrier), etc.
  • In LEGO's Slizer series, all the characters have elemental or generic, sci-fi sounding names (Torch, Scuba, Amazon, Blaster, Robotops, etc), and then there's Hiker Mike. Granted, he was a fan-created model, but LEGO has approved him into official canon.

    Visual Novels 
  • Most of the names in Ace Attorney are puns or references to their personalities, so a lot of variety turns up. You'll get first names like Miles and Larry mixing with Klavier and Phoenix, and last names like Armstrong and Wright mixing with Eldoon and Cadaverini.
  • Major/Minor has this in quite a few spots too - you have characters named Konrad, Jade, Max, and Eddie, and then there's names like Endymion, Velasquez, Nagi, Nemi, Rook and Acheron, to name a few. The Player can add to this, given that they can enter in their character's first and last name.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend gives the birds mostly normal-sounding Japanese names, with two characters having Punny Names that aren't all that outrageous that are actually fake names - their real names are ordinary Japanese names, and one character going by an intentionally ridiculous fake name, Anghel Higure, that he presumably made up himself thanks to his poor grip on reality (his real name being the ordinary-sounding Akagi Yoshio). The exception is Oko San, whose name roughly translates to 'Mr. Millet' - a cutesy name for a pet bird. This is because Oko San is a fictionalised version of the developer's pet pigeon, Okosan.
  • In Roman's Christmas, there are characters with normal names like Peter and Shawn, fancy nouns like Elegant and Solar, and made-up names like Tsarzn.
  • Songs and Flowers has a few normal-sounding names such as Jin, Serena, and Carol, but these actually seem to be the minority. Other characters include Jazz, Noct, Athema, and Noct's cousin Raptillion Erstwhile Minuet III White.
  • Steam Prison runs the gamut. A few characters have names that are completely ordinary to English-speaking sensibilities, such as Edward Valentine or Fitzgerald and Warner Evans. Others are recognizable but just slightly askew, like Fin, Ulrik, Cyrus, and Ines. And then on the far end of the scale we have characters named things like Eltcreed, Adage, Glissade, and Keef.
  • Umineko: When They Cry has this all over the place thanks to the fact that Kinzo felt the need to give his children and grandchildren western names, due to his obsession with Western culture. Outside of the family a number of servants and Kinzo himself have Japanese names. And then you have Battler, which is neither Japanese nor a normal English name. And that doesn't even get into the magical characters, who range from anything to biblical to odd, meaningful names. Just for an example, Umineko contains characters named Rosa, Genji, Lucifer, Lambdadelta and George. Plus, more directly, the main Ushiromiya siblings each (Presumably Rosa too, though her husband is unnamed) have a spouse with a Japanese name: Krauss/Natsuhi, Eva/Hideyoshi, and Rudolf/Kyrie.

    Web Animation 
  • Assassin School: Saturn & Nick Solar, brother and sister.
  • Most of the contestants in season one of Battle for Dream Island are simply the names of what object they are (some with a "Y" at the end). When a contestant debut was held in episode 17, the winner was a stickman named David.
  • In Card Players almost every other character's name sticks out for them to be living in modern New York. However, most of them are actually from different countries. The main characters (in order of the normality of their names) Tom, Elliot, Tabby, Mikira, Ulan...and Yumeria (though her real name is Elena).
  • Chadam: Character names range from slightly-uncommon names like Ripley and Sandy, to stranger names like Chadam and Simkin.
  • Cheat Commandos has Fightgar, Crackotage, Silent Rip, Firebert, Gunhaver, Flashfight, Ripberger, Foxface, Reinforcements, and Reynold. Reynold is named last as an obvious joke, being the nerdy non-combative Commando.
  • In Cow of the Wild, there is a wide variety of names, from Alari, Terok, Balder, and Kahleel to Fang, Midnight, Sammy, and Millie.
  • An animation by DarkMatter2525 starts out with a caveman announcing that he is going hunting with Kumba-Kumba the Mammoth Rider, Ragnar the Bear Killer and Bob.
  • Dreamscape has character names like Vladmare, Keela, and Izane, as well as Ethan, Dylan, and Melissa.
  • Character names in DSBT InsaniT range from Koden and Killdra to Alex and Bill.
  • Elain the Bounty Hunter includes characters named Elain and Dennis alongside characters named Dento, Gop Donsterly and Love Nugget the Heart Eater.
  • In Happy Tree Friends, everybody has a Punny Name... except Russell and Petunia. Even with Petunia, the flower on her head gives away her name's reasoning. Russell, however, is a very standard name for a bunch of characters whose usual names go from Flippy to Handy, to Cub. Granted, there's a Stealth Pun in Russell's naming convention as well, since it rhymes with mussel, a food Russell likes to eat.
  • The main characters and staff of the titular Hazbin Hotel are named Angel Dust, Vaggie, Alastor, Niffty, Husk, and Charlotte "Charlie" (who ironically is the only one who was born a demon and never a human). Somewhat justified, as Sinners, human-born demons, are using nicknames with the exception of Alastor. We know that the real names of Angel Dust and Vaggie are Anthony and Vagatha (which is fictitious but at least is a play on "Agatha") respectively.
  • In Manga Soprano, there's traditional Japanese names like Kanade, Karin, and Kairi, accompanied by unusual names like Alto, Baccarat, Casino, and Ram. Erica is a name used both in and out of Japan, while Narita, Takeuchi, and Teruyama are surnames.
  • The lineup of villains in Meta Runner include Derek Lucks, Belle Fontiere, Evelyn Claythorne and… Sheridan.
  • In Ratboy Genius, most of the characters have names that describe who they are essentially (e.g.: Ratboy Genius is a rat-boy who is a genius; Little King John is a little king; then there's Green Monster, Happyman, Very Tall Friend, Mr. Big Arms, The Big Fish Boss...). Some character names are simply absurd (e.g.: Summer Solstice Baby; The Hoo-Hoos). Then we have Fred, George, Sue, Clyde, and Bob.
  • Red vs. Blue has an odd, downright comedic name on each of the title's teams: Sarge, Grif, Simmons, Lopez and Donut are the Reds; and the Blues, Church, Tucker, and Caboose (even later additions Tex, Sister and Washington don't seem as weird). It gets even more bizarre considering Donut and Caboose’s first names are utterly unremarkable (Franklin and Michael, respectively.)
  • RWBY: Remnant is an eclectic mixture of people with names from various different cultures or words in various languages, and some from none at all. This includes characters with traditional names such as Ruby, Blake or Nora, and characters with names based on recognisable languages or mythological beings, such as Weiss (German for 'white'), Jaune (French for 'yellow') and Pyrrha (a name borrowed by Achilles). However, the Beacon headmaster's name is Ozpin, a made-up name reflecting that the character's inspiration comes from the the Wizard in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz whose name is Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs (O.Z.P.I.N.H.E.A.D.). The in-universe justification for the variety of names is that the world experienced a terrible global war from which freedom of expression has become one of the planet's most cherished gifts... something Ozpin's name mysteriously does not conform to.
  • The cast of Sakura The Angel Sailer God comprises of Sakura, Nigi, Shibo, Kojo, Storm, Gan... and Fred.
  • SCP Animated - Tales from the Foundation has pretty standard character names like Amelia, Molly, Lawrence and so on. But then there's the director of the Ethics Committee, Zolgamax Jones.
  • SMG4 and Guards N' Retards feature the videogame guards known as Chris and SwagMaster696969696969 (Or "Swag" for short). The former also has Mario and Luigi coexisting with Bowser, Wario, and Waluigi, but has part of its main cast SMG4, Meggy, Saiko, Tari, Fishy Boopkins, Melony, and Bob.
  • Weebl & Bob


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Aeris And Bob


Qetsiyah & Tessa

The ancient witch Qetsiyah changes her name when she finds herself in the modern world, pointing out how ridiculous her name sounds in the current days.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / AerithAndBob

Media sources: