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Couple Theme Naming

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So your character has found their One True Love. They have gone through the usual Falling-in-Love Montage. They have overcome the Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome to get, and stay, together. They complement each other—whether by their similarities or differences—in almost every way. So how do you hammer in the point even further that these two are absolutely meant to be together? Why, give them names that parallels each other's, of course.

A Sub-Trope to Theme Naming, this trope occurs when a pair of Love Interests are given matching names, connected by either alliteration, themes, rhymes, variations of the same name, or a Shout-Out to a well-known fictional couple (e.g. Romeo and Juliet). If the couple share an Opposites Attract dynamic, they also are likely to use Opposites Theme Naming.

Note that the pair doesn't have to actually end up as an Official Couple (some may be a Romantic False Lead), but there must be clear romantic undertones between the characters for the trope to qualify.

Compare Birds of a Feather and Lookalike Lovers, where other forms of similarities are used to emphasize the couple's compatibility. See also Theme Twin Naming, where the Theme Naming are applied to a pair of twin siblings rather than lovers. This trope may also lead to Family Theme Naming if the couple eventually have children whose names follow the same theme.

Theme Pairing may use this trope as a basis of the ship.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • I Want to Eat Your Pancreas: This is present between the protagonist and Sakura, but it isn't made apparent until the end. The protagonist's name is Haruki, the first part of which is often read as "spring". The two have immense Unresolved Sexual Tension that both refuse to act on due to Sakura's terminal illness and in any case are unable to before her murder.
  • The Kindaichi Case Files has Ageha Madarame and Hikage Miyama, whose names are derived from butterfly species—courtesy to Ageha's father, who is a butterfly collector. Even more fittingly, Ageha and Miyama's names actually come from the same species, the Alpine black swallowtail (or Miyama karasu ageha in Japanese), and the two end up getting married, thus Ageha would become Ageha Miyama, making their shared names even more fitting).
  • Oshi no Ko: Yuki Sumi, the de facto "protagonist" of the in-universe reality show "LoveNow", has a lot of on-screen Ship Tease with another popular cast member named Nobuyuki, gaining an in-universe Portmanteau Couple Name YukiYuki from the show's fans. Yuki ends up rejecting Nobuyuki's confession on camera, but reveals that they are actually dating for real behind the scenes.
  • Naruto has a subtle example in Naruto's parents, Kushina Uzumaki and Minato Namikaze. Kushina is named after Kushinadahime, consort of the Shinto god of storms, Susanoo. "Namikaze" means "wave and wind".
  • Invoked in Reborn! (2004), where Chrome (Kuromu) Dokuro is given a name that is a Significant Anagram to Mukuro Rokudo, with whom she shares a body. Chrome becomes entirely devoted to Mukuro, although Mukuro's feelings towards her is a lot more ambiguous.
  • Sailor Moon has Luna (the Latin word for moon) and Artemis (the Greek goddess of the moon—although the character in question is male). The pair would later have a daughter named Diana (the Roman equivalent of Artemis), completing their moon-based Family Theme Naming.
  • The two main leads of A Silent Voice is a boy named Shouya and a girl named Shouko. They never officially hook up in the Manga, but they have the most Ship Tease, and it's clear that they love each other romantically (at least Shouko does).
  • The Tamagotchi animated series features Nuttchi and Bolttchi, the latter of which wants to propose marriage to the former and eventually manages to do so in their debut episode (Tamagotchi! Yume Kira Dream episode 44). There is also a giant metal nut on Nuttchi's head and a giant bolt on Bolttchi's head to help distinguish them.

    Asian Animation 
  • Iddiyappam Appa and Iddiyappam Amma from Simple Samosa. The names Appa and Amma are Indian equivalents to "papa" and "mama" respectively.

    Comic Books 

    Fairy Tale 

    Film — Animated 
  • The protagonist of Belladonna of Sadness is named Jeanne, who is married to a man named Jean.
  • In Corpse Bride, Victor is betrothed to a girl named Victoria. Although he gets another possible love interest in the form of Emily (the titular corpse bride), Victor and Victoria end up the Official Couple.
  • In Turning Red, in the Mandarin dubs, Ming's name is transcribed as 明 ("bright" or "clear") and her husband's name is transcribed as 錦/锦 (Jǐn), referring to a brocade or a tapestry, or when used as an adjective, "bright and beautiful".

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Filibus: It's probably no coincidence that Leo and Leonora, the two points of the Love Triangle who end up together, have matching names.
  • Ghost (1990): Oda Mae Brown is a psychic spiritual adviser for the dearly departed. One of her customers is called Orticia and her ghost husband's name is Orlando.
  • A very subtle one occurs in Guns, Girls and Gambling. It is established that the real name of the Professional Killer known as The Blonde is Annabel. when it is revealed that she used to be romantically involved with John Smith, she addresses him as 'Lee'. This means that when they were together, they were 'Annabel Lee': the title of a poem by Edgar Allan Poe which she keeps quoting.
  • Hotel for Dogs features two dogs who end up hooking up, named Romeo and Juliet. They actually named Juliet after Romeo showed interest in her.
  • Pacific Rim: The Russian team, Aleksis and Sasha Kaidanovsky, both have first names that are diminutives of "Alexander" ("defending men"). Fitting for a Battle Couple who pilot a Humongous Mecha.

  • .hack//AI Buster has Albireo and Hokuto, both of whom have stellar names (Albireo is a star system of the Cygnus constellation, while Hokuto is Japanese for the North Star). Hokuto enters Albireo's life partially via blackmail and becomes his first and only party member throughout his history of playing The World. They agree to meet offline after Albireo discovers Hokuto's Hidden Depths, and the story's ending implies that they'd end up together. Their real names, Kazushi Watarai and Haruka Mizuhara, don't match, however.
  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, an inordinate number of men are married to women with the feminine version of their name. Joe and Josephine, George and Georgina, etc. In the 1971 movie, Veruca Salt's parents are named Henry and Henrietta.
  • Played with in Agatha Christie's The Clocks. The name on the dead man's fake card is "R. H. Curry", and the woman who says she is his widow is called Merlina Rival. Poirot figures out she is the murderer's accomplice, because he immediately recalls the Somerset village of Curry Rival and realizes the murderer, while printing the card, subconsciously picked a name to match Mrs. Rival's.
  • In the kids' book Delilah Darling is in the Classroom, two hamsters who have babies together are named Wally and Dolly.
  • In one of the Fly Guy books, Fly Guy gets a crush on another fly, named Fly Girl.
  • The Forsyte Saga: Fleur Forsyte's suitor is called Michael Mont, who loves the fact that their names are both alliterative. Michael loves Fleur and she enjoys his attentions, but she is in love with her second cousin Jon Forsyte.
    Michael Mont: Do you mind calling me M.M. and letting me call you F.F.?
  • Kluci, holky a Stodulky: Jan (who mostly goes by Honza) is a young teen who starts dating a girl called Jana. He thinks it's neat and pretty, but his younger sister thinks it kinda lame.
  • In The Pilgrim's Progress, Christian's wife is named Christiana.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: There was a pair of Targaryen twins and married couple named Aelor and Aelora, grandchildren of Daeron II.
  • The main leads of Toradora! are named Ryuuji (dragon) and Taiga (tiger), fitting a Tiger Versus Dragon theme. The pair began their relationship as an agreement to help each other pursue someone else (Kitamura for Taiga and Minori for Ryuuji), but, given the set-up, it's pretty clear from the get-go that Ryuuji / Taiga would be the Official Couple. Even the series title is a portmanteau for their names.

    Live-Action TV 

  • "Hey, Paula" by the singing duo Paul & Paula is a pop love duet. It includes the following lyrics:
    "Hey hey Paula, I wanna marry you.
    Hey hey Paula, no one else could ever do."

    "Hey Paul, I've been waiting for you.
    Hey hey Paul, I wanna marry you too."

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Protogenoi of the Classical Mythology frequently mates with their counterparts. For example, Nyx ("night") is mated to Erebos ("darkness"). Their children, Aether ("upper air" / "heavens") and Hemera ("day"), are also mated to one another.
  • In Egyptian Mythology, the early Ogdoad pantheon comprised four male-female pairs, each deifying a primordial concept: Nu and Naunet, the cosmic ocean; Heh and Hehut, infinity and eternity; Kekui and Kekuit, night and day; and Qerh and Qerhet, whose attributes are unknown.
  • In Japanese Mythology, the creator deities are named Izanagi and Izanami (respectively the masculine and feminine derivative of 誘う "izanau", meaning "to invite/beckon"). Both are the progenitors of many of the gods in the Japanese pantheon, although they become enemies after Izanami dies and is trapped in the Underworld.
  • Norse Mythology has this as part of two Adam And Eve Plots:
    • After Ragnarok, two people (Lif and Lifthrasir, a.k.a Life and Life's Lover) survive and begin the world anew.
    • Possibly... Ask and Embla were the first two humans. Their names might be Floral Theme Naming of "Ash" and "Elm" respectively, that was lost by Language Drift, and reflecting that they were created from ash wood and elm wood that one of the gods found washed up on a shore.

    Tabletop Games 


    Video Games 
  • AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative: Lien Twining and Kizuna Chieda have given names that mean "bonds" in French and Japanese, respectively. Lien points out the meaning of his name when he courts Kizuna.
  • BioShock Infinite: Robert and Rosalind Lutece are Alternate Self of each other. While not confirmed as Screw Yourself, they live together in a house with a single bed. They are a downplayed example of the trope though, since their names are barely similar, being "red"-based Colourful Theme Naming-type Alliterative Family-style Theme Twin Naming at best.
  • Diner Dash Adventures has Kingston and Queenie. They are already dating at the start of the game, but their proposal and subsequent wedding preparations and ceremony takes up a significant part of the game that Flo has to help them with.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The main couple of Final Fantasy X are the only major characters with Okinawan names. Tidus (or rather "Tiida") means sun, while Yuna (or "Yuuna") means sea hibiscus.note 
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 makes this true of Implied Love Interests Hope and Lightning (shortened to "Light" at her insistence) as virtue names. This continues to Lightning's real name Claire, which means "light".
    • Final Fantasy XV has Noctis Lucis Caelum, whose name roughly translates into "light of the night sky". His beloved fiancee is named Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, or simply called "Luna", which means "moon".
  • Mother 3:
    • Flint and Hinawa have a firearm theme. Flint's name comes from a flintlock gun, while Hinawa comes from the Japanese word for a matchlock gun.
    • Salsa and Samba as well. Salsa is the boy monkey and the protagonist of chapter 3, and Samba is his girlfriend who he will do anything to save. Both are named after Latin American styles of dance.
  • My Cafe features a customer named Donald, who eventually gets together with another customer named Daisy. This is likely not a coincidence.

    Visual Novels 
  • CLANNAD: One of Tomoya's romantic options is named Tomoyo. The series's Official Couple is actually Tomoya/Nagisa, but Tomoyo's popularity has resulted in the release of numerous OVAs and Spin Offs featuring Tomoya/Tomoyo as a romantic couple.
  • The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures: Patrick and Rola O'Malley are a patrol cop and his wife. Their one year anniversary turns out to be a plot point in the case.
  • In The House in Fata Morgana, Michel and Giselle are destined to be together, and their love and devotion for each other transcends even death, space and time. When both characters die and are reincarnated, they retain their Past-Life Memories to resume their love story all over again.

  • Daily JoJo:
    • The leads and all of their suitors have "Jo" in their name, ensuring that every possible pairing is a "JoJo". In season 1, there are the leads Eunjo Lee and Wan Jo, Eunjo's previous boyfriend Seonkyu "Jonathan" Kim, and Wan's suitors Joy Kim and Mijo Meng. Season 2 introduces the new leads Josh and A-yeong Jo.
    • The "hyenas" are two people who constantly try to sniff out office couples while displaying romantic undertones themselves. Their names are Hi Kim and Anna Seo, and they are called "Hi-Anna" at one point in case the pun was lost on the reader.
  • Steamgear Inc: Charles Washer's husband is George Dryer - and their restaurant is named Washer & Dryer.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • In Ancient Roman wedding vows, the couple called each other "Caius" and "Caia".
  • Evelyn Waugh's first wife is also named Evelyn, and the couple became known among their friends as "He-Evelyn" and "She-Evelyn". However, the marriage didn't last.
  • Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift were once an item. Lautner later married another woman named Taylor.