The story begins with strays or wild animals living on the streets or in the wild. They may fall for a pet animal or take a liking to a human they meet. In the end, they are adopted by a loving human family and given a name. Thing is, they've had that exact same name throughout the entire movie, but were only called that by their animal friends.
May fall under the category of Contrived Coincidence, or it could be a form of Translation Convention from Animal Talk to English. See also Namedar. Compare and contrast with Animal Naming Conventions.
- Subverted in a The Far Side comic where it turns out that dogs' own names for themselves are things like "Thundara, Princess of the Universe".
- The Dogfather is a Harry Potter AU in which Sirius Black escapes from Azkaban years before Harry goes to Hogwarts and gets himself, in his "Padfoot" dog Animagus form, chosen as Harry's pet dog. Harry's Muggle foster parents Tim and Caro McIntyre decide to name the new dog Padfoot. It's justified by saying that they choose the name because he reminds them of a dog toy Harry had when he was very young, that he called Padfoot (which, unbeknownst to them, was because the toy reminded baby Harry of the real Padfoot).
- In Haibane Renmei, it's specifically mentioned that the Haibane (humanoid beings with angel wings and halos) don't remember their previous names. They're named after the dreams they have prior to hatching. In Before We Had Wings, their previous names just so happen to be the same as their Haibane names.
- Lady and the Tramp:
- The first film subverts this trope. Tramp is called by many names by many owners. He is "Butch" to Tony, "Mike" to an Irish family, and "Fritzi" to a German family, and it is implied that there are many more. As for being called "Tramp" when he's adopted by the Darlings, this is never shown in the movie, although it might be present in the comics and the sequel. Even that mildly subverts it, as he is called "Tramp" at the end instead of "the Tramp".
- In Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, the stray to whom Scamp has taken a liking is adopted by the family and named Angel, which she's been called throughout the movie.
- Ferdinand has the titular character run away from home and be adopted by another family, yet keeps the same name.
- The GoodTimes Entertainment adaptation of White Fang has White Fang, who was named that by his canine parents, being named "White Fang" by Grey Beaver as well. This is excused by Grey Beaver naming him for the observable color of his teeth.
- In Spunky's Diary by Janette Oke, Spunky is named by his mother. When he's bought by a family, they decide to name him Spunky because of his energy, and the puppy is not at all surprised, since that was already his name.
- In Hank the Cowdog, Hank is content with the Slim naming him that, as that was the name his mother gave him.
- The children's book Zucchini is about a ferret that escapes from the zoo and is adopted by an elementary school class. The students name him Zucchini, the name he had in the zoo. Somewhat justified, as the students have heard about the escape and name the ferret after himself.
- Subverted in Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones. In a world where stars are actually sentient creatures with godlike powers, Sirius is framed for murdering a dwarf star, and banished to Earth to search for a vital piece of evidence — and, in the process, forced to be reborn as a mortal... a mortal dog, to be precise. When he is later adopted by a young girl, she mulls over his name for a long time, but eventually settles on "Leo" — lampshading it later, when she learns about 'The Dog-Star, Sirius' at school, and comments that it would've been a better name.
- Played straighter later in the book when Sirius meets Miss Smith, who is generally presented as wise and perceptive and who quickly decides that she's going to call him "Sirius".
- Olga da Polga of the book series of the same name takes it upon herself to make sure this trope happens. After hearing her new family discussing various names for her and being disgusted by all of them, she works hard all through the night, tracing the words "Olga da Polga" in the sawdust of her cage.
- Played with in Promise of the Wolves. Kaala's name is wolf-speak for "Daughter of the Moon". Her human friend names her "Silvermoon", and Kaala is surprised and pleased that it's so close. It's a minor case of Fridge Brilliance: Kaala has a birthmark on her pelt in the rough shape of a crescent moon, and that was how the pack chose her name when she was born. It makes sense that TaLi would also see it and think the same way.
- Warrior Cats:
- We see in Barley's backstory that he always had the name Barley, even when he lived in the city; the name didn't initially come from the humans who own the farm he lives on. However, in the Ravenpaw's Path graphic novel trilogy, one of the humans calls him "Barley", so we can assume that they just happened to name him his actual name.
- Dovewing's name as a ThunderClan warrior is almost exactly the same as when she was an Ancient named Dove's Wing.
- An understandably rare human example in The Edge Chronicles where Twig is captured as a pet for a Termagant Trog, while pretending to be unable to speak he starts chanting "Twig, Twig, Twig." which causes her to decide this is a good name for him.
- Another human example occurs in King of the Wind, where the Earl of Godolphin gives the mute Arabic slaveboy protagonist his own name, Agba, claiming he took it from a book. Agba is a little amused at the coincidence.
- The Moonbeam series of graded readers is about a chimp who gets captured and taken to America to be part of the space program. Even before she is captured, when she's just a wild chimp running around the jungle, the narration refers to her as "Moonbeam", the name her NASA handlers give her; however, given the reading level the early books are pitched at it might just be that the authors wanted to avoid confusing beginner readers with an explanation of "the chimp who would later be called Moonbeam but at this point didn't have a name".
- The Animal Ark book Tabby in the Tub has a variation involving human-given names of pets (about the closest one can get to this trope in a series fully grounded in realism), when the protagonist names a stray cat "Blossom" after watching her play with some fallen flowers. When they find the cat's owner near the end of the book, she tells them that the name she had given the cat was... Blossom.
- The Lone Gunmen: The LG rescue someone who has contacted them for help, who turns out to be a sapient chimpanzee who communicates via email and voice synthisizer. He complains of the name he's been given, "Peanuts."
Chimp: Please stop addressing me by my slave name.Yves: How do you prefer we address you?Chimp: By the name I have given myself: Simon White-Thatch Potentloins.
- 101 Dalmatian Street both averts and plays this straight. In "My Fair Dolly", Dolly gets a random Human so she can compete against Clarissa in a Dog Show. The Human, upon seeing Dolly, calls her Camilla. In the Episode; "Doggie Da Vinci", Da Vinci becomes a local celebrity for her art work. When she is being chased by the crowd, they call out different names to her, such as "Labrador Dali", before settling on calling her "Doggie Da Vinci". Dylan lampshades this, questioning how the humans knew what her name is. Of course, the joke is that Da Vinci shares a name with a famous artist that the humans are referencing when they call her that.
- At the end of the Christmas Special Christopher the Christmas Tree, when the title character becomes the president's Christmas tree, the president makes a speech about why he's decided to give the tree a name: Christopher.