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Named After Somebody Famous

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"My name is Fear Kubrick. I am in no way related to the movie director."
Fear Kubrick, Cube×Cursed×Curious

A surprisingly common form of Theme Naming is the practice of naming characters after real-life celebrities and famous people.

One way this can be done is to give a group of characters a set of names which, when combined, form the name of a famous person. An advanced version gives a person the same first name as a famous person, and has their last name included as a middle name. Another variation is to give a group of characters the first names of a well-known group, such as a group of friends named John, Paul, George, and Richard/Ringo, after The Beatles.

If characters are named after things like famous killers or conquerors, it overlaps with Names to Run Away from Really Fast.

Compare Shout-Out Theme Naming. When foreign characters are named after famous people from their countries just because the creators didn't research the relevant naming conventions, it's a Famous-Named Foreigner. If the name in question isn't actually the character's real name but a fake one that they're using after a real or fictional famous person, it's a Character Name Alias. If the character hates their given name (for example an atheist given an overly religious name) then they may invoke Do Not Call Me "Paul".


Not to be confused with Historical Domain Character or Beethoven Was an Alien Spy.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Bakusou Kyoudai! Let's & Go!!, the main characters' names, Retsu and Gou, are a pun on "Let's go!". Also, combined with their friend Jun, the three are named for Jun Retsugou, the stage name of Yoshiji Watanabe, one of the members of a 70s Japanese manzai comedy trio.
  • Black Butler: Snake's snakes are named Bronte, Oscar, Wilde, Keats, Wordsworth, and Webster.
    • Heck, a lot of characters are either named after someone famous (look up Sebastien Michaelis on the other wiki), or are someone famous themselves such as the Queen and her bodyguards.
  • In Bleach the top ten Arrancar, the Espada, are all named after, of all things, Mexican architects and designers.
  • Bungou Stray Dogs names all of its characters after writers, Japanese and American. It also names and bases things off their works, which is mostly apparent in their Abilities (e.g. Steinbeck can make grape vines). On a deeper level, there are many, many references to the biographies after said authors as well. (e.g. Kyouka Izumi having Bunnies for Cuteness)
  • Code Geass: Nina Einstein, who went on to develop the Geass-world's first Weapon of Mass Destruction, the FLEIJA warhead.
  • The three recurring old geezers on Cowboy Bebop had thematic names — Antonio, Carlos and Jobim. Put them together and you get the name of a famous musician.
  • In Cromartie High School, all of the schools, including the titular one, are named after foreigners that played on Japanese baseball teams.
  • Detective Conan: The titular character puts together Edogawa Ranpo and Arthur Conan Doyle. Prof. Agasa's surname is Romaji for Agatha.
  • The same for goes for the adopted children of the eponymous character of Eureka Seven: Maurice, Maeter, and Linck after the Nobel Prize winning essayist and author of The Blue Bird Of Happiness.
  • Due to Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Medieval Europe that The Familiar of Zero takes place in, it's no wonder some of the characters are named after somebody famous. Examples:
    • Our main tsundere mage heroine Louise. She is named after Louise de La Valliere, one of Louis XIV's mistresses who became a duchess.
    • Tabitha aka Charlotte Helene Orleans, the Captain Ersatz mage to Yuki Nagato of Haruhi fame, is named after Helene d'Orleans.
    • The seductive "Subtle Flame" that is Kirche? Her Overly Long Name is Kirche Augusta Frederika von Anhalt Zerbst. The character sheet mentions her name is taken from Sophia Augusta Frederika of Anhalt-Zerbst, who is none other than Catherine the Great.
    • The campy Scarron is named after Paul Scarron, a novelist, playwright, and poet who lived during the time of Louis XIV.
  • Edward and Alphonse from Fullmetal Alchemist are named after real-life medieval alchemists, as is Hohenheim.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula: Knight Shoemach was named for famous Formula One champion Michael Schumacher (who was in Formula Three at the time the character was introduced) and Leon Earnhardt was named after NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
  • Forensics inspector Haraway, from Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, is named after Real Life scholar Donna Haraway.
  • There are a lot of characters in anime and manga named after Sengoku and Meiji era personalities. Fir a specific example, Gintama's characters keep the surnames, but their given names are changed a little. You get Sakata Gintoki (Kintoki), Okita Sougo (Souji), Hattori Senzo (Hanzo) just to name three of them.
  • In Girls und Panzer, with its huge cast, most opposing teams named characters follow a theme. Teams that use famous people include the History Club team (historic figures), Volleyball team (Japan's 1964 Olympic volleyball team), Freshman team (Japan's 2011 World Cup soccer team), and Automotive Club team (race car drivers).
  • Mecha pilot Jung Freud from Gunbuster (named after Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud).
  • Gundam:
  • Almost everybody in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is named after a band, movie, or rock star.
  • Karen and Erika from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War have their last names taken from (respectively) a Heian era poet and painter. This is meaningful in two ways. First, it fits their roles in the mass media club. Second, they break the established Shout-Out Theme Naming of the rest of the cast, representing how they are both viewing the ongoing plot from the outside.
  • Kimba's father from Kimba the White Lion is named Caesar and one of the villains is named Cassius, which reflected his bitter past with Caesar.
  • Friedrich and Voltaire, Caro's dragons in Lyrical Nanoha. If you don't recognize the names, you need to brush up on your European philosophers.
  • Maria Watches Over Us uses names of samurai and noble families for most of its important characters. Exceptions to this rule are specifically pointed out (Yumi and Sei).
  • The Mai Hi ME and Mai-Otome mangaverses have late-story antagonists named after Marie Antoinette and Yang Guifei.
  • The villainous robots/cyborgs in Metal Guardian Faust are named after Santa's reindeer, and have name-appropriate enhancements (Vixen has robotic tails, Blitz generates Electro Magnetic Pulses, Dasher is incredibly fast, etc.).
  • Tohru from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid was named after an author from Earth (one of her father's friends had plagiarized the author's works via precognition). The identity of the author is never specified, but it's hinted to be J. R. R. Tolkien.
  • Naruto has a number of characters named after figures associated with ninja/samurai:
    • Shimura Danzo and Kato Dan are named after Kato Danzo.
    • Two relatively important supporting characters are named Hanzo and Mifune.
    • The entire Sarutobi clan, as well as Uchiha Sasuke, are named after Sarutobi Sasuke.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Adam, father of the angels, and Lilith mother of all terrestrial life are named after the first man from the bible, and his first wife from Jewish mythology. This is somewhat of an Invoked Trope - these aren't actually their names (after all, they're aliens that are millions of years old) - but they were given them by Seele, a Apocalypse Cult with Kabbalistic trappings who give everything names coming from Christianity or Judaism, such as the Angels (both the species name and their individual names) and the Lance of Longinus.
    • Keel Lorenz, chairman of Seele; he's named after Konrad Lorenz, a zoologist best known for his work on Imprinting: in the Proposal for the show, he 'was' named Konrad Lorenz, but was presumably renamed to fit with the show's nautical Theme Naming.
  • The vast majority of characters in No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! are named after baseball players, especially members of the Chiba Lotte Marines.
  • In Episode 4 of Obsolete, Captain Wangchuk of the Ladakh Scouts is a reference to decorated Indian Army Colonel Sonam Wangchuk.
  • Pokémon:
    • Team Rocket, in the English dub: Jessie + James = Jesse James, Butch + Cassidy = Butch Cassidy, etc. Jessie and James's Japanese names also serve, as they were named after samurai: Musashi and Kojiro. Butch and Cassidy are just "theme named" to accompany the original duo: Kosaburo ("jiro": second son, "Saburo": third son) and Yamato (the sister ship of the Musashi battleship).
    • Jessie also has this with her mother in Japanese: Miyamoto and Musashi.
    • Ash and Gary's Japanese names, Satoshi and Shigeru. They were named after Satoshi Tajiri, creator of the Pokémon games, and Shigeru Miyamoto, his mentor.
  • Rave Master had Deep Snow's Quirky Miniboss Squad named after actors who've portrayed James Bond, including Dalton the Chrysalis, Lazenby of the White Flame, Goldeneye Brosnan, and Moore the Full Moon.
  • The Paper Sisters in the Read or Die TV series are named after the three actresses who played the main characters in The Heroic Trio.
  • In Samurai Pizza Cats, the New York Pizza Cats' original Japanese names are as follows:
  • Fuura Kafuka (actually an alias) and Arai Chie (which can also be read as "Ni Chie") from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei are named after Franz Kafka and Friedrich Nietzsche, respectively.
  • Speed Racer's Japanese name, Go Mifune (as well as the last name of the rest of his family), was named for famous Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune.
  • An episode of Squid Girl features 2 dolls named Johnny and Depp.
  • The girls in Strike Witches are named after real-life ace pilots.
  • One Piece: Many characters are named after pirates or explorers.
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: Katsuhiko becomes the Bugrom's military leader, and gains six Bugrom underlings. He nicknames them Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, Gummo (after the fifth Marx Brother who didn't appear in any of the movies) and Margaret(after Margaret Dumont, who frequently played Groucho's love interest/straight woman).
  • In Queen's Blade, Leina Vance and her family are named after the American fantasy and sci-fi writer, Jack Vance, who was a major influence for Dungeons & Dragons, which many fantasy series, Queen's Blade included, took some inspiration from it.
  • In Kotoura-san, Yuriko's mother Chizuru Mifune was named after a Real Life clairvoyant, Chizuko Mifune, per Word of God.
  • Gou Matsuoka from Free! is named for Oeyo (AKA Gou), a female historical figure from the late Sengoku Jidai, despite being generally a boy's name. She doesn't want people to call her that, though.
  • Eisaku Noguchi from 3-gatsu no Lion has his name and looks derived from a famous Japanese bacteriologist, Hideyo Noguchi (né Seisaku).
  • Ran, Miki, and Suu from Shugo Chara! were named after the members of Candies, a Japanese girl group from the 1970s.
  • In Private Actress, the heroine's mother Sayuri Nagasawa was named after Sayuri Yoshinaga, a famous Japanese actress.
  • This seems to be the case with Zhuge Ming Meng, the lead of Cheating Craft (though the reference to Zhuge Liang is obscured if you're watching the Crunchyroll subs, which just go with the Japanese transliteration, "Shoukatsu Mumei"). Later subverted when he discovers he's a descendant of Zhuge Liang, so it's not just a reference.
  • Pariston Hill from Hunter × Hunter is named after Paris Hilton.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • All the Riders that appear in Koihime†Musou: Tales of the Armored War Gods are named after Japanese warlords.
  • Cullen does this in-universe, in All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird, with the pets he acquires as the story unfolds. When he selects one of the Fereldan horses for his own, he names him Ferdinand (after Brother Ferdinand Genitivi, his favorite author); later, when Leliana gives him one of her messenger crows for his exclusive use, he names her Brona (after Andraste's mother).
  • All over the place in Gonjiki Yasha – Meiji Onmyōji Tales. The fic is studded with Shout-Out to late-modern Japanese literature, and thus characters that are not the protagonists get name alterations that reference writers and poets of the era; there are Ozaki Momiji, Yosano Tadayoshi, Izumi Hōōka, Tanizaki En, etc.
  • The main character of the Miraculous Ladybug fic Hop To It is named after her mother's favourite actor, Jaclyn Smith from Charlie's Angels. Since no one over 40 will let her forget it, she chooses to go by Jack instead.
  • Kantai Collection Fan works that make the girls separate from their armaments instead of being personifications have this trope built in by nature.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Alexis Lois "Lexi" Luthor is named after her grandparents, Lex Luthor and Lois Lane.

    Films — Animation 
  • Francesco Bernoulli, the Italian racecar from Cars 2, is actually named after Dutch/Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli, who actually came up with the law of conservation of fluid dynamics.
  • Disney's Frozen being very loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen features four characters, named in order; Hans, Kristoff, Anna and Sven.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The title character of Amélie is named after actress Emily Watson, who was originally intended to play her.
  • In the fourth installment of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there would have been a fifth turtle joining called Kirby.
  • Doc and Clara Brown's sons, of Back to the Future Part III and the animated series, are called Jules and Verne after their favorite author.
    • This actually proved to be a plot point in the animated series episode "A Verne By Any Other Name" - after being bullied about his name, Verne went back in time to convince his parents to name him something else.
    • Doc has dogs named after famous scientists. In 1985, his dog's called Einstein; in 1955, his dog's called Copernicus.
  • The Gates family, from the National Treasure' movies. The protagonist is Benjamin Franklin Gates. His father is Patrick Henry Gates, his father was named John Adams Gates... it's apparently a family tradition.
  • The names of characters in Blazing Saddles include, among others of this type, Hedley Lamarr (Hedy Lamarr) and Olson Johnson (Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson).
  • The film Doctor Strangelove features a psychotic, genocidal military commander named Jack D. Ripper.
  • Similarly, Cillian Murphy's villainous character in Red Eye is named "Jackson Rippner".
  • Heathers has a Veronica and a Betty, which you might think is a coincidence until you notice their equally significant last names - Sawyer and Finn respectively.
  • In Shanghai Noon, Jackie Chan plays "Chon Wang", misheard by Owen Wilson's character as "John Wayne". Lampshaded when O'Bannon declares "That's a terrible cowboy name!". It is later revealed that the real name of Roy O'Bannon is "Wyatt Earp".
    • The villainous sheriff is called "Nathan Van Cleef", named after actor Lee Van Cleef, a character actor of many westerns.
  • In Cool Runnings, one of the characters' names is Yul Brynner, which elicits a chuckle from one of his teammates.
  • In Shortbus, Severin is deeply ashamed of her real name, and can only write it down on two slips of paper on Sophia's request. Her first name is Jennifer. Her last name? Aniston.
  • Since Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda considered Easy Rider to be a modern day Western, the protagonists are Wyatt (Earp) and Billy (the Kid)
  • In Office Space the main character Peter's best friend is named Michael Bolton, like the famous singer. This is ultimately an Aversion, since he wasn't named after the singer (Michael mentions he was in his early teens when the singer became famous). The name is just a coincidence. He also hates the singer, and refuses to be called "Mike" because "Why should I change? He's the one who sucks."
  • Mean Girls features Janis Ian, named after the eponymous singer (who was lesbian, something the character is accused of being), whose song "At Seventeen" is even on the soundtrack.
  • Dizzy Gillespie Harrison, the hapless protagonist of The New Guy.
  • In The Last Song, the main character Ronnie (played by Miley Cyrus) is named after Miley's grandfather, Senator Ron Cyrus.
  • Forrest Gump was named in-universe after the Civil War general and Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest. He states that his mother chose the name as a reminder of the stupidity of humanity.
  • In-universe, Caesar from the Planet of the Apes franchise chose his name after the Roman Caesars. In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, he's even named as the father of his 'owner' starts quoting Julius Caesar.
  • The Distinguished Gentleman: In-Universe, Thomas Jefferson Johnson's mother named him such because she hoped that he would become important. Instead he becomes a Con Man, but she still loves him. Then he discovers that he shares part of his name with Jeff Johnson, a recently deceased Congressman, and runs for office under that name.
  • In The Facts in the Case of Mister Hollow Johnny Hollow, the eponymous photographer who sent the campsite photo, that's the subject of the film, is named after the electronica group who's song "Alchemy" provides the film's soundtrack. (It's co-director, Vincent Marcone, is a member.) The short was initially conceived as a music video before developing into a more fully-plotted short film.
  • Man of the Year: Two of Tom Dobbs' assistants are named Allison and Janie.
  • Silence of the Lambs: Serial killer Buffalo Bill.
  • Death Hunt: Sundog (Carl Weathers) reveals that his real name is George Washington Lincoln Brown, which he hates being called.
  • The title character of Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. is named for that other Crusoe, as his father dreamed of a life at sea. He laments why he wasn't named Harry or Ike.
  • Clueless: Cher, and her best friend Dionne, were both, in Cher's words, "named after great singers of the past who now do infomercials."
  • Scarface: The lead character, Tony Montana, was named by the film's writer, Oliver Stone, after his favorite athlete, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana.
  • Darlin': A girl names her pet mouse after Jennifer Lawrence.

  • Kydd was named after Thomas Paine, whom his parents met before he was born, though they would later come to disapprove of his radical ideas.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Tons and tons of characters. A few examples: the main characters are named Baudelaire; their banker is named Poe.
  • In-story in The English Patient: the thief David Caravaggio. He lampshades this, mentioning Caravaggio's painting David with the Head of Goliath.
  • Napoleon, from Animal Farm by George Orwell.
  • Practically everyone from Brave New World (how that fits in a historyphobe society, you ask), such as Bernard Marx (George Bernard Shaw and Karl Marx), Benito Hoover (Benito Mussolini and Herbert Hoover) and Darwin Bonaparte (Charles Darwin and Napoléon Bonaparte).
    • Incidentally, Benito Mussolini was himself named after Benito Juarez.
  • In the sci-fi novel The Green Futures of Tycho by William Sleator, the eponymous main character's parents have named their children after Tycho Brahe, an astronomer; Tamara Karsavina, a ballet dancer; Ludwig van Beethoven, a composer and Leonardo da Vinci, an inventor and artist. They hoped the names would inspire them to aspire to careers associated with them.
  • The ReMastered in Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross seem to be named after notable far-right philosophers. Or people with similar viewpoints; one of them calls herself Blofeld!
  • In Minority Report, the three oracles are named Agatha, Arthur, and Dashiell, after the mystery novelists.
  • Welcome To Wonderland: P.T. Wilkie's full name is Phineas Taylor Wilkie. He was named after P.T. Barnum.
  • A Victorian novelist was sued and lost because one character in her work, who had a connection to theater, had the same name as a man who had some connection to the theater. Shortly thereafter the serial went on with all the names changed. To things like "George Bernard Shaw" and "H. G. Wells" — all of whom were connected with the theater and had given permission as a protest against the ruling.
  • Nods to famous folk in-universe are frequent in the Deryni works. Of course, among famous people, it's also as much to do with family and/or friendship as fame.
    • Haldane royalty tends to reuse the names of certain illustrious predecessors. Since princes get four names in addition to the surname, there's plenty of opportunities for this. Among the popular candidates for reuse are Cinhil (first Haldane king of the Restoration), Blaine (also used by the Festils), Donal (Brion's father's first name, King Brion and King Cinhil's second), Nygel/Nigel, Aidan (second Haldane in the seventh century, also Cinhil's grandfather, the only survivor of his family's massacre during the Festillic Invasion) and Alroy (Cinhil's father and Cinhil's eldest surviving son).
    • Morgan's first two children. His daughter is named Briony after the late King Brion Haldane, and his son is named Kelric (a combination of King Kelson and Morgan's own first name Alaric).
    • Kelson's heir, born in the year 1130 (according to the Codex), is christened Javan Uthyr Richard Urien Haldane; the prince's first name is that of the ill-fated King Javan Haldane, King Cinhil's second surviving son (and the protagonist of King Javan's Year), and his third name honours Kelson's great uncle and Araxie's father, Prince Richard Haldane Duke of Carthmoor.
  • Members of the Ghost Brigades in John Scalzi's Old Man's War universe are named after famous historical figures, mostly scientists (e.g. Jared Dirac and Jane Sagan).
  • Ender's Game: When Ender Wiggin's dad gets a name, it turns out that (1) Wiggin isn't his actual name, but rather Wieczorek, and (2) his full name is Jan Paweł Wieczorek, which became John Paul Wiggin when Anglicized, and yes, that's John Paul as in Pope John Paul II, who was canonized in this timeline (as happens in 2014 in real life). Something of a subversion in that he is Named After Somebody Famous both in-universe and out of universe (John Paul II was, of course, Polish).
  • The Dresden Files:
  • In the Thursday Next series, people do this deliberately; it's a world where literature is Serious Business, so people name themselves after somebody famous, most often a classic English writer. After a court case where the entire jury was made up of Christopher Marlowes, a law was enacted to affix a number to the names of people who did this.
  • In Kurt Vonnegut's novel Hocus Pocus, the narrator is named after prominent American Socialist Eugene Debs, one of Vonnegut's heroes.
  • In The Hunger Games, people from the Capitol are often named after Ancient Roman historical figures: Cinna, Caesar (Flickerman), Seneca (Crane), Coriolanus (Snow), Claudius (Templesmith), etc.
  • The slave characters in the alternative history series Timeline-191 by Harry Turtledove all bear famous classical names from the past (Scipio, Xerxes, Aristotle, Bathsheba) echoing the real-life tendency to do this in the American South during slave-owning times.
  • The narrator of the pornographic novel The Oxford Girl has the Preppy Name Presley Abbott, which can, with some wordplay, be refashioned into a Shout-Out to Elvis Costello. Considering the author's obvious erudition, and the rarity of Presley as a first name, this was probably deliberate.
  • In The Maze Runner, the Gladers' names are not their real names, but names based on scientists and inventors and such that were planted in their memories.
    • Thomas is named after Thomas Edison.
    • Newt is named after Sir Isaac Newton.
    • Gally is named after Galileo Galilei.
    • Alby is named after Albert Einstein.
    • Chuck is named after Charles Darwin.
    • Teresa is named after Mother Teresa.
  • In Esther Friesner's Majyk By Accident series, the local village idiots are named Lorrenz, Wot, and Evvon.
  • In Robert Newton Peck's young-adult series Soup, the girl on whom Rob has a crush is named Norma Jean (Bissell, not Mortenson).
  • In the children's book Black and Blue Magic Harry Houdini Marco's father, a magician, named his son after Harry Houdini hoping he'd follow in his footsteps.
  • Robert A. Heinlein likes this trope:
  • Parodied in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - minor character Thomas Franklin Benjamin Jefferson Elexander Phelps is this, combined with My Nayme Is.
  • In In The Year Of The Boar and Jackie Robinson; the main character is grade-school-aged, emigrating to America from China, and has to pick herself an American name; she picks Shirley Temple Wong.
  • In SA Swann's Hostile Takeover series virtually everything on or relating to Bakunin, from the star Kropotkin that it orbits down to the Friedman Hotel on Lenin Avenue in Proudhon City is named after some anarchist, minarchist, socialist and/or anti-statist philosopher or theorist.
  • The Ultra Violets has Albert Feinstein, mathlete.
  • The fae boy from An Encounter and an Offer is renamed Arthur, after being put under Sir Kay's care. Ironically, he has no idea why.
  • In Ape And Essence, Alfred Poole was named after Alfred, Lord Tennyson because his mother liked In Memoriam. It suits his own fondness for English poetry.
  • In The Silence of the Lambs, Buffalo Bill is named after Buffalo Bill. In Hannibal Rising, Hannibal's widowed aunt Lady Murasaki is named after the world's first novelist.
  • Pangur from The Tygrine Cat is a black cat named after Pangur Bán, the subject of a 9th-century Irish poem.
  • The Underland Chronicles: Luxa's mother Judith, Judith's twin brother Hamnet and their sister Susannah are named after William Shakespeare's children. some of the mice are named after famous mathematicians.
  • In Discworld, the dwarfs who invented the printing press in The Truth are all named after printers (many of whom also gave their names to fonts in real life).
  • In Child of the Owl, Casey was named after a baseball player that won several games at the time of her birth. Her friend is named Tallulah, after Tallulah Bankhead, her (Tallulah's) aunt's favorite actress.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Several characters are named after the Heralds, ten divine servants of the Almighty empowered to lead humanity against the end of the world. Among the main characters, Kaladin is clearly named after Kalak, Herald of the Willshapers, while Shallan is named after Shalash of the Lightweavers (which, coincidentally, is the Order of the Knights Radiant that Shallan belongs to). It's also not uncommon to see minor background characters clearly named after the other Heralds.
  • In Star Trek: Prey, the Circle of Jilaan's illusion ships are all named after Stage Magicians: Cross's is the Blackstone, Ardra's is the Houdini and Jilaan's own ship was the Zamloch.
  • Used in-universe in Terra Ignota. It's often assumed that Mycroft is named after Mycroft MASON, the founder of the Mason Hive. The truth is that they are both named after Mycroft Holmes.
  • In The Lion's Cavalcade by Alan Aldridge and Harry Willock, the hippo ballerina is named Pavlovna Majesté Nijinska.
  • Domina:
    • In-universe, many people have names related to their warlords, who themselves named after either real gods and goddesses or fictional gods and goddesses. In particular, Dracul is such an important part of the vampire culture that many vampires choose names like "Drake" and "Drakela" when they become vampires.
    • The Atlantean cities are named after Greek philosophers, the Dagonite towns are named after writers, and the Rahab wrecks are named after emperors.
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: Georgia's full name is Georgia O'Keeffe Thackery.
  • Franny's teacher in the Franny K. Stein book series is named Ms. Shelly. Her surname is likely a reference to Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Nymeria is named after a warrior queen of legend.
  • Multiple characters in Lost are named after philosophers. There's John Locke (who for some time goes by another philosopher, Jeremy Bentham), Danielle Rousseau, Desmond David Hume, and Mikhail Bakunin, among others.
    • Locke's father is named Anthony Cooper, after Lord Shaftesbury, patron of John Locke the philosopher.
    • Also, Daniel Faraday and Eloise Hawking are both named after physicists, which becomes important when it's revealed that Hawking is Faraday's mother.
    • Charlotte Staples Lewis.
  • Manimal: Melody Anderson's character, Brooke Mackenzie, was named after two child actresses, Brooke Shields and Mackenzie Phillips.
  • In Thunderbirds ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy's sons are named Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John — all of which happen to be the names of the Real Life Mercury Program astronauts.
    • In real life, Virgil Ivan Grissom was better known to the public as "Gus".
  • The three male leads in the UK detective drama New Tricks are Jack Halford, Brian "Memory" Lane, and Gerry Standing. The writer is a supporter of West Bromich Albion football (soccer) team, and Halford Lane Standing is the oldest stand at their grounds.
  • The TV show based on Maniac Mansion has three kids named Ike, Tina and Turner.
  • Some of the Tenctonese on Alien Nation are named after famous people, usually dead ones like Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, and Betsy Ross.
  • Supernatural: Sam and Dean's Character Name Aliases
    • Their real last name, Winchester, is part of a firearms-theme in the show as a reference to Oliver Winchester of repeating-rifle fame. Though they're not so much "named after" as actually descended from the family of Oliver and Sarah Winchester, with plotlines showing that the family has been hunting for at least as long as the name has been associated with the signature firearm.
      • It might be better to say it's a reference to Oliver's daughter-in-law Sarah Winchester, making it not only a firearms reference but a supernatural one: Sarah believed she had to appease the spirits of victims of Winchester rifles by continuing construction on her home, and the "Winchester Mystery House" remains a paranormal landmark.
    • There is a demon named Alistair and a demon named Crowley. This refers to Aleister Crowley, an early 20th century British occultist.
      • One or both of them may be the actual man behind the myth of the famed occultist, Crowley especially is shown as being fond of showing up in human guise and making his bargains without any pretense that he's anything other than a supernatural creature... just to make sure the bargainers have no room to loophole their way out of damnation.
  • The dying president on the Geena Davis show Commander in Chief was named Teddy Roosevelt Bridges.
  • Lampshaded (of course) in the naval expedition sketch from episode 32 of Monty Python's Flying Circus: "Why does the senior personnel all bear the names of Hollywood film stars of the forties, and female ones at that?"
  • Gavin & Stacey has a subtle one that eventually gets lampshaded; the two central families are the Wests and the Shipmans, while the latter's neighbours are the Sutcliffes.note  The other main characters are called Smith and Jenkins.
  • Parodied in an episode of The Daily Show discussing the White House gatecrashing incident where the "Senior Correspondent" turns out to be a random crasher calling himself "Edward R. Brokaw-Amanpour"
  • Jefferson Davis Hogg of The Dukes of Hazzard. note 
    • And his brother Abraham Lincoln Hogg, the "white sheep" of the family.
  • The Sheriff of Twin Peaks is Harry S. Truman. FBI Agent Cooper says that he should remember it, this time.
    • Agent Cooper himself is named after the very mysterious D.B. Cooper
  • Benjamin Franklin Chang on Community.
  • Ryan Howard of The Office. The writers swear that the name, shared by the All-Star first baseman of the Philadelphia Phillies, is a coincidence, but consider that the American adaptation was in development in 2004, the same year Howard, a big-time prospect since he was drafted, played for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate in Scranton, which is where the show is set.
  • Franklin Mumford on My Wife and Kids, although you really can't tell until you learn he has a sister named Aretha.
  • Syd Barrett on Legion, named after Roger "Syd" Barrett of Pink Floyd.
  • Liam Gallagher from Shameless (UK) shares his name with the singer of Oasis, something clearly intentional as he is also from Manchester. Jokes are made on the subject on several occasions.
  • Alfred Bester from Babylon 5. At first the name was just a Shout-Out, but then the Expanded Universe revealed he was also named after the author in-universe.
    • John Sheridan shares a very unusual last name American Civil War general Philip Sheridan, but it is later made explicit that John is a direct male-line descendant of Philip's.
  • The X-Files:
    • One of The Lone Gunmen is John Fitzgerald Byers, as he was born on the day JFK died.
    • Scully's name is taken from Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully (in "Irresistible" a character even says "I don't remember his name, but she was Scully, like that baseball announcer.")
    • John Doggett comes from Vin's partner Jerry Doggett.
  • CSI franchise likes this. Grissom was last-named after Gus Grissom, the aforementioned Mercury astronaut, courtesy of his actor, William Petersen.
    • Grissom makes a joke of this once, naming his beetles from a crime scene "John, Paul, George and Ringo".
    • Apparently, 'Diebenkorn' Russell was named after a famous artist. It's still no wonder he prefers 'D.B.'.
  • CSI: Miami Horatio Caine, named after Horatio Alger.
  • CSI: NY Mac Taylor, last-named after Lt. Dan Taylor by Gary Sinise.
  • Due South: Stanley (Ray) and Stella Kowalski.
    • Wilson Welsh and his brother Harding were named after the two American presidents with those last names. (Woodrow Wilson and Warren G Harding)
    • Diefenbaker after the Canadian prime minister (in universe).
    • And of course, Fraser's senior inspector, Margaret "Meg" Thatcher.
  • Bernard Black from Black Books got his middle name (Ludwig) from Beethoven. (Discussed in-universe.)
  • In the Sons of Anarchy episode "Caregiver", Stephen King guest stars as a "cleaner" named Bachman. "Richard Bachman" was an alias King used to publish stories early in his career.
    • Another episode has two minor characters named Luther and Vandross.
  • Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner from Criminal Minds is, quite possibly, named after a real Aaron Hotchner, who also just happened to be a lawyer before finding his true calling, which isn't too far off from Hotch's- the real Hotchner became a biographer, famously penning one for Ernest Hemingway meaning, in real life, Hotch is just as much a profiler as the one on TV is (only that the real one doesn't use it to catch criminals).
  • M*A*S*H had a double with Hawkeye. His full name is Benjamin Franklin Pierce, so he's named after both a Founding Father (Benjamin Franklin) and a U.S. President (Franklin Pierce).
    • Though never revealed in the series, Fanon gives Colonel Sherman T. Potter the middle name "Tecumseh", which would make Potter named after Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman.
  • Josiah "Jed" Bartlet in The West Wing says he was named after his ancestor Josiah Bartlett (despite the spelling difference), who was a real-life signer of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Oliver Wendell Douglas from Green Acres is named after 19th century supreme court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
  • Orphan Black names several characters and places after scientists famous for championing evolution.
  • Similar to Alien Nation, the Zabronians in The Neighbors name themselves after famous athletes in an attempt to blend in. Thus the community leader is Larry Bird, his wife is Jackie Joyner-Kershee, and their sons are Reggie Jackson and Dick Butkus. (Notice that none of them share a surname, a concept that is apparently too foreign for them.)
  • The two main characters of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon and Leonard, are named after a famous TV producer named Sheldon Leonard. Their last names are Cooper and Hofstadter, respectively, which they share, aptly enough, with famous physicists: Leon N. Cooper and Robert Hofstadter (whose son Douglas is best known for writing Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid). Leonard's middle name is Leakey, after the famous archaeologist Louis Leakey and his anthropologist wife Mary.
  • In the Stargate-verse, about half of Earth's starships are named for historical figures (the others are figures from Greek mythology not known to be Goa'uld). The Russian-crewed Korolev was named after one of the lead engineers of the Soviet space program, and the Chinese-crewed Sun Tzu was named after Sun Tzu. The fourth American-crewed 304 was supposed to be USS Phoenix, but was renamed George S. Hammond after the first CO of Stargate Command, who had recently died.
  • British series Skins had a character named Naomi Campbell, no relation to the famous singer, and very much not played for laughs as the show is set in the British equivalent of High School. The mocking is merciless.
  • Samson En Gert: Samson is named after the biblical character, because of his long hair.
  • FC De Kampioenen: Carmen's dog Nero is named after Nero.
  • In Andromeda, Nietzscheans tend to have names that are mashups of famous people, like "Tyr Anasazi" and "Charlemagne Bolivar".
  • The Walking Dead: Abraham Ford (Abraham Lincoln and Gerald Ford; alternate interpretation: Abraham was shot in Ford's Theater).note 
  • Once Upon a Time: Season 3 introduced the sea goddess Ursula. Season 4 introduced the mermaid turned sea witch named for her, who serves as an antagonist for part of its second arc.
  • Total Recall 2070: Detective David Hume takes his name from perhaps the most famous philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment after Adam Smith.
  • Exaggerated on The Muppets with Gloria Estefan, the penguin Miss Piggy adopted from a vacation in Argentina. The latter claims it was the only Spanish name she could think of at the time she named the penguin.
  • Shuttlecraft in Star Trek are generally named after famous scientists or explorers, most famously the Galileo, which had a TOS episode named after it.
  • In Timeless, when the team goes to different points in time, they call themselves by names of famous people from the future.
  • It's common for characters in Angie Tribeca to be named after rock musicians - for example, Jay Geils and Alan Parsons.
  • Early Metal Heroes shows had a tendency to name their protagonists after film personalities:
  • Reba: Van and Cheyenne Montgomery have a daughter named "Elizabeth". Pointed out in the episode when Brock's mother comes to visit.
  • Taken: In "Acid Tests", Amelia Henderson tells her future husband Jesse Keys that she was named after Amelia Earhart.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "Dark Matters", the U.N.S. Slayton and the U.N.S. Gagarin are named after the Mercury Seven astronaut Deke Slayton and the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space.
    • In "Phobos Rising", it is mentioned that the Free Alliance had a base on a celestial body called Sagan V, which was named after the astrophysicist Carl Sagan.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • Though known by a variety of ring names over his long career, Sid Eudy is arguably most famous as Sid Vicious, having named himself after the Sex Pistols bassist of the same name.
  • Phil Lafon, best known to '90s WWF fans as one-half of the tag team Furnas and Lafon, once wrestled as Dan Kroffat, a tribute to a 1970s Canadian wrestler of the same name.
  • Before he became the electrifying People's Champion, The Rock was a boring, goody-two-shoes babyface called Rocky Maivia, a combination of his father's ring name (Rocky Johnson) and his grandfather's ring name (Peter Maivia).
  • Would you believe one of WWF's most notorious jobbers of the '80s and '90s was once (probably unintentionally) named after one of its biggest stars of the same era? While he usually wrestled (and counted lights) under his real name, Barry Horowitz briefly wrestled as Jack Hart, no relation to the Excellence of Execution himself.
  • Joe Hennig first wrestled in WWE under the name Michael McGillicutty but gave himself a Meaningful Rename to become Curtis Axel - both after his father Curt Hennig and his grandfather Larry Hennig, whose Red Baron was 'The Axe'.
  • Naomi's ring name was apparently named after supermodel Naomi Campbell.
  • When Kevin Steen finally made it to WWE, he took the name "Kevin Owens" as a tribute to Owen Hart.
  • Valet Missy Hyatt's real last name is Hiatt, but changed the spelling so they could claim she was an heiress to the Hyatt (of Hyatt Hotels fame) family.
  • Triple H gets his name, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, partially from William Randolph Hearst and Leona Helmsley.


    Tabletop Games 
  • In one of the supplementary sourcebooks for the Forgotten Realms (specifically, Champions of Valor), an organization of good-aligned monsters and talking beasts called the Fangshields is stated to be led by a wemic paladin of Nobanion named Kul Kulann. As in Cú Chulainn. In one sense quite fitting, since Cú Chulainn's warp-spasm made him into quite the savage beast and he was an incredible warrior, but in another sense rather odd considering this is a lawful good, honorable fighter who would be completely against berserker raging in combat. (Also the name means "Hound of Culann"...)


    Video Games 
  • In Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail!, all of the girls have names that reference female Hollywood stars, such as Drew Baringmore and Jamie Lee Coitus.
  • In Chrono Trigger:
    • The Edible Theme Naming of Soysauce, Vinegar, and Mayonnaise were turned into Ozzie (Osbourne, although he's Ozzy), Flea (of Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Slash (of Guns N' Roses). This raised issues with the sequel, which introduced a new character named Slash, while containing the old ones as a Bonus Boss, so the new character was renamed Nikki (presumably after Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx).
    • Also, the Gurus in the English version are named after the Three Wise Men.
    • Both Trigger and Cross contain characters named after famed Persian emperors (Cyrus and Dario respectively, seemingly named after Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great), both of them serving as Death by Origin Story big brother figures to two separate characters named Glenn.
  • Every one of the eight maverick bosses in Mega Man X5 have names derived from the rock band Guns N' Roses. Grizzly Slash (Slash), Axle The Red (Axl Rose), Squid Adler (Steven Adler), Dark Dizzy (Dizzy Reed) and the list goes on. (except The Skiver, which might be a reference to Michael "High in the Sky" Monroe, who recorded a song with GNR)
    • From the original series, there's Dr. Thomas Light and Dr. Albert Wily, named after Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, respectively. The former might be questionable, but the latter does have some resemblance to his namesake (the Einstein Hair).
    • Mega Man Zero's Big Bad Dr. Weil is named after Ray Kurzweil, an author on several books about transhumanism and technological singularity, things that Weil is a master of.
  • Both Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy IX contained many a Shout-Out to Shakespeare. The former had Rosencrantz and Romeo Guildenstern, while the latter had both characters and fictional characters named Puck, Cordelia, and King Leo/Lear.
    • The protagonisto of Final Fantasy IX is named after famous French soccer player Zinedine Zidane.
  • In Quest for Glory II, characters of the thieving persuasion can break into a certain house at night where a man lives with his three sons, Kareem, Abdul, and Jabbar, respectively.
  • How many real-life Zeldas can you think of? Word of God states that the eponymous princess is indeed named for Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
    • Robin Williams named his daughter after the princess.
    • Also the recurring enemies known as Poes, likely named after the famous Edgar Allan Poe. Another possible source of the name, however, is the Chinese philosophy of "hun" and "po", similar to yin and yang. "Hun" is the part of the soul that strives for heaven and is associated with life, and "po" is the part of the soul that stays with the corpse and is associated with death.
      • Further, the Poe sisters are named Amy, Beth, Joelle, and Meg after the sisters from Little Women.
    • F. Scott himself was named after Francis Scott Key, a distant relative and the lyricist for the national anthem of the US.
  • In Dot Hack GU Redemption, the AIDA-infected weapon wielded by Taihaku is called Maxwell. This is a reference to Maxwell's Demon theory. The game self-confirms the reference by naming the identical-looking sword Haseo obtains after defeating Taihaku as Szilard (mistranslated as Silad), the person that solved (or at least offered an explanation to) Maxwell's Demon.
  • Speaking of theoretical demons, the online game ''Ace Online]] threw a reference to Laplace's demon, by the item called "Soul of Laplace". The item is used to upgrade Legendary Weapons, which is in turn created by merging a weapon with Gematria Scripture, referring it as "being possessed by demonic souls".
  • The Koopalings in Super Mario Bros. are named after real life musicians and other celebrities. As is possibly the boss Reznor in Super Mario World.
  • Tony Delvecchio of Backyard Sports is named after wrestling announcer Tony Schiavone. Marky Dubois, from the same series, is named after Marky Ramone, a member of The Ramones. The developers were originally going to give Marky the full name, but then decided against it.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has Linnell the Booze Giant, named for John Linnell of They Might Be Giants. There's also a town called Flangeburgh, a play on the name of John Flansburgh, another member of TMBG.
  • In the fourth world of Mystic Ark, there are several NPCs scattered about that are named after famous inventors and musicians such as Edison, Einstein, Ludwig, and Picasso.
  • Isaac Clarke from Dead Space - which was mocked by Zero Punctuation.
  • Many characters in the Guilty Gear series are named after Western bands or musicians, including A. B. A. (ABBA), Axl Low (Axl Rose), Chipp Zanuff (Chip Z'nuff), Johnny (Johnny Winter), Ky Kiske (Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske), Slayer, Testament, Venom, and Zappa (Frank Zappa).
    • Some characters are also named after famous fictional characters, like Zato-1, his symbiote Eddie (Eddie the Head), and Faust.
  • The Zork games take this Up to Eleven (literally) with Lord Dimwit Flathead's eleven siblings: John D., T.J. "Stonewall", Johann Sebastian, J. Pierpont, Thomas Alva, Leonardo, Lucrezia, Ralph Waldo, John Paul, Frank Lloyd, and Babe.
  • Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri provides us with Provost Prokhor Zakharov, leader of the University of Planet faction, who invented the fusion drive that made the journey to Alpha Centauri possible. He seems to be named after Soviet nuclear physicist and peace/human rights/democracy activist Andrei Sakharov, who was famous for his brilliance (like Zakharov) and his involvement in politics (it's possible he would have become President of post-Soviet Russia had he not died in 1989). To put the icing on the cake, Arthur C. Clarke names the fusion engine in the Leonov in 2010...the Sakharov Drive. Clearly, the Firaxis team read its science fiction.
  • In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, the twin bears of Razor Ridge are named Benny and Bjorn, after ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus.
  • In Dragon Quest I, there are two characters named Howard and Nester, after the Nintendo Power comic characters.
  • In Mass Effect, Systems Alliance carriers are named for great leaders, artists, and intellectuals in human history. One mentioned by name is SSV Einstein.
  • In EV Nova, the Kania system and its Space Station Port Kane, as well as the Kane Band (Earth's equatorial docking ring), are named for Omata Kane, the physicist who developed Faster-Than-Light Travel in the setting.
  • Team Fortress 2: In the "Meet The Medic" short, it's revealed that Medic keeps a flock of pet doves. In the operating room, no less. His favorite is named Archimedes, which is fitting for an eccentric bird who follows after his master.
  • Dr. Salvador in Resident Evil 4 may be named after Dr. Salvador Allende, the Chilean president who was deposed by Pinochet in 1973.
  • In Perfect Dark Zero, Chandra Sekhar (her last name isn't given in-game) is likely named after Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, a famous astrophysicist.
  • The Zeppelin/Sepperin family from Rosenkreuzstilette is named after Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the Prussian brigadier-general responsible for the dirigible airship which shares his name.
  • One of the technicians in Quake IV is named after the German-Austrian composer Johann Strauss.
  • The Amarcians in Tales of Graces are all named after famous scientists and mathematicians — names such as (Blaise) Pascal, (Siméon Denis) Poisson, (Joseph) Fourier, (Pierre de) Fermat, (Carl Friedrich) Gauss, and so on. Also, Fermat's husband is named after astronomer Carl Sagan.
  • Colonel Sanders in Fallout 2 takes his name from the Kentucky Fried Chicken founder and mascot.
  • In the Sword of the Stars novel The Deacon's Tale, one human character is called Margaret Thatcher.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has Samuel Cooke, the founder of the Powder Gangers, who is named after Sam Cooke, the singer of "Chain Gang".
    • Ulysses named himself after Ulysses S. Grant, the general who, in his words, turned two flags into one.
  • A possible companion in Fallout 4 is John Hancock, a ghoul who, after an inspirational chem trip that landed him in the post-apocalyptic shell of the Old State House, appropriated both the name and the clothes of the historical John Hancock.
    Hancock: John Hancock, first American hoodlum and defender of the People.
  • Pokémon:
    • Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan are named after Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. As a double bonus, their Japanese names, Ebiwalar and Sawamular, are after Japanese martial arts stars.
    • The Nimbasa Gym in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 does this with the three trainers you face before the leaders; they are named Nikola, Fleming and Ampère (after Nikola Tesla, John Ambrose Fleming and André-Marie Ampère).
  • Psycho Nauts: Mikhail Bulgakov, the foreign student at Whispering Rock Camp, takes his name from the Russian playwright who wrote The Master and Margarita.
  • In King's Quest VI, the leader of the royal guard in the Green Isles is named Captain Saladin, after the medieval Muslim leader known for fighting the Crusaders.
  • The ship where most of the gameplay happens in System Shock 2 is named the Von Braun.
  • The Holy Skeletal Fighting Marshals of Rance World are named after famous people of Nazi Germany.
  • In the Old West chapter of Live A Live, several of the townspeople are named after famous cowboy actors: Clint, Gene and Wayne. Annie is likely named after Annie Oakley.
  • Fortune Summoners: Marina, as she relates what her parents told her:
    They told me my name was inspired by some big, famous magician from the past.
  • In Persona 5, all of the Confidant NPCs (except for Caroline, Justine, and Igor, who retain the Frankenstein theme naming of other Velvet Room attendants in the Persona series), along with a few party members, are named after real world historical Japanese figures. Tying into the game's themes of rebellion and the goal of the protagonists, most of the namesakes combated Japanese societal norms in some way.
  • LittleBigPlanet has Larry Da Vinci, Marlon Random and Newton.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Hideo Kojima often steals the names of his favourite directors, with both a Miller and an Emmerich appearing in Metal Gear Solid.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2, Solidus Snake's Presidential alias, George Sears, appears to be both a reference to George Bush (both are 43rd US Presidents) and to Isaac Sears, the leader of the historical Sons of Liberty.
  • Hiveswap has a host of these, including Nihkee Moolah (after women's wrestler Fabulous Moolah), Mallek Adalov (after Rami Malek and Ada Lovelace), and Barzum and Baizli Soleil (After Barnum and Bailey and, slightly less relevantly, Cirque du Soleil).
  • Link from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is not a descendant/reincarnation of the original Link like all the rest. He's simply a regular boy who was born in an age where naming your son after the legendary Hero of Time is most likely a fairly common occurrence. Not that he ever meets anyone else with that name.
  • A bit of a goofy inversion in the Camelot arc of Fate/Grand Order. When the good guys travel to a village in Iran, they meet a local archer by the name of Arash who's been protecting the people there. The townsfolk note that Arash is the name of a legendary archer who saved all of Persia, so it's a very common name (if oddly fitting in this case). Of course, it turns out that the guy in question is the mythical Arash, plucked out of time to save his people once again. Since he recognized this trope, he didn't feel the need to bother with an alias.
  • Devil May Cry
    • The main protagonist Dante shares his name with the author and main character of The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri.
    • Trish, Dante's sidekick and possible love interest, is named after Beatrice Portinari, a woman whom Dante Alighieri was enamored with.
    • Devil May Cry 2 has Lucia who is named after Lucia of Syracuse or Saint Lucy as she was also known. While Saint Lucy did appear as a character in the Divine Comedy to aid Dante, she was also a real life person who was a Christian martyr during the Diocletianic Persecution. This is reflected in Lucia's character when during the game's climax, she insists on sacrificing herself to close the portal to the Demon World viewing herself as expendable but is stopped as Dante doesn't view her that way. Since Saint Lucy also happens to be the Patron Saint of The Blind, Lucia references this by by having one of her eyes covered at all times.
    • Nero, the main protagonist of Devil May Cry 4 and Devil May Cry 5 is named after the Roman Emperor Nero. As the real life Nero persecuted Christians, DMC Nero is also opposed to a religious group though in DMC Nero's case, the religious group he is dealing with are far from innocent.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • Wilde Life provides the current page image, with its protagonist named after Oscar Wilde. Actually, Word of God says that each character is named after somebody, either real or fictional, with an emphasis on literary figures—for example, the ghost in the picture above is named Sylvia Snyder.
  • Rita in Gifts of Wandering Ice was named after a famous hunter chieftess who lived two hundred years ago.
  • Police in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! are named after ice cream. The two feds are Ben and Jerry, and the two local cops are Baskin and Robbin.
  • A rare one-person example in The Wotch: When Sonny Leo Harper got permanently ka-girled, he became Cher Lita Harper. This new identity also counts as a Punny Name, as Cher Lita is a cheerleader.
  • The original two members of Penny's Girl Posse were named Sara and Michelle. There is no Gellar. Nick and Charisma are also named after Nicholas Brendon and Charisma Carpenter (aka Xander and Cordelia), and Stan and Jack after Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
  • Ciem: The Human Centipede, and its sequels, mention rather explicitly that Dolly Malestrom was named after Dolly the Cloned Sheep. Given that it takes place in the 2020s, this reference actually makes sense. It places Dolly's birth some time between 1996 and 1998, making her just slightly older than Candi.
    • There Ain't No Rule that the "someone" can't be an animal, right?
  • In Penny Arcade, Tycho Brahe is named after an astronomer.
  • Times Like This: Cassie's last name is Wells. Matt's last name is Gahan. (Indirectly, though... according to Word of God on the FAQ page: "Matt Gahan originally had the last name of 'Gahane' and that was based on a good friend of mine whose last name used the same letters, but I decided to leave off the last 'e' so he'd have the same last name as the lead singer of one of my favorite bands.")
  • My Life In Blue does this a lot: Iddy Pop is clearly named for Iggy Pop. Portia's last name is Bathory like the bloody countess.
  • In Baritarian Boy, one of the lead characters is named Felix. Co-author Fyodor Pavlov chose this as a shout out to Russian Prince Felix Yusupov, whom he describes as his "life's inspiration."
  • In Route148 , all the towns encountered in the comic used to be named after famous writers.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Mikkel Madsen's prologue ancestor and twin brother are both named Michael Madsen.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Lampshaded in an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, where the monster that lives in the Aqua Teen's attic is named "Willie Nelson" as a reference to the fact that the original Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode "Baffler Meal" which served as the pilot to ATHF featured Willie Nelson as a guest star.
  • Each of the titular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are notably named after famous Renaissance artists.
  • Mr. Oskar Kokoschka from Hey Arnold! is named after the Austrian expressionist painter.
  • Amethyst van der Troll from Trollz appears to be named after Anneliese van der Pol.
  • In The Replacements, the main characters go to "George Washington Middle School"
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Aang's father figure Gyatso is named after Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama.
    • Chong, leader of a Wacky Wayside Tribe of singing New Age Retro Hippies, is named after fellow hippie Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong fame.
    • The Secret Police of Ba Sing Se are called the "Dai Li" after a prominent political figure in Guomindang-era China. The guy headed Chiang Kai-shek's ruthless "Investigation and Statistics Bureau" (a predecessor to the more accurately named Military Intelligence Bureau), as well as of the fascist Blue Shirts Society (which also conducted security and intelligence operations).
  • On The Legend of Korra (the Sequel Series to Avatar):
    • Aang's son Tenzin repeats the Dalai Lama motif (although Tenzin is a fairly common Tibetan name).
    • Korra's friend Mako is named after Mako Iwamatsu, the prominent Japanese-American actor and voice artist who originally voiced Avatar's Iroh (though Greg Baldwin became The Other Darrin after Mako died).
    • The Big Bad Amon may also be named after Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth (made famous by Schindler's List).
  • Michael Jordan Mackenzie, usually referred to as "Mack", a supporting character in Daria is named after famous basketball player Michael Jordan, and mocked for that by short-lived jerk of the week Tommy Sherman.
    Mack - It was Michael James Mackenzie, but Dad went to a Bulls playoff game when I was 12 and then he changed it.
    Tommy - That's sick, man. [...] Make sure your father doesn't go to any Whoopi Goldberg movies!
  • In The Secret Show, Victor's full name is "Victor Thomas Jefferson Volt".
  • The Simpsons:
    • Dr. Marvin Monroe is named after Marilyn Monroe.
    • Milhouse's name is based on Richard Nixon's middle name. Matt Groening gave him the name because he felt it was the most unfortunate name you could give to a child.
    • Barney Gumble is named after Barney Rubble from The Flintstones.
    • Arnie Pye was named after radio presenter Ernie Pie.
  • Duckman: George Herbert Walker King Chicken's name is based on George H. W. Bush.
  • Family Guy: Mayor Adam West is named after the real life Adam West, who consequently is also his voice.
    • "Christopher Cross" Griffin
  • The Sword in the Stone: Archimedes the owl is named after Archimedes.
  • The Aristocats: Lafayette and Napoleon are named after the Marquis De Lafayette and Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • The Rescuers: The character Medusa is named after the Greek mythological creature and her crocodiles Nero and Brutus after Nero and Brutus, Caesar's adoptive son.
  • Anastasia: Bartok the bat was named after Hungarian composer Béla Bartók.
  • Alfred J. Kwak: Dolf is named after Adolf Hitler and Dr. Livingston after David Livingstone. Winnie, Alfred's girlfriend, was named after Winnie Mandela. Michael Duckson is clearly Michael Jackson.
  • Los Trotamúsicos: Attila the dog is named after Attila the Hun.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids: Elvis and Mr. Socrates.
    • Butch himself is an odd example sharing the name with a real life outlaw. While never expressed in the show the band name may, in fact, be an in-universe pun based on this trope.
  • Wilt from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, being a former small-time basketball player before his Career-Ending Injury, is named after professional player Wilt Chamberlain.
    • In one episode the gang adopts a litter of puppies. Wilt names three of them after Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
  • Oggy and the Cockroaches: The Cockroaches are named Joey, Dee Dee and Marky, after members of The Ramones.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, Word of God says that Nathaniel, an aspiring comic book artist, got the surname "Kurtzberg" from Jack Kirby's birth name.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television. Many people have named their infants after characters made famous by religious/mythological scriptures: Adam, Eve, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Maria, Benjamin, Jonah, Joshua, Ezechiel, Joseph, Jesus (this name is more common in Spain than in other countries), Eli, Muhammad, Fatima, Thor, Venus, Hercule(s), Jason, Diana,... , sometimes without even knowing what these people actually did. Other names will also directly bring up associations with famous people nowadays: Napoleon, Mickey, Walt, César or Caesar, Cleopatra, Elvis, Adolf, Osama, Saddam, Marie-Antoinette, Elizabeth, Vincent, Marlon, Marilyn, Rembrandt, Leonardo, Attila, Genghis, Benito, Romeo, Marina (named after the 1958 song by Rocco Granata),...
  • Martin Luther, initiator of the Protestant Reformation, gets regularly confused with Martin Luther King, Jr. nowadays.
    • Ironically King's father (whose original first name was Michael) named himself (and his namesake son) after the German Theologin well into adulthood (and after Junior had been born). He heard Luther's story during a church study trip in Germany, and was impressed by Luther's drive for change.
  • Inversion in the case of Albert Einstein, the comedian, not the physicist. He (the comedian) became famous as Albert Brooks. His parents thought it was funny.
  • Many street names are named after famous people. Some of them very famous to this day, others haven fallen in such obscurity that you have to consult an encyclopaedia to find out who they were and what they did to earn a street named after them?
  • Averted in the case of Michael B. Jordan. He’s actually named after his dad.
  • Monarchies and colonies are really big fans of naming things after royalty and nobility. In the past, it was because it was only the nobility who were rich enough to finance the building of colonies and public works (and so got the naming rights in the bargain); currently, naming things after royalty is a relatively uncontroversial (unless you are a republican) way to honor the country without sounding partisan.
    • Even in America, a lot of these names remain: Virginia (Elizabeth I, The Virgin Queen), Maryland (Henrietta Maria of France), North/South Carolina (Charles I), Georgia (George II), and Pennsylvania (Sir William Penn).
  • Though now more or less abandoned, the naming system of the US Navy had destroyers named after naval heroes. Currently they're named after admirals. Still in use is the trend of naming aircraft carriers after former presidents: most recently USS George H. W. Bush (which is rather fitting, as Bush had been a naval Ace Pilot during World War II). The new class of supercarriers currently under construction is to be called the Gerald R. Ford class, as work on the ship was started shortly after his death.
    • Uniquely, Jimmy Carter asked if, rather than an aircraft carrier, he could have a nuclear submarine, as he had been trained as a nuclear engineer but left the Navy a year before USS Nautilus came online. Sure enough, USS Jimmy Carter is a Seawolf-class nuclear attack sub, launched in 2005.
    • Many of the US Army's armored vehicles (tanks, APCs, etc.) are named after American generals. This practice was actually adopted from the British Army, after they purchased a batch of tanks, which the US Army had creatively dubbed "Medium Tank, M3," and renamed them as "General Lee", with an improved version being called the General Grant. The next American tank to see widespread use was thus named the M4 Sherman.
  • There are quite a few porn stars who do this for Porn Names - usually a name that's similar, rather than identical (such as Dru Berrymore), although there is one young lady out there who performed in hardcore as Cindy Crawford... and as the supermodel of the same name found out when she took legal action, the young lady's birth name really is Cynthia Crawford. Fair use prevailed. (She's since retired.)
    • Averted in the case of Cindy Crawford's children - although her son is called Presley he is not named after we all know who.
  • Chris Columbus
  • US Senator John Little McClellan, named by his parents after a former governor named John Little.
  • Winfield Scott (1786-1866) served as an officer in the United States Army from 1806 through 1861, as a general from 1814 until his retirement in 1861 at the rank of a Major General. "The Grand Old Man of the Army" played a prominent role in the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and various Indian campaigns, and designed the basic strategy which the Union used in the Civil War. Two other individuals born during Scott's tenure as a general officer were named after him, and also rose to command rank in the armed forces: Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, who served in the Army of the Potomac in the Civil War (And served under the original General Winfield Scott as a newly minted Lieutenant in the Mexican-American War), and Rear Admiral Winfield Scott Schley, who commanded the U.S. squadron at Santiago in the Spanish-American War.
  • Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz was named for a famous doctor of his time, Naguib Pasha Mahfouz.
  • David Tennant's real name is David McDonald, but uses the last name Tennant after Pet Shop Boys singer Neil Tennant professionally because there was another David McDonald in the Actors Guild.
  • Many places, people and monuments in real life are named after famous people, making this...
  • Very popular in space exploration. Features on other planets, such as impact craters, are frequently named after famous people, usually from the sciences or arts.
  • Brazilian soccer player Roberto Carlos is named after an eponymous singer from that country.
  • It is remarkably common in Brazil to name your son after a famous American- both Ronaldo and Ronaldo Gaucho (Ronaldinho) are named after Ronald Reagan, and then there's Creedence Clearwater Couto...
    • And it also happens in Portugal... Cristiano Ronaldo is also named after Ronald Reagan.
  • Siegfried Sassoon owes his German first name to his mother's love for Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung.
  • A Romanian couple wanted to name their son Osama Bin Laden for this specific purpose. They eventually settled on Stefan (Steve), after the legendary Moldavian lord Stephen III.
  • In 2010, the most popular names for babies born in the U.S. were Jacob and Isabella. Both names had been decently popular beforehand; Jacob, in fact, is undergoing a slight lull in popularity. Isabella, however, only made the top five in 2006, right after a certain uber-popular teen vampire book series hit the shelves. One cannot help but wonder if fans are letting their preferred couple influence their Theme Naming just a tad...
  • Similarly, a number of too-obsessed Potters have named their sons Harry.
  • George Washington Carver and Martin Luther King Jr. take things a step further than usual by bearing their namesakes' full name.
  • Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy was named after John Wayne, who was his mother's favorite movie star. One has to wonder how the Duke would have reacted if he had been alive at the time of Gacy's arrest.
  • Diane Keaton (born Diane Hall) took her last name from Buster Keaton. Micheal Keaton (born Michael Douglas) didn't have to change his name until AFTER his time period working as a stagehand for "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" (during which time Diane was establishing herself in Woody Allen comedies), but when he did (for obvious reasons) he got HIS inspiration from Diane Keaton's name.
  • Bette Midler was named after Bette Davis, although she's pronounced her name with one syllable, instead two like Davis. Considering the fact that Bette Midler was the multitalented diva's real birth name, of course it was her mother who named her (after Mrs. Midler's favorite movie star), but it was also her mother who thought "Bette" was pronounced as per the single-syllable word "bet", instead of Ms. Davis's pronunciation (which is the same as the more traditional spelling of "Betty").
  • Joan Crawford loved to state that in the 1940s, which is when her fame hit its ultimate peak, there was a massive influx of baby girls named Joan, half for Joan of Arc and half for Ms. Crawford herself.
  • Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton named their daughter Chelsea after the Joni Mitchell song "Chelsea Morning", which itself got its name (and was basically about) the bohemian New York City hangout called the Chelsea Hotel.
  • On the periodic table, elements 95 through 118 are mostly named after famous scientists, though a couple are named after famous laboratories instead.
  • Cryolophosaurus was dubbed 'Elvisosaurus' for its unique, curled crest before being given a formal name.
  • A genus of ferns have been named Gaga, after, of course, Lady Gaga, because its young, unfurled stalks tend to look like claws, similar to Gaga's "paws up" gesture. Going further, one species is named Gaga germanotta, taken from her maiden name (Stefani Germanotta), and another has species name monstraparva, which pretty much translates to Little Monsters, Gaga's Fan Community Nickname.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio was named after painter Leonardo da Vinci. According to DiCaprio, his mother chose the name because she visited a gallery while pregnant and she felt him while standing in front of a Da Vinci painting.
  • Flemish bar window painter Rubbes was nicknamed after Peter Paul Rubens.
  • NVIDIA has named their GPUs after famous scientists and mathematicians.
  • Winter Park Resort in Colorado has one part of its front side where trails are named for famous people involved in the founding of the resort.
  • Céline Dion's use of this trope is especially apparent in her younger twin sons Eddie (after Eddy Marnay, French-speaking songwriter who used to write songs for her) and Nelson (after Nelson Mandela, the famous South African political figure). Her first son, Rene Charles, has a full (baptized) name of Joseph Rene Charles Dion Angelil, but the names Joseph and Charles were specifically taken from his great-grandfather (Joseph from his father's side, Charles from his mom's).
  • Mickey Mantle, Hall of Fame baseball player, was named after Mickey Cochrane, Hall of Fame baseball player.
  • Sometimes people don't get this entirely right, as with the Prussian-born American Revolutionary War hero, Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who justified not dropping his noble title despite settling in New York and becoming an American citizen after the war, in deference to all the American children who had been named "Baron" in his honour.
  • Robin Williams named his daughter, Zelda Williams, after the princess in the Legend of Zelda video games — who was in turn named by creator Shigeru Miyamoto after Zelda Fitzgerald.
  • Miyavi named his first daughter Lovelie Miyavi Ishihara. His real name is Takamasa Ishihara, so he named his daughter after his Stage Name.
  • The chemical elements of Einsteinium, Rutherfordium, Nobelium, Lawrencium, Curium, and Meitnerium are all named after scientists.
  • In 2017, one of the Weather Channel's winter storm names was chosen in honor of Wilbur Post from Mister Ed.
  • The Italian Space Agency created three containers and named them after three Renaissance artists: Leonardo, Raffaello, and Donatello. For obvious reasons, when NASA had to pick a project logo they went with a Ninja Turtle astronaut.
  • If a male born in Argentina after the seventies has Diego as a first name, you can bet as much as you want that the middle name is Armando. "Diego Armando" exploded in popularity during Diego Armando Maradona's legendary performances in association football.
  • Selena Gomez is named after Tejano singer Selena.
  • Mussolini's father was a socialist, and he named his son Benito after the liberal Mexican president, Benito Juárez. The traditional Italian version of the same name is Benedetto. As you can figure, the Spanish version gained some popularity in Italy after Mussolini became Il Duce.
  • A number of New Super Mario Bros. level editing tools are named after notable Nintendo employees: New Super Mario Bros. Wii's is named Reggie (after Reggie Fils-Amie), New Super Mario Bros. U got Satoru (an early version) and Miyamoto (the current version), and the original New Super Mario Bros. has Gunpei.

Alternative Title(s): Named After Someone Famous


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