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Named After Somebody Famous
aka: Named After Someone 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 common form of naming characters: giving them the partial or modified name of real-life celebrities or historical figure. May overlap with Shout-Out Theme Naming if repeated across a group.

One way would be giving the group 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. If they are named after famous Scientists and Inventors, it overlaps with Scientific and Technological Theme Naming.

Compare Shout-Out Theme Naming, Famous-Named Foreigner (when foreign characters are named after famous people from their countries just because the creators didn't research the relevant naming conventions), Character Name Alias (when 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) and Unusual Pop Culture Name (when they're named for a famous character, often embarrassingly). Contrast "Near and Dear" Baby Naming. 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". When the famous person a character is named for is their own actor, it's The Danza.

Not to be confused with Named Like My Name, Historical Domain Character, or Beethoven Was an Alien Spy.

Because this trope is so prevalent, it would be inappropriate to include any real-life instances on this page.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Asian Animation 
  • Bread Barbershop's main character is known as Bread Pitt, a pun on Brad Pitt. Weirdly enough, since Brad Pitt isn't known for being a hairdresser like Bread Pitt is.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, Lord Bao (also known as Master Paopao), an Honorable Elephant who holds court trials, is named after Bao Qing Tien, a famous Chinese politician who lived during the Song Dynasty and is revered nowadays as a Chinese symbol of justice.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes, named after 16th-century theologian John Calvin and 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes. In a similar vein, Calvin's teacher, Mrs. Wormwood, is named after a character in C. S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters. It's unlikely the principal Mr. Spittle is another literary reference.
  • The newspaper comic strip Ink Pen parodied Calvin and Hobbes, with a duo of a boy and his stuffed lion called "Luther and Locke" (after Martin Luther and John Locke).
  • Foxtrot once had a parody strip coincidentally also named "Luther and Locke."
  • Mallard Fillmore: Mallard's friend, Dave, named his son after Rush Limbaugh. It's what led to his wife divorcing him. The title character is himself named after Millard Fillmore, the 13th president of the United States.
  • Popeye: Bluto is named Brutus in the comic strips, after the adoptive son of Julius Caesar.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 54: Steve's younger sisters Grace and Kelly were named after Grace Kelly.
  • The title character of Amélie is named after actress Emily Watson, who was originally intended to play her.
  • In Angel (1984), Kit Carson took his stage name from the famous frontiersman. His original name is mentioned briefly by the lawyer for his estate who is trying to move Kit into a nursing home, but Kit no longer answers to it.
  • Back to the Future Part III:
  • In the 1934 film The Black Cat, newlyweds Peter and Joan Alison intend to spend their honeymoon in the Hungarian spa town of Gömbös, “the pearl of the Carpathian Mountains”. There is no such place, however Gyula Gömbös de Jáfka was the Hungarian prime minister from 1932-36. This gives a whole new meaning to the line “Pistyan used to be all right 10, 15 years ago, but now...Gömbös is the place.”
  • 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). A Running Gag has Hedley correcting anyone who calls him Hedy, to which one person says, "What are you worried about? This is 1874, you'll be able to sue her!"
  • The heroine of the 2021 wuxia, The Bloody Blade of King Lanling, is Duan Mu-Lan, named after another famous Mulan.
  • In the fourth installment of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there would have been a fifth turtle joining called Kirby.
  • 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 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".
  • The Final Destination franchise started with all the surnames in the first movie being derived from horror directors, and all the sequels have at least one of those. Examples include Alex Browning, Kimberly Corman, Lewis Romero, Nick O'Bannon and Candace Hooper.
  • The Fly (1986) borrowed the surname from a Formula One driver for its protagonist (an Ironic Name, given the character suffers from motion sickness), and in the sequel his son outright has the guy's full name: Martin Brundle. In addition, Tritagonist Stathis Borans's first name references Lou Stathis, a Heavy Metal editor who was a fan of the work of this film's writer/director, David Cronenberg.
  • Grease:
    • Rydell High School is named after '50s/'60s teen idol Bobby Rydell.
    • Sandy Olsson shares her surname with Ann-Margret, who was born Ann-Margret Olsson. In the original stage version, she has the Polish-American surname "Dumbrowski," but the film gives her a meaningful Adaptational Name Change. Fittingly, Ann-Margret and Bobby Rydell (the school's namesake) had played love interests in Bye Bye Birdie.
  • 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.
  • House Shark: Frank Roosevelt is named like FDR.
  • 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 at 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. In-universe it's 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.
  • In Minority Report, the three oracles are named Agatha, Arthur, and Dashiell, after the mystery novelists.
  • 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 whose song "Alchemy" provides the film's soundtrack. (Its 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.
  • About Scout: Sam assumes Scout was named after the protagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird, but in fact, she and her sister Lulu were named after Demi Moore's daughters.
  • Bogie from Angel, Angel, Down We Go was unsurprisingly named after Humphrey Bogart.
  • Trouble with the Curve has Mickey, who is a girl named after Mickey Mantle.
  • The hero of Planet Terror is named Wray, aka El Rey (Spanish for "The King"). This could be a reference to Elvis Presley (who was also called "The King"), but it's almost certainly a reference to another famous L. Wray, the rockabilly legend Link Wray.
  • Cynara: Poetry in Motion: Byron, though she's French, happens to be a poet with the same name that a famous English one had decades before.
  • The Faculty: The chemistry teacher played by Jon Stewart is named Edward Furlong.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • Olga Dies Dreaming: Olga's parents, activists who had belonged to the Young Lords, named her after Olga Viscal Garriga, advocate for Puerto Rican independence. Olga’s mother, a radicalized activist herself, looks down on her daughter for not living up to her namesake's ideals.
  • 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).
  • 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 Eschaton Series: The ReMastered in Iron Sunrise seem to be named after notable far-right philosophers. Or people with similar viewpoints; one of them calls herself Blofeld!
  • The real name of one of the protagonists in The Mysterious Benedict Society is George Washington; lampshaded by an other protagonist as soon as she finds out.
  • 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 this 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.
  • Timeline-191 by Harry Turtledove:
    • The slave characters in the alternative history series Timeline-191 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.
    • Jefferson Davis Pinkard, one of many point-of-view characters, was named for the Confederate president (in that universe, the first of an eventual thirteen).
  • 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). The eponymous Soup's legal name is Luther Wesley Vinson, after Martin Luther and John Wesley.
  • 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, a sequel to The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast 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.
  • Flannery O’Connor's "A Few Good Men" features a character named John Wesley. Given the religious themes of the story, it's quite obvious that the character is named after the English theologian who led the Methodist movement in the 18th Century.
  • Will Cardiel from If I Fall, If I Die is named after the skateboarder John Cardiel.
  • Beelzebub in I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level is not the famous one. She just gets her name from the original Beelzebub, and living up to that name causes her no end of stress. (In narration, Azusa compares this to Earth cultures naming their daughters Maria.)
  • Chocoholic Mysteries: In Puppy Puzzle, Aubrey Andrews Armstrong named his dog Montezuma (or Monte for short), a chocolate Labrador, after the famed Aztec emperor and chocolate drinker of the same name.
  • One Cool Friend: The species of penguin Elliot encounters is the Magellanic penguin. He names the one he takes home Magellan. Elliot's father named his tortoise Captain Cook.
  • Kabir from Born Behind Bars is the product of a Maligned Mixed Marriage between a Muslim and a Hindu, so he was named after a saint recognized by both religions.
  • Elphaba, the name given to the future Wicked Witch of the West in Wicked, comes from the initials of Oz creator L. Frank Baum.
  • Hip Barrows from More Than Human was named after Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, by his doctor father.
  • Homer Price: Homer himself, who's named after Homer, a historical figure and famous poet from ancient Greece.
  • In The Secret Life of Kitty Granger, the Nazi sympathizer Henry Lowell's daughter Diana is named after Diana Mitford. Mitford's husband was Oswald Mosley, who in the story is an old friend of Richard Smythe, Diana's godfather and another extremist.
  • Jaine Austen Mysteries: The detective working the case in Murder Gets a Makeover is named Denzel G. Washington. While Jaine doesn't actually ask if he was named after the actor, she does say "Loved you in Training Day" when she first meets him at the crime scene. He does not look amused by this.
  • Hank from The Half-Life of Planets was named after Henry Rollins, and chose his nickname after Hank Williams.
  • I, Jedi: Corran attends the Jedi Praxeum under the name "Kieran Halcyon", after a historical Jedi Knight that Luke found in recovered records who was possibly a distant ancestor. The holocron of Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas recognizes the name—Master Baas apparently knew the real one—causing "Kieran" to have to explain to Tionne that he was named after the historical Kieran.
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer!: King Satan reveals that Satan is a pretty common name for demons in Enta Isla, like how Humans on Earth use the name "Smith" or "Jones". The original Satan that started the trend and had led the Demons in the distant past is a figure that is Shrouded in Myth.
  • Cradle Series: The original patriarch of the Arelius family, the man who would go on to become Ozriel, the Eighth Judge of the Abidan Court, was named "Ozmanthus Tiberian Mereithan Arelius." Variants of these names are speckled throughout the series; the most recent Arelius Monarch was named Tiberian, an old Arelius woman in a side story is named Ozmantha, and of course the main Arelius character is named Eithan. This is how Ozriel was able to disguise himself using his real name.
    Ozriel: Always hated it. Such a mouthful. My mother called me Eithan.
  • In the Frank Einstein series, the main character is a kid scientist named after both Frankenstein and Albert Einstein. His best friends are Watson and Janegoodall. His archenemy is T. Edison. And he has an Uncle Al (Einstein).
  • In the Shadow Children series, the Garner children are Matthew, Mark and Luke; it's also mentioned that their mother wishes she would have had a fourth son to name John.

    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.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Mac's full name is Ronald McDonald. His father intentionally named him this as a joke.
  • 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.
  • On a similar theme to the above, an episode of Taggart had all the characters, bar the main detectives, named after the players of a Scottish Football (soccer) cup winning team who the writer supported. The reference went over of the heads of English, Northern Irish, and Welsh viewers, but not of older Scottish viewers, who spotted it instantly.
  • 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 gate-crashing 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 (2017) is named after Roger "Syd" Barrett of Pink Floyd.
  • Alice Cooper from Riverdale. She goes by her maiden name Smith after her husband's arrest.
  • 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 Los Angeles 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-verse: The franchise likes this.
    • CSI:
      • Grissom was last-named after Gus Grissom, the 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 played with it. Mac Taylor was 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 (2010): 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 (2015) 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 the 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.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "The Star", the survey ship Magellan is named after the 16th Century explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
  • Doctor Who: In "Dragonfire", many of the guest characters are named after famous figures of academic film criticism and theory. Plus Kane and Ace's real name Dorothy.
  • In The Vicar of Dibley episode “Community Spirit”, the eponymous Vicar is informed by her friend Alice that her second cousin is called Reg Dwight and is therefore invited to a fete the Vicar is organizing. On arriving, he reveals that it’s not the first time he’s been mistaken for Elton John.
  • In Supah Ninjas, one minor character is named Katara.
  • Red Dwarf: Arnold Judas Rimmer, named after Judas Iscariot. In-Universe, it’s explained that he got the middle name because his mother was a member of the Church of Judas, which believed Judas switched places with Jesus and was the one crucified, and named him that in Judas’ honor.
  • Castle: Twice with Richard Castle. His birth name, Richard Rodgers, was a blatant reference by his Broadway actress mother to the famous musical theater composer. When he legally changed his name to something more befitting a writer, he took the middle name "Edgar" from Edgar Allan Poe.
    • The episode "Target" has Beckett and Castle questioning a man named Bram Stoker. As he grumpily explains after Castle remarks on how young he looks, the author is a distant relative and his English scholar parents thought it would be cute. He does not agree with them on that.
  • Mimpi Metropolitan: Prima Irama is named after Indonesian celebrities Barry Prima and Rhoma Irama. In-universe, Prima says that he is named as such a prayer that he will become famous too.
  • Babes in the Wood: Caralyn was intended to be named for Marilyn Monroe, but the vicar had a headache the day they named her, leading to her unique name.
  • Anneta from Eisai To Tairi Mou named her son Miltiades, after the general at the Battle of Marathon.
    Vlasses: Tell me about your son. What's his name?
    Anneta: Miltiades.
    Vlasses: After your father?
    Anneta: After the general at Marathon.
  • Invoked on Empire. One of Cookie's friends from prison is nicknamed Poundcake. Her real name? Sara Lee.
  • The titular character in Murphy Brown was named after Eddie Murphy and James Brown.
  • Trigonometry: Kieran and Gemma's cat's name is David Bowie.

    Music 

    Podcasts 
  • Belle from Pokemon: Adventures in the Millennium names almost all of hers after historical figures, usually criminals. The Odd Name Out is Klondike, who's named after the geographical region.
    • In addition, Belle and her partner-turned-rival Starr are named for Belle Starr, following the same naming conventions as Jessie and James and Butch and Cassidy from the Pokémon anime.

    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 and still later one of Hollywood's biggest stars, Dwayne Johnson, aka "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.note 
  • 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.
  • Darby Allin is named after two famous punk rockers: Darby Crash and GG Allin.
  • Averted with Sting. He originally went by "Flash" Borden and later "The Stinger", but announcers kept referring to him as "Sting" and he just went with it. Steve Borden actually owns the trademark to the name "Sting" despite the singer using it first, and the singer has to pay the wrestler to use the name (though it's a very small sum).
  • Christian originally went by "Christian Cage", after Christian Slater and Nicolas Cage.
  • "Superstar" Billy Graham named himself after famous Baptist minister Billy Graham.

    Radio 

    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"...)
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Imperial Guard commander Kubrik Chenkov doesn't really share his namesake's passion for filmmaking, he's a Frontline General who does not tolerate disobedience, to the point where it's said he's summarily executed more of his men than he's shot enemies.

    Theater 

    Video Games 
  • 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 to it as "being possessed by demonic souls."
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons has the two dodo pilots Orville and Wilbur, who are named after The Wright Brothers.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: The Walter Raleigh that's owned by the Factio Pugni is named after the real-life explorer and courtier of Elizabeth I.
  • 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.
  • 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 an Optional 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.
  • Conway's Game of Life features constellations named Beethoven, Chopin, Bach, Schumann, Stravinsky, Mozart, and Bartok.
  • Isaac Clarke from Dead Space — which was mocked by Zero Punctuation. Also Poul and Octavia Clarke, Stross, Diana Le Guin, Dallas, and Vasquez throughout the series.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • The main protagonist Dante shares his name with the author and main character of The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri.
    • Vergil is a recognized alternate spelling of Virgil, Dante's guide in Inferno and Purgatorio, and a poet Dante greatly admired.
    • 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 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's Nero is also opposed to a religious group though in this Nero's case, the religious group he is dealing with is far from innocent.
  • 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, there are two characters named Howard and Nester, after the Nintendo Power comic characters (one of which is already a comic version of "Game Master" Howard Phillips, making him a double reference).
  • 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.
  • Fallout:
    • Colonel Sanders in Fallout 2 takes his name from the Kentucky Fried Chicken founder and mascot.
    • Fallout: New Vegas:
      • Samuel Cooke, the founder of the Powder Gangers, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Guilty Gear:
  • In .hack//G.U. 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 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 eponymous character from Koudelka is named after the Czech photographer Josef Koudelka.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • 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. In turn, Robin Williams named his daughter after the princess, as mention in the Real Life section below. and again in turn, the quirky Sheikah scientist Robbie encountered in Breath of the Wild appears to be named after him.
    • 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.
    • In-universe example with the Link from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, who 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.
    • Breath of the Wild features another in-universe example. All four Divine Beasts are named after characters from their associated races who were allies of the player in past Zelda games and are honored as legendary heroes in the histories of their respective races by the point in the timeline when the game takes place. Urbosa remarks that Vah Naboris was named in honor of the legendary Gerudo Sage Nabooru. According to a Zora monument, Vah Ruta is named after The Sage Princess Ruto. Vah Rudania and Vah Medoh are never specifically stated in the game to be named after Darunia and Medli respectively, but Rudania is an anagram of Darunia and Medoh is too similar to Medli to be a coincidence.
  • 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.
  • LittleBigPlanet has Larry Da Vinci, Marlon Random and Newton.
  • In the Old West chapter of Live A Live, several of the townspeople are named after famous cowboy actors: Clint, Gene and John. Annie is likely named after Annie Oakley.
  • In Mass Effect, Systems Alliance carriers are named for great leaders, artists, and intellectuals in human history. One mentioned by name is SSV Einstein.
  • Mega Man:
    • 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).
    • In the English version of Mega Man X5, all eight Maverick bosses 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. The Skiver is the only Odd Name Out, though it might be a reference to Michael "High in the Sky" Monroe, who recorded a song with GNR. Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 would change the names back to those of the original Japanese release, or at least something close (such as The Skiver, originally Spiral Pegacion, being rechristened Spiral Pegasus).
    • 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.
  • Metal Gear:
  • 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.
  • In Perfect Dark Zero, Chandra Sekhar (her last name isn't given in-game) is likely named after Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, a famous astrophysicist.
  • 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.
  • Pokémon:
    • Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan are named after Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. As a double bonus, their Japanese names, Sawamular and Ebiwalar, are based on Japanese martial arts stars Tadashi Sawamura and Hiroyuki Ebihara. The French name for Hitmonchan is derived from Mike Tyson's last name, while Korea named it Hongsoomon, after Korean boxer Hong Soo-hwan.
    • Similarly, the Japanese names for Abra, Kadabra and Alakazam are based on famous magicians and psychics: Casey (after Edgar Cayce, a clairvoyant), Yungerer (after magician Uri Geller), and Foodin (after magician Harry Houdini). This actually led into trouble when Nintendo got sued by Geller himself because the latter alleged that Kadabra appropriated his name and image. Geller would eventually apologize and renounce the lawsuit 20 years later, on November 28, 2020.
    • Other Pokémon are named after historical rulers: Kangaskhan is a tough kangaroo-reptile-ish Pokémon named after Genghis Khan, and Empoleon shares its name in all languages (and its height!) with Napoléon Bonaparte. The fossil Pokémon Archeops might be named after the pharaoh Cheops of the Great Pyramids fame.
    • 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 electrical engineers Nikola Tesla, John Ambrose Fleming and André-Marie Ampère).
    • In Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Eevee!, the Master Trainers using Zubat and Golbat are named West and Keaton respectively, after Batman actors Adam West and Michael Keaton.
    • The Ghost-type gym leader in Pokémon Sword and Shield, Allister, is named after a pun on his Japanese name ("Onion", a type of allium), but his name might also pull from English occultist Aleister Crowley.
    • Bill, who invented the PC system, or at least the one used in Kanto and Johto, is named after Bill Gates.
  • Psychonauts: Mikhail Bulgakov, the foreign student at Whispering Rock Camp, takes his name from the Russian playwright who wrote The Master and Margarita.
  • One of the technicians in Quake IV is named after the German-Austrian composer Johann Strauss.
  • Quest for Glory II
    • Characters of the thieving persuasion can break into a certain house at night where an old man lives with his four sons. Three are named Kareem, Abdul, and Jabbar, respectively, after the basketball player. The fourth, Kamar, does not fit with this naming structure.
    • There's also a Griffin named Merv, after game show producer Merv Griffin.
  • The Holy Skeletal Fighting Marshals of Rance World are named after famous people of Nazi Germany.
  • Dr. Salvador in Resident Evil 4 may be named after Dr. Salvador Allende, the Chilean president who was deposed by Augusto Pinochet in 1973.
  • Football player Roberto Miura from Rival Schools is most likely named after two famous footballers: legendary Italian player Roberto Baggio, who is quite popular in Japan (also for being a Buddhist), and Kazuyoshi Miura, one of the first Japanese to ever play in a European league.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sly Cooper: The titular protagonist, a Phantom Thief, shares his surname with D. B. Cooper, who infamously hijacked an airplane in 1971, stole $200,000 in ransom, and was ultimately never caught.
  • 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.
  • In the Sword of the Stars novel The Deacon's Tale, one human character is called Margaret Thatcher.
  • The ship where most of the gameplay happens in System Shock 2 is named the Von Braun.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tekken 7 character Josie Rizal is named after José Rizal, national hero of the Philippines.
  • To the Moon: In Impostor Factory, Tobias Reynard's nickname is "Tobi", and according to Quincy, his last name is French for "fox". In other words, he's named after Toby Fox.
  • Toontown: Corporate Clash:
    • Major Player's real name is Dave BruBot, a reference to jazz composer Dave Brubeck.
    • Treekiller's real name is Spruce Campbell.
  • 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.
  • West of Loathing parodies the concept with the inventor of the gun, Terri Gun, and the inventor of the bullet, Chet Bullet.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Ghondor Vandham constantly complains about her name. In Future Redeemed we find out that the first patriarch of the Vandham family, the grandfather of the man who helped found the second City, and the son of N and M, was named Ghondor. Which explains why his distant descendant hates it; it's a male name.
  • In Xenogears the protagonist Fei Fong Wong is named after a real-life Chinese doctor and martial artist (made famous in the West by a Jackie Chan film). His past incarnations as a Contact are all named after famous people too, for instance Kim Kasim (from Kim Jong-Un) and Lacan aka Grahf (from a psychologist named Jack Lacan), except for the first one, which is Abel (as in Cain and Abel, not Niels Abel).
  • The Zork games have 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.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • There is a minor character named Assistant Director Leifeld. He's a comically over-muscled barrel of a man, similar to the way Rob Liefeld tends to draw characters. Despite the slightly different spelling, The Rant clarifies that the Shout-Out is intentional.
    • The Girl Posse at Moperville South (Diane, Lucy, and Rhoda) are are all named after sitcom characters. In order to fit the theme naming without having too obvious of a reveal, Diane's sister is named Rhea, after Rhea Perlman who played Diane's coworker on Cheers.
  • 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.
  • 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 Penny and Aggie, 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.
  • In Penny Arcade, Tycho Brahe is named after an astronomer.
  • In Route 148 , all the towns encountered in the comic used to be named after famous writers.
  • Sheldon The Tiny Dinosaur has a seahorse friend named William Wallace. Considering that she's the only character with a surname, this is obviously a deliberate reference to the Scottish hero.
  • Sleepless Domain:
    • The named members of the Magical Girl team and pop band Team Forte are all named after female musicians who have shared their respective instruments. Forte Lead's name is Roni, which she shares with Venus and the Razorblades' lead guitarist and vocalist Roni Lee; Forte Drums is named Debbi, after The Bangles' drummer Debbi Peterson; and Forte Bass is named Gail for bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, best known for playing alongside David Bowie.
    • Team Alchemical's manager is named Arthur Clark, after prominent science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Mikkel Madsen's prologue ancestor and twin brother are both named Michael Madsen.
  • Wilde Life's protagonist is named after Oscar Wilde. Word of God says that each character is named after somebody, either real or fictional, with an emphasis on literary figures—for example, a ghost is named Sylvia Snyder.
  • 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.")
  • 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.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


Alternative Title(s): Named After Someone Famous

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