Follow TV Tropes

Following

Named After Their Planet

Go To

"I am Sub-Commander T'Pol, science officer of this vessel, a Vulcan from the planet Vulcan."
"And I'm Doctor Phlox. A Denobulan from the planet Denobula."
"So the rest of you are Earthans," said Benervas. "From the planet Earth."
"Err...no, we're humans."
"With a small 'h'," muttered T'Pol.
Farce Contact, a Star Trek: Enterprise Parody Fic.

The name of an alien race will almost always be derived from the name of their home planet. This trope seems to have started with fictional creatures from a real planet or star; the aliens hail from Mars or Polaris, so it made sense to call these creatures Martians or Polarisoids. But by now it goes beyond that, into cases where the aliens' home world is every bit as fictional as the creatures themselves. This trope is the reason why, as detailed in Humans by Any Other Name, aliens will tend to call the human race by a word like "Earthling."

Advertisement:

Bear in mind, of course, that there is some logic to all this. We Puny Earthlings do, after all, refer to our nationality as being a variation on the root word of our country's name (technically it's often the other way around, linguistically). For aliens, though, the name derived from the planet is usually used to refer to a species as a whole rather than just those individuals who are actually from that planet.

May be an odd side effect of Translation Convention or Translator Microbes. Often a side effect of a Planet of Hats.

Also applies to humans on occasion, if a work refers to humans as Terrans, our homeworld as Planet Terra, or both. See also Species Surname.


Advertisement:

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragonball Z: Used with the Namekians, but averted with the Saiyans, whose planet is called Vegeta, named after the Saiyan King. And before he renamed it, it was called "Plant". Dragon Ball Super further reveals that the original Saiyan homeworld was called "Sadala"; they moved to Vegeta after Sadala was blown up in a civil war.
  • Macross: Zolans come from Zola, Ragnans from Ragna, etc.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: Subject of a gag. When Tenchi first meets Sasami, he immediately assumes that she's come from a planet called Sasami. Why he jumps to this conclusion is a bit of a headscratcher, though he was having kind of a bad day and probably wasn't thinking straight.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • Superman:
    • Most alien species are named in this fashion, such as the Thanagarians from Thanagar, the Rannians from Rann, and the Tamaranians from Tamaran.
    • Averted with the Lizarkons, who are also from Thanagar.
    • Also averted with the New Gods, who come from the planets New Genesis and Apokoplis (though you do occasionally hear "Apokoliptian" used as an adjective.)
    • Played with with Maltusians. While they do come from Maltus, their descendants take various forms of this trope. The Zamorans, leaders of the Star Saphires, live on the planet Zamoran. The Controllers come from a nameless binary star system, and finally, the Guardians of the Universe live on Oa.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Marvel tends to avert this except with minor races like the Poppupians (from the planet Poppup), although in a later retcon the already named Skrulls were said to have originated from a planet called Skrullos — which however was not the planet on which the Skrull emperor or empress lived.
    • Averted with the Skrulls' long-time nemeses the Kree, whose originating planet was called Hala; the Shi'ar, whose throneworld is called Chandilar; and the Technarchy, who come home to breed on the planet Kvch.
    • Zig-Zagged with the Symbiotes — their planet was eventually revealed to be named "Klyntar" and subsequently, the species' proper name was also "Klyntar." Subverted with the reveal that "Klyntar" is actually their word for "Cage." Their planet is actually a prison for the Eldritch Abomination that created them: Knull. Presumably, this trope was applied by other species rather than the symbiotes themselves.

    Fan Works 
  • Bait and Switch (STO):
    • Averted with the Pe'khdar, a species created for the fic. They originally came from a world called Dar Klatus that they destroyed in a nuclear war.
    • Beat the Drums of War establishes via a Precursor that in ancient times the Bajorans referred to themselves as Insh'alhalans. This was millennia before one kingdom, Bajora, began wars of conquest; the implication is that the names changed after that and Bajora named the planet after itself.
  • Intelligence Factor: The "humans" from Pokémon are Human Aliens called Pokérinians, from the planet Pokérin. Beeheeyem are known as Ohbem on their homeworld of Ohba.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger: Played with. Darth Nihilus refers to the humans of Remnant as "Remnantians" since he's from a setting where naming one's ethnicity after their home planet is standard practice. However, Remnant's humans simply refer to themselves as "humans" because, as far as they know, they're the only humans that are around.
  • Reimagined Enterprise: The Romulans get this because the name is said to be a human codename derived from an older human arbitrary label for their star on old starmaps which drew upon mythological names. Also with other races there are sometimes attempts to justify this, for example saying that that race has many languages and doesn't have a single common name for its homeworld, so humans just name the world after the race.
  • Star Wars Paranormalities Trilogy lampshades and deconstructs this trope with the planet Felucia, which has two native sapient species, and both of which had the name "Felucian" in official works. According to the narration, the name "Felucian" was often associated with the Kameksu (the species introduced in The Clone Wars) since they were encountered by pioneers before the Dendroba (the species introduced in The Force Unleashed). This practice is stated to be incredibly contentious In-Universe.
    Narration: Both species were interchangeably called "Felucian" sometimes, but the name was usually associated with the Kameksu due to what some derisively called "first contact syndrome".
Advertisement:

    Film 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: There are many examples, including the Xandarians from the planet Xandar, the Aakon’s from Aakon, Sovereign from Sovereign, Easik from Easik, Asgardians from Asgard, Korbinites from Korbin, Skrulls from Skrullos, and Sakaarans from Sakaar. Though they also have some aversions like the Hurctarians from Arago-7, the Kree from Hala, Kronan from Ria, or the Frost Giants from Jotunheim.
  • Star Wars: While the Legends and current expanded universes contain many straight examples, the movies themselves mostly contain aversions, such as the Jawas and Tusken Raiders of Tatooine or the Ewoks of Endor IV. Generally, the movies introduce more species than they do worlds, which then tend to become examples of this when side works name their homeworlds by trimming down their species names.
    • Some of the few movie-only straight examples are the Geonosians of Geonosis and the Kaminoans of Kamino. A more unusual case are the two native species of Utapau, the Utai and Pau'ans.
    • The natives of Naboo are an unusual case. The alien natives are called Gungans; it's the local humans who call themselves the Naboo.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A variation. The aliens hail from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania. They're known as Transylvanians.
  • Robot Monster has Ro-Man, the Ro-man, from Ro-Man.

    Literature 
  • Animorphs: Usually inverted — standard practice is to refer to a planet by the name of the dominant species, such as "the Andalite homeworld," "the Hork-Bajir homeworld," and so on. Humans are unusual in giving their planet a proper name. The only time this trope seems to be played straight is with the Leerans from the planet Leera.
  • Arrivals from the Dark: Largely averted. The advanced races typically come from worlds whose names have nothing to do with their racial names. For example, the Lo'ona Aeo come from Kullat (although they have since voluntarily become Space People), the Teruxi are from Dingana-P'how, the Haptors are from Harshabaim-Utartu, the Dromi are from Fytarla-Ata (although both names are said to be approximations of the sounds used by the Dromi themselves), and the Kni'lina are from Yezdan (which is also the name of their religion's prophet). In Trevelyan's Mission series, many of the primitive locals on planets discovered and studied by humans and other races are frequently named after their planets but only by the advanced races (e.g. Osierans from Osier, Arkhangs from Arkh). Their own names for their races aren't usually mentioned.
  • Catteni: The Catteni come from the planet Catten. One of the characters lampshades this when they discover the capital of the planet is called Cattena.
  • Dune has the Ixians from Ix and the Tleilaxu/Bene Tleilax from Tleilax.
  • Espada Da Galaxia subverts this by having both Terrestrials and Metalians call themselves "humans" on first contact. They agree to call themselves after their origin planets thereafter.
  • The Forever War: The aliens are dubbed Taurans since they were first discovered in a star system that is in the constellation Taurus (as seen from Earth). Their real homeworld (and name) are unknown.
  • Hayven Celestia: Inhabited planets are named after the dominant species with the suffix -tec. For instance, the krakun homeworld is Krakuntec while the geroo homeworld was called Gerootec, before the sulfur-breathing krakun terraformed it and renamed it Krakuntec IX.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Vogons come from the planet Vogsphere.
  • Illegal Aliens: The aliens refer to humans as "Dirtians", because their translators keep converting "Earth" (and "Terra", for that matter) into the word "Dirt".
    "They are so primitive they still call their homeworld 'Dirt'."
    "Don't your people call your homeworld "The Place That Holds Our Roots in Safety?"
    "I refuse to allow you to change the subject like that!"
  • Known Space: The asteroid belt miners call themselves "Belters".
  • K-PAX: Initially played straight but then averted — prot refers to himself as a K-PAXian, but later clarifies that his species are called "dremers" and refers to several other creatures from his planet as K-PAXians too.
  • Lensman: Notably consistent. Earth is always referred to as "Tellus" and humans as "Tellurians" in just the same way that all of the other species are named after their planets of origin.
  • The Osmerian Conflict: The Osmerians and Silicians are named after their planets Osmeria and Silicia respectively.
  • Perry Rhodan: Most species are named after their homeworld, even if individuals were born on another planet. This extends to subspecies from settlerworlds as well, if they differ genetically. An example would be the Oxtornes from the planet of the same name, a genetically adapted subspecies of humans. That said, humans refer to themselves as Terrans first and humans second, if ever.
  • Rihannsu: Inverted. In the Romulans' language, their homeworld Romulus is ch'Rihan, or "(homeworld) of the Declared": the Rihannsu actually named the planet after themselves rather than the other way around. The Romulan Way also establishes that the names "Romulus" and "Romulan" are pre-First Contact Federation inventions that stuck.
  • Sector General: Everyone calls their race "human" and their homeworld "Earth" when run through the translator. Every race is given a four-letter code that describes their environment and requirements. Generally, the other species are named after their world but humans are just called "Earth-humans" suggesting that either Humans Are Special or they're just unimaginative.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe and Legends:
    • Straight examples are quite common, such as the Toydarians of Toydaria, the Duros of Duro, the Devaronians of Devaron, and so on. In an exaggerated case, the planet Elom has two native sapient species named after it — the Eloms and the Elomin. Some names are more atypical variations, such as the Barabel of Barab I, the Bimms of Bimmisaari, the Bothans of Bothawui, the Kiffar of Kiffu, and the Noghri of Honoghr.
    • Straight aversions are also common, such as the Wookiees of Kashyyyk, the Aqualish of Ando, the Twi'leks of Ryloth, and the Yevetha of N'zoth.
    • Some cases are inverted, with a species naming a world after themselves:
      • Nal Hutta was bought out by the Hutts, after their original homeworld of Varl was rendered uninhabitable, who renamed it after themselves. It had originally been called Evocar.
      • The Neimodians began as an offshoot of Duros who established a colony on the planet Neimodia, and named themselves after it. They then took up the habit of naming all their other colony worlds, such as Cato Neimoidia, Deko Neimoidia, and Koru Neimoidia, after themselves.
    • A variation in the New Jedi Order — the Yuuzhan Vong originated on the (long-destroyed) planet Yuuzhan'tar (and when they reshape Coruscant in its image, they reuse the name), but they are neither named for the planet nor vice-versa. Rather, both species and planet are named for the chief god of the Vong pantheon, Yun-Yuuzhan.
    • The Trandoshans are an unusual example, due to some inconstancy in the name of their homeworld. Depending on the source work, it's either Trandosha, Dosha, or Hsskhor.
    • Another unusual case concerns the shared homeworld of the Mon Calamari and Quarren. Early human explorers encountered the former species first, since Quarren are generally less inclined to leave the ocean, let alone the planet, and as such named it Mon Cala. The planet's natives, including the Mon Calamari, call it Dac instead.
  • This Immortal: The Vegans are named after Vega, the star their home planet belongs to.
  • Worldwar:
    • The Race are in the habit of referring to other species by the name they give their star systems. To them, Earth is "Tosev 3"note , and humans are duly dubbed Tosevites. They've also done this to the two races they've conquered. Their names for themselves are unknown, as they're always referred to by their Race names of Rabotevs (of Rabotev 2) and Halessi (of Haless 1).
    • Subverted, though, by the Race themselves. They call their homeworld "Home", but they call their own species "the Race".
  • Young Wizards simultaneously uses and averts this trope; almost every species (or, every dominant species, anyway — this isn't an issue with the other wizarding species on Earth, of which we see whales and cats) calls themselves "humans" and their planet "Earth" in their own language, but, after this is noted in High Wizardry, they're usually referred to by names derived from their homeworld's name. It gets a Call-Back occasionally, such as the conversation at the start of Wizards at War, when Roshaun objects to being called a humanoid: "I am the human. You're the humanoids."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • Most of the alien races featuring prominently in the story arc fit this trope (Minbari/Minbar, Centauri/Centauri Prime, Narn/Narn Homeworld or Narn). The Shadows stand out as an aversion with "Z'ha'dum".note 
    • Played with the Centauri: their homeworld was originally named Durana, but they later renamed it Centauri Prime after themselves, and Earth Alliance renamed Alpha Centauri (or Proxima) to simply Proxima after colonization to avoid confusion on the ownership.
  • Defiance: The seven Votan species originated in the Votanis system, but as far as specific homeworlds go only the Irathients and Gulanee play this one straight (unless one counts the terraformed Castithan colony of Casti). In fact Irath was home to the Liberata and Sensoths too as well as the Irathients. Castithans and Indogenes originated on Daribo and the Volge first showed up on Omec but are supposedly from somewhere else. Additionally, other sources claim that Casti is not a terraformed planet but Irath, after it was conquered by the Castithans, who then renamed it after themselves. Played straight with the Omec, whose original homeworld is called Omec.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Often averted. The Daleks are from Skaro, the Cybermen from Mondas, the Time Lords from Gallifrey… but also often applied. Sontarans are from Sontar.
    • Except natives of Gallifrey are sometimes Gallifreyans, playing it straight. Sometimes it's just another name for Time Lords, other times it seems to be two separate descriptors (Time Lords being the ones that use time travel). The episode "Listen" confirms that only a Gallifreyan who graduates from the Academy can be called a Time Lord.
    • Lampshaded with the Slitheen, who correct the cast, stating that it's their last name, not their species. Sometimes the name is applied to the species as well, especially in fandom, which is probably partly because their correct name, Raxacoricofallapatorians, is a mouthful.
    • In the Expanded Universe, Sontar is an inversion: a general named Sontar conquered the planet, had all future members of the species be his clones and re-named the world and species after himself.
    • The Ood and the Sensorites play this trope straight, as they come from the planets Oodsphere and Sensphere, respectively.
  • Earth: Final Conflict: The Jaridians come from Jaridia, although it may not be their original homeworld, given that they used to be the same species as the Taelons. After the split, the Taelons settled another world in the Q'ruu'faa system of the Ma'hu'ra'va galaxy, calling it Taelon. This makes it the reverse case. This was the Taelon homeworld for hundreds of millions of years. According to the final season, the original Atavus homeworld is still out there, while Jaridia was off-handedly mentioned to have imploded, for some reason. Since the Atavus are the progenitors of both Jaridians and Taelons, it can be counted as their homeworld as well.
  • My Favorite Martian:
    • Interesting subversion. "Uncle Martin" always refers to himself as a Martian, as does Tim O'Hara — however, that's in English. There is an actual Martian language as evidenced in several episodes. The audience what Martians calls themselves in their native Martian.
    • Another subversion is Uncle Martin's name; a much more personal example of being named after your planet. Martin is so in the first episode. Tim O'Hara stumblingly introduces him as a Martian, before correcting himself and callinf him "Martin". In the episode We Love You, Miss Pringle, Uncle Martin tells Tim O'Hara that his real name is Exigius 12 1/2.
  • Stargate-verse:
    • Almost completely averted — except for the Asurans. And, of course, except for the displaced human cultures — they may be called Abydonians, Eurondans or Tollans, but they're still humans. All of which is basically the same as calling someone from New York a "New Yorker" or someone from Germany a "German".
    • In one episode, a human alien refers to SG-1 as Earthens. Jonas Quinn then "corrects" her to Earthlings. Otherwise, humans from Earth go by the Goa'uld name Tau'ri to distinguish from other humans. It is implied that this name was used for the planet as well, but as both names were assigned by the Goa'uld on discovery, this doesn't quite count.
    • While one might assume that the asgard hail from Othala, it's not explicitly stated that this is their homeworld. In fact, it's not even stated that Ida is their home galaxy. Given that they can galaxy-hop in minutes, it's not inconceivable to assume they could have come from yet another galaxy.
  • Star Trek:
    • The vast majority of the species are named after their homeworld. They do have exceptions, like Humans (Terra), Klingons (Qo'nos), Borg (homeworld unknown as no origin story was ever told for them), the Vorta and Jem'Hadar (both created by genetic engineering)...
    • The Romulans are notable for calling themselves after a world they didn't originate on. They left Vulcan 2000 years ago after refusing to follow Surak's philosophy, found a habitable planet, called it Romulus, and changed their own name. However, some Expanded Universe novels claim that this is Translation Convention by humansnote .
  • Tracker: Every alien race. Cirronians (Cirron), Desserians (Desseria), Enixians (Enixia), Nodulians (Nodul), Orsians (Orsus), and Vardians (Varda).

    Tabletop Games 
  • ofBleak World: The Martians and Venusians play this straight. Averted however, with the Princesses whose old planet was called "the Court".
  • d20 Modern: d20 Future both plays this trope straight and averts it, seemingly at random.
    • Aleerins hail from the planet Aleer, in the Vax Aleer system.
    • Dralasites hail from the planet Terledrom, in the Fromeltar system
    • Fraal hail from the planet Yrvuun, system unnamed.
    • Sesheyans hail from the planet Sheya, in the Vechlar system.
    • T'sa hail from the planet Ki'inroh, in the T'saka system.
    • Vrusk hail from the planet K'zah-Kit, in the K'aken-Kar system
    • Weren hail from the planet Kurg, in the Taragwa system.
    • Yazirians hail from the planet Hakosoar, in the Scree Fron system.
    • Dhamrin hail from the planet Carspyr, system unnamed.
    • Medurr hail from the planet Tarasla, system unnamed.
    • Sathar hail from the planet XJ-3, beyond the Xagig Dust Nebula.
  • Rocket Age: Nearly every race, including the humans, is known by the name of its home planet or moon. The only exceptions are the Robomen (because they are made as tools and servants) and the Lizard Monkeys of Venus (because no-one knows they're sapient and there's another sapient race on Venus).
  • Traveller: Averted. Aslan got their name because First Contact was made by a ship with a Turkish-speaking crew that thought they looked like lions and so gave them the Turkish name for lion.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • While very few homeworlds are known (the Eldar's have been eaten by the Eye of Terror, the Ork homeworlds are long lost to the mists of time, and Chaos doesn't have one), the Tyranids are an aversion: they are extragalactic, and are named for the first planet that they officially encountered the Imperium of Man on, Tyran.
    • The Tau play this much straighter, as their homeworld is called "T'au".
    • The Space Wolves are a strange case, in that they're actually called the Wolves of Fenris (their homeworld) and refer to themselves as such. Everyone else knows them as the Space Wolves due to an In-Universe case of "Blind Idiot" Translation.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE: The Matoran are named for Mata Nui, the planet-sized robot they live inside. In older sources, however, they were known as "Tohunga" instead.

    Video Games 
  • The Elder Scrolls has a regional example with the races of Akavir, a continent far to the east of Tamriel (where every game in the series to date has taken place). Making this especially notable is that none of the races of Tamriel share their name with their homeland, while this is exclusively the case for the Akaviri races. The Kamal ("Snow Hell"), Tsaesci ("Snake Palace"), Ka Po' Tun ("Tiger-Dragon's Empire"), and Tang Mo ("Thousand Monkey Isles") are each regions of Akavir and those who live within are called that name as a race. Given that none of the Akaviri races have shown up in-game in the flesh, it is unknown what they call themselves. Additionally, this potentially offers a solution to the Tsaesci's Multiple-Choice Past, where some sources describe them as Snake Vampires with serpentine lower bodies while others describe them as "men little different from those in Tamriel." If "Tsaesci" is indeed a place name and not the name of a race, the "Tsaesci" could include citizens of multiple species.
  • FreeSpace: The Vasudans' homeworld is called Vasuda Prime. Humans are called Terrans, although Earth is never referred to as Terra.
  • Galactic Civilizations: This is applied to major and minor races (although you're given the option of renaming your homeworld in the sequel). The only exceptions are the Thalans, whose in-game homeworld Thala is actually a colony, considering they come from another universe. The Yor were created by the Iconians but Turned Against Their Masters and forced the Iconians to flee. The Iconians' in-game homeworld is New Iconia, while Iconia is in Yor hands. The game also gives you the option of renaming any race or just create your own from scratch.
  • Halo mostly averts this, with only the Sangheili (Elites) and Yonhet having similarly-named homeworlds (Sanghelios and Yonhe, respectively).
  • Homeworld plays with the trope a bit, at least in the first game. The canon POV faction call themselves the Kushan and live on a planet they call Kharak... but that's not their planet of origin. The titular Homeworld is named Hiigara, the word in their culture's ancestral language for "home", after an archaeological dig turned up a fragment of a plaque or tablet on which had been carved a starmap pointing to a region of space that was labelled as such. What their ancestors called the place while they were living there never really comes up, but apparently they decided to make it official and are referred to as "Hiigarans" in all subsequent games.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Averted by the default species and planet names. By default, species names are always non-capitalized and unrelated to their homeworlds — the asari come from Thessia, the turians from Palaven, the salarians from Sur'Kesh, the batarians from Kar'shan, the krogans from Tuchanka, the rachni from Suen, and so on.
    • The volus' own naming habits play this trope more or less straight. They have a clan-based society, and seem to consider members of other species as belonging to the "clan" of their homeworld, so they're often heard calling humans "Earth-clan". Blasto's volus superior calls him "Kahje-clan", and the volus that lost his credit chit in the second game refers to quarians —- who live as Space Nomads after being driven from their homeworld — as "clanless". Some more polite volus refer to the quarians as "Migrant-clan", after the Migrant Fleet on which all quarians live.
  • Master of Orion:
    • The game allows you to name your homeworld, although it still offers the default name. The only race that fits this trope are the Meklar, whose homeworld is Meklon, the Gnolam, hailing from Gnol, and the Trilarians of Trilar. The other races have noticeably different homeworld names from their race name. Examples include the Klackon from Kholdan, the Sakkra from Sssla, the Bulrathi from Ursa, the Darlok from Nazin, the Elerians from Draconis, and, of course, the humans from Sol.
    • Additionally, there are the extinct Orions, whose homeworld of Orion is coveted by many. There are also the Antareans of Antares. However, the planet that is attacked at the end of MOO II turns out to have been just a colony, not Antares. The third game takes place after the true Antareans arrive and promptly kick everyone's collective asses. The All There in the Manual backstory establishes that Antares and Orion were actually named after the races that lived there; both were previously from the "Center One" system, and although their history before then is lost neither was native to there either.
  • Metroid: Subverted. The basic Space Pirates that Samus faces are sometimes called Zebesians despite the fact that, unlike the Chozo, they aren't native to Zebes (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption shows that they call the planet they're actually from Urtraghus). Rather, they just call themselves Zebesians in a manner that one of the series' developers has compared to European settlers calling themselves Americans.
  • Saints Row IV: The alien menace, the Zin, hail from the planet Zin as emissaries of the Zin Empire. Additionally, every Zin has a name beginning with "Zin" (Zinyak, Zinjai, etc). Remarkably creative, these Zin...
  • Star Control uses this pretty consistently. The only species named for their homeworld are the (extinct at game start) Algolites (on Algol, duh) and they're named as such by your exploration team.
    • We never find out the name of the Ur-Quan homeworld. Considering it's on the other side of the galaxy, no one really cares. The Syreen originally came from Syra, but their homeworld was destroyed and, after they capitulated to the Ur-Quan, the latter found them a new habitable world called Gaia.
    • Humans are a partial exception, since their ship is named Earthling Cruiser, instead of Human Cruiser.
  • StarCraft is on and off. The Zerg from Zerus play it almost straight, while the Terrans from Earth are an indirect example, and the Protoss from Aiur are a complete aversion.
  • Star Ocean: Done to distinguish the various Human Aliens from each other, such as Expellians from Expel, Elicoorians from Elicoor II, and Lemurisians from Lemuris. There are two exceptions. One is when multiple sapient races evolved on the same planet, since calling someone a Roakian doesn't clarify whether that person is a Fellpool, a Lesser Fellpool, a Highlander, or a Featherfolk. The other exception is when a race actively takes a new name for themselves, such as the Morphus refusing to call themselves by the original name of their race, the Nedians.
  • Super Robot Wars: The Balmarians hail from the planet Balmar.
  • Sword of the Stars: Averted. The Liir (their name means "Choir") come from the water world of Muur, the Tarka come from Kao'Kona ("Fortress of the Gods"), and the Hivers hail from Tcho'to'pre. The Zuul are an artificial species with no known homeworld, although it's assumed they were deployed as bioweapons on Iridia 5 (which is the human name for the planet; the Zuul have no name for it). The Morrigi homeworld is unknown. The Suul'ka is a name given by the Liir, meaning "Winter Mind" (they're actually Liir Elders, who have gone insane and enslaved their own species in order to avoid death by Square-Cube Law).
  • Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon uses a variant of this: The Procyons come from the planet 'Laar' but are named after the star 'Procyon', the nearest star to their homeworld.
  • Warcraft:
    • For the most part, this trope is averted despite the many planets featured in the setting. Ethereals come from K'aresh, eredar come from Argus, aranasi come (probably) from Rancora. The only exception are the nathrezim, who come from Nathreza.
    • Subverted with the draenei. While they did live on the planet Draenor for many years, they are not actually native to it (that would be orcs, ogres and a few other sapient species, none of which were named after their world). Rather than naming themselves after their (new) homeworld, they named the homeworld after themselves: draenei means exile in their language, and Draenor, in turn, is Exile's Refuge.
    • In old RPG lore (that has since then become non-canon), Azeroth was named after the ancient human tribe called the Azotha. Now, the only Azeroth creatures that are named after the planet are the Azerite elementals, Rock Monsters spawned from Azeroth's crystallized magical lifesblood.
    • This trope is played straight for alternate dimensions, mostly because their names are descriptive. Voidwalkers come from the Void, while the helarjar come from Helheim.
  • WildStar: Averted with all the major races other than the Cassians, who are humans from Cassus. Technically the other major human faction came originally from Cassus too, but the Exiles have been wandering space for 300 years and they're simply known as "humans".
  • X averts this most of the time. The Boron homeworld transliterates as Nishala, and the Teladi homeworld is Ianamus Zura. The Argon capital is Argon Prime, but that's a case of the planet being named after the faction rather than the other way around: the Argon are displaced humans from Earth who renamed Sonra-4 after their leader Nathan R. Gunne. The Split are from the planet Hodie according to their legends (some aren't sure if it exists, the others think it suffered a nuclear war). The Terran homeworld is Earth, obviously. The Paranid play the trope straight: their homeworld is Paranid Prime. Nobody knows the name of the Kha'ak homeworld, and the Xenon homeworld is technically Earth since they're an entire race of insane terraforming drones first built by the Terrans back in the 22nd century. In a Double Subversion, Argon exobiologists gave the Split and Boron scientific names derived from their homeworld. The Boron are Sepioteuthis nishalaensis, and the Split are Homo hodiensis.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X: Averted with most species. The Nopon are from Mira, the Zaruboggan from Bedun, the Prone from Tormein, the Marnuck from Wyran, and the Milsaadi from Bidwoi. The only species to play it straight are the Wrothians of Wroth, and possibly the Qlurians (it's suggested that Qlu is the name of the star system, not the planet, which would make this a variant example).

    Webcomics 
  • Captain Ufo: The Crantorians come from Crantor, the Amrites come from Ambrosia and the Neseans come from Nesea.
  • Grrl Power: A subversion is given a Lampshade Hanging. An alien species from the planet Moran call themselves the Monarans; one character wonders why they didn't use "Morans", before realizing what that sounds like.
    Sydney: The waitress is a Monaran?
    Dabbler: That's what she sounded like from your description.
    Sydney: You said their home planet is Mora? Why don't they call themselves Morans? Nope, I heard it! Withdrawn.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: As a parody, a holo-simulator features Jupiter Moon Martians — they're natives of Mars who emigrated to Jupiter's moon, Ganymede.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: Nemesites come from a planet orbiting the Nemesis Star. They usually call humans Earthlings.
  • It's Walky!: The Aliens are called that because they're from the planet Alien. Yes, they're alien Aliens from Alien. By comparison, the Martians are from outside the solar system. They got this name because they used to have a colony on Mars.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Kevyn once asked Ebbirnoth why they called his species "uniocs" when his homeworld was "Oth". He replied that being called "one-eyed" was better than "others."

    Web Original 
  • AsteroidQuest has the species known as "Belenos" or "Belenosians", a justified example since, their dystopian civilization having bombed itself back into the stone age, they were named by humans. More specifically, humans named their star system Belenos (after a Celtic sun god), the planet Belenos IV from its position, and the natives after it.
  • Orion's Arm: Humanity's diverse descendants, sapient creations, and further descendants thereof — that is, the beings who can, eventually, trace their origins back to Earth — are referred to collectively as the terragens.

    Western Animation 
  • Exo Squad: Neosapiens always refer to Homo sapiens sapiens as "Terrans." This works because the Neosapiens were created on Mars and regard it as their homeworld, and it is simpler than using the full species name. "Human" refers to both species.
  • Futurama: As with many other science fiction tropes, this is used, lampshaded, and played with throughout the show.
    • All inhabitants of Earth (human or otherwise) are called "Earthicans".
    • Amy has been called a Martian. She's a human who was born on Mars. It's the Native Martians who are a separate species.
    • Actual species names include Decapodians (Decapod 10), Amphibiosans (Amphibios 9), Neptunians, Omicronians (Omicron Persei 8), Osirians (Osiris 4), Amazonians (Amazonia) and Cygnoids (Cygnos 5). The Nibblonians are a notable exception, originating on the Planet Eternium.
  • Invader Zim:
  • The Irkens are from Irk.
    • Zim follows a version of the trope himself: before landing on Earth he referred to its inhabitants as "Earthenoids", and referred to the extinct Martians as "Marsoids".
    • The species from planet Vort are referred to as Vorts. Averted with the creatures from Blorch, which are called the Slaughtering Rat People.
  • Jelly Jamm: The residents of Planet Jammbo are known as Jammbonians.
  • Ready Jet Go!: The Bortronians are named after their star, Bortron. The planets in that system are named Bortron 1, Bortron 2, and so on.
  • Thunder Cats
    • The ThunderCats were the elite warriors/nobility of the Thunderian people on their home planet of, surprise, surprise, Thundera. It doesn't stop there; the word "thunder" shows up a lot when stuff regarding that species gets involved. Ah, cartoons of The '80s...
    • This is also averted with the Mutants, who hailed from Plundarr.
    • In the reboot, Thundera is the name of the kingdom they live in. The real name of the planet is Third Earth.
  • South Park: An extreme version is used where not only are the inhabitants of an alien planet called Marklars, but all marklars are replaced with the marklar "marklar".
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks has many examples carried over from the broader Star Trek franchise, but it's Inverted with the Pakleds, who refer to their homeworld as Pakled Planet.
  • Transformers: Cybertronians are from the planet Cybertron.
  • Young Justice: Played with. Superboy objects to Sardath referring to their squad as "Earthlings", on the ground that he's a Half-Human Hybrid and M'gann is a Martian. Sardath responds that they are from Earth, though, so the name still fits.

    Real Life 
  • The only sapient species we know of, the human race, has its current English name from the Latin adjective "humanus" by way of French; it is also etymologically linked to the Latin word humus, which refers to the organic part of soil in both Latin and English. The ultimate origin is thought to be Proto-Indo-European dhǵhem- which means "earth". Furthermore, in biblical Hebrew, the word for "man," Adam, comes from the word for "earth," Adama. Both words mean "earth" in the sense of soil, rather than the planet, but the planet derives its name from that sense, and "earth" was used as a translation for the Latin terra in all its meanings from very early on. So, really, humans essentially are named for our planet, just not in the same language.
  • Averted in Russian, with the word for human — человек (chelovek) has no roots in common with the word Земля (Zemlya) — Earth (the lower-case земля has the same meaning as lower-case "earth"). Of course, "zemlyanin" (Earthling) is used heavily in science fiction (the Russian word for "humans" is also frequently used to mean "people," which isn't exclusive to our species).

Top