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"Marty, such a nice name."
Lorraine, Back to the Future

The parents' decision to name a child is made for them because they are informed of their offspring's future self, and the name of that future self, due to some sort of insight into the future.

For instance, when a woman's baby's daddy time-travels from the future back to the 1980s to protect her from a killbot. Or when a father knows what to name his daughter because she comes back in time to say, "Hi, I'm your future daughter named Lulu." Or a psychic tells mom and dad about their future son, Abobo. Or the virgin Mary being told by an angel about her upcoming pregnancy with baby Jesus, making this one Older Than Feudalism.

Usually a form of Stable Time Loop, unless time travel is not involved, such as when a woman has a psychic link with her unborn child.

Not the same thing as Namedar.


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    Comic Books 
  • Justified in ElfQuest because elf mothers communicate telepathically with their foetuses, and get to know possible powers or personality traits to name them after.
  • The Masters of the Universe: Revelation prequel comic has He-Man going back in time to learn how to defeat the Orlax Of Primeria. He realizes that the creature probably got its name because King Grayskull heard future He-Man call it that.
  • A variant in The Sandman (1989): Lyta Hall gives birth to a son, but doesn't name him for a while. Dream visits her and refers to her child as "Daniel". She looks at her son and muses, "Daniel?" In later appearances, it's shown she goes with it.


  • The Bible, Luke 1, has two examples:
    • An angel orders Zechariah to name his next son John. When he disbelieves that his wife was even pregnant, the angel gives him a bad case of laryngitis until Zechariah eventually writes on a writing tablet that the child's name will be John.
    • Another angel tells a virgin named Mary that she is about to give birth to a son and name him Jesus. There are a few others, not the least of which were the children of Hosea, with such meaningless names as (translated from Hebrew) 'not my people' and 'not your God,' just before God was to send the Hebrews into exile following a foreign conquest.
  • The The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids story Family Business features a rare inversion: faced with their daughter from the future who is temporarily mute, Jenny and Thymon figure out her name simply by deciding on a name for their as-yet-unborn child.
  • In Once a Witch, Tamsin is so named because she went back in time, met her grandmother, and said her name was Tamsin.
  • In Building Blocks by Cynthia Voigt, a boy named Brann accidentally goes back in time and befriends his father as a ten-year-old. He comes to realize his father named him after this childhood friend, whereas before it had been a mystery where he'd come up with a name no one had heard of and why he was so uncharacteristically insistent on using it when Brann was born.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, episode "Allison from Palmdale" - Cameron's visage is based on a girl from the future named Allison. Cameron goes back in time and suffers a bit of Identity Amnesia, making her believe that she actually is Allison. Cameron calls Allison's mom and asks for help, but Allison's mom says that she doesn't have a daughter. At least not yet, because she is pregnant, and Allison's mom says that Allison is a "very pretty name."
  • Charmed at least takes care to explain where the name came from before time travel became involved.
    • Phoebe gets one when she time travels to meet her pregnant mother, who remarks how obvious it is that she would choose another P name and that "it's not too late to change it." She also briefly says that she must have named Phoebe after her favorite aunt.
    • Piper and Leo's second son is named Chris, and the only reason they know is because he came back in time. It is briefly mentioned that in the unaltered timeline he was named after his paternal grandfather.
    • Piper and Leo's third child, Melinda, is named after their daughter from an alternate future, who was named after Melinda Warren, the founder of their family who Piper met and befriended back in Season 1.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Let's Kill Hitler" we discover that Amy Pond named her daughter Melody after her best friend Mels. Who turns out to be ... her daughter Melody.
    • River Song got her name from the Doctor, who got her name from a future version of River. The name's origin is explained, though. Just be warned: Spoilers! River is Melody Pond's third and final regeneration, and the name "River Song" comes from a mistranslation of "Melody Pond". In other words, she got her name from herself, twice.
  • In the Norwegian children's TV series Broderne Dal og spektralsteinerne, three time-travelling brothers end up having an adventure as adults with their father as a youth, when he is a member of La Résistance in Norway during the German Occupation of World War II. In the end, he asks the names of the people who helped him, and assures them that if he ever gets three sons, he will name them after them. (He has no idea who they are, of course).

    Video Games 
  • In Jak and Daxter a young boy is found wandering the city. He is referred to only as "the kid" and none of the characters learn his actual name. Later it is revealed the kid is actually Jak himself before he was sent back to the past to grow up to be the hero he is today. Although not a biological parent, it can be assumed that Samos started calling him that after taking him back to Sandover Village.
  • In Sin and Punishment, Achi shows Airan a Storyboarding the Apocalypse sequence to convince her to subdue Saki. In this sequence, she is accompanied by a young child named Isa ("I can even write it in kanji!"), who turns out to be Saki and Airan's son. Airan takes this revelation to heart, as one of her main priorities in the ending is to make sure that Isa is born at the right time. And, wouldn't you know it, Isa is one of the main characters in the sequel.

  • In the future arc of Arthur, King of Time and Space, Morgan ended up naming her and Arthur's child, who was sent back in time, after an impressive ensign aboard the Excalibur. They end up conversing and she realizes she named her son, Mordred, after his future self.
  • General Protection Fault, Ki meets her son from the future.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of Peter Pan & the Pirates, Peter brings another girl to Neverland, a pigtailed creature called Jane. The cast eventually works out that Peter accidentally went into the future and collected Wendy's daughter. She goes back at the end of the episode.
  • In a time travel episode of Totally Spies!, the Spies mistake Mandy's mother for her and call her by that name. She says she doesn't know who they're talking about, but she likes the name and says that maybe she'll name her first daughter Mandy...
  • In the time travel episode of American Dragon: Jake Long, Jake’s parents are at an end-of-the-year high school party watching Haley’s Comet. Jake’s dad mispronounces the name as “Hallie”, to which Jake’s mom responds with the correct pronunciation, then muses how she’s always liked the name “Haley”, which of course, is the name of Jake’s little sister.
  • In a flashback episode of The Simpsons, after a young Wiggum tells Lou that he can’t be chief of police because he’s black, Lou decides instead to become an equal rights spokesman, like Ralph Abernathy. Wiggum then comments that he likes that name.
  • In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius episode "Time is Money", Jimmy and his friends travel back in time to when his parents were still dating. After introducing himself, Judy says, "Jimmy. Oh, I love that name".