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Rhyme Theme Naming

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Their fourth, imaginary brother is named Phooey.

Obelix: O chief Vitalstatistix, the Normans are landing! And they've got ever such funny names! They all end in "af"!
Asterix: That's right! Their chief is called Timandahaf!
Vitalstatistix: Ha, ha, ha! Did you hear that, Getafix, Cacofonix, Operatix, Acoustix, Polyfonix, Harmonix?

In fiction, it is common to give the members of the same group, family or ensemble a Theme Naming to emphasize their unity. The two most standard ways of achieving this is by having the characters' name revolve around a particular subject/topic or field (e.g. plants or celestial objects), or by having them follow a linguistic quirk.

This trope is about the latter. Specifically, this is when a collective group of characters are given names that rhyme with each other, sometimes with one character having an Odd Name Out.

This is particularly common for Theme Twin Naming, especially Always Identical Twins, since the characters already have identical appearances, so it would naturally follow that they are also given phonetically-similar names.

Compare Rhyming Names, for singular characters or places who are given rhyming first and last names to make them sound more quirky and/or memorable, although both tropes can be used together, particularly for siblings/family members that are given a rhyming surname in addition to their already rhyming given names. See also Alphabetical Theme Naming.



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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: Every character has a Punny Name with a nationality-specific ending (with occasional exceptions like Ptenisnet the Egyptian):
    • -ix for the Gauls (Asterix, Obelix, Vitalstatistix)
    • -us for the Romans (Cantankerus, Coronavirus)note 
    • -is for the Egyptians (Edifis, Artifis)
    • -ic for Goths (Rhetoric, Electric)
    • -ax/-os for the Britons (Relax, Mykingdomforanos)
    • -af for the Scandinavians (Timandahaf, Nescaf)
  • The Disney Ducks Comic Universe has Donald's triplet nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

  • Hogwarts Dawn: In the first chapter as part of their "life improvement plan" for Harry, Fred and George enlist several hulking students nicknamed Smasher, Gnasher, Thrasher and Odd Name Out Crusher as bodyguards.
  • In Tales of the Hunger Games, the District Two female tributes of the 95th Hunger Games (4th Quinquennial Quell) are twin sisters named Nina and Dina Dalton.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live Action 
  • Biff Tannen from Back to the Future is revealed to have a daughter named Tiff (which is short for Tiffany), and two brothers named Cliff and Riff.
  • In Hairspray, twin sisters Noreen and Doreen are two of the dancers on the Corny Collins Show.
  • In Z-O-M-B-I-E-S (2018), the three ace cheerleaders from Bucky's posse are named Stacey, Tracey, and Lacey.

  • There's a poem about three fishermen named Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
  • The children's book Delilah Darling is in the Classroom features the teacher's two hamsters Wally and Dolly.
  • In The Giant's Bath, by Margaret Mahy, the two sisters are named Belinda and Melinda.
  • The Hobbit: Many of the dwarves in Thorin's company have similar sounding names: Oin and Gloin, Balin and Dwalin, Fili and Kili, Ori, Nori and Dori, and Bifur, Bofur and Bombur. This doubles as Family Theme Naming, as all of the characters with rhyming names are either brothers or cousins. The whole group themselves are distant relatives of one other through Thorin.
  • Junie B. Jones: Junie B.'s twin friends are named Camille and Chenille. They invite Junie's other friend Lucille to play with them only because their names rhyme.
  • In the Little Princess book "I Want to Make a Friend", there are three mean kids, two girls and a boy. The girls are named Molly and Polly.
  • Roys Bedoys: The three Bedoys siblings are Roys, Loys, and Joys.
  • The short story "The Ride" from the Star Wars: Canto Bight anthology features three brothers (collectively known as the Lucky Three) named Dodi, Thodi and Wodi.
  • In The Tale of Peter Rabbit, two of Peter's sisters are named Flopsy and Mopsy.
  • In What's a Gonzo?, based on Muppet Babies, Gonzo dreams of creatures named Zonzo, Momzo (a meaningful name since she's a mother), Tonzo, Donzo, Bronzo, the Flying Flonzos, Klonzo, Alfonso, Rhonzo, and the Great Garbonzo.

    Live-Action TV 


  • In Norse Mythology, Odin has a pair of ravens named Huginn and Muninn.
  • The verses of the Old Norse poem, "Grottasöngr" (or "The Mill's Songs" in English) are sung by Fenja and Menja, a pair of slave giantesses who are forced to grind wealth using the titular mill and sing songs for the king who bought them.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street:
    • Two guys in a skit are named Stan and Dan.
    • There are two cat brothers named Chip and Dip.
    • Two sketches feature the Rhymies: Larry, Mary and Barry.
    • A parody of The Elves And The Shoemaker has elves named Squeaky, Sneaky, and Leaky.

  • The main protagonists of The Blue Bird are a pair of siblings named Mytyl and Tyltyl.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novel 

    Web Animation 
  • In AstroLOLogy, the Gemini twins have the rhyming names Gerry and Gary.

    Western Animation 
  • The Rockhopper Crew of 3-2-1 Penguins! is made up of Captain Zidgel, First Officer Midgel, Doctor Fidgel and Kevin
  • In Animaniacs, the two Warner brothers (not the company, brothers with the surname Warner) are named Yakko and Wakko.
  • In the Arthur episode "Binky Goes Nuts", Binky dreams that he has two classmates named Ron and Don, who are allergic to their hands.
  • Ben 10 has this with Ben and his cousin Gwen. Ben 10: Alien Force takes this further, introducing Gwen's older brother Ken, to the amusement of Kevin, who lampshades this trope. Ben's reaction implies that this is not rare. Ken is also the name of Ben's son from a possible future (Kevin's is Devlin, so...)
  • Camp Lazlo has the dung beetle brothers, Chip and Skip.
  • Disenchantment: All of King Zøg's older male relatives have names that ends with either "-øg" or "-øgg", proceeding down the alphabet as time progressed, starting with Dreamland's first king, Agøgg, all the way to his older brother King Yøg. Zøg is the last of this trend due to no letter coming after Z, hence why his son is named "Derek".
  • Hanna-Barbera cartoons frequently has a pair of duos with rhyming names:
  • Heckle and Jeckle are two identical talking magpies who trick other people and get into trouble.
  • Kim Possible has Kim and her two younger twin brothers Jim and Tim.
  • Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies has the monkeys Chip, Pip, and Flip.
  • Tessa and Vanessa of Pepper Ann. Their Day In The Limelight episode "Vanessa Less Tessa" has a Show Within a Show with protagonists Gina and Tina.
  • Molly and Polly from Pigeon Street ("Molly and Polly, they're two of a kind / They look both the same when they're seen from behind / But when they turn round then it's easy to see / Who's Molly with an M and Polly with a P").
  • The Pound Puppies (1980s) episode "Pups on the Loose" featured a case of theme triplet naming, where Rusty and Lucy's three puppies were named Andy, Mandy, and Candy.
  • Rugrats:
    • The DeVille twins are normally called Phil and Lil, although their actual names are Philip and Lillian.
    • Tommy's father and uncle are named Stu and Drew, and their father is named Lou. They also mention an uncle Hugh.
    • Tommy has two cousins named Timmy Ray and Tammy Fae.
    • Phil and Lil have cousins named Hedley and Smedley.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The Flanders brothers are named Rod and Todd.
    • The Mackleberry twins, Sherri and Terri. And their brothers Jerry and Larry, and their parents Barry and Mary.
    • One episode features two sisters Bonnie and Connie.
  • Super Noobs has alien warriors Memnock and Zenblock. They play with this trope even more through the names they give to the human disguises they have to use in public to avoid having their identities exposed, which are Bob and Rob. Their nicknames, Mem and Zen are however subverted because the last letters of their nicknames do not really match but come in pretty close. They are also identical to each other, only differing in skin color, teeth, and nose shape but whether they are related to each other or not is debatable.
  • Total Drama:
    • The first generation has the single-minded best friends Katie and Sadie.
    • The third generation brings the Polar Opposite Twins Amy and Samey (whose actual name is Sammy, but Amy prefers to call her like this because she considers her sister an inferior version of her).
  • Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!: Two characters, who are commonly seen with their friend Earl, are named Huggy and Buggy.

    Real Life 
  • Generation Names are names used by a generation of a same family containing the same character. They are used in China and other Chinese-influenced countries.
  • The Marx Brothers have rhyming stage names: Zeppo, Groucho, Harpo, and Chico—which they are almost universally known as. Their actual first names are, respectively, Herbert, Julius, Arthur and Leonard.
  • Simon Cowell's three dogs are named Squiddly, Diddly and Freddy.


Video Example(s):


Gary and Larry

Owen notices that Gary has a best friend named Larry and doesn't know how to react to the fact that their names rhyme.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / RhymeThemeNaming

Media sources: