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Rhyming Names

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A neat way to make a character's name memorable is to make them follow a rhyming scheme, either by giving them rhyming first and last names (e.g. Jack Black) or combining their names with a rhyming descriptor (e.g. Aloysius the Malicious or Bob the Cop). As an added bonus, the character might also speak in Rhymes on a Dime and/or live in a place that follows a similar rhyming convention.

Because it lends characters an air of whimsy, this trope is particularly common in nursery rhymes, children's books, and cartoons, but they are definitely not limited to them.

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Compare Repetitive Name, where the character's first name is the same as their last name or uses variations of the same word. Also compare Alliterative Name, which is another method of making a character's name catchy or memorable.

Compare also Rhyme Theme Naming, where different members of the same group or family are given rhyming names to emphasize their unity.


Examples

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     Anime and Manga 
  • The title character of Black Jack is a Back-Alley Doctor who uses the catchy name as his alias. Funnily, this rhyming name is a loose transliteration of his actual name ("Kuro'o", which is written with the characters for "black" and "man", aka "jack").
  • One of the teachers in GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class is named Koshino Yoshino. She teaches fashion design, and because her subject is an elective, she doesn't get as much screen time as the other teachers, but she certainly makes the most impression to her students.

    Comic Books 
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    Comic Strips 
  • Both the US and UK version of Dennis the Menace. Clearly, Dennis is the best name to give a mischievous troublemaker with a penchant of making "menace".
  • The Beano, home to the British Dennis, also has Roger the Dodger and Tricky Dicky. Defunct strips include Contrary Mary, Handy Sandy, Wavy Davey and his Navy, Jenny Penny, Alf Witt the Ancient Brit, Daniel the Spaniel, and Even Steven.
  • The Dandy had Beryl the Peril, Cocky-Sue the Cockatoo, Wily Smiley, Robbie the Bobby, Jammy Mr Sammy, Dave the Brave, Billy Green and his Sister Jean, Fiddle O'Diddle, Vain Wayne, Fu Schnicken Kung-Fu Chicken, and Rocky Roller Pest Controller. DC Thompson really likes this trope.

    Fairy Tales and Folklore 
  • Chicken Little is also known as Chicken Licken in the US, or Henny Penny in the UK. All of the other characters in the book also have rhyming names: Foxy Loxy (or Fox Lox), Ducky Lucky, Turkey Lurkey, Cocky Wocky, Goosey Woosey, etc.
  • Characters in Nursery Rhyme and children's poetry are frequently given rhyming names. Some examples include:
    • Humpty Dumpty.
    • Georgie Porgie.
      Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie,
      Kissed the girls and made them cry...

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live Action 
  • Defied in The Wedding Singer. Julia Sullivan's feelings for Glenn Gulia promptly end when Julia bursts into tears imagining herself as "Mrs. Julia Gulia."

    Literature 
  • Amelia Bedelia. The narrative likes to reinforce this rhyming convention by referring to the titular character using her full name all the time. Amelia herself prefers to be called using her full name rather than just "Amelia".
  • Elsie Piddock Skips In Her Sleep has a guy named Andy Spandy.
  • Hairy Mc Clairy has several animals with rhymey names, including Hairy McClairy the dog (who lives at Donaldson's Dairy, to boot) and Slinky Malinky the cat
  • Judy Moody. In Judy Moody: Around the World in 8 1/2 Days, Judy makes a new friend named Amy Namey, who invites her to join the International My-Name-Is-A-Poem Club.
  • In The Little Blue Snake by Pavel Bazhov, a boy called Lanko is nicknamed Puzhanko ("the one who gets frightened"). He isn't shown to be that easy to scare, and we never find out how the nickname ever originated.
  • Discussed by Robert Nye in Memoirs of Lord Byron, where Byron himself claims that one should never trust a woman whose name rhymes with itself (giving example of one May Gray).
  • The eponymous Nate The Great has no known last name, although he has a cousin named Olivia Sharp. It's unknown if the two cousins actually share the same surname, but in any case, Nate the Great has a much nicer ring to it than the hypothetical Nate Sharp.
  • In Rhyming Russell by Pat Thomson, the titular character's name is Russell Fussell, which may have contributed to his compulsive habit of speaking in rhyme, to everyone's annoyance. After he gets over it, his headteacher Mr. Pumphrey develops the same habit — which may have something to do with the fact that his first name is Humphrey.
  • In Roys Bedoys, the protagonist is a boy named "Roys Bedoys" (pronounced "Royce Buh-DOYCE") and he has a brother named "Loys Bedoys".
  • In the Tracy Beaker books and associated TV show, meddling social worker Elaine is nicknamed "Elaine the Pain" by a large section of the cast, including the title character.
  • In Yulianna, or Dangerous Games by Yulia Voznesenskaya, there is a girl named Dara O'Tara.
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    Live-Action TV 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street features a 4-year-old fairy named Abby Cadabby who also uses rhymes when casting spells.
  • Two of the Muppet Time shorts that accompanied The Muppet Show on Nickelodeon in 1994 featured a girl who loved scaring people, called Scary Mary.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 
  • Rusty and Co. has Madeline the Paladin and Derek the Cleric. The latter also functions as a Seer who comes up with appropriately rhyming prophecies to serve as Madeline's quest hooks.
    Mimic: Where're ya getting these little rhymes from anyways?
    Madeline: Derek the Cleric.
    Mimic: Silly me for askin'.

    Web Original 
  • Mother Goose Club modernizes various nursery rhyme characters. The girl based on the nursery rhyme "Mary, mary, quite contrary..." is named "Mary Quite Contrary".
  • Dr. Crafty has the show's deuteragonist, Nurse Worse.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Arthur episode "Rhyme for Your Life," Binky wants to write a poem for his mom but can't think of one. He falls asleep and dreams he's in a land called Verseberg where everyone speaks in rhyme. One character he meets is Clementine Rhymenstein, who invites him for dinner.
  • Ben 10:
    • The title character is named Benjamin Tennyson, but due to this trope, he's more commonly known as Ben Ten.
    • Another main character is named Kevin Levin. His kid from an alternate timeline is named Devlin Levin.
  • Billy Dilley is the main character of Billy Dilley's Super Duper Subterranean Summer
  • BoJack Horseman has a few among its peripheral characters.
    • Courtney Portnoy, celebrity actress. When her name comes up in conversation, assonance and rhyme are comically Exaggerated; as her purported supporters exhort Courtney's tour-de-force performance their wording sort of contorts.
      Princess Carolyn: You know the actress Courtney Portnoy?
      Todd: I think so. She portrayed the formerly portly consort at the seaport resort?
    • Tom Jumbo-Grumbo, news anchorman.
    • Neal McBeal the Navy SEAL.
  • ChalkZone's main character Rudy Tabootie.
  • Chilly Willy, a penguin character in Walter Lantz's cartoon shorts.
  • Daria has a friend named Jane Lane.
  • From Fancy Nancy, Nancy's last name is Clancy.
  • Hanna-Barbera cartoons frequently have these kind of names:
  • The titular character of Handy Manny is a handyman named Manny.
  • In The Loud House, Lincoln's best friend Clyde McBride.
  • Rick and Morty has Scary Terry, a Captain Ersatz Freddy Kruger.
  • The Hungarian dub of Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear change their names to "Foxi Maxi" and "Maci Laci" respectively.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes has Crinkly Wrinkly, an elderly purple werefox.
  • Rolie Polie Olie has several. Other than the titular character, there is also Bonita Jaquita, Ethel Triangle, and Gloomius Maximus.
  • In the episode "Lord of the Ring Toss" from Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race, Don has a snowman which he names Chilly Billy.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: Kimiko's last name is Tohomiko and Dojo's full name is Dojo Kanojo Cho.

    Real Life 
  • Actor and Tenacious D singer Thomas Jacob Black is more commonly known as Jack Black.
  • This trope is presumably why McDonald's primary mascot is named "Ronald".
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