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"Guy named Otto Octavius winds up with eight limbs. What are the odds?"
J. Jonah Jameson, Spider-Man 2

A Sub-Trope of Meaningful Name, this is when the birth name of a character matches up with the powers they get or the role they take later in life.

Usually, their real name can be shortened or scrambled into their Code Name, but sometimes it's more a thematic link.

For anime heroes, if a character has an element somewhere in their name, they will almost always use that element in battle when they grow up. Hikari/Hikaru, meaning "light/shining", is especially prophetic.


Most common in Silver Age comics, although it still shows up from time to time.

A reverse of the real-life background of Luke Nounverber and they may overlap, providing a justification in the form of a family business. Sometimes the naming draws upon a Bilingual Bonus.

With villains, this trope frequently coincides with Idiosyncrazy. Prophetic Names is the more general case, where names reflect a character's status, abilities, personality, or other features. A character who just never bothers with a pseudonym has a Secret Public Identity. See also Sue Donym for real people who do this. Compare Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance, which is when the appearance rather than the name is meaningful. Also compare with Epunymous Title, when the title of a series uses a character's name as basis to compare with the series' premise.


A magic-specific subtrope is Magnus Means Mage, where mages, wizards or sorcerers have a tendency to be named Magnus.

In real life, someone having a name which is particularly well-suited for their work is known as an aptonym, aptronym, or euonym.

For those who don't understand the title: S.U.Perhero.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • "Space Dandy is a dandy space."
  • In Naruto, Naruto Uzumaki's name references both the Naruto whirlpools (Naruto no Uzushio, Uzumaki is a different word for whirlpool) and Narutomaki, a type of fishcake decorated with spirals (which themselves reference said whirlpools) usually found in Ramen, the character's favorite dish. His trademark move is the Rasengan, a ball of spiraling chakra and air. You might think that this was intentional in-universe, since his mother came from the Land of Whirlpools and his father invented the Rasengan, so whirlpools and spirals were thematically relevant to the entire family. Except that they actually named him after a character from their mentor Jiraiya's first novel. However, the character from Jiraiya's first novel WAS named after the fishcake in the ramen he was eating at the time.
  • The main characters in Magic Knight Rayearth and Sailor Moon both have the relevant elements in their names. Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto go a step further: their family names are the names of their planets in Japanese (minus the suffix "-sei"). The Inner Senshi (except Venus, who was created earlier for Codename: Sailor V) have their elements in their surnames minus the "-sei."
    • Sailor Venus's name doesn't contain "gold/metal," the Chinese element that the planet Venus is named after in Japanese, but she does have love, which is the subject matter that the goddess Venus rules over.
    • Bilingual Bonus in Magic Knight Rayearth. In the Japanese version (of the manga) it's mentioned "Shidou Hikaru" means 'Shine on the Road' as a significant name. While in the English version they use "Rayearth", Hikaru's mecha/monster/familar as the significant name with the same meaning.
  • In Jubei-chan, Jiyu Nanohana (nicknamed "Jiyuu-bei" or "Jubei" by her father) not only inherited the power of Yagyu Jubei, but also the ability to free souls from a 300 year curse of hatred. "Jiyuu" means "freedom" in Japanese.
  • This seems to happen a lot in Pretty Cure. For instance, who knew that the child named Love Momozono was going to grow up to be a magical girl named Cure Peach ("momo" means "peach") fueled by The Power of Love?
  • Digimon Adventure sometimes referenced the characters' powers or that of their Mons. Sora, meaning "sky", has a flying partner; Hikari has the crest of "light" and strange glowing powers; Koushiro includes the kanji for "photon", and his partner has electricity-based powers.
    • Kouji and his brother Kouichi in Digimon Frontier share a kanji in their names meaning "light". Kouji is the Warrior of Light, while Kouichi is the Warrior of Darkness.
  • Speed Racer. In one translation had his given name as "Greg," with "Speed" being a nickname. It was used as an explanation behind the "G" on Speed's shirt, which is really due to the character being called "Go Mifune" in the original Japanese.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • "Ash" simply sounds like "Satoshi", though fire is a common theme among Japanese heroes (though it might be based on the tree-based names of the Professors). "Ketchum" on the other hand is a word play on "Catch 'em"; "Dawn" carries on the light-themed "Hikari", not expressed in her Pokemon, but reflective of her appearance in Diamond & Pearl; "May"/"Haruka" does seem to use some spring-themed Pokemon. "Misty"/"Kasumi" is a straight example - the names are equivalent, and she is heavily water-themed; "Brock" has the obvious "Rock".
    • In the German version Brock is named Rocko.
    • All gym leaders have names that are puns on the type of Pokemon they train (including former gym leaders Brock and Misty).
  • Dr. Black Jack eventually admits that his alias is derived from his actual name, Kuro'o. (Kuro = dark/black, o = a common ending for boys' names)
  • In My-HiME, Mikoto turns out to be a prophetic name (mikoto means "lord").
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!, when read, can have two meanings: "Games King" or "King Yugi". Guess who grows up to be the King of Games? And who's Sexier Alter Ego is a Pharaoh (An Egyptian King). It would be more difficult to name a minor character from Yu-Gi-Oh! whose name has nothing to do with their deck.
  • Another Yu-Gi-Oh! example, this time Yu-Gi-Oh! GX : The protagonist's name in the Japanese version, Judai Yuki ("Yuki Judai" in Eastern order), literally means "courageous teenager". Turns out he actually is one.
  • Death Note loves this trope. Villain Protagonist Light Yagami's last name literally means "night god", and his first name is written (in a slight subversion of the typical "Hikari" naming) with the symbol for "moon". Similarly, his disciple and proxy late in the series has the last name Mikami, the pronunciation of which can mean "eye god" or "seeing god" (though unlike Light's last name, this meaning is concealed by different kanji symbols). And Light's rival, L, has the real name L Lawliet, which is intended to be pronounced "low light".
  • The eponymous character in Soul Eater actually came from a family of musicians who didn't even know they had weapon's blood. Although as Not! clarifies, his last name was originally Evans and not Eater, his first name is still actually Soul. It's a very literal-minded name to give a Weapon, and the idea he was somehow given it without his parents knowing he was a Weapon is just baffling. And unfair to the poor kid. Not only do you have pointy teeth and unusual looks, but your name makes you sound like a monster. Not! explains away the sheer number of cases of this trope, because - as with Soul Evans - students register at the school with whatever name they like. As a result, there's a mish-mash of "normal" and unusual names throughout the cast.
  • In Ronin Warriors, Shin wears the armor Suiko, which just so happens to be imbued with the virtue "shin".
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
  • Lyrical Nanoha: Hayate Yagami has the last name Yagami, as in the Death Note example above, but it's written with the kanji for "eight gods." Still, Hayate is the mistress of the Book of the Night Sky.
  • In the Italian dub of Saint Seiya, almost all of the bronze saints that serve Athena bear a constellation-related name since they're little children. On both Lost Canvas and Next Dimension, it's revealed that the previous holy war's Pegasus saint was called Tenma, which is Japanese for "Pegasus". Justified in Lost Canvas, in that he was born destined to be the Pegasus saint, and his parents knew it.
  • Saber Rider from Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, although it may not be his real name.
  • Kira Yoshikage from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. His name is the Japanese pronunciation of "Killer" and that's exactly what he is.
  • Despite being spoofed in the first episode of Tiger & Bunny ("So you're Wild Tiger? I see that you took it from your name, Toratetsu." "It's Kotetsu, sir."), Kotetsu actually did base his superhero name on his actual one, which contains the kanji for tiger in it.
  • One Piece:
    • The marine Smoker gets a double dose of this. His powers are smoke-based and he has the habit of smoking. Of course, it might be a nickname. There's also the swordsman Zoro, Kuma (Japanese for "bear") with paw-pads in his hands, Killer who is good at killing people (Word of God confirmed this name was due to laziness), Capone Bege who uses a mafia-look and the pirate king Gold Roger and his second-in-command Silvers Rayleigh.
    • This is taken a step further in a fair few of the animal themed names such Monkey D. Luffy, who is very agile and unpredictable, his father Dragon who is considered the most dangerous man alive etc.
    • Most Devil Fruit users get a nickname based on what their power is, like Fire Fist Ace, or Blue Pheasant Aokiji (who is an Ice man) etc. Blackbeard also gets a mention as he had the nickname Blackbeard before he ate the Yami Yami No Mi and became a Dark based Devil Fruit user .
    • The children of Charlotte "Big Mom" Linlin almost all have names related to their Devil Fruit powers or official positions in Big Mom's territory. Cracker has the power to create biscuits with the Bisc-Bisc Fruit, Oven can heat himself up, Pudding is an expert chocolatier...really, it'd be faster to name the one child who doesn't fit this trope, Lola, the White Sheep.
  • Banana no Nana: Trust the girl with banana powers to be named Oba Nana.
  • My Hero Academia has a veritable boat-load: Katsuki Bakugonote  basically sweats nitroglycerin, Shotonote  Todoroki is has both ice and fire powers, Denkinote  Kaminarinote  has electricity powers, Mina Ashido generates Hollywood Acid, etc. Protagonist Izuku Midoriya averts this, but oddly enough the aversion kind of makes him play it straight: his name doesn't reflect his superpowers because he has none at the outset of the story. Then it's played straight when it's revealed that he's the ninth holder of One For All and the "ku" in his given name is homophonous to the Japanese word for nine, "kyu".
  • Attack on Titan has Eren Yeager. "Yeager" is an anglicised version of the German surname Jäger/Jaeger and means "hunter". Eren starts "hunting" Titans after joining the Survey Corps at a relatively young age.
  • This is all over the place in Black Clover. Yaminote  is a Dark Magic user, Magnanote  Swing has Flame Magic with a baseball theme, Luck Voltianote  uses Lightning Magic, and Julius Novachrononote  is a master of Time Magic.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew takes this a step further by having the Mew Mews having their Magical Girl Warrior names contain their actual given names (for example Ichigo Momomiya becomes Mew Ichigo, Minto Aizawa becomes Mew Mint), the only difference is that their given names are written using a different part of the Japanese Writing System but they are still pronounced exactly the same (which is supposed to indicate that their real names are Japanese but their Mew Mew names are the English loan words instead).

    Audio Plays 
  • The Big Finish Fourth Doctor drama Foe from the Future has the Doctor encounter a butler named Butler in part 1. He lampshades it:
    Butler: I'm the butler, Butler.
    Doctor: The butler butler.
    Leela: He makes no sense.
    Butler: I am the butler, and my name is Butler.
    Doctor: A butler called Butler.
    Butler: Yes.
    Doctor: Your careers' advice teacher must have had a limited imagination. I've heard of nominative determinism...

    Comic Books 
This is particularly common in The DCU:
  • Golden Age "hero" Johnny Thunder, an inept Unlucky Everydude who is fated to be the master of the Thunderbolt, a powerful magical being. He uses it as a Secret Public Identity.
  • John Henry Irons (named after the famous "steel-driving" folk hero John Henry) became the power-suited Superman replacement, Steel.
  • William I. Zard, the Wizard, was a Golden Age supervillain.
  • Kite Man's name is Charles Brown (Charlie Brown, of course had trouble with his kites).
  • C-list Hawkman villain Ricochet's true name is Rick O'Shea.
  • Examples in Batman's Rogues Gallery:
    • Edward ("E.") Nygma: The Riddler. This was later retconned into a stage name, with his real name being Edward Nashton.
    • Harleen Quinzel hooked up with the Joker to become Harley Quinn (harlequin, a type of clown). Lampshaded in the comic one-shot "Mad Love" (later adapted into a Batman: The Animated Series episode), when they flash back to how she and the Joker first met: the Joker points it out, to which she replies that a lot of people bring it up.
    • Julian Gregory Day, as in the Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar, became Calendar Man. Also, though this is a bit of a stretch, "Julian" could also mean "In July," which, if you just use his first and last name (Julian Day), would mean "a day in July."
    • The Clock King has been named William Tockman in the DCU and Temple Fugate in the DC Animated Universe (a play on "tempus fugit", Latin for "Time flies"). In the Teen Titans comic, Blue Beetle speculates that the new Clock King is named "Rolex Chronoberg".
    • Victor Fries (pronounced "freeze") became Mr. Freeze after an accident made him incapable of surviving in anything but subzero temperatures. In his origin story in Batman: The Animated Series, he is employed by Mr. Boyle (pronounced "boil").
    • Warren White, known as "The Great White Shark" because of his ruthless and illegal business practices, later adopted this as his villain name when he developed a shark-like appearance due to severe frostbite.
    • Lock-Up, real name Lyle Bolton.
    • Roscoe Chiara, the Black and White Bandit; his name is a play on the shading technique "chiaroscuro", and he's a colorblind former artist.
    • Mary Louise Dahl, who takes on the personality of her TV character, Baby Doll.
    • The real names of Tweedledee and Tweedledum are Dumfrey and Deever Tweed.
    • Crimesmith aka Dr. Ryan Smith.
    • Dr. Simon Ecks aka Doctor Double X.
    • Magpie aka Margaret Pye.
    • One also has to wonder what Humphrey Dumpler's (who would develop an obsession with disassembling and then reassembling things) parents were thinking in naming him as such.
    • Gunnery Sergeant Liam Hawkleigh adopts the alias Gunhawk when he becomes a mercenary and assassin for hire.
    • The real name of bird-themed Psycho for Hire the Flamingo is Eduardo Flamingo.
  • Examples in The Flash's Rogues Gallery:
    • Roy G. Bivolonote  was the Rainbow Raider. Even amongst comic book fans, this is considered over the top.
    • Hunter Zolomon, the second Zoom.
    • Abhararakadhararbarakh (Pronounced "Abrakadabra"), a refugee from the 64th century, used technology from his time to simulate magic as, well, Abra Kadabra.
    • The first Trickster, James Jesse, invoked this trope. As an admirer of Jesse James from childhood, he decided to pull the modern equivalent of train robberies by robbing airplanes—in midair.
    • Axel Walker, the second Trickster, got his start when he found his predecessor's equipment in storage—including his signature antigravity shoes, often referred to as airwalkers.
    • Hartley Rathaway is the name of the former Flash rogue turned ally The Pied Piper.
  • Doctor Occult is actually named Richard Occult. And his "better half" Rose Psychic? That's her real name, too. (They were named by the mysterious group of mages who raised them.)
  • Peter David parodied this trope during his run on Young Justice, when mild-mannered archeologist Nina Dowd was transformed into The Mighty Endowed. In addition to mind-control powers, she had very impressive... tracts of land.
  • Though the Calculator was given the name Noah Kuttler in his later appearances, creator Bob Rozakis has said in interviews that his Silver Age secret identity was "Calvin Q. Later".
  • The world's greatest escape artist, Mister Miracle, has the name Scott Free. However, this was an intentional joke; the name was given to him by Granny Goodness because of his attempts to escape her. What real name, if any, his father Highfather might have given him is unknown; Mr. Miracle has indicated that he himself doesn't know. (New Gods excel in theme naming.)
  • Donna Carol Force, generally known as "D.C.", became the electric-powered heroine Sparx.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Angle Man, a rogue who can warp space into an Escheresque nightmare with the use of his mysterious impossible triangle Angler device, was born Angelo Bend.
    • Silver Age villain Time Master (not to be confused with Rip Hunter) has the real name Ty M. Master.
    • Byrna Brilyant is a Mad Scientist usually capable of challenging Wonder Woman herself with her tech.
    • In the very first issue of Wonder Woman (1942) our titular heroine met a circus trapeze performer named Dom Carney.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Tigra Tropica is apparently the actual name of a tiger taming villain.
    • Wonder Woman (Rebirth): Peony McGill has Green Thumb powers.
    • In Wonder Woman and the Star Riders evidently all the Star Riders besides Diana herself (Dolphine, Ice, Star Lily and Solara) are either using their real names or variations of them for their hero names. Early developmental art has their names Tori, Nena, Delia and Sima but none of this made it to the only bit produced.
  • In DC Comics's 1973 series Prez: First Teen President, the titular Prez is not only "Prez" by virtue of being U.S. President, but actually named Prez Rickard. Apparently, his mother had a premonition when he was born.
  • Downplayed with the Post-Crisis Captain Atom. His real name and rank was Nathaniel Adam (Capt., USAF), but the new name he was given as part of his cover identity after he became Captain Atom was Cameron Scott; he was also later promoted to Major.
  • Mentioned in an issue of JSA All-Stars. An aspiring supervillain wants his codename to be Mister Blue, due to his ability to turn into a blue mist. Icicle points out that his real name (Hayes, sounds like Haze) is already the perfect codename.
    Do you think I'd call myself Icicle if my real name was already something like Frost or Winter?
  • Curiously, there's indeed an ice-powered villain whose surname is Frost: Crystal Frost, the first Killer Frost. Similarly, in the New 52 and the Arrowverse, the real name of Killer Frost (who went through a Heel–Face Turn in both media) is Caitlin Snow. Averted with the Crystal's successor in the Pre-Flashpoint continuity, named Louise Lincoln.
  • Is it any coincidence at all that Guy Gardner became a Green Lantern?
    • Or that a guy named Sinestro goes bad?
    • A number of new characters in Geoff Johns' run qualify too, including Sinestro Corps members Karu-Sil ("carousel"; she's surrounded by animals) and Kryb (literally steals babies - also a Visual Pun as her ribcage protrudes through her back, like a crib), and Red Lantern Atrocitus (The Berserker using Blood Magic).
  • When the Metal Men got human secret identities as per a retool towards the end of their original comic book run, they were given the names Guy Gilden (Gold), Ledby Hand (Lead), Jon "Iron" Mann (Iron), Mercurio (Mercury), Tinker (Tin), and Tina Platt (Platinum). Makes you wonder if they understand the purpose of secret identities...
  • Dr. Charles McNider, the DC precursor to the Daredevil by 23 years, fought crime under the nom-de-guerre of 'Doctor Mid-Nite'. Again, a possible case of intentionality, since the persona was originally created to get back at the criminals that ruined his natural eyesight. (His briefly-mentioned DC One Million successor is Dr Vera Nite.)
  • Sort of a meta-example: Superman: Secret Identity takes place in a world where Superman comics exist, and a couple with the surname Kent decides it would be funny to name their son Clark. As a teenager, Clark mysteriously acquires the same set of powers as Superman. When he starts fighting crime, he wears a Superman suit, figuring that if anyone sees him and claims to have been saved by Superman, they won't be believed.
  • Donna Troy has gone by Troia since shedding her Wonder Girl identity.
  • Dr. Jason Woodrue becomes the Floronic Man, a plant man with a rather tree-like appearance.
  • In the Bloodlines crossover, there's the non-powered hero Joe Public, who promptly gets powers that make him stronger when he's surrounded by people. His supranym choice thus proved creepily prescient.
  • Justice League of America:
  • The Fiddler. Uses an instrument that is traditionally played with a bow. Birth name? Isaac Bowin.
  • Teen Titans villain Gizmo is defined by being small and intelligent. The real name of at least one version is Mikron O'Jeneus.
  • Recurring Robin foe the "General" is actually named Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong, all names from famous generals throughout history.
  • A one-shot Superman Tragic Villain was a failed Super Soldier who became a radioactive monster. Real name: Joseph Angst, which was pretty appropriate for his backstory all on its own. Codename: Joe Angstrom.
  • Richard Dragon's surname was Drakunovski.

The Marvel Universe:

  • Otto Octavius — Doctor Octopus. Gets a lampshade hung on it by J. Jonah Jameson, as seen above. The video game goes further. "It's like he's asking for it!"
  • In the limited series Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure, the warden of Riker's Island is named Warden James Warden. (When the photographer who arrives to interview Dr. Octopus mentions the irony of that, the warden says, "Yeah, like I've never heard ''that'' before").
  • Doctor Doom, the Fantastic Four 's nemesis. "Doom" is his real surname (Victor Von Doom, to be precise), though he never actually completed his doctorate. His Ultimate counterpart is more subtle about this: it's Victor Van Damme rather than Von Doom, and "Doctor Doom" is a nickname.
  • Not Brand Echh star and Marvel mascot Forbush-Man has the secret identity of Irving Forbush.
  • Johnny Blaze gained hellfire powers to become the Ghost Rider.
  • Another demonic Marvel hero is Daimon Hellstrom, known by the codenames Son of Satan (which he literally is) and Hellstorm. As you might expect, he's kind of got a lot of issues. His surname was deliberately chosen by his demonic father as part of his human guise.
  • Stegron, who turned into a stegosaurus-like creature. Lampshaded in an issue of Venom:
    Eddie Brock: He turned himself into a dinosaur and called himself Stegron?
    Liz Allan: Actually, his name was already Dr. Vincent Stegron.
    Eddie Brock: His name was Vincent Stegron and he turned himself into—
    Liz Allan: Focus up.
  • Jack Hart, a.k.a. Jack of Hearts. Formerly an Avenger. Formerly dead.
  • A minor character in Dan Slott's run of She-Hulk is Dan Jermain, AKA, Danger Man.
  • The Unbelievable Gwenpool's real name is Gwen Poole, which causes others to believe that she's actually associated with Deadpool.
  • X-Men:
    • Erik Magnus Lehnsherr became Magneto, the main archnemesis/ally, with magnetic powers. A later Retcon has it that his birth name is "Max Eisenhardt". Eisen is German for iron. In fact, when he first appeared, and for nearly two decades after, he was just Magneto. "Magnus" was the first civilian name he was shown using, in the flashback story in Uncanny X-Men #161 (published 19 years after #1). Whether or not it was part of his birth name depends on the writer, but in the revised continuity he did definitely go by "Magnus" before he called himself "Magneto".
    • Jubilation Lee. AKA, Jubilee, a mutant with fireworks powers.
    • Cain Marko (mark of Cain), Xavier's evil stepbrother who mistreated him, later to become the Juggernaut.
    • Xavier himself, leader of the X-Men (supposedly named for the "X-factor" mutant gene, not Charles' initial, so it counts). His secret super-hero codename is "Professor X" (no one would ever suspect they were the same guy). Also relates to the similarly-pronounced "savior," as this man has proven to be for generations of mutants. This was played with by Neil Gaiman in his Marvel 1602 miniseries: "Xavier" became "Javier" and "X" became what the "witchbreed" were branded with when they were persecuted. And in the first-ever issue of X-Men, Xavier explained that he named his protege the X-Men because their mutations gave them an eXtra power. (It was The Silver Age of Comic Books. That's just how things were then.)
    • Emma Frost is an interesting case. Her name is "Frost" and she dresses in white, but has telepathy. Downplayed later when she gained a secondary mutation to turn into a diamond-like (or ice-like) substance. In the mid-90s, she had a story arc with X-Men member Iceman in which she ended up inhabiting his brain for some time. The chances of a romantic relationship happening afterward were hinted at repeatedly, but the endless opportunities for kitschy fan names ran rampant, which is possibly why the relationship never materialized. And in X-Men: First Class, she is played by January Jones, which sounds like a comic-book name.
    • The Vanisher, an X-Men villain (and now a member of the newest Darker and Edgier version of X-Force) with teleporting powers. His real name is Telford ("Telly") Porter. No, really.
    • Kitty Pryde for a time took on the name "Ariel". Whether she was aware that the names "Ariel" and "Caliban" (Caliban being a sewer-dwelling mutant who pined after Kitty) were both main characters in Shakespeare's The Tempest is up for grabs. Later, she would change her codename to Shadowcat.
  • Aaron Stack's "father", Abel Stack, gets killed in his first appearance.
  • Doctor Strange is not just a cool name for the Sorcerer Supreme, the most powerful magician in the Marvel Universe; it's also just his actual name and title — Dr. Stephen Strange, M.D. (he was a neurosurgeon before becoming a sorcerer).
  • Team America aka Thunderiders: R. U. Reddy was a trick motorcyclist, whose name was also his catchphrase/challenge to the audience: "Are you ready?"
  • The kids in Power Pack actually have the last name "Power". One of them hangs a lampshade on it when she appears at a former superhero support group in Runaways: "Hi, I'm Julie Power, and yes, that is my real name."
  • Ulysses Solomon Archer, star of the trucking series U.S. 1.
  • A very occasional nemesis of Spider-Man: Johnny Ohnn, the Spot.
  • The Inhumans:
    • In his native language, Black Bolt's name is Blackagar Boltagon. He just happens to dress in black and have bolts from his head.
    • NuHuman Dante received fire powers after his terrigenesis, and took the codename Inferno.
  • Spider-Man confirmed that a suspicious recurring character was a villain by using the Internet: Googling "spider" and "arrow" allowed him to realize that Miss Arrow is in fact the mass of pirate spiders (genus "Ero", a homophone for arrow) that took over his shed skin from The Other.
  • Dennis Golembuski, from The Hood, had no other choice in life but to take "The Golem" as either a superhero or supervillain name. He chose the latter.
  • Monica Rappaccini, Mad Scientist and A.I.M.'s expert on toxins shares a name with the very similar Dr. Rappaccini in "Rappaccini's Daughter". She even has a daughter with a toxic touch, similar to Beatrice Rappaccini; Carmilla Black, the second Scorpion.
  • Marvel 2099's X-Nation, included a girl with ice powers called December Frost. It's unknown whether this is her birth name, however.
  • Wolverine:
    • James Howlett became the lupine-influenced feral superhero Wolverine. It's not as well known, as Wolverine's preferred civilian name is "Logan" a name given when he did Black Ops work for the government.
    • The villain Cyber has the real name Silas Burr.
  • Small-time crook Basil Elks became "the Basilisk" as a supervillain.
  • Similarly, you know anybody named Zebediah Killgrave isn't going to be a nice guy, and you gotta wonder why, with such a badass real name, he bothered with a codename at all (especially if the best he could do is "The Purple Man.")
  • Luke Cage villain Mace. Real name Gideon Mace. His hand was a mace (the spiked weapon) that shot mace (the incapacitating spray).
  • Taskmaster's real name is Tony Masters.
  • Miss America from the Young Avengers and The Ultimates (2015) has the real name of America Chavez.
  • Russian superhero Ursa Major, aka Major Mikhail Ursus of the Soviet Army. Good thing he wasn't promoted to Colonel.
  • Daredevil has Leland Owlsley, a crime boss who goes by the name Owl, who can fly, has claws and back in the Silver Age had both a owl shaped lair and a owl shaped air ship.
  • Verity Willis from Loki: Agent of Asgard has Living Lie Detector powers (Verity comes from the Latin veritas which means truth).
  • American Kaiju from U.S.Avengers has, as his name suggests, the power to turn into a Kaiju. His real name is Todd Ziller, a riff on Godzilla.
  • Frank Castle became The Punisher, which doesn't really seem related. However, he comes from a family of Italian immigrants originally named Castiglione, with "castigar" being a Latin word for, you guessed it, punishment.
  • One of the later additions to the Runaways was a girl named Klara Plast with a Green Thumb power - her name sounds like Chloroplast, the part of a plant responsible for photosynthesis.
  • The Incredible Hulk: Ironclad of the U-Foes has metallic skin and the civilian name of Michael Steel.


  • In the Richie Rich comic book, a scientist named Phil Lament becomes the supervillain Dr. N.R. Gee after plastic surgery turns him into a living light bulb. Richie Rich and his family fit as well, with them being filthy, stinking rich. Dr. Keenbean is a genius, Mayda Munny and Reggie Van Dough are also rich, Freckles Friendly has freckles and is friendly, and characters who frequently cross over with him are Dot Polka (she's obsessed with dots) and Lotta Plump.
  • Mr. Monster's real name is Dr. Strongfort Stern. That's "strong" in English and French ("Strong-strong Star" being his full name). He's strong, got that?
  • Empowered's real name is Elissa Megan Powers. This explains why her friends call her "Emp" even when out of costume, and, indeed, the nickname came first; she chose her supranym based off it.
  • G.I. Joe:
    • Thomas S. "Tommy" Arashikage; his surname literally translates from Japanese as "Storm Shadow", his G.I. Joe Code Name.
    • Alpine's real name happens to be Albert Pine.
  • Mike Allred's Madman is a man brought back from the dead and reeducated by a mad scientist. The scientist supposedly christens his adopted son after his heroes, Frank Sinatra and Albert Einstein — or Frank Einstein.
  • Elijah Snow of Planetary has the ability to lower temperature to point of freezing someone solid. Fellow Century Baby Jenny Sparks, leader of The Authority, had control over electricity. Her other "Jenny" incarnations also had powers that matched up with their names.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • Judge Joseph Dredd has a rather appropriate surname for the foremost enforcer of a dystopian police-state. Given that the character originated as a cynical inversion of the typical strong-jawed crime-fighter, the lack of subtlety in this example can be assumed as entirely deliberate.
    • Judge Dredd's Arch-Enemy Judge Death had the real surname De'ath when he was alive. Obviously, he had to become an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Goofy as Super Goof in the Disney comics.
  • From the "They weren't even trying" file - in Gen¹³: What were the odds that someone named "Sarah Rainmaker" would gain weather control powers? She's a Native American, and they all have names like that, right? Right? The same book has the slightly less on the nose Caitlin Fairchild, who imaginatively fights crime with the Code Name "Fairchild." The manifestation of her powers gave her enhanced beauty and a perfect physique. And Burnout's nickname was "Burnout" before he gained fire powers.
  • Noble Causes: Race Noble (speedster), Zephyr Noble (controls winds), Rusty Noble (originally just super-strong but when he died his consciousness was transferred into a robot body), Frost (ice powers).
  • In some versions of Transformers the Dinobots were called the Dynobots long before they adapted Dinosaur alt-modes. How convenient that their new alt-modes are partial homophones for their names in an alien language that hasn't even been invented yet.
  • From 'Valiant', an astronaut who gained super-strength (and super-density) just happened to be called Simon Strong.
  • British serial comics do this a lot. Some of the more subversive examples are from the anti-comic Viz, where characters like Johnny Fartpants (there's always a commotion in his underpants!") rub pages with super-humans like Buster Gonad, a youth who in early adolescence was hit in the testicles by a radioactive meteorite, thus forcing his testes to expand to an unfeasibly large size. This spoofs more mainstream children' comics which have less outrageous characters with more anodyne superpowers.
  • Captain Alcohol's real name is Al Cohol.
  • Captain Action was once an archeologist named Clive Arno.
  • The House of Dolmann in the UK comic Valiant was about a master toymaker who used remote controlled puppets to fight crime. If it wasn't already taken, he'd just have to switch the double letter in his name for a perfect codename.
  • Pat Patriot: America's Joan of Arc: Pat actually gets her codename due to the public mishearing her surname "Patrios" as 'Patriot."
  • The real name of The Green Knight is Denis Knight.
  • Filipina superhero (no she's not Wonder Woman) Darna's real name is Narda.
  • A possibly unintentional example: by claiming Dr Ivo Robotnik was a Sdrawkcab Name, Sonic the Comic made Robotnik/Eggman's "real" first name in this continuity "Ovi" ... which is a Latin prefix meaning to do with eggs.
  • Alt★Hero: Kelvin Nought has ice powers and his name means the coldest theoretically possible temperature.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The villain of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride is named Zira, which is Swahili for "to hate".
  • In The Incredibles, the older son has the power of super-speed. His name? Dashiell Robert Parr, or 'Dash' for short. The other kids have subtler allusions to their powers; Violet (as in "Shrinking Violet," because of her shyness at the beginning) whose power is invisibility and generation of forcefields, which are tinted violet. Ultraviolet is also a type of light that is invisible to human eyes. Jack-Jack has a wide variety and is a "jack of all trades".
  • Incredibles 2: The main villain's real name is Evelyn Deavor. Sound it out.
  • Yancy O'Dell (Alameda Slim's Paper-Thin Disguise) from Home on the Range.
  • Hiro, the main protagonist and leader of Big Hero 6.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Batman (1989), the Joker's real name is Jack Napier, a play on "jackanape", an outdated word for "fool" or "jester."
  • In The Final Cut, the main character, a "cutter" who edits the recorded memories of the deceased for their families, is named Alan Hackman.
  • In Gangs of New York, Bill Cutting is a professional butcher and an expert knife fighter.
  • In The Maltese Falcon, there's tough, hardy "Sam Spade", exotic foreigner "Mr. Cairo", and a fat, unpleasant fellow called "Gutman". Sam Spade is parodied as "Sam Diamond", another suit in the deck, in Murder by Death, also featuring aptly named characters Dick and Dora Charleston and the butler Bensonmum.
  • For a Few Dollars More: "The Man With No Name" is called "Manco", which means "missing one hand".
  • Sky High was full of this as well, and considering who the screenwriters were...
  • Jack Frost (1997): Jack Frost became a Snowlem.
  • Serial rapist and killer Chris Fuchman from Father's Day (2011).
  • The name of the killer in The Jackhammer Massacre? Jack.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra/G.I. Joe: Retaliation: Storm Shadow's last name is Arashikage, which means "Storm Shadow".
  • Joked about in Scream, when Courteney Cox's character jokes that with a name like Gale Weathers, she sounds like she should be a meteorologist instead of a reporter.
  • The serial killer in Laid to Rest wears a chrome skull mask, hence ChromeSkull. His real name turns out to be Jesse Cromeans.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, when Stephen Strange introduces himself to Peter as "Doctor Strange", Peter assumes that it's Strange's Code Name and introduces himself as Spider-Man. Strange gives him a look that says Sure, Let's Go with That (in this case, both are true, as he is a former neurosurgeon).
    • Like in the page quote and the comic example, Spider-Man: No Way Home has another example with Doctor Octopus as he introduces himself to Peter, MJ and Ned. And as with the Infinity War joke, the kids laugh at his name while asking to know what it really is. It's justified in this case as MCU Spider-Man hasn't encountered any supervilains with ironically Prophetic Names up until this point.
  • Uncle Sam: The titular antagonist is named Sam Harper and is also the main character's uncle, meaning he really is called "Uncle Sam", which foreshadows how, after rising from his coffin on the Fourth of July, he puts on an Uncle Sam costume and goes on a killing spree.

  • Many examples at the Michigan Renaissance Festival:
    • The crowning example may be Lt. Horatio Eddington Reginald Oxford IV, Hero at Large.
    • Pirate Captain Victoria Slaughter
    • Averted with Crunch, who will never be Captain as long as he remains a pirate, and he’s (rightfully) too scared of Captain Slaughter to desert her crew
    • Lady Marideath Dowager, the (Black) Widow, currently seeking husband number sixteen
    • Mistress Beatrix Bumble, the Beekeeper
    • Adeline Simpleton Befuddle, the Addle-Minded “Queen”
    • Constable Ashton Ketchum
    • Fredrick Xavier, Town Messenger (a.k.a. Fred X.)
    • Mistress Lilith ‘Lil’ Gallows, the Executioner
    • Mistress Mary Jane Fitzhue, the Seamstress, who always has something that fits you
    • Abraham Winchester, Witch-Hunter
    • The Von Aweful family of cruel Vulgarians
    • Master Ed Carver, the Butcher; Master Connor Mc Crumb, the Baker; and Mistress Luna Lightwick, the Candlestick Maker

  • Lorien Legacies: Marina can breath underwater, as well as manipulate ice. 'From the sea' indeed. This is lampshaded in the book named after her. It is important to note that "Marina" is not her actual name, just an alias, which they came up with before she received these powers.
  • Gone has this, with Mary and her brother John becoming foster parents for all children under five. Eventually they earn the nicknames Mother Mary and Brother John.
  • The Harry Potter books are chock-full of these, with every name having some sort of meaning to it.
    • Nearly all the background professors (and textbook writers)'s names are related to their chosen fields: Professor Flitwick is an expert on wand movements (such as "swish and flick"), Professor Babbling teaches an ancient language, Professor Septima Vector teaches arithmancy, Professor Sprout teaches herbology, etc.
    • Lord Voldemort's birth name is Tom Marvolo Riddle, which anagrams to "I am Lord Voldemort." In-story, the anagram is actually where he got the name from. "Vol de mort" also means "flight from death" or "theft from death" in French, which is fitting, since Voldemort's ultimate goal is to escape death and become immortal.
    • Remus Lupin. "Lupus" is Latin for "wolf", and "Remus" is the name of one of the mythical founders of Rome, who was raised by a wolf. Remus Lupin turns out to be a werewolf. One wonders why his wizard parents would give him a name like that, given that it was practically begging for him to get bitten by a werewolf.
    • Fenrir Greyback. "Fenrir" is a monstrous wolf in Norse mythology. Then again, he may have chosen that name for himself, given how much he enjoys being a werewolf.
    • Sirius Black can turn into a black dog (Sirius is the dog star). Bellatrix, his cousin, is named for the nearby amazon star. Guess what; she's a formidable dueller and Voldemort's second-in-command. In fact, most of the Black family are named after stars or constellations. "Bellatrix" also means "warrior woman".
    • Goyle is named after a Gargoyle (he's built like a stone and presumably rather ugly). Together with Crabbe they become "Grab and Coil", quite fitting for Slytherin students.
    • Dumbledore comes from an archaic word for a bumblebee, and according to Word of God Dumbledore likes to hum to himself.
    • Sybil Trelawney:
      • The word sibyl probably comes (via Latin) from the Greek word sibylla, meaning prophetess. Trelawney is a character from Treasure Island who notoriously thinks he knows what he is doing but doesn't at all. Fitting much?
      • It's even more evident in the Italian version: Trelawney's name becomes Sibilla Cooman, and the Sibilla Cumana was a legendary Roman prophetess.
      • Completely averted in the Finnish version, in which she becomes "Punurmio". That's nonsense at a first glance, until you realise "tree" would translate as "puu" and "lawn" could be translated as "nurmi". (The -o is an ending similar to -ey.) This is not the first time the translator demonstrated more creativity than background knowledge.
    • Minerva McGonagall: Minerva is the Roman Goddess of Wisdom and War, counterpart of Athena. McGonagall's last name comes from poet Sir William Topaz McGonagall, known as "Scotland's Worst Poet".
    • "Malfoy" derives from 'mal foi'', which means "bad faith" in French. This fits them throughout the series, but especially as the story progresses and they become more and more reluctant to serve Voldemort. Naming a child Draco might seem like a deliberate attempt to put him in Slytherin, and given the family history it probably was. It also nicely ties into the Black Stellar Name tradition, as his mother was named Narcissa Black before her marriage.
    • Then there is Snape: snape (v.) - 'to be hard upon, rebuke, snub,' c.1300, from Old Norse sneypa 'to outrage, dishonor, disgrace.' And, of course, snake. "Severus" means "stern" in Latin.
    • Gilderoy Lockhart. 'Gilderoy' is from the French for 'golden king', as well as being the name of a famous English highwayman (according to Rowling). It's also "gilded", as in false gold. Lockhart is for the way all the girls and women swoon after him ('lock heart').
  • Lampshaded in Curse of the Wolf Girl by Kalix when reading a comic, Curse of the Wolf Girl. "How could she be named Wolf before getting turned into a werewolf?!"
  • Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash takes a meta approach by naming its main character Hiroaki "Hiro" Protagonist. It's somewhat justified by the fact that it's an assumed name matching the character's thrill-seeking nature.
  • Reversed in Good Omens, in which the serpent of Eden is named Crawly, but changes his name to Anthony Crowley later on because it "just wasn't him." His assumed name is itself a reference to Aleister Crowley, a famous occultist who liked to spread rumors about his Satanic indulgences for a laugh. Some satanic nuns also attempt to invoke the trope in-Universe by calling the supposed anti-Christ "Warlock". And the real Antichrist is called Adam. Kind of obvious, wouldn't you think?
  • Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze, is an interesting case, since he was allegedly based on a certain Richard Henry Savage.
  • James Joyce: the Trope Namer. Stephen Dedalus must - like Daedalus - not fly too close to the sun i.e. he must wait for his brilliance to emerge.
  • Redwall does it a lot, though Brian Jacques often draws on Old English so it's not so noticeable. On one occasion he actually did it unintentionally: in The Bellmaker a character who is imprisoned in his own castle is named Gael, which is very similar to "gaol", the Old English word for jail.
  • The Honor Harrington books have "Robert Stanton Pierre", who leads a very French Revolution-like overthrow of a government, complete with a Tennis Court Oath, a Committee of Public Safety, and a Reign of Terror. Lampshaded at the end of the novel introducing the aforementioned changes, when the last line of the novel mentions orders being signed in his name as 'Rob. S. Pierre'
  • Reversed in Being There. The protagonist's name is Chance, he apparently has no given last name, and as he is a gardener, he always introduces himself to other people as Chance the Gardener. When he meets Eve Rand and tells her his name, she hears it as the more conventional Chauncey Gardiner. The author explains that Chance doesn't question it in part because many people on TV have two names (actor and character). This plays differently in the film: Chance is having his first alcoholic drink just as she asks the question, and he chokes on it as he answers, so it does come out sounding like Chauncey Gardiner. Either way, Chance is too dim to realize this misunderstanding, so the new name sticks.
  • Played with in Catch-22, where a man named Major Major Major is accidentally promoted to the rank of Major due to a clerical error, and a file clerk short-stops all attempts to correct this because he thinks it's funny. Major Major Major Major can never be demoted or promoted from a rank he didn't earn.
  • Discworld, by Terry Pratchett:
    • Subverted in Lords and Ladies. A man named Weaver is actually the village's baker, Mr. Thatcher works as a carter, etc. Furthermore, Mr. Carter's first name is Bestiality. (His parents had several daughters named Chastity, Prudence, etc. When they had their first son, they got confused.) The narrator informs the audience that Chastity Carter grew up to be a... Seamstress, and that Bestiality Carter is, in fact, very gentle and kind to animals.
    • Played straight and lampshaded in Mort, wherein the eponymous character becomes Death's apprentice. When Death learns of Mort's name, he comments: What a coincidence.
    • Played straight in Small Gods with Saint Ungulant. He's not a saint of any particular god; his full name is Sevrian Thaddeus Ungulant, and when someone pointed out his initials, " all seemed rather inevitable."
    • The Wee Free Men has the Feegle Rob Anybody. And he will.
  • In Sliced Bread 2, a fictional blog written from the perspective of a superhero's assistant, the Big Bad turns out to be named Rafhaiel Thing.
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency has many Coleridge allusions in it; fitting, then, that one character's name is Albert Ross (though this fact is well camouflaged in the text). And let's not get into how Dirk means "To Stab"...
  • Roald Dahl's book Going Solo has a fake Sikh on a boat to Africa named U.N. Savory. Granted, it has nothing to do with the rest of the book (although he could be considered "unsavory" by lying to everyone on the boat that he was Sikh).
  • Spider Robinson wrote several stories involving two characters who in their first appearance are introduced as having been named Lester Moore (pronounced "more") and Mary Gluham (pronounced "gloom") before marriage, and having swapped surnames afterwards to become Les Gluham and Mary Moore.
  • Nanny Cook and Nanny Butler in The Hundred and One Dalmatians are the respective childhood nannies of Mr. and Mr. Dearly. When their charges grow up and marry, the two old nannies have a laugh about their respective surnames and lament that it's a shame they aren't a real cook and a real butler, since that's what the newlyweds need. This inspires them both to train up to become a cook and a butler, respectively, and rejoining the Dearly household in their new roles. They run into a slight problem, since while it's appropriate to call a cook "Cook," the one thing you cannot call a butler is "Butler." Fortunately they both end up being addressed as "Nanny darling" anyway.
  • Artemis Fowl:
    • The butler's name is...Butler. This is actually an inversion, as it's heavily implied and speculated in-universe that the Butler family has been in the business so long that the profession was named after them. Also a subversion, as Butler is also a bodyguard.
  • Wild Cards:
    • Jack Braun gains super-strength
    • And James Spector gains the power to raise from the dead (like a spectre) and the power to kill with his gaze (spec- at least indicates vision).
    • There are a lot of these in the Wildcards 'verse. It's justified in-universe as the alien virus that triggers super powers (and super-deaths/disabilities) is strongly influenced by the subconscious.
  • Scullion in Porterhouse Blue - the name is an old word for "servant" and Scullion is a zealous servant of the college. (A throwaway line suggests that he might actually be descended from the original college servants back in The Dung Ages.)
  • In Charles Stross's The Jennifer Morgue, occult hacker Bob Howard reveals that his middle names are Oliver and Francis. Note that "Bob Howard" is not his real name, so this is a deliberate Shout-Out.
  • Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger has a secondary character whose real name is Dr. Pickell. The reason everybody calls him "Dr. Pickle" is that he hypnotizes his patients by dangling a pickle-shaped pendant in front of them.
  • Philonecron, the antagonist of the Cronus Chronicles series. His name literally means "lover of death," from the Greek philo-, meaning loving, and nekros, meaning death or corpse.
  • In Keys to the Kingdom, Arthur Penhaligon, like Arthur Pendragon, is a mere mortal with an ordinary upbringing who turns out to be the heir to rule over a (in Penhaligon's case celestial) people.
  • The Quest of the Unaligned:
    • All aligned mages have the name of their discipline somewhere in their own name: Laeshana, Deshamai, Naruahn, etc. Word of God reveals this to be more of an Invoked Trope, as it turns out mages actually change their name to match their power. For example, Laeshana was Lahana before her fire-magic manifested.
    • Also worth noting that this rule explicitly doesn't apply to the unaligned mages of the royal house. Kethel, Tathilya, Alaric, etc can keep their birth names. Laeshana's becoming unaligned has sparked a controversy in the court of Caederan over whether she should stay Laeshana, revive her birth name of Lahana, or rename herself to Lorahna.
  • Among other examples in The Posterchildren, you have Zipporah "Zip" Chance, a speedster.
  • From the Land of Oz there's Nick Chopper aka the Tin Woodsman and his doppelganger Captain Fyter, aka the Tin Soldier.
  • A Certain Magical Index has Touma Kamijou, whose name can also be pronounced as "The One Who Purifies Gods and Slays Demons" or "Invisible Demon Above God". He manages to talk a Physical God into a Heel–Face Turn, and other gods want him to serve a similar role for them. It's claimed that his power was originally a weapon meant to drive back demons. Finally, his body contains an entity that's described as being invisible and is seemingly more powerful than God.
  • Hero by Perry Moore had The Spectrum, a rainbow-themed superhero whose real name was Roy G. Biv.
  • Record of Grancrest War: Silicate is a class of minerals often purple in color, so it's no surprise that Siluca favors earth magic and has purple eyes. It's somewhat justified in that magic is passed on through bloodlines, so her parents knew she would have some type of it.
  • The Cloak Society: Misty has the power to dissolve into a cloud, and wants people to call her "the Mist."
  • The Lion King: Six New Adventures: Scar's original name is given as Taka. It translates both to "garbage" and "to want" in Swahili, which are both characteristics of Scar's. (You can probably also guess where his brother issues come from.)
  • Xanadu (Storyverse): A character named Wynd becomes transformed into a pegasus. This is lampshaded by her sister Skye, who remarks on the serendipity of the situation while lamenting how her own name doesn't match her transformation into a mermaid.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Gotham had appearances by several of the villains mentioned in the Batman Comic Book section above, and also The Dollmaker, who in this version of the story is Doctor Dulmacher, one of several examples in this show of a German(ish) surname becoming anglicized (Fries, Kappelput).
  • The Flash:
    • The 90's show did this with Captain Cold. Now, in the comics, he was Leonard Snart. Here, he's Leonard Wynters. Subtle.
    • The Flash (2014) adds one that isn't in the comics with the Mist, who is Named by the Adaptation as Kyle Nimbus (in the original, his surname is never revealed, and Nimbus was an alternate name he used in the Will Payton Starman series).
  • Heroes:
    • One of the eponymous heroes is a Japanese man named Hiro. Supposedly named after Hiroshima, which was destroyed by a nuclear explosion, and his mission in Season 1 to stop New York from being destroyed by a nuclear explosion. Lampshaded by Hiro's friend, who ironically calls him "Super-Hiro".
    • A new villain is named Echo DeMille. And his power is shouting.
    • HRG: After spending most of the beginning of the series collecting people with abilities, we find out in the first season finale that his first name is Noah.
    • Lydia, the girl in Volume 5 whose powers are triggered when Samuel Sulivan alters her tattoos. Lydia The Tattooed Lady? Although since she's a carny, that probably isn't her real name.
  • Meet the new chaplain of Childrens Hospital, Rabbi Jewy McJewjew.
  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future: Captain Jonathan Power.
  • Scrubs:
    • Dr. Beardfacé has a remarkable beard. On his face. He's tired of people pronouncing it "Beardface".
    • "Dr." Jan Itor who happens to be not a janitor but Doctor.
  • Truth in Television: Seasons 1 and 2 of Reality Show Canada's Worst Handyman had a general contractor on hand named Greg House (no, he's not an expert diagnostician). Seasons 3 and 4 has Geoff Woodmansey, also a contractor.
  • The first of The Tomorrow People in the 1990s remake to come into his powers was named "Adam Newman". Adam as in the name of the first man, and Newman as in "New man" — first of a new species of human.
  • Season 4 of Blake's 7 opened with a one-episode villain who introduced himself as Dorian and subsequently turned out to have an immortality MacGuffin in his basement. It's never established whether he was born with that name or deliberately picked it as an alias.
  • Parodied on Friends:
    Phoebe: Hey. Why isn't it Spiderman? You know, like Goldman, Silverman.
    Chandler: Because, it... it's not his last name.
    Phoebe: It isn't?
    Chandler: No. It's not like Phil Spiderman. He's a Spider Man. You know, like Goldman is a last name but there's no Gold Man.
    Phoebe: Oh, oh okay...
    Phoebe: There should be a Gold Man!
  • Guess the powers of these Smallville metahumans:
  • The lead character on Strange Luck was Chance Harper, who grew up to be a Coincidence Magnet of epic proportions. Justified in that he was the sole survivor of a plane crash when he was very young, so was given the name "Chance" by his adoptive parents in remembrance of his miraculous escape.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor is the man who makes people better. And his arch-nemesis is The Master; "a psychiatrist's field day". It's stated in Season 6 that the universe got the word doctor from the Time Lord himself, so in this case, he named his own profession.
  • Ken Gemberling, the hero of Fat Guy Stuck in Internet, finds out from a prophet that his "Internet Name" is Fat Guy Stuck in Internet.
  • Wanda from Corner Gas had to visit a dentist in one episode. The dentists she looked up were named Dr. Hurtz, Dr. Payne, Dr. Yankum, and the first name of a fourth one was Lance.
  • According to Alex in Wizards of Waverly Place, wizarding parents invoke this by naming their kids things they want them to be when they grow up, hence why Justin has a teacher named Teacher. It doesn't always work as, as their wizarding doctor is named Butcher.
  • Justified, lampshaded, and discussed in an episode of The Office (US), where Dwight skips work to go visit Jan behind Michael's back, with the excuse that he had to go visit the dentist. Michael finds out, and presses Dwight to confess. When asked what the name of Dwight's dentist is, he makes up the name "Crentist" on the spot. Michael immediately points out how similar this name sounds to the word "dentist", and Dwight tries to cover with the excuse that perhaps the name is the reason why he became a dentist.
  • In the failed pilot of Poochinski Peter Boyle's character in a fatal accident has his soul transferred into the body of a dog. Take a wild guess what his surname was.
  • Wynonna Earp:
    • The local sheriff's office has a Fair Cop recurring character who's name is Nicole Haught. Lampshaded in her introduction:
      Waverly: (picking up Nicole's business card) Officer... hot. Of course.
    • Doc Holliday (yes, that one) went around using his real name John Henry to conceal who he was the first few episodes.
  • The titular character in Filipino sitcom Pepito Manaloto, who's an ordinary man who struck rich when he won the lottery. While Manaloto is a legitimate Filipino surname, it is also a contraction of the words of "manalo sa Lotto," or, in English, to win the lottery.
  • Cindy MacKenzie from Veronica Mars is usually referred to as "Mac". She just happens to be an expert with computers.
  • In Gal Gadot's interview with Jimmy Kimmel, he asked about her name's meaning. She said it translate into "Wave Riverbank". Jimmy joked that with a name like that, she should have played Aquagirl instead of Wonder Woman.
  • Subverted by Monty Python's Flying Circus in the "Bicycle Repairman" sketch. Mr. F.G. Superman's name is actually quite normal, on account of the fact that he lives in a society inhabited entirely by other Supermen, and does not in any way hint at his secret identity as... Bicycle Repairman!
  • Painkiller in Black Lightning was never given a real name. In the TV series, he's Named by the Adaptation as Khalil Payne.
  • The Seinfeld episode "The Library" had a library cop named Lt. Bookman, whose job is to track down unreturned books.. This was lampshaded by Kramer.
    "That's like having an ice cream man named Cone."
  • In Once Upon a Time, the Evil Queen is actually named Regina, which means "queen." Of course, making her queen was Cora's plan all along. Less of an Invoked Trope with Zelena, who was given a name meaning "green" before she actually turned green (with envy) and became the Wicked Witch of the West.

  • Les Luthiers has the XVIII Baroque Composer Johann Sebastian Mastropiero. Who sometimes was called Wolfgang Amadeus Mastropiero and Petrov Ilich Mastropiero.

    Myths & Religion 
  • This is Older Than Feudalism: In The Bible, many figures have names that determine their destiny, and some have their names changed to change their destiny, the thinking being "saying it comes before seeing it". in Matthew 1:21 an angel tells Joseph to name the child "Jesus". The statement in Matthew 1:21 "you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins". The name "Jesus" (possibly a better translation would be Yahshua) means "Yahweh Saves", as Jesus was destined to die for the salvation of mankind. Also something of an appeal to the "everyman" idea: at the time, Joshua (which eventually was transliterated to "Jesus") was an extremely common Hebrew name, on par with naming your prophet "John Smith" in the US in the 1800s or 1900s — sort of a very generic "patriotic" type of name. Though this sort of comes around in a circle, since it was a popular name BECAUSE it meant "deliverance" at a time that Judea was a subject state of the Roman Empire under fairly strict rule with regular rebellions.
  • In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus' name literally means "dude who pisses people off."

  • Hi Nay has DJ the DJ, who lampshades it with their Catchphrase of "DJ‘s the name my mama gave me".

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Former ECW wrestler Peter Polaco (AKA P.J. Walker and Aldo Montoya) is best known by the ring name Justin Credible, which he still uses on the Independent Circuit.
  • Montel Vontavious Porter ("M.V.P."), a cocky, egotistical, overpaid athlete.
  • Irwin R. Schyster ("I.R.S."), a wrestling IRS agent. Also, 'shyster.'
  • Isaac Yankem ("I. Yankem"), a wrestling dentist.
  • Borderline case: Val Venis, the wrestling porn star. However, this could "really" be a porn-star-style stage name. More of less confirmed during his run under the actual wrestler's name of Sean Morley. He transitioned into the gimmick and back to Val Venis with no questions asked. The name and gimmick were based on Dirk Diggler from Boogie Nights (with some influence from "Ravishing" Rick Rude).
  • Henry O. and Phineas I. Godwinn, pig farmers
  • Further examples of this include some masked men in Fighting Opera HUSTLE, such as Mixed Martial Artists Kevin Randleman going as the masked hero "Randle-man" or Mark Coleman as "Cole-man".
  • One of the earlier names that Hulk Hogan took was "Terry Boulder", a close name to his real one, Terry Bollea.
  • In a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as a terminally incompetent Superman, Jimmy Olsen comments on how much his secret identity-keeping has improved: "At least he's not calling himself 'Supe R. Man' anymore."
  • Paige Turner, the wrestling librarian.
  • Paul Bearer, a mortician who was the manager for The Undertaker. William Moody, the real guy, actually did work as a mortician in Real Life.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Mutants & Masterminds: Likely as a homage to comic book superheroes, like many things in the setting, Freedom City's Doctor Tomorrow was born Tomas Morgen. "Morgen" means tomorrow in German (it also means morning, but that's beside the point).
  • Fletcher Beaumont is the Bowman (A fletcher is an arrow-maker, and "Beaumont" is an almost exact homonym). In fact, three generations of Fletcher Beaumonts have been the Bowman - Fletcher Beaumont was Bowman I in the Golden Age, Fletcher Beaumont Jr. was Bowman III in the Silver Age, and Fletcher Beaumont III is the current Bowman IV. (Bowman II was Tim Quinn, formerly the Kid Sidekick Arrow.
  • Scion tends to give its sample characters these kinds of names as reflection of their divine parentage. Sometimes they're fairly subtle (Brigitte de la Croix, Scion of Baron Samedi, after the Baron's wife Maman Brigitte and his tendency to hang out at the crossroads), other times... not (Horace Farrow, Scion of Horus, and yes, the last name's pronounced exactly the way you think it is).
  • A minor villain with ice powers, named Frazil, in a Savage Worlds setting Peacekeepers has his name listed as Joshua Coldwater.
  • Warhammer 40,000 is about as subtle as, well, a warhammer to the face with these.
    • The Primarch of the World Eaters, a man who grew up on a planet where Gladiator Games were the norm, and was about to lead a Gladiator Revolt against his masters, before being kidnapped by the Emperor, seeding resentment for years to come, and later turned to the Chaos god of rage and war? Angron.
    • The Champion of Nurgle, Chaos god of disease, is named Typhus (born Calas Typhon). Other Nurglites include Epidemius, Herperitus and Necrosius.
    • The White Scars are basically the Mongol Horde IN SPACE!, replacing horses with motorbikes and antigrav speeders. Their Primarch, who united the warring tribes of his planet against its empire and took over the planet was Jaghatai Khan (after Genghis Khan's son Chagatai).
    • The winged Primarch of the Blood Angels, a Chapter of Space Marines who suffer vampiric afflictions and bloodlust, was Sanguinius.
    • Canis Wolfborn of the Space Wolves, Wolf Guard of Wolf Lord Harald Deathwolf's Great Company, riding a Thunderwolf into battle and accompanied by his own wolfpack, believed by the Wolf Priests to have been Raised by Wolves. Oh, and the Space Wolves' home planet is Fenris.
    • Ferrus Manus, Primarch of the... Iron Hands Chapter.
    • The Chapter with the heaviest forging imagery, what with being based on a volcanic planet, was of course led by Vulkan.
    • The Primarch of the Raven Guard, a black-armored Chapter who specialize in jetpacks (out of jealousy of his brother Sanguinius' wings, he practiced with it until he could fly just as well)? Corvus Corax.
    • A Dark Eldar Archon known to flay her enemies alive is of course named Kruellagh the Vile.
  • In Sentinels of the Multiverse, there's a character whose civilian name is Ryan Frost. His superhero identity? Absolute Zero, essentially a heroic Mr. Freeze (although the heroism was admittedly originally to pay off the cost of his suit).

  • Romeo and Juliet has a good-natured and good-humored character called Benvolio which translates to good-will neatly describing his motivations. It can also mean Peacemaker, which is also apt given lines like "Halt fools, put up your swords, you know not what you do."
  • Similarly, Malvolio is a villainous (and also somewhat incompetent) character in the play Twelfth Night. He is, in fact, the exact opposite of Benvolio.

    Video Games 
  • Many of the eponymous Assassins of the Assassin's Creed games are named after birds of prey (specifically, eagles). Of note are the protagonists of the first two games, Altair (name means "the flying (eagle)") and Ezio (Italian name derived from a Greek word meaning "eagle"). Fitting, with the way their skills and work clothes make them look like eagles.
  • In City of Heroes:
    • Belladonna "Ghost Widow" Vetrano was an assassin in life, while Tammy "Numina" Arcanus is a mage who survives in astral form after her body was destroyed.
    • Jim Temblor has earth control powers, just like his father, Bill "Faultline" Temblor.
    • During a Resistance mission in Going Rogue, you're supported offscreen by a pair of snipers, named "Griefer" and "Headshot". Guess where the names come from.
  • RuneScape: Almost all skill tutors. Firemaking tutor is called Marcus Everburn. Smithing tutor is called Martin Steelweaver. Hunter tutor is Ayleth Beaststalker, and so on.
  • The Sega Genesis video game Contra: Hard Corps (itself an example of this, a military take on the word "Hardcore", also referring to the game's legendary difficulty) has 2 selectable characters exemplifying this trope: Ray Poward (whose primary weapon is the classic Laser from the original Contra) and Brad Fang (a wolf-man).
  • Parodied in Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, with the so-called Large Ham Evil Overlord the "Flayvor of Evil".
  • In Planescape: Torment, Ignus became obsessed with fire, became a pyromaniac and then became a living being consumed by flames with the power to create flames from himself. It's most likely an Invoked Trope, however, as the game indicates that he gave himself the name because of his obsession with fire. There's also Morte, who's a floating human skull. Just in case the player doesn't get it, one of the things he says when selected is "Morte. As in Latin. For death."
  • In the Pokémon games, most (or all, some are just more of a stretch if you believe them at all) of the Gym Leaders and some other powerful trainers such as the Elite Four have meaningful names related to the type of Pokémon they happen to grow up to exclusively train.
    • The original games give us: the painfully obvious Brock; Misty, the Water-type master; Lt. Surge; Erika, referring to the Erica genus of heathers, is a grass-type trainer; Koga, after one school/style of Ninja arts, trains Poison-types; Sabrina (from psy + brain, or a Sabrina the Teenage Witch reference) trains Psychic-types; Blaine similar to blaze, (and he lives on a volcano that later erupts!); and Giovanni (pun on geo) for Ground-types. In the Elite Four, there's Lorelei, named after a German water creature; Bruno, similar to brawn, Fighting-type; Agatha (similar to "aghast") of the Ghost-type; and Lance, a weapon used by knights, trains Dragons-types.
    • Gen II continues the trend in Johto with Falk(on)er; Bugsy (guess); plain-jane Whitney and her normal-types; Morty, a death-pun and Ghost-type trainer; Chuck the Fighting trainer; trope appears to be averted with Steel-type user Jasmine, who doesn't train Grass-types - until a closer look at her name's second syllable; Pryce; Clair the Dragon-type leader's name comes from dragons' lair; Koga's daughter/replacement Janine (reverse the syllables); and in the Elite Four, Psychic-specialist Will (as in -power); and the Dark-specialist Karen comes from a corruption of "darken" as well as her philosophy of using your favorite Pokemon, the ones you truly care for.
    • For the third round, Hoenn, Roxanne is a Rock-type trainer; Brawly (guess correctly or get punched); Wattson; Fire-user Flannery; Norman, a Normal-type trainer; Winona's Flying-types soaring on the air currents; Psychic-users Tate and Liza (Liza-Tate sounds similar to "levitate"); and Watery Wallace and Juan. The punnier-than-usual Hoenn Elite Four & Champ contain Dark type user Sidney (sounds an awful lot like "sinister"), Phoebe's fearful Ghost-types calling out to Greek god Phobos as well as "phantom"; cold lady Glacia; and Drake the Dragon man; with sometimes-champion Steel/Rock-user Steven Stone.
    • In Sinnoh, there's the poorly disguised Roark (Rock-type); Gardenia (Grass-type), also a kind of flower; a Fighting-type melee with Maylene; the Water-type using Crasher Wake (though given his Masked Wrestler persona that might be a pseudonym); Fantina uses Ghost-type; Byron, Steel-type; there's the Ice-using Candice; and there's Volkner too, he's a real shocker. For the Elite Four there's Bertha who is a Ground-type (earth) user; Lucian's Psychics may use confusing illusions or cause hallucination; Flint, a Fire-type user is the most obvious one in Elite Four of Sinnoh. Platinum reveals that Flint only chose to train Fire types after learning a flint is something used to spark fires.
    • In Unova, there's the edible trio of Cilan(tro), (water)Cress, and (spicy) Chili; the incredibly subtle Burgh; Elesa, the expert of electricity; Clay; Skyla; Brycen; and Drayden, who apparently trained in the Dragon's Den in Gen. II. For the Elite Four there's Shauntal, mistress of Ghosts; Grimsley, a foreboding Dark-user gambler; and Marshal, the martial-arts expert of the Unova Elite 4.
      • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2: Several characters' names has some sort of meaning (Roxie, user of toxic poison types (and she also rox out as the lead singer and guitarist in her band); marine Water-type trainer Marlon, whose name resembles that of a fish; and so on). Also, minor NPC Stu Deeoh is the head of Pokéstar Studios.
    • Kalos has Bug-user Viola, who's named for a genus of butterfly; the rocky Grant (from granite, but possibly also a reference to Alan Grant, as they're both associated with dinosaurs); the fighting Korrina, which sounds like K.O. plus "arena"; the grassy Ramos, whose name involves several plants; the shocking Clemont, which has to do with the lemon battery; Valerie, whose name combines a plant genus with "faerie"; the psychic Olympia, which is reminiscent of the divine Mt. Olympus; and Wulfric, whose name could mean "frigid wolf." The elite trainers include the fiery Malva, which combines "magma" and "lava"; the watery Siebold (as in sea); and Drasna, which is reminiscent of "dragon."
    • Galar has Nessa, a water specialist named after... a certain body of water. Also Bea, the fighting Gym Leader, which sounds a lot like "beat"; and the Dark-type user Piers (sounds similar to "pierce").
    • English names for protagonists not named after a version: Ruby and Sapphire’s protagonists Brendan (sounds like "land") and May (sounds like "bay") fit the land vs. water theming. Diamond and Pearl’s protagonists are Lucas (comes from the German "lux", meaning light) and Dawn (self-explanatory). Black and White’s are named Hilbert (means "bright in battle"), Hilda ("battle maiden"). The sequels, Black 2 and White 2, star Nate and Rosa (Rosa and Nate, RosaNate, resonate). X and Y’s Kalos region is calm and serene, perfect for Calem and Serena. Sun and Moon star Elio (from the sun god Helios) and Selene (from the moon goddess Selene). Sword and Shield, the games named after weapons, have protagonists named Victor (victory) and Gloria (glory). The Let's Go games have Chase (from... well, "chase") and Elaine (from "lane").
    • The spinoff games are not immune to this either, as the Quirky Miniboss Squad of Pokémon Ranger Shadows of Almia the Sinis Trio consists of Ice, who first confronts you in an icy castle, Lavana, who is first fought in a volcano, and Heath, whom you run into in the desert. Meanwhile, one of the main antagonists of Guardian Signs is a magician named Hocus.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The game has more pun NPC names than you can shake a stick at — such as zeppelin officer Hin Denberg.
    • King Genn Greymane, the racial leader of the worgen, is an unintentional example, as he was created way back in Warcraft II, when Gilneas was still a human kingdom and long before the worgen were introduced into the lore.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • While Dr. Eggman has a lot of egg named devices, these are mostly named after himself given his ego to stick his name and face on everything. However, his original American name, Dr. Robotnik, counts, when you consider what all his enemy forces are.
    • Obviously Sonic himself (name relating to the speed of sound) as well as his speed boosting transformations Super Sonic, and the even faster Hyper Sonic.
    • Then of course you have his friends Knuckles (giant boxing glove-like hands), Tails (two tailed fox) or his birth name Miles Prower (pun on Miles per hour), and Big the Cat (is a Big Cat).
  • Crash Bandicoot is full of them:
    • Dr Neo Cortex. Named after a part of the brain, wants to turn the world into mindless slaves
    • Dr N. Brio. (Embryo) creates loads of new types of animals
    • Dr N. Gin. (Engine) builds massive robots
    • Dr N. Tropy. (Entropy) Responsible for maintaining the time machine
    • Dr N. Trance. (Entrance) Specialized in hypnosis
    • Nitros Oxide. Named after a fuel that typically provides a boost to cars, claims to be the fastest racer in the galaxy.
  • Donkey Kong Country had King K. Rool (Cruel), among numerous others.
  • Much is made of this in Half-Life 2, where Gordon Freeman is often called "the one Free Man."
  • Dr Serena Patel, Octavius's successor as Doc Ock in the Marvel 2099 sections of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions has a first name that's a homonym for cirrina, a subfamily of octopusses.
  • The protagonist in the Genesis version of D.J. Boy is named "Donald J. Boy." This is not entirely consistent with the original arcade version though, where the two player characters were named Bob and Tom.
  • The title character of the Amiga game Benefactor is named Ben E. Factor.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has Rief (specializing in liquid water), his older sister Nowell (heavily hinted to be An Ice Person), and the furry girl whose name always refers to a light in darkness (Stella, Sveta, etc.).
  • Splatoon has Judd, the judge for multiplayer mode.
  • Halstron Balestrom became the shockingly storm school professor in Wizard101. Dalia Falmea becoming the fire school professor appear to be this at first glance, but it's actually because she's a fire elf.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has the bartender Bart Ender.
    • Kingdom of Loathing is made of puns: another example is the villain "Rene C. Corman", a seemingly-helpful archaeologist fellow whose name is an anagram of 'Necromancer'.
  • The incredibly subtly-named Fenix from StarCraft, who goes through Only Mostly Dead returning as a Man in the Machine (unfortunately Killed Off for Real in the expansion.)
  • Mortal Kombat features Sub-Zero, the Chinese Lin Kuei assassin with ice powers. Two characters, a pair of brothers, have used this identity. Mortal Kombat 9 reveals their birth names are Bi-Han (which roughly means "come in from the cold"), and Kuai Liang (roughly meaning "flash freeze").
  • The mobile detective game Hidden Objects: Mystery Crimes has a case involving an aquarium employee named "Finn Waters".
  • From Ace Attorney, Athena Cykes' Japanese name, 心音, means 'Heart Sound'. Guess her ability. Yes, that's right: she can literally hear emotions.
  • The director you help out in the second level of Elite Beat Agents is named Chris Silverscreen.
  • The numerous punny names in Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock! often are this. For example, Connie Vection (convection) specializes in atmospheric sciences, which Sue Nami (tsunami) specializes in oceanic sciences.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has Medli, a Rito girl whose skill with the harp means she can play a medley of melodies.
  • Kirby: Planet Robobot gives us Max Proffit Haltmann, who is the C.E.O of a massive company.
  • Eternal Darkness has the Roivas family, combining this with Sdrawkcab Name. That said, it is a legitimate surname, having its roots in the Estonian region.
  • The Other: Rosie's Road of Love: The flower seller named Florence.

    Web Animation 
  • Parodied in the Homestar Runner toon DNA Evidence, where Coach Z claims to be the superhero Damp Towel Man, and his mild-mannered alter-ego, Dan Towelman. He later mentions his nemesis, Dry Ragamuffin, and his Secret Identity, Dreyfus Ragamoofin. Strong Sad says that the Coach has a "real sucky imagination".
  • It's the same with Burnt Face Man: a.k.a. Burt Faceman.
  • RWBY:
    • Ruby Rose has the ability to burst into rose petals, allowing her to move at superhuman speeds.
    • Winter Schnee can use her family's inherited Semblance, which includes the ability to produce ice avatars of any Grimm foes she's felled in battle that helped contribute to her growth as a person. At the end of Volume 8, a dying Penny chooses Winter to inherit the Maiden powers, preventing Cinder from obtaining them and resulting in Winter becoming... the Winter Maiden.
    • Cinder Fall has the ability to superheat objects at will, and becomes the Fall Maiden.
    • Subverted in Volume 5. We're led to believe that Vernal is the Spring Maiden, but in reality, she's a mere decoy. The true Maiden is Raven Branwen.
    • Twins Raven and Qrow Branwen have the ability to turn into a raven and a crow, respectively. May be an Invoked Trope, as they were magically granted this power by Ozpin, and it's unclear if their Punny Names played a part in this.
    • Of the Ace Ops in Volumes 7&8, Clover has the Semblance of good fortune, while Elm can root herself to the ground, and her partner Vine can generate vine-like aura appendages from his arms and legs.
    • Played for Laughs with a shady man who is revealed in the credits to be named Shay D. Mann.
  • Many of the main Inscribed characters of Epithet Erased (with the exception of Ramsey Murdoch) have a name that has to do, in some way, shape or form, with their Epithet, though some are more subtle or are a Bilingual Bonus.
    • Molly Blyndeff’s Epithet is Dumb. Her last name is in reference to the olden saying “blind, deaf and dumb”, with “dumb” in that context used as synonymous with mute rather than stupid.
    • Giovanni Potage’s Epithet is Soup. His last name is a type of thick soup.
    • Indus Tarbella’s Epithet is BARRIER!! In Pakistan, along the Indus River, lies a massive dam that blocks water, known as the Tarbela Dam.
    • Sylvester Ashling’s Epithet is Drowsy. His last name is an adapted Irish name (Aisling) meaning “dream”.
    • Mera Salamin’s Epithet is Fragile. Her first name is an adapted form of “mirror”, and her last name means “mirror” or “glass” in Tagalog.
    • Percival King’s Epithet is Parapet. Her name further ties in with the theme of fantasy, as her first name is shared by one of the Knights of the Round Table, and her last name is quite obvious.
    • Zora Salazar’s Epithet is Sundial. Her first name is Slavic in origin, and can mean “dawn”.

  • Incredibly prominent in 8-Bit Theater. Black Mage's full name is Black Mage Evilwizardington. Guess what profession he adopted? This applies to all of the protagonists (Red Mage, Fighter, Thief) and many other characters. Dragoon even lampshades this in Episode 692.
    Muffin: A spear? Through my brain? My... only... weakness...!
    Dragoon: And that's why they call me Dragoon. Also, it's my name. So, that's another good reason people usually call me Dragoon. I don't answer to Sebastian.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Grace Sciuridae, a.k.a. Shade Tail, is a part-squirrel Half-Human Hybrid. "Sciuridae" is the formal name for the family of mammals which includes squirrels; it actually means "shade tail" in Greek. Apparently, Dr. Sciuridae's last name was not one of the factors which went into the decision to use squirrel DNA for her (the original human donor was supposed to be a strong, beefy man, but Sciuridae substituted the sample with one from his dead daughter, which is why Grace considers him her grandfather). Also, Grace Sciuridae = Grace Squirrel = Grey Squirrel.
    • It eventually is revealed that name based magic affinity is a legit thing in the setting (at least under the current rules of magic). Just a first or last name usually wouldn't be enough to change things, but a name like Catalina Bobcat can apparently result in you, if you get magic, starting out getting cat-themed spells. Pandora doesn't like it very much though, since it isn't logical from her point of view, and can sometimes interfere with other spells she considers more interesting. She does note that it's kind of a nature vs. nurture thing when observing a girl named Kitty, whose mark gives her the ability to turn men into Cat Girls — she has an obsession with catgirls that leads Pandora to muse that she might have gotten the same power even with a different name, if not for the question of whether or not she developed the obsession because of the name.
  • A discarded project by S. Sakurai of Muertitos and Gorgeous Princess Creamy Beamy would have starred Theresa Henrietta Underthighs, who became the superheroine Thunderthighs — disturbingly close to being an actual occurrence of the trope title.
  • In The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, sidekick Wonderita's first name is Rita, and Rival hero Patrianna is actually Anna Petri.
  • From Strawberry Death Cake, Sir Winston S. Moosington receives a curse that turns him into a woodland creature - but not a wolf....
  • Erfworld's Parson Gotti is an anagram of "protagonist". This is mostly significant in the comic's World of Pun setting because Parson is from our world, and his name was decided outside of the influence of the setting's "Signamancy," which leads to everyone having a name that is this trope (for example, Jillian Zamussels, the warlord/barbarian, and King Don, head of the vampire/mafia mashup side Transylvito).
  • The Easy Breather has Christopher David Light ("see the light", who has the power to... glow) and Ruth Ellen Seaver, alias the Operator, a cellphone-themed villain.
  • Parodied in this Dinosaur Comics, featuring Justin Tehnikov Time.
  • Referenced in Questionable Content #699. Whether Penelope Gaines really is Pizza Girl, making this an actual example, is yet to be determined, though it seems unlikely that plot thread will be taken up again. If not, though, she was definitely named after her for the sake of the joke, making it an Inverted Trope.
  • Parodied in Sluggy Freelance: "Secret Angel Princess Princess is really Princess Princess!" Parodied in this strip: "Yet another mix-up at the office of wizard naming"
  • Invoked over and over in Everyday Heroes. Mr. Mighty's real name is Marion John Mighty. (Word of God has it that his grandfather, after gaining superpowers, legally changed his surname to "Mighty"). There is also Mr. Mighty's arch-nemesis, Dr. Dooley Unpleasant; reformed villain Dr. Odious (and his music-loving son, Mel Odious); Simon Burke Davidson, commonly known as S.B.D. (he emits a terrible stench when turning invisible); and Carrie Pelosi, who has an enormous head of hair (and whose last name literally translates as "hairy").
  • In Bob the Angry Flower: "The Cube Root of 500", scholar Trent Abakuz turns into a giant abacus.
  • The eponymous hero of Axe Cop was born Axey Smartist according to his origin story. He discarded his previous name at the start of the first episode.
  • The Order of the Stick has Roy Greenhilt, a fighter whose ancestral sword (which the family took its name from) has a green hilt; Durkon Thundershield, cleric of Thor; and Belkar Bitterleaf, who is the Token Evil Teammate.
  • Grrl Power has Super Hiro, who didn't have to try very hard for his superhero alias. Maximillia "Maxima" Leander also has a very convenient given name considering her powers. Varia delivers a Take That! to this kind of thing getting overused in comics.
    Varia: No, that's dumb, how could they? That'd be like someone with spider powers named Ara K'Nid, or a teleporter named Telford Porter.
  • Endemic in the Supers theme of Irregular Webcomic!, as revealed on the cast page: Captain Spatula is Jakob Utensil; Dino Boy is Johnny Raptor; Refractive Man (whose body is made of crystal) is Malcom Calcite; and Worm Master is Andy Annelid. On the villains' side, the Hippo is Maxamillian Waterhorse (hippos = "horse", potamos = "river"), Earl of Taweret; the Sea Dog is Captain Karl Nein ("K. Nein"); Aqualich (who has command of dead fish) is Professor Arthur Gefilte; and the cockroach-like Bug is Archy Mehitabel.
  • Lampooned in this xkcd comic regarding athlete's names; it mentions three real names (Margaret Court, a tennis player; Gary Player, a golf player; and Lonzo Ball, a basketball player), and then a few other names like Jake Halfpipe, Dwight Shuttlecock and Kate Dopingscandal. The Alt Text mentions how Usain Bolt will be superseded in popularity by Derek Legs in the 2090s.

    Web Original 
  • Parodied by Internet humorist Seanbaby in this article:
    The letter came from a man named Scott Seomin. And yes, with a name like Seomin, you really only have two choices for your career: sperm doctor or gay. Expecting anything else would be like naming your kid Max Q. Infant Launcher and thinking he wouldn't grow up to invent the baby catapult.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Anna Raquel Parsons has low-level powers from a squirrel spirit. Phase suggests the name 'Aquerna' from the Middle English word for squirrel. (Phase knows junk like this.) The trope gets lampshaded when Anna's friends try to turn her name into an anagram that includes her codename 'aquerna'. The best they can come up with is 'Aquerna plans sonar', which everyone agrees is stupid.
    • Brigand, a known supervillain, was born one Brian Andrew Gentry.
  • In Small Problem, Debby Small becomes six and a half inches tall.
  • In Tales of MU, the main character is named Mackenzie Blaise and she is a half-demon with fire powers.
  • Lampshaded in this Cracked article: "William Shockley was probably named by the same people that write Batman comics, because he invented the transistor. (Rejected names: John Electron, Brian Semiconductor.)"
  • In Brennus, Melody is a sonics-based Gadgeteer Genius who goes by the Code Name Polymnia. Justified in that her family was highly musical. She wasn't, which led to her manifestation, which resulted in an appropriate power.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Action Man (2000): Alex Mann- aka "the Action Man". Somewhat justified in universe. The name was likely made up based around his real last name to provide a good extreme sports moniker, only for the plot to turn him into a hero.
  • Alpha Teens on Machines: The main characters all use codenames based on their real names: Ollie "Shark" Sharker, Crey "King" Kingston, Zack "Hawk" Hawkes, and Catalina "Lioness" Leone. The leader of the bunch, Axel Manning, doesn't have one, but his name may sound familiar.
  • The Angry Beavers: In "The Day The Earth Got Really Screwed Up", Oxnard Montalvo has a manservant named Mann Cervantes.
  • Aside from the usual, The Batman gives Firefly a Canon Foreigner girlfriend named Jane Blaisedale, or "Blaze" for short.
  • Ben 10:
    • The main character is named Ben Tennyson. Not only does he gain ten (and eventually more) super-powered alien alter-egos, he's ten years old when it happens.
    • Ben's enemy has the ability to absorb powers, giving him one more than Ben, making him Kevin 11. His real name: Kevin Levin. He stops absorbing power from living things by then, as Alien Force established his middle name as "Ethan". Ben then mocks him for how that makes him "Kevin E. Levin".
    • There's the villain Mike Morningstar. Of course, he became ugly and replaced his shiny powers by dark ones, so he's now Darkstar.
  • Big Hero 6: SFIT student Bob Aken apparently lost the first and last letters of his name when he decided to become Obake. "Obake" means "monster" in Japanese, FYI.
  • Every villain in Captain Planet and the Planeteers was destined to be a villain, just look at the names: Hoggish Greedly (he looks like a hog and is greedy), Verminous Skumm (he's a rat and a scum), Duke Nukem (he's a nuclear mutant), Dr. Blight (a Mad Scientist), Looten Plunder (get it? like in loot and plunder), etc. And all of them seem to be their birth names... they never had a chance.
  • The title character of Captain Sturdy goes by the name Roy Sturdy in his civilian identity.
  • The Centurions were made up of:
    • Ace McCloud; aerospace specialist
    • Max Ray; underwater specialist
    • Jake Rockwell; ground specialist
    • Rex Charger; energy specialist
    • John Thunder; infiltration specialist
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers:
    • Gadget Hackwrench, the resident mechanic and inventor. As well as the cheese-obsessed Monterey Jack.
    • One-Shot Character Sparky, who is a lab rat working with shock therapy.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • The main character's real name is Danny Fenton. Lampshaded in "The Ultimate Enemy".
    • Ember McLain has fire hair, Penelope Spectra's a spectre, Nicolai Technus has a technology powers, Desiree, as a genie, grants desires, etc.
  • Darkwing Duck:
    • Dr. Reginald Bushroot is a plant-obsessed scientist who eventually turns himself into a plant/duck hybrid after experimenting on himself. The name fits so well that when he becomes a recurring villain in the show, he goes by "Bushroot" instead of making a new supervillain name.
  • On The Fairly OddParents:
    • Timmy's cartoon hero, The Crimson Chin's real name is Charles Hampton Indigo.
    • The childhood nicknames of Timmy's Mom and Dad were "Mom" and "Dad" respectively. Considering we learn in "Polter-Geeks" that their real names back then were "Barnaby" and "Mom" respectively, it's no wonder they went by those nicknames.
  • Goldie Gold, the world's richest girl.
  • Kim Possible is packed full of examples, beginning with the title character: Ron Stoppable, Wade Load, Camille Leon, Montgomery Fisk (Monty Fisk--> Monkey Fist), Gil, D.N.Amy. Drakken's birth name is Drew Lipsky.
  • Wile E. Coyote from Looney Tunes was only called that in four of his appearances with Bugs Bunny. By default, it's how he identifies in most other Warner Bros. media even with the Road Runner (the Gold Key Road Runner comic book billed him on the cover as "Wile E. Coyote, world's greatest loser").
  • The Mask:
  • Discussed in Milo Murphy's Law, where Dakota mentions that time traveler technology was invented by "Professor Time," and admits that he never even noticed the weirdness of that until Milo pointed it out. He suggests that he probably changed his name for branding purposes. Sure enough, later we learn that his real name was actually Heinz Doofenshmirtz.
  • Numerous characters in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, including background ponies, whose names always match either their personality, special talent, or both, and every pony discovers their special talent while growing up, so those ponies whose names don't reflect personality have a good hint what their special talent will be. ...Or would if it weren't for universal Genre Blindness on the matter.
    • It also opens up some interesting naming conventions, such as Mayor Mare and Granny Smith. Both are quite appropriate given who they are (Mayor Mare is female and is a mayor, while Granny Smith is named after a type of apple due to being in the Apple Family and is, well, old). However if taken at face value this means that either they have completely different names growing up (or at least, what remains of their names is really, really generic) or you'd have to imagine two kids named "Mayor" and "Granny".
      • We finally find out in "The Perfect Pear" that Mrs. Cake's name was once known as Chiffon Swirl until she discovered her talent for baking. Ponies aren't always born with perfectly-on-the-nose names as if their parents were omniscient after all, it seems.
    • A rather hilarious and unintentional subversion/inversion happens with Discord. It's an appropriate enough name for a spirit of chaos and disharmony. The subversion comes when Fluttershy helps him reform and he becomes more of an Anti-Hero while still keeping the sinister name Discord. That said, he never fully outgrows his penchant for infuriating ponies and turning friends against friends (he just does in a more personal scale as opposed to apocalyptic World Gone Mad levels), so the name never becomes completely obsolete.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • Magician Al Lusion (like "illusion") died in a magic trick gone wrong and came back as zombie wizard Abracadaver.
    • One of the girls' enemies is Princess Morbucks, who is obscenely rich and spoiled. Her first name is, in fact, "Princess."
    • Also, Lou Gubrious who would then become Hal Larious after making Townsville cry torrents of tears.
  • Rescue Heroes:
    • Billy Blaze & Wendy Waters: firefighters.
    • Jake Justice: a cop
    • Richmond "Rocky" Canyon, Cliff Hanger: mountain climbers
    • Ariel Flyer, Hal E. Copter: pilots
    • Jack Hammer: construction worker
    • Aidan Assist: Mission Control
    • Maureen Biologist. Think of what Poor Mr. and Mrs Biologist would have thought if their daughter went into physics. Or specialized in birds.
    • One episode showed Canyon's college geology professor, Grant Granite.
  • Used in the Rick and Morty episode "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez", where Rick, Morty and Summer hunt a vampire working in the school, who turns out to be "Coach Feratu." It's lampshaded in The Stinger, where an exasperated vampire leader calls out his underlings for trying to pull off Punny Names.
  • The villain of Rankin/Bass Productions' stop-motion Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town is Burgermeister Meisterburger. A burgermeister is a "town master," the German equivalent of a mayor. Meisterburger is merely a wordplay on his title.
  • On an episode of The Simpsons, Duff Beer spokesman Duff Man had given up the job and went back to being "plain old Barry Duffman". Also, Comic Book Guy created a superhero called Everyman, whose real name is Avery Mann.
  • The secret identity of Stripperella? Erotica Jones.
  • Subverted For Laughs in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012). A local thug named Snake gets splashed with mutagen and winds up becoming a gigantic plant monster. Mikey notes that he thought he would become, well, a snake, even as the others point out that doesn't make sense. They wind up calling him "Snakeweed."
  • Parodied in Tiny Toon Adventures, "Superbabs", wherein Babs Bunny, as Superbabs, protects the general metropolitan area. The other characters realize at the end of the short that she must be someone they know.
    Plucky Duck: Now who do we know named "Super"?
  • Transformers: Animated:
    • The series has the supervillain Headmaster, who uses a machine to replace robots heads and take over their bodies, whose real name is Henry Masterson. There's also Nanosec, real name Nino Sexton; Angry Archer, real name Aaron A. Archer; Slo-mo, real name Samantha Lomow; and Professor Princess, real name... Professor Penny Princess, PhD. She's a girl genius.
    • Notably, Angry Archer and Slo-mo are modelled and named after real Hasbro employees, Aaron C. Archer and Samantha Lomow
    • The comic-only villain Crossroads, real name Roland Cross, also qualifies.
  • The name of The Venture Bros. immediately (and usually ironically) evoke a sense of adventure. Brock Samson is a long-haired strong man. Pete White is an albino scientist. Before his arms and legs became invisible, Phantom Limb was known as Hamilton G. Fantomas. Wherever a character's real name is revealed, it's almost always a pun on what they do. Of course, it's all done with a loving wink at the Gold and Silver Ages of comics that made this a trope in the first place.
  • Wakfu is rampant with Punny Names, mostly of the not-even-trying category, but one example bears particular mention: Noximilien Coxen became a Clock Punk Mad Scientist? Say it ain't so.
  • X-Men: Evolution: Lance Alvers, AKA Avalanche with the power to create earthquakes; and Todd Tolenski, AKA Toad, with the powers of, well, a frog. It should be noted that these are both Adaptation Name Changes; in the comics they're Dominikos Ioannis Petrakis and Mortimer Toynbee, respectively. (Which admittedly both sort of count on their ownnote , but are at least more subtle.)
  • Young Justice:
  • Zevo-3: Stanley K. Foot is mutated into the villain Stankfoot.

    Real Life 
  • That Other Wiki has a page for these.
  • The Feedback page of New Scientist has given a few examples of this. It refers to the phenomenon as "Nominative Determinism", a humorous hypothesis that giving someone a particular name can predispose them towards work or fields of study that reflect that name.
  • Some surnames are based on the occupation of the first person to bear them, such as Smith, Miller, Cooper, Carter, Taylor, etc. (as towns grew larger the use of surnames became more common as a way of distinguishing "John the Cooper" from "John the Fletcher"). If the occupation has been passed down in the family, it'd be natural that there would be a smith named Smith.
  • Comic book reviewer Linkara's real name is Lewis Lovhaug, whose double-L name is amusing given his predilection for works by DC Comics, who are famous for their Running Gag of using double-L Alliterative Names for Superman's supporting cast.
  • Dr. Travis Doom teaches physics and computer science at of Wright State University. He once stated that one of the reasons he became a professor is so he could be called Dr. Doom.
  • Bruce Banner's name may have been changed for the TV Show, but at least one person involved was committed to Stan Lee's signature Alliterative Names: The actor Bill Bixby, who played the character formerly known as Bruce Banner.
  • Stephen Ireland played for Irish National Football Team.
  • Arsene Wenger was the coach of Arsenal FC between 1996 and 2018.
  • Pekka Pouta is a meteorologist and channel 3 weatherman in Finland. Pouta means "clear weather" in Finnish.
  • KABC weatherman Dallas Raines. Unlike most other weathermen with punny names, this is actually his given name. Rumor has it that various Texas-based television stations have been throwing offers at him for quite some time. The same is true of WWOR weatherman Storm Fields, formerly of WABC New York. His father was also a weatherman, which might explain the rather punnish given name.
  • Former Fox Chicago weathercaster Amy Freeze — who was a general-assignment reporter before one of her early stations noted her last name and asked her to move to the weather team.
  • Staff Sgt. Max Fightmaster of the US Army.
  • Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker one year. The family's original name was "Geldmacher" (literally "money maker"), so the name change worked out perfectly.
  • Indonesian footballer Bambang Pamungkas is regarded as one of the country's best goal-getters. Pamungkas means "finisher," in a battle or duel context.
  • Wolf Blitzer came to prominence covering the Gulf War for CNN.
  • Two prominent SRS (gender confirmation) surgeons are named Dr. Schrang and Dr. Alter.
  • Professional Handball players Joachim Boldsen and Bo Spellerberg ('bold' is 'ball' and 'speller' means 'player' in Danish) spring to mind.
  • William Wordsworth, the poet. Critics have not always restrained themselves from punning his name.
  • "Did you know that Frank Beard is the only member of ZZ Top not to have a beard?!?"note 
  • Bernie Madoff with your money.
  • As shown by the "making of" documentary for The Lord of the Rings, the makeup artist who applied Sean Astin's prosthetic hobbit feet was named Sean Foot. Another example from those movies is John Noble playing an aristocrat.
  • There is a professional race car driver named Scott Speed.
    • Possibly inverted as he was not very fast and didn't make it to the end of his second F1 season.
    • Former NASCAR driver Lake Speed was also never one of the best racers on the circuit and only lasted a few years in the top league.
    • Indy Car driver Will Power, known for his stubbornness and his skill at road courses did manage to win the championship in 2014.
    • Successful 1950's NASCAR driver Fireball Roberts got his name early in life from his blazing-fast baseball pitch. In 1964, his career — and his life — ended in a terrible, fiery crash.
    • Pro Motocross has a dirt track rider named Dusty Klatt
  • Quentin Jammer plays cornerback for the San Diego Chargers (one of the jobs of a corner is to "jam" the other team's receivers, by getting in their way at the start of a play).
    • Guess what position Reggie Corner plays for Buffalo?
    • Ryan Longwell is a former place-kicker. Just to hammer it home, he holds the record for longest field goal ever made by a Green Bay Packers player.
    • Alge Crumpler and Jeremy Shockey are all tight ends.
    • Mack Strong plays fullback. Shame Wolf Blitzer never played football.
    • Possibly the most fitting example: Dee Liner, the D-note Liner.
  • After years of searching, the Green River Killer turned out to be named Gary Ridgeway.
  • According to rumors, actor David Tennant got into acting specifically because he wanted to play The Doctor. Whether or not this is true, guess which Doctor he did eventually end up playing? Yup—the Tenth one.
  • One natural reaction to finding out about the record set for the world records for three Olympic footraces in 2008 was "Come on, you mean to tell me that a guy named Usain Bolt won the dash?"
  • There's an allergist in Calgary named Joel Doctor, making him Dr. Doctor.
  • Michael Pollan is a writer specializing in works about botany and gardening.
  • Dr. Dick Tapper, urologist, as well as Drs. Butt and Butts, proctologists.
  • Dick Chopp of Austin, TX is also a urologist.
  • The man who initially claimed circumcision could prevent AIDS before it was even known what HIV was, was named Aaron Fink.
  • US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
  • One of the most famous members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was Sam Steele, and he was as steely as his name both as a constable in the West and in charge of the detachment during the Klondike gold rush.
  • With a name like Thomas Crapper, you knew he would be a plumber. In fact, he was the most celebrated plumber of all time who helped popularize the flush toilet and paved the transition from outhouses and wells to indoor plumbing. The story that the term "crap" comes from army slang that came from toilets in Europe designed by Thomas Crapper is an urban legend. "Crap" goes back to Middle English.
  • There is a comedian, probably most famous for appearing on both versions of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, called Colin Mochrie - pronounced "Mockery". There's also his daughter, Kinley Mochrie, who did humorous movie reviews for Channel Awesome.
  • The current Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales is Igor Judge, Baron Judge (thus, addressed as "Lord Judge"). And indeed the Lord Chief Justice from 1802 to 1818 was Edward Law. There is a current Lord Justice of Appeal whose last name is Laws, thus, Lord Justice Laws.
  • Sir Michael Lord is, as of 2010, about to be made a life peer. He will probably choose some other title to go by rather than his surname, as he would be 'Lord Lord'.
  • One of the greatest American Judges (and most quoted judge never to be elevated to the Supreme Court was named Learned Hand.)
  • One of the great pioneers of neuropsychology and the primary author of the standard work on neurology, Brain's Diseases of the Nervous System is none other than Russell Brain, 1st Baron Brain. Baron Russell is also the possessor of the best supervillain name of all time.
  • Neurobiologist Michael H. Thaut.
  • From the NHL, Bob Wall, a retired hockey defenseman, and Michael Wall, a retired goalie.
  • Also in the NHL, there's winger Dwight King, appropriately having played his whole career to date with the Los Angeles Kings.
  • From 1994 until 1999 Kazakhstan's minister of education was Vladimir Shkolnik. In Russian his surname means "schoolboy".
  • Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints is somewhat appropriate for an NFL quarterback.
  • Ulysses Simpson Grant, an American Civil War general. His initials do tell you what side he fought for. His legal name was Hiram Ulysses Grant, but when an Army recruiter wrote his name wrong, he never bothered to get it corrected. He once famously granted an opponent "no terms but unconditional and immediate surrender." Afterwards, "people thought they knew what the initials in his name stood for" (namely, "unconditional surrender").
  • Viktor Krovopuskov is a famed Soviet/Russian fencer, winner of 4 gold medals. His last name means "blood-letter".
  • A case of government corruption in New Jersey involved a politician named Mr. Cheatem.
  • There was a Soviet, later Russian envoy in Afghanistan called Zamir Kabulov. Zamir is written and pronounced exactly like "For peace".
  • Murdered South African white-supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanche. Translate that from Greek and French, and you get, roughly "best-born white land." Uncanny. To make matters worse, "Eugene" is etymologically related to "eugenics".
  • The director of The Amazing Spider-Man series of films? Yea, his name is Marc Webb.
  • One instance where not the man, but his wife had a case of this: George Reeves, the actor who first played Superman, had a fianceé named Leonore Lemmon. That's right - Superman and Superman's actor can't escape those double L names.note 
  • Tod Slaughter, portrayer of various murderers, villains and maniacs in early cinema melodramas, including the first (1936) film version of Sweeney Todd. Not only is his last name Slaughter (and yes, he was born Norman Carter Slaughter), his adopted first name Tod is both his most famous character's last name (more or less) and the German word for "death".
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a webcomic that consists of mostly penis jokes, is drawn by one Zach Weiner.
  • Congressman Anthony Weiner showed off his...
  • Amelia Earhart (pronounced AIR-HEART) was a pilot. The air traffic reporter for Denver's KUSA is also named Amelia Earhart. Yes, she's related to the original one.
  • The chief meteorologist of the Central Florida News 13 team is known as Jeff Day.
  • German professional first division football (that's soccer) side Wolfsburg has had Wolfgang Wolf as a coach for some years.
  • A German sexual therapist goes by the name of Gisela von Hinten (literally from behind).
  • The head of McMaster University's Centre for Steel Research is named Dr. Irons.
  • Frank Fish, marine biologist.
  • Hungarian paleontologist, Attila Ősi (ősi = ancient, prehistoric).
  • Simon Cowell, who likes giving people rude comments. Lampshaded by one American Idol hopeful who auditioned with a rap that she wrote herself, when she pointed out his usual sternness and bad mood with the lyric, "S., Cowell, that makes scowl." He was not amused, and she did not go to Hollywood.
  • Email newsletter This is True sometimes presents cases of this, under the heading "Freaks of Nomenclature". One example is an electrocution victim named "Robert Crisp".
  • Imagine going to a dentist named Dr. Thomas Payne. The name Payne seems to amusingly lend itself to many occupations those with the name go into.
  • One of the writers of the gross-out comedy film The Babymakers, about a man trying to break into a sperm bank to retrieve his own sperm that he'd donated years ago, is named Gerry Swallow.
  • Actor Burt Ward famously played Robin in Batman (1966) - i.e., Batman's ward. Also from the series, Eartha Kitt briefly played Catwoman.
  • Martin Jarvis, who shares his last name with a famous comic book butler, was the voice of a famous comic book butler, Alfred, in Batman: Arkham City. He also played a famous literary butler, Jeeves, in the TV movie By Jeeves. Even better: Alfred's father is named "Jarvis".
  • Animation designer Doug Wildey, best known for making Jonny Quest, got his start illustrating comic books set in the Wild West.
  • Self-described Gentleman Thief Apollo Robbins. Though some say he's also an Impossible Thief; while having a conversation with some of Jimmy Carter's Secret Service agents, he pulled out the then-President's itinerary. One agent angrily claimed Robbins did not have the proper authorization to see that, and proceeded to pull out his badge...only to find it in Robbins' hand. He then walked up to the head of the security detail and handed him his watch, his badge, and the keys to Carter's motorcade.
  • Husband and wife Richard and Millard Loving were the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia that legalized interracial marriage across the United States.
  • Tim Duncan is a professional basketball player who has made more than a few dunks over the span of his career.
  • The Visual Effects Art Director on Pacific Rim at ILM is named Alex Jaeger.
  • The greensperson (crew member in charge of acquiring plants and trees for a film set) on The Cabin in the Woods is named "Glenn Foerster". Writer-director Drew Goddard and writer-producer Joss Whedon mention on the commentary how thrilled they were at his name.
  • Series lead writer for the TV adaptation of The Cousins' War Series, The White Queen, is named Emma Frost.
  • Frank Military, producer of NCIS and co-executive producer of NCIS: Los Angeles and The Unit.
  • A man caught swinging a Klingon Bat'leth on a Fort Lauderdale Main Street was named Johnnie Blade.
  • There's a pitcher for the Minnesota Twins named Scott Diamond. Perfect for a baseball player.
  • And there's another baseball player named Cecil Fielder. His son, Prince Fielder, would follow in his footsteps.
  • Worm Quartet has an autobiographical song about a vasectomy performed by a Dr. Stopp.
  • There's no way a guy named Tyson Fury would be anything but a boxer.
  • Leonard A. Wilkstein is an attorney from New Jersey, his initials spell LAW.
  • The 2014 Doctor Who Christmas special, "Last Christmas" features an appearance by Nick Frost as Santa Claus, aka St. Nicholas.
  • The Alpher–Bethe–Gamow paper was actually created just by Ralph Alpher and George Gamow. Hans Bethe's participation was only credited for the sake of producing a humorous name for it.
  • The name of the first African-American quarterback to play in the NFL? Willie Thrower. Too bad he wasn't anything more than a backup, not only in the pros, but also in college, where he caddied for future pro starters Al Dorow and Tom Yewcic at Michigan State University.
    • University of Louisville's QB as of 2019 has the name Puma Pass, fitting for a man who throws passes.
  • Israeli drummer Meytal Cohen. As she explains on her website, her first name is quite a common one in her home country, but remove the "y" from her first name and you get her musical genre of choice.
  • Averted by Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, whose full name is Thomas Lee Bass, and by KISS drummer Eric Singer, who had actually shortened his surname from Mensinger.
  • Zak Penn is a notable film crewsman who mainly works in, you guessed it, screenwriting.
  • The Los Angeles Kings hockey team has a goalie named Jonathan Quick. (Bonus points for resembling the name of minor Golden Age DC Comics speedster Johnny Quick.)
  • Vince Offer, legendary salesman and infomercial pitcher — although "Vince" is not his birth name, "Offer" is (born Offer Shlomi).
  • The Wiggins family, who own a wig shop in Liverpool.
  • Distance swimmer Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage, at the age of 64 in 2013. Her last name is a homonym of 'naiad', the water nymph from Greek mythology. Her first name is also an anagram of 'naiad'.
  • Lieutenant Nicholas Lingo is a Public Affairs Officer (i.e. spokesman) for the United States Navy.
  • Alistair Bull is the livestock manager of Sir Rupert Mann's Thelveton Farms, which raises cattle.
  • The late George McGovern, who served terms in both houses of the US Congress and ran (albeit unsuccessfully) against Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election. Sadly, he never got to become Governor McGovern.
  • There was a Florida Highway Patrolman named Buford T. Justice. He was friends with Burt Reynolds' father and the antagonist of Smokey and the Bandit was named after him.
  • Eccentric Charles Lindbergh baby kidnapping amateur "investigator" John F. Condon frequently invoked this in his letters to the editor, signing them J. U. Stice, L. O. Nestar, L. O. Nehand, and P. A. Triot. When he got involved with the investigation he used the name "Jafsie", made of his initials. After he failed to catch the kidnappers he took to dressing in obvious disguises and shouting "I am Jafsie! That's the guy I saw at the ransom drop!" at random people.
  • Reza Aslan is an Iranian-American religious scholar and author who is best known for his somewhat controversial 2013 book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Aslan (which is Turkish for "lion") is famously also the name of the Jesus analog in C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series.
  • Tangled: The Series, about a German princess with The Power of the Sun who lives in a castle, is produced by a Chris Sonnenburg, whose surname means "sun castle" in German.
  • Somewhat invoked by the founding family of Driver Bus Lines, who made the choice to start a bus company in part because their surname was so apt.
  • Jim Beveridge, the current master blender at Johnnie Walker whisky.
  • AJ Splatt and D Weedon are the authors on a paper discussing the outcomes of a surgical intervention to treat incontinence.
  • You have to wonder if Nintendo of America appointed Doug Bowser simply due to his surname being the same as Mario's archenemy.
  • Tony Anselmo is famous for voicing Donald Duck. His last name almost sounds like the first part of Anseriformes, the scientific order that ducks and other waterfowl belong to.
  • Richard Angell, a.k.a. Dick Angel. He's an anti-circumcision activist.
  • Tom Lehrer was a university professor of mathematics when he wasn't writing and playing silly songs; Lehrer is German for "teacher".
  • As of 2021, the Director of Writing and LEGO Tone of Voice at the LEGO Group is Hannah Quill.

Alternative Title(s): Stephen Ulysses Perhero, Steven Ulysses Pervillain