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Meaningful Name / Live-Action TV

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And now, to reveal the true meaning behind the name of your favorite character...

... right after this commercial break, of course!

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  • Ace Lightning:
    • This live action/CGI combined show is packed with meaningful names (no surprise really, since the show's about a corny superhero videogame come to life): Ace Lightning (the hero, duh) Sparx (the spunky redhead sidekick) Lord Fear (bad guy) Lady Illusion (temptress), Anvil (the team muscle), Dirty Rat (exactly what it sounds like), Random Virus (guy with a good/evil complex of epic proportions).
    • These meaningful names can also apply to the humans however: the teenage protagonist Mark Hollander's name is from the God, Mars, and relates to war and battle. The resident Geek is more commonly known as the rather comical Chuck (and has a habit of throwing up whenever stressed or disturbed). The nice, helpful Girlfriend and Girl Next Door Samantha Thompson's name means "listener" (which works for her) and it's quite obvious that the owner of the carnival wasn't named "Duff" accidentally.
  • The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. has character named Kansas Wily Stafford. In the pilot Brisco impersonates Kansas. To "prove" he is Kansas, Brisco is asked where he is from, and he answers with a confused look, "Kansas". The outlaws believe he is Kansas. The real Kansas shows up in the episode "A.K.A. Kansas".
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Skye:
      • Her legal name is revealed to be Mary Sue Poots, a Fandom Nod to the viewers who felt she received an unreasonable amount of Character Shilling during the series.
      • Her birth name, Daisy, is fitting for someone with earthquake producing powers.
    • Leo Fitz:
    • Jemma Simmons: "Jemma" echoes "Gemini", the star sign symbolised by twins, as she's one-half of The Dividual, along with Fitz (whose own first name, Leo, is also that of an astrological sign).
    • Robbie Reyes: Played with; while his name isn't particularly meaningful, the fact that it's not his brother's name is.
      Robbie: My uncle is Eli Morrow.
      Lucy: Of course. I've seen your picture. You're his nephew Gabriel. Like the angel.
      Robbie: No. [eyes glow] I'm the other one.
  • The Show Within a Show Moody's Point from The Amanda Show has a protagonist named "Moody". She is, well, very moody and distraught over her Missing Mom. This is lampshaded when her crush calls her "Mindy". She corrects him and he replies with "Yeah, you are".
  • Alta Mar:
    • The shipwreck victim who claims to be psychic - of course her name is Cassandra. Many are skeptical of her predictions.
    • The mastermind who brought a deadly virus onto a cruise ship and main driver of the action is believed to be a man named "Untermann". The seemingly inappropriate name foreshadows who the real villain is.
  • Angel:
    • A wizard who intended to sacrifice his virgin daughter to a demon on his 50th birthday named his daughter Virginia. It didn't work out, as his efforts to isolate her were extremely unsuccessful.
    • And Gwen Raiden, named for the Japanese god of lightning. Guess what ability she has. Not a pseudonym, as her parents were addressed as "Mr. and Mrs. Raiden" in her Back Story. It's also a pun on "Gone Raiding".
    • Angel, named because his sister though he'd returned to her from the dead as an angel. Historical volumes describe him as "the one with the angelic face" and "the demon with the face of an angel."
    • Jasmine, so named because she loved the smell of Jasmine flowers, which in itself is meaningful, as The Language of Flowers states that the Jasmine flower symbolizes "attachment and amiability." This is a REALLY good example.
    • Several of the names in Angel also count... William means 'a protector' and kind of ironically, Liam, Angel's birth name, means "out of William", even though it was the other way around with him and Spike.
    • Also, Lilah's name has connotations of "seductive" and "night beauty".
    • Subverted the second Harmony starts singing; Lorne actually takes to calling her "my little cacophony" for a while, considering it more appropriate. Though Wesley does note her nickname "Harm" to be pretty fitting.
    • On Lorne's homeworld, they drink "Flib liquor", humans are "cows", and they clean out "flehegna" stables. Maybe his nickname was apt.
  • Arrested Development: Had George Michael's love interest Maeby, who was his cousin... maybe. (By the end of the series, we know they're not blood related.)
  • Ashita, Mama ga Inai: The kids at orphanage each get a nickname related to either their personality quirk or how/why they were abandoned.
    • Post was left in a 'baby post'.
    • Donki's mother got arrested for hitting her boyfriend with 'donki' (blunt object).
    • Piami loves to play piano.
    • Pachi's mother was a pachinko (gambling) addict.
    • Bombi is a subversion; she was supposedly left in the orphanage because her parents were too poor ('bimbo') to support her, but we later learn that they had actually died in a natural disaster.
  • Austin & Ally: One episode features the vile, unscrupulous music manager, Demonica Dixon.
  • The Avengers (1960s): When the producers needed to replace actress Honor Blackman, the networks sent down word to make sure the character had "male appeal" Or as the network shorthand was written... "M appeal".note 

  • Babylon 5: The exploration ship Captain Sheridan's wife was on was named Icarus. Perhaps a bad idea.
    • In a similar vein, the Babylon stations were named for the Tower of Babel, where a united humanity, all speaking the same language, built a tower that would touch the heavens. Needless to say, that didn't work out. The first three Babylon stations were destroyed in construction, and the fourth disappeared without a trace.
    • Captain John Sheridan, who according to Word of God, was a direct descendant of US Army General Phillip Henry Sheridan. Who is best known for fighting in the American Civil War. John Sheridan also becomes a pivotal figure in a civil war.
    • Delenn of the Family Mir, whose family name comes from the Russian word for "Peace". Given her role in both the beginning and end of the Earth-Minbari war, doubly meaningful.
    • Vir is latin for either "man" or "hero". Either word is appropriate to describe Vir Cotto, and in a wide variety of ways. Vir is an everyman frequently pushed into things beyond his control, and in many ways his character arc describes his "becoming a man", stepping out of the shadows of others and becoming his own. As for heroics... whether it's giving an eldritch abomination the finger, saving war refugees or just providing the right people with a boot up the arse, Vir provides. Often with a fair bit of stuttering and panic, but that doesn't keep him from doing what's right.
    • Michael Garibaldi was named after an Italian freedom fighter, whose followers share the name "Redshirts" with the disposable Security staff from Star Trek: The Original Series. Since Michael Garibaldi is Head of Security on Babylon 5, this makes both Garibaldis leaders of Redshirts.
    • The telepath leader Byron Gordon bears two of the names of Lord Byron, and is a prime example of that author's primary contribution to literature.
  • Bargearse: The titular character, Det. Sgt. Bargearse, is a morbidly obese cop with a penchant for deep fried snack foods and an arse as big as a barge.
  • Barney Miller: The witty writers had a bit of fun with this. The Lovable Borderline Pedophile director of the Rainbow House children's home, which housed a disproportionate number of child prostitutes, was named Gower. A man who was desperate for a seat on the space shuttle's first commercial flights was named Corbett. Recurring character Frank Luger liked to talk about the olden days when cops used a lot more gunplay to subdue malefactors.
  • Batman (1966): The 1960s series had number of these: Lord Marmaduke Ffogg, Mrs. Max Black, widow. Pat Pending, the richest inventor on Earth.
  • Black Books: The three main characters all have meaningful surnames: Manny Bianco (white) is a rather nice and happy person while Bernard Black is mean and cynical and hates almost everyone. Fran's surname is Katzenjammer (German slang for "hangover").
  • Blake's 7, "Rescue": The principal character of the episode and owner of the ship the crew eventually acquire hints at and turns out to be far older than he appears. His name? Dorian.
  • Bones:
    • Dr. Brennan, whose first name is Temperance, which is fitting description. Further, before her name was changed as a child, her name was Joy. Brennan's withdrawn nature is usually attributed (by Sweets) to her intense inner emotional vulnerability, her fear of being hurt, which traces back to her parents' abandonment of her.
    • Agent Booth, the ex-sniper, is apparently related to John Wilkes Booth.
    • Dr. Sweets, the cheery young psychologist is... well, sweet. But his first name, Lance, has less gentle connotations, and may be a reference to the fact that he was abused and scarred as a young child.
  • The Boys (2019): Stormfront. As with the original comic character, her name comes from a notorious Neo-Nazi web forum of the same name. Plus she has electricity and Not Quite Flight powers, like Storm (ironically, given that the latter is black).
    • Homelander goes by the alias John. To the public, he is an ultra masculine, fiercely patriotic hero. He shares a name with John Wayne, an actor best known for playing ultra masculine, fiercely patriotic heroes.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Xander's name is a Discontinuity Nod to Buffy's friend from the original movie, Pike. Zander and pike are closely related species of fish. Xander is also short for Alexander, which means "defender of mankind".
    • Also, Buffy's surname is a nod to Scott Summers from the X-Men comics, so says Word of God. Buffy itself was meant to be a name that couldn't be taken seriously, and thus ironically unfit for someone destined to kill vampires and generally kick ass. Her name also references vampires' vulnerability to sunlight. Her sister's name is Dawn.
    • Glory (or Glorificus), a Hellgod who was named and worshipped (shamelessly) by her many minions.
    • Spike used to be known as William (as in William McGonagall), and was a Giftedly Bad poet.
    • Wesley is likely named after the original Creator's Pet from Star Trek: The Next Generation considering that he was intended to be hated by the audience and killed off. Ironically, he became a well-liked, long-running character. In-Universe.
    • "Willow" is a type of tree. Wood is one of the vampires' main weaknesses. On that note, remember the small readheaded wizard who was the eponymous hero of the Movie Willow.
    • "Snyder" is Danish for "cheater." It could also be because of his extremely snide personality.
    • Oz's band, Dingoes Ate My Baby: a dingo is a type of wild dog, and the lead guitarist just happens to be a werewolf.
    • Anya's name when she was a human was Aud, pronounced "Odd." This matches her personality.
    • "Faith", as Word of God notes, is an Ironic Name, because she keeps losing her faith in everyone before betraying them herself.
    • Tragic One-Shot Character Cassie recalls the mythological Cassandra: both have prophetic powers, with an emphasis on bad things that they can't prevent.

  • Charmed (1998):
    • May or may not be intentional, but consider Cole Turner. Take a guess what he does the entire time he's on the show.
    • Phoebe. She gets visions and shares her name with a Titan from Greek Mythology who was associated with prophesy.
    • "Prue" is short for "Prudence", and she is, generally, the responsible one among her sisters.
  • The Colbert Report: Hilariously subverted in The Stinger for one episode:
    Stephen: Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince, named Dragon. It just so happened that in Dragon's kingdom, there lived a fearsome dragon, named Wizard. So Dragon went to the town wizard, named Town Drunk, to ask for help. So Town Drunk put a spell on the town drunk, named Prince, which made Prince look like a female dragon, for the purpose of confusing Wizard. The next thing you know, Wizard, the dragon, flew down to meet Prince, now a dragon, thanks to Town Drunk the wizard. At which point the great wizard Town Drunk cast a spell banishing Wizard forever, and Dragon was pleased.
  • Community: Jeff Winger, he's spent his adult life, well, winging it.
  • In early 1973 a contestant on Concentration, Terri Lee Coffin, retired as an undefeated champion having won 20 games. Not long after, NBC hammered the nail in the show's coffin, cancelling it on March 23.
  • Control Z: Social outcast Sofía Herrera has observant and deduction skills that she uses to solve the mysteries regarding the hacker and the avenger, joined by new kid Javier Williams who assists her. Note:The initials of their first and last names are an allusion to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.
  • CSI:
    • Sophia Curtis in season 5, a character who stands out for her knowledge and wisdom (Sophia) as well as her social savoir-faire and good manners (courtesy, geddit?). Eventually she is driven away by the unchecked lunacy taken out on her by the regular cast.
    • That other character whose name is assonant with "Will Graham" (Manhunter). First name rhymes with Dilbert, but any physical resemblance or common ground of generalized nerdiness/impatience with bureaucratic obstruction would be purely coincidental, should anyone ever spot it.
    • Detective Brass who's name evokes the somewhat archaic term "the brass" as a reference to authority.
    • The name Grissom sounds like "gruesome", which is the apt word for some of the crime scenes encountered on the show.
    • Sara probably also fits here... Sara Sidle...Suicidal...

  • Danger Force: Each of the members' names correspond to their power source.
  • Deadwood: Al Swearengen swears, often, though he is based on a person of the same name and similar speaking habits in real life. There is also the character of Trixie (who in the series gives her surname as "the Whore") who was in life called "Tricksie".
  • Degrassi: The Next Generation: Emma is a meta-example, being named after the Emmy Award Degrassi Junior High got for her mom's Teen Pregnancy storyline.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Terry Nation named several planets using this trope in his Dalek stories. Skaro is scarred by terrible wars; Aridius is a huge desert; Mechanus is the home of the Mechanoids; Desperus is a penal colony...
    • The Animus in "The Web Planet" — a word meaning both a spirit, and a hatred or hostility.
    • The Macra, giant crab monsters, may be named for "macroscopic" (some characters think they are giant disease agents) or Macrocheira kaempferi, the scientific name for the Japanese spider crab (the largest known crab).
    • "Frontier in Space": The Draconians are Lizard Folk and also obsessed with enacting just but disproportionate retribution for violating their laws.
    • "Genesis of the Daleks": Davros' Dragon is called Nyder. "Neidr", pronounced the same way, is Welsh for "snake". Although, as many fans have pointed out, it's Gharman who is the one who tries to give the Daleks knowledge of good and evil, not Nyder.
    • "Image of the Fendahl" features a character named Dr. Fendelman, who has no idea that it is his hidden genetic destiny to aid an ancient and malevolent life force known as the Fendahl. As the Completely Useless Encyclopedia points out, it's a shame other aliens weren't so transparent, as the heroes could just go through their phone book and round up every Joe Dalekagent and Mary Autonduplicate. However, this example is a little different from the others; the name is an in-story indication that the Fendahl have been meddling with humanity for a long time, and the unusual name is noticed and commented on by characters in the story.
    • "The Creature from the Pit" is called Erato, which means "sexually desired" and is the name of the muse of erotic poetry in Greek mythology. In the story, Erato is a force of love and creativity. And, more prosaically, it looks like a giant cock and balls and Tom Baker's acting exploits this for all it is worth.
    • "The Keeper of Traken": Tremas; his body is taken over by the Master, whose title is a Significant Anagram of "Tremas". The Master frequently used aliases related to his name — Reverend Magister, Mr. Seta, Colonel Masters, Sir Giles Estram — but usually he had a chance to pick them himself.
    • Dorothy Gale "Ace" McShane, who was whisked away to Iceworld, and into the strange world of the Wiza– er, the Doctor, by a "time storm".
    • "Battlefield": Brigadier Bambera was given the forename "Winifred" to evoke Guinevere. Inevitably, she ends up engaged to Ancelyn, whose name is a variation on "Lancelot".
    • Many of the alien races encountered in the New Series have been given meaningful names. In "Fear Her", we meet an alien spore called the Isolus whose motivating demon is loneliness (isolation); the Carrionites in "The Shakespeare Code" were specifically designed to be like carrion creatures; the Adipose in "Partners in Crime" are made of living fat cells; the Pyrovile in "The Fires of Pompeii" thrive on the atmosphere of an erupting volcano; the Vespiform in "The Unicorn and the Wasp" takes the form of a giant wasp occasionally disguised as a human, etc.
    • "Smith and Jones": Dr. Stoker is the first victim of what we later learn to be a blood-sucking alien called a Plasmavore. Bram Stoker is the famous author of Dracula, and "Plasmavore" is a Meaningful Name in itself.
    • "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks": Solomon, community leader of Hooverville.
    • "The Lazarus Experiment": Mad Scientist Professor Lazarus built a machine to hold back death. Lampshaded in the episode.
    • "Utopia": Professor You Are Not Alone. Read: The Master.
    • The Master:
      • "The Sound of Drums": The Master believes the Doctor chose his name so as to associate himself with "the man who makes people better". The Master's choice of name is naturally a massive hint towards his egotism ("a psychiatrist's field day", from the same episode). And of course, "Master" was chosen for the Doctor's arch-nemesis due to the academic connection.
      • As a child, the Master's nickname was Koschei. Koschei is a figure in Russian folklore who goes to extreme lengths to gain immortality.
      • Speaking of the Master, he should have thought over his alias of "Harold Saxon" better — Harold the Saxon ruled over England only briefly before his defeat.
    • "Voyage of the Damned":
      • The Doctor knows something's not right when he learns the name of the space cruise ship is Titanic.
      • "Astrid" evokes the Latin word for star, aster, and "peth" is Welsh for "thing". At the end, she becomes stardust to travel through the universe.
    • Donna Noble. She was one of the most accepting of her role as the Doctor's conscience (keeping him "noble") and after she became the Doctor-Donna, she married Shawn Temple, making her name Donna Temple-Noble, which can be roughly translated to "Woman Time Lord". Also, Donna Noble sounds like "Dona nobis pacem", which is Latin for "Grant us peace". Donna can get very loud when either upset or angry or whenever to be honest.
    • "Partners in Crime":
      • Adipose is the scientific term for fat. Guess what they're made out of?
      • Miss Foster points out that her chosen alias was supposed to be a clue. As in foster mother.
    • "The Unicorn and the Wasp": The Vespiform are giant alien wasps. Their name is Latin for "wasp-shaped".
    • "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead": Dr. Moon. He's the personification of the Library's equally artificial moon, which serves as a virus-checker for the central computer. Or, as Strackman Lux calls it, a doctor moon.
    • "Midnight": Professor Hobbes is named after an English philosopher who believed that "man is a wolf to man". In this episode, he's right.
    • "The Stolen Earth": The home planet of the alien bees is called Melissa Majoria. "Melissa" is ancient Greek for "honeybee".
    • "The Next Doctor": Rosita is close to both "Rose" and "Martha", which is subtly pointed out. It also means "little rose".
    • "Planet of the Dead": San Helios means "Saint Sun". It has three suns and used to have a lot of temples.
    • "Victory of the Daleks": Professor Edwin Bracewell turns out to be a robotic AI created by an alien intelligence to communicate with humans. Or, in other words, he's a Bracewell probe.
    • Stormcage Prison, with its literal Storms and Cages.
    • "A Good Man Goes to War": Amy Pond gives her daughter the name "Melody". Replace Melody and Pond for different terms that mean almost the same thing and switch the two around, and you get River Song.
    • "Time Heist": The Teller works at a bank, but can also "tell" what people are thinking.
    • "In the Forest of the Night": Maebh is named for a mythological queen of fairies, and ultimately helps to establish communications with the fairy-like creatures behind the forest. Her last name, "Arden", is a reference to the famous Forest of Arden in Warwickshire, a former wilderness and most well known for being the setting of William Shakespeare's As You Like It.
    • "The Witchfinders" is set in a town named Bilehurst Cragg, which Willa Twiston eventually reveals, at the Doctor's request, means "sacred tree on the hill". The sacred tree in question, which was recently chopped down, was the lock of the prison of the Morax, hostile aliens buried in Pendle Hill.
    • "It Takes You Away": The Solitract, which sounds like "solitude" and includes the word "tract", which can mean "a vast extent". It's a sentient universe that had to be exiled from the main universe in order to exist, and is fated to a solitary existence so it can continue to exist.
    • "Spyfall": In a very spoilery example, O. As in, the reaction. Because he's actually The Master and he stole the identity specifically for the Doctor's reaction when she finally found out who he was.
    • "Fugitive of the Judoon": When Ruth Clayton's true identity is restored, meaning that she's no longer Ruth, she turns out to be pretty ruthless.
  • Dollhouse:
    • The main character, a Blank Slate that gets reprogrammed with other people's memories to create the desired personality, is named Echo.
    • The Ensemble Dark Horse male Doll who gets a happy ending was codenamed Victor. The primary antagonist for most of the first season was Alpha.
    • Also, 'Echo' and 'Victor' are also the way to say the letters 'E' and 'V' in a 'Phonetic Alphabet'. They're not so much named as lettered. (one could say the same thing about nurses Able and Baker on MASH).
      • All the Dolls are given names drawn from the Phonetic Alphabet: Alpha, Echo, Kilo, Mike, November, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Victor, and Whiskey are all credited as character names of Actives (and X-Ray and Yankee are referenced by name in the finale, though not credited). Clearly, no Dollhouse was ever expected to have more than 26 Actives at a time...
    • Topher Brink. Topher is a shortened version of Christopher, meaning "Christ-bearer". But with the "Christ" part removed, it's just "Bearer". Topher's character is the bearer of knowledge and technology in the Dollhouse. He bears the technology to end the world, but he also bears a way to save the world (much like the story of St Christopher bearing an unusually heavy Christ child across a river— sort of like when he has to haul the tech up in a backpack to the top of the building). He ends up bearing the world to the brink of destruction.
    • The Dollhouse is run by Rossum Corporation. Late in the show, we meet the Big Bad, who is not named "Rossum". He named the corporation as an homage to R.U.R., a 1920s play about a company that makes artificial people for use as servants.
  • Don't Look Deeper: Aisha means "she who lives", and it turns out Sharon named her this precisely as she's an android who's outwardly indistinguishable from human, i.e. a living being.
  • Due South: Had a coroner whose first name was Mort.

  • EastEnders: The toughness of sisters Ronnie and Roxy is shown by giving them similar names to the notorious Kray twins Ronnie and Reggie.

  • Firefly: Lampshades this with Malcolm Reynolds name which can be shortened to "Mal" In one episode, River says "Mal. Bad..." Simon walks away, seeming to agree. When Simon is out of earshot she completes her sentence with " the latin." Showing the viewer that she was not drawing a connection between his name and his personality. Underneath Mal's gruff exterior, he actually IS one of the nicest guys "in the 'verse", which is pointed out by Kaylee in the first episode. Also, since according to Word of God Firefly is inspired by the book The Killer Angels, Mal is most likely named after a real life Civil War general John Reynolds. John Reynolds is portrayed in the book as one of the Union's best soldiers.
    • River herself is named after Ophelia's river, and Shepherd Book's name is, well, pretty obvious.
    • And Simon's name means 'to hear/listen' and 'reputation'. Simon was the only one who heard, and paid attention to, River's cry for help, and he sacrificed his reputation to save and protect her.
  • Forever Knight: Main antagonist vampire, Lucien Lacroix, has a very ironic name, as Lucien means 'light', in Latin and Lacroix means 'the cross' in French; not only is he a former Roman general (who probably would have been involved in numerous crucifixions), but he is implicitly a force of darkness—one who is responsible for the siring and corruption of a former Christian crusader, no less. (However, it may be a play on the phrase "brought across", which is the series used to describe the process of being turned into a vampire.)
  • The Fresh Beat Band: This show is filled with these. Two band members are Twist and Shout. Their music teacher is Miss Piccolo. Their friend Reed owns a music store. Another friend is named Melody, and sings.
  • Friends: Phoebe had a tendency to use the fake name "Regina Phalange" on several occasions across several seasons of the show. As a masseuse, she was indeed the "queen of the fingers".
  • F Troop: "Wrangler" Jane, who runs the town's local general store, is Jane Angelica Thrift.

  • Game of Thrones:
    • In-universe, bastard children with noble blood have special surnames determined by region (Snow, Sand, Rivers, etc) so anyone meeting Jon Snow or Ellaria Sand already know something about their parentage, place of origin, and that they are of noble blood. Bastard children born to common folk have no surnames at all.
    • The family names Lannister and Stark are thinly veiled references to the War of the Roses, a civil war in England fought between the houses of Lancaster and York.
    • "Stark" has several meanings, including "rigid", "bare", "harsh", "strong" and "desolate", all of which apply to the Stark family and the land they rule.
    • "Tully" derives from the Irish word for flood, an appropriate choice for the overlords of the Riverlands.
    • Janos Slynt turns out to be two-faced, like the Roman god Janus.
    • Lancel Lannister has an affair with the queen, reminiscent of the Arthurian Lancelot.
    • Brandon Stark is mentioned as having a love of climbing the castle walls. His legendary ancestor and namesake, Bran the Builder, was the one who first orchestrated the building of the Wall. In addition, his name derives from the Welsh word for raven and he spends most of his time dreaming of a three-eyed raven. In Season 3, Jojen Reed tells him that the three-eyed raven he keeps seeing in his dreams is really Bran himself. Doubles down in Season 6 where he succeeds the title of Three-Eyed Raven.
    • Jon Snow's nickname upon becoming king, the White Wolf, takes on a whole new meaning when you remember his father was a Targaryen.
    • Davos Seaworth commands Stannis's war fleet. Invoked, he created his own surname and chose one that reflected his life at sea.
    • Grey Wind. The Stark sigil is a grey direwolf, and his owner was the heir and then became the Lord of Winterfell until his death.
    • Lady is a female direwolf — and a Proper Lady at that.
    • Summer. When Winter arrives, Summer dies.
    • Ghost is a very appropriate name for a direwolf whose owner literally came Back from the Dead.
    • Roose Bolton, a guy who's name sounds exactly like 'ruse', becomes the Starscream? Shocker.
    • Lyanna Mormont was named after Lyanna Stark, the mother of Jon Snow. Fittingly it is Lyanna Mormont who first declares Jon Snow to be King of the North, and convinces the other Northern houses to follow her lead.
    • Cersei is likely named in tribute to Circe (pronounced the same way) — the beautiful, duplicitous sorceress from The Odyssey.
    • Jaime. J'aime is a French expression for 'I love'. Considering he is the only Lannister to be on good terms with all the others and that he is motivated by his genuine love for his family (each as individuals, unlike Tywin), this is probably not a coincidence. Also, "Jaime" comes from the Hebrew "Jacob," meaning "one who supplants," referencing how Tywin still considered him his true heir despite his other children being more suitable. Interestingly, the Biblical Jacob (literally, "one who holds the heel") came into the world holding his twin's heel, which is exactly what Jaime did.
    • Ser Bronn of the Blackwater. The "Of The Blackwater" part can be seen as a reference to the real life Blackwater, making it a pretty fitting name for a mercenary.
    • It is likely not coincidence on the part of George R.R. Martin that the naming traditions of the house are such that about a third of the Targaryens have names ending in "aerys"; phonetically "heiress". Helps that the sole known living family member, the major POV character and only Targaryen we walk through the program with, again knowingly, is a female inheritor.
    • House Greyjoy are not a very happy bunch.
  • Gilligan's Island: Ginger is a redhead.
  • Glee: Kurt Hummel from the musical TV show is named after Kurt Von Trap from the musical The Sound of Music. Might count for some if not all of the other Glee-club members too. Rachel's full name is Rachel Barbra Berry. She is a huge Barbra Streisand fan. Quinn's name rhymes with Finn and sounds like Queen. Santana Lopez is probably named after the guitarist Carlos Santana and the singer Jennifer Lopez. Brittany S. Pierce's name is already explained on Glee; Britney Spears. Also: Kurt rhymes with Burt. As of season two: coach Beiste, which is pronounced "beast" and fits with her manly personality. Puck's first name, Noah, is slightly ironic. Noah is a typical Nice Jewish Boy name and contrasts with Puck's bad-boy attitude. Sue Sylvester, the cartoon villain, has a cartoon villain's name (Sylvester the Cat).
  • The Goodies: A Yes-Man in one episode has the quite simple name of "Arthur Minion". Also, despite being Danzas, the main characters' names are strangely appropriate at times, such as Tim being timid, Graeme Garden spending an episode as a gardener, and Bill Oddie being generally odd.

  • Halt and Catch Fire:
    • In "High Plains Hardware", the engineers at Cardiff Electric dub their design lab for their new PC "The Kill Room" after someone jokingly said that they are likely to kill each other before the machine was finished.
    • In "Adventure", programmer Cameron Howe christens the BIOS she wrote for the Cardiff PC "Lovelace", after the first computer programmer Ada Lovelace.
    • Gordon suggests calling the new Cardiff PC the "Giant" as a joke, alluding to the infamous 1869 hoax of the Cardiff Giant.
  • Hanna: The names assigned to the Utrax girls at The Meadows:
    • "Clemency" - a name meaning "official pardon" is assigned to Clara/Trainee 249 when she is brought back into Utrax without being penalized for siding with Hanna
    • "Sandy" - Trainee 242 gets the name of the female lead in Grease, reflecting her wholesome 50s-style preppy-girl cover identity
    • "Jules" - the androgynous name given to the Straw Feminist trainee who's lesbian.
    • "Mia Wolff" - given to Hanna, whose extraordinary physical abilities come from the wolf DNA spliced into her genes before she was born. "Me, a wolf."
  • In the Hannibal episode "Shiizakana", the man trying to reinvent himself as a cave bear is named Randall Tier. "Tier" is the German word for "beast".
  • The Hard Times of RJ Berger: The attractive middle-aged woman who attempts to seduce the eponymous protagonist is Mrs. Robbins, which is a Shout-Out to Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate.
  • Heroes: Has a few examples as well:
    • Villain Sylar's real name is Gabriel Gray, "Gabriel" being a nod to his obviously Catholic background (and additionally, Maya at one point describes him as "Just like the angel."), and "Gray" meaning dull or ordinary which he lamented being prior to his finding out he had superpowers. Alternatively, one could take Gray to mean Gray Matter. It's also possible to interpret it in such a way that 'Gray' signifies having the whiteness of the angel Gabriel other words, turned evil.
      • With a slight spelling change, it could even be an X-Men reference. The first power he absorbs is telekinesis.
    • Then again, for a show with a character actually named Hiro (meaning he's a "hero", plus the in-show reason was he was named after "Hiroshima", thus giving poignancy to his quest to stop New York from being destroyed by a nuclear bomb), Sylar's pretty subtle.
    • And as Sylar's good counterpart, we have Peter (a saint and angel just as Gabriel) who can fly. Angela Petrelli subverts this only in the fact that she isn't an angel.
    • Also, both the names Peter Petrelli and Gabriel Gray are a subtle nod to the legions of classic comic book superheroes / -villains the Alliterative Naming Convention.
  • Highlander: The Series:
    • The main character of the series (who may well be one of the greatest swordsmen in history) has the first name of Duncan, which translates to "dark skinned warrior".
    • Methos, the oldest known Immortal, has a fondness for using the name "Adam" in his various aliases as a joke. He currently goes by the name Adam Pierson, and has used names like Dr. Benjamin Adams in the past.
  • House MD: Has House and Wilson instead of Holmes and Watson.
    • Also, the token bisexual is named Remy Hadley — Hadley being one town over from Northampton, Mass.
    • Amber during the season 4 finale during a hallucination, the unnamed woman's necklace is made of amber, which lets House deduce the identity of the Jane Doe from the bus crash.
  • Human Target: Guerrero, which is Spanish for "warrior". Though Guerrero comes across as laid-bad computer geek, you don't want to piss him off.

  • I Dream of Jeannie: Jeannie, who is a genie.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): The "Lion" in Lioncourt, Lestat's surname, is emblematic of his personality and looks. He's a ferocious apex predator with a mane of shoulder-length blond hair and a strong, elegant physique. He also sees himself as the king of his pride (or his "court," which is the second-half of his surname), which consists of his "lioness" Louis and his cub Claudia. Lestat is much more powerful than either his lover or his vampire daughter, and he keeps both of them under his control. A dominant male lion mates with several lionesses, and while Lestat Really Gets Around when he's single, for most of Season 1, he limits his additional sexual conquest to Antoinette, his mistress, so she's the other lioness. In "The Thing Lay Still", Lestat becomes even more leonine when he wishes for Antoinette (who's now also a vampire) to be part of his family by having her as his second wife, with Louis as his "Top Wife." In a pride, a lioness is restricted to mating with the dominant male, so this echoes Lestat's hypocrisy when he believes it's okay for him to cheat on Louis, but Lestat becomes a Crazy Jealous Guy when Louis has a sexual interlude with someone else, and he tells his boyfriend, "I don't like sharing." Louis subtly compares Lestat to a sun-ruled Leo, the astrological sign of the Lion, with "...the sun-hot ego of the vampire king."
  • In the Flesh:
    • Kieren's last name is Walker.
    • The series is set in the fictional town of Roarton, which sounds an awful lot like Rotten.
  • Two invoked examples for the Insterburgs, a German comedynote  band from the 1960/70s. Their name is the leaders pen-name and birthplace. Another in the skit "I'm from Berlin" (actually one is): One claims "Ich bin aus Hamm" (town in Germany) - "ich bin ein Hammer" (from Hamm/"a hammer"=colloq. for epic) and gets the answer "Du bist aus Hamm - du bist behämmert (colloq. for a loon)".
  • Into the Dark: In "Blood Moon" Luna, whose name derives from Latin for "moon", is a werewolf.

  • Johnny Staccato: Jazz piano player John "Johnny" Staccato in the eponymous 1959 noir drama - and yes, that's his real given name; he doesn't change it after becoming a Private Detective.

  • Kamen Rider: This franchise is full of examples of meaningful names.
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto has a couple of characters whose Catchphrase contains the kanji of their own name. This includes protagonist Souji Tendou ("Walking the path of heaven, ruling over all") and The Rival Tsurugi Kamishiro ("The man who replaces the gods with a sword's slash"). Parodied in the Hyper Battle video, when The Lancer Arata Kagami asks for a Catchphrase of his own, and Tendou suggests "The man who washes his face in front of a mirror (kagami) every day."
    • Kamen Rider Decade: Protagonist Tsukasa's name contains the kanji for "gate", befitting his status as a dimensional wanderer; Kamen Rider Decade is the tenth main Rider of the Heisei era of the franchise (from 2000 onwards). The Hikari ("light") family runs a photo studio. Finally, Decade's rival Diend is named Daiki Kaitou, who steals "treasures" from the alternate universes he visits. The show takes it a step further by giving Meaningful Names to some of the AU versions of previous Kamen Riders:
      • Yuusuke Onodera is named for Kamen Rider creator Shotaro Ishinomori (birth name: Shotaro Onodera).
      • Shoichi Ashikawa's name is a combination of the names of the three Agito Riders: Shoichi Tsugami (Agito), Ryo Ashihara (Gills), and Makoto Hikawa (G3). The Decade version of Shoichi was once G3, evolved into Gills before Tsukasa arrived, and became Agito by the end of the arc.
      • Shinji Tatsumi's surname contains the kanji for "dragon", while his former partner Ren Haguro's surname means "black wings". Their Contract Monsters are a dragon and a bat, respectively.
      • Takumi Ogami's surname means "wolf"; the original Takumi's surname, Inui, was a homophone for "dog". Both are references to Takumi's status as the Wolf Orphnoch.
      • Kazuma Kendate's name is a lengthy one. The "ken" in "Kendate" means "blade", while the "date" means "to rouse"; Blade's primary weapon is the Blade Rouser. His teammates have similar theme names: Sakuya Hishigata/Kamen Rider Garren, modeled on the Suit of Diamonds (the surname means "diamond-shaped") and Mutsuki Kuroba/Kamen Rider Leangle, modeled on the Suit of Clubs ("kuroba" is the phonetic pronunciation of "clover").
    • Shouchi Tsugami. His first name means "First Call," and if you were attacked by an Unknown, who would you call? Also, Makoto Hikawa's first name means "Truth" and he's a cop.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki has a couple:
    • Kamen Rider W has two protagonists who join together to become the titular rider, each controlling half of W's body. The man who controls the left side is Shoutaro Hidari ("hidari" means "left"), while the man who controls the right side is called Philip ( but his real name is 'Raito', aka "right"). There's also Kamen Rider Accel, who has a major fire theme, and his name is Ryu Terui ("dragon shining").
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid examples include:
      • Emu (eternal dream) Hojo (life treasure): His first names befits a gamer, while his family name lampshades his importance to other Doctor riders and him being a doctor who consider life to be the biggest treasure.
      • Taiga (big ego/selfishess) Hanaya - his first name befits his role of the resident Doctor Jerk.
  • Keep Breathing: Liv strives all she can while in the wilderness to survive.
  • Parker of The Kicks is an expert at parkour. Lampshaded in "Choosing Sides".

  • LazyTown: The only two of 9 recurring characters this doesn't apply to in some form are Stephanie and Ziggy. They are not total exceptions though, as in the Icelandic language versions that pre-dated LazyTown, Stephanie was named Solla Stirða (Solla Stiff), while Ziggy was Siggi Sæti (Siggi Sweet).
    • Sportacus is a corny, but appropriate, name for an athletic but not super-powered hero.
    • Trixie, the mischievous tomboy is, well, tricksy.
    • Mayor Milford Meanswell might not be very competent, but he means well.
    • Ms. Bessie Busybody is the town gossip.
    • The miserly rich kid's name is Stingy.
    • Pixel is the town computer geek/games addict.
    • Villain Robbie Rotten actually isn't quite as rotten as he thinks he is, usually behaving in a manner closer to bratty than evil.
  • Lewis: "Life Born Of Fire" contains a character called Zoë Kenneth who claims to be an expert on the meanings of names. It's only at the climax that Lewis thinks to look up the meaning of hers, and finds that it's a Title Drop.
  • Lexx: A character named Doctor Longbore talks, at great length, in a monotone voice. Prince, ruler of the planet Fire, is heavily implied to be Satan.
  • Life on Mars (2006): The Big Bad of season two of the original show? Frank Morgan. Who wanted to help Sam "get home". This is also in the midst of all the other Oz references (such as one of Gene's nicknames for Sam being "Dorothy" - as in, someone lost in a strange land trying to get home, or a "Friend of Dorothy").
  • In The Librarians 2014 Big Bad Dulaque is revealed to be Lancelot du Lac.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
    • The name Galadriel means "maiden crowned by a radiant garland" or "maiden crowned in bright radiance" which is a reference to her infamously beautiful long silver-golden hair which, according to Tolkien, she would often bind up on the top of her head like a crown when taking part in athletic feats.
    • Discussed by characters in case of Elendil. Míriel points out that Elendil means also "Elf-friend", beside its alternate meaning, a "Lover of Stars".
    • Eärien is an original character created for the series and her name means "Daughter of the Sea" in Quenya — an apt name for a woman hailing from a maritime power.
    • Adar is a Sindarin word for "father". The orcs refers at him as such, but most probably that is not his real name.
  • Lost: About half the characters have barely veiled names, either of the personality variety (Jack Shepherd, Miles Straume) or of the winks-to-philosophers variety (John Locke, Danielle Rousseau, Charlotte Staples Lewis, Desmond David Hume).
  • The L Word: Adele Channing has the same surname as the main character in All About Eve and her storyline is clearly inspired by that film.

  • Merlin: One possibility offered for the name 'Uther' is that it means 'Fearsome'. Although Uther in the original Arthurian legends was well liked, it does fit this show's King Uther.
  • Midnight Caller: Ricky Roses from "Do You Believe in Miracles?" runs a 24-hour flower shop.

  • Discussed on NCIS when Team Gibbs is aboard a navy "black ship" called the Chimera, which Ziva has begun to suspect may be haunted. When she explains the mythological chimera, Tony sarcastically asks her if the ship is named after it because there's one on board.
    Ziva: They did not name it the Puppy.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: Has a bully named Billy Loomer, a mean girl named Missy Meany, and a woodshop teacher named Dusty Chopsaw. Any questions?
  • Nevertheless: Na-bi ("butterfly") was named for the famous quote about pursuing happiness; her mother and aunt hoped she would have a happy life.
    Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it will elude, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."
  • The New Statesman: The main character was named Alan B'Stard. Guess what kind of personality he had?
  • Noah's Arc: Brandy, who oscillates between Lady Drunk and Hard-Drinking Party Girl.
  • Novoland: Eagle Flag:
    • "Asule" means "longevity" in Qingyang's language. His father named him that because he hoped he would have a long life.
    • Xiao Zhou's nickname means "little boat", because the emperor gave her a boat as a present. (Her real name, Zhou Yue, is comprised of the characters for "boat" and "moon".)
    • The "Ye" in Ji Ye's name means "wilderness".

  • Odd Squad: The show has a surprising amount of these. Notable ones include:
    • Olive is a name that is associated with the olive branch, known as a symbol of peace. Numerous episodes such as "Best Seats in the House" and "Ms. O Uh-Oh" show that Olive is an agent who stops conflict rather than starts it, attempting to find solutions that will benefit all parties involved.
    • Obfusco, an agent who often speaks in Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness and Word Salad Philosophy. His name is a shortened form of "obfuscate", which means to make something unintelligible or to bewilder someone, and his debut episode has him bewildering both Olive and Otto with his words and actions.
    • Todd is an English name meaning "fox". Post-Face–Heel Turn, Todd is very cunning and sly, much like what foxes are perceived to be.
    • A majority of villains are named after what powers they have or their appearances. Shelley Catessan, Jamie Jam, the Noisemaker...the list goes on.
    • Coach O is one of the few employees of Precinct 13579 who doesn't have the "Agent" title tacked onto his name, because he's not an agent — he is the coach of the precinct who not only coaches every single sports team they have, but also dabbles in conflict resolution much like coaches on sports teams do.
    • The Shadow, the Big Bad of Season 3, is perhaps the most notable example on the list. While her actual name's meaning doesn't fit the trope (Olizabeth, a modified version of Elizabeth, which is the Greek version of a Hebrew name meaning "God is my oath"), her assumed name as a villain is revealed to be meaningful come the Season 3 finale, "End of the Road", when her motives for villainy are brought to light. Her older sister, Opal, was too overprotective of her when the two were attending the Odd Squad Academy, and inadvertently made her feel worthless. In short, Olizabeth was stuck in her sister's shadow, and as a result, she became a shadow of herself, making a Face–Heel Turn and becoming a villain focused on causing oddness.
    • Xavier is an Arabic name meaning "new house", while Xena is a Greek name meaning "stranger" or "guest". Both Xavier and Xena move into Precinct 13579 midway through Season 2 at the Big O's insistence, and stay there as they investigate suspicious activity.
    • Orla is an Irish name meaning "golden princess". While the character Orla isn't a princess, she is the guardian of the 44-leaf clover, and wears golden hair accessories.
  • Once Upon a Time: Lives and breathes this trope with many of the characters' cursed identity names being related to their original names. Ex. Snow White is Mary Margaret Blanchard ("blanc" is French for white), Red Riding Hood is Ruby, Rumplestiltskin is Mr. Gold (and in another curse Weaver), and the Evil Queen is Regina Mills. Regina was actually her name before the curse scrambled everyone's identities and before she married a king, but it still makes sense since Regina's mother had been scheming for power for a long time and even announces in-universe after Regina's birth that she'll be queen someday.
  • The Order: Lilith Bathory is named for two different evil women-one was Adam's twisted first wife who soon according to legend murdered children among other things, the latter Elizabeth Bathory, an actual serial killer who'd murdered young women to bathe in their blood hoping it would keep her young. Unapologetically a Blood Knight, Lilith believes that Murder Is the Best Solution and eventally becomes a literal demon.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "The Light Brigade", the ship is named after the poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and the poem is quoted several times. Just like the battle the poem is describing, the mission completely fails and the heroes lose everything.
    • In "Final Exam", Seth Todtman has a cold fusion bomb with a dead man's switch. "Toter Mann" is German for "dead man".
    • In "To Tell the Truth", the native population of Janus Five are shapeshifters. Janus was a Roman god who is typically depicted as having two faces.
    • Invoked in "Final Appeal, Part 2". After becoming an anti-technology zealot, the scientist Daniel Faraday adopted the name Ezekiel, a reference to the Biblical prophet. He believes that technology is inherently evil and predicts that its use will ultimately lead to the destruction of humanity.
    • In "Resurrection", the androids Martin and Alicia create a human named Cain, the first to exist since humanity was wiped out due to a biological war on July 24, 1997. When the android ruling council learn of his existence, they are fearful that the return of humanity will lead to them being once again subjugated or even destroyed. Cain shares his name with the firstborn son of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis who killed his brother Abel.
    • In "Patient Zero", the Gehenna Strain wiped out more than three billion people worldwide. Gehenna is a valley in Jerusalem which is described as being cursed in the Book of Jeremiah as it was used by the kings of Judah to sacrifice their children by fire.
    • In "A New Life", Thomas is uncertain whether he has made the right decision when it comes to joining Father's religious community and tells his best friend Daniel and Daniel's girlfriend Beth, who convinced him to join in the first place, that he will give it a month. After two years, Thomas, displaying the zeal of the converted, has become an active member of the community and has embraced Father's teachings of a new life through faith and service. This is a reference to Thomas the Apostle (otherwise known as "Doubting Thomas") refusing to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he felt the wounds that he received on being crucified, as recounted in the Gospel of John.
    • In "Flower Child", the plant-based alien transforms itself into a beautiful young woman named Violet.

  • Pair of Kings: Sadie Hawkins Expy Queen Uber Oogli.
  • Person of Interest: Reese is often addressed as "Mr. Reese", pronounced in a way that sounds like "Mysteries".
    • Root has a notable pattern in her aliases, they are all named after famous computer scientists.
  • Power Rangers: Has taken to doing this in recent years.
    • Lost Galaxy, what with untrustworthy generals with names like Treacheron and Deviot in addition to the usual meaningful names for the various monsters. Not to mention Leo, whose name is the Latin word for "lion". His zord is a lion.
      Captain Stanton: I never should have trusted that Captain Mutiny.
    • Wild Force had an Anti-Villain named Zen-Aku (good-evil) who would Kick the Dog one minute and Pet the Dog the next for his own reasons.
      • There was also Yellow Ranger Taylor Earhardt, missing and presumed dead ever since her fighter plane disappeared over the Atlantic was tractored to the Animarium.
    • SPD's aliens are frequently named after the animal they resemble, such as doglike Anubis "Doggie" Kruger of Sirius, catlike Kat Manx and Dr. Felix, apelike Sgt. Silverback, and birdlike Fowler Birdy. With humans it's not quite as gimmicky: Blue Ranger Sky has a flying Zord, Jack was once a thief, etc.
      • A-Squad was given the honor of being named by the fandom. The name for A-Squad Blue? Beevor.
    • Mystic Force is somewhat sneakier: Water-powered Madison shares a name with the mermaid in Splash (as well as sharing Tomoyo's name in the Cardcaptor Sakura dub; both Madisons have a penchant for capturing the other characters on film) and her tomboyish, hyperactive sister is named Vida ("Life"). A moon-powered apprentice magician is named Clare ("clair de lune" is French for moonlight). The Rangers' friend Leelee's last name, Pimvare, is an anagram of "vampire". It turns out she's The Mole, and daughter of the vampiric villainess Necrolai. Oddly, some denizens of the mystical dimension are named after weapons (Leanbow, Bowen, Daggeron) but are never shown to use their namesakes in battle.
    • In Operation Overdrive, Mackenzie "Mack" Hartford's Humongous Mecha is based on a dump truck, and the Pink Ranger's name is Rose. Mack's name may also be a play on the computer company, since he is ultimately revealed to be a robot.
    • Turbo's lead villainess was named Divatox.
    • Jason, the original Red Ranger from Mighty Morphin is also an example. He's the leader of a team of heroes... Just like Jason, the captain of the Argonauts from Greek myth.
      • The original villain's name is Rita Repulsa... and she looks repulsive and engages in repulsive behavior.
  • An interesting variant appears in The Prisoner (1967) since all characters are identified by numbers. Number Eight was a Russian female agent who appeared to be a Distaff Counterpart to Number Six, but was in fact working for Number Two to seduce Six. Another Number Two would later use a lookalike of Number Six known as Number Twelve to make Six have an identity crisis and break down. 8 = 2 + 6, 12 = 2 x 6.
  • Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin has an In-Universe example. Minnie and her nickname "Mouse" is named so because of her family's Disney obsession and wanting her to stay a little girl forever.
  • Psych: The Santa Barbara PD arrests a notorious serial killer named Mr. Yang in the season three finale. Is anyone really surprised when a Mr. Yin starts leaving a trail of bodies in the season four finale?

  • QI: In one episode, Stephen Fry mentions "nominative determinism", the social theory that if your name is meaningful its meaning will reflect in your career choice. David Mitchell: "That's why you run that caff."

  • Red Dwarf: Has Arnold Judas Rimmer. He is indeed a backstabbing, unlikeable, selfish, cowardly smeg. Less obvious, but rewarding if you speak Polish, is Kochanski. Kochac means "to love". What better person to be called Lover than Lister's girlfriend? According to Word of God, however, it was not deliberate — the show's creators actually named her after a bully at their old school. (Likewise, Rimmer was named after a snobbish prefect.)
  • Revolution: 'Miles' is Latin for 'soldier'. That is what Miles Matheson's career and life are in a nutshell.
  • La Révolution: The leader of the rebels is named "Marianne", which is traditionally the name of France's anthropomorphic personification.
  • Round the Twist: The Twist family encounter enough weird crap to make anyone feel like they're going round the twist.
  • Route 66: NBC's brief 1993 revival starred James Wilder and Dan Cortese as Nick Lewis and Arthur Clark. Making the road wanderers... that's right... Lewis & Clark.

  • Brazilian comedian Cláudia Rodrigues played in many shows, most notably sitcom Sai de Baixo, a domestic worker named Sirene ("siren"), because she's loud and angry.
  • The Second Coming: In Russell T. Davies' drama, the protagonist was the son of God. His love interest is named Judy.
  • Seinfeld: Used and lampshaded:
    Kramer: Bookman? The library investigator's name is actually, Bookman?
    Librarian: It's true.
    Kramer: That's amazing. That's like an ice cream man named, "Cone".
    • An in-universe example. Remember George's alias, Art Vandelay? Guess who shows up in the finale.
  • Schmigadoon!: Mayor Menlove is into men, and his reassurance of Melissa in "Somewhere Love Is Waiting for You" turns into an operetta about how love is forbidden for him as well.
  • Shoestring: Eddie Shoestring is usually broke.
  • Smallville: Davis Bloome. Does that reminds anyone of a particularly nasty Superman enemy? Okay, he's Doomsday.
  • The Sopranos: Livia's actions reflect the actions of the historical Livia, wife of Augustus Caesar.
  • Stargate SG-1 has a several meaningful names, some of which are addressed in-universe.
    • The names of the Tau'ri members of SG-1 with a subtle dig at Cameron Mitchell being the replacement to Jack O'Neill.
      • Jonathan "Jack" = God has given
      • In-universe Jack states that his name means "What's in the box?" but this is a joke because he actually has no idea what his name means.
      • He was given a special gene through his descent from the Ancients, who were the creators of humanity, and was given high honor by the Asgard, who are also gods.
      • Samantha = name of God/God has heard (from its being a feminine form of Samuel)
      • Daniel = God is my judge
      • Particularly poignant in his case since Daniel's character development centers around the fact that he judges himself harshly for his mistakes, but he eventually has to accept that he cannot control everything and that he is not the sole judge of his works.
      • Cameron = Crooked/bent nose
    • Entirely in-universe examples:
      • Teal'c, who is physically the strongest of his team and also lends an impressive amount of moral and emotional strength, translated his name as strength and explains that it was given to him by his father.
      • In the Goa'uld language, the word Goa'uld simply means god.
      • Anise, a Tok'ra, states that her name means noble strength.
    • Other examples:
      • Prometheus, the first Earth warship, built from reverse-engineered alien technology, and named for the Titan who stole fire from the Olympian Gods to give to Man.
      • To be fair, O'Neill knew that Prometheus was a bad name for a ship and fought against it. His offer to name the ship Enterprise was declined. Also, the name of the episode where the Prometheus is destroyed is called "Ethon", after the eagle gnawing on Prometheus's liver as punishment for bringing fire to humans.
      • Later the Daedalus class of starships is introduced, named for Icarus's father, who made two sets of wings so that they could fly to freedom. (Unlike Icarus, who went too far until he died and is therefore a very bad name for anything, Daedalus actually makes sense because he was a genius and used his invention wisely.)
      • The Daedalus-class ship Odyssey is the one in which the team and General Landry become trapped frozen in time for fifty years, under constant threat of death from the Ori weapons fire that is frozen right outside their windows. Ultimately the time bubble is reversed and everyone forgets about it, except for Teal'c, who volunteers to be removed from the reversal so he can prevent the problem. This means that like Odysseus, Teal'c really was lost at sea (or in this case space) for decades before he was able to return home. At least in his case everything is back where he left it.
  • Stargate Universe: The cringeworthy Icarus Base, where, naturally, a huge disaster happens. This was particularly jarring after a total of fifteen seasons from Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis which were much more Genre Savvy and avoided tempting fate in such a glaring and obvious manner. The novelization mitigated this by including a scene with the ever Genre Savvy O'Neill getting furious over the name and planning to give whatever wise-guy came up with it a serious dressing down.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series:
      • Uhura is very close to the Swahili "uhuru", meaning "freedom" — one of the Federation's ideals at the time. Her full name is "Nyota Upenda Uhura", which means "Star and Peace Freedom".
      • Captain James Tiberius Kirk was named in part after a character created by Gene Roddenberry for a previous television show, but the history behind the name Tiberius is probably why it was given specifically to Kirk. (Ironically, the Emperor Tiberius was one of Rome's weakest emperors and one of its most unpleasant, if Tacitus's stories about his pedophilia are to be believed. And while Tacitus is known to let his own biases color his accounts, he's generally considered to have left the most reliable records of the Roman Empire.)
      • The Tiberius was first revealed in the novelisation of 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture, written by Gene Roddemberry.
      • Interestingly, in Star Trek Expanded Universe, the mirror-Kirk took the name Tiberius after crowning himself emperor. In the books, this is used to distinguish them.
      • Montgomery Scott is a Scot! "Scott" is a real Scottish clan name.
      • In "Dagger of the Mind", a reformed criminal is named Lethe, like the classical river of forgetfulness. We learn her treatment was to have her mind erased.
      • In "All Our Yesterdays", the time-warping library on Sarpeidon is run by the Ancient Keeper Mr. Atoz ("A TO Z").
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • There's Data and his brother Lore, which is doubly meaningful, as Lore, the more emotional android, has a name that is somewhat more emotionally charged. Lore is stories pertaining to something's history (which usually invokes emotion). Data, however, simply refers to information that is usually of a scientific or mathematical nature, and he's emotionless.
      • Then there's B4 (as in "Before") from Star Trek: Nemesis predating even Lore. Picard even noted Dr. Soong's twisted sense of humor for the name/designation. That, of course, implies that Soong knew that B4 was only a stepping stone when he named him.
      • Miles O'Brien is introduced in as a transporter tech, but he was originally a soldier and a member of a shock combat squad. The name Miles means "soldier".
      • William T. Riker's middle name was the subject of speculation for the first few seasons, until it was set to be "Thomas" in the 6th Season episode "Second Chances." "Thomas" means "twin," which is exactly what Riker discovered he was in this episode thanks to a transporter accident.
      • Before this was revealed, the non-canonical novel Imzadi stated that the 'T' stood for 'Thelonius', a tribute to his enthusiasm for 20th century jazz. This was later retconned to say that his name is 'William Thomas Thelonius Riker'.
      • Picard's Borg designation, Locutus, comes from the Latin word "loqui", meaning "to speak". Appropriate, as the Borg wanted Picard to "speak" on their behalf.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • An inadvertent Meaningful Name is that of Elim Garak. The character is constantly putting on an act, so one would think his surname was a reference to the great English actor, David Garrick. Yet he was named after one of the writer's prior characters. (Garak shares his first name with a rather strict Mennonite sect. The fact that his mother's first name is the reverse of his is, according to the writers, intentional — but his character was created first.)
      • Then there's Garak's best friend and would-have-been love interest, were it not for Executive Meddling, Dr. Julian ("young") Bashir, who's a Rare Male Example of The Ingenue and, in his thirties, the youngest member of Deep Space Nine's head officers. Since he considers himself a different person from how he was as a child, before his unconsenting and highly illegal brain enhancements, he's even younger than that.
    • Star Trek: Voyager:
      • The title ship is the USS Voyager. A "voyage" is defined as "a long journey involving travel by sea or in space", which is appropriate given that ship is flung hundreds of thousands of light years away from the Earth into the Delta Quadrant.
      • In "Message In A Bottle", a prototype Starfleet ship, the USS Prometheus, gets stolen by Romulan operatives. In ancient Greek mythology, Prometheus was a man who stole fire from the gods. Also, Prometheus is sometimes regarded as the god of technology for giving that fire to humans. Makes sense for a powerful weapons platform filled with experimental tech to bear his name.
      • The two-part episode "Equinox" features the USS Equinox, another Starfleet ship stranded in the Delta Quadrant much like Voyager. The equinox is the time (twice each year) when day and night are of equal length, typically around March 20 and September 22 of any given year (fittingly, Part II premiered on September 22, 1999). The Equinox is Voyager's darker parallel.
    • Hoshi Sato of Star Trek: Enterprise: "hoshi" is Japanese for "star", "sato" can be read as "at home" — her name essentially means "at home by the stars".
    • Star Trek: Picard:
      • Elnor's name is an unusual example because it requires knowledge from a different franchise. "Elnor" means "Star-Run" in Sindarin, which is another way of saying "Star-Trek." After Elnor agrees to bind his sword to Picard's quest, he experiences interstellar travel for the first time since his relocation to Vashti, so he's "running" (or "trekking") among the stars. Showrunner Michael Chabon deliberately chose an Elvish name for the character.
      • The planet Vashti shares its name with the Persian queen from the Book of Esther who disobeyed her drunk husband's command to "show her beauty" (i.e. appear naked) in front of him and his male guests at a banquet. Feminists interpret Vashti's defiance to be heroic because she stands up for herself despite knowing she'll be punished for going against her culture's patriarchal and misogynistic values, which parallels the all-female Qowat Milat sect's refusal to bow down to the oppression of the Tal Shiar, who strictly enforces conformity in Romulan society and eliminates any Cultural Rebel.
      • In Farsi, qowat milat means "power of the people," which is an apt name for a sect of Romulan warrior nuns who defy the Tal Shiar.
      • The planet where the androids are based is called Coppelius. Word of God confirms that it's named for the antagonist in the short story The Sandman (1816), written by E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816 (the source, although much-altered, of the ballet Coppélia), which had as a theme the creation of automata — as well as a motif of plucking out of eyes.
  • St. Elsewhere: In "Under Pressure", "Entrapment" and "All About Eve", Eddie Carson is a Protestant unionist teenager from County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Sir Edward Carson was the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 1910 to 1921.
  • Strangers with Candy: Has this trope in perverse forms only Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello could've conceived. Most obvious is Principal Onyx Blackman. There's also Stew the meat-man ("Simmer down, Stew") and Mr. Noblet's son, Seamus — the first syllable sounds like "shame," which is Noblet's primary emotion when it comes to his family, since he's a closeted homosexual. That one may sound like a slight stretch until you've listened to the DVD commentaries, wherein it's explained that school grief counselor Cassie Pines was named to evoke the image of "casket" and "pine box," and that Orlando, the frequent butt of racist Filipino "monkey" jokes, was originally going to be named Simeon. Then there's the all-white school production of A Raisin in the Sun, where the starring students' all have last names like "Chalk" and "Snow"... the list goes on.
  • Succession is about the conflict between a family patriarch and his children over control of his media empire. The family name is Roy, meaning "king".
    • His only daughter, Siobhan, is often referred to by the first syllable of that name: "Shiv". And she can, indeed, be quite cutthroat.
  • Supernatural:
    • Anna Milton, a fallen angel.
    • Harvelle means female warrior.
    • Ben means son.
    • Sam/Samuel means "name of God" or "God has heard" which is rather ironic considering that he was Lucifer's vessel.
    • Dean means leader.
    • Castiel means steadfast.
      • The root word "Cas" means to fall. The suffix -iel mean "of God" or "from God". Guess what happens to him.
    • Tessa/Theresa means harvest. She reaps the souls of the living.
    • Winchester, as in the guns, and the Winchester family curse (specifically the family that made the guns).
    • In one episode, a girl called Lily is revealed to have the power to kill someone by touching them. The lily flower is often a symbol of death.
    • Dean and Sam were named after Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise, the main characters of On the Road. Bonus: Dean Moriarty is bisexual, and Dean Winchester, despite his constant, high-volume insistence otherwise, persistently reads as Ambiguously Bi.

  • Taken: The Keys family hold the key to the creation of a hybrid who is strong enough to use their abilities without suffering deleterious effects.
  • Teen Wolf: Had the family of werewolf hunters with the last name Argent, which means SILVER. Justified: The myths of werewolves being vulnerable to silver are suggested to have been derived from the family's name, not the other way around. Which is brought up in "Wolf's Bane".
    • A "stile" is literally a means of passage over obstacles. Stiles himself manages to help pretty much everyone during the course of the series.
    • Danny's last name, Mahealani, means FULL MOON in Hawaiian.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles:
    • Cameron's name is a direct reference to James Cameron, and in the producer's DVD Commentary on the first season DVD, they mentioned that Cameron was supposed to follow James Cameron's original concept of the Terminator: a subtle infiltrator designed to spy and get close to a target.
    • A deliberately chosen one, it's definitely not a coincidence that John Henry has not only the same first name as John Connor, but also last name that's a first name.
  • Three's Company: Had Jack Tripper — a ladykiller in a different sense.... He was also something of a klutz, frequently getting "tripped up"
  • Thunderstone: A person called Noah brings animals to repopulate a barren Earth after a planet-wide natural disaster. Hmm.
  • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger: Subverted Trope: A Monster of the Week has a name that means "felony" and is of a species whose name means "villain". As the plot was one character's attempt to prove him innocent and the true culprit guilty, the names were an Anvilicious way of making him the obvious suspect (which he was anyway). Otherwise, Super Sentai has so many characters with Meaningful Names (and Meaningful Punny Names and Theme Naming) that adding them to this page would triple the length.
  • Too Old to Die Young: Viggo, a Vigilante Man, refers to his vigilantism as "hunting." He receives information on his targets from a woman named Diana, who shares her name with the Greek goddess of the hunt.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • "A Thing About Machines" tells the story of Bartlett Finchley. Lord Finchley was a technophobe in a poem by Hilaire Belloc.
    • In "Mr. Denton on Doomsday", the peddler who gives Al Denton the gun and later the potion is named Henry J. Fate.
    • In "The Obsolete Man", the librarian Romney Wordsworth is declared obsolete by the state as all books are banned.
    • In "The Hunt", Hyder Simpson's dog is named Rip, as in RIP. This foreshadows the revelation that the two of them have been Dead All Along.
    • In "Jess-Belle", the title character Jess-Belle Stone is named after Jezebel from the Books of Kings. Furthermore, Jess-Belle obtains a Love Potion from Granny Hart.
    • In "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville", Mr. Hecate is named after the Greek goddess Hecate, who is associated with witches and crossroads. William J. Feathersmith is transported back in time to his home town of Cliffordville, Indiana in 1910 by the Devil and proceeds to alter his personal history, meaning that Cliffordville represents a crossroads in his life.
    • In "Living Doll", Talky Tina protects Christie Streator from her verbally abusive stepfather Erich. Both Tina and Christie are nicknames for Christina.
    • In "Number 12 Looks Just Like You", two of the women who underwent the Number 12 transformation, as Lana did, are named Jane and Doe. This refers to the fact that the people of this society are all beautiful and therefore essentially anonymous as they lack individuality. Furthermore, the second psychiatrist that Marilyn Cuberle sees is named Professor Sigmund Friend.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • Lampshaded in "Paladin of the Lost Hour". Gaspar tells Billy Kinetta that he shares his name with one of The Three Wise Men, the magi who saw the Star of Bethlehem and visited the newborn Jesus. He adds that Gaspar means master of the treasure, keeper of the secrets, paladin of the palace. Gaspar later explains that he is the latest in a long line of guardians of the lost hour going back to Pope Gregory XIII's adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1582.
    • In "Dealer's Choice", the Devil uses the name "Nick" when he plays poker with Pete, Jake, Tony and Marty. Old Nick is a common nickname for the Devil.
    • In-Universe in "Cold Reading". The brave, stalwart and honorable title character of the UBS radio series Dick Noble, African Explorer.


  • The Vampire Diaries: Has Stefan Salvatore. The last name Salvatore means "Savior" in Italian. The name Stefan means "crowned with martyrdom". Ironically, Stefan is the biggest martyr in the series.
  • Veronica Mars:
    • Veronica Mars, whose name means "true image", which ties in with her being a Born Detective and having a pathological obsession with finding the truth (which often comes with taking a picture of it since she's a Private Detective).
    • Plus, the Mars family lives in Neptune, and Veronica drives a Saturn. A character makes the connection in an early season 3 episode.
    • Wallace means foreigner in Norman French—in the pilot episode of the series, Wallace is the new kid in town.
    • Dick Casablancas usually is a dick.
  • Victorious:
    • Jade West, reference the wicked witch of the west and her "jaded" personality.
    • Their teacher is Mr Sikowitz, as in 'Psycho-'Wits'.
    • The main character is called Tori.. vicTORIous?
    • Vice Principal Dickers from "The Breakfast Bunch". His loud talking, aggressive one-liners and some of his actions (including trying to make Tori pop an arm pimple) show that he's certainly worthy of that name.



  • Zoey 101 has Chase, who spends most of the of the series chasing Zoey.
    • And Nurse Krutcher.