An episode of CSI: NY features characters having the same name as a plot point. Detective Mac Taylor stumbles upon some victims who are also named Mac Taylor, and has to track down a killer who only knows the name but no description or personal information. The killer got the name from a parking garage schedule and wanted revenge for a hit-and-run accident that killed his girlfriend. After killing one guy who turned out not to have a car at all, he began trying to check car keys, but this in itself started fights leading to an accidental death and putting a woman in the hospital.
This Trope was the basis of the 1951-55 Game ShowThe Name's The Same, a What's My Line? clone with contestants that share a name with a famous person, place, or thing. There's also Same Name, with celebrities trading places with the civilians with the same name.
Alex Reid: UK male boxer involved with model Jordan (Katie Price), or UK actress who appeared as probation officer Sally in Misfits?
Alex Russo, the main character from Wizards of Waverly Place, and Alex Rousseau, Ben's adopted daughter from Lost. The last names are spelled differently but pronounced the same.
Alison Scott is a major character in the movie Knocked Up. Allison Scott was a one-off character in the CSI: New York episode Veritas.
The Law & Order franchise has two characters named Amanda Rollins; one a major character on SVU, and the other a guest character on Criminal Intent.
Hollyoaks character Amy Barnes had the same name as actress Amy Leigh Barnes, who actually appeared in a minor role in the show, and her domestic violence storyline chillingly echoed the reality of the actress' tragic death.
Hollyoaks has featured characters called Elizabeth Taylor and Sinead O'Connor.
Supernatural features a single-episode character who goes by the name "Amy Pond". It's an alias, but there is no evidence within the show that it was intentionally taken from Doctor Who.
John and Mary are either Sam and Dean's parents or the parents of Nightwing.
Annie Walker has been used as the name of a Coronation Street snoot, a CIA trainee in Covert Affairs, and the protagonist and maid of honor in the 2011 comedy movie Bridesmaids.
During 2009, on Sci-Fi TV, Stargate SG-1 (starring Colonel Samantha Carter) was broadcast just before Eureka (starring Sheriff Jack Carter). When the Voice Over announced the next episode, that Carter faced some Sci-Fi adventure, you couldn't tell which program was being announced.
Cassie Ainsworth was a character in the first generation of Skins. Kacey Ainsworth was an actress who played Little Mo in EastEnders.
Charley Webb who plays Debbie Dingle in Emmerdale is a different person from the Charley Webb who sings with her sister, Hattie, as The Webb Sisters.
There have been at least 5 different drama series called The Doctors, not counting Doctors, plus a factual medical talk show called The Doctors. None of them have anything to do with Gallifrey's most well-known inhabitant.
Happy Days, which we all know for Fonzie, Richie, etc., was also a variety series that aired on CBS in the summer of 1970. The "happy days" of the latter referred to the 30's and 40's.
Happy Days itself had two different episodes entitled Great Expectations.
The "Blancmanges from outer space" sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus opens on one Harold Potter. He is explicitly stated to be too boring and normal to bother with, and the camera pans right past him.
Helen Forrester was the name of a fictional prison governor in 1970s UK drama Within These Walls, and a real UK author who wrote about her experiences of growing up in Liverpool during the Great Depression.
Holby City has used the title "Blood Ties" for two different episodes: Series 9 Episode 18 and Series 15 Episode 12.
UK actress Jade Williams (Black Hearts in Battersea) shares a name with UK singer Jade Williams, otherwise known as Sunday Girl.
Incidentally, the latter's stage name has nothing to do with Blondie, but refers to her working in a pet shop as a teenager.
The second generation of Skins featured a James Cook and a Naomi Campbell. The latter is briefly given a little Lampshade Hanging when she becomes angry on her first appearance on the show. Averted in Real Life in that the twin who played Katie was Megan Prescott, rather than her sister, Kathryn, who played Emily.
There is also a real-life James Cook who is a BBC Scotland correspondent.
Jim Fenner was a corrupt prisoner officer in Bad Girls. Jack Fenner was a one-off profiteer/rogue shopkeeper in the Foyle's War episode The French Drop. Presumably both men had James on their respective in-universe birth certificates.
Jamie Oliver - TV chef or keyboardist with Welsh band Lostprophets?
An unusual example, in that they have different names, but identical initials, by which they are almost always referred to rather than by their proper names. There's a "J.D." (John Dorian) on Scrubs, a medical doctor with a propensity for Imagine Spots, and a very different "J.D." (Jason Dean) in the movie Heathers, a homicidal teenager. Funny enough, the actor of that last character (Christian Slater) later played yet another "J.D." in the movie Film.Mindhunters.
Jason Dean shares his name with a Charmed season five/six character.
Angel had a regular guest-star called Kate Locksley. Robin Hood had a character called Kate of Locksley. Ironically, both were disliked by the fan-base on account of their abrasive personalities and roles as Replacement Goldfish and Replacement Scrappies to more popular female characters.
Katie Sutherland, Neil's sister in The Inbetweeners, shares a name with Katie Pearl Sutherland, former lead singer of Scots band Pearl and the Puppets and now a solo artist.
Keri McGrath was a nurse on Holby City. Kerry McGrath was a DA in a TV murder mystery movie called Let Me Call You Sweetheart.
Manic Street Preachers sang about Kevin Carter the Pulitzer-prize winning photographer, another was an American National Football League player, while still another turned up as the victim in the CSI:NY episode "Dead Reckoning".
Lucy Lane in the DC universe is Lois Lane's younger sister. She shares her name with Detective Inspector Lucy Lane in UK 1990s detective drama Wycliffe.
Doc Martin had PC Mark Mylow and, later, publican Mark Bridge, the latter narrowly avoiding sharing a name with a convicted UK child-killer, Mark Bridger.
Mark Sanger is the personal assistant to Chief Robert T. Ironside on Series/Ironside. He shares the name with a man whose murder Hunter is investigating on Series/Hunter. The Hunter episode guest-starred Don Galloway, who co-starred on Ironside as Sgt. Ed Brown.
Actress Haley Pullos, who played Molly on General Hospital, also played a character by that name on Instant Mom. It's quite possibly an intentional shout-out, if not implied to be the exact same character.
A pair of Musical Chairs: from 1953 where musical experts answered viewers' questions about music, and from 1975, where contestants completed the last line of songs (notable for being the first game show with an African-American emcee, Adam Wade).
Nescobar A-lop-lop is either an English student who loves two women on My Name Is Earl or a soccer player on The Millers. Considering it's Greg Garcia, it could be the same character (he was played by the same actor both times).
Patrick Quinn: Fake name of Kerry Ketcham, the infamous fugitive who appeared on Super Password, or Jeopardy! Teachers' Tournament winner?
in 2001, BBC 1 screened a short lived sitcom about a taxi driver called Paul Clark. That same summer, the second series of the UK version of Big Brother featured a housemate called Paul Clarke, who was a car designer.
Both ER and Friends (both coincidentally beginning their runs in 1994) have a character named Rachel Greene, with different ages but somewhat-similar personalities and sometimes-similar spellings (Friends never decided whether their Rachel officially had the extra E on the end of her surname or not).
Rachel Reilly, a contestant on the 13th series of the US version of Big Brother shares her name (though not the exact spelling) with Rachel Riley, a presenter on the UK gameshow Countdown.
Rebecca Knight who plays Anna in the BT ads is not Rebecca Knight who sings with The Opera Babes, or a singer-songwriter who does vocals with Ministry Of Sound and Hed Kandi.
In Star Trek, a replicator is a machine capable of creating (and recycling) objects. In Stargate SG-1, a replicator is an antagonistic self-replicating machine that propagates by ingesting the metals that make up civilizations and use them to create either blocks that form the bug-like version or smaller cells that compose the human-form "Replicators".
Richard Hatch: Heroic original-era Battlestar Galactica lead actor, or villainous Survivor winner/tax evader.
Interestingly, this happens within Star Trek. Though the spelling varies (since the spelling's never shown onscreen, it's irrelevant to the fan on the street), the name "Terellian" gets used a lot for species that can't be related. We've gotta assume the Delta Quadrant ones ("Drive") aren't any of the Alpha Quadrant ones, and among the Alpha Quadrant ones, the four-armed ones mentioned once ("Liaisons") can't be the two-armed ones with the disease ("Haven") or the two-armed boxer ("The Fight")... and the "Haven" and "Fight" Terellians look nothing like each other. That makes at least four species with the same name. The Enterprise in TNG supposedly has some, but the Human Alien version's diseased and no members of the other three are ever seen on the ship, so... that's five. And that's only if we're charitable and assume all mentions of off-screen Terellians, or of things said to be Terellian ("Terellian spices," "Terellian laser art," etc.) are by one of those five. There could possibly be more. If all spelling variants are intentional, the minimum goes up to six. Hardly surprising that Picard gets confused in "Suddenly Human", and refers to the Talarians as Terellians.
While it doesn't justify the lack of distinguishing between them, it should be noticed that many planets have several different species, which would account for a few of these Terellians. Of course, that only brings it down to three. (Again, "Drive" is a Voyager episode whose Terellians are native to the far side of the galaxy, and the Terellians in "Haven" are dreaded for their disease, which wouldn't be so if it couldn't be spread to other races - and "the Terellian plague" gets name-dropped enough later to make sure we know it can. That would mean all races native to their world would have it and thus not be anyone you'd get in a boxing match or race with, so it's not likely they're related to any of the others. For our sanity, we can put everyone else with that name on the same world, though.)
Plus, between movie number six and Deep Space Nine, there are two Dax of two different species, with very different tastes in shoes.
Word of God is that the Tamarians and the Temerians fought a war over who got which name.
Two different game shows with the name Strike It Rich: a 1951 series where contestants were under financial hardship, or a Q-&-A from 1986.
ALF and the aforementioned Full House both have families named Tanner.
Thomas Beckett is either a soldier who was saved in Vietnam by his young brother Sam in Quantum Leap or an Army general who was the father of Maggie in Sliders. Popular fanon is that they're one and the same character.
Though the names are not quite spelled the same, there is also Joe Gibken, Gokai Blue, and Jō Ōhara from Choujuu Sentai Liveman. It's mentioned in universe and used to highlight their similar problems with friends turned enemies.
Venjix is the name of two separate Power Ranger villains - the general who led The Remnant of the Machine Empire in the 10-yearMilestone Celebration, and the Big Bad of Power Rangers RPM. While both villains are robotic / AI in nature, there's nothing to suggest any connection beyond that. The Machine Empire Venjix is pretty conclusively blown up at the end of his one appearance, while we see the creation of RPM Venjix via flashback.
One that can get pretty confusing for even fans, the final kaiju of Ultraman and the aliens controlling him are both called Zetton. Typically, the latter are differentiated by being called Zetton Seijin (meaning Alien Zetton or Zettonian), with Zetton the kaiju being just Zetton.
Ultraman Geed: Riku's Alien Pegassa buddy Pega shares his name with another extraterrestrial that first appeared in Ultraseven, Alien Pega. Likewise, Re.M. the A.I. uses drones called U-Toms, which was the name of a type of robot that also appeared in Ultraseven
BBC 1 drama Waterloo Road shares a name with a 1945 British film.
On 30 RockWesley Snipes, insurance claims adjuster, complains that if you were to show someone a picture of himself and the actor Wesley Snipes and asked who should have that name you'd pick the pale Englishman every time.
Before the Whammy became an iconic game show figure on Press Your Luck, there was a figure called Sammy the Whammy on a 1960s game show called Beat The Odds. Contestants tallied scores by creating four-and-five-letter words from letters spun on two wheels (the words had to start with the first letter and end with the second). A wheel stopping on Sammy wiped a player's score to zero.