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  • An episode of CSI: New York 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.
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  • This Trope was the basis of the 1951-55 Game Show The 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.
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    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Aunt Agatha is either a woman who gives advice to the main characters or a crazy old woman who runs a hat shop.
  • The Avengers has been used as the name of a 1960s UK spy-fi show and a team of superheroes in the Marvel universe.
  • In the '70s, not only was there Captain Barney Miller from the TV series of the same name, there was also rogue bionic agent Barney Miller on The Six Million Dollar Man.
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  • Two different shows called Bedlam featured on UK TV in the early 2010s, the first a supernatural drama on Sky Living, the second a mental health documentary on Channel 4.
  • Ben Stone is either an assistant district attorney or a passenger on a plane that disappeared for five years.
  • One episode of Criminal Minds featured a victim named Bobbie Barrett.
  • Emmerdale has a Bob Hope, who has no connection to the US comedian.
  • "Bones": You've got to wonder whether Dr. Leonard McCoy has ever come across any of Dr. Temperance Brennan's work in literature or forensic anthropology.
  • The NCIS episode "SWAK" features a character called Dr. Brad Pitt. It is pointed out that he is no relation to the actor.
    • NCIS does it again in the episode "Chasing Ghosts", where the victim of the week who was actually the culprit, having faked his own kidnapping and death was named Noah Daniels.
  • Three game shows with the name Break the Bank: A basic Q-and-A show (1948-57), an expy of The Hollywood Squares (1976), and a puzzle-and-stunts series (1985-86).
  • Buckland is both Prue's boss (and a warlock) and a lawyer for Sacred Heart Hospital.
  • 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.
  • The Five is a sky original drama that has the same name as the Fox News panel show The Five (2011).
  • EastEnders character Charlie Slater shares a name with a real BBC weatherman.
  • The Chase was the name of a short-lived (2006-07) BBC 1 drama, before the same title was used for an ITV 1 gameshow hosted by Bradley Walsh since 2009.
  • Chris Keller is either a Depraved Bisexual on Oz or a Jerkass Musician on One Tree Hill.
  • Cole Hauser, the fake name taken by Tracker character Cole/Daggon in a couple eps is the name of a real life, if slightly lesser known, actor.
  • Dan Briggs: the original IMF team leader from Mission: Impossible or the Desk Sargent from the Felony Squad.
  • Dani Beck (female) was temporarily a detective with the Special Victims Unit; Danny Beck (male) is a military man doing something suspicious on Bones.
  • Two episodes of Daniel Boone bore the title The Traitor.
  • A tale of two Davids: Actor Vincent Irizarry as David Chow from The Young and the Restless, or the notorious Dr. David Hayward from All My Children.
  • The most prominent female character in both Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn and Kirby Buckets, two KidComs that premiered around the same time, is named Dawn (if the former's title didn't give it away).
  • The Defenders: The first from 1961, the second from 2010. Both unrelated to each other apart from being on CBS.
  • The Doctor is either a Time Lord or an Emergency Medical Hologram.
    • 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.
  • Doctor Who has an episode titled "Rose" and another titled "Rosa". The former refers to Rose Tyler, the latter refers to Rosa Parks.
  • Minor example in Frasier: Doctor Crane and his brother, Doctor Crane. Neither works at Arkham Asylum.
  • Dustin Brooks: little brother of Zoey Brooks or the Yellow Wind Ranger?
  • Crossing Jordan had a season 1 detective named Eddie Winslow, which was the name of the oldest son on the sitcom Family Matters.
  • Elizabeth Keen is one of the lead characters in The Blacklist, while Elizabeth Keane is the current President in Homeland.
  • Holby City character Dr. Elliot Hope shares a name with scriptwriter Elliot Hope, who has written for the show... long after the character was introduced!
  • Eric Foreman is the black neurologist from House; Eric Forman (no "e") is the slacker from That '70s Show. Try not to get them confused.
  • Luther character DCI Erin Gray shares a name with an actress who played Wilma Deering on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Kate on Silver Spoons.
  • In an episode of Goodnight Sweetheart, Gary meets a man in the 1940s who happens to be called George Harrison, though, according to Gary, "The hair's wrong."
  • Goldar is either a Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers villain known as Grifforzer in his home country or the English dub name of the title space giant in Ambassador Magma.
  • EastEnders and Home and Away have both had characters called Grant Mitchell.
  • 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.
  • The 1969 game show He Said, She Said was the Obvious Beta to the show Tattletales of five years later. It became the name of a 1991 romantic comedy with Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Perkins.
  • 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.
  • A contender in the 2008 version of American Gladiators went by the unlikely name of "Jerry Garcia".
  • Jo Bennett: Josephine "Jo" Bennett, Paige Matthews' alter-ego in early Charmed season 8, or Joleen "Jo" Bennett, the CEO of Sabre in The Office?
  • Both The 100 and The Leftovers have a John Murphy.
  • Dean Johnson on PBS's Hometime shared a last name with the show's final co-shot Miriam Johnson.
  • Both EastEnders and The O.C. have featured characters named Julie Cooper.
  • 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 Love Interests 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.
  • Both EastEnders and Beverly Hills, 90210 have featured characters named Kelly Taylor.
  • 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.
  • Friday Night Lights features a Lyla Garrity, as did the very short-lived 2000 show Wonderland by the same creator, Peter Berg, who states that both characters are named for his first big crush, who was his childhood dentist's daughter.
  • Mack is the surname of the titular female star of a tween show, but... which one? Their names both start with the letter A.
  • Margaret Scully is either Agent Dana Scully's mom on The X-Files, or the ex-wife of Barton Scully on Masters of Sex.
  • 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.
  • Dr. Mark Sloan: chief of medicine at Community General, or a plastic surgeon at Seattle Grace?
  • Martin Fitzgerald is both a character on the Soap Opera Passions, and on the Crime Time Soap/ Police Procedural Without a Trace.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who both feature a prominent villain known only as The Master.
    • Doctor Who itself has featured two villains called the Master. The first only appeared in a 60s Bizarro Episode, and the Time Lord introduced in 1971 became so popular that they have never quite gotten rid of him.
    • Additionally the season 10 finale of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia featured a cult leader named the Master.
    • Years before Buffy there was a TV show called Family Affairs with a character named Buffy and her British butler, Giles.
      • Family Affairs was also the name of a long-running British soap opera in the 1990s-2000s.
    • Tara's first appearance was in Hushed, aired December 1999. She has the exact first and last name of a commune member in an episode of the Australian police drama Blue Heelers.
  • The Wycliffe episode The Last Rites features a character called the Rev. Michael Jordan, who is most definitely not the American basketball player.
  • Shawn Ashmore's character on The Following is named Mike Weston. He's most likely not the Michael Westen who famously received a Burn Notice.
    • Meta example: Real life actor Michael Weston guest starred in an episode of Burn Notice.
  • Mike is the family man in either The Middle, Last Man Standing, or The Brady Bunch.
  • Mike Nelson: Protector of the Sea or Destroyer of Worlds? Also counts in 'Other', as the latter is using his real name.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Monk is a consultant, but on Seinfeld there is a coffee shop which owns the same name. Also, Zack's principal assistant's name is Mr. Munk.
  • There are two different shows called Nashville; a reality series for FOX in 2007 and a drama with Mrs. Coach and Claire the cheerleader as country stars that began in 2012.
  • 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).
  • ABC has had two shows called The Neighbors. One was a 1975 Game Show hosted by Regis Philbin; the other, a 2012 sci-fi sitcom. Also the long-running Australian soap opera.
  • 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).
  • Noah Bennet is the name of a character in this show or that show; both have been on NBC.
  • Both Friday Night Lights and Degrassi have High School teams named Panthers with school colo(u)rs blue and gold. A classic Justified Trope since neither series uses Where the Hell Is Springfield? with one school in Texas and the other in Toronto.
  • 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.
  • Phil and Claire are either a traditional couple in Modern Family or a couple in The Twilight Zone episode "Acts of Terror".
  • Pops: Cool Old Guy in The Goldbergs or Cool Old Guy in Blackish?
  • Prisoner Cell Block H was entitled Prisoner in its native Australia. This was amended for UK and US audiences to avoid confusion with The Prisoner.
    • Prisoner featured a drug dealer named George Lucas, not to be confused with the US film producer.
  • Punky Brewster: both live action and cartoon share the episode title "The Perils Of Punky". Content of each version are very different.
  • Both the Star Trek and James Bond universes feature characters named Q.
  • Both ER and Friends 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.
  • Rick Hunter: cowboy cop or Robotech defender.
  • Robbie was a character in an old Nickelodeon show, but is his last name Shapiro or Rotten?
  • Coronation Street actor Ryan Thomas shares a name with a one-off character in the CSI episode "Bittersweet".
    • Coronation Street character Amy McDonald shares a name, though not an exact spelling, with Scottish singer Amy Macdonald and US author Amy MacDonald.
  • Sam Gray is a UK male singer-songwriter. Sam Grey is a UK actress who played Alice Chantrey in Casualty.
  • Samuel Anders is Clarissa's best friend on Clarissa Explains It All. Samuel Anders is also a character from the reimagined Battlestar Galactica.
  • Casualty and Home and Away have both featured characters named Sam Nicholls, the former female, the latter male.
  • Three with the name Second Chance: the 1977 precursor to Press Your Luck, a 1987 Fox sitcom with Matthew Perry, and a forthcoming drama thriller on Fox.
  • Most people would be familiar with Sergeant Schultz, the dumb fat Nazi. There was also Sergeant Schultz, the hard nosed Vic Pol officer whose father served under Rommel.
  • BBC Wales news presenter Sian Lloyd shares her name with ITV weather presenter Siân Lloyd. Also in the news business was journalist Shan Lloyd.
  • Sophie Deveraux is a powerful witch in The Originals. Another show, Leverage, also has a character named Sophie Devereaux (with the "e").
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Teddy Altman - Badass cardio surgeon or Kree-Skrull hero?
  • Telly is either a black tomboy or a purple monster.
  • Theo is either the son of a doctor or a puppet lion.
  • Thirteen is a female doctor. But is her real name Remy Hadley, or a total mystery?
  • 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.
  • When Power Rangers fans think of the Turbo Rangers, they think of the team featured in Power Rangers Turbo, an adaptation of Gekisou Sentai Carranger. However, there was an earlier Super Sentai series titled Kousoku Sentai Turboranger. Even the Gokaigers got both teams mixed-up when they accidentally transformed into the Turborangers when they wanted to transform into the Carrangers. There's also a vehicle called Turboranger in Hikari Sentai Maskman, but the pronunciation is different (it's actually pronounced "Turborunger").
  • Pretty common with the Ultra Series
    • 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.
    • Ultraseven had an encounter with cyborg aliens called the Borg long before the Federation and Captain Picard did.
    • Black Satan, another of Yapool's Choju or the evil organization of Kamen Rider Stronger?
    • 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 Ultra Seven
    • "Who Are You?" is the name of the 47th episode of Ultraseven, the 3rd episode of Ultra Q Dark Fantasy, and the 14th episode of Ultraman R/B
  • Uncle Jesse: When you hear this name, do you think of The Dukes of Hazzard, or Full House?
  • Two episodes of the 1960s sci-fi show Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea bore the title The Creature.
  • Both Doctor Who and Star Trek have planets named Vulcan. Neither is a reference to the other.
  • The Watchers are either a group of stuffy British guys who find and train superpowered girls to slay vampires or a secret society of men and women who observe and record, but never interfere and who know the truth about immortals
  • Walter Bishop of Moonlighting and Walter Bishop of Fringe are not the same guy.
  • BBC 1 drama Waterloo Road shares a name with a 1945 British film.
  • On 30 Rock Wesley 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.
  • There was a Wheel of Fortune long before the one that's been on since 1975. The previous one from the 50s rewarded people for good deeds.


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