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Names The Same / Western Animation

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  • Oddly enough, the Transformers franchise does this within itself. Being named Prowl, Thrust, Snarl, Inferno, or one of any of the other most common names in the Cybertronian phone book, it doesn't mean you've got anything in common with anyone else with the same name.
    • However, they're simply rebooted shows' versions of the same character, no different from the two Battlestar Galactica shows each having Starbuck. It's just that there are waaaaay more than two retellings of the Transformers' story.
    • The toyline, however, is another story. As is the way of these things, fans are a lot more concerned with continuity and such than the makers who just want you to buy it, so when two dissimilar toys are given the same name in the same toyline, or a toy with the name of a character it doesn't resemble comes out, the Epileptic Trees get planted as people try to figure out when the scant lines of bio "take place." Prowl the owl and Prowl the lion both released as Beast Wars toys? Are they the same guy? Which one, if either, is the same guy as G1 Prowl? There are, in fact, a ton of toys named Prowl that don't exactly mimic any character named Prowl and are hard to place. Transformers Wiki has a page for each of them, and even some of those pages have a "this is what we think we know; even we can't be sure" section.
      • One weird case is Sky High, which was used for a Pretender one year and then a Micromaster the next, with no relation between the toys.
    • In-fiction, there's the Unicron Trilogy, where some Transformers: Armada Mini-cons have their names re-used for full-sized characters. Most of them don't get their names spoken onscreen, but a few do: The names Dirt Boss, Downshift, Mirage, and Blackout, we'll be hearing from again with characters who clearly cannot be the same ones. Also, the Mini-con helicopter Jolt may or may not be a case: despite both being Mini-con helicopters named Jolt, it's hard to reconcile the backstories of the Armada and Cybertron versions. Also, some Beast Wars characters share the names of unrelated Generation 1 characters (while some, like Starscream and Ravage, are the G1 characters. The show is quite clear on who's who.)
    • The movieverse has another version: non-movie material such as comics often movie-ify past characters and use them, and the next movie comes out and uses the same name with an unrelated character. Sometimes Arc Welding is used (we find out how Arcee becomes one 'bot with three bodies), sometimes not (there's no slagging way Movie 1 Comic Mudflap and Revenge of the Fallen bad racial stereotype Mudflap are the same guy.)
    • Japan's got a different version: Most versions of Optimus Prime are called Convoy. Some get a prefix (Fire Convoy, Grand Convoy, etc.) but then, so do leaders who are not based on Optimus himself (as the rank Prime is also called Convoy.) Furthermore, what America considers a reboot and what Japan considers a reboot aren't always the same. Therefore, if a character looks like Optimus Prime and is called Convoy or Something Convoy it is impossible to know if he is intended to be (a) the same character as; (b) a rebooted show's version of; or (c) a completely different character who happens to be similar to any other given Convoy or Something Convoy.
    • In a more standard example, the various Autobots named Sideswipe share their name with a character in The Incredible Crash Dummies.
      • And a teenage girl shares a (nick)name with a Decepticon Leader.
    • It's a running joke in The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye that the Transformers have run out of names; one guy changed his name from Prowl to Dent.
    • Hasbro didn't know that they took the name Victorion from Brave Saga 2.
    • The name "Predacon" was first used for the Decepticon combiner team from G1. The name was re-used and became more associated with the Decepticon descendants faction in Beast Wars. Ironically, the G1 Predacons had mammal beast forms which would have fit right in with the Maximals while the Beast Wars Predacons were had either dinosaur, reptile or insect beast modes.
    • Speaking of Beast Wars, the Predacon defector Dinobot shares his name with the team name for the Autobot team of Dinosaur Autobots from G1.