A form of Names to Run Away from Really Fast.
If a character has either the first or last name of a noted criminal, real or fictional, it's a good sign they're headed towards a life of crime themselves. If their name is followed by "the" and a violent-sounding verb (like Jack the Ripper or Barry the Chopper), then they're almost certainly a Serial Killer.
Gunman with Three Names is a subtrope characters referred to by three names, likely a killer or dangerous sort, based on the examples of John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, and Mark David Chapman, famous assassins.There were also enough people named Cain or variants that it got its own article as well.
Anime and Manga
- Adolf K. Weismann, born in Germany just around the time that that one started to become prominent. He seems to be a huge pileup of villain tropes, down to the name, but it turns out he's really one of the nicest, sweetest people ever, just body-snatched by the villain. Goes by "Adi" to his sister and to most people, but even after he returns to his original body, his Clansmen still call him by the name they knew him by.
- Averted: In the children's book Heidi, written long before World War II, Heidi's kind, lonely grandfather is named Adolf.
- Adolf is actually used in the novel Evil Genius. One of the villains is named Adolf Hauser. To make matters worse, he's actually nicknamed "The Fuhrer" and teaches at the Axis Institute, a school for future supervillains. May be a case of Refuge in Audacity. Oddly enough, he's not the Big Bad.
- Distortions of Hitler's name, especially "Hiller", are featured in works ranging from Who's the Boss? to Isaac Asimov's The Martian Way. In these cases, these people are shown to be Hitler Expys either in-universe or by Word of God.
- There is a clothing line called Adolfo that was created by Adolfo Sardina.
- Dolph from Suikoden V may qualify, though.
- The video game Vandal Hearts pulls a double whammy with the Big Bad Dolf Crowley. In fact, Vandal Hearts is full of these—it also has an antagonistic character named Hel Spites and his son, Kain.
- Dolph, one of the bullies on The Simpsons.
- Interestingly, Dolph is Jewish. He's even in Hebrew school.
- Also, one of Mr. Burns' vicious hounds is named Hitler. Ironically, when seen, he's a very old dog, and not vicious anymore, although Mr. Burns fondly remembers when he was young and "bagged his first hippie".
- Dolf The Crow, the sort-of Big Bad from the Dutch TV-Show Alfred J. Kwak was a halfbreed of a crow and a blackbird, spoke in a German accent, turned evil, started a political party with a banner obviously similar to the Nazi flag. He also attempts world domination a few times, and all this while wearing a Napoleon-like attire.
To the Romans, the name was neither ominous nor menacing, because 1) it is also the name of Lucius Junius Brutus who ousted Tarquin the Proud and established the Roman Republic, a Roman national hero; 2) its actual meaning is "stupid".
- Brutus Meadows in The Power of the Equinox is an alcoholic jerkass as well as Scootaloo's abusive foster father. He kills his gambler wife Vibrant Glow when the earful she gives him for driving Scootaloo away causes him to snap, and when Cheerilee discovers this, he attempts to kill her as well.
- Brutus, the handsome but idiotic King of Bebba's Town from the sequels of The Sea of Trolls.
- Subverted with prison guard Brutus "Brutal" Howell in The Green Mile. A big man, but not as dangerous as his name or nickname implies. (Unless you're a recalcitrant new inmate.)
- Brutus Malfoy, referenced in The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Someone had to pave the way.
- General Brutus Brute Clay from COLD, a high ranking member in the eponymous organization.
- In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Alan Moore gave this name to the Invisible Man, identifying him as Hawley Griffin. Not only is this a Punny Name kind of like Jackson Ripper, but it foreshadows "dangerous to women" - Crippen murdered his wife, while Griffin is a Serial Rapist.
- Hawley was the name of the villain of the musical Rose-Marie.
- Survival of the Fittest's Hawley Faust.
- The villain in Red Eye is named Jackson Rippner. He even notes the connotations, and why he never goes by the name Jack.
- General Jack D. Ripper, in Dr. Strangelove is even more directly based on Jack the Ripper.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Ripper, who, even 30 years later and much more mellow, is still quite dangerous (technically, he killed Glory/Ben, which means he killed a Hellgod).
- Fallout 3 has a unique Ripper chainsaw named Jack.
- Metal Gear: Raiden, whose first name is Jack, was called "Jack the Ripper" during his days as a (very effective) child soldier during the First Liberian Civil War. In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, he succumbs to his repressed bloodlust and rage, which unlocks "Ripper Mode" in-game, increasing damage dealt and causing every attack to break armor and dismember enemies.
- Lucrezia Noin from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
- Lucrezia Borgia is a character in Gregory Maguire's novel "Mirror, Mirror".
- In Going Postal, Adora Belle Dearheart's stiletto shoes are in a style called "Pretty Lucrezia." It fits the trope despite not being the name of a person, because she uses them to attack a drunk (and in The Film of the Book, Moist himself, with whom her relationship is more Slap-Slap-Kiss than in the novel) and delivers a line about how she doesn't know if she can press them straight to the floor, but is willing to try.
- Lucrecia McEvil from an Earth, Wind & Fire song. Also an example of Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Lucrezzia Belladona (belladonna is a type of poison), a mercenary poisoner (and husband killer!) from Warhammer.
- The Zork parody of Lucrezia Borgia counterpart Lucrezia Flathead
- A slight variation of the name: Lucrecia from Final Fantasy VII
- Lucrezia Mongfish from Girl Genius, who before she married a hero was an evil scientist and is the Other.
- Frankenstein: Franky in One Piece
- Franken Fran herself may never be referred to as explicitly as her name is given in the title, but...
- Dr. Franken Stein, an obvious reference in Soul Eater
- Casanova Frankenstein was used as the villain of Mystery Men just because of his awesome name.
- Agent Franks of Monster Hunter International was a bad guy but eventually pulled a HeelFace Turn and just became a major Badass.
- Victor: Victor von Gerdenheim in Darkstalkers
- Doctor Vicktor (Benvictor as well) in Ben 10.
- (Icky) Vicky from The Fairly OddParents.
- Victor Frankenstein from Frankenweenie.
- Mordred Deschain in The Dark Tower.
- Ruthven Sykes, a member of the cabal that imprisons Morpheus in the first part of The Sandman.
- Captain Ruthven from Byzantium.
- Lord Ruthven, the vampire of The Vampyre.
- In Ruddigore, the mild-mannered Robin Oakapple is revealed to be Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, one of Ruddigore's line of Bad Baronets.
- Fran Stalinoskovichdavidovichski in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story who can knock out and possibly kill a man with one throw of a dodgeball.
- The Katyusha multiple rocket launcher was nicknamed "Stalin's organ" by the Germans in World War II partly because the missile racks resembled a church organ, but also because of the terrible howling noise and destruction they caused.
- Giant hogweed, also known as "Stalin's revenge," grows as fast as kudzu, and its sap is a potent, insidious, slow-acting poison causing burns like mustard gas! It can kill kids who don't know better and tamper with it. It's also fifteen feet tall and grows in massive growths of hazardous shrubbery, like some toxic alien jungle. You have to wear a hazmat suit if you want to clear a patch of this plant monster. Fun fact: it's also related to poison hemlock, also known as "that plant they used to kill Socrates."
Anime and Manga
- Grell Sutcliff of Black Butler has a slightly altered version of the surname of Peter Sutcliffe, also known as The Yorkshire Ripper. Appropriate, considering Grell is one half of this universe's version of Jack The Ripper.
- DC Comics shapeshifting villain Everyman is named for two fictional ones: Hannibal Bates for Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates.
- Jesse St. James from Glee — named after Jesse James, obviously.
- Retroactive aversion: Ralph Hinkley on The Greatest American Hero was renamed Ralph Hanley after a man with the name Hinkley attempted to assassinate President Reagan.
- In Hannibal, like Grell Dr. Donald Sutcliffe shares his name with the aforementioned Peter Sutcliffe, and is friends with The Chesepeake Ripper aka Hannibal.
- Red Dwarf: Queeg is also used for the computer that temporarily replaces Holly. He's actually Holly trying to teach the crew to apprectiate him more.
- The future humans in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles really should have known better than to give the Terminator captain of a submarine the name Queeg, even if they thought it was funny.
- Charles Lee Ray - Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald, and James Earl Ray.
- At least three comedy-westerns over the years have named a villainous gunslinger "Slade": The Villain, Evil Roy Slade and The Great Bank Robbery. This might have been inspired by the Real Life western gunslinger Joseph Alfred Slade.
- Marilyn Manson's "gimmick" for stage names was to take the first name of an iconic female sex symbol and the last name of a notorious Serial Killer and combine the two. In his case, he combined Marilyn Monroe with Charles Manson; the rest of his original band (which was called Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids until 1992) did the same. (The stage names of the original members who did this were Daisy Berkowitz, Olivia Newton Bundy, Zsa Zsa Speck, Gidget Gein, Sara Lee Lucas, Madonna Wayne Gacy, Twiggy Ramirez, and Ginger Fish. Members who joined after 1996 did not do so.
- Fawkes, the renegade Super Mutant in Fallout 3, after British terrorist Guy Fawkes.
- A hitman in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth 2 has the first name Sirhan (in the Fan Translation), after the assassin who killed Robert F. Kennedy.
- Survival of the Fittest v4's Aileen Borden, who shares parts of her name with two female murderers. Subverted in that, ironically enough, Aileen is a cranky yet good intentioned Unwitting Pawn of Aaron Hughes whose one kill is a set-up by the latter.
- The Legend of Korra has Amon, possibly named after Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth.