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Names To Run Away From / Shady Names

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A form of Names to Run Away from Really Fast: When a character has a name referencing crime or criminality, you can't really be sure what you're dealing with. A common variant is for The Law Firm of Pun, Pun, and Wordplay to use this as an Evil Lawyer Joke with names along the lines of "Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe" ("Do we cheat 'em? And how!").



  • Traditionally, two-person teams of Team Rocket members in the Pokémon dub consist of two individuals who, when the names are combined, form the name of a well-known outlaw from the Old West. James and Jesse, the most visible pair, are named after notorious outlaw Jesse James, but there are others, like their rivals in the group, Butch and Cassidy, named after another famous outlaw, Butch Cassidy. Another example was Annie and Oakley from one of the movies (named after someone who wasn't an outlaw, but still someone who people didn't want to mess with).


Fan Works

  • In Evangelion fanfic "Inheritance", Shinji Ikari changes his surname because in the post-Third Impact world, "Ikari" is the surname of a mass-murderer.
  • In the third arc of Hellsister Trilogy, Destruction of the Endless joins the heroes. When the main characters point out that his name isn't reassuring, Destruction explains he is merely the embodiment of change and renewal.


  • Star Wars is fond of giving shady names to its criminal characters. A New Hope started the trend with a bounty hunter named Greedo, Return of the Jedi named Jabba the Hutt's jester Salacious B Crumb, and the prequel Attack of the Clones introduced a drug dealer named Elan Sleazebaggano.


  • Double subverted with Wormtongue, who was given the name because of his Treacherous Advisor ways. And yet his true name is "Grí­ma, son of Galmod", directly translated from Anglo-Saxon means "Mask, son of Licentious". Nice. Even in modern English, it just sounds "Grimy".
  • Would you expect anything other than monkey business from an ape named Shift? (Subverted with his friend Puzzle the Donkey, who's actually a good guy.)
  • Would you trust a rat named Twirltongue?
  • Would you trust a man named Janos Slynt?
  • Would you vote for a Congressman named Hornswoggle?
  • Vermin in the Redwall series. When characters with names like Scumnose, Mangefur and Cheesethief knock on the door of your abbey, do you follow the dictates of peace and let them in, or do you put up all the barricades and start hunting down Martin the Warrior's sword?
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  • One heroic example is Lyra "Silvertongue" Belacqua, clever heroine of His Dark Materials.
  • S. Wendell "Swindle" Palomino from Gordon Korman's Swindle.
  • If you went to prison, would you trust your prison mate if he was named Low-Key Lyesmith (Loki Lie-smith)?
  • Jack Hyde, the nominal villain of Fifty Shades Of Grey, is one middle initial away from being a pun on "Jekyll Hyde."

Live-Action TV



  • From Adventures in Odyssey, the evil Dr. Regis Blackgaard ("blackguard" means a troublemaker). Arguably subverted in that he has a twin brother, Edwin, who shares the name but is only guilty of being a Large Ham.

Video Games

Web Animation

  • Or buy something from a street vendor named Shifty?

Web Original

  • Would you play Quake with someone with the nickname "Camper"?

Western Animation

Real Life

Other/Multiple Media


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