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Punny Name / Live-Action TV

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Punny Names in live-action TV.

  • The Swedish doll character called Allram Eest. The name is a play on the Swedish word "Allra Mest" meaning "Most of All".
  • Rusty Nails, an old children's TV show entertainer and the inspiration for Krusty The Clown.

  • The Adventures of Shirley Holmes had main antagonist Molly Hardy, which is a pun on "Moriarty"— as in Professor James Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes' Big Bad.
  • Alien Nation delighted in giving the Newcomers human names based on puns: Norman Conquest, Harley Davidson, Polly Wannakraker. The main character George Fransisco was originally named Sam Fransisco, but after hearing this his new partner started calling him George.
  • Angel:
    • Gwen Raiden has this as well as a Meaningful Name. She controls lightning and Raiden is a Japanese god of Thunder and Lightning. She's also a thief, and her name is a pun on "Gone Raiding".
    • Harmony. Wesley lampshades it when she uses a page ripped out of one of his antique books to wrap up her bubble gum.
  • Many characters on Angie Tribeca have goofy names just so the writers can shoehorn in a joke or a Shout-Out. Examples include forensic scientist Dr. Monica Scholls or wedding planner Jean Naté.
    Laurie Partridge: Go on, get happy.
  • In Arrested Development, the family attorney's name is Bob Loblaw. He also has a website where he discusses legal issues, The Bob Loblaw Law Blog.
    • And Maeby Funke, cousin to George Michael Bluth. Except one of the long-running subplots in the show is that she might not actually be a blood relative of the Bluth family. So George Michael's cousin Maeby is his cousin... maybe.
  • In The A-Team episode "There's Always a Catch", Murdock calls the mounted (and possibly fake) lobster he carries around "Thermadore" — as in the dish "lobster thermidor".
    • Ann Veal = Anvil.
  • Beakman's World had a few punny names; the short-order cook that made scientific food-based concoctions is named Art Burn, and the sportscasters in the Wide Beak-World of Sports are named Jim Shortz and Harry Pitts. There's also Beakman's family. (A brother named Meakman and Beakman's Beakmom) Not to mention Professor I. M. Boring.
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  • Breaking Bad has the lawyer Saul Goodman, as in "S'all good, man."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Anya's real name is Aud (pronounced 'Odd') which she is. In the early seasons, Willow counted as one.
  • The villains in El Chapulín Colorado always have this, some examples are: The gangsters; Tripa Seca (Dry Guts, a reference to the thinness of Ramón Valdez, the actor behind the character), Chory Malgesto (Shorty Bad Face, a pun of Rubén Aguirre’s tallness), Cuajináis (roughly “No one like this?”) and La Minina (The Kitty), the Pirates; Alma Negra [Black Soul], Matalote (a play with the words “mata” [kill] and cachalote [sperm whale]), Sabandija [Vermin], Gorgojo [Weevil] and Panza Loca [Crazy Belly] (again a reference to the physical appearance of the actor, in this case Edgar Vivar, known for his overweight at the time), and the Gunslingers; Rascabuches [Pouch Scratcher], Rosa la Rumorosa [Rosa “The Many Rumors One”], el Matonsísimo Kid [The “A lot of killings” Kid] and El Matafácil [The Easy Kills]. All of them, despite the name, are on the Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain category to some degree.
    • Of course Chespirito does this a lot with other characters, albeit more subtle; Señor Barriga (Barriga means belly) and his son Ñoño (Spanish sound for the pig's squeal) both played by Edgar Vivar and Profesor Jirafales (from Jirafa [giraffe]) played by Aguirre, La Chilindrina (Chilindrina is a special kind of Mexican bakery that is small and full of raisins in reference to the character's size and freckles), also El Botija (again a Vivar character) means "round bottle" and Chimoltrufia (chimol from chimuela [toothless] and trufia for atrofiada [atrophied]) in Los caquitos. He also mocks himself because of his height with many characters like Dr. Chapatín and Chaparrón Bonaparte (Chaparro means small or little in height).
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  • Crash Zone has the artificial intelligence named "Virgil Reality", for "virtual reality".
  • The news anchor from Dinosaurs is named Howard Handupme. As in "he's a hand puppet, and therefore there's a hand holding up his body."
  • Doctor Who:
  • Due South had a resident coroner by the first name of Mort.
  • Emergency!: Mike Stoker, one of the firefighters of Station 51 (and in Real Life).
  • The Father Ted episode "Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep" has three villains named Hud, Giant and Fargo, after movies. The episode title is itself a pun, on the 1970 hit single Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.
  • Frasier: The Shoutout to the creators in the station's name (KACL) is an inadvertent pun (cackle).
  • The Hekawi Indians in F Troop supposedly got their name from an incident in which they got lost, fell off a cliff, then exclaimed, "We're the Hekawi!" ("Where the heck are we?!") Legend has it that the writers wanted to name the tribe the "Fukawi". But, considering that that last pun is based on a word that can't be said on network television even now, it's not surprising that it quietly bit the dust several decades ago.
    • However, Johnny Carson used the Fugawi Indians, leaving it to the audience to get the pun (they always did).
  • Game of Thrones: Drogon almost sounds like dragon. Borders on A Dog Named "Dog".
  • Brittany S. Pierce from Glee.
  • In full effect in Good Eats, with such episode titles as "Quantum Foam" (Angel food cake), itself the fifth episode of the "Egg Files" series.
  • M.T. Promises on The Great Space Coaster.
  • House of Cards (US) has the mysterious hacker "HEROnymous Bot". Aside from being a portmanteau of "hero" and "anonymous", his name is a play on Renaissance artist Hieronymus Bosch, who was known for his surreal depictions of Hell.
  • How I Met Your Mother: Marshall has a former employee start up his own brewery, making delicious-tasting beer that bears his surname. The surname in question? Wharmpess. Kudos to the writers for letting the joke stand on its own, and never having one of the characters point out that there's a beer called "Wharmpess" (pronounced "Warmpiss").
  • iCarly: Spencer's friend, Socko, makes cool, light-up socks. His hierarchy of relatives is a Hurricane of Puns of names related to their jobs: His brother, Tyler (tie maker); His cousins Rob (thief), Taylor (tailor), Penny (the Penny Tees creator) and Isaac (optometrist); His uncles Otto (used car dealer) and Dr. Paxil (psychologist); and Freight Dog (air freight forwarder).
  • In Ikeman Desu Ne, the Japanese remake of the Korean Drama You're Beautiful, the twins are named Mio and Miko which are written as Beautiful Man and Beautiful Child respectfully. Considering the show is about hotties and Mio's ambition to become an idol, it gives his name a double meaning. Additionally, Miko is studying to be a nun at the start of the show making her name also very punny, although that may not have been intentional.
  • Marshall Mann from In Plain Sight who is a U.S. marshal and is a man.
  • Iron Fist (2017): Ward Meachum has Harold saved in his contacts list as "Frank N. Stein".
  • Numerous in iZombie- the most prominent of which are Blaine's Meat Cute (Meet Cute) butcher shop, the PMC outfit 'Filmore Graves' (Fill More Graves).
    • The main character is Olivia "Liv" Moore (Live More), her Mother is Eva (Eveh More), her brother is Evan (Even More).
    • Stacey Boss (Stays the Boss) a reoccurring crime boss that lasts despite being competing with Zombies for Criminal Operations.
    • Filmore Graves was ecentually run by Chase Graves (a guy who spends his timing chasing after both Zombies and murders and does end up putting loads of people in graves himself... both Chasing and Filling more graves).
    • The last remaining city council members who did not flee Seattle before the Wall went up are Mort (similar to Murte, Spanish for death, or short for Mortality or Mortal) and Zed (a term often used to mean Zombie). Mort is a human (mortal), Zed is a Zombie (played awesomely by Kareem Abdul-Jabar).
  • The Australian eponymous comedy series, Jimeon had a segment featuring the Martyr brothers, Stig and Tom. Both acted in a predictably martyred fashion.
  • Law & Order did this with EADA Michael Cutter. In baseball, the cutter is a variation of the fastball, the most basic pitch in the game. Cutter keeps a bat in his office, routinely using it to prepare for a trial.
  • An episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had a minor character: a forensic dentist named "Noah Caine".
  • LazyTown has Robbie Rotten.
  • Miles Straume (Maelstrom) on Lost.
    • The writers have claimed they purposely named him that way because they thought it would be "cool".
      • Specifically, showrunner Carlton Cuse wanted to have a character whose name sounded like the word "Maelstrom" from the first season.
    • As well as Jack's Dad, Christian Shephard. Lampshaded in the Grand Finale:
      Kate: Who died?
      Desmond: A man named Christian Shephard.
      Kate: Christian Shephard? Seriously?
      Desmond: Seriously.
  • The title character of Max Headroom. In-universe, his name comes from a sign giving the clearance of a parking garage.
  • Mendol Ikemen: See the name in print, and it's usually hyphenated as Mendol-Ikemen. This is something like "Men-Idol Pretty Boy", using the rough translation. But if you see the title online it reads mendolikemen or "Men Do Like Men." All though this series is also about girls liking other girls, at least one of them has a former boyfriend who is seeing their "male" persona and decides instead that he is gay.
  • The tendency of punny names in James Bond films was parodied on Mock the Week in a segment called "Lines That You'd Never Hear In Bond Film":
    Hugh Dennis: I hope you're not going to be one of those Russian agents whose name is just a cheap sexual pun, Miss Suckmeoff!
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
  • Mopatop's Shop: Mopatop's name is meant to sound like "mop it up", which makes sense since he is shown to mop up in the shop sometimes.
  • On Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Famen's last name is Fortune.
  • Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn Has Mack Albert Damia, or Mack A. Damia, whom Dicky referred to as a "little nut".
  • Planet Ajay has the Bollywoods, a group of trees that take their name from Bollywood, the term used to refer to the Hindi film industry. On top of their name fitting the Indian aesthetic the show, there are several types of trees that happen to be called "bollywoods" in real life.
  • The Psych episodes "Cloudy...Chance of Murder" and its remake "Cloudy...with a Chance of Improvement" feature Shawn coming up with weatherman-sounding names for a frustrated meteorologist, including Bolt Lightning, Cloudy Mcmillan, and... Wendy Morningdew?
  • Reba has Brock Enrol (rock-n-roll) Hart. Strangely enough, he's a dentist, not a musician.
  • A recurring villain in RoboCop: The Series was Mad Scientist Cray Mallardo. When read from a personnel file, his name is Mallardo, Cray Z, Dr.
  • Romper Room had a puppet character named Do Bee, whose name sounds like "do be". The character's purpose was to teach children proper etiquette.
  • Salute Your Shorts
    • Sad-sack camp counselor Kevin Lee, called almost exclusively "Ug" by his charges.
    • Also, Camp Anawanna itself. Say it out loud. I don't wanna.
  • In a Saturday Night Live sketch, a Homeland Security spokesperson talks to a group of reporters: "In the past few weeks, through our national hotline, we have collected hundreds of names of suspected terrorists, and I'm proud to say that most of the calls have come from high school and college students nationwide. In fact, we received over 475 calls alone regarding this man: M'Balz Es-Hari. We also received information on such nefarious terrorists such as Graabir Boubi, and Haid D'Salaami and.. let this be a message to you, Haid D'Salaami: we will not play your dangerous games. We are also currently searching for a man we believe to be an Al Queda lieutenant: Hous Bin Pharteen, his cousin I-Bin Pharteen, and their close companion I-Zheet M'Drurz."
  • Schitt's Creek: The town which gives the show its Pun-Based Title was founded by Horace Schitt and the current mayor is his descendant Roland Schitt. Roland names his son Roland Moira Schitt. This pun is acknowledged in-universe, as is the fact that if the characters of David and Stevie ever got married, their last name would be Rose-Budd.
  • Scorpion has the personal injury lawyer Haywood Jahelpme Morris. He mentions that he had his name legally changed, though it's implied that his first name was always Haywood.
  • The Slammer has the ventriloquist Peter Nokio (or P. Nokio).
  • In "House Arrest", an episode of The Sopranos, Uncle Junior, who's in the hospital, is put under house arrest by U.S. Marshal Michael McLuhan. After he introduces himself to Uncle Junior, there's another minute of conversation before the nurse gets it; "You're Marshall McLuhan?"
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Ex Post Facto", we have a feathery head alien named Wren. "Voyager bring good teh komedy!"
  • The Super Sentai series loves these. To use a single series as an example, let's take the Ozu family from Mahou Sentai Magiranger:
    • Kai (MagiRed), main character and a fire magic user, means "first" or "leader" and is written with the Japanese character for "fire".
    • Tsubasa (MagiYellow) means "wings" and his personal creature is a Garuda.
    • Urara (MagiBlue) is the clever one of the group: her name means "bright" and is a pun on "Uranai"- meaning fortune-telling- which happens to be her talent.
    • Houka (MagiPink) is The Chick of the group and her name means "fragrance".
    • Makito (MagiGreen) is a user of earth-based magic, as well as a farmer (turns out his farm is the sole source of income for that Big Fancy House, in fact.) His name means "sower", and "Maki" refers to the firewood used for kindling, linking him to wood as well.
    • Finally, take the first syllable of each sibling's name and arrange them in the order of oldest to youngest (Makito, Houka, Urara, Tsubasa, Kai) and you get "Mahoutsukai", which is Japanese for "magician". That's not all of the puns in this one series, and every Sentai series is full of naming puns like this.
    • They are all technically "Ozu no Mahotsukai", or "Wizard(s) of Oz".
  • The Two Ronnies sketch "Name Droppers" has Ronnie Corbett repeatedly interrupting Ronnie Barker every time he hears a few words that sounds like someone he knows — Lindsay Doyle (linseed oil), Camilla Highwater (come hell or high water), Natalie Dunn (nattily done), etc. Eventually, they get to Horace Cope. "That twit?! Don't tell me she still moves in his moronic orbit!" "Ronnie Corbett? Who's Ronnie Corbett?"
  • Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, like the computer game series that started the franchise, has a few of these. Particularly notable is Patty Larseny.


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