Aerith and Bob

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Do you see nothing wrong with having two characters from the same small isolated village being named "Tim Umber" and "Belthusalanthalus al'Grinsok"?

In some fantasy settings, people will have names that you would expect to see in real life. In others, names are made up to sound exotic.

And then you have the mixed approach: people named Zelor and Lithnara alongside people named James and Catherine. Don't expect the characters to acknowledge the distinction. Note that this doesn't count if the author is making a distinction e.g. as a Translation Convention for different cultures (cf. The Lord of the Rings, where the hobbits' and the nearby Men's Westron-language names are "translated" as more real-world ones, but no others are), or in a cosmopolitan setting where characters might be reasonably expected to have diverse cultural backgrounds without this necessarily being explicitly stated.

This can also happen within an Overly Long Name, where a Muggle-type name is liable to appear amid a long series of archaic names. Most often, the "normal" name is "Terry", "Scott", "Dave", or "Lyle", because those names are somehow inherently funny.

In stories set in The Future, new names can be assumed to have been invented or become popular over the years, but older names would still exist as well.

The Trope Namer is a combination of Final Fantasy VII, which has the eponymous "Aerith" alongside names like "Vincent" and "Barret", plus a play on Alice and Bob.

Not to be confused (or transliterated) with Alice and Bob. When it's played for laughs, it's an Odd Name Out. See also Plain Name. Compare Melting Pot Nomenclature.

Examples of Aerith and Bob include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • The Gundam franchise is fond of this, mixing exotic and strange sounding names like Haman, Char, and Beltorchika with names like Johnny, Christina, Terry, Sarah and the mundane Japanese name Hayato, and the occasional gratuitous-ly bad name like Crown or Slender. Almost every continuity features this, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 subverting it by having the esoteric names of most of the characters (e.g. Lockon Stratos) be codenames for much more mundanely named people (e.g. Neil Dylandy).
    • Char Aznable comes from French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour. There is also Elpeo Puru in Gundam ZZ, whose name comes from a Japanese magazine called Lemon People, or L People. Paptimus Scirocco's name comes from the eponymous wind.
    • The cake is, as the saying goes, taken by Gundam Seed. Seriously, Mu La Flaga? Slightly more sensible is Kazahana Aja and her mother, Loretta. Or Rau Le Creuset... although he shares his last name with a line of real world high-end French cookware whose parent company also built cannons during WWI.
      • Patrick Zala may have found his name too plain, so he named his son Athrun.
  • The Slayers, being a Medieval European Fantasy, naturally runs across the spectrum, with names ranging from Zelgadis, Gourry, Xellos, Luna, Lina, Sylphiel, Milina and Naga, to Amelia, Luke, Phil, and Alfred....
  • The Five Star Stories. The Mirage Knights is full of people with names like Nu. Suoad Graphight, Sir Bester (Close) Orbit & Maximum HOLTFORS Ballanche Kaien. Then there's a guy named Allen Bradford.
  • Pilot Candidate, but a variation. Most of the characters have weird-sound European-ish names (like the main character, Zero and the resident bad boy Hiead), with very few characters (such as Saki, Azuma, Yu and Kazuhi) who have actual Japanese names. Zero's falls under Translation Convention, since his real name is Rei, and it's lampshaded, since Zero's colony is so far away from the main ones that they use Kanji rather than the universal language.
  • Now and Then, Here and There: The females all have real names (Sis is likely a nickname, Soon is a Korean name, and Abelia is the name of a plant). The males, on the other hand, have crazy, made-up names, like Hamdo, Nabuca, and Tabool. Shuzo Matsutani does not count, since he comes from our time period.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist. In Amestris, you can find people with fairly usual English-sounding names like Edward or Alex, more exotic ones like Izumi and Selim, and slightly weird ones like Solf and Maes. Then there's plain whacky stuff, like Bido and Paninya. Amestris is shown to have a number of different ethnicities living within it borders, and many of the 'stranger' names are at least German-esque. And you also have Fuhrer King Bradley; Fuhrer is his title, King is his first name (not a title) and Bradley is his last name (not first name).
    • There's also Hohenheim's birthplace Xerxes, which seems to be an Ancient Greek Fantasy Counterpart Culture (which is inexplicably named after/has a king who shares a name with a Persian monarch). Hohenheim knew a guy there named Collins; he also knew a guy named Zuul.
    • The author herself says that for most of the characters, she simply picked up a big book on names, opens it up, and selects a random name.
  • Many instances of Those Two Guys in One Piece tend toward a variation of this, often by pairing a Western name with a Japanese name. Johnny and Yosaku. Chess and Kuromarimo. The Admirals' real names are Sakazuki, Kuzan, and Borsalino. Really, it's to the point where the Blackbeard Pirates (except for Shiryuu) and the Supernovas, both groups that are named after historical pirates and trend toward Western names, stand out by not using this trope. As far as linguistic origins for names, One Piece certainly shines for its variety.
  • The Digimon dubs have this in every incarnation, with the toy company getting its hands on the main characters and Americanizing just the ones whose original names they don't like, but leaving others alone and not getting a whack at later-appearing ones. This leaves Tommy, JP, and Zoe on a team with Takuya, Koji, and Kouichi, and leaves members of the same family with a mix of American and Japanese names, not to mention first names that don't fit with their last names (which are generally kept by the dub.) You get the odd Davis Motomiya, Tommy Himi, or Cody Hida, or family where Henry and Suzie have a dad named Janyu. (Cody's dad: Hiroki.) Yukio Oikawa, a villain of season two, even has his name given in Japanese order, becoming Oikawa Yukio.
  • The Godhand of Berserk is Femto, Void, Slan, Ubik and...Conrad.
    • Interesting sidenote: the Godhand names apart from Femto, are borrowed from various books. The last being from Roger Zelazny's "...And Call Me Conrad".
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni has this all over the place thanks to the fact that Kinzo felt the need to give his children and grandchildren western names. However, outside of the family a number of servants and Kinzo himself have Japanese names. And then you have Battler, which is neither Japanese or a normal English name. And that doesn't even get into the magical characters, who range from anything to biblical to odd, meaningful names. Just for an example, Umineko contains characters named Rosa, Genji, Lucifer, Lambdadelta and George. Plus, more directly, the main Ushiromiya siblings each (Presumably Rosa too, though her husband is unnamed) have a spouse with a Japanese name: Krauss/Natsuhi, Eva/Hideyoshi, and Rudolf/Kyrie.
  • Given the scattershot nature of how Endless Illusion was populated, one can't be too surprised at how the names work. Our heroes are Van, Wendy, Carul ("Carmen 99!", Ray, and Joshua. Our villains include Gadved, Carossa, and Fasalina. And Michael.
    • Also, Michael pronounces his name like Hebrew/Greek/Russian, "Mikhail" (in Japanese anyway), while his sister is named Wendy (which is British to the extent it's anything).
  • Shaman King's X-Laws, introduced in order, are Marco, Denvat, Mirne, Larky, Bunstar, Porf and Kevin.
  • Dragon Ball is generally loaded to the brim with weird, Punny Names. Then Akira Toriyama decided to finally disclose Mr. Satan's real name in an interview, which happens to be the epic, bombastic name of (drumroll please)...Mark. Turns out that somebody named their child while sober after all!
    • Of course, Mark is itself a pun. In Japanese, the name is pronounced "Ma-a-ku", which if you switch it up becomes "akuma," the Japanese word for devil.
    • Meanwhile you still have actual words (Gohan, Trunks, Cell, Satan, etc) as names along side anagrams (Videl, the aforementioned Maaku, etc), plus truncated words (Vegeta, Toma, etc), and randomly altered words (Kakarotto, Raditz, etc).
    • Many of the names are food puns. The Ginyu Force? They're diary products. The Saiyans are Vegetables.
  • Names in Baccano!! come in one of four categories. The first is of names that you can believe American parents would name their child (Carol, Eve, Keith, Dallas, Nick, -- Claire might seem like a Gender Blender Name, but was actually a not-too-uncommon boy's name around the time Claire would have been born). The second group is of names that sound unusual because the characters themselves are first or second generation immigrants (Firo, Szilard, Maiza, Czeslaw, Sylvie, Gretto, Chane etc.). The third group is of characters in which the author just picked whatever sounded cool or Did Not Do the Research (Luck, Nice, Ladd, Tick, etc.). The fourth category belongs entirely to Jacuzzi Splot, whose name is so inexplicable and stupid that it turns around and becomes awesome.
    • Well, "Jacuzzi" was a legit Italian name once upon a time. No explanation for "Splot," though.
      • And although probably not intentional, Ladd means young boy, and is a name derived from middle English word Ladde, meaning a foot soldier or a servant. Quite a suitable name for a hired gun.
  • In Claymore, most of the female characters have rather common western names (Clare, Teresa, Jean, etc.) while the men have more bizarre names, including Raki and his older brother Zaki.
    • Raki is just a really bad Japanese pronunciation of the name "Lucky".
  • Knight Princess brings us Yashi Aighe, Shalke Ninefeathers, Mandatha Yal, and...Prince Archie Cooder.
  • D.Gray-man uses some fairly common names, such as Allen and Miranda. Then you get names like Lenalee, Daisya, Tyki, Jasdero, Devit, Skinn... the list goes on and on...
  • Rave Master provides us with names like Julia, Elie, Lucia, Gale, and Ruby, as well as some Japanese names like Haru, Shiba, Gemma, and Shuda, and also it gives us Sieg Hart, Belnika, Deep Snow, Blank, and Beryl.
    • And in the author's next masterpiece Fairy Tail. We get Lucy, Gray, Sheryl, Richard, Simon, and Wendy also Japanese ones such as Natsu, Ren, Hibiki, Ikaruga and Fukorou. Also we get Erza, Bixlow, Elfman, Gildartz. Also, there is an actual guy named Bob.
  • Soul Eater has Western names such as Liz, Patty, Justin, Blaire, Kim, Jaqueline, Angela... and some Japanese names like Tsubaki, Mifune, and Maka (an anagram for "kama", or "scythe"). Then you have some very random names like Black☆Star, Death the Kid, Harvar, Kirikou (looks Japanese, but isn't), Spirit... However, the manga mentions the characters being from different countries. Kirikou is ethnically African in appearance, Maka and Tsubaki have been mentioned to be Japanese, and it's likely Liz and Patty Thompson are American. Plus, the author just adores theme naming.
  • The movie Pokémon Arceus and The Jewel of Life gives us the two ruin guardians "Sheena" and "Kevin". Way to go.
    • All of the Dex Holders have names like Red, Yellow, and Platinum. The other main characters in the series have names like Bill and Samuel (Oak). Crystal is the only Dex Holder with a pretty normal name. This is only the case in the manga, and they were named after the successive series of games. That's Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl & Platinum. Among these, pretty much only Red, Crystal, Ruby, Sapphire and Pearl would be real-world names. And Ruby and Pearl are guys.
    • Other manga suffer from this too. For example Pokémon Golden Boys has "Chris", which seems to the short for "Crystal". Her peers however are "Gold" and "Black".
  • In Bleach, Ganju's gang's boars are named Bonny, Connie, Tony, Annie, Sunny, Honey, Manny, Nanny ... and Kanbei. Ichigo points it out but no one else seems to notice. (Episode 94)
  • FAKE features New Yorkers with names like Randy and Carol alongside Bikky, which sounds like some sort of coated biscuit. It's presumably "Vicky" filtered through Japanese, but the character is male... Other characters include Jemmy, Dee, and Berkeley, whose names are less immediately bizarre but still not what you'd expect from your average American man.
  • Death Note. In the Yagami family alone, you have Soichiro, Sayu, Sachiko... and Light.
    • The Wammy Boys - L Lawliet, Mihael Keehl, Mail Jeevas... and Nate River.
    • The prequel novel Another Note has characters with names like Naomi and Raye, and then adds in some truly bizarre names like Backyard Bottomslash and Bluesharp Babysplit.
  • Magical Chronicle Lyrical Nanoha FORCE has the Huckebein family. Most of them obey Vehicular Theme Naming and thus are accordingly unusual. The exceptions are Stella - though there is a Subaru Stella - and Karen.
  • While not as extreme as other examples on this pages, MANY (if not all) names in To Aru Majutsu no Index can be separated in two categories. One category consists of names that are fine by themselves, but use rather unusual and/or obscure Kanji characters that are rarely or never used for naming in Real Life. These Kanjis are often used just because of its reading, similar to a Japanese name written in Hiragana/Katakana which in itself bares no meaning. The other category consists of names nobody would have in Real Life because they would be way too obscure. Both types apply almost exclusively to the Japanese names due to Alternate Character Reading.
  • In Solty Rei, the names of the R.U.C. are Integra, Accela, Celica... and Sylvia.
  • Kinnikuman Nisei has Seiuchin, and then his mother and sister are named Suzy and Dorothy, respectively. Suddenly Wally Tusket doesn't seem so out of place.
  • Then we have Code Geass.In this anime, characters with names like Jeremiah and Shirley play alongside characters with names like Lelouch and Villetta. Counts doubly so for Schneizel, which is not only not a name but manages to sound like a German foodstuff. Note that if the name sounds really weird, there's a strong chance the character is a child of Emperor Charles (Said children include Lelouch and Schneziel, alongside Carline, Guinevere, Euphemia and Odysseus to name but a few).

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The ambiguously canon Star Wars Tales comic Lunch Break gave us the stormtrooper friends Kjazhed-Uhl and Bob.
    • But then post-clone Stormtroopers are recruited from many worlds, including colonies settled from multiple sources, so it's to be expected.
  • In the Disney comic saga Wizards of Mickey, classic Disney characters Mickey, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pete keep their mundane names, while original characters have "fantasy-style" names like Nereus and Fafnir.
  • Some Kryptonian given names are strange, more often for men than for women. Women: Kara, Lara, Faora. Men: Kal (as in Kal-El) and Dru (as in General Dru-Zod) resemble Cal and Drew, but Jor (as in Jor-El)?
    • 'El' and 'Zod' are family names. Thus Jor-El named his son Kal. Unmarried women took their father's full name so Supergirl's Kryptonian name, in full, was Kara Zor-El. Superman's mother was Lara Lor-Van until she married Jor-El, but it's not clear if she then became Lara Jor-El or just Lara El. Faora, BTW, was Faora Hu-Ul while Zod was General Dru-Zod.
  • Parodied in Mad Magazine's movie satire of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In it, Professor Dumbledore shows Harry the portraits of previous headmasters, including Pontavius Pudfuncher, Agglethrudis Benevolent, Quentock Ticonderoga Kurdlesoup,... and Joe Smith. He never really fit in.
  • A classic newspaper comic strip's supporting cast includes Fritzi, Sluggo, Rollo, and Oona Goosepimple. The character after whom the strip is named? "Nancy."
  • Scion had an "anything goes" approach to names- for example, two evil princes named Bron and Kort and their White Sheep sister Ashleigh.
  • Bob The Monitor from Countdown to Final Crisis
  • Artesia features the titular Artesia and her brothers Stepjan and Justin. There are characters named Wallis, Owen, and Colin, along with Daemander, Argante, and Branimir.

Fanfiction[edit | hide]

  • Tends to pop up in bad fanfiction a lot. Either you're having a setting with lots of unusual, fantastic names and the Original Characters are all usual, western names, or it's just the other way around. It gets worse when the Original Characters' names are actually incredibly Gratuitous Japanese that every true Japanese person would cry about or are stolen from the writer's favourite anime or manga. However, Tropes Are Not Bad. Just because this pops up, doesn't mean that the fanfiction is bad, and is sometimes (especially in crossover fictions) entirely justified.
    • Heck, there's one floating out there with an Elf named Derith and a Dragon named... Bob. Yes, they are Those Two Guys during comedic scenes.
    • Soulless Shell has this, to a far more entertaining extent than its originating canon, Redwall. The hero's name is Leif Melyamos, which fits fairly well with the canon. His girlfriend is named Maoimi, his adoptive mother is Aveena, and his followers are named Karas, Thrnos, Monroe, and the villainous Arnold. Yeah, which of these things is not like the others?
    • legolas by laura's title character is named "Laura" by Legolas ...
      • 'Laure' is in fact the Noldorin word for 'golden colored' (as in Laurelindorinan the ancient name of Lorien) of course a Sindarin Elf like Legolas wouldn't be using Noldorin names....
    • Naruto fanfics suffer this as well. It is downright painful to be reading about Naruto buying equipment from Dave the blacksmith.
  • In ToyHammer we are given an entire spectrum: 'Alice' and 'Vincent' are relatively common names, while 'Ishabeth', 'Tomas' and 'Eizak' are merely distillations of Elizabeth, Thomas and Isaac. Then things get weirder with 'Sohm Vekt', 'Madork Gunna' and finally we get thrown off the deep end with 'Shas'ui Fi'rios Yon'anuk Eldi'myr' (AKA Sergeant Talon).
  • Justin and Landras from Kira Is Justice. The latter isn't a real name.
  • Happens in Estora's 'Star Wars' fanfic Salvation Run: in a cast of all original characters, her five main characters are called Gerald Su'Lac, Bria-Lin Terran, Kass Endra, Lincoln Onasi, and... Bob.
  • Sburb Patch Notes has Avery, Tricia, Kira, Aaron, and Daniel. And Hazika, Blue Sunny Day, The Lich, and Goranius Mirokat.
  • In Anthropology, Lyra is obsessed with humans and is determined to prove that they exist. She considers "human" names, like Pony Joe, to be evidence of human influence in a land where Rainbow Dash and Star Swirl are commonplace.

Film[edit | hide]

  • Parodied in Men in Black with two bridge things named Blblup [1] and Bob. In the animated series, the former is generally referred to as "the other Bob".
    • It kind of sounds like he says "WIH-GANK!" with high pitched emphasis on the last syllable.
  • Star Wars characters run the gamut from almost normal (Luke Skywalker) to vaguely unusual (Wedge Antilles) to downright exotic (Obi-Wan Kenobi).
    • The Expanded Universe gives us Senator Simon Greyshade and his cousin, Jheramahd.
    • The name Obi-Wan Kenobi is intentionally Japanese-esque: George Lucas's first choice for the role was Toshiro Mifune. It's even lampshaded the very first time we actually meet Obi-Wan Kenobi, who uses the rather lazy pseudonym "Ben Kenobi" to hide from the Empire.
      • While Kenobi most likely came from the Japanese words for "ken" (sword) and "obi" (sash), in their language it sounds like "Obi Wan Hairgrowth." They still chuckle when they hear it.
    • Luke's Uncle Owen and Aunt... Beru?
      • Beru actually is a name, but it's a Japanese boy's name. At least it sounds like it could be a name for the character, maybe as a nickname or so.
    • Luke, son of Anakin. In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, father of Ben and ancestor of Kol and Cade.
      • And obviously, a woman named Padmé, from a planet where people have first names like "Sabé", "Cordé", and "Pooja", would name her children "Luke" and "Leia".
    • Usually, well known characters and those related to them can be expected to have "simpler" names.
  • A variation: In Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, each of the Overly Long Names of the Prince, Queen and King includes one not-very-old-fashioned name, which is pointed out:

Herald: His Royal Highness, Christopher Rupert Windemere Vladimir Karl Alexander Fran's Reginald Lancelot Herman...
Little Boy: Herman?
Herald: Herman...Gregory James is giving a ball!

    • The Queen had Maisy in her nest of names, and the King had Sidney. Each time, the Herald is asked by someone (a little girl for the queen, and the entire chorus for the king) to confirm that, yes, that is one of their names.
      • Those are the names that the King and Queen use when they are alone together. It's very endearing.
    • Except Hermann (Latinized as Arminius) was the name of the warlord in charge of the army that destroyed three full Roman Legions (Legio XVII, Legio XVIII, Legio XIX) the 9th through 11 September, 9 AD. As names go, it's rather more old-fashioned than "Christopher", which, of course, would not have been an exceedingly common name around the time of Jesus' tenth birthday.
      • Although "Herman(n)" (Old High German: "Hariman") is likely to be an older name than "Christopher", the theory that it was Arminius's Germanic name (which only arose in the early Renaissance) is unsupported by any evidence. Some people have speculated that it may even have been a name given to him by the Romans in honour of some sadly unrecorded event in his earlier biography. Note that his brother (who remained loyal to Rome) was called Flavus, "the blond one".
  • Intentionally used in The Matrix Trilogy, where the free human characters have unusual, often mythology-based names such as Morpheus or Niobe. On the other hand, if you run into a character with a boring last name like Jones or Smith, you'd better start running.
    • This is mostly because everyone who takes the red pill appears to abandon their old name when they leave the Matrix for a new one, or a previously existing nickname (like "Neo," which was originally just a nickname used by hacker Thomas Anderson).
    • Entirely justified in that the freed people are all internet geeks and hackers and let's face it, we all have ridiculous handles like that (or we crib them from games and anime). It was probably only copyright that ensured that Neo never ran into the heroic resistance fighter Sephiroth or the daring pilot Spike Spiegel.
      • The Matrix managed to have a character named Link (but married to Zee, rather than Zelda).
  • Lampshaded a little in Die Hard with a Vengeance, where John McClane, archetypal New York EveryCop, runs into a militant black man played by Samuel L. Jackson. His name? "ZEUS! AS IN FATHER OF APOLLO? MOUNT OLYMPUS? DON'T-FUCK-WITH-ME-OR-I'LL-SHOVE-A-LIGHTNING-BOLT-UP-YOUR-ASS ZEUS!"
    • This is Samuel L. Jackson, though.
    • And, for added yuks, John initially believes his name to be "Jesus" (the Spanish pronunciation) after hearing a character address him with "Hey, Zeus!" (Since "Jesus" and "Zeus" are deities in two incompatible religious systems, that counts as Fridge Humor.)
  • "Let's Build a Snowman" from Cannibal! The Musical has the line, "We can name him Bob, or we can name him Beowulf!"
  • Monsters, Inc.. Some monsters have regular first and last names (James P. Sullivan, Mike Wazowski), some have odd last names (Randall Boggs, Henry J. Waternoose), and some have odd first names (Fungus, Bile/Phlegm).
    • They take human names as titles or symbols, and name themselves to their liking. Guess a Polish surname sounds exotic.
  • Low-budget Japanese sci-fi flick Zeiram features a pair of alien bounty hunters: the exotic Iria, and her computer Bob.
  • The Hyenas in The Lion King. We've got Shenzi, whose name is Swahili for demon or savage, Banzai, Swahili for skulk or lurk, and our third hyena is named... Ed.
  • Okay. Sucker Punch gives us girls who are named Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, Rocket, Blondie[2] and ... Amber.
  • In George of the Jungle, the villain hires a bunch of mercenaries, whose names are Gunner, Gunter, Hans, Jan... and Phil.
    • Also, the two poachers are named Max and Thor.
  • Dinosaur had Aladar, Neera, Plio, Suri, Yar, Zini, Kron, Bruton, Eema, Url, and Baylene.
  • Whether television or film, Coneheads did the job right. The titular Coneheads comprise the Earth-bound trio of Beldar, Prymaat, and their charming daughter Connie.
  • Dude, Where's My Car? "My name is Zarnoff. This is Zabu, Zellner, Zelbor, Zelmina and Jeff." Caption "Jeff".
  • The Beatles' managers in A Hard Day's Night are Norm and Shake.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In John Carter of Mars, Carter's two half-Red Martian children are named Carthoris and... Tara?
  • In Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, characters have names that are somewhat unusual - Thursday Next herself, her brothers Joffy and Anton, and her children Friday and Tuesday, Archeron Hades, Victor Analogy, Yorrick Kane, etc - or complete puns - Paige Turner, Braxton Hicks, Lamber Thwalts, Landen Park-Laine, etc. The only exceptions are Thursday's other daughter Jenny, and a character in the second book called John Smith. Upon meeting the latter, Thursday comments, "Unusual name."
  • Almost every character mentioned in T.S.Hana's The Alchemist series. This includes the main cast of Convent Craven including Axel, Joshil, Ororo, Rega, and Hiroto. However this may be normal due to the residents of the world of Alon being categorized as Inhumans, and almost no one is completely normal.
    • Joshil's wife...Fern.
    • Megiram's real name being...Emma.
    • Most notably Hiroto and his immediate family including father Lionel, mother Vorkuta (Who is written to have a French accent despite sharing the name of a Russian city), older sister Vidine and younger sisters Hope, Hera, and Noelle. What's even worse about Hiroto's out of place name is he is implied to speak with a British accent.
  • Duumvirate is roughly three-fourths Bob, one-fourth Aerith. Howard and William Dominus, Sarah Mortis, Quadrus and Stanley Dominus, Paul Smith, Jeremy Jorgensen, Judas Rockefeller, Hadji Rajadhiraja...
  • The Silverwing series. It's about bats, but the two main characters are Shade and Marina. The villain is named Goth. The child of the first two is named Griffin.
    • Darkwing is even more Egregious, naming characters of the same close family Sylph, Dusk, Jib, and Aeolus in prehistoric times.
  • Inheritance Cycle has characters named Garrow, Eragon, Roran, Helen, Sloan, and Selena all from the same out-of-the-way village. Eragon's name is at least noted as odd (he's named after an elf).
    • This occurs with place names as well-as noted by a reviewer of Brisingr in The Sydney Morning Herald (an Australian newspaper), it was strange to see fantastical names such as Uru'Baen alongside more commonplace names such as Lithgow. Word of God states that this is because of many cultures having inhabited the land and left behind place names.
    • The Eragon Sporkings point out in the dissection of Eragon that most, if not all, of the important people have exotic names. Thus, it would follow that the characters themselves are aware of this, which explains why two protagonists who need to sneak into a city choose ordinary names (by Earth standards) and that their obvious unimportance is why the guards wave them on through when they give their names.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire features a more-or-less justified version. You get some real modern names (Robert, Jon, Arya, Catelyn, Brandon), some unusual spellyngs of real names (Margaery, Jaime, Eddard), some medieval European names (Cersei, Tywin, Ygritte) ...and then several straight-up fantasy names, (Daenerys, Viserys, Qhorin), which often appear to be assembled from other European languages. Eventually, though, it becomes clear that most of the weirder names just come from cultures outside mainstream Westeros. (If the name contains the letters "ae" or "rys", the bearer is probably Valyrian; if it's short, harsh and vaguely Norse they're from the far north or a Wildling and not a member of House Stark; if it ends with "io" it's from the Free Cities; names with an X in them are usually Summer Islander. etc.)
    • This is a good example because while they are, for the most part, perfectly good (or somewhat unusual, but acceptable) medieval names, they come from all over medieval Europe, which leads to the Lannister family having, among other gems, two parents with medieval English names who have a daughter named Cersei (an late-medieval Italian bastardisation of a Greek name) and two sons named Jaime (an early medieval bastardisation of a Latin bastardisation of a Hebrew name) and Tyrion (a two-language composite name that sounds like Tyron, an acceptable medieval English name). Of course, the Seven Kingdoms were formed into a single country three hundred years ago, which might explain why names from different regions have been exchanged.
      • Note that Westeros, while culturally based mostly on England, is a region about the size of South America, and has experienced several waves of colonization, which goes along way toward explaining the diversity.
      • Of lately, George RR Martin seems to have realized that he's not very good at inventing fantasy names and keeps falling into this trope, so in his new novella The Mystery Knight, there are characters with real historical names like "Lord Peake" and "Ser John the Fiddler". Some of the names George RR Martin uses are brilliant (Sansa, Viserys, Oberyn), while others are often ridiculous. Names like "Dickon Manwoody".
    • The series is almost a literal example of the trope, since the last two kings (at the start of the series) were named Aerys and Robert.
  • Redwall does this a lot. Contrast the famous warrior "Martin" with his best friend "Gonff". Most characters in the early books were Bobs, and as the setting evolved from more or less real world to completely different world, the names drifted further from Bob and closer to Aeris. In fact, most of the Bobs occurred in Redwall, and the few that are left are mainly holdovers.
  • In Harry Turtledove's Great War cycle of Alternate History novels, a lot of the black characters from the CSA have hifalutin' classical names like Xerxes, Bathsheba, and Cincinattus, apparently as a form of rebellion against the mundanity of life as a third class citizen.
    • This was a naming pattern for slaves in the Real Life Old South: Classical history and occasionally the Bible provided names that were not used by their white masters. Not an alternate element at all.
    • It was also necessary, since slaves weren't allowed to have surnames and needed unique names to distinguish one another.
  • The Bridge of D'Arnath series by Carol Berg has four cultures. One, the mundanes, include such names as Connor, Paulo, and Martin, alongside Seriana and Evard. The other groups get more outlandish as they separate more from the mundanes.
  • In Peter F. Hamilton's The Night's Dawn Trilogy Trilogy, human civilization falls into two main cultures. The Adamists have names that are relatively normal for whatever ethnic group the individual hails from. They have names like Joshua, Ralph, Quinn, and Kelvin (it's Polish). The Edenists, on the other hand, pull names from the deepest, most obscure depths of mythology (or just make shit up). They have names like Syrinx, Sinon, and Eysk. The two groups' respective starships follow a similar trend (Lady Macbeth versus Oenone).
  • Discworld to an extent. Names like Rincewind and Eskarina, which fitted perfectly when the series was a parody of fantasy tropes, have become The Artifact in a series which is far happier with characters called Sam Vimes or Tiffany Aching. Which in itself may be a parody.
    • There are also some weird naming traditions in the Ramtops, giving you names like Yodel Lightly, King My-God-He's-Heavy the First, and Esmerelda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre.
      • The weird naming traditions aren't limited to Lancre, either; any number of plain old Ankh-Morpork citizens have names like Findthee Swing or Legitimate First. (Can't blame a mother for being proud.)
    • And let's not forget traditional Omnian names like Smite-the-Unbeliever-With-Cunning-Arguments and Visit-the-Infidel-with-Explanatory-Pamphlets
    • In Interesting Times, the five ruling families of the Agatean empire are the Hongs, the Sungs, the Tangs, the Fangs, and the McSweenys. This is Lampshaded twice.
    • Even the nonhumans' naming conventions took a while to get established, with incongruities like dwarfs named Bjorn and Fruntkin, or a troll in Moving Pictures choosing "Rock" as a film pseudonym, despite this being a racist term for his species.
    • Not to mention One-Man-Bucket and his unfortunate elder brother.
  • In Tolkien's works, specifically The Lord of the Rings, the translation convention is that various 'real' Middle-earth languages are translated to various real-world ones. E.g.: The Westron language (the 'common speech') is translated to English (including names), Rohirric becomes Old English, while the Dwarves get Nordic names. Appendices and supplementary works mention some of the 'real' names that were translated - for example, Frodo Baggins' and Sam Gamgee's 'untranslated Westron' names are Maura Labingi and Banazir Galpsi.
  • Stationery Voyagers features a lot of Aeriths, and a few Bobs. The Cybomec body was first occupied by Clandish Consto, then by Richard Ribando. We have a captain Arnold "Pextel" Rubblindo and a first mate Rhodney Antilles, and a Viola. But then we have names like Liquidon, Alhox, Bluque, Monigo, Abberwadd, Melchar, and various other characters usually named after the color of their ink.
  • In the Sword of Truth series, confusingly, characters with mundane Anglo-Saxon names interact with ones with wholly fantasy names. It doesn't seem to follow any particular geographic boundary either, as Anglo-Saxon names crop up in the more fantastic parts of the world as well as in the "mundane" Westlands. In Westland, we have George, Richard, and Michael Cypher, as well as Nadine, Adie,[3] and Dell Brandstone. From the Midlands, we have Rachel, Violet, Milena, Samuel, Harold, Wyborn, Kahlan Amnell, and Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander. From D'Hara, we have Cara, Gregory, Jennsen, Darken, Panis, Denna, Berdine, Nathan, and Demmin. From the Old World, there's Nicci, Warren, Ann, Jagang, Karg, Six,[4] and Kadar Kardeef. In it's defense, at least the Midlands and the Old World are said to be very culturally diverse.
  • Chris Wooding's Weavers of Saramyr has the population of the same country containing people with Japanese-sounding (Kaiku), fantasy style, or European (Lucia) names.
    • Justified: The people of Saramyr descend from foreign settlers: some names are from their original cultures, some names are from the original inhabitants (yeah, most of them where slaughtered, but part of their culture was assimilated), and some are the results of a millenium worth of linguistic and cultural evolution, and in fact, you can guess the social status of a character simply by his or her first name: Lucia is a name given to Royalty, Kaiku is used by families of less prestigious social standing, which becomes actually a plot point, when Asara's husband faillure to discover his wife's origin does not raises his suspicions that much Asara is such a frequent name than instead of finding no one who matches the description of his wife, there are litteraly thousands of places and families were she could have come from
  • Harry Potter gives us Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
    • William, Fred, Charlie, George, Percy, Ronald, and Ginevra (Ginny). Of course, the Author's habit of Theme Naming characters within families often leads to this (such as the Blacks being named after celestial bodies).
    • Crops up again within Harry's family: you have Harry and Ginevra (Ginny) and then their kids, Lily Luna, James Sirius, and... Albus Severus.
    • Of course, the wizards in Harry Potter mix with (or avoid) the Muggle world to varying degrees (and didn't officially go undercover until the late 17th century), so it's not entirely surprising to see Bellatrix, Minerva, and Draco alongside Harry, Dean, and Vincent.
    • Nymphadora Tonks, the daughter of Andromeda (Black) Tonks and Ted Tonks. Her middle name, apparently, is Vulpecula. She's a lampshade hanging; she only goes by her surname, and when asked why says that you would too if your fool of a mother named you Nymphadora.
    • The Marauders - James, Peter, Remus and Sirius.
    • The general trend seems to be that the more elitist a wizarding family, the more archaic their names tend to be. The very racist Malfoy family have older, odder names, while the more open Weasley family have relatively ordinary ones. This isn't always consistent (Andromeda Black, despite marrying Muggleborn Ted Tonks, named her daughter Nymphadora, and Pansy Parkinson is as racist as classmate Draco Malfoy), however.
    • And don't forget... Tom Riddle. A perfectly normal name. Short, pronouncable, common. His middle name is Marvolo.
      • This is explained, though. Tom Riddle is named for his Father, who is a muggle and therefore has a pretty ordinary name. His middle name, Marvolo, is for his Grandfather who was a Wizard, hence the more unusual name.
  • In the Uncle series by J. P. Martin, one of the four "Respectable horses" is named Mayhave Crunch. One can speculate that the other three are named Shallhave, Willhave, Canhave or something like that. In the next book it is revealed they are named Ann, Anna, And Annette.
  • Robert Newcomb's Chronicles of Blood and Stone centres on Tristan and his twin sister Shailiha. There is also a man named Faegan with a daughter named Emily. Now, if that were the least of the series' problems...
  • A non-fantasy example: the Chalet School series. On the one hand, there are girls with pretty conventional names, such as Gillian Culver, Beth Chester, Margaret Twiss, Mary Woodley and Amy Stevens. On the other, there's the likes of Verity-Ann Carey, Yseult Pertwee, Loveday Perowne, Viola Lucy, Josette Russell, Zephyr Burthill, Evadne Lannis, and many other girls with equally weird names.
  • The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant have many exotically named characters, but two of the legendary heroes of old were Kevin and Trevor.
  • The Wheel of Time does this a lot. The men tend to have more normal names, while the womens are feats of imagination and pronunciation. You have Rand, Mat and Perrin, Verin, Elaine, Min and then you have names like Egwene, Egeanin, Nynaeve, Aviendha, Mazrim Taim, and Cadsuane Melhaidrin. There are also some names that sound like they're from our world, but aren't, such as Liandrin, Galina, Amys, Anaiya and Myrelle.
    • Galina is actually a real name of Greek origin that is pretty common in Russia and Bulgaria, but the point stands.
    • Several of the above names are actually alternate forms of names from the Arthurian myths. Nynaeve is an alternate name for Nimue, the lady of the lake.
    • Also Min is a bad example, Min's full name is Elmindreda.
  • The Dune series is all over the place. Many of the main and supporting characters have various real, mostly European names, like Paul, Jessica, Duncan, Vladimir, Piter, Miles, or even Marty. Leto, though unusual, is a real name too. Some characters have given names more similar to current day surnames - i. e. Gurney, Wellington. Then come the characters with the really exotic names : Irulan, Shaddam, Wensicia, Tiekyanik, Scythale, Pardot, Moneo, Hwi Noree, etc.
    • The Fremen in the first book mostly have Middle-Eastern sounding names, but there are several exceptions, including a guy with the very English name Geoff. Also, some Fremen names were apparently originally meant to be symbolic, but phonetics drift over the centuries rendered them into completely new forms : A good example is Stilgar himself, who's name was originally something like "Steel Guard". Note this also extends to the Fremen name for themselves as a people : They originally boasted to be "the Free Men".
      • "The Free Men" is actually a mistranslation of the term Berber ([1]) in keeping with the vaguely Middle Eastern and North African theme.
    • Some of the female names are actually star-related : Irulan is named after a traditional name for a certain star and there's also a star with the traditional Arabic female name of Alia.
  • Lampshaded in The Underland Chronicles. After landing in a strange world with giant animals and meeting characters named Luxa, Vikus, Solovet, Dulcet, Gregor is introduced to - Henry. Gregor almost laughs that "among all these strange names, there's a Henry."
  • Brought up in Christendom - before the collapse of America, British emigrants gave their children Biblical names in the hope of getting a visa more easily. A desire to avoid a glut of Michaels and Benjamins led to kids named Malachi (such as the protagonist) and Hosea running around.
  • Tamora Pierce does this in her Tortall books. It seems to be largely a case of getting bored with normal and flexing her weird-name muscle more and more with every book/series. A generation with names like Alanna, George, Jonathan, Gary, Alex, etc., grows up and calls its kids Keladry, Nealan, Joren, Cleon, Lalasa... and among the older generation suddenly appear Wyldon, Turomot, Flyndan, Fanche, Baird...
    • Those names(or most of them, a bit out on Lalasa) are, as far as I know, actual names, or were. Verilidaine is an odd one, though. Justified, kinda, as she's a god's daughter.
    • This is because Pierce's books have such huge casts that she ends up having to create new names by stringing together random syllables.
  • All the characters in the Dragonlord Trilogy of Mystara novels by Thorarinn Gunnarsson have fantasy names, except for disguised drake Sir George Kirbey.
  • Shannon Hale's Books of Bayern do this a lot. Take Anidori-Kiladra Taliana Isilee and her best friend, Enna. Somewhat Justified, as Ani is a princess who takes the names of her foremothers and Enna is a commoner, but still.
    • The names of characters in Hale's novels are always slightly off, presumably so as to emulate and not copy the cultures she's inspired by (Dashti, Tegus and Saren in Mongolia-inspired Book of a Thousand Days; said names of German-inspired Bayern; Miri, Britta and Gerti in Scandinavia-inspired Princess Academy, etc.)
  • Steven Brust's Dragaera books have these. On the one hand you have names like Morrolan, Loiosh, and Khaavren, while on the other are characters named Vlad, Mario, and Kelly. Most of the more common-sounding names belong to Easterners (i.e. humans), but Mario (a Dragaeran, and the best assassin in the world) is a major exception.
    • It is, however, specifically pointed out that Mario has an Eastern name.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe, even more so than Star Wars itself, is noted for these. In particular books by Timothy Zahn tend to have more 'normal' sounding names for human characters than those by other writers. (In one case, Executive Meddling made him change the names of Han and Leia's children from Jason and Jane to Jacen and Jaina, a case of My Nayme Is More Futurey.)
    • Also, there seems to have been an agreement that because Luke had a normal name, other people from Tatooine would also have normal names (and in the format Luke Nounverber, too).
  • The characters in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series are mostly Only Known by Their Nickname, or have standard random letters mash-up fantasy name. And then the spinn-off book Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian Cameron Esselmont introduced a character name Kyle, who, combining this unfortunate name and his characterization as a na?young farmer tracker with a magical sword, instantly became The Scrappy to a section of the fandom.
  • In the Kiesha'ra series by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, there are average-sounding names like Zane, Danica, and Irene, and fantasy-sounding names like Betia, Nacola, and Nicias.
  • Main human characters of Artemis Fowl have the given names Artemis, Domovoi, Juliet, and Angeline. Domovoi and Juliet are siblings; Artemis is Angeline's son. Fairy names include Trouble, Mulch, Grub, Briar, Ark, Holly, Opal, Lili, and ... Julius.
    • Trouble was not born Trouble, he took it as his new first name when he was accepted by the police academy. He went on to become a totally badass member of their equivalent SWAT team. His brother Grub? not so much.
      • My point was actually that nearly all fairy given names are nouns or clearly derived from one, and then there's a fairy called Julius, which isn't a word in English, and comes from a Latin adjective. Trouble Kelp's name being self-chosen doesn't seem to matter, it's remarked on as being excessively macho, but not as unusual per se.
  • Used deliberately in Gor. Voyages of aquisition by the Priest-Kings have occured off and on for millenia, more normal names are those from people brought over recently.
  • In what may be the earliest example (though more a case of Allan And Bob), John Watson shared rooms with Sherlock Holmes. The trend continued in his family, with older brother Mycroft and (according to Fanon) younger brother Sherrinford.
  • In the Mortal Engines Quartet, there are "normal" names ranging from Tom and Anna to Wren and Freya, stretching into names like Smew and Oenone. Next to those, there's Gargle and Fishcake vs. Nabisco and Napster - presumably as a sort of Culture Shock and/or nod to the deterioration of origins as History Marches On.
  • In the novel The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, one character has four brothers named Matthew, Mark, Luke and Bing. Guess which one dies tragically.
  • In the Wicked Lovely series, most character have unusual names. Sorcha, Aislinn(Pronounced either "Ashley" or "Ashlynn," though), Bananach, Niall, Irial, Beira, Donia, and Siobhan are celtic in origin. Leslie, Gabriel, Ani, Tish, Olivia and Seth are relativley normal names. Then there's the tattoo artist nicknamed Rabbit.
    • Somewhat justified, though, as most of those with weird names are Faeries. Most of the normal names are human: Aislinn is the reincarnated Summer Queen, but the name isn't that uncommon anyways, Seth is fully human until he gets Sorcha to change him, and Leslie is human. Ani and Tish are halflings. Sorcha is one of the classic names for a Queen of the Fey, and Bananach is the personification of war. The others are Fey, and immortal, so this is okay in context
    • Furthermore the first two names listed here also fit into the Celtic naming theme: Aislinn is an Irish name (from which Anglisised names like Ashleyne derive)and Sorcha is likely an Anglicised spelling of 'Saoirse'.
  • Good Omens. Granted, the cast is comprised of both humans and supernatural beings, so it should come as no surprise that the latter get names like Hastur and Metatron. As for the humans, there are names like Adam, Brian, Tracy and Newton on the one hand and Anathema, Warlock, Pippin Galadriel Moonchild and Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery on the other. (Yes, you read that last one right). Of course, the weirder names are explained and lampshaded. What really fits this trope is the two protagonists - an angel and a demon - who are named, respectively, Aziraphale and Anthony J. Crowley. Crowley's real name is something quite different, and his previous moniker had been "Crawly", seeing as how he was the snake in the Garden of Eden. Yes, that snake.
  • In Lane Robins' novel Maledicte, there's the title character Maledicte or Miranda, and his servant/friend/sidekick Gilly.
  • Mary Stewart's romance/adventure novels have heroines named Vanessa, Nicola, Bryony, Gianetta, Christabel, and Lucy.
  • Justified in Lud-in-the-Mist, where Dorimarites have names ranging from Nathaniel and Hazel to Moonlove and Dreamsweet due to cultural exchange with Fairyland next door.
  • Jim Hawkin's kids in Tennis Shoes Advenure have the following names- Melody, Steffanie, Harrison/Harry...and then little Giddgidonihah Teancum.
  • Twilight Dragon has interesting names like Kether, Kayari, Keaira, Gaignun, and even Beldabezabubbabaloo XXVII to contrast with comparatively simpler names like Chris and Monica.
  • Blind Faith by Ben Elton has Caitlin Happymeal. Her name is a compromise between her parents; her father Trafford prefers the more traditional Caitlin, while her mother Chantorria wanted the more socially acceptable Happymeal.
  • Deltora Quest has names like Leif, Barda, Endon, Sharn, Jinks, Ranesh, Glock, Neridah, Gers, Zeean, Lindal, Mikal, Dain, Fallow, Doran, Paff and Prandine mixed with names like Jasmine, Jared, Tom, Steven, Anna, Josef, Marilen, Ava, Jack, Verity, Bess and Kirsten.
    • The Rowan of Rin series is similar. There we have Val, John, Marlie, Hannah, Bree, Sharan, Rowen, Sarah, Allun and Neil mixed with Bronden (a girl,) Lann, Timon, Jiller, Annad, Ellis, Zeel, Perlain, Doss, Asha, Seaborn, Tor, Mithren, Ogden, Norris, Solla and Sheba.
  • Codex Alera has some of these, but its mostly justified since there are various cultures represented. The Alerans (Romans) all have Roman sounding names, with the sole exception of Tavi, the main character. Turns out there's a reason for that.
    • Even looking just at Alerans, though, there's a bit of this, with for example a pair of siblings named Bernard and Isana.
  • The somewhat creepy Mind Screw Children book Latawnya the Naughty Horse Learns to Say No to Drugs stars the three mare sisters Latawnya, Latoya... and Cindy.
  • The Last Wish, first novel in The Witcher series, sees such interesting names as Geralt of Rivia, Foltest, Segelin, Velerad, Ostrit, Calanthe, Duny, Rinfri, Civril...and Dennis Cranmer, dwarf captain of the guard. Who would have expected the dwarf to have the lame name?
  • The Hussite Trilogy by Andrzej Sapkowski is a quasi-historical trilogy set in XV century Europe, so most characters have medieval European names (quite often of German origin). The name of the main protagonist? Reynevan. Yes, it's only a pseudonym, but his other pseudonyms are rahter normal (if a bit punny).
    • Reynevan isn't really that odd, it's just a Polish/Czech variation of his Germanic birth name — Rheinmar. Remember, most of the action takes place in Silesia, which for most of its history was hotly contested between Poland, Bohemia and various German principalities, so having a several variations of one's name in different languages was a perfectly normal practice.
  • The Chinese folktale Tikki-Tikki-Tembo, has a boy named Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo and his little brother...Chang.
    • This is a case of purposefully evoking this trope. The moral of the story was that if you give your child a long, crazy name that it'll take a very long time to say and couple possibly get you in hot water if you can't spit it out on time or over and over again.
    • A musical record version renames the younger brother Yen, and also names the numerous elder sisters, starting with eldest Humph, then Lumph, until the youngest sister Gumph, all of whom were named out of spite (just because the parents wanted a son).
  • The Wren series by Sherwood Smith features character names that run from real and unexceptional (Connor and Tess), to real and unique (Wren, Leila, Andreus), to completely invented (Idres, Astren, Nerith).
  • From Reality to Fiction includes names such as Sam, Alex, or Max, to a boy named "956"
  • Three of Andre Norton's early Witch World novels feature the triplets Kyllan, Kemoc and Kaththea - who share the Cornish surname Tregarth. Justified by the fact that their dad was from Earth.
  • Although the original Swedish books avert this, there is a rather interesting case of Aerith and Bob in the English translation of The Moomins: the pair of strange visitors Thingumy and Bob (Tofslan and Vifslan in the original).
  • In the Sabrina the Teenage Witch novel Ben There, Done That, the biker gang members are named Wolverine, Chrome, Razor...and Bob.
  • An interesting In-Universe example occurs in Aztec: In Mesoamerican culture, most people tend to be named for concrete objects, warriors, animals, and such. For example: we have protagonist Mixtli (Dark Cloud), warrior Blood Glutton, princess Jadestone Doll, etc. So when Mixtli encounters someone from another village whose name means simply "Always," he's understandably a bit confused.
  • "Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" features 8 concubines named Tiny Feet of the Divine Dance of Joyous Orgasm, Beautiful Gate of Heavenly Moisture Number Six, Temptress of the Golden Light of the Harvest Moon, Delicate Personage of Two Fu Dogs Wrestling Under A Blanket, Feminine Keeper of the Three Tunnels of Excessive Friendliness, and Silken Pillows of the Heavenly Softness of Clouds. Played arguably straight with Pea Pods in Duck Sauce with Crispy Noodle, and definitely straight with Sue.
  • The eponymous main character of Septimus Heap has a family with names such as Nicko, Jenna and Simon. One wonders how the Heap parents knew about the meaning of "Septimus".
  • An Exercise in Futility - Kalharians have made-up fantasy names like Kathelm and Meunig, while the Gurdur have Herbrew names such as Ethan and Joseph. One Gurdur tribe names women after virtues, such as Charity.
  • While it is funny when it shows up, it's understandable from the author's viewpoint. Naming a character is a really hard thing to do, and an author doesn't want a "good name" wasted on a minor character. Hence, the main character of a setting and his friends may have exotic or invented names, and the yokels in the towns they visit will have commonplace names.
  • The Hunger Games, where you have names like Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Finnick, etc. to names like Effie, Madge, Annie, and Johanna. Some of the more bizarre names go along with Theme Naming though, as people from certain districts tend to be named after certain aspects of their home (ex. people from the luxurious District 1 have names like Glimmer and Gloss, people from the Capitol tend to have Roman names, etc.).
    • Note that the setting is supposed to be in the distant future of North America; Katniss comes from approximately West Virginia coal country. She's named after a plant. Peeta is almost certainly a corruption of Peter.
  • In The Robots of Dawn, Auroran names mentioned are Han, Vasilia, Santirix, Fuad, Maloon, Kelden and Rutilan.
  • Count and Countess. Almost definitely unintentional, but when sharing pagetime with characters named Ferencz, Dorotta, Darvulia, Orsolya, Istvan, Bogdan, Mehmed, and Radu, names like Elizabeth, Frederick, and Christian can appear very jarring.
  • The Orphans Tales has characters have names with Middle Eastern, Scandinavian, Indian, African, Japanese, Eastern European, Greek, English and many other influences. Bonus points need to be given to Ragnhild and St. Sigrid, two women from Middle Eastern inspired cultures who have Scandinavian-sounding names.
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit opens: "Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were— Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter."
  • The web-novel Domina starts out simple enough. Adam and Derek, Laura and Lizzy, Akane and Ling. There are a few unexpected foreign names like Zusa (Yiddish) and Jelena (Serbian), but they're still real names. Then you start running into people like Malcanthet, the Princess of Killing Sparrow, and Jarasax of the Blood-Doused Hunters.
  • Lampshaded in-universe in The Barsoom Project, in which most participants in the Fimbulwinter Game use their real names, but one (Marty Bobbick) plays as "Hippogryph". Eviane, a mentally-ill woman convinced the Game's events are really happening, becomes puzzled by his weird name shortly before she recalls that it's all pretend.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In Dark Angel the names of Max's X5 "family" run the whole gamut
    • Males - Zack, Kavi, Ben, Seth, Krit, Zane, Jack, Alec, Devon, Lane
    • Females - Max, Tinga, Brin, Vada, Syl, Jondy, Jace, Eva, Sam, Jewel, Keema
    • With X6s we have Dalton, Bullet, Fixit, Zero and Ralph (a girl)
    • Justified in that they made up the names themselves, and the normal ones likely came from any contact with the outside world (which was admittedly pretty scarce).
  • The 2000s Battlestar Galactica simultaneously carries forward the names of several characters from the original series (as either real names or callsigns), makes frequent use of modern western/American naming conventions, and tosses traditional Greco-Roman names into the mix. As a result, character names run the gamut from near normal (William Adama, Sharon Valerii, Laura Roslin) through slightly unusual but still valid (D'Anna Biers, Anastasia Dualla, Saul Tigh) to downright weird (When was the last time you met someone called Eladio Puasha, or Safiya Sanne, or Galen Tyrol, or Gaius Baltar?)
    • Gaius is a Roman name, and a fairly common one at that; see for instance the not-terribly obscure political leader Gaius Julius Caesar. Galen was a famous Roman doctor, and Callandra is a known Greek name. So they're the Colonial equivalent of real-life biblical names like David, John, Hannah as above.
      • And "Safiya" is a fairly common (albeit dated) female name in Turkey. Likewise, "Sanne" would not be out of place if it was written as "San", with the pronouncitation remaining unchanged. Doesn't change the fact that Colonial names are all over the place.
    • Then there's mixes like Callandra Henderson, Sekou Hamilton, Louis Hoshi, Billy Keikeya, or Robin Wenutu.
    • It can sort of be explain by the fact that the characters originate from 12 different planets. The Capricans have more western name, while the other colonies vary in strangeness. The issue of course is that the series doesn't make it very easy to discern this.
  • Caprica, by the same token. In the same training camp you have a girl called Lacy... and another girl called Hippolyta. The naming conventions stand out because most of the main characters have modern, 'normal' names, and it feels like the writers decided to mess around with Greek, Roman, and other unusual names after they gave most of the main characters more mundane names.
  • In Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, the rangers are Leo, Kai, Damon, Maya, and Mike. All pretty normal, right? Well, the one left out of that list is Kendrix. The only one without a normal name, who happens to be from Earth, while Maya, who has a real name, is from a fictional planet.
    • SPD gave us characters named Jack, Elizabeth, and Sydney alongside ones called Boom and Bridge.
      • Bridge is short for Bridget. Not a common male name, but it still is one. Boom is likely just a nickname.
      • Everyone in the series has a nickname, almost, so Bridge could be one too. (Elizabeth and Sydney are called Z and Syd the overwhelming majority of the time, and there's also Sky, short for Schuyler according to the manual. Thing is, no source gives us another name for Bridge, so it could be that his parents are just as interesting as he is.
    • Way back in the first season: Jason, Tommy, Billy, Zack, Kimberly, and... Trini. Trini is a slang term for a native of Trinidad (in fact, Chicano singer Trini Lopez was named Trinidad and used Trini as a nickname.) Despite this, the actress and the character were Vietnamese.
  • Setting Mal(colm) Reynolds aside, we have... Kaywinnet "Kaylee" Frye, Zoe Alleyne, Inara Serra, Derrial Book, Jayne Cobb, Hoban Washburne, and River and... Simon Tam? Okay, Zoe's an everyday name, and Kaylee is approaching normal (though it's a nickname), but what better example than "River and Simon".
    • Possibly justified by the setting, since it's basically a futuristic interplanetary version of the USA with Chinese influences. Even in modern-day America, it's not that uncommon to see foreign names, uncommon spellings and even cross-gender names alongside traditional Western names; in this version of the future nobody would give it a second thought.
    • Even the cast suffers from this: Nathan, Gina, Alan, Adam, Ron, and Sean vs. Morena, Jewel, and Summer.
  • Dollhouse also has a lot of unusual names in its cast: Eliza Dushku, Fran Kranz, Tahmoh Penikett, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman... and Olivia Williams.
  • Star Trek has several examples due to the fact that many characters are from different planets/countries. Of course, it's more conspicuous when none of the characters in question is an alien. Jim Kirk's brother is named Sam, Sam's son is Peter, and Sam's wife is... Aurelan?
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Worf has a one-quarter human son Alexander (named by his half-human mate K'Ehlyr). On the Klingon homeworld, this sets the boy apart from other Klingons whose names are wholly Klingon spelled in mixed cases, usually beginning with K, and often accented with an apostrophe.
  • In Salute Your Shorts, the campers are named or nicknamed: Zizi, Telly, Dina, Donkeylips, Sponge, Budnick, Ug (the counselor), and... Michael. This was probably done to show that he didn't really fit in, as he was the last to arrive and the others already had established relationships. Eventually, Michael got replaced with the obnoxious Pinsky.
  • The core cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer consists of Buffy, Willow, Xander and Rupert. In the expanded cast there are names such as Cordelia, Spike, Angel and Drusilla alongside Tara, Joyce, Dawn and Riley. Somewhat justified in that most of the odd names are nicknames and the characters' actual names are rather plain (for example, Oz is Daniel, Spike is William and Angel is Liam).
    • The fact that people on the Hellmouth have unusual names was lampshaded in the very first episode of the show.
    • Xander is a nickname for Alexander. Willow is a pretty normal name. Buffy's the weird one. Meanwhile the woman who plays Cordelia is actually named Charisma.
  • The Doctor Who episode "The Time Of Angels" gives us Bishop Octavian and clerics Angelo, Christian and Bob. All are holy names, suggesting the existence of a Saint Bob or some such between now and then.
    • Kazran Sardick in "A Christmas Carol". It's set on an Earth colony, and he's the only character with a name like that; the other named residents of Sardickstown are Abigail Pettigrew; her family Isabella, Eric and Benjamin; and Kazran's father, Elliot.
    • Time Lords have names ranging from the ridiculous (Romanadvoratrelundar) to the mundane (Susan). Of course, Susan might not be her real name—or then it's like the Time Lord equivalent of an exotic-sounding hippie name. Also, it's revealed (much later) that Time Lords pick the names they'll be known by, and those names are quite official (Lord President Rassilon addressed The Doctor and The Master as "Lord Doctor" and "Lord Master" while being particularly formal.) It makes sense that these names would be derived from all sources - words describing what they do (like the Doctor and the Master), names of people on worlds that had an impact on them (presumably Susan, possibly anyone whose name isn't a dictionary word), or whatever they felt sounded cool at the time (Romana's whole name, and the Doctor's 'school' name of Theta Sigma.)
      • According to the the TARDIS Index File, Susan's Gallifreyan name is Arkytior, which translates as "Rose."
    • Some of the Doctor's companions teeter on this trope as well, running the gamut from relatively common (Sarah, Jamie, Mel, etc) all the way to names like Leela and Perpugilliam (Peri for short).
  • The names of the vampires in True Blood ranges from the old-worldy/exotic—Sophie-Anne Leclerq, Russell Edgington, Talbot, Pamela Swynford De Beaufort—to the downright plain—Eric, Jessica, Bill.
    • Lampshaded by Sookie (er... is that Cajun for something?); "Bill? I thought it might be Antoine or Basil or, like, Langford maybe. But Bill? Vampire Bill?"
  • The members of the Spanish Inquisition in Monty Python's Flying Circus are Cardinal Ximénez, Cardinal Biggles and Cardinal Fang.
  • Legend of the Seeker does this quite a bit, both with it's principal cast (Richard, Kahlan, and Cara, along with Zeddicus and Darken Rahl), and with its guests (Nicci, Flynn and Bridget along side Demmin Nass, Du Chaillu, and Ranssyn Fane)
  • In the short lived 80s series Otherworld, one of the sons of the family trapped in a foreign dimension is apparently named 'Smith'.
  • The eponymous family from Republic of Doyle seems to switch each generation, from Malachy to Jake to Tinny.
    • Malachy and Jake are pretty reasonable names for an Ulster-Scots/Irish background like Newfoundland, especially with a surname like Doyle. We should maybe just hope 'Tinny' is short for something, though.
      • Her actual name is Katrina. With her mother being named Kathleen, 'Kat' was probably already taken.
  • Modern Family has a non-fantasy example with Cam's list of friends he wanted to invite to his fundraiser in Regrets Only: Longinus, Pepper, Lamichael, Steven and Stephan, aaand... Bob.
  • The names of demons in Supernatural show a lot of variety. For the first two seasons their primary antagonist were the demons Azazel and Meg. See also Lilith, Ruby, Samhain, and Alastair.
    • Meg was just the name of the girl she was wearing when they met her. The girl's ghost turns up and lambasts them at the start of season four. They keep using her name for the demon, because it's simpler. 'Ruby' probably picked that name for Rule of Cool.
    • Their main angel connections are Castiel, Uriel, and Zachariah. A Biblical name, yes, but one which departs from the Semitic -el pattern most egregiously. Zachariah was a man, and the fellow so called tends to refer to the race of man as 'hairless apes' at best. 'Anna Milton' does not count, even though other angels continue to call her by it even once she's recognized, because it's a pseudonym.
      • Of course, 'Michael' and 'Gabriel' have had so many people named after them, their names look normal. Raphael not quite so much. Lucifer only gets called by his titles; apparently that stricken-from-the-book-of-life thing was for reals. Or he was actually named that, which makes him one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-others.
    • The hunting community is mostly Sam's and John's and Bobby's, but Gordon Walker's partner is named Kubrick.
      • A leading candidate for his angel name is actually Sammael. Owch.
      • The angel Balthazar, anyone? (The name is apocryphally attached to one of the three wise men, along with Melchior and Caspar. Balthazar's the Arab.)
  • In Bones the main characters are (not counting nicknames or last names) are Jack, Angela, Camille, and Lance. With the leads being Seeley and Temperance.
  • During a Props game on Whose Line Is It Anyway, Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie enacted a gladiator battle. Wayne announced himself with a booming "Spartacus!", while Colin retorted with a casual "Phil".
  • Carrusel shows some examples of this. In-universe, we have the siblings Pablo and Marcelina (ok, so Marcelina is not tremendously out there, but still way more unusual than Pablo). And Carrusel being the remake of Senorita Maestra, compare the surnames of the original teacher Jacinta Pichimahuida (very unusual) vs. the remake's teacher Ximena Fernandez (very common).
  • In Blake's 7, the human/Terran citizens of the far-future Federation include present-day or almost present-day names like Roj Blake, Kerr Avon (unusual combination, but both real names), Travis, Sarkoff, Sondheim, Hal and Dayna Mellanby, Del Tarrant ...; and unfamiliar names like Olag Gan, Vila Restal, and Servalan. (Not counting names belonging to non-Terrans like Cally or Zen.)
  • Psych, "This Episode Sucks," Margo says that one of her housemates is probably making the call looking for a pint of blood, "Jake, Eddie, or Lucien." Shawn, Gus, and Juliet immediately ask to talk to Lucien. Of course, it's Eddie - aka "Edward."
  • Occurs in Sherlock where the traditional last name basis for the characters is dropped, and we get John and Sherlock.
  • Non-Tau'ri humans in Stargate SG-1 run the gamut from things like Odai Ventrell, Narim, and Adan Corso, to folks like Jonas Quinn who could've been from a small town on Earth.
    • One could even argue that the show's title team exemplifies this, with its members being Sam, Dan, Jack, and Teal'c (or Samantha, Daniel, and Johnathan, you pick)
  • Rather puzzling to The X-Files fans is how Mulder's sister got the normal name "Samantha" while he got stuck with "Fox."


Meta[edit | hide]


Music[edit | hide]

  • In the "Weird Al" Yankovic song "Albuquerque", the narrator has two children, whom he names Nathaniel and Superfly. It's that kind of song.
  • Kaizers Orchestra, whose songs tend to be set in Norway, use a lot of unusual names in their extensive lyrics Myth Arc, like Dominique, Constanze, Philemon, Clementin, Violeta... and Kenneth.
  • John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
  • Rael and his brother John.
  • Zadok the Priest ... and Nathan the Prophet? (In fairness, based on the biblical passage 1 Kings 1:8, "But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet and Shimei and Rei, and David's men of war did not take the side of Adonijah.") Making this trope Older Than Feudalism.
  • Happens from time to time in the music world when band members don't unanimously decide to adopt stage names. Prominent examples include U2 (Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry), Green Day (Billie Joe, Tre Cool and Mike) and Korn (the original lineup of Munky, Head, Fieldy, Jonathan and David).
  • Guillaume Emmanuel "Guy-Manuel" de Homem-Christo... and Thomas.
  • A few South Korean bands have members born and raised in North America, Europe or Australia resulting in this.
    • Super Junior gives us Leeteuk, Heechul, Han Geng, Yesung, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Siwon, Donghae, Ryeowook, Kibum, Kyuhyun, Zhou Mi... and Henry.
    • Girls' Generation has Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoon A and Seohyun.
    • KARA has Gyuri, Seungyeon, Hara, Nicole and Jiyoung.
    • miss A: Fei, Jia, Min... and Suzy.
  • Irish band Microdisney had the members Sean O Hagan, which sounds fairly normal, and Cathal Coughlan, which is typically Irish. Sean's name is pronounced exactly as it is written, whereas Cathal's name is pronounced like Carl Cullen.
  • In Roy Zimmerman's Christmas on Mars, the martians say "Merry Christmas" to "little Meggadedeck, and Hackananack and Lars".
  • The electric quartet Bond has this, on one side you have Tania and Elspeth (a version of Elizabeth), and on the other side, you have Eos and Gay-Yee.
  • Tegan and Sara.~
  • The first names of the members of System of a Down are Serj, Daron, Shavo and John. The first three are Armenian names, though John Dolmayan still has an Armenian surname.


Mythology & Religion[edit | hide]

  • Anything involving the Arthurian mythos tends to end up like this, given how common the name "Arthur" has become in contrast to those like "Merlin", "Lancelot" and "Gallahad", and doubly so if some of the lesser-known characters like "Culhwch", "Derfel" and "Sagramore" show up. However, because most people are so thoroughly exposed to this particular mythos, it tends to go unnoticed.
    • Oddly enough, "Guinevere" is quite common nowadays, as the Anglicised Cornish variant "Jennifer".
      • Guinevere and its variants come from the much more normal - at least as old Welsh names go - Gwynhwyfar/Gwenhwyfar.
    • Kay is relatively common, but it's not primarily a girl's name.
  • In The Iliad and The Odyssey, we have people named Achilles, Patroclus, Menelaus, and Odysseus amidst people named Helen, Hector, Penelope, and Cassandra. Paris is also becoming a popular/normal name. Amongst names like Socrates, Hilarion, Kleisthenes, Kallikrates, Pythagoras, and Drakon, these seem to be fairly normal names. Of course, The Iliad is itself the main reason why those names are popular, and thus "normal", today.
  • In many demonologies you will find the names of demons with names like Abraxas, Sariel, Zepar, Mephistopheles....and Leonard.
    • Ars Goetia includes the demons Andrealphus, Oriax, Decarabia, Valefor, and...Amy. Amy is not one of the three females.[5] Even if you're aware that the "a" sound should be short, it can catch one unaware.
    • Likewise, names of angels are usually pretty exotic-sounding (Uriel, Zadkiel, Ielahiah) ... unless they're Michael, or (to a lesser extent) Gabriel or Raphael. You can blame this on an old Catholic edict which forbade naming children for angels not mentioned in the accepted canon (i.e. no one known only from questionable sources)--which left exactly three sources for angelic names. Guess which ones.
  • Translations of The Bible are full of this, though it is partly due to which Biblical names have remained popular. The sons of King Saul, for example, are named Ish-Bosheth, Abinadab, Malki-Shua, and . . . Jonathan.

Puppet Shows[edit | hide]


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Exalted has a very diverse naming convention. People in the Realm, namely the nobles, mostly call their children by some (sometimes asian-sounding) name made of several meaningless syllables, with a family surname added before the first name (Cynis Avaku, Peleps Deled). In the threshold, however, since there are hundreds upon hundreds of different kingdoms, there are millions of different names, depending on the region. However, a very often naming convention is Adjective Noun (Harmonious Jade, Righteous Devil). So you get a circle (party) of people with names like Panther, Dace, Harmonious Jade, Swan and Arianna. Justified, as they all come from different parts of the world, but still an example of this trope.
  • Dungeons & Dragons manuals specifically have content for deciding whether players should choose realistic or exotic names, and how the Dungeon Master should deal with players who don't want their characters' names to be consistent with the types of names the other players choose.
    • Otherwise known as the Carlos the Dwarf scenario.
    • In 4E, it's stated that most tieflings have "traditional" names like Amnon and Nemeia, while others choose hilariously over-the-top names like Poetry or Despair. Throw in some other races and you can have a party consisting of Wil, Jon, Bree, and Torment. And that's just using the sample names.
  • In the Forgotten Realms, naming conventions are different for different races. Notably, halflings tend to have common English names, which stand out as this trope alongside the Nordic-sounding dwarf names and wholly-fantastic elvish names.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, major characters tend to have names like Urza or Lim-Dul. This makes names like Peter Douglas (a minor character from Fallen Empires) seem incredibly strange.
    • Occasionally, this is played for laughs. For example, one short story had a demonic Dark Lord named Vincent who employed a human chef named Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar.
  • Names in Paranoia follow the pattern (first name + security clearance + home sector + clone number), ranging from ordinary first names with an arbitrary suffix (John-R-CQF-2) to silly puns (Howe-R-YAH-3) depending on the GM's preferred style: Straight avoids silly names (they break the mood), Zap revels in them, Classic is somewhere in between.
  • While not a fantasy setting in the traditional sense, the Mage: The Awakening book "Grimoire of Grimoires" has a grimoire take the form of a black metal/industrial album put together by a band called Schattenbahn. The band's lineup is Blixa Dark, Hellson, Regenfeuer, Doktor Kultur... and Andy.
  • Just about any reasonably free-flowing game system will run into this constantly. While D&D is highly strung enough to actually have rules about names, practically nothing else has rules, and even those with guidelines and extensive examples are likely to be completely and immediately ignored by all involved. It's partially because the players mostly came up with their characters in isolation (with predictably wide variation in backgrounds) and partially because a lot of GMs have better things to do than go through elvish dictionaries. Like running the game for example. After ensuring that no-one is intent on breaking the game or the story simply through application of stats, a weather-beaten 'whatever' normally greets an exotic name.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Most characters in the Growlanser series have rather common names such as Karen, Julia, Ernest, Brett, Hugh, Regina, and Wendy... but these characters associate with others with names such as Ariost, Xenos, Slayn, Pernagi, Crevaniel, and Rukias.
  • The ghosts from Pac-Man are named: Pinky, Inky, Blinky and... Clyde.
    • Clyde is replaced by Sue in Ms. Pac-Man.
  • The Tingle brothers from The Legend of Zelda series are named: Tingle, Ankle, Knuckle, and... David Jr.
    • The whole franchise has a mix of Japanese, Western, and made-up names in the same fantasy setting. Link, Princess Zelda (named for Zelda Fitzgerald according to Word of God), Shiro, Jiro, Saburo, and Ichiro the carpenters, a little girl named Pamela (yes, that's her name in Japan too) in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask alone.
  • Baldur's Gate mostly has fantastic names: Valygar, Ajantis, Keldorn, Jaheira, Imoen, Viconia... And then there's the remarkably ordinary Jan Jansen. (That is to say, his name is ordinary. He isn't.) But even then it's odd, as it's an ordinary human name borne by a gnome.
    • The villain is named Sarevok in Baldur's Gate 1. But in the sequel the villain is Jon Irenicus, revealed to be short for Jonaleth.
  • Dwarf Fortress actively averts this in adventurer mode, where people remark upon your strange name if you don't use one of the generated ones for your culture.
  • Mass Effect justifies throwing Ashley Williams into a party containing Urdnot Wrex, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'soni, and Tali'zorah nar Rayya with cultural differences, as they are all of different species. Though this trope still exists among the human characters, as people with names like Ashley Williams, Jacob Taylor, Miranda Lawson, and David Anderson exist alongside people with names like Donnel Udina and Kaidan Alenko.
  • The generics in Final Fantasy Tactics can have a range of names from the mundane to the fantastic (a fact not helped by the horrific translation of the original version).
  • Usually, the Final Fantasy series of games have "cool" or exotic names for the most part, with a few standard Western names for flavor. Final Fantasy II inverts this: The named cast consists of Maria, Guy, Leon, Josef, Ric(h)ard, Leila, Gordon, Scott, Hilda, Paul, Cid, a Mr. Borghen, and Mateus...plus Minwu and Firion/Frioniel.
  • Dragon Age averts this until you consider that Alistair, Wynne, Morrigan, and Leliana have perfectly respectable medieval names, while Zevran and Oghren have random fantastic names (although they are from fantasy cultures; elf and dwarf respectively). Sten doesn't count, it's a title, not a name.
  • Dragon Age II goes the completely fantastic name route with such names as Varric and Merrill(from fantasy cultures)...except for the inclusion of people such as Knight-Commander Meredith and Viscount Marlowe Dumar, who have respectable (if a bit outdated) normal names.
    • DA2 is actually closer to the Bob end of the spectrum than it might appear. Merrill's not unheard of in the US, spelled either that way or as Meryl. Other normal names spelled oddly include Isabela and Saemus (the latter is pronounced like the Irish Seamus). Sebastian is a relatively common name, and Bethany and Carver are also occasionally heard in the real world. Anders is actually a very common name in Sweden and Norway (though Word of God is that it's the rebel mage's nickname rather than his real name). You'll meet NPCs with names like Evelina, Olivia, Grace, and Ella alongside odder ones like Thrask, Tomwise, Gamlen, and Tarohne.
  • Final Fantasy IV: In a world populated by Tellahs, Fusoyas, Golbezes, and Rydias, the hero and his girlfriend are Cecil and Rosa. And the Spoony Bard is named Edward. Rydia is very likely Spell My Name with an "S" for Lydia, but the R stuck as the official spelling.
    • There's a reason for this; way back in the annals of Nintendo history, when Final Fantasy I was released, Nintendo Power held a contest, the winner of which would get their name in the next (American-released) Final Fantasy game. The contest winner was Cecil Harvey, and thus we get Cecil Harvey in FF IV (or II as it was known in the States at the time.)
    • Tellah is probably meant to be Terah, which is a Hebrew name (the father of Abraham) and Hebrew slang for old man.
    • Then Final Fantasy IV: The After Years presents us with the Eblan Four, Gekkou, Izayoi, Tsukinowa, and Zangetsu...and their master, Edge, short for Edward Geraldine.
  • Final Fantasy V's Butz. Or, depending on your preference, Bartz. The rest of the characters maintain their original names, though to some extent that's possibly explained by two characters hailing from a different world entirely.
  • There's often at least one "normal" name mixed in with the fantastic names. Final Fantasy VI gave us Edgar and Terra, not-impossible names like Cyan and Locke, and ninja mercenary Shadow, a.k.a. Clyde.
    • Sabin is also Mash in Japan, which is supposedly based on "Matthew" "Macias".
    • In the original Japanese version of Final Fantasy VI, Cyan's name was actually "Cayenne". As in the chili pepper. Which anybody familiar with the character will recognize as spectacularly inappropriate.[context?]
  • Final Fantasy VII has Vincent, Zack, Barret Wallace and his daughter Marlene, Scarlet, Priscilla, Reno, Elena, Lucrecia, Ester, Joe and Rufus mixed in with names like Sephiroth, Cloud Strife and Genesis Rhapsodos (not to mention actually having Trope Namer Aeris/Aerith).
    • The full name Aerith Gainsborough alone contains this trope. So does Tifa Lockhart. It seems as though the majority of the player characters have the "Aerith" names while the non-player characters got the "Bob" end of the stick.
    • For the Spanish players, this happens with the geography of the game as well. In a world where we find Midgar, Gongaga, Nibelheim, Junon, etc. we suddenly find Costa del Sol. Which was not Woolseyized in the (admittedly subpar) Spanish translation. If you're an American, imagine playing the game and ending up in Malibu Beach or the Ozarks.
  • Final Fantasy IX gives us this trope all in one person, with Dagger, a.k.a. Garnet Til Alexandros XVII, whose real name is actually Sarah.
  • Final Fantasy X has Lulu and Seymour amidst Auron, Rikku, Braska, Kimahri, and Wakka. Depending on which pronunciation you use, Tidus can be pronounced like "Titus"—a bit uncommon, but nothing people would actually remark on. Yuna is a bit of a gray area—it's one of the "Aerith" counterparts to Western audiences, but in reality is a perfectly normal Japanese name.
  • Final Fantasy XII has Fran and her sister Mjrn. Thank God they included that second name in the voice-acting, or non-Slavic players would have no idea how to pronounce it (pronunced like "yearn" with an M tacked on the beginning). Also in Final Fantasy XII are the fon Ronsenburg brothers - Basch and Noah.
  • Final Fantasy XIII introduces a cast with names like Snow, Vanille, Fang, and Sazh, not to mention a boy named Hope. And then you get the two sisters Lightning and... Serah. (Lightning is just a nickname, however; her real name is fairly commonplace.)
  • Final Fantasy XI allows Dragoon characters to select a name for their pet wyvern from a list that includes Firewing, Cerulean, Eisenzahn... and Rover, Buster and George. (The last may be a reference to St. George the dragon slayer.)
  • The apprentices to Ansem the Wise in Kingdom Hearts II are named Xehanort, Braig, Aeleus, Ienzo...then there's Dilan and Even. Granted, the spellings are weird, but still, Even?
  • In Metal Gear Solid every single villain has a cool code name like Psycho Mantis, Sniper Wolf, Revolver Ocelot, Grey Fox, Fortune, Fatman, Big Boss, The Fear, and Laughing Octopus. Except for Olga Gurlukovich, who is just Olga. Dr Drago Pettrovich Madnar, Gene (obvious double meaning aside), Ursula, Cunningham, Sophie, Augustine Eguabon and Vince showed up late to the codename queue as well, and in only about half of those cases is it justified.
  • In The Last Story, everybody has a wacky name, except some NPCs. We've got Elza, Kanan, Quark, Seiren, Jackal and Manamia.
  • Jet Force Gemini features three main characters named after constellations, the villainous Mizar, and King Jeff.
    • Again, the weirdness is compounded by naming the male hero after Juno, queen of the gods.
    • Do note that this game was done by Rare, so this was all very likely intentional.
  • The main character in Spectrobes is named Rallen. His partner is Jeena. The bad guy's named Krux.the guy who sells you weapons is named Dave.
  • World of Warcraft does this with humans (and undead who were humans in life). On one end you have Arthas Menethil and Anduin Wrynn, and at the other end you have Jonathon Garret and Margaret Fowler. Somewhere in the middle you have the likes of Jaina Proudmoore, whose name is neither someone you'd meet at work nor all-out fantastic.
    • As a rule of thumb, plot importance determines how exotic the name is. Many minor NPCs who are relevant enough to have a name but not relevant enough to warrant a lot of thinking have perfectly normal names (often enough refering to another works).
    • Player names also tend to cower the whole spectrum, when they aren't being outright lazy and name their elven hunter Legolas4527.
    • In an interesting aversion, there is a ghost named Matthias Lehner. A perfectly normal, innocent name... until you figure out its an anagram. (Of Arthas Menethil.)
    • Warcraft 3 has a voice file for Pitlords that is a talk show introducing "Magtheridon, Hunter of Night! And his girlfriend Kim."
    • The most drastic example might be the fact that Kel'Thuzad was his human name, back when he worked for Antonidas. (So where was Kenan Thuzad?)
  • The main character in Ape Escape is called Spike. His rival? Jake. Jake was changed to Buzz for the PAL release, though (along with the god-awful American dubbing).
  • Pokémon has several unique names for Pokemon, including "Giratina", "Sableye", "Raichu", "Shiftry" and "Lickilicky". Kanto also has incredibly simple names, like "Gloom", "Golem" and "Seel."
    • And that's only looking at the ones they kept in the English version. In Japanese, Drowzee was called "Sleep", Pidgeotto was called "Pigeon", and Sandshrew was called "Sand". They cut down on the Gratuitous English in later generations after the games became popular overseas.
      • Also, Geodude's German name, "Kleinstein", meaning "little stone".
    • For the games we have in terms of protagonists, in order: Red, Green ("Blue" outside of Japan), Leaf. Gold Ethan (Hibiki), Kris, Lyra (Kotone), & Silver. May (Haruka) & Brendan (Yuki). Dawn (Hikari), Lucas (Kouki) & Barry (Jun). Hilbert (Touya), Hilda (Touko), Cheren, Bianca (Bel), and N (It's short for "Natural" but that isn't much better).
    • Pokémon Colosseum and its sequel. Some of the names in the Battle Subway are on par with Orre's in terms of randomness. Others are just random words, however. And then there's a School Girl named Percy.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog's main characters are named Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Eggman/Robotnik, and Amy. However, Tails is just a nickname. His real name is Miles Prower, which doesn't fit into either side very well. The human characters are given pretty realistic names (Gerald, Maria, Elise); Ivo is real as well, though significantly rarer.
    • It doesn't even stop there. There's Cream, Shadow, Rouge, Silver, Blaze, Marine, Vector, Espio, Charmy, Jet, Wave, and Storm. Amy's the only one with a normal name.
  • The Elite Beat Agents are named Agent J, Chieftain, Spin, Commander Kahn, Starr, Foxx, Missy, Derek and Morris.
  • Speaking of which, the original Star FOX team consisted of Peppy Hare, Pigma Dengar, and... James McCloud. Other characters include Andross, Bill Grey, Slippy Toad (and father Benito Toad), Andrew Oikonny, and Dash Bowman.
  • Shadow Hearts, the Valentine siblings, all roughly or over four hundred by the games' 1913-1929 timeline. The eldest, Joachim. The youngest, Hildegard. The middle? Keith. One of these names is not like the others...
  • The prequel to Shadow Hearts is not immune, either. The party consists of two men named Edward and James, and a woman named Koudelka.
  • Tales of Symphonia. The names of the main characters range from relatively normal, such as Alice, Lloyd, Emil, Marta, and Colette, and Sheena, to fairly odd like Raine, Genis, and Regal, to just plain weird like Zelos, Kratos, Decus, and Mithos. But if you excuse real-world name etymology, they really do work well together.
    • A lot of the Tales games tend to be like that. However, a lot of characters' surnames tend to be realistic, regardless of how weird their first names are.
    • It should be noted that Kratos and Zelos are taken from Greek Mythology, thus the similarity with a certain homicidal "hero".
  • The entire Tales series is this. They have the usual names like Luke, Lloyd, Jay and Annie. The slightly less every day but still normal names like Yuri, Hubert, Jade and Emil. Then the just plain bizarre names like Kanonno, Mint, Genis and Bruiser. It works for the most part though (it should be stressed that some names were changed in the American versions to sound less strange: Genis and Raine were known as Genius and Refill around there, while Bruiser Khang was Mighty Khongman. The list goes on).
    • Even more punctuated is 'Tales of Phantasia, which features four elemental spirits, Sylph, Undine, Gnome, and Efreet, and their leader, Maxwell.
      • Also in Phantasia, there are the protagonist's parents Miguel and Maria, and then there's their son, Cress. Why two persons who, judging form the names, are ethnically "Hispanic" would give their son an ethnically "Salad" name is not explained. The Tales Series is also a Japanese game, so all these names would probably sound 'exotic' to the Japanese.
  • Iji (of the game of the same name) and her brother (and Voice With Access To The Loudspeaker System) Dan.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines has normal names for most of the humans and unusual names for most of the Kindred. There are exceptions on both sides, however. In an inversion of the norm for RPGs, the most important Kindred have the least exotic names. While Sidequest givers have names like Pisha, Skelter, Damsel, and Velvet, some important characters who drive the main story are named Jack, Gary, Isaac, and Jeanette.
    • Skelter and Damsel are anarch gangers, so presumably they made up names to sound cool. Pisha is presumably many centuries old and comes from some distant, possibly extinct culture, plus it's not her own name. And Velvet Velour is using a pseudonym; her real name is Susan. You can only find that out if you're Malkavian, and expect a sharp telling-off if you mention it.
    • Pisha also points out that it's not her real name, but the name of a former companion.
  • This trope can be said to occur in basically every game in which you have the option of naming your character.
  • Suikoden is bad for this. You get Western names like Thomas, Luc, and Bob (the werewolf) alongside more exotic things like Geddoe, Stallion, and Tai-Ho.
    • This is largely a side-effect of 108 named characters joining your army combined with the One Steve Limit.
  • Most of the names in Ace Attorney are puns or references to their personalities, so a lot of variety turns up. You'll get first names like Miles and Larry mixing with Klavier and Phoenix, and last names like Armstrong and Wright mixing with Eldoon and Cadavarinni.
  • Tales of the Abyss has some of the major characters originally from the isle of Hod: Gailardia, Vandesdelca, Mystearica, and Mary.
  • The Demon Rush features such characters as Brooks Cracktackle, a private investigator; Knight the horned knight; the Legend Viper of Thunder; Jimmy the necromancer; Cherry Venus the fighter ace; and Steve the half-dragon semi-divine entity.
  • The Harvest Moon series has some good examples. For instance, the potential brides from 64 (and some subsequent games) have the names Ann, Elli, Karen, Mary...and Popuri. In the first Rune Factory game, exotic names like Mist and Lynette are interspersed with names like Sharron and Tori.
    • In Friends of Mineral Town, there are characters with mundane names like Ellen, Jeff, Doug, and May, but then there's Saibara and Barley. Also, there are three women who meet in the town square every day to exchange gossip. Their names? Anna, Manna...and Sabrina (more of a disruption in theme naming, but still).
    • In Harvest Moon DS Cute, the five bachelors are Marlin, Rock, Carter, Griffin and Gustafa. Island of Happiness features Vaughn, Mark, Elliot, Denny, Pierre, and Shea. Like shea butter. The available men from Magical Melody are Alex, Basil, Carl, Dan, Jamie, Joe, Kurt, Louis, Ray, and Bob. But the last bachelor, Blue, definitely takes the cake.
      • Some people appear to think "Rock" is an absurd name, but they can't smell what The Rock is cooking.
    • Most of the protagonists have typical names. Pete, Sara, Claire, Troy, Mark.. Pony? Most fans call her "Jill" though.
  • In Planescape: Torment, for those with names, there's Vhailor, Dak'kon, Nordom, Ignus, Fall-From-Grace (though she can be abbreviated to just Grace), Morte (not short for Mortimer)...and Annah.
    • Annah Of The Shadows, to be specific, which while not quite Fall-From-Grace is still uncommon.
  • The Legend of Zelda: You know that something is weird, when you have a Link standing side by side with a Midna, a Tetra, and a Ruto, all ruled by a relatively normal (if old-fashioned) Zelda. Also, his sister goes by the name "Aryll", while the first king of Hyrule's name was "Gustaf". Well, probably normal names are a privilege of royalty.
    • Also, the children in Link's village in Twilight Princess are named Malo, Talo, and... Colin and Beth.
    • The Oracle games brings us such characters as Moosh, Onox, Rafton, Syrup, Dekadin, Veran, and Ambi, among many others (such as unusually-named Legacy Characters). Then there are characters like Holly, Rosa, Ricky, Dimitri, Blossom, and Ralph. (Admittedly, Holly and Blossom are Meaningful Names and Dimitri's still not exactly a common name, anyway.) Importance for all ranges from minor one-shot characters to major supporting cast to villains.
  • Fire Emblem does this sometimes. For example, we have fairly normal names such as Ike, Edward, Mia, Lyn, and Hector. Then we get names like Erk, Makalov, Nephenee, Haar, Saleh, and the like. Granted, these aren't as bad as some other examples.
    • Makalov could just be a mistranslation of Makarov, a fairly common Russian surname.
    • The Boss characters get shafted with weirder names than the main characters. Eubans, Jasmine (for a man), Kishuna, Puzon, Bool, Migal, Batta, Vaida, Limstella, Uhai, Groznyi, Zugo, alongside Bug, Wire, Glass, Kenneth, Lloyd, Bernard and Cameron for example.
  • Crash Bandicoot plays with it. Alongside characters with names like Crash, Dingodile and Nefarious, a lot of its characters have normal names, but with the exception of Coco and Nina, they're part a pun. (Neo Cortex, Victor and Moritz).
  • Cave Story has, among its cast of named characters, Arthur, Jack, Sue, King, and Jenka with translated names; and Toroko, Itoh, Kazuma, and Momorin with their names in transliterated Japanese.
  • Street Fighter has several instances of this, likely because they fit with characters' nationality. On the other hand, this creates Narm with names such as "Ken", "Dhalsim", "Dan Hibiki", "Twelve", and "Seth", who is, mind you, the final boss of Street Fighter IV.
    • Then there's Guile...
  • Fatal Fury. While some names, such as "Terry Bogard", "Richard Meyer", "Li Xiangfei" and "Marco Rodriguez" are perfectly reasonable names, one would question what they were thinking with names like "Duck King" (which, although it makes sense, is still funny), "Khushnood Butt" (the English translation of "Marco Rodriguez", god knows why), and "Geese Howard".
  • The main characters of the 'Golden Sun games: Isaac, Garet, Ivan, Mia, Felix, Jenna, Sheba, Piers. Only the last two could be considered slightly unusual. On the other hand, Saturos, Menardi, Karst, Agatio...and then Alex. Granted, the first four of those are from a specific town, and are also kinda a different race. And hilariously, Alex is the closest thing the games have to a Big Bad.
    • There's an inseparable pair of warriors in the first game who play the trope almost painfully straight. Their names: Ouranos and Sean.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has half-brothers Daegun and... Duncan. Possibly justified by Daegun being a full-blooded elf and Duncan having a human parent.
    • The player's allies too, having completely ridiculous names like Neeshka and Casavir existing alongside almost normal names like Elanee and Bishop
    • The first game kept it to mostly consistent fantastic names like Linu, Sedos, and Maugrim, but Tomi and Aarin Gend have pretty ordinary-sounding names. And Aribeth wouldn't raise more than one or two eyebrows in a real-world setting.
  • The cast of the Guilty Gear games have names ranging from Johnny, May, and Bridget to I-No, Dizzy, and Zappa.
    • As well as Sol Badguy, whose real name is Frederick.
    • Its Spiritual Successor, BlazBlue, plays around with this trope some too. On one hand, there are ordinary names like Rachel, Carl, and Noel, as well as ordinary Japanese names, such as Jin, Tsubaki, and Makoto. On the other hand, there isBang Shishigami.
  • While the King of All Cosmos and his immediate family in Katamari Damacy are simply known by their title, the Royal Cousins run into this. So you have Ace, Colombo, Marcy and Velvet alongside Ichigo, Miki, Odeko and Fujio... Then you get into the really odd names like Ban-Ban, Pokkle, Nutsuo and Dangle.
  • To a lesser degree, this pops up occasionally in The Elder Scrolls series, where in you can read about notable characters such as Mannimarco, The King of Worms and Gentleman Jim Stacey. While each race has its own naming convention, they all stick to it. You won't find a non-Nord named Sjorta, nor a non-Argonian named Hauls-Ropes-Faster (or Skreeva,) or any non-Elf named Alewen. And certainly no other M'aiq the Liar, save for one fast-moving calipers-obsessed Talkative Loon catperson.
    • Then there are still some name mixups within races. Take, for example, the late Emperor Uriel Septim VII, and his sons, Geldall, Enman, Ebel, and....Martin. Granted, the last one is illegitimate, but...
  • The workshop in Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis follows this trend: the girls (at least in the localized version) are named Jess, Nikki, Anna, and Pamela. The boys are Vayne, Roxis, Flay... and Muppy, though Muppy is an alien from another planet. Or something.
  • The central couple in the Monkey Island series are named Elaine Marley and... Guybrush Threepwood.
  • Myst gives us such characters as Atrus, Gehn, Sirrus, Achenar, and Catherine. It's explained in the backstory that her name was Katran, but Atrus for some reason misheard the introduction and it stuck.
    • These names are also from different cultures. Atrus (actually Aitrus), Gehn and Yeesha are D'ni names, Katran is Rivenese, and Sirrus and Achenar aren't explicitly described as either (they may well be D'ni, but are probably differently spelled).
  • Wurm Journey to The Center of The Earth has a heroine named Moby whose boyfriend is named Ziggy, and most of the other (human) characters have more or less regular names; Dan, Mike, Allan, Sylvia...even the princess of the underground empire, Diane.
  • Might and Magic has names spanning the entire spectrum, though human names (Haven) remain mostly plausible. Wizards and Necromancers (who used to be human)... not so much.
  • This is the case for the Sega Saturn and PC game Three Dirty Dwarves - the lead dwarf is Greg, followed by Taconic and Corthag.
  • Vagrant Story has characters with really normal first names - Ashley, Sydney, Joshua, Romeo, Samantha, Duane, Grissom... coupled with really awesome surnames: Riot, Losstarot, Merlose, Guildstern, Bardorba...etc,
  • Resonance of Fate has three playable characters: Zephyr, Vashyron, and... Leanne? The NPCs also follow this trend, with Theresa and Bobby living alongside Barbarella and Garigliano. It's worth noting that in the Japanese version, Leanne was Reanbelle.
  • Star Wars Galaxies has Johnson Smith, a Zabrak on Kashyyyk.
  • The names of all of the party members aquired in the first Grandia game, in order: Justin, Sue, Feena, Gadwin, Rapp, Milda, Guido, Liete. I believe no further explanation is necessary.
  • Little Fighter 2 has characters named John, Henry, Davis, Dennis, Rudolph, Woody, Deep, Firen and Freeze.
  • Halo has this with regards to the names of the UNSC ships. In the games, ships tend to have unusual and poetic names: Pillar of Autumn, Spirit of Fire, Aegis Fate, In Amber Clad, Forward Unto Dawn, and Say My Name. Whereas ships in the novels tend to have "normal" names like Leviathan, Fairweather, Gettysburg, Texas, and (eventually) Do You Feel Lucky?.
  • Names in the Shining franchise can be all over the place, and unlike most RPG series, there's no One Steve Limit in effect. So you have names like Max and Arthur intermingling with those like Synbios, Bleu or Xion, and occasionally getting recycled.
  • Yggdra Union, Blaze Union, and Yggdra Unison: You have Yggdra, Ordene, Russell, Cruz, Durant, Aegina, Emilia, Dort, Juvelon, Milanor, Elena, Leon, Pamela, Nessiah, Mizer, Nietzsche, Amareus, Kylier, Eudy, Rosary, Roswell, Gulcasa, Baldus, Soltier, Ortega, Emelone, and Luciana. And possibly some other people, too.
  • 'Touhou has a weird relationship with this trope. Early on, youkai characters were given western names, with the exception of the Yakumo family. Then ZUN stopped doing that, causing those characters to retroactively have odd names. Then there's Nazrin, who's name is neither western nor Japanese...
  • Shows up in the original Ratchet and Clank trilogy. While most of the main characters get exotic names (Ratchet, Clank, Drek), the supporting characters get names like Angela and Lawrence.
  • Guild Wars lampshades this in one of the NPC dialogues. "We haven't survived this long against the Charr by giving our supplies to every Tom, Dick, and Teardrinker who passes through here."
  • The four demonic members of the underworld band Infernal Rackets in Kingdom of Loathing are Bognort, Stinkface, Flargwurm, and Jim.
  • Caesar's Legion in Fallout: New Vegas is a pseudo-Roman society created by the conquest and forcible assimilation of eighty-six tribes. Hence it has Vulpes Inculta, Lucius, and Aurelius of Phoenix... as well as Canyon Runner, Dead Sea, and Karl. Also, Joshua Graham - one of the Legion's progenitors - specifically kept his original name (and, in a visual reflection of this, waltzed around in a SWAT vest while those around him went for football pads and skirts).
  • 'Xenosaga. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are, listed according to power, Virgil, Voyager, Albedo, and Kevin Winnicot. It doesn't help that while the other three are terrorists, clones, and supersoldiers, his most villainous quality is being the main character's jerkass ex-boyfriend.
  • This trope can often be invoked in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. One example would be the team of Amaterasu, Dormmamu and Chris.
  • The names of several members of the Noswald Empire in Shining Force EXA. Ragnadaam The Third, Gadfort, Duga, and Phillip. Yes Phillip. Not only that, hes the Camp Straight and a Dirty Coward.
  • In Galaxy Angel the main character Takuto Mayers have Japanese first name and a surname that came from a brand of Jamaican rum. The main heroine, Milfeulle Sakuraba, has a weird first name and a Japanese surname. Everyone else, for the most part, have weird full names.
  • In Okamiden, nearly every character has a Japanese name. Then there's Manpuku's mom, Charity. She's never stated to be foreign, and looks just like any other young Japanese woman in the game.
  • In the first two Star Control games Umgah captains usually have alien-sounding names, like Ei'ei'o, Znork'i, O'guk'e or Chez'ef. But one Umgah captain is named... Bob.
  • StarCraft has an interesting naming scheme for its cast. The Terran race spans the entire Aerith and Bob spectrum, but kind of classifies them such that Heroric or otherwise "commoner" characters are on the Bob side, with the villianous, upstanding, or sometimes eccentric ones in the Aerith side. The Zerg and Protoss largely remain exclusively in the Aerith side given that they are alien in nature.
    • "Commoner" Terrans include: Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan, Matt Horner, Mira Han, Egon Stetmann, Rory Swann, Ariel Hanson, and even Lester and Sarge.
    • The Terrans on the other end of the spectrum include Arcturus Mengsk (plus his son Valerian), Edmund Duke, Gerard Du Galle, Alexi Stukov, Tychus Findlay, Gabriel Tosh, Horace Warfield, and, most of all, November Annabella "Nova" Terra.
      • Only odd from a americo-centric point of view. Edmund Duke sounds like someone John Wayne (Marion, by the way, fits here quite nicely) could play, Gerard Du Galle is just French, Horace Warfield is probably Irish and Gabriel Tosh is a perfectly good name, especially if you make reagge versions of Genesis songs. The only odd one are the fake-y Russian ones like Alexi "Stukov".
    • The Zerg have: Daggoth, Zasz, Izsha, Abathur, and Na'Fash, while the Protoss: Zeratul, Tassadar, Artanis, Aldaris, Raszagal, Ulrezaj, Karass, Urun, Mohandar, and Selendis. And there's even the Zerg-Protoss hybrid, Maar.
    • Perhaps the odd one out is Samir Duran, who remains a mystery. And Emil Narud, although admittedly that's sort of for the same reason.
  • Arc Rise Fantasia has more fancifal names like Ryfia, Rasta, and L'Arc alongside more "normal" names like Adele, Alfonse, and Leslie.
  • Both Luminous Arc games use more Bob names than Aerith ones, but the first game does have Mavi and the second has Dia and Bharva.
  • The names of the four Elementals who accompany the main character in Legend of Fae are Nixie, Enki, Gust and Fred.
  • Solatorobo gives us Red and Bruno (common dog names) and Alicia (common human name) running around with Béluga (a type of whale), Opéra (like the music), and Chocolat and Waffle. Then there's the question of where Elh's name even came from.
  • The Last Remnant has this in spades. Names range from, for example, the fairly regular Emma, Kate and Hannah through to the slightly-odd Rush and Hinnah and anywhere past. Three generals on the hero's side are named Torgal, Blocter and Pagus- and are lead by the mighty Marquis... David (though pronounced 'Dah-Veed' for reasons unknown).
  • Hatoful Boyfriend gives the birds mostly normal-sounding Japanese names, with two characters having Punny Names that aren't all that outrageous yet are fake - their real names are ordinary Japanese names, and one character going by an intentionally ridiculous fake name, Anghel Higure, that he presumably made up himself thanks to his poor grip on reality (his real name being the ordinary-sounding Akagi Yoshio). The exception is Oko San, whose name roughly translates to 'Mr. Millet' - a cutsey name for a pet bird. This is because Oko San is a fictionalised version of the developer's pet pigeon, Okosan.
  • The characters of Dark Souls are named like this. You'll run into characters named Laurentius, Griggs, Quelaag, Logan and Oswald.
  • Thwaite has NPCs like Tilda, Meg, and Justin next to Gnivad, Isca, and Briar.

Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • In Card Players almost every other character's name sticks out for them to be living in modern New York. However, most of them are actually from different countries.
    • The main characters (in order of the normality of their names) Tom, Elliot, Tabby, Mikira, Ulan...and Yumeria though her real name is Elena.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • The aliens in Alien Dice have this problem. Especially jarring is Riley's family. His sister's name is Trasik, and one of his brother's is named Mauki, yet he got the name Riley.
  • Pink Black has characters named Sifris, Charm, Igni, Zero, Skorn and... Terence.
  • Had to mention it: VG Cats with Aeris and Leo.
    • Justified in that they're named after the creator's own cats. And Aeris is a perfectly reasonable thing for a gamer to name their pet.
    • Also justified, regardless of the creator's cat names, based on the meaning of the names. Aeris can be short for the name Arielle, which can mean Lioness. Leo, of course, also means lion. So basically, the cats are both called lions.
    • Alternatively, both are names of characters in Final Fantasy games that meet an unavoidable Plotline Death.
  • In The Order of the Stick, one Fourth Wall Mail Slot strip begins with two goblins walking out, and one introduces himself with "So, uh, hello, readers of The Order of the Stick. My name is Kodrog the Slayer, and this is my buddy Jim."
    • And in the Order itself, you have Roy, Haley, Elan, Belkar, Durkon, and Vaarsuvius. Though this might be justified by the fact that the first three are humans, and the latter three aren't. Other humans and non-humans usually fit this pattern, except for Nale.
  • In Penny Arcade, Tycho gets annoyed at Gabe for not being able to pick out a better name for his Final Fantasy XI character than "Jim". This strip might be considered his revenge, or at least another application of this trope.
    • The PA guys do a series of podcasts for Wizards of the Coast with them playing Dungeons & Dragons with Scott Kurtz of PvP. The party consisted of the cleric Omin Dran (Jerry/Tycho), the dwarven fighter Binwin Bronzebottom (Scott) and the wizard Jim Darkmagic (of the New Hampshire Darkmagics) (Mike/Gabe)
      • They were later joined by Wil Wheaton, who named his character Aeofel; they called him "Al".
    • Gabe has also done a page inspired by the game Comic Jumper, in which Captain Smiley meets a team of Nineties Anti Heroes known as BloodGroup: Scythe, The Gulag, Tiger, and Jeff.
  • Planescape Survival Guide has Gerand, Telvrin, Eldon, Twagnonalirathon, Milny... and then Fred and Tommy.
  • Furry Comics in general tend to be bad about this, often due to the inclusion of characters created by other people. Jack mixes realistic names (like "Jack") with exotic ones (the pretty if unpronounceable "Arloest"), and a handful of absolutely ridiculous ones ("Central" and "Silverblue"). Most of them are Meaningful Names including Jack himself, since he is a jackrabbit. (And apparently, parents don't name their children Jack anymore...)
    • Not to mention Fuzzy Things, with brothers Ixiah and... Fox. Try to guess their species. This is acknowledged in one strip, however.
    • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures features Jyrras, Pyroduck, Merlitz, Alexsi, Azlan... and Dan. The strip features both common English names (Seth, Edward, Abel) and more exotic ones (especially with Creatures, although there are exceptions).
    • Suicide for Hire has a bad case of this mixed with Awesome McCoolname. Contrast the main characters Hunter and Arcturus and Hunter's on-off girlfriend Chryseis with SFH's victims Autumn, Rudy, Ty, and Rosaline.
    • Considering this trope's prominence in Furry Comics, the comics The Class Menagerie and I.s.o. avert this trope almost without fail, with a parade of ordinary names for not-so-ordinary characters: Allie, Boris, Brad, Cindy, Cody, Damon, Dani, Doug, Jake, Jeanne, Jeff, Kevin, Lisa, Maureen, Mikey, Robbie, Sam, Scott, Thor, Todd, Tony, Trevor, Tyrone, Wendell, Zach, etc. And their surnames are largely just as ordinary too. It's actually harder to think of an unusual name in these series, and most of the ones that come to mind are The Cameo of other creators' characters.
    • Last Res0rt has plenty (names of characters range from Jason and Daisy to Jigsaw, Adharia, and Golden), but it's justified since we're talking about several different species (and cultures). Within species, things are pretty consistent.
  • Garanos appears to have this, with a mix of invented or symbolic names for some characters (Garanos, Styx) and ordinary names for other minor characters.
  • Used for comedic effect in Lore Sj?g's Monster Manual comics. Any time two monsters introduce themselves, the first has some fantastical monster name (Shirzah'neh, Vsselmiar, Shersssh, Scion of the Hidden Wind...). The second one is Dave.
  • Questionable Content has Sven Bianchi and Hannelore Ellicott-Chatham, but other than that, no really odd names. Sven's case is Justified, as his mom is Swedish and his dad is Italian, and his mom claimed naming rights.
  • The leads of Sluggy Freelance are Torg and Riff...and everyone else in the strip has a normal name, except for minor characters with punny ones and obvious non-humans.
  • Girl Genius has the main character of Agatha Clay (a pseudonym, granted), and, say, Gilgamesh Wulfenbach or Othar Tryggvassen (Gentleman Adventurer!) And the couple who write it are named Phil and Kaja Foglio.
    • There's also the crypt of Castle Heterodyne, containing the remains of Caligula, Mordred, Oxalof, Vicuna, Slantax, Niffedfi (?), Iscariot and Bob. Also an Odd Name Out. Not seen in the crypt, but still on the same family tree are Egregious, Igneous, Satyricus, Faustus, Bill and Barry.
    • Also the Mongfish sisters—Lucrezia, Demonica and Serpentina.
  • In Hazard's Wake, this goes from names like Malbez and Exor on the Aerith side to Alexander and James on the Bob side.
  • Looking for Group has the characters Cale'Anon, Ben'Joon, Krunch, Pella, Aelloon, Sooba and... Richard! This does not go unremarked upon.
  • Twokinds; we've got names like "Sythe" and "Trace" jutaxposed with names like "Flora" and "Alaric" (Roman Empire era name, as in General Alaric).
  • The Way of the Metagamer: We've got "Bob", "Fred", "Jane", and "Xavius". Also "Trope-tan".
  • Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name: Hanna, Toni, Conrad, Abner, Lee...then we've got names like Ples(and his last name Tibenoch), Veser, the variety of names Hanna gives {...}, Adelaide, Lamont, Casimiro, Finas...the list will probably continue as Tess adds more characters.
    • It should be noted that Hanna is a guy. Despite having a girl's name.
  • In The Mansion of E, humans have Bob-type names. The various other species can have anything.
  • In Overlord Academy the Naive Newcomer meets the main cast: Thaelia, Hiro, Nobara, and... Kevin.
    • To add insult to weird namery, Thaelia isn't Greek, Hiro isn't Japanese, Kevin is French, and the actually Japanese Nobara is called "Nova" anyway.
  • In El Goonish Shive, immortals usually pick elitist names for themselves from mythology, Jerry the Immortal finds the resulting hissy fits between two immortals who picked the same name quite hilarious.
  • In Toasty Angel Toast, there's Emo Wine, Toasty, Ayame, Loastay, and... Dave.
  • The Trolls in Homestuck were named by fan-suggestion, generally representing some aspect of their star sign, leaving a disconnected mixture of references. Hence, there is much mixing of languages such as Equius Zahhak (latin and iranian) or Vriska Serket (egyptian and hindi) and some more bizarre combinations (Karkat Vantas gets his first name from a Hindu astrological sign and his surname from a treatment for prostate cancer)
  • The Dreamer has this used subtly, with Beatrice's mother named Sarah and her uncle named Hercules.
  • Zokusho Comics: The team from the Wayward Cross consists of Akira Yukiro, Shugo-Jin Ryu, Raziel Re'del, and ... Jack.
  • True Villains: You have Xaneth Antaris and Lord Attera next to a Tom.
  • Kila Ilo is the name of the title character, here companion is Richard Ferris.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • This comes up in Survival of the Fittest a fair bit, with students supposedly hailing from America having bizarre names (although occasionally justified if the character has immigrated). Examples include names like Rais, Shoar, and Venka amongst Adams, Alans and Helenas.
  • On the Livejournal roleplaying community Drama Drama Duck, Delirium has mentioned having two fish: Humphrey Finkleton the 75th, and his daughter, Bob. It's in character for her.
  • Tales of MU has quite a bit of this because of the cultural mishmash of the college environment. Characters brought up by Humans have names like "Mackenzie", "Ian", "Steff", and "Jamie". Other races have more exotic names or even constructed ones.
  • The original Berzerk has some examples that are somewhat easy to overlook (Guts, Pippen, Corkus, Zodd and Caska among others, mixing it up with Julius, Charlotte, and Griffith) but Hbi2k turned this trope on its head for his abridged series when he went ahead and named the snake baron Phil.

Vier: My older brother is called Jacob, my younger sister is called Lilia, I'm called No.4. Not even 2. Oh, and the actual 4th kid, my younger brother is called Elwin, after general Rommel.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In The Fairly OddParents, we have the Yugopotamians. The main one, Mark, has a common Earth name. So do his peers, Jeff and Eric. But his parents are named King Grippulon and Queen Jipjorulac. Also, there are some fairies with common names (Wanda, Cosmo, Simon) among the weird ones (Juandissimo, Twinkle Flitter Glitter, Jorgen von Strangle).
  • Parodied by the Irkens in Invader Zim: while most have odd names like "Zim" or "Skoodge," there's also an Irken named "Tim" and another named "Bob." (And then there are "Red" and "Purple"...)
    • Of course, the humans have this too: names like Dib and Gaz are somewhat quirky, while the names of minor characters can range from the totally normal ("Gretchen," "Brian") to the utterly bizarre ("The Letter M" or even "Poonchy, Drinker of Hate," both of whom are just normal skoolchildren).
  • Ninjago: Has Cole, Jay, Zane and Lloyd
  • Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series. The male ducks who appear are named Wildwing, Nosedive, Duke, Canard, and Grin (whose real name is Check). The female ducks who appear are Tanya, Mallory, and Lucretia. Okay then.
  • 3-2-1 Penguins! - Zidgel, Midgel, Fidgel, and Kevin.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, most of the names come from Asian languages and are rather nonstandard names at that. There are also a few normal names thrown in there: Lee, June, Song, Mai, Suki. There was also a name established in canon as out-of-place: Hope.
    • Not to mention Mai's little brother, Tom-Tom.
  • An episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force has an example. Meatwad gets a T-Shirt that basically makes him a god. His first act of power is to summon the Easter Bunny. He then proceeds to summon the Easter Bunny's twin brother, Darryl.
  • The cul-de-sac kids consist of Sarah, Jimmy, Kevin, Jonny and Plank, Nazz, and Rolf. Now, the names of Plank and Rolf make sense since Plank is a piece of wood, and Rolf is from an unknown location in Europe he refers to as The Old Country, but other than the possibility that Nazz is named after a band, her name is the strangest.
  • The royal couple from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe were King Randor and Queen Marlena, although the latter was supposed to be an earthling.
  • Doug, Bebe and even Patti (short for Patricia) are relatively normal. And then you have Skeeter (short for Mosquito), Chaulkie and Skunky.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball has Gumball, Darwin and Anais, and their parents, Richard and Nicole. Even if "Gumball" is a nickname, the others still qualify for this trope.
    • Gumball is a nickname. According to Word of God, his real name is Kevin
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has names like "Applejack", "Celestia", "Spitfire", and "Rainbow Dash" being common. However there are occasionally 'normal' names like "Trixie" and "(Pony) Joe". My Little Pony had this in the toys, several ponies having normal names. There is also the main character Pinkie Pie, whose middle name is Diane—the only example of a "normal" name amongst the Mane Six.
  • The now-defunct Mills Corporation, an owner of several U.S. malls, had a kids' club called Muggsy's Meadow. Its mascots included Muggsy Beaver, Carl Raccoon, Lilly Spider and Tred Opossum. All four even got their own cartoon, Get Muggsy


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Mormons are frequently stereotyped as being prone to giving their kids really strange names. Frequently the names are archaic, or created by combining two or more regular names into something un-regular.
  • Modern Filipino families are guilty in naming their children with this. Mark Zester, for example.
  • Jewish communities will include people with Hebrew names like Shoshana, Golan, and Elisheva, and those with more Western names like George, Hillary, and Melissa. Bridging the gap are Western names with Hebrew or biblical origins, like Sarah, Daniel, or Michael.
    • And then there are Jewish communities in Germany, where most people are Russian and have either Russian or western sounding names, with some Israeli, Biblical, German and Yiddish names thrown into the mix.
  • Similar to Jewish communities, Armenian names can be sometimes derived from the bible as well, so you might be just as likely to meet an Armenian named Ara, Vartan or Raffi as you are to meet one named David (or Davit as the case may be), Samuel or Gregory.
  • There was, until 1974, a local government district in Wales officially named, hold your breath, "Newtown and Llanllwychaearn".
  • In some Latin-American countries, it's becoming pretty common to give your children a fancy-sounding North-American name (most of them are pretty common American names, but in these countries they sound foreign and rare. And, parents usually like to add a more local-sounding name. So you get pretty unique combinations such as Jonathan Nepomuseno, Brian Alejandro, Tyson José, and Leslie María (all actual names).
    • Sometimes they went a bit over the top, like Vladimiro Ilyich Montesinos, Peruvian intelligence chief.
    • Ilich Ramírez Sánchez AKA Carlos_the_Jackal,his two younger siblings were named "Lenin" and "Vladimir"
    • Keep in mind that Latin American countries also contain immigrants who are not Spanish, so various European names like "Ludmilla" pop up, and you get names like "Jose Chen" from the Asian immigrants. Archaic names like "Hippolito" also seem to stick around.
    • The use of North American surnames as first names is not uncommon either.
  • Shows up in some areas of Australia where the population of recent (first- or second-generation immigrants) is high—and inverted in an interesting case. Traditional but relatively uncommon or archaic western names like Kenneth, Vincent, Edmund and the like are much more likely to belong to ethnic Asians than Europeans. The name Anthony Wong tips him specifically as an Australian actor; ditto for composer Edmund Choi. Of course, a lot of Asian families have been there as long as a lot of European families.
    • This is also true of Asians in New Zealand. There have been Chinese people in NZ since the Victorian age, but there was a lot of immigration in the 90s, particularly in the lead-up to Hong Kong being handed back to China. People called names like Shane Wong are likely to be descended from men who came to pan for gold during the Goldrush, on the other hand Agnes and Modesta Wong would have most likely moved to NZ in the last decade or so.
    • This is not an Australian thing at all, but rather an Asian-immigrant-to-English-speaking-countries thing.
    • On the other hand this applies to place names in both Australia and New Zealand where towns will have ordinary English sounding names but their suburbs or local districts will often have the local Aboriginal/Maori names or sometimes the situation is vice versa.
  • Judging by their athletes, European forenames are also common in Kenya: their fastest marathon runners include Duncan Kibet Kirong, James Kipsang Kwambai, Paul Tergat, Martin Lel, Vincent Kipruto; and among the women, Catherine Ndereba, Margaret Okayo, Susan Chepkemei and Joyce Chepchumba.
    • This is due to the mandatory teaching of English in the school system and also the lack of Western-style family names in the various tribes. The child receives a traditional Kenyan tribal name at birth, and when they enter the school system they often register with an English first name and their father's traditional first name as their last name (although if their father was in the school system, it's more convenient to use the last name he used), so they tend to end up with very odd-sounding combinations.
  • Very common math textbook exams where the questions which use people as a framing device always give them diverse names by dint of always going for the very exotic or unusual or those which are so very traditional English no one used them any more. Once in the same question, there was a dilemma involving Alejandro, Raj, and Bill.
  • Former Major League Baseball player Andres Galarraga has three daughters: Andria, Andrianna, and Katherine. There is in fact a theme here: the first two names are obviously derived from his name "Andres". The third? His nickname, "The Big Cat".
  • While many of its citizens don't realize it, the U.S.A. is a prime example of this, being a nation of immigrants. Even disregarding the increasingly-common mixing of Eastern and Western names ("Ben Song" or "James Miyamoto"), European names from completely different roots are combined pretty freely as well. Then there are the growing ranks of "Sheniqua Jones"es - or how about Aisha Tyler?
    • In many areas it's actually more common to have this type of name than a straight-up Western European one. In fact, you'd have a surprising amount of trouble finding anyone anywhere whose names were all of the same origin.
  • During the 90s in Germany, it was very fashionable to give your kids English or French names. Unfortunately this phenomenon was mostly restricted to low-education low-income families, to the point that it's now considered to seriously hurt your chances to get a job if you're named Kevin or Jaqueline. Add to that the fact, that many of these parents didn't know the correct pronounciation of such names, which made "Shackelleenne" a very wide spread running gag.
    • Don't forget Üffes Rocher.
    • People in Belgium frequently have English first names. It is probable that Brussels' nature as an international city has led to this, or perhaps it's the fact that Belgium has two languages, French and Flemish.
  • Common on internet forums, where handles range from the person's real name, through Awesome McCoolname, to word salad.
  • This is very common in Ireland. You can get people in the same family named Michael, Ciarán, Kathleen and Aibreann. In Leinster, you're more likely to come across unchanged Biblical or foreign names. In the north and west, Irish variants of Biblical/foreign names and original Irish names are more common.
  • The famous Jesus had a brother/cousin just as famous (in their time) named James.
    • "James" is just a clumsy English translation of Ya'aqov (Jacob). For that matter, Jesus' name (Yeshu or Yeshua, from the same root as Joshua) wouldn't have necessarily been out of place either.
    • It wasn't. In fact, the anecdote about the criminal 'Barabbas' the crowd acclaimed to be freed instead of Jesus is simplified in translation; the man's full name was 'Jesus Bar-Abbas.' For extra points, Bar Abbas is Aramaic for 'Son of the Father.'
  • In both Poland and the Polish community abroad, there are two basic naming conventions: the generic Greek and Hebrew-derived names used by most of the Western world nowadays, and ancient names that derive from Old Polish and Slavic roots.
    • This is basically true of most European countries, where Christianization resulted in the adoption of many names coming from Hebrew and Aramaic (e. g. the various national variants of John, Mary, Joseph, Ann), Greek (Catherine, Christopher, Alexander), and Latin (Pia, Agnes, Barbara, Martin). Later the popularity of some saints also led to the spread of names from other languages - "Xavier" for instance is believed to be derived from the Basque name Etcheberria. Some Polish names for instance also were taken from German, e. g. Karol (Karl, via Latin Carolus), Henryk (Heinrich), Jadwiga (Hedwig).
  • And let's see how people named their children in Victorian England.
  • Reading a history book you find a variety of names, some of which are still in use (Norse/Germanic Frederic, Roderic, Helga, Alfred. Greek Alexander, Jason, Philip, Theodore, Bernice. Roman Marcus, Lukas, Julia, Claudius. Hebrew Sarah, Benjamin, David, Daniel.) and many of which aren't (Norse/Germanic Theodahad, Wulfila, Beowulf, Æthelred. Greek Anaxandridas, Ogyges, Pericles, Herodotus. Roman Tarquin, Servius, Caelius, Gnaeus.)
  • Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt have two children from his first marriage: Nils (son) and Blanceflor (daughter).
  • Take the Kardashian children (please): Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, Kylie, and Robert.
  • The 2008 US Presidential Election. On the Republican side there's Sarah Palin and John McCain. On the Democratic side there's Joe Biden and... Barack Obama.
    • And Sarah Palin's children (oldest to youngest): Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and Trig.
  • Even amongst the Anglosphere, we find this - many British people have to do a double take when they hear that two of the 2012 Republican candidates are called "Newt" and "Mitt".
    • Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names exists for a reason....some historical presidents have had pretty weird names too (Grover Cleveland and Millard Fillmore, anyone?)
  • The moons of Pluto may qualify. There's Charon, Nix, Hydra and "S/2011 P 1".
  • In Romania can be found people with surnames totally outlandish from the country's language perspective - while this can be justified if the said people have Slavic, Greek, Turkic or Magyar names inherited from ancestors, it becomes pretty funny when you find in the Bucharest telephone directory a few dozens of people named Grant, Fox, Lohan or Malone, combined with typically Romanian given names, as there never has been a community of English (leave alone Irish) people there.
  1. That's how the DVD subtitles spell the much longer and more unpronounceable name Tommy Lee Jones must have mangled his mouth to give, anyway. They added that joke at the last minute, so it's not in the script. Tommy Lee Jones probably just said something random.
  2. she has dark hair, actually
  3. who's actually from the Midlands
  4. deliberate Theme Naming on the part of her mother; "Six" is a bad omen for witchwomen, and said mother knew that Six would be a bad girl
  5. Those would be Gremory, Marchosias, and Vepar.