Odd Name Out

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
The Band Members of Taranchula.

Join Mandy, Brandy, Andy, and Scurge, as they learn how to give a care.

—Mock commercial in StrongBad Email #155, "Theme Song"

In a group of characters with Theme Naming, sometimes one just doesn't fit the pattern.

To the viewer, this is about as subtle as placing a big, blinking neon sign saying "HEY, LOOK! THIS GUY'S IMPORTANT!" above their head even before the character has a chance to do anything, and whether or not they really are important is a matter of debate. For some reason, this character tends to be named Bob, due to the inherent hilarity of the name "Bob". He may also have another Plain Name.

Sometimes identifies The Runt At the End. Can also apply to a lapse in Idiosyncratic Episode Naming.

Compare Aerith and Bob. Subtrope of The Last of These Is Not Like the Others.

Examples of Odd Name Out include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Burst Angel, the main characters are named after the heroines of Little Women, substituting "Sei" for "Beth". A Lampshade Hanging occurs in the OVA, where Sei ends up commanding an airship called the Elizabeth. Appropriately, Beth's name is sort-of the odd one out in the original novel—she's the only March sister whose name wasn't changed from Real Life.
    • In the original novel Jo was the odd one out with her comparatively tomboyish name, which actually suits her fine considering she's The Stoic Action Girl.
    • According to Word of God, Sei's last name is Elizabeth. Why her middle name is the same as the airship is anyone's guess.
  • In Death Note Light is the only Yagami not to have a name that starts with "S" (Sochiro, Sachiko, Sayu)
    • Then there's the Wammy's boys: L, Beyond, Mello, Near, and... Matt.
  • Sailor Moon includes the kanji for the senshi's planets in their last names, save for Aino Minako, whose name comes from Venus being the goddess of love. Fitting this, Minako is also the first senshi to draw her powers from her planet's namesake rather than from what the kanji means. This is because she was created first for Codename: Sailor V.
    • In the Outer Senshi, Sailor Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto's last names are Ten'ou (天王), Kaiou (海王), and Meiou (冥王). They mean sky king (Uranus is a Greek "ur-god", the personified sky the way Gaia is the personified earth), sea king (Neptune is the Roman name for Poseidon, the god of the sea), and dark king (Pluto is an alternate name for Hades, god of the death and the underworld). The Japanese name for Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (the planets) are Ten'ousei (天王星), Kaiousei (海王星), and Meiousei (冥王星). See the pattern? ...Sailor Saturn's last name is Tomoe (土萠). It means sprouting earth (and has no connection to mythology whatsoever). The Japanese name for Saturn is Dosei (土星), so Tomoe seems to fit the inner senshi's naming scheme.
    • Jadeite, Nephrite, and Zoisite stayed the same in the English dub, Engrish (Jeddite, Nephlite, the oi as a diphthong) notwithstanding. Kunzite became Malachite. Big hint he's Beryl's last henchman. Beryl herself qualifies. Also, Jadeite and Nephrite were the first two. A lot of Odd Name Out going on.
  • The Ly Five in Shaman King. The other four all have names that end in -ly (Sally, Lily, etc), but the leader's name is Sharona. Naturally, this is intentionally played for laughs when they first introduce themselves.
  • A semi-example: Most of the Rozen Maiden sisters are named for jewels. Hinaichigo, Suigintou and Kanaria are not.
  • In the first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, most of the episode titles ended in a cheery "nano". The few ending episodes did not, signifying a Mood Whiplash.
  • Inverted in Soukou no Strain: most of the characters' names come from A Little Princess, but the rare ones whose names come from other Hodgson Burnett novels have a much smaller role in the plot. Colin, Mary and Cedie existed to die, while Martha and Dickon are barely around.
  • Episode 14 of El Cazador de la Bruja is titled "Maple Leaf", as opposed to all other episode titles that contain either the word "man" or "woman" in them, and is the largest continuous Mood Whiplash in the entire series.
  • The Hwang family in Tokyo Mew Mew consists of Honcha, Lucha, Hanacha, Heicha, Chancha and Bu-ling. Bu-ling avoids her younger siblings' suffix-based Theme Naming in order to fit into the food-based theme of the Mew Mews (Bu-ling being a pun on pudding).
    • In addition, the English version of Tokyo Mew Mew has Pie, Tart, and Kisshu. "Kisshu" would be the Japanese spelling of "Quiche", but somehow the translators missed that.
  • Poor Neji ("screw") is the only Hyuuga not to have a name about the sun, light, or fire (Alliterative Name Hiashi, Hizashi, Hinata, and Hanabi), highlighting his role as the The Unfavorite.
    • Hizashi is both out and in: He's got a name that has something to due with the above mentioned, but he's the only branch member to have one as the third databook states the Hyuuga who was supposed to be a bodyguard to Hinata but had a broken leg from Pain's attack was named Ko and we later see another (assumably branch) member traveling with Anko named Tokuma.
    • Filler Villain Raiga is probably an unintentional example. The other Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist (as well as former aspiring member Suigetsu Hozuki) are all named after fruit, which is probably the writers for the anime not figuring out the Theme Naming from the two members that had been introduced when that filler arc was made.
    • All of the Mangekyo Sharingan's abilities are named after Shinto Gods (Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, Susanoo, and Kagutsuchi, as is the non-Manekyo technique Izanagi) except for Kakashi's ability, Kamui, which is named after an Ainu god.
  • In Case Closed, the suspect in a murder is both the literal odd guy out (he's something of an introvert and doesn't get along well with the rest of the group) and, as Conan quickly realizes in a Eureka Moment, the only one of that circle of friends that doesn't have an airport-based name.
  • In Fate Stay Night the Servant Classes are: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Rider, Caster, Berserker, and... Assassin.[1]
  • Blackbeard from One Piece is the only one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea without an animal-themed name and motif.
  • Most of the Ushiromiyas in Umineko no Naku Koro ni have real Western names (Jessica, George, Maria, Rosa, Rudolph, Krauss, Eva), with one exception: the protagonist, Battler.
    • There's also Kinzo, being the only direct Ushiromiya bloodline family member without a Western style name.
    • And there's also Kyrie. In Japan, Kirie is an actual name but the romanization to 'Kyrie' (apparently, a reference to Ragnarok Online) is considered strange because she is not a blood relative of the Ushiromiya family and therefore has no reason to have a Western looking name.
  • Fist of the North Star has an unintentional example with the three brothers descended from the Ryuoh bloodline: Kaioh, Raoh and Toki. Originally it was just Raoh and Toki, who had a Sensitive Guy and Manly Man kind of rivalry: Toki was a pacifist who wanted nothing more than to use his powers to heal the sick, while Raoh was a tyrannical conqueror who sought to become the world's greatest warrior. Kaioh was later introduced as Raoh and Toki's estranged brother and he turns out to be a more insane version of Raoh, but with a scar on his face.
  • These are the Japanese given names for each lead protagonist over the seven seasons of the Digimon anime: Taichi, Daisuke, Takato, Takuya, Masaru, Taiki, Tagiru. Guess which one of the seven isn't a gogglehead. Hint: "Ta" and "Da" share the same kana, the latter just has a dakuten...
  • The few non-European names in Fullmetal Alchemist not from Xing really stand out. For example, the named military characters includes Hughes, Hawkeye, Mustang, Bradley, Marcoh, Archer, and...Hakuro. In a Japanese manga, guess which one doesn't matter for crap?
  • The Legend of the Legendary Heroes features the Eris siblings: Iris, Ferris, and Lucile.
  • Everyone in Violinist of Hameln has a musical instrument for name: Flute, Drum, Guitar, Sizer (synthesizer), Raiel (a type of piano) etc. Everyone except for the main protagonist, Hamel. His mother Pandora is another exception as it refers to her act of releasing a great evil. And you'd think the Big Bad, The Demon King Chestra was another exception (as he's supposedly occupying a chest), until you realize japanese for "king" is "ou"... making him Ou Chestra, or Orchestra.
  • El Hazard: Jinnai names his six Bugrom soldiers after the Marx Brothers.
  • The Godhand from Berserk consist of Femto, Void, Slan, Ubik...and Conrad.
  • The Angels in Neon Genesis Evangelion all have names ending in "-el"- Ramiel, Zeruel, Israfel, etc.- except for one named Sandalphon. And another named Tabris, AKA Kaworu.

Comic Books

  • In Hero Camp, Dina Might's family, the Might Family superteam, which is made up of David (father), Donna (mother), Desmond (brother), and Charlie (uncle).
  • The Three Lieutenant Marvels from Shazam comics: Tall Marvel, Fat Marvel, and Hillbilly Marvel.
  • The Metal Men consist of (in the earliest series anyway) Gold, Lead, Mercury, Tin, Iron, Copper, and Tina (which is admittedly just a nickname for "Platinum".)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo, Raphael. In one of the movies, Mikey can't help but get a dig in: "All the good ones end in O!".
    • In most of the Japanese localizations, they ALL do - Raphael is called "Rafaello" in those dubs.
  • XXXenophile: "Now Museum, Now You Don't" features the four goddesses Okaraska, Boolatraaca, Xynotreen and Trixie.

Fan Works


  • In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, we have Missy, Chrissy, Sissy and Justice. Guess which one does a Heel Face Turn by the end of the movie.
  • In Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, the dwarfs' names are adjectives that describe their personality - Grumpy, Happy, Dopey, Bashful, Sleepy and Sneezy. The one hold out is Doc, the self-appointed leader.
  • In the beginning of French movie Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, the pet crocodiles belonging to the Queen all have names ending in "is" (as do all Egyptians characters) except for one called Serge.
  • The names of the quints from Raising Arizona are Harry, Larry, Garry, Barry, and Nathan Jr.
  • In Heathers, protagonist Veronica is the only member of the title clique not named Heather.
  • Scar's henchyenas Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed from The Lion King.
  • In Dodgeball: Blade, Laser, Blazer, and Me'Shell.
    • and Fran Stalinovskovichdavidovitchsky.
  • In the Live Action Adaptation of George of the Jungle Lyle's henchmen are name Gunner, Gunter, Hans, Jans, and Phil.
  • Zidgel, Fidgel, Midgel and Kevin of 3-2-1 Penguins!
  • In Mirror Mask, all the Monkeybirds are named Bob. Except Malcolm.
    • Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob... Malcolm.
  • Dude, Where's My Car? gives us the following line:

Zarnoff: My name is Zarnoff. This is Zabu, Zellnor, Zelbor, Zelmina, and, uh, Jeff.

    • Guess which one's the crazy one.
  • Up: Charles Muntz's dogs are all named after letters of the Greek alphabet (Alpha is the lead dog, Beta is second in command, and so forth). The one hold out is D(o)ug, implying that he's so low in the pecking order that there are no more letters left to be named after.
  • The Mummy 1999: Abdul? Muhammad? ...Bob?
  • In the Marx Brothers movie Animal Crackers, Captain Spaulding dictates a letter to his laywer, Charles H. Hungerdunger of Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger, Hungerdunger, and McCormick.
  • The Big Three from Star Wars: Luke, Leia, and Han. One of them is not related to the other two.
  • In the Three Stooges short A Pain In the Pullman, the booking agency's name is Goldstein, Goldberg, Goldblatt, and O'Brien. Of course, O'Brien is the one who speaks with a Yiddish accent.
  • Jim is the only crow from Dumbo that actually has a proper name. All the others are actually named after their distinguishable outfits.
  • The Terrafirminator from Gnomeo and Juliet is the only lawn mover available that is not named after a cat. Guess which one Benny ended up buying!
  • The Van Waldenberg siblings in Blades of Glory are named Stranz, Fairchild, and Katie. Guess which ones are world-class figure skaters and who "cheers on the sidelines".


  • Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. And there are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them. It's either my mum or my dad. Or my older brother Colin. Or my younger brother Ho-Chan-Chu. But I think it's Colin.


  • In Terry Pratchett's Interesting Times, five noble families from the Counterweight Continent have been fighting each other for centuries: the Hongs, the Sungs, the Tangs, the Fangs, and the McSweeneys, who are no more important to the plot than any of the other families. A Running Gag is that people have trouble with how the last family don't fit into the pattern.

Twoflower: And the Hongs and the Fangs and the Tangs and the Sungs and the McSweeneys have been killing one another for thousands of years. It's all part of the royal succession.
Rincewind: McSweeneys?
Twoflower: Very old established family.

    • This is a Shout-Out to James Clavell's Asian Saga, a novel series about a Scottish family who founded a business empire in China.
    • War's children fit this one, too: Panic, Terror, and, um, Clancy.
    • Leonard of Quirm's inventions include such things as the Going Under the Water Safely Device, the Very Fast Coffee Device, or the Engine for the Neutralizing of Information by the Generation of Miasmic Alphabets, and the Gonne. It's probably an indicator of how different this invention was that he didn't name it something like the "Propelling Pieces of Metal through the Air at High Speed using Chemical Energy Device".
  • In First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde, Thursday's children are Friday, Tuesday, and Jenny. Except that Jenny doesn't actually exist -- the villain from one of the previous novels planted fake memories of her in Thursday's brain.
  • In The Witcher there's a passing mention of royal quadruplets from Ebbing, called Putzi, Gritzi, Mitzi and Juan Pablo Vassermiller.
  • Peter Rabbit's sisters were named Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail.
  • Subverted in Christopher Moore's Lamb the Gospel According To Biff. All of Balthasar's concubines have elaborately long names usually referring to sex, such as "Tiny Feet of the Divine Dance of Joyous Orgasm" and "Delicate Personage of Two Fu Dogs Wrestling Under a Blanket," with the sole exception of Sue ("Short for Susanna"). Naturally, if any of them are going to be important, it'd be her—right? Nope. When the demon Balthasar was keeping sealed gets unleashed and starts killing everyone, it's Joy (Biff's name for Tiny Feet of the Divine Dance of Joyous Orgasm, because she didn't take kindly to being called "Orgasm") who survives the ordeal and has the biggest role.
  • In The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, one of the daughters has four brothers: Matthew, Mark, Luke and Bing. To elaborate, guess which one tragically dies when the daughter fails to keep an eye on him?
  • All of Lynn Kurland's romance novels are titled after songs, with the exceptions of her novellas (except To Kiss In The Shadows, which was released as a single paperback novel) and her books Dreams of Stardust and Much Ado in the Moonlight. There doesn't seem to be a particular reason for DoS and MAitM.
  • From Harry Potter, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. Though Brian is a perfectly good old name from the British Isles, it's also, you know, still used. Frequently. In the fifth film, this is Played for Laughs when he states his own name, with "Brian" said more quietly and after a slight pause.
    • Everyone in the Weasley family has a normal, old-fashioned kind of name like Fred, George, Ronald or Bill (William). And then they named the girl "Ginevra".
    • In the Black family everyone has a name connected with astronomy—Sirius, Bellatrix, Regulus etc... Except Narcissa.
      • She's not the only one (Sirius' mom was named Walburga), but she's the main exception. Word of God says that she thought of Narcissa's name early and didn't want to change it.
    • Harry's children are James, Albus and Lily. Albus stands out as the only "odd" name (though apparently he uses "Al" for short) as well as the only one not named after one of Harry's relatives.
  • In Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (And The Subsequent Assault Of The Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds), the main villains are three aliens named Zorx, Klax, and Jennifer. The aliens are aware that their names may raise suspicion while disguising themselves as cafeteria ladies, so they go by Zorxette, Klaxette, and Jenniferette.
  • Comes up in the X Wing Series novel Wedge's Gamble. A pilot sees a freighter named Contruum's Pride and knows it's not legit because it doesn't fit that planet's naming system. There are holes in his theory - couldn't this ship be ignoring tradition, or not an official Contruum ship? - but as it turns out it's full of TIE fighters.

Cracken: Contruum's my homeworld. Naming conventions for ships restrict virtues to capital ships. Transports are named for beasts of burden and rivers.

"What do you mean you can't keep up? Its just Ingr, Gurcaur, Hathan, Fandent and Bob. How much can they be drinking?"

  • In The Falcon's Malteser, the main character Nick is kidnapped by four goons called Lenny, Kenny, Benny and Fred.
  • Major characters in the Codex Alera include Isana, Amara, Fidelias, Maximus, Araris, Invidia... Tavi? Every Aleran character has a Gratuitous Latin Name of Cool... except him. Which, as it happens, is Foreshadowing. His name is short for Octavian, which is very much in line with the rest.
  • Also from Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files books all have two word Double Meaning Titles, each with the same number of letters in each word (Grave Peril, Dead Beat, Summer Knight)... Except for the twelfth book, which is simply called Changes.
  • The Inheritance Cycle began with Eragon and Eldest, both of which start with "E" and have six letters. Fans speculated that the last book in the trilogy would be called Empire, but the author eventually made it a quartet with the final books titled Brisingr and Inheritance, respectively.
  • In the novel Murder at Avedon Hill, the five children in the Avedon family are named Richard, Carin, Edvard, Jon, and Julienne. If you guessed that two of them would turn out to be Important and Special, give yourself a pat on the back. Edvard is a vampire-bite victim and Julienne has some sort of magical affinity.
  • This one appears in The Bible, of all places:
    • Daniel's three friends, Shadrach, Mesrach, and Abednego. Justified as their names were changed by the Babylonians. Their given names were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, which are clearly Jewish. Daniel himself was renamed Belteshazzar, but since he became Prime Minister, he earned the right to be known as Daniel, even in Babylon.
    • See also Noah's three sons: Ham, Shem, and Japheth
    • Lamech's three sons were Jabal, Jubal... and Tubal-Cain. The first two were from the same mother, the third - and his sister, Naamah - from another. On the other hand, this is only a partial example since Jabal, Jubal and Tubal rhyme.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us Han and Leia's children: Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin? Not intentional, just that the people behind Dark Empire didn't know Jacen and Jaina existed.
  • Elizabeth Hand's novella Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol features a set of cut-rate Ramones called the Maronis—Tony, Mony, Pony and Tesla. The real Ramones all had names ending in an -ie sound, except for Elvis. And CJ.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the direwolves are named Nymeria, Ghost, Summer, Lady, Grey Wind and... Shaggydog, who was named by a three-year old. It's also an ironic name, given that Shaggydog is the most wild and savage.
  • The Sandra Boynton book 15 Pets had fourteen animals named Bob, but the turtle has an Overly Long Name.
  • Honey Bear, the youngest of The Berenstain Bears, is the only member of the Bear family that has a proper name. Her parents and her older brother and sister are all named after their relationships in the family.
  • In Warrior Cats, the majority of the 700-something characters have compound names like Bluestar, Mudclaw, Russetfur, Cedarpelt, Whitestorm... so when there's a cat living in the Clans with a name like Boulder, Daisy, or Millie, it sticks out.

Live-Action TV

  • On Wonderfalls, the Tyler family consists of Darrin, Karen, Sharon, Aaron... and Jaye.
  • Clark's friends in Smallville, actually: You got Lana Lang, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, and... Chloe Sullivan. Guess which character wasn't originally created in The Golden Age of Comic Books!
  • On Privileged the relevant characters are Laural, Rose, Sage, Lily, ...and Megan.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: The "Australian Philosophy Professors" sketch, in which the members of the department complain about the newest addition to the faculty being "a bit confusing"—because he's the only person on the entire staff who isn't named Bruce.
  • A Benny Hill gag once combined this with Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion, with the law firm of Arten, Marten, Barten, and Fargo.
  • Gilligan's Island had the guest stars, "The Mosquitos", whose names were Bingo, Bango, Bongo... and Irving.
    • Which group was a parody and inversion of "The Beatles", whose names were John, Paul, George... and Ringo.
  • Episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent have short, usually one-word titles... except for the seventh season episode "Please Note We are No Longer Accepting Letters of Recommendation from Henry Kissinger".
  • Lauren, Lauren, Cassie and Lauren, Will's interns on The West Wing.
  • In Scrubs, Dr. Kelso decides to save effort by calling all the male interns Dave and all the female interns Debbie. Except the one who actually is named Debbie—in the interest of fairness, he calls her Slagathor.
  • Australia's The Comedy Company character Con the Fruiterer had daughters Roula, Soula, Toula, Voula, Foula and Agape.
  • In the Space Mutiny epsiode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Mike and the 'bots make up tons of silly nicknames for the protagonist along the lines of "Big McLargeHuge", "Slate Slabrock" "Thick McRunfast", and "Smash Lampjaw" (to name four)...and then there was "Bob Johnson". Doesn't have quite the same punch,[2] does it?
  • The Doctor Who episode "The Time of Angels" saw this with the clerics: Angelo, Christian and... Bob. Sacred Bob. Angel Bob.
  • In one episode of The Golden Girls, the women buy minks to breed for fur. Rose names them Fluffy, Muffy, Buffy, and Joanne.
  • For a season of Stargate SG-1, the team consisted of: Sam, Cam, Dan(iel) and Teal'c. One of them wasn't from Earth. Guess which one.
    • They later pass it off as an obscure African name. Given that most Americans don't know much about Africa, it works out.
  • "Hi, I'm Larry. This is my brother, Darryl. This is my other brother, Darryl."
  • Happens with the names of the tasks on The Amazing Race: Detour, Roadblock, Yield, Intersection, U-Turn, Speed Bump, and... Fast Forward? One has to wonder why no one thought of calling it a "Shortcut" instead.
  • In the Blackadder II episode "Head" Blackadder becomes Lord High Executioner. When he is introduced to his staff, the first one is Ploppy, the second is Miss Ploppy. The third one? Baldrick. Ploppy and Miss Ploppy do suggest renaming Baldrick to Ploppy.
  • The Big Bang Theory has this in the episode "The Zazzy Substitution", wherein Sheldon buys several cats, naming the first five after scientists who worked on The Manhattan Project (Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, Richard Feynmann, Edward Teller, Otto Frisch), and the last one Zazzles. "He's so...zazzy!"
  • The four main characters on The Young Ones are Rick, Neil, Mike, and Vyvyan.
  • One Get Smart episode featured a descendant of Christopher Columbus. When he and Max first met, Gino (the descendant) was with three girls and introduced them as Pinta, Niña and Rosa. Max incorrectly guessed Rosa's name was "Santa Maria".
  • In the Super Sentai franchise, the codenames for some of the Extra Rangers don't follow the same pattern as the main members, unless they're named after the metallic colors (Gold or Silver). Examples include:
    • The members of JAKQ Dengekitai consists of Spade Ace, Dia(mond) Jack, Heart Queen, Clover King and Big One. This trope also applies to their alter-egos, since Big One's surname is the only one that doesn't end with an "-i" sound (Sakurai, Higashi, Mizuki, Daichi and Bamba).
    • In Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, Dragon Ranger is the only ranger who is based on a mythical creature instead of an actual prehistoric beast like the main team (Tyranno Ranger, Mammoth Ranger, ect.)
    • In Gosei Sentai Dairanger, all of the rangers are named after their respective totem animal except Kiba Ranger, whose name translates to the "Fang Ranger" (his totem animal is a white tiger).
    • For the other teams we have X1 Mask (a one-episode warrior in green), King Ranger (instead of "Oh Black"), Time Fire (since there's already a "Time Red"), Shurikenger (instead of "Hurricane Green"), Abare Killer (instead of "Abare White"), Deka Break (instead of "Deka White"), Magi Shine (instead of "Magi Gold"), Geki Chopper (instead of "Geki White") and Gosei Knight (instead of "Gosei Silver").
    • A non-extra example is featured in Battle Fever J, where the lone girl of the team is codenamed "Miss America" instead of following the "Battle (nation's name)" pattern of the other members.
  • In Power Rangers, get ready for the "is he a Ranger or not?" battle to never end if a hero's name doesn't have "Ranger" in it.[3] Similar to sentai, the Sixth Ranger is also going to be named for something other than his color about half the time.
  • In a vampire-themed episode of Psych, a suspect's three roommates are named "Eddie, Jake, and Lucien." Shawn, Gus, and Julie immediately look for "Lucien." Of course, it's not Lucien or Jacob, but Edward.
  • On the TV series Batman, all members of the Gotham police force had an Irish name starting with O. Except for Goldberg.
  • The demons in Supernatural all have classical demonic names (Azazel, Lilith, even Alastair), with the exceptions of Ruby, Crowley and Meg,[4] who all end up allying with the protagonists against their own kind.


  • KMFDM normally names their albums with five letters, words, or symbols, but dropped this convention for two albums; Hau Ruck and Tohuvabohu. Also, the remix album Brimborium, whose title has no relation to its parent album.

Newspaper Comics


  • In Shakespeare's Othello, Iago is the only one without an Italian name. His name is Spanish; this makes it a Prophetic Names, as in early seventeenth-century England, Spanish people were considered Exclusively Evil (thanks to the Anglo-Spanish rivalry at sea and the not-untraumatizing experience of the Spanish Armada).
    • Not only that- 'Iago' is the Spanish version of Jacob, otherwise known as James. And what was one of Saint James's titles? The Moor Killer.
    • The Hebrew meaning of Jacob is "the supplanter," which also fits Iago ... or at least what he wants to be ... pretty well.
  • Happens in the musical Chicago during the "Cell Block Tango" number. Mona tells of her ex-boyfriend, Al Lipschitz, who would try to find himself and on the way "found" Ruth, Gladys, Rosemary...and Irving.
    • Also amongst the murderesses, there is Velma, Roxie, Mona, Liz, June, Annie, and Hunyak. Hunyak is the only one who is truly innocent and the only one we see get hanged. In this case, it's a bit justified - the character is Hungarian and the fact that she is foreign and unable to speak English is why she's in jail to begin with.
  • In Neil Simon's Rumors, the four male leads are Ken, Len (short for Leonard), Glenn, and...Ernie.
  • In The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Leaf's siblings are Marigold, Brook, Pinecone, Landscape, Raisin...and Paul.
  • The Merchant of Venice: The Dramatis Personae in some editions lists "companions to Antonio and Bassanio": Salarino, Solanio, Salerio and Gratiano. Guess which one ends up being important.
  • The five main players in Altar Boyz are Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan, and Abraham.

Video Games

  • Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde, the ghosts from Pac-Man.
    • Ms. Pac-Man replaced Clyde with Sue.
    • And Jr. Pac-Man replaced him with Tim.
    • According to The Other Wiki, in the original Japanese version, one set of names for them (see here) was Akabei (or "赤ベイ", with 赤 meaning "red"), Pinky, Aosuke (or "青助", with 青 meaning "blue"), and Guzuta (or "愚図た", with 愚図 meaning "indecisive person" or "someone who lags behind"). Guzuta is the only one that doesn't refer to a color.
  • Commonly used in the different levels of Kirby games.
  • In the Dusty Dunes Desert area of EarthBound, three men in sombreros who are arranged like the reels of a slot machine introduce themselves as big brother Pancho, kid brother Pincho, and Tomas Jefferson.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, the Tingle brothers: Tingle, Ankle, Knuckle, and David Jr, although the latter isn't actually related.
  • Zone of the Enders: Most of the important characters' Humongous Mecha are named after Egyptian deities... Except for Vic Viper, which is the only one not powered by the Unobtainium known as Metatron.
  • The Generic Dudes Gang of Hats from River City Ransom is a group of thugs with rhyming names (Gary, Cary, Terry, Jerry, etc.) Their leader's name? Ralph.
  • In the original Fire Emblem (and its remake, Shadow Dragon), Oguma's three axemen are named Saji, Maji, and Barts in the Japanese version and Cord, Bord and Barst in the American version. This is expounded upon in the ending, the two similarly named ones becomes woodcuters, while the one that sticks out stays with the army.
  • Until Silent Hill Origins came out, James was, either accidentally or on purpose, the Odd Man Out of the protagonists whose names otherwise began with H. (Harry, Heather, and Henry.)
  • The Brownie Kings from Eternal Daughter: Mixie, Moxy, Pixie, Poxy, and Randolph.
  • In The Sims 2, the Curious family siblings are named Jenny, Pascal, Vidcund, and Lazlo.
  • In Trusty Bell: Chopin's Dream (Eternal Sonata), if the subtitle didn't tip you off that he's the main character, his name would. It's the only one that has nothing literally to do with music (compare it to other names: Polka, Jazz/Jitterbug, Allegretto, Viola, Beat, etc.).
  • Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Endless Frontier has group of antagonists call Orchestral Army. Their members have German name based on "The Bremen Town Musicians" (Henne - Hen, Ezel - Donkey and Katze - Cat), then we have a Cute Witch call Kyon.
    • Which still fits the Bremen Town Musicians, because Kyon is Greek for Dog (though it's still odd name out for not being German)
  • In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, there is a band (no, not that Band) of five Eblanese ninja, enough to form a full party in that game. Of these ninja, the first four are named Tsukinowa, Izayoi, Zangetsu, and Gekkou, Japanese terms for phases of the moon. The last is named Edge—Edge, being one of the heroes from the previous game and their king and master. And his real name is "Edward Geraldine."
  • The Koopalings do it four times: First, the general theme of living (well, at the time anyway) male musicians:
    • Lemmy Koopa (Lemmy Kilmister)
    • Roy Koopa (Roy Orbinson)
    • Iggy Koopa (Iggy Pop)
    • Larry Koopa (Larry King; not a musician, but a talk show host, and usually the easiest to beat.)
    • Morton Koopa Jr. (Morton Downey, Jr.; Also a talk show host, but was a musician at one point, and is the Koopaling with a completely different color scheme.)
    • Wendy O. Koopa (Wendy O. Williams; female, and uses the most difficult attack in Super Mario Bros. 3)
    • Ludwig von Koopa (Ludwig von Beethoven; dead, and the only one not to have a "more difficult/less difficult" version in Super Mario World, also the Disc One Final Boss in Super Mario 3)
    • Eventually, they add a fourth aversion, Bowser Jr., not named after a real person.
  • The Bowser and Bowser Jr. levels in Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2. In Galaxy, we have "Bowser Jr's Robot Reactor", "Bowser's Star Reactor", "Bowser Jr's Airship Armada", "Bowser's Dark Matter Plant", "Bowser Jr's Lava Reactor", and "Bowser's Galaxy Reactor"; while in Galaxy 2, we have "Bowser Jr's Fiery Flotilla", "Bowser's Lava Lair", "Bowser Jr's Fearsome Fleet", "Bowser's Gravity Gauntlet", "Bowser Jr's Boom Bunker", and "Bowser's Galaxy Generator."
  • Mortal Kombat did this once per game, with three palette-swap ninjas:
    • The original male ninjas: Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and secret character Reptile.
    • The female ninjas: Kitana, Mileena, and secret character Jade. Smoke continues the S-theme, but Noob Saibot doesn't really.
    • And the cyber-ninjas in the third game do it twice: Cyrax, Sektor, and Smoke. Note that Cyrax is one of the few times you see the letter C in Mortal Kombat, so of course in the Ultimate reboot, he has a Heel Face Turn. Also note that Smoke is monosyllabic, a throwback to the original smoke, and non-science-fictiony. Also, he actually helps Sub-Zero; too bad he gets thrown in the Heel Face Revolving Door and ultimately teams up with Noob Saibot.
  • Axl Rose, Tornado Tonion, etc. in Mega Man X. Most of the robots are patterned after animals! Also, Gravity Antonion for not just being Gravity Ant.
  • In Pokémon, Eevee is the only member of its family not to have "eon" in its name. Similarly, Tyrogue is the only one of its family to not have "Hitmon" in its name.
  • Tactics Ogre has the Foriner sisters: Selye, Shelley, Sisteena, and...Olivia.
  • Two odd names in the six levels of Bug!!- Insectia, Reptilia, Splot, Quaria, Burrubs, and Arachnia.
  • In Stacking, the main character Charlie Blackmore is the only member of his family whose name doesn't start with the letter A.
  • The Fey family from the Ace Attorney series: Maya, Mia, Misty, Morgan... and Pearl. (Unless you count Iris and Dahlia.)
    • What about Ami?
  • The strategists of the Suikoden series have always been from the Silverberg family (Shu, at least, is a student of Matthiu), but the fifth game gives you Lucretia Merces, a hot Karayan Expy of Zhuge Liang, who has no relation to the Silverbergs in any way. The other side's strategists have nothing to do with the family either.
  • Belladonna is the only properly named character from the Persona series to be related to the Velvet Room and not have a name that somehow ties into Frankenstein. The remainder are Igor, Nameless, Elizabeth, Margaret (this one's pretty obscure—she's the ship captain's sister in the novel), and Theodore. (most likely for Theodore Roszak, author of The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein)
  • In Metroid Prime 2, the Dark World counterparts of Temple Grounds, Agos Wastes, Torvus Bog and Sanctuary Fortress are respectively Sky Temple Grounds, Dark Agon Wastes, Dark Torvus Bog and Ing Hive. Repeated in Metroid Prime 3, where the main planets visited are Norion, Bryyo, Elysia and Pirate Homeworld. Ing Hive has the name probably because it's where the Ing proliferate the most, while Pirate Homeworld is the only planet without a fully confirmed name.
  • The Chateau level names in Something are based on the elements in the French language (Feu, Eau, Vent, and Terre), but the final Chateau has the name of Chateau Finale.

Web Animation

  • In the Homestar Runner Show Within a Show Cheat Commandos, everybody has a cool commando name, for instance, Crackotage, Gunhaver, Fightgar and Silent Rip... and then there's Firebert and Reynold. (Reynold later undergoes a Face Heel Turn and renames himself "Scrawnjob". Also, there's Mr. Bland, Senor and... The Robot (the only one who doesn't have a variation of "Mister" in his name, in case you didn't notice).
    • See also the member of Taranchula in the image above. Two Daves with Scandinavian names, and a Schenkel McDoo.
    • In a Strong Bad Email called "web comics", Strong Bad describes web comics as being about "video games, gamernerds, webgeeks, dorknerds, gamewads, nerdgames, webwebs, and elves."

Web Comics

  • The characters from the eponymous video game in Kid Radd are named after slightly mangled pieces of Eighties slang - Radd, Gnarl, and Bogey (from 'bogus', not the British for 'booger'). The only one who isn't is Radd's 'girlfriend', Sheena, who's not only invincible, but who ends up merging with a version of herself from the sequel to her game, and becoming the most versatile fighter in the comic.
  • Homestuck has four kids, whose online handles can be shortened to TT (tentacleTherapist), TG (turntechGodhead), GG (gardenGnostic), and... EB (ectoBiologist), which belongs to John, our original protagonist. This discrepancy is actually a Chekhov's Gun; a group of internet/real trolls had forced him to change his handle from ghostyTrickster.
    • Problem Sleuth has the four poker-playing elves: Ropo, Zobo, Foko, and Blod.
  • You Damn Kid! shows some of the problems that can occur with this naming pattern.
  • Not a name thing, exactly, but Lady Surka of Digger, a professional bridge-troll, lists some of her past jobs as dishwasher, assassin, and pirate queen.
  • Played With in No Rest for The Wicked: November is the daughter of King January, and has older sisters named August and September. The queen is named Avril, which follows the Temporal Themed Naming in another language. (They're also missing an October, though Word of God says that's because there's a two-year difference between September and November's ages.)

Web Original

Western Animation

  • In Phineas and Ferb, Candace wants to have a boy called Xavier and a girl called Amanda, so in an alternate future where Candace has twin boys and a girl, she calls her children Xavier, Amanda and Fred.
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life Christmas special, Rocko's new elf neighbors are all named after tools, except "Mango" (as the family patriarch explains, "I was feeling fruity").
  • The Ghostly Trio of Casper the Friendly Ghost: Fatso, Fusso, and Lazo, who become Fatso, Stretch, and Stinkie in The Movie.
  • All the charactes in Maryoku Yummy have Gratuitous Japanese names (Ooka, Hadagi, etc.) except for Bob. This could be because he's a delivery man, and doesn't live in the same land as the main characters, though.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: "Dear Vikings" has several vikings named Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, Olaf, and... Gorton.
  • The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin has characters named Fred, Fred, Fred and Fred in episode 42- "Tweeg the Vegetable".
  • Yakko, Wakko, and Dot from Animaniacs, who get double credit for this trope as the actors that voice them are all similar, with two rhyming names and a third odd name: Tress, Jess, and Rob.
  • The five girls in the first season of Winx Club are Stella with sun and moon powers, Flora with flower power, Musa with music power, Tecna with...well, take a guess, why don't you? Last but not least - Bloom, with fire powers. Guess who's the main character?
  • "This is Maude, Rod, Todd, and I'm Ned!"
  • An episode of Invader Zim shows Dib setting up a spy camera in Zim's kitchen and watching the feed from his room while his four recording devices, Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Stevie, are being repaired.
  • In Hey Arnold!, Frankie G.'s group consist of several people whose names end in an "-ie" or "-y" suffix and their last initial, and Chaz.
  • Most of the band members of Dethklok in Metalocalypse all have violent or fantastic names: William Murderface, Toki Wartooth, Nathan Explosion, Skwisgaar Skwigelf... and then there's the drummer, Pickles.
  • In Duck Dodgers the four quadrants of the galaxy are named as Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Steve.
  • The Dinobots in Transformers are Snarl, Swoop, Slag, Sludge... and Grimlock. Not only is Grimlock the only one who doesn't have an "S" in his name, but he's the only one whose name is a made-up word. Of course, he's the leader of the pack and the most popular of them.
    • He's also the only Dinobot whose torso isn't red.
  • Somewhat related: Pepper Ann's grandma, Lilly, had two daughters, Lydia (the protagonist's mom), and Jane, which would be Lane, but Lilly was so tired after birth that she reversed the L.
  • Futurama has Calculon, who was "all of history's great acting robots: Acting Unit 0.8, Thespo-mat, David Duchovny!"
  • Boris Badenov once claimed to be a partner in the advertising firm of Dancer, Prancer, Blitzen and Fink. No prizes for guessing which.
  • In The Incredibles, the two older children have names and powers that are symbolic of their time of life—hyperactive ten-year-old Dash, who has super speed, and shy fifteen-year-old Violet, who can turn invisible.[5] Then there's the baby, Jack-Jack, who doesn't appear to have any powers or a significant name.[6]
  • An episode of the Disney series Bonkers had the eponymous character being followed by agents Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and Ringo.
  • An episode of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo featured a family carnival run by the Jipners, who consisted of Jolly, Joey, Jerry, Julie (to name a few) and Bart. Guess which one was the ghost. Subverted as it was Joey.
  • The Possible family in Kim Possible has Kim, Jim, Tim, Slim, (great aunt) Mim and Joss.
  • In The Brave Little Toaster we get Toaster, Lampy, Radio, Blanky, and... Kirby? It's a type of vacuum, but still.
  • In the 2010 animated series of The Jungle Book, the crocodile's five sons are Biter, Grabber, Chomper, Guzzleguts and Colin.
  • In 3-2-1 Penguins!, the eponymous penguins have the names Zidgel, Fidgel, Midgel, and Kevin.
  • Wakfu has an in-universe example. It's the oddity of the man referring to himself as Grougaloragran that tips Nox off to the fact that he is actually one of the legendary dragons, because apparently only they used names like that.
  • Everyone in Almost Naked Animals is A Dog Named "Dog". Except for Howie, who is a dog.
  • Four thugs that were in an episode of Young Justice were named Hoody Boy, Git N Paid, Daddy Lidz, and Henry
  • According to the book Monsters, Inc., The Essential Guide, the five snakes on Celia's head are named Amelia, Ophelia, Bobelia, Cordelia, and Madge.
  • The Powerpuff Girls are named Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles. Bubbles is the only Powerpuff Girl that is not named after a flower... unless you count Bunny and Bullet.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Out of all living people in the Fire Nation Royal Family, Zuko is the only one whose name doesn't start with a vowel. His sister is named Azula, his parents are Ozai and Ursa, and his uncle is named Iroh.
    • Ursa herself stands out for having the only Western-based name (Ursa is Latin for "bear"), aside from the born-onscreen baby Hope, whose name was specifically chosen to be meaningful.
  • Totally Spies!: The three protagonists are named Sam, Alex, and Clover. And the three of them are girls.
  • U.S. Acres: Unlike his brothers, Orson's name doesn't end in "-rt".
  • Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines: Klunk is the only one in the Vulture Squadron to have a name that doesn't end in Y. Dick Dastardly, Muttley and Zilly. Also, Dick is the only one of the four to be known by name and surname.
  • In Birdz, Sleepy Bat is the only character with a "cartoony" name instead of a more normal one. Lead character Eddie and his family could also qualify, since their last name is Storkowitz instead of the Species Surname that everyone else has.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: His parents are Richard and Nicole. His ascended pet/brother is Darwin, and his sister is Anais. And yet Gumball is the odd name out.
  • The Jetsons are named George, Jane, Judy, and Elroy.
  • Goliath from Gargoyles is the only member of the Manhattan Clan (until Angela joins the cast later—and Angela fits the Theme Naming of the Avalon Clan she was born into) that's not named after a certain section of New York City. That's because being the leader, he is the first gargoyle to actually be given a name, back in the Middle Ages (his followers were all named in the present day).
  • The Three Little Pigs are named Fifer, Fiddler, and Practical. Guess whose house didn't get blown down by The Big Bad Wolf!
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has the six main character ponies named: Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Twilight Sparkle. The last name is the only one with four syllables.
  • In Taz-Mania, Molly's favourite band is The New Chips of the Block; Donnie, Ronnie, Lonnie, Bonnie and Clyde.
  • One episode of the 2010 Pound Puppies series features five puppy siblings: Flip, Blip, Tip, Whip, and Chubbers.

Other Media

  • Played with in the old joke: "My mother had four children. The first was named Spring, the second, Summer, and the third, Autumn. What was the name of her last child?" The answer, of course, is the first name of the person asking the question, which is probably not "Winter".
    • Another version of the joke goes: "Sarah's mother has four children. Three are named April, May and June. What is the fourth child named?" Sarah. The original name can be anything.
    • Yet another one: "Tom's mom had three children. If one was Monica and another was Veronica, what was the third?"
    • Also: A woman had four children: Eeney, Meeney, Miney... and Steve. Why? She didn't want no mo'.
  • There's also the joke:

So apparently one out of five people in the world are Chinese. MY family has five people in it, so I guess one of them must be Chinese. Could be my mom. Or my dad. Or my brother Jack. Or my little brother Heilong. I'm pretty sure it's Jack.

Real Life

  • The ravens at the Tower of London are called Gwylum, Thor, Hugin, Munin, Branwen, Bran, Gundulf, Baldrick, Fleur, and Colin.
  • Back in the 1910s, the White Star Line drew up drafts for three large ships that would all be named for, well, being large: Olympic was the first, then Titanic and finally Gigantic. After what happened to the second one, the company feared that releasing the third with the Theme Naming intact would cause people to associate it with the disaster, so the Gigantic was renamed to Britannic.
  • For a long time, the fleet of the Finnish ferry operator Viking Line consisted of seven ferries: Amorella, Gabriella, Isabella, Mariella, Rosella, Cindarella and ... Ålandsfärjan. Today, the odd one out is Viking XPRS.
  • Similarly, the current US carrier fleet: USS Nimitz, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Carl Vinson et al., and the Enterprise as the survivor of the previous naming theme.
  • The Duggar family from 19 Kids And Counting consisting of children Joshua, Jana, John, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Jossiah, Joy-Ann, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace, and Josie. Their father is Jim, their mother is... Michelle.
  • Director Robert Rodriguez named his four sons the unique and rather badass sounding Rebel, Rocket, Racer, and Rogue. While he kept the "R" theme with his daughter, he gave her the much more normal sounding Rhiannon.
  • (The Customer is) Not Always Right: Oh, that poor kid.
  • The Marx Brothers: Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, Gummo, and... Margaret.
  • John, Paul, George, and Ringo. With Ringo replacing Pete.
  • Henry VIII's wives were: Catherine, Catherine, Catherine, Anne, Anne ... and Jane.
  • The Phoenix siblings: River, Rain, Liberty, Summer, and... Joaquin (though he was billed as Leaf Phoenix early in his career, the others were born with their names.)
  • The members of Super Junior and subgroups: Leeteuk, Kangin, Kibum, Hangeng, Siwon, Heechul, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Sungmin, Ryeowook, Yesung, Shindong, Kyuhyun, Zhou Mi... and Henry.
    • Now that Han Geng a.k.a Han Kyung has left, you could say that Zhou Mi also fits this trope, being the only one with a Chinese name.
  • In quantum physics, the different 'flavours' of quarks are up, down, bottom, top, strange, and charm.
  • Earth is the only planet in the Solar System that is not named after a Greco-Roman god. And nope, "Terra" will not help either.
    • Same for Japanese—all the planets' names end in 星 (-sei, star/planet) except for Earth (地球, Chikyuu, "earth-ball").
  • The Earth's continents are named Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica, the two Americas, and Europe.
  • The three periods that made up the Mesozoic era are called the Triassic, the Jurassic, and the Cretaceous.
  • The University of California at San Diego is split into six colleges (which basically entails different general education requirements, generally with some vague theme to each college's curriculum): Revelle, Muir, Warren, Marshall, Eleanor Roosevelt, and...Sixth. This is just a placeholder until they do decide on a name, but it's already been ten years...
  1. Alternatively, "Saber" is the odd name out, as it is the only class named for a type of weapon, as opposed to the term for a person who wields the weapon (which would be "Sabreur").
  2. Punch Sideiron
  3. The last three to not have Ranger in the name did have "Knight" in the name (Koragg the Knight Wolf, Solaris Knight, Sentinel Knight), so "Knight" seems to be established for more-heavily-armored Ranger-like characters (we'll have to see what they do with GoseiKnight when his series comes along.)
  4. granted, it's not her real name
  5. Although her clothes don't, unless specially made to do so. Her name is also symbolic in that ultraviolet is invisible to human eyes, and Agatha Christie would have smiled at the name if she'd lived to see the movie, for "violet" in the language of flowers means "modesty".
  6. But "Jack-Jack" sounds like it may be a nickname rather than his real name. And in the last act of the movie, we see that he has a veritable cornucopia of powers, thus making him a "Jack" of all Trades.